Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Television I Won't Be Watching

Gay, Straight or Taken on Lifetime.

I am so not watching this. I feel a little soiled just having seen the commercial on TV. A game show modeled on life, yes? A woman has to pick from three guys which one is gay, which one is already involved, and which one is available. The tag line is "In the game of love, do you know who is on your team?"

Ok, I've heard it plenty. All attractive, conversant, successful men are either gay or taken. If a woman is looking for an available guy, she has to sort them out of the pack.

My first thought is about what this says of gay men -- that they should be trying to "fool" a straight woman? I am well familiar that many gay men don't necessarily "act gay". Lots don't lisp, don't do air quotes or Z snaps, don't squeal, don't flounce, bounce, or sashay, can't even match socks, and could care less about which cracker goes with the foie gras. Yes, there is always an element of "awww gee" when a woman gets a crush on a gay guy, but unless he's closeted or in a huge "don't ask/don't tell" situation, I think it's up to a guy to make such things plain. That is, unless he is looking for a beard. Yuck.

Then there's the "unavailable" guy. What is the show saying here? That all men are dogs and even if they are in a relationship, a single woman is still a target? She has to be able to read the secret signs because he's going to accept her attention, use her for sex/ego boost, and then drop her on her ass? Again, I'm a full disclosure type. If you're taken -- and taken means you know perfectly well if you are dating around, the one woman you're sleeping with the most will get REALLY upset and boot you to the curb -- then you should either get yourself single or get out of the pool. Far be it from me to dictate that someone may not have sex with whom they choose (as long as it is mutual) but anything involving sneaking, deception or rationalization is not a good idea.

At the same time, I can sense that this show will be popular with all kinds of people who will try to "guess the orientation" and pick their favorite guy for "their team". Is it the next "Queer Eye"? I so hope not.

Let's face it. This is a show about classifying people by stereotypes. The woman is trying to match the men to her inner templates of "what gay guys do", "what taken guys do", "what single guys do". From the little I've seen on the site about the show, it appears to be in the guys' interests to fool her, to pretend to be her "ideal date" no matter his real situation or feelings.

Either way, I think it's all wrong.There's a certain undertone in this show that seems to say a gay guy might court a woman, or perhaps if he were to find the "right" woman, he'd "switch teams". There's also a more blatant idea that its ok for a guy in a relationship to try to score with another woman.

Yuck. Too much reality for my taste, or maybe too much of a particular kind of "reality".

Friday, December 29, 2006

Same as Regular, but with Half the Sincerity

In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Sing like no one is around, all the time!

Get your resolution here.



Which will expand my audience. Now, I mostly sing to the cats.

(swiped from the very resolute Lazygal)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Tabloidable

I rarely pick up tabloid magazines at the grocery store (or anywhere else, smartasses) but occasionally I see something that I want to keep either for the entertainment value or because I can't believe it is in print (to this day I regret my dad threw out the copy of the Inquirer that showed the first President Bush surf fishing with his "invisible" secret service guards.)

So while waiting for someone else's cottage cheese to get rung up, I noticed Star Magazine had put the 50 Most Annoying Celebreties on their cover, I was curious. Mostly it is full of celebrity photos that I could not care less about, but some of those photos made me laugh (for instance, one of Gwen Stefani with her hair piled into a dinner roll on her forehead shows up twice -- once praising her for her jewelry line, the other saying her hair was annoying).

I can't really say I disagree with many of their choices, most expecially Borat's lime green banana hammock swim suit. That's not only annoying, it's WRONG. I am SO not going to see that movie, just because I'm already scarred.

In the "Celebs I know about but don't KNOW about", why does Clay Aiken now look so much like David Cassidy? Love child? Clone? Hologram?

The Year In First Lines

Stolen from Solonor, who cribbed it from someone else, who swiped it from another person, who probably got the idea elsewhere...because, face it, ideas on the Interwebinet are like germs, spreading from doorknob to doorknob...2006 in first lines of posts.


January "I've written over 3000 words since yesterday, and I'm still not done with the story." Top of the Mountain

February "I'm having trouble caring about things right now, in particular things that seem to be so passionately important to so many other people." Apapathetic

March
"I have germs." Announcement

April
"...which wasn't actually what I intended to type, but more correctly expresses the event I am trying to describe." -- I Was a Pillow

May
"Watchin' Otters" -- Where Have I Been

June
"Husband and I drove 4 hours south to Ft. Lauderdale to hear Fushu Daiko-Taiko."
Ta-rata-tum-tum

July "Ok, we are leaving for San Diego (stalkers take note) on the 18th of this month, for 7 days of con geekery and people-we-know-online-meeting." Count Down to San Diego

August "Because there's this Irishman in doubt..." 10 Reasons I Have Cats

September "1) Still doing the application thing." Lessee, Where Am I?

October "Something unexpected from our trip arrived at our house last week and has been residing with us ever since." Just Call Me Snotty

November "Today begins NaNoWriMo." It Begins

December "...once that nothing ever really interesting happens at work, so I don't talk about work much?" Ya Know How I Said

Side note: This is the 1100th post on this blog.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Scarring

I bought a few books to give as gifts this year, which means I also READ big hunks of those books before wrapping them. One of these was "The Gallery of Regrettable Food".

Today I found the website and even MORE Regrettable Food.

I think there should be rules for food. One of these rules is that there are a limited, controlled number of foods allowed to be pink. None of them contain meat.

Things To Do Before 2006 Ends

1. Make a pile of things that must go on eBay in January
2. Make my 2007 reading list
3. Replace one pair of paint covered sweat pants
4. New Sneakers!
5. Inventory jewelry making supplies
6. Finish reading the last book of 2006
7. Eat the last of the Christmas cookies/candy/goodies.
8. Pause to regret eating them as I lick crumbs off my fingers.
9. Bake things for the New Years Party
10. Clean the office for use as a guest room

Not so much. Sort of.

Oh, and I got a Target Gift Card which I used to buy MORE LEGOS!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Haul

I GOT LEGOS!!! Now I want MORE LEGOS!!!

Also -- cat cards, chocolates (really GOOD chocolates) a Redneck Calendar, two biographies I wanted (Bogart and Jane Austen), hand made bath products, special magic socks, a reindeer AND a frog, a pillow speaker, a few other books not directly at my elbow to list, several CDs, some clothes, and a DVD player/burner. I feel all loved.

Especially because, after some 10 years of asking, I GOT LEGOS!!!

Update: I built a house and a car with my LEGOS, and two LEGO people, but I don't have QUITE enough to build a REALLY cool house. But the car has rubber wheels and rolls and EVERYTHING.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ah, Christmas


Tonight we drive to Hamunaptra to spend Christmas withThe Husband's family (I have no family to speak of within about 1000 miles, at least none with whom I will mutually acknowledge existance, much less spend time). Since we are expected to be there tomorrow as well, we shall spend the night.

Neither of us is much looking forward to this evening. Usually, we make quick appearances at these functions, as our presence just causes awkwardness. There is no conversation worth having. As sweet and nice as The Husband's aunts are, we have little in common aside from being related. Conversational topics are limited and carefully controlled to avoid stony silences, awkward pauses, looks of confusion or disgust, and glances toward my mother-in-law that say "Are you sure this man is your son?" all evening.

And then we get to sleep in twin beds. Yay.

Sometimes I wonder what we will do when the MIL passes away and there is no longer the little family we still have. Christmas becomes sadder and sadder for me each year, more about remembering those who aren't here and less about doing things for the people who are. That circle seems to shrink each year. In certain dark moments, I think my life is doing that, too.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Leftovers

Last night's party was a lot of fun. Illness and family problems kept a few invited guests away (as well as rain - what's with the rain? We were told we weren't going to get any rain, because we needed it, but hell, they could TIME it better.) We ate much food, laughed, talked, ate more, drank wine, drank wassail and ate more. Chocolate Mousse Rum Cake was the highlight.

Today? Today is spent making some last minute gifts, eating leftovers, watching movies and being quietly at home.

Oh, and it seems all the presents we mailed away have arrived (a fact which is very surprising) except one. I don't know about one. There's always one.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Passing Thought

I don't remember where this came up in conversation, but...

Scariest Monster Ever = Santa Zombie Clown

With a mime sockmonkey sidekick.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

OK, I'm settling in

I've archived all my posts, I have some idea what I need to add and do, and I'm holding out hope that eventually I'll run into someone who can create an XML template that looks JUST LIKE MY OLD TEMPLATE yet uses all this new Blogger niftiness. I've got my Haloscan comments, I've got my Blogrolls, and while I still need to put in a few things here and there, I feel a little better about the whole thing.

