May 31, 2005

Girl Power

For those of you not up on your racing events, you missed a big one on Sunday. Danica Patrick became the first woman ever to lead a lap at the Indi 500, and she finished fourth, which is better than any woman has ever finished before in this particular race.

Now, I feel bad for Dan Wheldon, who won, primarily because I don't think I've seen an article on him yet; however, I celebrate the fact that a woman went out there and kicked a little race track ass.

She led for a really long time, and I thought she might win it, but she was running low on fuel, and she got passed by the three guys who beat her. Then a caution came out two laps from the end. What this means is that someone got into an accident (farther back), so everybody has to slow down and no one can pass. They finished the race under caution, and since no one could pass, all field positions were frozen. Now, I'm not sure that this didn't help Danica Patrick, who was running low on fuel and losing fuel pressure. Basically, they were crossing their fingers that she'd be able to finish on the fuel she had (at one point, they had her right up behind the pace car in order to cut wind resistence and save fuel), so the slower pace at the end may have helped her, but I'm by no means an expert. Had she had full fuel, I think she might have won it.

On the whole, I think I like NASCAR racing better than Indi car racing, if only for the fact that I think I saw more injuries in the Indi 500 than I see in a NASCAR race. On the other hand, NASCAR doesn't have Danica Patrick. So there you go.

At any rate, it was a very race-full day. I watched the Indi 500, went out to get some ingredients for our Memorial Day Turkey Dinner (mmm), came back about 20 laps into the Coca-Cola 600, and settled in for the evening with my race.

As far as upcoming racing events go, the NASCAR MBNA 400 is on Fox this Sunday at 12:30 ET (11:30 our time, but you usually get at least a half hour of pre-race programming, sometimes a whole hour). Additionally, if horses are more your thing, don't forget to catch the Belmont Stakes on the 11th of June.

Posted by LoWriter at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

May Books

Here is the book list for May.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. I skipped over The Horse and His Boy, but it doesn't really matter much because this is chronologically the first book, even though it is not the first book in the series (despite what novices might believe). I really thought this book was amazing. I especially enjoy the "creation" scene, where Aslan sings Narnia into being. It was an excellent book.

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. This book was pretty good. I'm not entirely sure where it falls in the wizard sequence, but it's funny. Basically, an eighth son of an eighth son (a wizard) has an eighth son, making that son a sourceror or source of magic. Then the wizards start having magic wars. This book also features Rinsewind, which is always fun. What I enjoy about the wizard series is that it combines all the elements of a real college with all the elements of magic. There are a lot of jibes at memos, college administration, etc., and I liked it.

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (from B and N's Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1). This is the first Sherlock Holmes story. It's a novel, and I enjoyed it. In it, Sherlock and Watson must solve a very strange murder and they must begin with only the clues of a wedding ring and the word "Rache" in blood on the wall. It's billed as being "chilling," but to be honest, it's not a horror story by any means. I never knew that Sherlock Holmes was this much fun. The one thing that you should keep in mind is that the Watson sometimes serves as a foil of sorts for Shakespeare's ramblings about logic. Don't let it get to you; it gets better as the stories progress.

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett. This is in the witches series. It follows Masquerade, and it is also very hilarious. In it, the king of Lancre invites vampires to his daughter's naming ceremony. The vampires then decide to make their home in Lancre castle and to make meals of the people of Lancre. The witches, with the help of an Omnian preacher, must drive the vampires back to Uberwald. Oh, and one other thing: The vampires want Granny.

Jingo by Terry Pratchett. Ank-Morpork goes to war with Klatch over a piece of land that has risen up out of the ocean. This is part of the Watch series, although I'm not entirely sure where it falls. Somewhere before Feet of Clay, I believe, but don't quote me. Vimes has to figure out how to stop a war and save a prince after being removed from duty from Lord Rust. Lucky for Vimes that he's a knight, after all. I laughed until I cried.

Soul Music by Terry Pratchett. In this book, Music with Rocks in meets the discworld through Buddy and his guitar. The wizards make an appearance, but it primarily belongs to the Death sequence, following Mort and Reaper Man, but coming before Thief of Time. We meet Susan, Death's granddaughter, who must take over the job of grim reaper because her grandfather's gone off to contemplate the meaning of life. It's funny, but as always in the Death sequence, these are not my favorite books in the Discworld. Don't start with these, even though they are worth the read.

