Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hey. You.


If you're in an avalanche because you went under safe conditions and had beacons and training and weren't doing stupid shit, but die anyway, it's not your fault.
if you're in an avalanche because you went under unsafe conditions and didn't have a beacon and you were highmarking and doing other stupid shit, and you die because you turn back into the avalanche to try to find a friend before the slide has stopped, then you have not died a hero. you've died an idiot, and have endangered the lives of the people who are now trying to save your ass.

Learn. Your. Shit.

thus endeth the day's rant.

Monday, December 29, 2008


(for those of you not in the know, that's a very naughty word, held out for one leeengthy syllable, which means The Marmot is unhappy.)

So I finished my training on Thursday the 18th and called the schedulers on Friday the 19th to let them know I could be scheduled, but all over break when I checked to see when I'd be working, nothing was marked. blank calendar. I called yesterday and they apparently didn't get the message that I'd already called, despite me actually talking to a live person.
This afternoon around 1300 or so I checked and had a shift for Wednesday the 31st. Yay, I get to make money and feed the anemic bank account.
Tonight I check it (we're supposed to check after 1900 in case they change it on us) and Lo and Behold....

I work at 0400 tomorrow.

oh dear GOD IN HEAVEN. fæn. fæn fæn fæn. That means I have to be up at 0300, and it is 2137. FÆN.

whoever is sick and making me cover your shift? you'd better be in the ER.

Monday, December 22, 2008

exactly what I needed today.

from the incomparable Randall Munroe:

...we'll think about it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ok, now it's christmas.

I have a wee little solar light string on the trellis that the passionflower vine inhabits, I am baking cookies, and (and here is the pertinent part) I am listening to mannheim steamroller. I would have a real tree, but a) little apartment and b) ginormous cats. (although I was tempted to stop by and get a little baby one when I had the truck on Friday.) Once The Boy and I get home from MI we'll put up the little fake tree we have. There's no snow, but we can't have everything, can we.

Going to meet Ebet and Thomas and mebbe Alexis in the city later for some...something. we don't know what.


two much do their neighbours hate them, and what is their power bill?

and of course:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Howodd Bensonmum.

So I passed my field training and am now obsessively checking the crewscheduler to see if my shifts have been assigned yet. They probably won't be until after I get home from MI, because I think that's what they said when I called, but I'm not sure.

went to go get my YOU MUST SEE ME bike gear (having learned that although my winter shell is nice and waterproof and toasty and bright red, it is also invisible enough in the morning at 0700 when I try to bike across the intersection for minivans to pretend I don't exist and try to hit me. and then gesticulate at me for daring to follow the 4 way stop rules.) Also, my bike home at night is fine because there's almost no traffic, but since it's through an industrial park, there's also almost no lighting. is dark. So I reserved a car (first for wednesday, and then The Migrane Of Doom ate my face, so I changed to friday), -enterprise lost my reservation, but had a chevy silverado they could rent me for the same rate as the intended car (that's not a truck, by the way, it's a boat. seriously.)- and drove up to the Vacaville outlet stores, where, after much meandering, following mapquest directions, abandoning mapquest directions, swearing, getting distracted by stores I wanted to go to (but yea, verily, I was virtuous and only got sidetracked by the mountain chocolate factory, which gets called the rocky horror chocolate factory, just does. It has amaaaaazing chocolates and smells like skiing and winter and warming up from cold and hot wax and skiboots and snowbird plaza, which is mountain air and snow and grillsmoke and propane and gore-tex and sweat. The woman behind the counter gave me an odd look because I spent a good 5 minutes just smelling the store. I did also go to the bath and body works store because I needed some christmas presents for MI that don't involve yarn, because I have a scarily small amount of hours left in which to finish said yarn-involving projects. yeep. but I was vigilant and did not go to the papyrus outlet or any of the others that made me go ...hey... as I drove past in search of the Pearl Izumi store.) I made it to the Pearl Izumi outlet, which was in fact on the other side of the freeway. bugger.

and I got my rain high vis jacket and glubs and a headband that actually fits under the helmet and a high vis long sleeved shirt for when it's too hot to wear the fuzzy windproof one I got when I was living in Norway and then hightailed it back to Richmond to return the car before 1800.

The Boy asked me why I spent the money to rent a car when I could have just gone on Saturday. Because, I said, what is the trifecta of "Stay Away From Shopping?"
1). Saturday.
2). December 20.
3). Giant outlet-sale mall-thing.

He did not look impressed. Clearly he never did the "oh, crud. we have to go to Ridgedale to get x/because we forgot y/z finally came in. ok. here's the plan. we will park in the waaaaay back. head down, shoulders up, protect all vital areas, get in, get out, then flee and lock self in house" game. (it's even more fun when you realize you have to go to southdale. or the galleria. or *gasp* the MoA.)

Anyway. Now it's off to get a tiny bit of groceries, then a replacement for the kitty tower (which Teh Kittehz have already tried their damndest to destroy, and it shows, and is possibly no longer entirely stable), and then home for chores. Also have to get keys to Steph and find out when on Sunday Ebet is going to be up here so I can go harass her and when on Sunday I can go harass ALEXIS who is in town and if I don't get a chance to see her I might implode because I haven't seen her in for-eeeever, so to set all this up I'm going to go away now.


Oh, you're confused about the title? (well, Mom isn't. hi mum.)

Sir Alec Guinness. (Luuuke...)
Peter Falk. (...oh, just one more thing, Mrs C...)
Eileen Brennan. (yes, you know her. Mrs Peacock? uh-huh.)
Peter Sellers. (you'd better know him.)
David Niven.*
Truman Capote.*
Maggie Smith.*
James Coco.*
*(you know all these guys. they're the ones that make you squint at the screen and go "...I know you...I're...uh...who are you!?")

All in a movie together. Said movie is spoofing the great literary mystery main characters; Miss Marple, Sam Spade, Nick and Nora, Hercule Poirot...

There is absolutely no reason why you should not go out right now and go rent Murder By Death.

No. Reason.

well. unless you own it. that's a reason.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


yep, that it does. that. it. does.

I'm in an odd mood, because I have had this song stuck in my head all day. aaaall day.

you know what that does to you? it makes your brain goo out your ears.

no, wait, that's watching the same flash videos over and over and over andoverandoveranoveranveranveravnererererer because insurance company-ese is evil and needs to die. especially ThomCo.

case in point? here is a snippet of flash video: "before entering the intersection, you should look left, ahead, right, then left again."
here is a snippet of test: "True or False: before entering the intersection, you should look left, right, and left again."

that'd be false, because for some reason they've decided that when you move your head from left to right, you close your eyes to avoid looking directly ahead. and now, it's obvious, but when you're taking the test you go oh, that's true, and move on, and try to figure out if they're doing something similar with the yelp time (turn siren to yelp at 150 when the question asks 'your siren should be changed to yelp mode at 100 feet" they mean it should already have been changed? curse you english and your lack of clarifying verb tenses!!

and osv. get it wrong, or otherwise fail to get a perfect score, and you get to go back to the beginning of the unit and watch everything. over. again.

and your brain turns to goo. and then you giggle really, really, really, really far more than you should when you find this video while searching for a better clip than the one above.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I think Jayne is trying to kill me.

