I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

You know how people tend to exaggerate certain circumstances for the sake of humor, never dreaming that the literal situation could actually take place? Can you tell that I'm about to reveal that some such thing has, in fact, happened to me recently? Do you continue to be surprised that I am so willing to reveal humilating stories about myself for the sake of humor?

Typical exaggerated comment about the ongoing North Texas drought:
"The cracks in our yard are so wide and so deep, you could fall right in!"


Yes. Last night, as Alex and I left my in-laws' house, we stepped into their yard. My right foot stepped down about four inches into a crack before realizing there wasn't any ground to hold my weight. I quickly stepped forward to avoid the void.

And stepped right into a bigger, deeper crack. So far, in fact, that I immediately sank down to the point of sitting on the ground, my right leg over half encased in the crack--rather snugly, I might add.

Although I'd had a good day up until that point, I began to mutter some words of frustration and confoundment that I have rarely uttered, which I think only increased the incredulous laughter of Alex, who was attempting to pull me from my Dorf-like position. He managed to pull me up, but my good work shoe remained firmly wedged in the jaws of North Texas clay, which has a strength and tenacity that would shame a mastiff.

After fumbling around awhile with my entire arm down in the crack pulling at the shoe, I finally dislodged it, so that we could go home and watch Eureka, and I could forget my abyss-mal (oh, ouch) woes.

Obituary: Baby, Albino Squirrel

Baby, the second of UNT's famous albino squirrels, died yesterday of natural causes, following an assault by a hawk. He is survived by the UNT community and his fellow non-albino campus squirrels. UNT is not pressing charges against the hawk.
NT Daily Story
UNT InHouse Newsletter Story

student-created chalk memorial outside Willis Library

Ironically, I've been at this school for more than seven years now, and only saw the squirrel for the first time this past summer.

Unrelated Banter

Last night, we hosted a "Facebook Live" event at Willis Library, in which students used a "speed dating" model to make new friends and exchange Facebook or MySpace names. Read the UNT Daily story on it for more.

I just finished reading Stardust--it was exceptionally good. If you like fairy tales, fantasy art, and/or graphic novels, read it.

Do ya like Renaissance painting, parody, and Star Wars? Have I got a link for you.


The Templates, They Are A-Changin'

Bear with me while I switch my blog over to Google's new, nifty features. Unfortunately, they're not yet offering raw HTML editting, which means that, as you've probably noticed, I no longer have an all-lowercase blog title or a nifty flickr badge. Also, some formatting seems a little wonky. And furthermore, I can't track any blog stats until they let me edit the HTML. Sigh.

It's kinda hard to switch over to something so easy.

P.S. Look, I've got categories!


Improv in the Kitchen

I'm trying to be good (and save myself some grief) by creating a menu schedule and rotation.

While you're waiting to hear if I actually go through with it or not, try my new improv from Friday night, Starr's Sausage Stew Invention. Hope you like pickled okra!

(Okay, is this the
best motto or what: "Happy okra, because it's pickled!")

Things You Can't Do During a Blackout

(...for 8 1/2 hours.)
  • cook
  • read after dark
  • play games after dark
  • shower after dark (not advised, anyway)
  • blowdry your hair
  • light candles (too hot)
  • use A/C or fans
  • get online
  • use power tools to finish putting up crown moulding
  • snuggle (too hot)
  • sleep in the bedroom (too hot)
  • set the alarm clock
Things You Can Do During a Blackout
  • order pizza
  • read before dark
  • look at stuff (offline) on the computer until the UPS's power runs out
  • listen to the UPS warning beep for forty-five minutes
  • discuss home improvement projects
  • look at the IKEA catalog by flashlight
  • be thankful that it rained so hard that the drought-hardened ground is actually muddy
  • fold a paper fan and cool yourself the old-fashioned way
  • fold laundry
  • sleep on the couch because it's cooler in the living room
  • set the alarm on your cell phone
  • be startled awake at 1:34am when the power comes on, simultaneously turning on the kitchen light, living room fan, bedroom light, and TV
  • (thereafter have trouble getting to sleep and then have really bizarre dreams)

(Also, I got Blogger Beta from Google--hooray! Nifty features like categories to appear soon in a blog near you.... er, this one, to be exact.)


