Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Going beyond the basic - I hope

This here blog template is pretty daggone basic, and I'm getting a tad tired of all the 'rootsiness' of it. Rootsiness is good in music and politics, but not so good in hair or blogs, ya know?

People, I want BELLS, and WHISTLES, and GADGETS! I want features and functions and lists that roll up or drop down! I want custom backgrounds, I want MY DAMN FAVATAR BACK, and I want all of this to be aptly supported by Blogger.

Which is why it might be high time to start using some of their cool new tools, like these:

Scheduled Post Publishing If you write a post on Blogger in draft and set the post’s date and time to some time in the future, we’ll schedule the post to appear on your blog at that time, and not before.
Blog List Add a blogroll to your blog’s sidebar. The Blog List is powered by Google Reader, so it can show when each blog was last updated and even include post titles and snippets.

But I'm scared.

My template, in all its basicness and simplitude, works just fine. I can post, I can edit, I can put the words out there instead of letting them clutter up my head. It works. I'm familiar with it. I don't want to wreck it.

Of course I've saved a copy of it in a secure location, so any tweaks I make to it can be erased with the simple upload of the old template, so I shouldn't BE scared of change. And yet....I am.

Are the shiny new toys worth the angst? Should I gussy up this blog with things that make you go "oooh" and might be of some use for the sake of either efficiency, streamlining, or enhanced capabilities? Truly, would me being able to permalink my entries make this a much better place?
What do you think? And if you use the new features on your blogs, how'd you DO that?


I made the Things eat lima beans last night. They were cooked and everything! Thing 1 was finishing up supper, and had a suspicious-looking lump in one check pouch. I asked him what it was, and Thing 2 said "it's lima bean mulch!"



If you had asked me, I think Thing 1 was saving the mulch to spit out for the puppy.

You heard me. THE PUPPY.

3 months old. Caramel fur with amber eyes. Skittish little dude, but is coming out of his shell with each passing day. Thinks grass is scary, for about 30 seconds, after which point it's all about the bounding around. LIVES to sleep. Chews on furniture. A real, live, cuddly warm puppy.

His name is still being negotiated on. He came with the name "Wesley," which was not going to stick as far as I was concerned. Suggestions for his new name have run the gamut from Alphonse to Snarf. Currently, I'm leaning toward "Nibbler," which came to me last night as a great name after I noticed him gnawing on the leg of the coffee table.

"Mr. Nibs," for short. He MUST have a nickname, after all.

Ya got any great doggie names? Tell us about them, won't you?


That's it for now. These am all the woids that wanted to fall out for now, and I thank you for reading them. Have a great one!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm sure I'm not the only one

People suck, you know that? What this guy did to his daughter is reprehensible; it's beyond anything I can think of as 'human' behavior. It's cruel, twisted, sick, wrong, crazy, stupid, wicked, evil.

What's worse - he did it to their grandchildren too. 24 years of up-fuckedness.

I'm sure I'm' not the only one who is outraged, no, SICKENED, by this. Who would DO such a thing? Who could do this to their child? Who could do this for so long? Who would think of doing something like this in the first place?

Who would harm their child like this?

What's sad is that there's every chance that all over this little blue world there are countless other fathers doing this to their daughters. Countless other parents creating a life of horror and misery. Countless numbers of children who grow up believing that other people live like they do, in cramped basements or dirt-floored shacks or in a barn out back with the other livestock.

To say that this is preying on my mind would be to liken a teardrop to an ocean. This woman, giving birth to 7 of her father's children, locked in a basement since she was 11 years old, repeatedly raped, while her Daddy lived upstairs with his wife (who knew nothing about it) and kept a shop in their town, this woman breaks my heart. This woman, who is scarred for life. This woman, kept from her potential by this monster. It could be any one of us. It could have been any one of us, I guess.

Most of us have secrets we keep locked up in a safe quiet place. Most of us have some kind of mystery behind the sadness we sometimes feel. Most of us suffer through our various life pains and come out of them to live a life that has some meaning, but this woman has been robbed of all of that by the hideous beast that felt it was his right to impregnate her over and over, to keep her locked away from the world, to silence her first with drugs and then with fear, to craft an existence for her of rape and pain and shame.

There will be those people who will say "sure, it's an easy thing to be outraged by, but why complain if you're not going to DO something about it?" to which I would answer - you're right. It's easy to be outraged by this. It's easy to gasp in horror at the beastly ways people can treat each other. It's easy to stare at the trainwreck this man has made of these people's lives and cluck our tongues, tsk-tsking our way to the coffee maker. It's easy to talk about this ghastly thing with friends, whispering our shock in gleaming clean hallways while our children attend good schools and our breakfasts digest. But what to DO about it besides gossip and pray?

How to stop it before it happens to even one more person?

I simply don't know. And that, my friends, is what chokes my heart and throat. It's what angers me, makes me clench my teeth in frustration, makes me wonder why people like this are allowed to live.

How to stop it, indeed. Who is the watchdog for "girls who might be locked in a cellar while their Daddy impregnates them"? What organization takes it on themselves to police our society for "men who might be living a double (or triple) life that involves incest with a captive child"? How do we get from suspicion to alert, to make the call we might think is silly about a neighbor who may or may not be doing very very bad things to innocent people? Would that create panic, a police state, a Big Brother society of peeping toms, ready to pounce with indignation at the slightest perceived affront to their own sensibilities?

Or do we care that we create this society? Is it OK to rat out a neighbor, a colleague, a friend that you think might be doing great harm to someone who cannot protect themselves?

I'm beginning to think the answer is yes, and do believe that my Liberal bleeding heart just sprung another leak at that answer.


This has put me in a mood, y'all. a MOOD, and it's not pretty. This thing, and the polygamy story, has got me going all "women's studies" lately, and I'm angry to boot. This is my vent, my outlet, my brain drain, a place to put the anger so I don't weep in public or move my kids to a mountaintop someplace, shutting out this world and the dark places in it.

The dark places are the suck. Best to focus on the light. Maybe tomorrow.

I sure hope so.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Oh, why not?

It's been a while since we've gone into the fray of the newsroom here at NAY. Time to change that, don't you think? Let's take a quick look at today's headlines then!

FDA takes closer look at complaints from Lasik customers

Presumably the closer look is because the FDA ain't had the Lasik themselves yet.

Some young religious voters focus on social justice

Some old religious voters, several non-religious voters, many middle-aged pagans and atheists, as well as almost ALL the aging hippies do too.

(File this under 'non-story,' IMHO)

McCain to New Orleans: Never again

"Because my friends, six Hurricanes in them tall plastic glasses in one night is just too damned much, is what I'm sayin'. Never, EVER again. Ouch, my head."

Study says near extinction threatened people 70,00 years ago

But the people 70,000 years ago didn't understand the near extinction, so it left, frustrated at its inability to make them cower in fear.

Scanning world's every book means turning many, many pages

See Dick scan. Scan Dick, scan!

Stressed out? Turmoil takes a toll on diet, exercise routine

I believe it's called "coping." Another non-news story.


And then, this picture of an exploding dog:

Just IMAGINE the shedding problems.


Note to self - next time South Park comes on just as you're about to switch off the teevee and go to bed, take the next step and actually turn off the tube. A repeat of last night's dreams in not recommended.


One last thing before I leave you to go about conquering this day...there will be a new Wordsmiths prompt up over the weekend. I kind of let it lag this month, and for that I apologize. By way of further atonement, I'm asking you to suggest a picture for the prompt. Send me a link to something you think would get the creative juices of the masses flowing like a river of milk n' honey, and on Sunday I'll make a totally random and completely unbiased pick form the virtual hat and post the new prompt.

Are you aquiver with excitement yet? Slavering with anticipation? Shaking with barely contained curiosity?

Me too, my friends. Me too. Have a great day, ya'll, and a wonderful weekend. I'm out!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bamboo pod racers (updated with cool video!)

