Monthly Archives: April 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Dad gave me the impression that he was not excited about turning 60. Does this look like the face of someone who’s not excited?

The Rev in a plane

Antron arranged to rent a private plane for Dad’s birthday, and they flew over our farm, Uncle Marlan’s farm, and the town of Grand Mound. I haven’t talked to my family yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s the best gift anyone could have given him. Well, that, or my flying to Iowa so I could mow the lawn.

The farm, from above.

Just as it is surreal to hear that the girls I used to babysit are graduating college, it is also surreal to know my father is 60 years old. In my mind’s eye, the standard image of him is at about age 35. That’s probably when I was old enough for my brain to create a significant impression. Funny, I always think of my mom as being 28. There’s seven years difference between them, so my image impression theory just went from half-baked to … three-quarters baked. I’m fairly certain that was the age where my hero worship for my parents was at its peak. It’s not that I don’t care about them now, it’s just more of a “I want to live next door to you and sit on the porch and count deer and talk about current events” affection than the childhood feeling of absolute protection and absolute say.

I’m glad to see that my dad had such a great birthday treat. I’m already planning on taking him bungee jumping for his 70th birthday. Or some nice, bland oatmeal with no raisins (they might excite him too much). I think it’ll be up to him to decide how he acts – he certainly doesn’t look like a senior citizen, what with his trim figure and farmer tan. And he’s spent enough time teaching junior high students to not be completely out of the current-culture loop. I think the sign of old age will be when he finally starts up

10 Movies

* Go to and look up 10 of your favorite movies.
* Post three official IMDB “Plot Keywords” for these 10 picks.
* Have your friends guess the movie titles.

1. Graveyard / Yuppie / Miniaturization
2. Part Animated / Post Apocalyptic / Based on Comic
3. Angel / Kidnapping / Karaoke
4. No Opening Credits / Coma / Track Suit (there were a LOT for this one – I chose my favorites)
5. Princess Diana / Brittle Bones / Garden Gnome
6. Self-inflicted Injury / Skirt / Lawyer
7. Human Android Relationship / Cold War / Based on a Book (I didn’t know that)
8. Berlin Wall / Gummi Bear / Rock Band
9. Fake Suicide / Banjo / Car Falling Off Cliff
10. Inflation / Inheritance / Chocolate

Some of these are random choices from the list of options, but I tried to choose ones that are descriptive to the main plot.

Thanks, Heavy Metal Librarian.

New book-related social website!


It’s GoodReads, and it’s LibraryThing plus the friend part of Netflix. I just signed up. You can have it look at your Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail address book and see if any of your friends are already signed up. Library Jen is on, and so’s my BFF Jake and my girl-crush Annette. Not really a surprise, since two are hottt librarians, and the third is a writer.

Anyway, I can keep track of the books I’ve read, want to read, am currently reading, see what other’s are reading, and write reviews! It says you can create bookshelves, to classify books into your own division. (Ooooh folksonomy!)

I had started a list of all the books I had read so far this year, using Google Docs, but I like sharing. I’m good at sharing. Let’s share.

Band idea

I was rocking out last night, driving home, listening to Cake. I just love the simplicity and clarity of the music. You can’t hide behind it.

I decided that I’d be happy in a Cake cover band.

And that’s when I thought of the name:


A few words to ponder, by Kurt Vonnegut

My brother sent me this, from a 2006 Stop Smiling interview with Kurt Vonegut:

SS: You and your family long ago gravitated East. What
is your theory about fresh water people versus
salt-water people?

KV: When my ancestors arrived, they were thunderstruck
by all this land. They were right in the middle of it.
Arable land stretched out for hundreds of miles in all
directions. So the land, the continent, was enough to
think about. New York and San Francisco and West Coast
people are oceanic really and feel very close to
Europe or to Asia and the people in the Middle West
are continental. One is not better than the other. It
just happens to be an interesting difference. Where
did you grow up?

SS: Illinois.

KV: All right. You’re a fresh water person.

Antron advised me to start thinking about which I am – saltwater or freshwater. My answer isn’t immediate, not like last week. I think I’m going to hang back and see how I feel in a couple of months. Hindsight is proverbial.

You’ll always be my flamboyant cuddlefish.

At the intersection of aquatic life and the linguistic phenomenon referred to as the glottal stop is my new favorite animal. The cuttlefish. Cuddlefish, as I and all my American intervocalic-R speaking, Midwestern native neighbors would say. Nova had a show featuring the darlings of the
world. I learned that there’s a species of cuttlefish (not a fish) called the flamboyant cuttle fish and I’m in love. In the show, they had been talking about cuttlefish in general – how they change colors like they’re LED-packed, how they’re smarter than most birds, and how they’re smart possibly because they’ve given up their exterior armor – and then they introduce the flamboyant cuttlefish. Now, they talk about this species with B roll of this super-cute, plump, colorful, kinda-octopus, kinda-plush toy-looking thing that waddled around walking (instead of swimming, like their cuttlefish friends) and I almost fell over. Then they showed how big they were … about an inch long. Eeeeeeee!

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Here’s some video.

I think I’m going to try making a plush version.

“Computer, access secret files.”

From my library mentor, I’ve been reading this page of amazing things computers can do in movies.


My favorite is number 11. “All computer panels operate on thousands of volts and have explosive devices underneath their surface. Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash of light, a puff of smoke, a shower of sparks and an explosion that causes you to jump backwards.”

One of the comments points out my favorite, and somehow missed on the list: digital images can be zoomed into endlessly with no apparent impact on resolution. “Enhance. Enhance.”

Spring Break ’93!

My brother and his sig.oth. came to visit over his spring break. He’s student teaching, and really really needed the vacation. We drove out to Provincetown for a night, walked around on desolate hurricane walls and got kind of windburnt.


One thing I knew they’d both like is thrift store shopping. We have a fairly amazing store here called Savers, that is huge like Village Discount Outlet, and it organizes by size, then color. It’s probably the best organized thrift store I’ve been to. I’d give it an 8 out of 10. What would make it a 10 is if it had more high-end clothing. There’s a lot of low-quality, stained, or otherwise unwearable (for me) chaff. You only get that in areas where there’s a lot of high-end buying paired with consistant donating. And then the items tend to cost more. What I’m saying is there’s a continuum, and now let’s get back to the vacation.


We also cooked a few meals. Fresh artichokes were one adventure (ahem – garbage disposal – ahem), and we were able to revel in our love of bacon on Easter morning.

Now they’re gone, back to Iowa. Having them here was above-average fun, and it reinforces my desire to live near my sibs. And parents. And friends. And corn.


So, I’ve been feeling choking-you-from-the-inside-welling-up-faster-than-you-can-blink-it-back friend/homesickness, so I’ll be glad to have some of my peeps around for Easter. (Get it – peeps? Easter? Zombie Jesus?)

Almost every day, at some point, I think to myself, “Why am I not living in Chicago right now?”

“Because I didn’t want to wait to look for a job,” is the answer. But man, will I feel this socially detached in six months? It’s already been three. Why should I have to find new friends, when I already have lots of perfectly good friends just lying around? Am I really homesick? I’m trying to tell myself that I’m not – I’ve never been homesick – but there’s enough vague unhappiness that I can’t identify to not rule it out.

And being frustrated makes me sappier. Stupid non-agression. I guess it’s still better than drinking.

End soppy rant.
while enthusiasticall playing Wii Sports, Jason winged my laptop, sitting open near him. This is what the screen looks like:


On the upside, I still love him. For now.