Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Shedd Video

Whoops - forgot to tell y'all, there's a video from the Shedd. A 4 minute collage of little Shedd snippets. I haven't figured out yet how to put music over it, so you're left with my ramblings and the squeals of children and teenagers.

Original is here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bike rally & museum campus pics

Pictures from the museum campus I quit focusing on the campus when I saw them bringing out the globes, so I didn't get many from this.

Favorite shot:

I also got some shots of a bike rally that apparently goes on the last Friday of every month. The folks there were pretty nice. Didn't get a lot of shots here because really, all bikes look the same. I got some video of the scene, though, I'll put 'em up later.

Favorite shot:


Museum Campus:

Bike Rally:


What the fuck is wrong with my car?

All of a sudden, the passenger door is catching on the front fender when it opens, bending the fucking fender under the door. This started Monday afternoon. It was fine Monday morning.

Also, it still stalls when it's idling too long (45+ seconds), and it sounds like it needs a new front exhaust manifold, whatever the fuck that is, that's what they told me it was the last time I heard that noise. That was $200. Fuck.

I wish I worked closer to home so I could take the el, and I wish my fucking shitty community college were serviced by reliable bus lines, so I could take the fucking bus. I think I'd sell my car, then, and just use a zip car instead.


Memorial Day

When I was a kid, we were living in Leavenworth, Kansas, and every year on Memorial Day we'd go down to the cemetery and lay flowers on the grave of a fallen soldier. I went to David J. Brewer Elementary School, and we'd put flowers on his grave, too. I don't know why, he was a judge, not a soldier. But I digress.

It was a somber day. It was a day when we remembered what other people gave up for us. It was a day when I'd actually feel guilty about not saying the Pledge of Allegiance with everybody else.

But somewhere in there, somewhere in one of those moves, or one of those homes where I stayed, Memorial Day became Cookout Day, or Camping Weekend, or Let's Clean This Fucking House Fiesta. It wasn't about soldiers any more. It wasn't about Grandpa being at Pearl Harbor or our ancestors who died at Andersonville. And that always kind of depressed me. For a few years there, I'd go trek downtown where I could always find some memorial or another, and I could stand around looking sad and respectful and then go on about my day. It all seemed to stem from not living with my mom. My mom had made sure we went out pay our respects.

My mom was in town this weekend. We spent Memorial Day playing Scrabble (six games, I beat her by 241 points, cumulatively, and she's the one with a Master's in journalism), then we went to my friend's new home for a cook out. On Friday, we took a cab from the Shedd Aquarium to her hotel, and we passed Grant Park, where over 3,000 pairs of combat boots were on display - one for each fallen soldier in Iraq.

I thought it was an incredibly powerful image, as I'm sure everyone did. I wanted to leap out of the cab and go look, but my mom was against it. I sat back in the cab, shoulders slumped against the naugahyde seat, looking sideways at the person who so carefully explained the importance of Memorial Day to the five-year-old me who bought every word of it.

I can't put my finger on exactly what I felt when she basically brushed off the exhibit, but I think disappointment comes pretty close. Not disappointment in not being able to go take pictures that would look good on my twango account, but disappointment in the one person in the world who had unwaivering faith in me.

Maybe it's because she's Republican, and she voted for Bush twice, and she didn't want to get out and be reminded what her party and her votes stood for. Maybe she was just tired, or she was having a good day and didn't want to be brought down with reminders of people who don't have it as easy as we. Maybe it's any number of things.

But next year, I'm getting back on the Rembering Our Troops Memorial Day train, weeping over Memorial Day speeches, getting rowdy about war vetrans. Fuck the sales, and the cookouts, and the camping and all that shit - we wouldn't have any of it without the contributions of thousands of soldiers, dating from the Revolutionary War.

And yeah, it's sort of bandwagoning, just going out to participate in Memorial Day for the sake of participating, just to feel like I've done something worthwhile. But damn, doing something for the sake of feeling worthwhile one day a year is a shitload better than using that one day a year to get piss drunk and hit on your cousin's date at a cookout.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Museum Campus Globes recently put out a bunch of globes around the museum campus. They're best explained by their collective title: "CoolGlobes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet." I didn't get to see all of them, but I got some shots as they were coming off the trucks and being set out around the campus. More pictures here.

