Wednesday, December 21, 2005
by Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times, December 16,2005)
THE WHOS down in Who-ville
Were a tolerant lot:
Who Christians, Who Muslims — a Who melting pot.
Who Hindus! Who atheists! Who Buddhists, Who Jews!
Who Confucians, Who pagans,
And even Who Druze! The Who 1st Amendment's Establishment Clause
Said, "No creches in courts," and the Whos loved their laws.
Because somehow … they worked. The Whos rarely fought,
Mostly, each Who did just what he ought.
Every Who down in Who-ville
Loved the Consti-Who-tion a lot.
But the O'Reilly, who lived up in Fox-ville,
The O'Reilly DETESTED the Who Consti-Who-tion,
He thought it was some sort of liberal pollution.
Now, please don't ask why, for I really don't know.
Perhaps it had something to do with his show.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
Or it could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his RATINGS
Were two sizes too small.
Well, whatever it was, bad ratings or tight shoes,
He stood there one Christmas, just hating the Whos.
"They're so multicultural," he sneered, "and wherever they're from,
They lack the good sense to just launch a pogrom!
There's no Who ethnic cleansing, no Who Inquisition,
If this PEACE can't be stopped, I may lose my position.
Those sensitive, tolerant Whos! It's quite grating.
I must think of something to fix my show's ratings!"
Then he said with a smirk, "I know just what to do
To destroy all the joy in the land of the Who!
I think I can end that PC Who peace.
This year, not one Who will enjoy his Roast Beast!
"Here's just how I'll do it:
I'll tell each Who Christian
That the liberal Whos have devised a new mission
To take away Christmas!
To mock and destroy
Till no little Who Christian is left with a toy!
And when secular Whos — most likely Who Jews —
Attempt to deny it? Why,
I'll just SPIN THE NEWS!
"I'll bluff and I'll lie; I'll sow seeds of mistrust.
Soon they'll form battle lines into
Who 'THEM' and Who 'US,'
Based on which Whos prefer
To sing out, 'Merry Christmas'
And which Whos say, 'Kwanzaa!'
Or 'None of your business!'
"They'll get so confused and so MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD
That they won't even notice the way
They've been HAD!
They'll be so busy squabbling
They won't notice the war!
They won't care if Who rich
Start to trample Who poor!
"Forget torture, and terror, and taxes, and health!
They'll waste all their time on some red-hatted elf.
"And the Who Consti-Who-tion?
They'll stretch it or burn it!
If it came as a gift, they would try to return it!
"The Who Christians will think that they fight the good fight,
They won't know that they're puppets of the Fox-ville Far Right.
They'll forget all that DRIVEL about faith, hope and LOVE
And say 'Merry Christmas' with a sneer and a shove.
"But I? I will prosper! My ratings will soar,
And maybe at last they'll forget I'm a BOOR.
Then for every Who Christmas tree
A most fitting adornament:
My O'Reilly MUG on the tackiest ornament!"
… And what happened then?
Well, the rest's up to you.
But I know what I'd like this holiday season:
A little less NOISE and a little more reason.
So Who Christians! Who Buddhists! Who Muslims! Who Jews!
WHOever you are, just say NO to Fox "News!"
If you don't want to lose the whole Who Consti-Who-tion
It's time to reject the Far Right Revolution.
So turn off O'Reilly and everyone shrill,
Let's have some peace
And old-fashioned GOODWILL.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I fear, deeply DEEPLY fear for our future. There was a time when logical scientific analysis was a point of pride. Now it is fraught with suspicion. When the basic concept of scientific theory...the very definition of it... cannot be explained to the religious whackjobs who get themselves elected to school boards, we are quickly tumbling down that slippery slope.
They simply can NOT...seemingly physical unable.... to comprehend that a scientific theory is, indeed, a fact. It is not a theory as in "Theoretically, school board members should be well educated." Or as in "Theoretically, philosophy and world religions would not be taught in science class." Or as in "My theory of the way the world began is rooted deeply in the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."
If you want the full text of the ruling, click here and see the "related links" in the sidebar.
And may you be touched by His Noodly Appendage this holiday season.
1 HOUR AGO: Trudging through the old CM junk so I can make 'workroom' a 'guest room'
1 DAY AGO: Working on Christmas gifts
1 WEEK AGO: Working on Christmas gifts
1 MONTH AGO: Thanksgiving Sunday at church, probably working on Christmas gifts
1 YEAR AGO: Not much different than this year
1 DECADE AGO: Spending all day every day at the hospital with Emma who had RSV and spent the week before her first Christmas in the hospital hooked up to Oxygen.
1 SCORE AGO (minus one cause it's more interesting): in college. Just broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years. Moving into a new apartment and thinking that guy that helped us move had potential....Jennifer said I should ask him out. She thought he would be perfect for me. Funny how I thought the same about HER husband.... We must know each other or something.
1 QUARTER CENTURY AGO: Freshman in high school. Finished with my first marching season. Thought I was all that. And I know this because the current high school freshman in the house thinks she is all that......
Saturday, December 17, 2005
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Vote your hopes. Not your fears.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Too ambitious on my to do list. Did NOT volunteer to host part of the neighborhood progressive dinner. Yay me.
Busy busy busy.
I think the bug guy comes on Friday. Gives me a deadline to get upstairs bug spray ready. Ugh.
Not sure when visitors arrive so have been unable to get motivated to convert workroom to guest room. Once I get that.....
Busy busy busy.
Lots of things to 'attend'. Don't wanna attend all of them. Some, yes. Not all. Feel obligated. Hmph.
Busy busy busy.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Emma informed me a few weeks back that she did NOT want to go sit on Santa's lap. I figured she was feeling kinda too big for all that. I don't know if she's told Dad yet. Cause Christmas Eve these past few years saw them getting up and being the first in line for Santa at the mall.
But I could tell she was a tad bit worried about word getting to Santa about what she wanted. Mind you, The Material Girl has a long list and I don't think anything is under $100. Most of it is some over priced electronic gadget, heavily advertised on The Disney Channel and Nick. They sound all sorts of wonderful, but really.... not so much. Like some "pen" that remembers what you write or some such thing. As long as you use the very expensive special paper. Always the catch.....
As materialistic the child is, she is also clever...in that conniving kind of way. She shall just WRITE to Santa this year. She asked me for Santa's address...without telling me about the letter. I just said "North Pole".
One morning she came down and asked for a stamp. She had a letter to Santa to mail. It was a piece of binder paper, folded over and stapled. It was duly addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. It had her return address. I gave her a stamp after scoping out her letter. I said something to the effect that "Santa is gonna send us a BILL for all this stuff". She says... I told him to just pick ONE.
I was (and still am) skeptical. But ok......
It was stamped and put in the mailbox to go off to........ the North Pole.
Because TODAY a return letter arrived. Return address: Santa Claus, North Pole. Hand addressed in red ink. The handwriting reminded me of my grandmother's script.
Inside was a letter addressed to "My little friend". It told of how busy it had been at the North Pole and that they are going to be ready for Christmas. It said how he had been checking on all the boys and girls and that they were doing their best to be good. It was signed by Santa HIMSELF!
Emma says: "I didn't think he would REALLY get my letter!"
Yes, Emma.... There is a Santa Claus.
Friday, December 02, 2005
"What are they doing with those CD's?"
A while back, there was a campaign to send all those AOL CD's that arrive, unbidden, in your mailbox either BACK to AOL or to some group who was going to then dump them on AOL headquarter's front step.
Leave it to the IOC to put them to better use.
I've seen a real live, honest to goodness Olympic medal. It belonged (well, still belongs) to Dana Schoenfield. Dana was the youth group leader when I was in High School. Silver in the 200m breaststroke. You probably have never heard of her because you were either focused on her teammate, Mark Spitz, or the terrorists that killed the Israeli athletes. But that Olympic medal looked like an Olympic medal. Felt like one too.
It remembers the Greek heritage of the Olympic Games. It's SOLID. According to Sports Illustrated the hole in the middle is supposed to represent the open space of an Italian piazza.
I thought this was about the athletes. I thought this was about the games. My error. It's about SITTING AROUND IN THE CITY SQUARE.
But of course.
So having a computer disk as a medal is appropriate. Sit around on your butt is the new message of the Olympic games.
So here's something for my Christmas letter this year.
I am an Olympic caliber athelete. Who knew? But I can SO sit around on my ass with the best of them......
