kitsjay: (Garter)
I should cook.

Spend forty minutes looking up recipes and saving desserts that you will never make. Realize hunger has decided that you will have cereal for dinner. Pour cereal out of box. Check fridge to find you have no milk. Pour cereal back into box.

Take-out it is.

I should clean.

Spend ten minutes wandering around, idly noting things that need to be cleaned. Spend forty minutes perfecting the perfect 'cleaning' playlist. Spend another ten minutes burning CD and trying to find optimum place for speakers.

Too late to clean now.

I should sleep.

Spend three hours reading fic.
kitsjay: (It's a Curse)
I changed my first oil filter today!

Sean's car had been running funny, and I told him I thought it was probably because the oil needed to be changed. He scoffed--wymyn don't know cars! Sure enough, two days later, the oil light comes on. So I told him he needed to get it changed, but he's either working or sleeping so I said I would take it down to Walmart and get it taken care of. Christy and I waited an hour for them to change it, only to find out they said the drain plug was rounded off (stripped screw, basically) and it was an "unsafe environment". They actually refused to even change the license plate light because of it. Wtf.

Anyway, the car was acting worse, so around 6:30, Todd goes, "Well, we still have some daylight left, we could go change it ourselves."

I was kind of worried about it, so we checked the dipstick and it was bone dry. Todd was amazed the car was running at all. After a Walmart supply run, we went ahead and got the oil filter off and switched out, and it turned out there was a little bit of old oil left, so we decided to go ahead and change the oil completely. The drain plug turned out to not be rounded off in the least, but was frozen, so I'm guessing that's why the guys at Walmart decided not to work on it. Todd and I both tried it, Todd even using a hammer on the socket wrench to get it to budge, but it wouldn't move, so we ended up having to abandon that in favor of just putting in some new oil.

So the bad news is that the oil still needs to be changed (which Todd said he would show me how to do once we get some deep penetrating lubricant--no jokes, please, from the 12-year-old crowd, you know who you are), but the good news is that it will run at least another 1000 miles on this batch and is running so much smoother now.

Even better news, I am sunburnt, covered with grease, oil, and dirt from lying on my back under a car, and I have never felt prouder in my whole damn life.
kitsjay: (Land Shark)
I was reliving my childhood earlier when I recalled those 'Choose your own adventure!' books that were so briefly popular when I was in elementary. These were mostly memorable because I would get frustrated and bored halfway in and read them straight through.

Anyway, I recalled that I had saved a favorite of mine and found it online.

It wasn't even a CYOA, it was a "Pick a Path to Adventure!" book. The cover has a dragon shooting a rainbow out of its mouth. No, seriously.

Best yet--and I totally did not know this as a kid--it was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons.

I was a geek even then.
kitsjay: (Default)
I have never watched Numb3rs before, but I was flipping through and bored, so I stopped and decided to watch it.

First off, it's baseball, particularly the statistics of baseball--which Dad and I watched a show on.

Second, BILL NYE IS IN IT. HOW COOL IS THAT. BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY, MY CHILDHOOD HERO!

I wish I had more to say, but really, that's the most exciting thing that's happened in a while.

Oh, the kitten (renamed Murphy, after the Dresden Files, because he is "small, but fierce") is doing well! He's wandering around, his paw seems to be better, and we gave him a bath so he's all clean and fluffy. Mom's all attached and wants me to adopt him for real. I haven't decided yet.
kitsjay: (Archie Confuzzled)
While reading my daily metaquotes, I stumbled upon the context of one bemoaning the plight of menustrating women everywhere.

Even barring the initial jarring reaction of realizing those earrings were not of the zodiac Ares symbol, I was inwardly revolted. It is not, outwardly, that offensive--or if it is, it is outrageously so, like the shirts that have clever insults written on them. I found myself repugnated nonetheless and finally sorted out my reaction.

On the surface, you're celebrating the fundamental difference between a man and a woman. And hey, men have a weird and creepy connection with their trouser snake, so why can't women have a weird and creepy relationship with their uterus?

But here's the thing. Women's reproductive systems have traditionally been used to essentially enslave them. A man gets a woman pregnant and she was unable to run away, get a job, etc. There is still stigma when a woman gets pregnant and the man takes off--she suffers the public humiliation and shame while he gets away free with his little trouser buddy, destined to have one more story when he's bragging to the boys how many chicks he's banged. Women are still being repressed because of their reproductive organs. Even though it is completely normal for a girl's hymen to break through non-sexual contact, it's a sign of "impurity" in some cultures and women can be executed for having premarital sex, even if they didn't. There's the fundamental difference in supposedly being able to tell when a woman is a virgin and not knowing when men are. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is completely acceptable for men to sleep around because "who will know", while women are branded sluts for doing so.

So why are we celebrating this? Men have traditionally, and still do, boil women down to a collection of stereotypes, basing all assumptions about personality/intelligent/capability on the fact someone has a uterus. And now women are doing the exact same thing. We're saying that we're superior in some way, because our genitalia doesn't require constant adjustment inside our pants. We're saying that our entire being can be summed up by the fact we can carry children--as if that defines us more than any other accomplishment we have. Newsflash! It doesn't exactly take skill to get knocked up. Some of the brightest, most intelligent women in the world have to scrape and fight every bit of the way to earn acceptance in their fields or be taken seriously, but we're celebrating Mary Jane Louise Jo having her fourth trailer park rugrat while in high school.

