Thursday, August 30, 2007

Spending too much on little bits of metal

I don't think there is one clothing item that I've ever paid full price for. I take great pride in shopping cheaply and I feel really good when I've spent a third of the retail price for something. The only time I really spend full price for any item is on body jewelry.

I have three piercings at the moment. Two lobes (they jump from 4gauge to 2gauge) and my lip (14gauge). I'm probably going to have to get more so I can use more of my jewelry XD.

I really love looking at everything. In my mind, something like this is far prettier than any diamond earing.

I love larger gauge jewelry. It's so easy to put in and fairly low maintenance, which is great because I'm lazy and can't stand dealing with tiny earring holes.

Now for a terrible segway:

Today was my last physical day in the office. For the past...many weeks that I've been working in the new building, I've had to wear a retainer in my lip because of the office environment. No big deal, when I get home I take out the retainer and put in a temporary circular barbell ring that is too wide and ugly. Then on the weekends I put in my old 16gauge CBR(minus the "R")because I don't want to deal with anything more.

Well, a while back I wanted to use a new piece of jewelry for my lip (one that could be easily switched out on weekends) and decided to order a lovely titanium segment captive ring in black from Painful Pleasures.

I was very happy when I got it and spent a good half hour attempting to put it together. I had no idea how hard it was to put together a segment ring! Fuck, those things are bastards. After trying to use that as my weekend ring, I decided it was far easier to just use my good ol' CBR.

Seeing as how today was my last day, I thought I could rest easy and put in the segment ring for the good long haul of the next 3 months at school. After wrestling for a good 45 minutes (on two separate occasions)I couldn't get the little bugger to close! The only thing I successfully accomplished was cutting my lip somewhat badly.

After that I couldn't take it anymore and just had to find something better. Which is when I stumbled upon this lovely black niobium continuous ring on Body Art Forms:

Beautiful right? No? Well, I guess it's an acquired aesthetic. But ohhh no, I'm on a body jewelry site, I can't just order that ring and be done with it! Not when I could get some free stuff and reduced shipping!

So, naturally, I spend too much time looking around and end up with a pair of Black flesh tunnels and a pair of clear eyelets. BUT, I got 10% off (because I'm awesome) and 4 free o-rings as well as a steel cbr. Which is rather nice.

I do like that segment ring but damn, it's a pain. I really hope I made the right choice now. I do so hate to remove my lip jewelry.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Legal Way to Hurt Your Friends

While doing one of my many searches for laptops I've noticed that I tend to check out the gaming PCs. Primarily because they tend to have better graphics cards and faster RAM, which is needed when one does "ultimate photoshopping" such as I do. I'm not a huge gamer per se, but I do enjoy my fair share of RPGs and first person shooters. Okay, so I tend to gravitate towards RPGs, but that typically because I am a very violent girl who loves melee combat.

I guess I feel a little more, violent when I can hack and slash my way through a game. But no matter how many times or ways I can rip a zombie with a sharp blade, I feel some sense of emptiness. Like I'm missing out on the tactile bit of killing mercilessly.

There's no legal or sane way I could play out these games in real life, which is why first person shooters have a more realistic feel to me. However, I can't really play them anymore without pining for real results. This is because of the one single day I played paintball. One day changed my entire perspective on the feeling you get when shooting a gun-like object.

I'm a weenie, I'll admit. I've never gone hunting (don't really want to kill defenseless animals) and the closest I've gotten to launching one projectile from an object was those few years spent attempting to shoot a bow and arrow (and failing miserably). But when I got my hands on that standard issue paintball gun, a little tingle went through my body. I was holding a legal weapon-like object, and I'd get to shoot it at a person!

Hooray! Violent tendencies finally have an outlet!

Once we were set loose on the field I did my best first person shooter impression. I hit behind stuff, I peeked over stumps and around trees, I looked all 360 degrees before moving to a new spot. I shot with precision (well...the type of precision one gets after playing Laser Tag a few times)and didn't waste pellets. The best thing though?

I actually hit someone! More than once!

Alright, once I might have accidentally hit my dad...but he wasn't on my team anyway. He's a person and still counts as a "kill".