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Today I cracked myself up. I stated the obvious. It seemed a natural response in the situation.
Seems I made others laugh out loud too.
Sonic out the window.
And it will ALWAYS be "Pull the van over, I gotta PEE!" kind of funny. Even when we are wearing Depends for non-surgical reasons, we'll still be laughing.
Just won't need to pull the van over....
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."
"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Knitting has given me some more opportunities for completion satisfaction. But I DO have several projects still on the needles. Most of them are far from completion. One has just ONE MORE THING to do.... before I felt it.
Most of them are just a matter of sitting down and getting them done.
Such was the case for The Clapotis.
I started it back in September (I think) when it was the Knit Along for the month at Knitique. I was highly skeptical of my ability to tackle this project. The pattern looked very complicated. I was also hesitant to spend $20/skein on silk. Knowing I needed 5 skeins, especially. I contemplated other fiber choices but kept returning to two shades of Art Yarns silk. I decided that spending that kind of money on this project would help drive me to actually start AND finish it.
I copied the pattern into a Word doc for myself and broke it down so I could keep track of the rows and made it easy for me to read it (increased the font size considerably!). There are yahoo! groups with Excel spreadsheets to track the rows, but they didn't work for me. My funny little system of X's and highlighting did the trick.
Then I got a wild hair that I would wear this as a wrap to a party we go to every year. It is a formal affair. I have myriad black dresses and always have the urge to find something with color for a change. Well, this would be my color. This would be my new dress...so to speak. I would just take one of the black dresses and add a colorful silk wrap.
After much internal debate I chose a purple color.... It matches my tanzanite ring, actually. I still really really like the steely blue color. I may have to use that for something else....
After a couple of late nights, I finished it. The first late night was courtesy of a significant nap Thanksgiving afternoon. I just wasn't tired so I kept knitting. The second one was due to the fact that I could see the end. Just. A. Few. More. Rows.
And now, it is done. I used it as a scarf today. Cold has come to the valley today. It was warm on Thursday, rainy on Friday and today the cold wind blew. But my silk scarf kept me nice and toasty. I think I need to take my leftover silk (I only used 3.75 skeins) and make some gloves to keep my hands warm too!
Anyway.... Here it is.
And for detail:
It isn't nearly as difficult as it looks. Looking at either the pattern or the completed project. Just keep track of what row you are on and you'll be fine.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Unlike Oprah, I will not be giving one of each item to every member of the audience. Because, unlike Oprah, my income level is closer to the "average American income". I'd love to gift it all to you....but I cannot.
Yep. My Little Yellow Beetle. I will probably be getting another one next year. It's become kinda like a signature. A friend said he was waving at me in my Little Yellow Beetle only to find it wasn't me. But he still waves at Little Yellow Beetles anyway. I think I've been the one maybe twice. But it's zippy. I can get into tight parking spots. It has a great sound system. And for the driver, it's great for long drives. Not so great for backseat passengers. But this is all about me today.
The next thing kinda goes with the first thing. Revolutionary when first introduced. Unique in styling. Visually striking. And I'll get another one some day.....
I have plenty of room left on my iPod. But it will be like so many of these things, I will just NEED to upgrade after a time. This isn't mine. Mine has buttons instead of a click wheel. No graphics. But the tunes are on board and sound great coming out! My selections are eclectic. Aerosmith. Frank Sinatra. Hoobastank. Uncle Kracker. Culture Club. Arlo Guthrie. Tennessee Ernie Ford. Coldplay. Green Day. Beatles. Monkees. Bobby Darin. Cher. You just never know what you're going to get when it's on Random Shuffle. Although I SWEAR it has a pattern. Yesterday it was heavy on the Elton John. A few weeks ago, it was all 80's all the time. Apple swears it is indeed random. I guess the machine sees it as random, but the human sees the patterns.
When I'm roadtripping in my Little Yellow Beetle with my iPod on the sound system, I've usually stopped for a Large NonFat Mocha at about 120 degrees (immediately drinkable temperature). No. Starbucks isn't better. It's DIFFERENT. But not better. And it's significantly more expensive. By about 50%. And Starbucks doesn't have punch cards. Java City does. I get my Large 120 degree NonFat Mocha at my next favorite thing:
Bel Air is the grocery store around the corner from my house. Good and bad in that. It means I rarely do "big grocery shopping" and so we will run out of stuff like paper towels or vegetable oil because it isn't part of "tonight's dinner". But we've been able to manage anyway. It's good because I totally suck at planning for dinner. I can also send a kid over with a signed check (made out to Bel Air) and they can pick up a few necessities. Bad because a $3 cup of coffee is SO very close and easy to get.
Which leads me to my next favorite thing. My favorite charity. Raley's/Bel Air/Nob Hill Foods administer Food for Families. This allows all donated funds go to local food banks. All money donated to Food for Families here in town goes directly to our local Food Bank. I asked a friend who serves on the board for the Food Bank if I should donate food or cash. He said cash. Because the money taken in is used to purchase from Raley's/Bel Air at their cost. So they can take my $10 and buy more at wholesale than I can at retail. I also love that my children will drop coins in the collection box when we check out. But I'm big on charities that spend very little of donated money on administrative costs. Since Raley's/Bel Air underwrites that part of charity work, all donated money goes directly to feed the hungry. Moves it right up my list of "favorite charities" that way!
Since we're talking stores, my next favorite thing is another favorite store. I don't buy food there, so this isn't a repeat. But Emma calls Target "the best store in the whole world" for the simply fact that you can get whatever you want there. Clothes. Toys. Video Games. Decorating things. She supposes you could get books there if you were really so inclined. But she isn't so that doesn't matter so much.
When at Target I often pick up the next two favorite things. I am a Real Coke girl. None of that diet junk. Ick. Diet Coke is New Coke, with artificial sweetner. Ick. Ick. Ick. I'll have a Cherry Coke on occasion. I keep a stash of Caffiene-Free Coke for those evening cravings. But otherwise, it is Coca-Cola Classic. And when it comes to bottled water, Dansani is my favorite. It really does taste the best. Mostly I drink filtered water out of the door of the fridge. But if I go in and buy a bottle? It will be Dasani. Bottled by Coca-Cola. Coincidence?? Hmmm....
I suppose it's no coincidence that my favorite theme serves my favorite beverage. But that's not why it's my favorite theme park. It's my favorite because it is the best. Sure...there are newer ones and bigger ones. But this one is the best because it is the original. You can do it very very well in a week. No need to pick and choose what to see and what will have to be skipped. You can eat in all the restaurants you want to try. You can go on all the rides you want and go back again. It might be smaller than the other one in Florida, but it's cozier too. Florida might have been Walt's dream. But Anaheim was Walt's baby. It's where I went as a child still in a stroller. It's where I was able to stretch my wings as a pre-teen when a mom would drop us off and another mom would pick us up. It was the Best-Job-Ever-T0-Put-On-A-Resume. As any former cast member can attest... once they see "Disneyland" on your resume, they just want to know about working there. They forget about asking about the job you're interviewing for and just want to know about behind the scenes at Disneyland. I've always gotten the job after talking about my tenure at Disneyland.
A new favorite thing are these shoes. I blame Elaine and Sue. They promised the single most comfortable pair of shoes EVER. I'm starting to believe them. These puppies are HEAVY. My legs protested lugging around the extra weight for a few days. But they ARE comfortable. No toe pinch. I sincerely believe I will need another pair. Mine are the 'sport' version of the Professional Clog. Oiled brown leather. They go with a surprising large number of things. I try to wear them whenever possible to my next favorite thing. I work there so I am on my feet all day. I have become a better knitter in a very short period of time by working here. I have been challenged by my boss and co-workers to push my comfort zone and learn new skills. If not for the shop, I'd still be cranking out scarves. I would have declared the Clapotis far beyond my skills. And now it's looking like I might just finish it!
I keep my current knitting projects in one of the mulitude of this favorite thing that I have scattered around the house. They are way over priced, but I like the clean lines and how they all go together. Not only do I use the Cake basket for my knitting, but I use very nearly every single one of my baskets. They are sometimes repurposed and occasionally are set aside for a while. But all are used. I have a basket in use in every room of the house, except the laundry room and maybe Normy's office. But I'm sure once we get his office 'done' it will have a basket in use. I don't aquire them at the rate I once did, but every now and again, another one comes along. These Market baskets are going to be discontinued in January so says the website. Too bad.... handy multipurpose things they are. Hopefully something similar will take their place. And now that we have about a million and a half remote controls, we are looking at getting the TV basket. For the remotes. Because it will go with the rest of them.
