Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Happy Place! My Happy Place!

It isn’t even remotely funny how much of a geek it turns out I am, and how very (very!) much I love that fact. Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, etc. – if you build it, I will most likely come (shut up, loser).

It started with Star Trek, and has expanded to include a cast of thousands, including such gems as the Abyss, AI, all things Alien(s), Alien Nation, American Gothic, Andromeda, Angel, Battlestar Galactica (old and new), Beauty and the Beast, Blade(s), Brisco County Junior, Buffy, Charmed, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Crusade, Dark City, Dead Like Me, Dead Zone, (Star Trek) Deep Space 9, Dinotopia, Dogma, Dollhouse, the Dresden Files, Dr. Who, Earth 2, ET, Eureka, Evolution, Farscape, Firefly (and Serenity), the Fifth Element, FreakyLinks, Friday the 13th, Fringe, F/X, Galaxy Quest, all things Harry Potter, Harsh Realm, Hellboy(s), Hercules, Highlander, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Independence Day, Invasion, Invisible Man, Jake 2.0, Jeepers Creepers, Jericho, John Doe, Jurassic Park, Kingdom Hospital, Lady in the Water, the Lady in White, Lost, Lord of the Rings 1-3, Men in Black, Mystery Men, Nightstalker, Nowhere Man, Odyssey 5, Planet of the Apes, Poltergeist: the Legacy, Primeval, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Roar, Sanctuary, Seaquest DSV, the Sentinal, Seven Days, Shaun of the Dead, Signs, the Sixth Sense, Sliders, Solarbabies, Soul Survivors, Space: Above & Beyond, Space 1999, Spiderman(s), Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Supernatural, Surface, Tek War(s), Threshold, Thunderbirds, Tru Calling, the Village, (Star Trek) Voyager, Voyagers, V, VR5, Wolf Lake, Warehouse 13, Wonderfalls, Xena, X-Files, all things X-Men … well, you get the picture.

And I was so aggravated when Atlantis was canceled, because I flippin’ love that show, and all the people in it; it was my current favorite. The actors were terrific, as were the continuing storylines (e.g., the interpersonal relationships). David Hewlitt is simply the cat's meow.

Then I started to hear about Universe, and how it was going to be “darker” and blah, blah, blah … all I could think was they’re going after the (new) Battlestar Galactica folk, and that is so far from Stargate.

But you know, I’ve been watching (have I mentioned how much I loooove me some Stargate?). And guess what? It hasn’t sucked. Not that Battlestar Galactica sucked (have you seen it? Rock on!) … its just that the two universes (no pun intended) of Galactica and Stargate are, well … universes … apart.

So far, Stargate Universe has deftly managed to keep the humor and cohesiveness inherent to the various SG series, while at the same time expanding the situational storyline to a truly new experience.

Which they’ve managed to reign in from the vastness of “outer space” … yes, its sci-fi; yes, it takes place out ‘there’; yes, it could just as well be a ship in the middle of an ocean right here dirtside, with no power, no reserves, and no way to get outside help in a timely manner.

While I almost always enjoy Robert Carlyle (who plays prickly Dr. Rush), my favorite character by far is Justin Louis’ Col. Young … who is just about perfect (I laugh out loud at his recurring "Lot of work" statement in regards to dealing with Rush). David Blue (young brainiac Eli Wallace) and Jamil Smith (incredibly interesting Greer) are also terrific. And who’d a thunkit that Christopher McDonald could bring such awareness to basically a throw-away setup role? Too bad Armstrong had to die to further the plotline.

Okay, I could go on for awhile, but the most telling reason I know I love this new universe is the fact that I can’t wait for Friday nights, so I can see the next episode; and we’re only coming up on the 5th week!

Dig me; I’ve entered my happy place.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole.
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

-William Blake

BadiTude Made Better with a Musical Interlude

Hunh. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately: not very interested in much of anything, fatigued by the end of the workday, bored with reading, annoyed by television, irritated by people, vexed with the “news” (yeah, I did it: I threw the horns around the news), tearing up for the slightest reason (happy or sad), perpetually catching a cold, irked by mouth-breathers in my general vicinity … you know the drill.

But here’s the thing: I kind of dig my funk. I own that baby; my funk is mine. I know exactly what caused it, what has been contributing to its wearing-out-its-welcome stay, and what pulls me out of it for those ever lengthening spans of time which, I expect, will eventually just dump that funk right out of the bed and onto the floor of my psyche, where all my happy little psyche-Brownies will sweep it under the bed until the next time I have to pull it out for a spin.

“But Lisa” you ask, “what pulls you out of a funk?” Glad you asked.

Music. Specifically: loud, rowdy, raucous, bodacious music that I can blast at top volume, and generally do. Either barreling along in the Durango with the windows sealed up tight and the radio howling at MAX VOL, or in my office with the door shut and my iPod/radio doohickey on the desk between my phone and monitor (that I have to remember to turn off when I answer a call).

Here are just a few examples of the tunage I’ve been screaming along to lately (I say “screaming” because, although I wish with all my heart that I could carry a tune, I can’t … I couldn't do music justice if I had Aretha Franklin’s pipes). On a good day I kind of sound like a cross between Brian Adams with a head cold and a raging West Side Story style cat fight (sigh ... a fan I will always be).
  • Alice in Chains “Would
  • Beastie Boys “Egg Man” and “Johnny Ryall
  • Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears “Get Yo’ Shit
  • Buckcherry “Next 2 You
  • Carly Smithson “Superstar
  • Cavo “Champagne
  • Chevelle “I Get It” and “The Red
  • Filter “Hey Man, Nice Shot
  • Foo Fighters “DOA
  • Franz Ferdinand “No You Girls
  • Fratelli’s “For the Girl
  • Fuel “Bittersweet” and “Falls on Me
  • Gavin DeGraw “Cheated on Me
  • Godsmack “Whiskey Hangover
  • Harvey Danger “Flagpole Sitta
  • Hawk Nelson “Hello
  • Jason Mraz “The Remedy
  • Jesse James Dupree & Dixie Inc “Rev it Up and Go-Go
  • Jet “Cold Hard Bitch” and “Are You Gonna Be My Girl
  • Joe Cocker “Put Out the Light
  • Linkin Park “Bleed it Out” and “In the End
  • Montgomery Gentry “One in Every Crowd
  • New Radicals “You Get What You Give
  • Pink “So What
  • Prince “Let’s Go Crazy
  • Radiohead “Creep
  • Rev Theory “Hell Yeah
  • Rob Zombie “Dragula
  • Saliva “Click Click Boom
  • Seether “Fake It”, “Rise Above”, and “Remedy
  • Seven Mary Three “Cumbersome
  • Shaggy & Rik Rok “Bonafide Girl
  • Shinedown “Fly From the Inside”, “I Dare You”, and “Sound of Madness
  • Simple Plan “I’d Do Anything
  • Slippereal “The Thing
  • Soundgarden “Outshined
  • Spacehog “In the Meantime
  • Stone Temple Pilots “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart
  • The Strokes “Last Night
  • Switchfoot “I Dare You to Move
  • Theory of a Deadman “Bad Girlfriend” and “So Happy
  • Thompson Twins “We Are Detective
  • Three Days Grace “Home” and “I Hate Everything About You
  • The Time “Jungle Love
  • Tom Waits “Heartattack & Vine
  • Tool “The Pot
  • Trapt “Still Frame
  • Vertical Horizon “Everything You Want
  • The Von Bondies “C’mon C’mon
  • Weezer “Island in the Sun
  • Wheatus “Teenage Dirtbag

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

holidays on ice

steel sky, still sky
smooth as a stone
small as the world, and
large as alone.
vast as the sea, and
cold as a lie
it's always myself that
i see in the sky.

-clare teeling

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What's the Frequency, Kevin?

Hey There Kevin,

Although I'd truly like to read the comments you've been leaving on various blog entries, they come across as a bunch of squares and commas (see photo above), and I'm simply not computer-savvy enough to figure out how to convert them to a font I can read.

So, I just wanted you to know that I'm not ignoring you ... I'm just unable to actively communicate with you.

