Monday, August 25, 2008

Un Chapeau Nouveau

I received a box in the mail on Saturday. No surprise, as I had ordered a couple of books (including volumes 4 and 5 of Harmsworth's Household Encyclopedia - woo hoo!). However, when I finally opened the box it contained a brand spanking new Dead Guy hat. Apparently some kind soul out there read my entry and ordered me a new hat, without dust stains and the like adorning it - how cool is that?

So, mystery gifter, if you're in the mood to purchase me another present, I'd like a spinning wheel, an electronic yardage measurer, and a drum carder so I can make my own yarn. My apartment isn't quite full enough of yarn, and being unemployed I really can't afford to purchase more so I'd like to make my own.

Thank you.

Ms Feral

Sunday, August 24, 2008

While Working in the Laboratory Late One Night

I received a comment on my photo of Dolores Fuller, who represents my idea of the successful lab assistant-type from such fine films as "Bride of the Monster"; the commenter said that they didn't think I could pull off a facial expression as dumb as Dolores, and suggested Bebe Daniels as a role model instead.

Now, don't get me wrong, I adore Bebe, she was in "42nd Street", a great musical. However, she never played a lab assistant. In my searches, though, I recalled a late, great actress with tons of horror movie cred who played a lab assistant - Fay Wray.

Fay was the woman for whom King Kong braved bullets and planes to try and keep her love (NB how that affair ended - that's why, much as I love Gojira, I would never try to date him; size does matter at a certain point, folks).

Fay also starred in a B movie entitled "The Vampire Bat", which also starred Melvyn Douglas as his urbane, witty, sexy self, and Lionel Atwill as his suave, charming, wicked self.

Fay, of course, is sweet and trusting, but no idiot, even in roles such as this. Lionel Atwill is a mad scientist of the less-than-nice variety, coercing a subordinate into killing villagers for their blood. Melvyn Douglas is the law enforcement official, as much as a village like that is going to have, and is in love with Fay Wray, who is Lionel's lab assistant. Here are a few screen captures from the film:

Left to right: Atwill, Wray, Douglas, all chatting it up like the best of friends. Notice she is wearing PPE in the form of a lab coat.

Here is Atwill menacing poor Fay after she finds out what a crazed loser he is.

Here's a nice composed shot - notice the shadow on the far left, the weird apparatus, and then Fay on the right hand side, elements that draw one's eye somewhere besides the center of the frame...oops, I sound like a film school student. My apologies.

The only problem I see with Fay is that she's a lot less, er, buxom than yours truly, whereas Dolores Fuller is not. So I think I will simply have to strive to bring a Fay Wray sensibility to my Dolores Fuller costume. That will require some work. Also, I'll have to find a Melvyn Douglas character to rescue me from the mad scientist, I guess. Although that might not be the worst thing in the world; after all, the women who stay with the mad scientist often end up dead, or a disembodied head in a baking pan, at the end of the film.

So if any of you know of any Melvyn Douglas-types out there, I'll be taking applications. Hey, a girl's gotta be prepared, just like a boy scout, you know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paris Hilton Update

I know you all will be pleased to discover that Paris vows not to write a book until she reads one first, and that she has some sort of prison ant farm. I'm unclear as to whether she has an ant farm in prison, or if she's started a farm for the prison ants; I'm not going to click on the spam link to find out, either.

The Paris Hilton

Friday, August 22, 2008

Paris Hilton

Today's jammie cam features me back at Chez Wilde, eating my beloved yogurt, checking email, doing a little yoga, and preparing for a day of making apricot jam. Yep, more canning, just in case the apocalypse comes sooner rather than later.

Checking my email includes quickly scanning my spam folder, and I see that Paris has been very busy this week. Below is the list of activities attributed to Ms Hilton:

Engaging in oral sex with the New England Patriots (I assume it's the football team, although I suspect poor Paul Revere would rather it were the original patriots);

Losing her vagina because of Dr Phil (I have no idea how that could happen; I expect some pathology journal will be having a huge write-up on this, because it must be a true rarity in the annals of medicine. I'm also curious as to how a second-rate psychologist could make it happen; I would think that major surgery would be involved);

Coming close to bankruptcy (the cost of vagina-removing surgery, perhaps? She should have asked the Patriots to help out with some cash);

Being asked to operate the LHC (the big ol' particle accelerator that potentially could produce micro black holes...who better to be involved, eh?);

I'll skip the one about her swallowing - it's probably related to the New England Patriots social event;

Oh, apparently the Patriots were not the only lovers she took this week, as she hooked up with some space aliens and is apparently having their love child;

And finally, she got caught not wearing any knickers (consider her sexual activities for the week, I'd be more surprised to find out she had any on).

So for those of you who think I'm having too much fun, my time since being off the job hasn't remotely compared to this, even whilst hanging out in the Bat Cave (I was watching Star Trek, after all). In fact, I've not gotten a single invite to the Large Hadron Collider events, something I'm mightily peeved about. Maybe I need to move up to a better class of Mad Scientist; although I think Egon has the potential to create a huge rift in the fabric of space and time, I'm not getting any younger. I want to achieve my goal of being a B-movie lab assistant - complete with angora sweater - before I end up needing a walker. I don't want my screams of terror to be mistaken for an attack of gout.

Below: Dolores Fuller from "Bride of the Monster" - I think I could get away with a similar look, don't you?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unemployed Slacker

Firstly, apologies to my readers for being so neglectful of their needs. I have indeed been rather busy this week. I'm still spending a fair amount of time at the Bat Cave - they liked my strawberry nut bread enough to let me continue stealing high-speed internet access from their super important processes. And I have indeed been doing that. There are still a few Star Trek episodes I want to see ;-)

Also on Tuesday I spent the day canning - pickled beets and pickled red cabbage. These are things, I realize, that are likely to only appeal to southerners, so it's okay with the author if you read this while making faces and going, "Eeeeew! Gross!" That will just leave more for the rest of us.

I also had writing group last night - the toughest editor in the group says my whaling novel is coming along swimmingly. Ha! Such a witty group. Later in the evening I was discussing the writing group with my Mad Scientist friend and explaining the other pieces reviewed. I said one of them was a memoir (about the writer's experiences as an alien abductee aboard a Vulcan space ship that got sucked into some time distortion and ended up in the mid-20th century), and explained the difference between a memoir and an autobiography. My friend suggested that I should write a memoir about my sister - something that, I must admit, had never occurred to me before.

However, it would be a fitting thing; after all, my love of letters, literature and writing have very much to do with her introducing me to books that held my interest and left me wanting more. The difficulty, of course, is writing about something so close to the heart - finding words to describe the decades of non-verbal communication that passed between us, for example, or even the simple task of trying to fully grasp the imprint one's sibling has left on one's life. A daunting task, a challenge to be sure, but I think I will take this one up.

Now, what would make such an endeavor perfect is if I can set it on an island populated by dinosaurs from a prehistoric theme park gone wrong....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Staying Fashionable

One of my favorite sites, Vintage Stitch-o-rama, had a wonderful article on making your own Victorian hairpieces. I see a great opportunity here for unemployed yours truly - I can make old school hair extensions!

And what's better is that I found the entire volume from which these articles were taken on Google books. I could start my own industry. And no, I'm not going to tell you whether I'm collecting any of the hair I use from my bathtub drain - I refuse to give away any trade secrets. But I think I might want a finer mesh basket to go in the tub...and my friend's tubs...

Portrait of the Author - I wonder if he's wearing any homemade hairpieces?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Here in the Bat Cave I get excellent internet access - faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Ooops, I'm mixing up my superheroes here. At any rate, one of the things I've been doing is knitting to Star Trek The Original Series. CBS has some episodes on their site from the first season HDTV remasters; I don't know that, for most folks, these HDTV episodes are that big of an improvement over the remasters of just a couple of years ago, but since I don't have any of these on dvd at home, I'm enjoying the access I'm getting in the Bat Cave.

Now I cannot honestly claim that Star Trek was the best thing to ever happen to television (Hello - The Simspons? Blackadder? I, Claudius?), but through constant association with die hard fans over the years, I've developed a comfortable relationship with the series. And it's not just the pleasure of listening to Shatner sing "Mr Tamborine Man" or Nimoy sing "Proud Mary" (although these are indeed highlights of late 20th cent. culture, don't get me wrong.).

For example, my sister collected all the pocket paperbacks with stories based on episodes, and in junior high school I read them through at least once. Some of them were very well written, and more than one story had an ending much more interesting than what was shown on tv. The episode where they visit the planet of the Greek gods, and the female crewmember was raped by Zeus, for example, has the young woman pregnant at the end of the printed version; but of course the tv show couldn't have someone getting pregnant by a deity, not in 1960-whatever.

