30 December 2009

Et tu, laptop? (The saga continues)

Oh, remember my Christmas Eve blog? Remember the happiness? The joy? The sound of angels singing through my words as I rejoiced for my laptop returneth?

Well, I've since pried off the delete key and slit my wrists with it.

Figuratively speaking, of course.


Turns out, it was returned to me broken! As in not repaired! BROKEN! In fresh and bizarre ways that were not issues before my laptop went all Vesuvius on me. And it's not as if it was working correctly when I first turned it on after finally getting it back (as you might have thought from my previous excited blog post - because I certainly did!) No, it was broken from the get-go, but I, in all my excitement, just didn't notice.

When I booted it up that first time, there were two unfamiliar beeps accompanied by a blank screen covered in a bunch of little white lines and squiggles that I assume were probably letters which probably formed words, but do you think I paid any attention to those? Ohellztothenoes. I was far too excited to notices words like "FAILURE" and "BAD" and "I IZ STILL TEH BROKEN" blazon across the screen. I didn't even find it odd that I had to press either 'F1 to load default settings' or 'F2 to go to Setup.' Or that I got a failure/error message about my webcam (which I've never used once) as soon as Windows loaded. But who cares?! Not me! LAPTOP! HERE! YAAAAY!

Now, I had only used my laptop for all of two hours before I left for TN, and I didn't have a chance to turn it on again until Sunday night. But when I did, the same errors popped up again, only this time I noticed because it's hard to ignore uncommon occurrences when they happen a second time. Not so fluke-y that time around. Then a few minutes later, it randomly shut off on it's own. And when I tried to boot it up again from hibernation later that evening, it turned itself off then too. Then I noticed that my computer said "plugged in, not charging" and it remained at 61% all day long no matter how long it had been plugged in. THEN I noticed that none of my function keys worked and I couldn't adjusted the screen brightness by them nor via the control panel. And on top of all that, when I turned it on, it often simply DIDN'T TURN ON. Or rather it kinda did, but nothing popped up on the screen. So I would have to hold the power button down till it shut itself off again only to try powering it on again and HOPE that it worked this time around. The process usually had to be repeated about 4 or 5 times before finally getting the screen to work.


Honestly now, after having my computer for TWO MONTHS, you'd THINK they'd have had the chance to maybe turn my computer on once they, ahem, "repaired" it just to, oh...I dunno, make sure that it was indeed, um, REPAIRED? I mean, the very first CRITICAL ERROR appears within 5 SECONDS of the computer being turned on. Not only that, but FE also shipped it to Toshiba for some part of the repair (remember how I couldn't ship it to Toshiba myself? Because they wouldn't accept FE's warranty? AND HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE ARBITRARY RULES AND HOW THEY DON'T MAKE MY EYE TWITCH AT ALL?!), which means that TWO SEPARATE PARTIES had my laptop in their position to check over, and yet neither noticed a job poorly done. And you wanna know the BEST part?! FE had the GALL to make ME pay them to ship back a laptop THAT WAS. NOT. REPAIRED.


So whatever, I got the opinion of my computer-wise cousin, some guy at a local repair shop, and the internet, and I've got a three-way consensus that almost all issues can be traced back to the motherboard.


Did I mention the part where the ONLY THING that needed replacing on my laptop after the smoking incident WAS THE MOTHERBOARD?! One thing! JUST ONE! THAT'S ALL! And they couldn't even manage THAT!

And here's the part where it gets good: the part where I called FE yet again. I mean, we all know how well that went last time. And that's what you have to keep in mind - that that last experience scarred me for life and I can no longer hear the words "please hold" or "let me transfer you" without feeling a sudden compulsion to jab myself in the eye with a blunt pencil - because while I was able to keep it together for the first hour and a half of run around before snapping last time back in October, I barely made it to the third person before completely LOSING MY SH1T.

(And yes, that 1 in there really means I'm not swearing. Hmph.)

I swear, all I did was say how I refused to pay to ship my computer back to them, since they shouldn't have shipped it back to me in the first place in that (NOT FIXED!) condition - but when he said, "That's against our policy," well, that's all it took. I mean, REALLY now - I don't think it's too much to ask of them to either reimburse me for the senseless shipping I already paid for or for paying the shipping for me to send it back to them to fix it like they should have done the first time.

Anyway, like I said, I basically had a nervous breakdown. You know that kind of crying where your voice keeps getting higher and higher to the point to where there wouldn't be enough room for all the ledger lines on a piece of sheet music to document the pitch you were speaking at? And you start to sound like you're speaking in tongues from all the words running together? And you start to get carried away because you've never, EVER directly told a person what you think about him in your entire life and now you're making up for lost time? Oh, that doesn't even BEGIN to describe what I was doing. I was screaming and sobbing as though he had just murdered my dog and burned Disney to the ground. Like my laptop, I was oddly broken too. I might have to pay for shipping again, but I'm damn well sending FE my therapy bills.

