Friday, December 31, 2004


Happy new year, everyone! Wishing everyone a prosperous, safe and wonderful 2005!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

A modest proposal

Rocky suggests we cancel the President's $40 million inaguration and instead give the funds to the tsunami victims -- deaths which now number 120,000 if not more. After all, wouldn't that be a greater use of the funds, rather than throwing a 'been here, done this four years ago' party?

Also, some companies will match your donation in kind. If your company will not match, find someone whose company will and make your contribution through that person; you can easily double your contribution that way. Thanks to Sheetal for the suggestion.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami relief has set up a one-click donation to the American Red Cross here. As of this posting, people have donated $3.4 million dollars to the relief effort in a total of 558,617 payments -- that's an average of $6 apiece, but what a help that total sum ought to be towards rebuilding the stricken nations.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Season of giving

According to the CBS Evening News, the count of the dead in the Indian Ocean vicinity is estimated at 59,000 and could rise. When I try to put that number in perspective, I think of the town where I did my grad school -- the population of that 'little' town is 60,000. Entire families, livelihoods, possessions, everything, all gone in a blink of an eye. The water has receeded now, but because of the widespread destruction and loss of human life, the danger isn't over yet. There is little in the way of potable water and there is lack of sanitation in general. The bodies are rotting in the tropical climate and there is a danger of disease outbreaks.

Many relief agencies are banding together to help. Some say this will be an effort that will take billions of dollars and years to overcome. Some of these countries -- the Maldives, for instance -- are difficult to get to on a good day, and now it's almost impossible. These agencies need money more than they need donations of clothes or other physical items. If you are interested in helping out, check out the list of agencies mounting relief operations here. They will accept as little as $5 -- which for those of us in the US equals to a cup of coffee and biscotti at Starbucks.

Monday, December 27, 2004

I'd like to teach the world to sing

Once a year at Very Big Insurance Company, the company would hold a picnic for all employees and you'd basically get most of the day off from work. There would be games, contests, free food, and we'd all get some kind of silly gag gift (I still have my lei from the last picnic I attended). One year, my department decided to enter the karoke contest and somehow, I got myself involved as one of the main singers. We decided to sing "My Boyfriend's Back" and we had a whole dance routine worked out, and the main vocals would be split between yours truly and two other people. We practiced several times after work and I had a tape made so I could belt out my part in the car.

The day of the picnic came and my co-worker A. came to watch our dress rehearsal. Until I saw A. sitting there, I was very confident. And then all of a sudden it hit me: I was getting in front of 1,800 fellow employees and singing. I think I forgot the words to the song right there and then and I couldn't even do the little cute dance we had practiced so hard. I wanted to back out, but since I was doing one and half of the lyrics on my own, it wouldn't be fair to my co-workers. I was nervous and miserable, to put it mildly. But somehow, I got the dress rehearsal together and A. nodded approvingly and said we were good and he was sure we were going to win.

Before going on stage, I kept wiping my palms on my white polka-dot navy blue sundress and my heart was thumping and I kept turning to C., whose idea this all had been, and mumbling under my breath. She kept saying things like, "Seema, I can't hear you!" A few minutes before showtime, A. came up to me. "Hey," he said, "I just wanted to wish you good luck." I just kind of gave that half-smile you give when you're afraid of opening your mouth because otherwise your chattering teeth are going to fall out of your mouth. "Thanks," I said. And then he gave me a bit of advice, that to this day, still makes me smile when I think about it. "Good luck," he said. "Don't be afraid to be loud, remember to enunciate and for God's sake, don't forget to breathe."

There were ten teams that competed that day. I'm not sure if we were last or not, but we were pretty darn close. Still, it was a lot of fun, and pretty much marked the beginning and end of my on-stage singing career. You can still, however, hear me in my car.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Baby, it's cold out there

I hope this post finds you all bundled up and snug and with family. I'm baking cookies right now, so the whole apartment has a nice cookie-smell to it, which thankfully is taking over the gas and scorched remnants of quiche smell which pervaded just few minutes prior. For those of you who don't know, quiche and I have been having a difference of opinion lately, and the quiche has the upper hand. Mostly, it doesn't go cake-y (I'm not sure what the scientific term for it is) and so I mostly end up with quiche soup.

