Friday, February 29, 2008


So, there was nothing on regular tv last night so I had to switch it to public tv. And again found a NOVA show, this time about cuttlefish. They are the coolest creatures. I've seen one scuba diving and it's just fascinating to watch. What I didn't know is that if you let them get used to you, which doesn't take long, you can follow them around. They can change to any color or pattern imaginable. And apparently they are smart. The show talked about some experiments they have done to test their intelligence, and while I had to go to bed early to try and sleep, I saw they made it to the second stage of problem solving - meaning linking two issues. So for instance to get out of a maze they had to learn two things, and they did. They and octopi have the largest brains of invertebrates.

Oh, and even more interesting is the mating game. Females are very picky. While some/many male cuttlefish are huge (3 feet long) and will fight over a female, there are smaller males that make themselves look like females so they can get through the fighting bullies and be successful in mating. Way cool.

So, there's your science for the day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Help / Advice Please

I have a bunch of cassette tapes that I'd like to convert either to CD or MP3. Has anyone ever used a service that does this? Or know of the best and cheapest way to do this? Thank you!

Sorry, that's all I've got for today. Did not sleep well. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stopping Time in Grand Central Station

A Real Character

Cyber D writing about his freshman year roommate made me think of mine. I have been cleaning out my crap in my house, and came across an essay I wrote about my freshman year roommate in a writing class I was required to take in my freshman year because my writing was so bad. It's rather pathetically written, so I'll only copy the better parts. I'm not sure I ever shared this with her, so it'll be some new insight from me as she does read this blog.

I was assigned to room with a woman from Puerto Rico. We wrote some letters back and forth the summer before freshman year, and finally we managed to speak to each other on the phone.

The voice on the phone had an edge of nervousness in it which made her sound very young. She did most of the talking, and with her heavy Puerto Rican accent it was no easy task to understand her. It didn't matter much, however, because we both really just needed to hear the sound of the other's voice to somehow capture the essence of the person.

When the big meeting day arrived, I was in our room early in the morning. She was nowhere to be found. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that I heard the keys jingle and she came klunking into the room on her clogs.

A bright smile came over her face as we shook hands. "Hello my name is DBN as you know." As we continued to talk, she bobbed around the room doing her thing, her short curly hair always in place, the movement destroying any possibility of tension. "This is for you" produced a beautiful painted t-shirt from Puerto Rico.

As she moved, her short, solidly-built body never hesitated and her stride was always purposeful. Time for dinner? "OK. Let's go." Sometimes, bouncing down the hall and popping in and out of rooms, good will seemed to pour out of her, too much to be contained. Other times, preoccupation made her seem aloof, yet anyone who knew her knew that a wide grin and a big hug weren't far away. Sensitivity is a part of her: a knowing smile or a pat on the back gives comfort.

That's it for the good part. DBN and I ended up living together two more times - senior year off campus, when I tasted for the first and last time her rice dish with squid ink (yucky) - and 3 years later when we were both in the same city as I did a year long internship. This year will be 24 years that we know each other! Holy crap. Boy are we old.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saved by the mail - artificial limbs, Olympics, what is disabled?

Yesterday I was kind of drawing a blank about what to write about today, but then I got my Geekipedia in the mail because I subscribed to Wired. So, here's one of the entries, which I thought was very thought provoking.

Pistorius, Oscar
In November 1986, a boy was born in South Africa with no calf bones and only a single toe on each foot. Less than a year later, he had his lower legs surgically amputated. Today Oscar Pistorius runs 400 meters in 46.6 seconds, just one second shy of the Olympic qualifying time. (He's still training to earn a trip to Beijing in 2008) The story should have inspired a heartstring-tugging TV movie of the week, but it doesn't end there. Instead, Pistorius became a figure of controversy. at issue: the sleek carbon-fiber prosthetic limbs he runs on. Some rival runners charge that these artificial legs-dubbed Cheetahs-are longer than necessary, allowing Pistorius to take broader strides. Pistorius' trainers argue that the runner remains at a disadvantage; Cheetahs don't allow him to generate power in his calves, an important source of a runner's speed. The international ruling body of track and field is looking into the matter. But other questions remain. For instance, when technology gives someone without legs the potential to become an Olympic-caliber runner, can he still be called disabled?

