Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Office Space and Erma Bombeck

I often recall the opening scene from Office Space when Ron Livingston is driving to work in Los Angeles. Every time he gets in a lane where traffic seems to be moving, it immediately halts. He repeats this process several times only to watch an octogenarian in a walker shuffle past his stopped car.

I was reminded of this even more so in reading my HBR case today regarding queueing theories when the author disclosed "Erma Bombeck's Law: 'The other line always moves faster!'"

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Conspiracy Theory

Well, it seems as though another chapter in the mystery of American conspiracy theories is coming to a close. Unlike the unanswered "who was on the grassy knoll?" question, this one may be answered. A magazine speculates that the infamous Deep Throat of Nixon and Watergate is none other than W. Mark Felt of the FBI. I find these moments in history fascinating, not in an Oliver Stone sort of way, but in a these are the makings of our relatively young nation sort of way.

UPDATE: The Washington Post confirms the story here.


"Cross Check"

Do you ever wonder what they mean in the airplane when they say "cross check"?

Appropriate given that I went to LAX bright and early this morning to drop Wes off. So ends vacation. Wes and I enjoyed a great week/weekend and had a lot of opportunity to discuss how we envision our future. I think, despite separation, we're both happier now and we had a bonus week to enjoy each other's company.

Now it's back to homework and work, and the rest of the summer schedule. With the boss leaving and things all aflutter at work, it should be an interesting time. School seems to be a bit lighter, which should be nice.

Otherwise I plan to finish some knitting projects, start some new ones, read! (just picked up Jean Auel's The Plains of Passage and a new translation of La Morte d'Arthur - ban me from book stores!), and watch a bunch more movies.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

It's a dog's life.

Some of you may have been following my growing love for a certain dog, despite the shock of my parents and friends and most importantly, me. This dog may not be my favorite, but I think he has a good idea going.


Things are looking up.

This article here says my quest for higher education and those magical three letters after my name might not be for naught.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Natural Selection at its Finest

Star Wars fans go rabid.


Spoiling myself...

After a full spring of weddings and wedding gifts, I've taken the last month or two to splurge a little on myself. Ya know... money doesn't buy happiness, but occasionally it buys things that make me happy.

Today's purchase? 6 skeins of the lovely TLC Amore in Vanilla. I've decided to give up the futile search for a white sweater and knit myself either a poncho or a shawl. I can't wait to start searching for patterns. My most recent project, an afgan for Wes (that would be blanket, not middle east citizen), is almost done so it's time to do something fun for me. After wedding blankets, scarves for Christmas, and others, I think it's time to add something to my collection. Photos to come.

Also on the splurge list: the tickets I bought to Rascal Flatts, upcoming tickets to the production of Wicked (the musical about the witches from Oz), and a vacation in August.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A little proof:


Women = Time x Money

Now it is often said that:
Time = Money

Women = Money^2

And we all know that:
Money = √Evil

Women = (√Evil)^2

Women = Evil

Q.E.D. (and damn proud)


Chaos Theory

It has been said that something
as small as the flutter of a butterfly's
wing can ultimately cause a typhoon
halfway around the world.


Quote of the Day

"Loneliness... is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man." -Thomas Wolfe


Monday, May 23, 2005

Back to work.

Well, I was most sorry to have to wake up early this morning and drag myself back to work, as this was one of the nicest, most relaxing weekends I have had in a long time. Wes arrived Friday night, and despite every restaurant I could think of being closed, we found dinner and enjoyed an evening of catching up.

Saturday we slept late and went out to brunch. Then we came home and watched House of Flying Daggers which I would heartily recommend. The imagery was beautiful, the special effects were breathtaking and the movie was simply in a word (or two) well done.

Sunday we started with the anticipation of heading out towards the Southern California Renaissance Faire, but the crowds and several block long line of cars at the main gates kept us out. So instead we went to the movies and saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Even though I hadn't fully read the books, I appreciated that the movie was amusing, wacky and pretty much in the spirit of Douglas Adams. Hard-core book fans may not agree, and no movie can take the place of a great book, but I thought it was a pretty darn good try.

