Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So Damn Quotable

On Twitter today, two of the folks I follow mentioned the movie Speed, quoting from it.
I quote Speed all the time, too. I love the "But I'm taller" line when he cuts off Dennis Hopper's head with the light in the subway tunnel. My friend hates that line, but it's one of my favorites. I also quote Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Point Break, and The Matrix way too much.  So, what is it about Keanu Reeves's movies that makes them so damn quotable?  Do you have any favorite quotes from these films?  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Best. Game. Ever.

I went to dinner with my friend Christina last night and she innocently* suggested we play a game afterwards since her roommate was going to be home and all.  It's a game she had mentioned before but we never got around to playing.  The game is called "You evil whore! How could you block my road?!"  No, no, I kid.  It's called Settlers of Catan.  Now, it's been around forever, so I'm sure all of you are going, "oh yeah, that" with a bored eye roll.  I, however, had never heard of this game before Christina mentioned it in passing a few times, and certainly never knew or imagined how much fun it could be.  
Photo courtesy of Walking Wounded blog

If you've never played, it's just the best game ever.  It's kind of a cross between Risk, Monopoly, and Go Fish. You have to build houses, roads, and settlements and collect resources, which you can trade with other players. I annoyed the bejesus out of Christina and Becky by asking for bricks in the voice of Kaitlin from SNL.  "Does anyone have any BRICK! BRICK! BRICK!"  And broke into giggles every time someone said something like, "I need wood" or "No one is getting any wood this round."  Yes, I'm 12.  

Guess what?  It's available online and as a phone app.  I may never be productive again.

*She wasn't innocent.  She knew exactly what she was doing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The really important things we discuss at work

On the phone with my boss, who suggested I take lead on yet another project, I said, "If you give me any more projects you're going to find me at the bottom of a bottle."  To which she replied, "Like a genie?"  Then our discussion devolved into truly important things like:

  1. Where did Jeannie pee?*  I mean, she was stuck in that bottle with nothing but a round sofa.(although we both agreed that as children we totally wanted a bedroom like the inside of her bottle)
  2. Where did she sleep?** I can't imagine the back pain one would wake up with having slept on that curved sofa all night.
  3. What did Jeannie eat that whole time she was stuck in the bottle before Major Nelson found her?***
  4. And why were the evil cousins on TV back then always brunettes? (I'm looking at you,too, Bewitched) Brunettes are not evil.
Yes, these are the things my boss and I talk about instead of work.****  What do you talk about with your boss?

*We decided she must have had a small bathroom on the side of the bottle we never saw.
**It must have been a sofa bed, which led to "how did she find sheets to fit?"
***She's a genie. She could blink in food. (which led to why couldn't she blink herself out)
****Yesterday, we talked about spam, Viagra, and the "enlarge your manhood" ads.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Comic Coincidences

Wow, I suck at this whole NaBloPoMo thing.  I've got so much to do today due to brain vacancy last week, but here's a little comic relief to hold you over.

Two unrelated comics with virtually the same content.  Frogs are funny.  I like "The Barn" more, but the graphic wetness of the frog's tongue in "Over the Hedge" sells it more.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just don't ask me to talk about it

I couldn't post this yesterday, and I don't really have words for it today, but I have to say it because ignoring it doesn't make it not true.  Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, my brother Brian lost his battle with cancer and went to join my Mom, where she is no doubt telling him to get a haircut and watch his language.  It feels very strange to have a gap in the line-up of siblings, like a gap-toothed smile--it looks fine, but you know there should be something there.  He fought hard and I'm glad he's no longer suffering, but selfishly I want my brother back.

I love you, Brian.  Goodbye.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here, There, and Everywhere

There was a meeting in the office for which I was responsible for setting up and providing food.  The website was still being all wonky as well.  So, my day pretty much consisted of driving, playing with Internet, driving, compress disc space, driving, IP Configuration,, hell, I'm going home.  That was my last thought as I drove one of the meeting folks to the train station.  It was already 4:30; I'd had it for the day.  

