Thank You, Mr. Yankovic

I'm really upset and weepy right now, for reasons that would take far too long to explain. And, it would most likely bore you. I just hate being all emotional and stuff. It's annoying. I know it pretty much comes with the territory of being a girl and all, but I've never been good at it.
Oddly enough, during this time of misery and depression, my mental soundtrack seems to be stuck on "Eat It" by Weird 'Al' Yankovic. I'm not even sure how I know that song! (Actually, I'm pretty sure it's my sister's fault...) I suppose it's my defense mechanism against self-pity. It's nigh impossible to take yourself seriously when you've got a parody of a Michael Jackson song(*) running around in your brain.

*The song in question is, of course, "Beat It", but a parody of any of his songs seems...redundant. They're pretty ridiculous without outside help.


Drunken Ramblings

Oops. I'm a tad tipsy and I think I just totally got p-ownzed at this game called "Lunch Money". But at least I'm not as drunk as my 350-lb. roommate who caused me to spill my beer and be cut off for the night. (because he was sleeping at the table, and my significant other threw a kleenex under his head so he wouldn't drool on it.) It's probably for the best - I prefer vodka, anyway. At any rate, I should go to sleep now, while I can. Goodnight, everyone.


Inconsequential Ramblings

*Note: This post is in reference to nothing in particular. It's just a thought I had in a moment of reflection. Please remember to clear your ears and decend slowly, to avoid complications from the increased depth of this post.*

Sometimes I get the feeling that when we grow up, America will have a lot to apologize for. We mean well. But, power and prosperity has come so quickly, so easily to us as a nation that, like a spoiled child, we have become arrogant. We are caught up and consumed by ourselves, our views, our way of doing things. It's been working very well for us, but we should not assume that the same formula applied in a different setting will yield the same result. As a nation, we tend to be impulsive, short-sighted, maybe a little cocky. We know nothing about patience. America does not know the meaning of time.

Before my aunt tries to skin me for being unpatriotic, I should clarify that I'm not saying "the American way" doesn't work, or is bad. Quite the opposite. It just also occurs to me that our nation is very young. If you step waaay back, and look at things in terms of centuries or millennia, instead of decades (as we are wont to do), America went from being a wild, isolated, undiscovered chunk of land to a world power and economic juggernaut overnight. But what goes up, must come down. History sings the same song down through the ages, "the rise and fall of nations". What is to keep us from flying apart under the strain of our own momentum? Just a thought.


Little-Known Facts

I am so happy! Earlier this week, my personal handyman extraordinaire (I love you!) installed shelves over my desk! Those things are so handy, shelves. They keep stuff from piling up on the floor. I recommend them to everyone. Then, yesterday, I...CLEANED MY ROOM! I know, I didn't think it was possible, either. Now, I can see my carpet, my computer chair, AND the top of my desk! It's a miracle!

[insert sound of screeching record here]

This is important, before you guys go off thinking I'm a totally disgusting ooze-like creature, thriving in my own filth and detritus: to my credit, I am NOT one of those "messy-nast" people. You know, the kind that lives among empty soda bottles, discarded dishes, last month's pizza and dirty kleenex. My room is never knee-deep in Scheisse, there are no rabbit-trails. My messes consist almost entirely of laundry, with the occassional bit of piled paperwork thrown in. Just so that's settled.

Also, I finally got around to cleaning and refilling my hummingbird feeder. If you don't have one of these, you should get one. They are mess-less and idiot-proof, and the little hummingbirds are so cool! They hover like mini-helicopters! We have a whole hummingbird family that visits ours. Have you ever seen a baby hummingbird?? They are SOO cute!
If you set up a hummingbird feeder, do yourself and the wildlife a favor and DON'T fill it with sugarwater and red food coloring. Go out and spend the 3 bucks on commercial hummingbird food with added vitamin-mineral supplements. I learned that if you just feed them sugarwater, they don't get the nutrients they need (stuff they normally get from flowers and insects), and they can actually starve. So that's just cruel. Of course, I've also read the opposite, that they just hit the feeders for a quick energy fix so they can hunt more bugs, but I figure, why risk it?
My hummingbirds are Chunky McFattertons who seem to spend a lot of time at my little birdie-buffet, so I'd hate to think that I'm slowly starving them for my personal amusement.


It's Been a Long Time Since I Rock & Rolled...

Yay, Led Zeppelin.

I met with my legal advisor today. Nothing's certain yet, but she sounded enthusiastic. Apparently, I've pretty much done everything right so far, and it seems that we may have the makings of a good case. Needless to say, I was stoked.

