Most pouplar posts

The following are the 15 most popular posts, determined by the number of comments generated.

The crazy ending game

Something I haven't been doing much of lately, is write. You may have noticed the dearth of blog posts around here. My journal that you don't get to see has had one entry in the last six months. My folder of short creative writing is virtually empty. It's not because I don't think of stories. I think of the beginnings of 2-4 stories a day. I just haven't been making the time to write them down. Also, I've learned from experience that beginnings don't always turn into anything.

One of the things that makes me a good programmer is that I'm good at troubleshooting. I can look at a desired end-result and come up with a reasonable way to get there (usually). I've decided to attempt to combine this with writing in order to get my creative juices flowing.

That's where you come in. I need crazy endings. Then I can imagine some sort of logical (or illogical but amusing) path that led to a particular ending, and write the beginning of the story. The stories will be posted here, on the assumption that at least one person will be interested.

Here's a sample crazy ending: "So there Shiela was, running through the airport with an enormous stuffed giraffe tucked under one arm and the door from her glove box in the other. She had never been happier."

5/11/2006     Link     22 comments

Hooker, or ninja? I can't tell.

Ninja?  Really?
Who the hell can do sneaky ninja stuff in those shoes?

I'm guessing this costume is on sale for a reason. What kind of ninja wears something like that? Clearly, I'm missing something. Clearly, the idea for Halloween is no longer to dress up so that you look like a recognizable character or wear a clever disguise. Now, apparently, the idea is to find a street corner and make a few extra bucks. (Unless, of course, you're a guy, and then you pretty much get to wear whatever you want.)

Apparently, the trend is pervasive, according to an article (subscription required) in the Fashion section of the New York Times.

"The trend is so pervasive it has been written about by college students in campus newspapers, and Carlos Mencia, the comedian, jokes that Halloween should now be called Dress-Like-a-Whore Day." (Emphasis mine.)

Fellas, I'm sure this is a trend that benefits you, and I've certainly worn short skirts on Halloween myself from time to time. But when we get to the point where women feel like they need killer abs to dress up like a ninja, it just seems less fun somehow.

Then again, it's only $28.99 for that costume. It'll pay for itself in no time.

10/19/2006     Link     21 comments

Cinematic green card

From Howdy:
"I work with a Dutch guy who has a real green card, but I have occasionally taunted him about satisfying the requirements for a cinematic green card (i.e. the essential movie credentials that make one American). Robin and I already made him watch the Wizard of Oz. I'm soliciting suggestions for movies that should be watched to earn this cultural badge of honor."

Here were my suggestions, though I know I'm missing dozens upon dozens of movies here. Anything marked with an (x) is something I think just about everybody my age has seen, but probably sucks 25+ years after the fact.

Photo from Rebba's photostream.
  • The Princess Bride
  • Better Off Dead
  • The Jerk
  • E.T. (x)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • War Games
  • The Godfather
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th St.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Casablanca
  • Top Gun (x)
  • Bringing Up Baby

What movies would you require in order to earn a cinematic green card? The definition of "essential" is fairly debatable. But generally speaking, it would be "a list of movies you would expect someone roughly your age to have seen and understand references to," according to Howdy.

10/30/2006     Link     18 comments

It is time for stormy weather

One of my favorite things about the world is stormy weather. I like rain, really dark ominous looking clouds, thunder, lightning, you name it. Wind gusts make me feel energetic, so long as I am not riding my bicycle directly into them. The downside is that my hands are the temperature of popsicles from October through June. The upside is that it makes me happy. Plus, listening to Morrissey always works better when it's rainy.

With that in mind, I had the notion to put together a CD mix with songs that reference stormy weather. Off the top of my head, I came up with three:

  • Stormy Weather by the Pixies
  • Sometimes (Lester Piggott) by James
  • Hot, Hot, Hot!!! by The Cure

I know I'm forgetting so many, but I inhaled a lot of paint fumes over the weekend, so I'm going to blame it on that. What other songs belong on the bad weather mix?

If you don't have any songs about intense weather patterns, tell me what you're listening to these days that you'd recommend. Lisa also asked for recommendations last week, so you'd be doing us both a favor.

11/8/2006     Link     17 comments

Stuff, things

Those are some totally excellent (and crazy) endings y'all have provided. Thank you. Because of your efforts, I have a rough draft of a story that I put together on Sunday. I'll clean it up and post it here soon. Honest. Here are some other things I'm planning on doing soon, in no particular order:
  • Build soapbox derby car (hard to be motivated at spot 19 on the wait list)
  • Have yard sale (so much crap!!)
  • Clean the crap out of my house and fix up the yard so I can...
  • Sell my house
  • Buy new house
  • Move
  • Rebuild computer (it's never been the same since the evil virus, and Ransom's going to help me with a Linux partition so's I can know what all the kids are talking about)
There are other, lesser tasks like "redesign web site," but my ever-shifting priorities tend to put those things toward the bottom of the list. And now you are privvy to the thoughts running through my head. It's a thrill a minute, I assure you.

