mellificent: (umbrellas - paper)
Good lord, I thought by the time I got up this afternoon maybe the Michael Jackson frenzy would've died down a little bit. I guess that was wishful thinking. However, there are some people writing some good words that pay tribute to the good stuff about the man without losing sight of the bad. [ profile] cleolinda 's is good, and [ profile] ursulahitler 's is better. (And that video Ursula posted is unbelievable. You can totally see the adult Michael there in the little kid.)

Rob said they have been talking some about Farrah Fawcett, too, although she mostly got eclipsed by the Michael juggernaut. (I'm sure most of you reading this are aware that his death broke Livejournal. Or rather, the whole world trying to log onto [info]  did, or so I hear.) I'm older than a good many people on LJ and a lot of people remember him differently than I do - that is, they were kids when Thriller came out. I was in my early 20s and living in Austin. We liked to mock Thriller and its zillions of album sales, that's mostly what I remember. I know MJ has a lot of cultural significance as far as having been the first black artist to have that kind of success, but to me he was this guy who was always around from the time I was 10 or 11 (and who happened to be about my age), and who made some good music, but wasn't really somebody who affected me that much. Farrah Fawcett - or Fawcett-Majors, as she was when she first turned up in my teen years - was not terribly significant to me personally, either, but I came to reluctantly admire her as she hung in there after her big fame had waned.

I'm mostly just rambling because I can't get onto LOTRO and I'm unhappy about that. Columbine was off today and we were planning to start playing early, but it's down. It's been buggy since the big update earlier this week and I imagine they're trying to fix that. (They were supposed to be fixing it this morning and be back by now, but obviously things did not go as planned.)


Jun. 26th, 2009 12:39 am
mellificent: (Dr Who - delete)
I joked to Rob that I am like those annoying commercials for that Microsoft Bing! or whatever it's called - where people start spewing all that random information on a certain keyword. Only mine's not really random, and of course I hope to god I'm not that annoying about it! But I'm full of all this newly-acquired information these days, and I'm dying to share. Where I am Bing-like is that if you say, oh, Parkinson's disease, you elicit an immediate brain-dump - I really did do that one the other day, but it was only Art, and he's increasingly deaf these days and won't wear his hearing aid, so I don't know that he even heard it. -- Which reminds me, Col asked for a brain-dump about nerves and I haven't gotten around to doing that one yet, so if I'm really as gung-ho as I say, I ought to get on the stick, shouldn't I?

The next chapters in Anatomy were two subjects that were at the end of the other book - the senses and the endocrine system - and so I am sort of sick of them and I decided to skip them for now. I will come back to them later. The next chapters were the one on blood (thus the "buffy coat" term the other night) and the one on fluid regulation, which didn't have its own chapter in Med Terminology. Something new, yay! (And blood is a very complicated subject so I certainly needed a refresher there.)

(I am tempted to talk about Michael Jackson or LOTRO but I think I will go study instead. The former subject, in particular, does not need any more input. I had to turn MSNBC off because they have abandoned politics for the evening in favor of 24-hr King of Pop, and it was making me nuts.)
mellificent: (Default)
I just saw this little blurb, which I am pasting in in its entirety because I know some of us had been interested in this case:

New Trial in Teacher Porn Case

A judge granted a new trial to a former Norwich, Conn., substitute teacher who was convicted in January of letting students view pornography on a classroom computer. Julie Amero faced a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. She denied clicking on pornographic Web sites that appeared on her computer screen while teaching seventh-grade students in October 2004. The case prompted a national debate over spyware and other adware programs. Prosecutors didn't oppose the motion for a new trial.
mellificent: (HP - Phoenix)
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Apparently Merck has been spreading its money around really wisely, because our ultraconservative governor just signed an order requiring girls to have the HPV vaccine before they can start 6th grade. Wonder how much of a shitstorm this is going to stir up.

There has been no further bad Mom news today, at least so far. Oh, I don't guess I told you guys yesterday's bad news, which was that she wasn't eating. The hospice nurse says unless she starts again, that means we have about 10 days. I probably should have gone up there this afternoon, because I have been having to restrain myself from calling to find out how she's doing. (Which would probably be fairly useless, because Art wouldn't be home and never keeps his cell phone on.) I am going tomorrow, anyway.