But I am the eternal optimist and I keep thinking, "Okay, today will be the perfect quiche." Then, just to prove me wrong, the quiche batter slops over the side of the pan and on to the bottom of the oven, where it promptly turns into black charcoal. So not only do I not have quiche, I have a vindicative oven that reminds me of my struggle with quiche every time I turn it on. From me to you, I hope your cooking endeavours for the holiday and the new year don't turn out quite as exciting as mine.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Best o' blogs

This was the first year I really ventured out into the blogosphere, past the safety of the Mod Squad and checked out the Wide World of Blogging. A lot of people have a lot of things to say, and among those were a few who managed to make me laugh and cry at the same time. So, in a nutshell, here's what I read this year and why I think you should read them too (in no particular order).

  • Chez Miscarriage written by getupgrrl was my introduction to the world of infertility blogs. I got sucked in and soon, I was making the infertility blog rounds regularly, including stops at A Little Pregnant. It's amazing to me how these two women combine sorrow and grief with humor and how very real they seem.

  • I discovered dooce in a 'best of blogs' book, the title of which now escapes me, but it had something to do with not lunging across a desk and throwing something at your co-worker, no matter how disgruntled you might be. Anyway, so I read about dooce in the book and I laughed. So I started reading and got sucked in both by the humor and also the honesty. Dooce is a daily stop and I'm especially fond of the Picture of the Day, especially the Leta pictures.

  • Martini Republic is a blog for my liberal lovin' heart. Just when it seemed as if the blogosphere had been taken over by shrill Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity fans, I stumbled across Martini Republic and thought, "Here are some people who think just like I do." I enjoy the intelligence and snark of the discourse, and the 'MSTing' current events in a way that makes me alternately furious and hysterical with laughter. Now if it was just called Margarita Republic...

  • And finally, last but certainly not least, Baghdad Burning, an Iraqi girl's view on what's going on in her country -- honest, straight-foward and unfettered. We think only of the American bodycount, but as the author of this blog so eloquently reminds us, there are people of other nationalities dying and suffering as well. It's always good to understand what the other side is going through.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I'm allowed to be annoyed today because I was up three hours past my bedtime yesterday because of the yippy yappy dog, who started wailing around 6 pm when I came home and continued to bark -- hoarse-throatedly, I might add -- until past midnight. At one point, I called the main office to complain, but they told me that the courtesy officer has gone bye-bye and I'd have to call the police. Calling the police seemed a bit harsh, but it was midnight, I was tired, and that dog was barking on the other side of my bedroom wall. So, I wrote the owner an anonymous note letting her know that her dog barks incessantly and it would be much appreciated if she could do something to, y'know, make it stop. You'll be proud of me: I didn't threaten to call the police if she didn't, but believe me, I was thinking about it. Funny, about 10 minutes after I taped the note to the door, the dog stopped barking.

Thanks to less than 7 hours beauty sleep, I'm cranky, cranky, cranky. Which means ordinary things that don't bother me rank high on the irrit-a-meter. One thing, however, that always, always gets me going are the "I would have done X just like you but I was too busy" excuses. I get them often at during the holiday season. "Oh I would have sent you a Christmas card but I was too busy" or "I don't do cards anymore because they stress me out, but thanks for yours." There's also the pre-emptive e-card -- "I'm too busy to send you a card this year but here's an e-card for you." Gee, thanks.

I sent out about 30 cards this year. I don't get 30 in return, nowhere near it. And I'm not whining. I choose to send cards every year because I like doing it and it's a tradition and it's the one time of the year when I go through my address book and get in touch with everyone I've ever said hello to. I don't mind I don't get 30 cards in return. Would it be nice to be on someone's mailing list? Sure. But none of this stuff ought to be an obligation; do it if you want to and if you don't, a simple 'thank you', if anything, suffices -- there is absolutely no reason for an excuse, especially one which claims a) stress or b) busy-ness. It makes those of us who tried to do something nice for you feel like crap, as if we weren't worth 37 cents and the few minutes it takes to scrawl "Happy Holidays and all the best for 2005."

