Thursday, November 26, 2009

Zombie Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, a day in which we are supposed to reflect on the things that we are grateful for. We are to give thanks for family, friends, good fortune, and good health.


What should be a nice, quiet, and reflective holiday is anything but. In reality, we celebrate by watching parades, football... and feasting. We feast, and we feast, and we feast, feast, FEAST (to quote Dr. Seuss)!  Really, we are not that unlike zombies.

Zombies’ main driving force in life, er, death, is to devour humans. And on this day of all days, it is humans’ main desire to gather in hordes and devour the bodies of animals. Afterwards, the humans stumble around in a stupor, often moaning and groaning with bits of food hanging from their mouths.

In honor of Thanksgiving, the holiday of eating, I thought an appropriate topic for this week’s “Zombie Thursday” would be the diet of the zombie.

To eat brains, or not to eat brains? That is the question...  When the average person pictures zombies in their minds, I am betting that the first thing they think of is a lumbering corpse groaning, “brrraaaiinnnsss.” And then that lumbering corpse finds a human too stupid to escape (or own a weapon), and they attack them and proceed to eat their brains. Right?

Brain eating is probably the number one stereotype when it comes to zombies. I will even admit to doodling zombies and always having a caption bubble that reads, “BRAINS!”  The main reason why I do this is that my doodling is atrocious, so rather than have people confuse my drawings of zombies with self portraits, I add the stereotypical caption. This addition makes my doodle instantly recognizable to horror fans and nonbelievers alike.

Are zombies only drawn to brains? Will they consume other parts of humans? What about other living creatures? Do they even need to eat? And really, why brains???

There is a lot of debate surrounding these topics on the interwebz. Unfortunately, I find most of it dribble written in the forms of short twitter-esque replies to an initial inquiry of, “why do zombies eat brains?” To answer this time honored question (I mean, it has got to be right up there with, “what’s the meaning of life?”), let us look at some scientific facts.

At this point, please note that I am and have been a vegetarian for over ten years. My knowledge of ‘brain nutrition’ does not come from first hand experience, but do not let that fact discredit the following analysis-- Brains are VERY healthy to eat. Truly, they are one of the most nutritious foods a human or zombie could eat. Brains contain no sugars, are extremely low in carbohydrates,  are very high in vitamin B12 and C, and also contain high levels of niacin which helps promote a healthy nervous system and healthy skin. Clearly, for a zombie who has enough trouble walking and whose skin is decomposing and falling off, a niacin rich diet would be key to long lasting undeath.

With all these great nutritional attributes, it is easy to see why brains might be the one thing that zombies crave above all other body parts. But let’s look at some down sides. Brains are extremely high in cholesterol. A brain can contain OVER FOUR THOUSAND PERCENT of a zombie’s recommended daily value. So, they may not die from a shot to the head, but a shot to the arteries! And although chewy and delicious, brains are encased behind the cranial bones which are designed to keep the human mind safe at all costs. Most zombies may not want to deal with getting chipped teeth since their dental insurance probably expired with their initial deaths.

Although brains are probably the healthiest choice in fine undead dining, I think we all know that when it comes down to it, zombies will eat whatever and whichever body part is accessible to them. After all, intestines can be quite a delicacy... just ask fans of blood sausage. And a quote from the original Night of the Living Dead states, “the killers are eating the flesh of the people they murdered.”  Flesh, not brains.*  So, where did all these “brraaaiiinnsss” stereotypes come from?

The moaning of “brains” can probably be traced back to the film Return of the Living Dead. This film was the creation of John Russo, partner in zombie-crime to George Romero on the original Night of the Living Dead. After the classic 1968 zombie film, the two parted over creative differences and Russo authored a novel in which the film Return of the Living Dead (directed and written by Dan O’Bannon) was based on. In the ‘Return’ films, the theme is much more comical and silly than the original Night of the Living Dead. Thus, one will see a dead body become quickly reanimated and start moaning, “brains” before ridiculously biting through the skulls of the poor teenaged victims. Return of the Living Dead was released right in the middle of the 80s horror movie craze and featured a younger, punk cast, all factors that made it easily accessible and popular with a zombie loving generation. In my mind, these reasons are what have contributed to the brain-centric way of zombie diet thinking!

