Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Historic Purchase

Amazing! I've finally used my Gap gift certificate from 1997. Bought myself a black knit scarf.

My aunt and uncle gave me this $27 gift certificate for my birthday in '97. But I never shop at the Gap — everything's so expensive, and I don't like most of it anyway. This winter, though, I've noticed the increasing popularity of scarves. What with the Gap being expensive, $27 will only buy something like a scarf. So I picked up a simple black scarf, with knitted cables.

I'd never owned a scarf before, and was pleasantly surprised to find how much of a difference it makes in how cold I feel. No more chilly wind running down my neck!

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Se Falta un Roof Rack

Some cars just weren't meant to transport Xmas trees.



No NaNo, Yes Mexico

So NaNo isn't happening this year, sadly. That paper just killed any chance. Oh well. There's always next year. Thanks to everyone else who got roped into participating! And my sister is aeeeeevil (no one likes the person who has 48k words).

In more exciting news, I'm going to Mexico next month! I'm going for two and a half weeks, to a language school in Oaxaca City, in southern Mexico. It's a homestay with a Mexican family there. I'm really looking forward to it — I'm also open to travelling companions, if any of my friends have $1k and most of December to spare. ;)

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Return to the NaNo Trenches

With my ethics paper turned in and behind me now, I can return to my writing. I'm fairly pessimistic about actually winning this year, alas, but I'm still gonna try up until the finish line. If I write 3700 words each day from here on out, I can still win. Less than that, I could still have a more respectable word count...

Wish me luck. And hate the Squirt (whose word count is currently at over 35k).



Thursday, November 17, 2005

Steel Drum James Bond

Steel drum band playing the theme to James Bond.

While this is really just more fun with moblogging, the band was pretty cool too. They're a group from Cuesta College, and they preformed performed at Farmers' tonight. Their last song was the theme from James Bond. Very cool alternate rendition.

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MoBlogging: Fridge Chart

Refrigerator chart

Blogger lets you post via email, which includes sending images from cameraphones. So this is me trying it out. The picture is a diagram of the new fridge layout, developed by Forrest and recorded by me.



Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Is it me? ;)

Olya was evil and sent me a link to the avatar she'd made for herself, along with theh link to the avatar creator website. I'm supposed to be doing a paper, not playing with avatars! What kind of a friend is she?? Sheesh.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Don't Buy From Sony

If you've been following the Sony escapade over the past month, then you know all about the crazy crap they've pulled. If not, I've copy-pasted from Boing Boing the headings of their detailed list of Sony's recent transgressions against their customers. I highly recommend you go read their list, but here's the condensed version:

I don't buy music CDs much anymore, but occasionally I do. Let me tell you, I will be watching labels closely and avoiding like the plague any of Sony's: Columbia Records, Epic Records, Legacy Recordings, Sony Classical, Sony Nashville, and Sony Wonder. Tell your friends. If you're feeling particular pissed off and boycott-y, there's a lot of other consumer stuff from Sony that you can avoid, too. I'm a fan of voting with one's pocketbook; here's my chance.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

NaNo Status Update: Floundering

My NaNo work has been floundering, because of a major paper that's due this Wednesday. After the 16th, I should be able to get back to my writing. My word count (currenty at a very sad 4166 words) will really need a big boost in the second half of the month.



Friday, November 11, 2005

Drunks, Cat Crazies, and Bloody Feet

Tonight's been somewhat eventful. Interesting times and all that.

Drunken Assholes Next Door

Excuse the swearing, but these guys really make me angry, all the more because we don't have any actual eyewitnesses among our group who can, with 100% certainty, pin it on any particular guy. Last weekend, two guys pissed on our front door and in our jack-o-lantern. Forrest pounded on the inside of the door and yelled at them through it to make them go away. We didn't get a good look at them because you can't see anything of value through those door peepholes.

Then, later that night (around 3:30 in the morning, after we had all gone to sleep), we heard the doorbell ringing repeatedly. Concerned, Forrest and I got up to investigate. No one was around outside, but the jerks had left behind vomit on the door. They took particular care to hit the doorknob and the deadbolt lock. We could hear that people were awake and talking next door, but we had no evidence really linking it to them. Forrest ended up cleaning up the vomit with gloves and bleach. The next day he talked to the office to get them to hose down the front porch area, but there wasn't really much else anyone could do.

So tonight, some more drunks were pissing on the front door. We were very angry at this happening again — we had hoped it was a one-time prank, or a one-time revenge for some imagined slight. Just then, Dan (the other roommate) came home, having walked past the neighbors. He told us that he had just overheard them talking about pissing on our door. Apparently there was internal argument over there, with the main group of partyers yelling at the few drunks who had done it. Moreover, the drunks were guests, not the neighbors themselves.

