Zhaba Zhournal
Thursday, December 23, 2004 
Not this normal, though 
Okay, I'm not going to be the last person on the Internet who takes this:
I'm an apparently intelligent, liberal, not-too-generous, not-too-selfish, relatively well adjusted human being!
What are you?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey
(Via, among others, Psychobabble, Region Broad, Snidget.)

[ at 2:53 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Hey, I feel normal! 
If you ever thought you had no life and wasted too much time playing video games, this guy's got you beat: a man in Manchester, England has been playing Galaxia for two hours a night for twenty-four years. Yes, count 'em, twenty-four. (He just got the highest score ever, 399,290 points, but says he won't be satisfied till he gets a million points.) Somewhat unexpectedly, he's married:
His understanding wife of 24 years, Trish, said she had not considered divorcing him.

"It's not like I didn't know what I was getting into," she said.

"He has always been really interested in video games.

"At least I know where he is and what he's up to. It's our silver wedding next years so I'll wait till then and then we'll see."
"We'll see"? Perhaps not as indicative of not wanting a divorce as it could be. But heck, she gets points for putting up with it at all—perhaps even a million points.

[ at 2:15 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 
Not a creature was stirring, except in the mouse 
Remember the USB optical liquid mouse with a floating duck or fish from ThinkGeek that I mentioned back in August? For a limited time, you can also get one with a floating Santa Claus. (No, ThinkGeek isn't paying me to pimp these; I just think they're cool in a, well, geeky way; and silly things on your desk are always good for a stress-relieving pick-me-up. Back when I had the time and inclination to wear nail polish, I had a rainbow of pastel and metallic colors, on the theory that it's impossible to be really depressed if your nails are lavender, or lime green, or gold-flecked yellow, or iridescent blue. [I should actually try that again. My nails are short, even though I stopped biting them, and polish takes a long time to apply and then to dry, and it seems to wear off so fast; but heck, I've got a week-long holiday coming up, I can spend a few hours watching a totally girly movie and wearing frog-print pajamas and painting my nails turquoise.])

[ at 10:30 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 
More painkillers that kill you 
Oh, don't take my naproxen away! Not only is there news that Aleve may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, the NIH is suspending a study involving Aleve and Celebrex because, presumably, it's too dangerous to continue. Phoo, phoo, phoo. Naproxen is the only thing that works on my Menstrual Cramps from Hell; I've been taking it since 1996, when it was prescription-only, and damn was I glad when it went over-the-counter. I guess I'm under the "don't take for more than 10 days" advisory, because Cramps from Hell only seize me for three or four days—which is three or four days more than I'd like, but at least I've never had a ten-day period. (Knock on wood.)

Another possible bright spot: the study was conducted on "2,500 patients aged 70 or older and who had a family history of Alzheimer's," who I suspect are already at a much higher risk of stroke and heart attack than I am; no word on the effects of any of the in-the-news drugs on generally-healthy people under 30. And I'm not going to stop taking it until somebody invents morphine that's not addictive or codeine that doesn't knock you out. (Alcohol actually works fairly well—it dulls the senses and relaxes muscles—but I suspect I'm not going to get a prescription for it.)

[ at 12:56 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Monday, December 20, 2004 
Holiday memes 
No, I couldn't resist these...

Via Cheeky Prof:

You Are Socks!

Cozy and warm... but easily lost.
You make a good puppet.

Via reflections:

You Were Mostly Nice This Year!

Sure, you had your naughty moments... but guess what?
Santa was probably sleeping when you were living it up.
As far as he's concerned, you've been on your best behavior.
So cross your fingers, and you might score good presents.

[ at 6:21 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Boring mid-month pre-holiday update 
Well, I've gotten most of my shopping done; I've ordered the things I wanted to online, and now I just have to wait for them to show up. We haven't done cards yet—I did get two nice ones for my parents and grandparents and mailed them today, but the cousins and second cousins and friends of friends aren't done at all. I know we've got to do them, I know we do, but oh, man, is it hard to get motivated for it. Maybe it would help if we had our lights and our little artificial tree up; maybe I'll try to get some of that done tonight. I kind of want to do a popcorn-and-cranberry garland this year, too, so the bird can perch on it and peck at it and play with it and eat it. (Yes, I know, I'm totally bird-whipped. But you try to resist the little fluffball.)

