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October 01, 2008

It's all so fucked up

The water heater works.  That's about it.

Tonight was bad though.  We had a fight.  A bad fight, the kind where one's parentage and sexual preferences are called into question.

I suppose the fight's over.  We were both sorry and apologized.  Hell, we were both terribly frustrated by some small carelessness that might lead to another large expense, but I think we can get it fixed tomorrow.  At least I think it can be fixed reasonably.  If not, well, just add another shitty and expensive bill to the pile.

And now I can't sleep.  He's out like a light.  I don't blame him, he's had a long hard day.  But I just can't shake the anxiety, the grouchyness.  I knew I would have trouble sleeping so I self medicated and put on a movie (Ratatouille, actually), but here I am at 20 after 2 AM.  Typing.

It's like I'm no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Hell, the shoes just keep dropping.  So many rotten things have happened over the last few weeks to people I care about, I just want to put my fingers in my ears.  And there's more.  Lauren has to put down her puppy-boy, and Kate's FIL passed away. And there's more that I can't blog about because I haven't been given permission and it's not out on the interwebs.

Tonight's issue was just another stupid thing in what seems to be a rising tide of stupid things.  I am trying so hard to keep my head above water and stay positive because really?  I have it pretty good.  I have a job I could love, a wonderful home, a sweet and adoring husband that I heap much abuse on undeservedly, and 2 loving, healthy puppies.

I guess I just feel lost.  All of these posts are such downers, but that's where I am right now.  I'm not sure where I am or what I'm doing.  Lately it's just one fucking fire to be put out after another, with no energy left to do anything else.

And now it's 2:30 and I don't feel any better than I did when I started this.


Posted by caltechgirl at 02:33 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

More rollercoaster...

The up:  I just checked the bank.  Hubby indeed got paid, state budget be damned (first check after summer!  YAY!), and he got a really nice raise (this is a "target" year in his contract, so he essentially got a longevity raise plus the new negotiated raise plus COLA).

The down: Property Tax bills came out today.  I checked the Assessor's office.... I have until April 10 to come up with $6400!  Fuckers.  My house is worth 30% less courtesy of the tanked out housing market but we didn't qualify for a reassessment because it was less than a year after we bought the house during the reassessment period.

Somebody just find me a hole to crawl in, ok?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 02, 2008

Sarah Palin rocked the debate!

She did what she had to do.  Biden never saw her coming. 

Even the Democrat attack dogs can't point to any substantive mistakes.  They say she "avoided" questions, but so did Biden.  They say she couldn't clarify how McCain's administration would be different than Bush's, but she criticized a number of Bush policies.

But Joe did something she didn't and couldn't: He admitted his running mate is unworthy to be President by saying that he would be spending his days as VP in the Oval Office "...helping Obama make decisions...."

So Obama needs his hand held?  Then why is he running?

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:21 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, LemonheadsNick and Nora!

It's been an amazing first year for you.  I can't believe you're already starting trip #2 around the sun; so big and so independent and such funny little people.  Your Mum and Dad are so proud of you and love more than you can ever imagine.

And seriously? Your Mom has such great taste in music.....

Hope you enjoyed your presents and those awesome super cupcakes!

Auntie CTG

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 08, 2008

Overheard in my house last night during the debate (R-rated language)

Obama is a tool.
He's really a dick. 
He should go swallow a dick. Wait, he is a dick.
Go swallow yourself, Barry.

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face

(with one finger raised, as a finger puppet; in a cartoon voice) I'm a tool.

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face.  Pain in my guts from the laughing.

Obama (on TV):
blah, blah, vote for me (pauses)

(same finger puppet and voice) Because I'm a tool!

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face, hiccupping, now running for the bathroom...

Perhaps you either have to know my usually mild-mannered unflappable husband to get it.  Or maybe you had to be there.  Either way, I am still giggling 12+ hours later.

I love you, hon!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 09, 2008


Someone please put a dent in that brick wall I keep banging my head against.  Please?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 13, 2008

Bad Blogger, no biscuit

Hi y'all.

