Monday, December 31, 2007

A Very Special Message from Psychokitty Isabella



3:55 Update: C'est arrive!

Weekend Update: Pizza Edition

It's the last day of the year! *w00t!*

And, I would like everyone to know that as far as my budget is concerned, I'm taking a mulligan for December. The do-over will be called "January 2008." I don't even want to think about how over-budget I was this month. So I'm not going to! YAY!

So ... the weekend. It was fun. My date on Friday was nice. We had good martinis and good conversation at Firefly. Then, we parted ways. He to a dinner party, and I to my home. However, on my way home, Y called, saying that he and a friend were in Silver Spring and wanted to go out to dinner. I met them at the Burmese restaurant, Mandalay. Ginger salad. YUM.

Saturday, Eric from Baltimore came down for a crazy night on the town. SCGB, Eric and I enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at my abode before heading to Alero in Dupont Circle (where Y joined us) for a couple of pitchers of margaritas (and cheese dip! and spinach enchiladas!).

After dinner, the four of us headed over to Cobalt for more drinks. We met up with Ray and Joey there. We drank. Lots. And then we danced! And then we staggered home.

Sunday, very. hungover.

Around 1, I ordered pizza for Y and myself, and SCGB came over too.

and, that was about it. All in all, a super-fun weekend.

Tonight is going to be our sparsely attended New Year's Eve Champagne Tasting Extravaganza! I'm making punch (and pie!)! OK. I'm not making pie, but whatever. Right now, I think 4 people are coming. But more could wander in as I have received a few definite maybes. Like, maybe Tomoko will be there if she doesn't get snowed in at the Fukuoka airport. And, maybe Y will be there if a better offer doesn't arrive ...

I don't really care. I am not feeling like going out on the town.

So, that's it for now. More later, perhaps.
*smooches*

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blurgh

It's been a SuperFun Weekend (thus far).
Someone is a leeeeeeeeeeetle overhung though.
So, here's a picture of my Cranberry Cordial:

Friday, December 28, 2007

TGIF

Slowest Day Ever. OMG. So bored. I think I'm going to dismiss the staff around 2 or 2:30.

My weekend plans? So glad you asked :-)

Tonight is the hot date.
Tomorrow, Eric from Baltimore is driving down. I'm going to get a group of friends together to go out to dinner and bar-hopping, I think.
Sunday, I will need to clean and shop.

SCGB and I are co-hosting a New Year's Eve Champagne Tasting on Monday night. Should be fun times. But, probably, since we waited so late to email out an invitation, not many people will come. I'm ok with that.

Have a groovy weekend! *smooches*

Updated: For those of you with a *thing* for Mormon Missionaries, this calendar is for you! [OhEmGeeLOLZ!!!1!WTFBBQPONIEZ!!!111!]

Sometimes Sex is Just Sex

And other times it's complete and total crap.

Remember on Sunday how I had the opportunity to hook up with this really hot guy, but Y's inability to show up on time threw a giant monkey wrench into the deal? Yes? Well, Really Hot Guy (RHG) called last night. He was nearby. He wanted to come over to watch movies (and we all know what that means).

So, I was all calm, cool, and collected and was like "sure, ok, whatever, let me give you directions." Then, I went into Total Panic Cleaning Mode because my house was a disaster.

He arrived about 25 minutes later, and ... um ... RHG was cute-ish, but -seriously- people, if you're going to send out a photo of yourself, how about using a current one? Would it be that much trouble? RHG was about 20-30 pounds heavier than his photo. Not a complete turnoff, mind you (because sometimes I likes my men to have a little meat on their boneses), but I felt mislead.

Which is not a good way to feel.

He came in. We watched a movie. Then, we watched movies. His cock was kinda weird. Very thin with a ginormous head. Not overly attractive.

I leaned in to kiss him. He stopped me and said those three little words I long to hear:

"I don't kiss."

What da fork? I had specifically asked him when we were chatting if he liked to kiss, and he said:

(and I quote)

"Yes."

Strike 2.

Then, he said, "I'll kiss next time."

Um, what? What's wrong with this time?

He never said.

Two blowjobs [I had to get something out of it] later, he was out the door. And out of my life.
*bleah*

In -hopefully- happier news, I have another date tonight. I'm meeting a guy for drinks at Firefly after work. We'll see how it goes ...

And, now, for your poetry reading pleasure, I give you:

Shards of Glass

Shards of glass
sparkle so against a darkened sky.
Tears of blood
slowly flow from an opened eye.
Pools of color
become one upon the distant ground.
Shades of marble
standing still echo not the sound.

(Colonnades, 1991).

I was 20 when I wrote that. So much more mature than the poems when I was 19. *cough*
*hack*

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Something Is Amiss

Take a look at the screenshot from my homepage this morning:

Obviously you will need to click to embiggen.

See what's wrong? Do you? Do you?

No?

Here's a hint: It's not 83 degrees right now.

Meanwhile, my evening was uneventful. I did laundry. I drank martini. I cooked dinner. I drank beer. I watched movie. I drank cordial.

I vomitted.

Ha! I jest. I didn't vomit.

My plans for this evening include an exciting rental car trip to Target ($25 gift card! woot!) and maybe Trader Joe's! And, that's about it. I really need to start cleaning and tidying. SCGB suggested that we co-host a New Year's Eve Party. If we decide to do that in my apartment there is some serious cleaning that needs to be done. Gah.

As far as I know, my date for Friday is still on. I need to find a good place in DC for martinis. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

And now, here's the third and final poem of mine from Colonnades (1990). Try not to get too excited, there are still more magazines ahead ...

The Wind It Whispers

The wind it whispers; the green grass grows.
The violets stretch for the sun.
The galloping unicorn leaps across the sky
In the Valley of the One.
The fairies dance among daffodils.
Here a child can't cry.
For in the Hollow of Hope and Love
A second will never die.
Deep blue water reflects the light
Of porpoises at play.
The elfin folk make merry laughs
In the Land of Always Day.
No thunder claps, no lightning bolts,
No hail to smash the corn.
No one would dare to hurt the earth
Where Peace and Joy were born.
The time has come I say to you
To journey to this land
For soon, you see, we shall be dust
In a desert of dirt and sand.

