Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mad Lib

The massive Mad Lib this week was an article from NPR’s website:
('Sweeping Beauty' Cleans Up With Poetry by Susan Stamberg)

--a story about a new book of poetry about housework.

The template was as follows:

[1.Noun] is a chore for many, and a pleasure for some.
[2.Occupation] [3.A virtue] Shearin's [4.relative] sees it as the
"My [4.relative] [5.verb]s what can never [6.adverb] be [7.past-tense
verb]," Shearin writes in the book [8.Verb]ing Beauty. "So she does
not care for [9.verb]ing or [10.verb]ing."
Love it or loathe it, domestic [11.noun] is a [12.adjective] experience
and it's celebrated in [8.Verb]ing Beauty -- [13.Adjective] Women
Poets Do [14.Activity]
The punch of [15.noun], the [16.A sound] of wars at the [17.meal]
table, the shroud of a bed sheet; editor and [18.adjective]
[19.occupation] [20.Name] says [21.category of people]'s poems of
[22.noun] are peppered with [23.adjective] realities.
And yet, for many of these baby boomer [24.occupation]s, there is
[25.noun] in housework.

Your more interesting answers were:


Nugget is a chore for many, and a pleasure for some. Quantum Mechanic Wisdom Shearin's great-nephew sees it as the former.
"My great-nephew smacks what can never sharply be cart-wheeled," Shearin writes in the book Biting Beauty. "So she does not care for slapping or kicking."
Love it or loathe it, domestic dingo is a cold experience and it's celebrated in Biting Beauty -- Squishy Women Poets Do Mulching.
The punch of pylon, the flam of wars at the Mango Chicken table, the shroud of a bed sheet; editor and wispy pet embalmer Floyd P. McDuffin says the simple-minded's poems of robots are peppered with mad realities.
And yet, for many of these baby boomer parole violators, there is Tupperware in housework.


Weed whacker is a chore for many, and a pleasure for some. King of Sweden Self-Control Shearin's hillbilly cousin sees it as the former.
"My hillbilly cousin guesses what can never doggedly be flown," Shearin writes in the book Pushing Beauty. "So she does not care for swaying or rocking out."
Love it or loathe it, domestic toothbrush is a flashy experience and it's celebrated in Pushing Beauty -- Reptilian Women Poets Do Playing with Clay.
The punch of glowworm, the hum of wars at the brunch table, the shroud of a bed sheet; editor and dressy Last Man Standing Georgette says freshmen's poems of juniper berry are peppered with fresh realities.
And yet, for many of these baby boomer whores, there is newspaper in housework.

Another Liz (as opposed to me!):

Pompom is a chore for many, and a pleasure for some. Professional cheerleader Honesty Shearin's second cousin, twice removed, sees it as the former.
"My second cousin, twice removed, tumbles what can never nimbly be fallen," Shearin writes in the book Chewing Beauty. "So she does not care for blowing or gnawing."
Love it or loathe it, domestic cheek is a nippy experience and it's celebrated in Chewing Beauty -- Scarlet Women Poets Do High School Football Games.
The punch of sweater vests, the rah! of wars at the brunch table, the shroud of a bed sheet; editor and grungy gym teacher Buffy says jocks' poems of bullhorn are peppered with glum realities.
And yet, for many of these baby boomer vampire slayers, there is tree in housework.

More Jive

So, wait a minute, Mr. Brown. I thought that your party was determinedly against playing the Blame Game. Or does that only apply when blame is coming from elsewhere toward you? Now that you've been abandoned, does it seem so evenhanded?

I think it really just translates into "Yeah, I'm gonna neeed you to go ahead and hold off on that blame until we have a decent defense/scapegoat set up. [Then we get to be the ones to take that first shot.]"

Autumn Foodies

Every autumn (the first cold front in September, usually) I am overtaken with the urge to be domestic, cook things, and in general become very nesty. (I told TheLimey this last year when we were just dating and he became quite concerned, as he thought I said "nasty". )

Last weekend I must then perforce take a cooking break from my academic slaving. I made a number of things to be parceled out into the freezer for eating this week.

