Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sick Sick Sick

Bloody hell, I'm sicker than a freaking dog. Even my beloved Alka-Seltzer Cold/Cold & Cough NightTime isn't able to touch this one. I'm so tired of my nose running and my left eye watering and generally feeling like complete shit. The only way I can get anything done, like knit a couple of rows or even nap is to shove a tissue up my nose. It's pathetic and disgusting and I just want it to end.

And to top it all off my friend McCoy is coming to visit from the Bay Area tomorrow. I warned her that she would be entering the Cold from Hell Zone, but she still wanted to come. I think she's crazy, but I hope I feel better enough to go to Don's party on NYE and Glen and Julie's on NYD. I'm too sick to link to their blogs, so deal with it.

If anybody has some fabulous cold remedies out there, please let me know as mine have failed me miserably.

*no hugs as I don't want to get anybody else sick*

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Listing for Christmas Projects

I didn't get a chance to update yesterday as I was busy at work as it was my last day for the year. After last year I thought I was going to do a better job of using up my vacation time but I did not. But it's not a bad thing as I have SO MUCH to do to get ready for Christmas.

I have been knitting like a mad woman and I am accomplishing quite a bit. I had to take a break though since I had an e-mail from some sweet person telling me that s/he missed my updates.

I have no DSO concerts this month since they concentrate on Christmas type events. I'm not complaining as I've been doing other things. Okay, I've mostly been knitting, so not that many other things. ;-)

Let's see what I've accomplished:

Deanna's poncho and matching scarf
Meg's third scarf
Annalise's scarf (I'll teach her to make fun of my knitting. She's only going to get knitted goods for the rest of her life.)
My cousin Maureen's boyfriend John's scarf (finished that today)
Cousin Leah's scarf

I'm now working on my cousin Garrett's scarf and between now and Friday I have to start and finish 2 rosaries, a scarf for BIL and cousin, and of course, finish Garrett's scarf, and I need to get to the bead store before I even get started on the rosaries as I'm out of jump rings.

Tomorrow though I'm going to lose a fair amount of time as I'm picking up my friend Chris at the airport and then we're having lunch at Cheli's. I'm planning on getting up early and getting to the stores before I pick him up, as I need to get to The Body Shop and Yankee Candle at the mall, as well as Target. After lunch I drop Chris at the mall and then I head to the bead store. I hope to finish one of the rosaries tomorrow night.

So, tomorrow I break my vow of not going to the mall during December. *sigh* I'm hoping to get in and out fast as I know exactly what I want. Thankfully, Yankee Candle and The Body Shop are near each other, so it shouldn't be too horrendously awful! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Other than the usual stuff this weekend (you know, Christmas Eve and Christmas Proper), the fun and excitement will be on Sunday when I attend the Grand Opening (by invitation only) of my friend's second sushi restaurant. I RSVPd today so I'm there! I even get to take a guest. I asked Martha but she won't be home from visiting her parents yet. I then invited my friend Darryl (whom I would have invited first by he lives in the Chicago area now and has no vacation time since he just started work within the past six months) and he so wants to go! My mom was sitting a couple of feet away and she could hear his response. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he is able to go as he loves my friend's restaurant and genuinely enjoys sushi. He might even like it as much as Clarity. And if Clarity weren't in Germany, I'd have invited her, because I want to take someone who will appreciate it.

Well, I guess I need to end this break. Gotta get back to Garrett's scarf. So much to do, so little time!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thursday Stuff and another survey stolen from Clarity

I'm getting a little tired of feeling rundown all the time. I went to the doctor months ago because I was just exhausted all the time. The series of bloodwork he ordered was insane, but found nothing. I spent yesterday sleeping. I woke up at 11:00 (this after waking up before 6:00 to call Bill and leave him a message telling him I wasn't going to be in and could he please page/e-mail the appropriate people), showered, got on-line and at 1:00 p.m. I signed off and crawled back into bed and slept for three more hours. And this after I went to bed at 9:00 the night before. How much sleep does one woman need??? It just seems that I've been fighting something since winter didn't officially begin two months ago. And it's tiring not feeling well all the time.

Here at work I'm in charge of collecting all sorts of engineering reports and filing them. The problem is that I have no clue what these things are or the best way to file them, so I have this pile sitting on my desk waiting to be put neatly into folders and then into the file cabinet. My issue is do I file according to program or report type or both? I've been waiting until I get enough to see what seems to be the best way, but I just don't know. I have today and Monday to figure it out since I want it done by the end of the year and I'm done with this place until January 2005.

I'm doing pretty well on the Making of the Christmas gifts for this year. Last Friday I finished the four scarves I was making for Meg to give to the people with whom she's worked this semester and got them in the mail. Hmmm, I haven't heard from her. I hope they got there. Then Friday and Saturday I crocheted madly on Mom's afghan. I finished it up Sunday and stuffed it into a box. Next on the list was a cute little Bernat Boa pink/purple poncho for my six-year-old niece. I finished that up yesterday and started a matching scarf for her. If I had felt better yesterday imagine what I could have accomplished, if I hadn't slept all day long. If I'm really productive, I might make a matching hat for her as well. And my older niece is getting a scarf just because she made fun of my knitting. That'll teach her! Maybe.

