Saturday, May 31, 2008


Serious hail today - about the size of a 50 cent piece. Stripped the leaves off the trees. Quite a sight. And a sound. Wow.

Today's terribly amusing website: It has reading material like Dickinson's poetry and Twain's short stories set up in such a way to look like powerpoint presentations, so it's harder for you to get caught if you choose to spend your time on the job doing something more productive than actual work. Entertaining, at least.

Going to spend much of tomorrow at work. Bah.

Now to sleep; perchance to dream...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Last Full Measure

" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. " - George Orwell

Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

(More Lincoln Portrait stuff here:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Today didn't suck

I'm a tiny bit crispy; just a little pink in the upper chest and the tops of my arms. Don't feel all that hot - sun, wind, scary Biffs, too much crappy food and a few adult libations will do that to you. But now I'm out of the sun, have had a chance to go to a real bathroom, and have a little of the pink stuff, so I'm feeling much better.

Some serious hard core adventures today. Get Out of Jail Free cards will get that for you.

I of course was late getting to J's house. I swear he said to turn left at Bill's... anyway, I was driving around and around and around - the whole thing was exactly like "Little Boxes". Except there was a tan one, and a tan one, and a tan one, and a tan one...

We ended up singing the song much of the day. It's a bit... insidious, I suppose one could say. Sticks with a person. Oh boy, does it.

Anyway, after multiple phone calls and stops for map viewing, I made it to J's little box and J and K and I left for breakfast. They hopped in my car and we drove downtown. My car - really, all cars - are just too small for J. And of course he accidentally hit the seat warmer on the way in and had a conniption fit. "Why the hell is my butt warm?!?" he roared. "How the hell do you turn it off?!?" K and I were laughing so hard we couldn't see, which isn't good when you're driving down the Interstate at 60. Man.

We met P at a cool little greasy spoon down on campus. The place is a riot. It's maybe the width of my bedroom, at best; something like 10 feet. Seriously. There's a long counter of about 14 stools, and the line forms behind the stools. There's barely room to breathe. It is not a place for the claustrophobic or the obese. Once someone finishes eating, the first person in line must somehow find space to scootch between the stools and the line in the back to the empty stool in question. You sit down to stare at a wall full of memorabilia, mainly money from various foreign countries, all dusty. The main cook is to the right, flipping pancakes and hashbrowns on the oldest equipment I believe I've ever seen still in use. He must have asbestos fingers. Turned a lot of stuff with the hands. Wow. And of course they do the stereotypical diner technique of yelling out orders and that they need more round plates and all that stuff. Any customer who breaks the many unwritten rules is yelled at as well. Much fun. And darned tasty food. I had blueberry pancakes and hashbrowns and was quite content. Oof.

For some bizarre reason, J and K got a bee in their bonnet that we needed to go down the road to some scary little joint that I suspect would be truly frightening at night. What drives anyone to drink their breakfast, I don't know. There were several older men in there doing just that. We didn't fit in, and I have to say I'm glad of it. But it was an experience. Getting there was craziness in itself - I was driving, had no idea where I was going, and J didn't have too many clues either. That led to one of the hands-down best lines of the day. He told me to take a right turn and then said "take the turn a little wide in case we need to abort." Nice.

We headed back to J's house to pick up the boat, the snackies, and the other important accoutrements to a day on the water.

Then, out to the lake. It's not a far drive in miles but it's a little amusing in the change of the people and the things. The lake has been the city person's and rich person's playground for over 100 years, and it shows. It's an interesting place. The lake is big and wandering, with lots of interconnected bays. The channels between the bays are often so narrow that there's bridges over them with roads and railroads crossing and crisscrossing. There're quite a few charter operations on the water, including the one with the local football team and the boat scandal of a year or two ago. We passed by that place, which was a nice moment. Some beautiful old historic steamboats and wooden motorboats, huge houses, rich folks and their toys.

We saw lots of funny things. One of the longer bridges had some entertaining graffiti: OPD Blows (heart) Seniors '08. And they signed it. That was smart. I'm sure the police department in question will never, never see it and never, never catch them. They're too wily. J loves to drive as fast as possible, then slows way down so we can just float and soak up the atmosphere. We played chicken with a couple geese at one point. We saw a boat floating mysteriously and appearing unoccupied... but we're pretty sure we know what was going on inside. We debated about going over and "asking if they needed help," but figured we'd likely see more than we really needed to see.

