March 18, 2003

An Appropriate Thought for Spring

I got an e-mail from my friend Jimmy this morning, in which he used a phrase that totally captured my imagination. Here is the relevant excerpt: looks like we won't be moving west, at least for the time being. If something big pops up for one of us, we would definitely consider it. For now we are going to try to "bloom where we're planted", as Shayr says.

I can just tell: that phrase is going to be stuck in my head all day, and probably longer. It makes me think of the things Al and I are doing to make our current home more livable, such as rearranging the furniture and planting flowers in the courtyard (the activity we've planned for this weekend). I'm sure there's more we could be doing, and all of it would help to stave off Weekend Depression.

Let's get blooming!

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March 24, 2003


Just got off the phone with BofA Customer Service. Or maybe it was Quicken Customer Service—I'm not sure. Al asked me to get a Quicken PIN number so he could download my statements (he's the financial record-keeper in our family), so I called the BofA number. It wasn't clear from the menu options what I needed to do, so I pressed 4 for "if you need help with something else...." When I said I needed a Quicken PIN number, the chap on the other end of the phone said, "I'm going to transfer you to a Quicken representative. May I put you on hold?" He was nice enough about it, but I could tell from the tone of his voice that I should have pressed 3 for "if you're having trouble with Quicken...."

The Quicken representative I was connected with approximately 90 seconds later didn't seem to know anything about me, so I guess typing in my account number was only for BofA's benefit. I had to tell him what state I was in, give him my checking account number, my mother's maiden name, the state I was born in, and my date of birth. All the spam scam alarms were going off in my head, but I fought them down. The rep then asked if I wanted to have the service where I downloaded my statements from the website, or the one where I could open my statements directly from Quicken (which is $9.95/mo, though my super duper account status means that the fee would be waived). I said I didn't know—it was my husband who wanted the Quicken PIN to begin with. I said I'd ask him, hang on.

I typed the question to Al via AIM, and he asked if he could have both. The rep said fine, that he'd updated my account for the premium service, and that it would take 48 hours to process. I said, "ok, so I can download from the website now, but I have to wait 48 hours to open from Quicken?"

"No," he replied. "You need to wait two days for both, or it will get confused."

Uh, ok. He started to terminate the call, and I said, "wait, don't I need the PIN?"

"Your online banking ID and passcode are the PIN."

"Oh, so when I log on to the BofA website, I'm connected? Or do you mean that my online password is my Quicken PIN?"

"WHEN YOU OPEN QUICKEN YOU'LL BE PROMPTED FOR YOUR ONLINE BANKING ID AND PASSCODE, AND IT WILL CONNECT AUTOMATICALLY," he practically shouted. Apparently he thought this was obvious. For my part, I thought it was obvious that I wasn't the Quicken user, and that I was only asking for the PIN on my husband's behalf. I guess we were both wrong. :(

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April 2, 2003

Hump Day

First off, for those of you who are concerned about my welfare, I survived this year's April Fool's Day unscathed, and I don't have Sars. I'm responding well to the Zithromax, thank you very much.

Al drove me to work this morning, and as we pulled around the circular driveway in front of my office building, I heard the woman who was giving this morning's Pentagon briefing read an excerpt from this article, which I'd found linked from Cynthia Chew's website over a week ago. Talk about yesterday's news...

- - - - - - - - -

As I was unpacking my laptops this morning and preparing to get ready to work (or rather, blog), I was thinking about Wednesdays. For some reason, I've always thought of Wednesdays as different from every other day of the week—though for reasons that have evolved over time. When I was a kid in elementary school, Wednesdays were "short days": school let out around 1pm instead of around 3pm. For years (even well into high school, when the short day rotated along with 7th period), I pictured my week as looking like this:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being a shorter column than the others

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, Wednesday became taller—taller, in fact, than the other days of the week. (I know it was after I'd ceased to hear Wednesday referred to as "hump day," as it it is often referred to in Boston.) So though I never think of Wednesday as "hump day," when I look at my post-childhood mental picture of the week, I can see where the term comes from:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being a slightly taller column than the others

Funny that in this adult mental picture the days of the week have also become gray, but that's another story.

What I was thinking about this morning was how Wednesday has once again altered my mental picture of the week. For about a year now, Wednesday has been Work at Home Day. (It used to be Thursday, but it was moved to Wednesday not, as you might imagine, for alliterative reasons, but rather to make sure that all the engineers were in the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the product marketing and management teams were also here.) I happen to be in the office today, as I am most Wednesdays. I got in the habit of not working at home on Wednesdays because [a] when I had my house in Truckee, it made more sense for me to work at home on Fridays or Mondays, and [b] with everyone else working at home, the office is really quiet. The quiet is probably what has most influenced my current mental picture of the week:

days of the week graph, with Wednesday being lighter color than the others

Wednesday has become this slightly ethereal day in the middle of the week, one that always manages to take me by surprise. Every week I walk into the office on Wednesday, hear the hum of florescent lights, muted traffic sounds through the heavy glass windows, and curiously, no clicking keyboards, and wonder, "where is everybody?" Sometimes I catch on right away, and other times it takes me a couple hours, until people don't return from the meetings that I assumed they were attending.

It could be that I work in the office on Work at Home Wednesdays not because of my house in Truckee (which I sold) or because of the quiet, but because I'm unable to distinguish Wednesday from any other weekday. I go in to work because that's what I did yesterday, and that's what I'll do tomorrow. Maybe Wednesdays aren't so special after all...

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April 24, 2003


Turning up the stereo to drown out other noises in the house is not the same as having quiet time.

One small sliver of chocolate dropped on a laptop keyboard can wreak havoc on your hands and clothes (not to mention your trackpad).

I seem to have reached the age when non-stretchy pants are no longer comfortable. My great-aunt warned me back in the mid-80s that this day would come.

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May 22, 2003

Must Be a Glitch

This morning as I was driving to work, I got stuck behind a big white van advertising doggie day care. I noticed the big yellow sticker on the back when I almost slammed into it; traffic had apparently stopped or slowed significantly in front of the van, which I couldn't see around. I merged right as quickly as possible and got off at Marsh Road. I hadn't planned to go to Starbucks this morning, but I decided that traffic stopping right at the Marsh exit must be a sign.

When I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot at Marsh and Bay, I noticed the white doggie day care van in the prime spot by the door, and wondered how it had gotten in front of me (I didn't think it had exited at Marsh). On closer inspection, I realized it was an SUV and not a van, and that the stickers were different. This was another white doggie day care vehicle, not the one I'd been following.

