Friday, December 31, 2004

Best of Blogs Awards - Go Vote!

We here at The World According To Me never rest. Not ever. Never. Even on vacation all this past week, we have worked long hours into the night to bring you the list of finalists at the Best of Blog Awards, Snarkiest Blog Category.

Hmm... wonder why they picked me to be Snarkiest Blog Judge? I mean, is that "she who judges snarkiest blogs" or could it be "snarkiest judge who also judges blogs"
:::::::::puzzled look while halo pops into view::::::::::::::

Voting starts January 1, so dust off that confetti, sober up (or not), and head over to the BoB Award site and check out the finalists in categories that interest you. Besides geting to vote and getting the blogs you love some nifty prizes, you will surely find some terrific blogs you never heard of before. (In Ronco voice) But wait, there's more! You might actually win a door prize just for going over there.

Are you still here?

Happy New Year's to you, then. Take a look at some ridiculous holiday light displays. Now get thee to the BoB Awards!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Flying to the snowwww in a one-horse open plaaaaaaaaaaaane

So, how was your day?

So, did you try to go through airport security at SeaTac, only to have Security Scanner Lady stop the scan and hand your Hubby's bag to an Official Bag Inspector who brought the bag in question over to Hubby, put on gloves, started swabbing said bag with a Mysterious Substance, and asked, "Do you have a knife in this bag?" Puzzled, and possibly feeling a bit vulnerable without his shoes or suspenders, Hubby said, "No? I don't think so." Official Bag Inspector told him, "I have to inspect this bag and you can't touch it while I do." Oooh kay. Then as Hubby & you looked on, the inspector pulled a bright, shiny knife out of the bag in time honored magician-rabbit-top hat fashion. Flustered, Hubby blurted, "Oh! Well, you can just throw that out." To which you had to respond, "No! That's our steak knife! From our SET of steak knives! We can't have 5 steak knives? What kind of set only has 5 steak knives?" Then, as the helpful-if-amused Bag Inspector was directing you to the Send It Home kiosk where people go to mail themselves their nail clippers, manicure scissors, home brewed explosives, and apparently, steak knives, the Bag Inspector dropped the knife on the floor so that the loud, clanging echo ensured that every person in the airport could turn and memorize your faces as That Couple Who Tried to Board With a Deadly Weapon.

So, did you, upon boarding your airplane late last night realize simultaneously that:
1. the plane was completely full
2. some woman sitting within a few seats of you had bathed in noxious perfume before setting off on her trip tonight
3. if you did not get either her or yourself a change of seats, you were going to toss your cookies in a most embarrassing and probably audible manner before the plane even took off?

Did you walk to the rear of the plane to determine that, yes, the poisonous fumes were contained to the first few rows, and ask the Helpful Steward of the Back Rows if anyone there might switch with you? Did he then direct you to Unhappy Passenger #1, who did not like his back row seat and was very glad to switch with you, so happy that his Intrepid Companion, who liked her seat just fine, was even willing to switch with Dear Hubby so that everyone can stay together? And did your Hubby then tell you that when Helpful Steward told Snarky Stewardess of the Front Rows about the change, she had whined into her walkie-talkie, "What?? Perfume? We caaaaaan't switch seats, no no no!" (Too late, Ms. Whiny Ass, and by the way, good attitude for promotion there. Did you notice those "Tell Us Your Comments" cards? I did. And also know if your can't do it attitude had caused me to stew in that perfume cloud, I would have made it a point, when the time came, to throw up all over your nifty stewardess suit.) Did you realize once you were settled again that the back row had less leg room, did not have seats that tilted back, and was right next to the bathrooms? Did you smile because this was a vast improvement over the perfume sewer of the front rows?