I've played laser tag many times and I get the same feeling when playing video games. I don't ever feel like I did damage or hit a person. With paintball though, there's no doubt that I get a great feeling that I did some damage.

The day went swimmingly until my group (all 7 of us amateurs) played against two paintball veterans. And completely kicked our asses.

Ever since that painful encounter (I came home with a few "war wounds", as did everyone from my group) I've wanted to go back. Play again. But this time with better equipment.

Like most everything nowadays, the best prices can be found online.There is a great online paintball store to check out, Ultimate Paintball.

I honestly had no idea how expensive paintball actually is, but y'know, you get what you pay for. Ultimate Paintball sells everything from individual guns to helmets and combined packages. They have some fairly good discounts too, although it looks like if I really want to have the ultimate paintball gun set I'll have to shell out about $2,000.

One day when I'm rich I'll buy a bunch of paintball guns online from Ultimate Paintball and myself and the hubby will act out choice scenes from Hot Fuzz.

We'll never need first person shooter games again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I know this video has been floating around the net a lot lately and it's one of the few things I'm actually amazed with. Mind you, she got 3rd runner up.

Which begs the age old question:

Who appears dumber, the pageant contestant who flubs her answer or the judges who look past it and crown her with 3rd place?

I'm really not into pageants at all. I have a friend who competed in a few, she loved them. I know they are a lot of hard work and the girls put a lot into it, but really in the end who will win, a girl with extra flub who answers her question well, or the hot chick who stumbles but looks great in a swimsuit?

A Case of Battery

Well, my life for the next 4-5 months will be a little easier I guess, I got my second battery today.

Which means I get to use the computer for about 6 hours at a time.'s better than nothing.

[EDIT] Battery came. It's 4 hours at a time, not even 6.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Well, you knew this was coming, I'll be getting a new laptop around December or November. Today I spent a good amount of time looking at two options (i.e. the options that my father could use his company discount on), a Dell Inspiron 1720 and a HP dv9500t notebook. About a year back I was looking at an Asus machine, and while I do like them still (and my boyfriend will be getting one anyway *jealous*) I don't think I'll end up with one.

It looks like we're leaning toward the HP (better discount, better price) even though my current one is a HP. Well, they did change the power adapter plug so perhaps I'll have better luck with the dv9500t. We're also considering getting a 3 year warrenty instead of the very limited 1 year or 90 days one that's included in the price, y'know just in case.

So this is basic comparison shopping, materials and prices are likely to change in the next 4 months but it's a good idea of what I can expect and I'm very glad I get to work with my father instead of letting him handle it all.

If anyone wants me to post the specs that I'm looking at, let me know.

Do you have any good laptop advice?
What experiances with Dell or HP laptops do you have (recent ones)?

I'd like to hear any opinions on the matter as I still have time to choose.

Forget Me Not

A few weeks ago we held a celebration for my grandmother's birthday. She always seems so happy at these get-togethers, and my other grandmother was invited as well. One thing I notice though is that there is always one certain person absent for every single family get-together, my cousin Steve.

Steve's reason for not attending has to do with him trying to distance himself from the family. It really all goes back to when he walked in a room to find my grandfather dead. Steve was quite young back then, so this was rather traumatic for him, not that it helped that my grandfather had been suffering from Alzheimer's for a little while making their relationship somewhat strained.

This is a long and roundabout way to get to the point of how such a disease can impact everyone around the person. My grandfather's lack of memory caused all the relatives to treat him differently, and disconnected Steve more from the family. At that time I was less than a year old, so I never knew my grandfather and frankly, I don't think I would want to know him in the last year of his life. It's better to think about a person at their best, not when they've lost recognition.

I don't think there is one person here who hasn't had an encounter with someone with Alzheimer's. It's a powerful disease that can tear couples apart, and leave children frustrated and sad. How would you feel if your own father didn't recognize you anymore? Or your wife?

I know there are probably several people out there who haven't been diagnosed with Alzheimer's yet, and I feel bad for their family. Families who might be ignorant, and just think that granny's gone off the deep end.

