Thursday, June 28, 2007

Curtain Falling for Sad Sack

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Today, Josh Marshall of TPM suggested that it was the 2nd demise of the immigration bill that makes Bush look like a sad sack in his speech today.

I wrote TPM with "Might I suggest that it is not the demise of his immigration bill that is causing the president’s current funk, but rather, all these revelations about Dick Cheney as the wizard behind the curtain. After all, he’s been going around telling people within the last year the he is the decider, the commander in chief. It is, so to speak, the curtain falling for Bush and he’s beginning to realize it."

Dick Cheney is almost daring the U.S. to stage a coup to get him out of the OVP. The bastich!

 
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here We Go Again

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Long time readers here know that Bratworse and I met through a MUD. Soon after she and I got together, we left the MUD we were playing and didn't look back.

Last week, we started a search for a new home to MUD in. And through trial and error, we finally hopped into New Worlds, a MUD run by a former player and pal of ours. Because so many of our friends play on New Worlds, we decided to tell no one of our plans - we wanted to see if we get recognized.

New Worlds is an RP world, which means the second you log on, you create a story for your character and you have to stay in character. Many people think this means talking in Rennaissance Faire language, like 'How art thee, Miss' but that's just not true. It means if you create a Centaur (like I did), you have to remember that you're a Centaur at all times, and if you're a peasant, you have to act like a peasant. If you want to act all high and mighty, then choose noble as your background.

Anyway, Bratworse and I thrive in this type of environment. We get to use our imagination, giggle and interact with other people. One of my character's quirks is, she nods to herself all the time, and she quotes her Ma's sayings all the time.

But here's what gets to me.

The first night we log on, we meet up with one of my best friends from the old MUD. I know who she is, but she has no idea Gryssic is me. And yet, within 15 minutes of rp'ing with me, she already knows it's me, and she tells the designer of the game that it's me. I figured out she knew it was me when the next day, she made me go apologize to one of her guildmates for interrupting his talk. She normally wouldn't make a person new to the game do that, but since she had a feeling it was me (the feeling was getting confirmed with each action I took in character), she had no problems humiliating me.

I confirmed everything with her today when I let her know Gryssic's me. But truth be told, I have missed her tremendously and I am soooo glad to be playing with her again.

I remember when she was just starting out in the other game... and how shy she seemed. I didn't know that she was just getting to know English (she's greek) but when I did, I used to translate for her. Now, she's an ex-GM (Guild Mistress) of this game.

I think we're both hooked.

 
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Why I Wish I could Draw

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There are times I really wish I could do a comic strip called Life With Bratworse. I noticed her pants was loose. I thought about telling her, "You must've lost weight, the jeans look loose." But if I did, I know what would be the result which is why I want to do a strip called Life With Bratworse.

Panel one: Bratworse walks past me with me gazing after her. Me: Didja loose some weight? The jeans look baggy in the ass."

Panel two: Bratworse comes back to face me, tugging at the seat of her jeans. "Really? They look loose?"

Panel three: Caption: 4 Hours Later. Same panel as panel 2. "How much weight you think I lost?"

Panel four: Caption: 8 Hours Later. Same panel as panel 2. "Think anyone else noticed?"

Panel five: Me in bed with pillow over head. Bratworse is looking in the mirror all happy. "I DID lose weight, didn't I?" I'm mumbling something incoherent under the pillow.

 
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Hmmm

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You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

 
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Replacement MUD

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Bratworse and I met through a MUD - a Multi-User Dungeon. 'K, get your head out of there - Dungeon as in D&D as in Dungeons and Dragons, NOT Dungeon as defined in the S&M world. (Man, that image really gives a whole new meaning to dungeon crawl - we gamers think of that term as going into dungeon after dungeon fighting creepy crawlies.)

