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Friday, April 29, 2005

Now why didn't I think of this?

The Modern Family
It occurred to me recently that I know very few couples who come from the same religious or cultural background. Even couples who are nominally of the same religion often come from different parts of the globe. In a strange way, I feel more comfortable with this concept than I do with the idea of choosing your partner deliberately from the same pool you came out of.

Perhaps it isn't so strange that I feel comfortable with this: after all, John's family is mostly Italian and Catholic and mine is mostly Scandinavian and a mish-mash of Protestant faiths and apathetic agnosticism. We recently went to a party at Alicia and Guillermo's house - her family is from Gujarat, his from Mexico City. They got married in a three-day Hindu ceremony, where his family was baffled by colorful saris, mendhi-painted hands, and hundreds of coconuts. Talking to an Indian neighbor at their party, he admitted that he had no notion of what was going on in his own Hindu wedding - his wife was Hindu, and he was Christian.

When I first went to stay with my in-laws, I was baffled by the noise: it seemed that everyone shouted, even normally-quiet John raised his voice to be heard above the din. He must have been similarly confused by my family's quietness and the undercurrents of tension that rippled between various family members. His family was outwardly raucous, though universally loving, while mine was outwardly serene, yet inwardly seething. I had to accustom myself to the noise, while he must have felt like donning armor to fend off darts of sarcasm. While John and I may outwardly seem more similar than Guillermo and Alicia, our respective backgrounds had enough differences to create some initial friction. Alicia and Guillermo's stories about handling family differences often have more points in common with ours than contrast.

It is these initial touch-points that seem to create the most friction: first meetings, weddings, other moments with great emotional and cultural significance get people wound up to a fever pitch. Compromises, though possible, are rarely even, 50/50 splits. I think that is why weddings can create such tension and such great beauty. Yes, the tradition often honors those who have gone before. But at the end of the day, when a couple is strong, they can leave behind the struggles and the angst that are almost inevitable during the run-up to "The Big Day" and create something that is their own. And when they move on from that day, they will have placed their stake in the ground, creating something new and unique. "This is ours," they say. "Our family."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Woofer Madness
I think my dog is allergic to conference calls.

Let me rephrase that. My dog is most definitely allergic to lots of stuff. And even despite the allergy vaccine that the dogger is on, he still nibbles on his paws now that the pollen is thick enough to turn my blue car a sickly shade of green. Allergies don't cause him to bark, however, and bark he does whenever I have an important business call.

Yesterday he was calmer than he has been for a very long time. Mellow and restful, he hung out with me, hardly objecting at all to the occasional passersby outside our house that usually make him behave like a defender of a medieval castle wall (if we gave him boiling oil, he would pour it on bike-riding kids and unwary joggers). Later we went out to the field for a bit of frisbee. He subjected me to none of the hyperkinetic, noisy behavior that (in repeated doses) makes me absolutely crazy. I got a lot done yesterday, but it was preparatory work: organizing notes and impressions in order to do a big project more smoothly. I made no business calls yesterday.

Contrast that with today: he woofed at the neighbor's dog, went ballistic at the sight of the paper delivery man, and even spazzed out when I returned from teaching my private Yoga client early this morning. He has chased Dash a couple of times, ducked perversely when John and I have tried to pet him, and generally given the impression that today is going to be a challenging day. What is different? Well, today I have a conference call this afternoon. I am convinced he knows this.

It's just lucky that my client has a sense of humor and knows I work from home.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The best mondegreen in years. (Link to animation with sound)

I'm Back!!
Well, I never really left - I just spent some quality time with Mom, attended to some clientary emergencies, and generally listened to the time go "whooosh" as it sped past. Seriously, what day is it?

