Monday, June 30, 2008

Spelling Counts

This article tells the story of an instructor who gave student 2 points out of 27 on an exam just for putting an obscenity on the test paper. The instructor says the 2 points were for at least writing something and for spelling it correctly. If you read, you'll see the instructor requested that the students, "Describe the room you're sitting in" and this student put "F*** off". I think to get the 2 points, the student should have answered "F***ed" because he could argue that word describes the room. In my book, by putting a imperative, the student gets a zero.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sign For My New Toilet

I could use this sign for my new toilets! Even though they haven't expressed any opinion, I'm sure my new toilets only want clean butts.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Da Plane, Da Plane

Recently, I've been noticing a lot women with tattoos. Not just cute little tattoos of roses or butterflies but large, intricate and colorful murals. Murals that cover shoulders and chests and then spiral down arms. Images of dragons or roses or wizards crawling up legs.

I don't object to tattoos; to each her own. It's just that I don't understand the compulsion. I personally have no desire to have someone poke me repeatedly with ink laden pins but I would never try to prevent anyone else from going under the needle. The thing that eludes me is how someone is able to choose a design and have it imprinted on her body so that it will last forever. I can't imagine wearing the same shirt every day for the rest of my life and, similarly, I can't imagine having the same image on me day after day after day. Plus, once you've had a mystical garden in shades of purple, green and red printed down your arm, it's got to be hard to find outfits that match.

I guess it's safe to say you'll never see me permanently decorated with images on my body.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poor Analysis

In our morning paper, the editorial suggests that people who vote early tend to vote against tax increases. This is based on a study done at the University of Pennsylvania. I want to track down the research to see if the researchers made the same error in logic the RJ editorial board did. They think that, since the people who voted on election day were more likely to vote for taxes, we could discourage people from voting early to make sure they vote in favor of our next school bond.

Um? Does anyone really think that if you prevent people from voting early, they'll change their vote? Couldn't it just be that people who are against raising taxes are eager to rush to vote? If you somehow discourage them from voting early, will that make them suddenly tax friendly? I've read the article twice, searching for signs of sarcasm but don't find them. If the editors are serious, they need to go take a basic logic course.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Soul Of A Writer

I'm currently reading The Soul Of A Chef by Mark Ruhlman and I'm enjoying it a lot. The first section is about chefs taking the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Certified Master Chef (CMC) test. It is fun and suspenseful as Mark describes the chefs who are testing, the menus they prepare and the results of the tests. The second section, which I haven't finished yet, is about Michael Symon, the most recent addition to Iron Chef America. The third section is about Mark's own search for culinary perfection - does it even exist? I recommend the book to any foodies who like Food Network and who appreciate crafty food preparation.

Enough about the book content; the real purpose of this post to make a point about writing.

In the middle of the section on Michael Symon, I encountered this sentence: "Courtney, like most Lola employees, lived near the restaurant with a gigantic chocolate Lab named Guinness." After reading a sentence like that, my brain screeches to a halt and I'm lifted out of the story to ponder; does every Lola employee have a chocolate dog named Guinness? You may think that is silly but it is true. My rational braing quickly determines that, of course, the author means most employees live near the restaurant and that Courtney also has a chocolate Lab. But the damage has been done. I've become distracted and, for the next few pages, I'm imagining of all the Lola employees owning similar dogs, all who answer to the name Guinness. A company picnic would be funny, with dogs completely confused every time one is summoned.

I'm over it now but it makes me think more authors should buy the book Write Tight by my brother's friend, Bill.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top 10 of the Top 10

I've said here before how hard it is for me to choose favorites and that must be why favorite lists fascinate me. I envy the ability to make a firm decision. AFI has chosen the top 10 of various genres.

As usual, it's hard for me to say the number one choice is correct but surely they're in the ballpark. I haven't seen the Romantic Comedy choice, City Lights or the Western top choice, The Searchers but the other choices seem pretty reasonable to me so I am compelled to believe the number one choices are reasonable.

I've added the list below. I've X'd the ones I haven't seen. Looks like I have some viewing to do in the Epic area. And I'm completely surprised at how many of the Westerns I haven't seen. I swear I spent every Saturday of my 12th year watching Westerns on TV.

The list follows:

1. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1937.
2. “Pinocchio,” 1940.
3. “Bambi,” 1942.
4. “The Lion King,” 1994.
5. “Fantasia,” 1940.
6. “Toy Story,” 1995.
7. “Beauty and the Beast,” 1991.
8. “Shrek,” 2001.
9. “Cinderella,” 1950.
10. “Finding Nemo,” 2003.

1. “The Wizard of Oz,” 1939.
2. “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” 2001.
3. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 1946.
4. “King Kong,” 1933.
5. “Miracle on 34th Street, 1947.
6. “Field of Dreams,” 1989.
7. “Harvey,” 1950.
8. “Groundhog Day,” 1993.
9. “The Thief of Bagdad,” 1924. X
10. “Big,” 1988.

