Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Just got back from the one, the only…

The City, The Big Apple, The Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made of

Photo Credit

I’m old enough to remember a time when people would lure unsuspecting victims to their homes then brutally subject them to slideshows of vacation photos.  At least I remember a time when this was oft-depicted on sitcoms as an insufferable life tax, routinely paid to clingy neighbors and pesky in-laws.

But worry not my friends.  I won’t make you come over and pretend to be interested in my pictures.  That’s what this blog is for!

All this (and more!) in 2 and a half days.  Life does move fast in New York, even when you’re on vacation.  But that’s not a bad thing, because there really is so much to do, so many people to see.  No time to waste a minute!

The biggest upside, though?  I had this song stuck in my head the entire time, which was akin to having a 60-hour runner’s high.  Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New Yo-oork!


I’m weirdly thoughtless today.  So please, go read everything on George Takei’s facebook page

Just one of the many many gems you will find there.

Pi Pie Pie!

It’s a funny thing about having a blog.  It makes you wanna do things up a little bit “just for the story,” AND it makes you see stories everywhere.  Even in the unremarkable little things, like making lists or buying oreos.

That said, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for pi day.  But now I have the pictures to prove it!

Pi Pizza Pie

Perfectly Petite Pies

Divied up!

Fun fact: Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday!

π is ubiquitous, mysterious, and coy – its value is still being calculated – so there’s really no question that it deserves a party.  However, the true magic of pi day lies in the fact that it’s recognized only by the sector of humanity which resides in my particular strata of Cool-slash-Awesome.  So here we are celebrating together, shades on, looking down on everyone-who-wishes-they-could-be-this-hip, placing bets on pi recitation contests (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like). 

Happy Pi Day!  Go forth, be irrational!  #mathhumor

Origins: Dessert Ratios

I’ve been demanded to justify these injustices I revealed in last week’s episode:

And as per the unwritten [now written] agreement of the manor, my share of all desserts is a paltry 1/3.

Wait a minute – isn’t this the 21st century?  What happened to share and share alike?  Am I a doormat??

Answers: Yes, it depends, and not to my knowledge.

There are basically two explanations for our dessert rationing philosophy:

1. Logic

Matt stands 8 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than me.  He far exceeds me in both basal metabolic rate and overall appetite.  He can absorb more excess calories into his bloodstream rather than paunchy lipid stores, in a single bound.  Biology.

Thus, whatever I eat, he should eat more.  Or whatever he eats, I should eat less.  Math.

Where Matt does NOT exceed me is in his time-enjoyment-of-food constant (notation: te).  That’s a real thing I just invented, nay, discovered.  His bites are 4x bigger than mine and his consumption velocity is 3x as fast.  This means his total time-enjoyment of 4 oreos is actually lower than my time-enjoyment of 2.  So where my caloric share is paltry, my time share is whopping!  Science.

From a moderation standpoint, all this works out well because it only takes one of us to make good dessert decisions for it to spill over to the other one.  Checks and balances, people.  Civics.

So there you go.  We run a perfectly rational household here, and that’s how we compute equitable divisions of dessert.


2. Reality

Scene: The Cheesecake Factory, Bellevue, WA, circa 2007

Maryann (hopeful): Want to share a cheesecake?
Matt (perplexed): Share?
Maryann: Yeah…
Matt: But… don’t you want your own?
Maryann: No!  Fool – they are huge!
Matt: But half isn’t enough??
Maryann: What if I eat less than half?
Matt: *stares*
Maryann (sincere): For every one bite I take, you can have 2.
Matt (skeptical): oh-kaay

And so it went on for the rest of time.  History turned to legend, legend turned to myth.  And some things that should not have been forgotten, were lost…

Until now!


In the beginning, I never ate Oreos at home.  Except for before the beginning, when I ate Oreos at home all the time.

Sometime after that, I realized that it was ok to eat Oreos, but only if it was Super Bowl Sunday (or one of the next 3 days).

But then today, I was notified (thank you Google+) that the Oreo just turned 100 years old.  Today.

That’s a long long time and also quite rare - time for a celebration worthy of remembrance!  Anything less would be a mistake at best and a tragedy at worst.  Right?  Right.


Hopped over to the convenient neighborhood convenience store

Yes!  But I was hoping for something smaller?


Happily headed over to the counter, where I noticed…


Dilemma!  Do I go with the super sensible choice or the somewhat sensible one?

Final bounty

That’s 6 oreos for 2 full-sized cookie monsters.  And as per the unwritten agreement of the manor, my share of all desserts is a paltry 1/3.  Being a sensible adult sux OMG wtf AFK!!!

But take heart young squire, my two Oreos still tasted awesome for the 10 glorious seconds that they lasted.

Happy birthday Oreos!  Never ever change.

Last Friday Night

I had a lot going on Friday night.

1. Netbook (Toshiba NB505), being used here as a book prop thing.

2. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin.  Winter is coming.

3. Sidewinder gaming mouse, photo-bombing

4. The Art of Computer Programming, by Donald Knuth.  Also a photo stowaway.

5. Water bottle.  Hydration is important when nerding out.

6. The heart shaped box formerly known as the heart shaped box of M&Ms.

And the Star of the Show:

7. “Back-of-envelope” calculations. This was some critically important Jack Bauer shiznatch. I was working out what had a bigger effect on population growth – number of children you have or the age you are when you have them.  Answer: it’s complicated.  But I CAN tell you that if you’re worried about your spawn footprint being Yeti-sized you can make a big difference by waiting longer to have kids. I can also tell you that I was beside myself about having an original thought for once!

All around a pretty exciting night – I’m sorry you couldn’t all be there!

I made this

I wanted to celebrate leap day yesterday by doing something I would only do if I had a lot more time.  Perhaps one of those ladylike pursuits they talk about in Jane Austen movies (haven’t read the books).  So completely out of the blue, I decided to learn how to draw!

Maybe I’d be able to do a fish or an apple or something?  Work my way up to a face or a mountain after enough practice?

I drew this.


No, I didn’t trace that!


Apparently the secret to drawing is using your “visual” mind instead of your “logical” one.  From

Your visual mind doesn’t see a left eye, it sees lines, shapes, and lights and darks that combine to make a whole picture of a left eye. In order to “draw what you see” you will have to learn to draw lines, shapes, and lights and darks that combine to make a whole drawing. Your logical mind, that labels everything it sees, will not be a part of the drawing process.

To help you focus on the lines and shapes instead of the big picture, they have you do your first drawing exercise upside down:

Lots of erasing.  Don’t forget your pencil!

All done and ready for the big reveal

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

And all that in less time than it took for me to write this blog post.  This really was amazingly easier than you would think (I have no more drawing experience than your typical 6th grader).

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be taking up drawing in any more earnest at the moment, but you can look forward to Exercises in Drawing, Episode 2 – coming soon on February 29, 2016!

Just needs a frame

If you’re at all interested, definitely give this a go!  Find the tutorial I used here: