Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dial up hell

I am currently in dial up hell. And while salvation is coming in the form of DSL sometime in the next 10 days, not sure if I'll be around to experience it. May forever be stuck in hell. At least until I leave here. So, if I do not post, read, comment, you know why.

Until Jan 1. Be safe on New Year's eve.

Aunt Stinky (my new designation by my nieces and nephew)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Photoless

Sorry so many posts without photos, but I'm writing in snatches between events. Too lazy to put in photos.

My present to myself this year was to throw my back out. What fun! I went for a run Christmas eve morning and came back, no prolem. But then something happened and I started feeling achy at the bottom of my spine. By afternoon I was spasming mucho - you know when you move a little bit the wrong way and a gasp of pain comes out of your mouth? And you lay on the floor not quite the right way and can't get yourself out of position because you're already in too much pain so you're saying 'fuck fuck fuck' though your nieces are around? Thankfully it's much better tonight. It did get me out of a few chores!

We were/are anything but photoless in this family. Everyone is a camera bug, and everyone has a camera and takes photos. It's funny the different styles. 2nd oldest brother HAS to pose everyone. Youngest brother has a twisty lens thingie so can do sneak attack photos and videos. Sister does mostly family shots. Other brother manages to take bad photos and bother everyone. 2nd youngest brother doesn't take too many these days. Cousin/godmother does 'professional' shots with her professional grade camera. Mother just poses these days.

One thing we did this year that we haven't done in a while is do a slide show. My dad was a big photo taker in his day, and there's tons of slides. Not as many as before since there was a fire in my house when we were young and many got ruined (I just learned tonight my dad was getting paint off the house using a blowtorch - that's what started it... stupid man!). But there are enough photos of my parents pre-kids, and with each set of kids (first 2 boys, then 4, then 4 and a girl, then 4 and two girls) to make a brief slide show fun. We wanted to show the young kids too where everyone came from.

My brother downloaded all the videos and photos onto his computer - I think 2.5 GB. :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL! Unless you are jewish, atheist, muslim, etc. etc.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So Far

I have had an octopus painted on my face that had one tentacle going in one nostril and out the other.
I have brought my nieces, nephew, and sister in law climbing.
I have had my first alcohol in weeks and weeks (from being sick) and it's goooood.
I have given away the quilt and it has been appreciated. My brother who collects art even said offhandedly that he didn't know he had a sister who was an artist... He didn't think I heard him, but I did... That was the best.
More good times to come. Hope you are enjoying!

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Christmas tradition

Although I put up my Christmas card, I did want to write about my holiday tradition. As I mentioned somewhere, my background is Polish. 100% as a matter of fact.

Our Christmas tradition focuses on Christmas eve. This is the night the special meal is made and people wish each other well for the holiday. In my family, the tradition was always to have fish and pierogi on Christmas eve night. And the pierogi is homemade.

Let me tell you there is nothing like home made pierogi. It's not just the taste, it's the process. It's a time when almost everyone in the family comes together to help out to make the meal. My mom traditionally makes the filling (both cabbage and potato, and if she's feeling good to herself either prune or cherry too). The cabbage filling has to be made 'just so' since my sister doesn't like the big 'boolies' inside (thick part of the cabbage). And the pierogi has to be made the day of, and in batches. A glob of dough is made, and rolled out to the proper thickness (pretty damn thin), and then rounds cut out of it. Extra dough is thrown into a bowl to be rolled out again and made into 'straighties' (like spaghetti, but with pierogi dough). And people sit at the table and take a circle of dough, throw a spoonful of stuffing in it, fold it over, and pinch the edges. Chatting all the way. And of course my oldest brother HAS to make a couple with weird shapes and/or a circleof dough filled with dough, just to be different.

All get stored under a towel so they don't dry out, and about half hour before the time to eat, the boiling starts. Potato ones just get boiled, but cabbage one, at least some of them, get fried also in a pan. AT the same time the fish is being cooked.

Once everything is on the table, before anyone can sit down to eat, the oplatek (sp?) comes out. It's kind of like the texture of communion wafers, but pressed into 4x6 rectangles with holiday scenes on them, and blessed by a priest. Every person starts with a piece. And you go up to a person, wish them a merry christmas, and each person takes a piece of the other's wafer and eats it. It's actually a really nice tradition. Of course, in my family, the goal is always to get other people to take as much as possible so you have almost nothing at the end left to eat yourself, since it's so nasty. :-)

Then, you sit and eat all the cold food. But it's still great.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Especially for DangerDoll



But happy holidays to you all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Queen

Size quilt that is. This was about as good a photo as I could get given the size. And I am currently soooo frustrated. The damn computer is not saving the rotation so I can't make it go the way I want. So turn your head sideways to look at it. Blue is the sky. It looks better in person.

Here's a little bit of detail. The mountain. This is the only place I ended up using fabric paint. I'm not sorry I did it, but it was a different experience than I expected.

And here's a close up of the border. It's leaves. I must say, it really made a difference and pulled the quilt together. Not only because of the pattern, but also the color thread I found. I tested a whole bunch of different colors, but finally settled on a color close to gold.

And finally, succumbing to peer pressure, here's a photo of me. Again, I don't know what's happening with the rotation, so turn your head sideways. This was before I did the binding on the quilt (my husband was going to bed and I needed the photo).


My comments: You can't really see the quilting too much because the fabric overwhelms it. Also the back fabric I chose completely hides the stitches, which is both good and bad. I am used to being able to see the quilting on the back. But again, you can see it on the border and it's nice. I've learned a great deal making this one, and feel more prepared for someday making a king size one, which someday I have to do for myself. (See, everyone else are my guinea pigs). I thought I'd use so much more fabric, but even given the size (I think final measurements are something like 70"x90") it was less fabric than I expected. So of course the extra goes into my fabric collection. How much did it cost in materials? I have no idea. I never add it up, because if I need a particular fabric or thread or whatever, I just have to buy it. It's not a question. Ah well... I hope I make my sister in law cry... She is going to have to send me a photo every year proving that she's using it. My sister made a quilt for her son (my nephew) and my sister-in-law promptly wrapped it up and put it in a drawer because it was 'too nice' to have out. Let me tell you, that's the worst thing you can do because quilts are made to be used, and loved.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

DONE!

OK, I am DONE done done. Except for cutting all the loose threads and cleaning off all the cat hair! Ooops, and signing it. And, I think it turned out pretty well... But first the process.

First the back side is taped down to the floor - slightly stretched so that it's somewhat taut.

Then, you smooth the batting over the backing.