Favorite shot:


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Shedd pics

Pics are finally up from the Shedd on 5/25. Pictures of the museum campus, the new exhibit from, and pictures of the bike rally will soon follow.

Favorite picture of the day:

And the usual snazzy flash show:

Oak Forest Irish Fest

Went to the Oak Forest Irish Fest on Saturday. It was a wet day, but lots of fun. I love these little carnivals. I couldn't pick just one favorite shot of the day, so here's a random one. More here.

And the usual snazzy flash presentation:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fuck you, Community College

Dear my fucking school,

Look, I understand that you're just a crappy community college and nobody expects much of you, your students, or your faculty. But if you could maybe train your fucking faculty and staff to quit losing my goddamn homework that would be hell of awesome.

Let's start with my chemistry labs - worth 120 points - that were slipped under the door of the science department office but never made it to my professor's desk. 120 fucking points. I'm likely going to have to pay $200 to take the course over because it's a lab credit course and no grade can be given without the labs.

Today I got an email from my history professor. She never got my final exam, which I took way the hell back on the 12th. I handed it in at the little computer lab area where you go to take tests for online classes, but she never got it. How goddam fucking hard is it to hand some fucking papers over to the people to whom they belong?

Fuck you, crappy community college. One more year of your bullshit and then I'm gone, left only with my nearly worthless diploma and $10,000 in debt, and the lesson learned that I should always make copies of everything I ever hand in, ever, because somewhere along the line there's some fuckwit who doesn't know how to put a goddam paper in a file or on a desk.



Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dear you damn kids,

Dear the teenagers who would not get the fuck out of the way on the el platform today,

Look, I didn't mean to push you. Honestly, I didn't, but the train was RIGHT THERE and you were SAUNTERING. I said, "Excuse me, please, excuse me, I'm trying to catch the train," and you didn't even turn around. So yeah, I pushed you the fuck out of the way.

Not hard, though. Don't the rest of you go judging me. Just enough to get her the fuck out of the way. She had to wait for the rest of her class (on their way to Millenium Park, from what I gathered when I was waiting for them to figure out how to buy el cards so I could buy my el card), so she didn't need to get on that el anyhow.

Damn kids today.


Suprise, suprise

You are most like:


You are bold with a dark side. You make clear lines wherever you go, though you color outside of the lines. Many people may just see the surface of you and think you are merely plain, but you have a lot of depth to you as well.


Take this quiz: Which Crayola Box of 8 Color Are You?

Ukranian Village pics

Went strolling around Ukranian Village today, got some new pictures here.

And a bonus pic from earlier in the day, through my absolutely filthy windshield:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

sign of the times on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

sign of the times on Flickr - Photo Sharing!


It's that dangerous red, the heartbreaking kind, the shade that you know is trouble. The color of our fire trucks, the lipstick on our whores, the blood that pumps through our veins.


There's nothing so eye catching as the bright red of dawn, the early morning red that spreads like new found hope over the muted grays that the pre-dawn spews all over.


Luscious and lethal, the siren shade that reminds of what we'd all like to be, if we could get half a chance at clawing our way out of our rutted, fetid lives.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Personal space!

Dear the group that's here today,

All of you have the same accent, and all of you have the same stench. All of you also walk uncomfortably close to me when I'm walking you down to the computer room. Feel free to bathe and in the future, remember: three feet of personal space.

Dear the elderly lady at the stoplight on Washington this morning,

When I was revving my engine during the red light, I wasn't challenging you to a race. I'm having some acceleration issues with my car, and it tends to work better if I rev it right before the light changes to green. I honestly wasn't trying to throw down with you.

But damn! You took off from that line like we were racin' for pink slips! Well played!

Dear my chemistry prof,

You bitch. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks for nothing!



Web 2.0 'distracts good design'

Nielsen: Making a site easy to use should be the first priority

Hype about Web 2.0 is making web firms neglect the basics of good design, web usability guru Jakob Nielsen has said.

He warned that the rush to make webpages more dynamic often meant users were badly served.

He said sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the "glossy but useless" sites at the height of the dotcom boom.

