Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Xmas stuff

Well, my little brother G- finally made it here, after 11 days of travel from Afghanistan. And then, of course, his luggage got lost. Gotta love flying during the holidays.

The next day we finally did our whole family Xmas thing- we figured that this was the first time in at least 5 years that all three of us kids have been together for Xmas. My brothers J- and G- spent some quality time playing Madden on XBox- that really brought back memories, as they used to spend hours playing that game when we were younger. J-'s wife T-, in the background, looks totally thrilled, but I guess I just enjoyed seeing my brothers hanging out together again.

And Santa was good to me, present-wise, as well: check out this awesome coffee table book on Norwegian Black Metal (and thanks to S- who several months ago told me about this book so I could put it on my Amazon wish list).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Made it just over the border into Indiana today, before the black ice conditions forced me to stop for the night. Listened to all kinds of tunes on the way- Tricky, Gorgoroth and Bloodhound Gang, how's that for variety?

Tonight I'm staying at a Hampton Inn. I pay more than I should because they have an awesome breakfast spread.

For dinner I had McDonald's and a couple of beers. Now I'm watching a TV show about morbidly obese people. I'm going to get a gym membership next spring, I swear.

Here's a silly-ass Bloodhound Gang video that inspired me to buy a couple of their albums last night. Be sure to listen carefully to the lyrics. And, I think the singer is pretty cute, go figure. Over and out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

New glasses

Having broken my old glasses in an unfortunate incident (note to self: do not set glasses on bed prior to a roll in the hay), I bought some new ones this week. They're basically the same as the old ones but with a heavier, more purplish frame. They probably cost more than my car is worth, but what the hell, I like them.

The heart wants what it wants

It's a phrase that has been going through my head a lot lately, especially as I consider some of the choices (mistakes?) I've made in my past.

See how thoughtful I look in the photo above? That's because I'm considering this awesomely deep topic while I suck down a smoke in the bizarrely spring-like weather we're having today. And what does my heart want right now? It wants a big bowl of Eby's Butterfinger ice cream. Especially if it has a little statue of a viking on top.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Availability of quality music videos

When I was in high school, the only place to see metal videos was on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, which was on Saturdays from 10pm- 1am, as I recall. Even then, you pretty much had to sit through two hours and forty-five minutes of shit and maybe you would get a Sacred Reich or Coroner video at the end (above is my fave Coroner video from those days). As a result, Headbanger's Ball was more of an excuse for me to invite guys over so we could make out on the couch, than a way to find out about new bands (sorry Mom and Dad!). Word of mouth was the primary way to find new tunes, and bootlegged concert videos were about the only visual accompaniments.

Now, thanks to YouTube, I can watch all kinds of super hardcore black metal stuff and about anything else I could possibly want to listen to. And I do like to watch big Norwegian guys shake their manes around while screaming about Satan, too. Take these two videos, for instance: you would never find Gorgoroth or Cradle of Filth looking all awesome like this on stupid MTV.

And believe me, there are hundreds more videos like this to peruse. I'm glad I finally figured this out, as I'm finally kind of getting bored with playing Rock Band 2, and I need another evening unwinding activity to replace it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Musings on a horror flick

Over break, my brother J- continued a long tradition of playing awesome horror movies for me; this time around we saw the Quentin Tarantino/ Robert Rodriguez flick "Death Proof." There was a lot of your typical Tarantino back-and-forth witty dialog, punctuated by some of the most well-done gore I have seen in ages. For example, the above clip is the big car accident scene, and I must have watched it 20 times by now. It's awesome.

I was thinking though, that there is a very appropriate and excellent song that is missing from Tarantino's otherwise great soundtrack choices: "Highway Star" by Deep Purple. I mean, the lyrics are perfect for describing the "Death Proof" car:

Nobody gonna take my car
Im gonna race it to the ground
Nobody gonna beat my car
Its gonna break the speed of sound
Oooh its a killing machine
Its got everything
Like a driving power big
Fat tyres and everything

Better yet would be the Type O Negative cover (I know, I'm a rock heathen). Click above and savor the greatness, would you please?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Goodbye noon whistle

The town I grew up in had a huge fire/tornado siren in the parking lot of the city hall, which also happened to be just a few hundred feet from my family's house. The whistle also went off every day, except Sunday, at noon; it was absolutely deafening, and our poor little dog Skipper would howl and bark whenever it went off.

When I came back to visit for T-Day, it was lying in pieces on the ground; dismantled and ready to be disposed of. Apparently my little hometown has grown so much that the whistle is no longer loud enough to alert firefighters who live at the outskirts of town- I suppose pagers are a more efficient solution to that problem.