Me again...well, actually, yes he can, since disability is a multi-faceted term encompassing body, self, environment, and others' perceptions. But what I love about this is that he's reaching for the 'regular' Olympics and not sticking with the para-olympics, which unfortunately people don't respect. I wish there were integration of disabled and non-disabled in Olympics.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clothes Swap - giving clothes to Goodwill

Just in time for the clothes swap I had this weekend, I was sent the following email:

It should make you feel all warm inside Knowing that the clothes you previously wore are now gracing another grateful body!
Remember that cleaning out your closets at least once a year and giving former treasures to Goodwill (or charity of your choice) is a great way to give back to your community and help those who are less fortunate.
So look through your closets and see if you don't have something that doesn't fit, or might be a little out of fashion.
Those things will probably fit someone else and could be the height of fashion for them.
With that in mind, I send along this heart-warming photo to inspire you , and remind you that your efforts won't go unnoticed.

Accompanied by the following photo:

Isn't that GREAT!? Yes, I know, it likely burned your retinas. It made me snort. I don't know what I was thinking but I sent it to my MOM! She didn't really reply and when she did she kind of ignored it, but finally said to me that she was shocked and didn't know what to say. Glad I didn't give her a heart attack.

So, back to the clothes swap. Once or twice a year I get together all my female friends and everyone brings all the clothes they no longer wear. We throw them into piles, post a few mirrors around the room, and the fun begins. People of all sizes and shapes can participate and there's something for everyone in the end. Whatever's left over goes to charities like the local thrift store that sells clothes to benefit the children's hospital, or to Dress for Success.

My friends are pretty polite, and sorry, we don't wrestle each other for the clothing. And there's usually a few items that get tried on by everyone just for the fun factor since they are such ridiculous clothes. We do have snacks - edible underwear - and drinks - seltzer - and a few pillows do get destroyed, but besides that, it's a mellow time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Just saw this today and it really is excellent. Subtitled French. Wonderfully animated in the graphic novel way. About a woman's life growing up and outside of Iran around the time of the revolution and subsequent events. Full of wit, humor, pathos, intelligence, etc. etc. Go see if you can.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Scavenger Hunt

I've liked seeing Churlita's posts about the scavenger hunt so I hunted down via dmarks to Random Crap to find the Hunt. This week's word is Reason. The first thing that came to my mind, despite the fact that Christmas is long gone, is the phrase 'Jesus is the reason for the season.'

This is a print/painting that we found in my mom's basement when we were cleaning out the house. Noone in my immediate family is very religious, but my husband is, and I actually really liked the image, so we took it and it's hanging in the 'study'. If you can't see it very well, it's Jesus sitting up on the mountain meditating before all the events are put into motion to crucify him. I also chose this because I feel some empathy in a very tangential way (obviously I'm not going to get tortured and crucified). I'm sitting within myself thinking about my self, my marriage, and wanting to give in and stay but trying to gather strength and keep it to do what is right for me. It's so difficult though.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Blogging Buddies

Well, WNG was jealous that Susan deflowered me in the meme area, so she had to deflower me in the award/bling area. I hate to admit it, but I've been hoping for one for ages. They are silly little things yes, but I like them. And since I have ONE, it's my little preciousssss...

Susan already got one from WNG, but it's there from me too.
Tera always manages a comment when she's come out from under her rock, and that rocks.
Heather is my blogging buddy on other people's blogs - we're kind of like the guests that take over a party and don't leave.
And, forgotten earlier, but Churlita is always there with words of wisdom and nonsense.
And, well, the Gnome occasionally leaves comments that I need, occasionally is a pain in my ass, occasionally teaches me a thing or two, and overall is a cute little gnome blogging buddy.
Thank you...

Answers, since Susan asked

[door guy] - There's no way you can weigh that much.
[trainer] - It's gotta be muscle.
[husband] - There's no way it's muscle.
[Gyuss] - Your the correct weight and beautiful no matter what.

The last one was a giveaway since it was right in the comments! Of course, it's the best answer too. :-) Score one for the gnome!
I pointed out to my husband this trio of comments and he looked very sheepish.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Great Interview Experiment - MEEEE

So, Ami over at Writing: My Life was kind enough to volunteer to interview people whose interviewers kinda dropped the ball. You can go to her post to read the whole interview.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total Eclipse of the Heart - who said what

I had to use the song title. It's total eclipse time.

