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bad news, emily!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Leprosidic Armadillos

This post is dedicated to Mehend, who spent the entire day today BORED TO TEARS by the great state of Kansas. She commented that she saw 2 armadillo road pizzas, which reminded me about how these guys at a camp I worked at convinced some of us girls that we had to be careful to stay away from the armadillos because they carry leprosy.

So I googled it, and I found a Biology professor Joshua Nixon's Armadillos Online! webpage that I'm going to quote, because it's wonderfully informative.
Plus, his FAQ page made me laugh.


4. Do armadillos carry diseases, such as leprosy?

Wild armadillos have been known to be infected with the bacterium that causes leprosy (Hansen’s disease). The only cases of transmission from armadillos to humans have occurred in rare incidents in which people ate undercooked armadillo meat.


5. Do people really eat armadillos?

Yes. In many areas of Central and South America, armadillo meat is often used as part of an average diet. I have heard that some peoples of South America keep small varieties of armadillos as edible housepets. During the Depression, armadillos were often eaten by hungry people. They were called “Hoover hogs” by people angry with then-President Herbert Hoover’s broken promise of a chicken in every pot. The meat is said to taste like fine-grained, high-quality pork.


11. Where can I buy an armadillo (Live or dead, for food or otherwise)?

I know of no company or restaurant that sells live armadillos. I have heard that some shops in San Francisco’s Chinatown sell dead armadillos for food.

So there you have it, folks.

The One Left Behind

My sister left for California on Sunday, to go to grad school at UCLA. We've lived within 20 minutes of each other for 22 of the 26 years of our sisterhood. That's impressive, considering we've lived in 3 states. But now she has returned to the land of our roots, the Golden State, and it's pretty much a guarantee that she will never live in North Carolina again.

My dad flew in from CA on Friday night to hang out with me for a day and then to drive cross-country with Melanie back to CA.
There was comfort in the knowledge that I would be seeing both of them in 7 weeks at my brother's wedding, so I didn't cry when I said goodbye. I take that back - I teared up as they rounded the corner.

Those of you who have never been emotionally attached to a pet won't understand this, but my heart broke to see Melanie have to say goodbye to Applejack and Zoe. She loves my babies so much. Even my dad was smitten with them after just 2 days. They're easy to fall in love with.

It was wonderful to spend time with my dad. We didn't do anything special, we just hung out. We watched an episode of (one of my new favorite shows) "Psych". He took a nap while I made CD mixes for their trip. He took us out to dinner twice - CPK and Panera. (Thanks, Dad!) It was great. It's just now starting to sink in that I'm the only one left on the East Coast. It leaves me feeling sort of lonely, in a strange way. But I'm waiting in eager anticipation for my trip to L.A. in October.
Brian & Elise are getting married, and I couldn't be more thrilled! It'll also be a wonderful family reunion. Good times, great people.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Periodical for Everything

I was just reading an article that cited research published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
I'm not even kidding.

I pictured the wannabe goth kids played by Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon on Saturday Night Live printing a newsletter about death and gloom on an inkjet printer in their basement.
In reality, it's a report published - yes, you guessed it... weekly - by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Do It Like Shakespeare

I read a quote from FBI Assistant Director Mark Mershon: "We've had a number of uncomfortable questions and some upsetment with these foreign intelligence services that had been working with us."


I was sure it wasn't a real word, but I looked it up anyway because it sounded like such a practical word. I knew exactly what he meant. It sounds better than upsettedness.


It is, in fact, not a "real" word. However, even thought I'm embarrassed for him for sounding stupid for saying it, I can't disapprove entirely of his use of it.

The more I read about William Shakespeare - which isn't much at all, but it's more than it was when it was nothing - the more I respect him. Aside from any personal opinions about his plays and sonnets, just take a look at what he did for the English language. According to scholars, he beefed it up with more than 1,600 new words.

Dang. That's some serious love of language!

He took great liberties with the English language and for that he is a hero in my book.
Granted, in his time, though he surely got major flack from the traditionalists, he was afforded more creativity in his writing because there weren't dictionaries to declare that something was or wasn't a "real" word.

L.I.D.* forever, baby.

Baugh & Cable wrote in their book A History of the English Language (yes, KC, I kept the book from Tally's class) that "Shakespeare had the largest vocabulary of any English writer. This is due not only to his daring and resourceful use of words but also in part to his ready acceptance of new words of every kind."

(*L.I.D. = Language is dynamic)

"Sigh no more, ladies"

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so, But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into "Hey nonny, nonny."

Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
Or dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so, But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into "Hey, nonny, nonny!"

from Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"

I recently watched the Kenneth Branaugh movie version of "Much Ado About Nothing" and I've got the verse above stuck in my head - alternating between Emma Thompson's Beatrice's rendition and the song version the men sing around the fountain.
I must say, Kenneth Branaugh is a fantastic Shakespearian actor. Add Emma Thompson and you can't possibly go wrong. In a discussion about the most disappointing Hollywood breakups, Thompson and Branaugh's was one of the saddest to me because they're such great actors together.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Ever since I saw their amazing treadmill video on Eddie's blog, I've been a fan of OK Go. Here's another song/dance of theirs called "A Million Ways"

There's also a video of them performing the song in a music store

Here's their contest announcement
And a Lego-style version of the treadmill dance.

