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Since Animal has been bothering me for months to revive this blog, I figured that this could be her birthday present!  Nice, huh?!  However, I would be lying if I claimed that she was the sole reason for ending my blogging hiatus.  The other reason is that NaNoWriMo starts in just 2 short weeks and posting here will warm-up my writing muscles! 🙂  But I suppose I should say a little something about the Birthday Girl… I’ll try to make it something nice.

Happy Birthday!

Oh, Animal!  Thank you for providing me with 2 decades of amusement!  :::Sigh:::  I cannot even quantify the amount of laughter and joy which you have given me!  From that time when JewJew made you eat grass… to that time that you became a literal chickenbutt… to that time when you climbed up the bookshelf and then it tipped over on you, burying you in books and toys… to that time when your hotdog jumped in the air and made you break that plate… to the time when the Christmas tree fell on you… to that time when you were drinking beer with that guy in the dining room at like 2:00 in the afternoon… Goodness.  I don’t even know what I did to deserve such a bundle of amusement!  I almost feel compelled to join AF on his next church retreat so that I can thank the Lord for such a blessing.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I hope that you live to amuse me for many many many more decades! 😀

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In honor of the impending witching season (and also of NaNoWriMo 08!), I bring to you a short story.  Although, my use of poetic license and of monikers may be liberal, the majority of the following narrative is still mostly somewhat true.  Or at least partially based on a true story.  Or truly based on a partial story.  Or something… The point is that it did actually kind of happen.  And in 3D.  Enjoy! 😀

One mild yet sunny day, not quite yet in the ides of autumn, a group of scientists were toiling away in their shady basement laboratory.  The lab was so vast, and buried so deep within the university, that soft and numerous drafts were experienced daily by its inhabitants.  It could have passed for a dungeon.  Perhaps it was one.

For weeks, these chemists, biologists, and clinicians had been slaving away.  Food. Water. Pooping. Sleep.  All of these things had become unnecessary.  Luxurious nothings from a former life.  Adaptation? Evolution?  Epigenetics?  Whatever the cause, there was no time to try to pull logic from rapidly fading memories.  From dreams.

8:00 PM.  The Deadline.  And quite literally so.  For in every pseudo-dungeon, there lies a pseudo-dragon.  Perhaps there are places on this earth, tangled within the superstring, where an exception exists and defies this rule.  However, the Cartesian coordinates for such a locale were clearly not the same as those for this one.

As the researchers scurried, much like their mice did in their cages down in the room below, to collect and collate their data, the Dragon skulked out of its opulent chambers and into the harsh sterile glare of the main room.  It sniffed visibly (as if someone had just put an open bottle of beta mercapatoethanol under its nose), thinking of how little the lighting up here did for its Prada clothing.  It’s gold jewelry.  It’s sizable cloud of self-importance.  It thought to itself (and then proceeded to share the thought aloud) that the lighting did almost as little as the peons running about it’s domain.

Accustomed to such helpful commentary, the peons continued with their work, not daring to meet the Dragon’s soulless gaze.  Rather, they kept their eyes on the clock. 4:13. 4:28.  The soft hum of machinery just barely masking the whispered prayers.  Fervent pleas to the gods of science and technology.  Pleas for good results.  Success.  Tenureship.  Escape.  One researcher looked up, perhaps to his deity.  Were those cobwebs he saw? Or just the workmanship of the spiders.  Haphazard algorithms?  Or very deliberate designs?  Like their data.  Like every action which they were performing now.  Working as one seasoned perpetual motion machine.  Dragon observed, offering little physical aid and even less moral support.

5:00 PM.  The final paper.  Compiled.  Reviewed.  Edited.  Corrected.  Consecrated and sent.  A communal sigh.

6:30 PM.  Response Received. “Manuscript Rejected…” Dragon reads aloud calmly, yet shaking with unimaginable fury.  Despite the tendrils of fire escaping its nostrils, the room temperature seems to have become sub-zero.  Everyone tries to play dead.  To make no sudden movements.  To make no movements at all.  But in a room frozen with fear, their warm breath is as visible as liquid nitrogen…

To Be Continued…

If we are still alive later this week… 😀

I’m back!  My apologies for the sporadic posting!  It should be better now that we finally got our router (that story could be an entirely separate post of its own).  I know you guys all missed me from your sweet “Where the hell are you?” and “Hey. Why don’t you update your blog, so I can laugh at you?” messages.  I missed you guys too!  Some of you!  Sometimes.  Before I get into what I have been up to, I have to share this awesomeness with you:

It's Rosie!  The Riveter!