I went inside and was happy to see that the line ahead of me consisted of only three people, instead of the 8 I'd faced yesterday. Considering the speed with which they'd served all 9 of us, I figured this would be fast. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Customers #1 and #2 were a woman and an approximately 11 year-old boy. There were piles of coins spread out on the counter, apparently extracted from a plastic baggie, which held a few more. Between the woman and the boy was a small change purse bulging with $100 bills. There was much wrangling going on behind the counter; I couldn't figure out over what. The barista, meanwhile, managed to flag down customer #3 and ask him what he wanted. He had it (a tall caramel macchiato) in his hands before the drama at the registers had played out.

By the time the barista had served me my decaf tall soy 1-pump mocha, Customer #1 had moved on to the condiments counter with her Venti something or other, her Grande something or other, her change purse full of hundreds, and her baggie of coins. Apparently the 11 year-old, whose Frappucino was melting in front of him, wasn't hers (the coins, yes; the kid, no). He paid for his Frappucino, two madelines, and two snickerdoodles with a hundred dollar bill. I thought it was exceedingly odd that the woman with the hundreds would pay with coins, and a kid, whom you'd expect to pay with coins, would pay with a hundred.

It turns out the hundred wasn't his. As I left the shop, I saw him handing the Frappucino, the cookies, and the $89 in change to—you could see this coming, right?—the woman behind the wheel of the doggie day care van.

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May 23, 2003

Things Overheard at the Airport

For reasons I choose not to go into, we were not able to board our 8:10am flight to Vancouver this morning, and instead were re-booked on the 2:35pm flight. We should still make it to B.C. in time for me to shop for a stick before the first game of my hockey tournament, so that part's not so bad. The bad part is that I got up at 4:50am after 5 hours of sleep, and I am now royally cranky. I am desperately trying not to think of missed sightseeing, shopping, and eating opportunities, and to be as enthusiastic as Al is when he says, "we can have lunch at Max's!" Unfortunately, while I certainly agree that Max's makes good sandwiches, and it's nice that they make them available here in the airport "restaurants" (along with even-more-bitter-than-usual cups of Peet's coffee), I don't find the prospect of getting a sandwich for lunch very cheering.

I was hoping that by sitting at the airport waiting for our flight rather than going home to wait we'd be able to pretend that our mini-vacation had already started, but I see now how incredibly dumb an idea that was. I just found the notion of sitting at home depressing, and going out shopping for jeans or bras or books or magazines (all of which are on my list of current necessities) or otherwise killing time productively around the Peninsula wasn't possible, given that almost nothing except Starbucks and Rolling Pin Donuts (both of which we visited in an attempt to cheer ourselves) was open at 7:30am. So we came back here and checked in my hockey bag and stick at around 8:30, and we've been looking in the airport bookstore, napping on the uncomfortable (but thankfully devoid of armrests) rows of seats at the Alaska Airlines gates, and grumpily muttering "shut UP!" under our breath at the scads of people who insist on having personal conversations at top volume. (OK, I admit, it's only me doing the muttering; Al is merely rolling his eyes occasionally.) Things overheard so far:

From the row behind me, one side of a cell conversation: "Yes, hi, this is Dr. ______, returning your call. I just wanted to get a little background before we go any further. What is your current mood now? [pause for response] Have you ever been suicidal before? [pfr] Are you currently suicidal? [pfr] Have you ever been hospitalized? [pfr] And the current medications you're on were prescribed by your primary care physician? [pfr] Right, and now you're looking to see a psychiatrist?" All this and more, including scheduling of the appointment and a detailed explanation of the cancellation policy, delivered in that gentle, almost sing-song doctor voice that is designed to put you at ease while at the same time conveying supreme authority and competence.

While sleeping on a row of Alaska Airlines waiting area seats: "WELL, *THIS* ISN'T SO BAD!" Am I wrong to think this woman's comment was sarcastic, and designed to wake me up (which it did)?

While attempting to regain the level of blissful sleep so rudely interrupted by the woman above: Guy: "...middle and an aisle." Girl: [whines] Guy: "Well, I'm in A, so maybe you're in A too. Though maybe not.... I hate Wells Fargo! They always screw me." I couldn't figure out why this guy was blaming Wells Fargo for a shitty seat assignment, but I see now that I am sitting across from a Wells Fargo ATM machine. It's possible that they were having this discussion while extracting money from it.

From four seats down at Gate 22, one side of a cell conversation (the side with the incredibly loud Boston accent): "I think it's down to the Off-White and the Wheatberry. Picture a long room," and here he gestured with both arms out in front of him, so that he had to shout even louder into the phone that was now about 2 feet from his mouth, "that's like 20-25' with cathedral ceilings. See, I think you should use the Off-White on the walls and the Wheatberry on the flat part of the ceilings, because then the cohntrast isn't too much..." Amazingly, the volume of the conversation increased as he warmed to the subject of the slight yellowish tint of the Wheatberry... until an older gentleman from Gate 21 came over to ask him to lower his voice. Though he looked like a guy who would argue, he acceeded to the request. Sometimes people surprise me.

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July 14, 2003

Henry's First Birthday

Al and I had a lovely weekend in New York City with his brother Carl, our sister-in-law Tris, and their baby Henry, who turned one on Sunday. Turning one is a big deal in Korean culture, so there was a good-sized family gathering at a Korean restaurant on Saturday night to celebrate.

I can't remember the name of the ceremony that preceeded dinner, but for it Henry was dressed in a traditional first-birthday hanbok (parts of which were also worn by Al and Carl on their first birthdays) and seated behind a table that featured a pile of rice, a spool of thread, a pen, a book, and a ten dollar bill. As Al and Carl's father was explaining that we were to observe which one of the items Henry picked up, and the significance of each item, Henry reached for the book: a silver-covered copy of The Elements of Style, wrapped in gold curling ribbon. (Tris later confessed that she weighted the odds a little by wrapping the book in the gold ribbon. :) By the time Mr. Cho concluded his introductory speech with, "and now we will watch what Henry picks up," Henry had returned the book to its place and reached for the pen. "Ah, the pen!" Mr. Cho exclaimed. "He will be a writer." Of course, everyone's eyes had been glued on Henry as Mr. Cho was talking, so everyone except Mr. Cho had seen Henry go for the book first. This apparently means that Henry will be a scholar. Surely a scholar must write, however (at leat, he must if he wants to attain tenure in the American University system), so the pen and the book were not entirely inconsistent choices.

That was basically the end of the ceremony; all that remained was to have all the family members photographed with Henry in his place of honor (and of course, to eat a delicious Korean dinner followed by exotic sorbets and ice creams and an incredibly rich and elegant chocolate and vanilla mousse cake). By the time Henry had sat for his last photograph, he had picked up and played with every item except the rice (and I think this was mainly because the grains were too small for him to grab). I think the ceremony is all about what he picks up *first*, but if first isn't the only thing that counts, I think it's safe to assume that Henry will be a well-rounded individual.

henry in his hanbok

Posted by Lori at 5:58 AM
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November 27, 2003

Bad Daughter

It's times like these that I wish I smoked. I have a very strong urge to sneak out of my in-laws' condo and have a cigarette, just to be bad.

