La Mingrates

Posted by andrea - April 30th, 2006

I haven’t said much on the whole illegal immigrant amnesty foofaraw because I really didn’t think my views were all that interesting — I think all illegal immigrants should be rounded up and shoved back across the border, and their born-in-the-USA brats too (because I don’t believe in breaking up families, see), and we should have no compunction about doing whatever we need to do to enforce our borders. I also realize that my view is the majority view everywhere but where it matters, which is in the halls of our spineless leaders. In a better, braver world where people still had backbones every single participant in the so-called “Boycott Work” parades would find themselves out of a job and having someone from Immigration knocking on their door, but we don’t live in that world. One thing, though — I can’t really figure out if Bush is actually as spineless as he is acting, or if this is just some sort of twisty way of bringing this issue to a head so he can really implement tougher anti-illegal immigration laws, since it is obvious to anyone with half a working brain cell that the majority of the citizens and legal immigrants here are in favor of such stronger measures. Hey, he’s been crafty before when it came to the War on Terrorist Scumbags, why not with us?

But I don’t hold out that much hope for that. It’s likely that someone has him by the short hairs somehow (did he hire illegal ranch hands?), or he is just letting his softer side, which is much too large for my tastes, do the talking in this instance. Lord knows the commie activists behind this travesty have turned on the waterworks full blast. And speaking of people with less than half a brain cell, Our Betters In the Press have been careful to describe tomorrow’s various May 1st marches as being “in support of immigrants.” Also they have not once mentioned that “May Day” is a communist holiday once celebrated in Iron Curtainville with parades of tanks, missiles, and uniformed military personnel, and that the workers for whom all that ironmongery was put on display still weren’t allowed to take a day off work. So thanks for letting the American public down again, newstards.

Anyway, I’m going for a walk. Later.

Frankendesk

Posted by andrea - April 30th, 2006

Argh. It is done — the partial disassembly of the desk, that is. Here is what it looked like before (I’m selling it for $25.00 OBO, by the way):

the desk before

And here’s what it looks like now:

frankendesk
The canned air and Pledge is on the desk to show how clean I am. As you can see, I also have found a use for my old coffee table. Of course it doesn’t fit entirely under the desk, and the desk itself really wasn’t meant to be used as two separate pieces, and thus the two inner sets of legs are only held on by two allen screws instead of four. And of course it looks perfectly dreadful, but I prefer this layout, and at least it isn’t cutting into my curtains anymore. But it’s only temporary; It will either be sold or I will push it out to the dumpster, and by that time I hope to have a new (sturdier and smaller) desk. I also plan to get rid of the hideous, oyster-colored chair:

oysterchair

This monstrosity is a cast-off of the evil ex’s evil father. It’s on its last legs anyway; I plan to throw that in the dumpster asap.

Housemaid’s knee

Posted by andrea - April 30th, 2006

Well, I decided that this weekend would be spent, at least partially, in finally cleaning up and organizing my junk, as well as moving some furniture about, and also I wanted to take the corner piece out of the L-shaped desk and shove both sides against the wall, preparatory to replacing both pieces with 1) a smaller desk, and 2) a dresser. I can’t go buying anything now because I have only 18 cents in my Paypal account (ahem), and let’s not even think about the main checking account, which is starting to resemble the gulf between galaxies in its amount of void.

Did that make any sense? Probably not. I am incapable at this time of making any sense whatsoever, because my ambitious plans have left my domicile a wreck, in which piles of stuff have taken over every flat surface — the exact opposite of what I planned to do. Well, I did move the tall Danish cabinet over to the other side of the dining room, where I think it looks better, and moved the microwave cart into the resultant free space, which means I can now get to the end cupboards of my kitchen. But the dining table is piled high, and there are cardboard boxes everywhere, and bags of paper substances. And I still have to clean out my files and sort my bills and other papers. It looks so much easier on Mission: Organize!.

I had planned to escape the house and take the bus somewhere photographable, but instead I spent my last few dollars at the grocery store, so I am stuck here. I may go for a walk, if I haven’t totally sprained myself. I am going to sign off for now, because I need to unplug everything and get it off the desk so I can play handywoman. Perhaps later I will put up photos of the hair-raising event.