last night my hair was once again in DagmarFro mode, which is one reason why very time someone tells me to try X shampoo or Y conditioner to fix my pseudo-dandruff dry scalp crap (that I think is really just my Stupid Face Crap on my scalp, because the medicated dandruff shampoos just make me go ohgodgetitoffitburnsgetitoffgetitoff), I have to restrain a laugh. Especially when it's a high moisture body boosting shampoo or conditioner. do you want to be spoinked off the planet when my hair explodes? no? This is what my hair does with any volume increasing agent, including a hair dryer:yeah. When two of us had to be trolls for a dagensprogram at The Skog, my compatriot spent 30 minutes teasing her hair out into a ratty poofy mop. I took 5 minutes in the shower with a trial size of Herbal Essences body and volume shampoo and conditoner set, and 15 minutes with a hair dryer, and my hair was way trollier. it also took two days to go back to normal, and during those two days I broke two hair elastics pulling it back into a ponytail. Hair. Of. Doom.
(Way back in high school Deoni offered to braid some cornrows into my hair to stop me whining about how my fencing mask fit until she actually started playing with my hair. Then she said if I wanted them I had to submit to Torture By Gramma. My hair is mutant. Every place I've gone to get it cut has classified it differently- fine, but a cubic shitload of it; thick, but normal amounts; coarse, but normal amounts; a mix of both fine, straight hair and rough-but-not-coarse curly hair, in just above normal amounts. I think the last is probably closest, because my hair goes curly in humidity but is pretty straight otherwise, and I have halo hairs that are very fine but I also have hairs that are freakin' huge and creased, and I know I have more hair than I should because every time I've gone to get my hair dyed by someone new, they have to go back and mix more color at least once, and they're always surprised. Anyway. got distracted by hair rant, which is now ending. ...I need a haircut. sorry. done.)

So. I'm petting Raz, who is curled up in his throne/perch/tower, and Jayne is chewing on the tower (carpet fluff is apparently The Best Thing Ever), and all is well and shiny until he notices that my halo of frizz is taunting him, and he swats for it at the exact moment that I turn my head, so I get smacked in the face with stabbity kitten claws. (Jayne has also not yet learned to play with Teh Hoomans with retracted claws.) he drew first blood! ok, so it was a miniscule droplet, from a miniscule iinsey wiinsy scritch, and is invisible today (and indeed, invisible within an hour), but still. Matt squirted him with water, but I'm not convinced that he actually connects water squirt with disciplinary action.

And this morning, I'm trying to drag myself out of bed, and he steps on my eye! (our cats have this obsession with our water glasses on the headboard, because clearly, the water in their circulating fountain dome thing is contaminated Sixth Sense style.) yes, we have The Most Ridiculously Spoilt Cats Ever, although a case could be made for less 'spoil the cats' and more 'lazy-arsed humans who like having to refill the food dispenser every other week and the water dispenser once a week because scooping out poo is bad enough.' (our cats break all laws of matter conservation. seriously. nothing that small should be able to produce that much waste.)

see? totally trying to kill me.

he also apparently sleeps on my chest, and sometimes Matt shoves him off because he's sprawled basically on my neck, but since the below clip shows you what must happen for me to wake up, I can't vouch for that.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

crazy time, part 2.

So The Boy is in the habit of torturing the cats. (every time I write torturing my fingers want to write Tortuga, and go watch pirates of the carribean. I am also totally and completely braindead from going through the FEMA incident command system crap, which may have something to do with it.)

he managed to trap Jayne in the boat a few days ago, and Jayne was fine with this until he realized he couldn't actually escape by playing the humans-poke-the-side-and-I-pounce-on-it-to-killkillkill game. at that point he started his pitiful oh-crap-I'm-going-to-the-vet-and-I'm-trapped mews. The Boy then released him.

Fast forward to tonight. I'm getting rid of the last of the Craig Ferguson shows left on the DVR and trying to finish this FEMA shit without breaking down in tears of the famed "oh my god really?" sort (don't worry, you'll see what I mean in a second.). I'm mostly tuning out the thuds, scrambles, clinks, and other various and sundry sounds that indicate the cats are in the middle of crazy time, and they're busily trying to kill each other. I hear a particularly worrisome thud, and see that the little flag at the top of the boat is no longer visible behind the couch. Not a big deal, they knock it over all the time.

but's quiet. Too quiet. ledere senses tingling! and at this point I hear a "...mew." I peer around the couch, and Jayne has managed to trap himself in the boat. so I grab the photo. No. I grab the camera, for to take photos. (sigh. see what you make me do, FEMA?)
Raz is coming to investigate the piteous mews. There is, however, A Giant Black Thing Right There and it might attack him, so caution must be exercised. The Giant Black Scary Thing hasn't attacked, so it's ok to venture underneath and investigate The Interloper (Jayne), although this is confusing because he can see him and he can smell him, but there's this weird blue stuff in the way...This one is with the flash, which is why Raz is sort of squinty, and is taken after Raz has carefully placed a paw right in front of Jayne's face, only to remove it and shake it. (Raz doesn't like the mesh feel. he's sort of a diva cat.)

Don't worry, I released The Kitteh from his jail after taking the pictures.

Anyway, so this FEMA crap I'm slogging through, for The Job, is a set of online courses and exams that you take to certify that you are a) not brain dead and b) speak governmentese. Why is this depressing? this screenshot:Yes, that's right. it's saying that a presidential directive requires homeland security to play well with others. As opposed to what? not coordinating with other federal depts? oh, florida just slid into the sea? oh, well, here's our plan for rescue and support and YOU CAN'T SEE IT neener neener neener go make your own?




The Stole is done!Rav has more photos.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


The Universe is talking about having sex in outer space.

They just used this phrase: "I don't think anyone has probed the idea of sex in space." and "zero-g spot."


So The Boy and I exchanged Christmas presents early because a) neither one of us wanted to haul them all the way to Michigan and then back to Caliminifornia and b) he had to go to the city to pick it up at the same time as I wanted to hit up Bazaar Bizarre.

He got me a wii fit, which neatly lays to rest my hemming and hawing about whether I wanted to get one or not. Pretty fun so far, although he's a bit miffed because my wiifit age is only 22 while his is 35. the slalom balance game is a bitch, though. hair trigger on the board made worse by the fact that you're supposed to aim through the middle of the two wickets, and...uh...too many years of racing makes me aim for the inner radius of each pair, which is not condusive to getting a good score.

it's also mildly annoying because its main method of tracking your progress is by BMI, which is the biggest crock of bullshit ever invented. wanna see why? and yes, all the forum trolls have pointed out that people know how to buy clothes to make them look their best, and that the photos aren't standardized in regards to pose, etc, etc, etc... but still. I know I'm overweight, but I am not obese, and I know that the BMI is basically crap, but it's still annoying to hear the little 'wah wah wah' sound that plays when the wiifit measures me.

This was totally my childhood.

and this is a glimpse of the cats in the middle of their crazy time, when they go running like amphetamine-dosed balls of fluff down the hallway and over the couch and unsuspecting innocent bystanders. Here we see Jayne to stage right, realizing that p=mv, and that Raz has a lot more m, and thus a lot more p, and he's screwed. you can just barely see Raz in the top stage left corner. and those little popup cubey things you see there under the couch? the kittens managed to get them there. how? see aforementioned 'crazy time.'

Because Garfield is just sometimes exactly what you need.

This is also Raz. he's a bit darker, but the facial expression and everything else? Raz.

There is a shirt available based off of the last panel of this comic, but it's not tempting enough to beat out the "Fools! I will destroy you all! ask me how!" shirt or the "Stand Back: I'm going to try science!" or the "Science: it works, bitches." shirts.

And this just makes me laugh. oh, beaker.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

in which I talk in pictures.

