If You Can't Say Something Nice...

If You Can't Say Something Nice...
Say Something Vague

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Today the Mobile Saturn man came and changed my oil and filter. This is just the coolest service. I know I've mentioned it before, but today I watched him do his magic.

It takes about 10 minutes in which he tops off the fluids, changes the filter, drains the old oil, puts in new oil, checks the tire pressure and wipes everything down. It probably works in his favor that good ol' Sergio apparently suffers from ADD because he bounces from one function to the next and back again with amazing alacrity. He may also have OCD because he must have checked the caps on the coolant and wiper fluid about 80 times in the few minutes we were there.

He would get down on the ground to check under the car and then bounce to his feet in one fluid motion (I kid you not) to check the cap for the coolant again. He's a nice guy and so efficient! And there's no waiting at the dealer forEVER for an appointment, especially seeing as how all of the OC Saturn dealers only seem to keep 9-5 service hours!

|| Stephanie 12:03 PM

Monday, September 29, 2003

Currently non-personal life feels like one big disillusionment. Very sad. I just want to sleep all the time. That or cry. Neither is a great alternative, truthfully. It's especially yucky after having a really good weekend.

On Friday I got to leave a whopping 1-1/2 hours early (yeah, that makes up for working 12 hours on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with a 10 hour day on Wednesday). I went home and promptly fell asleep for a little over an hour. Then I tried to figure out whether I was going to watch Joan of Arcadia and tape Miss Match or vice versa. I ended up watching Joan of Arcadia and really liked it. It was a very cute idea where God can appear as anyone to guide this girl. It was only the first show so she was just learning about this 'job' from God to do some errands for Him; nothing too much has happened yet. The show has a good cast and had some funny and interesting moments, so I think I may have a regular show on my hands here. I taped Miss Match, and will probably watch it tonight.

Saturday was the longest expedition ever to the LA County Fair (thanks Jenny!). Jason and I went from about noon to midnight. We were so EXHAUSTED by the time we left. We saw the baby animals, a cow milking demonstration (I wasn't too crazy about that one), went on some rides, ate A LOT and went through most of the pavilions. We even got our picture taken on the replica Brady Bunch staircase and dared each other to try the deep-fried Twinkie (I don't necessarily recommend it, but it wasn't as awful as I expected it to be).

We went on the largest ferris wheel I have ever seen called La Grande Wheel. A bit scary from up so high. Then we went on something called EXPERIENCE that was like a big center spoke with six 'branches' coming off of it. Each branch sat 8 people. The machine spun around faster and faster, eventually tilting and lifting off the ground and spinning each person in their seat. It was FUN but also kinda scary. I'm one of those people who both loves and distrusts carnival rides--they are loads of fun, but they are also temporary and put up in a day or less, so how can they be as safe as the permanent rides at amusement parks? I was laughing and screaming, but I also had a death grip on the metal handles at the sides of my seat.

Yesterday we ended up skipping church because I was still recovering from my 60 or so hours of tradeshow followed by the 12 hours of the fair. SORENESS!! Then we raced to Best Buy to get Jason's mom a DVD player for her birthday and raced to Pomona for the surprise party at Jason's sister's house. It was ostensibly a first birthday party for Jason's nephew Dylan, but it was actually for all of their family's October birthdays: Dylan, Jason and his mom's 60th. We spent all day playing with the kids, eating (again) and being silly. His sister made the best spinach dip; it was sooo yummy (even though it had chopped water chestnuts in it--they have no intrinsic value, as far as I'm concerned). There were three cakes to top everything off.

So, it was a busy weekend, which didn't do too much for helping me recover from last week, but I had lots of fun. I do feel a bit like a narcoleptic, though. Everytime I sit down for any extended period of time (think: driving, working on the computer, sitting anywhere) I fall asleep. Now, that can't be good, right?

|| Stephanie 12:56 PM

Friday, September 26, 2003

Haiku odes to a tradeshow

1) Tradeshow, oh tradeshow

Pain in my foot, neck, back, arms,

how I dislike you

2) Uncomfortable place

Hot, dry, dirty, boring, long

tradeshows suck big time

3) Standing, endlessly

tradeshow of pain, discomfort,

need to recover

4) Sell out Stephanie

Big missiles, killing machines

Smile big marketer

|| Stephanie 9:31 AM

Monday, September 22, 2003

Am I the only one who misses the irony of a tradeshow held at Disneyland--the mecca of all things wholesome and family-oriented--that is focused on the defense industry? The company I work for has a booth at the show, and in the booth is the military vehicle that I was lucky enough to write a datasheet for. With two hellfire missiles mounted to it. Yippee! [sigh]

|| Stephanie 10:46 AM

Thursday, September 18, 2003

While driving to work today, I saw this car. A real car. Driving down the street. Complete with ears and the little painted face. I did a double-take when I saw these floppy ears pop up at a red light on Ball Rd--my first clue that this was not your average yellow VW beetle. The ears intrigued me and made me want to get closer to check out more of the car, and I got to see the whole package. While the car is driving, the ears lay flat on the roof, but every time the car stops, they pop right back up straight for full mouse effect.

