Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Weekend Stats

Wine Drunk: >Too Much

Writing Done: 0

Bejeweled Blitz Facebook Game High Score: 198,650

Bejeweled Blitz Facebook Game High Score Beaten On Sunday Night By: Cousin Jake's Wife Jen

Times Blanket Covering Couch Washed, Due to Recurrent Cat Pee: 3

"Scat Mat" Brand Electric Cat-Repellent Mats Purchased: 1

Pulled-Pork Sandwiches Eaten: 1

Small But Very Hot (Yet Still Kind Of Tasty) Peppers Eaten (By Me): .5

Small But Very Hot (Yet Still Kind Of Tasty) Peppers Eaten (By Cameron): ~10.5

Movies Watched On The Topics Of a) Zombies b) Drag Pageants c) Vacations In Italy: 3

Amount Of Harp Practice Done: 0

Next Harp Lesson: Wednesday

Heavy Cream Used in Sauce for Gnocchi: ~1/2 Pint

Magazines Read While Sitting Outside On The Patio: 2

Books Read While Sitting Outside On The Patio: 1

Happiness To Live In A Place Where You Can Sit Outside And Read At The End Of November:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aunt Lola's Etiquette Advice For All Possible Occasions: Thanksgiving Edition

For the most part, Aunt Lola offers her advice on twitter, but for those questions for which one hundred and forty characters simply isn't sufficient, I have offered her the space to answer them here on my blog. Enjoy.

Dear Aunt Lola,

Do you have any advice on getting through a Thanksgiving with a non-traditional family? Mother recently left Father for a younger vampire (she says it's a werewolf thing, but frankly, none of us are buying that) and she wants to bring him along, which is a problem because Grams says he tried to feed on her back in the 1870s. Aunt Mary's second husband is a zombie, and he always puts brains in the stuffing, even though no one else likes them. Grandpa insists on killing the turkey himself, except that with his false teeth it takes forever for him to rip out the throat, and by the time he's done there are feathers absolutely everywhere and most of the meat is ruined. (And don't even get me started on my cousins and their "science projects.") And the worst part is, I'm bringing my new boyfriend to meet them all for the first time, and I don't want him to think that we're weird. What should I do?


Hungry For the Holidays

Dear Ms. Holidays,

Firstly, it is foolish to ever ask Aunt Lola if she has advice. Aunt Lola always has advice, for all occasions. It's right there in the name. Secondly, don't worry so much about things you can do nothing about. There are some things in life we can not control, and family is most of them. The best we can hope to do is contain the damage. Therefore, I would suggest that you tolerate your mother's new beau as best you can, for her sake, However, if you think he is likely to attempt to renew his acquaintance with your grandmother, I would recommend that you keep a cup of Holy Water on hand, which can be "accidentally" spilled, as it is awkward to try and explain attacking someone with a stake in a social situation. As for the issues with the dinner, your best option is simply to have a quick bite at home before you leave, so you can take just enough food to be polite, without feeling compelled to eat it. Remember that Thanksgiving is more about family coming together and celebrating traditions than it is about the particulars of the feast, and it's better to wait while your grandfather gnaws his way through a turkey throat than to insult him by suggesting he is no longer able to play a valued role.

Thirdly, and finally, do not try to hide or change your relatives for the sake of your boyfriend. They are who they are, and he is bound to find out eventually. And the sooner he knows them, the better he will be able to arm himself for the next encounter.

Yours Truly,

Aunt Lola

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shoesday: Wedging it In

The Story:

Why lizard print? More specifically, why lizard print on vaguely sneaker-ish three inch wedges with ankle straps and imitation shoelaces, that miss the appearance of orthopedic shoes by just thismuch?

Well, why not?

Seriously, I'm taking reasons.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Top Five Names For My Band, If I Had One, Which I Don't

5. The Abashed Romantics
4. Crazy-Eyed Monkey*
3. The Human Phenom Project
2. Self-Titled Debut**
1. Shoetember!

*I have this necklace
**Only for the first album. For the second one, we would change our name to "Self-Titled Follow Up"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Handy Holiday Gift Suggestions

Is there a girl aged 5-9 years* in your life? Does she like Hello Kitty? Well, you could get her something like this:

You know, if you don't care about her at all.