So, did you spend last night sitting on an airplane for so long that in an alternate universe, you are *still there*? Every two minutes the pilot swaggered out to tell the passengers, "We should hear in another two minutes." And you knew in the pit of your stomach what that meant. Yessir, over two freakin hours on the freakin plane while the freakin computers in freakin NYC were down and therefore could not give the pilot a freakin flight plan, and you all had to sit with your hands folded neatly in your laps like good little monkeys while freakin New York re-booted up the old system. The most bone chilling moment came when the pilot told us, "The computer system is down and they think they can boot up the old system. They're calling IT. IT should be there in 10 minutes..." All the hours of your life wasted on hold flashed before your eyes and you groaned inwardly thinking, "We're never getting off the ground."

So, did you fall asleep right after take off and wake up to a bright, cold morning, with just a hint of snow on the ground? So beautiful, you smiled as your father-in-law rolled your bags to his car. Just beautiful.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Growing up in the 70's

Overall, I find the 1970's to be one long fashion don't, but sometimes in the midst of locating and destroying pictures of myself, the good things about growing up during that decade wash over me like a freshly baked easy oven cake.

My friend K, by way of our friend S, sent this list that sent me hurtling back to days of poly blend tweed and braids that ended in ribbons. If you grew up during the 70's, enjoy:


You wore a rainbow shirt that was half-sleeves, and the rainbowwent up one sleeve, across your chest, and down the other.
(*Not exactly, but I did have a rainbow sweater that had the stripes going all the way straight
aross both sleeves. I wore it when I played the planet Saturn in a school play in second grade, you know, because of the rings.)

You made baby chocolate cakes in your Easy Bake Oven and washedthem down with snow cones from your Snoopy Snow Cone Machine.
(*Check, although these kinds of things tended to belong to friends or kids on my block. I had a snoopy electic toothbrush though!)

You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actuallyworked.
(*No need. I had a real stethoscope, courtesy of my Grandpa.)

You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.
(*OK, now we're talking! That bike was the best bike EVER. Ribbons in the ends of each handle too.)

You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.
(*I even spent two whole weeks completely on my skates during the day. Walking around after that seemed unbearably slow.)

You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)
(*Uh, no. Sorry! I did think Chachi from Happy Days was cute. And Almanzo Wilder from Little House on the Prairie.)

You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island.
(*Of course. And one very scary episode of Candid Camera, where they had a wanna-be actress do a scene from a movie and walk up behind an old lady in a rocking chair. But when she tapped her shoulder to get her to turn around, her face ws just a skeleton! AAAUUUUUUUUUGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.
(*No moon boots. And I tended to wear sneakers for rain, and for snow unless it was serious. As some of you may know, I used to not want to wear bad weather boots.)

You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy Hamil" because your Mom was sick of braiding your hair. People sometimes thought you were a boy.
(*Nope! Even during one unmentionable hair crisis, it was only as short as my shoulders. I have never had it shorter than that.)

Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession.
(*My Snoopy Sleeping bag was awesome! My brother had a matching one in a different color and we camped out in the living room.)

You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.
(*No, no, and... um... a side order of no with that.)

You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.
(*Simon surely started my obsession with computer games. Simon was good, oh, very very good. Then I made a clean break and played cards with actual people in college. I know, how weird, right? Then I started hitting the hard stuff... Tetris. Pipe Dream. Shanghai. Word Whomp. Pyramids. But don't you worry, I know I am not addicted to these games because when I close my eyes at night, I can still see every detail about the game. I have even been known to design game enhancements while I sleep. So, you see, perfectly under control.)

You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits.

You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once.
(*Hahaha! So many of my friends had those and they rocked (literally)! We had a geodesic jungle gym dome which was so cool. Amazing we survived our helmet-free childhoods.)

You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.
(*No, my ribbons and my barettes were separate. I had a lot of those ponytail holders with the figure-8 shaped elastic and the beads on each end.)

You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole& the buckle). You also had a pair of salt-water sandals.
(*I tried so hard to be comfortable in those Dr. Scholl's sandals. Never was.)

