Monthly Archives: June 2010

The circle of life can suck it

Yesterday we noticed one of the owls was sitting pretty close to the house, so Mom and I went out to watch him, taking the camera with us. What we think are the two fledglings are nearly always in the vicinity of each other. So while I was watching the one hunched over a tree above Dad’s trailer, Mom was scanning the trees looking for the other one.

Come on, little guy! The Internet is rooting for you!

“Oh my god! Don’t move!” I heard her say behind me. I froze. She told me to look up to my left. There was the other owl, sitting on a branch right above me, looking down at me curiously. I snapped a couple of pictures of that one before he flew to a higher, more secure location.

The other one, however, was hunched over in a weird position. I was able to get almost right underneath him. He just looked at me, but didn’t fly away.

It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life.

But this morning, we learned why he didn’t fly away. He’s injured. Or sick. Dad noticed him hopping on the ground this morning before managing to hop onto a branch about a foot off the ground. It was obvious something was wrong with him. It broke my heart. I got within a couple of feet of this beautiful creature, almost close enough to touch him. He looked at me with such sad eyes. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried all the way to work.

But, my parents were on the case. They contacted the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and a local vet who treats injured wildlife. Mom called a couple of hours later to tell me the TWRA folks had come out and gotten the owl and he was on his way to the vet. The TWRA people said it looked like a wing injury, but of course, they won’t know for sure until the vet checks it out.

If it’s a wing injury and it’s treatable, we might be able to get him back. If it’s not treatable, there are bird sanctuaries injured birds can be sent to and be cared for. If it’s a sickness, well, at least we’ll have the comfort of knowing the vet would have ended his suffering quickly.

I just hope our other two owls don’t mourn his loss. And I know it’s silly, but I hope they don’t blame us for taking him away from them. We’re hopeful he can return, but at least we know he won’t suffer anymore.

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Filed under photographs, the wood, wildlife

Friday Five: Hello Vader!

Someone toss me a fail whale. I let last Friday come and go without doing a Friday Five. I blame having the day off and generally being lazy. I should be punished. I should be given a good spanking! And after the spanking, the oral s…. wait. Maybe that’s not the best movie to be quoting in a public blog.

As penance for my sins, I offer up a double dose of Internet goodies.

1. How ‘Lost’ should have ended

It’s been a few weeks since “Lost” ended, but I still can’t get it out of my mind. It was a hell of an ending. Can’t really think of how the writers could have ended it any better. But apparently, the folks over at could. Because this is the way it really should have ended. (Warning: some spoilers for the final episode… but it’s so freakin’ cool!)


Awwwwww! Hello Vader!

2. Star Wars demotivational posters

I’m a pessimist living in a cynical world. There are very few things that keep me from committing seppuku and ending it all. Demotivational posters are one. Star Wars is another. Demotivational Star Wars posters? Epic. I have gained the will to live another day.

Source: Furious Fanboys

3. The (Illustrated) Hitchhiker’s Guide to Daleks

It’s nice to know that the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy includes Daleks. Watch this instructional video to learn everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you didn’t) about this evil war machine race.

Source: SCI FI Wire

4. The ultimate Internet video

Both the bank OK Go and the Muppets have gathered quite a large following on the Interwebs. At the recent Webby Awards program, the two groups got to meet… with some interesting results. Let me just say I doubt the band members of OK Go will be making any more bets with Animal.

Source: Huffington Post

5. Amazing acrobatics

If ‘America’s Got Talent’ actually had people with talent, I imagine they’d be something like this group of young men. I dare you to watch this video and not exclaim, “Holy crap!” (Warning: Men, this may make you wince a little. Hell, it made me wince a little and I don’t have dangly bits.)

Source: siwayvideo on YouTube

6. Best. Headline. EVER.

Working in the newspaper business, you live in fear of writing bad headlines. No thanks, in large part, to Jay Leno. But sometimes you come across a rare gem of a story that lets you throw all that caution to the wind. Well played, Evening Herald.