Anyway, there have been other things going on. Yesterday was a fill out rampage of Bosszilla over the city of D-man, with me as sole witness, in which the words "You're so fucking stupid" were uttered with nuclear fire breath. D-man actually walked out (in silence) and I thought I might throw up. Today Bosszilla started out all roaring and mean, but someone fed him deviled eggs. Today was the company Christmas luncheon. I have not attended one of those in about 5 years, and I didn't go to many before that, but Bosszilla loves the deviled eggs and he was making jokes and singing all morning. I stayed in my hole and pretended I was invisible. D-man was behaving similarly. I was surprised he was here this morning, really.

And now we are doing panic cleaning and baking for our little Solstice Soiree tomorrow night. There are still boxes to be shoved into the garage and garbage to be gathered, but in general things are in good enough shape for company. I have to vacuum. Then, tomorrow, the cats will be herded into the bedroom, the bird will be put in our shower stall (she's REALLY noisy) and food will be set all over the place for the 20 or so friends who dare the trip to our part of the twigs.

By the way, Happy Solstice! Blessed be.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thanks Be To

Scott for fixing my comments! Yay! Back to Haloscan again! I wasn't even so stupid -- my template is confusing. (of course! I picked it, didn't I?)

CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR THE DISTURBED



1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?
2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are
3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas
4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....
6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
7. Borderline Personality Disorder ---Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Don't Mind Me, I'm Fine, I'll Be All Right, I've Got My Cats and At Least They Love Me
8. Personality Disorder ---You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?
10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle,Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

To which I add my own song...for Sociopaths --- Chester's Roasting on an Open Fire

Further Complaint

Ok, it's for free. That's nice. It's very convenient. That's nice, too. It's perfect for lazy people like me and others don't care because they use Bloglines or some other aggregator. But I care. It's my face on the web and I like it to look like *I* like it to look.

And the damn Beta's tools keep fucking up. They show one time, don't load another. Parts appear and disappear. And the templates are REALLY limited. I'm...thinking that the new year may bring change.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

There is No Going Back

Blogger has certainly set things up to be...difficult. I can't rebuild my old template because my HTML skills are not all that strong and they now have this XML thing which I really don't grasp. The templates Blogger provides are pretty much cookie cutter sites, restrained and repetitious.

Bah. I liked my template. I liked it a lot. The pleasure of labeling posts (which is really a lot more work) is NOT worth the trade off. The limited choices of moving this or that around a restricted zone of available locations within Blogger's "Drag and Drop" design ability is boring, dull, and stiff.

I ain't happy. I am backing up my archives, though. I wonder how much I would hate going back to a non-Blogger format?

Hokay then

It seems the "new blogger" will not let me ever use the template I had anymore, never, never, never. I'll have to cobble a new template together from the bits and pieces I have collected over time, to see what will and won't work, and what I end up with. Feh, that's a lot of work.

I should have taken the BLUE pill.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

.25 Hour In The Light

So, concert last night. I actually sat in the audience except for a quick dart backstage to slide into a sweater that smelled subtly of cat pee, mess up the words to a song while holding a hand mic, and blink into the darkness. Then, in a flash, I was back in my seat.

That was my concert experience. I need to do it twice more today (sans cat-pee sweater) and then my stint with the Orlando Gay Chorus will be ended.

The one thing I noticed was, as great as everything went, as good as they sounded and as much fun as the music was, I had no desire to get up on stage with them. When I saw them the first time, I was singing in the audience. I was itchy with lust to be on stage. I wanted it so badly I could have cried.

I don't want it any more. The romance is over.

Now to deal with that cat-pee sweater.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Those Zany Referral Logs

Someone, somehow, found this site by searching for....


wait for it...


Vibrating Squirrels.



I suppose it is a positive thing that I am third on the list. What's really scary is that Google reports 134,000 sites found on the search.

While I apparently did show up on a search for I cruised the streets for sailors, I'm not not on the first two pages. Someone was desperate, I guess.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Tale of Two Lizards

WHEN DID I MISS THE MEMO THAT I WAS ON LIZARD PATROL TODAY?

(insert breathless panting here)

Florida is famous for assorted wildlife, not discounting reptilian forms. There are abundant suburban reptiles, little lizards variously called geckos or chamelions but I think they are technically anoles. Anyway, we have TONS of them around our house. They sun on our front walk and scatter when we head for the door, dodging into the bushes and glaring at us from the aloe plants like minature dinosaurs, resenting their loss of fear inspiring size. They climb on the window screens to do their little "macho display", blowing out their red dewlaps and doing pushups.

This is what really interests the cats. My cats, in particular my two males, will throw themselves against the window to get to these little teasing creatures. They crouch for hours on the window sills staring at the bushes for some movement. They will follow a fast moving anole from window to window around the house. They dream of catching one of these lizards for themselves, and occasionally an unwise anole will hitch a ride or otherwise slip inside, not knowing the fate that awaits them.

This is where Lizard Patrol comes in. You see, while I know perfectly well I share a household with a group of natural predators, anoles are not good eating for cats. Anole guts contain nasty bacteria and such that will make a cat sick, not that this disuades the cat any. Also, there is always something rather disturbing about finding Bit O' Anole in your shoe or on a chair, especially if it is post-digestion. So, The Husband and I keep our eyes open for the telltale signs -- lots of pouncing and bouncing around by the two boys, desperate attempts to lift up the arm chair or the ottoman by a group of cats, crashing sounds -- you know, all the signs that a mad cat-chase is taking place in some room where we are not.

Lizards seem never to start out in a room where we ARE. They always appear in rooms where we Are Not. This, I suppose, is to make it more interesting for us, as we sit in another room trying to interpret the various sounds we hear and decide if intervention is necessary.

Well, tonight I am solo while The Husband teaches an extra yoga class. I am hanging decorations and trying to keep Bea away from the ornaments (she steals and hides/breaks them) and LaGuz away from the presents and the tree skirt (she pees on them). While taking a break, I hear suspicious noises. Upon investigation, I determine that Pooty and Benny are torturing a Lizard. I move in to save the poor thing. It hasn't been inside too long, as it still has its tail (anoles have that detachable tail thing). It's maybe two to three inches long. I try to pick it up in my hands, and it BITES me. Now, it's little and it doesn't actually HURT -- more like a firm pinch -- but I am so surprised that reflex gets the better of me and I fling the thing. Lucky for it, I fling toward the front door. I beat the boys away with much hand flapping and meaningless threats, find a piece of cardboard from one of the ornament boxs, scoop up the stunned lizard and deposite it outside. My good deed for the day, and I avoid finding a Pool Of Anole Bits later in the evening.

Not 40 minutes later, I hear Those Noises again. Pooty is in hot pursuit of ANOTHER anole, this one easily as long as my hand and not willing to go down without a fight. Neither is Pooty, who is absolutely determined I shall NOT spoil his fun again. So with one hand I am holding off a very determined grey tabby while with the other I am heaving up the ottoman under which the lizard has taken shelter. Pooty gets past me, grabs the lizard and heads for the hills, but the lizard fights free in the foyer and hides under the foot of a little metal cat sculpture I have there. I already have a piece of cardboard in hand. I've got Pooty held down with one foot, I'm lifting the sculpure with my left hand, I'm watching out for Ben (who is circling, waiting for an opening) and trying to manouver this cardboard -- not my most graceful pose ever, but it worked.

Another Lizard rescued. However, I had to make with the kitty treats because there were many Resentful Looks directed at me. They are still scouting the house, hoping to get lucky a third time.

Maybe it would just be easier to clean up the vomit.

Checking In - Thursday Edition

OK, the cold is retreating. I am up to Coughing Out a Lung and Frog Voice, which means I should be reasonably recovered by Saturday. I'm skipping Friday's tech rehearsal -- I can't see driving a 2 hour round trip and standing around for another 2 hours to sing for 10 minutes, and they can do the sound check with three people as well as with four.

Now I need to put on some Real clothes and hit Target for ornament hooks. How can it be that I buy these things every year, and every year I need more? What happens to them? Each year I put the hooks in a zipper bag and each year I can't find that zipper bag until I am taking the tree DOWN, at which time I put the REST in the zipper bag and put it in a box where I think I will find it easily NEXT year...and I never do. What's up with this?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Star Trek

I just finished watching Mind Meld, the mutual interview between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. This was done about 5 years ago, so I imagine these two men have undergone a few changes since then (and I am going to have to look for Nimoy's photography). I found some parts of their conversation deeply moving.

It's no secret that I am a lifelong Star Trek fan, ever since Mr. Spock scared my two year old self with his pointy ears. I was always a Spock girl -- Kirk was ok, but not for me. Spock was the one from the time I hit puberty. As a teenager, I read "I Am Not Spock", which was probably the first time I ever thought about an actor as a person, apart from the character I knew. I even read the fairly bad poetry he wrote and published (in fairness, not all of it was bad, and I'm certain every word was sincere, but what I thought was wonderful when I was 16 doesn't read so well now.) I enjoy hearing him talk and reading what he writes. I've watched him in other movies and TV shows over the years, but it is true when I say his work as Mr. Spock has had the longest and deepest effects on my life.