The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This Sherlock Holmes mystery focuses on treasure, secrets, and murder. I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes mysteries very much.

Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe. This is not a book. It's an old radio program, but I enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it. It's very weird, but there are a lot of great insights, as far as human nature goes, from the Android Sisters.

Well, that's it for books. I didn't hold to my committment to reading at least one literary book a month, but I did discover Sherlock Holmes. Additionally, I checked out several great essays such as "I Have a Dream," "JFK's Inaugural Address," "The Declaration of Independence," and "I Have Nothing More to Say" (excerpts from Joan of Arc's trial). It was good to visit the basics. I'm not sure I'd ever read many of these in their entirity before, so it was fun to see the difference between the quotes everybody repeats and the essays themeselves.


Posted by LoWriter at 11:12 AM | Comments (4)

May 27, 2005


I don't like change. I never have. Yet lately, I keep thinking that I should do something drastic and major like change jobs or move away or go back up north and be a wind farmer. (Yes, a wind farmer. It's a wicked cool way to make energy and money at the same time. I just need startup $. So if you win a few mill, hook me up).

I'm probably not going to do any of these things. I am probably going to stay in my current situation dreaming about grad school and working all the time instead because I am a chicken.

That's right: A chicken.

I've always said that I don't hold with making big changes just because you're unhappy. I've always said that your problems will still be waiting for you wherever you end up. And I still believe that to some extent.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that you can decide never to change anything just because you're scared that the grass is not greener anywhere else. It has to be greener somewhere else, especially if you're not happy. You shouldn't refuse to change things just because you're a chicken in the same way that you shouldn't change things just because you feel unhappy for a little while.

Lately, I've just noticed that if this year were last year, I would've moved with my friends who were talking about moving to Boise. I'm not trying to be a bitch to those of you that I'm friends with here who have no intention of moving to Boise. You're all great.

But lately I feel like when people ask me what I've been up to lately, all I can talk about is how much I hate my job. I have a life; I do other things. I don't know why it keeps coming back to that. It's not like I live for my work. The Serenity movie, maybe, but not my work.

So, my question to you all is this: Is change a good idea? Especially when you're not sure that you're actually unhappy about the thing that you're thinking about changing? What if you're just unhappy in general? What if you change the wrong thing? How do you get past those worries and just do something, anything? Is that even a good idea?

Posted by LoWriter at 07:48 AM | Comments (7)

May 23, 2005

Star Wars

*Warning: This entry contains spoilers.

I would like to point out that people are crazy. I read many reviews for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith that claimed it was better than the original.

Revenge of the Sith contained many of the things that I hated about the first two episodes: Poor dialogue, cheesy special effects, and a complete lack of compelling female characters. At one point, Padme actually says, "Hold me" to Anakin And the dialogue only got cheesier from there. I feel like with all the money George Lucas must have made, he could have hired someone to write him some believable dialogue. Obi-Wan seems like he stumbled out of a high school play rendition of Hamlet, Padme bites her hand while crying, something I've only had to endure while watching black and white films, and Anakin walks around with one pouty expression on his face throughout the entire movie. And the reason it makes me so angry is that I know that Natalie Portman can act. Look at Garden State.

As far as the technology goes, I'm not impressed. Everyone I was with said that they thought it was weird to see the Darth Vader costume looking all old school with buttons and dials on it, but I feel like if Lucas had stuck to some of that kind of technology, the movies would have been better. I think some of the action sceens look more realistic in the originals, and I definitely think the characters look less like cartoons in the originals.

Finally, Lucas's female characters in these latest movies are weak or invisible. As one of my friends pointed out, Padme was the only speaking female character in the movie. And she was usually saying something like, "Hold me" or "You're breaking my heart" or "What shall we do?" (Spoiler dead ahead!) Additionally, when she dies at the end, it's not because of any medical reason but because she has "lost the will to live" because Anakin tried to kill her. What? If she took the time to name the babies, she would probably have bothered to live since there was nothing medically wrong with her. And nobody tries to convince her that she should try to live. At least give her a medical problem. Don't reduce this once powerful character to complete and utter uselessness.

I just don't believe the characters by the time the movie is over, due to the lack of believable dialogue, the crappy special effects, and the lone weak female character.