More of us should give our cars personalities like this! Maybe my little red car could be a ladybug, with little spots and the nifty side opening doors would make great wings. And on the roof I could have two antenna. Ah! I love it! What would your car be, if it were to be made into a creature of some sort?

|| Stephanie 12:35 PM

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

You know, if I dislike politics on a national level (or even state), how much more so when I have to deal with it every single day in an office?????????????????????

|| Stephanie 3:33 PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I just got the best CD ever. Joss Stone, The Soul Sessions. I heard an interview with the singer on NPR on Saturday, and was blown away by her talent. She has a richly gorgeous voice, and sings like an old-time blues singer crooning about a man whose done her wrong. But here's the catch--Joss Stone is a 16-year old Brit.

According to the interview, she was in the process of working on her debut album when she met up with some historic blues musicians and was taken under their collective wings. Her talent was so evident that they had to make a CD with her, and in four days The Soul Sessions came to be.

I absolutely love her voice. I heard this interview on Saturday and spent Sunday looking for the CD, until I found out it didn't come out until today. I was terribly impatient all day yesterday, but finally on my lunchbreak today was able to drive to the closest Tower Records (in TUSTIN) and pick it up (for an equally unbelievable $9.99, BTW). If you can find any of those legitimate free downloads of one song from the CD (after all, I don't want any of my friends to be sued for $150k by the RIAA), do yourself a favor and give it a listen. You'll see what I mean and have to have the CD too.

It is comprised of mainly covers of some famous soul and R&B hits, on which she puts her own twist. But you can't miss her cover of the White Stripes I Fell In Love With a [Boy]--that has to be heard to be believed, it's so awesome. Oh, I just found this site where I think you can hear snippets of some songs.

So what are you waiting for??

|| Stephanie 3:25 PM

Monday, September 15, 2003

On Saturday we went to Jason's dad's house. One of the guys who rents a room there is a HUGE music freak. He is constantly burning CDs for himself and everybody he knows. I've already gotten 3 (unsolicited) Beatles albums. It's very thoughtful since I barely know him! Anyway, he was showing me all of his new CDs and he asked me if I liked club music. I said I don't really know anything about it. He showed me the CD from this band Tatu. I said that I had heard of them and/or seen the disc at some store. So he put it on the CD player.

It was playing along in the background for awhile; not really my thing at all. I didn't care for it. But I was struck by a familiar-sounding song at one point. Well, the lyrics were familiar, but they've killed the song. It was How Soon Is Now by The Smiths.

(sigh) Why ruin a perfectly good song in this way? Enough already with the covers! Get some talent and originality already! Grrrr

|| Stephanie 6:05 PM

Friday, September 12, 2003

RIP Jack Tripper

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I was devastated this morning when I heard that John Ritter had died. Immortalized forever by Three's Company as Jack Tripper, the bumbling but sweet guy living with two hot babes while going to cooking school, John Ritter was a force in 1970s situation comedy. I felt like a part of my childhood had been taken away from me; I grew up watching Three's Company daily. Silly as it was, I looooved that show!

I was really happy for him when I saw that John Ritter had a successful new sitcom (8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter). I even watched it a couple of times. It too was a silly, mindless sitcom, but good for what it was. He was just profiled in In Style (I think) with his wife and family on his comeback. And the weirdest thing of all is that I am associating John Ritter with my dad. Not that they're anything alike (well, maybe the klutziness bit...), but I used to watch the show all the time with my dad. I need to call my dad...

I am torn about Warner Bros. new movie Matchstick Men . Here's why I am very excited about the movie: Ridley Scott--GOOD, Sam Rockwell--GOOD, Alison Lohman--GOOD, Caper movie--VERY GOOD, Paper Moon-type con-dad-and-clever-con-daughter plotline--GOOD, neurotic-lead-guy-with-inevitable-touching-moments-with-long-lost-daughter--GOOD.

