Dec 27, 2008

foiled again

Posted by Mary |

I broke the Internet. My failed attempt to change the settings on my wireless router earlier this week has resulted in a nonfunctional wireless router. Oh, sure, the little lights come on, which is very festive and pretty this time of year. I can ping the router, and my computer says it is working. But the damn thing will not connect to the Internet. I currently suffer the great indignity of having to compute in a single location. Two, if I count the outlet in my bedroom. I can only use one computer at a time. Surely this is hell.

Christmas was really something this year. When I take the time to download pictures to my other computer, format them, put them on a drive, download them to this computer and then upload them to the Internet, you'll get to see just how fun. Yesterday I went to visit Rachel and Glenmore. G is leaving tonight for Iraq, so I wanted to get a little quality time with him. I also got cookies and fudge, so the trip was a success.

The gym cheated me on Christmas eve. They had sent out an e-mail to all UAF employees with the holiday schedule. I woke up on Dec. 24, baked cookies, braved the grocery store (and felt a rage I've not felt since my last trip to Bad Feng Shui Fred Meyer), and then grabbed my gym bag from my office and went to the SRC. My first thought was "Great! Almost no cars! I'll have the gym to myself!" My second thought was "Wait, why are the lights on inside the gym, but off in the office?" Someone had crossed out the 7 p.m. closing time on the sign on the door and wrote in 2 p.m. It was 4:45. They owe me.

I would go work out today, but it's currently -25 outside. I know it's not as cold as, say, -50, but it's still cold enough for me to decide not to drive into town if the only purpose of my trip is to exercise. I'm going to pretend that I'll exercise at home. I may dance or hoop a bit later on, perhaps even some yoga. But I'm not setting foot outside unless it's to grab more firewood.

I'm running low on reading material, but Bob left me with a lot of TV. I've started watching season 1 of The Big Bang Theory. I'm enjoying it, and I understand why other people find the show funny, but frankly I relate to the geeks. Plus, I think that if I had geeky neighbors, my Internet wouldn't be broken.

Given my latest computer woes, it's probably not the right time for me to undertake a new web project, and yet I feel the urge. Details to come.

Dec 23, 2008


Posted by Mary |

Your help,please. I've been trying to come up with an "Overwrought" playlist for my iPod, but I need some suggestions. What constitutes an overwrought song? Well, it's pretty much song where the emotional level of the singing far outweighs the meat of the lyrics.

The rules are that only one song from an artist can be nominated. This eliminates the chance of people suggesting the discography of, say, Meatloaf. Or Tom Jones. Or Neil Diamond. Instead, you've got to say "I would do anything for love (but I won't do that)" or "Delilah" or "Captain of a shipwreck."

Here's what I've got so far:

  • Bangles - Eternal Flame
  • Martika - Toy Soldiers
  • Aerosmith - What it takes
  • Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
  • Asia - Heat of the Moment
  • Dio - Holy Diver
  • Cyndi Lauper - All Through the Night
  • Don Henley - The Boys of Summer
  • Dusty Springfield - Son of a preacherman
  • George Michael - Somebody Tell Me or maybe Teacher
  • Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown or If You COuld Read My Mind?
  • the "Enterprise" theme song
  • "Man in motion" from St. Elmo's Fire
  • Journey - Don't stop believin'
  • Poison - Every rose has its thorn
  • Susan Tedeschi - It hurt so bad
  • Europe - The final countdown
  • Coolio - Gangster's paradise
  • Kim Carnes - Bette Davis eyes
  • Starship - Sara
  • Frank Black - Los Angeles
  • Jamie O'Neal - All by myself
  • Jars of clay - Flood
  • John Denver - Take me home, country roads
  • Lee Greenwood - Proud to be an American
  • Laura Branigan - Gloria
  • Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford - If I close my eyes forever

So, suggestions for Bon Jovi, Winger, Damn Yankees, etc.?

edit to add suggestions:
Mama Caselli sez Night Ranger - Sister Christian
Tom sez Asia - Don't Cry; Journey - Separate Ways
Mr. Caselli sez Nazareth - Love Hurts
Archeobot sez Def Leopard - Love Bites; Guns N Roses - November Rain; Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer; Winger - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight

I can't believe that it took me until Dec. 22 to hear "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses. That's my 80s Christmas song. Then again, I only listen to the radio if my iPod is in my bag. I don't understand why they always take one of the only decent radio stations and make it all Christmas music. We seriously only have about 7 radio stations. Can't they take the country one?

