Monday, February 26, 2007

If it wasn't for Stacy...

I might never blog.... Again, from her...

10 Favorites
Color: green? blue?
Food: I don't think I can narrow it down to just one.
Month: Any one that is warm and sunny.
Song: Depends on my mood...
Movie: Princess Bride? Love Actually? Top Gun? Again.... too hard to name just one.
Sport: To play? None. To watch? Lately, it's basketball....
Season: Summer
Day of the Week: Friday, generally
Ice Cream Flavor: I do try to avoid ice cream.... mint chocolate chip is the usual order tho'
Time of Day: bedtime

9 Currents
Mood: Frustrated
Clothes: Jeans, shirt,
Taste: dinner
Desktop: stock photo from Apple, rocky seashore
Toenail Color: Holy Pink Pagoda
Time: 6:30pm
Surroundings: my messy family room
Thoughts: "who thinks up this stuff?"
Wonderings: See above

8 Firsts
Best Friend: Charles Mullen. Mullin?
Kiss: Brian S.
Screen Name: Nancy D.
Pet: Cat
Piercing: Ears
Crush: I'm told my cousin David
Computer: An IBM circa 1986. Had a boot disc you had to put in first....
Home Location: ever? Daly City

7 Lasts
Cigarette: Haven't had a FIRST
Drink: Milk with dinner
Kiss: When Normy got home
Movie seen at the theater: Night in the Museum
Phone Call: Emma called me from the bathroom upstairs using her sister's phone to tell me that her sister had left her phone at home and wasn't getting my messages. She would have come downstairs to tell me, but.... she was in the bathroom. She's helpful like that.
CD played: One of my own in my car
Gift received: Normy got me brownies the other night

6 Have You Evers
Dated One Of Your Best Friends: nope
Broken the Law: does speeding count?
Been Arrested: nope
Skinny Dipped: of course
Been on TV: Yep
Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: nope

5 Things
You've Eaten Today: the pot roasty thing I made for dinner, green beans, biscuits, bean burrito and yogurt.
You've Done Today: got a pedicure, watched the rain POUND down, fixed an actual dinner, surfed the web, blogged.
You Can Hear Right Now: "Friends" on the TV
You Can't Live Without: Air, Water, Electricity... don't know what else
You Do When You're Bored: nap, websurf, read.... don't know what else

4 places you've been today
To get my pedicure
To the mail box
Down the street to unblock the gutter so the rain water could get to the drain
....that's it

3 people you can tell anything to
Bob ;)

2 Choices
1. Black or White: White
2. Hot or Cold: Hot

1 thing you wanna do before you die
Travel more

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For Stacy again...

1. Is your second toe longer than your first?
A bit.

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
Not like Stacy does. Or Normy for that matter. I will have a favorite pen and then I'll lose it or it will run out ink and I'll find a new favorite. Currently, it's a pen advertising some pool service that I use at work.

3. Look at your planner for March 14, what are you doing?
My "planner" is my iCal.... It appears I am going to work. It is not a Girl Scout meeting day. Maybe I will go to Late Night at Knitique.

4. What color are your toenails usually?
Winter? Au naturale. Summer? Something bright and garish like hot pink.

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
Where someone needed to sign their tax forms.

6. What color are your bedroom curtains?
Navy and "natural" stripe. Canvas.

7. What color are the seats in your car?
Dark Gray

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
Sorta. Oreo was my parents cat after I had mostly moved out of the house.

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
The envelope to send in our COBRA payment a couple weeks ago. Not that they did anything with it except to cash the check. I will send another one this week. Hopefully they will establish our account and pay our freakin' insurance.

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?
Kinda. Friends of my sister's live there. I think. Maybe they moved....

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
I remember doing it. I needed cash for where I was going. Can't remember where that was though.

12. Who is the last baby that you held?
Oh. Wow.... Might have been Gracie. PJ and Maryann's daughter. Who's, what?, 2? 3? Oh! Maybe it was Aiden, Krista's son. Happy 3rd Birthday, Valentine Boy!

13. Do you know of any twins with rhyming names?
None personally. But yowza... the names that come across my desk.....

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
(sorry Stacy) My yellow New Beetle.

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators.

