Monday, December 27, 2004

Tsunami

With over 22,000+ people dying in the devastating earthquake and responding tsunamis, it's very disturbing to me to see that online newspapers, especially the smaller local variety are putting this as their third or fourth highest newsstory only 24+ hours after the event. This is a HUGE loss. For the families of the victims as well as for the countries of the victims. It really dwarfs the WTC attack and most other items that are US-centric in nature yet are covered for weeks and weeks (and even months ... years!) in the news. Our media feeds what appears to be a common belief that "Whew, glad it didn't happen here. Hey, what did you get for Christmas, " shortsightedness. It's repulsive really. Are we that myopic as a country? Well, yes, it appears so. Although maybe I'm reading too much into the media's lack of interest. Are they only giving us what we want or are they feeding us what they want to feed us? Probably a combination. In either event, it's disturbing. On Minneapolis' Startribune.com, most of the day, the top story on the site was the Vikings. If that's not pathetic "news" organization, I don't know what is.

On a related topic, I read something about the earthquake over at cnn.com that mentioned that the quake was proably strong enough to jostle the Earth off if it's normal rotational path. Probably nothing major, but interesting nonetheless. I wonder if there really will be longterm implications aside from the deathtoll. This could be the start of some major Earth changes. Who knows for sure?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Death by Lava Lamp

Briefly --" Lava lamp explodes, killing man with flying glass KENT, Wash. -- A man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said. Philip Quinn, 24, was found dead in his trailer home Sunday night by his parents. After the lamp exploded, Quinn apparently stumbled into his bedroom, where he died Sunday afternoon, authorities said." Just one of those odd deaths that make ya go "hmmmm". I sometimes think of the best and worst ways to "go". I never imagined that one. Never, not once.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Nielsen Ratings.

Recently, I was contacted by letter that stated a Nielsen ratings or Nielsen Media representative would be calling me about participating in a special Nielsen family survey. Dandy. I threw the letter away. About three days later, I get a telephone call from Nielsen. The woman on the phone identifies herself and starts to tell me about the Nielsen survey. I interrupt her and indicate that I do NOT wish to participate. She was literally stunned. Almost as if I had told her I don't wish to accept an Academy Award. She says, "Have you heard of the Nielsen Ratings?" Yes, of course I have. "Don't you realize how important this is?" Uhhh. It's television -- not a life or death issue in my world. I inform her that I wish to be removed from their call list (I tell all telemarketers the same...). She still wouldn't let it go, so I had no other option than to just hang up. That's that, I thought. I'm free from being part of the media machine! Well, that wasn't it. About three days later, I get another phone call from Nielsen. This time a man was on the line. He started out in the same way that the first woman did. Excited to give me this "opportunity". (Blah, if it's such a great opportunity, they should be paying me a quarter million to participate as I watch actors getting paid 20 million an episode or an athlete making 10 million per game.) Again, I decline. Once again, I'm asked if I have heard of the Nielsen ratings. Again, I say, "Duh?" He then goes on to say, "I'm not trying to sell you anything." Well, buddy, actually you are. You're trying to sell me on the idea that television really matters. You're trying to sell me on the idea that doing work for your company is somehow helping out the world at large. You're trying to sell me on the idea that my one little vote counts. Hey, I live in a very conservative state - Utah - I know my political vote doesn't really count here, so don't try to convince me that watching HGTV's home improvement shows are going to change the world. Grrrr. I hung up on him.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Still learning about life.

I learned a few things on my trip to Reno this past weekend.  
  1. They really do use Emergency Broadcast System for things other than the loud tests.  When we were just a few miles outside of Reno, we were listening to the radio and sure enough, the EBS system was used to evacuate a large portion of Carson, City, Nevada due to a fire that was burning out of control.
  2. Cheap steak is just that. Again, on the way to Reno, we saw a billboard for a steak buffet at the Silver Club hotel/casino. Steak and buffet? Sounds delicious and while the McDonalds stop along the drive was tasty, we were hungry, hungry. After a quick swim in the hotel pool, we headed off to the casino for dinner and a little gambling. When we arrived at the restaurant in the casino, the crowd was very, very quiet. Quieter than what you would normally find in a restaurant that size. I figured the steak must be SOOOO good that the diners were hushed silent while they chewed. We were quickly seated and the waitress came over, took our drink and asked us how we'd like our steak prepared. Ivan and I headed to the buffet area where we found warmed canned peas, cabbage rolls covered in Spaghetti-O sauce and instant mashed potatoes and gravy. Yuck. That was bad enough, but then the steak arrived.  It was probably nuked after being cooked the day before...and not even nuked thoroughly. It was a bit like luke warm dried shoe leather.  Well, we found out why everyone was so quiet. They were keeping their mouths closed to prevent gagging.  :-)
  3. You can go home again. While staying at a small casino hotel in Elko, Nevada, I discovered that this late model hotel was probably built around the same time as my childhood home was -- early 60s. The bathroom fixtures, tiling, countertops etc were all pretty much the same as my childhood home's bathroom. It was freaky as well as somewhat comforting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

You light up my life.