Nasty weather seems to be ensuring that most of the country will also have a white Christmas, but it's also been stranding a lot of people. James was supposed to fly to Dallas on Monday, but will not be leaving until after Christmas. I have demanded that he come to my dinner and sauna. I was briefly flirting with cooking A Very Jewish Christmas, but that was mostly because I wanted to make latkes.

Insomnia on Monday combined with waking up at 4 today to take Bob to the airport means I am very sleepy. I worked two 10-hour days, and thus will not be going in to work at all tomorrow. Instead I will bake and clean and go to the gym. I don't have to go to work again until Jan. 5, but don't get jealous. UAF closes down between Christmas and New Year's, but doesn't give all their employees vacation time. Only 4 days are covered, and you are required to use leave time for the other days. It could suck more - when I was a temporary hire (my first 16 months at UAF), I didn't accrue vacation time, and thus had to take unpaid leave.

I managed to break my wireless network tonight, and am currently connected to the modem. Oh, the indignity. And all because I decided it was time to require a password to get on my network. I brought my new iBook home and saw that it could locate another network, so it suddenly seemed wise to add a password. Bad idea. Now I'm torn between cooking and fixing.

One of my friends is settling down and buying a house. They accepted her offer and today was inspection day. In the basement, she noticed hinges along some of the pegboard wall, which pulled back to show a padlocked door. And beyond the door? A grow room. Another friend wants to know if the grow room increases the house's value. I love Fairbanks.

Dec 22, 2008

not again

Posted by Mary |

I've been up since 4:30, though I've been trying to deny it. Looks like I'll be going to the gym and work early today. Stupid insomnia.

Dec 20, 2008

tragedy has struck

Posted by Mary |

I dye my hair. Yeah, shocker, it's not really red. Quite frankly, I blame my parents for not passing on the correct genetic makeup. They got just about everything else right, though. But my point here is that it's getting close to time to dye my hair again, and the roots are getting visible. As I was getting ready for dinner with some friends tonight, I happened to look closely and I think I saw gray hair. Mind you, I only think I saw the gray hair. I made Celine look, and she said she couldn't see any gray hair, but I think it's there. Is it time to admit I'm no longer young?

Dec 19, 2008

holiday happenings

Posted by Mary |

What is the face of evil?

This, my friends. At work today, we had a white elephant gift exchange, and that man stole my gift! My dvd of Office Space - the special edition with Extra Flair! I'd call him a dirty rat bastard, but some of my coworkers read this blog. I seized the opportunity to take advantage of the an-item-can-only-be-stolen-three-times rule and finalized the ownership of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead.

In entirely unrelated news, I decided to send my mom an e-mail letting her know the Christmas package was on its way. But, what with my personality, this is what came out:

Fort Fairbanks
December 18, 1863

Dearest Mother,

I write to you today to inform you of a recent package sent via Pony Express. It contains tokens of my affection which I hope will help my family to remember me while I am away during these holidays. Please do, at your earliest opportunity, open the parcel, for it contains some goods which may not last until Christmas morn. I speak, of course, of a small gold tin, which contains baked goods for my beloved sister, Jeanne, and her husband. I fear if not given early, these tender morsels of my affection may be bitter and inedible by the time the holiday celebration dawns. Also in the package, but not disguised by the normal trappings of Christmas finery, are two small discs which contain a multitude of music for both my father and my sister and her husband. I rather think they will find these discs a most wondrous invention, for though they bear none of the grooves of our old records (and fondly do I remember those wintry days of my youth when we would listen to records for hours) yet still they issue forth melodies. I dare say I do not understand how such devices create the sounds, but hope that all present might enjoy them.

I had hoped to send monies to you for the purchase of some local spirits for my sister and her husband. Alas I discovered only after my parcel had been taken forth from this place that I had neglected to send the cheque. I will, at my earliest opportunity, send one payable to your order, so that you should not face any unnecessary hardships during these times.

