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February 2009 Archives

February 1, 2009

if we all had a duck...

First of all, here is a great story about a man and his duck.

So I've been trying to read more books instead of reading the internet. I'm not sure if the internet has ruined me though, because I have a hard time finding a book I want to read these days. On the internet, its all so instant, instant anything I want. but when I pick up a book, its different and I'm locked in to three hundred pages of what the author wants to write about. So the loml picked me up a Clive Cussler book ('Serpent') from the free book rack, I assume because he knows I've read Clive Cussler in the past.

And all I can say is this: Clive Cussler writes Romance Novels for Men. I don't intend to mock too harshly here, because I read romance novels and I know that just because I read them, doesn't mean that they indicate my actual beliefs about nature of reality. That being said, here is what I have learned from Clive Cussler:

1) As a man, if you aren't at least 6 feet tall, then you are the sidekick.
2) Sidekick or not, you are muscular with sleek hair and piercing eyes (any color).
3) All the featured women are practically 6 foot tall as well.
4) And while the women are never too skinny, they aren't rounded either, but just muscularly slender.
5) A Clive Cussler woman is incredibly smart with advanced degrees in some area that only enhances their elite field work. (a.k.a. She is a female indiana jones)
6) However, no matter how smart, resourceful, or anything the Clive Cussler woman is, she will always need help from the 6-ft-tall-Man because she's going to do something stupid to get in trouble. At least twice.
7) The book will be packed with historical tidbits and technical-ish details to complete the disguise that that this is adventure! NOT a man-romance novel.

So there you have it. Women's romance novels say that women want Fabio. Men's romance novels say that men want Milla Jovovich from the 5th Element.

February 3, 2009

its peeeple

Pro-biotics: This week I'm on the probiotic bus. For those who may be unfamiliar, probiotics are 'live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host’, which for most of us means eating yogurt. I ran into a nutritionist last weekend who suggested that my acid reflux might be improved if I just tried Activia. Now Activia is Dannon's yogurt health drink which is supposed to do any number of magical things. but the main benefit of Activia is that it reduces long intestinal transit time. Oh really? Wow, that's just what I've always wanted! ughhh...

well, i'll say this. If it helps with the acid reflux, which can be its own small hell, I'll give it a go. And I have been actually, for three days now which no apparent effect (no - not even 'reduced intestinal transit time'). but according to all sources, I have to give it 2 weeks. so we'll see.

February 9, 2009

on wit' the crazy

There was small box in waiting in my mailbox when I came home today.

My dawn simulator had arrived. I had ordered it some time last week on the internet, where you can buy anything. Every year, when it starts getting cold and dark, I begin having some serious issues getting out of bed. This was ok when I worked about 10 minutes away from my home, but this year my commute is about 40 minutes. A few weeks ago, it was taking me about an hour to get out of bed after my alarm went off.

So I decided to do something about it. I did some research into light therapy as a treatment for seasonal affect disorder, but there was some concern about the possible fall out (I could damage my eyes, I needed to schedule the treatments correctly, blah blah blah). Then I found dawn simulators, which are some-what related, but without any serious consequences.

Basically, I bought a small electrical do-hickey that I plug my bedroom lamp into. I configure the do-hickey to start working about 30 minutes before I want to wake up. Then what will happen is that my lamp will turn on and gradually get brighter and brighter until it reaches full luminescence (simulating the dawn, see! you get it, right?!).

hahahaha.. so, this is supposed to fool my body into thinking that the sun is shining and its time to get going. So we'll see how it works; I'm plugging it in tonight.

February 12, 2009

when worlds collide...

Tonight a friend asked me out to see a local band she knew, playing at a bar/lounge. This isn't the greatest bar in the world. Its located in the planned downtown area of the not-quite-as-cool part of town. The location used to be a mexican pastry shop (which I was sad to hear because I love pastry) and seemed to be doing theme nights to drum up business. I'd been there once before for techno night, which consisted of ear-killing acoustics and having the oldtimers giving the 'younger' crowd the eye.

but off I went, and the moment I walked into the door I got confused. The entire place was filled with elderly swing-dancers (west coast style) but the music was contemporary. I stumbled off to the bar area only to be accosted by a gentleman who informed me that I had missed the free dance lessons. "Don't worry", I said. "There's still a lot of dancing left over there".

So I sat down to wait, giving the old dude an evil look every time he appeared to be considering talking to me and instead picked up a 19 yr old self-described social butterfly who came over to talk because it made him feel bad to see people sitting alone. "I don't feel bad", i told him. "Oh", he said "Maybe its just me then".

but eventually my friend showed up and the band started playing. but the best part was that, while all of us (friends of the band) were standing around bobbing our heads, the swing dancers decided to take back the floor. Evidently, we weren't using it properly. Turns out that on Thursday night, this bar is the swingin' place for mature adults.