It's been a while, and yeah, the brick wall is still there.  But I seem to have made some progress.  At least, the bricks seem a little softer. Today, anyway.

I'm still broke (even broker, actually, as we dropped big $$ on car repairs this weekend), politics are still bleak, and work still sucks the big one.

But I am slowly being productive, one activity at a time, and working through a million small things on my desk.  Which is a big-ass mess.  As usual.  And the office furniture order never went through, so I have the same pathetic used furniture. But I continue to make do.  I am there right now, actually. Taking a much needed 5 minute break between activities, as I had meetings right through lunch.

Who am I kidding, I never take lunch time.  I'd rather finish my tasks and go home earlier.

I have a pile of stuff to grade including quizzes, problem sets, and test corrections from both General and Cell Biology, a reflective essay to work on for the accreditation stuff I have been assigned, and a faculty association to run.  Plus I have a lecture to prep for tomorrow.

And when I get a chance to come up for air, I have a husband, two puppies, choir rehearsal and the pool.

So you can understand why I haven't been blogging much.  I am around though and wanting very much to opine, but I just don't seem to have the time.  I have to schedule trips to the gas station these days, so blogging is mostly right out.

So what I guess I am trying to say is I miss you guys, things are better, and I appreciate your kind thoughts over the last week.  That's definitely what got me through.

I'll be in and out, check back soon :-)

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:04 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 15, 2008

Twenty Years Ago Today

 Kirk Gibson homered his way into the hearts of Dodger fans forever...

The Dodgers could sure use some of that mojo tonight. It still gives me chills!

Here's Gibby talking about that evening....

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 16, 2008

An unsolicited endorsement

I love newegg.  They helped me replace my laptop in May, and courtesy of a great deal in today's newsletter, they made another sale in our house, DH's new laptop.

About 18  months ago his Dell laptop ceased being a laptop when the monitor crapped out.  He's been tethered to a monitor ever since, forcing him to sit in the hottest/coldest (depending on the season) spot in the house to get work done

Ever since then, I have been trying to save $$ to replace it.  He would have had it in May, except, well, MY laptop was absconded with....

The customer service folks at newegg really helped me keep my cool with that deal, because my credit card kept trying to reject the purchase, delaying the shipping of my beloved new toy.  But they kept plugging away at it, helping me overcome each of the barriers that the credit card company put up, and getting my laptop here in a reasonable time, rushing the pack/ship so I would get my laptop sooner.  It doesn't hurt that they're just down the 605 in Whittier, so I could almost go pick it up faster, and UPS gets here a day sooner than predicted (usually).

In any case, the good folks at newegg have been excellent and I'm happy to recommend them if you're in the computers and accessories market.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

As an aside...

if McCain can't pull this thing out of his ass, it will a hell of a lot of fun to spend the next four years shouting at President Yo Mama.  At least until they take away my right of Free Speech.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 17, 2008

More unsolicited endorsement

The laptop arrived TODAY.  Ordered yesterday morning.  Huzzah for Newegg and UPS, although, seriously, the driver could have hidden the package a bit better, but no harm no foul.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Alfred Smith Dinner Roasts

If the whole campaign was just a giant roast, it would be no contest.

And maybe we wouldn't get so tired of election years.....This is frigging hilarious. McCain brought down the house, and Obama was a hoot, too, though he was clearly less comfortable with the comedy.

John McCain:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Barack Obama:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:24 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

kill me now - a rant with F words....

If I see one more fucking commercial for another proposition I will rip out my eyes. Particularly that fucking Jamie Lee Curtis Prop 3 commercial. You are SO not conducting those kids, get off it.

And that fucking Gavin Newsom quote anti-Prop 8 commercial on the radio. It's highly effective. I hate him so much I'm thinking of voting yes just to spite him. Says the girl who stood up at the wedding of her(gay)dear friends. Legislating marriage is bad law, and I was thinking of voting yes for that reason, anyway.

