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bad news, emily!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Shrove Tuesday

Get ready to make some pancakes everyone - tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday!
(By a strange coincidence I was just invited to have breakfast-for-dinner tomorrow night at Joyce & Will's house, including, but not limited to, PANCAKES.)

And if you're wondering if your favorite food has a special day, look for it on this page of Bizarre Food Holidays.
Highlights of March celebrations:
Waffle Day - March 25 (for those of you who prefer waffles over pancakes). March is also National Noodle Month (time to go crazy with that Pad Thai)
National Chip and Dip Day - March 23
Something on a Stick Day is March 28, but that one scares me. On my birthday we can celebrate National Crown Roast of Pork Day - March 7, but that is really disappointing to be because I hate most pork. Actually, I'd like to make a formal request to change it to National Bacon Day because I actually do love bacon. I think I have that right because of special birthday privileges.
For our friend Kristinmichelle there's Poultry Day on March 19, and you better believe I'm celebrating American Chocolate Week - March 14-20, but if you don't mind I'm gonna skip National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day on March 24.

Jumping ahead, the event I am definitely putting on my calendar (you think I'm joking?)
drum roll, please...
Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Night - August 8

Saturday, February 25, 2006

6.5 Billion Jackpot

No, it's not lottery winnings, it's a news report I stumbled across this morning.
Apparently, at 7:16pm EST today, February 25, 2006, the world's population will ring in at 6.5 billion people.

Read the article "Planet's Population to Hit 6.5 Billion Saturday" - there's some really fascinating facts/estimations.

"Congratulations! You're the 6.5 billionth person alive today! Let's tell him what he's won, Johnny!" "Well, Bob, he's earned a life-time supply of... oh wait, he's going to be draining the earth's natural resources just like the rest of us."

What I'm thinking is, what if, in the moment that "last" child is born, 150 people die of some freak thing and set us back another 30 minutes.
Really, scientists, aren't you counting your eggs before they're hatched?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Home Depot

I spent a wonderful 45 minutes in Home Depot on Tuesday. I love home improvement and hardware stores. I think my fondness stems from my environment growing up. My dad is an engineer and thus built most of the additions onto our house by himself. Granted it took a total of 11 years to finish all his plans, but it was great watching him work.
From a young age my brother, sister and I were surrounded by plywood, sheet rock, nails, 2x4s, measuring tapes, ladders, saws, and the smells of wood, paint and the unique metallic smell of the Craftman tools in my dad's toolbox. To this day, the sharp smell of wrenches, screwdrivers, and hammers makes me feel nostalgic.
Back to my Home Depot excursion.
I went to get wood for the portable ceramics workspace I'm making so I can do some work at home. I walked slowly down the wood aisle, taking in the beauty and the smell of the raw materials. So many boards to choose from. A builder's paradise. A layman's jungle. I found my 2'x4' piece of plywood and some other boards for storage. I then went to Walmart to get the canvas to wrap around and staple to the plywood and drove home with my spirit soaring.

Not through yet

"As long as a person doesn't admit he's defeated, he is not defeated... he's just a little behind and isn't through fighting."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fantasy American Idol

I don't watch football, so I obviously would never join in the Fantasy Football craze. However, I do watch "American Idol" and thus have co-created the "Fantasy American Idol" tournament.
The players include the four members of my household. Drawing numbers, we will each choose our teams based on who we expect to make it the farthest in the competition. We haven't watched the 2/21 and 2/22 shows yet because we won't be able to get together to chose our teams until later tonight. Then we will watch this week's shows and award points.
(I will add pictures of the trading cards Sarah Elizabeth is making for the tournament. She made a cherry pie last night and wrote "F.I." on it. I was so proud.)
I'm very excited about this.

Update 2/24 @ 12:27am. We picked our teams and I'm bummed - I drew a 4 so I was the last to pick each round. I've got Mandisa, Kellie, Heather, David, Brenna, and Bobby on my team. I really wanted Chris and Ace on my roster. I also like Mandisa and Kellie and I gotta say I'm a fan of Taylor even though I don't think he'll make it to the top two.
But ultimately it's who we correctly vote off each week that gets us points. For example, I got 10 points tonight because I correctly guessed that Bobby and Stevie were gettin' the boot. We put the losers of each round in the "Basket of Death" which also holds the $3 we each put in the pot.
For the record, I want Chris to win. He's my kind of rocker. Sarah Elizabeth said it well: he's the only one of the contestants whose album we would actually buy.
Mad props to Sarah for her work writing up the rules and creating the game pieces.

