Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Body Bugs and Cuddly Buddies

It seems every few year National Geographic does an issue on “body bugs.” These are bugs and microbes that inhabit or feed off of the human body. They insist on taking magnified photos of these nasty devils and then publishing them for the world to see. I hate this issue. Why do they think that we want to see what those nasty looking microscopic bugs that live on us look like?

Mean Bed Bug & Cuddly Bed Bug

What may be even worse than seeing these little devils up close is cuddling with them! I recently came across a manufacturer, Giant Microbes, that makes stuffed Microbes and bugs. I guess they could be educational, but can you imagine your kid calling for his Trichophyton Mentagrophytes (athletes foot) instead of his stuffed bear?

Mean Athletes Foot & Cuddly Athletes Foot

Monday, August 13, 2007


Derek has been after me to post something new and since I finished my book for the day and it is too late to make anything else out of zucchini, I decided I would take to some to introduce y'all to my Googlegänger. A Googlegänger is, of course, "the other person who shows up in Google search results when people search for you". Or, for those of us a little more egomaniacal than the modest gentleman who wrote that definintion, a Googlegänger is the person who comes up on Google when you are wasting time at work searching for yourself on the web. Some of you may already be familiar with this term; it is, however, new to me (though the act it describes is not). Isn't it satisfying to discover words for things you previously had no words for? Why just the other day I learned that the proper term for all that gobbledygook scrapbookers hang all over their pages is "embellishment." But I digress. Discovering your Googlegänger is like discovering a whole 'nother fantasy life. Usually a much more successful life, too; I am guessing this is why they turn up on search engines and the regular me doesn't. My other me is an accomplished jazz vocalist and saxaphonist, and my maiden me is an artist/educator. Sigh. I always knew I was artsy.

Will the real Liz please reveal herself?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Where would you live?

I recently read an article in National Geographic Adventure entitled “Where to Live and Play: 31 Adventure Towns.” This type of article appears at least once a year in most “outdoor” lifestyle magazines. It seems when selecting cities and towns for these features, publications don’t always take factors like employment and salary into consideration. To live in some of these places one would either have to be retired or a recreation-bum.

This article, however, led me to think about where I would like to live and work if employment/income/housing/school were not issues. This was really hard to do. The outlawed factors kept creeping into my decision process.

Here are my top 5 locations (not in specific order):

  1. Utah, any place not between SLC and Logan: what can I say, this is where family is. Plus it's one of the best states to recreate in.

  2. Jackson, WY: I hate to visit it, but I love living in it.

  3. Virginia, commutable distance from D.C.: this is where the action is and not a bad place to have fun.

  4. Las Vegas, NV: I know this seems odd, but there’s some great outdoor fun to be had in and around Vegas (read the article). Also, I can’t quite get the employment factor out of the way. I want to work for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

  5. Oregon/Montana: I can’t quite decide so I’ve given myself 6.

The weakest links in my list are Vegas and Virginia, there’s no skiing! Plus these are both based on employment. Without work considerations replace Vegas and Virginia with Oregon and Montana.

So where would you live and why?

Monday, August 6, 2007

To Hell and Back Again: The Johnson’s Tale

*corny warning: the corny level of this post has been rated medium to high and may be considered to be in poor taste*

Go to Hell! Having been to Hell and back, but not in a handbasket, we feel confident in telling you it really isn't as bad as we have been led to believe. Our friend Tami was hell bent on getting us to make the detour through Hell, Michigan on our way home from stat camp, and it was indeed a Hell of a good time.

Hell is quite a bit smaller than you might think, not nearly as hot, and seems to only have a poplulation of about ten. I always pictured it a little more crowded than that. Its number one comodity does not seem to be temptation, greed or despair, but kitsch- or maybe ice cream, but probably not so much on those cold days in Hell. The only businesses in Hell are a general store and an ice cream shop called Screams of Ice Cream, which celebrates Halloween year round. Original, huh?

I have to say that our favorite part about Hell is the apparent joy Satan’s minions take in coming up with cheesy ways of integrating the word "hell" into their interactions with Hell's tourists (not unlike our feeble attempt here). Walk into the general store: "How the Hell are you?" Get you picture taken in front on the "Welcome to Hell" sign by Satan's grounds keeper: "Okay, say 'what the hell'!” It was fun. I just wish we could have gone in the winter time when Hell freezes over.