February 14, 2009

V is for ...

now, I hate it when people publicize the details of their lives just so they can rub your face in how awesome your's isn't.. so I'm not going to say anything about how awesome my husband is(you may know him as the loml). Or how he has great taste in gifts.. or how wonderfully thoughtful he can be. nope.

Instead I will give you this link to the funniest thing I've seen today. The Papa John's heart-shaped pizza. oh yes.. it does indeed exist.

February 17, 2009

The Bastille

So a few notes for the day:
One. I feel pretty crappy. I'm on some monthly medication that has that crazy list of side effects where you realize you'd rather die from the illness than actually deal with the fallout. You know, stuff like involuntary bowel movements and the such. But before anyone freaks out, I won't die if I don't take my meds and no, I'm not having a party in my pants either. What I am getting is the worst of "possible joint, muscle, or body pain"... Which means I get all of them. So yay me.

Two. Since I do feel like the awful bits of the cow that no one eats today, I've been spoiling myself. I bought a carton of milk for the office so I can make tea-lattes and even spent the extra fifty-cents to get sugar cubes. Aww yeah, sugar cubes, I can just imagine playing at a tea party. "one lump or two, mister fluffypants?". So I made some tea and opened the box of cubes. And this is where my tea party hit the wall. In an amazing display of efficiency, every cubic millimeter of that box was filled with a sugar cube making it practically impossible to get one out. Instantly I was rueing my lack of foresight in failing to secure some mini tongs. Instead I had to jerry rig a paper clip and jiggle the box upside down. But I got my two lumps. Add some milk and my tea party was a go.

Three. I actually wrote "I spit in this" on my carton of milk before storing it in the fridge. I've never tried it before but there are a lot of coffee drinkers in my office.

Four. Apparently people are fleeing Dubai en mass. Evidently the economic situation has caused a lot of people to default on their loans. And in Dubai, they actually have debtors prison. Wow. I can't even imagine what the u.s. would be like if we had those. Emptier?

February 20, 2009

A love note to 'the consumerist'

The funny thing about group labels is that they can be so descriptive, and yet simultaneously deceptive. We are all consumers. We love buying gadgets from the Internet, economical goods from local retail chains, and monthly services from just about anybody who will perform the job the best and cheapest. However, as consumers, we take more than these materials things. We also consume time, bandwidth, and peace of mind. And these things do not just belong to us, but others as well. So when we ask if consumers are winning (or losing) the battle for better customer service, the questions we really need to consider are, whom are we really fighting against? Who are we fighting for, and for what purpose?

As consumers, we believe that we have the right to buy good products at a decent price. We believe that we have the right to change our minds about our purchase. Most of all, we want to be treated with respect. Rarely are we thinking of anyone but ourselves when we ask for these things.

Several retailers provide a wide variety of goods at a competitive price. They represent in person one-stop shopping at its finest and the ability to return, refund, and exchange. But in the last few years, the amount of people who take advantage of these friendly policies have caused retailers, Costco and Target for example (1), to restrict what items qualify in an effort to stem financial loss due to fraud. Another fine example of fraud is the incidents of people claiming to find human body parts in their food as the basis of their lawsuits against the company (2). These incidents may be the minority of customer interactions, but they are the ones that cost companies in terms of bad publicity, increased employee training, and ill will towards the potential customer. Thus, we collectively suffer a loss to our consumer rights at the hands of ourselves!

But consumers aren't the only ones who have been misbehaving. Another manifestation of loss prevention policies has surfaced in the ritual of requiring customers to present a receipt for inspection before leaving the store. This practice is illegal yet several incidents of less than respectful interactions between customers and store employees have been reported (3).

In the face of falling profits, companies have resorted to deceptive business practices to make money. Sprint has been sued for illegally extending customer contracts (4) and there seems to an epidemic of gyms that won't let people cancel their contracts (5). There is no shortage of people getting the screws put to them by corporate America and to start listing them now would be similar to emptying the see with a tear dropper (6).

So what are we to do? Start heading down to the local Comcast office and start smashing office equipment with a hammer of righteous indignation (7)? The truth is, this is not a battle to be won. Consumers will ever go too far in pursuit of the cheapest price, abusing customer service representatives and stealing resources along the way. Companies attempting to preserve their bottom lines will shove back with policies that violate the humanity of all involved. Consumers are too diverse a group to ever present a unified front to any company. The best that we can do is to be informed about what our rights and options are when dealing with a company's customer service. In this way, we can maintain a balance so that all parties can have what they are due, respect and a good deal.

