Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

go ahead and drill, we'll be dead anyway!

your trivia fact for the day is that Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. and in ye olde military, PMS stands for Planned Maintenance System--which sort of jives with the purpose of the menstrual cycle..sort of ish. i pity people who learn nothing at work.

people i don't understand: those who are proud of not being environmentalists. i don't get it. this is not political. there is nothing political about conservation. it's a moral imperative. i mean, maybe you can admit you're a lazoid circus monkey who doesnt put much effort into it. maybe, in order to not sound like a hypocrite, you don't pipe up and sound impassioned about saving the planet when people are talking about conservation. but, my Lord, you don't go around being proud of being a wasteful glutton, oil guzzling and drilling, electricity consuming, littering, non-recycler, advocating emissions of poisonous gases and whatnot. do you know who i'm talking about? texans. (sorry, shans.) in math they say that if a=b and b=c then a=c and i then say that people i don't understand=texans.

I think i can confidently say that there is no movie in the world I would rather see less than the upcoming release Unaccompanied Minors. i actually threw up a little in my mouth just as soon as the name of it popped in my head.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

depriving the dictator's children this christmas...

Well, the US has banned flat panel tv screens and ipods from being exported to north korea. way to make a tough stand against an evil dictator, US gov! how will they be able to drown out the sights and sounds of the children they are starving if they don't have liquid crystal diplays and a vast array of musical selections at their fingertips? this will surely break them! i mean... i'm glad they have started something...but it needs to go much further...much much much further.

ahem. in diametrically opposite news, we received the World Vision gift catalogue in the mail and it is the cutest thing ever. i shall paste in the link here as well because you totally need to go look at the adorableness therein. on the red nav pane to the left they have links for all the gifts--the sheep and goats are so frickin cute, i was dying. they have one gift where you can give a cow, a goat, and a sheep and they called it "the big three" of milk providers. you can also give a tilapia fish pond for a very reasonable amount of money, so that might be where i finally end up. of course, for one of the donations you get this little plush pig that is uber cute...and owen might dig it. hmm. under Nourishing Food there is a place where you give 50 dollars and it gets matched 9 times by government grants so that your gift ends up being like 450$ worth of food.

in other news: every day when i drive to work i drive through what is arguably the most beautiful stretch of highway in san diego--the 163 as it goes into downtown. it's like they took a swatch of new england and transplanted it. there is so much foliage that you can't see the masses of human dwellings on either side, and the middle part has this lush grass dotted with little red flowers and large, shady trees, and almost every day i wish i could pull over and frolic in it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

it's raining cats and dogs...

an excerpt from an msn article saying EU might ban certain fur and toys b/c they have found cat and dog hair in them. where oh where would they do something like this?...
“People are disgusted when they find out that cats and dogs are killed every year for their fur,” said HSI Director Mark Glover.

HSI estimates around 2 million cats and dogs are killed for fur each year, with an estimated 5,400 cats and dogs killed in China each day.

that's right, kids. china and eastern europe. bon appetit.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

007 returns!

well, i officially saw james bond and it was officially fabulous. our local loco news people were like "it was way below expectation." no way. way above expectation, more like. the last james bond was so ludicrous that i almost swore them all off for good. face transplants and melting the world. snore. it wouldve been better as a reimagined gay sci fi thriller. but, back to the present. this was more like what batman begins was to the batman series. i bet if pierce brosnan had known they were going to reinvent bond like this, he wouldve stayed in. paul haggis helped them write a damn good screenplay, there was no cringeworthy denise richards or halle berry character, and it was funny and yet, somewhat grounded in reality--speaking of which, i bet montenegro is about to get a nice tourism boost. the first chase scene blew my mind. it was awesome. and i pity men who have to watch this movie and see what they probably won't ever be in daniel craig. of course, i am forced to see completely unrealistic portrayals of women all the time. but i didnt exactly want to lower the playing field so that both the sexes were mired in inadequacy.

anyway, fabulous find of the week would have to be the chocolate shop near my work, called Chi Chocolate. they are online, fyi. they sport an intensely wonderful spicy hot chocolate--as good as chuao i would say. i also tried their port-soaked figs dipped in dark chocolate--and then bought 5 of them for anyone i thought i would run into the rest of the day-- and i ate a surreal yet delicious burnt caramel and lavender dark chocolate ganache. definitely reminds me of chocolat. if only johnny depp would show up at my door in all his gypsy glory. still, i want to bring everyone there--Lisa and Jane!! it has a nice ambience, mosaic tables and chairs--sort of romantic mediterranean and i think the owner may have short term memory loss. in any case he did full introductions twice within about ten minutes, handshakes and all. and frankly, my motto is much like the USA network: characters welcome. i fully welcome anyone who goes quality of life and buys a chocolate shop with their wife even if they cant remember they introduced themselves to me 5 minutes ago.