It's Rosie! The Riveter!

Hohohoho!  I never thought that I would see Animal power-washing our fence.  Or anything other than her hair, for that matter.  But look at Rosie go… I am going to print and frame this.  Do not be surprised if you receive a Christmas card from me this year with this photo on the front.  This shot is so classic that I should commission Thomas Kinkade to paint it.  I hope he accepts food stamps as payment.

Moving on… I do not even know where to start.  Perhaps with the shady guy who tried to follow us home from the shore on Labor Day weekend.  Or the story which commenced upon our return that Monday, when we discovered that we were locked out of our house.  Or maybe with the morning we arrived at the station, only to find that none of the trains were running to DC because someone got hit by an Acela… and the awesome traffic that resulted from this, as everyone tried to find an alternate way to get to work that morning.  The word on the street is that it was a suicide, although the media portrays it as otherwise.  People were very angry that someone would so selfishly take himself out in a way which affected thousands of commuters.  Hahahaha:D  Oh, I mean… um… that is not funny.  I would like to note that Jacqueline STILL got to work before me that morning… So whack. >:|

Perhaps I should tell the not-so-humourous story of the 90-minute late train at Union Station last week… the frightfully angry mob which I was stuck in the middle of… and the appearance of the K-9 patrol to settle things down… Or about how excited we were to finally get a new showerhead, only to discover that the old one could not be removed with the Jaws of Life.  I would also tell you about how “We are not Captain Planet,” but you would not understand what I was talking about.  I would also tell you about our UPS adventure, but that would take me about 5 hours.  As would the tales of some horribly awkward lab meetings.  I did my first cervical dislocation and dissection the other day.  It was totally kind of traumatic, and the doctor I was working with laughed at me, because I was so like this —>  :O!!!!

To say that the last 4 weeks have been long would be an incredibly gross oversimplification.  At least I will have some awesome material for NaNoWriMo this year. 😀  If anyone has any advice on removing an old crusty showerhead without breaking the arm from the wall or on Fidelity vs. Vanguard Group or if you would like to buy me a condo in DC or offer me a book deal, please email me! :]  Thanks! Lobu!

NaNoWriMo

That’s right! Holler at your girl!! I put a blogging ban on myself because I wanted to finish up with NaNoWriMo. I just barely exceeded the word count, at like… erm… 11: 19 PM on November 30th! >:D And my story is still not complete! Now it is super-editing time. If you ask nicely, perhaps I will post a few excerpts.

Thanksgiving was fabu, as usual (though not quite as exciting as last Thanksgiving). 😀 I made Chubble, which everybody (minus JuJu, cuz he is a hater) loved. :] Nice to see all you dumfaces again:] Winter break plans yet, anyone? So far I have heard ski trip, Baltimore, and NYC for New Year’s. If your plan is better, run it by me, and I MAY join you. Maybe I should make you guys bid on me… >:D Then I can buy myself a Wii… or a Camry Hybrid… at least a tank

Anywho, I am kind of writed-out at the moment. I will leave you with this conversation which I had with Kwasi over Thanksgiving weekend.

We were watching Ice Age 2, and Kwasi was filling me in on the plot:

Kwasi: So, Manny and Ellie now need to repopulate the entire mammoth population.

Me:Hmm.

Kwasi: But what I don’t understand is… once Manny and Ellie have children… what do THEIR children do?

Me: The same thing Adam and Eve’s children did.

Kwasi: … … … … … :O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Yep.

Kwasi: I never thought of that!!!

Me: I would hope not.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (50,976/50,000)

You want to know about my weekend escapade, you say? It was delightful! :] Thank you to all whom participated. To those who did not have the pleasure, I will leave you with this picture, so you can feel as if you were there. You’re Welcome! 😀

Once I got home and took a nap and drank lots of water and ate lots of fruit snacks, I concluded my weekend by watching Center Stage. I have been putting off watching it for almost a decade, because I am very aware of the fact that most dance movies are atrocities. This one was not an exception, but what’s a dancer to do? There were several scenes which made me hope that my ice cream would just solidify and choke me.

