| Friday, July 30, 2004
No, we haven't been to the birthday drinkies yet. It's just this funny game that Kathleen sent me. The goal is to get your little drunk guy to walk as far as possible by correcting his motion with your mouse. (My best score was, like, 39 meters.) Kathleen quite astutely noted that the character bears an awfully close resemblance to the Snook!
So I've nearly finished my first full month at the new job. Go me! Some notable milestones and highlights:
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Monday, July 26, 2004
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Remember this game? I give you the setup for a commercial on Australian television that is currently infuriating me, and you guess the conclusion and what product is being sold. (Sorry Aussies, but you'll have to sit this one out.) Here we go: A nice yuppie-looking couple are sitting down to tea at Grandma's house. As the old lady sets down the tray, her budgie (pet bird) flies past and - unbeknownst to Granny - craps in the wife's teacup. Yes, we actually see it plop. Thinking quickly, the wife mentions to Granny that one of the kids has started swimming lessons, and wouldn't she like to look at the picture on the mantel? As the husband helpfully distracts the old woman, the wife gets an idea...
How does she avoid drinking the tea without offending Granny? (Note: This is a commercial so we can't assume she does anything rational like, oh, point out that the budgie just pooped in her cup. That would be too easy.) So what does she do and what product is this advertising?
As the Snook daily complains about how "frickin' freezin'" it is in the mornings, I decided to knit him these Broad Street Mittens from Knitty to keep him warm. They're basically fingerless gloves with mitten shells attached to the knuckles. There's a loop at the top of the mitten that you slip over a button on the cuff to keep them from flapping around. Cool, huh? I used some of the Bendigo sock wool I got at the Craft Fair last month and they turned out pretty nice. It wasn't nearly as hard to knit gloves as I thought it would be. I churned these out fairly quickly too, despite the small gauge. (I figure it was about 10 hours or so per hand.) Now to knit some for me!
As usual with Knitty patterns, I ran into a couple snags and at least one outright error. Read on for my (voluminous) knitting notes... [more...]
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Bad idea: Thinking this could be easily accomplished.
Bad idea #2: Getting the syringe-with-goo stuff instead of the tablet.
Bad idea #3: "Okay Snookums, you wrap her up in a towel and hold her still while I squirt it in her mouth."
As you might expect, this led to her clamping her jaw, freaking out, and whipping her head around so that what little goo I managed to squeeze out ended up all over her chin.
Not-so-good idea: Giving up.
Not-so-good idea #2: Mixing the remaining goo with some food and putting it in her bowl, trusting that even though she'd already eaten dinner, she's a gluttonous little pig and she'd eat it anyway.
She ate it anyway. We felt smug and smart. Fifteen minutes later she puked everything up. We felt stupid. Now we have to do it all over again tomorrow.
Friday, July 23, 2004
Here's what you should never do when you're at home by yourself, sick, on a rainy Monday afternoon: watch that Donnie Darko movie everybody's always raving about. Good grief. I was having paracetamol-enhanced psycho bunny dreams all night. Seriously though, what the hell was up with that film? I can't stop thinking about it. The performances were all great, and I can finally see why folks rave about Jake Gyllenhaal. (He would have made a great replacement for Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2.) The music was fantastic. Even real 80's movies didn't have such great period soundtracks. Patrick Swayze was suitably sleazy in his small role. I'm just not sure I understand what actually happened in the film. Judging by the reviews I've read, not a lot of other people do either. Have you seen it? Do you have a theory? [more...]
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
But in somewhat brighter news, my legs and feet are finally adjusting to standing all day. I took Amy's advice last week and got myself a pair of Kumfs. They're not the sexiest shoes in the world but they make a world of difference.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Apologies for the lite blogging of late... My computer hardware woes continue. Boudicca froze up on me a few days ago so I did a hard reboot. Within seconds loud clicking noises were emitting from the hard drive. Crap. I couldn't get her to boot up properly, not even off the OS X CD. In rode the Snook to the rescue. He downloaded and burned some sort of "Linux rescue disk" and was able to boot me up from that. He then proceeded to back all my crap up over the network. (I'm the worst backer-upper ever.) Then he performed some computer voodoo that resuscitated my OS from the dead. Apparently the problem only occurs when the hard drive starts up, which is why I was getting the problem on booting up and waking from sleep. So now I've got it set to never let the hard drive sleep. As I understand it though, it's only a matter of time before the drive dies altogether. I'm strangely ambivalent. It's been a good run. The iBook has lasted nearly three years, so my Apple Care (if I had it) would be running out soon anyway. I've given some serious thought to having the Snook fit me out with a kickass Linux machine, but there are still a few things holding me back. Despite all the problems and frustrations, there are still so many things on the Mac that "just work." I like how easy it is to transfer my photos and make movies and scan pictures. I know I can do all those things in Linux, but it wouldn't be so seamless. Not to mention the fact that we'd have to do some serious tinkering to get my iPod - which is still going strong - to work with it. So it looks like a new Mac is in my future. I wonder if the new iMacs will be headless...? Hmmm.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Just finished my second week at the new job... and I'm sick as a dog. I started getting a sore throat yesterday at work and now it's turning into a full blown illness of some kind. I'm all hot and muddle-headed. I'm terrified that my wicked tonsilitis from last year will return and I'll have to have them removed. Anybody have any good home remedies for warding off a throat infection? Bonus points if it doesn't involve me gargling anything particularly nasty.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Woman: "Wow, it's really busy in here."