Normal Life to Resume Shortly

Lots of meetings... becoming library liaison... getting registered... paying for classes.

I'll catch up with you guys later.


We Interrupt Your Lunch Break to Bring You this Bulletin

Stargate SG-1 has been cancelled; June 2007 will mark its end.

It is now appropriate to play a funeral dirge and dress in mourning (if you're not already wearing black). And time for me to feel guilty, as my finally breaking down and getting satellite--inspired in the first place by the desire to no longer wait a whole season to watch SG-1--is, no doubt, the reason that they decided to finally cancel.



Surprise Party (Kinda)

A delightful surprise awaited me Saturday evening, when Alex and I went over to his parents' house for my birthday dinner--I walked in, and there was my Mom!

I blinked a few times, thinking that maybe I shouldn't have had caffeine and Tylenol in the same day--but there she was, flesh and blood. Apparently, our two moms had spontaneously conspired on Friday for her to drive the 6 hours from San Antonio. I was thrilled--we had a long, fun conversation after dinner, cake, and raspberry-so-good-you-could-die ice cream, with Alex, Mom, my parents-in-law, and my brother-and-sister-in-law (nephews, by that time, being tucked securely in bed).

She spent the night and then treated us to a scrumptious lunch at Genghis Grill before heading home.

Unrelated Banter:
Wii = Weee! Listen to this fun and funny podcast reviewing the Nintendo Wii.

The Other Side

Inevitably, as a college student, you gaze lustfully at the faculty/staff parking spaces. Your entire college career, you note the number of empty spaces and their close proximity to any and every building on campus, and you're sorely tempted to try, just once, to see if you can park there without suffering a parking ticket equal to the cost of one semester's worth of textbooks.

I'm here to tell you that the other side suffers, too, kids.

It's not the first week of classes--but it's regular registration and freshman orientation, which is just as bad. I circled the library block three and a half times this morning before settling on a resident student spot (yes, I'm allowed to do that) on the street behind the library fac/staff lot. Now, there were some other faculty spots on the street that were a heckuva lot closer--but being as I drive a double-cab truck and those spots are barely long enough for a VW, they weren't so much of an option.

Why is it so packed? Are there more faculty and staff members on-campus today?

No. On my way in, walking back through the jam-packed faculty lot, I spotted at least four cars without parking permits of any kind. And there were six empty visitor's spots that were actually closer to the center of campus than the faculty lot, so I'm not so much feeling their pain. I must confess I felt a twinge of evil glee at the retribution that will come in the form of a hefty fine and/or a boot on their tire.

People, I paid for this permit--a decent chunk of money--and I darned well earned it. I suffered eleven years of college-student parking to earn this fac/staff job, and I will reap its benefits. And chuckle softly when the tow truck appears.

I'll resume to my usual cheery, non-vengance-seeking self in three weeks, when parking is no longer an issue. In the meantime... you have been warned.


Library Showdown--er, Hoedown!

At 2:30, we had a lovely little interlude while Circulation tested the new PA system. First, our eardrums were nearly blasted as they tested volume, but since then they've been playing an assortment of country-western music (mostly instrumental). It's kinda nice. We're thinking that it should be a regular Friday thing, with guest DJs and the ability to make requests (maybe over IM?). And Erica suggested that if you could name all three songs, you win a prize.

Movie Review: Darkman (1990)

So right off: not so much "Darkman" as "Man Who Keeps Rubber--er, Skin--Masks in the Dark But Himself Runs Around in the Daylight." There are maybe three night scenes in the whole movie. (One of which is the explosion scene, and the second of which is after the explosion but before he's really Darkman.)

What's in a name, right?

