Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Readership hit an all time low two days ago with only one visit. I've been ignoring the blog for a couple of days because I have something new to distract me: an awesome new computer.

Many of you probably know that I was an Apple person for a time.

But then I realized that I was overpaying for stuff I didn't need. Sure, there are things that are better about Apple computers: the amazing built-in software package, the UI experience, hardware that works together seamlessly and fits into an incredibly small package—you Mac Folk know the drill. Also, nobody's making rampant malware for Macs. With the relatively small worldwide proportion of people who use Macs, it's just not worth it.

Anyway, I found that I never used any of the included software package. I looked at it, said, "Wow, look at all this cool stuff," and never opened it again. I used my iSight about four times. I never used Bluetooth. The wireless kinda' sucked. I did use exposé extensively (it is extremely useful for looking at web design elements in separate files together while working in Photoshop, and for switching quickly between however many Adobe programs I have open at once).

Well, Tim got my computer to do just about everything my Mac could do (and then some) for a little over half the price. Plus, I now have a full 7 inches more diagonal monitor real estate. Boo-yah. Oh, and if I ever feel the need to use a webcam again, my new monitor happened to have one of those, too.

If you're a PC user who's insanely jealous of Mac docks, I have just the thing for you: RocketDock. Seriously—go to the website and watch the video. I love my RocketDock. It also gives you WAY more control over things than Mac's Tiger dock does.

Besides a totally awesome and huge monitor, my sexy new rig sports an AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition—that's four cores of animal power. I'm running Vista (which really isn't as bad as everyone thinks, though it's not my favorite), because as a 64-bit OS, it allows me to get a performance increase from my 4G of 1066 RAM (that means it's faster than your RAM). The graphics card isn't phenominal, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. I traded my new terabyte for Tim's 250G HDD so our media computer has more storage space for music and videos.

And how much did this gorgeous beast cost? I won't say outright, but it was a great price, since Tim put the whole thing together himself. It also runs super quietly—especially compared to the ridiculous grating of Mac's optical drives.

This new computer, in all it's massive-widescreen glory, is just one more evidence that Tim is the most awesome husband ever for finding all the best parts, buying them, and putting it all together for me. He makes me proud to be a lady-nerd.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Wouldn't Mind a Little Security, Myself

Did you guys ever see the episode "The Alliance" from the first season of The Office? If you haven't, go watch it. I can't find it online for you at the moment, but I'm just feeling the ridiculousness of office life today.

For those of you who have not yet entered the workforce, I'll just tell you now that you'll be shocked by how ridiculous real life can be. Here are some tough lessons you'll wish you learned beforehand:
  1. Take criticism even when you are in a position to give it. You'll get it anyway.

  2. Amazing performance will probably raise your boss's expectations, but it is unlikely to raise your salary or offer you any type of job security. Keep a steady pace.

  3. Watch Survivor. If you can't handle that kind of weird crap, you'll be as shocked as I am at how immature "grownups" are. In school you work with the best of people—think of every group project problem you've ever had, and be prepared for much worse.

  4. There are no fair grades. The semester never ends. Right answers keep you at zero; wrong ones count as negatives against your total score.

  5. Your position on the curve is not objectively calculated, and even public opinion cannot save you.

  6. A real job is less about living your dream than it is about jumping through hoops, playing social games, and making sure you're good looking enough that people like you, but not so good looking that people are jealous.

  7. If you don't know who your friends are, you don't have any.

  8. Trading happiness and good relationships at home for success at work is about as likely to bring you joy as your childhood fantasy of running away with the circus.

  9. And in your job circus, the executives aren't the lion tamers. They are the lions.

  10. You will love a regular paycheck, you'll have much less homework, and debt is easily avoidable. On the downside, the monotony may kill you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Awesome is Tim?

Not a lot besides me gets any love on this blog. I think I showed some appreciation for yogurt back there somewhere, but you know who deserves praise way more than yogurt does? Tim.

Yesterday, I was having a somewhat crappy day. In the middle of the afternoon, Tim brought me a Costa Vida salad (just the way I like it!) and some chocolate. Real men know that food always helps. If that wasn't enough, he had wrapped up a little present for me and had it ready in the car when he picked me up from work. Awww.

It turned out to be Set (you know, the MENSA game?). Apparently Tim's thought process went something like this:

"Hmm, Amy is having a bad day. What would make her feel better? Oh, I know! Beating me at a game would make her feel much better!"

What woman could ask for more in a husband? For a guy as competitive as Tim (yeah, even nice guys can be competitive), it was a big sacrifice to keep a game in our home that he will probably never win. What a trooper.

