Well that's a new spin...

Again from galleycat:

Jane Austen Versus Zombies

It's like Elizabeth Bennet meets Shaun of the Dead.

This is a must-read, people. A must-read!

Posted at 5:34 PM
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From galleycat this morning:

86 Percent of Japanese High Schoolers Read Cell Phone Novels

The books are published in 70 word installments, and have sold millions of copies.

Title is a bit misleading though: according to the story it is 86% of high school girls .

I guess the guys are too busy playing games on their phones.

Posted at 9:48 AM
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O.K., fine: ice day, but really the details are not as important as the fact that I get to stay in my pajamas all day because the city officials have said that the roads are in "treacherous" condition.

Who am I to argue with local government officials?

So, I got the call at 5:20 this morning: my boss waking me up to tell me to go back to bed and enjoy my day off. The irony is not lost on me, but I was so excited, I hopped out of bed and made pancakes that I ate just as soon as I hopped back into bed. (Do you have any idea how cold 21 degrees is in a drafty old house?)

Unfortunately, breakfast was somewhat marred by the fact that, as mentioned yesterday, we Texans are not really used to this kind of weather, so our local news tends to err on the side of overkill during these rare moments of meteorological extremes.

The weather people have taken over the network. Seriously.

My planned morning with Matt and Al and Ann (we won't talk about Meredith because she annoys me to no end, and I merely tolerate her to get to see everyone else on the Today Show) has been usurped by the endless cycle of traffic reports, weather reports, and idiot-cub-reporters-standing-by-the-side-of-frozen-roads-as-crazy-drivers-spin-out-of-control reports. Since 5:30 this morning it has been a monotonous repetition:

"It's cold out there."
Yes, it is. That would explain all the ice that resulted in my day off.

"There's ice on the overpasses."
That's why we are all staying home, but thanks again for the warning.

"Sand trucks are out."
Yes, I know: you've told us that a few times already. Please do not do another phone interview with the nice gentleman in charge of the city's sand trucks. I am sure he is very busy dealing with the ice on the overpasses, and I prefer not to imagine him talking on his cell phone to you (again) as he tries to drive across one.

"Drive slow."
Again, thank you for those words of caution, but as I've already mentioned, I was really planning on staying home today, at least until the sun melts everything around 3:00 this afternoon (as you have pointed out to us at least 2 dozen times this past hour), so really, why don't you take a coffee break or something, as I am sure your throat is a bit parched, what with all the talking you keep doing at times when you are not supposed to be on TV.

I got it the first 50 times people, and guess what? Nothing has changed! Can you please release my favorite TV morning personalities from the "Ice Storm" strangle hold and update us, like, every 30 minutes or something?

I am beginning to think this is actually the newscasters' way of getting even with those of us lucky enough to have jobs that did not require us to get out of bed at 4:00am and drive to work on said "treacherous" roads. Maybe they are disgruntled because the donut delivery guy couldn't make it in today. I bet he lives in one of those vague "outlying areas" they are always talking about: that no man's land where sand trucks don't go and people stockpile bottled water and beef jerky just in case of freak weather occurrences like this one.

For the love of God, someone get these news folks a Krispy Kreme so we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Posted at 8:54 AM
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On Thin Ice

It' 36 degrees outside (according to my updated weather gadget), 33 on the time & temperature icon on the bottom of the screen on channel 5. And it is misting. There is a "wintry mixture" falling according to the weather lady who refuses to give up the spotlight.

For a state that chooses a boot wearing, stetson donning, pistol toting, testosterone laden cowboy as its stereotype, we've got nothing on the vikings of Wisconsin or Minnesota. They probably laugh in the face of a little ice; we cringe and hide our heads under our covers, refusing to get out of bed.

Not that I mind. I was rooting for a bad weather day as much as the next 10-year-old kid, and I'm more than a little disappointed that the temperature didn't cooperate...yet. I'm still holding on to hope that the nasally weather lady is right about the temperature continuing to drop this afternoon, staying cold over night, and icing the roads for tomorrow so perhaps I can at least sleep late.

