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December 31, 2004

Let's Not Forget We Are So Strong

There was a lot I was going to write about today, but I'm running late so I'm just going to do the stream of consciousness thing.

First, and most importantly, I want to take a moment to tell all of my friends how much I appreciate your presence in my life. I think I do a pretty good job of letting people know what they mean to me, so I'm not going to name any of you specifically. But I want to thank you all for being there for me this past year. In good times and bad (and everything in between) I knew I could count on you all for support, advice and friendship.

I value all of you so much. You show me in so many different ways – both big and small – that you love me. I hope you all know how much I love you, too.

I'd also like to thank everyone who reads this site for thinking enough of me to visit and read my words. Extra thanks to the people who comment.

The thing I'm looking forward to most today is going to the beach at sunset with my nephew Alex. He's interested in photography, and even has his own digital camera! So I thought it would be fun for the two of us to go down to Indian Rocks Beach and take photos of the last sunset of 2004. I'll try to post shots from both of us over the weekend.

Oh, some of you might remember how I was talking about feeling "it" but not really knowing what "it" is? Well I think I've figured it out. For me, "it" seems to be intellectual stimulation. Which sounds very elitist in a way, but I can't deny it – I need someone who challenges me intellectually.

If marriage means you have to ask your partner for permission to do things, I'm never getting married. Because I just can't see ever getting to the point where I'd be all right with asking permission from someone to do the things I want to do. I believe in the courtesy of telling someone what you want to do and asking them if they want to join you; but I don't think I will ever willingly relinquish the freedom to choose my own path.

Not that I think all marriages require giving up freedom, but ... well, maybe I do think that. It's not necessarily a bad thing, I know. I just can't see doing it. I want one of those relationships (monogamous, long term) where it's truly two distinct, fully-formed people being together and sharing parts of their lives with each other ... but not being required to share everything together.

Does that make sense? Maybe not. Suddenly I can understand relationships where the people involved still keep separate residences.

Here's another song from Sleep Station that you can download: "Caroline - London, 1940" (right click on the link). I really like this band; they were recommended on Sgt. Missick's journal. Their most recent release, After the War, is a concept CD about a WWII soldier. I've listened to clips and I do believe I will have to purchase it.

I talked to Trina last night and she's definitely in for the "Ireland in '05" trip!

In honor of the last day of the year, I'm going to go get pad thai for lunch. And a smoothie from Jamba Juice. And then it's back on the wagon hardcore for 2005. I'm also going to redo my financial budget this weekend so I can plan how much money I can save for the Ireland trip. All non-essentials are being cut.

(For the record, the monthly fees for this website, Netflix and Tivo are considered "essential.")

That's it! You know, I have a really positive feeling about 2005. I think it's going to be a very good year for me. I hope it's a very good year for you, too.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 01:25 PM | Comments (2)

December 30, 2004

Hard to Find a Friend

Sleep Station
"There She Goes"
Download mp3 | Download entire EP

There she goes
Always found it hard to live on my own
Whatever I didnít realize
Took me out and cut my eyes
I'll miss the conversation we had then
I always found it hard to find a friend

There she goes
Far from the pain that I could not control
She saw something good in me
That's the way it has to be
Everyone I know dies in the end
Always found it hard to find a friend

Not that she was the answer I seek
It was the time that she gave to me

Days go by
Locked inside the prison I have made in my mind
My old friends have come again
Speaking in their voices and making no sense
I may listen, that depends
Always found it hard to find a friend

Always found it hard to find a friend

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:34 PM | Comments (2)

December 29, 2004

A Bit of the Old Ultraviolence

I asked Jake to do something to cheer me up, because I was sad about Jerry Orbach's death, so he made this:


Now, I'm smiling.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:34 PM | Comments (2)

Come On Home


Jerry Orbach Dead at 69

This makes me so sad. I loved him. Wonderfully talented actor, and by all accounts an even better man. I stopped watching Law & Order when he left the show, because really, what was the point?


Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

Find Me and Follow Me

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present." – Abraham Lincoln

That Any Soldier website is going to be the end of me. I sent out three more care packages on Monday, and after reading messages this morning have three more contact names to send things to. At this rate, I will have no DVDs left in my collection by February.

I still need to find someone who can use the spare laptop computer I have, but never use.

It occured to me this morning that a certain person has been very quiet lately, which is worrisome. It is unsettling, and it does not augur well for our future. This is someone whose bad acts – prior and otherwise – you want fully out in the open. The devil you know, and all that.

I am speaking, of course, of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. I can't help but feel that his absence from the media spotlight is but the calm before the rights-trampling storm. Oh, I'm sure he's off somewhere, in seclusion, suckling at Satan's teat as always. His secrecy just makes me nervous, is all.

(Okay, I just did a Google image search for "scalia + satan + teat" and didn't find anything, but I did find this photo of Scalia, which at the very least implies a relationship between the Justice and his Dark Master.)

I am craving pad thai from Mama Fu's Noodle House in the worst way imaginable. How's that for a non-sequiter?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

Come On, Kick Me Again

Franz Ferdinand
Download mp3 | Purchase

Jacqueline was seventeen, working on a desk
When Ivor appeared above her spectacle
Forgot that he had wrecked a girl
Sometimes these eyes forget the face they're peering from
When the face they peer upon
Well you know that face as I do
And how in the return of the gaze
She can return you the face that you are staring from

It's always better on holiday
So much better on holiday
That's why we only work when we need the money

Gregor was down again
Said, 'Come on, kick me again'
Said, 'I'm so drunk I don't mind if you kill me'

Come on you gutless
Yeah, I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive and how I know it
But for chips, and for freedom I could die

It's always better on holiday
So much better on holiday
That's why we only work when we need the money
Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:26 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2004

Stubble On My Sticky Lips

Me: heh, one of my friends just asked "what is Jake like"
Me: how the hell do I answer that?
Jake: the greatest person on earth
Me: copied and pasted
Jake: hahahahaha
Jake: dude
Jake: that face of you is SKERRY.... the expression reminds me of Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange
Jake: but alas, I must say it is still a good photo
Jake: despite the scariness
Me: you are so mean!!!
Jake: I said it was a good photo
Me: thank you so much for calling me scary
Jake: shall I call you Alex now?
Me: you've made me cry, are you happy?
Jake: yes, as a matter of fact, I am
Me: I'm sitting here telling my friend how cool you are
Me: and you're being CRUEL
"Me: Jake is cool. he's 21, very cynical, but also very smart."
Me: SEE?!?!?
Jake: hahahahhaaha
Jake: I never said YOU were scary
Me: I say nice things about you
Me: do you feel guilty yet?
Jake: you're the best

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

The Dark of the Matinee

I read several so-called "milblogs" - online weblogs written by military personnel - off and on. One of my favorites belongs to Sgt. Missick, who writes with a level of thoughtful contemplation that many of these blogs lack.

Aside from his writings, though, he has posted photos from his deployment in Iraq. In addition to his own photos, there are photos taken by SPC Ryan Albaugh, who I'm assuming is in the same platoon as Sgt. Missick.

I am very impressed with SPC Albaugh's work; specifically his use of light (or the lack thereof) in his photos. I sent an e-mail to Sgt. Missick to request permission to post my favorite of SPC Albaugh's photos, an image called A Soldier Tired of Waiting:

Click the photo for the original high-resolution version A Soldier Tired of Waiting © 2004 by Ryan Albaugh. All rights reserved.