(I do not own any pointed ears, nor have I ever owned Vulcan ears. The only costume ears I ever owned were for a fairy creature role, nothing to do with being green, and I wore them once only because the spirit gum caught my hair. Even I have limits to my geekiness.)

As I was listening to the two men talk, I thought about how many years I've been a fan of the show and how much time I've spend just in thinking about it, one way or another. I've made fun of it and cried over it, cheered for it and been impatient about it, but I still love the original Star Trek I still catch the occasional rerun. And I still love Mr. Spock...although I doubt I could think of three things to say to Mr. Nimoy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

True Television Confessions

Being home sick gives me lots of time to think of weird-ass, pointless weblog posts. Have you noticed?

I watch very eclectic TV. The Husband and I rarely watch anything on regular networks. I watch a steady diet of both History Channels, the various Discovery channels, TLC , Turner Classic Movies, and National Geographic, with a smattering of Comedy Central, A&E, and...Spike.

Yeah, I said it. I watch, on occasion, Spike TV. The TV for Men.

Well, mostly I watch reruns of old Star Trek:TNG episodes (get off me, I'm a TrekGeek from way back) and Worlds Wildest Police Videos. I watch the Trek for nostalgia and the WWPV for perfect examples of 1) how stupid people can be and 2) everything not to do when you are being chased by police. I consider both to be very important information. It's very comforting, in a way, to realize you are smarter than the average criminal type caught on video. Of course, sometimes wet tissue is smarter than these people.

I don't watch Comedy Central for all the cool stuff everyone else watches. Nope, I turn in strictly when they are showing one of the Blue Collar Comedy shows. Larry the Cable Guy is my least favorite, mostly because I'm related to too many people just like him and it's scary. The rest of them, however, crack my shit UP. I'm especially fond of Bill Engvall because the man keeps his own blog and he has definate Redneck grammar and punctuation skills, which just make me love him more (while restraining my inner editor). Ron White wasn't initially a favorite of mine -- he's very abrasive -- but the more I watch him, the more intelligent and honest and damned FUNNY he gets. And I've always liked Jeff Foxworthy. I grew up surrounded by Rednecks, and while I'm not one myself (I simply don't qualify on enough point) it's all humor to which I can relate. I love me some Rednecks, as long as they aren't sitting on MY couch.

Shows I watch regularly are Mythbusters (aren't you shocked?), The Dog Whisperer, Little People, Big World, and Modern Marvels.

What about you? I know some of you are real addicts. 'Fess up!

News! Christmas Is Saved!

Or something like that. Seems the furor over the missing Christmas Trees (I suppose it is more correct to call them Holiday Trees, because, really, they show up in settings sacred and secular, often appear in homes that are not really celebrating Christmas -- we do Yule and Solstice here more than Christmas -- and, as I pointed out yesterday, they aren't technically Christian) has resulted in their reinstatement. The rabbi has offered to give the airport an electric menorah to display. There is talk of creating a more inclusive display for next year.

I know it all comes down to the importance of symbols in our society. We use images to represent y complex, multi-layered ideas. The ideas behind the symbols become simplified over time and then, because so many people are not comfortable with thinking (or are too lazy), the symbols BECOMES the ideas. Most of us swallow the symbols we are given whole, without ever taking them apart and seeing what they really mean They come to us from all directions. A lot of them slip by our consious minds and become part of how we see the world without us ever noticing. Stereotypes (which are, in my completely unsubstantiated opinion, a kind of symbol), archtypes (again, another symbol), and various significant images are filtering into our heads constantly.

Oops, almost started a lecture there, and despite all my interest and thought on the subject, I'm not really authoritative enough to do that. Must be the headcold that has taken up residence with me.

Anyway, good on SeaTec. Too bad it took a tantrum to achieve this ending.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cultural Anthropology 101

I love reading Mac for four reasons.

1) She regularly makes me laugh
2) She occasionally pisses me off
3) She usually makes me think
4) She is my main source for news like this

Also, she's a cheese addict, so every time the impulse comes over me to think of her as Mac-n-cheese, I don't feel so guilty.

Anyway, this story about SeaTec (you should note that the MSNBC story has been edited since Mac posted about it) has a little line about "cultural anthropology", implying that it would have been extremely arduous for anyone at SeaTec to be aware of the various religious holidays and provide equal representation.

Well, I dunno about a giant menorah or lawsuits or whatever else, but I do know it took me about 30 seconds to go to Wikipedia, type in "winter holidays" and get this list. Oh yeah, cultural anthropology.

And I suppose it's a bit much to suggest that Christmas Trees aren't really Christian, so this whole brouhaha is kinda strange. I'm not sure that a menorah is really a holy symbol although it is a symbol of Judaism and, in some instances, of Hannukah. (Oh, that took me another 30 seconds of typing into Wikipedia). The point is, now Christians, who are not supposed to worship graven images or idols of any kind, are upset about a symbol and that's getting everyone else upset about their symbols (or lack of representation thereof). But, according to some, taking those trees down is an Anti-Christian act...I suppose that not putting a menorah up (properly Chanukkiyah if Wiki has any weight) might be considered Anti-Semitic in that light. I wonder if the Chinese feel slighted because there are no dumplings?

Wow, all this research really wore me out. I think I need a nap.

The latest

I spent Sunday wrapping presents. And sneezing. And wiping my nose. Since I was also doing a bit of dust removal, I put it down to dust. Dust will do that to me. I was having sneezing fits.

This morning I have a stuffy head and a soreness at the very top of my sinuses, where they connect to my throat. The concert is this coming weekend. Anyone want to place bets now on a viral infection?

Oh joy.

In other news, I have (I think) narrowed down the source of my irrational desire for a puppy for Christmas. I've been getting teary eyed every time I see a "puppy for Christmas" stereotype on TV. Walking through the pet aisles at Target put a lump in my throat. I know that we do not need a dog. Neither of us are prepared to deal with a dog nor do we want to make the kind of commitment necessary for having a dog again. Nevertheless, I've been missing Calico far more than I ever thought I would. It's been two months now.

Ok, here's the weepy, irrational reason that I figured out while walking through Target. I want a puppy because we have no children, and likely never will. We never really did plan on children, but now that it is completely not an option, I begin to feel very isolated. I have no other close family, despite having any number of relatives who either do not speak to me or have no idea I still exist. Since I put a great deal of emotion into the things I have, I feel as if all those photos and mementos will end up in a yard sale somewhere, or in the trash, once I am gone. They have value to no one else.

And it's because I feel alone without my parents. There is no one left who knows any of my stories before I was 12 (and there, only one friend). My baby pictures are of significance only to me. Nothing will exist, it seems, to remind people I ever lived, nor is there anyone to keep those things.

I've been thinking about sortging through the pictures and mailing them to appropriate relatives so that my mom and dad will not vanish when I do. That is what bothers me most -- that no one will be left who is connected to my mother, who has those pictures, the quilts, the little things she kept from her mother.

It's entirely maudlin and irrational. I don't much like it. However, that is the reason behind my puppy-longing.

Now, I am going to have my cold.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday

It's actually kinda chilly here in Florida land. Like, in the 40's and windy. Cold enough that I am seriously considering putting on socks. Cold enough that, despite all I need to do, I am not leaving my warm nest on the bed.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Offensensitive

Looks like Mel Gibson has found someone new to offend.

Maya say Gibson movie portrays them as savages


Ya know, I'm not sure which way to look at it -- are various groups now lining up to be offended by whatever Gibson produces, or is ol' Mel just offending his way around the cultural world?

Yeah, I don't buy it either

I like memes. They remove any obligation to spell things correctly.








I don't mind if you laugh. I can't stop giggling myself.

(stolen from Da Jammies)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

At least I don't have a radio collar and an ear ID

I've been TAGGED. OK, my top ten Christmas wishes (that are just for me and all about me, so nix on the world peace and hunger things, ok?) of impractical or seemingly impossible things.

1. More self discipline so I could stop wasting time with silly, pointless things and do all the things I keep thinking I should do, like clean the house and get my grad school stuff together.

2. A kitten that I don't have to trade in my husband for. And a puppy. I love my husband, but I love the whole baby animal thing.

3. To go back about 5 years and get pregnant then.

4. A studio release DVD copy of "Apartment For Peggy" with trivia notes.

5. Enough concentration to actually read a whole book again.

6. To sell a short story to a prestigious magazine. For money.

7. To travel around and visit everyone I like without having to drive or fly there. Transporters are ok with me.

8. A maid who would vacuum, mop and sweep all the floors every week. I'll dust and pick up if someone else does the floors.

9. To stop worrying about death.

10. For my teeth to just stay where the braces left them without having to wear that damn retainer.

Hmph. I don't want much, do I?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Again with the cool kids

Yeah, it's a meme, and I swiped it from Scott at Volume 22 who swiped it from the newly reconstituted Leptard and anyway, here's ten things I like starting with S.

Songs -- I love to sing, and songs are about the best way to accomplish that. Yodeling is not singing (my rules, I make 'em up.) I'll sing most any time, often without really knowing I am. I'm lucky in that I sing mostly in tune and my voice is pleasant. I am, however, a terror on a long car ride with the radio on.

San Diego -- I'd live there if I had the million dollars it takes to rent a shed with a bucket, and a $70,000 a year job that only required me to read things and write about them, and surf the internet a lot. I'd be good with that.

Sugar -- yeah, it's an addiction. I very much like sweet things, especially if they include chocolate.

Science -- in small amounts, and without too much math. I like science especially when the Mythbusters scientifically blow shit up! I was president of my junior high school science club for 2 years. Science is more fun in junior high. It would have been even more fun with explosions.

Science fiction -- sort of goes along, doesn't it? Yeah, authors like Isaac Asimov, Ursula LeGuin, Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton wrote a huge portion of the books I've read.

Sims 2 -- current computer gaming addiction. I like making houses more than micromanaging imaginary lives, though. Telling people when to go to the bathroom is BORING. People should just know that.

Sting -- my first really serious rock star crush. I still think he's pretty hot, and I still admire his talent, but I'm too old for crushes (and so is he.)


Seed Beads - My favorite kind of bead, because I can stitch them together into patterns and so forth. It's like knitting in that I find it very meditative, yet frustrating. I also get into it in moods. Perfect little Japanese made beads create the best stuff. Other kinds of beads are just for stringing, and are therefore mostly boring.

Soft sheets -- 250 thread count and above, cotton, preferably with a polished finish. Yeah, I know. I don't care.

Stuffed animals -- plushies, stuffies, whatever you call them, I collect them. Well, not the usual teddy bears, rabbits, kitties and puppies. This year I added a peacock, an otter, a camel, and Godzilla to my collection.

Ok, you wanna give this meme a try? Letters I'll put out are...

L, T, R, A, P

Leave a comment if you do it ;)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ya know how I said

once that nothing ever really interesting happens at work, so I don't talk about work much? Well, this week was more of that uninteresting stuff, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. Why? It's my blog, that's why. If I can talk about men in pantyhose and bleeding gelatinous blobs, I can talk about work.

Bosszilla is on his way to Asia for a few weeks. Now to recite the details of the week that was.

First, background. I work part time, contractually (not a regular employee) as Bosszilla's assistant. Because I USED to work at this company, I know most of what is going on all around. I also help the QA manager, and do various little tasks as they show up. If there isn't much going on, I don't go in. When there is stuff, I am there a lot.

This month there was a lot of stuff.

Monday and Tuesday were helping the QA manager with our recertification audits, which is just a little stressfull but not so bad. I had some urgent stupid stuff for BZ as detailed earlier. Then came Wednesday.

We have some big money projects going on, with parts shipping and much paperwork required. One of the guys in charge of one of these project is...I'll call him D-man. D-man is a nice guy, a smart guy, and a guy who wants to do everything himself not because he thinks everyone else is incapable, but because he doesn't quite know how to tell people what to do, doesn't feel comfortable asking for help, and can't stay focused on any one thing long enough to actually formulate the idea of asking for help. He cannot say "no" to anyone, nor put them off, nor control and organize his own time. Thus, he is constantly overloaded and not getting things done. At the same time, he is required to do a lot of paperwork via computer, which, in a manufacturing atmosphere is equivalent to sitting on your ass doing nothing (most people in our company who build parts do not DO paperwork, nor understand why you need to.)

Anyway, one of these big project companies requires a lot of highly detailed, tiresomely repetitious, and very time consuming paperwork for new jobs. To give you a good idea what I mean, think of something simple, like a flashlight. To properly document the flashlight, we have a three part form that lists all the parts used in the flashlight, each with its own part number repeated on all three pages, and details about this component came from and if we know it is any good, etc. By component, let's say I mean the case, the reflector, the bulb, the switch, the contacts and the batteries. Ok, now we need another three part form for EACH battery (let's say this is a whonking big flashlight and it uses 4 D cells). Now we need another three part form for the lightbulb, the switch, and so forth. THEN we need ANOTHER three part form with the components of the light bulb -- the filament, the glass bulb, the metal screw threaded contact. Then each of THOSE must have a three part form filled out (unless we are blessed with OTHER pieces of paper that say all the stuff that we don't need to create ourselves but need to make copies to include.)

You getting the picture here? We had six parts go out, each of which had a minimum of 8 sub assemblies, of which at least 4 if not 6 required their own paperwork, and the rest required copies of other people's paperwork, all collated and stapled and neatly piled. I'm talking a good 25-30 hours worth of work here, with two people on it. The only satisfaction I get is knowing that some QA manager has to READ all this crap. If they get it and toss it, I will have to hunt someone down and give them a staple enema.

Now, Bosszilla, when he is pissed about something, tends to exaggerate for effect. He also yells, points, talks over everything, gets really nasty, and generally expresses his feelings. He does calm down and become reasonable after a while, but his particular style of management tends to leave a person feeling worn down. Bosszilla does not care to listen. He likes to be RIGHT, therefore he IS right. But we won't go into details there. He has some nice points, too. But not when he's pissed off. So Bosszilla is saying the project has been going on for X months when actually it's X-3 months, and that the paperwork should only require 12 hours when actually it's taking, working flat out, 30 hours. In between times, he does this thing where, in a quiet voice, he badmouths D-man to me to get my aggreement that D-man is being stupid. This is what Bosszilla does when he is pissed off.

And he had reason to be pissed off. D-man, due to his assorted character traits, did not start on this massive paper project until the day before parts were due to ship. The parts themselves are slightly late. He had not asked for any help, and was going in several other directions, unable to focus. (I know why he can't focus. While I stood and watched, Bosszilla commanded him to be in two places at one time. I'm talking about true simultanous place/time bi-location. He was supposed to be working on the paperwork project while ALSO training to use a testing machine. Oh, and there are three other people who think he should be working with them. See what I mean?) Nevertheless, D-man did indeed have several weeks to head off all this paperwork. It was not a surprise prize in the bottom of the box. So Bosszilla hauled me in to assist. I've done this kind of paperwork many times before -- not this particular brand and flavor, but similar. I'm also reasonably good at organizing other people and keeping them on task (I can't do it well for myself, but I am EXCELLENT at doing it for others. Go figure.)

Anyway, three days later the paperwork project is NOT complete, although very damn close. There were several delays and diversions because of Other People Not Thinking Paperwork Is Important -- see above -- and lots of copies made, corrections corrected, staring at the walls going "Ok, how do we bullshit through THAT one?" and trying to figure out instructions. We also kept saying "Oh, we could do this another way that would be faster/better/more organized...but not right now." The last of the paperwork must be checked, signed, duplicated and mailed on Monday, but it's all created and printed so the hardest part is over.

Oh, did I mention that three more parts in this project have to go out NEXT week? Yeah, we get to do this again with barely a day of breathing space.

Thus, after a week of this, I now remember most clearly why I decided to go to work part time. I handle tension by channeling it directly into my body via teeth clenching, shoulder tightening, back stiffening, digestive problems, and bad eating. I actually had a cramp, a la Charlie Horse, in my FACE last night as the TMJD that has been in abeyance since my braces came off roared to life. My right cheek has a slight swelling in it that is all tension. I am REALLY tired, REALLY not wanting to think, and now that I've spewed it all out, done with it for the weekend.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not Going To Go

Today was another long day (I did get lunch, though) with me being pulled in as emergency back up for a project that has to -- HAS TO -- go out tomorrow. I didn't stay all evening (as the other person is planning) but I must be in early tomorrow, soo....I'm handing it in. I've spent the day listening to Bosszilla yell, scold and berate assorted people (in the same room, but not involving me. I still find it VERY tense.) SO, no writing yesterday, no writing today, not much chance of writing tomorrow...

I declare myself done.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Surrender

Another day longer than I had planned, which included a 2 hour drive to pick up a suitcase for Bosszilla and a half hour lunch. Time I thought I'd have for writing -phhhht!- gone.

I wasn't much of a last minute writer in school. I usually had the bulk of any paper done a week ahead and just spent the last minutes actually typing (I was lousy on that manual of mine).

I'm not surrendering quite yet. Once again, I am behind, and I'm tired right now with no thought of trying to write anything. BUT...I can get closer. Not giving up quite yet. I may also take Thursday off and see if last minute panic does any good.

Current word count: 37767. Remaining -- 12,243

We shall see.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Of course

I am 3/4 through the 50,000 words. 37,275 words written. 12, 735 to go.

So, of course, I was asked to work a full day through lunch today. And it was a high stress day so I can't get my brain settled. And I have a rehearsal tonight I wasn't planning on having. And I get to do the work thing tomorrow, too.