Above is a picture of the whistle in all of it's former glory, taken from a website that apparently catalogs emergency whistles from all around the country. Funny thing is, I think the credited photographer is my first boyfriend, forever nicknamed "The Antichrist." Not because he was a particularly bad guy but because, well, at the time I dated him he thought he was the antichrist. I knows how to pick 'em.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good thing this usually isn't the case for me

Given my recent blogposts on music and exes, it's obvious that the sentiment on this t-shirt typically doesn't happen for me. The worst that happens is that sometimes I can't listen to a band for a few months after a particularly bad breakup. The memories always fade, however, and I can start enjoying the tunes again without invoking too much negativity.

OK, last thing ever, I swear, on music I was introduced to by men. My good friend in Tucson, J- "I want it ALL" got me into Ween, yet another one of my all time greats. The above video is for one of my fave songs and is typical of their crazy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Attn: US Airports

Would it be possible to have just ONE smoking lounge, so I don't have to go outside to smoke and then go through security again? I'm wearing big stompy boots today and taking them off is a big pain in my ass.

Meanwhile, watch this Flintstones'-sponsored cigarette advertisement, from back when we were FREE!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Follow-up to men and music

I can't believe I forgot two of my friends from my undergrad years, J- and "Heavy Metal" T-. T- introduced me to many bands that I probably never would have heard otherwise; Death, Prong and the Melvins, for example. T- is also responsible for introducing me to the R Crumb-edited magazine Weirdo, and thus scarring my brain forever through cartoons with titles like "Nuts On a Plank".

J- however, deserves the ultimate kudos for playing Type O Negative for me for the first time, on a cold, clear winter night when we were both under the influence of mind-altering substances. "Slow, Deep and Hard," Type O's first album, absolutely blew me away on that night, and remains one of my favorite albums of all time. I believe J- also introduced me to Mike Patton's band Mr. Bungle, another all-time favorite.

OK, just remembered there was one more ex during my grad school days, D- "No Nickname Could Possibly Capture the Lameness." He didn't get me into any new music, but he was really into comics and it was through him that I first read "Preacher." I now have the entire series in graphic novel form and it remains one of my favorite comics of all time, right up there with "Watchmen," "Tank Girl" and "Sam and Max."

That's it, finally, I think...

Musical legacies of the men in my life

I've been thinking over the past week how my various exes have introduced me to at least a new band or two. To me, that's a pretty good reward for putting up with all of the other bullshit. So here's a list of some of the contributions to my music library, by boyfriend:

C- "The Antichrist"
C- was big into glam rock which when I was in high school was pretty much anathema (I was into TRUE METAL, and none of that poser crap.) He did increase my appreciation for Mötley Crüe though, and to this day I still crank "Shout at the Devil" when I'm feeling particularly silly. And OMG, is the above video awesome, makes me want to throw up the horns and dance down the hallway!

G- "My First True Love"
G- and I were in a thrash band together, and he turned me on to the amazing one-album band Blind Illusion. This is the band where Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde first met, after which they went on to form Primus. Check out the live video above- holy shit, I love the internet!

"Psycho" J-
This particular Sir Stalks-A-Lot ex introduced me to Frank Zappa. Everything else about him totally sucked. The above video is for the song "Bobby Brown." I don't think that Bobby Brown of New Addition and Married-To-Whitney-Houston fame was aware of this song when he chose his stage name.

C- "The Bastard"
C- liked a lot of stoner doom metal, probably due to the fact that he was a hardcore stoner himself. I first heard of Kyuss through his CD collection; Josh Homme was in this band before joining Queens of the Stone Age.

"Mr." T-
T- actually didn't listen to music much, which is a rarity in my exes. I tend to date guys who are at least as crazy about tunes as I am.

R- "Too Nice for a Snarky Nickname"
R- introduced me to the great Tom Waits. I have some wonderful memories of sitting on his front porch in Tucson, drinking scotch and listening to "Small Change." As our relationship progressed Tom Waits was about the only music that we could both get into, as R- hated metal and I hated jazz and adult contemporary, which made up the remainder of our music collections. Oh wait, one more great band that R- introduced me to is the Mark Lanegan Band (Mark Lanegan has also been in Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age.)

S- "The Bastard in Love"
S- and I shared tons of tunes in common, particularly in the metal genre. Still, I can count Belphegor, Hansel und Gretyl and My Bloody Valentine as excellent new additions to my tunes collection that were introduced to me by S-. Regarding the video above, I still think the singer for Hansel und Gretyl is one of the coolest chicks EVER. The scary thing is that I've been smoking so many cigarettes lately that I can do a pretty passable imitation of her singing voice.

