June 26, 2006

More Detail

Here is what I'm thinking of from the last entry. I want to take a picture of a room and label the parts, but I only want the label for a certain part to pop up when the mouse cursor is moved over that part. For example, say my room has a computer, a table, and a desk. I want to move the mouse over the computer and have its description pop up without the descriptions for the table and desk popping up at the same time. Then I want to be able to move the mouse cursor over the table and have the same thing happen.

Does that make sense? Can someone like me do it easily? Or am I going to have to involve someone with more computer knowledge?

Posted by LoWriter at 08:53 AM | Comments (2)

June 23, 2006

Technical Questions

I have a question. Can anybody out there tell me if it's possible for someone inept like me to take a picture and put in labels that pop up if I move a mouse over them? What I have in mind is similar to what NASA picture of the day does from time to time (I'll link to it when I have more time to find it).

Also, if I do it, can it then be loaded to a website?

Posted by LoWriter at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2006


Well, kids, I have now been three years sans asparthame. The anniversary was on the 20th. I know this is a lame ass thing to celebrate, but it was seriously a problem for me. If I even smell diet pop, I want it. Badly. And, my sister tried to convince me to drink some the other day, so it's something to celebrate doubly because I didn't give in.

I know you're out there laughing at me and my Diet Dr. Pepper addiction. Don't deny it. I can hear you all the way over here.

And to be fair, normally, I would be right there with you saying that this a goody-two-shoe thing to be addicted to, but in my case, I was going through a 24 pack every two days. Imagine for a minute how many trips that is to the grocery store a week if you don't buy several cases at once. I couldn't sleep without it; I couldn't get up without it. I couldn't relax without it. I didn't eat anything because of it (which I blame for my weight gain, among other things, i.e. I like cheetos).

Some of you who've lived with me/spent a lot of time with me can attest to the "tower of cans" that I had in my dorm room at one point.

And I will say that this has given me a great deal of respect for people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. I can't imagine the kind of hell that must be to quit. It was hell enough quitting something considered pretty harmless by the Food and Drug Administration. So, if any of you are recovering addicts, I celebrate you, too.

At any rate, I am addiction free. And I am going to celebrate it. You may join me in the comments by sharing your own story if you feel so inclined.

Or feel free to taunt me as well. I know and appreciate the fact that I had a lame addiction.

Posted by LoWriter at 11:33 AM | Comments (7)

June 19, 2006

Dreams Do Come True

And now for a journey into the paranormal.

The question of the day is this: Have you ever dreampt about something that later happened? Have you ever had a dream that came true?

I don't usually share my supernatural experiences with the general public. HOWEVER, I have had five dreams in my life that have come true, and what makes it really fun is that four of them have been in the last six months. (The latest one over the weekend.)

Now, none of them are very important. Additionally, in the grand scheme of things, of the millions of dreams I've had, only five have come to pass. That's not very good odds. I mean, the laws of probability likely dictate that some of your dreams will have to come true. On the other hand, the ratio of true dreams versus plain dreams has risen significantly in the last six months.

I find this freaky. I used to wish that my dreams would come true. I thought that would be really ridiculously cool. Turns out, it is not ridiculously cool. It's annoying. Now, everytime I have a dream, I'm asking myself, "Is this going to happen?" (Part of me still thinks it's pretty damn cool, but it would be a whole lot cooler if I could tell which ones were going to come true.)

On the other hand, like I said, only one (or two?) has had any significant meaning. Otherwise, two of them have been about a book and a movie, which I don't consider earth shattering, and one was pretty much about my laughing gas high at the dentist office.

So, I am wondering if there are any other freaks like me out there? If so, share in the comments and make me feel less like a freak.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:39 AM | Comments (5)

June 15, 2006


Today, friends and neighbors, is the last day of my night job. I thought I would commemorate this event with a brief history.

Bear with me because I accidentally deleted everything I worked on. Ahh, user error. Isn't it a beaut? What's sad is that it was actually witty. There was wit. Wit was happening right before my very eyes. And then, much like my paycheck, it was gone.

