Thursday, December 28, 2006

From Texas to Missouri

Probably the worst thing that I could have gotten for Christmas was a digital camera with video capabilities. Because I will abuse that privilage from now on.

This is a video blog (vlog) of my trip home from my parent's house. It is one of the most boring and sleep inducing drives I've ever made. This is mostly due to the fact that I only have Remy to talk to and she just sleeps the whole time. I envy her.

I'd tell you to enjoy this little production, but I'm not sure if that's possible. It might not so much be "enjoyable" as "sad" or "painful to watch". But, I know that the people who haven't seen me in a year might like to remember that I'm still a dork. And this is the best way to really show that.



That was fascinating. I turned an 8.5 hour trip into 5.5 minutes. If only that's all it took...

I will torture you in the future with more inane things such as this. Unless my life suddenly gets exciting.

You're so lucky!!


End Blog.

Monday, December 25, 2006

My Mom Thinks This is Funny


And she's totally right, too. I admit it. It is funny.
Merry Christmas to me.


End Blog.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Dilemma

Mom, mumbling under her breath as she peers into the refrigerator:

"This is a crisis. This is a ketchup crisis. The great ketchup crisis of two thousand and six."

Stores are closed for the holiday. We have little ketchup and need for cocktail sauce. I'm not sure if we'll survive without it. Oh, the horror!


Trust me, the was the funniest thing I've seen in a while.

I love my mom. =)


End Blog.

Tablet PC

Oh! I nearly forgot!

I played with a tablet PC at work on Thursday for... well, all day. It's a little weird to get used to and if you really want everything to be in text format it would probably be faster to type it, which you can still do if you want to (unless you have really nice handwriting. I, however, still use capital letters in the middle of sentences when I'm writing and it doesn't always fix that issue - though I was surprised by how many things it figured out on it's own. The people who built that software - or whatever - did an amazing job).

So, the features where you actually get to write and draw pictures and stuff? Very cool. It could completely replace our bench notes and notebooks. I'm so ready to go paperless. I kinda want one. Okay, I really want one.

The only thing that sucks is the glare on the tablet when you're actually in the lab. The lighting in there isn't really ideal. And we are getting new lighting, but who's to say that it won't make it worse?

Plus, who knows if they'll actually shell out the money for this stuff. I mean, this would make us almost as cool as those CSI shows. I mean... Technology!!

Someone should really get on inventing all the cool gagetry the crime shows have. And then make it affordable for government agencies.

You could be millionaires!

Call me, I'll be your consultant for a percentage of the profits. And a tablet PC.


End Blog.

Throwing Things in a Cowboy's Mouth

I went to the Cowboy Mouth concert on Thursday night in Kansas City at the VooDoo Lounge in Harrah's Casino. It's a small venue with bars on either side of the place (not like metal bars, but like the kind that serve you alcohol). It's quite nice for seeing small shows.

However...

I was kinda upset with the crowd. They were throwing things at the band. Tossing the tootsierolls wouldn't have been a bad thing, but... c'mon... you didn't need to throw 12 million at them. And, it wasn't even on the stage. People were literally trying to hit them! Even I was annoyed and I wasn't trying to play music for them. If it had been me, I'd have stopped the show and left. As it was, they didn't even play Hurricane Party, so there was no reason to be throwing tootsierolls in the first place. And I kind of hate you for doing it because I think they would have played that song otherwise. And it's such a fun song.

Although, I do wish they would have played Irish Boy as well. That would have been a super fun song to sing in a crowd.

I know I'm showing my age since I'm complaining about this concert... but, someone totally pegged me in the back of the head with an ice cube as well. It hurt. A lot. I think my head is likely bruised from it because I still have a sore spot where it hit. I'm fragile. People shouldn't chuck ice at my head. Seriously.

But, I suppose it was fun all the same. Especially since I got to see Bren and Sam. Me loves them lots. (As does Remy.)

But what wasn't fun was only getting 4.5 hours of sleep and then going to work and driving to Texas afterwards. I was very tired. But, look! Here I am blogging from Texas in one piece. Hooray.


End Blog.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Weekend, Bloody Weekend

Remember how I said that Kansas City was the place to be not too long ago? Well... oops.

This weekend (after a rather slow two months) there were 11 homicides. Eleven!

Nothing says "holiday cheer" like murder.

On the bright side, these 11 deaths happened at only two major events. A quadruple homicide and a septuple(?) homicide.

There was also another group of 7 killed in Kirksville, MO this weekend, but thankfully our lab had nothing to do with that one.

Isn't it great that we're currently under construction and can't do lab work? Yeah... it's awesome.


In other news, I got a subpoena today. If there isn't a plea bargain or a continuance or anything, I'll be testifying on January 8th. I'm not really looking forward to it. Everyone, keep your fingers crossed for me until then.

End Blog.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sending Christmas Cards

I'm not a thoughtful or ambitious person, but many of the people I know are. I've gotten several Christmas cards from friends so far this month. I'm happy that they think of me, but it also makes me feel sort of bad for not being one of those people that takes the time to send cards. I should. But I didn't. Mostly, I suck.

But this, of all cards, has been my favorite so far.

Simplistic. Normal. Cute.

Except... when I took it out of the envelope, it was not upright. Therefore, this is not the card I saw. No, it didn't merely say "joy" on it. Oh no.

This is the card I saw instead:

One that says "ho!" This, my friends, is a brilliant card.

Needless to say, since I was holding this card upside down, it opened backwards and confused me. Then the writing inside was all upside down. Which confused me even more.

I imagine that I looked like a chimpanzee holding this card and trying to figure out its intricacies.

So, Candra, thank you. For sending this particular card to me, and for taking the time to send it at all.

And for all my friends out there... May you have joy (ho!) this holiday season and a very merry new year.

Please forgive the slacker in me and know that I care for all of you.

I hope this message brings you holiday cheer.

Because I'm a dumbass.


End Blog.

Famous People I Don't Look Like



I suppose everyone that does this sort of feels the same when they get the results.

And that is: "I look nothing like these people."

And that's exactly why they're celebrities and you're not. Totally makes sense when you put it in that persepctive, huh?

But... yeah. I look nothing like these people. Otherwise, I could be an Oscar winning actress.

The internet is such a cool place to waste time, isn't it? I should be doing laundry.


End Blog.

Kansas City - The Place to Be

I was looking over 2005 year end numbers the other day at work because I got an email from one of the task force meetings focused on sexual assaults in the state of Missouri. Last year there were 1369 reported rapes in the state. According to national statistics, it's been claimed that nearly 60% of rapes are never reported.

From that statement I'd give you an estimate of the total number of rapes that have occured in the state in 2005, but that sounds a whole lot like math. So, if you're really interested, knock yourself out. (I actually jotted a few numbers down an attempted this, but I'm not sure the number I produced is in any way correct. Though, if you're curious as to how bad my math is, I came up with 3423 total sexual assaults.)

Anyway, in looking over all the information, I've discovered something important. And that is this:

If you're going to get raped, do it in Kansas City. We have nearly 4 times the amount of resources (Sexual Assualt Nurse Examiners) here than in St. Louis. In fact, if you add up all the resources available in all the different regions of the state, Kansas City has more than all of them combined.

So, don't get raped anywhere else. You know... as if you had control over such things.

What a happy, uplifting blog I've produced here. I'm sorry I had such a need to tell you this.

I promise something more upbeat soon.


End Blog.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

My dog is wagging her tail in her sleep.

It's kinda weird.


End Blog.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Fraud Alert

This just in from your friendly neighborhood criminalist: I'm a criminalIST, not a criminal!

(Or, for all of you who never thought about it before, here's wonderful new information on how you, too, can become a criminal.)

If you buy holiday gift cards from a display rack this holiday season, beware. You may become a victim of theft. People have started jotting down card numbers in the store while waiting in line to check out and then, in a few days, they call to see how much of a balance they have on your card. Once they know the card has been activated and there’s money to be spent, they start shopping online. It’s suggested that if you want to purchase a gift card to do so directly from a customer service representative where the cards are not viewable to the public.

