Wednesday, February 28, 2007


There is still much snow in Tahoe on Day 5 of my adventure in cold. It looks a lot like this.
Today I went tubing! Once I worked out the whole "lift butt, don't get braid caught under the tube, don't let go of the tube before you are in it, don't drag your feet, push HARD, don't get stuck" thing, it was a lot of fun. The hike back up the run wasn't so much fun -- the air is kinda thin up here. I think I made a total of 5 runs, but I enjoyed them very much. That is, until I had a really FAST run, hit all the bumps at the end, and got snow up my jacket and in my snow pants. Oh, and in my boot, and in my gloves, and all over my head. Yeah, once you are wet and cold, your fun is pretty much over.As complex as I found tubing, I've pretty much determined that skiing is completely out of the question. Too much to remember.

The rest of the day was spent sightseeing and shopping. We rode up the Gondola at Heavenly and I took several very crappy pictures of the lake until my camera died from lack of new batteries -- the batteries in it were almost a week old!
So I didn't get to take wonderful photos that weren't through scratched plexiglass. The Husband got several.
We did a fair bit of wandering through galleries and shops. I bought new mittems (they were on sale!) which will go home to live with my snow pants until one day they are needed again, but since my gloves have proven themselves less than adequate to wet snow, we figured it was a wise investment.

Only three more days.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Zip-Zop, Zip-Zop

I am in Tahoe

There is much snow

I own snow pants

They go zip-zop.

(in honor of Jammies and Calvin)

Yes, indeed, I am in the far west, nestled in the little elbow of Nevada and California. It's rather strange for me, a Florida girl, to be in thigh deep snow, with more coming down. It apparently started snowing when I arrived. It's been at it since. Blizzardy, in fact.

I create the weather desired for any given trip, but it only works the first time. The MIL and the Husband are ecstatic about the fresh powder and the deep pack. I have no idea what these phrases mean, but I assume it has something to do with strapping sticks to your feet and sliding down mountains. I eschew such silliness. There is a fireplace and a nice window where I can sit and look at all the snow I want.

There is not, however, easy access to the Interwebinet, so my updates shall be on the brief side until I return home. Then, I shall relay many stories about falling in snow, post pictures, and generally be boring about travel.

At least it isn't a slide show in my living room.

For better diversion, check out something Rien revived from the misty past. Ah, he is, indeed, my favorite Dutchman. I like him better even than Rutgar Hauer, which is saying something.

Friday, February 23, 2007

An Experience in Damned Cold

Tomorrow, the Husband, the MIL, and I will board an airplane that will eventually take us west to Tahoe -- or somewhere nearby. We have to change planes in Los Angeles to fly into Carson City.

Carson City. Sounds like a western movie, or Bogey making up a lie in The Big Sleep. This will be my second stop over in LAX. L.A., at least from the flight paths, looks like a huge collection of concrete boxes, sunbleached and stretching in every direction, punctuated by prop palm trees.

Tahoe will be a whole new place to add to my collection of Places I've Been. There's one mar to my happiness, however. I cannot find my travel journal. It's just a little wirebound notebook with a brown cover, but any time I take a long trip, I like to take it with me to write down whatever pops into my head, or to save little mementos. I don't know where it wandered to and I haven't stopped looking, but I'll be unhappy if I can't find it. I'm just like that.

AH, for how my brain works. I no more than typed the words above when my eye drifted to the TV stand, where I have a bookrack with some notebooks in it. On a whim, I got up, looked at the rack and...there was the journal. Hoooray! My happiness is now complete.

The hardest part about packing for this trip is trying to get everything into three suitcases. That's because we only own three -- two regular sized ones and a smaller one that is currently being stuffed with all the things one needs for playing in snow. Clothes for warm weather are so much SKINNIER than the cold weather stuff, even when packing sweaters in those squeezie "space bags". We are staying at some sort of time share thing and we'll have access to a washer and dryer, so I'm not packing QUITE as much as I would otherwise, but at the same time I have to get The Husband's ski clothes into his bag and whatever doesn't fit goes into mine or the third bag -- plus things like gloves, goggles, scarves, and a few books for me (I swear! I only have 5 books with me and two of them are short!)