Filed for future reading

Posted by andrea - April 28th, 2006

A new Lord of the Rings-themed blog. (Well, it’s new to me. Via Wittingshire.)

More to come, I hope.

At least they don’t sing

Posted by andrea - April 27th, 2006

So that’s the way to take care of this problem for once and for all: lock them all in the bathroom.

(Via Overtaken By Events.)

Twitch

Posted by andrea - April 27th, 2006

I can’t seem to decide on a blog look. Sorry.

Surfacing

Posted by andrea - April 27th, 2006

Ugh. Guess who caught that stomach flu that’s been going around. That’s why I haven’t been posting much, or doing much of anything. More later.

Two things

Posted by andrea - April 24th, 2006

First: verdict on the new camera — so far, sweet. It’s a Kodak Z7000. Here’s what’s on my laptop as wallpaper:

swamp cypress forest

Click for a larger picture — though not as large as the full size, which I didn’t want to upload here. These are a stand of swamp cypress trees at the other side of the cul-de-sac my new office is on. I took them from the parking lot using the 5X optical zoom at (non-digital) maximum. I also took a couple of closeups of objects, not because they were especially novel, but just to see what the capabilities of the thing were. And of course, several pictures of my cat and a couple of videos of same have already been attempted. You can play back videos (without sound) on the camera or directly through A/V links on the tv (with sound, of course). The camera is bigger and boxier than the Nikon Coolpix but it also has a grip that fits my hand comfortably, and when it comes to clumsy me a larger item means less fear that it will slide through my fingers and smash on the floor. I’ve got to be careful, though — it’s a tad heavy so there is the danger that I might simply drop it.

As usual whenever I purchase something that actually has use as well as a certain value (as opposed to all the other frivolous doodads I’m always spending too much money on), I feel as if I’ve taken out a third mortgage or something. It would be nice to, not be fabulously wealthy, but to just be well-off enough that I didn’t feel pangs of unease and guilt every time I spent money on something I’d been saving for for ages. I wonder if I’ll ever have the courage to buy a house, or even a car…

Oh, and here’s the second thing, totally off the wall: you know that show that the Discovery Channel has been playing about the first emperor of China (it’s called “The First Emperor,” duh)? Does anyone out there know where I can get stills from the program, specifically from the scenes where the emperor, insane from taking mercury pills to prolong his life, is shooting at imaginary giant fish with a crossbow while his minister and one of his sons and some other official folk are watching him with that “this… sucks ass” look on their faces? I really want that scene. I have my reasons. What I don’t have is the ability to do a video capture.

Baked

Posted by andrea - April 23rd, 2006

Good God it was hot outside. The horrible Florida summer is here, so now I won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything outside for months. I should have stayed home today, but instead I decided to go shopping. I first took it into my head to go to the mall to see if I could scare up some pants. If you have read my post on shopping you will have a pretty good idea of what happened. By the time I found the pants, squashed up against the wall behind miles of impractical tops made of that itchy, gauzy, see-through stuff which makes the wearing of a second garment — in hot, humid Florida — mandatory, I was too pissed off to feel like buying any.

Then of course the long wait for the bus, where I had to listen to stupid teenagers argue about their Ipods — it wasn’t so much the arguing or the subject as it was the lack of enunciation, the shrunken and primitive vocabulary, the sensation of sitting outside a monkey house listening to the chimpanzees emit their grunts and hoots. Compared to the way teenagers talk today my friends and I were as eloquent as the Harvard debating team (and we weren’t). Also — is it too much to ask that men refrain from reacting to the hot weather by wearing saggy, sleeveless undershirts in public, so that those of us who unfortunately still have most of our sight are not greeted by the vision of sweaty underarm hair and male nipples? And those baggy below-the-knee denim pants must feel like a wool kilt. Just looking at them made the air seem even hotter, and not in a good way.

Gah. I am too tired to talk anymore. I am going to play with my new camera, to see if I like it. It’s not the model I wanted — I was somewhat mistaken about the sale price — but I got one a bit less expensive. I had to settle for a 5X optical zoom instead of the 10X — if I decide that the savings weren’t enough to make up for the lack of zoom lens capability then back to the store it goes.

