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in the hoosegow

Thursday, March 31, 2005

further evidence that I'm a bad bad person

You know how I was all "I'm going to stop watching so much TV!" and "I can live without America's Next Top Model"? Well, shame on me because I've watched several of the episodes, either when it's rerun or last night I was actually home and watched it at its normal broadcast time. I had to, though, because they kept advertising the "flesh eating bacteria" on Michelle's face and I had to see my diagnosis proven correct. Yummy!

After that I did drag my increasingly fat rear out to a show so that almost made up for my earlier lack of control. We went to see a bunch of bands, or people, or guys, really, from the Anticon label. The first was a dj with stuff pre-programmed apparently because there was no one on stage and I never figured out who was pushing the buttons although my friend did ferret out the culprit. There were then two dudes on stage, very nerdy fellows and a bit schlummy, both playing on keyboards, standing with backs to the audience. They pretty much sucked. Next was my fave, a guy I think named Dosh. He'd play something on the keyboards, drums, xylophone or drop stuff on the ground, sample it, and then play along with it. Then two more dudes that were sort of, well, poncey, if hip hoppers can be poncey. Then finally Sole came on. He's a great rapper with political and controversial lyrics but when you see him you'd expect to run into him playing hackey sack on the lawn at Rice.

Luckily for my smoke-angry eyes, that rapped up the evening's events.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

blogger ate my baby


Oh well, it wasn't that thrilling anyway. In the book I'm reviewing, there's this really funny drawing of pigs attacking each other. Despite the fact that they're obviously threatening and trying to bite each other, in the drawings the pigs look so cute. Even when, in the last picture, the one pig is chasing the other one away and trying to bite its butt. I believe that proves my theorem: pigs are cute. Refutations?

Monday, March 28, 2005


This weekend was cram packed with fun and events and yet I still managed to watch a great deal of television. How on earth did that happen?

Here's a rundown.

Friday: spent the afternoon working on a crafty project. Spoken word, dancing and late night calzone in the evening.

Saturday: spent most of the day cleaning and preparing for the arrival of my friends. Watched Bottle Rocket (while not my favorite Wes Anderson film, contained interesting elements of movies he made later). Drank heavily with friends and made a few drunk calls.

Sunday: egg dying, breakfast mimosas, playing with the cats. After my friends left for New Orleans, I drove to my friend's grammy's house and had Easter dinner. Mmmm, green bean casserole.

Friday, March 25, 2005

reviews of various sorts

First, the Pianist. Wow, can that Adrien Brody act or what? I remember him from things like Liberty Heights, which was great, but he showed a much greater range in the Pianist, right? There were parts of that movie that I found hard to watch. I had that wincing and wanting to fast forward reaction. It still amazes me what cruelty humans are capable of.

Second, Frida. Why didn't I see this in the theatre? Why haven't I seen it before now? I've always loved Salma Hayak and Alfred Molina but together--that was fairly inspired. Not only did I like the film, but it made me understand her work so much more.

I may be a little movied out but that won't stop me from reading. I review books for a great online scitech reviewing depot called E-Streams (http://www.e-streams.com) and the one I'm working on right now is riveting. I'm only on chapter two but I've been sharing little tidbits all over the office like "did you know that horses can't see directly in front of them?" It's true--they have a blind spot right in front of their foreheads.

Finally, springtime. I'm not always a huge fan because of the allergies, stormy weather and that feeling that all of the trees and flowers are showing off but it really is lovely. I have a few flowers that are coming up. They're about two inches tall and I can't wait to see them full grown. They'll be my little flower babies.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

driving h-town

Yesterday after work we decided to go to the infamous Galleria (the gigantic mall in H-town for those who haven't had the pleasure, ahem) to see our friend's sculpture. Having never actually visited the mall itself, I was following my friend. This part of town is very trafficky in general, and especially so during rush hour. We went past where my friend had said we were going, turned around a few times and finally ended up in the parking garage. By that time we had to rush in, look at the sculpture, and rush out again to get to yet another friend's to pick up some furniture.

This friend lives in a high-rise apartment that has plenty of visitor parking but apparently you're supposed to leave your keys with the parking attendants (said friend loves valet parking-now I know why he moved where he did). I didn't know that, so I ended up getting chased around by the parking guys while my friends were loading the furniture.

