Saturday, July 31, 2004

The Saturday Six -- on Saturday!

Yes, I know.  Amazing for me to get to this on Saturday.  But the rest of the weekend is filling up.  And since Patrick used my question and all, I think it would be only right to answer it in a timely manner.

So... this week's Saturday Six:

1. Which do you most enjoy receiving from someone you know:  a telephone call, an E-mail, a handwritten letter, or a comment in your journal?

I like 'em all, of course.  Although in a weird way, I prefer email as a form of communication.  This because it happens at a convenient time for everyone.  I write it when I want to write it; read it when I want to read it.  And it can be instantaneous if both parties want to communicate right quick.

2. You are invited to a nude beach.  You do not know any of the people who will be there, and it is certain that you will never see any of them ever again.  No one you know will find out you had gone unless you tell them.  Would you go?

Yes.  Although, come to think of it, I was in a similar situation with respect to singing karaoke, and I couldn't crank up enough nerve to do it -- so it might end up the same way with the nude beach.

3. Not counting work uniforms, what color do you wear most often?

Denim blue.  After that, probably black.  Not that I'm being all depressed or trendy or gothic or anything -- just that I don't have much sense for matching clothes, so I wear a colored shirt with black pants and can be certain they'll go together.

4. What was the last movie you watched that you thought couldn't end soon enough?

"American Pie."  I gave up about halfway through.

5. What is the farthest you've ever called someone long distance?

Australia.  I bought an hour of "phone calls to Australia" from Priceline to do it, and it was pretty cheap.  Wonder if they still do that.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #14 from From NZforME:  "If you were to get a personalized/vanity license plate, what would it say?"

I wouldn't have asked this if I didn't have an answer in mind...

Remember the Arsenio Hall show?  There was one night when a really famous basketball player (I forget who -- but let's just say Magic Johnson) was supposed to be on, and he cancelled out, so Arsenio got Marlee Matlin as a fill-in guest.  Marlee comes out and starts throwing candy at the audience.  Arsenio asks why, and she says, "They were expecting Magic Johnson and instead got this short, white, deaf, Jewish b*tch."

Next time Marlee is on the show, they show the clip again -- and then show a shot of Marlee's car, and focus on the license plate, which reads:  SWDJB

I thought this was great and wanted a variant of it.  (I mean, what with not being deaf and all.)  So, if I were to get a vanity plate, it would read:  SWJLB.  For "short, white, Jewish lawyer b*tch."

Friday, July 30, 2004

This Week's Homework: The Kitten Talks

This week, John Scalzi lays the following on us:

Through some unexplained miracle, your pet or pets gain the mental capacity for speech for exactly the length of a single sentence. What do you think that sentence would be and why?

Extra Credit: You get one question to ask your pet that (presumably) it would answer. What's the question?

The subject here would be Jasmine:

And I believe she's saying:  "The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle are equal to the square of the ... what? huh? oh.... 'meow.'"

For extra credit, I would ask her "What happened to your leg?"  I got Jasmine (from a box outside of the grocery store) when she was eight weeks old.  And she had a limp.  The woman giving away the kitties said that "one of the other cats must have jumped on her."  She added that the leg probably wasn't broken since Jasmine was putting weight on it, albeit very tentatively.

So, first thing I do is take Jasmine to the vet.  (OK, second thing.  First thing is buy a litter box and make sure she uses it.)  And the vet took an x-ray.  After the vet read the film, she came back into the examining room and asked me, "Where'd you say you got this cat again?"  Not only was her leg broken, but the x-ray showed evidence of a previous healed fracture.

I've had Jasmine with me for over a year, and I'm proud to say she hasn't suffered any broken bones while in my care.  But I think it's darned suspicious that she had broken the bone (in the same leg) twice in eight weeks.  I'd like to ask her what happened -- so I'll know whether or not to think nasty thoughts about the people who gave her to me.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

An Open Letter to John Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry,

I received your letter today.  You know the one -- it begins with, "I am rushing this message to you just hours after accepting the Democratic nomination."  Good trick, that, as I received the letter this afternoon, before you accepted the nomination.  Not to mention mailing time.  Really, Senator, if you have the ability to travel back in time to mail letters, I think you should be more up-front about it.  Imagine the sort of harm that could be averted if we had a President who could send warning letters to the past.  Boy, that'd stop the terrorists cold!

Back to your letter.  In an oversized envelope.  With the big red line across the top and the "Open Immediately" on it.  The one made to look like some sort of overnight letter -- with the "package tracking number," "sender's account number" and fake handwriting typed in to look like you filled out a shipping form to send this letter to me all personal-like.  The "Extremely Urgent:  Recipient Please Hand Deliver to Addressee" just adds to the image.

Why the deceit, Senator?  It's a perfectly normal letter.  Why do you feel the necessity to dress up your correspondence like it's some overnight letter I must be handed with great solemnity?  Do you have so little faith in your message that you think I'd just throw away anything you might send me by regular mail?  Do you have so little faith in my intelligence that you think I'd be fooled by this for an instant?  We're all grown-ups here, Senator.  Leave these tactics to the magazine sellers and mortgage refinancers -- can't my future President just write me a freakin' letter?

(And this isn't the first time.  The last time you asked me for money it was in a phone call.  I answered the phone and got a prerecorded message from you.  "If you want to help me send George Bush back to Texas, press 1."  Please.  We're trying to elect a President, not a new Mr. Moviefone.  And use a little sense here.  I'm on the Do Not Call list.  Yes, I know, you politicians made sure you were exempt from that.  But if I don't want newspaper salespeople disturbing my dinner with phone calls, what makes you think I want you doing it?  Really.  Begging letters dressed up like overnight mail and prerecorded phone calls -- what's next?  Spam?)

On to the content, then. 

Big surprise, it's a letter from the DNC, asking for money.  (Of course, it's over your signature, so I assume you authorized it.) 

You know I already gave you money, right?  (Of course you do.  The minute you received my check, I'm certain my name and address got added to every freakin' Democratic fund-raising databank from sea to shining sea.)  A little acknowledgement might have been nice.  How hard would it have been to draft up a form letter for previous contributors?  Maybe something along the lines of "Thanks for your previous contribution.  Now that the campaign is entering a critical phase, I have to ask you to dig deeper, blah blah blah."  'Cause, boy, there is nothing that makes me feel happier about my previous decision to give you money than the fact that you appear to be using that money to ask me to give you more money.