I have no gift certificates or samples to hand out. But these are a few of my favorite things. Feel free to give them a try too!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
One of the cohorts in this evil doing is now wanting to have a blog...but have it password protected. Blogger does not offer that feature. Other evil-doers have congratulated her on her cleverness of having a password protected blog.
Right. Because no one ever gives out secret information on the internet. Because everything is completely secure on the internet.
I don't want a password protected blog. It annoys me to no end that one can not randomly come upon my blog. I happen upon some pretty darn clever blogs when I "go to next blog". Some of them are in Japanese...so I move right along.
I know why the Trifecta of Malevolence (TOM, the anti-BOB) wants to be password protected. Because they EXPECT pathetic behavior. It's like the husband who suspects his wife of cheating everytime she leaves the house....because HE is cheating every time HE leaves the house. They expect their words to be used as weapons against them because they participate in that very behavior. They are morally bankrupt and cannot imagine how it would be to live in a world where good will is the main currancy.
Terribly sad for them and their lives.
And I refuse to be a part of their miserable world. If they wish to spend their time refreshing 40-odd times, whatever. If they wish to copy and paste my words elsewhere, whatever. If they wish to consume their time with me, whatever. The profess, and do so loudly, they I am nothing to them. And they'll tell you. Repeatedly. Faster than you can get a word in, they will tell you. Again.
But I'm not going to hide. I have done nothing that I am ashamed of. Am I sorry feelings were hurt? Surely. Absolutely. But when you eavesdrop on other people's conversations, don't be shocked at what you hear. The Trifecta have said mean things about people they live with and work with every day. I recall a particularly mean family inside joke told by one. I am sure she would be utterly MORTIFIED if that child's parents found out how she and her children made fun. But they didn't. Because no one sent her words to those parents. I realize that I run the risk of hurting feelings when I post here. I endeavor to never use names. Perhaps you see yourself here. Perhaps you see someone else here. But really, Sue. It isn't always about you! ;)
There will be those who will take any comment...no matter how innocuous and twist it around. I can't help that. There will be those who read here who I wish did not. I know who does and am sensitive to that.
But I also know that there are those who are just spoiling for a fight. I can make a comment about the color of the sky and someone will take it as a personal attack and rip into me about it. It will then be my fault for pointing out that once again, a perfectly reasonable conversation has gone to hell in a handbasket due to one person.
I'm getting to the point where I am pretty much over the whole thing. While I want people to like me, I don't care if they don't. Plenty do. I may be close to zero in my checking account, but I am wealthy in friends. Those I call "best friends" are in every sense of the word. Quick to pick me up. Ready to give me the hard truth. Easy to make me laugh. (sorry dude....) I really do not need to concern myself with the rest of them.
So if you have a link to my blog on your blog.... feel free to update it. If the Trifecta of Malevolence find me again... whatever. If you feel compelled to pass along this address (or this entry) to them... whatever.
But know this. At one time, we were friends. At one time, I would have counted one of them as part of those best friends. She turned on me for reasons unknown. She will turn on you. So watch your step. It went from "oh...wouldn't it be great to do this for a friend" to...well, to whatever you want to call this, within days. Overnight almost. So....you have been warned.
I don't run scared. I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't give in to them either. My blog is back open. The terrorists don't win here either.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
From our Bishop:
November 3, 2005
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I greet you in the loving name of Jesus.
I write to you from the Council of Bishops, who are meeting at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, October 30 – November 4, 2005. In response to the Judicial Council Decision #1032, the Council of Bishops has prayerfully written a pastoral letter to the Church. I support this letter wholeheartedly and want you to know my personal thoughts as well.
Many of you are in great pain, especially our church members and constituents who are gay, lesbian, trans-gendered and bisexual. As United Methodists we believe that Christ invites all persons to His church and His table without reservation or barrier. Sincere faith and a desire to seek and know Christ are the only criteria. As one who has known exclusion because of race and gender, I grieve for the man who was denied membership in the church. I am in prayer for our church that we may not see the erroneous action of one pastor as a license to deny membership based on individual and personal criteria.
I am asking that this episcopal pastoral letter be read in our congregations at worship on either Sunday, November 6 or November 13, 2005, as well as offered for bulletin inserts, church newsletters and study, as you are able in your diverse settings.
Let us continue to be faithful and not lose hope. God is with us.
Yours in peace,
Bishop Beverly J. Shamana
And this, from all the Bishops. ALL OF THEM.
This is the statement approved by the Council of Bishops on Nov. 2, 2005
A Pastoral Letter to the People of The United Methodist Church
From the Council of Bishops
By grace you have been saved through faith.
Grace to you from Jesus Christ who calls his church to welcome all people into the community of faith as it proclaims the Gospel. The Judicial Council, our denomination’s highest judicial authority, recently issued a decision regarding a pastor’s refusing a gay man’s request for membership in the church. In the case, this man was invited to join the choir at the United Methodist Church in the community. As he became more active in the choir and the church, he asked to transfer his membership from another denomination to The United Methodist Church. Because he is a practicing homosexual, the pastor refused to receive him into church membership. The Judicial Council upheld the pastor’s refusal of membership. While pastors have the responsibility to discern readiness for membership, homosexuality is not a barrier. With the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church we affirm: “that God’s grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”(Para. 161g, 2004 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) We also affirm our Wesleyan practice that pastors are accountable to the bishop, superintendent, and the clergy on matters of ministry and membership. The United Methodist Church is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ with all people. We, the bishops of the Church, uphold and affirm that the General Conference has clearly spoken through the denomination’s Constitution on inclusiveness and justice for all as it relates to church membership: “The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking the vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.” (Article IV, Constitution of The United Methodist Church) We believe the ministry of the local church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We call upon all United Methodist pastors and laity to make every congregation a community of hospitality.
Nov. 2, 2005
Lake Junaluska, N.C.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Having said that... I anticipate going back, spending another $10 on a ticket, and seeing "Goblet" at LEAST once more before it leaves the theater. It will be added to our DVD collection as soon as possible as well.
And this morning, magic of an earlier time. No wands. No Unforgiveable Curses. No Lord Voldemort.
A few weeks ago, a skeptical Emma asked me a question. I could tell she thought someone was yanking her chain.....
"Have you ever heard of a movie called "Escape to Witch Mountain"?"
I happened to be on my computer and I knew what I had done....so as I answered I called up my Netflix queue.
"Why YES I have, Em!" I replied.
She was incredulous. REALLY???!!!
And there it was. In my Netflix queue. It happened to be #1.
Find the Herbie movies and we'll send them back and get "Escape Witch Mountain".
This morning we are watching a magical movie from 1975. Special effects are low tech. CGI? What is that??!!
Young wizards discovering their powers. Young wizards learning how to use their powers and not understanding them.
Yea. My kids are gonna like this movie.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
He still is.
Except those girls are now having hot flashes and THIS time they have nothing to do with him.
He's 63 now. He could easily pass for 20 years younger though.
He's funny. The accent is to die for. And the music..... the music is a gift from God. In some ways, it seems wrong for that much musical talent to be confined to one body. But it is really so very very right.
As we drove home I wondered what it was that made him so sexy. What make him The Cute One even now. Other than he is gosh darn cute.....
And I realized it was the shirt he wears for the final encore at every concert. Three simple words.
No More Landmines.
Not the words you expected? What is about those three words? Simple. They are his wife's words.
He was married for 29 years until Linda died. Twenty Nine. That's a good run for anyone. But for a rocker who could have any woman he wanted every single night? That's almost a miracle. When he remarried, he married a younger woman by a couple decades. She came with a cause. A passion. The elimination of the usage of landmines and the removal of ones from past conflicts around the world. It was not his cause. Until he loved her. Because it was important to her, it was important to him. Because it was her cause, it was his. Because it was her passion, it was his.
Because he loves his wife.
He loved his first wife. He supported her and encouraged her talents. Her music. Her photography. It was 4 years before he remarried after she died.
A man who loves his wife is sexy indeed. Especially when you can see it in his actions. The words are easy. The actions should be just as easy. Often, they are not.
He is a man who you think must have a tremendous ego. How can he not? Every now and again he would say something that made you wonder. A story about a converstion in a bar. His wonder at getting to sing directly to the International Space Station. His pride at NASA choosing "Good Day Sunshine" to wake up the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery (with the first woman commander aboard he was sure to point out) last summer.
