Archive for the ‘the Kat’ll all have brucellosis’ Category

It started on Twitter, with my claim that Twitter is often, for me, borked. Because my mama TRIED to raise me right, I TRY to watch my language. But I love the feel of the occasional Anglosaxony. So I try to temper my use of Language as often as possible with terms I borrow from the hiphop community, the nerd community and Lewis Carroll.

But now I’m confusing people. So Some Person On Twitter* has asked for a Likert Scale.

SPOT* has proposed a four-point, forced-choice Likert Scale of

  1. “messed-up” to
  2. “borked” to
  3. “fubar” to
  4. “f*cked up”

I submit in response that “borked” and “f*cked up” are of equal weight, along with “french-fried”** and so submit my 5-point “good girl” scale.

  1. “messed-up”
  2. “fouled-up”
  3. “screwed-up”
  4. “borked”/”f*cked”/”frakked”***/”french-fried”
  5. “fubar”

*Names borked to protect the guilty

**My husband and I once drove through a Burger King on Murfreesboro Rd. for a late-night snack. The drive-through guy handed us our french-fries, but they were spilling out all over the container and onto the ground. The young man was obviously concerned about doing the best job possible, because he told us “I’m gonna git you another fry. These fries is F*CKED UP!” He then told us like nine more times that the fries were “f*cked up” and he was going to replace them because “it ain’t right”. I was amused that his professional concern for the state of the potatoes didn’t translate to NOT dropping the f-bomb.

The BK subsequently burned down. Husband thinks it may have had something to do with an errant french fry-er.

***How can a BSG geek NOT include “frak”?!?

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I honestly don’t know how to write this review, because I’m of two minds. Let me tell you what I mean:

I had no idea what to expect from BarCamp. My first exposure to it was via a small graphic slug on Rex Hammock’s site, followed shortly thereafter by a similar graphic at Jackson Miller’s. So of course I assumed it was a developer/geekfest type thing to which I would be able to make little or no useful contribution.

Then Christian Grantham began chatting it up at NiT, and asserted repeatedly that it was “for everybody.” You only had to present in order to come. I had a few ideas for presentations, but nothing concrete. Then further conversations with organisers repeatedly advanced the idea that this was for everyone. You didn’t even have to present. In fact, it was billed as an “unconference.”

Because of the whole MCB thing, I decided that I should not only go, but also speak as well. So I wanted to know what to expect. And I watched a LOT of YouTube BarCamp videos. I saw a lot of talk about “no agendas” “blank sheets of paper on the wall” and “getting together to brainstorm.”


Except….that’s NOT what BarCamp Nashville was. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t trust us to be geeky enough for Freeform or if by the time something like BarCamp reaches the Bible Belt we have to force it into the standard PowerPoint-A-Rama that we’ve all come to know from church, sales meetings and overly dull e-commerce pitches.

Our BarCamp had not only one but two agendas. There was the main speaker forum at the Exit/In, and the sideshow speaker forum at Cafe Coco. But this was no UnConference. If the original BarCamps were Woodstock, then BarCamp Nashville was The Us Festival, complete with the Us V Them mentality so prevalent in the Nashville culture.

There were the nametag folks and the lanyard folks. There were the unwashed (and steam-pressed) masses in the Exit/In and the VIPs who had access to the air-conditioned VIP Bus–fully stocked with free beer. Don’t get me wrong; if you work for a company that ponied up massive dough to feed the throngs of nerds from all Nashville, then I suppose you have every right to expect air conditioning on a 100degree day. It just seems to me that if you are promoting something billed nationwide as a freeform idea exchange on a level playing field, then it’s a good idea to…have a freeform idea exchange on a level playing field.

To that extent I kinda feel like BarCamp Nashville wasn’t a true BarCamp when compared against the 2 minute YouTube segments I watched before hand. (Yes, that’s the extent of my knowledge about BarCamp. So I could be talking out my ass here. Maybe they’re all like this one.)

