Thursday, June 30, 2005

Thank you, Spain!

Muchas gracias a España! Another country that gets it!!!!

Supposedly an Alphabetised Survey

I haven't stolen a survey in a while, but saw this one at Heather's site and had to steal it. Okay, I didn't really *have* to steal it but it was somewhat interesting.

A - Age you lost your virginity? So not happening this little disclosure.

B - Band listening to right now? The Dears EP

C - Dream car? Ford GT

D - Dad's name? Asshole

E - Easiest person to make me laugh? Darrell, Brian

F - Food you miss most? Alaskan King Crab Legs. If I were ever to give up being a vegetarian, these would be the temptation.

G - Any encounters with ghosts? Nah.

H - Person most hated at the moment? Nobody at the moment, but the person that Heather saw throw something at a heron really pissed me off.

I - Interesting unknown fact about yourself? I have a dent in my left leg where I walked straight on into a fire hydrant back in 1997.

J - The first letter of the last person who broke your heart? M (I went with first person)

L - Last time you did LSD? I wouldn't even know where to get it or what it looks like, so the answer is NEVER.

M - Most memorable moment you can think of in a minute? Jeff Krosnoff's crash at Toronto in 1996 which killed him. I cried all the way home (not the safest driving style ever).

N - Nicknames? Kathleen, Kat, Leenie, Lemur, Fucking Moron (but I'm the only one allowed to call myself that)

O - What's the most valued possession? Boris and Igor followed by my books, CDs, and racing pictures

P - Poison of choice? Guinness.

Q - The last quote you heard: "I love the smell of methanol in the morning."

R - What are you allergic to? Avocados make me sick, although I'm not sure it's an allergy. Other than that, the usual cats, dogs, grass, pollen, shit like that.

S - Song you sang last? Summer of Protest by The Dears

T - Time you woke up? The alarm went off at 4:15, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed around 4:47 a.m.

U - Fav. pair of underwear? Do people really have favorite pairs of underwear? All of mine are basically the same, just different colors. I'm branching out as I only used to buy black.

V - Vegetable you hate most? Lima beans – they're so incredibly vile that I'm stunned and amazed that there are people in this world who actually like them!!!!

W - What are you the most afraid of? Running into my father at a Tigers game

X - X-rated love life? Do I have one? Is that the question? Shit, I don't even have a G-rated love life!

Y - Year you were born? 1964

Z - Zodiac sign? Leo

Naps, Laundry and the Tour de France

My body took control yesterday afternoon. I know I've been whining all week about how bloody tired I am and yesterday when I got home from work I laid down (is it Laid down/ lied down? I am very grammar oriented, but I have to confess that lay/lie have never been my strong suit) and took my temperature as I was not feeling all that well yesterday. I was so tired that when I took the thermometer out of my mouth I thought it read just barely 98.0˚F. Cool, no temp, I thought. I continued to lie there (see?) and had the foresight to hit the nap button on my clock radio for ten minutes. Ten minutes later it went off and I stayed on the bed thinking that I would give myself a few more moments. The next thing I knew it was 4:08 p.m. (figure an hour and a half nap) and my bloody contacts were stuck to my eyes. *sigh* I kept telling myself to get up and take the contacts out at least, but I just didn't have the energy. I was then very scared that I wouldn't be able to sleep last night. No problem at all, as it turns out. I crawled into bed around 8:00 while talking to Martha (who is still in Mexico and probably won't be home in time for my b-day) and after I hung up with her around 8:30 I played electronic solitaire (I find it keeps the brain from thinking too much) and I'd say I was asleep by 9:00 p.m. And once again slept like a rock.

The weather was so weird yesterday, it thundered and lightninged for a good hour before the rain came and when it came, it downpoured. And was hotter and more humid when it ended.

I was thinking about calling Glen and seeing if he wanted to take off for the baseball game today but then I remembered that I'm taking my friend Julie out for her b-day (which was yesterday) this afternoon and we probably would be back in time. For the record, I know LOTS of Julies. When I talk to YS (younger sister) I have to specify which Julie. There's Glen and Julie Julie, Pontius Pilate Julie, The Julie You Don't Know from Work Julie. Okay, I guess I only know three Julies.