I have at least three rosaries to make by Christmas Eve too, although I figure I could technically make Grandma's Christmas Day if need be, but then it wouldn't be blest before I give it to her. Hmm, I should probably make a list of everything I need to do by Christmas.

Make three rosaries (A. Colleen, Grandma, Mrs. Livingston)
Annalise's scarf
Scarves for Ryan and Aaron (gotta figure out a way to make theirs fun, but not so fun that T&S have a heart attack that I'm making their toddler sons gay)
Third scarf for Meg – she really liked this yarn she found at the Plymouth shop so I picked it up. I already made her one in her school (Central Michigan University) colors and the black one she's been wanting for a year.
Scarf for BIL – my sister told me a while back that Dave is expecting me to make him a scarf. She offered to make him one and he said No, Kathleen's going to make one for me. So, I have the yarn.
Baby Blanket for Aidan, my cousin Maureen's baby.
Scarf for Eric, Clarity's husband.
Throw for Paula

Nope, no way I'll get it all done for Christmas. *sigh* Ah well, good thing the stuff I have to have done for Christmas is feasible. The other stuff is just extras. We're not having Christmas with Tim & Sue until after Christmas, and since I didn't get Dave's name for Christmas, I don't technically need to have his scarf done until I get to it. The baby blanket will get done whenever. I've already told Paula that she'll get her Christmas present in January, so it's all good.

And now for the survey stolen from Clarity:

What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

Started my diary, went on a cruise

Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't make New Year's Resolutions as nobody I know keeps them.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin gave birth to the most adorable little boy, Aidan. Friends Rick and Kelli gave birth to the adorable Brendan.

Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my Uncle Chuck in April and my dear friend Jesse in August.

What countries did you visit?

Canada and the island countries of Antigua, Martinique, St. Maarten and Tortola

What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

Better health

What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 28th, OWRS wins bankruptcy court hearing, April 17th, the day Uncle Chuck died; August 5th, the day Jesse died. All of the parties in August I had to celebrate my 40th b-day.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Didn't lose my job.

What was your biggest failure?

Gaining too much weight and being unable to lose it (although I'm trying damn hard these days)

Did you suffer illness or injury?

An absolutely hellish case of bronchitis over Easter weekend and I had to go to Easter Vigil since I was a young girl's sponsor. I was absolutely miserable.

What was the best thing you bought?

The opal ring I bought on my cruise.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

Patty who handled Jesse's passing beautifully – much better than I did.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

President Bush.

Where did most of your money go?

Cruise, travel to races, yarn

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

OWRS winning the CART bankruptcy hearing over the hated despised horrible and nasty IRL which meant that I had Champ Car races to attend, the Lansing yarn store opening up, seeing my friends at the races

What song will always remind you of 2004?

Sparklers and Bottlerockets by Tijuana Strip Club

Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Happier.

thinner or fatter? Fatter *sigh*.

richer or poorer? Poorer, but I'm working on it.

What do you wish you'd done more of?


What do you wish you'd done less of?


How will you be spending Christmas?

I'll sleep in as I'll go to "Midnight" Mass* and then I go to my aunt's house and help her wrap presents as she doesn't do any wrapping until Christmas Eve. I started this tradition when I moved back to Michigan four years ago and I quite enjoy it. If I have her rosary done I'll give it to her that night. Around 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day I'll head over to my sister's house and spend the rest of the day with Mom, Meg, Michele, Dave, Annalise, Gregory, Grandma, Fred and probably Aunt Joanie and whichever of the girls are around. I'll also pray for my cousin Brandon who is being shipped out CHRISTMAS DAY to Iraq.

Did you fall in love in 2004?

I'm not sure I believe in love anymore – at least, not the non-platonic kind.

How many one-night stands?

Shit, I'm not sure I even kissed a guy in 2004. How pathetic is my life!

Favorite shows?

A&E's Cold Case Files, American Justice and City Confidential

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Not that I can think of right now

What was the best book you read?

I read so many good ones. Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, and The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Tijuana Strip Club and PlanetUron

What did you want and get?

A Champ Car season

What did you want and not get?

A trip to Mexico City to see the last Champ Car race of the season

What was your favorite film of this year?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I only saw two in the movie theatre)

What did you do on your birthday?

My actual b-day? Worked my usual 6:00-4:00 and then met up with a bunch of friends at my favorite bar

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not being fat

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Elasticised waistband pants

What kept you sane?


Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Johnny Depp

What political issue stirred you the most?

The moron in the Oval Office.

Who did you miss?

Friends who live too far to see very often:

Paula, Rebecca and Sal

Who was the best new person you met?

Erich and Clarity

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

When you reach 40 your metabolism takes a powder.

Today's Time Waster: Bounce Out on Yahoo! Games

My New Favorite Song: "Mercy Springs" by Tijuana Strip Club

Food I'm Craving: Nothing as I had too much pita bread at lunch and I'm feeling fatter than ever.

*Midnight mass at my church is held at 8:30 p.m. as the neighborhood isn't really the best to be in late at night.