OK, last week I weighed myself and I weigh a lot for me. Approaching a figure that I do not want to approach. So, the test for today and tomorrow is to decide which man said what when I commented on how much I weighed and provided the exact weight. I added a couple extra men to add to the difficulty.

Here are the comments:
- There's no way you can weigh that much.
- It's gotta be muscle.
- There's no way it's muscle.
- Your the correct weight and beautiful no matter what.

- my brother
- my husband
- my trainer
- the door guy
- our IT guy
- Gyuss

Reminder - total lunar eclipse tonight!

Glitter Graphics

Star Glitter Graphics

And, note for the day, remember to learn which button on your work phone controls the mute/unmute. Especially when you are the convener for a conference call with 20 people on it, and when you press the wrong button, it disconnects everyone. Ack!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Beating a dead horse?

I googled that phrase with the word 'photo' and came up with some things I really didn't want to deal with, so figured I'd put in a glitter horse instead. Glitter Graphics

Animal Glitters

Ah, the way the world turns. I've been so courageous and eloquent tonight and not sure I'll be able to convey it appropriately. My husband sat me down tonight and we had a talk about the effect of our last big argument several weeks ago - he had basically given up and detached, but never let me know until now. The last I had heard from him he was up the to challenges I had placed before him and going to try his best.

Needless to say, what I thought was his best was his nothing, and his detachment was felt despite never being verbally expressed. Remember my post of last week? In which I said why I need affection/attention so much? I was feeling the intense lack of it from him. To the point that today, this morning, I almost started crying in my staff meeting, and feeling at a loss as to how to handle the depth of emotion. I finally sent him what I had wrote in my blog as a way for us to start a discussion tonight (he only reads his email at home).

Yes, he beat me to it. But I was able to say to him that I do not want to live that way - feeling a desperate need for attention, a hug. That it felt way too familiar - not only from my childhood but from the early part of our marriage also - and that I hate it. I was able to say that we've both tried so hard and we seem to get nowhere, or at least go somewhere and revert back to nowhere. That perhaps it might be time to face that it's just not working. I was able to let our discussion come to no conclusion rather than commit yet again to trying more.

It wasn't an ultimatum. It wasn't a threat. It was what I'm feeling, and I'm proud of myself for saying it.

It's strange how the world does not come to an end when you say what is on your mind. It actually lightens the load you are carrying.

Again with noodles

Yesterday I tried making spaetzle. I used this recipe with the addition of some pepper and nutmeg that I had seen in another recipe. Let me tell you, it doesn't work to try and shove the batter through a wide-holded strainer. They come out like little spaetzle turdlettes. I finally started just dribbling it off a spoon, but that was difficult too. They tasted kind of ok. I might try it one more time with this recipe, since when I lived in Germany I so loved spaetzle.

I made them in part because I was trying out a recipe for German style Hungarian goulash. Which, after all the effort, to me was not worth it. But again, I was combining 4 different recipes that I found online. I'd much rather get a recommendation for one.

So if anyone knows of any good recipes for spaeztle or German style Hungarian goulash, I would appreciate them. Thankfully I had also made banana bread which I can almost make with my eyes closed, or else I would have been very frustrated spending so much time on stuff that I wasn't all that impressed with. I tried using whole wheat flour for the banana bread and it worked (half whole wheat - King Arthur white whole wheat specifically - and half better for bread flour)! So (cough) it's good for me too now.

Tagged, I'm it

WNG got me again... Not that I mind!

1.Post these rules before presenting your list.
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6 people to get tagged and list their names.
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

1. Play in the woods, and while you're at it, climb one of the trees.
2. Unplug and let your imagination run wild.
3. Try new foods.
4. Say "I love you" to every member of your family.
5. Learn how to swim.
6. Listen to your heart.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Received via email - Thought for the day

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Mark your calendar - Total lunar eclipse

For all of you sky watchers, like me, look up February 20th and you will see a total lunar eclipse. Go here to see what time what part of the eclipse will be happening. Everyone in North America at least should be able to see it. Also I think South America. Go to the site and take a look...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Bruges