You're probably wondering how Pontius Pilate Julie got her name. A few years back, Julie, YS and I were out for drinks. We were at the neighborhood bar, Howell's which is pretty much a hole-in-the-wall, and this guy came over to chat us up. This was an older not so attractive guy who thought he was all that and a bag of chips (whatever the hell that means) with slicked back hair. The type of guy who can't take a hint to go away when we all ignore him and try to continue our conversation. I can't remember the details, as it was three years ago, but he turned to Julie at one point and said, "What are you, the Pontius Pilate of the group?" HUH??? We all thought it was hilarious, of course, because WTF??? Pontius Pilate??? To this day I don't quite understand what he was getting at, but whatever.

After my nap yesterday I did laundry which is oh so exciting! I threw the clean folded clothes directly into the suitcase as I'm leaving Saturday morning for Up North. Yes, Up North is an official destination here in Michigan and requires capitalisation. I have to take up my own bath and beach towel, so I have to get serious and find my animal rescue site tote bag. It disappeared into the black hole that is my apartment. One of these days I'll finish the moving in process, but it's been too damn hot for the past month (and I was too damn lazy before that).

I'm hoping against hope that the cabin Up North has good cable because the Tour de France starts this Saturday and I'd hate to miss ten solid days of racing action. Sure, I'm rooting for Lance, of course, especially since Tyler Hamilton has been suspended for doping (dope!), but I just love the race itself. And I want to see Levi Leipheimer kick some butt, too. And Axel Merckx. Hell, I'd like to see the Giro d'Italia and la Vuelta de España, but nobody here shows it. Stupid OLN! How can there be a TV market for the World's Strongest Man Competitions on espn2, but I can't get the big bike races from Europe? More people have to care about that than WSMCs from 1994 or even 2004!!!! I have to think that people only watch because it's like a train wreck. Sure, espn2 cover WSMC, but don't cover the NHL (when it comes back). I spit on ESPN and espn2!!!! They show nothing worthwhile anymore and I used to love ESPN!!!! It's sad that they've taken to covering bowling, WSMC, and poker with the occasional Sunday Night Baseball thrown in to cover the pretense that they are a sports channel.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Return of Electricity!

Thank you, Canada, for having the guts to do the right thing.

I find it absolutely amazing that so many people still drink and drive. No, really, I'm not that naïve, I know people drink and drive, but most people I know who still do it have maybe two beers and that's it. The people in this article aren't blowing just the new lower legal limit (here in Michigan) of .08, but they're way over the old limit (0.10). And on their way to pick up their child at daycare? Or with their baby in the car? What on earth is wrong with these people???? I remember when I worked the door at the bar that I was amazed that people didn't have designated drivers and this was at the height of the Designated Driver push. Do people even think about designated drivers anymore? If I'm driving I limit myself to one beer (or none at all) and I have to be somewhere for a good 2-3 hours and eat some food. I don't want to be responsible for killing or injuring an innocent person nor do I care to lose my license or end up in jail.

The power was back on in my apartment when I got home yesterday. Yay!!! But since I don't really have air conditioning (I have one small window unit in the dining room which just keeps the humidity down in that room), I went to Borders for the book Stealing Jesus by Bruce Bawer which is this month's choice for Ypsi-Arbor Progressive Reading Club set up by Mark Maynard. I don't live in Ypsi or Ann Arbor, but that doesn't matter. While there I remembered that the new (eleventh) Janet Evanovich book had come out the week before, so I picked that up as well. I had an eye doctor's appt. at 4:30 and went straight there and got there around 3:30. When I walked in the receptionist just looked at me and said, "Kathleen, your appointment isn't until 4:30." "Yes, I know, but you have air conditioning and I don't." She just laughed and said, "That's smart of you." So, I sat and read the latest Stephanie Plum novel and when I got home I finished it. If you haven't read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books you should do yourself a favor and do so. Just ask, I'll lend mine out. They've been mailed to North Carolina and Illinois. They're nice and light and will make you laugh out loud. After finishing that latest book, I crawled into bed with Stealing Jesus and so far it's very interesting, and I'm only on page 14.

I slept like a rock last night, which I so needed, as I was just brain dead. I went to bed at 7:30 and was dead asleep by 8:00 p.m. When I was a kid I would have killed to stay up past 8:00 p.m. and now I'm voluntarily going to bed while it's still light out. A tad pathetic, but I like to think that as an adult I am aware of the need of a good night's sleep. That's my reasoning and I'm sticking with it!!!

