Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Percival!

It is past midnight, officially Christmas Eve. I should have announced earlier that yesterday, December 23, was Christmas Adam. Be sure to celebrate it next year. Anyway, this is an exciting day for a few reasons: 1) Christmas is tomorrow! 2) We get to open stockings tonight! 3) It's Percival's birthday!!!

Let me explain. No, it's too much; let me sum up. (If you know where that's from, you are wonderful.) Percy is my beautiful little pomeranian, and she is a Christmas Eve dog. Today she is 13 years old. She had a rough couple of months this year, getting older and all that, but she is back in top form, barking for two meals a day plus treats. She was just groomed and has a Christmas bow in her hair. I have absolutely no idea how to put a picture of her on this blog, but I will try to get Gregory to do it soon. Now, if you meet Percy, you should walk into her kitchen and yell, "PERcival!!!" The only problem is that she can't hear very well anymore, but if she sees you through her cataracts looking excited, she is certain to get excited, too.

Percy is my first dog. Our family had dogs before her, but she is the family dog who is mine. I truly believe that she is the cutest thing in the world, from her delicately pointy face to the tiny quick steps she takes with her little paws. She was born the runt of the litter on December 24, 1994. She came to live with us in July of 1995, and she has been leader of the Acosta household ever since. She has had her favourites in the family, most notably my dad. He pretended not to care about her, but he was caught playing with her several times, and she had many a tummy ache because he fed her table scraps. To my dad, Percy was simply "Dog," or sometimes "Half-dog" (she topped out at a whopping 6 pounds in her youth, but now she is down to 4 1/2). Anyway, after my father died, she began following my mother around. When Greg and I got married, we decided to leave Percy with my mother because she was already getting older and we thought she would be more comfortable in her house. Don't worry--we live five minutes away, so we see her quite often.

And so we toast to Percival--May she live at least four more years! Cheers and salud!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Overheard at the Mall

"There's an ancient Chinese method for folding t-shirts."
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Pi is not something you eat!

I've just realized that neither of us has posted in a long, long time. So, what has happened in the past month or so? Here is a list, in no particular order:

1. I had a wonderful birthday on November 29 (how I love that date). I apparently am 32 years old. I haven't written my annual life evaluation yet, but I have some thoughts. A few of them came to me in that weird state of half sleep.
2. We had wonderful birthday dinners at two of our favourite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory and the Old Spaghetti Factory. I don't know what it is about factories...
3. Gregory began his new job with Moneytree! He is a vault teller and he is learning quickly. The only time he doesn't enjoy the job is when he has irate customers.
4. I had the worst customer service at Mervyn's the other day. The sales associate practically refused to speak to me. Instead of calling me over to his line, he stared at me until I asked him if he was ready for me. I was the one who said hello, thank you, and have a good day. He didn't even grunt in response. I had some excellent comments for the manager, who apologized profusely. I believe I began with, "My customer service skills are better than his!" I can't stand such lack of service, in case you haven't realized. Even bad service is more acceptable to me (usually) than practically none at all. That said, please do not hold this against your local Mervyn's.
5. I finished teaching my business writing class at Cal State San Bernardino, and I have two weeks left of teaching my other two classes at Riverside Community College Norco (YES! Norco rocks.) and Mt. San Jacinto Community College. I am quite ready to get some Christmas shopping done.
6. Thanksgiving! How could I forget? It's only my second favourite holiday of the year. (Yes, Christmas is the first.) We had Thanksgiving lunch with Greg's family and then scurried off to Carlsbad for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I believe this year has been the zenith of my love of pecan pie. For many years, I never tasted it. Then I tasted it and really liked it. But lately, this is just about the greatest stuff I can get my hands on. Well, besides Cheesecake Factory vanilla bean cheesecake and Marie Callender's banana cream pie. How I adore pie...That reminds me of the famous quote from our high school geometry teacher: "Pi is not something you eat!"

And the last thing I can think of before I must go to sleep:

7. Bertram (evil kitty) received a new collar from my sister in law. His old one was purple with black paw prints. His new one has pink, lavender, and tan diagonal stripes. It is very preppy and it brings out his pinkness even more. (But being a very dilute orange tabby, he is practically pink anyway.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tivo vs. Cable, Part 2

Three words: Tivo comes back!

Yes, Tivo is finally updating with the new channel lineup. I guess they received a lot of complaints from their Charter Comm. customers.

Tomorrow, I think things might actually get back to normal.

Tivo vs. Cable

This can be summed up in two words: Tivo loses!

Okay, so here's the problem with a bit more detail: Charter Communications, in all their brilliance, decided to completely rearrange nearly all of their channels ("to accomodate the new HD channels"). This is all well and good (well, not good for us), but now Tivo doesn't know what channel is on what number. So instead of recording hockey, it unknowingly records Programa en Español.

