Saturday, August 30, 2008

Comment Snob Plug-In

New Firefox plug-in "comment snob" filters out misspelled, profane, poorly capitalized YouTube comments. If only they would make a plug-in for the entire internet!

Daily Crime Report - 2 for 1 Labor Day Weekend Special




Friday, August 29, 2008

Bird and Flag

I finally got a couple of shots of the neighborhood peacock hanging out in front of my house before it flew off. Proof!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Thank goodness for nice neighbors. This is a picture of the amazing, industrial, vintage floor fan that my neighbor down the street hauled to my house in the back of his truck when my air conditioning was out for 5 days. (I'm still trying to figure out how those 2 small wheels work.) So thanks, neighbor!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Children In Bloom

This is my favorite childhood mug. I have no idea how long I've had it, but it still makes me smile.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stuff I Like

-Austin Gallery Roundup
-DIY Potrack
-"Dog In Yard" sign (so much better than "be aware of dog")
-Stencil Library
-Wizard of Oz door stopper
-Cool Austin furniture stores
-Nifty ways to hide your stuff
-Wall Beds; like a murphy bed, but with shelving
-look-a-like beds as seen in Amelie
-25 tools in one!
-"Dear Loud Sex People" and other ways to soundproof your home
-the oh-so-space-saving "iron ladder"
-"if you can't stand the heat"
-"coat tree" decal
-trick your printer into using all its ink
-DIY mason jar garden lights
-How To Buy A Car youtube video
-DIY screenprinting with just pantyhose, an embroidery hoop, glue, and paint
-I want this decal to put above my cubicle
-this house!!

Noisy Summer

While I was at Loew's today, exchanging my second Dremel (note to Dremel - make a better product!), there was a guy there returning a lawn mower. The girl at the returns desk had clearly never had to take back a lawn mower before, and asked the customer service girl for help. The customer service girl asked the man if the mower had gas in it. He said "yes." She then told him, and I am not making this up, to go outside and dump the gas in the grass. I'm all "what?!" That's not legal, you can't just dump gasoline outside in the grass. But no one listens to me. Why don't you just get a bucket of mercury and pour it down the kitchen sink? Or throw some old car oil down the toilet? Furthermore, gas is like gold these days. Why don't you go get a gas can and a funnel and, oh, I dunno, POUR IT IN YOUR GAS TANK? What a concept.

GE has been out twice to fix the microwave and I am holding my breath until it dies again.

I have spent $450 on the PT Loser and it is still randomly not starting. But at least the brakes aren't making that grinding sound anymore.

Yesterday my right shoe literally FELL APART while I was driving to work, and I had to drive barefoot the rest of the way. My cubicle-mate felt so sorry for me that he went to CVS on his break to get me some super glue (thanks Matt!).

Seriously...when will August be over? Can I hide out in a bomb shelter until September?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pulling Out My Hair

You know those weeks when you have to really remind yourself that surely life won't give you more crap than you can handle? That you will make it? That many people are much worse off? Well, if you haven't surmised it, I'm having one of those weeks. Some moments I feel that I am barely holding it together. Other moments I know that everything will work out. I could go into a lot of detail, but that would be boring. Let's just touch on a few of today's highlights thus far (and the day's not over!):

-Took dogs on a walk. It had been sunny all morning. Maggie kept attempting to go #2
but then changing her mind. When she finally decides to go, she squats in some guy's hard, and he DRIVES UP TO THE HOUSE mid-poo. And I forgot bags. OF COURSE. Then he yelled at me. Then it starts raining really hard. Then I realize I have dropped my phone along the way.
(silver lining = found the phone and it still worked despite the rain and no one ran over it with their car)

-Car wouldn't start...which isn't anything new lately, but this time, no matter how many times I wiggled the red wire to the battery, it wouldn't turn and I was 30 minutes late to work.
(silver lining = I have a cool neighbor who was able to come over and wiggle wires while I tried starting it and that worked)

-First email in my inbox when I arrived to work was my insurance agent informing me that my policy expired today because apparently the auto draft didn't draft last month causing me to miss a payment, and now I owe last month's bill plus another $30.
(silver lining = he caught it, and it won't be a big hassle to re-instate it)

-Someone at work ate my Kashi microwave dinner. It's the second time this has happened. and of course, this makes is necessary to go get something for dinner, and of course, my car won't start.
(silver lining = a co-worker was nice enough to drive me to Subway)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Capitalism Stole My Virginity

(from Boing Boing)

Olympic logo cops enforce stupid rules with masking tape

Olympic logo police workers are tasked with vigilantly going around all facilities and putting masking tape over the logos for any product where the company is not an official sponsor.

