This cracked me up

23 10 2007

Confidential to the individual coming in search of an “inflatable plumber butt costume”: I don’t have one available for sale, but I’m starting to wish I did. You can make one pretty easily. Simply dress as a plumber would and pull your pants down a little in the back.

SIDE NOTE: This company makes all sorts of *other* wonderful inflatable things, as I’ve discovered through my own Independent Research.





Pumpkin spice and everything nice

18 10 2007

I like to go to Starbuck’s every now and then, and I’m not even talking about the one roughly 50 feet from my Place of Employment. I would rather go to a locally owned coffee house (that serves quality coffee), but it’s tough to find indie businesses in my corner of the OTP without a bit of travel. Anyways so the last two times I went to the particular ‘Bucks that I always go to, I have been the “every 50th customer.” This means I am eligible for TWO entries in the October drawing to win $1,000. I’m gonna give it a shot, you know? I figure this isn’t going to happen every day.

And by the way, I’m kicking myself for repeatedly ordering the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which cost me more than purchasing an actual pumpkin. It’s not unpleasant, but it bears resemblance to neither pumpkins nor spice. It is a fine and enjoyable latte, however. It’s a different story when tasting pumpkin beer, however. That stuff doesn’t sit well with me. The last time I tried some I thought it tasted vaguely like, um, “upchuck,” and I didn’t make it beyond a few sips. I’m tempted to give it another shot, but of course, that’s what I always say about the Pumpkin Spice Latte. My picks at Starbucks are straight-up cappuccino, the cinnamon dolce latte and the chai latte. Even then I have to be careful to just drink a little at a time and spread it out over a few hours to avoid getting an uncomfortable stomach-irritating caffeine rush, and you know, to make it last. I’ve tried non-dairy and that helps a lot, but the soy milk doesn’t touch real milk. If I want something a little lighter I’ll go for a green tea lemonade, lightly sweetened. Delish.

[/whining]

So… beyond that, I endorse Stephen Colbert for president. To be quite honest, he’s the only candidate I have any sort of affection or affinity for.

I should also recap my recent journey to Stone Mountain Park for the pumpkin festival (featuring pumpkins that are probably NOT picked directly from a local patch, but I can pretend, right?). It was good times, and it was a lot easier to get there than I expected. Admission to the park itself is free (although attractions are not) so it’s a nice place to go and chill. I’m definitely going to go back and try out ALL the rides if I possibly can. I love the little touristy village inside the park. It reminds me of a Cracker Barrel on a massive scale. (And Stone Mountain Village itself has a charming little Main Street). What kind of weirds me out is the carving on the side, which is of course the main attraction of the whole thing. It’s a monument to the Old South, and you see a lot of, I dunno, characters going to see it. Then there was the kid who asked me if I was “from around here” and the lack of transit in the direct vicinity of the park. For these and other reasons, what I’m getting at here is that I sense that the crowd at this park is more representative of the population outside the city than the people inside it. If you catch my drift. And then there was a bunch of guys who drove by me and yelled “Hey!” to scare me. They laughed when I jumped. I don’t know, it was kind of a strange atmosphere over there peoplewise. Still, an enjoyable time, and I’ll definitely go back.

What I really miss is Young’s Farm in Dewey, Arizona, which used to have the most awesome pumpkin festivals featuring pumpkins grown right on the farm (if I understand correctly). I know I went at least once with my roommate at the time, and I’m glad. That place was totally awesome, but sadly, the owners had to sell it out for some reason or another, and now they can build a subdivision there for heat-weary Phoenician escapees. And by the way…

A CHALLENGE TO THOSE LOOKING AT THIS
Finally, I’m calling on all my readerses (I assume there’s at least a handful of you out there) to search for the term “adult balloon animals.” I’m currently the No. 5 result when you search for those words in Google, and the goal should be to become the No. 1 source of complete non-information on adult balloon animals. Together we can work together to make this happen.





Lengthy List of Observations

15 10 2007

1. I’ve discovered one key issue with social networking sites: they require some form of socialization with a network of some sort, and we’re not necessarily talking about Cartoon Network. This can be a tricky affair, even for someone as super awesome as myself.

2. Stone Mountain Park = Piedmont Park + Mt. Mount Rushmore / Cracker Barrel

3. As mom points out, Stone Mountain is a lot like the Grand Canyon, albeit slightly less grandiose: It’s that one symbolic thing that you have to see, and yet many people have yet to see it. I finally saw it on Saturday, and it was, you know. Interesting.

4. A coworker attempted earlier today to explain the difference between a “block” and a “trap.” I still have no idea what he was talking about.

5. Then again, if we’re talking about any kind of subject matter relating to No. 4, you can bet for absolute sure that I have no idea what we’re talking about.

