humor, nerd

The real winner: Mavis Beacon

There’s nothing like a professional typing contest to make me feel simultaneously physically superior and intellectually inferior.  I’d rather maintain my currently level of mate-ability at 77wpm than achieve a whopping 163wpm at the cost of looking like this guy:

note the hunchback and complete lack of reaction to the supportive crowd

But hey, at least he’s modest in the post-event interview, during which he keeps his eyes locked on the ground in typical anti-social nerd fashion: “Yeah, there are only uh… a few other people in the United States I’ve seen at any of these typing tests who I think are as fast as me.”

The typing test you take online is typically a paragraph about badgers or planets, but the test these guys take has crap like this thrown in occasionally: “/a/&B#R{+1}>>[Bb] = X0 – 3 + @a rooftop * 32”


I am a cylon

I crack about 50% of my knuckles on a daily basis, thumb knuckles included, so when my left thumb felt a little sore last night, I thought cracking it would help, as it has in the past.  Not so.  It got worse.

This morning it was even more tender, so I left it alone, assuming that my body can figure itself out.  I drove to work, put away my keys and as I fastened my purse closed, pain shot through my thumb.  I looked down in shock to find two tiny shards of metal embedded in my nail.  The magnet on my purse’s snap had attempted to pull them out of me.

fuck you, universe

So, first of all, WTF?!  Why is there metal in my thumb nail?  How did it get there, and how do I get it out (safely)?  I posted the following on facebook, hoping for some wisdom:

So let’s say (hypothetically) that I discovered two tiny shards of metal under my left thumb nail this morning. Let’s say (hypothetically) that applying a magnet to said nail resulted in pretty shocking pain due to said metal shards. HYPOTHETICALLY… what would I do about that?

Here’s what I got back:

-Um, go to a hypothetical hospital?
-Find a stronger magnet
-I’m pretty sure that’s how the borg started. You may need to sacrifice your thumb for the good of humanity.

A couple of people sounded honestly concerned.  The rest represented the internet accurately.

UPDATE: 10:03pm, July 18th
I’ve been giving it some thought, and it seems more likely that the magnet on my purse picked up some metal shards somehow, and that when I reached quickly toward my purse to close it, the sharp pain I experienced was me impaling myself with said shards.  I’m gonna head in to the doctor tomorrow (not today because fuck you, insurance, you’re going to be why I died of tetanus), at which point I might have to get these buggers carved out!  Yipe!  Kinda exciting though.  But not really.  I’m not looking forward to it.  What if they just point me toward the MRI, strap my hand down, and throw that sucker on?

goodness, life

UPS adventure!

I love having random adventures.  Discovering amazing little pockets of Los Angeles that I knew nothing about doesn’t happen every day; I know this city pretty well.  So I get pretty excited when I encounter something unexpected, which usually results in an…


Why is it always the case that I have adventures like this when I’m forced to go pick up a package?  This time it was a UPS facility northeast of downtown that couldn’t seem to properly deliver a box of soap from Bigelowe & Co. (for Boyfriend) that I had bought a month prior (and had already been stolen off my doorstep once).

When I got there, I discovered while waiting in the lobby these neat little rolly things they use to roll packages around with ease.

i played with them when noone was looking

On my drive there, I passed this weird little sign that said “Apothecary Fairy,” which is apparently a skin-care company that sells lotions, soaps, rubs, candles and other stinky crap to scare men out of your bathroom.

semi-legible = edgy!

I decided to pull over on my way back to investigate.  I’m so glad I did, because I discovered The Brewery, which is an ART COLONY, which I put in caps to try to keep myself from laughing when I say it or read it (to no avail).  An ART COLONY (teehee!) is (as far as I can tell) like an ant colony, but instead of ants working endlessly on unique, but in the end pointless creations, it’s people (zing!).  And they live in this area of Los Angeles I’ve never seen before.  And I’m kinda jealous, because it looks awesome.

pfft, obviously

There’s a really neat balance of metal and organic sitting around, enjoying a kind of harmony.

"oh, is there ivy taking over the building? I didn't notice; I was so busy CREATING."

Having said that, everything looks very intentionally abandoned, which I kinda hate because then it’s fake, and loses it’s mystery.  It’s like steampunk threw up all over everyone’s front lawn, then sat and rusted for a while.

seriously... what is that doing there.