And then there is the shirt.
Three words that say:
I love my wife.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
It is a phenomenon that is distinctly Californian. Other places might have radiation fog or something technical like that...we have Tule Fog. (say "tooley") Named for the tule reeds that grow in marshes and the Tule Elk that were native to the Central Valley.
Sometime this winter or next you will turn on your evening news and read of a "massive pileup" on a Central Valley highway. Sometime in the next five years I will call my mom and tell her "I wasn't in it" because one will be local. You may catch The Discovery Channel showing one such incident with our then Fire Chief giving the play by play. Someone Normy worked with never got to work that day. It took several days to identify his remains from that fiery crash. Four others died with him that day on I-5. The cause? Driving too close too fast in fog that reduced visibility for cars to "barely past your bumper". Big rigs probably had better visibility.
Because of the Tule Fog.
At this time of year, the Tule Fog isn't deadly. It does come in and stay for a week. You won't see today's Tule Fog on satellite weather photos like you will in January. The Tule Fog is a curiosity. It just sits there. On the side of the road. It doesn't cross the road. It doesn't "roll in" like the marine fog of the coast. It just rises up out of the ground. It is most dense at the ground and is less so at higher points. Sometimes you can walk through Tule Fog and see just fine. But sit down on the ground and you are in the soup.
Dropping the child at school these days means driving past the Tule Fog. Not through. Past. The catch basins just hold the fog like soup in a bowl. Tule Fog seeks the lowest point. It will rise out of the field and sink into the catch basin, floating on top of the water. As the sun rises and warms the damp fields, the Tule Fog will get more dense and rise higher. Tule Fog requires warmth. But not too much. Too much warmth and it evaporates. In January, it will be so dense it won't let the sun through to warm us up and we will be socked in for a week.
The only cures for the Tule Fog are wind and rain. A new storm will wash it away (and set up conditions for another round) and wind will blow it away and allow the sun to shine again.
But for now.... I will enjoy watching fog rise from the ground and sit by the side of the road. I know that later it will hide the schmuck who comes upon it suddenly and slams on his brakes causing all the other schmucks following too closely to slam into him and each other. Later it will be deadly. But now? Now I will enjoy the spooky wonder of the Tule Fog.
That's when I first noticed them. Driving back home is driving East. Towards the rising sun that has yet to break the horizon of the Sierras.
Sometimes only a couple. More often, half a dozen or more. Little white streaks in the sky. Most of them coming from points West, both North and South, heading towards points East. High in the sky so they can clear the 8000 feet (more or less) that the Sierras rise into their airspace. Sometimes there would be a contrail heading West. Bigger than those going East. Distinctly pointed towards San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Stand and watch the sky and suddenly a new one will appear. As the sun rises and catches the water vapor that forms these contrails they appear as if by magic. Others are suddenly gone. They all look like shooting stars or perhaps an invading alien force.
I always think of the hundreds of people those contrails represent. Airline pilots and flight crews that are awake and working as I am seeking caffeine and feeling lucky I got a sweatshirt on my top and sweatpants on my bottom and not the reverse. I think of the people who are heading East for work and left their families this day before they were awake. The people heading off for vacation. Perhaps to Europe or other points beyond our borders and these early morning contrails represent the first leg of a long day of travel.
I can't help myself. As it is my habit whenever I see an airplane in the sky.... I wish them Godspeed and safe passage.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Today. TODAY, 24 hours later, I go into the very same bathroom and find HALF A SHEET on the roll.
So I put a new one ON.
And I left a note....
"Need more TP".
What is it about heavy machinery that we find so facinating? Today they are grinding up the parking lot at the tax office. Grinding up the old to put in new. I stood and watched. Other people stood and watched.
There is something hypnotic about watching graders level a field.
Something facinating about watching the heavy roller flatten out the asphalt of a new road.
I can so understand why small children want to watch. It's new. It's big. It's exciting.
But it cracks me up to watch adults do the same thing.
For the same reasons, I suppose....
Monday, November 14, 2005
By someone far to obsessed with me for anyone's good. Thank God she lives in Georgia.
Seems she didn't like what me and my best buds posted here. She sent the link to someone else. Someone we spoke of, but never by name.
She walked into my space and didn't like what she heard. And kept coming back. Again and again.
She may be back. Surely she will be able to find me again.
At some point, I won't care if she does. But TONIGHT.... tonight I do. She has torn off the cover of her innocent act. I'm fed up with her shit. And for now, she is blocked.
Tomorrow.... I'll deal with tomorrow.
Praise God and pass the cranberry sauce. Although I am rather partial to Sarah's version: "National Let-It-Fucking-Go-Already Day"
So in the spirit of the holiday I am NOT sending that email, people. She can spew and she can talk to herself and answer herself and look like the ass she is. I'd say "she's dead to me" but damn if she isn't gonna rise up out of that grave like some zombie who cannot be killed. Yea. I'm letting it fucking go already.....
The only one I remember is wordless. Not a word spoken. But it goes like this:
Paul is sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper or watching TV or some such thing.
Jamie walks in with a roll of toilet paper in one hand and the spindle in the other. I can't remember if the empty tube is on it or not, but I'm thinking not.
She stands in front of Paul and places new toilet paper on the spindle while he watches, turns on her heel and leaves.
I thought I was gonna pee myself (no pun intended) laughing.
The reason I remember that skit is that I am reminded of it nearly every single day. It doesn't matter where I am.... the roll is empty when I get there. Sometimes, it is nearly empty. If I pull off the last, I replace. If it's empty before I get there, I replace.
I have replaced the roll at work a disproportionate number of times when you figure I'm only there a few hours a week. Ironically, the job that is all women employees and is owned by a woman? I've had to replace the roll maybe twice. I'm there more. But the job that is mostly men? Yea. That would be me replacing that roll.
My husband will probably comment that HE replaces the roll. I'm sure he does. It's just about 1/20th of the time. My children do not. Not ever. If it runs out while they are mid-job, they will just leave the new roll on the floor or counter. Growing up, I would FREQUENTLY find 2, maybe 3 squares left on the roll.
Why is the little job of replacing the toilet paper such a momentous job that only "the lady of the house" is capable of doing a proper job?
And why is it that it is my responsibility to make sure we have toilet paper in the house? No one else says "we need more toilet paper". Not even when I realize, oh... we need to go before we use THIS roll. No one else has noticed.
I often say I don't have any more children because I don't want to go through that 'messy food' stage again. (ick ick ick) But the real reason is that I don't want another person in the house using toilet paper. I'd be changing that damn roll even more often (and Elaine can tell us all what fractional percent that is, exactly).
Sunday, November 13, 2005
2 things that scare you
1. getting my teeth drilled (found this one out recently-hmph)
2. Wild Water (no white water rafting for me)
2 of your everyday essentials
1. sunlight (how did I end up in the foggy valley?)
2. talking with my best friends
2 things you are wearing right now
1. My new fit so nice jeans
2. My new Danskos
2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)
1. Sir Paul. Wednesday...I see him in concert for the third time!
2. Can't be done. Can't name just two.
2 things that make you laugh
2 things you want in a friendship (other than honesty and respect)
1. Wicked sense of humor
2. Being who we are, and that's all good.
1. Normy loves me.
2. So does God.
2 things you enjoy besides scrapbooking
1. road tripping with my family or Bobs
2 things you want really badly
1. to be able to buy the house next door so we can have a bigger lot
2. a housekeeper
2 places you want to go on vacation
1. Back to see where my kin came from
2. All 50 states (have a few crossed off the list)
2 things you want to do before you die
1. see my girls find their passion
2. see my grandchildren find THEIR passion
2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick
1. I cry when I get angry
2. I hold a grudge
2 things you are thinking about now
1. if we have one more person for dinner tonight, we're gonna have to move the kitchen table into the dining room.
2. that we are in no way gonna keep everything picked up
2 stores you shop at
2. Bel Air
2 things that have changed about you in the last year
1. I've decided life is too short to let annoying details like miles keep me apart from friends.
2. That scrapbooking can be a hobby, not an all consuming obsession
2 things you have to do tomorrow
1. Go to tax class. But it's the last week...finally.
2. Go to Trader Joe's.
2 reasons you blog:
1. I need to write.
2. People tell me I'm good at it.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I don't think I've ever dined and dashed. We almost did right after our cruise but that was purely out of habit. We hadn't had to pay for a waiter delivered meal in a week! We only got to "are you ready, let's go" before we remembered.