I'm going to be gone next week on vacation. I'm leaving Saturday and heading Up North with BST (he's getting close on the mileage on his lease car) and going to a cottage with a bunch of friends. BST and I will come home on Wednesday, so that I can drive to Toronto the next day for the race with Mom and my friend Jim. I think I'll be tired of driving long distances for a while after that. Growing up, we never went Up North, so this is a new experience for me (I went up for a couple of days last year). I remember we went to a friend's cottage once and I caught a blue gill, but I think that was just for the day or maybe two days and most definitely wasn't very far away. I'm really looking forward to a few days of just lazing around and doing whatever!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

HOT and No Bloody Power!!!

Bloody hell, but I'm still tired. I went to bed at 8:30 just like I had planned and was just getting comfortable and settled in when the friggin' power went out (around 8:40 p.m.), and when I left this morning at 5:15 it was still out. Talk about an uncomfortable night. WTF is with the power going out only when it's 95 fucking Fahrenheit degrees and 95% humidity? Why does it never go out when it's 75 and comfortable with a beautiful breeze???? Fuckin' A! I just want to sleep. And even though I live a five MINUTE WALK from work, they have full fucking power. And if I think about it, I'm not really upset because at least I'm not sweltering at home.

And how the hell does it manage to be this bloody fucking hot and not be sunny??? I mean it's grey and hazy as shit outside. I don't know about you, but if it's going to be 95˚F and humid as shit, I want to see the bloody sun!!! Yes, I'm cranky. I've gotten so little sleep over the past five days it's not funny!!! And this shit is to last until Friday. *sigh* If we could have just combined this summer with last summer, we could have had two perfect summers instead of a cold and rainy one and a hotter than fucking shit one.

I messed up big time this past weekend. Thursday was one of those days. I packed at 5:15 a.m. and managed to forget the race tickets. ARGH!!! I got to the RRI, checked in and got Mom and Nephew settled in one room and I got settled in the other and then it hit me that I had forgotten to pack the damn tickets. I was so not happy. I like driving and all but I was not in the mood to drive back to Detroit and then back to Cleveland. I would have been getting back around midnight. Thankfully before I actually got into my car and started the trek I remembered that Ursa was driving down the next day and since she does live directly beneath my apartment, it wouldn't be too much of a hardship for her to get the tix. And I was pretty sure that Friday General Admission tickets were only $5 (they were), and I'd use up more in gas than $15 driving back and forth. I call her up and start the conversation thusly: "Urs, I'm a fucking moron." Yes, I said this in front of Mom and Nephew. I was very upset with myself. "I forgot the fucking tickets. Can you go to Chris and get the keys to my apt.?" "I have your extra set of keys, remember?" "Oh yeah! I tell her where the tickets are and she calls me back later to say she had them. I paid for Mom and Nephew on Friday since it was my fault and only $5 apiece. OOMA reminded Ursa multiple times when packing NOT to forget the tickets or I would kill her. I wouldn't have since it would have been my fault and not hers. Thank God she did not forget the bloody things.

In fifteen years of going to races I have never forgotten my tickets. And I have a feeling that I never will again. I was going to put my Toronto tickets into my carry-on bag, but then remembered that I'm going Up North this coming Saturday and I don’t want to lose them, but I might put them in my racing backpack – along with my passport. And my racing friend HRH indicated that she will never forget hers now because she'll always remember me forgetting mine. I like to be helpful by example.

The race weekend was a brilliant success – 6 different series, 8 races, all with their own drama and I saw many many friends. We discussed the F1 debacle from Indy the weekend before and of course, how much we hate the IRL (except for DH1 who took HRH on discussing the relative merits of each series). I had to turn away from that conversation as it makes me crazy when people say nice things about the IRL. Please remember this, if you remember nothing else, TFG (Tony George, owner of IMS and fucktard that started the IRL) and the IRL are evil. That is all.