When I give money to a charity, they tell me where it is going.  When I give money to the local homeless shelter, they tell me how many turkey dinners my contribution will buy.  When I give money to an AIDS charity, they tell me what percentage of my money will actually go to help sick people.

Lord knows the DNC is no charity.  But it would be interesting, I think, to receive a begging letter from you that -- rather than containing broad stirring rhetoric about a grassroots campaign to take back the White House -- actually told me what you want to do with my money.  Be real, now.  Of the money you hope these letters will raise, what percentage actually will go to your campaign for the White House?  How much will go to fund other races the DNC wants to pay for (which I might not even support)?  How much will go to foot the bill for that great big party you just had in Boston?  How much will go to putting more of these letters in my mailbox?

I want to know where my money goes, Senator.  (What can I say?  My father is a Republican.)  You're already getting my vote.  You already got a small contribution.  But before I send you another dime, I want some sort of guarantee that you won't spend that dime on postage to send me another Super Urgent Express begging letter.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yes, Kayaking

In response to the shock and amazement expressed in my kayaking entry, I have to point out that the kayaking I did wasn't exactly how I'd imagined kayaking to be.

Truth of the matter is, I'd apparently been kayaking before, but was unaware of it.

Let me explain.  When we were making plans to go kayaking this weekend, my friend asked, "Have you been kayaking before?"

To which I responded, "No, but I've done paddling-like things before."  I mean, there was the "funyak" experience in New Zealand, in which I paddled an inflatable vaguely kayak-shaped raft.  But I was thinking more of this time some years back when I took a cruise to some of the islands in the Great Barrier Reef.  At some islands, there was scuba diving; at some, there was snorkeling; at others, there were nature walks ... and at one island, it seemed that all there was to do was engage in water sports.  There was some guy in a little hut on the edge of the island who would rent you some apparently unstable ... boat-shaped piece of plastic (or whatever it was made of, but it appeared capable of floating) and a paddle.  Having apparently missed the memo indicating this was "water sports island," I hadn't worn a swimsuit, so was rather concerned about capsizing this boat-shaped piece of plastic.  The guy in the little hut then suggested that the TWO-PERSON boat-shaped piece of plastic would be substantially more stable (especially if I only put one person on it).  So I paid him a few bucks, grabbed my two-person boat-shaped piece of plastic, hauled it into the ocean, and paddled aimlessly around in circles for a little while.

So, fast-forward to last Sunday.  Imagine my surprise when I discover my Local Kayaking Rental Establishment is, in fact, a guy in a little hut on a beach, renting out boat-shaped pieces of plastic.  Said items are apparently called "kayaks."  Go figure.  I'd always thought kayaks were those really smooth, sleek, fiberglass-looking jobs in which you're sitting in a hole with your legs buried somewhere inside the boat and your upper body popping out through a little opening in the center of a bag-like contraption.  Turns out there are all sorts of kayaks -- ocean kayaks, river kayaks, sea kayaks, whatever.  There's them scary-looking jobs we'll be seeing on the Olympics, as athletes take them tumbling down rapid-filled rivers.  But kayaks can also be fairly boring boat-shaped pieces of plastic that you sit on top of.  Which, apparently, any idiot can paddle.

Good thing, too.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Saturday Six on Monday

This week's Saturday Six, courtesy Patrick's Place:

1. If you had to live without one of your five senses, which one would you most be willing to live without?

Smell, no contest.  Taste after that.  It gets a little dodgy thereafter.

2. You see a fly, a spider, a roach and a moth flying, scurrying or skulking around at once in your living room.  Which one do you go after first?

It's between the spider and the roach.  The fly doesn't ook me out, and I'll take care of the moth later by closing off the room and leaving a light on.

3. How many pets have you had so far during your lifetime?

Jasmine (kitty!) is my first four-legged pet.  I had some fish when I was a kid.

4. I recently watched a cult favorite movie, "The Breakfast Club," and it prompted this question:  Which of the five character types do you personally most identify with:  the princess (or prince), the jock, the nerd, the criminal or the basket case?

In school, I was definitely the nerd.  I'm still the nerd, although there's probably a dash of Princess in there.  Not that I can do that thing with lipstick, though.

5. Would you like to have more siblings, less siblings, or would you not change how many you have?

I have sufficient siblings -- that'd be the one, my sister.  Can't imagine more; wouldn't want less.

BarbaraMck:  If you could choose any vehicle (road warrior) as your sole source of transportation, what would it be? (Year, Make, Why)?

I've never beenparticularly into cars, so it's hard to say.  What I do know is that my ideal vehicle would have every possible bell and whistle you could put in a car -- sun/moon roof, GPS, integrated cell phone, a place to plug in my iPod ... and of course all that good stuff like ABS and traction control and all sorts of airbags.

Right now, I've got so many cords fighting for space in the passenger seat, I barely have room for a passenger.


Ow Ow Ow

Went kayaking yesterday.

No, really.

In a kayak.  On water.

I was running late, so I didn't have the opportunity to dive into a bottle of sunscreen before I got dressed (my standard way of assuring adequate coverage) and instead slathered it on exposed surfaces while sitting in the kayak.

I apparently missed a spot.  Two spots.  My ankles.  I discovered this later in the afternoon, when I saw my bright red ankles -- and they started hurting every time I bent them.  Which would be, y'know, whenever I took a step.

Spent the rest of the day looking forward to putting some nice, soothing Noxzema on when I got home.

Got home late.  Brushed teeth, got ready for bed.  Grabbed Noxzema from bathroom drawer.  Sat down, preparing to apply the nice, clean white cream to my burning ankles.

.... have you ever seen Noxzema after it went bad?  It isn't white anymore.  It has gone past creamy white into chunky, separated brown.  Smells bad, too.  Your sunburned skin takes one look at it and tries to crawl away to avoid application.

I tossed it, of course.  I expect I'll start peeling today.  Ugh.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

SuperPower Extra Credit

In this week's homework (linked below) Scalzi also asks:

Extra Credit: Oh, all right, fine: If you could have one genuine, honest-to-goodness super power, what one would you want and why?

I didn't answer this before because I didn't have an answer for it -- but then I remembered my standard answer to the "so, a genie grants you three wishes..." thing and I thought it might work here.

