February 27, 2004

Finally, some injury pics

Not that all my local peeps haven't had the pleasure of staring at the monstrosity on my arm, but Margaret's (Ms. Lucky Cruise Taker) pictures will allow my relatives who have missed out on the pleasure to behold the White Wonder. This cast is old skool, with fun signatures and all...these pics don't show the latest sigs - Spanish and Chinese included - but I promised myself that I would take some pics before Version.1 comes off (10 days!!!!).



Hardcore, awww yeah.

Posted by zippy at 8:35 PM

February 23, 2004

Insane Birthday Weekend

What I have learned from this past weekend is that May is an excellent time for fertile young women to enjoy the rites of spring, the outcome of which is many bundles of joy (my friends) arriving come next February. First, I already knew that it was my Grandma's & Kyle's b-day weekend...then I was involved in two major birthday celebrations (one lasting 16+ hours, one spread over two days). And extremely fun occasions, both of them.

The problem now is, even MORE people told me that their birthdays are coming up this month or are in early-to-mid March - but I was having way too much fun (iykwim...aityd). I'll never remember who enlightened me to their happy occasions. And then I'll have to AGAIN ask them when exactly their birthday is, and they will remember telling me and wonder why I wasn't paying attention.

Good thing is, if you happen to post your birthday date here, I can add it into my email address book and never have to ask again, wink wink nudge nudge. Although I am a strong advocate of birthday self-promotion. Everyone likes an excuse to celebrate w/ their buds, and prompting by the occasionee helps get friends in gear. Yay Michelle and Andrea!

Posted by zippy at 6:02 PM

February 18, 2004

Keep coming back

I think about 20th century revolutions in the context of cleanliness and communications - we set the standards for fighting disease through home and food purification, and we gained the ability to visit any part of the world physically or electronically in a short amount of time. Well, and the revolution of female contraceptives. I have been long fascinated by all three concepts, and today it was the communication revolution which popped into my head.

A subject which has been branded at the workplace and beaten to death...but it is still fascinating, given the context of human existence, that we now have the freedom and ability to get our thoughts across publicly to anyone who cares to (or would rather not) listen.

I bring this up because during a pause at work I decided to look up food processors at Target. Then I started reading customer reviews.

I understood the "I like this food processor because...", and "It doesn't have a choice of blades...", but then I came to:

So who made it??? January 20, 2004

Reviewer: rls225 from Middleton, WI

I have a closet full of items "Made in China" that don't work ( the bread-warming "toaster", the "Mad Max" hand-held mixer, the non-humidifiying humidifier,the "size 13" golf shoes that don't fit my 13 year old niece, etc.) I flatly refuse to buy anything made in china unless it's made of bamboo or ceramic.

Unless your product information lists the country of manufacture, I ain't buying.

How about a "Made in the USA" page???

It's hard to know how this expresses what I'm thinking, although it begs the question, does this reviewer imagine a Target marketing manager and/or a web developer scrolling through the comments, searching for a fresh idea in the myriad of food processor reviews? Now that technology is beginning to match the public's desire to pontificate (not that I exclude myself from this!), is it difficult to remember that there still has to be a human being willing to listen on the other end? Who are the people writing 158 comments about a recipe for goulash, and what about the others (like me) sitting and reading their passionate diatribe on the extra water that made the dish soggy, or how much their husband loved it?

I guess the weird part is that people do pay attention to these random thoughts; but they are like millions of little roots spurting out wildly into the crevices of our minds - since often, no one is really answering back.

Posted by zippy at 6:34 PM

February 11, 2004

Arm Shmarm

It is turning out to be a winter to be tested...and perhaps to be smarter? With my right arm in a cast above the elbow, my left hand is being put to the ultimate test of awkwardly signing my name and finding all letters and punctuation on the keyboard. This is supposed to make my brain turn it up a notch as it adapts to my left hand becoming the primary (well, only) functioning hand.

Then again, I'm sure all the prescriptions are countering the brilliance a bit. Heh.

