Monday, March 26, 2012

email from my brother-in-law

I just got an email from my brother-in-law (my sister's husband). He is almost as big a fan of the original Star Wars series as me. I have been bugging him for a while now - when will his daughter, my niece, be introduced to Star Wars?! This has been a major discussion point for me regarding the raising of my nieces. My nephew, the son of my brother, was a Star Wars fan long before he was in double digits (I wasn't, because the movie didn't come out until I was 12).

Here's the email, with my niece's name redacted, and my brother-in-law's name altered, so as to give my sister peace-of-mind:


Big News at the Richard House.

Your niece watched Episode IV with me Saturday. She enjoyed it enough that she wanted to watch it yesterday as well.

While watching, she brought up some questions that I did not know the answer to:
  1. Princess Leia was held in the Death Star, but in the getaway scene she had pretty cheek makeup on. When did she do her makeup?
  2. Who did Princess Leia's pony tail for her at the end?
  3. Who was that big hairy cat walking around? I actually explained this one to her, but the name didn't stick, he was still a cat.
  4. She asked several times throughout the movie if Luke was still sore from getting beat up by the sand people.
  5. How did they clean Artoo up so quickly at the end after being fried in the trench run?

Since this was the first viewing, I catered more towards answering these questions, than actual teaching. I figured I would explain the Han shot first concept and Darth being Luke's father later. I will probably never force her to watch Episode 1, I don't want to subject her to unnecessary Jar Jar pain and suffering.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Madness

Ayoibi Handicraft Store 10You may remember that, when I lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, I visited a leather shop and had a purse custom made to my specifications. My office mate went on to form a partnership with the owner and now helps him design and sell gorgeous bags, other leather goods and other handicrafts. By buying from Gundara, you not only get a unique, gorgeous item, you help support local people in Afghanistan. And a big thank you to my friends who have bought items from Gundara already!

If you are in Kabul, the shop is in the plaza across from the India Embassy.

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I want to do this motorcycle trip in Africa to see the work of Riders for Health so badly my heart hurts.

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Han Solo is watching me?Han Solo is watching me... This is what I look like in my home office. Always under the watchful eye of Han Solo. And Agent Mulder (can you see him there? he's there...). And Shrek and Fiona. I'm a geek.

I'm going to buy a toy tiara and start wearing it every day around the house, particularly during video conference calls for work. Because I can.

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Want to make a Kentucky Atheist angry? Show up at my door to proselytize during March Madness. WWJD? Not do that.

Senior Citizen UK FanThis is not one of my grandmothers. But this IS one of the residents of the apartment complex for seniors where they live in Henderson, Kentucky. I try to explain to people that it's just NOT a retirement home in the way you might think a retirement home is, and people don't believe me. Maybe this photo will explain it. It will at least explain what March Madness is like in Kentucky. GO BIG BLUE!!!!

FYI, two players from the greater Portland metropolitan area are on Kentucky's team. I never, ever would have thought of this area as a basketball recruiting ground. They just aren't that into basketball around here. And while football is popular here, you just do not see anywhere near the craziness and devotion to teams the way you do in the South or Midwest.

And on a related note: wonder what Prime Minister Cameron thought of that WKU game that kicked off March Madness... and wonder what he thought of Big Red?

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Check out the VERY scary malware Stefan had on his computer. Note that this attempt to compromise his account happened AFTER he logged in to check his bank account balance! I'm really ticked off that his employer's IT department didn't do any research, just immediately claimed it was the bank that had been compromised, not Stefan's lap top. I did an Internet search and found out the truth. I really do not like doing other people's jobs...

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Don Julio González Estrada, creator and founder of Tequila Don Julio passed away. I will never forget the bottle of Don Julio my friends Sharron and Ron brought us for our wedding, schlepping it all the way from Texas to Germany. Oh how we enjoyed that.... glad the tequila will live on.

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Last week, the cooking expert on Portland local TV just said "Add Qweso."

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This year - last week, in fact -- is the anniversary of the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was published in 1852. I never read it in school or at university - I read I just a few years ago, in fact. And it was nothing at all like I thought it would be.

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Tweet from Will Ferrell / @RealFerrellWill :

I live n a country where a chick that threw flour on Kim Kardashian was arrested on site But the man who KILLED Trayvon Martin is still free

If you know me, you know that I don't like teenagers. I fear them. No matter the color, no matter the gender, hoodie or not. I've had teens - and pre-teens - start saying the most awful things to me for no reason other than I happened to be standing near them or walking by. I've had them grab me - my breasts, my ass - and I've had them do that one-foot-forward-stomp, like they are going to come after me. But when I see a teen in my neighborhood, hoodie or not, I do not freakin' jump in my car and follow him or her! I don't walk behind him/her/them and confront him/her/them; I look out the window and give a very suspicious look ala Gladys Kravitz. If I was really scared or worried, I'd call the police - but I'd stay in my car or my house. Whether or not this was a case of racism, it was most certainly a case of stupidity on the shooter's part, a criminal case of extreme over-reaction - and warranted way, WAY more investigation on the part of the police.

And, for the record, I'm working on trying to not pre-judge teens, despite so many bad experiences with them. I've noticed they become very disarmed when I look them right in the eye and say, in a loud voice, "Good morning!" And most of them have been really, really wonderful when I'm walking a dog or two.

But they still need to stay off my lawn.

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5 of the Top 6 Porn Consuming Red States Have Voted For Rick Santorum. So Santorum voters in the South are both hypocrites and women-haters.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Big Fat User Error

I need to repartition your hard drive" said Rob, at the Apple Store genius bar. "Have you backed up your data?"

"Yes I have!" I said, proudly, full of confidence.

And later, Stefan and I left and ate kimchi quesadillas.

And I had, indeed, backed up all of my data.

Except for email. Which I found out later had not been backed up in 2 years because I hadn't configured all my backups correctly.

So please email me if you are friend or family, so I have your email address.

And send me kimchi quesadillas.

(why did I need to go to the Apple genius bar? Because I tried to upgrade my OS and, long story short, I messed it up. Because I'm a big fat walking user error)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

a question for Joss Whedon

On Twitter, @RoadtripNation asked for questions to ask Joss Whedon at SXSW 2012. I submitted a question, one that I've wanted to ask for oh-so-long. @RoadtripNation then tweeted this. Squeeeeeee!

question to joss whedon

I've always wanted know why he picked Jayne, specifically, as a name, and why he chose to spell it with a y.

Of course, I would rather be in Austin myself to ask it, in-person... and to eat at Magnolia Cafe...

March always makes me homesick for Austin, Texas - SXSW is such a wonderful experience. I love the trade show, I love the music, I love the people, I love the food, I love the vibe... the weather is usually great and, when it's not, you don't care, because you are at SXSW!

Some day, I'm going to have a job and be able to afford to go again... until then, I'll just read tweets tagged SXSW and sigh....