*cough*

Actually, it's not all bad poetry. There is also some bad fiction. In fact, my bad fiction won 2nd place ($50! woot!) in the 1990 Colonnades. The story is long (and bad), but I like the beginning and the ending. The middle is full of teh suck. I may type those up at some point. Don't hold your breath though.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Getting Dressed

Yesterday, at the Christmas Potluck, I turned to Y, who had brought a salad, and asked, "did you already dress the salad?"

Y, and the rest of my dining companions, stopped all conversation and stared at me as if I had sprouted another head. "What?"

Yet again, my confidence in my mastery of the English language was shaken to the core. Isn't "dress the salad" correct? Is it a Southern-only saying? Or simply part of my family's weird conversational style? Is my family the only one which dresses a salad ... as opposed to "pours on the salad dressing" (or something else as equally linguistically awkward)?*

Speaking of dressing, do you call the herbed bread you eat with turkey stuffing or dressing?

I've always rationalized it thusly: If the herbed bread is cooked inside the dead bird, it is stuffing. If it is cooked separate from the bird, it is dressing. I have no idea if that's correct, but it makes sense to me. And that's how I explained it to my students in Japan.

The word of VUBOQ for the people of VUBOQ.
Thanks be to VUBOQ.

*The other option would be that my dining companions were stupid.

Lugubrious

For some reason, I thought of that word on my walk to work this morning ... not because I am feeling particularly lugubrious. Rather, I like how it is pronounced, and -sometimes- when I am being silly, I say it to myself slowly, stretching out the second syllable to the point of ridiculousness. Luguuuuuuuuubrious.

Unfortunately, it doesn't mean quite what I remembered it to mean. Oh, well.

I hope everyone had a SuperHappy Holiday yesterday. My day proceeded thusly:

I woke up. I drank lots and lots of coffee. I opened a few Christmas presents. [Big hugs and thank yous to Only Me (I can't wait to try the most rockingest one).] Then, I filtered the goop out of the Christmas Cranberry Cordial and mixed it with some leftover simple syrup I had in the fridge. The cordial? It is yummy. I took a picture, but forgot to upload it. Sorry.

A little before noon, I headed over to Mike's for his Christmas Potluck. Yum. I made White Trash Broccoli and Cheese Casserole. It's always a hit, even with a group of carb-hating queens. I left around 6PM, came home, chatted online and watched movies.

All in all, a very fulfilling day of doing mostly nothing.

Today, I have a few errands to run, and I must do laundry tonight. Fun times.

And now it's time to share with you another bad poem from my past. Enjoy!

General Nothing

General Nothing led his army
Into many a war.
The soldiers fought and died for him
And Nothing loved the gore.

General Nothing inspired them so
To go and kill and maim.
The soldiers took his words to heart
And Nothing gained the fame.

The mighty army burned the land.
The church bells ne'er will ring
For children cried over parents who died
In a battle fought for Nothing.

(Colonnades, 1990)

Bet you didn't see that last line coming from a mile away, did you?

It's going to be a SuperSlow day, so more later.
*smooches*

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Murray Xmas

Java asked awhile back for a photo of my purple tinsel tree in the daylight. So here it is:

Purty, no?

My friend in Boone, Lori, gave me a special present while I was visiting her, the 1989-1992 editions of Elon University's literary magazine, Colonnades. My copies had either been lost or destroyed during my many moves.

And I thought I should share with you the joy of reading a young VUBOQ's bad poetry (and short stories) from long, long ago. Since it's the holidays and most people are out and about and not reading blogs, not many people will be harmed by the exposure.

For those of you that dare to continue reading, here's the first poem (of many):

Old Woman

Old woman --
Why do you sit there
Knitting your life away?
Spin the yarns into quilts
and mittens
and scarves
of words and pictures.
Fascinate us with your life.
Not your death in brightly
Colored Afghans.
Weave the tales of the golden age.
A shawl to keep us warm on
Cold winter nights.
The needles flashed in the setting sun.
The scarf grew longer
The life -- shorter.

(Colonnades, 1990)

*whew*
Now that wasn't so bad, was it?
To think, VUBOQ has been composing bad poems for decades. Doesn't that thought make you happy?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tag. I'm It.

The lovely and talented Java tagged me for the 7 Deadly Sins meme. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture. I promise not to hold it against her.

1. If you could kill someone (or injure them egregiously) who would it be and why? Bonus points for 'how'.

I can't think of anyone I despise so much that I would want them dead. What can I say? I have a very forgiving nature.

2. You have been given 25 Million dollars and you have to spend it all (no donations to charity or investing). What do you spend it on?

But I want to invest it. And give it to charity. Sorry. I guess I'd spend it on traveling. And I would travel in style.

3. You have the opportunity to steal anything in the world without getting caught. What is it and why?

I'd steal the heart of Brad Pitt from that evil temptress, Angelina. Wait. Maybe I'd steal the heart of Angelina. Hmm ... can I steal two things?

4. You have the opportunity to pawn off one facet of your life to someone else forever. What is it and why?

Why burden someone else with my insecurities?

5. If you could have sex with anyone (or anything) throughout the history of the world without repercussions, who or what would it be and why?

I think I'd want to be in a three-way with Mohammad and Jesus (not these two). Not because I find hairy middle eastern men hot (which, btw, I do), but because ... well ... I'm a heathen and I think I could make a fortune selling the video. Is that so wrong?

6. Describe the time in your life when you were the most bitterly jealous.

Bitterly jealous? Hm ... Nothing is ringing a bell. Sometimes I am jealous of other people's friendships. But, then, I think, I have some damn good friends myself. I guess I'm most often jealous when people I know land their dream jobs, because I'm still floundering around for mine.

7. If you could have free, no-death, GOOD plastic surgery on anything and everything that you want, what would you alter and why?

