Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Pure Entertainment (or not)

Whew, it's been a while since I posted. And I know you're all saying to yourself, Yay! No crap from Kathleen to read today. Today I shall disappoint you, unless you enjoy my crapola…then you're in for a good time.

I feel hideously ill today. I've been nauseous since breakfast (and I feel like I have a fever, but that generally means I don't, but don't you worry, I'll check as soon as I get home), until I scrounged some pretzels from my boss' desk. The thought of my lunch sitting in the fridge about made me puke, so I never ate it.* Even my surefire peppermint for upset stomach didn't work. I'd like to think there was as correlation between my nauseousness and the financial type project on which I was working, but I'm scared I'm fighting something once again.

I'm actually considering not fighting the bug that's trying to take over my body because I know that without a doubt that I'll fight this fucker and fight it and fight it and then my body will get too tired fighting it and I'll get deathly ill on Dec. 30, the day my friend from SF/Berkeley shows up for a visit. It's damn near a sure thing. Write this down…

The Thanksgiving weekend was pretty hectic, as usual. I didn't have a single day of veging at home. Not one!!! If I hadn't rebelled on Saturday I wouldn't have even had a day of rest for my eyes from contacts and make-up (a must in my book). I went out into public looking like complete shit. Deal with it, people! I did.

The absolute highlight of the weekend (besides going to the symphony with our dear family friend from Mexico) was my new winter coat from Value City. It's a Harve Bernard (don't ask me, but I have faith that it's high-falutin) and doesn't look like everybody else's good winter coat, i.e., it's not black! I just couldn't do it. I tried one on and Julie said, "Now that coat you will wear forever. It's classic." And I hated it. The one I got was one she called "Too Tears for Fears" which was an analogy which I kind of enjoyed actually. ;-) Anyway, mine is a black/white herringbone and it was even cheaper than overstock.com, so I scored.

Sunday was insanely crazy busy (yes, I know that's redundant). I left for church at 9:00 a.m. and I didn't get home again until almost 10:30 p.m. And then suffered from my usual Sunday night non-sleeping. I don't know what it is, but I have the worst time sleeping on Sundays. I can be absolutely positively exhausted and I will toss and turn all night. And it was a bitch getting up Monday morning after sleeping in until 10:00 every morning of my five day weekend.

Now I'm going home and taking a nap before meeting the group at Red Robin at 8:30 to pick names for the Christmas exchange. I hope my nausea goes away by then. I love Red Robin and their Mushroom Swiss Boca Burger, and will be seriously put out if I'm feeling too ickily to eat!

*This isn't really a bad thing since I seriously need to lose 20 lbs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hating my writing style (term used loosely)

I'm not enjoying my posts lately. I think that I get too caught up in who might be reading things, so I end up editing too much. And that's incredibly stupid as there are four people who read this.

I also think I'm not very good writing directly to computer. I grew up in the stone ages and actually wrote all my papers in college by hand. I think I write better when I am not faced with a computer screen. I feel like my thoughts come out stilted and not free-flowing. But at the same time, I write personal e-mails on the computer and do not have this problem, perhaps because I'm directing it at one person, and feel I know my audience.

Yesterday's post re: Wanda and Winky was supposed to be a touching tale (ha ha) of me weeping at the zoo earlier in the summer and then I got sidetracked with work and shit and it ended up being a stupid post. Not that it would have been any better if I had stuck with the original theme, but my point is that I edit and forget too much!

I write great entries in my head while walking to and from work, in the shower, etc., but when I get in front of the computer all thought flees my head like a herd of gazelle confronted by a lioness. Yes, I did fabulously well on exams in school. How did you know?

Shit, right now, I couldn't remember my phone # if someone asked me. How did I get through college with this brain that is so willing to throw information away w/o asking me first? "Hey, dumbass redhead, you going to need this great diatribe on Wayne Gretzky?" No, it doesn't ask, it just deletes it from my hard memory and all those insightful (or inciteful) arguments are gone.

And the fact that I've spent the morning dealing with completely stupid fucking people hasn't helped the situation. My brain really shuts down when I have to deal with engineers, especially lazy ones who hate their jobs and want to do as little as possible and pride themselves on knowing fucking nothing. And then get annoyed with me because they have to think and probe their brains for some little tidbit of knowledge that I need in order to help them. I swear some of them think that I ask these questions just to be annoying. I've reached the point where I capitalise words like NOT a lot! Usually, the sentence looks like this, "The system will NOT let me do that. I REALLY need all of the information in order to complete your request." I'm not doing it to piss them off, but they think I am! ARGH!!

Thank goodness for the upcoming five day weekend. Yup, I'm taking tomorrow off. I plan for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to be a vacation day because I normally go off to Grandma's to help her get ready. It's the least I can do as Grandma is getting up there (I think she's going to be 87) and I like to have holidays at Grandma's because she has the biggest place and most centrally located. Anyway, she's unable to have dinner this year because her husband had surgery yesterday and he's going to be in the hospital three days. I'm a bit bummed, but I am trying to be a grown-up about this.

It'll be okay though because my Aunt Joanie is having us all over for T-giving and as long as I'm with lots of family, I'm good. I'm still taking tomorrow off because I still have to make my vegetarian dressing and mushroom gravy and it needs to be done early afternoon because I'm going to go out with Martha. We might even head up to Royal Oak to eat at Bastone as I had told her all about it! I'll have two good meals in a row! What a concept!

And please pray/keep in your thoughts my darling Boris. I found blood in his stool this morning, so we're off to the vet at 3:15 this afternoon. *sigh* I hope he's okay and that this is just the splinters from where he ate the corner of my bookcase making its way through his system and that it's really no big deal. *fingers crossed*

Monday, November 22, 2004

More on W&W and Zoos, in general

In my previous entry, I asked you all to go and sign the petition to save Wanda and Winky, the Detroit Zoo's old grand lady elephants. The Detroit Zoo earlier in the year announced that they were voluntarily giving up their elephants because of inadequate living conditions, even though the Detroit Zoo's enclosure is more than the AZA requires.

