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Sunday April 30, 2006

Midnight rambling

It's midnight and I have to get up in less than seven hours for work. But even though I'm going to hate myself tomorrow for staying up late, I can't bring myself to get in bed. I'm not sleepy now, even though this morning I came close to firing some shots when my alarm went off. No matter how little sleep I get, I'm always wired at night. This is my most productive time. But I'll still want to kill someone in the morning. And coffee doesn't help.

I've been working on some pretty-picture-making projects lately. I finished my brother's band's business card, which apparently everyone is happy with. It was my least favorite design of all the samples I made (shhh, that's a secret). Nobody seems to share my taste in anything.

Does that make me unique, or just weird?

And another secret... I actually have two new rats, not one. But Guido Sarducci is shy and Kaiser Sose wanted the camera to himself. They're only a month old, but they already have so much character. And poop. I hope they stick around longer than Nikki and Weezie did.


Thursday April 27, 2006

Meet Kaiser Sose

He's big.

He's bad.

He's Kevin Spacey!



Sunday April 23, 2006

Hit by Dixie

Before anyone thinks that I've succumbed to the mind control powers of Toby Keith, I'm still solidly part of the NPR-listening Northern liberal elite (whatever that means). But I've been reading posts all over the blogosphere about the Dixie Chicks' new album, Not Ready to Make Nice, and was pretty impressed with some of the lyrics. Since the album isn't out yet, I decided to download the first single from iTunes. I may hate myself for saying this, but the more I learn about the Dixie Chicks, the more I dig them. I especially loved these lyrics:

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don't mind sayin'
It's a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I can't imagine how many hate-filled phone calls and threatening letters they must have received for speaking out against the war in Iraq a few years ago. They were targeted for using their constitutional rights to express their opinions. But instead of letting others intimidate them, they came back with even more to say. I love that.


The tao of Maria

I was bored.



Petless living

I've been feeling kind of bummed since Weez died, which I guess is normal. I'm always sad after losing another pet, but this time around, I'm petless. The other night I cleaned out the cage and went through the buckets full of toys I bought over the years. It's sad that they're just sitting here.

When I got home from work the other day I had a brief brain fart and went downstairs to let Weezie out. I forgot that I bagged him almost a week ago. As hard as it is to lose them so frequently, I don't want to be without them. I need a new rat. I already have the name picked out.


Thursday April 20, 2006


Yes, I realize that I'm abusing my blog, but I don't have time to write about my latest shenanigans just yet. That's coming. Until then, Cleveland freaks:

My brother's band is playing the Player's Club in Willoughby on Saturday May 6th.

Be there


Sunday April 16, 2006

In hoppier news

Happy Easter, from the Easter peep herself



RIP Weezie

Mommy loves you



Friday April 14, 2006

Proving that parents love you best

The scene, courtesy of my mom and dad:

My birthday
My lemon cake

My birthday
Never too old for balloons

My birthday
And flowers

My birthday
My mom remembered that dried mangos are my favorite!

My birthday
A card

My birthday
I may be an adult but they still give me money! Woohoo!

My birthday
To make Klara jealous

My birthday
A pseudo bonsai! (I think that means it won't die).

Dried mangos are better than the zoo!


Thursday April 13, 2006

Yuck. My birthday is ruined.

Sarah just got a new job (yay!) which she has to start tomorrow (boo!). No zoo for me, unless I go by myself. I may be okay with being a nerd, but I'm not desperate enough to hit the zoo solo. Which means I'll be at work since nobody loves me enough to play hooky for the day.

Congrats Sarah (no sarcasm!)


Wednesday April 12, 2006

Another reason to be weary

Frequent (and perhaps even infrequent) readers can easily guess how I feel about our public officials. I don't agree with a lot of things that the Bush administration has done or proposed to do. More importantly, I don't trust it. Today I learned of yet another reason to be weary. From the Atrios:

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

The authors of the reports were nine U.S. and British civilian experts -- scientists and engineers with extensive experience in all the technical fields involved in making bioweapons -- who were dispatched to Baghdad by the Defense Intelligence Agency for an analysis of the trailers. Their actions and findings were described to a Washington Post reporter in interviews with six government officials and weapons experts who participated in the mission or had direct knowledge of it.

None would consent to being identified by name because of fear that their jobs would be jeopardized.

The proclamation that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq had been used for months after to justify the war. Since then, the rationale for war has shifted to a new liberation angle, so the information now being uncovered probably won't sway the more stubborn supporters. But all of this does make one thing clear to me; I was right not to put my faith in the president.