You wanted to be Laura Ingalls-Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the highneck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson!
(*I only wanted to be Laura after I discovered she was a writer and after she discovered Almonzo ;) And who didn't despise Nellie Olson? That girl needed the whole town to open an old fashioned barrel of whoop ass.)

You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink.
(*Was anyone's first kiss like what they wanted or imagined in any way at all?)

Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket.
(*I just bought a flat iron for my hair, the iron-y being that it took all of the 70's and half the 80's to stop trying everything to straighten my hair and just let it be curly the way it wants. But curly hair will not feather, trust me! At it's most serious, my hair took me 45 minutes every single morning. Gah!)

You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie.
(*I know Strawberry Shortcake, but not the rest of 'em.)

You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic.
(*Again, snoopy. Got to love the Snoopmeister!)

You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes ofHazzard was your boyfriend. Every now and then "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the movie, "Annie"will pop into your brain and you can't stop singing it the whole day. Damn you! YOU had Star Wars action figures, too!
(*No, no, no. Charlies Angels trading cards? Yes.)

It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!
(*And we had a picnic in the living room for dinner when Herbie the Lovebug was on.)

You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry? Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Rick Springfield?"
(*Magic-8 ball knows and sees all, but rarely gives good advice.)

You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Famesoundtrack record album.
(*Nope. My first album - we are talking vinyl here, people - was Billy Joel's Glass Houses. The only soundtracks I have everhad are The Big Chill and Pump Up The Volume.)

You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. Pot holders - I believe they were called "loom loopers"
(*OK. Act calm. Whoever made up this list must have followed me around since the 70's. I must now decode the rest of the list for hidden messages.)

You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!
(*Shrinky Dinks! Shrinky Dinks!! Do they still make them?)

You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding yourportable tape player up to the speaker.
(*Nope, because my tech-savvy Dad got me a tape recorder-radio combo, so I taped songs right off the radio!)

You couldn't wait to get the free animal poster that came when you ordered books from the Weekly Reader book club. Double score if it was a teddy bear dressed in clothing.

You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books.
(*Oh, like you didn't.)

You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics.
(*It wasn't???)

You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces withheart or rainbow designs.You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer.You had a Big Wheel with a brake on the side, and a Sit-n-Spin.You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat.You spent all your allowance on smurfs and stickers for your sticker album!
(*Neighbor kids had a Sit-N-Spin, and that may help explain why even today I walk a little bit off kilter. I stayed away from the Smurfs... living in brightly colored 'shrooms? No thanks, man, I was dizzy enough from the Sit-N-Spin.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Best & Worst Holidays Gifts

The Challenge, of course, is to figure out whether each gift idea is a "best" or a "worst"

Found at Blair:

Posted by Hello

BendOver® Skirt
Flatters every figure. Flat waistband has hidden elastic. Back shaping darts, walking slit. Petites 27” L; Average & Women’s 28” L. Wrinkle-resistant superstretch woven polyester stretches up to 22% in both directions. Machine wash/dry. Made in USA or imported.

Paging Mr. Dover... Mr. Ben Dover... Since the skirt appears pretty normal, I have to guess this is either evidence that Bart Simpson is working at Blair or it's just a marketing ploy/blunder.

Found at Elseware:

Posted by Hello
Squish - flexible rubber sink
The Squish rubber sink is made from a silicone rubber allowing the sides to be flexible. They can be 'rolled' up or down to change the depth of the basin. This sink not only brings more fun and interactivity into the bathroom but it provides for a safer environment for kids and adults alike by not having any hard edges or corners. It is easily cleaned as silicone is virtually inert and very little sticks to it.

Squish in Mid-Squish Posted by Hello

Squish in Full-Squish Posted by Hello

Is it just me, or can you also see the image of a full sink brimming with ice cold water being inverted with glee by a toddler. Over and over. Yep, I am loving that fun & interactivity!

