Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Colour Blind

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dear Diary:

I did a lot of fun stuff this past weekend:

1. I went on a concert cruise with Brianna & Lisa. We saw a Canadian band call The Weakerthans who have a song called "I Hate Winnipeg," which is hilare. Good times were had by all.

2. I went to Coney Island's annual Mermaid Parade (crazily enough, if you Google "mermaid parade" the second image result is my beautiful friend Monica, when she attended the parade in 2004). I saw some nice boobies!

3. We had a rooftop BBQ Chez DLang to celebrate my birthday. Living as long as Christ is apparently the last major birthday milestone until I start getting seniors' discounts at Kmart. The weather was perfect and the delicious chocolate cake (from the Bakery Formerly Known As Two Little Red Hens) had a big orange G on it!

4. I went to Kari's birthday brunch at Miriam and enjoyed my first Shakshuka (Marc, I'm expecting a comment for that link).

5. I baked a wedding cake redux/anniversary cake, and delivered it to my old 'hood, where I then enjoyed a delicious dosa.

6. I decided that Keith Mars is catching up with Sandy Cohen as my fantasy dad.

After all that, this is still all I can muster as a blog post. Thank god for RSS, or you guys would be outta here.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not Young Enough To Know Everything

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
-Mark Twain

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bacon Redux

Turns out Mike's request for an ode to strip bacon was a contest of sorts. Mike has chosen a winner, and it wasn't me. The newly-crowned bacon poet laureate is Mike's friend Jeh, who isn't yet my friend but should be because the man can write, and he truly loves the pig.

Behold this stanza of genius:

O strip of bacon,
you the king of the snacka.
A condiment and a meal,
a sidekick and a hero, like the mighty Chewbacca.
You can read the whole brilliant composition here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's My Birthday Too--Yeah!

Not ONLY does today mark the start of my 34th year on this remarkable planet, it's also the first day of Summer (officially at 18:06 GMT) AND Recess At Work Day! (via the Freakonomics blog/DC Dave)

Conveniently, I'd been celebrating Recess At Work Day all morning, before I even knew it was today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


First Time's Free

In case you're behind in your blogroll, please take note of Miss Brianna's recent intarweb fame. A couple of sites linked to her rant about United Airlines (with whom, incidentally, I flew last Friday night without incident). Linking to her blog is all the rage. Everyone's doing it!

Well, friends, Bri isn't the only celebrity around here! In a shining example of the power of the internets, after my recent brush with death a dude who writes a firefighting blog Flickr-mailed me to find out if he could use one of my awesome pictures on his site. And recently, Mike had nothing better to do and threw me a link.

The hits just keep on coming.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Older I Get

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dear Nerds,

I love you guys, really I do. I've spent my whole life with you, and I think your brains are hot. Here's the thing, though. When I don't work with you, I can't see how clean your code is, or how fast you fix bugs, or watch you brainstorm algorithms on a whiteboard, so you have to give me something else to go on in a social setting. Wear a cool t-shirt that I can comment on (maybe one that you didn't get on Think Geek), smile when I walk by, if I say "hi" say something back, anything. [Side note to WWDC organizers: How about you help us out here and put conference attendees' company locations on our badges? I can show genuine interest in almost anywhere in the world, but the whole "So, where are you from?" lead-in sounds so contrived and also a lot like "Come here often?" which, no.]

Guys, I'm not trying to pick you up, and odds are I don't want to sleep with you. I'm a friendly girl and I like you, really I do. Even you, guy who when I offered to move so that all of your friends could sit at the same table, said "OK, yeah, get out of here," (but I might like you a little less). I like you guys who got really excited when you found a redraw bug in Leopard (and insisted on reproducing it several times and showing me). In fact, when I later attended a session in which The Curt did a demo, I felt a little like Wanda in "A Fish Called Wanda" when Otto speaks Italian to her. Can you feel the love?

I made a big effort last night at the bash to talk to you. I smiled at you! I even tried to play a fun party game (Would you rather only eat eggs--prepared any way you like, but with only salt & pepper as seasonings--with no adverse health effects, and live for the next 50 years, or only live for 15 more years and eat whatever you want?) and got very little in return. I will laugh at your jokes. Try me. I'm interested in your work, especially if *you're* interested in it - a little enthusiasm goes a long way. You can keep the sarcasm, thanks - I just want to have a friendly conversation. Just give me an in.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Where The Heart Is

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bloggerrific Highlights

Some of the blogs I read have had particularly excellent posts this week. Here are some of the reads that had me giggling:

  • Brianna partied with some Swedes: This conference sounds kind of boring, it’s like: børk børk programming, børk børk technology, børk børk gross chocolate mouse that we’re calling cake just to piss people off. We should spice things up.

