Unstructured, Unedited, Random Ramblings
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November 09, 2007

Beauty and (Slaughtering) the Beast
author michael ruhlman caused outrage among many of his readers when he suggested, "... that one of five things you should eat before you die is the meat of a freshly slaughtered animal, preferably having witnessed the slaughter ..." on the outset, that sounds awful and heinous and murderous. but many of his readers took that to mean that you need to take responsibility for the animal you are killing; refusing to do so because you have a choice in this society is an option. but you'll be called names by those of us who think people who don't eat fish with the heads on, don't deserve to eat at all.

ruhlman called that posting "beauty itself," and that belies a more zen-like need to understand where your food is coming from, and at what price. not in money, but in labor, fuel, emotions, and yes, in lives. as a world, we're less in touch with our food supply, and we've given control to others for what we eat. and we have the nerve to be outraged when it turns out that our food supply is tainted??

i have no respect for people who can't even put their hand in a whole chicken without whining about how cold and squishy it is. that is the inside of a formerly living animal. the feet, feathers, head, and viscera have already been removed. what is wrong with people that they think this is okay? how would you feel about seeing other creatures without their limbs or coverings? weird, we humans are.

i did respond to ruhlman's readers, thusly:

is this about wasting food, due to not appreciating it or caring? because that's a heinous sin, to mine eyes. i agree on the need to understand where the food comes from -- an animal dies so you and yours could feed, people labored, fossil fuels burned, etc. not to mention the emotion many people imbue their meals with when they cook it for themselves and for others. shame on you if you prefer to pay others to do the dirty work for you; better to eat what you can bear to sacrifice with your own hands. food becomes elevated when it's seen as precious, and the sharing of it is an act of love and generosity -- i don't mean that in simply the romantic or familial sense. at the very least, be a good, attentive, appreciative eater, so that you can at least please those who did that dirty work for you.

maybe that's why one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to see how many people i can feed from one animal or cut. i'm up to 20 from a single duck, using skin, bones, offal, meat. and i'm still learning. and yes, i learned how to kill the duck and pluck it and evicerate it. it's not something i look forward to doing, nor do i do it every time i serve a duck. but i, at least, understand the cost, and i admire the skill of those who can do it without causing undue suffering to the creature. and shame on me, but i'm willing to pay that person more when my time or temperament are short. the least i can do is not waste any part of that creature, even if the duck may not care if i respect it fully. but i'm human, and *i* care -- and i take my humanity seriously. and i hope any creature who may slaughter me or my loved ones would do likewise.

Perhaps the "beast" is the unknowing, uncaring creature that kills without regard or conscious. Many readers pointed out that they are human and thus are exempt from slaughter. I'd say that makes them more beastly than human ...

December 08, 2006

toro? toro?? toro!!!
Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, and the cry "Tora! Tora! Tora!" became a movie title, but the likes of Jeffrey Steingarten, Drew Nieporant, etc. do think of Japanese attacks when they hear this, but it becomes twisted to the more delicious "toro, toro, toro" meaning the dark red bellymeat of the bluefin tuna, the most wondrous of sashimi delicacies (triple serving, please!). People do marvel at how what was bad is now good, and the enemy is now the ally, etc. I think it speaks of the American people in particular that bygones can eventually become bygones. I only say "American" because this is where I live. I know that other cultures are totally able to put bad stuff behind them. I also know that some people (won't even attribute it to cultures, though we know people make culture) really really like holding a grudge. And while I don't advocate forgetting, I do advocate forgiving. Especially when the food is good!

December 07, 2006

"christmas time is here, by golly ...
... disapproval would be folly ..."

or so the sarcastic carol by tom lehrer goes. most of us love him for his wit and ability to sing through anything, perhaps enhanced by the unbeautiful voice. he's at least on key -- he'd better be. he's the one playing the accompanying piano!

i used to love love love tom lehrer. i also used to enjoy other artists, who produced great work because they were ANGRY. they wrote witty sarcasms and baleful and painful melodies and thrumming base lines and rhythms. they were great ... but alas, success and happiness got to them. happiness is not the muse anger is.

lehrer was angry and he wrote scathing political and social commentary through his songs. but in contrast to eminem, queen latifah, puff daddy, etc., lehrer was still angry, but it wasn't a creative anger. he was angry at the US space program, for instance, and even produced a nice ditty, "werner von braun" which showcased the rather serious security concern in using an enemy science (genius though he was) to create what amounted to big, big thermoses which acted as bombs to catapult good ol' patriots out into orbit. that von braun's rockets and their successors did not fail in orbit outside of what could be reasonably expected by humans means that lehrer was wrong ... but kudos to him for bringing it up and for writing a great ditty.

after that, no more music came from him. i remember a new york times interview where he pounded on the virtual table to complain about the space program, explaining that things and issues were simply not FUNNY anymore. i lost interest in him right then.

the space program, for all it's foibles and follies, ended up being the equivalent of military spending in terms of science. meaning, lots of new and useful things were funded under the auspices of the space program including -- yes -- bombs disguised and used artfully as rockets. the internet itself can be traced back to the need to communicate about said rockets and bombs. (scientists who claim to not accept funding for research to be used in war are shortsighted idiots.)

i know its easy to bitch about someone else's shortsightedness ... that's not the point here. the point is that i love a version of tom lehrer, which is captured in a certain period of time. we are fortunate, in that records were made of lehrer's music and he was hired by the electric company children's TV show to write songs on aspects of spelling and grammar ("silent e" and "L-Y" come immediately to mind).

but what of all us other shortsighted bastards who have no way to preserve a snapshot of our own moments or years of genius? would mozart be what he is without scores? without them, he'd be a historical paragraph, at most, as the man SAID to be the finest composer of his time.

for all you folk who aren't into christmas -- you do realize we're not talking about religion, right? it's a season, a time of year reserved for equal parts spirituality, generosity (in either giving or receiving -- you know that receiving some gifts can be harder than giving them!), crass commercialism, and food / drink. jews here wish others "merry christmas" because who the heck would not wish such things for another? layering on your angst may make for good art, but it can also ruin the party.

lehrer ruined his party for me with his NYT interview. just smile, decline to comment, and it's christmas again -- something to rejoice about whether you believe in the son-of-man or not -- instead of something to endure and ruin.

September 24, 2006

Pearly whites down the pipes???
Everyone likes a pretty white smile. You know what the dentist says... "Brush at least twice a day and don't forget to floss." Sometimes for a special occasion we want those pearlies to shine just a little whiter. And there are many products out there to help.

A young lady was preparing to go to a dance a few days hence and wanted her smile to light up the room so she was using those whitening strips that apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the surface of the teeth to help in this endeavor.

Sitting there with the strips in her mouth, minding her own business while they did their magic, she accidentally swallowed one of the strips. Terrified that she had poisoned herself, nothing would console her till the calls to the doctor's answering service and the poison control center were made.

The professionals were not phased. They deal with much more serious issues than this. They recommended drinking a large glass of water and time would take care of the rest. The doctor called back promptly as well and confirmed that no harm would be done.

She'll have to put up with a bit of teasing for a while. "Hey, bleach your teeth, not your innards, kid." But she'll live.

August 17, 2006

Stupid Timing...
Schools are closed for two-and-a-half to three months over the summer. This is when large scale maintenance can be done without disturbing anyone. Four years ago they finished installing AC in the building. Last year they repainted.

So why the heck did they have to choose the day of our first staff meeting to test the fire alarms???

I get that the maintenance guys need and deserve a summer vacation, but couldn't they have done this testing yesterday?

The boss interrupted herself during the meeting to tell us that the alarm would go off, but we should just ignore it and go on with our meeting. Not easy. That alarm is loud -- as it should be.

After our meeting broke up and we went to our rooms to work, an announcement came over the PA that the alarms would continue periodically throughout the afternoon.

Of course, then there was a good long interval before the first blast -- enough for me to get thoroughly engrossed in a task that required close attention to detail. Needless to say, when the alarm did start blaring, I jumped three feet out of my chair!

Then it kept going off at varied intervals. NOT good for one's concentration. Even the school office couldn't take it after a while. Another announcement came over the PA, "It looks like the alarms will be going on so the office will be closing in a few minutes. If you need something come now or wait till tomorrow."

Sigh... There's not that much time to get ready for the new school year as it is -- especially when
there are two more in-service days and an open house before school starts.

I sure hope this isn't an indication of how the rest of the school year will go...

(To be perfectly honest, I should not be picking on our maintenace guys. It was the alarm company that was doing the testing, but still...)

August 11, 2006

Magic Bullet: Safe or Sorry?
I'm one of many who need to lose weight for my own health, and to live up to my family responsibilities. It is no fun at all to listen to my doctor tell me at every check up to lose weight. I KNOW that. I've been fighting this battle since I was a kid. Measuring food, counting points, exercising my heart out... I've tried it all -- well, almost. I haven't gone so far as to have surgical intervention. That scares me.

I'm doomed to wear glasses or contacts for the rest of my life too because corrective surgery on my eyes scares me as well, but now we're getting off track.

I would love to have a magic bullet that would cause excess weight to just drop from my frame, but... Let's face it, I'm a chicken. Medicines have side effects. How many times have we heard of some miracle drug being recalled after serious and sometimes deadly side effects are reported.People go to Mexico or Canada to get drugs not available here, but it's hard to say if they should or shouldn't. Is the FDA keeping unsafe drugs out, therefore protecting us or are they being too cautious and not approving them fast enough or have they simply not studied all aspects and effects of taking these drugs thoroughly enough?

The fact is, obesity is a serious medical condition and needs to be treated seriously. But should we take a prescription medication for something other than the specific condition it is prescribed for just because it has the desireable side effect of inducing weight loss -- especially if the wieght loss occurs due to nausea and purging if one overeats while on the medication? Bulemia, medically induced or psychological in origin is nothing to trifle with.Yes, I would like to take that magic bullet and wake up tomorrow looking like Christie Brinkley, but I just can't.

I will keep struggling to eat properly (and less) and exercise more. And keep getting back on every time I fall off that wagon.

August 10, 2006

medically inducing an eating disorder
fat people often wonder how they got that way. often, it's not for lack of trying to not be fat. and though you'd think the really big people have to actually work to get that fat, it's not necessarily true.

there's a new drug (which shall remain nameless!) which is used to treat an ailment common among the obese, and it has an interesting side effect -- people lose weight because among other things, it induces nausea if one overeats. can you imagine such a side effect?? why wasn't this just invented out of sheer need to fix obesity?? or is obesity just not enough of real danger (or rather, not glamorous enough, and certainly not a "real" disease in the eyes of most) to create a drug just to fix it? is nausea simply not marketable enough on its own?

there is something called "off-label" usage of pharmaceuticals; basically, this means that people are prescribed the drug for it's beneficial side effects, even if they have no symptoms of the disease or condition the drug was primarily designed to treat. that's like drinking tea for the tannins, sort of. or cake for the air within it. it's not legal really ... it's not ethical. yet would you deprive someone who'd tried to lose weight -- but couldn't -- this drug for it's side benefits? that's like telling a man dying of thirst he can't have watermelon because it's not water and he doesn't need the fiber ...

and really, is it worse to take a drug which can help you lose weight than it is to have surgery to do the same? of course, this drug induces nausea, and there are people who will certainly power-eat through it. but people who've had their stomachs stapled manage to balloon back to their previous weight and beyond ... and they can't eat some things anymore. just look up the case of carnie wilson, who despite many surgeries is still "plump."

yet, is plump bad? does it always cause health problems? some people are more beautiful bigger than smaller, for sure.

by the way, the drug has to be injected; it's not a pill or a liquid or oral ingestion. you have to stab yourself with a needle, you end up vomiting and being dizzy a lot, and it may not even work on you. sounds like all the bad stuff people tell you not to do ... shoot up, purge, be loopy. one researcher we know stated that he believed people would stab themselves in the eyeballs if weightloss could be guaranteed, so desirous are people of becoming svelt. so what's to keep people from obtaining the drug unethically or illegally?

it sounds so bad. still want it? bet you do ...

July 10, 2006

bitchy service to you, too
it seems that some sectors of the food SERVICE industry don't seem to understand the meaning of service. some waiters in some establishments were once known for their wise-cracking ways. these men were frustrated comedians, most probably. anyway, others seem to think that being bitchy or snarly was okay after these men became famous. yeah, well what if you're not funny? what if i don't think you're gently ribbing me? what if it comes off as you're a bitch and deserve to be evicerated for fun?? and what if the customer was stressed? do you think your brand of not-clever bratty idiocy may result in a better tip for you? you're here to serve, not be an ass. and if you end up at some website bitching about your lack of tip, hey, i bet there's a decent chance that you deserved what you got!

May 31, 2006

i love chili cheese fries and so do you
why is it that the stuff we love to eat will likely kill us? we have friends who are newly annointed vegans because of high blood pressure, coronary bypasses, strokes ... all those things that we will likely die from. those of us with immigrant parents remember the stories of how bad it was in the old country, where there was not enough food, there was no money, etc. and now our parents lament that they are not allowed to eat eggs, steak, butter ... because it will kill them. they were healthier when the were starving. having reached the land of plenty, they have to face the irony of dying here in ways they didn't intend. sometimes, god shows his/her sense of humor in nasty ways! and why does that stuff have to taste so damned good??? yeah god, that's funny!!

May 30, 2006

certainty, un
the desire to be "certain" is a motivating force for many discoveries; if we are lucky and observant, we end up being better for our mistakes and our doubts. for while doubts can eat at us and paralyse us, it is not doubt which is evil, but our responses to it. certainty is paired with arrogance, and behaving as if one might have a special kinship with the almighty. of course, we all have special kinship with god, so to behave as if one was "special" is a big no-no, don't you think?

as a cook, i have to be certain of some things, or else people may be repulsed by the food offered, or even sickened by it. in fact, the only time i've gotten sick while eating out is in so-called "healthfood" restaurants, the ones with an aura of holyness because they do not serve trans-fats or "bad qi" spices. to them, food safety and pleasure seems to be secondary to the "virtuous certainty" in eating only whole grains, etc.

besides, if you're so certain of yourself, what happens when you are diagnosed with something like a cancer or a degenerative disease? a very-certain person would likely be more shattered than a person who accepts the uncertainty of life, and strives to become better for the experience. it's said that lance armstrong was always a talented biker, but not a particularly nice person. then he was diagnosed with cancer and it forced him to refocus ... causing him to train harder and become a superlative long-distance cyclist and a better person, in that he works to raise money for cancer research, and seems to be a much better sportsman than most. true, he seems to not be stable in terms of personal relationships, but that's part of his uncertainty and growth process, too.

so, i immerse myself in my and others' uncertainty ... though i AM certain that's a good thing!

May 28, 2006

awkward age
it's kind of embarassing, but there are songs which "hit you deep." mostly, they seem to be about love and loss and other such wrenching teen angst things that frankly, we should have gotten over by now. but those feelings must be primal because they never seem to go away.

but as one gets older, it seems the range of lyrics and songs gets dumber with every pop-princess or boy-group croonings. but then again, there are some outstanding lyricists and melodists who write better than ever. yeah, they tend to be older, no surprise. but they prove that the "awkward age" when angst was everything is still truly a part of us, but our angsts tend to be broader (though no more intelligent).

joe jackson is one of my favorites, and his song awkward age is a lament which starts out as advice to someone much younger, and ends up with himself realizing he's no older, emotionally, than the 15 year old with "a scowl like a klingon beauty queen." hmn, he must've been to the miss klingon competition at dragoncon, maybe??

hey, we get to pick our angsts as we get older -- a definite benefit to aging. :)

it's a pity that most people, despite recent wars and ongoing reports of battles and death, treat memorial day as the "official" start of summer. though in a way, those young men (yes, i know women died too, but throughout history, men have been the soldiers and this day is meant to commemorate soldiers, not victims or supporters ... that's another rant for another time) did die so that the people they communed with could have happy, carefree lives where the start of summer signals the start of some long-awaited happiness or revelry. so maybe having fun is the way to commemorate them best ... but take a few moments to think about those men. none likely wanted to die, and though it's popular to think that death is glorious or better than living a half-life, i don't know that any of us believe it. but the result is something they would have wanted, ultimately.

May 26, 2006

age of consent
what is it with people and birthdays? why is it as soon as the "happy birthday" sentiments are stated, they up and ask you, "and how old are you now?" as if this question which is normally considered rude is suddenly not rude on that person's birthday?

one birthdayperson says stuff like, "it's the X anniversary of by Yth birthday" and let them do the math. another says, "um ... i can't count that high, i lost track, sorry." and yet another says, "wha??? i can't hear you! you young'uns, you know what your problem is? you don't speak UP!" and an older one of us says, "100." or sometimes, "12."

any of those are nice ways of saying, "didn't your mother teach you it's not polite to point?"

myself, if someone wants to know my age, i figure they can look it up. after all, one never values something which comes for free. (and that goes for EVERYTHING, yeah?!?!)

February 26, 2006

Fall of Heros vs. 1980s AmeriPop
At Salt Lake City, the Olympic Committee hired John Williams to create new themes and music ... though we did have a dumb rock halftime show at the closing ceremony, too. Torino didn't seem to budget anything in the way of music writing, opting instead to used canned stuff from the 1980s for when the Olympians walked in, and opera. But both were good, though the Salt Lake City theme will remind me of the fall of Anakin Skywalker, ever more!

By the way, did anyone realize that Mardi Gras is this Tuesday? The closing ceremonies at Torino, being the home of the Shroud of Turin, seemed to reflect this religious party-day in the day before the start of austere Lent. Totally appropriate for an Olympics closing; one wonders what the lives of the Olympians will be like, now that the games are over?

Hollywood's Refreshing Take on the Olympic Spirit
The Olympic Winter Games of Torino are almost over. Interestingly viewership on the traditional medium of television was down, although hits on the TV network Olympic websites are WAY up. Why wait for network primetime coverage when you can get results and highlights online almost instantly?

Nolo contendere... I did it too.

So if I didn't watch all of the wall-to-wall coverage on four different networks, what did I watch? Why, movies about the Olympics, of course!

The Olympics have produced some incredible stories. The theme from Chariots of Fire makes you choke up with emotion as you watch the men of the 1924 British Olympic track team run barefoot down the beach. Dan Janssen in The Dan Janssen Story finally winning a gold medal in his final speed skating race at Lillehammer and looking heavenward to dedicate the win to his sister who had died of cancer. My favorite though has to be the final race scene in Cool Runnings, the story of the Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. The press literally ripped them to shreds -- until they start blowing everyone else off the track.

Rickety old sled, disgraced coach, Jamaican speech patterns and humor; this movie -- based on real events -- somehow embodied the Olympic spirit to me. With a real chance to win a medal, disaster struck when a bolt came loose and sent the sled and crew careening down the run out of control. Realizing that they weren't dead and learning during the course of the movie what it meant to be Olympic champions, they carried their sled to symbolically finish their run.

They may not have won a medal, but in the hearts of everyone who watched them they were true champions. For every Bode Miller or Shani Davis, there's a Jamaican bobsled team. That's what I love about the winter games.

February 25, 2006

Olympic Ice Skating Gala??
WTF is it with the ice skating gala??? Why is this even a good idea? Is there a Bobsled gala? A Curling gala? A downhill gala? Hell no. Not only do we have to suffer through the endless coverage of Ice skating/dancing at the expense of other sports, then we have to suffer even longer through a "Gala" which is just an excuse to show MORE ice skating at the expense of other sports.... Jeeesh Give us a BREAK already.

January 24, 2006

HTML is Fun :-) heheeeheee

January 13, 2006

Dorks are cool
i was like the first one done with bio, ut i hate being the first to turn in tests so i waited and was second. I fell asleep. Finals are soooooooo fun. (rolls eyes) :-)

January 12, 2006

it's the weather, most likely ... but there are more bugs in the house! and if you spray them as you see 'em, or hose down the cabinets or bugbomb the rooms, you end up having to do lots and lots of cleaning and wiping down. argh.

it seems bugs don't hibernate in winter anymore. didn't they used to? or was i simply clueless? i know a guy who feels that bugs move in an "unnatural" manner. they don't, of course. evolutionarily, they are the most successful family in nature in terms of sheer numbers and variety. it's *us* who are unnatural ... but we can generally stomp on 'em. and we are way more creeped out by them than they are of us.

what i really hate is having to rewash all the dishes and pots and sheets and towels ... well, one has to do that anyway, but isn't that supposed to happen in spring?