I began at my night job in June of 2003 as a temp and shortly began working 50 hour weeks all summer because they were giving overtime, and I was broke. Then, I was hired in September of 2003 as a part time employee, and I have been working 16+ hours per week (in addition to my day job) ever since. I will be going to on call status, which basically means that if I am free and they have work, I will show up.

This means that I'll have time for things now that I haven't had time for in three years:

+Coming home at 4:30 and napping in the sun under fuzzy blankies
+watching a cheesy game show and the national news while cooking something yummy that doesn't come from a box
+continuing to learn to play my harmonica
+writing something just for fun
+taking a walk in the park before it's dark outside
+reading something good (June book total = 0 so far)
+seeing friends whenever I feel like it.

And maybe I'll go nuts and try some new things like find a gaming group (or start one) or a book club! Maybe I'll even (gasp) break out the roller blades this summer or play broomball this winter.

Don't get me wrong; I'll miss the people and the money. The people are great and kind, and the work is easy. They always told me how much they valued me, which, let's face it, is huge for me. And the money was a lot of fun. But the thing I am starting to realize is this: Money is a slave driver. You start out, and you think, "I'll just make this goal," but then, you get there and there's something else you want. So you have to find a way to make even more money.

I'm starting to see that, unless you became excessively rich overnight, you would always up your standard of living to coincide with the rate of money coming in. So basically, you can have freedom or you can have money. That's not to say that I am not going to miss dropping money on DVDs whenever I feel like it and buying the sisters a meal now and then and being able to get an expensive meal myself because I feel like it.

But then there are the things that money can't buy. And those things? I'm really looking forward to enjoying them again.

So, here's to the night job. Part of me is very sad to leave it behind, so I'm glad I'm still on call. It helped me attain a number of my goals (paid off car, getting in the general direction of grad school, bought a new computer, acquired medical records experience, met new people, funded pretty much everybody's Christmas presents from me). It also taught me a lot of things about time management and money and what's valuable. It taught me to be disciplined, and, now, when to let go.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)

June 12, 2006

Crazy Life

Lately, my life has been in the spin cycle of the wash machine. Most of it, I can't discuss yet, at least not on here.

Basically, I know I wrote awhile ago about "new era resolutions." Well, I think I can officially say I have entered a new era even though I have not dyed my hair since.

I had an epiphany last week. Now, you don't really wake up and think, "Gee, I think I'll have a revelation today," so that was weird in and of itself. Basically, I have tacked back and think I want to be a teacher now (not of high school, of college). It's very strange.

Then, the track of my life has pretty much changed directions about three times in the last week. So, if I talked to you on Monday and haven't talked to you since, you are probably out of the loop of what is actually happening at this point. Where I thought my life was going on Monday is not where it is going now.

I'm beginning to see my life as a bit of a poker game these days, and I've always been semi good at poker (not at Texas Hold 'em. At five card draw poker). Right now, I'm playing my cards close to my chest and eyeballing the other players at the table. And as sure as I know anything, I know this. They're holding garbage and trying to bluff me. They may even try to cheat before we're through, but for now, they're bluffing. I know all their "tells" before they do them, but basically, they jump the gun and talk too much and look around at the other players trying to size them up rather than looking at the cards they're holding in their hands. No one knows what I'm holding in my hand (except me), but I certainly know what they're holding.

Little do they know that the key to bluffing is the same as to lying. And I am nothing if not an excellent liar. The trick is that you have to believe it yourself. You have to lie to yourself before anyone else will believe a lie you're telling them. You tell yourself over and over again that the lie you're inventing is the truth, and pretty soon, you don't know the real truth anymore. You come up with fake tells that make it look like you're feeling one way (i.e. make excitement look like nervousness and make nervousness look like excitement. Turn fear into pride). It's not as simple as staying steely faced the whole time. You have to change your expression every time. It's a lot like acting; you have to come up with a character and believe that character is real even though it's not you. This is why I try my best not to lie anymore. By the time you're done, you don't even know what the truth is anymore, and who you were is buried under layers of who you pretended to be, sometimes for years at a time. These days, I try to be honest, so if I seem like I'm no good at lying, it's because I don't want to be anymore. My heart isn't in it. Bluffing, on the other hand, is perfectly all right.

