Seeking: Superman Ice Cream

August 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm (Amusements) (, , , , , , , , )


So, I was up in Michigan recently visiting some family and made sure to partake of some superman flavored ice cream.   It’s my favorite flavor that I’ve loved since I was a kid and I’d love to be able to get it while I’m at home, here in Virginia.  The problem?  Apparently no one down here has ever HEARD of it.  I forget to ask if they’ve heard of Blue Moon as well, one of the trinity awesomeness that makes up the red, yellow, blue motif.

There are certainly website and blogs covering this, but so far, no mention of Virginia and finding it here. (pout)   For all you superman aficionados, check out www.supermanicecream.com

And, of course, if you happen to find some in VA, leave a comment. =]

 

EDIT::Found it at a little place called the Fudge Factory in historic Fredericksburg, VA!

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Vroom, vroom

July 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm (/rant, Lessons Learned) (, , , , , , , )


So, my car is dead and gone. She died abruptly and it was shattering. I, on the other hand, was wearing a seatbelt and a corset (the old style with cords and steel boning – don’t judge me) and suffered really minor damage to my body… or so I thought. My corset prevented bruised kidneys and broken ribs, but nothing could protect my soft, fleshy skin from the searing heat of my airbag. So there I am, a second degree burn slowly eating away layers of my skin, when I come back to my senses to get the car out of the way of traffic. (95 Southbound on a weekday is hell.) I’m shaken up, and of course, my phone battery has gone on hiatus. I get out of the car and face the guy that cut me off and slammed on his brakes. His wiry frame, curly hair, wide eyes… I just fed my car to a teenager in an SUV. Damn.

Anyways, I’m using his cell phone (which I somewhat demanded from him, and he was only too happy to give me) to call the appropriate people, and the cops, ambulance, and fire truck arrive. I’m calm now, more angry than anything. (Ever been on 95 South at 6pm? I just wanted to get the hell home.) I decline to go to the hospital and I think everything is fine. I’m breathing on my own, walking on my own, nothing broken… I’m good. I’m really good, actually, and I just want to go home.

Fast forward twelve hours… Oh god, my left shoulder feels like it was run over by a cement truck. Guess I’m not going to work tomorrow morning…Crap. Anyways, two weeks later, here I am at physical therapy. I’ve been convinced so far that I’m fine and probably making a big deal out of nothing – being a baby, as it were. My doctor, friends, and physical therapist protest this view, of course. It wasn’t until my first physical therapy session that I realized I had substantial nerve damage. When you can’t move your neck to look over your shoulder, something’s wrong. Also, when you can’t raise your arm over your head without your hand going numb – generally not a good thing. So I have six more weeks of therapy. Awesome.

On the upside, I bought a sweet new car and got a great deal on it. I have automatic locks and windows now, mang! My new car’s name: Carmine. I’ll explain that. Carmine is a deep red color – that’s a tribute to my deceased red car. It also has the word ‘car’ in it, which makes me giggle.

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Aww, what a cute little spawn.

June 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm (Lessons Learned) (, , , , , , )


A friend of mine just became a father last week.  I’m more than a bit surprised given that the last time I saw him (granted, this was years ago), he was something of a playboy and couldn’t hold a steady relationship to save his life.  I wished him and his girlfriend congratulations and a healthy baby boy.  He was telling me about her 14 hours in labor and how as soon as her water broke, she got an epidural so ‘it wasn’t THAT bad’ (his words).  I have a feeling of deep cynicism and skepticism of what ‘that bad’ is for a woman pushing a life from between her thighs from the perspective of a man who has no idea what such a thing is like.  Although to be fair, I’ve no idea myself and I don’t attempt to discern such a thing.  I think to do so would be an insult to the women who have gone through such a painful ordeal. (At least, I imagine it to be incredibly painful.  If you’ve had a happy-fun-labor, I’d love to hear about it)

Anyways, he’s telling me about this wonderful little creature and showing all of facebook the kid’s pictures.  I smile and am happy for my friend.  It seems like he’s very happy with his fledgling family.

Then the ugly green monster rears its head.

He’s found the woman he’s going to spend his life with… he’s got progeny and the chance to raise and shape this little life.  It seems like such a wonderful thing.  I haven’t managed either one of those things.  Indeed, I’d rather they happen in a specific order, but even finding a boyfriend would be nice.  I read the 100 Cups of Coffee blog to reassure myself that I am not alone in the seemingly algae and fungus-filled pool of dating potentials.  I’m sure any mother or father would tell me to wait and enjoy my time without the obligations of family.  Indeed, I’d go back and tell my childhood self the same about work.  It seems like being content in your life is elusive and hard sought.  So I live my motherhood vicariously through my friends’ and sisters’ kids until I manage to find someone worth creating a family with.  I have high hopes, but they are buried under the failures of a dozen relationships.

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Kindle vs Nook vs Sony e-reader Comparisons

May 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm (Amusements) (, , , , , , , )


So I just bought a Nook and I absolutely love it.

I actually spent a few hours debating on Kindle v Nook v Sony e-reader. Kindle’s ebook format is proprietary, which means that they can only display their particular file format. The Nook, however, uses the open-source .epub format that most colleges, libraries, etc use in their ebooks. That lets me get books from anywhere, not just Amazon. Not to mention that the Nook has a touchscreen at the bottom instead of the rather emcumbersome qwerty keyboard that the Kindle has. The Kindle is just a little faster than the Nook, but I expect that issue to get better as new software updates are released for the Nook.

As far as the Sony e-reader, I actually got to play with one over at Borders, but the pocket edition was very small screen-wise. I didn’t care for it. IF I wanted the bigger one, it was a touchscreen. Because of the extra layer on the screen, it gave off something of a glare – plus touchscreens tend to eat battery, especially if it’s a large screen.

I like the nook as well for it’s size and weight. It’s about the same height and length of the Kindle, but it’s definitely thicker and a little heavier. It makes me feel like I’m not going to snap the thing in half; It’s also priced the exact same as a Kindle so that wasn’t a particular consideration. Sony’s was definitely much cheaper, but I’m leery about buying something cheaply if I’m going to use it a lot. My Nook has seen near constant use since I got it.

Plus you can change the screensavers and background images, put MP3s on it, use it to surf the web via WiFi, and purchase books using their 3G network. It’s a pretty handy little device.

Putting books on it is really easy too, although I’ve taken to using a tool called Calibre as opposed to just drag-and-dropping the books into the folders. Oh! It also displays PDFs. Pretty cool. And, because I’m somewhat OCD, I want all my books formatted correctly, so I can go in with a tool called Sigil and edit the text in a WYSIWYG format. This comes in handy when a PDF doesn’t display as nicely as you’d like it to, or if you write your own chapters and want them on your Nook.  It makes it really nice if you’re writing a few stories yourself and find yourself wanting to re-read them. (Like me)

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Review: The Importance of Being Earnest

April 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm (Amusements) (, , , , , , , , , )


I had the incredible pleasure of going to see the play The Importance of Being Earnest this last weekend. A dear friend of mine was playing Gwendoline Fairfax and so another friend, Scott, and I drove 8 hours to go see her. I was not disappointed. Having never heard of the play before, I was somewhat wary of being bored to death after a long car ride. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only was it very well acted, but intelligently funny. I sincerely enjoyed the plotline, especially the character of Lady Bracknell. Indeed all the players in this comedy were wonderful, all the way to the butler at the Country Manor who rarely spoke, but very clearly and adamantly expressed his indignance and willingness to beat Algernon-as-Earnest for leering at Cecily. All in all a wonderful performance and a great experience. I think I may have a newfound interest in theatre. =]

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Courtesy is a Lost Art

April 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm (/rant) (, , , , , , , )


I’ve heard of this new wave in rudeness toward another person where you’re dating them and decide, for whatever reason, that it’s not going to work.  Now,  I’m familiar with the ’email breakup’ where I didn’t realize until two weeks after he dumped me that we weren’t together cause I didn’t check my email.  Also, the long voicemail where they were just too much of a coward to speak to me in person.  I’m also familiar with the ‘text breakup’ where the entire thing is conducted ‘in-digital.’

What takes the cake in rudeness is this, fresh off the ‘lack of class’ train: a facebook breakup.   This involves minimal communication – which is just what that failing relationship needs.  I log on and – what’s this? My boyfriend’s minifeed says “So-and-so’s relationship status has been changed to ‘Single.’ ”  What? Really? Maybe I missed something. So I look for the text. Last one says “Night, hun.”  Okay, no…everything was fine as of 9:50 last night.  No voicemail.  No facebook message.  No email… That’s it.   Just that little status change is the closure I get.    Truly the courtesy of getting rejected in person is something nearing its extinction.

So what do I do?  Change my relationship to ‘Single’ and count myself lucky that I didn’t invest more time in a man as cowardly and spineless as the one who can’t confront his issues.  Next!

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Review: How to Train Your Dragon (PG)

April 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm (Amusements) (, , , , , , , , )


My gentleman and I went to see this dragon movie last night and let me just say it was fantastic. I haven’t seen a kids’ movie in awhile, and I was just slightly worried that it would contain that kind of low, slapstick humor that so many of the cartoons of now have. I was not disappointed. The humor was dry and the jokes felt original and unforced. The main character, Hiccup (an amusing Viking name if I ever heard one) is a great hero for kids to relate to while still being enough of a hero to be interesting. However, I must say that my favorite character was not the girl (whose name I can’t recall at the moment) warrior who was a complete badass and a great change in the female role, but the dragon who befriends Hiccup. Inaccurately called Toothless, this dragon reminds me of the rambunctious and what I call Prima Donna side of my own cat, Navi. Its huge green eyes and hidden playful nature instantly endeared this dragon to me. Of course, Toothless isn’t so cuddly at first and scared the poor child three rows in front of me witless. It’s only at that young of an age that you scream bloody murder at a movie. Total: two frightened, screaming, terrified children carried out of the theatre. Two highly amused adults. I won’t ruin the ending for those who haven’t seen it, but the consequences of the final battle for Hiccup surprised me with its handling and its presence in a movie aimed at such a young audience. All in all a fantastic movie.

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How many designers does it take to figure out how to set up a server?

April 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm (Web Developing) (, , , , , )


Too many. Turns out, you need a server and a WAY TO GET INTO THAT SERVER from the back end in order to use PHP or SQL. SQL is a database structure to hold information. That needs to be stored on a server (not a hosting software like Apache). Then you use software to get into that server and set up apache inside it. How long did it take me to figure this out? Oh…a few days or so.

So now I know what I need to do, but I have no idea how to ask about it, or what books to look at in order to learn it.

It’s quite hard to ask someone when you don’t know any developers. People normally hire people with degrees in this to do it. I have to learn it on the job. Ah, well. Go, go market value.

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Why it’s important to learn about what you’re learning…

March 31, 2010 at 12:17 pm (Web Developing) (, , , , , , , )


So I’m tasked with creating a database driven website. Problem is, I’m a front-end designer. I design the look and feel and to a limited extent, the functionality. I don’t do programming. But since I’m required to do this project, I find myself buying expensive books from Borders to learn.

All was going well. I picked out this book on Java, cause I heard that that’s a good language to use for interactive websites, and was making my way through the book. And then I started to understand Java. That’s when I realized that not only did I have a long way to go toward actually using Java, but I was learning the wrong language! And of course, I’m the only person in the company that does what I do, so I can’t exactly go ask a coworker what programming language I should use for this site. So I call up my buddy Eugene from college since we majored in the same thing. Maybe he could help. Of course, he had a few ideas, but was pretty much in the same boat as me. With dawning horror I realized that none of my friends are programmers. We’re all graphic designers, photographers, and web and layout designers.

I ended up making my way downstairs to the Borders and spent some time looking at the programming books, looking for basically one key phrase: “Dynamic, Database-driven site.” Lo and behold, I found a book with it. It was a nice, big and friendly looking book with amusing little pictures and snazzy looking graphics and fonts. It was like the Hitchhiker’s Guide. “Don’t Panic.” ‘Alright!’ I thought excitedly, pulling the 600 page book from the shelf.

The book’s title? “Head First PHP and MySQL” For the record, I recommend the Head First series to anyone who finds normal instructional texts on the pleasure level of slamming your face repeatedly against a cheese grater.

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