Archive for June, 2004

Jun

26

Hello, Kitty

12:09 am · category: Uncategorized

I’ve unofficially adopted the neighbor’s cat. He’s really a pathetic little thing: he’s scrawny and has only one ear. (The other was, at least stitched up — what was left of it, anyway.) But he does make me smile when he rubs up against my leg. I’ve named him Steve, after my Aunt Sandy’s high school friend Steve, who is also scrawny and makes me smile. (Steve does not, however, rub up against my leg. If he did, I’d drop-kick him right where he stood.) I think the neighbors got Steve from an animal rescue shelter, which is a laudable act.

Which reminds me, today I learned at the Buffyguide‘s Watchers Diary about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push to repeal a 1998 California law that requires shelters to hold animals for six days before they’re euthanized. Instead, he supports putting down strays the day they’re found. I’m not really much of an animal lover, but that seems cruel even to me. Admittedly, the governor backpedaled almost as soon as the animal rights activists started in. Still, it seems sort of heartless.

Jun

24

The Protein I’m Missing is in the Key of G

12:47 am · category: Uncategorized

Today I found proof that you should periodically return to strange websites to see what kinds of updates are there. I loved Molecular Music the first time I went, but it only had some plant songs. They’ve got all kinds of stuff now!

The website explains the weird things going on there like this: “Created by award-winning biochemist and musician Dr. Linda Long, Molecular Music provides a pioneering link between the seemingly disparate worlds of music and biological science. It involves the generation of music from three-dimensional biological molecules called proteins. Dr. Linda Long has developed it as tool for teaching molecular modelling of complex protein structures, and to generate music from herbs, medicinal plants and the human body for relaxation and therapeutic purposes.”

Since my last visit, they’ve added a tune for Human Growth Hormone, which is on the “Music of the Body” link. Because I sometimes maintain that my short stature is a result of low HGH levels (rather than the obvious genetic implications), I downloaded that one right away. It’s pretty good. There’s also the sound of fertility, which is from a hormone called “follitropin.” (And here I always thought the sounds of fertility were Barry White songs, satin sheets rubbing against one another, and the drip-drip-drip of champagne from a bottle to a glass flute.) You can also hear the sound of metabolism, which isn’t near so gross as you might have imagined.

Jun

22

Working Girl

4:50 pm · category: Uncategorized

I had an interview today with the owner of the new Curves location nearby. I sent an unsolicited resume and cover letter a couple of weeks ago, and the owner kindly replied that, while she didn’t need anyone for the grand opening, she would keep my resume on file. But she called back last week and I interviewed today, and it looks like I might actually be employed pretty soon! I’m supposed to expect to hear back from her in the next couple of weeks, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed

Jun

19

O, Mondegreen! O, Mondegreen! How I Have Misunderstood Thee!

4:53 pm · category: Uncategorized

(That title really works better if you sing it to the tune of O, Tannenbaum. Go ahead, try it. You’ll like it.)

“Mondegreens” are song lyrics you’ve misunderstood. There’s a great list of them here, along with an explanation of where the term comes from. (You’re not surprised that it comes from what someone thought [wrongly] were song lyrics, are you?)

I didn’t peruse the whole list to see if my personal favorite is on there, but I bet it is. Remember that song by Go West called Wishful Thinking? I always thought the chorus was “I’ll get over you, I know I will. I’ll pretend my shit’s not stinking,” rather than “I’ll pretend my ship’s not sinking.” You have any mondegreens you want to share? Comment, please.

Jun

18

Vicious Circles

10:24 pm · category: Uncategorized

Okay, here’s the good news. I sent an unsolicited resume to a new business opening at the end of June in a nearby town. A couple of days later, the owner called to let me know that she had received the resume; however, she had already filled all available positions. Nevertheless, the woman was kind enough to let me know that she was going to keep my resume on file.

This morning the owner called and asked me to meet her Monday morning for an interview. She asked if I was looking for full- or part-time work, and I explained that either is fine with me; however, it’s been difficult to find an employer because of my school schedule and the related commute. I re-iterated what I had said in the cover letter, which was that any job I take will have to let me off on Thursdays, which is the only day I have classes in the fall semester.

I’m excited about the prospect of a job, and especially one with this particular company. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in a vicious circle. I have only one on-campus class this fall (the aforementioned Thursday course), but I have an independent study project that needs to be completed this summer. The ISP involves ten to fourteen days of extensive travel. (I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re interested you can find more about it here.) The catch is that I have to have money to make this trip, which means I need a job. Of course, no job is going to let a new employee take two weeks off for what appears, on the surface, to be nothing more than a fun-filled roadtrip. See? Vicious circle. And most importantly, if I don’t make this trip and complete the work that goes with it, then I won’t graduate in December.

