December 22, 2015

That Was Quick

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:45 pm

It’s the Winter Solstice.

It’s the day of darkness and cold. When the daylight little by little gets longer, until spring comes, and warm weather comes.

Warmer days will come again but they are a long way off, and-

Wait a minute.

Weather forecast over next few days:
Dec 23, 65 degrees.
Dec 24, 74 degrees.
Dec 25, 66 degrees.

Or really soon. Whatever.

December 6, 2014

Goblet of Fire

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 1:25 pm

So I’ve been rereading the Harry Potter books lately (most of the way through Order of the Phoenix right now).

The fourth one, Goblet of Fire, is interesting in several spots.

Earlier on, there’s the Quidditch World Cup, with Ireland against Bulgaria. Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge is trying to communicate with the Bulgarian Minister of Magic, who doesn’t seem to be able to speak English, through silly pantomiming and whatnot. When the match is over, the Bulgarian Minister makes a comment, and Fudge is like “what? you do speak English?” and it turns out the Bulgarian Minister was just fucking with him the whole time for teh lulz.

Every time I read this part I find myself wondering, “So there’s the Bulgarian Minister of Magic. Where’s the Irish Minister of Magic? He or she would surely be there, too.”

Then I realize that Cornelius Fudge is probably Ireland’s Minister. In reality, Ireland is a separate country from the UK. But it seems in the Wizarding world, Ireland’s magical society is under the same jurisdiction as the UK’s.

Of course, when you think about it, it isn’t that weird that international borders in the Wizarding world might be drawn a bit differently. But interesting that the way it’s demonstrated is implying Ireland is not its own country.

A little later, delegations from two other magical schools arrive at Hogwarts. One is Durmstrang, which Dumbledore says is “to the north”, and if Hogwarts is in Scotland, I guess that school might be in Norway. Though the name of the school is a play off the German expression “sturm und drang” (storm and stress). Though the headmaster, Igor Karkaroff, is Russian. And one of the students, Viktor Krum, is Bulgarian.

The other is Beauxbatons, pretty clearly French. They moment they arrive at Hogwarts, they’re full of nothing but snooty complaints. When Fleur Delacour is chosen Triwizard Champion, the others literally fall into crying and tantrums.

And in the tournament itself, while Cedric, Harry, and Viktor are all doing well, Fleur is just terrible. Got attacked by grindylows. Though her failure in the maze was of course not her fault. At first, it feels sexist, that the only female champion is doing so badly. Then I remember that, no, her doing badly is not because she’s female. It’s because she’s French.

Between this and the Ireland thing…

Yes, yes, Rowling. We get it. You’re British. 😆

December 29, 2012

It Should Have Been Neville

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 4:59 pm

Alright, here’s another Harry Potter gripe.

Complete with Harry Potter spoilers, in case that’s an issue five years after the final book came out and a year and a half after that book’s movie.

Bellatrix Lestrange.

She was all-around terrible, having among many other things killed Sirius Black, tortured Hermione, and crucio’d Neville Longbottom’s parents into permanent brain damage.

But who kills her in the end? Molly fucking Weasley.

I mean, that is what brings us the famous “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” line, as Molly went toward Bellatrix when she saw she was battling with Ginny at the time, and was already grief-stricken from having lost Fred.

But it should have been Neville. True, true, Neville already showed his stuff in slicing Nagini in half with the Gryffindor sword. Yet it seemed like part of his growing strength should have also included avenging his parents. After finishing off Nagini, he should have sliced off Bellatrix’s head.

Instead, Molly Weasley had the honors. Yeah, she was clearly aching to show her badass side, too, after all the coddling she does the rest of the series. Just seems like Augustus Rookwood, who caused the explosion that killed Fred, should have been the better target. Or at least Antonin Dolohov, who killed the Gideon and Fabian Prewett, who were her brothers.

Or maybe she was avenging Sirius, with whom she had some constant friction. That’s a weirdly sweet way of looking at it.

