Saturday, January 30, 2010

We know where you live.......

I have an Internet stalker. It's

The other day, I was on that site, looking at the page for a particular toy. A friend had sent me the link. Two days later, Amazon is sending me emails, saying things to the effect of, "Ooooh! We know you like TOYS! Check out all the TOYS you can get on our site today! Look! We're having a special on these TOYS, but you better hurry, as the deals are today only, and we don't want you to miss out because we know you like TOYS so much!" [This email may have been paraphrased slightly.]

Amazon, you're kind of freaking me out. First of all, how is visiting a single page for a single toy any indication that I have a toy obsession? Okay, I may have actually looked at the page twice, on two separate occasions (how is it my fault my friend has that toy on the brain?), but still -- one toy, two times -- not quite a symptom of toy mania. Amazon's dubious tactics for determining my tastes notwithstanding, they're clearly watching my every move. They're looking for signs of weakness, ready to take me down. They're onto me. Have they bugged my house? Do they have an eye on all my loved ones? Should I be going into hiding?

I think Facebook might be spying on me too. The ads on that site love to flaunt the fact that they know my age and gender. "You're a 26-year-old female? Cool! You're eligible to spend 3 hours clicking through ads, then spend a million dollars completing 400 sponsor offers in order to earn a 200$ gift card to a fabulous store!" [This ad may have been paraphrased slightly.]

Although not quite so paranoia-inducing, the "suggestions" on Facebook operate on a similar principle, and make me roll my eyes in a similar way. "So-and-so only has 10 friends on Facebook! Suggest friends for her!" Yes, I suppose it's not unreasonable for Facebook to know exactly how many friends each of my friends has, and to even want me to help them connect with other friends. I suppose that's what you should expect from a social networking site. However, I think Facebook has enabled some people to take their social networking just a little too far. For the good of humanity, I think Facebook should add the following recommendation to its repertoire: "So-and-so has 1,428 friends on Facebook, and counting! Suggest an intervention for her!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

From Zoot to...

It has been 3 weeks since the arrival of my silver Subaru. It is absolutely imperative that this vehicle receive a name, because otherwise, every time I talk to it, I will call it Zoot. Hauntings and/or identity crises will surely ensue.

So, for the past three weeks, I've been pondering the appropriate moniker for my new car. The process has been going slowly, because I typically only use the car once a week--incidentally, that is also the reason that the battery died, after I left an interior light on for days in a row.

Sometimes, I look at it out my bedroom window, asking it questions like, "Boris?" (No, that was already a fish.) "Wanda?" (No, I don't really want to.)

But in all these ruminations, one name keeps popping back into my head. Axolotl.

Clearly, this is the name for my new car. It makes perfect sense. Since Axolotls look like this:

(Copyright info for this image is on Wikimedia Commons)

And my car looks like this:

See the similarity? I don't.

But you gotta do what you gotta do. Axolotl it is.

Here's to many more months of happy driving and no more dead batteries.

*Edit February 20: I renamed the car again. See the new post about its new name.*

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I know, I know, it's been a while since I wrote last, but my heart just hasn't been in it since I lost my trusty little sidekick. Also, I'm just plain lazy.

Since I last wrote, I have acquired new wheels. Here's a picture. This is my new Subaru Forester.

Mom just sent me the title this week, which means it's really mine! It also means I am going to have to register it in Maryland soon, a prospect which does not excite me.

As a self-proclaimed tree-hugger, I wasn't too thrilled about driving around an SUV, but you take what you can get. And what I got was pretty spiffy. Sunroof, heated seats, and best of all, storage space, storage space everywhere! If you're at all familiar with my tendency toward compulsive tidiness, you will know that this particular aspect of the new vehicle pleases me to no end. In fact, I was getting all ready to relinquish my bad attitude and fall in love with the car, until I went out this afternoon to put some stuff inside it, and the doors wouldn't unlock. (Electric locks--pshaw--I could definitely live without that little luxury.)

Well, I went around to the driver door--the only one with a keyhole, unlocked it manually, and tried, with some trepidation, the unlock button on the inside. Nothing happened. With a little more trepidation, I put the key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing. Not a grumble, not a click. It seems the battery is completely dead, and I have no idea how it happened.

Two weeks of ownership, and my new car is already incapacitated. It's like having a Neon all over again. Now comes the embarrassing moment when I have to ask strange neighbors if they will give me a jump start. And with me not even knowing how to open the hood.