1. “The Godfather,” 1972.
2. “Goodfellas,” 1990.
3. “The Godfather Part II,” 1974.
4. “White Heat,” 1949. X
5. “Bonnie and Clyde,” 1967.
6. “Scarface: The Shame of a Nation,” 1932.
7. “Pulp Fiction,” 1994.
8. “The Public Enemy,” 1931.
9. “Little Caesar,” 1930. X
10. “Scarface,” 1983.

1. “2001: A Space Odyssey,” 1968.
2. “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” 1977.
3. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” 1982.
4. “A Clockwork Orange,” 1971.
5. “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” 1951. X
6. “Blade Runner,” 1982.
7. “Alien,” 1979. X
8. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” 1991. X
9. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” 1956.
10. “Back to the Future,” 1985.

1. “The Searchers,” 1956. X
2. “High Noon,” 1952.
3. “Shane,” 1953.
4. “Unforgiven,” 1992. X
5. “Red River,” 1948. X
6. “The Wild Bunch,” 1969.
7. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” 1969.
8. “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” 1971. X
9. “Stagecoach,” 1939. X
10. “Cat Ballou,” 1965.

1. “Raging Bull,” 1980.
2. “Rocky,” 1976.
3. “The Pride of the Yankees,” 1942. X
4. “Hoosiers,” 1986. X
5. “Bull Durham,” 1988.
6. “The Hustler,” 1961.
7. “Caddyshack,” 1980.
8. “Breaking Away,” 1979. X
9. “National Velvet,” 1944.
10. “Jerry Maguire,” 1996.

1. “Vertigo,” 1958.
2. “Chinatown,” 1974.
3. “Rear Window,” 1954.
4. “Laura,” 1944. X
5. “The Third Man,” 1949.
6. “The Maltese Falcon,” 1941.
7. “North By Northwest,” 1959.
8. “Blue Velvet,” 1986. X
9. “Dial M for Murder,” 1954.
10. “The Usual Suspects,” 1995.

1. “City Lights,” 1931.
2. “Annie Hall,” 1977.
3. “It Happened One Night,” 1934.
4. “Roman Holiday,” 1953.
5. “The Philadelphia Story,” 1940.
6. “When Harry Met Sally ...,” 1989.
7. “Adam’s Rib,” 1949.
8. “Moonstruck,” 1987.
9. “Harold and Maude,” 1971.
10. “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993.

1. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” 1962.
2. “12 Angry Men,” 1957.
3. “Kramer Vs. Kramer,” 1979.
4. “The Verdict,” 1982. X
5. “A Few Good Men,” 1992.
6. “Witness for the Prosecution,” 1957. X
7. “Anatomy of a Murder,” 1959.
8. “In Cold Blood,” 1967.
9. “A Cry in the Dark,” 1988. X
10. “Judgment at Nuremberg,” 1961. X

1. “Lawrence of Arabia,” 1962.
2. “Ben-Hur,” 1959. X
3. “Schindler’s List,” 1993. X
4. “Gone With the Wind,” 1939.
5. “Spartacus,” 1960. X
6. “Titanic,” 1997.
7. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” 1930.
8. “Saving Private Ryan,” 1998.
9. “Reds,” 1981. X
10. “The Ten Commandments,” 1956. X

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm From America

Okay, okay I know America's Got Talent is cheesy TV but if this doesn't touch your heart, you must not have one. I love the fact that she is just herself, no make up and no answers obviously scripted by her parents. What a little doll! Maybe not ready for the Las Vegas stage but I won't mind seeing her again.

McCain Overload

Anyone want to guess how many times we're going to have to listen to McCain remind us he was a POW, his dad fought in the war and his grandfather died after the war? I admit, I don't have to listen because I have a mute button and a fast forward on my DVR but, I'm already getting tired of avoiding it. It runs every 15 minutes. It's only June. It's obviously already driving me wacko; I got so worked up when I saw it yesterday, I posted this on my Daze Of Wine blog by accident. Enough already!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Restaurant Safety Zone

I guess the message that we Americans are a pretty fat bunch is making headway. It seems restaurants are all getting the healthful food band wagon. Please note I said, "healthful" and not "healthy". I can't tell you the number of times my grandmother said to me, "Food is not healthy, food is healthful." I guess she was right considering the food is on my plate and not out in a field or stream.

Some of the restaurants on this list of "Healthiest Restaurants" surprised me. Ignore the fact that if my grandmother were still alive she'd let you know restaurants are not healthy; just browse the list.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Nevada's Governor. Jim Gibbons, is 63,000 years old and he's text messaging his girlfriend 850 times in one month. According to our governor, she's just a friend. Meanwhile the state is looking at a BILLION dollar deficit and we're all sitting around watching the Governor and his wife battle in court over their divorce. I'm hoping some enterprising soul will start a recall. And then maybe we can get an actor to run our state instead of a player.

"Apparently, the job of running a state mired in an unprecedented budget deficit and stung by a subprime mortgage crisis is easier than it looks. Our public education system is cracking. Our social service system is a national laughingstock.