Still, though… Neville was due! :doitnow:

December 25, 2012

Gelukkig Kerstfeest

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:02 pm

It began with some gift gathering and organization. Eating some cookies.

And, look at that, it’s snowing outside!

And after some wrapping, some Christmas TV, and whatnot, scraping off the car.

Christmas Eve.

Sushi!

Off to late night church. The usual.

Except for some weird “riu riu chiu” song they sung.

And at last… Silent Night.

I might have shouted the third verse for some reason: “RADIANT BEAMS FROM THY HOLY FACE! WITH THE DAWN OF REDEEMING GRAAAAAAAACE!”

And stepped outside…

o snap, it’s a foggy Christmas Eve!

And the last of the wrapping.

And cookies and hot chocolate!

Bed.

In the morning, a bizarre AC/DC parody of “My Favorite Things”.

Also, the Christmas tree fell down last night and is propped up against the wall.

LOL awesome

The brand new train didn’t work.

Until it did on a different track. Weird.

Mario games, old and new!

And the feast. The feast of roast beast.

Unremarkable. Unwavering from last year. For the most part.

I guess that’s a good thing. It is a good thing. Nice to have some things be somewhat constant.

I don’t know. I’m not interested in thinking too hard about it.

Hope you all had a good one!

December 20, 2012

Day of Many Things

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:12 pm

What I refer to as a “Day of Many Things” is a certain day of the year that, on seemingly every year or most years, that date somehow ends up significant in some way. I don’t mean days that have built-in annual significance, such as birthdays or Christmas or something. I mean days that otherwise are ordinary but through a lot of coincidences, it keeps being important, even in the most minor ways.

Today, December 20, is one of those days for me. Ten years ago today I took the GRE (verbal 370, quantitative 770, woo!). Five years ago today my grandma became ill from what killed her a month later. Four years ago today I found that ageist fye store. Eight years ago today I came down with a cold. Plus a bunch of other things.

Plenty more days throughout the year are like this. March 20. May 12. May 21. August 30. September 6. October 16. November 18. Those are the main ones, I think.

Yeah. Just days that it seems something or other that’s somehow important or at least memorable happens most years. Be it an appointment, discovery, first time meeting someone, fun activity, tragedy, disappointment, a very strange occurrence, or something else.

I’d add that I got the name from a card in the game Munchkin, but I’m worried that would push the dorkiness of this over some sort of threshold and endanger the universe.

December 13, 2012

Take Action

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 10:10 pm

We have to take action!

When there is some horrible injustice, there’s no shortage of people tweeting about it saying things like “maybe this will finally spur people into action!”

Alright, alright, I’m good and angry! So… what action exactly am I supposed to take now?

Hmmm. Seems they usually haven’t thought that far.

Or they have, and the “correct” action is to give a certain entity money or to vote for a particular candidate or party. Because that will solve everything. Somehow.

Which makes all the talk of activism, rebellion, or bettering the world out to just be an advertising scheme.

Of course, a lot of social problems really don’t have anything close to clear solutions. Or at least no solutions that the average person would really be able to take part in, because they don’t have the authority, the means, or the technical knowledge. In which case it sometimes is the right thing to do to just support those who do know what they are doing, or at least make sure they are pointed in the right direction.

But in truth, taking action against some injustice or other social ill ends up not being as exciting or glamorous as is often believed. People envision big protests or other stunts, when really these should only be done under certain circumstances, and contrary to common assumption, these alone do not change anything, even if some exceptionally large ones are memorable. Taking action involves a lot of leg work, repetition, and dead ends. And strategy, lots of strategy. Taking action, even after a crapton of work over the course of years, tends to yield very slow results, depending on specifics.

But you’ve got people angry and wanting change RIGHT NOW. And these people have very different ideas as to how to create that change, and they only end up releasing that anger on each other, despite being on the same side, over tactics, leaving said social ill unaltered.

