ice cream making and ranting

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I realize it’s the little things that are hardest to grasp when you move to another country. But, I didn’t realize how little.

I learned how to staple the way I learned most everything, in America. What I learned, and subsequently do was to staple parallel to the top of the page, only a little ways in—between ¼ and ½ inch in. While I know it would be better to staple diagonally, I learned that way, and I can’t really change.

My boss, however, seems to like stapling at about the 2” down 1” across point. This is uncool, rather annoying, and makes flipping the pages back rather difficult. I've been dealing with it for 19 months now, it's not *really* that bad. Maybe that’s what they teach in France?

But today takes the cake. I received some papers back that were stapled exactly in the middle at about ¾” down. Who does that? Is it just really poor coordination? Is that what they teach in China? It was ridiculous. I made giant creases when I had to flip the pages back. Staples are there for your convenience, not to make your life miserable!

I never realized how much something this little could annoy me. Does anyone else have staple stories?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guitar Villain

They call it the Bratz Rock Angelz Guitar, (not to be confused with regular Bratz Rock Angelz) but I'm pretty sure it's of the devil.

It's like Guitar Hero, but much worse. (Or at least that's what I can gather from the TV commercial) On the upside, it's only $30 and it plugs directly into your TV. No game system required.

Honestly, shouldn't God strike down upon anyone who spells angel with a Z?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Not-Internet, Not-Famousness

I've told some of you about my picture in the paper. Now you can see it's really as underwhelming as I've described.

I'm in purple, Beth is in white, with the great green H&M bag on her chair.

Anyone who wants to get fussy about copyright should really have asked me before taking my picture and putting it in an advertisement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Not Shaggy Enough

I'd like to draw your attention to the Shaggy Dog Story Archive

While, most of the stories are short and punny, not long an rambling the way a Shaggy Dog Story should be, it'll still pass the time pleasantly.

Happy Thanksgiving

Ever wanted to know the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?

Here it is, recommended by the kind librarians at lii. I recommend their weekly feed.


I believe 100% that technology has made, and will continue to make life better. Yet, other than my computer, I don’t own any technology gadgets. For some reason I’m just not an early adopter, or even a medium adopter at this point.

As for video games, they completely baffle me. This weekend I pretty much filled my video game quota for the year with Nintendogs, Karaoke Revolution (with dancing) and Guitar Hero. All of these, with novel interfaces. And there’s not much more to love than novelty and good interfaces.

I’ve played Karaoke revolution before, and I’ve played DDR before. The karaoke concept really struck me as novel. DDR stopped being novel, long ago, and now just taunts me as I often say “I’ve got rhythm, just not coordination.” But combine the two, and wham-o, back to novelty. Sing and dance, neither of which I can do, fantastic! I managed not to fail at my first attempt at Hilary Duff’s “Fly.” It’s harder than it looks though. Those performers deserve their millions.

And, the next day there was Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero, as you can imagine, but might not think about at first glance, features songs that feature guitar. Said songs are unfortunately not often ones I like, sometimes not even ones I know. I made a respectable showing for myself on the easy version of the easy Ramones “I wanna be sedated.” It was actually kind of boring once I figured out what my hands were supposed to do. I should have tried a medium song, but then I started washing dishes, or something.

The tea party wasn’t really the core audience for guitar hero, I think. Many of them were the young sort who only listen to current popular music, and not the ZZ Top, Ozzie, Black Sabbath people. I would like to see a different, more 90’s alternative version or something. I don’t think metal should have all the fun. Also, the tea party suffered from self consciousness. If you’re not willing to make a fool of yourself and try plastic guitars in front of your friends, who can you make a fool of yourself in front of? Still, it was a fun party game for most. Now when I see something like that I no longer have to wonder if it’s something super fun that I’m missing out on. No, it’s just regular.

Guitar Hero is a fun party game. But, I can’t imagine playing by myself to beat all the levels or whatever the goal is. Unlike even a plastic taiko drum where you’re actually beating out real rhythms , all you’re doing with Guitar Hero is pressing buttons. It seems like if you have that much dedication you could get a real guitar, and a video, and spend the time learning a real song. “Strumming” the guitar to navigate through menus is pretty fun though.