The Heart of my Church

Monday night was the beginning of the end for my church – at least that's the way it seems. The lovely and talented (please read as much sarcasm into these adjectives as humanly possible) Archdiocese of Detroit is starting this year-long process in which the individual churches evaluate themselves, fill out this long-ass PEI (it does NOT stand for Prince Edward Island, but rather the unlovely Parish Evaluation Inventory), submit it to the vicariate, which essentially is a grouping of churches based on location, and then come Nov. 27, 2005, my church will be closed. We're cynical about the process. Can you tell? Of course, there's nothing set in stone…oh no! There have been no decisions made yet, no way. And if you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

Four of us got together and worked on Section 1 Monday night. Section 1 is the Sacramental Nature of the Parish. We worked on the numbers portion together and then we reached the last page which consists of essay questions, essentially. This is the part where we small parishes are supposed to be able to show the "heart" of our parish, since our sacramental numbers are not up to those of a billion family suburban white church. The Archdiocese is pissing off a lot of people again. And for Pete's sake, here's a thought for you. If the problem is a priest shortage and that was essentially the reason for the last round of church closings (however many years ago), perhaps, instead of closing churches and pissing off people, we should address the problem, i.e., let married people be priests. I'd say let women be priests, but that won't happen in a hundred million years.

It's completely ridiculous in this day and age to maintain this bullshit celibacy issue, especially because if you've done any sort of historical research you know that until the Middle Ages priests could marry. The problem came when the priests decided to leave church property to their sons (I'd say children, but I'm sure they were leaving it to the sons and not the daughters) and there was apparently no recourse in those days to get said property back. Therefore in order to save The Church tons o' money, they instituted this celibacy insanity and voila, here we are hundreds of years later closing churches because men don't want to be celibate. And check this out, if an Episcopalian/Anglican priest decides to switch to Roman Catholicism (I asked why they would want to do this and was told – maybe tongue in cheek, but probably not – because we're stronger against the gay plague), and the Episcopalian/Anglican priest is already married with children, they allow him to switch with his wife and kids. Explain this one to me, people!!!

So, I'm pissed off right now because I love my church and if the Diocese thinks (and it does) that I'll just pick another church to attend, they are smokin' some serious crack. The "heart" of my parish is the people and if we get closed I'm sure we'll split up and go to a number of other churches and it won't be the same. Besides, I don't want to go to a large church! I want to go where I'm missed and people greet me with genuine affection and ask me where my mother is when she doesn't show up or my sister. And they know my niece and nephew who come a couple of times a year when my mom is watching them (my sister and her husband won't go into Detroit – there are Black people there, you know) and get asked how they're doing and why don't they come more often. We celebrate birthdays and graduations and births. There's a true feeling of family there and I'm hoping against hope that they won't close us, but there is so little hope at this point.

Now I have to work on my essay questions – damn, I hate the whole idea as it reminds me of college and I'm so glad I'm done with that. And I need to come up with the perfect words to show the vicariate and the powers-that-be that we deserve to stay open.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My Favorite Christmas Present 2004

There are so many topics about which I think to write when I'm driving, but when it comes to sitting down and typing up a diary entry my mind goes blank!!! My last entry discussed my favorite memory of my dear friend Jess. When I got home on Thursday I had a package (it had actually arrived Wednesday but it must have been hidden in the foyer of my building because it was a decent sized box and I missed it) which had been outside my apt when I left for work that morning.

My intentions Thursday afternoon were to do some ab work and leg lifts and pilates type exercises. Well, I sat down on my exercise mat all ready to exercise after I opened my package. I do NOT believe in waiting for Christmas unless the box specifically tells me I have to. On top was a letter from Patty along with a pic of the three of us (P, J, and me) from Cleveland, probably 1997, Patty's first year. I teared up looking at that picture and it wasn't just from the horrendous straw hat I was wearing!!!

At the bottom of the box was a red bear. The letter explained that the bear was made from one of Jesse's racing shirts, specifically an Alessandro Zanardi shirt from his F1 days, and it smells like Jess. Patty's mom helped her make it and it has cute black eyes, nose and stitching on his chest that says JPB. When I got that I just started to cry as I still can't believe Jesse is gone. I know he is, because I saw him right after he died as well as at the funeral, but it still saddens me to know I won't see him at Cleveland or Milwaukee any more. And I know if he had been better the last couple of years I would have seen him at Road America.

I did a few crunches (I get so incredibly bored exercising that I just can't make myself do it for more than three seconds) and then cried some more. By the time Martha called I had made my voice all scratchy from crying – so much so that Martha thought I had been napping. Being the good friend that she is, when I said that I didn't want to go out, she said she completely understood as sometimes she just wants to sit home and be sad. I know I should have gone, but I was just not in the mood to hang out at a bar with people. And the last time I didn't feel like going but did, I was a miserable wretch and nobody wanted to talk to me and I can't say that I blame them at all.

So, even though it was my first Christmas gift of the year, I declare that my favorite present (the one that will mean the most and I'll keep forever) is my JPB bear. Every time I look at him, I'll think of J&P and what incredible friends they are and were. And I'll bet that on more than one occasion, I will cry.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

One of My Memories of Jesse/emmo2

Yesterday I received the only Christmas card that I will keep this year. It was from my dear friend Patty who lost her husband in August of this year. I'm sure you'll remember my very first entry which was about Jesse and how we had just found out that he was leaving the hospital and told he probably had a week. It ended up that he had less than 36 hours.

The Christmas card is a homemade computer card for which P&J are famous. When I had my cervical diskectomy four years ago I received a lot of these cards from them wishing me well and hoping I'd get well soon. They are so sweet. Patty included a pic of Jesse standing next to the ocean (I'm betting down at DisneyWorld) in my favorite Lotus t-shirt and a pic of the two of them with him in his CART polo shirt and Patty in her Dale Earnhardt t-shirt. And if the pics weren't enough to make me cry, the message from Patty would have done it.

"Jesse passed away in August this year but his spirit will always be with us. As you celebrate the joys of Christmas please take a few moments to recall a memory you had with Jesse. Your memory will keep him alive in our hearts forever."

So, per Patty's request, I'm going to tell you about the most fun Christmas party cyberly-spent and one of my favorite memories of Jesse.

Back in May 1995, ESPN started their on-line entity, and with it a number of chats: baseball, football, hockey, boxing and auto racing (if I remember correctly). It was early May, as I know we had been there at least a week or so before we Indy fans (as we were then known) had to explain to the NASCAR people how the Indy 500 qualifying worked. Paula returned the favor by explaining NASCAR to us open-wheelers. It was a wonderful chat full of people trying to learn from others, and having spirited discussions about why our form of racing was better or not. We had to deal with the regular jackasses who thought they were so clever, "RACING IS STUPID. YOUR [sic] STUPID."* And shit like that. Very clever of stuff. Anyway, Jesse was on there in the beginning and his chatname was emmo2 as he was a big Emerson Fittipaldi fan and was the same age as Emmo.

Background information: That first year of the Chat there were no official race gatherings, but people going to the same races would make plans to meet up. I met one chatter in Detroit that year, but the first race where there was actually a group was Toronto 1995. We met Friday night at a restaurant and it was easy to spot Brian aka Toronto because he was wearing his Spam Blimp t-shirt (which was a chat inside joke, and it made easy to find relative strangers). Everybody in the chat, of course, had requested a pic of the Toronto ESPN Chat Group, so one got taken and as Mom worked at photo developing Hallmark store at the time, I got about a million copies made up and sent them around the world (literally). Jesse got one and always after that he would call me Cutie in the chat, and since I thought that was sweet of him, I always called him Sweetie. Now we shall return to the regularly scheduled story.

When Christmastime came around that year, we scheduled a Christmas Office Party in the chat. I think it was for a Friday afternoon. It was the best cyber party ever. I mean it really felt like we were all together and celebrating our friendships. Sappy, I know, deal with it. Anyway, someone suggested that we have a desk chair race (we were race fans after all) and people teamed up, one person sitting in the chair, the other pushing the chair around the course. And we had to come up with a name for our teams too. Nine years later I can only remember the name of Jesse and my team. We were the Sweetie-Cutie team which made everybody else gag so badly that we creamed their butts – although I'm sure Paula would argue that her team (can't remember with whom she teamed up) won. The race itself was crazy wild. Chairs and people banging off file cabinets and walls as they careened around the race track. We had champagne punch and beer and God knows what else at this party and it was so fun. But for me the most memorable part of the "party" was the Desk Chair Race with Jesse and me winning the grand prize (no prize and no real bragging rights, even, since other people thought they had won). It was just silly fun and I really miss those days in the chat.

And I miss Jesse. It makes me sad to think that I won't see him next year at the races. Cleveland will always be a little sad for me, as I'm sure it will be for Patty since Cleveland is what brought them together – that and our goofball friend who figured that Hammond, IN was near Chicago and Waterford, IL was somewhat near Chicago, so therefore it would make perfect sense for Jesse to drive from Hammond to Waterford to pick Patty up for the Cleveland race in 1997. LOL!!! If you know anything of Chicago geography you know that this is not in the least bit convenient, but Jesse was the type not to say anything and think "Why not? She needs a ride. Who cares that I have to drive (at least) an hour and a half in the wrong direction?" And he didn't care. It was all about getting Patty to the race and give us a chance to meet her, after chatting with her for so long.

And that, dear people, is one of my favorite memories of Jesse. Well, that and the fact that he was sweet enough to burn the negative of a pic he took of me at Cleveland in 1996 which was just about the worst picture of me ever taken! He sent me the only prints and burned the negative and I ripped those suckers up very fast. The badness of that picture was breath-taking!!! ;-)

* After enough visits by these complete freaking losers I developed the perfect way to get rid of them. Ignoring them didn't work, we found out, so as soon as one of them would show up and say something like "YOUR STUPID! YOUR A REDNECK." etc., I would address them directly with the following comment or some variation thereof (as I can't remember exactly – it was nine years ago), although I would call them by their chosen chat name, not Asshole.

Asshole – If you feel the need to insult, I would appreciate it if you would, at the very least, use correct grammar. Here's a little grammar lesson to help you look not like a total idiot while insulting us:

YOUR indicates possession, i.e., your car, your house, etc.
YOU'RE is a contraction used when you really want to say YOU ARE STUPID.

For some reason, this always scared them off. Always!!! I got to the point where I just shortened it to the grammar lesson and it still did the trick.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Just another stupid survey

Welcome to the Fall 2004 edition of getting to know me.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:08 a.m.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Opals. I hate diamonds and pearls are old-ladyish.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Shrek2

4. What is your favorite TV show? Of all time? M*A*S*H. Presently? Cold Case Files on A&#

5. What did you have for breakfast? Dry Cheerios

6. What is your middle name? Marie

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Sushi (veggie, obviously), Vietnamese at Annam, Mexican

8. What are your favorite Potato chips? Don't like potato chips, but if I have to choose: Cape Cod's Dark Russets

9. What is your favorite CD at the moment? PlanetUron, Whatever

10. What kind of car do you drive? 2000 Ford Focus

11. Favorite sandwich? Grilled cheese with tomato or pickle or PB&J!

12. What characteristics do you despise? Arrogance

13. Favorite item of clothing? My huge fleece pants I got in the Castro years ago

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Spain, Sweden, Peru, Mexican Yucatan

15. What color is your bathroom? White as I live in an apt., but I accent with purple and green.

16. Favorite clothing store? Chico's

17. Where would you retire to? Somewhere with 80-90F weather every day.

18. Favorite time of day? 4:00 p.m. when I get off work

19. What was your most memorable birthday? This year! My friends gave me a party. I went to Chicago with Meg to see SuperDiamond, and then Mom and Meg planned a surprise party for family and another group of friends.

20. Where were you born? Detroit, MI

21. Favorite sport to watch? Champ Car World Series and the NHL (bastards – owners and players, but specifically Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow).

22. Are you a morning person or night owl? I'm a Day Person. I get up early but it's so I can get off work while it's still daylight and enjoy some of the day.

23. What is your shoe size? 7 (5 in Chuck Taylors)

24. Do you have any pets? Boris and Igor the Always Hungry Cats.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with your family and friends? Nothing to share.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? A nurse, until I figured out that I don't really like blood and guts.

27. What were you meant to be doing? I was meant to be rich, but not famous, skinny and fabulous and able to knit all day!

28. What book are you currently reading? Justine of the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell

29. What is your favorite color? Black, olive green, red

30. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mother Lode or Crème de Novi (mint chocolate chip made with crème de menthe instead of peppermint)

31. Red or white wine? white

32. How do you have time to do this right now? I'm waiting to hear from people.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More Fun Times from My Life

Greetings all. So much to tell you all about, but where to begin? The weekend is a blur, and I didn't even really drink. Friday I had a dentist's appt. I changed dentists this time around because I got a new dental care provider and my old dentist wasn't a member and the woman right across the street from my apt. is. My appt. was at 11:00 so I got there a few minutes early since I knew there would be New Patient Paperwork to fill out. Thankfully, I took a book with me (as I'm wont to do) as I didn't get called until 11:40 and then the dentist didn't come in until close to 12:00. I love sitting in the dentist's office listening to the local radio soft rock station which started playing Christmas songs 24/7 back before Thanksgiving. (For the record, the last statement should be read with a HUGE amount of sarcasm. And if I don't know you, use a really cool sexy voice as mine.) ;-)

The dentist did apologise for making me wait but she had an emergency that morning. I told her it was fine as I never go to doctors' or dentists' offices w/o something to read or my knitting. I find knitting is better just in case your doctor is one of those who has a loud obnoxious TV in the waiting room. I have trouble concentrating when talk shows are screaming at me, but I can tune them out when knitting.

I went to see the DSO Friday night with one of my all time favorite people. I picked her up and she had lovely vegetarian grape leaves, lentil salad and tabbouleh for dinner ready for me. We had a nice repast and then knitted away until it was time to head downtown. The program was an all Bach program, CPE Bach, Johann Christian Bach and Johann Sebastian Bach. Quite quite beautiful!!! I don't own much Bach, but I'm thinking I should broaden my horizons. When it was over we went back to her house where we knitted and chattered away until 1:00 a.m. I am almost done with the black scarf I'm making for my sister's Christmas present (she better not have found this place).

I had had a brainstorm during the symphony Friday night, so as soon as I woke up (I slept exceptionally badly Friday night) I called Martha to see if there were any reason why we could not go to the Lansing yarn store that day instead of Sunday as I had to be back here in Dearborn by 4:00 for a dinner extravaganza. She agreed that she had nothing else going on, so the next person to contact was Soyon. Problem here is that I knew there was no way that Soyon was up at 9:30, so I had to wait to call her. I finally called her at 10:30 and got the answering machine, so I left a message and then called her cell phone where I also left a message. It all worked, mostly. I picked Soyon up at 1:00 and we were on the road to Lansing by 1:06, but then got caught in the most hideously stupid traffic jam in Novi. I HATE TRAFFIC JAMS!!! Especially construction traffic jams where they shunt all the traffic down to one lane (far left, using shoulder) for a full mile while TWO men in two separate trucks work on the far right lane. It took and hour and fifteen minutes to get through it. Martha was waiting patiently at a carpool parking lot in Howell for us. I have huge issues with cops who sit on the other side of a construction zone waiting to nail people for speeding. Thankfully the one I saw got somebody else. And I have huge issues with people who think it's appropriate to drive on THE SHOULDER in order to pass people who have been sitting in said traffic jam for an hour. You can bet big bucks that that fucker didn't get past me or in front of me. Unfortunately the poor guy behind me was suffering from an overheated car and he left room, so the jackass got in behind me. I just can't believe the nerve of people. Once we got Martha the rest of the trip was smooth-going. We stayed at the yarn store until about 6:30. I had such a headache that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do, so I ended up spending zero dollars at my favorite yarn store. The good news was that Soyon and Martha both loved it, so we have two more converts to the goodness of the Lansing yarn store. Woohoo!!!

I just love that store. Specifically I adore Rob and Matt!!! Matt saw me from the back of the store and yelled, "Hello, Kathleen." I waved and yelled, Hello Matt back at him. And I told him that I really want to join their Thursday night charity knitting event, but driving to and from Lansing in one night is not such a fabulous idea I didn't think. Matt said that once they get the guest room done in their house I could drive over on Thursday after work, join the charity knitting group and then spend the night and the entire Friday knitting away! How fun does that sound??? I'm so excited!!! And with Martha going away on me next year for six months I won't have a Thursday night drinking partner, so I might as well head off and get some quality knitting done!!!

I'm apparently not allowed to talk, per Julie, about Sunday as I had dinner at Jason's with a few other people. So, I won't discuss the various wines, appetizers, soup, main courses or dessert, or even the world's most fabulous mashed potatoes. Oh wait, forget I said that…really, the food sucked royally. It's best that all future invitations to dine with Jason are foregone…in the hopes that he'll re-invite me. ;-)

As I was out eating myself into another dress size Sunday night I have not yet seen The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I have it taped, so I hope to watch it soon. I could have watched it last night, except that City Confidential and American Justice were on A&E and they were new (to me) episodes. And then there were four straight episodes of Forensic Files on Court TV. I can't help it, I love seeing people who think they've gotten away with a crime get caught, even 26 years later!!! And tonight is definitely an A&E night as Cold Case Files should be on right after American Justice.

Oh yeah!!! My sister called me on Saturday to let me know that Wanda and Winky have been saved!!! The AZA caved to the pressure of the general public who wrote in and signed petitions and have agreed to let them be sent to the California PAWS Animal Rescue! And they did the same for the San Francisco Zoo's elephants. Woohoo!!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Another stolen survey from Clarity

