Category Archives: zEverything Else

Restaurants, Foodieism, Obesity, First-World Whining (My Own)

Yesterday, while chatting with my friend at the park about the need–again–to think up something for dinner that wasn’t sucky and wasn’t boring and wasn’t lame (I have the most trouble with vegetable dishes, and I was tired of frozen vegetables and leafy green salads), I had an Actual Thought about Society. I haven’t had one of these in a while, and I’m not sure why; maybe it’s because my exposure to news is so limited, or maybe because I am behind on my podcasts, but whatever it is, this Actual Thought sprang out of my head fully formed like the goddess Athena. It Made a Connect between seemingly disparate things, and even if there is absolutely no data available to support my thought, and it could be one of those random collections of observations that–should I be lucky enough–graduates to the status of Factoid and/or Urban Legend, I’ll be pleased.

I never did find any nice pictures to break up the wall of text that this blog post became, but I helpfully bolded key terms so you can skim the damn thing and more or less catch the gist of it. Meanwhile, enjoy this video clip that I promise is relevant.

The beauty of this is its simplicity. Once a plan gets too complex, everything can go wrong.

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Some Things I Did You Don’t Know About

1. I read Clash of Kings, the second installment of the Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I liked it while I was reading it, and I honest to goodness cannot tell you why or what I liked about it and I’d forgotten all about having read it. I had been really excited about more Danaerys because she was such a favorite character in the first book (and the first season of the HBO series), and I was very, very disappointed in her appearances. Also, there were like forty extra pages of appendix and excerpt material at the end of the book, and I was really sad when the book ended about forty pages earlier than I thought. I’d sort of hunkered down in a cozy place to finish out the book, and although it wasn’t a terrible ending, I was not prepared for my cozy reading evening to be interrupted like that.

2. I totally got tools out of the garage and busted into a bedroom that had locked and shut itself and drilled right right through the doorknob to get the damn thing opened. Nobody really knows when the door was locked on account of it having been latched into an open position, and unlatching the door to vacuum behind it set it free. While we were out, a cross breeze did us in. It wasn’t even one of those locks you could pop open from the outside with a tiny screwdriver or anything; this had tumblers and pins for some unfathomable reason). I mean, I can fathom why a door lock had tumblers and pins; I cannot fathom why a lock of this caliber had been installed on this door in the first place. It’s the other bedroom that has the wet bar in it. I cannot fathom why we didn’t replace this door knob when we replaced the door knob on the bathroom after the baby locked himself in it. (He played happily with the toilet paper the whole time I was removing the door knob.) I suppose we’d gotten used to the door being latched open (I was so sick of that door slamming shut in a room that had no need for privacy) that we’d just forgotten about it.

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More Women in Skepticism

I’ve started a new blog!

More Women in Skepticism: A Handy Guide to Addressing Sexism within the Ranks

I’ve started a blog to list strategies skeptics can employ to increase the number of women within the ranks. Each day I will post one recommendation that will hopefully provide insight into a woman’s experience within the skeptical movement and a suggestion for a behavior (either to engage in or refrain from) that skeptics can perform if they want more women working for their cause. I have found that it’s always easier to have a productive discussion if it is limited in scope, which my blog is. If all goes according to plan, it will be a space in which people can discuss a woman’s experience without hyperbole and derailment, and maybe open a few minds. I welcome comment and suggestions, especially from people who have experience recruiting members to organizations.

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The Just-So Story of “Property Rights” and Anarcho-Capitalism

Now, I’m no philosopher, or political scientist, or student of history, or social activist, or self-editer, but I know how to type, and I have some free time, and Wikipedia is available, and I have some things on my mind that I need to express, and no one but my thirty daily readers (two regular!) to listen to my 1200-word glurge against Certain Political Theories put forth by Certain People in general, and triggered tonight by a report on what a Certain AM Talk Show Host said in particular, most of which I have already forgotten.