Other than that, I'm trying to read the second Dexter book -- Dearly Devoted Dexter -- and it's ooking me out pretty bad. I don't feel comfy reading it when it's dark, and it DEFINATELY won't be traveling with me if I don't finish it today. Too unsettling. I'm not saying it isn't a good read, but being a serial killer mystery with very imaginative killers is working overtime on my little mind.

I don't know if I'll be able to sign on while we are out there. I'm pretty sure there's wireless SOMEWHERE, but how frequently we will be able to access it is an unknown. There's also the whole Freezing Cold aspect. In general, cold isn't a problem for me as long as I'm dressed for it -- I need to cover my hands and feet, and the rest of me adjusts pretty quickly. Husband and the MIL will be skiing most of the time, so I'll be a lot on my own. Maybe I'll get some writing done. I am sure to finish some reading. There will probably be some playing in the snow.

If nothing else, I'll have crappy pictures in a week.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I swiped this one from Lazygal and made some modifications to the catagories. You can see the unmessedwith version on her site.

Instructions: in bold=have read the book; in italics=want to read the book; with crosses=own the book; with asterisks=unfamiliar with the book; with X = never want to read the book; with double XX = wish you had not read the book.

1. X The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. †Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. *To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. *Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. †The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. †The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. †The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. †Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. †Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. †XX Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. †Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. †A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. †Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. †Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. X The Stand (Stephen King)
19. †Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. †Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. †The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. †The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. †Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. *The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. *Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. †The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. †Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. †The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. X East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. X Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. †Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. X The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. †Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. †1984 (Orwell)
35. †The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. †I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. X The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. XX The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. X The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. *Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. *The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. †Bible
46. *Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. †The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. *Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. *The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. †A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. X Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. †Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. †The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. †Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. X The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. †The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. †The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. X Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. †The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. †Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. X One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. X The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. †Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. †Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. †The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. X Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. *Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. X Shogun (James Clavell)
74. X The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. †The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. †The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. X A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. †The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. X Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. †Emma (Jane Austen)
86. †Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. †Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. XX Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. †The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. X The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. †The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. *White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. †The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

But none of these are on my reading list for this year. And I really wish I had not read "Clan of the Cave Bear" or "Lord of the Flies". The first irritated me. The second gave me nervous dreams.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Can't Outrun the Long Arm of the Law

So, I have done my civic duty today. I got up early, was dropped off at the courthouse (my car is in the shop for a new master brake cylinder -- remember that whole "not stopping" thing?) at 7:30 am and joined about 50 other people in a somewhat overheated room to sit and wait. The judge came out to talk with us -- all the selections should be more or less done by 10:30, he said. There were three trials that day, two for him and one for another judge, so three juries were needed. They called the first round up -- I was not called. So, I sat in my chair and read my book.

I brought two books, as it happens, because I am currently reading two books (not simultaneously, but in shifts). So I started on the one with the most pages left, because I'm weird like that. Besides the other is a murder mystery that's just getting to the gross part and not really intended for reading before breakfast. I read for a long time until everyone started getting restless, chatted for a bit with the man next to me, then read some more. At 10:30, nothing happened. The judge came back just a few minutes before 11:00. They'd picked one jury for the other judge. One of his trials was canceled because the defendant had entered a plea. The other was canceled because the defendant had failed to appear in court. A warrent had been issued for his arrest.

You'd think that people would know better. Doesn't anyone watch all those shows about bounty hunters and policemen who catch dummies who try to outrun them? Feh. The judge sort of shortled and said that when they got the guy, the next trial would be much shorter.

But the good news was we were all free to go. Wee! I called the Husband, who picked me up and took me to lunch. Bosszilla had some "urgent" stuff for me to do that afternoon (returning his electronic expressway pass and typing a letter, whoo hoo) but before he got back I finished reading my book -- Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde, the last (apparently) in the Thursday Next series. I'm sort of sorry the series is ending, but at least he did a tidy job of it and he did leave some space for more books in that world.

And when I got home there was a long awaited Jammie-Box-o'Wonder in the mailbox for me!

So, really, it wasn't so bad a day.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Don't Love You Anymore

The Husband and I had a full day today. After the usual morning stuff, and dropping my car off at the dealer's to take care of a "Why did the car not stop when the brakes were stomped on in a panicky hurry Friday morning" problem, we went to Megacon. We bought our tickets in advance for one day, so they were $20 each. It was $10 to park in a distant, grassy field so we could walk for 1/2 an hour to the actual venue of the convention. We put on our little wristbands and stepped into the heart of the con -- the dealer's room.

Our first thought -- both of us, as we confessed in the con post mortum -- was "Welcome to the Land of B.O." The room was dense with people, and the people were dense, and some very special folks had apparently chosen to skip personal hygiene routines. There was also majoy halitosis to be enjoyed from the multitude of mouthbreathers standing mindlessly in every aisle staring at walls of comic books, or walls of t-shirts, or walls of pictures of nearly naked females, or walls of pictures of nearly naked females on t-shirts or comic get the idea. The crowd is overwhelmingly 25 and under.

And I realized I am too old for this shit.

We fought our way back to the artist's alley to see the people we'd come to see for the few minutes we could. In particular, we had to see Jenny and Tracy and Jeremy (who was freezing) and Nigel. Nigel is a Pirate, if you don't know, and I used my magic to make him weak at the knees, because one cannot see a Pirate without wanting to touch him just a little and I was completely without any rum. The Husband did even more to make sure that Nigel is seriously contemplating getting a massage before he drives northward. We also saw my long time friend Paula, who is now successfully making a living as an artist. Yay, Paula!

This took about 45 minutes, including time spent pushing aside assorted backbacks. It's hard to actually converse because everyone is trying to sell their stuff, but we wanted to make contact, show we cared, and generally be friends because we like these people and see them, in general, only once or twice a year. Once all the greetings were exchanged, we tried to look around the room.

There was no looking around the room. We didn't see Uberbot (the coolest comic shop in the area and possibly the world) and our local store had a booth we could not get near. We fought through the congested traffic lanes and found ourselves near the doors again. We had a short conference:

Me: Is there (pardon) anything else (sorry) here we (ouch!) want to see?

Him: (Oof!) Not (Oh, 'scuse me) really.

Me: Want (sorry) to go?

Him: Sure (ooops, sorry).

Once we were on the other side of those double doors, the sweet, cool, fresh air of freedom poured over us, and we realized at the same moment that we didn't love cons anymore. At least, we don't love comics cons. Megacon and ComicCon were both huge, teeming, smelly, stinky dealer's rooms, which are our least favorite parts of any large convention (DragonCon has tons of stuff to do that don't require ever going into the labrynthine depths of the dealer's room). On the walk back to the van and the drive to find food, we discussed this and pondered if we would ever really enjoy a convention again. Had too many years of working as dealers ruined us? Did we truly hate the masses of humanity when they were...well, massed? Were we just too old, no longer involved in the rabidity of assorted fandoms, no long enamoured of ourselves in costumes, no longer consumed with seeing celebrities ?

In a word...yes. Mostly. We shall see. We have two conventions we are working this year. It might be the last year we do this. We might just take a few years away, or only go to smaller cons that have non-dealer's room activities.

I know this much. I have no desire to ever ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER smell Megacon again.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I had to look that word up because I wanted something other than "random shit" as a title.

Welp, my birthday is over, as is Valentine's Day. I don't get too worked up about the ol' Cupid celebtation. I guess because my birthday comes just before it, I never really noticed any conspicuous lack of anything on VD. I've had plenty with no dates, no flowers, no romance, and yet it never really caused any pressure. Eh, do I care? Not really. After all, the REAL holiday is MY BIRTHDAY. Having that card/flower/candy thing coming right after just makes it easier for others to find something to give me, yes?

Of course.

I am still working inventory at Tokyo. Bosszilla is still stomping around. I am well and truly tired of counting tiny electrical parts and mysterious metal thingies in bags. It's endless and tedious. It's not that I have piles of work on my desk awaiting me. No, Bosszilla has not been in a memo writing mood, despite assorted sparks, a faint radioactive glow, and some rumblings.

It's a week until we leave for Tahoe and much snow. More about that later, as it gets closer and I start making lists.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Under The Bed

Today, The Husband was searching for his ski clothes. They are in a plastic tote somewhere. We checked the closets. We checked the attic. We checked under the bed. No plastic tote with ski clothes.

However, he did pull out two boxes full of my old t-shirts. Apparently my t-shirt collection had grown so much at one point I had to put them under the bed. There were all kinds of t-shirts that I remembered owning, but hadn't thought about in a long, long time. It's like getting new clothes.

One box is full of "collectable" t-shirts, shirts I have for their memory value. My original Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica, and Star Trek shirts are in there -- they look "vintage", like the ones sold now as "new vintage" in Target. There are band t-shirts and chorus t-shirts. There are even a few from working the Ren faire and various charity haunted houses. You know, T shirts I can't actualy wear, but I want to keep them anyway.

Just a few days ago I found a plastic tote of old video tapes I'd been looking for under the bed. I have a (really warped from my ancient VCR) recording of Whoopie Goldberg's Broadway show HBO special. I've been hunting all over for that, and it's going to DVD as soon as I can settle down to do it. There are a ton of old 80's movies in there, too. I was a rabid movie taper back in the day. Unfortunately, my VCR didn't track well, and so most of them don't have synced sound/video. Oh Well.

And currently there are at least two, possibly three, cats under the bed because we just had a loud thunderstorm.

As a kid, I loved Under the Bed. It was my retreat, my storage locker, my hiding spot. It was dark and quiet and people could not easily find me. Whenever the pressures of my little world got too much to bear, I'd go under the bed with my Barbies and some dust bunnies.

When I was, oh, probably four years old, maybe five, I saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time. The Wicked Witch didn't bother me -- I knew how to deal with her, after all. A little water, and phhhzzzt -- no Witch. No, it was that Tin Man who got to me. I didn't buy his sweet, gentle exterior. He was hard and metalic and whiny. Obviously, he was dangerous.

One day, during one of our Florida thunderstorms, I was hiding under the bed -- I hadn't been through too many of those storms at that age -- and I could hear what sounded just like giant metalic footsteps stomping the houses of our little suburban neighborhood. I knew it was a huge Tin Man coming. The only safe place was under the bed. I remember climbing out and running to our tiny kitchen where my mother was doing something, and begging her to hide under the bed with me so she'd be safe. I was really insistant, and kept asking her if she didn't hear the footsteps, which were getting louder and closer and faster, ringing in my little ears. Then she knelt down and told me what I was hearing was my own heartbeat. She put my hand against my chest so I could feel it, and it exactly matched those footsteps. And the storm was over quickly, as they tend to end, just some desultory rumbles and the trickling of the water off the roof.

Strange, now that I think on it, that the Tin Man wanted a heart and it was my own heart that made me afraid of him. There's something symbolic in there I could tease out if I really wanted, but I have to go through all these t-shirts. I need the space under the bed in case I need to hide, and the boxes take up too much room, what with the cats under there, too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

True Life Confessions

I'm watching The Police be all reunioned thanks to Sol (yer such a guy!) and pondering my longstanding crushie sort of thing for Sting. When I was between 17 and 22, the sound of his voice or the sight of him on a music video was enough to stop me in my tracks. I've spent hours singing along with him in the car. Over the years, the whole fangirl crush thing faded (although I still have the movie book of Brimstone and Treacle).

I outgrew fantasies that included sudden passioante kisses in train cars or backstage. Instead, I wondered what in hell I could possibly say if ever the impossible happened and I was in a possition to have some kind of conversation with him. "Wow! You're taller than I thought. Every time I've seen you, you've been less than 12 inches high. When I've seen you live, you were usually under 4 inches."

Ah, he was so beautiful. And he still looks damn good on stage -- even with the sort of buzzed hair. Those shoulders. Those arms. Those....well, everything.

I feel all 19 again. A little. I wonder how tall he actually is.

Update: Well, they are gonna do a TOUR. Keleios, that's ONE concert I'd go to see. Let's hope for a local date and get tickets early (please let US be in town, too!).

Today being my birthday

Again -- it happens every year, you know, about this time. I am 42 today -- which is The Answer, as we all know, even if to the wrong question. Now, if you ask how old I am today, it would be the right answer, but hardly The Ultimate Question.

My haul has been good. Quite a pile of books, a DVD, a CD, wine, chocolate, a new jacket, some socks and PJs, fingerpaints, and a moose bookmark.

All of this made my morning at work a thing cheerfully borne. It's End of Year at Tokyo Place of Business, and Bosszilla is in typical form for much counting and recounting of things -- finished goods, stock inventory, money in and out, name it, we are counting it. I was sentenced to Finished Goods two days last week and today I was put in one of our stock areas where it is all electrical components. Bosszilla has decided to rearrange plant areas, resulting in some people losing separate office space and going to cubicals on the production floor. I used to work in a cubical on the production floor. They are incredibly noisy and I was determined to quit unless I could move to an enclosed office. Bosszilla realized how bad it was when one day he was standing in the doorway of my cube, trying to talk to me, and realized he couldn't hear anything I was saying -- and I was about 7 feet away and not whispering.

In any case, there are some sore feelings about this movement, although Bosszilla is rarely as happy as he is when he can make everyone scurry around like hapless Japanese citizens under his blue-screened reptilian toeclaws. But he is not content, and I got to watch again his seemingly unconsious demands that people do two things at exactly the same time. He requested the women in electronic inventory do inventory -- right away, today, get it done -- and also make the undelivered parts needed to produce a job suddenly appear. And he's still yelling at D-man.

Oh, and I am ESD certified now. I got to wear footstraps and everything. Whoo hoo. Yet another accomplishment to add to my resume.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Birthday -2

Yeah, ok, it wasn't TECHNICALLY my birthday, but since my birthday is ACTUALLY on Monday -- a very uncelebratory sort of day around here -- we decided to haul a couple of friends to dinner at Carrabba's on Saturday (because we had gift certificates for Carrabba's - thanks, Uncle Charlie!). Evil Book Lady and her husband were, as always, the best company, and they gave me a Border's card (which was spent immediately after dinner), a cookbook from Epcot's Food and Wine Festival (we have to go to that again! One day...) and a bottle of wine they picked up in Germany (which I'm torn about, because I want to taste it and I want to keep it because it's pretty). All in all, a very nice evening. (Oh, and she replaced my lost signed copy of An Ill Wind -- thank you again!)

This was a definate step up from the beginning of the day.

For several months now, we've been hearing "something" in the attic space. We have one of these weird giant rooflines that creates a lot of space under the roof that really isn't useable for storage. It's hard to get into. Anyway, The Husband has not heard these noises, despite my constant calling to him to come here. Finally, about a month or so ago, he was in the bedroom and I heard "What the hell?" It sounded like full fledged WAR in the ceiling. We were sort of hoping it was a racoon, but Saturday morning, the Husband crawled up into the tiny storage space above our closet to discover -- rats. Or, more accurately, rat poo. Lots of rat poo.

Yeah. Raining down in the closet. Weeeee.

We rescued some old story magazines I had stored up there, as well as The Husband's comics box, and installed some electronic repellers in hopes the rats will vacate. Poison isn't really an option. The last thing I want is dead rat putrifying in my roof as we climb out of winter and the tempterature goes up (and the humidity). We shall see.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Because I am just sooo distraught over Anna Nicole Smith's recent demise...a minimal Meme.

What Sherri Means

S is for Silky

H is for Hip

E is for Edgy

R is for Responsible

R is for Romantic

I is for Irresistible

What Does Your Name Mean?

Wikipedia describes Smith as a "pseudo-celebrity". so I'm only pseudo-upset. She's already had more of my life than I'll ever get from anyone with "celebrity" next to their name.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Think Those Good Thoughts

The Husband's laptop refused to boot up today. We should have expected it. The warrently period ended 20 days ago. Of course, he hasn't backed up his data in...a while. This, despite the fact we've lost hard drives before. At least essential stuff for taxes is backed up. He just got back from shipping the drive to a data retrieval service. Here's hoping we can get the data back AND get the laptop repaired. And back up your computer data.

In fact, I've not backed up in a while. I think I shall.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Grocery shopping is a great opportunity to observe people in all their vague mystery, as long as you aren't between them and the English Muffins. Today, on the way out after the weekly hunting and gathering expedition, I was pushing my cart toward the exit. There, blocking the way rather effectively, was a man with two kids, talking to a woman he had apparently just met in the entrance. Both had empty carts and despite the press of other shoppers around them, showed no inclination to move their conversation to some other area (The wine aisle was pretty empty). The two kids were reading, pressed tight against the cart as if embarrassed to be where they were. If I'd been in any less good a mood, I would have made some appropriate remarks about asses and rudeness, but I didn't. I just waited for my turn to slide between the idiots and the spring plants display.

Just as I was jockying my way around them, the boy said to his father "excuse me", as if he needed to give his father some urgent information -- from the look on his face, I suspect it was something like "I think we are in everyone's way, this woman just about removed my ass with her cart..." His father cut him off and started on a tirade about how that boy was going to learn to be polite and respect other people or...

The irony. It really does taste just like chicken.

All the Way from Australia

I swiped this one from The Other Andrew, and he hasn't even found out yet.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Thank you, every one, for birthday good wishes, but to clarify -- when I said my birthday started early, I meant WAY early. I'm still a good 6 days from my natal anniversary. although I am in no way opposed to swallowing up the entire month in a celebration of me (and Canuck Girl! Gotta have someone to share the cake -- oh, and LazyGal. Hell, February is thick with cool people.)

The Husband has been giving me "little gifts" this week, sneaking them in when I'm not looking. I got a nice mug with an inspirational Ghandi quote, and a book about language "Bullshit" that is occasionally concise, occasionally funny, and occasionally full of Bullshit, which seems apropos.

And what did I do after his gestures of love? I scolded him about using up stuff in the kitchen that I'd had planned for meals and not warning me. He's doing his best and I can't seem to give up my nagging habit. I need to spend more time being grateful and appreciative of him, and not picking on him.

Speaking of loving gestures, my BIG birthday gift is on its way. Husband bought me participation in the Genographic Project sponsored by National Geographic. I'm waiting for my kit to arrive and I'm really curious to know how it will turn out.

And in the this what the Space Program does to astronauts? And it would have to be a woman to get whacked out like this. Geez! Just what we need. I am embarrassed on several levels because of this event. I guess male astronauts are just as prone to stupidity. Like anyone in a minority knows, what any one person belonging to that minority, good or bad, reflects on everyone else. From the sketchy information in the news story, it looks like Nowak has just come apart on some level. Still, it's sad.

UPDATE: Thank you, Scott! More Amazon Goodness! Not even Bananaman can ruin this!

Monday, February 05, 2007


Thank you, MKH!

My birthday started early and I'm grinning very much. Today there was an Amazon box on my doorstep (always a sign of magic forthcoming). It contained three items...

The GOJIRA dvd set, with both the original (remastered!) Japanese classic, and the American version with Raymond Burr patched in, PLUS commentary and goodies!

The Essential Anuna CD. If you've got a taste for choral music or Irish music, this is the way to walk.

Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Joseph Campbell: In Search of the Modern Myth by Stephen Rauch. If nothing else, I love this book because it has Klimt's "Death and Life"on the cover and I love Klimt (One day I will get one of those huge, expensive art books of Klimt to go with my big art books on Art Deco and the Romantic painters).

So I am happy that 42 looks like it will be very cool! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Can Now Tell The World

As of today, I have lost 15 lbs and over 2 inches on my waist since the beginning of the year. It's a good start. I want to lose 5 more pounds this month and at least 50 lbs this year. I'm pretty happy with the changes I'm making. I'm not dieting nor taking a miracle pill, and I'm not using some TV miracle exerciser machine or program. No fasting, no special foods, and no hinky complicated detox.

I'm learning to eat reasonably, to simplify my food choices so that the very act of eating is not overwhelming and fraught with danger and anxiety. I'm chosing to move more, which includes going to the gym (sometimes I go and do the minimum, then sit and read while The Husband finished whatever he's doing because I don't feel well. Othertimes I go and make HIM wait because it feels good to push weight or ride the bike.)

I am not suffering or sacrificing. I think I've had chocolate every day this week. Sometimes I find myself eating for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger and I have to pay attention to that (That's how I got this heavy in the first place). Most of what I've changed dates back over many years of trying to lose weight and improve my health. It all came together when I read "You: On A Diet" which seemed to put everything I knew with a few things I didn't into a fresh framework, with simple approaches to making it a part of my life.

I'm looking forward to feeling better and being thinner this year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Scary weather

I didn't sleep well last night. I was waking up every hour or so, but I finally went to sleep around 2-ish. So, I was a little upset about 4 this morning when I woke up because someone was really pounding on the roof. A lot of someones. And there was this drum and a vacuum cleaner.

Three blinks and a yawn later I realized it was one hell of a thunderstorm. A scary thunderstorm, because this is February and we get tornadoes in Florida in February. One was passing about 6 miles or so north of us. I got up and checked the weather news. It was a good hour before I got to sleep again.

Everyone here is fine, btw. Just really sleepy.

Oh, and now the UN has determined global warming is seriously bad, it's all our fault and there isn't a whole lot we can do to reverse things. There was some talk about ice cores showing evidence a few million years old. Ok, that I can get my mind around. Up to now, although I accepted that global warming was happening, I wasn't fully convinced it was completely and totally a manmade thing, but evidence seems to indicate this is so. We've changed our climate irreversably. I still wonder if climatic change is inevitable and we've just rushed it a lot. I mean, the climate has changed before.

Of course, there is also the American Enterprise Institute wanting to take up the opposite side, saying the UN report is highly pessimistic and that the science behind it is somewhat biased. It's hard for me to accept that they are really seeking balanced information, considering they are funded by ExxonMobile, but the statement made by Kenneth Green, the AEI visiting scholar, made sort of sense to me. He said:

"Right now, the whole debate is polarized. One group says that anyone with any doubts whatsoever are deniers and the other group is saying that anyone who wants to take action is alarmist. We don't think that approach has a lot of utility for intelligent policy."

Of course, what is "intelligent policy" in this definition? And what do I do? What do any of us do? I guess I can make the choice to reduce my use of fossile fuels, drive less, recycle more, eat locally as much as possible, and look for alternative, renewable, non-polluting power sources. The Husband and I have been making small changes for a while now and have reduced our power consumption about 30% from previous years (according to our power bill).

It isn't the least bit comforting to know that my government isn't willing to even consider those things. I understand fears about job losses and economic consequences, but Bush will be out of office by the time the ocean levels rise enough to wipe out most of the East and West Coasts, so I guess it really isn't an issue he needs to consider.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wow, it's February already and I'm staring down the final stretch before my 42nd Birthday. That's right, folks. It's kind of scary and kind of neat and mostly I try not to think about it.

However, if anyone is overwhelmed with a desire to see my Amazon wishlist, who am I to say no?