Aaron and the rest of Them went out to confront the group. We got a fairly chaotic response, but eventually there was some sort of an apology and they came over with cleaner to clean off the door. One guy in a knit cap and no shirt (who "lives way the fuck over there," rather than next door, in his own words) came into the apartment to apologize for his buddies. He said he agreed that what they'd done wasn't cool at all, that they would all go home and let things cool down, and that they wouldn't do anything like that again. Like the word of one drunk guy speaking for another bunch of drunk guys means anything.

Then the neighbors themselves came over, after yelling at this shirtless guest to stop messing around. One of the neighbors talked to us. At first he was apologetic too, but then he started evading questions and shifting blame, and eventually flat-out denied that anyone from his party had anything to do with the night's problems. I called him on evading blame so if we called the cops he wouldn't have confessed to anything, but he just weaseled past that accusation, too. He kept repeating his arguments that it wasn't any of his people. We eventually told him flat out that we didn't believe him but we weren't going to get anywhere arguing with each other. Forrest told him to get out of the apartment — calmly but firmly, though he had to restate the request twice — and the guy left.

We talked amongst ourselves and agreed that we'd call the cops next time it happened, now that we had given internal handling of matters a shot. Personally, I didn't want to be so lenient, but it's probably for the best. I'm not really expecting the problem to stay away indefinitely, but what else can we do at this point?

Cat Crazies

Whoooosh. Anyway. Onto less blood-pressure–raising incidents. 'Lex has finally exhibited cat crazies. The carpet attacked her in the hallway tonight and chased her up and down it. While she was busy fighting of the edges of the carpet, a doubled-folded (and thus non-sticky) piece of electrical tape pounced on her. And she leapt at the wall for good measure. But later, she wouldn't chase a trail of toilet paper. So she's still somewhat defective. :)

Forrest's Bloody Foot

This section title isn't swearing, it's the literal truth. Forrest came back from a late night Food 4 Less run and started reorganizing the pantry. (We now have a shelf each dedicated to cans, spices, pasta & rice, sauces, and "miscellaneous.") While in the kitchen doing that, he stepped on a shard of glass. He hobbled into the bathroom, managed to lift his foot into the sink, and rinsed off his wound. It was bleeding pretty good for a little glass shard.

When we noticed that he'd bled on the carpet, he apologized for doing so. (This is funny because when I was young — maybe junior high, maybe late elementary school — I smashed my nose on the narrow part of a door and gave myself a painful bloody nose. I went upstairs to my parents' bedroom, crying, and the first thing I did when my dad opened the door was say, "I'm sorry for bleeding on the stairs." Priorities.)

So anyhow, I gave Forrest some Neosporin and a bandaid out of the first aid kit (thanks, Dad!). He put on his boots to protect his foot, which was now starting to actually hurt. (Pain delays are weird like that.) Aaron and Forrest went along the hallway to each of the fresh bloodstains and poured hydrogen peroxide onto them. It all fizzed up bloody and gross, but it got rid of the stains. Still, it's probably a good thing that this apartment has that nasty blue-and-gray industrial carpet and not some fancy, fluffy white stuff.

Enough Excitement for One Night

So that's what went on tonight. I'm tired and am going to bed, lest more interesting things happen.

(PS — Hehe, look at that odd-ball collection of category tags below!)

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shadow Pox Dies

The cat that I found in fourth grade (that's more than a decade ago, yeesh!) has finally died. Here's the IM I receive from my mom this morning:

(10:21:39) Mom: Scabby died yesterday. We found her body in the garage, thankfully before it got bad. ....

(10:21:55) Mom: Funeral this afternoon, when I return home from visiting my Dad. ...

(10:22:32) Mom: *Yo' Daddy* picked up the stiff, corpus delecti and CHASED ME around the yard with it. Is he still a boy or what?

(10:23:35) Mom: He also had me take pictures of poor, ol' Scabby .... *after* he had "posed" the stiff body for photos. Remind me to have you girls take care of my body when I die. :-)

Mish sshalnírivnilishe vel'esa. Let me remember her for you.

My friend Sara and I found her in my garage one day after school. We kept her hidden until my dad came home from work, then we asked him if we could keep her. (I was worried that my mom would say no if I asked her first. I knew which parent to ask for which type of crazy request. ;)) Sara thought we should name the cat Shadow, for the black of her tortoiseshell fur, but I wanted to call her Pox, for the brown spots. We comprised, and named her Shadow Pox.

She had a litter of four kittens that spring (after which, we had her spayed). We kept all the kittens. My sisters and I named the two tortoiseshell females Little Paw (the runt of the litter, now just as fat as the rest of them) and Speckles, the tuxedo cat Boots, and the orange mackerel tabby Goldie. All of them are only about a year younger than Shadow Pox, but they are all in apparent good health. (Boots ran off to new territory in a nearby neighborhood, so my sister got a replacement tuxedo cat, Sneaker, from the pound. He still lives at my family's house.)

