Monday, December 31, 2007


How did I do on my 2007 resolutions?

1. Continue to eat better - I did ok...till Christmas. I gave up sweets, but of course at Christmas everyone gives you cookies and candy. I did manage to use more fresh ingredients though.

2. Exercise more - I did ok with this one too. I went walking/running a couple times and my dad and I rode bikes most weekends this summer.

3. Quit being so stagnant - I can check that one off now that I'm in grad school.

4. Stop giving a shit - I'm not sure what exactly I meant by this, but I think I did better at not taking things so personally.

Now, for my 2008 resolutions:

1. Cut down on smoking - This will be hard.

2. Continue to eat better - I'm completely giving up sweets now that most of the Christmas candy and cookies are gone.

3. Exercise More - Now that I have an MP3 player I'll have more motivation to go walking/running. Using a Walkman just wasn't cutting it!

4. Be more thankful for the things in my life - This is something I don't want to go into too much detail about, but it's something I need to do.

5. Take better care of myself - I've made some doctor's appointments that I've been putting off, but there's one thing I need to have checked out that I'm dragging my feet on. We'll see how this goes.

I hope everyone has a great and prosperous New Year! I plan to spend the rest of today and tomorrow watching the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Centralia 12/26/07: Part IV

This is the sign that greets you as you near Centralia. This is the old route 61 (the one with all the cracks) that has been replaced.

The amount of graffiti in the town is unbelievable. The batteries in my camera died when we got to the crack (of course), so I wasn't able to get any good pictures of it.

There's obviously a pyromaniac who likes to come to Centralia. Among the detritus were shotgun shells, a bottle of brandy, McDonalds bags, old spray paint cans, and many, many cans of cheap beer. I'm not sure that I want to know what the mattress and garden hose are used for.

They still decorate for Christmas. There was a nativity scene in the town square. The saddest part of the trip was that the mayor's house was torn down. Here's the story. Within 5 years there will probably be nothing left.

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Centralia 12/26/07: Part III

These are various vent pipes around the town (notice one has become a kind of garbage receptacle and has some nice graffiti) as well as some pictures of the gorgeous Orthodox church.

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Centralia 12/26/07: Part II

Here are some pictures from a cemetery that we missed the first time around.

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Centralia 12/26/07: Part I

I'm sorry about the bluish tint; I'm not very familiar with the settings on Chris's camera. This first series is pictures of smoke coming out of the ground (it shows up much better on a 40 degree day than a 90 degree day!), views from various parts of town, and, to begin the group, a sign that greeted us.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Red Velvet Cake

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I wish I could say I spent my days off feeding the homeless or doing something productive, but I've spent it vegging. I'm allowed though. Tomorrow Rusty and I are going back to Centralia, so I'll post pics. In the meantime, you can look at pics of my red velvet cake. I'm not deluding myself into thinking I can quit my day job and take up cake decorating, but this thing was delicious...I'm ashamed to admit that it's almost gone.



Feliz Navidad

Thursday, December 20, 2007

LOL President

Chek dis owt, k thx: LOL President



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Monday, December 17, 2007

If you missed The Simpsons last night, here's a funny clip.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Guilty Pleasure Saturday #14

Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games. Did you hear about the teacher in Connecticut who called the cops because she heard people doing a karaoke version of Welcome to the Jungle over the PA and thought she was being threatened? Yeah. I can't stand Guns n' Roses, but I do like this song. You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Here Is Where the Title Should Be

This is funny: Oprah's favorite thing or symptom of clinical depression? I have nothing nice to write about because it's supposed to snow/ice yet again.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Cure

The Cure is in my holy trinity of bands which also includes Depeche Mode and Pink Floyd. I hate to admit it, but while DM is my favorite band of all time, TC and PF definitely have more musical talent, and I think Disintegration is the best album ever. I once read that Robert Smith said he's not a depressed person, but when he's depressed he writes, and not many people can accurately describe being in a dark place like Mr. Smith can. Listening to him describe lost love can literally make my heart ache. Of course, The Cure also has some great, uptempo songs as well, like "Lovecats," "Friday I'm in Love," and "Let's Go to Bed." Many of these are sung with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but I still think they're great and bop along to them after curling up in the fetal position listening to the sad ones.

Here's Fascination Street, from Disintegration:

Because I feel it all fading and paling
And I'm begging
To drag you down with me
To kick the last nail in
Yeah! I like you in that
Like I like you to scream
But if you open your mouth
Then I can't be responsible
For quite what goes in
Or to care what comes out

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Monday, December 10, 2007


I know I've raved about LibraryThing before, but I had to bring it up for 25 DoN because it rocks and because I just got my 3rd Early Reviewers book from them today! That's about $75 worth of books I've received and I paid a nominal fee to become a member for life. If you're a reader and you haven't already, I highly recommend checking it out. It's an excellent way to keep track of your library or books you have read. It also has message boards with (mostly) friendly posters (be careful in the "Worst Book You Ever Read" threads!), reviews, rankings, and all kind of information about a book that only a true book geek would care about.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Guilty Pleasure Saturday #13

Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet. I freaking love this song! My favorite part is the beginning:

Are you ready, Steve?