I spent the better part of the afternoon working out some details of the trip to see if I could cut it down any. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s actually going to take longer than I originally thought (seven days) because there’s way too much stuff that I absolutely must include. The good news is that my youth group is going to hold a fundraiser to help finance my trip (My kids are so good to me.) The bad news is that I don’t see how they can possibly raise enough money to finance the whole thing, and I have only $60 in my bank account. So how about it, Belinda and Karen and Kim? Add me to your prayer lists?

Jun

17

Al Gore Is a Liar

4:28 pm · category: Uncategorized

That’s right, Al. Turns out that we’ve finally got some solid proof that you didn’t invent the internet. (Not that we ever believed you, anyway. I mean, that was a completely ludicrous statement on your part… except for the fact that the media took it out of context.)

So anyway, my hat’s off to Mr. Berners-Lee, as his hard work and creativity have brought me one step closer to never having to leave my bedroom again.

Jun

17

Where Was THIS Three Years Ago?

12:41 am · category: Uncategorized

I just found an excellent website. I discovered it because my mother brought home the actual magazine, and after I read the whole thing I got online to see if the mag had a website. And boom! Here it is. (And by the way, “Mental Floss” is just about the catchiest name I’ve heard for a braniac magazine EVER. It sure beats “Popular Mechanics.”)*

When I was coaching an academic quiz bowl team, this is what I would have called an “invaluable resource.” I can clearly imagine myself illegally photocopying pages and discretely distributing them to the appropriate team members. Mental Floss is absolutely chock-full of useless information. Actually, I think it’s chock-full of useful information that few people actually know. So far I’ve learned all kinds of stuff about Richard Wright’s Native Son (This would have made Joe so happy all those years ago.), the fascinating Nikola Tesla, and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

My brain practically swelled when I was reading the magazine. Brain swelling is a good thing — well, at least as long as it’s not of the debilitating medical variety. I’d forgotten how much of a nerd I am, in that I totally believe the old Saturday morning cartoon mantra that claimed “Knowledge is Power!” (That one was often followed by my personal favorite, “They Call Me Yuck Mouth, ‘Cause I Don’t Brush.” Well, it’s either that or “Conjunction Junction.” Man, I loved Schoolhouse Rock.)

Now, if any of my former quiz bowl kids actually read this (And I did, in fact, send the blog link to every last one of them for whom I had email addresses.), then I expect them to peruse Mental Floss, find a bit of esoteric knowledge that they know I would have wanted them to have learned, and post it here in the comments. And if none of them do, then I’m probably going to pout.

*If you want to know why I put the magazine titles in both italics and quotation marks, you’ll have to ask. But trust me when I say that it’s right.

Jun

15

Out With the Old

1:42 pm · category: Uncategorized

My youngest sister is having a yard sale, and she has graciously agreed to let me put my crap in it. Since virtually everything I own is in storage, I’m not really getting rid of much.

I did, however, clean out my closet and all my drawers. It was amazing how much stuff I got rid of: seven Wal-Mart bags and one giant garbage bag full of clothes and shoes. Most of the stuff I haven’t worn in at least three years. By the time I was done, I had virtually nothing left in my closet except for a few nice suits. Everything else — both dress and casual — was either black or white. And that was the stuff I do wear regularly.

Based on that discovery, I’ve decided to slowly revamp my wardrobe so that virtually everything I own is black, white or gray. First, black is slimming, and that never hurts. Second, everything in my wardrobe should them be (theoretically, at least) easily interchangeable. And third, it allowed me to get rid of almost every pair of shoes in my closet, and I have tons of room now.

The only problem is that black isn’t too, ummm, exciting. One friend told me I would look like I was going for the “neo goth” look, and that people would fear me. But I figured if it’s worked for ministers all this time, it’ll probably work for me, too.

Jun

12

Spa City? Yeah, Riiiiiiight

5:31 pm · category: Uncategorized

I spent the last three days in Hot Springs, AR, at the United Methodist Church’s annual conference of the Arkansas Conference. I wasn’t there as a voter or a speaker or anything. I was there to “see and be seen,” hoping to make some connections in the conference that will be helpful as I go through the candidacy/ordination process.

The guest preacher and speaker were very good, but the rest of it was incredibly boring. I had so much trouble staying awake during the first meeting that I took my crochecting with me for the rest of them.

The irony is that Hot Springs is known as the “Spa City.” It bills itself as the first resort in the country’s history, and it’s still a popular tourism and vacation destination. The city is reknowned for its natural springs, which are said to have healing properties. The massages, spas and baths are supposed to be top notch, and the historic downtown area really is quite lovely.

I, of course, did not experience any of this because I was in the convention center or my hotel room the whole time. That’s really sort of my fault, though. I’m cheap and I refused to have my car valet parked, so I had to walk everywhere I went. Plus, I packed only sandals, and they were really uncomfortable to walk in. Chalk one up for inherent laziness.

Jun

9

This is a Ridiculously Cute Baby

2:32 pm · category: Uncategorized


Tayden in her swimsuit at two months. You should see the hair on her back!
Eyewitness Account