So, the next time you see that all too familiar zombie catch-phrase, blame it on Russo, O’Bannon and the 80s. On this Thanksgiving, why don’t you skip the turkey and get straight for some

BRRRAAAIIINNNSSS!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!


*It should also be noted that the living dead were never even called ‘zombies’ in the 1968 film; they were referred to as ‘ghouls.’ A future blog will be dedicated to this topic, terminology and more!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Personal Email for Work Purposes: A Tale of Mis-sent Emails

About a year ago, I worked part-time as a customer service representative where I now am full-time. Even though I'm full-time, I'm still a temp. If you've been a temp at a big company, you know that things have a way of not always working. This thing in particular was my email. HR had forgotten to approve my extension so my email had been locked out.

Of course, I was still working at the office, and I needed to email. The workaround was to use my personal email address. (This address doesn't have my name in the handle and was created back when I still kept my Aerosmith fan contract in my back pocket, so you can imagine that had a definite non-professional angle.) Regardless of how collegiate-centric my address was, my name did show up in the 'From' field and the email was sent.

Fast-forward.

Starting this September, I started getting emails with really vague subject headings like 'Open House' from a name I sort of recognized, but not really. Let's say the name is Beth Fisher (so not close). The subject matter contains things like 'school,' 'your child,' and 'conferences.' It dawns on me two weeks ago that Beth Fisher thinks I'm a parent. Beth Fisher is now stalking me because I've received 3 emails in the past week. 

After some consideration, I'm not stopping the communication, because I'm fascinated to learn what my phantom child will be learning over the course of the year.

Curious about what Little Phantasma is learning so far?

I bet you are.

Email 1: Second Quarter
Second quarter began today. We will be studying the systems of the human body for approximately one month followed by classification and the animal kingdom. Our first body system is the circulatory system. The quiz is scheduled for Wednesday. Review materials have been posted on my eBoard as well as new textbook reference pages.

Sixth graders will be attending an assembly on November 24th presented by representatives from the Blood Center. They will provide your child with information relating to our upcoming Blood drive. This event was planned with our science curriculum in mind. Children will bring home sign up sheets for friends and relatives interested in making an appointment to come in to donate blood. A few children will be selected to come in to assist during the evening event.
 

We will be having a naturalist from S B Nature Center visit our classes on January 11th. They will bring representative animals from many of the groups we will be learning about. Permission slips will be distributed right after the Thanksgiving break and will be due by December 18th. A copy will be posted on the eBoard in the event the original given to your child mysteriously disappears. Warm regards, B. Fisher
Email 2: Upcoming Quiz
The circulatory system quiz is being returned today and will require a parent signature.  Our next quiz, which covers the digestive system, will be on Tuesday, December 1st.  Please encourage your child to study a bit during the Thanksgiving break.

Tomorrow we will have our Little Doctors Blood Drive assembly during period four.  Your child will be bring home a sign up sheet for family and friends to make an appointment to come donate on 16th between 2:00 and 7:30 PM in the new gym.  Please ask them about it.  Warm regards, B. Fisher

Email 3: Testing Modification
I have been involved in discussion with several other science six teachers.  We have decided that, in light of the facts,  a) there is a four day break right before our next quiz and b) several classes have missed one or more recent classes due to assembly programs, we will make the following accommodation:

All children will be allowed to bring one standard sized index card (3" by 5") with hand written notes on it (front and back is fine) to the test with them.  They will be permitted to use this "helpful card" during the exam.

I have index cards here if you don't have any available.

