Thursday, October 28, 2004

feeling a little rum-and-water-y?

Still reading Made In America (hey, being in CT for the week and actually having a life is making my reading go a bit more slowly than usual), and still loving it. I just realized it's due back at the library next Tuesday, though, so I don't have much time left, and I'm not very far into it yet! It's a very dense book (like most of Bryson's work where he likes to dole out little-known facts), and often I just want to sit back and let some things sink in, or ponder others.

In any case, here are a few more Fun Facts that I've picked up:

The word "groggy" has its origins in the War of Jenkins' Ear, so named because the Spanish, fed up with British privateers, cut off the ear of an English smuggler named Edward Jenkins. Bryson points out that this war was rather unremarkable (save for its name), but that it was at least etymologically significant: a ration drink of rum and water given to British fleet soldiers by Admiral Edward Vernon - a.k.a. Old Grog. Those who became too drunk on his drink were dubbed "groggy". Hence the title of this entry.

The first metal detector was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, who was called to arms by President Garfield's men when he was shot and the bullets needed to be located. Bell thought that his contraption didn't work because it seemed he was getting readings from all over Garfield's body; it turns out that no one took into account the metal bedsprings the president was lying on. That same incident was also the birthplace of the air conditioner: Washington, D.C. was sweltering that summer, and a way to cool the air in the sick president's chambers was needed. Unfortunately, neither of these inventions helped save the president, but they are still cherished by the beach-residing elderly to this day.

Well, those 2 anecdotes are all I have for now, but I am sure I'll add more later as I continue through this book - it's almost impossible not to share these neat little facts with others! (Which is, I'm sure, what Bill Bryson had in mind when he wrote the book.)

Oh, and one more thing - turns out Dan's birthday (18 November) was "the day of two noons" - the date that the United States adopted the time zone system, and one which in 1883 was widely feared as an apocalyptic event - people worried that their animals would stop producing, and unions went on strike, worried that their workday would be lengthened by 9 minutes on that day. Of course, all people saw when they gathered on the town square was an uneventful clock-resetting...

Monday, October 25, 2004

a whole new kind of Republican

worth the read:

(Thanks go to Anna for sending that link out in the first place.)

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Now I'm reading Bryson's Made In America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States. I'm not on a Bill Bryson kick, I just have been meaning to read this one for a while, and I happened to find it in the library the other day. So, anyway, I always learn a zillion neat little facts from his books, I love that. But I always promptly forget them, so I thought I'd record some of 'em here for posterity...or just my own personal reference in the future.

1. Why did we get rid of the word "slobberchops" for a messy eater??

2. I wish I had gotten to see a real, live passenger pigeon. I was doing some research online earlier, because I realized I didn't really know what they look like, and apparently people with stuffed specimens of the bird can make some good money if they eBay 'em! Since they are so rare, or reputedly are - I guess they aren't as rare as some people would like to think (one guy asked upwards of $1 million!), but they still can bring in a couple grand. Not bad.

More later.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

i know this is weird, but...

I've decided I'm going to go back and post some very old posts from my other blog on this site - just because I can. lets you put whatever date and time in that you choose, so I am gonna use that to back-post several entires. I know that's odd, but I kinda like having 'em all in one place. Deal with it.

And I've chosen the arbitrary time of 8:48pm for all of my posts, since while most of them are dated, goodness knows at what time they were written.

Update: There weren't as many as I thought there were. Oh well, they're out there anyway.

spring heeled jack & johnny too bad

For some reason I decided to revive the music of these bands today, after having almost completely forgotten about them for long months...I even went on and bought JTB's Pathwork Girl! It's too bad I couldn't find their demo, that is by far one of my favorite albums ever. I have it on tape somewhere at home; I'm going to have to figure out how to make mp3s of it!!

In any case, it got me thinking a lot. SHJ, especially, brings back a LOT of memories for me - high school, "skankin' at the ska" as Bethany used to say, friends made through The CT ska scene really defined a large chunk of my high school career, and is probably what got me through most of it! I was the first Rude Girl FHS ever saw, I do believe...

I miss those days. I was looking at a site that talked about Spring Heeled Jack's reunion show post-Dave (RIP), and I was so sad that I never got to go to that. I think I still have the unused tickets that I purchased, which arrived one day too late at school (after I was already back home at my parents' house). Ugh.

Just the unity of those shows, the unity of the ska scene in there even anything like that out there today?? I guess there must be, I guess I'm just getting too old to know...

I should end this post now; I'll leave you with my favorite SHJ quote: "I'd rather do it now and regret it later..." <3

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Found out tonight that that means "If I tell you, will you buy a drink?" It's a diner booth placard in The Grapes of Wrath, that Steinbeck kind of just leaves unexplained. Neat, but I'm very glad the internet is around, because trying to figure out that word game would have kept me from enjoying the rest of the book for quite a while! Gah. Sometimes I wish I weren't so easily distracted, so easily drawn in to word games and the like.

Wow the car outside my window does not sound good.

Oooh I think I finished up my scarf today, yay! And I'm getting involved in development of a computer game that is geared towards girls, finally! I'm very excited for that - it's really what I've been wanting to do for a long time. I spoke with the woman about it today; I am waiting to receive their first conceptual CD in the mail, now.

And I finally finished watching Les quatre cent coups tonight, which was...all right. An interesting concept for a movie, and of course with Truffaut it was well-filmed and all, just didn't grip me. If I had seen it in the theater, I think I would probably have been rather bored and disengaged. Bah, maybe it's just the bad side-effect of being brought up in America, where it seems that films must be full of action or else they feel like they aren't moving at all...*sigh*. Or maybe I'm just not cultured enough to appreciate it, who knows.

I've been missing Dan like crazy recently, and unfortunately it seems like the more I miss him, the less I get to talk to him...but that may just be because I have no life at the moment, and he does. I just get so scared that he doesn't like me anymore, at every turn. I know that's so not a good way to be, but it seems I can't stop my mind from assuming the worst.... Pour moi, c'est la vie, je crois!

I think I will go finish up a letter to Jenny, and then get to bed. I need the sleep!

like father, like son...

Bush I in '88 on why he wouldn't support an assault weapons ban: "But I also want to have - be the President that protects the rights of, of people to, to have arms. And that - so you don't go so far that the legitimate rights on some legislation are, are, you know, impinged on."

(un)familiar phrases

If you were to say "I'll take a raincheck", would you even know what that word means?


Drain the pressure from the swelling,
This sensation's overwhelming,
Give me a long kiss goodnight,
And everything will be all right,
Tell me that I won't feel a thing
Give me novacaine.
[Green Day]

the final page is written in the books of history,
as man unleashed his deadly bombs and sent troops overseas
to fight a war which can't be won and kills the human race,
a show of greed and ignorance, man's quest for dominance.

they say when a mistake is made, a lesson has been learned.
but this time, there's no second chance, the hate engulfs the world.
a million lives are lost each day, a city slowly burns,
a mother holds her dying child, but no one is concerned.
[Bad Religion]

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I've been reading Bill Bryson, who I adore - his The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. I also adore linguisics and etymology and all that fun stuff, too. So, while I am nearly through with the book (which I really ought to read again, someday, to pick up on all the stuff I missed the first time - a lot like his A Short History of Nearly Everything), I thought I'd note down a few things that have caught my fancy in the past couple of pages.

my new favorite licence place: RUNVS? (well, without the question mark, but it helps)
my new favorite anagram: The Morse Code = Here come dots
my new favorite palindrome: Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

And a French rebus: "Ga = J'ai grand appetit" (Say this in French: G grand, a petit.)

A never-erected Burma Shave ad (considered too risque): "If wifie shuns / your fond embrace / don't shoot / the iceman / feel your face."

i heart Britney?

