Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Holiday Weekends and two surveys

Hello all. Where on earth did May go? I can't believe that tomorrow is June already? Bloody hell!!!

My weekend was not overly exciting, although it was good for me. I went to the Detroit Beer Company Friday night and it was a place that I want to try again. I got the IPA and it was YUMMY! And I would try something over than the veggie roll sandwich next time. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't fabulous, especially when I'm at a bar with LOTS of veggie choices!!! Next time I'm going to get the wild mushroom pasta.

Saturday I took the kids to the vet. It is such a joy trying to catch Igor and then get him into the carrier. I broke my only nail that was a decent length. I tried to catch Igor first, but he escaped, so I went for Boris. He gave a good fight, but I won that one and then had to find Igor. He didn't do a very good job of hiding as he was just under the love seat within reach. I grabbed him and after another good fight got him into the carrier. I'm glad they only have to go once a year!!!

Boris is the cutest damn thing at the vet. He gets all freaked out and tries to get as high as possible. He was sitting on my shoulders waiting for the vet to come in. And when I got him down so that the vet could check him out, he put his front paws around the vet's neck and it seemed like he was hugging the vet. It's so cute. Igor hides in the carrier (the same carrier I had to fight and break a nail to get him into), until I drag him out and he just hunkers down and tries to be as invisible as possible. And as soon as he's allowed, he's back in the carrier. And he cries all the way there and all the way back. It's enough to make a cat owner think about not taking the little darlings in for their annual shots, but I'm a good cat owner, so I suffer through the hair shedding and the fighting and the crying. It's more important to keep them healthy so that they'll stay with me longer.

I took an hour nap on Saturday. It was pathetic, but dang, I was tired. I spent Saturday afternoon with my friend Marianne and her kids. We had lunch at Olga's and then wandered around Fairlane until she had to get the kids home to spend their required time with their father. I got a new candle from Yankee Candle (Island Mango). I bought Lavender a few months back and it's just too strong to burn for more than 30 minutes, as it makes me ill.

I did a lot of reading this weekend. For some reason I decided to re-read the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum books and I'm now on the last one (which just came out last year). The woman at Sears told me that the new one is due out soon, so that's definitely something to which to look forward. Her books make me laugh out loud, literally. They're an insanely quick and easy read. Heck, I've read three in one day (Saturday), and that included my time to the vet, the mall and my nap.

We actually had a family BBQ yesterday, and it was quite nice. As Marianne was kidless and planless, she joined us. I ate way too much and now need to do at least two hours of cardio today and tomorrow. Unless the hotel in Milwaukee has a gym, I won't get any cardio in the rest of the week. ARGH!!! I hope the hotel has a mini-gym.

And here are a couple of surveys that I "borrowed" from Clarity.

1) What's your middle name?
It's your basic middle name – starting with M.
2) School bully you can't forget?
Philip from kindergarten. I remember that he used to bite. I swore I'd never have anything to do with a Philip after that – makes you wonder why I didn't hold to that philosophy.
3) Were you prom queen or king?
4) Pancakes or waffles?
5) First celebrity crush?
The bear on the Andy Williams Show
6) Make up: Joan Collins or Christie Brinkley?
I have no clue how either wear their make-up.
7) Do you now or have you ever owned a pair of Jordache jeans?
I am wondering what year this survey was created…do they even make Jordache jeans anymore???? And the answer is NO. Even when I weighed 103 lbs I didn't fit into Jordache jeans.
8) Ever won an athletic competition?
My intramural soccer team in high school won but I'm sure it was despite my presence on the team.
9) New York or San Francisco?
I've never been to New York, so I have to say San Francisco.
10) Plaid or paisley?
Having worn an ugly-ass plaid throughout Catholic grade school I have to go with paisley.
11) Can you cook? What's your specialty?
Yes, I can cook. I have no specialty as I don't have to cook often enough to have a specialty.
12) Do you shave above the knee?
Maybe twice a year.
13) Michael Jackson: disturbed predator or grossly misunderstood?
Both. This was Clarity's answer and I have to say that it's a good one.
14) Prominent movie from your childhood?
Mary Poppins
15) In an ideal world, I would look like...
myself, just 20 lbs lighter.
16) Thank God I do NOT look like...
John Candy
17) My secret passion is...
I gotta agree with Clarity once again. None of my passions are very secret.
18) My archenemy is...
Tony George, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by virtue of his gender and complete putz. I don't have a personal archenemy.
19) If I had to lose one of my senses it would be...
20) This quiz?
Not the greatest or most interesting ever….

*Slept in your bed: Igor, okay, he's not a person, but I'd have to go back too many years to get to another answer.
*Saw you cry: Absolutely no idea.
*Made you cry: Again, no idea.
*Spent the night at your house: My friend Kathleen
*You went to the mall with: Marianne and her two kids
*Yelled at you: I hate being yelled at, so you'd think I'd remember, but I don't.
*Sent you an e-mail: my brother

*Said "I love you" and meant it? Yes, but not in a romantic way.
*Gotten in a fight w/your dog/cat/bird/fish, etc.: I've play fought with the kids.
*Been to New York?: New York State? Yes. New York City? No.
-California?: Many times. I even lived there for four years.
-Hawaii?: No.
-Mexico?: Yes, many times. I love Mexico.
-China?: No.
-Canada?: I'm from Detroit, of course.
*Danced naked?: No.
*Dreamed something really crazy and then it happened the next day: No.
*Wish you were the opposite sex?: No, but I have wished "The Curse" on to men.
*Had an imaginary friend?: No.

*Red or blue?: Red
*Spring or fall?: Fall – Spring in Michigan is too cold and rainy and miserably wintry.
*Are you bored?: Not totally.
*Last noise you heard?: The CD I'm listening to?
*Last time you went out of the state/province: Sunday night, YS and Mom and I drove to Ohio for ice cream.
*What book are you reading now?: Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich.
*Worst feeling in the world: Inexplicable loss.
*What is the first thing you think when you wake in the morning?: How long can I "snooze?"
*How many rings before you answer the phone?: However long it takes for me to find the phone.
*Future daughter's name: No future daughter.
*Future son's name: Ditto.
*Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?: No.
*If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?: Something within Champ Car that got me to EVERY SINGLE RACE w/o me going broke.
*Are you a lefty, righty or ambidextrous?: Righty.
*Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?: Yes.
*What's under your bed?: My collection of hi-top Chuck Taylors.
*Location: The greater metropolitan Detroit area.
*College plans: Been there, done that. There shall be no graduate work in my future, thank you very much.
*Do you do drugs: No.
*Do you drink: Yes
*Who is your best friend?: I was thinking about this the other day. I don't know that I have a best friend.
*Other great friends?: Yes
*What kind of Shampoo and Conditioner do you use?: Pantene Pro-V Shampoo/Conditional combination.
*What are you most scared of?: Losing the people I love most.
*What clothes do you sleep in?: Nightgown, unless I'm traveling and sharing a room with someone – then t-shirt and bike shorts.
*Who is the last person who called you?: Here at work – wrong number. Home phone? Marianne – getting directions to my sister's yesterday.
*Who do you really hate?: Judgmental intolerant people (unless it's me)
*Favorite number: 7
*Are You Timely Or Always Late: Generally very much on time, if not early.
*Do You Have A Job: Yes
*Do You Like Being Around People: Yes, mostly.
*Best feeling in the world: Igor and Boris sleeping on the bed with me and knowing I don't have to get up!
*Are you for world peace: Of course.

*Have you ever loved someone you had no chance with: I've been interested in people with whom I've had no chance.
*Have You Ever Cried Over Something Someone of The Opposite Sex Did: Of course.
*Do You Have A "Type" Of Person You Always Go After: Yes, the loser-type.
*Ever Liked a close Guy/Girl Friend: Yes, but not in the way it means.
*Are You Lonely Right Now: No
*Ever Afraid You'll Never Get Married: I'm not afraid of the possibility, but I do believe it's very much possible.
*Do You Want To Get Married: If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't
*Do You Want Kids: Ever since the age of 12 I knew I didn't want kids. And I still don't.

*Room In house: Living Room
*Type(s) of music: Punk, goth/industrial, classical,
*Song: Atmosphere by Joy Division.
*Memory: Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico and going inside the Pyramid at Giza.
*Day of the week: Summer – Sunday because it's Race Day! Otherwise, Friday.
*Color: Black.
*Perfume Or Cologne: Tuscany
*Month: August
*Season: Summer
*Holiday: Thanksgiving

*Cried: I laughed so hard on Sunday night that my eyes were watering.
*Bought Something: Sushi and ice cream.
*Gotten Sick: No.
*Sang: In the car to my The Dears CD.
*Said I Love You: No
*Wanted To Tell Someone You Loved them: No.
*Met Someone New: Met my niece's boyfriend's parents. Not overly exciting, but they were new people.
*Moved On: No.
*Had Sex With Someone: LOL!!!
*Had A Serious Talk: No.
*Missed Someone: Yes.
*Hugged Someone: Yes.
*Kissed Someone: Yes.
*Fought With Your Parents: No, I behaved myself this weekend and did not pick a fight with Mom.
*Dreamed About Someone You Can't Be with: No.
*Had a lot of sleep: Yes, until last night when I couldn't sleep. I hate that I can't sleep the night before going back to work. So frustrating!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cars, cars and more cars

There is so nothing going on in my life, but I'm going to tell you all about it anyway. I paid bills today, so that was very exciting. I hate it when my car insurance comes due, it's just so bloody expensive, but if something were to happen to my car, at least I'd get a little something for it, so I do the necessary evil and keep full coverage on it. *sigh* And hope that I won't have to use it.

I have had five cars in my life, and for excitement, I shall give a rundown on my cars for you, in order.

1976 Maverick – Chocolate brown exterior, ugly beige/tan interior. I loved that car. Straight six, lots of room in the engine bay so I could even change my own spark plugs. I bought the car with my own money before I was even driving. I didn't get my license until I was 19. I had a perfectly good reason. The second I got my TIP (temporary learner's permit), my father got rid of the one car that was automatic. I was bound and determined that I was not going to take my driver's license test on a stick shift. I'm just not coordinated for that (still not). Oh, and before he got rid of the Fairmont wagon (It was a beaut), I drove home from church once. Now, I'm not quite sure why we drove to church that day because it wasn't winter and we lived a freaking block from church and always walked, but for some reason I distinctly remember driving home from church. Denis in the front seat, the rest of the family scattered throughout the back. I drove carefully home on the 25mph side street with Denis pretending he was funny and gasping and holding his hands in front of him acting like I was going to kill the family. I was NOT amused and refused to drive with him ever again. And I'm pretty sure I've accomplished that goal. Anyway, I had to buy my own car, get my learner's permit again which allowed me to drive with any licensed driver over a certain age and practiced driving with my friends. My parents were away on vacation the day I had my test, so my friend Justine (who is long disappeared) took me and I passed with flying colors and that was the start of my independence. I remember driving Mom to school one day (not sure why) and I took Hines Drive, as usual, to Ford Road and Ford Road to Evergreen. The ramp from Ford Road to Evergreen has this fabulous curve which I try to take w/o hitting the brakes or even slowing down (it can be done, quite easily and safely). Well, I did that with Mom in the car and she simply said, "Perhaps you could take that more slowly next time." "Okay," I said, knowing full well that the next time I took it more slowly would be the next time Mom was in the car. That curve is just too fun to take slowly, i.e., at 25 mph.

The perfectly sized Maverick met its demise on Van Horn road in Trenton as I was on my way one December evening to a friend's house for a party. It was raining and as the light turned yellow I tried to stop but the car skid sideways and it could have been just an extremely embarrassing episode, except that the guy behind me (who was NOT directly behind me, but actually a little way back) viewed yellow lights not as a reminder to slow down and stop for the upcoming red, but an opportunity to floor it and speed under the red. He ended up hitting me dead on broadside into the driver's door while doing close to 40mph (speed limit on Van Horn at that location is 25 mph, I believe). I remember a kid coming from a nearby house and trying to open the passenger side door as it took me a few moments to gather my wits about me, and unbuckle my seat belt and move across to unlock the door. He helped me out of the car and, poor kid, I collapsed on him crying. He was so relieved when the cops came over to talk to me. After giving my statement, the cops asked if they could call somebody for me, as my car was undriveable (mostly) at this point. I had been on my way to the Trenton's deputy police chief's house, so they contacted him, and Debbie and her dad showed up at the hospital to take me back to their house. If I remember correctly, the conversation went like this: "Debbie, you need to go up to Heritage and pick up Kathleen." "Huh?" "Kathleen had a car accident on Van Horn and she's at Heritage." My driver's side window had shattered all over me and I had glass shards in my eye, so they took me to the hospital (in a cop car) to get my eyes flushed out, which meant no contacts for the night and I didn't have my glasses with me.

I called my parents when we got back to Debbie's parent's house and found out they were at Grandma's, so I called over there. Got my father who asked me what happened, whose fault it was and now what are you going to do for a car. My mother got on next and said, "I'm going to assume that you're okay since you talked to your father." Now why would you assume that, he never asked me if I were okay.

So, the Maverick got totaled out, and I was bummed. Oh yeah, and the guy who hit me told the cops that he saw the light turn yellow, but thought that we could both make it. I guess he missed that part of driver's training which taught that yellow lights were "prepare to stop."

1979 Bright Yellow Pinto Hatchback - The Banana/Moosemobile was the vehicle I got to replace the Maverick. It had a V6 crammed into the tiny engine bay and sports wheels. Ah, I loved that car. And before you make any smart ass comments about its exploding abilities, it was a 1979 Pinto. They had fixed the gas tank too close to the back bumper problem with this year. And for the record, all small cars of that era (at least from the Big American Three) blew up when rear-ended by a semi, as all the gas tanks were too close to the rear bumper. People on campus knew my car because I always got to campus early (by 7:30) and would get the first spot in front of the University Mall, and I rarely left before the library closed at 11:00 p.m. I worked at the library while going to school there, and if you work at the library you don't pay late fees as the powers that be pretty much figured out that the workers knew how to circumvent the system. Anyway, there were always piles of library books in the hatchback for whichever economics paper I was working on. I really like hatchbacks. The only problem with that car was the fact that it was rear wheel drive with a heavy-ass engine in the front and ZERO weight (save those library books) in the back. One very snowy Friday I was coming off the Hines Drive curve up to Ford Road and I was not testing the limits or anything. I had taken my foot off the gas, had NOT touched the brakes and managed to hit a patch of ice and my cute little Pinto went zipping around in a 180. The damn thing ended up against the right guard rail (thankfully not into Ford Road traffic) with my left rear tire in the only hole around which happened to go straight down to Hines Drive below, which means I could NOT move the flippin' car. There was nothing wrong with it (a slight crunching of the left rear fender), except that the drive tire had nothing to grip. ARGH!!!!

My friend Soyon had been behind me a few cars on Hines, so she had her friend pull over when she went past and saw it was me. I'll never forget the sight of Soyon in her pink wool coat as she rescued me from the side of Ford Road. This was prior to the day of everybody under the sun having a cell phone, so she took me to campus where I called the police and was informed that somebody else had already called and the police were already at the car waiting for me. I had to find somebody else (Andy) to take me back to the car. We get there and while we watch a tow truck comes along and has my car out of the stupid hole (not even a foot wide) within moments. And while we are waiting we see a car pull up ahead and an old lady get out. It's Andy's Grandma. The roads were crap and it was snowing like a mo'fo, but she and Grandpa were their way to the mall or something ridiculous like that, and had seen Andy standing on the side of the road and had to stop to find out what was up. Andy told G&G that he was fine and just there to help out a friend, and that was enough for them, they took off in hazardous conditions to do whatever it is that old people feel the need to do in the middle of a freaking snowstorm.

And the kicker was that I only had one class on Fridays that semester and I missed it, as I was standing freezing on Ford Road, so it was all for naught!

Nothing quite so spectacular as a broadside crash was the end of my beloved Pinto. No, it was much worse than that, actually. It was the ex-boyfriend. He thought it was on its last legs and his brother was going to sell his car and get a new one and since the brother was completely anal about his cars, it was decided that it was in better shape than the Pinto and that I should buy it. The brother let me do a payment plan directly to him, so I didn't need to take out a loan. It was all good – or so I thought.

1984 Pontiac Sunbird – more commonly known as The POS - What a complete piece of fucking shit this car was. And it wasn't the brother's fault, it was Pontiac's fault. I spent more money on that POS car than I had spent on my previous two. It was constantly in the shop for some big money repairs. The last year I had it I put more into it than I had paid for it overall (and was still making payments to the brother on it, in fact). In August the damn thing died on me and I took it in to Darby and he said that the lower part of the engine had blown. It took a few weeks to fix and I was carless. Carol would pick me up and take me home from work and pretty much that was my life for a couple of weeks because the boyfriend was off helping a friend build a house (also found out he was cheating on me at the same time, but that's a whole 'nother story). I got the car back, had dumped the cheater, and was driving up Newburgh one day around 5:30 p.m. when the POS stopped dead and smoke billowed out from under the hood. I did what all women will do in that situation, put on the hazards, open the hood and look at the engine like we have a freaking clue what is going on in there, get back in the car and try to start it back up and then give up. Thankfully I was only a mile or so from my sister's house, so I left the car and started walking. Again, Soyon came to my rescue, as she saw me walking along the side of Newburgh and figured out that it was my POS stopped dead in the right lane (I think it was the right lane). She picked me up and took me to my sister's house whereupon I called the person with whom I had an appt. and informed her that my car was dead and I would not be able to make said appt. I then called Darby to come and get the incredible POS. My sister took me back to my car and by then the cops were there and getting ready to take the bloody thing. Darby never showed up (he was on the wrong road), so but the cops' tow truck guy was willing to take it to Darby's. Darby called me the next day to tell me that this time it was the top part of the engine that was gone and it was going to cost X amount of money to fix it. I told him not to touch the fucker, as I had to think about the wisdom of putting thousands more into it. For the record, I had two payments remaining on it. I decided at this point that I had more luck with my two CHEAP Fords than I had with the expensive (to me) Pontiac, so I decided to return to what I knew. I got a decent trade-in and bought my next car.

1991 Ford Escort – Official Color: Wild Strawberry with (not official name) grey interior - For some reason, I'm fairly ambivalent about this car. I liked it well enough and it never really cost me insane amounts of money, but I don't think of my Escort and say, "Damn, I loved that car." Trust me, it was a helluva lot better than the previous car, so I loved it for that. I kept it until I moved to SF in 1996 and sold it to a girl from church. I understand that she totaled it out, but I don't know that for a fact. I do know that one of my friends from the University actually saw it in Ann Arbor shortly after I had left the state, because I guess my Mario Andretti sticker was still on it. It really was a good little car and took me to and from the bar enough times, but that's really it. No great stories about this particular car.

2000 Ford Focus – Green with grey interior (I HATE beige interiors) - I'm still driving this baby, as I paid it off last year (oh happy day), and it does what it needs to do, which is get Mom and me to races in the summer. It's a good little car, although my mileage started to suck ass recently and that pissed me off. It's improved somewhat so that's good. Tomorrow, if I remember, I'm going to get the tires rotated in preparation for the drive to Milwaukee next week. It has a CD player, so that's good news for long drives. Other than that, it's basic transportation and it's paid for. I wonder if the POS has ruined me for falling in love with another car because I expect to pay big bucks to keep it going. I never loved the POS, in fact, I pretty much hated it – the power windows didn't work in the summertime, so I was always sweating to death, and to this day I refuse to get a car with power windows because you can always crank a manual window down.

So, pretty much the position of Kathleen's Favorite Car Of All Time Of The Ones She Has Owned belongs to….*drumroll* the *drumroll* 1976 Ford Maverick. It was a tough choice because I really loved the Pinto too. It's just that I've always considered the Maverick to be the most perfectly sized vehicle. The Pinto was a touch small, but the Maverick, while compact, was large enough to fit six people (gotta love bench seats) and was just a good car. I would get another one in a heartbeat and was totally drooling over the Mavericks that people had brought to the Ford Centennial two years ago. I wanted them so badly.

And for the record, I shall never ever own another GM vehicle as long as I live. They shouldn't have dumped the Oldsmobile vehicle line a few years back, it should have been the Pontiac (we body clad the living daylights out of everything) line. And that's that…


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tuesday and Wednesday News in one post

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

WTF is up with our weather?!? Bloody hell, Saturday was GORGEOUS, mid-70s, sunny, just beautiful. Sunday morning I went to church in a sleeveless shirt and a pair of sandals. A couple of hours later I was glad I had my fleece because the wind came in along with the rain and it got chilly!!! And then yesterday was just miserable – I'd rather it just out and out rained as opposed to pulling that cold drizzly shit that goes right through to your bones. I had to close all the bloody windows in the house and I hate that. Actually I left the bedroom open a couple of inches and darn, but it was cold when I got up this morning. I had been planning on wearing a skirt today as I had a farewell party to attend at lunchtime, but I just couldn't face cold legs this morning.

The farewell party was for one of the women in my knitting group. She is leaving what was my old job at the University in order to go to graduate school. A number of the faculty were always after me to go to graduate school, but it just wasn't in me to go back to school. The thought gives me the heebie jeebies. Exams, studying, papers. EGADS!!! I had enough of it. My biggest problem (besides the cost, the time, and the fact that I really like having a set schedule for work with plenty of time for me to do what I want to do) is that the things that interest me enough to want to continue to study are not what we would call marketable, meaning I'd never get the money out of grad school that it would take. I love ancient history and Latin American history, but I certainly don't have any desire to write a dissertation and a Masters in Latin American or Ancient History is just not going to get me anywhere in life. So, I just buy up books on stuff that interests me and I never read them. I'm a book collector, no doubt about that. I always have grand ideas of reading them, but it so rarely happens. I'm lame, although I do use them for research purposes when I have a sudden question about Mexico history, as I'm sure we all do.

I can't believe that in 9 days I'll be driving to Milwaukee for the next Champ Car race (I haven't watched this past Sunday's race from Monterrey, Mexico yet as dear old Speedvision tape delayed broadcast it at 11:00 p.m. Sunday night. Not the most convenient time when I get up before 5:00 a.m. And last night I went to see the Revenge of the Sith with Jason as he was unable to join the group when we went on Saturday night and I didn't want him to have to go alone.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Well, I watched the Champ Car race last night, after my workout, and was up way too late once again. I swear I'm going to bed at 8:00 p.m. tonight. The Pistons will be on, but they have a tendency to lose when I watch them, so I'll do us all a favor and not watch. Go Pistons!!!

It was definitely an interesting race as there were a boatload of yellow flags which led to some interesting and different pit stop strategies. I mean, really, who the hell expected Nelson Philippe to lead 23 laps (the most of any driver). Nelson Philippe, people??? He SUCKED royally last year and even lost his ride halfway through last year when the check didn't come through and he certainly wasn't impressing the hordes. Just goes to show what differing pit strategies will do when Nelson leads the most laps.

And I love it when one of the drivers on the podium says "If it hadn't been for all those yellow flags, I think I could have finished better (i.e., 1st or 2nd)." Uh, no, sweetheart. If it hadn't been for all those yellows knocking out the cars in front of you, you would have barely finished in the points. It's amazing how much ego is necessary to be a race car driver, in general, and how deluded you can be!

Well, I guess that's it for today (and yesterday). Just not all that much going on in my life, so it makes for boring entries. Sad, because I really don't think of my life as being that boring, in general. Although I've never thought it would be book/novel material, either. Tonight will be bill paying night, so that's darn exciting.

Oh, and I thought my stalker had gotten the hint as I hadn't seen him in a while, but I guess he was just on vacation. And he's adjusted his time table so I can never be sure when to hide. Blast him!!! A couple of weeks ago I spent 11:59 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. hiding at a supervisor's desk (they have tall cubicle walls), so that he couldn't see me. And then I didn't see him at all last week or Monday this week…but he was back yesterday and today. I'm sure he knows I don't want him walking past my desk anymore, but he's going to do it just to show he's not a wimp or something, or some other kind of guy logic. And if he developed a personality, I'd bet he'd find a nice woman his own age to date. Twit.

Now I'm really gone.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Weekends and Dependency on Technology

I had a very good weekend. I couldn't find anybody to go to the symphony with me, so I gave the tickets to our summer intern and changed my Saturday plans to Friday, just in case, things aligned themselves in such a way as I had plans to go to the baseball game. I didn't get to the ball game, but I was glad I switched my plans as a group of friends went to see the new Star Wars movie. I liked it. It's not fabulous, it's not in the least bit better than the original three, but it was infinitely better than Episodes I & II (which pretty much sucked ass). I found the action scenes, particularly the light saber fights to be a tad frenetic. All I saw were flashes of light, it was impossible to see which light saber belonged to which person. Yes, the acting was bad, but it's not like you go to Star Wars expecting Oscar-quality acting. And the dialogue was pretty awful – particularly the mushy "I love you" "No, I love you more" shit between Padme and Anakin. It was embarrassing to watch. George Lucas SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WRITE his own movies.

Back to my weekend: I did yoga Thursday evening, Friday at lunch and Saturday morning. Damn, but I was sore after that. Friday I also had the complete and utter joy of going for a mammogram. It's just not fair that men have nothing to compare to the joy of a mammogram and a Pap smear. And no, the test where the doctors holds your scrotum and asks you to cough doesn't even come close to what we women endure every year in the name of health, so don't even try it.

Friday evening was spent pleasantly with friends having dinner and watching movies. We watched To Catch a Thief and The Empire Strikes Back. Saturday was yoga, and then I got myself a massage, and then I tried to watch the Muppets' Wizard of Oz, but it turned out that the tape I used only had an hour and half left, so I watched the whole bloody (not really that good) thing only to have the tape run out on me as they were about to confront the Wizard. *sigh* It's bad enough when a movie just isn't that good, but then to miss the ending? DAMMIT!!!

Sunday was Mass, church meeting where we voted about whether we supporting the possible merger with Precious Blood, laundry and then a b-day BBQ for a dear friend. Of course, Saturday the weather was GORGEOUS and yesterday for the BBQ, it was rainy and cool. We were diehards though, and stayed outside the whole time. It was another pleasant day with friends.

I borrowed this from Words of Mine:

Doing without...

1. If the cable/dish is out of service, what is your reaction and why? I get really annoyed with Comcast since they suck so badly anyway. Actually, it depends on the time of year. If it's hockey season (and there really is a hockey season), I get really pissed off because I can't watch the game. If it's racing season and it happens to be a weekend that I have a race, I get beyond pissed off and vent my spleen on the incompetents that run Comcast. Okay, I don't really, I am quite nice on the phone, but the second I get off, damn, but do I let it all out. Other than those situations, I'd pick a book out of the many I have lying around and start reading. Or I'd grab a DVD and play it.

2. If the electricity is out of service, what is your reaction and why? Well, let's see. What did I do two years ago when the entire northeastern part of the country (including Ontario, Canada) lost electricity? I walked home, threw my stuff in the apartment, grabbed my car keys, and turned on the radio to find out what the hell was up. Then I got a chair out of my car, got my book and sat outside reading my book while listening to the news reports and worst yet (for those stuck in the traffic jams), the traffic reports. And since we all knew there was no way there was going to be any work the next day, most of the people in my building and my friends from the other buildings all gathered outside on the front walkway and just talked and drunk beer (those of us who had any) and stayed up half the night looking at the stars which you could see since there wasn't any residual city light to block them.

On a normal day when I don't have electricity I probably take it with less equanimity than that day – depending on the time of year. Summer – no problem as it's light until 10:00 p.m. Winter would be a little rougher as it gets dark starting at 4:30 p.m. which would make any book reading a tad difficult – or sitting outside with friends looking up at the sky. But I guess I would go searching for my candles and huddle them all together for enough light by which to read or knit.

3. If the phone service is out of service, what is your reaction and why? I dumped my landline so I never have phone service, per se. Actually a few years back a train going past snagged a low-lying wire and pulled down something like six telephone poles and with it my electricity (briefly – less than a couple of hours), phone (for two freakin' weeks) and cable (a day or so). The loss of phone made me crazy just because I knew my friend in one of the other buildings had his back in a day while the three single women in my building were without for two weeks. That's when I dumped Ameritech as they promised me I would NOT be charged for those two weeks and I was. Sure, they took it off the second I called, but I thought it was a cheap move as I'm sure they were just trying to see what they could get away with. BASTARDS.

4. If your cell phone is out of service, what is your reaction and why? I would feel totally disconnected from the world. And it doesn't matter that I rarely use my cell phone, it would just be the knowledge that I couldn't even if I wanted to that would drive me nuts. And I probably wouldn't notice that I didn't have service I get so few calls.

5. How dependent on a scale from 1 to 4 (4 being extremely dependent) are you on the four items/services that were just mentioned and do you think it is a good or bad thing? Most definitely electricity. During the Great Blackout of August 2003, I had no power from Thursday until late on Saturday and it's a frustrating thing because you can't cook, get water from the faucet (it needs to be boiled first), listen to the radio to get the news, etc.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Star Wars Horoscope for Leo

You add a whole new meaning to self-assurance.
You are a nurturing person with great physical strength.
Like many Leos, you will see that your mission for good is completed.
You are very optimistic about the future.

Star wars character you are most like: Princess Leia

I'm not so sure about the Princess Leia thing. I have major objections to wearing cinnabons™ on my head. And I might give off the impression of immense self-assurance, but it would be a lie. The rest I'd agree with though, for the most part.

I have continued my workout ways. I only got two days in last week, because they closed the gym down starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. and I as I didn't get out of work right on time, I didn't even try to get there. I ended up at Mervyn's where I bought a shitload of tops for the summer. I also went to Target looking for something specific, oh yeah, a Pur Water Filter for my faucet, but they don't fit my old old faucet/spigot/tap. I need to get either the Pur filter pitcher style or call up Absopure and see how much that costs. The costs of the filers for the Pur pitcher are not cheap, so I wonder if Absopure wouldn't be cheaper in the long run. All I know is that I'm running out of filtered water and I will NOT drink the water straight from those old pipes. Just not going to happen. I have no problem drinking Detroit City water anywhere else, but at home. And I won't let the cats drink unfiltered water either after Tikal's cancer issues. I don't know that his mouth tumor was the result of unfiltered water, but better safe than sorry.

Okay, I sent an e-mail to Absopure expressing an interest in home delivery. We shall see.

I spent the weekend down in Mexico once again enjoying the heat and sunshine. Damn, but was it hot down there!!! I'm not complaining, just commenting. It was 90˚F (obviously F and not C, because that would be stupid hot if it were in C temps. 194˚F actually.) And it got up to 101˚F. I spent both days out in the sun with my sunblock slathered all over me, but still somehow managed to miss a few spots. How does that happen? I had the straps untied on my bathing suit top and even put it on in front of the mirror to make sure I didn't miss anywhere and still managed to get sunburn in only a few select spots (right on my should where I sling my back on my walk to work, of course). I just don't understand.

Saturday we hung out at a friend's racquet club and every half hour or so, we'd jump in the pool to cool off. Sunday we went to the beach and enjoyed another lovely day in the sun. I went in the water a few times while keeping my eyes peeled for these funky BLUE jellyfish. It was actually very helpful that they were blue because it made them much easier to see and therefore avoid. Here they out and out lie about their temps. NO WAY IN HELL IT WAS ONLY 89˚F there on Sunday. It was damn near 100˚, but it is quite a nice little place.

Oh, and we saw way cool marine life!!! While walking along the beach (as it was way too hot to lay out in the sun), a sea horse got thrown up on the shore and it was still alive. It was WAY COOL. I picked it up and tried to throw it back into the water so that it wouldn't die, but I didn't do a very good job, so one of my walking companions had to take over and she picked him up with some sand and got him way out there. Whew! We saved a life. And then while we were sitting on the porch of Jorge's we saw a sea lion not that far out (probably as far out as I had been when I had been in the water). Also WAY FREAKING COOL!

I tried to find those blue jellyfish on-line, but haven't had any luck. I found something called a blue jelly, but it lives over in the Australian area, not Mexico. *sigh*

Well, I just got an e-mail from the Bossman and it indicated that he's leaving our little group. I'm so sad as I really like the Bossman. It's a "promotional opportunity" so good for him, but bad for us. It's funny, but almost everybody is sad about it. That says something about a boss when your underlings are sad you are going elsewhere, but happy that you got a promotion.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My First Entry in Blogger/Blogspot!

I remember reading about this poor girl last year when the accident happened. I thought that she had an interesting story.

You are 33% Leo

Your #1 Match: ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

Your #2 Match: ISFP

The Artist

You are a gifted artist or musician (though your talents may be dormant right now).
You enjoy spending your free time in nature, and you are good with animals and children.
Simply put, you enjoy beauty in all its forms and live for the simple pleasures in life.
Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate - you are good at recognizing people's unspoken needs.

You would make a good veterinarian, pediatrician, or composer.

Your #3 Match: ESFJ

The Caregiver

You are sympathetic and caring, putting friends and family first.
A creature of habit, you prefer routines and have trouble with change.
You love being in groups - whether you're helping people or working on a project.
You are good at listening, laughing, and bringing out the best in people.

You would make a great nurse, social worker, or teacher.

Your #4 Match: ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you are very loyal.
A good listener, you excel at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, for whom you do special things.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Your #5 Match: ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

I'd say the last one is more me than the first four, but that could be because I've done the full test and was an ENFP and I think I'll trust that result over this one. Of course, I'm kind of known for my "colorful language" and I am generally unimpressed with authority.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Home Makeover, Graduations and Organ Donation

I have a question for you all this morning. Is it possible to watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition without crying???? Bloody hell!!! But that show just wrings me dry emotionally. And the thing is that I've never once caught an entire show! I can turn it on the last fifteen minutes and I still cry.

This past weekend my YS graduated with her masters in physical therapy and I got to go to the graduation ceremony. The guy actually had an interesting message (not that I remember it now) and the whole shebang only took two hours which I didn't think was too bad, although we were all FREEZING to death. The graduates were all down on the floor fanning themselves and all of us up in the bleachers were huddled into our lightweight jackets fighting to stay warm with cold air blowing directly on us for the entire time. Even Grandma was chilly and she's never cold!!!

If any of you find yourselves in Mt. Pleasant for any reason and need a place to eat, the Sweet Onion is highly recommended, at least for its desserts. The peanut butter pie was YUMMY!!!!!

Church on Sunday was emotionally draining, to say the least. And it had nothing to do with possible church closings or the results of meetings downtown. One of our members had been on the kidney transplant list for five years and it was getting serious. Then two weeks a 36-year-old woman suffered from a stroke and something else and was down to 25% brain function. Her family decided to take her off life support but before they did that, they made the ever important decision to donate her organs. The woman's sister works at the school and knew our parishioner needed a kidney, so they called him in and amazingly enough, she was a match for him. They donated all of her organs, so through one selfless act they saved a number of lives and improved the lives of others.

The woman's entire family was at church taking up 5-6 pews, and during the announcements at the end of Mass, the mother of the kidney recipient got up and thanked the family for their donation and gave them flowers and stuff and cried and everybody in the church was crying. I guess the man in need of the kidney had reached the point where dialysis wasn't helping him as efficiently and he was getting tired, so this was perfect timing. It made Mother's Day a bit more special, I think, even for the woman who lost a daughter, but gained much love in return.

After Mass I got out my driver license and saw that I hadn't filled out my organ donor information on the back, so I filled it out and my sister witnessed it and I did the same for her. So, please everybody, fill out the organ donor card and make sure your family knows that you want to do that. It's not like those organs are going to do you any good once you're dead and buried or dead and cremated.

On to surveys I got from mercyseat:

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to good manners and elegance.

In love, you feel the most alive when your partner is patient and never willing to give up on you.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.

In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.

Interesting….I chose cat for the last answer and apparently the people who created this survey view cats as being self-centered. I just didn't really much care for the other animals.

Here's a shocker:

Your Political Profile

Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

I do object to the Personal Responsibility thing though as I do believe in personal responsibility, but I also think that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves, as opposed to making them pull themselves up by their bootstraps with one hand while holding on to the edge of the cliff with the other.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Two years ago today was one of the saddest days of my life. Nine years previously, my dear friend Rick brought a stray cat to my apt. (after calling to make sure of course). The stray cat had been hanging out at his apt. complex but everybody in the place who wanted cats already had multiple cats. He had heard that I was looking for a second cat to keep my darling Zapata company as I was never home (as I was out dancing damn near every night). I said that I was going to see how they got along, and would then make up my mind, but I don’t think there was ever any doubt of him staying. Unfortunately, Zapata never took to him and she started her peeing issues (which I always blamed on poor Tikal as I didn't realise Zapata was so highly-strung). That's a whole 'nother story, though.

When I moved back to Detroit, I only had Tikal as Zapata's peeing issues never got resolved (no matter what I freaking tried) and I finally had to put the little sweetie to sleep. That was not a fun day either, because even though she had me stressed out completely as she was constantly peeing on my bed, my clothes, etc, I still loved her. She was my first cat after I dumped the ex-boyfriend, and even though she was mad at me for bringing Tikal into her happy existence, I know she still loved me as she always slept with me.

Anyway, two years ago I noticed that Tikal wasn't eating, but just figured that he had gotten over his special-expensive-prescription-you-can-buy-only-at-the-vet-food. I tried tempting him with tuna, turkey, the canned version of the special food, but no luck. After much too long (not that I think it would have changed anything), I took him to the vet and the vet discovered that he had a tumor under his tongue which had essentially sewn his tongue to the bottom of his mouth and he couldn't move it to scoop food into his mouth. The vet tried to take a biopsy but had trouble as Tikal was in so much pain that he was hissing and just generally not being his sweet self. I think they had to tranquilize my sweet baby (which is a horrible thing if you have never experienced it) and they got the sample. Within the week, the vet called me to say it was malignant (I had just had a cyst in my knee checked out for malignancy and it came back benign and I remember thinking that I wish it had been reversed, as I was certain my knee could have been dealt with a whole more easily than Tikal), and that I should take him to the Michigan Veterinary Specialists on 11 Mile Road. I got an appt. and YS went with me for moral support (although she's an even bigger wuss than I am). The outcome of the appt. was that essentially there was nothing that could be done. Technically, I could start chemo or radiation treatments, but that would have required driving to Lansing every other day or something like that and Tikal was not the best car traveler and would probably cost about $3000 and there were no guarantees that it would help him.

I remember crying and crying and crying and taking Tikal home and deciding to put him to sleep. I was going to give myself the weekend though. I canceled all plans for the weekend (or changed plans, i.e., knitting club was moved to my house) and prepared to spend all day every day with Tikal and made an appt. for Monday with YS's vet.

Friday morning YS came over with a can of tuna just to try to get a little something into my poor skinny baby. He was so hungry that he tried desperately to eat and he ended up tearing his tongue up from the tumor and making it bleed and this caused him much pain as he made a cat pain noise and then ran away. I found him in the sunporch curled up on a blanket and I remember petting him and talking softly to him and telling him how much I loved him and how sorry I was that this had happened to him. I was supposed to go to lunch with my sister and her friend, but I told YS that we needed to change his appt. It was too cruel keeping him alive when he was in such pain and completely unable to eat just because I wanted more time with him. I called and got an appt for that afternoon. YS went to lunch while I stayed home with Tikal, and when she got back, I gathered him in my arms (no carrier for him on that day) and YS drove to the vet while I pointed out the sites to Tikal, and he once again proved to be a brilliant State License Plate game player (the first time he played, we were driving the big ol' Budget rental truck back to Detroit from SF). It's amazing the license plates he saw while sitting on the floor of the truck at YS's feet. ;-)

The funniest story about Tikal was driving back from SF in the truck. He spent most of it on the floor all stressed out by the huge semis ripping past my overweighted truck (I have a book addiction.), but this one time he was sitting up on the seat and looking out the windshield checking things out. As we approached an overpass, I was looking at him, and I saw his eyes get huge and he totally and completely freaking ducked as we passed under it. It was hysterical. The best part was that he learned and the next overpass didn't freak him out. My LB always swore that Tikal was "retarded" because his eyes were a little wider apart that other cats, but this just proves that he was a smart cat. I still think he was the cutest and sweetest cat ever.

The vet was very nice and gave us time in the room to say good-bye and then when we were ready he gave Tikal the tranquilizer and then the muscle relaxer that would stop his heart. The tranquilizer slowed the process so instead of Tikal dying instantly, it was more like he went to sleep while YS and I told him over and over again what a good kitty he was and how much we loved him and petted him and cried. I think the process is a personal choice, whether you want it to be over with instantly or if you want a little more time. My vet in SF told me that it's the same for the pet, but that he found that the tranquilizer approach was easier on the owner.

After the vet, we went to Switched On as we were close by and I think we needed to be around other people. That night YS and Mom went to a concert that I was to attend, but I didn't feel like going out in public. I stayed home and cried and was actually in bed asleep by 8:30. Emotions are truly exhausting, and it was so sad and lonely in my apt. without Tikal there to get underfoot or to crawl under the covers with me.

Within a week, I had two more cats at home, as my apt. was just too sad and empty. I love Boris and Igor, the little darlings, but Tikal will always be the love of my life.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco de Mayo

It's Cinco de Mayo and absolutely nothing going on here. I went to the gym last night, did another 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 on the elliptical, skipped the stairmaster, but worked on the stupid ball (why am I the only one who falls off that damn thing?) and did some ab work.

I am having the damnedest time following knitting patterns for the past week. I got about halfway through this one project yesterday during the BBB's meeting and then had to rip it all out as something was wrong. *sigh* And then after I got a bit done last night I figured out that I did something wrong again. ARGH!!!! It's ticking me off as this pattern is NOT hard. I need to give in and place a marker so I know which is the Right Side from the Wrong Side as I'm sure that's my problem. There are only two rows in this pattern and you'd think I'd keep it straight, but I apparently can't. Dumbshit that I am.

This weekend will be one of those hectic ones. Friday morning I'm going to the gym to get my Friday workout in, will be attending the 12:00 yoga class for the first time in damn near two months and then race home, shower, and then pile into my car with an overnight bag and head to Mom's work. We all (Mom, YS and me) will then head up to lovely Mt. Pleasant (from what I understand MP is not really pleasant or lovely) for YS's graduation Saturday morning at 9:30. Can you imagine??? I will have knitting to keep myself awake and somewhat interested during the commencement address.

Update on Stalker Asshole: He did walk past my desk again yesterday, but I was intent on my computer screen (legitimately) and he walked by and didn't say a word. Today I have a meeting when he'll be doing his thing, so I won't have to worry about it today. Next Stalker Report won't be until Monday. And if this is just his usual lunch routine (he fucking strolls, people, so this can't be an exercise thing, actually, I would call it slower than a stroll…what is slower than a stroll?), I wish he would change his route.

It's sad that normally this time of year, I'd be whole hog into the NHL playoffs, but there was no NHL this year. I should be ranting and raving about whatever happened in last night's game and bitching about Kerry Fraser and his ridiculous brand of officiating and wondering why the Red Wings keep drawing the ever-shitty Steve Walkom and Rob Shick as referees. And would Bill McCreary regain his 2002-2003 form when he was the best (read: fair) ref in the league, unlike 2003-2004 when I actually reached the point where I was hoping to see Fraser? It was a crazy 2003-2004 season.

And if there were hockey, Stephane Provost, a linesman with the NHL, might not have died two days ago because he probably wouldn't have been on a motorcycle. But if he had, I would have known about it before this. I only went to the website to check out some facts, and there it was. So sad. So young.

I still think that the owners need to fire Gary Bettman (PLEASE, DEAR GOD, PLEASE) and the Players' Association needs to fire Bob Goodenow, as it seems that the only time the two sides made any sort of progress was when their underlings were doing the talking. These two hate each other and refuse to give in to anything. FIRE THEM, for God's sake, JUST FIRE THEM! Gary Bettman has done nothing to improve the game since he was hired to be the commissioner. He got rid of all of the history of the game, i.e., The Clarence Campbell Conference with the Norris and Smythe Divisions vs. the Prince of Wales Conference with the Adams and Patrick Divisions, and replaced it with the mind-numbingly boring (if descriptive, kind of, considering that Detroit is in the Eastern Time Zone, but the Western Conference which means that we just get screwed during playoffs when the team has to fly across three time zones to get to their next game and all of Detroit is up way past their bedtimes to watch games that start at 10:30 p.m.) Eastern and Western Conferences with the Southeast, Blah Blah Blah Divisions. I mean, really!!! Why would you get rid of the history of the game???? That still pisses me off. For that reason alone, I'd dearly love to smack Mr. Bettman upside his pointed head and then send him back to friggin' basketball. (BTW, Go PISTONS!!!)

I'm pretty damn excited as I just opened my Detroit Zoo Member Newsletter and there was official confirmation that we're getting rhinos!!!! I believe that they're going to use the old Elephant Exhibit for the new rhinos, which we aren't getting until next year. We haven't had any rhinos since they put Rudy to sleep back in December 2001 at the age of 49. He had been the oldest living rhino in captivity, as most only live into their 30s.. As rhinos are the absolutely coolest, I'm geeked!!! It's been sad for me to visit the zoo these past few years and see any rhinos. Rudy used to have a small exhibit right next to the elephants but a number of years back they put him way over in the back of the zoo (up from the prairie dogs) and opened up the area to give Wanda and Winky, the elephants, more room. Now that the Detroit Zoo has shipped W&W off to the PAWS animals shelter in California where they can wander in grass and trees all day long, a much better option than our cold Detroit winters and our better-than-the-hideous-AZA recommended one acre exhibit, we can put the rhinos back where they belong, once we get them.

My favorite Rudy story happened while I was living in SF (so sometime between 1996 & early 2000). Some mentally disturbed young man managed to climb into Rudy's enclosure, and if I remember correctly, it was at night. Thankfully Rudy was so old that he just didn't care and nothing happened to the man, except that I think he got the help he needed. I remember that people were thankful that that was the enclosure he chose and not the lions or the tigers.

Other than that, the good news is that the Yankees are sucking canal water this year and if they lose tonight (let's hope and keep our fingers crossed that they do) they'll be in last place, which should send George Steinbrenner into apoplectic fits.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Knitting at meetings, stalkers and peeping toms

So, I'm still listening to The Dears, and really liking it, so I called Glen and asked him to order it for me. Since Adam does have this on his iPod, I'm going to hope I can keep it a little longer.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I have a long-ass two hour meeting to attend where the Big Big Boss talks about whatever suits his fancy. I've had the privilege of listening to his political and economic views before and that's all I'm going to say. I've learned to bring knitting with me so that I don't fall asleep, so I must remember to bring it with me. I've written a reminder on my hand, so I hope that works.

It's tomorrow, or Wednesday, however you want to look at it. And my initial thought is "Bloody hell, is winter ever going to freaking end!!!???" It was 30F walking in this morning. I mean, really, is this necessary? I'm tired of having to wear my winter jacket. I was reading moby.com yesterday and he's on tour and commented that some cities had "not paid their spring tax." Well, I guess Detroit definitely did not pay its spring tax (which isn't surprising since the city is facing a $30 million budget shortfall). Of course, it's supposed to warm up 30+ degrees today and be 64F at some point.

I did remember my knitting, however, so that's excellent!!! I didn't have enough knitting once for one of these meetings and I was falling asleep like it was midnight. And I had an aisle seat and for some reason the BBB was walking all the way up and back. I'm pretty sure he couldn't miss the church nod I was doing. I always try to find an internal seat under a good lighting source for these meetings. I even find that I pay better attention to his pertinent and meaningful discourse if I have knitting to occupy my hands. You wouldn't think so, but it's true.

I went to the gym again last night. Another 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 (an increase of 3 minutes) on the stairmaster. I haven't progressed to using the big medicine ball thingies again yet, but soon. I hope. There's this guy at the gym who apparently needs Mucinex as he spends the entire time he's running on the treadmill doing this cough thing. Dear God, it's annoying as hell!!! And on Monday one of my favorite I wear little nylon running shorts guys was there. JUST NOT NECESSARY, people!!!

I finished the fourth book in the Artemis Fowl series last night. I highly recommend them as they are quite entertaining and well-written. I was at Borders last week (buying I can't remember what, oh yeah, Poky Little Puppy for a baby shower) and while I was checking out the cashier said something about Harry Potter and the other 20-something cashier proudly said, "I haven't read a single Harry Potter book. I'm an Artemis Fowl girl." Yeah, just because something is popular it must be shite. She looked like a hipster. I just looked at her and said, "I read Artemis Fowl, too." Apparently I wasn't cool enough though because even though I had already bought the 4th book I hadn't had time to read it yet and therefore I was not enough of an AF fan. Dear God, it reminds me a friend from the bar who dated this "punk" chick (much younger than the rest of us, i.e., barely 21) and she thought herself very much "punker than thou." I was so annoyed by her behavior. Look, child, I was a punk when you were still in diapers. No, I never said to her face, as she couldn't be bothered to speak to any of us, but dammit, I thought it!!! And when he finally broke it off with her, I gave him shit like you would not believe. It was so fun watching him blush!

Latest update on Stalker Asshole. I decided not to be at my desk around the time I usually see him stalk past my desk, and as I walked away yesterday I glanced down the main aisle and saw him coming. I move swiftly, but not obviously and headed over to the candy room on the other side of the building. I made my selections, paid for them and walked out, turned the corner and ran smack dab into him once afuckinggain. I was so pissed off. And I think it must have shown on my face, because even though he said, "Hi Kathleen, how are you?" it was said with quite the same level of enthusiasm he usually has. I was so freaking annoyed I didn't say a word to him. I just walked away and muttered under my breath, "Fuck off and die." Nice, yeah, I know, but I am so freaking tired of this. Most of the guys here think it's a joke as he just walks past my desk, but it's wearing on me. You always hear neighbors say about murderers, "He was such a nice guy. I never would have expected him to do something like that. He even took my garbage out for me every week." And shit like that. It just scares you that even though I think this guy is probably harmless, just annoying, how do I know for certain? I walk home every day along the main route and he knows this. And I hate adjusting my lifestyle because of the assholes in this world.

I had this peeping tom when I lived in SF. The way my apt. was set up I could go between my bathroom, closet and bedroom area without having to go into my living room, but one day early in the morning I went into the kitchen for something and I wasn't completely dressed (probably in my underwear) and as I walked back toward my room, I looked up and directly across the street I saw a man standing in his big ass living room window looking at me with binoculars. He was pretty quick to put them down, but I saw them. And the weird thing was that the apt. was darn near empty. There was a TV set up on a milk carton and maybe two folding chairs. The closet in the bedroom area was wide open and EMPTY. It really freaked me out as it didn't really look as if anybody lived there. I went to work and after talking to a few friends, I called the cops. They came over to my apt. after work and essentially told me that as they were on private property they could do anything they like and they recommended that I pull my blinds and live in the dark. That pissed me off as I like my blinds/shades being up. I like natural light pouring into the places I live. It just makes me mad that I have to do things differently than I like to do them because of freaking weirdo perverts in the world. They did go over to check out the apt., as it was odd and they could see that it was empty, but they couldn't find anything out. So, basically, FUCK OFF, Peeping Toms and Stalker Assholes!!!

I wonder how Mom feels about going to the Tigers game for Mother's Day. Oh darn, the Tigers are in Anaheim. I guess she's off the hook. And they're out of town Memorial Day weekend, dammit. I'm kind of hoping to get to at least one game every month, but it's not looking good for May.

I guess that's it for now – TTFN!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The weekend in review

I had a good weekend. I did very little in the apartment (and it shows), although I did do a thousand loads of laundry on Friday. Friday night I had tickets to the DSO (third in a row) and I took my friend's nine-year-old son. There aren't many 9-year-olds I'd take to the symphony. In fact, I think that he's pretty much the only one I would take. He was very excited about it, especially as we were going to get to listen to Mozart pieces and I think his father ODd him on Mozart. The first piece was four minutes long (Overture to the Marriage of Figaro – also the music played by Willie Wonka to open the door to get into the room with the chocolate river – you know the piece that Mike Teevee's Mom said was Rachmaninoff – now you know). The second one was Mozart's Violin Concerto #5 which is beautiful but a little long and not that interesting for a 9-year-old. He got a little fidgety during the 35 minutes of straight strings. Hell, I'm sure I yawned a few times and I'm an adult. After the intermission, the DSO launched into Korngold's Symphony in F-sharp. I had told my cute date that this piece of music was going to be more interesting to watch as it was written in the 20th century and from the time period when they liked lots of cool percussion: cymbals, xylophones (do they have a special name when in an orchestra?), gong, triangle, timpani, big bass drum, etc. When it ended, we both stood up and applauded wildly, but my date went one step further and let out an enthusiastic yell of approval. Very cool to have a 9-year-old appreciate classical music so much, especially after watching so many adults walk out between movements. The woman behind us kept yelling Bravo, so it's nice to know that there are people out there who appreciate slightly more modern classical music.

Saturday I went to Target to find a filter for my kitchen faucet. I do not drink the water from those old pipes w/o a filter, but I couldn't find one that fit my faucet. ARGH!! I was also looking for a kitchen rug, as I had thrown out the one I had downstairs, but couldn't find anything that said, "Me! I'm what you want." So, I did the rare thing of leaving Target w/o spending any money! How often does that happen????

Julie called me while I was at Target to see if I still wanted to go to the Lansing yarn store. I definitely did and so I went and got gas and then picked her up and started our 100 mile trek (one-way) to the most overwhelming yarn store you have ever seen. I needed a poncho pattern and yarn for my YS (younger sister). Her b-day was only a month ago, but why rush into anything! Matt showed me a great poncho but then couldn't find the pattern, so he's going to mail it to me. She wants a black one which is less then thrilling, so we had to find a pattern that was interesting on its own. I also bought yarn for this shawl that Matt had designed but you couldn't buy the pattern, it was free if you bought the yarn there. It wasn't cheap, but I have been eyeing that shawl for the past seven months and I finally went for it. Now to find the time to do it, along with YS's poncho and the cousin's baby blanket, etc. So much to do, so little time, especially when you consider the state of my just moved-into apartment!!!

Last night I figured out (I think) the stressor that caused my shingles. Maybe…I think I mentioned the day that I ran into the ex-boyfriend's brother at the gym, right? I'm wondering if I were so stressed about hearing from the ex-boyfriend that I internalised it all and voila, shingles! It's either that or the weakened immune system from the bronchitis or a combination thereof. Of course, YS thinks that the sun is also a trigger, but I haven't found that listed anywhere else.

Saturday night was Knitting Club night and was an enjoyable evening as usual. I wasn't knitting well though and I think I messed up everything I worked on that night. Pathetic.

Sunday was Mass where Fr. O was on a tear and then I got my hair cut which was so long it was scary. I was hating it!!! Now it's nice and short again and I'm a much happier camper. Sunday evening I took Jason and Brian out to dinner to thank them for helping me move two weeks ago. I took them to the Traffic Jam & Snug and it was yummy as usual. I had their own brewed 40th anniversary pale ale and it was wonderful. Brian and Jason both got the stout and somehow I never got a taste. DARN!!! Brian and Jason both got the famous Carlota Chocolate dessert while I indulged in a Boston Cooler, even though I was stuffed to the gills from my black bean nachos. All in all, it was a good weekend.

And last night I got my returned to form fat ass back to the gym where I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the elliptical and another 7 minutes on the stairmaster. I thought that maybe doing a full 90 minutes of cardio my first day back might be a bit much, so I backed off. My plan is to be back there again today doing at least another 60 minutes. I need to re-lose the 8 pounds and an additional 15…and I am determined. I so hope the shingles stays at this level which is feasible, although it would be nice if it just went away all together.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Monday, part II

I'm listening to a new CD today, actually, it's a CD that my friend Adam lent to me. It's by The Dears. He had it downloaded on is iPod last week and had me listen to one song which sounded JUST LIKE Morrissey. The other songs don't sound like Morrissey at all, but if you heard the one on the radio you would bet big bucks that it was Morrissey. Adam has introduced me to some great music over the past few years: Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, and now The Dears. I'll have to talk to Glen to order it for me, since I do have to give Adam his CD back. Especially since he's leaving me to move to SoCal this June. It's always been a threat as he hates Michigan's winters, but the threat became a reality when his girlfriend started interviewing for jobs in CA and OR. She accepted a job, so they're off to the Golden State. *sigh* I shall miss him, as he's a good friend.

One of the songs has a line about "blood-sucking leeches" which for some reasons makes me laugh.

The cafeteria at work infuriates me. Somehow they win the contract every year even though their food sucks. Even though there are tons of Indians here, their vegetarian selections are always slim to nasty. And they're the only place that doesn't make lentil soup vegetarian. I mean, really, is it necessary to make it with HAM and CHICKEN stock???? Give me a friggin' break. My daily exercise is walking down to the cafeteria, walking through it and then out again in disgust. It's unbelievable how God awful that place is.

And I have my own official stalker. It's been going on for close to three years now, but it's reached a fever pitch, and I've reached the end of my rope. I met this guy 3.5-4.0 years ago when we had the same meeting. We used to talk about hockey and stuff like that. I never thought anything of it, as I considered him to be too old (read: stuffy) for me. Well, one day I was walking home, as usual, and this car pulled right in front of me and the passenger window went down. It freaked out a little bit, but then saw it was this guy, so I relaxed a little bit since it wasn't a complete stranger. I shouldn't have relaxed. He asked for my number and being the complete wuss that I am, I gave it to him. It's not like it wasn't listed. Well, for about a year every time he called (not that often, thankfully) I would be busy, so I was always thankful as I am a lousy liar. Finally, about two years ago, he called and I figured the best way to get him to stop asking me out was to go out once and then make it clear that I wasn't interested. Trust me, it wasn't a date date. I invited him to join my co-workers and me up at the bar. He showed up wearing an Izod V-neck sweater straight from golfing. I was just trying to get through the evening and I am so happy that Charles and Julie never abandoned me. And when they decided to leave, I decided to go with them. I said Good-bye to the future stalker guy, thanked him for the beer and the nachos and stuck out my hand. Now, IMHO, that should have been a huge hint that I wasn't interested, but instead he grabbed my hand and pulled me to him for a hug. OMIGOD, did that piss me off. I went out the front door with Julie and Charles, as Stalker Guy's car was out the back way. I am a firm believer in that the woman in such situations dictates the level of contact, and if she puts out her hand for a handshake, she's not interested in the guy, in the least little bit, and just because he bought her a beer and some nachos to share does not entitle him to anything at all!!!!

He then started walking past my desk every day. My downstairs desk was right on a main aisleway and lots of people would walk past it, so even though it annoyed me, it was right down from an outside door. I just got really good at being enthralled with my computer screen around the time he would be walking past. Then a month or so ago, my desk moved upstairs, and I figured I was safe. His desk is downstairs and all his meetings are in his direct area or another building completely. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for him to walk past my desk and he's been doing it every day now. I about lost my mind when I was on my way to the coffee room last Thursday and he was walking toward me. I should have been completely unsubtle and turned and walked the other way, but I didn't, I kept going and had to go through the whole, "Hello, Kathleen!" "Hello Stalker Asshole." "How are you?" I didn't respond, but I almost lost my mind. And then today he walked down my very own aisle!!! Not the main aisle, but MY AISLE! And trust me, just as there's no reason for him to be up here at all, there's really no reason for him to be walking down my aisle! It dead ends into a window!!!!! I really lost it today, as I almost ran smack into him. Two of my co-workers tried to calm me down, but I have seriously lost my mind on this. I'm going to take to hiding under my desk around 11:20 everyday until I see his highly-polished stalker shoes go past. I wish Bill still worked over here because he knows what Stalker Asshole looks like, so he could tell me when he had done his walk-by.

I don't understand! If I find out a guy isn't interested me, I make it a point not to walk past his desk so that he doesn't think I'm a complete freaking loser who can't take a freaking hint.

This is stressing me out which I don't think is very good for my shingles which have decided to make their presence known again. The past two weeks haven't been good in that regards. I've had to give up completely wearing a bra again because that makes it worse, and that considerably shortens my work wardrobe. I hope everybody likes my fleece because it's going to be worn all week long over whatever shirt I choose.

My mom told me yesterday that maybe I should go to the Pain Clinic. I told her NO WAY IN HELL would I be going to the Pain Clinic. "Well, it helped me." That's nice, but "there's no way in hell anybody sticking a needle anywhere near my spine." NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Especially since ibuprofen seems to be doing the trick. I have determined that the pain pills that my doctor gave me do keep me up at night, so those are just gone. I'll stick with ibuprofen and get some sleep.

I am going to try darn hard to get to the gym this week. The boxes in the apartment will still be there and maybe I'll be motivated when I get home from the gym. We'll see how long of a workout I can get in after being off for six friggin' weeks.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about my weekend – which was all good, except for laundry which wasn't hideous, just laundry.

Church meeting today!

Quick entry today. At church yesterday, Fr. announced that he, along with three other people, is meeting with the Cardinal today to discuss the future of my church. Please pray (if you believe in such), send good vibes/thoughts that the Cardinal is receptive to our idea to merge with another church. I remember when the Archdiocese was closing churches the last time and wondering at the people crying about their church closing. I wasn't invested in my former church like I am in this, emotionally. I now understand the reaction and I'd be one of the worst, if it were to happen. So, please send up a little prayer or thought that the meeting goes well and that come November, I still have my church family.

Will write more later if I get through all my reports….Thanks.