I can't wait for singing, dancing, guitar playing and drums all together. It'll be like a 1 man show.

As you all know, Lydia wants me to get the pink Nintendo so we can play things together. I was at the store, staring at it when I realized that I have no room in my life for video games. I wasn’t raised with a game system, and I just don’t know when I’d fit one in. It’s fine if you’re taking Bart everywhere. A DS is much lighter than a book, and there’s nothing but wait time. But, I don’t have that time. Still, I’m struck by novelty of the touch screen and microphone, and whatever other features I don’t even know about.


My trip up north was supposed to rejuvenate me, instead it just made me realize how much better vacation is than regular life, and I should do it more often.

Of interest to people of my latitude, is the H&M opening that luckily happened to coincide with my visit. SF was clogged with people, and lots of them were carrying H&M bags. Since I saw that they survived the visit, it gave me more confidence that I too could survive the crazys. I was there on opening day, which, technically, made me a crazy too. And, it was pretty much everything I hoped it would be. Everything was new, shiny and clean. The clothes were much better than I expected. And the prices were fantastic. If they weren’t so retarded about opening more stores in Calif, they’d give all those crap stores a run for their money—better stuff for the same prices. Since I pretty much got the full winter collection experience, I can’t vouch for how whore-y the spring/summer collection is. But, I hope to find out in the next few months.

The soundtrack playing in the store was pretty great. It kept the energy up, and may have been the only thing keeping me from melting in the 30-45 minute dressing room line. It was mash-ups of songs I like with mostly other songs I liked. Those silly Europeans and their mash-ups!

I bought 2 velvet skirts, 1 fancy, 1 not, and a handful of random accessories. I got this thing made out of fake pearls, expensive with its $30 price tag, but you’d never find it anywhere else. It’s indescribable, possibly I’ll take a picture. Even though it’s pearls, it’ll be perfect for belly dancing. And If after a few months, I don’t like it, I’ll spray paint it silver. Also, we got free H&M printed folding umbrellas.
And for those of you keeping track: I spent forever looking online for a picture of the shirt I saw at Paul Frank. It’s just not there. It says Paris, London, Rome (or something) with pics of the typical landmarks. No Torrance though.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I’ve been keeping this secret for too long. If this is posted it means, Lydia has opened her birthday presents, and we’ve all had a good stiff drink.

I got Shaken and Stirred : Through the Martini Glass and Other Drinking Adventures from the library. It’s a collection of columns from the NY times. At first it was a bit too pretentious for me, but I got into to quickly. And the gem of the book can be read here (although it’s missing 2 of the cocktail recipes)

You see, there’s this drink. It’s called the Martin Luther because it “nails you to the door.” Although, I'm not entirely sure how Martin Luther would feel about this indulgence.

There’s not much I love more than mixing geekery with drinking, and this is no pansy drink either. It’s a variation of a gin martini, but with whiskey instead of vermouth.

Martin Luther

1oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey
5oz Gin, chilled
Lemon twist

Swirl the whiskey in a martini glass to "wash" the sides. Add the gin. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Library geekery & Arrested Development

Read Here

Mostly this isn’t for Kenny, but to show same subject/ different contexts. Yea for framing. Because the people on my class discussion boards are tired of me trying to frame things interestingly, and would rather recap boringly, y’all can read this.

The concept of the long tail was popularized in the library community by last month’s Internet Librarian Conference: (from an earlier schwagbag post )

Idea of the long tail: we are not in a hit-driven era anymore. Between 40-50% of monthly sales are for long tails products with examples such as Amazon and Netflix. People are discovering these things through recommendation systems, and other social networking means (, blogs, etc).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I was finally ready to give in. Everyone seems to be sick. And I'm flying this week. I was just about to pick up a pack of airborne. But, I do my research. Mostly I was just trying to see if they sell a product you can swallow and not drink.

And then I find this instead:

Airborne contains sucralose. Honestly people! What is wrong with the world?! Splenda is going to take over the world. And you're all just sitting back, content.

I am going to buy vitamins now. Not airborne. They will taste less disgusting, and cost less, not contain anything from "eastern medicine," and make me much happier.