January 08, 2006

putting stuff online
one wonders as the HTML-bitch calls for content every sunday on the hut, why do we post every sunday? okay, so we don't do it every sunday. sometimes, we don't post till monday, and one week, we were at a con and got home way too late and ended up not posting at all that week. but in general, the admin 'droid calls for content and pokes at us till we produce. we sure hope there are people out that who enjoy our torture ... it's not for nothing that the admin 'droid is "EV9D9"! (yes, she likes to brand our feet and pull apart our entrails, and we think she does it just to hear us make the noise. or maybe we kind of like it???)

January 04, 2006

quizzical formatting
for some mysterious reason, my computer has decided i read japanese or some other 2-byte font, and a bunch of my stuff started showing up in another language i cannot read. i can thus pretend that i am from another galaxy where language is not only unnecessary, but ridiculous.

hey, did anyone notice in "serenity" that they use japanese letters instead of chinese? did the 'verse change in 8 months? or is it another example of "merger" in the future?

maybe my computer is now living in the firefly / serenity 'verse? how did that happen anyway? did the same time-travel gremlin who did that to me also keep changing my preferences so that i keep getting back into "XP" theme instead of "classic," or keeps changing my desktop image???

December 28, 2005

I'm a big nerd, too!
"I'm a big nerd.

I don't want to be excited about Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, I really don't. Lucas' last two movies have dulled what was a bright spot of my childhood.

So why am I watching the old movies (yes, even Episodes I & II), reading Labyrinth of Evil and playing Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?

Somehow excitement about Star Wars stuff is just hard-wired into me, no matter how much Jar Jar you throw in."

That's from an amazon.com reviewer who calls himself Mark Anderson. I agree with all his sentiments (though personally, I liked both Ep 1 and 2 -- have no idea what people were looking for in those films! Realistic expectations help, of course). I actually liked Ep3 least out of all the prequels. And I'm one of those annoying people who doesn't have a "favorite movie" in that I consider them all together as one movie ...

He was lauding the Clone Wars cartoons, and yes, the Star Wars universe is a bunch of cartoons (think about it ...). Yes, the Clone Wars 'toons are awesome -- George had the audacity to be "surprised" at how well they were received.

George is SO lucky that we are big nerds, too.

December 27, 2005


December 26, 2005

Toasty Dumplins
Owww i made soup and it had dumplins and they wer really hot and i burned my tounge OWWW But the soup was good

They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard!!
We haven't blogged in a long while ... you know how it is. School starts, companies merge, new jobs for many ... and then there is the web with its sundry diversions. Here's one we all love:

"They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!"


And sorry, we'll be back soon!

June 10, 2005

vegetarian duck
i had vegetarian duck for dinner tonight. i've since learned there are recipes for vegetarian ham, vegetarian roast beef, vegetarian chicken ...

WTF? if you want to eat meat ... just eat meat!

May 27, 2005

where's love now?
we've seen Ep3 multiple times now ... admit it, you have! but you sort of have to because there's just so much going on. impossible to track the lightsabre battles the first time, or to see grievous going from humanoid to insectoid.

but a surprising thing happened when we saw the film again and again ... of course, many of us had read the novelization or were in the midst of it, so we had the benefit of the extra info that had to be chopped off the film. but the love stories here started to get to us.

the love between anakin and padmé was obvious. can you love someone so much you'd sell not only your soul but the souls of everyone in the galaxy? and how about the love of anakin and obi-wan? they'd struggled to become partners rather than master and padawan ... but sith happened and anakin's teen rebellion crap gets in the way. or the love of bail organa for his wife, that he would adopt a child with a terrible secret, because they couldn't have one of their own (attempting to nearly killed breha).

or the love of obi-wan for anakin and for the force, so that he'd lay down his life for the son of the man who had betrayed his love.

you know what was odd? members of the audience actually cried. one guy sobbed through the end credits! oh to be such a fan! we hope that guy writes fanfic ...

May 21, 2005

one world, one release
this week, Ep3 was released to the world. imagine, george lucas goes through the trouble to create the "one world, one release" initiative and people in other countries still say stupid things like "it just came out here, expect you've had it in the US for months now." they don't read or care. they are fucktards. ah well, at least they contributed to lucas's weath by seeing the movie!

March 24, 2005

no love here!
so you're having "fun" in the biblical sense, and it suddenly hits you that you might be in ... love? now, this wasn't supposed to happen! you're meant to be f***buddies for the fun of it. where does love fit into this?? it's unwelcome, there to make things complicated and ... 'gooey'. Eeeuw.

March 12, 2005

More computer blues
Computers hate me!

Oh, I know they're inanimate objects, but that does not change the fact that they are capable of affecting their users.

Here's the deal: We got new software and upgraded computers that could run the new software, but since the hardware was "salvaged" some components were not quite up to the job. One of the modules of the software required access to the Internet. I only have large enough blocks of time to use this module one day of the week, although I can slip in a quick task between other things -- IF the Internet connection is working. For the last few weeks it hasn't been, at least not consistently. Some days it does work, but I have no time. Other days it doesn't work and I have the whole day set aside.

Is it any wonder I'm ready to take a sledgehammer to it???

The last time the connection went out, our tech support people, who also do contract work out of state, were out of state. A whole week's worth of in betweens shot. The tech finally moseyed in at the end of the day on a Friday. It took him a matter of minutes to diagnose the problem. The computer needed a new network card. He was able to fix the problem temporarily, and even told me which cables to unplug and plug back in, but only replacing the network card would fix the problem for good. The only problem was that purchasing a new network card along with each and every service request in the whole building had to go through "channels" to the business manager who would then call the techs out. He did say that he would tell the business manager about the need for a new network card though.

The fix lasted all of maybe two days -- and NOT the days I had free to work on specialized tasks. So another service request went through channels and another totally unproductive week went by. When the tech finally did waltz in, again on a Friday, but this time in the middle of class, he did have the new network card. Installing it however meant not being able to use that computer for over an hour during a high use time.

Meanwhile, I was engaged in other research on the other computers available to me and printing the results out on our other printer. The simple act of adding paper to this machine apparently offended its sensibilities and it jammed. Being an older printer it was not the most user friendly. There was no simple way to remove the paper jam. Needless to say, I took advantage of the service tech's presence and asked him to deal with it. He did, but it took more than twenty minutes and he had to take the whole outer case of the printer off to do it. He was also good enough to test it to be sure that it worked properly before he left -- maybe to save himself and me another service call?

Anyway...my computer woes should be over -- so long as my Internet connection works. I have a lot of catching up to do!

February 21, 2005

Put down the vinegar, take up the honey jar ...
So... there we were on our last morning at the indoor water park resort. Two of us were already dressed and packing up to go home while the third was in the shower. The fire alarm went off -- for the second time during our visit. At least this time we weren't sound asleep. Still, the wet one had to throw on clothes and cover wet hair with a hood and we had to grab coats, shoes, purses and room keys and evacuate to the parking lot. This was not too terrible an inconvenience for us since we were more or less properly attired, but for others it was a mite cold. It was February on the shores of Lake Erie; it was still fairly early in the morning so some guests were still in their PJ's: it was a water park resort and the park was already open so some guests were already in the water when the alarm rang. Needless to say, it was a mite cold for the sleepyheads and the water-babies who had to hurry outside inadequately attired for the wintery conditions.

On the bright side, the local fire department responded promptly with five trucks to investigate the alarm. It turned out to be a legitimate call out. There was smoke coming from the far end of the hotel from where we were staying where construction on a new spa facility was underway. The smoke did get into a number of rooms on that end of the building. I think it was good to know that the hotel's alarm system functioned properly, but others were less than impressed.

After about fifteen minutes, guests in our end of the building were allowed to return to our rooms to go about our business. In our case as well as several other guests, that business was to check out because our visit was over. We finished packing up and returned to the lobby to check out. The bill had been slipped under the door early that morning, but an express check out option was offered. I had some questions for the desk staff so I didn't opt for express checkout -- then.

By the time we returned to the lobby, a long line had already formed, but already at the desk was one extremely irate guest. He was literally screaming at the desk clerks about the whole fire alarm fiasco. He went on and on about having to take his bare-legged, barefoot children out in the extreme cold. How could they expect such a ridiculous thing? No, he did not want to speak to a manager. "I'm talking to you!" He totally brushed aside the desk clerk's comment that she did not appreciate him speaking to her like that. He wanted her to give him satisfaction; to give him an adjustment on the bill for his stay to compensate for his family's suffering. He stalked off only to return less than five minutes later carrying his bare-legged daughter, butting in front of others already at the desk and plopping the crying child right onto the desk and starting his rant again with his wife right behind him spouting off about asthma attacks and also demanding compensation. Didn't they give a hoot that the properly functioning alarm system allowed him to get his family out of a potentially deadly fire???

At this point, I got totally disgusted. Who knew how long this idiot would go on ranting? I didn't want my Wooklets to see his idiotic behavior and think that it was anything like a proper way to handle the situation. I just wanted to get out of there. I left the line which was not moving anyway because all three of the desk clerks on duty were trying to cope with this idiot. I took my bill with its express checkout option back up to the room. The cleaning crew were already there so I explained what was happening downstairs, signed the form and gave it to them to give to the desk when Ghengis Guest had gone, an asked them for a recommendation for where to go for breakfast. They could not have been sweeter and more copperative. They took the form and gave me perfect directions to the local breakfast eatery and we were out of there.

That idiotic loudmouth had ruined what had been a really nice mid-winter getaway up to that point. I was fuming all the way to breakfast, which was not the example I wanted to set for my kids. I kept thinking, and told the Wooklets, that if he had just made his request politely and spoken to the manager when the desk clerk had offered, all could have been resolved without this huge, unpleasant kerfuffle. Breakfast put us all in a better frame of mind and we were ready to make the drive home.

