Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've gotten used to using Facebook--I've integrated it into my nearly-daily life. I check it in the morning, I check it in the evening (ain't we got fun?) and I believe my 90 (90?!?) friends care what I have to say.

I started using it at the behest of a friend--I wanted to lurk, but signing up gives you a page, and I started getting friend requests IMMEDIATELY. Not that I'm all that popular, but there they were. So there was no going back.

Now I'm getting used to the fact that the pronouncements I make while sitting in my pajamas at the computer are broadcast out to people who READ them. And probably extrapolate from them. Sometimes I forget that I made such a pronouncement when asked about it in real life

My goal? To never post a TGIF. Or take a quiz with the question, "Favorite karaoke song?"


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Elevator Story

I was listening to the commencement speech by Robert Krulwich at the California Institute of Technology today, and it reminded me of a story. If you don't listen to the podcast, the takeaway is that if scientists don't find some way to tell regular people about the work they do--their elevator story--then science will suffer.

One of my good friends is married to a man who works at NASA. A rocket scientist, if you will. One evening, at a party, I asked about a project he had worked on that was written up in the paper. Now, maybe he was tired of making conversation. Maybe he's incapable of abstracting up what they do at NASA. Maybe he had had enough of that project. But what he said to me was, "You wouldn't understand it."


If they could write it up in the newspaper (6th grade reading level, typically), I can understand it. Now I take great pleasure in mentioning to him that rocket science isn't exactly brain surgery. And neither is making small talk with non-engineers. But I think, like Robert Krulwich, that anyone involved in science needs to be able to tell their story to the average person in this day and age of the assault on science. Creationists should *not* get away with saying, "Evolution is *just* a theory", without the rebuttal that so is gravity, but we're not flying off the face of the earth. Science needs it elevator stories to defend itself!

Now, I must admit I have not always been the wisest person with the elevator story. My first programming job was as a contractor at a bank, and my uncle asked what I was doing. So I gave him the spiel. I'm working on a check reconciliation project--after a check is sorted but before it is posted, many are lost and blah blah blah on and on. I think I even explained what check kiting is.

Now, my uncle is a banker. Had been for over 30 years when he asked me this question, and he had the social grace to walk away, leaving me to realize what I'd done much, much later and still live with that mortification. But you better believe that if I had told him, "You wouldn't understand", he would have sat me down and made me explain it until he did.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eating Away At My 15 Minutes of Fame

I'm famous--or infamous--in the blogosphere! Check it out--go ahead, I'll wait. The result of another brouhaha on my moms group list that I moderate. (Grudgingly and sparingly--I did it for way to long already and am trying to extricate myself, but I happened to be online when this hit the fan.) Can you guess which one was me? Yes, I'm the site's webmaster who all but busted out the belt. If I'd known I was going to be famous, I'd have spent a bit more time on it--I copied a warning I had to send out last year when someone else got snarky on the list.

The interesting thing is that it's from a political blog. I thought it would have made the SFGate's parenting blog, The Poop. (Dirty laundry from our list has been reported there already; the train wreck that started with a question about playground etiquette--namely, can you have foreign-speaking people deported when their kid pushes yours?)

Do you know what else is great about the internet? It takes everything literally! I was looking on the SFGate site for The Poop blog, and a search on "the poop" yielded these sponsored links:
Poop Deals in your Neighborhood at Incredible Prices.

Relax. Take a deep breath. We have the answers you seek.

Ratings of the top 3 colon cleansers. Feel lighter and energetic.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Can't talk now? Don't answer!

Now that I'm back at work, one of my pet peeves is coming to the forefront. Have you ever called someone and had them answer the phone is a very muted voice by saying, "I can't talk now."? Guess what, buddy, that's what the 'Ignore' button is for. DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE IF YOU CANNOT TALK. The entire phone conversation interaction is predicated on the understanding that YOU CAN TALK. Guess what voice mail is for?

