Friday, April 25, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gratitude on a Sunday afternoon

I think I have some of the most talented friends in the world. Seriously, I'm not sure why I know so many people that are extraordinary at so many things. I feel very lucky. I still haven't figured out what I offer most of these people, but I DO know that I'm very fortunate.

This is a link to a video podcast of a symphony composed by one of my dearest friends and his best friend. Take a listen. [Note: This link is just audio, but it has all of the concert, not just "Africa."] You won't be sorry. Today I'm grateful for my friend's music and his ability to touch lives in such positive, meaningful ways.

(Note: You may have already figured this takes a bit of memory and a bit of time.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time-warp shampoo

I bought some new shampoo and conditioner last night to go with my new hair color. (I'm all about finally having Marin-healthy hair.) But, every time I move my head, and smell the waft of scent, I'm time warped to two years ago, which -- apparently -- is that last time I purchased this shampoo. It makes me think that I should look around and see:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Likes to die

her hair. (As my neice once pointed out.)

I think I'm kind of sick of dying my hair -- or at least paying for it -- so I'm going back to my roots. (Bad pun intended.)

Even if it does lower me on the attractiveness scale by two points, as my co-worker says.


I think I may have discovered the antithesis of Midas' touch. Me.

Ok. I'm done whining now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

25 X 25

A few friends are reaching significant birthdays, so they've been making lists of the things they have done and lists of things they'd like to do. Maybe a "Bucket List"-type concept. Although my upcoming birthday is not significant, in my head 25 has always been kind of a significant age, so I thought I'd steal the idea and make a list of my own -- a few of the things I've done in my 25 years:

  1. Walked the Great Wall
  2. Had ridiculously long hair and ridiculously short hair
  3. Been published in a book
  4. Purchased my first house (well, townhouse)
  5. Been flooded, blown, or pestered out of almost every Lake Powell camping spot
  6. Learned how to play the recorder
  7. Been the "executive producer" on a few short "films"
  8. Had vampire-shark-bat teeth
  9. Slept on a park bench -- like a homeless person -- in a foreign country
  10. Made up my own cookie recipe
  11. Gone skydiving
  12. Been a musical street performer
  13. Ridden a camel
  14. Handed out around 50 lbs of stickers to African children
  15. Been among the first handful of people to wear a pair of gold Mickey Mouse ears around Disneyland
  16. Eaten turtle, rabbit, ostrich, buffalo, two-thousand year old eggs, chicken feet, and some sort of beetle
  17. Been asked to be in pictures with the leader of a Tibetan monastery and an Iraqi
  18. Made draperies
  19. Celebrated Epiphany in front of the Duomo in Florence
  20. Learned to build a lamp
  21. Kept the same mechanical pencil since 5th grade
  22. Had a middle-eastern man email my boss with expressions of admiration and love for me, based on my employee picture on the work website
  23. Voice-acted
  24. Created a 6-foot paper snowflake
  25. Managed to break my own finger with a blow-dryer

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An open letter to the people playing loud music on my street

Dear "neighborly" music listeners:

I rode to work in silence this morning. Music was not needed because the drumbeat from your music is on loop in my head. "Duh duh dun da da (rest) duh. Duh duh dun da da (rest) duh. Duh duh dun da da (rest) duh. Duh duh dun da da (rest) duh..."

I appreciate that you like your music. Really; I do. My poor little car speakers share my understanding. Everyone needs to turn up their tunes now and then. But, really, is 2:16 a.m. the best time to do that?


Why did you choose to stop right in the middle of the road and open all four doors on your white, extended-cab truck -- as if your sub woofer were not thunderous enough? Did you select that location specifically because it would affect the most buildings?

You didn't appear to be drinking, so why were you just standing outside your car, yelling idle conversation to one another as your music blared? Do you have something against the old woman that was sleeping just to your west? Against me, just to the southeast? Against the neighbors directly to the east? Do you have something against sleeping, period?

I would have come out and talked to you. Asked you to turn it down. Perhaps I should have just called the police about your noise ordinance violation. But you were six Tongans, and I am just one me. I wasn't sure it was wise.

I'm not sure if you're moving into one of the condos that just sold. If so, I hope that we can be friends. But you're going to have to learn that not everyone wants to hear your R&B/rap at 2:16 a.m. (Well... ever.) Otherwise, I'm afraid your reception to the neighborhood might not be as warm as you'd like.



P.S. I have a neighbor I could sic on you, if needed. She has big poofy hair, seems like she is constantly casting a curse on you, and would be happy to stand in front of your door and stare.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The PowerPoint that ate Cinncinnati

A co-worker and I have been looking through all our old photo archives (back to the days of transparencies and slides through our 4000 some-odd photos that were taken last year) for a PowerPoint presentation to be shown at an upcoming conference.

My co-worker thinks I find too much joy in the old photos I've found, but it's just fascinating. I think I'm partly anthropologist at heart.

Anywho... After we found, scanned, touched-up, and saved many, many photos, my co-worker set about making the actual PowerPoint. To decrease the file size, which we assumed to be humongous, we tried to compress the photos. She has an old version of PowerPoint, which does not have the "compress all photos" function. So I told her to save it on our share drive and I would compress it because I have a newer version.

The following took place between 2 and 3 p.m.:

E (opening folder with file and seeing size): Holy cow!
Co-worker (two offices away): giggles
E (via instant chat): 408 MB???!?!?
Co-worker: Really?
E: You've created the PowerPoint that ate Cincinnati
Co-worker: I really have!
E (15 minutes later, after opening, attempting to compress and save): I think I've cut about 70 MB.
E (5 minutes later, when it's done saving): 402 MB!!! Compressing doesn't do anything! Hold on. I'm going to try something new.
Co-worker (coming into my office a few minutes later, seeing a look of concentration): How's it coming? What are you doing?
E: I'm just trying to paste the photos in differently. Hold on a sec and we'll see how we're doing...
E: Yes! 141 MB. I must keep going! This is so satisfying; it's like ironing your clothes! Immediate gratification. [Dear readers: Yes. I do like ironing.]
Co-worker (watching for several minutes): I really don't want you to have to do this. If you just tell me what you're doing, I'll do it. I know you have other things to do. Really, I feel bad.
E: No! You have to let me finish! This is great!

In the end: the PowerPoint that ate Cincinnati? Just 31 MB. (Large? Perhaps. But it ain't no 408 MB.) These are among the simple pleasures that bring joy to a day at work.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pathetic, pathetic

You will remember that, not long ago, I posted about a VeggieTales song.

I feel bad that you haven't been able to hear it. Here is the link to part of the song. (Mwah, ha, ha.)

"Four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see -- not to eat, not for love, but only gliding."

These are the escalators to my office building.

You'll notice that -- at the time the picture was taken -- the escalator to the right goes up, and the escalator to the left goes down.

This morning:
Left escalator: up.
Right escalator: down.

This happens multiple times a week. And sometimes the escalators don't move at all.

So maybe we're not snakes; and we're on an escalator, not a "hollow," but we appear to just be gliding up and down for some unknown reason. I wonder: are we really just an experiment, amusing some mad-escalator-scientist?