Research into website use shows that sites were better off getting the basics right, said Mr Nielsen."


Do you hear that, fucking internet? Looking good doesn't equal being good, so quit with the rounded edges and start with the doing something fucking useful.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

83-year-old woman forced to smoke crack: police

83-year-old woman forced to smoke crack: police

May 9, 2007
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- A woman forced an 83-year-old housemate to smoke crack so she could steal personal information to get a credit card and run up more than $3,000 in charges, authorities said.

Pasco County sheriff's investigators accused Theresa M. Stanley-Morgan, 41, of getting the older woman to smoke the drug at least twice to make it easier to exploit her financially.


What the hell?

Nancy Grace to end show on Court TV - Yahoo! News

Nancy Grace to end show on Court TV

Thank goodness. That woman scared the shit out of me.

Empty Cage

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dear egotistical alcoholic,

Dear my mom's boss,

You fucker. You told me I wouldn't have to fix your book until the end of May, after my finals. Then, out of nowhere, you drop it in my lap the first week of finals, which also happens to be my week off. You jackass. Get your shit together! You're ruining my vacation, my finals, my sanity, and my relationship with my mom.

I'm never working for you again. You are unstable, egotistical, and incredibly boring. You don't pay me enough to fix your books. I'm the only one of my mom's kids who has never asked you for help financially, so you can feel free to fuck right off. My siblings can suck up to you, but I pay my own fucking bills and I don't need your stress. I swore to myself I was done dealing with alcoholics years ago, and you sir are no longer an exception.

The only thing keeping me from calling you right now and telling you about yourself is my mom. I love her dearly, and if you don't quit treating her like shit you'll find a slew of representatives from the IRS, Bar Association, and OSHA raining down on you like so many pellets of hail.

ps Your wife is probably cheating on you, and you smell like old people.



Sorry for the lack of posts. Sometimes shit happens, and this is one of those times when it all happens at once. Meanwhile, check out one of my new favorite songs, "Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn and John (or PB&J, as those of us in the know like to call 'em).


So much for my vacation.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Help Desk Warning

Thanks to Snackey, who always knows how to cheer a girl up. - Home Page - Home Page

Brought to my attention by the ever fantastical Bunnay

Chicken Crap :: Gnomes Got Jacked

Chicken Crap :: Gnomes Got Jacked

LA writer finds Steinbeck manuscripts - Yahoo! News

LA writer finds Steinbeck manuscripts

LOS ANGELES - A handwritten draft of John Steinbeck's novel "Sweet Thursday," along with an unpublished story and other works, will be auctioned by a writer who says they were sitting in a closet for 50 years.

"This stuff was unbelievable — just laying in a box," said Joel Eisenberg. "I had this `Aha!' moment when I realized not only what I had here, but what I had the responsibility to do."


You mean, like your responsibility to run out to the auctioneer and make half a million dollars?

I wish I had responsibilities like that. Sounds much better than the ones I have now.

Dear this fucking hotel chain,

(A little background for you, dear reader: I work *at* this hotel, but not *for* the hotel. I work for a separate company that rents out space in this hotel for AV and the business center. I am not employed in any way, shape or form by the hotel or the company that owns the hotel.)

Dear this fucking hotel chain,

You are a bunch of fucking idiots. This lady is here, and her mom died yesterday, and she's in town to settle her mom's affairs and make arrangements and all the stuff you have to do when your mom dies. The only hotel she could get was this one. So, the front desk told her about the rewards program offered by your hotel. She came back to use one of the computers in our computer room to sign up for it. And so we get to the first point:

Everywhere else you go, they can sign you up for their rewards program at the counter. Either by getting your name and phone number/email and entering that info into the computer, or by having you fill out a registration form by hand, and having the person behind the counter enter your information for you. Making a customer go find an internet connection to sign up is fucking DUMB. This is all part of customer service. A customer shouldn't have to go out of his or her way to sign up for your fucking frequent customer rewards program. It's almost guaranteed that this will make that person not be a customer in the future.