We had a small gathering at our house on Sunday, as we often do when our parents are in town. Roxanne and John brought their not-quite-year-old Lana over, and we were privileged to witness first-order cuteness. Lana, having never played with a dog before, fell in love with Mac. She followed him with her eyes, no matter who was holding her, pointing and emitting a fairly steady stream of "Da!" (coupled with the pointing, it was clear she was saying "dog," but I have to admit the actual noise was more "da!" Russian for "yes," infant for "dog.") She finally came to roost on Rox's lap, where she merrily kicked her feet, said "da!" and laughed as Mac sniffed her cautiously. The final cuteness was committed when Lana offered a bit of her cereal snack to the dog. We're lucky that the house didn't implode from John and me inhaling rapidly as this happened. We have been working on Mac to get him to take treats gently from human fingers ever since we got him three years ago, but nothing was certain when he was presented an interesting morsel by a small child who was unclear on the concept that giving food to a dog means your chubby fingers must release their iron grip on the puffed wheat.

It was a proud moment.* Mac practically took the cereal with his lips. Lana, delighted with this, shrieked with laughter and kicked her feet. The adult humans melted into a happy puddle of goo. It is a good party when nobody has to go to the emergency room.

*And one I was an idiot not to even think of photographing.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sorry, Folks.
Client demands and Mom's visit meant no post today. Bad blogger.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Free Music for Friday
200 of Amazon's (legal) free downloads.

Random Friday Bits
Random bit the first: Today is the day Mom arrives - the week's plan for tidying up actually went pretty well, and I am left with only the vacuuming/floors. John took care of the deck and the outdoor spaces the other day, and I have that sense of anticipation I get when we're throwing a party and waiting for the first guest to arrive.

Random bit the second: I have been trying to take a picture of Dash doing his daft dance of death outside the upstairs railing, but have not quite snapped him in the act. These, however, give a bit of an idea as to how the little bugger practically makes my poor acrophobic heart stop:

I stood a couple of steps up from the half-landing to take these photos. The tile floor of the foyer is one full flight below his merrily rolling body. Imagine now, if you will, that he doesn't have his hindquarters inside the railing, but rather is dancing on the scant few inches of carpet outside the railing. Put very simply, it gives me a hospital-grade case of the willies just to see him do it. John saw him leap from outside the railing to the landing the other day - even he found that unsettling.

Random bit the third: Anyone got any cookies? I'm craving cookies.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Too Much Going On!
Client emergency this morning - please amuse yourselves with these quizzes that tell you what kind of awful historical job you might have had if you lived in a different age. I will update later with my own results - leave yours in the comments!

12:57 PM ETA:

Okay - my score is 45 points -

30 to 70 You don’t mind doing your fair share of hard graft, but you’d prefer not to be killed while doing it. If tough is your bag, try Sedan-chair bearer, searching for bones or cigar ends as a Scavenger, Roman gold miner, operating a Treadmill or working as a Navvy.

Yeah. Let's just say I'll pass.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Internet Makes All Things Possible
Just Keep Moving
I am a big baby when I don't feel well, and yesterday Spring got me good. I have never really suffered from allergies, but we have not had rain in quite a while and I had itchy eyes and a sore throat yesterday. Worst of all, I felt like I was stuck in a mental fog that made writing and editing very, very difficult. Considering the fact that I had to write a press release and an internal communications memorandum for my favorite client, this was not good. I try very hard to be 100% and give 100% with what I am doing in my freelance work. I managed to get things done, and the client seemed to think that things were up to speed, but I felt mired in misery.

Then I got to take my fog and my misery and teach an evening Yoga class with it. When I arrived at the studio, the temperature was over 80 degrees. Yuck. We don't teach "hot" Yoga at our studio, so I am not sure why it was so warm in there, but at least I had arrived early enough to bring the temperature down to a reasonable level. I had never taught this particular class before (I really don't like teaching in the evening), and it was a funny group of personalities - lots of flat affect, lots of facial non-response. Professor Z wrote yesterday about wanting her students to like her - I definitely suffer from that in the beginning of a class. New personalities and new faces I can't read conspire to make me feel insecure. By the end of class, though, I don't care if they like me. I want them to understand.