So that 3183 words I need to write tonight? Maybe not so much. Bah.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Statistics of Desperation

Ok, Nano is kicking my butt. The Husband has already faced the reality that he isn't likely to get 20,000 words written in the next four days. He is, however, trying very hard. November was just unusually busy this year. I don' t know why.

Anyway, I finally found a title for my little novel. You can tell how sad my novel is from the title, because I took it from a quote Julia Roberts spoke in the movie "Hook". Yeah, when she was Tinkerbell. Automatic point subtraction for quoting "Hook".

So, here's where I stand currently. I've written 35,375 words as of right this minute. This is where I should have been LAST week. I am hoping to get another 1000 words written tonight. I have 14,635 words to write before midnight on Thursday, all this is over. That means in the next four days, if I don't write anything else tonight, I must churn out 3658.8 words (I don't know about the .8 words. How many letter is that?). I did a total of 2,100 today.

Of course, I'm totally cheating in that I am including notes. I have a lot of notes, dammit, and I'm counting them because they are all related to the story and I TYPED them. Shut up.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Long Weekend

Ok, this is the home stretch for NaNo. I didn't manage to restrict everything to the writing journal. In fact, I'm rethinking the writing journal as a...well, I'll talk about that later.

For now...I have 19908 words left to write before November 30th -- that's 6 days. I need to get between 3000 and 4000 words done EACH DAY to make the final goal. Oh, help. That is because I have 6 days where I did NO writing at all, and 8 days that I didn't meet quota. *sigh*

Back to writing.

Update: 33,275 words so far. Over 3000 today, and it was a long, slogging day. This story is not coming together very well, but, damn it, I'm concentrating on the word count. If I can just get over 36,000 tomorrow...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A damn soddy way to behave

If you are a Leptard fan (as I am) you might notice that our favorite blue spotted creature and his favorite Irishman have been spammed mightily, and all the things we know and love have been removed and replaced with nonsense even more low than that polyglot monkeys can create (and much less entertaining). How this is possible, I know not, but it looks very much like a hack-in from some nasty bastard with offensive habits and a likely fungal infection.

For the real thing, check with Brendan here and offer a few words of moral support. Life for the Irishman is a little rocky at the moment, and now this. I'm pulling the fake version that has usurped the proper link from my blogroll until all is rectified.

I do hope that the folks at Blogger will give some attention to this matter as soon as they recover from the annual turkey coma. Time to back up my particular pile of garbage here, too, lest some nefarious scumsucking spammer decide that I require hackage and replacement. What a stinking thing to do. There is no sufficient revenge to be exacted upon the perpetrator(s), but I'd be more than willing to come up with some ideas, especially if I can use a trebuchet. Leptards just love the trebuchet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quotable

From "My Man Godfrey", 1936 (Starring William Powell and Carole Lombard)

(while standing in the Waldorf hotel bar during a Scavenger hunt)

Mr. Blake: This place slightly resembles an insane asylum.

Mr. Bullock: Well, all you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.



Word Count: 23,061. Should be at: 35,007. Behind by: 11,946. Words remaining to finish: 26,949

Ok, back to writing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Official Weather Report (kinda)

Ok, this is Florida. The one thing we are good at in Florida is Not Being Hot, because it is typically Very Damn Hot in Florida and that's not really comfortable. Being a good American, I'm all about being comfortable. So, I'm really, really good at Not Being Hot. I have a complete range of Not Hot clothes. My house is outfitted with an array of Not Hot creating items like an air conditioner and a variety of fans. I am ready for being Not Hot.

But it is currently very Not Hot right now. It is actually Almost Cold. In Relative to Florida terms, of course. I mean, the humidity is WAY under 50%! (You don't think that's a serious sign of Almost Cold, you should remember that average humidity in this little corner of paradise is around 70%)

Now, yes, I know, for all you lumberjack types in the frigid north, this barely counts as Slightly Chilly. If you were here, you'd be walking around in a tank-t and flip flops and your nipples wouldn't even be hard. But, come August, you would simply cease to exist. Like a snowman, you'd be a little puddle on the car seat and I'd have to WetVac you up and pour you into an ice tray. So, you people who own things like gloves and fleece underwear and have weatherproofed your notebooks to fight off bears in the snow, you can all shut up.

So, right now I have on Wimpy Florida sweatpants, a T-shirt, and actual socks. We aren't sure the heat in the house works, although the weather report has been making threatening Freeze warnings and I am making mental lists of plants that will need to be covered (there are three, I think. I don't mess with plants that are fussy like that.) The Evil Dragon Bird has her heater and cover, the cats have been soaking up sunlight all day, and we even have a little fan with a heater option blowing semi-warm air in the bedroom. I may have to pull out my one sweatshirt tomorrow. One of the cats has claimed my Canadian Fleece Shirt as bedding.

Heating pads, you should know, are wonderful things, even if you have to share them with cats.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lanes in the Sky

After a morning of cleaning the house, the garage, and the yard, The Husband and MIL (who came over to help) and I went BOWLING.

Yeah, a pseudo sporting/exercise-like activity. I have not been bowling in nearly 8 years, and I was never very good at it to begin with. The Husband and I used to go frequently way back when, and we had a good time. So, we decided to go again.

We played two games. My parents, blue collar people that they were, took bowling very seriously. My mother had a huge collection of trophies (all gone now) and my dad had a few, too. I spent a lot of hours as a kid at the Sky Lanes Bowling Alley.

I never really bowled. I am not sure why. I suspect that it was something my parents did to forget about being parents or people will jobs and a mortgage and a dissolving marriage.

Anyway, The Husband and MIL are both good bowlers. I'm not sure why MIL bowls. Certainly, you wouldn't think of it. She also plays golf and tennis, which are usually considered antithetical to bowling. I know The Husband's father was in the military for years, and bowling tends to go with being in the military, especially in the 50's and 60's. I am not so great a bowler (I know, you are shocked) but I'm shaping up respectably. I only fell once. I have an amazing gutter ball trick, too -- the ball goes straight for the gutter, then, at the last minute, bounces and takes out 3-5 pins. I can sometimes pick up a spare that way. It's amazing. I have no idea how I do it.

Of course, in the first game I was lowest score (The Husband and MIL went bowling a couple weeks ago when I was at a workshop, so were brushed up). However, by the second game I was working out a few problems (which is why I fell -- trying to correct too many things at one time) and I not only broke 100, but I scored HIGHER than the MIL. I even got a couple of strikes (that weren't COMPLETELY luck). We'll probably go again.

My bowling shoes are super comfortable, too.

NaNo Update: 18,786 words. Still way behind, and got nothing written yesterday, and rehearsal tonight. But I'm off work this week (so far) so...time to buckle down!

Friday, November 17, 2006

PoPo Purree

Or however you spell a stolen French word with negative connotations anyway. If it isn't spelled anything close to how it is pronounced, it's usually French derived, unless of course it is one of those words like "caught". Thus is spelling so interesting. Do they have spelling bees in China?

Jammies once again has directed me toward something snorkable. At one time it makes me miss the dogs I have had , and grateful that I am without canine.

Roto Rooter is doing the rooter thing in front of the house. I am staying in the bedroom. The noise has scared all the cats. I don't blame them.

Word count is slowly growing. Very slowly. I am writing a lot more here than I thought I would, mostly because it's a way to procrastinate and yet produce something. Current total is 14,802, whereas it SHOULD be 28,339 (I have this precisely calculated on a spreadsheet, complete with graphs.) That means I have to write13,537 words to get caught up to even. I've got 35,208 to complete the challenge.

Aren't spread sheets fun ways to track one's failures? I should do another graph while I wait for Chapter 6 to formulate in my head. Or I should just write it and see if anything shows up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Not only Stupid and Expoitive, but Offensive, too!

Jammies: Oh dear

Me: what?

Jammies: http://www.blingh2o.com/ Oh dear oh dear oh DEAR.

Me: Oh good lord

Jammies: Yes.
Jammies: Anyone who buys this stuff should have the bottle stuffed up their ass sans lube.

Me: Big end first

Jammies: -)) I do LOVE you!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In leu of anything more substantial -- a Meme


You are The Star


Hope, expectation, Bright promises.


The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised


The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.






I am now over 10,000 words. If I could cough up another 10,000 today, I'd be almost caught up.

Update: I'm at 12140 words. I'm SUPPOSED to be at 25005. I'm not working tomorrow. Let's see how far I get.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Little light

Hokay, got the whole Golf Extraveganza nonsense completed this morning and -- HURRAY -- didn't have to stay all day (like I did yesterday) doing the incredibly mind numbing tasks of putting cards into boxes or sticking stickers to little golf information booklets. Hours and hours and hours.....

Oh, and the novel is beginning to emerge. Characters are popping up all over the place, a few ideas are percolating, and I'm kind of curious about how things will work out. I'm WAY behind word count, but I'm trying to sneak up on it.

