Friday, November 28, 2008

That Sound You Heard Thanksgiving Morning

was millions of people turning to their kids and grandkids and asking what the hell rickrolling is.

At the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade (which I did not watch because I don't like parades), the float for Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends rickrolled themselves.

Does anyone know if they listed Rick Astley among the celebrities who would be appearing at the beginning of the broadcast? I'd like to think that they didn't, just to keep it a surprise.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Contrary Bitch

As is the way of the freelancer, I spent too much time today procrastinating, playing Scramble on Facebook under the rationale that if there's a 3 minute time limit, it won't suck huge swaths of time, and otherwise trying not to start writing.

I got some work done and then HA came home and then I went so far as to do pilates rather than get back to writing.

After dinner, he scarpered off to his home office to work on a writing project of his own. I watched House. Then he took a break for a while and when he went back to work, I went back to Scramble. Then when I was thisclose to hitting the couch to read some magazines and calling it work, I decided to get back to the piece I'd been working on before.

This time when HA came out to call it a night, I waved him away and grunted in his general direction. Because I wanted to keep writing.

I have no idea how the man puts up with me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pick Me Up

I could use one today and I'm probably not the only one, so I present to you, "Theme from Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not)".

I used to dance whenever this came on. OK, I'll admit it--I slid around the dining room floor pretending I was figure skating. I was just a kid, and dignity still isn't one of my strong suits.

If you can listen to this without smiling and/or singing along, then you are made of stone. Of stone I say.

Paste Magazine compiled their list of the 40 best TV show theme songs ever. Hours of enjoyment, people, hours of enjoyment.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spam From Beyond the Grave

I occasionally check my Spam folders for misdirected real mail. Which requires glancing at the real spam.

My latest batch of spam includes a missive from Thomas Galvin. Which is the name of my grandfather who died in the mid-70s.

Now, as a techie, I know that the From addresses in spam are randomly generated. Hell, my own hotmail address has been used as the Reply To message for spam. (I know this because I get the bounce messages.)

But still, my first thought was, "et tu Grandpa?"

The fine people at Hotmail have suppressed the content of the message, but the subject line is "Final Notification." Now, if you were going to send email from The Great Beyond, wouldn't you totally make that the subject?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tell Me I'm Not Imagining This

I remember these PSAs that ran on TV in the 70s warning  people to put non-slip decals on the bottom of their tub, or use a bathmat. Because you could slip on the soap, hit your head, your body would block the drain, filling the tub with water and you could drown. 

Right? Someone else saw these, right?

I was telling a friend of mine about it, suggesting that one of the characters in her novel in progress might have seen the public service announcement on TVm but neither one of us can find it online. Both the Google and the You Tube have let us down.

Does anyone else remember this? I'd really appreciate it if anyone could describe it in detail. Hell, the first person to send me a link to the actual commercial wins a prize of some sort.

While we're on the subject, what's your favorite 70s TV commercial. Here's a few of my faves I found while looking for the PSA. And one I don't remember, but features a young John Travolta taking a shower and singing about Safeguard soap. In the un-sexiest way possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open Letter to More People Who Need to Fuck Off

I can smell the lemon-scented floor cleaning reek from my home office, aka the room farthest from the front door. That is reektastic. 

From the comments last time, Marsha has a beef with:
all those high-end yarn companies that sell balls/skeins of yarn with knots in them. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Noro and Rowan.) You guys should know better.

to which I say Amen. If my KnitPicks yarn can come without knots, then why can't the expensive stuff?


And Betts has a bone to pick with the cable companies:
To cable companies that tease you with channels and then take them away, and lie to you about extra equipment you need for a "low" monthly charge, I'm not falling for it. I'm sticking with my basic cable.

Yeah, that free crack is a bitch. Dexter is just as good on Netflix DVDs as on the premium cable. Tempt me not with your small fees that add up like all the calories in a Pepperidge Farm cookie assortment (no one can eat just 3).

