Tuesday, October 31, 2006
An open Halloween letter to the children of Chicago
A coat is not a costume.
Also, if you're as tall as me, it's time to get a job and buy your own @#%&$* candy.
The Halloween Grinch
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Why not? Music meme
Picked this music meme up from Heather and Dale:
Best title ever for a piece of music - Wow, no idea. A quick peek at my MP3 list reveals some good ones: Woo Hoo, Mmmm, Rock Lobster, and I Didn't Like You Anyway. Or how about She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft? Tear in my Beer?
Most underrated guitarist - My favorite guitarist is Stevie Ray Vaughan, who is exactly as highly rated as he should be. I'm also a huge fan of Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule (and formerly The Allman Brothers), who has a fantastic gravely voice to boot.
Music that moves me to tears - Baby Mine, from the movie Dumbo. I have a cover of it by Bonnie Raitt, who I normally don't like much, but she sounds so sentimental yet down to earth in it. Someone once mentioned playing it at the vet when they put their dog to sleep and now I am getting weepy even typing this.
Most unusual lead instrument in a piece of music - The xylophone in The White Stripes' The Nurse.
Coolest name ever for a Rock 'N Roll band - I remember long ago, on MTV, there was a video by Box of Frogs. I wonder what ever happened to them?
Worst genre of music ever - I agree with Heather on the Muzak. It makes me wish I were deaf. Also: "smooth jazz", which is basically Muzak but with songs you don't recognize. Nobody can kill a mood like Kenny G.
Best guitar jam - Stevie Ray's "Little Wing" off of The Sky is Crying. Gives me chills.
Music that's ever scared your kid - Will have to go with one that scared *me* as a kid :) The intro to Styx's "Too Much Time On My Hands" frightened me and several of my friends at a New Years party... we all scampered upstairs to where the adults were because it sounded like UFOs landing.
National Anthem that most gets the blood pumping - I only know two and only the US's rouses any emotion. Now that the Expos are the Nationals, I never even hear Canada's anymore.
Why paper money is a good idea
My darling husband was out of town this weekend so to keep myself amused I ran a bunch of annoying errands that I'd been putting off. One was hauling my jar of change to the Coinstar machine at Jewel. This plastic teddy bear-shaped jar (used to contain animal crackers, which do not make good legal tender) holds about a gallon, and it was full. Not only was it heavy, it was slippery, and I had horrible visions of it slipping from my fingers and exploding in the parking lot. I spent what seemed like a half hour feeding coins into the machine, which was noisy as hell. I felt like the entire store was looking at me, and though I've never seen anyone use that machine in all the years we've been shopping at that Jewel, this morning several people got in line behind me before I was done. Anyway, it was fun to guess how much change I had. The total: $230. !!!!
The things I wonder when I watch TV
Why doesn't someone design a little periscope for handguns so you can shoot around corners without risking your head? Why don't stoves come with built-in smoke detectors, and furnaces come with built-in CO detectors?
I carried a little girl down the escalator at Sears today. Somehow her father and brother went down and she didn't, so I offered to take her. She weighed nothing at all, like a little feather. All those months of carrying Jazzy around have really paid off! It's like superhero training.