Also, remember to keep your purchases out of view by locking them in your trunk (I don't have a trunk!) and to keep your receipts and items separately so they aren’t stolen and returned for cash or gift cards. If the store’s policy is to credit your charge card (if that’s how it was purchased), it’s suggested to give the old plastic a little use as another deterrent.


Happy holidays. Enjoy Consumerism at its best.


End Blog.

Things You Don't Care About

1. I had to get the computer guru at work to help me fix a little problem I made for myself when I inadvertently changed a folder option in control panel that I shouldn't have. It required a registry edit to fix. I was scared. I hope I never have to do a registry edit ever again. Computers are just supposed to work. By magic.

2. My DVD drive doesn't always read DVDs I put in there. Some of the rented ones aren't even recognized. Obviously I've done something horrible to Freddy in my efforts to clean up hard drive space previously. If I get this fixed (if you know what's wrong, tell me!) I'll never have to worry about it again.

Edited to add: Sweet! I did a system restore and fixed this problem! Of course, I think I shouldn't have picked a date so far back because I had so many new updates to re-download. But I think I have my computer working all properly again. I'm sure it would read those Wonderfalls DVDs now! Just a bit more minor tweaking to do... Hoorah!

3. Okay, maybe not NEVER, but I have some time on my hands, for sure. I just got a 500GB external hard drive. My computer's never looked so empty.

4. Due to time and budgetary constraints, I get to paint my workplace tomorrow. That's right! They're letting us pick up brushes and paint so that we can repaint our lab cigarette smoker's yellow! (The paint is free because we have gallons of it already at our disposal.) This is actually exciting for me. I don't have a problem painting... and it's going to be such a lovely deviation from reading my training materials for fibers and the FT-IR. Plus, I don't have to dress nice. That's always a bonus.

5. My printer's working again! (It's amazing what a trip to Best Buy will do.) I have new ink. It's so expensive. Next time it might just be cheaper to buy a new printer.

6. I have credit card debt again. (It's amazing what a trip to Best Buy will do.) It shouldn't take too long to pay off though. Man, those two weeks were nice, we're they? I bet it wasn't even two weeks...

7. I think I'm going to see Apocalypto tonight. I really had no desire until I read the reviews for it. Now I think it might be interesting. And really gory. And it'll be really fun to watch Beth watching it.

Edited to add: It's always fun to watch movies with Beth! *Whispering* "I don't like the scary monkey!" (You probably had to be there.) The movie was... well, I expected better quality from Mr. Gibson. Let's just say the make up and special effects won't be winning any awards. There was some ridculousness going on. It made me laugh... but I don't think it was supposed to. At least, not where I was laughing.


Okay. I think that's it for this installment of things you don't care about.

End Blog.

Monday, December 11, 2006

You Learn Something New Everyday

I've been doing a lot of reading at work recently since the lab is currently under construction. It seemed like a good time to go ahead with my fiber training and getting familiar with the FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared). I knew I'd be learning a lot about this topic and that I'd likely find it interesting.

And you know what happens when I learn things? That's right! You do too.

For example:

There are many man-made fibers that come from natural compounds. I didn’t know this. I assumed man-made meant synthetic. However, this is not the case. Let's look at rayon. What I always assumed to be some sort of synthetic chemical turned magically into fabric is nothing but wood cellulose that comes from pine, spruce, and eucalyptus trees. This cellulose is somehow dissolved in an aqueous solution and extruded through holes of a spinneret into filaments with a stretch spinning process.

Clothes. Made from wood! It's not just for paper anymore.

Who fricken knew?


Also, I read this little tidbit that was really encouraging:

"It is quite ludicrous to expect that it would be practical, or serve any useful purpose, to attempt to determine the origin of all extraneous fibers found present on a garment. This is sometimes suggested in court as a practical and sensible solution."

That last sentence actually made me laugh. Because I know it's true. Man, I'm going to hate court so much!


That is, unless it produces something like this. I mean, really, Supreme Court, I love you. This is nearly poetry. At least, it is for me. You all might not find the beauty in it like I do. But really… moving.

Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as silent witness against him. Not even his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, that glass he breaks, the tool marks he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits – all of these bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong; it cannot perjure itself; it cannot be wholly absent – only its interpretation can err. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.
(Harris v. United States, 331 US 145, 1947)


Here's to me not diminishing value.

End Blog.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

English Laughter

Today I got sucked into YouTube for... well, frankly, hours. It's a frightening sort of addictive personality I have. Luckily I've never tried drugs because I'm sure that I'd be checked out of rehab and dead by now.

Anyway, I stumbled onto Paperlilies channel. I'm not sure why I was so enthralled there. Was it the English accent? Was it the random content? Was it that she slighty, in the oddest sense, reminded me of Drew Barrymore/Sara Rue? Was it the few times where she vlogged in an American accent? I have no idea.

But, seeing as how this was near the end of her video section, and after I had watched countless of her videos, I think I may have gone temporarily insane. (Someone spiked the vids!) Because I could not, and I mean could NOT, stop laughing at this:





I feel we would be fast friends. We have the same sense of humor and both think we're geeks.


And oh, the out takes!




So, Bryony, thanks. Even though I didn't ask for your permission to post you on my blog. Isn't the internet a crazy thing?

I suppose that's what happens when we put ourselves out there.


End Blog.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Homicide, Life in the Lab

Yesterday I turned in my very first crime scene report and diagrams from the scene I went out to... ooooh, two months ago and worried that there would need to be many corrections made to it. But, turns out, I'm a report writing machine, Baby. I received this email today from the sergeant (excluding case info and his name and such):

Nikki,
Your homicide report was very good and I approved it today. Let me know when you’re tired of the warm, dry lab environment and I’ll get you a spot on Dogwatch down here.


Doesn't he just make you feel all warm and fuzzy? I'm glad he likes my work enough to try to steal me away, but he doesn't really want me on dogwatch. I mean, I complain about how cold the interior of the lab is; I would not work well outdoors in winter time.

But I would like a pair of the awesome blue cargo pants the CSTs wear as uniforms. Though, I'm sure I'm the only one.

It's been a while, so I'll say it again, just to make sure there are no doubts.

Man, I love my job.


End Blog.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Potter

I just watched a teaser for the new Harry Potter flick. Things of note:

1. The boys finally cut their hair. Thank goodness.

2. It's coming out Friday, July 13th, 2007 - Not near Thanksgiving. Hoorah! Four months earlier than I thought and on a Friday the 13th.

3. Snape! Yay Snape! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! They can hate him all they want. I know he's a good guy.


Check it out.


End Blog.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Credit Where Credit's Due

Tonight I paid off my credit card. Completely. I have absolutely no credit debt. Not one red cent.

My computer, all those darn bridesmaid dresses, the many airline tickets to Texas and Missouri, my bed, and any other miscellaneous "Mmmm, I can't really afford that" thing I needed when I was in DC (And we are talking about need, not want)... it's all paid for.

It makes me want to go out and buy something ridiculous and expensive. Like a new digital camera or a laptop or a playstation or something. But, I won't.

Next year I'll finally be saving an almost decent amount of money from every paycheck. Finally. Maybe 26 is the year I'll grow up. =)

Of course, we're not mentioning the student loan debt. Maybe when I'm 65 and still posting on this thing you'll see me say, "I just paid off my education loans!" Shortly thereafter I'll probably retire. Or die. Or break a hip (I'm totally getting osteoporosis the way I drink Dr Pepper) and then have medical debt.

Anyway... it feels like a milestone. Now I have three credit cards with a balance of zero.

I'm cool like that.

(Doesn't this post heading sound like an episode title of Veronica Mars? I think I might watch too much TV.)


End Blog.

Edited to add: "Credit Where Credit's Due" is the title of Veronica Mars; Season 1, Episode 2. Confirmed. I do watch too much TV.

Watchdog

I think this is where Remy hangs out when I'm not around. I found her here today, just looking out the window.


