Geek-Out Moment

I was working at the service desk last week, which is next door to my office, and about lost it laughing when two guys came around the corner. They were walking past my office window (I had the blinds open), and did a double-take --the first guy stopped midstride almost violently and walked a few steps backward.

I'm guessing it was the electronic Star Destroyer on my top shelf that caught their eye... although it could have been the ridiculously-huge Superman figure mom gave me for my birthday, or just the shelf of action figures in general. (Nancy Pearl is shushing Darth Vader right now while Batman looks on, and Frodo steals some books.)

(Watched the second half of season two last week. Dying for October 6th.)

Autumnal Thoughts

Things I Like About the Two Days of Fall Weather in Texas
Warm green tea on a cool morning.
The opportunity to wear my long-sleeved (but thin) Batman zip-up.
Getting the down comforter out from the closet--but not really desperate about it yet.
The way the cool weather seems to sharpen the air; everything looks a little clearer, crisper.
The beginning of a fresh television season cycle, before reruns set in.

What I'm Going to Hate by Late October
Not getting to wear open-toed shoes.
Salad or any other cold meal just makes me pouty.
My nose constantly running.
Showering in the cold in the morning.
Purple fingernails from typing, no matter how cranked the heater is.
Sadly attempting to avoid "empty calories" from warm-and-toasty coffee and hot cocoa.


Getting It Together

We had another productive weekend of cleaning and eBay-ing. I am proud to tell you that, after 5+ years of eBay-ing, I finally set up a dedicated eBay station for myself. And boy, does it pay off in time saved and hassles avoided! In Alex's computer room, I've got an extra desk, which has a drawer filled with pens, packing tape, scissors, notepad, and post-its. (I've discovered that post-its make marvelous instant labels where I can track if the item has been photographed, how much it weighs once packed, and its shipping estimate.) On top of the desk, I've got a curved piece of matte white posterboard clipped in place to act as the background for the pictures (it looks quite professional in the photos). On the other side of the desk, I've got the scale and the camera on its charging station. Just to the right of the desk is a computer, under the desk is an assortment of shipping boxes, and in the closet is the static-free bubble wrap (for computer parts).

So, now I pick up one of the items in the stack marked "TO SELL," put it on the posterboard, take a photo, hand the memory card off to Alex (who's at his desk editing the photos, writing the html, and posting items on eBay), and mark the item's post-it as "pictured." Then I hunt down a suitably-sized box, wrap the item in bubble wrap, place the package on the scale, and scoot over to the computer for USPS.com. I add the weight and estimated shipping cost to the post-it, tell Alex how much shipping is, and add it to the "ready to ship" stack. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If only I'd hit on this idea sooner, we might already have fewer items to sell (and therefore fewer items cluttering up the house). Ah, well.

I feel additionally triumphant because I sorted every last one of Alex's cables, wires, and cords, untangled them, neatly tied them up with twisty-ties, and placed them in drawers according to their type (power cords, extension cords, cat-5, telephone, printer cables, USB, coax, "teeny wires," and the ever-present "I have no idea what this is" category). Aaaand I got the kitchen cleaned--not the attached breakfast nook, but I'm pretending it's a different room so that I can feel accomplished.

Now, if only I didn't still have a massive pile of STUFF in my office waiting to be taken to Goodwill... Ah, well. As Bobo the Bear says, baby steps.


A Lazy, Linky Friday

I'm missing two of the five senses--but, oh well.


Get Lost!

Make your own fortune cookie here.

It's a Moo Point

  • Get some Loony Library Laughs at my pro-blog.
  • Ever wanted to live in The Shire? Now you can... for only $500,000 and up.
  • Embed RSS feeds in your website with Grazr.
  • And while we're indirectly talking about cows, check out Moo. They make small business-card-like prints from your flickr photos; 100 (each unique, if you like) for $20!
  • Want to see how the government is spending your hard-earned money? Take a gander at the Death and Taxes Graph (disclaimer: no, I have not personally checked all the numbers to be sure they're true, but I welcome you to have a try).
  • Torpark provides "anonymous, portable web browsing." Foil those identity thieves and snoopers!
  • Nifty idea: AA batteries with built-in USB charging plugs.
  • It's finally released!!! Scott McCloud's Making Comics; and he's going to be touring the fifty states with his family for over a year, so don't miss him.