But then there's it's one tragic flaw: Nicolas Cage--BAD, VERY, VERY, BAD. I know that not everyone will agree with me, but I think he is one of the WORST actors ever to stumble into Hollywood. I don't think he'd have been given a chance if his uncle wasn't Francis Ford Copolla. The only thing I've ever liked him in is Raising Arizon--where he (very naturally, I might add) plays a complete and utter moron. This movie is going to complicate my Nicolas Cage embargo!

|| Stephanie 11:21 AM

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Much like Jenny, this morning I found myself overwhelmed by emotion listening to the stuff about 9/11. It's weird because I don't even remember anything about last year's memorials. But I found myself crying this morning, listening to a tribute put together by Kevin Ryder of Kevin & Bean on KROQ (admittedly, Kevin is probably one of the least sensitive people in the world, but he did a great job with this tribute).

Which brings me to my blog of the day. In commemoration of all of those who died on this day, two years ago, I would like to have my own moment of reflection. <1 minute of silence and prayer> Okay, I did. Also, I would like to honor them by not watching the footage of the wreckage that tragic day. By not watching endless intrusive interviews--then and now--with distraught relatives and loved ones. By not listening to partisan politicians use the deaths of thousands in a horrifying and unprecedented manner as a springboard for their own agendas.

I would like to commemorate their passings in a respectful and quiet way. Reflecting on the love exhibited by countless victims as they spent their final moments consoling their family members and sending important messages home. Remembering the camraderie and compassion exhibited by those in NYC and around the world in a true time of crisis. Considering the sadness, yes, of so many lives lost, but admiring the strength and courage of those left behind. Determined to be a part of waging peace so that we need never have another such event to commemorate.

|| Stephanie 2:58 PM

I think I've sprained the ring and middle fingers of my left hand. Hopefully I'll find out tomorrow a.m. when I see the doctor. I tell ya, I definitely make my insurance company work for me, having a completely ineffective immune system and being extraordinarily klutzy. I was talking to one of the guys at work about my injury. When he asked how I hurt myself, I hesitated and he jumped in with, "I know! You saved your boyfriend from being run over by a Mack truck!" I love this guy, Steve. He's a riot. But that leads me to elicit suggestions for how I "really" injured myself from you, my fine friends.

In college when my ring finger of my right hand was sprained in a freak fan-kicking incident (I wish I were making this up, people), I told everyone a different (heroic, obviously) story about how I got hurt. I think that I should revisit that concept.

I'm pretty volatile right now where Bush's "foreign policy" or "policy for economic recovery" are brought up--and I use the terms euphemistically--so rather than go off right now (also partly because long typing jags make my left hand hurt ALOT), I will just express myself this way: GRRRRR ARRRGGHHH BLAHBLAHBLAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, I need to do further research, but so far it sounds as though this guy may be the real-life Jed Bartlett and may well be getting my vote and support.

|| Stephanie 2:57 PM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Too funny. Check out the map behind Rumsfeld (is it just me, or does he look like Dennis Anderson from GNP?). Hee hee.

|| Stephanie 5:06 PM

Briefly, a couple of things. My boss is out for the whole glorious day, so I've gotten 10x as much stuff done as I usually do. Yea! I freed up enough time to spend 10 minutes on blogger.

First: why I'm lame. Today my middle and ring fingers of my left hand are taped together. I injured myself in an incredibly stupid way. Without going into too much detail (because I would just be humiliated by my own stupidity), suffice it to say it involved me, a time warp, and a ceiling fan. But don't worry, no ER-like limb loss here; c'mon, I would've said that up front. Actually, come to think of it, if I'd lost a limb, I would definitely NOT be at work today.

Second: My life is now complete. I was asked to write a datasheet and a press release on some of the very equipment that I most scorn. I wrote these for our use at a show, but they're on a product that is manufactured by another division of our parent company. You can look at it here (the product, not what I wrote). Someday, if you're really lcuky, maybe you'll get to watch the video that I was forced to endure. It's actually a montage of coverage from local news stations and a program from a cable network called Mail Call with some psycho ex-military guy who l-o-v-e-s guns, military equipment, firepower, driving fast, weapons...basically he likes violent bloodsport, I guess.

Well, that's about it for today. Besides, it's incredibly difficult to type with my fingers taped together. Flex tape. Yeah, right!

|| Stephanie 4:11 PM

Friday, September 05, 2003

Is that a guided missile launcher in your hallway, or are you just happy to see me?

Yes, the rackmount thingy for helicopters is back. It's actually a guided missile launcher for Hellfire missiles. Comforting, eh? I get to sound really smart when I say that. Smart and just the teensiest bit homicidal.

Props to my dear friend Jenny Smith for the coolest mugs ever! For my bday Jenny gave me two mugs featuring 'portraits' of Henry VIII and six of his wives (those that he divorced or beheaded). When you fill the mugs with hot liquid, the ladies all disappear. Hee!

Getting these super-cool mugs led me to my new favorite website: The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild. The site is filled with what they call thoughtful gifts for thinking people. Who wouldn't love Freudian Slippers? Or a Shrodinger's cat finger puppet? Or, my personal favorite, martini glasses emblazoned with a Dorothy Parker quote: “I like to have a Martini, two at the very most, three I’m under the table, four I’m under my host!”

You simply MUST check it out!

|| Stephanie 5:26 PM

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Today's blog is brought to you by the letter P!

Upon further reflection of my favorite words, it became clear to me that most of the words that I really like (whether I actually have much opportunity to use them or not, Mike!) start with the letter P. My existing list includes a few words like: priapism, persnickety and persimmon. But there are many more where those come from. Words like prognostication, philanthropy, pillory, plumage, phenomenology (and phenomena), phrenology, paradigmatic, paradoxical, pandemic.

The bulk of my job this week is to write 11 press releases. In 3 days!! Uh...yeah. I've done 6 so far. I consider that quite a milestone. But I'm already feeling a bit burned out! It wouldn't be so bad if I knew ANYthing about the stuff that I'm writing on, but "Stephanie write a press release on how that product is finishing qual." Sure. What's qual? "Stephanie, write a press release on that new product that we're developing but don't have any literature on, or even a real live product, but we want to announce it at the tradeshow in two weeks." No problem-o!

Why, oh why isn't it Friday yet???

|| Stephanie 2:53 PM

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people--Jenny Smith!

|| Stephanie 10:44 AM

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Nice long weekend--4 days for me! The downside is, now I just want to be independently wealthy so that I can do fun stuff all the time and not have to work. To that end, Jason and I have decided to play the lottery. Halfheartedly, anyway.

Saturday we ran some errands and piddled around the house then decided to take a brief nap. And woke up 14 hours later for church on Sunday. Oops! Sunday was church and more errands. Then balancing checkbooks and paying bills. Much as I hate doing that stuff, Jason's a very good influence on me. My bills are almost never late anymore and I've been balancing my checkbook for close to a whole year now! Monday was pretty uneventful. Slept in and then went to Borders at the Block at Orange (never been there before--fun!) to exchange a book. Oh yeah, Jason made brunch before I went to Borders (eggs over easy with toast and grape jelly--yum!). Then I spent a couple hours reading a silly girl book (one of my Border's purchases) before working on the apartment. The separation between 'rooms' is now much more clear. Yea!

Yesterday, though, was the biggie. Jason took me to Glen Ivy Hot Springs Day Spa in Corona for my birthday present. I had an entire day of pampering! Lovely. We showed up at opening (9:30) and left at closing (6:00). I got an eyebrow waxing, swedish massage, pedicure and a trip to the Grotto (they paint you with a sea kelp/aloe vera paste and put you in a steam room for as long as you can stand, while all your pores open up and soak up the nutrients from the paste; then you take a nice shower and go into a 'cool room' with aromatherapy and soft music piped in, where they give you fresh apples, ice water and/or mint tea). I fell asleep during the massage, so unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy the whole thing! What a fantastic day, though!

In between all of my treatments, Jason and I hopped from spa to spa--they have a "champagne" jacuzzi where it's only 2' deep, but very hot and super-aerated. They have mineral baths where 104 degree mineral water is directed into these five little baths. I could only handle it for so long (combined heat and sulphurous smell), but it's supposed to be very good for you. And one of the best parts of all, the red clay pit. The area is filled with more mineral water (lukewarm) and in the very center of this little pool is a pedestal on which is a giant clump of red clay from Temescal canyon. You cover yourself in it (safe to put on your face, in your hair, etc.). Then you go lay out and bake in the sun. When you're dry, you just brush off what you can for a unique exfoliation experience, then you take a shower in one of these faux-rock-cut showers outdoors. What a fabulous day. Sooo relaxing. When I went to bed last night, I was instantly asleep and slept until I had to get up for work today. Sadly, I had to return to the real world of stress and hustle and bustle. I wish I could live at Glen Ivy!

It was such a nice day. Jason and I even put together a ridiculously large picnic to eat at one of the picnic tables there. Unfortunately, like most of the well laid plans of mice & men, it didn't quite go as planned. We were swarmed by bees and ended up wolfing down some crackers and cheese in the car with the air on. Then we went out to dinner after the day at the spa. Oh well. I guess I'll just have wine, sushi, potatoe salad and cheese & crackers for dinner tonight. :)

|| Stephanie 4:17 PM