References:
1.
a. http://consumerist.com/220616/exclusive-costco-to-make-return-policy-stricter
b. http://consumerist.com/258333/target-tightens-return-policy-no-returns-over-20-without-a-receipt
2. http://consumerist.com/209363/subway-sub-fingerlickin
3.
a. http://consumerist.com/362866/detained-and-harassed-at-walmart-for-not-showing-a-receipt
b. http://consumerist.com/5033095/best-buy-calls-you-an-asshole-for-not-showing-your-receipt
4. http://consumerist.com/353976/sprint-sued-for-illegally-extending-customers-contracts
5. http://consumerist.com/243457/crunch-gym-is-notoriously-corrupt
6. http://consumerist.com
7. http://consumerist.com/308498/sick-of-waiting-for-an-install-75+year+old-woman-smashes-up-comcast-office-with-hammer

February 22, 2009

like a needle pulling thread

Sometimes we blog in the wee hours, and that's how we get things like yesterday's essay.

but the good news is, i don't have another one left in me. Instead, I'd like to address the topic of comic book movie adaptations. We seem to be in a resurgence of these, ever since The Dark Knight showed us that dirty, gritty, almost real, superheroes are what we like (and I think this is where we start getting into what science fiction is really about, but that's a topic for another day).

So let's cut to the chase. I'm talking about the upcoming Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li movie (seriously, who wants to talk about The Watchmen movie, when I could talk about this!). The only other Street Fighter movie I watched was the one with Raul Julia and Jean Claude Van Damme. The person playing Chun-Li in that movie was Ming Na.

Now when it comes to adaptations, I've always felt like movie has a responsibility to re-create the source work (I liked David Lynch's Dune movie better than the amazing Sci-Fi channel remake). And when it comes to comic books, you really have to carry out the visuals right?

This is why I've consistently maintained that the greatest heresy on the planet right now is Jessica Alba playing Susan Storm in the Fantastic Four movies. COME ON!!! Jessica Alba is NOT WHITE (and let's take a moment to be clear: I understand that in the u.s. the definition of 'white' is some weird fairy-tale which is more closely based on the exclusion of genetic code in a person from races other than those that express themselves as white-looking)! But doing things like this just contributes to lack of appreciation for the amazingly beautiful TAN person that she is. And this would be different if she was playing a character piece. Because then, being true to the character would mean that she would just need to be a great actress. But, as we can all agree, Fantastic Four wasn't exactly about that, was it??. So whatever, Susan Storm.

Back to Chun-Li. So the biggest issue with Chun-Li is that she has these huge thighs. Each one is bigger than her head. Now, I didn't really have an issue with Ming-Na playing Chun-Li because she was part of a whole set of characters just doing their best. But this new movie is ALL ABOUT Chun-Li. And the actress playing her is Kristin Kruek, whom you may know as Lana Lang from Smallville.

Kristin Kruek is a beautiful canadian actress of dutch/chinese descent. But when I heard she was in this movie, all I could think was "her thighs aren't nearly big enough for this!" and I resigned myself to yet another shitty comic book adaptation movie to add to my NetFlix (and I'm not particularly thrilled about the new Punisher movie either).

but I just read an interview with her and she does make a good point. There really aren't any Chinese or even sorta chinese woman who really look like Chun-Li. In fact, I'd bet the closest you could get is a professional chinese female body builder. And once you found her, I'm wondering if she could pull off the martial arts sequences.

So for now, I'm gonna hold off on the Kristin Kruek hating and see how it goes.

February 25, 2009

what's up with the selfish (you asshats!)?

ok - first of all, what is up with the selfish!!! eh??? eh???

I know times are getting tough, but that doesn't mean that swiping things is gonna make it any better, you cheese heads. I am referring to the fact that someone keeps swiping the good magazines out of the women's bathroom on my office floor.

Someone put a table in the handicap stall and when I started working there, it used to be covered with really boring magazines. Actually those same boring magazines are still there.. like the L.L.Bean men's winter catalog. though the Simple Living magazine isn't too bad, its just been there for four months now and I've read it at least twice.

About a month ago, I thought I'd contribute to the table and bring in my own magazines that I'd already read and enjoyed. So I contributed issues of Yoga Journal, Victoria's Secret catalog, Sierra Club, and Communications of the ACM. These are excellent magazines and maybe a little too excellent because within a week, someone had swiped the Yoga Journal and the Victoria's Secret. and I kind of understand the Victoria's Secret 'cause maybe someone needed to place an order. but everyone likes Yoga Journal so I thought that was pretty mean. and for some reason, no one appeared to be reading my computing magazine so I took it back after awhile.

So I didn't bring in anymore magazines after that, but this last week someone brought in a copy of "more" which was a really cool magazine about plus-40 women living fantastic lives. There was an article by Tim Gunn about dressing your age, a trend update on how women become lesbians in their older age, and just all kinds of interesting stuff.

And you KNOW what happened next! Within 3 days, the magazine disappeared. ARGHHH!! are we to be condemned to a life of L.L. BEAN on the third floor women's bathroom! ASSHATS! Why is my building filled with ASSHATS!!!??

About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2009 is the previous archive.

March 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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