Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Beltane!

May Basket
Originally uploaded by Zsaj.
One of these years I'll have a garden of my own from which to post flower photos.

Or alternatively I'll be buying flowers and taking pictures of them!

But not this year.

Nonetheless, these lovely flowers are about my speed. When I was little, my mother told me about the May Day tradition of leaving flowers on someone's doorstep. So naturally I went out and picked wild violets and dandelions and such and made little bouquets of them, and left them in front of the doors of other apartments in our building. I think it's the closest I got to ever playing "Ding Dong Ditch."

(I won't describe to you what I did when I heard that earthworms can grow back parts of their bodies. Let's just say I'm still traumatized thinking about the results today.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

First Draft!

Emailed the first rough draft of my dissertation today. Still lots more to do on it, but at least it's a good step in the right direction.

Licking Patrick Stewart

Licking PS
Originally uploaded by scottobear.
This is for Argotnaut and her silly humor craving.

Nothing will ever beat Teh Bucket, but this is pretty good.

Here We Go Again...

I've been avoiding most media lately, as I'm trying to finish a first draft of my dissertation. (Which, coincidentally, is about prejudice.)

However, I can't avoid it entirely, so I have seen some coverage of the recent shooting at Virginia Tech. An issue I just knew would crop up is cropping up: references to the shooter being South Korean and how are those Koreans and Korean-Americans taking that fact, anyway?

I know, this doesn't sound so terrible. We all want to know everyone's take on this (that's the press's presumption, anyway). It's the contrast in how the issue is addressed that's always the underlying problem.

With all the White shooters we've had--and there've been a lot, haven't there?--has anyone ever seen any references to "So how is the White community taking the fact that this shooter was White?"

'Cause I haven't. This omission means a lot.

Maybe we should have been asking that.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


According to the breast cancer risk calculator, I have an estimated 99.3% chance of not getting breast cancer in the next five years, and an 86.3% chance of not getting it during my lifetime.

I wish there was a more sophisticated one that took more things into account.

For example, if your mother breastfed you (even for a short time), your risk is reduced (I was the only one of my many siblings who was not breastfed, of course). Breastfeeding your own children reduces your risk, primarily if you do it for longer than one year (so I'm definitely going to be doing that, although that isn't my main reason for doing so.) Having children earlier in life reduces your risk, as it "sets" the cells of your breasts so subsequently they don't change every month with your hormonal cycle (I picture them like little Jell-O particles.)

Being on hormone therapy increases your risk--haven't done that, and won't. Hot flashes, here I come. Used birth control pills? Conflicting results show either increased, decreased, or no change in risk (the earlier pills had much higher hormone levels in them, complicating the research.) On the other hand, being on the pill greatly reduces your risk for both ovarian and colorectal cancer, so there you go.

But I digress, which is what I do best.

The point I was going to make is that breast cancer, while quite scary, is way behind other leading health-related death risks, particularly heart disease. Furthermore, some other top killers* of women (depending on the age group) that people seem to ignore a lot are auto accidents, murder (partner or former partner usually), and suicide (women are currently still stuck with higher depression rates).

So while you're wearing your red dress pin or your pink ribbon as you walk (or whatever you do) for a cure, don't forget that we need your admirable endeavors to improve other aspects of risk, too.

*Maybe someone can make a risk calculator for all these things combined. Now that would be cheery, wouldn't it?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sugar Connection

As far as food cravings go, I have always been more of a salt-n-savory craver than a sweets craver. I admit to being one of the few people who has not really been that interested in ice cream, unless it's really hot out. And while certain kinds of chocolate make me drool (notably Green & Black's Organic Dark Milk Chocolate), I have never considered myself a chocaholic. Even my husband is more chocolate-oriented than me.

That's not to say I haven't occasionally desired the odd plain-chocolate cake or licorice whip or whole-wheat brownies with drizzles of coffee icing or whatever. It's just that throughout my life I've usually wanted jerky, potato chips, cheese, mashed potatoes, ramen noodles, deviled eggs, gravy, and so forth, when I've been in a cravy mood.

But since I've had a baby, I've turned into a sweets-craver, too. I even started wanting ice cream (Häagen-Dazs's Caramel Cone). I ate half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips the other day! True, someone is literally sucking the life out of me round the clock, but this doesn't account for the change in my tastes, does it?

I recently heard a young woman talk about trying to keep her parents from giving her baby sweets when they're caring for her on weekdays, partly because she now feels like she is addicted to sugar herself and can't stop thinking about it. Reflecting on this later, I remembered an article I read a few years back that stated that when you crave sweets, it may mean you're tired, while if you crave salty things, it may mean you're simply hungry. I thought I could tell this to that other mother next time I saw her, as we were all discussing how exhausting it is taking care of a baby 24/7.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that this could account for my own sudden uncharacteristic sweets-wanting. Of course! I wanted salty stuff before, because I never weighed enough and never really ate enough on a regular basis, I figured that already--but now that I'm exhausted ALL the time, I crave the sugar.

