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The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Saturday, August 14, 2004

push the button, Frank

I've been really annoyed with my new laptop, because I haven't been able to get the wireless network thingy to work. I tried to hook up my new wireless router on Tuesday, and succeeded in, well, in making Dennis' evening much less pleasant because it didn't work and it was clearly his fault even though he wasn't actually interacting with the network in any way. So, I hooked up the old router and have been grudgingly tethered to an ethernet cable.

I am now over at Casa de Jon & Ryan, because I thought I would see if I could get on their wireless network to be sure the problem wasn't the laptop. And it didn't work here, either. Grrrr. I had visions of having to ship the laptop to Shanghai dancing in my head, and was flipping the thing over to see if I could access the card, or spank it or something. Then I handed it over to Jon, who noticed something interesting.

A button right above the keyboard. Marked wireless.

Um, yeah. Everything works now. The button even lights up when it's on and your wireless card is awake.

Where do I go to turn in my Big Geek ID card?
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Friday, August 13, 2004

beep. beep. advance to next frame.

Ryan and I made a filmstrip lamp last night:

We're having A/V Fest tomorrow to make more of them with friends, so we thought we should figure out the process first.

We got the idea off craftster, but the instructions were sort of vague and we had to figure it out on our own. Basically, you start with a GRÍNÍ lamp from Ikea, then make a little slipcover for it by sewing together filmstrips. I got the filmstrips off ebay; they're going really cheap since they're not exactly the bleeding edge of classroom instruction. The lamp here uses strips from a series about ecology and city life from the 70s. Anyway, you sew the strips together by hand, because sewing them by machine does not work. Trust me on this. We tried it. The hand-sewing goes quickly, though, and is a mindless activity and therefore suited to socializing. You can put two strips together (a paperclip helps minimize the rolling problem) and whip them together through the holes on the edges. We used perl cotton. Assuming you haven't sewn them too tightly (ahem) you can then flatten them out so the strips are side-by-side. We're planning to put fray-check over the knots at the top and bottom so we can cut the ends off tightly without losing the knots. It takes twelve strips to make a cover, three for each side. We found that if you leave a little extra filmstrip above the sewn part, it will curl over and the edges will look nice. We found that out by not really doing it on purpose, which is why this is a prototype.

I have filmstrips on various topics, including handtool safety, building codes, childcare, a weird cartoon one about being pregnant, marriage, and architechture. Also a biblical one which is going to be my new desk lamp.

After the craft fest, we will go to the San Mateo Country Fair to see Hookslide and boggle at the vast variety of things that can be deep-fried.
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Thursday, August 12, 2004

this can't be good

Remember when I said that we had a leak in the kitchen, and that it was allegedly fixed? Check out what popped up:

The hole in the wall is where I need to re-mount the fire extinguisher, and I guess it was the perfect spot for an opportunistic mushroom. I'm really creeped out by what must be back there. This is not a conversation with Crazy Landlord that I'm looking forward to.

Hint: do not google things like 'wall fungus' if you want to sleep tonight.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

going liver?

I love that the Google ads on the left are helping to pay my hosting costs, but what really delights me is seeing what it latches onto for ads. Google scans the content of the page and serves up the ads based on whatever it thinks the site is about.

Apparently my blog is all about livers now, thanks to the Liver Mug post. All of today's ads are liver-related.
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everybody's saying that hell's the hippest way to go

I am pretty much wrung out from my trip. Dennis wanted to call in sick for both of us today and maybe I should have let him. Things are still tense at St. Ned's, but having gotten some distance, I care slightly less. Or maybe I'm just on overload still and not much else can get through. I didn't really do a lot of processing while I was in Tennessee, so there's all this deferred grief waiting to pounce at any moment.

Saying goodbye to my grandmother was hard. And rather funny, since she was having hallucinations and was convinced that there was a cat in the room. My dad shoo'd it out for her, but it came back in. Apparently it was a funny-looking little cat, and she was amused by it. Anyway, the imaginary kitty kept the moment from getting all heavy and serious so maybe it was a gift, a nicer memory than I would have had otherwise.

I got another one of those 'Jesus would like you better if you didn't have such a bad attitude' emails today. Sigh. While I know intellectually that not everyone gets me, there are days when I just don't fucking need to hear about it. See? There's that bad attitude again.

Best thing today: reading Mimi Smartypants' take on magazines.

I didn't have to sit next to anyone on the flight home. I'm kind of sad I flew through Detroit instead of Memphis this time, because apparently there's a big Elvis celebration this week and it might have made for some interesting people-watching on my layover. I like the shuttle at the Detroit airport that takes you to the farthest gates, though.

I'm a little surprised that I was able to bring my size 17 bamboo knitting needles on the plane with me. Seriously, had there been a vampire-related emergency, I could have handled it because those needles are giant spikes. But I knit a quick fluffy blue scarf on the first leg of my trip and that made me happy. It looks like Cookie Monster met with a horrible accident.

I think the plan for this week should be, Don't Make Any Decisions. I have that shredded-apart feeling inside which causes me to want to set things in order, but my judgment sucks when I feel this way. I do stupid things in this state. My anxiety about starting skool is taking on fierce proportions, and it would be pretty easy to decide not to do it at all. So, my life is a no-decision zone. I can pick my own food and my own outfits (some would argue I shouldn't be permitted that) and that's it.
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