This particular MUD sucked both of us, and we lost about four years each of our lives to this virtual world. Oh, what is a MUD? It's basically a D&D game that's text-based so everything is based on your imagination. When a Giant Hornet comes out of the Forest after you, you basically just see the words. The terror comes from your imagination AND the consequences from your character dying.

Both Bratworse and I miss MUDs terribly. It's very much participating in an on-going novel on which your character has to react to others. For instance, when my character used to walk into a room she pounced on people playfully. In my head, I could picture my character doing that and trust me, I wish I could do that in real life.

We spent about 5 hours last night searching for a replacement MUD. We wanted one that you could level a character up, that was 18+ so we could engage in MUDsex (trust me, there's a lot of that going on) and that was roleplay intensive. Nothing spoils the imagination like having a character all decked out in medieval armor come up to you and say, "Yo dude, whazzup?" or even worse, "BRB, AFK for 5."

So far, we've found roleplay intensive MUDs that allowed 13 year olds. We found Adult-Only MUDs that was ONLY about sex. We've found adult only roleplay intensive MUDs, but we didn't like the races or classes offered. UGH.

Our search goes on because both of us refuse to believe there was only one MUD out there like the one we were on. Neither of us want to go back to the one we met on, me because I ended up hating one of the Admin and some of the people there, her because hmm I'm not sure. I think she didn't like the Admin too.

 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

See?! Anti-Bacterial Soap Breed Super-Bugs!

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Vindicated, at last! Scientific American has an article out about how anti-bacterial soap may end up doing more harm than good.

If I find out new parents are using anti-bacterial soap around their newborns, I get so pissed. How are the babies supposed to develop immunities if you kill every germ around?

 
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Digby Revealed & OMG! He's a She!

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On behalf of political bloggers on the left, Digby accepted an award from the Take Back America conference yesterday. Who is Digby you ask?

Digby has the blog Hullabaloo and although I have Talking Points Memo as my home page, Digby is easily my favorite writer/blogger because she has a way of putting complex thoughts and issues succinctly and in such a no-hold-barred, straight-forward way that's just breathtaking. Only reason why TPM is my home page is because on any given day, about 15-20 new articles appear on TPM whereas Digby tends to have about 5-8 posts in one day, half of which are written by others.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to her acceptance speech. Perhaps then, you'll understand why most bloggers tend to quote her words at length, or why she was chosen out of all those thousands of bloggers, or why when quoting her, most bloggers use the term "inimitable."

I've guessed for a while that Digby was a woman, because of clues (well outright claims). The first time I read that Digby was a woman I did a double-take. Since then, I had hints from various bloggers and was fairly certain Digby was female. It just made me want to read her more.

Anyway, Digby, just wanted to say thank you and it's wonderful to see your face finally.

 
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Local Fish Stores - a Review

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There are several fish stores within a 15 mile radius of Oakland and I think we have a new favorite, though we have to cross the bridge to get to it.

The Octopus Gardens is where we purchased Ossie, our 75 gallon tank and various asundries. We love Erin, the owner because he has a dark humor, is very sarcastic and dry and ... well, we just like him. Sadly, the Octopus Gardens has closing its doors officially and will be operating out of Erin's home. You can still purchase from Erin at berkeleyaquarium AT yahoo.com however, be forewarned, the prices can be fairly high.

New Alameda Aquatics is another local store I like. They've changed their store hours and their website recently. I've always found their staff to be very knowledgeable and helpful, plus their prices are very reasonable.

Amazon Aquatics, I don't know much about. I've been in there twice and liked what I saw but I haven't really spoken to their staff nor hung out there. There's a lot of space around and maybe that's why I don't hang out there - there just doesn't seem to be as many tanks as some of the other stores.

Lucky Goldfish is really close to our house and rather spacious inside. Because this store deals primarily with freshwater fish, we tend not to go here.