Body Exhibit

Reading CNN online this morning, I came across and article about a new art exhibit in Atlanta, GA which fascinates me.
(Article link lead me to: "Real Human Body Exhibition...")
I'm not at all weirded out by it, but I suppose I can understand why some people would be. I'm completely fascinated and I think I would want to see the exhibit were I given the opportunity. Because I believe that once we die our bodies become empty shells as our souls separate from them, I have no objection to the use of the human body for scientific study. I would have posted a picture of the exhibit here, but I'll leave the choice to view it up to the reader. The main figure shown in the article is a human body posed throwing a basketball, with skeletal and musculature representation.
Utterly fascinating.

Official website: Bodies: The Exhibition

Friday, February 17, 2006

CSI: Target

I found this article on the CNN Anderson Cooper 360 blog.

Target sets sights on hard-to-crack cases
I got an unusual assignment this week -- Target's crime lab. Yes, I'm talking about that Target, the national "upscale discounter," as they style themselves in the information package the company hands out to reporters. Turns out Target has one of the most advanced crime labs in the country at its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was initially set up to deal with things like theft, fraud, and personal injury cases in their stores. Now, Target also helps law enforcement agencies nationwide solve crimes, even murders. Target has worked with the Secret Service, the ATF, and the FBI, to name a few. Target does the work for free, seeing it as a kind of community service. It doesn't advertise its crime lab services, but word started spreading and law enforcement agencies started asking for help. Some government agency labs aren't as well-equipped as Target's. In other cases, Target can get results faster because of logjams in agency labs.
Target's lab is run by an ex-FBI agent and boasts a staff of forensic experts. They spend a lot of time analyzing video from surveillance cameras in their own stores.
The day we visited we looked at how they helped crack a murder case using video from a convenience store security camera in Minneapolis. The Target team cleaned up the image of the shooting suspect, but that wasn't enough to identify him. Then they figured out what kind of car he was driving, even though you could barely see the vehicle through the store's window on the surveillance tape. It was the stuff of CSI.
Police put these pieces together to help identify the murderer. He's now serving a life sentence in prison.

Our little Tar-zhay is out fighting crime? I guess their little trademark red bullseye has extra significance. However, a personal experience of mine, as documented in my October 5th post, makes this all the more hilarious.

Signing Pots

I just read Emily Murphy's post entitled A Potter's Mark: Signing Pots. I'm glad I stumbled across it because I struggle with signing my pieces. It feels like I'm physically incapable of making a mark that isn't sloppy or too deep or too shallow. I want to have a signature like all those other potters out there - smooth, slightly cursive, truly signature.
But here Emily gives me hope. I could have a stamp made and never have to worry about it! In the past I've tried the make-your-own-stamp technique where you actually make one out of clay and fire it. Problem was, mine was crap.

*Note: I don't actually know Emily Murphy, but I've been reading her blog and aspiring to be her.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


(A friend sent this to me and I take no credit for it whatsoever. I just wanted to share it because it's a neat little illustration.)

What equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
AND, look how far the love of God will take you
12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

I've Been Crying Every Day

If anyone has been listening to Mix 101.5 WRAL FM these last few days, you'll understand why.

They're currently doing the "Bill & Sheri's Annual Radiothon for Duke Children's Hospital" and what that means is that they play emotional songs about kids and love and heartache and joy and intersperse them with personal testimonies and kids' voices saying cute things and asking us to support the children's hospital.
What that also means is that every day, on my morning and evening commutes, I end up crying. This morning it was "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle that did me in. Of course, that song makes me cry every single time I hear it, without fail. But there was one song they played the first evening that was interspersed with a mom telling the story about her twin babies born premature and how one of them died. Then there was the poem Sheri read last night called "Before I Was A Mom" and she couldn't read it without crying. And that made me cry.
I'm not an at-the-drop-of-a-hat crier but I'd have to say that most of the times I cry it's because someone else is crying - in real life, in a movie or show, or because of a song like "Butterfly Kisses". This 2-day radioathon has sent me over my annual quota of tears.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Girl Scouts: My BFF

Last Wednesday, as I was sitting in Amantes waiting for my super-yummy turkey sandwich, I glanced out the window and saw a familiar scene, but my brain was slow to process it.
A little girl and her mom standing behind a table.
Boxes. Different color boxes on the table. People walking by doing double-takes and then approaching the table in earnest.
I leaped out of my seat and out the door – unconcerned that the Amantes staff might think I’d abandoned my hopes of getting my sandwich – and practically slide-tackled the girl at her table. “Two boxes of Thin Mints, please.” Two only because I didn’t have enough money for ten. My housemates and I are consuming them at a steady pace and I have been commissioned to hunt and gather more, whenever possible.

