Monday, January 26, 2009

Sydney Makes Things Up About Rebecca Haarlow (4)

Rebecca Haarlow did not pick out Mike Dunleavy Sr's jacket/tie combination, although she did once best Mike Dunleavy Jr in a battle of wits. And in a pancake eating contest. And at "Bad Dudes."

Bonus: Rebecca Haarlow is a bad enough dude to save the president.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sydney Makes Things Up About Rebecca Haarlow (3)

This one time, Rebecca Haarlow caught Sam Adams making out with a dude who had reached the age of consent and said, "That's okay Sam; I'll keep your secret cause that's just how I roll."

Friday, January 16, 2009


Is it just me or has the whole world forgotten the actual meaning of the word "miracle"? I think it's great that all those people survived that plane crash in New York, but it wasn't a miracle. It was good planning, good training, a competent crew and plenty of good samaritans. The news media have to choose: either everything's a miracle and there's no point in training or safety regulations, or some things aren't miracles, they're just really good people doing their jobs really well. A real miracle is when a plane falls out of the air into a marshmallow factory and everyone on board is cushioned in a pillow of pure joy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I give up

I give up on making things up about Rebecca Haarlow. It turns out that it's a lot more fun in your living room when you can say negative or slanderous things and not worry about hurting anyone's feelings. But if I were a minor local sorta-celebrity, I would google myself daily and would feel bad reading about how I once got so mad even Allen Iverson told me to calm down. Or how I once had my stomach pumped because I ate an entire bulk bin of whole nutmegs. Or how my affair with Joel Przybilla ended because I wouldn't make him waffles after I beat him at Horse. Well, maybe I wouldn't feel bad. Maybe I'd just feel confused. Anyway, I can't bring myself to publish most of the probably-more-confusing-than-mean things I come up with, not even for laughs on a stupid blog probably only ten people have ever read. (Although the three I came up with just now are pretty good. And not at all mean.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nostradamus again

There are multiple History Channel programs about this guy. Here are two of my favorite Quatrains that HC interviewees say means something bit I think are just hilarious. First the French and then the English. You should look up what the internet has to say about the first one. Apparently it means Iran is going to blow up the Suez Canal, blocking the shipment of Australian biscuits (of the toaster variety?) to Europe. On the HC (in HD) they actually used the word "biscuit" (which means "cookie" in French) and called it the "Biscuit War Quatrain." Seriously: people get paid for this.

Century 2, Quatrain 3

Pour la chaleur solaire sus la mer,
De Negrepont les poissons demy cuits:
Les habitans viendront entamer,
Quand Rhod et Gannes leur faudra le biscuit.

Because of the solar heat on the sea
From Negrepont the fishes half cooked:
The inhabitants will come to cut them,
When food will fail in Rhodes and Genoa.

Century 5, Qutrain 98

A quarante huict degré climaterique,
A fin de Cancer si grande seicheresse:
Poisson en mer, fleuue: lac cuit hectique,
Bearn, Bigorre par feu ciel en detresse.

At the forty-eigth climacteric degree,
At the end of Cancer very great dryness:
Fish in sea, river, lake boiled hectic,
Béarn, Bigorre in distress through fire from the sky.

The second one is supposed to be about an atomic war that blows up SW France. Which is weird, because they also interpret the beginning to be about the 48th parallel, which south of Paris (right around the Freiburg Pete lived in, incedentally). My interpretation? Well, I do a lot of work in women's health topics. To me, "climacteric" means "menopause." Those first two lines, in my interpretation, predict a 48-year old woman in early menopause due to cancer treatment who is suffering vaginal dryness. Nostradamus suggests a folk remedy made by boiling fish from three different environments (probably to make a gelatin-like substance) and I think Béarn and Bigorre are a metaphore for the vagina. In his time, both had recently been independent kingdoms, but now one was part of France as the King's personal lands while the other remained outside the larger royaume. He's saying that just insideas well as just outside the southern "border" could use some fish salve.

