Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Randomizer

Normally, I think of Thursdays as a good time to discuss knitting. I’m in the knitting blahs now, and the only thing I’m knitting is a sock, and I’m doing it half-heartedly – probably because the thought of putting away most of my yarn makes me want to lie face down on the couch, put a pillow over my head, and pretend to not be here.

So, I’ve been trolling the web, or as our not-so-august-decider would say, “the internets”. I’ve also been letting a lot of goofball questions build up, thereby creating an annoying form of intellectual constipation. I’m not sufficiently inspired to search for answers to these questions, or else I’m getting so forgetful that I only remember the questions sporadically, at completely useless times.

For example, this is a very busy time at work for my husband, and they just updated the company computer systems, which, of course, completely screwed up everything he’d spent 2 years getting just right. He has been venting at home, and I’ve been making sympathetic noises. What’s really going through my head, though, is:

“Hey, what’s the brand name of those bath products people get at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and can I get them online, since I hate driving?”

“Why do my kids always drop dish towels on the floor and then get a perfectly clean one to wipe up a spill rather than using a sponge? What did I do wrong?”

“I hate having to tell the kids to go shower. Maybe I could find a way to send them anonymous emails.”

“Damn, I’ve got to make dinner again. I’m so uninspired. Why don’t TV commercials have subliminal menu suggestions of healthful foods instead of nekkid people in ice cubes? I could really go for being enthused about making something with hummus or that spaghetti noodle squash or that I’ll need my melon baller and my pasta machine for…”

Then there’s my tendency to notice completely useless things and then remember them:

My SPAM is so desperate-sounding sometimes – when I alphabetize by sender, I get columns reading ‘Find Love…Find Romance… Find a Friend…Find Someone…’ followed by ‘Get a Christian Loan’.

Why does that last one sound like it might say, in small print, "so you can afford a mail-order bride and solve all those other problems?

Why is it that English teachers consistently have so many errors in their typed handouts? My high school daughter brought one home that was so riddled with errors that SHE wanted to highlight the mistakes. My youngest son brought one home in which he had noticed that instruction #4 said “Check you work to make sure it has no errors.” He had lightly penciled in “how ironic” next to the sentence. It was, sadly, unintentional on her part.

It’s not cleaning the inside of a toilet that’s disgusting because I can do that with cleanser and a long-handled brush. To clean the outside, though, I have to get way too close to the bowl and seat. Ick.

And websites of some fascination:

The Scientific American Blog website always grabs me and holds me captive for way too long. There’s an article on the science of dread, which is really intriguing, there.

Po Bronson professionally summarizes academically credible research to come up with things I’ve already said, thought, or thought were insightful when I heard them discussed by others. This is both validating and perversely frustrating, but the blog archives remain interesting nonetheless. The writing is certainly engaging, and he and his partner have some good points to make. Thanks to the nice person who pointed me in his direction.

Then there’s the Tempest in a Local Teapot website, called Skeptical Morris, about my little town. Our latest tempest is some right-wing jaw flapping over a shop called “XO Underground”. I’ve been there, and it’s not even close to being a head shop or a cover for prostitution, or anything else that might cause real upset. They have posters with occasional “controversial” language, candles, too much potpourri, and other things you can read about here. I Christmas shop for my kids there. I must be degenerate scum.

This website, Cabin Fever, generally makes me kick myself, thinking, “Dang, I could have designed that!” or “Damn, that’s sharp!”, which leads me to the much more relaxing, Knitting Pattern Central , at which point, I might be missing for days as I search for obscure doilies and the latest incarnation of the elusive perfect knitted teddy bear. And just for laughs, now that the You Knit WHAT website is gone, I like to check in for Updates in Outrage on Stitchymcyarnpants.

Have a jolly day, and if you know the brand name of that soap stuff, let me know!

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