I called Charter to complain, and as I suspected, they can't do anything but apologize, which, granted, they did. My next step was to contact Tivo, which I did online. After informing them that Charter has completely changed their lineup, I was met with a confirmation message saying they will have a technician work on it in the next 5-7 days. Wow. This renders our Tivo nearly useless for a week!

I don't blame you, Tivo. We still love you. But this does make it tempting to switch from our beloved Tivo to a generic, cable company-provided DVR, free of any and all bells and whistles. (And, Tivo, you have a lot of 'em!) But that would be rewarding the offending party (Charter) and punishing the innocent (Tivo).

So I guess we just wait this one out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We must...we must...we must increase our bust...

Just so you know, I read through about three books between THE BELL and DECLINE AND FALL. But poor Gregory couldn't keep up with me in his webmaster duties.

One of the books I read (in a total of less than 24 hours) was FOREVER by Judy Blume--the dirty sex book that I never had the courage to read (except for fleeting glances in the bookstore) as a teenager. So now finally, at almost 32, I know the difference between first love and true love...(Read the back of the book and that reference will become clear.)

I love Judy Blume. I plan on re-reading ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET, but the thrill won't be quite the same...

[MARGARET reference in title of this post]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ah, Bitter Dregs

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Join the Yakult

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Look to the right. There you'll see my Twitter RSS feed, which, supposedly, will be updated more frequently than this blog itself. Now that my Twitter account has been mobile-ized, I find myself Twittering more. And, hey! Go Twitter yourself.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Shining Path

Okay, the video is a bit... um... strange, but I have been looking EVERYWHERE for this song. It's one of my all-time favorites. So close your eyes... and listen.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Born Again Writer?

So, I'm trying to write again. I'm in the earliest stages of writing what I would like to be a novel. But knowing me, it'll be a short story. I have another great idea for a novel formulating in my head, and if my writing abilities can pull it off, it could be a Christmas classic of sorts. (Yeah, that'll be the day. But it is a great idea; I even see a movie being made of it.)

But in the here and now, I've found my place to write whatever the heck I want: The Donut Diaries. Great name, right? So check it out, will ya!

Bertram Yawns

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Goof Squad

The "Geek Squad"at Best Buy should be called the Goof Squad. It's taken them four-plus days to tell me my hard drive is bad... Which I already knew when I took it in. Their communication skills are horrible; I've had to call them every couple days to get any sort of update. Supposedly they are going to replace the hard drive in the next hour, if they have it in stock. We'll see.

Anyway, Christy and I finally got new cell phones. She, a nice-and-free Nokia. Me, a too-good-to-pass-up-deal BlackBerry Pearl refurb. Computerless, I am writing this post on the world's tiniest keyboard. At least small hands are good for something.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Belated Birthday

Yep, yesterday was my 35th birthday. Can you believe it? I can.

But you know what? Even though I'm feeling a bit old right about now, Christy made my birthday spectacular! We started by having lunch--not to mention banana cream pie!--at Backstreet. Then we bought a box of Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream at Trader Joe's, upon hearing about it from Huell Howser's trip to Little Tokyo. After a brief stop to put the remaining ice cream in the freezer, we were on the road again. We spent the remainder of the afternoon in Old Town Orange, including the best cheese quesadilla I've ever eaten and the best cheesecake the West has to offer at Rutabagorz. Then the real surprise: Christy took me to a Ducks-Kings pre-season hockey game! She really does love me.

Oh, and to top off a wonderful birthday... the Kings won, 5-4.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Combining Forces

Christy and I have gone on a diet that is a cross between Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers Online. And guess what? It works! I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds, and Christy isn’t far behind. Of course, I’m the one who really needs to lose weight, not her, but it helps that we are both on the same diet. Plus, Weight Watchers Online is kind of fun to use, offering a variety of online tools.


Tip: Combine forces for maximum weight loss!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

And Then There Was Cable

Yes, Christy and I took the plunge and got cable. After a failed attempt at having satellite TV installed ("There's no clear view to the southern sky." Damn tree.), Christy saw how disappointed I was and ordered cable. God bless her. Now our Tivo is happily recording our ever growing Season Pass list.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Aristotle and My Skin

You may or may not know that good quotations, especially from literature, drive my life--not single handedly, but fairly strongly. Today I read from our friend Aristotle the following: "Those who educate children are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well." As we know, Aristotle spoke a lot about education, and these are words of high praise. I think I can lump myself in with those who educate children--even adults in college are somebody's children. Anyway, this quote brings to mind again something that I think of often, my belief that teaching is one of the noblest professions, and that I am proud and honored to be attempting it. I actually got some very high praise from my summer school students, who insist that I taught them something, so that made me happy. I just think that to pass on knowledge, to foster knowledge, and to illustrate and encourage a love of knowledge is one of the most important tasks a person can have in life. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am to be more honored than people's parents, but I do think that what I do is vital, and it is necessary, and it is beautiful. Every time I think about this, I tear up a bit (as I am now), being so thankful that I seem to have some talent for this profession. I do feel that this is where I belong, and every day is a step toward being a better teacher. I have the highest respect for all educators. I want to be seen how I saw my beloved late professor and friend, Dr. Terri Joseph. To me, and to many others, she was simply gentle and brilliant.