Found at Archie McPhee:

Posted by Hello

Dashboard Jesus

(sing along now)
I don't care if it rains of freezes
'Long as I got my Plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

But I think he'll have to go
His magnet ruins my radio
And if we have a wreck he'll leave a scar

And finally, for the art lover/reader on your gift list:

Posted by Hello
The Museum of Bad Art, Art Too Bad To Be Ignored by Tom Stankowicz and Marie Jackson, 103 pages, paperbound. This definitive work by Marie Jackson, MOBA's Director Of Aesthetic Interpretation, and Tom Stankowicz, MOBA's Director of Imaging and Reproduction, features a stunning selection of 40 works from MOBA's Permanent Collection as well as a history of the institution and its many programs.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Best of Blogs Awards!

This ain't yer granddaddy's blog awards.

The Best of Blogs (or "BoB") Award is a brand new award with a simple goal I absolutely love:
"celebrating community and exposing other bloggers to "the best blogs they ought to be reading."

This award is all about the little guy. You know, that blog you bookmarked and wander over to every so often because that guy just plain cracks you up. Or that sarcastic one. Or the one that burns up your screen (in a good way). Or that wonderfully open person you read because they have a knack for drawing you right into their life.

This is their award.

Go nominate the blogs you love to read. There are a bunch of categories (most humorous blog, best new blog, snarkiest blog, best knitting/craft blog, best fitness/weight loss blog, etc.), so don't be shy! There are even door prizes for the folks who send in nominations. What more could anyone ask?

Did I mention there will be a conga line of penguins at the awards ceremony?

**P.S. Don't go nominating me. I'm already drunk with power (and ineligible for the BoB Award) because I am a panelist.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Alchera Project: December - The Land of Nog

\ /
-- * --
/ \
I want for
Xmas is love
and health and
happiness. And uh
maybe a pair of comfy
warm socks but not wool.
And maybe a whole day with
my family, retelling the old stories
we love so much. And chocolate. Got
to have the chocolate. And a trip. Italy or
Scotland. Someplace I've never been before.
And a monkey who wears a fez and makes cute
sounds and cleans and makes great grilled cheeses.
Oh! And a bioport so I can plug into the net right from
my hypothalamus.
Why, yes.
I did try
the nog.
Why do
you ask?
This month's submission to The Alchera Project, a "concrete poem" in the shape of a Christmas tree.

200 things meme

(A La the boss in Office Space)

Umm... yeah...

So you might have noticed I don't have a "100 things" post. I have part of one done, but mainly when I sit down to blog (awkward and ugly sounding, "to blog" is surely a verb these days just as it was in Shakespearean times, "To blog, perchance to offend."), it is to relate something about the world. Sure that world is seen through me-colored lenses, but somehow directly discussing "me" is much harder. Plus there is the whole meme thing, about which I am perpetually on the fence - to join in or to stand apart... must..... resist.......... socialll presssssssssssssssssure................. unnngggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....................
<*whump!* and she caves in>


Here is a different take on the 100 things meme. A 200 things meme! Haha! Now we're cooking with gas! New & Improved. It's different though, in that this list is already formed. All ya do is bold the things you have done. Okey dokey, then.

200 Things

The ones I have done are bold.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (*real ones only in cars, and metaphorical ones probably don't count)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (*Ferrari, no. Porshe, yes. Porsche. There is no substitute.)
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula. (Never. Never ever ever. Not ever. Never never never ever never ever never.)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (*counting Long Island Sound as "the sea")
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (*Grown right there in the bad patch of lawn Mom was trying to grow. Fifth grade seed project ended up producing two ears of corn, tiny radishes, carrots, and more zucchini than we could force on the neighbors.)
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
(*Like you haven't?)
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight

33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster

42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

45. Adopted an accent for an entire day (*briefly for kicks, but not a whole day)
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (*Not counting New Jersey)
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (*I am hoping this is not so rare as the original list writer seems to feel)
48. Had two hard drives for your computer (*I do right now.)
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced (*Hello? College anyone?)
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends (*And I do now.)
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales (*Tried to, but the whales were on coffee break. We'll catch 'em net season!)
56. Stolen a sign (*It said "STOP" and had one telltale scuff where I figured I earned it. And the Wolf Hill Road sign, although I didn't steal it, I merely accepted it as a gift.)
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight (*No one will believe me on this, but I did it and won a bet.)
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records (*Ahhhh hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!)
70. Pretended to be a superhero (*Can't count this if I actually am a superhero, I guess)
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers

74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain

79. Gone to a drive-in theater (*"The snack bar will be closing in five minutes.")
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (*Never. Isn't that a part of love?)
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman (*Why yes, I... err... no.)
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn’t have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy (*You'd have to ask them.)
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office work
97. Gone without food for 5 days (*I do NOT recommend.)
98. Made cookies from scratch (*I do recommend!)
99. Won first prize in a costume contest (*No, but at a Halloween party back before the Tomb Raider movies were out, a group of guys arrived late and drunk and pointed to me, dressed as Lara Croft. "Hey! You're that video game chick!")
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
105. Got flowers for no reason (*Isn't there always a reason? Even if it's because I like them, or because someone felt they would cheer me up?)
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage (*And then? This one time? At all-county band?)
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone (*Not really, but I've been at the border of two warring countries, the accidentally ironic "Good Fence.")
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off (*Hello? Bikini season?)
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone (*Screaming match, yes. Fists, no.)
123. Bounced a check (*Oh, like you haven't? Puh leez.)
124. Performed in Rocky Horror (*"He shooka me up, he took me by surprise. He had a pick up truck, and the devil's eyes. He stared at me and I stared at him. Time meant nuthin, never would again.")
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person (*I usually just ask if their refridgerators are running.)
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
134. …more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane (*No, but I drove the monorail once at Disney World.)
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart (*Who can say? You'd have to ask them.)
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone (*Arm near the shoulder as a kid, and cheekbone as a teen)
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (*Hey! Which one of you wants to know? The purple with the pink polkadots, or the green with the yellow fur?)
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing (*My brother tried to check me as luggage.)
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (*Who hasn't?)
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground (*You wish you thought of that one!)
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them (*Only if you count the college dining hall, which IMHO does not qualify as a "restaurant" as that would require, you know, edible food like objects.)
183. …and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (*Could be reworded as "Taken a cab in New York City")
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair (*Dark wine in college. It didn't look that different.)
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal (***Hahaha! OMG does this happen?)
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested (*Little innocent me? I admit nothing.)

(thank you credit to Anna Banana for being my unwitting source of this meme)

Shopping For Meaning

The holidays, according to me, serve a few key purposes:

1. To reconnect with our spiritual/religious inner life
2. To spend time and give & receive gifts with those we love
3. To remember those less fortunate than ourselves

Seems simple, right? Yet the "gift" part seems to have taken over for so many people. The shopping crowds in Seattle this year are impressive, especially as seen from my car and especially when combined with the local pedestrians' obliviousness of traffic, inability to follow the rules of the road, and belief that having the right of way means that no car will ever hit them out of fear of the avalanche of paperwork that would follow. (My new personal favorite pedestrian way of saying, "Hi, how are you doing? I clearly have no will to live!" is the new trend of waiting until I start backing out of a parking space to cross diagonally behind my car so that they suddenly "appear" inches from my bumper. Hoo boy! Good times, good times.)

