More Internet Silliness

Per the suggestion of this NPR article about "What does your birth date song say about you?" I checked.

I went to This Day in Music and put in my birth date.

My song?

Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver.
True enough. Sunshine on my shoulders DOES make me happy and I didn't really appreciate it until I came to Colorado. And I do love John Denver. His songs are sometimes a little simplistic, but dammit, sometimes I want the world to be a little bit simplistic and a lot more positive!

(No, this is NOT silly... it was on NPR!)


Birthday Weekend, Part 1

I have a brief lull in my work schedule and I'm trying to get the Bathroom-in-the-Basement done, so I decided to take a couple days off work to do that and to relax a little for my birthday. The progress on the BitB is going well. I managed to get the tile walls grouted and Sunday I'll do the floor. Hopefully I can set up an appointment for the plumber to install the plumbing fixtures early next week. There are still quite a few things to do, but the end is in sight!

The birthday weekend had a good start when I found a box from Amazon on my doorstep. I opened it to find three books from my Amazon wishlist:

The packing slip said "Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday to YOU! Love, Michelle and Michael"
Thank you so much, Michelle and Michael! You guys are awesome. I love that you picked such a diverse selection. Big hugs!

Today I'm going to a friend's to help with a school project, to Janiece's for a little R & R, and then to another friend's to cook up some Indian food and do some socializing.

I love long weekends. You can get stuff accomplished AND relax!


WWA: Back At Home

For those who enjoyed Michelle's Weekly Word Association last week, it's back in it's rightful home.

And Anne's Blog can go back to being the sleepy little town after the president's cavalcade passed through its one intersection.


Two Quotes

I finished A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse yesterday. It certainly is lovely to read something funny and sweet, even if it IS a romantic comedy. I thought I'd share a few lines with you that mixes the funny with the bittersweet:

"Hullo-ullo-ullo-ullo-ullo-ullo-ul-Lo! Topping morning isn't it!" observed Reggie. "The sunshine! The birds! The absolute what-do-you-call-it of everything and so forth, and all that sort of thing, if you know what I mean! I feel like a two-year-old!"
George, who felt older than this by some ninety-eight years, groaned in spirit. This was more than man was meant to bear.

But I guess that reads better in context. It really is funny when you can hear Reggie's infernal chirping as the foil of George's gloominess in your head. You kinda have to know why Reggie is so ebullient (just asked the girl he loves to marry him) and why George is so depressed (just found out the girl he loves is in love with someone else). I tried to include some part of the quote from before this piece, or after, but each time I tried, I wanted to include more of it. Just read the darn book, people. I know that except for the happy ending (hope I'm not spoiling it!), it's one I identify with and I find speaks volumes about life and how sometimes, even though crappy stuff happens, you don't have to lose your sense of humor or your impulse to do what's right.

How about another quote, this one from the Numb3rs finale. I liked the wedding homily so much, I saved the recording so I could transcribe it. It's read by Peter MacNicol, who will always be Peter MacNicol for me (except when he's Janosz in Ghostbusters II).

Peter MacNichol: At the request of the bride and groom, I'll keep my remarks short and non-technical.
As you all know, the four fundamental forces in physics: electro-magnetism, strong nuclear interaction, weak nuclear interaction, and gravity.
FBI Dude (ironically played by an actor who has an engineering degree from MIT): So I wonder what the technical version sounds like.
Peter MacNichol: I heard that.
We've been talking here about the forces that bind the universe. But what binds humans? Love. Powerful in small spaces, yet with profound effect on distance. Love defies time, outliving both its source and its object. Love is faster than light, for light requires time in order to travel through space, but love reaches its object instantaneously. Love journeys forever, into infinity, and it's here binding together two lives.

The wedding setting here was less of a significant point to me than an excuse for them to say something very interesting about the physics of love. This statement focuses on the love between humans because it's at a wedding, but I think this love can be felt to and from other things/entities. I know the love I feel for Nature, for my Boys, for my friends, and for my family are no less profound than the romantic love being spoken of in this wedding homily, but it's something I have to remind myself of all the time.

A Rare Political Post

Some years ago, I became an independent when I became disenchanted with the political process. I realized that neither party is committed to governing. No, they are actually committed to perpetuating the political industry (a beast somewhat like the entertainment industry). In the following clip, the Daily Show court jesters do some pointing out of hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle. As usual, this is simultaneously entertaining and sickening. The second half of the "bit" however is an analogy between the political industry and professional wrestling that is so spot-on, I just had to share it with my two or three regular readers.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crumbums & Fatcats
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Reform

Never fear. I'll return to entertaining content tomorrow. :)


A Simile

I am like a one-eyed archer. Totally lacking perspective.