And you know what he did? He put me on hold! Not that I blame him - I sounded utterly psychotic. But 45 minutes later AND STILL ON HOLD, I was ready to cut a b1tch (again, TOTALLY not swearing). At that point, I was beyond tears and just a dead, dead person inside, completely without hope for humanity, for America, for my own soul, for Tyra Banks to stop annoying the bejeezus out of me. So I hung up. And tried again. Persevere, I will. I ended up getting the same first two people I talked, and the second woman said, "You talked to me earlier and I transferred you to my supervisor - he was just talking about you." (Yes, I'm sure he was). I mentioned the 45 minute-long hold he put me on, for which she apologized for (thankyouverymuch), and then she said that her supervisor was the only one who could help me, but that he was on the phone with someone else at that moment, and that as soon as he got off, she'd give him my name and number and he'd call me back.


TWO POINT FIVE HOURS LATER and nothing. Not a single phone call. So I called back, only to get a man this time, and he said that everyone who was working during the earlier shift (the one I called during) was gone for the day (oh, of course they were...why would anyone take the time to call an upset customer back when they're not scheduled to work another minute), but that I could explain the whole situation to him. Which I did, and since I had just had two and a half hours to calm down, collect my thoughts, and take half a bottle of prozac, I was able to remain calm and not flip my lid this time around. Although, I'm sure my voice cracked a time or two. I'm not perfect. And it helped that he was at least willing to "see what he could do" instead of telling me, "that's not our policy," when clearly there isn't a precedent for this given that I'm pretty much their only out-of-state customer. He called me back a few hours later to give me an update on what my options are (because remember, they had my computer for 2 months, but I'm leaving for Florida in 20 days, and I NEED my laptop by then because I'm taking classes ONLINE. So...my laptop? KIND OF IMPORTANT HERE).

And that's basically as far as I've gotten. I could pay to have it repaired by some local guy, I could send it to FE and have them repair it for free since it's still under warranty and just HOPE they can cut their repair time down by 80%, or I can just curl into a ball, hide under my covers, and never, ever, EVER come out again. I'm leaning towards the last one.

By the way, I later reenacted my nervous breakdown for my mother (only there wasn't much "acting" - it came from a real place, since I still had a lot of residual craziness and frustration within me), and I swear to you she laughed so hard she didn't stop for 2 minutes and SHE FELL OFF THE COUCH. Like, literally ROFL-ing. I didn't know people actually did that! But the thing is, when I start sobbing hysterically, you really have to let the "hysterically" bit encompass all meanings, because when I lose it, it's not pretty, it's not dignified, it's not artfully heartbreaking. It's disturbing and entertaining all at once, and honestly, I wish I could witness someone break down like I did today, because OH THE BLOG CONTENT.

Which reminds me, there's a good chance this guy (who works in a ELECTRONIC store) has either facebook, twitter, a blog, or AT LEAST INTERNET ACCESS, which means that more than likely his "lunatic customer encounter" today will more than likely be mentioned in one or more of those mediums and spread for the world to see. Keep an eye out for me, eh?


24 December 2009

I love you, lappy <3<3<3

My laptop! It hath returned! Lo! Indeed, 'tis from whence this blog ist being writteneth, forsooth!

My fluency in Middle English - it's impressive, no?

It happened at 9:00am, when the doorbell awoke me from an ever-so-peaceful slumber in which I was dreaming about canoeing in a sea full of jello with a giant q-tip as a paddle, as one does. The sleep-lover in me was going to ignore the doorbell and stay hidden under the covers, but somehow through my hazy state of mind, I suddenly realized what that doorbell probably meant - *cue horn fanfare* - My laptop cometh!

So I took out my retainer, slapped my glasses on my face, and ran to the door in my sexy, sexy pajamas*.

I looked like this:

(I'm 25% Swedish, and that quarter is found entirely in those Nordic viking arms of mine)

I opened the door, and this (I swear to God) is how the conversation with the young FedEx guy went:

Me: (yawning and rubbing my gooey eyes) Uhhhhello.

FedEx Guy: (picking up on the obvious fact that I'd been awake for all of 3 seconds) 'Morning sleepy.

Me: Hah, I was about to ignore you and stay in bed, but then I thought, 'Wait! - (and here I subconsciously did some sort of over-excited jazz hands thing) - It's my laptop!'

FG: You were gonna ignore me? But I'm hot*!

Me: I know! Glad I came! Plus, you would have missed this! (at which point I made a sweeping gesture with my hand from my head downwards, as if I was Vanna White presenting my body like a Brand! New! Car!)