So (deep breath) we are now dipping our toes into the wonderful world of funeral planning. We have gotten as far as deciding on the basics: cremation, memorial service at her church, etc. She has a plot next to my grandparents, if we decide to bury her ashes, but it seems like something of a waste to me. We are going to see what options the cemetery will give us. (Apparently my grandfather gave very generously to the cemetery association, so hopefully they'll be appropriately grateful to his family.) I was thinking that planting a rosebush or something by my grandparents' grave and putting her ashes under it would be rather nice. Also, the hospice nurse gave us a phone number for a guy who negotiates with the funeral home for you, and I haven't called him yet, but I think I'm going to on Monday, because I sure don't want to be dealing with those people by myself. I told my boss that I was going to try to work half-time next week, depending on how things develop. I don't think I can just sit at Mom's bedside all day, anyway.

I think I (unwittingly) was very mean to my sister earlier - I had called and left a message, because I wanted to make sure she wasn't going to pitch a fit about the cremation thing, and when she called back I said what was on my mind about the funeral planning, and I forgot that she didn't know anything about the 10-day business or that we had started talking about funeral arrangements at all. She took it fairly well, but I think she's kind of quietly going crazy up there by herself. (And she was fine with the cremation. She said the same thing I always say, which is that embalming is gross. It's funny, now that she's been away from her superconservative ex-husband for a while, she's changed her tune about all kinds of things. I was afraid she would have some sort of objection of religious grounds or something.)
mellificent: (Buffy quote: death star)
When I said in chat the other night that President Ford was dead, somebody said, "That's two" - presumably meaning James Brown was the first one. What I want to know is, does Saddam count as #3? Or do the deaths have to be by a more natural means than execution? I don't understand the rules of that business, I guess.

(I may have more to say about President Ford later. I started writing a massive brain dump about presidents, but that's the kind of thing that I may or may not ever finish. We'll see.)

In other current-events-related things, I am inclined to want to rant about Donald Trump, mostly because, in my interpretation of what he's said, his objections to Rosie O'Donnell are primarily that she's fat and she has a hot girlfriend. (I do not buy for a minute that Rosie O'Donnell is ugly. She's not. Donald Trump is, though, which may be why he's so damn sensitive on the topic.)

Also, I loathe people who call other people "losers" - ugh. I didn't like the man to begin with but I've just gotten a lot more vehement about it.

So, I've been meaning to write an entry all week that was about what I've actually been doing this week, and I keep getting off on other topics.

So here goes. )

Read this: the slackers of bedford falls. Somebody else doesn't like that movie! yay!

Holidailies gold


mellificent: (Christmas - snowflakes)
From Jon Stewart, of course:

If we're not winning OR losing in Iraq, are we at least covering the spread?

(see [profile] teh_daily_show for more)
mellificent: (Christmas: snowflakes)
It's gotten warm - 70-ish in the daytime - which I don't like in the winter, because it usually means fog. I hate fog. I understand that this happens because when it's warm this time of year, the air is warmer than the water - and since we're completely surrounded by the damn water here, guess what happens. Today it was foggy in the morning, burned off for a while, then rolled back in after lunch. Ugh. I'm ready for a cold front. Not that we're supposed to have another one any time soon.

My boss went downstairs to get coffee this morning and came back saying they were having a press conference in the lobby. I think I mentioned the big donation UTMB got in the BP settlement when it was first announced, but apparently it became official today. The local paper did a good article yesterday about the work the burn unit does (warning: more info than you may want to know about burn treatments there), and that's where the money is going.

(Also, here is the 60 Minutes segment about the BP explosion. Which is pretty mind-blowing, and Incidentally, was also apparently Ed Bradley's last piece.)

Galveston basically has that amazing burn unit because there are industrial areas all around us, so there's lots of burn patients to learn on. Even out in the water, there are oil platforms, and patients get brought in pretty regularly from those by helicopter, I understand. On the land side, there's Texas City, and if you read the Galveston Daily News article, you saw that the burn unit was founded after the other Texas City explosion, a much bigger one over 50 years ago.