Wednesday Word Game: The Road Show

I just went over to Michelle's for a mid-day break and a peek at how her Wednesday Word Association game was going. I was sad when I arrived there and remembered that she is taking a well earned blogging break. So I decided to pick up where she left off and give the WWG a home until she's back (to let you know - she can really shake 'em down). If you're not clear on the ersatz "rules" take a look at the most recent game to figure it out.

This is an experiment, since I don't get quite the traffic that Michelle does, but I hope it entertains some of you.

The word is: cookie.


P.G. Coming To the Rescue

I was at the library today to refresh my stock of audio books (did you know they have this series of educational audio books that covers everything from philosophy through physics? Very tempting if I could only decide where to begin!) and I came upon an old favorite, A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse. I like it so much, I'm considering buying a copy of the audio version (already have it in print).
I was listening to it and while sympathizing with dear old George Bevan, also thinking on how he and his author take some of the same themes I've got in my life story and how they manage to turn it into a comedy. Granted, George has only just come to the realization that what he is missing is love, when he sees and falls in love with the adventurous Maude and she precipitously hops into his cab. Luck favors him during his moments of doubt and surrender. He is a fictional character, after all, and one cannot have him moping about for years on end as sometimes happens in real life.
That tiny detail aside, one can draw hope and inspiration from the example of a character who perseveres against seemingly insurmountable odds, (and to be truly Wodehousian, I need to insert a golfing metaphor here...) as a man might encounter when, off the tee, he finds that his drive, which seemed to fly towards the green as an arrow from the bow, has inexplicably sliced at the apex of its flight and deposited the ball betwixt a particularly rough patch in the weeds and the inviting curve of a sand trap. He does not bemoan (for long) the placement of Providence. No, he turns his mind towards a viable solution... wedge or niblick?

Thank you, P.G., for aiding this particular damsel.


Full Weekend

It's been a good weekend. I haven't got everything done that I wanted to (ahem*Taxes!*ahem) but it was pretty full regardless.

Friday, after making it through a pretty busy week, preparing for a big presentation, I went home and made chicken and dumplings. I overcooked the vegetables just a tad, but I think I can avoid that the next time around. They were very tasty. I also found and bought DVDs of Monty Python's Holy Grail and Life of Brian that were only $6. This switchover to Blu-Ray has been great for my DVD library! I like listening to the commentaries while I'm doing other stuff.

Saturday, I was blessed with warm, sunny weather, so I took the bike out for a spin. Originally, I was just going to zip over the grocery store, but after I had to start it on the hill (thank goodness I live half a block from a steep hill!), I decided to go up and visit my sister and her family and charge the battery. Alex was in fine form, wanting to be read to and examining my glasses and the zippers on my jacket.
I did a bunch of painting downstairs. The claim that I was done painting was premature. When I went back to look at the paint job, it was uneven. >:( Grrr... I also worked on the vinyl tile. It's pretty close to being done. All of this seems to take a long time! I'm so looking forward to having it done.

Today, I painted some more, repotted some plants, put the ingredients for the Hungarian Goulash (prompted by an invite by Hot Chick Janiece that I unfortunately had to refuse) in the Crock Pot

then headed out to the office to get a head start on some of the work I have coming up next week.

The other cool thing I made this weekend were these:

It's the most addictive cookie I've had in a long time. It ranks right up there with seven-layer cookies. It's an amazing combination of chopped nuts, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and pink flake salt. I found the recipe at the Tasty Kitchen Blog. When I've eaten one, all I can do is sit and think about how I can rationalize having another. So, make these at your own risk!


Music + Science = Cool

This made me think of Janiece's SmartMan...

From NPR's website, how to make a "junk" guitar. It even tells you how to make an electric junk guitar. How cool is that?


I Miss My Friends!

A couple weeks ago, a bunch of friends, including a Hot Chick and Her Smart Man, went to Seattle to have fun without me. :(
Oh, I was invited, I just didn't have the funds to go along. I'm not saying they should have canceled the event, since I wasn't able to go, but the least they could have done was have a horrible time! But noooooo, they had to have a wonderful time...
Seriously though, I was sad to miss out on the laughter, the sushi, the shoes, and the geek fun. I am starting an emergency UCF get together fund to make sure I can go to the next one.

In any case, my dear friends got me the super cool Lego version of the Space Needle pictured above. After I open it and put it together, I'll photograph it next to the 3D puzzle I got as a prize at Christmas. I'm pretty sure it'll be a study in contrasts. (My sister knows whereof I speak. :)
Thank you so much guys! It's wonderful that you thought of me! I missed you!

In fact, that could be said for most of my friends. Some of them are doing a great job of keeping in touch and not letting me get too focused on work. So I am getting to see a few of them, but I miss them all, nonetheless! Thank you, my friends, for being MY FRIENDS. You are awesome.