I bought a pair of bamboo pillow cases yesterday. You hear me, BAMBOO. 400-thread count bamboo in a nice mocha color; they feel like cool silk on the skin.

Naturally, now that I know the comfort ‘oomph’ of the pillowcases, I would like to have a whole set of sheets made of this luxurious smooth fabric, but because they’re priced at something like a million dollars a set (hey - the pillowcases cost 25 bucks!) I might have to do a little savin’ before I do a little spendin’.


That being said, I went a little spendy and purchased a salwar kameez the other night online. The time had come to make that move, because this big ol’ white chick somehow thinks that the salwar kameez will be comfy and look nice and be rather a lovely change from the ordinary outfits she wears on a daily basis, which really look a whole hell of a LOT like salwar kameezes do, only without the flair. It’s time for the flair to re-enter my life, y’all, so therefore the salwar kameez.

I got THIS one, if you’re interested.

In black, because working up to full-on flair is going to take a while.


On the commute this morning a truck passed by me making a distinctive rumbling noise that took me a few minutes to parse out where I’d heard it before. Once the low chords of recognition had been struck, it occurred to me how deep my geekly roots grow, for the sound I most identified that truck with was this:

Sebulba’s Pod Racer.

Yes folks, you read that right - I do indeed make similes in daily life that refer to sci-fi movies. To be more exact, I construct simlies that refer to SOUND BITES from sci fi movies, which perhaps makes it worse, but, seriously, who among us hasn’t likened someone’s braying laugh to Chewbacca’s howl, or has breeped the Jetson’s space car noise from time to time to amuse small children?


Here’s the thing that’s irking me right now – I looked far and wide for a sound bite of Sebulba’s pod racer to play here, with no luck. Which leads me to ponder, why isn’t there a sound file on the interwebs that contains audio of the pulsing thrust of the twin engines of doom? Come ON, the internets contain everything else in almost the whole known universe, and not one lousy mp3 or wav file of an imaginary pod racer driven by a half-dragon who walks on this HANDS? People, please. I refuse to believe it, but I’ve simply run out of time to search, and so am relying on YOU, dear readers, to come across with that goods.

There’s a guest post in it for ya, if that turns your crank.

UPDATE! CADude has come across with the awesomee goodly goods - the whole pod race scene, complete with crashes, explosions, mayhem, and SOUND EFFECTS! Woohoo!!!!!! Thanks, Dude!

Have a great day folks. I’ve got to get back to beatin’ back the alligators.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome to Mittwoch

Wednesday is a silly name for a day of the week. Why do we even CALL it Wednesday - what does it mean?

The derivation of Wednesday, according to "," is as follows:

The name comes from the Middle English Wednes dei, which is from Old English Wēdnes dæg, meaning the day of the Germanic god Woden (Wodan) who was a god of the Anglo-Saxons in England until about the 7th century.

Sure it is, because naming days after gods is so very relevant now. We have the Romans to blame for this, you know. They started it what with the naming of days after gods who were also busy putting their names on planets and the like, and also we can blame the ancient English because those ancient forebears of our language did as the Romans did only subverted the Roman gods to ones that were more germane to the serfs, we now have a day of the week named after a German god that's been translated to Olde Englishe, then Middle English, and now Modern English, which, even with all the translating going on, turns out to be not really English at all, is it?

To make matters more confusing, Germans went and CHANGED the name of their Wednesday to make it easier for them to remember and spell! To wit:

When Sunday is taken as the first of the week, the day in the middle of each week is Wednesday. Arising from this, the German name for Wednesday has been Mittwoch (literally: "mid-week") since the 10th Century, having displaced the former name: Wodanstag ("Wodan's day").

Read it again, and please note that the Germans, who got the bizarre naming convention from the Romans, CHANGED the name of the week in the 10th century to something a little more understandable and chronologically reasonable.

The TENTH century. Even THEY thought it was too silly a name to retain a thousand years ago!

Therefore, I ask you all: Can't we please take up the challenge to re-name the hard-to-spell and nearly meaningless Wednesday to "Midweek?

Next up - my rant against the misspelling of February.


I'm not really convinced that totally vetts their information. Take this little snippet from the "Wednesday" page:

Another popular tradition in the United States is to wear a sweater vest on this mid-week business day. This has led Wednesday to be referred to as Vestday.

WTF? VEST DAY? Who an earth has vest day at the office? Popular tradition? In what part of the United States is this 'popular tradition' observed? I have never heard of Vest Day, and I've been in corporate American business since 1990, certainly a long enough span of time to have been notified of this great American tradition.

Is this something I'm missing out on? Should I have been wearing a sweater vest all this time? Or maybe just a vest - the sweater thing may have been inserted by a hopeful nerd, after all. Can it be of any material? Would a bustier serve just as well? Yeah, THAT would be a good look. I could get behind this idea, actually. People don't wear enough vests these days. Something brocade, perhaps, or tartan. A flashy bit of vestly show for the Mittwoch celebrations.

Hey now, I wonder if Wodan/Odin wore a vest? Now THAT would be a neat lil' happenstance, wouldn't it?

Hmmm.....looking at this picture of Wodan that I found on the internets, it seems that the togs he favored, while not what we modern folks would deem to be vest-al in nature, most certainly are close enough to make an argument for the connection between vest day and Wodenstag.

Ye gods! We have reached serendipity! It all makes SENSE now!

Forget "Midweek." I'm voting now to re-name this day Vestday. Won't you join me?

Have a great VestDay, y'all. Hump it like a pro.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Who decided?

Who decided that the plural wives of the polygamist sect in Texas had to wear this kind of hairstyle?

Is there some kind of rule book for "polygamy-approved 'dos" out there? How'd they get that bunch of gravity-defying heir to work out there in the front without the use of hairsprays or product, which I would assume would be too 'modern' for them to use out there on the kiddie ranch? And is there competition among those women to see who can get the highest crown roll, who can make the teeniest french braids, who can poof out their hair the most attractively?

Further, I wonder: are there different hairstyle for different harems? Does a polygamist in Utah like his ladies to COVER their flowing locks? Does a man with plural wives in Montana want them to maybe do a little bit of cow-horn style to remind themselves that they, like cattle, are chattel to be used as he sees fit, which of course most often is for birthing babies but might also be for meat?

(OK, maybe not for meat. Except his.)

And, most pointedly, how do I achieve the plural wives look, because I think it's kinda pretty, at least the Texas "big hair" sisterwife look. I've got acres of forehead that could stand to be balanced out with some high-quality cranial poofage, that much is for sure, and the braids down the back would corral the mass of hair I'm growin' back there and would make it look like I cared some little bit about styling my hair.

Case in point: this is what my hair looks like right now. I put a 4-part braid into the top half of it while I was on a TELECON this morning, and don't even have an elastic to hold the ends together. In truth, it doesn't need an elastic, because the braids stay pretty well by themselves, but leaving those ends hanging isn't exactly professional, now is it? Plus which, there's the added bonus of that loose end poking out like a dowsing rod that's gasping for moisture, and the unbrushed mess underneath that is the result of leaving the house with my hair wet and not thinking about it until I get to work.

(BTW - the picture is tinted funny. I don't really have blue hair. Not yet).

So, where do I get the primer on polygamist hairstyles? I'm pretty sure I could rock the Texas style like a homemade cradle, yo yo!


Their dresses, however, don't stand a CHANCE of making onto this hyar bod. What with all the 'secret stitching' and the undergarments and the HIGH NECK with PETER PAN COLLAR action going on, I'd be a miserable piece o' work in no time atall.

Why not just a nice abaya or jibab or salwar kameez? They look a sight more comfy. No hijab required, natch.


Oh, and the poly ladies don't cut their hair either. It's supposed to be there to wash Christ's feet after the Rapture. To which I say - Someone's going to have to convince me, because I'm pretty sure that even God wouldn't want my straw-like pilial crowning glory brushing his feets.