Rapidly, ignorance towards Alzheimer's is decreasing and funding for more research and cures is increasing. The Alzheimer's Association is doing their part in fighting for the cure for Alzheimer's in their own great way.

They're sponsoring a charity memory walk that will take place all across the country.

The walk is 2-3 miles long and it's well worth it. The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk website makes it easy to locate a walk that's happening right in your area. You can search by zip code, chapter, or state. Or, if you can't find a local walk, start your own chapter!

Right now what the Alzheimer's Association really needs are more team captains. If you can't participate in an actual walk, it's a fantastic way to still help out the cause. Once you find a local chapter, sign up online for a team captain position. The earlier you sign up, the more time you'll have to raise funds and gather a team together. After you register, you'll have access to your own web site where you can track your fundraising.

Getting a team together can be composed of everyone from relatives to co-workers to classmates. The larger your team, the more donations you'll be likely to receive.

This is all for a great cause and I really do respect groups that value researching such important causes. Alzheimer's is a little too common, it deteriorates relationships and causes great heartache. Nobody wants to wake up next to someone that doesn't recognize them and I'm sure you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're completely lost.

This isn't something that affects a small group, it can happen to anyone. We all must face the fact that with age comes problems, but we don't have to accept Alzheimer's as one of them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, my adapter died on me again today. This is the third one in less than a year that's crapped out on me. I've left it unplugged for a few hours, but no use. The light doesn't go on, and my computer is completely worthless since the battery drained.

The worst part is that it failed sometime during the night, after I went to bed. So I really have no idea when it happened, but it was over two hours before I woke up.

I'm more than a little annoyed at this. The adapter can't be more than a month old!

It's getting to a point where I think I should just say fuck it, I need a new laptop. It seems like my computer started on a downhill decline into death and is speeding up.

I'm certain that my computer had some factor in destroying this adapter. I already know the connection is shakey (thanks HP, for giving me a multi-pin adapter that is not compatable with any other machine), and that comes from the computer itself. For instance, if I plug it in, there's no guarentee my computer will recognize the adapter and it'll probably keep running on battery power.

I'm pretty sure we've spent close to $200 already on replacement adapters and I need this laptop bad. All of my work is on it, I was planning on backing stuff up today (of course). I cannot imagine going to work next week without a laptop. All my VisArts website files are on the damn thing, how am I supposed to work on that?!

This is extrodinarily depressing, since I lost my 1gb USB drive a little while ago as well. There's no question about it, I need a new laptop. I need some power supply so I can at least get my files off of the HP.

I know I've been talking about how I would like a new machine, even browsing for nice new laptops, but I reasoned with myself that it probably wouldn't happen until next year, if at all. Next year I have one gigantic expense, LASIK, I don't feel right piling on a new computer on top of that.

Just my luck that this thing fails before I leave for school in a few weeks. I'm fucked.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Eye!

Man, Spectacular Spectral Saturday keeps getting preempted. Sorry about that, once school starts I'll have an easier time updating on Saturday, instead of after >.<

I appear to be feeling a bit narcissistic, so here's a self portrait from a few years ago of my most precious bit, my eye:

eyeball painting

OoOoOO weird lookin'

I don't have much to say other than this is the second time I've attempted a realistic-like portrait in Photoshop. I would like to add that this was entirely created/drawn/coloured in Photoshop with the use of a photo for reference. I did not trace over the photo in any way.

Oh, and I don't have short hair...but the colour's pretty accurate.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well, seems like we'll be able to use PHP to code the new site after all. This is fairly good news.

D emailed me asking if I wanted her to translate my html and css into the php format we agreed on. I was more than happy to send her my code.

This now means I can focus on getting more housework done this weekend. It seems like since I started this internship I've had less and less time to do house stuff.

Oh well, BBC America has a good block of comedy on tonight, finally!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hand Me Downs are Excellent

Yesterday I visited a store called Ten Thousand Villages, which is a free trade shop featuring items from all over the world. The employees don't get paid, because most of the money from sales goes directly to the artisans themselves, while the rest is used for store upkeep/electrical bills/etc. It's a great concept, especially for those living in impoverished nations.

It's a nice feeling to know that you've given somebody a little more help in their life. The US is scattered with several great ways to help third world countries, one of them is Planet Aid.