But I was thinking there are other ways to 'dine and dash'. You go in, take it in, and leave without 'payment'.
Blogs are one of those places. I read several blogs. A couple of them don't accept comments. Dooce is one of those. I always feel like I don't give back properly. Sometimes she makes me laugh so hard that I want to give back. Not that I could ever match her, but even just a "oh my flying spaghetti monster, that made me laugh!" Now and again I'll email her. But surely that is lost in the masses of emails she gets. Just like a comment would.
I don't always comment on every post on my friends' blogs. Usually it's because we've already discussed the issue at hand. We've IM'ed and discussed it to death. Nothing more to add. I've said my piece. Sometimes it's because it is an entry about something I'm not a part of. "post here if you'll be at book club". Ok. Not me. Although I DID post when someone said "post here if you'll be at the camp out cause I'm going to Tahoe this week". I said "can't do the campout in Alabama this weekend, but I CAN do Tahoe this week!" And I did. And I blogged it. :D
But I don't 'dine and dash' blogs anymore than I would a restaurant. I think it's rude. To always only read. To never comment (providing commenting is available).
I figure they know I've been there. Nothing is ever anonymous on the internet. There are paths to be traced. ISP's leaving their mark. I know my buddy in a town over traces back to Lubbock, TX. Cracks me up. I know she has an homage to Texas in her family room and now we know it has the RIGHT to be there. I wondered who the heck was in Lubbock.... until I saw her internet provider's name. Um. Ok.
I know you're here. I know you've been here. I'll know if you read this.
So give out a shout! Say "Howdy!" Especially if you're in Texas, just down the street. (Ironically, if I call her, I don't get her town listed on my phone bill either. I get a historical site further down the road. There just whack out there!)
So you Canadians. You Alaskans. Y'all from the south. Log in and say hello!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
It's one of those loud busy places that everyone knows the routine and newcomers need to get with the program QUICK.
But walk through the door.....inhale deeply. Surely this is the air of heaven. The bread. The marinades. The "deli meats". Including the salami, wrapped in paper, hanging from the ceiling. Somewhere in that mix is the scent of red wine, probably Chianti.
I selected my bread from the bin. I looked at my choices of meats.
My number was called. I stepped up with my small loaf of sourdough bread and my #91 and asked for roast beef and provolone.
I go back to Walnut Creek in a couple weeks.
It will include another sandwich at Genova's. But next time, it will be salami.
If, on a public message board....
Your post count is over 6000 and you've only been a member since June.
You are consistantly on the Top 10 Posters of the Day list.
You have ever used the phrase "I just need to get this out" when posting.
You post a "vent" more than three times a week.
You carry on weeks long conversations with less than three other people in a thread that has nothing to do with what you're talking about.
You see nothing wrong with posting a large sampling of your vacation photos on a public message board.
You have ever posted a vent and gotten pissed that people gave you advice and no one would delete it.
You have ever posted a play by play, day by day, of a life event (with photos)...buying a new house, getting a divorce, applying for a new job.......to name a few.
You have more than a dozen people knowing that your kid didn't take a nap today.
You have more than 3 people, and none of them is either your doctor or sexual partner, knowing your method of birth control and the difficulties you are having with it.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
And so do some of my commenters. LOL!
But that's ok. You should read some of our Instant Message conversations. Someone will suddenly drop out of the conversation....
-Where'd she go?
*Dunno. Bitch doesn't like us.
*Oh, there she is. Gotta stop talking about her now.
^ You bitches were talking about me again weren't you?
*- No. Not at all.
We think we're funny.
But our point, I suppose, is that we can use those words and they don't nearly have the power that is usually behind them. They make us laugh. We think "skank whore" is particularly funny. Especially if you're from Idaho. (people are laughing. I can hear them)
Some would say "that's SO Jr. High". But I'm thinking if you're pointing that out...well, the pointing it out is more Jr. High. Because in Jr. High you are very very concerned about what other people are doing. And more importantly, what other people are saying and that maybe they are talking about you.
When you are a grownup, you don't care.
So what ARE bad words? Do they depend on the audience? You probably don't want your 98 year old grandmother reading a post titled "Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck". But your best girlfriends? Sure. Because that's why they are there. For those days that the best description of your life is summed up by that title. (even if your 98 year old grandmother has been known to use that word herself)
But what I know about bad words is this:
Know your audience. I don't use bad words in normal situations. I endeavor not to use them around my children. But they are ALWAYS with me! LOL! I also tell them to do as I say, not as I do and not swear. They laugh at me and say "Oh. Ok mom."
A cleverly placed bad word is better than routine useage. Using the above title of a post once is good. But even using a lesser bad word like "moron" loses impact when used too often.
Know your audience. Being called a "skank whore" by the wrong person is...well, wrong. Make sure you are in on the joke before you start using it. Otherwise you look like a fool. And if you're just using them to fit in? Yea. No.
There are those who are gonna be offended by bad words. So you should endeavor not to use them in their presence. But at the same time, if they come into my sandbox... well, they've been warned.
Know your audience. Walking in and dropping some words as soon as you get there? Uncool. And now we know more about you than we want and you cared for us to know. It might even be wrong. But we doubt it.
One of the most amusing political ads was someone saying "You aren't the governor I thought you'd be", directed at Gov. Arnold.
Funny. He's exactly the Governor I thought he'd be. An egomaniac who has no clue as to how politics and California politics specifically actually work. He had no clue that as much as Californians say "Things need to be different" we vote to keep the status quo and to make it more difficult for the Executive Officer and Legislature to do what we hire them to do.
Gov. Arnold did it himself. It's how he thought he could be Governor. His proposition has created set asides. His proposition makes balancing the budget more difficult. He forgets to tell people that the money that his proposition set aside is there... waiting for the matching funds from school districts to create after school programs. The sticky wicket is that school districts don't have the matching funds. But there is money, just sitting in the bank, that can't be touched.
Because Gov. Arnold put up a proposition that we voted to pass. To set aside money to be spent at some point. Maybe.
I've heard that something like 60% of the state budget is set-asides. Non-negotiable money. That money must be 'spent' in the budget. It can't be cut. It can't be redirected.
Candidate Arnold thought he'd be able to change that. He also thought he could fire the legislature.
Gov. Arnold is exactly the Governor I thought he'd be.
An egomaniac in love with the pomp and circumstance of politics.
But the questions I still haven't had answered:
Why was it BAD for Gov. Davis to raise millions of dollars but ok for Gov. Arnold to raise more?
Why did Gov. Arnold go to Ohio and raise millions of dollars to fund his Proposition fight in this election? Why did Ohio care that much about California politics?
Sometimes California voters are actually paying attention.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Those that are still with us will probably pass. Not all will be offered jobs.
We've had drop outs. One quit class and complained about me. Why? Because she brought her approximately one year old daughter to class. And it was part 2 of Depreciation. It's the only subject broken into two sessions. Which should give you some clue as to the details and concentration needed.
I told her she must keep her child quiet so everyone could concentrate.
She told me she WAS being quiet. I told her that if I could HEAR the child, she was not being quiet.
She got huffy. Complained to the boss. Boss asked for clarification from someone else. Boss couldn't see why she was pissed. No children in class is the rule. If you bring 'em, they must be silent. Not "quiet baby playing and babbling" but silent. Make arrangements. Stay home and take a make up class. She was probably further pissed when Boss said "Oh. Ok." to her complaint and subsequent quitting.
Oh well. Can't bring child to WORK either. We already have people who don't get that. "I can't find anyone to watch them" Oh. Well then, call in and tell us you won't be here. But don't bring your raving lunatics to the office to run around whilst people are getting their taxes done.
Anyway. One more week. I will submit my evaluations of all our students. One will get a one word eval. "No" She's still hung up on entering all that personal information. She did fine on the midterm. Probably will do fine on the final. I kinda hope not. No. Check that. I really hope she does not. I do not think she should be certified to do taxes. But if she passes..... we have no choice.
We have one with a listening problem. Too busy thinking of what your answer might be that he misses what you actually say. I will tell Boss that.
It really is hard to find good help these days.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
I said she could, but beware.... I swear here. She said "yea, she swears too." I don't think she meant it to be funny.... but I did laugh!