FG: Mmhmm, no makeup, in your pajamas....lookin' good.

Me: Oh, I walk down the runway like this all the time.

FG: Haha well, - (losing the sarcasm) - your hair looks kinda nice**.

Me: Really? Well, that's good to know.

FG: So you own this place yourself?

Me: No, it's me and my mom.

And, of course, it all went downhill from there, because while I can apparently pull off the 'morning look' quite well, being 23 and living with your mother looks good on NO ONE. But I was able to redeem myself when I said that I'm moving to Florida in 26 days, that it was, like, totally time to move out of here, that my mom was, like, sooo driving me crazy OMGFOREALZ (which isn't really all that true, but you know....trying to look cool and all for the random FedEx guy who I'll never see again).

But that story, for me, is completely overshadowed by the mere fact that I HAVE MY LAPTOP BACK. Oh, all is right in the world again. And guess what? It arrived the day before we leave for Tennessee for three days where THERE IS NO INTERNET! YAY! Timing=PERFECT! (Yes we're traveling Christmas morning. We'll have the actual celebration the day after).

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

*This was true

**This was not true. See above picture.

22 December 2009

Oh, I'll show you fire in my heart

I went shopping yesterday to find a present for my grandmother, which I didn't, but I did end up buying myself 3 tops for myself which is quite a feat, since the last time I found clothes worthy enough of purchase was circa 2003 when I stole my uniform knickers from Interlochen, and well, I guess that's not actually buying them, but let's not get bogged down in the details. They were nice knickers. At least for being school-owned and used for who knows how many years before I wore them. But that's not the story. Actually, there's not really a story at all, but since when has that ever stopped me?

So while I was shopping, all the stores were playing Christmas music which is great, because who doesn't love Christmas music (aside from atheists, and, I dunno, probably some Muslims. And some Jews? Pagans maybe? Anyway.) And I generally like to think of myself as a rather musically-tolerant person. Aside from anything by Savage Garden, I can't think of any musician/band that I simply cannot stand. But there is one song that grates on my very last nerve: "Last Christmas." Oh my gosh, I HATE that song. It's the fingernails on the chalkboard of my heart.

Let's take a look at the chorus, shall we?

Last Christmas I gave you my heart
The very next day you gave it away
This year to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special.

First of all, since when is the heart something you can regift? I mean, if I were to give my heart to some guy and then he "gave it away" does that mean he tried to pimp me out? Did he put my love for him in some sort of bizarre ebay auction to be sold to the highest lonely bidder? Not that I have much experience with love, but I don't think it works like that. I'm pretty sure that if my love can be bought, I have to be the one to set the price and determine the buyer, not the guy I tried to give my heart to for free who then tried to pawn it off to someone else without my permission. But whatever, let's assume the premise is true, that some guy I was madly in love with gave my heart to someone else (whether by force, bribery, Match.com, Secret Santa, or some other method (hah! Typed "meathod" again). How could I then "give it to someone [else] special?" Was my heart so awful that the guy #2 who was given my heart from guy #1 decided to personally hand it back to me and say, "Um, ew. This is nasty. Takeitbacktakeitbacktakeitback." I mean, unless I was somehow able to get my heart back after giving it away how will I ever be able to give it to someone else the following year? Did I grow another one in the mean time? Did I qualify for a heart transplant? Am I secretly a Time Lord and I actually have two hearts to give away? You know, like a Plan B, backup-plan heart?

So yes, I hate the song - the music is awful and the lyrics are even worse. And while shopping, I walked into no less than 7 - SEVEN! - different stores yesterday only to that song blast over the speakers within two minutes of me walking in there, and each time it was a different version. I don't know what I did to anger the music gods*, but good grief, did they get their revenge.

Anyway, I say all that to say this. Next time someone covers that song, I'm gonna kill him. Seriously**. Literally***. I'm gonna save up some money, move to a state without the death penalty, apply for a hand gun permit, buy myself a gun, take some lessons at the local shooting range, and SHOOT HIM DEAD.

*Total lie. I know exactly what I did.

**Not really.

***And when I say "literally," I mean "not literally at all." Promise, FBI agents who now have my name on Red Alert. But I'll probably still punch the guy. Right in throat. That's okay, right? Probably just a misdemeanor or something.

18 December 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 9)


I cannot tell you how many times throughout the week, I think, "Oh I'll have to remember to save that for my Friday blog." And come Friday, do you know how many of those stories I actually remember? I'll give you a hint: -n < X < 1 where X is both 1) an integer and 2) a sign of dementia setting in extraordinarily early. So it was nice knowing you all. Well, most of you, anyway.

And yeah, yeah, I could type out all these stories right as they come to me, since Blogger does, after all, have that handy "save as draft" feature. But COME ON. That is far too obvious and reasonable a solution. Logical shmogical. I like a challenge.