17. Last time you went to Six Flags
Six Flags???? Dang if I know. Six Flags Over Texas??? I think I was in 7th or 8th grade. Went with my cousins who lived in Dallas at the time. (again.... sorry Stace...)

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?
Other than the red chili pepper Wallies, no.

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow:
It appears to be some piece of paper... probably brought home from school.

20. Last person to give you a business card?
No idea.

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
The gal who did my nails yesterday.

22. Closest framed picture to you?
The Renoir print hanging over the fireplace that I bought when I was in college. It's faded and needs to be replaced.

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
Normy made tacos on Monday night. I didn't get home until almost 10 last night from work so I didn't eat dinner.

24. Have you ever applied for welfare?

25. How many emails do you have?
email addresses? Four. My regular one. My usetabe CM one. My gmail one. And my Yahoo! one that I use when I have to give people an email address but I don't really want them emailing me. I used to actually use it.... now it's just junk mail.

26. Last time you received flowers?
Maybe 19 years ago today (Valentine's Day). A big bouquet of red roses was delivered. Sent by my boyfriend. A month later he proposed.

27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman?

28. What are you listening to right now?
The clicktity clack of my typing and Emma's typing on the computer.

29. Do you play air guitar?

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
I've become fond of CoffeeMate's Chocolate Raspberry Non-Dairy Creamer as of late.

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?

32. What is your high school mascot's rival?
Tustin Tillers

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
Jennifer. Duh.

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
Probably last week at work. Germy place that work....

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?

36. What color are the blinds in your living room?
Medium brown stain.

37. What is in your inbox at work?
No inbox.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
That Joe and Gavin SWEAR they aren't gonna move the team to Vegas but golly, what a swell place for an expansion team.

39. What was the last pageant you attended?

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Round Table. Last Friday.

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
I don't think so.

42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Tax papers.

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
I don't drink unclear Pepsi. CLEAR Pepsi? Barf o'rama...

44. Are you ticklish?

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
Fourth of July.

47. Who is the last person that left you a message & you actually returned their call?
My mom.

48. Last time you parked under a carport?
Probably when I lived at the Fairgrounds apartment.

49. Do you have a black dog?

50. Do you have any pickles in your fridge?

51. Do you find Dan French irresistible?

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
Uh... he lives in Australia and I don't actually KNOW him....

53. Last time you saw a semi truck?
Yesterday. On the Blvd.

54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?

55. Do you have a little black dress?
Yea baby.

The Effort of Hate

The Dixie Chicks won five Grammy Awards this weekend. One of them for their song "Not Ready To Make Nice". I downloaded it several months ago from iTunes. Here are the lyrics if you aren't familiar with them:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and I kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting
They won on Sunday.

Saturday I was enjoying my Free Time during our church's annual Women's Retreat. I had gone to the mall and was on my way back to the retreat center. I passed a man who had what appeared to have originally been a small pickup truck. He had built a "shell" around it. It was really too big for that little pickup. But it first told me to REPENT! and then, in big, bold, garish, assaulting letters it railed against homosexuality in general and "Gay Marriage" in particular.

These two things happened pretty much within 24 hours of each other. But last October I had a brief conversation with Juror Number One from the Scott Peterson murder trial. My husband and Greg were friends in high school and their reunion was last October. When Normy realized that the guy on TV was his old friend he sent him an email. Normy told him thanks for the sacrifice he made and hard work he put in. He also told Greg that he made him proud and represented the old school well.

When we spoke to Greg about the whole thing, he told Norm how much he appreciated the email. He said something about how frighteningly easy it was for people to get his contact info... like Norm had. Norm told him "I got it out of the last reunion book". Greg looked a bit relieved and told us that not only did he get email, but snail mail too. With death threats.

So this weekend's events against the knowledge that Greg had gotten death threats and his family had been harassed by complete strangers got me thinking about The Effort of Hate.

How can the words that someone says, send someone so over the edge that they write a letter saying a life will be over?

It was easy for Norm to get Greg's email. Greg had, in effect, given it to him. He went to the cabinet where all such things are kept and got it. But Norm knows Greg. Perfect strangers had to take time out of their lives to search for that information. Then they had to compose the hate mail. Some of them had to then affix a stamp and take it to a mailbox. Others simply hit "send". These aren't friends and relatives of Scott Peterson, no no. These are total strangers. People who personally knew none of the principles involved.