This week it's it back to school and work, but Wes is sticking around through the holiday weekend. On tap for next weekend: The Einstein Exhibit at the Skirball Center, more movies, and maybe a drive up the coast. Here's to beautiful weather and great company.

PS I got tickets to my favorite country group's July 9th concert - I can't wait!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Boxes, boxes, boxes...

My mother always said that MOVE was a 4-letter word. She was right.

As this chapter closes and the next chapter opens in my life at USC, we are packing up my boss. His contract was not renewed for the coming year, so he's leaving as of June 30. This means two things: 1. we don't know who the replacement is and whether or not he will be bringing his own admins, so we don't know if I have a job after the next few weeks, and 2. we must pack up everything of his. I use the word "we" loosely because so far that means me. The absent-minded professor who sometimes forgets where he parks his car has decided that I should keep a bibliography type list of what's in every single box that I pack. This is getting more and more fun all the time.

Wish me luck in digging out - and in getting a new boss!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ladies & Gentlemen

Boys and girls, children of all ages.

Ahem. Is this thing on?

Fluffy has arrived. Even in the turmoil of my current situation (read: possible layoffs in the next 6 weeks, the atrocities of school, etc.) I have most unexpectedly arrived into my very own element.

First, my entrance into high society: an appearance in a national magazine. The next time you are at a newsstand, feel free to browse the June issue of In Style magazine (it's a women's mag for those of you boys reading) and turn to page 212. Yours truly is present in a photo spread of the Alzheimer's Association fundraiser in Los Angeles in March. Take that Britney Spears - I'm even wearing all my clothes! As soon as I procure my own issue and can get to a scanner, it will grace my blog. Yes it's illegal but I don't remember signing the consent to appear in there either. ;)

Second, my ascension to the world of early technology adopters. Yes folks, I've always been fairly technologically geeky, but by no means the trendsetter. Apparently I have found the one thing that my technology guru/idol Brett Dunst had not yet - Green Zap. I cherish this moment because it won't be repeated again any time soon. I pale in comparison, but this time I beat the guru to the technology!

Yes, I have arrived.

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The green monster that zaps.

As many of you may have been following, Green Zap is going to be launching a service to rival PayPal in June. They are currently accepting pre-registered signups and the ploy is that you'll get $25 free money for signing up, and even more if you get other people to sign up. So here goes my one and only sales pitch... if you want to sign up - follow my link www.greenzap.com/fluffalicious and maybe we'll all get a little richer!

Happy zapping!


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A question every naughty kid has thought of.

How does a word become a swear word?

Gotta love those Google RSS feeds.


Blasphemous, I know! But so appropriate given our supermarket strike of yesteryear. Posted by Hello


And this year's Darwin Award goes to:

The parachutist who died while jumping off the Eiffel Tower. I think my favorite line of the article might be when the police officer is quoted as saying, "The jump didn't quite happen as he wanted." No kidding - I think any activity that ends in unintentional death doesn't go quite as planned.


Quotes of the day:

The first is courtesy of a friend:

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

The second was a part of last night's classes:

"In the long run, we're all dead."
- John Maynard Keynes


Monday, May 16, 2005

Paging Fuzzy, please call the operator.

Wanna know why no one's answering? Cause the name is Fluffy DAMMIT.

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What nice buns you have. :)


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Peter Piper Picked a Peck...

So what the heck is a peck?

According to my favorite Dictionary.com:


1. A unit of dry volume or capacity in the U.S. Customary System equal to 8 quarts or approximately 537.6 cubic inches.
2. A container holding or measuring a peck.

Informal. A large quantity; a lot: a peck of troubles.



Done. Check!

Now one of us needs a shower and one of us needs a walk. You guess which is which.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Fun word of the evening.

adv. & prep.

betwixt and between
In an intermediate position; neither wholly one thing nor another.

[Middle English bitwixt, from Old English betwix.]