Me: "Yeah, I'm still adjusting to running around on my feet all day!"
Her: "Sure, and especially since you have a bun in the oven..."
Me (after thinking about this for five seconds): "WHAT? I'm not pregnant!"
Her: "Oh my God. I'm so sorry. You just looked like you had a little belly there..."
Me: "It's just this stupid denim apron! Everyone else's is custom-made but I don't have one yet so I have to wear this stupid one that pooches out in the front!"
Her bratty son: "Way to go, Mom."
So yeah. I'm off the detox and back onto the Atkins induction, big time. I'm strangely ambivalent about the end result of the detox. It was rough avoiding meat, dairy, and caffeine for two weeks, but I didn't feel fundamentally much different afterwards. I didn't lose much weight at all. (Granted, I only went to the gym, like, once, but I was running my butt off at the new job.) It certainly "cleaned my intestines" if you know what I mean (and I think you do), but I didn't pass any twenty year old marbles or anything. It was basically just two weeks of low-grade diarrhea. I think I've settled the question in my own mind about whether they're effective or not. I have to admit that it was kinda fun being a fake vegetarian, though. I actually had to send back a dish at a Korean restaurant when it came with seafood on it. I was like, "I'm sorry; I can't eat this. I'm vegetarian." And they were like, "Ohhh! I'm so sorry!" People suddenly started thinking I had ideals and principles and stuff. I almost felt like I could have kept it up if I had any political or moral leanings that way, but... Nah. Hamburgers are still too good.
But anyway, yeah, back to the Atkins. I can't believe that woman. That is the first time anyone has ever said that to me! Maybe I need to go all Mary-Kate and stop eating altogether.
Monday, July 12, 2004
People tend to think of me as a bit of a sci-fi film nerd, but for years I harbored a deep and dirty secret: I'd never seen Blade Runner. Recently I decided to remedy that. The only problem is that the DVD has been discontinued or something, so my local Blockbuster only had one copy that seemed to be perpetually out. Finally last weekend I nabbed it. The Snook hadn't seen the Director's Cut (which was the version I had), so we settled down to watch it together. I was pretty excited. I read the Philip K. Dick book it's based on (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) a few years ago and really liked it, so I figured it couldn't be that bad. Boy was I wrong. Sorry, my fellow SF nerds, but Blade Runner sucks. It is without a doubt one of the worst book-to-film adaptations I've ever seen. It's like they took one single plot point ("cop hunts androids that look like people") and threw out nearly everything else that made the book interesting. Even the few cool things they left in - like the Voigt-Kampff test - were ruined because all sense of context was missing. (The test measures empathic response to taboo questions about dead animals and people, which are especially shocking to humans since nuclear war has killed off most living things. The movie curiously doesn't mention this at all.) Where was the Mercerism? Why didn't Pris and Racheal look like each other? Why did the plot keep messing up how many replicants there were? What happened to Deckard's wife and his aspirations to own a sheep? The whole thing sucked. Yeah, yeah, so it looked cool. It had that whole "future-yet-film-noir" thing going on that critics love to rave about. I'll grant you that. The scenic design was completely visionary. But in terms of plot... I stand by my review. It sucked ass. I'm going to go re-read the book and try to put the sight of Rutger Hauer hooting in his underpants out of my mind.
