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July 31, 2006

You Can Stop Now

OK, time to be abrupt.

To Whom It May Concern:

If you want to know something about me, or you have any questions for/about me, or if you just have something you want to get off your chest ... then by all means, have at it.

You don't need to keep visiting my site 7-8 times throughout the day. In case you didn't know, I have a site tracker and it logs every single one of your visits to this site.

  • I know the exact dates and times you visit this site.
  • I know how long you spend on the site.
  • I know how many times you click on a link on the site.
  • I know exactly which pages you look at on the site, and how many times you look at them.
  • I know when you download photos off this site.

    That last thing? SO not cool. And really, really bizarre.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)
  • May 12, 2006

    I'm OK, You're Kinda Strange

    Just a bit of an update/explanation as to why I haven't been keeping my site updated.

    I'm really, really, really, really busy.

    May/June is the worst time of the year at work because our clients are government agencies, whose fiscal year begins on July 1. So a lot of the time we're trying to deliver systems by that date. This year we have two huge state systems to complete, and they're new versions of our product.

    Essentially, it's a gigantic undertaking and most people at work really want to swan dive off the top of the building onto the burning hot asphalt below. I don't think anyone has actually done it yet, though.

    Plus, the user conference we host is in a week, so people are running around going mental over preparations for that. I'm giving a presentation on content management; hopefully you've already signed up.

    Anyway, between work and my social life, the website is suffering and lonely. But everything is good. I'm stressed-but-happy, and things with Marcel are wonderful (and he's coming for a week-long visit in June).

    So that's that. But later I may rant about how every call I make is being documented for posterity by the Bush administration.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

    May 01, 2006

    Thar She Blows!

    I just have to ask - men find this attractive?


    A model wears a creation by Colombian manufacturer St Even during a fashion show in Medellin, April 28, 2006. REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:40 PM | Comments (7)

    January 26, 2006

    Hang Wire

    Continuing on with Things I Really Want, there is this Inhabit Wall Slat hanging thing:

    It's made of fabric and it looks really slick in my opinion. I don't have the time or inclination to paint the walls at my new place, so I need removable/temporary solutions to my decorating issue.

    Here's a photo of how you can use it in a bedroom:

    I'm also thinking about using magnet paint to create an interactive piece of hanging art, using my magnet collection.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

    January 23, 2006

    The Best and Worst of Everything

    So there I was, hunting around on Forbes magazine's website, looking for the list of Best Companies To Work For (since I'm writing an article on employee retention strategies). I stumbled upon the main page for lists - as it turns out, it is a treasure trove of time-wasting information.

    There's the Coolest Workout Equipment (featuring my beloved Cybex Total Body Arc Trainer). The Best Places To Die (congratulations, Utah! But BOOOO, Washington D.C. Florida is ranked 21st, but we get an A+ in "Legal Protection," the ability to write a living will).

    There's the Worst Cars of 2005 (Dodge Neon = worthless POS) and the Least Safe Cars of 2006 (Hyundai Elantra = deathtrap). The Top Topless Beaches of 2005 only lists two beaches in the U.S. (South Beach in Miami and Black's Beach in San Diego - although I seriously doubt South Beach qualifies as a full-on topless beach, because people still get arrested there for doffing their tops). My guess for the Top Earning Dead Celebrity (John Lennon) actually comes in at No. 3. I'm not really sure why Andy Warhol is even on that list.

    Tampa's Busch Gardens comes in at No. 2 - providing a needed bitchslap to Disney - on the list of the World's Most Fun Amusement Parks. The Most Dangerous Destinations just seems like a lesson in obviousness (Afghanistan is dangerous? Who knew?).

    I've never been to any of the World's Most Expensive Restaurants, or the Most Expensive U.S. Restaurants, but I have eaten most of the Best (Worst) Foods (except for foie gras, which is WRONG and AMORAL).

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

    December 15, 2005

    Dionne Warwick's Cosmic Peephole

    God, that sounds dirty.

    The Cosmic Peephole has the power to reveal the private, hush-hush life of anybody in the world. Type a name into the field below and gaze into anyone's very soul... if you dare!"

    Let's see what some of my friends are up to:

    "Before going to work, Rappy self-flagellates with a leather belt soaked in malt liquor."

    "Jake picks fights with supermarket bag boys."

    "People laugh at your jokes only because Roo told them you are slightly retarded."

    "Teem just got a uvula piercing."

    "Eric loves the sticky, goose-pimpled feeling of wet buttocks on vinyl."

    "Randomben uses pubic mousse."

    "Matt is wearing provocatively threadbare underwear."

    "Trina once ran over a Golden Retriever puppy - and laughed about it!"

    "Totem force-feeds Guinness to guinea pigs."

    "Auntie Christ is heartlessly snickering at a crippled, elderly homeless person begging for spare change."

    "Highwaygirl viciously pinches marsupial nipples."

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:57 PM | Comments (3)

    December 10, 2005

    Dog Eat Dog

    This is just 44 different flavors of wrong:


    How could someone hate their cute little dog so much that they'd subject the poor pup to the indignity of wearing such a magnificently horrible thing?

    Won't someone think of the (dog) children?

    For good measure, here's the objet d'art in profile:

    That poor dog. It's trying so hard to look dignified. It's good to see, though, that the people at Nordstrom have a sense of humor - the product name is Fetching Multistripe Dog Sweater.

    "Fetching." Heh.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:25 AM | Comments (4)

    December 06, 2005

    H.R. Buf'n'Stuf


    Serious flex: Michael Borenaga of Philippines (L) with Sahali bin abd Samad of Malaysia (R) perform during the bantam 65kg bodybuilding final at the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Manila. Borenaga won the gold medal with a perfect score of 10 with Samad taking the silver. (AFP/Joel Nito)

    Me: yum
    Me: *projectile vomits*
    Roo: EWWWWWW!
    Roo: are they made out of sausage?
    Roo: Li'l sausage men!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:17 PM | Comments (9)

    October 26, 2005

    Move Your Ass

    So I was innocently checking RandomBen's site, when I noticed a new link at the top left corner of the page to Technorati. I clicked it and learned that my site claims the top two links to Ben's site. As it should be!

    But then I got curious and looked up which blogs link to my own site. Strangely enough, Advertising Week's blog randomly links to my image of the Pillsbury Doughboy (check the September 27th entry, "Was this Advertising Week's first protest?"). I'm not sure how they found it, because a Google Image search for "Pillsbury Doughboy" doesn't bring up my site in any of the first 4-5 pages of results.

    Other people have linked to some of my mp3s (like "The Rainbow Connection"), and many, many people are stealing bandwidth by displaying photos I have on my site (BAD, PEOPLE! VERY BAD!).

    In other not-so-exciting news, yesterday I joined the local YMCA. I was inspired by Roo and figured, why the hell not? Maybe slapping down the cash will inspire me to actually get off my ass and do something. The place is just a year old and they have all the fancy equipment (including my beloved elliptical trainer). Now I just need to convince myself that actually stepping out of my apartment at 5:30 a.m. is a good thing.

    In a secondary effort to jumpstart Operation: Move Your Ass, I just ordered a JetAudio iAudio U2 mp3 player and some inexpensive (but positively reviewed) Sony earbuds. With free shipping, $5 off promotion, and a $20 Amazon gift certificate, I got both things for around $85. I am pleased.

    I'm going to be working on my Grand Canyon roadtrip entry this afternoon, I swear.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (3)

    September 23, 2005

    Weirdness Afoot

    In other news ...

    I had an interesting idea for a New Year's resolution for 2006 - get engaged. Oh, and document the entire process on this site.

    I think I could make it quite entertaining and amusing, but there's a side of me that thinks that's a little too voyeur porn for me. Plus, it reeks of cravenness to make getting engaged a task on some sort of cosmic "to-do" list. It just seems a little bit manufactured.

    But maybe that's the point. I'm not actively trying to find someone to share my life with on a long-term, freaky-but-monogamous basis. Perhaps that's why I haven't. Maybe making this an actual goal (along with perfecting the art of body hair removal and learning how to knit) is the only thing that will guarantee success in this particular endeavor, craven as it is.

    Do they have Russian mail-order husbands?

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:14 AM | Comments (9)

    June 21, 2005

    Big Money! Big Money!

    Roo: I just saw a picture of Jennifer Garner, and though, for some reason, I've decided to pretend she's not really pregnant, there is no question now
    Me: please kill me
    Me: *offers neck*
    Roo: *bites*
    Me: link me to the Jen photo!
    Me: I like her, still
    Roo: me too
    Me: But I think she deserves better than Affleck
    Roo: Jen photo
    Roo: eh, I don't know...I don't hate them together, for some reason
    Roo: though he's nasTAY in that picture
    Me: HOLY
    Roo: I KNOW!
    Me: she really popped
    Me: that's ... wow
    Roo: I know...my same reaction
    Me: EWWWW
    Me: he's gross
    Me: what the hell is he doing smoking around her?!?
    Me: she needs to kick his ass
    Me: or have Victor Garber do it
    Roo: he was smoking outside away from her at least
    Roo: hee! SpyDaddy!
    Roo: (at first I typed SpayDaddy!)
    Me: hahahaha
    Me: Bob Barker is SpayDaddy
    Roo: YES! HA!

    And this little thing is the answer to all of my prayers. Behold, the SCOOBA!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:05 AM | Comments (2)

    June 15, 2005


    So yesterday I went to the doctor on account of the white-hot lightning bolts of pain I was feeling in my kidneys. Final verdict - kidney infection, and now I'm taking chalky white horse pills twice a day for a week.

    But that's not the interesting part. The really interesting part is that I am, apparently, a lizard. You'd think with an infection I'd have a fever, right? Oh no. No, no, no. MY temperature was a cool 97.2, almost 1.5 degrees below normal. The nurse took it three times because she didn't believe the readout on the electronic thermometer.

    Other random stuff:

  • I bought a new domain name. What happened was that I was helping Eric try to come up with a hip/trendy/cool name for the website he wants to create (something photography related). We've been throwing ideas back and forth for a few weeks. Almost every "good" dot-com name is already taken, so I thought an alternative spelling of a word was the way to go.

    Well, after testing a lot of variations (I still kinda like friendorfoto.com), I came up with foecus.com. And the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with it. It's short, easy to remember, phonetically sounds like a real photography term, and is just damn cool.

    Eric wanted to think about it. Eric hesitated, and he who hesitates is lost.

    I bought it myself. I did clear it with him first, and if he thinks about it and decides he does want to use it, I'll transfer the rights to the name to him (because, honestly, it would be perfect for him).

  • My broken elbow is all healed. I can extend it all the way out with no tightness or pain, I can put weight on it and do pushups, etc. Which is fanfreakingtastic, because my orthopedist initially said that I probably would not get full range of motion back (the kind of fracture I had is notorious for not healing 100%).

    But my broken right pinky is still giving me problems. It healed a little bit bent at the base, so now it's slightly curved. I can make a proper fist, but there's still tightness there, and if I hit it against something the wrong way it really hurts. I never would have thought that my main, lingering issue from rolling head-first down the stairs would be my fractured finger, but ... it is.

  • Last night I dreamt of a midget. It was a helper-midget of sorts, at my office. Only it didn't walk around anywhere. One of my coworkers (Watto) carried him around everywhere on his back. Like Master Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (only my coworker doesn't wear a face shield ... yet). I told John about it and he was amused, but then decided that I "have some f*cked up dreams."

  • I have a new breakfast of champions. Due to the fact that my metabolism has decided to suck beyond the telling of it, I'm trying to be super - nay, UBER - careful about not eating junk. This means no more fast food. Make it myself or go hungry, that's my new motto.

    For breakfast this morning I had Egg Beaters topped with a smattering of 2% sharp chedder and a dollop of salsa, and a Merita Lite wheat hamburger bun toasted with a thin schmear of ICBINB. You know what? It was really damn good, and filling. Now I feel STRONG LIKE BULL! (or something)

  • Work is about to get insanely busy. Bleh.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)
  • May 06, 2005

    Ork! Ork! Ork!

    So last night I had a pretty UGH time after work. I was lying on my couch watching TV and assessing my idiocy, when I managed to fall asleep. Around 9 p.m.

    I awoke to the sound of the disembodied voice of one RandomBen. Which confused me, because - Ben? Huh? In my living room?

    My sleep addled brain ran through a quick round of "Where In the World Is RandomBen?" and came up with "not here" - so then the voice confused me even further.

    I was pretty sure I was dreaming. Then I hear him say "bedroom" and I'm very, VERY sure I'm dreaming. My brain chose that moment to snap back into reality, which is when I realized that DisembodiedBen was merely talking on my answering machine.


    So we're talking and it sounds like he's in a wind tunnel. Washington - a very windy place. Talking, laughing, laughing, talking, LAUGHING, talking ...

    (Side note: I've noticed that I am constantly laughing when I talk to Ben. Not "ha ha" laughing, but more like ... theater of the absurd laughing. So now I consciously stifle my laughter, else I start to seem like I'm an airheaded bimbo who will laugh at anything.)