Speaking of gentle (VERY nice segue!), I must be very careful and considerate of my hands and feet right now, since I have been diagnosed with stinking dyshidrotic eczema. It doesn't literally stink, but it is metaphorically malodorous. (Nice use of alliteration.) I am happy, though, that I don't have some life-threatening illness, just damned itchy skin. God bless the people who made Aveeno lotion, because it's been a savior. I've done some thorough research: the cause of dyshidrosis is unknown, but appears to be triggered by stress and anxiety. And so again we have generalized anxiety disorder to thank for discomfort in my life. But it could be much worse, so I will stop complaining

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Return of the Sweetums

It's been a long time. A long time. A few weeks ago, I tried to make a post and my beautiful little ibook did some crazy things. It continued to do strange things like refusing to open certain websites. So we decided to update to Mac OSX Tiger. And now everything works. I am so happy. I think I'll leave a comment on Dustin's Days of our Lives page.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I failed to mention that on Monday someone decided to be real clever and cut off my XM satellite radio antenna on my car. For those that don’t know, the antenna consists of a very powerful magnet that you stick to the top of the car with a wire snaking in through the door to the radio. Well, someone yanked the wire, cut it, then stole the magnet. At this point, I feel I’ve invested enough in my satellite radios, so I won’t be replacing it. No more satellite radio in the car! Thank God for CD’s…


This morning I noticed that the landscapers for the apartment complex weed-whacked my Moroccan Mint. In the front of the apartment, I guess I will just have to put everything in pots. (But this idea brings flashbacks of my stolen Pygmy Date Palm.)


These two events have me feeling a little depressed. I just want to take a really long nap.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Proof

In case the photo below wasn't enough proof, I also appear very briefly in the background of this video. I am standing against the wall behind the Cup, in my white shirt and tie, just to the left of center, watching as a guy in a Bruins jersey has his moment with the Stanley Cup. By my count, it's like the third shot in the video.

I'm there. I really am there! Blurry, but there.


See, I told you so:

Touching the Cup

Yes, I touched the Stanley Cup. I really did. And I have pictures to prove it! No, really, I do. You'll see. Then you will bow down to me....

You've Come a Long Way, Kid

I am very excited to say that I am once again Microsoft-free, thanks to Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. I found a copy in Linux Magazine, tested it out thanks to the live CD, and after some deliberation (entirely unrelated to my previous jury duty posts) I installed it, wiping out Windows (hopefully) once and for all.

Yes, Linux has come a long way. Hardware support has improved dramatically, and Ubuntu starts up and shuts down much more quickly than Windows. So far it appears to be stable and bug-free. The only downside I have found so far is trying to get the wireless networking, well, working. But a 25 foot ethernet cable has me happily online for now.

Well, tomorrow it's back to work (Stanley Cup, baby!), so I must retire. Go to bed, that is. Yeah.

Monday, July 09, 2007

(Not) Doing the Duty

So much for doing the (jury) duty. It was just Murphy's Law at work. I was actually looking forward to jury duty for once... and for reasons unknown to us potential jurors, we were all excused today. I can only assume either the defense decided trial-by-judge might give them better odds (is such a thing legally possible?), or there was some sort of plea bargain. At any rate, it's over.

The good news is that this means I will get to see the Stanley Cup tomorrow morning at work! Yes, the Stanley Cup, the Holy Grail of the NHL, is coming to The Press-Enterprise office. I'm there.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Doing the Duty

For the first time in my life, I am doing the duty—jury duty, that is. I was at the courthouse all yesterday, I’m at work today, but will be back on duty Monday.


Is it sad that I’m actually looking forward to Monday?


We’re in the jury selection phase, and it is likely that I will be an alternate. I find the whole process very interesting and almost wish that I hadn’t had excuses for not serving in the past.


The judge has assured us that the longest the trial will go is Friday of next week. After that, I will be free to post more details about doing the duty. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Our Sexy Fish

It's been a long, lonely time since I posted. It hasn't been lonely for me, mind you--I have my wonderful husband and several critters to keep me company. But I'm sure it's been lonely for the blog. Let us endow cyberspace entries with human emotion, shall we?

It's right around noon and I have plenty of work to do today (summer school grading), but instead I am lounging about enjoying the air conditioner and fan. Both of them. Together. Simultaneously. Because it's going to be 97 today.

We had a truly lovely first anniversary, by the way. After Big Bear, we came home and did basically nothing for a few days. Then we spent the night before our anniversary at the historic Mission Inn hotel, which is here in Riverside but feels like several worlds away. Highlights included swimming in the perfect temperature of the huge, beautiful pool, exploring the rooftops late at night, and glorious brunch the next afternoon.

This Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be spening 4th o' July with the family at my brother's in Carlsbad. This will entail more swimming and several dogs and cats.