But, hey, at least the Love Gov. has time to hook up." [article link above]

Monday, June 9, 2008


A few days back I noticed a sidebar conversation over on bluishorange about the author David Sedaris. I've heard of Sedaris but never read him. I have no excuse except that when the book Me Talk Pretty One Day was released to rave reviews, I couldn't deal with reading it because the grammar annoyed me. I know, I know, and I'm sorry but I just couldn't pick the book up. I didn't consider myself a Sedarisphobe, he just never made it in my to-read list.

A few days after I saw the note in bluishorange, my brother add an Amazon widget with a few book recommendations. One was for When You Are Engulfed In Flames. I'm not going to speculate on why he chose the LARGE PRINT version. (Anyone else amused by the fact the the LARGE PRINT notation is always in caps?)

I thought it was interesting that the name David Sedaris should come to my attention twice in a short period of time. And, then, today I got in my car to go home and turned on the radio. It was on NPR, just like always. It just so happened I was going home later than usual and so I didn't get the news as I usually do. No, it was a Fresh Air interview with, you guessed it, David Sedaris. And, I kid you not, when I went to to find the link, there was an ad for the interview right on the front page. It faded away as the next random ad came up and if you jump to the site right now, I'm betting you won't see it.

As I listened to the interview, I drove straight to my library and looked for David Sedaris books. They didn't have any on the shelves. Which is weird because if the universe is really pushing me to read Sedaris, you would think the book would have been on display as I walked in the door.

I'll be reading Sedaris as soon as my library fills the request for me. I'll get back to you with my opinion.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's My Brother's Fault

If you come to my house and see the dishes are dirty and the sheets aren't clean, you can blame my brother. I went over to his site today to read his latest post which pointed me to America's Best Dance Crew. I really liked Shane Sparks as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance and now he's a judge on ABDC.

So I spent my afternoon watching auditions for Season 2 ABDC. And then I watched Walk It Out where Shane Sparks taught dance lessons. How cool is that? It made me wish I was 20 years old cuz, man, I could dance! But now I look like a middle age woman copying the youngsters. Think yourself lucky since you'll never see me on the dance floor. Just call me Susan Mitty.

The afternoon slipped by and, though I got the dishes loaded, the dishwasher never got started and the sheets and dirty clothes never made it to the washer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Deal Or No Deal

"Unusual equipment is a common deal breaker, too. How many times has a couscous recipe been cast aside because there is no couscousière in the house?"

What's your recipe deal breaker? I tend to back away from any recipe with a long list of things I don't have in the pantry. I don't want to spend $50 stocking the kitchen with ingredients I may never use again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


"I just don't understand why kids would do a stupid thing like that," said Rochelle Hoins of Castle Rock, Colorado, where 18 students in her twin sons' middle school sent around nude pictures of themselves last year. "We did dumb things when we were kids, but not like that," said Hoins, whose sons were not involved. full article here

Lady, you didn't do stuff like that when you were a kid because Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet tubes yet!

So It Was

"So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the greatest generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom's cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that's better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us."

Say what you want, the man can speak!

New Motto

New to me anyway. Via my buddy Cheryl. "When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and invite me over!"

Monday, June 2, 2008


Verbatim's post inspired me to post about how this Compartive Literature major loves working with numbers. I've always enjoyed math but I quit taking math classes my Junior year in high school. That's a whole other post.

My dad is a CPA, my brother is a CPA. My paternal grandfather was a math professor, my grandmother got a Master's in math as did my paternal aunt. My mom was a bookkeeper. So I was surrounded by numbers all my life. And I love them.

In high school and in college I worked at my dad's accounting firm. I had all kinds of jobs there, including receptionist, file clerk, accounts receivable clerk and eventually programmer. Aside from the programming, my favorite tasks involved the numbers.

I didn't have Excel to help me with my work. I had a 10 key adding machine. I loved adding long lists of numbers. Key them in, get a total and then key that total in and subtract out all the entries. When I would hit the total button and get ZERO, it meant I had added them perfectly.

But my favorite task was balancing accounts. Give me a pad of paper like this:

Add a number two pencil along with a ten key and set me loose. Add down, add across and check the totals. When it would all balance I was perfect! The nice thing was there was always a right answer. Do it correctly and balance. Do it incorrectly and you're stuck hunting down the error. Tip: If you're off by a multiple of 9, you probably transposed a number somewhere along the line.

I'm not against progress and I have nothing against Excel; it saves a lot of time. I still like working with numbers, constructing formulas and getting the answers but I do kind of miss my 10 key.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I fell for one of those "as seen on TV ads" a few weeks ago and bought this. I have to say I'm impressed. I got it at Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% coupon so it was pretty cheap. I wish I had a before picture of my feet for you. I had cracked and UGLY heels. I used the Ped Egg just as instructed and now I have nice smooth heels. I saw results the first time I used it. If you've got rough ugly heels, I definitely recommend it.