I bet you all wish that dog doesn't bark again, huh?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

This one is just for jemima

There is nothing to report. Absolutely nothing to report. And if it's on the internet, it must be true.
Only three shopping days left

So, what kind of parker are you? I'm a 'see it and take it' parker, preferably as far away from humanity as possibly, mainly because I don't want my car nicked (though it has been -- several times) and the excercise does me good. I admit to the 'stalker' method, though, at my favorite Tex-Mex place, as the parking lot there is frequently stuffed to the gills and the neighboring places have now started cracking down on those of us who used to sneak a spot in their lots.

I'm just glad that, between now and Christmas, I won't have to hit a store and believe it or not, that includes the grocery store -- I have food, baby! While the rest of humanity is cruisin' the parking lots o' doom in search of that last minute perfect gift or bargain, I'll be hibernating. On my futon. As if there were any doubt.
And we're baaaaaaaaack!

The management apologizes for the technical difficulties of the last few days. The management also thanks her brother for the upkeep of this site and all of the administrativia and tech details associated with it. This is all.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ribbons a go go

I've spent a lot of time on the interstates and highways of this city -- tentatively renamed City of Opportunity, but City of Continuous Construction would probably be more accurate -- and I've noticed what I can only call a fast-spreading 'plague': the 'ribbons' affixed to the rear ends of vehicles. The 'ribbons', which are rubber magnets, in the shape of ribbons, started off innocuously enough: yellow with the words "we support our troops" on them. Every now and then you see a pink one and I haven't yet figured out what the purple and black/gray ones are. Lately, I've been seeing ribbons done up in the American flag -- sometimes with the stars replaced with crosses -- and the word runs from the original "We support our troops" to "God bless America and support our troops" to the more vehement "We support our president and our troops." Apparently one ribbon isn't always enough to get the message across; some cars have two or three, with any combination of the above mentioned designs and sentiments.

I'm going on record to say I'm never, ever going to put one of these ribbons on my car. To me, the message is incomplete and I certainly cannot stomach putting something on my car that associates the American flag with God, for instance, or one that equates supporting the president and the troops as patriotism. "Support our troops" is too loaded a phrase to me; in my mind it means I support the war in Iraq and that a true patriot must support the troops, no matter what the conflict. Unfortunately, there is no ribbon for my brand of patriotism which says, "I support our brave men and women on the ground, but I do not support the why of their conflict. I support our troops' right to not be sent into a war based on bad information and unilateral action. I support our troops' right to be completely prepared and outfitted and be sent in the numbers necessary to win and secure the peace. I support our troops' right to know why they are risking their lives." So you see, until that ribbon comes out, I cannot possibly put something on my car that means something other than what I've said above.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Off limits

Florida Girl* said the other day she would be uncomfortable reading this blog, because she said she would rather hear news from me in person. I tried to tell her this isn't that kind of blog. I don't actually announce anything here -- well, I should probably tell you that I've been sitting around for the last five days because I'm on vacation and I'm on vacation because I have a new job, so no more Blimpkind stories for you!

I started blogging back in 2001, when blogging wasn't cool yet. I tried it because my brother said, "Oooh, new! Shiny!" And I thought, "Hmmm, maybe I do have something to say." Some days, I have nothing to say. I think you know when those days happen. Since I started blogging, the content has changed. I used to blissfully blog about co-workers, friends, things that were happening in my RL -- I don't do that so much anymore. I've learned, over the years, some things just shouldn't be pixelly immortalized, not without a written and signed waiver.

Things you will never read about in this blog:

  • Specific details about where I live. Some of the 'net savvy have probably already figured out this site's billing address; I don't live there. Just so you know.
  • Details about family, unless they specifically figure into a cooking disaster. In which case, it's all good.
  • Work. Not a good idea to blog about work in excruciating detail, however tempting it might be. My co-workers might seem like characters out of a novel, but they are real people with feelings and if news of the bloggity ever got out, well, I'd be in a world of hurt and potentially unemployed too.
  • Personal issues. You're not going to hear about doctor's visits here, or anything else that could be classified as TMI. If I don't know you in RL or consider you a close online friend, the laundry stays off the web. You never know when this stuff came back to bite you in the rear.

I admire people who can be completely open in what they blog about. They seem to have real personality, lives that are a lot more exciting than mine because they always have something to write about. Because there are subjects and people off-limits in this here blog, unfortunately, I may have to subject you to a never-ending litany of when eggs and pancakes go bad, as well as the continuing adventures in IKEA.

