“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” -- Carl Sagan

Tag: life update (Page 3 of 3)

Super Bowl and More Snow!

I sat down to watch several hours of over-produced commercials last night and, unbelievably, a football game broke out. Odds were on the Colts — the Saints had never gone to the Super Bowl and had only made two post-season appearances in 42 years. Manning already has his spot in the Football Hall of Fame picked out. Also, the mind-bending concept of Purdue’s own Drew Brees having a Super Bowl ring was like looking for *snow plows in Hell.

The sporting world loves a Cinderella story, and it got one. Who would believe the Saints of all teams could win a Super Bowl? Over the nigh-invincible Indianapolis Colts? But the team willing to covert on 4th and 1 on the 1 yard line, to have an onside kick at the beginning of the second half, and to go for two in the Super Bowl of all places deserves to win. The Saints played like a crazy Big-10 team pulling out every insane play they could cook up and it was awesome. Those guys earned their rings.

These games are normally terrible, one sided affairs but Super Bowl 44 is going off to Highlight Reel Heaven.

Meanwhile, Maryland is in complete paralysis. The main artery freeways aren’t plowed. What is plowed is now covered in ice. Coworkers cannot get out of their houses. They’re either plowed in or completely unplowed. And the best part? We’re getting 4-8 inches tomorrow. That’s just what we need — a nice layer of ice on top of everything. As if we don’t already have trees down.

I will take pictures of the SNOW CANYON when it gets a little warmer outside in a few hours.

* If you are wondering where the plow is and you are in Maryland? That’s where. Plowing hell.


We are trying to shovel our way out. The snow is well over two feet deep and the plow decided to pile up a huge mountain right at the end of the driveway we somehow have to tunnel through. We’re taking shifts since we only have one shovel and it is going slowly.

The shoveled part of the driveway is like walking through SNOW CANYON with SNOW WALLS made of SNOW.

Snowpocalypse 2010 (more pictures)

Chairs and Table on the Deck

We finally opened the front door. The door is blocked by 13 inches of snow. It’s 21 inches on the stoop, but the stoop was protected by bushes and trees so the real number is likely higher. We thought lost the antenna off his truck but it was just buried. Trees across the street came down. Our neighbors tried to dig out earlier but they have now given up. Snow is still coming down. It is very quiet.

Also, I am blaming the storm on Republican Obstructionism — and their evil weather machine! What better way to slow down legislation than a million tons of snow!

21 inches

Snow Trees

Snowmageddon 2010

Back Deck Snowmageddon 2010 According to the National News ™, Elkridge MD received 30.3 inches of snow and it is still snowing. We’re just south of Elkridge. I look out my window and I’m starting to get very nervous about the trees. We still have power (obviously) but… wow….

Oh, yeah. This used to be my deck. Of the 6 pictures I took, this is the only one that really came out. You cannot see the table, or the chairs, or most of the umbrella anymore.


There’s nothing like DC under the threat of snow. The grocery stores empty out in complete panic if the forecast threatens 2″ on the ground. Hell, it’s impossible to drive if it rains because people freak out their BMWs will get wet. (Hint folks: IT’S A CAR. It goes OUTSIDE.) I joke that the Magic Rain Water from the Sky comes down and drops the collective IQ of the region by 50 points.

But right now we’re under a blizzard warning until Saturday night at 10pm. The weather channel calls it “epic snow totals possible.” (Thanks TWC!) You know where it says “1-2 feet”? That’s on my house. Hell, they even closed the White House and it’s not like Obama has any kind of commute.

We already had one of these. I am so not thrilled. I moved away from the Midwest to avoid these constant snow storms. And if you live in the area, someone posted some good advice here.

Maryland Ren Fest, Tom Stoppard and SPX

Maryland Ren Fest: We took Katie for the first time since she was very small, and she loved it. She got to run around in a princess dress, get her face painted, get her hair braided, ride a pony, play in bubbles, and eat deep fried macaroni n’ cheese on a stick. I finally bought the boots I had been eying for five years. Unfortunately, it started to rain on us around 4 and it was not the sort of rain you can just wait out. We went back to my parent’s house and then we left Katie to spend the night.

