Monday, February 27, 2006

Bleh and sundry

Sorry for the long update between posts, I've been working on other writing projects, some for a contest and also trying to finish up the NaNo novel. I'll probably be devoting all of March to that last venture.

And I just came back from my Grandma's, where we went this weekend for my Mom's birthday. It was pretty fun. We went to Chicago (which I love to do) and to the Shedd aquarium, and then to the Cheesecake Factory. It was Saturday night and they don't take reservations...downstairs there was a twenty minute wait for a pager! But upstairs it was a "cafe" version that was less popular, but needless to say it was a zoo!

One of the main things I love about going to Chicago is the people watching. I find it fascinating to observe all the different kinds of people. I feel like a foreigner, or a farm kid, walking around the big city for the first's so eye opening to see the variety of ways of thinking, talking and dressing.

Now, I don't live in a small town, but there isn't hardly as much variety. You don't see really fashionable people walking around, or anything really out of the ordinary. Now there are exceptions of course, but as a rule, we're pretty much the same.

I mean, you're pretty much either conservative or liberal, white, black, or hispanic, preppy, punk/goth/sk8er, midwestern mom (which is a fashion genre all it's own), artsy, couture-y (they are few and far between), or normal jeans and a t-/sweatshirt.

One time in Chicago, we got in line for an elevator, thinking it went down to the lobby when in fact it went to the 95th floor to a cocktail lounge, enough a different thing in itself, but you should have seen the people in line!

So, it was fun.

But my mood is anything but happy right now, as just a bit earlier, when I was transferring my short story onto the memory stick to work on it with the laptop, I took the version on our main computer and overwrote the version on the memory stick.

Which would have been fine, if the version I overwrote wasn't the latest version, that had included all he editing work I had done on it with my Dad and was practically finished. Not to mention I was getting it ready for a contest at my library in two days.

And that's why I'm feeling a bit ill at the moment. It was hours of work, and hopefully I can get it back, and if not, I hope I remembered everything I wanted in it!

Friday, February 17, 2006


I just found this comic strip while surfing around in Yahoo Comics. It's called Brewster Rockit (not a misspelling). It has bad puns, enthusiastic, but dumb main characters, crazy off-the-wall storylines and in spite of itself, manages to be hilarious. A spoof of sci-fi everywhere, I was laughing at practically each of the strips.

Or maybe I'm just a geek.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I have medium neuroticism...

Hee, found this on Christy's blog and had to try it. I'm a sucker for personality tests...and this one actually was pretty darn accurate!

Your Five Factor Personality Profile
You have medium extroversion.You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."
You have medium conscientiousness.You're generally good at balancing work and play.When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.
You have high agreeableness.You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.
You have medium neuroticism.You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is medium.You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.

(If the link doesn't work, it's

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hyvää Ystävänpäivää!

That is what all the Finns were saying to each other today. In Finland Valentine's Day is a bit different. A literal translation of the title is "Happy Friends Day". The pronunciation...well, I'll try to phoneticize it. Hoo-va Oo-sta-van-pie-va. Hey, that worked out better than I thought.

Yes, instead of all this romantic junk we talk about here in the US on Feb. the 14, across the Atlantic they are celebrating friendship. The colors are still red and pink but the emphasis is almost completely off the romance. It takes all the pressure of "I don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend, oh my gosh, I'm an outcast, no wait, I can't let people know that so instead I'll just be anti-Valentine's Day and pretend like it doesn't matter because I'm so cynical and cool." practically all off.

There you give a nice card to a friend, call up old aquaintances, and otherwise make an effort to show them how much they mean to you. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend than that's fine, but everyone is thinking about their friends.

There's no changing what Valentine's Day is in the US, but think about how much less stress and depression it would save for a lot of people who aren't secure and aren't saved and take it really seriously, if instead of emphasis on romantic dates and roses, it was a time when they could expect an encouraging card from a friend and in turn encourage their friends.

"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart
and good news gives health to the bones."
Proverbs 15:30
I'm not bitter about Valentine's Day and the romance, I look forward to the day when it will hold special meaning for me, but for everyone of us whose life dating doesn't have a part in for the moment, have a wonderful Happy Friend's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Oh the Humanity!

It's 11: 42 and I'm sitting in front of the computer, eating a crusty scone I let sit untouched for too long, and gulping down some cold tea (not in front of the computer, Dad.) with the same problem as the scone, and watching the Women's Short Track Speed Skating.

Ah, the Olympics.

I've got no right to be as excited about them as I am, my level of atleticism being what it is, that is, practically non-existent, but ever since I was little I've loved watching them, Summer or Winter. I remember prancing around our living room when I was 6, in a leotard and scarf I specifically changed into because I was watching the Gymnastics Competition.

I probably shouldn't be allowed to watch them, though. I get all emotionally attached to the athletes and take it almost personally if they lose. It's such great drama, however! Huge wins, tragic losses, upstarts claiming gold and champions falling short. Or better yet, champions becoming long-shots, and then winning.

We may have been the only ones watching this afternoon, but in the Cross Country Skiing (Pursuit, which means it's more of a sporint, I think) there was one of those moments. The favorite, a Norweigian, Frode Estil, the World Cup Champion and gold medalist, was in an accidental pile-up at the starting line and after being sorted out and skis fixed started out in dead last. But the other skiiers , in a show of good sportsmanship, actually slowed down for him, and he rejoined the pack and eventually pulled ahead to win the silver.

Seeing that show of selflessnes on the part of the other skiiers and watching the previously written out champion pull ahead, almost made me tear up. (I know, I know) It surprised me how emotionally attached I was.

And then, conversely, hearing that Michelle Kwan was dropping out, just about tore my heart out. I was so wishing for her to win. She deserved it, and wanted it so bad. I felt so bad, especially because I had rooted for Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes, the upsets that won at her Olympics. Even Bode Miller, the arrogant jerk that he seems to be, finishing 4th in downhill skiing because of ski problems, the look he had on his face at the bottom was so genuinely agonized that I was moved to pity.

I think it's the unexpected things that make it so exciting and heart rending at the same time. When we see how quickly and with no warning a dream can be shattered, leaving only the regret behind, and how someone with no expectations of glory, just setting out to do their best, suddenly be granted the rings true somewhere deep inside.

I'm tempted to cry, "Oh the humanity!" as I watch them, dissapointed and radiant alike.

Speed Skating is over now, it's so late that they are showing a medal ceremony for someone who isn't American...that's really late. I will pop off to bed now, but be back again tomorrow to see what else happens in this drama that is the Olympics.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Airplane Hilarity

The oldest of my younger brothers is all about airplanes and flying and Microsoft Flight Simulator and this online game called Airline Empires. He was surfing their forums and came across this which someone else had referenced to, and read it out loud to us.

It left me in tears even though I know almost nothing about airplanes, and I had to post it here for everyone's enjoyment. (No one knows who came up with it, so I can't attribute it, except to say it's not my work!)

To induce greatest laughs, read aloud to family members with expression,


Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane but only a high school diploma to fix one. Reassurance for those who fly routinely in their jobs: After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet" which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems and document their repairs on the form and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submittedby Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last:
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Mundane Woes and Little Joys

Bleh. I hate my room.

Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that I was in there for hours today, attempting to clean it, but I'm not sure. The real estate moguls chant: Location, location, location! (at least, I am assured they do by my mother.) and my room fails this test absolutely. It is located in such an unfourtunate position as to be not much more than a glorified hallway.

The hall starts at my brother's room, continues past to the bathroom, and then does one of two things. It either, (a. stops at the door to my room and sort of leaks into the living room off to the right) or (b. continues straight through my room, into the kitchen via the door at the other end.)

I am inclined to the latter of these two theories, which popular opinion backs me on. Not only is it the shorter, more attractive route to the kitchen, but has the added bonus (if you are one of my little brothers) of almost certain irritation to myself. Anf then if they are caught, they can widen their eyes angelically and say.

"But I was only trying to get to the kitchen..."

I know this sounds a rather trivial subject to take offense too...but after years of people tromping through my room, without permission or even acknowledgement of my presence, it's rubbed a raw spot.

To change the topic dramatically to a much plesanter subject, I was reading recently The Uncollected Wodehouse, which is a collection (ironically) of some of P.G. Wodehouses earlier works, short stories, poetry, articles. I highly recommend it. No one should go through life without having read any Wodehouse, and his short stories are a great place to get a good taste. You are commanded to get it from your nearest library, even on the merits of "The Man Upstairs" and "When Doctors Disagree" alone. "The Best Sauce" is another charming piece of work.

The nice thing about his titles is they don't seem to make sense until you've read the piece, then go back and look at it, and then the light goes on. "So that's what that means..."

However, I mustn't be using up any more of my creative juices...I have things I am supposed to be writing at this moment, which I have been trying to finish up for a while. In fact, the family members in the living room probably think I am buzzing away happily at the ol' manuscript, while I am, in fact, typing this. Which I will stop doing presently. As soon as I am finished. Which will begin (or end, depending on your point of view)

THE END (I mean it.)

P.S.: A note to the worried (or perhaps relieved) This does not mean forever. Just until next time. I see those looks, I'm really stopping now, I promise...