* Florida Girl wanted a mention in the blog. I should say, as a caveat to all this, if the subject willingly and readily agrees to be immortalized here, it's all good. But in general, no no no.
The paper chase

I've talked about my inability to throw things out before, and when I talk about 'things', I'm specifically referring to paper. I hoard bill stubs, credit card receipts, random slips of paper with directions and grocery lists and phone numbers written down. And all of this paper -- along with sandwich bags filled with Cheerio crumbs -- is stuffed into the deep recesses of my purse.

The first thing you must know about my purse is that it was purchased about five years ago, when I was carrying around a brick-sized cell phone. These days, my phone is a very slim, back-pocket slippable device, and it gets lost in the cavernous depths of my purse -- especially with all the discard sandwich bags and receipts crushed and smushed into the bottom.

Yesterday, I met a friend for dinner and she was running late, having encountered our city's favorite hobby: construction and re-routing as a result. I thought I tossed my phone back into my purse after getting her call, but later, I couldn't find it. As a result, while waiting for my friend at the restaurant, I started rummaging through my purse and paper started falling everywhere. When I took out the bags of Cheerio crumbs, the mother I was sharing a table said with a nice smile, "Must be nice to get away from the kids for a night, isn't it?" There you have it, people, the naked truth: I carry more Cheerios in my purse than anyone without children has the right to.

I realized that I couldn't possibly empty the contents of my purse on the table, not without a) causing great embarrasment to myself and b) getting thrown out of the restaurant for littering. I really didn't want to get thrown out; it's the one Mexican restaurant in town with vegetarian rice and beans! (Well, aside for the burrito places, but I digress). So I stuffed everything back into my purse and went out to continue searching for my phone. Which I found, in my car, because somehow, in the dark, I had overshot the cavernous depths of my purse and dropped the phone behind the purse. Suffice it to say, I was very relieved and resolved that very night to clean out my purse.

I came home, dumped all the stuff out (well, almost all, because this morning, I found another stash in one of the pockets) and discovered receipts from a couple years ago, receipts from establishments now defunct, receipts with the ink worn off them, cards to various eateries in various cities, and loose change. I also found the Listerment dissolveables that constantly go missing, especially right after going to the pizza place for lunch and chomping down on garlic bread. Since I rarely do anything with receipts, it's amazing I keep them at all. The best invention ever was not only pay-at-the-pump gas stations, but also the fact you can choose whether you want a receipt or not. And now I must go and finish sorting through the newest assortment of receipts I have found.

And on that note, I must go, because I have eggs cooking in the kitchen and making strange noises. That's all I need: eggs exploding all over my paper-covered apartment.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Scott Peterson is getting the death penalty. Call me a bleeding heart, but somehow I'd get more satisfaction out of plopping his ass in prison so he can be someone's girlfriend for the next 70 years, not to mention, it'd give him plenty of time to think on just what a sick guy he really is. Bottom line: lethal injection seems to be too good for him.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Weekend update

I had a lovely time with A. this weekend, though it did take time to get my driving confidence back and I remained rather agitated the whole weekend over the incident. However, we ate a lot -- tried two new restaurants -- and we walked a lot and then had a mini-"Sports Night" marathon and shared our mutual love of Felicity Huffman.

The week stretches out in front of me -- all that time, no definitive plans. I have some financial issues to take care of, and then some other errands that need to get done (including *finally* cleaning the mess in my oven, courtesy of my last stab at a quiche). I'm thinking about having company for dinner Saturday -- well-salted, of course -- and now that I have a hand mixer, some hard core cooking making seems to be in the future. And oh, maybe even watching a movie in the middle of the day. OH THE INDULGENCE!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Reason #284 to not talk on your cell phone while driving

Last night was supposed to a quick and easy drive to the airport -- which is about 30 minutes away from me. It was anything but. Since I don't normally drive on highways, I had no idea about the massive roadwork and the 'right lane only' situation, which meant for about 15 minutes, I was just sitting there. By the time, I got free, I was mildly panicked because the plane theoretically had already landed and I was still 20 minutes away. I had thoughts of my friend sitting there forlornly wondering where I was at. To compound the trouble, I had left her cell number at home -- I have a new cell phone and haven't transferred all the numbers yet -- and I had no way to let her know I was on my way. And then my cell rang and without thinking, I grabbed it, and in the process slightly swerved into another lane. It was my friend in Florida and I just said, "Can't talk, on the road," and hung up. But the damage had already been done.