I don't know, guys. I think this is an equally valid interpretation. Also, in C2Q24 (or however you're supposed to note these things; I don't really care that much), one that supposedly references Hitler, "Quand rien enfant de Germain observera" is translated as "When the German child will observe nothing," only "German" in French is "Allemand." "Germain" is not a French word; it's a French name.

(Oh my God - the morning news just presented someone's name like this: "Chelsea" and then underneath "Has Cellulite". Hahahaha!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mother's Bistro: In bed with the Salt Barons

We ate at Mother's tonight and I have to say, their food is slipping. The underlying flavors, combinations and presentation were all still great, but what is with all the salt? Roast chicken shouldn't taste alternately salty and bland. If I managed to get two or three "bland" bites in a row, my sense of taste returned and it was really delicious. But then I'd get a salty bite, zotz my tastebuds and taste nothing again. Additionally, their cauliflower cheese was pretty awful. I don't know what cheese they were using... It was white but it wasn't white cheddar, swiss, fontina, provalone, parmesan, gruyere, havarti... at least not that I could discern. It wasn't good, that's what's important. But the underlying ability was there: the califlower was perfectly cooked, tender without being limp, crisp without being raw. The chicken was moist and juicy, the skin just crisp without being fried. But in the end, I just ended up feeling totally bloated, tired and over-full.

Dad didn't like his pot roast. I thought it was okay, but whoever did the sauce had a heavy hand with the wine. If that's not what you're expecting, then it's no good. It was also very salty, although Dad disagreed. We might have a different perspective on salt, though. I believe in lightly seasoning each layer of food as I'm cooking - just enough to bring out the flavor, but not enough to be noticable. Most salted food should have a savory flavor, not a strongly salty flavor. If I roast a chicken, I want you to be able to taste chicken, lemon, thyme, rosemary, onion, garlic... But I don't want you to think, "Is a pint of water really going to be enough? Why doesn't she bring that carafe over here so I can drink straight from it."

The worst part is that I'm a chicken shit. When the chef (or one of the cooks - I didn't notice an appellation on her white jacket) came to the table to ask how everything was, I just smiled and said, "Oh, great!" I really like the ambiance, the introductory rolls and breads are delicious, the staff are great... (In particular, our waiter was super.) I just don't have it in me to be honest and risk making everyone uncomfortable by lodging a complaint when everyone's had such a nice evening.

Sydney Makes Things Up About Rebecca Haarlow (1)

This one time, Rebecca Haarlow ate an entire cheesecake. Just cause she was hungry.

(Explanation (kind of) here.)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sydney Makes Things Up About Rebecca Haarlow (0)

I have this idea for a blog. It would be called Sydney Makes Things Up About Rebecca Haarlow. If you don't know who Rebecca Haarlow is, that is okay. She has a Facebook page. That means she is a celebrity. She is the on-court interviewer for the Blazer's commentary team of Mike Rice and Mike Barrett. I think she's pretty good at her job, but never really thought about her that much. One of my co-workers said she and her husband couldn't stand Rebecca Haarlow and I thought that was weird; I mean, it's a pretty innocuous job. But one evening we noticed a guy in the stands at the Rose Garden with a big sign that said "We Love Rebecca Haarlow!!" (Or something similar.) So we looked her up, wondering if this was going to be a thing. We didn't learn much - just that she went to Princeton, is tall and an athlete - and I did not make any of that up. I think it was that same evening, each time she introduced a pre-taped bit and the camera was about to cut away, her face would fall very suddenly and she would look some combination of annoyed, tired, irritated and/or sad. I, of course, started hypothesizing as to why this might be.

"Oh, maybe it's cause the story's about Joel being hurt. Maybe she's got a thing for Joel. Ooh, Pete! Do you think they were secretly involved and now they've broken up and she's annoyed?"

"No no, I think maybe she's got a cold. Maybe she's really tired. Yeah, she looks tired."

"Ooh, Pete wouldn't it be awful if she and Joel were involved? And she had to report on his injury? [Silence] What? What is that look for?"