6. Everything closes so dang early on Sunday, man. It’s such a DRAG! I guess I might as well be working.

7. My phone gets so hot when I talk that I feel like I’m going to melt on one side of my head.

8. I’ve mentioned a few times that I have this issue with bees who slam into the front window, thinking they can pass right through it and then SMACK! Down they go with a little thump on the glass. I like to leave the blinds open and just watch this scene play out over and over again. OK, not really, but that’s what I see when I try to catch a little sunlight. It can be a little weird to hear that when the blinds are closed, but more often than not, they can tell that it’s an impassable surface.

9. I’ve also hinted before at a possible war of pests. The bees and the spiders are rising up now that the cockroaches have subsided and the rats are pretty much superfluous. Who will be next in this battle of bugs?

10. Doing laundry is like the worst thing ever. There’s a term for it: “Mount Wash More.” I prefer … there’s no play on Stone Mountain. Drat!

11. I’m gonna shoot up outta bed at 4 in the morning like “Aha! I must … go … to the … computer!” in my crappy Capt. Kirk At 4 a.m. voice.

12. I LOVE to slowly bite the heads off gummy bears before devouring their bodies whole.

13. ASU is ranked at No. 8 in the BCS poll and No. 12 in the AP poll. Why I care about this is beyond me.

14. I’ve been really getting into the whole standings race, because of all the incredible upsets this season. The drama! The excitement! The exasperated sports writers pulling puns out of their literary arses!

15. What a season it’s been … Stanford vs. USC was up there with the greatest upsets of all time, marking the point at which we could confirm our suspicions that there were Achilles’ heels afoot in Troy. LSU just got unexpectedly pawed… Clemson was stung by Georgia Tech… there’s really too many upsets to list. The one team I think is giving off that “unstoppable” aura this season is USF: University of South Florida. Those young whippersnappers seem like they can do no wrong. Whether that will last is anybody’s guess. They’re awfully new to this.

15. Anyway, go Sun Devils!

16. Seriously, I love reading all the crazy search terms that are bringing people to this site. It’s so awesome.





ROBOTS

6 10 2007

Another thing, I just realized I’m outnumbered 2:1 by robots in my household. When I claim my “robo-roach,” aka Hex Bug, I’ll be outnumbered 3:1, and one of them will be a faux insect. I bet more and more, households will become like mine. One day, the robots will rise up and do something.

P.S. I just bought an animal-print mouse today as well. But this doesn’t count as a robot, just an overindulgence. A fool and her money are easily parted.





Writing challenges and musical insecurity

6 10 2007

As you may or may not know, I want to write and I have ideas in my head, but I’m not sure how to get them on paper/computer, and I don’t know what’s the best way to proceed. As I see it, there are a number of questions you have to ask yourself when constructing a piece, and here is the list of things I’m asking myself:

  • Fact or fiction? In some ways, nonfiction is way more artistic because you can talk about something that really happened and find research sources. You spend more time crafting and perfecting your art. And fiction is way more limited, because in order to add reality to an invented scenario, you have to decide upon a “realistic enough” sort of scenario.
  • “Novel” ideas, anyone? With books having to compete with far more interactive kinds of media, is there a way for the ol’ tome to get in on the business? It’s my feeling that old-fashioned book reading could benefit from a little modernity, just enough to get people in on the game. Perhaps authors can start blogs and discussions and encourage people to share their perspectives and fan art. The fan art and fanfiction (and yes, slash) are seemingly a biproduct of this sort of need we have now to be participants in the media we consume.
  • Why create a standard text story in the first place? Maybe interactive storytelling is the way to go. Stories constructed from the start in an inherently interactive manner. Don’t ask me how that would get done, but I’ve done a little research into interactive narratives and perhaps that’s a good starting point. On the other hand, reading purists know (and I feel) that text has its own value; an intimate connection with the author as the words stream through your head in a sort of musical rhythm designed to dance through the verbal centers in your brain. The resulting imagery is often more powerful than any movie, and most people can attest to disappointment at the seeing a movie after reading an associated book. The trick is you, the reader, have to be of the right mindset to receive text. More and more, it’s getting hard for me to focus on something so old-fashioned as a book.
  • So you’ve decided you want to write a fiction book. How fictional should it be? Should it be set in a real place or a fictional location? How much should this place resemble real life?
  • Do you want to play it deadpan and straight, or do you want to have an element of humor mixed in?
  • How to narrate the story? Third-person narration feels safer because the narrator doesn’t have to have a stake in the story, but first-person narration can have its benefits. It depends on how involved the narrator should be. You can even have an omniscient narrator speaking in the first person about events happening to others. In any case, how reliable is this narrator going to be? The default typically is a “journalist narrator” who uses colorful commentary to describe the situation, but ultimately steps back and lets things unfold. Still, things could be done differently. A more unreliable narrator might choose to withhold information or give their opinions. In any case, it’s something to think about when constructing a story.
  • What’s the point of writing this? To have fun, make social commentary, address inner fears of the psyche or maybe do all of these and more? Maybe there’s something out there I can’t think of. In any case, it’s important to figure this stuff out.
  • Is there a workable storyline going on here? Is this a sustainable plot? Where is this going?
  • Has this same exact story been done BETTER by someone else?