But maybe I could be the exfoliator. Yeah. That might work.


Y'all have a great day. I'm off to ponder more on complicated hairstyles and the possibility of being a part of the Godly pedicure in the great beyond. Wonder if he'd prefer a Pedi-Egg instead?

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Weekend, in life lesson format.

Things I learned this weekend:

Installing drywall is not as easy as it might seem to be.

Drywall dust in your eye hurts like a futhamucka.

Corner bead is very important. Using the right tool to CUT cornerbead is also important, as it helps reduce frustration to almost zero. Tin snips...SHARP tin snips, are the way to go. I don't think it matters if they're left or right handed, but I could be wrong. I'm still learning, yo.

I LIKE doing construction work, getting all drywall dusty and construction adhesive-y and a little schweaty. It’s a nice change from sitting in a cubicle all day long.

People who bring their intact males dogs to a dog park and don't physically pull the dog off when it starts humping another dog should be taken out into the streets and publicly anally probed, just to see how THEY like unwelcome advances. Also? If they’re going to behave so irresponsibly as to NOT pull their dog off and provide him some other entertainment to get his randy mind off the attractive bitch who just bounded through the gate, the least they could do is not wear their “God Squad” tee shirts to the park, because I’m pretty sure it’s not giving ye olde Christian church a great name to have the advertising adherent’s canine raping another dog while they laugh at his antics. Grrrrrrrr.

Tennis gets better the better you get at it. Imagine that. Two varieties of tennis that aren’t the “regular” version have been helping my nascent game immensely. The first is “short ball” and the second is “long ball.” Short ball is played using only the front halves of each side of the court – it teaches you finesse, and is a little less tiring than the regular tennis (lots less running around, you see). Long ball is quite possibly a new invention – you and your partner stand at opposite ends of two side-by-side courts and whack the snot out of the ball back and forth to one another. Takes the whole net issue right out of the game, and builds strength. Also, it’s hella fun to slam that ball around after the regular game launches aggravation to stratospheric heights. (Holy stratospheric HEIGHTS, Batman! the picture is real - some hotel in Dubai hosted a cupla tennis pros to play on their sky-high court back in '05. Y'all, all's I can say is you'd best have great aim and control if you're playing up there...because retriving a ball gone over the fence would be a tricky biz indeed)

Bojangles makes what is quite possibly the best sweet tea ever.

My Mom once mailed a sock to a hotel chain to illustrate to them how filthy the carpet in her room was. Heh.

The living room in the Tiny House looks WAY better with a new area rug in it than without.

Cats seem to think that new carpets are wrestling mats and lounge pads made just.for.them.

New wiper blades rock.

The Stonewood Grill serves awesome blue-cheese chips. With a balsamic vinegar reduction. SRSLY. Teh Yumz.

And, when I have the gift of focus, I can do several hours worth of workly work in 2. A shame that focus is such an elusive beast, isn’t it?

That about all the lessons I learned this weekend. What’d YOU learn?

Friday, April 18, 2008

I hate my guts

For they make noises. Not matter WHAT I feed them, they will make noises.

Loud noises.

Weasel-squeezing noises. Noises like the La Brea tar pits might make if the La Brea tar pits were going undercover as a re-breathing device from a 1960's deep-sea diving movie starring Ernest Borgnine as the lovable curmudgeonly captain who has to rescue the widowed young woman's child from a slug-like monster on a snorkling trip.

You KNOW what I'm talking about, don't you?


It's Friday. It's almost noon. It's sunny out, and warm, and I'm here in the office with a gutful of rumble, wanting to be OUT THERE, leaping, perhaps even trying out a gambol or two, experiencing the day as it's been made, not slogging away through other people's wants and needs, demands and desires.

Because seriously, what's better than a random gambol on a warm summer day, particularly when one's intestines are hell BENT on making one the object of scorn amongst their cube neighbors?

Gah! There it goes again! It's as though I've swallowed the abominable snowman, and he's growling with distinct displeasure all the way along the transverse colon...

This can't keep up. It simply canNOT. No amount of typing or sniffing or other 'cover' noises will sufficiently mask the intestinal utterances that are emanating from the abdominal region. WTH is happening in there? What NOW?



My kids were hanging out with the Grandma for the past few days. I think they each grew an inch in the interim, though the marks on the kitchen door frame tell a different tale. SOMETHING changed.

I was looking at Thing 1's legs this morning, and they're far more hairy than they were this time a few months ago. Thicker too. He's getting muscles. My baby keeps growing up.

Thing 2 is fast outstripping his brother, and will soon be taller than me.

No fair.


Y'all have a terrific weekend. It looks like I'll be working, so keep me in mind as you hike/boat/shop/nap/play, won't you? My thanks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Itsa sign, I tell ya

So....De Pope commented on my blog post yesterday, wondering when was the last time I went to confession.

De Pope! Here! In my country AND on my blog. Itsa miracle!

So, in answer, becuase when The Papa asks you a question, you'd darn well better answer, I shall say that I hate to disappoint you, Your Popeliness, but I'm not Catholic. We heathens don't DO confession. It'd be kinda sweet if we did, because being able to offload the guilt trips, say a few Hail Marys, and walk out with a soul and conscience as clear as a Proactiv patent's skin would be a terrific thing.

Nope, we Pro-test-ants like to take our guilt right to da man himself, throwing prayer into the great Out There, hoping through faith that he hears us and will answer us on the God Phone if he so chooses. Oddly enough, if he doesn't answer, that's an answer too. I know it's confusing, and it's that kind of thing that kept me out of church for a long time, because why bother praying if you don't know if no answer is the only answer you're going to get? What really would the POINT be?

So, yeah, confession would be good, but I'm not Catholic.

Which reminds me of a story.

Back in high school my best friend for a period of time was J. There were four kids in their family - all had names that began with a J. Cute, no? Anyhow, J and her family were Catholic. Their Catholicism was as fascinating to me as by friend B's Judaism - so much to explore from both angles, the why's of what they believed as interesting as the twistings of a mandelbrot set.

One night J was sleeping over at my house, and in the morning we were all going to go to church, as was the habit of my family. Happened every week, no big deal, let's go get a dose of God before the ball game comes on. So J calls her Mom in the morning and asks if she can go to church with us. Her Mom said "sure, as long as you know you'll have to go to 5 o'clock Mass this afternoon."

Why? asks J.

"Because you need to go to church, and Mass is church."

I believe there might have been some undertone of disparagement in that statement, don't you? I recall being flabbergasted that MY church wasn't REAL church, and wondered what the heck it was about Mass that was so very special that God couldn't see J at MY church and know she'd done her weekly duty. Really now! How....rude.

A few years later, J converted to Mormonism, which seems to me like an even MORE exclusive 'nearer my God to thee' kind of club. She's happy with it, and that's a good thing, but I'm not too keen on the idea that they're the only folks who think they're going to heaven when the call from above comes down that the Four Horsemen should saddle up.

Of course, I'm completely bereft of hope for eternal life if you ask a Muslim. I guess Allah can't see me, much that same way as the Catholic God couldn't see J. I'm sorry about that, really, because I was kind of looking forward to the hereafter. Ah well.


BTW - I'm convinced that there is life after death. Just thought you should know.

There's no other explanation for it, because once you've heard your dead uncle's voice in your ear, telling you he's fine, once you've seen your father in your dream as a young man working in a celestial library, once you've experienced those kinds of things you simply HAVE to believe.

Some might accuse me of being delusional, of course, and that it's my wishful thinking that created these phenomena, but when I tell you that my cousin also heard our mutual Uncle's voice, at the SAME TIME, on the SAME day as me, with the same message; and that there's no way I could ever have known that my Dad had wanted to be a librarian, then maybe you'll see why my conviction stands on more firm ground than a shaky 'want to believe it's true.'

