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December 2009 Archives

December 9, 2009

holidays

Hello All!

only small updates:

1 - Syfy's Alice (in wonderland) remake was pretty good, definitely better than their 'TinMan' (Wizard of Oz) remake. I've noticed several postings on the internet where people are complaining that Alice in Wonderland isn't really science fiction. All I can say is "People, grow up!". If the difference between sci-fi and fantasy was really that important, people wouldn't love Star Wars. (and if that actually made sense to you, then I'd be worried).

2 - I've noticed a lot of hype about James Cameron's new movie 'Avatar' going around. I'm not actually going to see it myself. Mainly because it looks a bajillion dollar version of 'FernGully: The Last Rainforest', which you may recall as an animated pro-environmentalist movie featuring a construction worker who get miniaturized and learns about the fairies of the forest. yeah - really.. just like Avatar eh?

3 - Thanks to MTV's latest reality show 'Jersey Shore' I've finally learned what a 'guido' is. I never knew that this was something that I didn't know until I watched this train wreck of a reality show.

happy holidays all!

December 13, 2009

sunday is a day

well, the loml and I didn't do much today. We made it out for breakfast, did a little shopping and then settled in for some television.

One interesting thing did happen though. While we were out, we stopped at the local dollar store to purchase some medical tape. The dollar store is run and owned by an Indian gentleman, and he was selling an international calling card to an African man (Kenya, if I had to guess). Anywho, they were having a small conversation and I overhear the store owner say, "... yes, we used to do that. but people here lie so much! they just keep lying! they are not as honest as they are back home."

and I realize that I'm taking this conversation out of context but I could only think two things.

1 - if either of you were back home, there is a fairly good chance one of you'd be discriminating like all hell against the other right now. Being that you are both from different countries and everyone loves being in the majority.

2 - yes. americans do lie an awful lot, don't we? when it comes to casual lies, I can think of no other group of people so prone to and accepting of the white lie. (hah!) Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing other people's crap. So please, go under-promise and over deliver else where, ok.

December 14, 2009

and taxes...

I was having lunch with an old co-worker today and I asked how his mother was doing. He mentioned she was fine, and then as an after thought said, "you know, people... when they get old, you can't shut them up!"

hah! hah! and then he proceeds to tell me about how his mother was currently driving her adult kids crazy in that manner.

Who knew there was such fun to be had at 70?

December 15, 2009

don ho, i am not

the first time I remember hearing about ukuleles was also the first time I watched "Some Like It Hot". This is a black and white movie famous for featuring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag. Its also got Marilyn Monroe playing a character named 'Sugar Kane'. They're all traveling together as part of a all-female band, and I'll never forget this scene where Marilyn busts into the guys' room saying something like "Has anyone seen my ukulele?"

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I bought one. But don't worry, I didn't spend a lot of money and I only plan on playing sad sad songs on it. Plus, I promise to never be as awesome as this guy (note* you must watch the video as far as 30 seconds to get to the super awe-some-ness).

December 21, 2009

where dem tiny bubbles

So my ukelele showed up in the mail on Friday. VERY EXCITING!!!!

now before I launch into my story of uke ownership and whatnot, I'd like to say this. Though the ukelele and players-of appear to be fun and relaxed, there seems to be a hot spot of contention. And that would be the pronunciation and spelling of ukelele (which appears to be the british way) and ukulele (which is the more hawaiian and thus authentic way: oo-koo-laylay). Sadly for me, my fingers like to type ukelele. so that's what you are getting.

now then, on with the show. So my ukelele shows up complete with pitch pipe, rubber pick, gig bag, and two sets of instructions for beginners (one came with the pitch pipe). I would love to say that I was able to grab that sucker and start making beautiful music immediately, but reality prevents me from making such a statement.

Instead, I was confounded by "My Dog Has Fleas". For those of you in the know, this is the tune that the four strings on the ukelele get tuned to. Sadly, I am completely music illiterate having tried and failed to self-start on the electric keyboard and guitar. So I blew on the pitch pipe (alot) and fiddled with the tuning knobs (alot) before I resolved that my pitch pipe was completely in another universe and sounded completely different from any noise that the ukelele was going to make.

