Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last resort

Yet another Freecycler bailed on me. She did contact me to explain, so
I'm not angry at her (much). But I still want to get rid of the buffet.

Local charities don't want this thing. I don't have the energy to try
selling it again. So I kicked it to the curb. I am DONE.

UPDATE: And it is outta here! A silver-haired couple pulled up at 4:00 and whisked the buffet away to its new home. And they didn't even say "trick or treat."


Monday, October 29, 2007

now I know jack

Behold my jack-o-lantern! It's titled either "A Thousand Points of Light" or "Multiple Stab Wounds," depending on your state of mind.

For best effect, I should make the holes bigger and/or put a stronger light inside. But . . . it'll do.

And since I photographed it in the bathroom (darkest room in the house), I think I'll call it a john-o-lantern.

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not weasels

In the interest of balancing yesterday's misanthropic post — which, by the way, was completely validated by an e-mail I got this morning from one of the chain-yankers, who called me all kinds of unpleasant names for giving "her" item to someone else after she had blown me off for three full days — I'll add this:

Half Price Books is the anti-Freecycle. Acting on a tip from Cheap Chick, I packed up about 90% of the reading material in my house and headed to the nearest HPB yesterday. I gave them 11 boxes of books. They gave me $60. It was frickin' AWESOME.

Bonus: HPB takes DVDs and CDs, too, so I'll be back.

Double bonus: I got rid of all the empty boxes in my garage, too. HPB kept them.

Summary: HPB good. Freecycle @#$%!

A couple people asked if I had tried Craigslist.com as an avenue for ridding myself of unwanted items. Yes, I have. Craigslist was worse than Freecycle, because the Craigslist responders agreed to pay money for my stuff, then blew me off. At least with the Freecyclers, I hadn't gotten my hopes up about receiving cash.

So? No more Ms. Nice Guy. From now on, anything I don't want goes straight to charity. At least I can claim a tax deduction.


Sunday, October 28, 2007


What the hell is the matter with people? What makes people think it's in any way acceptable to say, "Yes, I'll do that thing," and then not only not do it, but not even bother responding to queries about it?

Specifically, I'm talking about some of the asshats I've been dealing with from Freecycle.org. Freecycle is an online message board where you post ads for things you're wiling to give away — recycle for free — and others read the ads and respond to say they want your items. Then they come get the stuff . . . in theory.

Since finding out about Freecycle about a week ago, I've offered up seven items. All but one was spoken for immediately . . . and only two have actually been picked up, despite the responders' alleged enthusiasm. I've had to re-list most of them and kick a couple to the curb because I want them gone that badly. All the re-lists have been spoken for, but I have no faith they'll actually be picked up.

Because people, apparently, are weasels.

This makes me angry, of course, since the asshats are jerking my chain and wasting my time. But mostly it makes me sad. Freecycle is supposed to be a community of people who want to keep stuff out of landfills. It's a laudable goal, and everyone involved stands to get something they want for free. And I thought I'd court a little good karma by giving away some nice items rather than trying to profit from them.

Yet people just can't be bothered to keep their word about something as simple as collecting a bargain.

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I even try to set a good example by being a woman of my word. But what's the point when I'm the only one who cares, or even notices? Seriously. Someone explain this to me.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I don't know jack

I bought this lovely pumpkin from some kids selling them on their
front lawn. Why? Well, Life's Little Instruction Book says you should
always buy lemonade from kids' lemonade stands, and I assume the same
rule holds for squash stands as well.

But I'm a lousy carver. Any suggestions?

U of M Dept. of Duh

These signs are all over campus today, because apparently U of M staff and
students don't know how to do this on their own.


Campus looks lovely today

Kim Husband

* * * * *
harmony * grace * compassion 

Begin forwarded message:

From: Kim Husband <jugglernaut1@gmail.com>
Date: October 25, 2007 12:40:11 PM CDT
To: Mom <husband@rushmore.com>
Subject: Campus looks lovely today

Kim Husband

* * * * *
harmony * grace * compassion

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

lesson learned

Life lesson of the day: If you're going to try a sample of Asian curry peanut butter, spit out your Doublemint gum first.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Following on the previous Trekkie post, I urge everyone to go to YouTube and search for Star Trix. You'll be rewarded with some early '70s Trek parodies filmed in stop-motion claymation, Wallace & Grommit style.


Highlights of the first installment include a nebbishy Mr. Specs as second in command and the bridge crew using the starship's big viewscreen to show old movies. I'm also looking forward to digging the making-of documentary.