Some things you just have to believe, without more proof than a dream and a disembodied voice. Oh yeah, there's that whole Bible thing too...


You know what? I did not start this post thinking I'd wind up here, but there you go. Sometime the paths we follow to get to an end are circuitous at best. Sometimes the end is nowhere in sight, and then BOOM! There you are. At the end.

Like this.

Have a great day people - whatever you believe.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I was wrong, imagine that.

I said yesterday that there would be more Q&A today, but no. Nope - I've gone and answered all the questions.

(and Ron? I'm not going to send you any pictures. That's between me and ETW... ;>)

So, I guess today's post will be about something else.


After a many-year delay, I've started to play my horn again. BADLY. My goodness, but the bad is rampant. The only bits of the horn's range in which I sound any good at all are the ones below middle C.

Dudes, there are two whole octaves above middle C that I suck at. This does not make me happy. The valves are clunky (even though I oiled them), I can't play a chromatic scale to help myself, and the horn just feels funny. I never thought the day would come when playing felt awkward, but it's kinda like welcoming home a lover who's been away a long time - you KNOW you like them, you just have to get used to them again.

One thing that's weird is that I can now slur like a mofo, and slurring was my weak point when I could really play. ("Slurring" refers to changing notes without changing fingering or using your tongue to start and stop. Which BOTH sound rather like naughty things to do, but you know musicians, they're a naughty naughty bunch, always with the double entendre and whatnot).

So I can slur, even when sober. Go me. I just need to find me an oompah band that needs the "pah," because right now that's about all I'm good for. Tiff - Mistress of the Pah!

(<------- Now THAT would make a great Renn Fair costume. Something along these lines, don't you think?)


Why is it that it's only when my cube neighbors are around that my stomach starts up a holler? Holy crow, my gut is making noises that are normally reserved for creaking ships! It sounds like I'm at sea in there, the lines straining against the sails, great wheel groaning against the wind....which, I think, is what's going to happen next.....the great wind.

I blame chicken saag. All that spinach has gut my intestines Popeyed out, and they're gurgling and squishing like real champs.

Oh, hey! Guess what I brought for LUNCH? That's right. More saag. It ought to be a very interesting afternoon.


Have you ever gotten to a point with your job at which you lose track of all the stuff you're supposed to be doing? When all the projects on which you're supposed to be working start swirling around, getting tangled up in each other, blurring team members and goals and timelines until you're hard pressed to remember just exactly what you DO for a living?

I'm at that point right now. It's insane, with no end in sight. If I make it through June with my sanity and job intact, it will be something of a surprise.

Throw me a pity party in the comments, won't you? And have a great day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Paper's thin, but in bulk it can kill

(for the second time in two days, Blogger did not save my edits to a post, even though I clicked on "SAVE." Do you know how frustrating this is? Gah!!!!)

Let’s move right into the questions, in an effort to keep the torrent of information flowing from my brain like a refreshing spring rainstorm, or, perhaps more correectly, like a deluge of thick muddy river water during a flash flood…

These hyar are from db grin, who di’int leave a URL like a good lil’ commenter oughtta, the steenker:

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen sparrow?

Before I can answer this question, I need to know one thing: African or European?

Would you rather be an astronaut or a figure skater?

Pros for astronaut – hella cool job, free trip to space, the gadgets!

Pros for figure skater – kinda cool job, great legs.

Cons for both – itchy outfits, long years of training, short professional lifespan.

While the thought of having great legs is enticing, I’m going to have to go with astronaut on this one, because the GADGETS! Remote-controlled robotic arms moving tons of payload around, the spacewalks, the beep-boop control panels, the fancy cameras and such! How awesome. Plus which? In zero gravity my hair would look killer-hot.

You've been invited to help colonize Mars. Do you accept?

Yes. See answer to previous question. I’m hoping that I can bring along friends and family though.

What flavor of ice cream do you wish they offered in your grocery store?

Snozzberry. I’m 30+ years into wondering what snozzberries taste like.

You've drunk an invisibility potion that works for 24 hours. What are 3 things you would do?

Oh my goodness! A dream come true!
1) strip nekkid and run around hollering batshiat crazy stuff.
2) Put my clothes back on and skulk around elementary school playgrounds and spooky old homes, just a bunch of clothes lurching around scaring the wits out of children and the easily manipulated
3) Take the clothes back OFF, and randomly kiss strangers, just to see what their reactions are.

There are so many MORE things to do when one is invisible…’s locker rooms for one, being a disruptive force in libraries for two, acting out in many obnoxious ways for three, possibly infiltrating a terrorist meeting for four, farting loudly just to piss people off for five, and so many more options. Maybe I’d even go to work, stand behind my cubemate, and let one rip right in his face. Maybe while he’s eating. Yeah, that might have to move to the TOP of the list.

This next from ll, who also did not leave his URL, but if you click on “Lord Loser” over there on the right you’ll get to his place on the web, by gum!

If you could murder someone and face absolutely no repercussions in this earthly life, would you?

I don’t think so. No repercussions in this earthly life sound fine, but it’s what comes after that I’ve got some serious concerns about. I might though be very very wicked to a very very bad person if I didn’t have to worry about any sort of punishment. Hand me any random child molester and get out of my way!

How did you get hooked on Farscape?

One word: D’Argo.

And this from Rennratt:

What be yer theme song? Do ye have more than one?

I do not have a theme song! I did not know I needed one! This now concerns me. Hmmm, maybe this would do.

Or this.

What would YOU suggest my theme song be, oh dear reader? Alternatively, what is yours? Do leave suggestions and answers in the comments, and have a great day. It’s time for me to go back to being immersed in work. Woo-hoo.

More Q n' A tomorrow, I just bet you can't wait.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Let's try this again.

So, the FIRST time I tried to write this post I had a story for you about being a witness to an almost-fistfight that happened up yonder at the Franklinton Food Lion, but now my hearts not innit to recreate the tension, the florid description, the perfectly worded flow of narrative, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that I almost saw a fight between 2 archetypical rettnecks break out in the Franklinton Food Lion.

In the spice aisle.

The things I'll do for some garam masala....


Also - it's old news now, but became more of an embarrassment as the day wore on. You see, I HAD blogged about how I squirted tuna fish samlich juice all down the front of my nice work shirt earlier today. Made some self-deprecating remarks, and that was that. You know, just a little peek into the high-glamoor of my life.

And then? An entire herd of company employees from the UK showed up at my cube door, all European and smartly dressed. "Hi there, fancy-talking colleagues! Come in and gaze at the fishy stain all down the front of my shirt which, you must know, I didn't really try that hard to wash out about an hour ago, because I wasn't planning on seeing anyone! Does it look like the Virgin Mary is in my shirt? I thought so too, and that's why I didn't wash it out! Mmm, smells like fish - now where are the damned loaves, I'm hungry!"

Nobody SAID anything, of course. Europeans are nice like that. I suspect, though, that there was a lot of 'tut-tutting' going on as they clattered away on their stylish heels.....


And then I went into the questions. Which are numerous. Oh, so numerous. Y'all are an asky bunch, you know that?

So, first on the docket are a few Qs from Tammie:

1. If you could pick two dudes to have a threesome with, who would they be?

Oh my stars! A threesome? Jeepers. And with two GUYS? Where would the extra penis go? Gosh!

OK - enough of that. I'll play along here, for the sake of complete and open honesty, and knowing full well that anything I say here is our little secret. I think I'd like to be the Tiffly filling in a George Clooney/Gene Wilder sammich. Or is that a Brad Pitt/Keenan Ivory Wayans samlich? Or would it be better perhaps to be the rich nougaty center of an Alan Rickman/Anthony Simcoe bar?

I just don't know. Feel free to suggest other combinations, but please, remember that I'm planted firmly in middle age so acrobats, gymnasts, and rodeo clowns are right out.

2. What's the first rock and roll song you remember absolutely loving as a kid?

Rockin' Robin. Also the Jeremiah was a bullfrog song. I distinctly recall telling y'all that I'm old, so if you mock me, mock LOUD, because I can't hear you over the tinnitus.

3. If you had a chance to go on a game show where you could win tons of money and prizes but there was a small change you might be chosen to take you clothes off in order to collect your prize, would you go on the show?

Yes, certainly. Nothing wrong with being naked. For money.

4. Would you rather ride a horse or a're the only one on it.

Motorcycle. Horses are crazy-insane, can't be trusted, and spook at the sound of a squirrel fart. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are fast, fierce, and fabulous. I've wanted a motorcycle since I was 16 years old. Maybe something in a nice buff color, with a few flames painted on the gas tank. Yeah - it would match my fringed leather jacket and chaps....and I'd kick my feet up on the highway pegs, give the engine some gas, and roar my way across this country, the wind in my hair, bugs in my teeth, and a smile on my sunburned face.

Hell, yes.

5. What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

The vast majority of my pleasures are guilt-free. Truly, I enjoy every single thing I DO for pleasure.

That being said, if I was to feel guilty about doing something pleasurable, I'd have to say it's my chronic preoccupation with the snooze button on the alarm clock. Doesn't matter WHAT time I set that sucker for, I'm going to hit the snooze at least twice before getting out of bed. That extra 8 minutes in the warm snugglyness of my perfect bed are worth any small amount of guilt I might feel at not being a "bounder out of bed" type person.

Did I mention that I have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm? It's the trip back across the bedroom that makes it all worthwhile.

Now, who's up next? Ah, I see Buzzardbilly clocked in with three hot topics of her own!

1. You can speak alone with any n0n-Biblical author who's ever lived. Who dat?

Eudora Welty. James Herriot. Charles Dickens. Thomas Jefferson. Ray Bradbury. All are great, but I think I'd have to (at this point) go with Terry Pratchett, because I love every word I've ever read of his books, and because he's just been diagnosed with early onset Allzheimer's Disease, and that, my friends, is a crying fucking shame. I'd like to get to him before he's not himself anymore. Heck, I'd even add him to my threesomes list, I love his stuff so much. That, and he's got nice hairy forearms....

2. You see your favorite celebrity walking inside your least favorite neighbor's house. Who is that celebrity? Why do you not like that neighbor? What do you do?

Fave celeb - Johnny Depp.

Least fave neighbor - the drunk screamer down the block.

What I do - hope like hell that JD is gon' all Jack Sparrow on that neighbor, leaving him nothing but a quivering jellypile of snot and moobs when it's all over.

3. What is your favorite flower? Why? Have you tried growing them?

I love irises. LOVE THEM. Don't really know why; they have no real connection to anything in my life except the "WANT" I felt when I saw them for the first time. Yes, I have grown them. AAMOF - I have a very robust line of them by the front walk to the Tiny House, courtesy of Kenju, and just today one of them sent up a flower stalk! EeeeEEEEEEeee!!! Yay!! I'd love to have more, but there are plans afoot for other flowers at the TH, which include

  • the white and purple pansies that already adorn both sides of the walkway leading to the front door
  • the sweet peas I'm going to plant by the back deck, in hopes that they climb the trellis and scent the air with their intoxicating sweetness
  • the daffodils and daylilies that I'm planning to 'liberate' from the unused lot next door. Some of those dafs are doubles and fringed, and I MUST have them.
  • the wisteria I'd like to plant by the front porch posts, in hopes that they'll climb up to the roofline and eventually cascade down grape-like clusters of purple flowers in the Spring.
  • the Confederate jasmine that will join the wisteria, for a shot of summer color and long-lasting greenery.

Then NEXT year, I'm turning the whole front yard into a cottage garden, with a cutting garden, an herb bed, a perennial border, and some yard art. I am also planning on finding a million dollars to get this done. Ideas on where to start digging for the treasure chest are welcome.

More Q&A tomorrow, my dears. I'm going to put this one to bed and get back to work. Smootchies to all, and to all a good night!

I don't believe it.

I just wrote a long, entertaining, and fact-filled post, full of near-fistfights, threesomes, cheating spouses, and so much more,

and blogger ate it.


FaHHHHHHHHHkitty Fahk Fahk!!!!!!

Dingblast it!

There were links andd crosslinks and honesty and questions for y'all,





I'll try again tomorrow, I guess. I've run out of time for today.

Consarn it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Things it's good to know

Thing 1) If your washing machine suddenly quits agitating?

Look to see if a little clip on the underside of the top of the machine is there. If it's not, then the plunger on the lid won't engage the spring to allow the motor to work....

I could have used that information about 60 dollars ago.

Thing 2) If your refrigerator sounds like someone's kicking from the inside out when the compressor shuts off, it's time for a new refrigerator. From what I could discern from my friendly neighborhood, and VERY Southern, appliance repair man, the springs are goin' an' it costs more to put in a new compressor than it does to just buy a whole new rig.


Thing 3) Some stuff about me, in answer to your questions! Time for some fun, boys n' gals!

(though, might I just add here that those of y'all who asked sex questions? You are dirty little perverts, and I love you all)

From Deborah: what special powers would you possess as a super heroine?

All of them. Invisibility, super strength, super flexibility, the power to shoot fire from my fingertips (and other places, should the need arise), super speed, the ability to fly, multiple orgasms, I'd take them ALL. See what happens when you don't make me quantify?

From Ron, two questions:

1. If you were to be cursed to have uncontrollable farting for the rest of your, but you could choose loud and no smell or silent but deadly, which would you pick?

Good question! Hard to answer! I'd have to go with the SBDs. It would make public restroom life so much LESS of a gamble, and would make my cubicle life ever so much more entertaining.

2. If you could only read one blog from here on out which blog would you pick?

Ack! No!!! Not fair!!


Just one? OK fine. I'll pick. No offense to all y'all out there, but I think I'd have to go with The WVSR, because it's one of the very first blogs I ever read, it's hilarious and real, Jeff puts up weird links of the day and utterly ridiculous pictures, and the comments section is chock FULL of people who leave the best comments (several of whom keep their own great blogs and ALSO comment here as well, which I find fascinating and gratifying). If you don't read it now, why on earth NOT?

Here's one from ETW: When you get that piercing we talked about, will you send me pics?

Yes. Though God only knows why you'd WANT to see them. You sick pup. Oh wait, you had them too at one point, so I guess you really ARE a sick pup. Whee!!

Let's round out today's batch of Q&A with THREE from NCP:

Tomorrow you must get a tattoo on your right ankle. What will it be of?

Already have one there. It's a celtic knotwork heart. On my LEFT ankle, if I had to get another one, would be something Germanic to honor the other half of my heritage. Maybe a sheaf of hop flowers? A knockwurst? I simply don't know.

You suspect your neighbor is growing pot in his basement (yeah, I know, we don't have basements in NC - humor me) - do you turn him in?

No. I might, though, be tempted to practice the fine and ancient art of blackmail...

Opening a package or soda in the grocery store and eating it BEFORE you pay for it. Theft? or Not Theft?

Not theft, as long as you pay for it. I'm not a huge fan of eating items that are priced by weight before leaving the store, though when the Things were little I do admit to occasionally snagging a piece of dried pineapple from the big bins for them. That, for sure, was theft, and I felt a minor pang of guilt, which I made up for by....well....doing nothing. One more black mark in the book of my life, I guess.

And there you have it. More Q&A next week, when we get to such juicy bits as "which two dudes would I have a threesome with?" If, you know, I HAD to. Choices, choices.

Have a terrific weekend y'all. It's time for me to go throw a load of laundry in the newly-fixed washer, and get back to work. Woot!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, my Dudes and Friends


You know you can put the comma in the title of this post almost anywhere in those 5 words, and it will read differently every time.

G'head. You KNOW you want to try.