However, my greatest pleasure are the episodes of the first season. The show had a real budget, and it was used to great effect. Nice sets, lots of colored gels on the lights, carefully posed shots, interesting camera angles - if you ignore those instances of overacting by Shatner and Kelley, the first season is complete eye candy. And the music was really nicely done, too - again, it's obvious that great care was taken to make it work, and work well. And don't get me started on the sound effects - wonderful things done by talented musicians and effects artists simply by using tape, reel-to-reel tape. I totally love the sound effects (and I've tormented more than one person with that love).

So for any of you who have a great connexion, I recommend going to the CBS site and looking for the HD Star Trek episodes, Season One. Watch "The Conscience of the King" with Kodos the Executioner (not to be confused with Kodos from the Simpsons); and don't worry about the plot and dialog. Look at how carefully the show was filmed, listen to how nice the music cues are - such visual imagination deserves to be noticed.

Please don't confuse me with Kodos the Executioner!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mad Howls

I just now had cause to try and explain why all my blogging refers to 'mad howls', and so I thought I'd share the reference with my dear readers, all four or five of them. It's part of a speech from Shakespeare's "The Life of King Henry V", Act III Scene iii. I have my bff to thank for this, since she made me watch the Kenneth Branagh film of the play 100 times or so.

Here's the passage whence comes the term:

If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,
And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes,
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen.

One of my few subtle literary references, folks - it's what allows me to pass for an intellectual from time to time ;-)

And yes, Henry sounds not quite so nice when you see the words in print, rather than having them delivered by a young and charming British actor.


Anyone who has talked to me for more than 15 minutes should know that I spent the most formative years – and some of the most traumatic – in Porkland, Washington, a small community southeast of Tacoma. I’ve tried to explain what Porkland is like to those unfamiliar with the place, but it’s really difficult to convey the reality. My parents became more disappointed and disillusioned with their community over the years, to the point that my mother and I now have a “Porkland is in the news again” watch in order to exchange news of the latest atrocity.

But before I begin listing said atrocities, let me give you a little census information about Porkland, courtesy of Wikipedia:

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 24,053 people, 8,869 households, and 5,782 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,267.2 people per square mile (1,261.8/km²). There were 9,340 housing units at an average density of 1,268.7/sq mi (490.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 73.91% White, 8.07% African American, 1.04% Native American, 6.64% Asian, 1.81% Pacific Islander, 2.06% from other races, and 6.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.33% of the population.

There were 8,869 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.8% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 16.9% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $39,653, and the median income for a family was $46,210. Males had a median income of $36,169 versus $27,036 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,649. About 10.6% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

It’s not a large population, and I don’t think it qualifies as densely populated (not like my neighborhood in Seattle). But boy, it sure is a sick population. Let’s check out the news stories for this year:

August 10th: A 55-yr-old cancer patient, neglected for several days by his caretaker and his daughter, became puppy chow for his 27 dogs. This was discovered after the daughter dropped him off at the emergency room. Apparently a neighbor had been forced to help the man on previous occasions because of this neglect, and animal control had been called about the dogs a few months ago when a woman was attacked by one of them. I’m sure readers will be shocked to know that his prescription painkillers were missing.

July 29th
: A 23-yr-old Porkland man phoned for help as the baby he was watching had apparently died in its crib – according to him, after falling several times and being crushed by a bookcase. Oh, he did shake her and squeeze her in an attempt to calm her after her calamities, and yeah, he did accidently whack her head against a wall, but, dude, that was totally an accident. The coroner came up with slightly different results – skull fractures and evidence of a ‘massive blow’ to the 1-yr-old’s abdomen. The police interrogated the bookcase and found no evidence that it had fallen over.

July 28th: A 40-yr-old man was beaten with a stick (or bat – the news stories are conflicting) and then shot inside his home. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. There was no reported reason for the assault.

May 31st: A church employee in the process of locking up the church was stabbed in the arm by a nutcase.

May 28th
: Toddler was fatally beaten by mother’s loser boyfriend. He had a previous conviction for assaulting a child. The child’s father had continually complained to CPS about the treatment the child was receiving in his mother’s home, but to no avail.