Line which garnered the most unintentional laughter:
Liam Neeson (growling maniacally and menacingly):
"Take the f***ing elephant."
(The elephant in question being a giant pink plush carnival prize.)

Runner-up for most unintentional laughter:
Louis aka the Bad Guy: "You're going down, Burn Head!"

Regarding the special effects: 1990 was apparently a lot longer ago than I realized. If this was, as I have heard, amazing for its time, then it's no wonder that three years later we watched in open-mouthed awe as Spielberg breathed dinosaurs to life on the silver screen. And might I add that they still look incredible, versus the painful-to-watch greenscreen-pasted-on antics of Darkman.

But you know what made the whole movie worth it? At the very end, seeing Darkman walk off with Bruce Campbell's face. Any movie retains some modicrum of worth if it's got a Bruce Campbell cameo.

A Blog is Born Every Second

Hey, everybody, my mom has a blog!

How cool is that, I ask you?



A higher power does not want me to have these awesome, awesome shoes, either in brown tweed or in any other color. I wish then that I hadn't seen them yesterday at all. Hmph.


Thoroughly Sated & Spoiled

(...or, Good Food, Good Company)

For the third time in a week, we're eating out in style (not counting the meal grabbed at Taco Bell for Saturday lunch, or even the fantastic ballpark food that evening). Last Wednesday, we enjoyed the company of work friends and peking duck, calamari, mango & shrimp with cream sauce, eggrolls, and another appetizer I haven't the faintest hope of spelling or pronouncing, at Mr. Wok in Plano, a deceptively simple-looking restaurant tucked away in an older, less flashy corner of the city. Last night, we each tucked away a steak and some scrumpious sides at Saltgrass in McKinney with an Abilene friend. And tonight, we're going to III Forks--a kind of swank I've personally never enjoyed--with friends again for the KRLD Restaurant Week event.

(For some Nerdy News, check out the latest geekyartistlibrarian post.)


A Weekend Well-Spent

  • two cheaply-purchased panel monitors
  • a hearty helping of HGTV
  • a cleaned and repaired (cross your fingers) fridge
  • an interesting and brief gunshow
  • an awesome, awesome ballgame with fantastic seats [Lexus Club Box], which included:
    • catering at our seats
    • tasty seven-layer dip & chips
    • chili dogs
    • ice cream in a hat (it's tradition, man)
    • incredibly-painful-but-awesome-shoes
    • a hilariously fun near-rain-out
    • a whomping of the Mariners (well, it was a whomping until the seventh, but we still won)
  • a clean (and-soon-to-be painted, floored, and cabineted) laundry room
  • a well-laid-out plan for said laundry room (forethought: amazing!)
  • a tasty and always-fantastic episode of Feasting on Asphalt
  • snuggling funtime
  • frozen fruit-bars
...and a happy congrats to my pal Auntie K!

Unrelated Banter:



Foster's is genius. Two of my favorite quotes from the episode we watched last night:
  • An angry Wilt: "Well, well, well. If it isn't Ditchy McAbandonpants."
  • Eduardo, referring to the Ice Capades: "I liked them before they were cool!"

I've got lots more to say, but I've got to hie me home.

What the heck does that phrase mean, anyhow?

Warning: Tired & Grumpy Librarian

I feel like putting my head down on my desk and taking a nap. Or curling up into a little ball of grumpy pain.

You have been warned.


Where No Quiz Has Gone Before

(Yeah, so the title's probably not true. Give me a break.)

You are: Geordi LaForge

You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

Was anyone surprised by the result? Particularly considering that I already revealed this week that I had a crush on LeVar Burton? And was socially awkward as a chil--well, all right, am still to some extent?

Once again, thanks to Riofrio for pointing the way to a great quiz (and my apologies to AuntieK, who will no doubt feel compelled to complete it).


...I Got Here As Fast As I Could

You are 71% REAL Texan!!

You're way more Texan than average. Your parents were probably from here, too. We're glad to have you. You probably go to the border for Christmas shopping and are well versed in BBQ, Mexican Food and... well, that's pretty much it.

