Archive for March, 2009


Not sure whether Red Pen, Inc. has touched on this yet, but it’s one of my recent pet peeves.


This word appears to be the bastard lovechild of ‘guarantee’ and ‘warranty’. While ‘warrantee’ is technically a word – meaning a person to whom a warrant has been issued – it has nothing to do with purchases. If you have a 100,000 mile warrantee, he or she is probably extremely tall, horribly disfigured by sunburn and having a very hard time breathing in the vacuum of inner space.

Quote from Obama, headline from Drudge Report. I hope they both know better.

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(Note: This was actually written in a paper notebook (you know, those $1.19 laptops) about a year and a half ago, and I just recently refound it. I’m posting it here to test a theory.)

One of the strangest things about being dead is how long it takes you to become aware of it. You lie there waiting for a feeling of peace, a spectral figure with a scythe, a choir of angels, the promised fruits of your martyrdom. None materialize.

Of course, it is perhaps a malapropism to say ‘materialize’, since the first thing which /does/ strike you ┬áis that you are no longer material.

It is roughly at this point that you begin to understand just what has happened, and there swiftly follows the shock of realizing that neither your doctor nor your lawyer nor your therapist will see you. You can literally walk into their offices, jump up and down and scream at the top of your insubstantial lungs, and they will not see you.

So where is St. Peter, where are your 71 virgins? Where lies your eternal reward, be it bliss or damnation?

As with all those who have gone before, you will soon experience a wrenching of sorts as your Awareness is separated from your immortal soul, to be added to the Global Whole, a totality of understanding and insight which keeps the entropy of the Universe at bay.

Your soul will be fed back into the great system when this is done, but it will take time. During this period, you may experience the joy of making a constructive contribution to the Global Whole based on the contents of your Awareness, or the despair of the destruction which you have wrought being cast aside like unwanted chaff. It is not truly eternal, but by the time it ends, you have insufficient Awareness to perceive that.

Such, then, would be Heaven or Hell.

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Pizza is awesome

I have noticed something about my posts to this blog: I haven’t dedicated nearly enough space to discussing how awesome pizza is.

Or indeed any.

This is a travesty, about to be rectified.

A couple of nights ago, while attempting to make something L would eat, I mentioned to D that we should offer thanks to the person who first squoze a tomato and thought “hey, that felt pretty gross but I bet it would be great on food.”

I definitely think this person should be admitted to the panoply of saints, possibly advancing to seraphim levels. I doubt you can go any hier up the archy than that if you’re made of meat.

Growing up in Italy, pizza was extremely important to me. I used to eat absolutely ludicrous quantities of it, often having a pizza made to fit the largest platter the restaurant had to offer. I have since calmed (and slimmed) down, but pizza is still very much a comfort food for me.

I am not, however, as much of a purist as one would expect from said upbringing. I have no objection to Philly cheesesteak or Buffalo chicken pizzas, and am extremely tempted by the pizzeria about 20 minutes from here whose menu features a Thai curry pizza.

Typically, though, when making pizza at home it’s a more classic tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and olives kind of deal. And home-made dough, of course.

I won’t claim to have the culinary skills of Lemmonex, or of other food-bloggers I read, but my pizza is pretty darn good.

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Parenting isn’t easy. Some days you just feel adrift in a sea of tantrums and teething and stanky diapers, with no end in sight.

But there are also moments when you realize it’s all worth it.

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Tied up in Nots

I’ve seen a couple of people blogging something like this, and it seemed an interesting idea: a list of what one is not. So here goes.

I am not giving up my Britishness even though I am on the verge of being granted American citizenship. This is not to say that I’m not valuing the American citizenship also, but even though I have lived in Britain only fleetingly over the course of my life, that’s the root of my bloodline and I still feel very British.

I am not even slightly shy about talking to people. I have struck up conversations with complete strangers and reached the point of actual friendship within a short period of time.

I am not a Democrat despite my obvious leanings in a so-called “leftist” direction; I still disagree with them too much to accept the label. I won’t get into politics in this post, since I will probably end up rambling and losing sight of my other ‘nots’, but there is a ‘politics’ link in the tag cloud over on the right if you are in need of something soporific.

I am not a doctor, lawyer, engineer, historian or theologian, but this does not stop me talking about such subjects as though I know what I’m talking about. Indeed, I am very much that person who can’t quite seem to realize when the time has come to shut up. Indeed, sometimes my individual sentences seem to forget to end once their point has been conveyed.

I am not ashamed of my youthful forays into drugs and alcohol, excessive though they may have been at times. There may or may not be further stories from those days gracing these pages in the future.

I am not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of living beyond any capacity to enjoy it. I am, however, afraid of seeing those I love die.

I am not getting enough sleep a lot of the time.

I am not generally the kind of person to monopolize the couch and remote any time there’s a sports game on, and focus on that to the exclusion of all else. Having said that, there are a few cases in which I will do that, most notably international soccer games in which England are playing, or important Premiership games in which Tottenham are playing. Given that these games occur five time zones away, though, I often don’t get a chance to watch those even when they are televised Stateside.

I am not planning to fully grow up, thereby rendering the question of what I want to do when I grow up null and void. That said, the last year and a half have seen me become a father, a salaried employee and pretty soon a homeowner, so I guess I managed to find a little responsibility in here somewhere.

I am not above stealing the last line of brookem’s post on this same topic, quoted below:

I am not even close to being done with this list.

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One thousand!

It looks as though this blog saw its thousandth visitor on Monday. If I had a penny for every hit, it would look like this:

While it’s a far cry from the dizzying six-digit heights reached by global blogging megastars like Arjewtino and his ilk, it’s a nice milestone to hit. Looking forward to 10,000 next.

Unfortunately, I lack the technology to figure out precisely who my thousandth visitor was, but I hope they had fun.

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Yes, realty. That’s not a typo.


Had I gotten off my rear and posted in the last few weeks, you would know that we are working on buying a house. I’ve never bought a house, and as such there were a number of unexpected variables in the equation. </mathgeek>

The real killer, however, is the waiting between submitting an offer and receiving word back from the seller. Now, I know about offers and contracts and the like. I have been a frequent player of soccer management simulation games. So I know that when you submit an offer, the typical turnaround time is between three and four minutes. So why the hell it takes these people a day or two at a time is baffling to me.

So we’ve played the game, gone back and forth. The house is (atypically) listed below its assessed value, and perhaps that’s part of why the sellers have been clinging to their original list price. And I do mean clinging, with some serious tenacity. Like, if you can imagine a Doberman humping your leg, and if you so much as twitch it gives you that look of “I am SO gonna fuck you up if you move before I’m done here”*. But they have at least come down by roughly the price of the dishwasher we will be wanting to put in, and they’re going to take care of the couple of items we wanted dealt with as conditions on the offer.

Having said that, it’s a great house, and we can afford it at this price even if we’d have preferred to get it for less.

Here’s the kicker. After I got off the phone with the sellers’ agent to confirm the deal they were offering – and told him I’d get back to him – I walked into the cafeteria at work and saw this:

Plastic bag emblazoned with "Buy It Idiot Buy It"

In any case, we appear to be nearing an agreement of sorts. Fingers crossed!

*Comparison pertains to tenacity levels only. No actual resemblance to any person(s) should be inferred.

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