I determined that maybe Pete did not think listening to me make things up about Rebecca Haarlow was very interesting. Also, he couldn't hear Mike Rice's palaver over my own.

And then it came to me: this should be a thing on the internet. Only I can't quite bring myself to start a new blog that is definitely totally stupid and that I might only use twice. So I thought I would start here. So look for me making things up about Rebecca Haarlow (for no good reason) in the near future.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Scientific exegesis of Nostradamus is not *actually* science. Sorry, History Channel.

I'm watching this show on the History channel right now - mostly because Pete teasingly suggested it and I had to call his bluff - and it is, well, silly. That is really the best word for it. It is chock-a-block with "scholars" talking about scientific interpretations of Nostradamus' quatrains. Seriously. Men who have trained in real sciences (yes - only men) are using their understanding of nuclear and cosmic radiation to explain... Nostradamus. Their justification is that Isaac Newton believed in alchemy and prophesy. Yes - and he also believed that leeches were a valid treatment for disease. Time and place, Scientists! Time and place!

The problem with this kind of "science" is that it's all predicated upon a completely ridiculous supposition: that Nostradamus could predict the future. He predicted Sadaam, you know. Here is their evidence. Quatrain 8:70.

He will enter, wicked, unpleasant, infamous,
tyrannizing over Mesopotamia.
All friends made by the adulterous lady,
the land dreadful and black of aspect.

Okay, that is not even English. That does not make any kind of grammatical sense. Here is the French.

Il entrera vilain, mechant, infame
Tyrannisant la Mesopotamie,
Tous amis fait d'adulterine d'ame,
Terre horrible, noir de phisonomie.

Admittedly, my French is a wee rusty, but I believe that "dame" is "lady" and "d'ame" is "of soul." I read this more as "He/It will enter ugly, mean, infamous / Tyrannizing Mesopotamia / All friends made by the bastard of soul / horrible earth, black physiognomy." It is interesting to note this definition of "physiognomy" from the wiktionary: "The art of telling fortunes by inspection of the features." I this this is really about a soul singer turned fortune teller who is good at neither avocation. But I digress.

Has there ever been a time when human beings didn't think the apocalypse was right around the corner? No. There has never been such a time. This program is looking for concordance between the Mayan End of Days Calendar, Hopi folk tales and a the poetry of a 16th century French pharmacist. Oh, and the Bible Code. The answer is: The world will end in 2012. Well, the Hopi say that the Fifth Age will begin in 2012. I say, "Fair enough, Hopi." To the rest of them, though, I can say only this: you are not doing science! Please stop pretending that's what you're up to!

I know what you are thinking: why keep watching if it is so ridiculous? Well, it's on the HD History Channel and it has all these gorgeous images of space (you know - predictions and cosmic rays all come from constellations). And now that it's muted, it's way less irritating.

Pete's take: "It's a stretch for being history, too." Maybe they should call it "pre-history" or "peri-history." Or, you know, "bull shit."

Okay, it just ended with shots of Portland and a guy saying something about "when new Rome fell." Um, hello? We're Little Beirut? Geez - it's like he's totally out of touch with the world or something.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Everybody! (Happy New Year, Dr. Nick!) I have many updates, but I also have to shower and go to work. Let's see how fast I can run through these (synchronize watches now: it is 7:45 am).

1) Snow snow snow!! I've been putting together a slide show of snow pictures from our 2-week long "Arctic Blast," to use the parlance of our local news stations. I will get it posted soon - maybe tonight? - for those who are interested. Please keep in mind, non-Oregonians and especially people from snowy climes, most years Portland gets a quarter inch of snow in February and everyone gets their single snow day. 2 weeks of snowing is pretty much unheard of, and having more than a foot on the ground at all times in Portland, with temperatures under 30 (under 20 some of the time!)... well, that's just crazy talk. But it happened, for the first time in 50-years.

2) Pete has come up with a new name for the Sylvan overpass on Hwy-26 and I think we should petition the city to adopt Storm Team Memorial Overpass as its official appellation. "This is Mark Glyzewski for Storm Team 8,000 on the Storm Team Memorial Overpass. Back to you, Shauna."

3) I super love KGWs morning crew during a Weather Event. Normally I watch channel 12 (because some how Good Day Oregon has totally grown on me - probably because they're a little punchy every day and the aforementioned Glyzewski sounds like Number 24 from "Venture Brothers") but no matter when you got up between 4 am and 1 pm, KGW was on. That's right: Brenda Braxton and Russ Lewis were on for 9-hours every morning. And by the last hour, they were punchy. Delightfully nutty, having a good if exhausted time, blowing kisses to the viewers.

4) Hm. It's been 10 minutes already. I'm wandering!

5) Christmas: good. Gifts didn't all arrive, but we had at least one thing for everyone. I knit my brother socks, but even with all the days off, only had one finished because I had to rip back so many times. It would be nice if I could count and do basic arithmetic correctly the first three times.

6) New Years: good. Unexpected fun! Mike and Marissa took us out for drinks and we rang in the new year at a very subdued, mostly empty Baghdad Theater. On the way there, we ran into some nutters from Sacramento asking where they could catch a cab. Well, where they could catch a "fuckin' cab," so asks the guy. His female travelling companion says, "And sorry for saying 'fuck,'" and shoots him a look. We all demurred - I think Marissa said, "We're all adults here." Indeed! Pete said, "At a hotel," at the same moment I said, "You can't." I explained that Portland isn't really a cab city, so you have to call for one, unless you're near a hotel. And we couldn't think of a hotel nearby. So we asked where they were headed and told them how to take the bus. The girl became ebullient: "Oh man, Portlanders give the best fucking directions! You guys are so nice here! In [somewhere else - Seattle maybe?] they're all like 'Fuck you' but here, like at the airport even, people were all like, 'No, go this way, take this,' it's awesome man." The guy says, "Yeah, don't even ask for directions in SF. They're like, 'You don't know? Too fuckin' bad.'" They were pretty excited about the bus.

7) Edlund Family Christmas: held on 1/3 this year because of the snow. Good times, although we did miss Uncle Mike. We played Codeword or Password or something - I forget the name - and somehow made it work with a group of 16 people. Good times! Keaton and Mom share the same evil gift for passing the thing right before it buzzes, thereby scoring a point for their team.

8) A Very Martin Christmas: held yesterday, 1/4, because of snow. Also good times! We got our 8-year old niece Dance Dance Revolution because it seemed like her kind of game. And man was that a success! At one point she, her mom and an auntie all worked together to try "U Can't Touch This" on Expert, or so they thought. Mom took up and down, auntie took right, niece took left. They did not pass the first time, but repeated to finally score a C. And then realized it was on Basic, not Expert. You would not believe the peals of laughter generated by that game.

9) Oh noes! 8:05!

10) House update: It's cold. Really really cold. The hot water heater is not functioning very well and the fridge is making weird noises. And we've now found two "adult" items in our alley. The first was a porn DVD, about a month ago. The second was a "toy" - so very very gross. It was out there all day on Saturday, but after midnight some yahoos from the club next door noticed and came through the fence to examine it. Pete could hear their cries of, "ew! gross!" and then one of them said, "Oh gross, it's all covered in Vaseline but I don't even care I'm gonna pick it up and touch you with it." You should have seen him trying not to laugh to loudly where they'd hear him. It was dropped outside our fence when their ride arrived. I have pictures, but I'm not posting them for the same reason I wanted it gone from the front of the house: I don't want this to become known as the Vibrator Blog just like I don't want this house to become known as the Vibrator House. It was gone by Sunday evening - I have no idea what happened to it. I choose to believe it belonged to a club patron who tried to throw it away in our garbage cans, failed completely, and then noticed it on his/her way to church on Sunday and removed it for us. More likely, though, a less squeamish neighbor threw it out. Either way: hooray!

11) Okay, for those of you playing along at home, it's 8:15. That means it took me... ::sigh:: 30 minutes to do a "quick" update. You know, it's a good thing I don't make new year's resolutions, because I would break them all the time.