Category Archives: Random

Red pill, please

And now, for a quick traipse through the wonderland that is my mind…

How much space does the internet take up?  Physical space I mean.  And how much bigger does it get everyday from blog posts alone? 

Does the internet grow faster than the computing chips growing smaller?  Put another way, does it grow more than 2x per 18 months?

Are we going to RUN OUT OF SPACE for it?  When will this happen?  Can we put it in the ocean (overflow dumping ground)?  Outer space (lieutenant overflow dumping ground)? 

If the nuclear holocaust were to hit, and the bunkers are only so big, what will be the exchange rate for internet to people?  Do we leave 10000 people out to die in order to save wikipedia?  WebMD?  Youtube?  Twitter?  This Blog? 

Would I rather live on through this website, or live on in the more conventional, physical, way, but in a world where all of human knowledge and history has been snuffed out? 

Is there anything in my mind that isn’t online?  If not, wouldn’t extra bits of internet be the more valuable addition to future society?  But then, should we just go ahead and conclude that the machines are the important ones, and we humans are just here for repopulation purposes?

Has this all already happened?  Is this the Matrix?

October 2009
a more innocent time

I want it Now!

I’m feeling really empty on blog material this evening, but I fear incurring the whine wrath of Veruca Salt, so here we go anyway…

1) Went to Waterbar SF tonight for $1 happy hour oysters.  They were good, but now I feel weird.  Apparently oysters, random fruity cocktail, and peppermint bark do not make for a nourishing square meal.

2) I’ve been completely wrapped up in my latest work project, and that’s been occupying the vast majority of my time and thoughts.  Hence, lack of brain space for generating blog-worthy material.

3) My mom once wondered why we needed so many skillets in the house.  “I don’t even have this many!” 

This is why.

4) New upstairs neighbor gets up around 6 am (for real!) and starts walking around (how dare he!).  Unfortunately the floors are wood and his kitchen/living room is above my bedroom.  I haven’t been well rested in a month and the bags are starting to coalesce under my eyes and reveal my pushing-thirty-ness.

The corollary to this is that his bedroom is above our living room, where we play pop/rock music and/or action/sci-fi programming until midnight-ish.  So he probably hasn’t been well rested for a while either?

All of this got me Zillowing housing prices in Austin, TX today.  I may actually be able to afford my dream house (close to everything, no surface-sharing neighbors) there!

5) On Monday, I saw someone pick a cup of chopped fruit (fork included) out of an overflowing public trash can and start eating it.  I found this simulataneously gross and heart warming- what a nutritious, delicious, and otherwise expensive snack (assuming the germ thing works out ok)!

6) Speaking of pushing thirty, everyone I know who has rounded that corner seems to accept it with grace and happiness.  Maybe because what other option does one really have? 

I don’t think that’s going to be me.  With a little over a year to go, I’m digging my heels in as hard as they will go.  I’m planning to apply myself to having extreme amounts of non-fun just to make the time pass extra slow… Yup, that’ll probably work.

7) If I had been more organized about this, I could have turned this into 3 or 4 posts.  Instead I poured the entire well into this one and now it’s gonna be dry for a spell.  Oh well. 

Stay back, Veruca.


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.

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:


Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee doo
I’ve got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me

What do you get, when you write many times?

 Answer: Heckled

It’s really hard, to come up with good rhymes


And then you try, to keep up with yourself?


It’s not en-OUGH

I’VE CREATED A MONSTER. (doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee dore
If you don’t mind, then I can write more
But all my stuff, might be short and crazy
Like the oompa loompa doom-pa-dee dee!

Milk and Cookies

In this last of a seemingly neverending series of Super Bowl related posts, witness the birth of a tradition:

Our Super Bowl spread (and feet)

For some deep-seated Freudian reason, Oreos epitomize the ultimate guilty junk food for me.  I remember eating them a lot when I was a kid.  Even back then I realized it was out of hand, and I would try to moderate my servings by having just 1 or 2.


There are no helpful barriers since Oreos are packaged in huge quantities, meanwhile the milk is already poured and just sitting there pleading for its favorite cookie…

Lesson learned.  To have mercy on my willpower, I altogether banned these devil cookies and they hadn’t crossed my threshold in over a decade.  These days, I get my Oreo fix from the occasional scoop of cookies and cream here and there, out and about.

