aqua fortis

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Halloween Postscript

I was thinking about my costume this year and its uncertain interpretation (see below), and I realized that I have a history of ambiguous costumes, or costumes which are in some way too creative and therefore unintelligible. As evidence, I present the following list (which is in no way complete or in any particular order):

  • Breast implant recipient
  • Laugh-In girl
  • Pirate wench
  • Night sky
  • Heavy metal groupie
  • A shrubbery
  • Spy
  • Wednesday Addams
  • Black cat
  • Evil Mickey Mouse

This list goes all the way back to high school. Man. Apparently this started early on.

Occupied, Both Pre- and Over-

I've been way too busy to justify long blog entries, which is very sad. I still need to update Geeks Gone Wild (speaking of which, check out this link which Corey sent me). But in the meantime, why not download some City of Modesto wallpaper.

Seriously, though, tomorrow and Tuesday I'll be working a temp job at the City of Modesto Public Works Department, reorganizing some files. This will be much more exciting, I hope, than the temp job I had Thursday and Friday, which consisted almost entirely of putting mailing labels on the Annual Report for the Stanislaus County Office of Education. This job was so boring, Rob spaced out halfway through my telling him about it. So I hope I'll have something more exciting to say the next time I post.

I guess I do have some interesting news. Oh crap. Never mind. I already told you about my personalized rejection slip. So instead, I'll let you be amused by my Halloween costume, which was not quite as much of a hit as I'd hoped at the Halloween party we attended.

me and Rob--doctor and patient  Jess, our gracious host

Actually, you can't really see most of the costume, but the relevant part is there. Rob was a plastic surgeon by the name of Augment D. Titté, M.D. I was a post-op breast-augmented person with a t-shirt reading "GAIN CHEST NOW--ASK ME HOW" on the front and "MORE IS MORE" on the back. The part you can't see is the ho-bag tiny skirt and high heels. Rob and I discussed the lukewarm reception of my costume, and we figured out that it was possible many people were unaware that those were not my actual breasts, despite their lumpy appearance (for future reference, socks and tights make for uneven breasts with a tendency to migrate, as well as overheat the frontal area). Oh well. We were amused, anyway. But, damn you, Costume Idea Zone! The second picture there is our friend Jess, host of the party. He liked the costume. It allowed him to grope my chest without actually groping my chest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Uber-Geek Alert!

Wondering who's behind the mighty Wilwarindil from our Geeks Gone Wild adventures? Okay, so maybe you weren't, but here's a Modesto Bee newspaper article on the man himself. And no, I am NOT playing Magic now. I've successfully resisted that branch of geekdom since my first glimpse of Magic players circa 1994, in the dining area of U.C. Berkeley's Casa Zimbabwe co-op, where I thankfully didn't live. Not that Stebbins, the co-op I spent a semester in, didn't have its minor unsanitary downside, namely the occasional dining room mouse and the questionable hot tub. However, upsides included copious booze and a Nintendo room (downside to Nintendo room: located directly underneath my bedroom. downside to bedroom: scary vegan roommate.).

Okay, enough with the procrastinating. Time to work on the novel.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Votin' 'Round the World

Makin' friends and singin' songs and votin' 'round the world... Sorry, gratuitous South Park reference. Anyway, just a quick update today out of guilt for not updating lately. I heard about this website called The World Votes today on my local NPR station--a chance for people around the world to express their opinion on the upcoming U.S. election. What fascinates me is the fact that there are people here, in this supposed bastion of free speech called the United States, who want the people at The World Votes to just shut up and stay out of our business. I think I'm dying of an overdose of irony.

In other news, I got another rejection slip today. But I'm moving up in the world--this one was actually personalized. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Statistics on Traffic Natalities

Yes, that's right, I said natalities, not fatalities. Since when has the word "natality" become an acceptable euphemism for "birth?" It just sounds way too much like a far less joyful event. I hereby refuse to use it except for humorous purposes.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

There's No "W" in "Government"

...Just like there's no "i" in "teamwork." Yep, it's my contention that government with W would be "governmentw," and that just plain makes no sense.

This is why I'm considering a plan to make my house a W-Free Zone. (That's a Dub-Free Zone, not a Drug-Free Zone. Can't make any promises there--I needs my Tylenol PM. Diphenhydramine in the houuuuse!) A W-Free household would mean that every time George W. Bush appeared on the television, someone would be required to change the channel. Any newspapers printing his name or photograph would be immediately disposed of in the proper receptacle. Sample ballots would be allowed, but any offending sections would be censored with a black marker. Anyone speaking the forbidden name would be summarily ejected.

But that's just the beginning. In the ultimate W-Free Zone, you won't even be able to refer to the letter "W." If you are unlucky enough to possess a name that begins with "W," you will be required to adopt a new one at the door--William can become Bill, and Winona could be, oh, Jane or something. Of course, this would play hell with my novel, which has a character named Wendy. I also won't be able to do any journalistic writing because the five W's will be strictly verboten.