This post was made possible by a grant from information from BoingBoing, LibrarianInBlack, and possibly other great bloggers that I'm totally forgetting to credit.


Just Passing Through

I got a welcome unexpected visit from my parents tonight; they're stopping overnight at our place while on their way to Kansas City. I'm quite pleased to get to see them, even though the house hasn't yet recovered from the weekend deep-cleaning (why is that deep-cleaning one room leaves the rest of your house a complete mess?).

I chatted a bit with Dad about my Online Family Archive Project, and Mom showed me an awesome pencil portrait she drew of me. They took me out to Applebee's, where Mom and I had the amazingly-awesome, cilantro-lime-honey-dressing-drizzled Stacked Tostada Chicken Salad, which I later ordered to go for Alex (who came home late from work).


Ahoy, It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

  • Erika over at the Amplified Library celebrates in Grand Pirate-y Fashion.
  • Perhaps this artistic ode* to Talk Like a Pirate Day is in poor taste… but that doesn’t stop it from being completely hilarious.
  • So, you just found out that it's TLAPD, and you're insecure about how to communicate properly in piratese? Never fear: there's a (hysterical) educational filmstrip for you!
  • For more pirate-y goodness, check out my previous post on pirates vs. ninjas.
*If ye be offended by mention of sanitary items of a feminine and delicate nature, ye be advised to clear off right away.


What You Can Do With Half a Weekend

1. Spring Cleaning in Fall

Alex’s computer room now has twice as much floor-space, and he has several additional items on eBay and a nice stack of items still to be listed.And this in a weekend when I worked Saturday! I took two of those 33-gallon trashbags out yesterday, I have several power supplies to somehow recycle, and a growing pile of things to take to good ol’ Goodwill.

2. To Best Buy... And Back Again

Yes, we bought the much-longed-for Star Wars original trilogy set on DVD. And we're going to return it.

No, it's not defective. It's Lucas, in my opinion, who's defective. We decided to read a DVD-Talk review before we burst the shrinkwrap, since they've been reliable sources in the past. Mentions of few new special features, the lackluster look of the un-restored originals next to last years' beauties, the 4.3 format with black bars instead of true widescreen formatting (!!!), and the fact that we already have the sparklingly-gorgeous-but-wrong special editions on DVD all gave us reason to shake our heads with frustration and be slightly happy that we'll be getting over $60 back from Best Buy.

Oh, did you notice that next year is SW's 30th anniversary? And we all know how Lucasfilm loves to profit off of anniversaries. Here's some speculation/rumor/fact about what will be in the confirmed 2008 "saga" release of all 6 movies in one pack. Perhaps this set will include the deleted scenes that were rumored to be included in the special edition DVDs we all bought. But personally, I can't hold my breath that long.

Here's a fun track record of changes made to the Star Wars Saga.

Unrelated Banter:
  • PS3 Downtime Donations: like SETI@Home or Folding@Home, there are rumors that the PS3 will enable charitably-hearted gamers to donate processor time in their downtime. Neat feature, even though I'd rather spend less and have more fun with a Wii.
  • Brown: no longer my enemy. In fact, when speaking of my closet color-dominance, you might say that brown is the new black. (Well, okay, not quite; at least half of my closet will always be black. Brown is more like the new plum.)
  • How do we know that Weird Al is a genius? Because his new single, "White and Nerdy," is a delicious parody including two insanely hilarious lines:
  • "I'm fluent in javascript as well as Klingon"
  • "Only question I ever thought was hard, was do I like Kirk, or do I like Picard"


Saturday at Work: A Haiku

library feels dead
catatonic students pass
they don't meet my eyes

Ninjas Hate Pirates (and vice versa)

This morning, the post from A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette dealt with: Ninjas, (Not) Disturbing (which seems like every sound advice). It got me to thinking about other ninja topics, which of course led to pirates, because as we all know:


Bow to the Supreme Nerd

Revisiting the geek/nerd topic yet again...

I am nerdier than 92% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thanks for another funny quiz, riofrio!

I'm just disappointed in myself for not thinking of the Vulcan comment...

I also rank as a Mid-Level Computer Geek. I aspire to more...

My computer geek score is greater than 77% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!


Good News Comes in Twos!

