Friday, July 29, 2011

Who do I write like? I'll bite.

After Will (aka Oslowe) and Annika posted their results, I decided to check out what the compubot had to say about my writing.  I used a random sampling from my blog (about 10 posts) and four fiction pieces I've been working on.  These are my results--four for William Gibson, five for Cory Doctorow, one Vonnegut, one Gaiman, and one Chuck Palahniuk.  There was also one JK Rowling, but that was the post in which I talked about Harry Potter, so I'm not counting it.  

I write like
William Gibson
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Didn't William Gibson write Johnny Mnemonic?  That's pretty much all I know of his writing and I won't hold it against him.

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

As for Cory, all I know about him is Boing Boing, and that he kind of looks like Drew Carey.

As for the others--Vonnegut? Gaiman? Palahniuk?  Am I really that dark?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Repairman Returneth (and fucketh with my bathroom)

Remember how I went on vacation and came home to a big ol' mess left by the Frau and the plumber?  Well, I went to Comic Con and returned to another mess left by the Frau and the plumber.  Do you know what I love most?  Getting home late at night from a vacation and scrubbing my bathroom.  

At first I didn't see what they had done, but upon closer inspection, I noticed a new shower head and new knobs.  The shower head still has the blue plastic coating to protect the chrome.  It's a nice decorative feature so I'm leaving it.  Here's the rub, as they say:  The pipe that comes out of the wall is not secure, so when I tried to move the shower head the whole thing moved.  Nice.  There's more.  The shower head piece itself is so tight that I had to grip the base firmly, then gently try to move the head to find the right position so I didn't get a full blast in the face.  [wow, I just re-read that and realized how dirty it sounds...or maybe it's just me.] Oh, and the water came out is a dribble so I had to adjust that knob that is inside the head, which just makes it splash all over the place anyway.  Not the pleasant shower I was anticipating.  Nope, I pretty much cussed like a sailor the whole time.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

I survived Comic Con 2011. But more importantly, so did my feet!

I've wanted to go to Comic Con for some time now, ever since I realized it was much more than just comics.  Because, you see, I'm not so much with the comic books.  I love me some science fiction, though, and dystopian futures and writers of such.  And, I do love cartoons--particularly adult cartoons.  So, after many years of "we should go to Comic Con," I finally got to go.  Four days of Nerdtastic Geektacular Fun.  And 120,000 like minded friends. I may have gotten a little silly and let my fan flag fly.
Transformer head--Judy Greer loved it.
Dragon Ball Z hair

                                           Horribly Adorable at the Dr. Horrible's Sing -a-long Blog screening 

Those who have attended could probably give me some tips on how to manage this next year, but first...the lines! OMG, the lines.  If you had a particular panel or screening you want to see, you'd better get in line two panels ahead of time to get in.  I sat through several interesting panels while waiting for the ones I really wanted.  I learned about Activision's new Spiderman and X-Men games, while listening to Katee Sackoff, Laura Vandervoort, and Val Kilmer (who had the nicest hair of the three).  I learned who Jim Steranko is and  how he got into comics.  I saw a panel on Clone Wars, Gears of War 3 (video game), and a collection of animated shorts brought to us by Spike and Mike (though they were not Sick and/or Twisted--we missed that one).  And I learned about the Wild Cards book series while waiting for Nathan Fillion and the Castle cast. I knew about George R.R. Martin because of his Song of Ice and Fire books, but I hadn't heard of the series.  Now, I can't wait to read them. 

Because I didn't bring my real camera and my cell kept dying, these are the only photos I managed to snag.  They're not good quality. 
Giant Smurfs are scary.

21 and 24 from The Venture Brothers
One of the many amazing Legos figures

Adam West!!
Christopher Moore is made of awesome.

An Ass-cracking good time was had by many.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh, Zyrtec. Why you gotta play me like that?

All week long while I was visiting Pennystucky, I took a Zyrtec and two hits from the ol' crackpipe Symbicort to keep the allergies and subsequent asthma symptoms at bay.  It worked like a charm for most of the time and I felt great.  This morning, I woke up sneezing and decided to take a Zyrtec.  I have been a groggy listless mess ever since. 

I can't afford to be, though.  I have six days worth of work that needs to be crammed into three days because I'm going to Comic Con on Thursday. I really needed to unpack, inventory, and then repack the branded supplies closet, but I just couldn't muster the energy to undertake that task.  Instead, I started cleaning up my office, until I realized that half the stuff in my office needs to go into the supplies closet.  It doesn't help that it's so cold in our offices that all I want to do is curl up with a blanket, which our promo company has so conveniently provided in my monthly sample pack.  I got this adorable pen, too.  Look how happy he is!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Damn, Nature. You Scary.

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II  last night at midnight.  I won't ruin it for you.  It was as awesome as you'd expect.

