Thursday, October 22, 2009

it's kapgar's fault...

... that my neighbours might think I'm crazy. I was laughing out loud at 6:45am! Many times!!

Here's what started it:

Then I moved to the Food Court version:

"He's the most singingest janitor I've ever seen!"

So what's this all about? These two are among the nearly 100 "missions" carried out by Improv Everythere -- with a tagline of We Cause Scenes, you will find they are not limited to musicals - they've had a 5-minute Frozen Grand Central Station, and hold an annual No Pants Subway Ride, for example. While usually occurring only in the New York area, there was a North America tour of the mp3 experiment (see Toronto & Chicago editions).

Very cool.

Here's another. I roared with laughter at around the 1:00 mark (getting pulled by the "dog") and 1:30 mark (walking a whole bunch of them!). Be prepared!

Hope this got ya laughing!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday #20 (my #1)

I was prompted to participate in Music Monday today, thanks to a tweet by Miracle Laurie (you may know her as Mellie / November in Dollhouse) that pointed me in the direction of the song used as the theme for Dollhouse. ... it's kinda weird to be hearing words instead la-la-la-laaas (and they are eerie lyrics!)! Anyways, so here is Jonatha Brooke with What You Don't Know featuring the unofficial Dollhouse video. Enjoy!

I'm hoping Joss Whedon will at least be able to finish off Season 2 before FOX cancels the show (yes, it's just a matter of when, not if) ... to help, please watch Dollhouse on hulu or at

(I think I'm supposed to get some code from MckLinky, but don't know how... in the meantime, do drop me a line in your comments to point me in your Music Monday direction, kthnks!)

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Foody Friday: Cornbread!

Inspired by Kim's Chili and Cornbread post, I gave in to the call of carbs and fixed us some cornbread this week. (Chili is also in the works, maybe I'll do & write it up next week -- this cold weather is pretty much demanding for chili to be made and consumed!).

It was left a bit too long - we were too caught up reattaching the oven handle to its door!

Me being me, I experimented a bit, using Kim's vegan recipe and other variations I found at as guidelines, not instructions. The main variation was the addition of two heaping tablespoons of a hot giardiniera relish and what was probably 1+ cup of shredded 4-type mexican-style cheese.

It was steaming hot and yummy good!

The bread certainly had some zing to it thanks to the aforementioned hot giardiniera relish, but the only viewable proof of its presence was the occasional red strip of pepper. No sign of its green counterpart. Weird.

I couldn't identify the presence of cheese: perhaps if I'd used sharp cheddar?

A strip of red pepper skin lies in wait within the cornbread-with-bite

I've got enough cornmeal for perhaps another two batches of cornbread: if anyone has a favourite cornbread recipe you'd like to share or would like me to experiment with, feel free to point me their way in the comments, k?

In the meantime, have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pssst! Spread the Word!!

. . . . . .

I have three great causes I'd like to do my small part in spreading the word about. Please read on!!

First: Help a PhD student!
    Who: Adam at ah ok lah and Adam Ok Dot Net
    What: needs A LOT of respondents to answer his survey thus providing vital and valuable information for his PhD research looking at consumers' perception of blogs.
    Where: click on the link at the top of his My Research Methodology post
    What's in it for you: for every survey completed, Adam donates 50p to Cancer Research UK. He also has a £100 cash prize and some certificates to give away to lucky respondents.

    Adam is one of my early blog buddies, and I really like that he's pursuing an advanced degree studying the blogosphere and its perceptions. You don't have to be a blogger to help -- you just need to have been reading blogs for more than a year. So please swing by and answer his questionnaire, k?

Next: Help purse-less students in Springfield!
    Who: MochaMomma
    What: Calling for your unused / no longer used small (8.5" x 11" max) purses (a.k.a. handbags), which will be sold cheap to female students who can't afford / find purses of a size that's allowed in her school.
    Where: Read more about it at One Small Thing. One Small Purse (its GENIUS tinyURL:
    What's in it for you: you get to reduce the clutter of unused purses/bags in your closet ~and~ do good at the same time!