Posted by Lori at 10:48 AM
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February 10, 2004

Beer Babe

A couple weeks ago, as Al and I were watching SNL's Weekend Update on TiVo, Tina Fey made a joke about something that's been on my mind for years (and that I wrote a little rant about back in 1991): that the message Super Bowl ads send to us is that "girls are sluts for beer." (Of course, it's not just ads run during the Super Bowl—beer ads run year-round have this message.) Note that Tina made this joke *before* all the brouhaha over Janet's right breast. At the time, I exclaimed, "THANK YOU!" and mentioned the little rant —and the incident that precipitated it—to Al.

A couple days ago, while cleaning out some old files, I found the rant, written back in the days before blogs (before the web, even), when I was 23 and living in Arlington, VA. I'm glad I wrote it down, even if the only thing I could do with it at the time was put it in a file drawer. Apologies in advance for the stilted style and shifting verb tenses.

I think I have always found the average beer commercial slightly irritating. Young men bring out the beer, and sexy, scantily-clad females come out of the woodwork to join the party. Beer, the commercials would have us believe, is to women what the bell was to Pavlov's dog: Tap the keg, and large-chested women pop up, drooling.

Disgusting, stupid, and degrading, maybe, but only slightly irritating because I couldn't imagine that anyone could take these commercials seriously. I realize sex is used to sell everything these days... and until last Thursday, I believed the guys these ads were targeted at realized it too.

On Thanksgiving Day, I decided to go see a movie. The theater is just down the street, so I walked. As I was passing through the parking lot of the public park behind my building, I came upon a group of young males gathered around a car with the stereo blaring. One of them saw me coming, and alerted his buddies.

"Hey, want a beer?" a tall guy with sunglasses and a bandana around his head offered as I drew closer.

"No, thank you," I said politely, smiling.

"Come on, I'll get you a cup."

"No, thanks." I kept walking.

"Hey," he shouted after me, "It's Thanksgiving Day, honey!" I kept walking. "I've got a frigging keg here! Help me out!"

"Man," another guy muttered, loudly enough for me to hear, "She won't even take free beer!"

I couldn't believe it. Did they think the fact that they had a keg with them made them more attractive? Did they think I was a Beer Bimbo, that I would come running when they waved a tap in front of my face? If I had trotted toward them in a bikini, my heaving chest nearly bouncing off my chin and my long blond hair flowing out behind me, with sweat and sand clinging to my body in all the right places, I could have understood their mistake. Instead, I was marching purposefully toward the theater, dressed all in black, wearing a leather biker jacket and giant Herman Munster shoes. My hair, rather than being long and flowing, was Marine Corps short. I might have been mistaken for the Terminator, but a Beer Bimbo? Never.

And yet these guys were absolutely incredulous that I could so blithely turn down their company—and worse, their free beer. Could these guys have taken seriously the message that the beer commercials purvey? It seems that not only had they taken this message seriously—they'd bought it hook, line, and sinker. Not want free beer? She must not be normal.

"Hey, moose girl, where you going?" yet another young male shouted after me.

"Come on, bitch! It's free beer!"

I walked faster, a little frightened—and a little startled by how fast an invitation had turned to abuse. Scarier still is that while these young men seem to have gotten the message the beer companies are sending, they've failed to get a more important message—one that has been showing up in news articles, TV dramas, movies, courtrooms... in short, *between* the commercials—that No, no matter how politely uttered, *still* means No.

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February 23, 2004

Blah, Blah

Al and I just returned from 10 days out of town without Internet access. At least every other day I mentioned how I missed blogging, and how I should really be taking notes because Al was offering hilarious insights on a regular basis. Of course, now that I'm back, I don't really feel like blogging...

Favorite quote from Al while we were away: "Yep, I'm the guy in the minivan, driving slow in the right lane... and I feel fine."

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March 30, 2004

Me and a Bottle

Oh, this is so weird. Yes, that's me in the photo at the top of the page.

Posted by Lori at 12:32 PM | Permalink
July 26, 2004

Poor Jonah

One of the people from whom we bought this house was named Jonah. We still get a considerable amount of mail addressed to Jonah—mostly catalogs from outdoor equipment suppliers and fitness clothing manufacturers, medical journals, a few mortgage refinancing solicitations, and an occasional Runner's magazine. [Jonah was (still is, probably) a serious athlete who outfitted the basement with the wraparound mirrors mentioned in the previous post, the better to make the basement-filled-with-fitness-equipment feel like a real gym, I assume.] Most of the catalogs are addressed simply to Jonah _________, with no saluation, while the mortgage and credit card solicitations are often addressed to Mr. Jonah _________.

This always makes me a bit indignant on Jonah's behalf, since Jonah is a woman. As I've mentioned before, I can't stand it when people call me Lori H. Cho instead of Lori Hylan-Cho (or worse, address mail intended for me—as my grandmother did recently—to Mrs. Albert Cho), but whenever I get a piece of mail addressed to Mr. Jonah _________, I feel lucky that, for the most part, only grocery store clerks who aren't paying attention address me as "Mister".

I have to say, however, that when I got today's mail, I was more than a bit indignant on Jonah's behalf. You'd think that at least the National Organization for Women would get her name right.

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August 11, 2004

Cruise Journal is Live

OK, I've finally got the lori-and-al blog database rebuilt and all the cruise entries and photos posted. You can see them all here in chronological order. I figured I'd end on a nice note—photos of our last day at sea—rather than describing the disembarkation process. Actually, disembarkation itself wasn't *too* bad; it was more the chaos outside the terminal that got to me.

I'm not very good in crowds, and I'm especially anxious now that I have a belly to protect. As when we arrived for our cruise, there was complete pandemonium on the sidewalk outside the terminal, with porters forcibly clearing paths for themselves with the carts they pushed, hundreds of people with luggage all trying to figure out what the system for getting a cab was, and hundreds more being dropped off for the next cruise.

We got a ticket for the cab queue, and Al and I attempted to get behind the section 3 sign, where we were told to wait. Al got through the crowd, but I got my suitcase stuck on someone, and while politely waiting for them to move out of the way, I lost my opening. The porters pushed through from the other direction—and I do mean pushed. They literally shoved me backwards with their carts as I frantically tried to protect the belly. Unfortunately I was pushed into another group of people, who shoved back, nearly toppling me over my suitcase and onto a cart. I fought the urge to panic.

When I finally managed to unentangle myself and force my way through to Al, I broke down and started to cry. The whole scene was totally stressing me out. Al was very sympathetic, tried to comfort me, and took more blame than he was probably due for abandoning me to the crowds. After that he was ultra-protective, shooing away anyone who came within two feet of me.

We finally got a cab and made it to Penn Station at around 12:30pm; obviously we'd missed the 11:05am unreserved train that we'd intended to take. (The ship docked as scheduled at 9am, but it took over two hours to clear customs, and then we could only disembark according to baggage tag color—which in turn corresponded to travel arrangements and deck number.) The next train was the all-reserved (and all-booked) 1:05pm regional, so we hung out for the 2pm Keystone service. Once we got on the train, it was smooth sailing. Er, no pun intended.

Posted by Lori at 11:01 PM | Permalink
August 29, 2004

On Fonts... And On Top

The New York Times has a great little article on typefaces in its Arts section today called Acceptance Letters (free registration required). Be sure to click on the Slide Show link at the bottom of the article if you're reading online.

I noodled around with Fontographer back when I worked at the World Bank and again when I moved to Macromedia (which makes the product), but I never really got the hang of type design. Having a decent design sense is not the same as being a designer, and typeface design is an even more specific skill, so it's not surprising that I failed.

In my early days at Macromedia, I worked on the web team with a talented artist and designer named Ardith Ibañez. I remember seeing a poster of a font she designed, called Metro Manila, hanging just off the main lobby at the 600 Townsend office and thinking, wow, I wish I could do that. I still do.

Also in the New York Times Arts section this morning is an article on a totally different subject: Porn aimed at women. The people behind the new Playgirl TV service interviewed a bunch of women about what they'd like to see in porn, added their own observations to the mix, and came up with some pretty interesting conclusions about how to make features that are more appealing to women. Sounds like they're on the right track, though I can't verify personally because the service isn't available in Philadelphia (yet).

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October 13, 2004

Elmo: Terrorfying!

What I find hilarious about this terror alert system is the higher the terror level, the more benign the Muppet.

Posted by Lori at 11:00 AM
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November 10, 2004

Back Shortly

I woke up this morning thinking that I really should explain the lack of blogging here lately before anyone started to worry... and then I saw that Lauren had already started to worry. :) I'm doing fine and will explain myself shortly; I just need to go out and run a few errands first. More later today!

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November 12, 2004

Sister, Sister

My sister isn't a reader of blogs (even this one), but I'd still like to wish her a happy birthday here. It seems somehow wrong that the date of her birth should sit above anything other than an acknowledgement of that birthday. So, whether she sees it or not:

Happy 35th Birthday, Lisa!

Posted by Lori at 6:52 PM
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March 12, 2005


I just found out that my friend Jed's father was murdered earlier this week. I should be working right now, since Al is watching the baby and it's quiet here in the living room, but I find that every time I look at the letters "JSP" I see "JED". My thoughts keep drifting to Tacoma, Washington (where Jed is right now) and to something Jed did for me years ago during a time of great stress. I need to return that favor, small and ineffectual as it might be.

In the meantime, if you have a moment to spare today, please send a prayer Jed's way.

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September 29, 2005

Ten Things

  1. Last night I dreamed that time rewound somehow, and I was watching the 9/11 attacks again—this time from my window rather than on a hotel television. "Look," I said to Al, "the Towers are still standing...and there's only one smoking hole." I checked my watch. "That second plane should be coming just...about...NOW." And sure enough, in it came. It was just as horrifying the second time, when I knew it was coming.
  1. Today is one of those windy days where trash cyclones pop up in the alleys and side streets, and you end up with little bits of paper bag and Jelly Krimpet wrappers stuck in your hair.
  2. Today's wind is a life-sucking, demoralizing wind, rather than an uplifting, decaffeinating wind. I fear I will be stuck indoors all day.
  3. I used to think the word scatological meant "random", "nonsensical", or "all over the map", and that it was related to scat, the kind of singing Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald used to do. (I probably also had a mental association with the word scattered, which has a different etymology.) nj set me straight back in 1998 or 1999.
  4. Austen has been asleep for an hour and forty-five minutes so far. Thank you, Austen.
  5. I can be totally non-functional if I don't get the breakfast I am craving. This morning, I had to have cheese blintzes. HAD TO.
  6. Despite the wind (and now the rain), I am desperate to get outside and go for a walk today. At the same time, I'm not sure I have the mental or physical energy to make it more than two blocks.
  7. Ratphooey spoke for me (as she so often does) last week when she said that she wasn't ready for people to start dying on her. I've been thinking about this a lot lately—how for the next forty or fifty years, people I know and love will be dying with shocking regularity. I have been especially worried lately that my parents will die, though neither of them is old or in poor health.
  8. I am seriously stressing out about planning Austen's first birthday party in November.
  9. I owe Josie an e-mail. Sorry, Josie!
Posted by Lori at 12:39 PM
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January 4, 2006

Apparently Our President Plays Football

Al is standing right in front of the little TV in the kitchen, eating cereal. I am in the dining room, falling asleep in front of the computer.

Me: "What was that? President Bush just walked into the end zone?"

Yes indeed, it is time for bed. (And apparently it wasn't President Bush who walked into the end zone, it was LenDale White.)

Posted by Lori at 8:34 PM
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June 28, 2006


Scene: Paper goods aisle. A woman leans langorously on her cart, shuffling forward one... step... every... 30... seconds. I zip into the aisle from the opposite direction, scanning the packages of toilet paper for my favorite brand as I move toward the woman. I can't see the Ultra version I prefer, so I grab the regular version of the same brand.

Woman, pointing at the package in my hands with her chin: "How much is that?"
Me, tilting sideways to look at the shelf tag: "Um, 6.97."
Woman: How many sheets?
Me, after scanning the package for this information: "362."
Woman: "See? Doesn't have 1000 sheets."
Me: "No, but it's soft."
Woman: "Oh, it's soft, eh?"
Me: "I'm a sucker for softness."

Posted by Lori at 9:16 AM
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August 31, 2006

Thursday Miscellany

I may be adding to this post as the day goes on; random thoughts that aren't worthy of entire blog posts keep popping into my brain.

  • Al's back has been killing him from lifting/carrying the Beaner so much, to the point where he was barely able to hobble back and forth to work yesterday. Consequently, I did all the lifting/carrying yesterday (well, the parts that happen before and after Hannah arrives, anyway). Guess whose back is hurting today?
  • Last night I had a dream where two different children approached me and acted as if they were mine. They weren't really talking yet, but all their grunts and gestures indicated familiarity. It was clear they were claiming me. Both times, the parents of the child came up to me a few minutes later and explained that their babies had been switched at birth (not with each other—the two families were totally separate and unrelated), and that ever since, the child had instinctively been searching out its "real" mom. After the second set of parents told me this story, I remarked, "I had no idea baby switching was so common!" Both families were East Asian or possibly Northern African, and both children were girls.
  • It drives me totally nuts that you can't search your Movable Type entries based on whether comments are open or closed. Ideally, I'd like a way to turn off comments on posts as a batch operation, but failing that, I'd at least like to search for posts on which comments are open. (I seem to remember that there was an MT plugin that automatically turned off comments on older posts; I should see if anything like that exists for MT3.2.)
  • Even if you don't care about Seattle parks at all, it's worth reading Matthew Baldwin's piece on the subject at the Morning News for the section on Ravenna & Cowen Parks, which contains this little snort-inducing gem:
    Occasionally we would round a bend in the trail and find a full-scale melee in progress around the running path. Upon seeing us, one of the combatants would shout “Reality!” and everyone would lower their weapons and step aside, allowing us to pass. (The idea of shouting “Reality!” during one of our staff meetings at work has occurred to me more than once.)
  • Since our lives are so fully integrated now, I find that I don't post separately at lori-and-al anymore. (Would this have happened had we not had a kid, I wonder? Probably.) I'm trying to decide whether to shut down that blog and redesign the lori-and-al site so that it's just an archive of all the old stuff, or whether to import all the lori-and-al posts into avocado8. It's hard to think through all the consequences of integration ahead of time; I remember at one point I thought it was a good idea to put all the old hockey blog entries into Movable Type, but in the end it didn't feel right at all. For the sake of simplicity, I'll probably just go the archive route.
  • Via Sweetney: Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld. The audio on the WMV version I watched sucked, but the commentary was nothing if not forceful and well-argued. It's also very dense, so it bears watching a second time.
Posted by Lori at 1:06 PM
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October 23, 2006

MAXed Out

Gah, I have SO MUCH to blog about, and no time to do it—maybe on the plane tomorrow. I'm leaving for Adobe MAX in Las Vegas tomorrow morning, and I'll be gone until late, late Thursday night (yes, I'll be spending half my birthday at a conference, and the other half on a plane). I want to write about the little point-and-shoot camera I just got (a Finepix F30) this morning so I could have something to carry around in my purse (and also something I could bring to events like MAX, where I don't want to lug around the 10D in addition to two laptops). I want to write about our TWO recent apple-picking outings. I have two hockey games to write about, plus a practice tonight.

Oh, and somewhere in there I need to pack... and work. Yikes!

Posted by Lori at 11:00 AM
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January 19, 2007

A Gift From the Grave

When all of my Uncle Bruce's affairs were settled at the beginning of 2006, I received a small amount of money from the estate. I was pretty conflicted about it, mainly because some hoops were jumped through to give it to me (the will did not explicitly say that I should get anything), and because although I appreciated the sentiment that each of Bruce's nieces and nephews should get something, I didn't need it.

So after agonizing over it for about five minutes, I set aside 1/5 of the money for the Beaner and donated the other 4/5ths to charity. I can't even tell you how happy it made me to give far more than I ever had before to the two public television stations that supply us with Sesame Street, the local radio station that produces Fresh Air, and a fourth organization that works to preserve the American Bald Eagle, Bruce's favorite bird. It made me so happy—and the two public television stations, in particular, downright ecstatic—that I've been wishing that I had another chunk of money to give away this year.

Enter my grandmother. Or exit, I should say. My mother's mother died on January 1 of this year, and I just got a letter informing me that I have inherited the exact sum that I received from Bruce's estate. Ironically, this time I'm feeling no conflict or agony, despite the fact that my grandmother and I have not been close since that time she flipped out on my sister and me at Disney World when I was 14. (Long story, but she scared the shit out of us, and suddenly I saw why my mom had been so afraid of her growing up.) I never quite forgave her for that incident, or for the pain she caused my mom, though I'm not sure she was ever really aware that the distance between us had more to do with me resolving to stay cordial but closed, rather than with actual physical distance.

Anyway, today I am happy to report that my grandmother is bringing happiness from beyond the grave rather than pain. The local PBS stations that were so thrilled to get larger-than-usual donations last year will be getting them again this year. So will Breast Cancer Action, and so will our local food bank, because as Al says, it pains him to know that people around us are going hungry. I feel like the Grinch on Christmas morning, and that my heart has grown three sizes today. I hope my grandmother, who probably would have considered such a sentiment "soft" while alive, is feeling a bit of the joy her gift is spreading.

Posted by Lori at 4:07 PM
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June 17, 2007

Randomness, part 31

Just so's you know: I haven't abandoned my My Every Day photo project. I *did* take photos on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I hope to upload them... soon. The problem is currently that I've used all the hard disk space on my MacBook, and we're wrastlin' with an NAS drive that doesn't seem to like our wacky home network. I'll probably end up having to buy a separate external drive just for the MacBook tomorrow, at which point I'll be able to download (and thus, upload) photos again. I hope.

We had a lovely weekend with my parents, Al had a Father's Day trifecta (an awesome round of golf in perfect weather with me as company—but not as seething source of frustration, since my ankle only permitted me to putt—plus a yummy dinner of Maryland crabs, plus a generous brunch by the water at the Sheraton Columbia), and the Beaner had a particularly fabulous time swimming in a blow-up pool, throwing balls into trees with my mom, and pitching golf balls with my dad. He is going to LOVE staying with them when we go away for Al's birthday next month; I doubt he'll even notice we're gone.

News flash for lovers of the $8.99 v-neck stretch T from Target: I stopped in at the Target store near my parents' house to buy a few more today, figuring I could use another white, another navy or black, and another purplish-heather (see link). It turns out they've turned over their color inventory, so I was able to get three *different* colors today: a pinker version of the purplish-heather (it's rather like my hair color, actually), a lemon/lime color that's much less neon (and slightly more green) than the version that made me look like a walking virus when I made my original purchases, and a darker heather brown than the tan heather I got on my second trip. On Al's advice, I declined to buy the bluish-green number; while it wasn't as bad as the original neon green-yellow, it didn't really do anything for me. I'm assuming these color changes are intentional and not just weirdnesses with the dye lots; either way, BONUS!

I am still wigging out about not being prepared for my trip to Germany. I did laundry, fixed a big bug that was hanging over my head, and made the Beaner's bed (oh, that's another story—remind me to tell you about the Pull-Up status eventually) tonight, but it occurred to me over the weekend that I probably don't have the right outlet adaptors, that I need to figure out the whole currency thing, and that I don't have enough 1oz. bottles in which to put liquids, gels, and creams to make carrying on a possibility. There may be a frantic trip to the store tomorrow.

Oh! One other point in my favor: I made it out to the store on Friday morning and got Al the Father's Day gift he wanted: the special iPod accessory kid that he'd only ever seen at Costco. It has a bunch of A/V stuff, an adaptor that lets you listen to FM radio on your iPod, and an external charger. He was happy, so the trip and the extra Friday frenzy was worth it.

OK, now: Must. Sleep.

Posted by Lori at 11:34 PM
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July 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Al!

My fabulous, patient, handsome, understanding, sweet, hilarious, hockey-playing, golf-crazy husband turns 40 today. To celebrate, we are going away for a golf weekend together (my parents will watch the Beaner in our absence, so it's a vacation for him, too). Because most of the birthday focus is on this weekend, I'm afraid that his actual birthday—TODAY—will be a bit anticlimactic. To help keep that from happening, I'm shouting out to the friends who know him well enough to have his cell phone number to send him a happy birthday text message. If you don't have his cell number, you can still wish him a happy birthday: just click on the photo below, and leave a comment in his Flickr stream.

please wish this gorgeous man a happy 40th birthday

Posted by Lori at 10:54 AM
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August 1, 2007

Career Ambitions

I think I could have a kick-ass future as a computer-science cartoonist. I've got the great little metaphorical stories all framed out in my head, the dialog, the actions, the gestures. I've got a wealth of material from my day job. Too bad I can't draw.

Posted by Lori at 1:29 PM
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November 17, 2007

Babo To the Rescue

It's been a rough night workwise, and I think I'm about to throw in the towel and go to bed, for Pete's sake. But before I do, please allow me to share with you the photo that's been getting me through the day:

babo in the fruit bowl

It was amusing enough on its own, but then Myla went and commented that it looks like a stick-up, and now it's hi-fucking-larious. A snort-inducing laugh is always a good thing.

Posted by Lori at 1:05 AM
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January 16, 2008

On Freecycling the Turkey Fryer

I put our turkey fryer on freecycle last night. I got it out of the garage, washed the dust off it, and set it near the front door for pickup (I have about 8 people waiting behind the woman who said she'd come today around noon, in case she doesn't show up).

We're not just giving away a perfectly good turkey fryer, though. We're acknowledging that we're never going to be the kind of people who host large gatherings of friends for turkey fries or clambakes or lobster boils. Both of us love the idea of hosting such gatherings, and we have tons of paraphernalia around the house just in case we should ever be called on to do so.

But the fact of the matter is, at our core we're introverts. We're homebodies who'd rather get in our jammies and watch TV than go out and be social. We're people who love our friends, but the kinds of friends we tend to keep are the ones who can go long stretches without any direct communication from us. We're very self-contained, living to amuse only ourselves (and now, our kid). These traits do not tend to attract large groups of people looking for a great time. It pains us to admit this, but it's true.

Is there something you're holding onto for a "just in case" that will never happen?

Posted by Lori at 11:23 AM
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May 15, 2008

My Very Understanding Husband Is At the Flyers Game Right Now

Oy, I'm sick. I thought Al was being kind of a baby by staying home from work and sleeping for the past three days (mainly because he seemed fairly functional when awake), but now that he's passed the illness on to me, I suddenly understand the impetus for sleep. I slept until 10am this morning, needed another half hour to get out of bed, had a 45-minute nap this afternoon, and at just shy at 9pm am desperate to get back in bed (just have to blog and fix a bug first).

The snot and the sleepiness are the main reason I turned down Al's offer to join him at game 4 of the Pens-Flyers series. He'd gotten hold of two extra tickets late in the day, and I encouraged him to go and enjoy himself; I knew he'd have no trouble finding someone in the office to take the other ticket. The other reason I declined is that Austen actually had a GOOD DAY at school today (and afterwards), and I'd told him that we'd go out for ice cream tonight. I didn't want to renig on that promise and abandon him at the same time.

I was more than happy to promote Al's going, however, not least because I only realized *after* getting permission to come out to San Francisco during BlogHer that I'd be gone the very weekend we'd planned to celebrate his birthday with a return trip to Annapolis—and that I'd be gone for his birthday itself. This realization kind of took all the joy out of the SF trip planning, and I'd been thinking all night and morning how to make it up to him. I would have encouraged him to go to the game anyway because HELLO, playoff hockey!, but it's a start. I'm still trying to figure out how to make it up to him ON his birthday, as well.

Posted by Lori at 8:51 PM | Permalink
May 20, 2008

Tuesday Miscellany

The miscellany's coming a day early this week.

I don't mind cool weather at all—my favorite climate can be found in San Francisco (which isn't saying much, since there are so many microclimates) where it's 50-70 degrees most days with some foggy days and some clear, dry days—but hello, May in Philadelphia? Yeah, hi. Aren't you supposed to be warmer? Less rainy? Isn't it April's job to handle the showers, and yours to produce the flowers? Just checking, because if recent history and the current forecast are any guide we're still a ways away from temps staying above 55° at night, and that doesn't seem right. I'm impatient, thought, so, I planted my peppers long ago.

The Beaner has had TWO DAYS IN A ROW where he didn't go out to the hall at school. I hope this is a sign of improved behavior, and not just that Ms. Erwin has grown weary of sending him out in the hall all the time. There was ice cream after dinner last night to celebrate; tonight we'll go watch Al play hockey. Note to self: Remember to bring the thundersticks.

Al and I are going to see Liam Finn again tomorrow night at XPN's World Cafe Live. Woo! On a related note, I stopped to buy some generic Zyrtec at CVS last night (I declined a bag in favor of just holding the box in my hand), and as the Beaner and I were running down 21st Street on the way home, the bottle of pills was sliding back and forth inside the box to the rhythym of my footfalls. Clunk-shhhcchhh-clunk-shhhcchhh-clunk-shhhcchhh-clunk-shhhcchhh. Al goes, "hey!" and starts singing, "So it seems... so it seems tonight..." and I continue, "you've got that wild look in your eyes..."

If you're in Vienna, Virginia or thereabouts, Liam's playing with Laura Viers at Jammin' Java tonight; they'll be at the Bowery Ballroom on Thursday for those of you in New York; Bostonites can see them at the Middle East Downstairs on Friday; and then it's on to El Mocombo in Toronto on Saturday. All showtimes are 8pm. Check him out if you get a chance.

Posted by Lori at 12:57 PM | Permalink
June 16, 2008


Between Beaner duty in the mornings, long working hours, and other family obligations, as well as upcoming vacation plans, June's obviously going to be a light posting month. Thus every post I do squeeze in will likely have some variation on the word "random" in its title. Sorry about the spewing, but I want to record a few observations and happenings before I forget them. As I've mentioned many times before, this blog is the best resource I have for keeping track of my and my family's personal history.

First, I just want to say that I usually hate regular "update" e-mails from the companies I support with my purchasing or sponsorship dollars, and even the ones that I don't unsubscribe from or send directly to the trash I rarely read. One exception is the weekly "News from PBS 39" e-mail. I originally supported this station because it had Sesame Street on at a timeslot that was convenient for us to record, and because my closest PBS affiliate, WHYY, seemed not to care whether they got any money from me or not. (They had to be begged to acknowledge a rather large donation made as the result of an unexpected inheritance.)