Believe me, I know. I’ve been guilty of every bit of this on several counts! 😛

July 11, 2012

Smooth Jazz Bicycle Guy

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Random Crap — Katrina @ 8:08 pm

So I was walking around a nearby lake earlier, eating my traditional Day 49 Dairy Queen “Brownie Earthquake”. Tradition because I happened to eat that same treat from that same Dairy Queen 11 years ago today, during the original 100 Days of Summer. So now on Day 49 I go to Dairy Queen. Haven’t done it every year but I try to. I also listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Because I think it was playing on the radio when I visited that Dairy Queen on July 11, 2001. Really no deeper reason for the tradition than that.

Anyway! Where was I? Ah, yes, I was walking around the lake. It’s a nice day, so lots of people were out walking their dogs and riding their bikes. When I parked my car and started the walk, I began to hear some inexplicable music coming from somewhere, and the sound got closer. Then some middle aged guy on a bike appeared, and attached to his bike was a little music player and speaker, playing some kind of instrumental smooth jazz. He whooshed on by and the sound faded. A few minutes later, as my walk progressed, he passed by me again, as he was circling the lake the opposite direction as I was. And a few minutes after that, I hear the music again and there he was again. This happened a total of six times before I was all the way around and back to my car.

I got into my car and drove away, when I came to a realization… that everything that just happened was like something straight out of a… math problem!

The walk around the lake takes me about 20 minutes. I passed Smooth Jazz Bicycle Guy six times, so the interim time was about 3 to 4 minutes.

Well, that’s the only data I have. Unless I bothered to look at the total distance of the path around the lake, which, going by the little markers drawn on the path here and there, is probably about a mile. But if I had more data, think of all I could calculate! My walking speed, though I suppose if 20 minutes to walk a mile, it was 3 miles an hour. Then there’d be SJBG’s biking speed, taking into account the distance he biked each time he passed me was slightly shorter than the total distance around the lake. That distance is one mile, so I’d have traveled one-sixth of a mile in the interim, so he traveled five-sixths of a mile in about 3.3 minutes, so his speed would be about 15 miles an hour.

Math is fun!

Oh, but there are other things to calculate! If I had the data. The volume of the smooth jazz, taking into account my aural sensitivity and from what distance I could still hear it. At one point, someone in a nearby backyard was running a chain saw, and during this was one of the times SJBG passed by, so I didn’t hear the music that far ahead of his appearing. So considering the previous theoretical data, one could calculate the volume of the chain saw. Or how far away it was. Or maybe only one of those if the other is known. Then might have to account for the trees in between and maybe air pressure.

It’s not just a math problem. It’s a PHYSICS PROBLEM!!!!

Aww, fuck it. It was a nice walk on a nice day, passing by some weird man on a bike blaring smooth jazz.

This has been Day 49 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.

August 23, 2011

Oddities

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Random Crap — Katrina @ 4:05 pm

So three hours ago I was sitting here at my desk when I noticed the floor was shaking. Figured something heavy was being wheeled down the hallway… something REALLY heavy! Conference room windows were shaking. Then… I realized nothing was being wheeled down the hallway. We were having a goddamn EARTHQUAKE! Wow!

Goodness, we don’t get those around here, in the DC area! Hit 6 or so on the Richter scale!

*ring, ring, ring*

Oh, hang on, I’m getting a call. *reads caller ID* It’s from California!

*answers*

Hello?

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

*hangs up*

Hmm, that’s weird.
(more…)

December 22, 2010

Leaky Nose Is Leaky

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:52 pm

So I just came down with a cold. Lovely. I also need to finish Christmas shopping for my dumb family.

After getting off early from work today, also the last work day before Christmas (yay!), I went to a few stores to look for potential gifts. First Barnes and Noble, then some Middle Eastern food store, then Best Buy, then Kohl’s. And in each one… my nose was soooo drippy! Gross!

I mean, WTF? It felt like I couldn’t even go out in public without either having crap spewing out of my nose or a tissue stuffed into my nostrils. Neither would leave me fit for being where people are!

