Thursday, August 30, 2012

What are you listening to?

The first dozen songs offered up by my MP3 player today:

Rob Zombie: Blitzkrieg Bop

Duran Duran: Hungry Like the Wolf

Rick Springfield: State of the Heart

38 Special- What If I'd Been the One (to say goodbye)

Joe Diffie: So Help Me Girl

Limp Bizkit: Break Stuff (which totally summed up my mood for today)

Estelle ft/Kanye West- American Boy

Bon Jovi- It's My Life

Fatboy Slim w/Groove Armada- I See You Baby

Donna Summer- On the Radio

Monkees- Take a Giant Step

Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar On Me

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One of my favorite comics, ever!

I Would Lick It For Hours: Two Lumps-Year One

Presenting the Two Lumps ( for your reading pleasure. I can't believe I haven't reviewed this series before. The picture above is book 1- I think we're up to 7-8 volumes now. The thing that makes this comic different from others featuring cats is that in this one, THEY ACTUALLY BEHAVE LIKE CATS. Granted, there is a good deal of silliness, mayhem, and filking (Mel Hynes is a filk goddess) in addition to the cat behavior and that's what makes this series so much fun.

The primary characters are Ebeneezer (aka Eben, or Bennie) and Snooch. Eben is the smart/evil kitty, and Snooch is the generally amiable but dumb cat you can't help but adoring. How close do they come to true felines? Let me put it this way- I now call my Greymalkin "Snoochie-cat". They could be brothers if Snooch was real. (in a sense he was- Hynes & Grant based the characters on Mel's real life cats. I suspect I would have loved them)

How much do I love this series? I read it online (new strips posted M/W/F!) AND I own all the print collections. It's THAT good.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear Officer/Coworker

Ok, so I'm not perfect and make the odd mistake. I can understand that everyone does from time to time. However, here are a few issues that keep cropping up and you might want to start paying attention so that I don't have to start smacking people:

1. If you have drugs in a small tube, it is a V-I-A-L, not V-I-L-E.

2. The damned pills are called LORTABS. Not loritabs, loratabs, loretabs, luratabs, or any other damned spelling variation you come up with. For pity's sake, at least half the time you have the Rx bottle with the correct spelling and you STILL get it wrong.

3. There is no excuse for spelling the name of the drug incorrectly when the computer fills it in for you. (the most common drugs have codes that we enter and it populates the screen for you) There is no such thing as marawana or herion. They are marijuana and heroin. (also, unless you are giving me a romance novel, you do not have h-e-r-i-o-n-e)

4. Believe it or not, we do know the difference between an I-pod and a cell phone. (and the officer that accused me of mistaking one for the other was very sorry that he dragged his Sgt down to our office to watch him open the envelope to prove me wrong...only to discover that HE was the idiot)

5. If you do not sort your evidence prior to shoving it through the window at us/deposit it yourself/check your property slip before you leave the office, it is not advisable to call screaming hours or days later, and tell us we got something wrong and how stupid we are. We are not going to go out of our way to figure out any mistakes and how they might be corrected after you are a jackass.

6. Your case got thrown out of court because you checked evidence out and brought it back without the original packaging and we documented that fact in the chain of custody? That would be YOUR fault, not OURS. Please see your commanding officer for some remedial training...or be prepared to have a foot broken off in your ass if you get in my face again.

7. If you can't read your own handwriting, what the hell makes you think we can decipher your citation?

8. GET OFF YOUR DAMNED CELL PHONE AND PAY ATTENTION WHILE WE PUT YOUR EVIDENCE IN. See reason #5 if you don't understand why. Not to mention, it's rude.

9. The office supplies that the city pays for are crap and we all know it. If you want nice pens, bring your own. Poaching my pens, that I paid for, will get you hurt. And before you try to tell me that it's really YOUR pen and just looks like mine, I mark my pens, in several places, and can clearly see that it IS mine. (and I'm the only one who regularly uses green or purple ink, with the exception of the thieving ho who keeps stealing my pens) Also, there is a reason my stapler has my name written on it IN PERMANENT MARKER and is hidden in my desk drawer. I paid for a quality stapler for my own use. Buy your own or make do with the cheap ones we get.