Source: debonbon on TwitPic

7. Star Trek: Tik Tok

I dislike Ke$ha. Of course, I didn’t know who the hell she was up until a couple of months ago. But I don’t like that style of music. I find it irritatingly grating on my ears. However, this video just proves that adding Classic Trek to any song can make it awesome.

Source: MissSheenie on YouTube

8. Backyard Millennium Falcon

I have a family of owls in my backyard. One special little kid has the freakin’ Millennium Falcon in his. Whose backyard is cooler? I like owls, but I think Christopher’s yard wins hands down. The folks at the Make-a-Wish Foundation are truly amazing for the joy they bring to these children.

Source: io9

In my first attempt, I was the "Nerdy Virgin." Figured "Bookworm" was more accurate. *cough*

9. Scott Pilgrim avatar creator

I always feel like I’m a day late and a dollar short, especially when it comes to pop culture. I didn’t know who Scott Pilgrim was until the movie trailers hit the Internet. But it looks intriguing. I may have to catch it when it hits theaters. While we wait, you can create your own Scott Pilgrim avatar. Fun!

Source: Scott Pilgrim: The Movie

10. Epic Facebook update

I’m a Facebook addict. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? These folks, however, are Facebook masters. I wish I could be this cool. Maybe if I stopped playing all those stupid Facebook games… but I doubt that would help.

Source: jennyblumberg on Twitter

Whew! Done! Honestly, it takes twice the work to make up for being a slacker… and yet I never seem to learn from my mistakes.

Hope everyone has a non-sucky weekend!

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What’s with all the Megan Fox hate?

America's philosophy: hot girls should be seen and not heard.

I was disappointed to hear last month that Megan Fox would not be in the third Transformers movie. From reading Teh Interwebs, I think I’m the only one who was. I like Megan Fox. Yes, I have boobs, am not a lesbian, and I like Megan Fox. Flies in the face of everything you read online, doesn’t it?

I don’t understand all the Megan Fox hate, or the rejoicing that she would not be in the third installment in the Transformers franchise. Most of the vitriol seems to spring from comments she made in an interview regarding Transformers director Michael Bay.

“I mean, I can’t s**t on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don’t want to blow smoke up people’s a***s. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting.”

This statement is so, so true. Transformers is not about the acting. It’s about giant effin’ robots blowing shit up while the audience gets to relive parts of their childhood. It’s why I love both movies so much, despite the actual plot that sometimes gets in the way. I don’t go to see movies like Transformers for the acting. I go to see the special effects and experience some nostalgia.

After her comments, Fox took some vicious verbal heat for daring to criticize the director and franchise that made her a star. As HollywoodScoop put it, “Megan’s head has gotten so big, she’s already forgotten the people responsible for her success. Let’s face it, she’s not exactly an Oscar worthy actress, she’s just great to look at. So maybe she shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds her.”

And here’s where the Hollywood double standard comes in. Recently, Shia LaBeouf has also made some critical remarks not only about Transformers, but Indiana Jones 4. Regarding Transformers 2, LaBeouf pretty much agreed with Fox.

“When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did…There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone…we got lost. We tried to get bigger…Mike went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie…You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.”

(Poor Shia. I know you want to be considered a serious actor, but honestly, the movies really are just a bunch of robots fighting each other.)

Instead of the same condemnation Fox received, LaBeouf was lauded as being gutsy and honest. From, “We give Labeouf props for recognizing where he went wrong…”

Oh, Hollywood.

We claim to be proponents of free thought, but when an actress is allegedly fired speaking her mind, what are we really saying? Why does Shia LaBeouf get a pass when Megan Fox is, from reading some reader comments, a “slut who got what’s coming to her”?

I’ve never heard of any major sex scandal surrounding her. Those are a dime a dozen in Hollywood anyway. Is Megan Fox a slut because she’s aware of her sexuality and uses it in her career? I don’t think so.

