Almost there...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Launchcast Rocks Again

Launchcast has treated me to quite an eclectic and unusual blend in the last hour. It's played things I've not heard in the better part of a year. Lots of them. From the opening song of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" to "I Burn For You" from The Police to "What You Own" from Rent to a song from Wicked to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland to the Pixies "Dig for Fire". Eclectic, heavy on the show tunes, and utterly perfect for this cold, winter day.

Get Your Credit Report Today - FREE!

Apparently a federal law was passed some time ago mandating that you should have access to your credit info for free once a year. Well, it's the west coast's turn, and you can even add in your Experian credit score for just $5. Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp.

My Experian score is still very pretty (781 out of a possible 830). There's nothing bad lurking out there, which means no one has stolen my identity (yet). That's good. All in all, it was an awfully comforting report considering how much financial wrangling and moving has occurred this year. I'm glad to know nothing has fallen through the cracks yet. Ever vigilant, I'll check again next year.

Brrr...

My car was all frosty when I walked out this morning. It took 10 minutes on the road for the ice to melt off the back window. And it's 52 degrees outside right now, yet for some reason, the air conditioning is on in here, blowing a cold draft down my back.

Meanwhile, Mark called from Australia. It's going to be over 100 degrees there today. Somehow, chilly as I am, that doesn't sound better right now.

Monday, November 29, 2004

First Weekend

So the first weekend of Dickens went swimmingly well. The ghost of Christmas Past swelled my head terribly on Sunday by saying "I love watching you act. That scene sends shivers down my spine." Yay! Only trouble was, I didn't dance nearly enough. Apparently, we Fezzis have an extra break this year, and that amounted to too much time off for my tastes. Next weekend, I'm going to stay through my break and dance more. I'm sick like that. Plus I need the exercise.

I came home both evenings with slightly sore feet, but feeling not the least bit exhausted. Last night I watched "A Christmas Carol - The Musical" with music composed by Alan Menken. And yes, it had an oddly Little Mermaid/Beauty and the Beast/Pocahontas quality to it. I don't know that it will become a "Christmas Classic" but it was entertaining enough. My one gripe is that they renamed my character from Belle to Emily. And there's no explanation as to why. Also, the renunciation scene in the book is far more powerful and critical to the story than what they did. She doesn't really tell Ebeneezer why she's breaking it off in this version. She just sort of does. In the original text, there's some important words there. There's a lot of extra fluff (like the part where she hopes the loss causes him pain), but there's also so much about his change and her feeling worthless in his eyes. Oh well. Can't win. They also made old Fezziwig a banker instead of a tea merchant. Odd choices. Ah well. That's the trouble with knowing the primary text too well.

Today, I'm off work, though I've been working for the last 3 hours. At least I didn't have to get dressed and go into the office. Plus, I got to watch "Christmas Festivals" that Tivo recorded for me. They did give a good sense of what Dickens is like. Very nice.

And now: laundry!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bell Peppers are Yucky!

I don't understand why everything comes with bell peppers in it. I just ate a frozen lunch, which I was able to make surprisingly delicious by carefully picking out all of the bell peppers. I was left with a bowl full of beans, corn, broccoli, carrots and onions wrapped in a cream cheese sauce. If I'd left the bell peppers in, they would've contaminated everything. And they usually are thrown in to almost any frozen entree, probably just for color rather than any intentional flavoring choice. Either that or all frozen entree chefs have an indescribable love for these vile vegetables.

But they're everywhere, not merely in frozen entrees. They're on pizza. They're tossed into soups. They're in my fajitas. They're lurking in salads. And if you ever choose a vegetarian option, they're almost guaranteed to have sullied your plate. Evil bad nasties.

I'd actually avoided eating this entree yesterday, opting for a bowl of cereal for lunch rather than braving all of the bell peppers I could see polluting my meal. Today I felt bolder, pausing two minutes into heating lunch to pick through my food. But why must I be tortured so!? Am I the only one who doesn't like these malodorous malingerers in their food? If you must add color, tomatoes are pretty and tasty. And broccoli is a lovely shade of green. Just don't despoil my dinner with bell peppers. Bleh!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

San Jose is the Safest

Apparently, I bought a home in the safest big city in America. Go me. And y'know, my neighborhood is older, low income, and occasionally seems like it might be sketchy, but the longer I live there, the more comfortable I get. My neighbors are pretty good, and my home is secure. A week or so ago, I walked home from the library, accidentally in the dark (darned daylight savings time!). It wasn't scary. There were lots of families having parties. There was a mother and daughter sitting on their front porch having a sandwich. There was an older man sweeping his driveway. It's really a neighborhood, and I like it. And I love being so close to downtown. The stuff around the university is nice, and the new main library is amazing. It's a good place to live.