I had never heard of this movie before a friend suggested it, and it may only be playing in artsy fartsy theaters, but if you have a chance, see it. That is, if you don't mind lots of swearing, offensive comments about nearly every possible type of person, and gore. It's great acting, and a really interesting script in which all the pieces are meshed together so well. I could figure out one or two of the things that happened, but it really was an fun ride. A few snort laugh out loud moments.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Utah skiing video

Before you watch this you should know that I'm afraid of narrow spaces, that I had just earlier taken two huge falls before getting to this spot, and um, I need better ski boots to go with my new great skis so I have more control, and I was skiing onto powder which I don't have much experience with. Yeah, yeah, enough with the excuses.

Wasn't that exciting? The yodel comment was in reference to a Mythbusters episode we had watched on the way out to Utah. Apparently there was a myth that yodeling could cause an avalance. I don't think I caused one with my screaming.

And, oh, I tend to scream during difficult sports situations. Mountain biking over logs - screaming. Falling on a rock climb - screaming. Skiing over uneven snow, or out of control, or too fast - screaming. I will freely admit, this was a very girly scream. And a loud 'oooof' getting up.

I forgot to write about my moment of terror on the slopes. Fear can overtake you at any time. I had just eaten lunch and taken a hour long break after this video was shot. Made the mistake of going onto a black diamond that was more like a double black to me. I got to the top of this space, looked down, and couldn't move. Terror. Tears coming to my eyes, and I wasn't even pms-ing. Pure fear. I swear it was more than a 45 degree angle - I'd say 50 or 60, and it had moguls what seemed like up to my hips, and it was a narrow narrow space. It was fate karma kismet yahtzee though, since on one of the earlier lifts I had looked down and saw a person shuffling in his/her butt down a mogul area that was likely a blue. I think I made a comment - not an evil one, but just kind of laughing. Ha. The thing was, I couldn't take me skis off at this place. And if I fell, I'd be falling all the way down to the bottom. I really didn't want to move, but eventually I did. Made one turn. Survived. Made another, survived. And made my way down. Whew.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Utah photos

First off, these are my super duper moon/snow boots. They are warm and comfortable and oh so perfect after a day of skiing since they are roomy. And, even better, I only paid $10 for them at a super duper sale at Sierra Trading Post.

This is the Saturday traffic jam into Little Cottonwood Canyon to go to Alta. Beautiful. Lots of cars. The four cars ahead of us were all together and to relieve boredom they would veer left and right in a snake like pattern. It was pretty damn funny, but then, it's pretty boring being in a traffic jam so anything like that can be funny.
This is my favorite photo from the trip. It was the back side of the mountain on a really easy run and beautiful. The sun was disappearing over the mountain, and I think that's why the blue appeared.

If anyone can give me hints on uploading videos to YouTube, I'll post a video of me skiing. I tried doing it just now but even after 10 minutes it was still working. Is that normal? Do I just let it go and go and go?

Happy VD day

Had to add this. I've written before that I have herpes. Well, keep your eye out, women without it, for a vaccine. My first google search came up with this Science Blog article. Even though it's from 2006, it's worth going to just for the ad on the right. It's good to know that the United Church of Christ is open to members who are scientists. I found another site that lists the problems they've encountered with creating vaccines. Still, anything is better than nothing.

Happy Valentines' Day (funny and sad)

Does this prove that men are dogs or that dogs are men? :-)

And sorry, this was today's. I feel I need space on the crate, but I"m working to get off of it, don't worry.
I just re-read something, and found out that my birthstone, peridot, is used to help dreams become a reality. Interesting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Found cat

Billy had been spotted many times - thankfully while we were out of town my neighbor left food out for him so he was still used to coming up on our deck. I called for him tonight, he didn't come. So I sat and watched tv and looked out the window periodically, and finally he came to the door asking to be let in. And he came in. yay! he may have lost a pound, which he actually needed to lose. But he's fine and will sleep well tonight. As will I. Thanks for your concern...Glitter Graphics

Heart Glitter Graphics

My song

What makes me tick

All I want is some love and affection. I want people to care whether or not I'm in their life. I want them to be able to show it. I want to be able to show it. Yeah, I know, sounds like any normal human being. But I ache from it. All my life I do a lot of what I do to try and get that.