Fun fact: Girl Scout cookies are kosher.

Quiz Me

From Quiz Galaxy (go to http://www.quizgalaxy.com)
I wish to share with you some deep insight into my persona.

My 80s Teen Movie Persona:
You are Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) from Pretty in Pink.
You are an original and clever person. Although your family may not be able to buy you all the cool stuff you want, you are able to make cool stuff for yourself. Like a rocking 80’s prom dress.


(Note: The rest of these were automatically generated - didn't ask anything but my name, which is a shame, but my results are still funny.)

If I were a superhero?
If I was The Linguistic Menace, my super-hero ability would be: Resurrect the corpse of any B celebrity to join your undead army.
Sound like fun.

If I was the Princess of Pottery, my super-hero ability would be: To socratically question your enemies on the nature of war until they cry.

What I will have to write on the chalkboard:
“I will stop muttering death threats under my breath.”
“I will not forget that people will see me.”
The second one is surprisingly accurate, in light of the fact that in one of the most painful classes in college I turned to my friend and pretended I was sticking a gun in my mouth to kill myself and the professor turned around and saw me.

How I will be defined in the dictionary:
“sarah -- [adj.]: Visually addictive"
Oooh! I like that one!

What will I go to jail for?
”Peeing in public.”
Which is ironic, really, because I have a thing about peeing in a non-traditional setting. I am physically incapable of peeing in the woods. My body just freezes up and says “Nope. Not gonna do it. Not here.” My housemates just told me a story the other night about a female friend who got a ticket for peeing on the side of the road in West Virginia. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, her brother-in-law or somebody was on the force and heard about it.

My epitaph will say:
"Hopefully I will beat Death in Battleship”
(for those who don’t know, this is a reference to Swede Ingmar Bergman’s film “The Seventh Seal” wherein a man challenges Death to a game of chess to determine whether he lives or dies. Good movie. Rent it.)

So with my epitaph decided, I just hope my friends are good eu-goo-gul-izers, or do you think I don’t know what a eu-goo-gul-ee is?


I truly appreciate my friend KC's commentary on Valentine's Day:
Confessions of a Romantic Mind.

I've never really stopped to reflect on my true feelings about Valentine's Day, but after reading KC's post I find that I have a lot of the same feelings she does. I love watching men buy flowers for their sweethearts. I love watching them agonize in the greeting card aisle, searching for the "perfect" card. I witnessed these things yesterday and all of it made me smile.
I don't really think of myself as a really really romantic person, but I think we've all got a bit of the romantic in us. I could hate the holiday because of a crushing experience my freshman year, but I chose to be bitter about him and not the holiday.

Most of the fun I take out of Valentine's Day is the cute and funny things that we can do with friends in plutonic love. Maybe that's because I've only once been in an actual relationship during the valentine season and have therefore spent my valentinic life eating conversation hearts and chocolates with my girlfriends. My greatest Valentine's Day joy comes from the goofy cards I make for my friend Sarah. Maybe tonight I'll post this year's masterpiece.

Conversation Hearts

Freshman year my roommates and I had a big bag of conversation hearts and whenever anyone came in our room they'd have to blindly pick one out of the bag. It became a source of great entertainment when one poor boy kept getting "No Love."

Just for fun, I took one of those silly online tests called "What Candy Conversation Heart Are You?" It said I'm a "WHAT EVA".
Hmm. I don't know what to think about that.

Of course, I had to take the "Who is Your 80s Heartthrob?" test.
My 80s Heartthrob is John Stamos - Uncle Jesse from Full House. Okay, I'll go with that one.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Somebunny Loves You

This is a 3-year-old rabbit that weighs 22 lbs and is 3ft 1” long with 12” long ears. His owner, Hans Wagner from Berlin, says “he makes a sound like thunder when he thumps along but mostly just wants to sleep. He’s as big as a five-year-old child and unlike many rabbits is really friendly.”

