Tuesday, September 28

Monday, September 27

Memories of my first Boyfriend

[Memories of my first Boyfriend]

Wow, has it been a long time.

Wanna play The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Did you play the first time?

I did. So did the first boy I ever I "went with" in the 7th grade. Actually, he was in the 8th grade and he was a D&D Dungeon Master. I went to my first dance with him. It would take hypnosis to recover his name, but I can remember him teaching me to roll a character, and I can remember him yelling "you forgot to eat the peanuts!"

I think parts of my path were set right then.

[via Things Magazine]

Saturday, September 25

Beginner Sci-Fi

[Beginner Sci-Fi]

In a conversation earlier today, someone asked whether there were five books that could be recommended as starter sci-fi novels.

That's tricky . . . . when I'm recommending sci-fi it's generally to someone who has already read some.

I came up with this list:
  • The Star Fraction
       — Ken MacLeod
    [because of his cheeky historical threads and his political statements]
  • The Mote in God's Eye
       — Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    [because they explore — among, obviously, other themes — the effects of a species' physical traits on societal structures]
  • Pattern Recognition
       — William Gibson
    [because of his vision of a possible near future — even though it is considered mainstream fiction and not sci-fi it does deal with VR]
  • Ender's Game
       — Orson Scott Card
    [because of his insights into the flexibility of morality — actually I'd recommend the whole original series for the same reason . . . . however, I would not recommend some of his other books or his non-fiction writings because of some blatant homophobic and misogynistic leanings that I didn't see in this series]
  • Dune
       — Frank Herbert
    [just because]
Now, it's time for ice cream.

Tasty Spicy Foodstuffs

[Tasty Spicy Foodstuffs]

I've been lax about regularly going to the grocer's, and have been ordering in a bit too much. Knowing this, I've tried to stock some easy-to-prepare items, but I've also more realistically budgeted. I can order in three times a week if I don't go out as much for lunch at the office.

Tonight, I wanted Indian food. I really didn't think that Raj Darbar would deliver to my apartment: it's twenty-five blocks away and that's generally out of range for most restaurants. But, I got lucky. I just had saag gosht, lamb biryani, naan and raita. There's enough left over for at least two more meals, so I got my money's worth.

Before I ordered, I found something that amused me on their website. Here's their description of Indian food:
There's something mystical and intrinsic about all Indian food. The reverence and thoughtyfulness with which it is prepared. The exotic blend of herbs and spices, and the intricate preparatory methods, are all intended to let the aromas and flavours sink into the fare and your senses. Not only does the food smell or look gorgeous, it fires your appetite until you and your taste buds succumb to temptation. And the seduction is total! Efforts to resist indulgence often prove futile. But you'll feel no remorse because such sublime experiences are a step closer to spirituality.
I don't think it made me feel quite that good, but it was very tasty.

Teledildonics

[Teledildonics]

Ah, technology.

[Somewhat related: Dog Toy or Marital Aid.]

Friday, September 24

100 Favorite Things

[10099 Favorite Things]

