Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Peeve

Do you know what I hate MOST about vacuuming and dusting and picking stuff up? No, not the work part. I'm surprisingly hardened against the work part.

I hate the sneezing.

I may tell you more about this, but right now my brain isn't resting in proper alignment with my skull and I think I sneezed one of my eyes loose.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Oh make up a title for this spot

The weekend was pretty much delicious. I say that while thinking of Saturday night, when The Husband cooked dinner for Evil Book Lady and me. But I'm jumping ahead.

This weekend had been slotted for General Sloth and much computer gaming because it was Double Experience Points Weekend on City of Heroes. Of course, we were not TOTAL sloths. We went to the gym Saturday morning and made the obligatory Lowes and Target runs. A wall mounted storage cabinet in our garage made a suicidal leap sometime this week. The Husband opened the door into the garage -- well, he TRIED to open it, but that's where the cabinet sort of landed.

Anyway, he called me."Honey, did you hear a crash today?"

I walked through the kitchen and stood in the laundry room. "What?"

"A crash. Did you hear a loud crash?"

"I hear crashes all the time. We have cats. I check for blood and get the vacuum."

Anyway, we hadn't been in the garage for a day or two so it could have happened while we were at work. We decided to replace it with some shelves, because the shelves he put into the laundry room (to replace the two wall mounted cabinets that had been there) have made me so deliriously happy. Yes, I love my laundry room now. I actually do laundry without being begged or bribed. There are no swinging cabinet doors to smash my forehead on anymore, and I know where everything is because it's just sitting in neat rows on shelves.

So, one trip to Lowes and a quick stop at Target began our downward spiral. We were hungry by then, our quick but healthy breakfasts hours behind us, so we got Pizza Hut Pan pizzas while at Target. We did, however skip the Cinnabun pretzel and didn't even consider Starbucks. Ya, our local Target is THE Starbucks heart of our little redneck corner of the world. There used to be two kinds of coffee around here -- the expensive, high end stuff at the assorted quirky shoppes in Mt. Dora, and the diner style coffee available at Perkins or the donut shop or Haystacks on the highway. Now most of the little quirky places are gone -- they were Soooo 90's after all -- and we have half a Starbucks in the Target.

We got home and I cracked open our Target purchases. Two new rugs for the kitchen (don't ask), two of those emergency glass breaking hammers for the cars (We watched the Underwater Car episode of Mythbusters and got completely wierded out...ok, we were laying in bed watching on Friday night when we quietly and calmly said "Hey, we should get one of those." "Tomorrow." "Yeah, tomorrow." ). I also bought myself two Big Ben puzzles (and a felt puzzle mat). I've had this thing about wanting to do a jigsaw puzzle for months now, so I picked up a couple of 1000 pc puzzles with pretty pictures on them. The advert foldout informs me how behind the times I am. They make some pretty complex 3-D puzzles. Apparently you can build Manhatten and Venice.

Evil Book Lady showed up after 3 to have an evening of gaming geekiness. She brought incredible chocolate she had picked up for us while she was in Germany late last year, and we immediately devoured the huge Cadbury bar between us. She also brought really good ginger snaps. Thus began our debauchery. We ate and ran around in imaginary Spandex until almost midnight. She went home, but we all met up online fairly early Sunday morning to continue sucking up the double EP goodness. Finally, I declared we Must Take A Walk.

It had gotten a little chilly (in Florida terms, of course -- all temperatures are Florida Relative Temperatures) and the wind was cold, so we threw on jackets and hats and some glow lights. It was already dark and our neighborhood has no sidewalks. It wasn't too bad. We passed a couple of other walkers, wrapped in parkas with the hoods up. We are expecting a freeze tonight. It currently is about 37 F outside -- with the wind, it feels like 28 F.

I know, I know, so many of you tough Northern types would be running around in shorts and a t-shirt yelling for an icy beer and slathering on sunscreen. I am about to shut all the windows and turn the heat on. The cats have formed a pile on the bed and occasionally make pitious shiver-wracked meows. I've put on slippers.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Having Exhausted all Original Thought

I'm taking the easy out...a quiz meme

You scored as Zoroastrian Pagan. The Zoroastrian Pagan is a rare breed who follows the teachings of Zoroaster, the religious reformer. He believed that there were no gods, and it was naive to put faith in them and give them names. What one should focus on is merely serving one side of the cosmic duality; work on good or light deeds, and the world would become more good or light. Pagans of this variety are rare, but often feel like they get more done without the hassle and clutter of pantheons and gods. They're smart, analytical, and occationally cynical.

Zoroastrian Pagan


80%

Ecclectic Pagan


70%

Eastern Pagan


55%

Kabbalistic Pagan


45%

Shamanic Pagan


35%

Celtic Pantheonic Pagan


20%

Roman Pantheonic Pagan


15%

Egyptian Pantheonic Pagan


15%

Sumerian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian Pagans


15%

Norse Pantheonic Pagan (Asatru)


10%

Greek Pantheonic Pagan


5%

Catholic (Pagan?)


0%

What kind of Pagan are you?
created with QuizFarm.com



I kinda knew I was rare to begin with. More proof. Technically, I haven't studies Zoroaster, either.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Public Service

I've been thinking about the whole "Gay Bands" thing. I was a little worried how a Good Christian Parent could know what groups were safe for their children. Luckily, there is a "Straight Band" list for a reference of music they could ALLOW their children to listen to safely, comforted by knowing the proper sexual orientation was being pounded into their soft little heads via iPod. As you might expect, it's mostly Christian bands, which makes sense. But..Cyndi Lauper? Her latest album is a big hit with the gay community! It has three gay themes songs on it. Oh, Cyndi, you're gonna lose your place on the list of the pure!

Of course, the "Straight Band" list is so very short, and doesn't cover nearly the musical ground of the "Gay Band" list. I thought perhaps I could lend a little aid in the endeavor to find music deemed "Straight" -- or at least "Straight Enough". But I need some serious help here. My problem is that my own modest attempt to compile such a list keeps hitting walls, first because the original list lacks any clear criteria for what makes a band "gay". Admittedly, some of the song writers and performers listed are known to be homosexual. Others, though, are confusing.

Second, I'm not familiar with every group listed. I've done a little research, but it's not easy to pick a Straight Replacement for a Gay Band. Most Gay musicians have talent and ability that is unique. Also, based on the list, almost every band is Gay (If Ted Nugent counts as Gay, there is NO HOPE). So help me out. If you can think of alternatives, let me know and I'll add to the list. Or, better yet, put together your own list of "Straight Alternatives".

THE "GAY" LIST - THE "STRAIGHT" ALTERNATIVE
  • The Spores (endorse suicide) - ?
  • Scissor Sisters - ?
  • Rufus Wainwright - ?
  • Merzbau - ?
  • Ravi Shankar - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
  • Wilco - ?
  • Bjork - Kate Bush
  • Tech N9ne - ?
  • Ghostface Killah - ?
  • Bobby Conn - ?
  • Morton Subotnik - ?
  • Cole Porter - Irving Berlin
  • The String Cheese Incident - ?
  • Eagles of Death Metal - ?
  • Polyphonic Spree - ?
  • The Faint - ?
  • Interpol - ?
  • Tegan and Sara - ?
  • Erasure - The Everly Brothers
  • Le Tigre - ?
  • The Gossip - ?
  • The Magnetic Fields - ?
  • The Doors - Cream
  • Phish - The Grateful Dead
  • Queen - Genesis
  • The Strokes - ?
  • Sufjan Stevens - ?
  • Morrissey(?questionable?) - David Gates (possibly)
  • The Pet Shop Boys -
  • Metallica
  • Judas Priest
  • The Village People
  • The Secret Handshake
  • The Rolling Stones
  • David Bowie
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Man or Astroman
  • Richard Cheese
  • Jay-Z
  • Depeche Mode
  • Kansas
  • Ani DiFranco
  • Fischerspooner
  • John Mayer
  • Angel Eyes
  • The Indigo Girls
  • Velvet Underground
  • Madonna - Amy Grant
  • Elton John
  • Barry Manilow
  • Indigo Girls
  • Melissa Etheridge - Anna Nalick
  • Eminmen
  • Nirvana
  • Boy George* - Elvis Presley
  • The Killers
  • Lou Reed
  • Lil' Wayne
  • Motorhead
  • Jill Sobule
  • Wilson Phillips - The Supremes
  • DMX
  • Lisa Loeb
  • Ted Nugent (loincloth) - I don't need to find anyone here, Ted will eventually shoot this guy
  • Dogstar
  • Thirty Seconds to Mars
  • Lil' Kim
  • kd lang
  • Frank Sinatra - Dean Martin
  • Hinder
  • Nickleback
  • Justus Kohncke
  • Bob Mould
  • Clay Aiken
  • Arcade Fire
  • Bright Eyes
  • Corinne Bailey Rae - Ella Fiztgerald (I don't know why Rae is gay -- maybe because she covered a Bjork song...)
  • Audioslave
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Panic at the Disco
  • Elton John(really gay) - Billy Joel
I'd like to point out that Elton John is so dangerous he shows up on the list TWICE. I now know I have a lot of music I must listen to. My husband might really like it if I became a little more lesbian...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's Got a Beat and You Can Dance to it

Hidden City just posted an interesting tidbit. Some self professed Christian type is posting Gay Bands -- a list of musical performers who will spread Homosexuality into the innocent ears of children. It LOOKS all sincere -- I don't think it's a parody, although I have to question the veracity of a list that includes Frank Sinatra but skips Doris Day.

Oh, lawsy! The Gay Bands list is restricted only to popular music performers (not all of them "bands"), which I think is a terrible oversight. It bops right past music the kiddies could be exposed to IN SCHOOL by such notorious gays as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. That "Fanfare for the Common Man" -- that's subversive, right there! It'll have the little boys swishing in no time.

But really, the list is redundant. Wikipedia has a very complete one for gay males already. There's also one for lesbian musicians and one for bisexual musicians. Really. the information is already there.

I wonder if the particular criteria used to select "gay bands" means only performers who are themselves practicing or advocating a gay lifestyle, or if anyone who performs music of a gay composer or songwriter is also considered suspect? What about gay icons like Judy Garland? Is "The Wizard of Oz" a pathway to being gay? I mean, seriously -- the Tin Man? Closeted, obviously. And the Cowardly Lion!

Since this particular website is pushing Leviticus to such an extreme. I wonder where the list of proscribed yarn combinations will be posted? In the mean time, I have this overwhelming desire to listen to some RuPaul.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Civic Duty and all that

I got a jury duty summons today. Eh, no big deal. I've gone twice before (the third time I got a pass due to health issues -- I was pregnant and on total bed rest). Both times I sat around with a lot of other people in a fairly uncomfortable room reading a book until I was dismissed because I wasn't needed. Not that bad.

I don't mind jury duty. It's one of those responsibilities that go with privileges and all that. This time, though, I'm worried. You see, the Saturday following my date, we leave for a week's vacation. It would be my luck to be picked for a long, involved case. I don't know what I'd do at that point. Tickets are paid for and all. I'm not sure vacation trumps responsibility to society and possible contempt of court charges.

Then again, when I really think about it, I am the least likely juror to be selected. I'm white, I'm female, I'm under 50, I have a college education, and I don't believe in the death penalty. I'm pro-gay rights, pro-equal rights, pro-choice, and a subscriber to the idea that the individual is responsible for every damn thing he or she does. As far as I can tell, this means I'll be dismissed out of hand because any lawyer will suspect me of thinking.

Or maybe I've watched too much crime TV where they interview the jurors afterwards. Those people might be just Joe and Josephine Schmoe, but it's the rare one who sounds rational to me. I get images in my head of 12 Angry Men and Perry Mason.

At least I may get some reading done.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Supposition

I guess there is something intrinsically comforting about inevitable destruction. Otherwise, why would we constantly be talking about it?

Earth's Moon Destined to Disintegrate

Unless, of course, it doesn't. Either way, it's something to think about on those long, dark nights when you can't sleep. We've got between 1.1 and 5 billion years to consider it. That is, unless we face other nifty ways to end our civilization and possibly our existance as a species.

Have a nice day.

Why I am Pro-Choice

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

I am pro-choice for some simple reasons, all of which are personal.

First, I have never bought into the "pro-life" arguement -- not when I was 13 and a group was allowed to bring all the girls in my junior high into the library to show us slides of aborted fetuses and prosletyze us and not now. What I've seen has been a mass of contradiction. Those who fight so hard to force women to have children have no interest once the child is born. They are not fighting to save a child. They are fighting to have control over others, in particular women, for reasons of their own that have nothing to do with the things they preach.

Second, I do not feel there are "gradiations" of right and wrong. If killing is wrong, then ALL killing is wrong. Killing in war is wrong, killing to defend one's self is wrong, killing to punish the accused is wrong -- all of it. There is no halfway point that says "this life is worthy while that one is not."

Third, I think the decsion is entirely personal (and you may take this as you like). To turn over decision making to another is my idea of wrong. To force others to do as you would like them to do is wrong. To say one thing and yet act in opposition to that saying is wrong.

Ideally, I would like to live in a world where giving birth was not onerous or fearful, fraught with difficulty and trouble. It would be a wonderful world where every child was celebrated and protected, appreciated and nurtured. It would be perfect if no mother need fear being unable to feed and clothe her child, where there were no punishments for not having that child within some artificial set of rules. I'd like a world where ALL life was considered precious, not just certain lives that were unconnected to the person shouting the loudest. I would love to live in a world where abortion never occured because no child was either so severely damaged before birth as to make birth dangerous, no woman's health was ever threatened, and no child would go unwanted or be endangered.

That world does not exist, and it will not come into existance by denying the chain of events that bring a woman to the decision whether or not to abort a fetus. Most women don't have abortions for fun, after all. For most, it is a difficult, frightening choice. Where there are some women who view it casually, I imagine they have been damaged, too, possibly by the same thinking that caused them to disregard themselves so deeply.

I am pro-choice because I believe people must be responsible for their own souls and their own lives. They must decide for themselves and live with the consequences -- good or bad -- that arise. It might make a scary world, but it can't be much scarier than the world we have now, where people seek in every direction for excuses and rationalizations for what they do or do not, trying always to blame or claim protection and justification. I believe that the choices I make I must live with and must answer for to whatever higher power may be. I believe my choices create the world in which I live, and therefore must be made with thought and forethought, and not just to please someone else or because I was told so.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not In My Back Yard

A casual glance through the Yahoo headlines produced this discovery.

Leggings for Men

My first thought was "The world does not need this much camel toe."

Leggings are barely tolerable for women. I have succumbed to them myself (with big, oversized shirts for those days I do not care). They don't have pockets. They hide nothing. They are subject to terrible abuses (it might be a Southern thing, but I've seen too many women who has not come to terms with her actual body size in public wearing only a tank top and a pair of screamingly tight leggings. Trust me, I am a large woman. Body confidence be damned, it's just plain ugly.) Leggings are really intended for the Very Very Thin, on whom they should be just ever so slightly loose (to avoid revealing Certain Private Information on the state of one's bikini wax). They always look casual and young (in the adolescent sense). There are those of us who really wear them at our own risk. They are not a universally complimentary item of clothing.

On men? In the gym, maybe. For particular sports, ok. But as business attire? As club clothes? Leggings are not, honestly, all that much more comfortable than a pair of sweats or exercise pants. They can be too tight. They can bind. They can pinch. They can make one incredibly conscious of one's ass.

I showed the article to The Husband. It should be noted that The Husband is a man who owns velvet tights that he wears as costume pieces from our Ren Faire days. He regularly wanders the house in a sarong. He almost lives in his assortment of yoga pants. He carries a bag (aka "The Man Purse"). This is NOT a man who is concerned about appearing overtly masculine. Yet his opinion upon studying this particular new foray of fashion was "No way. Looks stupid, especially with the jacket." Oh, and no pockets.

Should leggings take off as a fashion for men, watch closely for the return of purses on men. And rampant, unsavory, unrestrained camel toe.

Superpower

Apparently, I can channel and voice the innermost thoughts of my husband's inner child's imaginary friend.

TV Shows I Don't Watch

I suppose it's a sad situation when the only thing on my mind worth mentioning is the news about a TV show I don't watch. I've been following the developing kerfuffle about Britain's "Celebrity Big Brother". It started when I heard the story on NPR, complete with soundclips. Then I read the ABC news story about it. Shilpa Shetty and Dirk Benadict. Oh Boy.

The last I heard, the woman with the biggest mouth was voted out of the house. Others who took part in the abuse and insults have lost endorsements and such. Shelpa has been described as "a bit of a princess" but she's also been apparently trying to handle herself with dignity.

High Art, indeed. Every once in a while I wonder what I missing now that I no longer watch "regular" television. I missed out on Survivor in all its horrible forms, Friends, Sex in the City, Law & Order, all the various CSIs, 24, and pretty much everything else appearing on network TV since about 1993. No Smallville, no Heroes, no nuthin'. People talk about the show last night and I have no idea what's going on. Then, I hear something like this and I feel relieved.

Not superior, not elite. Just relieved. It is less work and more interesting to be an impartial observer who just gets to see the highlights. Besides, there's always Mythbusters.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Who am I again?


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
0
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?


Apparently I don't exist. Lucky me.

Lost Memory

It's bothered me all week, at the same level a constant but low buzzing sound will bother you. It's kept me from sleeping for a while each night.

I cannot remember the date of my mother's death.

This is significant because for so many years, that date was a memorial. That day when my whole life collapsed on itself, that day when I heard her call my name and I ran into the living room. I remember that afternoon very clearly. I could not tell you what happened in school, but I know she and I were wearing matching pull over velor shirts. Hers was blue and mine was pink. It was one of those beautiful, clear January days we get in Florida. The sky was such a hard blue it was made of glass. The air was cool and perfectly clean. I remember noticing it as I walked home from the bus stop. It was a Friday. My birthday was coming up in a few weeks. Mom was home because she'd started taking Fridays off. We were going shopping that weekend. Monday she was going to take me to get my driver's licence. She was making one of my favorites for dinner -- chicken and dumplings. It was cooking on the stove in a big pot.

It is still strange to me that none of it happened. No dinner, no shopping, no license on Monday. Her funeral was on Tuesday. I remember that. I remember lots of little scenes, and lots of long blurs of motion. I remember looking into her face on the ride up the elevator at the hospital, the dead flatness of her warm brown eyes, her slack face, the tattered pieces of her blue velor shirt in my hands -- they had cut it off in the emergency room. Now she was going to ICU.

That's when I knew she was dead, although it would be another 6 hours before anyone else admitted it.

I can't remember the date. I'll have to look.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

This Little Life of Mine

Ok, so something that isn't a meme...maybe.

I'm three weeks into the New Life. I'm eating better, I'm exercising almost daily, and I'm going to the gym three times a week. I have to keep it up until the end of the month, and which time I need to renew my resolve.

Yeah, the vague goals are working, so far. Five books read this month. MUCH less candy. Not a single donut and only a few cookies (Kashi cookies, too). I managed some firsts in the food world as well. First time a jar of Nutella lasted more than 2 days around me (it lasted a total of 9 days and I finished it in a deliberate piggie moment.) First time a box of Alpen lasted more than 3 days (it's into a second week now). I've cut back on my Diet Pepsi consumption although PepsiCo has no need to fear. try as I might, coffee and tea just aren't an option. No matter what, I cannot condition myself to drink them.

I've even lost a little weight. Not enough to brag about, oh no. That, too, must wait until the end of the month, when I hope to see my first goal achieved.

Have I cheated? Well, kinda sorta. I'm supposed to do 30 minutes of activity a day -- walking, riding the bike, whatever gets my heartrate up for 30 minutes. Yesterday I walked the grocery store. Not exactly what I was supposed to do, but I let it stand. I was still dragging my ass from my major energy output over the weekend. Despite getting enough sleep every night, my ass required its own little red wagon. If I was still too long, ninja naps would sneak up on me and knock me unconsious. But I feel better today -- my recover time is improving, too. There is hope.

I suppose it should shame me to mention it, but this year is the first time in several years I have taken on solo grocery shopping duties. The Husband took that over at one point and never got rid of it until this year. I'm also doing most of the laundrey and dishes. The house is at a level of clean not seen in ages (although I have to do maintenance soon...this housework thing is endless, oh yes.) I vacuum at least once a week. Truly, this is a sign of the impending Apocalypse if ever there was one.

In general, I'd say this is sort of what I was like about 11 years ago, before The Great Depression. Maybe this means I am actually, fully, completely recovered.

What a thought.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Strange Intersections of Silly Online Quizzes

This one seems to mesh eerily with the one I took on Monday.

Your Hidden Talent

You have the power to persuade and influence others.
You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.
The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.
Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!


Whadaya think? Personally, I'm thinking Mom must have lied on my birth certificate, and I could have sworn that picture was of Elvis.

A Promise is a Promise

Last summer, I bought the most expensive sunglasses I've ever owned. They were DESIGNER sunglasses, no less. I got 'em because they were the only pair that were oversized, fit, and would work with my prescription. And I promised Michael Guy a picture of me wearing them, because his lable whoring influence was a definate part of the decision.

He's not letting me wiggle out of that one any longer. So....


I so need to do my roots, oh heavens above. Also, I do not remember my nose being that big. Really.

Jammies Said To

do another meme, so I'm doing another meme. Who am I to argue? Besides, I have house projects to complete. I have no time to think for myself!


Grab the book nearest your computer. List the Title and Author. Turn to page 123. Read past the first 5 sentences, then read the next three. Type out those three sentences in your blog, then tag three bloggers.


Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

...A kindness spoken out of reflex, at once impersonal and generous, but by no means bridging the distance established between two people -- it always produces in me that sense of transparency, that deeply moving emotion I was being reminded of right then. An unbearable sense of loss.
"The other day, " I said as we set off, "one morning when I was jogging, I met a strange person on the bridge..."


From pure perversity, I tag Mala, Xolo, and Sara, just for their names being so alliterative together.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Because it's Easier Than Thinking Up Something Myself

Your Birthdate: February 12

You're a dynamic, charismatic person who's possibly headed for fame.
You tend to charm strangers easily. And you usually can get what you want from them.
Verbally talented, you tend to persuade people with your speaking and writing.
You are affectionate and loving, but it's hard for you to commit to any one relationship.

Your strength: Your charm

Your weakness: Your extreme manipulation tactics

Your power color: Indigo

Your power symbol: Four leaf clover

Your power month: December
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Swiped from the always interesting (and fellow Febber) Lazygal.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

In the Cool of the Evening

It's been a long, busy weekend BUT...

1) I have a lovely library (and a lot of files just around the corner to put away. ALL BOOKS ARE ON SHELVES.
2) You can barely walk through the front room for the pile of stuff to be carted to Good Will (or the curb on Tuesday.)
3) We FINALLY have a case that will hold ALL our DVDs. We may not buy another DVD this year.
4) The Husband has his own office again and will have even more of it after we get some stuff on eBay.
5) We have all the stuff to put shelves in the laundry room (NEXT weekend).

Ugh! I've been to Lowes three times this weekend, as well as Office Depot, two different Targets, Pier One, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Circuit City, and even a desperation trip to Wal-Mart (which was playing Elvis at the time on the overhead sound system.) I am so tired right now I am not sure I can drag my sorry self to the bed. My chair has wheels. I wonder...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mysteries of the Universe

I don't know how it happened, but today, two new book cases found a way into my house. No old book cases are leaving.

I am mystified how this worked. I could have sworn not one more book case could have fit into this house, but apparently I was wrong -- or the house is a Tardis, which could explain why it is so hard to find my keys some days.

More as developments warrent.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kenny

There will be a Meme tonight...

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. List any holidays
6. Post it.

Events

Birthdays
Deaths


Holidays


Happy Birthday, Kenny!

Oh No! There Goes Tokyo!

After Monday's memo, Tuesday opened with Bosszilla on the rampage. He called a meeting with all the production managers and spent a good 45 minutes doing nothing but breathing nuclear fire and stomping on little model tanks. He even ate a train and wrecked a bridge.

I know, because I was sitting not 2 feet from the action, sort of like Raymond Burr, taking notes. No kidding. He asked me to take notes in the meeting. For a while I thought about typing in "RAWR! FUCKFUCK! RIPSHREDSTOMP! FUCKYOUALL! RAWGRAWG!" but since he could see my computer screen, I decided on "The plant is not clean enough to meet my standards" and let my hands hover over the keyboard the rest of the time. My back was to the conference table (my desk is in the corner facing the wall) so I could not see anyone else's reactions, and there was no way in HELL I was going to turn around. I didn't need to, really. I've seen the look before. After the fifh or sixth time, the terrified round eyes and explosion-blown hair aren't as funny.

After 45 minutes (I timed it) Bosszilla tired and subsided into actual conversation. He dismissed some of the managers and continued with an actual project meeting with the others. There were still a few sparks and flashes of light, but the walls did not shake nor the ground tremble. I took notes.

When this little adventure was ended and I ventured outside, people would stop me and say "What was THAT about?" In other words, Bosszilla could be heard through the sales office and, apparently, rumor went through the plant after the shellshocked faced of the managers released first were seen. No one really wants to know what it is about, though. It doesn't matter.

Today, Bosszilla came in on happy pills. He was singing, he was smiling, he was talking so fast he stumbled over his words. The receptionist and I speculated on whether illegal substances were involved. I think he just took a long walk on the bottom of the Sea of Japan until he felt better.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Culturally Embarrassed


I almost went all superior when I heard this story about Iraqis seeing Saddam's face in the moon. I mean, how ridiculous. How primative and superstitious! How 7th century! How very backwards!

But if Elvis's ghost can inhabit cowboy boots or his face appear on an Office Depot Receipt, right here in the good ol' US of A, then maybe I shouldn't feel so damn cocky. Nauseous, maybe.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Moneypenny, Take a Memo

My job has a lot of requirements. One of them is turning my employer's somewhat rangy, untamable thoughts into business suitable language. Usually the hard part is conveying his meaning without the four letter words, but today...today I had to translate heavy sarcasm.

Here's the memo I was -- sorta, kinda -- dictated.

TO: ALL PEONS
FROM: BOSSZILLA
SUBJECT: THE VALUE OF DIRT

Thank you all for your efforts toward making [place of business's] facility cleaner. I have noticed some improvements.

I’ve also noticed that there is still dust, dirt and clutter in the building despite these efforts. I can only conclude that, at least for some people working here, this dirt has some kind of value. Those people – and I am not sure who they are – apparently value dirt highly enough that they will not get rid of it unless directly and specifically ordered.

Perhaps the problem is really with me. I do not understand dirt value. Maybe I’m missing something important. Maybe all this dirt is really a kind of asset. If that is the case, I should perhaps consider sharing this asset with all the employees. I could include some valuable dirt in each pay envelope, for example. Or perhaps I can work out an equation that will give the dirt monetary value – an ounce of dust equals a dollar or a dried coffee stain is worth fifty cents – and replace part of everyone’s salary with that valuable dirt directly.I could even collect it in coffee cans for distribution as Christmas bonuses. Otherwise, I cannot imagine a reason for keeping dirt, dust and clutter in the plant.

Many people here appear to agree with me that the dirt is not valuable (or they humor me because I pay them) and they remove it. Others seem to be hoarding and protecting that dirt. If there is a hidden value, then I will have to depend on my employees to demonstrate that they prefer dirt to money by looking at the condition of the plant over the next few weeks. Majority opinion will rule – if dirt is not valuable, I expect I’ll see less of it in the plant. If I see more, then I’ll start working on my equation to calculate the worth of dead bugs and splashed ink.

I’m hoping you will all help me avoid the extra math.


Not only did Bosszilla sign this, he made the copies and passed them out.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

There Are Good Reasons

I was born in Florida, within 50 miles of where I live now. I've always lived within the same 100 square miles. I do want to leave and live somewhere else, but I know, deep inside, that I love this place, despite all that is frustrating, boring, irritating, or sad about it.

This is why. The Husband and I took our cameras on a walk this morning.





Friday, January 05, 2007

The No-No's

I want to say this carefully, as I was set in motion by another blogger whom I want to reference and whom I do NOT want to insult or hurt. Let me make that clear right up front.

Mala posted something in her blog that started my brain turning, and I wanted to address it here on my own little soapbox. This is resolution season, after all, and I've been reading many people listing what they want to do or want to not do. Mala's list struck me because her list has "no" in it, very prominently (her list has "do this" in it, too). She wants to cut things out, stop doing things. She's made a good list, an ambitious list of activities and goals that will all have positive results. She's a strong willed woman, and she can do (or not do) all the things she wants.

It's those "no"s that grabbed me. I can't do "no".

Lemme 'splain. Over the years, I've made myself a lot of promises that involved the word "no". No more of this, no more of that. Every damn time, I rebeled against my self declared ultimatums. I'm just contrarian, I guess. I find being denied intolerable, even if I set the rules.

That's why I did the vague goals thing. Casual though they may seem, it's all about not setting off my inner 5-year-old, and I put a lot of thought into them. First, I made them all things I could do -- just a little. Something specific, something small. Now, the fact that I want to lose 75 pounds this year, get into either an MFA program or a BA for English Literature somewhere, try to publish -- those aren't important. They are what I would like as an outcome, of course, but they are too big to mentally grasp, too likely to make me sit on my ass and refuse, or crawl under the bed and give up. So, I pick something smaller.

My goals are actually a lot like Mala's. I want to move more so I'm trying to make ways for that to happen via the gym and walking with my husband (now I REALLY miss my dog). I want to reduce my TV time (I don't actually watch TV so much as keep it on) and my online-surfing-for-nothing time, so I'm setting goals to read particular books. I need to get more sleep, so I'm trying to get into bed about 1/2 hour earlier, even if just to read. But if I said to myself "no more TV" or "no more staying up past 11", I'd fail. With my best intentions in hand, something would happen and I'd fail.

I no longer buy the "sufficient willpower" thing -- the idea that if only you have enough willpower, are a good enough person, strong enough, want it enough, you can do whatever it takes to get what you want. Too many of us start out with a good effort and yet fail at whatever it is we are trying. Yep, sure, there ARE people of amazing willpower to attain one thing or another. But there are a lot more -- a significant amount of more -- people who manage to go to work, raise children, keep a clean house and pay taxes and yet still fail at something they wanted to do, be it to stop smoking, lose weight, find a relationship, work for charity, or you name it. Even people who achieve great things demonstrating willpower will have a failure of some kind right along side it. So I'm not buying into that. That is an automatic defeat.

I'm doing the little things, the positive things, and I'm trying to keep "no" out of my life. Rather than saying "no" to things, I'm trying to say "yes" to other things. Rather than saying "no" to sugar, for instance, I'm trying to say "yes" to fruits and vegies a little more often than I say "yes" to chocolate. Instead of saying "no" to hours on the computer, I'm saying "yes" to the gym and the piles of books on my shelves more often. Saying "no" will just make me think about whatever I can't have or can't do even more. Putting a "no" on something makes it too important in my mind. I have to pay attention to it in order to avoid it, which makes whatever it is -- TV, chocolate, my comfy chair -- loom too large. Eventually it will take over everything and I'll violate the "no". If I don't have a "no", then I don't have an auto-fail. Ok, so I have a piece of chocolate today. Then I need to have more vegies and fruits. I need to balance this in my head so that chocolate doesn't take over, that it exists along side those apples and bananas as a potential "yes". If I keep it all in balance, I'll do better. One less piece of candy, one more piece of fruit every day.

I had not put all this together until I read Mala's post. She made me think about what I'm doing. I had not analyzed it quite this way before. So she gets a "thank you" because she helped me and I appreciate it.

I suspect that she has "yes" as an unspoken guide in her list, too. Maybe it is as simple as some people respond to "no" and some people respond to "yes". We have to find what works, as this is not a one size fits all world.

I think I'm going to say "yes" to an apple now.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

By Request -- a List of Books

I'm almost a compulsive book-lister (sometimes I am too damn lazy to bother). However, because I've had the request, here is the list of books I am currently planning to sell/get rid off. Anything I have listed on Amazon has a link. If you really want one that I don't have yet on Amazon, lemme know, and we'll work something out.

The Wise Woman's Guide to Erotic Videos: 300 Sexy Videos for Every Woman and...
Chakras and Their Archtypes by Wauters, Ambika
The Big Sleep [Paperback] by Chandler, Raymond
My Secret Life (Victorian Erotic Classics) by Walter
The Art of Throwing: Principles & Techniques [Hardcover] by Tedeschi, Marc
IT - The First Truly Modern Ghost Story [Hardcover] by Hawkey, Raymond

The List of Seven - Mark Frost
Angels and DEmons - Dan Brown (tried it, got about 1/3 through, tossed it)
Ghost Story - Peter Straub (not a horror fan, grab bag book)
Prism of the Night: a Biography of Anne Rice (grab bag)
The Love Wife - Gish Jen (was ok, not memorable)
Taking Charge of Your Fertility (don't need THIS anymore)
Why People Don't Heal and How They Can - Caroline Myss (I like this book, which must explain why I have TWO COPIES)
The Wellness Guide to Lifelong Fitness (lots of pictures)
Atkins for Life (I didn't buy it!)
The Good Vibrations Guide to Adult Videos (I have learned I don't really care much for video porn, but this is a list of all the mother-earth, granola goodness porn).

Then, 4 gay male erotica books, mostly SM, of which I read 2 all the way and more or less liked 1, but thought the others were just...stupid. Typical porn writing, though, with better spelling than most.

Mr. Benson - John Preston (this is a classic of the genre, actually, but I've read it and I don't need to read it again.)
In Search of a Master - John Preston (eh...it isn't the gay male part. It isn't the S/M part. It's the stupid storyline part.)
The Initiation of PB500 - Kyle Stone (This is actually a gay male SM erotic Science Fiction novel. I still didn't like it.)
The Citadel - Kyle Stone (bleah)


I also have about 14 books on Manga drawing and art drawing, from the Husband's stash.

There will most likely be more as I continue through this year's book list and shelf combing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hard Choices

In case it escaped your notice all these years I've been burbling on here, in public, I really love books. I mean, I collect books, I read books, I even try to write books. I like to line them up on shelves. I put my books in alphabetical order (in certain cases) or group them by topic. Some I align by size and dust jacket color, because it pleases me. I love me some books.

This means I spend a large portion of our disposable income on books. It's a rare occasion I walk into a book store that I don't walk out with something that looks just like a book. I use a specialized piece of software to track and organize the blinkin' things. My personal library, while not as large as some, is well over 2000 volumes scattered in nearly every room of my house (I think there are only catalogs in the bathrooms at the moment, but I could be wrong).

However, that software program has revealed to me that over half the books I own I have NEVER READ. Now, this isn't THAT surprising, because I do have a husband and he also buys books. Some of the books he buys are not books I want to read. But, that still leaves a good third of the books in my house unread. It's shameful, really.

Thus, I've made some hard choices. I'm selling books *gasp* or giving them away. I might not survive this.

Well, actually, the plan is to use money from selling books on Amazon to finance the buying of any new books. Some books that aren't worth selling will go to Good Will as donations. Some I'm grouping together to auction on eBay (along with some other stuff -- anyone want an Irish Lap Harp, hand made, beautiful except the strings are old, going for about $200 complete with instructional tapes?) It just occured to me that there is Too Much Crap around this house -- too many books I'm haven't read, clothes I don't wear, stuff I don't want to dust and move around. So, there must be a reduction.

I should point out, too, that I'm only selling books I don't want -- books I tried to read and didn't like, books that are duplicates, books I've replaced with omnibus editions, books I got in grab bags and sorted into the "don't want" pile. I was always pretty good about hauling books to the used book store (which is hardly worth it anymore, although I might try with some of these -- we have one of those not far away).

Still, it seems so antithetical to my book collecting ways, so alien. Getting rid of books? Why would I want to do that?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Let's Talk Truth Here

The Husband and I are watching TV when a Taco Bell commercial comes on about their Big Beefie Burrito. A thin blonde model is shown biting into one of these giant burritos.

Me: Oh, there's no way she actually eats that.

Him: She'll put her mouth on it, but she won't swallow.

Irritating the Back of Your Neck

I've been tagged again, this time by Lazygal . This is a hard one, because, with my chatty ways and lack of natural restraint, I am hard put to think of something you don't know about me.

5 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

1. I had a mullet-style haircut many years before such things were part of popular culture. I was 9 (1974) and it came out of a compromise with my mother and a really bad hair cut. It was gone before 1978. It was not, in any way, a "shag", either. That's me, the trend-setter.

2. I've had the same bottle of hairspray in my bathroom since 2000. It's still half full.

3. I read fast, not because I took a speed reading course, but because I tend to read whole phrases or lines. Everything translates into a full sensory picture in my head, though, so I rarely remember seeing any words when I'm reading. (Except for text books and some non-fiction).

4. To remember things, I write them down. I don't usually need to refer to the the note again. Just writing it it seems to put it into long term memory for me.

5. I used to have a hidden link on this blog that lead to a "100 Things About Me" list. I updated the list each year. The changes in New Blogger have made that link not possible. Here's the list.

I don't feel like dragging out my dart gun, but I'll make a general threat. If you did the last meme I put tagged you for, you're tagged. If you didn't do the last meme I tagged you for, you're tagged. If you already did this meme, you're off the hook. If you have something really scary that no one knows, might as well fess up now.

That should get everyone.

Monday, January 01, 2007

"...Promises You Don't Intend To Keep"

What is this thing with New Year's Resolutions? New Year's Day is just an arbitrarily selected moment in a constructed time cycle, a spot where tradition says "when this solar event takes place, count this many light/dark cycles and say our time measurement system chunks up here." I suppose by the power of sympathetic magic or group reality creation, it might feel as if everything is wiped clean and a new start is presented to us, but that's just a mental game. A new start can be whenever we say "I am done with this, now I shall do that" and then we follow through. What is it in our mental makeup that requires waiting for a specific day or that relies on group behavior?

I dunno. It puzzles me.

I've tried the whole "resolutions" thing, year after year. So far, nada. I won't say it's a matter of willpower or won't power or anything like that. So often, things that look perfectly reasonable and attainable in January become unwieldly and complicated by March, and perfectly impossible in May.

Or, as is most likely the case, I've conveniently forgotten I ever thought such a thing by February.

So, I'm not going to resolve anything -- or at least, if I do, I'll take the men's solution to resolutions and pick vague and amorphous things like "be a better person" (when translated into specific actions, does that mean kick fewer dogs or throw quarters at homeless people instead of pennies?) Rather, because I am so addicted to the making of lists, here is the list of things I'd like to have happen and I think I can work toward this year.

Sherri's Vague Goals for 2007

1. Read about half the books on my 2007 reading list
2. Show up at the gym and actually exercise at least once a week
3. Walk around the neighborhood more often
4. Eat one more piece of fruit and one less piece of candy every day
5. Bite my tongue a little more
6. Blame people I love a little less
7. Dejunk so that I own only those things I actually want and use
8. Stop being so scared of doing things for myself and on my own
9. Prepare for change
10. Keep the promises I make for myself with the same assiduousness I do for others.

Let's see how many of these I'll remember by Valentine's Day