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March 2009 Archives

March 2, 2009

playing hooky

Today was a snow day for me. The current weather weather conditions turned my 40 minute commute into something about twice or more that, so I gave up after a slow mile and a half and came home.

Its been kind of a weird day. I ate breakfast in the car, and finished all my web surfing in the first hour. After that I wasn't sure what to do so I started digging through my sewing pile. That went well and after a couple of hours I had made a great looking sweater vest from an old sweater, hemmed a cool t-shirt that was too long, and modified a too-small Victoria Secret re-gifted sweater. by then, i was getting pretty antsy and had to stop cutting up my clothes before I started screwing up. So after making myself a small lunch, I decided to walk to the grocery store.

that plan was insane considering how much i detest cold weather, but I figured I owned all these clothes for some good reason so I got dressed and headed out. Only to realize that none of the sidewalks had been shoveled and that my sneakers were getting wet. So after making a small circuit of my condo and chatting with the neighbors about the controversial topic of assigned parking spaces, I went back inside.

and maybe I was bored or had mis-diagnosed thirst but I found a burrito in the freezer that was just demanding that I eat it. And I'm not sure what I was expecting really. I was hoping it would taste like the awful frozen burritos that I used to eat in college I guess. But this didn't. It was some kind of healthy tofu vegetarian burrito. For the first three bites it was awful, until i realized that it was supposed to taste like chinese stir fry. and then it was better.

lucky for me, the loml sent me a link to a flash game (viking defense if you want to play it) and I did that while watching television. That was going well, until our maid service showed up at which point I had to leave.

I guess I need to work on my patrician skills, but it makes me uncomfortable to watch other people work when I'm not helping. and our apartment isn't big enough for me to avoid both of the maids so i left.

I had to shovel out the back of my car since the snow plow had shoved over about a foot and half of crap. and then I went to safeway where I bought some tea.

Now I was standing in line behind a teen mom and her friend, trying really hard not to critique her shopping basket (but seriously, doesn't everyone know there is no juice in those juice drinks!). and then she started paying with grocery store gift cards and had some kind of issue which caused a small traffic jam and suddenly I was wishing I had never left the house in the first place.

So i get home and the ladies are still cleaning, which is great. they're doing a great job and now I can't touch anything because its so damn clean. so here I am, holed up on the bed, not touching anything.

March 3, 2009

the hunchback

When I was in Beunos Aires a few years ago, I bought a small plastic chicken. I was walking past a toy store when I saw it in the window. It laid little plastic eggs and I just knew I had to have it. I walked into the store and when I couldn't find it, approached a clerk with my non-existent spanish, "pollo?" and made smallish hand gestures to indicate.

She showed me a stuffed chicken. So after some more hand gestures, I got her to follow me to the window where I indicated the little plastic chicken. She told me it was on the bottom floor and about 5 minutes later, I was in proud possession of what I immediately named "Esmerelda" (the chicken).

Fast forward to the now. In preparation for the maid service, I was de-cluttering my bedside table when I found Esmerelda underneath a magazine. I knew she deserved better so I brought her to work. and today, something magical happened (oh yes):

I've been having some issues with people at work.. and I've been failing to adjust my attitude appropriately, which has been impacting my performance. Its really the worst thing that can happen. but today, as one of these people was standing at my cube entrance, I happened to glance at Esmerelda, sitting on my desk.

And I thought, "she's just a little plastic chicken. she doesn't care about this shit." and I looked back at the person rambling on in my cube, and I smiled at them. Because I genuinely felt a cessation of ill will towards them. Occasionally I would look back at Esmerelda and think, "she's such a happy chicken. and she's happy because all of this is crap and she's above it."

and I actually made it through the whole morning not eating my own liver out of frustration, like I have been the past week.

So yes, I know it sounds like i've lost it. but just think.. Does it really matter?

March 4, 2009

my desk

I really wanted to show everyone what esmerelda looked like so I took a picture of her on my desk at work:

So here she is! Right behind her is my favourite work appliance, the electric kettle. Next to that is a binary clock that the very nice people at thinkgeek.com gave to me when I interviewed there. Sadly for them, they didn't hire me but that's a story for another time.

March 8, 2009

a sure thing

Lately, I've come to realize something. And when I say 'lately', I am referring both the the fact that I've just become aware of this fact in the past few days, and that I'm at least ten years overdue for this little life lesson. But, I don't feel too horrible as it seems that a lot of people haven't worked this out. And what is it, you may be tired of waiting already, i know..

Unsolicited advice is rarely helpful. (note* rarely = not often). What does this mean to you? If someone isn't asking for your help with something, then keep your damn mouth shut! And if you actually believe that the frequent responses of "Oh, I hadn't thought about that" or "That sounds like a good idea; maybe I'll try that next time" are proof that your good advice is actually being taken, then I suggest you stop reading this blog. Cause I don't want to associate with you in any fashion.