After recounting our adventures and Ghengis Guest's antics a few times to family and friends, it was time to let the whole unpleasant mess go. But no tale is complete without its epilogue. A few days after arriving home, a letter from the resort hotel arrived. In the letter, the management expressed its sincere apologies for the inconvenience of the whole fire alarm incident and even included a 50% off voucher for one night's stay at a future date of our choosing. What a nice gesture. Especially since it was completely unexpected. It all goes to prove that honey will get you a lot farther than vinegar...

February 19, 2005

Something a little more exclusive...
On a recent trip to LA, I took an plane (the airline will remain mameless and I am united in that) that has recently undergone a major change in their airplanes configurations on cross country routes. They have retained the 3-class system (First, Business, Coach/Economy). The "haves" are seated way in the front, and the seats can be *very* expensive (I think they bring in Eviair to breath ...). The "paid next to nothing for my tickets" are crammed in the back like sardines, but the tickets are way affordable.

Well, that is what it looks like from the outset, anyway. In reality, they have used over half the main cabin for business class now, so you would think they have squeezed the economy to accomodate this. But no. They actually have increased the space between seats in economy class, too. This was a nice surprise for a tubby butt like me. It made the trip much more pleasant than I had anticipated. Thanks un-named ariline. I hope you remain United in continuing the good service.

Lard Butt

January 06, 2005

to be a chain smoker, one MUST start early!
the doctor said to me this morning, "well, everything seems okay. i mean, why shouldn't it be, it's not like you're a chain smoker!" and i replied, "i'm too old to be a chain smoker now ... if i wanted to be, i should have started smoking when i was young."

he and i discussed how when you are younger, you are more bored, are more wrapped up in yourself, have more energy and fewer brains to get wrapped up in what is actually a rather disgusting thing. anyone who tries smoking later in life would gasp, cough and holler, "what the F#&%????? why would anyone do this??" which is why it's important for the tobacco industry to target the young and immature and the non-confident.

let's face it, when you are young, you will do ANYTHING to be cool, even breathe in carcinogens and particulates that mke it hard to breathe. you would also squander money, which is why the entertainment industry deliberately targets teens -- they don't make a lot of money, but boy do they spend it on frivolous things.

so now i am older and wiser, and thus am unqualified to start smoking. for those who like the look of cyd charisse in that "broadway melody" piece in the movie "singing in the rain" or any of the filme noir seductresses with cigarette holder and smoke curling sexily out of their nostrils, you had better have started at a younger age ...

then again, that didn't sound so sexy, eh? and it smells bad and if you don't smoke, could you kiss someone who did? nipsy russell had a PSA where he rhymed that he'd sooner drink out of an ashtray than kiss a girl who smokes ... of course, the antismokers created really boneheaded campaigns by having a 14-year-old brooke shields give "testimoney" (deliberately sic) about how she felt about smokers. why would anyone listen to her at that stage? cult of celebrity, i guess.

and there was that great south park episode where some dorky song and dance troupe did a "don't smoke, be cool" presentation. "if you don't smoke, you can end up like US!" they crowed. next scene, the foursome behind the school trying desperately to smoke to avoid a dorky fate. "this sucks, but we have to do it or we'll be dorks" is the message.

anyway, i'm too old for chain smoking. thank goodness ... as if i need other things going wrong with my body at ANY age!

January 03, 2005

damn you, PJ
Some of us at the Hut have trouble watching Lord of the damned Rings because the actual geography of New Zealand co-stars -- it features prominently -- and our heads don't stay in Middle Earth. It's always, "hey, that's near the Rumball-Smythe family farm!" and "did they use the dog helicoptor for that shot or a fertilizer cropduster?" And the always popular, "Hey, there's the divot in the grass where we dug the hangi in '97!" A big tourism advert was all it was... For us, a combination of family album and a game to see how much of the scenery we could associate with someone we knew. The answer? All of it ... NZ is a small country and not only does everyone know everyone, but we know where it is, too!

So why did the Kiwis complain when the government voted to spend NZ$3 million on piggyback publicity for tourism to NZ? People whined that tax money should not go toward promoting a film. Are they idiots? Guess what the biggest money-making industry is right now? That's right -- tourism.

January 02, 2005

merry ^%*)(&^ xmas and a ##$^%* new year!
one can get really grumpy during the holidays for a variety of reasons, but for me, it's always the same thing. holiday cards! they drive me insane! for one, you NEVER get back as many as you send out. for another, if you don't hand-write something on every stinkin' card, it's deemed a throwaway. so why do we do it? just to get "credit"? i suspect that's it, as in, "nyah, i sent you a card and you didn't send me one, so now you owe me!" it makes me so grumpy that it ruins all the days of the holiday. maybe that's why i work in a field that is busy during the holidays, since i'll be grumpy about it anyway.

i just spent the last two days writing "new year's cards" because i was late for christmas. again. and i do NOT want these to turn into "chinese new year's" or "easter" cards as they have in past years. or like last year, when i wrote out the cards and even stamped them ... but they didn't make it to the mailbox -- i was cranky for no "credit" at all!

resolution for the new year -- cut down the card list to those you like. and send you cards. wait, and clients. and people who mentored you and to whom you owe fealty. and friends with kids because they are crazy busy. crap, i guess i'll be grumpy again next year ...

December 25, 2004

i'm dreaming of a lonely christmas
Sometimes, a Lonely Christmas is just the right thing. I often wish for one when things go awry, like when dinner becomes a bigger deal than planned or necessary, there are children present who only eat one or two things (so they have to be added to the menu), giftwrapping has become a huge time-consuming chore, garbage-day after the holidays means the Jawa Sandcrawler-sized vehicle has to come back 5 or 6 times just to deal with your block, you smile so much your face hurts, and the effort just makes a person cynical. Hard to remember the meaning of these holidays when everyone is trying so hard to be nice and perfect.

So it's not so bad when a snowstorm comes and delays leaving town by a day. Or when someone in the family gets sick and you have to cancel all social obligations ("don't want to spread it, might be the flu!"), the car breaks down and you're forced to stay put for a day or so, the love of your life makes break-up noises. I've learned to see these situaations as a gift/message from God to "Slow your ass down, or you going to die!" (Okay, so it's a mix of God, Rodney the Guinea Pig, and Jacques Torres.) Whatever, listen and enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

December 17, 2004

The Holiday Season
In an effort to make sure everyone is politically correct and that everyone can celebrate the holidays they way that they want to, is this society getting more exclusionary? Definately. I think the great melting pot has been left to cool and is seperating. With Channuka, Christmas and newcomer Kwanzaa we are creating fractures where none was neccessary. Or we could just roll all holiday celebrating into one and use a stupid new term, like Chirkwannica... which I loath... Why can't each person celebrate the way they feel is right without worrying if he or she is being politically correct? Because society is stupid. School boards are so scared of being sued that they have banned any form of holiday songs to be performed at their schools. Come on people... get a grip.

December 13, 2004

bah humbug
yeah yeah, i know it's popular to decry humans for not getting the christmas spirit, but the bahs i have are just the frenetic lemmingness of humans in general. we get told to shop, we shop. eat too much food, we do so gladly. watch a bunch of padded fairies bash each other on a gridiron field, and we do so with gusto!

is this bad? obviously yes, and no. we are social, tribal creatures and we like it like that. like in that scene in "Life of Brian" when the masses come and see Brian naked after a night with Judith. He tells them, "You are all individuals!" and they reply in unison, "Yes, we are all individuals!" Except for one guy, played by George Harrison (i'd been told) who says, "I'm not." And they all shush him.

so enjoy christmas, however you prefer -- as a lemming, or as someone who just likes the frenetic pace of the closest americans have to a "holiday season." other countries get the whole month of august off, or the equivalent. americans, at the very most, get 14 holidays from the official work calendar, which puts us at the bottom of nearly all nations. most of us get about 10. we get much fewer days off than even the supposedly industrious japanese.

no wonder we're so psycho and do the bah humbug thing on a normal basis. the cure? take a nap, have a cookie, get over yourself. happy humbug!

December 03, 2004

is it safe?
even if you haven't seen "marathon man" you will remember two things about that movie ... one was dustin hoffman running through the desert ... its actually more important for what happened behind-the-scene: to prepare for the scene, the method actor actually did run around till he was sweaty and exhausted and said, "okay, i'm ready" and sir laurence olivier reportedly said, "Why don't you just ACT???" the other scene is the one at the dentist ... the sadistic dentist (i know, that's kind of redundant) is drilling madly, yelling, "IS IT SAFE???" enough to put people off of dentists, but then again, maybe that's redundant.

i have not had a filling in years, and most of my molars have been filled with the old fashioned amalgams -- the silvery/black stuff. these days, there are white fillings and cosmetic coverings. but since i already have a mouth full of these, a cavity that showed up would be filled with the old fashioned stuff ...

i did not want pain killers for a filling, but that seemed to make the dentist nervous. so i let him have his way with me. didn't feel a thing, but i didn't feel a thing for another 4 or so hours either. i hate that.

hey, if you chew foil with this amalgam in your mouth, you get a redox reaction going and it transfers electrons, like a battery. that's why it hurts to chew foil -- you're actually generating electricity via your fillings!

i'm loopy from novacaine ... wtf??

November 27, 2004

loaves and fishes, terrorism hints
when you are a good cook and a decent person, you enjoy the challenge of feeding a lot of people for a little money. it seems something like magic, of course ... but more importantly, it makes others happy and you look like a champion. it helps if you have the "blessing" of talent, of course. but it helps even more if you have help!

but it IS exhausting, and sometimes a nap is needed amidst all the activity. how does when take a nap when the place is full of houseguests? techniques which sometimes work:

* this ons is a favorite of several dads and moms i know -- invite tons of people, then sneak out and take a nap for up to an hour. no one will notice. but be sure to get up in time for dessert, or people will definitely start asking where you went and "sorry, line for the bathroom" thing doesn't work after that amount of time. if you are discovered asleep by the guests, feign a non-contagious illness.