And seriously, I notice that it's only the McCain/Palin signs and "Yes on 8" signs that are getting stolen and defaced. I thought it was the LEFT who were supposed to be the peaceful, non-violent, tolerant ones.

yeah, right. Just fucking kill me. Or at least put me in a coma for 14 days.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 23, 2008

A Democrat challenges the MSM

Hugo-award-winning author Orson Scott Card, a lifelong democrat, presents a challenge to the MSM to restore their honor.  You've probably seen it everywhere by now, but it is masterful, and bears repeating.  I excerpt here the last section of the piece (at length, sorry, but it's worth it), but the whole thing is worth a thorough and thoughtful read.

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe --and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.
Card's words so eloquently describe my own feelings on the matter, and I also agree with the reasoning behind his choice to vote Republican.  He describes his feelings here, from 2006:
There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

[...]What really scares me is the 2008 election. The Democratic Party is hopeless -- only clowns seem to be able to rise to prominence there these days, while they boot out the only Democrats serious about keeping America's future safe. But the Republicans are almost equally foolish, trying to find somebody who is farther right than Bush -- somebody who will follow the conservative line far better than the moderate Bush has ever attempted -- and somebody who will "kick butt" in foreign policy.

So if we get one of the leading Democrats as our new President in 2009, we'll be on the road to pusillanimous withdrawal and the resulting chaos in the world.

While if we elect any of the Republicans who are extremist enough to please the Hannity wing of the party, our resulting belligerence will likely provoke Islam into unifying behind one of the tyrants, which is every bit as terrifying an outcome.

I hope somebody emerges in one of the parties, at least, who commits himself or herself to continuing Bush's careful, wise, moderate, and so-far-successful policies in the War on Terror.

Meanwhile, we have this election. You have your vote. For the sake of our children's future -- and for the sake of all good people in the world who don't get to vote in the only election that matters to their future, too -- vote for no Congressional candidate who even hints at withdrawing from Iraq or opposing Bush's leadership in the war. And vote for no candidate who will hand control of the House of Representatives to those who are sworn to undo Bush's restrained but steadfast foreign policy in this time of war.
It applies today.

Card's arguments, though slightly dated, still hold, and represent a thoughtful contemplation of the outcome. Will we be better off finishing the job, or running out on the world like a bunch of pansies? Will that affect our lives here at home? And mainly, who's really calling the shots in each campaign?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Thar she blows! (now with Profanity!)

Finally, I rant on the election (in stream of consciousness at 1am, so please excuse the grammar and typos and occasional lack of punctuation):

First up, John McCain.  I'm going to set aside any personality issues I have with him, and even issues with why he is the candidate, and grant, up front, that he is the candidate for the republicans.  He's tough, smart, clearly qualified for the job, and probably ready for it.  He's also plenty healthy or he wouldn't be jumping around the country like a 12 year old, so fuck off to all you twits who say that he can't live out the term.  I really have little else to say about John, except that I can't believe his temper hasn't got the better of him yet, and I wish we had a better candidate, rather than the default guy (Fred!  I miss you!  You would have stuck it to Obama every chance you got instead of smiling like a pansy!)

Which brings me to Sarah Palin.  You have all underestimated her.  All of you naysayers, Republicans and Democrats alike.  The woman is NOT stupid.  I repeat, NOT STUPID.  She is very bright, and like many clearly bright people, is counting on her intelligence to pull her through an experience she was NOT prepared for.  What you see is a classy chick trying to hold up her end of the bargain and do the job she KNOWS she can do as VP, even though maybe she wasn't clear on what this campaign would be like.

I have no doubt that she would be a good VP, and even, God forbid, a good President.  There's nothing wrong with her that can't be said of the 3 dudes on the tickets.  And seriously, all this hoohah over $150,000 for clothes and makeup?  Are you kidding me?  How much did Hillary or Barry spend on the same things?  I know he wears makeup; I can see it on the TV.  And how much were Biden's teeth and hairplugs?  I mean come ON. If you're going there, I can too. 

How fucking scared are the Democrats when all they can pull on her is that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant (but remember that according to them this is pregnancy #2 and she delivered Trig while knocked up with this baby) and her supporters spent a lot of money so she could look nice.  Give me a motherfucking break.  What about Obama and Bill Ayers?  What about the ex- Fannie Mae CEO that ran Fannie into the ground and left in disgrace (but $90 mil RICHER) before Obama asked him for advice.  Can we please put this in perspective?