So maybe it will go away in, oh, 18 years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
This is what happens on weekends when Daddy takes over so I can work on my dissertation. Limelet wears him out completely.

Poor Daddy.

A Variety of Birds of Happiness

I think I mentioned previously that there used to be bluebirds in the yard here chez Lizardo/Limey, but that the cutting down of the only large trees on the block and the influx of numerous housecats and feral cats within the space of a few months pretty effectively put a stop to all that songbirdly happiness.

So for several years, the bluebird house that the neighbor put up held a motley assortment of other kinds of baby birds; mainly sparrows, possibly a couple of house finches. Unfortunately, the way she had mounted the house made it lean forward at the top. This made the front "wall" of the little house fall open an inch or so at the bottom, as it was hinged at the top. Thus there was always a litter of nest material sort of dripping out the bottom of the front, and it was clear that cats and/or raccoons and/or possums were happy to just paw at it and eat whoever was living there at random intervals. Not exactly prime bluebird real estate.

Then those tenants moved out, and left little sad bits of landscaping around, including the little birdhouse. During the winter, snow and ice knocked it further off its teetery balance on two nails, so I took it and wedged it firmly in some sturdy branches of the tree next to it, but with the top leaning back so it stayed closed. At least maybe the sparrows could have the chance of raising some uneaten babies come spring.

Then last weekend as TheLimey was returning from a little walkies with Limelet, he phoned me (yes, from right outside our place) to ask "what kind of a bird has red on the front--" house finch, thought I -- "and bright blue all over the back and head?" I instantly dropped my analyses of variance and ran out there like a shot. Yep--Bluebirds nesting!

I can't tell you how something so small and simple just made my week. It was the first nice day after the resurgence of winter that we had, and not only were there bluebirds, there were goldfinches, a brace of cardinals, chickadees, and house finches aplenty. I could hear two different kinds of woodpecker in the wooded lot across the street, too.

Now the birds that mysteriously shunned my feeder all winter seem to be returning to it, along with the tender new leaves on the honeysuckle vines. I heart spring.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I've Gone Audio!

This is so darn cool!

It erased the post I had, so bite me. Or bite the post. Something. Here's the link. I expect all of you to follow suit if you haven't already.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

इफ यू कैन रीड थिस ...

थें ई हवे नो आईडिया वहत ई व्रोते।
बुत इत शुरे लूकस कूल!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

At Puberty...

...there should be more of those baby-simulating events that some organizations hold. I'm not talking about carrying an egg around all week. Or even that crying doll. That's still way too easy.

I mean something more realistic. Like some evening when the kid is worn out as heck from a long day and hasn't had dinner yet, they should have a 20-lb potato sack strapped to their chest and have to walk and walk and walk and walk around a dim room, for four hours. No bathroom breaks! No snack breaks!

No teenager would ever have (heterosexual) sex.

Ha! Who am I kidding? They still would.

Unless there were booster sessions; maybe weekly ones...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Weigh In on Important Stuff

Wow; I've been online three times in two days! This run of luck can't last, so instead of spending time looking these things up myself, I'll see if anyone else already knows.

1: I've heard that Memorex DVDs are made with the most inferior pigments that deteriorate after a year or so, disintegrating your data/media. Is this true, and if so, what is a good brand to get?

2: My RSS-and-podcast loving partner wishes he could listen to his favorite blogs instead of reading them. Is there a web-based reader-out-louder* that would do something like this? (If not, why hasn't Google jumped on this already?)

*I don't think he means an app on the computer itself. Limelet found that one for me yesterday while engaged in his favorite activity, mashing random keys.

Flaming Hamster

It's good to see Mark is back!

...although I will probably rarely make comments because of the Firefox block. I can't comment without it (from my end, anyway.)

I know, I know! Firefox is better in every way and I should be using it, according to all my smartest friends and relatives. But we're a Microsoft household [Darth Vader breathing sound], especially now that my husband is all certified-up and whatnot.

And when I fire up the Firefox for temporary use, then I have to re-set all kinds of things when I turn Explorer back on.

Nevertheless, it's nice that you're back.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Blogrolling is gone?! But I use it for everything.

Maybe it will come back, like the stupid snow that returned for April. Only with less cursing and freezing.


So, it's back.

I know it seemed like an overreaction, but when you only have 5 or 10 minutes to do all the online stuff you want to for the day (or week), and you can't predict when that will be or how long it will last, everything seems a lot more significant.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Frohe Ostern

frohe ostern - happy easter
Originally uploaded by *Sabine*.
German holiday kitsch is so much cuter, nicht wahr?

I forgot to even look for any images in Norwegian...hmmmm...

Happy Easter

Happy Easter
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
From our little bunny.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fool!

April Fool
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo.
I don't have time for jokes.

Luckily, Google does.


Google Gulp

Google Lunar Jobs (darn!)

Google Pigeons


Google Romance