For my superpower (and/or my "first wish") I'd want what I like to call "omniscience by request."

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

First, the omniscience part.  Knowing everything would be pretty cool, I think.  Think of all the great things I'd know.  Like say:  how to cure AIDS -- I'd know that.  Where Osama bin Laden is hiding -- I'd know that, too.  How to save the social security system so there'd be money left in it in perpetuity -- AND how to get Congress to pass the necessary amendments -- yep, I'd know that.  All things considered, I'd know, well, all things.

(And not just important things.  I'd also know things that I'd just like to know.  Like how to get my body to do a triple axel, where the perfect man is hiding, and what the heck my cat is really thinking when she looks at me with those big, pitiful, saucer-eyes.  Not to mention how to cook a decent meal, how to end internet spam once and for all, and whether Oswald acted alone.)

Yes, knowledge is a good thing.

But the thing of it is, too much knowledge could be a little overwhelming.  I wouldn't want all those thoughts jumbling around in my head making so much noise I couldn't put them into use in an orderly fashion.  Nope.  I want the answer to any question to be ready in at instant at my request, but I'd like all answers to be napping quietly out of the way until called for.  Omniscience By Request.

(Of course, this neatly solves the "three wishes" problem.  Because if I get my "omniscience by request" for the first wish, I'll know what I should use my other two wishes for.)

Dream Jobs

When I was a kid, I wanted to work at Disneyland.

Not just any job at Disneyland, mind you.  I wanted to work at the Haunted Mansion.  Where you got to wear that long, dark green Victorian dress.

(When I was a kid, I never noticed the long, dark green Victorian dresses were made of easy-to-clean cheap polyester.  Then again, perhaps they weren't, then.)

Not just any job at the Haunted Mansion, though.  I wanted to be the person who seated the guests in the "doom buggies."

Here's how it works.  The buggies (which seat "two or three bodies") are on a non-stop track, next to a moving walkway.  The guests step from the waiting area onto the moving walkway, then into their doom buggy.  The lady in the Victorian dress is standing at the front edge of the moving walkway, looking appropriately somber, and directing people in parties of two and three to the appropriate buggies.

And (and this is the best part) -- since she's standing on a moving walkway, she doesn't just stand there.  She paces backwards very slowly, in order to remain standing in the same place relative to the front of the line. 

Man! What a job!  Standing in the nice air conditioned haunted mansion, wearing the pretty Victorian dress, hovering over the edge of the moving walkway as you pace slowly backwards, and -- with appropriate solemnity -- pointing people into buggies as though you were showing them the latest in coffin selections.

I ended up a lawyer instead.  Where did I go wrong?

So... what was your dream job as a kid?


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Homework: Superpowers!

This week, Scalzi asks us:

Weekend Assignment #16: Create a brand-new Superhero secret identity for yourself, based on your personality and proclivities -- and make sure to list at least one "super power" that relates to a special talent you have. Now, to be clear, this "super power" shouldn't actually be a super power, like the ability to fly or shoot lasers from your eyes (unless you can actually do that). No, we're just talking about naming a "talent" you have, in superhero terms. So, for example, if you're really good at finding bargains, you could say you have Super Shopping Senses -- "Oooh! My shopping sense is tingling! Something in this aisle is on sale!!!!" Like that.

Well, I've always said everyone has a talent...

See, the thing of it is is...  I'm a part-time theatre critic, so I go to a lot of plays.  A lot.  So I often find myself in theatres.  The sort of theatres that have seating for 1000 in the auditorium itself, and seating for, say, six in the ladies' room.

And my friends, family, and other theatre companions have come to recognize that, when intermission rolls around, I stop being mild-mannered NZ, and turn into



Yes, it's First-in-line-at-the-bathroom-woman -- able to politely jump over an entire row of theatre patrons still arguing over whether they should grab a drink at the bar; frequently seen fighting her way back into the theatre after successfully emptying her bladder while half the room is still trying to get out to join the line.  Recognized by theatre employees as that fast-moving blur dashing through the lobby before the last note of the first act closer has died down, First-in-line-at-the-bathroom-woman always knows the quickest route to the can and she's not afraid to use it.


The Act of Observing Affects The Observed

Regular readers might recall my dissatisfaction with my favorite (classic rock) radio station's new morning guy.  You know, the one who decides to take phone calls and make fun of people and carry out one stinking joke for three hours -- rather than just playing music?  Yeah, that one.

So what happens this week?  I get randomly selected by the radio ratings people to keep a weekly diary of all my radio listening. 

Not-so-coincidentally, I have also decided that this week would be a really good time for me to shop for a new morning radio station. 

Just doing my part.  Any other time of day, I'll listen to the good classic rock station -- except during morning DJ's time slot, when I'll listen to his competition.  Neener. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

"South of the Equator"

I was at a pool party the other day.  One of the guests there was a mother of two.  The mother was a person of the pasty white persuasion, as was her husband and (therefore) her kids.  While we were sitting there discussing the alternative perils of sticky gooey sunscreen and going without sticky gooey sunscreen, she mentioned that she was ordering her children to marry someone from "south of the equator" in order to get a little color in the family skin-tone.

And, in fact, a few minutes later, I saw her jokingly remind her daughter of the "south of the equator" rule.

I swam off cheerfully.  I couldn't help but think about how it wasn't but a generation or so ago that people were, shall we say, strongly encouraged in no uncertain terms to marry folks within their own racial and ethnic groups.  And the really liberal types would say there's nothing wrong with interracial marriage.  But this was the first time I'd seen it actively encouraged.

I don't imagine this mother would actually be angry with her kids if they married more pasty white people.  But it did cross my mind that these children are most definitely going to grow up with a nice, healthy positive attitude toward interracial marriage.  Because it isn't like they're getting a "not that there's anything wrong with that" message -- with all the "there's potentially something wrong with that" baggage the phrase contains.  It is instead being suggested as a perfectly good positive thing.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Unwelcome visitor

Some friends today were talking about mice and other unwanted critters that sometimes take up residence in your home.


And although I have my own mouse story (and that brief run-in with a lizard), my most memorable unwelcome critter was the, um, well…


Once upon a time, I lived in a dorm in law school.  I went away for Spring Break.  When I came back, there were … well, hell, it looked like little specks of white paint … on some of my belongings.  It gave the impression that someone had come in over that week and painted the place -- and had just missed a bit.