By a total coincidence, my housemates and I just saw one of the guys on The Colbert Report this afternoon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Kicked to the Curb

It seems we're back to 8 planets.
Pluto got the boot today

Sure, we all thought Pluto was a goofy name when we learned about the solar system in 3rd grade, but we never imagined it would have to walk away from the club, head hung in shame. The kid who all he ever wanted to do was to sit at the "cool kids'" table at lunch.
Poor Pluto.

"The International Astronomical Union decided Thursday to demote Pluto -- the solar system now has 8 planets."

I would like to form a union so I can demote things. Who's with me?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

8.23.06 News of the Day

1) The copy machine at work smelled like buttered popcorn this morning. I swear.
2) The voice of the French dude saying "Rhicky Boobby" keeps popping into my head and I'm starting to get sick of it.
3) I was late to work today because I thought it was worth it to sit down and have a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast.
4) It was.
5) I'm on crossword puzzle #54 in my book and the last word I put down was diva.
6) I keep thinking about people I care about very much and ought to write to, but haven't. Namely Kristin in Charlottesville, Bethany in South Africa, and Rachel in Palo Alto.
7) A faculty member practically chewed me out over the phone for holding our noon workshops in a room that doesn't allow food or drink. She's lucky we have workshops at all because it's nearly impossible to find any room on campus that's even available at noon.
8) I tried and failed to repair the paper shredder at work. It was a matter of pride that I have been able to fix it in the past; I guess that was my downfall.
9) I plan on watching some "Band of Brothers" tonight.
10) Classes just started again this week and I'm already resenting the presence of students on campus. Well, mostly those who don't know how to form an orderly queue or move out of pedestrian traffic.
11) Lunch will be A&W root beer and leftover pizza.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Obey Your Thirst... or suffer the consequences

Once upon a time, I had to buy 300+ beverages for a big TA orientation I'm helping coordinate at work. With limited space in our office fridge, I decided to put the rest of the cans of soda in large coolers borrowed from various coworkers. I bought 7 bags of ice and dropped them off at the office last night. (Shout out to the two campus police officers who responded when we set off a silent alarm in the building.) Apparently, the ice had melted enough on the ride from the store to the office that after refreezing overnight, the bags of ice became blocks of ice. But I didn't find that out until later in the story.

I was working late tonight, getting all the final pieces together for my early arrival and event set-up tomorrow morning. I wanted to wait to the last minute to put the ice in the coolers with the drinks, so the ice would melt as little as possible before we needed the drinks. It was 8:00pm before I remembered that the buses stopped running before 8:30. I checked the schedule and the last bus was due at 8:17pm. I packed up my stuff and ran to the storage closet down the hall, where our fridge/freezer is located. Expecting to just be able to put some sodas in a cooler and pour some ice over them, I was horrified to find that the ice was now in blocks. "Knife!" I said, and ran to get one from the kitchen.
I put some six-packs of Sprite in the smaller of the two coolers and proceded to hack away at the ice to pack around the soda. I was almost done when I accidentally stabbed the top of one of the cans.
No time to deal with an open can of soda. Set it aside and moved on to the mondo cooler. Put in a 36-pack of water and two 6-packs of Diet Coke. There's just not enough time to chip away at another bag of ice, so I just put two whole bags (aka blocks) in. Added some 6-packs of Sprite to the top layer and another bag of ice next to it. Tried to close the lid. Didn't close. I opened it up, gave the bag of ice a little push, and heard a pop. Sprite started spraying everywhere from an unknown source. All over the inside of the cooler, all over the floor, and mostly all over me. I dug around to find that the sharp corner of the last bag of ice had punctured the side of a can of Sprite.
"Screw this!"
Pulled out the offending can of Sprite and turned it on its side to stop it from spraying. I carried the two renegade cans of Sprite through the office to our sink and poured them out, for fear of ants. In a brief moment of clarity, I pulled the tabs off the two cans and put them in my pocket. My housemate is collecting the tabs for an art project.
"Go! Go, go, go!!!"
I flung my heavy-laden backpack onto my back and ran for the door.
I had to dig through my bag to find my key card to open two separate doors to get out of the building
"Crap! Crap! Crap!"
Fumble, fumble, swipe, run, swipe, RUN!!!!!
Now, friends, I'm sure a lot of you, in your youth, had moments when you had to run fast with a large backpack. Did you ever feel stupid, clopping along, body awkwardly swaying side-to-side, heavy backpack bouncing on your back, threatening to topple you backwards? Add sandals and a long skirt and that was me. I ran like there was no tomorrow. Across the parking lot, down the street, past a throng of amused freshmen, across the street, and then I finally slowed down. I was home free: there was someone else waiting at the bus stop, with an air about him that said simply "I'm just chillin' here cuz I know my bus will come any minute now." I heaved a sigh of relief. Then another. Then another.
No, I was actually just out of breath.