She really is a watchdog!

Getting this picture wasn't easy. I had to sneak up on her and then just sort of guess where she was a) because it was dark and b) because the LCD screen on my camera doesn't work and I don't actually have a view finder.

So, should you come over and stay in my guest room, hope you don't mind dog hair. Because I think she's already claimed this room since she spends more time in it than I do.

(Photoshop really works wonders. You should have seen the poor quality of this image when I took it. Also, the new upgrade is waaaaay nicer for uploading photos. I no longer need two programs to do it!)

Beware everyone. Remy's on guard.


End Blog.

Upgraded

Blogger's been bugging me to update to their new system for the past... oh... 2 months? Maybe more. Today I decided that I'd finally just do it. Usually updating things leads to regret. Some feature that I love changes for the worse. Colors and style aren't the same. Fonts, icons, pictures... are all wrong.

For example, I just downloaded the update for Internet Explorer. It's all funky and cartoony now. I'm not pleased. Good thing I've been using Firefox almost exclusively for the last 9 months. I also just downloaded the update for Window's Media Player as well. The icons all changed. It's not the little round colorful circle anymore. It's an ugly blue flimstrip thing. Ick. I liked the look and style and feel of these things because it's what I knew. I don't like when things change and I'm too lazy to look into changing them back - if that's possible.

Thus, I didn't really want to upgrade blogger. But, I finally have after all this time. They wore me down with their constant "upgrade!".

Thankfully there are only a few minor things that have changed that I don't enjoy. Most of it was all for the better, and I will easily get used to all of it. So, that's why things look slightly different around here. But, mostly the same. Which I'm happy about.

I thought about changing the whole format, or maybe just the colors... but, I'm not really sure that I could handle it. I like the blue/green/tan scheme. It's purdy. And quite amazing that I liked it in the first place because it's a template that I didn't make any changes to.

Anyway... party on.


End Blog.

The Trickster

Remy lulled me into a false sense of secuirty this week. She's been nothing but the model perfect dog, but it seems she's smarter than expected. Or, maybe I'm just dumber than I thought.

Thursday evening a friend and his dog came over to visit. We were outside and he called to Remy, I let go of her leash and she went right to him. We repeated this again, this time with me calling to her. No problems. As it had recently snowed, and I could tell Rem wanted to run around in it so badly, I figured I'd let go of her leash so she could frolick with the other dog. And seeing as how he comes when called as well, I figured there'd be no problem getting them back.

Mistake!

As soon as Remy knew I let go of the leash, she bolted directly into the woods behind my apartment. Whoops! It took me a few minutes of coaxing to try to get her out, but eventually I had to trudge in there after her. So, I'll only trust her in fenced in, non-wooded areas for a while.

Friday night I took her to a coworker's house. (The same people that found her for me in the first place.) They have three cats and two dogs and a fenced in back yard. Remy had a blast running around in it. She's really quite fast. Also, I took a tennis ball with me so we could play.

The first time I threw said ball, I expected it to bounce, forgetting that in snow no such thing happens. So, I toss a ball, the dogs don't see it (it's dark out), and it sinks into a pile of snow. We humans have no idea where it is. We tell the dogs to find it. They're too interested in one another to care about a silly ball. There's chasing to be done!

So, we start searching the yard. After a few minutes I decide I don't really care about it and will see how Rem plays with a tennis ball some other day. I mean, it'll be easy to find in the daylight when the snow has melted, right? However, my persistant friend is still looking. So, I continue as well. The dogs run and frolick about.

Still no ball. It's weird that it could disappear so completely! We start making a grid on the ground and walk over the snow. Eventually we'll step on it, right?

It's then that I look up and see Remy dash off in the yard, tennis ball held firmly in mouth. I could swear she's laughing at me.

How long did she have that thing!?

She's a trickster, I tell you! Trickster!

I think I've trusted her to quickly. There's some mischievousness in her still. Though, I do blame myself for yelling, "Play with me!!" Obviously we have two different ideas of what exactly that means.


End Blog.


PS - I would like to note something I find utterly hilarious. Rem's afraid of cats. Afraid! She won't go near them, avoids them at all costs, actually jumps when surprised by one, AFRAID! It's too funny. Poor girl. Something traumatic must have happened in her puppyhood.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Truth



Not much else for me to add to this brilliance.

I kinda want to paint my face blue and run around yelling "Freedom!"


End Blog.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Newsworthy

I should really start watching the news. I haven't really seen a weather report in a while. Who knew we were supposed to get all this snow today? Well, apparently everyone but me.

We got out of work early again today. I'm loving this salary thing more and more. Although, I feel like I'm getting nothing accomplished at work. I keep getting interrupted in the middle of things.

Also, I managed to get a paper cut today in the lunch room on some tin foil. I haven't done that before, but let me tell you... Ouch! That hurts way more than regular paper cuts. And it bled a whole lot too. So, I played with the first aid kit in the lab today so I didn't contaminate all the stuff I was looking at. Especially since I was doing a lot of confirmation tests for blood.

It took me an hour to drive home. It usually takes about 25 minutes, but people really freak out about snow. Once we hit the bridge, no one did over 15 miles per hour. Don't you think that's overly conservative? I do. I mean, you have to at least do 40 so that you don't need to use your windshield wipers. Sadly, mine were a big mess of snow and ice and not actually all that helpful the last, oh... 10 miles of the trip.

Now that I'm home and the car's parked in the lot they're working wonderfully. But my feet are really very cold.

It's currently 18 degrees outside. With the wind chill it's supposed to feel like 5. The forecast claims we're getting 6-10 inches of snow. And me, without my shovel. I knew there was something I was supposed to do...

Whoops.


End Blog.

PS - Remy likes the snow. I need a fenced yard or something so I can really play with her. I know she wants to run around in it, but I have to keep her on a leash. It's kind of sad.

Lost and Found

I had a dream that I was at the airport with my dog and I lost her. Not only did I lose her, but I didn't realize she was missing. Someone brough her back to me and said, "Um, isn't this your dog?" It was an hour since I remembered seeing her.

Are we sure I'm cut out for this whole "dog ownership" thing? I mean, I'm still nowhere close to being a grown-up, right? Isn't the rule if you still use the word grown-up then you aren't really one because only adults use the word adult?

I'm pretty sure I'm not a grown-up.

And I may be prone to losing dogs.


End Blog.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Driving in Ice and Snow: A How To

Obviously I have a good father. I know this because I had a lecture on how to drive in ice and snow. Actually, I probably had several. Eventually I rolled my eyes and tuned them out. But everyone should have that at some point in their lives so they don't end up like the drivers I saw on the road today.

People don't know how to drive in ice and snow. Although, I'm not really happy about their driving in the rain either, so I didn't really expect much from them.

Therefore, I've come up with several tips for everyone on how to drive in the hazardous weather conditions today:

1. The faster you drive, the more friction and heat your quickly rotating tires are forming with the pavement. Heat melts ice. So, the faster you drive, the less chance you have of ice under your tires. Simple physics, really. Aren't all the well traveled highways always better than unused side streets? I rest my case.

2. Stop as quickly as possible. This also creates heat on the pavement, melting ice directly beneath your tires. People who take their time stopping have a much greater chance of sliding or skidding as they do so. Not only are they producing less heat, they're giving the ice a greater chance to get them. Stopping fast prevents this.

3. If you are already moving and come to a side street that looks to have a considerable amount of snow on it, don’t worry! Your car is large and will be able to drive through that snow without any trouble at all. After all, it’s only frozen water. No big deal.

4. It's been said that you shouldn’t drive at all in blizzard conditions or "snow emergencies", but that’s actually the best time to drive anywhere because no one else is on the road. Finally! All those other people won't be in your way. The officials are just trying to scare you off the roads so they can have them all to themselves.

If you follow these rules, you shouldn't ever find yourself out of control in your vehicle, regardless of rear/front/four wheel drive. But, should you forget them and start skidding, sit back and enjoy the ride as if you are in an amusement park. It's likely one of the biggest thrills you'll have and you didn't even have to pay for it!