Click here to read the filmmaker's blog.

Let me know what you think. I am beside myself with LOL.


touching reminder

I've been watching a shipload of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. One of the things that really jumps out at me is how iPhone-esque the touchscreens on the Enterprise-D are. They're exactly the same thing.

Sometimes I wonder why I like this series so much when I dislike so many of its regular characters:

  • smirktastic space Boy Scout Wesley "Know-it-all" Crusher (though I really admire actor Wil Wheaton's grown-up endeavors)
  • Dr. Beverly "Dammit, Jim, I'm a puppeteer, not an actor" Crusher (but actress Gates McFadden was a hoot at Dragon*Con)
  • blessedly short-lived Dr. Pulaski (trivia: actress Diana Muldaur also appeared in two eps of the original series)
  • Commander "Let me show you my throbbing dilithium crystal" Riker, who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and should be heard from no more
  • and particularly Counselor "I'm sensing something with a low neckline" Troi, a truly obnoxious character created as a shortcut for writers, who used her whimpered empathic divinations as a cheap substitute for actually showing showing character development

I liked Tasha Yar. I'm indifferent to Geordi. And I really, really dig Captain Picard, Commander Data, and Lt. Worf. So it must be the stories, and especially the Trek universe, I love.

Anyway. Touchscreens. Cool.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rockin' the Rockies

I spent last weekend in Colorado, first with Lisa & Kevin in Denver, then with Jerry & Susan in Berthoud. As usual, I pretty much ate my way through the local attractions.

Highlights of the Denver portion of the trip:

  • Fondue dinner
  • Rockapella concert
  • My introduction to Ace of Cakes, possibly the best show on TV
  • Wandering through a corn maze, followed by the hottest, freshest kettlecorn of all time
  • Italian dinner with portions the size of Mt. Etna
  • Sunday brunch complete with Ultimate Margaritas. Lisa had hoped to run the half-marathon of the Denver Marathon that day, but the weather was too in hospitable, so we opted for church and brunch with friends instead. When that restaurant says it serves the ultimate margarita, believe it!

Then we met Jerry on the side of the road, and I headed to Berthoud for continued fun. Once I'd emptied the mini-bar in the sumtuous guest wing of the Double W estate, we:

  • toured the Celestial Seasonings factory, where I loaded up on tea. Watch out for the mint room!
  • strolled through an outdoor sculpture park on a perfect fall day
  • experienced a Blizzard
  • did a little wine tasting
  • prowled a surprisingly large used book store
  • hiked around the lake behind the estate — until we heard hunters in the woods
  • learned far more than we wanted to about a waitress's bad airline experience

I had a fantastic time, and thanks to technology, didn't even fall behind in my work. I did, however, inspire the Colorado Rockies to win their division and head for the World Series for the first time.

Click the image to see photos:

Colorado, Oct. 2007


Saturday, October 20, 2007

should this affect my vote?

Know what's scary? Barack Obama looks a LOT like the latest in my long line of crazy-ass bosses, Bill. I hope this doesn't prejudice me against the candidate.

* * * * *

BTW, does anybody want to buy a nice corner desk? You'll have to fetch it from my house, since it won't fit in the Subarushi. Cuz yeah, posting an ad on Craigslist has gotten me nothing but aggravation. Heck, I'll GIVE you the thing if you'll just come and get it.

And no, I can't simply set it by the curb. For one thing, I can't move it that far by myself. And for another, I got it from some nice neighbors a few months ago, and I don't want them to see that I'm chucking it. It's a nice desk, but it just doesn't work in my office.

* * * * *

So, J.K. Rowling has announced that Dumbledore was gay. Why? What's the point of trotting out this bit of trivia so long after the character met his demise? So Potter fans can all now claim to be GLBT-friendly? "Oh, I'm totally down with the rainbow. One of my favorite fictional characters is gay." Sorry. Gotta throw the "milking the franchise" flag on that play. Penalty: No more press conferences for 1 year.

* * * * *

Far more interesting and relevant: A Japanese clothing designer has created a garment that, when properly deployed, disguises the wearer as a vending machine. Click to see. It's meant to camouflage women so they can hide from sexual predators.

Pursued woman = Coke machine? I could go into a long feminist/deconstructionist-type diatribe here suggesting that's how society views women anyway — as a machine men put money into in expectation of a treat — but I won't. Not gonna trash men. Some of my favorite fictional characters are men.