* send guests out on a unique and fun foray, distinctive of your region. so if you live in vermont, that could mean going to one of the homey basket factories; new york, send them out shopping in manhattan, or maybe a broadway play. have something urgent come up and stay home and nap. get up in time to make hot cocoa for the freezing, tired masses. you'll be in a better mood than when they left.

* take help that's offered, even if the person offering is not any good at what they are offering to do. if that's the case, say something like, "that's sweet of you, but you know, everyone loves that string bean casserole you make, can you do that instead of the beef wellington?" or anything else which can be made with canned, prepared food that is hard to screw up. or just take what's offered and when it's served, be sure to loudly credit the donor so everyone knows it's not your fault, and don't sweat it. as the party progresses, lop off bits and toss it out or hide it so it looks like it's being consumed.

* be strategic about what you spend your time on ... meaning get others to help with decorations, table settings, cleaning, peeling carrots, wrapping gifts, etc. yes, it means you have to make the effort to be organized, and yeah, you can do it better yourself. but if you are frazzles by it all, no one will be your friend. and if you have friends, you can confess you need to lie down for an hour, would they mind finishing up all the crudites and stuff? and be sure to learn to say "thank you" in a genuine and effusive tone.

i'm sure you can think of others. enjoy the holiday season, and learn to love the guerrilla in you!

November 22, 2004

Broken Hearted
Let's say one was seeing someone and was deliberately casual about it ... and let's say one held all the cards in this relationship. You know this person cares for you more than you care for him or her. But then the other person finds someone else to get serious with. It's not that they want to break up or change the relationship with you, but suddenly, you aren't the obsession you were before.

Does one have the right to be broken hearted?? Or is that simply the roll of the dice?

November 11, 2004

Asking For Help
There are people you'd prefer just asked for he help they needed directly, rather than hinting at it or hemming and hawing till you end up offering because it's obvious they are botching it all up. Agony watching them suffer ... I wish I was more sadistic so I could enjoy this.

November 09, 2004

I'll Take the Compliment Backhand
This woman seemed to find stuff I'd created really good, but you'd think it would kill her to admit it. She came up to me and asked if I was a "professional"? When I replied to the affirmative, she sniffed and said, "Well, THAT explains it!" and turned heel and left.

Often backhand compliments are just as satisfying to receive. I mean, she didn't have to give it to me, but it was killing her to NOT say something, as much as kill to say something nice. I win, either way, eh?

November 02, 2004

The Subcommittee of Solitude
Hiya, SuSu here for today's rant.

Often, big committees are formed to "include" everyone who wants to help, especially if the head is not very good at anything. One will appoint people to be delegated to do the job, so you end up with many subcommittees with the hope that everyone will do their subcommittee's job diligently and on the appointed day/event/etc. everyone's parts will become a whole.

I am on food subcommittee for a big buffet dinner. The chairman was so incompetant that we immediately split into three autonomous subcommittees: food, decorations, entertainment. We shoved the chairbitch toward each other, not wanting to have anything to do with her. The poor decorations head got her because the chairwoman was simply unable to do or understand anything! She couldn't even blow up balloons! I couldn't convince her that for a party, we needed AT LEAST 3 napkins per person, and her response was "Are people slobs???" Well, yeah, the slobs are the ones who use only one napkin for the whole evening. What's the problem, napkins are CHEAP! So are plastic forks. And cups. She actually allocated ONE PER PERSON of each for a four hour party, from cocktails to dessert. And NO plates for appetizers. I could not believe she told people if they threw out their cup, they were not allowed any more drinks!

Okay, so the subcommittee met at a restaurant so we wouldn't tip off to the Incompetent Chairidiot (IC) that there was a meeting she might want to impose her presence. We had a budget of $XXX to feed up to 100 people, and I carefully allocated a fifth of it for napkins, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, etc. that the "decorations committee" would not be providing. We also developed a menu that would have no input from the IC. By the way, she's one of these fashionably skinny people who doesn't eat and doesn't understand why anyone would want to eat...

Come the day of the big event, she flatly told us, "Food and entertainment is okay, but people really need the impact of the decorations to get the party going. It's the most important thing!" Yeah, she learned the hard way. I suppose if you show up to a party with no food and nothing entertaining, the decoration might become important ... but the best parties tend to highlight food and entertainment, no? When's the last time you went to a party and said, "The decorations were awesome!"

So we became the "subcommittee of solitude" out of choice. It also meant that we got all the credit due to us because the IC was too mortified to come near us, we who like to eat. We also were mean to her to make sure she never wanted to work with any of us ever again.

It's been over a week since the event, and she hasn't shown herself since. Which makes the subcommittee of solitude VERY happy!

October 28, 2004

Old equipment sucks...
Old accountants, old adminsistrators, old computer techs, old machines too...

Just when you think you have eliminated all the bugs from your new software and hardware installation, another one crawls out of the woodwork. This time it's the old printer that wasn't replaced when the new computers and software were installed. Barcodes have to be printed with a laser printer, but the one we have and are stuck with is a dinosaur that uses a big, honkin' toner cartridge. The problem is that this dinosaur isn't feeding the expensive label stock correctly. It's skewing so that the labels arent staying within the cut lines on the stock. AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH ...

It's probably a relatively easy fix; maybe even just cleaning the thing. But even if it turns out to be more involved like replacing the pickup rollers, it's not impossible -- unless you have to jump through administrative hoops of red tape to get the request for the techs approved.

Sigh... If Jedi Archivist Jocasta Nu had to deal with this, she wouldn't have to worry about Vader killing her as he swept through the Temple. She would have died of a nervous breakdown long before...

October 26, 2004

allergy season? or the flu?
flu season has started and there aren't enough flu shots to go around ... having become an addict to the "shot" i am unsure what i'm supposed to do now other than become a hypochondriac in thought and in deed. what about health or food workers? what if they don't get flu shots? and what if you have to shake hands with someone and they aren't compulsive hand washers? and allergies seem to be really bad this year. my eyes get all stinging, nose is runny, and coughing like heck. do you remember a dimetapp and robitussin ad that read "is it a cold? or an allergy?" how the heck would i know? my bones feel all achy too, but is that because of massive physical exertion last weekend, or because i'm sick? i think everyone should work from home and become keyboard sanitizers. i won't even use a public phone anymore for fear of getting sick. this sucks.

what's worse, people won't do anything to help keep the diseases at bay. teachers tell me that parents can't afford to take a day off work so they dump the kids at school and drive away fast, hoping the school nurse will care for the sick kids. hey, remember when the SARS virus was running rampant? parents in asia, knowing that schools would check for fevers (the only real early indication of the disease, what a bummer) would stick their kids in a COLD SHOWER and try to lower their body temps so if the kid was indeed sick, they'd stay in school for that day instead of the parent having to deal with the illness. people are massive dumbasses and cannot be relied upon to deal with issues of public health on their own.

maybe we should just saran wrap kids so that they don't infect anyone else and don't get infected. or maybe just do what australians do and teach via radio. who says the internet is unhealthy? ha, tell that to people who venture out unprotected ...

October 21, 2004

Telephone Technical Support SUCKS!
Yeah ... I'm in one of those moods again. The new software that has been giving me fits is finally installed on our computers, but it is not what it's cracked up to be.

First of all, it didn't arrive when we expected it to so schedule changes made to accomodate a weekend installation were useless.

Second, our contract IT guys took three days to get it completely installed and printers configured to run with the sortware -- but then they bugged out of town for 5 days to do work for another of their clients in Florida. One tech even told me he was taking his surfboard with him in case there were good waves ...

Third, the Web-based training that I was supposed to get is majorly inconvenient. I basically have to do it on my own time just so I won't be interrupted, but I have to wait for some packet of info to arrive from the company then schedule the training.

Fourth, while some of the functions are pretty intuitive and we were able to figure them out on our own, some of the most important functions are completely incomprehensible.

Fifth, software user manuals are not written in English. You might be able to read the words, but there is no way you can understand what they are telling you. You know there has to be a way to do what you need to do because the crappy program this new software was supposed to replace could do it -- in some torturous way, but this new one isn't letting you do it.

Which brings me to the title of this blog ... The incomprehensible User's Manual has a toll-free customer service number on it, but when you call, you first have to plow through an automated menu of options and then get stuck on hold because "We are currently experiencing a high call volume. You may continue to hold by pressing --- or you may contact technical support by sending an email to technical_support@ blahblahblahcorp.com and you will receive an answer within one business day."

I was stuck on hold for 20 minutes before I had to hang up to attend to other duties and never spoke to a tech support person. Is it any wonder that I'm in a foul mood?

Heaven and/or Hell
Is there such a thing as one hell or one heaven? It would seem that humans being what we are, that there should be different heavens or hells for the many different people who have certain likes and dislikes. The idea of there being just one hell means that all of us would find it equally distasteful, and yet that's not imaginably true. Likewise for heaven; essentially, one man's heaven is another man's hell, and vice versa.

South Park points out that for Sadaam Hussein, hell is not hell. Satan is his bitch and he's not exactly suffering. Sure, he wants to get back to earth to rule the world, but that's not exactly the same as hating hell. In fact, he's eventually sent to heaven to hang out with Mormons -- his version of suffering. Little Nicky allowed for Pete and John -- who helped the son of Satan in his time of need and thus preserved the balance of good and evil -- to go to hell when they died. They live in Nicky's old room and have a rocking good time, so they went to heaven, in their view. Heaven as depicted in the movie was rather scary, full of squealing, sexy angels with Valley Girl accents. Ugh.

So the conclusion is that even if heaven and hell might be two separate regions, there'd be a lot of overlap, like a spectrum. It might not even be all evil on one side and all good on the other... it might actually be a circular or spherical place, with pockets of stuff that some people would find really insufferable vs. stuff they'd find remarkably blissful.

Then again, humans do get bored of either too much of a good or bad thing. So one can argue that when we die, we change to a state where we do not get bored. Thus, universal suffering or elation can be possible if that happens. So much for free will ... but then that's hardly fair to make our immortal souls suffer for a temporary state of humanness. God knows we are imperfect, and we suspect he doesn't mind that we are. I doubt the Almighty would hold a grudge against any one of us for being pissy bitches while in human form. It's like getting mad at a dog for dumping on the carpet -- you can get mad, but it's not reasonable for you to be mad. In fact, it's downright bitchy, as besuits our human natures.