Oh my gosh. I got home and called a new pal and she tried to get me to go out with her but at that point I was seriously in my underwear and prepared to not leave my couch for 3 hours (the Pianist--more on that later). Driving around town can sure take it out of you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

full house

No, not the wretched television program, I am referring to my own wee household, which on Saturday will grow from 1 to 4, or from 1 to 6, depending on if you count 4 legged creatures. Yes folks, you heard it here first, snow has forced my friends to come through H-town on their way to the southeast. Maybe I shouldn't be so excited about that, but I am anyway. I can't wait to go home and check the beer level in the fridge!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Those of you who know me know that I don't eat meat. Well, actually I do eat fish and some other seafood but not any other living creatures. Nevertheless, some of my favorite places to eat include "barbeque" in their names. Such is the case with Thelma's. Thelma's is a tiny place on the corner of Liveoak and Lamar (I think it's Lamar--better check it if you're going there). There are only a few tables and they tend to fill up with big guys eating plates of bbq sandwiches, link sandwiches and catfish. I always have the catfish. Thelma runs it herself with the help of her daughter or granddaugher or some other relatives. Sometimes there are little kids running around filling cups with ice and fetching tubs of tartar sauce. It's the kind of place that has a big roll of papertowels on every table. It's the kind of place where Thelma herself decorates the table on your friend's birthday and comes out to give everyone a hug and best wishes to the birthday boy (in bbq terms, that means a big piece of pie). It's the kind of place where at 7pm, when the restaurant closes, the cops come in for their supper. You should check it out.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I'm really loving netflix. This weekend I watched both The Battle of Algiers (amazing and you should see it--it's about the movement in Algeria to gain freedom in the late 1950s) and Shaun of the Dead. Shaun made me laugh and laugh. It was a good commentary on the routine that many of us find ourselves in, as well as that vague feeling that we're missing out on something more interesting. I think I suffer from both of those, alternately. Of course, by watching a movie and whipping up some cookie dough last night I got away from my past Sunday routine of watching Charmed and/or some fox shows.

There are some routines I refuse to give up, though, because they make me happy. For instance, every year I am compelled to dye Easter eggs with friends. This year I'll be doing it with a new friend (and possibly grammy--we shall see!) but that's also part of my routine. I strong arm anybody within 10 yards of me to get funky with hard boiled eggs and non-toxic dye. A few years ago, my friend C. came to visit me over the Easter weekend and I got him to dye eggs. Of course we also went out and drank ourselves silly and I was so hungover I nearly missed Easter brunch. In fact, we were drinking beers at my house with K. during the dying process and we got involved and missed a bus...but that's another story.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day (or St Paddy's Day as my Irish pals call it) and I felt compelled to celebrate by drinking mass beer. To facilitate me not killing anyone after beer consumption, I stayed over at my friend's place. It's a brand new house, really squeaky spanking new! I got to stay in the guest bedroom and I had my own bathroom and everything.

Despite dreaming that someone tried to kill me with a knife (don't combine green food coloring and calzones and beer all in one sitting), I had a lovely sleepover. In fact, I wish I were still sleeping right now. *sigh*

Thursday, March 17, 2005


The other day I was talking Star Trek with a colleague and I had to correct his lingo. He apparently thought it was more of a faux pas than it was and so he gave me his Star Trek: First Contact poster. I put it up today. Now it's like there's a sign inside my office saying "Nerds, You Will be Welcome Here".

As if there were doubt before.


I don't believe I've yet seen an actual Herzog film, although I've now seen two films of/about Herzog. That's Werner Herzog, crazed and amazing German filmmaker for the unwashed masses. The bit of whimsy I saw last night was recommended to the Good Ex by one of his Good Exes and it is entitled Incident at Loch Ness.

The film is a documentary about Herzog making a film called Enigma of Loch Ness (I think it's "of" not "at" but don't hurt me if I'm wrong), at least that's how it appears. In fact, it's a mocumentary that has Herzog making fun of himself and a host of Hollywood characters playing up their own roles in the film biz, e.g. the prick producer and the prima donna sound engineer. There are scenes that Wes Anderson appears to have stolen for his own The Life Aquatic or that Herzog plays laughing tribute to from his own films, The Right Stuff and probably lots of other films that I missed due to my lack of references.