So I made out with Britney Spears in my dream last night. I remember that I didn't particularly want to, but we had to for some reason. Hmm. I wonder what that says about me....

I also had a nightmare, later on, where my sister and mother and I had to kill these weird bugs that worked kind of like a computer virus and hatched from small, red bath-bead-like things. My mother got mad at me when company (my godmother) came over to visit, and I was rather preoccupied with the bugs - whenever I tried to interrupt her to tell her that they were hatching again, she would get angry with me and tell me to be polite because we had company.

Also, my "dad" in the dream was some creepy, completely unfamiliar beer-gutted, balding, dark-haired man who burped as he passed us, waved hello with a beer in his hand, and walked on by as we were busy killing the bugs. Huh?

Good thing that's nothing like my Santa Claus dad. I like mine much better. And I'm pretty sure he would've helped us kill the bugs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

baby it's cold outside

I'm taking a break from work, not really sure why, but I can't focus right now. But then again, what's new. I don't think I should have gone for this whole working-from-home thing, after all...but we'll give it this year. At least I am producing stuff, but I never feel like it's enough.

Last night I watched some episodes of My So-Called Life (one of the few DVDs I own). I always forget how much I freakin' love that show. ("I freakin' love you, too, Ron Burgandy!") It was so incredibly well done - the acting is impeccable, the stories real, ... I dunno. I guess I just never got over the fact that they cancelled that show after one season, when it was one of the best shows I've ever seen on TV. How could they not see that?

Not that I even watch TV anymore anyway, so I couldn't say if there is anything out now that is comparable. People tell me Sex and the City is good, but I have never seen it. I know it's not the same thing as MSCL, but I guess it would be nice to find another show I appreciate, that I could watch on DVD. One that I don't know every line of by heart, hehe.

I mean of course there's always my Simpsons and Family Guy DVDs, and while they are fantastic, they're cartoons and comedy. Not quite the same thing.

Oh! And I also got a ton done on my scarf yesterday night; I have only been knitting it since Sunday afternoon, when Chandra and I bought yarn together! Yes, I said Chandra - we met up in Wilkes-Barre, PA for the weekend! It was so great to see her; it always seems like it's been too damn long, since I've known her since we were in 4th grade. Anyway, we got our hotel room on Saturday evening and then we out to the races! Pocono Downs is a sulky racing track in WB; I have never been to any kind of racing, so it was a ton of fun. Chandra bet on a random horse named Pieceofcake Kosmos, just because she liked the name. $2. Turns out that horse had *awful* odds, and she ended up making $19 off of her win! Nice job.

We spent some of our winnings on Dunkin Donuts the next morning, then drove around looking for a place to buy some yarn. After shopping for a bit at a mall we came across, we ended up at Michael's Arts & Crafts and bought what we needed, then sat around knitting in a nearby Barnes & Noble. Yeah, we're quite the party girls! Haha. But we always have so much fun together, it doesn't matter what we do. I love that girl.

Umm...not much else to report. Finally bought that toilet paper this morning that our apartment so badly needed. I was gonna try to get Dave to buy it because I feel like I buy everything for the house, but he has been out of town (at home in CT) for the past few days, and the situation was getting dire. Oh well, I'll try next time... I feel like I always end up caving in, though, because we both know if we really need something that badly, I'll just *have* to get it, right?

Maybe next time I'll just hoard the paper in my room and pretend like I don't need to use the bathroom until Dave needs paper, haha. Okay so I know he's a boy and he doesn't use nearly as much as a girl, but I mean I have bought other things which he uses. I dunno. Am I being unreasonable?

Okay, I have GOT to get back to work. I might add more later on tonight, or tomorrow. I feel like I want to start updating this more often, but like I have said before, my life seems to stupid and insignificant. Why write about it for others to see? Well, I guess everyone's doing it...and if everyone jumped off a bridge, you know I would, too! (That was sarcasm. I shouldn't be doing this because everyone else does. I'll have to think about that one...)