Thursday, April 30, 2009

-- 8 yr old girl divorces 47 yr old husband

In WTF news Wednesday last week, I wrote about how awful it was that an 8 year old girl was forced to marry a 47 year old man. Well! Now they're divorced. Yay!

In other news: packing, preparing, juggling much (including conferences at work both last week and this week, and the rest of the kitchen/downstairs remodel). Will write more soon. Saturday is blast-off day -- Arizona or bust!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

-- free mattress! (you get what you pay for)

From my dear friend S. who was scouring the internet for me, hoping to find some gems that would help in my upcoming move. And look what she found! From Craigslist:


full size mattress with broken box spring (can be fixed) clean and stain free. no urine stains and no feces stains. had a problem with bed bugs, but i think i killed them all. that's the chance you will just have to take with antthing that is free. i once took a mattress from someone and had crabs from it, it also had lice. oh well, that's life. i took a chance with it and got a very serious case of crabs and head lice.
  • Location: HIGHTSTOWN
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 1135292745

AWESOME. Let me go call now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

-- random photos from the past week

Some pictures from this past week:

Undaunted, the cat stares down my weapon.

But its paltry size tires her and she waves it away carelessly.

Shedding season is here. Actual size of dog hair, on my skirt. I had to stretch my thumb and forefinger to span either end. (Click to enlarge.)

Deception in the cafeteria fridge... be careful, it's everywhere!

My coworker put up this cute little birdy picture outside her cube. It was missing a face; a deficit that cannot be allowed.

And the African violets my mom gave me are blooming because for once (FOR ONCE!) I actually remembered to water them for 2 weeks in a row.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

-- update: we're kindof moving, but kindof not

Alrighty! Well I have a lot to say but am not in the mood to write. So I'll just list what's going on:
  • We're leaving for Arizona in less than two weeks to set up residence there for four months. Dan got a job working at Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope. It's a 2-year position requiring this time up front, monthly commutes the rest of the year and more time on site next summer. We'll essentially have two residences.

  • After weeding through 8 billion Craigslist responses, we found someone to rent our house in the interim.

  • I started looking for apartments in Flagstaff, AZ until I realized I cannot sign the papers for a place without seeing it first. Maybe it sounds great on paper but it's festering with roaches or reeking of cat piss? I dunno. Don't blame me if I'm a bit jaded. So as of now we don't know where we'll be living. Luckily they're putting us up for a few weeks so we can figure this out when we get to town.

  • It's a 2,200 mile drive to Arizona, need to plan cross-country trip. Note to self: USE the newly-discovered hotel Bed Bug Registry.

  • Figuring out: should we take the dog? A generous friend kindly offered to see about watching him but Tycho took extra-large SPAZ pills the day we arrived for a test visit. After body-slamming their back door and shrieking like a disemboweled possum for the entire duration of a very trying meal, we both agreed that "maybe this wasn't a great idea."

  • The cat was dropped off with Dan's family two nights ago and hasn't stopped hissing since.

  • (re-reading this: why are all of our animals such a pain in the ass?)

  • I finally entered the technology phase with a modern phone AND a new cell carrier. I had buyer's regret almost immediately until I realized I could actually carry on a conversation for more than 3.7 minutes straight on my commute home; an unheard-of record.

  • Got back from my last visit to NJ today. Saw loved ones but as usual, did not have enough time to see all.

  • Scrambling to see friends, pack, clean, setup auto bill-pay, email billing, mail forwarding, finish kitchen construction, etc. Must be done this week! My throat is closing just thinking of it all.
Jetting to work on some packing. Flagstaff is the last major town on the way north to the Grand Canyon. Come visit! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

-- the prunes that weren't meant to be

Actual conversation, tonight:
Dan: omg, you're throwing those out??! Why??

Me: these prunes are THREE YEARS OLD. They're expired.

Dan: But! They're prunes. They never go bad!

Me: I am not eating three year old prunes.

Dan: But the container's never been opened!

Me: If we have not WANTED to eat them for the past 3 years. what makes you think we are going to want to eat them in the next 3 weeks?*


Me: hmph. I thought so. (happy strut to trash can)

And so it was for the prunes that were never meant to be.