Just as a break, we went to Borders last night (to sit in the cafe and type, which got another 1200 words) and I picked up the NaNo Writing kit -- very cute, with some goodies in it, mostly just for fun. I want the No Plot! No Problem book now -- and another book I've been looking at called The 3AM Epiphany, which is a collection of interesting prompts and writing exercises. I'm kinda jonsing to play with that, but there's this WORD COUNT GOAL I've committed to making. We also picked up a HUGE coffee table book on Art Deco (just the whole thing in general) for The Husband's research. Apparently the archetectural style of that movement figures prominently in his story. I just like the pictures, as it is probably my favorite period for decorative arts.

*sigh* I'm even having to do research on this story. Why can't THAT count toward my goal? Blessed be Wikipedia. I've already pulled out the note cards, only I can't bring myself to move notes to them because, damn it all, then it doesn't count toward that total. I wrote 'em, and they are GONNA count.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This is NOT how it is supposed to work

Ok, the NaNoWriMo thing is not going so well, mostly due to a huge case of don't-care. Why? I ask myself this several times a day. Here are some possible reasons.

1) I'd rather play Sims. Virtual lives are more interesting than what I've got.
2) I am doing the most tedious, time consuming stuff at work --- helping Bosszilla prepare for his upcoming golf tournament thingie by doing all the paperwork involved and redoing it everytime someone changes their tiny minds; making and printing forms and signs every time he thinks of a new one;, doing arts-n-crafts to cover assorted boxes for collecting info, doing a raffle, and some other things; putting stickers on metal golf markers; putting said markers and a collection of golf tees into 144 little organza bags and tying those bags shut; sorting a custom made deck of cards into about 150 packs, a task still not finished (also helping to print and fabricate said cards, the boxes for the cards, and the seals for the boxes). This has required one Saturday from 6 to 2, one evening from 7 to 11, one early morning, and a lot of crazed bugging from my boss trying to tell me/ask me how to do things until he remembers that I AM competent and can do this faster if he just goes into his office and plays video poker.
3) I've got no real ideas and even pretending just to put words out isn't much good.
4) I did this last year and somehow what worked last year isn't going to work this year. I should do something else.

Who knows what it is? But I'm about to dive into it again. I'm very far behind my word count goals, but, hell, I might make it up.

I'd still rather play Sims, though.

I'm sort of brain numb.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Refresh

Not a word on the novel typed this week. Extra hours at work. The office is reasonably ready for rehabitation, but the bed is more comfortable for the sore back and hips I have.

And that's about all the whining I am up for. I have to be at work tomorrow, 6 am. On a Saturday.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Preserving my Rights

I woke up early this morning and faced the world soley to protect my right to bitch (and bitch loudly) about all things government related. I've actually paid some attention to state and local politicks (well, as much as I could stand) so that I could make some relative sense of the situation. I can't say I recognised everything on the ballot (who are all these judges anyway?) but I went through the ballot, made my choices, and pressed the "VOTE NOW" button.

I suffer from no delusion that my choices will effect great and positive change in this nation. I feel more convinced than ever that now politicians are simply in business to be politicians, which means perpetuating their own jobs via whatever means allowed under the strange and contradictory rules and expectations we the people have created (via our friends in the media). However, I am not prepared nor do I accept that armed revolution is, in this day and age, an acceptable solution. In fact, I'm also convinced that killing the people who disagree with me is a very bad idea, however tempting it is during moments of high frustration. If I don't believe others should be allowed to kill (or imprison, torture, impoverish, silence, etc.) me because we do not agree, I can't expect that for myself, right?

I've got a pretty good idea of what "equal treatment" means.

Anyway, I went to the polls and I voted. I voiced an opinion, however ignored it may be by power brokers and people with strings in their hands. I don't have the answers to cure all the worlds ills, although I think I've got a few ideas most people don't really want to accept. But I did it. I voted, for the only honest, solid reason I can present.

The bitching will now commence.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where's my "Victim" hat?

I consider myself a recovering victim. That is, I have worked over the last 10 years or so to throw off the mental image of myself as someone powerless, in the grip of forces she doesn't understand and cannot control. You know, the whole "poor little me" thing. Like many other recovering addicts, I can't tolerate being around others who have that viewpoint. I don't want to be around them, because it's damned hard to resist sliding back into that kind of life.

However, I'm about to look for my membership card. I'm feeling pitiful in a minor way. Mostly, I'm feeling annoyed and due for a good, long whine.

It's like this. After spending a weekend being completely useless and hardly moving more than necessary to get food or go to the toilet, I got energetic today. I decided that if my office was going to get clean, I was going to have to clean it. (Duh!). So I go in to put some stuff away. I actually got a few things done, a few boxes put away, some decisions on disposal made.

And now I have sciatica pains going down my left leg. I'm pissed. I'm really pissed. I've already taken my daily allotment of Aleve for a sinus headache (we have a front moving through) and apparently it was all used up on that, with none left over for hip and back.

So I still don't have a clearing in my office, and I hurt. I'm going to feel sorry for myself for a while now. I'll get back to you.

*Update: Cinnamon JuJuBears from Ohio will cure most anything.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

And I didn't

Tomorrow night I have a rehearsal with the one ensemble in the OGC that couldn't or didn't replace me. I have the CD and the music, and I've been a total slack ass about learning it. So, tomorrow afternoon I must spend a little quality time.

I don't really want to, you know. I made a promise that I will keep, and I do enjoy the people in the ensemble, but I'm OVER performing. At some point, the stress of preparation became greater than the joy of the performance. It may cycle back around -- I seem to operate that way -- but right now my lazy ass would rather be in my chair instead of doing something creative, socially involved and active. There's that line between doing something for fun and having it turn into work. Now it's work. At least there aren't that many rehearsals. I just need to learn the music. Happily, it's a simple song.

I wasted the weekend in fine style. I think I accomplished changing the sheets on the bed and staring long hours at this novel. That's being hard going. *sigh* No, not here, not going to talk about this thing at the center of my life here.

So, I didn't do laundry, I didn't pick up, I didn't vacuum, I didn't iron, I didn't watch any movies, I didn't read a book, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Begins

Today begins NaNoWriMo. I'm planning to pick a prompt and attempt to scribble some words about it, just to see if a story shows up. I never know. Planning too far in advance is a good way for me to fail, it seems, but jumping into the water without a bathing suit and a flotation device has perils also.

To spare you all my moaning, groaning, and word counts, I'll restrict my posting to my writing journal. You're welcome.

However, since the words I type here do NOT count toward my total, there may not be many of them. This might change if something interesting happens, but don't count on it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Another weekend in a Hotel

Necronomicon * came and went with narry a ripple of excitement. It was an even balance of good stuff, bad stuff, and oh-who-gives-a-crap stuff.

Good Stuff

1. TAPAS! We had dinner Friday with an assortment, including Evil BookPimp and her hubby, a new friend the Evil Music Pimp (more on that later) and yet another Evil Book Pimp and HER husband. The restaurant was called "Spain" and it was a short walk from the hotel (Yes, I actually LEFT THE HOTEL). It was a clean, white, modern space. We ordered a variety of yummy things and everything I tasted was completely excellent, including a Sangria made with a white wine -- we think it was a riesling -- and a lot of lemons. However, all was not perfect in Spain. Much was ridiculous.

There was live music -- a group of three men, two on guitars and one playing some sort of hand-beaten drum, Spanish style music. It wasn't too bad, except it was TOO LOUD. We were in the rear of the restaurant and were shouting to each other across the narrow table. Then, the music changed and three of us (EBP1, EMP and me) realized they were playing "Careless Whisper". WHAM! Spanish Style? WTF? It was at this moment EMP said "Hey, it could be worse. They could play Stairway to Heaven." They played "Hotel California" instead.

Stairway to Heaven would show up later in the evening. I am not kidding. I have witnesses.

There was also Spanish style service, at least according to the people who'd actually been to Spain. Our server was very nice, very attentive, and very damned hard to find most of the time. We saw two servers working the floor. We could also see about 3 other people, dressed as servers, peeking around the kitchen doorway, or talking on their cellphones. They never once took a step toward a customer except by accident. The meal took over 2 hours. I've had tapas before. They do not take that long to make. It's sort of the point.

But the food was so very excellent. We are now hunting for some place that does such delicious food in our area (ok, in Orlando).

2. Evil Music Pimp

Oddball, or just cheap, cds. I bought the following (because she kept putting stuff out on her table every time I combed it over).

  • Rock Steady - No Doubt
  • Everybody Hertz - Air
  • 100th Window - Massive Attack
  • Amarantine - Enya
  • Sweet Dreams (are made of This) - Eurythmics
  • Medusa - Annie Lennox
  • Reinventing the 80's volume 2 - various
  • All You Can Eat - k.d. lang (this might end up as a present)
  • School House Rock Rocks - various
  • Amplified Heart - Everything But The Girl
  • V for Vendetta soundtrack
  • Hercules soundtrack (the Disney one -- that's for The Husband)
  • One - Dirty Vegas
  • Professional Widow - Tori Amos
  • The Messenger Original Soundtrack - Eric Serra
  • Poptronica Romance - various

Yes, someone else who will take my money while smiling. Yes, I bought some books, too, but mostly oddball reference works.