There was another car in the lane I'd swerved into -- a white four-door Nissan Maxima with four people in it. I hadn't hit them, but I *had* cut them off in my moment of inattention and they were pissed about it. They cut into my lane, slowed down considerably, and I moved into the left lane to overtake them. Before I could do so, they cut back in my lane and slowed down again; the two people in the backseat were staring at me. I cut back into the right lane, and they came right with me. Feeling freaked out, I slowed down and gradually cut all the way to the far right, and the Maxima, which was now ahead of me, actually slowed down *so* much, they put their blinkers on. At that point, I realized they were not going to let me pass them. No matter what I did, they were going to be dogging me. So I did what no good driver should ever do: at the very last minute, I took the first exit that came up. Luckily, since it was 10 pm, there was little traffic and I didn't cut anyone off in my wild swerve to the exit. I stayed on the feeder road until the next exit, and when I came back on the interstate, the Maxima was gone.

It was really scary. My heart was pounding and I was on the verge of tears. The whole time the situation had been going on, I had been trying to dial 911 on my cell, but couldn't quite manage the driving and dialing at the same time -- especially since I already had one car load of people pissed off at me. It was my first experience with road rage and it was scary enough -- no need to do it again, thankyouverymuch.

I'm still agitated over the situation because I don't know what that car's intentions were. Were they trying to scare me? Annoy me? Force me off the road? Shoot me? Also, in true Seema!fashion, I've been replaying those 2-3 minutes over and over in my head and what I could have done to avoid the situation. I shouldn't have reached for the phone or I should have left the house earlier so I wasn't flustered about getting to the airport late. In the end, it comes down to me making a mistake by taking my attention momentarily off the road, but that the Maxima made the bigger mistake by retaliating so violently and that I did the right thing by eventually getting off the road (if they had followed me, I probably would have turned into a shopping center -- thank GOD for Christmas and late shopping hours! -- and called 911 from a parking lot). Yes, 12 hours later, I'm still shaking, but I'm very, very grateful to be home in one piece. If any of you are in a similar situation here are some tips on dealing.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

War stories

On my second to last day at Very Big Publishing Company (tm), I didn't leave work until about 10 pm. Some of you may not find that odd -- you work those hours regularly. The really good thing about this job was the incredibly regular hours. Get there by 9 am, out the door between 5 and 6 pm, and never have projects carried over to the next day. So our shock was palpable today when 6 came and went, and then it was 7, and ohmigod, 8 and oh hell, 9, are we ever, ever going to get out of here?

Things started to get a little crazy around 9. The DC office was banging their collective heads against the wall, I couldn't figure out whether I wanted to laugh or cry at the long list of Oracle codes the tech guy IM'd me. "Update Oracle manually!" he suggested. And I suddenly saw a night reaching into the wee hours and tears seemed to be the way to go. But our tech people pulled a miracle and I didn't have to update Oracle manually, and when one of my tables came out blank -- repeatedly -- we decided to call it a night and go without.

The point is, the night was a war story. One of the tech people in DC IM'd me to say, "I'm banging my head repeatedly against a brick wall. Nothing is happening." And then someone else IM'd me to say, "I'm laughing hysterically. I cannot stop." I IM'd Big Boss at one point and said, "Tell me hte truth. Are we on 'Candid Camera'?" We all left tonight, feeling as if we'd done the best we could, that we'd gone above and beyond the call of duty and maybe the issue was missing some information, but at no time did someone say, "I quit." Everyone hung in there until Big Boss said there was no use, the table was going to be stubbornly blank, and everyone should go home.

Situations like this, you feel closer to the people you work with. You remember that feeling of hysteria, the OHMYGODICANNOTBELIEVEWEARESTILLHERE laments, the camaraderie, the brainstorming, and the pulling together. It's the type of situation, when years down the road, you're sitting around and you say, "Remember that night when the database went down? When all the reports came out blank? Remember that night when we were so into what we were doing we were actually crazy enough to think about updating Oracle manually? Remember?" I like that feeling, that we believe in what we do is so important that no one is willing to let go until it's absolutely necessary. And more importantly, I like that through it all, we managed to retain our sense of humor.