Speaking of swimming (nice segue), I noticed on today a list of sixteen sexy famous people over the age of 50. And there was our fish, Olympic gold medalist, Mark Spitz.

Try clicking here for fun.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thank God for Weekends

I am ready for the weekend! I’m tired, I feel some sort of sickness coming on, and the heat has broken my will to come out in the light of day. But, hey, it’s payday.


I have an easy, three-day week ahead of me. Christy and I are going to Carlsbad for the 4th, so I took the 3rd off to give me some time to get a few things done. Paid vacations are wonderful.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Honeymoon 2007: Nevashut

As Honeymoon 2007 continues, please enjoy this.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Eagle's Nest

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Crash & Burn

Is it bad to want to see Paris Hilton crash and burn? The “breaking news” is that she’s under house arrest for 40 days. I guess this is what happens when someone “earns” their fame by having wealthy parents.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Naming Scheme

Great names for fish: Greg Louganis, Mark Spitz, Janet Evans. Think Olympic water sports.


Chai Latte, Anyone?

Absolutely sick of the 25 cent “coffee” in the vending machines here at work on the 3rd floor, I decided to go down to “Eat, Drink & Make Deadline” (yes, that’s the name of our café) and get some real coffee. Well, okay, so I ended up with a Chai Latte, not coffee, but that’s the best $1.75 I’ve spent at least since yesterday.


Last night, Christy and I bought two new gold fish to keep Greg Louganis (our large gold fish, residing in the pond on our patio) company. Mark Spitz is bright orange, and Janet Evans is mostly white with some orange along her back. Greg Louganis has (hopefully) taken a fancy to Janet Evans and is constantly following her. Either that, or (gasp!) he’s trying to eat her.


By the way, we really don’t know the sex of any of the fish. We just like to think that one of them is female.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Killing the Beautiful Big Things, Part 2

I just sent the following email to Jamison, the boy who killed what could have been the world's largest pig:


I know you don't know better--you're still young. But hunting the size of pig you did with a pistol is just plain cruel. According to the stories I read, it took nine shots and three hours for the pig to die. Now that the adrenaline rush of your great adventure is over, think about the three hours of pain and fear that pig was in. Please, use this as a learning experience. Hunting doesn't have to be cruel.


Greg Short

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Remembering Ibby

graphic love myspace at

Ibelide "Ibby" Navy: June 1, 2002 - May 26, 2007

At approximately 10AM, I buried my beautiful Starling, Ibelide "Ibby" Navy. I never thought it was possible to love a bird so much, but having raised him from a naked little baby, the bond was incredibly deep.

You'll be missed, Ibby!

"You're a good bird. Such a good bird. Yes you are. Yes. Yes." --Ibby

Killing the Beautiful Big Things

Don't mind the fact that it took three hours for it to die. Also, please ignore these items of interest: 1) the boy who shot it was 11 years old, and 2) he used a pistol to do it. The pig was big. Like it's-so-big-I-have-to-kill-it-and-put-its-head-on-my-wall big. It had to die.

When one of my coworkers showed me the story online, my first thought was: Something that big is worth more alive than dead. If it's dead, where's the beauty, the wonder, the amazement? Gone. A memory. A photograph.

Sure, it's a pig we're talking about here. But now, thanks to a boy named Jamison Stone--not to mention his father--what could have been the world's largest wild pig is no more.

The problems I have with this story run much deeper, however. What kind of father lets his 11-year-old hunt that size of animal? An 11-year-old should be hunting rabbits and quail... if at all. And the fact that he used a pistol to hunt an animal that big--an animal that clearly should have been killed more humanely with a high-powered rifle, which his father happened to be carrying "just in case"--should be a crime. It took a total of nine shots with a pistol and over three hours for it to die. That's just cruel. Where's the Department of Fish & Game? Where's PETA?

Fortunately, the web site this father put up to honor his son's accomplishment has been down since at least yesterday, probably and unfortunately due to too much traffic to the page. Let's hope it stays down.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stream of Consciousness

Two posts in a row is just crazy. And this one being at a decent hour of the day is even crazier. I sit in the air conditioned living room, listening to Sirius Radio Channel 22--First Wave. Bertram is sitting on the back of the recliner, staring out the window. Today I pruned the roses and there are barely any left (heat wave has killed most of them). Gregory got home early today!!! I love that. Now he is going to eat some Jell-o. It is peach flavored. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Actually, I must not like it too much, because I've hardly eaten any. I like to make Jell-o for my husband. It makes me feel like a good wife. I didn't sleep much last night, and of course this would be the day when I was doing some hard core teaching. Those little darlings had to take so many notes! I usually vary our activities more, but we need to get in argument and persuasion before the semester ends. In three weeks! (fragment) My head is currently not hurting. I've been having bad sinus issues lately. I know everyone cares about this.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mushy, But Not Peas

I have just visited a wonderful website which Gregory must soon list under my links: I can't wait to put some stuff on Bertram and submit his picture. If we can lull him into a sleepy state, he'll stand for quite a bit.

