Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Red Tie, or the Blue Tie...

Well, I opted against the Presidential Debate Drinking Game. Following the rules laid out in yesterday’s paper, I would already be crocked, and it’s only 30 minutes in.

I’m watching the debates, but not because I’m undecided about who to vote for. Perish the thought! I know who NOT to vote for.... but since I don’t actually watch network television or CNN, I’ve never actually heard John Kerry speak. I was pretty impressed with Howard Dean back during the primaries, mainly because he was the only one I ever caught an interview with on TV (and that was an accident. I hate TV media. Hate it hate it hate it. I get all my news from print media.... well, and Jeremy. And Fafblog.) But never saw Kerry or Edwards speak. I think that even were he to utterly bomb these debates, I could still vote for Kerry with a good conscience--one of those Lesser Evil things. But I’m pleased to see that I actually rather like him! I’m enjoying his little smiles during Bush’s commentaries; NBC, at least, is not holding with the debater demands, and there are lots of split-screen reaction shots. But if I hear Bush bring up the “wrong war wrong time wrong place” phrase one more time, holy crap.... I know I’m biased, but I do think Bush is not looking good here.

So who else wants to see a debate between Teresa Heinz Kerry and Laura Bush? I would SO buy tickets for that. I bet Teresa would whip Laura’s butt. Or--wait! Teresa Heinz Kerry vs. George Bush, followed by Laura Bush vs. John Kerry! Back to back mixed-doubles card fight! Oh yessss..... Why don’t they put me in charge of these things?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Originally uploaded by hamaker88.
In No Particular Order....

First off, my big doof of a cat, Hal, sprained his paw while loping around the house on Friday night. It got worse over the weekend, and Rat Girl kindly offered to assist me in taking him to the vet on Monday morning. The vet is a wonderful guy, everything went fine, Hal got a cortisone shot and behaved remarkably well. Well, that is, until we got home and set him down for .5 seconds to close the door before removing his leash. He rocketed up the stairs, the leash caught on the bannister, clotheslined him about halfway up, and he crashed back down on top of two gallons of water I had sitting on the steps for refilling the fish tank. One of them exploded, water went everywhere, and he went running back up the stairs to the extent of the still trapped leash and stared at me, white-eyed and trembling, with a look that said "This is All Your Fault." It was spectacular, though not in a good way. It took him the better part of 48 hours to recover emotionally. This morning, both his limp and his demeanor are improved.

I'm happy to announce my good job news, hinted at in a previous post; I'm now working part-time back in the hobby industry, for a company called Crocodile Games. For those who aren't quite so geeky as me and my fellow gamer nerds--basically they make small metal toy soldiers which people buy unpainted; they then paint them and use them to play tabletop wargames. In the Croc's case, the genre is kind of a fantasy Egyptian thing, with jackal-headed troops and bipedal crocodiles. The game is quite good, actually, I like it better than Warhammer, and the miniatures are great! The company has been doing great business since my friend Fitz started it back in '01, so much so that they've now got more orders than he and his partner can effectively handle. So I'm there to help them start the transition from being essentially a one-man operation to being a serious player in the hobby industry. It could come to nothing, or it could mean that a year from now I'll be working full-time for a successful company, going to conventions around the country to rep for the game. We'll see.

Third, I taught myself to use Adobe Illustrator this weekend, with the welcome assistance of Li's book on the topic. Nice program, like a highly complex and flexible version of Appleworks Draw. Or MacDraw, remember that?

Last, my Coffee Bitch tells me she has got her hands on a cookbook that will teach her how to make architectural cakes of epic proportions. I've placed my order for a cake that looks like Chartres Cathedral. Get to work, Sally!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Dispatch from Planet Lockdown

This morning I headed down to the Children's Museum to pick up some stuff for the contract work I'll be doing for them in the next few months. As long as I was there, I took time to go visit my dad's ship model and the new Dinosphere exhibit; I stayed through the 20 minute "weather cycle" of the exhibit, then headed home. Passed a surprising # of police cars, and noticed that two news helicopters seemed to be circling the area above my neighborhood. "Great," think I, "something's up." Between the Children's Museum at 30th St., and my place almost due north at 54th, I passed about 8 cops, the last one being on one of the two bridges into my neighborhood. This was alarming enough--cop cars at each intersection for over a mile?--but was made more alarming by the fact that the cop was standing outside of his car, and was holding an assault rifle.

Apparently, at almost the precise moment when I was crossing Boulevard on 52nd, en route to the museum, a dude suspected of being a car burglar was being detained by one of the Butler University cops outside Hinkle Fieldhouse (at 49th and Boulevard.) Not wanting to be detained, the dude grabbed the officer's gun and shot him in the head. Had I had my window down, I would probably have heard the shot. Had I followed my usual pattern of going down Boulevard rather than Capitol to get to 30th St., I might well have witnessed the incident, or possibly would have seen the gentleman in question fleeing the scene into the neighborhood south of mine. By the time I came back north an hour later, the police had spread a dragnet (which I unwittingly drove through) around the area. They were even checking the trunks of people's cars as they came out of Rocky Ripple. I spent about 2 hours indoors, watching the local breaking news on TV (and hooray for our local station who blurted out the name of the fallen officer mere moments before the police official announced that he was in fact dead, and that they were witholding his ID pending notification of kin. Nice going, you jerks.) I turned it off when I saw the 4 second clip of the officer's ambulance arriving at the hospital for the 12th time.... and sure enough, I knew when the manhunt was over without benefit of TV because 2 unmarked cars went tearing down my street, lights blazing, and both cop cars left the bridges in a hurry. The gentleman with the gun had been flushed out of someone's backyard about a mile south of me, and the police gunned him down while every other cop within a 2 mile radius sped to the scene. I'm no doctor, but in the helicopter view of that scene, the guy looked pretty dead. So with that, the lockdown was lifted, and we could go about our business. I was free to go to the bank, and pick up my dry cleaning, and think about the fact that this beautiful fall day just became the worst day of numerous people's entire life. That's true every day, of course.... but it usually doesn't happen in my literal back yard.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

OK, That's Just....Ick.

As I've mentioned before, I enjoy using Sitemeter to see who's reading my blog and how they found me. Sure, it kinda gives me the willies when I see someone's Googled my name--but that's nothing compared to the utter creepiness of this week's hit spike. Since posting about Wonder Woman, below, I have gotten multiple hits from people Googling the phrase "Lynda Carter chlorofirm."** Tracking this back, I discover that I am only one of many sites which mention those three words in near proximity (not too surprising.) But the #1 spots on Google's list are taken up by.... shudder.... guys posting on message boards about how these scenes in WW turn them on. Chlorofirm** as sex aid--who knew? Good thing it ISN'T available at Sam's Club! And today's discovery of note: I am the #1 site to come up on Google when some weirdo Googles "Bionik Womyn chlorofirm." **

Changing to a less peculiar topic, I did watch "High Society" this evening. While I'd agree that some of the musical numbers are worth hearing (Karen, I preferred the Celeste Holm/Sinatra duet about "who wants to be a millionaire") the movie itself has none of the sparkle and depth of the original "Philadelphia Story." I don't think it's just my natural prejudice in favor of the fab four in the main roles, either. The plot has been severely thinned to allow for the music, and C.K. Dexter Haven's character has been utterly changed. He's no longer a reformed alcoholic--which is why Tracey divorced him in the first place in PS--now he's a jazz song writer, which somehow was grounds for divorce in this film instead. So we go through the whole film thinking Tracey's an utter idiot for dumping Dex, and we know she'll go back with him because there's no reason NOT to. And Cary Grant's Dex takes great pleasure in tormenting Tracy, while Crosby makes it continually obvious he's madly still in love with her. Sinatra's bad boy image doesn't jive well with the Mike character, we don't see his passion for writing or his fascination with anything other than Grace Kelly's feminine assets.... I do like Celeste Holm, but she still lacks the sharp sardonic edge that Ruth Hussey brought to Liz. The girl who plays the little sister is funny, but a little more cutesy and less conniving than Virginia Weidler. Basically HS is not as razor-sharp or witty as PS, and its peculiar character/plot holes are hard for me to overlook just because of the music. A good musical should integrate its songs within the framework of a solid and interesting plot, and HS just doesn't. Guess I'm still out of the will.....