PBS39, on the other hand, calls me occasionally to see if the station is meeting my needs, invites me to events (mostly in the Lehigh Valley, so I haven't been to any yet), and rarely asks me for money. Their "major gifts specialist" called me one day to ask what shows I liked most and to probe a bit into why I chose to support them when I had a station here in Center City I could support. (Apparently I'm not the only Center City resident sending them money; they've noticed a trend.) A few days after that conversation, I received a hand-written note from my caller, who not only remembered the Beaner's name, but enclosed a little Ernie doll for him. PBS is so getting more money from me this year, even if no one dies and leaves me extra dollars in their will.

Anyway, the newsletter. I look forward to receiving it every week because otherwise I'd probably miss some awesome Frontlines, American Experiences, and Masterpiece Theaters. I can know at a glance whether I need to stop working at 8pm or 9pm and watch "Growing Up Online" or an American Experience on Alexander Hamilton, or whether to check the TiVo later for the program. (As much as I love television, I rarely find myself looking for something to watch on TiVo unless I know it's there already.) It's so simple and straightforward, and like any good marketing piece, it gives me exactly the information I'm interested in (and that would be a pain to gather myself). Yay again for PBS39.

All of the following Beanerisms were uttered last Wednesday night:

  • "Mommy, come here!" he shouts from the tub. "Watch! I will now MAKE BUBBLES." He sticks the propeller butt of his bath turtle into a yogurt cup of soapy water, and viola!
  • While in the bathroom watching the bubble-making, I noticed that the toilet seat was up. "What do we do with the seat?" I asked, poised to lower it. Him: "Oh, I left it up in case Daddy needs to pee later. That way he won't have to lift it." I thought it was funny that he hit on the logical argument men have been making since the advent of the toilet seat on his first try.
  • I started a sticker system a couple months ago to encourage him to get in his jammies/get dressed quickly. Originally I used garage sale stickers (because they were cheap and simple), but I upgraded to pawprint stickers when I spotted them at the Lakeshore Learning Store. On the same night as the bubble making, the Beaner insisted on wearing socks with his jammies "to keep my feet warm." About 2 minutes after I helped him turn a sock right side out, he ran out of his room, raised his arms over his head in a victory V and yelled, "Da tah dah! Do I get a pawprint?" Me: "Um, where are your pants?" Him, looking down: "Oh. Oops!" (Every day I'm seeing more and more evidence that his mind works very similarly to mine; I probably would have left the house without pants if I'd added a new variable to my routine because hey, I always put on three things, and I just put on three things—socks, shirt, and underwear.)
  • After I'd closed the book on story time: "I don't think I want to be a father. I just want to be a kid all day."
  • About 10 minutes later, when he should have been asleep: "Mommy, what are ice cubes for?" Me: "To make things cold." Him: "I think we should throw some ice cubes up in the sky so it'll get cooler."


We spent the weekend at Al's parents' house so Al and his dad could play golf together for Father's Day, and while there the Beaner got a chance to drive his blue Jeep. On the way home, the Beaner announced that since he now knew how to drive the Jeep properly, he was fully qualified to drive our family car. I told him that he'd need a learner's permit, some lessons, and proof that he could reach the pedals before we'd let him drive the car. He finally agreed that this was reasonable.


While we were away, Al's timed watering system seems to have worked well for my container garden, but the thunderstorm-driven winds on Saturday must've been stronger in Philadelphia than they were in Northern Virginia. I returned to find the large beefsteak tomato plant leaning hard left, its support ring leaning with it. The larger of the two Patio Orange tomatoes and the Sprite grape were also leaning at about 75 degrees. I zip-tied all three plants to their stakes and went around straightening the rest of the windblown plants.

I have garden photos from Friday to post to Flickr, and I'll take some more tonight. The tomatoes are really growing well, and I'm pretty shocked that the "determinate" grape tomato plants are larger and ganglier than the smaller of the (indeterminate) beefsteak tomato plants.


The Stage Two Feingold Plan we're following is going really well, and the Beaner is being a total champ about refusing foods that might have artificial colors in them. (He hasn't fully grokked the no artificial flavors or preservatives requirements yet and puts everything under the "that has artificial colors in it" umbrella, but as the end result is the same—he declines offers of any foods I've told him aren't "safe"—I'm OK with that.) I love that he asks me if something's safe before he eats it, and that he's been so reasonable about accepting substitutes. I'm amassing a drawer full of treats that are "safe", and I've started carrying around safe lollipops in my purse in case a well-meaning bank or post-office employee offers him a neon-colored, artificially flavored specimen. He still gets his lollipop, so it doesn't matter to him.

He did mention this morning, "I used to be able to eat artificial colors, but not anymore. How come?" I explained that Daddy and I didn't fully understand that they weren't good for him before now; that it makes sense that they're not, but we hadn't thought about it as thoroughly as we should have, and now we've finally come to our senses. I was prepared to add that not eating all the artificial stuff would help his brain function better, but he seemed satisfied.

Posted by Lori at 1:44 PM
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September 24, 2008

Job Description

A recent IM conversation.

CA: sounds like [entity] would love to have someone that can make marginal improvements w/o disturbing the order of things

ME: ha ha, true

ME: I might be too much of a reformer

ME: and I can't help but think that word with an Alaska accent

ME: I'm a reformer, a feather-ruffler!

CA: i don't see that a lot of times on job openings ;-)

ME: wanted: feather-ruffler

ME: we want you to come here and disturb the order of things!

CA: lol

ME: make everything better by making people mad and defensive!

ME: man, I would so apply for that job.

CA: :-)

Posted by Lori at 1:47 PM | Permalink
October 21, 2008

Randomania for October 21, 2008

My friend nj introduced me to the phrase gambatte kudasai yesterday. It's a Japanese saying that means "just keep going, and do your best." Thanks, nj, for saving my day with that phrase.


I love the shirt that the woman on the right is wearing in this photo in Barack Obama's Flickr stream (yep, he has a Flickr stream, though since it's obvious that Obama himself didn't take most, or even any, of the photos, I wish they were credited to the actual photographers). The shirt reads: ChristianLiberal - religion without hate.


I've become a total podcast junkie lately, frantically choosing Update Podcast on the 9 or 10 'casts to which I subscribe in iTunes. My favorites:

  • The Planet Money podcast, from the NPR guys who brought you the special This American Life episode The Giant Pool of Money and its follow-up, Another Frightening Show About the Economy. It's a daily peek into the global economy, the current economic crisis, and the financial indicators you should be watching to figure out which way the wind is blowing (hint: the Dow is a lot less important than the TED Spread).
  • It probably goes without saying that This American Life is another of my favorite podcasts; it pays to subscribe and download regularly, as shows are only free for one week after they air. After that, they're $.95 apiece. Pay the $.95 if you haven't yet heard the two shows mentioned in the previous item (or listen online for free). I also highly recommend the first part (Harlem Renaissance) of Going Big.
  • I sometimes listen to Countdown with Keith Olbermann while I work by turning up the TV in the guest room so I can hear it from my desk. Listening to the audio podcast is just like that, only better, because instead of straining to hear over the other sounds in the house and outside my window (not to mention my fingers pounding away on the keyboard), I can channel Keith's rants directly into my ears via iPhone earbuds.
  • I enjoy Rachel Maddow's show even more than Countdown, though part of my enjoyment comes from watching Rachel's "can you believe this?" expressions as she recounts the latest wacko story that passes for news. Still I'm looking forward to listening to my very first audio podcast of her show momentarily.
  • I like Slate's Political Gabfest more than Slate's other podcast offerings because it sounds like a dinner party with a bunch of smart, well-informed people talking about current events (whereas the other podcasts remind me of local news editorials from the 80s). It's also more normal (i.e., less vaudeville wacky) than NPR's It's All Politics roundtables.