My buddy Wordnerd has done me a tag, what as is a struggle for me. You see, I'm to write my epitaph/obituary/honorarium/life story in only 6 words, as described in this NPR story. Yeah, RIGHT.

The choices she wrote for herself were very very funny, and the one she wound up with was so spot on I was shocked that only 6 words told her entire story. SHE thought it was easy. SHE is a woman of few words. SHE once wrote a one-word post. SHE? Is not me.

However, because she asekd me to, nay, TAGGED me to, I shall give it the ol' college try. Someone play a fight song...

Born dumb, didn't get any smarter.

Gracious to a fault, you think.

Got better with age, thank goodness.

Ah, but I think the best one for me is THIS one:

So many words, so little time.



Also? Ron awarded me! Hooray! I got another award! My shelves are groaning under the weight of their virtual greatness, and yet I am far too lazy to put them in my sidebar, which may or may not be a ploy for y'all to feel badly for me and therfore honor me with MORE awards, but whatever. Think what you must. I'm going with 'lazy' rather than 'pathetic.'

Here then, perhaps for the only time it will appear on this blahg, is the award:

Suits me!

I quite like being thought of as Excellent, and so I gratefully accept this award in the spirit in which it was given, which of course might include blatant pandering, sly blackmail, wishful thinking, Machiavellian manipulating, far-out lunacy, overt favoritism, or a host of other motivations which here mean nothing because I'm choosing to believe it was given in the spirit of pure admiration.

I am nothing if not a wholehearted optimist, no?

Now, go ask some questions, like I told you to in the FIRST post o' the day....and I thank you.

Little kids and trains

Heh - the daycare next door is a constant source of much fun.

And screaming. Especially when the trains go by a couple of blocks away, blowing their horns through the several crossings here in town. I've done some calculations, and the approximate ratio of train whistle:screams is about 1:1,000,000,000. Little kids sure do love to scream.

I've thought about joining them. It would be great fun to holler at the top of my lungs when the trains go through, but I'm not much of a screamer and it might hurt my voice. Maybe I'll just wave my arms and jump around instead.

But first, I'll close the blinds and doors, 'cuz NOBODY needs to see this middle aged white girl having what appears to be a very ungainly seizure. I'll let you know how it all turns out.


It appears as though the washing machine has agitated its last. A sad day, both for me and for it. Are there any magic words to say over an unagitated washer that will bring it back to life?

Maybe I should poke it with a stick. That sure would agitate ME.


Today I am incapable of holding a thought for more than a moment. This does not bode well for work. It's a gorgeous day, the honeysuckle is in bloom, the birds are raising a ruckus (and some little birdlings, for it is indeed Spring), and I have a heapin' helpin' of stuff to do that does NOT involve lying in my backyard staring up through the branches of the weeping willow at the clouds.

Sad, that.

This is a perfect day to play hooky, and yet I remain fettered to the professional, bound by obligation. Being an adult sucks the big one.


Tammie and Ron and Malach have struck on a goldmine of blog fodder - the 'ask me anything' posts. I shall join them in their game, and ask you to ask ME anything atall in the comments, and I promise I will answer.

Really. Anything.

Anything at all.


With that, I bid you aloha. Time to go get bizzee.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Where I am glad to not be

I heard the neighbors arguing last night.

They live a block away, but the screaming was loud enough to be heard through their one open window. The man was very very upset; indeed, I heard him scream "I'M REALLY FUCKING ANGRY RIGHT NOW!", which indicated a certain level of anger that is not the "regular" anger of most people. I'm surprised he had voice left to scream with after that, but oh, how he did.

I heard the word "nigger" a dozen times or more. He screamed at her to SHUT THE FUCK UP each time she tried to talk. There was talk of drugs, HER drugs. She was being berated because she didn't know how to behave, because if she behaved then he wouldn't get mad like that, and if she wasn't friends with niggers, who presumably wanted the drugs she's giving out, then he wouldn't have to get so mad.

It went on for ten long minutes. Those ten minutes made me sick and quivery. I've been party to fights like that, and the memory of my reaction to them, the situations under which they took place, the tissue-thin peace that is achieved after one person gives in and just.stops.fighting, is horrible.

What's worse is that there's a little crib mobile hanging in one of the windows. Someplace in that house there's a child. A baby. A baby with a Daddy who screams racial epithets at the top of his lungs while the windows are open, a Mommy who may or may not be inviting a drug element into their home, a family dynamic that includes a father who drinks and drives (he got in his car with a beer in his hand, y'all. I know this because I took a little casual walk past their house to suss out the situation...with a friend, because I'm not dumb enough to do that kind of thing alone), with a Mom who let him back in again so that the fighting could start all over.

Poor baby. Poor people. Nobody deserves to live like that. Nobody deserves to live on the skin of a hot argument that's ready at any moment, any provocation, to bubble up and scald them with the bitterness from which it's made. NOBODY.

I feel for those people. I've been in that situation (minus the drugs, in case you were interested). It was no fun. It was, in a word, awful. I thought I had forgotten how bad it could be, until I heard the neighbors arguing last night, and I wanted to cry.


The neighborhood in which I live is a family place, a quiet place, a place where regular folks live. It's certainly not all Beemers and nannies, but just because it's NOT doesn't mean that the people in my neighborhood are any more or less prone to poor interpersonal behavior than anyone of any other socioeconomic stripe.

It can happen anywhere. To almost anyone. Put two people who are wrong for each other in close approximation for a period of time, and sometimes fireworks will explode, ripping apart the reason they got together in the first place and leaving only raw wounds behind that never fully heal. Farms, cities, town, apartments, mansions, bungalows, cottages, hovels, Victorians, all can be inhabited by unhappiness.

It's a sad fact that my neighbors will probably keep at this pattern of behavior while their child grows up, and that THIS will be the model of a happy relationship that he or she develops. Poor baby. Poor people. To be so trapped, so angry.

Recently a moving truck showed up at a house down the block from me. Only ONE person's stuff moved out. I guess they figured a way out of unhappiness, but only after the cops had been there several times. There was never any audible shouting, never any outward sign of discord, but as soon as that truck pulled away carrying one person's stuff, the cop cars stopped coming to my block.

You just never know people, I guess is what I'm saying. You just can't ever know.


Sorry for the doom and gloom, but this event has stuck with me.

Please - if you are IN a situation like this: GET OUT. If you know of someone who is in a situation like this: help them get out. They might not listen at first, but the least you can do is try.

With that, I'm out. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled idiocy tomorrow, I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Guilty pleasure.

Ah, memories...

Say what you want about Veggie Tales, they sure know how to sing a silly song!

Wench me, Dan-o!

Dudes - there was such a call for leather bustiers and general bawdiness in response to my Ren Fair costume question yesterday that I can't argue with what appears to be a quorum.

Therfore, I am now in search of a wench costume. But....which wench will it be? Beer wench? Tavern wench? Kitchen wench? Adjustable wench? Obvs the boobage will be a factor, for wenches are famous for breastal interest and ample giftage, and I pretty much fit that bill (tho there were some wenches at the Ren Fair that are far more gifted than me, poor lasses), but beyond displaying the girls in a manner to which I am NOT accustomed, what else accessorizes a wench?

Long skirts, of the voluminous variety; which is an idea I like very very much. Some kind of head garb, also an idea I'm fond of. No fairy wings - another HUGE plus.

So, I could almost put this outfit together from what's already in my CLOSET, which rocks the financial house. Just need to get me some period-appropriate shoes; a cleave-enhancing, waist-nipping kind of top thing; and some kind of hat action going on, and I'll be a wench as bawdy as they come.

Now, if all that could come in BLACK, I could be the world's first Ninja Wench, which you'll all agree I'm sure is an idea whose time has come.


Just came from 4 hours of training on how to survive the performance review process. Obviously, no news was generated THERE.


Here's a sentence I never even thought I'd one day utter: "I'm tired of hearing about the elections in Zimbabwe."