Why does she scare you people so?  Is it because you can't remember how to deal with people like the Palins?  Or maybe that she's smarter than you?  Or (gasp) that voters see her as real, approachable, and sensible in the ways that your candidate is not?  And we're talking about the potential VP here, not the POTUS candidate.

Honestly, if Sarah Palin was really as much of a non-entity, in that milquetoast-vanilla-Dan Quayle way, as the liberals are foaming at the mouth to portray her, would it be WORTH all the effort?  I mean let's face it.  Dan Quayle was a fucking farce. A joke.  From DAY 1.  DAY 1. And Bush, Sr. knew it.  But he got away with it because Dukakis was a joke as a candidate too.  Sarah Palin is no joke.

Verily, I am amused at the sheer panic, the slavering, the need to get a dig in at her.  To make people feel bad about supporting her.  Why do that if she's Dan Quayle all over again?  Seriously, if she's a joke just let her shoot herself in the foot.

Let's step over to another Sarah issue: Trooper-gate.  This might have some teeth, and could be a real issue, but you notice no one in the media is pushing this very hard, even though hearings are taking place.  Why?  Because there is NO there there.  The person who asked for the initial inquiry isn't even the guy who was fired.  It's the sour grapes guy who lost to Sarah in the gubernatorial election.  Don't believe me?  Do the Google search yourself.  Look at the articles in the Anchorage paper and the verified supporting documents posted all over the internet.  The evidence is all out there.

I think the real problem with Sarah Palin is that a lot of smart people like to think they succeeded in life because they are smart, and they automatically assume that all the fuck-ups in this world are the not-smart ones.  People like President Bush, and Sarah Palin, who present themselves to the world as less than uber-intelligent, and succeed ANYWAY, threaten that world view. 

I can see some of you squirming.  I know you.  I went to school with you.  I work with you.  Hell, I AM you from time to time.  I know what I am talking about and there's no denying it.  I freely admit to having an occasional elitist moment.  Smart people often have a certain world view about intelligence and ignorance: tolerance and acceptance is intelligent, rejection and exception are not; Environmentalism is intelligent, questioning or denying global warming is ignorant; Getting a college education is intelligent, going without shows your ignorance.... I could go on and on.  Smart people are (or at least THINK they are) informed and tolerant, they want to give back and save the world and make everybody equal.  And if you don't agree with those simple, wonderful things, you're ignorant, too.

Well, then kiss my ignorant PhD-covered ass.  Because I don't agree. 

People are amazing, and intelligent without a college degree or a fancy job or shared beliefs.  That's the whole principle of Academic Freedom.  We learn from each other by sharing our diverse ideas.  Not by censoring, or dismissing out of hand the ones we think are ignorant.  Ignorance is bliss after all.  And the paradigm shifts born of ignorance have generally changed our world for the better.

Sarah Palin and George Bush clearly don't fit the paradigm.  And well, we fear that which we do not understand.

And another thing about this election, a question I am DYING to ask my students (but which would reveal my own political leanings, something I am careful NOT to do.  They pay me to teach Biology, not politics), or any democratic voter, is WHY do people love Barry Obama so much?  Do you know what he stands for?  Or are you only voting for him because of his position on the War?  Do you even understand the implications of THAT?  Are you voting for him simply because he's the Democrat?  Because he's not George Bush?  What did Bush do to you anyway?  Do you understand what that means (in a real sense, not linguistically)?  Do you even know what the Republican platform says?  Hell, what the Democratic platform says? When Obama says change, what does that mean to you?  How do you think that will work?  What can he change, how will that help you?  How exactly has Obama demonstrated to you by his actions that he is ready to be President?

As an informed voter, I can answer all of those questions with regard to why I am voting for McCain.  I would guess many McCain supporters can, but that may be a personal bias.  what the fuck, though, it's my blog, my opinion.

I would also guess that many Obama supporters can NOT.