I hope that you find these tips useful. Stay safe out there.

Remember, always use your seat belt.

End Blog.

(Disclaimer: The author of this post is not responsible for you or anything that happens to you. In fact, should you try to sue her, she will counter with a lawsuit of her own based on your complete lack of understanding of sarcasm. Also, please note, these are not words of wisdom from the author's father, as she has previously stated she tunes him out regularly.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Go Home Jack Frost

I was just listening to the news and the weather came on. The forecaster started talking about this "winter storm" that we're currently having. (It's been raining for 2 days.) First of all, you can't call anything a winter storm unless it's cold outside. It's been nearly 70 the past 2 days. Secondly, as weather people know, it's not winter yet. That doesn't actually happen until the end of December. This is not a winter storm.

Now that I've said all of this – I'll let you know what he was actually talking about.

Apparently it's about to get way cold here. The high – yes, the HIGH – on Thursday is 28. Brrr. Today at work I wore a long sleeved t-shirt, a sweater, and my coat all day because I was freezing. It was 69 degrees outside today. Have I mentioned that I work indoors?

Anyway, we're supposed to have sleet and possible snow Wednesday night into Thursday, with no accumulation. I also don't think that qualifies as a "winter storm" though. I mean… Missouri gets real snow, right?

I'm so not looking forward to the temperature change. It's been so nice. Winter is the worst season. What happened to all that "global warming" that's happening all over the place? Where is El NiƱo?

I'm not sure why that bothered me so much that I had to complain about it. But it did. Stupid Winter Storm Watch. *clings to nice weather*

Don't leave me!

End Blog.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Photo Log

Here are a few photos from the holiday. Possibly if I'm ambitious I shall tell you stories of travel. Like how I continually miss exits, the "Don't Drive Into Smoke" signs, and the confusing toll system. Although, you may never read about those things because there were like, 12 things I thought I should write about on the drive and I already don't remember most of them. I should have a dictaphone or someone that follows me around that knows shorthand. That could be fun, no?

But nothing's more fun than pictures! This is more enjoyable anyway.


Upon arrival in Texas, we attempt to settle the yellow dogs down and take a "girls only" picture. Sadly, you can see Dad's whole left side. Pretend he isn't there.

Don't I look nice after 9 hours of travel?



A doggie family photo. No easy task. Isn't it really weird to see 4 dogs inside? I still can't get over it.

Look, Remy's smiling.



Thanksgiving. My dog eats way fast and in the laying position - Closer to the food that way.

I shoveled food into my mouth in much the same fashion. Nothing beats Mom's stuffing. Yumm-o.



Zonked out on all that tryptophan. She's taking after me already.

Man, that couch is evil. It's so comfy and you kinda just fall into it. Snoooooooze.



My sleepin' Remikins. We're not big enough football fans to stay awake. Though, she was cheering for the Longhorns. See that team color around her neck?



Bookends. Savvy and Remy, my two girls. It's somewhat eerie how similar they are.



I must have just woken up. I don't even remember this being taken.


Overall it was a lovely trip. Rem was well behaved and everyone got along. It was nice to see the 'rents as well. And I swindled a free oil change out of my dad and enough food to feed an army out of mom.

My car now has almost 22,000 miles on it and I'm quite sure it no longer has a new car smell. (I couldn't smell it but others could.) Now, I think it mostly smells a little doggie. But, such is life. All my things will smell like that soon. She's worth it though. Remy likes to love you. Lots.

End Blog.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Opposable Thumbs

Remy didn't pack a single thing for the trip to Texas. I told her we were leaving in the morning but she didn't seem to care. There was an excuse about not having opposable thumbs, but I think that's pretty lame. I mean, I hate to pack and I did it anyway.

We just went outside before turning in for the night. Something in the darkness scared the bajeezus out of both of us. I'm not really sure what it was, but I'm telling myself it was a raccoon that scampered back off into the woods when it saw us. Whatever it was, it was pretty creepy. I need a good flashlight, me thinks. Not just for me, but for crime scenes as well. So, if you're in the market for a Christmas gift... I want a really good rechargable flashlight.

Anyway, after being scared by the "raccoon", Remy had a hard time focusing on why she was outside in the first place. So, don't be surprised if we get mauled by a raccoon someday. Or... you know... whatever the heck it was out there lurking in the dark - opposable thumbs or not.


End Blog.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Family Pictures

What I really need is a better camera that doesn't have a broken self timer. Because I'm sure I could take way cuter pictures if I could actually use a flash and have the camera an appropriate distance away. Alas, that's not the case.



Of course, there's a high chance that these pictures would be waaaaaaay cuter if I wasn't in them. =) Surprisingly enough, I'm not torturing her. She really likes to be right on top of you. She fell alseep in my lap earlier... just snoring away. I'm certain this dog is part lab and not golden retriever.



Speaking of retrieving... We played fetch today. She's actually a pretty good retriever. She was so incredibly excited to play. She would run and get her toy and sprint back to me, sliding head first across the carpet and into my lap. Adorable. She makes me laugh.

Oh, and she loves Marrowbones more than life itself, I think. Thank goodness she's come to live with me. I'm certain she wasn't being treated correctly in her last home. She was a dog there, not family.

End Blog.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Remington

I may have accidentally named my dog.

I've been "trying out" the name Remi (Remy? I haven't decided on spelling) and she started to actually respond to it. Can dogs relearn their names that quickly? Should I keep it as Remington by default? She seemed to accept it quite readily.

Her head snaps my way and the ears perk up when she hears it. And she just trotted in from another room after I yelled, "Remi?" She may be highly intelligent.

I'm looking for something not very common and not insanely girly. I think I could swing Remington as a girl's name. Depsite the fact that Remington Steele was created specifically because it sounded masculine so Laura Holt could get some business. (Speaking of, that seems like a series that's screaming, "Nikki, watch me!" so I put it in my Blockbuster queue.)

She likes to follow me around when I move. And when I went into the kitchen to get a drink, she took a drink of water too. It was kind of cute, but I'm sure completely coincidental. I ordered pizza tonight. For several reasons.

1. Easy.
2. I have no food in my house.
3. Pizza delivery comes with a complimentary knock on your door.
4. No dog of mine will strictly eat dog food. The first approved "people food" a dog should have is pizza crust. (Yes, I know, she'll be completely spoiled.)

I learned a couple things tonight.

1. My dog still doesn't bark when someone's at the door.
2. She also behaves extremely well - no jumping, no trying to tackle the pizza guy. She stays inside while I stand with the door open and sign my name for the credit card. This is an amazingly awesome trait. But probably also bad... I don't think she understands her job as "protector".
3. Every dog likes pizza crust.
4. She can only kind of catch food flung at her head. But the sit pretty thing should be relatively easy to teach.

I was supposed to leave for a few hours today to make sure she could handle being alone. Except... I really had no desire to leave my apartment today. So... I didn't. I think she'll be okay on her own tomorrow while I'm at work. But, if she's not... well, it's my own fault for not testing that theory out. This also means that I didn't buy her new food dishes. The Tupperware's working just fine.

I'm expecting something to go horribly wrong soon though. I mean, everything's been going so smoothly since she came home. No dog can possibly be this good, right?

End Blog.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Nameless Wonder

My new roommate moved in this afternoon and Thor, reluctantly moved on to his next security job. She's a cutie, idn't she? I haven't found a name fitting of her yet, but we're getting along well so far. She's well bahaved and a lover. She's considered a Golden Retriever mix, but she hasn't retrieved anything for me yet, so I'm skeptical. I love her just the same though.




Doesn't she look nice in her brand new spiffy collar? Orange is the new pink.



She didn't seem too pleased to have me taking pictures with the flash, but she did sit still for a bit.



Until I fed her and she laid down. Lazy. My kind of girl. Don't worry, I'm buying real dishes for her tomorrow. I was unimpressed with the PetSmart selection.