The bus came 2 minutes later and I boarded it. I was sticky, the whole front of my clothes were wet, and I smelled like lemon-lime. But I was on the bus, and that was what mattered the most.

Now I'm home, recently showered, in my PJs, eating leftover quiche and watching my cats rumble.

I wonder what adventures await me tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Word of the Week: Nee

Okay, so this word seems to have taken over my life.

née also nee (adj.)
1. Born. Used to indicate the maiden name of a married woman.
2. Formerly known as.
[French, feminine past participle of naître, to be born, from Old French naistre, from Latin nsc. See gen- in Indo-European Roots.]

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Sarah declared nee to be the offical Word of the Week in our household, and we get imaginary points every time we use it.
What I want to know is whether it counts if I use it in a crossword puzzle.
I'm totally addicted to the crossword puzzle book that Mehend just gave me. It's a much-needed boost to my self-esteem. The cover doesn't indicate that it's a crossword puzzle book for people who suck at crossword puzzles, but that's what it is. I feel brilliant. I've flown through those things like a banshee this last week.

Back to "nee"...

I had never heard the word before, but it has shown up in 7 of the last 20 crossword puzzles I've completed.
The clues they've given for the word have been:
-Previously named
-Wedding announcement word
-Born as
-Originally named
-Named by birth
-Born (appeared twice)

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Empty Larder Days"

I confess that there are still a number of song lyrics that I don't know, but I continue to mimic the sounds I think I'm hearing, regardless of whether they form a real or logical word.

I had a revelation this morning.

The clue in my crossword puzzle was a 7-letter word for "pantries". I was stuck. I had no idea. Eventually, all the other words around it were filled in and I was left looking at larders. Larder... where had I heard the word before?
Then it hit me.
Dodger in the musical "Oliver!" sang the song "Consider Yourself". We sang the song in elementary school chorus a gazillion years ago and, in the tradition of all children's choruses, we didn't understand half the words we were singing - let alone say them correctly.

The line goes "If it should chance to be, we should see some harder days, empty larder days, why grouse?"
(Nevermind the fact that none of us knew what grouse meant - heck, I don't know what it means even now!)

The whole song:
Consider yourself at home.
Consider yourself one of the family.
We've taken to you so strong.
It's clear we're going to get along.
Consider yourself well in
Consider yourself part of the furniture.
There isn't a lot to spare.
Who cares?..What ever we've got we share!

If it should chance to be
We should see
Some harder days
Empty larder days
Why grouse?
Always a-chance we'll meet
To foot the bill
Then the drinks are on the house!
Consider yourself our mate.
We don't want to have no fuss,
For after some consideration, we can state...
Consider yourself
One of us!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Word of the Day: Wase


\Wase\, n. [Cf. Sw. vase a sheaf.] A bundle of straw, or other material, to relieve the pressure of burdens carried upon the head. [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bridesmaids' Dress Game

I was wandering around the internet to get advice on what kind of dress I should wear to my brother's wedding - as a non-bridesmaid - and I stumbled across this gem.

Torture Your Sister: The Bridesmaid's Dress Game

Please note: My dear sister, I would NEVER put you through this.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

An Excellent Pointe

Wow. This chick is amazing. If you don't watch the whole thing, at least watch the last third.
She goes up on pointe on top of his shoulders AND his head.

I've never seen anything like it.

(If it doesn't play, go to the website

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

heck no


According to weather.com,
the "feels like" temperature outside right now is 106.
Praise the Lord for A/C, that's all I gotta say.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Celebrity Watch: Brian Henderson

My brother Brian is a very talented writer and we're all waiting for a big, super influential producer or whoever to realize it and hire him to write for them full-time. He's had short stints writing for a couple different shows and has submitted a lot of pieces to various shows. Personally, I think he'd be a great asset to SNL or Conan O'Brien. He showed me a bunch of skits he was submitting to SNL and they were hilarious. I can't believe they haven't snatched him up yet. The fools.

Mystery surrounds my brother's work, as he doesn't reveal much about it to me or our sister. It's surely not because of a need for secrecy, because he does seem to tell Dad about some of his projects, but it's like pulling teeth for me to get anything out of him.

For example, I recently found out from my dad that my brother is a writer on the Discovery Channel show "Cash Cab".
Why do I never hear about his work from Brian himself?

I set our DVR to tape the show. After about 15 tries I was able to take a picture of his name in the credits. Here's the really cool thing: apparently he had never even heard of the show until they contacted him and they had tracked him down because of his work on "Before They Were Rock Stars" on VH1 back in 1999.
My brother is totally famous and I'm so proud!
[brag, brag, brag]