Oh Go. I'm turning into my grandmother.


When it comes to child rearing, my philosophy falls most closely in line with this exchange from the book Hogfather between a child, her mother, some dude named Crumley, and Death (you know, the boney man all in black with a scythe)(also, he speaks in all caps) who was filling in for the Hogfather (like Santa but with tusks):

“I wanta narmy. Anna big castle wif pointy bits,” said the child. “Anna swored.”

"WHAT DO YOU SAY?" prompted the Hogfather.

“A big swored?” said the child, after a pause for deep cogitation.



“You can’t give her that!” [her mother] screamed. “It’s not safe!”

"IT’S A SWORD", said the Hogfather. "THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE."

“She’s a child!” shouted Crumley.


“What if she cuts herself?”


True, I don't currently have children of my own, so what do I know? And I'm sure in the future when we're all required to have background checks and pass government inspections to have children, this post will the be listed as the #1 reason on what I'm sure will be an extensive list of why I won't be allowed off the government-mandated semi-permanent sterilization (not that I'm paranoid or anything, which will probably be reason #2), but I'm just saying that when it comes to children, unless they're playing tag on a slanted roof while blindfolded, I don't usually fret and wring my hands over how they might hurt themselves.

But then I started babysitting for this one family. The boys are great, they never get into trouble, and they're as easy as kids can be. But the 17 month old takes naps, and every time I put him down, I spend the next two hours LIVING IN FEAR that he's gonna DIE in his sleep. Especially since he will only sleep on his stomach, with his head buried in an adult-sized pillow, and with about 8 blankets covering him (all stuffed in his itty bitty crib), which to me seems like the SIDS equivalent of playing Russian Roulette with a fully-loaded barrel. So I end up walking to his room every few minutes or so and listen at the door just to make sure he's still breathing. And I dunno, maybe by 17 months they're in the clear of SIDS, I really have no idea. If only there were some kind of handy, instantaneous method* of researching this as I sit here with my fingers tippity tapping words onto this large screen in front of me.

Um...hold on a second.

. . .

Okay, so apparently 95% of the time SIDS occurs in babies under 1 year old. But still. It's me we're talking about here. Worms give me panic attacks. I think I'm still gonna worry about this kid.

*I don't know what is with this word, but every single time I type it, I always start off with "mea-" like it's spelled "meathod." I KNOW that's not how it's spelled, but my fingers apparently believe otherwise. Any of you have words like that?


My mom e-mailed me earlier today asking for my dad's address so my aunt can send him something for Christmas. I told her just to look it up on a sex-offender site.

AHAHAHA. It's funny 'cause it's sad true.


For my 4th thing this week, I will now recite the alphabet.


You can't see me, but I just took a bow. I mean, that was a pretty sweet rendition I just did.


About a week ago, a US Postal Service woman came to our door with a package that had our address but was addressed to the previous owner. I let her know that that guy didn't live here anymore, and then she took the package with her and went on her merry way. Then last Sunday - SUNDAY! - the exact same package was dropped off at our door without even so much as a knock (though I caught a glimpse of him, and it wasn't the same person from earlier in the week). It even had a "return to sender" label on it. Great job, USPS. Really on the ball there, aren't you? I mean, not only did you waste time by redelivering it to the wrong address, you had to pay someone overtime just to redeliver it to the wrong address on a day that you're not supposed to even be open! And the sender had to pay extra for that service too!

Man, I can't wait for the government to run health care. They've just got a knack for saving money and doing things properly. Kudos, government. Kudos.


Does anyone know how vital the "sifting" step is in baking? I'm making a recipe tomorrow that calls for it, only we don't have a sifter, and I was thinking that, oh I dunno, maybe giving it the ol' stir-around with a fork might do the trick? Is the whole thing gonna be ruined if I don't sift by the book? Should I even bother, should I just give up now? Will the world simply implode if I mix dry ingredients with widdershins utensil motion instead of the almighty Sifter?

Honestly, I'm lucky that anything I make turns out as good as it does, because I'm always making up steps, cutting corners, or putting in weird substitutes (Butter? I'm all out! Can I just shake this gallon of milk for an hour or two? Like a faux-churn? That'd work, right?)(or)(Ew pears? No, I'magonna use apples)(or)(I've got no vinegar either. I think a combination of Sprite and Vegetable oil will be fine).

So yeah. Sifting with a sifter? Thoughts? Opinions? Tangents?