We also went to a couple of dockside establishments, the type where you can pull your boat up to a slip and go in to have one or two. They have parking attendants, so to speak, guys that come up and help you tie and untie your boat. Very posh. We saw several rich kids back from college, busily hitting on the waitresses. Oh, the humanity. We just wanted to smack so many of them. Honey, gotta tell you: you aren't as good looking as you think you are. Lots of women with fake tans and too many plastic surgeries wearing clothes that just screamed that they were searching for Husband #4. And then what had to be a first date with some woman and a guy who looked like Mike Ditka. He was so earnest, the poor guy. One wonders how it all came out.

So we went home early, really, by 6:30 or so, but we were just exhausted. All day in the sun will do that to you. We had a great time, though, and like I said, it didn't suck.

What a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Playing Monopoly

I can't wait 'till Friday. Oh boy.

So my boss gave a few of us an exchange day for a massive project for which we put in a bunch of time back in February. In two lousy days, well 1 1/2 now, we're using our Get Out of Jail Free cards and blowing this popcorn stand.

(How many more metaphors can I mix in one sentence?)

The plan involves drinking, eating, and boating, not necessarily in that order. Friday is supposed to be 75 and sunny. Can we say hallelujah? So lunch today was spent watching deleted scenes from The Office and making a list of who is bringing what. I've got the honey peanut butter Cheerios thingies. Yum.

On the job scene, I'm still in a bit of a holding pattern, although it's not as bad as it was. I know I have a job now, at least; the 80% thing has been officially offered. Now it's just a matter of waiting 'till they determine if it can actually be full time. About once every two days there's a new scenario; most recent one is my job remains precisely the same. One can hope.

Just a note in the You Get What You Pay For department - don't buy $3.99 wine from Trader Joe's. I love Joe's for most things, but sometimes... *whew* I need to learn how to make vinegar.

Have also been determining summer plans. Have several work things plus a trip to OH to see a friend, so there's potential for some amusement. Only wish gas prices weren't so high. Jumped about 20 cents today. Also figured out I get a lousy 20 per gallon, on a good week. WTH? Should be more than that, with my car...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yet another work update

Holy crap, I tell you, it is Bee-you-tea-full out there. 79 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze. Just about perfect. Finally.

Big work thing yesterday that went quite well; better than pretty much all the participants thought it would. And it's over, so there's one less project for me to complete. Yay! Another big thing this weekend - a bit of a party, I suppose one could call it. Bought a dress for the event today at a new consignment shop - $16, baby. Yeah.

Side note: saw a guy today with the skyline of Minneapolis tattooed on the back of his forearm. Interesting choice.

As for work, I've been officially offered the 80% position. Unofficially, I might be full time. There's still hope. I'm a little nervous as I'm thinking that what I've been told is likely to happen won't - I suspect the person who told me what she's shooting for hasn't taken into account what other folks are likely to want. Ah well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today's amusement

OK, this is pretty funny. And yes, I sucked.

Was also fun to head to the home page and browse through the thousands of TV theme songs they have. I found M.A.S.H., Hill Street Blues, and The Office, of course, but also Antiques Roadshow, Masterpiece Theatre, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and Nova. How many of you remember the MST3K theme song from when it was on KTMA? Yes!

I love the Internet.

I'm still sick; not so pumped about that. Better, though. Likely will be better just in time to have my projects done and finally be able to take a day off work. Ah well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Been a while since I listed a song of the day. I guess this means I need to spend more time watching You Tube and less time whining about my life. Anyway:

Rosie Thomas: I Let Myself Fall

Sorry about the JAM mash-up vid; least of evils (I could have given you a Gilmore Girls one, after all).

Hadn't heard of Thomas before but think I really like her stuff. Check out her Myspace for more listening loveliness. So far I like all I've heard. I like "Much Farther to Go" as well.

A good song makes every part of me alert, even while my whole body relaxes.

In the And Now For Something Completely Different category: The Gipsy Kings covering Hotel California. Absolute unadulterated coolness. Talk about guitar playing.

While on that subject, check out the Rosenberg Trio and their cover of Don't Mean A Thing. Lord. Well, and Bireli Lagrene, for that matter. Here's Minor Swing with all of 'em. And yes, it is pronounced MEE-nor. Get it together, wouldja?

And, of course, the Kings themselves:

What Django does with only 2 fingers, for all practical purposes ... man.

I hate colds. That is all.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Opportunity Costs

I'm dying, here.

I haven't yet seen this evening's episode of The Office. I can't read any fanfic, can't go on any message boards, can't do anything.

Granted, the trade-off was a good one - I ended up over at K's with T and H for dinner, drinks, conversation, and a viewing of Gone Baby Gone, which I hadn't seen. Darn fine flick. Been a while since I read the book as well - the book is incredible, terribly complex and terribly hard to read. Lehane's books are just wrenching. No good really comes out in the end, for anyone. Dark. Oh, so dark. But good.

Upshot of all this is, I'm too tired and too wound from the movie to watch my tape of The Office. So to bed for me. Dangit.