10. The candy jar ON TOP of my desk is fair game. I keep a fair supply of various hard candies (& occasionally chocolates) out for others to have because I know we all like a treat from time to time. Complaining that I don't have your favorite candy means it's time to buy your own. Oh, and if you're looking for the personal stash that I keep in my drawer? It's now secured in my locker because I got tired of it being eaten for me. You're not welcome. (I'm diabetic & hypoglycemic, so when my blood sugar crashes, I REALLY need that snack to be there)

I hope this helps. Really. For all our sakes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery - Chrystle Fiedler

Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery

Ok, I get it. The author is REALLY into natural cures, etc. That must be why the entire book read like an advertisment for the naturopathic industry with a plot that was rushed at the end to wind things up. There was an awful lot going on for not much of a payoff.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm not a Luddite, I just play one in real life

The irony of this piece is that it's on a blog. I'm not a techie person. I don't care if I don't have the latest gadgets & gizmos. I don't actually have a computer at home- these posts are made from my mother's house, work, and/or the library. If I did have a computer, I'd spend even more time fooling around online and get even less sleep than I already do. (I'm firmly convinced the creators of the internet were all fellow insomniacs) Amusingly, for all that I DON'T know about computers, I'm one of the most techno-savvy people in my office. (One of my coworkers actually called IT when she couldn't figure out how to change her background picture. They were not amused)

My cellphone is mainly used for just that- a PHONE. I do text a lot with my friend Laura. We text a lot more now that I finally got a phone with a QWERTY keyboard. Didn't do so much before then becasue cycling through the buttons to get a message typed out was a pain in the proverbial. I don't stream music through my phone (although it's an option for an additonal $20/mo), and while my phone isn't a smartphone, I recently discovered I *CAN* use it to do limited things on Facebook. This is NOT a good thing. The fabulous Jen Lancaster shares stories with her fans about taking her ambien and then gonig online, usually to comic effect. I was recently alerted to the fact that I also apparently have done this and posted a truly odd message about a blue cat, my feet being funny and "goingsleepiebies" now. Laura and a few other friends thought it was hysterical. (although some of the boys did drop by the office the next day just to make sure I WAS ok) Some family members thought it was a cry for help and called my mother. Oops. Facebook is now signed off on my phone.

I must admit to one guilty pleasure on my phone. I downloaded Ms Pac-man and Jewel Quest and spend far too long playing both of them. Which means I charge the damn thing just about every day.

I don't have a GPS. Don't like them, don't trust them. When you consider that most of them are programmed by the same geniuses who create directions for Map Quest and similar programs, and the number of one-way streets I have been incorrectly routed on, it's not worth it. And I don't listen to my passengers giving me directions, so why would I listen to a robot? (we won't go into the passenger/s forgetting to give me directions, or telling me to take the next turn as I'm passing it)

I have a kindle, but only becasue someone who should have known better inisted on buying me one. I mostly play games on it, too. (Slingo, and several word games) I still prefer holding an actual book and turning pages, but I DO have to admit the e-reader was WONDERFUL for traveling with when I flew out to visit my cousins in washington state last spring. It beat the hell out of hauling a tote bag full of books around.

I don't care about the latest & greatest home video technology. Pick a format, leave it alone for an extended period of time (decades would be just fine), make sure I can get all my favorites on it and I'm good. Ditto for music. (although I can make you a great deal on VHS and audio cassettes if you need some, I refuse to buy my entire collections on another format again)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Darth Vader & Son- Jeffrey Brown

Darth Vader and Son (Star Wars (Chronicle))

There are not enough words to describe how much I love this little book! A look at what life would have been like if Vader had a 'normal' relationship with his son. I laughed until I cried, then I ordered my own copy of this one. One of my favorite scenes- the big guy and Luke walking up to a VERY nervous Imperial officer who says "Er, he looks just like you, Lord Vader."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another look into my psyche via a favorite song...