For those of you who didn't know I was a flipping genius—now you know. Unfortunately, my genius extends only to the midpoint between rocking at a MENSA card game and producing three lines of ActionScript. Things like cooking, cleaning, and remembering to wash laundry on a regular basis tend to escape me.

And you know what? Without complaint, my courageous, StriplingWarrior-tastic husband washes the dishes, cooks dinner, and reminds me gently every time he runs out of clean clothing to wear. If it weren't for him, I would never eat, I'd live in a pit of my own filth, and instead of washing clothes, I'd cycle through my dirty ones until I lost my job because of my horrible stench, at which point I'd stop wearing clothes altogether.

Nobody but Tim could cheerfully endure the torture I have inflicted upon him over the last 2.5 years. I've really put him through the wringer, and the results are in: Tim is the man. He doesn't complain. I know I'm lucky to be married to him, but he always makes me feel like I'm 100% worth his time and all that we've been through—now that's a huge compliment.

I could go on and on about how great Tim is. I could tell one story of his patience and kindness for each day we've been married (and then some). But you still wouldn't get how awesome Tim is, because I'm the only person on Earth lucky enough to be his wife.

Is It Friday Yet?

It's five-minute freewrite.
I've nothing to say
and not much to do
on this chilly white day.

My stockings are on,
and my pants are on, too.
It sucks to be dressed,
and the rhyming word's "moo."

For that's what the cows say
whether they like it or not.
They moo when it's snowing
or icy or hot.

And now Chris is talking
on the phone like any day,
and I'm only eavesdropping
because he's loud and "Wait! Hey!"

It's just about Christmas;
I've almost forgotten!
Forgetting a gift exchange
gift would be rotten!

Toothpaste or chocolate
or Winnie the Pooh?
Oh what should I get?
Oh what should I do?

For nobody likes
an un-well-thought-out gift.
Yet it's hard to be clever
and still to be thrift.

Can you help me, my readers,
with my work gift exchange?
I don't have good ideas—
but at least I have change.

Four pennies, a nickel,
three times, and a slug.
Not even enough
to buy someone a mug.

A five-dollar bill—
now that's something, I think.
But I was going to use it
at the ice skating rink.

This whole time I've grasped
for some terrible rhymes.
I know I annoy all my readers

But it's five-minute freewrite,
and nothing's as swell
as giving you all
just a small bit of Hell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PMS is Eroding my Esophagus

I can't find the words today to describe my PMS, so I'm going to provide you with a few illustrative pictures and videos.





Yeah, I'm getting PMS for my next period, and my last one hasn't even ended. By tomorrow evening, the PMS forecast predicts Maleficent-level storming, with freezing temperatures overnight. Make sure to winterize your car in preparation for the Cruella Crazies expected for Friday, and we're up for a change on Saturday with a Paris Hilton heat wave—so watch out for your standard evil glare.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hot Asian Girlfriend Stock Plummets as Supply Increases

This guy actually made himself a ladyfriend out of android parts. Because every man needs an electronic woman who will halfheartedly shove him away when he gets fresh.

FOXNews' article:
A Canadian man, apparently unable to find the perfect woman, has done the next best thing — he's built himself one.

Le Trung, a 33-year-old software engineer who lives with his parents in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, says he's spent about $20,000 so far on Aiko, a 5-foot-tall female android with clear skin, a slim if shapely figure and a wonderful disposition.

"She can recognize faces, she can identify medication, she can even butter your toast," Le Trung tells the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Not only that, but Aiko speaks — in both English and, for some reason, Japanese. (Le Trung has a Vietnamese name.) She can also read.

"Aiko is what happens when science meets beauty," Le Trung tells the Sun of London. "Aiko doesn't need holidays, food or rest, and will work almost 24 hours a day. She is the perfect woman."

She still can't walk, however. That will take a lot more work and, Le Trung tells the Globe and Mail, a new round of funding. He hopes to create and sell more pretty female robots in the future.

But, ahem, is there more than just companionship involved?

"Aiko is still a virgin, AND NO I do not sleep with her," he writes on the Project Aiko Web site, though he admits that she "has sensors in her body including her private parts, and yes even down there."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leaving Things Behind

There aren't many things I'm good at. I am probably the least talented or accomplished person I know. I'm not even good at listening or walking gracefully or writing—even though it's my job!

But as I pondered my past, I realized that there's something I'm really good at: leaving things behind.

And while I consider myself a realist—today I'm a realist who starts each paragraph with a conjunction—I think that being able to leave things behind puts me in a class of optimists. I often look forward to the future with so much excitement for what it might hold that I have little problem abandoning my old ways.


