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happiness is not a potato
My name is Elizabeth, and I am a neurotic housewife. This journal is somewhat less interesting than the average, since I don't enjoy having fun, but the spelling is likely to be better.

My old LiveJournal, defunct: psychodyke42
My DeadJournal, also defunct: beware (the lazarus joint)
My website, in dire need of updating: the sibyl of cumae

If you'd like to add me to your friends list, you should know two things:

1) I often miss being added until well after my new friend gets impatient and defriends me, and
2) I also frequently manage to add someone to my friends list but not to the proper viewing filter.

Therefore, if I don't add you back or comment on your journal, don't take it personally, because it may well be that I am a moron.
Current Mood: grumpy
Current Music: Silverchair, "Tomorrow"
happiness is not a potato
28 September 2012 @ 11:25 pm
Why isn't there a 24-hour upholstery supply store? I have a chair opened up and I am OUT of WEBBING. No one else has upholstery emergencies at 11 PM?

Also, why does the chair's cushion have springs in it? Not familiar with this.
happiness is not a potato
23 September 2012 @ 02:09 am
Announcer, Arizona-Oregon game: "Now the question we've been asking this past week is, would you put the ball in the air against Oregon's secondary?"

Arizona: *puts ball in air*
Oregon's secondary: *catches ball*
Referees: *sigh, signal touchdown again*

No. No, I wouldn't.

In related news, Central Michigan beat Iowa, Western Michigan beat University of Connecticut, and Eastern Michigan lost to Michigan State but held a 7-3 lead until the third quarter. None of these things are even remotely supposed to happen, and the fact that they are does not mean that the Directional Michigans are suddenly good. It means that this season is freaking weird and a bunch of top-tier teams are circling the drain. Anyone familiar with the BCS will understand why this fills me with an unholy glee; for those who don't, all you need to know is that a bunch of morons who run things based entirely on their stupid biases are having all their little plans stomped on by underdogs whose only advantage is that of mediocrity over outright awfulness. There's probably a historical or fictional analogy for this, but I can't think of one at the moment; history doesn't stick in my memory and fiction prefers livelier narratives.

To close this meditation on sportsball, SportsCenter presents me with a question: what is "Melky" short for? I don't want to look it up because I hope it's Melchior and I'm pretty sure it's not.
happiness is not a potato
17 April 2012 @ 05:29 pm
Why is it that people playing their music too loudly never like the kind of music I do?

I mean, surely there are some people out there who share my musical taste and are also inconsiderate assholes. Yes, besides me.
happiness is not a potato
15 April 2012 @ 08:03 pm
We live in Pennsylvania now.
happiness is not a potato
20 March 2012 @ 05:08 pm
I tore down my garage. Yes, I, as in me, alone.

Pics later. It's not done yet. Gonna need someone to haul away the roof and remove the slab. The rest is in a dumpster but the roof has defeated me. The timbers are in surprisingly good condition compared to the rest and tearing off shingles is horrible, plus the dumpster is full.

Everyone so far has basically told me that the garage represented a health and safety hazard such that the government would not finance a mortgage on the property, which between FHA and VA loans would probably represent 75% of our potential buyers. Everyone also told me to call someone in to knock it over but I needed demolition therapy in the worst possible way.

The potential buyers point is moot since we're probably going to lease the place, but potential renters would not want that wreck either.
happiness is not a potato
15 March 2012 @ 03:47 pm
Back in 2008, I gave some money to Barack Obama. I know, dumb me, right? But someone of my acquaintance gave money to Ron Paul -- I didn't object to that, exactly, but I felt I needed to counteract it.

I unsubscribed from all the Obama mailing lists a long time ago, or so I thought. Today, for the first time in years, I received an email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

I guess this was important enough to break radio silenceCollapse )

Now, I wasn't much fazed by this -- I had some trollish thoughts, but mainly I thought oh, I got myself on a mailing list and forgot to unsubscribe, let me go do that. So I went and clicked the unsubscribe link.

And this is what I got:

Republican SuperPACs and right-wing media pundits are out to defeat President Obama and Democrats nationwide.

We need you with us.

However, if you’d only like to receive our most urgent messages (about one e-mail per month), you can enter your e-mail address here:



Your "unsubscribe" link is more like a "unsubscribe EXCEPT WHEN WE FEEL LIKE DOING EMAILS" link?