For most of my life I hated Zoos. I refused to go to them. In fact, I hadn't been to one since grade school until I went about ten years ago or so (can't remember exactly). I just hated seeing the animals in cages. I remember in 1993 going to Zoo Boise in Idaho and realising that the Detroit Zoo was a much more humane and better zoo than most. Zoo Boise (at least back then) had their animals still in cages. I remember foxes and rabbits and other small mammals stacked in cages. Other than the grizzlies having sex, I don't remember much about it, except the cages. And then when I moved to San Francisco, I went to their Zoo a few times. My friend Mary had a membership and even though she didn't like zoos, per se, she felt that the animals held in captivity had to be given the best that the Zoo could. Again, when compared to the Detroit Zoo I was not impressed (and gave me new appreciation for what Detroit has done for their animals). But when I returned to Detroit, I followed Mary's example and got myself a Zoo membership which I've renewed faithfully every year. It's not about getting into the zoo for free (since I do not go often enough to cover the initial cost), it's about the animals. 2-3 years back the Detroit Zoo opened the Arctic Ring of Life which is a new exhibit for the polar bears (my favorites). The ARL is so fabulous that you can't even see the damn polar bears half the time. Fabulous for them, that is. They have a mini-frozen tundra to roam and a big pool in which to swim and to be tempted by the seals kept on the other side of acrylic window. The ARL also has arctic foxes and snow geese, I think. We had two beautiful snowy owls, but they died two years ago during the Niles Virus problem. So sad. One was completely white and the other had flecks of brown. Both stunning.

I now go to the zoo a couple of times of year and greet my favorite animals, but until we get rhinos it'll never be the same. Two years ago at this time, they had to put our lone rhino, Rudy, to sleep. He was 40 years old (which apparently is quite ancient for rhinos) and was in failing health. Basically it was cruel to keep him alive just for me, apparently. Have I told you how much I loved Rudy the Rhino? He was quite literally my favorite animal at the zoo (since Frankie the old polar bear had left us) for a number of reasons. 1) Rhinos are just the freaking coolest animals. To my eyes, they are unbelievably beautiful and have you ever seen a baby rhino? It's the cutest damn thing! 2) A few years back when I was living in SF, some poor person who wasn't playing with a full deck crawled into Rudy's enclosure [I think this was when he was in the enclosure next to Wanda and Winky - before they moved him and made W&W's enclosure a full acre)]. Anyhoo, this guy got into Rudy's enclosure, but with Rudy being so old and so tired, he basically didn't care at all and he did nothing to the man. I think Rudy just looked at the nutcase and closed his eyes and resume his nap. Rudy was pretty mellow in his old age.

At any rate, the Detroit Zoo has been without one of the most magnificent animals in the world, the rhinoceros, for almost two years and I hear that if we're able to send W&W off to the Elephant Sanctuary we'll get a new rhino (or perhaps more) who will live in W&W's enclosure. And if the AZA doesn't give in to the petition of outraged citizens, I hope we get to keep W&W, and we'll just have to find a different location for the rhino(s). Keep your fingers crossed.

And in response to all those people who are anti-Zoo (I was one, so I know the arguments), I believe in the breeding programs to halt the spread of extinction which thanks to the human being is happening on a regular basis (and our present president is trying desperately to declaw the Endangered Species Act). Without zoos I'm pretty sure there are any number of animals who wouldn't exist at all, i.e., rhinos (black and white), tigers (both varieties), etc. And until we can figure out how to stop encroaching on their environment, zoos will continue to be necessary, to save the few animals left.

And I'm sure the first step could happen right here in the Detroit area where people seem to feel that they have to keep building bigger and bigger houses further and further away from the city center. Not all that long ago there was actually empty land between Detroit and Ann Arbor. It felt like a TRIP to drive to AA. Now it's just a pain in the ass since I-94 is never not crowded with stupid people who don't know how to drive.

Go sign the petition! Let's make the AZA see the errors of its ways!

Petition to Help Wanda and Winky

Please read the press release from the Detroit Zoo regarding the fate of their elephants, Wanda and Winky. And here's the petition to the American Zoological and Aquarium Association. Maybe if there's an outpouring of outrage at this decision, they'll reverse it and let Wandy and Winky live out their lives in relative comfort.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Me and Railroad Tracks *shudder*

I was reading Warcrygirl's Cure for Boredom this morning and it reminded me of a story to tell which hopefully is more interesting than my ranting about the lame-ass crowd at the symphony last night.

She ranted about this story and who, except an extremely stupid person, wouldn't rant about that. Especially if it's goes any further in the court system. At any rate, it reminded me of this time I took a walk with my Mom.

I think I was living in San Francisco at the time, but was home to visit and go to Champ Car races, of course. One evening after Mom got home from work we decided to walk up to Guernsey's for ice cream. I know how to get to Guernsey's, but I was following Mom as I had never walked there before. We walked around Crystal Lake Drive, turned right on Silver Springs and headed up to Eight Mile. When we reached Eight Mile we crossed the street (at the light) and walked along until we reached the part where it gets all discombobulated because of Novi Road. I would have walked all the way down 8 Mile to Novi Road and then doubled back along Novi Road, but Mom headed down into this ravine which was mostly weeds and a little river/stream/whatever. At this point Mom crossed a railroad trestle, or at least I thought she was simply crossing the railroad trestle. But no, she doesn't immediately step off, she walks along the fucking tracks. I'm completely freaking out as I only have one real unnatural fear and it's of railroad tracks, or more specifically, getting hit by the huge ass fucking locomotives that speed along them. This was a few years ago, so I don't really know how far we walked (probably not more than 50 feet) before I completely lost my mind and said, "Mom, why the FUCK are we walking on the railroad trestle?" Or something extremely similar. I'm pretty sure the word FUCK was used, as I was highly stressed by this time. Mom, in true Mom ditz/airhead fashion, said, "What?" in her normal oblivious tone. I don't remember my reply but it was enough to get her to figure out that it would be best if we stopped walking on the railroad tracks and we walked the rest of the way in the waist-high weeds. Even now, sitting here writing about it has made my heart rate jump.