Um, so that means neither heaven nor hell can exist, and free will is a side effect of being human. This is probably what really makes Dogma's Bartleby REALLY mad ... we don't get pinned for our crimes because we simply don't know better. He, as a watcher/angel does know better, so he's denied the presence of God, i.e. -- Heaven, for all eternity. Humans can do much worse than he'd ever done, and we're off free. Talk about a raw deal!

It's the trade-off for not really knowing about the Divine ... it's part of our free will thing. Okay, so it's still a good deal; we should be content with knowing that we're God's favorite kids. :)

October 20, 2004

Cure-all for Bad Examples
One wonders, is it possible to set a bad example? If you behave badly, and you mortify your kids (like perhaps you are one of those jerk parents who get all pissy at your kids' little league games?), that's like a guarantee that your kids will end up being not like you at all. No kid thinks it's cool for their parent to interfere in their lives in such a public way. No kid thinks a parent who is too cool to care is a good person, either. You know the type ...

If you "live in a glass house and throw stones" that means you are a jerk as well as an idiot. The saying doesn't make much sense at face value, but its obvious provenance is the gospel references to a woman about to be stoned for some crime ... Christ tells the crowd, "Let he who is blameless cast the first stone," and supposedly every person in the crowd waits for someone else to toss that stone. The glass houses reference is more individual, in a way.

I know one elderly woman who is a really miserable so-and-so. She cannot say anything good about anyone else -- it would ruin her reputation for "having exacting standards." In fact, her habit of denigrating everything to demonstrate her superiority just makes her a pain in the ass whom everyone avoids. She is very much alone at social gatherings, but she acts like it would mortally wound her to say a kind word to anyone, either below or above her. Another woman, who is no saint herself but at least is nice about it, says of biddy number one, "I'm glad my sense of self-worth is not based on putting others down."

Maybe its a remnant of yuppiedom. You remember those materialistic, hard-working, hard-playing, hard-to-like people? They said things like, "I am the type of person who puts my goals, my desires, my needs first" as if that was a good thing. A corollary, "I am a loser and really boring and I am a pariah to the people around me or who are required to love me, but I don't really care." We're all happy the yuppy era is over, even if we have to survive with people who are like that anyway.

Yeah, I'm mad at someone who criticizes me and my efforts. That person is really terribly guilty of stuff I'm accused of, and it's a case of "the pot calling the kettle black" to be frank. I, like the old biddy I described above, am relieved my sense of self has nothing to do with where I stand relative to others. I like to think I'm not a yuppy, though.

Aw heck, I should do what Isaac Asimov purported to do when he got a nasty letter from a "fan" -- he'd write a long letter decrying the person, answering him point-for-point, writing awful things about the writer's mother, etc. He'd seal and address the letter, put a stamp on it ... then tear the letter up into shreds so it couldn't be accidentally mailed. The stamp part was essential -- how else could he feel that he sent the letter? But because most of his bile was vented as he wrote and muttered to himself, he didn't have the energy or the desire to repeat the performance. If ever he did though, he'd lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

Email makes it too easy to send rants without thinking and causing a great deal more harm than good. What's the value of making the other person feel bad? A stamp ... my email account for a stamp!!!

October 18, 2004

Vader's Little Shop of Horrors...
My face is fat. No, I am not lamenting about the fact that I need to lose weight in order to come closer to the common perception of physical attractiveness. I do need to lose weight, but that is beside the point at the moment. Perhaps I should have said my face feels fat. And you probably know the feeling too. At my last dental checkup, the torturer -- I mean dentist -- said that one of my teeth had developed a crack and would require a crown.

I do not tolerate dentists' ministrations very well since a traumatic experience as a child. If any significant work needs to be done, I loudly and insistently request the gas in order to be able to get through the procedure. Nitrous Oxide is great stuff. That horrible sound the drill makes has me squirming in the chair to the point where the torturer (who is a nice guy and a friend outside the practice of his profession) agrees that I need the gas. Loopy on Nitrous, I don't care about that horrid drilling sound.

Unfortunately for me, today I had to suffer without. Another patient apparently needed it too and had arrived a lousy ten minutes before me. Rather than waiting for that patient to finish or rescheduling my own appointment, I thought I would try to tough it out. I was offered a CD player and headphones to drown out the sound of the drilling. Even set as loud as the volume could go, the drill could not be drowned out; nor could it negate that terrible vibration.

Clutching at the arms of the chair, gagging on saliva till it's suctioned out I think there could be no torture worse than this. Wait! That's it! Darth Vader is a dentist!

It's several hours later now. The numbing medication, which took longer to numb me up in the first place is taking longer to wear off. Lunch gave out long ago and I'm starving, but I can't risk eating while my mouth is still numb because I might accidentally bite the inside of my mouth and not feel it. Plus while the stupid medication is wearing off, my face not only feels fat, it hurts! They even told me to take Motrin or Tylenol before the numbing medication wore off.

Sigh... if this is only a modicum of what Han felt like after his encounter with that torture device in Cloud City, I don't blame him for squealing like a little sissy piggy! He must have been begging them to ask him something anything just so he could spill his guts and make it stop ... It will be a while before I can watch something like Marathon Man again, that's for sure.

Alderaan... They're on Alderaa... Crap. That's already blown up...

October 16, 2004

Logistical nightmares and mise en place
Why is it that administrators never pay attention to logistics? First they sit on money designated for a specific purpose for years. Then after a shake up in the administration, the new fire-cracker in charge finds out about the delay and nearly blows a gasket. Orders are given for research to be done to find the best way to spend the money. Research shows that the ideal software upgrade requires upgraded hardware to run on, but there isn't enough money for the hardware too. Magically, better hardware is donated, but won't be available for a few weeks. This information is presented and discussed with the administrator, business manager, contractor, and frontline user (me).

Supposedly, we agree on a timetable for installation, but no... The software is ordered and the installation is scheduled before the computers arrive on-site. After many panicked phone calls, temporary computers are found to use as a stopgap so the software can be installed as scheduled. Weekend plans are changed to get the installation done and tested in time for the next week.

Do we get our upgrade?

Of course not. A glitch in the computer ordering system at the supplier causes our order not to be placed in time for the software to be shipped in time for the weekend installation. Now we have to hope it will arrive before the technical contractors who will do our installation have to leave for a week for another job.

We also get to look forward to Boss Fire-cracker blowing a gasket because the precious schedule went out the window.

Maybe she should have taken a page from a chef's book.... Have all your mise en place ready before you cook...

I did try to tell her...

The Boss Fire-cracker is going to live up to her name, I know it. And what's worse, I have to be in the line of fire ...

The Emperor's Force Lightning attack on Luke Skywalker on the second Death Star will look like a picnic in comparison.

October 14, 2004

geek is in the eye of someone else
Isn't it odd how being a dork is now cool? Studs try to be cute dorks. Weird. But being a dork/geek is only cool if you have a posse who think you are cool. Cool is not something you can self-proclaim. It's only something that may be conferred upon you. Actually, that's a lot of things ... So the next time you think you're cool, you should wonder if you really are, or if you're just an annoying dork. And that just ain't cool!

October 13, 2004

sweet potatoes should taste like sweet potatoes
i thought i was eating sweet potato pie, but everyone kept saying, "this is good pumpkin pie." i thought i was going mad ... nope, it was sweet potato, but it had cinnamon and nutmeg in it and was made into a custard and poured into a graham cracker pieshell ... and it's orange. so it's gotta be pumpkin, right?

in this country, orange pie with cinnamon is pumpkin. make something else with the sweet potatoes. i like cheesecake, or a pone with orange juice and maple syrup. no "cues" to fool people into thinking it's pumpkin. not that that's the point, but that's the way it is.

i don't like mashed sweet potatoes, by the way. they aren't anything like mashed white potatoes. they should be called "mashed heavy orange stuff" so its not mistaken for a potato.

by the way, a 5-year-old tells me that french fries are not potatoes ... they're just made from potatoes. she's right, and she thinks i'm a dolt.

October 12, 2004

Adieu Montreal
You have to feel badly for the Montreal national league baseball franchise. The broadcasts are all in Canuck-French (so no English-language types will listen to the games), they're in a hockey-mad town, and the locals love pretending to be French, so that means they don't copy anyone, and no one copies them. How is a team playing "the all-American game" supposed to succeed? They were the first team to be located outside the USA, and every time they play, they have to play the "Star Spangled Banner" as well as "O, Canada" (and let's face it, "O, Canada" sounds like "Oh..." or "Oy!" Now who wants to start a baseball game with a foreshadowed need for Pepto Bismol? Like it or not, not only does the US national anthem have a butcher title, but it's a filk of a drinking song called "Anacreon in Heaven" -- wow, we suck, we're so much cooler!) And they tried so hard. They even built a stadium with one of the first retractable rooves, for crying out loud. Being an expansion team is no excuse to not be loved ... who's idea was it to put a team in Montreal anyway? Since Canada is traditionally split between "francophone" and "anglophone," most of the country are Blue Jays fans. It's like guaranteeing failure.

So now they have finally had enough and will be relocating to Washington DC, home of many hapless but beloved baseball teams. I don't think they will change their name to "the Senators" -- that might be going TOO far -- but at least if they suck, they will at least have a fanbase. Of course, DC has been many years without a team, and they've been pretending to be Baltimore Orioles fans all this time. But the birds are american league, so there shouldn't be any conflict, other than planned inter-league games.

Me? I'm a New York Mets fan, which means I'm really really pathetic. A win elates Mets fans, a loss depresses us. This is how Senators fans used to describe their summers. So how could I not be interested in the new DC team? Will they be more pathetic than my Metsies? Or just be as pathetic as the Expos have been time and again? (I remember one year they were so bad that they were dubbed "The Ex-Pros" which I thought was hilarious ... but maybe I was just relieved that my Mets were having a good year then? We hope they don't become the Senators, but they'd best not be "the Congressmen" -- they'd be the world's dullest team. Or the "Lobbyists," or how about "the Windbags"? Heck, let's go for "the Washington Wankees" while we're at it ... or for the kinky homosexual constituency, "the BeltBoys." Hey, how about "the Interns"?? They can have "kneepad day" or "cigar day" or "DNA day" or "blue dress day" ... They could be the first team to wear black berets instead of baseball caps. Or if they want to be subtle, green berets. But we'll know better.)