Oh. It. Is. ON.

Dear Jennifer,

As an advocate of violence against women, I'm afraid I can't support your movement. We should all be destroyed; the criminalization of abortion and the legalization of violence against women, though not nearly enough, will go a long way toward achieving that goal.

By the way, if I click a link that says "unsubscribe," I should not be taken to a page that tells me I can opt for one email a month. This does not make me feel any more kindly toward my sex.

Love and kisses,
happiness is not a potato
15 March 2012 @ 01:11 am
Hey, does anyone know what it costs to have a rug cleaned? I have like two 8x10, two 10x12, maybe one 6x8 and two runners. I can't find local prices online, possibly because I am dumb.

My idea is to get all our rugs cleaned because a) they are dirty but more importantly b) when you get rugs cleaned, they roll them up in nice plastic that is good for moving. So I will probably do this anyway regardless, but I'd like some kind of cost information.
happiness is not a potato
14 March 2012 @ 05:51 pm
Over the past few weeks, I've condensed our filing cabinets from three drawers to one and a half -- one drawer of various old papers and one small tote of essentials, which I'll be taking in the car when we move. I closed out our safe deposit box. Using this guide, I've been able to get rid of a ton of financial documents, which I'll shred tomorrow. I've put together a folder of manuals and warranties for the house and its appliances that I can leave here.

Someone from the property management company is coming tomorrow to look over the place. I'm also going tomorrow to talk to the city (I didn't have the car today) about what exactly I need for the garage demolition. I had the property inspected when we bought it in 2007, and they didn't see any hazardous materials or other issues at that time, but I have a sinking suspicion that won't be enough. It'd be nice to be able to have my parents help when they come this weekend, but I can probably kill the thing on my own (aside from the slab) and there's plenty for them to do anyway. We need so much mulch.

I found one of the books my father-in-law wanted, and some loose pages he wanted from another, but the third is either buried beyond retrieval... or he might have it. I swear to God I just packed up French history the other day but I can't find it for the life of me, or rather I don't want to because I'm tired and it's hot.

It's hot? It's like 80, what the fuck. I love it. Went to the store today in shorts and a tank top. People who shave their legs are really missing out on one of life's great pleasures: the wind in your leg hair on the first day of shorts.

Finally: did you know that Habitat for Humanity does free computer recycling at their ReStore locations? Holy shit. I've always loved Habitat for its normal operations, but by God this is a lifesaver -- the county will only take one computer a year for free, the rest you have to pay for. I'm probably going to donate some money to them for just saving my ass with all this computer shit I have.
happiness is not a potato
14 March 2012 @ 05:24 pm
How many digits of pi have you memorized?


happiness is not a potato
13 March 2012 @ 05:37 pm
Had a realtor come over today.

What he told me about the market and the possible selling price of our house was not the most depressing part of his visit.

The most depressing part was his offhand comment as he left: "So, you'll want to be purging stuff and packing up..."


Okay, okay. He did say that the way I had things set up made the rooms look nice and spacious, and when he traveled to the basement and saw the six bookshelves and the eleventy boxes of books chilling down there I don't think it really registered because those were unfinished areas and who cares, plus there's no way he could have known about the dozen or so boxes hiding under beds and such. He had no way of knowing that I've packed about thirty-leven boxes and generally fucked up our entire lives and also my father-in-law emailed today asking for a couple books which I know are boxed up somewhere and I just. don't. wanna. deal with it.

(He did say it wasn't a big deal, and I promise I will send them to him... eventually. When I find them.)

But yeah, it made me want to destroy things, so I went ahead and hammered away at the gigantor old printer Charles brought home not six months ago. It's seriously about 3'x3'x3' and at least 100lb. He never meant it to last long, which is funny because I told all the moving assessors it was coming with, because I just wasn't sure -- always clarify these things, kids. He is now permitting me to destroy the fuck out of it as long as I don't use the sledge while he's trying to relax. (The sledge doesn't work so well, so this is not difficult.)

I've told two of our neighbors that we're moving. They both hate it, because they like that we're interested in home improvements and general good behavior, but they understand. I'm just glad that I was able to tell creepy Ron, the self-elected Neighborhood Watch, in person; if he'd heard about it at second-hand I think he would've just up and died.