Our latest find is through one of Bratworse's schoolmates. He told us about a store in San Francisco that has a sale every Sunday and so we visited it - twice! It's called the 6th Street Aquarium and it's crammed with fish and fish tank supplies. We took the 3 year old and the 1 year old there this past Sunday because the 1 year old LOVES fish (or at least loves to sign fish). The 3 year old was a tad freaked by the smell, the people and was hanging onto Bratworse's leg almost the entire time. The 1 year old, we tried to keep in our arms, but she struggled hard to get closer looks and finally got her way. She was in hog (or is that fish) heaven!

Anyway, this aquarium gives us an excuse to visit the city.

 
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Almost There

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Oooooh, it's so close now I can taste it. The windows (double-paned) have been put in and the sliding glass door. This weekend was fantastic in the living room. Bratworse skipped the 2nd half of her class and came home on Friday night. I cooked a couple of hamburgers for us and enjoyed our new living room. It was nice and cozy.

Saturday morning, Bratworse cleaned out the bedroom and rearranged some stuff so that the bedroom looks fantastic now. My honey!

The cats are happy, everything is great. AND I managed to thwart Bratworse's attempt to purchase a shark for our tank. (My thwarting may only be a procrastination maneuver at best; I've a feeling within the next three weeks we'll have a shark in the house).

Oh, and Fluke perished last night. Bratworse says that because we were able to catch Fluke by accident proved that Fluke was probably weak and destined for a short lifespan anyway. She's probably right.

Towards the end of this week, we'll have the kitchen and bedroom windows put in and construction on our unit will finally be done! YaY!

The living room is starting to look really nice.

 
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Friday, June 15, 2007

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Those are three additions to our new tank. We'll probably experience a territorial fight between all the damsels we got, since these are fairly territorial creatures. We named the domino (the black one with white spots) Domino (how original I know), the 3 stipe damsel - Zee, and the blue devil damsel - Neon. There's another fish that we got accidentally, so we named it Fluke. The original damsel we got, we named Cat. It's a blue-gold damsel.

 
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Gonna Wash That Shampoo Outta My Hair"

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See this shampoo here? It's my beloved Aussie Shampoo. Only about 4 years ago, they discontinued this and produced a new version of this. It comes in a god-awful purple bottle, I guess so you can spot it immediately down the shopping aisle.

Back then, I tried out the new "improved" version of this shampoo. First off, the nice non-offensive yellow-cream color was changed to a pearly white color. Secondly, they improved it by getting it not to lather. Just a dab of the original shampoo would lather up my short hair quite nicely. With the new "improved" version, I needed 5 times as much shampoo to get the same lather. I instantly saw what the improvement was: it was an improvement for the manufacturers and retailers since you had to replenish the shampoo more often (5 times more often!).

Apparently I bitched about the new "improved" shampoo so much that Bratworse went on a shopping spree when she went to visit her mother. She went into EVERY grocery store and drug store near her mother's house and bought me 5 bottles of the original shampoo.

Four years later, I finally used up the last of the shampoo about two weeks ago. *SNIFF*

I'm on the hunt for new shampoos. I've tried out Garnier's Fructis and BOY! I DO NOT LIKE this shampoo at all.

Aussie Mega Shampoo left my hair feeling light and responsive. Garnier's Fructis feels like it's still in my hair after I rinse, leaving the hair heavy and unresponsive. Of course, it's that pearly white that the new "improved" Aussie Shampoo is - I am now totally prejudiced against that color of shampoo.

Manufacturers of Aussie Shampoo: I understand you needed to up your profits some. But why did you have to come up with something that's FIVE times worse? Why not just twice? I really miss your shampoo - when I tried it out in the 80's I visibly relaxed because I no longer had to spend minutes in the shampoo aisle trying to figure out what I kinda liked.

Ugh, I hate how my hair feels because of this Garnier Fructis.

Oh, by the way, Bratworse? When you bought me these 5 bottles, you did something no one else in the world has even come close to matching. I love you so much and thanks!

