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Friday, December 28, 2007

The White Elephant is Knocking

...On your door! Won't you answer? She's friendly. See her early efforts here and here and here. Somebody take the unclaimed stuff!

Anyway, the elephant is big, she's white, and she made it to sporksforall.

For your consideration today, I offer a trio of pet themed frames. I love all four of our pets and have pictures of them in my office. Full disclosure: I only have pictures of Halo and Biscuit in my office. Scout feels slighted, I'm sure, especially given his legal troubles. Calif couldn't be reached for comment. Anyway, well-meaning people see my animal pictures, especially my rather large one of the late Red dog. These folks know I love my pets. And what self-respecting pet-owner companion to animals would not want desire heart with all her soul animal-themed frames?

Animal-themed frames almost inevitably feature paws. I like paws as a theme. We have a paw-themed door mat that I like. For some reason, though, I can't get my head around paw-themed frames.

Herewith, therefore, on offer...

Paw frames.

We have two of dog and one of cat. One of the dog ones and the cat one are a matched set, though I suppose I should mention, should you have regifting on your brain, only the cat frame includes a box. Cats are like that.

If you don't have a pug or a somewhat power-hungry looking white cat, never fear, these function as regular frames and the sample pictures above can be replaced with your own pictures of your own pets!

The most extraordinary of the trio is the "Doggie" frame. What's not to like about a bejeweled frame? Despite the jewels (or perhaps because of them?!), the effect is what can only be called "classy."

Nice, huh?

Now, I'm sure some of you are speciesist in your households. Cats but no dogs, dogs but no cats. I will consider splitting the frames up on that basis and that basis alone. Let me be clear, though...if you take one dog frame, you get both. If you want one dog and one cat, you have to take all three.

As with the fugly clock, feel free to insult these and not claim them. Someone, however, should feel moved to take them. Think how paw-rific your house/apartment can be!

The rules for white elephant are simple...claim the frames and I'll send them to you. All that's asked in return is that you offer something up on your blog (or Teresa can host it for you, should you be blog free) and be willing to ship it off to whosoever requests it. Full rules can be found here!

Paws paws paws paws, paws paws paws paws...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tiki room (and related) thoughts

On Tuesday, Honey and I decided to play hooky. There simply isn't a better place for playing hooky than Disneyland. Imagine your eight year old self. You want a day off. You want to do something superveryfun. What could be more superveryfun than Disneyland? Sex. But you're supposed to be imagining your EIGHT year old self. If you thought about sex a lot then, I don't want to know about it.

Theoretical fingers in theoretical ears... Lalalalalalalalalalalalalala Done with eight year old sex thoughts.

Ok, I won't give you a whole travelogue, but here's a highlight/thought list.

*They can dress it up all they want, but Innovations (in Tomorrowland)=superverylame.

*The redo of Space Mountain is awesome. It seems faster and you can't see the track any more. It's like a roller coaster in space. Wait, it IS a roller coaster in space.

*Disneyland rides with pictures they take and then try to sell you do NOT take flattering pictures of me. Nope.

*This image is funny and is on almost every ride. I kept trying to be these people. My body won't do the things it suggests.

*Cynthia, who was having a birthday and brought her coffee onto Thunder Mountain in the pouring rain, reminded me of how great people can be. I don't even know her and we rode behind her on the ride for all of three minutes. Still, she and her friend Susan rocked.

*As a child, I was DEEPLY disappointed to have spent one of my E-tickets on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (aka the submarines). The 35 minute wait we experienced on Tuesday did not improve my liking of it a lot. It was ok, but it was the longest wait of the day.

*I kind of loved (actually really loved) the Tiki Room. I'd never been there before. Full props to Disneyland for not tearing it out. It would not have been worth an E-Ticket, though.

*Fewer full props to them for tearing out the gallery above New Orleans Square for the new luxo-suite. I did like the Disney employee at the "Disneyana" store who described the gallery space as "having moved on to its next life." She did this all why I dripped onto the rug, having gotten soaked in the rain on Big Thunder.

*We didn't bottom out our Small World boat! I'm also pleased to report that Small World is less annoying at the holidays, because they intersperse Christmas songs with the eponymous song. I'm not a fan of either, but less of both overall makes it more bearable.

*I was pleased to do Tomorrowland first. Why we always do Adventureland first is beyond me. I'm a big T-land fan, Innovations notwithstanding.

*Bring back the People Mover.

*Indiana Jones has gotten more jerky. Panic attack inducing jerky.

* I know, I know, SOMETHING has to make you want to go to California Adventure, but why oh why can't Tower of Terror be in D-land? I heart it but not enough to pay $20 more to ride it.

*I wish we had parked on the Daisy level instead of the Mickey level. I've never much cared for the mice. The ducks, I like.

*La Casa Garcia has really good albondigas. Really good albondigas tastes especially good when you're wet.

*I would say I need a rain coat, but I live in Southern California.

*The best part of the day? All of it, of course. What's not to like? A day with my Honey at Disneyland.

I like my inner eight year old sometimes. She has good ideas.  Besides, my outer 39 year old can afford to buy her extra E-Tickets.

At the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Select Comfort/Sleep Number cares!

I just got this comment on my blog post about my back:

"My name is Catherine, and I am a customer service representative with Select Comfort. I am so sorry to hear that you are having issues rolling to the middle of your bed. The good news is- we are here to help! There are several low-cost or no-cost things we can try to alleviate this annoyance for you. If you are interested in working through the issue with us, please give us a call at 1-800-472-7185. Please be ready with you and your name and address, you and your sleep partner’s (if you have one) preferred Sleep Number, your approximate heights and weights, and whether or not you feel like the sides of the bed are higher than the air chambers.

We are looking forward to helping you out!


My Sleep Number is 35"

She included her sleep number!

I probably will call them. There's just one little problem...we have the cheapest Sleep Number which comes with the "Non-Digital Firmer/Softer Remote." So, I don't know my sleep number. Still, the promise of low-cost and no-cost solutions to ANY problem seems worth a toll-free call, don't you think?

Thanks Sleep Number!

Friday, December 07, 2007


I usually drink lattes when I seek Starbucks in the morning. I've been seeking Starbucks in the morning more often than I should, what with the demise of Coke Blak. My stash lasted until Monday. I toasted Coca-Cola with my last one and have been in mourning since.

I'm also a little bored with my Starbucks patterns. Order latte in tall or grande, add shot to number Starbucks think is appropriate. Drink. Feel a little guilty about spending $4 on coffee.

This morning I ordered a cappuccino. It was tasty. It still cost $3.25. At the end of it, I looked into the bottom of the cup and there was a lot of really pretty foam. I looked at it a while. I tipped the cup up to try to get it to come to me. Then, I looked around, a little like that shifty eyed dog in the cartoons.

I stuck my hand down in the cup and scooped out the foam. I licked each finger and my palm.

Then, as if I had done nothing untoward, I arose from my chair, went to the office kitchen, threw away the cup and washed my hands.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On the wall

When I was younger, I would often go into my mother's office. She has always kept Hershey's Kisses in a jar and I'd have one or two. Because of what she does, I had occasion to spend a lot of time at her workplace as a child and teenager. Occasionally, I would also go to my father's office. He didn't have kisses, but inevitably had a better view. Hers was always a ground floor office and his was a high rise office. Sweeping vistas are ingrained in the American consciousness, even if the vista in question is of other high-rise buildings.

I always admired their degrees on the wall. I read them and then re-read them. They went to the same college, so the bachelors' degrees looked the same, but their advanced degrees differed and I found their language and appearance very appealing. There was a deep commitment to education as an idea in my family, but the material culture of education also appealed deeply to me. The degrees themselves, the regalia, the places. The verdant landscapes in otherwise normal contexts.

Really, I wanted those pieces of paper. I have some of them now. Four, if you want to know. One of them has a typo. Two of them are framed. I really have no idea where the fourth one is. The "highest" one, as they say, had been sitting in its frame in a closet. I had never put it on a wall anywhere. I had it on top of a bookshelf at home for a while, but then our roof leaked and our office ceiling collapsed and, as I hauled ceiling and insulation out to the trash can, I put it away in the closet to keep it from forming some undeniable bond with the wet insulation.

This weekend, we cleaned out that closet so the house can be re-floored. I found that highest degree in the closet.

This morning, I brought it in to work. The frame had some smudges on it, so I cleaned it a little. I took down a picture I had taken some years ago of a cyclist whose name I don't know and hung the degree on my wall. I like the language on it more than any of the ones my parents have, "The Regents of the University of California on the recommendation of the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate, Los Angeles Division have conferred upon [insert name here]" Isn't that great? So florid.

It continues, "...who, by conducting original research has demonstrated thorough knowledge of [insert field here]" So, original research demonstrates thorough knowledge. Good to know. Now, with all of that, you still don't know what degree it is. Way to bury the lead, UC. Good things come to those who bother to read the whole thing. The degree comes next.

..."The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy." There it is. Whew. Took a while. "with all the rights and privileges thereto pertaining." I'm not sure what rights it gives me, but it is a privilege (most of the time) to be an Associate Professor for the same state the issued the piece of paper I'm currently discussing.

"Given at Los Angeles This Twenty Sixth Day of March in the Year Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Nine." Note the lack of "of our Lord" language. Secularity is SO rampant in, well, secular institutions. Rightly so. It's signed, by among others, the ousted former governor of the state. There's also a gold seal.

It looks nice on the wall, I have to say. It perches right above a picture of a starling eating watermelon and next to my Union Pacific Las Vegas poster. I don't know why I didn't hang it there before. I wanted it for so long and then I got it. It belongs in my office with its first floor view. Come by and read it, if you want.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Avoiding the crevasse

I spend a lot of time pretending my body doesn't exist. Oh, sure, I know it does. I glance at on occasion. I can see parts of it as I type. As a whole, though, I'd just as soon let it travel through a slightly parallel universe. I especially hate having my attention drawn to it by forces external.

Most nights I sleep by myself in our Select Comfort bed. My honey sleeps next to me in a device that protects her very badly arthritic spinal column. The Select Comfort bed was not made for one...

The upper arrow pointing to what they're calling "support foam" is actually pointing to something I call "the crevasse" which is an indentation between the two air chambers. When I sleep alone in the bed, I roll into the crevasse. I stay in the crevasse. The crevasse was not meant for sleeping in. And yet, night after night, I hear its siren call and into it I roll.

Saturday night I must have ensconced myself into it fundamentally because Sunday morning my lower back felt as if it had been slammed with a cricket bat.

See how flat those mofos are? Sleeping in the crevasse=getting hit by a cricket bat in the lower back. So what did we decide to do yesterday? Glad you asked; we decided to buy large things at Ikea. Large things that had to be loaded in the FJ and then unloaded in the garage.

Honey had this lovely massage thing from Brookstone I didn't know about and we took turns spending time with it.

Meanwhile, I was riding my bike around campus today and did something to my bad knee. I'm fine sitting. But walking, no so much.

The coporeal and kinesthetic is part of my life, whether I like it or not. Still, right this minute, I might start hitting people and things with a cricket bat if something else goes wrong.   Those mofos hurt.  Don't say I didn't warn you.