**I edited this post after the third time someone googled the above phrase (spelled right) and spent a considerable amount of time on my site. Stands to reason if you're a weirdo, you don't necessarily like being called a weirdo on the first site your search pulls up. So unless they bookmarked me, they won't be finding this site again. Shudder.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Knot Gardens

Knot Gardens
Originally uploaded by hamaker88.
Thanks to the Hoser, I'm now a flickr member. So I'm posting some pics of the place where I worked this summer. My last day was last Sunday, and I already miss it... sort of. The pics aren't great, but you'll get the idea of what the place is like.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I Suppose It Was Inevitable...

My parents officially disinherited me this evening. And not even for the reasons I would have imagined--all my grevious wrongs as a daughter apparently weren't enough to push me over the ledge of parental non-ownership. No, my unforgivable sin was that I confessed to not liking Frank Sinatra. Yes. It's true. I don't like Bing Crosby either; I think that was the real deal-breaker right there. It began with an argument over whether "High Society" is a superior film to its non-musical counterpart, "The Philadelphia Story." Naturally, I hold that any film with Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Ruth Hussey is by definition superior to one with Frank and Bing. Pressed, I finally said "But I just don't like Sinatra...." and it was all downhill from there. My favorite movie musical is "Singin' in the Rain," and therefore my favorite musical singer is Gene Kelly. Mom insists that Gene isn't a singer, he's a dancer, to which I say well he sure sounds like a singer when he's actually SINGING in the RAIN.... You can guess how things progressed. And then the final straw was when I reluctantly admitted that I haven't actually watched "High Society," although I've seen many other films with Bing and Frank and haven't warmed up to either of them in the slightest. So I'm out of the will. They're giving it all to the Republican Party instead because they know that will really twist the knife for me. Guess I'll have to watch the movie to get out of el casa de canem.

Oh, and while I usually shy away from reading political blogs when I don't actually know the person behind them, I'm totally taken by Fafnir and his Fafblog. I've been reading it periodically when Rubber Hose links to it.... but I think I'm going to be a regular now. "Laundry Day" convinced me that these guys are above average, high-quality lunatics; it's like political commentary on an extended acid trip. I love it. I wish I could write like that.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Well, THIS Should Come as a Surprise to No One....

What Color is Your Brain?

brought to you by Quizilla

: I need to be "hands on": I like to play games, to compete, and to perform. I enjoy flexibility, changes of pace, and variety. I have difficulty with routine and structure. My favorite subjects are music, art, theatre, and crafts. I often excel in sports. I like solving problems in active ways and negotiating for what I want. I can be direct and like immediate results.
With friends: Planning ahead bores me because I never know what I want to do until the moment arrives. I like to excite my friends with new and different things, places to go, and romantic moments.
With family: I need a lot of space and freedom. I want everyone to have fun. It is hard for me to follow rules, and I feel we should all just enjoy one another.

Once again, surprisingly accurate. Maybe I should go buy that bike....

Sunday, September 05, 2004

In Your Satin Tights....Fighting For Your Rights....
And the Old Red White and Blue-ooooo!