(some news decidedly more important than others...)
  1. My congrats to Kali and Joel! Now I've got two pregger friends again; is this officially Gen X-er Babies, Round 3? (No, I do not plan on participating.*) It's been awhile; for my circle, Round 1 started in 2001 and I think Round 2 ended in early 2004.
  2. Wii console November 19th! For $250!! 30 classic games available for between $5-10! Let the nostaglic-awesome-fun begin.
*Was this really your business, anyway? Stop asking.
I say this with the fondest regard for my family and friends... and my deepest conviction that "when are you two going to start having kids?" is a (unintentionally) rude, rude question.

Peer--er, Sheer Pressure

Seasonal allergies would be a relief--then I wouldn't hurt all year long.

I've never been tested for allergens, so I have no idea what I'm allergic to--but I have a sneaking suspicion that if I was tested, I'd come up positive for dust and old books. Dude, I work in a library.

My face is a mask of intense pressure whirling in a mad cycle; cheekbones, teeth, temples, ears, over and over again. The way I keep pressing on my face with my hands probably makes me look like the horrified protagonist in a gothic novel: "Oh, why must I be continually tortured like this?"

And now a haiku, entitled:
"Upon Taking Claritin-D and Excedrin"

medicine cocktail
my fingers hum with caffeine
sinusitis sucks

--thank you and good night.


Saint Anthony of Padua

I recently obtained a small icon of St. Anthony of Padua.* I feel an affinity for this saint, much as I do for good ol' St. Veronica (patron saint of photographers and of my thesis). In Tony's case, this is because I was first made aware of him when I actually visited his Basilica in Padua, Italy. There, I discovered that this charming saint is the saint of lost items (have you ever heard of a more useful saint?) and of finding hubbys for single gals (again, a handy guy). Not only that, but the basilica had on display the coolest relics I've ever seen in person: his tongue and vocal chords (he was a superb orator). As legend has it, his coffin was opened 30 years after his death: his body was dust, but his tongue and vocal chords were miraculously preserved "uninjured, fresh, and of a lively red colour." I just love hagiography.

It was only after I got back that I realized that my hometown, San Antonio, is actually named after him. Small world.

*Not to be confused with the Egyptian hermit featured in some of Bosch's most disturbing paintings. Ask me about my most interesting Art History class someday, and we'll chat about Bosch the Bizarre. If Thomas Kincaid is the "Painter of Light" (*cough* self-aggrandizing marketing ploy), then Hieronymous Bosch is the "Painter of Really Disturbing Hybird Animals, Torturous Acts, and Naked People."
And people say Art History is boring.

Pet Peeves and Other Joys

  • Improper use of the word: "literally." I wish I could remember the NPR anchor's irritating flub last night, so that I could mercilessly mock it here. Ah, well, my forgetfulness has saved him from my ire.
  • A (unofficial) list of non-liquid and other airline-approved carry-on items. Is it ironic that this list of items like powdered shaving solution, powdered sunscreen, and tooth powder, made me think about the powdery nature of many explosives? (Um, gunpowder, anyone?) I mean, to me, a can of tooth powder is a bit more suspect than a tube of toothpaste.
  • What a great idea: wiki textbooks for students in developing countries. Free and never out-of-date!
  • Hey, Munch's The Scream has been recovered, two years after it was stolen! Hooray!


Just a Jot and a Tittle


I Now Accept that 'Pimp My Ride' is the Only Reason to Watch MTV

Dooce is totally right, of course; OK Go was the only reason to watch the VMA's. Okay, that and the fact that I was awed by this guy's super-cool dancing at the beginning, enviously drooling at his robot moves (see #8)... and then the lights came up, and it was Justin Timberlake, and he started singing.

And I felt very ashamed.

9/11, Five Years Later

All the appropriate kinds of memorial remarks and tributes are already being stated by more eloquent persons than I. I think that the events of that day are too great for me to adequately say anything more about them. Like the day JFK was shot, like the Challenger and Columbia accidents, it's certainly a day we'll forever remember where we were and what we were doing when we first were made aware of the tragedy.