I do, however, hope that everyone makes it home safely this afternoon when the water has had a chance to freeze on all the highways. Put a Texan in a pickup on ice and you have a recipe for disaster.

Posted at 5:52 AM
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For those uninitiated in the Life of Daisy, a few basic facts:

1) Daisy is on the petite side, and this fact lends to her also being more than slightly cold-natured. This is why Daisy loves her new micro fleece sheets, which pair wonderfully with her vast array of flannel pajamas.

2) Daisy loves her pajamas. It is one of Daisy's goals in life to find a job that allows her to wear her pajamas all day, every day. (Except of course when her as-yet-to-be-located handsome prince decides to take Daisy out. On these occasions, Daisy will dress in appropriate going-out attire.)

3) Daisy is a bit of a finicky eater. She is not fond of chocolate or ice cream, can not stand the smell of mayonnaise, and avoids sushi and most anything in a cream sauce. She does, however have three major weaknesses in the food department: pizza, pancakes, and anything with cinnamon. (Cinnamon is like crack in Daisy's world; it makes her downright giddy.)

4) Daisy is what most people would call a lightweight in the alcohol department. Most of Daisy's closest friends would laugh at this understatement. 1/2 a drink makes for a dizzy Daisy. 1 1/2 drinks gets you a drunken Daisy. 2 drinks: a dreamin' Daisy. (Good thing Daisy doesn't snore, as snoring in bars is no way to attract a handsome prince.)

This, however, does not keep Daisy from enjoying vodka mixed with just about anything fruity, or Saki (as long as she holds her breath), or the sparkling sangria at The Porch, or, on a rare occasion, a glass of wine. (Only one glass, on a full stomach, as wine has a history of making Daisy's stomach hurt for days, if drunk on an empty stomach or in combination with vodka.)

5) Daisy likes to climb rocks. (Well, fake rocks, at least.) For the past few years she has been playing around once or twice a week at the indoor rock climbing gym, and she has been steadily improving, until recently, when Daisy hurt her hand. Daisy has not climbed in nearly 2 months, patiently waiting for the annoying appendage to heal itself of the traitorous tendinitis. Daisy's climbing partner has been very patient as well, so sometimes Daisy goes non-climbing and belays her partner. When this happens, her climbing partner often buys her dinner to cheer her up since she is jealous that he gets to climb and she does not.

6) Daisy has recently rediscovered running and the fact that, 15 years after she first discovered running, she (still) enjoys it immensely. Daisy runs 4-5 mornings a week, and Daisy prefers to run in the dark, if she can get her scrawny butt out of her aforementioned micro fleece sheets and flannel pajamas in time. Since Daisy tends to wake up extremely early without an alarm, you would think this would be easy. Not so when it is cold. (See #1 above.)

7) Daisy is a bit of a nerd. She likes books and computers.

All of these facts contribute to this morning's installment:

Daisy went non-climbing yesterday afternoon, and as a reward for her exceptional belaying skills, she was taken to dinner at her new favorite pizza place, Eno's, where she ate half of a large pie all by her little self and washed it down with a larger than average glass of red wine. Needless to say, Daisy arrived home quite content, if not a little dizzy. Shortly thereafter, Daisy went to bed early.

This morning, Daisy awoke at 4:30, a good hour before her alarm went off. Being a good nerd, she reached over to the side of the bed to retrieve her trusty laptop, and began her day reading some of her favorite blogs online. By 5:15 she thought it about time to consider going out for a morning run, even though she usually doesn't run on Mondays, since lingering in her beloved pjs as long as possible seems to help her accept the fact that she has to eventually go to work.

But today, Daisy checked the weather on her Google homepage and saw that it was 50 degrees outside, and that the forecast for the rest of the week looked cruddy, so she figured she better run today while the weather was pleasant.

