Tuesday, October 30, 2007

bumperstickers, etc.

So I found this cute bumpersticker:
and on the same site, I found some others that I thought were interesting. I liked this theme, but I couldn't decide which one I liked best:
although the t-shirt had another slogan on the back, and I doubt that I would actually wear it.
I also liked

crush meme

I saw this on motherbumper, and a wave of nostalgia swept over me. Here goes:

Micky Dolenz from The Monkees. I am NOT old enough to have seen these the first go-around. But I adored them when I was about eleven. I would watch them in reruns all summer long. I loved them so much I actually recorded them on audiotape. Yes, you read that right, AUDIOtape. This was in the days before VCRs. Well, at least before we had a VCR, and while we weren't one of the first to get one, we're still talking early technology. I would listen to them at night with an earphone and my huge radio/tape player. I had seen them so many times that I knew what kinds of visual hijinks they were up to just by hearing the sound effects. In fact, I had quite a fantasy life which revolved around being part of the Monkees' "family."

Shaun Cassidy. I may have had a crush on him just because every other girl in my class did. I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I was a follower on this one. But I think I had a poster of him up on my closet door.

Timothy Hutton. This one started when I was in eighth grade (?). I *had* to see a movie for something in school, and my mother took me to see "Ordinary People." I loved the brooding, sad character he played. Sad story. Really hard to take in Mary Tyler Moore as the bad guy, but I still feel nostalgic whenever I see him, which is pretty rare. The crush even extended a bit to his father, Jim Hutton, who I would occasionally see in old movies on TV, like "Walk, Don't Run." I don't remember anything about this, only that he was in it. Whatever happened to Timothy Hutton anyway? I'm glad I outgrew the crushing on the brooding intellectual type.

Johnny Depp. This one is ongoing. I have loved the quirky characters he portrays in films since I first saw him. I'm sure I can't name all his movies, but definitely goes back to Edward Scissorhands and Benny & Joon days.

The Mac Guy. I have no idea what his name is or the name of that movie that he was in not too long ago about the kids who make up their own college. But I have to see him in whatever he's in. OK, I'll be the first to admit it, I am totally a Mac person. Love Macs. Hate PCs. Love the Mac commercials. Think the Mac guy is really cute. And sweet. Come on, would YOU be so nice to that PC guy? And I just found out that Mac is ditching the Mac guy because ... people end up sympathizing with the PC guy. Really? Does anybody really sympathize with him? OK, maybe sympathize with him because he's such a loser-nerd (don't give me a hard time about this, I don't think all nerds are losers, but this one is), but I for one, leave the commercials feeling like the Mac guy is nice and really knows his stuff, but he doesn't shove it down PC guy's throat. Let's face it, you can do much cooler stuff with a Mac right out of the box. Intuitive is the key word here.

Hey, does anybody know where this word "meme" comes from and what it actually means? I think I looked it up the other day, and the only meaning I could find was a linguistic one about morpheme or somesuch.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I love Apple

The clever folks at Apple have come up with a new version of their operating system. Go watch the guided tour of Leopard and tell me that you're not convinced. I am completely amazed by their uncanny ability to come up with ideas that are so amazing. I wish I could come up with ideas like this. I am astounded. How do they do this? Go ahead and watch it. I can wait. Then we can discuss.


Seriously, using Cover Flow (like on your iPod) to be able to preview all your documents??!! How cool is that!

And Time Machine, to back up everything automatically on an external drive every hour, so you can go back and find anything you've lost, thrown away accidentally, etc. Love it.

Spaces and Stacks are kind of cool, too. I like how they're trying to keep me organized. Because I really need some help here.

The built-in stationery in Mail is pretty cool, too. (I was snookered in by the birth announcements, which we haven't sent out yet. We did send emails to people to let them know, to everyone whose email addresses we have. But my mother-in-law kind of took me to task for not having sent out real ones. When do people have the time/energy to DO that? Seriously.... I guess I could have done it rather than starting a blog, but...should I feel guilty? I DO feel guilty about not having started the thank-you-cards yet. But I will. Really. At least I have them, as well as a list of what & who to send them to.) Oh, and they have a very cool way to easily send out e-postcards. You can just drag & drop your own photos into the template, then position and re-size them in the postcard!

Back to Leopard:
The only thing I don't like (and this is admittedly small) is that they name the operating systems after big cats. Not that I dislike big cats. I understand why they do it, they're powerful, fast animals, sleek, cool. Fine. But I can never remember which one I currently have. I think I have Tiger. But that's only because I can't think of the other animals' names: was there a Jaguar maybe? I don't think there was a Lion. There was a Panther, I'm pretty sure.

