19 August 2006

Fiesta de cumpleanos

This is my first Odeo recording. It is only about 20 seconds. I wanted to capture the crazy loudness of the party next door. There is a DJ AND a bounce house. The irony is that I can't really hear the recording because, well, IT IS TOO LOUD IN HERE. I'm not mad - I was invited - I'm just amused.

powered by ODEO

18 August 2006

Something must be done!

I have 2 new favorite blogs. I checked them out on Technorati and they are ranked way too low - even below Red Stapler, which is freaking ridiculous, considering the quality of their writing.

This is your assignment, should you choose to accept it: give these two blogs some linky love.

I submit for your consideration:

Meg Fowler who not only posts about 5 times a day, but does it with beauty, grace and hilarity.
But here it is: I'm a writer who wants to write well. I'm also a girl who wants to live well. I'm going to mess both of these things up exponentially as time goes on because that's just how it is.

But I promise, if you stick with the Megbushka doll, every layer will bring some new colour and some new designs, and IN A RADICAL DEPARTURE FROM BABUSHKA TRADITION, will actually reveal a Meg a little bigger and stronger than the last.

I don't care if that didn't make a bit of sense.


BillyGean who is a British wondergirl. It may take a couple posts to get into her hilarious, subtle groove, but once you do, you will find yourself clapping your hands over your mouth to keep people from hearing your shrieks of laughter. Try scrolling down to her "Legally Bound" post, for starters.
The lady in charge of Professional Trainee Loans looked at me. "Okay, we are going to need to go through your budget just to see what sort of outgoings you've got," she said.

Oh God. The Budget. "Okay," I said smiling.
"Right, let's start at the top then, how much is your rent?"
"That's one easy, 225 pounds per month."
"Okay, and what would you say your electricy, gas etc bills are?"
I haven't the faintest idea. I have no idea who even supplies it. I decided to stall.
"What would you say?"
"What is a normal bill?"
She stared at me. "I would say about 30 pounds per month," she said slowly.
"Okay I'll have that one."
"Which one?"
"The thirty."
"Right," she said, exhaling loudly. "And what would you say you spend on socialising?"
Oh hell. I have an addiction to eating out, red wine, the cinema, train travel... Hang on, though. Socialising is technically free. How much do I spend on talking to people? Well, not very much at all!
"Five pounds per month."
"Five pounds per month?"
"Okay, maybe ten."
"Are you sure? Do you not go out?"
That was not the illusion I was trying to create.
"Okay, twenty."
"That's better. It's good to go out, you know," she said, biting her bottom lip.
"I do know that."

I hope you find these women as wondrous as I do. And if you do, link them up. They deserve to spring into the Technorati Top 100 pronto.

In other news, I finally got around to updating my links. The list is not bloated with old links that I do not read. They represent people I read pretty much every time they post.

Which is why I have no life. Sigh. Can I help it if y'all are irresistible?

Howard Hughes Redux

I know I am not spozed to post about work lest I get dooced. But this is not really a work post per se. It is more of a cubicle-land post that could take place at any giant faceless corporation where people are cruelly crowded together like chickens in a PETA-unapproved cage.

I don't know what has happened in the past few days, but suddenly my little section of cube world has become a germy hell. All around me people are sick, coughing, hacking, sneezing. It sounds like a bad day on a tuberculosis ward.

I am trapped here in my little 6 by 6 foot box, furrowing my brow and glaring in the general direction of the sickies, though I can't see them beyond the 5 foot 8 inch cube walls towering over me.

I love the girl who sits in the next cube, Rachel, but we are opposites in many ways. She is a young thing while I am in advanced stage of decrepitude. She still believes in romantic love and family - I believe in a nice quiet room of my own which I shall share with 64 cats. She thinks the outdoors are scary and dangerous, but it is so-called civilization that scares me. She can sit blithely in our workplace and say "I guess I just tune the coughing out."

I can kill snakes and ford rivers. I can face down angry marauding pit bulls. But being cooped up in here all day with the coughers brings out the hypochondriac Howard Hughes in me. Rachel plainly thinks I am insane. She may just be right.

For instance, I can imagine the toxic, viral air swirling around and settling in green waves just at shoulder level where I can most effectively breathe in the infective agents. Infective agents that will no doubt make me sick on the weekend, which is something that ALWAYS pisses me off (if I am going to be sick, I want to skip work to do it at least, dammit.)

I have my Clorox wipes out. I am trying to breathe as little as possible. I am about five minutes from wearing shoeboxes on my feet.

Pray for me. And in the mean time, I will be over there smacking some sick cubicle dweller upside the head with my red stapler for coming in to work instead of staying home on the couch with wadded up kleenex and with Oprah and Regis where they belong.

Linkateria is full of fabulous fun, as always.

15 August 2006


I was searching Flickr for Izzy's fanny pack photos and got this message:

We couldn't find any photos tagged with blogher and 06 and fanny and pack.

Would you like to try a search for photos about blogher06, bum, dooce, sanjose or butt instead?

14 August 2006

Obesity VIRUS

This article on obesity in the NY Times is one of the most jaw-dropping things I have ever read. (Registration is required to read it. Just do it. It IS the newspaper of record, after all.)

The gist of the piece is that viruses that inhabit our intestines can make us process food differently and extract calories more efficiently, so eating the same amount of calories can make some people gain more weight than others.
...germ-free mice, reared in sterile isolators in Gordon's lab, had 60 percent less fat than ordinary mice. Although they ate voraciously, usually about 30 percent more food than the others, they stayed lean. Without gut microbes, they were unable to extract calories from some of the types of food they ate, which passed through their bodies without being either used or converted to fat.

When Gordon's postdoctoral researcher Fredrik Backhed transplanted gut microbes from normal mice into the germ-free mice, the germ-free mice started metabolizing their food better, extracting calories efficiently and laying down fat to store for later use. Within two weeks, they were just as fat as ordinary mice.
Wow. If this is true, it changes everything about how we think of obesity. How many times have you heard "It's all about diet and exercise"? Maybe not.
"The biochemistry of the body of the obese person is very different from that of a lean person," said [Dr.] Richard Atkinson... "If the obese person gets down to a lean person’s weight, their biochemistry is not the same." Losing weight is hard, keeping it off is harder and, especially for some unfortunate souls, the body seems to work against itself in the struggle.
I know I'm not one of the people with the virus. My fat self is purely due to eating too much and exercising too little - I actually lose weight rapidly when I put my mind to it (never).

This doesn't mean the weight problem will be solved, as viruses are notoriously hard to kill once they are in you. I just hope it will spark some compassion for the obese who struggle so hard and find themselves getting heavier and heavier.
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