Tom Stoppard: Once home, we watched a little Tivo and then watched the 1990 production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosenkrantz and Guildestern are Dead. I had forgotten how wonderful the dialogue is, how hot a young Gary Oldman was, and how much I enjoyed the artistic structure of the play. Unfortunately, I was falling asleep at the end but I still need to own a copy on DVD.

SPX: … and I went to SPX in the afternoon! I nearly exploded in the squee of happiness. I also have far less money but I have far more comic books. I cruised all the tables leaving behind a little trail of butterflies and rainbows in the air wherever I went. I did notice that, since the last time I went to SPX, the quality of the mid-tier comics has really picked up. Also, last time I went the porn – comics ratio was fairly high but this time actual comics outweighed the porn about 20:1. I still don’t have any interest in hand-drawn super-artsy books on xeroxes and stapled together. I like my books to be books and I’m enough of a snob that I do put a huge amount on production values. I also refused to buy anything I could get off the web trivially or pick up in a Barnes and Noble. I must support my favorite artists who are awesome! I ended up with a huge haul:

Never Learn Anything from History by Kate Beaton with a little drawn FAT PONY in the front cover;

Beards of our Forefarthers, Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death and the Annotated Wondermark, all Wondermark collections by David Malki!

To Afghanistan and Back by Ted Rall who drew a whole little Osama bin Laden for me on the front page;

Dignifying Science and Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards by Jim Ottaviani. He was a little taken back by someone showing insane enthusiasm over his science comics but Two-Fisted Science was one of the best collections on 20th century science I had ever read. I was being evangelizing it to the Unsuspecting around me. He threw in a copy of Charles R. Knight: Autobiography of an Artist.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis for Katie Rose. The production value on this book is spectacular and the whole team did a full color picture for Katie on the frontspiece.

From Top Shelf Books, a copy of the Surrogates (Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele) and VEEPS: Profiles in Insignificance by Bill Kelter and Wane Shellabarger. How was I supposed to pass up a book on Vice Presidents? You tell me that because I could not. I was beholden.

Sadly, all the books for Rice Boy were gone by midway through yesterday. But woo! Comics!

Now I must disappear to read.

Labor Day Weekend

Quick roundup of some interesting stuff from over the weekend.

Inglorious Basterds: I am an enormous Tarantino fan so my opinion is likely biased and tainted. I enjoyed it greatly. Long conversations punctuated by extreme violence. Interesting bit about the movie: it felt very much like the opening of a novel and the ending of a novel but the middle 800 pages skipped. I want to see the Aldo the Apache mini-series. Also — Col. Hans Landa is the best Nazi villain of all time.

Ceazar’s Restaurant and International Market: Found on HowChow. A very good Iranian restaurant in Elkridge although they were surprised and confused to have customers on a Sunday lunch time during Ramadan. Not quite ready to handle the restaurant side of things although the food was very good. (Eric pointed out that “Meat on a stick is the highest form of food.”) Attached market intriguing; stuff on the shelves we had never heard of and everything is pickled.

OMG SKULLZ: Eric made me an awesome hoodie in skull-print knits. It’s like wearing a comfy goth blanket. It has skulls. OMG SKULLZ! He went from no hoodie in the afternoon to complete hoodie at 2am. It’s amazing hoodie making magic!

Yarn: Wanted to do the Craft-Zine Craft-A-Long but no one hand the required yarn. It will come to me eventually, but had to order it from online. Sad. Lower-end yarn selection at big box stores pretty sucktastic.

Nordstrom: Running an experiment — ordering replacement cosmetics online. I hate going to the cosmetics counter at any Department store. With the stores having low sales, they have gone from aggressively ignoring me and refusing to sell me things to aggressively upselling me. If I can order my stuff online one of my great life’s problems will be solved. (Anyone else truly hate buying cosmetics? I have had a rare few good experiences buying cosmetics at the counter.)