 
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A True List of Hotness

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Recently, a co-worker brought in a Maxim at work and showed it to me thinking I'd be interested. *YAWN*

Apparently, Maxim ran a top 100 list of hottest women recently and so, AfterEllen.com - a favorite website of mine that caters to lesbians - decided to see what lesbians would pick as their hottest 100 women.

Can you imagine Queen Latifah (she's #55) making ANY of these straight idiots' lists? I find her TOTALLY hot (a wistful sigh escapes my lips every time I see her onscreen).

But what's funny about this list is, it's like a who's who of every woman who's ever kissed a girl onscreen. Notable exceptions were Laurel Holloway (which is UNBELIEVABLE since she played the ultra-cute Randy in The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, a GREAT lesbian coming out flick AND she's in the L Word albeit as a bisexual bitch right now) and Denise Richards (which straight men find hot, but not lesbians which is why Neve Campbell made the list and not her though they had one nice hot lesbian scene together in Wild Things).

Also surprised that Mariel Hemmingway didn't make the list since she was soooo great in Personal Best.

BTW, all three of these actresses from the L Word made it onto the top 100 with Leisha Hailey (the blonde on the right) being number 1! It helps that Leisha is the ONLY actress on the L Word to be out as a lesbian.

 
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Older Than I Thought

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The other day at work, we were comparing ages. I insisted I was 42 until someone asked what year I was born in. Turns out I'm turning 44 this year.

This is weird for me. In the past, I've always thought of myself as older - I was 28 from 25-28 just cause I liked the number. I was also 36 for 3 years from 34-36.

Maybe I'll start declaring that I'm 48. But I know Bratworse would hate it.

 
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View from the Train

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Went to the zoo on Sunday with my 3 year old friend and my 1 year old friend. One of the first things we did was go on the Carousel which my 1 year old friend LOVED LOVED LOVED. In fact she loved it so much, she headed back to the carousel without prompting, prompting me to run between people after her. I'm not sure what fascinated her more, the circular motion of the carousel itself, or the up and down motion of the horse.

When asked what she wanted to do next, the three year old shouted, "The Train!" There is a small track inside the zoo, that runs past a few exhibits and makes a couple of loops. Judging from reactions from both within and without the train, there seems to be an unspoken rule that if a train with youngsters go by, both riders and observers need to wave. We waved at every passenger on the train, twice (since it loops). When it was our turn, we waved at every passerby, some twice (since they have the liberty to walk away and to the train, I've no idea if we passed all of them twice).

However, the most memorable thing for us adults on the train was, as we rounded the first turn and came upon the Tapir exhibit, we caught sight of a very long and slender schlong, dangling fully extended from the male Tapir, who was halfway onto the female's back.

Of course, every adult on the train cheered. After all, the train was filled with products of such unions.

 
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Setting up an Aquarium

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YAY! Our 75 gallon tank FINALLY has sea water in it!

The day the flood happened in our condo, was the day we were set to start our 75 gallon tank. It is now a year and a month later and we finally were able to get started on this project again.

To cycle our tank, we got one of these guys, an arrow crab, one new live rock (our $500 worth of live rock didn't survive the year. Neither did our $100 of live sand), a scoop of live sand, and one blue/gold damsel.

Welcome to the family guys and thanks for helping to cycle our tank.

 
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Fire Alarm

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Ugh, nothing like a 1 AM fire alarm going off in your building to truly disrupt your sleep. Both Bratworse and I were fast asleep when for some strange reason, the fire alarm went off. She managed to wake up and get us out of bed. I was in a dead sleep, you know, when your limbs feel immovable? My first thought was, the cats! Then I realized 80% of these alarms are false and before I should try herding cats while stumbling in the dark, I should see if the alarms are real.

Sure enough, it was a false alarm.