Since I teach beginners, I see so many hunched and rounded shoulders, I tend to spend a lot of time working on people's shoulders and upper backs. I use tricks that I have known for more than seven years to get people's shoulder blades from splaying out and their upper backs from rounding. It is such old news to me that it is always a bit surprising to see the lights go on with people when they really get it. Surprising, but also fun - I believe that the shoulder blades, while they don't contain the secrets to the universe, somehow unlock potential and make a bunch of things possible. Getting there is not easy, though. You can't see your back, so you have to rely on how things feel. You have to go on trust. You have to be brave: moving your shoulders back to where they should be has a flip side - many people rise to stand upright and suddenly feel like they are sticking their chests out. This feels provocative and aggressive to some of my students - I can see the cognitive dissonance rising up in them. Yoga does not equal provocative, Yoga does not equal aggressive.

I kept them moving though, and the concern in some faces transformed to gentle comprehension. Movement helps a lot of things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. I find it astonishingly compelling.

This Week's Forecast: Heavy Yoga with Extra Mom
Aside from my usual teaching and personal practice, I am substituting for two of my Yoga-teacher colleagues this week. Additionally, Mom comes to visit on Friday! Yayy!!

Yay-ness aside, this is definitely another example of the way life seems to be coming in swift rushes lately, and I have a definite feeling that my plan for getting the house ready in easy stages will be all for naught and I will end up vacuuming like crazy in a last-minute frenzy on Friday morning. Spring is not kind to a household that has three furry animals.

Off to run the vacuum! Off to swab the bathrooms! Off to teach other people's Yoga classes! Off! Away!

Monday, April 18, 2005

This would be far less creepy...
...if the drum-guy didn't look like he was saying, "Thank you."

Google Searches, v. 7
The forecast for my brain this morning is foggy and dim. So, the blogger's fall-back - Google searches volume seven! (The bloggy-come-latelies can work back starting from six here).

quiznos hamsters - Has there been a resurgence of this ad? Because I get variations on this search almost daily lately. In fact, last I checked, WoT was the #2 result for "quiznos singing hamsters" - go WoT! (By the way, I also found this - which is pretty darn funny).

puppy sharpie - Awww. My poor puppy and his allergy tests. (I wonder, though, if this person was actually looking for a "shar-pei" puppy.)

pictures of heads exploding - Well, I have discussed the exploding head thing, but as this is a metaphorical event, there are no photographs. Should I be worried that this search came from Truckee Meadows Community College?

i am 15 years old and i need ideas 4 my book that im writing - Good grief.

babe magnets - I live with two of them. What do you need to know?

afraid of flying - Interestingly enough, this came from usmc.mil. The few, the proud, the white-knuckled?

successories - Is there much pain in Mr. Bezos' kingdom? Because this came from AMAZON's domain!? Bwahahaha!!!

A Yahoo image search for "big spider" - After following the link, all I can say is "aaaaghhhh!!"

prairie dog jump yip picture - I don't have a photo of the transcendent cuteness of the jump-yip, but this is a good example.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday Other-Peoples' Cat Blogging
Ever seen a kitten fall asleep mid-play? There are a few of those in here.

Is it any Wonder I Married a Librarian?
Over on Making Light, they are swapping horror stories of the "I Was a Bookstore Clerk" variety. I spent one summer working in a bookstore, but I don't really have any good stories about it. What I do have is a priceless story from when I was a work-study clerk in the Law Library.

Libraries are where work-study grants go to die, especially at a public university. It seemed that every other student was eligible for a work-study grant at my school, and when you can't get a job as a research assistant for a professor (or, as in my case, the professor you have your research job with doesn't have a whole lot of projects for you), you take advantage of your grant working at the library. It's a pretty good gig - you can drop in for as little as an hour at a time, the work is fairly undemanding, and you can read the papers while you're attaching them to those long sticks.

The unfortunate thing about the library - at least at Maine - was that random, strange calls tended to land at the circulation desk. Since the circulation desk was generally manned by the shifting mass of students on work-study who were working a 2-hour shift (at the longest), it was a poor choice for those members of the public who might be seeking anyone resembling a clue. On the other hand, since the circ desk students were constantly confounded by the old-fashioned phone (the kind with a row of buttons on the bottom that went "ker-CHUNK" when you pressed them to select a line, put someone on hold, or transfer them to oblivion), it was probably a good way for a harried switchboard operator to get rid of annoying callers.