Daisy drank some water, put on her sweats, and headed out the door. Halfway down the street, Daisy knew something was amiss. There was no way this was 50 degrees, and her weather gadget had not mentioned anything about drizzle. :(

Halfway through her run, Daisy's tummy began to remind her that she had had wine last night, so by the time Daisy arrived back home, 2 1/2 miles after setting out, her stomach was on fire, a feeling that only intensified when Daisy noticed that her Google weather gadget had recently refreshed itself and now the temperature read 43 degrees. :(

7 degrees makes a big difference to a dainty Daisy, especially when there is windy drizzle involved. Daisy's nose is cold, her fingers are a bit numb, and she can feel my malaria gearing up for a fierce rematch with her beloved Sudafed.

All of leads us to #8: Daisy really dislikes Mondays. :(

Posted at 6:22 AM
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Who turned out the lights?

Yesterday morning, the light in my bathroom flickered on and off indecisively for a few seconds before it went completely out. Normally, this would not be that big of a deal, but the house I rent is pretty old, and the light in the bathroom is one of those long florescent tubes, and I don't happen to keep spare 3 ft. long bulbs in my closet. Needless to say, my morning shower was taken by candlelight. It wasn't until I went to brush my teeth when I got home last night that I realized that I had forgotten to stop and buy a replacement bulb, so this morning was more of the same.

Tonight, however, I ventured out in search of my much needed light, only to make a startling discovery: Target doesn't sell florescent tube lights. Target doesn't sell them? Target. Does. Not. Sell. Them.

But do you know who does sell them? Home Depot. I know this because after the shock and confusion of my Target disappointment passed, I got back in my car and drove down the block to Home Depot where I not only found my bulb, but where I experienced another stunning realization: Home Depot is the male version of Target.


Wide variety of items in stock. Check.
Fabulously low bargain prices. Check.
Easily recognizable employee uniforms. Check.
Obnoxiously bright colored plastic shopping carts. Check.
Hot dogs for sale at front of store. Check.
Gift cards for all occasions. Check.
Wedding registry. Check.

All of those years of wondering what my dad could possibly need at Home Depot every weekend, and tonight it all suddenly makes sense. While Target has candles and dishes and cute retro t-shirts, Home Depot has drill bits, and duct tape, and miniature John Deeres. And it's not at all about need. A woman can go to Target because she needs toothpaste and a pair of socks, and $300 later she comes out with a bread maker, a new cell phone, and a string bikini...all pink. A man can go to Home Depot because he needs a fence picket and half a dozen nails, and $300 later he comes out with an electric screwdriver, a weed whacker, and a high pressure nail gun...all cordless.

Perhaps men and women aren't as different as we'd like to think.

Posted at 10:17 PM
There is something therapeutic about getting your hair cut. Seriously.

In some ways I think it's along the same lines as getting a massage. The repeated movement of the comb across your scalp, the whisper of the scissors in your ear, the heat from the dryer blowing across your neck. Sensual. (Token Male will find the dirty in that description. Lol.)

I hadn't slept well the past few nights (side effects from all the decongestants I've been taking for the "malaria" I think); Wednesday night I think I got about 3 hours, so needless to say, I was tired when I finally sat down in Gayla's chair yesterday evening. She went to work on my hair, and I almost nodded off.

Fortunately, Gayla is very talented, and she knows me, and I trust her judgment in all hair matters, so my zombie-like trance is no impediment to the cutting process. In fact, I think that one of the big draws to her studio is that it is one of the few places in my life that I have no problem letting go of all control. Last night she asked me what I wanted to have done, and I honestly said, "Whatever you want; just do something." Those who know me, and know my control-freak tendencies, know that this is completely out of character.

That's unfortunate when I think about it, it's much easier to breathe in Gayla's salon than in just about any other place in my life. She takes over, and I get to...just be. It's almost spiritual, in a Jesus-take-the-wheel-only-much-less-Nashville kind of way.

Then there is the emotional purge. Hair dressers are the next best thing to psychiatrists. They ask a lot of questions about your life, manage to listen without judgment, and some, like mine, even offer decent advice. That's probably why women are so loyal to their stylists; they've formed an almost sacred bond that strengthens with each visit to the chair.