Read here if you wish. I write less to be read than to just write. If you wish to comment....please do so. Anon comments can be deleted. Unless you're my mom. If you are not.... and you are nasty... buh bye.
This is my sandbox.
If you don't like what I have to say.... sucks to be you. Start your own blog. Delete me from your bookmarks.
If reading my blog raises your blood pressure, don't. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
I don't have to be fair here. I don't have to listen to you because you think you have some God given right to free speech. You don't. If you live in the US of A, you almost have the right not to have the government stop you from speaking your mind. Almost...not quite...but almost.
On my blog, you have no rights. You have privileges.
I voice my opinions here. No one is required to agree with them. If you don't like 'em, start your own blog and state your opinions there. I probably won't read your blog.... but that's your solution. You don't get to post here just because you think you should be able to voice any and all of your opinions.
Rude and nasty people who have no idea what they are talking about and should really just shut up before making bigger asses of themselves? Go away. Or I will send you away.
But all of you wild and crazy people who've been hanging out here? Y'all just keep on keeping on!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
We left early enough to have an early lunch at Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit. We ordered Ribs, Fried Prawns and pie at 10am. The breakfasts looked wonderful. I have to go back for a 9:30am appointment on Thursday. May have to have some of those hashbrowns...
My family moved to Walnut Creek when I was 2. We moved away when I was 7. Normy's family moved to Livermore when he was 10. We are 8.5 years apart in age. Livermore and Walnut Creek are neighboring towns for you non-California types.
We have often wondered if we stood in the checkout line at the Walnut Creek Gemco next to each other. And then we get all nostalgic about Gemco.
We made our waitress laugh when we said the last time we were there was before the Earthquake World Series.
And we got to thinking about when I was 2, 3, 4 and was going to Emil Villa's and he was 10, 11, 12 and going to Emil Villa's. It is possible that we sat in adjacent booths with our families. Never giving the other a moment of thought. How strange is that?
And we looked around the restaurant and noted how it really hasn't changed since we were going with our parents.
Today, like then, there were young couples with young children. Today, like then, there were very elderly people coming in, being greeted by name, for their breakfast. Today, like then, there were older couples who were meeting adult children for breakfast or just finished a round of golf.
When my parents took me to my favorite restaurant, Emil Villa's, they were younger than I am now. Now, they would be those meeting their adult children for breakfast. We were the middle aged couple who were able to get out for a meal without children.
In the midst of that musing, a little boy, about 3, walked past us with his dad. I hope one of these days, he will be sitting in a booth at Emil Villa's saying "wow, this place hasn't changed since I was a boy coming here with my dad! I remember being totally facinated with those big ol' air vents that look like flying saucers and that you always got a pickle and you knew what pie was available from the display case up front."
And from the number of people that were constantly coming in, I would venture to say that Emil Villa's will still be serving Hick'ry smoked ribs in 40 years.
Which brings me to my advice of the day. Don't pass up the opportunity to say hello to someone when you can. Back on the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake I did NOT go up and say hello to Dr. Johnson...my pediatrician. He wasn't there today. He died shortly after the earthquake. Not in it or because of it. Just because it was his time.... Thinking about that made me sad in the midst of the joy of ribs and pie.
And the doctor's appointment went fine. However, the pain killers are not letting me sleep (they can go either way for me, no rhyme orreason why I go with sleepiness or sleeplessness....just the luck of the draw) and thus the reason for the late night post.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The city is all a twitter.
My goodness... whatever shall they do?? What if they fill up the can before the next weekly pickup?
Uh. You pile it on. You squish it down. You recycle more. You reuse whenever possible. And when it gets really bad, you wait until next week.
I have never lived in a place that had anything more frequent than once a week. In the "olden days" we had actual garbage cans we bought at the hardware store. They were metal and they made a lot of noise when the men picked them up and tossed the trash in the truck and then tossed the cans back towards the curb. When we moved to S. Cal we had square plastic cans that had a cart. They came with the house but were not issued by any trash agency or governmental entity. My parents still have those cans that are now pushing 30, if they haven't crossed over already.
We have always had Official Trash Carts. Not cans. Carts. Handy they are. They have wheels and when they break, you call and get a new one. For free. We can have 2 of the green recycle ones for no extra charge. When The City switched trash collectors we could upgrade in size for $1 more a month. We signed up for that deal! We are finding we do not generate 90 gallons of trash most weeks. But some weeks we do and so we keep our 90 gallon can. But we often generate 120 gallons of recyclables. Perhaps that's why our 90 gal. trash is managable.
But it IS interesting.... when you have lived in essentially the same place (or even the exact same place) your entire life that there are things you just don't even think about. Like trash pick up. It's once a week. Isn't it like that everywhere? I would be so annoyed to have 2 days a week without cans on the street...since there are people who take three days to put their cans away each week as it is.
The City of Sacramento is once again trying to get The Citizens of The City of Trees to put their leaves and other yard waste into cans. Because it has always been that it is just piled in the street. Later... "the claw" comes and scoops it up. Meanwhile, leaves blow all over, gutters are blocked and storm drains are clogged. Great consternation abounds because "where exactly are they supposed to put these big ol' cans???". Hmmmm.... along the side of the house like everyone in the rest of the county perhaps???
It's kinda like when I found out that some school bus drivers are allowed to take their non-school aged children in the busses with them. Including infants in car seats. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. But it's just normal as normal can be in some parts of the country.
And they say Californians are the freaks! ;)
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
.... that Sue broke her femur while jogging and has been ordered to stay off it after walking around on it for 2 weeks (or three).
.... that my children have spent a chunk of their evening watching "Amadeus". Voluntarily. As in, Normy turned it on...but they were entranced and didn't change the channel when we left the room.
.... that someone can use "totally fair and gives equal weight to all sides" when referring to someone who subs on the radio for Rush Limbaugh. Someone who would characterize himself as a Conservative (note the capital "C"). How far up your ass do you have to have your head to think someone that Rush would allow to sit in for him would be "fair and balanced"? Oh. I think I just answered my question....
.... there are actual human beings walking around among the rest of us who think that blood transfusions are akin to practicing witchcraft and devil worship. Of course, I (and other like minded folk) think it is more that they don't want to have non-white people blood coursing through their veins. Sherilyn says that explains her atheist ways....she had transfusions at birth. I think that's a hoot and a half. I totally think she should just say "Well, I DID have blood transfused at birth" when someone questions her on why she doesn't believe in God. Then watch their heads spin... (pun intended)
.... there are other human beings who say that being fingerprinted is The Mark of The Beast. Which makes me wonder.... if God gave Adam and Eve these fingerprints.... WHO'S mark is it, exactly??? I'm easily confused. Not being a Bible Literalist and all..... Cause dang if it doesn't sound like if God gave A&E the mark, and fingerprints are the Mark of the Beast.... Well, like I said... I'm easily confused.
.... Steph (I'm POSTING!!) thinks that having multiple containers of a variety of necessities is weird. On the contrary. NOT having them is weird. I mean, really. Who wants to be running to the store at 6am for more deodorant? Weird people, that's who.
.... Me. Who thinks she's actually gonna get all this Malabrigo knit up into their proper forms before the end of the year. Along with all the OTHER projects.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Try this at home. Go to Google and type in "[your name] needs"...except without the brackets. Kinda like the title of this entry, except with your own name.
Nancy needs to make sure that her Mom understands Nancy's message. Well...yea. But if Nancy's mom doesn't understand the message, Nancy's mom always asks for clarification. So that's covered.
All Nancy needs is to wolf down a three-thousand calorie dessert and bring the silver. No. Nancy does not need to wolf down a 3000 calorie anything. But I can bring the silver...
Nancy wants Susan to pass her the kettle. Now this made me laugh. Cause Sue is always trying decide if she is the pot or the kettle and has pretty much decided that she is the kettle. Which makes me ask: "What did you say to Jen NOW, Sue??"
You calculated that Nancy needs 2097 kilocalories per day. She is receiving 3060 kilocalories per day. Therefore she is getting too many calories. Yea! See... one dessert and I'm over the limit.
All Nancy needs is a peanut butter sandwich, a box of crayons, and some paper to be happy. Yea...that will do it.
Nancy needs help choosing snake to breed. No. No she doesn't. Cause if she does, Nancy will need a divorce lawyer. (Dibs on Hal!)
Nancy needs to "bite the bullet" and let her boss know that, as a supervisor, she believes it is her obligation to work with Myra. Um. Ok....