Home Improvement, Part Ow-My-Aching-Back

Posted by andrea - April 22nd, 2006

All I did today was move my two small bookcases back into the living room and behind the loveseat so they form sort of a sofa-table thing between the loveseat and the wall. They’re cheap white laminate things, and they match the white rattan part of the sofa, and of course the white paint on the wall, so they don’t stand out, but I can put things on them. Then I put all my ratty old paperbacks and other books I don’t read that much back in them before moving the loveseat into place. Since the loveseat weighs almost nothing I can get to them if I want to read one of my old scifi novels or something, but now I don’t have to look at their awful tatty covers and so on. The loveseat itself is rather hideous, but it only cost twenty-five dollars at the used furniture store, and it’s comfortable, so it will do until I can afford a nicer replacement. Which the way things going will probably be never, so I am thinking of simply investing in a slipcover.

This is all preliminary to the Great Bedroom Makeover. The next step is hanging the curtains I bought — they are “tropical green,” a light green that isn’t too light, but I am over forest green. The color scheme is going to be the green and a light-to-medium blond or honey-colored wood for the furniture; I need to get a dresser, and possibly a night table — I don’t want a lot of furniture crowding the space, though. I might skip the night table — currently I am using a set of three Mission-style nesting tables as a night table, and if that works out I’ll just keep them. I am getting a new desk, though. I am so over this huge L-shaped thing I bought. I thought I’d need all the desktop space to write on, but as it turned out I have only used it for piling crap on, so it was just wasted money. I am going to buy a smaller desk or a corner desk, and a two-drawer file cabinet, which I have always needed. I can put the scanner on top of that, and the printer on the desk now that I have the LCD monitor taking up way less space than the CRT behemoth I had before. My computer has a rolling stand so it doesn’t need any desktop space, and I plan to replace that anyway with something smaller, like a MiniMac. The goal is to make most of my bedroom feel like a bedroom instead of an office/storage room where I happen to sleep. I am also going to replace the ricketty metal futon frame with a simple wooden bed frame I saw on the internet. Maybe I’ll even get rid of the futon and buy a real mattress, but the kind I want is probably beyond my income level (I want a pillowtop with individually-wrapped coils so it doesn’t bounce every time I so much as wiggle a toe — that’s why I sleep on a futon now; it has no springs at all, at least).

I had planned to take apart the L-shaped desk today (take the corner piece out anyway, and put both sections next to each other so that the part the computer sits on no longer juts out into the window area), but apparently a few weeks of being driven to work instead of walking have taken their toll, and I am just beat all to hell. Tomorrow I am taking a semi-break — I am going camera shopping (the Camera of My Dreams is on sale, and I am going to see if I can get it), and I may take a detour into the second-hand furniture shops, which are on the way to the bus stop, to see if I can find a chest of drawers or dresser in not too bad condition that fits my wants and needs and isn’t too grodily Eighties-style and doesn’t smell like dry rot — my clothes are going in it after all. If I can find a second-hand dresser that will help me in the budget department.

The dream, I guess, is to re-create my childhood room, but better, as the childhood bedroom was refitted out of our long and narrow and unused dining room in the old 1920s-era Boomer house I grew up in, and bore the marks of both Seventies fashion and my father’s inadequate handyman skills. The plywood bookshelves he installed for me soon buckled and splintered and came loose from their nails because he had no idea what he was doing, the dark wood panelling had huge brown recluse spiders making use of the ample cracks between the boards, the wardrobe/closet he built me out of unvarnished, non-laminated pressboard succumbed to the damp of our humid, non-airconditioned house and began to sag, and so on — and did I mention the pale green fuzzy rug and avocado green bedspread? But there was the tree in the front yard outside my window, and my mother made curtains out of sheets with this art-nouveau-meets-Sixties-pop-art design of trees that looked rather like those in Tolkien’s own painting of Bilbo riding a barrel down the Forest River (which so far I can’t find on the internet anywhere so I will scan it up later).

I couldn’t do any of this if I had a car now. I’d be paying car payments, insurance payments, and for gas at today’s high prices. I do plan to get a car some time this year, but I want to get the house at least semi-livable and get a few other things that I put off all the years I was driving because I couldn’t afford it due to the cost of owning and operating a car. Currently not having a car is simply an inconvenience, and perhaps it was always so.

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