    If you've only read just a post or two of MochaMomma's blog, you will already know that she writes beautifully, and that she CARES. Her heart is THIS BIG! So while the plight of purse-less high school girls is not one I have experienced personally (the difference between Malaysian and US schools is really huge!), MochaMomma does a great job explaining why this is something that would make a difference to her female students.

    ... of course, if you know ~me~ you'll also know that I don't do purses/handbags, that I am the epitome of fashion and purses – NOT! The only semi-fashionable/decent one I ever had was a leather backpack styled thing which broke, is now fixed but waiting for me in Switzerland... so in the meantime, I’ve been making do with a 13-year old fanny pack... yes you read that right. Fanny pack. 13 years old. Oh yeah. That’s me!

    So I'll be just donating some cash instead. Some are volunteering to make purses to be given/sold. Others want to just go out and buy some for this effort. There are plenty of ways to participate. I hope you do. :)

Finally: Help Heifer International!
    Who: Fantastic fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss
    What: Pat is giving people a chance to get their names into his second book The Wise Man's Fear while raising funds for his fave charity Heifer International.
    Where: See his So You Want to Be a Hero? post for ALL the details
    What's in it for you: Your name (or a name created by you) might appear in Pat's next book! And you do good by helping needy families worldwide obtain a goat, cow or other livestock.

    Patrick Rothfuss is one of the newer generation of authors who not only has a blog, but interacts a lot with his readers and fans there, and on facebook. He even visited one of my pottery albums and left a message! He's also not shy about being silly (who else would have the cojones to wear such an item, let alone endorse a caption contest for this image??!). And I do like the principle of Heifer International, which I had never heard of until he ran his first fundraising effort for it last year -- I admit, I entered/donated just for the change to get at some of the swag offered, but don't mind not having won anything, the $$ went to a good cause.

    And in case you're not keen on parting with your dough, but want a chance at getting your name in the book, there's also a "no purchase necessary" method of joining this raffle - read the post with all the details, k?

I thank you for your time, and hope you will at least consider following-up with one, two or all three featured bloggers and their causes. And no, I'm getting no kickbacks from this, I just want to do my part to spread the word... it is Blog Action Day after all, even if this doesn't talk about climate change.

Image Credits:

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

R2D2 in Springfield!

Back in May 2007, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the debut of Star Wars, the United States Postal Service had a stroke of major creative genius and converted a select few of their mailboxes into R2D2.

I was reminded of these nifty mailboxes last week when I scoured sxc and flickr for images of Malaysian, Swiss and US mailboxes to complement a post about World Post Day, and was pretty geeked out by how cool these R2D2 mailboxes were.

Way back when, I had heard rumour that one such mailbox was somewhere in Chicagoland: seeing as we're at the end of 2009, I figured all R2D2 mailboxes had since been transformed back into their 'usual' colors, and I kicked myself for not having looked for one when I had the opportunity.

... so imagine how overjoyed I was to stumble upon R2D2 here in Springfield!!

Pity about the graffiti, though.

Have they no respect?!!

If you want to see this for yourself, head on over to downtown Springfield: R2D2 will be waiting for you on the south west corner of 5th and Washington.


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cat Tales: hissy fit update

If you recall, the other day I typed at y'all about our cat's hissy fits in relation to visiting outside cats ... so guess what sight greeted me this morning as I was about to leave to meet some Springfield Tweeters and Bloggers?!

Yes, there she is, on her favourite perch, totally unfazed that Cat#2 is lounging around on our back porch!

OMG, cat... You decided you like visitors now? Or does the closed window "solve" the batting and scent problems?

"Why u clutching at your eyes, mommy?"

... because I rolled my eyes at you so hard they hurt!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

under construction ~again!~

Okay I finally got tired of my half-done template with one too many columns... please bear with me as I get things back in order!