So, an hour or so after entering, I left feeling better than I had felt in months. It's kind of like a snake shedding its skin, physically and psychologically. You go in looking and feeling all ratty, you come out completely coiffed and confident. Truly miraculous.

Even more miraculous: I managed to sleep almost 8 hours straight last night, didn't wake up once. Can't remember the last time that happened. Maybe I'm finally kicking this miserable cold. :)

Posted at 6:28 AM
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A Few of My Favorite Things

In the midst of folding my fifth (and last) load of laundry I was flipping channels when I happened upon an episode of No Reservations. Anthony Bourdain...in Hawaii.

Now, Hawaii is one of my favorite places on the planet, and I've been to enough places for this to be a significant statement. I'm not a sun goddess by any stretch of the imagination: any of my pictures attest to the fact that I don't hit the beach without SPF 45 and a wide brimmed hat. But that has never stopped me from loving the ocean and the sand that inevitably comes with it. Even better, Hawaii also has beautiful mountains with some spectacular hiking trails, thriving artist communities, truly friendly locals, and some amazing restaurants. This last is probably why Anthony Bourdain chose to visit.

Anthony Bourdain (you have to say his whole name or it just doesn't sound right) is one of my guilty pleasures. His wit, his sarcasm, his love of travel and food make this man that otherwise looks a little like a gray-haired Elliot Gould strangely attractive. He makes me laugh, he's not afraid of making a fool of himself, and he has absolutely no pretensions. And, he can write. Just read the first few pages of his book The Nasty Bits where he talks about seal hunting and you will understand why I have a strange infatuation with him.

So, here is one of my literary/tv crushes, in one of my favorite places, and what is he doing? Talking about Hawaiians' obsession with SPAM and quoting Patrick Swayze in Point Break. I am not making this up. They even put the quote up on a black screen to lead into the segment where Anthony considers surfing...brilliant!

TV does not get any better than this.

Posted at 8:19 PM
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How many computers does it take...

Apparently 8 at a time, 9 if you count the one I am typing this on.

I wish I had a camera on me right now. I think people would find it somewhat impressive and mildly amusing to see me in my little office (closet is really a better description, but it does have two windows, so I can't complain much), surrounded by laptops that are balanced precariously on anything that will hold them upright long enough for me to run the software updates I have to get done by Monday morning. Seriously: tables, chairs, printers, boxes, even an upside down trashcan.

I spent 5 hours up here yesterday, moving almost continuously from one computer to another: log in, turn on network card, log in again, pull down 1st update, reboot, log in again, pull down 2nd update, reboot again, log in again, load utility, remove old driver, install new driver, load new software. This is what I got a master's degree for? Not very intellectually taxing, but tedious enough to make me want to jump out my little windows (which really would be more of a dramatic gesture since the drop to the roof is only about 2 feet).

64 laptops total, and I only got half of them done yesterday because the program is freakin' humongous, and apparently no one had let Windows load its updates in about 6 months, so I had to let those run as well.

So, here I am again today, when I would much rather be on my couch, in my PJs watching some cheesy movie on TNT or something until at least noon.

This is what happens when malaria strikes mid-week, forcing you to take to your bed for two days: you end up locked in an empty high school, running endless updates on laptops with an extraordinary number of missing keys on their keyboards. It's like the IT person's 7th circle of hell or something.

Posted at 9:29 AM
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The scourge that is... Advil?

I'm all about keeping drugs out of our schools (to whatever extent that is actually possible), but ibuprofen? When was the last time you heard about a rampant ibuprofen addiction sweeping across the country? Um...never.

According to CNN, apparently, one school believes Advil to be a gateway drug, and they are willing to strip down every 13-year-old girl in their halls to stop the madness.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Let's all hope common sense will lead them to uphold the lower court's ruling that:
...the school went too far in its effort to create a drug- and crime-free classroom. "The overzealousness of school administrators in efforts to protect students has the tragic impact of traumatizing those they claim to serve. And all this to find prescription-strength ibuprofen."