  • Lisa moved into a new apartment: There were 2 small plates, 8 wine glasses, and 5 shot glasses. And a colander. That is the exact opposite of "just the basics"!

  • Jim ran with the cows of Owensville, Missouri: I tightened my laces and looked over the herd, they looked ready to do business. The business consisted of eating grass and producing methane gas.

  • Griffin wanted to shave: Griffin feels his face which is covered in dried-on cookie dough. "I all prickly! Mommy, I older? I need to shave?"

  • Garth hated on Vista: I close it and it tells me it's not responding (duh!) and that I should wait while Windows tries to figure out what's wrong. Unless it's planning on formatting my drive and reinstalling with XP, it won't ever figure it out.

  • Mike chose the Seven Wonders of Canada: 6. Old Quebec City (Apart from the fact that most Quebeckers probably resent this choice, it's not bad.)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Point of View

I've been digging the HSBC "Your Point of View" ad campaign for a while, especially the print ads which are in airports everywhere. An exceptionally thought-provoking exercise in a recent therapy session inspired me to create my own series of these ads, for me, based on my own often conflicting points-of-view about the same idea.

Here's the first in the series; let me know what you think!

The House Is On Fire

The last two weekends I've shown complete disregard for my Saturday morning training schedule by staying out all hours on Friday night. Last night, however, I vowed to get serious about training and go to bed at a reasonable hour. My social activities were limited to dinner with Jillian with a J and going to a play that ended at the very reasonable hour of 10 p.m. I was home by 10:30, and tucked in by about 11:15, not to mention mentally prepared to run the prescribed 8.4 miles on Saturday morning.

I fed Memphis right before bed, and vaguely recall her starting to pester me again when I heard sirens and saw red emergency vehicle lights outside my window. The BP* is located on the side of the building, so I don't have a view onto the street - I could just see the glow of the lights, and hear some action outside. I kind of ignored it for a while, then thought it sounded pretty close to home, so I threw on shorts and a t-shirt, and made the executive decision to phone DLang (2:30 a.m. logic: If my run is going to be wrecked tomorrow, his can be too!). I started to tell him that I thought something was going on, and gave him the play-by-play of my observations (flashlights in the backyard, someone thumping around on the roof). When I heard someone outside my apartment, I told him I'd call him back.

Seconds later there was a knock on the door, and I opened it to find a member of FDNY's finest! Now, I've had my fair share of fantasies involving a firefighter on my doorstep, however, none of them ACTUALLY involved fire. The hallway was quite smoky and I wondered, if I passed out, would he have to carry me downstairs? Because that would be awesome. Unfortunately my flirting capabilities were constrained by the thought that my apartment building might really be on fire, so instead of asking him if he'd like to come in for a glass of wine, I only managed to ask if I needed to leave the apartment. He said the CO levels were high and that that would be a good idea.

Moment of self-discovery: When my apartment is on fire my hands are really shaky, which means you shouldn't ask me to hold your martini.

I called DLang back to tell him we were coming over, then herded Memphis into her carry case, grabbed her litter box, my computer (I'm going to WWDC in SF next week, and my Mac is my only cred, yo), clothes for running, and headed out. On the way downstairs I passed about a dozen other firemen (note to self: try for more specific visualization in fantasies - i.e., firemen but NO FIRE), one of whom asked me if I have a CO detector in the apartment. Truth is, I don't know. There's definitely a smoke detector, but I don't know if it's dual-purpose, so I said no. He said, "Oh, you get a spanking for that." Well, hello Mr. Fireman! Now you're talking!

Once outside, I stopped to take a couple of pictures - unfortunately the best one just looks like there are a bunch of ghosts outside the apartment. (Next time I'm going to take some selfies with the men in uniform - I'm sure they'd be flattered, right?)

The moral of this story? I should continue party it up on Friday nights, because if I go to bed early there will just be a fire and I'll end up sleep-deprived and sucking at my run, anyway.

