Monthly Archives: February 2010

Upside the Head

I gotta smack someone: It’s been one of those days:

  • A deadbeat client wants me to do more work for them so that they can make the money they need to pay me. (Sound of me hitting my head on the wall…)
  • A student turns in an assignment that actually makes me feel queasy. Mistakes galore (punctuation, syntax, style), but the real kicker: he uses Word like a typewriter, adding a hard return at the end of each line.
  • Terri gets into the pesto. ‘Nuf said.

Luckily, I have a few online resources that always make me smile.  These are not for the faint-of-heart, so consider yourself warned:

  • Sleep Talkin’ Man: Adam’s alterego is hysterical.  And yes, this is the real deal.
  • Society for Librarians Who Say Motherf*cker: The name says it all. I wonder if Denise would have appreciated this or if it would have shocked her.
  • Clients From Hell: Mostly tales of graphic design clients, but we can all appreciate the pathos.
  • More Clients From Hell: Generic but rude. (And why, pray tell, do people feel the need to incorrectly capitalize prepositions in titles?)
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Where’s Winter?

Hot again! Well, our winter cold spell sure didn’t last long. While much of Europe and the US’s eastern seaboard are still shrouded in snow and ice, we’re basking in very warm spring temps. We’ve gone from space heaters to fans in two days. 

The warm weather means that the jackals have been ousted from the park; the loud teenagers are back. (I prefer the jackals…) The hedgehogs are out at night, en force,  as they rummage for grubs. Terri adores them. She barks happily and pounces back and forth. The hedgehogs always tuck their heads in (we often can’t tell one end from the other), vibrate angrily, hiss, and shake their quills at her.  The other night, Terri was so joyous at the sight of the first spring hedgehog that she peed on it.

The hedgehog was probably annoyed, but no real harm done. Unfortunately, these sea lions near Seattle didn’t do so well.

Thumbs Down for Google Buzz

Add it to the Fail list, Bubba: Yo, yo, yo, check it out, dis app is whack!  Man, Google be frontin’ if’ dey think we wants d’world to know who we be emailin’ an’ chattin’ an’ sh*t. True dat. Wha’s up w’da fly apps they be promisin’ us?

Sorry. I was channeling the spirit of my homegirl LaRunda Chantelle. But I second the sentiment. Imagine my surprise to notice a new Google app, Buzz, that automatically appeared in my Gmail interface this morning. I think a better name for it would be Buzzarre.  What demented, misguided fool thought that I would want the world to follow everything I did?  Sheesh.

The Big Bird

Maiden flight success: Having grown up in Seattle, I’m always thrilled by the big birds that come out of Boeing. The new 747-8 takes to the skies.

Real men don’t touch type: At least that is what my friend DW reports, according to some startled mizrachi dudes sitting at the next table. DW is typing away, Skype texting me from his laptop, while sitting in a WiFi-friendly café in his area. The dudes (heavily weighed down with gold chains) are postulating vigorously that men should not type.  Sheesh. Talk about the shallow end of the gene pool…

Don’t complain about rude Israelis: At least not until you read this wicked blog post about the French concept of service.

Feeling nostalgic lately? Came across this gorgeous shot of James Dean, circa 195x. Coffee never looked so good.  Photo credit unknown.

New Neighbors

I don’t mean to sound specieist, but… I’d just as soon not live quite so close to my new neighbors. This unusually cold weather has driven the teenagers away from the park. For most of the year, the park across the street from my building is the after-hours hangout for teens. They play music, laugh, and “talk” to each other (something that, to adult ears, more closely resembles screaming). It’s too damn cold for them to hang out now, but the park did not remain deserted long. A pack of jackals moved in last night. Mind you, this is a park right in a city, next to a school and a community center.

Terri and I first discovered our new neighbors during a short walk late last night.  It was pitch black and painfully cold, but it was not the chill air that made Terri shake or made my hair stand up: it was an incredibly eerie, mournful, yelping howl that errupted from the shrubbery just a few meters away from us. Luckily, Terri was on the leash, so she couldn’t take off after these invisible night monsters. Poor baby went rigid and started barking hysterically. I had to drag her away as the howling and yelping continued. There were definitely at least four jackals, and within a minute I could hear them coming from both sides, as if they were trying to flank us. I had to use considerable force to drag Terri away (amazing how strong a little 8 kilo dog can be). She was ready to rumble!  

The park contains a skateboard area that acts as a giant acoustic bowl, amplifying the jackals’ calls and making it difficult to judge distance and direction.  It was really one of the most eerie experiences I’ve had.

Terri continued barking wildly until we were within a few meters of our building again. She’s usually a quiet dog, but she is also fearless, and clearly the proximity of these wild animals had thrown her into a real tizzy.  Once inside, she raced to the big chair in the living room, jumped up on the back to look out the window (into the pitch black, I might add), and continued growling and carrying on.  Whew!

Weather Watch

Sunny but cold: I’m so bundled up on last night’s walk that I can barely waddle.  Terri, who refuses to wear anything on her walks, seems quite happy to stand in the icy wind and delicately sniff the shrubbery.  We overtake a group of Russians who are strolling along with no hats, scarves, or gloves.  I suppose that if you grew up in Siberia, this must seem laughably balmy. And compared to the mid-Atlantic blizzard, we are enjoying pleasantly mild weather.

I am amazed at the number of photos showing people standing in the snow, sans hats or gloves. Even when I was young, I got miserably cold in my hands.  Best picture, IMO, goes to Casey Connelly who submitted this snow-encrusted Shnauzer.  I wonder what Terri would do…

Horky Dog

Break out the paper towels:  After years of living with cats, I’m ill prepared for the realities of doggy disasters.  For example, when cats hork, they work up to it. There is a lot of moaning and hunching over, followed by those dreadful wet sounds before anything actually appears. Heck, Nadine used to make a real performance of it. Not so with Miss Terri Berry.  She just suddenly… erupts. No early warning system at all.  So now I’ve finally figured out that my dog doesn’t do eggs. Not raw, not cooked, not whites, not yolks, not nuthin’. And this from a former stray who still happily noshes on cow poo.  Go figure.