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I spent all of today enjoying myself. That’s what birthdays are for, right? Im a whole 27 years old today, and thank god Im finally out of the 26s. That was a depressing age to be. Now Im firmly in the 26-34 age range on most surveys, and starting a whole new solidifying, steadying part of my life. I can feel it.

Here’s some thingies I enjoyed today.

I absolutely adore this bubble bath. It smells good, like you would expect lavender scented bubble bath to smell like, and there’s something really luxurious about having a Milk Bath – makes me feel like Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Secretary. Except, ya know, I’m not being filmed. I hope. It also doesn’t turn the water into an opaque white pool of deliciousness, but it makes me skin feel nice and smooth.

Anybody ever heard of a Buddha Board before? I bought one today and its remarkably entertaining. I got a tiny one, about 6 inches square, but it comes with stickers and a cute little paintbrush. Ive been writing on it and watching the letters disappear is strangely soothing. The images stay up for a good three or four minutes, so you cant really do the “write down your worries and watch them disappear” technique because then you have to stare at them for longer than is palatable. Im using it more to do on-the-fly caricatures of whatever topic James and I are discussing on the phone. Ive done cigarettes held in place by pouty lips, different styles of Christian crosses, micro-organisms residing in a soon to be explosive belly, and lots of numbers. I count a lot on the phone.

I also finally got around to reading Stranger than Fiction, by Chuck Palahniuk. Ive had it on my bookshelf for quite a while, and its been staring at me, taunting me, sandwiched between two other books I haven’t opened yet. Ha HA! it said. You will NEVER read AGAIN! Bastard ass book. Darn you, grad school! When I actually did crack the book – sitting at my favorite breakfast stop, waiting for my Birthday Breakfast of eggs florentine, deciding whether or not I should have coffee or a mimosa – it was a lot less mocking and more intriguing than anything. I don’t know how I feel about Mr. Chuck, there. Evidently he’s a nice guy, but he tells a story in the introduction that makes me pause. As research for one of his books, he would call up sex lines and ask the worker to tell him their dirtiest, worst story. A young guy opened up to him, started crying, told him a heartbreaking story about sexual abuse and devastation, and they hung up. Palahniuk took that story, made it a plot line in one of his books, and made how many gobs of money off of that guy’s life. Unless I’m missing something, he didn’t know and didn’t contact the guy again. Anybody else find that exploitive? Still, his writing style is incredibly empathetic, focused on detail, emphasizing the humanity in everybody. I’m enjoying the hell out of it so far.

I got a gift certificate from a local yarn store, so I went poking around in there today. I was incredibly happy to find hand dyed Nepalese yarn! And! It was 30% off! Holy cow. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but my goodness its soft and pretty. Its surprisingly heavy, too – probably because its some insane length, 150 yards I think. If anybody has any suggestions, let me know. Im still working away on Genevieve’s mittens (hi!), but the year is young.

I had a good day today. Im happy right now.

Good night, everybody.

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My First Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to Meee-eeeee….

I find it a little difficult to write a non-trite first birthday post for my little blog here.  Its hard not to say stuff like “wow I can’t believe its been a year!” and “I thank you ALL for being so supportive while I spill my guts.”  Because I can’t and I do but I don’t want to be all sappy, ya know.  So… Im just sayin.  Thanks.

I started Punctuated Palaver on the sly; she was my open minded mistress as I slowly stepped away from a blog I had been nurturing for about six years.   The older blog and I had some good times – it documented the beginning, drama, and development of my relationship with James, the long, histrionic death march of a doomed friendship marred by sex, lies, and abuse, and all sorts of other juicy stuff.  I used my real name over there (Tildy’s not my real name – shocking, I know!) and after an accidental outing all of my friends and some of my not-so-much-friends-but-I-or-James-hung-out-with-them-a-lot people started reading me.  I was effectively censored from all but the most tame subjects, and I felt myself losing my identity to the will of the mob.  It was an odd, flattering, ultimately suffocating feeling.   So I came here.