The news is full of "we're at the mall interviewing last-minute shoppers" stories; oh, c'mon, five days before Christmas is so not last-minute. Last-minute is December 22nd at the earliest, and really not till December 23rd or Christmas Eve. And it's not always a bad thing; two years ago I went shopping so late on the 24th that I was able to buy things at the post-Christmas markdown prices. I'll take last-minute stress witha 60% discount versus done-in-time security at full price any day.

[ at 6:20 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Friday, December 17, 2004 
Nudge nudge, wink wink, tee-hee 
Okay, I know, this means I am very, very, very immature, but still: I ran one of my pet Perl programs to list the abbreviations in a Bible dictionary I'm working on, and as I'm skimming over the "T" section my mind stops and does a full boggle:
TPINTC appeared 1 times
TS appeared 1 times
TT appeared 1 times
TWAT appeared 1 times
Wait a minute, did I just see what I think I saw?
TWAT appeared 1 times
Holy shit, I did. Of course, I've got to look it up in the abbreviation table now:
TPINTCTrinity Press International New Testament Commentaries
TSTheological Studies
TTTheology Today
"See TDOT"? You bet I'll see it:
TDOTTheological Dictionary of the Old Testament, eds. G. J. Botterweck and H. Ringgren, 8 vols. (Grand Rapids, 1978–96), ET of Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament (Stuttgart, 1970–)
Ah, the perils of multi-lingual and cross-cultural acronyms..."Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament" looks perfectly innocent, doesn't it? And the acronym is probably as unobjectionable in German as TDOT is in English. But TWAT in English...now, that's funny. At least for an American copyeditor on a Friday afternoon at the end of a long week. Yes, I know, I'm five years old.

(I've had enough trouble not snickering at one of our own project names: the Theological Workbook of the Old Testament, or TWOT. The acronym doesn't look bad, but if you say it out loud it sure sounds like "twat." We very carefully refer to it as "Tee-double you-oh-tee" without anyone coming right out and saying "I guess we don't want to say anything that sounds like 'twat' to the Christian publishing clients, do we?")

While I'm at it, I may as well add that I still think it's amusing that the book of Titus is abbreviated "Tit," and Hosea is "Ho" or "Hos," and Judges is sometimes "Jgs," which looks an awful lot like "Jugs." And I love the fact that there's a Biblical town called "Shittim," and everyone who publishes a Bible or a biblical dictionary or concordance or commentary has to print it. And I think it's high time I took my dirty mind home now.

[ at 6:06 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, December 16, 2004 
Q is also for Quizzes 
Via In Favor of Thinking:

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're
normal, but deep down you really just want to
strip off your clothes and roll around in
chicken fat.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Do I need to mention that I loooooooove Edward Gorey? I've got "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" and "The Chinese Obelisk" memorized, and I can quote a lot of his other books at length; I've got all three Amphigoreys and some of the smaller uncollected books; and if you've ever read "The Unstrung Harp," you know exactly what I'm like, because I am Mr. Earbrass, at least when it comes to my novel-writing (except that he gets published and I don't...well, I'll work on that part).

[ at 12:07 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 
Britney goes to the dogs, and vice-versa 
So Britney Spears has gone and spent $1600 to buy a chihuahua puppy, and untold thousands since on designer clothes and accessories and super-prime-choice steak for it. Now, chihuahuas are annoying, weird-looking, yappy little beasts, and I harbor no fondness towards them; still, seeing one clutched in the unsanitary arms of Britney Spears, wearing a hella-ugly coat that probably cost more than most of my clothing, stirs sympathy as well as scorn within me.
Me: That poor dog. It doesn't know it's going to be the highest-class member of that family.

J.: Yes, it's going to be the only one licking its own genitals.
(Whereupon we both laughed so loud we scared the bird, and J. seemed genuinely surprised at his own cattiness. [Can you describe a guy as "catty," or is it limited to women?])

[ at 1:00 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, December 14, 2004 
Note to self 
Eating nothing all day but olives and chocolate-covered espresso beans does not make my stomach very happy. (It wasn't very happy yesterday, and sent back the soy-noodle instant soup I tried to convince it to digest; yecch. I'm having chicken noodle soup and saltines from the boring but reliable Wawa convenience store across the street for lunch today, despite all the just-add-water Thai noodle bowls in my desk drawer.)