Growing up the youngest child of six in a Polish/Catholic family of course was great. Being the youngest child and all... But imagine only seeing your parents kiss once in your youngest years, and later wondering even then if it was a dream. Imagine never hearing or saying I love you to your family. Or giving or receiving many hugs. The importance of our Christmas Eve ritual became ever more important because it was one of the rare times that we had contact.

Do you wonder why I had a boyfriend almost nonstop since I was 16? I don't. Do you wonder why I seem aloof? Combined with growing up in New England, not having had much experience with physical contact was the reason. Do you wonder why I am brash and harsh and give off the impression that I don't care if you are friendly to me? Because I do care.

I realized all this over the years, and swore that my life would be different. And then I marry a man who isn't expressive emotionally or physically. And I ache almost every single day. He tries so hard, but I don't get what I need.

I can't read all these posts about people's love. I am so jealous and ache so much. I am tired of the constant reminders that valentine's day is coming up. Please leave me alone and stop plugging the 'holiday' to give a boost to the economy. Just bring me my cat back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Good news and bad news

Good news is we made it home. Bad news is that our house is 42 degrees. No heat. Oh well... good thing we have down sleeping bags. No Billy. :-( I put out a blanket for him.

Sleepless in Salt Lake

Howdy friends and neighbors (I'm wearing my best sweater vest). I woke up at 3:30 AM and started thinking about many things, including the fact that for the last two days I have not iced my back, and realized I should just get up and ice the damn thing. Normally when I wake up and can't go back to sleep I make myself warm milk, but there's no possibility of that in a hotel, so blogging it is.

First off, there have been sightings of Billy around the house/neighborhood, so at least he hasn't run off to some far reaches of my town. He's a skittish boy, so he likely won't come in until I get back. And even then I worry he won't. But we'll see.

As for skiing, well, it's been great. No new snow, alas, but lots of great runs and some places where there was some untracked powder (short spurts). I can't add photos from the hotel computer, but will add some later. And maybe even a video of me, in all my glory. Best of all, no migranes!!! Amazing. But since I often get them at the end of a busy/stressful period, this leads to my current icing.

One of the things that has contributed to a great ski time has been my new skis. Product plug: K2 Lotta Luv. GREAT skis. I honestly had no clue that skis could make such a difference, but they do. No floppity floppity (or in ski tech terms - chatter) at high speeds, solid on a jump, etc. Of course, when I say jump, for me that's higher than 3 inches. I can ski black diamonds (but not double black) but I'm not that good. I have spurts of goodness and it feels great when I do have those moments, but then I either have to slow myself down, I have to stop, or I fall. And let me tell you I had a few spectacular falls. Tumbling down. On one I ended up on my stomach sliding face down the mountain - not good.

Lesson learned this trip - I have a lazy right leg. One of my more spectacular falls came when I was turning right. When you turn you have to put most/all of your weight on your lower leg - the left in this case. Well, either due to a lazy leg or my hip issues, sometimes I don't rotate the right leg and unweight enough, so I can't finish the turn. In this case, on a steep slope, that meant me flying down the mountain towards some trees out of control. Thankfully I got myself to fall, since a spectacular fall is better than smashing into a tree.

OK, I'm going to try and go sleep. My husband will ski this morning and then we'll go to the airport and try and get home (we have to fly through the ice/snow that moved from the Midwest). Wish me luck, as I really want to try and get Billy in. I don't care about missing work...

Friday, February 8, 2008

A photo to contemplate whilst I am gone skiing

See you on Wednesday! Maybe, if you are good, I'll post a photo of myself in my ski outfit when I return.
Oh, and I looked for a glitter bunny, but then saw this, and it so freaked me out I had to add it.
Glitter Graphics

Glitter Animal Graphics

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Scratch that

So, what I wrote about me likely being a good mother? Scratch that. I let Billy out on the deck Tuesday night and forgot I left him out there, and in the morning he was gone. And hasn't come back. I'm very stupid and very sad.Glitter Graphics

Animal Glitter Graphics

Back update / disability insurance

Just a quick update on the back/disability insurance situation. I went to the back doctor today so he could see that I'm fine and feel ok writing that I'm recovered so I can get disability insurance. So he did, and he's used to dealing with the stupid insurance companies (in fact, even been brought to court). I got a note, and faxed that. If they need more info (ie, what does he base that comment on), I have the detailed report from the visit, which I don't want to give them because it does state that I have compressed discs in my neck (which don't affect me, but still). My doctor said he had heard once about a guy who was getting a divorce and the insurance company made him sign an amendment that they wouldn't cover him if he became disabled due to a psychological problem. Lordy.