I cleaned and scraped them off everything in the living room, then went into my bedroom.  (It was one of those two-bedrooms-and-a-common-room dorms.)  I had a lovely little grey felt hat, which I kept on a bookshelf.  “Had” is clearly the operative word in this sentence, as it was pretty much covered with the white paint.  And that wasn’t going to come off felt.


At this point, I started considering the possibility that it wasn’t paint.


Frankly, it looked like … well, it looked like bird poop.  I changed the operative hypothesis to the idea that a bird had flown in through the fireplace, crapped on everything I owned, and flew back out.


I threw the hat away.


I washed my hands real good.


I looked around and cleaned everything else with a sponge.  Well, except for the HUGE pile of bird crap under the radiator.  That was going to take some serious cleaning, and it was late and I was tired.


I got ready for bed, and curled up under the blankets right next to the radiator.


Something nagged at me, and I gotup again.  Checked under the bed.


Dead pigeon.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Saturday Six on Monday

And, for the second week in a row, I answer Patrick's Saturday Six questions on Monday.

1. Open local telephone directory and turn to the "X" listings in the residential section:  give the first surname and the last surname that appears in the "X" listings.  (In other words, what last name beginning with X is the first listing in the "X" section, and which last name beginning with X is the final one before the "Y" listings begin?)

I'm sorry, I don't have a phone book.

2. Of the seven deadly sins:  pride, envy, gluttony, anger, greed, sloth, and lust, which are you most recently guilty of?  (Details aren't necessary...unless you wanna...)

Most recently?  Let's see...  it's Monday, so I'm gonna have to go with sloth.  I don't ever want to get my sorry butt out of bed on a Monday morning.

3. What is the last dish you cooked completely from scratch?  ("Hamburger Helper" doesn't count!)

Me?  Cook?  From scratch?  Um.  Gosh.  From scratch, you say?  Mmm.  I had a recipe for some sort of shrimp salad I think I made back before I got the cat.

4. List the states in which you've actually set foot.  (If you drove through a state but never got out of the car, don't count it.  If you've flown over a state without landing in it, don't count it.)

Oh boy.  Someone give me a map.

Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia.

Others I'm not sure of because I think I may have changed planes there but don't recall exactly:  Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma

5. You must give up TWO of the following "modern" conveniences.  Which two would you most be likely to toss out for good?
A) Dishwasher
B) Remote Control (for all devices)
C) Compact Disc Player
D) DVD Player
E) Internet
F) Washer/Dryer
G) Microwave
H) Cellular Telephone
I) Your Online Journal

Well, it's cheating slightly, but I think I'd ditch the CD player because I can do nearly everything with the internet and an ipod.  After that, I guess it would be the journal, seeing as I did quite well without it for all those years.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #12 from Emeraldcalf: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to your significant other?

That would be the fact that I don't have one.

Red-Letter Kitten Day!

I've had Jasmine for over a year now, and today was the very first time I've clipped her claws without her meowing even once!

Yay for the cat-icure!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

This week's homework: Icky Food

This week, Scalzi sticks with the food theme and asks:

Weekend Assignment #15: Tell us about the the most disgusting food/drink you've ever had in your mouth. Please note that I'm emphasizing the words "food and/or drink" -- No fair talking about the time you ate an earthworm or Play-Doh, or drank antifreeze, or ate something else that doesn't actually constitute food. You know what I'm talking about, here. Let's all be grown-ups, shall we. Real food, please: It can be badly prepared, strange and awful, accidentally rancid or whatever, but it's gotta be something someone somewhere recognizes as food.

Ohh.  You had to ask that this week.  While I'm still (mentally) trying to get over last Saturday's Unfortunate Incident with the salmon.  Yep.  A few hours after enjoying a lovely dish of undercooked (and perhaps not too fresh) salmon from a very nice restaurant, I sent that salmon swimming back upstream, as it were.  And it was on a date* too.  Yeah, nothing says "kiss me, you fool" quite like spewing chunks.

But, for some reason, when I read this question, my mind immediately started wandering back to The Great Twiglet Experiment.  Perhaps you've watched "Whose Line is it Anyway?"  The American version of the show (with Drew Carey) is actually a reasonably good copy of the British version of the show -- which used to air regularly on Comedy Central.  And on that version of the show, they were always making jokes at the expense of Twiglets.  Whenever they'd do the game "Party Quirks" -- in which one of the improvisors, Tony Slattery, would pretend to the be the host of a party -- Slattery would always take a moment to pretend to "set up" the party, and he would invariably do this by setting out a bowl of Twiglets, to great audience amusement.  At first I'd thought they must have been some sort of licorice, but -- upon further viewings, came to the conclusion that they were, in fact, some sort of snack food that wouldn't be your first choice to put out at a party.  Perhaps, I thought, they were the equivalent of, say, "Sun Chips."

So, when I found myself in London, I made a point of stopping in a convenience store and buying a bag of Twiglets.  Just to give them a taste.  Because, really, how bad could they be?

Never, never ask "how bad could they be?"  Twiglets are apparently called "Twiglets," because they are made of little tree limbs.  I jest, of course -- but where I'd been expecting something vaguely pretzel-like, I got something that tasted kinda like bark (or how I imagine bark must taste) heavily seasoned with a vile combination of spices.  I didn't actually eat one -- I couldn't bear to -- I just tentatively licked a tiny bit of the season salt (the way those cops do on TV when they're checking to see if that white powder in the bag is really cocaine) and cautiously took a little nibble off the end of one.

I coughed.  I gagged.  I downed a can of coke.  I threw the bag away and ran to the other side of the street, just to put a greater distance between myself and Satan's Snack Food.

But now when I watch British "Whose Line?" I laugh right along with them during Party Quirks.  I have experienced the pain that is a twiglet.



*My mother immediately perks up at that.  Yes, mom, I actually went out on a date.  With a nice man.  Who is straight.  And has a job.  Don't get to excited.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Freudian Slip du Jour

Driving home today, I turned on the radio to the news station.  They were reporting a story about a local high school which will no longer allow music with obscene lyrics at school dances.

Except it got read something like this:

"Blah blah school will no longer allow music with vulvar-- vulgar lyrics at school dances."

Come to think of it, the mis-read was probably accurate too.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Saturday Six -- On Monday

Over at Patrick's Place, Patrick posts "The Saturday Six" -- six questions to answer each Saturday.  I've been reading other people's answers to the questions for some time, and wanted to play along with this week's set.

1. In honor of this being the thirteenth edition of the "Saturday Six," here's a question about triskaidekaphobia, the fear of all things "13:"  You're building a skyscraper and workers are installing room numbers and programming the elevator.  Do you allow them to label the 13th floor, or do you have them skip from 12 to 14?

I'm building a skyscraper?  I omit the 13th floor.  This because I will want to actually get maximum rent from the offices in my skyscraper, and if I number a floor "13," everybody else's superstitions will come into play, decreasing demand for that floor.

2. You receive an envelope in the mail from God.  (Don't ask why the Almighty is sending something through the postal service...just go with me here.)  Within the envelope is a note and a second, smaller envelope.  The note explains that contained inside the smaller envelope is the exact date and time of your death.  The choice of whether to peek is completely up to you.  Do you look?

I open it.  It might be different if the little envelope contained the location and manner of my death -- in which case peeking would likely turn my life into that Twilight Zone episode (and you know which one I'm talking about -- yeah, falling down the steps of the library).  But it's just a date and time -- which means it is unavoidable, which means there'd be no point in trying to avoid it.  Instead, I'd have this extra tidbit of knowledge with which to better plan the time I have left -- get my affairs in order, and make sure I have just enough money left for my Last Day Of My Life party.   

3. What pattern or design appears on your personal checks?

Ugh.  My bank just changed check manufacturers on me, and I am extremely unhappy with the result.  My checks used to have a light marbled background, with a strip of green marble around the edge, and a little gold line.  Very snazzy.  Looked elegant.  With the new manufacturer, they sent me the checks they thought were "closest" to what I used to have -- these come in all different colors.  So now I might be writing on a blue, or yellow, or brown check with a little line around the edge.  Not elegant.  Corny.  I must do something about this travesty.

4. Who are you more afraid of:  your physician, your dentist, a highway patrol officer, or an IRS auditor?

Dentist.  Although, thanks loads for making me remember I need to go get my third HepB shot.

5. Last week I asked which word you had last looked up in the dictionary.  This week, which of the following words are you most curious to see defined?  (No can't look them up in advance!)
A) Allochthonous
B) Gallimaufry
C) Oubliette
D) Tatterdemalion
E) Zumboorukchee

I know "oubliette" (geez, people, didn't anyone else see "Labyrinth"?) and I might know "tatterdemalion."  Of the others, "allochthonous" sounds like something that describes a type of dinosaur (I am probably thinking of "allosaurus" here), and "gallimaufry" sounds too frivolous a word to be of any use in my vocabulary.  I get no feel whatsoever from Zumboorukchee (is that even a word?) so that's the one I'd want to look up.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #11 from Rickpar01:  Take a look at yesterday's newspaper:  what is the top headline?

Oops.  I don't get the newspaper.  I have an old stack of legal newspapers in my living room.  The top headline there is

[insert me walking to living room]

[me picking up newspaper]

[me chuckling]

That's funny.  The top paper is from February 5 -- and the top headline is "Court Insists on Full Rights of Marriage for Gay Couples."  Well, that sure started something, didn't it?

The Technorati Thing

Yeah, ok, a little horn-tooting.

So there's this list of the 100 most linked-to AOL Journals, and, as of the present moment, I appear to be on it.

I won't let it go to my head.  Hell, I know I haven't updated my links in months -- I totally recognize the possibility that people may have linked to me some time ago but don't read me anymore.

Still, I find it really cool that 35 journals link to me. (Your checks are in the mail.)

And I looked at the list of journals that link to me, and realize I don't recognize some of them.  Well, someone just jumped right to the top of my "Journals To Visit" list, that's for sure.

Anyway, just wanted to remark on the coolness of it all -- I dig the idea that I have found journals I enjoy reading just from randomly bouncing through links in other journals, and I find it equally nifty that other people must have found mine the same way.

Reading Online

In this entry right here, John Scalzi writes the depressing news that people are reading less -- but posits the happy thought that perhaps people are reading the same or more, they're just reading online -- rather than, say, books.

And, at first, I thought, "bull."  I mean, reading an online message board about Mary-Kate and Ashley is not the same as reading Hamlet.  There's a difference between the sort of reading that is involved in IMing and chat-rooming (that's reading as a proxy for oral communication) and reading something that displays some level of mastery of the art of the written word.

But then, I remembered something -- and realized our pal Scalzi might have a point.

Some time ago, I was playing what might loosely be called an online game.  But it was a game that had a very solid storyline that was played out before me over a number of months.  And when I reached what turned out to be the endpoint of a particular storyline, it was so moving, I actually wept.

And I thought, through my tears, "Damn, I really have no idea of the power of this medium."  Because this was the first time that I had been emotionally impacted by a piece of fiction that was, for lack of a better term, "internet fiction."

And then I found out who had written it -- and it happened to be a published writer -- so I bought one of his books (and, thereafter, three more).

So, there you have it.  Internet gaming led to reading four actual books.  There is hope.

The Torch! The Celebration! The Community!

Looky!  A flaming torch!

The AOL-J community is getting all celebratory with torches and parades and peer-voted awards and virtual celebrations and possibly all-night blogfests and ... seriously, my eyes start to glaze just scanning it all

I've been a little hesitant to join in on the fun because I'm one of those folks who has a limited time to devote to Journalling -- so I tend to devote my limited journalling time to updating my journal and reading other journals to which I've become addicted.  This limits my ability to write up cool graphics, join AOL-J groups, read as many other journals as I'd like, and generally feel all warm and fuzzy and community-esque.

And then I thought -- hey, us limited-time Journallers are just as valid a part of the AOL-J community as everyone else.  So, I've posted the celebratory torch here -- to sort of take a brief moment to smile and sing "Kumbaya" with everyone -- before getting back to the business of writing entries.

A billion things to blog

Wow.  There's just so freakin' much I wanted to comment on today. 

The first thing I want to blog about is Alerts.  And, more precisely, how alerts affect my own personally blogging.

I mean, take right now.  I have lots of things I wish to write about it -- all of which deserve separate little topic specific entries -- but I am concerned about the overwhelming mass of emails that would descend on the inboxes of those few people (and I cherish you all) who number themselves among my regular readers enough to actually have me on their Alerts. 