However, if you step away from the movie and just focus on the dancing itself… wow… I had no idea that Zoe Saldana was a trained dancer… girl was working it out! Beautiful. And then I had another surprise when I realized that Sergei was played by Ilia Kulik. That boy used to have me glued to the TV for every single one of his ice skating competitions. Now I really want to take the Winter Workshop at Broadway Dance (Laurie Ann teaches there sometimes! BOOM DA BOOM CAT!), but for that price… I guess eating is more important >:| Anywho, even though the movie was no StLD, it still had some magic to it. Would I recommend it? Not unless you’re a dancer or unfathomably devoid of anything better to do :/

By now, I am sure that most of you have heard of Dr. Randy Pausch. But how many of you have actually watched his lecture? At about an hour and a half, it is a little long. Still shorter than most of your classes. And much shorter than your cumulative daily procrastination time :p It reminded me of the many fantastic teachers I have had. I have had a few incredible professors also, but not as many. Probably because a lot of them do not particularly want to teach :p Dr. Pausch clearly falls into that silly group of professors who enjoy that part of their job. Obviously, I never had him, but one of my programming classes did use his program Alice. I wish I had known about the kid version of Alice then, because we could have used it in Summertech. Sorry Steve! There is always next year. Get Chris to start working on that. :]

Watch the lecture. The first 8 minutes are just introductions. So you can start around there, but watch the rest of it. Even if it takes you a week to finish it all.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (26,141/50,000)

Ever since my little bout with Typhoid Fever, I have been dreaming almost every night. More accurately, I guess I should say that I have been remembering my dreams each night. See? Silver lining to every cloud. Strangely, my lucid dreams have been of much lesser frequency. I’ve only had one since then. About a crocodile. It was really scary. Ask me about it next time you see me.

The downside to this newfound dream memory is that I am tempted to write about my dreams… instead of working on NaNoWriMo… so then I spend forever trying to incorporate them into NaNoWriMo… and now I am so behind! >:[ You would think that adding a crocodile to a storyline about Africa would be simple, but it turned into such a mess. 😦 So maybe those dreams are better off here, in good company with my holiday wish list. :]

So last night, Angie (she told me to call her that), Brad (Pitt), and I had dinner at Norman Mailer’s. He was living in a really quaint little college town. I was on the newspaper staff there, and he had agreed to be interviewed by me. Anywho, I was rushing out my apartment door, due to some collegiate extracurricular activities which I will not expound upon, when I ran into Angelina and Brad on the street. I asked them where they were going and Angie (after insisting that I call her “Angie”) told me that they were also on their way to Mr. Mailer’s. Hot.

When we arrived, Norman (I never actually called him this. Only Mr. Mailer.) was on the phone and waved us in. I wish I could upload mental images, because the house was totally what you would expect of him. The table was set already and everything was so cute. I guess a man learns a thing or two after being married 50 times. Anywho, I could go on with the details, which include an unfortunate chewing gum incident and more, but then I’d go on forever. So, I’ll just say that it was rather pleasant overall. Although, I do understand Sookie’s frustrations now.

In other news, for those of you who have been wondering, the blob in my sister’s uterus has transformed into a girl. I was not leaning towards, nor away from, the XX chromosomes, just a healthy child. But now that I think about it, this will probably be like having two Animas… so maybe I should have prayed for the XY. 😐

Lastly, after class this week, I am GONE! GONE! VANISHED! ESCAPED! Don’t call me. I won’t call you. Who was the author who said something about how he loved to take sudden mini-vacations, and just disappear without telling anyone where he was going nor when? I want to say Thoreau, but not positive… someone find it for me :p I will see most of you next week. Until then, Adieu :]

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (18,530/50,000) &%!#@$! Stewped crocodiles!!

When I first saw the advertisements for Aqua Dots a few months ago, I thought that it was cool enough to go on my wish list. I began to imagine all of the trinkets I would make with it and to whom I would give them to. Flower pendants for my future children. Ornaments for people with Christmas trees. Kitty magnets for people with refrigerators…

Aqua Dots Super Studio

Aqua Dots

So when I heard about the sudden Aqua Dots recall, I was pretty perplexed. What could possibly be bad about Aqua Dots? After all, Bindeez (the Australian version of Aqua Dots) recently won Toy of the Year at Melbourne’s Toy & Crafts Fair. I did not even have to search for the answer, because the media took such interest in delivering it: Gamma hydroxybutyrate.