I didn't mourn moving away from the house I grew up in, never to see it again. My last Christmas there I asked for luggage. I've always been excited to move to a new apartment and decorate it in a new way. Even now I see my home as some future place more permanent than where I live today.


I've left behind gymnastics, martial arts, acting, playing the cello, and flirting.


I don't miss any of them.

This Post

I am already insanely bored with this post. I'm usually not super introspective, and now I know why. "Introspective" is just another word for "completely self-absorbed, boring, whiny, unlikable, and annoying." If I keep looking analytically at my past, I'm going to throw up. And I'll probably forget about all of the things I'm supposed to be doing now.

This may be the worst post I've actually published. Consider this an example of what blogging shouldn't be. Nobody wants to hear about your inner self. At least nobody wants to hear about my inner self—including me.

My Inner Self

Man, that inner self was a serious pain in the inner.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Stupidest Holiday Idea:

"Hey, let's show everyone how festive we are by putting a giant inflatable marker of bad taste on our front lawn!"

Stupidest Movie Cuss:

In My Best Friend's Wedding, Julia drops the F-bomb at the most random, inappropriate time. It makes her like a million times less attractive and about a billion times less likable. I think that F ruined the movie. Then, the restaurant singing scene was pretty lame too.

Stupidest Person I Know:

You've been reading this blog for a while. If you don't know who the stupidest person I know is, it must be you.

Stupidest Neighbors:

Mr. and Mrs. Upstairs.

Stupidest Fashion Statement:

When I was in high school (and this will probably tell many of you how old/young I really am), wearing thong underwear that stuck one to two inches out of your pants and was left uncovered by your midriff shirt was a popular practice. I'm not sure how these girls managed to get decent grades in classes they sat through with massive wedgies. Heck, I got a B on a physics test once just because I really needed to pee.

Stupidest People in the Medical Establishment:

I've seen a lot of doctors—I'll be adding two more to the list next month—but the least competent professionals were definitely those at Provo OB/GYN. Also, it's not so much GYN as OB, since they didn't even let me see a real doctor, because I'm not pregnant with anything but pauses. You know what? I already complained about this.

Stupidest Internet Business(es):

PayPal and eBay have given me way too much grief over the last two weeks. From canceling my auctions for no reason to somehow forcing Buy.com to refund my money and undo a purchase for NO REASON, they've been a major pain in my well-proportioned behind in so many special ways. Tim and I bought a 24" monitor for $200—we're such bargain shoppers—and once PayPal decided to refund our money, claiming that our account and address were unverified and unconfirmed (they are both verified and confirmed), there were no more of those monitors and no comparable models anywhere near that price. I hate you, PayPal.

Your Stupidests:

Feel free to insert your own in the comments. In fact, consider today's comments area to be a "doghouse" for anything you feel to be a stupidest something, someone, or somewhere. Well, that seems to limit it just to nouns. If you have a stupid adjective, adverb, preposition, affix, article, phoneme, syllable, or other language particle that you'd like to put in the doghouse, those are welcome too.


I recently set up analytics on my websites. For you non-techies, that means I'm watching you.

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you. As of today, 69.53% of you are using Firefox as your browser when you visit. Thanks! You're all making an excellent browsing decision by using a standards-compliant browser. The single Google Chrome user gets a slight nod. My Internet Explorer and Safari users, however, get the full force of my disapproval. Get Firefox. You're welcome to continue visiting through your inferior browsers, but for the love of all that's W3C, get Firefox.

I'd like to pat myself on the back for a moment over having a blog that's read internationally . . . on occasion. So far I've had visitors from the following countries:
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • India
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • Germany
  • Maldives
  • Phillipines
  • Indonesia
  • and of course, the good ol' USA
My plan for world domination is . . . not doing so great.

Here in the states I have readership (or at least stopped-on-the-site-for-three-seconds-ership) from California to New York.

Anyway—Yay us!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Love English Grammar

My most passionate love (for a nonhuman) is for form-class grammar. Everything has a place based on its form, and every form has its place. Those who have seen complex diagrammed sentences know the beauty of which I speak.

Like a river that divides itself to feed many villages, diagrammed sentences separate each piece for separate enjoyment in its assigned place. In a sentence, everything belongs somewhere. It's made for it's place. Sometimes it's made for two places, but even unnecessary words have a place, even if it's a floating dotted line.

The floating dotted line upon which I spend my career teeters perilously over the causes—important well-formed words of substance—for which I claim to work so hard: invisibly helping nothing above the overstretched clouds of a writer's salary.

Oh to be a colon, semicolon, or a snark! To fully escape the constraints of a diagrammed world where I am less than an adverb. Nobody would miss me—not a poor little dot, with only a tail or accompanying spot.