See? I told you she wasn't a fan of the flash. But lookit that cute little brown nose.

She likes to lick things. If you do not like to be licked, you probably shouldn't come over.

But do think of a good name for her. I'm having trouble finding the right one.

End Blog.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lock Down

Today I purchased renter's insurance and got a dead bolt installed on my back door. The place is far from fortified, but things are better than they were. My saftey latch thing has been replaced and I have all new locks. My stalker is going to have to break a whole lot more than a little piece of metal next time.

You know, like glass. But, I feel there's nothing I can really do about that.

I've made a friend in the Shoal Creek patrol. He was at my apartment last night taking my information for a police report and dusting for prints. You know, that's one thing I've always appreciated. Really. I mean, fingerprint powder is some messy stuff. I've always been happy I wasn't printing my own things and didn't have to clean up afterwards. Sadly, I didn't have that luxury last night. I need to get out my vacuum, but even then, I don't know that it'll pick up all the extra powder settling into my carpet. And sure, soap and water does the job, but man, is it messy.

Right now, my new watchdog, Thor, is resting comfortably in the living room in all his "King of the Castle" glory. He thinks he's the boss of me. It's very likely true.

End Blog.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sic 'Em, Thor!

I'm getting the biggest, meanest, scariest dog that money can buy. I see stitches and bruises and bleeding in my future. No one will ever want to come to my house ever again.

But they won't be breaking in, either.

How do we feel about the name Thor? I'm not quite sure it's macho enough.


End Blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Math is Hard

I helped a 15 year old figure out how to do her algebra homework this evening because she missed her last class.

It was actually pretty fun.

Sometimes I think I would have been a really awesome teacher.


End Blog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rock on Virginia

Hey! Allen finally conceded!

Guess he's regretting that “macaca" comment now, as he was comfortably ahead in the polls until that happened.

You know, I hadn't heard about it until I saw it on Jon Stewart. So, I guess I have him to thank for the Democrats taking control of the Senate.

Stewart/Colbert 2008!


End Blog.

Insanity

I actually thought I was going crazy tonight. I was sitting, watching TV - the second episode of Wonderfalls - and I could swear I could hear the Veronica Mars theme. I've just recently gotten this song out of my head. But, there it was.

Was I imagining it?
Was I just hearing it in my head?
Were my neighbors up and watching the show?

No. No. No...

The song is actually playing in the background of several scenes during this episode. It took me forever to finally realize that. I wish you could have seen me. I'm sure I actually looked quite insane.

So wierd. Who knew that anyone had every really heard that song before? I mean, I hadn't... and now it seems to be everywhere.

It's also back in my head. Likely for the next few days.


End Blog.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Overzealousness

Yes, I jumped the gun last night (or rather, early this morning) in reporting the winners of the Senate race. I was certain Montana was more of a sure thing than either Virginia or Missouri, and the good guys were (basically) winning there. But, I suppose there was a reason Fox News and CNN hadn’t called it yet. But, the good news is in - they're finally calling Montana.

I’m still wearing my indigo glasses though, so things are looking pretty blue all around from here. Especially since McCaskill won. Plus, I just learned an interesting little tidbit.

Remember Amendment 2, Missouri’s stem cell initiative? It totally passed. 1,024,136 to 996,584. (Or if you’re a percent kind of person: 50.7% to 49.3% - but I’m sure these numbers will change again.) Amazing! I really didn’t think it was going to because so many people were confused by the stupid advertising going on; labeling it “Tricky 2”.

However, one thing that didn’t pass was the tobacco tax. Damn. Would ya’ll just stop smoking already? I wish I could vote all the indoor places like bars and restaurants smoke free. I’m so sick of coming home smelling like smoke. Stupid cigarettes.

But… Yay! Stem cells! Now we can find cures to your cancers, you stupid smokers.

Oh yeah, and Donald Rumsfeld (good ol' Rummy!) has resigned. Things are looking up.


End Blog.

PS… as a former resident of Pennsylvania I’d just like to say scream, “Suck it, Santorum!”

Blue

I'm blogging to you from a remote undisclosed location where, through my indigo colored classes, I see the Democrats taking majority control over both the House and the Senate and Republicans consecutively thanking God during their concession speeches.

Amen to that.

I know that you don't believe that I have such influence over politics, but do you really think it was a coincidence that both Virginia and Missouri were the most hotly contested Senate races? I lived in both states this year alone. Too bad I only got to vote in one of them.

Virginia passed a law banning gay unions and defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Missouri voted no on their stem cell research initiative. So, Missouri didn't ban cloning. In fact, all it did was keep stem cell research entirely unrestricted. In a way a guess that's a win. The research is just not getting state funding or any regulations (good or bad) anytime soon.

Anyway… welcome to my world. Democrats will take back the Senate. I'm giving them Missouri, Virginia, and Montana and hoping I don't wake up heartbroken in the morning.


Yay McCaskill!
Go big blue!


End Blog.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My Civic Duty

If you're voting in KC and haven't taken the time to look at some of the things that are showing up on your ballot tomorrow, here's a brief and non-encompassing overview of some of the issues:


Amendment 2 allows for research on stem cells taken from fertilized eggs only if they are left over from in vitro fertilization and are donated by the couple who produced them. Scientists would be prohibited from fertilizing a human egg solely for research purposes. However – and here's the major sticking point (you know, other than that pesky "cells are life" thing): Stem cells can also be created in the laboratory through somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the nucleus of a body cell is placed into an egg. Basically "cloning", as this cell starts to divide and begin to create a "new human". Of course, this would never actually happen because they wouldn't let the cells grow into a human. You'd need to implant them into a woman's uterus to do so.

All scientists are doing is growing a bunch of the donated person's cells in a dish. Those cells have the potential to become others, but never a whole human. Amendment 2 makes it illegal to implant these cells into a uterus, thus prohibiting cloning.

Currently, there is no law prohibiting cloning.

So, those billboards up everywhere that say "Vote No On 2, Stop Human Cloning" would be doing exactly the opposite of that. Voting yes on 2 bans cloning. Interesting, eh? Glad we're all informed.

Passing 2 would also make it illegal to pay women to donate eggs beyond reimbursing expenses and compensation paid by fertility clinics. Anyone doing stem cell research would also have to develop an oversight board, adopt ethical standards, and receive certification that the research is complying with federal law.

Lookit all them rules protecting us from evils! It's not tricky. It's a very well written proposal.


Amendment 3 adds four cents to the cost of every cigarette. I don't even care where that money goes. Here's my opinion, plain and simple: Don't smoke. Here's a great incentive not to. And don't talk to me about tobacco farmers and blah blah blah, boo hoo. They can grow something else, can't they? Oh, but they won't make as much money? Tell them to invest in oil. We've got nowhere to go but up.


Proposition B will raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50. This I know nothing about and don't really have a strong opinion on either way, now that I'm not making minimum wage. Yes, I'm like that. I don't know what effect this will have on the economy. But the cynical side of me suspects all that money will go right back into cigarettes. So, why not? If we have more money, we spend more money, right? Seems it'd be good for the market. However… will people get laid off when businesses can no longer pay their employees? What the hell do I know about it? I've never had an econ class. However, there is apparently a sentence in there that would increase the wage every year to account for inflation. Something to think about. You pass the proposition, you pass all of it.


Question 1 wants to charge businesses for fire code inspections and create some sort of city revenue. I'm thinking that's not a good idea. What if people don't have the money to pay it? Answer: they forgo the inspection entirely. That doesn't seem safe. Shouldn't this be a basic public service? Isn't this what taxes are supposed to be used for? Although, as a city employee, I think I'm supposed to be in favor of this proposal. More money for me and all that.