Mum sent me a care package a few days ago. it contained Hawaiian coffee for The Boy, microwave popcorn and Primeval for me, as well as some diverse candies (and comics as stuffing! yay) and these mittens, which are awesome and adorable and fuzzy and warm and now I really really really really want snow. The Kittehs also really like the mittens, as evidenced in the below photo. That's me attempting to take a photo of the mittens, and Jayne playing his favorite "sniff...sniff...KILLKILLKILL" game. I will take a better photo as soon as I lock the cats in the office. there's two cats on the backs and a fish skeleton going up the thumbs, and a little pawprint on the palm. well, pads of fingers.

This is California's way of saying "nooo, you don't want to can actually grow shit here....staaaay...." my proof? Observe: Stage left, the fig that I was worried about dying, the one that didn't fruit this year, the one that only had four leaves that were getting yellowy brown spots? yeah. that's the same fig. Stage right, the tomato bush (yes, I know, they're commonly called vines, but you haven't seen my total failure of training it to the stake supporty thing. it's a bush.) below them? I took these pictures on our last rainstorm, which was....tuesday? I think? maybe wednesday. Still, it's the last week in November. I not only still have tomatos ripening on the's still blooming. WHA?
I don't know why it's linking.
cue craig ferguson sound clip: "I know!" The blood orange mini tree is blooming too, which makes the hummingbirds (there's two now!) very happy and drives Raz absolutely bursar. Especially when the hummingbird leaves the blossom and darts in front of the sliding door, mere inches away from Raziel's chittering, frantic face. and my camellia has bloomed! it's not yellow, like the Merritt horticultural guys thought, but hey, it bloomed! the potting soil all this stuff is in apparently came from a clover field, because I have to weed it. containers! containers should not harbor weeds. bah. let's not talk about The Giant Dandilion-Thing that I came home to growing out of the camellia pot. the kittens have been thrilled that Teh Hoomans have been home and thus able to be pounced upon, and we rewarded their insanity by moving the kitty tower from the corner by The Boy's desk to the living room. (we're hoping to avoid being woken up by their fights for supremacy by the tower thudding against the wall where our heads are, and also they will now have at least a struggle to get up on top of the desks to muck about and eat the plant.) They seem to like it, although when Raz gets scared now he runs into the office to where it used to be and blinks at the empty space in confusion.

Jayne sits on Raziel. (I like how it looks as though this silver tabby head is coming from Jayne's...I don't know what his coloration is...I had a photo of them looking like The Amazing Two Headed Cat!!! but at the moment I released the shutter Jayne decided he needed to attack the lens, so it's just blur.)
Raziel sits on Jayne. (he's actually in mid-yawn in this photo; he didn't seem to care that ginormo-kitteh was squashing him.)
And then they both get into the whole post-thanksgiving-coma thing and once again avoid death by making annoyed humans go "...aaaaw...."And that's tame for some of Raz's sleeping positions. Also? Jayne is huge. he's almost as long as Raz (and Raz is loooooong.) and his tail is a bottle brush even when he's not scared out of his mind. (and when he is scared out of his mind....yikes.) Matt thinks he's a government experimental alien attack cat that was crossbred with a raccoon, which is obviously conspiracy theorist hyperbole. Jayne has clearly gotten some lizard genes spliced in his DNA, because he's storing all his fat in his tail for leaner times, which points to some mad scientist, or to their home planet moving to stage eight of the invasion. duh.

Friday, November 28, 2008


well, the prayer stole isn't finished, because I haven't seen any lights on, nor hide nor hair of my neighbor recently, so I got fairly demoralized and thus easily distracted from my rush to finish it, and The Boy thinks that I am unavoidably addicted to the internet, but it is November the 28th and I have 'won' NaNoWriMo.


Monday, November 24, 2008


nanowrimo + prayer stole + job searching = BOO.

just about 13000 words shy of my total. 6 days. ofuck. and I'm not even sure this is a novel. although people consider Ulysses to be a novel, so maybe there's hope.

of course, Ulysses isn't written in a horrific mishmash of english and norwegian and latin and attic greek and words that don't exist in any actual language spoken in this dimension....

but if you're interested in some hilarity, check out Ikkepedia.

Friday, November 21, 2008


why must the mother sauces hate me so?

I try to make a simple freakin' carbonara (bechamel/white/whatever) and I get blobby parmesan goo. at least this time it wasn't a parmesan brick.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008



I am now the proud (?) owner of the little magic pink slip that is my temporary ambulance driver's license. (which is actually a certificate, and my wallet is crying now at all the shit I have to carry.) (...ok, so it's been crying for a long time, because I have all manner of random entertaining crap stuffed in there, but now the little window that usually just holds my driver's license is crying because it now holds my license, my medical examiner's certificate (which does not, despite the name, mean I am certified as a medical examiner but rather I have been examined BY a medical examiner, which is also misdirecting because a PA is not a ME. misdirecting is not the word I wanted. neither is it illusary nor distracting nor misapprehensive, all words suggested by my brain, which I think has been broken by NaNoWriMo. uh. where was I? oh. right. list of crap in wallet...) my ambulance driver's certificate, my NREMT EMT card, my Alameda County EMT certificate, and my two CPR cards. )

You think that's bad? you should see certain parts of my NaNoWriMo draft. holy freaking ouch, batman.

anyway. The Saga Of the ADL, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and GO BUGNUTS CRAZY.

1.) Marit needs to get her Ambulance Driver's License. she is told when getting her California DL that she needs to pick up a commercial driver's license handbook and study it, then come back when employed because then the employer will pay the fee for it. ok. fine. the CDL book is horribly confusing and was clearly laid out by drunken monkeys.

2a.) All employers state that already having your ADL is either preferential, nets you more monies at start, or is required, and they also need a 10 year history printout. greeeaaaat. Marit goes to DMV.

2b.) Monday. Marit gets form to fill out and number. form is worrisome because is exactly the same form as filled out for California license. oh well. *CUE MAGIC TIME WARP* wherin Marit receives number from desk lady, walks 5 steps to bench, writes her name on form, and is told by nice man that her number just got called. Elapsed time, 2 minutes. maybe. at most. yet somehow the desk calling her number manages to spend '5 minutes' calling her number 4 times.
Not. Bloody. Likely.
Marit has to go fetch new number. Marit now gets to wait. and wait. and wait. Is beginning to realize that hm, perhaps the prayer stole was not the best choice of knitting projects to bring along to an environment that is engineered to cause hypertension. Marit waits more.

2c.) Marit's number is called! goes to designated desk, hands over paperwork, receives two printouts of driving history (and is complimented on Dr Who scarf and clean record.) on to ADL. gets sheet, pays money, gets medical history form, gets refund form because overcharged (DMV used to do livescan, but no longer), nice blonde lady sticks all my stuff in a manila folder, gives me receipt of payment and refund form, highlights where to send refund form, tells me she's back at work on wednesday so I can drop off my livescan and ME form and take my exam and bob's your uncle. turns out I don't actually need a commercial driver's license, just a certificate that I can drive an ambulance. (not even a road test, just a written test. AND you don't need to be an EMT to get your ADL, just that you get your EMT cert within a year of getting your ADL. what?) Marit is confused because watch says it's only 1315-ish, but ok, whatever. looks at cell phone. oh. it's 1540. stupid watch. Marit goes to BNN and gets coffee. mmm. coffee. shush. is on way to BART, which is on way to livescan.

2d.) Marit goes to livescan. nice livescan people tell me how to be tricksy with DMV, because apparently the DMV won't accept a livescan form unless it's their yellow copy. can't be white. must be yellow carbon copy. you keep pink. So Mr Livescan tells me go grab a form from DMV, walk outside, copy the info from his form (which is identical to DMV form), take white and pink copies, and walk back inside to give them yellow form. Mr Livescan also gives me 3 copies and only charges for 1. Marit likes Mr Livescan. see? this is what gets you repeat business.