    ... talking – and then I start hearing voices in the background.

    At least I think they're voices. I can't really make out the words, but I'm definitely hearing significant background noise. So I tune out the sound of Ben's voice (heh) and start listening more closely to the sounds in the background, and then I realize what it is:


    Not this guy. These guys:

    Ben is being serenaded by a group (clutch? pod? coven?) of sea lions that are basking in the sun about 30 feet off the pier upon which he's standing. How cool is that? (Answer: Very cool.)

    So our entire conversation was interspersed with the melodious "ork! ork! ork!"s of the sea lions. The appropriate payment for services rendered (ork! ork! ork!), moving really sucks (ork! ork! ork!), the politics of threesomes (ork! ork! ork!), "there's nothing wrong with a courtesy reach-around" (ork! ork! ork!).

    Very cool. Near the end, the coven of sea lions slipped off their perch and frolicked in the water, much to Ben's obvious amusement (seriously, it was like he was a 10 year-old boy again).

    But now I want a sea lion of my own, dammit.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:16 AM | Comments (8)

    May 03, 2005

    Effective Advertising 101


    Suddenly I have an overwhelming urge to buy Polo men's underwear. How very strange...

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:43 AM | Comments (6)

    April 25, 2005

    "EAT ME!"

    Current favorite foods – Luna bars in Lemon Zest (these are TO DIE FOR if you like sweet lemon desserts), steamed broccoli tossed with crumbled blue cheese (I've had this three nights in a row; tonight will be four), Boca Italian Sausage on a whole wheat bun with mustard, almonds, Fuji apples (and ONLY Fuji apples).

    Me: if I ever want in vitro fertilzation, I'm coming to Israel for it
    Me: because it's cheap, but well regulated
    Me: according to Glamour magazine
    Rappy: for foreigners?
    Rappy: you have to remember that we have universal health care here
    Rappy: I don't imagine that a foreigner would be given the same treatment, cost wise
    Me: for foreigners
    Rappy: oh, nifty
    Me: it's about a fifth as expensive as in the US
    Me: less frills, of course
    Me: but if I ever start bleating for a kid and can't conceive, I'd rather pay $2,500 than $12,000
    Rappy: haha
    Rappy: "bleating"
    Rappy: hahaha
    Me: heh, I've already determined what my future child is worth to me
    Rappy: so eloquent
    Me: know thyself, so that thy may know god
    Me: or something
    Me: I heard that during the papal festivities
    Rappy: you know what is impossible to do here?
    Me wot?
    Rappy: Explain to someone that you don't want a child.
    Me: you can't do that ANYWHERE
    Rappy: I fucking hate it when people respond to that by saying I don't know what I'm talking about.
    Rappy: I literally have NO desire for a baby
    Me: Me neither
    Rappy: None.
    Me: I want a 4 year old
    Me: young enough to mold, but none of the sleep deprivation
    Rappy: I thought you wanted a 6 year old
    Me: I adjusted lower to account for education
    Me: I need to get it before kindergarten
    Me: so I can teach it to read and count ahead of time
    Me: so it will be referred to by its teacher as THE UBERGARTNER
    Rappy: hahahaha
    Rappy: you want your kid to look smrtr than the other kids! You selfish bitch!
    Me: look nothing
    Me: I want him to BE smarter
    Me: stronger
    Me: faster...
    Me: UBER
    Rappy: *olympic rings*
    Me: in fact, maybe I'll name him "Uber" and be done with it
    Rappy: that's a pretty big name to live up to
    Me: bad nicknames would result, though
    Me: "Ooby"
    Me: "Oobs"
    Me: "Udder"

    In the last 2 hours I have ingested approximately 64 ounces of SoBe Lean Diet Cranberry Grapefruit, and I still have more left to drink. As it turns out, if you order a large fountain drink at Quiznos, and then return on a future day with cup in hand, you can get a refill for a mere 25 cents.

    I must have had a very happy look on my face when the owner of the store told me this, because we had the following exchange:

    Quiznos owner: You're going to abuse this privilege, aren't you?
    Me: Yes, yes I am.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:13 PM | Comments (1)

    April 14, 2005

    Dirrrty Girls

    Terri Schiavo's parents have sold the list of people who donated to her cause to a conservative direct-marketing firm. That's ... screwed up.

    Rappy: Erika and I analysed your answers to the name machine.
    Rappy: YOU ARE DIRTY!
    Rappy: DIRTY!
    Rappy: DIRRTY, even!
    Me: who, me?
    Rappy: YES!
    Me: why's that?
    Rappy: We both know who you're crushing on, and what your weird object was...
    Me: well the weird object is obvious
    Me: and I'm sorry, but dildos ARE weird objects
    Rappy: haha
    Me: and I just liked the way "gooben" sounded
    Rappy: now let's discuss this crush...
    Me: it sounded funnier then my first choice, "gooeric"
    Me: jeez
    Me: weirdly enough, I had a dream with Ben Affleck in it last night
    Me: well, he was on the phone
    Me: not there in person
    Rappy: you're not helping yourself here, my little friend
    Me: he was inviting me to come play racquetball at his new house
    Me: odd, no?
    Rappy: was Jen going to be there?
    Me: well it was his "new" house so I assumed he bought it with her
    Me: but the invitation to play ball meant he CLEARLY wanted me
    Me: yes?
    Rappy: sure
    Rappy: yeah
    Rappy: or a threesome
    Me: *shocked face*
    Rappy: DUDE, YOU WROTE DILDO, what is so surprising?

    This man wants to eat your babies (future and present). Don't believe me? Then read The Tom DeLay Scandals - A Scorecard and feast upon his insolence and impropriety.

    Side note: I am not anti-Republican. I like Republicans. I even LOVE a Republican (or two). I have a wee little crush on John McCain, and a slightly bigger one on Colin Powell.

    That said, Tom DeLay is the ANTICHRIST.

    One of the next books I want to get is Honor Bound - American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973. I've always been interested in the Vietnam War, and the issue of POWs, and this book looks interesting. The authors have good pedigrees, too - Rochester was the deputy historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Kiley is a former Air Force Academy professor and noted POW historian.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

    April 04, 2005

    Odds at Ends

    I'm having salad for breakfast. Mmmm, gorgonzola cheeeeese.

    Anyway, a few random things. The next book I buy will be Stephen Potter's Lifemanship, which was described by the New York Times thusly:

    "Lifemanship," which has just been reissued by Moyer Bell, wryly mocked Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," and other self-help manuals of its day. Potter's books do not focus on friendship or success, but on less exalted goals: "winning without actually cheating" ("Gamesmanship"); "creative intimidation" ("One-Upmanship"); and making "the other man feel that something has gone wrong, however slightly" ("Lifemanship").

    Potter, a onetime writer for the BBC, styled his writing as the research findings of the nonexistent Lifemanship Correspondence College, on topics like "How to Make People Feel Awkward." "Lifemanship" offers laboratory-tested techniques for excelling in cocktail party talk, no matter how uninformed you are. One tactic is "languaging up," which Potter defines as "to confuse, irritate and depress by the use of foreign words, fictitious or otherwise."


    In the wake of the whole Terri Schiavo mess, the need for information on advanced health care directives has become obvious. Don't rely on just telling your family what you want; put it in writing. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Association's website has specific forms for each state available.

    A recent issue of Newsweek included two columns on Terri Schiavo that I thought were very good – Jonathan Alter's "Take a Look In the Mirror" and Anna Quindlen's "The Culture of Each Life."

    From Quindlen's column:

    One measure of how topsy-turvy this story became was the constant suggestion that Terri's husband should simply accede to the desires of his in-laws, as though that would be a good thing instead of a gutless betrayal. My own husband knows that I never want artificial means to keep me alive. What an insult to my memory and our marriage it would be if he opted out when the going got rough and permitted others to salve their heartbreak by maintaining a shadow of my self.

    And from Alter's:

    When he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush presided over 152 executions, more than took place in the rest of the country combined. In at least a few of these cases, reasonable doubts about the guilt of the condemned were raised. But Bush cut his personal review time for each case from a half hour to a mere 15 minutes (most other governors spend many hours reviewing each capital case to assure themselves that there's no doubt of guilt). His explanation was that he trusted the courts to sort through the life-and-death complexities. That's right: the courts.

    I bring up that story because it's just one of several ironies that have arisen in connection with the Terri Schiavo saga, in which the president said that the government "ought to err on the side of life." Fine, but whose life? The inmate who might not be guilty? The poor people across the country denied organ transplants (and thus life) because Medicaid—increasingly under the Bush budget knife—won't cover them? The poor people across the world starving to death because we won't go along with Tony Blair when it comes to addressing global poverty?

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

    March 23, 2005

    The Meaning of Life

    I ran across something the other day when I did a Google search on "the meaning of life." I think this spun off of a conversation that Roo and I were having about the whole situation with Terri Schiavo.

    Somewhere in those search results I found these pages that purport to explain the meaning of life. I don't know who wrote the essays, but whomever it was is both intelligent and wickedly funny.

    I wouldn't say that the concepts the person writes about are necessarily profound, although, in some ways they are. Overall I think the essays reveal a very good way of looking at the world, and our places in it. Because every one of us is just one random person floating in a sea of people, trying to stay afloat.

    But there's good stuff on that site that I think would interest a lot of you. Here are some excerpts from various essays that I thought were especially resonant. Where there is italicized emphasis, it is mine.

    From Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?:

    There is no such thing as Justice

    It is an illusion. A myth. A fairy tale. Life really isn't fair. The question is, why do you think it's supposed to be? Who started that idea? Job? The people who tried to put a good face on beating people up by inventing the Queensbury Rules? We don't know.

    Justice sounds like a good idea because it sort of equalizes the pain. I get hurt, so you get hurt in return. Well there's more ocean than land, more roaches than roach motels, and more salesmen than prophets. Things just aren't meant to be equal. Suffering and happiness are not weights in some cosmic Martha Stewart food scale, their relative proportion is completely unpredictable, just get over it.

    Here's the deal. Tragedy may be unequal, but it isn't random. Yes, there is a meaning, we're giving a bit away early here. Bad things usually happen to forcefully slap us out of whatever stupor we are in at the time. We are supposed to start questioning our beliefs. We are supposed to figure out what is and what is not important to us. People usually don't change unless they feel sufficient pain to overcome their natural resistance to change. Change takes energy. Nothing energizes like tragedy. What suffering is usually supposed to encourage us to do is figure out how to avoid suffering in the future. Find out what happy people do and imitate them. This is not rocket science.

    If tragedy seems random and cruel now, it isn't. You're just not wanting to look at the facts.

    Of course, if people don't get the hint and continue to imitate deer staring into the headlights of destiny, well, that's their lookout. Do not get mad at God/the universe/insert your cosmic principle here. Do what you're supposed to do, pick your ass up off the ground and try again. Nobody likes a crybaby.

    You can't get out of it by going limp and giving up. That usually makes it worse. Athletes must tolerate a certain level of pain to reach their goals. You are no different.

    As for the injustice of loved ones getting killed, etc., that has its own purpose. Don't ask unanswerable questions about other people; you've got enough to worry about with your own situation. If you get tragically killed, then you'll understand. Until then, forget it.

    We have been criticized about the callous nature of this page. For people who have recently lost family members, etc., this little diatribe can sting. However, the message is still true even for them. Life is very unfair, but like chemotherapy, it does the job.

    From Unhappy? Depressed?:

    The answer to unhappiness is both liberating and infuriating, but here it is. Happiness doesn't depend on anything that has or has not happened in the past, nor does it depend on your future prospects (thank God, eh?). The simple fact is, in order to be happy:

    You Must Decide to be Happy.

    Yep. Isn't that aggravating? You can't blame it on anyone else, and no one else can do a thing for you. You've just got to decide to be happy, whether or not your logical mind thinks it is rational to be happy and whether or not your moral sense thinks you deserve to be happy. You absolutely will not be happy for any length of time until you decide to, and if you decide to, you can be happy in the face of the most miserable circumstances.

    From Feel Useless and Worthless?:

    Everyone on the planet is in exactly the same state of moral worth, because we are all doing the best we can with what we have. Poor upbringings cause many people to not have much to do their best with, but hey, that's life. ... So you see, people are basically good. They are all trying to do their best. They often just need some help overcoming inner demons and behavior patterns that aren't really working for them.

    Obviously, you are in the same boat. You are doing the best you can with what you have. You are already living the most moral and correct life you know how to live. There is no more that you can do at this moment to be a better person. You are already a good person. You do not have to strive every moment to be better than it is possible for you to be. Smile at yourself. You're OK.

    Now, it should be clear that you can improve. Not by beating yourself over the head for bad things you've done; those things couldn't be helped. You were just doing your best with what you had. What you can do is learn where your blind spots are. Watch others. People who at first glance are just plan old bad people are on further investigation suffering from horrendous misconceptions about how the world works. You also have misconceptions about the best way to get what you want. Find those misconceptions and wake up!