No matter what, it'll be cool to have another team in our connubation. Besides, the Mets and the Expos have had a sort of sibling rivalry for most of the Expos's history, with them being the more attractive younger kid. The Mets were one of the first two expansions teams, and the Expos were in the second round. They tended to do well when we did, or sucked when we did. We'd battle each other for the basement. They made some of those awful summers worth watching. They played their first game ever in Shea Stadiums, as well as their last.

Fans from Montreal showed up at Shea Stadium to watch the Expos play their final game as a Montreal franchise. They held up banners reading, "Au Revoir Expos" ... let me tell you, "au revoir" means "see ya again later" ... not a chance, boys and girls. You had your chance Montreal, and you blew it. Now a town who is more desperate for a baseball team will have one -- the first time in many a long year since a team actually moved cities. May DC love its team well enough that they don't force them to win to earn that love. No, you fans should have used "adieu" which means "to god" ... and that means you'll never see them again, except maybe via your superior Canadian broadcasting channels, should they choose to show a game being played in another city.

Maybe this is why Mets fans distrust Yankee fans ... would you love the Yankers if they were losing? Probably, and you are blessed that you don't have to prove it. You bastards.

Let's go Expos!

October 11, 2004

Insult to Arrogance
As Hermione Granger knows, being an insufferable little know-it-all is not without its hazards. For one, you have to put up with the constant questioning by lesser-brained mortals who just don't understand that you are right. They WANT to understand, and no matter how much or how differently you explain it to them, they just DON'T get it. You know what, they never will, either. But because they don't get it, they think you are just being mean to them. So they ask other people. They come back and say, "My son's friend, who works with computers, says such-and-such," and you are then forced to say, "Your son's friend did not consider X, Y, and Z, and no, that's not true for UNIX boxes." Then they look thoughtful, as if they might understand you, but you don't really care enough to explain it to them. Then you want to give it up and just say, "Fine, here's your money back, go get your son's friend to do it for you." Then they think you are really, really mean, and that you have been ripping them off, and they smugly go to your son's friend, who screws up everything because they didn't not only not consider elements X, Y, and Z, but they don't know bupkuss about A, B, or C either. Then they come back and want you to fix it, but then it's damaged and you have to start all over again, and they whine when you tell them this will cost more to correct the problem. Heck, if they know so damned much that they can doubt and try to correct me, then why do they bother me in the first place? Am I arrogant? How could I NOT be when this happens all the damned time??? And why do they think I'll change my attitude and suddenly become nice because THEY screwed up?? I swear, being smart and clever in this world is way overrated.

October 10, 2004

Boiled ..... HAGGIS!
scottish food in general is the butt of many jokes. charlie mackenzie in So I Married An Axe Murderer stated that he believes all scottish food is the result of a dare. it's a rather accurate description of the result of most scottish cooks ... i know a guy who made scottish food long before he knew he had scottish blood in him. doesn't that sound like a joke? but you have to respect a culture that produces something as disgusting sounding as haggis and gives it a gross sounding name, too. and they eat it anyway! i realize its because they were starving. but what can one say about a culture that boils its food in animal skins instead of pottery? canny, for sure. taste-blind out of necessity, probably. a fine example of lemarkian evolution!

October 09, 2004

Ode to the Crockpot
Your life is insane,
you live by the clock.
You run here and there;
do your errands each day.
You get home exhausted;
your energy droops.
You want to collapse,
but you must feed the troops.

If they must wait even one second more,
they will drive you insane.
They will whimper, they'll moan,
they'll cry and complain.
"What's for dinner?" they ask.
"We're hungry!" they wail.
"Set the table." you answer.
There's no reason to quail.

Before the kids woke,
tonight's menu you knew...
McD's would not be
the supper venue.
You took out that magical cooking utensil.
With it, monkeys could cook with tails prehensile.
Hmm... maybe it's time for Rugrats to train.
Cook for themselves to save you the pain...

The veggies you peeled and you put in the pot.
The meat and the seasoning added a lot.
The timer you set as they came down eyes all ablear.
You fed them their breakfast with a smile on your face.
You pressed the start button and went out the door.
The meat and the veggies, the seasonings and juice
simmer and bubble and cook to perfection.
It smells better than the world's sweetest confection.

The aroma that greets you is savory and delicious.
The children look 'round with hope and suspicious.
"Is Grandma here?" they ask looking 'round.
"No" you answer. "Now go set the table."
They scurry to go and do as I ask.
They're hungry, so it's no difficult task.
Five minutes to set, to wash up and whatnot.
THANK YOU! Oh mighty, amazing crockpot!

Click for the recipe!

October 08, 2004

BattleFront = Vampire
Those of you who have bought Star Wars Battlefront already know that life is going along faster than you ever knew it could, because you are having too good a time being a battledroid or a rebel or a stormtrooper ... you have pressed the "e" key by mistake and fallen out of your TIE fighter, or someone has stolen the tauntaun you acquired for Christmas. You had to quit your job because you just can't stop playing. You can't figure out how you can't kill Mace Windu even though you shot him in the feet where his lightsabre doesn't repel your blasterfire. Your life has been sucked away from you and you grow lumpier and pastier ...

October 07, 2004

Snappy answers to stupid questions
Notice the title of this blog? It was the title of a featured section in the hilarious and inimitable MAD Magazine back in the '70s. Sadly, people still ask...

Dozens of rugrats are running around in a confined space "shopping" for books at the annual fund-raising book fair. The phone rings, but I can't get to the phone quickly enough to answer without stepping on said rugrats. I sigh and turn around to face the chaos again. The phone rings again. This time I turn in an olympic gold medal winning hurdle run to the phone and answer it before the other side hangs up. It's the school secretary. Apologetically, she says "I know you have kids there, but they (the administrative types) are in a meeting right now. Can you count the number of chairs you have in the library and call me back ASAP?"

"Yes, let me stop what i'm doing so the rugrats can chew on the merchandise..." I think to myself seething. I know the secretary isn't trying to make my life more difficult... "Thirty two," I answer off the top of my head since I have had a list of desperately needed improvements memorized from the time I started working there.

She says thanks and hangs up to report to the bigwigs and I return to the rugrats shaking my head.

Oh wait, did she mean I should include the ones without butts on them??? The ones with books on them, or the ones held together with tape and rubberbands, or the ones turned into cupholders and knicknacks?

I called her back, "Sorry, I mean 765. I was off by an order of magnitude... I didn't do so well in math...."

Hey, I'm a LIBRARIAN ...

... and an Olympic gold-medal hurdler.

Bureaucratic dumbasses
WTF is it with public servants!?! Whenever you need something from them they are on vacation for the next 3 months. Actually, the take a sort of sabatical every 7 years.... which means they take 52 weeks of accrued vacation time every 7 years... Tax dollars hard at work....

Dumbass is Still Dumbass
Seems that some people on the 'Hut are using the term "asshole" to mean the traditional things: jerk, dumbass, cockbite, etc. Of course, anything can mean that, depending on the context and intonation. So like Stiffler-speak in the American Pie movies, you can create offensive terms by combining a dirty word and an innocuous word. The writer used "cock" and "lunch" = "cocklunch" as an example. In the web mechanima Red vs. Blue, the term "fucktard" is popular, where they use the Stiffler-speak model and contract it to roll off the tongue more convincingly. If you're good, you can be completely offensive to those in the know, but to the innocent bystander, you're just a dumbass. Not a perfect situation, but better than getting beaten up for being universally offensive, I think. Examples include a word which should be pronounced "cun-trag." I'm serious. Or "testilight" or the more succinct "teslight" (figure that one out by yourself). Or the ever-popular "asshelmet" a contraction of ... oh wait, that one's obvious.

October 06, 2004

damnit damnit damnit
sorry to all you folks who had trouble getting on wookieehut.com the past couple of days. payment came due for the domain name and someone THOUGHT someone else had paid, but unfortunately, two or more someones thought the same thing and the result was we forgot to deal ... but we thought we fixed it but now other stuff has happened. argh. thank you for coming back to the site... hate when this stuff happens. we suck, and we know it. sorry. sorry.
-- EV9D9 --

Finally! Managed to figure out how to get the 'blog to publish to the 'Hut! Woohoo! You know, smart techies, we ain't, but good thing we like to twiddle and stuff and are wonky about it. If you want to 'blog to the Hut, then ask the Admin Droid to add you to the list -- EV9 will let you know what you have to do to contribute. It's not hard at all, we're just a bit excitable, is all. (Don't tell her we said so, but she's been a bit ... mean ... lately.)

Like someone else said, we are still busy doing the fanfic, fanart, recipes, essays, reviews, etc. that we normally do; just this is a way to include less formally formatted stuff, and is not open to editing and normal submission guidelines like the other stuff is. Which means we get to bypass the evil Admin Droid! It wouldn't really fit anywhere else anyway.

October 05, 2004

High School Blues
Well, here it is. 8th grade year and time to start looking at high schools. Public schools are free (more or less); parochial schools are more selective, but they ain't cheap; and top notch private schools have incredible resources, will get you into any college you choose. But do you go for day or boarding? Plus they cost an arm and a leg.

Fortunately, the kid is bright and can easily get accepted into any or all of the choices. Leave it up to the kid though and the kid will want to go where the friends go. Not a good way to choose the next crucial step in one's life. Of course, the kid has to *go* to the school there and be happy enough to do well.

The recruiters' presentations are all slick and put the best light on their schools. They invite you to their individual open houses where you can talk to students, faculty, and administrators and see the facilities. The kid can spend a day shadowing a student to see what the place is like.

But ultimately you need to really examine what *you* want your kid to get out of the high school experience. You're the one with the real world experience to bring to bear on this most important choice. It's not one you want to get wrong.

