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chad slacker




6/20/04 -- This 'n' That.

hey! If you were caught up in Gmail madness last week and now find yourself with more invites than people who want them, please think about offering them up at Gmail For The Troops.

angry anime me

To your left there is Angry Anime Me. I created her using this wonderful site. And it's an uncanny likeness, if I do say so myself. Of course, I had to take some artistic liberties. I've never owned an iBook, but the site didn't have anything that looked like an aluminum PowerBook, so I had to make do. And I really do get those big spikes of rage radiating from my skull when I'm pissed about something. Really. Ask Bill. In any case, I like this Angry Anime Me even more than I liked the Angry Bird-Flipping South Park Me I created a couple of years ago (almost exactly two years to the day), so you can expect to see a lot of her in places where I can use an image avatar. Muahaha.

If you were even remotely interested in the latest weblog hoax I mentioned in the previous entry (though I don't blame you if you weren't), it appears that this person has now pulled up stakes, surrendered all her websites, and vanished. Huh. I found a comment in one of the endless discussions that I think sums up why I find this stuff so entertaining: Someone had a friend who worked at the church this blogger supposedly attended, so he was going to ask the friend if someone answering her description had ever shown up, and if so he was going to go to that church and approach her for her side of the story. But he wouldn't post anything about it unless she gave permission, because he didn't want to invade her privacy. Got that? "Once I've invaded this person's privacy, I'm not going to tell you what I found out because I don't want to invade her privacy. Or at least, I don't want anyone else doing it. Neener neener."

Today is Father's Day (in the US, at least), so I hope all the fathers in the audience are having a very happy one. This is always a weird time of the year for me. Because my dad died in 1987, I seldom remember when Father's Day is coming up until Bill mentions it or until someone who doesn't know about my dad asks me if I'm doing anything.

Maybe because Father's Day has been on my mind lately, on Friday night I had the kind of dream I haven't had in a very long time: Dad was in the kitchen of our house helping himself to some of my homemade bread, having returned from one of the business trips to Europe that he used to take around this time every year. Even though we were both aware that he was dead, nothing about him showing up in my house seemed strange. But he didn't look overwhelmingly happy to see me (nor I him, at that). He was very cold and distant. I asked him how Europe was and he said "Terrible. Everyone really hates Americans over there now." I could feel a big nasty political argument threatening to explode and I tensed up, at which point I finally woke up. What a miserable dream. The only thing I have to say for it is that this is the first time a dream like that took place somewhere other than my childhood house in Gaithersburg. I'll take that as a sign that my subconscious is truly regarding this house as home. Other than that, I'm sorry my brain decided to dredge those dreams up again; I didn't miss them a bit.

To end this on a more upbeat note, on Saturday night I tried making pasta again and this time it was a howling success. The last time, I used the KitchenAid food grinder attachment with five plastic plates that are intended to squeeze out different pasta shapes. They looked like the Play-Doh extruder toys I see in commercials, and frankly I'm not sure that a Play-Doh toy wouldn't have worked better. I also added too much water to the dough and made it too soft and mushy, so the few pasta noodles I managed to crank out stuck together in one long gluey rope. I ended up with a big pile of useless inedible glop and we ate Trader Joe's spaghetti for dinner that night. And god, what a mess; the soft dough oozed into every crevice of the attachment and made it almost impossible to take apart and clean.

So I broke down and bought the fancier metal pasta roller attachments. I also learned not to worry that the dough seemed much stiffer and drier than what I was used to from making bread dough. And not only did the fettuccine come out perfectly, but it was a heck of a lot of fun to do. So much so that Bill came in and helped me roll out the long sheets of dough and feed them through the cutter attachment. It really wasn't all that different from goofing around with a Play-Doh toy, but the end result tasted much better. We finished cooking the pasta, poured some wine, and sat down to eat and watch "Best in Show" with a ridiculous but satisfying sense of accomplishment.