I finally did it! I experienced the full daylight of the longest day of the year. YAY! I've wanted to do it for years, but either forgot or just didn't wanna drag my butt up before sunrise on June 21. No, it's not a major accomplishment, but certainly one I can cross off my life experience list. I would like to do it again in Alaska though. That would be a really, really long day!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I am Michael Jackson

I woke up thinking this morning that I am Michael Jackson ...
  • Other people stop and stare when I enter a restaurant, theater. I hear hushed comments and even some loud obnoxious ones. No matter how I try to cover myself someone always notices me.
  • I have my photo taken without my permission, often when i'm doing the most mundane of tasks. These photos show up in jokes, news stories, and advertisements on television and in print, again, without my permission.
  • I am called a freak.
  • There are hundreds, if not thousands of websites poking fun at me.
  • People ask, "How could they do that to themselves?" when talking about my being.
  • The media, of late, has been going nuts with stories of me.
  • My marriage has been thought to be a "sham" to some -- certainly my partner *must* desire someone unlike me.
  • White *and* black people think that I am a disgrace; an embarassment.
  • No matter how much talent I possess or how much I have proven myself at my job, my physical appearance overshadows it all.
Oh, wait, I'm not Michael Jackson, I'm a fat woman in America.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Strawberry & Banana Cheerios

Strawberry & Banana Cheerios. Tasty! Sure, it's probably loaded with preservatives, but heck, the oatbran content has got to balance out the good with the bad, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Fear of Fear

I often wonder what my life would be like if I had 1: no fear of failure and 2: all the time in the world. Hell, what would anyone's life be like if those two pieces were available to each of us. There are times when 1 gnaws at me. I can do a lot of different things, but all to often I let self doubts fill my head. If I have a great idea I pummel it with a million holes as to why it's not all that great. I'm analytical, sure, but isn't that sort of behavior self defeating? Am I only fearing failure when I do it? At the rare times when I think I can do it all, I figure that 2 comes in to play. Yeah, I CAN do it all, but crap, I don't have time to do it all or learn it all or see it all. Life is far too short and unfortunately, 1 keeps it far too limited. Just thinkin' too much, methinks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Three Two Second Moview Reviews:
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 -- Boring in its violently absent character development. What was the point of it? Maybe Vol 2 will give it one. Don't bother seeing it until then. C-
  • Starsky and Hutch -- Fun and silly. I don't think they were shooting for more than that nor was I expecting more. B
  • Something's Gotta Give -- Excellent character development and a wonderful performance by Diane Keaton makes this film a joy to watch. It seemed a little too long for its own good, but I enjoyed the ride just the same. Lots of lessons to be learned in this one about love and not giving up hope.A-
  • Secret Window -- Something was missing, and I'm not sure what. Of course I feel that way about most Stephen King movies. They're entertaining and worth watching but never capture all of my votes. Johnny Depp was fabulous! B

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I read the news today, Oh Boy -- "Jubilant residents dragged the charred corpses of four American contractors through the streets Wednesday and hanged them from the bridge spanning the Euphrates River. " What sort of f'd up world are we living in that the people would drag corpses though the streets? Jubilantly, no less. Yuck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I coined this yesterday. (At least I believe it to be original...) "Everybody has issues, you just don't want to date someone who has a subscription". Badump-dump. Thank you ladies and germs!

Friday, March 19, 2004

This was in the headlines today: "Bin Laden reward at $50 million" -- "The House of Representatives, amid an intensifying hunt for leaders of the Al-Qaida terrorist network, voted unanimously Thursday to double the reward for Osama bin Laden's capture to $50 million." Ummm...aren't we spending billions and billions on defense (or war as you might say...) and the most we can come up with for a reward to capture one of the leaders of Al-Qaida is 50 million? I fear our boys like to play with the toys rather than seek resolution to the thorns in their side.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Two Second Movie Review:

  • 50 First Dates -- Overall an enjoyable flick if you can get past the over done penis jokes. The main story is sweet, romantic, funny and pretty well written. Again, if you can overlook the base humor that's a waste of film, a good time will be had! C+
On a side note about this film, I was contacted by the visual researcher working on the film when it was titled "50 First Kisses" for a bit part in the movie. The scene was about the kids playing on the computer. Unfortunately it was cut out of the film during production! It would have been fun to have my first 15 minutes of film fame!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Spalding Gray was found dead in the East river (NYC) the other day. It's just so sad. I loved his work. It was dark, funny, brilliant and passionate. I remember first seeing his show, "Monster in the Box". He had a wonderful way of telling his autobiographical stories that pulled you in and wouldn't let you go. Just very sad. They're guessing that the guy killed himself by jumping off the Staten Island ferry. That even makes it more sad. Ah well. The opportunity to see him perform more of his work will be sorely missed. If you haven't had the opportunity to see one of his performances, check out your local video store.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

A new Two Second Moview Review:
  • Big Fish -- A series of tall, exaggerated tales wrapped around a strong story of honesty in relationships. Beautifully done by Tim Burton. B+

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I've been pondering boredom. What is it really? Is it a lack of entertainment or really a lack of constructive, productive things to do? Nothing is more boring than being on the job with nothing to do and no way to pretend to work and be entertained at the same time. In fact, what is entertainment, but something to fill the void when we're not doing something productive?

In our current state of society, we have far less that we need to do, yet we feel overburdened by tasks. Very few of us grow our own food *and* cook it. Hell, very few of us cook our own food these days. If we do cook, it's commonly filled with convenience items to make the cooking faster. We don't usually sew our own clothing or mill the threads into fabric. We don't usually raise our own houses or barns or other shelters. We don't tend to the animals that we intend on eating. We don't have to go to the stream every day to cart our drinking water home. We don't even have to go to hunt for fuel sources to keep us warm in the winter. So, most of the very basic things that we need to survive -- food, water, shelter, clothing (optional in some areas, I guess) are provided for us.

We've got 24 hours in a day. For most people, eight of them are spent at a work or school environment of some sort. That leaves 16 hours. Take away another 8 for a full night's rest. That still leaves 8 hours to fill with...ummm...something. All of our necessities are given to us. So, we fill those 8 hours with fluff. Things that really aren't necessary to our survival or that of our families. (If you're parenting some wee ones under the age of three, you've got to allot for time helping them survive too.)

8 hours every day. Think of all the things you can do in 8 hours. Most of us will probably contemplate a leisure activity to fill that time. We could be out on a picnic. We could be fishing. We could be playing board games or poker if you will. We could be etc, etc. There are a million and a half things you could do during those hours. With all of that time available, how can someone claim to be bored??

One theory mulling around in my skull -- those who claim to be bored are actually lazy. Another theory -- they're not very creative. Let's backtrack a minute to the 8 hours of work that we do each day. I'm talking about the work we get paid for...how many of our jobs are really necessary for the survival of our species? Seriously, how many? This is a long standing theory that I've never taken the time to write out thoroughly (lazy? Oops, maybe!) The theory is that most of the jobs held in the industrialized world are unnecessary. They're "fillers" just as much as TV is. The strange thing is that most of the blatently "filler" jobs are often the highest paid -- actors, professional athletes, CEOs, politicians, lawyers, Wall Streeters, real estate agents, etc. No one needs the hours that those people put into their jobs for societal survival. If they were all blown off the Earth today, we'd all be fine.

Friday, February 27, 2004

While we were in Vegas last weekend, we went to the Linkin Park concert that included several other bands including Hoobastank (the whole reason for our going!), Story of the Year and P.O.D. It's been a few years since I've been to a stadium to see a concert, so it was a wonderful experience to try again! I enjoy the energy of the crowd -- and with the main band being Linkin Park, you know there's LOTS of young energy in the crowd. It was painfully loud at times, but the performances were pretty dang good. All in all, I still prefer performances in smaller venues and clubs, but it's good to see the BIG shows once in a while.
I saw this at Binkie's blog. I thought it would be fun to add here! These are the states I've visited since I was 18. Prior to that, I pretty much hit all of the continental US, but I was often too young to remember it, so in effect, it doesn't count!


create your own personalized map of the USA

Friday, January 30, 2004

A new Two Second Moview Review!
  • Mystic River -- A captivating film about three childhood friends who, after a devastating crime, grow up in very different worlds in the same town. Their worlds collide as adults in the wake of another crime. It seemed a bit long a times and the post-climax ending was disturbing and almost unnecessary, but overall it kept me enthralled as we watched the characters fully develop under extremely complex situations and psychological trials. It's definitely a movie you'll talk about after it's over. A-