Meet Someone New

I decided to take part in the Great Interview Experiment. It is my pleasure to introduce ChildsPlayX2. I really enjoyed reading his blog - it's very well written and very interesting. Since I feared that I could keep reading and reading to find more nuggets to ask about, I just needed to stop and ask a few and let it be.

Q:It's obvious you love your children and enjoy almost every moment with them. Do you enjoy other people's children just as much? Would you ever adopt a child?

A1) I have always loved being around children. My first "real" job was a sports coordinator for a large non-profit. I then became a camp and after-school coordinator and worked with kids all of the time. Now, I work for the YMCA and my job is to make sure the youth in our community have strong programs that develop character. I miss working directly with kids now, though. There's something about showing a child that you care - especially a child who needs a positive adult role model - that makes life worthwhile. As for adoption? My wife was adopted as a baby and we would definitely consider adoption if we decide that we could handle another child. Right now, two-year-old twins are quite enough, thank you!

Q: If you could, would you want to live in an 80's world? Or do you just enjoy the music from that time?

A2) I had more hair in the 80's. And that was the time when music was a daily companion in my life but I have no real yearning to return to the days of feathered hair and acid wash jeans. I recently started naming my blog posts from 80's lyrics because I wanted a bit of a challenge and I thought my regular readers would get a kick out of it. It also encourages comments - which I LOVE.

Q: Do you think you could ever actually win Fear Factor? Why/why not? Would you take your son on the new show coming up that's kind of like Fear Factor for dads and sons? [I personally love Fear Factor and wish they would bring it back.]

A3) The masculine side of me wants to scream, "HECK YEAH! I COULD SO WIN FEAR FACTOR!" But the part of me that is terrified of wiggly things crawling over my entire body and my inability to choke down anything that is still moving would certainly preclude me from winning Fear Factor. I would do really well on the agility stuff, however, so maybe I'd have a chance. As for taking my son on a Father/Son Fear Factor... I don't think so. I would want to enjoy bonding with my son and I don't think screaming like a little girl while cock roaches crawled all over me would imprint the right image of me for my son.

Q: What's your second biggest regret? (You listed in 100 things about you your biggest regret, and considering who I am, had to ask.)

A4) My second biggest regret? I'm really not sure. I guess there are a few things in my life I maybe would have done differently but I have grown so much as a person in the past 10 years that I strive to look at those experiences as learning tools that make me who I am today. We all need failure and obstacles in our lives to help us grow and to help us appreciate the wonders in our life. As Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Q: Have you ever wanted to earn your living as a writer?

A5) Many people who blog have aspirations of writing. When I started blogging it was mostly to see if I could stick with something like this for longer than a month or so. My cousin Mighty Girl ( was enjoying her blogging experience so I thought I'd try it as well. Soon after, we got pregnant and the blog became a way for me to keep relatives and friends up to date on our life and how we were doing. I then realized that this blog could be a gift to my children as I want them to know as much as possible about their childhood and their father. After four years of doing this I now consider myself a writer. I love putting my thoughts on paper and, for the first time, I've actually thought of writing a book. One idea would be a rhyming children's book while another idea would somehow combine my love for managing and providing leadership for my staff and my love for parenting. We'll see how that turns out.

Q: Finally, you noted in your 100 things about you that your dad died when you were very young and that that was the greatest influence in your life. Can you expand on that?