Use it in a sentence:

Betwixt Buddy and me, we enjoyed our end of the night walk greatly. What a beautiful night. Sweet dreams all!


Welcome to your weekend...

It's finally weekend! So here's what's on tap:

1. Homework for the new term. ICK
2. Shark Tale, Sideways and Ray. Gotta love Netflix.
3. 5 WSJs, 2 Fortunes and assorted other readings.
4. Wes' afghan.
5. Dinner with the 'rents at my FAVORITE restaurant in LA (and possible ever), The Bottle Inn.
6. Puppy sitting Buddy, my favorite fluffy dog.
7. Recovering from wedding mania, finals and the rest of the week.

Gotta get out for our walk! More later...


Friday, May 13, 2005

Status Update

We have officially commenced. :)



One might ask what I'm doing up so damn early, as this is not my norm. Commencement day is upon us folks! And here's the much anticipated word of the day:

persiflage (PUR-sih-flazh) noun

Light-hearted or flippant treatment of a subject; banter.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

In keeping with the topic...

It's the Wiz! No wait, it's the Whiz! Um no it's the whizzer.... wait I got it. The Whizzinator. What?!?!?


RSS Feeds

So Google just added RSS feeds to GMail in the last week or two. Normally the headlines don't really catch my eye, but today this little gem popped up.

Why is the opening to men's pants called a "fly"?


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

When life hands you lemons... part II.

FBI Cracks Down On Lemonade Stand Ring, Continues To Sour Relations With Arab Community

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - In its growing paranoia of domestically funded international terrorism, the FBI announced a systematic crackdown of a chain of Arab-owned lemonade stands.

The lemonade stands, operated under the name "Lemonarabade" and owned predominantly by Arab youth ranging in ages between 5 and 7, are suspected of collectively generating enough revenue to fund the global operations of "Hizbul-Squeeze", a radical organization known for its random violent attacks and a recent background vocal performance with pop-artist Sting.

For more of this fine news coverage, please visit the source.

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To my newly married friends:

Be careful. Apparently the honeymoon is dangerous.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Before the ceremony... Posted by Hello


Wedding #2 Posted by Hello


Sunday, May 08, 2005


What a weekend! The wedding was awesome - beautiful day, beautiful bride, great party and lots of fun people! Pictures to come when I get back to work and can post with Windows-based photo software.

That was most of the weekend - Friday was rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and wedding prep. Saturday started about 4:40am with coffee and the makeup artist, followed by the wedding, a great party, a second great party at the bride's parents' house, and then a most troubling omen to the new marriage - my driving the newly married couple back to the hotel and hitting a skunk in the road in the process.

Today was Papa day. He seems to be doing better since the surgery (at least mobility wise) although he's quite confused and is still in a skilled nursing facility. Also picked up some of my grandmother's dishes and trinkets (Beth - we'll have to look together when you come home, I pulled stuff for you too!). It's really hard to believe she's been gone 5 years as of this summer. I know she was gone several years before that too, but I still remember so clearly her sitting with me patiently as I cursed my knitting and helping me learn the stitch. I was fortunate to have so much time with her, but I wish I'd had more.

Anyhow, now I'm procrastinating studying for finals. I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Tomorrow is study day and final #1 - wish me luck!


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Math nerds beware!

An astute Malak pointed out that I am:

3 ^ 3 on 05-05-05

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Cinco De Mayo!

Felicidades! Have a margarita for Cinco de Mayo and celebrate with me! (the birthday girl :))


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

This is for David...

who started a debate on the House of Lords and House of Commons.

There are 5 ranks of peer in the House of Lords. In descending order:


And the House of Lords is considered the "upper house of Parliament."



Word of the Day

gorgonize or gorgonise (GOR-guh-nyz) verb tr.

To paralyze, petrify, or hypnotize.

[After Gorgon, any of the three monstrous sisters Stheno, Euryale,
and Medusa in Greek mythology, who had snakes for hair. They turned
into stone anyone who looked into their eyes.]


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A tale of biblical proportions...