Then you center the top over the bottom, and smooth it all out. And then you proceed to put in safety pins every 4-6 inches to keep the sandwiched layers together.

Then you roll up the sides and use big clips to keep it together and make it manageable to quilt. As you can see from the photo below, the hardest part was getting to the middle of the quilt. Lots of substance to fit through the machine, and rather awkward.



It took me so long to do this, I'm spreading the 'reveal' over two posts... Tune in later for the details. :-)

Lessons learned


Last Friday I happened upon a quilting exhibit at which there were members of a local guild there to answer questions about quilting. I asked them about quilting a huge quilt on a regular sewing machine, and one of the tips they gave me was to find some way to make my fingers sticky so it would be easier to manage the quilt in the machine. If they hadn't specifically mentioned latex exam gloves I wouldn't have thought of it. Well, it just so happens that I had a box from another project, and so put on my exam gloves to quilt. I felt really silly, but they worked! At first I tried taking them off whenever I needed to do something else (in part because my husband cracked a joke about it being exam time for him), but finally realized that the powder inside realllllly helps to get them on and when you take them on and off the powder disappears. No powder means your fingers don't make it to the finger pockets and you're poking into latex in the wrong spots. So I've been through a couple pairs now. Bad for the environment, good for me.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I would hate me too

OK, you know that co-worker that got sick because I came into work sick? Well, she was out all last week. And she has no more leave, so she has to take half of it as leave without pay. I don't suppose there's any way I can make it up to her? I already asked about donating leave, but that's just not done. Oh, the guilt is killing me...

Animal House

So, to interrupt a weekend of quilting my beeehind off, I watched Animal House Saturday night. A nice, mindless movie that I had never ever seen before, believe it or not. And it's one of those movies that's a sort of essential of American 'culture'. A lot of references that still exist today. E.G. "Toga! Toga! Toga!"

Question I have though - is there where the idea came from that when women get together they stand around in their underwear or lack thereof and have pillow fights?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

FYI re: comment passwords

Just a short FYI re: filling out the passwords to make comments in blogger. I turned mine off a month ago and it made NO difference.

Now back to quilting...gotta finish. gotta finish....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crushes

Watching Footloose while I was sick made me start thinking about whether I had actually ever had a celebrity crush. You know, when as a teen you buy the poster and stick it up on the ceiling over your bed so he's always looking at you. And you swoon whenever you hear his name. And read all the Teen Beat articles about him.

Kevin Bacon was definitely not a crush. And actually, I don't think I ever had a celebrity crush as a teenager (mayyyyybe Kevin Kline). I do remember a moment when I started understanding what sexual energy was all about and mine started really awakening - watching Prince in Purple Rain. Boy o boy. It was damn funny too, because I watched it in a movie theater sitting between two male friends of mine. They didn't know what the hell I was so excited about, and actually didn't quite know how to respond...

The only real celebrity crush I ever had was, and I'm kind of embarrassed to say it since it SO dates me, was the ghost in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I literally used to pray at night that I would have a dream with him in it. I must have been a good girl because I think I remember having one dream, at least. If you don't know the show, and why would you, it was about a widow who went to live in this house that was haunted by a ghost, and their subsequent relationship. I guess it's kind of like the couple in Pushing Daisies, but this TV show had no narrator to explain the feelings between the two characters. Actually, I'm not sure it even counts as a celebrity crush since I didn't like the actor, I liked the character. But it's as close as I've gotten I think.

Who was your celebrity crush?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When IT Gnomes go Bad


So, take heed of what the Gnome said: be nice...

Arrived via email: Tips for Holiday Eating


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they are serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy . Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and the New Year. You can do that in January, when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Pecan. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin, or two pumpkins and one pecan. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. And remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, "WOO HOO! What a ride!"

Complements of the NRA (National Ravenous Association).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How am I?

Well, since you all asked (Susan), I'll just say that I'm better, but not well. I really hope none of you get this because it is EVIL - or is this truly what Susan and the Gnome had? Someone made my colleague sick (who???) and so she's out too, so I can't stay home anymore since she's the only help I have on some/most of my stuff. Stuff is piling up... So, I nap on my office floor when I need it. And play the pity card when I need it. I'm not touching any surface with my hand, and no not with my tissue either, and drinking lots of liquids, or trying to at least. I can't even say I won't work over the holidays on my vacation... But, I AM better, so that's a good thing. Hopefully I'll be fine by the holidays.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Story of the Guineos

There once was a family named Guineo. This family had three members: Papa Guineo, Mama Guineo, and Baby Guineo.

This family desperately needed to move to another country, for reasons we will not disclose here, though perhaps you would like to hazard a guess. Given their sticky situation, the Guineos needed body armor, both to travel and to live in their new home. Papa Guineo searched far and wide on the internet, and ordered something he thought would work. When it arrived....

Papa Guineo tried it and it was TOO SMALL


Baby Guineo tried it and it was TOO BIG


But Mama Guineo tried it and it fit JUST RIGHT

So she said, 'Here's my chance for a free and single life! SEE YA!' and off she went. Papa Guineo subsequently was fried, and Baby Guineo grew up to buy a red sports car to compensate for something (ahem...he never did grow any longer or wider).

--------
yes, folks, it's the banana bunker that I wished for! live and in the flesh, so to speak. I had sent out the information far and wide (not just in the blogosphere) and someone came through, so to speak. I opened it and laughed my friggin ass off for 10-15 minutes straight. that laughter alone was so well worth the money that was spent, and the person who gave it to me has my undying devotion, at least for a little while. :-) I could not bring myself to take photos of it in my hands, I just couldn't. but even just thinking of writing this post gave me lol laughter - I looked for the teeny tiny organic bananas but of course they had none in the stores so I had to use the smallest 'regular' banana I could find for Baby Guineo. even though I fear anyone seeing the bunker in my hands, it actually will be really useful come climbing season, since I do need to have a banana every day, and carrying it in my pack is fraught with squishing possibilities. it'll keep it stiff... Oh my, there i go again...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sick days

Don't you hate those people who go into work sick and spread germs? I feel so bad - I've become one of them. Turns out a co-worker is now out sick, because of me. I was such an idiot to go into work when I felt like crap - I forgot my mantra of 'the world will not come to an end if x doesn't get done'. I know there are people who either don't get appropriate amounts of sick leave or really do have to work despite having a fever (Gnome). But that doesn't make it good. I had to go in today to drop off some forms and I tried to make sure I didn't touch anything without a paper towel on my hand. Sigh... Of course the trip in wore me out and I went home and took a 2 hour nap. And could use another one!