I mean, seriously, can the average 13-year-old girl hide anything in her bra anyway?

Posted at 6:31 PM

My siblings have a knack for producing cute babies, but only my sister's kid could pull off a giant red tutu.

Someday I will use photos like this one to embarrass her, much like I use the story of my now 15-year-old nephew's habit of letting out his imaginary dinosaurs every morning when he was 4 (because while they slept in the bathtub every night, they apparently were never properly toilet trained). This may be why he doesn't invite me to his birthday parties anymore...

Posted at 7:09 AM
So, I've had malaria for the past 3 days now.

O.K., fine, it's not malaria, it's just a cold. But, seriously, when your sinuses are messed up, do you really care what the diagnosis is? No. You just want to take a drill to your forehead and let the pressure out. (Paraphrasing my friend CM there. Pretty accurate, though I'm wondering if a Dyson might be just as effective with much less scarring.)

I'm actually beginning to feel somewhat human again, but just to make sure it takes me twice as long to get over said cold, and to guarantee that I look like the walking dead when I make my return to work tomorrow (actually, later this morning), the pharmaceutical industry made sure that the miracle cold drug commonly known as sudafed (pronounced by cold sufferers as suuuuuu-da-fed, in reverence of it's truly magical effects on general head congestion) completely screws up your sleep cycle. It's no wonder all those meth addicts always have bags under their eyes: they have got to be completely sleep deprived.

And when you finally do fall asleep, when the sudafed is beginning to wear off way too soon, whatever side of your face you happen to be laying on gets completely stopped up, so you have to rollover every 20 minutes or so to relieve the pressure, as gravity moves the crud from one side of your head to the other. Gross, but universally true.

On the plus side, in between naps I've had quite a bit of time to waste in ways that require very little physical exertion, which basically means I've been watching tv, roaming the internet ("surfing" seemed too taxing, and really implies much more direction), and emailing, which is my preferred method of communication this week, as I currently sound way too much like Kathleen Turner.

While catching up on many a blog, I saw a video on vlogbrothers which made me giggle (which incidentally unclogged one of my ears for about an hour...added bonus):

Kind of makes me wonder what I might find if I ever get around to unpacking the boxes that are still scattered around my "office" (aka spare room) 6 months after my move. Of course, I'm not really curious enough to actually go unpack them anytime soon; I figure if I put it off long enough, I'll be saving myself the effort of re-packing them when I move again.

Also on the plus side: I was not in a plane crash today. Nor did I have to decide whether or not to help a serial killer commit suicide so he could donate his organs to a dying kid, like Meredith on Grey's Anatomy.

Makes my life seem very mundane and definitely drama-lite. :)

Posted at 4:09 AM
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Excerpt from Guardian on a new book about Sarah Palin:
"I was disgusted the oil companies did so little for the local wildlife," she says. "So I made it my business to shoot as many polar bears as possible. It's only when a species has become endangered that you can get people to take its survival seriously."

Read the whole thing here.

Hilarious! Thanks to Bookslut for the link.

Posted at 6:58 AM
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Got home today to find an odd envelope in my mailbox. It was from a collection agency. It was a SafeLight Traffic Citation from one of those red light cameras. The date on the citation?


I barely remember last week; how the heck am I supposed to remember what I did a year and a half ago?

Apparently, I can relive the forgotten moment by looking up a video of my violation online, and according to the helpful gentleman that finally answered my call after I spent 15 minutes trying to dial my way through the automated options, I rolled through a flashing red light, going 20 miles an hour.

He also said they sent a notice two weeks after the incident, but when he read the address to me, they had left off my old apartment number. No explanation for that one, since the city always managed to get it right on my registration renewal and my water bill for the 5 years that I lived there.

Anyway, the incident is going to cost me $100; that or I have to take defensive driving. :(

I am not happy.