Instead, I made several trips to the bathroom to get paper towels to wipe my nose with. Bathrooms were too gross for me to use the toilet paper for that. And I didn’t bring enough tissues with me. Though an entire box probably would not have been enough. There I was, trying to look at DVDs and digital cameras, near other people trying to do the same, and I’m the creepy chick who keeps having to wipe her very drippy nose.

And with those hands I’m using to wipe my very drippy nose with a very snot-saturated tissue, I’m pawing through stuff to see what would be nice to give as gifts to my dumb family. Seriously, this drippy nose was making things difficult! Drippy nose is forcing me into hiding lest I become a pariah, a pariah due to being the creepy chick with a cold who can’t stop the runny!

Then comes the other disturbing thing about this. Here I am stuck touching merchandise with hands I’d been using to wipe an overused tissue across my nostrils, trying in vain to stem the flow of watery mucus. And handwashing or rubbing Purell over and over isn’t all that feasible. So my cold germs are getting on this stuff I’m not buying. Feel so guilty. And then I realize, if I’m doing it… how many other people already did?

Damn you, germs!

December 13, 2010

Giant Inflatable Santa

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:49 pm

I was at Home Depot a couple weeks ago to pick up some Christmas lights, which are now hanging on my living room window for the neighbors to admire. Yay! While there, I looked through all the other decorations, mostly stuff entirely too big and fancy to put in front of my house, whose front yard is like 90% driveway, 5% porch and walkway, and 5% tree and bushes. Ah, townhouses.

Most of the decorations at the store were rather sensible. Just some lights. Prelit trees. Snow globes. Obnoxious singing stuffed animals.

Then you get the huge lawn ornaments and whatnot. Huge inflatable snow globe for the front yard, six feet in diameter. Maybe some illuminated reindeer. Giant snowman. And, of course, as said right in the title of this thing, giant inflatable Santa, bigger than any of that other stuff.

PROTIP: If you find you have purchased the giant inflatable Santa, and you have placed it somewhere on your premises, you are officially overdoing it.

😉

December 30, 2009

Wolf Alarm

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 10:40 pm

We’ve all heard the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. Which is why it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that I’m about to recite it.

Boy is left to watch over some sheep or villagers or whatever, to alert them if a hungry wolf comes by intending to eat them all up. Well, being a smartass, he cries “Wolf!” one night just to troll the villagers, and they figure how he’s screwing with them and kick his ass. The next night, he’s patrolling once more, and again trolls the villagers by screaming that there is a wolf coming, only for them to find no wolf and get pissed again. On the third night, because it’s always the third time in any of these stories that the interesting thing happens, he is out patrolling again and he actually does see a wolf. Oh shit! So he cries “Wolf!” to the villagers, who tell him to STFU and that they’re not falling for it again. So the wolf eats the boy and all the villagers. The end.

The moral of the story? Well, there are two. No, neither is the one you’ve always been taught is the moral. In the two possible real morals to this story, those villagers are fucking stupid.

First moral: If you cannot trust your alarm system, get a different one. Otherwise, if you’re going to ignore it anyway, what good is it? So the idiot villagers should have sent someone else to watch for the wolf.

Second moral: Even a liar sometimes tells the truth!

As demonstrated so nicely in the US Acres segment “The Wolf Who Cried Boy”. 🙂

December 25, 2009

Buon Natale

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:11 pm

Mmmm, Christmas.

Two days ago, boss was awesome and told us to go home for Christmas at around noon, even though we were supposed to work yesterday too. Yay, extra long weekend!

Yesterday, wrapped all my presents, made some cookies, finished and posted my newest Christmas NYRA Tale, went to my mom’s Greek friend’s big ass party again, and was half an hour late for the late night Christmas Eve church service. Not sure if that’s a win or a fail. Stupid family made me late and I missed O Come All Ye Faithful. I only even go for the music, dang it! :doitnow:

And during Silent Night, waving my candle around like a lighter at a concert, while wearing my Santa hat during the service.