    From So what?:

    We have been given the freedom to create the reality we experience because we are supposed to learn from it.

    Life is a school. We are in a protected environment. ... Just as school work requires serious effort but isn't supposed to be performed perfectly, we are expected to make mistakes as we try to create the world from the model that we see dimly in our minds. The mistakes we make in life, the cruel and thoughtless things we do, are really the foibles of children. Your errors do not weight eternally against your soul, and they are not put on your permanent record. Their only purpose is to teach you to improve.

    Feeling guilty is worthless unless it compels you to correct the error that you have committed and reminds you to not make the same mistake again in the future. Those are the only purposes of guilt. Guilt is not to be used to berate yourself uselessly after you have done all you can do to compensate for your action. Remember, the people you hurt chose to experience that reality, although they are not usually aware of that fact.

    And finally, I really like the description of an "open system" way of living that is described on the So what? page:

    Open systems:

    • Base moral judgments on the actual helpfulness or harmfulness of someone’s behavior. Leave large areas of behavior morally neutral, so that you have room to find compromises with others who see things differently.

    • Encourage you to listen to and understand people who are different from you.

    • Define standards of moral behavior but allow that thoughts and feelings are not controllable and are exempt from “moral” judgments.

    • Expect your natural inclinations to lead you into creative endeavors that will help you to find your place in the world and meet your need to act effectively.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)

    March 14, 2005

    AT&T Blows

    So I get my AT&T Long Distance bill today. I knew it would be more than normal, due to a call I placed to the arctic tundra of Canada (i.e. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) last month. But the call was a mere 25 minutes, so I thought the worst case scenario would be an extra 25 bucks.

    *insert sad, sorrowful laughter _HERE_*

    Well, no. I was really wrong about that. Those 25 minutes cost me $45.65. Not that the call wasn't worth every penny, because it was (*waves to Jason*), but JEEEEEEZUS. Almost two bucks a minute? I know AT&T hates me for using its Unlimited Calling Plan to full (and I do mean full) effect, but god - that's a pretty hefty chunk of change for a call that wasn't even 30 minutes.

    So to make myself feel better tonight, I dyed my hair red. Really red. Really, really red.

    It's only going to last until the weekend, when I birthday-gift myself with a haircut, highlights, and a manicure/pedicure.

    Because I'm worth it.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

    March 08, 2005

    He's Leaving Home

    This is the best news I've had in aaaaaages - BD's Mongolian Barbeque is coming to my city! I hope they have frequent flyer cards, because I envision getting take-out at least twice a week. Although that could get expensive. Hmm ...

    Jake: have a sec?
    Me: yah
    Me: need me to come there?
    Jake: yes
    Jake: as you well know
    Jake: I HAVE NO LEGS

    Jen sent me this - a new way to keep your monitor screen clean.

    Jake: SHUT UP!!!
    Me: you're always so mean to me
    Me: why is that?
    Jake: because im EVIL
    Me: I'm always nice to you
    Me: well, mostly
    Jake: EVIL
    Jake: I show affection through acts of violence
    Jake: come here, let me punch you in the face

    Jake's last day at work is April 1. No, it's not a cruel joke. I have to remember to wear waterproof eye makeup that day.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)

    February 13, 2005

    Asian Bird Flu

    I've been really busy, I have. So sorry for the lack of updates. But I know how some people are entertained by my dreams, so I thought I'd share last night's fevered hallucination.

    (I blame this dream on the fact that my cockatiel, Nibbles, starts chirping around 8 a.m. even if she's still covered. And since I slept in this morning, I think my subconscious incorporated the chirping into my dream.)

    Actually, only one part stood out and was funny. I was living in a house that was not my own, and every time I walked through a room there would be a new bird flying around. So I start collecting the birds and putting them in cages. At one point I had three cockatiels and couldn't tell which one was Nibbles, which made me sad. I also had a finch of some sort who had a broken tail (what would Freud say about that?).

    Here's the good part - the last bird that I caught was a parakeet. But it was bald on it's head save for a little patch around the top of the skull. It looked like Friar Tuck. But instead of wearing a robe, it was wearing a knit green turtleneck sweater. Yes. A bird sweater. A sweater on a bird.

    And then it started speaking to me. In complete sentences, no less. It said, "My name is J'Italia, it is very nice to make your acquaintance." In my dream, I'm weird enough to answer back. Then the bird says, "I would like to move to the country and become a blacksmith."


    And then I woke up because Dawsey stuck his little black kitty face in my face and caterwauled in my ear because he wanted to be fed. I so love my cats.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

    January 10, 2005

    Midnight Train Goin' Anywhere

    You know how some people have those list-y things on their blogs that say how they're feeling, or what they're listening to? I don't have any of those.

    Until now.

    Mood: Congested
    Wearing: Red Old Navy hoodie and men's boxer shorts
    Eating: Fruity Pebbles
    Reading: Fametracker
    Writing: You
    Latest Injury: Dropped a steak knife on my big toe and sheared off a corner of the nail; 'tis now infected
    Petting: Caygeon
    Listening: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (I've heard this song everywhere the past few days - in multiple stores, on multiple TV shows. It's definitely some sort of sign.)
    Scratching: My nose
    Contemplating: Life
    Last Movie Watched: Wet Hot American Summer (excellent)
    Exercise: Taking out the garbage
    Dreaming Of: Excel spreadsheets (don't worry, I won't write about it)
    Hours of Sleep: Seven
    Catching Up: On e-mail
    Dreading: Work
    Anticipating: Ian
    Worrying: Nothing. Yet.
    Lost: My MAC Honeyflower lipstick and my spool of CD-Rs
    Donating: Webcam
    Wanting: TivoToGo
    Words of Wisdom: "Street Lights. People. Ohhhh ohh OHHHHHHHHHHHH!!"

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:55 AM | Comments (5)

    January 05, 2005


    Last night I had the strangest dream.

    I was living in a glass box. The walls were such that people could see in, but I could not see out. Yet I knew when people were watching me, because colored symbols - unique to each individual - would appear on the walls whenever someone was there.

    There was one symbol that appeared regularly. In the beginning, it made me angry to see this person appear. "You can see me, but I can't see you," I said defiantly. "That's hardly fair, you know."

    After a while, though, I realized that seeing the symbol appear on the wall gave me a strange sense of comfort. Because although it might have looked to all the world like I was alone in that box, I knew I was not.

    "You're still there."

    And then I grabbed a pickaxe and smashed my way out of the box and went on a rampage in downtown Tokyo while singing "Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride" over and over in a chipmunk voice.

    - fin -

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)

    December 29, 2004

    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 at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

    December 27, 2004

    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 at 11:58 AM | 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 at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

    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 at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

    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 at 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 at 07:00 AM | Comments (2)

    December 02, 2004

    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 at 11:52 AM | Comments (3)

    November 17, 2004

    I Am a Material Girl

    What to wear, what to wear ...

    I went to the mall last night after work, seeking out a fabulous frock for Roo's birthday festivities this weekend. We're going to an "atmospheric" restaurant on Friday night called Dante's Down the Hatch - pirates! fondue! pirates making fondue! - and us Sexy Bitches (that would be me, Roo and Teem) have decided to be good girly-girls and play dress-up.

    Parties - every woman's excuse to buy new clothes.

    The words of the prophet are written on the subway walls, and they say "Highwaygirl does not look good in wrap blouses." The overly-attentive (but nice) sales girl kept feeding me potentials while I was trying on everything and running each item through the necessary paces – raise arms (to check for midriff baring), sit down (to check for spillage), thrust chest out (to check for gappage). I realized that I don't like sweaters all that much, and that my body type can roughly be described as "Fred Flintstone" - all torso, stumpy little legs.

    I didn't like anything (except a pair of grey pinstriped pants on sale for $20, down from $50 - pants should stop making me an offer I can't refuse!) and was about to console myself by buying a leather jacket that I don't need, but then the smell of chemically-treated cow skin started making me hallucinate, and I ran for the exit.

    Straight into the arms of Auntie Anne's pretzels! How I love them so, those thin, buttery shanks of salted yeasty goodness.

    Then to Dillards. I like Dillards because they always have these great 50% off sales, where you can buy Ralph Lauren shirts for only $74 unstead of $149. Sadly, I still can't rationalize dropping $74 on a shirt. My limit is apparently $49, which is the price I paid for a fcute Emma James blouse with french cuffs - I'm pretty sure I'd buy any shirt that had french cuffs. It's some sort of weird Pavlovian reaction at this point - that is "blush pink" with a black pattern that looks vaguely reminscent of the Chanel logo.

    PINK, Rappy. I bought something that is pink.

    I shall wear it and be a beacon of consumerism; a klieg light of conspicuous consumption.

    Then I ran through the Gap to look at scarfs. I am accessories-poor and feel like all that is standing between me and sartorial greatness (and Christian Bale) is a kickass yarn-leash wrapped haphazardly around my neck – but everything was either too stripey or too fuzzy or just too UGH to warrant buying. So I'm still one step short of being an icon(oclast).

    That's my goal for this shopping-weekend. Find the Scarf of Sartorial Splendor. That, and a watch.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

    November 08, 2004

    On My Knees I Think Clearer

    I am so haaaaaaaaaaappy, so HAAAAAAAAAAPPYYYYYYYYY todaaaaaaaaaaaaay. I was a little late for work this morning but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.

    *skips around the office, handing out daisies*

    The title of this entry is a line from a song by Snow Patrol (today's official sponsor), so stop thinking what you're thinking.

    But after that the floodgates opened up
    And I fell in love with everyone I saw
    Please take your time I'm not in any rush
    And it's in everything I ever write

    "Spitting Games," Snow Patrol

    The people who like to read hidden messages into my selection of song lyrics, well, you've got your work cut out for you today. Because they all mean multiple things! They could be referencing multiple individuals! Or multiple situations! They might be about people, but they might be about inanimate objects (although with some people I know, you could argue it's the same thing).

    Or hey! Maybe they mean nothing of significance - I just like the way they sound.

    On Sunday - was it Sunday? - I bought the new CD from Travis, Singles, which is exactly that, a collection of all the band's singles. Did I need this? No. Do I already have all these songs? Yes. But now I have most of the band's really good songs on one disk. Because I am willing to pay for convenience.

    Plus, it has the new single, "Walking In the Sun". Which I'll post here at some point. But now I need to go back to listening to Snow Patrol.

    This is the straw, final straw in the
    Roof of my mouth as I lie to you
    Just because I'm sorry doesn't mean
    I didn't enjoy it at the time

    "Chocolate," Snow Patrol

    There's no reason for this song to be called "Chocolate." Nowhere in the song is the word used, and I feel safe in saying the song isn't about chocolate, or a metaphor for chocolate. It's an excellent song whose title has no significance. Many of the songs on this CD are like that, and that makes me happy, because it shows me that Gary Lightbody (the singer) is non-linear. Or maybe just a git. But I feel a certain sense of sympatico with him, on account of my refusal to ever buy greeting cards that contain verses that rhyme. I hate that. HATE. You're trying to say something meaningful and special and you limit yourself to words that rhyme with each other? Say no!

    Light up, light up
    As if you have a choice
    Even if you cannot hear my voice
    I'll be right beside you dear

    "Run," Snow Patrol

    I'm going to go back and add links to all these songs later. I love listening to this song over and over because of the way Gary Lightbody sings "go" and "done" and "barely look" and "you" and "do" and "where" and "here" and "hear" and "dear" and "louder" and "those eyes" and "goodbye" and "nearly" and "slower" and "have" and "for" and "easier way" and "little heads" and "have heart, my dear."

    Okay, I think that covers it. I really need to go to Ireland and find myself a good Irish boy to take up with, and then make him talk to me all day and all night.

    Maybe you thought of it first
    Maybe I get all the praise
    Is there a place I can go?
    Is there a light to get me there?

    "Tiny Little Fractures," Snow Patrol

    Come to think of it, this song's title isn't included in the lyrics, either. Same goes for "Run" and "Spitting Games." Hmm. Now I'm finding this a little annoying. Because I'm referring to songs by their track number rather than their name ... because I can never remember their names, because they're not referred to in the lyrics.

    Wow. I turned around quickly on that.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:02 AM | Comments (25)

    November 07, 2004

    Mr. Bluebird On My Shoulder

    I think someone broke the time-space continuum. Because this weekend has seemed twice as long as it really has been. Which you'd think would be good, because weekends are never long enough, right? Nuh uh. It's really thrown me off.

    It started Friday night. I had big plans for Friday night. But I felt so horribly sick right before leaving work - greeeat way to start the weekend - that I scrapped them all in favor of taking an extra long, extra hot shower and curling up on the couch with a heating pad, a boy, a cat named Caygeon, and TiVo. I think I went to bed before 10 p.m.