May 7th: A 31-yr-old man was shot several times in a dispute with another man. The suspect was arrested shortly after the incident.

You know what, I’m going to stop now. I can’t go through another four months of Porkland drama; and I’ve left out the tragic house fires (they also happen several times a year) and drunk drivers and organized crime. If I went back to last July I’d have to include the serial-killer pedophile, and I really don’t want to write about him. Depressing, isn’t it. Admittedly there wasn’t this level of violence occurring when I lived there, but I have not been surprised at the evolution of the place from redneck nightmare to violent redneck nightmare.

So next time you hear of some horrific event in Piercing County, make a little bet with yourself as to whether it happened in Porkland or not.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch some Simpsons to get the taste of pork out of my mouth, if you will.

ETA: Goat Girl made an excellent observation in the comments section, although I disagree with how far her premise actually accounts for such a life as many live in Porkland. And I offer her my sincere condolences on her plum bushes.

To The Bat Cave, Boy Wonder!

I reported yesterday that my Mad Scientist friend would be traveling about, conducting his deranged works wherever needed; however, before he departed he performed a deed of great kindness, arranging for me to hide out in the Bat Cave, since temperatures are in excess of 30 degrees C (don't know what that means in Fahrenheit? Shame on you!) today, and it's expected to be the same tomorrow.

I must say, the Bat Cave is much, um, differently appointed than one is led to believe from all the films and comix. First of all, it's located off a grotto - it ain't just some hole-in-the-ground:

Very nice indeed! But the actual work area is, well, unique in the annals of office decor, if you ask me:

I suppose it is what should be expected of a man who runs around in a rubber and vinyl suit and beats people up after dark - I'm surprised I haven't run into him on Capitol Hill on a weekend evening - but I'm being treated very well, plenty of food, no one is bothering me, and it's delightfully cool in here. Sooooooo nice and cool.

I hope all my readers (all four of you!) are staying out of the heat this weekend - ciao!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Down the Drain

If I remember correctly, I previously referred to some plumbing issues I was having at home - my kitchen sink drain had slowed to a pre-global warming glacial pace, making the washing of dishes extremely challenging. Well, yesterday the landlord came over with some high level chemical warfare to use on the pipes, along with an exorcist to cast out any demons who might have taken up residence in or near the clog. It took eight hours for the chemicals to work, and eight hours for the exorcist to complete his ritual. Mind you, this is in a studio apartment the size of two MegaDyneCorp Technologies cubicles. I don't know if you've ever spent 8 hours trapped with a ritual-crazed priest under such conditions, but let me tell you, an iPod is an essential piece of technology at such times.

In the end, though, after all the incense cleared and hot water was run through the pipes, I was able to wash my dishes in the normal fashion.

And so that my former coworkers know that someone in my life is still giving me a difficult time, I told one of my friends that my plumbing horrors had been eliminated, and she asked if I'd been washing my dishes while I showered. I replied no, and she then suggested that I could have washed them while bathing. Ah yes, that would have been nice, taking a lovely soak with a good book, only to notice waterlogged chunks of pasta and tomato floating past...

My week has not been all that exciting - much catching up around the house after the very busy week I had last week. Egon the Mad Scientist will be gone for the next week or two - I'm not clear exactly what he'll be doing while he's gone. After all, just because I assisted with his manifesto doesn't mean I'm privy to all his secrets. Perhaps he's meeting with a foreign government to aid them in increasing their power in the global economy. Or he could be assisting some other deranged researcher with their own secret projects. Maybe he's scored a stint as a technical adviser with some show on the SciFi channel. Then again, maybe he's going to be a contestant on "The Wheel of Fortune." If the Fates were to smile upon me, he'd be going somewhere to invent a self-cleaning kitchen drain, but that seems unlikely.

So today I'm hiding in the library, cooling off (they really could crank the a/c just a bit more - I think the books are sweating). Soon I'll be moving to the fourth floor, my favorite hideout. Time to get back into the serious writing groove - 19th century whaling novels set on steam powered submarines just don't write themselves, after all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Monday

Here 'tis, Monday again. My weekend was jam-packedwith activities. The wedding on Friday was quite lovely - by far the most thoughtfully worded ceremony I've ever attended. It was a great event, and if anyone mistook me for a failed scientific experiment, I was unaware of it. So yes, I spent Friday afternoon brushing up on raccoon chatter for no good reason.