Serenity Delayed

The release date for Serenity is delayed. Dangit. I'm really really looking forward to that. Now I have to wait another five months. Oh well. At least it's still going to happen.

Dickens!

Dickens is here! I got my new hoopskirt at dress rehearsal on Sunday, and though it has the same quantity of bones as my last one, it's somehow much fuller. I truly resemble my name now. Ding-dong!

This had the odd misfortune that suddenly my skirt wasn't long enough. So last night I raced over to Athena's house and she helped me quickly make a new underskirt, this time of slippery fabric so hopefully the "snows of London" won't stick to it so darned much. I simply must get a groovy serger like hers. It's the best thing ever.

I found my hat, which is good, but I'm still on the hunt for a new one. Mine is old, dirty, and much abused. That will wait though.

On Sunday we did our first rehearsal of the Scrooge/Belle Renunciation scene. Apparently I did well, as several folks congratulated me on my strong performance afterwards, including my betrothed and both the directors separately. Yay! Nothing like that to add a little last minute confidence.

Now it's work and Thanksgiving. And then four weekends of Christmas-y goodness. There's a rumor that if the fair doesn't turn a profit this year that the organizers will be retiring it, so if you've ever wanted to go, go this year to ensure that there's a next year. I've got heaps of discount coupons so feel free to ask for one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Danger Mouse!

I was just reminded of Danger Mouse. We were talking about hating grovelling around the office, and it put me in mind of Grovel, the alien robot in a couple of episodes of Danger Mouse. Funniest darn thing ever. See, the robot's name is Grovel, but he also responds to the command to grovel, so whenever he gets called over, he throws himself to the ground and begs for forgivenss. Sadly, Danger Mouse is not available on DVD in the states. Such a shame. He makes me laugh.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Too Close for Comfort

So there I was in a meeting, and this person comes in and puts her coat on the coat rack, and then picks up mine and tries it on without even asking!

No, wait, that wasn't it.

So there I was at dinner before the play, and this person just walked by and ate a french fry right off my plate!

No, wait, that wasn't it either.

So there I was at the theater, and the woman next to me picks up my water bottle without a word and starts drinking it.

Yeah, that was it. Seriously.

I'd been fumbling for my water a few moments before, and couldn't quite get it so I figured rather than disturb the person next to me, I'd wait til intermission. It probably got kicked and was just beyond reach. Then the woman next to me reaches down and picks up an Alhambra bottle just like mine and starts to drink it. I thought, "Oh gee, we have the same water. That's going to be confusing." Then intermission happens, and I look down, and my water bottle isn't there. I'm standing in the aisle, and they're waiting to get out, so I say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I seem to have lost my water bottle. She pulls it out from under her chair and says, "Oh is it this one?" Yes, the one she's been drinking out of. The one that wasn't sealed when she started drinking it. The one that had my flu germs all over it and I'm actually hoping she gets it. At the time, I had no idea, but I was completely freaked out. Who picks up a random water bottle off the floor and starts drinking it?! EWWWW!!! I went down to the bar to find an exceptionally long line for $2 8 oz. bottles of Crystal Geyser. With Crystal Geyser's record, I don't drink it, so I went without. Actually, I found a drinking fountain ultimately. And then I had to go back to my seat next to the skanky water thief. I told Rick he had to take my seat because I couldn't guarantee I wouldn't say something completely rude. He did, and the woman ended up sitting on the other side of her companion. She never said a word.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

And then there was the flu...

I had this witty post about my trip to the theater to see the Real Thing. I'm sure I'll get to that later, so I shan't spoil it now. Well, who knows if it will actually be witty, but it was entertaining me to compose it in my head. At least it was until we came out of the parking garage on the way home. My stomach took a sideways turn and I thought sure I was going to toss my cookies right there. It actually took three more hours to get to that point. It's been three days of unpleasantness since. I thought I was going to make it to Dickens workshops today and Tate and Elisa's housewarming, but no dice.

I can actually sit up now, so that's good. Maybe I can get some real work done today. Food still thwarts me. Kaiser says to eat bread, rice, applesauce, and crackers. Yummy.

No work. No ceili. No workshops. Just a lot of sleep and tv and kitten snuggles. Oh, and Rick made me matzo ball soup. That was cool. I'm just waiting for my body to let me know I can go back to my life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wow

This is the most intense, factually driven rant I've seen in a long time. Warning: strong language.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Presenting Data and Information

I get to go to a class taught by Edward Tufte himself. Nifty!