Although I totally appreciate that you've invested enough to feel the urge to comment at all ... that is way cool.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Was That a Piece of My Lung?

Or, the week in review:

Dude, we are so totally supposed to be going to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs Sunday ... which we've already had to put off three times ... but the lung I just hacked up from out of the blue may well put the kibosh on any field trippage this weekend (and of course this is the last weekend).

It's been the week from just-to-the-left-of-aitch-eee-double-toothpick, what with five (FIVE!) simultaneous audits at work, and people dropping like flies due to the precursor to H1N1 (none of us want anyone there who may be a disease-spreader, thankyouverymuch). My boss is way cool in that he doesn't want to get sick either, so doesn't have that mentality where you need to come to work even though it's obvious you're contageous and need to get OUT OF MY GENERAL VICINITY.

Remember that peanut butter salmonella poisoning earlier this year? Yeah, well one of our auditors was an auditor at that plant, and has come under pretty heavy and steady fire for not nipping that issue in the bud. So, needless to say they've become much more strict in their requirements, which has had us on our collective toes.

Then, since our guys have been asking for a coffee machine in the main breakroom, we got together with the vending company and ran a water line out and they brought in a hot beverage vending machine ... but in the process removed some microwaves that they then had to bring back later in the day (you haven't seen ticked off workers until there aren't enough microwave ovens at lunch).

Anyway, in their haste to correct the situation, the vending company guys broke one of the big windows in the breakrooom (their hand dolly just tipped right back into and through it).

The poor guy was so down about it, it was painful to watch (when I discovered he'll have to pay for the replacement out-of-pocket I completely understood his dismay ... but isn't that sort of thing what insurance is for?). Anyway, he ran right out and got plywood and double-secured it, and I have a couple glass companies coming out to bid on the replacement.

I called and e-mailed seven different local businesses, and none could get out today. I think its great they're that busy, but sucks when I need a window replaced. Anyway, none of the five I got from the yellow pages could do a darn thing, but one of them referred me to two local glass businesses that I hadn't found on my own, and they ended up being the two that are sending people out.

Which just goes to show you that word of mouth is best. Period.

Yesterday was my day to get new steel-toed boots. I got Doc Martens. They're freaking awesome. I love them. They've already given me blisters on my heels. Still love them. Just kind of wish I got them a month or so ago, so they'd have been broken in already, you know?

Also, apparently I walk like I'm wearing heels, all the time, even when I'm not. Which means I swing my ass. My ample ass. And some of the guys have noticed. And mentioned it to some of tha gals. Who told me. In an office full of people. Yesterday.

So now I'm all paranoid walking around the plant.

Never in my life has anyone ever mentioned how I walk, for crying out loud!

Still. Just a little bit of kind of nice to hear.

We have a new guy at the plant, who introduced us to a new restaurant (can't recall the name just now) ... it has the best sandwich I've ever tasted: sweet and sour. So good. Ostensibly just a turkey sandwich, but on this really sweet bread that actually has sugar granules on it (they called it egg bread, or egg roll bread?), and turkey (of course) with spicy pickles, mustard, and the rest of the works.

We've already gone three times, and it's been two weeks. That sandwich? Hella good.

Nothing much else going on, other than I am utterly exhausted and have huge dark circles under my eyes and will sleep the sleep of the utterly exhausted with huge dark circles under her eyes.

Maybe I'll make more sense tomorrow (after I sleep the sleep of ... eh, you know).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mark. Hey, Mark. Mark. Psst, Mark!

Mark. Mark. Mark. Mark. Mark. Mark.





'Sup? Remember this? Winter stinks, huh? Heard you got snow today. Mer.

Coming Out the Other Side

It's been a month since we lost Joey, and this household is still crazy discumbobulated. We're muscling our way into new routines but, man, and can I just say? It sucks.

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday (Not!)

Topsy Turvy World

If the butterfly courted the bee,
And the owl the porcupine;
If churches were built in the sea,
And three times one was nine;
If the pony rode his master,
If the buttercups ate the cows,
If the cats had the dire disaster
To be worried, sir, by the mouse;
If mamma, sir, sold the baby
To a gypsy for half a crown;
If a gentleman, sir, was a lady –
The world would be upside-down!
If any or all of these wonders
Should ever come about,
I should not consider them blunders,
For I should be Inside-out!