Uh huh.





All right, fellas. Let's goooooo!!

I gots to get me a pair of tight red leather pants.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Prince Caspian

The next chapter in the Chronicles of Narnia (in publication order, at least) is coming out on May 16, 2008. Check out the trailer for Prince Caspian. I'm re-reading the books, but I'm going in chronological order, so Prince Caspian is number 4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a gorgeous, lush movie that I think was robbed for best cinematography at the Oscars, so I have high expectations for PC.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Four Walls Won't Hold Me Tonight

For Day 5 of 25 DoN, I want to give a shout-out to Thriller, which was released 25 years ago this week. Doesn't that make you feel old? I'm resisting the urge to rant about PennDot because I have nothing nice to say about the fact that they neither plowed nor salted the roads today. Anyway, Thriller has been mind-bogglingly successful, having sold 104 million albums, making it the top-selling album of all-time (although this has been disputed), and it's only one of three albums to remain on the Billboard 200 for a full year. It has gone 27x platinum; spent 80 weeks in the top 10, including 37 consecutive weeks at number 1; it was the only album ever to produce seven top-ten singles; and it was the best-selling album of 1983 and 1984 in the U.S. Today 600,000 copies of Thriller are sold every year in the U.S. Thriller won Michael Jackson 7 Grammys and 8 AMAs.

Yes, Michael Jackson is in the midst of a downward spiral that has lasted well over a decade so far, but the pop music scene in the 80s belonged, undeniably, to Michael Jackson. Thriller has only 9 songs, but 7 of them are excellent. "The Girl is Mine" is a complete pile of crap ("Paul, I think I told you; I'm a lover, not a fighter."). I happen to like P.Y.T., but compared to Thriller's other tracks, it's filler. That leaves you with the gems: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "Baby Be Mine," "Thriller," "Beat It," "Billie Jean," "Human Nature," and "The Lady in My Life." Yes, it's pop, but it's pop at its finest.

Enjoy some clips from before pop music was about untalented skanks getting out of cars while not wearing underwear.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Office (UK)

Today is Day 4 of 25 DoN and I'm going to write about my love of the UK version of The Office. Part of the reason I'm not feeling the US Office as much lately is that they've departed from what The Office is supposed to be about and the characters have become caricatures of themselves. If you watch season 1 of the US version, the lighting was bad and the actors didn't look glamorous. Steve Carell was paunchy and had bad hair plugs. Now he (and everyone else) are much more attractive. There were no unrealistic situations, and everyone who has worked in an office could relate to the goings-on. The Office is supposed to be realistic and about the doldrums of everyday life in a cubicle farm.

The UK version never strayed from this formula, and part of that was because it was only 12 episodes and a 2-part Christmas special. The US version has 59 episodes and is still going strong. We all knew that Jim and Pam were going to end up together; when Dawn left the Christmas party, our hearts broke because we thought she and Tim would continue to suffer with unrequited love. I do love the US Office, and I'm obviously not one of those people who refuses to watch the US Office because of their love for the UK version (I didn't see the UK version till the end of Season 1 of the US version), but I think the UK version benefited from the idea that less is more.

In honor of The UK Office, here are the Stereophonics (not Rod Stewart!!!!!!) doing "Handbags and Gladrags", one of my favorite songs.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

They Don't Teach This in Sunday School

Today is Day 3 of 25 Days of Niceness, and this doesn't really fit into the theme, but I'm trying to post every day, and I think this is funny, and that's nice, isn't it? has a hilarious list of badass Bible verses. My favorite is:

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them, and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.


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Sunday, December 02, 2007


Today is Day 2 of 25 Days of Niceness, and I went to a Bears game tonight, so I have to post about hockey. Congrats to the Bears for winning 6-4 tonight over the Norfolk Admirals. We were one row back from the ice and I was one seat away from the Bears' box. Our seats actually sucked because the players blocked our view every time they stood up, which was 98% of the time, BUT I made eye contact with Robitaille!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! I was seriously like, 5 feet away from him, separated only by a wall of Plexiglas. I could even see his hands; he has hot hands. There were no fights though; what is that?!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

My Favorite Book is Magazines

These scary and somewhat disturbing magazine covers were made at We'll ignore the fact that I was supposed to be writing a paper while I was making these covers.


Guilty Pleasure Saturday #12

Today is day 1 of 25 days of Niceness, so I'll start with a GPS. I present you with Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize." I know B. and Rusty are probably with me on this one. Whenever this comes on in the car I rock out, and I don't care who sees. Unfortunately I can't make fun of the video because that wouldn't be nice. :) QR's lead singer, Kevin DuBrow, was found dead last Sunday at the age of 52.

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