Thursday, January 31, 2008

Got no flowers for your gun

Also, who knows if there will be a ceremony, but in any case, here's the Official 2008 Thptpth Oscar Pool. Vote early! Vote often! Just do your patriotic duty and vote!

Winner gets ... ummm ... winner gets ... I dunno. I'll think of something.

Thanks for reading.

And I'm right on time, and the girl keeps singing

I am finally back online, after weeks, weeks! without internet. So painful, the internet-less-ness. Nolan would go down for quiet time, and I would think, "A-ha! Now I Now I can unpack another box, I guess."

For yea, verily, it is true! We have moved. Again. Finally. For what I now decree shall be the last time in a very, very, very long time. So sayeth I.

And the moving, it was a saga. Perhaps not quite a biblical-length saga, but a saga nonetheless. There were tears, and sickness; there was freezing cold and carbon monoxide; broken possessions and non-working telephones; ugly hotel rooms, pilfering moving men, cranky landlords, you name it. Someday (soon) I will post the unedited version of those events. When I've had a chance to recover.

But in the mean time, I just wanted to say we're back!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 14, 2008

She blinded me with science

I usually don't give too much credence to those random little factoids you get on some multi-pack foodstuffs these days (e.g., Nolan's instant breakfast oatmeal packets have "Dino-Info" on them, my Splenda packets have stupid little Splenda-focused phrases on them) but at lunch today, on my Snapple lid, I got one that was interesting. (You would think these kinds of things would be manna from heaven for me, Useless Trivia Girl, but I find most of them redundant and boring - "Oh really, Snapple? A panda bear's diet is 99% bamboo? I never would have guessed that, thanks!")

My lid today said, "The motto on the first U.S. penny was 'Mind Your Own Business.'" This seemed just bizarre enough to be true, and I deemed it worthy of investigation. Of course, "investigation" in today's modern world (speaking of redundant, Caroline - "today's modern world?" Jeesh.) mostly consists of Google and Wikipedia, and sure enough, there it is.

Of course, Snapple got a couple little facets of their trivia wrong - namely, the United States Mint has never produced a "penny." The official name for the one-cent coin is "cent." And the actual motto on the coin was "Mind Your Business," which is a little more open for interpretation than "Mind Your Own Business."

But still. How often do you pick up a Jeopardy-worthy tidbit from a Snapple lid?

I also like noting the fact that "In God We Trust" was not made the official national motto until 1956 - take that, fundamentalist Christian blowhards!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

There must be something wrong with the machinery

I is a computer geenyus! I done fixed me my CD drive all by my lonesome!

It wasn't that hard, really, and I'm not sure why I was so intimidated (and why the hell the goofballs at my local computer joint couldn't get their acts together to take care of the job). I realize that most computer repairs aren't quite so simple, and I probably won't attempt any other self-repairs soon, but it was quite satisfying to do. I could see where all the bits went, which cables plugged into which sockets, and although there were a couple of hairy moments (I had to remove a mounting bracket dealie from the old drive and attach it to the new drive, no mention of which was made in the instructions) I was able to figure it out on my own. It only took me about an hour (during Nolan's "quiet time" of course) and there's something of the Quaker in me that feels inordinately proud of being able to take matters into my own hands, rather than rely on the help of professionals.

Don't worry, I won't quit my day job.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Saved by zero

Happy New Year and all that crap.

I have, as usual, several semi-literate mostly unpublishable half-posts sitting here in my dashboard, and I have run out of motivation and inclination to finish and/or delete them.

My computer was held hostage by a highly incompetent computer "repair" shop here in Princeton for three weeks with no actual repairs ever effected, so I was using KB's computer for a while, which I really don't like doing. Not because it's not a perfectly fine (if PC) computer, because it is, but because it's not MINE. It doesn't have the passwords pre-typed like my computer, it doesn't have the same shortcuts as my computer, it doesn't have my address book and my contacts, my photos, my notes, et cetera. It just makes for very difficult computer time.

