five questions meme!

What? I can do a meme!

As asked by verbicide. COMMENT and ask and I will think up some questions for you too! I do not guarantee that they will be good questions, however.

1. What got you into jewelry making? And what was the first piece you made?

Okay. Hm. Well, my mother used to have this closet in our old house that was stuffed full of arts and crafts stuff, and I'm pretty sure that's where it began. I could make things out of beads! BEADS. Which I loved doing. I also loved having necklaces and pendants. I wore lots of pendants in high school and college, and decided last year around this time to get back into it. I think the first pieces I made were a big blue heart pendant and a choker with a picture of an Egyptian woman on it. I don't wear those much anymore, but I wore them for a long time as little symbols of an emerging self.

Now I make all kinds of things, including earrings and bracelets!

2. What is the silliest thing you ever did in college?

Oh dear. Hm. It depends on what you mean by silly! It could have been the play I did that was all in German, where the cast dressed in black and caked bright white makeup on our faces. Like evil German mimes! Or maybe the drag ball, or all the stuff I did for the satire magazine, or the movie we made about a killer ferret. I don't know. I'm sure a better answer will occur to me.

3. What is your favorite dessert that you ever ate. The dessert can be simple, but then the story must be elaborate, or the story can be simple but the dessert must be elaborate--if that makes sense!


Okay, this is going to sound really lame, but my favorite thing ever was the Chocolate Tallcake that Ruby Tuesday used to have.

Yes it's a chain restaurant dessert, but here's why it was special. lietya and I used to go to that restaurant all the time before it got all terrible, mainly because there was one in our town. We loved it so much that we'd go to a Ruby Tuesday in other states, when we happened to be traveling! I always got a hamburger and fries. It was pretty decent.

The dessert, though, was the real reason to go there. We loved the tallcake. We'd get one and split it. It had this hot, melty chocolate cake thing topped with ice cream and caramel and Oreo pieces. Amazing. I probably gained 20lbs from it alone.

We don't go there anymore, because at some point Ruby Tuesday decided that it was going to become more upscale. The last time we went there our food arrived on square plates (a sure sign of being faaaaar too big for one's britches) and the tallcake was... well. It wasn't even tall. It was a sad imitation of its former self.

But for a while there it was really great!

4. If you could pick any time in history to be born as any type of person--what era, and what kind of person would you be?

Oo! Uh. I'd be the EMPRESS OF BYZANTIUM. Wait. No. I have no idea! I know a lot of history, and maybe I know enough that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live in the past. The past sucked. I'm pretty sure I want to be me, and live now. At least I can hope for a better future.

5. What are 5 things that you would change about politics in this country if you could create any change you'd like.

1. Term limits for all offices
2. Public campaign financing, no lobbyist or corporate cash
3. Short election seasons with strict limits, like in Britain
4. A strong and relevant third political party. I don't care what the ideology is.
5. Change the Senate's rules, make it easier to get things done. I know this would rebound on liberals like me when Republicans are in charge, but I think it's worth it.

late afternoon talk show: the home game

I was going to put up a post about my weekend and stuff like that but LJ is giving me an ad for "Identigene" brand DNA paternity test. "Fast, accurate and confidential" it says!

Now I know what this is (and it's been out for a while), it's a thing you can buy and then send your, uh, stuff in a box off to some lab somewhere, and pay money to get the results back.

It's like Maury in a box! But, alas, without people in hilarious outfits yelling at one another.

number one, I order you to go take a number two

The complete series of “Daria” is out on DVD now, and I’m excited. Well, I’m not really excited about anything at all right now, but this is pretty cool. I loved that series.

I used to want to be like Daria (her cool detachment appealed to me), but I think in the end I’m a lot more of a Jane Lane than a Daria.