Cuz you love Organic Chemistry!

Apparently it contains a solvent which, when metabolized, is converted to this famed “date rape” drug. It falls under the same category as heroine and cocaine under the Controlled Substances Act. Originally, I had thought that the $29.95 price tag on the Aqua Dots kit was a bit much for a toy comprised mostly of cheap polymers. In light of this new bit of information, however, the price became more forgivable. On the street, GHB will costs you a good $65-$100 per 16 oz. bottle or $5-$20 per capful. So I’ve heard.

I know that it is a horrendous situation and that a number of children have been hospitalized due to it. I am puzzled though, as to why anyone with children still in the “I Put Everything in My Mouth” phase would buy this. Forget the illegal drug for a second, and just focus on the fact that the pieces are large enough to be a choking hazard and small enough to be ingested… But what do I know? I am not a parent. And my Mom swears that I used to eat spiders when I was 1.

So, should you buy me some Aqua Dots or not? Well, I doubt you will be able to find them in any US store presently anyhow. In which case, just buy me a pony. Just a final note for my fellow females: If a number of guys start offering you Bubble Tea… those bubbles may not be tapioca balls…

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (13,211/50,000)

As many of you already know, I am completely in love with the holiday season. Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Eid-al-Adha, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, My Birthday, New Year’s, Chinese New Year. Invite me to any holiday party, and I will switch deities faster than M.C. Hammer spent money. In essence, I am a big holiday hooker.

Yet, when each new season rolls around and people start to ask me that question…

You: What do you want for your Birthday/Christmas?

Me: One for each occasion, right?

You: No.

Me:

You: Well?

Me: Umm…!

I cannot even think of one thing! (Last Christmas, I thought of several; but that was a different circumstance.) Thus, I have decided to post ideas here as they come to me (read- I currently have nothing better to write about), as well as a detailed explanation as to why you should purchase it for me (other than the obvious facts about my greatness).

Canon PowerShot SD1000 7.1MP Digital Elph Camera

Canon PowerShot SD1000

Cameroon proved too much for my 3.2 MP PowerShot SD110. After almost 4 years of faithful service, it died on me. 😦 It was sad. Almost as sad as the day another one of my small electronic toys died, but that is a story for another time. The good news is that this beauty is now available! Maybe one day I will win the Pulitzer Prize for photography with it… Obviously, it is no digital SLR and I am no professional photographer, but stranger things have happened :p How incredible would you feel if I won a Pulitzer Prize with a camera which you bought for me?? If that did not persuade you, just imagine all of the ultra-amusing photographs I would be sure to post on this blog… Think about it.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (11,649/50,000)

Me: Hello?

Voice: Hello. This is Michael J. Fox.

Me: Word?! How’d you get my number?

Michael: I care deeply about Stem Cell Research.

Me: I was just thinking about that!

Michael: On November 6th, New Jersey voters have a chance to do what our President won’t do.

Me: Acknowledge our shortcomings? Learn English? Care about black people? Resign?

Michael: Fund stem cell research to give hope to millions of Americans. Vote yes for stem cell research. Why?

Me: Um… cuz… like… it’s good… and…

Michael: Because voting yes gives the best hope for treating and curing diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer. And great promise for addressing spinal cord injuries and birth defects. On November 6th, vote yes for the Stem Cell Ballot Initiative. And give hope for you and those you love.

Me: Man, I was about to say all that before you cut me off! Actors…

Other Voice: Paid for and authorized by New Jersey for Hope. 400 Main Street, Metuchen, New Jersey.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (7,523/50,000)

After many a bewildered response to the sudden discontinuation of my last hit blog, I felt a need to humor my fans with the creation of another. I thought about it for a bit… What would I write about now that scorpions, bats, latrines, deserts, malaria, parasites, and goat herds tied to the roofs of bush taxis were now a thing of a former life? I am not usually one to peigner la girafe, as the French say. So I thought some more… got hungry… ate a Boca Burger… watched America’s Next Top Model… washed my hair… Eventually, I forgot that I was ever thinking in the first place.

So basically, you will be subject to my random thoughts and musings. Although, I am open to other ideas and requests. I am hoping that this seemingly pointless blog will at least jump start my mind into NaNoWriMo mode. Thus, being of benefit to me, if not to you. :] Enjoy!

NaNoWriMo Word Count: (0/50,000)