Yesterday I tried an experiment where I took a photo when I woke up, set a timer for 30 minutes, took a photo, set the timer, and so on until I went to bed. (I also set my webcam to take a photo every minute from about 10 or 11am until 10pm and save all the shots to a local folder.) I hope to post the results tonight or tomorrow. The day was mostly typical until my hour of work after hockey practice turned into an extended period of deploying and testing that lasted until 3am. I hope to try the experiment again on a day that doesn't include hockey practice, and that does include the normal nighttime routine with the Beaner.


I decided not to write my usual rant about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the proliferation of pink this year, though every time I pass that damned pink fountain in Love Park (aka JFK Plaza) or see the Philadelphia skyline lit with pink at night, I'm sorely tempted. Instead I offer this article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Which pink products really help fight breast cancer? I miss you, Pat.


And finally, I just have to say this: There are creases in this piece of paper. That is all.

Posted by Lori at 4:23 PM
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November 25, 2008

Tuesday Roundup

I'm bleaching my hair, blogging for NaBloPoMo, trying to get a few more work items crossed off my list, making the guest bed for the company that's arriving tomorrow, scrubbing the guest shower, and finishing up the laundry (well, I'm doing the first two things right now, and the rest in a minute), and I still hope to be in bed by 10:30pm, if not asleep by then. Not sure I'm going to make it.

I need to be asleep soon because tomorrow morning is the Bagel Run—literally. I need to pick up bagels for Thanksgiving Brunch, and I plan to run to the bagel place in Queen Village. Yes, I could take the bus to 3rd & Market and still get a decent morning walk in, but I've been enjoying my brief sprints across streets, and I'm thinking that maybe I'd like to run a little more. So tomorrow I will attempt to run as much of the distance from my house to Philly Bagels as possible. We'll see how it goes.

I've been meaning to write a post about the parent-teacher conference that Al and I had at the Beaner's school on the 14th, but I decided that really it'd just be a massive brag-a-thon (if I wanted to do it justice) and probably TMI to boot. So I will sum it up this way: The Beaner is doing SO MUCH BETTER than last year. The observation *was* indicative of how he's been getting along in the classroom (namely, great—his teachers both remarked on how well he's been controlling his body this year). He's doing particularly well with language exercises, and he's also doing the binomial and trinomial cubes (which are considered sensorial materials rather than math), color box #2, the teens board, punching work, and map work, among other things. His teacher said that since his language and writing skills are pretty strong already, they're going to focus on more math work going forward. We left really excited and encouraged. /* Here endeth the mini brag-a-thon. */

Al will get to experience the Montessori birthday ritual this year, as the Beaner's birthday is on Sunday and I will be in San Mateo next week for an office visit. Shawna, the Beaner, and I have been working on an eggless banana muffin recipe so the Beaner can share goodies he helped bake with everyone in the class, including the friend who's allergic to eggs. I will share here once I've got a recipe I'm happy with.

Finally, I officially sent my site link in to Eden at NaBloPoMo, which probably means I've jinxed myself and will forget to blog once the company walks in the door tomorrow. Maybe I should set an alarm...

Posted by Lori at 9:41 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2008

The Buzz

I'm done with elephants and clowns. I want to run away and join the office.
—Mike Doughty

Happened to catch that lyric when I was running to the bagel place this morning (that went pretty well, btw—I ran about half the time, walked the rest), and it made me smile. I love when a lyric strikes me as appropos, or possibly even a sign... like when I was dealing with some work angst and ambivalence the other day, and You Can't Get What You Want Til You Know What You Want came on iTunes.

OT: I can't seem to get the smell of fresh bagels out of my nostrils, even after a shower and sitting at my desk for an hour. I may need to go downstairs and raid the stash before tomorrow's brunch.

Something else I may need to do: Turn off the e-mail push on my iPhone. For my personal accounts I pull e-mail manually, but for work mail I use push. Unfortunately, I get an e-mail every time the build fails, and I continue to get one in intervals of 1 minute to 15 minutes until the build is fixed. Even with the ringer turned off on my phone, it buzzes audibly, and I finally figured out that getting 75 build failure e-mails between midnight and 7am is not good for maintaining a deep sleep. (I keep the phone next to my bed because I often listen to audiobooks as I drift off to sleep, and because it's my morning alarm.)

For the record, though I have broken the build before, I have never broken it before going to bed, and there's nothing I can do to fix it during the night if someone else has broken it or the build machine has run out of space. In short, I do not need to know that the build is broken. I need to sleep. Goodbye, push e-mail.

Update: I Twittered the lyric at the top of this post, and Lizzy replied with Easy cowboy, what's the rush now?, which made me smile even wider.

Posted by Lori at 10:43 AM | Permalink
April 9, 2009

Not Into It

Things I would rather be doing than working right now, even though I like what I do and have a to-do list a mile long:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Weeding out the closets
  3. Sitting outside in a sunbeam
  4. Digging in the container garden

I was going to say "filing my taxes," but I decided I'd really rather work than do that.

Posted by Lori at 11:50 AM | Permalink
August 15, 2016

These Things Weigh on Me

A conversation I just had with my husband:

lorihc [2:48 PM] uploaded an image: new threadless design

lorihc [2:48 PM] this is really cute, and I get the joke, but I couldn't wear it

al [2:48 PM] :slightly_smiling_face:

lorihc [2:48 PM] makes me too sad

[2:49] sad for the lollypop?

lorihc [2:49 PM] yeah, for both of them

[2:49] let them play!

al [2:49 PM] :slightly_smiling_face:

[2:49] y

lorihc [2:49 PM] also makes me think of parents who force their prejudices on their kids

[2:49] racism etc.

al [2:49 PM] y

[2:50] it's not the lollypop's fault that he is a sugary treat

lorihc [2:50 PM] yeah

[2:50] I get what they're going for: he's a bad influence

[2:51] if the lollipop were smoking or something, I could see it

[2:51] but they're playing with blocks!

al [2:51 PM] y

Posted by Lori at 2:53 PM | Permalink