That man with that truck? The time and money it took to create this display of hate. The effort it took to make sure it was street legal. What would have happened if he had put that kind of money and effort, and in the name of his god, fed the hungry? But instead, he chose to spread hate the name of his god.

And those people who sent death threats to Natalie Maines? It took effort too. What if they had expended that energy sending care packages to soldiers serving overseas? They chose to tell her to "Shut Up and Sing" instead.

The Effort of Hate.

Imagine a world where the energy put into hating was re-channeled into doing something out of love and compassion instead. Imagine that instead of saying "You don't have the right to...." be who you are, who you were born, voice your opinion, come to a different conclusion than I did, worship your god, love who you do, feel differently than me, be smart, be successful, be beautiful, be wealthy, be poor.... Imagine that instead, we simply said "You are a child of God and have sacred worth".

You don't have to agree except perhaps to agree to disagree. You don't have to adopt "the other way" as your own.

Imagine a world where it was OK to be...... Not just like me, like you, like them, like us.

To simply.... be.

Imagine a world where no one made an Effort to Hate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


My mother, quoting her mother... who for all I know was quoting HER mother, always said:

If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

I attribute that quote to my grandmother. Today I changed my signature quote line on ScrapShare to that quote. It seemed appropriate.

I ask a lot of questions in my job as a tax preparer. Some questions are surprisingly difficult for my clients to answer. Like.... "what is your child's birth date?" It's a stumper to far too many people. It's also hard to remember one's child's last name.

Some questions I ask and they throw it back to me to answer.

"How much did you give to charity?" I ask.

"How much is normal?" they ask me.

I swear.... one of these days I'm gonna say "Bill and Melinda Gates gave a couple of mil last year. You?".

Having grown up with my mother quoting my grandmother, I know better than to ask questions when I don't want to know the answer. And I don't. So it takes some getting used to dealing with those who haven't heard the wisdom of my maternal family line. People ask a question. I give them an answer because it just doesn't occur to me that they don't want to hear the answer.

I find it puzzling too. Why ask if you don't want to hear the answer? What is the purpose? These aren't rhetorical questions. These are actual questions. What is wanted is only answers that the questioner agrees with or wants to hear.

I guess it's like that proverbial wife question: "Honey, do these pants make me look fat?" Men know the answer is "no", even if it makes her ass look like a double wide. It took my husband years to fully understand that I'm asking because if they DO make me look fat he better tell me. If it looks bad on me... TELL. ME. Because if I didn't want to hear the answer, I wouldn't have asked the question.

I don't understand the thinking, invariably female, that says "tell me a lie instead of the truth if the truth is something I don't like". The thinking that says "I'd rather go out looking like hell than to be told the truth and make a change."

I guess it comes down to hidden agendas. The other day at work my boss and a co-worker said "With Nancy, you know where you stand." They were giving me grief cause I was giving it to my boss. Good natured ribbing.... But it's true and I've heard it more than once. Not always so good naturedly. There are those who down right do. not. like. me. because I have answered their question and they didn't want to hear it. And that would be my fault for the answering, never their's for the asking.

There was a hidden agenda. They wanted to be told they were doing the right thing. They wanted to be justified. That's fine. But don't ask if you are doing the right thing if you ONLY want to be told you are. I always think that if you have to ask, you are questioning and are thinking somewhere deep inside that you are not doing the right thing. I realize that it's tough to be told you aren't. I've certainly been told so many times in my life!

I said something off the cuff many months ago and someone quoted me back to me. Not saying it to me, but saying "whoohoo! I get to use my favorite quote of yours!" and told me what it was. Cracked me right up. It went something like this....

When several people, people who usually can't agree that the sun will rise tomorrow, tell you that your slip is showing, it is probably a good idea to retire to the ladies room and examine your outfit.

And so I add onto my grandmother's wisdom....

Don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer, and when you ask and get the same answer from different quarters, it might not be what you WANT to hear, but what you NEED to hear.

My mom says it was her mother's philosophy, but her one-liner. Now we both know! ;)