I hope this eases some of the stress and allows everyone to enjoy a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Warm regards, B. Fisher


I've read all these emails and am amazed at how much more communication is available now than when I was Little Phantasma's age.

Of course, my mother didn't have any problem communicating with my teachers since my mother stalked my public education career through 8th grade. (General note: working in the middle school where your daughter is a student = super-awesome way to put her in with the 'cool' crowd.)

Even though tomorrow is the start of a long weekend, you best be sure that Phantasma will be studying for her digestive system quiz. The Stripey and White Ones can help her. Stripey loves sitting on index cards.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Stages of Loss According to Lucky


This is Lucky. We call him Bud. You'll see reference to him on Twitter as The White One.

This is one of my most favorite pictures of him taken with my crappy little camera phone.

Cute, isn't he?

It wouldn't be so far a stretch to say "adorable." (Provided you like cats. I acknowledge that there are anti-cat people out there, but you need your head examined.)

Anyway.

Lucky is a cat best not to be left to his own devices because he does things like break shelving units, get his head stuck in tissue boxes, or set fire to his tail. Lucky is a cat who's catnip of choice is attention. Negative attention to be exact. We don't like it, but after two and half years with the mammoth beast, we're used to it. Hubby is more patient with the shenanigans than me.

Want to know why?


Lucky loves Hubby. Hubby loves Lucky. Lucky loves Hubby so much that he gets despondent whenever Hubby has to go out of town. There's a certain process to the despondency.

Stage One: Defiance.
Lucky lounges across whatever Hubby is using for luggage this time. It will be open and there will undoubtedly be an article of black clothing. Lucky loves these best.

Stage Two: Guilt-trip Via Cuteness.
This sometimes coincides with Stage One, but usually stands on its own. Lucky will become extra playful around this time, doing things he knows we like. (Tail chasing on the scratching post is always a good bet.)

Stage Three: Sneak Attack.
Lucky winds himself up around Hubby's black pants and blocks the door. This never works and usually ends with "get the cat" and Hubby making a final pass with the lint brush.

Stage Four: Emo Cat Begins.
This is the part Hubby does not see; it's for me only. The emo cat stage has multiple steps including - but not limited to:
  • Lethargy, or Eeyore Syndrome: Lucky stretches himself out on the table, bed, or floor and looks sad. Badly written goth poetry ensues.
  • Phantom Yodeling: Lucky's meows progress to full-on, deep-throated yowls that echo through the apartment. The cat is nowhere to be found.
Stage Five: Anger.
Anger comes when Hubby is gone for longer than 24 hours. Lucky showcases his displeasure using various techniques, the most frequent being "The Salt Shaker Does Not Belong There" and "What Do You Mean The TV Isn't A Scratching Post" maneuvers. These are quickly paired up with "I Hate You, Toilet Paper" and "Cheyenne, You MUST Accept My Love NOW."

Stage Six: Love.
This is the final stage. It happens after Lucky spends a long miserable night in timeout so I can have a full night sleep. He will do things like curl up on feet or under blankets during this stage and rumble uncontrollably. If something soft is nearby, he'll pretend it's Mom.

In Stage Six, all is previously forgiven by me. Lucky and I will reach an impasse until Hubby comes home and we repeat the process for the next business trip.

Hubby left early this morning for a two day trip. As of 6 this morning, we have already progressed to Stage 4.1. In the next month, Hubby will be gone for about a week and a half. Any takers on how many times the cat goes in time out?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Waffle Me This

First, a big thank you to Miranda for yesterday's guest post. I hope you all enjoyed it.

This post originally was going to be about how different musical genres work with different writing genres, but now I'm thinking it should be about food.

That I'm thinking food isn't surprise. At times, it runs my life. This week is a prime example as it seemed I announced to Hubby every time I saw him "Am hungry. Want food." This is bad because 1) I don't need to eat that much and 2) Hubby and I work together. (Note: when you work in the same office as your husband always request to sit far away from him. I did.)