Then I turned to the internet and found a webpage full of the sounds of a ukelele in tune. I thought I was saved!! But no, instead it was another 30 minutes of "why can't I make my ukelele sound like the webpage?"

Luckily my sister was there and being waaaay more stubborn (and having been in band -> flute) took over the process. Where upon, she discovered a few things:

1. My ukelele has geared tuning knobs. I knew this, but did not know what it meant. What it means is, unlike the guitar my dad has, you can't turn all the knobs away/towards from yourself to go higher/lower. It uses gears, which means they go clockwise or counter. So if you aren't paying attention it looks like half the knobs turn away from you to get higher, while this same action causes the other half to tune lower. I know this sounds stupid, but this will really mess you up if you don't know what you are doing.

2. "My Dog Has Fleas" sounds like this. Note* this little girl is better than me but I still can't make it past the first 15 seconds of the video cause its really annoying.

3. The pitch pipe sounds exactly what my ukelele is supposed to sound like, if I just had a clue.

So the short of it is that I can now play that classic song "Row Row Row You Boat" on the ukelele. It only takes two chords and as far as I can tell is the "Hello World" of music. Right now I'm working on "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. It takes three chords and has cooler lyrics.

December 24, 2009

sir, I am an ass

James Cameron, I must apologise. When I saw the promos for Avatar and immediately recognized the plot line from 'Ferngully: the last rainforest', I assumed your movie sucked. When I saw news about the amount of CGI, it reinforced my opinion with what I knew would be an added layer of over-indulgent special effects. And finally, finally, when the loml asked me to go see it with him last night (i said yes), and I saw the movie was 2 hours and 40 minutes long, I KNEW I would soon be wishing that I had passed out in the theatre instead of staying awake.

well sir, I was wrong. The only movie I could recall that you had done previously was 'Titanic' which I actually enjoyed, once I realized that I needed to ignore the ridiculous love story which I now realize was really a mcguffin in disguise.

but to go into detail. Yes, the plot line of Avatar is not original by any stretch. However, I was able to ignore it for the first 2 hours of the movie due to the amazingly well done CGI and acting which really enhanced the movie. Its only until you get to the last 40 minutes where the cheese starts showing up. but the rest of the movie was so good that I didn't mind. In fact, the only part of the movie that bothered me was the ridiculous ground tactics used during the final battle.

What kind of idiot tells his cavalry to charge, in a single line no less, a group of militia possessing far superior firepower? They're supposed to be natives in a jungle, hello?! The friggin ewoks did a better job at the battle on Endor, and they still got their asses kicked which was the point of the scene... SO come on.. death with dignity, not stupidity! I could see maybe there was supposed to be some kind of comparison with how the U.S. army used to massacre native americans out on the plains, but that's pretty weak imho. Especially cause this guy leading this is supposed to be a marine with tons of combat experience.

So other than that (minor point but still annoying) and the mild cheese factor of the last 40 minutes, the movie was pretty good. I do recommend.

note*
after reading this entry, the loml protested my characterization of the main character as an idiot for his ground strategy. He believes that the guy was too busy doing a bunch of other stuff to dictate ground maneuvers. I still maintain that even if it wasn't his idea, its still his fault as he was the only one who knew the enemy forces and somehow didn't manage to let everyone know that its suicide to run straight at a bunch of people with high-powered automatic weaponry when your main weapon is a bow and arrow. Again, even the ewoks knew to use guerrilla tactics when fighting against the Empire in a forest.

December 25, 2009

and a neti pot in a pear treeeee!

So every year i get older, the more I have to look around for things to ask for at christmas. While a sweater may be a reliable standby, I thought this year I'd expand my horizons and ask for a neti pot. For those of you who are not in the know, don't worry. I'll get to that soon.