Or would it just be portions? The Seven Deadly Gummy Sins (brought to you by someone with WAY too much time on his hands).


Monday, May 02, 2005

Nostalgia Redux

A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.

So the debate of the night is, can one be nostalgic for things one never had?

Case in point:

Tonight on my way out of class, I meandered through the quad to find the USC Marching Band getting ready for an impromptu concert. I believe it's a "first night of finals" tradition. Anyhow, out in front of the main library (Leavey) at 10pm, they start up at full volume and spirit. After several songs they start "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac, and the percussion section actually jumps into the pool/fountain in front of the library managing to drench anyone who couldn't get away fast enough. To some this sounds childish, and while I grant you it's definitely a college occurence, the band is amazingly good and it was a pleasure to listen and to watch.

The debate? This wasn't an experience I had in college. I went to college in the midwest where when finals rolled around it was either colder than a witches tit or hotter than hell. We didn't have a football team to speak of, much less a marching band. So this isn't really a thing of my past.

Rather it was a little treat that I got to enjoy in the present. Something I might have missed had I not been there at that exact point and place in time. Who knew a kind of depressed day could end with a little sunshine?

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Exhausted...and then some.

Haven't had as much time to post recently because real life has sort of exploded. A quick run down:

Work: The Provost of 12 years is leaving at the end of this month, so the University, and my office is all in a tizzy to wrap up all loose ends, prepare 12 year overview reports to the Trustees, and send him off in a big gala. That and my own boss is prepping for a 2 week vacation towards the end of May. My desk is stacked high with papers and tasks - no computer games for me this week!

School: The term is winding down - this week marks the last week of classes for the Spring "Quarter of Death". I'm not too sorry to see it go. Tonight is a presentation, after which the remaining classes are review for the finals. Finals start next week, which will be a bit rough given personal life (see below), but I'll be glad to be done. Unfortunately the new term starts the following Monday, May 16. There really is no rest for the wicked. ;)

Personal Life: Where to begin? The second wedding is this weekend, and I have to say I'm not entirely jazzed about it. The bride informed me this morning that makeup begins at 5am. Now I am not a morning person, much less ready to be poked and prodded by some unfamiliar individual at 5am. When I get married I'm going to do something simple - eloping is sounding better and better.

Next on the list is Papa. My Papa Howie is almost 87 years old and doesn't seem to be doing so well. Right now we're waiting to hear when he's set to have heart surgery - his arteriosclerosis has gotten so bad that they're afraid he's going to have another stroke, one that could wipe out his speech. We're keeping our fingers crossed and waiting to here more from the doctors.

Adjusting to life alone. I really don't want to comment too much on this, but suffice it to say that in a period of extended silence from Wes, I'm having to adjust back to living my life alone. All the good things, all the bad things... at night in my apartment it's just me, myself and I. Not to sound cynical or pessimistic or whatever, but at key moments in my life I seem to have found that the only person that will always be with me is myself. It's an interesting adjustment to make.

Last but not least, yours truly turns 27 this week. Amidst the Provost sendoff, the wedding, the potential surgery and other factors, the birthday is not really being celebrated much this year, but I do find myself looking back at where I was a year ago. Since then I think I've grown a lot as a person. I've re-entered the school world, I've been at this job longer than any of my others, I've gone back to living by myself, I've reconnected with many friends and I've had a relationship where once again, I felt like I learned what it was to love. All in all, I'd have to say I'm pretty proud of myself over this past year. I certainly have my faults to work on, but I don't expect to be perfect (just almost!).

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Runaway bride...for real.

Now I've been in my share of situations where I would done what I've called "flee," but usually in involves either breaking up or going home. But the runaway bride seems to be taking it to extremes. Now I, like the rest of the country, am very glad that she is alive and safe, and not another one of those horrible Chandra Levy or Laci Peterson disappearance cases. My first thought was when I read the first news of her disappearance was that I hoped foul play by her fiance wasn't involved. But I have to agree with the owner of the cafe at the end of the article - isn't it just a bit selfish to just disappear and make everyone worry so?