We get into these heated conversations, these Certain People and I, because They have chosen Anarcho-Capitalism as the Morally Correct Way to Live, and it creeps into conversations that are unrelated to politics, and then I get mad. I have many, many beefs with anarcho-capitalism, and I am not at all convinced it is a morally correct way to live, and it might even be silly, and it’s certainly never going to be a system that ever gets implemented in a society of any considerable size, and to get all hot and bothered about it not existing is a waste of time, but I’m unprincipled like that. Also, it’s boring and unimaginative, and that’s really beside the point. And I started to type out a paraphrased transcript of the dinner conversation, but that was also boring, and it ended up being mostly about “Property Rights.”

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Pottermore: The Saturation Point. By “The” I Mean “My.”

I just accidentally found out about Pottermore. Guess what it means? More Harry Potter! In the form of more backstory explaining more answers to all your questions. Worried that you would never find out exactly why so and so did such and such? Tired of speculating about it with fan friends? Losing sleep in the middle of the night because new theories occurred to you that fit textual evidence and opened up new possibilities about characters and their motivations? Well, worry, tire, and lose sleep no more! JK Rowling is thoughtfully creating a new online experience to put to good use all those pages of background information that didn’t make the cut into the books (for lots of reasons, as many of them literary as practical).

Because I am not on any of the mailing lists, I have not been aware that I should be hotly anticipating the launch of this mysterious project that people were suspecting would expand the Potter universe. How expansive Pottermore will be remains to be seen; right now the only option is to register your interest, and there’s an invitation to return July 31, 2011 for more details. The whole shebang is scheduled to open in October.

Click here before proceeding.

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TMI, Or, Too Much Information? Also, Cake.

I’ve been composing this blog mentally since listening to a discussion of the critical reaction to The Killing on the “Firewall & Iceberg” podcast this morning, and it’s gone through a variety of thesis statements and witty titles. I was going to channel my inner Neil Gaiman and call it “Veena Sud Is Not Your Bitch,” until I realized that I have no inner Neil Gaiman and didn’t want to make a fool of myself by presuming so, even facetiously. Then I was going to go on a little Internet Rant about all those people going on Internet Rants about the ending of a show they already didn’t like, but didn’t like even more come Monday morning, but the irony/hypocrisy seized my fingers and I was unable to type. Then it was time for lunch, which was brought to me by a playdate’s parent for free. I didn’t even have to change out of my bathing suit.*

Jack in the Box Egg Rolls**

*Not Shown

**I always thought it was weird that a fast food restaurant could get right old school egg rolls of the kind you can’t even get at Chinese restaurants anymore, until I learned that they make them with MSG. I remember well the year MSG disappeared from all the Chinese restaurants for “health reasons” and “popular demand,” because it was the year egg drop soup became watery and I had to move on to hot and sour.

You can read in a variety of places all about how the show runner of The Killing broke an implicit contract with viewers and insulted them with the ending of the first season and wasted three months of Sundays of people’s time and all kinds of invective ranging from carefully analytic to frothy tirades. All kinds. Critics are mad, fans are mad, and I don’t really understand the rage, but I do understand that there’s rage and there’s Internet Rage, and Internet Rage is a group process that doesn’t necessarily reflect actual emotions on the other side of the keyboard. If I can go by my own habits and the habits of people I post with on boards that discuss TV and other topics. For example, a particularly upsetting episode of, say, The Office Season 3, could have had people seething and hollering in the episode thread, but being funny and charming one minute later in the job thread or the chit chat thread.

Now I have to take a break to put a crumb coat on a cake I’m baking for Husband’s 60-year-old coworker who had a JoP wedding over the weekend and who, if I really had to guess, probably doesn’t need anything as a present. My Aceling of Cakes was excited about making a tiered cake for a while, and claimed first rights to cut off the dome, but now he’s crapping out on the crumb coat. Dude, no one wants to frost the crumb coat. It is admittedly the suckiest of the coats, but it’s the most necessary, especially on a pretend wedding cake with frosting tinted very slightly off-white because I have only real vanilla extract in the house instead that artificial colorless vanilla stuff.