Holiday Pack 2005

It's that time of year again. And Jones Soda has put out its holiday pack. They had it at Target. I almost picked up a pack. But since I didn't have to work for it, it didn't seem like much of a pay off. Also, it's made with spenda, which, contrary to popular belief, does not taste like sugar

It should only be a matter of days before KOST 103.5 switches to all Christmas all the time.

New clothing line lets you get all dolled up like Barbie

Oh my goodness. Someone is going to get a memo. Why wasn't I invited to the party?

Anyone want to go to Fred Segal next weekend?

A live, breathing blonde Barbie shivered atop a chaise lounge on the lawn next to a human Ken doll who painted a charcoal barbecue grill signature pink on a chilly night.

After a couple of hours on display, Barbie was a Popsicle in her pink spaghetti-strap, knee-high sheath, although she sipped pink "Barbie-tinis" from a martini glass the whole time.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Et tu Icee?

Why does everyone and everything hate me? I may be a bit cold, but I’m not THAT bad.

I went to Target today during lunch, driving my dad’s car because mine decided to stop working again, and they didn’t have what I went for. This is expected from Target, not a huge blow.

The icee flavor of the moment is raspberry lemonade. “Yum.” I think, as I’m about to stand in line. What a lovely color it is, not unlike the color of this blog. And then I get my old self up closer, I should really look into getting an eye exam, but my insurance doesn’t cover it. Light—with splenda! Splenda in my ICEE! Is nothing sacred!! There have been wars fought over less!

At least this time they warned me in advance. Only my hopes got crushed. Not my tastebuds.
How could so much pink be so much evil?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sony to Suspend Making Antipiracy CDs

Those of you who have been in the country for the last week should already know about the whole Sony/DRM/spyware/virus debacle.

So, breaking news has it that they've agreed, at least temporarily, to lay off.

Important, but not the type of thing I'd usually blog about. Until you read further down the article.

A senior Homeland Security official cautioned entertainment companies against discouraging piracy in ways that also make computers vulnerable. Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy at DHS, did not cite Sony by name in his remarks Thursday but described industry efforts to install hidden files on consumers' computers.

Homeland Security? Seriously? They're in charge of the record industry now? No wonder we keep having retarded alerts. They're too busy listening to music to do their job? Cat Stevens wasn't enough of a terrorist for them, I guess. What, did they run out of libraries to terrorize? Next thing you know the'll be jumping on the telegrams to the dead bandwagon.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Project Entropia

Have I been living under a rock? Have you all heard about this?

Man Spends $100,000 On Virtual Space Station In Online Game

There’s this online game called Project Entropia. It seems that the software is free, and the connect time is free, and the playing is free. But you pay for the objects in real money. There are ways to earn currency through the game, but if you don’t want to bother, you can just plunk down cold hard cash. This is the ultimate internet company! What a business model! I am intrigued.

Project Entropia uses an economy model that is directly linked to the real world. If you want to buy something in the virtual world, you can transfer money into the virtual universe economy. At this point your money is exchanged for PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and is ready for you to use. Should you make money in the virtual world, you can also withdraw it to your real world account and thus actually make money in a virtual world.

In theory, you could make actual money off this game. And that’s what Mr. $100,000 is banking on. Is this as bizarre as I think it is, or am I just ill informed of the online gaming community?

Mikey likes it

Who knew?

The deadly combination is not pop rocks and soda, it's mentos and soda.

Monteblue & Populet

Some days I’m sure the internet is too big, too much junk, too many spam blogs and way too many KiDs TyPINg liKE ThIs, or using letters when they should be using entire words. But, still there isn’t enough good information.

For Halloween, Beth bought some Monteblue & Populet blueberry, walnut, candied popcorn from Trader Joes. I’m told there’s also a Razzencranz & Guildenpop or Rosencrunch & Guildenstern (or something). It’s very odd. And parts of it have way too much candy coating, making it hard to chew. I made the mistake of saying I liked how it tasted like walnut, even though there wasn’t a walnut in my mouth. So, she foisted the thing on me.