Also, the office has an affinity with food. I found blueberry pie in the kitchen earlier this week and we had waffles this morning. Waffles. And not those frozen out of the yellow Eggo box kind, but the kind you need a waffle iron for. When this happens and the entire space smells like a good and proper pancake house, it's hard to resist. And with the spread we had, it's hard to have just one. (This is similar to the evil known as Gingerbread Construction Company muffins.)


My trip into the waffle-y inferno started the instant I got in. The kitchen even showed me it's nefarious plan, but I didn't care. There was fruit, whipped cream, cream cheese, yogurt, more fruit, 5 types of peanut butter, Nutella, and jelly. Still, I could have fruit only.

I could stay strong.

That lasted until the second waffle iron came on the scene. My mouth watered. Then the batter was dropped into the irons and the aroma began to waft down the open space towards my workspace (dubbed as the smart cube by me and my cubby-mates). I could sample one. The general manager did go through all the trouble of making them after all.


That is not one, but two. Two, Belgian waffles. And three kinds of fruit. (Disclaimer: fruit negates all the negative calories of free waffles.) The top waffle is with real maple syrup and the bottom one with dark chocolate peanut butter, a la The Peanut Butter Company.

See the little tear in the top corner? That was because the intern told me that I had "try it with cream cheese." I thought he was crazy; that it must be some West Coast thing (he assured me it wasn't). Much to my surprise and fatteningly delight, it. was. good.

Good thing I had limited myself to the two Belgians and TONS of berries.


Until the receptionist got in.

She lasted maybe five minutes in malted waffledom before she wanted to be another taste tester. She also wanted someone to go into the kitchen with her and try the waffles. I couldn't say no. And just like in middle school when your best friend begs you to call up so-and-so to see if he likes her (but he can't find out she's really the one asking), you do it.

Besides, they were heart-shaped. That means love, and love isn't bad or caloric. And just look at all that fruit! (See previous disclaimer.)

Nothing beats office Fridays with free breakfast, especially if it's the fancy kind, but I'm more than a little concerned about my waistline and my ongoing hunger. Does anyone else have this office problem? If yes, please, please, please comment with suggestions to combat this.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zombie Love: Aim for Some Head?

As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, Miranda will be blogging every Thursday. You can learn more about Miranda here.

Hello, readers! Welcome to the first blog installment in “Zombie Thursdays!” What started out as a joke has now become a collaboration of sorts. Most of you probably do not know me at all, but that’s okay. Horror and love of the grotesque is a unifying factor in the world-- we will soon be great friends... the kind who will shoot each other in the head if we ever become infected.

This first blog is something I wrote a few weeks ago around Halloween and touches briefly on “Zombie Love.” Enjoy!

Zombie Love: Aim for Some Head?

Most of my friends know that I am obsessed with zombies. I LOVE zombies. Zombie movies, zombie books, zombie artwork, zombie games, zombie pinups.... everything zombie culture! Naturally, this time of the year is perfect for someone like me. Being Halloween, every where one looks there are zombie movies on TV, and decorations for your home, haunted houses full of "zombies," zombie walks, zombie pub crawls, etc.

But lately I have noticed that zombies just seem to be "in." Like, all the time, year round. I can't tell if this is a recent phenomenon with the rest of the world or if it is something that has been slowly invading our popular culture for awhile now. Is Zombie Love something that only affects a certain group of people? I don't like to think of myself as a "goth" (although maybe I am?), but perhaps I only see the zombie infiltration into society because I hang out and talk with like minded people-- the goths, people in horror culture, countercultural individuals, and so on.

In college, I wrote my thesis on the attraction to horror monsters, starting off with the forerunners to modern monsters, freak show performers.