My friend Jim (did I ever write about the person who left a note on my car after he saw my license plate and all the Champ Car stickers on it?) showed up at the race track wearing his Tony George is an asshole T-shirt and it was a huge hit. I was sitting in the grandstands and saw him heading up. He got stopped by my friend Erich who was sitting further down the grandstand and shook Jim's hand and congratulated him on the shirt. I went down and introduced them, officially. Jim got stopped by 7 separate people on Sunday who simply wanted to take his picture in the shirt. And to top it all off, he went into the paddock on Saturday where the teams loved the shirt. The Forsythe team gave him and his two other friends official team hats (he was nice enough to give it to HRH since she's a huge Forsythe fan). The Newman/Haas hospitality guy told him to come back on Sunday wearing the same shirt (it was hot, so I'm not sure how fabulous of an idea this was, but he was game) and he would drink free beer all day. Well, the next day Jim goes back and the guy was there and said, "Can you hang around for a few minutes? I have someone I want you to meet. Here, have a beer." So, Jim hung around and waited about ten minutes, and then the guy comes back with Paul Newman. Yes, THE Paul Newman of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame. Paul LOVED Jim's shirt and shook his hand and laughed and laughed. Jim got his picture taken with Paul Newman!!! I couldn't friggin' believe it!!! Paul Newman is notoriously shy about shit like that, especially at the race track where he doesn't want to be viewed as Paul Newman The Actor, but Paul Newman the Race Car Owner (and sometime Driver). He (Jim, not Paul Newman) called me from the friggin' paddock to tell me about it. I told him he fucking sucked. Paul Newman also invited him back to the paddock after the race to hang with him and drink beer. Yes, I'm officially jealous. I've been going to races for 15 years, spending shitloads of money and I get nothing, but the fabulous fun for which I'm going, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to be acknowledged as a super fan and given free official team swag. I'm going to make myself a t-shirt that says: Tony George is a F*****G A-Hole. Do you think that'll get me a free beer? ;-)

Keep your fingers all crossed that the friggin' power is on when I get home. I can't wait to reset all the stupid clocks again.

Monday, June 27, 2005


I should have slept in this morning. I am so blasted tired from my weekend it's not even funny. I was so tired last night that it never occurred to me that I don't actually have to get to work at 6:00 a.m. Although last night I was still operating under the delusion that I was going to the gym today. Now I'm thinking "Not so much." But then I'll remember that my friend DHJr, whom I hadn't seen in three years, told me, "You've gotten chunky. You look good." Now, I don't know what world DHJr lives in, but in my world "chunky" is NOT a compliment (Sorry, Urs, yes, I know you heard about it all weekend, but you know how obsessed I am). He tried to back off from his comment and told my Mom that he had called me "thick," not "chunky," but I'm still not sure that "thick" is complimentary. Anybody? When I told DH1 about DHJr's comment, he just shook his head. I guess the rest of the guys (they're known as DH1 and The Boys, even though they're all in their late 50s/early 60s) gave DHJr a hard time the rest of the weekend and we all started calling DHJr "Chunky." We all laughed, including DHJr., although he kept protesting that he didn't mean it in a bad way.

The weekend itself was fabulous fun, but then again, I was at the races!!! I ALWAYS have fun at the races, as there are fast cars turning right and left right there in front of me with the beautiful sound of the turbocharged 750 horsepower engines washing over me. Ah, heaven!!!! I got to see a bunch of people I hadn't seen in anywhere from 3 years to just a couple of weeks, and it was ALL GOOD!!! I got to tell Max Papis, "We miss you." And he responded with more than a hint of sadness in his voice, "Me too." You are loved, Max. I would gladly give up Ryan Hunter-Reay to get Max into a Champ Car. I'm sorry, I know I'm supposed to be all about wanting more Americans in the series, but I'd rather have drivers who have a personality and can drive the hell out of a race car. The first time I ever saw Max drive a race car was the 1996 Daytona 24 Hours. He was in a Ferrari 333SP (God, I loved that car!!!! It was so beautiful). I forget exactly what happened to cause him to run full out in the dying moments of the race (remember this is a 24 HOUR race), but he had that car flying! He was catching the leader after taking over the car down a lap, and as the checkered flag fell he was just seconds behind the leader in the closest finish in Daytona 24 History. I, for one, remember it as one of the most thrilling moments of my racing spectating life. Hereis a much better recollection of the race and how Max earned his nickname, Mad Max.

That drive got him the attention of American racing series, including Champ Car and Cal Wells (the only links I could find to Cal were related to his NASCAR ventures and I'm just not inclined to link to NASCAR crap). Later that year after we lost Jeff Krosnoff in a hideous accident in Toronto, Cal called Max and Max took over the Panasonic car. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his vibrant personality and passion for racing. He's now racing in the Speed World Challenge GT Series, and he's doing well, but he's an open wheel racer and he belongs in Champ Car.

Oh yeah, back to my weekend. It was a great time and I'm bloody tired and can barely keep my eyes open and I am having trouble caring (and spelling) about my usual Monday reports. One down, three to go.

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. I should really try to finish another report before my limited 8 hour day is up. I have a fun-filled dentist's appt. at 4:00 today. She told me six months ago that I should floss every day and then rinse afterwards with a water and hydrogen peroxide mix. Needless to say I have not done it every day and when I did do the water/hydrogen peroxide mix I felt like I was blowing bubbles for a while afterwards, so I did not do that as often as I should have. I will do it before heading over today, of course. Do dentists really expect everybody to floss every day? I know we should, but do they really think we will???

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spitting, Memorial Service and Cleveland!!!!!!

Here's an excellent column on etiquette today – or rather its lack. Having lived in SF, I can verify that what she says about spitting is true, although I lived there five years ago and I can't believe the spitters took a break for the past five years. I think she just started noticing or something. It was positively disgusting. I have stories to go along with it, too.

It was my first official full day of living in San Francisco and my friend J had taken the day off work to show me around The City. He took me downtown to the shopping district and then we walked over to Chinatown and then up California to Grace Cathedral and then finally ended up in the Haight-Ashbury right around lunchtime. We ate a little Mexican place (La Zona Rosa, perhaps) and then walked down the street and went into the Goodwill store because J wanted a blender. I was just standing there and since we had done a lot of walking (and up steep-ass hills) I was a little tired and I leaned on a table. BIG MISTAKE. I put my hand in something. I looked down and sure enough somebody had hocked a loogie right into this table and my hand was in it. I was grossed out beyond belief. I mean, really grossed out. I made squealing girl noises and shook my hand and said, "I need air. I need to get outta here." I ran outside and proceeded to take deep breaths while I tried desperately not to think of what had just happened. I was not doing all that well and then J came out of the store and said, "Oh my god, that was so disgusting. Did you see that? There were chunks and everything." I said, "J, you have to shut up or I'm going to throw up." His then girlfriend lived just down the street so we headed there so I could disinfect. We hadn't even reached the corner of Haight and Ashbury when J started it again. "Oh my god, that was so gross…" I'll leave out of the more extremely disgusting details. I didn't even have an opportunity to yell at him to stop it when I puked right there on the corner in front of the Haight's two faux homeless kids. Remember, I had just eaten lunch. J was just stunned that I had puked on the street. I had him get me a tissue because I couldn't leave that on the sidewalk where somebody would walk through it (not that it would have really shocked anybody, it was the Haight). He couldn't believe I cared, but he got a couple of tissues and used his big foot to shove the mess out of the way. The Homeless Kids made some smart ass remark but I essentially ignored them. We made it to Alix's house and I spent the next ten minutes in the bathroom scrubbing my hand raw. And then Alix got me a pop and I felt much better. To this day the Haight is my least favorite part of The City. I'd rather hang out in the Tenderloin than spend time in the Haight.

I can't even read my own writing to proofread it as I'm afraid that I'll make myself nauseous!!!