"We're All Alone"

Outside the rain begins and it may never end

So cry no more on the shore

A dream will take us out to sea

Forever more forever more

Close your eyes and dream

And and you can be with me

'Neath the waves through the caves of hours

Long forgotten now

We're all alone

We're all alone

Close the window

Calm the light

And it will be alright

No need to bother now

Let it out

Let it all begin

Learn how to pretend

Once a story's told

It can't help but grow old

Roses do

Lovers too

So cast your seasons to the wind

And hold me dear

Oh, hold me dear

Close the window

Calm the light

And it will be alright

No need to bother now

Let it out

Let it all begin

All's forgotten now

We're all alone

oh-oh, we're all alone

Close the window

Calm the light

And it will be alright

No need to bother now

Let it out

Let it all begin

Owe it to the wind, my love

Monday, August 13, 2012

Commercials- the good, the bad, and the ugly

Nothing terribly original here, just a rant about television & commericals. I have pretty much gotten to the point where I don't watch much television anymore. My coworkers being unable to work in a quiet atmosphere and insisting on keeping the TV at make-your-ears-bleed volume has been the subject of previous rants, so won't repeat myself. But being FORCED to have a TV on 4-5 days a week means I also see/hear a LOT of commercials. Here is a partial list of the ones I have come to loathe:

1. anything for Old Navy
2. anything featuring diapers, especially the one where the little cartoon babies are having a 'poop-off' and you get to see the diapers 'comically' expand
3. Those #$@^&@& J.D. Wentworth commercials where people sing about having a settlement but needing cash now.
4. Those idiotic Life Alert commericals- especially the obese woman w/the oxygen tube up her nose talking about "I'll give up bread, beer, wine, and soda, but I won't give up my Life Alert!"
5. the nauseating Cancer Treatment Center of America commercials, especially the one where the spouses look like siblings. (before anyone flames me for ragging on a cancer commercial, I have had numerous family members with various forms of cancer. I know how serious it can be and the toll it takes on the entire family, but those commericals just flat out suck)

That said, I can think of 2 commercials I actually like:

1. The car commerical where the family is riding along and suddenly one of the kids starts humming. By the end of the ad, the whole family is rocking out to Ozzy's Crazy Train. LOVE it!

2. The old Free Credit report commercials featuring Eric Violette and his band. Especially the one where they're at the Renaissance Faire. The band they replaced them with isn't nearly as entertaining.

The trainwreck that fascinates me:

There's a local pawn business here in good old Lousyville that does commercials that look like they were shot by the owner's brother on a camcorder. They're so bad that they're funny. The best one was a Village People parody, back around Christmas. The current one is supposed to be a bunch of 'famous' musicians doing a version of Beat It. At least I think that's what it's supposed to be...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I think this originally came from the good folks at the I Can Has Cheezburger sites. I pinched it from Gail Carriger's blog on Goodreads. I'd love to give credit to the original source, but have no idea who that might be, but would like to categorically state that I cannot/do not claim this as my own work in any way/shape/form. I just thought it was too funny not to share:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who Is The Doctor: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who-The New Series

Who Is The Doctor: The Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who-The New Series

Now this was a VERY comprehensive, but well done look at the revamped Doctor Who franchise. It covered a lot of material, with a detailed look at every episode from the into to Christopher Eccleston's Doctor 9 through the 2nd series with Matt Smith (Doctor 11) along with trivia, photos, and a point/counterpoint by the authors. I thought it was going to be dry & boring, but found myself immersed in the details and no coming up for air until several hours had passed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Craft Stores, and how I become a bad customer when I shop in them

So, since my friend Laura got me back into cross stitching a few years ago, I have found myself spending more time & money in craft shops than I have in years.  This is in addition to the specialty stores & websites that she & I both spend too much money with. (special shoutouts to, the Stitchin Post in Nashville TN, Needle Nest in Shelbyville KY, and Keepsakes up near Cincinnati OH) Here's my look at the other craft stores, where I/we buy all kinds of junk, most of which disappears into our homes and is never seen again. (I swear, I'm going to turn that falling leaf fabric into a pillow next week, really! Er, as soon as I find it again...)

Michael's: The cross stitch/needlework section in Michael's keeps shrinking. I got 'lucky' a few months ago and got some really expensive scroll-rods that they were discontinuing for about 1/4 of the list price. Never mind that I have NO idea how to use them- I got a bargain! Service is iffy here, they're constantly low/out of DMC flosses, but they do offer coupons and like I mentioned above, you can score real bargains if you're willing to look around a bit.