How Texan Are You?

Pretty good for a non-native, no? (I'd have done way better if 75% of the questions hadn't been about Austin.)

Unrelated Banter:
  • This book's website is so cool it hurts.
  • Discovery: it is alarmingly difficult to live without an operating fridge. We live a life of luxury.

Typing With Crumb-Dusted Fingers

A true friend is one who brings you scrumptious, craisin-besotted scones.


Trekkies & Hypocrites

So, last night we watched Trekkies. (Yes, finally.)

Alex pointed out that we're terrible for making (admittedly hilarious) comments to each other about the film. He maintains that we're not horrible primarily because of the comments themselves, but because we're mocking Trekkies when we each spent over 300 hours in line for Star Wars. And went to Celebration II and III. In costume. As characters so obscure, only one out of every ten rabid Star Wars fans recognized who we were.

I don't think we're that bad--I subscribe to the ancient philosophy, "it takes one to know one." Therefore, we're not hypocritical, we're mockers that have been informed about the topic by extensive research. But it was interesting to note, yet again, how Star Trek fans are predominantly nerdy, whereas Star Wars fans are predominantly geeky. And how while I am both a nerd and a geek in various contexts, for the purposes of scifi I am predominantly geek. (Revisit the differences between the two in this post.)

And can I just say that Denise Crosby will always be cool in my book? Particularly when she's giggling off-camera at Brent Spiner's remark concerning an illustration of their two characters... getting along quite well.

And yes, for the record, I am a huge ST:TNG fan. When I was in middle school, it was hard to tell if I was crushing on LeVar Burton because of Reading Rainbow or NextGen.

Will Work for Fuel

(Will Work for Food Fuel)


Luckily Alex just found that E85 station--but I'm nervous, because I have to fill up today, and I'm afraid that by the time I get there, prices will have already skyrocketed. (If they haven't, I'm tempted to flood the entire bed of my truck with fuel for future consumption.)

Going Up...

I'm gauging-up two holes in my ears (to 16) to compliment my 14. It doesn't hurt as bad as the gal at Hot Topic led me to believe, but then again, she probably hasn't had a 14-gauge hollow needle plunged into her tragus lately.

In other random news:
Our TV, named Mario, and our DVR are teaching me new levels of sloth. Last night, we were astounded by "Design Star"'s ever-talented David and his amazing pet-shop-created room. IMHO, they should just hand this guy his own show now and send the rest home.

Need to make a decision? Maybe these guys can help.

It frightens me that when I saved this page in del.icio.us, its recommended tags were "to do" and "wishlist."


A First: Political Musings

I'm breaking my own blog rule and writing a little about politics. (Goodness knows why.)

I'm fairly a-political (as far as parties go), but still, having been raised in a conservative environment and agreeing with many issues from that viewpoint, I think of myself as a grudging (albeit moderate) Republican. That being said, I never vote for a person I don't know something about, and only vote for Republicans when I agree on the issues (which, as stated, is usually the lesser of two evils).

Today, however, I was a little surprised to hear that of the two sides to the recent bill (that didn't pass in Congress), I was staunchly on the Democrat side of both issues, for an increase in minimum wage (it's been a decade, folks! And do you think that gas costs what it did four years ago, let alone ten?), and against the "death tax" (c'mon, paying a bit in taxes just because you're super-rich won't take you down anywhere close to middle-class, so don't whine to me about it).

Nothing Fancy

Okay, just for today I'm going to forgo my usual spiffy formatting and link insertion, because I'd rather blog basic than not blog at all, and I'm short on time.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Auntie K. That caffeine just hit my system--I can tell because I talked my boss's ear off for half an hour, jamming in at least one hour's worth of information in the process. (As I told Auntie K, I can now confirm that it is physically possible to speak more than 100 words a minute.)