And this morning got to family at around 10am and shortly after started opening presents.

Then at 11am I had to leave for a bit… to go to work. -_-

Just for a minute. It may be Christmas Day, but it’s also still Friday, and the freezer’s temperature chart still needs to be changed. I got there, repeatedly said “Fuck you!” to it while changing it out, writing the time, date, and initials on it, a nice “11:17am, 12-25-09” that I’ll totally show my coworkers on Monday and totally get yelled at for. Dedication.

Then back to the house to continue opening presents. And getting what looked like a bottle of booze that was actually olive oil. 🙂

Then food.

Then more food.

Plus watching my little brother make his trains collide, in a god-like lust for transportation disaster. Incidentally, it seems the Pennsylvania Flyer kicks the Polar Express’s ass.

Now I’m sitting here next to him as he’s watching various train videos on YouTube.

Plus we’ve been having a Christmas Day Chat among NYRAnians which has been quite nice.

In this, our pseudo-White Christmas. Where the leftover snow from last weekend is getting killed fast from rain and rising temperatures. Christmas is supposed to bring snow, not kill it! :doitnow:

I love this day. 😀

December 15, 2009

Doctors and Lawyers

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 5:13 pm

If you’re a doctor or a lawyer, congrats, because you’re the right type of person and are automatically a professional success.

I guess.

If you’re one of those two, congrats, because your family and friends will actually be proud of you and boast about you.

You’re a doctor or a lawyer, so that means you’re rich! ZOMG!

That’s why it’s so sad when kids die. Had they lived and grown up they could have become doctors or lawyers.

That’s why it’s so sad when kids fall into drug use and screw up their schooling. If they had stayed clean, they could have become doctors or lawyers.

That’s why no one is nearly as worried about adult drug use, because they’re already too old to become doctors or lawyers apparently. Unless they are already.

I mean, why else would you go to college? Why else would you major in biology or political science? What, are you just going to be some loser who works in a cubicle? Please. Unless your college years led to medical or law school, they were a waste of time and money.

That’s why you’re horrified to find yourself in a mediocre office job at age 45. You aren’t a doctor or a lawyer, so your life has never been successful.

If your mother thought you’d be anything but a doctor or a lawyer, she would have aborted you even if she were a staunch pro-lifer.

Failing scores on the MCAT and LSAT are a leading cause of suicide.

When you tell your second grade teacher what you want to be when you grow up, and your answer is anything other than doctor or lawyer, don’t be surprised when she and all your subsequent teachers seem to stop noticing you exist, while the kid sitting next to you wanting to take over his father’s law firm is the star pupil, and the teacher always grins sweetly at the girl across the room who dreams of working magic in the operating room.

Look at all those kids on the honor roll, especially the ones with asterisks next to their names, denoting their straight A’s. If anything other than medicine or law is on their horizon, oh what a tragic waste of talent!

If you’re a girl, well, that’s okay if you didn’t manage to be a doctor or a lawyer, so long as you marry one. Wait, you mean you didn’t marry a doctor or a lawyer? You aren’t going to get married at all? GASP! Failure!

We must help ghetto kids get an education, so they can grow up to be doctors or lawyers. The ones who don’t can stay there and rot.

We must never forget the disastrous attacks of September 11, 2001. After all, many doctors and lawyers perished.

April 24, 2009

To Prove Their Mousey Worth

Filed under: Random Crap — Katrina @ 10:08 am

Although I touched on this subject once before in my short little piece Mouse Talk, I figured this was worth an entry spelling out my position a bit more on this. The subject is, of course, animal testing in labs.

Got to thinking about it again when I heard about a protest supporting it at UCLA to counter the protests of the violent animal rights extremists.