It's taken me years to accept this body I have, but I'm pretty much happy with the way I look - bony and emaciated though I may be. Apparently, some guys find that hot.

And, there you have it. Sorry this was so boring. But, no one is reading my blog today anyway ... or posting on their blogs. *sigh*

Merry Forkin' Xmas.

Happy Christmas Eve

Dooby dooby do ...

I'm back at work. It is full of teh suck. I'm taking a break from the working on the stupid weekly report to give you a rundown (sans pictures) of my exciting Pre-Xmas NC VayKay!

Saturday morning (12/15), I got up well before God intended anyone to wake up, loaded the car, and hit the road (ow!). I drove pretty much non-stop from here to Boone, NC. It took about 7 hours. I arrived at Lori's house and we headed into town. Running errands and stuff. We ran into one of her friends, who joined us for a very late lunch. This friend is CUTE, gay, single, from the DC/metro area, and did I mention CUTE? Unfortunately, he is also very very young. Oh, well. What can I say? I'm an ageist.

After lunch, Lori bought me a cute hat for Xmas. Then, we bought booze and headed to the homestead for a night of drinking and telly. Who says VUBOQ doesn't know how to Par-TAY?

Sunday, it snowed and we shopped. At Blowing Rock's outlets, Shoppes on the Parkway, I bought 4 new sweaters, 3 long sleeve t-shirts, and 1 short sleeve t-shirt. All for $150. w00t. Then, we went to a pub and drank. Mmm. Beer.

Monday, because the roads were icy, I delayed my departure until after lunch. I took a few wrong turns on the way to my parents' house in Waynesville, but managed to arrive around 3:30. My brother and his girlfriend got there about an hour later.

BTW, the windshield wipers on the rental are PANTS. PANTS, I tell you.

Tuesday was Christmas! I got lots and lots of presents - yarn to make a sweater, a new compost container, wine glasses, a pottery plate, and some other stuff that I can't remember. I still have my *big* present to open on Xmas morning.

The fam (and the gf) went shopping in downtown Waynesville. I bought a nice "Thanks for Taking Care of Isabella" present for DUN. Then, the gf left.

The rest of the visit with the parental units was fine ... we went to Asheville one day, where I bought some local handspun wool:

NC Wool

Pretty, no? I have no idea what to make out of it. Prolly a hat or scarf or something.

By Wednesday evening, the parents (esp. the mother) were driving us crazy. It's a good thing we left early Thursday morning. I drove Mike back to Greensboro. That evening, we drove to Chapel Hill to visit the SuperFantastic (male) Cousin, his wife, and the new SuperCute SuperFantastic First Cousin Once Removed. That was fun. I *heart* my relatives. Well, at least that side of the family.

Friday, we met some of the brother's friends for lunch. Then, I drove to Durham to stay with my friend, Isa, the recipient of the Never-Ending Afghan of Doom (see photo in previous entry). She gave me a rice cooker! Yay! So excited! I have been wanting a good rice cooker for AGES!

Saturday, we went to a matinee showing of Sweeney Todd. It was awesome. That evening, we went to a Xmas Party hosted by one of Isa's former co-workers.

I got up SuperEarly on Sunday to drive back to Silver Spring. It took a little over 4 hours. Traffic was fine, but it was very foggy the whole way. Good trip, but I am very glad to be home.

So ... I got home and called Y. He said he wanted to come over around 2. I had no plans to go out, so that was fine. What time did Y actually show up? 9:40. Grr. Why did this piss me off so much?

I had turned down the opportunity to have hot sweaty buttsecks with a very good-looking man because I was waiting for Y. As Gawd as my witness, that will nevar happen again. The VGL man (31, 5'10", 155lbs, Asian, hot hot hot) seemed willing to wait ... so maybe the hot sweaty buttsecks will happen this weekend (or earlier). *fingers crossed*

In other exciting news, I may be having a date later on this week with yet another SuperHot guy. When it rains, it pours, kittens.

And I seem to have left my umbrella at home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Eve Eve

Here's a little photo essay from my trip. Details to come tomorrow ... possibly.

I like to call this one OMFG I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE:

(which is somewhere along the NC/VA western border, I think).

Christmas Lights in a Boone Snowstorm. Sorry for the blurriness. It was cold.


and, sorry for the friggin' WHITE-OUT!!! GAH!!! Stupid wind.


My parents' Xmas Tree. Not as cute as the Purple Tinsel Tree

but, at 8 feet tall, it's slightly taller.

What tree isn't complete with Dried Okra Santa?


SuperFantastic Cousin (and Cousin-Once-Removed)

Cuter than Baby Jesus, bitches.

One neighborhood in Greensboro has this weird habit of tossing lighted chicken wire balls into trees.

EVERY TREE.

Isa models her new Never-Ending Afghan of Doom


The End.
More later.
*smooches*

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Very Special StickSteven

Greetings from Durham! I'm on the last leg of my 2007 Pre-Xmas VayKay! All the exciting photos and details will be coming up next week. For now, to tide you over, here is StickSteven 2007 Year in Review: SuperFuntabulous Edition! Please save your applause for the end.
Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just to Let You Know

I am alive.
I haven't had a drink in DAYS.
Other than that, all is well.

*smooches*

Friday, December 14, 2007

Guess What?

BONUS VUBOQ POST!!!!!! w00t!!!

I managed to finish all my assignments:

updating the contact and referral list
merging that list with another list
answering about 12 email
proofreading 10 email
creating and coordinating the phone schedules for the next two weeks
AND picking up the rental car!

OMG! I rock.

Speaking of rocks, I'm not getting enough pottery lurve so here's the exact same photo from the previous post, only BIGGER:

Last vase

Behold the Glory that is Vase 6!

Now, if I can only get everything I need done tonight. GAH.

"Y" Do I Do This to Myself?

I have a hard time sleeping at Y's. He stays up late, studying, clicketyclackclicking on his computer, talking on the phone, leaving the lights on. When I mention this, it will change for one or two times before reverting back to the norm.