Look, I think it's great Obama is running.  I love that our country has become so colorblind that any person of color could run for any office.  And yet, Obama's supporters focus on the negative: that racism is the only reason keeping people from voting for him.  Give me a fucking break.  Could it be that we disagree with him?  Are black conservatives racist, too, because they choose to vote for McCain?  I figure it this way if Obama wins, no one can ever pull the race card again.  I mean, is there any greater measure of how far we've come than to elect a black man as our President?  I mean holy shit, a black man and a woman running against each other! (yeah, yeah, I know, but you can excuse the conflation of the tickets to make my point)

I wish people wouldn't bring up race.  We'll always have racism until we stop talking about it.  My words included.

I wish I understood people's motivations better.  Hence the questions, above.  Maybe then I wouldn't be so angry at the political discourse that seems so full of invective.  More this year than I can ever remember.  Except for one occasion when I saw a young lady wearing a t-shirt that still haunts me.  But that's a rant for another post on why the electoral college is important.

I have a number of friends who are voting for Obama.  I am proud that some of them can actually answer the questions I have posed, and I respect them for making an informed decision, and politely disagree.  I just wonder what percentage of voters on both sides actually can.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:18 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

October 27, 2008

Dear African American "Community Leaders",

You are all a bunch of fucking hypocrites.  That's right.  I said hypocrites.  I call BS on you and, as they say in South Park, I declare shenanigans!

Some idiot with bad taste and a worse sense of humor hangs a Sarah Palin doll from a noose and you don't respond?  Dare I even suggest that you think it's funny because she's running against your Obamessiah?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but about 10 years ago you all were so mad about a BEAR in a noose that you forced USC to abandon a decades old student tradition of hanging bruins (the UCLA mascot) from tiny nooses.  LITTLE TINY TEDDY BEARS. In UCLA shirts.  You said it was racist.  You said that it was reminiscent of the lynching of black men by the KKK.  You said you were offended.  So we stopped hanging TEDDY BEARS.

I get your point, though.  Hanging people is not a joke.  It's MURDER.  And that's never funny.

And now, these people have NOT A BEAR, but a life-size mannequin of a woman, dressed as Sarah Palin, hanging from a noose in their yard and you say not one word.  Why?

I'll bet my house that if it was Barry Obama swinging from the yardarm you'd have had 3 press conferences already, and called the police out to arrest these homeowners for a hate crime.  Perhaps for racial intimidation.

And yet you say nothing about this.  I'm offended by it, and I'm clearly not black.  Not as a conservative, or because I am a woman, but because I think it's disgusting.  Hanging a bear, or a skeleton, or something clearly not representing a particular person is one thing, demonstrating by your Halloween display that you wish someone a painful death is quite another.

And I still want to hear your outrage.  If you all could muster that kind of vitriol for a few teddy bears, I bet you can come out and preach it about this Sarah Palin mannequin.

I'll be sure to be there to support you when you do.


h/t Flap

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:08 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

October 29, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Four years (and over 300,000 hits!) ago today, after being dragged kicking and screaming, I opened up shop here at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

I'd been commenting and quasi-blogging for a couple of years by then, and a bunch of people were constantly on my case to just shut up on their bandwidth and get my own.

So I did. Obligatory sucky first post here. Yeah, I know it says 10/30, but trust me, it was 10/29 when I posted it.  Blogger sucks.

And this is the result.  The world has changed a lot over the last for years, and so has my life, but the blog has been a real constant.

So thanks, y'all for making my life a lot more interesting and putting up with me virtually for the past 4 years!
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:57 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

October 31, 2008

Halloween in 30 seconds

If you've never seen the Bunnies, you're in for a treat. Originally a creation of the Starz network, these talented little guys make it their mission to make sure that you never have to miss a movie just because you don't have time to go to the theater... they'll show you the whole thing in 30 seconds.

Here's some Halloween fun, Bunny-style!


The Ring:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:


The Exorcist:

The Shining:

And last but not least, for RightGirl, Rocky Horror Picture Show:

There's lots more. Go here for more Bunnies Halloween, or here for all the 30 second Bunny goodness!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack