A Site of Beef by Ann-S-Thesia
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12/16/2001 - 12/22/2001
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Saturday, January 06, 2001

And for all you little minskies out there...

On a bad hair day, I look like Shannon.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:02 PM || link it email me


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"He despised the peace and love generation and felt his music spoke more to its orphans and outcasts."

from Velvet Goldmine in reference to the main character, Brian Slade.

I'd like to reword it, and use it on my tombstone, or urn, as the case may be.

"She despised the techno and geek generation and felt her blog spoke more to its orphans and outcasts."''

But if I had to be a character in the film, I would be Jack Fairy. Yes, everyone is lovely and sexy in the film, but Jack is sublime. But not only that, no one knows who he is. "Who's Jack Fairy?"
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 8:36 PM || link it email me


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It's been over four months since I watched Velvet Goldmine (geez...if that doesn't sound like a confession..."bless me father for I have sinned...it's been four months since I last watched Velvet Goldmine..." I've been hanging around Tim and his Catholic parodies too much). I need to watch it again. No bad houseguests this time, who will like it at first and then riducule it as their stay lingered on. Just me and Stan.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 7:57 PM || link it email me


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I found this at the Blogger Discuss board re: their recent request for donations:

"We had some spare cash in our Paypal account, so I sent in my donation for a free bumper sticker (plus, hey, we use blogger a bit here and there).

Anyway, no sooner than I do that, and my wife, Chief of the Moral Police goes and registers mIRC. Yeah, yeah, we've used it for years (over 6 for me), but still, I'm a cheap tightwad and $25 seems a bit much to me for our chat software. $10 to Pyra was much easier to swallow. Hmm, but then I am a total hypocrit: I went and registered zMUD a week ago for $25.

Of course, we always said we'd go and register/donate for software when we were better off, and I guess we're getting there (I've nearly trippled my salary in the last 2 years, bought a house, a minivan for the kiddos, and would double again once I get my CCIE in a year). Plus I got 2 job offers from customers this week, but nothing I want to jump ship on..."

Stuff like this just makes me sick. Trippled his salary. And just now he's getting around to registering shareware he's had for years. For crying out loud, I register every bit of shareware (note the term "shareware"...I'll get to that later) I use, and my income has no where even doubled, let alone trippled, let alone even been anything near what is considered a living wage. But I figure if I'm going to use something, I better well pay for it *if the terms of use require I do so*, which would of course include shareware.

People like the person above are one of the reasons I do not feel one iota guilty for not having contributed to Blogger's plea for support.

People like the person above (note, I am not saying *he in particular* ever did this, but people like him, with that attitude, do it all the time) are the ones who take my graphics, use them for their business, and not pay me for them. And my graphics are NOT FREE to ANYONE in business. I make that very clear, however some people still fail to get it.

When Blogger first requested donations, I felt rather ambivalent about it. Yeah, I'd help out, if I had the money to. But then after corresponding with some other people on the topic, I then started to have serious reservations about it. Blogger, at the time I signed up, was free, as long as I kept a link up to them. I was under the impression that they made their money by selling their Pyra products and the pro version of Blogger (which didn't require a link). It was never shareware or donation ware from the start. Now with 80,000 users, if they would have only requested $5 from each person to use it for more than a week or two (a free trial period would have to be necessary...it was a bit confusing at first), that would give them $400,000 to play around with! Blogger is well worth $5, 10, 20 to me for a *one-time* fee. Monthly...well, I'd definitely reconsider that. But asking for a donation is sort of rescinding their own terms. Asking for fees from new users? Certainly. Asking us current *grandfather clause* users to help out? I don't think so.

I'm glad they got their new server already. I love Blogger. I love the fact that it's working at a normal speed again. And this right-brained artist without a lick of sense when it comes to a left-brain script isn't even going to TOUCH that Greymatter stuff. But I suspect the people behind Blogger aren't exactly struggling the way I am or the way other users who *aren't* involved in the high-tech industry are who may happen to use their (what they thought was a) free service. If I can somehow manage to scrape by enough to cough up a new (low-end) Mac every 3 years or so, they can cough up enough for a server themselves too.

End of beef.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 7:49 PM || link it email me


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On "Wha D'ya Know" this morning Michael Feldman said the following about Tommy Thompson (paraphrased):

"...going to be the head of Human Services, the first time a non-human has held that post...
"...As you know Thompson is famous for Wisconsin Works, taking people off Welfare and making them the working poor...
"...Didn't do too bad as governor-for-life...came to a better end than most Caesars..."

Guess I'm not the only one who shares those opinions. Gotta love Michael.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:14 AM || link it email me



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Friday, January 05, 2001

The first two images below are in regard to my post on January 3.


The first time we saw it, it was lurking behind a half dead tree. I do not know if this was the same tree, now pruned of the useless limbs, or if this is a different one. The house was on a hill, much like ours is, but ours is surrounded by our neighbors' old oaks, our flowers and magnolia tree, and trimmed with our liberal use of color. This house is stark. White. Barren. The hill backs up to a main road. The house cannot be seen from that road. There was a sign on the hill facing the main street that said "Free Dirt." They will probably put up some new building in its place, free of flaws, free of soul. I hope they keep the tree.


Goodbye, strange little house. We spent over a year trying to find you. There you were, there you weren't, there you were again, and now, you aren't. I don't know why you fascinated us so, but I've always had dreams about finding houses and getting lost in them, and I'd dream of houses as a representation of one's soul. I'd dream of an old nemesis's house, where her staircase was grand, but once one was upstairs, there was nothing. The doors led to nowhere. But my house had a hidden upstairs I never knew about. I'd look up in the attic and see a whole new third floor I never knew existed with big windows and dormers and gables. And my basement had hidden catacombs and mazes. I'd descend into my dark animal in the basement, and ascend to my third floor ideals. My sign is Cancer, represented by the Fourth House, which is the sign of house and home. There's always houses in my dreams, old houses, decaying houses, houses I used to live in, houses I wish I could live in, mansions and shacks. Even if we never find your new spot on the earth, I think you'll probably make a guest appearance in my dreams every now and then. Have a safe trip.

A bar in Madison met an unfortunate demise on New Year's morning. The Comic Strip and O'Kayz Corral was destroyed, altering the Wilson Street skyline forever. I never went there, so I don't have a personal attachment to it. I'm still saddened by the Hotel Washington Fire that happened 5 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long already) that wiped out Club De Wash (saw Babes in Toyland there), Cafe Palms and The Barber's Closet among others. I miss The Barber's Closet the most, as I had the most fun there and they had absolutely the best mixed drinks this side of the moon. Cafe Palms did hold some very strange memories, though.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:32 PM || link it email me


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Odd dreams: Stan and I took Plato to a vet and left him there. He was just wandering around the vet's office, not caged up or anything, and I was afraid he'd get outside somehow because he wasn't supervised either. Then Stan and I were going to meet his biological grandparents (Stan's adopted; never met them in person, but have talked to his grandmother on the phone) at the UW campus. We're driving on the campus and I ask him where they're supposed to meet us and he says "The Science Building" (can you imagine how many "science" buildings are actually on the UW campus?) Then I spot a building with a sign in front of it that says "Science". (Sort of like in A Clockwork Orange: "Home.") I also see a car, a pale green antique-looking VW stationwagon pass us by with old people in it and I just know it's them (I doubt they drive a car like that, if they even drive). But then I realize we don't really know *where* to meet them, or where to park. But somehow we all manage to meet inside the "Science" building. There's a huge banquet there, like a family reunion of both people on his biological mother's side, and people from his adopted mother and father's side. What a mess, and I'm feeling mass amounts of familyphobia. All the while I'm still worrying about Plato escaping from the vet's.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 11:40 AM || link it email me


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Bloggin' Friends of Boris: Human Chew Toy! Mwa hahahahah! Faith you crack me up!
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:39 AM || link it email me



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Wednesday, January 03, 2001

Another bizarre thing happened today. Bear with me...there's a long history to this. In the early spring of 1999, Stan and I were driving around Madison in the evening. We came across this very strange house. It was a single story house, approximately 60 years old, white, no trim, and it had dormers on the first floor. It looked as if it was a two story house that a giant smashed into the ground and only the 2nd story was left sticking up above ground. It had a very creepy quality to it. In the ensuing months, we forgot where the house was located, as we wanted to drive by and get a look at it again. We drove and drove and drove and drove. We could not locate the house. I closed my eyes and concentrated. "It's over here, by Sycamore Street," I said. No. "It's over here, by Buckeye Road," said Stan. No. We tried all the strange little areas on the east side of town looking for the house. We eventually gave up, and halfway decided the house did not exist, had been torn down to make way for some yuppie condo or strip mall, or that it was a shared vision or some Black Lodge manifestation or hallucination. Maybe it wasn't even in town at all. Maybe it was in Fort Collins. Or Nowhere.

Then this past October, Stan and I had just taken Hieronymus to the vet in the morning. He was getting much better after his fall down the stairs. We were driving home after grabbing some Breakfast Burritos from MacDonalds. I don't know why, but we decided to head through a part of Madison near Monona on our way home. Stan headed down one street. I saw a large industrial fence that I remembered being by "the house." I then knew...it was near. I told Stan to take a right down the road. Then it all came back to me. There it was. The house. We had found The House. We drove by several times marvelling at its strange architectural features, its neglected, lack-of-paint exterior, burning its image in our memories. It was surreal. We were so glad to know that we found the house, and to know we didn't hallucinate it. We drove by several times after that, once at night when the lights were on inside. We couldn't see much, but noticed there was a cat in the window. Aw....someone lived there who loved cats. It didn't seem as creepy now.

Around this time Hieronymus was getting back to his old self. We got free newts from the pet store. Life was starting to slowly improve. The house was some sort of key to something...everything being right with the world. We had found something that we were searching for, as odd as that search and the object of the search may have been.

We hadn't checked "the house" for a while...not since at least November. But we got the bug to do it today, just to see what it would look like atop that hill amidst all the snow. As we were approaching it, something seemed odd. At first I thought it was an illusion, something to do with the snow making it appear closer to the street than it was before. Then when we were in front of it we saw what was going on. It was jacked up. Someone was moving The House! Nooooooo!!!!! They could not do this! After months and months of searching for this very strange apparation, and after finally having found it only a few months ago, it is now leaving its odd little spot on this earth with the big yard (a yard I would die for with all the gardening possibilities) and going...who knows where? A new search must now ensue.

I guess it's good to know someone loved the house and didn't just tear it down. (We feared it was torn down when we couldn't find it the first time) How horrible it would have been to have gone back months later and not see it, so I now know why I had this inner voice telling me to see it today, so I can know what is happening to it. I'm glad someone cares for it, with its strange first story dormers, and it will probably have a nice new paint job in its new spot. Maybe someone will paint it another color besides white, with a contrasting colour of trim. That would be nice. It needs some TLC. To think that for just a few months, Stan and I had found what we had been searching for, and then, it slips away yet again.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:39 PM || link it email me


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A day which should've been some simple errands turned into an epic adventure. I shant bore with the minor details, but I had to go to the dreaded CompUsa to get a replacement mouse (Mac Galaxy didn't have any because they're moving). Stan and I started drooling at the Cube and some other Macs, and I was trying to figure out the new optical mouse. There was this huge doofus who looked like a overly stuffed and pork-fed Howard Sprague in camouflage staring at the Cube's monitor watching some dumb animated DVD movie. I'm trying to get around him to try out the machine (because he's just staring at it, not test-driving it, hands in pocket, just zoning out. He hardly budges, and I accidentally step into him as I back up (because I think he closed his distance in on me since I stepped in front of him). I mean, WTF? What is he even doing there? Shouldn't he be out in the woods shooting the deer herd or something? Watching kids movies on the computers? It was just so bizarre beyond description, not to mention a bit sick because any normal human who wasn't trying out a computer would step aside when a customer is trying to test drive one, so I think he enjoyed it when I accidentally backed into him. Got a thrill. I was wearing a faux leopard spot coat. Maybe he thought he could shoot me. Some things defy description.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 6:03 PM || link it email me


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Well, I am devastated. TVLand moved Gunsmoke from high noon to 5 am. 5 AM! What...no one watched it? This is not a good sign for the new year. My one and only mid-day tv vice...gone. I guess this means I'll have to start learning to control the VCR for more than playing movies, i.e., recording Gunsmoke on tape (yeah, I'm sick). Me: computers. Stan: VCRs. Me: VCR idiot. Stan: computer moron. Good news is that now Stan and I can watch it together at our convenience. How romantic. He can play Matt and I can play Festus. Wait a minute....that's not right...
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 12:13 PM || link it email me


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May I present to you:

Ann-S-Thesia, 2001. Wanted to do sort of a 2001 Space Odyssey sort of theme crossed with a little old fashioned drop caps and parchment.

Less than 6 months before I turn the big 4-0 and I have the biggest zit on my face since I was a teenager. It's huuuuuge. Thank heaven for blemish cover-sticks. Why oh why me? I guess I should be glad...teenage skin doesn't wrinkle. Hey, I thought my birth control pills were supposed to solve this problem (among others). What a rip off.

Weird dream last night...Stan and I were with our friends Lamya and Russ from Boulder and they were meeting some woman who had a child or two and they wanted to get a job babysitting for her (they have their own kids...how weird). They met her on the street and we were with them. They introduced themselves and then Stan and I. I extended my hand to shake hers, but she was holding a child and it took a long time for her to untangle her arm from the kid to shake mine. She looked at me kind of strangely, then Russ said something to one of her kids, which made her decide she didn't to hire them. We were all confused as to what her problem was, and figured maybe she was some weird fundamentalist or something. Then Russ started acting weird, and Stan suggested maybe he was going through some sort of trauma like he (Stan) did IRL during the end of graduate school. Then I remember we were in a big suburban house and Stan's half-sister was there. Can't remember much more.

Want to stay home today and fix any bugs and finishing touches on my site redesign (still have to add metatags!) and hide from the world with my huge zit (that's what I get for making fun of Shrubya's boil, I guess) but I gotta send a customer package to Germany and buy a new mouse. This one finally bit it. (Again) No traction. Hey, we're getting a heat wave. Should get up to 30 degrees today. Time to get out the suntan oil.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 10:59 AM || link it email me



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Tuesday, January 02, 2001

WTF?

"Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0113'

Script timed out

/blog_form-action.pyra

The maximum amount of time for a script to execute was exceeded. You can change this limit by specifying a new value for the property Server.ScriptTimeout or by changing the value in the IIS administration tools. "

Yeah, whatever, guys.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 11:47 PM || link it email me


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I suspect what may be happening with Bloggers' Molasses in January reaction speed. There was a spot on NPR on blogging. Forgot the name of the show...it's on in the evening here around 7 pm. Hosted by Christopher Leydon (sp?). Probably caused an overload. But then again, how many people who blog listen to NPR?

Also, my hits have dropped off significantly at this site, after rising, oddly, around XMas when my hits at my other sites dropped off. I realized what that was too. Disturbing Search Requests was written up that week at Yahoo or something. So naturally, there's all these people coming to this site who really don't understand the concept of Disturbing Search Requests, trying to see if I really do have pictures of Katherine Harris's breasts or human toilet stories.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 11:38 PM || link it email me


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Is the entire internet constipated tonight or what? Needs a stiff dose of META mucil.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 11:26 PM || link it email me


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A somewhat slightly humorous/slightly disturbing dream. As I've mentioned before...the only thing I seem to watch on TV (that is, when I do watch TV, which is a bit rare) is either the more educational/documentary/historical programming like TLC or Discovery, A&E...etc. or it's TVLand (thank heavens for cable...21st century network programming just biiiiites). So a little TVLand 70s nostalgia seemed to seep into my dream last night:

For some reason I went back to this place I used to freelance for in town about 4-5 years ago, and the woman who I worked for was rather surprised to see me and asked me why I stopped coming (duh...because there was no work for me?). She asked me if I want to start coming again and I accept (oh joy...$12/hour freelancing...yeah, I can see why I wasn't too eager to *request* work from there). I notice that all the people there hadn't aged a bit, and thought it was a bit odd (goodness knows *I* have). Then she said, "you know those green pills we used to take here? Well, they've changed." (IRL there were no green pills) I then say, "Oh, did the ravers get ahold of them?" She nods and says that they're much too powerful and hallucinatory now, and instead I'll want to take some other pills. She then takes me over to a break area where there's some pills and tea, coffee, other condiments. I then notice that the room/building changes and it looks less light-coloured/cheerful as it used to be, and suddenly turns dark, dreary, with a lot of that ugly dull green metal color of used army surplus from the middle last century. I'd been around a lot of this color at CSU at the Chemistry stockroom where I worked as well as the library there. Then the place started to look like a library, with aisles. Stan and Tim are there with me, and they grab some coffee and start to look down the aisles. I'm still talking to my former freelance employer. Then Harris from Barney Miller is working there and he tells Stan and Tim that they can't go down the aisles with the coffee and they'll have to drink it over in the break area. They started to snicker like they were being naughty little school boys eating in class or something. Didn't think it was a bit odd that a 70s TV Character was working there.
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 8:20 AM || link it email me



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Sunday, December 31, 2000

To: Helping Hand Acceptance Agency*

Re: Student Loans from Graduate School at UW-Madison from 1989 to 1996 for Ann Stretton and Stan Starbuck

Dear Student Loan Lending Officer,

Due to the fact that we are not using our graduate degrees (MFAs) presently, nor do we plan to in the future due to the nature of the job market, economy, and waning interest in the arts by the public, and for the fact that we cannot afford the loans we borrowed to obtain said degrees, we would like to relinquish our rights to them.

We are leaving both degrees parked outside our house, unlocked, with the keys inside of them.

Please come repossess them.

Sincerely,

Ann Stretton and Stan Starbuck

(*a little Repo Man reference for those of you in the know)
posted by Ann-S-Thesia at 9:37 AM || link it email me




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Copyright 1996-2001 Ann Stretton. All Rights Reserved. No part of this web log may be copied or reproduced, however text may be quoted if a link is given in return. Permission is not given under any circumstances to use any of the graphics or art on this site, however If you ask first, I may grant permission at my discretion. Please check the link above to my Ann-S-Thesia site for web graphics if that is what you need.