Now this isn't one of the many railroad tracks across this country that aren't used anymore. Although you wouldn't know it by the number of incredibly stupid people who SIT on the railroad tracks after they get their ice cream. I believe one goes through around 6:00 p.m. At any rate, Mom was kind enough not to put my poor heart through the railroad scene again and we crossed the RR tracks* (where people were sitting) and walked back home through the big, fancy home neighborhood.

I think my fear comes from hearing all sorts of news stories where people would lose a fight with a train, either because their car got stalled on the tracks (reason I ALWAYS fly across them) or they were walking along them (this one makes me crazy, as it makes NO sense to me) or the story from here in Michigan a number of years ago of these teenaged kids wanted to get from their town to another town and therefore hitched a ride on a train and were riding on top of the cars and when the train when through a tunnel they got decapitated. Still freaks me out thinking about it.

So here's hoping the judge pitches the lawsuit in the above story in the trashcan and charges her court fees for wasting his time.

*For a long time I had trouble just walking across railroad tracks, but I'm doing much better these days. I don't even run across them. I can take them at a nice, leisurely stroll.

Wednesday and Thursday

17 November 2004

Well, it's Wednesday and this week that means it's DSO night! I'm pretty excited as the concert will contain Berlioz, Barber, Tchaikovsky all conducted by Itzhak Perlman. The reason it's tonight is because Maestro Perlman is an orthodox Jew so he does not conduct on Friday nights (my usual concert night). Unfortunately he won't be playing the violin this time, but I have heard him in person before so I'll live through the disappointment. And this all means that right now I'm listening to Tchaikovsky's Symphony #6 "Pathetique" as that is what we'll be hearing tonight. I'm a huge fan of Tchaikovsky's music, so I'm quite looking forward to it.

I'm going with Suzy again. We had talked about this concert back during the last one (okay, not during the concert as that would be extremely bad form, but that night) and so she's going with me. The plan is the same as last time. I pick her up outside of her work downtown, head to Traffic Jam & Snug for dinner and then off to the concert. I'll be tired tomorrow as I won't be getting home until 11:00 and 5:00 a.m. comes awfully soon after that. And I can't sleep in (the way I like) on Friday as I have a wedding on the east side at 11:00 and I'm driving with my friend Marianne and I have to be at her house by 9:30. I hope the morning traffic is light at 9:00 a.m. I hate the east side so I'm letting Marianne drive (okay, that's what I say now, we'll see how it really works out on Friday).

Last night was a night of crocheting. I really want to finish Mom's afghan up by the end of the month so I need to get cranking. And I found out that our family friend from Mexico is going to be in town next week, so I need to get my butt in gear and make the rosary for his Mom that I have planned. That'll take two days, so I'll start that on Friday after the wedding and finish it on Saturday. Saturday I need to make a dish to take to church on Sunday as it's our 79th Anniversary, and I'm going out with Pamela that night. And then Sunday is way busy. Mass followed by Anniversary party and then I have to rush to Canton for a housewarming party which lasts until 5:00 p.m. I've been invited to a MoveOn.org party for that night but that's just not going to work.

18 November

For some reason I never got yesterday's entry posted. No excuses either. I wrote it early and had all day to post. Ah well!!!

I'll tell you all about the symphony in a minute, but first this commercial break brought to you by Grist Magazine, because political agendas have no place when it comes to doing what is best for the natural world!

Republicans take aim at Endangered Species Act

Republican leaders in Congress, bolstered by their election gains, no doubt have several environmental laws and regulations in their sights, but a top priority is revamping the Endangered Species Act. Developers, many Republicans, and a handful of Democrats have long contended that the act's requirements for protecting critical habitat are outdated and burdensome to economic progress. Enviros view them as the very soul of the act. Read about the state of play -- in Muckraker, today on the Grist Magazine website.

Today in Grist: The Republican majority in Congress is going after the ESA -- in Muckraker

Now back to our regularly scheduled boringness.

Last night was my night of culture for the week. The DSO did their usual fabulous job – too bad the crowd wasn't up to the Orchestra's standards. I know I discussed this before, but who wasn't taught NOT to talk during a classical music concert. The dumbass across the aisle felt the need to INTRODUCE HERSELF to the people behind us DURING the Barber Violin Concerto. I'm sorry, but WHY??????? Suzy and I both turned our heads and stared at her until she figured out she should SHUT THE FUCK UP.

At the intermission, we moved to the other side of the hall. For some reason the box office felt the need to sell the seats in my row and the row behind me, so that we were all crammed in like sardines. There were maybe seven people in the center section and ZERO people in the left section, so that's where we headed.

And I won't even mention the loser there in a baggy over-sized ratty T-shirt. Nope, won't mention it at all. *sigh*

Annual "Red List" of threatened species says lots of species are threatened

The World Conservation Union released its annual Red List of threatened species today, and it ain't pretty. Some 15,589 species -- 7,266 animals and 8,323 plants and lichens -- are in danger, up more than 3,000 from just last year. Nearly an eighth of all birds, a quarter of mammals, a third of amphibians, and half of turtles and tortoises are on the chopping block. No doubt there are all sorts of factors at work, though, right? Uh, not so much: "[A] single species, ours, appears to be almost wholly responsible," said the report. It traces the decline in biodiversity, which is currently between 100 and 1,000 times faster than the fossil record indicates is normal, to over-exploitation of resources, habitat loss, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and (you knew it was coming) global warming. Attempting to put a happy face on the grim report, researcher Simon Stuart emphasized that coordinated action has been shown effective in saving specific species. "Good things are achievable," he said.

straight to the source:
BBC News
, 17 Nov 2004

And for a change, some good environmental type news:

Extreme microbes may aid nuclear waste disposal

Researchers with the Department of Energy, hip to the latest trends, have developed genetically manipulated "extreme microbes" that reportedly survive entirely on Red Bull and communicate via appropriated skater slang. Ah, we kid. But there are some pretty bitchin' microbes out there. Able to survive in earth's most inhospitable environments -- some thrive at above-boiling temperatures, enjoy the company of toxic chemicals, and can endure large doses of radiation -- these "extremophiles" may become a valuable tool for eliminating nuclear waste. Lab-enhanced versions could be drafted to begin ingesting and breaking down toxins "in the not-too-distant future," outgoing Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said earlier this year. In addition to saving money -- the Energy Department estimates conventional clean-up methods for nuclear waste could cost up to $260 billion -- the microbes break down radioactive elements into insoluble forms, making them less likely to leak into aquifers and streams.

straight to the source:
The Wall Street Journal
, John J. Fialka, 16 Nov 2004 (access ain't free)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Stupid People Strike Again

This story just shows how incredibly stupid and naïve people are. Come on, people, use your brains! How on earth can the government stop you from smoking in your cars??? Use a little common sense and consider the source. "Hmm, it's a morning radio show telling me this. Should I believe it?" Hell no! And the city is going to file a formal complaint with the FCC? They deserved to get inundated by phone calls from stupid people then. I hope the FCC throws the complaint out saying, "If the people in your town weren't so incredibly moronic this wouldn't have been a problem." Dipshits.

Monday, November 15, 2004

My Weekend in Food

Every once in a while there's a feel good story that shows up in the paper amidst all the depressing shit about wars and budget deficits and murders. A four-year old little girl got her wish to be a Princess for the day from the Make-A-Wish people. I so wish I had known about it ahead of time because I think that is one parade* I would have liked to have seen. You have to go the front page of the Freep in order to see the picture of her. I wish the Freep would include more pictures within the story than they do. Other newspapers have figured it out, not sure why they can't.

My weekend was not all that thrilling, but you'll be pleased to hear that I did not spend it at home knitting. Nope, I got out and about. Unfortunately I did not get to the Skinny Puppy concert on Friday night, but you can thank Ticketmaster for that. On the first page it said that SP tix were $20. Cool, I thought. Those are 80s prices there! Well, when you clicked to look for two tix, the next page the tix became $24.50 plus the additional $6.50 surcharge for the "convenience" of buying them from TM. So, within the space of two minutes, tickets went from $20 to $31. I hate Ticketmaster. That's all there is to it. I had planned on buying them at the box office that day, but they were apparently not open as my only options for buying were on-line or by phone with the $6.50 surcharge. *sigh* I knew Urs was only going because I wanted to go and that she wasn't overly thrilled about going, so I decided that I wouldn't make her pay $31 to do something she didn't really want to do. I'm a good friend like that.

Instead we ended up at a comedy club. Her friend Christine's husband was emceeing the show that night, so we got in free (which is the only way to do comedy clubs, IMHO, what with their $5.50 beers and two drink minimums). The headliner was a nationally renowned comedian named Basile. I had never heard of him before but I'm not exactly up on my comedians. All three comedians that night were funny, from Mike (Christine's husband) to Kevin Alberstadt (the opener) and Basile. It was good to laugh. After the show we kidnapped Christine (as Mike had the 10:00 show still to do) and we went to Red Robin for food. Now, I didn't need to eat anything, but did that stop me from ordering? Hell no! I love Red Robin's mushroom burger (made with a Boca burger, of course) and I have ZERO willpower. *sigh* It was SO good, though!!!!

Red Robin's burger was NOT the highlight of my weekend food, however. Saturday I got Taco Bell (I haven't had it in MONTHS) and then pizza – this is what you get when you kidsit your teenaged niece and nephew (basically make sure they don’t have a party or an orgy). Not that I'm complaining. I love Taco Bell and pizza. But still, I have not reached the highlight of my weekend, food-wise.

Sunday started out the usual way, except that I hit the snooze too many times and then had to drive like a bat out of hell to get to church on time. Mom and the kids even beat me there (a first). I had to be at Pamela's parents' house by 1:00 p.m. for the very necessary hair cut and color. Okay, the color wasn't that necessary but what the heck, color that damn grey and bring back the red I always had which has started to fade so people call me blonde – which I hate). I hadn't seen her parents in a long time so it was good to catch up with them while Pamela cut their hair as well. Then we went to the restaurant where her boyfriend works. I had seen the restaurant a month or so ago when I was wandering around Royal Oak with Martha and we had talked about going there at some point, but hadn't gotten there. And for some reason, I had never put two and two together and figured out that it was the same restaurant where Santi worked. Oh my heavens, Pamela and I shared the artichoke fritters (quite yummy) and we both ordered the potato truffle raviolis. People, it was sooooooo good, it was unreal. I mean, I want to go back today and get it again. HEAVEN!!! And I can't wait to try their twice fried French fries served with your choice of mayo. My arteries are hardening just thinking about it and I don't care!!!!