Yes, I Did Drink All That Soda Today

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Dance People

And here we are, Dance People. I’m not addressing Dance People–I am identifying us as Dance People. With a studio affiliation, a rehearsal schedule, and some teeny tiny wardrobe hanging in the armoire (there are no closets in the kids’ rooms). There are bobbie pins in the bathroom, and some new kinds of hair product, and a quick pause in the narrative so I can pry off the O key from the laptop and figure out why it is not generating an O when I type it.

Please enjoy this musical interlude.

Cat fur is the answer. The key cap was removed, and matted cat fur approaching felt had to be pulled out from under the supporting brackets, and then the neighboring I had to be removed to get the rest of it, and then there was a bracket scare. You know when you pry off the key caps to get at the crap beneath the keys and you aren’t careful and one of those tiny little knobs that hold the bracket into its frame breaks? Well, I thought I’d done that. But I hadn’t. What I ought to to do is pry off all the key caps and clean everything out with alcohol and cotton swabs, but I won’t, on account of no spare brackets. Thank you for your patience.

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Decisions, Decisions

My life isn’t all naps and Diet Coke. Here are some decisions I made today.

7 Things I Decided to Do
1. Get up early and take the trolley to go cheer on runners at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. First of all, what a beautiful day. Second of all, watching the runners was very inspiring, even if I never did manage to see my first cousin once removed go by. (Yes, I know how to calculate cousins and removedness, and that’s our actual relationship.) And better still was riding the train a little further west to Old Town for breakfast with all the runners who had participated in the relay half-marathon and were riding on to the finish line to meet their racing partners. Everyone was in such a good mood! Plus the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all, and the handmade corn tortillas at Old Town Mexican Cafe were as delectable as I wanted them to be, even if the salsa there is a little frothy. Tasty, but frothy. It’s not something you see every day. Nor are giant bowls of menudo, but the icky parts were floating below the surface of the soup, so I could pretend everyone was just eating tomato soup.

Not Tomato Soup

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Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

For the past few days, I’ve been meaning to get out of this slump I’ve been in for a good year or more and write up something to post on the blog that wasn’t a book review (still reading The Plague). I never got around to it. I am still not doing it, but at least I am proffering an explanation. And you can also comfort yourself with the knowledge that, if the multiverse theory put forward by Brian Greene and the writers of Fringe is to be believed, my alternate self has written a very funny, insightful, pertinent blog post that tapped into some vague discomfort you had with the world you couldn’t quite put your finger on but totally explained everything so you can see perfectly clearly now.

It’s possible that I have misrepresented the multiverse as put forward by Dr. Greene. A schooling on the subject would be a good use of the comments section. Have at it. Oh! And it’s also true that I haven’t seen more than the first season of Fringe, either, and could be wrong on that account as well. But I’m already on the waitlist for Season 2 at the library.

Things I Thought about Blogging about and the Reasons I Decided against Them:

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The Devil Went Down to Georgia

The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ‘cos he was way behind: he was willin’ to make a deal.
When he came across this young girl countin’ on her fingers and countin’ ’em hot.
And the devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said: “Girl, let me tell you what:
“I bet you didn’t know it, but I’m a finger counter, too.
“And if you’d care to take a dare, I’ll make a bet with you.
“Now you count some pretty good fingers, girl, but give the devil his due:
“I bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, ‘cuz I think I’m better than you.”

You’ve got Charlie Daniels running through your head, you’re going to have some finger-counting problems, and I do. I’ve been spending the morning (well, about forty-five minutes) working on a math problem (with breaks for surfing the Internet) trying to decide what to do with a credit card balance that just graduated from its no-interest promotional fee to the default Screw You situation.

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