Tomorrow, thanks to the S.A.D. research study I'm participating in, I get to go pick up my lightbox which will at least allow me to bask in a sun-like light as I heal, although I'm sure a real beach would really do the trick. But then the cool blue water would be taunting me.

Posted by zippy at 7:15 PM

February 6, 2004



So Andrea, Jon and I hit up an educational program at the Carnegie Institution last night - Wendy Freedman, depressingly super-smart woman, discussing 'Exploring the Universe in the New Millennium'. She started with a pretty basic overview, reminding us of the fundamentals of space knowledge (9 planets, Einstein's theory of relativity, etc.); then explained the strides in technology in the 20th Century that have allowed scientists to better prove the Big Bang theory and the age of the universe and subsequently move on to bigger questions. She had some fascinating pics of cosmic microwave background radiation (the remnant heat from the Big Bang), and a cool 'before & after' series of early 20th Century shots of the sky vs. a picture taken by the Hubble Telescope (a pic taken of a 'black' spot in the sky revealed dozens of galaxies - see above).

Mind-blowing stuff. Andrea and I decided that the best piece of knowledge to come out of the lecture was during the Q&A session, when someone asked a Big Bang question, and Dr. Freedman was trying to explain the difficulty in comprehending it, since it happened on a 4-D plane, which the human mind cannot visualize. She said a problem was that people thought of the Big Bang as an instantaneous bomb-like explosion, starting from a center point - but in 4-D, there is no center point. Her analogy was to think of it instead like a physical change in substance, like ice instantly turning to water.

Why did no one ever bother to say that before, we asked eath other? To me, it felt like a rush of cool wind blowing away the fog of confusion as I tried to comprehend four dimensions. It leaves bigger questions (as always)...

Posted by zippy at 11:30 AM

February 2, 2004

Stolen from my non-blogging friends...

Someday they will have their blogs up and I won't get to seem as clever...or I'll just have to search harder. But until then!

I give you (drumrollllll)...Are You Mary-Kate or Ashley?

How does one end up on The N, anyway?

While you take this mind-bending quiz, you can delight your ears with the sounds of Wing's ummm, er, lovely voice. I have a fondness for the Capenters cover.

(Thank you Susan & Kelly)

Posted by zippy at 10:17 PM


I am thinking about associations, such as the one I work for, and associations, as in the thoughts that lead you to other, more random thoughts. I was scrolling through the slim pickings of clever SuperBowl commercials from yesterday to remind myself of the ones I liked (my winner is the Homer/MasterCard/priceless one, just because of the end when he says 'Mmm, D'oh!'). The Staples ad with the Don of Office Supplies was good too, in the painful Dilbert way that reminds me that my workplace is totally ridiculous sometimes. In the way that instead of going to our mailroom guy every time I need a box of 12 small binder clips or a Sharpie, I just go to Staples with the association credit card and walk by our HR Manager with my big Staples bag. We don't even get discounts for going through our Don.

So I was then thinking of my workplace, and how the people here have an amazing capacity to put up with some pretty lame house rules (like last week in the ice storm, when an email was sent around saying that the Federal Govt. was closing for the weather, but our office was staying open longer because we had to meet the needs of our clients). Or how the former head of accounting yelled at his underlings for bringing their own lights to work, and disallowed the use of anything but the overhead fluorescent lights.

What I then realized is the draw of working in the strange world of association management; how I am exposed to things I would never, ever know existed. My coworker and friend, Lucy, stormed in my office to vent after talking to one of her members from the Alpaca Registry whose files, in cabinets recently moved to a formerly-empty wall near the copier, are full of Alpaca blood samples (for DNA testing). Soon a potato foundation will be here; not the National Potato Council, but a different one! Through my job I talk to both movie studio execs and geeks from Boeing; I helped another Director out last week with her conference and ended up talking to a woman (whose engineering firm just won an award for a DC building) about her whole family being vegetarian.

Sometime soon I will get restless enough and will probably find a position at a stand-alone association...as soon as someone finds out that in our hidden back office, we're using our own lighting.

Posted by zippy at 4:28 PM