The reason my computer was being "repaired" was that the CD drive has crapped out on me - it will accept a disk and whirr industriously for awhile, igniting false hopes in my breast and fooling me into thinking that it will actually work, but then nothing happens. No icon on desktop, no music on iTunes, no DVD playing, et cetera. So I figured I needed a new drive. I took it to this local place, thinking I'd do my part to support the local economy (plus I hate Apple stores - love the products, but really truly hate the stores. Genius bar, my fanny.) but they had it for, as I said, three weeks and didn't do anything with it. Whenever I called in to see what the heck was going on, no one seemed to know anything, or I was told that the person who DID know something was on vacation. One time I called and got no answer at all (this was at 10:30 am) and when the voice mail picked up, the sultry anonymous computer female told me that the box could not accept messages and that there had been an error. These kinds of things, in a supposedly tech-savvy place, do not engender much confidence in me.

So now that I have rescued my computer from their evil clutches (and warded off the $150 "diagnostic fee" they tried to hit me with) I am bravely (and perhaps foolhardily) going to attempt to repair it myself. My awesome brother-in-law knows his stuff, Mac-wise - he helped me find a site to buy a new drive from and promised to talk me through the surgery on the phone if need be. So wish me luck with that.

AND. Yes, we're closing on the new house next week. We are currently booking movers and changing our address with all 8 million businesses/publishers/utilities/banks that need to know. Sigh. I hope we don't have to do this again for a looong time.

NOW that I've forced you to listen to my whiny bitching, here's what I know you're really after. Nolan pics:

Nolan petting a random cat on the street while we were out for a walk. I feel bad for him that Joe Street Cat is friendlier with him than our kitties are. I wish they would get over their fear of him (Jake's actually getting better and more tolerant, but Lola still flees in terror) because it would work out so well - the cats are constantly looking for attention and Nolan is constantly trying to pet them. I want to shake their little kitty shoulders and say, "Wake up! This is a win-win situation! He wants to pet you! You want to be petted! What exactly is the problem?" Maybe it's just that he will pet them gently and contentedly suck his thumb for a little while, and then grab an empty wrapping-paper tube and try to clonk them on the head with it. That could have something to do with their antipathy, perhaps.

Nolan experimentally tasting one of Erica's homemade peppermint marshmallows. She sent a whole bag of them, along with homemade pumpkin truffles and a present for Nolan. When I first gave him the hot cocoa and said I had a special treat for him, he got all excited. Then when I dramatically brought out the marshmallows, he looked at me like, "What the hell is that supposed to be?" I encouraged him to taste it, and this is the moment his expression changed from "What the hell?" to "You've been keeping this delicious sugar treat from me my whole life, evil wench!"

I think it's fair to say he enjoyed it.

He now treats the hot cocoa as more of a marshmallow delivery device than a beverage in its own right. Each one is the perfect size pillowy little square to fit in his cup, and he lets them get a little soggy, scoops them out, and sucks the hot cocoa out of them before re-immersing in the cocoa. We'll be in trouble when they run out. (Nolan did not get any of the pumpkin truffles. KB and I reserved [hid] those delectably smooth little nuggets for ourselves.)

Nolan on Christmas morning. You'll notice there is a dearth of ornaments on the lower half of the tree. This is because from the moment we set up the tree to the moment Nolan broke his first little shiny glass ball type ornament was approximately 2.3 minutes. The second one wasn't for another couple hours, but we quickly discerned that if we wanted to preserve any of our $3.99 per dozen Target ornaments, we'd best take action. So all the glass balls were shifted to the top of the tree and we moved as many soft or wooden ornaments as we could to the bottom of the tree, but we just don't have that many. Thus, the bare-bottomed tree.

Nolan at the Museum of Natural History (after a New Year's Eve haircut of which no pictures exist because KB took him, not me. You know if I'd been there, you would have gotten a three-part photo essay entitled "My Baby's Fourth Haircut. Sob.") in New York. He was more enthralled (and exhausted) by the train and subway rides that got us there than the museum itself. He had a huge freak-out about an hour into our visit, when we had to take him into the Astor Turret and just let him sob and scream, but it seemed okay because there were about 30 other toddlers and their various nannies/parents/minders also there. (The Astor Turret re-purposed as The Toddler Freak-Out Room.) I think we'll skip going again until he can read - it's much more interesting if you know WHY all those bones and stones are there, and his attention span is just too short right now. Did I mention he's not taking a nap anymore? Yes. We now have "quiet time" every afternoon, where he is free to sleep or not sleep, on his own, in his room. Most times he doesn't sleep, and that makes for very cranky evenings, let me tell you.

So anyway. Them's the haps round these parts.

Thanks for reading.