But if you really want her to be happy, you'll buy her this:

Sure, it costs 25 grand, but really, can you honestly put a price on a child's happiness?**

*I am aware that some of the above may actually be intended for real, fully grown adults; I simply refuse to accept it.
**Yes: $25,000. Or $5 for a tube of cookie dough.

Aunt Lola's Etiquette Advice For All Possible Occasions

Also known as my new Twitter project. In it, I adopt the persona of Aunt Lola, and provide advice for those social occasions that are not generally covered by your standard etiquette manuals. Such as:

Always enter the villain's secret lair from the left, to avoid the piranha tank.


It is almost never appropriate to bring C4 as a hostess gift.

The name is @etiquette4all, because Twitter limits the number of characters you can use and I couldn't think of anything funny that would fit.

(Update for the benefit of people named Karen: There is also an RSS feed option, for those who are not interested in the twitter thing. Just saying.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shoesday: Shoe Block

The Story*:

Have you ever had one of those days where you looked at a pair of shoes and found you had nothing to say about them? Have you stared and stared at the photo, as if willing it spring to life and begin dictating a blog post to you? And then has your mind wandered to other thoughts, like whether you have enough milk for breakfast tomorrow, and how it's kind of sad that your browser has added the Facebook Bejeweled game to your most-visited pages, and despite that your cousin's wife is still beating your high score? And then have you eaten a few candied walnuts, because even though you don't like walnuts you will eat anything if it's covered with brown sugar, and thought about this picture and how you would have lots of things to say about those shoes, none of them nice?

No? Oh. Yeah, me neither.

Hey, look, sequins!

*Or, in this case, lack thereof.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Not Too Late! (But It's Close. . .)

For what? For signing up for the Berkeley Mystery Writing Intensive!

WONDER at the talents of several published authors and an actual movie writer/director/actor! GASP at the stories of real law enforcement officials! THRILL at the chance to see a rare live agent in captivity! DRINK with all assembled until you do something inadvisable! SPEND the next three weeks negotiating the return of the pictures!

What I'm saying is, you really should be there.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It May Be a Trap. . .

Whoops, no, it's just a podcast of a story about them. My bad.

Actually, it's my story. Give it a listen, won't you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Double-Stuffed Oreos: The Quest for the Truth

Subtitle: Double or Nothing

With their labeling, Nabisco makes the bold, if implied claim that their "Double Stuffed" Oreos have double the stuff of a normal, or "wild type" Oreo. But do they? The question cried out to be tested. So I did.

Side-by-side comparison:


-- Subject Cookies
-- Razor Blade (clean)
-- Weigh Paper

And, of course:

-- A lab coat with my name on it*


Pre-Weigh the Cookies

(All weights in grams, because we roll like that.)

Disassemble, employing the razor blade.

Weigh the Stuff.

Wild Type:


Based on these data, I would say that the more accurate title for the Double-Stuffed Oreo would be the 2.38x-Stuffed Oreo. I expect a renaming to be imminent.

*Yes, that is my name.

Do I Have the Product For You

Do you like juice, but feel like it doesn't spoil fast enough?

Do you prefer your alcoholic beverages to be of questionable origin?

Do you wish you were more like the Germans?

Well, your dreams are coming true today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shoesday: Concatenation

The Story:
Bad title? Yes, but it's getting hard to do anything sans-catination around here, what with the wiliness and the claws. Also, he has taken to chewing clean through shoelaces*, which is why these (gold Missoni flats, thanks for asking), live safely in the shoe closet.

*We are considering the possibility that he may actually be a dog.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Country Music Word Problem II


What is the AMA-recommended treatment for a busted give a damn (see supplemental materials, below)? Chose one option and explain your selection in the space provided.

a) Elevate, apply a cold compress.
b) Immediate surgery.
c) Tourniquet!
d) Five shots of tequila, egg the sumbitch's car.