In reverse alphabetical order:
  • working someone else’s knowledgebase
  • working my knowledgebase
  • wordplay
  • woolgathering
  • wonder
  • whimsy
  • well-meant advice
  • water
  • watching movies
  • walking in cool weather
  • thunderstorms
       — especially at night
  • texture
  • taxis
  • sunshine
  • summer rain
  • steak
       — thick filet, pittsburgh rare
  • solitude
  • snuggling
  • silliness
  • short skirts
       — regardless of whether they’re fashionable
  • shopping for products
  • shopping for books
  • shiraz
  • sharing
  • sexy shoes
  • sex
  • seriousness
  • serendipity
  • a sense of the divine
  • self-reflection
  • scrabble
  • righteous anger
  • reassurance
       — giving and receiving
  • reading
  • progress
       — however slow
  • possibility
  • portmanteau words
  • people watching
  • pen and paper
  • pedicures
  • pattern seeking
  • overtipping
       — when I feel it’s appropriate
  • new blank notebooks
       — this may be a “possibility” thing
  • naps
  • matching undergarments
  • long showers
  • logic
  • lip balm
  • lighthearted snarkiness
  • laughter
  • knowing looks among friends
  • kissing
  • intrigue
  • the interweb
  • innuendo
  • hot baths
  • honest compliments
       — giving and receiving
  • holding hands
  • having a neighborhood bar
  • having a clean apartment
       — but not, sadly, cleaning the apartment
  • a good, well-deserved cry
       — but only afterward
  • girl talk
  • giggling
  • getting scrupulously clean
  • friendly gambling
  • freshly painted nails
  • fresh’s sugar face polish
  • fresh snow
  • fragrance
  • flirting
  • flagrant disregard for rules, conventions, mores or stupid warning labels
       — but, not when it’s rude or hurtful
  • finding something nice to say, regardless
  • finding new uses for products
       — are you aware, for example, that most shine serums remove stickers?
  • facial cleansing cloths
  • ennui
  • diners
       — especially at breakfast
  • dessert
  • debate
  • crushes
  • cooking for someone
  • contrast
  • comfy clothes
  • coffee
  • code words and odd language patterns that develop among friends
  • chocolate
       — mostly dark
  • cheese
  • chai
  • bourbon
       — mostly neat, occasionally in a manhattan up with extra cherries, extra cherry juice and a shot of bitters
  • body lotion
  • being scared
       — in the scary movie sense
  • being disarming
  • being disarmed
  • bed
       — comfy and pillow laden
  • baking
       — but only in a month with an “r” in it
  • auxiliary brain space
       — my pda, this blog, notes, other people’s brains
  • appreciating aptitude
  • affection
  • admitting to affectation
  • the accomplishments of friends
It's been over a year since I last posted such a list. When crafting this one, it was really hard for me to avoid looking at the last one.

Okay, now it's your turn.

Thursday, September 23

Another Old Habit — Purse Incognito

[Another Old Habit — Purse Incognito]

A few jobs ago, I noticed that some of my coworkers would regularly walk around carrying redrope folders. Initially, I assumed that they were transporting files to-and-from meetings.

Later, I realized that some of these folders contained general daily use stuff: perhaps a few files, but more likely some mints, building badges, cigarettes, a few dollars for the vending machines [if not the whole wallet], maybe an organizer, a notepad, and a few pens. Basically, the redrope served as a purse incognito whilst one was at work. Although it would look odd to run around an office continually carrying one's purse, briefcase or tote — it might look, in fact, like one was getting ready to head out of the office or had just returned from some non-work-related outside errand — one could easily always have all the stuff one needed tucked into a redrope.

Eventually, I realized that you could even leave the office with your redrope and go to lunch or on a little shopping jaunt without anyone realizing that you weren't working. Even if you were found outside the office it was somehow assumed that you were out because of a work-related task.

Yesterday, when I had quite a bit of running around to do, I found myself packing up a redrope for my day. I'd forgotten how purposeful it appeared to use one.

Tuesday, September 21

Old Habit for a First Read

[Old Habit for a First Read]

A long time ago, when I was more prone to wear gobs of dark lipstick, I would leave lip prints at the corners of books as pagermarkers. It was a habit spawned from laziness: it was easier and quicker to do that than it was to find and relocate a bookmark. It was easy to find the last-read page, and the bookmark was never lost. Obviously, this works only one read-through per book, and only when one regularly wears lipstick. Recently, I've been wearing more lipstick [albeit not gobs of it] and I've found myself falling back into this old habit.

Monday, September 20

Detailing

[Detailing]

From the you-never-know-where-the-line-is-until-you-cross-it department . . . .

My complexion has not been up to my standards, and I've been, well, a bit annoyed with it. The tone is blotchy. I have a few blemishes. It's just off. I've also not been as diligent about taking care of it, so tonight I started. And, well, I got a little too into it.

First, I used Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, massaging thoroughly, for about 15 minutes, until I could feel grainy dirt particles under my fingertips. I tissued that off and massaged in Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask and allowed that to dry for about 15 minutes. I scrubbed that off with a damp washcloth and immediately applied Bioré Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser. I rinsed that off and used a Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Nose Strip on my nose and four Bioré Deep Cleansing Face Strips on my forehead, chin and along my jawline. I let those dry for about 15 minutes, then I peeled and rinsed. I then coated my skin with Murad Clarifying Toner. I waited about a half hour before I massaged my face with three scoops of Philosophy Hope And A Prayer Vitamin C Powder that was mixed into about a half teaspoon of Fresh Sugar Face Polish.

