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October 10, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

It's a good thing she's cute

...because we don't keep this cat around for her brains.

Yesterday I got a package, wrapped in those little sticky pull-tabs, which I removed and left on the table while I opened up the rest. From what I can tell, Neko must have wandered up onto the table, explored the remains of the packaging, and then sat on the tabs. Stupidity ensued.

My favorite part comes at around 1:16 in, when she runs under the stepladder and becomes startled all over again at this invisible thing that has clamped onto her haunches.

June 28, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»memes

Pieces of Eight

We need a better word for "meme." It's not a good word, apologies to Dawkins. When read, it looks like "me, me," which may be appropriate but isn't flattering. When spoken aloud, it sounds like half a word (since it's based on the Greek mimeme, I guess it is).

Besides, the blog version of a "meme" is not really a contagious idea. It's a chain letter that's had the most irritating parts (the superstitious promise of good luck coupled with a veiled threat of catastrophe) removed, replacing those with the digital equivalent of a rapport-building exercise. That's not a meme, it's a well-meaning pyramid scam. Maybe we could call it a 411-9? (Yeah, if we wanted to restrict its audience to obscure wordplay.)

On the other hand, it's kind of clumsy to say "Lance just hit me with a well-meaning pyramid scam:"

Here are the rules: Eight random facts or interesting lies about yourself. Send me the link to your post when you're done. Tag 8 more people. Drop a comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged. Don't sit by your maibox waiting for thank you notes from those you've tagged.

  1. I went to GMU with my Communication major declared from the start, but I didn't really decide to become a writer until my third or fourth year. Before that, I wanted to work for the Travel Channel. I thought I'd make a good host.
  2. It's not that I hate children. It's that I don't like people, and children just embody most of the things I don't like about them.
  3. Belle made me take one of those Myers-Briggs personality tests a couple of weeks back, and I came up INTJ. She had trouble understanding the introspective component until she saw me at a work party a few days later, and whenever she glanced over I was standing by myself--usually next to one of the food tables. Awkward and lurking, that's me.
  4. I played clarinet in middle school and high school band. I was a decent player, but it was all thanks to my ear--I never really practiced. I think that might be the first instrument that I was formally trained to play, that or piano. I still have the clarinet, which was a decent wooden model instead of the usual resin-molded starter instrument. I like keeping it, even if I don't play so well any more, because I grew up in a house filled with instruments, and I'd like to have that myself. It feels very inviting to me. Both my parents were brass players in college, and my dad worked as an instrument repairman for a time. We had a bassoon hanging over the stairs in our townhouse, which I thought was really cool.
  5. I am not a frakkin' cylon.
  6. Most people who know me know that I don't drink as a matter of habit. But I only recently loosened up to the point where I'll use alcohol--usually white wine--for cooking, even though the heat evaporates all the alcohol right out. It still kind of gives me the creeps, but the flavors are rich enough that I can suppress those feelings while I eat.
  7. I'm the youngest person in my division. I might be the youngest person in my vice presidency. Luckily, I doubt that I am the youngest person at the World Bank.
  8. I do think that European Nutella is better than the American, despite evidence to the contrary.

Do I even know eight people who will do something like this? Eight people online, who are both willing to do it and know I'm alive? Let's find out. Here's a tag for Wheat, Brinstar, Josh, Athenae (that's a long shot), Corvus (and/or Rachel), Dan, Orac, and Deacon.

April 19, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

Oh, They Plan

In which I inflict more pictures of my pets on the world.

But seriously, they're just getting a little too close to each other lately.

They're beginning to synchronize. I think they may be plotting something. Besides, look at this cat:

Remind you of anyone?

Be afraid. BE VERY AFRAID.

February 15, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»events»holidays

Kitchen Confidential

Michael Chiarello's Best Button Mushrooms are a pretty tasty Valentine's dinner, if I do say so myself. Seen here with roasted baby potatoes, hummus, and some kind of white wine that Belle said was pretty good for $7. The green tea root beer, unfortunately, was a little weak.

I'd show you the mango ice cream with triple chocolate sauce, but we had to devour it before all of the chocolate hardened, and then we just sat around for a while muttering because it was too rich to finish.

Filed under: random»personal»events»holidays

In French, she would be called "Le Renard"

Wait, was there something I was supposed to do today? I took unscheduled leave because of the weather, but I just feel like there was something...

"Ooooh, dreamweaver..."

Was it something at work? Because I already sent the e-mail to let people know I wouldn't be in, and as far as I know I don't have any urgent projects right now. I'll have to put a podcast together tomorrow, but that's easy enough. And of course a couple of videos were going to be posted, but they're still well within their deadlines. Man, what was it?

"...I believe you can get me through the niiiiight..."

Something around the house maybe. Was it the package I'm expecting? I thought that wasn't supposed to be here until tomorrow. No, as far as I know, today I'm just hanging out with Belle...

Belle. I feel like she had something to do with it...