I had a much more entertaining cinematic experience this afternoon as Amy and I headed out to see Mean Girls. It was pretty good. I do like that Lindsay Lohan (and for the record, I think the boobs are real). My only complaint was that it just didn't seem mean enough, especially with the cheesy feel-good ending. (I read some reviews this afternoon that mentioned how certain scenes and dialogue were tweaked to slide it in under an R rating. That explains the random "Butter your muffin" line, anyway. I wish they'd left it alone.) The high point of the whole movie was when the wheelchair chick said "I don't hate you because you're fat; you're fat because I hate you" and then wheeled herself off the platform backwards. Amy nearly fell out of her seat laughing, and I lost it laughing at her. We're easily entertained. So in the end I felt that Mean Girls was like Heathers-lite. The bus thing was shocking, but it was no "I heard she sucked down a cup of liquid drain opener and smashed through a coffee table", now was it?
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Friday, July 9, 2004
Thursday, July 8, 2004
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
The Good: Well, that was different! I can honestly say I did more work in the past eight hours than I did in the previous four months at Epson. It was all pretty interesting, too. We had a lot more people in than I expected and I was kept busy ringing up sales and helping people find things. I also talked my damn head off. Every knitter in Sydney is going to remember the chatty American! I won't get bored.
The Bad: Man, I am beat. Standing all day is harder than I remembered. My feet kill. And GOD, some of those old ladies are mean! One woman was looking at a really simple mohair scarf we had hanging up so I asked her if she needed help. She said she wanted a pattern for it. I'm like, "Oh, I don't think there is one, really. I'd guess you just cast on 15 stitches and knit every row, changing colors every couple of rows." And she was like, "I can't rely on your 'guess.' I need a pattern!" Whatever, you stupid old Feathers-scarf-wearin' bag!
The Ugly: Oh god. I can hardly bring myself to type it. "How many balls of wool does it take to knit a scarf?" I must've heard that fifty times today. It's like a zen koan. There is no answer! I'm thinking, "Look, there are infinite thicknesses of wool, infinite sizes of scarf, and infinite patterns you can knit on many different thickness of needle, so that means that it would take an infinite number of balls to knit your damn scarf, IDIOT!" By the end of the day I had given up. I just started answering "Four!" with as straight a face as I could muster.
On the plus side, do I not have the cutest hair in the world? This what it looks like with me attempting to dry it without proper round hair brushes. I kinda like its shaggy texture. It's very Melanie Griffiths in Cherry 2000, I think. Just one more and I'll stop, I promise. [more...]
Monday, July 5, 2004
It doesn't make me look old, does it?
Sunday, July 4, 2004
I enjoyed reading Robert's interview so much that I asked to play along. Here are the questions he sent me:
1. You've talked before about the American foodstuffs you miss. However, if you were to move back, what are the Australian ones you would feel like you would die without?
That's a difficult one. I'm trying to think of what I eat now that's distinctly "Australian" that I wouldn't be able to get at home. I'm not a fan of Vegemite so much, but I love Tim Tams. (Those are a big hit whenever I sent some home.) Definitely Oporto's Big Bondi burger. Sweet chili sauce. Roasted Jap pumpkins. Kangaroo fillet. There's actually a lot more stuff I'd miss that I could technically get in the States, but not in the Midwest where I live. Things like good Thai food, macadamias, yum cha, ocean prawns, fresh mangoes, and a decent non-Starbucks cafe latte. Those are the things I'd really miss.
2. What is the one place in the world you have not travelled to yet, but would dearly love to?
Reykjavik. You know, the capital of Iceland. I don't know why. I just like the sound of it. Ooh, and all those hot natural spring baths. Whenever I'd play RISK with my guy friends in college, my (albeit inevitably doomed) strategy was always "Defend Reykjavik."
Read on for the other three questions... [more...]
Yesterday was my last day at Epson. Man, last days are fun. Everybody's nice to you and you get presents and stuff. It makes you wonder why you wanted to leave in the first place! (But only for a second.) We all went out to the Ranch for lunch and then in the afternoon we had the gift presentation. The Head of Marketing gave a very nice speech and then I opened the box (decorated with custom-made Harry Potter wrapping paper by my friend Mardi) to find exactly what I wanted: a fluffy sheep knitting bag! (They're too cheesy for me to buy for myself, but I'll happily take one for free.) It was stuffed with wool and Epson toys. All in all, a very nice send-off. Now I'm just enjoying a couple days' rest before I start at Tapestry Craft on Tuesday.
And in related I'll-sleep-better-now news, the Snook got a raise and promotion at work! So I don't have to worry that my inability to stand my Epson boss any longer is leaving us destitute. Kickass. [more...]
Friday, July 2, 2004
Thursday, July 1, 2004
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