But anyway...I have to say that today was just lovely. At Sunday Night Dinner, my mother asked Greg and me what we did today, and I very nearly answered, "We just sat around and talked about how much we love each other." But it's true! One of the wonderful things about our marriage is that we decided long ago, even before we were married, that we would never ever take each other or our relationship for granted. Thus, we are constantly amazed that we have this beautiful life together. We actually discuss this quite often.

If I haven't said it before, I officially say now that I love marriage. We have found so much happiness that it makes me even sadder that many people are so close-mindedly against gay marriage. They talk about how sacred it is (although half of them are probably divorced), and they are right. It is an completely beautiful, sacred, holy state. Which is exactly why all adults should have the opportunity to enter into it if they choose.

But back to the mushiness. I am in awe of my husband. He is, as the poet Wallace Stevens said about ice cream, an absolute good. He is, in the absence of my father, the best man I know. He is every joy to me. He puts gas in my car and washes it when I'm sick. He wakes up in the middle of the night to protect me from spiders. And he will do anything just to make me laugh. You should see him do the Sav-on walk--that is true love.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

[Jott from Greg Short] Instant Jott

Jott From Greg Short

Instant Jott

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

If They Can Be Friends, Why Can't We?

There's something very heartwarming about this site. Kind of makes you stop and wonder why us humans can't even get along with each other.

I Am What I Am

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

The accuracy of this test was almost spooky! Oh, and where did I find it? At my new favorite social networking site, of course.

StumbleUpon is actually right out of my head. I have been tossing around a very similar idea for quite some time. But they beat me to it. Alas, they've done a better job of it than I could ever have.

[Jott from Greg Short] It's beautiful day in Bogland(?), it's a little windy out right now, but the tem...

Jott From Greg Short

It's beautiful day in Bogland(?), it's a little windy out right now, but the temperature is just fine and it's a good day.

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[Jott from Greg Short] this is my first blog entry using j o t t dot com

Jott From Greg Short

this is my first blog entry using j o t t dot com

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Monday, April 30, 2007

We Were There

It felt like history in the making, even though it wasn't. Yes, we were at the Dodgers-Padres game on Sunday. All... 17... innings. But you know what? It was fun. That was possibly the most fun I've ever had at a baseball game. Or ever will.

Now if only I could get to a hockey game.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

That's Our Baby!

Writing Again

Thanks to Blogcritics and my own personal project, LIFE+TECH, I'm writing again. I am especially thrilled to announce my first article on Blogcritics which you can read here.

Here's an excerpt:

Somehow the world seems either a little smaller or a whole lot bigger after taking a virtual tour of our planet in Google Earth. This free download goes way beyond Google Maps.

Google Maps serves its purpose, which is entirely different from Google Earth. Where you might go to Google Maps for directions or even a satellite view of a city or neighborhood, Google Earth takes you on a flight, an exploration of places you may never be able to see any other way. read more...

In an entirely unrelated news bit, I came up with this great idea for a line of clothing for web geeks like me. I was my own first customer. Wait and see.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two People In Love

This is a tribute to the love of two people you know. Enjoy.

Friday, April 13, 2007


"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before." --Kurt Vonnegut, novelist and satirist


I've done a bit of research and I must apologize to Borders. The Shortlist (their weekly e-mailed sort of newsletter) is merely remembering Kurt Vonnegut, not cashing in on his death by discounting his books. There is a link to a lovely article, a list of his works, and excerpts from three of his novels. This does not mean, however, that I won't use the incidental 20% off coupon when I purchase Mother Night.

Goodbye Blue Monday

Nevermind that "Blue Monday" is the title of a really great New Order song. What I refer to is the subtitle of Breakfast of Champions by the truly wonderful Kurt Vonnegut, one of my very favourite authors, who died Wednesday. I have several thoughts about this somber event:

1) Often I reflect on some of my most admired famous people and think, "I'm going to be so sad when he/she dies," and I have thought exactly this about Kurt Vonnegut. And there I was Wednesday night: I let my class out at 9:45 and decided to check my e-mail (that compulsive pasttime). I glanced briefly at the MSN home page and saw the words "author" and "died" and of course I needed to know who it was. I saw his name and, out loud in the empty classroom, gasped and said, "Oh no!"

1.1) People talk about "Where were you when _____ happened?" When John F. Kennedy was shot...when the Challenger exploded...when you found out about the terrorist attacks of September 11...I remember looking at the front page of the L.A. Times and reading that Allen Ginsberg had died--1997, the year I got my bachelor's degree. I remember a similar scenario when I read that Douglas Adams had died. Now I can announce the world where I was when I found out that Kurt Vonnegut died.

2) I take his death very seriously, even in a sort of jealous manner. Gregory told me of someone at work who was "devastated" that Kurt Vonnegut had died and I immediately thought, "No, he's mine. He's mine to be sad about." Of course that is ridiculous. I take no ownership of his death, not when he certainly has so many loved ones who can do that too easily.