I've been tired and semi-sickish for the past few days; not enough to stay home (or, um, convince myself to go to bed earlier), but generally run-down, faintly nauseous, too cold or too hot all the time. (Hm. That sounds a bit like the flu; but wouldn't those symptoms all be worse if it were? And I don't have any of the usual winter-ailment congestion/coughing/sneezing symptoms [so far—knock on wood].) Sleeping more would probably help most; I've got an initial appointment at the Jefferson University Hospital Sleep Disorders Center on Thursday, which I'm mildly dreading; I don't like going to new doctors, and I really don't like the idea of anybody staring at me while I sleep. Ick. But I've got to do something, and it's only an initial evaluation, so I don't have to dread the sleeping-in-front-of-strangers part quite yet. (Ick.) Who knows, maybe they'll even figure out something useful. Doctors occasionally do, I'm told.

[ at 3:43 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Saturday, December 11, 2004 
Am I blue? 
Okay, we get it: there are some conservatives who just don't want anyone to ever hear The F-Word, or ever see The Naughty Bits of a Lady, and all those other things that get the FCC petitioned and TV stations fined and department stores sued. (The most recent examples: the FCC has been badgered into investigating the broadcast of the Olympic opening ceremonies, and Wal-Mart is being sued for selling a CD with the word "fuck" on it.) I was idly turning this over in my mind while mostly paying attention to something else, until my train of thought arrived here: "No nudity, no implied nudity, no profanity—do they just want to reinstate all the blue laws?"* And then I wondered, with the current political associations of the color blue, would we have to start calling them red laws? After all, I bet the people who are proud to be red-staters wouldn't want the word "blue" anywhere near their holier-than-thou legal actions. (Also appropriately, it's a very short conceptual step from red laws to scarlet letter laws; although it was the extremely puritanical legislation of morality in colonial New England, memorialized in "The Scarlet Letter," that got the name "blue laws" in the first place.)

(Yeah, it's just my brain playing with words again, I'm not saying it actually means anything... but it was just one of those "changing times, changing meanings" moments that stuck out in my mind and stuck to it like a burr. [I had to come to the office today; my brain needs something to do when I'm working on a Saturday.])

*I know there are still some blue laws on the books, mostly regarding commerce on Sundays; by "reinstate all the blue laws" I don't mean to imply that I think all of them have been uninstated, but that the whackjobs might want all of the ones that have been uninstated to be reinstated, right down to "no spitting on the sidewalk."

[ at 5:32 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Friday, December 10, 2004 
Yes, it's Computer Annoyance Day 
Okay, I finally installed frippin' SP2; I couldn't avoid it anymore, and I wanted that stupid Windows Update icon to get out of my system tray. So I clicked it and let it do its thing; and, five reboots, four hours, three Blue Screens of Death, two error reports, and one Symantec LiveUpdate later, my computer's working about as well as it did before. I think. (I'm still having trouble with my Yahoo! e-mail account, but I don't think that's related.)

Well, at least the time I spent waiting (and waiting and waiting) for SP2 to install gave me a chance to rearrange the office supply cabinet (I was tired of not being able to reach anything on the top shelf), clean my desk (sort of; I got some of the finished projects off it, anyway), and pay my bills. I also passed some time with my Tiny Universal Waite Tarot deck, which lives in an Altoids tin in my purse; the first three cards I drew, just as the SP2 installation was initializing, were the Fool, the Devil, and the Magician. Hm...Microsoft is foolish, evil, and tricky? Hey, the cards said it, I didn't. (That is, of course, not an actual reading of the cards; they're much more subtle than their titles suggest. But those three titles really were amusingly apropos.)

[ at 4:44 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Desktop cleanup 
An open letter:

I love ya, Google, really I do; and as soon as I heard about Google Desktop I downloaded it, installed it, and let it index my computer all night. And I put up with the crashes it induced and the overall computer slowness I'm pretty sure it contributed to, because, even though it doesn't work with Mozilla Firefox or Thunderbird, I thought the ability to search within files on my hard drive would be useful, especially since Windows's own search function is soooooo slooooowwww. And you sure did do those file searches fast. But not any more effectively than the Windows search and the "Find in files" search in my beloved TextPad editing program; plus, in TextPad, I can use regular expressions. And you made my computer so slow, those fast searches weren't saving me nearly as much time as you were costing me.

