Tag Archives: random

10 Potentially Amusing Presidential Ancedotes

One day, about 6 years ago, I was listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me when the panelists started joking about the Vice President shooting someone. “That’s weird,” I thought, “Why are they talking about Aaron Burr?” It took me a minute to realize they meant Dick Cheney, who was the current VP. And it’s not like I hadn’t heard about the hunting accident, because I had. That was the moment when I realized I was doomed.

As an atheist and American history nerd, President’s Day is as close to a religious holiday as I get. So as is tradition, here is my list of ten fun and interesting Presidential History Facts.

Practically a superhero and he KNEW it.

1. Bulletproof. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning for a third go as President under his newly-formed Bull Moose Party. Before a speaking engagement in Wisconsin, a man shot Roosevelt in the chest. The bullet was slowed by the copy of the speech in his breast pocket. Upon checking that he was not bleeding from the mouth, he insisted on speaking. With a pierced lung, he got up to the podium and, waving his blood-soaked pages in the air, shouted that it would take more than a bullet to stop a Bull Moose. Roosevelt spoke for 90 minutes before agreeing to go to the hospital. (This is merely the coolest of all of the TR is a Bad Ass anecdotes.)

2. Pus Reports. After James A. Garfield was shot in 1881, he was taken to a coastal town to get well. The nation was so captivated by the ailing President that his doctors issued daily reports to the press on Garfield’s condition. The reports were short and often focused on how much pus was oozing from his wounds. Garfield finally succumbed to death on September 19th, 1881.

3. Presidential Pets. Many Presidents have had dogs but Calvin Coolidge practically had a zoo. His pets included two kittens, several dogs, an antelope, a wallaby and a pygmy hippo. Coolidge also had two raccoons, Rebecca and Reuben, which he let roam around the White House, much to annoyance of the staff.

4. Pajamas. Thomas Jefferson believed in a casual, approachable government. When British Diplomat Andrew Merry arrived at the White House in full military uniform, Jefferson received him in his slippers and dressing gown. Merry was offended, thinking it was a jab at the British government. For the duration of his Presidency, Jefferson often greeted guests in his pajamas. (That is my kind of President.)

5. Every 80s Child Probably Remembers When Bush Senior Went to Japan. While on a state visit to Japan in 1992, President George H.W. Bush complained he felt ill before going to dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Miyazawa. On live TV broadcast, Bush vomited in Miyazawa’s lap and then fainted. The faux-pas caused the Japanese media to coin the term *“bushu-suru”* or “to do a bush,” meaning to embarrass oneself by vomiting in public.

6. Bathtub Maintenance. William H. Taft was elected in 1908. At six foot two and over three hundred pounds, he was too big for the White House bathtub and had a larger one installed. The new tub measured seven feet long and three feet five inches wide and was said to be large enough for four normal-sized men.

7. The Whiskey Rebellion. Soon after Washington took office, the new US government enacted a Whiskey Tax to help pay for the Revolution. Furious about being taxed—taxation was used as propaganda to incite the war—people began forming small militias and threatening rebellion. Washington decided forcibly taking down these militias would tear the new nation apart before it began. Instead, he mounted his white horse and marched an army of 1200 men down through Pennsylvania. The show of force quelled the uprisings and America accepted that taxes are an inevitable part of life. You’re welcome.

8. Jackets Are For Sissies. William Henry Harrison’s inauguration day, March 4, 1841, was freezing and wet. Since no President before had given their Inauguration Address in a coat and hat, Harrison refused to wear them. He spoke for two hours in the cold and caught pneumonia. He died thirty days later, on April 4, making it the shortest Presidential term in history.

9. Peanut Farmer Becomes President. Jimmy Carter worked as a peanut farmer before becoming the Governor of Georgia and eventually President. Floating along in his Inauguration Parade in 1977 was a giant peanut-shaped balloon.

10. Poker. Warren G. Harding decided to host a gambling night in the White House for a few of his friends. During one hand the betting got high and Harding ran out of money. Instead of folding, Harding bet the White House’s china. He lost and so did the nation.

Originally printed in the City Collegian, a newspaper that was systematically killed by school politics.


My October Daye-themed trip to Golden Gate Park

This might surprise you guys, given that I write for a geek girl blog, but I’m kind of a huge nerd. Like, gigantic. And I’m not afraid of making a fool of myself. Besides, if I’m honest, I’ve been searching for a secret door to Narnia since 3rd Grade.

This weekend I went to San Francisco, a place I’ve been many times and adore. But it was the first I’d been back since reading Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, which largely takes place there. As you may remember, I am a HUGE Tybalt Fangirl. My travel buddy, Ben, just finished the second book and suggested we take a can of tuna down to the park. We also went to the Japanese Tea Garden.

Surprisingly, no one questioned why I was walking around the park with an unopened can of tuna calling for a cat.