Fox has yet to prove herself as an actress. I don’t think she’s been given the opportunity to do so yet. I think it will come in time. It’s not her fault Transformers made her a superstar before she had a chance to prove herself. Right now she’s using her biggest asset — her looks — to land parts. And I don’t think that’s so wrong.

I will go see Transformers 3. I go to see the robots, not the acting. Who knows? The new girl might be a better match for the franchise, but I will miss Megan’s character. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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Filed under internet buzz, movies, Ranty McRantypants


The aloof and wary mother of the brood.

We live in what you might call an “affluent neighborhood.” But trust me, my family is not “affluent.” We were just the first ones to build over here. I don’t think we’d be allowed in the subdivision if we’d tried today.

Anyway, we don’t particularly like our neighbors, as you might imagine. Oh, the neighbors to the immediate right, left and across the street are nice enough, but most of the people who live here are uptight busybodies.

Twin #1 is a bit shy.

However, about a month ago, we noticed a new family had moved in behind us. At first we thought it was just a single mom and her child, but last week, we noticed she had not one, but two children. Identical twins. We figure each time we’d seen Mama and one of her children, we probably had been seeing both kids, not knowing there was a twin hanging about unseen.

Twin #2 is a more in-your-face kind of owl.

They’re pretty good daytime neighbors. They’re pretty quiet. But a night. Hoo-boy! They are downright party animals. Calling to each other in the night, sometimes right outside our windows. But, since they pretty much keep to themselves, we don’t mind… too much.

The kids are cute. Mama is a bit aloof, but she tolerates our presence. I guess we don’t mind so much that they live in our backyard. I hope we can get along.

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Filed under photographs, the wood

Friday Five: Snoop Dogg and David Beckham walk into a cantina…

There was no Friday Five last week. I make no apologies. I was on vacation and it was my birthday. Vacation included blogging. For the most part. OK, I’m a horrible liar. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me? 🙂

Lots of fun goodies to be had this week as usual! I love my Twitter feed. They find the best stuff!


1. Make it Sir!

Last week, Captain Jean-Luc Picard became Sir Patrick Stewart after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Some enterprising individual with some mad Photoshop skillz went to work on the official picture of the knighting, replacing the sword with a Klingon bat’leth. Awesome. By the way, while on vacation, I finally got around to seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet, starring David Tennant as Hamlet and Sir Patrick Stewart as King Claudius. While we all know we haven’t experienced Shakespeare until we’ve read him in the original Klingon, this version of Hamlet starring the Doctor and Professor X was a three and a half hour geek-gasm!

Source: Sci Fi Wire

2. Get over here!

This week, a mysterious Mortal Kombat short film swept through the Interwebs, making us all drool about the possibility of a new movie. No one was sure what it was supposed to be for, but it was later revealed by Jeri Ryan, who plays Sonya Blade in the clip, that the “trailer” was made to sell the director’s vision of a re-imagined Mortal Kombat movie to the WB. Here’s hoping WB liked it as much as we did!

Source: Geek Week Online

3. Font Conference

My friends and colleagues in the journalism/publishing industry sometimes get crazy obsessive over fonts. Which is why we all got excited when we saw the video of the Font Conference earlier this week. Comic Sans to the rescue!

Source: College Humor

4. Circus-school proposal

Dancers, choreography, cue cards, acrobatics and a unicycle… all to ask a girl to marry him. This guy has balls to put on such a performance just to ask a girl to marry him. And she has balls to say yes after witnessing the show. Awww!

Source: Huffington Post


The World Cup is on and everyone seems to be nuts over soccer, including the folks at adidas, who put together a clever Star Wars-themed FIFA World Cup viewing party at a little cantina on Tattooine. I love how, even 33 years later, Star Wars is still such a cultural phenomenon that it’s still showing up in the mainstream media. Although Snoop Dogg wielding a lightsaber is a little out there…

Source: adidasoriginals on YouTube

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Have a great weekend! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a little Doctor Who/Star Trek TNG crossover to dream about… which I’m sure exists in fanfic somewhere.