To my knees:
I'm giving you anti-inflammatories. I'm putting ice on you. I'm spending 3 hours, 3 days a week taking you to physical therapy. Get the fuck better already. I'm not asking for 100% and I admit that I may have been excessively hopeful when I thought that physical therapy could fix some of the damage from that car accident when I was 12. (Apparently, my kneecaps haven't been moving properly for 25 years--it's a notch and groove thing. The notch, it was not in the groove.)

But knees, that excruciating pain in my left kneecap as I descended the stairs into the subway on Monday to take you to physical therapy? Not cool. What is your problem, Left Knee? Were you jealous that the physical therapist worked on my right knee for a few visits? Did you think that he might go back to the right knee if you weren't causing me agony? Well, grow the hell up, Left Knee, because my health insurance isn't going to pay for physical therapy forever and I want some improvement in exchange for my time.

Plus? If I don't regain my ability to exercise, then NONE of my clothes will fit except for my 4 skirts with elastic waistbands. Winter is coming, knees. If I can only wear skirts, you will be cold. 

To the fall I took a few months ago re-injuring my knees:
WTF? I didn't trip. I didn't get dizzy. I was wearing Birkenstocks, for criminy's sake. One second I'm walking and the next, my knees are smashing into the pavement.

I'm well aware of my clumsiness. I don't ski, skateboard, rollerblade, or similar. But walking across the street? From a work meeting? That's what it takes for me to be visited by an injury? Uncool. Feh, to you, sir.

To the fine people at New Balance:
So my physical therapist tells me that if I get myself a pair of your sneakers with rollbar technology, my ankles won't roll outward as they are wont to do. The ankle rolling has been irritating the knees (seriously? I hurt my knee walking across a room the other day. AT the physical therapsts, no less.) So this nifty rollbar technology may be the key to my recovery. Fabulous. Great. I've been wearing your sneakers for years, so rock on.

Um, no. Every pair with rollbars, including the pair I ordered are, not to put too fine a point on it, excruciatingly ugly. These are the shoes that 90 year olds wear around the nursing home. The picture online isn't too bad, but believe me, they're worse in person.

They're so bad that I had no problem leaving the store without making a purchase. I had been planning on trying them on in the store and buying them online with the email coupon I had, but day-m, these things were so ugly that the sales guy knew I was suffering an existential crisis brought on by the ugliness of these shoes.

I decided to order the black ones since they looked like ugly black shoes. The white ones screamed Medicare Part B.

You couldn't make them just an eensy bit less hideous, fine people of New Balance? Or a I seeing the less hideous version? Are there even uglier prototypes somewhere back at the lab? I shudder to think of it.

And now a word to people who don't need to fuck off:

To the kids in the knitting class in the Bronx I volunteered at yesterday:
Wow, you guys are awesome and adorable and stuff. I'd been kicking myself for taking time away from the writing to do this, but I had so much fun, I think I'll be going back. You slew me with cuteness.

Anyone else? Whaddya got?

Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm rocking a headache, so I'm not especially  useful or productive today. Plus, I'm going to physical therapy for my knees 3 times a week (at a place near my old office in Midtown) so that's a 3 hour chunk taken out of my day already.

But one thing that always helps is looking at the yummies over on Yochana's Cake Delight. The tagline (Aunty Yochana shows you her goodies) is delightfully and unintentionally silly. All I know about this woman is that she lives in Singapore and bakes. A lot. Three things a day, on average. 

I gather she gives most of it away since her 4 person household couldn't possibly eat their way through all this stuff.

But she's not just whipping up something tasty. Most of what she makes is absolutely gorgeous. 

Go forth and look at the pretty.

Oh, and y'all know about Cake Wrecks, right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Corporate Zombies

I'm not doing the NaNo Blog Every Day Thing since HA and I were filming a music video on November 1 and so I knew that I wasn't going to post that day and would be starting out having failed already.

But I had every intention of start to blog daily, or at least weekdaily, or as close to it as I could manage. And then that didn't happen.

But now I'm on it, and I'm going to try for weekdaily and I fail miserably at that, then thrice-weekly. 

Why all these plans and declarations of same? The same reason why I went several weeks without blogging at all. 

My day job ended. And now I ain't got no job.