I think that’s enough for now, but I’m working on some ideas. We’ll see.

Oh, and WordPress has added a tags feature (or else I’m blind to the fact that it was there before) so I can now add tags instead of relying only on categories. Now I’m wondering how exactly I’m going to use these in concert now, seeing as I’ve been applying a tag approach to my use of categories. Ah well.

Oh, and whilst at Borders today, I purchased four CDs. One of them was a Richard Marx CD (my first) and the others were from shall I say “cooler” artists. (Remember that “one of these things is not like the other” sketch from Sesame Street?) I was a little awkward about the Richard Marx disc and I put it near the bottom of the stack. I mean, I’m not such a wuss as to not buy the actual CD, but I’m still insecure enough to try to sandwich it between more socially acceptable items and pray to the deity of your choice that nobody says anything about it. So the Kevin Bacon-esque clerk chuckles a little and asks me straight out, “You a big fan of Richard Marx?” and I flatly denied it in the same way that I might flatly deny that I have some horrible disease, which was silly, but I did it. It turns out that *he* actually enjoyed it and I squashed him without really intending to, and I felt a little bad about it.

I’m going into this awful amount of detail about this extremely mundane event because music is such a personal and telling thing, but at the same time it means nothing at all. It’s a singular reflection of one aspect of our inner emotional state, and in some cases represents our fleeting emotional and social desires. Exposing your musical interests via playlist is a bit like opening up your soul to show who you are and maybe even who you wish you were. So, then, it’s not really in vogue to be emotionally vulnerable in this day and age. Sarcasm, stoicism and a stiff upper lip are common sights. For that reason, you (me, whatever) cringe at the thought of enjoying really emotional or cheesy things, until you reach a certain point that it’s so ridiculous that you can only celebrate it. I think that’s where I’m at now. And don’t get me wrong; maudlin, over-emotional and perhaps clingy people drive me up the wall. But sometimes it’s nice to indulge, and yet I feel very defensive at the store counter. So, everyone, the moral of this story is it’s time we embraced the Softer Side of Sears. And Richard Marx.





Roachology

4 10 2007

I think I’m starting to think like a roach, as you’ll see from this entry.

So I called for extermination last Wednesday and I assume they came, although they left no evidence of having done so other than leaving my door unlocked so that I got a little freaked out when I returned to my abode that night. When I peeked in and saw that my stuff was all still there, I figured it was OK to go inside. Since I NEVER leave my door unlocked by mistake except for very short periods of time and even then only in weird situations where I consciously postpone the locking process, i.e. virtually NEVER, I can only assume that the exterminator came.

That probably explains the sharp drop in the number of roaches I’m seeing, in conjunction with the greater effort I’m making to keep my place clean. That said, there are probably still roaches living inside the walls and around my hot water heater, which is locked away and inaccessible to me. And then the major problem is the same as it always has been: outdoor roaches coming in through the front door. So tonight I saw one of those big outdoor ones. It was crawling around in all the filth in the places I can’t clean, and walking all over the Baits Motels that have been set up along the baseboards. But it was also kind of stupid, so after whacking a broom at it several times, it finally died a painful and suffering death before being flushed down the toilet. Thank goodness for the stupidity of Georgia’s roaches. Now I jinx myself…

One of the problems is my building is a bit older and IMHO the construction isn’t the most solid, and there are cracks and openings aplenty. Plus, the doors don’t fit properly in the jambs. And then like a lot of other complexes around here, there is a lot of pine litter around the base of the buildings, plus shrubbery and trees are close to the foundation. It makes the place look nicer and lusher, but it also attracts bugs because they don’t see much of a delineation between natural and manmade areas and it’s harder to spray. (I live on one of the upper floors, by the way). And the outdoor hallways and tight spaces and frequent changes of occupants mean lots and lots of roaches. If one person sprays, the roaches go to the next apartment owner until they spray. UGH.

But I’m getting good at predicting their behavior so I can kill them. They tend to be stupid and try to come back out to the place they were when you tried to kill them. Rarely do they have the tenacity to stay in one place for long, and that makes them easy to kill — so you figure out a way to weaken them, block their escape routes and then go in for the kill. And then BAM! They’re dead. Think like a roach and YOU will be the one prepared to survive nuclear holocausts. (I should start my own infomercial-type thing.)