This, from a letter in this morning's Sunday Trib magazine, regarding an article on new birth control pills that let us skip our periods entirely: "I pity any woman who feels discomfort or shame regarding the amazing efficiency, abiding mystery, and yes, beauty, of the body that nature gave us. Why would we ever want to stop a natural hormonal process?" First of all, anybody who calls the human body "efficient" is woefully uninformed. Vertebrates are ridiculously inefficient, a big bag of good-enough solutions, redundancies, kludges and ticking time-bombs. Secondly, wtf does "abiding mystery" mean anyway? Beauty, sure, I'll give you that, but there is nothing mystical or lyrical about smelly drippy clots, cramps, and water retention. Whether a woman plans to have children or not, there is NO REASON to feel sloppy and uncomfortable for one quarter of their best years. Headaches are also natural and sublime, but I bet the author takes her share of Tylenol. I say, bring on the drugs.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
So a dermatologist on Michigan Ave. was found stabbed to death in his office a few days ago. The weirdness is, I'm pretty sure he's the doctor I visited soon after moving here, probably that first summer before I had access to UIC healthcare. I am prone to random outbreaks of bizarre rashes and for a few years kept getting them on my face, which was horribly embarrassing. It was worth it to visit a random dermatologist in the phone book and pay full price (no insurance) to fix it. I remember that he had an unusual name that had something to do with a dermatology problem. The murdered doctor's name was Cornbleet.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Tired of studying, so posting instead
Somewhere between panicking about prelims, reading about systematics, and studying the ins and outs of photosynthesis so I can answer panicky questions before the upcoming exam, I've been reading:
-Riders of the Purple Sage - more Mormons than you can shake a stick at, endless descriptions of the landscape (yes, the sage is purple, we get it!!), the occasional cold-blooded vengeance killing, and a heart-rending moment when a beloved horse was shot near the edge of a cliff in order to kill the rider who stole him (when the pair went over the cliff I got a little misty). Biggest disappointment: the sexy badass Bad Man reforms and becomes all wishy-washy for the love of a woman. Biggest joy: the Wishy-Washy Man previously in love with that woman and then another becomes a sexy badass Bad Man, though for all the wrong reasons. Lesson learned: when you start a serious relationship, communication is very important, or your new partner might misinterpret events from your past and shoot your father. Also, when your property is constantly filled with traitors and spies bent on your ruin, keep an eye on the kid. Sheesh.
-Breakfast of Champions - I've read this many times before but it's been a while since I read any Vonnegut. He's always refreshing, and plus you get to see a drawing of an asshole. ---> *
And now back to the Calvin cycle, and stalking this accursed Drosophila that is driving me insane. You can always tell when the genetics labs have started their fruit fly experiments.
Monday, October 16, 2006
In today's RedEye, a quote from a company that will sell you an original term paper on any topic:
"'At Custom Research Papers we believe IT'S ETHICAL to get an [sic] outside help and delegate your writing assignments to professional writers same as if you would get your watches fixed or car repaired by third party experts,' says customresearchpapers.us on its site."
The article also says that many people using those paper-writing services are getting horrible grades because the papers just aren't very good. They're better off copy-pasting from Wikipedia and hoping nobody notices.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
It's October 12.
A week from now it'll probably be 75 again. You've gotta love the Midwest.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Geeking out at the Field
Saw the Mendel exhibit today at the Field Museum. Is it irrational of me to squeal over the very copy of The Origin of Species that Mendel read and made marginal notes in? I think science needs more fangirls (and fanboys). I was gratified when a herd of children galloped past me near the Plants of the World exhibit and I heard one say, "Hey, guys, it's the plants! Let's go in!!" and they all said "Yeah!!" and followed him. Future Nerds of America.
My favorite things at the museum: the Welwitschia model in PotW, Sue's head, the South Pacific island village and volcano, the "movie" of Cambrian life, and the carseat with the meteorite hole in it. (yes, they also have the meteorite itself, but the seat cracks me up.) The evolution exhibit as a whole is fantastic although I am growing weary of dinosaurs, and the progression of the exhibit timeline sort of grinds to a halt when the Hall of Dinosaurs is reached. Not their fault, though; if you have dozens of dinosaurs, where else are you going to display them--the airport?*
*(Note faux-sarcasm; there actually is a dinosaur in the United terminal at O'Hare, and another outside the museum. Our dino-cup runneth over.)
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
What it means to be a liberal
This was in the Tribune today, and I found it reassuring during a time when it seems like everything that matters to me is being coopted by conservative points of view, and liberalism is being trumpeted as an enemy of the state:
What it means to be a liberal
Monday, October 09, 2006
Been a long time, been a long time
There are ads on the El that feature Abraham Lincoln and a beaver sitting in various places like doorways and see-saws, looking depressed. The URL is theymissyou.com, and in the corner is the name of a drug. I tried my best to be scornful and blase' but eventually I just had to know - what is it?! Given Lincoln's well-known depression, I thought it might be an antidepressant (though I couldn't think of a good reason for a beaver to be depressed other than in a dirty joke). I finally went there today - turns out it's a sleep aid. Why Lincoln and a beaver are hawking sleep drugs is still beyond me - maybe I'm supposed to expect to see them in my drug-induced dreams?
One of the side effects of the drug, incidentally, is drowsiness.
In drug-free news, give eight cheers to lovely Zor, who had eight adorable puppies over the weekend. Zya, I'll send you a bottle of the above sleep aid - I bet you'll need it :)