Speaking of hating pears, let's end with this gem:

And it's especially appropriate since David Tennant (the only skinny boy in the world to catch my eye, 'cause I usually like my men cornfed and squishy) was in my dream last night, and as I was riding with him on the back of a flying white horse, I wrapped my arms around him, and GOOD LORD did that man have a rock hard six-pack. And then I kissed him in the middle of some sort of bizarre treasure hunt in California, in which the final clue was the Renaissance Hotel, and I didn't even know that was a real hotel until I just googled it 30 seconds ago. Weird.

But anyway, David Tennant. Yum.

Lippy tappy too tah, everyone.

16 December 2009

To tide you over

Good grief, I am incredibly busy these days. This blog is what suffers for it, of course, but I do hate to abandon you. So here's another oldy but goody, though something fresh for all you newbies out there. It's a short story I had to write for school about two years back (and it's the only short story I've ever written, and it'll probably stay that way), and I had completely forgotten about it until I stumbled across the file on my external hard drive. And I'm gonna be 100% honest - some parts of it are so friggin brilliant, I just want to invent an Awesomeness award just so I can give it to myself. Then again, some parts (like the dialogue) are so embarrassingly awful (seriously, GOOD LORD I am terrible at dialogue. My social awkwardness extends even to the characters in a story)(also, the entire second half is pretty awful)(and the entire thing is dripping with, "oh, aren't I clever?" moments)(you know what? Let's just say 96% is bad) that I genuinely want to chop my fingers off and run my bloody stumps through rubbing alcohol for daring to type such garbage. But that is me, isn't it? Never find me in the middle of the road, nope. Always on one extreme or the other.

Anyway, I'm not good at coming up with original stories, so I just took a story we all knew and loved and re-worked it a bit, which sounds innocent enough, until I tell you the part where it's the story of Adam and Eve, and now I spend most of my waking hours praying that God has a sense of humor, because I swear I wasn't trying to be blasphemous. I just took a story where we have the basics of what happened, but not a whole lot of specifics, and I decided to take a stab at filling in the blanks. It's like, um...it's like....oh crap. You know what it's like? It's Bible Fanfiction. Oh, that's disgusting. Blegh. I'm going to Hell for that, aren't I?

Anyway, I'm gonna be late for work if I don't hope off. So enjoy:


"In the Beginning"

They say that in order for something to exist, it must have a beginning and an end.

This is obviously an idea from before the invention of the wheel, because any semi-intelligent person today can look at a circle and say with confidence that there is no "Start Here" point*, nor is there any sort of definite end. Based on this observation, we must begin to question the actual existence of wheels. Maybe they never were invented at all, which would make reinventing them seem quite necessary since the current model only exists due to a crude technicality**.

*Some will argue that there is an infinite number of starting points on a circle, which may be true, but it's
also the exact same thing as there being none at all, because a non-existent starting point is still a starting
point - just a really, really tiny one. You know, infinitely tiny.

**That is, cars aren't moving along on concrete bricks.

Then again, perhaps theoretical existence is all it takes...


And then there was light.

Adam… Adam…

Having just woken up without actually having ever been asleep, Adam immediately wondered where he was and what he was doing there. How did he even know his name was Adam? Did he even know what a name was? Adam remembered nothing before that point, and I don't mean "nothing" in the sense that he once had information stored in his brain which, due to some sort of head trauma or perhaps large quantities of alcohol, had now become a proverbial blank. No, I mean "nothing" in the sense that before that moment, Nothing was where he was, was what he was, was who he was. There was a void, an absence of himself and all the Somethings around him, and while he didn't remember what being Nothing was like, he remembered that that's what he had Been, because now he Is which was far, far different from Not Being at all.

And as Adam thought this, he suddenly became aware of the voice inside his own head, and no matter how hard he tried his eyes would just not roll back far enough to allow him to see who could possibly be rambling on inside him in a language he didn't even know he knew. Then again, he didn't even know he knew a language in the first place.

But like most brains, Adam's was incessant, which allowed all of these thoughts to flash through his head in a matter of seconds. But with each passing tick of the universe, Adam felt a growing tightness in his chest that was slowly spreading to his head and beginning to take over his entire body. He felt pain, whatever that was, and he felt faint, whatever that meant, and he had a feeling that in just a few moments he would be Nothing once more. And just when he thought his body might explode from the pressure building inside of him, he felt a forceful thump on his back which took him by such surprise that his body reacted on its own as his mouth opened to vent the mounting pressure with an all-relieving "Ughhh!"

Coughing and sputtering as his body adjusted to breathing on automatic pilot, Adam turned around to see where this wondrous Blow of Life came from. A blinding light prevented him from entirely making out the figure before him, but he had a feeling that this was not someone to screw up around.

Good Morning, Adam, said the figure, This is your Father speaking.