Incredible

The Incredibles is my favorite movie so far this year. I jumped. I laughed. I even screamed at one point. I was completely unable to tear myself away long enough to go pee. It was so darned cool. Everyone should see it. Yah.

Maps!

I've never seen so many election maps as this year. Some are simple. Some break it down a little. Some break us into shades of purple. Some are three dimensional. Some are like surreal art. The overarching theme after the simplest of maps is that we're not as polarized as the electoral college makes us out to be.

Of course, some of the maps postulate another possibility.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Man's Inhumanity to Man

The things people do in the name of God chill me to the core.

Time wasting quiz alert!


YOU ARE BASIL


What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Meh, sounds about right.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Movie Buddies

I love that so many of my friends have jobs that they love at Google, but one thing makes me sad about it.

Used to, when a big movie came out, we'd all get together and go together en masse. This can turn even the worst movies into some of my favorite evenings. The special case is Star Wars Episode 1. It was a terrible movie, but seeing it at the Grand Lake with 50 of my friends was the best. We danced in the aisles to the sci-fi selections played by the organist. We went out for dinner after the movie. We hashed through the movie. It was a truly great night. I drove all the way from LA for it.

Nowadays, most go on free tickets from Google. Sometimes there's extra tickets and occasionally I get some through the kindness of friends, but even then, it's Google's affair. It's not friends going out together. It's me joining my friends with their coworkers.

I miss going out to the big exciting movies with friends. Tomorrow a bunch of the Googlers are off to The Incredibles. I really want to see this. I'd really love to see it with a gaggle of friends. I just don't think that's going to happen. Oh well. I guess Rick and I will go on Monday night. It's playing down the street from us at the Camera 12 at 7:30. Anybody wanna go with?

Snicker

Don't hate the Bush voting states. They just can't help it if they're just not as smart as others.

Disclaimer: Yes, I know, an IQ test is not an especially valid indicator of intelligence, and yes, I know that this does not mean that all Republicans are dumb. I just thought it was kinda funny.

Marriage in America

Okay, so this is really bugging me. A child molester can be married, but a fine, upstanding, model American homosexual couple is a threat to the moral values of our country if they get married. Please, oh please, explain that demented logic to me. Seriously, Suzi and Sandy, who own their own home, two cars, and have started their own small business, they are a threat to society. I don't get it. Sounds to me like a couple merrily pursuing the American Dream. Guess I'd be wrong. That seems to happen a lot lately.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Numb

Not only did Bush win, now he's got a solid majority to pass anything he wants through both the house and senate.

Much as I was so thrilled to see Gavin Newsome's attempt at normalizing gay marriage, I knew then and had it affirmed yesterday that it was the wrong battle at the wrong time. "Moral values" were cited as often as anything else as a reason for choosing a candidate. I'm not sure when bigotry and hate became a moral value, but okay, whatever. I mean, so what if two people who love each other get to have it recognized by the state? How does that destroy the moral fabric of America? Not having it legally recognized right now doesn't make their love or their relationships any less real. Sigh. I dunno. If only that battle had been waged this coming year instead of earlier this year. Of course, even as I thought that then and think it now, Martin Luther King's "Why We Can't Wait" echoes in my head. I know, I know, waiting for your rights is wrong. But I think this shining moment, this grand attempt to start a real discourse about gay rights in America has cost us four more years of Republican leadership, and may cost us several seats on the Supreme Court, and who knows what else. I'm not sad it happened, but I'm sad about the results. 11 measures banning gay marriage passed yesterday. Those Christian Conservative voters turning out helped push W over the edge.

Oh well. Four more years gives us four years of history with a full Republican power structure to prove that Republicans aren't really the "fiscal conservatives" they say they are. Who knows what kind of debt we'll have racked up by the end of it.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Mighty Metaphor Girl

Can't concentrate. The metaphors in my brain all all running around in circles like birds with their tails on fire.

I'm so ready for it to be over.
If it turns out badly, I will have enormous guilt for not doing more to make things better.
Gonna make chili and huddle around the tv watching election returns with friends.

Meh.

I Voted

And I've got the little sticker to prove it.

I went to the polling place in my new neighborhood. I wanted to see if paper ballots were offered. The line was long. One of the poll workers said, "We've had more people this morning already that we had for the whole day in the last election." That's a good sign. One thing is certain: the nation is polarized and at least half of the country is going to be very disappointed in the next 48 hours. I say at least half, because I think the whole country will be disappointed if we end up in a recount fiasco again.