Nancy needs the exact same hardware in both machines for the servers to work together. Um. Ok... Stupid Windows.....
There is to be a cookout, and Nancy needs to prepare
the campfire, which is a multi-step process. I'm pretty sure that Nancy shalt not prepare any sort of campfire. But she can if she has to.
Nancy needs to wake up. I'm TRYING. It's barely noon.... give me a break.
Nancy needs to allow herself to be known. You mean there is someone out there that does NOT know me? How'd that happen?
Nancy needs saving by George Clooney and wants to listen to Schubert, too. Well.... DUH!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
You know.... packing of clothing for a trip.
Underpack and you are totally screwed when you realize you have a key flaw in your apparel. choices.
Overpack and you are lugging half your wardrobe across a continent.
But here is a bottom line (no pun intended) non-negotiable.... There shalt be no butt funk whilst traveling.
It's one thing to be a slug and pull on yesterdays clothing when you are alone at home. It is an all together different issue when you are out in some serious public. With strangers. With collegues. With friends. EVEN with family. Because no matter WHO you are with, you are in close quarters when you are traveling.
On an airplane. In a car. In a hotel room. In a cruise ship cubbyhole. In a meeting room. In someone ELSE'S living room.
Please people. Clean underwear out there, will ya?
Monday, October 17, 2005
"She was nice. I like her."
"And she's pretty!"
That would be Emma's summary of dinner with Steph. Maybe it is because Steph gave Emma a sign language name. Maybe it's because it WAS fun, she IS nice, we DO like her...and yes, she is pretty.
Emma and I just had plain ol' fun driving up Hwy 50.... until there was an accident that was going to have the highway closed for 2-3 hours right at Echo Summit. We were able to take an old road and get around it, thank goodness. Cause otherwise it would have been faster to go back to Sacramento and go up I-80!
We stopped for a potty break and snacks at the Raley's at the Y and stopped periodically as we drove around the lake for photos and lake looking at-ing.
Squaw Valley in fall colors was spectacular.
I told Steph that I've been to Tahoe maybe a handful of times in the winter. But I've spent many SUMMERS there. The Tahoe I know is a summer lake, summer foliage.
The only questions that remain are these....
Why do we stay away? Why are we not up there several times a year? Why do we let the jewel of the Sierras just 'be there' without us?
Oh. And Emma is now very impressed with herself. She now knows someone, other than Gramma, who lives in another state.
And she's pretty.....
Thursday, October 13, 2005
But this job takes her to exotic locations on occasion. San Francisco. Washington D.C. Mare Island. (might've heard about Mare Island today. Big fire there last night. Wine warehouse. Rare and expensive wines up in smoke....)
The Phillapines. Guam. Hawaii.
RARELY do we know of her leavings until perhaps a postcard arrives for a granddaughter. A small gift.... Or just "when I was in Guam last month..." We knew she was in Hawaii recently because when called on her birthday and asked "what are you going to do for your birthday" she said something about walking on the beach.
Ok. NOT in Reno.... check.
But evidence of a trip to Hawaii has been arriving. Yesterday it was a necklace for Emma.
Today, it was six cans of Mauna Loa Macadamia nuts.
Judy loves us.
Chocolate cookies with chopped macadamia nuts.....hmmmm.....
I torture my poor child.
Made her (read= paid actual cash money) take a knitting lesson.
I did this evil thing because, well.... she wanted to learn to knit. And I'm sure not gonna teach her. Nor did she WANT me to "teach" her.
Do you want me to have Mrs. Bowen give you a lesson?
So the Evil Mother arranged for said lesson and paid for said lesson.
Good thing Mrs. Bowen has a good sense of humor and four children of her own. Sulking through a lesson is poor form.
I had to FINALLY knock on the door and say "HEY! I'm PAYING for you to sit in there and pee!". The child came out, properly contrite.... and gunned another glass of water.
The irony here is she has NO OBJECTION to knitting. She does have an objection to purling....but I totally understand that. But she WANTS to create knitted objects. She just doesn't want to LEARN how to make that happen.
And I KNOW that if and when she ever gets that felted purse done and felted... she's gonna be so dang proud of herself and just love it.......
Monday, October 10, 2005
Which is too bad. Because it didn't occur to me until too late, to put HER on the computers.
Today we took them SCREEN by SCREEN.
OMFSM..... if this one woman, who I will call "Jen", because that is her name, doesn't get behind EVEN WITH screen by screen instructions.
Enter zip code is the screen. The instruction given is: "enter in a zip code, doesn't matter for this". "What do I put here?" she asks. So I tell her "95624". "9.....5....6....2....4....?....?....?....?"
Yes. Dear FSM... YES.
"Is he blind?" He's a mechanic....what do you think?
"This W-2 doesn't have any allocated tips." Do you tip your mechanic? "No." Then that's probably why he doesn't have any allocated tips. (time passes) You need to press "enter" to go to the next question.
What you can't tell from this exchange, is that I had to tell her EVERY SINGLE TIME to "press enter" after EACH AND EVERY QUESTION.
Oh. And she had to hunt down that "Enter" key to boot.
It scares me to think she is a nurse.
Taxes ARE complicated.
Entering information into a database is not. And that's really what this is. ESPECIALLY at this stage of class.
Personal info: Name, SSN, Address
Income statements: W-2's, 1099-INT etc. It's just transfering the info from one place to the other. Fill in the blank.
And still...... DO NOT ENTER YOUR OWN SSN WHEN DOING SOMEONE'S TAX RETURN! They have one. Use that one.
I swear.... I could get Emma up to speed on doing basic returns in a week.
Schedule C? (self employment)
Schedule D? (capital gains and losses)
Schedule E? (If'n you have rental property)
I shudder to think.......
I think that even a Schedule A is gonna do some of them in.
If not them....me.
They watched The Today Show Today with the rest of us.
You see.... They started potty training their babies at 6 months plus or minus. They were 12 of them. Four boys, Eight girls. I think. Dang if I can remember all the time.... (ask my cousin Lori, she knows). But when you have THAT MANY CHILDREN back in the day? You didn't have Huggies and you didn't have those fancy schmancy "nappy covers". You didn't even have rubber pants. Back in the day, if there WAS a diaper service, they didn't go out to the ranch. Or you called the diaper service "the big girls". So babies didn't walk around in diapers for three or four years.
My grandmother and her sisters had their babies pottied trained by the time they could walk.
Those babies, for the most part, did the same with their babies. Our generation totally failed our grandmothers.
But I would venture that most of us had our babies pottied trained before the national average.
Yes. This is PARENT LED potty training. Shocking, I know. It requires the PARENT to decide that "now is time". It's a good idea, really. Sets up your authority for the future. "It is time to go to school". Emma would still be in Miss Rose's preschool if her parents didn't lead her away and off to kindergarten.
No. No one goes to college still in diapers. But that doesn't mean the kid has to wear them until three days before kindergarten either.
It's a simple principle really. Start them as soon as they can sit up on their own (because toppling over isn't good for anyone) but before they can get up and walk away. Captive audience. It won't happen overnight. It won't happen in a week. It will take a year to get the child to the point that they can use the potty on his or her own and be pretty much accident free.
I had one child announce that she wanted to start using the potty. And from that point on, she did. She was barely two. Verbal little cuss she was too.... It was up to me to let the other child know it was time. And even tho' she was the ornery sort at the time, she complied. It took longer with her, several months (not the diapers yesterday, no diapers today or ever again day and night like her sister) but she was fully potty trained by 2 and a half.
It just slays me to see three year olds say "I need a new diaper". If they can know they need a new diaper, they can know they need to get to the potty. But the parents say "He doesn't want to". WTF? He's not gonna want to take out the trash or do his homework EITHER. Step up and be a parent.
The Denny sisters are looking down and just shaking their heads. Probably squabbling about who had to change or wash the most sibling diapers too. They were a great bunch of women. For so many reasons. Grammy died when I was 6. I wish I knew her when my own was 6. But my sister and I were adopted by the rest as their own granddaughters. My girls may have been in diapers WAY too long... but I hope I make them proud.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Ok. So people DO read this thing.
There is really nothing new in tax class. There is still a stunning number of people (defined as >0) who do not know how to operate a computer when the instruction is "put in the social security number and then hit "enter" "
It is still true that NO MATTER how many times you say "The Social Security Number is the single most important piece of information you must enter." there is still a stunning number of people (see above definition) who will wonder why they can't get past the "enter SSN" screen and argue with you when you say "because you didn't enter it in correctly". Damn if it ain't the case EVERY DAMN TIME. No. It is not the program. The program is FINE. It is keyboard to chair interface error.
