The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now

To Tweet, Or Not to Tweet
January 10, 2009, 12:24 am
Filed under: Daily life, Internet | Tags: ,

I cannot make up my mind whether or not to join Twitter.

I follow a few Twitter feeds, but I am not sure it’s for me. One, I’m long winded. Two, it isn’t like I update this thing on a daily basis, what makes anyone think I’m going to log onto Twitter every day and answer the dear question, “What are you doing?”

So, what am I doing? I’m sitting on my ass at my desk in the kitchen at home which is redolent of Nag Champa and dinner that was eaten several hours ago (I took off work Friday). I have a cold, I’m kind of pissed off and I have a headache. The TV’s off (actually the TV’s about to be sold) and the BBC World Service is on. I may or may not rack out soon.

I think I’ll skip it.


Bedlam Day Mindless Babble
November 29, 2008, 5:06 am
Filed under: Daily life | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Maybe I’ll still be awake when Chris, Kirk and Coach hit the teevee box at 9 a.m. Central if I keep writing, even if it’s a bunch of crap.

Orange Things That Are Teh Suck: Highway barrier cones, pylons, any kind of safety/construction area stuff, convict jumpsuits, part of the Thunder’s color scheme.

Orange Things That Are Teh Smoove: Oranges (I’m drinking OJ right now), Halloweeny stuff. OSU orange is Halloweeny, so that’s not really offensive to me, because although I don’t really like OSU, I love Halloween. Virginia Tech orange and Syracuse orange are eye-pleasing; Tennessee orange is way too bright and headache inducing (it’s also probably more yellow than orange, regardless it still makes my head hurt); Texas orange looks like runny diarrhea feces.

• I know these things exist so they cannot be a figment of my imagination. I am looking for a flat cast iron griddle that covers two burners. Thrift stores, garage/estate sales, antique shops and other “getting places” have all come up empty for this quest. My grandma had one when I was a child. I really, really want one. I love grilled onion burgers — I always buy the stupid frozen patties, boxed in sixes, that already have garlic in them (that is if I don’t press them myself with, um, stuff). The burgers get topped with grilled onions (duh), Swiss or provolone (or both), more grilled onions, and mustard (plain old French’s) on a toasted hogie (no seeds) or otherwise regular hamburger bun (also no seeds). This just really doesn’t work for me in a 12″ cast iron skillet. I want to be able to spread out and do everything at once (this is gonna be an exercise in futility but anybody that can lead me to one, leave a comment — sorry you have to log in first, I don’t mind eating Spam, it’s quite good actually, but I don’t want to read it and it will be deleted, thanks).

• A friend of mine who is an expert thrifter advised me once that I should never go thrifting with an object particularly in mind because I’m never going to find it. Someday when I am just idle and have disposable income (ha ha) and I do decide to hit the Salvation Army and otherwise with a vengeance, I’ll keep my friend’s counsel under advisement. But right now I’m just damned impatient. If I have to go anywhere where some amount of money will be extricated from my pocketbook, I’m more objective-oriented: I go in, I go straight to it, I get it, I pay for it, I get the hell out. I am really not fun to shop with, actually. It is a complete waste of my time to dawdle in any store, whether it’s Target, or Dillard’s, or Ross or TJ Maxx, looking at crap I won’t be caught dead in or otherwise owning, nor care to pay the price for, even if severely discounted.

• I hate Wal Mart but it’s a necessary evil. It’s usually the only thing open in the middle of the night when I tend to be out doing stuff. I have never had a harrowing Wal Mart experience like this thankfully (but I wouldn’t rule it out one of these days). The worst thing I’ve seen in either of the Norman Wal Marts are guys my age who still look and dress like it’s 1983 (and I don’t mean because they have A Flock of Seagulls hair. I kind of wish that was the case, though). Which brings me to their marketing of AC/DC.