I am most proud of two recipes that I synthesized myself. I say "synthesized" advisedly, because I did actually scan (not "skim") hundreds of recipes for these items, note common elements, select those I approved of, and put them together to make my recipes. And they turned out really, really good. (Links are in pdf form, scanned from my actual recipe cards.)

First, the bean soup. Vegetarians can substitute veggie or mushroom stock, and substitute some smoky seitan product for the hambits. But there should definitely be something with that smoky flavor. This is a really rich and buttery-tasting soup (though there's no butter in it). You will always want a second bowl, even if you don't realize it when you first begin eating.

I use Jennie-O turkey ham for the ham. I use Mrs. Dash extra-spicy for the spicy seasoning. And I've more or less converted to that Better-Than-Bouillon stuff for all my bouillon needs, though at the time I developed this I was still using granules. Do not omit the sherry! There's something about onions and sherry that makes food taste like restaurant food. I use Sheffield extra-dry. (Don't use a cream sherry, of course, like Bristol Cream or something. Save that for drinking with the roasted chestnuts.)

Next, the meatloaf*. While I have not traditionally been a big meatloaf person, TheLimey mentioned that he really liked meatloaf, so I began the recipe synthesis at that time. I have certainly tasted some really ucky meatloaves in my time, so I had to be sure. I do like this one a lot and have been known to take seconds. (Don't think this is easily convertible to vegetarian, and it involves a gross description of meat, so don't look!)

I use ground chuck, and I use "heavy" whole wheat (not that fluffy stuff) for the bread. (Usually I use Brownberry Natural Health Nut.) Near the end of the cooking process, I use a turkey baster to repeatedly suck up the drippings, with which I make gravy, and serve the lot with chunky mashed potatoes. If someone knows how to get the chewy, semi-crispy, caramelized bottom (like that on Boston Market meatloaf) I'd be much obliged if you told me. I'm wondering if it might have to involve a second stovetop process after the baking...

Anyway, enjoy, and remember to attribute the recipes to me!! :)

*The meatloaf even has beer in it. That's pretty special, if you ask me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

With Apologies to Geistweg...

As for some reason Tim has been unable to do the Mad Lib[Libs?] this week, I found myself compelled to do one. I couldn't leave a gap like that.

So here it is---have at it!

1. noun
2. occupation
3. a virtue
4. relative
5. verb
6. adverb
7. past-tense verb
8. verb
9. verb
10. verb
11. noun
12. adjective
13. adjective
14. activity
15. noun
16. a sound
17. meal
18. adjective
19. occupation
20. person's name
21. category of people
22. noun
23. adjective
24. occupation
25. noun

Finally, The Truth

Lately the McDonald's in Smalltown USA (where I now live) has sported a sign out front touting its McBratwurst, brought back apparently in time for McOktoberfest. "Brats are back!" it proclaims.

This morning when I drove past, I was gratified to see that some wag had removed the initial "b" so it now reads "Rats are back!"

I keep thinking of it and chortling to myself, appearing even more loony than usual as I walk around campus.

I'll try to get a picture if it stays up long enough.

Heh. Rats.

The Country of Lovely

You can become a citizen, too...

(Thanks to this bloke.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Junk Mail

I saw this idea proposed first by Andy Rooney a few years ago, but this guy has certainly upped the stakes considerably.

Now, if only there was some way to do it for the online spammers, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

All the Live-Long Week

This week I have been leaving home at approximately 7am and returning approximately at 9pm (or in some cases coming home at 8 and then just working until 10). Counting hours worked Sunday, this will mean approximately 66 hours worked this week by tonight. Well, I guess that includes commuting hours, which add up to about 1.5 hours per day, but are technically not actually working.

I am becoming braindead and having increasing trouble having any rational thoughts, let alone thoughts that are worth standing in front of a classroom and relating to others.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Another of my favorite times of year. And this one comes twice annually!