You need to see the movie because it ties up the series. It's interesting to watch Anakin embrace the Dark Side. Also, the fight scenes are pretty good. You should also probably see it in the theater because of the special effects, but it doesn't warrant an $8.25 ticket. See it at an afternoon show or at the cheap seats. Feel free to argue with me in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:34 AM | Comments (12)

May 16, 2005


The older I get, the more I believe that time is an illusion.

As most of you are aware (due to my constant bitching), I am sporting 2+ jobs. I work 40 hours/week at my day job, 16+ at my night job, and occasionally, I put in 10+ here and there on my freelance proofreading. In addition, I don't feel that I lack for friends or fun activities. I also have two blogs, and I read a fair amount. People are constantly asking me how I do everything that I do, and I become more and more convinced that I simply have more time than other people.

Now, a friend pointed out that I don't sleep much, which is true. I usually sport six or less hours compared to most people's eight (or nine), but I think it's more than that.

Either I am using time off the end of my life, or I got some of your time. Pratchett has some interesting theories about time involving time monks who take time from creatures who don't need it and use it to make sure that the "right" things happen by either taking the time themselves or donating it to other people. (I believe the example he uses is something about a sea creature [possibly a mollusk] not really needing much time.)

I'm fairly convinced that this is what happened in my case. Only once in my life have I ever run out of time. Those of you who know me will remember my extra semester from hell. For those of you who don't, I was taking 16 credits, four of which were devoted to a 15 hour a week internship. The rest were all writing classes. I was working 20 hours a week. I was doing project work for a college department and for the faculty secretary at 20 hrs./semester and 20 to 40 hrs./semester, respectively. I was also the lit mag editor. Finally, I was trying to stay in my two writing groups, and I had a boyfriend at the time. Suffice it to say that I ran out of time that semester (also energy, patience, sanity, and several other desirable faculties).

But otherwise, I have always been able to say, "It'll all get done," and it all miraculously does. Why is this? All I can come up with is that I got your time. Apparently you weren't using it wisely. Sucks to be you. ;) Anyone with any time/relativity theories/knowledge should feel free to explain this phenomenon in scientific terms. (Anyone else should feel free to come up with their own theories.)

Posted by LoWriter at 11:18 AM | Comments (6)

May 12, 2005

The Big 25

In order to shamelessly advertise, my birthday is coming up on May 22nd. Before you get too excited, you should realize that I am going to be partaking in several graduation events because both sisters are graduating.

I think the best birthday I ever had was still my 18th birthday. I graduated on my 18th birthday, so I had a pretty lenient reception. I pretty much told everyone that anyone who wanted to come could. And they did. And it was excellent. All the fam was there, and all my friends showed up. Later, we decided it would be a great idea to burn the brush pile, so we had a huge bonfire. We brought out Dad's guitar and a couple guys played, and a bunch of us sang. After everybody left, my best friend and I went to Grand Forks for Perkins, but it was closed, so we drove around for hours and hung out at Wal-mart until it opened. It was awesome.

This birthday should be pretty all right. I mean, it would take some doing to be worse than last year, which I spent on my couch because I'd just gotten out of the hospital. Even that was made pretty fun by some kind friends who brought me things like Yatzee and homemade food, and Duplos. I mean, legos and duplos are the best things ever, let's be honest, and Yatzee is a close second. And to be fair, I did get to do a little partying the weekend before, so that was cool.

I am planning to make some plans for the afternoon after my sister's award reception and after the rents have safely left town. On the whole, it should be kinda fun. I'm a little freaked out about turning 25. I mean, I've been saying I'm 25 since around March because that's how I get used to it, but I'm not sure I want to really be 25. It's not that I feel old, it's just that, well, it's not 22, you know?

So, kids, here are the questions: 1) What was your best birthday ever? (Or what would your dream birthday be?) and 2) Do you feel like you're old?

Posted by LoWriter at 03:40 PM | Comments (6)

May 09, 2005

Share My Perspective!

I don't know if many of you caught this story in the Star Tribune last week, but it definitely opened my eyes. It describes situations in which pharmisists have refused to fill birth control prescriptions because they are opposed to contraceptives.

This needs to be remedied. For those of you who don't know, I spent a few days in the hospital last year due to a nasty cyst. I lost nearly two units of blood after all was said and done and had to have (minor) surgery. After that, I had severe pains (resulting in much missed work) that turned out to be more cysts. So, I am now on "the pill" in order to prevent more cysts. That's right, world. I said it. I use the big BC.