A6) My father died when I was six. I never got to know him and it hurts me to this day. There's this little place deep in my chest that still aches when I think about what I missed. That experience has influenced me in countless ways. For instance, because I grew up with a single mother, I understand women better than I understand men. I don't have any strong impressions on what a man is supposed to be - which can be liberating and frustrating at different times. in the same vein, I have no blueprint on how to be a father - which frees me to set my own ideals and desires in motion without any outside influences. And finally, it has taught me to never take life for granted. A part of me is convinced that I won't live to see my children grow old and that is a driving force behind my passion for fatherhood. I don't ever want to cheat my children out of spending time with their father. I don't take my role for granted and I hope that my passion for life is passed down to them. I don't care what other people think of me. I really don't. The only thing that matters is that my children think highly of me. I'll happily dance down a busy street with a two-year-old holding each hand singing Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry (my daughter's favorite song) at the top of my lungs if it means my children will remember that moment for the rest of their lives. And even if they don't, I surely will.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


One of the basic forms of transportation when I was in Africa was hitchhiking. Cheap, relatively easy, and everybody did it - it wasn't just us young white foreigners doing it. It is the reality that we were more likely to get a ride than the local Africans, but really everyone did it relatively successfully. Most of the time it was free, but on one long ride we needed to pay some money.

I was thinking last night about several memorable hitchhiking experiences, and wanted to share a few. Two quickly turned to six or seven, so I'll need to spread this post over several days. I'll do the short stories first, since I'm doing this at work and really do have a quite a bit of work to do.

The first memorable experience was when my boyfriend, let's call him Pat, and I went away for the weekend to Great Zimbabwe. It was our first long trip on a weekend and we were a little nervous about timing, since we did have a teaching job to do during the week. We may have taken the bus down to be safe, but hitchhiked back. In any event, a flatbed truck picked us and other people up. I just remember the great feeling of speeding along the road in the open flatbed - a bit nervous about falling off, but mostly just really enjoying the experience. I did take a photo of Pat at one point and it really shows the exhilaration (or was it just the wind? :-) )

99.9 percent of the time I hitchhiked with Pat. One day however, I didn't. I had ridden my bicycle out to visit other volunteers at a nearby village - at least an hour bike ride. On the way back my tire started going flat and biking became harder and harder. So, I decided to try hitchhiking WITH my bike. Just for the hell of it. And someone picked me up! Amazing. And I didn't get raped. Double amazing. It was an incredibly stupid, daring thing to do, but I love the fact that I am able to say I hitchhiked with a bicycle.

The last short story comes at the end of a long trip through Zimbabwe and Botswana on one of our month long holidays. Pat and I were beat, and really so looking forward to getting back 'home' to Zimbabwe, because it was a lovely place at the time with wonderful people. We had camped at a campground and I had had a migrane, so again, we were just wiped. We stood on the side of the road for a while and noone stopped. We were kind of despairing when a Mercedes pulled up driven by a white guy, boom boom from music coming through the windows and he offered us a ride through the rest of Botswana into mid Zimbabwe. He was like an angel from heaven. It's also memorable because I was a little nervous getting into the car since the song that was playing was some Fleetwood Mac song that just had a really sexy beat - dont' know which song - and I was to sit on the front seat with the guy. But everything turned out ok, and again, we sat in luxury most of the way home.

I must say I really like hitchhiking.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Zinc Finger

Since I'm all about music, I thought I'd follow Heather's lead and get my band name, album cover art, and album title. So...

Zinc Finger presents:

Confused Power with Greatness

I love all of it. And, on a side note, learned something new about zinc fingers, proteins that can bind with DNA.

To Do it Yourself:
use the first link. no matter what the title of the article is, it is now your band's name.

now on to the second link. the last four words of the quote is your album title.

now for the cover art. go to this link and the third pic is your album cover art.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Regrets? Great! See How They Can Help You Now

Had this in my inbox and had to share, given the title. And since it's from, it has to be good, right? :-)

Could, Woulda, Shoulda
Stewart has shown that women who take action on the basis of their regrets -- getting a job if they felt they'd left the workforce prematurely, going back to school -- score higher on physical and psychological measures of well-being later in life. The key, she says, is acknowledging the thing you wish you'd done, or done differently, without fixating on it, and using it as a motivator to make changes

WhyMommy Breast Cancer Fight - another type of cancer

Not sure how many of you have been following WhyMommy's battle with inflammatory breast cancer, but she had her boobs taken off, and had clean margins, and is cancer free. Amazingly enough, the doctors found that her other boob had an even rarer form of cancer - Paget's disease of the nipple. Being the scientist that she is, she calculated the odds of having both - time for her to play the lottery. But wanted to bring it up here since you should read about this other form of breast cancer so you know about it.