A long damn time ago, before Wal Mart became the monster that it is, I remember Wal Mart (and KMart too) being discount retailers that would not carry albums that had one of those Parental Advisory stickers on them, when this was a new thing (ah, the mid-1980s, thanks PMRC), and Wal Mart being a place at one time that had AC/DC on some kind of morality blacklist because of the content of their music. Seems ironic today that the mammoth, monopolistic Wal Mart is now whoring AC/DC (Black Ice is only available at Wal Mart, Sam’s Club and the band’s official website). Hmmm …

Okay, sorry, I’m not an AC/DC fan. They’re fine in small doses, but after a while it’s the same crap over and over again. And let’s not forget the AC/DC link with the Oklahoma City Thunder, although I think Hinder has recorded another version of “Thunderstruck,” as if AC/DC’s version was damaged goods or something. Or maybe because it needed the homegrown OKC Hinder treatment (meh). At least it sounds like Hinder, or some other purveyor of generic rock crap.

One more thing and I’ll quit bashing AC/DC: I confess, I went to a couple of Hornets games while they were here (both times I went to see the visiting team, the Portland Trail Blazers. I actually like them, and this was before they got the services of Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. In fact I think the only guys left on the roster now that were on the team during the 2005-06 season were Joel Przybilla, Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and Martell Webster).

But anyway, I know I heard AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” being played to some dance routine by the Hornets’ dance group at one of the games, whoever they were … so the NBA prides itself on its family atmosphere crapola and they’re doing a routine to a song that couldn’t be more obviously about sex if the guy singing the song was naked from the waist down with a huge throbbing John Holmes erection. I’m not crying foul because I’m some kind of moralistic scold or anything, I’m crying foul because it’s another example of how the left hand of the NBA doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing and therefore experiences waning credibility as a legitimate sports league.

To me it goes right along with the Tim Donaghy scandal, the whole Seattle/Oklahoma City thing, my own belief that the postseason is rigged by design to showcase the ultra-mega-superstar players in high-major media markets as if its going to boost the sagging TV ratings for the Playoffs/Finals (good luck with that, although those figures end in the year 2007), and blah blah blah to infinity. And now there’s a new wrinkle: Lousy attendance, although that could be a byproduct of the ongoing economic crisis/recession.

• I will no longer recognize marriage. Money excerpt right here:

That’s what’s so great about America. As a Constitutionally secular nation, or at least in reality a vaguely pluralistic nation, we can all have our own spiritual take on what marriage is. What’s troublesome is when one group’s spiritual beliefs deny the cultural and legal rights of another.

But, back to the point. They say their beliefs don’t recognize my marriage, I say my beliefs don’t recognize theirs. Simple. It may seem petty, and obviously the legal part of the cultural/legal/spiritual trilogy is flip-floppy, but it may be the cultural part that really matters.

And I think on that serious note I’ll shut up for now.

Relaunch Afoot
September 14, 2008, 2:32 am
Filed under: Daily life

Well, that “one month” hiatus has stretched out to several months, and I apologize. I still don’t have that much free time, but over the last several months I have come to realize how much I miss having time to write anything, and write again I shall.

Clearly I’ve missed being able to throw my pen at some good wacky stuff — Sarah Palin, the Oklahoma City Thunder (trust me, a hell of a lot more on that later), more throw-up-in-my-mouth goodness from the usual suspects.

But my sanity is at stake (who am I kidding, what sanity?) if I don’t have an outlet for this kind of thing, and The Last Thing … is that outlet. And that outlet will soon be living again. This week.

This was inevitable
May 10, 2008, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Daily life | Tags: , ,

I am going on blog hiatus. You can still read the old shite in the archives.

Between two jobs and some other crap that has happened in the last few weeks, I’ve not really had a hell of a lot of discretionary time, something I hope to have back next month when some things have settled down.

I would encourage everybody, though to click on the “Sites I Visit and You Should Too” and visit some of those for a while.


sterrapin Gets Easily and Irrationally Offended, Part One
January 12, 2008, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Daily life, Not exactly sports | Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday a friend was showing me a catalog for scrapbookers. I don’t really do that kind of stuff, and if I did, I could probably do it without anybody’s help, since this is supposed to be my scrapbook and, much like your own notes in class, the only one who’s supposed to be able to read them is you. Oh, you can show your friends your scrapbook I suppose, but it’s yours, and it should be you all over those pages from idea to execution. You feel me?