the chargers have been brimming with entertainment these past few weeks. tonight's game even had my mom on the edge of her seat. they keep coming back from large point deficits. tonight it was 17 points. last week it was 21. anyway, i do feel sorry for crowds who get all excited about their home team kicking the crap out of us, only to see us come back and embarass them in the second half. then again, as a charger fan, leaving the home stadium despondent was no foreign feeling. disappointment can breed character, no? as vincent jackson said "we don't want to make a habit of it, but yeah it's good." good indeed. even our sportscasters are giddy as schoolboys watching this team come together. ladainian tomlinson just broke a record that was jointly held by jim brown and emmitt smith (yes, he of dancing with the stars fame). he's amazing. ladainian, i mean. i wonder if he wants to marry me, though i do hate suggesting taking a fine upstanding black man off the market when i have so many splendid black female friends who lament their lack of choices. but i mean, you know, if it was destiny, i'm sure they wouldnt begrudge me...anyway, tonight my father kept eerily saying the exact same things john madden would say on tv, only a minute beforehand (john madden is verbose...my mother suggested that he gets paid by the word, like charles dickens did)

i suppose that's all the news that's fit for print at this venture. i'm still completely blitzed with school and work, and i've been delayed further by the realization that one of my profs is as rude as acid rain, thereby making me lose all motivation to do work for his class. he totally chastised and demeaned a fellow classmate in public. how do you guys reconcile yourselves with crappy authority figures? if you have any good advice let me know. it appears that when i don't trust my superiors, i become very dysfunctional. whereas when i adore and trust my authority figures, i work my ass off. i'm sure it's not entirely bizarre, but i need to be able to react in a less extreme way. tips?

oh, today after church i went to breakfast with a few friends among whom was very sweet girl, sadly a lunatic--only a crazy would move from san diego to alaska in january--and she said that you actually do get paid to live in alaska. and the male to female ratio is even larger than the joint services. well, we all know where i will be if ever get really desperate. getting paid to pick up socially awkward dudes who work at fish farms.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

musical happenings

So I'm all tired and exhausted from school and work and family, and the fact that little dramas have broken out at school and work, and thank GOD not in the family, and I'm just tired of all this drama, you know? and i'm like, "yes, mary j blige knows how i am feeling! i need to get her in my ear and we can groove through this little dramafest." and then, the horror!! i havent put mary j on my ipod yet! aaaaahhhhhhh. noooo. so that was my dismay of the morning.

staying musical, on my way to work today i had my windows down--what every good driver who doesnt have a working radio does, btw. and i hear this jazz music playing. and on the first block, i was like maybe it's those mexican construction workers...blasting jazz. may i just say that "blasting jazz" is just a bizarre concept anyway. so then i pass more construction, some churches, some parking lots and i am like "where the hell is that jazz coming from?" yeah, the car behind me was playing *jazz* so loud that it sounded like the san diego downtown soundtrack. i'm like...who listens to jazz that loud? it's weird, man. eminem i have heardand dance, trance, rock and hip-hop. but this is a first.

oh crap, in the same vein, my nephew always watches this show called little einsteins--or little geniuses as i said to jen--and they always feature a piece of classical music throughout their episode. yesterday was the 4 seasons by vivaldi..and my nephew was *dancing* to *vivaldi*. dancing to vivaldi. like, rocking out. to vivaldi. jumping around to vivaldi. it's like the most adorable thing ever. i feel like a little teen classical musicians must have done the same, you know made the rocking V sign with their hands, like "this Haydn is blowing my mind, man."