3) I'm looking at all these wonderful, completely beautiful books on my shelf: Breakfast of Champions, Timequake, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Sirens of Titan, Galapagos, Cat's Cradle, no particular order. I read The Sirens of Titan in high school. I read Breakfast of Champions last year.

4) Kurt Vonnegut reminded me of my late professor, Dr. Tom Massey, who reminded me of my late father. It's very odd to think that, if one believes in an afterlife and the basic goodness of humans, the three of them could be chatting in heaven right now. I feel like asking my dad to get Kurt Vonnegut's autograph.

5) I'm not sure, but I think my weekly Borders e-mail said they were having a special sale on his books. If this is true, I will be capitalizing on his death when I go in to buy Mother Night, which I've just learned was one of Vonnegut's favorites among his novels. If this is not true, forgive me.

That is all I will say on the subject, lest I begin to sound again hoity-toity. But Kurt Vonnegut was one of the very few living authors I have deigned to read, which has to have some significance in my own little world. It amazes me, as it has many times before, what genius God has put on this earth in the form of so many of our great artists. I will likely not become one of them, but I have my own deep love and respect for art, and that will do for now.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Work in Progress

I am in the process of redesigning our beloved blog. In the meantime, enjoy this slightly modified template.

Monday, April 09, 2007

DRM-Free is Only the First Step

I join David in his applause of Apple and EMI for making DRM-free song downloads in iTunes, but that should just be the first step. After reading David's post, check out my reply. Don't you agree?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

False Lies & Other Writings

I was most impressed with this essay. It's well-written and engaging. It's just not based in fact. Read my comments to find out why.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bagel Blahs

A week of bagel breakfasts for the print reps* in each of four offices has given me the bagel blahs. I won't need want to eat another bagel for at least a couple of months.

I sure could use a donut....

* The online ad team has been giving the print ad teams "thank you" breakfasts for working with us so intensively as we were training them the past couple of months.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out

If I'm not mistaken, I believe this is our 100th post! Anyway, I personally have not posted in a while, so here are my thoughts:

-We had our taxes done last Saturday. We got NAILED. My mother is very curious about how much we have to pay. No one shall ever know!
-Gregory and I have been playing tennis lately as part of our exercise regime. After all, the tennis court is right outside our patio. But I should add that we are not so much playing as we are attempting to hit the ball back and forth. As long as I get exercise without throwing my back out, I am perfectly happy with this.
-We were sitting together on the sofa, and then I came to the bedroom to do whatever it is I do on this beautiful computer. A while ago I went back out and found Bertram sprawled out in my spot, looking very sleepy and more than a little bit hoity toity. He always does this.
-We are spending the weekend at "Our Home in Carlsbad," so that we might go to La Jolla and see baby seals.
-Our trash can, as I discovered on the way to the laundry room today, really, really smelled. Sarah Cynthia wouldn't take it out, but Greg the Egg did. If you don't know Sarah Cythnia, please read some Shel Silverstein immediately.

Who Ever Thought Joining Forces Would Be So Darn Hard

I found this article most interesting. Having both Sirius and XM satellite radios, I am eager to see how all this works out. I, for one, think it would be a great thing and may be the only way satellite radio can compete with other forms of music--e.g. iPods, traditional radio, etc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thank You For Calling Grand Central...

Thanks to Tivo and The New York Times, I saw a short feature about I just signed up for the amazingly free service which allows you to have one phone number for all of your phones--home, work and cell. And there's tons of other great features, as well. Two of my favorites are the ability to record a call, and the ability to post a voicemail to the web, like so:

The service is free right now as it is in beta testing, but it sure doesn't work like it's in beta. It works great! Give it a try: click the "Call Me" button at the top of this web site.

Wil Wheaton vs. Barack Obama

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So Hardcore

A couple of days ago, I went back on my hardcore (Slim-Fast) diet. I started at 185.5 and today I weighed in at 184. A good start, but of course right now I'm probably just losing water weight. But it's encouraging. I'm at work, so I gotta go!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Little Known Fact

Here's a little known fact about me: Ever since I discovered Hedningarna when I picked up their mysterious-looking used CD at a used bookstore in Peoria, IL, I have been nearly obsessed with Scandinavian/Nordic folk and folk-rock music. I've started a small collection, and hunger for more.

Thanks to, I can get my fill for free. Get your fill with this handy, built-in player:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Now Playing in an Ear Near You

Thanks to, here is what I've been listening to:

Monday, February 26, 2007


Gregory and I are slowly watching the Westminster Dog Show, which actually took place a couple of weeks ago in New York City, my favourite city in our fine country. We don't have cable, though, and it was on the USA network, so my brothers generic-tivo-ed it for us. We've gotten through the first four groups. I'm a bit disappointed to say that two of the winners so far have been poodles--the toy poodle for the toy group, and the standard poodle for the non-sporting group. It's not that I hate poodles, for I could never truly hate a dog. My father, on the other hand, despised poodles, but that's a different story. Anyway, I'm sure poodles are fine dogs, but they look so silly in a not-very-cute way. The Pomeranian was cute, but certainly not as cute as my own, Percy (also called Percival), who is a female despite having a male's name.

