8.31.2005

ignore this

TrevisThomasDotCom i'm just trying out the "blog this" button on my google toolbar. i'm sure it's been an option for ages but i just now noticed it.

8.30.2005

too many bunny butts

yesterday i bought a bag of animal crackers from the vending machine, and i've been munching on them in waves since then. i was disappointed at how many of the pieces were broken. there were very very few whole-animals in the first 2/3 of the bag. i also noticed that there was an overwhelming number of bunny-tops. i assumed that when i got down to the last serving, it would be almost *entirely* bunny-butts, but i was wrong. not a one in the bag. NOT A ONE. now, considering i bite each cracker in at least half before ingesting, and i don't spend too much time contemplating the animal i'm eating (it's not like the bears taste different than the penguins), this probably shouldn't bother me. but it totally does! where are the bunny-butts? how does this sort of thing happen? i can understand a few pieces getting broken before going into the bag, but seriously, we're talking 8 or so heads and no butts! the ratio of bunny to other animal in the bag alone was odd, but for it to be just heads? a part of me is tempted to raid the machine for the rest of the animal cracker bags to see if the ratio rights itself, and to find the missing bunny-butts.

8.27.2005

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

we went to schnucks today (cuz hans said propel was on sale) and guess what we found?! PITCH BLACK IS BACK!!! and it's sour(er)...ish. i didn't even know it was ever going to come back ever, but it has and it's still oh-so-tasty. i stopped in the middle of the aisle and just stared and hugged myself. and then we got some. and it was tasty. still so sugary-sweet that you need someone to share the 20oz with you, though.

8.26.2005

more movie lists

here's the current movie top ten:

  1. Sense and Sensibility
  2. Princess Bride
  3. Moulin Rouge
  4. Boondock Saints
  5. Josie and the Pussycats
  6. Stargate
  7. Dogma
  8. Gladiator
  9. Leon (the Professional)
  10. Pulp Fiction
as i said in whatever email this started out in, this was hard to do. eventually i defined favorite as equal parts "i would watch this movie any time someone suggested it" and "i would suggest emphatically that people see it if i found out they hadn't yet." that last one's a bit tricky though. many of these movies have specific audiences. i wouldn't expect a boy to sit through sense and sensibility, nor would i want to watch boondock saints with the family. i'd rather sit through leon and pulp fiction, first...possibly twice. ...but anyway, that's the list.