Did I have fun? For most of it. There were a couple of presentations which either went over my head or failed to stay on message enough to hold my interest. But that’s anywhere you see a Powerpoint. For the most part it was fun, informative and a good way to finally see some people (Hi, Gavin! Hi, Paul! Hi, Christy!) in real life I’ve heretofore only known through blog conversations.

I liked what I experienced–but I don’t think I experienced a BarCamp.

Regardless of whether or not this was hippie enough for my tastes, I have to say a HUGE thank-you to all of the people who sunk hours upon hours of time and effort into getting this event off the ground.  I know the amount of work which goes into these things and I truly do appreciate the fact that you all took the time to put it together.

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When you get out of bed at 1:30, scrounge for the Tylenol and the Aleve and flip on OnDemand OF COURSE you’re gonna watch The Big Lebowski. There is no better painkiller, I assure you. (Okay, so there ARE better painkillers. Alas, they are not legal. And I’m the wimpiest LLUA in the world, avoiding illegal substances like the plague.)

I’ve heard of drunk-blogging, sleep-blogging and rage-blogging. Perhaps this is the first instance of Lebowski-blogging. Or perhaps not. Either way, these are the random thoughts that occurred to me as I watched this movie for what may be the 800th time.

  • I hate toilet scenes. Why does this movie have to skeeve me from the getgo with a toilet scene?
  • Walter Sobchek often reminds me of Sarcastro. On other occasions he reminds me of Exador.
  • Oh, frak it. Sobchek reminds me of every libertarian man I know except maybe DB Carden and Roger Abramson.
  • Hee…can you see Roger Abramson pointing a gun at some guy during bowling? Can you see Roger Abramson bowling?!
  • I think I’d like White Russians better if they had chocolate in them. But then it wouldn’t be a White Russian. Would it be a mudslide? I dunno. I think mudslides have to have Bailey’s in them.
  • Every time someone drinks a White Russian I think either of this movie or of John Lennon and Harry Nillson. And I’m reminded of just how weird I think that friendship was between Lennon and Nillson. It’s like John Wayne being best buddies with Don Knotts.
  • I admit I have to rewind three times to rewatch Philip Seymour Hoffman’s priceless giggle when Bunny offers the Dude her services. Sometimes I think that’s the best part of the movie. Until I get to the Jesus Quintana scene. Which I have to rewind 4 times. “Until it goes *click*”
  • Hee. I forgot the guy in ‘Logjammin’ was a cable installer. I wonder if all cable installers have such interesting jobs.
  • I about fell off the couch when Sobchek and the Dude get to Larry’s house and ask if his father still writes. Pilar’s “Oh, no. He has health problems” just after the shot of the man in the iron lung…come on. That’s funny.
  • I cannot believe that’s Kenny Rogers singing that song. Man, I miss the Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant. I used to get this one thing there with chicken and some kinda oozy sauce and little chopped up veggies on a pita. That was the grub. Man, I miss that restaurant. Chicken Pita. That’s what it was. Dudes, I could soooo go for a Chicken Pita right about now. Do you think their slogan “It’s the Wood that makes it good” was meant to be kinda double-entendre-y or did it just work out that way? Cause, you know, erections and chicken grilling just seem like an uncomfortable combination to me. Not that I’d have any kind of firsthand knowledge or anything.
  • Can you imagine the Dude as a roadie for Metallica? Ha!
  • I think I’ll go look up Jeff Bridges on the internet to see what else he’s been in.
  • Since I’m on the internet, I guess I’ll go ahead and write my Friday morning blog entry. What should I write about? May as well write up the whole Lebowski thing. I got nothin’ else, other than the fear of losing my house if Countrywide goes under. And some dude at the L.A. Times said that wasn’t likely, so I’ll just abide.

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Everyone made a big deal a few weeks back about The Cat Who Smells Death, but I think there has to be some truth to it. I am bound and determined to believe that there must be some sort of biochemical trigger which can be sensed by certain animals–and people, too, for that matter. I used to scoff at folks who would talk about auras as though the were real, but now I wonder.