This nonprofit organization focuses on many aspects of helping poor countries. Including charity and clothing donations. They have locations all over the country, including one in DC/Metro area.

The great thing about donation is you don't feel like you wasted something. Personally, I cringe at the thought of just throwing my clothes away. I would much rather have my clothing go to someone who needs it, not rot away in the garbage.

In Maryland, it looks like they have drop off locations in every county, quite convinenet.

They also have a program where you can donate laptops, which is a great idea. Anything to help move technology forward in the world.

We're slowly working towards getting everyone in the world online and using computers. It's a funny thought, tribes in Africa are using the same Dell laptops as some college kids here in America.

Super LA Fueling!

Fuel My Blog is holding a contest where the winning blogwriter will get a chance to go to LA and appear in a Superbowl commercial. I'm not a big sports fan, but it's interesting to read the blogs that made it to the finals.

I'm backing up Andrew, if I'm reading the votes right he's in fourth place right now. I'm pretty sure with a few more votes he can make it into the top 3, quite a feat. He really wants to go to LA, you can read his post on the contest here. I'm supporting him first and foremost, but it's worth it to give the other blogs a lookse

Vote for Andrew !

If you're a Fuel My Blog member you can vote everyday between now and the 23rd. If you're not a member or don't have a blog, still check out Andrew's blog. It's filled with lovely entries and shiny graphics. You know you can't resist nice graphics.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My eyes are melting

Silly webhosting service, not allowing PHP scripts are you? Making me redo the whole thing are you? Well, pptph.

I'm tired. I finally got the design and layout all fixed and lookin' pretty. I need D to look at it on her IE6 browser (I upgraded to IE7 a while ago and never looked back), but it looks perfect on Firefox.

The design is simple, but nice looking. Perhaps it's because I've got a widescreen monitor that it seems so...empty to me, but on a 1024x768 screen, it's good.

Anyhoo, tired of this. Tired of tweaking CSS and html. Tired of having my images randomly disappear when the site is reloaded (I don't change their URL or anything, they just disappear!).

But it's a happy kind of tired. I know now that I have my code all figured out and all I need is to change the images/text for every other page. Which should go much faster.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Ah, yeah, this should have occurred yesterday but I was busy celebrating the birth of a grandmother and driving while tired. Today was spent being a Marylander and having a crabfest. First time ever for me. There's ever so much work involved in getting to less than an once of crab meat.

This is another strange picture to show I guess, it's a preview of the header for the new VisArts website:

A Rainbow of Ribbons.

It's a working image, not quite sure if it'll look like this once the website is up but well, there you go for now.

This will be the header of VisArt's homepage, which at the moment looks quite brown. The titles will lead to individual subsites for each department.

Any suggestions for making this header rock are quite welcome.


Do you remember a time when paper was necessary to complete any transaction or job? As we move ahead in this great future of life the need for paper slowly dissapears. How long do you think it will be before the only mail we get will be ads, anything important will pop up in our inboxes.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it is an interesting trend to notice. The tradition of sticking "e" in front of a service to denote its association with the web is a long and silly one. eSurance, eCommerce, eMail, eTrade, eMortgage, eAnything.

I really wish I understood where the "e" came from. Why didn't we go with "w" or "i" instead?

Anyway, using an "e" service has its advantages. Look at and you'll see their trend follows most other "e"businesses. Click on any of their offerings; Brokers, Mortgage, or Banks, and you can watch a short video that explains how their company works. It's a useful introduction into the world of internet services.

The "e" may be a mystery, but at least websites like make it easier for the non-internet-savvy to understand.

Friday, August 10, 2007

No Such Thing as "Stable"

Goddammit, I'm really fed up with my bed.

Since moving to a new state, I chose to rid myself of my childhood bed (a trundle, full-frame white beast)and trade it in for the "guest room bed" (something that took up much less space. The guest room bed is perfect for my room and allows me to actually stuff crap under it, however it has a huge fault

The damn thing was made in 1980-who-knows-when and is composed of two metal L-shaped rods to hold the mattress/boxspring and a headboard.