After we watched the 60 Minutes piece, I said, You know, I coulda told you the BP plant probably needed updating. It's right on Highway 146 so you drive right by it if you go to Texas City or anywhere further up Galveston Bay. That plant is old, it's very obvious. But we're all so used to seeing it we don't pay any attention, normally. And it refines, I seem to recall, a significant portion of all the oil sold in this country. Kinda scary, once you do think about it.

(I intended this entry to be about Galveston, and it got a little sidetracked. I'll talk about that another day.)

Holidailies gold
mellificent: (Christmas tree)
I love this cartoon.

I am interested in the fact that the Houston Chronicle's Galveston beat reporter was reassigned, but I'm bothering to put it here because of this bit at the bottom about why Moran is being reassigned: “It’s more about expanding what we do online. We wanted a veteran reporter to anchor our early morning online shift.” First of all, I didn't realize that online coverage had gotten to the point where veteran reporters were assigned exclusively to online coverage at all, and second, I'm interested in what "expanding what we do online" might mean, exactly. (Also, notice that that piece is not from the Chronicle itself at all, but from the Galveston paper. It's only front-page news in Galveston, you see.)

(And hmm, the Astros may be getting a pitcher. That's interesting, too.)
mellificent: (deus ex machina)
E-mail from CNN this morning:
-- President Bush's policy in Iraq "is not working," the Iraq Study Group said in releasing its long-awaited report.

Well, duh. This is breaking news?

I really don't understand how CNN decides what's "Breaking News" and what's not, as far as what deserves to go out on the e-mail list and what doesn't. Britney's divorce rated an e-mail - ok, I buy that one, marginally. I'm not very interested in the saga of Britney & Kevin, but I know that a lot of people are, and it was something that had been the subject of much speculation in the days before it happened. But Whitney Houston's divorce did too, and that woman is not exactly hot stuff these days. I think if Whitney's divorce really constitutes breaking news in the collective mind of CNN, then they ought to just rename themselves "The Star" and get it over with.

On the other hand, I had gotten very interested in the saga of the Kim family in the last couple of days, and I don't think I'm the only one. But no, apparently it is not Breaking News. (At least, I haven't gotten any e-mails. CNN's website is currently calling it a "Developing Story".)

I know that it's a judgment call and I'm sure there's some person in an office somewhere in Atlanta who sits around and agonizes about these things. But I don't really think they're doing a very good job.

Holidailies gold
mellificent: (Halloween - corpse bride)
Hmm, they're replacing the Trinity River Bridge. I've had nightmares about that bridge. (You can't tell from that picture how steep the thing is. It's truly scary.)

I wrote an entry over the weekend on how to add a feed - I was originally wanting to do this for purposes of tracking my congressman's votes, but I also ended up adding a feed for [profile] celluloid_eyes, among other things. Anyway, I originally had the entry marked as private because it wasn't finished, and when I did make it accessible it seems to have sort of gotten lost in the shuffle. So if you're interested, it's here. (If anybody found it without following the link, I'll be shocked. *I* couldn't even find it without looking on my Recent Entries page.)

I had a flu shot this morning. Ow. But it makes me feel terribly virtuous, somehow.

I got about 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm increasingly cranky today. Went to bed at 12, woke up 4-ish, never did really go back to sleep. I finally gave up about 5:45 or so and got up. God, I hate that. (I did get Rob's savings account all nicely up-to-date & balanced in MSMoney, for the first time in a year or so!)

Now I'm thinking about bridges. I actually think my bridge nightmares usually conflate a number of really tall bridges, especially all of that bunch on I-10 between Houston and New Orleans - the ones over the Trinity and the Sabine and the ones in Lake Charles and Baton Rouge, in particular. Also the one on Loop 360 in Austin, which isn't even tall, but something about that bridge is sort of creepy to me.


Oct. 6th, 2006 08:41 am
mellificent: (buffy quote - apocalypse)
We watched Lost Wednesday night, even though Rob now says he's tired of it too. (House was on at the same time, but it turned out to be a repeat.) It was... interesting, I have to admit. I think it will get very dull if they go on in this vein for long, though. We also watched The Nine, which came on after that. I liked it, but I'm not sure if I liked it enough that I will stick with it. (I am too much ADD-girl to be very good about sticking with anything that doesn't have "Buffy" in the title.) It seems like it is going to be Lost-like in that it is going to depend very heavily on flashbacks, am I correct about that? Might be interesting or might not. I am undecided.