In addition, in our newly W-Free Zone we will no longer be able to wash the windows, only to cleanse the panes. The W-Free Zone will also have to be a gluten-free zone, because wheat, beginning with W, would not be allowed. And perhaps most poignant (or perhaps it's simply utter nonsense), in the W-Free Zone there would be no we, only us.

Maybe not. Maybe it's ridiculous to think that at a politically charged time like this, I can completely free myself from W--either the letter or the individual. It's a crazy idea. It'll never see the light of day, but will remain in this blog, buried deeper than a covered-up political scandal. So in tribute, the rest of this paragraph will be a W-Free Zone. I shan't type another utterance containing the offending letter.

One more thing: Find out who novelists are voting for (Thanks, Jennifer!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Linguificatory Procrastination

Okay, so I'm just making up words now. Whatever. To me it's an inevitable result of sitting here attempting to create sentences--my brain has descended instead to the word level and pretty soon I'll be sitting here babbling in my own demented version of Esperanto.

The point of all this is that, in researching a concept called "Cymraeg Byw" (Living Welsh - a sort of cleaned-up textbook version of Welsh invented by academics in the 1960s), I found this interesting blog called languagehat--perfect if you're a language or linguistics junkie.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Shake It Up

This Friday night I'll be helping out with a literary event called Litquake; specifically, I'm volunteering to help with the first annual Lit Crawl in the Mission. Drop by Dog Eared Books between 7 and 8:15 and hear readings from Youth Speaks (and maybe you'll see me hiding out in the background).

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Names Revisited

A while ago I wrote about this fact-checking project I was working on for a baby name book. Thanks to Tanita, a most excellent writer friend of mine, my attention has been drawn to a highly amusing website about baby names gone wrong. The commentary is quite choice, as well as the actual poor name decisions. For example:

"I was thinking of naming my son Toolio. Does anyone know the origin on that one?
---[Jane] DeSac
Toolio DeSac. Boy, can't think of any way that kid'll get picked on. That's one taunt-proof name there!"

Good Times...Good Times

A friend just e-mailed me his new phone number, and I was extremely jealous to see that, transformed into alphabetical form, it contained the word SPIT. This reminded me of the time our friend Peter's phone number was 2-Fred-Wu. Then I remembered a website called Phonespell, which I once wrote about on IGN, and decided to finally see if my current phone number spells anything interesting. Sadly, nothing exciting came up. Even worse, I put in my cell phone number and NOTHING came out--nothing at all! You can't spell anything with my cell phone number. This is sad.

On the other hand, something good came of all this. I'd been irritated for a long time that my Weird Wild Web and Quote of the Day Archives from IGN for Men weren't working properly any more (even though I haven't worked there in 3+ years) and then I got the brilliant idea to use the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, a repository of just about every damn thing that's appeared online since things have been appearing online. I found my really freakin' old website from 1996 on there. Yeek!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


You've got a thinking man's candidate, and a believing man's candidate. Either way, please just vote.

Veep Debate Cheers 'n' Jeers

Okay, so the debate's not even over yet. I can hear it from here. But I can't just sit there--my opinion must be let out lest I explode with bile all over the minestrone soup I'm cooking. So here we go, bearing in mind that you're hearing the opinions of a self-professed bleeding-heart liberal of the worst kind:

Dick Cheney:
Winner: Highest density of personal insults hurled in a 30-second period
Winner: Most egregious violation of the "start from reliable premises" rule of argument
Winner: "Most sociopathic" award.
Winner: Mr. Meany-Pants award.

John Edwards:
Winner: Mr. Needs-To-Be-Less-Nice-Guy Award.
Winner: Most disarmingly handsome and earnest.
Winner: Second-highest density of personal insults hurled in a 30-second period (bearing in mind that there are only two contestants and the moderator doesn't count)
Winner: Most likely to be pictured as a corncob-pipe-chewing hillbilly when one closes one's eyes (sorry, that's my California-centrism coming through...)

So, back, I guess, to the remainder of the debates. Closing

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Bush, Kerry Take Opposing Stances Re: Choking

Here's something odd I thought about while watching various political commentaries over the past few days. Someone on a talk show--quite possibly Jon Stewart--brought up the time that George W. Bush choked on a pretzel. A moment after hearing it, I couldn't help but notice the bizarre not-quite-symmetry this incident has with something I heard about John Kerry--that he once saved former Republican Senator "Chic" Hecht from choking by giving him the Heimlich maneuver.

What a bizarre piece of cosmic irony. I'm not entirely sure what it means.

Incidentally, I heard that last piece of info about Kerry from the Daily Show, a program which has finally been given its due by CNN.