Monday, November 13, 2006

me and the southern baptists

Who knew I would agree with a quote from a southern Baptist? But here it is: evidence that Richard Land and I had the same thoughts: Evangelical Christians are "fed up with the Republican leadership, particularly in the House," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention. "They're disgusted that Republicans came to Washington and failed to behave any better than Democrats once they got their snouts in the trough."
I always kid my mom and dad because their church changed its allegiance from Baptist to southern Baptist—although they were pretty much SoBs to begin with, policy-wise, only regular Bs in name—and I tell them that I’m impressed with how they are helping redeem the denomination from its civil-rights era racist history by having a Spanish speaking service in the afternoons. Ole.
Foxy Fernando who sits in the office to my left and with whom I have air conditioning wars (mine controls his!) is married. I guess this means that my dreams of a torrid romance with said Spaniard are over. And to think, my mind went from zero to us living in bliss with bilingual kids in like 5 minutes.
There is this one intersection near work that, whenever I walk through it, I am always 2 seconds from being flattened by oncoming traffic. Do I not see the light? The flashing hand? I don’t get it. I’m definitely spacey and lost in thought when I walk around—but I get through every other intersection just fine. This one is a vortex of near-death. Today I went through the whole morning thinking I was having sushi with my classmates after class only to realize that it’s tomorrow and we wouldn’t be going out for sushi at 945 pm. Hmmm.
I have some nice mellow music on my ipod, I listened to a song by Jimi Hendrix today that is “have you ever been to electric ladyland” and electric ladyland was what we called our radio station, WZLY, at Wellesley. So it’s nice to finally know that lovely reference. I also have a group called Hayden on my ipod and I have no idea why. But I like them, very chill.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

foraging for prayers

i realized the other day that i have a weird quirk, i always tilt my head to the right. always. and this has given me a skewed view of myself. mainly, that i am more attractive than i actually am. may i announce that this is not the most pleasant revelation i've had all year. but it might explain some things to some of you. now some people have already told me that they noticed that when i looked in the mirror to see if an outfit loooks good, i tilt right, but i didnt know it was a pretty constant state of affairs. and i appreciate none of you waking me from my delusions-i believe it is best to let people be delusional, as long as it is positive and doesnt harm others. luckily i never thought i looked like gisele bundchen...or did i? i feel the crazy creeping up on me. i have one coworker who constantly jerks her head to one side as if she is flipping her hair, but she isnt, she does it even when there is no hair to flip. i keep wondering if it is just a really bizarre habit she picked up or a sign of a health problem. me? i cock my head sideways to the right all the time. maybe the right side of my head is heavier than the left side. what is right-brainedness anyway? i don't know, maybe the right side of my brain is much larger than the left. i wonder what that would mean. i once knew akid at church who had problems and his doctor said that he couldnt decidee which side of his brain to use and so he would like bat lefthand but write righthand and it had all these weird educational implications, like apaprently developmentally we all choose to go right or left predominantly. or maybe it's genetic. anyway, they had to train him to use one side of his brain to do more--to favor his right hand, to favor his right eye, etc. fascinating. maybe amy knows something about this? mrs m?

so today as i was doing research on Gross National Income (GNI) statistics, i came upon a group called the Gay Naturists International (also GNI). who knew?

AH, and indeed, Lamonster, it is a miraculous testament that we can have such differing political views and still get along so well. it is the Lord, who gave us our pop culture loving souls, who keeps us singing together on long car trips from indy to memphis. kumbaya, my friend. My parents and i also have radically different views on how to vote our morals, and so we went to the polls together and canceled each other out in a beautiful display of democracy that we all found totally amusing. i did not reelect the governator. i actually voted green--i like to pepper my votes between the blue, green and red, depending on who i think is most ideologically solid--i like peter camejo quite a bit. i knew there was no chance of my vote being crucial in a struggle between angelides and the governator. the dems ran a decent race as far as i could tell--emphasis on jobs, environment and getting troops back from iraq. pretty straight up. although in this election all they really had to do was not be republicans. the repubs have had some serious issues this year, reintroducing the obscure racial slur macaca is just the tip of the berg, and i mean most christian republicans will vote for any republican sheister as long as they vote against abortion and gay marriage, it's like a free ticket for nasty politicians to screw the environment--because they don't actually give a rat's ass about our children--screw the poor, and finagle other shady deals--but this year the hypocrisy was just too much. it's like finally people thought, "hey, i really dont think i can vote for people who take tons of special interest money, vote for policies that will make my kids have to wear gas masks whenever they step outside, sleep with prostitutes, and cover up scandals with boys, no matter what their stance on abortion is." thank GOD. i know, i know, as if the dems won't do this as well. and so the carousel goes round. the repubs have got to get themselves into church and repent and actually frickin believe in something. holy heaven. otherwise who are they going to vote into congress to counteract president clinton in 2014 when people are finally sick of her liberal policies?
as billy graham told bill clinton: leave running the country to your wife, you need to be a preacher.