Hobby Lobby: I hate them. I occasionally go in and buy things when they run coupons in the paper, but I have NEVER gotten good service in any HL that I've been to. It's probably just as well, because they stock all kinds of baskets/boxes/knick-knacks that I'd spend too much money on if I liked them. The final straw for me was the night I ran in 30 minutes before they closed and an employee tried to keep me out. "We're closing in 30 minutes." Great, I need 3 skeins of emboridery floss and will be out of here in 5. "But we're closing in 30 minutes!" Move, or I go through you. Then, after I got in, grabbed my items, and ran back to the register, the cashier wanted to argue with me about the price on one that was on sale. She all but accused me of swapping tags with another item and held up the growing line with a demand for a price check. Turned out that I was right, but did she apologize? No.

Jo-ann Fabric: Love/hate. I love the coupons, and they turned out to be a semi-reliable source for my British cross stitch magazines after Borders Books closed. I buy way more of the fabric squares than I need-they'll be great for backing ornaments, really!  I HATE that the fabric coupons don't apply to the prepackaged needlework fabrics. (you should have been there when the teen twit cashier was trying to tell me that linen isn't a fabric.) Also hate that you have to watch the register carefully if you're buying items on the last day of a sale- they sometimes take the discount out of the system early and the staff won't say/do anything if you don't. Service is hit & miss here, but they often have multiple coupons and good clearance items.

Hancock Fabric: The cross-stitch supply aisle is a joke. They mainly offer Sullivan floss, but have a few DMC offerings. The prices on most of their decorative stock is ridiculous. The service at the one I've gone to has been so awful that I keep saying I'm never going back. The following email excerpt is a prime example:
Did I tell you about Hancock Fabrics? I wasn’t going to go there again, but someone on the board (the 123 stitch message board) mentioned that they were running Sullivan floss 5 for $1. Someone else added that their version of black is really good and they use it instead of DMC, but use DMC for everything else. I thought it might come in handy for stuff from that Halloween magazine, so I picked up 10 skeins. Hoping that lasts a while, because I got a reminder of why I hate that store while I was waiting in line. The couple before me had 3- that’s THREE- items and it took the woman 10 minutes to ring them up, bag them, and get them to sign their credit card slip. I put my floss on the counter, spread out so she could see how many there were, with the tag facing up so she could see they were all the same, and TOLD her why they were laid out like that. She proceeded to gather them into a big clump, and then tried to scan one at a time, but she kept losing track of how many she scanned. She tried to charge me for 13 and I damn near lost my mind. The manager came running when she heard me snarl for her to get a supervisor, and after scanning in 6 more that weren’t there, they voided the whole thing and started over. (the lady behind me was having quite a conversation, under her breath, with Jesus while this was going on) they finally managed to charge me the $2 for 10 skeins of floss, and the manager was trying soothe my VERY ruffled feathers, so they GAVE me the pack of floss bobbins I was going to buy. (my house has eaten all of the ones I thought I had again) I hand the twit $2.12 in exact change and she looks at it and says I owe her another 20 cents. Before I could say anything (and believe me I was going to), the lady behind me exploded. “how in the hell do you see exact change and ask for more money?!? Don’t you know what 12 cents looks like?!?” I’m betting she got a discount or freebie too. (sadly this was my second expereince like that at that shop, and it was an almost vebatim repeat of the first one, only I was trying to buy ONE piece of fabric that time)

I've worked enough retail jobs to know how badly they suck. I know there are lots of people trying to pull scams, and that retail staff is often underpaid and undertrained. But put me in front of a cashier who either doesn't know how to ring in items or bag them, or who gets argumentative about prices, and watch me turn into the raving psycho customer from hell. Let me ask someone for help to hear "oh, I don't know" (well GO ASK- and, YES, I know that's also code for 'I don't care') or have them act like I'm not there, and get ready for the asschewing of the century.

This is actually why I prefer to shop online. I may not be able to touch stuff, but I rarely have to argue with anyone about my purchase either. Well, except for that one site- there's a reason 123Stitch is now my preferred online needlework provider- but that was the inevitable exception.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Very Fond of Food- A Year in Recipes by Sophie Dahl

Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes

What can I say?  I *REALLY* wanted to like this book. The photographs are beautiful. The recipes, however, mostly fell into the category "pretentious crap that neither I nor anybody I know would eat" and left me cold. Speaking of cold, the one recipe I'm mostly likely to consider trying was one for Earl Grey/Lavender ice cream. That wasn't enough to give it a glowing review, though.