As usual, I stole this from Clarity. The things I have done are capitalised.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
06. Held a tarantula (could have, but I was too big of a wimp)
07. Taken a bath with someone
08. SAID I LOVE YOU AND MEANT IT (not romantically)
10. Done a strip tease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. STAYED UP ALL NIGHT LONG AND WATCHED THE SUNRISE (over the Golden Gate Bridge – in theory, but it was too bloody foggy to see anything)
15. Seen the Northern Lights
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. GROWN AND EATEN YOUR OWN VEGETABLES (Does my dad's garden count since I had to do the weeding?)
19. Touched an iceberg
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse
30. Called in sick when you were not ill
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. TAKEN AN ICE COLD BATH (okay, my aunt said it was tepid, but it felt ice cold to 104 degreed skin)
40. Seen a total eclipse
42. Hit a home run (shit, I don't think I've ever gotten a base hit)
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states/every county
50. LOVED YOUR JOB (not my present job – which I like)
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
59. ROCK CLIMBING (it wasn't a cliff, just a huge ass rock)
60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice (I don't even understand the question)
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Visited Ireland
63. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
65. Visited Japan
66. Benchpressed your own weight
67. Milked a cow
69. Pretended to be a superhero
70. Sung karaoke
72. Posed nude in front of strangers
73. Scuba diving
74. Got it on to "let's get it on" by Marvin Gaye
75. Kissed in the rain
80. Visited the Great Wall of China
81. Discovered that someone who wasn't supposed to discover your blog had discovered it.
82. Dropped Windows in favor of something better – NOT YET, but the thought is there.
83. Started a business
84. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Taken a martial arts class – Hell no, although the ex wanted me to.
87. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
88. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
89. Gotten married
90. Been in a movie
91. CRASHED A PARTY (a wedding)
93. Had sex at the office restaurant
94. Gone without food for five days – No, but I should starting now!!!!
96. Won first prize in a costume contest
97. Ridden a gondola in Venice
98. Gotten a tattoo
100. Rafted the Snake River
101. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
102. Got flowers no reason.
103. Masturbated in a public place.
104. Got so drunk you don't remember anything.
105. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
108. Recorded music
109. Eaten shark
110. Gone to Thailand
111. Seen Siouxsie live
112. Bought a house
113. Been in a combat zone
114. Buried one/both of your parents
115. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
117. Spoken more than one language fluently.
118. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
119. Bounced a check
120. Performed in Rocky Horror
122. Raised children
123. Recently bought and played with favorite childhood toy
124. FOLLOWED YOUR FAVORITE BAND/SINGER ON TOUR – driven to Chicago to see a favorite band – does that count?
125. Created and named your own constellation of stars
126. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge/Q E II Bridge (Pathetic. I lived in SF for four years and never walked across the blasted bridge)
133. Had an abortion or your female partner did
134. Had plastic surgery
135. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
136. Wrote articles for a large publication
137. Lost over 100 pounds
138. Held someone while they were having a flashback
139. Piloted an airplane
141. Broken someone's heart
142. Helped an animal give birth
143. Been fired or laid off from a job
144. Won money on a T.V. game show
146. Killed a human being
147. Gone on an African photo safari – but I definitely want to
148. RIDDEN A MOTORCYCLE (unless this means rode it all by my lonesome
150. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
151. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
152. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild.
153. Ridden a horse
154. HAD A MAJOR SURGERY (tonsils and cervical diskectomy)
155. Had sex on a moving train
156. Had a snake as a pet
157. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
158. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing - That would be nice
160. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
161. Visited all 7 continents
162. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
163. Eaten kangaroo meat
164. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground – Not yet
165. Been a sperm or egg donor
166. EATEN SUSHI Yes, but not sashimi.
167. Had your picture in the newspaper.
168. Had 2 (or more) healthy relationships for over a year in your life. (Shit! I've only had one relationship and it was definitely not healthy.)
170. Gotten someone fired for their actions
171. Gone back to school. Hell no, and I'm proud of that! ;-)
172. Parasailed – This ranks up there with bungee jumping and parachuting.
173. Changed your name
174. Pet a cockroach – Hell, I'm not sure I've ever seen one.
175. Eaten fried green tomatoes - Never even saw the movie
178. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
179. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
180. TAUGHT YOURSELF AN ART FROM SCRATCH (my version of art which is not like real art)
181. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - I'm a vegetarian, kids.
182. Apologised to someone years after inflicting the hurt - No, but I know someone who could apologise to me and I know it'll never happen.
183. Skipped all your school reunions – I should have, but I've been to two (Five Year and 20 Year)
185. Been elected to public office
186. Written your own computer language – I can't even write the one I "learned" in college.
188. HAD TO PUT SOMEONE YOU LOVE INTO HOSPICE CARE – Not me personally, but the family did.
189. Built your own PC from parts
190. Sold your artwork to someone who didn't know you.
191. Had a booth at a street fair
193. Been a DJ
194. Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
195. Written your own role playing game
196. Been arrested
197. Shot someone – with a water pistol?
198. Sang a solo in public, while sober
199. Kissed a hummingbird......?
200. Given birth
201. Eaten some tree-bark – Did a 6 year old boy write this?
203. Braided the bread
204. Foraged and eaten wild food, and/or used wild herbs as medicine – Do Aloe vera plants count?
205. Climbed a waterfall
206. WALKED IN TOTAL DARKNESS – In Yellowstone camping with three wild buffalo/bison between me and the restrooms. Good times.
207. Went snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef – No, but I have off the Florida Keys.
209. Had a supernatural experience.
210. Performed at a poetry reading
212. Been strip searched
213. Gotten a lapdance at a strip club
214. Gotten hate mail from something of yours that had been published
215. MET SOMEONE IN PERSON YOU KNEW ONLINE – Many times and the majority of them turned out well (as long as we're not discussing on-line dating)
216. Cross-dressed
217. TOLD YOUR BOSS OFF AND QUIT YOUR JOB – Told the boss off at my old job at B.K., but didn't quit and he couldn't fire me.
218. Held a Hummingbird – Hell no, they're so delicate, I'd be scared I'd hurt it.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I was out sick yesterday and even though I had every intention of getting on-line at some point, it didn't really happen. I absolutely could NOT get out of bed yesterday morning. I went through a phase earlier this year where I was simply exhausted. The doctor had the phlebotomist take vial upon vial upon vial upon vial of blood for a myriad of tests and they came up empty…the tests, not the vials. They had to take blood from both arms they were taking so much. They even offered me a glass of orange juice, just like the Red Cross, so you know they took a bunch of the red stuff. Since the last time was such a bust, I didn't waste my time going to the doctor this time. I literally slept until 10:30 when I forced myself out of bed with my eyes drooping. I love my bed, but I hate feeling so bone tired. I spent the day on the couch crocheting Mom's Christmas present afghan (only 5 skeins to go) and watching the latest Alfred Hitchcock Netflix DVD (Dial M for Murder) and MacGyver (1:00 p.m. on TVLand and 3:00 p.m. on Spike TV).

After the second episode of MacGyver I got into the shower as I had tickets to see The Vinyl Café Christmas concert with Darrell over in Windsor. We're both big fans of Stuart McLean and his story-telling abilities. There was a new Dave and Morley Christmas story and it was very funny, as usual. He also had three young Canadian musicians with him whom he discovered over the course of the past year. The first one, I guess is pretty well known, is Joey Bowskill. He's a 14-year-old blues guitarist/singer. And he's amazing, especially for a 14-year-old. Then there was a young woman, Harmonie Trowbridge who didn't really do it for me.
She was okay, but nothing really to write home about. And the third one a 25-year-old guy named Owen something or other. All I know is that he was PHENOMENAL!!!! He played the violin and sang and was unbelievably cool. He has a CD coming out at the end of August and I'll be picking it up! I had a chance to meet him after the show and told him how amazing I thought he was. Some other guy came up to him too to say the same thing. I felt a little bad since he was standing with Harmonie at the time, and we figure he was going to get a lot more genuine compliments than she was. I told her she had done a fine job, but she really didn't do anything for me. And I so badly wanted to tell her to buy a bra that fits. And to stand up straight. Hell, I don't have the greatest posture ever, but at least I don't look like a question mark.

Since I was told on Tuesday night that my posts had gotten bitter, I decided to make a concerted effort not to be so bitter. How am I doing so far? ;-) I also decided that I would make a list of concerts I've seen. Because what could be more exciting? Really?