I asked the kid what she liked and fortunately, she liked what I like, but she started to wail when I brought up other possibilities. As the Emperor says, this ain't a democracy. Oh the life of a parent! Not wanting them to grow up so fast, but wanting them to grow up enough to do the right thing! Palpy had it easy. Anakin Skywalker REALLY had it easy ... he didn't see the kid until he was fully grown! In my next life, i'm coming back as Darth Vader.

October 04, 2004

My lack of life just took a hit that it may not get up from...
Thats right... BattleFront has just landed on my PC. I dare say that I may not see the light of day for the next week or so. I wonder how many sick days I have left at work... Hmmm....

In Sickness (as opposed to In Health)
You know how things happen at the worst possible time? Like getting sick when that big project at work is due or there's some big event you have to go to. You've been working your buns off and your resistence is in the toilet so those nasty germs that lie in wait for your moment of weakness, swarm you like angry Ewoks taking down Imp stormtroopers. Your head pounds, your body aches, but can you call in sick and let yourself rest and recuperate? No. You medicate yourself to within an inch of your life with over the counter drugs and drag yourself to work. You answer idiotic questions all day long, you rant at the computers that crash just as you are trying to finish that big report the boss is breathing down your neck for. And all the time your head is pounding like those big drums the WeeQuays play at Jabba's palace. The work day is finally over. The boss got that bloody report. Can you go home and collapse? No. Now comes Round Two. One kid goes here, the other kid needs to the store for the costume stuff for the school play. Mom's taxi is in service once again. No bacta in sight, no Jedi to play mind tricks on me, AND I get to do it again tomorrow! I'm gonna go watch the trilogy DVD again.

Star Wars, take me away!

menu development blues
hi again, susu here. i cater once in a while, and right now, i'm wishing i didn't. the hostess is the type of woman who doesn't eat, is an extreme tightwad, but "appearance" is all that matters. every suggestion ends with "and will it be fabulous???" with that upward pitch inflection we all know about and detest. the theme to her dumb party is "the blues" ... what does that mean to you? it should mean music, new orleans, cajun food, alligators ... to this bitch, it means BLUE, as in "it would be darling if you and your staff all wore blue, maybe in different shades depending on where you will be standing so you don't clash, blah blah blah ..." i'm not kidding, the napkins are blue, the tablecloths are blue, the plates are purple ("that's a kind of blue, right?"), and i'll bet she got those cheesy blue lights. she asked what sort of blue food i'm preparing. didn't she ever hear the george carlin routine about how there is no such thing as blue food??? she told me to supply "clear plastic cutlery since we can't find blue ones." (i don't do plastic, babe.) okay, i'm sure i'm not done ranting, but i'd love to figure out how to use a garrote so her face could match the prevailing shade of the decor. what an ignorant bitch.

Curry in a Hurry?
This would be a great place for ranting, but I am so docile right now from eating too much!

"Asshole" is a compliment
At the 'Hut, it has been observed that when some people observe another doing something amazing and outside of the realm of normal human skill, the person being observed is called an "asshole." Although this term is delivered with a sense of frustration and vitriole, in reality, it is is the highest accolade one can receive at the 'Hut. As in, "You are so f***ing good at that, I'm not even going to try doing it because you are not playing fair." Or, "How dare you come to earth to show us your superiority!" Or more simply, "I am not worthy to be in your presence, and I detest you because I am so in awe of you that I know I am nothing." The first persons to receive this honor were the Two Jacques: Jacques Pépin and Jacques Torres, the master chef and the master pastry chef. Or as we call them around here, "The Asshole and the Other Asshole." Another asshole supreme is Thom Felicia of Queer Eye fame. Every time he's shown working on a hapless straight guy's apartment and creating something spectacular, we can only scream at the television, "Thom, you supreme asshole!" and we mean it, too.

It's very male bonding, is my analysis. So remember that if someone here says, "I f***ing hate you, you asshole!" the correct response is "I know." Like Han Solo. Or somesuch. You know what we mean.

(And note, "dumbass" is unrelated to "asshole." If we call you a dumbass, you really are one ...)

October 01, 2004

hi, susu here. there are gods of cooking, but not in the gffa, not even among the Vong, who -- one would think -- would be interested in matters of the body enough to appreciate a decent meal. the catholics have st. lawrence, who was martyred by being strapped over coals. he reportedly said, "turn me over, i'm done on this side" before expiring. eeeuw! so how does he end up the patron saint of cooks??? that's gross. india has anapurna, the goddess of food and preparation. she's depicted with a cooking spoon, which can mean other things ... like she likes to beat up on others with it, or "stir up shit" to make life difficult for others. guys tell me girls are simply like that, but then again, i know a lot of people -- girls and boys -- who can or can't cook, too.

i like the word 'annapurna' and you know that all girls named 'anna' get called 'annabanana' for much of their lives, depending on their reaction to it. can we have a gffa goddess of the kitchen and cookery? i don't mind if she's a witch, like the harry potter recipes in Hut Cuisine are (the Two Fat Saxon Witches, of course!). i guess we made samwise gamgee the cook of the LOTR universe.

in the meantime, i'm still so mad about jagged fel being a total wuss that i can't conjure up a set-piece idea for that picnic on the rooftop he shared with jaina, before they were interrupted by kyp. what an awful vision! (goddess of gffa cookery, banish those who don't eat properly to the planet of malnourishment ...)

September 30, 2004

After All These Years
I spent the last several days watching the new DVD release of the original trilogy. While I have many thoughts which will eventually find their way here, I must say, I STILL can't get over that opening shot of the Imp ship just going on and on and on and on and on after the Rebel cruiser. 25+ years later that is still THE most impressive thing in the whole trilogy.

Young Obiwan
One hopes that George is thinking along the lines of "Young Indiana Jones." Maybe some of the better fanfic can be used as plotdustbunnies. Or maybe not ... I'm all for letting a story rest as is. Yes, that's a dig against the damned special editions!

What the hell is George thinkin' now???
I don't know if anyone else has heard this, and I only caught in passing while doing something else BUT... it seems Georgie is thinking of some form of television series format for SW@ after the release of Episode 3. What on earth can he have in mind???

I'm easily impressed...
Hey! This is cool!

Dorks Be Us
For many, it's bad enough that we are Star Wars nerds. We aren't allowed to play Star Wars trivia anymore. We've consumed so much Star Warsism that we are forced to imbibe in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter universes to try and get our fill (though not always satiated) of fandom obsession. We have a website with lots of stuff, for crying out loud! But now, here it is, more than 7 months from Celebrations3 in Indianapolis, and we have the hotel book, the plane tickets bought, registrations paid for, hook-ups organized ... sure, it's the final pre-movie convention for Star Wars nerds. But we are talking about people who cannot even decide till the moment we have to do it if Wes Janson will get the girl or not ... or if we will have the double latte expresso mochaccino or just a glass of water ... or if we will meet at Rosie's or Csillag's place to photograph chickens being evicerated, or will we go to FCI and watch Jacques Pepin do it for our general entertainment and edification ... we are slobs. Okay, not all of us, but some of us are real slobs at heart! Some of us are boys!

To be honest, I don't think we know why it's important to be at Celebrations3. Most of us hate crowds, and some of us even sneer at the costumers and gamers. Nearly all of us hate waiting in line for anything. And many of us are cheapskates, and going to a 4-day convention not in anyone's hometown can be pricey. And what if we get tempted by the lightsabres that make the noise for you so you don't have to do it with your lips! Or the Jango Fett pistols! Or the Colman flame lighter refitted to be Padmé's pistol?? Or the stamps from countries so pathetic they need to sell stamps with images of people who don't exist?

But maybe its because none of us want to miss out. Or maybe we don't like being alone in our dorkdom. Or maybe we don't get out as much as we should. Um ... not a pretty picture, eh?

Actually, I think the truth is really dorky: "closure." Most of us are old enough to have been sentient in May, 1977 when our worlds changed forever. We grew up with Star Wars, even dragged dates in high school and college to see ESB and ROTJ. We know what "Blue Harvest" is, and we are the farts who gas on about how the "special editions" are stupid, and we have really good reasons for believing so. Some of us are even members of the 501st Stormtrooper Legion. Then we waited and waited and waited for the other six episodes to be published and cried loud and long when 7, 8, and 9 were struck from the record. We saw Eps 1 and 2 MANY time in the movie theater (just like in 1977), and we loved every stinkin' minute of it. Okay, I admit, I use QuiGon's "midichlorian" explanation to Anakin as "pitstop time." And there was the time we caught ol' George stealing from Jedi Master Pushkin. And when we found out that he had a thing for short brunettes in corsettes or duct tape. Um ...

Okay, it's pathetic. But we will never get to feel this way again, I don't think ... 10 years old and knowing that our Star Wars obsession is COOL. Yes, we think it's cool! And we like ourselves!

I like me. See you at Celebrations3, dorks!

Things this 'blog is not ...!
This blog is not a substitution for the fanfic, essays and rants, field reports, or any of the other cool (WE think it's cool!) stuff we have on wookieehut.com. It is the spontaneous "extra" thing ... maybe a place we can blither about plot ideas we have that we don't want to carry around in our skulls ... or a need for a recipe so we don't forget to post. If anyone writes less stuff for the 'Hut as a result of this blog, I swear we will hunt them down and enjoy what happens

We are mean ghosts. We know it ... and we like it!

Welcome to WookieeHut.com
Hi to you all! Why have a 'blog when we have the rest of the WookieeHut site? Because this is a team 'blog, meant to be much more casual, more spontaneous, more anonymous ... and it ain't about grammar or spelling or punctuation ... this might be bad, but it's what's missing from our normally polished and preened 'Hut ... okay, okay, it's also a way to get rants and raves up without worrying about "structure" or "coherence" or "meter" or... any of that stuff, really.

First rant: What's up with the chocolate icing in the Black Forest Cake recipe?? You pudknockers left out the chocolate! Finding out about the missing ingredient an hour before its due to be served to a roomful of people who'd come to an engagement party is not a good time to find this out!! I was going to use it as diversion so that the prats didn't ask me when will it by MY turn to get married! Gah!!!

Okay, I feel better.

Another rant: We made Onion Soup and someone messed with the timer so the toast burned! Oh, maybe that was me.

Anyway, enjoy!