It was a day when my own view of the world fundamentally changed. I used to avoid the news and current events, choosing to fully immerse myself in my academic lifestyle and escapist fiction. It was not only selfish, but it was a luxury of ignorance and confidence that was shattered on a bright September morning. Terrorist attacks used to be something that happened somewhere else, to someone else, in places I was barely familar with. Now, whether an attack is in the UK or the Middle East, it's something to which I think we all remain acutely aware. Now, I regularly read news feeds, peruse news websites, listen to news radio. America doesn't feel safe like it used to; but then, my world isn't as small as it used to be.

It's raining today. It feels appropriate.


We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

I'm glad we went.
I'm glad we're back.

That's about all there is to say.


The Long and the Short of It

Let me preface this post: I spent three months transcribing nineteenth-century letters. I pass by a poster of the U.S. Bill of Rights every day at work. I studied medieval history. I was an English major, dangit!

So then, should I be ashamed that, every time I see the Bill of Rights, I read it as "Congrefs?"

I know all about the long s. I know it intimately, from Lorenzo de Zavala to James Madison to Milton. I've got enough degrees to be ashamed of the amount of time and money I've spent in that endeavor.

And still... Congrefs. Every time I read a document by one of the founding fathers, I get this mental impression of them speaking to each other like Daffy Duck, lisping and spluttering over each other. It's not such a dignified image of, say, good 'ol Tom Jefferson: "You Federalists are deth-picable!"

Related Banter:
Found: hilarious speech written by the "pesident of the United State's"

Happy (Belated) Blog Day!

Since I was sick on Blog Day, I'll post my five blogs to highlight a week late. After rummaging through my 87 feeds on Bloglines, I'd have to say these are my top 5 (both professional and personal):

1) Bark Like a Fish, Damnit!
-- first I discovered Ursula Vernon's Digger, a gorgeous/inventive/humorous webcomic about a wombat (just read it), then I discovered her gorgeous art, and now I am addicted to her often laugh-out-loud blog posts about gardening, being an artist, creative writing, and the occassional health crisis
2) Auntie K's Blog
-- of course, I'd be obligated to read this blog even if it wasn't fantastic, since I highly suspect I'm the person who got her into this blogging business--but I count it among my favorites because her brief, inventive posts contain nuggets of humor, insight, and great link references
3) Librarian in Black
-- for her awesome finds, techie talk, brevity/frequency of posts, and our mutual belief in the superiority of black attire
4) dooce
-- an amazingly humorous mix of pop culture, family life, non-traditional parenting, and... well, you really have to read it to understand (don't read it if you are offended by the occassional--or frequent--profanity)
5) slashdot
-- for the "geekery" spot, Slashdot edges out boingboing because it's easier to keep up with posts, and because I've subscribed to it longer
-- and also because it has cute icons for its categories (I love the Bill-Gates-as-the-Borg one)

Honorable Mention:


Tuesday Tizzy

Tuesdays I'm up around 6:15, at work by 8:30, inevitably have several meetings to attend, work at the service desk from 4 to 6pm, have half an hour to grab dinner and run over to the SLIS building, and then I'm in class from 6:30 to 9:30, get home around 10:30, hug my hubby, gaze longingly at the DVR where a new episode of Eureka awaits, and fall exhausted into bed.

(Or that's what probably should happen, but as demonstrated last spring, usually Alex and I chatter cheerily until I realize it's close to 1am and I have to get up at 6:45 the next day.)

Why, oh why, is the Super Mario 2 soundtrack stuck in my head? Dangit, I'd happily settle for 1 or 3, but I always found 2 a little... odd. Probably because the whole veggie-throwing game is odd! And perhaps it's influenced by the Most Awesome McDonald's Commercial Ever for SuperMario happy meals that Alex and I saw yesterday.

And after Super Size Me, I thought I'd never crave fast food again...


Am I Delirious?

I'm home sick again for the second day running. Tell me if I'm delirious, or if this music video by the OK Go's is sheer genius on treadmills.

More strange-enough-to-be-the-cough-syrup-talking news: Original Star Trek series being remastered in HD with new music and CG effects. This sounds like the greatest idea in scifi history--or the lamest. Seems to me like they could potentially alienate a lot of original fans--but then, they're probably going for the younger set, eh?

And this morning I ran across an article on Heroes, a new series from NBC. A series about "people with superpowers in the real world." Count me in on 9/25! (Those of you willing to use iTunes can get it free today!)