As we are fighting on the front lines, our local command sergeant has seen fit to raise our combat pay, and I entreat you to spend $50 on spirits. The local shopkeeper would surely know of a suitable drink, though if he does not or is a teetotaler (as many these days are), I pray you ask of him for some nice red wines. Don't let him fool you with cheap goods, as some tricksters are wont to do, but rather insist on an Argetinian Malbec or a Shiraz or Red Zinfandel. I have heard also that some white wines are quite pleasing to the palate, though our supply lines have been cut off in the winter and I cannot reasonably advise on any.

The time wears slowly away, though my superiors tell me that the end approaches plainer to view. We are now slowly and surely closing ranks along the city and in a few days I think a glorious victory will be won and a bright day will dawn upon our afflicted company. I still cannot get my colonel to grant a furlough, else I would be home with you for the holidays. I hope these few lines may find you enjoying good health. I remain as always, your affectionate daughter.

Mary V. Haley
Corporal, Company H
17th Alaska Regiment

And her reply?

Beloved daughter,

I received your missive and was happy to hear that all is well with you. I have just finished stringing the cranberry and popcorn for the garland. This forenoon I made several French meat pies and readied a stuffing for our Christmas turkey. This year with conditions such as they are, there is nary a goose available to grace our holiday table. At present we are in the midst of a heavy snow storm. The snow is falling at about 2 inches and hour so there is much shoveling to be done. The Lebanon stables were not prepared for this storm so the horses will not be available for our use until perhaps a day or two.
For now I will busy myself with some knitting. Sister Mary I presume is still knitting her scarf. She seems to have great difficulty in maintaining a pattern. However, I have often told her not to worry. As long as the scarves are nice and warm, no one will notice a few errors in pattern. One must give her credit for her perseverance in mediocrity. I will be working on an afghan to lay over the bed warmer.
Your uncle James is in the vicinity of Fort Griswold in Groton. We are presently unsure of his condition and can hopefully assume that all is well with him. Yesterday I spoke with your grandparents. They too are in Groton. Your grandfather is doing his part in securing his domicile. He stands watch generally from early morning until evening. Your grandmother is still working on the quilt she began about 15 years ago. It should be a work of art if she ever manages to complete it.

Your father was unable to get to New London today. The roads are impassable so he was disturbed but agreed he could only stay home. Your sister did go to her office this morning but was back home before lunch. Her husband was unable to get to New Haven. In good weather, it is a very long trek so it was unthinkable that he should attempt it in the midst of a storm. Your sister is doing some holiday baking while her husband tends to the wood stove and the roadway.

I bid thee farewell for now and will let you know when we receive your package.

We send you all our love and fondest wishes for a wonderful holiday.
Father and Mother

Yeah, that stuff seems to run in the family.

Dec 18, 2008

heard in the grocery store

Posted by Mary |

Is it wrong that I buy a pound of butter a week?
It's because I'm always baking cookies.
You should buy two pounds.

Dec 16, 2008

the dictionary

Posted by Mary |

Awkward: Trying to get into your work building at 9:45 p.m. when a girl is on the speakerphone next to the card swipe, begging her boyfriend to come downstairs and talk to her.

Awkwarder: Trying to get back to your car 10 minutes later and encountering them in the stairwell where she is crying and asking him to come home.

Also, WTF? How did I get an A in my art class? OK, technically an A-, but still.... I was not expecting that. I refer you to my Type A personality, as discussed in posts prior to the start of the class.

Dec 14, 2008

words of wisdom

Posted by Mary |

If it can eat through glass, it can eat through you.

To be honest, my craft projects sometimes go spectacularly wrong. This one wasn't so bad, except that apparently you can't etch some Pyrex. Live and learn.

This was not one of my wildest weekends, and I blame that on not drinking. I blame not drinking on some medications that will, apparently, kill me if I drink. Also, I never, ever want to see these words on my medications: May cause tendon rupture. Tendon rupture? Are you serious? I'm scared to go to they gym tomorrow, as I think both running and lifting weights are in the may-cause-tendon-rupture category even before they get pharmaceutical help.

Despite the not-drinking, I still went out to the Pub with some MFA boys after a reading on Friday. The sobriety was more apparent on Saturday when I went to Super Smooth Andy G's housewarming. Yes, our favorite SSAG has moved up into civilized society. Congratulations on your new 7 acres. I guess this mean you won't have to ride your snowmachine in a tight circle around your Goldstream cabin anymore.