I'm not going to miss the job, but those are some great people I work with. I just wish it wasn't on the second-to-last day of my tenure at Very Big Publishing Company (tm) that I got to see just how very cool and graceful they are under pressure. Things happen for a reason, and I think tonight's catastrophic database failure happened so I could see what I'd been wanting to see all along. I'm going to miss these guys.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Where's my statue?

The 2004 Weblog Awards have arrived, but this blog is not even in the top 6750+ of blogs*. I'd have an inferiority complex about it but a) I have a futon now, b) I have Doubletree cookies, c) with two weeks to go to the holidays, I have managed to avoid hearing that dismal and putrid "Christmas Shoes" carol, e) dooce has a new Leta picture up but more importantly f) I have all of you who stop by, leave comments and email. But I really hope I'm at least in the top million of blogs... that'd be so cool.

Also, speaking of awards, that gruesome twosome -- Joan and Melissa Rivers -- are baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Man, I'm glad they aren't here to critique my wardrobe; today, the iron and I just didn't get along and I went through two pairs of pants before I said hell with it and threw on jeans, even though it's Wednesday which is not the same as Friday which is the day when everyone wears jeans. I can just hear those two yappering now: "And here comes Seema! Isn't her hair big today? And oh my, aren't those shoes from Plymouth Rock? And honey, didn't you know chunky jewelry isn't for every neck? And tsk, tsk, tsk, brown lipstick? Doesn't she know this season's color is wintermelon berry?" So yes, add that to my list of blessings: I don't have to worry about getting critiqued by Joan and Melissa Rivers, because I'd probably have to just curl up in a blob on my futon, under a blanket, and never, ever step foot in public again. Thank God they don't know about the mismatched shoes...

*Actually I was rather disappointed to see two of my favorite blogs not in the running -- Chez Miscarriage and Martini Republic. I'm terribly curious how they picked these blogs for inclusion. That being said, I think there are some very, very good blogs on the list. I voted, did you?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Dwelling on regret is so much more comfortable when you have a futon. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The futon love

I know, I know, it's the third entry in a row about the futon, but if you had my futon, you too would be blogging like a mad woman, because I am in love, completely, totally, with this futon and all I can say is, "Where have you been for the last 18 months of my life and what took you so long to get here?" See for yourself just how attractive the newest member of my living room is (just imagine that with a hunter green cover with grape-colored pillows with pretty gold-green triangle patterns on them). And did I mention the mattress? It's nearly a foot tall and oh so comfortable. I sat down, intending to just test it out, before heading to the shower, and people, I didn't move for the next three hours. I may never leave the house again*

Putting the futon together was fairly easy but it's not a job for one person. There were three of us, and having an engineer to decipher some of the instructions was very vital. It was indeed easier than piecing together IKEA furniture except for the part where wood is very hard and a Phillips screwdriver just doesn't cut it. I recommend, for all of your futon building experiences, an electric drill. I would also recommend the engineer, if you can find one.

Other things I learned:

1. Futon salespeople will negotiate. I got them to drop $60 off the marked price just by telling them I would buy today if they could match the price of a store down the street (much gratitude to S., for suggesting we ought to try negotiating and then getting the ball rolling).

2. Get a thick mattress. The default mattress on the futons are little more than a 6-inch foam pad which will undoubtedly get crushed over time. A nice firm mattress with more cushioning will last longer, and will be more comfortable -- especially if you are using the futon for daily use (whether for sleeping or as a couch).

3. It's not difficult to assemble the futon, but it's nearly impossible if you try it on your own. Some places charged a flat delivery/assembly fee, but the place I went actually gave me the option of delivery only or delivery and assembly -- with a $30 difference between the two.

4. Armrests rock. Do not let anyone tell you that you don't need armrests. You so need armrests.

5. Take S. and R. with you, because they totally rock.

*I also spoke in caps for a very long time because my futon love is so strong that only caps can TRULY TELL HOW I AM FEELING RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Futon! Futon!

So I'm standing there in the futon store, just completely bowled over by the fact I've actually made a decision, that I'm buying a futon, and then Futon Sales Guy says, "What's your phone number? I need to give it to the delivery man." And for the love of Tom DeLay, I have no idea. So I said, "(555) 222-5084." When I got home a couple hours later, I had finally figured out that the last four digits of the made-up number I'd given Futon Sales Guy were actually a combination of the last four digits of my my cell phone and my home phone both. So then I had to call the futon place and admit that I do not know my own phone number.