It is still true that every class will have someone with two brain cells and that person will rub them together, generate some heat and get what you are saying in 1.3 seconds. You will know them by the bruise on the forehead from pounding their head against said keyboard while waiting for you to say "NO. You have to LOOK at the social security number in and enter EXACTLY THE SAME WAY both times the program asks for it" for the 12th time to the same person.
Yes. It must be entered the SAME both times.
Why would I lie about that??? What would be my motive???
Dye lots matter.
Unless it's a "design element".
I should care that my workroom is a disaster. But I don't. I think that means I don't care about the business that is supposed to be conducted out of that room. But I knew THAT. C'est la vie.....
I don't care about baseball playoff. I won't care until the CALIFORNIA ANGELS (and in a pinch, Anaheim Angels) win the pennant. Then I MIGHT.
Basketball starts soon. I REALLY don't care about that. Again...until the Kings are in the hunt, I won't.
Sir Paul puts on a fine show. Counting down to November....
I don't watch Presidential Press Conferences. They make my brain hurt. Unfortunately, I miss out on all the good quotes that way too.....
The shoes are gone. Both locations.
Sometime this week, probably tomorrow, DHL will deliver very large feed bags of yarn from Uruguay to Knitique. We have 8 more in our order still due to arrive. I both dread and look forward to this occurance. It's Malabrigo and it is 215 yards of the most wonderfully soft wool yarn. It is kettle dyed and so the variations in each skein make for wonderful patterns in your work. It is fabulous felted. Just gorgeous. I think we have 40? 50? different colors coming in. That's the dread part.... I gotta find a place for all of it!
I had my "annual"..or semi-annual..or has it been three? ... dermatalogical examination. Doc decided four spots needed closer examination. Which means I have been wildly itchy on the four small spots that got scraped off. Two she thought looked 'funny' cause of where they were (right where my collar rubs) but took 'em off anyway. All were funny. But only one needs more attention. That happens Dec. 6. Once again... only in the 'blast zone'. Oh well..... small price to pay, all in all. My moles still make Doc crazed. But they don't change so she leaves them be.
Being grounded sucks. My children are just starting to REALLY embrace that idea. And if they don't.... I'm tougher than they are. And I care WAY less about their social lives than they do.
It is October. Again. REALLY starting to not like that month. Not only for the above mentioned tax class, but because Halloween is at the end. This year, we are invited to a COSTUME party. Ugh. I have an aversion to spending mega bucks (that I really don't have to begin with) on something that will be worn for a couple of hours. Emma has expressed an interest in being a "Dead Cheerleader". Kaitlyn was a "Dead Prom Queen" last year? Year before? My children are freaks. Normy and I have to come up with a "couple's costume". Hmph. Then I have to spend a bunch of scratch on candy. Pumpkin carving.
Halloween is definitely the most not looked forward to holiday.
Thanksgiving will be next. Excellent. I make a GREAT turkey and stuffing.
It really sucks to be several states away when your friends are hurting and are in need. I hate that. I need to learn to fly and buy myself a Cessna. Then I could just GO and take someone out to coffee (and make her get dressed) or take another's kidlets to the park for a few hours to get them out of the house (so she can nap in peace).
Customer service in my world is a given. I give it. I get it. MOST places I go and all places I work, give great customer service. The customer isn't always right, but the customer can always be made happy. Unless they are hopeless cases and then it doesn't matter. So it is always a shock to the system when we encounter BAD customer service. Hint: If you order equipment from DISH Network...ASK what cables are needed, KNOW what you HAVE and make sure you'll get what you need and not what you HAVE.
Finally.... in case you were wondering.... the "enter" key? It's the big one on the right that says "enter". In addition, there is NO key that says "Any" so quit looking for it and just hit the "G".
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I am a summer person. I may be the only non-child who loves summer. Every other adult just complains that summer is too hot.
Spring and Fall are too fickle. They can be hot, or cold. In the same day. I dress in long pants and turtleneck because there is frost in the air in the morning but by afternoon, I am melting because it is pushing 90.
Winter is cold and dark. My bones ache from the cold and my messed up internal thermostat causes me to shiver uncontrollably at the slightest hint of chill. The sun doesn't shine upon me for weeks on end. Winter brings tule fog and regular fog and you don't see the end of the street for 3 weeks straight. And it rains in the winter. For you non-Californians... we don't have a lick of rain in the summer. It stops raining in March or April and does start again until November, maybe late October, often not until December. Nary a drop. No umbrellas. No rain coats. And when it rains, it is cold. We don't do "warm summer rain". We only do cold winter rain.
Summer is sunny. Sure...it's hot. But my car, my house and every building I go to has air conditioning. Except for church. But that's going in right now...just in time for winter. But next summer...it too will be cool. It is not uncommon to keep a sweater in the car in the summer because the air INSIDE is so cool. In summer it stays light until 9pm or so. Kids can play outside until the street lights come on. Even tho' that's after 9pm, it's ok, because school is out. No homework. No projects. The best gatherings with friends are in the summer... outside, around the pool. The smell of meat on the BBQ is in the air every night. Summer is slower. Summer is relaxed. Summer is napping in the afternoon and still feeling like you have half a day left.
Goodbye my beloved summer. I will miss you. I look forward to seeing you next June....
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
"I knitted that flower from the kit, but it didn't felt!"
Really? Do you have it?
(flower and leaf are examined. Sure enough, knitted but not felted in the least.)
Is this the yarn from the kit?
"Yea. I bought it here."
Did you put it in the washing machine?
"Washing machine? NO! I put it in the microwave! Does it HAVE to go in the washing machine?"
"I have to put that little flower into the whole washing machine?"
"Well, ok then...."
Bless your heart.....
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
That was weird. A flat. Ballet shoe like. Maybe a 1/2 inch heel. And it is either very smooth leather or...rubber/plastic of some sort.
Today, I found the mate. It's a mile down the road in front of the CSD building. In the middle of the road.
How does one lose one shoe in the middle of an intersection?
Then...toodle down the road and lose the other one in the middle of the road?
Monday, September 19, 2005
4 Things To Do Before I Die:
1. Visit all 50 states.
2. Learn to play the piano or sax or both.
3. Be published, in print.
4. Travel to Australia.
4 Things Crossed Off the List:
1. CA, OR, WA, AK, NV, TX, UT, CO
2. Sing a solo in church.
3. Take a cruise.
4. Donate blood.
4 Things I'm Good At:
1. Finding new hobbies.
3. Being a mom.
4. Voicing my opinion.
4 Things That Need Improvement:
2. Keeping up with my hobbies.
3. Not procrastinating.
4. Keeping my opinions to myself.
4 Things I Can Not Do:
1. Wink with both eyes.
2. Ride a unicycle.
4. Donate a kidney.
4 Things I Say A Lot:
1. Would you PLEASE pick up your things?
2. Hi. How can I help you?
4. Where is.....?
4 Things I Loathe:
1. Brussel Sprouts.
2. The self righteous.
3. Rap/Hip Hop, especially coming from the car four cars away.
4 Things That Make Me Cranky:
1. Illogical Conclusions
2. Things on the floor
3. Being late.
4. Chores not done.
4 Things That Feed My Soul:
1. Music, all kinds (except rap/hip-hop obviously)
2. IM-ing with friends.
3. Hanging out with Normy doing routine things.
4. Being creative.
4 Things That Make Me Laugh:
1. The Bobs
3. Jon Stewart
4. Inside Jokes
4 People/Groups of People That Enrich My Life:
1. My family
2. Elk Grove United Methodist Church
3. The Elk Grove Community
4. The Bobs - the best friends a person can hope for
4 People That Inspire Me:
1. Norm, who shows me how to love unconditionally
2. My Childrenn, who teach me daily
3. Kathy LaPoint-Collup, my pastor who shows me how too embody Christ
4. My parents, I turned out GREAT!
4 Reasons I Would Marry Norm Again:
1. He supports me in all I do.
2. He is a great Dad.
3. He makes me laugh.
4. He loves me with his whole heart.
4 Quotes That I Love:
1. "There can't be good living when there is not good drinking." - Benjamin Franklin
2. "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. "Your ignorance cramps my conversation." - Bob Hope
4. "The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content in your knowledge." - Elbert Hubbard