Needless to say, I was super tired this morning and didn't wake up until my internal alarm started screaming "Move your car! You'll get a ticket!!!"  I leaped out of bed, tossed on some clothes, and moved my car in that dizzy half-drunk state one finds oneself after a mere two hours of sleep.  Coming back to my front door, I noticed a dead pigeon on the lawn that hadn't been there a minute ago.  It was right at the bottom of my stoop, barely in the grass, so I would have seen it on my way out.  "That happened quickly," I thought.  I saw no blood or claw/tooth marks, so I didn't think a cat got it.  I also didn't see a head, which confounded me.  Whatever.  I stumbled back upstairs and lay on the bed a few more minutes to clear the lightheaded feeling before hopping in the shower.  Thirty minutes later when I left for work, the pigeon was still there.  Just as my foot was about to hit the bottom step of my front stoop, a hawk swooped down out of nowhere, grabbed the dead pigeon, and flew off in a shower of gray and white feathers.  It was strangely beautiful.  I get the whole Circle of Life thing, but dang, nature is cold.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tick Check

Just an observation:
I'm a single girl, have been for a very long time.  And while I occasionally (rarely) enjoy the company of a man, I haven't had a steady relationship in forever.  Normally, I don't dwell on it and this singleness is not something I lie awake at night thinking about.  But this past week, visiting family and friends, it was hard not to think about it.  See, my brother and his lovely wife have an amazing relationship, one forged from 30+ years of sticking together through good times and bad. Being with them for a week made me think "I want one, too!" the way one does after holding someone else's baby or playing with a puppy. In fact, there were a lot of husbands and wives for me to observe this week.  Each relationship had its own unique quality.  Some couples were young, some had been together forever, some were second marriages, some in their golden years--but all of them making it work in a way that is completely mysterious to me. One man and one woman, relying on each other, helping each other, comforting each other, and finally, marriage made sense in a way it never had before.  And you know what?  I'm kind of jealous.

Plus, there's always someone there to check for ticks.

Don't let me get started about the babies and puppies, though.  It'll be ugly.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Repairman Cometh

The Good News:
My apartment has not been condemned.  Frau and/or a qualified repairman visited my apartment while I was in Pennsyltucky having a grand time and fixed the leaks.  The bathtub and kitchen sink have been re-caulked.  The cracks have been spackled, and there is a fresh coat of gleaming white paint in my bathroom.  Hooray!

The Bad News:
Frau and/or a qualified repairman visited my apartment while I was in Pennsyltucky leaving a big ol' mess for me to clean up.  Things in the bathroom were all topsy-turvy and the tub was filthy! My plane got in at 12:01am. By the time we got our bags, it was about 12:40.  Then the drive to Christina's to pick up my car, then the drive home...we're talking about 1:30am when I got to Chez Gingham.  Guess what Laurie Ann was doing at 2am?  Yes, scrubbing the bathtub and the bathroom floor because while I'm not the most fastidious housekeeper, I needed to shower and that tub was beyond disgusting.  And I still made it to work on time.  

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Too tired

 Thursday was filled with little things, like laundry, finish knitting my sister-in-law's birthday present, blocking it, etc.  It's lovely though, see?

Then, Joann and I went shopping for our day of cooking for the big weekend shindig.  We went to Shop Rite, the scene of many an embarrassing shopping trip when we were kids (just ask Jo's sister). Joann loves me.  She bought me Tasty Kakes Butterscotch Krimpets and Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes.

Friday, we met at the new and improved Fire Hall for the cookfest.  The new kitchen is nice and we were able to spread out and get a lot done at once.  However, there was a lot to be done and we were there for 5-6 hours!  Our legs were killing us when we got done.  But we weren't done yet.  After a brief trip to WalMart, we went back to Jo's to make napkin/flatware bundles (in purple and white, the school colors).  In fact, everything was purple and white right down to the serving spoons.  When Joann does something, she doesn't half-ass it.  

Today, the party day, we started early.  I got the Swedish Meatballs going in the crock pot while Bryan and the menfolk set up the tents and Joann got the food table set up.  Jo and I went back to WalMart to pick up the two 6' submarine sandwiches and the cake.  After a momentary heart attack at the bakery counter when they couldn't find the cake (deep cleansing breaths), we ran back to the house.  The party was a success.  The food was good and plentiful.  The guests were merry and many.  And my introvert godson managed to come out, greet folks, and enjoy his graduation party.  All in all, it was totally worth the trip.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

It really is magic

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap: 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap with organic oils is amazing.  I used it in the shower and it left me tingly clean and smelling minty fresh.  Plus the bottle is covered in tiny hard to read rantings about All-One or None (whatever that means) and scripture quotes that makes for interesting bathroom reading.  And it totally gets blood out of clothing (don't ask).

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Visit to the Farm

I drove out to my Dad's today.  Wait, first of all, I got behind the wheel of my mother's old car (it's an '89 Honda) and promptly panicked about my ability to drive a stick.  Never mind that I drove stick exclusively until I got Sandy a year ago.  I just suddenly couldn't remember what to do.  I got used to it again pretty quickly, but my starts are still a little choppy.  I drove up the street, got onto Interstate 80 and then said, "Now what?"  I had a brain lapse and couldn't remember how to get to my Dad's place. Never mind that I lived down the way from him on Princess Valley Road, or that I actually lived with him for the last few months before moving to LA. I just couldn't remember which exit to take and whether it was a straight shot or if there was a turn first.  What's wrong with me?