The “Reader’s Digest Version” of my basic theory on why people watch and are drawn to horror movies (and this is more biased to a female point of view) is due to sexual attraction to the Other-- or we like to watch horror films because we want to get it on with Freddy Krueger. Although I went on for 60 pages about this idea, I don't know if I necessarily subscribe to it myself (although I would make an exception for Pinhead. And Dracula, but only if it was Gary Oldman's Dracula), and I'm not sure if my thesis would pertain to zombies. After all, sex with zombies would be messy. There would also be a good chance that without proper protection, one could end up as a zombie as well! That's not to say this theme hasn't been explored in films and books. I'm reminded of the film 'Dellamorte Dellamore' (also known as 'Cemetery Man' in the United States) and even Re-Animator. I recently finished reading a young adult novel called 'Generation Dead' that is about teenagers coming back to life after death. They are "zombies," but not in the traditional brain-eating way. Two of the protagonists, a living girl and a "differently biotic" boy (as they are called in the book) have a romantic sort of relationship going on. And of course, there is the very serious and real condition of necrophilia.

All of this has made me think about what would really happen if the dead came back to life? What would society really do? What if zombies came back and didn't want to eat your brains? They were just normal people... but dead. Stuck somewhere between one life and another. Would you be friends? Could you love a zombie? And what about that sex?

Maybe that is why zombies are so popular at the moment. Perhaps zombie culture is just a manifestation of the fear humans have about their own mortality. No one wants to die, and no one knows what happens to us after we do die. Would you want to come back? Would you want your friends to come back? Even if it meant that they came back differently than before... I guess you could always chain them up in a shack and play video games with them. But really, what would you do? How would you act?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Blog Feature: Zombie Thursdays

I'm very excited to announce a new feature on this blog... Zombie Thursdays. Because, let's be honest: who doesn't like zombies?

Miranda, Living Dead Flirt/ Zombie Expert

"Who is this irresistible creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?"

Miranda's undead obsession began at the age of 8 when she first became fixated on two films, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both released in 1992. Rather than identify with the heroines of the films, she developed unhealthy crushes on the vampires, a horrific sexual attraction that haunts her even in adulthood. When Night of the Living Dead first entered her life in grade school, she was soon getting her friends to play "Zombie Tag" and pretending that the tops of slides were attics to hide in. A true necro-mantic, the things that make her "squee" are zombies, parasitic twins, and guy-liner. Miranda is also heavily involved with shadow casting Repo! the Genetic Opera (a gothic rock opera) in Chicago, IL with her performance troupe The 90 Day Delinquents; she shadows the role of Amber Sweet. Find her and the 90DD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/90daydelinquents!

So, stay tuned tomorrow for Miranda's first guest entry discussing zombie love. I, for one, am very excited about this. Miranda's an awesome, funny, and intelligent person, so her insights on zombiedom will be great. Please pop a note in the comment box to say hello!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November and the Art of Shitty First Drafts

Last night I completed my 50,000th word on my NaNoWriMo project - a yet to be titled urban fantasy. A lot of people would be jumping up and down at this point, but I'm keeping myself reserved for two big reasons: 1) I have at least 20,000 more words to go and 2) I know this is only the shitty first draft.

"But Alicia," you're thinking, "you're being too hard on yourself."

Believe me - I'm not.

A shitty first draft is a novel's right of passage. That initial version that you started on the diner napkin? Shitty first draft. The paragraph from a writing exercise? Shitty first draft. The one that your dog dragged it's ass on? Shitty. First. Draft.

Author Anne Lamott has a whole chapter dedicated to this in her book, Bird by Bird. (You haven't read it yet? Pick it up. Now.) In the chapter, she says:
"Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something - anything - down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft - you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft - you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, wehre you check every tooth, to see if it's loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy."
I think she accurately describes the entire writing process in this paragraph. Before I would try to do everything in one draft, which is so not smart. She also talks about this sick form of perfectionism (right after shitty first drafts). By not letting your first draft be your first draft, you might clamp down on all unnecessary clutter, but it generally blocks out all the spontaneous moments that are supposed to come from writing.