In any case, now it's Leopard, which must be 10.5. And I HAVE to have this. Really, I was convinced the first time I saw the guided tour. Yes, I actually watched it more than once. The first time, I got distracted. Maybe the baby needed something. Or the phone rang. Or my attention wandered. But I went back when I got the second email from Apple. Then I watched a second time when I made J sit down and watch it.


Reading blackbird's latest post inspired me to go over and have a look at Toast.

Here are a couple of things that I liked:

peg bag
First, there was this peg bag. Don't ask how I know what the term "peg bag" means. I like it. However, I don't have a clothesline here yet, so, it would be unpractical. And even if I did have a clothesline, I have no idea where my clothespins are.

cozy pjs
I like these pajama pants, too. They look cozy. I am all about cozy these days, what with the chill in the air. They look better (or at least cozier) on the website. This is what I would love to do while wearing these pants:
pjs while ironing
Mmm. I love ironing while being cozy at home on a cold day. But only table linens, napkins especially. Maybe curtains. Don't ask me to iron your shirt with all the pleats.

Friday, October 26, 2007

too funny

I cannot believe how much I laughed while reading this. So hard, in fact, that J came in to ask if I was laughing or crying. All I could do was nod.


why is it ... ?

harder to post pictures on here than it is to post video? Or is it just me? Maybe YouTube just makes it so easy. But with Flickr, I found it incredibly difficult to figure out how to get the pictures on here. But I finally did. If it weren't so cold here, not only outside, but in my office (I think this is the only room in the house where we haven't turned the heat on yet), I would have broken out into a sweat trying to do this.

open with caution: contents could cause heart attack

An open letter to New England Herbal Foods LLC, manufacturers (or importers?) of Spaa Thai Red Curry and other foods-in-a-box.

Spaa Thai red curry Spaa Thai red curry back of box
To whom it may concern:

I'm writing about your product "Spaa Thai red curry with bamboo shoots and rice," described on the back of the box as "Thai Red Curry with Jasmine Rice Meal." I've bought this item (and several others of your Thai meals in a box) on many occasions.

However, as I was heating up my dinner last night (above-mentioned meal in a box), I read through the nutrition facts on the side of the box a little more closely.
35% saturated fat
Here were some of my thoughts:
Total Fat: 17% (I'm thinking, OK, not too bad)
Saturated Fat: 35% (I'm thinking, yikes! that's a little high, this is over one third of the sat-fat a person should have in a day)
And then: Well, these numbers might be a little high, especially since there isn't THAT much food in this box, but I like how it tastes, so OK, whatever.

THEN, I noticed the number of servings per container: 3. THREE!!!!! There are THREE servings in this box. You have GOT to be kidding me! NO effing (expletive deleted in the email I sent) WAY! How could there be THREE servings in this box???

Well, maybe it's meant to be a side dish, that you share with your family...?
Probably not, since the box "Includes bowl and fork" (as it says right on the front of the box...ONE bowl, ONE fork. Plus, on the back of the box, it says "Thai Red Curry with Jasmine Rice Meal." MEAL. Singular. ONE meal. NOT three.

So, I did the math (not that hard 35% x 3 servings), and this little box has 105% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat. ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE PERCENT!!! What, are you trying to kill your customers? I mean, first of all, you're misleading the public by saying that there is only 35% sat-fat. Because, let's face it, most people don't read the part where one little box has THREE servings. And let's face it, you've done your share of market research, as you state on the page explaining the Thai Red Curry: "ATTRACTIVE: Very attractive Packaging (Research-driven design). " (http://www.neherbalfoods.com/page/product/thaiCurry/thaiRedCurry.htm) So you know that people are going to just read the numbers and not notice the multiple-serving part. Very sneaky.

And also from your website, the article that you're so proud of from the Boston Globe (http://www.neherbalfoods.com/page/news/bostonGlobe.htm) states: "The two servings promised are really only enough for one, so don't feel obligated to share." Of course, they don't mention the part about how there's enough sat-fat that you shouldn't eat anything else all day except lettuce.

And then to top it off, on this page (http://www.neherbalfoods.com/page/product/product.htm), the title of the page actually says: "New England Health Food, L.L.C." HEALTH food? Maybe this is a typo, but an egregious one to be certain. Right now, I am NOT impressed by your company, or these extremely misleading tactics you use with your customers.

a very unhappy consumer/customer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

seven random things

I've been tagged! This is a first--how exciting! So, I was tagged by snowy, and here are my 7 things:

1. I have wanted to live in Europe (specifically France, but maybe somewhere else that I could speak the language, too) for as long as I can remember. I've only been out of the country for up to six weeks at a time, however. It's very hard for an American to get a visa to work in France. I would love to have to conduct my daily life in a language other than English. A friend of mine told me she thought I mostly just wanted everyday life to be challenging. Hmm, maybe.

2. I have a weakness for those "organizer-y" things, you know, like the kind they sell at The Container Store or other such places. Boxes, cubbies, things with drawers, etc.

3. I'm afraid to ride my bike on city streets. Even with a helmet. I'm surprised I don't see more bikers hit by cars. (People around here drive like lunatics, in my opinion.)

4. I know how to sew (maybe not well, but well enough), but I have a huge bag of clothes that need to be mended, and the bag has been full for years already. Maybe I should come to grips with the fact that I'm not going to mend them? And I refuse to buy pants anymore that need to be hemmed. Either they come the right length, or they are hemmed by the manufacturer (as at Lands End, where they hem for free).

5. I first heard of email eighteen years ago, but I had no idea what it was (and I wasn't the only one). I learned how to do basic HTML about five years ago, long before I became seriously interested in the internet. I've had a professional website (a website for my work, although it looks pretty professional, too) for about five years (when I learned HTML in order to work on it), but I only started a blog a few weeks ago.

6. I was painfully shy when I was young. I always thought of myself as shy until one day in my late twenties/early thirties I noticed that I was speaking in front of a group in a way I *never* could have done even a few years before. I'm not exactly sure when the change occurred, but I can be very forthright now, and most people would not consider me shy.

7. My all-time favorite unusual flavor of ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby. Weird combination: chocolate-covered pretzels with peanut butter filling, ice cream is peanut butter and vanilla (I think), with caramel swirls. I haven't had it in many years, and I don't even know if they still make it. If not, it would be a shame and completely my fault, as I stopped buying it. It had enough sat-fat to instantaneously clog all the arteries in your body, however, not that I cared about that then, but it was definitely yummy!

I'm tagging super des, From my French window, and kittycafe. I hope you don't mind, as this is my first time doing one of these....

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 3 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I didn't realize...

that if you start a post, then spend a really long time editing it and adding to it, Blogger publishes it on the day that you started it rather than the day you finish it. Note the 100 things about me post, which I just finished, and just posted, but it's on October 4. And for some reason, it says it was posted at 1:09 pm, but it's not quite noon now. I don't know. If someone out there reads this and can explain to me, I'd appreciate knowing why this is.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I wish I were so clever

I think this is hilarious. It's amazing what you can do with just a semester of a language, and a LOT of expression.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What is more important?

I find this very moving.

Call your representatives today.

Kids! Stand strong together.

Friday, October 12, 2007

LibraryThing's to read or not...

This is copied from ElanaJane at what she said too (I hope it's OK that I copied it).

these are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users. this is how i shape up against them....

books i've read are in bold,
the ones i started but couldn't/didn't finish are in italics,
what i couldn't stand has a strike through,
and those underlined are on my To Be Read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and punishment
One hundred years of solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi
The name of the rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
The Historian : a novel
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault's pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
Anansi boys
The once and future king
The grapes of wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & demons
The inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One flew over the cuckoo's nest
To the lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's travels
Les misérables
The corrections
The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The prince
The sound and the fury
Angela's ashes
The god of small things
A people's history of the United States : 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A short history of nearly everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit
In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

I noticed that there were a lot of books on this list that I read in high school, as well as some after. Not many that have been read recently. Maybe because "unread/unfinished" books tend to be those we are required to read.

Friday, October 5, 2007

dealing with people working in my house #2

Grr. Two things. First of all, they left the basement door, which leads outside, not only unlocked but OPEN. Hello? And I've had to say something to him before about leaving the door unlocked. At which point, he blamed it on the guys working for him. Who, by the way, look to be about 18 years old. And yes, 18 year olds need jobs, too, but don't pass the buck on them. If you're 50-some-odd years old and you are running a company, and you choose to hire really young people, you need to be responsible to see that they do things the right way. If they make a mistake and I end up with a leaky roof, is he going to say, "Well, you know, the guys, they just don't know...." Even 18-year-olds live in houses and theoretically know how to shut a door, right? (At least most of them.) In any case, can you say "pissed off"?

Secondly, I go outside this morning to check the mail and walk around a bit with the baby, only to find that they left a huge pile of trash behind. Hello? This is part of your job, too! I shouldn't have to haul your crap to the dump, especially since it's illegal to dump wood anyway, and they say they'll confiscate the dump sticker if they find someone dumping illegal stuff.

So now, I get to be the bad guy, and call him up and say "I'm not impressed." Because he didn't show up today to finish the work he still needs to do.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

about me

1. I am a really talented procrastinator.
2. I used to be vegetarian.
3. I love bright colors, but I tend to wear black.
4. I can't function without my glasses.
5. Good coffee = a happy morning :-)
6. I love accents (well, most accents).
7. I'm a really slow reader, but I still love to read.
8. I'm easily overwhelmed by too many choices.
9. I like chocolate a lot more in adulthood than I did as a child. Maybe I eat better quality chocolate now.
10. One of the things I love about owning a house is being able to paint the walls any color I want.
11. I hate getting my teeth scraped at the dentist's.
12. I loved being pregnant.
13. I love Indian food.
14. I love sleeping outside.
15. I hate to sweat.
16. I love to get mail. (Letters, postcards--not bills or junk mail.)
17. Sometimes I bother to call annoying companies that send me catalogs even though I have no idea how I got on their mailing lists.
18. I am usually late sending out birthday cards/presents...I'd like to improve and be on time/early.
19. I like to swim, but I hate getting water in my ears.
20. I try not to wear uncomfortable shoes anymore.
21. I don't organize things on my computer very well.
22. I like to rake leaves and to weed.
23. I've never had poison ivy.
24. I love listening to NPR, especially in the car.
25. People who don't recycle annoy me.
26. I want to learn how to take better pictures.
27. I like doing laundry.
28. I hate mowing grass. I think I hate the smell that lawnmowers make.
29. I hate how when I'm watching TV, the commercials get so loud that I have to push the mute button.
30. I like having a mute button on the remote.
31. I like cats.
32. I prefer savory over sweet.
33. I don't understand why anyone would prefer a PC to a Mac.
34. I love watching game shows, old sitcoms, and Stargate SG1.
35. "Cash Cab" is one of my favorite current shows. In fact, I want to go to NYC just to get on.
36. I would love to be in a Biosphere experiment.
37. Giraffes are one of the coolest animals to see up close.
38. I've seen the Northern Lights, but only faintly.
39. I'm deathly afraid of diving.
40. I tried to ski once, in unfavorable conditions, and I've never wanted to again.
41. I do like to snowshoe.
42. I build igloos when there's enough snow.
43. I dig holes in the sand when I go to the beach.
44. Snails fascinate me. I'm not crazy about slugs, though.
45. I love babies. Especially my own.
46. It annoys me when people confuse "its" and "it's." Ditto with "you're/your" and "they're/their/there."
47. It also annoys me when people use "I" when they should say "me": "Let John or I know."
48. I really like office supplies.
49. Music from the early '80s is nostalgic for me.
50. I would have made a good detective (I like to think).
51. I'm a really good proofreader.
52. I find written mistakes all over the place.
53. The TV show "Dead Like Me" reallly intrigued me.
54. I like doing things on the computer, but I think it sucks too much time out of my life.
55. I lived without a TV set for nine years of my adult life. (I was much more productive then.)
56. I love little boxes/bags/things for organizing stuff.
57. I wish I could be a professional organizer, but I'm just not organized enough.
58. I love the idea of Ikea more than I actually like Ikea.
59. Aung San Suu Kyi is one of my heroes.
60. I don't really like team sports, and I really dislike watching them on TV.
61. Writing with a fountain pen feels luxurious.
62. I've studied nine languages (including English).
63. I love autumn.
64. I don't get enough exercise these days.
65. I want to travel to New Zealand, Bhutan, and Switzerland.
66. I've already travelled to Canada, England, France, Spain, Italy, Iceland, and Germany (well, only through the airport in Germany). Not in this order.
67. A neighbor taught me how to crochet when I was little.
68. I taught myself how to knit when I was young because I thought it was impossible. (How can you manipulate yarn without any hooks?)
69. I like to knit, especially baby things, because they're small (and faster than adult things).
70. I want to have my own pottery studio one day.
71. I used to weave rugs, but I sold most of them. (I think I sold them too cheaply, and I miss them.)
72. I want to make the world a better place.
73. Every year since I was a teenager, I've wished for world peace for my birthday.
74. Last year, I wished for a house and a baby for my birthday, and they both came true.
75. I love making lists.
76. I have only read a small fraction of the books that I own.
77. I take sugar and milk or cream in my coffee.
78. I get anxious about things that didn't bother me when I was younger.
79. I have way too many bookmarks on my computer.
80. I regularly run out of memory on my computer.
81. I love hanging out in bookshops.
82. I like to leave really good tips when the service is great.
83. I used to wait tables once upon a time.
84. Sometimes I even tell the manager/owner of the restaurant when our waiter is really great.
85. I think the word "waiter" is fine for describing either a man or a woman, and I prefer "firefighter, mail carrier, and police officer."
86. I am a feminist.
87. I think language matters very much.
88. I want to read more of the classics.
89. I like having houseplants, but sometimes I forget to water them. I feel guilty when they die.
90. I like Baroque music.
91. I wish I had a lovely singing voice.
92. The laundry detergent aisle has always been my favorite in the grocery store.
93. I've never voted for a winning president, unless you count Al Gore.
94. After reading the book, the movie is always a letdown (unless you count Harry Potter, but that's only because they follow the books *to the letter*).
95. I want to have a big vegetable garden--organic, of course.
96. I'd prefer to have a flower garden rather than a lawn.
97. I hate going to the doctor.
98. I want to see an iceberg, before they all melt and there's no land left to live on anyway.
99. I think I have too many books.
100. I don't have nearly enough time to read anymore.

favorite things about my sweet little one and dealing with people working in my house

Seeing that my little one is now going on 9 weeks, here's a list of some of my favorite things as far as he is concerned:

1. B (Baby) sleeping in my arms
2. the Baby Bjorn (have I mentioned how nice it is to have use of one's hands?)
3. peach fuzz hair (so soft!)
4. the way he smells right after a bath
5. the way he smells before a bath, too (although sometimes not so much)
6. the big smiles
7. the way his eyes light up when he smiles
8. cooing and gurgling
9. he's very easy to interpret (no "colic," thank goodness!)
10. he loves being outside

more to come later...

Now for some annoyances, NOT having to do with B.

We're having some work done on our house. When we bought this house, it needed some serious attention. So it's happening piecemeal. But it's so irritating to have to be annoyed at people who work for you. (Or is it just me?)

OK, so they started working in the basement yesterday. I didn't go down there, because they're doing stuff with fiberglass insulation, and I'm here with the baby, which keeps me occupied enough. Last night, I go down to try to tackle the laundry, and I find a MESS. Bits of fiberglass all over, dirt/rocks/fiberglass on TOP of the dryer. (What, did they have to step on the dryer to get to the crawl space? Yes, evidently, they did.... Why not just ask for a stepladder?) They knocked over the trashcan and some stuff on top of a filing cabinet and didn't consider putting things back. Probably didn't notice. Plus, they left the light on in one of our porches. Which shouldn't be a big deal, except grr, the only switch for it is inside the garage, and I have to go outside to get to the garage, AND I had asked them the last time they were here to turn it off before leaving.

So when they showed up this morning, I had to have a "talk" with them. Try to tell them how very annoyed I am without ranting, without pissing them off. Of course, they had excuses. But come on! I just want to say, "Be respectful of my space." I did tell them it's a brand-new washer and dryer, and I didn't want them scratched up.

And then, I was walking outside a little bit ago, trying to locate the guy in charge of the operation, when I noticed that an area of the yard seems to have white paint all over it. And my mint patch looks to be decimated. What the...? So I got really annoyed all over again. Can't they bring tarps or something to paint on? So I guess I have to be all annoyed with them again. I really want to tell them not to come back, that we'll find someone else, but J would be annoyed with me, and it would be a hassle to find someone else, and can I really trust them to be in the house with me here by myself (well, ok, with the baby), etc., etc. [So it appears that I was hasty in my rush to be annoyed: he tells me it was just the rinsing of the concrete bucket that made everything white. But still, why not rinse it so I don't have white greenery?]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


OK, as part of the de-lurking challenge today, I'm going to post some comments other than "anonymous." I still feel strange posting here, but I'm guessing that with practice, it will be easier to write what I plan to when I'm not at the computer.

Monday, October 1, 2007

and so it begins

After a long, and I really mean long, period of lurking, I finally decided to create a blog. I want to use this as a way of saving some small moments on a daily basis. There are several blogs that I've been dedicated to lurking on, and I want to thank those bloggers, especially blackbird, for encouraging me to dive in.