I enjoy that odd limnal quality of the light and the air. It always smells like woodsmoke, whether it's spring or autumn.

In The Year 2045...

Us Old
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.

I couldn't resist trying out the age and sex morpher that Argot was using.

It was also fun switching our sexes, so I looked butch (sort of) and TheLimey looked femme (sort of...okay, not really).

But what was really fun was doing the opposite: putting in my own picture and making me more femme, and his more butch.


* * * * * *

Later: here's another one that does additional morphs to those shown above.

Monday, September 19, 2005

News of Today

In a hurry, so:

Moon landing!! !!

$ $??

Sunday, September 18, 2005

All Work and Some Play

Have been working insanely lately (as opposed to all those other activities I normally do insanely.) Two brand spankin' new classes = lots and lots of class prep. Also clinical work, of course. And have been doing lots of maneuvering to get instructors to recruit their students as participants for my prejudice study.

Last time I collected data, I had a hard time getting 5,6...maybe 10 or 15 people to one data session (i.e. sitting down to fill out a form at a pre-arranged time). I needed a total n of 100-something, and it took several months to get that. So imagine my shock when I was tallying up the sign-up sheets from this week and found that I have over 300 participants already, in clumps of 45 and 75! Furthermore, this only includes students from the Psychology Department--we've also solicited instructors from a couple other departments.

This means that the puny rooms I reserved for next week are going to be way too small. I had to run over to the library and reserve their goshdang auditorium. It wasn't even available at all the data collection times, which means my poor assistants may be administering the survey not only in a couple classrooms but also out in the hall. I have got to get them some help, too, as I will be off doing therapy at those times (Hence the need for assistants in the first place.)

In other news, last weekend TheLimey and I briefly stopped working at about 8pm on Saturday in order to attend Astronomy on the Beach, where we got to see the actual surface of the moon practically close enough to touch, and also several different views of the ring nebula. We even bought ice creams to eat in the dark (a rocket for TheLimey, and a Choco Taco for me). It's also possible that the binocular case we brought may have actually been a wine case with a nice red and some plastic glasses in it.

For me the astronomical high point came after overhearing a group of men discussing the potential visibility of the space station that evening. ("You ask them about it--you're a guy!" I whispered in a completely spurious argument that worked like a charm.) One of the men had a printout, on which he looked up the time--it was only minutes away--and location in the sky. So we all peered intently at the bottom of the big dipper, ("Where is it? Do you see it? It's supposed to be right under there...") Sure enough, a little moving star appeared there as I stared. "I see it!" I exclaimed in triumph, as, for no apparent reason, I was the first to detect it. I felt like I won some kind of astronomer contest.

The space station star disappeared halfway across the sky as it entered the shadow of the earth.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Weird Fish

Weird Fish
Originally uploaded by English Invader.
Okay you reference types--real sea creature or photoshopped tadpole?

I honestly don't know. And every time I make up my mind, I feel like a doofus no matter which thing I think.


Thursday, September 15, 2005


Looking to see who else on Blogger professes an interest in Marmite leads to blogs like this. Absolutely no reason why that should have been a surprise to me.

I always look at this profile and wish that good ol' Bunty would actually have a blog. I just know it would be ree-diculous.


Well, this sure sucks for me. Or for us, I guess.

A Good Day...

..oops, had a post but am using the truly ancient computer in my office, which now has internet. When I tried to italicize a word, it deleted all the words I had written instead.
However, I still have a parking space and a paycheck today. Although I had to set the alarm for 5:30 to do one, and had to wait an extra week for the other.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Piled Higher & Deeper

Now that the semester has begun again, I have returned to that state wherein every single hour from get-up to lie-down is scheduled with something I desperately have to be doing.

I am prepping and teaching two new classes, working at the student clinic (and also somewhat at another clinic), and have just received approval to collect my data--which has to be collected by the end of the month, for reasons I can't discuss right now. Note that it is already September 12th. This is going to be a colossal effort. I have two assistants, bless them, and will be trying to recruit some more in my classes this week. I can't imagine that we will really be able to get 210 participants recruited and their data collected in two weeks. My advisor is now bugging me about why my database isn't already set up. "I'm a human being, not a machine"!!

I now commute to campus in the mornings. There are a lot of things about commuting that I really hate. Aside from the obvious gas and parking issues, it makes me really dislike people (including myself) by 8:15 am, for one. That's a really bad way to start any day, but particularly a day of teaching and therapy.

What I like about it is the misty fields of grain and small lakes and overripe trees, glazed with that Maxfield Parrish (sp?) kind of sunlight.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Part II-b: Blossoms of Madness Continued

I spent the subsequent 20 minutes hopping mad, and shaking, on and off the phone with UPS. Obviously, Monday redelivery would result in no flowers for my wedding and a $300 box of garbage on our doorstep for the first day of our honeymoon. Isn't the point of "overnight delivery" to have the item delivered, well, overnight?? Not four days later? ("YES! YES! YES! --I madly pressed the button for "request redelivery or pickup"). I eventually got to speak with a carbon unit.

My options were sort of vague in some senses, but iron strict in others. For example, I could request re-delivery after 5pm...but it might or might not occur, based on the whim of the individual deliverer as it was up to him or her. Union regulations. I could arrange to go pick up my item myself ($300 worth of flowers dehydrating in the August heat as we spoke), in a kind of cruddy area that was half an hour's drive away. I could also try to find the delivery [man, as it turned out], on his lunch break in our town at 2:30 at a particular restaurant. That sounded like my best bet. The only problem, of course, was that my cell-phone-free auntie would be arriving at the airport on hour away--also at 2:30.

After a few more calls to and from UPS, it was established that the UPS lunch spot of the day was a different (but still local) restaurant, and that they would be congregating there at 3. (Who knew they had such organization around their breaks?) I also called TheLimey at work, who agreed to cut short his first day back at the home office in weeks in order to pick up aforementioned aunt at the airport. I equipped him with a cardboard sign (they'd never met in person) at his lunch visit home.

As many of my errands were not in our town, I only got to about the part where I deposited clean linens at my old apartment (for out-of-town family members) before I had to return for the UPS rendezvous. This meant that I didn't get all the cake and flower supplies, but I had a chance of getting the precious, precious flowers themselves.

I waited nervously at the appointed restaurant (Wendy's) for a few minutes before a brown-uniformed man walked in. He looked completely nonplussed when I approached him, and then referred me to a different UPS guy who would be there shortly. Presently another UPS guy showed up, with another on his heels. Right: neither was the one I wanted. (I wondered how the heck many UPS expediters could they possibly need in one tiny town like this, and how was it that they all decided to meet at Wendy's for lunch that day?) Finally, another brown van drove up, and I was out there before it even stopped. As I approached, the driver said, "You must be the lady from L__ Street!"

He then informed me that he had already gone back to the house and tried to redeliver the package, and that our neighbors had signed for it. Apparently he is in the habit of having them sign for TheLimey's stuff when he's out of town, anyway. Of course this begged the question: why the heck couldn't he have done that earlier that morning instead of making me completely insane for the entire day?? But I didn't say that. I just went home, spoke with the neighbor, and got my gigantor package of flowers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A mocking aside... I can't help laughing out loud at this sarky site.

I haven't even seen/listened to the original websites yet.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Wedding Part II: Blossoms of Madness

Friday, there were two things that had to go off smoothly for a lot of other things to also go smoothly. 1: My aunt had to be fetched from the airport, and 2: The flowers (nearly $300 worth) had to be delivered. I also had to run around to the craft store and to various other shops for flower, cake, and toiletry items that I hadn't been able to get yet due to work and moving. (Stupid life, interfering with my wedding!)

I was particularly worried about the flowers, as I knew that the wholesale place from which I had ordered them was sending them UPS. If you know my history at all, you know that I have a loathe/hate relationship with UPS for home deliveries because of their inability to leave anything anywhere without someone (who is invariably at work like a normal human being) signing for it. (If you hear ominous music right now, it's for a reason.)

However, at this point I was staying at TheLimey's, where he had signed a little thing saying UPS could leave shipments at the door, and I had also stressed to the company that I would have to be in and out of the house all day running errands. Therefore it was very important that their shipper leave the flowers at the door. To which they very pleasantly agreed. Just to make sure, I had placed several post-its on the door bearing pleas to leave shipments at the door, signed by me just in case they needed to take a signature with them.

Friday morning I told myself that I was simply going to get ready and go do my errands and then pick up my aunt at the airport, trusting that all my flower-delivery precautions would be fine--probably even unnecessary, and I couldn't wait around at home all day regardless. So I hurriedly dashed through my shower, imagining all the time that UPS was probably at my door right that second with the flowers.

For once in my life, my paranoid imaginings about missing important events while in the shower turned out to be true, as I discovered with a terrible shock when I walked downstairs and saw the delivery note on the back door. "We made our first delivery attempt!" it cried cheerfully. "The next attempt will be MOONNNDAAAYYY." (This last word sounded slowed-down in my mind like a nightmare in a movie.)

(To Be Continued...Someone keeps talking to me, and besides I ought to be working on real work anyway...)

Wedding Part I: The Preparationing

Invitation background
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.

The beginning of the wedding saga: a blog too little, too late, and with deplorable timing. But I intend to see it through!

Back in...what was it, February?--when we first decided we ought to get married, I thought I was avoiding a lot of hair-pulling (of the frustrated kind) by having a less fant-see kind of wedding.

I still think this was probably true. However, it turned out to be a heckuva lot of work nevertheless.

If I could have omitted one of my four primary tasks this summer (grad studies, clinical work, moving, wedding planning), it would have seemed manageable. At least that's what I tell myself. Who knows!

Wreckage of Moving
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.

The moving was the most onerous of the tasks. For once I had the luxury of having my new place available longer than 45 minutes before my old place needed to be empty, so I decided to avoid the last-minute desperation by moving gradually. Every time we saw each other, I tried to have a load of well-organized boxes ready for transport to TheLimey's place. I still think this was somewhat helpful, but the drawback was that the disorientation of moving lasted for about three months instead of a few days. Try as I might, I could not keep my possessions straight and was forever needing something I had just moved the week before.

Also, since I was expecting an out-of-town guest in July, there was significant move-age that I delayed until after that visit. This meant that August was when I had to do most of it.

Several factors made this the most horrible move I have done in my life:

1. The months-long aspect as described above, 2. Being so busy in general that I had to cram most of the moving into odd hours and days, thus precluding scheduling help from others, 3. The build-up of four years' worth of junk, and 4. the confluence of TheLimey's absence for the two weeks before the wedding with the highest peak of moving & wedding activities & clinical responsibilities combined. Crikey. (Just FYI, today we unloaded the last and final load of my stuff.)

As far as the wedding itself, I had arranged for a few friends to help me out with things such as flower arranging, hairdoing, coordinating, park decorating, and so forth. Thank goodness for all those kind people. I wanted a community/friend/family oriented wedding, and it turns out we both have really great community/friends/family.

Helping Liz
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.

The event was on Sunday. I had arranged for the wholesale flowers to be delivered on Friday so that my friends could come over on Saturday morning and help me make them into pretty things. I had also arranged for a local baker to deliver several cakes, not decorated but iced, on Saturday morning so that we could fondant them up, stack them up, and my aunt could decorate them to look more or less like a picture I had found in a bridal magazine (I only had one, I swear--and it was a free one that had been given me!)

Some of our friends who were only attending the reception (i.e. the "fun part") had agreed to show up early and hold our place at the park, as your pavilion could be usurped if you didn't get there by 12, and there were rumors of table-snatching if you didn't get there ridiculously early. We had gotten our license and paperwork ready, I had written out the entire ceremony and sent it to the officiant, and the ceremony musicians (i.e. family members) was mostly in place.