Did finish applying for my own job this afternoon. So that's done.

'Kay... really need to go to bed now.

After I find those Lehane books on my shelf. Now where did they go...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

More Copious Whining

So here's the latest.

Found out Tuesday, finally, that I was going to have the opportunity to apply for my own job, more or less, only at about 80% of the hours and therefore 80% of the salary. Yay!

(read that little exclamation as you will)

The application process includes such questions as what technology I'm comfortable with and uploading my resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Don't we already have those on file? And my address and phone as well? *sigh* So it's an awful lot of busy work. Not so thrilled. But some job is better than no job, and that's where I once was.

Rumor has it that I might get really lucky and be offered 100%. It may be different than what I'm currently doing, but again, a job is a job. As long as the checks don't bounce and my rent can be paid and I can buy cat food.

But this whole going-on-three-months-of-terrifying-uncertainty thing is getting a wee bit old. This year has been hellish enough. Let's not add to it, shall we?

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Saw Leatherheads tonight. Cute little thing. Have heard it described as George Clooney's love letter to the era and that's pretty well accurate, I think. The music is top notch - another Randy Newman score. It's beautifully lit, and has some very clever moments. And, well, George Clooney and John Krasinski? H.O.T. So that was a plus.

Also saw the trailer for the new Indy movie.
Have been more than a little dubious, I admit it. But am starting to wonder if it really won't be that bad...

Friday, May 02, 2008

More stupid work talk, etc.

Meetings all day today and the only thing I got out of it was sympathy. No solid word yet. Am pretty disgusted with the lack thereof, to tell the truth. Rather startling thing that came out at a staff meeting was that once they figure out what jobs are still left, they will be posted externally. WTF? This means we need to apply for our own jobs?!?!? We were told we'd be automatically given a position if one was available. Lovely. Just lovely. I am definitely starting to feel screwed over, and I can't say as I like it.

Been thinking more on how I can economize and what I need to live on. I hate this. I've been out of college how long now? How much hard work? How much job experience? I shouldn't have to think like this.

I'm not normally this cynical and depressing, I swear.

Today marks exactly ten years since the downfall of Lord Voldemort. That's just about the coolest thing in the universe. Yay for The Boy Who Lived.

Tonight went to a theatrical production, a company of six teen actors that wrote most of the play themselves in collaboration with a teaching artist. I was extremely impressed. For junior high kids, they were well spoken, funny, moved well, were self possessed, and just generally kicked some serious butt.

Friend of mine and I were chatting about this lovely economy and she said that the budget that she and her husband have for gas is higher than their student loan payments. Oh yeah, no, we're not in a recession.



And how on earth do you think a federal gas tax vacation will help? That'll save what, 18.4 cents per gallon? Current average is $3.48 in my area. So now I'm paying what, $3.30 at best, assuming prices don't go up even more? Ooooo..... Dude, news flash here: Cub coupons will pick that up for you.

My car has a 16.5 gallon tank. I fill up about 3 times a month. Let's do a little math, shall we?

  • 16.5 gallons x $3.48 per = $57.42 per fill up x 3 fill ups = $172.26 per month

(Jayzus. Shouldn't have done that math. The truth hurts. Yeowch.)

  • 16.5 gallons x $3.30 per = $54.45 per fill up x 3 fill ups = $163.35 per month

That makes for a grand total saved of...
(drum roll,

  • $8.91

Now, I'm simplifying the math a tad as I don't go down to empty before I fill, so I actually spend a little less on gas. And $8.91 is $8.91. But really. It's like the tax rebate. What am I going to spend it on? Bills, of course. I'm not stupid.

How is that going to stimulate the economy?

ETA: Nice article in the Minnpost about it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Holding pattern

A few updates, in case you care:

Work thing this past weekend went exceedingly well. A good time was had by all. Much was learned, including the meaning of the terms isthmus and vibraphone. Lovely, lovely time. The boss even came to visit to specifically ask about things, which I thought was very nice of her. She does try to keep our spirits up.

Have day-long meetings tomorrow so hope to glean more gossip about the impending firings. Am currently in a holding pattern. Have gathered letters of recommendation and updated the resume. Now it's wait-and-see for another couple of weeks. Am not so pumped about doing work for next year right now - I'm basically doing work for nothing, or someone else's gain. Yay! Morale is low. Really low. But some volunteers came in over the weekend and completely redid the break room as they know how things have been. That's nice. Little things help.

Randomness for the day: OK, was wondering why I was hearing voices and didn't think it was my subconscious. Although these days that wouldn't surprise me. Turns out there's a coupla guys in the courtyard outside my office window throwing around a really cool light-up Frisbee. Nice.