On a positive note, I've been able to watch some movies, which I don't take enough time to do.


First one was Footloose. Haven't seen it since it came out I think! It's not half bad... I remember loving the name 'Ren' and thinking I'd name my son that. I looked at one of the characters, thought she looked familiar, and it WAS Sarah Jessica Parker.


Then I had borrowed Spirited Away from my brother. It really was beautiful and amazing - you have to see it. It is NOT for kids, that's for sure though. I'm bringing it to my family's for Christmas so everyone can see it.


Yesterday I rented Hairspray - the most recent version. At first I was kind of rolling my eyes and didn't want to deal with the fluff, and then one of the songs just made me smile and got me moving a little bit. And so I got into the movie more. My favoritest person on there is Elijah Kelley, my favorite quote: "I'm very pleased and scared to be here." A number of the pieces are just so great. I'm not quite done yet, and will go watch the end with supper tonight. It makes me want to see the original, which I think will be a little more twisted, given John Waters and Divine. But maybe not. Funny that John Waters was the flasher.

On tap for tomorrow if Blockbuster has it: Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Football Lessons


I learned today that it's not so bad sitting on the couch watching football games for 6 hours. I also saw a few things I had never seen before. I didn't know that when the ball is punted if it hits a member of the same team (e.g. on the leg) then... (oops, now I even forget what happens - the other team gets it?). That was the Packers game. Then in the Patriots game the whole horizontal throw to Moss, and then Moss back to Brady, and then Brady to the end zone - never seen that either. I didn't really understand it though - it looked like the football touched the ground when it was by Moss. What happened?

Although I am excited that the Patriots won, I feel bad for the Steelers. They were doing so well in the first half! It was a good game until after halftime. Oh, I also learned that halftime is not long enough to take a good nap. When I was younger, halftime always seemed so lonnnnng. See, I used to watch sports with my father all the time. It was a way to spend time with him - he didn't ignore us kids, he just certainly needed his zoning in front of the tv time, and any sport would do. I grew up watching everything: baseball, football, golf, hockey, fishing... I think football was always my favorite, though actually I do like watching golf too, but I can think of a million other things to do with my time now.

My wish for this football season is for the Superbowl to be between the Patriots and the Packers. See, I'm from New England originally, and my husband is from Packer country, so it would be funnnn to see the cheeseheads stomped by NE. :-) There would certainly be a Superbowl party, though perhaps at a friend's house since we don't have a big screen tv...

I have spent the whole weekend in my house, not speaking to anyone, drinking liquids and hacking. Actually, I did go to the store both days so I could pretend I was a real human being. I already know I'm taking off work tomorrow - actually I knew it this morning. I can't talk for more than a few minutes without hacking up some beautifully colored stuff. Can someone throw a pity party for me? :-) Of course my husband left for vacation the morning after I came back from St. Louis and won't be back until late late Tues night, so I haven't even reaped the benefits of being married - having someone to at least do SOMEthing for me. And the cats are going to drive me nuts - arg! But at least the little energy I have is helping to move the quilt along...yay! I might try painting some of it tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Woo-woo's meme tag

Woo-woo tagged me last week with a meme (so I am no longer a tag virgin). I had to stretch some things in different directions, but it was indeed interesting to go back and look at my blog to see what's there, so thanks woooo. Link 5 proves that I'm vain.

Link 1 is a little bit of FAMILY: Happy Birthday Dad!

Link 2 is a little bit of FRIEND: Long Overdue Thank You

Link 3 is a little bit of YOURSELF: Declaration of Imperfection

Link 4 should be YOUR LOVE: You got to know...

Link 5 can be ANYTHING YOU LIKE: the lion photo

*** INSTRUCTIONS: ***
1. Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given below.
2. Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.
3. Don’t forget to read the archived post and leave comments.

I am going to pass this on to a couple people, but no obligation to do it, obviously. It would be nice to see what you link to on your blog.
Churlita
Heart
Squirrel (you might have to do some writing to fill all these in)
Tera (so she can post without having to write anything new)
Susan

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More photos


Here you can see the skinny (skin and bones) cat and the fat cat... The Halloween cat is most appropriate - I'd be scared too looking at these two - afraid they'd chow down on me (one because she needs the food, the other because he obviously eats tooooo much food).


Here's the update on the quilt. I have all the fabric made, and am now piecing it all together. I got pretty far on my sick day, but didn't take a photo of it. It's definitely a new experience for me. It's so abstract right now, and I want to make it a little bit more realistic with the fabric paint and the quilting thread. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sourdough Crab


A photo from San Francisco.

It's official, I'm sick, call the bomb dogs


Cue the violins for me... I've eaten breakfast and want to go take a nap. Trying to keep putting liquids down.

Oh, forgot a funny story from yesterday. We had grab and go lunches for people to take with them to the airport at the end of the meeting. I brought mine. Got to the airport though and the flight was delayed 1.5 hours, so I had time to send my mom a postcard (she loves getting postcards). Had to walk to the exact opposite end of the building, but that was fine since I had so much time. Put my stuff down, wrote the card, and mailed it. Went through security (a pain since I was carrying a computer AND a projector), went to the bathroom, and realized I was missing my lunch, dammit, which was going to be my dinner too. And I knew knew I left it at the mailbox. So, I exit past security and walk down to the other end of the building. As I approach the mailing area I see a policeman, and think, oh crap, but walk up, smile a big smile at him, and pick up the lunch box. "That yours ma'am?" Yes, so sorry! He was just about to call in the bomb sniffing dogs. Ooops... I offered him some to try and make it better. At first he just said no, and then he asked what it was. :-) guess it wasn't what he liked as I got to keep it. Thank goodness people are more friendly in St. Louis.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Meet me in St. Louis


Well, actually, I'm back so you can't meet me there...

The highlight of the trip was that there is a Hustler Hollywood (Unique Boutique) across the street from the hotel. (a guy who works in the hotel asked if I thought it would have an impact on the hotel and I said, uh, yes). I HAD to go in it. So, at the end of a LONG, HARD day I STRIPPED off my work clothes, put on some PLAY clothes and sashayed across the street. And got a little bit of an education.

Did you know?
That you can buy a kit that will somehow enable you to cast your crotch and vagina, so I guess your loved one can always have at least a part of you with him/her?

Did you know?
That they make a 'penis through the head' gag thing just like the old arrow through the head that Steve Martin used to use?

Did you know?
That Real Dolls (TM) are packaged in a sitting down position?