That can't be right, though. Because I wouldn't have forgotten something related to the best girlfriend on the planet, the girl who makes waking up each morning such a joy, right? I would never let something slip my mind and risk such a bright smile and dark, shining eyes. Why, if only there were a day specifically for our significant others, one day reserved for expressing just how they make us feel, perhaps through cheesy Photoshop gags. Something like Val-

Oh. Right.

"...I believe we can reach the morning lii-iiiiiight!"

Happy Valentine's Day, Belle! Now you know why I was googling pictures of Tia Carrere this morning!

January 12, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

Tyra Has Competition


January 9, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

This is your dog on daycare

I tell people that I'm not entirely comfortable with doggy daycare. It seems like something that rich yuppies do, and I instinctively cringe at the possibility of rich yuppiedom, especially living around here. But we get it half-price after Belle's part-time dogwalker discount, he only goes three days a week, and the results... well, let them speak for themselves:

That dog is knocked. out.

January 4, 2007

Filed under: random»personal»memes

Five things

I saw this on Kung Fu Monkey, but apparently it's spread to the game blog networks, and Brinstar tagged me. The goal is to write five things other people don't know about me. I'm re-introducing the variation that one of them is a lie.

  1. I'm intensely insectophobic. Cockroaches especially make me queasy. Despite this fact, I rented Mimic while I was in college, based on its entry on It was a mistake on many levels.
  2. I have saved the same My Documents folder since I bought my first laptop in high school seven years ago. I still have the laptop, but the folder itself moved when I built a desktop machine a few years back. I rarely delete anything from it, and it still contains (surprisingly, because I'm not usually so organized) all of my undergrad writing assignments and (even more surprising) the essays I wrote for my college applications. I'm scared to go back and look at any of it.
  3. I actually love to cook, and consider myself a tolerably good amateur chef--although some of my skills have gotten rusty of late. My main weakness is that I overseason everything, due to a weak sense of smell and a lack of subtlety. I own one really good knife, necessary for any good kitchen, and I annoy Belle by refusing to let her handle it.
  4. I had one of my first summer jobs at a small potato chip maker in the Shenandoah Valley. I only worked in the office, but to this day I can't eat potato chips. Even just the smell gets to me. This makes parties a little bit awkward. I did walk away with a secret recipe for barbecue flavoring, though.
  5. One of my long-time musical dreams is to write a rock opera about a boy whose girlfriend runs away with the circus, and who has to take a road trip to find her. Astonishingly, I have usually put this off due to not only its difficulty, but also because it is too pretentious for even me.

I don't usually do memes or tagging. If you want, tag yourself on my behalf in comments.

November 27, 2006

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

This is where we draw the line

The dog does not wear clothes. I am adamant about this. While Belle suggests that he needs a coat or boots for the cold Virginia winters, I insist (despite all evidence to the contrary) that Wallace has dignity and we will not abuse it.

That said, he looks pretty sexy in these boxers, no? Much more work-safe than before!

November 8, 2006

Filed under: random»personal»filthy_beasts

Inside of a dog

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx

When Wallace and I go for car rides, we have a little song that we sing. The lyrics go something like this:

You're not vomitin'
You're not vomitin'
You're not vomitin'
'Cause you're a not-vomitin' dog.

Its melody is a bit like a non-gendered toy commercial jingle from the 80's. I start the song whenever Wallace starts to look vaguely carsick--which, even for a dog of great intelligence and expressiveness like our puppy, can be hard to judge. Better safe than sorry. So far it is working, although whether it is the power of suggestion or the fact that we've only taken one trip since I've started singing, I couldn't say.

We sing this song because Wallace did throw up in my car the other day. He's had vehicular accidents before, but it was always in Belle's car. It is simply human nature: dog vomit all over your girlfriend's property is a pity, but also slightly amusing. Dog vomit on your own property is a capital crime. But in my defense, what Wallace produced in my car was orders of magnitude more disgusting than what I saw in hers. The stench from his Exorcist impression was honestly the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled, much less mopped up with a paper towel. I don't know how he contained it--I think it started eating through the floor mats. He's such a mild-mannered dog, it's sometimes hard to imagine that he's capable of these Geneva Convention violations.

What's really funny is that I have started to worry, and Belle is relatively nonchalant about his uneasy stomach, which is a reversal of our usual roles. Normally, the interaction goes more like this:

Belle: Oh no, the dog is caught in the garbage disposal! We have to help him before he's ground up into tiny little pieces.

Thomas: (not looking up from the book/video game/television) That's just something that dogs do, babe. My dogs played in the blender half the time. He'll be fine. It builds character.

But in response to my concerns that perhaps we should change Wallace's food, Belle raises an eyebrow. "Dogs throw up all the time," she says. And she has a point. Dogs do throw up on a regular basis. They are scavenging animals, after all. In fact, for some dogs, it is just another means of communication. Where cats bring you dead animals as gifts, the dog might imagine that nothing could express his joy and simple love for you nearly as much as the contents of his digestive system. It's near the bottom of his heart, right?

Or at least, I find that it helps to think of it that way. Especially when I'm breaking out the paper towels again.

Future - Present - Past