So neti pots are getting pretty popular and since I'd actually been to Vrindavan, India (allegedly the place where the neti pot was invented) I thought I'd try it. So the point of a neti pot is to flush your nasal passages. You fill the pot with 8 oz of warm salty water, lean your head down and to the side, and fit the pot to the higher nostril and pour water in.. into your nose. (do I need to mention that you have to do this over a sink?) If you don't tip your forehead lower than your mouth, then water comes out your mouth.. so make sure to get that right.

note* this topic was deemed not suitable for holiday conversation by family *

So I do this. I heat up some water, mix some kosher salt in and get over a sink. The loml is watching, so I go ahead and pick up the pot...and.. put the spout to my nose. and I can feel the water in my nose .. yargh.. am I drowning!? I quit for a second and then try again. more water in my left nostril.. and I'm waiting, waiting.. there's no water coming out. What the hell? I'm pouring water in my nose, where's it going?

but then I can feel the water making inroads, somewhere.. and real quick I try to think about what the nasal passages in my head look like, but i can't. which is too bad cause that water is doing something. and eventually, after a whole minute, water comes out my other nostril! Hah! Success!

So I manage to get about 4 oz of salt water into the left nostril and then I do it again on the right. And this one goes easier, I figure cause the I managed to flush it out once already. and that was it. and I must say, I do feel less congested.

December 28, 2009

ridiculous

So I'm on break (from work) this week. And i'm sitting on top of the bed, because the sheets need to be changed and all I smell is salt. This is a weird combination of the neti pot (which uses salt water) and the fact that I've been getting nose bleeds due to the dryness of the winter air. (but do not worry. I'm setting up a humidifier today).

anyways, I'm sitting on top of the bed and I see this ridiculously ugly pair of pajama pants that my sister gave me for christmas. They are plaid. yellow-orangey with red-ish? striped/plaid and a red drawstring ribbon waist. and I think, "yeah. I can do this. I don't have to leave the house today."

up with plaid!

----- note ------

someone left a comment that I was perhaps giving a mean hint to my sister about the gift she gave me. I'd like to correct any notions in that area and say the following:
1. no, my sister doesn't read my blog so its not a hint.
2. the pants are hideous and I love them. wearing them today was like the cherry on my "i'm not working so haha" sundae.
3. however, they are quite clearly house pants which is too bad cause I actually had to answer the door today and the guy on the other side was pretty amused by them.

December 30, 2009

into the wild

I read a book this weekend. I had been flailing around at the "end of the internet" (you know this place right?) when the loml suggested that I read a book. So I looked at his collection of "books to read" and picked out "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. I'd heard about this book when it hit the best seller list and it sounded interesting. And be damned if it wasn't!

The book is basically about how little things can really make the big difference. In this book, the author specifically focuses on the three factors necessary for an idea to become popular (some of the things he examines are: sesame street, the crime rate in new york, and underage smoking). I thought it was a great read and reinforces another idea I've been reading up on which says, nature vs nurture isn't as important as who you are hanging out with. As in, in doesn't matter how good or bad your parents are or how they raised you, your behavior depends more on who you're with and where you are.

But I'll leave the book up to you to read about should you get bored. but the one thing that I really liked about it was that it was interesting to me. Which leads me to the next book, which I am currently not reading "The PayPal Wars" by Eric Jackson. Eric Jackson, a PayPal insider, writes about the beginnings of PayPal and their efforts to be successful. Now this book won some acclaim for its writing style and what-not but I'm having a hard time reading it. Because I'm having a hard time caring about the fate of a large corporation fighting off another corporation, cutting costs by increasing charges to the user, etc.. etc..

I'm not saying its not interesting and valuable insight into corporate america, its just that the narrative as told from the point of the insider sticks in my craw. Eric Jackson probably cared a whole lot when they made business decisions, but his caring about his career and livelihood is not what will make me care. So I'm going to try again to read this book and I just hope that the author is capable of spinning it in a way that makes me actually want to know what happened.

About December 2009

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

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