But this past week as people started talking about their impending Super Bowl feasts, a wonderful epiphany clicked with pin-drop clarity and heavenly chiming.

Super Bowl Sunday is the ultimate cheat day.  One day a year designed for unapologetic cookie sandwich gluttony.  And with Oreos being so portable and widely available, this is something I can make happen no matter where I happen to be watching the game!

How perfect would this have been?

I prepared all Sunday for my feast by having a very light breakfast and lunch.  I was hungry at kick-off!  Oddly enough, I even passed these up…

At a flea market food stand earlier in the day

Can we discuss for a moment the radical advances in OREO technology since I last shopped for them?  In addition to the peanut butter flavor featured above, we have:

Colorful and crafty



And we all know about double stuf, but did you know about this?

Why does this exist?  How much more can we take?




Other Mad-Eye Maryann ulta-cheat foods: Thin Mints, Mozzarella Sticks, Nachos.  Look out for these at a Super Bowl near you.

Annual Event + Do something easy + Immortalize on blog = Insta-tradition!

Old School

I was headed towards a blog post this evening, but I got a little distracted along the way…

Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I’ll Never Be and Adult

I made taco salad and cleaned the kitchen counter.  Now you expect me to blog?  What am I, some sort of wizard?!

Meme of the Day

You’ve seen the original, but have you seen this Indian girl one yet?  This one resonates more with me (I wonder why) and gives me a new level of appreciation for the humor of the Sh*t Xs Say meme.  Totally PG.

“Can you put those pictures on private?”
“Like all of my cousins are at my house right now”
“Ugh, You get married.”

Youtube Classic

And just because it’s been too long since you’ve seen it…

This really picks up for me in the last half (2:58 onwards), where the evolution coincides with my own timeline.  Lawnmower, ftw!



My name is Maryann, and I’m a compulsive list maker.  When I’m excited, I make a list, when I’m bored, I make a list, and when I’m blue/happy/angry/confused/hungry/agitated, I make a list.  You better hide your notebooks, because Tornado Listmaryannia is on the loose!  Pretty much at all times.

Here’s a list I made today:

Does anyone else feel like watching
Say Anything right now? 

When I made this, I was trying to figure out all the ways a person could spend their time, and if any of these ways were/are inherently “better”.  I was indeed having an existential crisis on behalf of humanity, but no longer!  It’s just such a relief knowing I have the power to capture the complexities of the human condition so concisely and in about 5 minutes.  Right?  Right.

What, would you say, ya do here?

MORE Lists

(1) Things to notice about the above list:

  1. Most of the “THINGS TO DO WITH LIFE” are broad terms encompassing a veritable menagerie of activities.  For instance, “Raise Things” includes (but isn’t limited to) farm animals, crops, children, and barns.
  2. That grid with the T’s and W’s is a pictorial representation of a maze data structure and is completely unrelated to my list.  Matt was using this board to do some design work, and he left too much whitespace open and vulnerable for hijacking.  This is your final warning: hide your notebooks, hide your loose-leaf, hide your whiteboards, and hide your pens – I am coming for them.
  3. Those out of context items on the right are indeed another list.  Blogger, Accountant, Comic, and Nursing Home Worker are occupations that I wanted to verify were somehow represented in “THINGS TO DO WITH LIFE”.
  4. I seem to be missing a provision for leisurely fun. Or maybe I was thinking this falls under “NOTHING.”  On a scale of 1 to Full Metal Jacket, how hardcore am I?

(2) Criteria to use when evaluating a list

  1. Accuracy
  2. Relevance
  3. Completeness
  4. Conciseness
  5. Organization

(3) Things I like to do with lists

  1. Make
  2. Evaluate
  3. Check twice
  4. Complete, as in TODO lists (rare)

Till next time – Toodaloo!

Water Cooler: Monday Edition

This is the story of my EPIC Sunday.  Told differently, it might sound like I slept in, ate some food, read a book, and watched some TV.  But taking a closer look, we might just find out that it’s a tale of love and loss, triumph and defeat, celebration and learning…

Act 1: The Kitchen

9:45 am – Wake up, then sit in bed reading Pillars of the Earth #epicreadingsession

11:00 – Get out of bed

11:30 – Decide to make waffles for the first time ever using the George Foreman waffle maker attachment.  Without consulting any experts, I decide that waffles are just pancakes but made in a waffle maker.  This turns out to be true, sort of.