And I resent the fact that a pharmacist can refuse to a) fill my prescription or b) transfer my prescription just because he/she thinks he/she knows what the prescription is for. Birth control is used to treat many health problems, including hormonal imbalances, that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy. Aside from the fact that it is nobody else's business why you are taking a prescription, this refusal to fill prescriptions can be dangerous to those of us who are prescribed these drugs for other reasons.

Another reason this interests me is that this issue is so sensitive. Women don't usually like to talk about things like birth control in public forums, so issues like this get ignored because not enough people are comfortable enough to stand up and say something about them. Additionally, I can't even imagine how embarrassing it would be to stand in line at the pharmacy and have them say out loud that they refuse to fill your prescription because they don't believe in the use of contraceptives. I would be mortified. Not only that, but I was actually very nervous about renewing my prescription. There was a delay while the pharmacist authorized it, and I was sure that they were going to tell me they wouldn't fill it. For some people, this is enough to stop them from filling the prescription all together.

Finally, many religious people are against the use of drugs like Lexapro and Paxil, which treat anxiety and depression. There are many drugs that various religious organizations might be against. Are pharmacists going to be allowed to prevent any of them from being sold simply because they don't agree with the use of the drug prescribed?

I'm all for religious freedom and equal rights, but where do your rights end and my rights begin? I have as much right to be comfortable as you do. At what point does religious freedom begin to jeapordize health? Should that be allowed?

Posted by LoWriter at 03:58 PM | Comments (20)

May 02, 2005

April Book List

Here it is: The book list.

Mort by Terri Pratchett: I didn't like this as well as Pratchett's other books. In it, Death takes on an assistant. The cover bills it as being about Love taking on Death, but don't believe the hype. It's not as interesting as all that.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini: This is a book about dragons and their riders. It begins poorly in that you can definitely tell that the guy was 15 (yes, that's right) when he wrote it. By the end, though, I was very intrigued. The characters get better, the teenaged angst lessens, and the cheesy lines begin to disappear. I especially enjoyed all the lore he creates/draws on regarding dragons. Sometimes, he seems to lean too heavily on Tolkein for his material, but for the most part, not a bad first try.

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett: This book was hilarious. Vimes is all set to retire when someone starts killing people (without a license, which is a serious offense) using a gun. Excellent book. Comes somewhere after Guards! Guards! but before The Fifth Elephant in the Watch sequence.

The Sandman: Fables and Reflections: I don't remember who this is by. It's a graphic novel. Not a bad read; in fact, parts of it were fascinating. I couldn't read it before bed because it gave me nightmares, but on the whole, it examines myth and legend and the nature of Dream.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis: This is my second favorite Narnia book. In it, the children sail to the ends of Narnia, "discovering" lost and forgotten lands.

Pure Drivel by Steve Martin: This book is made up mostly of what its title suggests. It's a very short book of essays, and on the whole, it's pretty funny. Some essays fall a little flat, but not bad on the whole.

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis: Not my favoirte Narnia book. The kids have to rescue Prince Caspian's son. They miss Prince Caspian because they are stupid. They nearly get eaten by giants because they are stupid. They nearly get enchanted because they are stupid. And once again, Aslan gets to act like a jerk simply because people don't always understand what's going on. Booo.

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett: This book is hilarious. It's about the Great God Om, who is currently a small turtle with only one eye, and his chosen prophet Brutha, who would like Om to "choose somebody else." Makes lots of good points about organized religion and real devotion vs. an excuse to be nasty to each other.

The Brothers K by David James Duncan: As I listened to this on tape, I did not realize at first that it was abridged. I enjoyed it a great deal and will read the real version someday. It dealt with fathers and broken dreams and family and healing. It complimented a lot of the things I've been thinking about lately. The tone was also excellent. This was possibly my favorite book this month.

That's it, folks. Enjoy the picks!

Posted by LoWriter at 05:19 PM | Comments (19)


Well, if we've all had quite enough of that, let's all take a moment to celebrate the cheese grater.

The cheese grater deserves to be celebrated because it has selflessly made much melted cheesy goodness possible.

Yay cheese grater!

Posted by LoWriter at 02:20 PM | Comments (2)