At the end it became patently ridiculous, but that's why we love Herzog, right? I will forever think of this film every time I see a word misspelled on a jumpsuit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

stage mothers

Last night I watched the documentary Spellbound. It follows 8 children as they prepare for the 1999 National Spelling Bee. They're all very much supported by their parents and teachers, some to what I'd consider a normal degree, others to an extreme. One kid in particular had tutors in three languages as well as a normal spelling tutor. His grandfather agreed to feed 5000 people (in India) if the kid won the bee.

Some of the children seemed to be fairly normal, like the smart kids I went to school with, and others were freaky freaks, like they might be the ones to go crazy and blow people away because they were picked on so much, or get bound up in their hyper-intelligence and become unable to function in "normal" society.

Watching the bee itself was nerve-wracking for me. I wasn't rooting for any particular child but each time one of them came up my heart would beat a little faster and I'd be trying to spell along with them. It makes me wonder what I'd be like if I had a smart kid. Would I push him to compete? Would I let her choose her own activities or make her take piano lessons, ballet and gymnastics just because I never got to? (note: I did take violin & cello lessons and I played softball--I wasn't neglected or anything)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

this may spell the end...

Email I received today:

Hi there,
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and are working hard to ensure
this problem does not happen again.
Sincerely, Steve
Blogger Support Team
Original Message Follows:
From: ranger {XXX} <waspwoman@hotmail.com>
Subject: eating all of my posts
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 07:37:55 -0800 (PST)
Please, blogger people, stop your stupid software from eating each and
every one of my blog entries. It's been happening for a few days now but
not consistently. I click on the publish button and *poof*, entry all
What thorough investigation on your part, Blogger. Also, my post yesterday was supposed to have a link to one of those online quizzes, what element are you? I am oxygen, and the "c..." originally read "combustible". See, it was funny. I really hate blogger and am very seriously considering moving this blog or simply discontinuing it. Thoughts?

Monday, March 14, 2005

thanks to jill...i'm o2

Really, c

fever dreams

Does anyone else have dreams about why the Democratic party didn't win this year? In my dream last night, candidates were doing ridiculous things with the goal of appearing to be "one of the guys (or gals)". Case in point: a curly haired Asian Dem candidate was singing karaoke at a rally. Everyone in the audience was looking around, trying not to make contact with each other to avoid breaking out in nervous laughter. One lone Asian businessman was singing and swaying along with the song...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

chaos, your name is 7th grader

I had a really fun hour's worth of activities planned for 60 middle schoolers today. Since the group was so big I broke them up into four groups and each went to four stations. I had four of my colleagues on board, enough to man each station and an extra to help out the systems guy (who is not an instructor and wasn't sure that out of 60 children one wouldn't pull a few plugs and bring our servers down). At each station the kids would get an answer to a question, either by searching themselves, asking at the reference desk or figuring out a puzzle. They would put all four answers together at the end to answer one last question and get a prize. Sounds like fun, right?

Then reality struck. 60 middle schoolers arrived with only two adults. Huh? Who thought that was a good idea? I had to scramble to grab two of my colleagues to fill in because I needed each group to be shuttled from station to station and not get hopelessly lost in our huge library. Then as groups were switching, one was slower than the others and we got out of synch. The teachers were bitchy and one (we discovered later after comparing notes) was talking on her cell phone almost the entire hour.

The children, on the other hand, were cute, well-behaved, ready to participate and have fun. Despite the chaos we created around them, they seemed to have a good time, and the chorus of pens clicking (their prizes) I heard at the very end was music to my ears.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

playing doctor

Great, so now I won't have any idea if my doctor cares or is just practicing "deep acting". I think I prefer the hardass doctor to the fake empathetic doctor anyway.

From my alumni newsletter:
Drawing from previous research that equates service workers' labor to the work of stage actors, Larson and co-author Xin Yao, a doctoral student in the UW Business School, describe a model for applying acting techniques to the delivery of empathy in doctor-patient interactions. They suggest that doctors use two techniques separately or in combination -- 'deep acting,' which uses imagination and emotional memories to generate genuine feelings of empathy for the patient, and 'surface acting,' in which the doctor forges emotional expressions inconsistent with internal feelings. This would allow the doctor to display behaviors the patient can interpret as empathic.


I tried to post a few times yesterday but Blogger was insistent on eating everything. So I'm trying again today.

My post yesterday was about my new notebook, which I'm loving. It's tiny and cute. I also relayed a conversation about a new journal called Small which bummed me out because I want a magazine with that same name. Not that anyone would confuse a scientific journal about nanotechnology with a small-sized magazine about all things small. Anyway, she suggested some alternate titles like komakai, dogo, petit or poco. What about Wee? It's lovely and close to Whee!