I was disappointed a bit at my polling station. There were five electronic voting stations, and one paper ballot station. The polling workers didn't ask if you wanted to do electronic or paper. Instead, they just handed you the electronic voting card unless you argued with them about getting a paper ballot. Then they seemed surprised. One very elderly woman had her granddaughter with her. The granddaughter was asking if she could help the grandmother with the voting because computers confused her. The poll worker said, "Oh but the electronic voting is so easy," and never even offered a paper ballot. The granddaughter asked again, saying computers made her uncomfortable. The poll worker said that yes, she could help her. The paper ballot was never offered.

Nevertheless, I got my paper ballot and voted. It's absurd that the polling systems we bought don't have so much as a paper journal. And it's not like the manufacturers don't know better. Diebold manufactures ATMs as well as voting machines. Of course, it's not in Diebold's interest to leave a paper trail.

Tonight folks are coming over for dinner to watch the returns. Here's hoping all goes well.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Friends in Iraq

Kim's husband Ethan is in specialized training, on his way to Iraq. Justin's brother is just back. My junior high school sweetheart, Mark is there now. He writes:

"I'm in Iraq now. I've been here for about a month and a half sweating profusely and dodging daily mortar attacks. It's not my favorite way to live; but I'll manage. If you're interested, I'm about 10 miles west of Fallujah sandwiched in a nasty area. This place is crawling with insurgents that want us very dead. We've been very fortunate so far. Our tight security of this airbase has kept us fairly safe so far. Unfortunately, the bad guys keep doing "drive-by" mortar launches that land all over our camp. We've had them hit so close that the schrapnel came flying inside our sleeping tents...luckily, everyone was at their work areas so no one was killed or hurt. These constant attacks really rattle your nerves sometimes when they come so close you hear the whistling of the incoming rounds...especially when you don't know where they're going to drop. Maybe a half mile away...maybe 20 feet away. And of course, if you're unlucky enough to be on one of the teams that goes off base for IED
response (Improvised Explosive Devices), you have a 50/50 chance of getting blown to bits by an IED or ambush yourself."

It's funny how idyllic the 90's seem by comparison. I remember in high school having a vague worry about a few folks who graduated ahead of me getting into trouble in Kuwait for a a few months. This is the second time Mark has been out to Iraq in this round. He's right in the middle of it as a Marine. That vague worry is a little more acute when it's about a boy you remember stealing a kiss in 7th grade, or who took me at face value when he asked "So you've graduated from high school, what do you want to do next?" and I said, "I wanna go to Disneyland." And we did. Heck, I can pretty much credit him with my adult appreciation for Disneyland. We had such a good time, especially on our early entry morning. Anyway, just fretting. So, um, can I have my "irrational exuberance" from the 90s back? I liked that. It was fun.

Halloween Weekend

Friday was spent slaying pumpkins with Cyrus and Athena. The company was lovely, and it was nice to see that set of friends together again. We ended up watching a bunch of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes. Truly, the Shinning episode is 10 minutes of pure television perfection.

Gaskells was perfectly lovely on Saturday night. Everyone looked fabulous. It was a feast for the eyes. There was even a Polly Perkins complete with camera.

Sunday was a Fezzis rehearsal and Christmas Caroling. My favorite house this year was where we started singing Silent Night, and from inside the house, we hear a piano accompanying us. We sang all three verses and were never so on key. It was fabulous. We ended the evening watching Van Helsing at Fred's place. It's still one of the silliest flicks I've ever seen, and I totally loved it. It was nice to watch it with a bunch of other folks who caught the humor.

Strange Dreams

I've never been so anxious about an election before. Of course, I've never actually supported a candidate before. In the past, I've always chosen the lesser of two evils. This time around, I actually believe Kerry is a good man for the job. He's thoughtful and well educated. He doesn't just respond with knee jerk reactions. He's a reflective man with a strong conscience. His Vietnam military service doesn't matter so much, except to say that he was there and has a strong basis for his opinions. Plus, he knows how the military command structure works and can probably better manage the job as commander in chief. He understands that there's more to voting for legislation than going by the title alone. Sure, that means Bush can call him a flip flopper, but Bush in a nincompoop who has probably never read an entire legislative bill (or heck, probably not even a phone bill).

Anyway, net result is that the past couple of nights I've had odd, scary dreams. Last night's dream involved the Supreme Court. I think it has to do with Rehnquist's cancer and hospitalization. Sure, losing Rehnquist during Bush's administration might not be a huge thing, but it's just the tip of the ice berg. And for all of the right wing whining about "activist judges", there's no legitimate reason the Federal Supreme Court should've been involved in deciding the Florida state election results, but they were, and I suspect that a Bush-loaded court would feel free to stick it's nose in all sorts of places.

So, I suspect I've got at least two more nights of strange dreams. What will I wake up to on November 3rd?