If you listen to NPR, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's like 2000 and 2004 all over again...only with someone else's country, which makes it even MORE uninteresting.


Lastly, I leave you with this, and a question: genius, or just plain creepy? Discuss, and have a fine day.

Monday, April 07, 2008

So, it's back

I am once again able to COMPOSE in Blogger. Shout Huzzah!



Speaking of Huzzah-ing, I went to my first ever Ren Faire yesterday and it was a total hoot, even with a gray chilly day on which to experience it.

Saw full-contact jousting, sword battling, a regal court, jesters, magicians, a blacksmith, a drunken Irish bard, costumed folks of all makes and models (even some wee urchins that were so adorable I wanted to take one home, because what's not to like about a curly-headed big-eyed little girl in a fleece cape? Nothing, that's what!), and drank what I believe is my first mead.

Mmmm, mead.

Also had ye olde "Bloomin Onion" and "Cheesesteake Sammiche" as sustenance, and topped it off with that famous Renaissance dessert "Frozen Cheesecake Dipped in Chocolate." Huzzah!

Purchased a pair of lovely silver knotwerke earrings, a cupla daggers, and a traditional "Sonnkatcher" for the front porch, because nothing screams Renaissance like a metal do-dad with the sun and moon on it, right? I'm all about sticking with the traditional.

Items NOT purchased: A Utilikilt, handmade leather moccasins, a leather pirate hat, my fortune, runic jewelry, a second cup of mead, and a three-headed dragon puppet.

Much much fun. Next time? I'm going in costume. Anyone care to make suggestions about what my personna should be? One restriction: I'm NOT wearing fairy wings.....EVER.


Thanks to all for the kind words and warm thoughts on yesterday's post. Y'all rock.


Is it wrong of me to complain about all the precipitation we're getting in NC these days? It seems like ages since we've seen the sun. The reservoir is almost at 90% capacity, which is good, but it'll take until it's totally FULL to lift all the water restrictions that have been put into place.

I'm thinking it would be a good idea to never lift some of the restrictions, being as how a few zillion people are making this state their new home state every year. Hey, I can't blame them, being as how I'm an import too! It's my opinion that we should probably be practicing more robust water conservation as a matter of routine, and not go all "yay! the reservoir's full! Let's turn on the fire hydrants and dance naked in the spray!"

Not that I'm AGAINST naked dancing, mind you, simply that maybe it could be done under a sprinkler instead of a rushing torrent of irresponsibility.


And with that, I'm outta here. Have yerselfs a great one! Huzzah!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad would have been 76 years old today.

He never made it to 60, and I think that the world is a poorer place for it.

I thought that by now I'd be over the loss of him, but if I allow myself to dwell too long on the empty place he left I start to fill it with my tears. There is no way to cover over the deficit with time; it's just not possible. While we all move on from great loss, from great pain, there will always remain a lingering shadow of the brilliant crashing hurt that was, and if you peek under the corner of the shadow you risk being inundated with vibrant, exquisite pain once again.

I'm an expert non-lifter of shadows. I let them lie, most of the time.

But today it's my Dad's birthday, and I let myself miss him. I lift the veil, break the surface to peer into the hole he's left in my life, and shout my sorrow into the emptiness.

I miss you Dad. You left us too soon. When we see one another again, I'll wrap my arms around you like I did the very last time I saw you, and tell you I love you. As if you didn't already know. Then I'll tell you about the grandchildren you never met, about the parts of my life you weren't here to take part in, about the way the world has changed. We'll sit around with a Manhattan and some pepperoni and cheese, just like the Saturday afternoons I remember so fondly, and we'll talk, make up songs, tell jokes, be goofy and introspective by turns. I'll look into your blue eyes, so much mine, and smile.

Happy Birthday Dad. Happy non-number 76.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I can FIX things!

Remember that lil' issue I've been struggling with in regards to not being able to format my posts in Blogger while I'm at work, because for some reason there's a setting on my interwebs securities that now won't let me switch to the non-HTML page?

Well, I am happy to report that I beat it.

How? I edited the template! Go me! While I'm busy patting myself on the back for this momentous happenstance, feel free to snicker behind your back at the way very small things can totally make my day.


Pregnant man tells Oprah: It's a miracle

Yes, reproduction IS a miracle, if you think about it. You take a ripe ovum, introduce it to a sperm, and if the stars align you get conception. Two sources of DNA that combine and recombine and start the cellular machinery that in time can become an embryo, then a fetus, then a baby, then a person, why, that's pretty daggone miraculous.

What I don't consider to be miraculous is that someone who had their boobs removed and who was on testosterone to help them self-identify with their chosen gender (and I applaud the strength it takes to do this, it should be noted) can go OFF hormones, restart their female cycles, and conceive. The girl goo and the boy goo doing their miraculous recombination is something to behold, but just because you LOOK like a boy and are pregnant doesn't make it a miracle.

Or am I being too harsh here?


More contraception choices for women 40 and over

In which the Pill, IUDs, and a "nonsurgical method of tube tying" are mentioned.

Like shoes, coffees, and hairstyles, women now have more choices in contraception. Guess the guys still have to stick with rubbers or the snip. Poor them.

Oh, and ladies? I totally recommend the IUD. Just about the best 600 bucks I ever spent.


Let's see, we've had talk of pregnant men and contraception - looks like we've got a theme going here! It's SEX! Woohoo, SEX!

When I was 14 years old and in confirmation class at church (the bottom line of which, or so it seemed, was to make you a member of the church so that they could send you your first box of tithe envelopes...."welcome to the church, now give us your money") the minister who was our teacher talked with us about ess-ee-ecks.


He was very forthright about it, saying that sex was wonderful and fun and beautiful, but that it really should only be between people who are in love and committed to one another. At least I THINK that's what he said, because I stopped listening after the word 'sex' was uttered the first time. "Sex? Holy crow dude, I just want a boy to LOOK at me, maybe to hold my hand! What's this SEX stuff about?" I was maybe a little slow on the uptake. Even though by that time I'd discovered the joys, I was not ready to imagine a time when I'd actually engage in sexual activity with a boy, so the talk of it actually being fun and wonderful was a show-stopper.

To this day, that's the one thing about confirmation class that truly stands out for me.

Maybe that's why at one time I thought it might be a good idea to become a minister.

Do I hear laughter? DO I? Come on, I would make a GREAT minister! If it involves talking with people and listening to them and helping them solve their problems and having cake and coffee at your parishoners houses on a regular basis, what's not to like?

(And shut up right now with your talk of poverty and exhaustion and stress, for I shan't have that sullying my vision of me as a minister, shining slightly in my beatitudinal persona, serving my flock with a calming demeanor that draws people to me and the church like moths to a pure flame of truth. In this vision I am a stunning model of ministerial bliss, untouched by the real-life woes of those who actually SERVE as pastors, priests, and ministers. It's my dream, you people leave it alone!)

Except, I never became a minister. Something about the whole denomination and theology angle put me right off it. I didn't want someone to TELL me how to interpret the Bible. I didn't want some doctrinal rules harshing my blissful buzz. I didn't want to have to behave a certain way or have to say certain words or have to kowtow to the bigger political realms that are extant in every established official denomination.

Which, perhaps, is why I stopped going to church. It just didn't ring true for me anymore. Too many rules. Too much infighting.

Plus which, by the time I could have gone to seminary, I'd discovered boys, and figured out what the confirmation coach was talking about, and that was sin, and sin was FUN, and a minister who liked doing the fun sinful things prolly wouldn't be that great a minister anyhow, so I became scientist, because as we all know scientists can be as amoral as they want as long as the lab data turn out.

Maybe once I'm retired and all sinned out I'll revisit that minister thing. The free cake and coffee still sounds like a good idea.


With that, I wish you a good day and a wonderful weekend, my internetly friends. All good things to you and yours, even the widdle dogginses and kittehs and whatever non-human beings inhabit your sphere of care and influence.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A, 2, c, IV

I cannot tell you how much fun this is to play with. You'll just have to go find out for yourself. Yes, I stole it from Tracy Lynn, what of it?