It's all good. I'd been saving up so I could freelance full time anyway and this certainly wasn't my first time getting laid off. I'm a dot com refugee, I'll have you know. I think people are weird if they've NEVER been laid off. It was amicable and I was given 2 weeks notice so I could get all my work wrapped up (and go back to working full time for 2 weeks to make a few extra bucks).

The re-entry was more chaotic than expected (as it always is), but although I wasn't able to hit the ground running, I hit the ground, did a shoulder roll, sprang up to my feet and started walking briskly. So that'll have to do.

Anyway, Jonathan Coulton is another techie who left the corporate world to follow his bliss. He writes hilariously awesome songs, many about office life.

This one was featured on the latest episode of the Cast On podcast and has been completely stuck in my head since. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why His Awesomeness is Awesome

In honor of our first wedding anniversary, I present these examples of His Awesomeness' awesomeness.

  1. One Sunday in September, he started the laundry and I went to the supermarket, as is our wont. It was raining when I left the supermarket. I had left my umbrella home because it had rained that morning and we thought the rain was done for the day. Since I'd left my cell phone home, I did a quick look around for a pay phone so I could call HA to come collect me with an umbrella. No luck. So I shrugged and headed off into the rain. During the less than 10 minutes it took me to walk home, it started to rain so hard that by the time I got to the front door of  my building, my hair and clothes were soaked through. The elevator doors opened on my floor to reveal HA, with an umbrella, coming to collect me. 
  2. When I have agonizing headaches that get worse if I move, he brings me medicine. And ice packs. And kisses.
  3. On weekend mornings, he washes my coffee pot for me so I can start making myself coffee just a little sooner. Even though he doesn't drink coffee. Ever.
  4. The man makes a mean Soupe au Pistou. And cooks other things too.
  5. He scratches my back when I ask him to and does an excellent job of following my directional directions. (now lefter, now downer)
  6. He sets the DVR to record shows that I say I want to watch so that I don't have to. As long as they're well reviewed. If not, I'm on my own.
  7. He makes sure the DVR records my shows. Sometimes Time Warner Cable doesn't have new episodes set as new, so my season pass doesn't record them. For important things like Project Runway, he checks in advance to make sure it's going to record. For things that I let pile up, like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, he records a rerun if the DVR missed it.
  8. He's totally not going to mind that I saved this post as a draft and forgot to publish it on our actual anniversary.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Evil Genius

Sometimes I feel like an mad scientist, but with arts and crafts instead of re-animated corpses. 

Oh, yes, I did.

And I'm giving away a case to one lucky crafter so they can do the same.

OK, so that's not evil, as much as it is twisted. So I'm a Twisted Genius. I can live with that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I really wanted my first post in weeks to be happier than this. But the LA Times is calling it. With 95% of precincts reporting, Proposition 8 (the gay marriage ban) has passed. 

Let's do a little math here. 52% voted for Prop 8. 63.2% voted for Prop 2, to prevent cruelty to farm animals. 

That means that at least 11.2% of California voters walked into the voting booth and voted against animal cruelty and then voted to void 18,000 marriages, which is an act of cruelty against 36,000 people. 

Remember the cute little old lesbian couple that were the first in line to get married? Twice?One of them passed away this August.  More than half the voters in California say Phyllis Leon isn't a widow. 

More than half the voters in California are wrong. 

Florida and Arizona have also voted to ban gay marriage and Arkansas will no longer allow unmarried couples to adopt children, a measure aimed at gay and lesbian would-be parents. 

In the Presidential election, the country chose the decent guy who unites everyone with hope over the nasty, divisive guy who has accused so many of us of not being real Americans that I want to kick him in the shins. 

Last night, I cried with joy and relief. But today, looking at how many people voted to be mean to gays, I'm crying more because my heart is breaking for the 35,999 Californians who have just had their marriages disrupted (2 days after my first wedding anniversary).

I'm confident that we'll have gay marriage on a national level eventually, but I wonder how much money and effort we'll have to expend before anyone who wants to set up housekeeping can go ahead and do that.

Why do I support gay marriage? Well, for starters, it's because I've never heard an argument against it that wasn't mean and divisive and selfish. By electing Obama, we've decided not to be like that anymore, but not everyone is on the same page. Yet.