So why are we putting miniature Fallopian tubes on earrings and saying, "Oh, I'm so happy to be a woman"?

Put a brain on an earring and say you're happy to be a woman. Put "CEO of BigAss Company" on a shirt and say you're happy to be a woman.

Women?

We are more than our reproductive organs, more than our bodies, more than a mass of stereotypes concocted and reiterated by the opposite sex.

PEACE

Dec. 6th, 2007 11:18 am
kitsjay: (leaf)
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SO FANTASTIC.
kitsjay: (leaf)
First, some Halloween reminiscing (so soon!):

http://community.livejournal.com/metaquotes/6370755.html

The quote and the comments are hilarious--which is kind of amazing as there's been a distinct dearth of funny quotes on metaquotes lately. Honestly. Drunk posts are so passe.

In other news, I bought the second season of Supernatural and have been watching it with Mike and Mary Ann. Everyone freaks out at ghosts or shapeshifters or werewolves, but there comes a Zombie Apocalypse Situation, and people are ready and rational.

Personally, I like to think that people have a small portion of their subconscious converting every situation into a potential Zombie situation and modify their actions accordingly.

It's the only explanation, really.
kitsjay: (Default)
When the going gets tough, the tough might get going, but the smart stay where they are and say screw it.

So posting all but one of it all at once.

First, the ever popular Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kicker Five.

Next, the original I Put a Spell on You by Screaming Jay Hawkins, followed by the more renowned Bette Midler version.

Finally, the last installment of all of these will be posted tomorrow, and it is well worth the wait.



Also, this was in the paper Sunday, and it intrigued me enough to share:

"It has always amused me that the same people who denounce America as a seething cesspit of blind obscurantist bigotry can't see the irony that America itself produces its own best critics. When there's a scab to be picked on the American body politic, no one does it with more loving attention, more rigorous focus on the detail, than Americans themselves."

— British columnist Gerard Baker (Times of London)
kitsjay: (Default)
The Chinese yellow river dolphin is now extinct, leaving only four freshwater dolphin species in the world. All of them are critically endangered.

I am not normally a politically active or environmentally concerned person; the extent of my contributions include switching to vegetarianism and donating $10 when I can afford it to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), but this upsets me. My brother once asked what would happen if a species disappeared. He used the giant panda as an example, seeing as how it's one of the most visible of the endangered animals.

Truthfully, I was unable to give him a reason why it should bother me so much. If you think about it logically, it probably wouldn't make a difference. There'd be more plants, less oxygen being taken up, and unless it's a keystone species--which very few large animal species are--then the rest of the environment would not suffer. Moreso, one could point out that it is simply a matter of natural selection. The panda, relying on one major food source, and requiring large amounts of that food, would naturally die out faster than others who can easily adapt.

So why does it bother us? Pushing aside the alarmist nature of most environmentalists, what is there that we should worry about? Sure, future generations should be able to enjoy animals as we do, but have you, personally, suffered from the lack of the dodo? Have you felt a pang of remorse at not having ever seen a wooly mammoth?

The answer is that there really is no rational reason why endangered animals should be so important to us; why the preservation of seemingly inconsequential species should rile us. The final answer to the question of is there any lasting consequences to the loss of most endangered species is simply no.

When people ask me what good the liberal arts are, I have to explain that though they may seem inconsequential, the liberal arts are the key to civilization. Science would never advance if there existed no means of recording results and applying them to future situations. Taken on an individual basis, survival itself is dependent upon the written word. Observations are made about smallpox; tests are made, results recorded; a cure is made. A person who at some point might have died from smallpox is cured. Without the ability to write, that person would have died.

In the same way, the seemingly inconsequential loss of a species is monumentally important to the human race. If not for anything else, the loss of a species shows our own inability to maintain the survival of a thing we deem important. The baiji died because of pollution, overfishing, and boating that interfered with the almost totally blind dolphin's ability to hunt.

So why does this matter? Why do we care, when rationally, we shouldn't?

I don't have an answer. I can't figure out logically any serious social or economic ramifications--besides the potential loss of any number of medicines and scientific advances--of losing a species.

But it still makes me overwhelmingly sad to think that there is one less species on Earth that I am going to study when I perform my graduate research, one less dolphin species swimming and hunting in a river.
kitsjay: (emotions)
Excerpt from the summary of Chapter 8: The Texas Legislature:

“Throughout the 1990’s only one year—1998—was free of either primaries or general elections being conducted under legally challenged redistricting maps. The challenges came from both parties and the same basis for the complaints. Democrats sued using the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the earlier part of the decade. Republican legal action was based on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, citing race as the sole basis for determining districts. Thomas v Bush was filed in federal court challenging 13 senate districts and 54 house districts as gerrymandered. On September 1995, the court ordered an agreed settlement under which eight senate districts and 36 house districts were changed. Redistricting has been used by both parties and individuals, for both questionable and worthwhile goals, and has survived many different legal renderings. Texas Senator Jeff Wentworth offered a reform bill several times, but it has been brushed aside again. This is not altogether a bad thing, as redistricting efforts are often rife with irony and possibly the most entertaining thing to read about in this chapter.”