8.25.2005

all time favorite movies

-- of all time there's been some talk amongst friends late about what makes a movie a favorite, and after i compiled my list of "current" favorite movies, i got all nostalgic for the flicks i used to love, but moved beyond as i/they aged. so here they are, starting from earliest memories and progressing in as close a chronological order as i could remember (many over-lap because they were loved for different reasons) from when i first fell. as much as i enjoy the fact that i'm a geeky not-girly girl, my favorite movies reveal me for the romantic girly-sap i really am. pete's dragon - i don't actually remember loving this one, but my mother says i watched it all the time when i was a tiny tot. (we had a vcr when i was only 2 (1979) because my father is one of those early-adopter never upgraders. they didn't upgrade until i graduated high school.) i think i went through a similarly intense love affair with mary poppins but there is no proof. ~~there is a gap of about 8 years that i cannot account for. i blame cable.~~ princess bride - this one has withstood the test of time better than any others (it's still 2nd overall). i know i fell in love with it at a sleep-over at my cousins, so i couldn't have been in high school, and probably not even junior high. i've got it so memorized that it's still impossible to watch without lip-syncing along with the characters throughout most of it. you don't get that space back, you know. once you've committed an entire movie to memory, it stays with you. you loose bits and pieces, but it's pretty much there. mannequin (hangs head in shame) - another one i've (still) got memorized freakishly well. i don't know how i loved this movie so much when i didn't really understand 3/4 of the sexual innuendo (hollywood was gay?!), but oh my god how i loved this thing. i think it was the idea of running around a mall playing with all the clothes and stuff. plus andrew mcarthy was so dreamy. little mermaid - seriously, what girl who loved to sing didn't love this movie? it hit when i was in junior high, and our eight-grade chorus concert featured 3 songs (i know choreography to "under the sea"--FEAR ME!). one of my mother's "unforgivable sins" was not buying this (or possibly even not letting me buy it?) because cartoons were for little kids. fortunately, the soundtrack kept my dream alive (it was in the first batch of CD's i bought). when harry met sally - this movie is almost single-handedly responsible for my inability to keep a boy friend during high school (and early college), not because billy crystal was right and men and woman couldn't be friends, but because i wanted that last scene to happen to me so very, very badly that i crushed impossibly hard on every friend i started to develop. sadly, i also used this movie to comfort myself when things started going sour (where had i gone wrong?), so it sort of built on itself. i had no idea this was the problem until way too late to do anything about it. school ties - i used to watch this every day after school my senior year (by this time i had my own vcr in bedroom). i went so OCD on it that i knew what the vcr counter numbers were for my favorite parts. i could watch "the whole thing" in about 20 minutes. this was a very dark time to be me, and this was one of the things that kept me from walking off the edge on a daily basis. silly, i know, but i still think it's a good flick. it's also why i don't like matt damon (i'm sure he's crushed). (side note: the photo on imdb, which i'm assuming is the latest dvd cover has ben affleck on it. he has like one line, and is part of the nameless ensemble.) breakfast at tiffanys - for a while i was in an audrey phase (working at a video store is very handy), but this one stuck with me longer than any other film, perhaps because it so perfectly captured the image of audrey hepburn that i loved, complete with a final sudden-confession ending that topped harry and sally (the cat! the rain!). it's the movie i'd like to say is my favorite of all time, but for unknown reasons, it didn't make the current top 10. all favoriteness has been replaced by nostalgia. sense and sensibility - the current favorite, and has been for quite some time. i don't watch it as obsessively as i have with others, but i've been known to pop it in my computer just to have entertaining background noise, and then i loose an hour waiting until just after "the next good part". it is easy for a flick to make me cry sad-tears. it's a little more challenging for tears of happy, but the last scene in this movie, when emma thompson's character starts stammering and then breaks down into these sobs that almost choke her i will sob right along with her every single time. i don't even have to watch the rest of the (highly enjoyable) film to trigger it. i'm tearing up now by simply recalling the scene to type it up. it's not just that scene though. it's the whole thing. it's enough of an ensemble (much like the book) that it hits on all the classic romance points. and the costumes are pretty. and the people are pretty. and that's all the all-time favorites i could recall, besides a few minor crushes on movies i watched and watched and watched (and would watch again) for the boys in them like robin hood: prince of thieves and young guns 2.

8.23.2005

it's official

spurious is a real word, no matter how much gina tries to deny it :) someone used it on NPR this morning, and nobody makes anything up on NPR.

8.17.2005

i am so fired...

so here's what happened. every so often (about once a quarter) my company puts on these town hall meetings where an executive talks for about an hour on the state of the company and then spends a half hour answer questions from the audience. this year, they've put together a system so that you can watch and ask questions from your desk, which eliminates the need for one of these in every major city in the network. it also helps squish some of the rumor mill that follows these around. if we all hear the same message at the same time, there's less ability for speculation to turn into "fact." it is part of my employee progress report to attend these as best i am able to. because there are a few other "as best i am able to" status indicators on that report that i refuse to do, i make a point of watching these when they come up. i should point out that i am part of a very large IT group and that was the target audience for this town hall, and that the executive who gave the presentation is the chief technological officer. a couple employees on my team who watched the most recent one were so concerned by what they heard (specifically the general attitude of the executive leading the presentation) that they wanted to voice their opinion up the chain of command. my boss, in turn, put out an open call to the entire team looking for feedback. this is what i wrote:

I would prefer this candid commentary from Mr. Executive to some sort of misleading "everything is fine" illusion, but I think these town halls aren't alleviating employee concerns. There's very little in the town hall that I can pull as an example of something that was obviously inappropriate or offensive, but I was left with the message that I was not trying hard enough, did not love my company enough, and should not expect anything for my increased devotion. Was that the goal? A couple of very brave audience members asked questions that impressed me, specifically the one about being "heavily persuaded" to sell products to our friends and family we have no faith in, and the bright flight the company is currently experiencing where we're losing young talented employees who could be helping shape the future of this company. In both cases, Mr. Executive presented a 3-fold response. 1-That the issue did not really exist (customer service is improving/promotions and progressions are being allowed no matter what we're being told). 2-That it was beyond his power to do anything about it (marketing builds the packages/our supervisors are "screwing up" (direct quote) by not identifying and keeping these talented individuals) 3-That the true problem lies within the individual employee (you should take pride in our products or not be a part of this company/you should have developed the ever-changing set of skills or business knowledge if you expected the company to value you). That last one, in particular was a slap in the face to the thousands of employees who have devoted their entire careers to the backbone of this company. This method was frequently used by my ethics teacher in college when one of his students attempted to argue against a point he was making. Invalidate the argument, absolve yourself of any accountability, and discredit the source. It infuriated me when it was used by a man determining my grades. It frightens me now that it's being used by someone determining the future of my company. These are my thoughts. I'm probably less concerned about how having my name attached to them will affect my career at this company than I should be.
yesterday, as i hit the send button i was looking forward to the shock and awe i might get in response. this was my chance to tell them what we're all thinking. i wasn't just doing it for me, i was doing it for all the people i've talked to in the past few months who are so dissatisfied with this place. i was doing it for my mom and all of her friends who look so incredibly disheartened when i describe what's happened to the company they loved. today, after my boss said "that's great, do you mind if i send it to the whole team?" i'm more than a little freaked out. it's not that i take back anything i said, it's just...i think i just wanted to be heard. i didn't think of any potential repercussions, and the ones swimming in my over-active imagination right now are...frightening.

8.12.2005

one foot, two foot

we have official confirmation from the podiatrist that i'm a freak. well, okay, that's probably a bit harsh. i visited my podiatrist for the first time last night and discovered that one leg is longer than the other. Based on generally observable phenomenon (such as which ankle is more warped, which shoulder is slightly higher than the other) one would assume that my left side is longer. however, because nothing can ever be normal even when it's irregular, it's actually my right side that's a wee bit longer. based on the extremely controlled test involving pen-marks on some easily located (if you're a podiatrist) bones in my feet, it looks like almost a half inch longer. when i stand up, the marks are right next to each other. when i sit down? not so much, but again, they symptoms are manifesting like it's the other leg that's longer. this is apparently not all that uncommon, and means that somewhere else in my body i've got a contrasting kink most likely. this morning it occurred to me that it might be the fact that i carry purses, messenger bags, backpacks with the uneven weight on my left side. i should probably stop doing that. the podiatrist laid it all out for me. not wearing heals takes away my symptoms (read:pain), so i could just pick up a heel lift for the height thing and not bother with orthotics (things that would make my misshapen feet walk right, preventing stress on other joints) until i start having pain. then again, i could not have pain until things progress to the point that i've worn away at other joints to the point that i'm really in trouble and will look back and say "if only i had gotten orthotics that day." health care to the rescue! it turns out that my heathcare provider's new philosophy is working in my favor this round. their logic is "we'll pay for all your preventative care, because it's cheaper for us and we look like a good guy. but if you get sick, or have any conditions that require maintenance, look out." so, orthotics (which prevent problems that cause bad things) are free for me. (healthcare detour) it's really stupid. if i get a test as part of a yearly physical, it's on the house. if i get the exact same test to diagnose something specific? i pay. and since they're being such generous guys, starting next year if all you ever do is get physicals and nothing's ever wrong with you ever you don't have to pay for healthcare. no monthly fee, no visit co-pay. nothing. if something *is* wrong with you, there's this complicated hierarchy of deductibles and limits that you start tripping up. if you're perfectly healthy and don't get into any accidents or anything, it's a great plan. if you're a person with some expensive chronic conditions (like, say, my father's rheumatoid arthritis which requires about $1200 in meds/month), it's pretty much a wash with the current plans (because he'll hit that deductible in january, and the max out of pocket by about april). according to the calculator i've played around with, someone like me (who has a few random cheap-ish conditions and is planning on having a baby) has about a 60% increase in overall costs. that's because it'll take me a while to hit that first "we're not paying a thing" deductible, and i'll never hit the cap out of pocket cap, unless of course, something very bad happens to me/mine over the next year. i understand the argument that some punk kid who thinks he doesn't need healthcare shouldn't have to cover my dad's meds, or my mother-in-law's chemotheraphy, but it's a healthcare system designed to benefit the people who don't need it. and that just seems fundamentally wrong. (end detour) so yeah. after all this diagnosis, the dr's assistant came in and paper-mache'd ballet slippers onto my feet. in 2-3 weeks i'll get to go shopping again, and hopefully pick up some shoes with a teeny bit of a heel on them again. this is good, because super-flat shoes are hard to find, especially in winter, and i need me some boots.

8.10.2005

so...um

i made a new blog tonight. it's not gonna take the place of this one or anything. it's for non-non-fiction writing. there's a sticky link on the side of this blog, which you may have noticed already, but in case you don't. this is your official notice. you don't have to read it or anything (i'm sure i'll turn shy about it any minute now and want to take it down) but it's there, in case you wanna.

8.09.2005

just don't wanna

this day has taken forever. maybe it's because i know i've got a 4pm meeting (the nerve) so i won't be leaving when i want to, but oh. my. god. this is the slowest day ever. i keep looking at the clock, thinking "surely it's almost time for that meeting?" but it's not. it never is. it's probably a good thing i've got that meeting because i'd be seriously considering taking off too early without it. i just want to go home and make dinner. stupid job.

8.08.2005

you would think...

that if ever there was a game i could win/be better at than my husband by sheer innate ability alone it would be karaoke revolution. i mean honestly after years of years of him cleaning the floor with me on FPS and fighting games, even after i spend hours and hours trying to get competent in mouse-look or a single character's fighting style so i can get past the blind luck of button mashing, i should just be able to walk up to this game and deliver the payback. but...no. it's not that he's a terrible singer or i'm so much better than he is. i think we both expected that the fact that i've had more (and recent-er) vocal training and my general familiarity with the music would give me an edge. it looked, at first, that i was going to be the clear victor, but the points just didn't line up that way when we stopped taking turns and started going head to head or signing duets. it irritates the crap out of me. i mean, it wasn't really bothering me in a pissy "i'm not playing with you any more!" kind of way since it meant we were both playing and singing together, but i did change my character to "salty jack" the pirate for a while ;) and that was after the litany of "not really my fault" excuses i came up with. i was singing the harder part in the duet. i was "player one" so i started the unknown songs, giving him a chance to listen. his focusing on the notes and mumbling through the words was working to his scoring advantage, etc etc etc. i stopped vocalizing them after a while, because i realized what i was doing, but still. irritating. i could get better than him. i could download all the songs into my ipod and practice so i knew the words and the music better. i could analyzing the game's scoring mechanisms to "sing for points" instead of trying to make the noise coming out of my mouth as pleasing as possible. but dammat! i shouldn't have to!!! this game is about singing!

8.04.2005

as if i needed another reason.

i got my official invitation to my 10 year class reunion last night. it's a dinner/dance at the same place we had prom. i'm sure someone thinks it's all nostalgic and grand (and indeed, one of the coordinators had her wedding reception there as well), but for me? ugh. prom night was easily the worst night of my high school career. it was the stuff that angsty teen melodramas shy away from. the only things preventing it from being a real-life version of carrie were that nobody was being deliberately malicious and that i'm not telekinetic. cuz if i were...oh man would that have been a really bad scene. also, no pigs blood. anyway, i'm not in the mood to rehash all that drama so i'll spare you. and that's exactly my point. for $90 (for just the tickets) i could recreate that night with my husband and add the awkwardness of "who were you again?" "sorry, i didn't recognize you under the 70lbs you've put on since graduation" "hey, remember that time you did something hideously embarrassing and i'm assuming you're ready to laugh about it, but actually you've just repressed it so far deep inside you that you can't even come up with an example for your web log?" no. thank. you. i mean, i wasn't going anyway, so it's no big loss. i might have considered if it was going to be another meet and greet where we just rented out some restaurant and chatted for a few hours like the 5 year was (or so i'm told--i didn't go to that one, either), but i'm really, really not in the mood for prom 2005. i'm an anti-social pessimist who doesn't let go of old pain easily. what can you do?

8.01.2005

today is...

casey's birthday. so happy birthday casey :) assuming casey ever comes here