Speaking of Westminster, I bought a wonderful thing called the American Kennel Club Best of Show Board Game for a mere $15 at Barnes and Noble. We played it the other night, and it was very amusing. I was the golden retriever and Gregory was the bulldog. I can't wait to bring this game to the masses.

By the way, whenever I am asked for my favourite sport, I always answer with the Westminster Dog Show. I know it's not so much a sport as an event, but it is truly great. My dad and I used to watch all six hours of it together for the past several years, so in his memory I like to pick out the ones he would find ugliest. But gosh darn it all if he didn't really love dogs underneath it all!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Chariot Race, Anyone?

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Geek and Stater's

That Gregory is so stinking cute that he failed to note that the biggest reason he would not qualify for the open casting of Beauty and the Geek is not merely that he isn't as much of a geek as he'd like to think, but that he's ALREADY MARRIED! :) I'm sure he's just being silly. I won't accuse him of temporarily forgetting his marital status, although I did just yesterday forget how old I am.

Then, as I was driving home from Stater Brothers, I started fantasizing about announcing that my age will now be 27. Then if we have a child in a few years, I'll only be 30 or 31 when I give birth. But really, I don't want to go back to 27, even though some wonderful things have happened since then. Some awful things have happened, too, and let's just not relive them. And so I concluded that I will remain 31, at least until the end of November. That was some drive home from Stater Brothers...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Beauty (Christy) and the Geek (Greg)

I'm Christy's Geek and she's my Beauty. Okay, she's a Geek too, she's quick to point out, but she's most definitely my Beauty. (That's why I call her Bella sometimes.)

Speaking of Beauty and the Geek, I'm a bit addicted to the show. As far as reality shows, I like its concept more than most others. Having just watched the second-to-last episode of the season, I came to this conclusion: the Geeks got the better end of the deal. They came off looking... well... smart. The show makes geeks look like better human beings.

I was really mad when Cecille and Nate made it to the finals. She is the one person on the show that didn't appear to change from the experience... and she gloated about it. Cecille, honey, change, especially in your case, would be a very, very good thing. It's just too bad that uber-cool Nate is paired with you. He really deserves to win, but because of you, I have to root for Scooter and Megan.

I'd love to apply for the 4th season casting call, but something tells me I'm not nearly as geeky as I think I am. Aw, gee whiz.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I am part of a SWAT training team for the online advertising department. We are going around to all of the satellite offices, spending two weeks at each one, to train the print reps on how to sell online advertising. And, seriously, this is the first real chance I've had to blog. It's been a whirlwind that has completely changed my job description and even made me wonder at times if I can want to do this. Rest assured, the answer is yes, with the hope that the future holds better things.

I really hate that I am spending even more time driving now. It takes away precious time with the wife. It leaves little room for the things I want to do. But it's just temporary.

The direction I see my job going is good. I think. There's just so much uncertainty about what I am doing and how to do it. I am learning to just go with the flow and see where it takes me. Failing that, I would certainly go mad.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Homosexual Sheep

Yesterday Gregory received his Time magazine in the mail. If you happen to have the Feb. 5, 2007 issue handy, let's turn to page 54. This page made me laugh for about fifteen minutes. You will see a picture of two rams looking (lovingly) at each other with the headline "Yep, They're Gay." Subtitle: "In defense of rams who love rams--and the scientists who are studying them." And the best line of the article, "All gay rams are butch..."

Unfortunately, much of the article is actually quite sad: "PETA claims that researchers in Oregon are killing gay sheep and cutting open their brains in order to learn how to turn gay rams straight." But then, "[physiologist Charles] Roselli says he and his colleagues never had any intention of creating a drug that will turn people straight." And I guess only 55 sheep, both homosexual and heterosexual, have been killed--which is quite a lot for the poor sheep, but better than the hundreds I was imagining.

I think it's important to do such studies to show ignorant people that homosexuality really is not a choice and that it can't be turned off no matter how much you pray, because the Lord God made people of all types for a reason which most likely is not for us to persecute each other for being different. But people are generally so close minded and personally offensive to me that many would likely applaud a "cure" for homosexuality.

That penultimate (second-to-last) sentence is very run-on-like, but this was done for stylistic, not grammar-deficient purposes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Intellectual Devotional

I was so very pleased to see that Wil Wheaton discovered the book from which Christy reads to me on a nightly basis. Great minds think alike.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So Sleeeeeee...

I... am... so... sleeeee... py.

I need this three-day weekend.

Portrait of a Sweetums as a Young Sleeping Man

Gregory is currently chewing something in his sleep and has a plush turtle next to his head. The turtle is named Tortuga, and he is wearing a pocket watch around his neck.