I don’t really know how else to describe the catalog except that it maybe came together like this: A roving pack of high school girls projectile-vomited hearts, stars, rainbows, puppies, kittens, swirly things and oompy-loopy alphabet letters onto a page. Then some print shop person took a picture, made a plate, stuck it on a press and I held the infernal thing in my hand for about five minutes. So if one of my hands happens to fall off as the result of whatever funk infected my skin through that catalog, oh well.

Anyway, what was I so offended by looking at a scrapbooking catalog? I think I was offended by the idea that a lot of the stuff offered in the catalog was pre-designed. I know I’m probably a bitch for having that rub me the wrong way, but I just wanted to snarl when I looked at page after page of nauseatingly cutesey-wutesey, fluffy-wuffy prefabricated drawings and layouts.

Cutesey-wutesey stimulates my upchuck reflex like few other things, so says the snob who thinks the most visually interesting stuff is on the bottom of skateboard decks or in moldering periodicals (I do have a serious jones for Beat Era advertising/commercial art. I also like tattoos … but my irrational fear of needles keeps me from getting any).

I actually wasn’t quite so offended by the cutesey-wutesey factor, but rather the suggestion that women (at whom this catalog seemed to be aimed — heaven forbid somebody with a penis take up making cutesey scrapbooks, at least I thought that was implied by the complete lack of men anywhere in this thing) can’t draw or paint or conceptualize a scrapbook page (or whatever other paper thing) from idea to execution using their own hands and minds. I guess I am fortunate to be in good company that 99% of the women that I know are more than capable of that.

Granted, I know not everybody can draw, but there seems to be something more genuine about your own stick figure drawings of your family on your scrapbooks or greeting cards instead of prefabricated stick figure drawings of some generic family that you ordered out of a catalog (for probably about $10 plus S&H that probably could have been better spent on food, gasoline, or tranquilizers.)

Thematic Break: Of Ice and Living Without Cable (Updated)
December 17, 2007, 9:58 am
Filed under: Daily life, Not exactly sports | Tags: , , , , , ,

[IMAGE: My own, taken December 10, 2007 on OU’s South Oval. More frosty pictures HERE]

I owe a better explanation for why I’ve been a neglectful Blog Mom again.

Of course last weekend about this time the ass-kicking ice storm whacked Oklahoma. Tulsa got it worse than the OKC area, but that’s not like OKC got off easy. I had the misfortune of watching a tree limb about the circumference of, oh, one of KU football coach Mark Mangino’s thighs fall on a car belonging to one of my neighbors and being unable to do anything but watch helplessly. I have electric heat, so when the power went out in the wee hours of last Monday morning — roughly a week ago right about now — I was basically screwed. I stayed a while at my work — at least there were lights, heat and a television set there.

The electricity came back on sometime Tuesday afternoon while I was at work, so I wasn’t home to witness that joyous occasion. That actually makes me one of the lucky ones because there are still pockets in Norman and some folks that still don’t have their power restored.

I haven’t had cable for a week, and in some ways I am amazed that maybe I’ve not missed it as much as I thought I would. I miss it a lot less given some of my dealings with the cable company. I realize that this is a stressful situation for them and I realize they are dealing with a lot more angry customers than just me, but that’s absolutely no excuse for being rude to those customers (including myself) or for stonewalling. One cable “customer service” representative (OKC and suburbs — Edmond, Moore, Norman, Mid and/or Del City, etc. are Cox markets) had the gall to ask me if my husband was around because the name on the account is a masculine name (I prefer to call it a unisex name since it is appropriate for both sexes) and he needed to talk to “the man of the house.” I informed him I was the sole account holder and admonished him to address me as “Ms. (sterrapin)” for the remainder of the call. The CSR did straighten up, but was slightly snide and condescending for the rest of the call.