Green Hard Hat by melodi2

Template credit: The Greenery Template by

Header image credit: adapted from DualScreen Wallpaper by the folks at OurBlogTemplates.

As much as i ~heart~ OurBlogTemplates, I do wish they'd go back and fix their older templates, so that I don't have to do the following every time I switch:

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cat Tales: hissy fits

This morning, the cat had a huge case of the hissy fits.

This had happened once before, and it had been really disconcerting for me to be jolted out of bed by loud thudding in the back room. Kosh had been closer by when it happened, and reported he'd heard hissing too. The cat was totally freaked out, tail all poofed up and all. Based on the sound, we wondered if the cat had trapped herself in one of the many boxes and freaked herself as she struggled to get out.

A few days later, we found out the real reason:

During another hissy fit, Kosh caught sight of a cat batting at our cat through the window screen! That was the thudding sound we had heard ... well that and the noise made by our cat freaking out on the window sill, batting back and retreating.

I'll have to check with Kosh about the outside cat's coloring, because now I'm not sure which of today's two visitors that one was.

That's right.

This morning, this orange tom came a-visiting, stalking up almost to the window as our cat hissed up a storm, scaring the bejeesus out of me as I sat nearby.

The sight of me halted the tom before he reached the window; after engaging me in a staring contest (he won, of course), he then retreated to the stairs where he proceeded to ignore me, back turned, while our poor cat sniffed and sniffed the air coming in through the window for his scent, hissing every once in a while, and overall acting quite put out.

But then Mr Orange Tom left, so the cat and I settled back to our preferred locations - she on the window sill, and me at the computer 2 feet away from her.

The next thing I know there are loud yowls and thudding screens and our radio tumbles down as the cat scrambles away from yet another visitor, this time a darker striped cat.

Not sure if it was male, this one - it didn't immediately strike me as male, anyway. Silly me, I tend to observe the shape of the face and hips, instead looking for the telltale balls!

So with this visitor, our cat was extremely frazzled. In the end, she stalked off to the front of the apartment. Don't blame her at all, heck ~i~ had a case of major heart thumpage going on just from having been closeby when it all went down!

Figuring the poor thing could do with some attention -- once she'd calmed down, that is! -- I ended up giving her about 30mins of lap time accompanied by major purrage (her, not me!) while I watched some tv.

She's not come back to the window sill yet, though.

Poor thing.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

an update from Springfield, IL

The naranek household has been in Springfield for almost a month!

... so, what have we got to show for it?

On the social front, Kosh and I met up with Mocha Momma again (we'd met once, a little over a year ago, at Davecago; she'd also helped me stay slightly sane while doing the apartment hunting!). We should have met more/other Springfield twitterers but were a little late getting there :p Hopefully time will be on our side next time!

After the meet-up, we walked around a bit of downtown historical Springfield: we'd missed the Farmers Market, but there were plenty of other booths due to the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival going on that weekend. I'll be doing a small write-up of this at a malaysian abroad soon, stay tuned!

Later that day, we also dropped by one of Kosh's colleagues who had invited folks over to watch some college football game. By the time we got there (do you see a trend here?!), the score was 0 - 30 so the 6 or 7 couples who were there were just chatting over hors d'oevres instead. It was a bit painful. Didn't help that almost all the ladies were in various stages of pregnancy: guess what the main topic of conversation was? :p

... and in case you were keeping track, yes, all that happened in the one day, LoL! What about all those other days we've had since getting here? They've been spent slowly unpacking and settling in: partly procrastination, partly strategy to not activate my allergies.

Here's the pile of "to be whittled down one box at a time whenever Kosh has the time" boxes that's taking up a whole bunch of space in what is the dining room (or extended kitchen) area. Most other boxes are pretty much unpacked and torn down already, and this place is certainly coming along well.

More, better, photos to come.. later... In the meantime: have a great weekend!

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