3. People I hadn't seen in a long while popping up. Some are local friends who just sort of vanished into their own lives. One was Gamera Spinning.

4. A teeny plushy Camel for my collection. I have named him Pitooie.

The Bad

1. The hotel bed felt exactly like Jello with a thick piece of cardboard on top. It was hard, yet wiggly. I have all new joint pain.

2. Slugs. I will not explain. Those who need to know understand. Those who are incurably curious probably would rather not know.

3. Mediocre sales. Hardly a thing moved. Most sales were quicky custom jobs we did in the hotel room over night.

4. Gravity was much heavier all weekend, all over. Things dropped and dropped often.

The Who Gives A Crap

1. This year, the bathrooms tasted/smelled like mints instead of fruits
2. The space for our booth was very narrow, so that I kept knocking things over with my ample hiplitude.
3. My favorite new shirt, found by The Husband, that says "I (Siloette of Godzilla) Tokyo."

Home is a good place. NaNoWriMo starts Wednesday. I have music to supply the muse. Must find munchie food.

*LG -- In this case, Necronomicon refers to Tampa's yearly Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Convention. But you can see a lot of zombies and other mostly dead people meeting, especially on Sunday morning.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I need a drain

for my sinus headache filled head. Why oh why, when I need to pack up everything for leaving early tomorrow morning, to be at a show all weekend where I will be required to smile and talk nicely, do I wake up with a swollen face and a head full of spikes and water balloons and vicious ennui? I'd bite someone, but it would require moving my head.

While I try to avoid taking medication for everything (from the fear that I will become immune to the painkilling effects), there is still an Aleve in my future. And, possibly, chocolate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random Thought Chain 40887

Because the Husband wants me to tell you all this.

My butt is loaded and I'm not afraid to use it.

Is that butt loaded?

What else has a butt?

Guns have butts.

Cigarettes have butts.

People put cigarette butts in their mouths.

EWWWW! BUTTS IN THEIR MOUTHS!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mercury is falling!

Or whatever it is they use in the digital thermometer I have near our front door. It's COOL again. No, not in that uber-hip, world weary, been there done that way. I mean Open Window Weather. Cool, clear, bright, and very nice. We put a blanket on the bed last night. I kicked it off sometime around 2, I think, but I had most of it by 6 am. Lucky for my husband the cats were on his side of the bed, sharing body heat.

I hope the temperature change settles in and stays. I've got PLANS. I have to do THINGS. Most of these things require me to move around once in a while, maybe even leave the house. I find it all nearly impossible when the weather is hot. Cool suits me.

Of course, it is all relative. This weather might be considered warm somewhere like, oh, I dunno, Toronto. But I like it. I can wear pants and a fuzzy shirt! Weee! The high point of luxury in my life!

Oh, and if you haven't signed up for a month of suffering and celebrating in NaNoWriMo, consider this:

Why are you doing this? What do you get out of it?

NaNoWriMo is all about the magical power of deadlines. Give someone a goal and a goal-minded community and miracles are bound to happen. Pies will be eaten at amazing rates. Alfalfa will be harvested like never before. And novels will be written in a month.

Part of the reason we organize NaNoWriMo is just to get a book written. We love the fringe benefits accrued to novelists. For one month out of the year, we can stew and storm, and make a huge mess of our apartments and drink lots of coffee at odd hours. And we can do all of these things loudly, in front of people. As satisfying as it is to reach deep within yourself and pull out an unexpectedly passable work of art, it is equally (if not more) satisfying to be able to dramatize the process at social gatherings.

But that artsy drama window is woefully short. The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.

(from the NaNoWriMo FAQ page)

Everyone needs an artsy drama window sometimes. Especially when the weather finally turns cool.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weekend Roundup

The fine spate of cool weather we had has run out and it is once more Augusty in October. That means the nice flood of high energy I had, which caused me to clean house and organize stuff has also gone. I am now one with my chair again.

I don't like it, but I don't really feel like doing anything about it. That would require getting up.

I'm contemplating doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Last year was a real experience. There are problems, though, one of which being my office is still stacked with boxes that need to be stored/disposed of/emptied. I need to be in my office, if only because the distraction potential is much lower where there is no TV. Any other room in which I would sit to write has a TV in it. If I am in a room with a TV, said TV must be on. I hate having that blank screen staring at me.

The office is not being cleaned out in part because there is no storage for some things (storage is planned but not yet actual) and in part because I am one with my chair and not going to move until the temperature drops and the A/C goes off.

And next week we will be at Necronomicon, and I need to make some Jewelry, but, like everything else, that requires me getting my ass out of this chair and DOING something. It's amazingly difficult.

I also blame The Husband. He decided to load The Sims 2 on his computer, which reminded ME about The Sims, so I have spent the whole week downloading new content and building virtual houses. That's really the only part I like -- running little virtual lives is too much effort, and they whine at me all the time, so I'd rather just build the houses. But that eats up HOURS of my time. It's terrible.

*sigh*

Hey, you, up north! Send our cool weather back! 90 degrees is RIDICULOUS for October.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday night, The Husband and I attended a reading by David Sedaris. If you haven't been so lucky as to hear David Sedaris read his own work, either on NPR or on This American Life, or if you've not read any of his short stories or books, you've missed far too much. He is easily the funniest writer running around loose today.

He's also a very short, unassuming looking guy. His hair is too short or his ears are a little big. Last night he stood behind a very large podium that had a large microphone set up on two supports in a triangle. The mike itself was round and black. From my seat in the central orchestra section, I saw a weird effect. Whenever he looked down to read from his manuscript -- which was much of the time -- the microphone centered on his face like a huge black cartoon nose. Given that he's already pretty funny -- his delivery, his raised eyebrow, his manner of underlining his already funny words with more meaning by his tone and emphasis -- and the fact that he has a rather high, nasel voice, and it was all side splitting. He might consider getting himself a black foam nose for those audiences that aren't getting it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And While I'm Bitching...

To all makes of documentaries and TV shows that show historical recreation:

When are, for instance, looking for someone who can make a log boat for transporting your giant monolithic stone, do NOT check in the phone book for "ANCIENT LOG BOAT MAKERS". Why not, ask you? Two reasons:

Reason 1) BECAUSE NO ONE MAKES ANCIENT ANYTHING. When someone makes a log boat, or a hand forged ax head, or a shirt of chain maille, it's NEW. Every item ever made was NEW when it was made, and became ANCIENT when it sat around for a while.

Reason 2) When you say "Ancient Log Boat Maker", what you are REALLY saying is the guy who is making your log boat is REALLY FREAKING OLD.

This would be funny if I'd only heard such a remark once or twice, but noooooo. Apparently, when you make something using a historical instead of a modern method, it is automatically an ancient thing, or, possibly, all those young guys and girls I see who are hand carving or hand forging stuff are REALLY all hiding these damned ugly pictures of themselves in closets somewhere. I want to find someone at Discover or History Channel and smack them with a copy of "The Elements of Style" until they cut it the hell OUT.

The Perfect Comeback

It's no secret that I am a fan of the giant, baggy shirt. When friends or family want to buy me a shirt and ask for my size, I usually answer "If I can't get my arms and my legs inside it, it isn't big enough." Thus, I own a lot of t-shirts. Only a few actually meet my criteria, and I wear those to rags (really. I have two shirts currently that would make my dad proud, as they have about enough fabric to keep the holes together.)

For that reason, I also eschew the fashion torture device known as "the bra". If you can't tell I have KNEES inside my giant shirt (and shorts), then you certainly won't notice I have breasts. And if you do, well, lots of people have breasts. I wear a bra when I must, but in general, if it's a giant T-shirt situation, I go without.

And I'm waiting. I'm waiting for the day someone dares make a remark about my bra-less condition. You see, I have the perfect response just waiting, made up the way you make up the perfect comeback long after the incident where someone said that "thing" to you -- you know perfectly well what I mean. But I am thinking again. I can picture it, exactly.

"You forgot to wear your bra!"

"And you forgot to wear your muzzle!"


In fact, that remark can be used as a response to almost anything, now that I think about it. Feel free to make use of it whenever a smart ass remark is required. Like anything for which one prepares ahead of time, I'll never get the change to say it and mean it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Because All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Ah, the wonder of referral logs.

CHUCK NANCY & SHAZZAN PORN
Oh good lord, I hope not! Someone has been watching too much Boomerang. I am scarred.

husband started duck lips in sleep
I can not think of a single thing to say about this. I don't think anyone needs to say a thing. Just wake that man up.

finding a doctors in tijuana writing a pain prescription 2006

I'm sure they do. It's catching them in the act that's the hard part.