I also met with an old friend of mine, one I hadn't seen in quite some time. She shared harrowing tales of life and death (really, she has to be the most disaster-prone person on the planet!), and I shared my (considerably less interesting) stories of the legalities of employment. Then we talked about theses and graduate school over Thai food, for about 3 hours, all told. We had quite a bit of catching up to do! It was great to see her, and I'm glad we got a chance to reconnect.

I've arrived at 2 important decisions. First, I should really buy a watch. Second, I need to resume my independent Japanese practice. I haven't studied since school let out and I lost my ichiban sensei, because without her, it just made me depressed. However, I have mourned her loss for long enough, and if I don't get my rear in gear, I will doubtless be behind the other over-achievers in my class. So that's settled.

And at last, and update to my pbp (play-by-post) D&D post. I finally got registered, I found a game rather quickly, and have started playing. I enjoy it, for the most part. At times, it moves pretty slowly, but that doesn't bother me as much as it might some people. For example, since people are only posting once or twice a day, a single combat can take multiple days. At times it feels disjointed, and is very, very different from regular tabletop D&D. However, it still has all the charms I had anticipated, namely the quick D&D "fix". I am sure that some players arbitrarily pick their stats and "rolled" numbers. (18,18,16,14,14,14?!? Really, who rolled that? God?) But the party I'm playing in is small, so deific number generation has not interefered with my niche. This is definately not a substitute for traditional gaming, but if you'd just like to run an alternate character on the side, and can refrain from taking it too seriously, you'll probably enjoy this kind of play. Another advantage I forgot to mention, but greatly appreciate, is the ability to actually play your character as witty as they are in your head! When you've got the time to think and type out a response, you can end up with a dashing rogue who actually SOUNDS like a dashing rogue, instead of that guy over there with a mouth full of Cheetos.


All Good Things Must Come to an End

This is a picture of my beautiful friend, Minhee. She came to the US to study English, and while she was here, she decided she wants to teach it. So she's leaving for Korea soon to get her teaching certificate. Then maybe one day she'll come back to study more English.
I saw her for the last time today. We didn't have a lot of time, so we just grabbed a bite to eat and said goodbye. Actually, we stuffed ourselves with Italian food, and then I drove her to her friend's apartment. She cried. I managed to keep it together until I got into the car, and then I bawled like a little girl all the way home.

I'll miss her.


All the News that's Fit to Print

Okay, there's lots of news because I've been busy not blogging, so I'll try to catch you up.

1. I may have a lawsuit on my hands. About a month and a half ago, I started working for a very large and well-known company as a Bike Assembler. (Not really my area of expertise, but it was a job.) On Monday, I finally found out what happens to all the bikes that get returned to the store by customers because they are used, dirty, and usually broken. We clean them off, fix them up, and sell them. As brand-new bikes. At full price, giving no indication that they are not, in fact, brand-new bikes. Now, I'm all for recycling, and I think selling refurbished second-hand bikes is a good idea. But I think they should be sold as second-hand bikes, at a discounted price! I felt it was unethical to sell used bikes as new bikes. After a bit of research on my lunch break, I was also pretty sure it was illegal. (Ch.17, Section 46, Sub-section 6) So upon my return to work, I talked to my boss about it. I told him I was uncomfortable with rebuilding these bikes and selling them as new, and I suggested he look into the legalities of it. I also suggested that we sell the bikes as used bikes. I'm sure there a plenty of people who would be happy to pay a little less for a gently used bike in good condition. So he told me he'd talk with his boss about it.

About 20 minutes later, he comes back and tells me we need to talk about my job performance. He claims that I am unable to perform the essential duties of my job, since I cannot fill the bike rack (a procedure requiring me to operate heavy machinery for which I am not licensed, and lift 35-lb. bicycles over my head, repeatedly.) I informed him that I was not licensed to operate the machinery, and also that my immediate supervisor had told me never to load the bike rack (because I'm not strong enough to do it), and that loading said rack is not an essential duty, according to my job description. (It is important to note that I am the only female bike assembler this store has ever had.) He said "Well, now it's a problem." I countered with a request for reasonable accomodation to perform these duties. After less than 30 seconds of consideration, this request was denied. I was offered an alternative part-time (I was working full-time) position as a cashier. I declined this position. Then my boss said, "So are you quitting, or am I firing you?"

So I was cohersed into voluntary termination due to either gender discrimination or unwillingness to participate in unethical business practices. I have a meeting with my legal advisor next Thursday - I think it'll be a good one.