There were a few fits and starts before I landed, with a couch dress in tow.  I opened and closed two (or three?  I forget) blogs with varying levels of anonymity before I settled on this place.  James helped me with my oh so clever psuedonym, and I was delighted with myself for coming up with a punny blog title.  I pondered naming everyone who would be a regular character on here with a punctuation mark name (Ampersand, Mr. Colon, etc.) and quickly dropped that for the sake of all that is sane in the world.  Holy crap that would have been annoying.

Ive been through an exercise kick that nearly killed me, several money scares, porn purging, trial sized living with my boyfriend/fiancee,  the beginning my internship, and a whole bunch of knitting.

In early December I got a scare, finding some ridiculously specific search phrases pointing to my little online secret.  I freaked out and privated the whole blog, then tried to make a Tildy Grr Rockin’ Ranger Club where people could sign in as a contributer to see me, then realized that was super overkill and just password protected a hell of a lot of stuff.  Just a few weeks ago I finally settled into a good rhythm, figuring out what should be public (knitting!  weight loss!  romance!), which should be private (angst!  weight gain!  drama!) and what should be super duper private (sex!  lots and lots of sex!).  Certain people have certain passwords, and I feel really good about it all.  Woo micromanagement!

You’ve grown on me, little blog.  I feel more comfortable here than I have anywhere, with any blog, in a very long time.   Im glad you guys were here to see me grow.   Dammit – that was trite, wasnt it? I almost made it!

Darn.

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Chocolately evilness.

I am currently sucking on a Dove dark chocolate bar with, ahem, “a natural source of cocoa flavonals” and a large ad for breast cancer awareness on the front. Mmm… moral superiority.

Ive been trying to recommit to my Nestle boycott – Ive been trying not to buy Nestle products for about five years, after someone told me what sort of crappy things they do in third world countries. Oo here ya go – linkage! Its a badly designed page, but has the most specific, concise information. Hope its not too confusing.

Ive since slipped back into a nasty Twix habit after some kerfuffle with my birth control – I hate to perpetuate some sort of female stereotype but I gotta have me some theobromine when my hormones go all wonkey or I will kill. I take chocolate medicinally, ya see. Thank goodness, Twix is a Mars Bars baby (as is Dove), so that wasn’t too bad. In the past few months Ive fallen off the Nestle wagon a bit, once I realized Kit Kat bars were only 220 calories for a package. Mmm. Crunchy chocolate. Too bad I keep thinking about starving babies when I eat ’em. That’s not good.

So Im back on it today. I re-signed up for the official Nestle Boycott petition, and looked through a list of Nestle products. Theyre frickin’ everywhere, my goodness.

Look at this shit! Et tu, Rolo? I can do it, though. As long as Twix and Dove aren’t evil, those around me won’t be harmed.

I’m off to write a paper that could theoretically discredit my entire line of work. Wish me luck – its due Monday.

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Grumble Grumble

Hello!

Sorry for the long absence around here. I wrote a few more when I was on vacation; unfortunately I didn’t have a safe internet connection so theyre collectively stewing in their own petulant juices on my laptop. I wonder if it would be worth it to even put them up here? Their going to be password protected, due to the aforementioned petulantness (I like that word. Im going to officially appropriate it). I’ll think about it. One does incorporate my very first sports metaphor, which is rather exciting.

Ive been thinking about my blogroll lately. Three of my favorite blogs have shut down or gone on an extended hiatus in the last month. These are people Ive been reading for over a year, in one case it was one of the first blogs I ever read oh so many years ago, and I had a really nice connection with her, and then we just… drifted apart. I miss them.

Three blogs quietly dying in a month isn’t that rare. I read a factoid somewhere that 1/3 of all blogs die within the first three months, and half of them are inactive after 6 months. People get scared, or bored, or distracted with the dreaded myspace and never come back. They all surf their old, ghost town blog communities, obsessively checking everyone else’s pages and getting frustrated that no one’s updated, don’t even bother to turn to their own (what would they say?), then eventually the fad passes and the group moves on to… I don’t know, talking to each other? Unheard of.