Three blocks from home I suddenly remembered that there were dishes to clean up in the conference room from breakfast. Crappity crap crap!  I called one of the finance folks and beg him to do me a solid and clean up the room.  In turn, I'll buy him some Starbucks in the morning.  That's fair, right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Damn you, Mercury, with your retrograde and shit

I manage our website at work.  I didn't design it, mind you; that's the work of our brilliant designer, Andrew.  However, I update the content, and I, along with Andrew, decided to move it to a different web host, since our old host had us on a shared server and it slowed down our revolving banner.  All of this is scintillating, I know.  Our contract with the old host ends next week anyway, so it was a great time to move.  All of this became moot when something happened at the old host and our website went away.  No, really, it just disappeared.  All kinds of error mumbo jumbo showed up and the talented Andrew, along with our other talented tech folk, started working like fiends to get it back up.  It's been a week and finally, they got the new site (updated and fancier) launched on the new server...except maybe not.  I can't get it to pull up on my computer.  Neither can the boss.  Neither can her colleagues, which makes my world a not-so-pleasant place.  

So, Andrew was here to show me how to update the pretty new site with a pretty new back end (hee hee...I said back end), and HE was unable to get the new site to come up on my computer.  We pulled it up on other  computers in the company, but not mine and not the boss's.  Rats!  We cleared my cache, deleted cookies, and now they are doing a disk cleanup.  Still nothing.  

Then I got a call from a woman who told me something about Mercury in retrograde and it all became perfectly clear.  For those of you who aren't nodding your heads and saying, "Ohhh, yeah," here's why:

"Since Mercury rules communication, it's said that everything goes haywire in that area -- emails get deleted or bounced back, mail is returned, calls go out into the ethers, etc. Some people find that their computers go on the fritz or phone lines go down."

And now you know. Unfortunately, it will be in retrograde until August 26th, so don't buy any electronics, get a haircut, pick a fight, or say anything that could be misconstrued until after the 26th. Not too hard, right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

One heck of an accounting department

This is for the Catholics out there, but non-Catholics are welcome to read too.

I have been praying the Rosary* this week, for reasons that will be discussed later, and because it's been some years since I went to church and even more since I was religiously educated, I needed to consult a pamphlet for the Apostle's Creed.  The pamphlet is really old--like pre-Vatican II old--so it has a whole page on how many indulgences you get from praying the rosary a) alone; b) with family (private or public); or c) with a large group (again, private or public).  Indulgences, for those who don't feel like checking out the links, were basically time served for good behavior and shortened the time you would have to be tortured in purgatory before going to heaven. You got them from "good works" and from apparently praying the rosary with your family and in a group setting.  Indulgences were either partial or plenary, although the unit of measure that constituted what was partial and what was plenary was up for interpretation.  Hours?Days? Weeks? Who knows? Reading or listening to the scripture (piously, mind you) for 30 minutes got you one plenary indulgence.  The Second Vatican Council kind of shied away from indulgences, after that whole Martin Luther thing.

So I got to thinking, with all these people doing all this work for all those indulgences, partial and full, Jesus would need a really good accountant to keep track.  A whole department, I would think. Maybe even a Controller to keep the department in checks and balances--probably St. Matthew.  

Somewhere, a heavenly accounting clerk is digging in the holy filing cabinet for my records and adding a couple of plenary indulgences in my credit column.  Thanks, buddy.  Add a couple for Brian, too.  

*It's not jewelry! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Too hot to knit, except for baby things

I'm almost done with this sweater and I'm very proud of the little pocket I made.
Almost done with this sweater. Hooray! on Twitpic

Google doesn't let friends drunk email. Way to be looking out, Google.

It's late, I know.  Technically, this is my August 12th post even though it's after Midnight. 

I was emailing my sister (Hi Katie!) and I hit the send button, when suddenly a window popped up.  It said something about it being "that time of day" and asked me to complete some simple math problems in 60 seconds before it would send my email.   Now, I'm sure Google is filled with a bunch of super smart folks who think it's easy to subtract 26 from 77 at 1:00am.  But, me?  I can't do that in my head at 1:00PM, let alone at this hour, when I'm tired and I've been crying (more on that another time). 

I appreciate you looking out for me, Google.  Next time, though, can you make the simple math even simpler? 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yummy! Gooey! Fun!

Yesterday was National S'mores Day, so naturally, we ordered s'mores at Barney's Beanery last night. 

photo courtesy of Karyn Newbill

That blue lump in the stone bowl is the flame.  Oh no! Karyn's marshmallow is on fire!!!  S'mores and The Matrix on 20 giant screens in HD--now that's just good clean fun.