I love to tell these people that I'll just call back and leave a voice mail.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stupid Internet

So I'm back at work, and the usual issues crop up trying to get everything set up. I'm having trouble with my email--they changed the name of my mailbox--and they sent me the change via email. Which led to the scintillating conversation that went something like this:

"I'm having trouble getting to my email."

"Yeah, I sent you the changes we made."

"I didn't get the changes."

"Why not? I sent them last week."


"Oh, right. You didn't get my email?"

So then the dude takes over my computer courtesy of the magic that is the internet and gets me up and running. And I feel smug and superior until later that evening, when I'm getting ready for bed, and I realize I've been wearing my underwear inside out all day.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

eBay's Slippery Slope

It all starts so innocently--you find that your favorite online shoe store dumps their excess stock through an eBay store, and you score some great shoes, after learning that NIB means 'New In Box'. Then you start looking for vintage boots, and nab some awesome Lucchese boots. "Vintage" does mean previously worn, of course, but only in a cool way. Not in an someone's-actual-toes-touched-these-already. And then you forget about that whole NIB thing, and find the pair of sandals you really wished you bought yourself for the summer, and when they arrive, you discover you've bought someone else's shoes. As in they have someone else's toe marks in them.

And they go straight to the Goodwill pile.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

I love this kind of stuff--this was posted to my mom's group (with over 2000 members online). It says volumes about her, her relationship with her sister-in-law, and her plans for her child's future behavior--all in two paragraphs! Thanksgiving must be a real treat at their house.

SUBJECT: Is this deviant behavior for a just-turned-6 year old?

Recently my sister in law (an attorney) recounted to a group of family members that one afternoon, she left her kids alone for a few minutes to check her email. When she came back, her son (just turned 6) tried to convince her to drink something he had prepared for her. Her daughter (just turned 4) was also present during this. My sister in law said that something about her son's demeanor made her think something fishy was going on, so she asked the kids to drink it first. They said no. She said she almost drank it ("I thought maybe they had mixed some lemonade or something!") but then decided not to because the kids were acting odd. About 10 minutes later, the 4 year old came to her and confided that the 6 year old had in fact urinated in a cup and it was urine that he was presenting to his mother and trying to get her to drink.

My own mother (the child's grandmother) and I were horrified by this story. This little boy JUST turned 6. Grandma was an elementary school teacher for almost 30 years and she called this behavior "deviant." Should we be concerned or are we overreacting?


Sunday, April 29, 2007


I was outed last night. At an evening out at a wine bar with some other moms, it was revealed that I have a blog. This one, as a matter of fact. It's all a bit hazy, thanks to the 'squeaky clean citrus' of the Rebholz, the 'Merlot that is not a Bordeaux', and the Madeira that I mispronounced as 'Ma-dee-era'.

Yes, it was a good night.

My friend Laura had a confession to make--she'd never heard of blogs. It came up at the party she was at before, when she said she had to leave to meet me and someone said they read my blog. (Or maybe it didn't start with me, but hey, it's my blog and EVERYTHING is about me!) And that's when it came out--a San Franciscan (native, no less) married to a man who has an entire room devoted to all things computer-related, doesn't know what a blog is.

Well, Laura, this is what a blog is! A way to make fun of your friends online!


Monday, January 22, 2007

On The Internet No One Knows You're a 10

Over Thanksgiving I was shopping and found a pair of jeans I liked. The store didn't have any more, do I decided to use the power of the internet. I find the jeans and order them in 3 different colors. (As different as blue denim can be in colors called "Eve", "Ocean", and "Serenity".)

They arrive, and I begin wearing them. (Notice how I don't mention trying them on? A little foreshadowing.) I feel as though I've put on the average American's 7 pound weight gain over the holidays rather quickly, however. And then one day, while doing laundry, I notice I've got 3 pairs of jeans that are a size too small.

Why do I blame the internet? Because nobody knows your size on the internet--I can be 5'6" and 110 pounds on the internet, and that's apparently how I ordered these jeans.


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