Posted at 4:14 PM
Anyone ever seen the movie Swingers? Remember this scene:

Well, in a momentary weakness I sent a text last night. Then, at 3:30 this morning, I had to send an email because IN MY SLEEP I thought of about 40 different ways the text could have been misinterpreted, so I had to explain myself:

I meant to say "I keep wondering". I was not ordering you to "Keep wondering". I am not a conceited bitch who presumes that you are kept awake at night thinking about me.
I'm paraphrasing...sort of. I cannot quote directly because I am just too mortified, but the above recreation should be enough to convince you that my embarrassment is completely legit.

There is no question in my mind right now as to why I am currently single. Seriously. Cute, smart boys are like my own personal kryptonite. They take a normally confident, intelligent, independent woman and turn her into an incoherent, needy, bumbling idiot.

From now on, I am only to hang around with ugly, smart boys or good-looking idiots. No more of these melts-you-insides-and-restores-your-faith-in-the-human-race types. No good can come from those. Only pain. Pain and "humiliations galore".

P.S. Today definitely not drama free. 10 out of 12. Not too bad.

Posted at 3:44 AM
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Dear God...what happened to Sting?

So, I'm watching the Golden Globes, and I'm trying to figure out how the formerly sexy blond Sting

from askmen.com

has been transformed into the ragamuffin presenter who, rather disturbingly, resembles Robin Williams' homeless character from The Fisher King.

from lazydork.com

from goldenglobes.org

Talk about ruining the fantasies of millions of women around the world. :(

Posted at 7:09 PM
That's the motto for 2009, folks: 2009 Drama Free (or as my friend JF abbreviated it: DF '09).

In the past, I have been a big believer in New Year's resolutions, but this year I'm forgoing the usual list and adopting a simple motto. If Oprah can do it ("The Year of Hope", or something like that), then why can't I?

You see, 2008 was way too drama-filled for my humble tastes. And, while some day the crazy landlady, or the almost love story, or the holidays from hell might make good fodder for a short story or two, right now they have just left me exhausted and ready for a period of relative peace.

With this in mind, I hereby declare 2009 a Drama Free Zone. (A DFZ, if you will: kind of like the DMZ, only without the danger of malaria, which my friend redheadedali can tell you is one disease I have had a mild obsession with ever since taking a graduate class with a professor who specialized in malaria and shared fascinating malaria facts with us every week. For example, did you know malaria led to the invention of modern air conditioning? Fever-ridden malaria wards, a ventilation system, and ice. I've never checked the accuracy of this particular claim, but I digress.)

One of my beloved co-workers, DM, when hearing this year's motto, pointed out that life in general is bound to have drama, and that trying to avoid drama altogether would be not only impossible, but possibly detrimental to my mental state, since I am bound to fail and failure would only add to the stress of the inevitable drama. She suggested that it might be healthier to try to learn better coping mechanisms to employ when said drama rears its ugly head. (Note to self: Remember to tell DM about this past Friday's discovery of butterscotch schnapps at book club meeting. Could be possible new coping mechanism, but not sure if that was what she had in mind.) My current state of exhaustion makes denial a much more appealing route to take, but DM's wisdom is irrefutable, so I guess I should probably at least consider her point.

Still, I think consciously trying not to add any unnecessary drama to the world and avoiding putting myself into situations that will unquestionably result in drama cannot be a wholly bad idea.

So far, so good. I've managed 9 out of 10 days of this year (Friday was a bit bumpy), and I bet that's way better than the majority of people have done sticking to their more traditional New Year's resolutions. (You know there are thousands of people out there that have already snuck a cigarette or a donut.)

So that's the motto and I guess we'll see how it goes. We'll also see how this blog goes, since this is my third attempt to start one and the first two are pretty much defunct. I am, however, more inspired this year by my friends redheadedali and dallasdiva, as well as many of the other amazing blogs I have discovered in the past year (check the sidebar), so maybe this one will take. :)

Posted at 8:39 AM
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Daisy's Tweets

My Momma Taught Me To Share

Tag, you're it!