3a.) Wednesday. Marit goes to doctor. entertaining moment of eye test: wearing glasses, have 20/20 left and 20/15 right. great. PA says to tech that they need to do an unaided exam. I can save you the trouble, I said; I can't see the wall. "oh, we have to do it anyway, it's a red box." (you must fill out all red boxes OR YOU WILL DIE). I go stand on line, take off glasses, and say "yep. sorry. can't see wall. I can barely see your hand pointing at the letters. I know the first row is E and the second is FP, but that's just because there's only so many eyecharts available and I've had glasses since the second grade. on other charts it's E then down-E and right-E, or HOTV, or Circle Heart Square, but trust me, I can't see the wall. I promise not to drive without my glasses. I promise not to walk without my glasses." They write down 20/200 (really should be 20/800, but oh well). Doc asks me if I'm up on Pap and stuff. I wince. No, I'm not, I know, I really need to come in, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of California is being evil and pretending they haven't gotten info from you guys and you guys say you haven't received their request for said info, and I can't get through their system to talk to a real person, and I'm currently uninsured. Doc blinks and says 'oh.' and knocks down the price for me. yay. see? this is what also gets you repeat business.

3b.) Thursday. Marit goes to DMV, gets number, waits. waits. waits. Learning has not occured, has not brought other knitting than prayer stole. waits. Goes cheerily up to desk when finally called. hands over livescan. Gets exam receipt and goes to take exam. passes. goes back to deliver ME form and get temporary ADL.
then the fun happens:
at the top of every page of the medical form, there is a big red box for my driver's license number, name, and SSN. right below it on page 2 there is a line (NOT in a red-must-fill-out-on-pain-of-death box) saying "Identity verified by...[] Driver's license (no:) [] other (please explain:)." the PA checked DL, but didn't write down DL number, because it's right above it and isn't IN RED. also, the vision test has three lines, like this:
Right Eye:
Left Eye:
Both Eyes:
in a red box.

Orange highlighter comes out. form gets highlighted.

DMV man: "you're missing a driver's license number here."
Me: "'s written right above it."
DMV man: "it needs to be written here."
Me: "ok, give it to me, I'll write it in."
DMV man: "the doctor needs to write it in."
Me: "'s not a required red box. she wrote it IN a red box, right above it."
DMV man: "it has to be filled in by the doctor."
Me: "she did fill it in. on every page. in a red box. four times. but even though it's not a required red box, I have to go back and have her write my driver's license number down, again, less than a centimeter away from where she already wrote it down."
DMV man: "you also need to have them write in the unaided vision for your right and left eyes."
Me: "the test didn't need to be performed, she wrote down for both, right there, see? 20/200."
DMV man: "it has to be done. it's a red box."
Me: "if I can't see the sign with both eyes unaided, I'm not going to be able to see the sign with either eye alone."
DMV man: "it's a red box. it's required."
Me: "Fine. give it back. I will go back to the doctor and bother her to write down my driver's license, again, and write down that I am totally and completely ridiculously blind without corrective lenses, which we already knew, and come back here. is there anything else that needs to be filled in? so that I don't have to leave and come back again?" (I totally didn't say it like that. I was able to swallow most of Teh Bitchy Marmot. most.)
DMV man: "you have to have her stamp it."
Me: "Fine. Can I have my pink sheet?"
DMV man: "no, I need the ME form."
Me: "but I've paid for it. I can't use it without the ME form, which is fine, I won't be using it until I'm employed, but you can still give it to me. I can be in possession of it, it's like being in possession of expired insurance. it's useless, but not illegal to have."
DMV man: "no, I can't, not without the ME form."
Me: "then give me back my receipt of payment."
DMV man: "it's in with your paperwork, it's fine."
Me: "FINE." about to esplode, so time to leave. I do believe I may have accomplished flouncing without a skirt, difficult as that sounds.

3c.) Marit walks to Peet's and gets eggnog freddo blended coffee thing. mmm. blendynog. calls doc. explains fun with DMV HELL and gets OK to come fix form.

3d.) Marit walks into office. Explains, points out places needing fixing. receptionist gives me the eyebrow-raised "really?" face. I nod. yes, really. she stamps office stamp on form. doc who saw me has gone home, but other PA gives me "really?" face (yes, really.) and writes in 20/200 twice on form, and writes out DL number. fun dialogue: "oh, can I see your driver's lic-oh, wait, it's written right here. *pause, gives me 'really?' face.* they made you come back for this?" (yes, really.) Marit pops into Whole Foods for orchard smoothy of goodness before slipping onto bus.

3e.) Marit is really regretting wearing shoes of the 'I need mood-booster of cuteness' type instead of 'I can walk all day and not care' type. target flats = cute yes, supportive no.

3f.) Marit gets back to DMV. is maybe 30 min to closing. DMV man non vis, so has to get new number. waits. waits. walks to desk when called. "here's my medical form! give me ADL please!" plasters content face on....the end is in sight! yay!

orange highlighter comes out. oh, fuck no, sister. noooononono. no way. no. bloody. way.

the red box for heart rate has two boxes to be checked; one says 'regular' and the other 'irregular' and underneath 'irregular' is the word 'rate.' the doc (and I) took this to mean 'if you check 'regular,' no numerical rate is required.'
But no. it is A RED BOX. red boxes must be filled out OR THE WORLD WILL END IN FLAMES. I shake my head as she is highlighting.
Me: "No, no. The doctor said that if the rate was regular, the numerical rate was not required. that's how your red box is structured. That box is filled out."
DMV Woman: "the red boxes has to be filled out."
Me: " is!"
DMV Woman: "all red boxes-" (I interrupt.)
Me: "The doctor told me that the box was filled out as is."
DMV Woman fetches supervisor.
DMV Supervisor: "hello, ma'am, I've spoken to-"
Me: "Fine. Give it back." I will not cry in the DMV. I will not cry in the DMV. I might scream in the DMV, but that might make the rent-a-cops do something they might regret. I will not scream OR cry in the DMV.
walk my way back to BART. have fallen off end of rope. nice (but very blurry- am walking without glasses. hah you bastards I promised not to walk without corrective lenses AND I DID. and totally didn't walk into any trees, either. branches...well...) lady asks me if I'm ok. I mumble something about end of horrible day just want to get home to bathtub whimper.
fun fact: it's now after 1700 and Marit realizes the only sustenance she has taken in was a greek yogurt at 0830 and the blendynog and the orchard smoothy of goodness. the fateful decision to not stop at great little sandwich place in berserkeley is instantly regretted.

4a.) Marit revolts and does absolutely nothing related to DMV or job search or anything other than go from bathtub to curled up in bed to bathtub to curled up on couch mainlining Advil for all of Friday. Screw you, Uterus. Awesome timing.

5a). calls doctor on saturday. "hi, it's me, the DMV form girl, I have another box that needs to be filled in."
"yes. apparently despite the formatting of their box they need a heart rate for a normal rhythm anyway."
"you're doing this for your ambulance driver's certificate, right? and you're an EMT?'
"and they want you to come in and have a doctor take your pulse and write it in their box."
"...but you're an EMT."
"I know."
" can't take your own pulse? I mean...the PA's already signed it...not that you should cheat on a form, I don't're an EMT."
"I know. Believe me, I know. if it weren't for the certainty that if I did just take my own pulse and write it in, they would somehow know and I'd have to start over or get audited or whatever medieval torture they have planned for offences like that, I would just fill it in myself. When can I stop by?"
"See you Monday."

5b.) walk in to doctor's office. Doc: "so, what's your pulse?" Me: "84." Doc: "really? *checks* huh." Me: "I know. my BP's on the low end, HR on the high end. Always has been." Doc: "no coffee?" Me: "Not yet." Doc: "huh. Well, good luck."