Everything I thought I'd planned has changed, and I think it's a good thing, but I think we all know how I feel about change. Oh, that's right. I hate it. This time around, though, it feels good. I feel like I've been smooshed up against the glass ceiling for about a year and a half, and it's nice to finally have some breathing room.

And for those of you wondering just what I do have in my hand, well, I guess you'll just have to wait and see. The other players aren't the only ones with tricks up their sleeves.

Posted by LoWriter at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2006

HR 5252

Hey, kids, here is a link to a video from the cable TV station where my friend works.

According to this site, which has been leading the charge against this act, the COPE Act (HR5252) passed the House last night (national level).

What does this act do? Many things. Mainly, it means that your internet provider can decide which websites you can or cannot view based on how much those companies pay to the provider. There is chatter that this may mean a per page viewing fee to you, the consumer, as well.

In addition, it takes away a large portion of community cable TV's funding. Why should you care about this portion? Well, because, whether you know it or not, you can go into your local cable TV station and produce a show. They were set up to give everyone access to air time regardless of whether or not they could pay for it. Equal access, if you will, so that it's not just rich people (or giant media corporations) who have a voice.

This may have passed in the House, but it doesn't have to pass the Senate. Contact your representatives and senators now.

Posted by LoWriter at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2006

When You Look in the Mirror

"When you look in the mirror, are you happy with the way your lips look?" ~Botox Commercial on TV.

I found this little quote while I was sorting through my writing drawer. Now, I have to say that the first thing I think of when I look in the mirror is not generally, "Gee, I wish my lips looked different." Go south, and change the "L" to an "H" (hips if you haven't caught on), and you find the area I am most unhappy with.

Generally speaking, I would say that I have an ass the size of Lake Superior, and while some might say that this means I have a superior ass, I have never been exactly content with it. Neither does there appear to be much I can do about it. Even when I weighed a lot less, my hips were big and my ass was large. I even did specific excercises to target those areas. My ass grew rounder. (Hence, the reason why I have hung up Nike's "My Butt is Big" poem in my bathroom: "10,000 lunges have made it rounder but not smaller [...] And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it.") Frankly, I have come to terms with the fact that, no matter how much weight I lose, I will always be pear-shaped.

Nike and Dove both took a lot of heat for their "real women" ad campaigns, which I think is unfortunate. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the fact that somebody on the national level recognized that not all of us are going to be or want to be a size 2. If I were I size 2 (assuming that that's even possible given my bone structure and the size of my hips), I would look like a skeleton. I am too damn tall for that. Furthermore, I don't want to be a size 2. I want to eat Cheetos. I wouldn't mind being closer to what I was before I started working eleventy billion hours a week, but I don't want to be a size 2. And Richard Roeper really made me angry with the comments he made about the Dove billboards about how he didn't want to look at them. Good! Unless he's interested in Dove skin care for women, he shouldn't want to look at them. That's aside from the fact that those models were not, as many claim, "obese."

It really bothers me that people, and women especially, are so negatively obsessed with their bodies. I think it's stupid. I probably don't need to elaborate because I've written about this before, but I have to say that it especially bothers me when advertising tries to increase this obsession.

I mean, really? We don't have enough to worry about, so we are really going to start worrying about how our lips look? It's not bad enough that we have to be so skinny our pants fall off and our legs have to be perfectly smooth and our boobs have to be the size of cantelopes and our hair has to be flouncy and shiny and our eyes have to sparkle and our teeth have to be as white as a flourescent bulbs? In addition to having several types of eating disorders, we're going to start having lip obsessions where we go get Botox injections to make us all look like we got stung by bees?

Not me. I certainly don't have the time to worry about my lips. Especially when they've served me just fine up until this point. To quote Larry the Cucumber, "I love my lips," and no one is going to stick needles in them while I'm alive and well enough to stop it.

How about you? Are you happy with the way your lips look?

Posted by LoWriter at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2006


Every once in awhile, my internal time clock gets screwed up, and I can't sleep. This is one of those times.