A sugary pop-culture delight: Wired magazine reviews movie tie-in cereals <http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,71503-0.html?tw=wn_index_3>.
"Superman Crunch:
It's good to see Superman and Cap'n Crunch -- the two most powerful beings in the universe -- collaborating. ...Even better, the cereal turns the milk blue. I have no idea how that works. The Superman symbols turn this kind of mottled, leprous purple, and the milk turns a lovely shade of blue, just like Aunt Beru used to make."

And even a Star Wars reference thrown in. Which reminds me, Alex and I giggled so hard last night we had to pause the DVR during a Foster's episode, "Bus the Two of Us," in which Bloo not only made a sly Star Wars reference, which is fairly regular on that genius show, but a reference of epic proportions, delivered in Bloo's signature maniac, loony screaming voice that would make me laugh even if he was saying... see, I can't even think of anything he'd say in that voice that wouldn't be completely and totally hilarious.

My favorite Bloo lines that come to mind:
(last night's sheer genius:) "It didn’t go in, it just impacted on the surface!"
"I'll just go back in time and get them again."
"I most certainly am not a burrito!"
"Frankie says relax!"
Wilt: "You're finally getting what you deserve."
Bloo: "A race car bed? I'm getting a race car bed?!"

I should probably just let Lore Sjöber write my blog. I've now read his articles on movie tie-in cereal, Star Wars DVD sets, and bad ComicCon costumes.

"Lucasfilm has announced that it will be re-releasing the original Star Wars movies on DVD this Christmas season in their original format, without later additions such as the part where Greedo shoots before Han, the scene where Han meets up with Jabba and repeats all the lines he said 10 minutes ago, and the bit where Luke talks about how he saw Willow and it was completely awesome."

I had a whole delectable list of goodies, but emailed them to my Alex instead of posting them here--so if you're curious, or have five hours to devote to wasting time online, you can check out: http://del.icio.us/mithdara/toAlex


The Afternoon Blah's

I think we should have two mornings and an evening in each day.

Let's skip that whole afternoon thing with its heat and its staring-off-into-space- while-strongly-desiring-a-nap-ness.


Yahoo News declares, "women like tech toys more than shoes."
(But some of us like both.)

Speaking of shoes...
Hey, Auntie K, maybe they've got one of these for shoes (although--ick)?

But then again, I think the whole idea with borrowing handbags is a little "ick." Certainly not something I'd pay the "couture" price of $60-95 per week rental fee for! (Goodness, if you can afford that, couldn't you afford to buy a much nicer handbag than my own?)

Speaking of "ick..."
Wanna know what to call that bug you're squashing when you describe its horrific appearance to coworkers the next day? Then check out What's that Bug?

(Insert clever segue from bugs to pirates here...)
I just realized that Pirates 2 has been out for weeks, and we haven't been to the theater to see it. Shame on us! (That shows you how much we've been enjoying satellite, huh? Drat those Mythbusters and their distracting ways!)

And while we're talking about satellite:
I [heart] Eureka.
Which, incidentally, is the state motto of California. (These are the things you learn when you work in GovDocs and your boss and yourself are bored of the usual shoptalk.)

And back to television:
Oh. My. Gosh.
NPR: "About one-third of children age 6 and younger even have a television in their room, just so they can watch their shows while parents are occupied elsewhere."

And that leaves me speechless.


Tuesday's Tidbits

Interested in owning an affordable airplane? Read this story.

Still more reasons I'm sad I missed Comic-Con: Fanboys trailer (can't find it online), and the Transformers teaser.

Do you miss Bob Ross, his afro, and his happy little trees? Here's some nostalgia for you PBS geeks.

Random Webcomic Theme: cute bunnies

I heard about this Batman development a couple weeks ago. Sigh. Now, the rumors swirling about Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Penguin--that's more like it. But I guess after the last movie, I ought to trust Nolan. A little, anyway. (Heath Ledger??? Really?)

Nice title, though: The Dark Knight. MmmmmmHmmmm.

Poor Goofus...

Here's my five seconds of fame. Enjoy!