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Tardy slip

To my employer:

Last night when I got home from work, I discovered, to my horror, that our kitchen had been invaded by tiny little ants. After following their trail into the dining room, I promptly freaked out, then set about cleaning off everything on the kitchen counters, washing the few unwashed dishes I had unwisely decided to put off doing until later, and hunting down the bug spray. It was in the laundry room, where I promptly stubbed my toe on the ironing board trying to get it down from the shelf.

I confess I went on an ant-killing rampage. I sprayed bug spray in every little nook and cranny around the stove I could find, then had a second freak-out session when I discovered the ants were coming into the kitchen from the dining room via the ceiling. Try aiming bug spray in the air and not get any in your eyes. It’s a challenge, let me assure you.

This is Dixie's "I know I did something wrong, but can you forgive me" look. Works every time.

I used the bug spray liberally. And by liberally, I mean I almost emptied the can. As we have a small dog and an even smaller chinchilla in residence, I opened the dining room windows to vent the pesticide fumes from the house. The dog hid in my parents’ bedroom. The chinchilla’s cage was dragged into the living room while the fumes aired out and the ants died in the fog.

The combination of the bug spray and me smashing every ant I saw seems to have deterred the pests from both the dining room and the kitchen — for now.

This morning, as I came downstairs to grab my things in order to go to work, I noticed that the dining room windows were still open, even though my father had told me he’d shut them before he left for the day. But, since it wouldn’t take more than a few seconds of my time to close, I did so. However, I failed to notice that my little dog had, shall we say, a small accident next to the dining room table. As I stepped back from shutting the window, I felt something go squish underneath my foot.

Cue the third freak-out in 12 hours. I pulled my shoe off and immediately ran to the laundry room sink. But dog poo, as you know, is not so easily cleaned off by running water. Paper towels were involved. As were Clorox wipes, an old scrub brush, an ice scraper and several toothpicks to clean out every little groove in my tennis shoe.

I agree that I could have just put on another pair of shoes, but if you’ve ever stepped in doggy-doo, you know that you should never let it dry on.

After cleaning off my shoe (now smelling lemony fresh!) I had to attend to the mess in the dining room. All I can say is, by that time, I was counting my blessings that we had replaced the carpet in the dining room several years ago with laminate flooring. Otherwise, the dog and I would have been in deeper doodie than we already were.

More paper towels, Clorox wipes and the ice scraper later, and the mess had finally been cleared up. A little Febreeze in the air, and all traces of the “accident” were gone.

Long story short, I apologize for being an hour late to work this morning. I hope you can understand my reasons.

Thank you,

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Filed under pets, this is my life

Speak Amuriken!

Tennessee has problems. The state ranks fourth worst in the nation for adult hypertension and adolescent obesity. Nashville is still trying to recover from the devastating floods that caused over $1 billion in damage and killed more than 30 people. And to top it off, we were recently ranked as the No. 1 most corrupt state in the union.

But what are our lawmakers worried about? Not our health. Not rebuilding our capital city. Certainly not our schools.

Grammatically correct English not necessary.

Nope, our lawmakers are busy making “important” laws, such as bills SB2753/HB2685, which would let companies require that their employees speak English.

Typical right-wing politics, pandering to the loud vocal majority instead of concentrating on issues that could make a difference.

This is a nonsensical, unneeded law. If you want your employees to speak English, then why are you hiring people who don’t speak English? And if you didn’t do the hiring and find out one of your employees can’t speak English, then let that employee go. Not the ethical thing to do, to be sure, but if you’re that concerned about the language barrier and employee safety, fire them. Tennessee is a right-to-work state. You don’t need a reason to fire them.

Just what is this law supposed to accomplish? Once passed, do employers magically expect their non-English-speaking employees to suddenly speak “American”? I’ve said it before, but some people apparently have a hard time realizing that learning a new language is not instant potatoes. A non-English speaker may have the desire to learn English, but it takes time.