TheLimey was due to return from his business trip on Thursday night, and my aunt was due in on Friday afternoon. So far, everything seemed to be in place, although I had been going mad that week what with moving by myself every minute (so much for avoiding last-minute desperation) that I wasn't at one clinic or another doing all the freakin' assessments that waited until freakin' August to show up.

But it wasn't until Friday that I began to feel that things were tilting slowly but heavily and inexorably out of my control...

Now to interrupt my busy schedule of school preparation, unpacking, complicated secret blogging about the wedding, and thinking really hard about all those wedding thank-yous for everyone who was so incredibly nice to us...

Yesterday I received this email from my supervisor (yet another Lisa) at the student clinic (last names have been removed for confidentiality's sake):

As many of you know, Dean and I moved here after 6 years in Louisiana. We have heard from several friends who've been directly affected by the hurricane. So far, none of the friends have lost anyone. But many are homeless. Here is an email from a friend of ours whose entire family has been displaced. If you have clothing in the sizes needed and want to donate, please let me know. Certainly, money donations will help them a lot also. Thanks, Lisa

* * * * * * * * * *

From Kate: My family is from St. Bernard Parish which is the city southeast of New Orleans that went totally underwater. This week has been quite exhausting for all of us. We can happily say that everyone is now accounted for!!!! But the reality that their lives will never be the same is now sinking in. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all homeless for God knows how long. They only have the clothes on their backs so obviously it will take time for them to be able to rebuild their lives. I have attached an email from my mom with some things they will need to rebuild their lives.

Walter: shirts-ex-large, pants: 38w 30 inseam (likes K-Mart), shoe size 9 extra wide, 38 briefs, x-large t shirt, sport socks, jacket

Donna: shoe 5-1/2 or 6 tennis for exercise, need socks and thick exercise socks, small tops, size 6 or 4 petite pants or jeans, loves stretch exercise shorts, size 5 underwear

Uncle Pete: large shirts, 34x30 jeans and pants, 34" boxers, socks, size 10 shoes

Meanwhile, I have been feeling incredibly blessed lately, and when I've been in trouble so many people have helped me out, so I am trying to pay it forward, so to speak. I sent Lisa some money to her Paypal account and tried to explain how she can create a button and so forth that I could put on my site for her, but I think web stuff is not really her thing. So I just said I'd post one of my own (from a memorial fund I set up a while ago) and forward her any donations.

If anyone has clothing as requested above that they'd like to donate, please contact me about sending it. (All sizes are American.)

Friday, September 02, 2005

I awoke today to NPRs coverage of the disaster(s) in New Orleans (specifically the new shoot-to-kill order regarding looters, who have been shooting at rescue helicopters and anyone in uniform). I can't believe that just a few days ago I heard the same commentators saying "The results of the storm were much less severe than first feared..."

Yesterday TheLimey was telling me what he heard on the radio regarding the cutting of levee funds prior to this (funds diverted to Iraq, I've heard rumored?). I have found a lot of references to this in the blogosphere, but if someone can find an official source let me know, because I want to read it for myself now and see what's what.

I also want to see that book predicting exactly this disaster, whose author was featured on an interview on NPR yesterday.

Dangit! Why wasn't I listening to the radio yesterday?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I wish I knew what was going on with Flickr and the magical disappearing images. Not all have gone--it's mostly those on this page. There are some sporadically missing ones from other pages interspersed with ones that are still there. I have no idea if it has something to do with my suddenly wildly popular new image or if that's a coincidence.

Anyone else use Flickr and have a similar problem?

Finders, Looters

Finders, Looters
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
A former student from the prejudice class I taught last year sent me this set of links, (included below). I combined the photos into one jpg for easier comparison (click to enlarge).

Amazingly blatant!


White people "find" things...

Black people "loot" things


One of the recipients of the group email responded humorously by saying "We're born evil, we can't help it. Why, just earlier today,
I caught myself looting some water out of the business school drinking fountain…"

Really, it's laugh about it or cry about it.