5c.) walk in to DMV. get number. wait. wait. (learning has occured. Marit brought a book instead of prayer stole.) wait. wait. goes up to desk when summoned. Hands over ME form. DMV woman 2 disappears. Now, I had to do a good deal of waiting at the desk with the first edition of DMV (see 2c), but she always said something along the lines of 'I'm going to go ::insert task here::' or 'I just need to check with ____, I haven't done one of these yet' before disappearing, and told me that I could take a seat if I was more comfortable that way. (there's a reason why she is DMV Lady in my head and the others are DMV woman.) DMV woman just disappears. she wanders from the left side of the building to the right side of the building, disappears into the back, reappears, wanders circuit again...four people rotate through the desk next to hers. finally, after at least 30 min of being gone, when Teh Bitchy Marmot is about to make an appearance, she reappears and hands over the little pink slip.

6.) Marit makes good her escape, then makes wallet cry by stuffing pink slip in wallet. goes for blendynog. mmm. blendynog.

Thus endeth the saga.

Next: the Jobhunting Strikes Back.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Marmot...

...can't come to the blog right now, she's climbing a clock tower.

(that's not entirely correct, of course, she's actually climbing into the bathtub with her homemade dose of -OH's.)

fill glass with ice.
add 2 shots of espresso.
add 2 shots homemade marquesan vanilla vodka (shush, I have earned it, and it'll cancel out the espresso so that I can go to bed before 0200.)
fill to top of glass with cream.


Not so in line with my 'eat smart' current philosophy, but then I'm not drinking this every day, and since all I've eaten today is a cup of greek yogurt (take that yoplait-that-makes-me-hungry-again-in-an-hour!), a muffin, a sugarless hard candy from the doctor's office, and the wonderful orchard blended iced beverage from Whole Foods Market that is now retired for the season (SAD!), I think I'm ok with some calories.

Although I am going to make a sandwich before I hit the tub.

Which I'm doing now.

Monday, November 10, 2008


you know what I really really want right now?


real sopapillas, all puffy and gooey and ready to dip in honey or cinnamon sugar.

so. good.

oh kitty.

oh, kitty.

I love the fact that at the end he looks at the camera and goes "oh, crap" and runs away.

off to DMV to get driver printouts and set up an appointment to take my ambulance driver's test, and then do a test run up to my interview tomorrow in Vallejo.

Bah. oh well, I am fortified by knitting.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I desperately need to be happy.

because otherwise I can't think good happy healing thoughts while at the same time reading a lace chart and knitting my merry way on the prayer scarf, which needs to be to its recipient before she leaves for India in December.


Things That Make Me Happy:

Origins Spice Odyssey.
sooooo nummy. I love it. it's scrubby and smells like cookies and curry and cardamom and I used it twice today because after I washed my hair I felt all conditioner-covered (cause I use me some in-tense conditioner because I have (according to Deoni) The Hair That Forgot It's On A White Chick) and not all scrubbed and spicy like I had earlier in my shower, so I used it again. Also, the matcha scrub is very nice BUT if you forget and shave first, Do Not Use The Scrub. PUT DOWN THE CONTAINER. oh dear god the pain.

because any fibre arts community website that contains the forum topic "I need cell transfection help" is a fibre arts community that is just plain freakin' awesome. also the Yarn Harlot and Crazy Aunt Purl.

Food Network. Angry Brits bleeping away while trying to save restaurants from utter failure, The Nastiest Ingredients Known To Man turned into desserts for hapless young japanese actresses, crazy psycho jungle cakes, Alton Brown...get rid of Bobby Flay and RayRay and I might go so far as to say it is perfect.

Cappelens Nye Kokebok.
aside from the fact that it forces me to do lots of painful math, Best Cookbook Ever. 640 pages of goodness.

Mae Ploy
. soooo nummy, the gentle Scientist Finn Jan Wittig defended his bottle on pain of death when the ship's stock ran out.

Chap Che. Spicy Spicy Spicy goodness. especially if you grab the extra-spicy kimchi instead of the normal stuff. whooo mama. and Bi Bim Bap. the perfect combination of every type of goodness. while it is vanishingly unlikely that I have Korean in my genetic code, my tastebuds have clearly adopted Korea as their motherland.

Egg Drop Soup. best. comfort food. EVER. my secondary mom saved my life with a giant thermos of this delivered to my dying hacking wheezing self in the hotel during the Thanksgiving Break Of Death so that I could get better enough to fake perfect health (along with Mucinex) and get on the boat.

Thai Coconut Rice Pudding. or Black Sticky Rice Pudding. or my Nana's Rice Pudding. also best comfort food ever.

...cause they're legos. and they've got Iiiindeeeeeeee! and I totally want to use these to make a Legotini! and Lego Stego!

speaking of stego, Stegosaurs. (that would be the plural of stegosaurus, y'see.) best late Jurassic dino EVER. I have a wee little stegosaurus charm, and would totally consider a stego tattoo. I may have moved on to the biological oceanography love, but deep in the cockles of my heart still lurks the tiny paleontologist. I had a shirt and everything. also: someone make this in a woman's 10.5/ euro 41. I WANT. kids get the best shoes. man.

Mom's Chipotle Raspberry Brownies or Mom's Chipotle Chocolate Truffle Blobs.

Mountains. Skiing. Nordlys. Why am I living in California again? (also, the image for the nordlys? is totally from Curt's homepage. Skog x 100 for the win!) Dammit, Tahoe, get enough snow already. we need a repeat of the Big Mountain, Small Scary Crappy Hotel in Reno trip. I promise not to try to kill The Boy the way I did last year.

XKCD. one of my favorite webcomics. hands down. also Girl Genius, Dominic Deegan, Schlock Mercenary, BratHalla, Oddfish (oh, come on, a 'kebab!' sound effect? priceless.), Nemi, wapsi square, so many more. Nice Hair, winner of the 'still makes me actually laugh out loud really hard' award. Friendly Hostility, because I am such a Fatima Fangirl.

The Bobbie C. love that boat. also, check it out! that's us* deploying an ARGO!

*us being the SEA Education Association on the Robert C Seamans, but it's not our cruise because the photo is credited to Kara Lavender, and she wasn't on our cruise. She had to stay on land, and we got the coffee-addicted skivvie-wearing Finn.

. Mine and the occasional lolcat that makes me giggle.

This pen. I loooove this pen, even though I have abused it by taking it on too many flights (air pressure + fountain pen = May Not End Well) and then tried to clean the crusted ink out of the cap (see aforementioned air pressure + fountain pen) with acetone in O-chem and frosted the top half of the cap. (apparently there's a plastic cushion/guard for the nib up there.) I also lust after this pen, but why god why so expensive?




. Crete. Actually, any place where my grandfather is my tour guide.

Ok. Time to go to work.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm never going to finish this scarf.


If you try to tell me that marriage is between a man and a woman because of a basic, natural, biological imperative, then I get to legally dissolve every union between a man and woman who have no children or who cannot naturally conceive children. low sperm count? sorry, your marriage is null and void, and oh, by the way, you can never marry again. single parent with no visitation rights from the other parent? sorry, your kids can't be raised in that environment, I'm taking them away. philosophically against the idea of increasing the earth's population? I'm sorry, you and your spouse are now exes...and your adopted kid is going to the Duggars...unless you can prove you can spawn.

what? that's your argument. children can't be raised in an environment that isn't a nuclear family because the mother-father-child bond is too sacred.

so we've saved the children from the spectre of being raised by gays. now let's save the children from being raised by single parents. who's with me?

OH RIGHT. that's wrong and discriminatory. hmmm. really?

check this out: screw you, strip down the middle of california. also, what's up with you, solano county? didn't get the "Gay Area" message? also also: filter based on bachelor's degrees. *cue banjo...*

skippy, get back in the box.

yep. still bitter.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Explain this to me.

Okay, California. Explain this to me:

61% of you voted for Barack Obama.
63.2% of you voted for Prop 2, which (may or may not) better conditions for livestock.
52.5% of you voted to strip the right of marriage from anyone who happens to fall in love with someone carrying their same sex chromosomes.

I'm so happy to live in a state where a chicken gets more rights and attention than me.

so happy.

what's even crazier?

y'all voted against the parental notification for underage abortions.

who knew that The Gay was so terrifying that the mere thought of Your Blessed Innocent learning about love would distract you from the Killing of Unborn Bebbies by Babies.

oh, you say, but domestic partnerships are the same thing.

except for being able to file joint tax returns.
and your earnings aren't community property for the state taxes.
you have to live at the same residence to register, so those long distances? nope, sorry.
you can't move out of state and still be domestically partnered.
if one of you isn't a US citizen, you cannot become naturalized through your domestic partnership.
and under federal law your partner has no rights or responsibilities of a legal spouse. (thank* you, Defense of Marriage Act.)

Here's what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has to say about marriage: "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses."

does that say anything at all about The Gay? No. Oh, but wait, it's a document from the UN, which apparently we don't need or care about cause they're a bunch of furriner pansies.

this shit just sickens me. seriously.

*that should really read 'fuck' by the way, but I'm trying to be nice.


Look! Cuteness! move along, move along, there is no kitteh in the box...move along...

this is taken after he scared the crap out of me. the flap that's up was down, and I had no idea he was in there, when suddenly he leapt out of the box and tried to jump onto the arm of the chair.
he failed, left divots in the chair, and fell back into the box. That, or my shriek scared him back in the box.
this cat....all the cat toys in the house, and he goes nuts over pencils. knitting needles. the little hard plastic cups my razor heads come in. cardboard boxes. he's like the kid who liked playing with the box or the wrapping paper more than the gift itself.

oh wait, that was me.

mmm. bubble wrap.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

mass tree genocide masquerading as political mass mailings.

let's count the mail roundup for this election, shall we?

City Council:
Boozé- 2
Beckles- 6
Butt- 3
Ritterman- 1
Beckles, Butt, and Ritterman- 3
Sandhu- 5
Bates- 10
Marquez- 7 (including a potholder! ooo...)
and 3 fliers endorsing no one but dis-endorsing Ritterman.

School Board:
Pfeifer- 4
Studdiford- 1
Pfeifer, Studdiford, and Bates- 2

'Local Police and Firefighters' both endorse Sandhu and Bates, which entertains me. Almost as much as all the black and orange "Boozé for City Council" (yes, I am afflicted with a childish sense of humor.)

Also have a crapload (i.e. 8) against T and 2 for it, and 5 for D, and one for WW.

Just on sheer perversity, I'm tempted to vote for the people that sent me the least amount of crap in the mail. And whoever Sandhu got to design his stuff deserves a raise; it's pretty sweet.

and you Yes on Proposition 8 people? if you're so fucking paranoid about your kindergartener learning that same sex marriage is the same as hetero marriage, then I have two things to say to you: 1) they already know about The Gay. trust me. 2) pull them out of public school and put them in some nasty little private school that endorses only your history, your ideals, your morals, and your narrow little world view.

not that all private schools are bad. I have no firsthand experience, I'm a public school brat. Well, no, that's a lie, I did go to a private school in Utah briefly because schools like the Open Classroom are dependent on good teachers, not Teachers From The Ninth Circle Of Hell. The Open Classroom may not have been a public school either, now that I think about it.

Ok. Most of my formative school years were public school. happy?

Free Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's for all y'all who voted. I didn't partake because it would have meant about 5 dollars transit fee, which is a bit more than 'free.'

Monday, November 03, 2008


I've moved to Tacoma. again.

C'mon, rain, you need to stop for at least a day so I can get my poor trees planted in their pots.

Applied for jobs today. This whole idea of applying via email is strange to me. Ah, the march of progress.

Nanowrimo: we're not thinking about that right now. does it still count if I use old characters as long as none of the old writing is counted towards the 50,000?
Knitting: got yarn for prayer scarf. need to wind in balls (damn you hindsight, I should have had the store do it!) and defend it from The Cat.
Spinning: I have a wee little blob of pink yarn. Jayne is still hyperactive from the play session of my attempts to spin. The Boy is still confused as to why I want to make yarn.

When The Kitten gets big (we're reasonably certain he's mostly Norwegian Forest Cat, and they're usually about 13 to 22 lbs. normal cats are supposed to be less than 13 lbs, apparently. and he's 6 months old and almost as long as Raziel, who is 2.) this is going to be uncomfortable.

This is me trying to write the start of NaNoWriMo.

You can see how well it's going.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Harald Tunheim won the Finnmarksløpet!

NaNoWriMo not going so well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I don't remember a whole lot of life in New Mexico. I remember a green room with lots of stairs and green carpet (that in true childhood fashion, we played king of the hill on and did our level best to kill each other with), I remember Danielle's house and their cat disappearing (hiya, coyotes!) and her brother not being allowed to play outside and something about a dog, I remember an upturned dish on the floor that I think had a massive cockroach trapped under it but it might have been a scorpion, I remember not being allowed in a shed (although that might have been Utah, now that I think about it), I remember colors and smells and dirt and feelings of age and stillness, and I remember getting into lots of trouble with Arielle (Ariel?) and Danielle, I remember wind and bright and balloons, and I remember a bush. I don't remember why I remember a bush, but it's there. being bushy.

Reading Tony Hillerman's novels made me feel like I'd grown up there, that his words plugged into my kidlet memories and extrapolated them further somehow.

so go read The Blessing Way and don't stop til you get to The Shape Shifter,
because the world has lost another artist, another man with the deft touch that allowed us to smell and breathe and taste the world he created with words on paper, and the truest tribute for him is to fall back into his world.


Monday, October 20, 2008


So I'm in the middle of a Craig Ferguson Monologue binge on YouTube, and I read a link of "Craig Ferguson on Red Dwarf" I went...nah. I'd remember.

But yes. It Lister's Confidence. wearing a yellow and black plaid jacket with a tropical shirt, slicked back hair, and lots of bling.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

et vårrull i nordens paris tromsø...

...running through Gimle.

Next time Lars and Dagmar are at Da Skog together, there will be copious insanity of the vårrull nature.

Watch This. here, I'll make it ridiculously easy.

I LOVE Craig Ferguson. Love Love Love.

Can't watch it now-right now-at this very moment? here are some of my favorite segments.

"Obama has said you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. And then Republicans are like *gasp* 'did you call Sarah Palin a pig?! That means you hate America!' And Democrats are saying 'No no no Republicans you, you don't love pigs, it's a pig's right to wear lipstick, it's- Free Shirley! it' Blah Blah BLAH BLAH BLEARGH *mimes vomiting."

"The candidates say 'well the family is off limits, you know, I mean.' it's like Sarah Palin says 'y'know my daughter's pregnancy- that's off limits, that's a family matter,' and Barack Obama sayin' 'yes, that's absolutely right.' but listen, here- here's what I say. if your families are off limits, why are they on the stage? why is it they're profiling in People magazine you and your damn family all over, the children marching around- shame on you, you manipulative hypocrite. I'm talking to both sides...I'm talking to all of you."