2. I found out that I may be able to have my master's degree by this time next year! Woot!



If you have felt a disturbance in the Force today, it is because it's the anniversary of Tandy Lofland's appearance on the planet. He is an anomaly which warps the very fabric of the universe in his immediate vicinity. At his pre-birthday party on Saturday, I told him I would link to his site.
You can also find a more enduring version of this link in the sidebar. This man has actually written a manual (available on his site) on how to kill your roommate. Apparently, he has also been declared King of Nigeria. You should go see.


Cheap Thrills

As the owner of four well-loved cats, I can vouch for the joys of pet ownership. Usually when people say this, they mean things like companionship, emotional attachment, "they're-just-so-darn-cute"-ness, etc. Things like personal amusement and the smug glow of victory don't often make the list. Oh, but they should.
For example, I was recently having trouble with my cats attempting to snack on some roses I had in a vase over my fireplace. The traditional methods of dissuasion (squirting the offending feline with water whilst saying "no" firmly) were not working, because posting a 24-hour guard at the vase was impractical. No, this situation called for a trap.
To assist you in understanding my diabolical scheme, I have created a visual aid, using state-of-the-art technology. Its stunning detail and unsurpassed beauty may very well blind you.
By applying clear packing tape (placed sticky side up) in roughly the vicinity of the yellow smiley, I managed to "mine" the path to the roses. I have ensnared 2 victims so far, and my trap has proven to be both effective and wildly entertaining. The racket caused by a cat with tape stuck to its back foot alerts me that: a) the trap needs to be re-armed., and b) the show just started.
I always rescue my cats from the evil tape monster. After they've spent a minute or so tearing through the living room in wide-eyed panic, frantically shaking various limbs, trying to wrest free from the invisible attacker.
Ah, the sweet smell of victory.


Molasses in January

I have discovered an entirely new way to play D&D! Through messageboards! I realize that to some people, this may not be breaking news. But when I read about it today on Giant in the Playground (the website for Order of the Stick, see the link), it blew my mind. The idea that I can pop onto a messageboard, get my 5 or 10 minute D&D "fix" and then go back to real life, vanishing as quickly as I had appeared...well, for me, it was a truly earth-shattering concept. Not that I don't enjoy my regular gaming group - no, quite the opposite. But I also love the idea of getting to play my favorite game in bits and pieces, when I have time, and without the stress of synchronizing the wildly different schedules of at least four other people, just for the chance to blow up a few orcs with a fireball. Yes, this concept sure has potential.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to bask in the goodness that may be messageboard D&D, because I CAN'T REGISTER FOR THE STUPID BOARDS! The proverbial "they" must be having some not- insignificant problems over there at giantitp.com. I filled out a simple form (enter a Username and email), and then waited no less than twenty minutes for the site to tell me there had been some kind of error. Not to be deterred, I re-entered my information. Only this time, I get a quick response telling me that my favored username is taken. Ludicrous! I AM the real Slim Shady! Grumbling, I offer a clearly inferior variant, and cringe slightly as I re-submit. Again, I am met with a swift response saying that my email address is already registered! HA! Perhaps my precious username isn't really taken by some impostor... I quickly try to log in, and with a clandestine snicker request my "forgotten" password.
That was 45 minutes ago.
I'm dead serious. I am currently STILL waiting for that last green chunk on the little indicator bar in the lower right hand corner of my screen to fill in. And no, it's not me, it's them.
So, at some point, I may be able to expound on the virtues (or failings) of messageboard D&D, but sadly, not today. But don't worry - I'll keep you posted.


Credit Where Credit Is Due

I would like to thank Beth (and my aunt as well) for helping me with this site. I am not, shall we say, a technologically gifted individual, and the minor glitches I was running into initially were leaving me a bit bewildered. Why were the links to Farrago sending people to the US Fencing page? Why did one have to sign in to post comments? Indeed, why would the site not just pull my ideas directly from my head, without all this nasty typing?? Fortunately for me, Beth is a champion "blogger", and easily resolved all of my complaints. Except, of course, for the psychic computer connection...
At any rate, things seem to be going much more smoothly now, and I believe I am beginning to figure this out. Please visit Beth's blog, entitled "Yeah, right, whatever...", the link for which you will find in the sidebar. I'm even relatively certain that it works!


First post

Blogs make me uncomfortable. I don't typically read other people's blogs, because, for some reason, it feels like stalking. However, curiousity is winning out, and I have decided to create this blog as an experiment. Is this some kind of digital exhibitionism? An innocent creative outlet, perhaps? We may never truly know. Regardless, I hope it is readable and enjoyable for me and anyone else who happens by.