-William Brighty Rands

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yeah, But I Can't HEAR Anything

So I had my annual eye exam this afternoon, where Pretty Darn Cool Optometrist did all the usual, including the eye dilation thingy-ma-bob.

And more than four hours later my eyes still look like this, only brown. And everything that gives off even a speck of light has a lovely corona.

It's kind of fun ... I'm discovering all kinds of things, like how incredibly boh-ring it is when I can't watch telly, or read a book/mag, or really play on the computer (if you knew how long this post was taking you'd have a laugh; at least I think I'm catching all the boo-boos).

Anyway, I need new glasses, which should go a long way toward alleviating these jangling headaches, mer.

Funny thing (not really); turns out I've been wearing the glasses from the scrip before last ... now that I think on it, I do seem to recall the dogs eating a pair (or two).

Sometimes I am a class 1 stunod.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom

Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend-
Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall-
I'm a fool to rise at all!

-Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Wake-Up Call

Full size spare ... yay!

Broke the rim seal ... boo! hiss!

Thinks for which I thank God today:

  • I didn’t kill anyone.
  • I didn’t hurt anyone.
  • I didn’t kill myself.
  • I didn’t hurt myself.
  • I didn’t total my truck.
  • My cell battery wasn’t quite dead.
  • I have a full size spare.
  • I have AAA.
  • My AAA guy didn’t get killed changing my tire.
  • That Bastard RA responds quickly and well to NSAIDs

Things I learned today:

  • It only takes one lapse in attention to really screw the pooch.
  • Even a non-impact auto mash-up hurts when that Bastard RA is around.
  • AAA Field Service Technician Rob S. rocks with the big giant awesomeness.

So I’m be-bopping along to work this morning … not paying the closest of attention on this dreary drizzling dawn. Had my 4WD on for the slickish road conditions. Had just been disconnected from a cell call, only to be cut off by some jagoff who simply had to change lanes in front of me, forcing me to slam on my brakes. Soon as idiot was out of my lane I sped up to get out of the way of the guy bearing down on me from behind, and just kept steaming along into the cloverleaf to go from the northbound freeway I was on to the westbound freeway I needed to be on.

And completely lost control of the truck. Probably happened fairly quickly, but that madrush of adrenaline sure made it seem like it took awhile. First I’m scrambling to steer out of a right skid, then the resultant left skid, back to the right, left again, then finally lost it on the final right skid when my rear end succeeded in swinging out in front of my front end.

It was quite the slalom, bumping up against and over the curb (and who the heck puts a curb on a cloverleaf?!?) hard enough to break the seal on my driver’s side rear tire. So now I’m in the grass of the cloverleaf, looking back at oncoming traffic. Engine never stopped, so I dropped into reverse and swung around in a big ole circle ‘til I was facing the right way then, in a break in traffic, I upped back onto the tarmac. And flub-flubbed a couple yards.

Dang; flat tire. And here’s how discombobulated I was; I called AAA for a tow and she asked if I wouldn’t rather just have the driver change the tire? Well, duh! Yes, yes that’s a grand idea! Sometimes I am a marone. Then she prioritized me because of the danger to traffic a disabled vehicle is in that location.

So, my AAA guy arrives within 20 minutes … fantastic! He can see I’m still weirded out a little, so he proceeded to calmly and clearly talk me through everything he was doing. I got his card so I could give him a commendation (I'm still self-irritated that I had no cash on me, as he certainly deserved a tip); I hope AAA gives their employees something special when they get customer commendations.

Rob S. pulls the spare (one of those under-the-carraige jobs), jacks up the truck (yes, Bill-I am well aware it’s actually an suv, but I call it a truck, ‘k?), pulls the old, places the spare, checks the air level, tops it off, drops the truck, and voila! Good to go. Then, he makes sure I can get back into the flow of traffic without further mishap. A-plus, people! A-plus! (Or should I say AAA-Plus?) With any luck the rim won’t be damaged enough to have to be replaced (it’s just that little strip that’s gone … I think), and the tire will be sound. Fingers crossed!