So where was I? Oh yes, shopping. Now I am not what you would call a professional shopper, but I am an amateur at a level where if there were a Shopping Olympics, the Romanian coach would be calling me up. Given my expertise, I have an important message to share:

You can fulfill Key Purpose #3 while shopping for Key Purpose #2. That's right! No need to feel sullied by commercialism or stressed out by gift giving. In one of those rare win-win situations offered to us in this life, you can help the charity of your choice just by buying the gifts you are already planning to purchase by first going to iGive. (I input my referrer link, so the mere act of clicking there and registering sends one dollar to The Best Little Rabbit Rodent and Ferret House, a fantastic small animal rescue here in Seattle). At no cost (and no spam) to you, for everything you buy online at over 500 stores, a percentage will be donated to the charity of your choice. Just shop through your igive portal (or shop whatever way, but when you decide what to buy, use the igive portal). You can even install a cute little window that will appear automatically on the websites of participating stores so you don't forget.

But what about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, you ask? Sure all this huggy-wuggy business is great for the spirit, but what about my material needs?

As my gift to you, here is my favorite coupon code website. Need free shipping? Want 10% off?Check here before you buy: Flamingo World. Raise your computer mouse and chant... As G-d is my witness, I'll never pay full retail again...

Are you feeling the quasi-spiritual shopper's nirvana? Key Purpose #1 - check! Feeling it while taking care of your gifting needs? Key Purpose #2 - check! Feeling it while getting the big bad corporations to squeeze out a few pennies for the charity of your choice? Key Purpose #3 - check!

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Spot a White Squirrel

OK, those of you who know my ongoing list of personal goals know that the things I want to do are not the standard "wine country of France" sorts of things. I have hugged and fed a wide variety of animals. I have ridden on horses and one camel. I had tiny birds hop into my hands to eat food at a Buddhist Temple on Oahu. I once petted an orca whale on the tongue, which the handler told me the whale likes a lot. A year ago I was able to kiss an alpaca and she kissed me back. This year I went on a whale watching cruise that found no whales (so we cruise for free next year), but did see Dalls porpoises and birds that dive and "swim" 800 feet underwater.

My current to do list includes:

* Visit Central Washington University that has a colony of sign language chimps and have a conversation with one of them
* Hug a koala bear and have him/her hug me back
* Shake hands with a kangaroo
* See wild guinea pigs in their natural habitat (Peru)

and, as of today,
* Spot a white squirrel

Posted by Hello

How did I not know about this?

I may have to forgo my long awaited trip to the Potato Museum in Idaho ("Free Taters for Out-of-Staters!") to go to one of the towns that claims to be the home of the white squirrel. I have developed quite a relationship with our resident squirrel, Mr. Squirrel, and I think he would make the pilgrimmage himself if he could drive. A white squirrel must be like a white elephant or rhino, a sign of goodness and hope. Just look at their sweet beady eyes and you can't help but feel a sense of... peace (or in Stephan's case, a sense that a long drive is imminent).

It's not always about Jesus on a fishstick

By now you have all heard about the British woman who sold her grilled cheese sandwich with the image of Mother Mary on eBay for $28,000. A casino bought it, which I'm thinking is perfect. People will want to come see the sandwich & stay to lose their paychecks.

But what about the rest of us non-gaming lactose intolerant, yet spiritual people? What inspirational food products are available for us?

Thanks to Buck Wolf at ABC News, we have a good starter list of religious food icons that have made recent appearances around the world.

You've got your miracle tortilla of New Mexico with an image of Jesus.

You've got your Jesus on a fishstick in Ontario, Canada.

You've got your NunBun, a famous likeness of Mother Theresa in a cinnamon bun in Nashville, TN.

But it doesn't stop there. No, siree Bob.

Not to be left out, India chimes in with the Holy Eggplant, which has Allah spelled out in Urdu script in the seeds (not to be confused with the Eggplant of 1990, that spelled Allah in Arabic.). as well as a potato ship shaped like Ganesha.

Notice anything about these icons? Christian (mostly), some Muslim and Hindu. Nothing Jewish is appearing to anyone, apparently. It has long been my calling to accumulate many many cookies. Now I am stepping it up and I will eat cookies until I find a Star of David in chocolate chips. A Chai on a pop tart would be good too.