Click to continue reading

11 December 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 8)


In my last post, I completely forgot to include the one gift that inspired the entire post to begin with - a customized calendar from shutterfly.com. Or a photo book is a good idea too. Again, they're not paying me to advertise for them (oh what a world that would be), but I made calendars for both my parents, and I was so impressed with it, I just had to share. I know it's not exactly a brand new idea, but it's such a perfect gifts for your mom, grandparents, and even that sad, sad father of yours whose genetic link to you you begrudgingly accept. Whatever. I put mine together on a Sunday night, placed the order, and received it that Wednesday. Now THAT is some good service. You can see the calendar I made by clicking the picture below:

(Oh, and I took most of those pictures of me myself. Thank you very much social awkwardness that prevents me from having friends to help me out tripod.)


You know how they have disinfectant wipes at grocery stores to wipe your cart down with before you - gasp! - touch it with your sparkly-clean, defenseless bare hands? Well, I think they're dumb. Even today as I walked into the store, I passed a woman giving her cart a ferocious scrub down, and I don't know what stirred this particular urge within me, but I so badly wanted to walk up to the cart next to her, make a big show of spitting on both my hands, and then caress that cart handle with my slimy palms like I was a gymnast preparing my uneven bars. I didn't actually do it, because 1) I'm all talk and 2) the last place I EVER want to get kicked out of is the holy grocery store, but come on now. A few germs never hurt anyone. Well, okay, swine flu, bird flu, the Obama Hopenchange virus, blah blah blah. Whatever. I'm just saying that you should WANT to get swine flu right now. It's currently in its least-dangerous form, and one day when it mutates to a totally 100% fatal virus (as all viruses do in epidemic movies, and they wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. I also live in fear for the day the core of the earth stops spinning), your body will have become immune to it thanks to fighting off the less-deadly strain. Or, at least, I think that's what happens. I dunno, I could be making it all up. Never that great at the sciences, me. I better figure it out soon though, because I make a habit of licking door handles based on that very theory.


I just found out that there is such a word as "nattily." That's right, my name has it's own homophone, and apparently the definition of nattily is "neatly or trimly smart in dress or appearance; spruce." I gotta say, I am severely disappointed that it's taken me twenty-three years to discover this. I feel like I've been cheated out of a lot of opportunities to somehow smoothly use the words 'nattily' and 'Natalie' back to back like that (which isn't cheesy at all shut up), while being neatly or trimly smart in dress or appearance. Spruce, even. And I'm even more upset over the fact that I'm currently not very "nattily," else I'd take a picture and post it just to go along with this topic. In fact, this picture is a good representation of my current appearance, just without all the blood.

(Well, maybe some blood. I have a knack for acquiring paper cuts. Got two just today.)

Ahaha, I love that picture, lack of nattilyishness notwithstanding.


For anyone who's not seen it yet, I've posted pictures from Belmont in my West Coast trip report here. I posted it over a week ago, but once again, I am struggling for 7 things. If it's any consolation, you'll get to see me in a bathing suit. On the other hand, you'll get to see me in a bathing suit.



Here's a youtube video some of you have already seen too, but oh well, here it is again. My cousin and I babysat her nieces one night a while back and got them to make up an 80s workout video. It's probably only funny to us, but it's at least worth it to watch the last 45 seconds where I make some weird pig noise after being unable to control my laughter any longer. And then the last 20 seconds is where the video shines, but I won't spoil it for you except to say that that's also me hyperventilating in the background and my cousin shouting like a, um, I don't know what. A monkey? A toucan? A pre-pubescent cow? I really have no idea. But that's Abby for you.


For my 20th birthday, my mom bought me a car (which was nice since she sold my first car while I was away at college and didn't tell me (granted she had bought me that one too, but STILL. It's the PRINCIPLE of the thing))(and just so I don't sound like a spoiled brat, I DO make payments on it. So it wasn't 100% GIFT, okay?)(Good Lord, I hope you like parentheses)(I do). My family did the whole surprise thing, where the car was hidden in my aunt's garage, complete a big red bow on top (that is not my car) like they show in commercials. Well, kinda. They actually took my uncle's SUV to the dealership to pick the bow up because they didn't think they'd be able to fit it in a tiny car. But apparently - and, really, who would see this coming? - car dealerships don't have a whole room filled with 8-feet wide bows free for the giving, because, well, they don't carry 8-feet wide bows. They carry 1-foot wide bows. Ones that people return once they're done with them judging by the slightly-used look of it. So my family had this big SUV to pick up a bow the size of a soccer ball and it became this very funny story because of irony and story-of-our-lives and no-really-that-whole-SUV-just-for-that-tiny-little-bow-ha-ha-ha.

And I tell you all that to tell you this: every time a commercial comes on that shows someone surprising someone else with a car topped with a giant-ass bow, my mom tells me that story as though I've never heard it before. I've probably heard it 6 or 7 times in the last 3 years.