It's been a glorious few weeks for me, for sure. Pure happiness arrived, in the form of the full first season of "Wonder Woman" on DVD. Rat Girl brought to my attention the fact that this had been released (by saying, "this is what I would have got you for your birthday if I'd had any money." She got me a cool stuffed "Animal" from the Muppet Show instead, and I bought the DVD myself. So it was like two gifts for the price of one, and now I can make Animal shout "WO-MAN! WO-MAN!" whenever Lynda Carter is on the screen.) Naturally I hit Amazon up for it right away with some of my birthday money, and in no time at all I was watching Diana Prince twirl and explode into my favorite superheroine of all time. What an awesome show. This is just the first season, which takes place during World War II (as did the old comic book) and Wonder Woman aids America in its battle against the Nazis--who are slightly less incompetant than Hogan's Heroes' Nazis, but only slightly. She spends most of her time rescuing Major Steve Trevor, who gets hit on the head and knocked unconcious an average of twice per episode. He's supposed to be a decorated Air Force hero and veteran, and yet he's constantly a victim of the sap, the sucker punch, and the chloroform rag (apparently the Nazis buy chloroform by the gallon jug. They use it all the time. Maybe there were Sam's Clubs selling this kind of stuff in bulk during the Third Reich.) Yet every time Wonder Woman rescues Steve it's always "Gosh, thanks Wonder Woman! What would I do without you?" He's never embarassed that he has to get saved by a chick every freakin' week.... He never seems particularly emasculated or threatened by Diana's physical superiority, and I think this is an interesting point. I can't think of many other women superhero shows like this; "Xena" leaps to mind as a good example of the opposite, where the guys are consistantly underestimating Xena, and always embarassed that she can whip their butts so easily. I can't remember details of "The Bionic Woman" quite so well, but it was on during the same time period as WW, and I seem to have the sense that it too took the attitude that physical strength and femininity are at cross-purposes--and of course, Jamie's love interest is the Bionic Man, who is stronger/faster/better than she is. The more I think about this, the more intrigued I become. I'm not saying that "Wonder Woman" broke all the stereotype barriers--we won't even talk about Etta Candy, the chubby, man-obsessed, compulsive eater best-friend--but I think it did venture into some then-uncharted waters as far as female hero models.

And of course, Lynda Carter is seriously hot.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It's All About Me, Me, Me.

Once again, I find myself captivated by the Jenny Turpish Slapped Me website. This time it's quizzes, thanks to Jane.... But I also highly recommend her "Oregon Trail As I Play It" page, which made me laugh so hard I cried.

Anyway, here's my fun quiz result for the day.
Better Relationship Quiz
eXpressive: 4/10
Practical: 3/10
Physical: 6/10
Giver: 8/10

You are a RSYG --Reserved Sentimental Physical Giver. This makes you a Nice Guy/Nice Girl .

Oh, poor RSYG. You're the one all your friends of your target sex *should* be dating when you have to watch them go out with jerks. You're the sweet one that the lead in a romantic comedy ends up with after s/he learns a valuable lesson. You're the best friend, the chaperone and the shoulder to cry on when you should be the lover. Well, no one ever said people were smart.

You dislike conflict -- you prefer to express yourself through action, not discussion -- but you know it is necessary. This means you are more likely to tackle an issue before it grows, but you're also more likely to stop fighting before the issue is resolved to your satisfaction. This isn't necessarily a bad thing -- it's kind of a nice compromise between fighting about everything and fighting about nothing -- but you have to remember to look out for your own interests sometimes.

You have a strong sexual appetite, but it seems so out of place with the rest of your persona that people find it hard to believe. Often they try to shield you from sexual content -- it's ridiculous, but you can use it to your advantage: everybody wants someone clean in the kitchen and dirty in the bedroom. That's you.

You don't want to cheat, but you might. Especially since it's only when you're in a relationship that you start getting the attention from your target sex that you should have been getting all along. Your experiences could make you misanthropic if you weren't so tenderhearted.

A lot of RSITs think they're RSYGs. They're not.

You'll end up with someone who deserves you in the end.

Of the 39124 people who have taken this quiz, 4.2 % are this type.

Uncanny, no? I'm not sure if I'm more entertained by the description of my relationship style (which is not bad at all) or by the repeated use of the phrase "your target sex." I realize that they're just trying to keep the quiz gender and preference neutral, but "target sex" is just funny. If you flip it around, it becomes "sex target," which is even funnier. I've always wanted to be a sex target! And yet, as an RSYG, I'm just not on the targeting radar.... Hee hee hee. Ok, sorry. Moving on.

Right, so classes have started, I'm once again a student--it's getting old, folks, I'm almost no longer excited by the purchase of new pencils and notebooks--and the class consists of 8 undergraduate graphic design majors, and 2 museum studies students who wouldn't know Adobe Illustrator if it came up and bit us on the butt. For all I know, it has that capability.... the butt-biting plug-in, or something. Anyway, I'm hoping to come out of this with at least a passing knowledge of GD software and something to put in a portfolio. All design majors have portfolios, and I want one too! In other news, there's some stirrings on the job front, but I'll save that for a future post when I can leave out words like "maybe" and "possible" and all that.