Question 2 is to extend our 3/8 cent transportation tax for another 25 years in order to build a light rail system, reroute all our car traffic around the green parks, and obtain a green fleet of shuttles. But get this! The money is also supposed to go towards an aerial gondola tram system. Excuse me? Aerial gondola tram system? WTF is that? Is it like a monorail? A cable car? Who made up that term? Because it's stupid. Yeah, I said it. Stupid. Although, good public transportation is likely a good thing. But I won't be taking it. Take that! I will spend insane amounts of money on gas simply because I've had enough public transportation to last me a lifetime. Yes, I know people do it more often than I have in the past. But my tolerance for public transportation is low, especially when inefficient and non-time saving.


So, I'll be at the polls tomorrow voting on these issues and for candidates that have been slinging mud at each other for a month on television ads. Thank goodness it's almost over. I'm starting to hate all of them.

And, I would just like to also state that it's about time government officials start giving us hope and stop spreading fear.


End Blog.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Veronica Mars

For the past several days I've had the Veronica Mars theme song (We Used To Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols) stuck firmly in my brain. Of course, this is because I've been watching it non-stop for days. But, really, after a while, this can be a rather annoying song.


Highly pleased with the show, but it was marketed all wrong.

Yes, girl detective… but, oh so much more. Plus, it's one of those shows you watch, staring at characters thinking, "Where have I seen them before?" Answer? Daytime soaps, Home Improvement, CSI, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

At this time I'd like to send out my undying love to Deputy Leo D'Amato. (Max Greenfield) Undying love. Forever. Lemme at 'im… I'll have him saying "Veronica Who?" in no time.

This is one of those shows I'm happy I didn't start watching when it came out. Because then I would have had to wait through agonizing cliff hanging episodes and forget what the heck was going on. This way, I don't have the torture of waiting a week for the next episode… let alone a summer for the next season, and it's nearly impossible for me to forget what was going on. And, I actually recognize characters when they reappear 7 episodes later.

Sadly, in 10 episodes, I'll be all caught up and will expose myself to that kind of torture again. But, if you haven't seen it, it's recommended. But only if you start at the beginning and work your way to season three.

It's more rewarding that way.


End Blog.

Away From Home

This is slightly overdue, but… I got to drive around an unmarked police car this past week. Crown Vic, police interceptor. The speedometer goes up to 140 mph. I'm not sure if the car actually goes that fast. I didn't try. It does, however, go 85 without much effort. Also, I'm really too short to drive that car. Okay, maybe not too short, but I'm so used to driving my SUV and being all up high and junk, that cars now suck.

Also, I've never driven a car with the shifter do-dad thing up on the steering column and not on the floor. It took some getting used to. And after a week of reaching to the wrong spot to put 'er in reverse, I've come home and am still reaching in the wrong spot. Weird that I was retrained in a week.

I missed Henry. He's a good car. The Crown Vic has nothing on him. Well, except for lights and sirens and probably speed. But there's something to be said for loving your own things.

Speaking of missing things… the hotel bed was horrible compared to the loveliness which I've become accustomed to sleeping on. I never thought that beds were that big of a deal. I can pretty much sleep anywhere. But, as it turns out… there is a difference. Recently, my sleep number has been hovering around 35.

The hotel mattress offered support, but in all the wrong places. My bed was likely one of my smarter purchases. My back hurt in Jefferson City for the very first time in months. So, yay bed. You're doing your job exceedingly well.

Again… so wonderful to want the things you already have. Although, it's quite possible that I love my things because they are mine. That's probably true. I don't like change, much. Nor surprises. Apparently I like more control than even I would tend to think.

Sidetracked much?

Anyway. Yay car. Yay bed. Yay me.


End Blog.

Why am I not a Nielsen Family? Why?

I heard about this on the radio today. Seems nothing really changes in the television industry. Well written shows can't last more than a season because America wouldn't know a good series if it bit them on the ass. (As they don't know many good things that come along.) No, instead, America has to watch CSI: Miami.

Stupid CSI. Why are three of the top seven shows all CSI? How is that even possible!?

I don't agree with most of America, most of the time. This so reminds me of American Idol voting and Mom's response of, "America sucks! We should take all their phones away!" Agreed, Mom. Agreed.


L.A. Times:

Studio 60: Not Doing Well, May Be Mercifully Cancelled

By Patrick Day and Chris Barton, Times Staff Writer

Despite rave reviews, the public doesn't always love shows that critics think are sure things. Here are series that took off, only to crash.

Before the fall season ever began, television critics scrambled to heap praise on writer Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." With its big-name cast (Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford and D.L. Hughley!), top-shelf pedigree (from the writer-director team behind "The West Wing"!) and sexy subject matter (behind the scenes at a late night sketch comedy series!) the show seemed like a can't-miss, hit-one-out-of-the-ballpark prime time drama hit. Ratings-starved NBC probably envisioned people hosting "Studio 60" viewing parties, a new wave of yuppies naming their children Aaron or even Studio, and a long, long network run, loaded with the promise of syndication moolah and huge DVD sales.

One month later, it appears "Studio 60" will be lucky to last the season. Since its premiere on Sept. 19, the pricey series has been shedding viewers weekly, and those who once saw Aaron Sorkin as the Arthur Miller of network drama grumble about the poor quality of the show's comedy and the characters' endless back-patting claims that said tepid comedy is in fact boundary-pushing, hilarious, edgy fare.

If "Studio 60" meets its maker sooner, rather than later, it won't be the first "sure thing" series that never made it. In what's become an almost annual rite, one big, expensive, much-hyped series inevitably fails to make it past its freshman year.


Siiiiiiiigh.

Aaron, Please don't leave me.


End Blog.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's Showtime

Erin Daniels lives on.

Sure, The L Word may have killed her off last season, but Showtime hasn't forgotten her completely. Imagine my surprise when Dana showed up as Rita's neighbor on Dexter last Sunday. I'm sure there's little hope of a reoccurring role. I just wanted to note her appearance and the excitement it brought seeing her again.

If you'd like a re-enactment, imagine me lying in bed watching this episode. Dexter knocks on a door, Erin Daniels opens it, I gasp, sit up, and scream very loudly, "Oh my God, it's DANA!!" I suppose it only matters if you've ever watched The L Word. Anyway… moving along…

If you're not watching this show, you should. Michael C Hall from Six Feet Under plays Dexter. He's a serial killer with a heart of gold. How weird and oddly satisfying it is to cheer for a murdering psychopath. Plus, he very much reminds me of Josh Duhamel, formerly of All My Children. You may know him from Win a Date with Chad Hamilton, or more notably from his role as Danny McCoy on Las Vegas. Although, he will always be Leo du Pres to me. Hall and Duhamel have many similarities. I don't care if you don't believe me. They could be brothers. In fact, I'm nearly certain they are.

Also something to talk about regarding this show - Dexter's girlfriend, Rita Bennett, is played by Julie Benz of Buffy/Angel fame. Not that she's so much "famous" from that, but remembering her as a vampire, who is now paired with Dexter, also brings joy. She, once obsessed with blood, hooked up to Dex, a forensic blood spatter pattern interpreter by day and killer by night… it's kinda poetic in a weird sort of TV history sense. Especially since Michael C Hall was also a funeral director (or something of the sort, I never really watched that show… yet) and as Darla, Benz played one of the undead. I mean, the delightfulness of this show astounds on so many levels.

And then there's Jennifer Carpenter, as Dexter's sister Debra - a police officer trying to impress her hardnosed boss and become a homicide detective. She loves her job. She loves her brother. And possibly, someday, down the road, the two shall meet in a very interesting sort of conflict of interests. Brilliant set up. Oh and also… she was Emily Rose. (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) Which, awesome acting, Jennifer. Really. This is kinda a step down for you. I hope they give you much more to work with soon.

And so… thank you Showtime. Not for booting Erin Daniels from her other series and angering people everywhere for forcing out the most relatable character on the show, but for at least throwing her a bone with your new series – and making it a good series at that. And though a few minor things about the forensic aspects of the show are somewhat bothersome, I will continue to watch. Because with the cast and writing set in place, I care more about the story you're telling than anything else. And when I don't get pissed off because someone's not wearing gloves or picking up guns with pencils or windows aren't breaking properly, you know I'm too involved with the rest of it to care. Which means it must be good.