Monday, March 07, 2005

movies review

So I just joined Netflix and I got my three movies on the weekend. I watched two of them, Control Room and Capturing the Friedmans, and I also watched Withnail and I. All three were excellent in their own ways, the first two disturbing and revealing documentaries about Al Jazeera and a family in crisis respectively. The third movie is blatantly hilarious and it was an excellent choice for the Sunday night blues. It's one of those British cult films that a lot of Americans have never seen but should. Oh, you definitely should. It's an almost plot-less film with two aspiring actors trying to make it through a harsh winter in London, the country, and then London again. There are parts that reminded me of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with the drug-taking and massive amounts of alcohol consumed and crazy characters. I haven't laughed that hard in a while over the simplest lines like "Get in the back of the van!" delivered Nazi-style by what one would normally expect to be a mild-mannered copper. I'm feeling a few giggles boiling up just remembering it. I also recommend you get the dvd, not the vhs version because it contains a great little documentary about the film.

If you're wondering, the trial run of not watching so much tv is going okay, but I found myself sucked into an episode of a Different World that I hadn't ever seen before (Whitley's buck-toothed cousin shows up and hilarity ensues) this morning. I'm trying but I'm not perfect.

Friday, March 04, 2005


So I wrote this nice entry earlier about all of the birthday presents and snacks I've been working on lately but damned blogger ate it. I'm way too lazy to redo the whole thing. I hate when crap like that happens.

On the home front, those of you who've visited lately and been kind enough not to point out how the weeds were taking over my lawn, thank you. They've now been executed. Anyone who wants to help me get a garden or a series of potted plants going, I've got lots of space so come on over. There's lots of beer in the fridge (and a few leftover jello shots, mmmm).

Okay, that's all.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

i can't feel my fingers...mommy? mommy??!

After watching America's Next Top Model, Season 4 premier and the finale of Missy Elliot's Road to Stardom, I came to a conclusion.

I watch too much television.

I started thinking about all of the shows I watch weekly and started imagining my life without each of them. One by one, all but a treasured few fell away. So for the foreseeable future, goodbye to: 7th Heaven, Charmed, Everwood, Girlfriends, Law & Order everything (to be honest, I hardly watch these anymore anyway), What I Like About You, and reruns of various sitcoms including but not limited to Friends, That 70s Show, the Simpsons, the Fresh Prince, Cosby Show, a Different World, etc.

Things I'm on the fence about: CSI & CSI Miami, Saturday cartoons.

Things I'm definitely keeping: ANTM, Gilmore Girls, taping various episodes of reruns of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

In celebration, I joined Netflix, and I promise that I will try to order movies only, rather than runs of television programs.

In other television news, I taught a class this morning where we brainstormed possible benefits of reality television. We came up with quite a few and in searching for books and articles on the topic, found that Writers and Scholars Think People Benefit from Reality TV. So there.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

i need a man (or a woman with tools)

My sink has been leaking a bit for the past week or so. I think I've finally isolated the problem: there's a hose that connects the sprayer to the faucet and there's lots of water on and around it. Whenever I run water, some of it must be leaking down where this hose is connected. The problem is that I can't figure out how to fix it. Does it need some kind of seal, sealant, a new hose, or what? I admit, this is one of the few times I wish I lived closer to my father so he could show me what to do. It seems stupid to get a plumber in for what appears to be a minor problem, and yet I can't bake anything with all of my pans busy gathering sink splash! What's a gal to do?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

birthday film choices

We thought it would be funny to watch a possibly disgusting film called Animal Love after the mini-golf extravaganza on my birthday. Most people bowed out, citing suddenly sprained ankles, visiting great-aunts and early meetings. We popped the film into the old dvd player and started watching. It was boring. We kept watching. It became uncomfortable watching people fighting and begging for change for their animals' upkeep and letting their dog attack someone else's dog and so about half an hour in we stopped the movie.

The other movie available (besides watching the Passion of the Jew for the third time) was 11'09''01 - September 11. While it seems an odd choice for a celebratory day, I highly recommend seeing this film. It's a series of short films about September 11th made by filmmakers from all over the world. Most are serious, some touching, a little bit funny, and a few are heart-wrenching. It really wouldn't do them justice to describe, so just watch.

A recap: Avoid Animal Love like the plague; rent 11'09"01 as soon as possible.