First interesting discovery of the day: making pancake batter from Krusteaux pancake mix is extremely easy!  Like, easier than toast.  Matt makes pancakes all the time, even on weekdays, and I always thought he was quite the thankless superhero for going through the trouble.  But I now understand why he is so happy to make them, it literally is “just add water”.  Illusion: shattered.

As easy as it is to make the mix, I forget to Pam spray the waffle iron so I ended up with a huge sticky morass of waffle goo on every surface with no edible middle.  I manage to salvage about 2 forkfuls of waffle mush, which we split amongst ourselves.  I spend the next hour picking and scraping waffle guts out of the crevices.  It takes me so long that I probably could have saved time by using the dishwasher instead.

12:45 PMWaffles: Round 2.  Pam sprayed the heck out of the GF and got two big square waffles.  Food at last!

Now that I look it up, you are supposed to add some oil to pancake mix to transform it into waffle mix.  Specifically to avoid waffle/waffle-iron quagmire.  Oops!

There were failures and major delays, but I bested breakfast and came out on top.  The day is mine! #epicvictory

Act 2: The Living Room

1:00 - We watch the World Series of Poker on ESPN3.  The final two sitting are a 22 year old German student and a 35 year old Czech chessmaster.  They are staring each other down and having the least chatty poker-off I’ve ever seen.  It occurs to me poker is a chat-free, every man for himself, serious, age-agnostic, (mostly) skill-based game.  I think I might just love playing poker.  World Series of Poker 2020, here I come!  #epicadventuresofthefuture

(ASIDE: Apparently, online poker is felonious in Washington state.  Jail time, really?)

2:20 - Afraid that my Sunday is going stupidly, I start to freak out.  It’s pointed out to me that I’ve already done 2 epic things that I could talk about at the water cooler (1: bested my waffle maker, 2: decided to become poker champion).  I am appeased.

2:30 - Pullup practice.  Right now I’m working up to doing 4 negative chin-ups (where you start over the bar and try to go down slowly, palms facing you).  Someday when I’ve mastered that I’ll move on to negative pull-ups. #cuemontage

Act 3: The Streets

3:30 - Head to cafe with Matt to have lunch and read books.  Instead, we end up discussing our epic life plans (yes that was the actual terminology used) over a hummus and falafel plate while monitoring the 49ers/Giants game on the tiny tv over the bar.  It is extra delicious, but we have insufficient pita.

We learn some very important things on our phones:  1) Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. both played for the Mariners in the 90-91 season.   2) Eli and Peyton Manning’s dad was also an NFL quarterback.  3) There are no (male) sports where the average height is under 6’1.  Not even cricket (actually cricket turns out to be a very tall sport).  We decide this makes total sense, because who would invent a sport where bigger (and stronger and faster) isn’t better?

7:00 - Cafe closes, and the game is tied up at 17-17 with 3 minutes left in the fourth.  We walk into another nearby cafe which is standing room only to watch the remainder of the game.

By the way, I never had any interest in football until last weekend when I unexpectedly watched the end of an exciting home team victory at a sports bar.  So, despite not really knowing anything about the sport, I get to watch yesterday’s game go into overtime and learn the new post-season overtime rules.

It occurs to me that football is a primal, brutal, do-or-die sport, which is akin to a Braveheart battle scene re-imagined for the 21st century.  Despite loving sometime liking watching it, I think I might just hate playing football.

The 49ers lose 17-20, but I learn a lot and dream up many plays with names such as The Battering Ram and The Tumbler.  Oh, I’m sure nobody has thought of these before and I’m about to revolutionize the sport… #getreadyworld 

Act 4: Back Home

8:00 - Saute up an onion veggie side dish to go with some leftover pineapple black bean enchiladas.  The whole thing turns out to be the most delicious, most square-looking meal I’ve made in the past year.  #ironchef

9:15 - We decide to go out for dessert.  By which I mean, get a slice of chocolate cake at Safeway.  I also get a bottle of diet orange soda.  Rare but delicious, like elvish bread.

Act 5: Finally

I finish off my day by fixing my Mac (I’m a PC, so I’m not good with it and end up breaking it sometimes), and reading a hundred more pages of Pillars of the Earth.  That book tells an epic story of love and loss, triumph and defeat, celebration and learning.  It is also 1000 pages and reading it is a feat in and of itself.  #epic-fest.

And that’s the tale of my Sunday.

What did you do this weekend?