In the end, I remembered.  I got off I-80 and took old 209 all the way out to Kunkletown, along the same route I took when I outran the state trooper that one time in my Mercury station wagon.  Then I took Kunkletown Road to the old covered bridge, turned up Trachsville Road, then Spruce Lane and onto Lonesome Lane, where my Daddy lives. (I include street names not for the locals, but for Denise, who loves to hear the names of these country roads).  It was touch and go for a minute on Kunkletown Road because things have changed a bit and I didn't recognize where I was.  Then I saw the old barn and the country store and knew I was going in the right direction.  
Dad and I took a drive into town to pick up lunch from the nicest Subway sandwich shop ladies ever.  I mean, super nice.  That's Palmerton.  In the window of the store was a crocheted American flag.  I asked about it thinking one of the co-workers there made it.  Nope, one of the local women crocheted a whole bunch of them for the shops along downtown Palmerton.  As we were leaving I noticed one in every shop window.  It touched my in that soft spot that I thought didn't exist anymore. 
Then John Mellencamp songs started playing in my head.  As we drove along, I remarked for the second time in as many days, "I forgot how pretty it all is."  I apologize, Pennsylvania, for not recognizing how beautiful you are while I was living here.  I'm sure by Saturday I'll be dying of LA, but for now, I am filled with nostalgia and warm fuzzies.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

I spent mine eating red, white, and blue pancakes for breakfast, watching baby bald eagles fly around, and drinking. What more could I ask for? Except for a tick check, 'cause I feel itchy.

Here are some eagle shots for your viewing pleasure.Three baby eagles sitting in a tree.
My brother's favorite squirrel playing coy

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Of all the airports on this trip, I think Detroit is my favorite. They have a monorail, for Pete's sake. And real birds, finches I think, fly free.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Technically, my first day of vacation

I have seven hours before I head off (not into the sunset, since I'm heading east). The hair is dyed. The shirts are dried. My shoes are tied. (hee hee, see how I went for the rhyme there?) I'm still debating red suitcase with wheels or black duffel without wheels. I think they're probably the same size, but the black duffel appears to hold more. Then again, no wheels. Hmmm...

Anywho, just wanted to let you know that I'll be mobile blogging (that's from my phone) while I'm away. Expect a lot of pictures of my family being goofy. Or the firehouse kitchen, which I'm told is spectacular (that's where we're cooking on Friday). Or maybe people in the Detroit airport (I'm sure it's a treasure trove).

Black Duffel bag wins. While it will be a bit unwieldy, it's easier to cram more into it. Also, it will be a crochet vacation...except for Evie's present which I still haven't finished. Yikes! I'll finish it before the week's out. I hope.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Last-Minute Laurie Ann

That should be my new nickname. Why? Because I'm leaving on a jet plane to beautiful Pennsyltucky tomorrow and I still haven't packed. In fact, I'm still waiting for some shirts to dry. I have to dye my hair in the morning (the roots, they are scary). I have to gather my toiletries (no more than 3oz each and all in a quart-sized plastic bag). I have to decide which knitting projects to bring for that four-hour layover in Detroit. I have to charge the Kindle, the iPod, the phone, and remember to pack all the charging cords so I can charge when I'm there. I have to write down all the recipes* I need for my godson's graduation bash next Saturday. (His mother and I will be cooking, and drinking, and cooking, and probably a whole lot more drinking, for a good portion of Friday). I have to hide the good silver in case my creepy visitor, who is actually the Frau** (I got the dirt from Gladys Kravitz downstairs) decides to visit while I'm away and rob me blind. Come to think of it, I think I'll stow the computer at my friend's house. So much to do. Things are going swimmingly.

*Speaking of recipes, I wanted to make my mother's famous macaroni salad for the party. It's Legen--wait for it--dary. I was planning on making her potato salad, too. Guess what? Apparently Joanie never wrote those down. It was all in her head. I could wing it from memory. I know the macaroni salad had sliced green olives, which was my favorite part. But I think I'll see if my sister or brother wrote it down at some point. I'm almost sure Katie did.

**Speaking of creepy intruder of the old German woman kind, Gladys told me that Frau was the one who moved the mug (well, she didn't know that part, but told me she was up here). Yesterday I came home to find the hall light on. Since I never use that light, I assumed it was Frau (although still a little creeped out). Gladys told me the building codes inspector came, but didn't get to see my apartment since I wasn't home. She saw Gladys' though and made all kinds of notes about the mold, the leaks, the heater that doesn't work, the ceiling that's about to collapse, the faulty wiring...I could go on. It's a death trap (it's a suicide rap, we've gotta get out while we're young, 'cause tramps like us, baby we were born to ruuuuuun.) Anywho, the inspector was mad and told Gladys she's filing this and sending Frau a letter. She'll be back in three weeks. So, anyway, Frau came upstairs with a plumber (A Real One!!) to see what needs to be fixed before the inspector comes back. Woo Hoo!

Doesn't matter; I got a raise. I'm going to save the increase amount and move the hell out of this craptastic abode soon enough.