But that doesn’t really matter. Again I ask, why are you hiring non-English speakers if you want your employees to speak English?

So while the legislature tackles such hard issues as language in the workplace, guns in bars and banning sex toys, Tennesseans are still trying to find jobs, educate their kids, clean up flood damage and hope they don’t get sick along the way.

Stay classy, Tennessee.

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Filed under culture wars, in what crazy world does this make sense?, politics

Crying makes it better

I suffer from depression. I don’t know how long I’ve had it, and I sometimes think I am not doing enough to combat it, but most of the time, I can get by. Medication helps a lot. But there are some days where not even that helps and I find myself crying for no reason. Which then pisses me off because so many people in this world have a real reason to cry and I feel like I should just put my big girl panties on and deal with it. But it’s hard. And crying, oddly enough, can make me feel better.

"You're not supposed to look back, you're supposed to keep going."

So when I read a book or watch a movie that makes me cry, it feels almost cathartic to let go and just let the tears fall. I don’t actively seek out books or movies that are sad. Just the opposite. I don’t like crying. My nose gets all stuffed up, my eyes turn red and itch, and my head will just hurt all over. But afterwards, when I put the book down or turn the movie off, and the tears have run their course, I just feel… better.

Last weekend I went to visit my brother in Chattanooga. We stopped by a discount book store after we ate and I picked up a book called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See. It is a very sad, moving book. I read it in less than a day and must have cried through the entire second half of the book.

Tonight, I watched The Lovely Bones. I had read the book by Alice Sebold last year and fell in love with it. I cried through the book. And even though the movie is different from the book, I cried through it, too. And now I have dried tears on my face and a headache, but I feel better right now than I have all day.

Sometimes I will fight crying so badly I make myself sick. I know I shouldn’t, but there are times when crying can be embarrassing, like at work or a gathering of friends. But when I’m alone, I give in, because I know I will feel comforted after having a good cry, like I’ve let all the stress and little resentments I’ve picked up during the day out with the sad story. But that still doesn’t mean I’ll be renting more sad movies.

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Filed under books, messed up me, movies

Ice cream disaster

So, I’m on vacation this week from work, and decided to spend last weekend in Chattanooga with my brother and his family. Oh, let’s face it. I went down to spend the weekend with my 2-year-old nephew. My brother has been replaced in my affections. Sorry, bro.

Don't be deceived by their sweet and innocent appearance. These chocolate-dipped cones are out to get you!

The weekend was fun, but Mom and I had to leave on Sunday because Sunday is chinchilla cage cleaning day, and it takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. My brother wanted to borrow my mom’s van, so we took their car. We left around 2 p.m., and halfway home, about an hour later, we got the munchies. There’s not much to choose from in Dayton, TN, but there is a nice, new McDonald’s on our side of the highway, so we thought we’d stop in, use the toilet, and get a snack. It was too early for dinner, so we decided to try their chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, which we’d never had before.

Holy. Crap. Never again.

It’s not that it wasn’t tasty. I think it was tasty. But as soon as the Mickey D’s lady handed them to us, they started to melt. Fast. Very fast. We had taken them out into the car, intending on enjoying the ice creamy treats on the drive home. We never made it out of the parking lot.

First, we had to eat all the chocolate as quickly as possible because it was sliding off. Then we had to down the ice cream. If you had been able to see us, it would have looked like we were in an ice cream eating competition. I had one hand cupped underneath the cone to catch the drippings. But it didn’t help. By the time I was down to the cone, I had ice cream on my glasses, on my nose, in my lap, on the car console (uh… sorry, Matt), all over my hands and even in my hair. It was by far the messiest thing I have ever eaten.

It wasn’t that hot out. I don’t know why they started melting so fast. All I know is, I’ve never had that much trouble with a dipped cone from Dairy Queen. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I want a dipped cone, I’ll go to the experts at Dairy Queen, because trying to wash ice cream-matted clumps out of your hair is not a pleasant experience.

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Filed under this is my life, vacation