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5 Classics Repackaged For Kids Today

A while ago, the internet erupted like a volcano when new Twilight-themed covers were put on the classic novel Wuthering Heights. This is because it’s the one book Bella has actually read, despite supposedly being an avid reader. I thought it was a stroke of marketing genius. I mean, check it out:

It even says “Love Never Dies.” It’s totally trying to cash in on the vampire mania with a book that has nothing to do with vampires. People were amused, outraged, and just amazed that publishers would do it. I thought, why stop there? So I’ve repackage five classic novels to grab attention on the shelves, just in time for the holiday season.

Packaged to appeal to: fans of Transformers
Why it works: Hey, it’s about a guy who turns into a bug. It’s practically the original Transformer, right?

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Housekeeping Plus Cats in Costumes

I know the blog’s been quiet lately but we’re still around. It’s been a hectic week. Some of us have gone back to school, others are just working too many hours to form a coherent thought in their free time beyond “What cocktail will make it all better?” (I have healthy coping issues, clearly.) Don’t worry, this is a temporary lull. Normal posting will resume soon. I’m sure it was keeping you awake at night.

I was going to attempt another Geek Girl Con panel recap (I still have photos and notes of like 5) or a book review (I finished Delirium by Lauren Oliver but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s Dsytopian Friday post). But today was a nine hour day in a week of nine hour days that felt like they would never end and my brain feels more like oatmeal than something with neurons and synapses.

So instead, here are photos of my cats dressed up last year for Halloween. I am a bad cat mommy (shut up, it’s been a long day) and didn’t get them costumes this year, but then I haven’t gotten one for myself either. We’ll probably spend the weekend camped on the couch watching whatever Halloween programming the History and Sci-Fi channels decide to marathon. Except Ghost Hunters. Because screw that noise.

Locke Lamora. He was too small for the jester hat. He's grown.

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Yo Ho Ho – Pirate-ize Your Glassware

The Goth in me LOVES stores at Halloween time.

Grocery shopping with me is a lot like grocery shopping with a little kid. I’ve been known to buy oatmeal because of a Disney-Pixar tie-in on the box even when I don’t care for the flavor. I am the sort of person who goes “ooh shiny,” or “ooh neat,” and has to have something thanks to pretty packaging. In other words, I’m an advertiser’s dream come true.

Today, I stumbled across Glassware Bling. I tend to shy away from anything that can be called bling in any way, shape, or form unless it’s a jean jacket with a unicorn bedazzled on the back. (I am a child of the 80s. Seriously.) Still, this isn’t shiny gem-like bling. THIS IS PIRATE BLING.

I mean… who doesn’t want to drink out of a jolly roger glass? No one you want to know, that’s who! You can put them on any glass, or probably a mirror or whatever you feel like. And then they wash off in warm water. So you can decorate glasses for your Pirates of the Caribbean marathon and your roommate won’t kill you for “destroying” his glassware (the humorless scalawag*).

You’re not obligated to drink rum from any glass it’s put on but you probably should just to keep things kosher. It looks pretty awesome once it’s applied, although I put it on crooked:

Arr, matey!

It comes with 6 in a package, which is enough for a small party. Or one for almost every day of the week. Whichever.

*Not my roommate. He’s awesome. This is his glass!


First Impressions: Tiger & Bunny

Fortune Cookie over at Defective Geeks is often my go to for when I need a new anime to check out. Most recently, she recommended Tiger & Bunny, which is available subbed on Hulu. Huzzah!

I’ve only watched one episode so far, and really, that’s the most important episode for me – it determines whether or not I will keep watching in a big way. I’m sure it’s like that for a lot of people too, so I here are my first impressions of this anime in case you aren’t sure if this is one for you!

Episode 1: All’s Well That Ends Well – beware of spoilers!

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The 5 Nerdiest Presidential History Things I Own

I’ve always had a fascination with U.S. Presidents. I don’t know if it’s because the nation’s leader at any given time speaks volumes about the country when he was in office, or if I’m just impressed by men who get the job and don’t totally muck it up. It helps that I’m also hugely enamored with American history in general, so focusing one specific constant helps paint a larger picture of chronological events in our nation’s past.

Point is, I love Presidential History and these are some of the nerdy, silly Presidential things I have collected over the years. (Note: I also own a Mount Vernon nail clipper, but since I couldn’t find it, and figured no one would believe me without photographic evidence, it didn’t make the list.)

5. Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address Poster Hanging in my Kitchen

Hey, my roommate knew what he was getting into when we found a place together, okay?

I can recite the speech from memory, too.

I got this forever ago and it’s pretty beat up, but it still makes me smile. The Gettysburg Address might well be one of the best short speeches of all time. (Bonus nerd fact: I have a line from Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address tattooed on my arm. No joke! It says “With Malice Toward None.” Maybe that should have made the list? I can never get a good photo of it since it’s in a band around my upper arm.)

4. Presidential Card & Trivia Games

Despite suggested ages, I got both in my 20s.

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