Supplemental Materials:

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Ugliest Pants in the History of Pants

Tapered. Cropped. High-waisted. Balloon-crotched. Distressed. Culottes. Apparently designed with Torgo as the fit model.

And the best part? Retail price: $352.

Of course, if you hurry, you can buy them from Gilt for only $138. And they have plenty of sizes left!

Free Music Friday: The Duhks

This Fall by The Duhks

(Edited: It occurs to me that this feature is somewhat misleadingly titled, as none of the music I've had so far is still free. But I'm not sure what else to call it. Free At One Point Music Friday? Music I Didn't Pay For, But I Think You Should?)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why I Get a Flu Shot

Today, my left shoulder is hurting and I have been asked repeatedly if I have ever had an adverse reaction to eggs. That's right: I got my flu shot. There are various points of debate about the value of getting a flu shot, some of which are reasonable, others that are stupid. My reasons for getting it are twofold:

1) It is a truth universally acknowledged that having the flu is, for the most part, no more than a minorly unpleasant experience, somewhat mollified by the fact that you get to stay home and watch The Price is Right which, shockingly, Drew Carey is not doing that bad of a job at hosting. No, seriously; he seems to be genuinely happy for the contestants, and he manages to introduce Plinko with a totally straight face. So: the flu. Bad, but not that bad. Getting shots: also bad. What to do?

Well, the flu isn't entirely innocuous. After all, it does kill thousands of people every year, mostly small children and the elderly.

"But, so what," you say. "I am neither a small child or the elderly. How do I factor into this?"

First: You're a terrible person. Honestly, who says something like that? Also, you aren't considering the bigger picture here. Viruses don't spread themselves*. They need vectors; in this case people, in others, mosquitoes. Which means that all of us, struggling in to work, curled up and whimpering in bed, yelling at the TV that there is no way that a two-pack of toilet bowl cleaner goes for $12.73, are all node points in the great epidemian** flow chart.

Which means, assuming that the people who determine these things*** guess correctly as to which flu strains are going to be percolating though our collective bloodstreams this winter, by getting the vaccine you can turn yourself into a dead end on that path, and the fewer people there are spreading the virus, the less it will be spread, and the lower the chances it will reach one of those sensitive people who you are not. And while, statistically, the contribution of one individual to this is almost vanishingly small,**** I figure it's probably the right thing to do.

2) My mom makes me.

Actually, it's mostly reason #2.

*At least, not until I finish my current "project." Then they will be sorry they laughed at me! Oh yes, they will be sorry.
**Firefox doesn't think this is a word; I think it should be.
***I'm pretty sure it's done by Magic 8-Ball.
****Just like voting!

Your Thursday Insanity

Because it is Thursday, I thought I would try and come up with with something insane to post for you enjoyment. But I've got nothing, because all of the insanity in the world is being used up by this trailer. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: RoboGeisha.

(Note: Contains some inappropriate material. Though, shockingly, it is not porn.)

("Thanks" to David for the tip.)

(Also, that's a circular saw blade, not a chainsaw. I mean, honestly.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Selling Out: Not Just For Japan Anymore

(Discovered by Cameron via German TV)

Shoesday: A Night at the Opera Pump

The Story:
Every once in a while, fashion people get all excited about womenswear that looks like menswear, which is all well and good, even if it hasn't been that revolutionary for about seventy years. But what about womenswear that looks like menswear that looks like womenswear? Where, I ask, is the love, or at least the outrage? (Outrage, of course, being somewhat preferred.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Country Music Word Problem

In the Patty Loveless song "You Can Feel Bad If It Makes You Feel Better" the singer states:

Maybe I'll go out tonight, yeah, I'll paint the town
And maybe I'll run into you, while I'm runnin' 'round
There's a good chance I'll be alone
An even better one that you won't

Given the preceding, what are the odds that a) both will be alone and b) both will be accompanied. Please express your answer in terms of "chance" and show your work for full credit.

Extra Credit Question: The singer also states "Take another look at these tears I'm crying/They're not fallin' on your shoulders, they're fallin' on mine." Describe two situations, assuming normal human anatomy, in which a person could reasonably be expected to be crying on her own shoulders.