Sadly, the delicious s'mores did not add to our mental prowess and we didn't win trivia last night.  But that's okay, the highest score was only 53, and that was from a team of 15-20 people who work in the medical field. There were some tough questions.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not a-musing

Damn my flighty muse.  She's the one who makes me cast on for a sweater, or blanket, or scarf on the hottest day of summer even though I already have a million other projects crying for attention.  She's the one who makes me suddenly want to cook something fancy and gourmet even though I'm the only one home to eat it.  And lately, she's the one who puts words and stories in my head and pushes them out of me via a pen in my right hand even though I'm in the middle of some very important things, like getting laundry together so I don't have to go naked, or typing up two and a half hours worth of meeting minutes that are due today!  That rotten muse. 

Her latest:  I was washing my hands and about to leave the bathroom, when this sentence came to my head, "Frank was an asshole from the very beginning, which Kay knew but chose to ignore."  What followed was an old story, for which I have had a closing line, but not an opening.  Muse, don't you know I have a meeting to listen to and transcribe?  Don't you know I have a huge meeting on Friday, the details of which need to be ironed out and finalized?  Don't you know I don't have time to be writing no short stories??  I guess she doesn't.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Denmark? Reallly??

We won at Trivia again last night. (Yawn) I'm really trying not to get all smug and cocky, because I feel a comeuppance coming on.  Last night, though, we couldn't help ourselves.  The category for the round was Islands.  There were some easy ones:  On what island can you find Guantanamo Bay Naval Base?  Sardinia is located off the western coast of which country?  But ol' question number five had us stumped but good.  

The US purchased the Virgin Islands in 1917 from what country?  

I know!!  Okay, sure, there are probably a lot of you out there who know the answer.  None of you were at our table.  And apparently, none of you were at Barney's Beanery in Santa Monica last night.  We debated.  I thought France (based purely on conjecture and that one of the islands is St. Croix and that sounds French).  Another teammate said Holland, based on dutch names of towns and such.  None of us knew for sure and we tried to be deductive about it.  "Martinique is nearby and they speak French there."  "Bahamas are nearby and they speak English and use dollars"  "There's a British Virgin Islands, too."  In the end, we put Holland down but did not check the "Double or nothing" circle.  

The answer is, of course, Denmark.  And absolutely no one--NOT ONE TEAM--got it correct.  Yet nearly everyone--all but two--doubled down.  The quiz master was reading the scores and it went something like this:  "(team name) Unsuccessful double down, zero points (team name) Unsuccessful double down, zero points. (team name) Unsuccessful double down, zero points....." until it just became ridiculous. We were cracking up.  When he finally got to our team, one of the only two with scores, we couldn't help but rejoice.  I've never been so happy to get five points.  

Then some Opie Cunningham-looking dude gave us the eye and said, "that team has to go down."  Sorry to disappoint you Opie Cunningham, but this was the third time we've placed First in a week.  We are on fire (whispered because I don't want to tempt fate).  

Sunday, August 07, 2011

New adventures in laundry avoidance

Yes, another weekend and I am finding ways to avoid doing my laundry.  I had planned to do it yesterday, but I woke up with a migraine and was useless for the rest of the day.  I did nothing more than lay in bed and avoid direct sunlight.

Today, I felt much better, but still did not feel like getting out of bed.  So, I read a few chapters of my current book, played some mahjong solitaire on my Kindle, and picked up an old journal from the nightstand.  Sometimes I like to reread stuff and see where I was back then.  This particular journal,  from around 2000-2001, was one in which I wrote story ideas, snippets I'd thought of, great titles, and some beginnings of stories with plotlines vaguely formed.  I re-read them and realized why some never went anywhere.  But one had a good start and I already knew how it ended.  So, I grabbed a pen, and started writing. I used some of the already-written piece and added on and on until a few hours later, I had a pretty good story going, but still no clean clothes.  

So, I took a shower and gathered my baskets.  I mean, I can't put it off forever.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

You Dim Sum, you lose some

Yesterday, I was not feeling it.  I was frustrated and cranky, so even though I have a ton of things that I need to do for a big meeting next week, I ditched work and went to lunch with my boss and her family for her birthday.  We went to Ocean Star in Monterey Park for Dim Sum. I'd never been before, so while I was on the phone with my boss, I looked it up on Yelp.  Note to self: Do not look at the photos on Yelp.  There are 200+ photos from this place and while most of the food looks fine, people just love to photograph the chicken feet, which are just gross no matter how good the lighting or angle.  The boss and I kept going "ewww, look at that one!"  Lots of folks out there with (chicken) foot fetishes.  The food was good and cheap, though.  My favorite was the shrimp har gow, and some seaweed wrapped shrimp thing, but everything was delicious.  