I leave today for Cleveland for the race. I'm so excited. Mom and Nephew are supposed to be at my place by 2:30 (that's so we can get underway by 3:00 – we'll see). I packed quickly this morning before I got to work at 5:30 a.m. I realised last night while at the memorial service for my friend's Mom that I hadn't packed yet. It really doesn't take me too long as I've been going to races for 15 years now, but it's still good to have it done before Mom gets over. I have to get my Texas-sized ass to Mervyn's right after work (so I drove) because none of my shorts are fitting. Do you have any idea how incredibly frustrating it is to be doing an hour to an hour and a half of cardio five days a week for the past two months and lose NO WEIGHT! And yes, I know, I'm building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat, but I'm talking about shorts fitting here, people, not just weight. My shorts still don't freaking fit. I've been telling people for years that the only way I have ever lost weight is by not eating. More than 15 years ago I did aerobics four days a week and let me tell you, I wasn't one of those wimpy women who barely follow the movements, I was sweating like a pig and just exhausting myself. Again I lost no weight in the two years I was doing that. So, I'm going to do my best to eat minimal food and fit into my freaking four pairs of shorts (but first I need a pair for this weekend or I'll be miserable). *sigh* And yes, Clarity, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to give up alcohol. Sad, but true. I need to get freaking serious here. The good thing is that I don't eat a lot during race weekends because we're at the track all freaking day and track food is very rarely vegetarian-friendly. Mom will bring grapes and celery and carrots, and that's good. And then tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 90s and who really feels like eating when you're just dying from the sun and heat. I hope to lose at least five lbs this weekend alone.

Ursa is joining Mom, Nephew and me this weekend. Yay!!! I had an extra ticket, so I offered it to her. She can't get off work tomorrow, but she'll have two very full days of racing to keep her happy. Damn, I love race weekends.

The Memorial Service last night was very nicely done. The priest who did the service didn't know my friend's Mom, but he took the time in the afternoon to meet the family and get to know her a little bit and then had also had the family talk about their Mom and say what they learned from her, what they remembered the most, etc. It was very moving and wished I had met her. I was very impressed by the turnout of our group of friends. Everybody was there, except a few people who have brand new babies. Afterwards we went back to our friends' house. I stayed much past my bedtime, but it was worth it. I didn't even regret it when I got up at 4:30 this morning, just so I can leave at 1:30 and find a damn pair of shorts. I really wish I could have stayed longer, but I am not as young as I used to be, and I really need the old beauty sleep.

And here's a positive article about the state of Champ Car, which always make me happy. We spent too long dealing with a negative attitude toward my boys and it's nice to see somebody saying something nice. I gave up my ten+ year subscription to AutoWeek last year so I have no idea if they've gotten less negative, but it doesn't really matter. I had stopped reading it, which was sad because I used to love reading it, but two of my favorite writers had died and I just didn't care much for their replacements. It wasn't the same anymore.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dreams, SPAM and Sadness

I'm thinking that I shouldn't snooze in the morning anymore. This morning between the alarm clock going off every ten minutes I had two messed up dreams. The first was that the Pistons had lost last night 90-something to ZERO, and all I could think in my dream was HOW THE HELL DO YOU SCORE ZERO POINTS IN BASKETBALL???? Thankfully that was not true and Detroit's Bad Boys Part Deux came through and beat San Antonio 95-86. Whew! I guess their motivation was the fact that San Antonio planned their victory parade for Thursday morning. A sign on the board in Detroit's locker room read: "San Antonio's parade is scheduled for Thursday!!! Oh, I don't think so. Game 7 will be Thursday night.

My other messed up dream was that I was going to the Weight Watchers meeting here at work and everybody was showing up in shorts and t-shirts (not the way most people dress here, in fact, nobody does) and that when I weighed in, I was 173 lbs. The woman leading the meeting said that if we wanted to lose weight we'd have to give up alcoholic beverages. ARGH!!! Thankfully I do not weight 173 lbs, but it would be smart if I gave up drinking beer. *sigh* I love beer. It's just so yummy.

And how freaking cool is this story??? Go Ethiopian Lions!!!

I took some time yesterday to clean out my Bulk Mail folder and by this I mean I opened all messages and clicked on the Unsubscribe link provided (not on the ones asking if my penis is large enough, etc., since they don't provide links) and this morning my Bulk folder had only 32 message compared to the usual double or triple that. Yay. I did it again today, so I hope tomorrow I'll just be getting spam for V!agra or mortgages (I'm figuring you're probably not legit when you don't offer me an unsubscribe link). Very exciting times!!!

The powers that be have called off the search for my friend's family in Florida. Fellow airplane owners and friends however are planning on going back out today, as they are not ready to give up hope. My friend is on his way there from his home in the Midwest. Please keep praying/thinking hopeful thoughts for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Life's Unfair

Dang, but I'm tired today. I felt bizarre all day yesterday, like I was getting a head cold or something, and by bedtime I had a full-scale headache. I took my allergy pills and ibuprofen and then, since it seemed like a tension headache, put Target brand Icy Hot around the lower part of my skull. It seemed to do the trick, but I woke up this morning with a sweaty head. I was up by 4:30 a.m. and at work by 5:30. And I'm ready for a nap. I'm sure the chamomile tea isn't helping wake me up, but as I don't do caffeine (it makes me shaky and jittery and keeps me up at night – yes, even if I drink it in the morning), there's not a lot I can do about it.