5/16/2006     Link     17 comments

Sorry, arteries

I've just confirmed with my stepdad that we get to try deep fried pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving (not the whole pie, just a slice or two). It came up during one of those, "everything's better deep fried" conversations, and I'm eager to test it out. My stepdad has a deep fryer, and said we can try other foods, too. He's a fan of deep fried bananas in some kind of a syrupy batter, but I'm not so sure about that.

What would you deep fry?

11/21/2005     Link     16 comments

How'd I get so old? (Part II)

Today, my youngest sibling, who is going by Lulu these days, turns seven. She just lost the first of her two front teeth the other day in rather an ironic fashion. You see, one of her front teeth has been loose for at least a week now. She inadvertently hit herself in the face with a remote control and knocked out the other tooth -- the one that wasn't even loose, as far as we know. Soon, she'll have that adorable gaping smile that kids have when they're seven or eight.

This past weekend, I was in Chico visiting my dad's side of the family*. It was wonderful to see everyone -- they're a quirky group that cannot resist terrible puns. I love them.

It is a little strange, however, to see my brother and sister (ages nine and seven) playing with my nephew and neice (ages four and two). They sure are a cute bunch of kids.

*Apologies to everyone in Chico I didn't get to see while in town. I only had time to visit with a few friends, as most of my time was spent with my family, cowering indoors where there was air conditioning.

7/20/2005     Link     15 comments

Okay, I'll shut up now.

I finally finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, so I can calm down and return to normal once more. Thankfully, I finished it before anybody gave anything away. Phew! I look forward to reading it again at a much more leisurely pace in the future.

All in all, I thought it was excellent. I can't believe she left us hanging like she did, without any indication when the next book will be out, but that just shows how engaging I found the story to be.

7/22/2005     Link     14 comments

Much ado about travel

The tickets have been purchased and I'm ready to go. Now. Alas, I must wait until September.

I'm definitely going to Barcelona. Erin and I are landing at Gatwick Airport at the exact same time, and will be flying to Girona, Spain that same day. I'm so excited that she gets to go, too! I expect we'll stay in Girona for a night or two, as we'll be quite travel-weary. Then on to Barcelona. Erin leaves on the 15th, at which point I'll go... somewhere.

I won't know until I get there where I want to go. RyanAir had some plane tickets to Milan that were just silly cheap (€0.99 +tax), but I didn't buy them because I might not want to go to Milan this time around. I've been reading a lot about Spain, so I think I'll maybe head to the south, or to Toledo or wherever strikes my fancy. I'll probably try to spend some time in France, and then two or three nights in London before I return. Mostly, I don't want to go running all over the continent, but would rather spend good quality time in a few different places.

I like it that I have a plan now, and that the plan has huge open gaps in it, ready for me to fill in when I get there. I like that I can just show up at a train station on September 15 and hop on whatever train leaves next, if that's what I feel like doing. Or I could rent a car. Or a bike. Or just go take a nap somewhere.

I'm also excited about the opportunity to practice my Spanish -- I took four years in high school and college and have forgotten quite a bit. Still, hopefully I'll be competent enough in the basics to get rooms and food and whatnot.

I might not get in that much practice in Barcelona, as they primarly speak Catalonian (which is described as a mixture of French and Spanish). The Catalán region is known for being very proud of their independence, both culturally and politically. I just read a travel account of someone who was at a restaurant in Catalonia trying to order in Spanish, and the waiter wouldn't speak Spanish, but switched instead to English.

So much to do before I go! I've got lots of culture and customs to learn about, Spanish to practice, my passport to locate, bags to pack, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it*. I'm swamped.

*I'm not acutally murdering anybody -- it's a reference to The Princess Bride.

7/12/2005     Link     14 comments

Walking, not pooping

"Let's go for an evening constitutional," I suggested.

The room erupted into giggles. I had a faint notion I was using the word incorrectly. Come to think of it, I had a vague notion that it meant going #2. But hadn't Teddy Roosevelt been a fan of the evening constitutional? Surely he wasn't talking of a presidential poop?

"You know," I clarified. "A walk?"

"That's not what constitutional means," I was told. "It means pooping."

Well, check this, suckers:

NOUN: A walk taken regularly for one's health.

2/28/2006     Link     13 comments

Rumsfeld limerick contest anyone?

Rumsfeld loves a good limerick
Email from Tom:
Hi Rebecca,

My coworker challenged me to write a limerick for Donald Rumsfeld. I wrote three -- so far -- and thought, hey! somebody should have a Rumsfeld retirement limerick contest on their blog. Now, I'm too busy and/or lazy to start a blog today, while it's timely.

So I thought maybe you would take the suggestion. I have to admit, when somebody says 'limerick challenge' you're the first person who comes to mind. Go figure.