Funny, I first discovered “Daria” because I watched “Beavis and Butt-Head” on a regular basis (Daria was a minor, if compelling, character on the show). In fact, “Beavis and Butt-Head” was another thing that my sister and I shared. We would annoy the hell out of our parents by doing the bits constantly:

ME: heh-heh heh-heh
SISTER: huh-huh-huh huh-huh-huh
ME: heh-heh heh-heh
SISTER: huh-huh-huh huh-huh-huh
MOM: I have such a headache now.
SISTER: …uh…
ME: …you said “head.”
SISTER: huh-huh-huh huh-huh-huh
ME: heh-heh heh-heh. Fart knocker.
SISTER: Turd burglar.
MOM: ::eyeroll::

We even developed a hand signal/noise combination for “fart knocker.” I remember us bothering everyone on a train to New York City with this. We found it hilarious. My mother probably wished she had tied her tubes two kids earlier.

But by the time "Daria" hit MTV, I was in college and my sister was gone. So I watched by myself, and all the meaning I found in it was mine alone.

earring assembly

I've been experimenting with making jewelry lately, and last night I bought a kit which had (among other things) instructions for putting together a set of dangly earrings.

After a lot of cursing, many clumsy attempts to get teeny-tiny beads onto the wires, tracking down escaped beads and making a bit of a hash of the loops I did finally put them all together, and this is what they look like (try to ignore my MASSIVE TEETH in that pic).

I'm actually very happy with how they came out! They clink when I wear them, which is neat, and they look pretty nice.

The bonus here is that now I have a much better idea of how to make these kinds of earrings, and I plan on making some more in the future!

question re: books today

Why is Abraham Lincoln hunting vampires?

And why are there zombies in Jane Austen novels now?

...It's like our popular culture is seeping back into the past, infecting it like, um, that rift thing in the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation!


Next up, Nathanial Hawthorne fights a coven of witches (eeee! Now you'll pay for writing that stupid book, Hawthorne! You and your little civil service job), while John Quincy Adams takes on a fleet of pirates (Aaaar! We dispute the 1824 election, bein' partisans of that scurvy dog, Andrew Jackson! arr) using his mental superpowers and high powered laser rifle.

That would be cool. I should write it!

Seriously, though, these kinds of modern/historical mashups are probably some kind of symptom of our tendency to blur reality and fictional cultural tropes. This is how mythologies and superstitions get started. In 300 years, people living in the ruins of Cleveland will blame the downfall of the United States on a combination of ninjas, pirates, aliens, zombies, vampires and werewolves, against which not even President Spider Man (and his great general, Optimus Prime) could stand.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (review)

Video game review time! Just what you always wanted!

I just recently finished The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and thought I'd jot down some thoughts about the game before I forget...

Good stuff:
  • Easy-to-understand controls
  • Top-down viewpoint works really well
  • Dungeons weren't as frustrating and mind-numbing as in Phantom Hourglass (though the Spirit Tower reminded me too much of the Temple of the Ocean King)
  • Zelda actually helps! Like, a lot!
  • I like trains. This game has trains. Lots of trains!
  • Not too difficult. I needed an easy game
  • Lots of extras to find
  • Plenty of nods to Phantom Hourglass and Wind Waker (the trader had a Tinkle doll, for instance)
Bad Stuff:
  • Trains run on tracks, and the tracks are the only way to get around. So much for freely exploring what looked like a fun little world
  • It took FOREVER to get anywhere, even with warp gates
  • Controlling phantom Zelda was clunky
  • Ugh, the story
  • I was kind of sick of trains by the end
  • Too much use of the DS mic input, I hate that thing. I had to blow into it a lot, lietya thought I was hyperventilating
Thoughts: It lost me somewhere. Usually Zelda games grab me and drag me through them, but for a zillion reasons that didn't happen this time. I took a few weeks off some time in February, and then got back to it. Sure, other stuff was happening, but the story really wasn't all that interesting. Plus this edition of Link Has a Vehicle of Some Sort wasn't that thrilling.

That said, it had a lot of the elements that make Zelda games so much fun. Also Princess Zelda is really a lot of fun, she actually has a personality! She (or her disembodied spirit) is right with Link for the entire game; they function as a team, something like Link and Midna in Twilight Princess or Link and Navi in Ocarina of Time.

So to sum up: it isn't perfect, but it's still a lot of fun to play! B+