My very first rock concert was Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band back in tenth grade, probably late 1979. I live in Detroit, so for that era and this city, that's a pretty basic first concert. I remember that I had to beg and plead to get my father to let me go. He was dead certain that if I went to a rock concert I was going to come home a pot-smoker. Truly. For the record, I didn't. We had main floor center seats at Cobo Arena which is just about the coolest place to see a concert. For many years it was the only "large" venue in Detroit for a concert (other than Pine Knob* which is a summer amphitheatre). Thankfully some bands are rediscovering it and there are concerts happening there once again.

My second concert was the following year and once again I got to see Bob Seger at Cobo. Again, not that abnormal for Detroit in the 80s. He was BIG and a hometown favorite.

I don't remember anything else, concert-wise, until second year of college. Hmm, that might not be right, let's think. I just had it. Ah yes, the Police at the Joe with people from high school, but I wasn't in high school. I know that much. This calls for a little research. It was the Synchronicity tour and that album came out in 1983, so it was either 1983 or 1984, but I think it was 1983. The only person I remember with whom I went to the concert was Sheila O'Kennedy who was killed in a car accident within the year. I remember she was particularly hostile about Andy Sumner wearing the flag of Great Britain, as she was very Irish and hated the English being in Northern Ireland. Other than that, the only other thing I remember about that concert was the weird-ass raggedy jacket/coat/top/blouse that Sting was wearing as he danced around the stage.

After that I believe I got into my punk/new wave phase and the first concert of that era was Billy Idol. I saw him in Ann Arbor in February 1984 and the crowd was pure punk. It was bloody louder than hell and I loved it! I was a huge Billy Idol fan, in fact, I still love him, even with all his faults. The high point of The Wedding Singer for me was Billy Idol. I was big into button pins in the 80s and had quite a few all over my jean jacket and at least five of them were Billy Idol pins. I saw him months later at Pine Knob and the crowd was much bigger and much more poseur-ish. Leopard skin skimpy outfits are NOT punk, people. Never was, never will be. And for some reason, it was only extremely fat women in the leopard skin skimpy outfits, so you know it was a good look.

I didn't save my tickets back then as religiously as I do now, so I'm culling my memory for this information. 1984-86 were big concert years for me. I saw The Go-Go's at Pine Knob, but I went because INXS was opening for them. It was The Swing tour and I bought the t-shirt and wore the ever living hell out of it. The shirt was made of ultra-thin material and already had the neck and sleeves ripped off!!! It cost $12 but I lied and told my Mom it was $6 since she made a huge deal about the ripped off neck and sleeves. I wish I knew where that shirt was now. Not that I could wear it, but I did love it.

I was lucky enough to see a number of shows at the Fox Theater before Mike Illitch bought it and fixed it up and didn't let us punks in anymore. For people who have been to the Fox within the past few years, ha! I've actually walked up the big staircase in the front lobby! So there! (it's always freaking closed these days) There was nothing downtown in those days, not like today where you have Hockeytown right next door to the Fox on the one side and the State Theatre on the other. Back then the State was still boarded up, but once we (punks) were kicked out of the Fox someone figured out there was a market and the State opened as one of the premiere (term used kind of loosely here) venues, along with St. Andrew's, for punk/new wave shows. The State is bigger than St. Andrew's so they got the bigger acts. (This is the history according to Kathleen's perception, so there are probably glaring errors, deal with it.)

Concerts seen at the Fox:

New Order (with an extremely godawful local band called Gargoyle Sox opening). New Order didn't make/keep a lot of fans that day as they played for a total of 20 minutes. Honestly. 20 minutes and NO ENCORES. There were a helluva lot of pissed off punks there. They came on-stage around 9:15 and were gone by 9:35. That was it. They were roundly booed.

Echo and the Bunnymen – Still love them. Hell, I even have Ian McCulloch's Candleland solo album.

I know I saw a bunch of other bands there, as I remember the bloody awful Gargoyle Sox opening for some other band as well. And it seemed like I was there all the time. My father always had a fit that I was going down there as "it's not safe," but I told him it was perfectly safe. Nobody was going to pick on one punk when there were thousands around. Just wasn't going to happen. I never had any problems downtown (other than the annual Freedom Festival Fireworks, but that's a whole 'nother story).

For some reason I would get the same shitty opening bands a lot (more than once counted as a lot). I saw Joan Jett open for Bob Seger and, I think, The Police. God, she was awful. And then there were the inimitable Gargoyle Sox. Okay, it only happened twice, but they were so horribly horrible that I'm still thinking of them 20 years later. Sad, so sad.

I guess I'll continue this list another time – when I have time to go through my tickets and give you an accurate accounting of my concert life. I think it's naptime, or at least, I'd like it to be naptime.

*The only people who call it by its corporate name, DTE Energy Centre, are people who have to, i.e., radio DJs who would probably be fined if they didn't toe the corporate line, people who work there, etc. Everybody else in Detroit still says, "We're going to Pine Knob." I hate corporate names on stadiums, arenas, etc. The Detroit Tigers technically play at Comerica Park, but I still call it Tiger Stadium. The Lions play at Ford Field and I don't have too much of an issue with that since the Lions are owned by a Ford.