    Saturday morning I got up early, got ready, went to the post office (mailing a Sephora return and a package for D_A - yes, finally! Be on the lookout for it, it's a medium-sized box), went to CVS (girl stuff and Welch's grape soda), and finally ended up at Old Navy. I wanted to look for dark brown cords for me (since I broke my original pair on Thursday) and that cool sweater for Clover.

    I couldn't find the sweater at all, and I couldn't find the cords in my size. Bastards. I found a different style of cords in a pretty caramel color, but in wearing them for 20 minutes at home they've already become too loose. So I'll take them back today and see if they have a smaller size available (they were on clearance, so pickings were already slim). I also picked up two turtleneck sweaters from the men's section, in black and heather olive (mine don't have those silly labels, though).

    Surprisingly, I think I love them. They look great on me - they're long in the torso (most women's styles look too short on me), a bit long in the sleeves (which is good, because I like to pull them down over my hands a little), and they grab nicely in the chestal region. Plus, I can wear my hair up with them because the sweater covers the scar on the back of my neck.

    I think I'm going back for the heather charcoal, too.

    I came home and took a nap from 3-4:30, and that really screwed me up because the rest of the night I kept thinking it was about two hours later than it really was. I thought the night would never, ever end. But that was pretty much fine, considering the company. We watched two episodes of Without a Trace, three of Futurama (with commentary on), then made popcorn and settled in to watch Army of Darkness.

    We've just woken up, and now Clover is about to go running. I am about to go get pancakes. But first I will feed the cats, because I think Caygeon has designs on gouging my eyes out if I don't feed her within the next 60 seconds.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:38 AM | Comments (1)

    November 04, 2004

    Crash Into Me

    Okay, this is an anti-Bush advertisement (you need QuickTime to view it, but it's worth it), and the ending has some profanity (bleeped out), but it made me snort when I heard it. The actress, whomever she is, really sells it. And I love the squirrel running through the background midway through the shot.

    I got rear-ended three times yesterday afternoon - by the same man. I was first in line at a stoplight, minding my own business, listening to Snow Patrol and rocking out, when the Oldsmobuick behind me tapped my bumper. Very lightly, though; he must have just rolled into me.

    So I check out the situation in my rearview mirror, and see that the very old man has put his car in reverse and is backing up. I wasn't going to even bother getting out of my car to check the bumper, since he was probably only going about 5 mph when he hit me.

    I resumed rocking out, and then ...


    The old man hit me AGAIN! Very lightly, but still!! So now I'm watching his every move in my rearview mirror. He backs up again - I can see his wife, who is in the passenger seat, gesticulating wildly - and then he puts the car in drive and then he gives it some gas to go forward and I'm watching watching watching and then ...


    Which is when I decided I was going to have to get out of my car and somehow dissuade this guy from his apparent desire to be a battering ram. I put my car in park and turn off the ignition, then I get out and go to the man's window. He's dazed. His wife is screaming at him. He's fumbling with the shifter and looking around. His wife screams more and tells him to take the keys out. I'm standing on the curb, at a safe distance, hoping he doesn't jam on the gas instead and send my car hurtling out into a busy intersection.

    The wife gets the keys out of the ignition, steps out of the car, then leans in to tell the man to GET OUT RIGHT NOW. He steps out and I ask him if he's okay, and he starts crying. The wife goes to check my bumper, so I joined her - there's not even a scratch on it. I tell her the bumper doesn't matter; I'm more concerned about the man. She tells me he's on medication.

    Me: "So why aren't you driving?"
    Woman: "Because I don't know how."
    Me: *stares*

    So I help get the man into the back seat of his car, get my car out of the intersection, go BACK and drive their car out of the turn lane and into a gas station, and then wish them luck - the wife was on the pay phone calling someone - and go on my way.

    It was just sad. The wife screaming at the poor man, the man being so out of it on meds, both of them thinking he was in any condition to drive ... I understand wanting to maintain your independence in your old age, but not at the expense of your and others' safety.

    Anyway, I consoled myself by buying a sage green suede jacket that night at the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:40 AM | Comments (2)

    November 02, 2004

    Waiting To Exhale

    It's only 7:55 p.m. and I already feel nauseated. I should probably just go to bed, but I can't stop watching.

    A couple of random things before I post this: I ran across the animated short "I Am a Desexed Pussy Cat" today, and it's hysterical (avoid if you don't like explicit humor). And Guster gave me Reason #589 to love them by sending me an e-mail today with the subject line, "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos." It opened by saying:

    This here's a friendly reminder from Guster to vote today in the most important election, like, ever. We all sent in our absentee ballots weeks ago, as we're taking an Election Day flight to England for our first UK tour ever. We'll find out who the next president will be when the plane lands. Or in 3 or 4 weeks when the lawyers figure it out.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

    October 28, 2004

    Burn Mothrafocker, Burn!

    The Shiny Shirt, it is no more.

    Yes, the Shiny Shirt of Increasing Horror is dead. I always said it needed to be burned, but in the end, it merely had all of its buttons popped off. In one quick motion - grab both ends of shirt tail and pull forcefully in opposite directions - years of potential embarrassment were averted.

    Of course I did preface my act by asking him how much he liked the shirt ("It's okay"), and after ripping it off him I offered to sew all the buttons back on ... and then backtracked and said I would just buy him a new shirt, since I'm too lazy to sew.

    The CIA questionnaire was right - I do have a future in clandestine operations.

    Thank god the Red Sox won. I wonder how hung over Clover is today? In other randomness, I think I'm coming down with a touch of the flu.

    Heh, ESPN is playing Tom Petty's "The Waiting" over World Series highlights. This song always reminds of the Simpsons episode where Homer buys a gun.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

    October 18, 2004

    Oooh, Dreamweaver

    My new bed is cursed. Comfortable, but cursed.

    When they unwrapped it, I could vaguely smell the protective coating that is sprayed on the mattress top. It smelled kind of glue-ish, but I figured that if I let the bed air out the rest of the day that it should be fine.

    Well, I was wrong. Last night I had one of the most disturbing dreams ever - my cockatiel, Nibbles, was in two parts. She had been, uh, bisected horizontally, and the bottom half of her moved independently of the top half. Yet both halves had legs. She had also plucked out all of her feathers, except the ones on her head.

    The dream me was absolutely horrified, and when I woke up I felt nauseated. I blame the hallucinogenic protective spray. Or Satan.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)

    October 15, 2004

    Kangaroos Will Rule the World

    LISTENING – Jake burned a copy of his Franz Ferdinand CD for me, which I am now hearing for the first time. Yes, I'm very late to this party, but I do blame Jake. Because blaming Jake is my new tradition. Come and dance with me, Michael...

    LOOKING – At the scratch on the back of my hand. Because Roo was right with her guess about the special delivery.

    READING – Something shamelessly stolen from MsKick's journal: Physics Professor Goes on Rage in Class.

    LAFAYETTE, La. - A University of Louisiana at Lafayette physics professor was banned from the campus Wednesday and taken to the coroner's office for evaluation after threatening his class, university officials said.

    Student Kacie Spears said professor Louis Houston lost control right after class began Wednesday morning and was yelling obscenities.

    "Then he told us if we got out of our seats he's gonna kill us. He went on the black board and wrote "911 now", so we were really in fear for our lives," Spears told KATC-TV.

    Spears said Houston slapped a student and then told his class he was God.

    LAUGHING – It's Friday afternoon. That's our only excuse. By the way, yes, Jake is in fact insane:

    Jake: oh yeah... did you watch america's next top bulimic?
    Jake: hahaha the drama was classic
    Me: yes I did
    Me: I wanted Jennipherrrrrrrrrrrrr to hit Eva and/or Anne
    Jake: i seriously cannot WAIT for amanda to get kicked off
    Me: the annie lennox looking chick?
    Me: I'm having trouble with their names
    Jake: yeah
    Jake: the fucking one that whines about being blind all the time
    Jake: STABBIC
    Jake: my hatred is immense
    Me: I like the fake red-hair chick
    Me: nicole?
    Jake: yeah she's good
    Jake: oh and i loathe the girl that is obsessed with paris hilton
    Jake: The one that had braces
    Me: Norelle
    Me: she likes to shake her boobs
    Me: *rolls eyes*
    Jake: they all must die
    Jake: Yes, it must happen
    Jake: DO IT NOW
    Jake: STTTTTABBIC!!!
    Jake: ** plays REE REEE REEE stabbing music from Psycho in head **
    Jake: ** blood of evil anorexic model wannabe whores swirls down the drain **
    Jake: GIGGLES
    Me: *shocked face*
    Jake: REE
    Jake: hahaha
    Me: REE! REE! REE!
    Jake: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/2311/stone.html
    Jake: "As everyone in the world knows, a midget should not be underestimated."
    Me: haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha
    Jake: "And that famous warning, "Don't f@#k with a midget" was born."
    Jake: hahahahahahahahaha
    Jake: I found it by doing a search for "tap dancing midgets"
    Me: you are an odd duck
    Me: *quack*

    Jake: christ we have like 2.5 hours left
    Jake: it would be so easy to just tumble out of this window
    Jake: my luck i would only break a leg
    Jake: have to crawl back in and up the stairs
    Jake: oh FUCK
    Jake: i just got that damn boy george song in my head
    Jake: jesus fucking FUCK
    Jake: DEATH
    Jake: if I didn't want to kill myself before, I certainly want to eat a bullet now

    Jake: Have you ever tried to count the dot impressions on a ceiling tile before?
    Jake: There are a lot of 'em
    Jake: Thousands
    Jake: **Sigh**
    Jake: Nothing beats staring up the ceiling and counting the specs
    Jake: one thousand four hundred twenty seven
    Jake: one thousand four hundred twenty eight
    Jake: Problem is, some of 'em are bigger than others. And to top off the nastiness, some of those bastards have grown too close for comfort
    Jake: So... do you count them as ONE dot?
    Jake: Or simply two dots against each other
    Me: This is like a spoken word performance
    Me: on planet Bitter Omicron 5
    Jake: Sometimes I like to just make funny shapes out of them
    Jake: Like looking for animals in the clouds
    Jake: OOOOH OOHH there goes a giraffe
    Jake: Now I'm curious what sound a giraffe makes
    Jake: no no, that's too much like a donkey's heehaw
    Me: The giraffe says, "KILL ME NOWWWW"

    Jake: Sometimes I wish I had a pet kangaroo, so I could just nestle up in the fetal position inside it's fleshy pouch
    Jake: it brings new meaning to "nap sack"
    Jake: I wonder if it's fur inside?
    Jake: Is it fleshy?
    Jake: I could probably research it online but I'm too lazy
    Me: I think I will find you a photo
    Jake: Plus i'm too busy trying to find those tap dancing midget photos I told you about
    Jake: believe you me
    Jake: a midget can tap dance
    Jake: victory
    Jake: http://delivery.gettyimages.com/comp/hq5936-001.jpg?x=x&dasite=gettyimages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=E01FA9654DDBAC7FF6316E0F95CABF8394D2604A015CF9DF
    Jake: http://delivery.gettyimages.com/comp/je6331-001.jpg?x=x&dasite=gettyimages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=8BC8AB09C62FCF1D03913CBB7EE2732B94D2604A015CF9DF
    Jake: midget AND a kangaroo
    Me: I really, really think you've lost your grip on sanity, Jake
    Jake: What sick fuck gives a little person a pair of boxing gloves and puts him in the ring with a kangaroo?
    Jake: Seriously WHAT THE FUCK
    Jake: I just wanna know where I can get tickets

    Jake: http://delivery.gettyimages.com/comp/hb1745-001.jpg?x=x&dasite=gettyimages&ef=2&ev=1&dareq=2FAE6168F24C4B13AAB7C82AE94416EA94D2604A015CF9DF
    Jake: Poor midgets
    Jake: All they want is the ball
    Me: hahahahaha
    Jake: I'll betcha that right after the camera flashed, they attacked the tall guy by the knees
    Me: dammit, I feel like I'm going to go to hell for laughing at that
    Jake: Tore into him like ravenous beasts
    Me: stubble on their sticky lips
    Jake: hahahah
    Me: *squicked*
    Me: I just grossed myself out
    Jake: hahahaha
    Me: http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/kanga.htm
    Me: TEATS
    Me: jesus, attached to the teat for nine months
    Me: that would suck
    Me: literally
    Jake: hahahahahahahahaahaha
    Jake: teats
    Jake: a most excellent word
    Jake: Did you know? A female kangaroo often has another baby in her womb 'in suspense', which means it has developed just a little bit and then stopped and waited. When a joey leaves the pouch, the mother starts its development again and it is born a few weeks after. If conditions are bad, such as times of drought when there is not much food around, the female kangaroo may wait until things improve before letting this baby develop. It is born a few weeks later and crawls into her pouch. This means that there are few kangaroos born during a drought and ensures that there is food for the existing kangaroos. The babies are born when the mothers are feeding well and producing good milk, and so that when the young start to feed on solid food, there is plenty for them too.
    Jake: That's fucking genius!!!
    Jake: kangaroos will rule the world
    Me: They will bring forth their dominion from their fertile wombs only to gestate further in their furry pouches, until one day, when mankind is least expecting it ...
    Me: and then ...
    Jake: I'm looking forward to it

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:10 PM | Comments (1)

    September 28, 2004

    Better Late Than Never

    Rollin', rollin', rollin'
    Though the streams are swollen
    Keep them doggies rollin'

    What the hell does "heeb" mean?

