Thursday, August 29, 2002

  Feeling lonely? Well, they are too: Jail Babes and Jail Dudes (link from Evan)

  Read the customer reviews of this toy: Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 (Link from Angel.)

  Angel sent me an email about this today. I'd seen it before, and it had bothered me, but back then I didn't have anywhere to bitch about it. I think that it is pretty blatant copyright infringement on Amazon's part of the famous R. Crumb work. What do you think?

Amazon's version:

"But don't let that stop you. Keep on truckin'..."

The original:

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

  Actual quote from a library vendor's website:

You're library will now be entered in a drawing to win $250 (retail value) worth of free books. (Message at the end of their badly done survey.)

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

  Saturday morning, Todd took me to the Flea Market. I bought Daytona Beach t-shirts for as little as $2.88 -- the exact same shirts that start at $14.99 in the shops! Cha-ching! I also found a visor with some great "Engrish" on it. I will post pictures when I get a chance.
Saturday afternoon, Todd dropped me off at the beach. Andrew had lent me his body board, and I spent about two hours just laying on the board and enjoying the waves. It was very peaceful. I saw little fish chasing each other around in the water, pelicans diving for fish, and fish jumping up out of the water. Then I sat on the beach and finished Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich.

Sunday, Todd went to church, then came back and picked me up to go to the UU church. He didn't want to stay, so he dropped me off. The speaker was Skip Lowery, who is a professor at Daytona Beach Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Stetson University, teaching humanities, English, speech, and world religions. His talk was entitled, "Why Would a Humanist Teach Religion?" He was a great speaker, and if I were going to school down here, I would definitely take some of his classes.
At the end of the service, I talked to a few people, and asked if any of the people went out to lunch together after church. I was told to talk to Donna or Gordon. Right away, I ran into Gordon, and he and his daughter Natalie agreed to give me a ride to Bennigan's, where some people were taking Skip and his wife for lunch. Gordon drives a hybrid car, a Toyota Prius -- very cool. And he recommended to me a book that he and natalie had just read, called The Bottoms. I'll have to get a copy when I get home.
The waiter was a bit alarmed when his party of nine grew to a party of 14 (I wasn't the only party crasher), but we all managed quite well. I was sitting between Gordon and a really interesting guy named Mark. Across the table from me was a woman named Bonnie, who told us about the book that she is working on: The Darkened Mirror, Voices of Women Leaving the Workplace. It is about how women experience retirement. It sounds really interesting. The guy next to Mark (whose name I have forgotten already, sorry!) was talking about the environment, which led to a conversation about composting toilets, and then over-population, in general. Gordon is really passionate about the problem of over-population, and he is invited to speak to people about it. Mark is very into transactional analysis, and gives talks about it to various groups -- I have to read about it now. Bennigan's had surprisingly good food, I'll have to eat there again some time. Gordon and Natalie said that Todd's was on their way home, and gave me a lift home. UUs are the best people.

Monday, August 26, 2002

  Here is the Friday Five, late as usual:

1. What is your current occupation? Is this what you chose to be doing at this point in your life? Why or why not? Interlibrary loan librarian. I just kind of came into this job, but I find that it really suits me. When I finish my degree, I will probably move to a different library, and I'm not sure if I will still be doing interlibrary loan.

2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be? If I could do whatever I wanted, I think that I would want to spend all my time travelling and learning stuff, such as: how to work on my car, web design, how to speak Spanish, history, world religions, figure skating, carpentry, etc.

3. What did/do your parents do for a living? Has this had any influence on your career choices? My dad works for the railroad. My mom works at the library. My mother working at the library was actually a detriment to me having a library career, because the library's policy used to be that two people who are related could not work in the library system. I couldn't get a job at the library because my mother worked there, and I had to settle for working in a bookstore, until they lifted that rule.

4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family? Nope. Because I don't have much of a career, and I don't have a spouse or kids.

5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? What is the hardest? Why? That's impossible to answer. Way, way too subjective.

  Are you opposed to the U.S. attacking Iraq? If so, here is a quick and easy way to say so.