* * * * *

Finally, I'd just like to say that I'm really, really glad I treated myself to the ST:TNG collectors' edition DVD set, despite the imposing plasticky smell. One season down, six to go.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

cheap thrills

Not reading Cheap But Not Easy? You should be. This smart, funny, articulate shopping goddess rocks, and I've actually met her in person! She's doing an experiment wherein for one year, she spends no more than $20 on anything. Very interesting. Go see.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Player 1 dominates!

Hey -- that's me!

Lisa & Kevin have their own pinball machine!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dance with me

Kevin Wright = shiny

George Baldi = sexy

Rockapella in Denver 10/12

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I acquired another new client today. Signed a contract and everything. Woo-hoo!


laundry list

Come clean about your laundry habits

  1. Are your t-shirts folded in a drawer or hanging in a closet?
  2. Do you roll your socks or fold them together? Do you make each pair an exact match? Or, like Steven Wright, do you mate them by thickness?
  3. Do you fold your undies or just cram them into a drawer?
  4. Do you iron? If yes, which items? Do you ever iron jeans? Why?
  5. Do you add fabric softener (a) by pouring liquid into a wash cycle, (b) by tossing a sheet into the dryer, or (c) not at all?


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

a muse?

Amusing me today:
  • a colleague known for her gloom-n-doom personality being referred to as the Dementor behind her back
  • "vajayjay" as a euphemism for a woman's va-you know

Bemusing me today:
  • Tomorrow I'll teach a sample T'ai Chi class at the company that laid me off in January.
  • Coworkers at the U have asked me to lead a class on campus.
  • I'm teaching a bunch of T'ai Chi all of a sudden, when my plan was to cut back this fall. What's up with that?

Demusing me today:
  • drivers who don't signal their turns. Again.
  • potential buyers of an item I listed on Craigslist who say they're definitely interested, then don't call back, and don't respond when I contact them about it


Sunday, October 07, 2007


Get pumped


Rock stars

There goes the neighborhood

And yet it's 80 degrees

Thursday, October 04, 2007

having an episode

Today I learned that my Thursday morning bus ride to campus is almost exactly one Daily Show episode long. Thanks, iPhone!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007


My office is a perfect place to spend an idyllic fall day. If you
consider editing two dozen magazine articles idyllic, I mean. And I do.


What I thought was a cache of TP turned out to be a pkg of paper
towels. D'OH!! Thank goodness for Kleenex -- and a nearby drugstore.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Y? Because we like U

I joined a gym this past weekend — the local Y, to be exact. It’s been a dozen years and a couple dozen pounds since I belonged to a gym, so this will be a serious adjustment of habits. But it has to be done.

Back in the Day, I did my working out at the T’ai Chi studio, so there was no need for a separate gym membership. (I also couldn’t afford the monthly fee, so the question was moot.) But the aerobic-intensive classes have disappeared from the roster, out-of-class workouts have likewise faded away, and even Eclectsis has lost most of its cardio component. I used to jump rope on my own several days a week just to keep in shape for all those things, but as they went by the wayside, so did my motivation and my tolerance for jumping on a concrete floor.

Now, however, I find myself with a bigger bank balance than before, and also a bigger booty. Hence the Y.

I took my new membership for a test drive Sunday night by attending a kickboxing class. I knew it would be challenging, since I’m woefully out of shape, but I was still surprised at how it left me gassed and dripping. And that was just the warm-up! Oh, how I wish I were not exaggerating. But the gauntlet has been thrown. I will return . . . in a few weeks, when I get another free Sunday evening.

Anyway, I came home and treated my poor, weary self to a bubble bath. (Side note: I sure do love the Temptations Twisted Peppermint bubble bath I got for Christmas last year. I wouldn’t mind receiving some more.) I’m less sore than I expected, but more than I ought to be, considering how much of the workout I didn’t actually do.

I loosened some of the kinks by returning Monday morning to bond with the elliptical trainer. I’m planning to visit the cardio machines and the swimming pool a few days a week, and once I’m in the groove with that, I’ll add some light weight training as well. My goal is to look better in this year’s holiday photos than I do in last year’s. I know I’ll feel better knowing I’m doing something good for myself. But it’s hard!

Sidebar: Dressing for success

For my first trip to the Y, I wore the t-shirt I got at Dragon*Con this year. It’s white with black lettering that looks like the Star Wars logo, but the words say “Stop Wars” instead. Two different women commented favorably on the sentiment in the locker room, one as I was arriving and one as I was leaving. That was nice.