-Back to the rant-

The woman kept getting an error page when she tried to register. Her confirmation email never came. She was beside herself, rightfully so. Your sign-up process is obnoxious (have to click six or seven different links just for the privilege of getting spammed by you) and to not even have the satisfaction of being DONE with it is enough to annoy anybody. Which brings me to my second point:

Your website blows. It's all in tiny type, the links aren't the same from one page to the next. I'm talking anchor links here - reservations, location, about us, etc - it's hell of difficult to navigate. Fucking obnoxious. This is 2007, get with the fucking internet already.

-Back to the rant-

When your 800 number spells out the hotel name, it is hell of helpful to have the actual numerical number next to it. Nobody wants to be hunting and pecking at the fucking phone trying to spell out your stupid hotel name when they're already pissed off at your web site. Which brings me to my third point:

I was on hold for 16 minutes on your damn phone system. Every 90 seconds or so, after telling me how important I was, the fucking line would ring like I was being put through to somebody. Do you know how disappointing it is, what a cheap fucking shot that is, to make me think I'm being transferred and it turns out I'm just going back to the damn recording? Yes, I know this happens everywhere. But I can't remember the last time I spent 16 minutes on hold. That's quite excessive.

-Back to the rant-

You people suck. I get blamed for all the bullshit around here - no heat, no signs for the meeting rooms, price of parking, all that shit. And now you're making it so that I am completely unable to actively help one of YOUR fucking guests.

Thanks for nothing, assholes.


Death Cab for Cutie

I just got one line from this song stuck in my head, and now I can't stop listening to it.

The first one of you who calls me "emo kid" is getting a first class fucking ticket to "punch in the throat."

Anti-ageing cream sparks stampede -

Anti-ageing cream sparks stampede -

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Crowds of shoppers besieged Boots pharmacy stores on Friday morning in search of the Holy Grail of cosmetics -- an anti-ageing cream that actually seems to work.

In the latest of a series of high street stampedes for must-have products, they stripped the shelves of Boots' No.7 Protect & Perfect anti-wrinkle serum within minutes.

Thursday, May 3, 2007 - latest gadget news from around the world

The SnuzNLuz alarm clock connects to your online bank account via WiFi and donates your real money to an organization you hate every time you push the snooze button.


Holy shit! I mean, I have a regular alarm clock I use in the morning, plus the three on my phone. I would owe somebody a shitload of money! And it would probably be Bush, too. Damn, that would depress me so much that I wouldn't ever get out of bed.

Can you read this?

Can you read this?

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid, too.
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe tuo fo 100 anc.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

"Olny" 55% can read it? How can my ability to read this nonsense categorize me into the "people with a strange mind" if that majority of people can do this?

Sweet mercy, keep your nonsense to yourself. I dno't hvae tmie for tihs jibber-jabber.

Dear bold business man,

Dear asshole who was just here (no, not win32k.sys, as it would appear that win32k.sys is always here...this is a different asshole),

Look, the business center opens at 7:00. When you saw me at 6:50 and asked me about the business center, I tried really, really hard to smile and said, "Oh, we usually open at 7:00, but today I can open a few minutes early. I just need to run these reports upstairs, I'll be back downstairs in five minutes, tops."

You agreed, asshole. You agreed that this plan was okay with you. So imagine my suprise, ire and frustration when I came back from taking those reports upstairs to find that you were sitting at my fucking desk fucking with programs on my desktop, and peeking under my desk into my open purse! You are a fucking MORON, you asshole, to a degree so elevated that I can't even find words for it. How dare you just waltz into a private, closed office and just avail yourself of whatever you find there? What if I had run into Gloria, a housekeeper who is always very nice to me, and stopped to chat with her? Would you have availed yourself of my purse as well? Asshole.

Dear the guy who turned me down for a date and let me sit there feeling like a moron for what felt like ages before fessing up that it's because you're in renal failure and not some inherent malfunction that you found in me,

Are you related to some guy who is staying at the hotel where I work? Because I think I just met your dad.

Is it rude to call a guy with renal failure an asshole? Because I would imagine that that subject is kind of sensitive.


Dear the people who keep trying to psychoanalyze me now that I've quit smoking,

I am not meaner than I was last week. I am no more snarky, rude, petulant or obnoxious than I was when I was smoking 30 cigarettes a day. Your continued insistence that I am more rude now that I'm done smoking is kind of insulting, like maybe I wasn't making it clear how much I dislike you back when I was smoking.