By yesterday, cable service had been restored to my neighborhood, all except for me. Cox kept telling me to reboot my box — I did that repeatedly and followed the instructions to the letter and the box would not receive a signal. I tried disconnecting the box altogether and plugging the wall line into the back of the television set. Nothing. I told Cox CSRs this so often I had it memorized like a school recitation. The final time and the final straw with a CSR was Saturday afternoon when I got someone who made me set a password and provide an answer to a question that only I can answer before he would even hear the reason I called to begin with — and that took almost 10 minutes. And oh yeah, when he asked where I was calling from, I told him the obvious answer: Norman. He came back with, “You must choose one of the following: Tulsa or Oklahoma City.” I’m like, “are you fucking kidding me?” So I told him, “Well, I guess since Norman is close to Oklahoma City, then Oklahoma City.” When I finally got to my spiel, about how I had called Cox every single day since Wednesday asking when my cable would be restored, the guy on the other end informed me that it would be December 28 before they could even fit me in for an appointment. December 28. Yes. Even though all my neighbors that have cable have their service restored to normal and for the most part my neighborhood is back to normal except for the shattered trees that sort of look like they were plucked from the forest at Bastogne post-Battle of the Bulge.

For what its worth, I have decided to terminate my cable service. I have much better things to spend $65 a month on. If I want news, I can listen to National Public Radio (actually I’ve been a donor to my local NPR station for several years); if I want sports updates I can listen to ESPNRadio, either over the local affiliates or on the internet; NBA Audio League Pass is FREE this season and I’ve not missed many Blazers or Bulls games thanks to that. If I want to follow the college teams I care about, the internet comes in handy for that too. But for now I suppose I’ll be watching a hell of a lot more DVDs (some recommendations of late: The Virgin Suicides; American Hardcore — a documentary about what I at least consider MY “’80s music”; and the film version of the Broadway version of John Waters’ Hairspray. John Travolta in a fat suit and a dress as Edna Turnblad is a must-see, and he does it well).

But damn … no NBA games on “free television” until Christmas Day (and a game to look forward to still despite the inactivity of Greg Oden — Blazers versus Sonics), and no college basketball unless its on CBS, which means having to tolerate Billy Packer, and furthermore only getting to see what CBS wants to show us, which means not a lot of ACC games, not a lot of Big 12 games unless they’re teams in the Top 25 (yeah, like I want to see Kansas, or Texas, or North Carolina … I do actually, but not that much).

I will gladly listen to games, but I’d rather watch them.

But I’m not sure I want to be a slave to a cable company anymore. Because I live in a garage apartment, a dish is kind of not an option, so it has to be cable or nothing, and as far as cable service, there is zero choice because this company has the contract (read: monopoly). And honestly, outside of sports, or whatever’s interesting on PBS or the History Channel, or checking the Weather Channel, I don’t really watch a heck of a lot of television. You can take your sitcoms and hourlong network dramas, your precious 30 Rock and The Office and Desperate Housewives and shove them, I’m not interested. CNN, Fox and MSNBC? Forget them they all suck. I’ll own up to one TV vice: Adult Swim. But during hoops season it gets passed over, and even so by late October I was exasperated with the number of reruns of shows like Robot Chicken, Metalocalypse and The Venture Bros. I was seeing versus fresh episodes … and on Mondays I wasn’t getting home from work in time to watch The Boondocks (huge favorite of mine).

Maybe I can no longer justify the expense, and like I said, I could spend that $65 a month on other things.

I’d kill to be able to just buy the channels I would want on my cable system, but I’ll give up on that dream.

[UPDATE: I arrived home from work to discover the clock display on my cable box, something I’d not seen in a week and was probably a good thing. Much to my shock, they’ve restored my cable service. I’m still disenchanted with the cable company though … but they have promised to pro-rate my bill for the week my service was out. That’s fair. I really SHOULD kill my television, though — even though I tend to be very selective about what I watch — so this is something I will give more thought to in the coming weeks.]