There's not even a third rod to keep the two together! Thus I deal with bed collapsing. The damn L-rods like to shift a tiny bit and one corner of my boxspring will get wedged underneath one. Resulting in a much hated ritual of getting up at all hours of the night to wrestle with my bed and forcefully pull the boxspring out, only to delicately balance it in between the two rods and go back to sleep annoyed and headachey.

The next bed I own will be a full frame, this is just cheap, old and ridiculous!

Has anyone else ever had a similar problem with their beds collapsing because of stupid workmanship?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Trade like a Wizard!

The older I get, the more I want to play the stock market. In my mind, this is sort of like an initiation into adulthood. You own stock, your stock makes you money, you pay your bills and mortgage with said money, you cry because you sold your stock before it shot up and was worth $560 a share.

I've yet to have my stock batmitzvah. Like a tattoo, I want to make sure I'm happy with it before I spend my money. It would be easy for me to just jump in, buy a random share and live with it but I want to become a stock market maven. I want my stocks to work for me. Dammit, I want to own Nintendo stock and then sell my others so I can buy a Wii!

It appears one of the ways I can learn to be a successful stock market monkey is by paying attention to The Wizetrade Blog. Which, upon first glance, I thought was the Wizard trade blog, hence the title of this post.

The very first post I notice is 10 Common Mistakes that New Traders Make. It's a short and concise post, but one all new stock monkeys should pay attention to.

The blog is in its baby year, but so far the posts indicate useful and interesting tips. I like how they use videos, any sort of multimedia posts brings in more readers.

Wizetrade itself appears to be a pretty useful program. It's software like this that really makes getting into the stock market easy.

I'm probably going to really pay attention to their blog. If these early posts are any indication, I know I'll learn a lot in the coming year about stocks.

And then, just a few years from now, I will be able to trade like a wizard.

Rainbows and Ribbons

Today went by surprisingly fast. I can't believe it's already close to 6:30.

Well, it's official. Another intern (D) and myself are going to revamp, rejuvenate and reorder the VisArts website. The current site is all kinds of ugly, and the fellow who worked on it before seems to be code-tarded. He has a good 20 lines of empty tags, that when removed collapse the whole site. Infact, when D tried to load the site into Dreamweaver, it crashed.

Future webmasters take note: Having your website crash DREAMWEAVER because it's full of dumb code is bad.

Whatever, we're starting from scratch and I'm pretty excited to start working on it. Our new design will be ever so colourful. I'm looking at intertwining ribbons of several different colours.

I'm not even going to be modest about this. When D and I are done with the VisArts site, it's going to rock. Hard.

And then I spent a good hour or more working on importing my boss's Outlook contacts into another one of her email accounts. Normally this wouldn't be so hard, but this particular email client sucks and made me define and edit my CRV file. Gmail was a hell of a lot easier to use and didn't muck up her address book.

Halloween is for Zombie

When we look at classic Hollywood movies remade recently we see a wave of horror. What's worse than knowing that Ewe Boll continues to find financing to direct his shitfests? It's hard to really find good, original films now, everything's piggybacking off of another movie or style.

When it comes to horror movies, I guess my taste is a little weird. I love horror movies, I don't get scared easily, but I also haven't seen too many. I've got to say my favourite flicks are Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later.

Okay okay, they're zombie films, not slasher, but they're under the umbrella that is horror. 28 Days is a good, all around adventure through a zombie apocalypse. And Shaun is a fantastic homage to classic zombie films. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright really know their zombie movies. That's what you want to look for when shopping for a good horror flick, a director and writer with a sense of humour who really understands the genre.

What better man embodies this than Rob Zombie? Talk about a guy who knows his horror!
I adore Rob, both for his music and his sense of humour. He's intelligent, funny and a big horror geek. He's the perfect director and writer to tackle a remake of Halloween the movie.

Indeed, remakes tend to be crap. That's typically because studios don't care as much about the content as they do about the money. Rob understands good horror, watch his other films or just listen to his music, and know how to write chilling scenes with Michael Myers.

Jamie Lee Curtis's career kicked off after Halloween, who knows if this version will also kickstart some young starlet's fame?