    You know how I waxed poetic about the fabulous new bra I bought at Victoria's Secret yesterday on my lunch hour? Well, uh, I changed into it while I was at work that afternoon. But Roo told me to! So I blame her. Anyway, it was a life-altering experience - so much so that I went back to the mall after work to buy another one, in Naked (*eyebrow*), which is actually a little darker than my skin. It's "naked" if you're, say, Tyra Banks.

    How is it that something as trivial and meaningless as a well-fitting bra can bring me such happiness? Are good foundation garments really that difficult to find?

    Yes. Yes they are.

    *burns all other bras*

    I'm wearing my new Franco Sarto 3" heeled pumps with the buckle on the top and not only do I feel seriously Amazonian (mmm, tall), but I feel like I could kick the piss out of anyone who dared cross my path. Like, say, a certain person that is annoying. I feel like I could deliver a kick to his solar plexus that would pierce his heart with my pointy 3" heel and leave him gasping for life. Well, if his heart was located behind his solar plexus. WHICH WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME, because he's just that reptilian.

    Move 'em on, head 'em up
    Head 'em up, move 'em on
    Move 'em on, head 'em up

    Oh, another thing - I do believe that Irish eyes are smiling. I think he just needed some time. Let me throw out some clichés:

    Time heals all wounds. - I don't actually believe this is true, to the extent that I don't think it is time itself that helps people recover from a painful experience. It's the things they do during that time that makes the difference. Because we all know people that are still holding on to some big bitter thing years and years and years down the road, like a remora on the great white shark of life.

    Time flies when you're having fun. - I agree with this, except for the times (ha!) when it relates to work. Then time flies because you're wrapped up doing mindless busywork after having been shackled to your desk. Tempus fugit, yo. How you like me bustin' a little Latin on your azz, homes?

    A stitch in time saves nine - The what? Is that some weird double entendré? I'll bet it's somehow related to "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," or whatever that saying is.

    Comedy is tragedy plus time. - I couldn't agree more. *hugs Carol Burnett* What a buzzkill life would be if we were unable to look back on bad times (after we have some distance from them) and see the folly of our ways.

    Time is on my side. - Yes it is.

    December 14th, baby! Peter Jackson is only getting $40 more of my money, and then I'm done with him. I'm so over Orlando Bloom at this point, anyway. And yet, I feel like I am honor-bound and obligated to buy the DVD box set for the last entry in the Rings trilogy, simply because I already have the first two. All hail conspicuous consumption! The proletariat shall rise once more!

    Count 'em out, ride 'em in,
    Ride 'em in, count 'em out,
    Count 'em out, ride 'em in


    *exits stage left*

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:56 PM | Comments (1)

    September 27, 2004

    Touched By an Angel

    I guess I'd better update with a post-hurricane assessment. The situation is good. I lost power for three hours Sunday afternoon, and there are some small trees down in the complex, but other than that no significant damage. Well, there are shingles all over the place, which means there might be some roof leaking going on ... but since I don't have a roof, I don't really care that much.

    The fact that my computer was infected with spyware (the dreaded "begin2search.com toolbar") yesterday was really the bigger pain in the ass. It took me two hours - and two downloaded programs - to fix it. It was heinous.

    I've decided that I will no longer boycott Victoria's Secret bras. I tried on the Body by Victoria unlined full coverage bra at lunch, and fell in lurve. I bought it in black; if I like it as much as I think I will, I will invest in more colors.

    Their lined bras are a little too industrial for me. Maybe it's because I wear a 38DD, but all of the lined styles I tried on looked like something Jana from the (Eastern) Bloc would wear.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:59 PM | Comments (1)

    September 07, 2004

    Words to Live By

    "Vengeance is a waste of time if wreaked upon those who will wreck themselves, if left to it."

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:29 AM | Comments (1)

    August 31, 2004


    The title of this entry has a hidden meaning, dammit! And I have five more Gmail invites. Does anyone want one?

    Falling down the mountain, end up kissing dirt

    My neck is all focked up to the extent that I will be visiting a chiropractic doctor of some sort this afternoon, since I can no longer turn my head to the left. Which is problematic when you're, you know, trying to drive and stuff. Plus, it hurts. I'm going to have him remove my right lung while I'm there, too.

    I promised I'd see it again
    I promised I'd see this with you now

    I am newly addicted to both the Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Cuticle & Nail Moisture Treatment Pen (ooh, clickable!) and these:


    You never wait so long ... here comes your man

    A leprechaun surprised me last night with the gift of Alien (the collector's edition DVD). I had mentioned Monday morning that I had looked for this at several stores on Sunday and could not find it anywhere. I don't know where he did find it; he wouldn't tell me. Keeping secrets already, I see. It's a good thing he's adorable.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:10 AM | Comments (1)

    August 28, 2004

    I'll Make It All Worthwhile

    I'm very scattered today. Thus I will post random thoughts using bullet points:

    • I went to see Garden State this afternoon. We were returning to "the scene of the crime." Heh. It was pretty good; like Open Water, I didn't think it quite lived up to all of the hype. But if nothing else I've decided to add Scrubs to my list of shows to test drive a few times.

    • Today I was told that I "make the best facial expressions ever." He was beaming when he said it, so I'm going to take it as a compliment.

    • Nibbles is finally getting used to the new cockatiel gym that my stepdad built for her. She climbed to the top of the ladder this morning, and finally decided that the chain is worth playing with. Baby steps...

    • I have decided to add Bender from Futurama to my list of cartoon characters that provide solid advice on life (also on the list? Master Shake). I watched the episode "The Honking" this morning - actually, I liked it so much I watched it twice - and fell in love with this Bender quote, spoken after the Fortune Teller asks him if he wants to die:

      "No, I wanna live! There's still too many things I don't own!"

    • My new celebrity crush just might be Donal Logue. I'm still thinking about it.

    • I just downloaded Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Strangelove." *hugs 1988*

    • I was kind of mopey and sad yesterday, but this statement made me smile: "I don't have to try to cheer you up if you don't want that. Maybe I can just come over and hold your hand."

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:31 PM | Comments (0)

    August 24, 2004

    The Long Arm of the Law

    I am wearing the brown corduroy pants of fabulousness. They are my You Know You Want to Touch My Pants, Baby! pants. I'm not wearing them by chance, either.

    So, important news out of California today - Sex Film Industry Threatened With Condom Requirement. As I am not a big consumer of the porn industry, this astounds me. You can legislate condom use?

    The warning, from Paul Koretz, a Democrat who represents West Hollywood and parts of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, came in a letter last week to 185 producers and publishers of pornographic material, advising sex performers to adopt "harm-reduction procedures" like using condoms or face the chance that the Legislature will "exercise its authority to mandate more stringent actions."

    Heh, "harm-reduction procedures." I wonder what else would constitute a harm-reduction procedure? I can think of one thing off the top of my head - the elimination of Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy. Because he harms my very psyche whenever I see him (clothes on or off).

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:46 AM | Comments (3)

    July 26, 2004

    Follow the Leader

    I shamelessly stole this from Roo's journal:

    20 Questions to a Better Personality

    Wackiness: 32/100
    Rationality: 70/100
    Constructiveness: 66/100
    Leadership: 80/100

    You are an SRCL – Sober Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you an Ayn Rand ideal. Taggart? Roark? Galt? You are all of these. You were born to lead. You may not be particularly exciting, but you have a strange charisma – born of intellect and personal drive – people begin to notice when they have been around you a while. You don't like to compromise, but you recognize when you have to.

    You care absolutely nothing what other people think, and this somehow attracts people to you. Treat them well, use them wisely, and ascend to your rightful rank.

    Take the quiz here.


    Damn, I cannot WAIT until I ascend!!!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:32 PM | Comments (5)

    July 15, 2004

    Smoking Makes You Nasty

    My life is rated NC-17.
    What is your life rated?

    The first time I took the quiz my life was rated "R." Then I took it again and changed my answer on the smoking question to "Tried once..." (because I did used to smoke clove cigarettes as a teenager), and that bumped me up to NC-17.

    Which is okay, because I don't date teenagers. Anymore.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:11 AM | Comments (2)

    July 12, 2004

    Aural Fixation

    This morning I whipped out my Sexy Bitch voice (much like Teem's sweater) and recorded the voiceover for the company's marketing DVD. I was initially just going to do a read-through to help the guy set audio levels and stuff, but he stopped me after the first sentence and said, "I'm not calling in _name of person who usually does it_. You're better. You're hired."

    I don't think I'm getting paid for it, though. Just now I had to go back and do a second line reading of "Searching for a job has never been easier."

    I think this could be my new avocation. I can do this from home. I can phone it in! Literally!

    Only 89 more days! Yay!

    I was listening to Pat Benatar's "We Belong" on me playlist, and after Googling for the lyrics I found that the song was actually written by Dave Navarro. Which is kind of cool - I wouldn't have immediately thought he would have worked with Pat Benatar (even though she rocks it old school).

    Anyway, I was listening to it and the lyrics were a little bit of a shout out to my best friend:

    Don’t want to leave you really
    I’ve invested too much time
    To give you up that easy
    To the doubts that complicate your mind

    Nice, huh? I should get a Pat Benatar greatest hits CD and rock out the whole day long.

    And then Winamp served me the Jim Croce song, "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)." Which I have always loved. According to my mother, when I was a wee small child I used to ask her over and over and over to play her Jim Croce 8-tracks. Yes I'm old. Hush, puppies.

    Anyway, "Operator" comes on and I am crooning along with Jim in my head. I think my faaavorite Jim Croce song is "Time In a Bottle" because I can actually play that on the piano. But the chorus of "Operator" is very poignant:

    Isn't that the way they say it goes?
    But let's forget all that
    And give me the number if you can find it
    So I can call just to tell 'em I'm fine and to show
    I've overcome the blow
    I've learned to take it well
    I only wish my words could just convince myself
    That it just wasn't real
    But that's not the way it feels

    Most of Croce's ballads seem melancholy to me, especially considering that he died in a plane crash when he was 30.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:12 PM | Comments (4)

    June 24, 2004

    Bruiser Baby

    I guess I should be happy that Rasputin's pickled penis is no longer the Most Emailed Photo on Yahoo!News - I was really tired of seeing that thing every time I checked my e-mail - but it's been replaced by the freakish muscle man baby!:

    muscle baby.jpg

    That's a photo from when the boy was seven months old! Eegads!

    The baby is German, of course.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:34 AM | Comments (1)

    June 21, 2004

    Oooooh, Dreamweaver

    I woke up with the beginning of a migraine this morning, so I took some narcotics and emailed the office to say I'd be in late, then I went back to sleep. I woke up at 8:30 and the migraine was gone, but I had had really bad nightmares!

    In the first one my company had moved to Durham, NC and it was my first day in the new office building, which was a high-rise with many other companies. Actually the building was shaped like an octogon and in the middle there was a gigantic amusement park and stores and restaurants and stuff. Anyway, I went out for lunch and got lost and couldn't find my way back to the office (hallways were different colors to tell you where you work - like, "I work in the purple block" - but I couldn't remember what color I worked in).

    So I was wandering around and no one would help me find out where I needed to go, and I was walking through other offices and a lot of them were filled with athletes for some reason. Like it was an athletic department I was walking through rather than an office building. And then I was walking through this one office in the blue zone and William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were giving a speech, and I thought about stopping and asking Shatner how to get back to my office, because I was sure he had been there before. But I didn't stop and ask because I thought Nimoy would get mad at me for interrupting.

    So I kept wandering and then I was wandering through the amusement park and the stores and the restaurants and I kept getting sprayed on by the big fountain in the middle until I was soaking wet. So then I was wandering around while wet, and people still wouldn't help me find my office.

    THEN, I was outside the office complex with a bunch of people and it was stormy. We were all looking into the distance and suddenly I saw a tornado start to form. And I said, "OH MY GOD A TORNADO!! THERE!! *points*" So people started running and I asked some guy "Where are we running to?" and he pointed to some shops across the street and I was like, "No WAY, man, I'm hiding in the field." So I grabbed him and ran into the field and laid down flat.

    Then, suddenly, I'm in one of those nice tour buses with the plush seats, but it's not as long as regular tour buses. We're now driving through the city and trying to stay on the right side of the tornado. We skirt around it, but then we're driving through the part of the city where the tornado just hit, and everything is all torn up and stuff.

    And then I shove Paris Hilton (!) off the arm of my seat and tell her "either find your own seat or go sit on your boyfriend's lap!" Take that!