D- "Nickname Not Suitable for Publication on a Blog That is Read by My Mom"
OK, I've never particularly liked techno, but I do have a predilection for pretty much anything super-heavy. So Android Lust has been rocking my world lately, thanks to D- throwing tunes at me until he finally found one that stuck.

It turns out, though that the biggest contributor to my music collection has not been an ex-boyfriend, but rather my little brothers G- and J-. G- actually convinced me that not all country music sucks (Hank III and Shooter Jennings, woot!), and the bands introduced to me by J- over the past 20 years are way to numerous for me to recall.

So take a bow, men in my life past and present. You're not all bad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

News flash: Swedes not always hot

Between the many Swedish metal bands, cartoon Swede Skwisgaar Skwigelf, and my own personal hot Swede encounter in the distant past, I had formed the impression that Swedish guys are a pretty good looking bunch. But then I stumbled upon this website of Swedish dance bands from the 70's and oh my...what a trainwreck. It's more than just the loud-ass outfits with lapels suitable for taking flight; the overall fug is just out of control. Ah, shattered dreams, agains...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

All I want are Sun Chips, and all I see are the black skies of R'lyeh!

Just watched "The Call of Cthulu" by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society; wow, what a beautiful movie. You might have to be a Lovecraft nut to really appreciate it, which I certainly am; I've been reading Lovecraft since high school, and about once a year I re-read some of my favorite stories, "The Call of Cthulu" included. The movie is done in black and white, silent film style, with Great Cthulu filmed in stop-motion animation. I think this has just become one of my favorite movies...

By the way, the title of this post is from one of the extra scenes included on the DVD. The actors mostly ad libbed their lines, and sometimes some pretty funny things came out- this was from a scene where young Henry Wilcox is describing his dreams of the sunken city of R'lyeh, where Cthulu lies dead, but dreaming!

Oh, and behold the nerd t-shirts on the HPLHS website- do I need this, do I? Yes, I think I do!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rock Band 2

I am unstoppable!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Undead Sarah Palin

All ready for the Halloween party, you betcha!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election-inspired rudeness

I apologize in advance for this...

Obama kicking ass

Porno Palin

Check out the entire cornucopia of juvenile humor in animated GIF format here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cooking fail

Tonight I burnt a pizza. You might be thinking, "Sarah, I know you are a crappy cook, but how the hell do you burn a pizza? THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE RIGHT ON THE BOX."

Well, this is how: forget to turn on the timer because you were on the phone when you put the pizza in the oven. Also, be functionally anosmic and incapable of detecting the burning smell. I sometimes joke that the only things I can smell well are citrus, gasoline and cat piss. There are actually some other smells that I'm pretty sensitive to but I won't go into details in this nice, family-oriented blog.

Anyway, back to the pizza. Obviously from the picture, I still ate it. My sense of taste isn't so great, either.

Onset of winter demands a new hermit hobby

And I have selected it: Xbox 360 and Rock Band 2. I got the microphone so I can sing to Megadeth and Duran Duran and scare the bejeezus out of the cats. Above, Jasper cautiously approaches and wonders whether the horrendous noises I am making are a result of my being ill, insane or both.

Here's my character, dressed exactly as I would in real life if I could get away with it.

In other news, it's sleeting here in Morgantown. Along with the visual confirmation, my bum shoulder is also notifying me of the drop in temperature by making some interesting new crackling noises. Holy shit I love winter!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grr...I'm tough!

Just got this great new belt buckle: one of the best ways to show you're a badass is to wear a belt with your name (or your initial) on it, right?

Well, it's not quite as cool as Jennifer Tilly's belt buckle, I admit. Maybe someday I will have one that says "S- Fucking F- Will Kick Your Ass" and then some pictures of mushroom bodies and Blythe dolls.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This means war

Sarah Palin, moron, mocks government funding of fruit fly research. As it turns out, the molecular basis of a vast array of developmental processes, including those that go awry in some human diseases, have benefited enormously from studies in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Not to mention the genetic basis of learning and memory, my own field of study. Christ, what an ignorant twit. If she and McCain are somehow elected we're all in big trouble.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another migrant, this time not as lucky

This morning I was sitting out on the deck smoking and drinking a cup of tea (ran out of coffee, grr) when a bird flew into the bay window not ten feet in front of me. As the bird lay quivering on the deck I raced to get to it before Jade could, but alas, it was already dead.

So I photographed it and looked it up in the Peterson's guide: she's a female Cape May warbler, formerly on her way from Canada to the Caribbean.