I was whiling away my time at the circ desk late in my career at U. Maine one spring afternoon when the telephone rang. I answered it, and was greeted by a slow, stentorian voice obviously belonging to an elderly gentleman who was most likely hard of hearing. "I would like to speak to the Law Librarian," he boomed.

Hmm. There was nobody with that title at the library, to the best of my knowledge, and I had worked there for two years. "Er - sir, do you have a reference question, or would you like to speak to the director of the library? There is nobody with the title of 'Law Librarian.'"

"I would like to speak to the Law Librarian," he repeated - as one would with a particularly dim child.

"Sir, as I told you, there is nobody here with that title --"

"I would like to speak to the Law Librarian."

Fine. It seemed my best choices were a.) the reference librarian, or b.) the director. As I had no more information than that, I selected the director by a semi-random selection method: I liked the reference librarian. He was a very decent chap. The director was a bit of a pill, and moreover he had a secretary who was probably better-equipped to handle this than either I or the reference librarian. So I said, "One moment, sir," and put him into transfer mode, got the secretary on the line, put him through, and went back to replacing pocket-parts or whatever other gripping task the circ desk had for me that day.

About a minute later, the phone rang again and I had a sense of doom. Sure enough, when I answered it, I got, "I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO THE LAW LIBRARIAN." Either my ancient telephone-fu was weak, or he had gotten confused when he was put on hold and had hung up.

"One moment, sir," I put him on hold again and called up to the director's secretary's office. Now she was not there. Hell.

I took a deep breath and got back on the line with my elderly friend. "Sir, nobody is there at the moment. I would be happy to take a message for you --"

That was when he exploded. He began to yell, ranting about how he needed to speak to the fictitious "law librarian" and how he was retired Maine Supreme Court Justice Hoo-Ha, and on and on. The serials librarian, who had been shelving journals in the open shelves behind the circ desk looked at me as I held the phone's receiver away from my ear. I felt like one of those cartoons where the noise from the phone actually blows your hair back. Finally, his tirade wound down and he ended by sarcastically asking, "So what do you suggest I do?"

I had a split-second conversation with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other and said, "Well sir - the way I see it you have two choices. You can leave a message as I suggested at the outset or you can continue to be rude to me. Which will it be?"

The serials librarian in the stacks behind me inhaled audibly and I waited.

"Um. I guess I'll leave a message then."

Score one for the work-study student.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Anatomical Challenges
It seems that Rana and I share yet another feature in common - being short-waisted. Being short-waisted means that the phenomenon of low-rise jeans (just the ones that sit below your belly-button: not the ones that you can't sit down in) are a source of good cheer. Of course, at some point I am sure the tides of fashion will flow back to the eighties (cue the screaming) and we short-waisted ones will not be able to find trousers that don't come up like corsets over our floating ribs. Perhaps we should stock up.

Everyone has their own anatomical challenges and benefits that make things difficult or easy, but I have to say that a combination of short waist, long legs (just long enough so that regular pants are a bit on the short side, just short enough so that "talls" have to be hemmed), broad shoulders, and short arms seems to be a really odd random selection from the old genetics piñata. Proportionally speaking, I am a T-Rex in human form! Put it all together, and it's no wonder I find handstand difficult. Put it all together and it's no wonder I find clothes shopping next to impossible.

I like being well-dressed. There's a certain feeling for me that comes with being well-turned-out. It isn't a cure-all for foggy-mindedness, but I have to admit I feel mentally sharper and more capable when I don't look like a slob. But finding clothes that fit and look good seems to be getting more and more difficult. Perhaps it's my body, perhaps its clothing manufacturers, perhaps it's some combination of the two.

But from the groans and moans I hear from my friends and from the other dressing rooms when I venture into clothing stores, the vast variety of body types makes clothes shopping difficult for everyone - everyone but skinny teenagers, it seems. I say let's all just dress in salwar kameez and forget about fashion. Who (besides Teresa Nielsen Hayden) is with me?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Oh, Man - Want, Want, Want.
This is just too cool.

The Slum Lords of Montgomery County, Part II
Last year, we had the saga of the Carolina wrens lodging in our canoe. The wrens ended up abandoning the nest (which had drowned in the ill-drained bow of the canoe), and the lovely bird house remained untenanted all year.