So, my apologies in advance for all those "A New Entry Has Been Added to the Journal" emails.

Isn't it funny how Alerts change the way we 'blog?  One negative effect of Alerts is that I've stopped editing entries to fix typographical errors.  I'd rather leave in an error than spam my readers with multiple emails announcing the same entry.

It's funny -- in court, when a judge modifies an opinion, they get to write a line about whether the modification is a substantive alteration of the opinion -- or if it doesn't really change things.  I wish we had a feature like that somewhere on the "Edit Entry" screen.  A "these changes don't really matter much -- don't send out an Alert" button.

Yes, I know.  In my dreams.

Fun or Pathetic?

Have you heard about

This cracks me up.

OK, here's the idea:  You give them $20 and they get a real live actual celebrity to pick up the phone and call the person you designate to wish 'em happy birthday or something.

In principle, a pretty fun idea.

But wait, you must read the fine print.

First, the call from the real live actual celebrity is no more than 30 seconds in length.

Second, the call (although live) is scripted.  (Damn actors -- they're completely useless without a script in hand.)  So you've gotta select from a pre-determined message, like "Happy Birthday" or "Merry Christmas" or "Tell My Wife I Love Her."

Or, "Invitation To A Date" or "Thank You For The Job Interview."  I am not making these up

If you want to write your own (under 30 second) script, that'll run you $30.

Third, the celebrity can make the call any time day or night for the next seven days.

Fourth, you'll want to make sure nobody but the intended recipient actually answers the phone, because the celebrity won't wait for them to pick up.

Fifth, and, really, this is probably the most important -- of the 64 celebrities they have on file, not a whole lot of these people can legitimately be called celebrities.  Which is reasonable when you think about it, because it isn't like anyone on Hollywood's "A-list" is going to really want to call you up in the middle of the night to wish you a happy birthday for whatever fraction of $20 is their cut.  But the folks here aren't even B-list.  What I'm trying to say is that the bulk of's celebrity roster is made up of folks who'd have a hard time getting a guest shot on "Celebrity night" on a Game Show Network original.

We're talking about names of the "what has he been up to for the last 20 years?" variety -- like Russell Johnson ("Gilligan's Island"), Todd Bridges ("Diff'rent Strokes"), Ron Palillo ("Welcome Back, Kotter"), Ken Kercheval ("Dallas"), and Christopher Atkins ("The Blue Lagoon").

And also, folks of the "no, really, I'm famous" variety, like Richard Hatch ("Survivor"), Alex Michel ("The Bachelor"), and, of course, Brian "Kato" Kaelin (who is actually billed here as "America's Favorite Houseguest.")

Can you IMAGINE?  As you're walking out of your job interview, you tell your prospective employer to be sure to leave the answering machine on for a very special phone call, and then at 2:00 a.m. three days later, Kato Kaelin calls them up to thank them for the job interview on your behalf.  Man, you'll be a shoo-in!

Or the "Invitation To A Date" call.  You really like that girl and you have her phone number, but you just can't bring yourself to ask her out, but if that dude who played Arnold Horshack does it for you, you're in, baby.

What I'm trying to say here is that if you're someone who could really use a 30-second "Encouraging Motivational Call" from the guy who was in "B.J. and the Bear," you might want to save that $20 for some therapy.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Homework: Food Haiku

This week, Scalzi asks:

Weekend Assignment  #14: Write a haiku about your most cherished snack food or carbonated beverage.


Raspberries mixed in
A dish of sweet cream ice cream
On a summer day

Jasmine also wanted to get in on the fun, so she adds:

Love me my Pounce treats
Carribean Catch flavor
They're the cat's meow

(OK, Jasmine didn't get a reference to nature or the seasons in there, but I still think she did pretty good.  What with having a brain the size of a walnut and all.)

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Sandals with Socks -- Noooooo!

Call the fashion police!  Sandals with socks!  :::sirens wailing:::

When I was in college, one of our TA's wore them.  Black socks with those clunky brown Birkenstock sandals.  Every day.  We used to make fun of that behind his back.  "Birkensocks," we called them.  Figured he must have had really ugly toes or something.

Fast forward (some fifteen years) to this morning.  I'm wearing my little sports brace again (note to self:  weak ligaments + high heels + uneven flagstones + 5 hours of sleep = disaster).  So, I put on a nice pair of black socks, put the brace on my left ankle over the sock, and slip on a pair of soft black moccassins. 

Excepting they don't slip on over the brace.  I try to shoehorn myself in there, but it isn't working.

I look at the clock -- I'm late for work as it is.

I look at my feet, with the brace all firmly laced-up.

I look at my footwear options.

There's nothing for it.  I grab the black slip-on sandals and slip them on over the brace.  And over the socks. 

I cringe as I leave the house -- ready to raise my cuff and display the ankle brace to anyone who even looks at me funny.

Oh, the shame of it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

A Product Endorsement

Since I'm normally complaining about products that don't work like they ought to, I thought I'd turn it around a bit and talk about something that actually works.

First, a little bit about the product that didn't work which it replaced.

I got a new cell phone.  (Free with another two-year contract.  Lovely.)  It's a good Nokia phone with every bell or whistle I might want.

Except a hands-free headset that actually works.

It came with one of those hands-free units where there's an earpiece from which the microphone dangles.  (Kinda like everyone uses on 24.)  Like this microphone unit spinning in the breeze somewhere in the general vicinity of your shoulder can pick up any sound coming from your mouth.  Sheesh.  I mean, I understand why they use them on 24 -- it's great if you're filming television and if you want people to have cell phone conversations without having any little bits of technology blocking all those close-up shots of their faces -- but, of course, that's television and the people aren't actually communicating on these things.  If we actually had a Counter Terrorism Unit depending on dangly microphones....  it boggles the mind....  No wonder we had so many intelligence failures pre-9/11.  Someone was probably reporting the movements of the terrorists on a freakin' dangly mic.

Now, I actually tried to use this thing when I was driving.  Here's me trying to use the dangly mic.  I quickly learn it doesn't pick up anything when dangling beside my ear, so I end up sticking the earpiece in my right ear, and attaching the clip to the left-hand corner of my eyeglasses, such that the dangly microphone is sitting on my lower lip.  I look like an idiot, but at least I can be heard.

I can't imagine what it would be like if some cop sees me driving along with this contraption on my face.  I decide I need to buy a "boom" style microphone headset.  The problem here is that Nokia phones have their very own unique headset jack, so the standard headset you can pick up for $12 at Staples won't fit the damn thing.

I go to the Nokia website.  They sell a boom mic headset for a whopping $25.  And, of course, I don't know whether the quality of this thing is as bad as the Nokia dangly mic.

And here we finally get to the product I want to rave about.  I do some research online and discover that a company called Jabra makes headsets for all kinds of cellphones, including some with the bizarre Nokia jack.  They make a little job called the "Jabra Earboom headset" that I could buy in a Nokia version for $15.  Sits in your ear (comfortably) and has a little boom mic going a couple inches down your face.  It's adjustable, so you can point it in the direction of where your own personal mouth happens to be.  And the damn thing is really powerful, so it can hear you even though it is sitting near your cheek (and not really blocking your close-up).

It works!  It works great!  Not only is the sound better than the dangly mic, the sound is better than if I'm just holding the phone up to my head.  I want to carry the little Jabra thing with me all the time and use it whenever I make calls -- not just in the car.  It rocks!

All hail inexpensive technology that works!

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

What Wasn't I Going to Talk About...?

Had an interesting political discussion with my father the other day.  Interesting in that we generally vote on opposite sides of the line (candidate-wise), but it seems that, at heart, with a few exceptions, we generally want the same things out of government.

The difference between us comes not so much in our views on any particular issues, but in the order in which those issues strike us as important.

Which is to say that if we were creating a dream candidate for the office of President, we would likely create pretty much the same person.  And we both agree on the ways in which the major party candidates for that office fail to live up to our joint ideal.  (And, boy, does it take the steam out of your argument when your opponent goes, "Yep, absolutely, my guy is totally wrong on that.")  The reason why our votes keep cancelling each other out is simply that my father would prefer a president with one set of (admitted) flaws, while I lean in the other direction.

This really threw me -- for starters, it turned out that we ultimately had very little to argue about. Our difference is really a matter of issue ordering -- and it's really hard to convince someone that they should think "X" issue is more important than "Y" issue -- because importance is something of a personal preference.

But the other thing that got me on this is that we really could agree on most of the things we'd want in an ideal candidate.  Which raises the question of why the hell nobody is running such a candidate.  Now, obviously, my father and I don't represent the entire political spectrum here -- clearly a candidate who is totally acceptable to the both of us would likely be unacceptable to lots of other people.  But it did point out to me, in rather stark terms, how polarized the parties have become in catering to the extremists in both camps.  Because, dang, if Mr. Lifelong Republican and his Lifelong Democrat daughter can reach an agreement over dinner, there's certainly some swing votes to be had if only the parties would go about actively courting them.

Monday, July 5, 2004

Moron, Table For One

When I wrote that entry below, I wanted to link to a website listing Easter Eggs -- just in case you weren't familiar with them.

But I was in a hurry, so I didn't do it.

Today, I looked for one.  I found one pretty quickly that also included a "cheat" for how to bypass all that crap and get to the deleted scenes.  So the "parental bypass" does exist! 

(I just wish I didn't have to search the internet to find it.)

(Well, actually, I wish I'd searched the internet to find it last night.) 

Things I Want: Easy Access to Easter Eggs

You all know "Easter Eggs," right?  Those little secret bonuses that find their way onto your DVDs.  Fun little clips of film, interviews, extra behind-the-scenes stuff -- whatever.  And they're called Easter Eggs because they're hidden.  I'm not talking about all the stuff you get to just from clicking on the "Special Features" menu -- I'm talking about the stuff you get when you click on something you shouldn't obviously click on.

I am starting to really hate Easter Eggs.

Because, frankly, when I paid good money for the DVD, I paid for all the content, and I want to be able to access it without jumping through a billion hoops.

And this is especially true when the hoops are twelve-year-old-boy sized.

Take last night, for example.  For my birthday, a friend bought me the DVD of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (aka "the first one").  Last night, around 1:00 a.m., I put some food in the microwave for dinner, and thought, "Hmm, maybe I'll look at the deleted scenes on the Harry Potter DVD while I'm waiting for it to cook."

Famous last words.

I know there's deleted scenes on this thing.  Says so on the back of the box.  But the deleted scenes aren't incorporated into the movie (like they are in the Extended Edition Lord of the Rings disks).  And the deleted scenes aren't anywhere obvious on the Special Features disk.

I know this because I clicked all around the Special Features disk.

Personally, I would've put the deleted scenes under the heading "Library," but they weren't there.  There were five books there to click on -- each one unlabelled.  One told you something about playing a flute for Fluffy; one had lots of drawings of keys in it; one had a little film clip introducing you to the ghosts of Hogwarts; one just growled at you and went back on the shelf ...  none of these books had deleted scenes.

(By now my dinner is ready and I start eating it.)

There are lots of other places to click on the Special Features disk:  Diagon Alley, Classrooms, Interviews, Tour of Hogwarts and so forth.  I click on anything that looks interesting.  Twice I end up clicking on a box of those "Every Flavor Beans" and get to listen to the narrator tell me what disgusting tasting bean I accidentally selected.  Ha ha.

I finally give up and click on "Classrooms."  It won't let me in.  It says I can't go to class without my wand. 

:::Eye roll:::

I click on Diagon Alley.  It won't let me get in unless I press the bricks in the right order. 

(Oh for pete's sake.)

After making fun of my brick pushing ineptness, it gives up and lets me in "just this once."

I click on the wand shop.  It tells me I can't buy a wand without money.

I click on the bank.  It tells me I can't get my money without my key.

I click on a key.  I go back to the bank and get my money.

I go to the wand shop.  Moving my selector button around, I find there are about 8 wands I can click on.  I click on a wand.  The voiceover says something like, "8 1/2 inches, maple with unicorn hair."  Then it shows an amusing film clip of the wand waving and everything in the shop blowing up.  It resets.  I select another wand.  It tells me all about that wand and blows the shop up again.

It fails to reset.  My DVD player sometimes has trouble with short film clips and ends up spinning the disk forever.  I have to stop the disk and start over.  From the beginning.

(Push wrong bricks and get let in "just this once," key, gold, wand shop, try more wands.)

Success!  Hoo-bleeding-ray.  I apparently picked the wand that worked without sending my DVD player into spasms again, and I high-tail it over to the "Classrooms" before the DVD player gets other ideas.

There are four classrooms.  I click through them all.  (More "Every Flavor Beans."  This time, I click on a vomit flavored one.  Ha ha.)  One classroom tells me something about a round bottle that is apparently important.

I've clicked through four classrooms.  I still haven't found my damn extra scenes and don't think that "playing" the "select the wand" game has been a whole lot of fun at 1:00 in the morning.

I keep clicking in pissed-off-ness and eventually click one of those unmarked places that I hadn't thought I was allowed to click.  I get a new clip of film saying I'm going into the forbidden hallway.  Success!

Yeah, that's what I thought.

First, there's more games.

1.  Here's Fluffy, barring your way.  Click on the item you use to calm Fluffy.  (The flute!  I read this in the library!  Take that, stupid game.)

2.  Which potion bottle do you select?  (Ooo!  Ooo!  I know this!  The round one!)

3.  Pick the right flying key.

Crap.  There's at least 10 of them that I can click on.  And if something in that book of flying key pictures was supposed to help me out here, I don't know what it is.  I click a few keys and the screen resets.  I hold my breath, waiting for my DVD player to give out on me again, but it holds -- the screen is just rearranging keys.  Conveniently, there's no penalty for picking the wrong key, and you can just keep clicking them until you get the right one (or your DVD player goes into an infinite loop again).

I pick the right key.  I get a screen with the sorcerer's stone on it.  I click the stone and "claim my reward."

YES!  Seven deleted scenes.  Woo!  Score! 

1:30 a.m.

Listen here, oh makers of DVDs.  I wanted the Special Features disk for the sole purpose of seeing the deleted scenes.  And this means I wanted to actually watch the deleted scenes -- without having to do a half hour of stupid games that waste my time and put unnecessary wear and tear on my (already fragile) DVD player.  Would it be too much to ask for a "Grown-Ups' Version" DVD, which just HAS all the bonus material easily accessible without making me endure the fun and excitement of buying the right magic wand?



Friday, July 2, 2004

Go America. Rah.

I never get political in this journal.  This is my happy, friendly, non-confrontational place.

But, as we inch up on another July 4th, I'm feeling an odd twinge of patriotism.

This is particularly odd in that normally, as July 4th rolls around, I generally don't feel very patriotic at all.  Not that I have anything against the country, heavens no.  There's just a certain amount of "taking for granted" going on, and looking at the holiday pretty much as a nice excuse for a barbecue and watching some fireworks.  I've even been known to quietly mock some of the more jingoistic displays my countrymen have come up with. 

And this year -- well, heck.  An awful lot of the rest of the planet hates us and I'm not all that happy with us either.  I'm certainly not excited about the fact that when I went to New Zealand, I pondered whether I should try to pass myself off as Canadian.  And I'm not at all celebratory about certain policies of the current administration.  Which is to say that, although, yes, I like to keep this journal a happy non-confrontational place, I'll go out on a limb enough to say:  the Geneva Convention isn't "quaint," we shouldn't be torturing people, and we sure as hell shouldn't be trying to justify torturing people.  And I mean the use of the word "we" here, because those so-called bad apples aren't just making the whole military look bad, they've made this whole country look bad -- and it really, really sticks in my craw that the reputation of my country is being tarnished in this particularly despicable fashion.

Which, I think, is probably the reason why my latent patriotism is kicking in.  I mean, there are plenty of reasons I have for being somewhat negative for some of the things the word "America" seems to be standing for these days -- and yet, I know all of this is transitory and that, at the bottom of it all, we've got us a damn fine country to be legitimately proud of.

I mean, first and foremost are all those nice individual rights we're guaranteed -- the sort of thing that lets us criticize the government, criticize the government in a newspaper, and assemble to criticize the government.  Fantastic freedoms, these.  And I do adore the fact that our country is capable of regime change without bloodshed.  If we don't like the leader, we can just vote him out and there's no question that he'll leave the office peacefully.

And then, of course, there are all the material things that come from living in a great big prosperous capitalistic society.  We've got a lot of stuff.  And we've always got more stuff available.  And when I said that, you might be thinking about really cool things like luxury cars and microchips, but don't forget about things like food.  And vaccines.  And two-ply toilet paper.  I'm telling you, people, there is a lot to be happy about here.

So while, yeah, I might take time this Fourth of July weekend to take in Michael Moore's movie ripping on the government, I'm also going to take particular note of the fact that we've got a country where the movie can be made and you don't feel like the secret police will follow you home if you happen to go see it.

Homework: A Beer With...

For this week's homework, John Scalzi asks:

Weekend Assignment #13: Tell the class which of the Founding Fathers you'd want to hang out and have a beer with and why.

Well, in the spirit of the obvious, I'd have to with Samuel Adams.  You know, because of the whole brewery thing.  I mean, if I've gotta have a beer with a patriot, I might as well go with someone who knows his hops.  And, according to that link right there, he "avoided the fashion of the day, a powdered wig," which I'd have to say is something I consider a plus in my barbecue companions.  And besides (despite the whole lack of environmental consciousness), I give the guy points for the whole Boston Tea Party thing.  I'm lovin' those creative protests.

We here overlook the fact that I'm not, in actuality, a beer drinker.  (Isn't that bizarre?  I have no problem suspending disbelief enough to think I could hang out with a Founding Father, but I find it really hard imagining myself as a beer drinker.)  So I ask myself who I'd just like to hang out with.  And, y'know, being as I am a female of the species, I wouldn't mind an attractive companion...

Take a good look at these guys.  Go on.  Isn't like the room is overflowing with studmuffins now, is it?  They might be smart, they might be courageous, they might be extremely foresighted -- but what they're not is a bunch of guys I'd want to see in their speedos lounging around the pool on a hot summer's day.

Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to share an icy cold beverage with a Founding Father.  But I don't think it's because I think I'd really want to hang out with any of them for anything unrelated to their Founding Fatherhood.  So I'll just take me some random Founder everyone else is overlooking in favor of Jefferson and Franklin and all them other famous ones.  Come to think of it, while I have no real interest in having a beer with any of the guys, I think I'd be proud to buy any of them a brewski.