Did you know?
That they make 'spank me it's my birthday' not just on beater shirts, but also on underwear?

Oh, and so much more. It was very very interesting.

And, I was all set to call in sick tomorrow to work on my quilt, relax, hang out, and dammit, on the plane ride home, I started feeling my throat closing up. So I might actually be sick, dammit. But I have to go in for a 3:00 meeting no matter what, so we'll see what happens. Thanks to Susan, the Gnome, and whoever else spread the diseases across cyberspace... :-)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Namobloplop has ended and I"m ranting

And I am off to St. Louis for a meeting and going to be technologically disconnected. So sweet dreams. I pity the poor person who has to wade through 6,000+ websites to give the prizes. I wonder what percentage did post for 30 days?

I was going to rant, but my energy has left me. Oh wait, I have a surge of energy.

What ever happened to personal and/or corporate responsibility? What ever happened to foresight? How can anyone be surprised that if corporations give out risky home loans there's going to be a good number of people who will fall on hard times because they take them and can't afford them. Why should the government bail out the people/corporations for their mistakes and make the taxpayers who are fiscally responsible (such as ME) pay for this nonsense? If the government is going to stick its big nose into this business, do it before all the bad decisions are made. Oh, wait, there's tons of people who've made big bucks by developing and selling these loans. Wonder how much our government representatives got?

I loved the episode of My Name is Earl last night. One of his prison mates reneged on some promise and sputters out that it's his parents' fault because they didn't raise him right. So Earl gets back at him by doing whatever he wants and yells out that it's because of 'so and so'. Personal responsibility - what's that? There's always a choice - blame what you do on anyone else and you are weak. Yes, it's human nature to want to do that, but more for 5 year-olds, not adults.

I love WFMU

Their tagline for the day:

A Sin-Blackened Gum Wad Stuck to the Bottom of God's Sacred Sandal.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A view to the east


One of the things I love about my house is that the bedroom window faces east.

This morning I woke up and I couldn't get out of bed. I just didn't want to move. Or open my eyes. But I had to to find the alarm clock to turn it off. And I saw a beautiful sight - the whole sky was orange, like it was on fire. The tree outlines which were black set against that was beautiful.

But my eyes closed again for a bit. Couldn't get up. Snoozed for a minute. Peeked one eye open and now the bottom half the sky was orange and the top half was turning blueish. Really neat. But not enough to keep my eyes open and get me out of bed.

Snoozed for a bit, then peeked an eye open. No more orange which was too bad, but now I could see details (as many details as I could see without glasses) of trees - they were no longer black against the sky background.

And so I figured it was time to get up. It was a nice morning.

For Whymommy

Money, money, money

True confessions time. I am HORRIBLE with money. Not with numbers, with money. I was just asked how much my salary is and I don't know. A look of aghast from the person who asked - ie my boss -(wait, aghast can't be a look, oh well, you know what I mean) and I am very embarrassed - I'm supposed to be tracking budgets at my job. It's not that I make tons and thus don't need to worry - I have been like this all my life, even when I was working 4 jobs to make ends meet. My cousin handles my retirement money, and he'd better be honest since I really don't track it. About 8 years ago my bank attached someone else's atm card to my account, and I won't even tell you how long it took me to realize it and how it was realized. Maybe this should be my new year's resolution. We'll see. And no, you can't have my bank account number or my credit card number.

Dream

I dreamt of work, and also that I had on a very fashionable dress that everyone liked. Not classically fashionable, but right now or even ahead of now fashionable. That was the best part. I am not that person, and it's nice to be that in my dreams at least.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A birthday present for my husband


I've written mostly bad things about my husband, or at least my negative thoughts and reactions. But for his birthday, even though he won't see it, here's a list of some of the good:
- lets me warm my feet under his legs when I get into bed at night
- does laundry
- buys me nice birthday and christmas gifts
- stays in shape
- honest
- very committed to his job (cares about the ultimate client)
- provides good advice when I need it when making a quilt
- agreed to go to couples counseling, and participates and tries during the sessions
- gives me frequent quick massages to get tension out of my shoulders and back
- cooks dinner occasionally, and when I don't want to cook, will go pick up take out
- cleans his bathroom
- is great with kids
- is good to his parents

Black and blue

Now, how did my toe get to be black and blue? I look down this morning before showering and it's tremendous colors. And now that I'm sitting here, it's starting to hurt. I really don't remember doing anything to it. Any ideas on what happened?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sixesss

Read the Meme over at Hearts and Eslocura's. Mine isn't as good as theirs (not as complete).

Six Guilty Pleasures some people would not associate with me
- Trash magazines. I used to love People magazine. Now I that can read it in 10 minutes, I've moved up in the world to Entertainment Weekly.
- Trash food. Once in a while I just have to eat crap. It's good! Crinkly cheese twists (bright orange). Hot dogs. Kraft macaroni and cheese.
- Farting. I'm a gassy girl and it gives me great pleasure to fart. At first I wouldn't use Beano because it took away the gas. But now I realize there are times when it's really NOT good to fart and so I take it.
- Winning an argument. I can be rather merciless and so enjoy winning an argument. I know better than to continue one that I can't win, but I try, and love it when I do. [though people who know me well wouldn't be surprised I think]
- Smoking a cigar. Started I think even before my dad died. I do like a cigar once in a while.
- Speeding. I love driving fast and getting away with it. I don't always get away with it though.

Six I wish I had the courage for.
Honestly, I try to try everything that I think will bring me pleasure. Eventually.

Six I've abandoned or made peace with (these are all the latter).
- My love of KC and the Sunshine Band.
- Wearing a bra that makes me look like I have breasts.
- All the others from above.

For all looking for the perfect excuse off from work


Restful Body Syndrome!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two for Tuesday

I know it's supposed to be songs from the same artist, but I'm adapting it to suit my needs.

Oh, no, there goes Tokyo! I never knew this song existed until this past weekend. Godzilla! Every Saturday they used to have Creature Double Feature, and I'd be glued to the TV set along with my brothers. So I grew up with Godzilla.


New Music I Bought - Big Blood. 'Course, any band with an accordion has gotta be great... I looked on YouTube but there was no good song. Go to WFMU archives and scroll down a page and look for Big Blood - A Friendly Noose. Great song. There's also Alison Kraus and Robert Plant playing together a little before that.

Dream

Sometime in the night I had a dream I was snuggled up with Patrick Dempsey. We were chatting, faces close. I closed my eyes and he kissed me very very lightly. And I smiled.

That was the dream. I didn't know I had a thing for him! Who did you dream of?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stock making


Today (Sunday) is the day designated to make pork bone broth. Why do I want this? It's the base for homemade tomato soup, at least in this household and all of my siblings' households, and my mom's of course.

I have no idea where the recipe came from. I do know it was a way for my mom to stretch the dollars when we were growing up. Back then, they gave away the pork neckbones for free. My mom would first cut off all the meat she could and set it aside for Chinese chop suey (NOT my favorite dish).

The bones would be boiled first for a little while to get all the gunk off. I usually do it for about 15 minutes, which likely is not long enough, but quite a bit of gunk comes off. Then you have to rinse/scrub the bones to get even more gunk off.

The clean bones go into a clean pot with boiling water to just cover the bones. A couple onions and some peppercorns get thrown in, and you set it to a rolling simmer for at least 3 hours, though all day is better.

When 'done', the broth goes into the jars boiling hot so they seal when they cool. I use leftover Classico spaghetti sauce jars, and reuse the lids, and they work well. You have to leave the jars out in room temperature for a while, else they'd explode in the fridge. It's great to hear the 'pop' of the lids sealing as it cools.

You know you have good broth when you take a jar out later in the week, and it's like jello. You throw away the grease/fat at the top, and dump the jello into a pan. Heat to boiling and throw in soup pasta (orzo, ditalini, balls, alphabets, etc.) and cook until done. Take off the heat and add a small can of tomato sauce, and evaporated milk to taste. As well as salt and pepper to taste.

Yes, it's labor intensive, but well worth it. It's a great comfort food, and easy to make once you have the broth. When I was little I went over a friend's house and they served tomato soup (from a can) and I remember asking where the macaroni was. And there's no comparison in the flavor too... I can't wait to make some this week.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SF Snippets 5


This section is a tragicomedy. Or a comitragedy.

The morning that I left SF at an ungodly hour, I got into the Super Shuttle and there was a woman I knew. So, we chatted a bit and people were entertained by our chatter.

She told me a story about an adventure she had while in SF. She and two friends were on the tram headed to the Golden Gate Bridge, when a woman in the back (around 17 years old) started having trouble standing, and it almost looked like a seizure. She got off the tram, and the three women got off to help her. It wasn’t clear what the problem was, but the woman said ‘I need sugar!’ so one person ran off to get some sugar, and another handed the poor woman a tootsie roll.

Now, this is the comedy part in a sort of twisted way. Imagine having a diabetic attack and needing sugar and someone gives you a tootsie roll – the most difficult candy in the universe to chew, except maybe milk duds. At 4:30 in the morning it was a very funny thought.

But then the woman’s vision was going in and out, and she could hardly stand, and when they spoke with her they found out she had come with her father, a pilot, from Australia the day before, or even that day. And once she had the sugar it didn’t seem to help. The symptom were such that it seemed likely that either a blood clot was going through her brain or she was having an aneurysm. The medics arrived and took her away, and since the three women weren’t family they have no idea what happened to her. But it was good they helped.

So, on long flights, remember to move your muscles! Move around! Very sad things can happen otherwise. Read more about 'long haul blood clotting' here.

Super Kitty

My poor cat Cleo looked like she was about to die last night. Listless, no energy. But this morning she ate, wanted grass, and looked kind of ok. How long can a cat go with untreated diabetes? I'm thankful, but it amazes me still. It's been a year and a half I think now. She has good days and bad days, but still seems to enjoy life, so I'm not putting her down just yet. Poor dying kitty. But also super kitty.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's who you know

So, the things I learn by knowing the man who knows all about the building I work in.

Cameras in the elevators, with the blinking lights? Fake. Must say, I'm relieved since I'm a nose-picker, and can't always wait until I get into the bathroom to do it. I also now have a place to pick the underwear out of my butt too.

Fire drills? Never done in this building. I did some research to find out what the requirements are for higher rise buildings, and on a particularly grumpy day I might go down to the building office to see if they have escape plans, floor monitors, etc. which are required. Not sure that they do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Joke for Thanksgiving

Why did the rabbit cross the road?
Because he was chicken!

[Note, you can replace any manner of living being for 'rabbit' and it works.]
I made this joke up myself, I think. If you don't get it, well poo on you. It makes me snicker every time I think of it.

If you want funny answers to the original joke, why did the chicken cross the road, then go here.
If you want a game based on the joke, the go here.
If you want to see a person not being a chicken crossing a busy road in India, then go here. (Oh, it reminds me so much of crossing the street in Vietnam!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two items you could get me for Christmas


Gift 1
Banana Bunker. Not only for the shock value (it comes in different colors too!), but because I eat a banana every day. In fact, my co-worker told me on this recent trip that she imagines me carrying around a whole stem of bananas because it seems I always have one on me. Either that or I have a monkey that goes and gets them for me.

Gift 2
According to Wired magazine, (January 2007), it is possible to implant a pleasure center. According to the magazine: sexual satisfaction is now possible through surgery. A device modeled on a stimulator commonly used to stop pain is implanted near the base of a woman's spine. Activated wirelessly with a handheld device, it uses electric current to directly excite the nerves that cause orgasm.

How about it? All my blogging friends could pool resources and get me both, and I'd be the happiest woman on the planet. I wouldn't get anything done ever again, but I'd have a big smile on my face all the time. And lots of potassium.

Why do I feel so dirty?

Or is it anger? Or worthlessness? Perhaps I need a different perspective. Likely I do. I hate the fact that I'm being complimented for something that used to be natural to me. I am a team player. I work hard. I work for the greater good. Or maybe that was me 'before'. Before what I don't know. I like to blame everything on depression, but this could just be the result of having the life sucked out of me by my former boss. The attitude that we're a small group and everyone has to play their part, with no boundaries whatsoever. Or it could be that I've gone too long without a vacation, and thus the two days I had off before my work in SF just enabled me to relax and really focus on being a team player afterwards. But being complimented profusely for doing what really should be natural makes it feel like a game - the positive reinforcement is supposed to make me want to say - yee ha! She likes my work! I better keep doing this! But it just makes me angry. Dirty. It doesn't help that in the same conversation I hear that I'm supposed to back off on some? most? of the technology stuff I do. I'm supposed to be a good girl and leave it to the experts to research and implement. I should feel relieved because it's something off my plate, but I feel like I've been told to turn off a part of my brain. I suppose likely what I need the most is an attitude adjustment, but that office is closed today it seems. See if they are open tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

SF Snippets 3

Taxi story: I've never experienced such behavior before, though I'm sure it exists frequently. I had to go from my hotel to another hotel, and of course running late in the morning. I went out the door of the hotel and the doorman wasn't there, so I walked over to the taxi stand to get a taxi. Tried opening the door and it was locked and the guy ignored, me, started the car and drove into the waiting area. At first I thought that I had done something wrong, but then I saw that two women were there with luggage.