This big-ass wheel bug was also hanging out on the deck this morning. Look at him trying to be scary with his front legs and antennae all stretched out; spider mimicry, maybe?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just passing through...

This morning Jade was chattering out the window at this little guy, perched on the railing of the deck. At first I thought it was a baby robin, but with it's flight feathers all grown out, it's clearly an adult. Turns out this is most likely a hermit thrush, which spends its summers north of here and in the more mountainous parts of West Virginia, and winters in the southeast US. So, happy trails, little thrush, and may you reach your destination without attracting the attention of too many more housecats.

Being a big science nerd as a kid, there was a period of time when I was really into birds and birdwatching. So it still gets me excited to see a new species (and I'm pretty proud that my first attempt to ID this bird at least had me in the right taxonomic family!).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I want to invade your airspase!


Sometimes a girl just feels like dancing...


...to Volbeat, "Caroline Leaving." Rock on!


From Pharyngula, this made me feel pretty awesome. And by the way, if you think I'm anywhere near the median salary for untenured female professors as depicted here, you can just keep on dreaming.

obama party
And from Pandagon, this clever little animated GIF.

OK, the hymenopteran mushroom body paper is open on the other screen and ready to be worked on. Must...stop...goofing...off...

A taste of the Awesome iPod Playlist

"An Ode to Locksmiths"- Type O Negative. The best. No other explanation needed.

"More Than a Woman"- Aaliyah. Bummer that she died so young, she was amazing. The video for this song is great, too.

"Let Me Put My Love Into You"- AC/DC. I once got tattooed with this song in the background, and it made me feel like a total badass. And just what IS Brain Johnson alluding to with this cake-cutting business?

"New"- No Doubt. No Doubt was mostly ho-hum to me, but this song does such a good job of describing the hormone-whipped anxiety of the early stages of a relationship that I have to rock out to it once in awhile. The video is entertaining, too.

"Fukken Über Death Party"- Hansel und Gretyl. The singer for this band is my new role model; if I had my way, I would dress this way when I teach. She and Angela Gossow should go bowling together.

"Go Into the Water"- Dethklok. Of course, it's all about Dethklok these days. This video is actually for "Thunderhorse," and it's brilliant. Is it possible to fall in love with cartoon characters?

"The Insight and the Catharsis"- Dimmu Borgir. Possible one of the greatest songs ever recorded. I've probably listened to it 800 times and it still makes me want to give my life to Satan by the end.

That's it on the tunes front for now. In other news, I have been having some crazy armageddon/disaster dreams. Last night's installment included a huge crane, the Olympic gymnasts' team and security camera footage of the destruction. While violent as hell, I admit I kind of like these dreams because they're so unbelievably vivid. Go crazy lady, go!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Putter, putter, putter

Not a bad day, today. Went for a walk down by the river and listened to The Most Excellent Playlist Ever on my iPod, which I put together last night. The songs are all over the place, but they still flow along pretty well. The best thing about this modern day of iPods is that when you decide that a song is out of place, or there's a bad transition, you can just go back and pull that song out. Not so with the mix tapes of old.

Got home and did some painting, inspired by this blog post. I'm pretty happy with it, even though I kind of look like a jaundiced Carrot Top. I'm an entomologist, OK, I just pretend to be an artist in my spare time.

Cats are busy: Jasper at killing, Jade at impersonating an ouroboros.

And the day would not be complete without a new t-shirt. This was supposed to be a size large, but it's a bit, ah, tight. You know what though, I will not complain about having big boobs. I just refuse.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Remicade day

I'm in Wash, PA today for my Remicade. Remember those human-animal chimeras that Bush ranted about in one of his speeches a couple of years ago? Well, this drug is one of those chimeras: it's an antibody composed of both human and mouse amino acid sequences. It's directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha, part of an inflammatory cascade involved in rheumatoid arthritis. So, knock out TNFalpha, knock out this particular route to inflammation, get some relief from the rheumatiz. It's been working pretty well so far.

The whole procedure keeps me in the hospital for 3-4 hours every eight weeks. I treat it as a little vacation and spend my time watching cable TV and surfing Ebay, and then I go to Panera and get an Asiago cheese bagel with sundried tomato cream cheese for lunch. Mmmmmm....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jade, Spider Hunter

Look at her go, the stealthy predator. What is she stalking, you might ask?

A giant spider on my filthy carpet. God, I need to vacuum.

Whereas some nights I just can't fathom the notion of sleep, there are other nights when I can't think of a single reason to stay conscious. This is one of those nights, topping off a day when my primary motivation was the next cigarette craving. So, I'm off for an early date with Prince Seroquel, and may tomorrow be more rockin'.