Seriously, from the helpful weight loss advice you're handing out to the recommendations for buying a new car, the truth is that the object of your masturbatory attempt at edification really doesn't want to hear it. If you really want to be helpful, then do something helpful, but don't waste time flapping your gums at others. So everybody, in our new age of "what the hell is going on out there?", let's all take a moment to increase our self-awareness. The next time you think about sharing your knowledge with someone, ask yourself first "Did they actually request help?". Cause odds are, if they didn't ask for it, they sure as hell aren't going to listen to you.

March 9, 2009

I'll cut you!

ok - so maybe yesterday's blog entry was angry. and I'll say it, I was pretty pissed off when I wrote it. I was mad at you, me, everyone, and the world. So enough of that, and on to today.

I got stuck in a meeting today. And at first, all I could think was how I wanted a job where I was allowed to say to the people I worked with " Excuse me, I have to go do some work" and then leave the room, without having everyone think I was a total asshat. but as I contemplated my notebook doodling, I realized that I already have an awesome job.

OOOF STOP WAIT - yes yes Yes!! this same job that I've been complaining about and threatening physical violence over! THis IS My Awesome job!

So what happened? Well, this morning I sat down at my desk. I pulled out my notebook and wrote the date on the page (just like everyday). but then I put a title on the page. "Life in Hell: Day 68". And that actually made me feel better, because at least I wasn't lying about how I felt. Then I proceeded to make a list of positives and negatives (cause I am DONE with the Delta list). And this was what it looked like:

Life in Hell: Day 68           3/9/09
Positives                              Negatives
Great salary                       sucky cube location
Warm office                       Infuriating co-worker
Decide my own work           bad bad <item redacted for future job security>

I stopped when I realized that I was trying to evaluate if our office supplies constituted a positive or negative. So later on, when I was stuck in my meeting, it was this same list I was looking over as I thought "I need a new job". Cause suddenly, I realized that my "positives" were really great! And I really did have just about everything I needed from this job. So why would I need another job, a different job, when this job allowed me the freedom to pursue my other dreams.

Seriously, I make a lot of money to sit in a warm office and work on what I want to work on. So once I thought about that, i decided that maybe I should focus on all the other things I wanted out of life. So there it is. My sudden leap into cautious optimism.

March 10, 2009

no line on the horizon

I really enjoy these phases of self-improvement. Its really easy to get stuck in the same old cycle of death and rebirth.. suffer suffer suffer.

Its like listening to my downstairs neighbors, who have got to be the stupidest people I can think of right now. They seem really nice, but one of the first things they did after moving into their 1,000 sq. foot 2 bed/2 bath apartment was get two hunting dogs (or puppies. I am sure they were really cute at the time). But now, they are monsters who howl all day.

When I was on my sabbatical, I would listen to these dogs howl and bark all day while their owners were out. All freakin' day. And I'm not an expert, much less a dog owner, but even I know that these guys aren't getting walked enough. I even wrote a nice note to my neighbors explaining that I was at home all day, and would be happy to take their dogs out for a walk.. if they liked.

they did not like, but for good reason. The next time I saw them, they explained that they were taking the dogs to obedience class, which I get. One time I went downstairs to ask them something and we had to have the conversation through the slit of the door because the dude couldn't restrain his animals from hurling themselves at the opening.

So now we hear them, like the worst dysfunctional family ever. "hooooooowlll.. HOOOOOOOWWWWLLL" "SHUT UP!!!"

These people must live in hell, and I can't figure out why. Get rid of your dogs. Hire someone to walk them during the day. But DO SOMETHING!!

and see, you've figured out my ridiculously unsubtle parable by now right. Don't be my stupid neighbors.

March 11, 2009

Code warrior

So this week I've been trying to focus on the Buddhist concept of right intention. To summarize in a nutshell, it's the renunciation of worldly things and it's definitely worth reading a little more about if you are interested. I think wikipedia has a decent entry on this.

Anyway, part of wisdom is the realization of the impermenance of things. So today, I was sitting at work, reading through some code. By preference, i'm a perl girl. But I did use to write in other languages so I definitely have opinions. Anywho, I'm reading through this piece of code today that has the distinct feeling of being written by someone who really had limited experience with perl but was probably proficient in something else. Like fortran. And as usual, no disrespect to other language (kiss my ass python! Jokingjoking!) but it really helps if you take a moment to understand what a language is good at and intended for before you just write whatever it is you would've done in fortran, mainframe, c, whathaveyou instead of this thing that your boss is makng you use. To be more succinct: This code was crazy and not of the good.