There's only been two times when the alarm was real, in the past 14 years I lived there. Once, the alarm went off during a Raiders playoff game (when Gannon was quarterback) and most of us Raiders fans had to really fight between watching the final few minutes or leaving for safety. Guess what most of us opted? We watched until the game was a fairly foregone conclusion (pretty much but with the Raiders, we've been known to blow huge leads) then we went outside to talk about the game while firefighters put out a fire.

The other time, it was set off by someone's bad cooking and that was in the middle of the night. I was the only one to respond (it was again about 1 or 2 am and everyone was asleep). When I smelled smoke and realized no one had left their condos, I ran around pounding on people's doors. This time about 20 people gathered outside, though there was no sign of smoke or anything.

Needless to say, I had a really hard time getting up.

 
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Friday, June 08, 2007

That Sound You Hear...

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... is the sound of energy execs scrambling to offset their losses in this new and cool technology.

Apparently those real geniuses over at MIT have discovered wireless electricity!

The big question I have for when this techonology becomes available to the public at large is, are we going to trudge up cables from underground to keep them from polluting the earth more, or will we just leave them for some future generation to worry about? If I know human nature, I'd put my money on the second answer. *sigh*

But hey, wireless electricity - cool shit, no?

 
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Yes, Cap'n!

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Our really good pal, Bryan the Fireman just made Captain! It's been a long time in coming since he's been acting captain of his firehouse for a few years now. This promotion just makes it officially real.

Before deciding on becoming a fireman, he was a drifter in jobs, going from carpentry to computer systems to I believe even a bartending job. Being a fireman was literally his calling.

Congrats, Cap'n! Should we salute you when we see you next?

 
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The End of the World

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So over the weekend, we go and visit Bratworse's Mom, Sugarmeesweettt. Sometimes, things that come from Sugarmeesweettt's mouth really amuses me.

One of the things she declared to us was that the world was going to end on December 12th, 2010. As we're rolling on the ground laughing, she claimed that she saw an old china-woman on TV say that the Chinese calendar ends abruptly on December 12th, 2010 and that indicates that the world is going to end.

"But," I said weakly as tears roll down my face, "how can that be when the Chinese calendar ends and begins usually in January/February? It makes no sense that they would stop it before the year ends."

She rolled her eyes at me as if I was naive. "The world ends of course. Why would they continue it when the world ends."

Of course. What WAS I thinking?

Anyway, I think this is what she was referring to: (courtesy of Wikipedia)
December 21 — The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the Maya civilization among others of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, completes its thirteenth b'ak'tun cycle since the calendar's mythical starting point (equivalent to 3114 BC August 11 in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, according to the "GMT-correlation" JDN= 584283).[1] The Long Count b'ak'tun date of this starting point (13.0.0.0.0) is repeated, for the first time in a span of approximately 5,125 solar years. The significance of this period-ending to the pre-Columbian Maya themselves is unclear, and there is an incomplete inscription (Tortuguero Stela 6) which records this date. It is also to be found carved on the walls of the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, where it functions as a base date from which other dates are computed.[2] However, it is conjectured that this may represent in the Maya belief system a transition from the current Creation world into the next. The December solstice for 2012 also occurs on this day.
Sugarmeesweettt, it's the Mayan calendar, not Chinese and it's December 21st, not December 12th. Whew. We'll have an extra 9 days to have fun and enjoy ourselves before the world comes to a screeching halt.

 
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Sub-Conscious Meanings

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Through BoingBoing I find out that Ray Bradbury has repudiated the notion that Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship.

With all due respect, I think Mr. Bradbury is wrong. I once read a review of Nobody where the reviewer noticed that the main character, Jessica got hurt worse and worse every time she cared. When she didn't give a shit, she succeeded.

I marvelled at this reviewer's insight. In some ways, because I have such trust issues, I wasn't making my protagonist pay for every time she trusted or cared.

Whether we writer/artists like it or not, themes come out through our creations, ones often deeper than the more conscious and intended themes.

 
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