Here’s the deal. I’ve got pretty bad arthritis, but not everything necessarily hurts at the same time. Some days it’s my hands, some days it’ll be one or both knees, or ankles or…you get the picture.

My one dog–the scary smart one–always knows which joints hurt at what time, and soothingly licks the afflicted ankle, hand or foot. I’ve been watching him to see if I give off some kind of body language signal, such as rubbing the sore spot or favouring the bad knee. Nope. Nothing out of the ordinary from me, but he will–without fail–administer his canine version of “treatment”.

That makes me think that perhaps when a person has any type of sore, not just an open wound, their body emits a chemical signature that animals can read. And it further makes me wonder if some people have the ability to read it, too. Without the keen senses of smell that dogs have, perhaps those people translate the biochemical signatures as visual auras.

Or maybe I need to dial back my meds.

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 If you go to Noshville today and sit in the booths just stage left of the bar area, second one back, if you look down you’ll see a white bag from JJ’s Market.

In that bag are two magazines: a National Geographic on the History of the Maya and a Vanity Fair with that wierdly named kid on the front.   I left them there in my haste to depart.

I’m not driving back downtown for them, although I really would like to know the History of the Maya and am kind of curious as to whether the Weirdly Named Kid can be The Next Tom Hanks.

Speaking of that kid, I had a tirade about him half-formed in my mind earlier.  I may as well put it in this post, as opposed to starting a whole new entry.   There was a story in this week’s Entertainment Weekly about poor drunk little Lindsay Lohan.  In a sidebar, they compared her to Weirdly Named Kid by listing a series of career stats side-by-side.  You know the drill:  “He made his first movie at 3; she made her first movie at 4”  That kind of thing.   I think the general point of it was that we were supposed to see how sad it was that she’s now a drunken mess headed for freefall and he’s this rising young Hope For the Future.

What their cute sidebar failed to point out is that WNK is a boy.  Grown adults don’t overtly sexualise boys until they’re oh, 18 or 19 usually.  There aren’t many covers of magazines adorned with peach-fuzzy young lads in Speedos.

Not so for girls.  Young girls are sexualised all the time in the media.  Of course, sometimes they play into it by offering up convenient glimpses of Big Rock Candy Mountain as they get in and out of cars.   But the fact of the matter is, they know that’s what people are buying so they happily put it on offer.  Our media doesn’t really encourage self-respect in young female stars.  So why are we surprised when they resort to drugs and alcohol for coping?

Nowhere in that little sidebar did EW mention that Hollywood had pretty much decided to wring Lohan’s sexuality out of her by this point, but are just now gearing up to put WNK into play.

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I don’t pay much attention to Market anymore, now that I’m no longer in the full-time Gifts, Decor and Stationery business. It’s kind of a relief, because Market was what I hated most about my job. Well, that and the colour copier in the graphics department. For some reason–oh, yeah, I still freelance for the GDS business–I still receive emails from Gifts & Dec which keep me up to speed on Market.

Some of the new products just released have me wondering.
Let’s take a look at today’s Market Square Horrors, shall we?

Hotsy Totsy Town blankets come in two sizes and a variety of colors, including turquoise/orange, hot pink, lilac/light pink and sage/yellow. 17”x17” security blanket is $18, 32”x36” throw is $64.
(310) 984-9905

Oh my gosh. If my mother gave me one of these I would freak. It looks like an acid trip. Besides, wouldn’t you wonder what animal had that particular neon shade of fur? Oh well. On the upside, now Mommy and Baby can have matching Hideous Bankies.


New pink Empire Pepper Mill gift set comes with two tubes of Gourmet Peppercorns. Five dollars from each set will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 8½”.
(800) 473-0504

Really? Are you serious about wanting me to put this in my kitchen? We all know how I feel about Breast Cancer Charity Marketing anyway, but this is truly the nadir. You say “peppermill”, I say “sorry, but this looks like a marital aide, packaged with attachments.”