I danced until I had blisters on my feet (that would be something like three or four dances, I believe). Egon the Mad Scientist is quite the terpsichorean and dances one mean quadrille. Louis Quinze has nothing on him, I tells ya!

The wedding was also an opportunity to chat with another geoduck who actually attended Geoduck U the same time I did; we fairly trashed a couple of faculty in the course of a 20 minute conversation, always a bonding experience for alumni.

Saturday I had a bbq to attend, so I assisted in the creation of a blueberry cheesecake (bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! no tasty cheesecake for you, dear readers, bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!). It was indeed a tasty cheesecake, with a magnificent, decadent crust. Mmm...cheesecake. I found a kindred spirit who also loved the tv series "UFO" as well as the Simpsons' parody of George Lucas's Phantom Menace (or Phantom Script, as I call it - sorry, Star Wars fans, I'm too old and cranky to be able to love any ol' thing with the Star Wars name attached).

My Sunday was co-opted by the Mad Scientist - he actually wanted my assistance in writing his first Manifesto! I was more than thrilled; I have a soft spot for manifesti of all types, and was interested to see his specific ideas for achieving world dominance, and what he would do with it once the goal was attained. No, no, don't ask me for details - I've been sworn to secrecy. I will say I was disappointed to notice a lack of plans for killer robots or the creation of a Godzilla-like creature, but I will work on trying to get those included. Stay tuned for updates.

We relaxed to some lovely episodes of Red Dwarf Season Six - Gunman of the Apocalypse is probably one of the finest episodes of the series, and always a great one to share with a friend.

Earlier in the week I attended my (former) department's picnic event. It was also a chance to say good-bye to some of the folks from the group that was sold off to Globex Corporation. We losers, er, former coworkers were given photo ops with the headlines in the paper that very day announcing that MegaDyneCorp Technologies was laying off a whole bunch of people.

It was nice to be there, hanging with the crowd, and watching the few brave and competitive spirits vying for prizes. I also negotiated alimony with my faux hubby - my alimony will be in the form of sausage. Yes, one day I'm expecting home-made chorizo for my dining pleasure.

Thursday, hmmm, I hung out with my bff and her son, a young man of 25, a youth with whom I spent many hours playing nintendo, exposing him to punk rock, and encouraging him to...alright, alright, I totally helped warp this kid's mind. I admit it. He still managed to get into the Air Force in spite of my corrupting influence - I'm sure he simply omitted mention of the fact that he knows me. It was fun chatting and I received a couple of cans of Japanese coffee to bring home; it's not bad iced, I must say. Japan and their vending machines.

Well, I apologize for this not being a better conceived post, but I mostly wanted to catch up my vast legions of admirers on my recent activities. I'm sure I'll return to a verbose and redundant state in short order.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I had my first spa-pedi today...and possibly my last, of course, as I am unemployed. I must say, it was a lovely, bone-melting experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone in need of pampering and relaxation. And now I have lovely vermilion toe nails.

All this is being done in honor of my friend's weeding this evening. I'm pretty much fine looking like an unemployed hippie bum these days, but not for an event that's cocktail attire. The Mad Scientist, attending a second wedding within one month, said he thought appropriate wedding attire should be au naturel. Frankly, I like the idea; not that I'm dying for the world to see me sans clothing, but if you show up to a wedding like that in a bath towel you're overdressed. Things don't get any simpler than nekkid.

I hope that doesn't make me sound churlish about dressing up for a very special event (and one that I'm very, very pleased to see taking place). Mostly I'm paranoid about looking like crap. I did at least seek the Nordstrom salesperson's assistance - and I have her card, so if I get laughed at, I'll be coming after her. She assured me of the following: I did not look fat in the dress, it was not too tight, there was not too much of me showing, yes my black lace bra straps would look fine underneath the sheer part of the dress, yes I really should skip hose and go with my bare legs, yes even with the bruises on them, yes my legs look fine in the dress, no I don't need a jacket or cape to cover up everything that people can actually see, yes she was sure I looked fine. Soooooo, we'll see. If there aren't any photographs of me, you'll know the photographer didn't think I was worth wasting film on.

If I were going solo I'd be a little less concerned, but I am going in the company of my Mad Scientist friend and I don't want to look like one of his failed experiments. No one wants to be the subject of this conversation:

"Hey, Egon, is this that half human/half racoon experiment you were talking about? I must say, even if it is a bit unsightly, it does have nice manners."