Those are about the most interesting ones to show up today. Everything else is someone researching a health problem. I have obviously complained about my snot condition far too much -- which, by the way, is dwindling away. Any moment now I could get my voice back.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

No Kids, No Animals

Last night's gig was...interesting. It was a birthday party of a friend's sister, in a rented hall and with a pirate theme (yo ho ho and all that). Miss P and I found out that part shortly after we arrived. Next, no one was quite sure what to do with us. The hall had a little stage at one end and that was where we were put. Right next to us was set up a plastic perch for 4 lovely tropical birds -- pets of the birthday girl and, of course, pirate decoration. Three were Eclectus - very sweet birds, actually (especially compared with my own Demon Bird), in particular the one named Ava who took a liking to me and huddled on my shoulder a long while.

Of course, where you have animals, you attract children. There were several kids at the party, who clustered around the stage to talk to and about the birds, try to pet them, try to feed them, etc. There were also about 30 adults at tables, all laughing, drinking, talking -- you know, partying. We were, in effect, two odd looking women miming a singing duo. That's ok, if you like mimes.

We were on a stage at one end of what had seemed a good room when mostly empty. We were unamplified and inaudible. Remember, too, that I am still reasonably voiceless (I can pull it out for singing if I must, but it wasn't great. My head felt like it was loaded with Quik-set cement.) So, we sang our first set knowing that maybe 10 people could hear us and perhaps 4 of those cared. One man actually walked up while we were singing to inform us that he could not hear us and no one at his table could hear us, and couldn't we maybe sing louder? My first thought was maybe he and his friends could laugh and yell more quietly, but I didn't say that. Miss P was rather shocked that he did it while we were both singing. I put it down to the Jamacian beer being served.

We gave up through the second set, ate some really delicious carrot cake, collected $100 each, and went home. Really, not that bad a night.

Today, I am back to fulfilling my Indian Name -- Croaks with Big Toads.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bring Me the Head of Kermit D. Frog

so I can give him back his vocal cords. I won't use the world "Ironic", mostly because since that Alanis Morrisette song I'm never sure I know what it means, but...I have a gig tonight with Miss P. I'm supposed to sing and someone is supposed to give me money. However, I have firmly stopped-up ears and a voice still reminiscent of one of those parties you don't really remember but have the bail receipt and the court date ticket for.

Other than that, I feel pretty good.

Today I went in to work and Bosszilla had a little task for me. Last month we got a contract from a Most Favored Customer that was all full of weasley words and tricky paragraphs, and I had to write a letter protesting those. A month later, we still haven't gotten a satisfactory answer, so Bosszilla decided the best defense was to be offensive and just rewrite the contract. That's where I come in. I get to do the rewrite, which means I also get to retype. Oh joy, oh rapture.

First, I should point out this is a 50 page contract. Second, only portions of it are written in grammatical sentences. I don't have a copy of Strunk and White at the office, but I will be remedying that shortly. I was using every online resource I could access because, DAMN, I needed to DIAGRAM some of these mishmashed paragraphs to find a freaking VERB. Of course, being good legalese, it's all passive voice. It never uses a pronoun when a 16 word specific designation will do. I spent 15 minutes parsing out the use of "That" and "Which", and another 15 comparing "Affect" to "Effect". I've got reasonably good grammar instincts, but I always check on the trickier stuff. I find my commitment to subject/object cosntruction is intensified. We make parts. They buy parts. Sign here.

I also rewrote the "Force Majuere" paragraph (that's a fancy French adopted Legal term for "Acts of God") to include terrorist attacks and govermental decrees. A year ago, I would have thought banning bottled water on airplanes impossible. Now, I don't put anything past 'em. Whatever it is, we ain't liable. I figure that's a safe stance. I can easily picture some loony putting explosives into a box of electronic parts and trying to ship it via truck, thus causing Homeland Security to institute the "Intrastate and Interstate Truck and Transport Inspection" act.

Oh, and that was page 6. Of 50. Did I mention it was a 50 page contract? Yes, it's a 50 page contract. And I'm on page 6. I think I shall be busy next week, too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New from Planet Snotball

Well, ok, I'm getting passed the snotball stage. I am now more like a mass of snot pellets. I have spent the last two days filling a trash can with gooey Kleenex because I'm special like that. Today, having determined that I was only perhaps 50% contagious, I went to work. My ears are stuffed up and I am using my frog voice (not a cute Kermet D. Frog voice, but a serious, chain smoking, whiskey drinking, leather wearing, tattood forehead frog voice). Still, I made it through the morning without any serious mishaps (as far as I know.) I didn't fall asleep on my computer and I only used maybe 7 Kleenexes from the box I keep at my desk. That's progress.

My boss seemed happy to see me, judging by the number of memos he had lined up and his desire for me to go online to buy him a grill. He'd already been to the website and printed the pages, so I don't know why he didn't buy it right then and there, but that's how it goes. He handed me his AmEx and ran to an appointment. I didn't even think about adding anything for myself -- I mean, I had his card and everything -- not because I'm so dreadfully honest and all that, but because it was hard enough just managing what he asked. Getting creative was beyond me. I didn't even fantasize about it until 3 hours after I put the card back on his desk.

I caught him today actually learning to use AOL email because he's been dragged into Fantasy Football by his son. Just a skant few months ago he swore loudly he would never learn to use a computer. It won't be long now until he is managing his own Netflix account and ordering his stuff from Amazon himself. I'd better polish up my resume.

From my day:

The Husband: I need you to sign this refund check.
Me: Ok
The Husband: A whole $1.85
Me: Hey, that's my $1.85 and I want it.
The Husband: (laugh)
Me: Do you know how many Diet Pepsies I can buy with that?
The Husband: Three.
Me: Yeah, and some days that's important.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Just call me Snotty

Something unexpected from our trip arrived at our house last week and has been residing with us ever since.

Germs. A virus, in fact. It attacked The Husband first, surprisingly enough, and now it has turned its slimy eyes toward me. Oh yes, glorious. It was surprising that it got him at all, since he is usually immune and I'm the wuss. I'm a little concerned that it was just warming up on him and now that it has its act down, it's going to blow me over and laugh. Germs do that. I've been doing so well the last year or so, and now...ah well. I am Snotball.

Of course, I am supposed to be singing with Miss P at a party on Friday. Talk about perfect timing. Excuse me while I rehearse my elephant imitation.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'd rather be sleeping

Last night, as I was trying to convince my brain to shut up and let me sleep, I started thinking about religion and people who feel determined that their particular religious slant is the "only" one.

I get tangled in this on a couple of points. First, I always come back to the idea that, no matter what, humans are the ones who have defined God. Yeah, we set the rules, no matter how it gets phrased. God is All, yes? Omnipotent, Omniscient, Endless and Eternal. Infinite.

Humans are finite. We have beginnings and endings. We are not all powerful or all knowing. Yet we set the rules. Isn't that odd?

Well, think about it. What God does and doesn't like -- how does anyone know? God "told" someone a list of rules, yes? Ok, I can handle the idea of a list of rules. But there are THOUSANDS of rules and interpretations of rules, and all that was made up by mankind. Prophets and leaders and teachers -- all human, every last one of them. Finite.

Finite. Infinite. Anyone else see what I see?

Ok, I'll spell it out. If something is infinite, and something finite is trying to comprehend the infinite, the finite can only see a PART? There is gonna be something the finite doesn't see. In fact, there could be a LOT of that infinite the finite doesn't see, can't see, will never see. So, if the finite understands this, then the finite must also grasp that it can never know ALL of the infinite. It just isn't possible. The finite can know SOME, but not ALL. There will always (always!) be some part that is unknown.

You'd think that religious folk in general would catch on to this. However, I think that just scares shit out of a lot of people, which is why they become extremists. They are DETERMINED to demonstrate that not only do they know, in their finite minds, everything important about the Infinite, but that their particular portion of the Infinite IS the important part -- everything else is extra, unimportant, and not worth considering. I personally think it's a lack of faith when people react this way. Faith withstands everything standing alone. Faith does not need numbers. It does not need to prove itself right. It does not need to convince others to follow it. Faith does not strike out. It does not contest. It does not compete.

Faith ain't easy, which is why a lot of people prefer religion by majority rule. If everyone else agrees with you, you are more right, yes? If you are all alone, you must be wrong. If I don't like you, I can say God made up a rule against you or what you do, a specific and detailed rule that only comes from my religion or my brand of religion. And I can say my rule makes me right with my version of God (my finite understanding of the infinite) in doing horrible things to you, because you are wrong. If I remove you who offends and frightens and angers me, then I can comfort myself that I am right and you are wrong, and I feel better. We make the rules for God, and then we ignore them to make new rules to make ourselves feel better.

Humans are a scary bunch, ya know? This is why I can't sleep.