    Driving, driving, driving. Then somehow we're driving through Norfolk, because I see the Scope. And people are leaning out of their building windows and spraying the Scope with water, even though it doesn't look like it's on fire. But then the bus passes the Scope and there are firefighters spraying it, so I guess it's on fire on the inside. I whip out my cell phone and call my friend Carol at the Pilot to tell her "The Scope is on fire!"

    Then I try to call the office to tell them that a.) I got lost, and b.) I'm being attacked by tornadoes, so that's why I'm late coming back from lunch. Only I can't remember the area code. I try 757, but that only gets me Carol again. Then I try 813 and that doesn't work. Later I remember that it's 727, but that's the area code for Palm Harbor, not Durham. ANYWAY ...

    After the Scope I see a building tip over and crash to the ground. I'm still in the bus telling Carol about it. Then I see another building tip over and fall. Then I'm suddenly IN a high-rise building and it's an apartment and I'm running through it screaming, "Mom! In the closet!" and I'm trying to find the walk-in closet because when I look outside I see tornadoes everywhere and I need to hide. Tornado attack! I dive into the closet and I'm on the phone with Carol again telling her what is happening and then I feel the tornado hit the building and then I'm falling, falling, falling, and I'm screaming OH GOD OH GOD OH NO into the phone.

    And then I'm suddenly on the ground, laying on top of a pile of debris. I look to the side and my mom is laying there too. We're both on big yellow evacuation slides, the kind you see in airline disaster movies where the people cross their arms across their chests and jump out onto the slide butt first. There's a woman standing on a stairwell beside us and I ask her how I got there. She points to the slides and tells me I got into the closet and rode down on the slide. I guess the closet is where those things are stored.

    But the weird thing is that the building is still standing, so I don't know why I'm on a pile of debris. The woman's little yappy dog is yapping around, so I get up and say that I need to go find my cats. But the woman says I can't go upstairs. And i'm like, LOOK, YO, I need to go find my cats!!! But she says NO, you can't go up there.

    And then I woke up.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:19 PM | Comments (2)

    June 15, 2004

    My Car Had Bad Gas

    I don't know if you've heard about the problem with contaminated gasoline that has happened in Florida and other southern states, but I'm one of the unfortunate 12,000 or so people whose gas gauges have been destroyed because of it. Damn you, Shell!!

    The ironic thing (take heed, Alanis) about it is that up until about three months ago, I was buying the cheap gasoline at Hess. I only switched to Shell gasoline because the Saturn dealer recommended its usage (due to some additive called "Techron" or "Tekron" or "L. Ron" or something; it's supposed to be good for the car's engine). And about 4-6 weeks after I make the switch, I get a tank full of bad gas.

    I knew something was wrong when my gas gauge read 1/4 tank left and I had only gone 110 miles. At first I thought that my car was suddenly only getting about 10 mpg, which wouldn't shock me, really, because at the best of times the stupid thing only gets 20 mpg (even on the highway). It's the only thing I dislike about my car, but it's enough of an issue that I won't be buying it after my lease is up.

    Anyway, the light came on to let me know I only had one gallon of gas left, so I went to the Shell station to fill 'er up. Only ... I only needed 8 gallons. My tank holds 15 gallons. Hmm, that's odd. I started up the car and the needle didn't even go all the way up to F, even though I knew very well it was full.

    So I figured the gas gauge had somehow broken. I called the Saturn dealer to make an appointment to bring 'er in, and the service manager asked me where I get gasoline. So I told him, and that's when he told me about the contaminated gas thing. Which had apparently been in the news for at least two weeks. I guess I need to start reading the newspaper more.

    The Saturn guy gave me an 800-number to call Shell and start the claim process, because Saturn won't fix the gas gauge under their standard warranty. Which makes sense; I have no problem with that. The estimated cost of repairs is $450-500. I called Shell and started the claim process, and a risk management agent working with the company called me yesterday to verify my information.

    Shell has a list of repair shops that will fix my car without needing an estimate (I guess Shell has a deal with them), but since my Saturn dealer isn't on that list - and I don't let anyone else touch my car - I now have to have an appraiser come out and meet me at the Saturn dealer when I take the car in for the official estimate for repairs. My hope is that the appraiser will then just pay the bill themselves, rather than requiring me to pay and then reimbursing me. Because if it goes THAT way, I'm going to require Shell to reimburse me for the interest that will be accruing on my credit card account between the day I pay for the repair and the day I receive their reimbursement check. Because you just know it will take them weeks to get that check out.

    The only thing I'm vague on at this point is if Shell will ask me to sign some sort of waiver against future claims. Which I won't do. I have no way of knowing whether or not that bad gasoline might have damaged something else in my car that hasn't yet completely broken or failed. I'll ask my Saturn dealer about the likelihood of that, but still, I'm not going to sign anything.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:42 AM | Comments (2)

    June 12, 2004

    Technicolor Dreamcoat

    I stopped by the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale this morning and bought a bunch of stuff. Mostly makeup (*shameface*), but I did find an amazing deal on a very, very nice black jacket:



    It has pink lining and a subtle striping. It was 50% off, so I got it for a mere $98. Which is probably a lot, but it's a "classic" piece that I will be able to wear in hundreds of different ways.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

    June 01, 2004


    I have 665 comments on me site.

    Sometimes I dislike the Bush Administration SO MUCH that I want to scream.

    Duckling Count – Holding steady at eight.

    If you're looking for some new music to listen to, I highly recommend the debut release of the English band Keane, Hopes and Fears. There is no guitarist in the band - it's just a singer, piano/keyboards and drums, but you wouldn't know it. You can listen to sound clips of some of the tracks on the Keane website. I especially like the tracks "Somewhere Only We Know" (Real | Media Player) and "This Is the Last Time" (Real | Media Player).

    Damn, I had a PAOTD (Petty Annoyance of the Day) to talk about, and now I can't remember what it was. I guess it really was petty.

    In preparation for my flight to Virginia on Friday leaving at the ass-crack of dawn (i.e. 6:45 a.m.), I have started going to bed at 9 p.m. and getting up at 5 a.m. I hope this will prepare me somewhat for getting up at 4 a.m. on Friday. I have to leave my apartment at 5 a.m. to get to the airport the recommended hour early. Bluh. And it's going to cost me about $30 for long-term parking fees. I hope Teem and Nancy appreciate all of my effort in coming to visit them!

    We will be heading to D.C. on Saturday for sightseeing, shopping, and meeting up with ... wait for it ... you'll never believe it ...



    ... BLURRY!!

    Oh, I need suggestions - what kinds of things are important to take in my carry-on bag when I fly to Virginia? I don't want to forget something that I'll need.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:50 PM | Comments (3)

    May 20, 2004

    It's Over

    I'm sure SOME person will read that title with an additional letter on the end.

    The user conference I have been preparing for over the past 10 days is finally finished. There will be some clients in the office tomorrow for follow up stuff, but that shouldn't be a big deal. I hope. Guh.

    I was wrong about the eight baby ducks - there are NINE baby ducks. And apparently three more adult male ducks have joined the extended family. So in light of this, I bought a 10-pound bag of duck food at PetsMart. Can't let the new guests go hungry!

    I've got more photos to put up later when I get home from work.

    My Stupidest Person In the Whole Wide World (Today) award for May 20, 2004 goes to Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Ass. People should collectively hand-wring his stupid neck.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:46 PM | Comments (3)

    May 13, 2004

    Eight Ways To Sunday

    She reached out an arm and touched him. Only then did he wake up to the fact he had company....

    "They both were gripping the back wall of the tank. He just about covered her completely," an onlooker said.

    The two remained intertwined for about eight hours.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

    April 18, 2004


    I have two sets of ducks that come around every spring. One is a pair of Florida Mottled Ducks, and the other is Harold and Maude, a pair of pretty li'l mallards. Today I fed them some bread and they let me get kinda close:


    Not much has been going on. I've had allergies all day today, so I'm wiped out. My mom had more surgery on Friday; hopefully the pathology report will come back with good news early this week.

    I've also been watching the series Band of Brothers on the History Channel. If you are at all interested in World War II history, I recommend watching it. It's a powerful, moving experience.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

    April 08, 2004

    Poor, Neglected Site

    My site hates me because I haven't posted on it in a week. *sob*

    Anyway, little miscellaneous things I will briefly catch you up on:

    1. My mom has melanoma, but we don't yet know how serious it is. She goes back to the doctor for another, more extensive surgery on the 16th.

    2. Roo is in town and we're going to hang out on Friday and Saturday. Woo!

    3. That new reality show The Swan sucks so profoundly that, after one viewing, I will never be watching it again. I will expound on its suckitude later.

    4. I think the situation in Iraq is going to blow up soon. Literally. And every time I want to remind myself that people are more than statistics, I look at this list of casualties.

    5. I continue to love and adore my TiVo.

    6. My new celebrity crush is Josh Hopkins, who plays DA Kite on Cold Case. And am hot.

    7. Touching Evil on the USA Network is a terrific new show and you should be watching it (Friday nights at 10 p.m.).

    8. I got my highlights redone two weekends ago and now I am much blonder. I will consider blessing you with a photo of my hair at some point in the future.

    9. Condoleeza Rice is going to get her ass kicked by the 9/11 Commission today. I don't think she deserves it, necessarily, but the Bush administration has trotted her out like a show pony to all the talk shows, and now payback is the proverbial bitch.

    10. I still hate Peeps.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:08 AM | Comments (3)

    March 16, 2004

    Everything That Rises Must Converge

    I had a very weird dream last night. I remember snippets of it - I was wearing my raspberry-colored tank top, jird and the jirdlet were there, at one point I was hiding on a bus with that Malena (?) person from Average Joe, then running with some guy through a hotel restaurant that turned into a maze, and at the end I was running through a mall to catch an elevator that sort of turned into an escalator because me and a handful of other people were basically climbing/clawing through all of this padding and insulation to get to the top. But when we did, we found that the top was blocked and there was no way out. One man found a pull cord and I screamed at him not to touch it, but he went ahead and pulled it and all of sudden we all started free falling down the elevator shaft to our deaths. It was in the middle of the free fall that I woke up.

    Here's an analysis of what elevators and escalators symbolize in dreams.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)

    March 10, 2004

    The Way We Were

    I found the coolest thing today! It's called The Internet Wayback Machine, and it basically lets you see all of the archived versions of a webpage. I walked down memory lane and took a look at the first few versions of this site. Ah yes, the cross country trip I wanted to do ... that was a lovely dream.

    I've got lots of little things to share today. Take a look at the 100 Most Mispronounced Words. It's cardSHARP, dammit, not cardSHARK! Although I think that's really more of an issue with people not knowing the correct term, rather than mispronouncing it.

    In political news, I'm not sure why President Bush is being so coy about sitting down with the full 9/11 investigation panel. It makes me wonder what he has to hide.

    The opening paragraph of this op-ed piece from the New York Times got my attention, quickly:

    A 10-kiloton nuclear bomb (a pipsqueak in weapons terms) is smuggled into Manhattan and explodes at Grand Central. Some 500,000 people are killed, and the U.S. suffers $1 trillion in direct economic damage.

    And finally, I am so sick of hearing about low-carb this and low-carb that. There's no way in hell I'll ever believe that eating a stick of butter is better for me than a handful of baby carrots. Please.

    The increase in low-carb items is clearly a result of consumer demand, but most scientists question how healthful some of them are. A double cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce still has as much fat and saturated fat as it would inside a bun. But low-carb dieters care little about calories and fat.

    It is good to know, however, that fast food companies and other food manufactures are at least attempting to offer healthier eating options for those of us who care to do so. I can't wait to go to Ruby Tuesdays in April. Knowledge is power, yo.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:43 PM | Comments (4)

    March 09, 2004

    I Sing the Body Exhausted

    Good God! Jen and I went to the fitness center at my apartment complex today at lunch, to work out. They've got a great setup in there - two treadmills, a recumbent bike, a stair stepper, and six different weight machines. It was overwhelming, but in a good way.

    I did 20 minutes on the bike (five miles!) and then two sets of 10 reps on each of the weight machines. And now my body is pissed off beyond belief. Heh. BUT, I can envision making this a habit, since all of the exercise stuff I could want is in there, in one place.

    Next I want to try the preprogrammed things on the bike. Apparently there are 12 different programs with varying intensity levels. Could be fun. Or, it could be very, very painful.

    There is a very interesting opinion piece on NYTimes.com today that compares Mel Gibson's vitriolic brand of religiosity with the touchy-feely "God Lite" that other people espouse. Very thought-provoking stuff, I thought.

    And here is Paul Krugman telling us how the Bush Administration's job creation targets are bogus. Yeah, knew that already.

    Oh hell, I need to vote today! Not as if it really matters, I suppose, but I'm going to cast my vote for John Kerry anyway.