It's not like detailing a car: one really shouldn't do all of it at once.

Offering to Kathoga

[Offering to Kathoga]

Today I wish to pledge my undying affection for Wonkette:
Consuming the Next Generation, Round Seven

Offering to Kathoga

Having had his fill of babies, George W. Bush offers up a spare baby to his dark lord: "Receive this baby as yours, Kathoga, that we may have a fruitful harvest."
That is pretty damn funny.

Sunday, September 19

The God Cunt Fuck John

[The God Cunt Fuck John]

Because of Wordcount [mirror] I now know that Crystal is the 4,128th most commonly used word in the English language. Bulletproof is the 79,811th and bra is the 14,084th.

When looking at the About Wordcount page, I found Querycount, which tells us that as of today the top five queries in Wordcount are the, god, cunt, fuck, and john.

I was directed to Wordcount by Jeremy, whose name ranks as the 7,521st most commonly used word.

Saturday, September 18

$ 492.88 Plus International Shipping

[$ 492.88 Plus International Shipping]

Yes, I really, really, really want the Black Ugg Fluff Momma boots. I've been lusting after them. I'd brush them and bathe them and give them a good home. But, if this is the cheapest they can be found, then I'll have to go without.

Fluff Momma

I'm going to the store now to purchase chocolate ice cream. Hopefully, that will make me feel just a teensy bit better.

Friday, September 17

49 Hours

[49 Hours]

This first hand account of a bystander who was arrested in NYC during the RNC is a recommended read.

My Purse is Loaded with Concealed Weapons

[My Purse is Loaded with Concealed Weapons]

I've got the p-500, the djeep/headbanger combo, the pushy, and sometimes, even the trim barrel spring. And, I guarantee that any of those weapons are more dangerous than this one. Dear Sweet Chocolate Jesus, we need to get a fucking grip.

Thursday, September 16

Making a Statement

[Making a Statement]

I've heard and read several fellow Chicagoans wax about voting third party in the upcoming election, all of their musings could be surmised in a single thought: "Kerry will so thoroughly take Cook County that he'll easily take Illinois, so I'll put my vote where it will make a statement."

Is that what you've been thinking? Are you considering making your voice heard by voting for Amondson, Badnarik, Brown, Calero, Cobb, Dodge, Jay, Nader, Parker, Peltier, Peroutka, Templin, or Van Auken?

Well, if you're in Illinois, and you choose to vote for a "third-party" candidate, don't be so sure you'll like the results.

[NOTE: You'd not be able to punch a ballot for most of them in Illinois anyway because only Badnarak and, possibly, Nader will be on the ballot.]

Related: the latest Gallup results show Bush with 52% and Kerry with 45% of likely voters nationwide.

Monday, September 13

Unnecessarily Glib

[Unnecessarily Glib]

Someone just asked how to get over someone.

I glibly responded that you get under somebody else.

Truthfully, I've never really gotten over anyone I've loved.

Places are haunted by memories. I work to cleanse them by having new experiences in them.

So many pet names are tainted. A new voice saying a familiar word in a familiar way can be a disconcerting moodbreaker the first time. It gets easier. I let the discomfort wash over me and let it go. Some pet names [too bizarre to be stated randomly by a new lover] will forever be reserved. And, because we've remained friends they'll occasionally creep out in some drunken long-distance conversation when one of us is excited or flummoxed by something and wants to share.

So much music is associated that for a time I find myself avoiding it entirely, rhythms resemble others, samples infuse.

Someone walks by wearing a fragrance that I can't name but a lover once wore. I remember him brushing my hair. I remember falling asleep on the couch beside him while he read.

In the beginning, such nostalgia can be debilitatingly painful. But, eventually, it is bittersweet. And, later, you can even become nostalgic about those initial sharp pains.

I don't wish to fully get over anything. It is all a part of what life is to me.

Habit becomes Ritual

[Habit becomes Ritual]

Throughout most of last winter and last spring, my schedule held some regularity. I had a regular Monday night thing, a regular Tuesday night thing, a regular Saturday night thing. A regular Sunday morning thing. And so on.