Since SPC Albaugh gave me permission to use "one or more" of his photos, I'm also going to post my second favorite, Waiting to Move Out:

Click the photo for the original high-resolution version Waiting to Move Out © 2004 by Ryan Albaugh. All rights reserved.

Again, I love the lighting on this photo. Whether or not this was the photographer's intention, I really like how the American flag patch is illuminated while the soldier's face is in shadow. There's a lot of subtext and meaning you could infer from that.

You can see more of SPC Albaugh's work on the blog (click the Pictures link, then proceed to the gallery for 4-05 to 5-04).

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:03 AM | Comments (3)

December 27, 2004

40' Remain

Only lovers
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
that we begin to stop
in order simply
to begin

– Maya Angelo, "Late October"

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

I'm Just a Shot Away From You

Oh yeah! I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Mine was very good. My family went the charity-donation route this Christmas, so we didn't have many gifts to open up. Instead, we all bought "stocking stuffer" things and had big stockings full of fun, little stuff to amuse ourselves with. My mom cheated, though, and bought some little gifts - for me she bought a blank leather-bound journal (for my trip to Ireland) and a set of blank notecards with scenes from Ireland on the front. Alex went to the Gingerbread Shoppe at school and bought me a CD holder for my car visor, the little imp.

This morning Jen brought over a gift - an Ireland cubicle calendar and a guide to the Top 10 in Dublin (restaurants, pubs, sights, etc.). I love how supportive my family and friends are of my plan to go to Ireland this year.

This weekend I also watched The Lion in Winter, which was very good. Yesterday I gathered up a few Target gift cards I had received and treated myself to the Return of the King DVD box set, and the Simpsons Season 5 box set.

From this day until the end of the year, every site entry will be titled with the lyrics from a Franz Ferdinand song. The reason will be made apparent later...

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

Fun with Photoshop Elements 3

I made the mistake of searching for free plugins for Photoshop Elements, and ended up finding a link to a free 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements 3. So for the last several hours I've been screwing around with the assorted filters and effects that the program includes ... and I am so going to have to upgrade to version 3 when my free trial is over, if for no other reason than that this version allows you to toggle through all of the 100+ filters/effects while seeing them applied to your photo (rather than having to access each filter/effect manually).

Here's some of the stuff I've been experimenting on:

This is the source photo, taken at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 23. This is me after spending many hours drinking with Ian and his brother. I am very drubnk, so I'm sitting on the floor in the doorway of my bedroom, with the only light being that from the Japanese rice paper lamp on my nightstand. This is why I appear so very orange.

It's funny that Ian was able to get a photo of me with my mouth closed that night, because I was sitting there singing Franz Ferdinand's "Jacqueline" the entire time he was taking photos, specifically the line I'm so drunk I don't mind if you kill me. It was that kind of night.

Here's the photo after I've used the Image Adjustment tools to tweak the saturation of the colors and add more yellow to the image. Now the skin tone/hair color is closer to being lifelike, although the lighting is still "warm."

This photo shows the Film Grain artistic filter layered over the color-corrected version above. According to my Photoshop Elements manual, this filter "applies an even pattern to the shadow tones and midtones of an image. A smoother, more saturated pattern is added to the image's lighter areas." I just think this filter looks cool.

This is the original photo with a Film Grain filter and the Horizontal Color effect. Keep in mind that all of these filters/effects modify a photo with one click, but they're really preprogrammed "recipes" made up of multiple basic commands (i.e. brighten, add noise, change contrast, etc.). This is just another effect that I think looks really cool, even if I can't think of an actual purpose for it.

Here I've used the Shear distortion filter to move the center of the color-corrected photo to the left. Normally you use the Shear filter to bend the photo along a curve - I initially had my face bent into an S-shape, but it was too scary to leave like that. So I just used it to move myself over, then had the pixels on the left side of the image wrapped around to the right. To me this looks like an album cover.

Look! I'm the green dancing chick from Star Trek! This is the Solarize filter, which "blends a negative and a positive image - similar to exposing a photographic print briefly to light during development." Okay then. Good to know.

This is new in PSE 3 - the Offset Quad effect. This shows the default settings of the effect, but you can tweak both the horizontal and vertical splits of the image, as we will see in the next photo...

In this photo I changed the horizontal percentage to 0, which resulted in no horizontal split of the photo. I also tried to adjust the vertical setting so that it would render as a perfect split of my face into right and left halves, because I think it's kind of cool to see how our faces, in some ways, are not perfectly symmetrical.

Here's the Center Color effect, which is also new in PSE 3. It seems to be similar to the Horizontal Color effect shown earlier. The difference in this one is that I've used the color-corrected photo with no Film Grain filter added; for some reason, though, the color in the center of this photo is much redder than it is in my source, so this effect is adding saturation in the middle.

This is sort of similar to the previous photo, although this one has been adjusted using the Lighting Styles filter, specifically a Soft Omni light. I have no idea what that means, really, other than it appears to lighten up the center of the photo and darken the background. I was actually able to move the lighting around on the image and simply placed it right in the center; you can place it anywhere you want. There are about a bazillion lighting styles in PSE and I have no idea what you can accomplish with most of them.

This is the Dark Strokes artistic filter used on the color-corrected image. Interesting, eh? This is another one that's new in PSE 3 so I don't know what exactly is being accomplished with this filter, or why you'd want to use it (other than being geeky and spending hours experimenting with various filters in PSE, but only really weird people ever do that).

With one click you can rip the edges of your images. This is the Spatter Frame effect used on the original photo that has had a Film Grain filter added to it. As you can see, I'm a fan of the Film Grain.

Okay, this is ... (takes deep breath) ... the original image with Film Grain, Horizontal Color, and the Foreground Color effect added last. The Foreground Color effect lets you frame your image with the color of your choosing. I used a dark grey that I picked out of the right side of the image using the Eyedropper tool.

This is the Quad Color effect, which I'm showing on a photo of a pink flower that I took in Michigan, because the effect wasn't as interesting looking on a photo of me. Basically this effect does exactly what it looks like - it renders the original in greyscale, then cuts it into four equal quadrants and layers color over each one (I'd say the opacity of the colors is around 50%, so you get a sepia-tone kind of effect, only not in amber).

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:31 PM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2004

101 in 1001 Update

Lots of updates, and one more thing completed.

I have accomplished #79. Huzzah! Numbers 24, 50, and 89 have been started, and #44 has been scheduled (we have tickets).

Two more movies were added to #93 – Gormenghast, which was excellent all the way around, and Tangled, which created a hatred for the chick who was in She's All That (whose name I have apparently wiped from my brain forever). JRM was playing his standard "charismatic psycho" role, with the additional bonus of being fully frontally naked in two scenes.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 12:42 PM | Comments (1)

Suckface to Play Elvis on TV


jonathan rhys meyers
I ... am THE KING!
(Cribbing from various online news sources...)

"Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers beat out almost 500 hopefuls to play Elvis Presley in a new miniseries on US television.

'Elvis' will be aired on CBS in the US, and also stars 'Scream' actress Rose McGowan as Elvis' 'Viva Las Vegas' co-star Ann-Margret, 'The Practice' star Camryn Manheim as his mother, and Randy Quaid as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

According to the miniseries' producer, Howard Braunstein, Rhys-Meyers was chosen for his uncanny resemblance to the music legend.

"He was the first person I'd ever thought of for the role," said Braunstein. "I watched 'Bend It Like Beckham' and when you see him, you just say, 'He is Elvis'."

"He has the physical look and the style that embodies Elvis, both the sweetness and the sex appeal," he added.

Rhys-Meyers reportedly sent the makers of the miniseries a tape of himself dressed up as and impersonating Elvis.

"It was uncanny - the voice sounded so authentic," said Braunstein.

Filming is set to begin on January 10 in New Orleans, Louisiana, with May set as the air date."

This will be lovely, I'm sure, but here's the thing – I really don't want to see JRM playing Elvis in the final years. This guy is my celebrity crush for a reason, which does not include seeing him sweating in a fat suit under a pound of prosthetic makeup. [/shallow]

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:33 AM | Comments (5)

December 21, 2004

Approaching Gandhi

20 Questions to Being a Better Person

This is gonna be good...

*answer, answer, answer*

Your score as a human being is 89.6.

You are close to ideal. So close, and yet so far. Amusing, really, to watch someone squirm so close to the vaunted ranks of perfection and still remain so very, very ordinary. It is all one can do to keep one's ingratiating smile from polluting one's perfect face.

Actually, one recommends you take the quiz again and lie a little.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 04:55 PM | Comments (4)

Enlarging Your World

What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness

I can't stop thinking about those words. They alternately torment and enthrall me. I feel like I'm on the precipice of something really big, something very ... important. But only to me. Because as I get older and experience more of my life, I realize that I don't have any answers for anyone but myself.

So I'm not going to look for other people's answers, or other people's truths, anymore.

You're on your own.

Self-interest is the new black.

At the same time, I find myself caring less about my own desires and much, much more about my contribution to the world around me. What is my role? What is my purpose? There is no answer but this:

My life is my message.

What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness

Life is made up of grand, sweeping gestures. Big, weight-bearing moments.

But it's also made up of small, seemingly inconsequential actions. Quiet, anonymous moments. And neither is more important than the other.

I looked around last Wednesday night and I thought, "Is this it?" And that's exactly right – this is it, this is all there is, this one life, this one haphazard collection of moments big and small, a predetermined handful of time that slips achingly through our fingers when we can choose ... we can choose ... what we are going to make of it.

I'm not religious. I don't find solace or comfort in the idea of eternal life, or the concept of heaven. I'm not judging people who do; I just know that kind of faith and belief in a higher power doesn't speak to me in any meaningful way.

I think if we live forever, it's in the hearts and minds of the people whose lives we have touched. Derek Going has been dead for seven years, but as long as I draw breath he will live in me. Because he changed my life in a way I will never forget. One person in a sea of people, struggling to stay afloat.

How brightly do we shine?

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Derek was my darkness for a very long time. I spent Thanksgiving with my father, and after dinner we talked. About life, the world, other assorted banalities. I don't remember how Derek came up in the conversation; I don't think I'd ever mentioned him to my father before. So I told the story, and I explained, through my tears, how it had taken me years to get to the point where I wasn't blaming myself for failing Derek so profoundly.

Maybe my father was just trying to show benevolence towards his youngest child; maybe he was just trying to ease my pain, years old, yet freshly felt in the hot tears running down my cheeks. The old wound that never quite healed. He said, "You might have felt like you failed him, but he obviously didn't feel that way. He had his aunt call you when he died to tell you how much you had meant to him. Maybe he believed you did your best, even if you don't believe that yourself."

And like a grubby-fisted child holding onto a balloon, in that moment, I let it go. I let go of the one thing in my life that I had always regretted; the one thing I had used for years to bully and shame myself into being a better person. That weight that I'd carried around for so long came at a huge price, emotionally. Nothing was ever good enough. Nothing. There was always a way to be better. Couldn't fail someone again, not the way I failed Derek. Not me. Don't fail.

CAN'T fail.

Try harder.

But sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you try.

What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness

How brightly do we shine?

More often than not we are the instruments of our own destruction, and I refuse to be that anymore. Because this is all there is. My past is filled with the big moments that have changed me for the better; recently, it's been the small moments that have made the biggest impact. There are things that once mattered to me, very much, that no longer hold the same sway over my life, and how I see it. Over how I see myself.

So out with the old and in with the new, and I guess this is the proper time of the year for that. Herrick had it right – Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

I don't have any illusions about what I can and cannot do. What I am and am not willing to do. I think the big moments simply come to you, typically without warning, and you're measured by how you react to them. You use the small moments to prepare. They are your practice; the times when, fortunately, you get a seemingly unlimited number of do-overs.

That's the nice thing about life – there's always another chance. There's always another person, or another job, or another moment where you can choose who you want to be and declare it to the world. We can constantly reinvent ourselves, if we need or want to. What's to stop us? The way you were raised colors who you are, but it isn't who you are if you don't want it to be. The mistakes you made once upon a time don't have to follow you around the rest of your life, like ghosts, unless you want them to. The past has done just that – it has passed.

I know that now.

What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness

I just got to thinking about that, and what it might mean, and I sort of realized that I've - in some ways - surrounded myself with things that ultimately mean very little to me. And they're not things that I would want people to measure me by. I have a shitload of makeup, and for what? I use maybe 25% of it on a frequent basis. But I've just accumulated all this STUFF ... for no really good reason. If I thought there was a good reason for it (i.e. it makes me happy) then that would be fine. But it doesn't *do* anything for me.

And then I balance that with the fact that today I mailed six DVDs to Army platoons over in Iraq and Afghanistan, because they'd posted on this website (anysoldier.com) that they have a lot of soldiers who don't get mail from anyone. DVDs were a highly requested item. In that small gesture, which cost me a grand total of $12 ($4 for padded envelopes and $8 for shipping - I sent DVDs from my own collection), I did something that made me feel really good about myself. THAT act had meaning. And it's THAT kind of thing that I would want to be judged by - not how much I have acquired in material possessions.

Anyway ... not to go all Deep and Philosophical on you ... it's just that a lot of things over the past two weeks (and also making that 101 in 1001 list) have made me start thinking about what kind of life I want to be living, and if I'm actually living it. And if I'm *not* living it, how can I start to do that?

-- From an e-mail to Teem (Dec. 20, 2004)

Be still.

Keep quiet.


What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:27 AM | Comments (3)

December 20, 2004

It's Always Better on Holiday

Apropos of nothing – I love dolphins, the clowns of the sea:

A one-month-old dolphin named Zeus swims beside its mother, Mancha, at the Madrid Zoo December 17, 2004. Zeus weighed 12 kilos and measured 90 centimeters long when born on November 4, and is expected to nearly double its weight in its first two months of life. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

Blurry is THE KING of snappy comebacks:

Me: King Arthur comes out tomorrow!
Blurry: King Arthur is gay?!?

And Rappy is always asking me to do things for her:

Rappy: Please, please kill me now.
Me: *stab8
Me: dammit, I can't even kill someone right

I had to post this, not to make myself look good, but because Mike's words really meant a lot to me, and I want to remember them:

Me: there's this website called anysoldier.com
Mike: you are so caring
Me: and it lists servicepeople who don't get much mail
Me: from family, friends, whatever
Mike: you know, you're a wonderful person
Mike: you make the rest of us look bad though

Food-wise, am I now addicted to these, which seem like such a bad idea, but in reality are reeeeally really good in a whole wheat hot dog bun with marinara sauce on top:


Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2004

Poets, Priests, and Politicians

Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what is left and live it properly.

What doesn't transmit light creates its own darkness.

Marcus Aurelius

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2004

Fall Down Go Boom

Yeah hi. I'm back. My fingers are fuh-REEZING and my head feels like it's about to burst from an aneurysm, but I'm back.

Just don't make me laugh. Or breathe deeply.

I will post more later, when the twinkling, pulsating lights are no longer flickering before my eyes.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 10:52 AM | Comments (2)

December 11, 2004

101 In 1001 Update

I have accomplished item #71 on my list and gotten two movies closer to finishing off #93. Thanks to Netflix - which is speedy fast and has already earned my love and devotion - I've now seen Pulse (very boring and JRM is only in it for about the last 15 minutes, but he does look deliciously evil so that was a plus; no nudity, though, and Mischa Barton can't act her way out of a wet paper bag) and The Tesseract (nonsensical, pointless, and JRM looks the bad kind of scruffy).

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

Burn, Baby - Burn

I need to stop buying things for myself. Yesterday I bought a DVD burner. I blame Phil. He said, "You can own copies of all of Suckface's films," and that was pretty much all I needed to hear. That and the fact that DVD burners are incredibly inexpensive now.

On Phil's recommendation I bought this Samsung burner (which was only $57 when I ordered it yesterday). So if it's not wonderful and amazing, I get to blame him.

But the even better thing I bought - the thing that, like Tivo, will revolutionize my life - is an external enclosure. This will let me take internal drives (hard drives, CD/DVD drives and burners) and plug them into my computer through the USB port. I don't have to open up my computer and install them inside. This is exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for, because it will allow me to access all of the files I have on my two old hard drives (from previous computers) whenever I want.

AND, it means that my new DVD burner is portable. I don't know that I'll ever need to port it anywhere, but it's nice to have options.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:51 AM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2004

Is the Grisly Reaper Mowing?

Yahoo Movies posted the trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today. It didn't sell me on the movie. At all. Although I did like the part where Wonka remarks on chewing gum.

I think the problem is that Johnny Depp, as Willy Wonka, looks a whole lot like the Peter Pan guy.


Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:24 AM | Comments (2)

December 09, 2004

I Make Up My Own Rules

(This journal entry should be read while listening to Dogs Die In Hot Cars' "Lounger")

I colored my hair last night. I am again a redhead (photos forthcoming after Alex's birthday party on Saturday).

I signed up for a free two-week trial of Netflix yesterday, for the sole purpose of watching more movies from Jonathan Rhys Meyers' ouevre. Movies I could not find locally, like The Tesseract, Pulse/Octane, and Tangled. I have this weird feeling that they'll all be craptastic suckfests (and yet despite that, JRM will be pretty).

I'm not sure Netflix is worth the $18/month, though, so I might be cancelling on Day 13 of the trial.

This morning I woke up singing the theme song to the '60s family drama, Flipper. It goes like this:

They call him Flipper, Flipper
Faster than lightning
No one you see is smarter than he
And we know Flipper lives in a world full of wonder
Lying there under the sea
Everyone loves the king of the sea
Ever so kind and gentle is he
Tricks he will do when children are near
And how they laugh when he's near
(Dolphin sounds)

Yep, I know the whole thing by heart (and yes, I made the dolphin noises). I'd be happy to sing it for you, too.

Guess what, friends? The end is nigh – The FCC is reconsidering the use of cell phones during flights. Buckle up for the apocalypse, kids.

I bought this book a few months ago, "Google: The Missing Manual." I do a lot of online research at work, so I thought this book would help me become more efficient. For once. What I found out is that Google is FOCKING COOL, man, and does more than just search for webpages.

Did you know that is has a calculator, which allows you to use the search engine to perform conversions? Need to know how many tablespoons are in 3/4 of a cup? Just type "3/4 cup = ? tablespoons" (without the quotes) for your answer.

Google can also provide definitions of terms. Type "define:cup" to see a list of the way the word is defined on the Web. I had no idea it had anything to do with Ultimate frisbee.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

Cool Stuff That Rocks

I've superglued my thumb to my shoe.

It's a very good thing I don't have a Container Store anywhere near me, because if I did, I'd be whoring myself out on the street corner every weekend for mo' money to purchase all the cool stuff they have available.

Like these mini hot water bottles in three stupid cute patterns. And only $5! I need at least 20.

I also need (need, mind you) the Pro/Con Notepad. I don't think I can make another decision in my life without it. Like, I don't know if I want to go home for lunch or go to Subway, but I think if I had the Pro/Con Notepad at my disposal I'd be able to work it out.

While you're there you can also buy me some cute li'l key caps, paper soap sheets, and the Mr. Happy gel pack (which I'd give to Jake as his new mascot and inspiration).

But I REALLY must have the Survival Kit in a Sardine Canô. Just look at it!


It is chocked full of emergency medical supplies, nourishment, navigational aids, and more ... this compact, crush-resistant, watertight can fits perfectly in your backpack, tote, pockets, luggage, purse, glove box, or boat so it's convenient and ready when you need it. Inside you'll find over 25 items, all of which have primary and secondary uses. Go fish with the hook and line, find your way home with the compass, boil water in the can for your tea and sugar, use the first aid supplies to survive the wilderness. Even duct tape, matches, whistle, signal mirror, razor blade, fire starter cube, chewing gum, salt and a safety pin are included. And the list goes on.

Dear LORD, people!! How have we lived without this??!? All of those times when I felt like my life was missing something, I thought the answer lied in spiritual enlightenment. But I was wrong - the answer lies in a sardine can filled with survival implements.

Also want the Multi-Function Hammer Tool. I cheated, it's not at the Container Store. But gaze upon its loveliness:

Multi-tool includes a hammer, claw, long-nose pliers, wire cutter, knife, slotted screwdriver, serrated blade, file, Philips-head screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener and three sizes of nut driver.

THREE sizes of nut driver?!?!?! *squeals*

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:42 AM | Comments (6)

December 08, 2004


Today's PAOTD (Petty Annoyance of the Day): Donald Rumsfeld

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Disgrunted U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about the lack of armor for their vehicles and long deployments, drawing a blunt retort from the Pentagon chief.

"You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

So if the Army you have is armed with rusty spoons and kneepads, well, sucks to be them.

The bigger thing that irks me about that statement is that it implies some sort of deficit in the soldiers themselves, not the equipment. The fact that they're not properly equipped is something that is well within the U.S. government's control, and it's comical that Rumsfeld would suggest otherwise.

What's not comical is how badly I want to slap him.

In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops ó mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers ó to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.

NICE, Rummy. Such macho posturing, "win the test of wills." Because we're all petulant 3-year-olds who don't want to compromise no way screw that we just want what we want and we want it now. NOW! And now I'm having a flashback to Woody Allen explaining his affair with his stepdaughter by saying "the heart wants what it wants." As if that makes it okay. Jesus.

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own ó not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.

Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Specialist Wilson gets the gold star of the day. I understand the need for command integrity and unit cohesion and all that, but it's about damn time that these issues started being aired publically. Statistics are not esoteric when you're talking about KIA and WIA. Those are - were - real people. If they're going to risk their lives for this country's policies, the very least this country can do is give them the tools necessary to protect themselves as best they can.

Unfortunately, nothing gets the Pentagon's attention quite like a public airing of dirty laundry. Makes me want to be a reporter again.

Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, an improvised explosive device that has killed and maimed hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops since the summer of 2003.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said.

Well, gee, if that's the case, why bother with tanks at all? Just send 'em out in beat up Pintos retrofitted with chain link fence and fire hoses. Trick out a few with flame throwers and glare-resistant windshields and be done with it.

Maybe the better idea would be to send the soldiers into the fray already equipped, rather than handing them that rusty spoon and telling them they'll get their M-16 as "fast as humanly possible. But until then, make the best of the conditions, you poor bastard. Now I'm off to get my flu shot. Smell ya later!"

Posted by Highwaygirl on 01:08 PM | Comments (1)

I'm Slipping Under

I'm so sorry. So very sorry. I don't know what possessed me to download this, but now that I have, and listened to it 10 times, I have to admit – it's pretty damn catchy.

With a taste of your lips I'm on a ride...

I am so ashamed.

*buries face in hands*

Posted by Highwaygirl on 09:42 AM | Comments (2)

December 07, 2004

Put Me In, Coach

Man, Major League Baseball is cocked up something fierce.

Denny Neagle's off soliciting a prostitute for oral sex, and that seems downright quaint compared to the news that there's a veritable pharmacy of controlled substances floating through locker rooms these days. I don't do drugs, but I'm getting in the mood by listening to Britney Spears' "Toxic." I can feel myself getting angrier by the second, so maybe Jason Giambi needs to get ahold of some Bit-Bit, and put the syringe back in the medicine cabinet.

What kind of lame joke is it that Sammy Sosa can get a seven-game suspension for corking his bat, but a player needs to test positive for drugs TWICE before they're riding the pine?

Where have you gone, Bart Giamatti? I'd even take frankfurter-fingered Fay Vincent over Bud Selig, who has always made me want to rip his face off, even back when he was just the owner of the Brewers.

This is making me wax nostalgic for my years as a sportswriter, when the biggest scandals were drunk driving (stupid), spouse abuse (creepy and stupid), and speculation of who may or may not be gay (the Anita Bryant Brigade). I'm sure some of the players were juiced, but needle parties weren't as rampant as they apparently are today.

Oh, for the gentler times of the 90's, when a spring training scandal consisted of walking in on a pitcher (Exhibit A: Green, Tyl*r)(suck it, Google search!) watching porn in the press room. I think he was more embarrassed than I was, if his overly-chivalrous treatment of me for the rest of spring training was any indication.

I wouldn't want to be covering sports today. Players have always been physically imposing – Jose Canseco had the biggest upper body I had ever seen on a human being when he played for the Blue Jays – but I really wouldn't dig hanging with these big musclebound horses if they're amped up on steroids. They already look like they could beat me within an inch of my life if provoked; I don't need to be around them if they're on a hair trigger.

Because it doesn't take much to get their attention, at least if you're a female writer. I remember one afternoon, during my first spring covering the Phillies, I was in the locker room with the rest of the Philly beat writers waiting to talk to players. I always moved with the pack; there was safety in numbers. I was barely 22 years old, so I hung out behind the professionals and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible.

So I'm just standing there and players are walking around in various states of undress. But they're mostly nude, and mostly strutting. I spent a lot of time that spring checking out my shoes, and the footwear of everyone else around me.

I hear yelling and look up to see W*s Ch*mb*rl*in (I'm too smart for you, Google) swaggering around the locker room, freshly showered and naked as a mole rat (and just as hairless). I do everything in my power to avoid eye contact – Hey, look! The ceiling is really pretty today! – but he makes a beeline in my direction, hips a'shaking, flapping the middle finger around to and fro like a spastic, suffocating fish. I don't know who told him to audition for the Clearwater Community Players' production of Free Willy (including the bent fin), but it certainly wasn't me.

Then he hugged me. While wet. And asked me if I liked what I saw.

But you know, I'd already seen plenty of male genitals by that point (purely in a professional capacity, of course), and well, this guy was nothing special. I'm pretty sure that there's some weird survival of the fittest throwdown going on in professional locker rooms that weeds out the underendowed guys – nay, even the averagely endowed – from those with oversized equipment. Skewing the sample size, as it were.

The poor average guys were probably subjected to mental torture until they cracked, suffering a breakdown in their play and earning a ticket out of the majors (Exhibit B: Beech, M*tth*w). By the end of spring training there was a Bataan death march of small-knobbed men filtering single-file out of the locker room.

I guess they got their revenge, though. Don't steroids shrink the testicles?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:43 PM | Comments (709)

Erin Go Braugh

It is done.

Well, sort of.

I am absolutely, positively, there-are-no-excuses-this-time, going to go to Ireland in 2005. I've decided. I've been talking about going for years, and it's time to stop talking. Because in the immortal words of Andy Dufresne:

Get busy living, or get busy dying

That's goddamn right. So who's in? I'm looking at going sometime in October; that's the offseason, so flights/lodging will be cheaper, and there's both a film festival and a gourmet festival in Cork in the middle of the month. I don't plan on spending much time in Dublin other than flying in/out of the city. I'd rather spend the week in the south and southwest parts of the country, enjoying the view.

So I'm going. Now that I've said it, I can't take it back. The only thing that will keep me from going is death. Even then, I still might go. And I mean DEAD death, not near death. Even if I'm barely breathing and have to strap an oxygen tank to my back and haul it around everywhere, I'm still going. I should practice that today...

Now I just need someone to give me a satellite picture phone so I can update my site with photos every day while I'm there.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 08:42 AM | Comments (5)

I Can't Find the Air

Duncan Sheik
"Barely Breathing"
Download mp3 | Purchase

I know what you're doing, I see it all too clear
I only taste the saline when I kiss away your tears
You really had me going, wishing on a star
But the black holes that surround you
Are heavier by far
I believed in your confusion, so completely torn
It must have been that yesterday
Was the day that I was born
There's not much to examine, nothing left to hide
You really can't be serious if you have to ask me why
I say goodbye

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
I don't know who I'm kidding
Imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price, it's worth the price
The price that I would pay

Everyone keeps asking what's it all about?
I used to be so certain and I can't figure out
What is this attraction? I only feel the pain
There's nothing left to reason and only you to blame
Will it ever change?

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
I don't know who I'm kidding
Imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price, worth the price
The price that I would pay

But I'm thinking it over anyway

I've come to find I may never know
Your changing mind, is it friend or foe?
I rise above or sink below
With every time you come and go
Please don't come and go

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
I don't know who I'm kidding
Imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price, worth the price
The price that I would pay

But I'm thinking it over anyway

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:57 AM | Comments (2)

December 06, 2004

Alexander Was Gay, Not Boring

Quick Weekend Recap: Ian and I went to see Alexander Saturday night. It blew, as I knew it would. I was there for only one reason:

Ian: You'll really go see this? I didn't think you'd want to.
Me: Sure!
Ian: (pause) Oh, I get it. You're just going for Colin Farrell.
Me: Mmhmm, right. Colin Farrell. Mmhmm.

Except, not really. I was just going for The Pretty. Incidentally I love that photo because at first glance it looks like a video still directly from the movie, but on closer inspection you can see that JRM has a cigarette in his hand.

The guy who played the eunuch was damn hot, too. Jared Leto was also pretty. Still, none of it was enough to compensate for Farrell's hideously bad blonde hair extentions/wig. Oh, and the movie was also boring and way too long. Save your money, chitlins!

On Friday night I was talking to Teem and we were window shopping online for boots and in doing so, I ran across the Most Beautiful Watch in the Whole World on Nordstrom.com. To wit:

Isn't it cool? I've been looking at watches for about six months, and none of them have impressed me. But the second I saw this I knew it was perfect. It's so very *me*. I would have ordered it immediately, but Nordstrom didn't have it in black. So I searched around a little bit more on the 'Net and found out that Dillards also carries AK Anne Klein watches. I went in search on Saturday morning, fully prepared to shell out the $65 for the watch, and when I got to Dillards saw that they were having Customer Appreciation Day, and everything was 25% off.

So I got the MBWitWW for $50 plus change. I'm gazing at it right now and falling ever more deeply in love.

On Sunday I chipped away at another 101 List task by watching The Magnificent Ambersons, which was surprisingly very good. I will review it later, although I'm starting to think that Jonathan Rhys Meyers must have some sort of clause in his contract that says he must have nude scenes. Because almost every movie I've seen him in has featured at least a shot of his naked butt (and sometimes more). Not that I'm complaining, it's just de rigeur at this point. So much so that when he flashed the butt in Ambersons, I laughed knowingly.

One last thing, and then I'll shut up. Phil told me about a site that offers free e-books for download. You need to have either Microsoft Reader or a Palm Pilot; the reader is available as a free download if you don't already have it on your computer.

Each book on the list is also available in HTML format, should you choose to read online. I am currently reading William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Saving Private Meyers

I don't know exactly what happened, but it is apparent that I had either done or seen something I wasn't supposed to do or see. Because I was running around frantically trying to get out of town. I needed to hide. But I didn't have a passport, so the only place I could go was Canada, which didn't seem nearly far enough away. But it was the best I could do.

For some reason, I was refusing to go to Mexico.

My mom and dad were (separately) trying to talk me into leaving immediately, saying it wasn't safe to stay, and that I'd only need to go away for a week or so until things "died down." I had just come back from a trip, because I told my mom I already had a suitcase packed, so I'd just need to grab "all the other clothes I love."

That's right – in times of peril, my subconscious wants to have its favorite items of clothing.

I was in my room, filling Ziploc bags with barbecue potato chips and Cheese Nips, to snack on during my journey to Canada. Chris Meloni was there; he's apparently my uncle. Which would be AWESOME. He kept telling me that I needed to come by his house before I actually left town, to say goodbye. I asked him where he lives - apparently I'm not bothered with such things as, you know, having a clue where my relatives live - and he gave me the names of two streets that are near my mom's house. I told him I had to go say goodbye to my dad first, but that I'd come by after that.

But now I'm running through the woods. There are houses being built in the woods, but none of them are finished (they're open, so anyone can just walk up), but the kitchens have all been completed no matter what stage the rest of the house is in. Which I notice is odd. I'm running through the houses and trying to find something, but I don't know what. I'm also aware that I'm being chased by an unseen figure.

I go into the kitchen of a house and see a little closet, so I step inside it ... and I'm transported into the closet in the kitchen of another house. Transmogrified! I teleport from kitchen to kitchen to kitchen and then I'm in another house and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) is sitting behind a desk, leaning back in a chair, underneath a window. He's all hot-looking in jeans and a white shirt, but he's wearing an unfortunate cowboy hat.

The window shatters and a long, black tentacle-y thing grabs JRM around the throat and pulls him out the window as he struggles. I scream and then wheel around to run outside and I smack right into this weird guy, who has been following me. I shove him in the chest (ala Elaine's "get OUT!" shove) and then run out behind the house to see the tentacle pulling JRM up a hill. I climb up after him and see that the black tentacle-y thing is really a big enormous mass of black tentacle-y things, and it's gooey and gross and stuff. Which is when I apparently decided that Jonathan Rhys Meyers wasn't worth it.

Because I ran. I ran so far away.

I ran right to a trailer in a clearing of the woods. There was a man there named George who was trying to get into a coffin. I made him stop, and I asked him about the black tentacle-y thing. Hey! I'm still trying to help JRM! Go me.

George mumbles some stuff and I noticed that there are 3-4 evil black cats (fat short-haired ones) that have come into the trailer. They are menacing me. I think they're agents of the black tentacle-y thing. George tells me that they're hungry, which makes me really nervous, and then the cats start not so much meowing as emitting high-pitched alien-like clacks. They're speaking in tongues! Skjlkjdsflkd EAT THE GIRL! oidsflkasdfa!

George opens a sliding glass door and reaches outside and grabs a big hunk of raw beef. I guess it was just sitting there outside the door. He flings it onto the floor and the cats descend upon it like the little ravenous beasts we all know cats are. I'm relieved that I'm not dinner. I thank George for ... something ... and then run out the door. George calls out to me, "You were supposed to leave town today." And I respond, "I know! GOD."

Then I haul ass through the woods and there are now a lot of other people running around out there and I'm trying to find Roberta, who is driving a VW minibus. She's supposed to take me to leave town (I never could figure out if I was flying, driving, or hitchhiking) and now I can't find her.

As I run through the woods people start joining me. I have apparently morphed into some sort of post-apocalyptic freedom fighter. Like Che Guevara, only female, and less hairy. Someone calls out that I'm to beware of the people in the white shuttle bus, because they're the enemy and "not nice." Okaaaaaaaaaaay. I hear the horn of a VW bus honking in the distance and start running towards it ...

... which is when I'm joined, still running, by a television news reporter, who shoves a microphone in my face and says, "Weren't you supposed to leave town today?" Which makes me angry and I yell, "What is WRONG with you people?!?" And then I accuse her of being an alien. A black tentacle-y alien.

She stops and says she's heard reports that JRM is still alive. They found his jeans (?!) on some island and they don't think he's dead yet. I ask her where he is and she says "I'll tell you later" which is when I grab her by the shoulders and shake her and yell "YOU WILL TELL ME RIGHT NOW! WHERE IS HE?!?!?" *RAGE RAGE RAGE*

She takes out a yellow pad of paper, and writes directions. The directions are things like "turn right at the Island of Morano" and "take a left at the small strait" and "some say he's good looking but he can also be a bit fugly" and I grab the paper away from her (I was reading over her shoulder) and I dramatically wave it in her face and tell her that I "don't have time for this bullshit" (the "he's ugly" part) and run off with my merry band of fellow runners. But not before asking the reporter where Roberta is, and I'm told that Roberta is already in south Hesperon, looking for Jonathan.

George runs up beside me and touches my arm and I get this vision of JRM tied to a tree (with black tentacle-y things!) being menaced by a trio of gooey aliens who are trying to get their goo on him. He looks worried, and I can't blame him - alien goo is hard to get out of a white shirt.

Running, running, running.

We run into a house and through the house, and into the basement and down some stairs and I sadly say to the girl running next to me, "I was supposed to leave town today, but I guess I'm not going to." The basement opens to a swamp, and there's a rowboat there, which we have to get into so we can row over to the Island of Hesperon and save Jonathan. I look down and notice that I'm wearing shoes that are inappropriate for sloshing through a swamp. I kick them off and look around and realize that, "FOCK. My Tevas are in my suitcase upstairs!"

So I start running up the stairs to go get them, because Tevas are the clear choice for swamp stomping, but the girl tells me she found something I can wear and hands me a pair of hip waders. I step into them and grab the rusty axe that is propped up in the corner of the basement, and walk out to get into the rowboat and then I wake up because my alarm went off.

So I woke up a bit bothered this morning, because I really want to know what the ending of my dream would have been. It's not every day that I find myself running off to go kick some alien ass and save Jonathan Rhys Meyers. While wearing HIP WADERS, no less. Maybe I'll just make up an ending, to appease myself. Like one of those "choose your own adventure" things.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 07:00 AM | Comments (2)

December 04, 2004

And Then You Go

David Berkeley
"Fire Sign"
Download mp3 | Purchase

You should have told me
Seemed like an ordinary day
Everything seemed to be okay
Did it hurt you?
These are the scars you never show
She is a fire sign, you know
One day you're near, and then you go

Here is a looking glass, what do you see?
There's nothing there but me
There was a wishing well I jumped into
Nothing came true

They deceive you
There was a wall you had to find
The echoes in your mind
You'll surrender
These are the lessons that you'll learn
Nobody hears, no one's concerned
One day it's clear and then you burn

Here is the wishing well I jumped into
Nothing came true
And here is a looking glass, what do you see?
Sorry, it's just me

Even just a sound, and all your cards are down
Even just a sound
Let me lay you down
Don't have to make a sound
I would lay you down

It surrounds you
Sometimes it's easy to believe
Sometimes it hurts more than it seems
Now it's over
These are the scars you never show
There was a warning sign, you know
One day you're near, and then you go

Posted by Highwaygirl on 01:39 AM | Comments (1)

December 03, 2004

Jumping the Bones

Phil is a friend of mine from way, way back. Back in the 90s, during the heyday of the alt.music.tragically-hip newsgroup. He was popular; I was more popular. He was loved; I was beloved. So of course, we had to become friends.

I'd lost track of him for a few years, but then he reappeared mysteriously, like ... a rash. Or some sort of virus. But a welcome virus. ANYWAY, Phil is both a Harvard man and a U.S. Army veteran. How's that for an anachronism?

Me: I?
Phil: Woooo Hoooo!
Me: *hopscotches through IM*
Phil: I'm complete
Me: I complete you?
Phil: You do
Me: I have to rant about that movie on my site at some point
Me: especially that line
Phil: total pick up line
Me: I hate that line
Phil: Because it's worked on you too many times?
Me: riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight
Me: no, because I'm a complete person all by myself
Phil: You go girl!
Me: the implication of "you complete me" is that you were somehow incomplete before
Me: which is bollocks

Me: I'm going to ask Cindy if she thinks Suckface is hot ... hold on
Phil: Is Cindy hot?
Me: okay, her reaction to the photo I showed her was
Me: "He looks sick."
Me: so fine! I'm in the minority.
Phil: Ha!
Phil: Take that!
Phil: He's a suckface
Phil: A freaky suckface

Me: I'll have to make you my next Celebrity Crush
Phil: LOL
Phil: Nah
Me: and then people can refer to you as "Suckface"
Phil: Won't happen
Phil: I eat too many Krispy Kreme donuts to be a suckface, and I also don't do heroin

Me: Okay, this is why Shakespeare ROCKS
Me: there's a scene in the movie Titus where Aaron and the two Goth princes are talking about how to woo Titus' daughter Livinia
Me: both of the princes want her and are arguing about who should have her
Me: so they're quarreling, and Aaron says:
Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Would serve your turns.

Phil: That Aaron.
Phil: Such an urban contemporary rebel
Me: I died laughing in the movie, because I thought it was added dialogue
Me: but it's not, it's right here in the text
Aaron, thou hast hit it.
Would you had hit it too!
Me: hahahahaha
Me: Shakespeare, king of slang
Phil: Sounds like something done by JayZ
Phil: Or some other rapper.
Me: doesn't it, though?
Me: this was written in 1593
Me: <-- amazed
Phil: Love it
Me: everytime I see your screenname I internally say
Phil: That's right
Phil: I'm your daddy
Phil: Your literary daddy

Phil: Man, my French is getting sloppy
Me: que?
Me: no wait, that's Spanish
Phil: I'm talking with one of my friends in Quebec and I'm trying to be cool, speaking in French. Instead I sound like Willie the Kid on the School Bus that Wears a Helmet and Licks the Windows.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:33 AM | Comments (3)

I Don't Owe You Anything

Foo Fighters
"I'll Stick Around"
Download mp3 | Purchase

I thought I knew all it took to bother you
Every word I said was true, that youíll see

How could it be Iím the only one who sees
Your rehearsed insanity

I still refuse all the methods youíve abused
Itís all right if youíre confused let me be

Iíve been around all the pawns youíve gagged and bound
Theyíll come back and knock you down, and Iíll be free

Iíve taken all and Iíve endured
One day it all will fade, Iím sure

I donít owe you anything

I had no other hand in your ever desperate plan
It returns and when it lands words are due

I shouldíve known we were better off alone
I looked in and I was shown
You were too

Iíve taken all and Iíve endured
One day it all will fade, Iím sure

I donít owe you anything

Iíll stick around
Learn from all that came from it

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2004

Thy Will Be Done

This is why I love Teem:

Teem: two nights ago I dreamed about God
Teem: he was throwing a frisbee
Me: at you?
Teem: no, at some dead person

Posted by Highwaygirl on 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

These Are Their Stories

Dammit, this really blows - Jerry Orbach has cancer.

I love this man. He was the one reason why I kept watching Law & Order throughout the years, and when he finally left prior to this season, I gave up the show entirely. There's no point in watching it without him.

And he voiced "Lumiere" in Beauty and the Beast, which only increases my love even further.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

Dear ...

Dear Dole,

Please put more fruit in your fruit cups. I'm interested in eating diced peaches, not drinking a half-cup of "light syrup."

Dear Tivo,

Thank you for sending me your newsletter, which told me how to sort my Now Playing list into folders (press the "enter" button while viewing the list, then turn Groups "On"). It's lovely having all of my Futurama and L&O:SUV episodes grouped together in one tidy place. It's also wonderful to be able to see which shows were recorded off an actor/keyword wishlist. Call me for lunch, k? *smiff*

Dear Payless Shoe Source,

You suck! How dare you change the construction of my all-time favorite black loafers that I purchase from you three times a year for $12.99 a pop?!? This is how I keep my shoes looking sharp all year long, while spending not too much money. That stretchy thing you've added to the top of the upper looks dumb! Loafers aren't supposed to be fancy; they're just supposed to loaf. Thanks for nothing, jerks.

Dear Piggy Eva,

Shut up. A lot. And do not taunt the magic tea bowl. *tweaks snout*

Dear Clover,

Yes, that was acceptable. More than, really.

Dear Westshore Pizza Employee,

I don't care how cute you are. I don't care how much you smile your perfect little "aren't I adorable?" smile at me. Stop calling me "honey" when you're handing me my change. I'm at least 12 years older than you and it's just not right (for now).

Dear Henry Cavill,

Who are you, why have I never heard of you before, and where can I find more of you?

Posted by Highwaygirl on 11:52 AM | Comments (3)

December 01, 2004

101 in 1001

I've stolen this idea from Jessica, but I think that's okay because she stole it from someone else as well.

Here's the idea – make a list of 101 things you want to accomplish in 1001 days. That's almost three years, so, hey - no pressure to get things done immediately.

As Jessica's friend put it:

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of work on my part).

I must say, it was much harder to come up with a list of 101 things I want to do than I expected it to be. Which really says something. I'm just not sure what.

But here goes!

(Once a task is accomplished, it will be made bold.)

1) Go to Ireland

2) Bake a two-layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting

3) Archive all of KR's papers/photos

4) Teach Nibbles to talk [On 1/10/05 I heard her say "Nee-Nee," which is my nickname for her.]

5) Track down R. and see what he's doing [He's still in Edmonton; found photos of him but can't find a phone number]

6) Dance with a cute boy who doesn't speak English

7) Run down a street barefoot, in the rain, with at least one witness

8) Go to New Zealand

9) Burn something in effigy

10) Buy a Coach bag

11) Have Alex for a sleepover [May, 2005]

12) Smoke a clove cigarette to remind myself what a very nasty habit that was when I was 16

13) Go down two more sizes

14) Try cremť brulee (might not be compatible with #13)

15) Go snorkling

16) Send a letter to Dr. Drapkin about the Patient Navigator program, and to let him know how I'm doing

17) Visit with Trina [Trina came to town on 1/28/05 for a sleepover/Gin Blossoms concert]

18) Paint my bathroom

19) Create the website I've been thinking of creating but can't really talk about for fear that some lurker will abscond with my idea (which is really good)

20) Buy a new pair of eyeglasses

21) Visit my ancestral castle in Wales

22) Get a facial

23) Refrain from swearing under my breath at fellow motorists for one week [Accomplished from 2/1-2/8/05, on account of being too sick to get angry.]

24) Find a volunteer opportunity in the community [in the works]

25) Try guacamole [1/15/05 with Ian at Casa Tia and ... no.]

26) Get a job working with cancer patients in some way

27) Send a letter to Grandpa in January

28) Make pillows out of that suede skirt I have but don't like and refuse to wear

29) Finish writing my book

30) Climb a tree

31) Pedal for 60 continuous minutes at level 7 on the recumbent bicycle

32) Use my blender, which has been sitting in the box, unopened, for two years

33) Make salsa and/or gazpacho from scratch

34) Reorganize my filing system at home

35) Buy just feminine hygiene products (if I need them) without feeling compelled to also buy gum, magazines, or bottled water in an effort to distract the clerk from the fact that I'm really there to buy tampons [I'm not putting the date, because that would just be TMI]

36) Teach myself how to knit

37) Read through the entire Tivo owner's manual and perform all of the functions

38) Watch a sunrise on the East Coast

39) Watch a sunset on the West Coast

40) Play a round of golf (not miniature)

41) Buy a piano and relearn everything I used to know

42) Mark my 10th year in remission from Hodgkin's disease

43) Visit relatives in New York

44) See the Kingston Trio in concert [March 31, 2005 at Ruth Eckerd Hall]

45) Go to a cat show

46) Try Yorkshire pudding

47) Climb to the top of Jockey's Ridge (again)

48) Stay awake for 48 consecutive hours

49) Start a savings account

50) Watch the Colin Firth edition of Pride and Prejudice

51) Learn how to play pool. Really well. Well enough to brag about it.

52) Go to the Museum of Science and Industry over in Tampa

53) Take my mom and my grandmother to lunch for Mother's Day [Took both to The Cheesecake Factory in May, 2005, along with my Aunt Lisa, her daughter Meagan, and my sister-in-law, Terri]

54) Travel by train

55) Learn to drive stick

56) Take a digital photography class of some sort

57) Go wireless on my home computer system so I can hook it up to my Tivo

58) Make a headboard for my bed [Purchased a headboard in July, 2005]

59) Read magazines as I receive them, or within 3 days, for one month

60) Avoid buying makeup or anything makeup-related for a month (hahahahaha) [accomplished between February 8-March 8, 2005, due to broken left elbow]

61) Same with clothes

62) Convert my site over to MySQL [June, 2005]

63) Convert the pages over to PHP

64) Drive on Route 66, in a convertible, with at least one friend [Accomplished several times during my roadtrip through Arizona with Trina in October, 2005]

65) And then stop for dinner at a roadside diner [On October 6th we had dinner at the Route 66 diner in Albuquerque, just like I said I would]

66) Visit a desert [Visited several during my roadtrip, including the Painted Desert national park near Holbrook, AZ]

67) Buy something from Tiffany's

68) Go the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary [With Alex in May, 2005]

69) Drink espresso

70) Read Catch-22

71) Learn to drink Diet Coke without making the squinched-up face [first accomplished at 11:32 a.m. on 12/10/04 while at work]

72) Go roller skating

73) Meet three more people that I talk to online

74) Figure out what color wine goes with what foods [12/01/04, with assistance from mheh; the basic answer is "Red wine with red meats, white wine with white meats," but in the end, drink what you like. Can do.]

75) Go through my Photoshop Elements manual and learn cool tricks

76) See the Everglades

77) Throw a penny into a wishing well or fountain

78) Write my congressperson

79) First, find out who my congressperson is ["You are in Florida's 9th district and are represented by The Honorable Michael Bilirakis." – courtesy of the Write Your Representatives page]

80) Make a loaf of whole wheat bread from scratch without using a bread machine

81) Drive a speedboat

82) Clean out the utility closet and throw out all of the stuff that's been sitting in there for almost three years, which I clearly don't need

83) Pay off the First USA credit card

84) Replace the ugly buttons on my brown jacket with prettier ones

85) Purchase combat boots

86) Swim 250 laps in my mom's pool without stopping

87) Come up with a kick-ass idea for a home-based business that I can start with friends, so none of us have to work for other people ever again

88) Spend an entire day in bed, just because

89) Go through every room in my apartment and find at least five things that I like (but don't love) and then donate them to a charity [Living room completed on 12/17/05 with selection of six DVDs for AnySoldier.com]

90) Pick wildflowers [In Sedona on 10/02/05]

91) Discard every piece of clothing in my closet that I haven't worn in the last 12 months

92) Go through a fast-food drive through and pay for the order of the person in the car behind me

93) View Jonathan Rhys Meyers' entire body of work [Seen so far – Bend It Like Beckham, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, The Governess, Ride With the Devil, Velvet Goldmine, Titus, Alexander, The Magnificent Ambersons, Pulse, The Tesseract, Gormenghast, Tangled, The Lion In Winter, B. Monkey, Vanity Fair, Alexander]

94) See U2 in concert

95) Try edamame

96) Do 50 situps every day for one week

97) Wear something pink [I wore a pink shirt under a denim jacket on 1/31/05]

98) Sleep outside

99) Cook every meal at home for one month (this might be impossible)

100) Go blonde (or very dark brown) [Chose dark brown - August 1, 2005]

101) Visit my grandfather's gravesite in Spencer, Iowa

Posted by Highwaygirl on 02:34 PM | Comments (879)

Friends Say It's Fine

I just had the most inexplicable conversation with Dawsey. Stop laughing. I was in the kitchen making breakfast, about 10 minutes after the cats finished eating their vittles, and Dawsey was meowing at me loudly. For a reason known only to him. So I say:

"Dawsey, I don't know what your problem is. But you need to find a solution to it."

I actually said that to the cat. Out loud. *shakes head sadly*

And it's plain to see
You were meant for me, yeah
I'm your toy
Your 20th century boy

Placebo, "20th Century Boy"

I think this song has one of the most distinctive guitar riffs, ever.

Posted by Highwaygirl on 06:42 AM | Comments (4)