I don't sleep well. I'm irritable. I'm not getting any sex out of it. And he ends up saying things like, "I find myself getting more and more attached to you." And I end up saying things like, "Huh?" and "Whatever."

Of course, I know "Y" I did it this time: Hot water. And it was good. Fortunately, I think hot water has been restored to my building as well. Yay. Besides the comforting goodness of a nice, hot shower, I also had to pick up my last piece of pottery for this term.

This:

Vase 6

Became this:

Last vase

Worship My Pottery Goodness, Kittens!

Procrastination.

I have boatloads to do today. And to have done by the time I leave tomorrow. Enjoy this post. It may be the last you read for awhile [unless, (a) I miraculously get all my work done today or (2) I decided to post whilst on my Pre-Xmas VayKay in North Carolina].

OK. Must get to work. *smooches*

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is It Wrong to Use Someone for His Shower?

I'm headed over to Y's tonight after work. Yes, I know. But, whatever, I needs the hot water, and he has it!

Plus, I want to swing by the pottery studio to see if my final vase is out of the kiln (esp. since it is a potential family Xmas present).

Plus, Y and I have not had teh sex (no matter how you define it) in quite some time. So, perhaps, this relationship has successfully transitioned to friendship.

In other news, does anyone know the correct pronunciation of "quinoa?"

I like to say "kwai-NO-ah."
A friend told me it is "KEY-nwah."
I suppose it could also be "KWIN-oh-ah."
Or perhaps "shut-the-FORK-up-already-and-just-say-it-however-you-want."

The reason for this mentioning of the KWEE-noh-AH! is my mother emailed about a recipe she wants to try while I'm visiting that includes it. And she doesn't think they sell it in remote mountain villages. Imagine! A world without KWEEN-oh! That's ... that's just KRAY-zee talk!

I'm supposed to call her tonight and it would be helpful if I were able to pronounce that tricky little grain-like substance correctly.

I am hungry now. Dang.

Dirty. Cranky. Busy. Gray.

The plumbers visited my building yesterday. When they left, we had no hot water. We still don't have hot water. According to one of the board members, we *may* not have hot water until Friday.

This is not making VUBOQ very happy. Not very happy at all.
VUBOQ does not like to boil water so he can take a relatively warm sponge bath.
VUBOQ does not like feeling all gross and grimy and skanky at work.
VUBOQ does not like it at all.

Top that all off with the fact that I spent the entire day yesterday playing the evil and addictive game and you get a super-busy, stressed-out, stinky, greasy, unhappy VUBOQ who really just wants to go home and get under the covers for the rest of the day. BLAH.

OMG. I'm leaving on myt Pre-Xmas North Carolina VayKay in 2 DAYS! AUGH!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12 of 12

So, here are my 12 of 12. Um. Be warned: They be boring.

Here is a shoe I passed on my way to work this morning:

Lost Platform of Dreams

oh. em. gee. Not another shot from your cubicles window?!? Unfortunately, yes. But, the clouds are neat and I was feeling all Amelie:

St. Vuboq the Devine

Jade bracelet. A gift from PAB (remember him?):

Jaded Dreams

Salsa at Whole Foods. I really should work on holding the camera still:

Everybody SALSA!

Astroturf. Shitty Palace Mall. And the Cinema. The astroturf was supposed to be a cute little park with a fountain and ice skating rink. Stupid Silver Spring bowed to pressure and has kept it like this. BLEAH:

Astroturf of Dreams

EEK! 'nuff said:

Superstition

Pay on Foot, bitches. I cut through this parking garage all the time. Apparently, because I'm not retrieving a car I could be incarcerated or something. Whatever:

Parking Machines

This is the entrance to my office. Doesn't it look soulless? And depressing?

Nightmares

I like this house with its green door. I wonder if they have rainwater runoff issues on the roof:

Green Door

New speed cameras! Y has already been busted once. "But I wasn't going that fast," he said. "Tell it to the camera, biatch."

Speed Cameras

This cute little house is two blocks (or so) from me, and it has been foreclosed. It could be yours for only $390k (I think):

Foreclosed

Home Sweet Home:

Home Sweet Home

(No stalking, please!)

The Date: Luke 2:19 Edition

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
--King James Version

It went well.

And, in other news ... there is no other news. I am being inefficient with my use of time. I am unable to purchase the Kiva gift certificates for my parents for their Christmas gifts. Frustrating unresponsive website. GAH. I wonder if I should just buy them a llama or something from Heifer International ...

My apartment is a disaster, the flotsam and jetsam of my life are scattered about the various rooms (except the spare room, which is staying remarkably clean-ish. Perhaps, because I haven't formed the habit of using it yet). Since today is laundry day, I will attempt to clean and tidy and organize.

And, I'm still having difficulty finding appropriate boxes for some prezzies. If all goes well, I should be able to finish that tonight and mail the last of the goodies tomorrow. *crosses fingers*

I'm thinking about participating in the 12 of 12 photo thingy today. I snapped a picture of an abandoned shoe on the way to work this morning, and that's what triggered the thought ... and then I saw Torn's 12 of 12. We'll see ...

How about a trip down Memory Lane? Here are the StickSteven Years in Review for 2003, 2004, and 2005 [2003 would be the First StickSteven Year in Review EVER]:

[You should be able to Click to Embiggen.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Eyes Have It

This is what VUBOQ looks like when he hasn't had enough sleep:

Eye

My date tonight isn't 'til 8:30 ... so maybe I can take a quick nap beforehand. Naps are the most rockingest things ever. EVER.

Oh. And if you haven't seen this game, be warned: It's Evil. And Addictive. [and, surprisingly, not blocked by the Evil Firewall of Doom].

Hm. It Would Seem I Forgot to Give This Post a Title ... Until NOW

Before I regale you with stories of my exciting life, go vote for my latest blogcrush, Puntabulous, in the GayBloggies.

OK. Now that that's out of the way ...

Yesterday, after work, I ... (wait for it) ... finished my Xmas Cards!!! YAY! Well, except for my brother's. I don't have his new address. I need to call him, not only to get his new address, but also to coordinate one leg of my Pre-Xmas VayKay Tour of North Carolina, which will -hopefully- include us visiting our NC-based SuperFuntastic Cuzin, his wife, and SuperCute New Baby First Cousin Once Removed.

So ... after finishing my cards (have I mentioned that my Xmas Cards are FINISHED? YAY!), I went to DUN's apartment for a holiday Craft Night! YAY! My first beverage of the evening was a Gin Alexander (like a Brandy Alexander, but with gin). It was surprisingly delicious - 1.5 oz gin, 3/4 oz cream, and 3/4 oz creme de cacao. I thought it might be icky, what with the juniper/cream combo. But, no! 'Twas yummy! You should try it!

There was also eggnog ... lots of eggnog ... with lots of bourbon.

To quote a friend from this morning, "I think your liver is going to divorce you." I figure there will be no booze whilst at the parents' abode, so I should stock up now.

As for my craft, I worked on the scarf for my brother's girlfriend. I'm using this supersoft alpaca from knitpicks. Unfortunately, it's also superthin and is taking a superlong time to finish. It has to be done by Monday. gah.

Oh! And a big thank you to Scott C. He sent me a box full of books! YAY! BOOKS! Once I read them, I will be passing them on to some lucky person. [Don't hold your breath, though. There are *a lot* of books. It's going to take me some time to read them all.]

I'm off to the post office in a bit to mail my International Xmas Cards and my Alphalist CDs (except for 2. They're getting bigger packages and I'm looking for appropriate boxage).

*smooches*

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Fit Hits the Shan

Tonight is my co-op's board meeting. I am still undecided about whether I should attend or not. First, I don't want to get involved in a long, drawnout discussion concerning the fee increase. I believe I made my feelings about the increase and possible solutions known in a previous email. Second, several shareholders and I have emailed the Board requesting a separate meeting for all shareholders to discuss the proposed fee increase prior to our January Annual Meeting. And, third, I have a Christmas Craft-Making Gathering to attend.

I learned on Friday at a neighbor's holiday party that the board did not propose this increase. It came directly from our new (and, supposedly, better) management company. This raised several questions (and a few more emails to the Board) about the efficacy and responsiveness of this new management company. It's very easy to propose a drastic increase in fees when you don't have to pay them yourself.

Finally, I know, and consider myself friends with, most of the Board members. I know that they have our best interests at heart and will not approve an increase that will be a hardship on the shareholders, including the several residents who are retired and on limited incomes.

So, keep your fingers crossed that the meeting will have a positive outcome.

In other news ... I bought eggnog today (for the party tonight) and was reminded of a poem written by the Most Fantastic Cuzin. The poem has been lost to the ages, but I committed the first few lines to memory. So, here goes:

Low-Fat Eggnog

Low-fat eggnog
Is not for me.
No way. No how.
No sirree.

High-fat nog
Is how I like it.
Eggs and cream and
Then, I spike it.

*applause*
*applause*

Weekend Update: Holidazed Edition

Can we just pause and say "ACK!" ... as in "ACK! I leave for NC in 5 days!" and "ACK! I still need to do my Xmas Cards!" and "ACK! Parents' Christmas Present!" and "ACK! Christmas Packages that still need to be mailed!"

ACK!

Other than that, I'm calm, cool, and collected, and I had a fun-filled weekend.

Friday, one of the Across-the-Way Neighbors hosted a Christmas Party. It was a lot of fun. Except for the really horrible hangover on Saturday (and, I didn't think I drank that much ... I guess I drank more than I thought ... or I didn't eat enough ... or something).

Then, on Saturday afternoon, Tomoko and I went to Y's Channukah Party, which was also fun. We returned home around 7 to watch Project Runway! YAY! PR4! *woot*

Sunday, my movie "date" never called to confirm, so I didn't go to the movies. Instead, I went to the grocery store, knitted, addressed Xmas Cards, finished the StickSteven letter, and watched DVDs. Oh, and I finished burning my Alphalist CDs (some of which will have Xmas songs interspersed throughout because I couldn't click and drag the songs on this playlist for some odd reason).

I also put up some Xmas lights and my purple tinsel tree (which I've decided not to decorate this year ... I'm feeling non-ornamental).

Fun times, kittens. Fun. Times.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

StickSteven 2008 Year in Review Preview


On Golden Compass

I've been looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, even though the reviews have been fair-to-middlin'.

Today, in WaPo critic Desson Thomson's chat, a commenter said:

Maybe you can explain this. Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea books are just better than the Golden Compass Trilogy: smarter, incomparably better written, genuinely imaginative (polar bears in armor shows a deficient imagination). So why does the Golden Compass get the big movie treatment and LeGuin gets a cheesy made for TV flick?

Can someone please explain to me how polar bears in armor show a deficient imagination? Does everyone imagine polar bears wearing armor? Is that a common theme in adolescent fantasy literature?

I dunno, but the book seemed imaginative to me ...

Does that mean I'm unimaginative?

And, now, I'm off to buy booze! This deficiently imaginative VUBOQ needs a DRINK.

Weekend To Do List

1. Address and write meaningful messages in holiday cards (pity the people at the end of the alphabet).
2. Finish StickSteven 2007 Year in Review.
3. Clean.
4. Decorate.
5. Buy more Xmas Lights.
6. Get all packages ready for post office.
7. Burn remainder of the Alphalist CDs.
8. Attend Friday night Holiday Party (*woot*)
9. Attend Y's Saturday Chahnooookah Party (*woot*)
10. Go to movies with date guy from several weeks ago.
11. Possibly attend my graduate program's end-of-semester potluck on Sunday.
12. Make plan of action for next week (including, but not limited to, organizing for trip to NC, planning my new career in prostitution, and investigating various get-rich-quick schemes).
13. Knit.
14. Watch DVDs.

Wanna Date?

VUBOQ received some vurrry bad news yesterday. His Co-Op's Board would like to increase his monthly co-op fee by over 30%. Unfortunately, the money tree that grows in VUBOQ's apartment died last year, so he has NO FORKIN' IDEA where he will be able to get that sort of extra fundage. I mean, srsly, my annual pay increase, if I'm lucky, is about 3-4%.

So, next year, if this blog turns into a diary of all my encounters with strange seedy men, you'll know why ...

In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, here's the email I sent to the board this morning [with company names redacted]:

Dear Board Members:

This email is in regards to the proposed 2008 budget and the "substantial" fee increase. I realize that hiring [redacted] as our management company would increase our fee, but I was unaware the increase would be so … substantial.

What is [our management company] doing to justify the increase? As our management company, shouldn't they be working to save us money in other areas (i.e. maintenance, insurance, additional service contracts). I would think that they could employ their greater economies of scale to reduce our operating costs.

In response to your request, I have the following specific concerns/suggestions for the 2008 budget:

1. Under Utilities, will you be planning to charge us an additional air-conditioning fee in the summer or is that included in the Electricity line item?
2. Under Maintenance and Repairs, please explain why a fourfold increase in general building maintenance is needed.
3a. Under Service Contracts, how necessary is the janitorial cost? I am unsure of what [our janitorial company] provides other than sweeping our hallways once a week. I believe this could be accomplished by residents [or, heck, pay me ;-) I promise to charge less than $350/month].
3b. Regarding pest control, is this going to be a monthly service contract or pay-as-needed? Will you be obtaining bids?
3c. Is the gutter cleaning expense something that could be placed up for bid? Is $600 per cleaning the best deal we can get?
4. Realizing that insuring older buildings tends to be more expensive, are we over-insured? Is this an area where [our management company] can help reduce our costs?
5. Unless our by-laws specifically require putting a certain percentage of funds into reserve, I believe this is an area that we could temporarily decrease. Cutting the amount we put in reserve by half (or more) and gradually increasing it over the next several years, may be one way to help mitigate the increase in co-op fees.

Additionally, I am concerned that our reserves are not being invested as intelligently as they should be. CDs and Money Market Accounts typically have the lowest rate of return of any investments. What interest rates are we getting on these accounts? Is it part of [our management company]'s responsibility to manage our reserves more efficiently and earn a higher rate of return? I understand that we do need to have some liquid funds available, but I think we should make the rest of our reserves work for us.

In conclusion, I realize that fees do go up. I hope that you, as our Board Members, will be thinking creatively over the next few weeks to discover innovative ways to prevent such a drastic increase in our fees. Personally, I'd rather not have to take up prostitution to cover the over 30% increase in my co-op fee.

Thank you,
VUBOQ

You may now go about your daily business.
Happy Friday. *smooches*

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Invisible Hand of God

Remember when you were a kid and you had those toy cars that you would pull backwards and then release? And, they would go speeding off? That's what I thought of when I was replaying these videos ...

The Invisible Hand of God is all "eeeeeeeehhhn, eeeeeeeeeehhhn." video

And the salt truck is all "VROOOOOOOOOM!"

And this plow truck is the same, 'cept it's all "VROOOOOOM!" then, "eeeeeeehhhn." video

Yeah, I was bored at work yesterday. What of it?

I'm going to upload some photos to Flickr in a minnit.

The VUBOQ Diet

Yesterday was the Cheese and Carbtastic Office Luncheon. Mmm-mmm.

During my afternoon break, as I was leaving to buy something for dinner at the Whole Foods, I had the following conversation with a co-worker:

Co-Worker: What are you going to get?
vuboq: I dunno. Maybe a sweet potato.
Co-Worker: Is that it? That's all your going to eat for dinner?
Vuboq: Yep.
Co-Worker: I wish I could do that, but I love to eat. How do you do it?
VUBOQ: I drink a lot.

And, that's when it hit me!
Alcohol is an appetite suppresant! (Isn't it?)
So DRINK LOTS and STAY THIN!
ZOMGz! I am so a forkin' GENIUS!

I'm going to write a book and make MEEEEEELLLIONS!

Get out of the way deceased Dr. Atkins, the VUBOQ Diet is coming soon to a bookstore near you!

We Need a Little Xmas

December has barely started and I'm already tired of my Xmas music ...

so I went to Borders to get some new CDs (I bought CDs! How Old School!).

I was really wanting to buy Barbra Streisand's Xmas Album (You know I have a thing for Jews singing Xmas Music), but, in the end, purchased the following:

Josh Groban's Noel,
Harry Connick, Jr's Harry for the Holidays, and
The Most Fabulous Christmas Album Ever [Ann-Margaret's "Santa Baby, It's Cold Outside" sealed the deal]

Blah blah blah. That's about it.

I have some fun pix and video on my camera, but I can't upload them at work.
Stay tuned for a final, well, final for this Snow Event, Snow-Filled Post later on this evening.

Looks Like Flurries

My mom IM'ed yesterday evening to say this:

"I hear Silver Spring is getting Snow Flurries."

Now, I know living in the NC Mountains can sometimes skew people's definitions of snow; however, I responded:

"If you define flurries as over 4 inches and non-stop snow since early this morning, yes, we are getting snow flurries."

Meanwhile, I was overcome by a burst of cooking creativity last night ... in between loads of laundry, I ...

(1) Made Mush's cranberry cordial. The recipe says it takes 4 weeks, which means it won't be ready by Christmas. I am hoping to sneak a taste then anyway.

(2) Made Sweet Potato and Red Bean Soup. Here's what I did:

Bring approx. 4 cups of water to a boil.
Add chopped onion, sliced garlic, veggie boullion cube, and lemon slices.
After about 10 minutes, remove the lemon.
Add one diced sweet potato and a tablespoon or so of red curry paste.
Once the potato is nearly tender add a large can of red beans (no need to drain, but I can you could).
Add whatever orzo you have left in the box (I think it was about 1/2 cup. Maybe 3/4).
When the orzo is close to done, add in some fresh spinach. (I really wanted to use kale or some other slightly bitter green, but I didn't pick up any at the store today. Oh, well.)

The soup was actually quite yummy. Tangy and Spicy. Mmm. Mmm.

I also worked on (and nearly completed) the first draft of StickSteven's 2007 Year in Review. I need to buy a new fine point black pen. And some red and green markers.

Finally, to answer a few questions which have been left in the comments recently:

Clio Bluestocking asked, "Do they salt ANYTHING around here? I think I slid all the way to work today!"

VUBOQ responds, "No."
VUBOQ adds, "Nor do people shovel their forkin' sidewalks! GAH!"

Shigeki asked, "oh Wow. It's very white! Thanks for sharing the pic. So can you call in sick today due to snow?"

VUBOQ responds, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No."

Java Jones asked, "Can I vote more than once? If I can only chose one name to vote for, can I vote over and over and over and over for the very best blog in the Entire Universe?"

VUBOQ responds, "Of course you can. You may have to delete cookies on your peecee though."

Speaking of the poll ...

Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com


I think I will close the voting this weekend, so make your voice heard! Vote for the Best Blog in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE today!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled VUBOQ Enjoyment for This Important Announcement

For DC/MetroAreans:

Bone Marrow Drive for a Member of our Community
(Cheek-Swab Test — you do not need to give blood)

Saturday, December 15, 20073 pm – 6 pm
Location: Janney Elementary School4136 Albemarle St. NW, Wash. DC
(intersection of Albemarle St. and Wisconsin Ave NW,
across from Best Buy and the Tenleytown station on Metro’s Red Line)

A local parent of South Asian descent is battling CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia), a form of blood cancer. She is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant. Because there are so few South Asian donors in the national registry, finding a match for her may be very difficult. By registering with the National Marrow Donor Program, you may give the gift of life to this special person, who is a friend, daughter, wife, and mother.

We are most in need of donors of South Asian descent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, East Africa, Guyana, Afghanistan). Donor registration is free for these individuals as well as those of African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other Asian/Pacific Islander origin.

Leukemia and other fatal blood disorders can happen to anyone
• Caucasians have a 1 in 15 chance of finding a matching donor, while for South Asians the odds are 1 in 20,000
• If more people register, the greater the chance that those in need will find matches
• Becoming a donor is simple and free of charge for minorities (others must pay a $52 tissue-typing fee to register)

How you can help
• All healthy individuals between the ages of 18-60 can volunteer
• Fill out a form and have a simple cheek swab to register - takes only a few minutes
• Please spread the word about this drive to people and organizations with ties to the South Asian community in the DC area.

Questions/Concerns:

Contact ellindigo AT gmail DOT com

For more information visit: http://www.blogger.com/www.marrow.org or http://www.samarinfo.org/

We now return you to your regularly scheduled VUBOQ:

Wreaths
Wreaths $12.99. Snow extra.

It's Official!

Vuboq is tired of teh snow.

It's all pretty and stuff ... but, ugh, I hatez going outz in it. And, at some point, I have to brave the madness that will be the grocery store during snow. GAH. I feel like a big ol' cliche because I need to buy milk.

Of course, that's if I make mac 'n' cheese. And, I think I've OD'ed on cheese. My company bought lunch for my office from Maggianos. The things I could eat were: salad (with blue cheese), cheese ravioli, fried cheese, fettucini al fredo with broccoli, and cheesecake. And garlic bread. Cheesy carby goodness.

I need a nap.

And a session in the vomitorium.

So, if I skip out on the mac 'n' cheese. What should I make? Hmm ... perhaps a baked sweet potato.

Snow Falling on Parking Decks

This is the view from my cubicle:

Snow

It is very snowy out.

This morning, I woke up and thought, "Hm. It's dark outside. I wonder what time it is." So, I put on my glasses, looked at the clock and *GAH* 6:24. The alarm usually goes off at 6:20, but I had forgotten to set it last night.

Oops. Good thing I woke up, huh?

White Channukah*. Oy Vey!

Talk about foreshadowing, kittens! Yesterday, we had a taste of the snow flurries. Today, it's a BLIZZARD!!!

Well, not exactly "blizzard" more like "light snow showers," but the Weather People are saying 1-3" of accumulation. I dunno, but December the 5th seems too early for snow. Forkin' Climate Change.

In other news, I finally had an idea for StickSteven's 2007 Year in Review! Yay! It should only take a couple of days to get those ideas sketched, drawn, and copied! YAY!

I also got my first Christmas Holiday Card! Thanks, Sassy!

Oh, and a little note to people who want to choose "all of the above" on the Best Blog in the Entire Universe EVER. I'm sorry, but that's not an option. It's a cop-out. You have to make a choice! Also, you shouldn't have to enter your email, just hit "skip" and all should be well. So, vote now. Vote often:


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com



I guess that's about it. Today is laundry day. I want to make macaroni and cheese tonight. It's about time to give that another try.**

OK. More later, I'm sure. *smooches*

*to annoy Y, I usually pronounce this "Chah-NOO-kah."
**For those of you who are new readers, Mac 'n' Cheese is my cooking achilles heel. I can't make it right to save my life.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Two Tidbits I Forgot to Mention

1. We had snow flurries this morning. Snow flurries = good. Snow storms = bad.

2. My building's stairway REEKED of teh pot yesterday after work. I think my cranky pothead nextdoor neighbor forgot to open a window or something. The smell of teh pot makes me queasy.

Pre-Xmas VayKay


ZOMG. I leave on my Pre-Xmas VayKay in 11 days.
Have I done my Xmas Cards?
Have I drawn StickSteven 2007 Year in Review?
Have I bought/made all my Xmas Presents?
GAH!

Because I have to work on Christmas Eve (bah! humbug!), I'm taking off the week before (yay!). Rather than fly (and deal with icky amateur holiday travellers and have no way to transport all my Xmas Loot!), I decided to rent a car.

Which if you think about it (and consider how much I hate to drive), it's kinda funny. And, perhaps, a disaster in the making. I mean, I drive a car maybe 2 times a year. *woot*

Let the above map serve as a warning to all of you in the affected areas, you may want to stay off the roads on the following dates:

Dec. 15th. I gets up realz early and drives 7+ hours to Boone, NC to visit my college friend, Lori.
Dec. 17th. I drives from Boone to my parents' home in Waynesville, NC.
Dec. 20th. (if I can last that long at my parents' home). I drives from Waynesville to my brother's house in Greensboro.
Dec. 21st. I drive from Greensboro to Durham to visit another college friend, Isa.
Dec. 23rd. I gets up realz early and drives 5 hours back home.

9 days. 19 hours of driving.

*woo-forkin'-hoo*
Merry-forkin'-Xmas.
PS. Don't forget to scroll down to vote in today's mucho excitingk poll!

I Am My Father's Daughter

I watched Elizabeth last night. Let us have a moment of silence to ponder the glory that is Cate Blanchett.

*moment of silence*

Ah. That was nice.

I made Carribean Black Bean Soup last night. OMForkinG, are you ready for the super-complicated recipe? Are you? Do you think you can handle it? OK. Here goes:

In sauce pan, heat one can of coconut milk and one can of diced tomatoes with chilies.
Once hot, slowly add one package of Fantastic Foods Instant Black Beans.
Add water if it's too thick.
You can also add some corn (my people call it maize) and/or cooked rice if you want.
Serve.
Eat.
Enjoy.

*whew* I hate it when cooking is so difficult.

OH. I also put together my frames for the two paintings I bought several years ago. I ordered the frames from americanframe.com. Cheap! And Easy to Assemble! I highly recommend it. The two paintings I framed are 7 1/2" x 10" and 8 1/16" x 10". Total cost (including metal frames, mounting board, UV and anti-glare acrylic, and shipping) was $33. Bargain! And did I mention so easy to assemble? I'm going to be ordering from them quite a lot in the coming months. I have about 5 or 6 more things I need to frame. Yay!

Eventually I'll take a photo or two of my mad framing skillz. Srsly.

It would seem that a certain vicious unrepentant bitter old queen has been SHUT-OUT from every known "best of" blog popularity contest in da world. Thus, I'm having my own. Please vote carefully:


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bear Sex and Break-Ups

ZOMGz!

15 comments on the totally true story about my teddy bears! You like me. You really, really like me!

The only time I get more comments is when I break up with Cheating Cheaters who Cheat. Cheatfully.

So, let's see ... in order to get lots of comments on every entry, I either need to break up with more hot menz ... EVERY DAY [My torrid affair with that totally cute Starbucks Barista ended when he handed me my grande no-whip non-fat mochafrappalottaccino with a sprinkle of nutmeg and kicked me out of the store without even saying GOOD-BYE! I saw how he was looking at the customer behind me. WAH!]

or

MORE HOT BEAR LUVIN' (NSFW*) with MUHAMMAD and JESUS!!!!

The people have spoken ... stay tuned, my pretties.

*I'm kidding. Hot Bear Luvin' is tewtelly work-safe.

Weekend Update: Artsy-Fartsy Edition

Happy Monday, Kittens!

Not much happened this weekend. On Friday night, Peter and Tomoko came down for drinks. We watched Project Runway Season 2 on DVD. I stayed up way too late.

Saturday, I dug out my Xmas stuff and (yay!) discovered I *did* purchase Xmas cards on sale last year (yay! again). Of course, I didn't bother decorating or anything. I just put the box in the middle of my floor. Motivation. I'm all about it. I can't decide if (or where) I want to put my purple tinsel Xmas tree. And, I discovered I need more Xmas lights. AND, I was feeling lazy and didn't want to do anything. OMG. I have so much to do in just two weeks. GAH.

Of course, instead of doing anything that truly needed to be done, I knitted. And finished (!) the Never-Ending Afghan of Doom! See:

Never-Ending Afghan of Doom Finished!

It's huge. But, I bound it off too tightly so one end is all wonky. Whatever. Who cares? It's finished (woot!). One Christmas present down ... like, a gabillion to go. fork.

I cast on a scarf for the brother's girlfriend, using the leftover Never-Ending Afghan of Doom yarn. Let's not even talk about the cabled scarf and the 2 Harry Potter scarves and the mitten/scarf set that I need to get done.

Sunday, Carolyn and I went to the pottery studio. I glazed my final vase and picked up the finished Vase 5:

Vase5

Then, we picked up Y and drove to the Greenbelt Art Festival. The community center there has some pretty awesome pottery studios. After dropping Y off, Carolyn and I went out for Mexican food. Yum. Once home, I knitted, watched DVDs, and turned in early. Yay.

Tonight, I'm thinking about making Pesky Mac's super-delicious Winter Vegetable Chowder. Mmmm. Or some other soup. It's a soupy kind of evening, methinks.

Exciting stuff, no?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Secret Life of Bears

As you may know, I have two very special bears living with me.


This is Buddy:

He was my brother's teddy bear.

This is Buzzy:

He is my teddy bear.

Buddy and Buzzy are good friends.

We've had them for as long as I can remember.
Unfortunately, my parents could not afford to keep two ravenous teddy bears, so they moved in with me a few years ago.

Buzzy is the studious one. He reads all the time.
I think Buzzy may need glasses.

Buddy is very neat. He is always cleaning the room.


Last weekend, I learned a shocking secret.

I was cleaning out my files and found their birth certificates.
"Buddy" and "Buzzy" are only nicknames!
Buzzy's real name is Jesus Christ, and Buddy?
His name is actually Muhammad.

Because what I'm about to disclose next could really tick. them. off.

Muhammad? Jesus?

It's time to come out of the closet.

Yep.
Muhammad and Jesus are gay bears.

Gay bears with no shame, because the let me photograph some rather intimate moments.


Muhammad and Jesus are versatile! Who knew? Not me. That's for sure.

But, y'know, being a gay bear isn't just about teh hot, steamy, sweaty, hairy buttsecks.
It's also about the love.

And, I know that Muhammad and Jesus love each other very very much.