Oh, also, virtually every single person in the cast of The Nine looked familiar, but, I couldn't put a name to any of them. Even Dr. Phlox - I have no idea what his real name is, which is rather sad since I watched Voyager very regularly.

Last night we watched Survivor, which I am pretty profoundly uninterested in so far, and CSI, which I think has officially jumped the shark with the talking corpses last night. (Actually I think they probably jumped the shark a year and a half ago with the Nick-buried-alive-oh-no!! season-ender. But talking corpses are still awfully shark-jumpy, don't you think?)  We decided the corpses - who only talked to each other, when nobody was looking, not to anybody else -  were really just an excuse to string together a bunch of little stories that weren't enough to carry an episode by themselves.

After that I watched CNN. Anderson Cooper from Africa. Cheery stuff.

"It makes sense, because I have been pretending to be a superhero for a while now." (Scroll down to #5 for that one.)
mellificent: (breathe)
Somebody on my friendslist wrote a "where I was" entry, and it reminded me that I've sort of been meaning to talk about this all day. I've talked about it before, but I think that entry is gone.

The thing is, I practically missed 9/11. (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.)

I had called in sick, because I woke up with my usual sinus crap, headache & dizziness & all that stuff, and I slept late and then I read the rest of the morning. Nobody knew I was home (well, except my co-workers) because I didn't realize how bad I was feeling until after Rob had already left, so nobody called me to tell me, they just assumed I was at work & I would already know. I don't remember what I was reading, but I must've been really engrossed in it, because it was 2:00 before I got up. (It's possible that some napping went on somewhere in there, too.) When I did get up, I turned on the computer, not the TV - but I had AOL in those days (yeah, yeah, I know) and the picture of the burning towers was on the welcome screen. Some welcome. So then I turned on the TV, and I saw.

I remember that my first reaction was disbelief. And it's funny, I watched the CNN replay of the original coverage today, and it seemed like that was everybody else's first reaction, too. Not really surprising, but I missed all that at the time, see. Even after the 2nd plane flew into the towers, the commentators were still discussing whether it could possibly have been a mistake - some kind of terrible error  with navigational equipment. Yeah, right. Even though it was a perfectly clear day. And it was also very clear that when the first tower collapsed, nobody was wanting to believe what they were seeing. Even after the dust cleared enough that you could clearly see that there was no tower there, nobody would say it. Finally they started saying that part of the tower might have collapsed, that was as far as they went in the coverage I saw. And I mean, I'm not saying that that was an unnatural reaction to a huge event like this one - I'm just saying that I really didn't even know until today that that was the reaction at all. Even after all the years and all the press coverage, there are still big gaps in my knowledge about that day.

They also kept talking today about how beautiful the weather was that day, and I don't remember them saying that at the time. - They probably didn't, actually. It's the kind of thing you think about afterwards. It was beautiful here too. The only reason I went outside at all was because I had a 4:00 psych appointment. (This was during my Psycho Depressed Woman period.) I remember that the sky was very blue and that the dragonflies were swarming - something they do this time of year, but I've never seen as many as I saw that day. Now whenever I see a lot of dragonflies I always think about that day.

I've always thought that having missed all the early coverage of that day made it just the slightest bit easier to get through. Or maybe it was just partly the depressed state I was already in - my emotions were pretty much encased in cotton-wool already, at the time. I mean, I was still somewhat traumatized, definitely, but not to the degree that a lot of other people seemed to be. And at least by the time I found out what was happening, the worst of the uncertainty was over. I do think that was a help.

You know, though, there was another thing going on there. Maybe I'm just a more skeptical person by nature, because I always believed that there would be a terrorist attack in the US eventually. Do you remember people saying things like, "Oh, that'll never happen here"? I do. And I never believed them. I certainly didn't imagine the horror and the magnitude of that attack, but it didn't surprise me a bit that there was one. (I mean, hell, there had already been one. 1993, wasn't it?)

(This is sort of rambly but I'm sleepy and I don't have the patience to edit it any more. I hope this makes some sense.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - delete)
Today is the 40th birthday of Star Trek, apparently. I knew it was coming up - it was hard to miss, really, with all the Star Trek special things floating around - but I hadn't taken in what day was the official day. The scary thing is that I may have actually watched the premiere. At least, it was likely to have been on at my house, although I was six at the time and probably wasn't paying too much attention. By the time it went off the air, I was nine and a confirmed fan.