The most recent time was about 10 minutes ago.


I'd like to dedicate #7 to my senile mother who made #6 possible. And now #7.

Thanks mom. Also, my name isn't Wendy. Love you lots!

07 December 2009

A Christmas Gift-Giving Guide

(Yes, I said it. Christmas. Such a rebel, I am. Counting down the days till a PC-loving fool tries to punch me in the face.)

Now, as much as I don't like the commercialization of Christmas, I think as long as we don't overindulge each other and we keep Christ at the center of the holiday, well, I don't see the harm in exchanging a few gifts. But shopping for people is hard, isn't it? Who knows what the hell anyone wants these days. Well, I'm here to help. Sort of. I mean, I know the kind of things neurotic, geeky women such as myself want, so if you have a young lady in your life who is something like me then 1) you've come to the right place to find out what she would like for Christmas and 2) God help you.

(P.S. I am not getting paid in any way by the people who sell these products. None of them have any idea who natatomic is (me, hi!), what she stands for (loserishness, basically), or what her hopes and dreams are (to eat the perfect pizza and live in Epcot). These are all things I either own and love or would like to own and love, and I therefore think others like me would like to own and love them too.)

A. For the baking sorts:
1. 2.


1. Those aren't stacking cereal bowls, they're measuring cups, and gosh darn it, they are just about the cutest measuring cups I've ever seen. Who says all bakeware must be white and boring? The government? Well, I wouldn't put it past them, but no! Not even them! So live a little! Spice up the kitchen gadgets in the lives of your loved ones. (That's right: spice. Totally went for the pun.)

2. I don't usually do ruffles or bows or lace or anything else that girly, but something about this apron just melts my non-frilly heart. I'm so convinced of the shear beauty of that apron that I believe even the most militant hairy-pitted feminist will don it with 1950s-supposedly-oppressed-housewife pride.

3. Now, I'm not a fan of a brownie edge - I'm a gooey middle piece girl myself - but apparently I'm in the minority judging by the the very existence of this very special all-edges brownie pan (or it could just be that it's impossible to bake brownies with NO edges, so the only novel brownie baking idea anyone was the all-edged pan, but whatever)(and even though I prefer a middle piece, I'm including this in the list because if the person you're shopping for is as big of a people-pleaser as me, then it will be her top priority to see that all her edge-loving guests are satisfied). So if you know someone who is an edge fan (or someone desperate for the love and approval those around her), this would be the perfect gift. And hey, they'd probably bake you some brownies as a thank you, so win-win.

B. For the Art/Disney Parks fan in your life:
1. 2.

You cannot go wrong with an attraction poster. I own the Tomorrowland one and LOVE IT TO PIECES, and I plan on buying the Snow White one as soon as I get to Florida and get my awesome Cast Member discount. My plan is to use the posters as design palates for my future bedrooms of my future 15 kids - Tomorrowland for the boys and Snow White for the girls (I do love a good gender stereotype). But whatever. Back to the gift guide. I'm telling you, if you know anyone who is as dedicated to the parks as I am, find out that person's favorite land or attraction, and buy its respective poster. They'll love you forever. Promise.

C. For the girl who likes a little math in her art:

1. 2.

But if your girl is not such a Disney enthusiast, dump her but still has a penchant for math* as I do, she will certainly love these geometry-inspired photos. And while I don't really consider myself a stair enthusiast, I'd imagine if you know one, she'd like these too.

*But calculus can suck it

D. Other stuff to go in her house:

1. 2.


1. See those numbers? They're adhesives. And if you know someone like me, then I can tell you what fun she'd have with this clock. First of all, the obvious, I could put those numbers in backwards order. Or I could put them in no order at all - just mix them all up and put them however I please, and drive OCD people CRAZY. Or or or OR (and I like this one), I could keep them in the proper order but move them all just ONE slot clockwise. I don't know if it'd screw too many people up at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 hours, but I bet in between where none of the numbers fall parallel to any axis, it'd throw people off as they just take a quick glace at it. Or I could try being all edgy and ironic with the clock by keeping the numbers in their correct spots, but then moving the hands completely outside the circle. It'd be so deep, man. It's be so deep.

2. This is just the most adorable idea I've ever heard of. They CUSTOMIZE that pillow for you, all the way down to the red stamp in the corner which they put your town name in. That is such a sweet idea, I think ANYONE would love something like that.

3. Besides my mom, who is just weird anyway, I can't think of anyone who doesn't like Dr. Seuss. And aside from the fact that these sculpture things cost at least $2,000 a piece, I don't see any reason you shouldn't buy one of these for your loved one. Of course, you might have to whittle one yourself going by that price, but that will make it all the more meaningful. (Assuming it turns out good. Otherwise it'll just be sad.)