Um. Wow.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

This Morning's Words

What I woke up to today

1) beleaguered

2) Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (I'm really embarrassed that I had to look up his title)

and the song stuck in my head:
"Keep On Loving You" by REO Speedwagon
But really it's just a few lines from the chorus:
And I'm gonna keep on loving you
Cause it's the only thing I wanna do
I don't wanna sleep
I just wanna keep on loving you

a much better song to get stuck in your head than "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Brent, My True Love

Some girls like flowers and chocolates, but give me a Brent wheel (well...and the chocolates) and you'll sweep me off my feet.

On my Christmas list this year: a 2006 Brent B model, 1/2 horsepower, 0-240 rmp, with 12-inch cast aluminum wheelhead, 25-lb centering capacity, and reversibility.
And a personal studio to go with it.

(contented sigh)

Word of the Day: Heir Apparent

This is the word bouncing around inside my head this morning.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines heir apparent as "an heir whose right to inheritance is indefeasible by law provided he or she survives an ancestor." That sentence was too confusing to me. I read it 7 times before I started to get it. Well, and I also looked up its antonym: heir presumptive, meaning "an heir whose claim can be defeated by the birth of a closer relative before the death of the ancestor." That made more sense.

The plural of heir apparent is heirs apparent, much like how the plural of passer-by is passers-by (which can also be written as one, non-hypenated word). Not totally obvious to the average American. I was saying passer-bys for many years. I also said "for all intensive purposes" instead of "intents and purposes" - and KC was the one to correct me. I thank you, KC, for saving me from future embarrassment.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Critical List

One of my all-time favorite movie quotes is from "Charade", starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn

PETER: Do we know each other?
REGINA: Why, do you think we're going to?
PETER: I don't know; how would I know?
REGINA: Because I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies I couldn't possibly meet anyone else.
PETER: Hmmm. Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know. [Turns, about to leave]
REGINA: Mmmm, quitter.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


[This post is dedicated to Linton]

I came across this scene as I was driving through campus earlier today.

Hmmm... are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Quick! The traffic cop is looking the other way!

This looks like a nice one...

Gotta get a firm grip on it...

Now RUN!!!

Friday, February 03, 2006


Thursday, February 02, 2006

T-Hall Forever!

It takes a lot to get me mad. Even more to make me furious.
Regarding the following issue, I will be bitter 'til the day I die.

I will never forgive the people at The College of William & Mary who decided to rename Tercentenary Hall. We were proud to have a building on our campus that reflected our history rather than naming it after a financial donor. How many campuses in the U.S. could boast a 300 year history? We were the only ones. T-Hall, as it was affectionately known, was built in 1993 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Royal Charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II. Only a few years later, the building was renamed McGlothlin-Street Hall just because some rich people gave The College money. "Mr. McGlothlin and Mr. Street, we thank you for your most generous gift to The College. In appreciation, we present you with this engraved plaque and our undying gratitude. We also plant this tree in your honor." That would have sufficed. But no-ooo, they had to get their name on a building that already had an excellent, honorable name. I felt that Margaret "Maggie" Thatcher was a traitor when she came to cut the ribbon.
There was a flurry of protests and multiple acts of vandalism to the sign in front of the building, wherein all the letter were removed except for the "T" in McGlothlin, the hypen, and "Hall." I wish I could say I was a part of the caper, but I was merely with them in spirit. There remained a sense of solidarity among the students who had been there in the days before the evil renaming. McGlothlin-Street became The-Name-We-Don't-Speak-Of and we tried to inspire a revolution among the remaining classes. But the incoming freshmen didn't give a darn. And so, like many grand traditions, that piece of history will be lost.

But it will always be T-Hall in my heart and on my lips.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


My brother is getting married in L.A. in October.
I've only heard a couple of details, but I'm reminded of the ridiculous cost of "the perfect wedding."
Screw perfect. Give me cheap and fun and I'm good to go. I can't even fathom spending $25k on one day. That's like saving up a year's salary to blow on 4 hours.

The dinner at their reception is around $100 per person. I told him he could pocket $100 and I'll do drive-thru Taco Bell.
Seriously, though. It's ridiculous for anyone to go into debt for a wedding - I don't think they are, but I know that a lot of people ending up doing so. Do it simple and save the $ for a house or something sensible.

Joyce's large Korean family cooked for the buffet at their reception. Sherri's son got married in someone's backyard. Karin asked a talented friend to do the photography. Exploitation of friends and relatives can be the key to a cheaper wedding.