  Friday night, after Todd got off work, he, Andrew, and I went to Denny's to eat, and then Checkers so Todd could do karaoke. He put in his name, and we waited. And waited. And waited. They were mostly playing dance music, with short interludes of karaoke in between. There was a fight a couple tables away from us, and those guys got thrown out. The dance music was good, but Todd wanted to sing, and after two hours of waiting, he was ready to go. When we got home, Andrew's bike had been stolen off the front porch. Todd and I had both told him repeatedly that he should lock it up, but he didn't, and now his brand new Schwinn mountain bike is gone.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

  We have created a monster. Todd and I took his roommate, Andrew, with us to Denny's Friday night. He had never been to Denny's before. He has now eaten there four times in three days. Maybe it's a European thing, I seem to recall that a Swedish girl that Angela knew also wanted to eat at Denny's all the time too.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Tuesday, Todd, his friend Ben, and I went to St. Augustine, which is just up the coast. St. Augustine is very old, and not over-developed, so it retains a certain European/small-town charm, unlike its neighbors to the south (read: Daytona). We visited the fort, the old part of the city, and The Fountain of Youth! We got to drink from the The Fountain of Youth -- the water has a high sulfur content, so it smells and tastes of rotten eggs, yum. It started raining, so we didn't get to look at the beautiful gardens in the park around The Fountain. Bummer.

Wednesday, Todd and I drove down to Ponce (de Leon) Inlet lighthouse. Ponce Inlet is another town that is still not over-developed, and would be a nice place to live. It was a long walk to the top of the lighthouse, but the wonderful breeze and view at the top made it worthwhile. After Todd went to work, I took a walk. Amazingly, the sculptures that the woman had shown us on Sunday were on display in the window of a gallery that I passed, so I got to take pictures of them. I was really glad, because I had been disappointed that I didn't get to take pictures of them on Sunday.

Thursday, Todd and I went to Orlando just to look around a bit. We went to Universal Studios and Disney. This is a low-budget vacation, I'm not really interested in theme parks, and Todd has been to each many times before, so we just did the things that you can do for free just outside the parks. At Universal, we went into the Hard Rock Hotel, which was quite nice. Took the water taxi over to CityWalk and checked out the shops there. We walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe and checked out the entrances to the two theme parks.
Outside of the Islands of Adventure, we talked to Cherah (pronounced SHARE-ah) who is an emcee at the front gate there. Her job is to walk around with a mic, greeting the people coming in and answering people's questions. She is originally from Salem, Oregon and is very nice and helpful.
At Disney, we went to the Contemporary resort, where Todd and his family have stayed before, and rode the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. We rode on one of the water taxis, and got to see some of the other resorts. Just as we arrived back, a storm hit, making me really glad that we had not paid the hundred plus dollars that it costs to go in the park.
That night, Todd and I played miniature golf in Daytona Beach, and met Ben at the pool hall.

This afternoon, Todd, Ben and I watched the second Austin Powers movie, because I hadn't seen it yet, and we might go see Goldmember. I could have gone to the beach again this afternoon, but I felt like taking it easy back at the house.

Monday, August 19, 2002

  (I'm typing this from a branch of the Volusia County Public Library in Daytona Beach, Florida.)

Things of note thus far:

Saturday evening, I saw a guy in a motorized wheelchair with neon light underneath. That's the first time that I ever thought that that was cool. When we got to Daytona Beach, we picked up Todd's Slovakian roommate, Andrew, and went to the pool hall to meet up with Todd's friend/coworker Ben. I played pool with Todd and Andrew, and beat them both, though that was because one scratched on the 8 ball, and the other accidentally knocked the 8 ball in prematurely, which I don't consider much of a win. (I did hold my own though and could have possibly beat one of them outright, which is pretty good for having not played in years.)