ahem, now that i have elicited concerned prayers from all of my republican friends--it's all just a ruse to gather heavenly currency!--onward and upward to better and bigger things. yesterday i came home and slept for 4 hours from 630-1030pm. has the julie ever been so exhausted? well, on that drive to the airport with julia after finals freshman year when only the grace of God can account for us making it to new york alive--maybe then. i'm in my second weekend of no social life due to midterm paper writing. this one is for the russian. i've been compiling some really interesting statistics on religious freedom in post communist countries. did you know that the orthodox church is almost as religiously oppressive as islam? and apparently these majority orthodox countries have some major beef with jehovas witnesses and baptists--it's so wrong. i mean, dude, i get annoyed at having to politely tell JWs to scram, and their theology is super off, but i don't think people should beat the crap out of them, or firebomb them. they are well intentioned little cultists, like the mormons. attention: unchecked aggression at being poor as shit and having no will to fight for a better life being very poorly directed, ye old russian nationalists.

as i do my research i have a glass of water, coffee, and tea on the table next to me. i admit it: i have a drinking problem.

we went out for bagels this morning and corinne brought the adorable owen the brave who ran like 2 miles around the shopping center. in the amphitheater with the christmas tree he flirted with a little vietnamese girl whose mom works at the nearby nail salon. well, they ran toward each other on the ramp and then ran away multiple times. i'm pretty sure that is 2 year old flirting.

stranger than fiction is out, eek, i need to get my research done so i can get some movie watching in! au revoir.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

winds of change

Ooooooh friends. I am breathing in the glorious air of democracy. Go D! oh, i hope the senate pulls it out--come on VA. i cant believe montana is now double dem in the senate. that is some insanity. really. oh... bye bye rumsfeld, you nasty warmongerer, don't let the door hit you in the ass. au revoir. that was like 6 years too long. and our new saucy speaker, nancy pelosi, beat her opponent like 80% to 11% or sth ridiculous. she *is* in san fran. i hope the dems don't totally eff this up. get in power and then start money grubbing just like the repubs or something. it would be just too disappointing. not that they don't all do that to an extent, i'm not completely naive...but you know. they talk the right talk--money for education, healthcare, helping the environment, upping minimum wage. hope they actually do it. i cant believe we voted down prop 86. we are california. of course we can tax cigarettes through the roof. argh. i know, i know, i love a nice cigarette as much as the next girl. apparently it works--making cigarettes cost prohibitive will help people quit...or will make them learn to buy online from kentucky. as a person who now has only a tragic half pack a year at the most...it wouldnt be cost prohibitive for me, so i speak from a place of judgment and wrath!!

mmm...we have this new green tea in our machine at work and it tastes exactly like the green tea from sushi express in taiwan, which, bizarrely was my favorite green tea, ever. it gives me feelings of warmth--sushi express was always a place of happiness and good memories.

so, jeff gordon got married last weekend to a belgian model who is taller than he is. way to be jeff gordon.

and wow, who saw this coming? britney and k-fed are breaking up. i feel like we have all been hit by a train...a train we saw coming at us right from the station, slowly and painfully and hideously, a train with lots of little spawn from different mama trains, eating fried chicken and reminding us a lot like a protracted episode of jerry springer. but, brit, i have to echo kanye west when i holler "we want pre-nup, we want prenup, yeah. It's something that you need to have, cuz when s(he) leaves yo ass s(he) gonna leave wit' half" in this case, k-fed the dancing queen will probably make out royally and be able to sleaze his way into at least 3 or 4 more kids. he and evander holyfield should do lunch. except that holyfield actually had talent and fought to support his kids. he can be a wise mentor to little federline grasshopper.

anyway, speaking of kids, as i have mentioned before, my favorite activity in life is snuggling with my 2 year old nephew right after he wakes up and is in that half-awake state. this morning we managed to establish that we both have feet and toes and knees. and that his knees are ticklish. and that his dory and nemo dolls both are fish and they both have eyes. corinne and i think he's a genius. we repudiate reports of 2 year olds who play violins and learn how to do surgery from the discovery channel. they are mutants. and i think we all learned a valuable lesson from x-men three that mutants need to be cured or they will try to kill hugh jackman.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Time to be irrational--it's Election Day