And I just can't tell if I'm getting wiser, lazier, or just more beatdown about these kinds of things. Six years ago, I would've just laughed and re-written the whole damn thing better. But now, I just know that in a few years... Someone else will be looking at my stuff and thinking how crappy it is. So instead, I'm settling for understanding it (since it does actually work) and maybe planning a few improvements for later.

Am I a buddha yet?

something old, something new...

I was just trolling through the web, when I found this funny story from the Oblongs website. You remember the Oblongs right? That great tv show about a family living in the nuclear waste part of town.

March 14, 2009

movie updates

ok - everybody, just some quick movie news.

1) Hitman, starring Timothy Olyphant. This movie is awesome. It was totally filled with killing, russian hookers, and more killing. And, as if that wasn't enough, it should also be praised for the things it didn't have: a plot or sex scenes. I realize that this means its probably not a great movie, but for what it is, it was fantastic. The movie is based on a video game and any attempts to flesh out a plot probably would have failed badly, so they didn't really try. Also, the questionable addition of russian hookers was tempered by the choice to not have any sex scenes (and while this may be disappointing to some of you, its what made this movie better than the average gratuitous violence and boobs flick). So for its worth, if this movie sounds interesting to you, I recommend.

2) Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li: ok - so I finally got around to watching this one. On the plus side, it wasn't that bad. On the negative side, it just wasn't that good. Unfortunately, nothing about this movie distinguishes it, besides an rather badly performed supporting role by Chris Klein playing a bad-ass interpol agent. acting was alright, fight scenes were ok.. I don't think that russian hookers or merciless killing would've made a difference. so.. save your time and money and skip this one.

Winner! Hitman, by a headshot.

March 15, 2009


Time for the weekend highlights.

1) Watchmen: At my request, the loml took me to see this movie. and I have to say, I actually liked it. It was different and interesting. but I can totally see why the reviews are so mixed on this one because if you had expectations (other than for a giant blue giggle stick) then you were probably disappointed in some fashion. but the acting was good, effects were decent, and there were definitely some uncomfortable moments. what more can you ask for?

2) Harmony House Foods: So if you are looking for dehydrated fruit and veg for your backpacking trip, these are the people to buy from. And if you don't backpack, you can still cook with this stuff or save up for the next apocalypse.

March 17, 2009

those pagan snakes

So another americana holiday has come and will soon be gone. I did manage to get out to a bar and hang out. Things were the same old same old that I remembered from before I got married and I was enjoying myself until..

the band started playing music. and it first, things were ok.. a little U2 (why not? they're irish) and then some classic AC/DC, and everyone is singing along. But then a song starts up, and the person I'm next to goes, "I don't know this one".

but I do.

Its "Everybody's working for the weekend" by Loverboy. ooof. and the weird thing is that I'm younger than this. I know I am.. Oh god noooo! but there it was.

and that was when I knew I was old.

March 19, 2009


It's a good indicator that something is no longer cool the second your mother and everybody is doing it. And today this means Facebook. So for those of you who're still in the throes of resistance, congratulations. You've outlasted the trend.

As for the rest of us, I think it's a good moment to discuss getting a grip (assuming you don't have one):

There are two areas that people seem to have problems in:
1) I don't want my personal business all over the internets where other people can find out what super private stuff I'm doing.
2) I don't want to hang out with all those people from high school/college/the old neighborhood/my ex-dungeon master because they make me question my value as a person.

my initial response to these issues is simple:

Which I suppose is lacking in sensitivity. So here is my second attempt:
Not everyone gets a chance to show what a grown up they are. So here it is. If you don't want people seeing your highly sensitive business, you should really think about checking your privacy settings and whether or not what you're doing is such a big deal. Note* posting questionable photos of your self on the Internet is a Fantastic idea! I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong there. But seriously, people can be stupid so I can almost understand why a person would choose not to put out extra information about themselves. Why not err on the side of modesty.

However, if you think talking to people from your past is making you feel bad then it's seriously time to put on your big girl panties. Either those people are being jerks or you are. It's time to figure it out. Do you know how much this kind of self-realization costs in therapy?

Good luck and happy internetting!


I know I've posted some questionable items on my blog... and this entry goes in that bucket.

I'm watching American Idol this season (and if this is shocking then we can't have been that close, eh?).. usually, the loml and I stop watching when it gets to the finalists cause its not that interesting anymore. but this season, there have been a couple of contestants who've really caught my interest, like Allison Iraheta who is so awesome that it almost makes me wish that I bothered to vote. But this is all besides the point.

I was just watching the latest show when this performance by Adam Lambert seared itself into my brain!!!