Christmas Tree In-A-Box comes with paper cutouts that come together to form a festive, hassle-free Christmas tree. Also included is Christmasmania!, a book of carols, recipes and step-by-step instructions for making origami tree ornaments. Ages 6 and up. $14.95.
(212) 532-7160

You just know this particular thing was inspired by this bit from Justin Timberlake, right? Regardless of whether or not anyone at Sterling Publishing admits that, I’m still laughing at the very thought of paper cutouts forming a hassle-free Christmas tree. Please! Have they never once played with paper dolls?

iPoint pencil sharpener features titanium bonded blades that stay sharper longer than a typical blade, as well as a fun design that can brighten the drabbest of workspaces. Available in a variety of models for home, office and school. $24.95–$64.95.
WESTCOTT, Fairfield, CT.
(800) 835-2263

New Rule, America: If your product has not one thing to do with computers, MP3 players or ocular medicine, you are FORBIDDEN from using the cutesy-but-tired “i[blank]” designation. Or iSmackdown.

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We overslept a bit here.   By “we” I mean “me”.  By “a bit” I mean “two and a half hours”.

This is what happens when you wake up at 3:45 in the morning after a dream where a frog in your backyard turns into an alligator which threatens to eat your dogs.   So you get up, check that both dogs have NOT been gatorsnacked, and go up to the bonus room couch.   There you catch an episode of Rachael Ray, who reminds you of some of your former coworkers.  You like her sometimes, and you value the work she brings you but all things being equal you realise she’s annoying as hell.  “30 Minute Meals” ought to be called “30 Minute Meals with 5 minutes of instructions repeated 6 times each, punctuated by pervy little giggles.”   Nevertheless, she normally makes a good meal that inspires you to go a step beyond Stouffer’s.

Then, as you lie there on the couch, wrapped in a blue sheet with an obscene thread count which you got for your wedding but can no longer use because when you registered for gifts you had a double bed then you realised that you couldn’t sleep together in anything smaller than a King, it occurs to you.   This “30 Minute Meal” she’s making today involves sticking a bunch of veggies in a flower pot and putting out cubes of cheese, slices of ham and some anchovies spooged from a blender.   She then repeats (of course) the tale of her trip to The South Of Fray-ance which inspired her to “cook” this meal.   You, tired and grumpy, call bullhorkies on the whole thing.  This isn’t cooking.  This is a series of chopping things.  Which doesn’t count.

So, grumpily you start to watch The Natural on OnDemand, only to realise you’ve seen it a million times and have it memorised.  You realise you’ll never make it the fourteen years (this is a long movie) to the money scene where Roy Hobbs busts out all the lights and rounds the bases in a shower of fire.   Then you wonder if Bill Hobbs can play baseball, realise you are getting punchy and go back to bed.   Where your husband graciously allows you to sleep a little bit longer.

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I was cleaning out the spam filter over at MCB, when I came across one that read:

Hi! Want real sex tonite? [click here for some link to whatever we’re selling]!

I dunno. It just cracked me up. I can picture scores of people who are tired of all that fake sex and have decided that TONITE it will be DIFFERENT. It will be REAL!!

It also cracked me up because it reminded me of those “Tonight, serve Stove Top Stuffing instead of Potatoes” commercials from my childhood.

“Mom! Can I have dinner at Joey’s tonight? They’re having REAL sex!”

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When women older than I give birth to their first child.

I’d say something about “light” and “tunnels”, but that would be tacky.

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You know how you can go for a long spell with your head wrapped up in other things and you forget simple pleasures?  And then, all of a sudden a once-loved thing gets up in your face and you’re reminded of just what you loved about that thing and about yourself and about life?


I just heard Van Morrison’s “Days Like This”…and I have to say that I stand by my original belief that Van Morrison is everything that is right about music.

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