* I hate parades. Absolutely positively hate them. I think they're boring beyond belief. I remember waking up as late as possible on Thanksgiving mornings so that I didn't have to watch the Detroit Parade. My father would always say, "You missed the parade." Um, no, I didn't, not at all. And the idea of actually GOING to the parade? Sit outside on a late November Detroit morning and freeze to death to watch a bunch of floats and high school bands march by? My idea of pure unadulterated hell! I can't even imagine why people think that's fun. I went once many years ago when I was a kid and it was beyond freezing. I can't remember anything except freezing to death. I'm not sure we ever even saw a single float. Although that's probably my selective memory.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Sick and Champ Car

Hello all. Not much happening here. I've spent the past two days home sick, and I could easily be home in bed right now. And the worst aspect is that I don't feel abominably bad, just kind of bad. If I'm going to be sick, I might as well be sick, you know, where you know there's no way in hell you could go to work. I hate this "I could, technically, go to work" feeling. So, I'm here, feeling like crapola wearing my glasses as I was just not up for putting in the contacts this morning and just waiting to go home.

I was going to write this great entry on Tuesday about how and why Wayne "Whine" Gretzky is NOT the greatest hockey player of all time, but being sick I didn't have the energy and I'm not even sure I have it now. So, for now, you'll just have to take my word for it. He's a pansy-ass and no way he deserves the accolades he gets. I even had a link to a great story of the "Top 10 myths and lies in sports," but damn FoxSports seems to have moved it or deleted. Damn!!! Trust me, it proved my point with all sorts of numbers and shit.

And for those of you paying attention, Champ Car had its last race of the season on Sunday. My butt was firmly planted in front of the TV between 4:00 and 6:00 to see our new Champion crowned. Two drivers were going for the Championship, teammates Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira. Sebastien basically had to keep his nose clean and he'd win the Championship (he had to finish something like 11th even if Bruno won the race), but instead he went for it! He kicked some serious butt and at one point even had 17 seconds on Bruno (hanging out in 2nd), but then he had to scare the crap out of me and spin going into a turn. Thankfully there was enough run-off room at that corner for a double-bottomed tanker, so he gassed it going into the spin, kept the car running and off the wall and got going again, now with a 5 second lead over the Whiner (so-called, because he can't give an interview w/o whining. He can win the fucking race and he'll whine about something.) and them built his lead back up until he ran into some backmarkers who apparently weren't aware the freaking leader of the race was right behind them. He made his way through the traffic though and went on to win the race and cement his run to the Championship with a champion-caliber drive when all he had to do was play it safe! He kicked butt all year long (winning 7 races, fully half of the races run) and had something ridiculous like 13 of 14 front row starts. He had a brilliant season and I think he's a very worthy Champion and next year will be a fabulous contest as Cristiano DaMatta returns from a two-year hiatus in a crappy Toyota in Formula One to his seat at Newman-Haas Racing. I'm geeked for next year!

And of course, the highlight for me is that Oriol Servia finished tenth in the overall Championship – the best ever finish for a Dale Coyne driver. I was so happy for Oriol and Dale. Dale's been in the sport for many years but has always been a second-tier team as he does not get the sponsorship deals needed to run a top-level effort, but Oriol put forth an unbelievable year and even got a podium at Laguna Seca (first podium for Dale's team since my beloved Pupo, i.e., Roberto Moreno did it at Michigan in 1996). So, all I have to say is:


Oh, and Sebastien, too!

Monday, November 08, 2004


I've borrowed yet another survey from Clarity:

LAYER ONE: On The Outside

Name = Kathleen

Birthplace = Detroit

Current Location = Dearborn

Eye Color = Blue

Hair Color = Strawberry blonde

Height = 5'6

Righty or Lefty = Righty

LAYER TWO: On The Inside

Your heritage = German/Irish

Shoes you wore today = My all black Chuck Taylor Converse All Star High Tops

Your fears = Losing my job in the present economy. No hockey this season. That something is seriously wrong with Boris (he's been coughing like he has the croup but the vet couldn't find anything with quick (non-invasive) examination).

Your perfect pizza = Fresh mushrooms, onions and artichokes

LAYER THREE: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Your most overused phrase on AIM = I don't have AIM.

Your thoughts first waking up = "Do I really have to get up?"

Your best physical feature = My eyes.

Your bedtime = I aim for 9:30 but am not very successful of late.


Pepsi or Coke = Neither

McDonald's or Burger King = Burger King – veggie Whoppers.

Single or group dates = Single

Adidas or Nike = Neither (Converse or Saucony)

Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea = Don't drink iced tea.

Chocolate or vanilla = Chocolate

Cappuccino or coffee = Decaf Green Tea


Smoke = Nope, never

Cuss = all the fucking time.

Sing = Along in the car.

Take a shower everyday = Hell yes, it's my version of a cup of coffee!

Have a crush(es) = ...yes

Think you've been in love = Maybe.

Like(d) high school = Yes and no.

Want to get married = Uncertain.

Believe in yourself = Sometimes.

Get motion sickness = Never in my life.

Think you're attractive = Not particularly.

Think you're a health freak = Um, no.

Get along with your parents = Mom, yes, although she makes me crazy. Father, no.

Like thunderstorms = Yes, although the cats don't seem to.

Play an instrument = *sigh* no…

LAYER SIX: In the past month have you...

Drank alcohol = Um, yes.

Smoked = Nope

Done a drug = Nope

Made Out = HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Gone on a date = No

Gone to the mall = Yes.

Eaten an entire box of Oreos = Don't like Oreos.

Eaten sushi = Just last Tuesday – it was the highlight of Election Day/week.

Been on stage = Other than graduation? I probably was in grade school.

Been dumped = Yes

Gone skating = Yes, but not in years!

Gone skinny dipping = No.

Dyed your hair = Yes

Stolen anything = No.


Played a game that required removal of clothing = No. Hell, I was in my early 20s before I played Spin the Bottle.

Been trashed or extremely intoxicated = A few times.

Been caught "doing something" = Almost.

Been called a tease = Not to my face.

Gotten beaten up = No.

Shoplifted = No.

LAYER EIGHT: Getting Older

Age you hoped to be married = Never actually hoped to be married.

Numbers and Names of Children = No children

Describe your dream wedding = Nothing specific, just a man I love and who adores me back at the front waiting for me.

How do you want to die = In my sleep when I'm 100.

What do you want to be when you grow up = Not a what…I want to be kind, compassionate, intelligent, loved by my friends and family, not too big of a PITA.

What country(ies) would you most like to visit = Spain, Sweden.

LAYER NINE: In a boy/girl

Best eye color? = Brown

Best hair color? = Dark Brown

Short or long hair = Either or bald.

Height = 5'9" or taller

Best articles of clothing = Blue jeans

Best first date location = No clue since I suck at dating

LAYER TEN: In The Numbers...

Number of drugs taken illegally = None.

Number of people I could trust with my life = Maybe it's misfounded but I'd trust a whole lot of people with my life. +50

Number of CDs that I own = about 500

Number of piercings = Just my ears.

Number of tattoos = 0

Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper? = Twice – college newspaper.

Number of scars on my body = Three. One on the inside of my right forearm where a small cousin scraped with his fingernail (many years ago). One above my right eye where I ran into the hose roller-upper thingy at the age of 3 or 4. And the last one on my neck where I had my cervical diskectomy surgery four years ago.

Number of things in my past that I regret = My biggest regret is dating a jackass for four years.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Thank you, Michael Moore!

Okay, I lied, but if the President can do it, so can I! Hah!!!

Thank you, Michael Moore!!!!!!

Subject: 17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists...by Michael Moore


Dear Friends,

Ok, it sucks. Really sucks. But before you go and cash it all in, let's, in
the words of Monty Python, 'always look on the bright side of life!' There
IS some good news from Tuesday's election.

Here are 17 reasons not to slit your wrists:

1. It is against the law for George W. Bush to run for president again.

2. Bush's victory was the NARROWEST win for a sitting president since
Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

3. The only age group in which the majority voted for Kerry was young adults
(Kerry: 54%, Bush: 44%), proving once again that your parents are always
wrong and you should never listen to them.

4. In spite of Bush's win, the majority of Americans still think the
country is headed in the wrong direction (56%!), think the war wasn't worth fighting (51% ), and don't approve of the job George W. Bush is doing (52%). (Note to foreigners: Don't try to figure this one out. It's an American thing, like Pop Tarts.)

5. The Republicans will not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the
Senate. If the Democrats do their job, Bush won't be able to pack the
Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues. Did I say "if the Democrats do
their job?" Um, maybe better to scratch this one.

6. Michigan voted for Kerry! So did the entire Northeast, the birthplace of
our democracy. So did 6 of the 8 Great Lakes States. And the whole West
Coast! Plus Hawaii. Ok, that's a start. We've got most of the fresh water,
all of Broadway, and Mt. St. Helens. We can dehydrate them or bury them in
lava. And no more show tunes!

7. Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any
old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan.

8. 88% of Bush's support came from white voters. In 50 years, America will
no longer have a white majority. Hey, 50 years isn't such a long time! If
you're ten years old and reading this, your golden years will be truly
golden and you will be well cared for in your old age.

9. Gays, thanks to the ballot measures passed on Tuesday, cannot get married
in 11 new states. Thank God. Just think of all those wedding gifts we won't
have to buy now.

10. Five more African Americans were elected as members of Congress,
including the return of Cynthia McKinney of Georgia. It's always good to
have more blacks in there fighting for us and doing the job our candidates

11. The CEO of Coors was defeated for Senate in Colorado. Drink up!

12. Admit it: We like the Bush twins and we don't want them to go away.

13. At the state legislative level, Democrats picked up a net of at least 3
chambers in Tuesday's elections. Of the 98 partisan-controlled state
legislative chambers (house/assembly and senate), Democrats went into the
2004 elections in control of 44 chambers, Republicans controlled 53
chambers, and 1 chamber was tied. After Tuesday, Democrats now control 47
chambers, Republicans control 49 chambers, 1 chamber is tied and 1 chamber
(Montana House) is still undecided.

14. Bush is now a lame duck president. He will have no greater moment than
the one he's having this week. It's all downhill for him from here on out --
and, more significantly, he's just not going to want to do all the hard work
that will be expected of him. It'll be like everyone's last month in 12th
grade -- you've already made it, so it's party time! Perhaps he'll treat the
next four years like a permanent Friday, spending even more time at the
ranch or in Kennebunkport. And why shouldn't he? He's already proved his
point, avenged his father and kicked our ass.

15. Should Bush decide to show up to work and take this country down a very
dark road, it is also just as likely that either of the following two
scenarios will happen: a) Now that he doesn't ever need to pander to the
Christian conservatives again to get elected, someone may whisper in his ear
that he should spend these last four years building "a legacy" so that
history will render a kinder verdict on him and thus he will not push for
too aggressive a right-wing agenda; or b) He will become so cocky and
arrogant -- and thus, reckless -- that he will commit a blunder of such
major proportions that even his own party will have to remove him from

16. There are nearly 300 million Americans -- 200 million of them of voting
age. We only lost by three and a half million! That's not a landslide -- it
means we're almost there. Imagine losing by 20 million. If you had 58 yards
to go before you reached the goal line and then you barreled down 55 of
those yards, would you stop on the three yard line, pick up the ball and go
home crying -- especially when you get to start the next down on the three
yard line? Of course not! Buck up! Have hope! More sports analogies are

17. Finally and most importantly, over 55 million Americans voted for the
candidate dubbed "The #1 Liberal in the Senate." That's more than the total
number of voters who voted for either Reagan, Bush I, Clinton or Gore.
Again, more people voted for Kerry than Reagan. If the media are looking for
a trend it should be this -- that so many Americans were, for the first time
since Kennedy, willing to vote for an out-and-out liberal. The country has
always been filled with evangelicals -- that is not news. What IS news is
that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal. In fact,
that's BIG news. Which means, don't expect the mainstream media, the ones
who brought you the Iraq War, to ever report the real truth about November
2, 2004. In fact, it's better that they don't. We'll need the element of
surprise in 2008.