But happening upon an area like this by chance was still super fun.  There was a little cafe, and this miniature grassy park area!

surely, the small stone bench at the other end was littered with cigarette butts

And a tiny rocket car!  I really wanted to ask someone about this, but I figured I was already potentially trespassing on private property just by being there, so drawing attention to the fact that I (an ordinary outsider) was taking dozens of photos of their shit was not on the menu.

i could have escaped in it! p-chow! zoom!

And a Caterpillar!  Like everything else on the property, I wondered how it had ended up there, but somehow this one totally fascinated me.  Who had driven in last?  What did they haul around?  Did it still work?  It had to weigh a ton, how would they move it?

curiouser and curiouser

And this old car! This one looks totally intentionally placed, and didn’t exactly charm the pants off me.  Old cars are just so fun to look at though, I couldn’t resist.

i like to think the palm tree and car struck up an unlikely friendship

Next to the car was a Mexican man who asked me for the time.  I said, “A las una,” then, “Puedo tomar un foto del coche?”  Hooray!  I speak the Spanish!  Watchless Mexican did not give two shits that I had mastered Spanish I, and went back to shining these pieces of copper, seemingly for an art project.

i resisted the urge to TOUCH ALL OF THEM

Near the copper-shining-Mexican was a giant piece of what can only be described as a huge piece of totally unnecessary metal machinery.  I chuckled aloud as I wondered how many people had accidentally backed up into it as they parked in one of the few official parking lots I could find.

railroad machinery?

I realized as soon as I set eyes on it that the Brewery smoke stack is a landmark I’ve seen before, though I can’t recall where.  I had suddenly found familiar ground in a wasteland of intentionally derelict buildings and pieces of Americana.

ironically, there were no brewerys nearby...

It topped off this really neat, giant building which may have honestly been a steel refinery at some point, and has actually been abandoned, as interior photos clearly showed.

free tetanus shot with every lease signing!

I found an official entrance to the compound (which distinctly said “PRIVATE PROPERTY”), and right outside, down the block was an Aikido dojo.

it too looked semi-abandoned

I threw on my hazard lights, jumped out to grab an inevitably poorly-written brochure, and drove toward a busy street, thinking my thoroughly satisfying adventure had drawn to a close.  But no!  If you had told me that the last photo I would take that day was of a giant, half-finished carousel horse surrounded by shipping crates, I would have said, “You’re crazy, Sam I Am.”

and it looked just pissed, btw

I drove a little, stopped to wander around and take some photos, then jumped back in the car to find the next out of place, rusty thing.  I was a little late to get pho with my dad in Silverlake at Pho Cafe, but it was worth it, and then I got to see my dad.

What a great adventure!

badness, goodness

Sweet disaster

om nom nom

I saw the last Harry Potter film at the Howard Hughes Center last night with about a dozen friends, and I just couldn’t get into it because of all the fucking high schoolers who couldn’t shut up to save their lives.  And I don’t say that lightly; Diminutive Roommate looked like she was about to kill someone.  So frustrating, and just super ghetto.  We don’t all need to know what you think of every fucking line of dialog, kids.  Shut.  Up.

But before that a few of us got ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s, and the lady made this little creation for one of my pals.  I had to take a photo and give her some kudos; good for her for being a little creative and making an otherwise boring and thankless job kinda fun.

goodness, martial arts, work

Good traffic

Today was supposed to be day two of Carmageddon, the weekend when the 405 closed from the 10 to the 101 for construction.  Traffic was supposed to be ridiculous, but it was… not.

I did my second freelance job in Palos Verdes today, so I was worried that I’d have to bike 15 miles down there and be all tired and gross when it came time to teach the class.  It sounds like I’m going to book another one, too.  I’m not making huge money, but getting paid five-to-ten times more per hour than I usually do is pretty sweet.


On the drive home I saw this really nice message on a freeway sign:


Japan wins… AGAIN

WTF, Japan?!  How are you still doing that?  In the US, one in ten adults is obese.  That’s ten times more per capita than Japan.  What are they doing over there?  I thought most of them worked ridiculous hours in boring office cubicles, and that there was no room to run around because they have so little land per capita.

If I ate any more ramen, rice, miso and sashimi meat, I think I would just become east Asian.  Which would be AWESOME, btw.

wow. depressing, Africa. and wtf, Afganistan?