7 To ensure that only the companies that pay millions of dollars to be official Olympic sponsors enjoy the benefits of exposure in Olympic venues, organizers have covered the trademarks of nonsponsors with thousands of little swatches of tape.

In media centers, dormitories and arena bathrooms, pieces of tape cover logos of fire extinguishers, light switches, thermostats, bedroom night tables, soap dispensers and urinals. The Taiden Industrial translation headsets in a large conference room have had their logos covered, as have the American Standard faucets in the bathrooms nearby, and the ThyssenKrupp escalators down the hall.

At the Athens games, people wearing logoed t-shirts were asked to remove them or turn them inside-out before entering the stadia. Nothing says "incorruptible international competition" like a bunch of bullshit rules about what your t-shirt is allowed to say and whether an elevator can display its manufacturer's mark. Ignore That Logo Under the Tape!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sweet Darlin'

LINK to a really cute (and well designed) animated short.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Re-Arranger

I am trying to remember to write in this blog when I am not angry, so that when I look back on the years I spent blogging, I won't seem like just some livid twenty-something. But the problem is that since I was very young, journaling has been something I mostly do when I am angry, upset, annoyed, or irritated, because it's such a good outlet, and after I wrote it all down, I feel better and don't take things out on some undeserving friend (or a deserving driver texting on his cell phone on my commute home). When I go through old diaries/journals, most of my entries are from when I was mad at my mom for something or other, because who has time to write when their happy and just enjoying things? It helps me to not internalize things so much.

Even when cloaked in sarcasm and/or humor, my posts generally have an unsettled, irritated undertone. You see, I am a worrier. I come from a loooooong line of worriers. I worry about everything from my "check engine" light, to the drunk drivers I have to deal with on my commute home, to my neighbor's poor treatment of his dogs, to our planted earth and the havoc we are wreaking on it. Big and small, nothing is too minute for me to worry about it or stress out over it. My worry manifests itself in various physical ways. I grind my teeth, bit and chew on my tongue and mouth sometimes causing major sores (I have done this since I was a young child), and my worry/stress contributes to the severity of my Levator Ani spasms. My mom was such a worrier in her twenties that she began to develop stomach ulcers in college. My grandmother is the biggest worrier of us all.

I am trying to worry less and relax more. To stop thinking about all the bills and all of the people and things I can't control. Let go of those things that are out of my control. I cannot change people. I cannot make people recycle or conserve water or stop using Styrofoam or use canvas bags or compost or use glass instead of plastic. I cannot flip off every single Hummer in existence. (Though I will continue to try.) I cannot save every stray animal I see. I cannot make other people care about the things I care so deeply about.

So I will focus on the things I CAN do. And the list is long.

-consume less
-buy items that are packaged in recyclable materials
-not eat meat
-use as little plastic as possible, especially with food
-use cast iron pots and pans instead of non-stick/Teflon
-buy as little leather as possible (hopefully none)
-gather water and A/C runoff in a rain barrel for re-use
-use a push reel lawn mower
-use compostable (made from corn) cups if I need disposable cups
-buy organic produce
-not buy products that are tested on animals
-unplug my power strips when I am not using those appliances
-use an all-wind plan for my electricity
-use xeriscaping and native plants in my yard
-unplug my cellphone charger
-use rags and cut-up t-shirts instead of paper towels
-buy vehicles that do not needlessly exceed the size or capabilities that I NEED to get from A to B comfortably.
-Freecycle as many items as possible to avoid throwing them into landfills
-start a veggie garden (on the to-do list)
-opt out of catalogs and stop ordering magazines I will never have time to read
-buy CFLs
-use a programmable thermostat
-mix my own green cleaning supplies
-support local businesses
-us no-VOC interior paints
-carpool more
-choose to purchase products from socially responsible manufacturers
-line-dry my clothes in lieu of the dryer as much as possible

I can take a deep break and r-e-l-a-x

p.s. I am watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as I write this, and someone needs to tell Matt Lauer that the hats the American team is wearing are not berets, they are newsboy caps. NOT BERETS. Ralph Lauren wouldn't design uniforms for the American team that included a traditional French hat.

currently listening to: Mates of State

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Seriously Seditious Stitching

This is a great article (found on Wooster Collective) about some guerrilla crafters taking a stand in Melbourne about the "rampant speculation which is wreaking havoc in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray."

currently listening to The Ditty Bops

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

All U Need is Mosh

I had a fun weekend.

-Freeycled my loveseat sofa-bed
-Attempted to go to the library but it was closed
-Went to Aunt Stelle's Sno Cones for the first time
-Met up with a huge group of friends for dinner at La Calle Dolce
-Drinks at the Quarter Bar with Amanda

-Clive and Maggie, for some reason, on the SAME day, BOTH ate their own poo for the first time ever. I sprayed their mouths out with the hose. So revolting. It best not happen again.
-Went to the library (open this time) and returned book and paid 30 cent late fee
-Also went to the bank and Whole Foods (note to self: I always spy hot guys at Whole Foods...I should go there more often)
-Ashley (the subject of my most-searched blog entry) cooked Edamame Bread Salad for dinner (YUM!) and afterwards we hung out at her pool
-Drinks at Jayna and Erik's place
-Discovered that taking one Zyrtek and 1/2 Ambien at the same time will knock me out for a good 10 hours despite any amount of barking from the canines next door

currently listening to: Plastilina Mosh

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Eat Your Heart Up

Last week I was pulling away from the Taco Bell drive-through window (two bean burritos and a cinnamon twist), and the door swings open and a Buddhist monk walks out, orange robe and shaved head and all. It was a completely bizarre moment. I tried to get a pic, but my tinted back window prevented me from getting the shot. So I suppose you will just have to take my word that I saw a Buddhist monk leaving Taco Bell at Oakland and I-30.

Why am I always alone when these strange things happen?

Sometime Around Midnight the six barking dogs next door to me don't look nearly as bad after seeing this story and video posted on BoingBoing today (below). Click here for the LAWeekly full story.

Rat-owning animal-hoarding rapture-obsessed twin elderly ladies versus the family next door

The LA Weekly has a long, gruesome feature about a dispute between neighbors in the affluent area of Pacific Palisades. It all starts when a young family moved into an expensive little bungalow and discovered that the elderly twin ladies next door were animal hoarders who'd raised tens of thousands of rats. Then it gets interesting, as it transpires that pretty much everyone -- the realtor, the town, the former owner -- all knew about the rats and had not bothered to mention it to the new owners.

When he crept closer, the odor — “a urine stench” — was “unbearable.” By the end of their first long weekend in the Palisades, Liz was stressed out, peering at shadows. The more she peered, the more rats she saw. Standing in her own master bedroom, she found herself at eye level with a group of rats who clearly had a routine, slipping methodically in and out of drains and cracks on her neighbors’ outside wall.

She saw three rats squeeze out of a roof drain in a precision, shoulder-to-shoulder group, Ratatouille-style. Another rat pack traveled along the dusty, reeking hedge on the property line. The hedge was a rat highway, and it swayed under its commuters’ weight.

Liz knocked on her neighbors’ rotting front door, but no one answered. They soon learned from other neighbors that the owners were 78-year-old twins Margaret and Marjorie Barthel, who rarely left the house — and never at the same time. When one of them did go out (and many people could not tell them apart), she wore heavy clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and large glasses as she pushed a shopping basket from Ralphs. It was always filled with large bags — of dog food. They haven’t owned dogs for years.