Note to self: while it is important to let the people you love know that you love them, it is apparently equally important to let the people you dislike know that you dislike them.

Good to know.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dear win32k.sys...

Dear win32k.sys,

Up yours, asshole.


YouTube - CAKE "Love You Madly"

YouTube - CAKE "Love You Madly"

A video about Phyllis Diller, comedian, trying to pick up Jeff Smith, "Frugal Gourmet," striking out, and trying for Rick James instead.

Not really. A kind of "Iron Chef" thing with the trumpeter and drummer from Cake, which makes me want some delicious squash.

Go ahead, listen to the reviews at the end, where Phyllis says (off camera) "Will you marry me?" and try to not picture her in the throes of passion with any of the guys there.

I apologize in advance.

Quiz Farm - Which Horror Killer are You?

Quiz Farm - Which Horror Killer are You?

You scored as Leatherface. You are Leatherface.

You aren't so much evil, as you are doing what it takes to live. You just go along with what the family says, and kill to keep that belly full. Though you may not do it just for fun, you do have serious mental issues, and anyone who happens to bump into you, is sure to live the rest of their life in therapy, that is if they live at all.

Leatherface 90%
Jigsaw 80%
Hannibal Lecter 70%
Captain Spaulding 65%
Michael Myers 60%
Freddy Krueger 40%
Pinhead 40%
Buffalo Bill 40%
Candyman 40%
Jason Voorhees 35%

Which Horror Killer are You?
created with

Dear Moron,

Dear the moron who was just here,

You little joke about "how much do you charge for stapling?" went without comment because it's a "joke" that I've heard many times before.

However, in light of the sheer quantity of people asking how much we charge for a single staple, my boss and I have decided to charge 10¢ for each staple used. We thank you for your wonderful idea of charging for stapler use, and we hope that you come back later so we can tell you (via your room bill) just how much we appreciate it.

A note to all customers in the future:

If you have some equally lame "joke" that you'd like to use on me, please come to my desk immediately after checking in and lay it on me. Be sure to bring your wallet, though, as I will be charging $25 per "joke." Cash only, no checks, no credit cards, no paypal.

Also please give me information on where you parked your car, make & model, license plate number, etc, so I know which car to cover with breadcrumbs...thus attracting birds, who will cover your car in bird poop to a degree that you will find quite unbelievable. Oh, but you'd better believe it!


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

S'long, George

Comedian Tom Poston dead at 85

My childhood heroes are dropping like flies.


So, last time I quit smoking the first step I took was to not have a smoke before 10:00 a.m. It was something a former co-worker had told me that helped him keep his smoking under control.

So, today, I wait til 10:00 for my first smoke. Usually there is a nice head rush. It was kind of there this time, but mostly I just want to puke now. Ugh. I think I'm done for good.

l_01047521db4229eeff37911c3ce47eb9.gif (GIF Image, 400x300 pixels)

l_01047521db4229eeff37911c3ce47eb9.gif (GIF Image, 400x300 pixels)

Blatantly stolen from V.

Oh no! Joe!

Bazooka Joe

TheSobSister, whose pages never fail to enlighten and amuse, has found a disturbing piece of news: Bazooka Joe got homogonized. The fun-loving, rascally fella we used to know is gone now. In his place is this "hipper than hip, cooler than cool" Super Cool Average Joe:

This Joe has come a long way from the Joe the world first met, the one that helped shape the childhood of our grandparents and great-grandparents, the scrappy kid with the attitude and the irony at every turn:

He's even changed a bit from the Bazooka Joe I knew in my lost and reckless youth:

This new guy, this new Joe with his pop appeal and his squeaky-clean friends, seems to be just one more thorn in my aging side, one more reminder that it's time to pass the torch to the next generation. The whole point of Bazooka Joe is that he appeals to kids. The fact that he no longer appeals to me is just one more sign that it's time to stop talking about how Scrappy Doo ruined everything and start talking about all the boring things that adults talk about.

Such is life, I suppose. The day comes for every one in which we become the thing we hate.