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.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

hail mary full of...shark?

parthenogenic sharks! whee!

this begs the question if someone's written a book about parthenojesus.

oh, I'm going to hell. at least I'll be in good company.

and I'll go happily as long as there's a DVD player, a TV, power for the same, and all the NCIS DVDs ever made.

The Kitten has been banished to my bathroom since his episode yesterday of leaving little brown pawprints all over The Boy's bathroom. he's mewling pitifully, but since The Boy caught him licking his soap, which apparently some cats just do for fun, hopefully with the banishment of the bar soap the leakage will cease. still hoping I don't hear from the vet that it's worms or some parasite, because soap is so much easier to fix. Raz is also upset because his playmate is banished- he'll go sit outside my door and paw at it, which sets the kitten off, which makes raz start with his I'm-a-dying-baby cry, which makes me start wondering when I'm going to get a phone call from my neighbours or child services, and have to's not a's a furkid...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ok, ok, I get it.

I don't have genetic hypertension, so you, Universe, are intent on inducing it in me via improbable collusions of events.

well, Universe, Murphy, Anti-Karma... it ain't gonna work.

...ok. it might.

At least the cat is medicated now (even though my arms are slowly turning into swiss cheese...stupid cat you're supposed to like the flavor of the goo) and will with luck stop...leaking. even if he did decide to be sick at the worst possible time ever. like the garbage disposal picking a great time to need a $300 upgrade. gah.

Also, Landlords of the world: if you're gonna write a deposit return check, then a) spell the recipient's name right and b) make sure you've got funds to cover it.

Question to the ether: if you incur charges because your ex-landlord's check didn't go through, can you make your ex-landlord pay it? and doesn't a bank kinda have to tell you that a check for you hasn't cleared? and why does the cat keep attacking my laptop?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

you tolerate a bad smell.
you tolerate dealing with a broken leg.
you tolerate bad weather.

you do not tolerate me.