Look, you're supposed to be good for four things: searching e-mail, Web history, instant messages, and files. And since you don't do the first two, and I never use IM, three of those four are out the window; and the last one, well, I've got other programs that'll do almost the same thing, and they take up a lot less room on my hard drive. I'd've stuck with you if you had definite plans to add Firefox/Thunderbird compatibility; but, when I went to your FAQ today, and clicked on one of your top five questions, I can't find webpages I viewed with Mozilla Firefox [which is a statement, not a question, but never mind], you told me:
Google Desktop Search is only partially compatible with Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox. Desktop Search does not currently support Thunderbird.

How Desktop Search works with Mozilla and/or Mozilla Firefox:

If you install Desktop Search and open a Mozilla or Firefox browser window, you'll see a 'Desktop' link appear on the Google homepage. You can click this link to go to the Desktop Search homepage whenever you want to search with Desktop Search.

Webpages that you view in Mozilla and/or Firefox aren't added to your Desktop Search index, however, so you won't be able to find them with Desktop Search.

[Ed. note: That's what you mean by "working with" and "compatible"? Dude, you're "compatible with" Mozilla in the same way a lamprey is "compatible with" a sturgeon.]

We realize that many of our users use Mozilla or Firefox as their primary browser and Thunderbird as their email program. We may consider adding increased Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird support in a future version of Desktop Search.
You may consider? Okay, fine. I may consider re-installing you if you do that. (Nice touch, by the way, that when I uninstalled you, you directed me to a Web page where I could tell you why. So I told you, and you can add me to the "many users" who you "realize" use Mozilla programs primarily or exclusively.) No, really, I do think it's nice; I get the feeling that you care about me and/or my opinion more than Microsoft does. I want to like you. I want to use you. And if you ever become useful, I will.


[ at 3:40 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, December 09, 2004 
I was very excited to find chocolate-covered espresso beans at Chef's Market yesterday, and bought a half-pound container to keep in my desk as a pick-me-up. After snarfing down five of them about half an hour ago, I decided to look up the caffeine content to see how many I could eat without getting overly jittery—five, ten, fifteen?—and made the depressing discovery that they don't have nearly as much caffeine as I expected: only 3-5 mg per bean. (Via the Caffeine FAQ at coffeefaq.com.) You'd have to eat 30 to 50 of them to get the same amount of caffeine you'd get from drinking a 7-oz. cup of coffee. Humph, some waker-upper these are turning out to be. (Tasty, though. And without the risks of hot liquids that can burn you or stain your clothing or the inconvenience of pills you have to take with water.)

[ at 5:02 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

(Who|what|where) is love 
I have no idea what this thing really is, or what it's for, but I've seen it around (most recently at Tenth Muse), and damn, it is psychic, isn't it?

mixed drinks are love
brought to you by the isLove Generator

Yeah, I love me my mixed drinks. And J. discovered and perfected the recipe for my all-time favorite, the Metropolis,* which is like a Cosmopolitan but better. So the guy I love mixed the drink I love; I'm not sure that "...is love" tag could be more apropos.

*Metropolis: 2 parts cranberry juice, 1 part each Triple Sec, mandarin orange vodka, and Rose's lime juice. A batch of six fits perfectly in a 32-oz. glass Ocean Spray cranberry juice bottle.

N.B. The Metropolis is not to be confused with the Metropolitan, another Cosmopolitan variation, which uses blackcurrant vodka instead of citrus (Cosmo) or mandarin (Metropolis).

[ at 1:47 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, December 08, 2004 
The ongoing Daily Show media watch  
The complete list of Grammy nominations showed up as one of my New York Times e-mail news alerts for the Daily Show. On the 8th of the 14 HTML pages the list took up, I found their nomination:
77. Comedy Album: "Come Poop With Me," Triumph The Insult Comic Dog; "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents ... America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction," Jon Stewart and The Cast of the Daily Show; "The Funny Thing Is ... ," Ellen DeGeneres; "Live at Carnegie Hall," David Sedaris; "The O'Franken Factor Factor -- The Very Best of the O'Franken Factor," Al Franken.
(Can I just say how incredibly amused I am that the New York Times had to print the words "Come Poop With Me"? It's almost as good as the year "Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk" was nominated for a lot of Tonys, and all these grand dames and highfalutin' artistes of the the-a-tuh had to go onstage and say it when they were presenting the awards.)