    Two other things - the Merona linen jackets at Target are SO NICE, and I am in love with my TiVo already. I breezed through Alias in 38 minutes flat. Too bad the episode su-diddly-ucked.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:55 PM | Comments (1)

    February 26, 2004


    Bigfoot has been spotted in Michigan! Okay, so, basically it's Bigfoot. Or at least something just as rare.

    I have to get a cavity filled today. Bleh. I love my dentist, but I don't love his drill.


    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)

    February 25, 2004

    Yes, Jesus Loves Me

    It's Ash Wednesday! I don't even know what that means. My family was so not-god-fearing, and it's left me with a lack of knowledge about mainstream religious traditions. But I should get bonus points for knowing what Ramadan is.

    Anyway, HAPPY ASH WEDNESDAY to those that observe it in some way. Wait, is "happy" the right modifier? Should I be wishing people an "introspective" Ash Wednesday, or maybe a "solemn" Ash Wednesday? Does Blue Mountain have e-cards for this holiday?

    Why am I so amused that the New York Times' review of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" references The Simpsons? At the beginning AND the end. I just find that precious for some reason.

    HWG: okay, I find it FUNNY AS HELL that that reviewer has linked The Passion of the Christ to The Simpsons
    Overg: heh
    Overg: that's one way to knock the legs out from underneath a religious film
    HWG: and it ends with Homer
    HWG: awesome
    HWG: what the hell IS Ash Wednesday, anyway?
    Overg: it's the day Jesus fought a Volcano Monster to save the disciples from the clutches of Doctor Terror

    There's also a great editorial in today's NYT about this unbelievably crass attempt by President Bush to create a Constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage. Remember how I was talking about this weeks ago, and how I was appalled that a President of the United States would think that it was right to sully the meaning of the Constitution with an amendment that excludes, rather than embraces, an entire segment of our society? This is from today's editorial:

    (The amendment) would inject meanspiritedness and exclusion into the document embodying our highest principles and aspirations. ... The Constitution has been amended over the years to bring women, blacks and young people into fuller citizenship. President Bush's amendment would be the first adopted to stigmatize and exclude a group of Americans.

    November can't get here soon enough. I just really wish that Ralph Nader has stayed out of things.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:37 AM | Comments (12)

    February 21, 2004


    I am outta here in about 10 minutes. I'm getting my hair cut, then going over to the mall(s) in Tampa, then hopefully will get back over here in time to go to the post office, THEN going to Super Target and PetsMart.


    I got a very nice email from the person who won the auction for my Usual Suspects DVD. Here it is:

    hi, i received the movie today, thanks its great.. very fast shipping. thanks for the feedback and also thanks for the popcorn! :) that was very nice. the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me on ebay. i will be leaving feedback for you right now... thanks again.

    Isn't that nice? Now I feel all warm and fuzzy about selling on eBay again. Although I still haven't sold my palette yet.

    Oh, and it's my brother's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Rob!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:19 AM | Comments (2)

    February 16, 2004

    Madam Shrub

    Sociability is a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth.

    Jake-at-work sent me this link - A Man In Love. Check out the boy band moves at the end. I especially like the St. Bernard poster and the Mickey Mouse sheets.

    So, El Presidenté is in my area of Florida today. Apparently he's going to be touring a window factory that has been in operation for 50 years. No doubt he will try to take credit for that somehow. If only I didn't have to be at work today, I could line the streets in anticipation of seeing the presidential cavalcade ... and mooning it.

    But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.

    I had five eBay auctions end last night ($75 worth of sales!) and two of the four winning bidders have already paid, and one person is pending. Thank god. I also filed the Non-Paying Bidder complaint against the mental midget who won my first auction, and offered the MAC palette to the second high bidder. If she accepts it, that's another $52. If she doesn't, I'll have to relist it.

    If the palette sells, after eBay/PayPal fees I will have made $117. Woo!

    Are we fallen angels who didn't want to believe that nothing *is* nothing, and so were born to lose our love ones and dear friends one by one, and finally our own life, to see it proved? O gnashing teeth of earth, where would it all lead to but some sweet golden eternity to prove that we've all been wrong, to prove that the proving itself was nil.

    I have an appointment with the dentist today at 4 p.m., to get my teeth cleaned. Here's hoping that I get through that without involuntarily kicking the hygienist.

    I bought my first pair of mules - it's a style of shoe, okay? - yesterday. They're making me walk like a Nazi stormtrooper, very lock-step and march-y. But they feel weird sliding off my foot! Hopefully I'll get used to it. If not, I need a li'l moustache and some hair pomade to complete the look.

    (This journal entry has been assisted by Jack Kerouac and the Internet Anagram Server.)

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

    February 10, 2004

    You Are an Obsession

    No, not "Hey Ya." Well, not this second. I'm talking about Jason's Deli, my new favorite place to eat lunch. Jen and I go a lot, and I get either the Club Lite or the Turkey Reuben, and they are FANTASTIC (here is a PDF version of their menu). The frest fruit comes with a li'l bit of yogurt dip that is sooooo yummy.

    ETA: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! George Lucas is releasing the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD in September!!!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

    1973sdnative Is a Non Paying Bidder!

    So I decided to take the plunge into the world of selling stuff on eBay. My first auction was for a limited edition MAC eyeshadow palette. It sold on Sunday night for $53.

    On Tuesday morning, I got this email from the winning bidder, 1973sdnative:

    To: highwaygirl98@yahoo.com
    From: cnojeda@yahoo.com
    Subject: Question for seller -- Item #2984463409
    Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 23:28:02 PST

    Thank you for the opportunity to bid on your item. However I won the same thing about $10 cheaper from someone else about a day after I won yours. :( I'm sorry.

    Yes, sorry. Well, SHE WILL BE.

    So I wrote her back and told her that if she wasn't going to pay, I would offer the palette to the next high bidder, but would also have to file a Non Paying Bidder complaint against her in order to get my selling fees back.

    And she responds with this:

    Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 07:08:39 -0800 (PST)
    From: "C;o))ette"
    Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2984463409
    To: "Highwaygirl"

    Well that's just mean. And I'm assuming you will file a Non-Paying Bidder complaint against her as well if she decides she doesn't want it either...and so on and so on? That's fine, you do what you gotta do. I will just add my reason to not purchasing the item to the complaint. There are two sides to every story. I'm sorry you're mad about it.

    Heh! So then I replied with this:

    Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 08:41:42 -0800 (PST)
    From: "Highwaygirl"
    Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2984463409
    To: "C;o))ette"

    I'm not mad about it, but I shouldn't have to lose
    money because you changed your mind after the fact.
    EBay charges me a percentage fee based on the Final
    Selling Value of the item. I get charged that fee
    whether you pay me or not.

    If you have any questions you should look at eBay's
    Terms of Service. You bid on my auction. You won my
    auction. You might have changed your mind, but you're
    still on the hook as the winning bidder. I can't
    force you to pay, of course, but eBay gives me the
    right to get my fees back.

    As for filing the same complaint against my second
    highest bidder if SHE doesn't pay as well - if that's
    what happens, then yes. EBay is pretty strict when it
    comes to people bidding on items and then not paying
    when they win.

    Just so you know, in case you decide to do this to
    more sellers - if you get three Non-Paying Bidder
    complaints against you, eBay will delete your account.
    According to eBay it really doesn't matter *what*
    your side is or *why* you changed your mind. And
    honestly, "I won another auction for less" isn't an
    excuse that is going to fly with anyone.

    I have to wait three days after the end of the auction
    to file the complaint against you, so you'll get it
    then. I'll leave feedback for you then as well.


    Now, understand, at this point I know it is for the best that I don't have to actually send a pricey item to this mental midget. Then, I get this email from her:

    Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:16:41 -0800 (PST)
    From: "C;o))ette"
    Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2984463409
    To: "Highwaygirl"

    Like I said, do what you gotta do HighwayGirl. Whatever makes you feel better and takes away your bitterness.

    Muahahahahaha! This is getting interesting...

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:45 PM | Comments (4)

    Odds and Ends

    Just a wee li'l entry to catch up on a lot of loose threads.

    First, I am obsessed with the song "Hey Ya" by OutKast. Which Overg will probably never forgive me for, but I'm okay with that. The song is THAT good. I even sing it to my pets.

    Here is a funny conversation I had with Roo yesterday:

    Erikaxoxo: Avril Lavigne has her playlist up on itunes
    Erikaxoxo: it's funny what she says about some of the songs:
    HWG: does it include David BOOie?
    Erikaxoxo: hee. no. I thought the same thing.
    Erikaxoxo: Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" is on her list and she talks about how great it is "lyrically"
    Erikaxoxo: um, it's a good song, but not like amazing
    Erikaxoxo: and Nirvana's "Rape Me": it's a "great song to rock out to and get drunk and mosh to"
    Erikaxoxo: mmmmmmk
    Erikaxoxo: Avril = badass!
    HWG: Avril = Trying too hard
    Erikaxoxo: heh
    HWG: Ironic is a crappy song lyrically, since most of the lyrics are not about irony
    Erikaxoxo: exactly
    HWG: *hits Alanis with a dictionary*
    Erikaxoxo: I mean, it's a fun song...good to sing along with
    Erikaxoxo: but not lyrically!
    HWG: doncha think?
    HWG: onyerweddiiiiiingday
    Erikaxoxo: whenyou'vealreadypaaid
    HWG: I just had this exchange with the QA manager
         BMCompanyName: So, let me get this straight; you want me to test it so that I can write up the crash you found, so that you don't have to.
         HWG: well that's the *end* result, yes
         BMCompanyName: lol
    HWG: I am all about making life easier for me
    Erikaxoxo: hee

    Have you been watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on USA? I hope you have! Coco the Nawfuck Terrier one the God Loves a Terrier group yet again, and my beloved Les the Pekingese won the Toy group. Now it will be a battle royale between those two and Josh, the big black Newfoundland.

    To illustrate my obsession with "Hey Ya" here is a bit of a conversation I had with Rappy this morning (Crold is the CRanky and OLD woman she works with)(TM Me):

    raptorgirl: ok, now crold is putting words that I never said in my mouth
    HWG: yeah, this could get dicey
    HWG: HeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyCrollllllllllllllllld
    raptorgirl: dude! stop that!
    raptorgirl: I *LIKE* that song!
    HWG: hahahahahaha
    HWG: what's happening with Uzi?
    raptorgirl: nothing
    HWG: alrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalrightalright
    HWG: last night I was singing this song to the pets
    HWG: "I ... I'm ... I'm just being OTIS."
    raptorgirl: haha
    raptorgirl: you're batshit crazy. You know this, right?

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:29 PM | Comments (6)

    February 04, 2004


    I am so tired. Work is kicking my butt. I'm so exhausted when I get home - physically and mentally - that I don't feel like doing anything. Including update my site, unfortunately.

    Plus, do you really want to hear me talk about stupid work stuff? I didn't think so.

    But I will give you something worth reading - today's column by Nicholas Krystof in the New York Times. I don't really think I want kids, so maybe I shouldn't care that the next generation would be stuck with the financial fallout from Bush's capricious budget fantasies ... and yet I do.

    Oh, and Catie on America's Next Top Model needs to grow up already. I'm pulling for Mercedes to bring it all home.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:58 PM | Comments (1)

    February 01, 2004

    Brave New World

    I finally did it. I finally put my discontinued MAC eyeshadow palette up for auction on eBay. Let the bidding war commence!

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

    January 06, 2004

    A Story In 20 Parts

    I'm going to start this story, and you all can continue it through comments. You don't have to follow my style; in fact, this will be more fun if you don't. Just take a thread from the story and run with it.

    Skipping Towards Oblivion

    Some things you don't ask for. Some things, you just get.

    It was like that for Miranda. She never wanted for anything, because she got everything she wanted. And some things she didn't want, too, like the yelping puppy at her feet.

    Because this was no ordinary puppy. This puppy was a harbinger of doom. It was...


    Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:55 AM | Comments (10)

    December 23, 2003

    Meta (MAY-tuh)

    Quickly, before I forget! Last night I dreamt of:

    1. Running through fields with my friend Trina, on our way to somewhere. We got to a point where we had to run through a tunnel and I refused. I found people queued up in a line above the tunnel, asked if "this leads out" and was told that it did. So I got in line, and the line went through the audience of a children's show. I sat down, watched the last minute of the show, then bolted out the double doors when it was over.

    2. This led to me running through a college campus. I was headed straight for a volleyball net, but at the last minute I veered to the left, did a "ring around the rosie" move around the net pole, then kept running. I ended up at a bus stop for students which looked suspiciously like the Gold line bus stop outside the Diffenbaugh Building at Florida State.

    3. I was waiting at the bus stop with several other people, and then suddenly we were all sharing a car ride to wherever we were going. The car was being driven by Carson from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I am in the back seat. I look out the side window and say "that's going to turn into a tornado" and point at the line of black clouds in the distance. We drive a little, then I look out the back window and say "here they come!" Suddenly there are two tornados bearing down on us.