This year, we have chickadees! Living in the bird house! We see them flitting in and out, and hear their homey song.

Hopefully at some point we will be able to get pictures of these new tenants. It is nice to know that these birdies are smart enough to choose the penthouse rather than the basement. It is especially nice to know that we are no longer slumlords.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Wow. Just Wow.
Can you imagine stealing? Can you imagine stealing a camel costume? Can you imagine stealing a camel costume and immediately putting it on ?

Me neither.

Somebody, Please Come and Fix my Brain
Would I like my life better if tasks and responsibilities were spaced evenly? I like to think I would - after all, the last few weeks have felt like stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of panic and frenetic activity. If I had greater self-discipline, I would get a bunch of things done in those stretches. I would finish the baby blanket from hell, I would work on my novel, I would do more Yoga (well, the last I might have let up on, as I am recovering from a nasty shoulder injury).

But me being me, I do not get these good and worthy things done. I noodle, I procrastinate, I fiddle. Then the crunch hits and I have to blast out of the blocks like a sprinter caught daydreaming at the starting line.

This repeated activity seems to indicate that something in me finds the herky-jerky activity compelling. It must be some sort of primitive impulse, because the higher-functioning part of my brain is disgusted and disdainful of such waste.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Alvin, Look Out.
The Guinea Pig Way has got that stupid Christmas song beat. (Flash animation - cute rodents with sound).

Does not Make
The soccer team John was on last year finally gasped its last and expired. The county league's co-ed teams require you to field a certain number of women in every game, and it was getting too difficult for the "Biscuit Heads" to recruit enough female players. The team had a core of very decent players, though, and those players (including John) were absorbed en masse into another team called the "Macht Nichts." The core of this team has been together for 30 years, and to commemorate this, they all wear jerseys with a number "30" on the back (their old jerseys all read "25," so this continues a tradition).

Yesterday was the first game with the new Macht Nichts and it was an interesting lesson in how to integrate two distinct groups of people. In an adult-league team whose core has been together for 30 years, John and his compatriots from the Biscuit Heads count as veritable children. The team manager on this team is a fellow sideline sitter, which is a change from the BH's player/managers, and since she had no notion as to who was who on this new, big, combined team, I helped her with names and faces. This led to jokes - the old team had a large family of two brothers, one cousin, and his spouse, all of whom are named "Lisle." There are also a lot of men named "John." Combine that with the fact that everyone's number is 30, and this was a typical interchange:

Mickey: "Who's the big one over there?"

Me: "Number 30?"

Mickey: "Yeah - the tall, blonde one."

Me: "That's a Lisle."

Mickey: "Which one?"

Me: "Triple-word-score - that number 30 is John Lisle."

"Macht Nicht" loosely translates as "Whatever" (as in, "What's the name of your team?" "You mean the team has to have a name? Geez - whatever."), but literally translates as "Does not Make," and at the beginning of the game, there was a lot of "them" and "us." By the end of the game, though, there was more "us" than anything else. It seems that "Macht Nicht" actually does make something - a team.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I Knew it
I just knew it. You were just mentioning to someone that your life was meaningless, an abyss of chaos. If only there was a Frenchman who would go out and reenact a Rocky training montage in supermarkets, parks, and public streets for you, all would be better. Well, take heart, Dear Reader - meaning has been returned to your life (link is to flash movie with really bad music).

Electronics Rule
I love gadgets and the various features of gadgets if they really work. That's a pretty big "if" - in order to satisfy, a gadget or feature not only has to function as advertised, but it has to fill a need for the user. So, TiVo? Love it. It brings me the TV I want to see and lets me skip commercials. The voice-dial function on my cell phone? Adore it. I have a lot of people programmed into my phone, and I don't want to go searching for them or try and remember what the speed dial number for my mother is. My PDA? Meh. Its integration with my computer is not optimal, and the menus are overly complicated. Our late, unlamented coffee maker? Hated it. It drove my husband bananas and when he's communing with the tropical fruits, I get very tense. It is not a good situation.