As I clicked through the pages, I was wondering, in these exact words, "How the fuck-hell many Grammy categories are there?" After finding the Daily Show's nomination, I skipped ahead to page 14 to get the final number: 107. Jesu Cristo, that's a lot. My favorite "who'da thunk?" category—even more than "Traditional Tropical Latin Album" (there's no category for non-traditional tropical Latin albums) and "Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor)" (yeah, conductors, you heard me, we don't need you!)—is "Album Notes." Yes, really. It's nice to know they're recognizing the contribution of album-note writers, I guess; if the producers and the arrangers and the composers and the lyricists and the conductors and the singers and the instrumentalists and the spoken-word speakers and even the box-set designers are getting awards, the person who writes down all their names and makes the album make sense deserves something too.

[ at 4:35 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 
How long do you macerate a Shmoo? 
Cartoon character skeletons. Two words: Frea. Ky.

This has apparently been all over the Web in the past few days; I later came across it at BoingBoing and J-Walk, but my first encounter was via No Fancy Name:
Skeletal Systems

A character study of 22 present and past cartoon characters.

Animation was the format of choice for children's television in the 1960s, a decade in which children's programming became almost entirely animated. Growing up in that period, I tended to take for granted the distortions and strange bodies of these entities.

I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass.
The Powerpuff Girls—Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup—fare the worst, in my view; those giant, perfectly-smooth and perfectly-hemispherical eye sockets make them look like predatory insects. On the other hand, the small birds—Tweety and Eggbert—actually look a lot like real bird skeletons: big skulls and tiny bodies are normal proportions for most avian anatomy. My favorite thing is the Shmoo's vestigial arms; there's a whole evolutionary process implied there. The mind boggles.

[ at 5:48 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Crosspost from my journal, because Blogger wasn't loading this morning and I wanted to get the post up somewhere. Apologies to those of you on LJ who have both my journal and my blog RSS feed on your friends pages.

Okay, our office is f!cking cold—and I don't usually complain about any temperature under 80°. (Which is what the temperature in here was most of the summer.) The thermostat says it's 65° and it's already on "Emergency Heat," but my manager reports it's only gone up one degree since he got here at 8 a.m. I'd hate to find out what non-emergency heat is like.

About ten minutes ago:
Manager: Okay, whoever can find a barrel, I'll start the fire. [General laughter, less "amused" than "don't we know it, I wish we could."] I've got plenty of old [Client From Hell] stuff that we can burn. [More-enthusiastic laughter, "yeah"s.]

Another employee: That would warm my heart.
Mine too. If only it weren't a violation of the fire code...

(We've had people come in and poke at the temperature-control system, trying to make it cooler in summer and warmer in winter; I wondered aloud if they'd mixed them up: "maybe we're getting the air conditioning now." Manager: "No, with the air conditioning it was warmer.")

Breaking news (11:41): It's up to 66°! That's an increase of half a degree every fifty minutes; at this rate, we'll be up to 70° by 6:30 p.m....just in time to go home. (Well, at least I can move my fingers without creaking now.)

Update (12:21): After turning off the emergency heat, the temperature went from 66 to 71 in 40 minutes. So the emergency heat not only doesn't work, it prevents the regular heat from working. (Maybe I'll turn on the emergency heat next summer when the air conditioning won't go below 79°.)

[ at 12:35 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Saturday, December 04, 2004 
Sleep, glorious sleep 
So, why didn't someone tell me about this "sleep" thing sooner? Dang, does it make me feel better. I should do it more often.

Yes, after being strung-out dead-dog-tired yesterday, I decided it was finally time to actually go to bed early, instead of saying I would and then staying up till 2 a.m. anyway. So as soon as I'd had sufficient dinner, I began the pre-bedtime tooth maintenance—both to ensure that I wouldn't let myself get sidetracked by eating or drinking anything else, and as a Pavlovian "this is what I do before sleeping, so it must be time to sleep" cue. I got distracted by Spider Solitaire for a while, but dragged myself away after a few fruitless rounds of a four-suit game. Took my meds at about 9—one of them has a soporific side effect, so about half an hour after I take it I'm just about knocked out. I sat on the living room couch next to the birdcage long enough to do a crossword puzzle and let the bird get her fill of jumping all over me and sitting on my head and chirping at my ring; at 9:20 I was almost keeling over, and at 9:23 I was upstairs, in bed, lights out literally, and after some tossing and turning, it was lights out figuratively too.

