Archive for December, 2008

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I may be too much of a dork…

December 31, 2008

But rather than telling you why, through some long and obscure story that provides no substantial evidence, I thought I’d show you, by presenting the following conversations.

“Guess what it is.  I’ll give you a hint: it’s a cross between the two most awesome things in the universe.”

Geri: “Doctor Who and chocolate cheesecake?”

Vampire RP: “Edward’s bird was two trees away, it heard everything and so did Edward. He was confused and surprised. “How can I get her memories back?””

Geri: “A fob watch?”

And then there are the dreams I have.  Not dreams about Doctor Who, oh no.  To my recollection, I have never dreamt about Doctor Who.  I dream instead about America’s Got Talent (started in August, last AGT-related dream happened around the middle of December.)  I dream about Home Alone, owing to the fact that we watch the movies every year.  And I don’t just dream about watching the movies.  Or even watching new movies.  Oh, no.  I dream about putting myself into the movies, or else putting the characters into situations where I can directly interact with them.  Kevin McCallister = immortal sparkly vampire, anybody?  I’m sure that part of the reason I do this is because I’m a trifle bored with seeing the same exact stories every year.  Part of it is because I’m both creative and a trifle sadistic and would love to come up with methods of my own for beating up hapless thieves.  I don’t know, but I rather wish I would stop.  I enjoy the movies the way they are (although I do envy Kevin to a degree; he had far more adventures in two years than most people have in their lifetimes.)

Anyway…

Then there is the “Time Lord” game over at TV Tropes.  The game is never acknowledged, and the rules are not written, but it basically functions as follows: In any medium that features a character who moves through time and/or space in an insanely unorthodox manner without a reasonable explanation as to why, someone must make a Wild Mass Guess that said character is a Time Lord.  For example, Santa Claus.  Even if said character does have a decent explanation for their actions, there is still the chance that SOMEONE will figure out a way for them to be a Time Lord.  For example, Doc Brown of Back to the Future.  (His personality is locked in a watch, which he lost/sold.  Bits of knowledge show up occasionally, though.)  Well, I seem to be irrevocably programmed to do this sort of thing.  Admittedly, it does explain why Claus is never around anymore…

And there you have it.  I’m not really sure if this qualifies me as an actual dork, but it was lovely to vent for awhile.

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iApprove: My Aunt & Uncle.

December 30, 2008

Specifically, the ones who sent me beautiful clothes every Christmas for more years than I can remember, and every year before and since have given generously to each of their nieces and nephews.  They absolutely love children, which makes it all the more unfortunate that they have never been able to have their own, but they’ve done a wonderful job of treating the rest of us and I appreciate their yearly gifts more than they can probably imagine… I really need to send them a card or something.

Recently, they switched from clothes to gift cards for Target.  Ordinarily, this would constitute a huge faux pas in my book (QUIT TELLIN’ ME WHERE TO SPEND MAH MONEY, DARNYOU!) but I think I can let it slide.

The reason is that Target is a really, really neat store to go shopping in.  Among other things, they sell Puzzle Pirates doubloon cards (using a card to buy a card… I know, lame) and natural, non-murderous shampoos and soaps.  They’re environmentally conscious in other ways, too: the paper that my card came in is both 100% recycled and completely recyclable.  I don’t know about the card; I plan on asking the store employees.  Now, I’m sure that there’s plenty of corporate stink still wafting around their organization, but this is a lot more effort than most retailers (a la “Big Box Mart”) care to exert.  Much to my surprise, they’re also starting to carry fair trade products – perhaps more a marketing ploy than from genuine concern, but if I can buy it, I’m not going to complain.  The fact that they’re affiliated with Starbucks – a huge player in the Fair Trade market, as I understand – indicates to me that they may be on the road to something larger, though only time will tell.

Regardless, out of all the retailers in our area, Target is my number-one pick for gift card shopping.  And so, my dear aunt and uncle, thank you.  And enjoy your olives.

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An Unsung Source of Garbage: Toothbrushes.

December 29, 2008

People go through way too many toothbrushes.  This came to my attention earlier today when I was looking for a shower-safe hair stick (besides a disposable razor) and I realized that we had a bunch of used toothbrushes sitting around.  Now, around my house we never throw toothbrushes away (unless a dog chews them up) — we save them and use them for cleaning brushes.

But not everyone is going to do this.  And how many cleaning brushes does one house honestly need?

Consider the process here.  First, you go out and buy a toothbrush for yourself (and possibly the rest of your family).  The toothbrush comes in a little plastic package, sometimes with a cardboard backing, that you throw away immediately.  You use the toothbrush.  Six months later, assuming you follow the reccommendation of the American Dental Association, you throw the toothbrush away.

Now consider that nearly everyone in the United States of America – over three hundred million people – will be doing this each year.  If everyone were to do what the ADA suggests and buy a new toothbrush every six months, that’s nearly three hundred million toothbrushes going into the garbage with each renewal — taking into account the few that people save.  That makes close to six hundred million toothbrushes going into the garbage each year.  That is also more than six hundred million plastic toothbrush packages going into the garbage in a year.

But what are you going to do about it?  Toothbrushes are a single-use item; even if you disregard the ADA’s advice and continue using your toothbrush until it’s completely worn out, you’re still going to be tossing at least one toothbrush a year (an average of seventy in your lifetime, assuming that you keep your teeth all that time; three hundred and fifty for a family of five.)

But what are you going to do about it?