I must be too relaxed from the spa-pedi because I'm finding my own blog too funny...

So in 45 minutes or so I take my serious shower, wash my hair and make a feeble attempt to style it (when you actually plan for your attempt to be feeble it generally is), start working on the make-up, and rubbing nice lotion on all the parts the salesperson told me not to cover up. I'm so tempted to just wear an abayah. I did at least pick up a pashmina, so I can cover quite a bit if needed. I can just wrap myself up in it and hide in a corner like some sort of ninja-mummy...OMG, I think I just invented a new film genre! No wait, the mummy film that just came out has Jet Li. Damn! Oh, of course everything I'm wearing is black. That's why I'd look like a ninja mummy as opposed to a regular mummy.

I've been very busy this week - and I think I'm going to busy this weekend, but I'll do my best to catch everyone up as soon as I can.

For now, I've got to brush up on my racoon chatter, just in case I really am the subject of that conversation.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays

But not me, dear readers! No, I had a lovely weekend. Oh yes, I caught everyone up through yesterday housework yesterday, nor yoga. Instead, I received a call from my Mad Scientist friend sometime after the noon hour proposing a few hours helping him with some experiment he was conducting and then a lovely dinner afterward. What can I say, I've spent too many years in an R&D environment to pass up the opportunity to play lab assistant, like in some 1950's B-grade horror film. It was too warm for me to wear a tight sweater, though, which is sad. Female lab assistants always look better in a sweater, particularly one that shows off their, er, charms. For my labors I was rewarded with sushi at my favorite sushi eatery, Hana on Capitol Hill. Yoshi did his usual excellent job in making me a very happy woman in the sushi department. {And no, you naughty people out there, the experimentation did not include any behaviour inappropriate to a Victorian drawing room, except for the occasional double entendre.}

Oh, I accidentally trashed my new hat, acquired Saturday, by mistaking it for my old hat in the frantic search for my PPE yesterday. That's what I get for my hubristic photographic display. Now the new hat has become the old hat, and the old hat is no longer with me. It's a good thing that I'm comfortable with my own studipity.

I did tell Mad Sci Guy that I scored a faux-spouse for the wake on Saturday - full disclosure, blah blah blah. He was impressed that I managed to acquire one for a few hours, and even more impressed that fake-hubby was wearing a kilt. In fact, my friend is threatening to get a utilikilt of his own; Ms Feral will let you know if that does indeed come to pass. More kilts, more happy girls and guys in the world.

This is going to be a brief post - I've got a noon appointment, and I'm still unshowered - but I have to clarify something. Rabbit in Red accused me of being a McCain supporter because I was critical of Obama; I'd rather be stabbed with a handful of forks than have John McCain as president (sorry, Republicans, that be the truth of the matter). I hope that doesn't mean I have to be completely uncritical of Obama. He can tie - or attempt to tie - drilling to whatever alternative energies he likes, but history indicates what happens when one begins to go down these slippery slopes, no matter how good the intentions. I've had enough disasters in my life, personal and societal, to know that 99.99999999999% of the time, you still end up on your ass at the bottom of your slippery slope, covered in muck, hopefully mostly mud but sometimes less appealing substances instead. My stance on hoping for change remains unaltered. Quarters, please, for the laundry machines.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eeeew! Spiders!

This morning when I opened my front door an icky spider had constructed his home completely across my doorway. The nerve! Never fear - I dug into my arsenal of nano-nuclear weaponry to find one of my anti-spider missiles and handily dispatched him to spider Valhalla (and I really don't want to know what goes on in spider Valhalla, thank you).

I've been away from the tubes of the interwebz for a few days (for those not in the know, esteemed Alaska Senator Ted Stevens conceives of the internet as a series of tubes; the only thing appealing about that image is a recurring fantasy of Robert DeNiro a la "Brazil" busting into my apartment to repair my internet connection as well as my ducts...). I'll start with Wednesday evening.

I finally presented something for my reading group to peruse. They said I was redundant and verbose. Me? Redundant and verbose? Redundant and verbose? Me? Really? Redundant? Verbose? Hmm. Redundant and verbose. Maybe a little verbose. Redundant? Never. I'm not the least bit redundant. They did have a couple of nice things to say about my writing voice, and catching a nice 18th tone in my narrative. But redundant? I'm not the least bit redundant. Not at all. Maybe a little verbose.