We have a new love in the electronics department. It is a bit on the specialized side (you're getting worried now, aren't you?), but it allows for peaceful, unbroken slumber. Dash, our normally delightful cat, is a horror in the morning. We finally banned cats from the bedroom because of his duvet-digging, so he changed tactics to picking at the carpet in front of the bedroom door, and doing a sort of reverse-paw claw thingy under the door, in a vain effort to open it. Occasionally, we even heard sounds that indicated that he was trying to manipulate the doorknob. This noisy, irritating behavior is awful at five AM, and rage-inducing at four.

After spritzing him with water, spraying the area with ketone cat-repellent, and even letting the dog out when he started his morning routine, we were at the end of our respective ropes. Nothing stopped him in his quest to get us to get up (and since we had to get up sometime and he was tireless in his efforts, his bad behavior always ended up being rewarded).

It may be too soon to say, but our problems may be at an end. The gadget that is saving our slumber (and saving Dash from getting his neck wrung) is a ScatMat. A little bit of plastic with wires strung through it, and a battery. He steps in front of the door, and gets a little static shock (yes, we have both tested it ourselves - it is startling, even if you're expecting it, but not injurious). The silence in those predawn hours is golden.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

There are, apparently sites out there that will help you write a Jane Austin term paper. No, that's not a typo. That's me being eeee-vil with Google. Ditto for a Tolkien term paper. These linkages are provided as a public service to all who want their homework done for them. You get what you deserve.

Spring is Here, I Hear
It has been a busy week. Deadlines for big freelance projects have juggled with the distractions of springtime. In the last two days, our chilly, slightly rainy spring has turned warm and lush. Spring bulbs are bursting out of the ground. The air smells of mulch and new-mown grass. Birds are singing with an almost fierce delight, welcoming the warmth and blue skies. The last of the spring crop of babies arrived the day before yesterday.

The spring crop of allergies has also arrived - John's voice often sounds like he's just woken up from about ten years' sleep. Ah, spring!

Lastly, because all the cool kids are doing it, one of my favorite poems for National Poetry Month:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

-- Ezra Pound, 1913

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

For Toshie, who was Somewhat Neglected Yesterday
We took Metro on our expedition yesterday, so we couldn't bring Tosh. Therefore, I bring you "Dog of the Day."

Blossom Hopping - the Update
It was a glorious day yesterday. Rana requested photographs, so I give you links to big files with goofy thumbnails, à la dooce.com.

The newly-reopened Washington Monument looked lovely against the sky, which had draped itself in ethereal, wispy clouds.

There were unfortunately few trees that had really gone bananas - April 5 is the average peak day for blossoms, but we've had a cold spring up until now, so even the trees that were blossoming were stingy with their favors.

There were, of course, a couple of exceptions.

We walked around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial - I found it both funny and sad that this sort of sign is obviously necessary.

The man himself.

We skipped watching the dancers from various lands entertaining the blossomy crowds on the front steps of the Memorial, and instead found a sunny spot on the back side where we could sit on the cool marble in the warm sunshine and watch the planes take off and land across the river at National Airport. All in all, a good day.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Flowers, Springtime, and...
Blossom Hopping
Living in the Nation's Capitol can bring on a major inferiority complex. There is so much to do. Museums, theatre, monuments, and festivals on the National Mall can all conspire to make a resident feel overwhelmed. Paralysis can set in. Paralysis is followed by a swift descent to loserdom, whereupon you go to a cocktail party and realize that everyone has been to the latest big exhibit at the Smithsonian, or a Kennedy Center event and all you have to share are your DIY home makeover disaster stories.

Visitors can halt the slide to paralysis and loserdom. They come in and within a limited time, they want to experience all of the best that the city has to offer. They bring an artificially short timeline to the problem of "where to begin?" and as such, John and I tend to dive in and try to figure out the things they would enjoy the best. In a weekend, we will swirl through the city, taking in art and history and architecture all in one sweeping go.

The springtime cherry blossom season brings with it its own artificial scarcity. The blossoms will only be around for a short time. John also has a day of leave that he is going to lose if he does not use. So today we go blossom-hopping.