Tuesday April 11, 2006

Going to hell

Am I a bad person for having fun at my 1 year-old niece's expense?


3 more days until my birthday zoo excursion!



I'm taking a half-day Friday to hit the zoo with Sarah on my birthday. Does that make me a nerd? I know most people my age have parties and go bar hopping and drink on their birthdays. I just really have no interest in becoming inebriated and making out with strangers. I'd rather watch monkeys climb ropes and moon me. And I'm perfectly comfortable with being a loser.

I'm thinking about wearing my new "I love Mexicans" shirt.


Sunday April 09, 2006

A design dilemma

I've been working on a few graphic design projects lately, and I've run into sort of a problem. There are images that I need to find so I can incorporate them into my design. Is it kosher to use things I find online through Google image search? Here is an example.

boot graphic

A graphic I found online, and the finished product. I made a lot of modifications to it the image of the boot, including adding spurs, changing the coloring and contrast, etc. But is this appropriate to do, or do I have to take the picture of the boot myself?


Thursday April 06, 2006

Science poster wrap-up

The auditorium was packed for todays research showcase, but unfortunately my poster didn't get a lot of traffic. One guy seemed pretty interested and asked me lots of questions about the study, but I didn't speak to more than two or three people (aside from my poster neighbors) the whole time. It was a little disappointing.


Tuesday April 04, 2006

More stuff for nerds

A once-in-a-century moment.

Thanks Marko, now I have to stay awake until it's over.


Calling all brainiacs

I'll be homepage has the info for all the science buffs in Cleveland.

On April 5 and 6, 2006, hundreds of scientists and scholars will come together for two days of collaboration, creativity, and innovation. From real-world applications to critical insights to creative and intellectual activities, Research ShowCASE highlights the full range of faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate research at Case.

Don't miss Research ShowCASE and your opportunity to view some of the most exciting and important research being done on our campus, in Ohio, and in the world.

Research ShowCASE is a free public exhibit and is held in Veale Convocation Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.


Sunday April 02, 2006

Maria's big day

Last week my niece Maria celebrated her very first birthday. A horde (wink wink) of people showed up at my brother and sister-in-law's house and stood shoulder to shoulder to watch her stuff her face and open presents. It was great. Here are a few teasers. For more, see the new event album. Also, new pics in Maria's general album too!

Maria's birthday party

Maria's birthday party

Maria's birthday party


Saturday April 01, 2006

The Mexicans are coming! Cool.

After a short media-free break, I started following some of the coverage of pro and anti-immigration protests. From what I can tell, there has been a lot of flag-waving and cultural apocalypse-threatening. Illegal immigration seems to be the new crack. Unless we fight it, we're all doomed. Be afraid!

Or not. Being the daughter of immigrant parents, I can't support an effort to kick anyone out of the country. I also can't get past the irony that the fiercest hostility toward immigrants usually comes from people who ridicule the plight of Native Americans. I've been called a few nasty things myself (communist, anti-American, hippie, etc.) for mentioning that our country was founded on someone else's soil. We came, we took. So why do we villify Mexicans for doing the same?

Actually, that question isn't really appropriate, because Mexican immigrants aren't hopping our fences to kick us out. They're just here to pick vegetables and gut fish. They do the things that the rest of us don't want to. So why all the fuss?

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a Minuteman supporter. He told me that illegal immigrants had to be stopped because they were forcefully changing our culture. Instead of speaking English and acting "American" the Mexicans were arrogantly speaking Spanish and doing "Mexican" type things. He felt threatened because these people look, speak, and act differently than he does. It was silly. After about ten minutes of this I said something about going out for burritos and left the conversation right there.

I guess growing up in an immigrant household and working with a hoard of Chinese colleagues has made me somewhat immune to the rampant xenophobia that's plaguing the country. I like that there are different kinds of people here. Can you imagine what it would be like if we were all clones of Toby Keith?

Science and medicine would suffer. Fruit trees would go unpicked. We'd eat nothing but friend chicken until we all died of strokes. Major League Baseball would cease to exist. And there would be no good music. None.

If from the very beginning we sent away everyone that didn't "act American," few of us would have made it here to begin with, including those who now feel entitled to keep everyone out. I wouldn't be here. You Italians and your Olive Gardens wouldn't be here. And the Irish certainly would never have made it. Those people eat raw potatoes, you know. Weirdos.

In short, America wouldn't exist, because immigrants made make America. And no amount of obnoxious, in-your-face flag waiving is going to change that. They're here to stay.

Thank God.