Feeling better? I hope so. As my friend Mort wrote me yesterday, "My
Romanian grandfather used to say to me, 'Remember, Morton, this is such a
wonderful country -- it doesn't even need a president!'"

But it needs us. Rest up, I'll write you again tomorrow.


Michael Moore

Last of the Political Entries

Saw this article this morning and just want to make sure all of my European readers (and I know there are myriads of them) know that 54 million Americans did NOT vote for the present regime. And I take great issue with this statement (last of the article): 'The Times said Europe "must come to terms, not only with Mr. Bush, but with the nation that has elected him. This is a president who really can speak for America."' No, I'm sorry but Mr. Bush does not speak for me or for most of my friends. And I'm pretty sure that if most of those 59 million people had actually done any sort of reading/research and didn't just believe the terrorist hype, they wouldn't have voted for him either, except for the nutcase Religious Right.

I'd just like to remind the Religious Right/Moral Majority that this country of ours of which they are so proud to be a member was founded on certain principles and two of those principles are: Equality for All and a Separation of Church and State.

For some reason in this country "All" does not seem to include our homosexual brothers and sisters, just like when it was written it didn't include Black people. We figured out along the way that that was wrong, and it's now time to offer the homosexual members of our country the same rights and privileges that the rest of us enjoy.

Regarding the Separation of Church and State, I found this address from Benjamin F. Underwood to be as true today as it was in 1876. The statement, in particular, seemed particularly apropos:

There are others who are more intellectual, but quite as much under the influence of theological creeds, who are in favor of a union between Church and State, because they see that, from their standpoint, there is a logical necessity for it, to make the government harmonize with the teachings and demands of their religion. Upon the acceptance of their views depend the eternal interests of mankind, as well as that less important concern -- the welfare of the State. They, therefore, ask that their religion be sustained by the government and enforced, if necessary, by coercive measures, for reasons compared with which all other reasons seem petty and insignificant: namely, to save multitudes from eternal torture, and secure for them an inheritance of eternal glory.

And for some reason the man in the White House believes he has a mandate, even though the Wall Street Journal states that Bush's victory was "the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916."

Okay, I'm done with politics for now. I'll try to write something relatively fun next entry!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Tears for Fears

Hello all. I'm still depressed but it's getting better. I went to the Tears for Fears concert last night at the State Theatre and it was a good time. I must give a shout out of thanks to Gay Skinny Vinyl Boy for the only laugh I had all day yesterday. "Thanks for your run through the venue to get to the floor so you could dance, or whatever the hell you had to do. I didn't think I was ever going to smile again yesterday and you actually made me laugh out loud. Now it's time to re-think your outfit. The black vinyl zip-up the front onesie was never a good look for anybody!"

And I highly recommend seeing Tears for Fears if they come to your town (of course, all of you live here in Detroit save Clarity, so unless your name is Glen or Kathleen, you missed it). You're just going to have to deal with it. And make a concerted effort to catch them next time. Their version of Mad World had tears rolling down my face as I contemplated the mad world in which we're all living right now. And no, I was not in the least bit hormonal yesterday.

I'm now contemplating making Urs go to see Skinny Puppy with me next Friday night. She told me last week that she wouldn't make me go to the Pixies if I didn't want to.

Well, this a scintillating entry, isn't it? I have nothing else to add….outta here in 45 minutes! Woohoo!!!!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sad sad sad day

I am utterly and completely depressed. I am now going to curl up into a ball under my desk and cry. My faith in the American people is gone.

God/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/Ra bless John Kerry for fighting the good fight and giving me a little light of hope these past few months. God/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/Ra bless the rest of the world and us, because we're going to fucking need it.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Catholics voting with their conscience!

My parish priest was one of the 19 members of the Detroit-area clergy to sign this letter. I'm so incredibly proud of him. He also was part of the group that came out to say Vote your Conscience and that a right to life doesn't end at birth, meaning don't feel that just because you are Catholic you must vote for George W. Bush, because every life is valuable, including the 100,000 Iraqis and over 1,000 American soldiers killed since this war began.

I just love my church and my priest!

Weekend Drivel and How I lost the election for Kerry

How's this for a shocker!? I'm updating on a Monday! What is the world coming to?

I had an interesting, if lame, weekend. Friday was semi-productive as I got to the post office and mailed off the baby blanket to my friend Rebecca's almost one year old son. Yeah, it took me a while to get it in gear, but once I got started, I cranked on it. I hope Clay likes it. After the post office I went to Belle Tire for a front-end alignment. I had 65 minutes before I was meeting Malcolm for lunch and since it was supposed to take an hour I was set. I had my knitting with me, so while they fixed my completely fucked up alignment (my right front was at –13 which is really bad when you know the range is 13-32) I worked on one of my sister's Christmas presents which I ended up finishing that night. No, don't ask, I have no clue what those numbers mean, but I do know that having a negative # when the range is completely positive is a bad thing.

They called my name at five minutes to noon, so I got to La Pita right on time and in fact passed Malcolm pulling in as I walked through the parking lot. I love perfect timing! It had been AGES since we had seen each other so we spent the hour eating yummy Arabic food and catching up. I was the picture of grace as I dribbled cracked lentil soup down my favorite Chico's shirt. *sigh* Turns out his wife knits too, so I feel like I should invite her to join us for knitting nights when it's not official Twisted Sisters Knitting Club night as Elaine's house is just not that large.

Next stop after lunch (it was an errand running day) was campus to drop off Martina's Body Shop purchases. She met me at the circular drive so I didn't have to park the car a mile away. Very helpful. From there I went to PetSmart to get kitty litter, and of course, to play with the kitties waiting to be adopted. I was so tempted by two of them. Both females who were so sweet and just starved for attention. One was a calico with some great markings and the other was a grey and white medium hair little girl. It was so hard to leave them. If I didn't already have two cats, I'd be sorely tempted to give them a home. The only thing that keeps me from doing it is that I think two cats is feasible, three is pushing the Crazy Cat Lady label. It's so hard though thinking of those little darlings w/o homes.