There is just bad news all over the place. A very dear friend's mother passed away yesterday, a bit unexpectedly. And then I just got an e-mail from a good friend which stated: "I just had the worst night of my life... My ex (and good fried), her husband (a good guy)....... And my oldest son were flying a twin engine Piper that has been missing of the Florida East Coast since Monday morning......" So, if you're so inclined, please pray for my friends. Just so sad. Life can really suck sometimes.

Father's Day at church was the usual insanity with Mom sobbing for added fun. Connie was reading some poems (sounded like Hallmark cards, actually) about Fathers being Dads, etc. And it was saying all these nice things about Dads. Mom just put her head on my shoulder and started sobbing and saying, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." I just hugged her and told her over and over again, "It's not your fault, Mom. Nobody blames you. It's not your fault." It's so not Mom's fault that Former Father (FF) is an idiot, a moron, an asshole and a whole bunch of other not so nice names. But Mom internalizes everything and so she gets upset that my siblings and I didn't have the world's greatest father. Hell, lots of people don't have the world's greatest father and trust me I dealt with that fact a long time ago. I didn't even feel a twinge of regret for not having what was described in the "poems." It's hard to miss something you didn't have. I'm sure I'll cry when he dies though – not for him, but for what a complete jackass he was and for how he treated his kids. It always makes me sad when I hear of people who have lost a parent and how much they miss that parent, and I don't even bother talking to mine. I'm not sad for me. I'm sad for the person who is experiencing the loss, and how incredibly unfair life is.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Go To Ursamajor's site to see pictures

Holy cow, but did the weekend end with a bang. I went to a friend's house to watch the Champ Car race and (thankfully) stayed after the race ended just to chat. Finally around 7:20 I headed home and as I drove up Oakwood I saw flashing lights and emergency vehicles in the parking lot of the credit union. At first I thought that perhaps one of the kids who is always out there skateboarding had fallen and cracked his head open, since the first vehicle I saw was an ambulance. As I turned onto my street I could see that this was bigger than that, as there was a fire truck and cop car blocking my street, the ambulance in the parking lot, and a big truck upside down. I could see Ursamajor (she's already posted pictures) standing up ahead. I pulled over to the side of the street and got out. My upstairs neighbor came right over and put her arm around me and said that nobody was hurt (I could see Ursa's OOMA's truck had been involved in some way). I could see Ursa and OOMA, but it was nice to be assured that nobody was hurt. Not even the white trash idiots in the upside truck. Needless to say, they were speeding (how else do you roll an F150 in a 25mph zone) and drunk (they tried to hide the beer bottles in the back of OOMA's now destroyed truck, but there were witnesses who saw them do it – they were brain trusts). And even though they rolled the truck all of them managed to walk away, although one did get taken to the hospital. They're so smart that one of them mouthed off to the cops and found him whisked off to jail.

Oh, and the skinny piece of white trash who insulted Ursa just got out of jail a week ago and his father is in Iraq. I'll betcha Dad is proud of his son now. Too bad Dad didn't put Son into the army. I'm thinking it might do the punk some good.

I was very thankful that I was not home when this happened because more than likely I would have been parked in front of or behind OOMA's truck and my poor little Focus would have been totaled. And I just paid it off (as did OOMA) and I am looking forward to a good number of years w/o a car payment.

This was a fine Welcome to the Neighborhood, Ursa and OOMA. *sigh* I've lived there since 1989 (save the four years I was in SF) and we've never had anything like this happen before. One of the cops came over to OOMA and thanked him for keeping his cool and not beating the crap of the idiot. We told the cop that cars go flying down our street all the time. I said that they use the turn as a chicane to see how fast they can go. He said to call the traffic division of the police department and tell them about this. I said that I had last year and when I said that people like to do at least 40mph down our street was told "Ma'am, I'm sure they don't." "I'm sure they do." The cop said to call again and to use this accident as an example and get everybody to call. We'll see. The problem is that there's no where for a cop to hide to catch somebody speeding. Still, after yesterday's incredible crash, maybe we can get something. I thought speed bumps would be good, but somebody else said that would just launch the cars. I guess I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that I should probably stop walking down the center of the street in an effort to get people to slow down. It only works if they're not drunk, stupid and complete white trash.

