Random Thursday: Random Awesome

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content

The only thing this stuff has in common is that it made me go, “Whoa!”

Join me?


 Need a Birthday Cake for a Hoopy Frood?

Don’t panic.


Unless you don’t know what a hoopy frood is, or why towels are important.

Then you can panic a little, until you can get to a library or bookstore and ask where they’re keeping the Douglas Adams books.

Read. Enjoy. Repeat.

You can thank me with cake.

(Thanks, caitlin!)


One Does Not Simply Listen . . .


Can you imagine the roadies for this group?

“Thou shall not (without a backstage) pass!”

(Thanks, Kev! Force liquids,* dude—you’ll make it.)


Have the Holiday Blues?

Have 49 seconds of mongooses playing in a ballpit.

You’re welcome.

(Thanks, Watson—this was timely, believe me!)


Physics Pwn

Schrodinger gets pawnd

Hairballs may not have mass, but they do have squish . . .

(Thanks, Paula!)


Have Yourself a Minor Little Christmas

Chase Holfelder likes to arrange well-known songs in major keys to minor keys.
He’s really good at it.
I think I like this one better than the original, which I find a bit wistful, anyway.  The minor key just makes the tune fit.
*And by  “liquids”, I don’t mean “bourbon”.  It’s “feed a fever”, not “get it drunk and hope the hangover kills it.”  Sorry.

Random Thursday: Dinosaur vs. Bridge Traffic

Remember my complaint about the bridge traffic Monday?  Here’s one of the photos Janie took while hanging out of the window.*  Please note the bridge in the left distance and the single, lonely car approaching from the other direction.

To add to the joy, here’s a word problem:

Sarah has to get her daughter Janie to school on time, and then drive to work.  She has allowed forty-five minutes for this which is approximately twenty minutes longer than is usually necessary.

The bridge is about 2  miles (3.218 km) past the merge arrows.  Janie’s school is about a quarter mile (402.3 m) from the other end of said bridge, which is a little more than half a mile (.8 km) long.    It will take twenty-five minutes (1500 min.) at the traffic’s current speed to reach the school.

How far will Sarah be able to drive from this point without giving her daughter an impromptu vocabulary lesson? 

In approximately one third of a mile (531 m), Janie will suddenly remember that she didn’t have breakfast.   How far will Sarah we able to drive without offering a detailed and highly graphic explanation of the DOT’s collective genealogies?

Please show your work.

Extra credit:  In what way would your calculations change if this is Sarah’s view for 2.25 miles (3.62 km)?


A skeleton walks into a bar.   “Bartender,” he says, “give me a beer.  And a mop.”


Small Victory:

Two of my, um, foundation undergarments, long past retirement age, recently self-detonated, leaving nothing but stray underwire and a pile of exhausted elastic.  The second one gave up the ghost last week—in the dryer, thank heavens, so there were no casualties—leaving me with an, ah, understaffed support system, and no time to get to the nearest Intimacy store,** which is more than three hours away.

So for the first time ever, I ordered replacements online, including a style I’d never tried in a size I was hoping would work because the color I wanted in my usual style wasn’t available.*** 

I sprang for three-day shipping—lest the stress on the few remaining survivors hasten their own tragic deaths—and received them yesterday.

They all fit.  I repeat:  They all fit.

I can’t manage that on my first trip to the dressing room of a physical store.

On second thought, this is more of a miracle than a small victory.

My question is this:  should I buy a lottery ticket now or assume I’ve used up all my good luck^ for a while?


Literary Death Match

It should be clear by now that I am a complete video thief and that SBSarah over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books   is one of my favorite sources. 

This is Bob Shea’s  contribution to the Literary Death Match at  last year’s Texas Book Festival.  His first reading selection was good, but his second is priceless:


Show of hands:  who is going to look for his books now — and who really wishes the second one was for sale?


And one last Douglas Adams quote:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”


*She managed two before I realized the flash was coming from the outside of the car.  It’s a wonder sometimes that my heart still beats . . .

**Which I recommend to anyone, of any size, shape, placement, or problem.  Historically, I would rather wrap my torso in razor wire than go bra shopping (don’t ask me about swimsuits).  But Intimacy has fitters, who fit you and stick with you until you’re comfortable and everything’s exactly where you want it.  Pricey?  A bit, even if you don’t have to use a whole tank of gas to get there.  Worth it?  Absolutely.

***Note to my male readers, should you exist: if you don’t understand why this is a risky move, you’ve just defined male privilege—congratulations.

^Or, rather, the good luck MacDougal Street Baby so generously shared with me last Monday.

Do you have your towel?

“A  towel . . . is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough”

—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I think I know what when wrong this past Monday — I didn’t have my towel with me.

Luckily,today is Towel Day, so everything is gonna be just fine.  Because now I have my towel.

For those of you who are wondering if I’ve snapped,* Towel Day is a celebration of the late Douglas Adams, author of many marvels, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series,  from which good memes come:


Life . .. don’t ask me about life . . .

Flies like a fish, steers like a cow.

Is there any tea on this spaceship?

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters

The knack [of flying] lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

“Ford… you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

What I need… is a strong drink and a peer group.

And of course,  Don’t Panic, which is always a useful bit of advice, even if you have no intention of following it.

This is how I first encountered Douglas Adams and his Guide:

I was riding the school bus home from my first day of seventh grade with a bunch of kids who had gone to other elementary schools—they’d redrawn the boundaries over the summer, so all my friends were on the other bus.  So naturally, I had my shy nose stuck in a book, the title of which has passed out of memory.

This red headed boy leaned across the aisle and propositioned me in particularly graphic language.  I was duly horrified, but knew better than to show it.  So I rolled my eyes, forced a smile, and said something like, “No, thanks.  You’ll get me all dirty,” and went back to my book, trying not to spontaneously combust from mortification.**

The next day, on the way to school, this same boy asked me what I was reading, as if we were old friends instead of bully and target.  Suspecting a trick,  I showed him the cover and braced myself—but he only dug around in his backpack and pulled out a paperback with a giant thumb and a rude little green planet on the cover.  “You ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ?”

I hadn’t.  He passed it over.  “You can borrow it if you want.  And sorry about yesterday.  I thought you were stuck up, but you’re all right.”

That kid became one of my best, if weirdest, friends*** and Douglas Adams became one of my favorite authors.

Mr. Adams was irreverent and sly and witty and twisted language into pretzel shapes and science fiction (among other genres)  into something both convoluted and brilliantly, elegantly, simple.  The imagination of the man!

I’m sure he opened mine to the possibilities, including the possibility that I might be able to play with words, too, in my own way.  And he certainly did a lot for my reading comprehension—if you can follow the Dirk Gently stories, AP English is a breeze.

I think I fell in love with my husband, in part, because he could quote back lines from most of Mr. Adams’ books.  it was proof that he was one of my kind.   Someone who would remind me to miss the ground and Don’t Panic.

A Towel-bearer.


*Years ago.  And you must be new — hello!

**I’m convinced that if human beings actually could die of embarrassment, few of us would survive puberty.

*** There was never a repeat of his initial suggestion, or any like it,  in all the years I knew him.  To this day, I have no idea why he chose the , ah, pick-up line he did, but I have to admit, it worked.