So, the doorman was there and he spoke to the first driver. At first I said there's no way I wanted to go with that guy until I realized that he was looking for the airport fare, and thus the best way to get back at him was to actually take his taxi. In the meantime another driving had pulled in for the women with the luggage, and he made sure to make clear that I was supposed to take the other taxi because HE wanted the airport fare - going so far as to close the trunk of the first taxi driver.

Turned out the women were going to the same hotel as me, so we all went in the first taxi, thus screwing both hopefully. Me being the sufferer of road rage, as we exited that lot, I flipped off the second taxi driver. When we got to our destination, the fare was $8.05. I only had a 10, so I gave him a nickel and the 10 and asked for a dollar back, which I thought was VERY generous, though he looked at me rather incredulously. I should have given him nothing.

Reception: There was a reception Sunday night on the 32nd floor of a hotel. With elevators with windows. And it wasn't too foggy so you could see tons. Very nice.

H&M Shopping: I had some free time so went into that store. Found some nice things to try on, and tried to do so. Seems that Swedish people are built differently than Polish-Americans. I felt like a huge monster trying on what was supposed to be my size (6) and barely getting my leg into the pant leg, and busting out of the tops. Oh well...

I have one more story, but I'll save that for tomorrow. Have to go catch up on blogs...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snippets of SF 2

Bush Man. Apparently he's a legend. I saw him in action the other night, and he's been around a long time. He sits by a garbage can with two branches of fake leaves and pretends to be a bush. And moves when some unsuspecting tourist walks by and scares the hell out of them.

Twiddling. Bored here in the booth, so one person has decided she is going to twiddle her thumbs for an hour. I wanted to look up what defines champion twiddling, but there's a wait here for the computers. One man was nice enough to let me ask him to look up twiddling really quickly. Once I clarified that I meant thumb twiddling, we read some stuff in Wikipedia. Which is when he confided in me that he thought that I was talking about masturbation. It's ok - he was gay I think. So we had a good laugh imagining twiddling championships.

Inspiration Point. Went out to Berkeley to visit a friend and we hiked up to Inspiration Point to see the sun set over the city and Golden Gate Bridge (neither of which we could really see that weel - saw the fog...). It was beautiful.

Taxi Stories. I will have to wait for that one. Long and involved.

And must get back to my booth-mates.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pumpkin Lasagne


Yes, you read that right. In hopes of never losing this recipe again (thankfully I've sent it to friends and they can send it back to me), I'm posting it. And want to share with all y'all. I found it one day in a magazine I was reading waiting for a doctor's appointment. It sounds strange, but it's very good, as DNB could attest. And I'm posting it in part because through NaMoPlop I came across a recipe blog, and I'd love to get some recipes from blogs that I read regularly (WNG mentioned a vegetable soup recipe??). Use it as one of your postings in November!

12 dried lasagna noodles
8 oz shitake or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp salt
2 TB olive oil
12 slices bacon cut crossways into ¼ inch strips
1 ½ c. chopped onion
3 TB snipped fresh sage or 2 tsp dried leaf sage
2 15 oz canned pumpkin
¾ c. whole milk or ½ and ½
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cider vinegar
¾ tsp salt
1 15 oz carton ricotta cheese
1 lb. Fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
6 oz parmesan-reg or Grana Padano finely shredded (1 ½ c)

In skillet cook mushrooms and ¾ tsp salt in hot olive oil over medium heat until tender and no liquid remains. Remove, set aside. Add bacon to skillet, cook until crisp. Remove, sete aside. Discard all but 1 TB drippings. Add onion, cook until tender. Add sage, cook 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin, milk, pepper, vinegar, and 1 tsp salt. Heat through.

In a greased 3q oval baking dish spread ½ c. pumpkin sauce. Cover bottom of dish w/ 4 noodles. Layer with 1/3 each of mushrooms, bacon, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Repeat layers twice. Bake uncovered in 400 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A view of baby quilt I made


This was a combination of African and Indonesian.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

One of my favorite TV ads these days

Here's a description from MediaPost since I can't link directly to the video, and you don't want to see it anyway. Chevrolet launched a massive print, TV and online campaign to promote the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. TV ads, running on prime-time network and cable television and during MLB playoffs, depict the Malibu as a car that can't be ignored. The first ad features a jogger crossing the street and running into a parked car. A 15-second version of the ad shows her persistence as she tries unsuccessfully to run through the car. "Soon, there will be a car you can't ignore," says the voiceover.

Why do I like it so much? I saw the ad the first time when it was on during Bionic Woman, and I thought it was the show, thus, I thought the Bionic Woman was running and slammed into a car. I laughed hysterically. And still get a good laugh thinking of it, partly laughing at myself. Stupid humor. Gotta love it. Though if I hadn't associated it with the Bionic Woman, I'm not sure how much I would have liked the ad.

Blow Pop

Coming out of the closet. I did not announce my joining NaMoBloPop, but I did join, and am trying to post every day. Yesterday was crazy, and I 'cheated' by just posting a photo. But I really think it is indeed to look up in the sky and appreciate the view once in a while. I know I get stuck on looking down and straight ahead, and there's always something interesting up above. Except when you sit in a hotel all day, and all there are are ceilings and low lights. Ack!

Crap. Work calls again. Hope everyone is well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Look! Up in the Sky!



Take a look up and appreciate the view.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Snippets of SF

A moment this morning in bed. No movement but my heartbeat. My pulse beating against the fabric near my right ear. The sound of my heartbeat adding a tune to the pulse of the city outside the window.

Walking to the F Train/Tram with my bags to go down to Fisherman's Wharf. Just a little to late to catch it. Or so I thought. The train sits as I approach. "Are you going to Fisherman's Wharf?" Conductor, with a smile: "I'd better be. I waited here long enough for you."

On the tram with my big rolling duffel that is falling apart not so slowly any more. Man across the aisle: "that's a terribly large bag". Yes it is.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Find Happiness

It's funny how I've made some kind of great personal realization sometimes, and think I'm the only one to ever make that realization, and then find that it's a common human realization.