I drifted semi-awake at about 5:30, looked at the clock, went back to sleep; J. gave me a shake and turned on our full-spectrum sun lamp at 7:15; by 7:45 I was upright and downstairs, and feeling astonishingly, luxuriously well-rested. It's almost a pleasure to be awake; my brain's working, I feel like I've at least got the potential for having energy, and I swear my clothes even feel better. (J.'s comment: "Imagine if you felt that way every morning? Just a thought." Yeah, but...but then I wouldn't appreciate it as much, would I? Right? Right? [Someone back me up here!])

No, really, I do need to try it more often; not tonight, maybe—12:23 as I type this—but except for last night, I don't think I've gotten to bed before 1:30 a.m. any day in the last six weeks, so hell, I'm still on track to make an early evening of it. (Night. Morning. Whatever.) Rules: "Tonight Show," okay; "Late Night," monologue, maybe first guest; "Last Call," sorry, Carson, gotta skip you. (I was skewing the "18-to-24-year-old male living at home with no girlfriend playing video games all night" Nielsen-demographic market share anyway.)

12:31, "Tonight Show" musical guest—the mouse-feeding, tooth-brushing cue. In bed before 1 a.m.? I'll give it a shot. Anything's possible, right? I can do it, really I can.

12:38; "Late Night" monologue starting. Okay. Post entry. Log off. Do not even think about Spider Solitaire. Or FreeCell. Or TriPeaks. I mean it. One, two, three...now.

[ at 1:48 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Thursday, December 02, 2004 
In which I am very dull 
Oh, I'm so useless these days. It must be the continuing lack of sleep; despite my stated goal of going to bed before 2 a.m. last night, and even though I was exhausted from having woken up at 6:30 yesterday morning and dragging myself and my overnight bag all the hell over the city, I still didn't get to bed until 2:45 last night. Bad girl. No biscuit. My morning allotment of two cups of strong coffee and 20mg of Ritalin gets me up and about, and I don't feel particularly tired after about 8:45 a.m., but the way I just stare blankly at my computer screen so often during the workday, and can't think of anything to write about, and can't get much work done, probably means my brain isn't functioning very well behind my over-dilated eyes. It's probably directing all its attention to things like "don't walk out into traffic" and "don't spill hot coffee on yourself" instead of "write a regular expression to find the remaining transliterated Hebrew words in this Bible commentary" and "do a blog post about that interesting article in the New York Times this morning." I'm awake, even somewhat alert, but I don't have any energy. Feh, feh, feh. (Oh well. If I don't have any energy, I'm not manic. [Yet.])

Yes, this is a pretty lousy entry, but I know if I don't post something every weekday, I'll get out of the habit, and, for whatever it's worth, I don't want to do that. If I write about something every day, even if it's boring or stupid, I'll have the momentum behind me to write about something interesting or intelligent when it actually happens. So here it is: a boring, and perhaps stupid, entry, but an entry all the same. And I've been staring at the screen trying to think of a way to end it for about five minutes, so I'm just going to say "the end." The end.

[ at 12:15 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Wednesday, December 01, 2004 
Mid-week memery 
"Getting to know you" meme, via Bonnie at what kind of sick weirdo are you? Like her, I'm going to do it as a blog post instead of an e-mail.
Welcome to the Autumn 2004 edition of getting to know your friends. What you are supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you’ll send. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to a whole bunch of people including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends, if you did not know them already.
1. What time did you get up this morning? 6-frickin'-30. Yuck. (Usually, J. shakes me at 7:45 and I stagger downstairs around 8, but I was in Delaware last night, so I had to catch the 7:19 train to Philly in order to get to work on time. Those of you who regularly wake up at 6:30 or earlier, feel free to snort with derision, but for me it's ungodly-early.)

2. Diamonds or pearls? Sapphires. (My engagement ring stone is a padparadscha sapphire—pinkish-orange, like a sunrise. [Sapphires and rubies are both corundum; red corundum is a ruby, any other color—blue, yellow, pink, green, purple, white—is a sapphire.])

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? "Fahrenheit 911" on June 29th (J.'s birthday present); we don't go out to movies much. (The last movie I saw in a theater before that was back in December '03, or maybe '02. I'm pathetic.)

4. What is your favourite TV show? Daily Show Daily Show Daily Show! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Jon Stewart. (Down, girl.)

5. What did you have for breakfast? My mom's homemade coffee cake at 6:45, before leaving Delaware, and a bacon-egg-and-cheese bagel sandwich after I got to work. (I always get hungry the same number of hours after breakfast, no matter when I eat it; on days when I get up early and eat breakfast before 7, I'm hungry for lunch at 10 a.m.)

6. What is your middle name? Used to be Cathleen; I did the marriage name-change and made my maiden name my new middle name. (It starts with M, but I'm not saying what it is.)

7. What is your favourite cuisine? To eat, Japanese; to cook, Italian.

8. What foods do you dislike? Plants with enzymes that try to digest me while I'm eating them: kiwi, eggplant, fresh pineapple. (Cooking pineapple breaks down the enzyme; cooking kiwi might, too, but I don't know why you'd bother, since they just taste like rancid strawberries anyway.)

9. What is your favourite crisp flavour? Tart apple.

10. What is your favourite CD at the moment? I hardly ever listen to them; I've got some "soothing ocean sound" ones at work for white noise when there's too much going on in the office.

11. What kind of car do you drive? No car; I rely on public transit, family members with cars, or walking.

12. Favourite sandwich? Falafel, hummus, and tzatziki on a whole-wheat pita. (Now I'm hungry again.)

13. What characteristic do you despise? CYA-itis—cover-your-ass syndrome. If you screw up, say so; or at least don't say it's someone else's fault instead. (I was thinking about our not-very-partner-like partner company when I wrote that, but I just realized it's the same thing that cheesed me off about Ashlee Simpson's SNL lip sync debacle.)

14. Favourite item of clothing? The cashmere robe J. gave me last Christmas. It is unutterably soft and wonderful; if I never had to leave the house, I'd never wear anything else.

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Rome, by way of Tuscany. The food, the wine, the art, the architecture, the 2500 years of accumulated culture...and the wine, did I mention the wine? The wine.

16. What colour is your bathroom? White tile (except for the mildew), light blue paint, blue and green leaf-print shower curtain.

17. Favourite brand of clothing? I don't much care about labels, but I'll go to the ends of the earth for Dansko shoes (and, when I'm wearing them, it feels like I can walk to the ends of the earth; they're insanely comfortable and actually attractive. I wish they didn't cost so much, but I'm willing to pay for quality.)

18. Where would you retire to? Ack, you want me to think that far ahead? Somewhere semi-rural but not more than 45 minutes away from a major city. And not Florida. It's hot and there are giant bugs down there.

19. Favourite time of the day? Early evening—5 to 7 p.m.—I'm a sucker for sunsets, and on weekdays, it's when I get to leave the office.

20. What was your most memorable birthday? 20th, in a hotel in Kharkiv, when the Yale Russian Chorus was touring in Ukraine; I was the only woman in the chorus (yes, I'm a tenor), so it was me, twenty guys, lots of vodka, and loud renditions of every dirty Russian, Ukrainian, or Georgian song we knew. Na zdorovja!

21. Where were you born? Wilmington, Delaware.

22. Favourite sport to watch? Figure skating or bull-riding—no, there's not much of a viewership overlap there, but I like 'em both.

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Not e-mailing it, so N/A.

24. Person you expect to send it back first? N/A.

25. What fabric detergent do you use? Anything that doesn't frippin' stink—no perfumes, no dyes, no nothing. I just want my clothes to be clean; I don't want to reek of Outdoor Fresh Scent all day.

26. Coke or Pepsi? Root beer.

27. Day time or night time? Night, the later the better.

28. What is your shoe size? 10 with socks, 9 1/2 without (yeah, I have huge feet).

29. Do you have any pets? Peri the parakeet (she runs the house, we just live there), nine spiny mice.

30. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with your family and friends? Now that J.'s doctor has prescribed him testosterone, we're having sex again! (I probably shouldn't share that with my family, though. "Hey, Mom, guess what...?")

31. What did you want to be when you were little? A horseback-riding novel-writing falcon-training Egyptologist. (It could happen!) (Well, actually, it probably couldn't.)

32. What are you meant to be doing today? Working, buying food for the critters, picking up prescriptions from CVS, going home, maybe grocery shopping, watching the Daily Show, going to bed before 2 a.m.

[ at 5:46 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.


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