The delivery people -- who were scheduled to arrived between 6 pm and 8 pm -- called at exactly 6 pm. When was the last time your delivery people actually called when they were supposed to? Heck, or even showed up between the appointed hours? People, my futon was here at 6:20 pm. I have futon pieces all over my living room floor. I don't even know where the futon is actually going to go and if it weren't for company arriving Friday, I might actually leave the futon in its various boxes and plastic wrappings right where they are so I don't actually have to deal with rearranging my hard-to-rearrange living room. I will keep you updated on this front: S., R., and I will be assembling the futon tomorrow; I've been told assembling the futon is easier than assembling IKEA furniture (S. reminded me that if building IKEA furniture was one of the challenges on this week's Amazing Race, obviously building IKEA furniture is not for the light of heart). We also have the example of R's mother in front of us -- who singlehandedly built a futon and English isn't even her first language. This ought to be a piece of cake, yes?

Friday, December 03, 2004


I'm going shopping for a futon tomorrow. This is very scary because a) it involves making a decision and b) it involves spending money. I'm not very good at either (except where Casual Corner is involved, in which case it's entirely too easy to whip out the credit card). S. is going with me and she vows that we are not returning home until the futon has been purchased. So far the one thing I've decided on is that my futon must have arm-rests. I mean, what is a couch without arm-rests? Where are you supposed to put your feet when you're sprawled out watching television? And even if you are the type of person who never, ever lies down on a couch, then for goodness sakes, you still need arm-rests so you can actually rest your arms.

I've ruled out IKEA for my futon needs, which is a good thing because a) it involves walking through a store the size of 2 football fields and b) half of this city seems to have nothing better to do on the weekend than visit IKEA and to exacerberate matters even further at the World's Largest IKEA outside of Sweden, there's reason c: flat furniture fits nicely under the Christmas tree! Anyway, IKEA's futons not only lack arm-rests (People! You can engineer a complete kitchen to fit into a box three feet by one foot and somehow you cannot design a futon with arm-rests?), they are also kind of... weird lookin'. This means no IKEA stories for you people! (but maybe, more blog entries about shoes and godawful Christmas carols).

Hopefully, when I blog at you next, I will have purchased not only a futon frame, but a cover and a mattress as well. Miracles are known to happen.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Setting the record straight

As the holidays draw closer, I've noticed one of the top searches that land people here is 'Christmas Shoes' -- ie yes, that
carol. I know I'm just provoking more visits by blogging about this insidious song once again, but I cannot reiterate just how much I want this song to go far, far away from the airwaves. People, there will be no love for 'Christmas Shoes' here, none at all. This blog cannot possibly endorse a song that advocates a "no shirt, no shoes, no salvation" policy.

I reiterate a section of my post on the subject, orginally archived here:

For me, songs like "O Holy Night" or "Come All Ye Faithful" or "Joy to the World" are more about the Christmas spirit than this tear-jerker of a song. I know I'm supposed to be moved by the image of a dirty little boy counting out pennies to buy his dying mother a new pair of shoes "just in case she meets Jesus tonight" but the logician in me wonders why not a bowl of soup? How about some medicine? Maybe a doctor? Why new shoes of all things?

Then you've got the guy who helps the boy out. I don't know what his story is, but obviously he hasn't got the Christmas spirit until he finds himself guilted into giving the little boy the rest of the money to buy a pair of shoes for his Momma. Frankly, I'd take this guy a lot more seriously if he offered more assistance than just buying a pair of shoes, which according to the boy's sob story, are basically useless to this poor family (other than the joy of making Momma look beautiful for Jesus, I guess).

My other question is, how did this boy get to the store? Did he walk? Did someone drive him? And why didn't the nice man who gave him money to buy the shoes give the child a ride home? And I don't buy that the guy now knows what Christmas is all about. He assuaged his guilt a little by handing over a few bucks, but really, what did he learn? That in order to meet Jesus, you have to have new shoes? That's not Christmas spirit; that's just materialism rearing its ugly head once again.

So, I'm sorry, 'Christmas Shoes' lovers, for you must be sorely disappointed. But if you can explain the song to me in a way that makes sense, I'd appreciate it!