I don’t think that’s why my favorite blogs up there ceased to be. I think they just… Im not sure exactly. Maybe they just ran out of that compulsion to share, or they got what they needed from a blog – more support in their community, or maybe now they feel normal or proud of their life – and they don’t need it anymore. I have no idea. I still miss them. I wish them good luck with whatever the hell theyre doing now.

There’s an odd sense of artificial closeness that comes from reading someone’s blog for a long time. The author is more likely to open up to a faceless, usually supportive audience, and tell things to you that they normally wouldn’t tell their friends and certainly wouldn’t tell you if you met ’em on the street. You learn that people feel the same way you do, and you feel like you know them even though youre only getting to see a very small, carefully selected fraction of who they are. Since youre not getting a complete picture, you can fill in the details to make their story more interesting. You can project yourself into their story, and you feel like youve bonded with the image of them you have in your head.

We all do it. Admit it!

Im not going to even talk about those friends that you make through blogging. That’s a whole other kerfuffle that can lead to stalking on one end, good friends in the middle, and marriage on the other. Never underestimate the almost instant intimacy the internet can bring.

Mistress Matisse was noting that since Time magazine couldn’t make up its damn mind and said that all us blogger folk were Person of the Year (People of the Year, maybe?), that blogging is now “hopelessly out of fashion.” Maybe this is good, maybe the only people who decide to start up blogs will be those who actually have something to say, and have that need (like I do) to reach out to other people, however superficially, and put some effort into their work. Maybe there’ll be more punctuation! I’d like that (says the girl who commonly forgets her apostrophes). I would gladly trade the quantity of new blogs to read for quality.

In any case, Im going to massively revamp my blogroll. Many have gone dark, some Ive kept on, and will continue to keep for sentimental reasons even though they haven’t updated since May of 2005 (and are now evidently password protected – huh!), some have changed their focus so I’ll need to recatagorize them, and many are getting more and more interesting. Im also going to add a few new guys.

If anybody has suggestions for blogs Im missing out on, please let me know. Ive noticed Im gravitating towards blogs that have authors documenting their slow recovery from crippling depression, so anything uplifting but interesting would be nice.

I promise to be around more, too. School is starting up again, which means more time in front of a computer doing some quality procrastination exercises. Ya’ll be good til then.

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Musicafyin’

Life is going well right now. I got to sleep in, I have chocolate in my purse, and I just figured out that I can set my blog to music!

WordPress is starting up an alliance with Sonific, a copyright-free music streaming type deal, that has 47,000 song options. None of these songs are recognizable (they had one Bob Marley, one Cell Division, and a few ironically named bands I vaguely remember from my days in the music store), but there’s some fun ones out there.

Here’s one I think ya’ll will like – if this works out, I’ll put up a permanent thingy in my sidebar over there. Enjoy!

[sonific 32e81e81523a2bb11ce3e1777b169eb6fc4a618d]

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Procrastinatory Linkage

On my last break of the night. Watch me go… Ive got these ordered from most to least… what’s the opposite of shame?  Less shame? (Anybody who can cite that quote, and I want the episode, will get a fabulous prize).

Them’s be GALAXIES, people!  Click here to see what the hell youre looking at, and further ruminations on the amazement that is what we thought was empty space but is actually existential manna.

Not work safe, by any stretch, but MY GOD HOW GORGEOUS.

Twenty tidbits about Sesame Street

Anybody know anything about this laptop?  I want it.  Im drooling over it.  But I hear it’s keys pop out and hit you in the eye, then it bursts into flames.  Any opinions?

Mike Tyson and Bobby Brown both agree: The monster mash is indeed a graveyard smash. This one makes my eye twitch a little bit.

And Im back to my homework. Part one of my thesis is due tomorrow, and Im about halfway done. This’ll totally work.

Wish me luck, ya’ll.

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