However, as with any good spanking, inspiration was nonetheless derived, making me want to spend the next month in the stacks at Suzzallo, researching steam-powered submarines and whaling with a vengeance...but I've still got other things to attend to. Housework. Bills. Finding out when I can start collecting unemployment.

Thursday, on the way to the mater's house I stopped in at work. It was rather like a high school reunion - it was great to see everyone, and it took me forever to get in and out. I told them my tales of woe on being unemployed - sleeping in until 7:30, lying in bed for an hour or so to contemplate my day's activities, thinking about my blog entry, looking out the window and contemplating the universe...they didn't have much sympathy for my plight.

Thursday and Friday were mostly spent in pursuit of maternal errands and quests - life just doesn't get more enthralling than standing in line at Costco, I tells ya. I did get a copy of "Dr Strangelove" for my troubles, and expect to amuse myself with it sometime today. Woo hoo!

Yesterday was the memorial service for a recently deceased coworker. A very nice and proper memorial service was held in his honor yesterday afternoon...however, said service didn't really represent the entertainingly subversive coworker we all knew well. I mean, where was the vermin? So after the service and meet-and-greet reception that followed, the less reputable of us retired to the Rogue brewery in Issaquah to drink a toast to our departed friend with a pint (or several) of Dead Guy Ale . DG, our departed friend, was an award-winning home brewer, and Dead Guy was one of his favorite beverages.

I downed half a pint (I like the stuff, but beer is too many calories for too little bang), and then moved on to Maker's Mark, a move DG would have thoroughly approved of. My kilt-wearing friend JB was my escort and fake husband for the event (his wife was out of town, camping with their kids, so I was the wife-for-a-day and he was my fake husband); we were everything prim and proper, except for the conversation around the Kobe Beef Bleu Balls they served there...and no, I'm not going to enlighten those who were not in attendance. Some things can only be fully appreciated in their immediate context. I reported to JB that a woman in the restaurant sporting a Dead Kennedys hoodie (she probably wasn't even born the first time I saw them live) was definitely checking out my faux-hubby in his kilt; I did tell my readership that he looks really cute in it. It's all in the attitude, lads, just in case you're wondering how he gets away with it.

Ah, y'all are wondering what my Mad Scientist friend might have to say on the subject of me acquiring a faux spouse for a few hours? Well, I was unmarried when we chatted yesterday at about 4:30 PM, and I was single again about 5 hours later, so I don't know that there's much he can make of it. Maybe it will inspire him to consider donning a kilt, though. There's definitely a lack of kilt-wearing men in this town, and I'd love to see more of them.

My day today? Hmmmm, yogurt (I've only had coffee today), shower, put laundry away, put groceries away, vacuum, yoga, maybe Dr Strangelove. Never a dull moment at Chez Wilde.

All caught up on my exciting life now, so let me leave my readers better informed about their world than when they started reading this post.

In case you haven't been paying attention, Obama says he will support limited off-shore drilling to ease gas prices. Yep, that will solve all our energy problems; we should concentrate on that instead of long-term solutions to energy production, consumption, and just living more sustainably. The only change I dare hope for is quarters for the laundry machines in my apartment building, sad to say.

More importantly, and much closer to my heart, is a new ISO standard for the proper cooking of pasta - woo hoo! For those who cannot wait, however, here is a submission from the Annals of Improbable Research for the proper cooking of pasta:

2008-07-10 Piero's Preliminary Pasta Procedure

Hunger for the standard, and hunger in itself, demand at least one recipe. Here, from Italy, is a pert, 46-word specification from Italian chemist and rock star and LFHCfS 2002/3 Man of the Year Piero Paraidino:

"To 3 L of already boiling water containing 2 tablespoons of NaCl add 250 g of raw Italian pasta. Boil the mixture for 9 minutes, then recover the solid by filtration. Add 20 cl of extravirgin olive oil and a previously warmed dressing of your choice."

The Annals of Improbable Research is one of those sites on which it is very easy for me to lose hours of my life; I hope to lose a couple of hours there next time I'm on campus stealing wifi from my Alma Mater.

That's it for today; hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday will find me inspired to new heights of verbosity and redundancy!