My parents are coming this weekend to help us with things. They are super-thrilled with the whole situation and I think they would do 100% of the work if we let them.

The realtor told me we would have to destroy our garage if we wanted any buyers to be eligible for government loans, since it would probably be listed as a health and safety issue. I agree. I've also called a property management company that the realtor recommended, for rental purposes, and he said the city has to certify rental properties -- which almost certainly means the garage needs to die. I confirmed with the city that I don't need a contractor to tear the thing down, but I do need to pull out the foundation.

So you see where I'm going: the city guy told me he could process the demo permit in a day if I got it to him early enough, so I'm going to do that, and then get a dumpster, and then kill the fuck out of the garage. And it's going to be amazing.

Well, I don't know exactly how it's going to work out, but it'll be awesome and I'll try to take pictures. Especially of me with a 20lb sledge going to town.
happiness is not a potato
12 March 2012 @ 10:10 pm
I picked a moving company, called them today for arrangements, and sent emails to the other representatives to let them know and thank them for their help.

Here is how to respond:

You are welcome and thank you for your response. Good luck in your new home!

Here is how not to respond, Howard:

We all make our own choices... When we book Price..We usualy get what we pay for!!!!!!!!

Well, no, I'm not paying for extra exclamation points, so I think I've made the right choice. (You have no idea how tempted I was to send that.)

And, for the record, the company I chose cost more than Howard's estimate -- but they guaranteed that as the maximum price, which he wouldn't do. And they're giving me some free boxes, which he also wouldn't do. And they did an in-home estimate, which he said was a scam.

The fast/trash-talking Noo Yawkuh act he had going worked up to a point on little Midwestern me, but at some point I stopped being charmed by his "tell it like it is" attitude and started feeling the true Midwesterner's discomfort with someone who thinks it's okay to be mean on the job. Gotta be careful walking that line, Howard.

So if you ever call Nationwide Relocation for an estimate, which I wouldn't do, say hi to Howard from me and let him know that "usually" has two Ls.
happiness is not a potato
08 March 2012 @ 11:02 pm
So, um, we're moving to Pennsylvania.

Charles got a job as web applications developer at Lafayette College, and he starts on April 16th, and I am totally thrilled and excited because it's a great job with great people and a way better salary -- like, embarrassingly better -- and oh my God I have so much crap to do before we can move, I already took an entire carload of stuff to Goodwill and there's more waiting and I have to contract with a mover and a realtor and I've never lived anywhere but the Midwest and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS.

But yeah. Charles is amazing and awesome and people want to throw money at him and treat him like a rockstar. And I get to come too!
happiness is not a potato
04 March 2012 @ 10:59 pm
In more unequivocally positive news: I has a laptop!

Our friend Deia had a laptop that was originally intended for her daughter, but she never really used it, and then the hard drive died. Deia wanted a new computer anyway, so she passed this one on to us.

Charles has two good laptops, or else I think he'd take this one over, because he likes the hardware -- he says it's the spiritual equivalent of a model they've used at K for a while. But he's all set, so it's mine. 3GB RAM, dual Pentium CPU 2GHzx2, 160GB hard drive. Also, it's pink. I don't think he'd really care that much about the color if it were his only option, but it's not, so.

The only problem is that the battery is 95% dead, which is not a pressing issue since I wasn't planning to do my computing elsewhere any time soon. We've ordered an aftermarket replacement.

Charles installed Ubuntu on it, which I haven't used for a very long time -- I had it shortly after college, but my laptop had an iffy connector somewhere, and Windows deals with such things way better than Linux -- so I'm going to have to relearn that. Otherwise, I'm quite pleased.
happiness is not a potato
04 March 2012 @ 10:04 pm
Today I got rid of six years' worth of fiction writing, from 7th to 12th grade.

I'm mainly annoyed at myself for having wasted so much time. The love of fiction and the ability to write do not necessarily translate into the ability to write fiction in any serious way, and I don't think I was at fault for not realizing this earlier, but when I look at the time I spent and the direction I tried to set for myself...

Well. I feel better for having got rid of it. I'm not sure why I kept the things I wrote in college, especially since I'm pretty sure I have those on my hard drive somewhere, but I may go back and get rid of those soon anyway.