Bravo. You're doing an excellent job so far.

Don't screw it up after episode 4.


End Blog.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jefferson City

I'll be out of town for the next week attending the Advanced Polarized Light Microscopy course offered by McCrone Research Institute. This is the follow up class to the one I took in Chicago in July.

So, no internet for me until Friday evening.

I'll be off exploring the wonder that is my state capital. Although, I'm not sure what I'll do with the other three nights I'm there.

End Blog.

Arachnophobia

I killed another spider in my apartment recently. It was brown and had two tan diamonds on its back. Something about this particular spider really creeped me out. And although I know it's not the dreaded brown recluse – whose home area covers the entire state of Missouri – it was scary just the same. For some reason, because it had those two distinctive markings on its back, I feel that it had more potential to kill me. I know that's insane and irrational, but when dealing with spiders, it's really the only logic I can apply.

So, I decided to try to find a picture of this spider online and figure out exactly what it was. This was possibly the worst idea I've had in a long time. It totally skeezed me out. Spiders are so scary and gross. I hate them. Loathe them. Despise them. Abhor them. They are utterly revolting in every way. And yet, there I was looking at pictures of them and cringing at every single one. Stupid idea. I gave up before I found a picture of the one I was looking for.

The longer I live here, the more I don't like them. I remember the years we lived in South Carolina and having scary spiders all over. But at that point I had two sisters and a mom and a heroic daddy who probably all stepped up and killed them for me. All I had to do was scream and someone else would take care of it.

I no longer have that.

And inside, I'm still the little girl that doesn't like them. Although I don't scream anymore, I still feel like I want to.

I know I've written about this several times. I don't know why I'm so horrified when I see one. But I am. Most flying insects don't bother me. I'm okay with bees and wasps. But pretty much all other bugs… I just don't like them.

In college I took invertebrate physiology – in part because I liked the professor, and in part to overcome some of these fears based on "the grossness factor". It didn't work. I still hate worms. I still hate bugs. I'd still rather eat mollusks and crustaceans than befriend them.

You will never see me on Fear Factor.

I'm still terrified that one day I'll have a poisonous spider in my apartment that kills me. It's really quite an annoying fear that I wish I could just get over. I'm quite sick of it.

Gross gross gross gross gross gross.

Ick.


End Blog.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Walking in Circles Gets Me Somewhere

Tonight I'll be at UMKC's indoor track walking around in 18 oblong circles. If I do this within the alotted 30 minute time period, the department will just hand over two lovely days of vacation time that must be used within the next 12 month period.

Woo!

See, the police DO believe in bribery.

End Blog.

I'm Still Blonde

I drove my car to the automatic carwash today because it was dirty. I paid for it and pulled up to the garage stall thing. I was watching the green "pull forward" sign when...

SPLASH!

Dude, they turned the sprayer for the water on waaaaaay before I was ready. My window was still down. I got kinda wet.

Along with the inside of my car and the interior of the windshield. Which I wiped off with the only thing I could find suitable within my car - a bank deposit envelope. So now my interior window is all streaky which poses a problem for night driving.

So now I have to remember to take things out to my car to clean my window.

Some days I just can't help being blonde. I think the first sign shouldn't be a green "pull forward" sign. It should be a red "roll up your window" sign. I know this has happened to more people than just me.

End Blog.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Blame TM Most of All

I had my first Irish car bomb tonight. I don't know why it was my first one because it will not be my last.

I have no idea why you didn't get me to drink one of these with you, TM. I mean, I know I can't compete with the speed at which you drink them, but you could have told me how delicious they were. I curse you. (And... also thank you a little bit because I would have been way more wasted at a certain wedding reception afterparty if I had been drinking them.)

So, I thank the boys of trivia night for introducing me to the wonderfulness that is the Irish car bomb. Plus, they're only 4 bucks on Wednesday nights at O'Dowd's. Pretty sweet.


End Blog.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Student Becomes Teacher

So, Thursday at 8am I'm lecturing at crime scene school for an hour on sexual assault evidence - preservation, recovery, concerns, lab capabilites, etc. Remember back in June when I attended crime scene school? Yeah, same one.

Currently I'm debating if I should take out the one horribly graphic picture I have in my powerpoint during the case study section. Because if I'm saying it's horribly graphic, that should mean something to the rest of you normal folk. But, I'm already talking about the case, so... I might as well let the picture speak for me so I don't have to say anything beyond "the man brutilized her". Plus, they're all law enforcement anyway. I assume they sort of expect that kind of thing.

Sadly, I imagine my portion of class will be rather boring. But I guess most lectures are. I'm going to have to practice it tomorrow after work. It's supposed to be an hour and I've managed to prepare an 85 slide powerpoint. I'm hoping that works out properly, but if not, I'm sure they won't mind a longer break before the DNA lecture... which will be more boring than me. So, that's a plus at least.


Aaaaanyway... I just wanted to point out how odd it is that I'm teaching this four months after I was sitting in the back row of the very same class. And I hope I don't screw anything up. But, on a scale of things, I'd rather be doing this than sitting on the witness stand in court.


Oh, hey, sidenote: they restructured the civilian jobs at work. My "official" title is now Forensic Specialist 3. It's like I got promoted two steps without getting any more money. Luckily, we're keeping the "Criminalist" title for everybody that already has it because I recently ordered business cards. I wonder if they're ever coming in...


End Blog.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Television Dreams Come True

Lauren Graham was on Studio 60 tonight and will be on the show again next week.

Things like this make me happy. It really doesn't take much.


Oh, and Sting was on too.

How cool is this show?


End Blog.

Hey! A Will Ferrell Movie I Actually Want to See!

Stranger than Fiction

This is probably the most creative storyline I've heard about in a long time. So much so that I wish I had come up with it.

So, who's gonna see it with me on the 10th? C'mon, you know you want to. And Jake's older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it!

(Beth, I'm basically just talking to you here, aren't I?)


End Blog.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Earthquake Strikes Hawaii

By Greg Small
ASSOCIATED PRESS

1:00 p.m. October 15, 2006

HONOLULU – A strong earthquake shook Hawaii early Sunday, causing a landslide that blocked a major highway on Hawaii Island and knocking out power across the state, authorities said.

The state Civil Defense had unconfirmed reports of injuries, but communication problems prevented more definite reports. People were also trapped in elevators in Oahu, authorities said.

Gov. Linda Lingle said in a radio interview with KSSK from Hawaii Island that she had no report of any fatalities. She said boulders fell on highways, rock walls collapsed and television had been knocked off stands.

“We were rocking and rolling,” said Anne LaVasseur, who was on the second floor of a two-story, wood-framed house on the east side of the Big Island when the temblor struck. “I was pretty scared. We were swaying back and forth, like King Kong's pushing your house back and forth.”

The quake hit at 7:07 a.m. local time, 10 miles north-northwest of Kailua Kona, a town on the west coast of the Big Island, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Center reported a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, while the U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.3. It was followed by several strong aftershocks, including one measuring a magnitude of 5.8, the Geological Survey said.

Blakeman said there was no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami, but a possibility of significant wave activity in Hawaii.

On Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, there was some damage in Kailua-Kona and landslide along a major highway, said Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Center.

Officials were concerned there may be “structural integrity” problems at the big hospital in Kona in the Big Island, Lingle said. Rod Haraga, director of the state Transportation Department, told KSSK the hospital was being evacuated.

Betsy Garties, who lives in North Kohala, on the northern tip of Hawaii Island said she was lying in bed with one of her two young children when the quake struck.

“First I heard a rumbling. Then the house started to shake. Then broken glass,” Garties said. She first stood under a door frame as safety experts advise, then found that too wobbly for comfort and ran into the yard.

“It was strong enough that it was wobbling, so you almost lost your balance running out into the yard,” Garties said. “The house was visibly rocking.”

Peggy Cardoza, an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant in Hilo, said she was at work when the earthquake struck.

“We just felt the ground shaking,” Cardoza said. “We just stood here and watched everything shake.”