In general, I’m not going to think too harshly of the people against it. Their hearts are in the right place anyway. The ones who need to chill the hell out, though, are the ones that see fit to attack the researchers violently and destroy their property. I mean, what the hell does that even accomplish? It’s terrorism! They think by threatening the researchers they’ll cave and understand their position?
(more…)

April 17, 2009

Getting Better

Filed under: Random Crap — Katrina @ 12:17 pm

There are times back in college I thought that I would major in history. It’s always fascinating and my grades in it were somewhat good. Higher than my science grades anyway, even though I was of course a science major! Then again, it is because I went with biology that I’m currently sitting here at my desk in my lab and not behind a convenience store counter some place. Hehe.

But who says history needs to be a profession? Who says learning always must involve a formal school with the goal of some sort of employment? Lots of people get bottlenecked there and it’s very sad.

Anyway, to get to my point, and it’s a point I’ve made before so I may be repeating myself a bit, there is one thing that becomes very clear the more to delve into what different societies have been like over the millennia… The world is getting better.
(more…)

January 1, 2009

Elusive 2009

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:50 pm

So that psychopathic monster known as 2008 has finally come to an end. But… what shall 2009 be?

Win? Fail? Lulz? I think lulz.

Anyway, did you make a resolution? No? Good, resolutions are for losers. And how can you make one? This brand new year is a total mystery. We don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, things should remain pretty much the same, but other shit happens. Goes beyond the win, fail, or lulz question. Right now, we’re wandering into a dark quiet forest, that may either turn out to be just a nice quiet stroll or blindly parading yourself to doom at the claws of a myriad of forest creatures.

So enjoy your hike, but, well, bring a weapon. Just in case.

December 23, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:58 pm

That’s another Christmas song and phenomenon that irks me. I mentioned it last year in the Fallible Family entry, but I keep hearing this song so I’m thinking of this again.

“If you want to be happy in a million ways, for the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home!”

The whole song is basically “leave wherever you are and go home several states away!”
(more…)

December 15, 2008

Same Day

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 6:17 pm

So I was at work today and around 9:30am I placed an order for something my coworker needed in the lab. I go through the normal process and everything and am told they’d ship it out today for tomorrow’s delivery. I said that’s fine.

Around 1pm I see a guy come into our suite with a box from the company I just ordered from that morning. Sure enough, it was the stuff I ordered.

Whoa! Just three and a half hours after I placed the order. That blew my mind.

True, this company is only about 20 miles away from here, but still. Amazing.

December 5, 2008

The End Is Near

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 7:48 pm

So just a bit ago I was at the post office to stamp and send the first batch of NYRA’s holiday cards (yay!). Needed to buy a buttload of stamps first so I went to this service machine since I couldn’t use the regular stamp vending machine since I had no cash and had to use my debit card.

Went to the machine, swiped card, ordered five books of stamps, etc. Then it was waiting to dispense the stamps. Then it had a message on the screen.

“I’m dispensing your stamps. Please wait.”

I don’t like the sound of that “I’m”. Do you know what this means? We have machines in our post offices that are self-aware.

Where shall it go from here? :scared:

November 26, 2008

Turkey Sandwich

Filed under: Random Crap — Katrina @ 3:48 pm

And by turkey sandwich I mean Thanksgiving and the days before and after it. Today is the first of the three of course, the so-called “busiest travel day of the year”. When losers all over are rushing around trying to travel long distances to get to their families so they can eat some turkey. I mean, you can make this exact meal at any time of the year, with or without the family, but whatever.

But, you know, it’s the gateway into proper Christmas time, despite all the stores having had their decorations up since the moment Halloween ended.

Still it’s fun to mock the travelers. I’ve never really been one of them since my family has always been close by. Only out of town Thanksgiving I had was in 1999 when we were with my other grandmother in Orlando, FL. But we traveled there a good while before the busy travel day (or just the day before, I forget).

But for most other people, why bother? It’s not like Christmas, which is a much bigger deal and involves a fuckton of presents and often longer time off from school and work. Stay home and make your own turkey and other crap.

And don’t go waking up at 3am the next morning to go shopping. The stores will still be open plenty between now and Christmas. Stop being stupid. I know I blasted you all last year for this but it bears repeating.

Mmmm… sandwich.

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