My new style is acting wacky on me - or maybe everybody's friendslists are, except that you'd think if it was that somebody else would've complained by now. Anyway, sometime yesterday, scrollboxes started appearing on each individual entry that was more than a few lines long. If it's supposed to be an "improvement" I don't like it. I looks very cluttered. I guess I could try changing my style again and see if that fixes it. Or I could be lazy and see if it fixes itself - that's more my usual style. Heh.

I am not at the annual quilt retreat this weekend, for the first time in eight years or so. In a way I wish I was there and then again, not so much. It's a big hassle, for one thing - you have to take so much stuff! - and I really wasn't wanting to expend the vacation days or the cash, either one, and then there's the whole Mom Problem. We just couldn't figure out how to make the logistics work out too well for her to go - so it's all for the best, I guess, that I didn't really want to go too bad anyway! My aunt Linda did go, and she was sort of pissed that we weren't going, really, but I know her and I know she will be fine. (She talks to everybody, quite frankly, whether she knows them or not. So while I'm sure she will miss us, it's not like she won't have anybody to talk to.)

Huh. Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting next year's Oscars. I like her, so that's fine with me. I didn't really expect Jon Stewart to be back, somehow. (Also, do they usually announce that this early?)

From J-list's newsletter: Did you know that when two Japanese people say the same thing at the same time, they don't say "Jinx" - they say "Happy ice cream!"?? I have to admit that I did not know that. (J-list's newsletter sort of annoys me, because it's always excessively long - but I stay on the list just to read the little tidbits about Japanese culture that are always at the beginning. I rarely ever get down as far as the part that talks about what they're actually selling.)

Hmm, that's enough odds & ends for the moment.
mellificent: (Buffy quote: you slay we'll party)
My former doctor was indicted for murder. (That link is to the New York Times, and it's actually much kinder to her than anything else I've seen.)
mellificent: (Buffy quote: molded plastic)
From the new issue of Science (you may or may not be able to follow that link, I'm not sure):

Ancient Accessorizing

Art or other forms of symbolic expression are found in many early human sites that date to about 50,000 years ago, but earlier evidence of such modern cultural behavior has been sparse. Vanhaeren et al. (p. 1785; see the news story by Balter) now describe a few gastropod shells apparently modified for jewelry that were collected previously from two inland sites in western Asia and North Africa. Both sites date to older than 100,000 years ago, about 25,000 years earlier than similar but more abundant drilled shells found in South Africa. Examination shows that these shells were drilled by humans, presumably for threading and wear.
mellificent: (baseb quote: rain)
There are still a couple of TV trucks parked out on the Seawall. I guess they're doing follow-up stories.

Galveston has been all over the news, of course. Anderson Cooper was broadcasting right in front of our apartments the other day (while we were gone, more's the pity) and I saw somebody I know on Larry King yesterday. Very odd.

There is a tropical depression in the Carribbean. The very thought makes me feel panicky. Isn't hurricane season over with yet?
mellificent: (yuck! (cat))
Because I promised I'd post the full text.

Read more... )
mellificent: (Potter SS sitdown)
That disbelieving screech you just heard was me screaming at the TV when the attorney for Terri Schiavo's parents compared the fight to reinsert her feeding tube to the fight against racism. These people are un-fucking-believable.
mellificent: (umbrellas)
I explained my theory of weather forecasting by TV trucks last week (see September 15), so I will tell you that there was one out there today, only I really haven't figured out why. There was something weird going on today, though; I got an e-mail with a Coastal Flood Warning. Apparently, for reasons I don't quite understand, the tides are a couple of feet higher than normal. But would they really send a truck down from Houston for high tides?

The whole problem with my theory, of course, is that there are reasons other than the weather for TV trucks to be on the Seawall. Like, well, shark bites. The day after that girl got bitten this summer, there was a traffic jam apparently caused entirely by TV trucks. (Incidentally, somebody told me that that girl is recording an album. I guess she's taking advantage of her 15 minutes.)


mellificent: (Default)

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