And what I really want to know is why is it that I can't sleep at 10:00 when I want to go to bed, but I could certainly go to sleep right now? I blame the universal bastards. They're a lot like regular bastards except that they're bigger and invisible.

When I was younger, I never needed as much sleep as my parents tried to insist that I should get. They'd tell me to go to bed, and I would use a flashlight to read until late at night. As I got older, I just didn't go to bed. Sometimes, I would be going to bed when my dad was getting up to do chores (3:45/4:00ish). I loved staying up all night, and usually, I wouldn't get up any later than 10:00. It was 6:00 if it was a school morning. But I loved being up late at night. The house was so quiet, and the crickets made noise, and going to sleep as the sky was starting to turn a little hazier and lighter was always a good feeling to me. Even in college, I would have nights where I would be up playing around on IM because I couldn't sleep.

But now, I have a job that I have to be at at 7:00 in the morning. And I learned a long time ago that now that I'm getting older, I need at least six hours of sleep. And I have not been getting it lately.

I've pretty much been unable to sleep normally since Wednesday. The funniest thing I did while suffering all weekend was probably when I came home on Friday night at some point after 10:00 and proceeded to sort through the papers out of one of my desk drawers until, oh, 3:00 in the morning. (This was after taking a couple Tylonol PM.)

I bring this up because it pisses me off. Granted, it was probably my own damn fault I couldn't sleep on Saturday night (because I slept in until 11:00 AM that morning), but what the hell? It seems like the more desperately you want to sleep the harder it is to sleep, too. I even went on several long walks this weekend, something that should have expended the extra energy, but nothing really helped.

So, today, I am very bitter about having to be at work, especially so early. I know it's going to be fine, but boooo. I would like to throw things at people.

Posted by LoWriter at 08:23 AM | Comments (5)

June 01, 2006

May Books

As you can see, my reading has dwindled. Ah, well, I expect it will improve after the 15th. Enjoy!

Watchmen by Alan Moore: This is one of those amazing books that others strive to become. It's a graphic novel, and it rocks. That's about all I can say. It's basically about "masked adventurers" in a society that doesn't accept them.

The Time Travelor's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I really enjoyed this book. It's about a man who can't stay in one place in time because of a genetic defect and the woman he loves. It's very strange because he's really always a part of her life, visiting from different points in time, and as she grows up, she falls in love with him. She can't actually meet him in her own time until much later. The book basically spends a lot of time examining how complicated life would be if we could actually time travel. I found it heart wrenching and wonderful.

The Grail Bird by Tim Gallagher: This book was very interesting despite my fears that it would be dry and boring. By the end, I was beginning to wonder if the author was actually the moron of the bunch and just didn't realize it, but that didn't take away from my fascination with the topic. It's about the search for the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. You may (or may not) remember a year or two ago a group of scientists claiming to have video taped a bird that had been believed to be extinct since the 1930s or 1940s (and the controversy over whether or not the tape was authentic). This is the person who began that expedition into the swamps of Arkansas (and really all over the country) and found the Ivory Bill. I guess what I enjoyed about it the most is that he always entertains the possibility that perhaps they may have been seeing something else, but then he refutes that notion with all of their credentials and the fact that the bird does not resemble any other birds and a lot of other evidence. He also mixes in stories about the bird and the people who studied it from when it was known to be alive and from people whose careers had been ruined after claiming to have seen it since it's been believed to be extinct. Parts of it were funny because I could just see these guys crashing through the swamp wondering why on earth the bird wouldn't come out for them but it would for people hunting. Well, perhaps it's because people who are hunting are trying to be quiet and sit still, but you all are traipsing through the underbrush loudly. On the whole, I believe they saw the bird and feel a bit sorry for them that they get so much guff for it. It's just not believable to me that someone would make up having seen a bird when reported sightings have ruined so many people's lives and careers. Fascinating read. I highly reccommend it if you're interested in nature at all. (Side note: Apparently, a reprint edition came out this spring. I have not read this version, but I imagine it probably has updates in the epilogue.)

That's it for the books, kids. Feel free to share your own reads in the comments.

Posted by LoWriter at 07:55 AM | Comments (8)