"Which candidate would you rather have dinner with? Here's an easy answer- none. They're politicians. I don't want dinner with you, I don't want your friendship, here's what I want to know. What are you gonna do for this country, pal, what are you gonna do?"

"Are we so lost we have to be sold our own democratic right?"

"If you don't vote, you're a is not sexy, voting is not hip, it is not fashionable, it's not a movie, it's not a video game, all the kids ain't doin' it, frankly, voting is a pain in the ass; but here's a word, look it up- it is your duty to vote."

and the last 37 seconds should be seared into the brain of every citizen eligible to vote.

and trust me, don't read the 930 comments. if even the thought of leaving a comment along the lines of ...
"I prefer my right not to vote" or "show that you dont acknowledge this presidential race. DONT VOTE!!!" or "america is about freedom and about being free why should i as a proud patriotic free american have to go vote for somebody else? i'd rather watch football" or "personally, I feel that I'm so ill-informed by the media, that my vote (if I were to vote) would be so ill-informed that I'd vote for bugs bunny or something."
...crossed your mind, then read this comic, and then go back to basic Civics, and stay there until you've learned your lesson. pack a bag, it might be awhile.

too many of them and not enough of these guys:
"1) there are more than two people/parties running for presidency. It is not complicated to find someone close to your ideals. B) There are other important issues on the ballot."
(even though there's a number-letter list confusion there.)
or "There are plenty of third party candidates that you COULD vote for, and if none are to your liking, you're free to get involved in a grassroots party that suits you. Conspiracy theories, blaming everything on 'corporate elite' and mumbling about corruption and illusions is a COP OUT. Refusing to participate isn't going to change the status quo. You're just armchair-quarterbacking. You have to GET INVOLVED if the system is not to your liking."

And, because it's YouTube, of course there's...
"a tranny of one king is better than a democracy of a million kings" (really?)

And maybe it's just I read too much scifi in my formative years (hi, Orson Scott Card!), but...does anyone else get intergalactic despot-powered-spacesuit-sorta vibes from words like Theocrat and Neocon? where's the Decepticons?

"it's held together by greed, bitterness, and 18 versions of CSI. and, apparently, an inability to pay the power bill." (Craig's talking about CBS, but...)

gah. enough. make with the funny!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

She may look cute...

but trust me, it's a cunning facade meant to lure you to certain destruction. don't believe me? let me see if I can find the Cheerio picture from the Insta-booth thing at the museum. or the Spaghetti + Chopsticks Incident. or the ex-Pink Jumpsuit.

I ate a fig today! one of my figs! and it was only mostly ripe, but it looked so squishy and droopy I got scared for a moment that it was over-ripe and I would have missed out on The Figness so I poked at it and it fell off, which to my mind meant "ok, time to eat!"....shush.

Have even more tomatoes, albeit tiiiny wee little tomatolets, and even me, the resident hater of the red gooshy love-apples that aren't in the form of pizza sauce or salsa, likes them. Although whenever I eat one, my taste buds go "oo, tast...y...wait, that was a tomato. wasn't it?"

It's fun giving my taste buds existential dilemmas. (I really, really want to type existential dilemmae.)

I was talking to someone about how I lurve my phone, I just wish it were easier to browse the internet from it, especially since I don't ever use it until I'm wandering around increasingly seedier areas of El Cerrito/Richmond/Oakland/The City, with decreasing solar illumination, searching for a bead store/am-ba-lains service/LiveScan/fish store that eludes all skills I may possess with 411 or verizon navigator. They suggested I look at the iPod Touch, which apparently is like an iPhone without the phone bits. or like a very tiny computer that you can play music or video files on and use Teh Intarwebz, and has much of the functionality and look-I-can-see-the-screen of the iPhone. sounds intriguing, but essentially 300$ for 16 GB (or 240$ for 8 GB, which seems odd that twice the memory is only 60$) makes me cringe. I already have an mp3 player that I quite like, thank you, but...still...Teh Intarwebz is tantalizing. Although it was disappointing that I didn't have enough characters to engrave "passer, deliciae mea puella, quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere*" on the back. (I could, however, engrave "amabo, mea dulcis Ipsitilla, mea deliciae, mei lepores**" ...ok, so i may have spent a bit of time on this. and yes, if I could have fit 'passer...tenere' the temptation would have been greater. ...shutup.)

as an aside, I'm pretty sure that, in the interest of honesty, 'talking' should be 'whining.'

also, LiveScan? CREEPY. Big Brother now has my digital 10-card, and now any employer using their service will know of any prior arrests AND any future arrests, from now until perpetuity or we all finally blow ourselves up in World War III or "oops, what was that button again?"

I feel like I should start hiding my laptop in my dresser and putting a grain of sand on the lid.

Yesterday was Fun With Not Having Any Fun At All, or how I learned to stop worrying and love inefficiency. the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services has a convenient list of LiveScan operators in the area. Great. I look up the one that seems best for me (right near Berkeley BART, which is on my way to the Alameda County Health Services building which is 'kitty corner from the San Leandro BART on the San Leandro side,' plus I can stop off for a coffee and a nummy sandwich from the little cafe and hit up the half price books for The Color Of Magic so I can finally start my participation in the Pratchganalong. anyway. back to the Day of Doom.)

For once, the 74 is on time, and I get on at precisely 1047.

This should have been my first clue that the day was Not Going To End Well.

I get to the Richmond BART and bart along my merry way to Berkeley, wander off to the LiveScan place, and am informed that their equipment was recalled and has not yet been returned to them. I recall seeing one on Telegraph close to where it becomes a one-way, so I pop into the Half Price Books, go "oh, right. this is the store with the 'need your Pratchett will pay top dollar' sign. drat." and head to coffee and sandwich, but the 1R is pulling up, so instead I forgo coffee and sandwich (this will prove to be A Bad Idea) in favor of getting on the bus. I get off at the Dwight & Telegraph stop, and scan storefronts for the LiveScan sign. no luck. must be further south, I think, so I start wandering.

When I get to the 9000s and Alta Bates, I decide to give up and call The Fount of Wisdom and Selfless Wielder of the Internet on Behalf of The Child, while walking into the Whole Foods Market for provisions and a potty break. (there are no public bathrooms in Berkeley. They're all 'broken'. Ok, there may exist public bathrooms in Berkeley, but trust me, they should probably be the subject of controlled demolition.) Mom directs me to 2512 Telegraph Avenue at the direction of the ACEMS website, and I walk back to where I started from, this time with my nummy orchard-fruit-and-black-tea smoothie and a bag of dark chocolate covered apricots in hand.

Scanning the storefronts, I see 2502 on the opposite side of Telegraph, and 2510 at the corner, so I back up one store and am greeted by...blank, barred-over windows and a sign saying "we've moved to 8355 Telegraph Avenue. Are. You. Serious. I was JUST THERE. no, really. JUST. THERE.

and so I revolt and walk to the secondhand bookstore on the opposite corner. They don't have any Pratchett either, but I pick up an ancient book of Cicero's legal defense speeches. ...shutup. so I'm a sucker for the smell of old books and dead languages. how can you not enjoy something where one line of latin results in eight of english? broken, painful english at that? not that it's english's fault that it's severely lacking in verb tenses and moods, but...I'm going to be quiet now.

it's the genes, people. the genes!

I walk to the bus. it's now nearly 1530 and I have to get to San Leandro by 1700. It discharges me at Russell, so I walk a block and enter the giant building with No Signage For Cal LiveScan (clue #22392362 for The Day of Doom). the LiveScan process itself is painless (but CREEPY), although I inform them that ACEMS has them still at 2512 Telegraph and they are surprised, since they moved september first. I am surprised when they tell me I can't pay with a check, despite the ACEMS website saying I could, but use my credit card. They give me a flier and a business card to give to the ACEMS when I get there.