I had a massage scheduled for 3:00, but had little over an hour until then so I went home and worked on the afghan I'm making for my Mom for Christmas. She pouts every time I give one to somebody else, and it's getting quite annoying. It's not like she doesn't have two afghans already, but "you didn't make those." *sigh* Whatever!

The massage was given by Nick the Truck. I'm telling you, there's the good feeling the next day where you feel like you got hit by a Mack Truck and then there's the way I've been feeling for the past three days. I'm telling you, I'm one big fucking bruise. I'm sure he got some of the knots out, because he beat them into submission. I swear my ass is still bruised. I thought I could handle a really hard massage, but I was wrong. I'm a wuss. And I declare it proudly.

On the way home I stopped at Grant's for a custard blizzard with peanut butter cups and Heath bar. Yummy!!!! The woman was all flustered from the Osama bin Laden report which had broken into Oprah, so I got vanilla custard instead of chocolate custard, but it wasn't a big deal, so I didn't say anything. That was dinner for the night. Probably not very healthy, but very tasty!

I could have gone out to see Ray with the group that night but I was being completely lame, so I stayed home and crocheted. I probably watched some TV, but for the life of me I can't remember what I watched.

Saturday was Laundry Day, and I got it all done! It's always nice to feel like you accomplished something. Okay, I should clarify that it's all washed, but it's not all folded and put away. That's just the worst part. It's sitting on my bed just begging to be folded. I'm planning on doing it today after work before I head over to my brother's house to watch the rugrats while SIL goes to a homeschool meeting.

Saturday was, besides being Laundry Day, another Alfred Hitchcock Extravaganza at my house. I started with Frenzy which I must say was NOT my favorite ever. It was a lot more violent and graphic than I expect from Hitchcock films. After Frenzy, I watched Jamaica Inn which I would say is not one of his best. It was done in 1939 and it shows. It was Maureen O'Hara's first movie, apparently. It was good but it wasn't fabulous. And then it was time for Marnie which is very well done and even though I had seen it before I wanted to see it again within the context of all the other Hitchcock films I've been watching. I definitely liked it the best of the day. And after I finished watching that, I found the end of Spellbound on Turner Movie Classics. I'm so glad Ted Turner got over that whole colorization thing!

I did have a Halloween party to which I had been invited, but since I hate costumes and this one was supposed to be a political theme and I had had someone turn their nose up at my idea of a costume, I decided just to stay home. I didn't feel like venturing out of my house or putting make-up on or my contacts in, so I just didn't go. See, told you I was lame.

Sunday was Mass followed by a Town Hall meeting where we were informed that once again the Archdiocese of Detroit is threatening to close churches again due to the priest shortage. Man, that pisses me off. Look, dumbasses in charge! There's been a shortage of priests for a while now (10-15 years), and it's not going to change. So, let's make some changes to the whole celibacy issue, let priests marry or married men be priests and think seriously about letting women be priests. Other religions have done it. Doesn't it make more sense to do that, than to close parishes and piss members off. Because if the Archdiocese thinks for one moment that if they close my church (and trust me, it's a very good possibility), they won't find me at another church. That's it, I'm done. I like my small church and have no desire to go to a church with a thousand families. I like the personal feeling of MY church. So, I told Joi that I'd join the committee to try to come up with a viable plan to save my church. I love my church and my church family and it'd make me sad to have to give it up.

After the Town Hall Meeting, I headed to the Kerry Campaign Headquarters because I had volunteered to help. What a complete waste of time that was, to say nothing of being completely discouraging. I have no idea how Mark Maynard does it continually. I had to quit after an hour and a half because I was disheartened at the end of it. I had one man hang up on me in mid-sentence. I had a number of people (I was only supposedly calling people who had told the campaign previously that they were planning on voting for Kerry) tell me that "Bush is my man." (actual quote which really scared me) WTF!? I had a number of people tell me not to call back and I told them that I would note it on my sheets. And these last two were the end of my volunteering. One guy told me that his polling place was right next door and he was going to roll out of bed and go vote. I then said, as I was supposed to, "I'm hoping we can still count on your support for Senator Kerry," and he said, "Well, you just lost my vote right there." HUH? "I'm very sorry to hear that." "I'm sure you are," was his response, "but I said that whoever called me I was going to vote for the other guy." Well, that's a really valid way to make up your mind, fuckhead. And the last guy (which was my indication to give up the ghost and go home and watch mindless comedy to get over this horrible day) said, "Who's Kerry?" when I asked if we could still count on his support for Senator Kerry. Actually, I think he asked "Who's Kerry?" after my first sentence which was, "Hi, I'm Kathleen and I'm a volunteer with the Kerry Campaign calling to remind you to vote on Tuesday." After his shithead comment, I said, "Senator Kerry." "I've never heard of him." I decided not to take the bait this jackass was offering and I simply said, "Thank you very much. Have a nice day." And then I hung up the phone and turned in my pages and went home, but first stopping at Merchant's to pick up some Guinness and chocolate.

Once home, I threw Major League in the DVD player because I needed to get my mind off the complete assholes there are in this world. Nothing quite like volunteering for a political campaign to make you realise that people do suck ass. I hate people. After Major League, I watched Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill, but I'm afraid it didn't do the trick, as when I got into bed, I just laid there thinking about how I lost Senator Kerry a vote that day. Now I realise that if it hadn't been me, it would have been one of the other volunteers, but for a first time volunteer it was incredibly depressing.

And if we lose tomorrow, I'm going to need to be heavily sedated on Wednesday.