As long as she doesn't die of course.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Photoshop CS3 Love

I have to admit I rather love having CS3 on my computer, even if I haven't used any of the new features yet. My heart always fills with joy when I get some new piece of software or technology in general. Screw new shoes and jewelry, I'd rather spend my money on something with a microchip in it!

I'm that much of a geek.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Moose Riding

Moose riding in the Canadian Rockies is not a common sight. Even less common is traversing across the great white north only to stumble upon an evil bunny munching on a human arm.

This experience never happened to me, but damn if it doesn't make a fantastic and meaningful self-portrait!

Yep, one of my last finals was the dreaded self-portrait. When we were initially given the assignment my professor said it was to be a narrative portrait and for us to be as creative as possible.

Apparently, this is not what she meant.

Nuts to her. I'd rather show myself on a moose with a perplexed expression than a boring old "ooh, look at background's all dark and I'm moody and deep and oOooOo I'm sooo depressed" style self-portrait. Which appeared to be the tone of other's work.

I would like to add that I was the only one in that class to use this much colour, and the only one to feature a bunny or moose in one of my pieces.

Take that conventionalism!

Friday, August 3, 2007


Yoga is almost impossible to really get into when you have a cat begging for attention.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Western Key to transportation

Collen over at Geeky Speaky has a great contest going on where you could win an 80gb Western Digital Portable Hard Drive. It's a great prize and easy to enter so I suggest you all do so. Free external hard drives don't come around every day y'know.

Lately I've noticed I have a huge dependence on portable technology. Why, my laptop is my life! I've been having a few problems with is as of late.Aside from adapter issues, my laptop enjoys making random scratching noises (clearly a hardware issue.) I'm pretty certain now that this baby won't last me more than a year.

That's why it's so important to me to back up my files. I have a lovely Maxtor external hard drive that's been with me for a year, but even that's not that reliable. The poor thing suffered a major disk failure and I ended up have to erase everything and start over from scratch. Now it appears to work okay, but every now and then it will automatically disconnect itself from my computer >.<;

Not to mention how much I rely on being able to easily transfer data at work. I find myself quickly bouncing back and forth between my laptop and the shared desktops. Like a USB fairy I skillfully shove my flash drive into whatever computer is free (sometimes there aren't any) and wait until the dear things acknowledge my tiny USB drive. Then, I transfer what I must and skip back to my laptop. Cynical with the knowledge that this dance will occur several times in a work day.

With an 80gb drive that runs only on USB, I could do mass transfers easily, and not go through that wicked routine several times a day.

Portability is what my life is run on. Easy portability is, not at the moment, part of my life apparently. :/

Wacom's uber-protection!

About a week ago I decided it was time to get a few new nibs for my Wacom Intuos 2 pen that I've had for a good, oh...4 years now?

I had replaced the nib once several years ago but I've noticed a definite wearing down of the current one and decided my poor pen needed a new nib.

Surprisingly, ordering from Wacom directly is cheaper than going through other sites. At least that's my experience. I was able to purchase 5 nibs for about $5 and no shipping fee. Pretty good deal.

I got them mainly because I've noticed my line quality is a bit too heavy , versus when I use my boyfriend's Intuos 3. I'm not quite sure if it's because of the nibs or just because I'm using an older model (yes, I already checked to make sure the sensitivity settings for each pen were identical.)

Anyhoo, the nibs arrived on Tuesday. I should point out that these things are about an inch long. Super tiny, but to my surprise it arrived in a large 8 1/2x11" envelope.

The entire package that Wacom packed for me:

Can you say packing overload? Each bag is bubble-wrapped filled if you can't tell.

I love the added assurance that my sturdy plastic nibs have no possible way of breaking while being transported across country. I also like that I got a few perfectly good packing bags for free.

This stands out to me since I've never gotten anything triple, no quadruple bagged before. Even when I ordered a few pieces of body jewellery, which couldn't have been any larger than the nibs, they came in the smallest bag only.

Has anyone else ordered from Wacom or another online store and received your product like this?

Also, as a bit of an aside, who here uses a Wacom tablet? What are you feelings on upgrading to an Intuos3 if my Intuos2 still functions well?