*Bachelorette Pad

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

An Ode to Strip Bacon

This morning I received email from my friend Mike, who is currently on a big sailing trip somewhere between here and Tahiti.

Gill -

Quick. "An Ode to Strip Bacon".

Help an addict out during his last week at sea.

Hope you are well,
I replied:
Streaks of red and white
Salty, crispy, slightly sweet:
Pigs are delicious.

Monday, June 04, 2007

This Just In

According to the vet, Memphis' tests were "beautiful" - in other words, there is nothing wrong with her. Except that she lost 28% of her body weight in a few months.

Next steps: Check for GI problems, including - get ready! - parasites.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Reality Bytes

I was at a party on Friday night at which I stayed until the wee hours of the morning. I must confess: While I am a relatively social person, and often enjoy hosting parties, there are party situations in which I feel somewhat uncomfortable (and uncool). I kind of expected that to happen on Friday, and was pleasantly surprised when it didn't -- in fact, when LL (with whom I'd come to the party) leaned over at one point and said, "Hey G, it's quarter to 4, just so you know," I actually wanted to stay longer.

As the crowd waned, we ended up as 5 or 6 people in different stages of inebriation sitting out on the roof pondering the mysteries of life. A few interesting topics surfaced, one of which was fear of heights. A few people were, in fact, afraid of heights, and the general speculation was that it's because when they get to an edge, they think about how easy it would be to (voluntarily) step off. That led to a bigger conversation about altering your own reality, and the various ways in which you could drastically change the life that you've created over 20- or 30-some years, within, in some cases, a matter of seconds. And not even necessarily by doing something superextreme, but, for example, by saying something completely ridiculous in a meeting (for reasons beyond my comprehension, the example "I have a purple penis!" was used) - the idea that an impulse might pop into your head and that you don't do anything about it, but think, "oh my god I totally could do/say that and what if I did?" and probably even more, "what's actually keeping me from doing/saying it, and is that thing trustworthy?"

Like I do with practically everything these days, I spent some time thinking about how this relates to my current sitch with DLang, and how we got we got to the reality that is so different from the one we had last year at this time. I didn't come up with anything profound, except that maybe it wasn't one big outbursty impulse that led us where we are now, but maybe more about things that weren't said - which might have made the consequences less identifiable.

In this week's Get Naked, Jamie Bufalino advises, "The idea is to live authentically--that means having the balls to not gloss over your flaws. After all, you want someone to love you, and not just the facade you’ve cleverly cultivated over the years." Reread that, OK? Because it's awesome. That reminded me of a recent conversation about secrets and anxiety, and I think a lot of what happened in the past year has to do with me *not* talking about important things - behaviour which, it turns out, can be as reality-altering as the impulsive blurt.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Showing Her Age

Last year when I took Memphis for her yearly check-up she weighed 17.6 lbs. That is pretty close to her peak, and per the vet, unhealthily high. In an attempt to facilitate feline weight loss (no small feat - just ask Sars and "Little" Joe), we cut her portion sizes down from 1 5.5oz can of food/day to 2/3 of a can. It didn't seen to bother her too much, and a couple of months ago I thought, wow, this is finally working! She is one svelte kitty.

More recently, though, I thought she seemed a little too skinny, and last weekend I finally hopped on the scale with her. She weighed in at 12.6 lbs. YIKES. I already had an appointment scheduled for today for her regular visit (as well as to check out that thing on her nose), and on Tuesday I called to move it up a few days.

The vet took blood and urine samples (it is really hard to get a cat to pee in the little cup, let me tell you!) and we'll get the results on Monday. In all likelihood, Miss Memphis has hyperthyroidism. The good news: It's common, and treatable. Our options will probably be either a drug regime (2 pills/day for the rest of her life), or radioactive iodine treatment. The former would cost ~$350/year, and since she's going to live FOREVER, that just isn't feasible, so I'm leaning toward the latter (which would entail her spending 7-10 days in the hospital and will cost ~$3k, but will be a permanent cure).

The good news in all of this is, it could explain a lot of her food anxiety, and might quell her 4 a.m. "I'm hungry and this is an emergency WAKE UP NOW MOM" urges. It's pretty sad that my BFF with her NEWBORN BABY is getting more sleep than I am with my cat.

P.S. She didn't really have to pee in a cup. CATURDAY TRIVIA: To take a urine sample from a cat, the vet inserts a needle directly into her bladder. And now you know.