Power at least partially knocked out on every island, said Civil Defense spokesman Lani Goldman. On Oahu, 95 percent of customers were without power, he said.

Airports were functioning despite the power outages.

“Planes are able to fly in and out,” said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the FAA in Los Angeles. “Our air traffic facilities at the airport appear to be unaffected, but the airport itself doesn't have power. There's no power for the screening machines.”

Authorities said some of the power outages may have been due to heavy rainfall.


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End Blog.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Someone Tell This Cricket We're Not in Asia

The cricket that could easily win a world record for the loudest chirp is currently residing somewhere in the deep recesses of my kitchen. He's excellent at hide and seek because I cannot find the damn thing. It's also extremely possible that he's a ventriloquist.

It's a male cricket, as his goddamned chirping won't stop. And because I like to keep my apartment warm, he's chirping LOTS. Although, stupid cricket, it's only 78 degrees in here, not 81 as you calculate (count how many times they chirp in 15 seconds and add 39).

Give up already. You're in my apartment. There are no female crickets here. Your calling is not helping. We're both alone. Got it?

I have no idea how people in China thought that keeping them as pets was somehow a good idea. Unless they had female crickets. They make for quieter companions.

Currently the only cricket I like is the toy cricket that sits on the dashboard of my car. He's the only one I consider good luck. And if I could find this damn thing, I'd kill it. Or at least shoo it outside to die in the 40 degree weather that snuck in unexpectedly.

Okay, maybe not... Guess what I just read on wikipedia.

In Barbados a loud cricket means money is coming, hence no one must kill or evict the cricket if it chirps inside a house.

Sigh. Guess he stays. Loudness and all. It'd be really cool if he'd start pulling his weight around here and kill a bunch of spiders for me though.

Shh, Crickey! It's bedtime!

End Blog.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

CW Tuesday Commercial

So American Eagle is running these aerie ads in conjunction with Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars (the reasons to be alive on Tuesdays, and the only thing I watch on the network).

Here's the thing I don't get. The song over the commercial sounds remarkably like Lilly Allen. (I'll eat an AE hat if I'm not right about that.) Who is very much British. And sounds like it.

Isn't it odd for a store with "American" in the title to have a British singer in their commercials? Is that just me?

Okay, here's the real reason I complain:
I love Lily Allen and for that reason I don't want her doing any commercials for anything whatsoever. I want her to be big without that kind of exposure. I don't want people to associate her with commercials or think she has less talent than she does because of that.

I really think it's her. I tried to look it up, but couldn't confirm my suspicions.

Maybe Veronica will look into it for me.

End Blog.

What the World Needs Now...

is hugs, FREE HUGS! It's the only thing that there's just too little of.


This includes me.

I miss having a roommate sometimes. Or a dog. Usually both are willing to indulge me.

Hug someone today.


End Blog.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baking's Easier Than Chemistry

I made zucchini bread this evening. I also made a considerable mess in my kitchen after I found out that I no longer have a grater. It must have either A) not been mine or B) never moved here with me. So, I improvised and it wasn't that big of a problem.

It's really damn good. I haven't had it in years. I'm the awesomest baker around these parts. (Mostly meaning my apartment.)

But you know what the coolest part was? I made it in a silicone loaf pan. Have you seen these? They're the most amazing thing, ever. The loaf comes out easily and absolutely perfectly. I now want to fill my entire kitchen with these. And I really wanna buy a set of silicone spatulas because I can't melt them unless I'm cooking over 500 degrees.

Sweetest invention, ever.

I totally bet they cause cancer.

Who's for a slice of cancer bread!?


End Blog.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Return to Cook Islands

Okay, so I don't have a whole lot of things to say about Survior this week. But I do have a few.

1. Parvati. Is this her actual name or have I confused her with a Harry Potter character? I mean, this is the girl that went to the Yule Ball with Harry Potter, right? You know, after the smart Asian chick (Cho) turned him down. Why has no one else made this connection? I'd be walking around the island asking her how Lavendar Brown was doing... oh, ALL the time. Then I'd tell her to teach me stuff she learned in Divination class. She'd probably vote me off the island first. (although, with that name, she should totally be Indian, which fits into none of the racial categories.)

2. Why does it seem like Candice is always chewing gum? (Or was that just part of her 'playing dumb' strategy?) Is gum something that is deemed a necessity for survival? It's driving me crazy. Chew with your mouth closed.

3. For having a self proclaimed 'strong' team, Raro isn't winning all that much. The muscle bound boys aren't working well with their women.

4. Woo! Lookit the women power breaking up the men's alliance! I wonder if voting JP off was really a wise choice though.

5. I wanted Ozzy gone as soon as he claimed he didn't want to be there anymore. Until I saw him catching fish.

But mostly... I want Harry Potter jokes. I know someone MUST have read them.

End Blog.

Studio 60

I'm doing this as a public service for EVERYONE. Read the next sentence carefully.

Watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC Monday nights as 10/9C.

Unless you actually work in television, where you can sit around and point out how that's totally not how things happen, this is currently the best show of the new season. (You're right, I haven't watched any others.)

The writing is brilliant. Amanda Pete, Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Steven Weber… all doing an amazing job. But then again, it comes from the great Aaron Sorkin. We're already three episodes in. It took me some time to actually settle into watching TV because I don't know the schedule and I'm too lazy to set up my VCR, as I don't have a DVR on my cable box as I should. But, through the magic that is the internet, I'm all caught up.

This is something worth devoting your time to. It really is entertainment. Not only that, it's real. It refers to real people in entertainment who you know. It addresses the issue of politics and the polarization of America. It picks on religion. And it's even funny. Plus, much opportunity to have cool guest stars. It does everything you've always wanted from SNL.

(Tangent – I've been looking forward to (exec producer/writer) Tina Fey's new show, 30 Rock. It premieres this week, Wednesday, NBC, 8/7C. Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan are in it too, but Tina's my major drawing point. I used to watch SNL just for Weekend Update. I liked Mean Girls. Tina Fey... much is resting on your shoulders. Is it possible that NBC can have two shows about writers of Friday night variety shows? PS - Have you seen the commercial with Alec Baldwin about this? Cracks me up. Anyway, reining myself in...)

Plus, as all TV shows... Studio 60 has pretty people.

I doubt that you will be disappointed. I was overly pleased with all three episodes so far. And, they're even airing the last episode on nbc.com in case you missed it.

Oh, and in case you actually do listen to me about this kind of stuff, you'll appreciate this - one of the guys from Weeds is also in this show. Fun times!

I'll leave you with this because I think it was probably a fun line to say:
"Thieves get rich and saints get shot and God don't answer prayers a lot." ~ Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber)


End Blog.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

CSI: Mystery Solved

I finally figured it out - The reason that CSI is so unrealistic for me.

Not enough panties!

You think I should keep a running tally of the number of underwear I look at during my career? Maybe not. I'm not sure if that's even possible...

But, hey... CSI - take note. I mean, this is an excuse to have more underclothing on television. You should be all over this. Truly entertainment.


End Blog.


Edit to add: Whoa. CSI has hit a whole new level of insanity tonight. Completely ignoring the fact that they let their dead talk in this episode, they figured out what happened to SIX dead bodies in 42 minutes tonight. Six. Six cases. I guess they were making up for not solving the case last week.

SIX!!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Out of Town

I'll be out of town in Ankeny, Iowa until Wednesday evening. It's a pretty sweet deal. I get off three days of work for two days of class and I get $120 in food spending money. Which, we all know, if I applied myself, I could live for a whole month off of.

I know it's been a whole five days since I've said it last, but... I love my job!

The class is on courtroom testimony. Should be interesting. And someday, very handy to have had, I'm sure. Time is closing in on my "honeymoon period" at work where I didn't have to make appearances in court.

The whole lawyer thing is kinda intimidating.

Although, somewhere inside of me, I long to get up there and scream "You can't handle the truth!!"

Alas, my Jack Nicholson is not very good.

See you back here Thursday.

End Blog.