This weekend I was searching for any mention of it on the internet. To keep prices low, trader joes keeps a small website. And all of the search engines I used came back with nothing. I’m very disappointed in the internet. It should be better than this. I was going to blog earlier about how I was the only one to type Monteblue & Populet on the entire internet. Because, if it's not crawled by Google, it might as well not exist. But I got busy, and Google got off their asses. Now, I’m the second person to mention it. And this girl is the first. She likes food, nyanko and Target. What’s not to like.

But about that popcorn. It SEEMS like a good idea. At first it even tastes like a good idea. The can doesn’t even look very big. But the product doesn’t seem to disappear. It will eat away at your life, mocking you with its giant, impossible to chew chunks. Give it to your favorite, or least favorite English teacher if they have good teeth.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Can you take a picture with us? These amusing llamas are waiting to welcome you in Peru.

My co worker went to Peru and I got this fantastic poscard.

Ken wants Barbie back

Yeah. So, Mattel is still insisting that they're real people. And shallow to boot. Ken is getting a makeover in hopes the Barbie will take him back. And she hints that it just might work.

You can read the whole thing here.

It's very important issues like these that remind us how important it is to stay up with current events.

Oh, yeah. Remember to vote.

I just flipped off president George

Am I going to Disneyland?

I can’t decide. I do want to meet Shag, and get something signed. And the stuff is really cool. But the $50 price tag is an awful lot just to get into the park. Plus the $200-300 I’ll probably end up spending on the merchandise.

Unless someone actually wants to come with me, I think I’ll stay home.

I hate it when I resign myself to being practical.

Also, 7-11 is my new enemy. Pumpkin latte is no more. They’ve replaced it with Giradelli hot chocolate. So now they have Hershey hot chocolate and Giradelli hot chocolate. It seems to me, if you’re shopping at 7-11 you don’t need that much choice in your hot chocolate. Besides I’m drinking it now, and they taste the same. Both are made with water instead of milk, what’s point? So everybody take a moment of silence for pumpkin latte. I will be much grumpier now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

And you would keep my fingernails clean

I don't go to Del Taco often. And even if I do, I don't really get the hot sauce. But, I found out this weekend their Hot variety is called Del Scorcho.

Also, their steak and egg breakfast burrito is disappointing.

that is all.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Forget Norway

Remember the cuteness of Kenya from the same guys that brought us Badger.

Well, now they have dolls, and I want them. They come to about $20 per friend, inc. shipping from the UK.

You won't find a cuter lion or tiger this side of Kenya. (besides Kon, of course).

Pumpkin Croquettes

Oh my goodness, so much work today. And it’s all in Spanish. You all know how I feel about foreign languages! I don’t I’m giving this post my all, but apparently there’s popular demand for finding out about pumpkin croquettes.

Yes I had them. They were good. It was pretty interesting. It tasted like pumpkin tempura. I guess different ways of frying pumpkin doesn’t change it much. It was a bit denser than I would have liked. By the time I got it home it was a little cold, so I can’t tell if that caused part of it, or if pumpkin is just naturally dense. It definitely seemed like a good hearty fall food, very filling.

Also, next to the hot section was the cold section. And along with the usual sushi, bento boxes and potato salad were the yakisoba sandwiches. Yes, right there in front of my own eyes was a noodle sandwich. It was rather Japanese sized, what I really would have liked was a giant American sized noodle sandwich. Although, it’s quite possibly unfathomable, and might have made my head explode. I’m thinking about getting a sandwich on my way home (but really, do I actually want to eat a noodle sandwich). And maybe another croquette. Maybe pumpkin, maybe vegetable. So many choices in one little market. Just don’t try the chicken, it’s gross.
I also bought 2 different brands of microwavable potstickers from the frozen section. I haven’t tried them yet. Has anyone tried these before? I can imagine they’re a bit lacking since they’re missing the whole sticking-to-the-pot part, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mass bird-feeder ruffles some feathers in Lawndale

So much goodness in one little article.

Apparently, since the area is so prosperous, middle class and uneventful, birds are news. They are also friends. First there was the crazy guy in Redondo a few weeks ago, and now Lawndale. This is why I love the area: ample parking, freeway accessibility and lack of strife.