A friend of a friend was moving to Fairbanks this weekend and needed a ride out to Chena Hot Springs. I offered to do it, and after several back and forth vollies, it was decided that he had found another ride. I, however, had gotten myself in a hot springs kind of mood, so Tom and I took a trip out early this afternoon. We tried to go out for dinner on the way back but were stymied several times. 1: Mia's was closed for a private party. A wedding. Judging by the smell at the door, the bride wore tempura. 2: Harley's is apparently closed for the season. Since we were already out in North Pole, we decided to check out the Mambo Grill. The food was quite good, but we were mostly sharing the restaurant with babies. If you know anything about me, it is that I don't like babies. Baby #1 was OK, relatively quiet except for a few screeches. Baby #2 came in halfway through our meal, which prompted us to start shoveling down our food with abandon. Baby #2, you see, was apparently the crossbreed of a young North Pole female and Satan. The thing just wouldn't stop crying. In the brief moments when it paused to gather its breath for another aural assault, I overheard its mother saying that it had not had its nap. Well, fuck, lady. If your child hasn't had a nap and is cranky, maybe you shouldn't be taking it out to a restaurant where nice people (and some not-so-nice people, such as myself) are trying to eat. But the restaurant did make some damn good shrimp.

Dec 11, 2008

the most wonderful time of the year

Posted by Mary |

Has everyone been emoticaroling yet? Tom refuses to get into a war with me, but he did fire back this volley:

FYI, we are surmising that "dort" is German for "dork." This is, of course, based on the, um, video of Hamlet being performed in Klingon at DortCon, which is a sci-fi convention in Germany.

And yes, you have to spell things wrong if you want the emoticarolers to pronounce them right.

Dec 8, 2008

heard at the hardware store

Posted by Mary |

Hey Mary. Um, do I want to know why
you're buying a hacksaw and tubing?
Probably not.

I love having new projects. Of course my roommate was concerned when she came home a found a roll of 100' of polyethylene tubing in the living room. We just went through a lot of trouble with the septic system, so the urge to pretend something dire had happened was almost overwhelming.

The landlord was not so responsive, meaning when I left him a message that the septic system was overflowing in the yard, he did not call back. I suspect that he did not have the septic system looked at after the flood. But I couldn't wait, so I called the repair guys. $1,295 later, we had a thawed, pumped tank and a new pump. I left the landlord a receipt and a check for $5 to cover the balance of our $1,300 rent. I still haven't heard from him.

Dec 7, 2008

lazy sunday

Posted by Mary |

I managed to keep myself amused.

Dec 4, 2008


Posted by Mary |

New books.
New music.
Newfound lust for watches. Right around the time I need a new one, too.

In the office....

Have you always been this eloquent?
Just since I met you.
I'm glad I could raise you up.
Yes Mary, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Maybe I'm just the wings above your wind.

In the bar....
Can I ask you a question?
You just did.
Oh, well can I ask you another question?
You're going to want a third one now, aren't you?

In art class....
I had trouble with calculus in college
because that was the semester I discovered pot.
I took an AP class in pot in high school, so I was OK.

Dec 3, 2008

my inner emo likes the pain

Posted by Mary |

I hurt my back over the weekend. No, nothing naughty was involved. I think the defining moment of pain happened while shoveling the deck to the sauna on Friday. I have an appointment with my chiropractor tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much dancing at the drag show on Friday. I’m also flummoxed when it comes to the gym. I can’t not work out. An unexercised Mary is an unhappy Mary. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can lift weights without hurting my back. The recumbent bike seemed to be OK on Monday, but today I decided to try to walk around the track. Not so good. It took me almost 30 painful minutes to walk a mile. Other things that hurt are sitting, standing and laying on my stomach.

Apparently mimosa is going to be the next big thing. No, not the drink, although it does put me in the mood to hit up the Pump House for Sunday brunch. I’m talking about Pantone’s release of the color of 2009. 2008 was the year of blue iris, and although mimosa is not quite my cup of tea, I do happen to have a pair of cute shoes in this color, so all is well.

Tonight is the last night of my art class. We have to hand in our portfolios. I’m pleased to say that my second attempt at a face self-portrait went much better. But bear in mind that I only made a second attempt because the instructor looked at my first attempt and told me to just throw it out and start over again. Despite how I have suffered this term, I signed up for another art class next semester. I’m a glutton for punishment.