On the airplane out to SF, I had the science section from the NY Times, August 14. There was an article by Jane E. Broday, Thriving After Life's Bum Rap. "I have met and read about countless people who, having faced life-threatening illness, end up happier, better able to appreciate the good things and people in their lives, more willing to take the time to smell the roses." Much of the article is about people who've faced cancer, but I really feel it applies to me also (refer to the Choose Life post of a few days back.)

She notes a book: Happiness in a Storm: Facing Illness and Embracing Life as a Healthy Survivor. A quote from that book: Happiness in a storm is never about enjoying your illness, but embracing your life within the limits of your illness, and figuring out how to feel happy whenever possible.

Easier said than done for some, but a very good thought, and your thought for the day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sake tasting

I went Sake tasking today! There's a place in Berkeley right off the highway. It's the first time I've tried all the different kinds - from extra dry to sweet sweet, from warm to room temperature to cold. From traditional to flavored ones (like lychee and fuji apple). I thought I only liked cold ones (less traditional), but I liked their warm ones too. Sweet sweet was a bit gross, but everything else was really nice, all in different ways. So I need to start exploring the whole sake genre more. I bought two of them, and we'll see if I can get them back home without them breaking.

In the tasting area there's also a museum, which has some big barrels that are used in some part of the sake making process (which, by the way, is made from rice, water, mold, and yeast and is accomplished through parallel fermentation process). Why have people thrown coins into these barrels? And rest room tokens? And a dollar bill? And bus tickets? And a credit card? (no joke - it must have been a stolen one - I told the proprietess). It's not a fountain, and I don't think wishes will come true from throwing coins in them. But just in case, I threw in a penny. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recipe for you - SwePoPep

I seem to have brought the rain with me... too bad. But that's ok. Will be in tonight enjoying a home cooked, not by me, meal. Yum.

Speaking of which, I thought I would share a recipe or two in this blog, and I'm going to start today with something I made up last night. I made up two things and together they were great, but for one I used a prepackaged spice mix, and I want to be able to list the ingredients of the spices, so I'll save that one for when I get home.

In honor of NaMoBloPop I'll name it SwePoPep

One baking potato (good size)
One sweet potato (approximately same size)
Microwave until done. (we have a baked potato button on our microwave so it's great)
Cut up baking potato in bowl (leave skin on).
Dig out flesh of sweet potato and mix in with potato.
While mixing add approx. 3TB butter, at least 1/4 tsp salt, and fresh ground white pepper (salt and pepper are both to taste).
At very end add in 1/4 or so pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Mix in.

Eat.
Would likely be better if the pumpkin seeds were toasted a little, but I was trying to make a quick dinner, so no time for that. It was really good! If I do say so myself. That was my creativity for the day. I used what I had on hand, which is what I love to do.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Will I leave my heart


In San Francisco?

I'd write more but have to go home and pack and go to sleep to catch an early plane. Off to San Francisco for over a week! Some fun, but mostly work. Am still going to tryyyyy and blog every day. Not that it matters since I scared off WNG... :-) Won't guarantee comments though. Don't cry too much!

Be good. And if you can't be good, be careful. As they say.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Elmo swims with whales


Elmo really gets around. This is a section of a quick and dirty baby quilt I made - actually the first ever I got money to do! This side was a pre-printed scene of whales which I just HAD to add Elmo to. The other side (which I should have included a photo of, sorry) was a bit more creative, and I quilted in a fishy pattern. It was fun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Choose Life

There was a time in the past several years when I was so depressed I made plans to take my own life. I did not of course, else this would be ghost writing. Har har...

Anyway, just getting to that point profoundly altered me. Most people will never get to that point, which is a good thing. Some will go beyond planning and actually try. And some will try and succeed. Which is very sad, to put it mildly.

I was altered in that now every day consciously or subconsciously I choose life because I found that it is indeed possible for me to choose 'not life'. I don't take life for granted anymore. I still think too much sometimes, and feel too much sometimes. I still get overwhelmed, and I still feel depressed at times. But knowing that I can choose 'not life' has made my choice for life and my life itself a little bit more precious. And more important somehow.

Re-reading this, it sounds very strange. But really it is a movement towards a different choice - a choice for happiness, for comfort, for acceptance of myself, for forgiveness, and more. A very active life without moving a muscle. And sometimes that choice for the positive is not always easy, but it needs to be made.

Dying is easy. It's living that scares me to death. [OK, Susan, for $500,000. What song is that from?] Living is scary sometimes, but it's well worthwhile. And I like a challenge.

Choose life. Choose happiness.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Portraiture

[one of my favorites of hers - Willie Nelson]
I went to see an Annie Liebowitz exhibit this past weekend. It's a mix of personal and professional photos, and it was rather amazing. Capturing someone's essence in a photo is a gift, and she really has that gift. In one of the descriptions on the wall next to a photo, she remarked that she needs people to be in their element, and not in some studio, which to me makes sense. It provides a context, and something to bring out the inside person. Not every photographer needs this, but I think I would too.

One great side exhibit was a room in which they had a digital camera and digital projectors. On two walls of the room two sets of images would rotate through (all portraits) - all of 'regular' people (people visiting the museum): some that were saved, and some that were captured there and then in the moment because they had a digital camera there so you could take a portrait of yourself. There were seats in the room so you could sit and view the images.

I had sooo much fun there, both watching and participating. Portraiture is wonderful in part because people are wonderfully complex. Faces are complex. Personalities are complex. It was a different experience to see myself up on a wall in a six foot by six foot photo. It was interesting to watch people decide if they would take a photo of themselves, and to see whether it would turn out serious or funny. Some kids loved it; others were too shy. One man walked into the room and I almost went up to him and 'forced' him to take a photo - such an interesting face (older, mixed heritage) accentuated by thick black rimmed glasses. But he walked on through without taking a photo of himself.

Would you take your photo and have it projected? Would you make a funny face or be serious? Or, do as I did and take about 10 covering every permutation and combination?

For Susan (and anyone else looking for dates)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Erection Day

Ha! Sorry, this won't be about what you're hoping it's about. I just gave myself a chuckle this morning thinking of how someone who speaks an Asian language would say election day. (OK, so maybe it's only specific Asian languages - I'm not sure. And I only write it because I make fun of myself when I'm speaking other languages than English - it's hard to not have an accent!)

I was just thinking on the way to work about what happened to moderation? I'm not at either end of the political spectrum, and I see how the races for the frontrunners of each of the parties for the national elections are moving along. All I can say is UGH. I know that's the nature of politics in this day and age, but I don't have to like it.