The obvious answer, of course, is to recycle your toothbrushes.  Preserve, a manufacturer of toothbrushes from recycled materials, has a system that enables you to return your brushes for further recycling.  But suppose you don’t want to be constantly shipping toothbrushes — what then?  Most recycling centers don’t exactly have a “toothbrush” bin.  I’m not sure that they’d know what to do with toothbrushes even if you brought them.

In that case, all you can do is reuse them.  Clean your dead ones and keep them around for cleaning, crafting, and makeup application.  Full up on those?  Some people make their toothbrushes into jewelry.  Or you could do like I did: pull out the bristles (use piers) and use them to hold your hair up in the shower or bath.  It’s both more economical and more eco-friendly than buying bath caps.  YouTube has some lovely videos on how to use hair sticks.  (Of course, putting up your hair isn’t limited to the shower; you can do it anywhere you like.)

Or you can simply eliminate the mess.  Some companies offer toothbrushes with replaceable heads, eliminating up to nine-tenths of the plastic waste.  Or you can buy a completely biodegradable wooden toothbrush.  These do tend to be pricier than the typical plastic toothbrush, but what are you going to do?  Besides contributing to the hundreds of millions of toothbrushes getting chucked each year, anyway.

It’s your choice, but remember: you only get one planet.  What will you do with yours?

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iApprove: Nuts.

December 29, 2008

You know the ones: almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and pecans.  They’re a popular snack among basically every dietary school — low-fat eaters like them because they’re filling, low-carb eaters like them because most of their contained carbohydrates are fiber, and vegetarians like them because they’re rich in nutrients that are found in few areas outside of meat.

No matter what your preferred food, nuts are an extremely useful snack, as they do provide all of the above qualities.  They’re rich in fat and fiber, which makes them filling, and they’re absolutely loaded with important minerals.  They’re also quick and convenient; you can easily get de-shelled nuts in your local supermarket, and just grab a handful for your snacking pleasure.

The only problem I can find with nuts is that, unfortunately, some people are allergic.

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iLOL’d: The Twilight Before Christmas.

December 28, 2008

From the people who brought us Dimlight comes another hilarious Twilight parody: The Twilight Before Christmas.  This one follows Devon/Bella in her newfound romance with… Santa.  Lulz ensue.

Have yourself a jolly laugh at http://www.take180.com/s/ep5l7

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iApprove: Animal Crossing.

December 28, 2008

Ohh, what a long time ago it was that I was first introduced to Animal Crossing. Or at least, it feels like it, despite the fact that it’s only been a year and three days. But what a ride this sweet little game has taken me on in that time.

It seemed so innocent at first. A cute little game, with cute little humans for main characters and cute little animals to interact with. What could be more innocent? More simple? More Zen?

*headdesk*

Animal Crossing is so much more than a simple child’s game. It’s an ongoing commitment. For that matter, everything in the entire game is about commitment. You’re committed to paying off your mortgage to Nook (and you HAVE to, because if you don’t your house will never get any bigger and the one you have certainly isn’t big enough to hold all your furniture). You’re committed to filling up the museum (because Blathers looks at you with those big owl eyes and begs you to contribute things). Even the wandering “townies” give you commitments: take this package to Ruby, and can you please do it by 6 PM?

What’s worse, you’re committed to playing every day (not so good around the holidays, which is exactly why I haven’t been doing it). If you don’t, weeds grow, your flowers wilt, the animals notice your absence (“3 weeks! That’s how long you’ve been gone!” *grouse grouse grouse*), and… well, things really start to suck.

And the craziest thing about all of this is that you like it. This loony game is so cute and so engaging that you have absolutely no problem with giving it an hour or more of your life every day just so that you can deliver packages to cute little animals or rearrange the furniture in your house or collect new furniture or buy overpriced paintings from a traveling shyster. Yes, PAINTINGS are the pinnacle of excitement in this game — well, that and fishing for sharks, which you can do while standing on the cute little beach with your cute little fishing pole.

It’s a crazy game, but there is so much love.

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iApprove: Shakespeare: The Complete Works.

December 27, 2008

I was going to write a poem about it.  A really COOL poem, with iambic pentameter and all that.  But I think I’m too tired, so I’ll just keep this short.

Although I haven’t had an opportunity to spend a lot of time reading it just yet, I’m enjoying what I’ve been reading so far (Romeo and Juliet, strictly for research purposes).  I admit that the rather dry (well, archaic more than dry) writing put me off at first, but once I got through that it occured to me that the characters were quite colorful and entertaining.  (“Woe is me, my one true love is my greatest enemy!”  “Juliet, what the heck are you on about?”)  (Also, “You kiss by the books!” – best romantic line EVER.)  Suffice it to say that I’m finding it quite an entertaining read.

Strangely, though, the more I read it the more it’s occuring to me that the fairy-oriented quotient of The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns is a complete, point-by-point reproduction of the story.  Mickey Muldoon is Romeo, Princess Jessica is Juliet, the Grand Banshee is the prince… etc.  The funny thing is, I think the movie was an improvement over the original (no offense to Shakespeare, but his main characters are driving me nuts).  At least now I understand why Mickey had to kill Count Grogan…

But anywho, I think that’s enough for tonight.  I recommend this book for people who like Shakespeare but don’t have his stuff, people who like classic literature but don’t have Shakespeare, people who are interested in classic literature but don’t have anything, and/or people who just want to read classic literature without being reminded of how wonderful it is by some snobby English teacher.

(P.S. It helps if you read the dialogue naturally, rather than by verse.)