"Seriously, Alicia," you're now thinking. "Stop with the bullshit. My novel's FILLED with spontaneity."

Maybe. Did you have to fight for it? I know that I had to on my edit-as-I-go writing projects. This one, I haven't had a fight yet. Through this more free version of Writer Alicia, I've been able to learn more about how my antagonist works and how my protagonist is rather two dimensional.

Even if I deluded myself that I somehow came out with a ready to go piece, a few little tools pointed out that I am so not. These tools are the Word Frequency Counter and, of course, Wordle. Both of these have shown me how unoriginal this draft is language-wise.


The protagonist was mentioned by name 408 times and the antagonist 400, which I think is pretty ridiculous. Once I pulled out all character names from Wordle, I got the resulting cloud. What words stick out for you?
  • Like (used 147 times)
  • One  (used 164 times)
  • Back (used 148 times)
  • Time (used 115 times)
  • Something (114 times)
There were some other more commonly used words like "the," but I think it's impossible not to use those type of words. These ones though, are most likely my crutch words. Two of them I used in everyday conversation a lot already - "like" and "something." It's frightening how many times they incorporated themselves into my writing.

A funny side note to the whole word frequency exercise was that so far the typo "wasn" has been used 84 times.

It goes without saying that this novel will need some work. I'm okay with that. I'm happy to do that, but right now I'm going to continue to chug along. Once I get to the epilogue, I'll let the project sit on my hard drive and percolate for a couple of months. I'll do other things that involve not looking at the damn thing. Then, I'll go back in.

What about your first drafts? How is your experience with them?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Would You Even Ask That?


This was taken from an ad for a Facebook application. There were a bunch of questions that people in my list supposedly answered like 'Did Alicia Gregoire shower this morning?' (I shower at night) and 'Is Alicia Gregoire a gold digger?' (Why yes, that's why I married hubby.) However, this question prompted me to talk about it.

I would definitely dress up in a mascot outfit and run around under the following conditions:
  1. It was a cute green critter. (CGC for short.)
  2. It wasn't in high summer.
  3. It was Febreezed prior to my use.
  4. It became viral and therefore gained me some followers.
So, Mysterious Question Answerer, how can I call you my friend? Between saying I'm a gold digger and thinking I wouldn't wear a mascot outfit, you clearly don't know me at all.

Dear Blog... Part IV

Hi Blog, how're you doing?

I know I said I wouldn't be evaluating us until December, but I wanted to check in and see how you're feeling with the few enhancements made in the last few days. See, I'm trying to put you out there so people will linger for a while. (You kind of need a make over I think.)

One of the goals I have in my Blog Comprimisal Immersion Program is to visit you at least once a week. But, I'm thinking that two times would be twice as awesome. So I'm thinking Mondays and Thursdays - how does that work for you, Blog?

...

Good, I'm glad.

I'd like some suggestions from you on what our focus should be. Like, I think that certain things should be discussed on certain days. Talk to me, Blog. Let's have a conversation about this.

Much love,
Me

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm a Goner

The Zombie Bite Calculator

Created by Oatmeal

So I wouldn't survive a zombie apocalypse or a bite. Maybe I should read the Zombie Survival Guide, huh?

What did you get?

And while you're here, read about The Infestation!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tell Me What It Takes To Let You Go…Oh, You Already Have

For a long, long, LONG time I was a die hard Aerosmith fan. I fell in love with them with the advent of Get a Grip and made the journey backwards to learn their roots. I was able to recite all their lyrics and knew when a line got changed live. I prowled used record stores in Cambridge looking for bootlegs. I ebayed for unique items (like the pewter wings logo belt buckle that has never been on a belt I own). I made sure I was present for each New Year's Eve concert. I've stood on the stoop of 1325 Comm Ave more times than I should have.

I was that fan.