I figured this all out about five years ago, but I could never quite get rid of that stuff before now. I don't know whether I was clinging to the idea of myself as a fiction writer, or whether I was influenced by my notions of what a person ought to keep for nostalgic reasons. Probably the latter; I do find myself keeping things I don't really want because I think that normal people would, and therefore I should too.
happiness is not a potato
02 March 2012 @ 03:38 pm
What do you really need to get rid of?


Seriously. I have eleven bags of crap in the car right now waiting to go to Goodwill, and another three cartons of crap I'm going to try to sell; I've filled three large trash bags with garbage, and set out two large recycling bins' worth of papers. AND I'M NOT DONE.

There are still five laptops, eleven desktops, two monitors, one large TV, and several cabinets full of old computer parts. Most of that will be going, but the computers need their drives backed up and wiped, so we're waiting on a piece of equipment for that. We should also be able to get a couple decent working computers out of that assortment.

Yeah, it's pretty terrifying. Whee!
happiness is not a potato
13 February 2012 @ 03:33 pm
Sony hikes Whitney Houston album prices online

Text behind the cutCollapse )
Fucking vultures. Disgusting.

It's not that I expect corporations to be disinterested or sentimental -- far from it -- but come on, you have to weigh the potential profits against the terrible PR. Did they think no one would notice? Did they think Whitney's fans would be all "okay, that's totally cool and not at all disrespectful"?
happiness is not a potato
12 February 2012 @ 01:56 am
happiness is not a potato
07 February 2012 @ 02:12 pm
Karen Handel, the Komen Foundation official who supported the move to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, resigned.

We have been trying to figure out what the hell was going on in these people's heads. Handel's statement that the discussion about this policy change had started before her hiring is wholly believable -- you don't hire someone with decided pro-life views unless that's already the direction you're going. So the higher-ups mainly supported this move. They had to have known that this would piss off the left, right? So one presumes they were prepared to rely on their right-leaning supporters (and, indeed, Komen saw a spike in donations after their announcement).

Then they went back on it.

To borrow a phrase from the schoolyard lexicon, no backsies. Now the left will distrust the Komen name and avoid supporting their charitable efforts or buying their pink crap, and the right will see Komen as having deserted the true faith -- and, frankly, they have a point. First the foundation tried to mask an ideological decision with some bullshit about "investigation," when the feds have harassed PP one way or another for years, and then they went back on it when they took a little heat -- hardly the kind of ally you can trust.

As for the "federal investigation," I would like to point out to both sides that money is fungible. If the feds give PP money for women's health care and education, they are then free to spend privately donated money on abortion. Does it matter, in the end, what dollars go to which cause? Not if you believe abortion is wrong -- in that case, federal funding enables abortions by freeing up private money. This is why pro-choice activists will never convince pro-life activists that PP should receive federal funding. On the other hand, this is also why pro-life activists will never conclusively prove that PP uses federal money for abortion, and why they need to stop trying.

In other news, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.


Don't celebrate yet.

First off, I'm not certain this makes gay marriage legal. It makes it not illegal, which sounds like splitting hairs but isn't. I don't know how this will affect the validity of California gay marriages, either.

Second, the Supremes love reversing 9th Circuit decisions. This is partly because the 9th is the most liberal circuit court in the nation, and partly because they have this nasty habit of making rulings without coming up with halfway-decent legal justifications. The Supremes are particularly pissed off at them lately because of some extremely questionable habeas cases, the kind that make even the liberal justices write nasty biting opinions about the 9th's lack of due diligence.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily despair. Our conservatives aren't fond of gay people or of the 9th, but they tend to be (except for Alito) big on individual liberties. I wouldn't automatically put Scalia or Thomas on the anti side, and if one of them goes over, Roberts will probably follow in the interest of making the court look good (that sounds awful, but the issues are a lot more complex than that -- I'm just bad at elucidating them). I'd honestly be worried about Kennedy, because I have no fucking clue what he's up to at any given time.

The situation is different because the Democrats have the incumbent this time, but I'm worried about a repeat of 2004 -- the right taking up arms against the lavender menace. Romney is an enigma to me -- just like Obama was when we elected him, and how well did that turn out? Whee.
happiness is not a potato
24 January 2012 @ 12:44 pm

Violist Lukáš Kmiť, playing a Bach arrangement in the Orthodox Jewish cathedral in Presov, Slovakia, responds to a ringing cell phone in the audience... LIKE A BOSS.