    4. As they are about to pass on either side of the car, I shout, "HOLD ON!" and then all this debris and rain and dirt flies past so we can't see anything out the windows, and the car rocks back and forth. The visibility clears and we're heading straight for a big sign on the side of the road. Carson jerks the steering wheel to the right, and we end up in a parking lot. We pile out of the car and then a man approaches, throws a drivers license at one of the guys in the car, and yells at him for signing for the bar tab with a fake ID.

    5. Later, I'm in the mall with a man who appears to be my boyfriend. We're looking at books. I find these big buffet servers for $3.59 apiece and pick up two. He picks up a book on Italian architecture. Then we're in Cooking Stadium from the Iron Chef show. He's doing prep work for the next competition. I'm sitting on the floor beside him, then someone brings us chairs. We sit in the chairs and then I put my right hand on his left thigh and start idling scratching it. He smiles and we have this conversation:

    Him: What are you doing?
    Me: I'm scratching your thigh. Because it subconsciously itches.

    And then I woke up.

    Weird, huh?

    Thank you, everyone, for your support and good wishes about my stepdad. I left work early yesterday to go down and see him and my mom, and he's in reasonably good spirits. The positive news is that he has a cancer policy through AFLAC, so the fact that he'll be out of work for about a month will be offset by the money they'll get from the policy.

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:54 AM | Comments (4)

    December 20, 2003


    Look! A new galaxy! Isn't it pretty?


    Its name is Messier81, and it's a distant (heh) relative of former Edmonton Oilers hockey player Mark Messier.

    Last night I fell asleep at 8:30 p.m. Which I needed to do, because I felt like hell. Today I am going Christmas shopping with my mommy, so I'm starting the day with a good breakfast - two Eggo Nutri-Grain waffles, between which lies a thin schmear of natural peanut butter and sliced bananas, topped with a drizzle of butter-lite maple syrup.

    Oh, and this story brings new meaning to the phrase "holiday spirit."

    Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:42 AM | Comments (6)

    December 10, 2003

    Hey Little Sister

    I don't understand the whole fascination with Trista and Ryan and I don't think I really want to.

    Maybe it's because I'm not a wedding person; I don't get excited for other people's weddings - either abstractly or when asked to attend - and I don't want a formal wedding myself. So the idea of obsessing over flowers and table settings and dresses and hairpieces and music and whatever just holds no meaning for me.

    Plus, Trista is a weird name, and Ryan looks rather whipped. I just think my hours are more well spent on other endeavors. Like counting the hairs on my forearm.

    Chefgracegeorge sent me a very interesting link - turns out I'm not the only person in love with their FAPs.

    And look at the pretty kitties!


    Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:23 PM | Comments (1)

    December 03, 2003

    Honk Konk

    Two things:

    First, I need your help. Specifically I need ideas about how to finance grad school without a whole bunch o' money lying around. Scholarships, grants, loans - any insight into any of it? Has anyone worked full time while going to grad school and lived? Is there anyone who wants to pay me to just be me?

    And second, because I was commanded:

    TanMarie6: Say, poor poor teem and she's the greatest we all love her teem teem teem

    Teem! Teem Forever! *raises kitten*

    Posted by Julie at 09:20 PM | Comments (5)

    November 30, 2003

    My Iron Lung

    Ugh. I think my lungs are about to embark on their annual rebellion. I had a bad time with my allergies all day yesterday, and by the time I got home from my mom's house I was in desperate need of my bronchial inhaler. Which I used several times before going to bed. The really bad thing is that I woke up several times during the night needing to use it.


    I'm still in my pajamas. I've just put Smith's Rosebud Salve all over my nose, because it's chapped from rubbing and sneezing and I know that tomorrow the skin is going to start peeling and flaking off in unattractive little bits.

    I'm currently watching The Bobby Bowden Show (yay Seminoles, beating the hated Gators once again) and searching for jobs online. I periodically search for jobs just to see what's out there. Everyone does, and nothing should be read into it.

    *stares at coworkers who read this site on the sly*

    I found the coolest job, too:

    Writer/Editor in the Public Affairs Office for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State

    Now how cool would that be? It would be all spook-y and stuff. Maybe the job is just a front for the CIA? It does say that a "TOP SECRET Critical/Sensitive Security clearance will be required." My dad held one of those when he worked for Honeywell. I think I'll put that on the application.

    Actually, what I really want to do is work in cancer patient education/advocacy/support. Every time I see a job posting for something like that I get excited. And then I curse under my breath when I read that the jobs require either a.) a Master's degree in Social Work, or b.) a degree in Nursing. Neither of which I, uh, have. Or plan to get anytime soon.

    I'm still at the point where I refuse to believe that those degrees are absolutely necessary to do what I want to do. I just think that all the qualities I already have - I'm smart, an excellent writer, a research expert, and I've, y'know, had cancer and stuff - should be more than enough.

    Let's see, what other little things can I talk about? I have lots of little bits of news to relate:

    • After bitching about being stalled on Weight Watchers, I somehow lost about 5 pounds over the last 8 days, despite stuffing myself during Thanksgiving. Okay then!

    • I've slapped my Amazon associates-linked logo down at the bottom of the main page. If you click on this link to get to Amazon.com, and place an order, I'll get an enormous kickback - i.e. several pennies. I will use those pennies to pay myself a meager salary for spending hours of my time obsessing over the best layout for this site, and the proper colors.

    • I forgot all the other little things I was going to say. Soooo ... I'll post them later, if I remember.
    Posted by Julie at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

    November 26, 2003

    50 Quick Bucks

    ... is what I spent at Books-a-Million during lunch. We won't talk about the fact that I bought two magazines (Premiere and Newsweek) simply because they had actors from The Return of the King on the cover. No, we will not talk about that.

    Instead, we will talk about the fact that I FOUND NEMO! The Finding Nemo ornament I've been trying to find for six weeks? There it was, wedged between two other ornaments. I got the very last one.

    I also bought:

    Winter Fun with Snoopy miniature
    Mischievous Kittens (fifth in series)
    Ice Block Buddies 2003 dated ornament

    Posted by Julie at 02:20 PM | Comments (1)

    November 24, 2003

    To Be Discontinued

    I can't let Teem get all the attention!

    If I could do anything today, it would be to bitchslap the fool at L'Oreal Paris USA that decided that reformulating the Quick Stick foundation was a good idea. Because it's not! The new version - Ideal Balance something or other - is horrible! I tried it on my hand and it made me itch!

    So NOW, I have to travel around to the other two CVS drugstores in the area and see if I can find the old, now discontinued formula in Natural Beige. I have to find it at CVS for two reasons. One, I need to return this GREATLY INFERIOR VERSION that I just bought this afternoon. Two, CVS is having a sale right now where you get a free L'Oreal blush with purchase of a foundation. And since I need to stock up, I might as well get free stuff while I'm at it.

    But I'm still angry! *RAGE*

    You know what this reminds me of? When Freeman discontinued my beloved Raspberry Almond facial scrub and reformulated it in a totally disgusting manner. Bastards.

    What things that you love have been discontinued?

    Posted by Julie at 04:01 PM | Comments (12)

    Monday Monday

    Happy Monday! It's a short week, people. Let's all hold hands and sing "We Are the World."

    Another Thanksgiving-related recipe - Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Chiptoles.

    Here's a quick public service announcement - today's episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show is the one where Oprah announces her Favorite Things (i.e. to give as gifts) for this holiday season. Yes, I am taping this show. I never tape Oprah because I don't really care about Oprah, but we're talking GIFTS, dammit, and those are always worth my time. I just hope my VCR timer doesn't gork on me again.

    Oh, another quick thing - if you've got the time and inclination today, please send some good thoughts this way for Mike June. June is the head football coach at Palm Harbor University High School. I've known June for a few years; I met him in my work as a sportswriter for the St. Petersburg Times. Coach June is one of those coaches who would go out of his way to make the time to talk to me after a game. It didn't matter if his team had won or lost, or by how much - he was always available for a quote.

    His attitude filtered down to his players, too. Every PHU football player I've ever wanted to talk to has been both respectful and willing to give me five minutes of his time. Which is more than I can say for a lot of other athletes.

    Anyway, June needs a bone marrow transplant, and he's still looking for a donor match. I'm crossing my fingers that he finds one soon.

    I was thinking about him on the drive to work, how I'd like to contact him and show my appreciation for how well he always treated me (as a reporter) whenever I covered his team. I feel a special connection to him now, of course, since we've both had cancer. And I'd mention that to him, but I think it would sound weird. I don't know exactly what he's going through (needing a transplant), and although I've been in remission for seven years I don't really have any advice on how to do that.

    "Seven years in remission - Ask me how!"

    I don't even know what I'd say if someone did ask me how. I could tell you how I've dealt with it on an emotional level, but as far as the physical part of it - hell if I know. Lots of luck and good fortune and doing exactly what Dr. Drapkin told me to do, even when he was pumping me full of massive amounts of rocket fuel and mustard gas.

    The Weekend - I got my hair cut (wonderful) and my highlights redone (FABULOUS). I went to a new place called Sommers & Co., and Kim worked on me. She's amazingly talented, and I am completely thrilled with her work. I especially like the color - she did foil highlights, but then colored all of the hair not being highlighted, to give it depth. It's very pretty, and I've already received several compliments on it.

    Lunch plans - Must go to CVS and take advantage of their "free blush with purchase of L'Oreal foundation" offer. I need more Quick Stick!

    Posted by Julie at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

    November 13, 2003

    It's WINTER!


    Tomorrow's high temp is 71!!!!!!!!

    SEVENTY ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can actually wear long sleeves! And sleep with the windows open!!!

    *runs around office screaming*

    So here's something interesting and bizarre I learned today. I'm having to do some research into the types of visas foreigners have to obtain in order to work in the U.S. There are two main visas to accomplish this - the H-1B and the L-1. I'm not going to explain the differences, so ...

    The H-1B visa is for three specific classes of workers. It is for (and this quote is from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service):

    Petition for alien to perform services in a specialty occupation, services relating to a DOD cooperative research and development project or coproduction project, or services of distinguished merit and ability in the field of fashion modeling. (my emphasis)

    Okay - fashion modeling needs to be singled out? And not only that, it has to be fashion modeling of "distinguished merit and ability." So does that mean that only really really good models get let in to the country? If you're a crappy model, we keep you out?

    Here's more:

    (C) Beneficiary's requirements. A petitioner may establish that a beneficiary is a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability by the submission of two of the following forms of documentation showing that the alien: (Revised 8/15/94; 59 FR 41818 - 41842)

    (1) Has achieved national or international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in his or her field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material;

    (2) Has performed and will perform services as a fashion model for employers with a distinguished reputation;

    (3) Has received recognition for significant achievements from organizations, critics, fashion houses, modeling agencies, or other recognized experts in the field; or

    (4) Commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

    It just stuns me that someone in the federal government gave this any thought at all. It's depressing, really.

    There's also separate visa classes for movie stars (O1) and rock stars (P1).

    Posted by Julie at 03:51 PM | Comments (2)

    November 12, 2003


    Two interesting sites I ran across today. The first is a site which has collected digital copies of famous American speeches, called American Rhetoric Online. I had no idea some of these speeches were available free, online.

    The other site is for the photogeeks in the audience. When he died, amateur photographer Charles W. Cushman bequeathed all of his 14,500 color slides to his alma mater, Indiana University. The slides documented American life from 1938 to 1969. IU has created a site to display them. Don't miss the slide show in the Highlights section.

    UPDATE – 3:50 p.m.
    I just had this conversation with Teem:

    Teem: You know, I never imagine you with straight hair
    Heewig: stick straight, it is
    Heewig: what hair do you imagine me with?
    Teem: You'll laugh
    Teem: I imagine you with Lynda Carter-as-Wonder Woman hair

    Posted by Julie at 02:47 PM | Comments (8)

    October 21, 2003

    Winding Down

    I just realized that Friday will be the anniversary of my remission from Hodgkin's disease. Seven years. Seven and a half since I was diagnosed.

    Wow. In some ways it feels like it all happened much longer ago than that. But it other ways, it feels like it was so much more recent than seven years. I should do something special on Friday. Like ... go to work.

    I am considering writing a fan letter to Nick Marsh. Nick Marsh was the lead singer of a band called Flesh For Lulu, which I used to listen to constantly in high school. I even met the band at a mall appearance, and had them sign my car. Yes, my car.

    Anyway, in our last mix CD swap on Looking Good, the theme was Soundtrack of Myself. I put a Flesh song on the mix, and ended up listening to Big Fun City/Blue Sisters Swing for a solid two weeks. I'd forgotten how much I loved it. I think it might be nice for Nick Marsh to hear how much I loved it, too. Especially since I'm sure Flesh For Lulu is pretty well forgotten at this point (I think they disbanded in the early 90s).

    So, is this a weird and freaky idea? I mean, who wouldn't want to hear that something they created - even though they created it two decades ago - was still significant to someone?

    Posted by Julie at 04:04 PM | Comments (1)