So, this lady feeds birds. No big deal, until we find this nugget buried in the article

Herrera started feeding birds years ago, after she was laid off from her longtime job... "It was entertaining," she said. "It cheered me up."

CRAZY! She's a shut in and doesn't leave the house.

And later on we find out that she contacted PETA for help, and they refused. She’s even too crazy for the crazies!

The other thing to worry about is Lawndale’s knee-jerk reaction to invoke bird-flu. Luckily, the Breeze is legit, and got a dept of health guy to offer a dissenting opinion.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sun Milk

I saw something very disturbing in the Sunday coupon section this week. Actually it may be the cutest disturbing product they have.

It’s called Sun Milk and it’s milk with the fat removed and replaced by sunflower oil.

Contrary to popular belief, or maybe just what I wish was true, skim milk does not come from skinny cows and whole milk does not come from fat cows. Chocolate milk, also does not come from brown cows, or cows who eat chocolate. Milk straight from the cow bears very little resemblance to the 2% stuff that, I think, grows in plastic bottles in dairy cases. Really, there’s a whole process that involves separating the fat and introducing it back into milk in increments. And the dairy people have been doing it for years. Still, like orange juice, what they separate they put back in, and maybe add a few vitamins for good measure. What is not okay is substituting the fats. There’s a reason people prefer cheese to cheese food and butter to margarine: the dairy fat not the vegetable oils. My goodness, you ask, what can this girl who will eat anything fried possibly have against vegetable oil? Nothing I say. But as vodka doesn’t belong poured over cereal, and pasta does not belong in ice cream, vegetable oil does not belong in milk.

Milk is a staple of the American diet. It is part of a balanced breakfast, it does a body good, and it’s “got” by many—regular people and celebs alike. Milk is good, almost natural, and one of the things that is good and right in the world.

How many people do you suspect are overweight or unhealthy (besides the lactose intolerant) purely because of the amount of delicious moo juice they pour down their throats? My guess is zero.

Shall we look at the nutritional info?

1 cup 1% creepy sunflower milk

120 Cal
2g Fat (20 Cal. from fat)

1 cup 1% regular milk

118 Cal
3g Fat (25 Cal from fat)

Or you can get slightly different info on pg 7 of the Sun Milk White paper

Thinking about creepy dairy products, I decided to look into lactaid, since I really had no idea what it is.

And apparently other people have the same questions I do. FAQ

If LACTAID® Milk is real milk, what have you done to it to make it drinkable for me?
LACTAID® Milk is the same as other brands of milk, but we have added lactase enzyme to break down the difficult-to-digest lactose (complex milk sugar) into easily-digested simple sugars. Just pour and enjoy, without the suffering!

And unlike the lack of info from Sun Milk, Lactaid says you can bake with it.

1% Lactaid
110 Cal
2.5g fat

Despite a few creepy add ins, all of the milks are basically the same calories and fat. So, the consumer is left with the choice of drinking normal people milk, or crazy people milk. I think it is particularly obscene to have such cute illustrations for such a revolting vegetable oil product.

Now for a select timeline of milk:

1624 Cows reach Plymouth Colony.
1878 Continuous centrifugal cream separator invented by Dr. Gustav De Laval.
1914 Tank trucks first used for transporting milk.
1932 Ways of increasing Vitamin D in milk made practicable.
First plastic coated paper milk cartons introduced commercially.
1964 Plastic milk container introduced commercially.
1980 American Dairy Association launches the national introduction of the
“REAL” (R) Seal dairy symbol.
1988 Lower fat dairy products gain widespread acceptance. Lowfat and skim milk
sales combined exceed whole milk sales for first time.

You can read the whole thing at

Wis. School: No American Girl Fashion Show

I hate to say bad things about Catholics on a holy day. But I have no choice

Here's a story about how the American Girls Boycott is affecting the youth of today.

Two things to think about:

1. Seriously, there's an AG fashion show where the girls dress as the dolls. I knew there were a few outfits, but a whole fashion show. No one tells me anything!

2. Money raised through ticket and raffle sales at the planned fashion show was to go toward a new playground and a refurbished library at St. Luke School.

Yes, so the the children are being denied books and learning so they can grow up and have the same small minded views as their administrators.

Another reason to hate private schools.