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.