By the way, the other day I was at Baker's eating a veggie wrap with my mother when I heard a woman tell her toddler, "Let's go, Sweetums." I felt a sense of confusion and amusement. The veggie wrap is really a burrito. I guess "wrap" sounds more vegetarian. I was bad and added cheese.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A New Approach

I am going to be taking a new approach to my music with the help of the DigiTech JamMan Looper Pedal. This will increase my live performance capabilities, which is something I would like to work towards, in addition to signing with Magnatune.

I've come to the decision that though I love the written word, creating music has always been a deep-rooted desire within me, much like Solieri in Amadeus. I listen to good music and want to be a part of that so badly.

Seeing as a cyber squatter snatched up the domain name for my old Lucky Tourist moniker, I want to come up with a new name. That's tough. I gotta think on this a while.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Human Zoo

Now this is a switch: human testing for animals! Check out the experiment here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

From Bad to Good... In 60 Minutes

After a bad dream had me feeling pretty crappy, things suddenly got a lot better when I got to work. Upon entering my cubicle, I saw a Moon Knight action figure--still sealed in its package--sitting on my desk, thanks to Lesley, the other comic book geek of the office.I also just received my long-awaited invitation to the invitation-only beta test of The Venice Project. TV is about to get a whole lot better.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Our Bad Cat

I need to also briefly discuss what will undoubtedly become known as THE find of 2007 (besides the murse): the Bad Cat Page-A-Day Calendar. If you have a bad cat in your life, as I do, please consider purchasing this little gem. It's the first thing that's made me look forward to tomorrows since falling in love.

If you need convincing, I quote from today's page:

"From Kitty's Kitchen


5 fresh frog's legs
4 well-rinsed hot dogs

Puree and transfer to individual ramekins."

I can't even describe the accompanying picture. Let me just say that it involves a little white cat in a dress and kerchief.

Bad Cat is also available online at They should pay me for this. By the way, I am currently listening to the "Wham Rap," circa 1986: "Wham, bam, I am a man!"

The Quote that Epitomizes Christy's Existence

Omigod, I can't believe my husband called Disney the evil empire! That's, like, so not rad...

In other news, Gregory's man purse has arrived! There was the box sitting behind the planter next to the front door when I got home today. He's gotten me so damned excited about this murse that I was as gleeful as he was opening it. He promptly began to fill the murse's many compartments with all those little things he cannot do without: little electronic gadgets and such. He now has very special places for his cell phone, mp3 player, portable speakers, digital camera, comb, chapstick, wallet, business card holder, three sets of keys, magazines, book, lotion (please, dear reader, encourage him to use it)--well, it appears that he did need a murse after all! And now he understands the sheer joy I feel when filling a new bag or wallet.

But this is not the only reason I write tonight. I've recently rediscovered an older, classic sort of b-side by the Smiths--thank God for itunes. I think this might be my favourite Smiths song. Please, immediately download "Handsome Devil" and listen to Morrissey (what I feel for him is love) sing my life:

"Oh, there's more to life than books, you know, but not much more..."

Friday, January 05, 2007

He's Not Yelling

Pat Cooper was on Howard Stern on August 8, 1989... and it was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! Oh, and Joe Walsh was pretty good, too. Thanks to Sirius Satellite Radio and Howard's Master Tape show, I got to hear this today. Picture me cracking up at a red light. Yeah. Cool.

Like a Cheap Bull

A cheap Bull alternative:
A vegan peanut butter cookie:
Together, a perfect recipe for energy.

Remembering Spocko's Brain

The evil empire, Disney, has shut down Spocko's Brain, a blog that called for a letter-writing campaign to chase advertisers away from ABC affiliate radio station KSFO after the author of Spocko's Brain took issue with comments by one of the radio station's right-wing talk show hosts.

I wasn't fortunate enough to visit Spocko's Brain before it was shut down, but for those of you who did, you can remember it with Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

Disney: Shame on you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My Response to Wil

Here is my response to Wil Wheaton's recent post about Bush giving himself the power to go through our mail:

Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves: Does this effect me? I, personally, have to answer in the negative. Just because the government gives themselves the power to do something doesn't mean they're going to... certainly not to me, anyway. Keep your nose clean and there's nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What a Find!

So last night I was just talking to Christy about how I didn't think having only a gym membership was enough for me to get in shape. I need something I can do at home as I watch TV or listen to Sirius Satellite Radio. We discussed the requirement that it should have a small footprint, so it wouldn't take up too much of our modest apartment. I mentioned one of those climbing machines:
and Christy thought we could consider it.

But as luck would have it, Bed Bath & Beyond was having a fantastic clearance on something similar to this:

At just $19.99, we (I) snatched it up. After a bit of confusion about how to put it together, I was able to pound away. I could "feel it" after just a few minutes, and it's great fun! If you haven't already, I highly recommend picking one up. I imagine they won't be around long at that price. I joked with Christy that I could get one for every room so that I can pound my way around the apartment. Ha!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year

Happy New Year everyone. May all the years ahead of you be filled with love, love, love.