I think this is a brilliant idea. Also, I think this is a good time for it, now that it's no longer breaking news. Rumsfeld was probably hoping that the Spears/Kfed breakup news would trump his own, and it seems that it probably did. But it's such big news, that I believe it deserves a resurgence, in limerick form.

Unfortunately, I'm not good with limericks, but I will try to come up with one in the next day or so. In the meantime, I leave you with this haiku:

Donald H. Rumsfeld
Should drink a toast to freedom.
Ours, now that he's gone.

11/15/2006     Link     13 comments


don't be dumb
Photo by unperfekt
(creative commons license)
There are these signs near the light rail tracks in Portland that warn cyclists not to be dumbasses and get their front tires stuck in the rails. They seem silly. I mean, who's dumb enough to get their tires stuck in train tracks?

Oh, right. That would be me.

I was taking a new route to work today, and this led me over the train tracks. I had seen a path next to the tracks before and was looking for it when, oh shit, I'm falling, this isn't good! These were the regular train tracks, not the light rail tracks, so at least there wasn't one of those signs mocking me as I picked myself up off the ground.

It's amazing how many thoughts you can have mid-fall. The first one I had was, "Damnit, I'm that jackass in those signs!" Then I thought I might be able to save myself, managed to get my shoes unclipped from my pedals, and then my attention was diverted to my elbow, which had hit the ground. The word, "Go!" flashed through my head, which in this context meant, "Don't let all your weight fall on your elbow, flatten out!" So I rolled and landed on my back. I'm not sure whether this was due to karate or volleyball training, but it totally paid off. My pannier had fallen off, my bike was twisted and on top of the train tracks (but fortunately unscathed), and I was flat on my back. Oops.

Luckily, except for a scratched elbow, I didn't get hurt and there were no trains in sight. A man in a white truck pulled up alongside me. I didn't look at him at first, being slightly humiliated and all, but then I realized he was waiting to make sure I was okay; I thought that was awfully nice of him. I looked over to see his dog checking out the situation in what looked to be an empathetic way. He leaned forward to look around his dog and made a concerned face at me. I smiled, gave him the thumbs up and he drove on.

4/11/2007     Link     13 comments

Sweet androgyny

So I went to the ladies room this afternoon, as I am wont to do from time to time. There was a woman in there -- sixtyish, short gray hair, business skirt and suit jacket. I had this conversation with the crotchety old bitch:

COB: You're a girl, aren't you?
Me: Yes.
COB: I just wanted to make sure you didn't wander into the wrong restroom by mistake.
Me: That's very flattering, thank you.
COB: I didn't mean to be rude, I just couldn't tell.

So far, the alternate comebacks I've come up with are:
"I will be next week."
"This isn't the men's room? I thought you were a transvestite."

What would YOU have said?

1/30/2008     Link     12 comments

Some things

  • The other day, as I was riding my bicycle home, I saw a rooster walking along the sidewalk. I started giggling because it really looked for all the world like the rooster was out for his evening constitutional.
  • I just got to send an email that said, "Did you just call me a potato?"
  • Last night, I ate trout for the first time. It was also the first time that a fish ever showed up in front of me with its head still attached. Luckily, if you sort of push it open so the skin lays flat on the plate, the eyes are looking down and are therefore not visible. The trout was delicious.

3/17/2006     Link     12 comments

To be yard sold

This is by request, but also gives me the opportunity to post a list. Everyone loves a good list.
  • 2 Omega B-22 enlargers -- one has useable, though not ideal condensors, the other would need new ones
  • Stuffed animals
  • Some of the toys I purchased during my dot com days when there was no work for me to do
  • Various old electronics
  • Candle holders? Who needs candle holders? I have one for each of you.
  • Scented candles. I don't like scented candles, but lots of people do. I have a crapton of them.
  • Teflon cookware that I've gotten rid of, which I may not sell due to moral considerations.
  • The blue drinking glasses I don't really like
  • Some speakers -- I don't know anything about them; they're Katie's
  • Most of the cheesy jewelry I purchased when I was an ear piercing specialist at Afterthoughts in the mall, including a pair of earrings that look like telephones where the handset is in the front of your earlobe but the rest of the phone is behind. They're immensely sexy.
  • A giant plexiglass clothespin
  • Clothes from when I wore everything 8 sizes too large
  • The potted tree I stole from the dot com (they said I could have it but now I'm killing it and it needs a better home)
  • The tires off my Honda Civic with a little bit of tread left
  • Some of the cassette tapes I've already replaced with CDs (mostly The Cure, Morrissey, and Depeche Mode plus a few that were gifts -- Toad the Wet Sprocket anyone? -- thrown in for good measure). I'm totally not selling my Tiffany or Milli Vanilli tapes, though, so you can forget about those.
  • The rest of the various items I've carried around in excess of 10 years and never really wound up needing like I thought I would. Plus, Katie's selling a whole bunch of things that I don't know about.

6/2/2006     Link     12 comments

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