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Love Poem for my Dear Readers
My Love

Your skin glows like the prune, blossoms transparent as the forsythia in the purest hope of spring.
My heart follows your French horn voice and leaps like a rhinoceros at the whisper of your name.
The evening floats in on a great emu wing.
I am comforted by your bobble hat that I carry into the twilight of remote control beams and hold next to my toenail.
I am filled with hope that I may dry your tears of coffee.
As my follicle falls from my bra, it reminds me of your toilet.
In the quiet, I listen for the last squeak of the day.
My heated islets of langerhans leaps to my sari. I wait in the moonlight for your secret TiVo so that we may grovel as one, islets of langerhans to islets of langerhans, in search of the magnificient puce and mystical dinosaur of love.

'Scuse me whilst I wipe this tear away. So lovely it is almost worthy of Wergle Flomp, don't you agree? You can "write" one for me and leave it in the comments...

Apologies to finslippy Readers
Dear Readers of finslippy:

Yikes. I am terribly sorry. I had left a comment in this thread, indicating that I had a somewhat interesting technique for handling tough decisions and also indicating that I would write about it "tomorrow."

"Tomorrow" was supposed to be the 29th of last month. The problem was, I completely forgot about writing about this until I checked my SiteMeter stats and realized that I had a bunch of visitors who came over from finslippy. Of course, not getting what you came for, you will probably never come back again, and therefore never see this abject apology and the (by now incredibly anti-climactic) story about the technique for making tough decisions. But anyway. Here it is:

The time is early spring, 1989. The setting is Syracuse University. Like many people in my undergraduate program, I intended to spend a semester of my junior year at the satellite campus in London. By following this plan, I would get to go abroad with many of my friends. But when it came time to fill out the application, I realized three things: one, I really did not want to live in campus housing at all, ever, any more; two, I did not want to have roommates in this theoretical off-campus housing arrangement; and three, if I went to London in the fall of 1989 and came back to campus for the 1990 spring and fall semesters, I would have a very hard time finding an apartment since the building I had my eye on had college-town leases that ran from June to June.

And so, the practical warred with the emotional. I wanted to go to London with my friends in general (and specifically with Richard, who constantly kept me laughing throughout college), but I did not want to sacrifice my independence. I also knew I would get major guilt trips from the non-Richard friends, who were not averse to a spot of emotional blackmail at the time. (At 20 I had not yet perfected my technique of refusing a ticket when a guilt trip was offered.)

I then did what I have often done when I am confused: I called Mom. She suggested trying something that sounded kind of woo-woo, but I did it. She said, "Try saying one solution out loud - make it an affirmative statement, then see what you feel."

Feeling like an idiot, I said, "I am not going to London next semester."

"What was your reaction?" asked Mom.

"Relief," I said.

"Try it the other way."

"Okay, I am going to London next semester."

"What now?"


"I think you have your answer."

So that, my Dear Readers (and visitors from finslippy, if there are any anymore), is it. Carole's Affirmative Statement Technique - try it today!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Public Service Message
Black is white! Up is down! Tuesday is Monday! It is that day to be on the alert to things that are not what they seem, a wily trap for the unwary. April Fool's Day is here, and folks - keep your guard up as you traipse the 'net. I have already seen some silly stuff out there on my usual travels, so be alert!

bOINGbOING has been pranked into something a little more... interesting?

The fug girls have seen the light and abandoned the snark.

MIT's hacks page has been updated since last year (check out the shrubbery room) and we now have a book about the venerable institution's history of hacks.

Australians traveling the world can use their noses to feel at home anywhere via a barbecue-scented credit card.

The Guardian has a "Wait Wait -- Don't Tell Me" -style quiz going on.

Feeling oppressed? Join the Garden Gnome Liberation Front! Or is that The People's Front of Judea? Hm...

Anyway, despite being a total goofball in my normal everyday life (just ask my Yoga classes), I am lousy at the making of the prank as The Manolo might say (and speaking of the divine Manolo, this is not an April Fools joke, but for those of us who love to hear Chairman Kaga really rip it out with "IROOOOOONNNNNN CHEF!" this is quite funny). So, being lousy with the pranks, I am confining today's post to reporting on others' (non-injurious*) cleverness.

*Don't get me started on practical jokes that hurt people, just don't.