Sunday morning, I went to the LDS church with Todd, and then he went to the UU church with me. We had a heck of a time finding a UU church -- the first one that we went to was closed, and the second one was under construction, so then we had to go to a community center where they are temporarily holding services. It was in a large activities room with a wood floor, that is probably used for dance lessons, yoga classes, and such. The speaker was Rev. Joan Baliker. She is an artist, and she had brought a group of her sculptures in to talk about. The sculptures were of: a woman meditating, a Vietnamese Buddhist woman, a Wudabi (African tribe) woman and child, a rabbi blowing a shofar, a bust of Mother Teresa, Gandhi, a Native American, and a whirling dervish. She talked about the inspiration for each, and the connection she feels with the various religions. The service was very nice, and it makes me less worried about having to relocate for a time if we remodel or rebuild our church.

Sunday afternoon, Todd's aunt had invited a bunch of people over for a pool party. It was me, Todd, Ben, a few of her neighbors, and most of the kids who rent from her. The renters are mostly foreign kids who are here studying at Daytona Beach Community College nearby. They are from Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, India, England, Italy, and Slovakia.

Sunday evening, Todd and I went to the worst Denney's ever on Ridgewood Ave. in Daytona. When we first walked in, all the non-smoking tables were either filled, or needed to be bussed, so we let them put us in smoking. Water from air conditioning units on the roof was leaking through the ceiling tiles, and dripping on almost every booth along the front wall of the restaurant, including the one they gave us. The ceiling tiles were covered in mold and mildew. We went ahead and ordered, but Todd was getting dripped on. After about 15 minutes, we decided to leave. If they had bothered to bus the non-smoking tables, they could have moved us there, and we would have stayed, but they hadn't. We drove over to the Denney's on International Speedway Blvd. and had a nice meal and great service, from our waiter Tony.

Monday morning, Todd and I went to the beach for a few hours. This was my very first time swimming in the ocean. Cool.

Friday, August 16, 2002

  From an ad in the October 1993 issue of MIX magazine:

When Elvis Presley died in 1977 there were 37 Elvis impersonators in the world.

Today, there are 48,000.

If the current trend continues, by the year 2010, one out of every three people in the world will be an Elvis impersonator.

  I'm going to Daytona Beach (via Orlando) tomorrow. Any suggestions of things I must see/do in the Daytona Beach or Orlando areas? This will be my first trip to Florida.

  I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding for the second time last night. After the second viewing, I like it even more than before. As we left the theater, a girl behind us said, "That was SO much better than Signs!" Her friend replied, "Yeah, like 40 times better."

Thursday, August 15, 2002

  From our library's collection agency:

"(We are) having a contest for the “Best” excuse. We know that you have heard everything and anything about why a patron has not returned their materials. So for fun, we would like to hear some of those excuses. Once the top 10 are compiled we will let you know so that you can vote for your personal favorite."

Recently, one of our patrons checked out several DVDs one week after he died, and hasn't returned them. We're thinking about entering that one.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

  Toho Co., Ltd., the company that owns the trademark for Godzilla, is suing Dave of davezilla.com for copyright infringement...

  (If you don't know who David Sedaris is, you can stop reading now.)

Remember David's brother? The Rooster? He got married.
You can read all about it in the September issue of Esquire.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

  Ernie has created yet another web-game:

  It's Japan Week over at LoveHateLifeDeath. Ank has posted a link to Japander, where you can see American stars whore themselves in Japanese commercials.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

  The Friday Five:

1. Do you have a car? A 1992 Honda Civic sedan.

2. Do you drive very often? To work and back every day, a little bit around town. When I was 16, I drove 2000 miles per month -- these days, I drive about 2000 miles every three months.

3. What's your dream car? This is nice...but not in red. (Volvos save lives. I am living proof.)

4. Have you ever received a ticket? Yes.
First ticket: My friend and I ditched the Senior Class Trip by saying that we were going on a college visit. (It was kinda true...we drove by the college at one point!) On the way home, I was clocked doing 75 in a 55 -- luckily, I hadn't been clocked earlier when I was doing 90 in a 65! He knocked it down to 70, which was nice, but letting me off with a warning would have been nicer. I paid the ticket without telling my parents about it.
Second ticket: I was driving to Indy (not speeding this time), went off the road (don't know why -- I can't remember the accident), totalled the car, and the cop wrote me a ticket for "changing lanes without signaling." Interesting. He told me that I had rolled my car, which was not true. I wanted to go to court to fight the ticket, but my dad wouldn't let me.
Third ticket: I was rushing to work, and drove through a speed trap -- 40 in a 25.
I have never, ever got just a warning -- I get a ticket every time. I haven't gotten a ticket in almost ten years though.

5. Have you ever been in an accident? Yes. I won't even include the ones where I wasn't driving, because there are way too many. First accident: One month after I got my license, turned left in front of a taxi that was driving with his turn signal on. According to the law, it was his fault, but I fault myself for being a naive new driver and trusting other people's signals (or lack thereof.)
Second accident: One year later, the car skidded on wet pavement, and I hit a utility pole head-on.
Third accident: One year after that...see question four.
Fourth accident: Rear-ended a car on my way to my first day at work at a new job. Luckily, the lady was nice, and the damage was minimal -- $150 for repainting her bumper, which I paid out-of-pocket.
Fifth accident: I was rear-ended by a guy in a very large pickup truck, totalling my beloved Toyota Corolla FX, which had been less sold than entrusted to me by a good friend. I was sitting at a red light, and he plowed right into me. I got out of the car to go scratch his eyes out, but my knees buckled, and I had to stay leaning against the car until the police arrived -- lucky for him. He said that he had never been in a wreck before (surprising) and asked if I had. I said yes, and he acted smug, like this somehow made the accident my fault. Bastard.

Friday, August 09, 2002

  I'd like to see the Democrats run this ad. (link from David)

Thursday, August 08, 2002

  From Eric S. who is studying in New Zealand:

"Here on campus it's been Jesus Week. It's been fairly low key...a banner up on concourse, the occasional table with information...but Wednesday they had a fairly sizable setup. Several tables, some musicians and an evangelist. But by some scheduling fluke it was also Sexual Awareness Day, so the *other* half of concourse was taken up by sex booths :)

I went up fairly late in the day, kinda hoping to see concourse in flames, but alas everyone was behaving themselves. I was sitting at the gay booth (next to the blow-up doll they'd been demonstrating dental dam usage on) talking to some of the other members...some of them are pretty anti-Christian, and one girl kept muttering about wanting to go up to the evangelist and harass him. She didn't, but she is a troublemaker...apparently a few years ago during sex day (one which wasn't scheduled at the same time as Jesus Week) the Christians had a table (sharing their perspective, I guess) set up right across from UniQ's. They'd written 'And God said, sex was good' on their banner, so this girl wrote 'And Goddess said, queer sex is better' on UniQ's. Ah, I wish I could have seen that :)"

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

  Pond in a container: good for those who have no yard, or have a yard, but are too lazy to dig

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

  The strange Monday continued with a woman calling up with a reference question about "humping dogs." The reference people refused to talk to her -- probably thinking that it was some kind of prank -- so she called the Homebound department. The woman she got on the phone there thought that she was saying "hunting dogs" and tried to help her. The woman said, "No, I want to know about HUMPING dogs. Having sex with a dog." The flustered librarian transferred her to the reference department, who again told her that they didn't have anything on that, and that they couldn't help her.

This morning, she called again. This time she got me on the phone. She said that she wanted to find out about it because her neighbor was doing it, and she thought that she must be sick and need help. Then she said that it was a young girl, and I said that she should talk to the girl's parents, or call child welfare, or something. She didn't want to call the authorities, and she said that she couldn't talk to the parents because she had had some sort of falling out with them. I told her that there was nothing that I could do for her, and if she wouldn't report it to the authorities, no one else would be able to anything either. I told her that I really couldn't help her, and ended the call.

Throughout the day, she called almost every department in our building, and maybe some of our other branches. Everyone kept saying that they thought that it was a joke, but she seems very serious and concerned. Not that I believe what she says is true, but that she believes that it is true. I think that she needs help.

Monday, August 05, 2002

  How do I know that it's Monday? Well, for starters, the collection agency that our library dumped last year seems to have mixed up their files, and is sending out collection letters for another account with our library's information on them! The letters are for a hospital in another state. So, basically, people are getting letters saying that they owe a public library (that they have never heard of) hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars, and are all calling to complain. (I don't blame them.) We have five phones in this office, and they are ringing non-stop! My vacation is only 12 days away...12 more days...12 more days...12 more days...12 more days...

Update: We were giving the callers the number of the collection agency, and they had the gall to ask us to stop giving out their phone number! They asked us to instead give people the hospital's number. What morons! If they hadn't already lost the account, adding insult to injury by making the hospital handle all the calls, would certainly do it. For spite, we are continuing to give the collection agency's phone number to callers -- I mean, they created this mess, they should have to clean it up!

  Some Japanese weirdness from my friend Angela, who is teaching in Japan: Gloomy Bear. According to Ang, "Gloomy Bear is a giant teddy bear who likes to eat small children. He is most often a pink cartoon bear with blood dripping from his mouth. YIKES!!!!" (Also, note the long claws!)

Sunday, August 04, 2002

  Has Blogdex been egged?! Of the top 25 links on Blogdex at the moment, 12 of them are about decorated eggs...weird.

8. Nature Collection - 5.0 points jaw drop
elegantintrigues.com/nature/ - more info - sources

9. Main Gallery - 5.0 points fabulous decorated eggs
pinkyofhouston.com/main_gallery.htm - more info - sources

12. Pysanky Artists Liubov Ktytorova and Tetiana Vlenenko - 5.0 points pysanky
www.artukraine.com/egg/pysankyp2.htm - more info - sources

13. Kirk - 5.0 points done to an egg
www.carved-eggs.com/kirk.htm - more info - sources

14. Emu Egg Art by Curious Outlook - 5.0 points jewelry boxes
www.curiousoutlook.com/index_egg.html - more info - sources

15. Egg Art Network - 5.0 points Egg Art Network
www.eggartnetwork.com/ - more info - sources

16. Hand Carved Eggshell Sculpture - 5.0 points carved eggs
www.eggzotica.com/enlargements/di.htm - more info - sources

17. Decorated egg - 5.0 points beautiful eggs
www.handmade200.com/decoregg.html - more info - sources

18. Jane the Artist: The VW - 5.0 points modern
www.janepollak.com/artist/eggspage/vw.html - more info - sources

20. Treasures of the World - Faberge introduction frame - 5.0 points Russian jeweler
www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/faberge_nav/main_fabfrm.html - more info - sources

21. The Emu Egg Sales Gallery - 5.0 points explosion
www.rockyforkfarms.com/egggallery.htm - more info - sources

24. Decorated Eggs Representing Each State - 5.0 points think of it
www.whitehouse.gov/history/tours/eggsbystates/ - more info - sources

25. "geometric egg art" - 4.2 points pysanky
www.ukrainianegg.com/pics/zpost15.jpg - more info - sources

Saturday, August 03, 2002

  If you are into blogs, like I am, check out Blogtree, it shows relationships between different generations of blogs. I registered, and you can check out my blog genealogy.

  The Friday Five:
1. What is your lineage? Where are your ancestors from?
On mom's side, 3/4 German, 1/4 Irish. On dad's side, mostly English, some Cherokee.
2. Of those countries, which would you most like to visit?
I'd definitely like to go to Ireland.
3. Which would you least like to visit? Why?
I'm probably least interested in Germany, mainly because of the language barrier.
4. Do you do anything during the year to celebrate or recognize your heritage?
Not that I can think of. I don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day, I hate that crap.
5. Who were the first ancestors to move to your present country (parents, grandparents, etc)?
My dad's ancestors, who came here before the Revolutionary War, and lived on the then frontier in North Carolina.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Thursday, August 01, 2002

  "You can't buy it yet, but a drug is being developed in labs in Australia and the US that may prove to be the ultimate lifestyle enhancer - you'd get a fantastic tan and a highly active libido, with a slim figure and clear skin as possible side-effects. It's been tagged 'the Barbie drug'..."