It's apparent that something's gone pear-shaped on this daggone work computer. I am no longer able to format text within Blogger (though I can when I log in from home and circumvent the proxy), and it's peeing me off something ferocious. I LIKE my TNR, won't someone please help me bring it back?

Oh, sure, I could go to old posts, figure out the HTML, and paste it in here, of COURSE I could, but I want a workaround and I want it now. I'm about to go all Veruca Salt over here, with the foot stomping and the singing of bean feasts and whatnot.

(Snozzberries? There's no such thing as snozzberries!)


Saw a license plate yesterday that read


Ya think someone's a wee tad proud of themselves? Jeez.


Disjointed is the word for today. This post is only one manifestation thereof.

I got up early-ish this morning to finish up a work project in order to have it to a vendor by SOB (that's 'start of business,' y'all). To do this I need to fire up the ol' computer, connect to the work servers through a VPN connection, then access the shared drives. This action typically slows any exchange of information down to dial-up speeds, but I can live with that because I don't have to go into the office at oh-dark-thirty and therefore life is very good indeed.


Except that once I got the work done, the files zipped, the checklists generated, and the e-mail drafted, the computer decided it was going to hate all over my anxious self by putting up the little egg timer of doom for what seemed like an eternity.

Which it turned out to be. Twice.

The frigging thing was in full stall mode. I checked the CNTRL+ALT+DEL and saw that the e-mail program wasn't working. Damn! So, after the second stall, with time running away from me like a loose orangutan in a zoo, I turned off the computer, took the Things to camp (the SOB having slipped by in the space of time it took me to get halfway to full-on frustrated), came back, started up again, logged into the VPN and servers again, formulated yet another brills email (the first two having been lost to the ether once the egg timer started counting down toward...nothing), divided the zip file in two just in case the first one was too big to send, attached just ONE of them to the newly brills message, pushed "send," and prepared to exult.

It would be at this point that you can tell the story for me if you guess that I got the egg timer again...

Once that frigging hourglass (might as well call it that by this point!) appeared for the third strike, I admitted defeat and started to download the zip files onto our shared drive. 10 MB took 10 minutes to upload. Gah! Once that process completed (during which time it is entirely possible to eat a bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran), I called my boss to explain my predicament and beg him to send the files to the vendor, which, thank goodness, he did, and even apologized to me for having to deal with the issue at all.

(Have I mentioned that I totally love my new-ish boss? Really - apologizing would be the furthest thing from some of my former bosses'd I got so frigging LUCKY???)

The upshot of all that starting and stopping meant that it was 11 a.m. before I got to work, at which time I had a training session to go attend, during which time I proofed the document one more time, sent it to the review team, communicated with the vendor on further needs, drafted a review notice for another project, and half-listened to the training via telecon.

(and THIS was the year I was to do one thing at a time.)

I'm shocked that it's already almost 12:30, people. This workly shizz is cutting into my blog reading time!


With that, I bid you adieu. Here's hoping your day is nothing by smoooooth sailing, all the way to home.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Proud moments in parenting

Today, I am a mommyblogger.


See, the Things are out on trackout this week and the next two weeks, and I scrambled to find them a place to hang out this week while they're with me. Well, if by SCRAMBLED one means to "go online and see if there's anything left for them to do during this week of trackout, with an eye toward value, convenience, and the right hours of daytime coverage to ensure I could still show up at work for a reasonable period of time every day while secretly wishing I had enough vacation time to just take the week OFF, which I do not, so camp it is for them."

I'm all about the high-quality decision making, ain't I?

A half-hour of scrambling found me a local sports camp, which runs year-round programs, has the right hours of coverage, and wouldn't tear me apart limb from limb in an effort to get to my pocketbook.

Sweet relief, of the 400 bucks a week sort. (Listen, 400 clams a week for both Things is cheap compared with what I COULD be paying for other "theme" camps. Horseback riding camp? 500 a week, PER KID. YMCA camp that they've been to and didn't like? 250 a week, PER KID. This shit is expensive, y'all!) I thought I was so smart.

In the back of my mind, though, there was the niggling little thought that maybe sports camp might not be the BEST place to send them, because let's face it, the Things aren't exactly your typical sports-addled kids. No, as a matter of fact, they're about as far from sports-addled as a young boy can get without being comatose. But still - sports camp! It'll be fun! Basketball, ice skating, indoor soccer, batting cages! A kid heaven, right?

Well, to let you know just how much they love sports camp, let me quote something Thing 1 said when I picked them up from Day 1 of the Ultra-Faboo Sports Camp:

"Mom? Just one thing. I hate this place."


Not so much kid heaven, I suppose.

After they discerned that I'd already PAID for sports camp, and that any refunds just because they hated the place were probably going to be few and far between, they allowed as to how they could "endure" sports camp until the end of the week.

Yep - that's just EXACTLY the kind of high-quality trackout experience I want for my kids. Not. Cripes, I might as well have just locked them in the house with their Xbox and saved myself the 400 bucks.


Yesterday was a different story, for they went to a place in the sports complex that has indoor bounce-houses, and they proudly told me that "they broke every one of the rules! There were 11 of them and we broke them ALL!" and thus sports camp has ceased to be hated.

Today is cookie decorating day at sports camp. Who wants to bet that this, therefore, will be the Things' best day there yet?


Next trackout they're going back to computer camp. Robots trump the batting cages any day.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wordsmiths for March

So here it is, edited and with a dab of polish added for good measure. Did the rework make it better or worse?

Lies You Should Believe

The first lie she told me was about what awaits at the end of a rainbow. She told me my Da was a dreamer, that his addled drunk mind made up stories of faeries and pots of gold to fool himself into thinking his dumb luck would save him one day. Her face under the wimple was pinched, her breath smelled of naptha. She asked God to help me rid myself of foolishness and dreams, her hands trembled against the beads as a false tear slid down her doughy cheek.

But my Da had never lied to me, and so I hated her.

God help her, I thought, that she didn’t know the ways of wise folk, the twitching of the spines of magickal ones, that she couldn’t see beyond the convent walls to the other sparkling worlds created by her God. Her loss that she didn’t believe there was a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, not mine.

I knew the pot was there because Da had told me. He’d told me that the gold waited just beyond the horizon of the unbelievers, the weak, and faithless. He told me that any simple carnyman herding a Ferris Wheel could tell you the same, that the gold was waiting at the end of the rainbow, slick and wet with sundew, a small watchman guarding it against the ignorant or wicked.

The gold waited there as sure as a strong breeze would come after a hot spell. My Da, a carny for life, said it was as sure as the great Wheel would stop at the top of the sky for each car in its turn, canting against gravity, throwing fate together with fortune and, if you were lucky, a willing seatmate.

My Da knew. He told me. He tried to tell her too, but she is a nun, and nuns can’t be trusted with one single bit of secret. Their tongues wag even when there’s nothing to say, genuflecting against teeth with threats and gossip.

My Da didn’t tell her the secret, though he did tell me after Ma passed on. He told me the secret so simple that a dullard could have dreamt it during an afternoon’s nap. That nun would never have believed it.

Her first big lie was only the start, but it’s what sent me to packing. Now, I’m leaving. When I drop to the ground outside this window, when she finds the spoons I used to dig through this convent’s wall, when I hear her wails of anger come from under her hot bleak cape, it’ll be her day to rue, not mine.

Sure, the secret itself is simple if you believe it to be true. The dicey bit is first deciding which end of any rainbow is the start, and which is the beginning. The big secret is that what’s the middle is what makes the riches. It’s the journey, not the end, that makes the search worthwhile.

This is for the Pharter.

Think I oughtta send it to him at work?

Manohman, how I'd like to.


More later. Just HAD to get this in before I left home. Heh.