Because of my fangirl ways (and working in a computer center in college), I met like-minded people where our common interest was a certain Boston-based quintet. It was awesome to find so many people who felt the same way. The relationships that started out superficially expanded and I'm happy to say that a few that I met back in 1998 are still my friends in 2009.

The type of passion I was able to muster for Aerosmith dwindled over time. It happens in all relationships that aren't based in some deep-rooted more meaningful way. I got annoyed with the quality of music that they had been putting out since O, Yeah! (their 7th compilation album) came out in 2002, but was able to overlook it because it was all about the "live experience."

I stopped believing in the live Aerosmith experience sometime in 2004 or 2005 when they were touring to support their tribute to the blues. Ticket prices at this point were ranging somewhere between 50 and 60 dollars per seat. Fan club prices were higher. The fan club itself had changed management companies and became all about price gouging. Their sets were becoming shorter and more focused on playing the same rotation of songs instead of dusting off better written rarities circa 1976.

During the Honkin on Bobo tour, I tore up my fan contract. I was done with the hypocrisy of the Aerosmith brand. They had started out as the "poor man's Rolling Stones," but their definition of poor and mine differ vastly. (This is coming from the girl who once paid $150 cash for a 5th row seat and didn't blink an eye.)

I started listening to more lesser known bands who played smaller venues, like the Worcester Palladium and the Middle East in Cambridge. These bands were just as talented as Aerosmith and they still were performing because they loved the music. (I had been questioning Aerosmith's dedication to their art for a while.)

After a 3 year hiatus, I started listening to their back catalog (anything before Permanent Vacation) again. I had forgotten how good they were, and had made a crack earlier this year that if they went back on drugs, the music would sort itself out. Listening to their old stuff almost had me forgive them for releasing Sedona Sunrise (and ultimately ruining the value of Permanent Outtakes forever). I said almost.

Then I got three different emails from three different news sources about Steven Tyler's recent news. The fangirl hiding deep within was extremely upset, but I got over it fast because of one turn of phrase - "Brand Tyler."

This type of Prima Donna behavior is expected when you're in your 20s, but when you're old enough to be my father? Newsflash, Steven. 61 is a little late to start a brand.

Unless your Lemmy.

Or Dio.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fire Hazard?

The product development and QA department in our office in populated by rabbits. Because of this, we've had to get creative with space.

Stage One of Create-a-Space was taking our 4 person cubes and making them capable of holding 6, but only in certain spots. When all was said and done, we acquired maybe 10 more spots.

What you see on the right is Stage Two, or a corner of it. Yesterday they took our loungey area and added a rabbit run. Erm, I mean additional desk space. Behind this piece is the outside.

And doors that lead to the outside. This series of desks are close enough to the door that you can't walk behind it. I'm wondering if this is actually a secure option for our breeding developers, or maybe a Darwinesque attempt at filtering out some of the staff.

In recap, the office is currently in Stage Two of Create-a-Space, Rabbit Developer Edition. I'm afraid to see Stage Three.

Update: Various work people have assured me that this blockade is fire chief compliant because of an additional exit back there. However, this is still sketchy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas Lights!

I know what you're thinking. 'It's November 4th. What the hell is wrong with you?!"

Rest easy. There's nothing wrong with me. I fully support Christmas coming after Thanksgiving, not before. Nothing is more surreal than purchasing Halloween candy with a backdrop of icicle lights.

That being said, look down.


epic fail pictures

The above picture was in my inbox this morning and almost splashed coffee all over the monitor. This is great for two reasons.
  1. The mall that is next to my office building installed their Christmas lights when I wasn't looking yesterday.
  2. I love me a good Christmas light display. There are a few houses nearby that go hog wild come December 1st and to my hubby's (sometimes) exhausted disgust I have to see them.
I don't know of anyone who doesn't like Christmas lights. They're all glowy and pretty. Or horrifically tacky and even those have some merit. You need to commit to a tacky light display.

You can see more Christmas tackiness here. If you have any other hits, please comment below.
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