*in 3 weeks we are moving temporarily to Arizona; currently getting house ready for tenant, more on that later!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

-- regional slang (purse vs. pocketbook followup)

Update on the last post's linguistics dabbling (re: regional slang).

So if you say:
  • purse vs. pocketbook:
    pocketbook is a NY or northeastern term, purse more standard south and west.
  • sub vs. hoagie:
    Hoagie is a Philadelphia area term, sub is used more frequently in the northeast. I was surprised to learn "hero" is a NY term; it sounds so wrong. Half my family is from NY and I've never heard them use this. Interesting.
  • water ice vs. slurpee:
    What a strange term -- "water-ice"! It's from the Philadelphia region. Slurpee is from the Northeast coast.
  • bucket vs. pail:
    From "Though both bucket and pail are used throughout the entire U.S., pail has its greatest use in the Northern U.S., and bucket is more commonly used elsewhere, esp. in the Midland and Southern U.S."
  • soda vs. pop:
    Soda is more northeastern, pop is used more towards the west. Check out the soda vs. pop map (thanks, Geekhiker!).
Researching this, I came across a forum where users giggled that New Yorkers tend to say "I'm going to go stand on line" rather then the more technically correct "in line." And I thought, huh, I always say the former. I guess those are my NJ roots. (Well my mom's from NY and brought my sis & I up with some of the local dialect. Oh, and I used to say "my pens are in the top draw" until my friends [Linda this means you!] taught me how to pronounce the "r." heh. I was too young to spell when I learned it.) I wonder if I would have corrected myself once I saw what the word looked like? I have a hard time pronouncing difficult words unless I can see them in writing. I could never learn a language by ear alone.

Anything else you say or have noticed regionally? Do you have an accent? I love accents, they're so inherently charming, no matter where they from. I could listen to them all day. This stuff is so fascinating.

Where do you fall? Take a quiz!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

-- "R" sounding like "L" (and do you say "purse" or "pocketbook"?)

Well, I'm still glued to And here's something I noticed when listening to "Ringa Ringa Ringa" from the Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack:

When I first heard this, I thought they were saying "Rlinga Rlinga Rlinga" -- it wasn't until I glanced at the name on the CD that I realized otherwise.

Listen to the audio clip and let me know what you think. It does sound like "rlinga rlinga rlinga" does it not?

Then I wondered, could this be evidence of the R in an intermediary state as it moves from Europe towards Asia, where R's often sound like L's?
Language is fascinating to me. I took a linguistics class once and the professor said you could tell where someone was from in the U.S. based on what words they used, like (among others):
  • purse vs. pocketbook
  • sub vs. hoagie
  • water ice vs. slurpee
  • bucket vs. pail
  • soda vs. pop
Which do you prefer? Next post I'll try to list what this says about where you're from.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

-- music in other languages

Well, I'm still quite taken with I love how I'm just hearing all this cool music in other languages that I'd otherwise never know about. Here are a few that recently stood out:


Gracias a la vida, from Violeta Parra

Fields of Gold: remake of Sting's song by Eva Cassidy:

French (this one is blues-ey):
Bill Deraime – Plus la peine de frimer

Portugese (Brazilian musicians):
C├íssia Eller e Nando Reis – Relic├írio

Zazie – La PLuie Et Le Beau Temps

Garry Schyman – Praan

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

-- sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke

So I'm still apartment hunting for a temporary move to Flagstaff, AZ. I got this in my inbox today and I started wondering what was up with the price. I mean, it was obviously conditional on something, just what? I scoured the email for the footnote but couldn't find one. At least not right away. THEN I noticed the fine print:

First person who can read this gets a prize (your pick of one enlarged spleen or two smaller but fully functioning spleens!).

Srsly, wut?

-- roadtrip photos, and tell me your story

Sunday I was driving back from NJ -- the sky was so interesting I took these photos from the car.

Billowy clouds at the University of Delaware in Middletown, NJ

Forbidding skies ahead in Maryland as we
crossed over the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

The clouds darken.

You can see a band of rain up ahead but the road was dry as a bone. My buddy Kev later tweeted from Virginia that ice balls fell on his car right about the same time we were driving home marveling at the interesting clouds heading across the state:
We just missed it! What was the worst weather you ever drove in?

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