E. Clothing
1. 2. 3.

1. That jacket? Perfection. Very simple, very stylish, very steampunk. I guess it's more of a spring/fall type jacket judging by the short sleeves, but you know what? Form over function for once! I'd gladly freeze my arms off in this jacket. And then I'd never need sleeve again, anyway. See how that works out?

2. & 3. Despite the fact that I almost never wear dresses (only because I have no where to wear them to, not because I don't like them), I'm always on the lookout for new ones I can buy and admire as they hang in my closet. But if you've got a girl to buy for who actually wears the dresses she owns, then these two are pretty much guaranteed to be loved. Especially since those shapes would look good on just about anyone.

F. Geeky stuff

1. 2. 3.

1. Bad guys or not, what "Doctor Who" fan wouldn't want this sleekly designed Cult of Skaro tee? But if that's still not obnoxiously obscure enough for your gift-receiver, you could always try a "The angels have the phone box" shirt. That's definitely on my list, for sure.

2. I don't care how much you love sci-fi, you are not a TRUE fan of the genre unless you have watched "Firefly;" so if your if the sci-fi geek in your life hasn't seen it, then buy this immediately. It's the fool-proof gift. Granted, it's just your typical western-themed future-era space story where everyone speaks Mandarin Chinese (I know, I know...it's so been done), but the show doesn't use sound in the external shot in outer space! Scientific accuracy! That never happens in sci-fi. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG!

3. Since I'm still chained to my desktop due to my laptop being fixed, I am back to being driven crazy by the mass of cords tangling around my feet. I know, you could just as easily use some rubber bands or twist-ties, but do you know any rubber bands or twist-ties that look like monkeys? No? That's why this is the superior product. I got one of these from a friend a days ago. LOVE IT.

G. Books

1. 2.

1. I don't know why I did it, but I bought this book on a whim back in high school. Good thing I did though, because I really loved it. It's funny, it's interesting, and despite the fact that about 17% of it went over my head, it's still very informative. Who knew that the definition of a second is "9,192,631,770 oscillations of the electromagnetic radiation corresponding to a particular quantum change in the superfine energy level of the ground-state of the cesium-133 atom?*" Well, I did. I mean, duh. But now you have the chance to spread that knowledge around with this book. So do it.

*The book continues, "Funny, I thought it would have been 7.256183216% of an oscillation more than that. How interesting!"

2. ANY BOOK BY TERRY PRATCHETT. Hilarious and geeky, I cannot recommend them enough. Other good ones include, "Hogfather," "Thief of Time," "Mort," "Reaper Man," and "Soul Music," which are so far all the ones I've read. Funny how they're all my favorite, eh?

So there are my recommendations. Hopefully you've been able to take a gift idea or two away from this for the endearingly-nerdy female near and dear to your heart. And if you have a shop for a man, well, um...good luck with that. Can't help you there.

04 December 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 7)

The "Good Luck Reading This" Edition

Oh, and here's an actual link to the laptop story I hinted at in #1.

01 December 2009

That handy dandy search box

I don't know if any of you were dying to have it, but a while back I put up a search box over in the sidebar. It always drives me crazy when I have no way of searching for a particular post or topic in someone's blog, and I didn't want that craziness to extend to you nor be my fault for being a hypocritical search-boxless blogger. So...you're welcome.

There are some other nifty little gadgets that go along with that box that are probably more interesting to me than you, but well, let me share with you the entertaining fruit of my discovery today.

Turns out that thanks to that box, I can view both 1) the things people search for through said box and 2) the Google searches which led people to this here blog. Here's a sample of what word combinations lead curious internet wanders to my little corner of the e-world:

1. "how do i pull hair out of my eye"

2. "long single strand of hair on skin"

3. "long hair guys that need to get a clue"

4. "boobs"

(One of these things in not like the other)

Obviously, the first three all led to the same post where I talked about the perils of what I coined the dreaded "Hair-Eye Infliction," and I feel sort of bad for the two people whose searches had nothing to do with that (except a long hair on your skin? really? you can't think of blowing it off without the aid of Google?). But you know who I feel REALLY bad for? The poor people (yes, PEOPLE! Because there were four! FOUR!) who used Google to search my blog specifically for boobs. I can only imagine their disappointment given that this is the post they were led to, which is pretty much the most unsexy, non-tantalizing post on boobs in the entire universe.

This one is probably #2.

My boob itches.

Okay, NOW it's #1.

(P.S. I apologize for my older posts being so much better than this drivel I type out today. Eh, who am I kidding, it was probably all crap back then too. I don't really know, I can't read anything I've written without having convulsions over the horribleness of it all. Anyway, also remember that any older post that starts with "Imported" was originally written somewhere else, so sorry for all the broken links.)