But where the real world falls and rises, the people there will need me. In a place where nothing is meaningful, I am a savior. Yes, in the real world I must mean something.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Hate eBay

I generally dislike anything that capitalizes its second letter but not its first and starts with a vowel, but eBay in particular has attracted my fury today. It's another five-minute freewrite, and today I do have something to write about.

I'm trying to sell my iMac and my Mac software in order to raise the money for a new PC. It turns out that a fully customized machine will work better for my needs. Anyway, I posted my Adobe CS3 Design Premium on eBay, where it gained four watchers in the first 24 hours of the five day auction, at which point some company came along and said I was in violation of their copyright ownership. WHAT!?

I'm fully within my rights to sell my full retail version (which I haven't used to get any upgrades) and transfer the license (per Adobe's instructions) to the buyer. So again I'm stuck contacting some mysterious company (BSA) that wrongfully accused me of criminal activity, while in the meantime I deal with eBay's "customer service."

Now, I'm relatively sure they have actual people manning the customer service desk, but for the sake of Pete, those people don't actually read the emails you send them. They could spend a lot less money and get an automated system that's just as effective. Anyway, my request for my listing fees back was ignored.

Additionally, in my email to them I mentioned that I had already contacted the BSA.
My email was like three lines long. Not that hard to read, right? And yet, their main recommendation was for me to contact the BSA. GAH!

A couple of years back I tried to sell a computer on eBay (which ended up being a MASSIVE failure due to eBay's total ineptitude, which could fill a few more blog posts), and I avoided selling on eBay until just recently, so now they've decided to remind me why I stopped selling with them in the first place.

Up yours, eBay.

Barack Obama Uses a Zune

Yes, that's right, the president-elect and I use the same portable media player. We both rock Microsoft's relatively unpopular, clunky, totally unsexy Zune. Now, besides the whole unpopularity thing, those are adjectives that Obama and I have in common. Of course, I'm pretty sure it's a requirement that US presidents be devastatingly unhandsome. Look at the last few:

Bill Clinton:

George W:

George Senior:

I mean, we know Billy thought he was God's gift to chubby women, but EW. Back in the day we had Kennedy and Reagan, who had some serious appeal before their faces started to droop with the weight of presidential years. Now we're getting Mr. Obama, who, though still young, is just not a hottie. How in the world did he get that gorgeous wife of his to marry him? I suppose we all know he's a very charismatic and intelligent guy. Really though, Mrs. Obama is the hottest first lady in a long time.

I definitely agree that Barack is better looking than a lot of presidents, but let's face it, at his age he should be much better looking. I know, not everyone is an Usher or a Tim Gordon, but a few trips to the gym and some expensive hair and skin products can go a long way. A very long way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Free" Write

Every day, writers at my work are asked to spend five minutes in a "freewrite." Of course, somehow "free" means something entirely different from what you'd expect. I'm free to write about whatever I want to, but not free to stop and think while writing. Now, for someone like me—someone who rarely thinks before she speaks—I enjoy measuring my words with careful thought before I spill a drop of ink. Here I am, stuck with nothing but ample use of the backspace key to save me from revealing my own stupidity— and that's not much considering the sheer volume of stupidity the dam of my pinky finger on the backspace key is trying to restrain.

So "free" ends up meaning free for all on my boring thoughts, free reign of my fingers to divulge my inner feelings, free speech for that part of me that is constantly forcing the rest of me to apologize for its behavior—oh yes, this is free writing in its purest form.

Lucky for me my feelings today have more to do with my fears of freewriting than they do with (a) how annoying I find something or (b) my secret crush on Batman. Not the cartoon Batman, though. Speaking of Batman, is it just me, or is "Robin" just the epitome of sidekick names? It calls a young man an effeminate name after an effeminate creature which, by the way, is small and completely unfrightening. Poor sidekicks. They might as well have called him Batman's kid sister.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today seems like a good day to share with you some of the music that makes me happy. Doesn't that sound nice? I put together a playlist to songify your experience on this blog post, but there was one favorite that couldn't make it: "Painkiller" by Jim Bianco. I don't like a lot of his music, but this song has the effect of three heartwrenching chick flicks. See the YouTube video below.

Totally worth the buck on Amazon! In fact, you can find basically all of this music on Amazon or emusic (I've done emusic: it's cheap, legit, and great). I won't hold it against you if you come back to this post only to listen to this music. Then again, you may not share my tastes. Happy listening.

Special thanks to Shar for the idea of putting a playlist on the blog and for the link to the service. You're awesome!