Katie’s Bronchitis: She’s on a nebulizer with albuterol. It’s better than it was on Thursday and Friday but she was still coughing pretty bad last night. She spent the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s watching Spongebob. Grandma bought Katie a Halloween Tree with Halloween Ornaments. Because why should Christmas get all the fun? Also, spooky light-up house! My child, the 4 year old goth.

Presidential Faux-rage: Heard a rumor of white cloistered Midwesterners in flyover states having conniptions of fauxrage and keeping children home over black socialist Marxist propagandist message of “study hard” and “listen to your teachers” beamed into schools. Sent Katie to school this morning in adorable uniform anyway.

Bed and Yarn

We bought a new bed. It’s not a spectacular bed or anything, it’s just a bed. But we bought a bed frame, and that is a big deal because we’ve never had an actual bed frame before. Now we can do theoretical things like read in bed. We’re not used to the whole concept of the bed frame.

The mattress is much harder than I am used to. I was absolutely convinced I was not going to be able to sleep on something that hard until I fell asleep 2 seconds later and slept like a stone. The old mattress was pretty soft, and it had broken, so I was used to this thing that went moosh underneath me. For two days, my back complained because all the sudden it didn’t have to constantly support me at night and all the knots, especially in my lower back, came loose in a painful display of pain. I walked around with Icy-Hot patches glued to my back all yesterday as my back readjusted to the new, interesting reality.

I finished a hat. It was in the old crappy yarn, so it feels like an old, crappy hat although I just finished it. Because the yarn has no spring and no give in it, despite following the pattern exactly the hat is way too small. But it is hat-shaped. I took pictures, which I tossed up on Flickr and you can amuse yourself looking at here. Note the use of the highly attractive hat model who would not sit still.

Thus, a small project was completed, I passed my self-imposed barrier, and we went to Michael’s to pick up some yarn. I bought big spools of that Red Heart Super Saver stuff just to noodle with, bought some Lion’s Brand yarn for two real projects, and a set of great big hooks to mess with. I packed up the old crappy 35 year old yarn and put it away. Then I tried to make another hat with the Red Heart, as I was messing around with a pattern, but for reasons unknown it is way too lose, so it looks to be a failure. But! Fuzzy yarn! And thus, I am apparently turning into a junky.

General Life Update

1. On the LJ Kerfluffle:

Nothing on the net lasts forever. We’re often lucky if it lasts a handful of years. Livejournal has been in slow decline for years now, ever since it was bought by Six Apart. It will eventually be gone and there are newer, sexier services on the block called things like “Facebook.” Sadly, it does three things very well which I would prefer not to lose:

1. Aggregated posts as “Friends Lists”
2. A global identity
3. Threaded comments

If WordPress could do #1 and #3 with even a passing attempt at well without having to install complicated plug-ins, then it would have something and no one would need Livejournal anymore. But I haven’t found anything satisfactory in the friend’s list department yet. Once I do, I will try it out, but it needs more searching.

Meanwhile, I believe LJ will go through a very slow decline with increasing database issues, bugs, and users fleeing to better supported services until, much like GreatestJournal, the lights will simply go out one day, or it will limp along like an Internet Zombie.

2. On crochet:

I have made a granny square! And I am making something… round! It started off as learning to read instructions for a round granny thing but it has now overgrown and now it is just round. I have yet to make something really worthwhile. However, this crochet thing is naggingly addictive and, sooner or later, I will follow a pattern to completion and make something. I have stopped holding the yarn in an overly tight death grip, which has helped progress immensely.

3. On books:

Selected Crafty TV Writing as the winner of the pile o’ books sweepstakes.

4. On the Inauguration:

Bizarrely, I have MLK Day as a floating holiday! And it will float one day forward! Because I am not going anywhere near Silver Spring right on top of the Red Line Metro on the 19th or 20th. While I am a Great Fan of the Great Hawaiian Shark God, I don’t want to be anywhere near DC. I’m going to watch it 20 miles away from the comfort of my HDTV.

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