Shadow Pox was a good cat until she got old. I remember one time, in fifth grade or so, I had gone out on a bike ride by myself. I told my dad where I was going, but he went off on an errand without mentioning it to my mom. Then she went off on an errand of her own, thinking I had gone with my dad. When I came home, it was starting to get dark. The doors were all locked (unusual for my house) and no one was home to let me in. I sat out on the front lawn, cold and worried, waiting for someone to come home as it grew increasingly dark. I remember Shadow Pox happened to be outside, and sat in my lap the whole time I waited for my parents. She was really comforting, and I was grateful she was there with me, even if it didn't mean anything special to her.

But then Shadow Pox did get old. She started scratching out her fur, possibly because of a flea allergy. She would leave clumps of her fur all over the house, and her skin became scabby from her constant scratching. We started calling her Scabby, rather than Shadow Pox; that has been her de facto name for the past several years.

Then she developed what my mom called "cat dementia" — Scabby began fixating on particular spots in the house, sitting in one place for days. Her scabby tufts of fur would accumulate all over the area, until we would forcibly move her. Oftentimes, she'd return to the spot, and we'd remove her again. Eventually she'd go off and fixate on some new location, and the cycle would begin again.

I had often compared Shadow Pox to my great aunt, Aunty C. They were/are both old and weird eccentric. Unfortunately, Aunty C hates cats — thinks they're dirty animals, though she loves dogs — so she and Shadow Pox never got to bond.

Tonight my family is holding a wake of sorts for Scabby, and tomorrow they'll have a funeral and bury her in the backyard. I've asked that they call me when they do that, so I can be part of the event. I assume my dad will sing "Gather at the River," as he has done at most other pet-funerals we have held (for dead lizards and chickens, mostly).

Update, 11:40 PM: My sister has blogged about Scabby's death too, if you want to hear about it from her perspective.

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Monday, November 7, 2005

New Roommate: 'Lex

Our new cat, Alexis — who we call 'Lex — passed out on Forrest's bed. Forrest ended up napping alongside her. :P

So we have a cat now! We went to the SLO animal shelter on Friday, intent on adopting a cat. The first cat we saw was Alexis, a female classic tabby who had been living at the shelter for an amazing month and a half. (Classic tabbies' coats have a swirl pattern, rather than mackerels' stripe pattern.) We thought she was really good-looking, but we decided we ought to see the other cats too, not just adopt the first one we saw.

We went back into the three other cat rooms, where the walls were lined four or five high with cubical cat cages. One of the three rooms had kittens in it, and so we were distracted by their extreme cuteness before we got back to the business of adopting an adult cat.

A dark gray cat (named Gray, of all things) was very friendly, rolling around on her back as we pet her. But in the end Alexis was too pretty and friendly to be left to stay in the shelter another month. We decided to adopt her. There was a small amount of paperwork to fill out, then we made an appointment with a veterinary hospital to have her spayed (a condition of adopting from the county shelter), and were told we could pick her up today from the vet.

So that's what we did today. Her belly's shaved from her surgery. When we first picked her up from the vet, she was drugged and groggy. She didn't complain much on the drive home, but that very well could have been from the aforementioned drugs. She walked drunkenly when we let her out of the cat carrier inside the apartment. :P

Luckily, she wasn't too skittish in the apartment, even though it's a new environment for her. She explored the rooms, found out where the litter box and food and water dish is (though she hasn't used either yet, strangely), then hid under Forrest's bed. She slept there for several hours, then relocated to the top of his bed to sleep some more.

We all went in to give her attention; she's a very mellow cat so far, and was more than happy to put up with the fawning of four people at once. ;) We all left the room, except for Forrest, who stayed behind and ended up napping with 'Lex. (That's 'Lex as in lexers and lexicons, and also sometimes Alexis.) Thus the picture you see above.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

NaNo Begins!

NaNoWriMo count: 2045 words

Today on Cresaea: Ehalle got off her night shift to find her younger brother, Senthin, dead. She prepares with her mother, older sister, brother-in-law, friend, and elder for Senthin's funeral ceremony. Feels guilty about not reacting to his death the way society expects her to. She tries to play the part as best she can. Shows up to the funeral and fulfills her role.

Tomorrow she'll probably find out about the Ashyinave-to-be. Maybe even meet Dekiron already. Or I could start in on the second or third story arcs. It's nice to have the option to jump between stories. Might toy with writing out of chronological order within each story, too, if I can picture some later scenes vividly and want to write them now.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that our living room isn't usually the most writing-conducive environment. The rest of Them eventually settled in to writing, but I'd already hit my 2k goal for the day and was at a good stopping point. My words per hours metric on my online NaNo report card was lousy, though. My sister is already chugging along. Aaron's working on his FSM text (last I heard, he was around 1.5k words), Jerry is doing something about a reverse–Bene Gesserit society (92 words, hehe), and Forrest just tonight figured out he would be writing something about a road trip and a bet (420 words).

Maybe we'll even finish. Maybe, just maybe, we'll even be happy with our results. :P

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