By this time, it's 1545 and I'm close to Ashby BART so I walk the .5 mile or so and am greeted by A Giant Crater Teeming With Construction Equipment. Are You Serious, Oh My God, Really? part II. But it's still open, and I get on the Fremont bound train after 2 minutes.

I get to San Leandro BART at 1645. ok, 15 minutes to find the ACMS, no problem. kitty corner to BART on the san leandro side. makes sense now, because on the west side is freeway and the east side is city. kitty corner is a under-construction fountain and two hotel-looking buildings, and a sign for a bank. on the other corners are parking lot and Wendy's. I start walking north at the direction of the happy little voice of the Verizon Navigator, which tells me I've arrived at my destination on the right. I'm on a bridge, overlooking an overgrown ravine. (shades of Lake Country GPS Fail) I call the ACMS. 'oh, you see the wendy's? you see the big fountain? we're the second building that sort of looks like a hotel.'

oh, you mean the buildings with Absolutely No Signage Whatsover? those buildings? there's not even signage IN the damn building. luckily I look bedraggled enough and am close to the breaking point that some nice lady lets me in to the second floor offices (because it's now 3 past 1700, and they closed at 1700) and once she hears I'm from Richmond fetches someone to take my damn paperwork and my damn check and give me my damn California EMT certification, already.

Except that the website says that they accept personal checks, only that policy has changed, and the nice earnest young man tells me that he'll wait if I want to go get a cashier's check or a money order. 1700. is a bank open? not in time for The Carless Wonder to get there. post offic-no. but despite all this, I apparently am allowed to, since I've Sold My Soul To Big Brother, mail in my paperwork. I do not cry. it's close, but I don't. I don't scream. it's close, but the people in the office have been so nice that I can restrain it. I go to the wendy's and get food because there has been No Food Since 1000. (I've forgotten about the apricots and the energy bar in the purse.)

I get home at almost 1940, because now that The Day of Doom is over, the 74 is back to its usual 'follow a schedule? what? what is this alien concept you speak of?'

so tomorrow (after a day of Hell No I Am Not Leaving The House) I shall bustle off to the postal services and mail off my stitchmarkers to my swap partner, get a money order, and mail my stupid paperwork to the stupid alameda county emergency medical services so they can give me my stupid certification so that I can get a stupid job and do even MORE paperwork so I can (probably) get a stupid commercial driver's license and a stupid state-physician physical.


stupid stupid stupid.

Anyway. Because I've been whiny (and I didn't even get to what I originally sat down to talk about, which tells me a bit more than I thought) I give you...Hilarious Norwegian Sketch Comedy.

to set the tone: In Norwegian, the word for tree is "tre." its plural is "trær." the word for the cardinal number 3 is 'tre.'

The first line here is "hello and welcome to The News For Trees. The time is Tree (3)." and it degenerates from there.

then there's The News For Hair. (which is hår, which is pronounced very similarly to 'hore,' which means whore.)

or the Three Way Sketch.

There. some uplift for you.

well. uplift if you speak norwegian.

Ok, fine. uplifting for all y'all who don't: is this not the best picture ever? my cats do this all the time but I never have a camera to capture it. and by the time I come back, they've moved. I had written down somewhere where I found this picture, but I can't find it, and my attempt at retracing my steps has failed. if this is your picture, please let me know and I'll give you credit or take it down if that's what you'd like. but you should know that every time I see it, I smile and it makes my day a little better.

*o sparrow, the sweet little pet of my girl, with whom she plays, who she holds in her lap...
**I entreat you, my sweet Ipistrilla, my little pet, my dear...

(those are very rough translations. it's been awhile. especially for the second one. (that's Catullus 2 and Catullus 32, if you're curious. and no, I only entertained the thought of something from cicero briefly before realizing that I'd have to engrave it on the laptop, and even then, it wouldn't fit.)

I love Cary Grant.

especially at 1:32.

so go watch Bringing Up Baby.

it's amazing how fast they talk in this movie. whoa.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

it's poetry in motion...

have you ever seen anything so pathetic?right before I maneuvered the laptop to take the picture he was passed out, his head flopped back onto the window screen, both legs straight out against the sill.


Monday, October 13, 2008

my fingers are...finging...

O NCIS, how I love thee.

So I get up this morning, get dressed, and head to the bus stop for to set my feet upon the first step towards the roundabout of curiousities so gently called 'getting my NREMT certification certified by Contra Costa County.' (another CCC!) (and if you had Tindall and Shi's book for American History, you just snorted milk (or whatever) out of your nose.)

The 74 is, as usual, late. someone has finally toppled the F and the 88 from 'worst AC transit bus EVAR' throne. but it comes, and I bounce along jollily to the Richmond BART station. using, I know that I need to take the 72 northbound, so I get on the bus.

it goes west. to Point Richmond. then travels back to the BART station I just left from, THEN goes east/north. oh well. an extra 30 minutes of knitting time, right? OH WAIT I left a needle at home. how? don't know. I blame the cat.

So I get off at the appropriate stop, and glance around. hm. problem. looks pretty damn residential. I wander, cursing the lack of cell phone (more on that later), and find an internet cafe.

I caffeinate. mmm, coffee. I sit at one of the computers when it opens up and revisit only I've left the address at home, so I look it up online again. it looks slightly different. no matter. plug it in, make it go. the website takes forever, but it finally loads, and I see the squiggly little red line that tells me where I should go...and it ends in MARTINEZ. yeah.

Make a fist with just your thumbnail tucked in it. looking at the back of your hand, your thumb is the peninsula, home of the city (san francisco). right across from the bend of your thumb is Richmond. (not the thumb-crotch, that's San Jose.) Martinez is roughly where your middle finger's knuckle is.



I stare at the screen, contemplating all manner of unpleasant things, then ask to borrow the cafe's phone (no payphone, I think they've gone extinct.) I must look deranged enough that they smile nicely and say no problem and would I like a free refill on your mocha?

I call the office in the hopes that there's some sort of satellite office that I can bury myself in paperwork in and avoid the whole bus-bart-amtrak-bus-bus thing. (which really is bus-bart-amtrak-bus-bus-sub-sub-kartma-trab-sub). what do I get? a happy perky recorded message saying the office hours and that today is closed in observation of columbus day.

yeah. I hang up, accept refill, and retrace my steps to get home around 2:30.


(did you know that in venezuela this holiday is called the day of indigenous resistance? can we do away with columbus day and have Indigenous People who were here before Leif who was here before Some Random Spanish Friar who was here before (maybe Zheng He who was here before) Columbus was here.)

and Thor Heyerdal beat them all. (see 1:46 (marco polo), 2:06 (leif-ur), and 3:19 (columbus) and what he says there?...not 'crap.' also 4:30 (roald), 5:37 (neil), 6:16 (lillehammer), and oh, just watch the whole thing. the subtitles are actually not that bad.)

Anyway. tomorrow I am NOT retracing my steps, because all I have to do to get to the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services office is to take the bus, then the bart, then walk across the street.

why norwegian winters are sometimes a scary, scary thing: the voiceover says "you've seen've seen they're here, direct from broadway and west end, welcome the group...


Yeah. The Cat. The Cell Phone. The Mystery.

I'm hoping it's in the car, because it's not under the couch (which is where I found it last time) or under the cabinet (where I found it the time before last). tried calling it and it went directly to voicemail, bugger. so don't try to call me.

I'm not translating it, but it made me snicker and snort the remains of my mocha on the cat.

sorry Jayne.

oh, and there's more. but I'll leave that up to you.