We have established in my poli sci classes that voting is an irrational act. it takes too long and your one vote doesnt make enough of a difference to truly matter. however, we crazy american idealists still roll out early to be crazy and put our drop in the bucket. you may be thinking "what if everyone thought it was irrational and didnt vote and no one voted?" indeed. this is why we are humans and not machine, because we can be motivated by higher ideals and hopes. We, the Family Hartle, went and voted as a family. We realized on some issues that we entirely cancelled each other out. hilarious. and yet, it's what democracy is all about. we had new, snazzy touch screen voting systems. at the end it makes a backup printout of your votes. my dad and i were both excited--it looked like we were going to get a little grocery printout of our votes..like a lottery ticket we could check to be sure. anyway, we were both mildly disappointed that it stayed there at the polling booth in case the electronic system somehow(i say that with a measure of sarcasm) failed. so our polling place...was in the garage of an apartment complex. in a garage that looked suspiciously like our own garage, with a bunch of stored crap and basketballs and tools in it. maybe we should make ourselves a neighborhood polling place next year. that would be easy. we would be far less irrational in that case.

my father surprises me with what an informed voter he is. even if we choose differently, at least he chooses intelligently. luckily, even if we mess ourselves up by ignorantly approving a crap bond or proposition, hopefully someone will redress it in the next election or two. sweet stability. the more poli sci i take the more i appreciate ye olde US political system, not that it is perfect at all in any way--of course it needs improvements. but compared to some of the other places in the world. phew. is all i have to say.

i think i may either be insane, or have been asia-fied. i find myself laughing at everything. everything gives me mirth. staring around the neighborhood garage i was voting in: adorable. the fact that the 50+ year old Mutterer, for whom nothing in the world is right or good, left her password to her computer and it was "iluvhorses": hilarious! the fact that i havent started a paper that was due last night: hysterical. crazy russian professor telling us that he saw diplomas for sale in the russian metro stations: totally hilarious. the fact that tv has made us more insulary and less likely to make face-toface contact with people...so much so that we watch reality shows to see other people react with each other in real life: morbidly funny. i freaked out trying to print out my week-late literature review and then left it at the coffee station as i was leaving: unfrickingbelievable and yet, hilarious. i had a mishap laden day yesterday and yet all i could do was sort of giggle through it. i cant tell if i am just so happy about being home and with my friends and family and work that all little problems seem trivial...or if i have some real, deep psychological problem. you know, like that hysterical uncontrollable laughter. i think irony makes me laugh more and more these days.
only 5 more weeks until semester is over for better or worse. deep breath.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

i am scarier than halloween

AH, it's a new day. may i announce that nothing is quite as scary as going to the brown-recluse.com website and seeing what exactly these little suckers can do. they also say that your wound can keep coming back years and years later. and then they say you should buy their little brown-recluse spider bite kit, only 19.95, call today. hmmm. the all my children spider bite. i love it. i will try to make my updates more dramatic in that vein,"ahhh, the flesh is disintegrating from my leg" "Julie, you've got to call the doctor" "But, I can't, then i will have to tell him... i am pregnant with his baby" "my God, julie, it's better than dying, besides, he's been in a coma for the last week and he has amnesia...and, julie, no one has told you, but your doctor is actually a woman now" "noooooo, paul..." "that's right, paul became paula last month" "the flesh disintegrating from my body and the oozing pus of my wound mean nothing to me now" *faint*

so even though the daewoo is a piece of crap, it seems like not a day goes by that i don't think "i love my car" when i fit into teency little parking spaces and when i get 30 mpg even though i have a hole in my muffler. if my car were a person it would be an adorable handicapped old person who competes in the special olympics and i would pinch its cheeks.

songs i cant get out of my head are: galvanize by the chemical brothers, and walking with a ghost by tegan and sara.

yesterday we had another hilariously executed online class. the crazy russian professor was online in moscow conducting, but had no access to the chat room so we had to do it on bulletin boards. i worked out on my elliptical trainer the whole time. 2 hours! not incredibly rigorous, but still, felt good. especially since the lag time b/w all of us posting to the discussion boards was painfully long, if i had been sitting down i think my ADD tendencies may have gotten the best of me. what's also hilarious is that those two hours werent even proactive weight loss hours, they were entirely to counteract the day's consumption of my company's mexican fiesta (catered by Tio Leo's, the place i took campbell and linda!) and nauseating amounts of candy. my roe v wade outfit went over well, but only one person actually got it without me telling them. but they appreciated it very much. that person was dressed up very adorably as rosie the riveter, as you might expect.

i'm using my incredibly expensive Lush bath products and may i say that i smell amazing. and i lament that there is no man to enjoy this. besides owen, my nephew, who loves me more for my tiger impersonation and the fact that i can provide him with strawberries than my luscious smells.