“The amateur, limited legislature, highly criticized, was designed for a primarily rural state with an agrarian economy and an individualistic, skeptical political culture. The book states the latter is obsolete, but this is strictly a matter of opinion on the part of the author.”
kitsjay: (leaf)
RANDOM THOUGHTS:

When you tell a guy hitting on you, “No, thanks, I’m a lesbian” and they continue to hit on you. What’s the rationale on this? Either you are a lesbian, and therefore have no interest in them, or you’re just saying you’re a lesbian because you have no interest in them. Really, how are men expecting this to play out?



If you’re trying to comfort someone, don’t go with clichés. Clichés are like saying, “It’s not just that I was unable to think of something better, it’s that I was so uncommitted to actually cheering you up that I was unwilling to think of something original.”



I love plaid. Plaid is not only good for lumberjacks and myself, but also as an excuse out of shopping.

“Do you want to go shopping?”

“Oh, I like plaid.”

“Oh. Well, see you then.”

I wonder if it could be used in other situations.

“Would you like to hold the baby?”

“I like plaid.”

“Oh, I’m terribly—I’m so sorry.”

Or

“Would you like to join my mother and me for dinner?”

“I like plaid.”

“You poor thing. How long has it been like this?”
kitsjay: (Default)
Marble Falls, just north of us, received 19 inches of rain overnight and are expecting more tonight.

No fatalities though.

We should be getting rain, too--flash flood warning going on.
kitsjay: (om)
It's been a very, very slow week, so I've decided to liven things up by starting another list. I am ever so fond of those, as you might have gathered.

This one, however, are just random* things that make me happy:

1. Action movies.
2. Metaphysics.
3. Muscle cars and motorcycles.
4. Organized kitchens.
5. Smell of new leather.
6. Water.
7. Wisteria, honeysuckle, ivy, and jasmine.

Feel free (and feel encouraged) to comment with 7 random things that make you happy.


*Random, except that I have an irrepressible need to organize things alphabetically.
kitsjay: (Monroe)
Last night I happened to pick up a Ray Bradbury collection of short stories I had bought a while ago titled The Toynbee Convector. I read the first four, among which was an odd piece about an older woman living in a house by herself when she one day notices a trap door in the ceiling. From then on, she hears odd noises, scurrying, like mice or rats, in the attic that she never knew existed.

By the end of the story, she finally gathers the courage to stick her head into the attic, and like magic, the rest of her body promptly follows--sucked up into the attic, then the trap door shuts ominously after her.

As if I would learn.

This morning--or rather, this afternoon--I strolled into the kitchen intent on making myself a peanut butter sandwich and was digging for a butter knife when I heard noises, like scurrying. It was coming from the toaster.

I frowned, looking around for the joke, but no one was there.

Finally I leaned forward, tipped the edge of the toaster and peered into the metallic teeth inside. Nothing but crumbs.

The scurrying stopped. I jiggled the handle, hoping to mimic the noise, when suddenly a flutter of black and orange wings escaped, flying straight up into my face and darting towards the freedom offered by the window.

Yes. My personal horror story had a butterfly as an antagonist.
kitsjay: (Default)
I am honestly so done with hearing about Anna Nicole Smith--

Anna Nicole Smith died.

Anna Nicole Smith is finished being embalmed.

Anna Nicole Smith was buried.

A year from now, I will not be surprised if I see the headline, "Anna Nicole Smith Exhumed--Left Arm Completely Decayed."

Let the poor woman die already.

Excerpt

Aug. 28th, 2006 04:41 pm
kitsjay: (This is curious.)
"Look at me now," he tells the guys and lifts a glass to the light, "Getting my first glass of orange juice in six months. Hooee, that's good. I ask you, what did I get for breakfast at the work farm? What was I served? Well, I can describe what it looked like, but I sure couldn't hang a name on it; morning noon and night it was burnt black and had potatoes in it and looked like roofing glue. I know one thing; it wasn't orange juice. Look at me now: bacon, toast, butter, eggs--coffee the little honey in the kitchen even asks if I like it black or white thank you--and a great! big! cold glass of orange juice. Why, you couldn't even pay me to leave this place!"

He gets seconds on everything and makes a date with the girl who pours cofee in the kitchen for when he gets discharged, and he compliments the Negro cook on sunnysiding the best eggs he ever ate. There's bananas for the cornflakes, and he gets a handful, tells the black boy that he'll filch him one 'cause he looks so starved, and the black boy shifts his eyes to look down the hall to where the Nurse is sitting in her glass case, and says it ain't allowed for the help to eat with the patients.

"Against ward policy?"

"Tha's right."

"Tough luck"--and peels three bananas right under the black boy's nose, and eats one after the other, tells the boy that any time you want one snuck outa the mess hall for you, Sam, you just give the word.


--One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
Ken Kesey
pg. 93

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