If you have ever heard "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash, you might recognize Adam's cover. Either way, its like the rock gods of the 70's have incarnated themselves in this wacko contestant. I now, officially, lurve him forever or until his next bad performance. note* the performance doesn't actually start until 1:40 in.

that is all.

March 26, 2009

the ides of march/march madness

So it always seems like there is some kind of sports thing going on (which I usually ignore, in the hopes that it'll be over sooner than later), but this year the loml said "hey baby, why don't you fill out a bracket?". Which was an intriguing idea, so I filled one out. It took me a while to fill one out, since I'm only familiar with one region of the u.s. and then I had to make odd guesses about the rest of it (should I vote for gonzaga? that's a weird name..) any who, so I was pretty excited when I finally got the thing done. Only to discover that the loml had filled out five of them! wtf?! what about pride and integrity, eh? (we'll ignore that part where I picked wake forest cause I think they might be ok). but whatever, the scheme worked and for once, i was kinda excited about the basketball.

well, for at least two nights I was excited... until I realized that my bracket was totally hosed. and then I realized why they called it march madness. Cause I was mad, really. So that was the end of my sports fandom. We'll see if the loml suckers me into it next year, and maybe I'll fill out five brackets too.

1 - the plan

today I woke up with one shoulder higher than the other. The tendon on the left side of my neck had tensed up badly enough to make an observable difference in my body. And I just knew this was a sign. People don't know what they are missing, that's part of what it means to be 'missing'. But at some point, if you are lucky or observant enough, you get a wake up call and you realize that things can be better.

So today I decided that I'm going to do it. Make things better. I want a better life. I want to be happy. But the moment I decided that, I needed to figure it out what I meant by happy. After googling around a bit, I realized that what I wanted was to be more satisfied with my life. And that this was good, this defining things part. Because defining things lets me make a better plan.

So the first thing I did was evaluate my life on a scale. And the thing to note is, what scale i use doesn't really matter. If I rate from one to ten, it turns out that I don't believe in tens. Trust me, I've been filling out evaluations for several years, I don't believe in the tens, ones, and rarely in twos. So after rating my life, I figured out my average and identified the outliers. And to make my plan, these measures are important. So here is what I got:

highs: Money, Personal Growth *excellent - these are the things that I am not going to change anything about. Don't mess with a good thing.
lows: Career, Physical Environment *These are the things that get the top priority because its the stuff impacting me the most.
averages: Family/Friends, S.O., Fun/Recreation, Physical Health. Once I deal with the low points, I'll swing around back to these.
So in order: Career, Physical Environment, S.O., Family/Friends, Fun/Recreation, Physical Health.

And to make this clear, I'm giving myself 100 days to work on this. Why 100 days? Its a good number, and it lets me know that I mean business!

So here is my initial plan:
1. identify the problem (1 week)
2. research some solutions (2 weeks)
3. implement (1 - 2 months)
4. check results (1 week)
5. identify next step (1 week)

I love making project plans!

March 29, 2009

spring has sprung

Well, I don't know about you but the weather here today is fantastic!

Fantastic enough to make a small list of material items that I would like to acknowledge. I know I'm on task for my personal project of making my own life better (and I still am in phase 1), but the weather has made me happy enough to say 'thanks' to these things, or as I prefer to call them, my little plastic friends:

Item #1
: the giant litter box.
Yep.. its exactly what it sounds like and when you have four cats, its sorta helpful. $23 and made by PetMate, who also makes Item #2.

Item #2: the litter-locker by PetMate.

Basically, its the diaper genie for cats. The downside is that it takes $10 refill cartridges, but again... when you have 4 cats, these kinds of things happen. Which just makes me think that I own a LOT of cat stuff, because the next item is...

Item #3: The 'Le Bistro' auto-feeder.

Nothing else stops the baneful howls of the damn cats at 5:30am. This one was about $50, again by PetMate (what is up with these people??). I have got to tell you, its programmable, runs on batteries, and the cats will sort out their own pecking order, trust me.

Item #4: My Gusanito worm condo...

because I finally needed pets who do something for me, instead of the other way around. My 5-tier beauty cost me $80! but it also processes a lot of my garbage and in return, I get garden compost and some great liquid fertilizer for the plants. Are you listening, cats! eh??

Item #5: KitchenAid blender
(technically, not made of plastic - but still very helpful). Everything Kitchen Aide makes seems to be a little more expensive, but the quality shows. This is a damn good blender.

So now that I'm looking at this list, and I'm wondering what it says about me... that these are the things that I a) own b) would recommend to others c) are helpful to me... I guess its says that I have 4 cats, some worms, and a blender? part-aayy!

About March 2009

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

February 2009 is the previous archive.

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