But I’ll tell you, thanks to that Bastard RA I have aches tonight that I haven’t experienced in quite awhile. Prolly from gripping the wheel so and tensing up while slithering all over the road … I feel positively wiped out. The further into the day I’ve gotten, the more I’ve wanted to crawl into bed with a heating pad and a mug of hot cocoa (to wrap my hands around). I’m about to go Advil it up.

Today was an all's well that ends well endeavor.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ha! There’s Stupid and Then There’s … Me

Every year my mortgage payment changes a little … not because it’s an ARM or anything like that, but rather because I have my taxes and insurance come out of my escrow each month. So. After six years I realize it’s actually gone up a whole heck of a lot and I’m not happy.

I call Chase (not my original mortgage lender … hey! did you know your mortgage lender can just sell your mortgage to somebody else? hunh. not me … didn’t know until it happened. no biggie, it’s just that i went with a little local place because i liked the idea of it, and they went and foisted me off on a big ole’ national playa first chance they got … so now i’m on hold 8 to10 minutes whenever i call, but i can also look at everything on that there interwebby thang whenever i want … not that i can understand most of it … so its actually a fairly even trade-off, now that i think on it) and they explain that it’s not the actual mortgage that’s changing, but rather my homeowners insurance.

The poor Chase kid actually told me to look into my insurance because it was ‘ridiculously high’. His words, nit mine. Can you believe that?! Dude.

Turns out, after much investigation, that my assbucket insurance agent raised my insurance premium about … wait for it … 56% over the past six years. Fifty-six percent, people!!!





When I called him out on it he says, “I was just going to call you within the next couple months to go over that with you.” Really? Next. Couple. Months? Mer.

Anyway, I get the policy corrected, and assbucket has a check cut to me for the difference. All set, right?


Couple weeks later I get another check directly from the insurance company (this, by the way, is a major insurance company … MAJOR) for the rest of the balance. Wait a minute! If my original (bad) policy was $A, and the new one is $B, and $A minus $B equals $C, then I totally understand getting the check for $C … but now also getting a check for $B within a couple weeks? Um, doesn’t that kind of mean I no longer have insurance? Oh, shit!

So I call Chase again and explain the sitch … they have me send them the check for $C, because major insurance company has issued another bill for my 2009 homeowners and Chase has paid it out of my escrow account and this check for $C will ensure I don’t end up with a negative balance in escrow (which would just increase my overall mortgage payment, which would be pretty much the exact opposite result of what I was going for in the first place!).

I check every day for a couple weeks and finally confirm check has been applied to escrow. The end.

Nope (and here’s where the stupid comes into play). All this played out at the beginning of 2009. Chase advised me that I wouldn’t see the decrease in my monthly mortgage payment until 2010, because they use the annual homeowners & tax payout to determine increase/decrease in that years escrow, and they had already done it for 2009. Whatever, I can live with that.

So, I go to pay my October mortgage and realize it is 8.7% higher than it should be. WTF?!? Then, because I am nothing if not observant (you’ll feel the sarcasm in a sec), I check back and realize I’ve been paying 8.7% more for four months. Four. Months.


Sigh. Yes. I know. I know! But still. Just because I totally brain-farted that for four months doesn’t mean I’m at fault. No. It does not! I’ve had a lot going on. Oh, shut up. In Opposite Land this would have been a total score.

Anyway, called Chase, and Cassandra (such a lovely name!) confirmed right quick that it was a booboo of the we-counted-both-payouts-to-major-insurance-company-as-your-combined-new-yearly-insurance-amount-even-though-you-sent-their-reimbursement-check-right-to-us-to-be-applied-to-your-escrow-like-we-told-you-to-and-so-it-increased-your-escrow-requirements-blah-blah-blah and recalculated it so for the rest of the year I’ll go back to just a smidge below the amount I was paying up ‘til four months ago.

Then, next year I’ll actually see that decrease in monthly payment because the huge decrease in my homeowners will post. And don’t think major insurance company is getting away with this, either. Hah! I’m switching to another carrier who is half (HALF) their price! WOO to the HOO!
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