The regular Monday night thing was visiting Boulevard Café on my way home from work. I'd have a bourbon or two and a decaf or two whilst chatting with Joey and Shar-MEE-ahn [a name I couldn't possibly spell correctly no matter how many times I try] and I'd either eat there or get food to go.

I had a largely unproductive [as far as my personal to-do list is concerned] but incredibly helpful [as far as others to-do lists are concerned] day at work today. I got a present from my boss [club box Cubs tickets]. I left on time.

And, without thinking about it, I found myself walking toward the Boulevard Café on my way home.

I hadn't been there since May, but my beverages of choice were remembered and I was filled in on happenings I'd missed.

More than the news, what I'd really missed was the rhythm of my week. I realized that I've been partly out of sorts because I hadn't been maintaining some of my habits. These scheduled events parsed my life in a way that I found comforting, and over the summer, I lost some of that rhythm.

When I was younger, I would have found this want for a set schedule disconcerting — forcing when not feeling an air of unpredictability. Now, although serendipity is refreshing and welcome on occasion, predictability is comforting.

Strangely, though, now I find admitting this disconcerting.

There are some games one can't win.

Sunday, September 12

Starting the Week Off Right

[Starting the Week Off Right]

The laundry service failed to fold any of my pants on the crease again, and considering that I don't even own an iron, they're all going to be screwed up unless I take them in to be ironed. The straightening iron I use for my hair has worked before in a pinch, but I'm thinking that it might be a little extreme to crease 6 pairs of pants with it.

I spent my morning at the office: 3.5 hours there and 45 minutes each way for the commute.

The food I ordered for dinner didn't arrive: the order taker sent the driver to a street 44 blocks west of my street which is particularly fascinating considering that I spelled the street name for her. The bonus was that the driver called me to tell me that he couldn't find the number, so I got dressed, went outside and stood on the street arguing with him on the phone about the fact that we both claimed to be standing in front of my building.

I can't win the football pool for the week: 16 points on Baltimore did me in.

I'm out of wine.

Thursday, September 9

That Beautiful Sack

[That Beautiful Sack]

Did you see that? Did you? When Willie McGinest sacked that punk-ass Colt? That was the happiest I've been all damn day.

$10 002 272 in 47 days 8 hours 9 minutes

[$10 002 272 in 47 days, 8 hours, 9 minutes]

If real money was this easy . . . .

Signifying Nothing

[Signifying Nothing]

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 — Macbeth [V, v, 19]

Alas, so it goes.

Wednesday, September 8

Football & Football Weather

[Football & Football Weather]

It felt like football weather today. I needed a jacket, and I would have been more comfortable in tights and boots than with bare legs in strappy shoes.

It's fitting that the first day the weather made me think of football was also the day that the first football picks were due. Tomorrow is opening day, after all. I took, in order of preference:
  • the Ravens over the BROWNS
  • the EAGLES over the Giants
  • the Seahawks over the SAINTS
  • the Titans over the DOLPHINS
  • the RAMS over the Cardinals
  • the Falcons over the 49ERS
  • the TEXANS over the Chargers
  • the PANTHERS over the Packers
  • the STEELERS over the Raiders
  • the JETS over the Bengals
  • the VIKINGS over the Cowboys
  • the Lions over the BEARS
  • the Jaguars over the BILLS
  • the PATRIOTS over the Colts
  • the Chiefs over the BRONCOS
  • the Buccaneers over the REDSKINS
Wish me luck. Or, tell me how stupid I was to take Kansas City over Denver. Whichever.

Friday, September 3

What Has Been Said

[What Has Been Said]

A chart from the NY Times on words used during both conventions.

The quote for the day:
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

— Theodore Roosevelt in 1918

A quote from the Supreme Court Decision that was censored [but, latered allowed] by the Justice Department in a filing by the ACLU regarding the Patriot Act [via]:
"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."
The Top 100 American Speeches list according to American Rhetoric.

That's it for tonight. Off to bed.

Thursday, September 2

Teh Funny

[Teh Funny]

I forgot how utterly fucking funny Graham Norton can be . . . . this should be a regular Thursday night thing.