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.)

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