I've never considered myself a Republican, but I so hoped that McCain would be in the front and become President. Just the amount of experience and relative (seemingly) integrity. Yeah, I know all that which you are going to write. But, that's what I think. We'll see how it all plays out. It would also be nice to have an African American male in office too...(though he is a bit young...). Find your presidential candidate.

Just get out and vote! And show your support by saluting with various parts of your body.

Regret #2

When I lived in NJ, my parents would take my sister and me to Broadway to see shows. Musicals were my dad's favorite (and my mom's?), so we saw many great ones. We went to see Sugar Babies, with Mickey Rooney, which to my tastes does not rank among the best, but it was still good.

Do you remember Michael Davis? The guy who got known in part through juggling chain saws, etc. on Saturday Night Live? I had seen him a couple times and loved his act. Well, he was actually in Sugar Babies; he was one of the acts in between main acts.

The night we went to see it, the curtains closed to let the actors go change and set up for the next act, and he walked on stage in front of the curtains. From the audience there was dead silence, which forcefully stopped my hands in mid clap. I looked around and wondered what the hell was going on. And though I wanted to clap and show my appreciation, and in addition not be rude, I did not clap. And that is my regret.

Seems like a small one to you, perhaps, but I still remember it so many years later because I allowed the force of the crowd to silence me. To silence what I believed in.

In the end, it was perhaps for the best. There was no polite applause when he came on, but when he left the stage, the crowd was roaring with appreciation - and almost gave him a standing ovation. I imagine that was a tremendous triumph.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Look! Up in the sky!


Skywatchers throughout the Northern Hemisphere report the newly visible
Comet Holmes a remarkable sight even under city lights. The comet,
described in glowing terms by many observers, should continue to be visible
to the naked eye for at least the next few weeks.

Only a couple comets each decade are this easy to see......

Friday, November 2, 2007

Worry wart

So, my mom is 78 years old. At what point does simple memory problems from being old and tired switch to Alzheimers or some other bad disease? I just worry, because sometimes in the same phone conversation she'll repeat the same things, and not remember she said them. Which isn't horrible, since I do that occasionally too. But last night was the first night she asked me the same exact questions, and responded like she hadn't heard the answers before. I know she was tired because she was helping my sister with my nieces during the day. I'm hoping to chalk it up to that and not have it be something worse. And just track if she starts doing that during the day. It's just scary though.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Quilt update

OK, so I've made the sky fabric:

The mountain fabric:

And the path fabric:


Now for the trees, which is quite intimidating because it has to be 80 inches long! damn...

The Best Halloween Photos from 7SecDelay




Those are the best animal ones. Go to the Seven Second Delay playlist page and see the first photo for the best kid photo. Warning: may offend some.

Uplifting

OK, I have to write to get this out of my system. When I look down, I'm amazed. I have breasts! OK, so, some may say, yeah, um, you're a woman, what's the big deal? But I'm wearing a new bra that I got for these reasons in order of importance: 1) on sale (half off) 2) fits 3) comfortable 4) pretty. I'm not sure if I should add this as number 5...uplifting (or kind of up and in). You have to realize I have a long history of wearing bras that are inexpensive, NOT fancy and have no padding - I am (was?) a firm believer in 'keeping it real'. But it's REALLY difficult to find something in size A that isn't padded and looks nice and supports the little I have, so I have had to cave. I may be changing my mind since it's kind of neat to have breasts, and hey, it seems to be one piece of clothing I SHOULD pay money for.

I went to go blow dry my hair this morning at the gym, looked at myself in the mirror, and laughed. The other woman there looked at me like I was nuts.

Ok, I'll get over this. Though it is a good thing I can type without looking at the keyboard or screen, since I'm staring at my chest the whole time...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A perfectly good ride home

Ruined. Due to a bunch of kids (pre-teens, not 5 year olds), one of whom had a large stick, who threatened to take my bike and bags. Stupid f*ker. Thankfully he didn't shove it into my wheel to stop me cold, and also didn't whack me with it, so I just kept going. (Maybe because I'm a speed demon? ha...) Oh, but it made me so mad. So many things I wanted to say to him. (I did look back and say f*ker to him though.) I wanted to turn around and go after him and his 'gang' but sometimes though I do have common sense. Thankfully.

So, I got home grumpy, and decided to do some retail therapy. Needed a temperpedic pillow to try and help stop migranes, so went to buy that (did you know they come in different sizes? so I had to have the store guy measure my shoulder to neck length), as well as a wedding present for a friend. And, just so happens there's a shoe store next door (how well the mall planners know their clientele), and I had a $20 coupon with me, so I bought two pairs of shoes, one of which is very practical, one of which is not so much (um, cheetah pewter reptile print heels - they didn't have the brown patent leather in my size! so had to buy the cheetah reptile ones...). I am famous for buying shoes and then returning most of them when I come to my senses, but I just may keep both.

Happy Halloween!

Ok, a bunch of random stuff today.

Got into work, turned on my internet radio station, WFMU, and the song playing was "Bunnyrabbits, Satan, Cheese, and Milk". Cool.

On the way to work today, heard on the radio that it's now safe to eat squirrels in NJ.

It was a nippy bike riding morning this morning. I procrastinated at home until the sun came up at least. Gotta ease into the colder weather biking. I cannot go from 60's/70's to 30's immediately.

Ever danced on bubble wrap? It's fun. Especially the stuff with the big bubbles.

A story of Halloween past. I spent a year in Germany in the mid 80's at a college where everyone (all 50 of us) lived and studied in one building. Very intense experience. This was back in the day when the whole world had not quite yet been Americanized, so when I brought up having a Halloween party, everyone, or most everyone, wondered what I was talking about. So, in the days before the ubiquitous Internet, I wrote to my mom and asked her to send me the history. I went to a nearby farm and got some pumpkins, which were all used to feed animals. We gutted them, carved them, cooked the flesh and the seeds, and made pumpkin stuff. (This was also before I knew there is a difference between pumpkins and the ones we used were likely not to be eaten - but hey, none of us died.) And we had a Halloween party where everyone dressed up and had a GREAT time. I was going to insert a picture, but I realized it looked just like any normal Halloween, except mid 80's getup and German faces. Ach du lieber!

Just stood outside to get some sun. What made me laugh hard and turn red? As I was standing talking with the door guy, a guy walked by, then turned around looked at my lower half, and just turned and shook his head with a smile. I needed that. And I might note, that it's only African American men who ever say anything or show an appreciation for my big trunk. White men look but don't make it obvious and NEVER say anything.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get you in the mood for Halloween


Here you can carve a virtual pumpkin. Way cool.

Here you can play hangman with a talking skeleton.