Next, still not feeling the work thing, I went a few blocks down the street to watch a culmination at one of our schools.  There is nothing cuter than kids singing for their parents. They get so excited and embarrassed at the same time.  It was pretty adorable.  Afterward, we were served refreshments from around the globe.  

Then I got lost coming home because there are all these freeways and I didn't want to sit in traffic...yeah, I found my way back though.  Another note to self:  the stupid bar method class doesn't get out until 5:30, so good luck finding parking on your street before that.  (grumble grumble skinny bitches taking up all the parking on my street grumble grumble)  

Thursday, August 04, 2011

It's hard not to get too cocky

Another night of trivia, another first place win.  One might say we got lucky, beating Tremendous Wang by one point, but I say we're just a bunch of smart women.  And honestly, wouldn't you say Tremendous Wang is just asking to get beat?  What's wrong, guys? Was Hugh G. Rection taken?  It would make sense if they had a guy on the team named Wang.  Our team name, when we settle on one, will be clever and awe-inspiring.  We're in a flux right now.  The name we used is a little too obscure and/or offensive for regulation play.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Do these tire tracks make my ass look big?*

I have been thrown under the bus so many times today I'm beginning to feel like road kill.  First thing this morning, before I even made it into the office, I was taking a conference call from my cell when one of the participants, who wasn't prepared for the call, tells the boss that he hadn't received any emails from me regarding what the call and his subsequent presentation would entail.  That is just a big fat lie.  True, the first email I sent got bounced back, but I then called his assistant personally, explained EVERYTHING to her, then resent the email to him by replying to one of his previous emails.  I even have his reply thanking me! Apparently, his assistant went on vacation and didn't leave him any notes about my call.

Why am I such an easy target? Do people think, "Oh, she's just the assistant. We'll blame her."  Well, be forewarned.  Do not mess with Laurie Ann. I save every freaking email I think might possibly come up and bite me in the ass.   

*nope, my ass is just big on its own.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Questionable Censorship and other Sunday Sundries

I spent most of yesterday hanging around the house reading The Help.  Everyone who highly recommended it was absolutely right.  I can't stop reading...well, obviously I can because I wouldn't be typing this right now, but you know what I mean.  At 6:00ish, I decided it was time to cook some dinner (actually breakfast and lunch, too) and get lunches together for the week.  After that, I settled in for a night of bad television because there's nothing on and I don't have cable.  But do you know what was on?  For the second night in a row? POINT BREAK!!!  I think you remember (or if you don't, I'm telling you now) how much I love me some Point Break.   As you may also know, its 20th anniversary was this July.  In several articles about this film, it has been mentioned that the F bomb is dropped 115 or so times.  That's a lot for two hour movie...that just goes on and on. 

Since it was on network TV, I expected a lot of censorship.  What I didn't expect was the kind of censorship.  Nudity? That's a given.  The shot of the ex-President mooning the security cameras was blurred, as were several other shots, like the naked gals at Warchild and Bunker's house.  All the F bombs, of course.  The word "shit" was out, even "bullshit."  That whole scene in which Johnny and Tyler wake up on the beach and he's late for the raid was cut...because he says "shit" about 20 times.  Oddly, the line in which Johnny asks, "you not into kinky shit, are you Pappas?" was also cut. I think they could have just dropped the word shit, but whatevs.  

But what wasn't out?  Goddamn, and Jesus Christ.  Apparently, shit is a dirty word (George Carlin told us so) but taking the Lord's name is vain is A-Ok!  And on top of the 115 F bombs, cussing the Lord's name was their second favorite expletive.  I guess the censors don't care about good ol' Christian values.  I don't necessarily have an issue with that kind of cussing, mind you, but in the absence of all the other bad words, it stuck out and was kind of uncomfortable.  Even with all the cutting, it still managed to be 2 1/2 hours of network television time.

In other news, it was Metal Detector day on the comics page.  And I guess the ol' metal plate in head joke is still hilarious.