Please note from Ursa's pictures what a beautiful summer evening it was though.

Friday, June 17, 2005

People piss me off

Unfucking real. These people need to take a pill and get the fuck over it. And I understand her parents are questioning the results of the autopsy. Come on now, does anybody with a functioning brain in their head really believe that Michael Schiavo paid off the autopsy doctor??? Bloody hell! Will they let the poor woman go already???

Chucks Contest!!!

I just signed up for this contest. I mean, really, they're giving away TEN pairs of Chucks and you think I'm not going to try??? I would be in Chuck Taylor Heaven!!!!! I have no clue what the band Tsar sounds like, but I do NOT care. I'll receive their damn newsletter for a little while and then cancel it (once I don't win).

Sure I already have eleven pairs, but that includes two red pairs (one faded from wearing them to races) and two all black pairs for wearing to work. I went on-line a few months back and there were all sorts of new ones, and I think I need them. Keep your fingers crossed that I win!!! Clarity, if I win, I will so share with you!!! ;-)

Why do people buy sports cars and then drive them like little old ladies in Buicks (except for my Grandma)??? You do not have to come to a complete stop to complete that right turn. You really don't. Hell, even if you're in a Hummer, I can't believe you have to stop COMPLETELY!!! My Grandma is 85 (or 86) years old and drives like a speed freak. Of course, she doesn't drive a Buick, she drives a Pontiac Bonneville (pronounced BonnEEville by Grandma), because all 86-year-olds need a V6!!! And I have to say that Grandma is NOT a menace on the roads. Her husband, on the other hand, is just plain scary and worse he's a MCP and will not get into a car driven by a woman, even if he's been drinking, or maybe I should say, ESPECIALLY if he's been drinking.

When did schools start teaching that the correct past tense form of "to see" is "I seen." WTF? The dipshit I sat next to for my first two years at my present company used to say "I seen" and "I had saw." It drove me about out of my mind. Of course, this is the same woman who said nestle for Nestlé (ness-lee) and Reesee's for Reese's. The day she said it I just looked at her and said, "Do you mean Nestlé?" "Yeah, nestle." And "I love Reese's peanut butter cups." But it was too subtle for her. ARGH!!!!!!! Who doesn't know that the huge conglomerate that happens to make chocolate is pronounced with a LEE sound at the end? Other than this product of the Belleville School District who married the same jackass TWICE!!!??? And she was barely 30 at the time.

My favorite Detroit Piston is Rip Hamilton*. I haven't had a favorite Piston since the early 90s (then it was Joe Dumars), but like then there's something about them all that I like – it could just be that they play for a Detroit team. I'm a total homegirl I'd actually like to be able to watch one of the games, but due to the TV scheduling (fucking TV scheduling) all of the games start at 9:00 p.m. which is my bedtime. And even though the games are usually scheduled every other day (note: they played Tuesday and then Thursday) when it comes to the weekend, they skip Saturday (because more of us could stay up?) and the next game isn't until Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Yeah, let's make it easy for all those people on the West Coast who aren't actually watching to be able to watch. You don't want to encourage the Eastern Time Zone people or anything.

And you know they could start the damn games at 8:00 – isn't that when Monday Night Football starts? But no, let's screw the city that's hosting 3/7ths of the games.

Hell, I'm already exhausted and that's with going to bed at a semi-decent hour (well, except for last night when I didn't get to bed until 10:00 or so and then I got something in my eye that was just excruciating and about an hour later I got whatever it was out and my poor eye to calm down and fall asleep.

Yikers! I'd feel sorry for him except that he's one of the owners who voted to lockout the season and was part of the problem of offering salaries he couldn't afford, so I would say, "You made your bed, it's time to lie in it." I just hope that whoever buys the team keeps it in St. Louis. They're not an Original Six team, but they're part of the original 1960s expansion and that counts for something!

Oh yeah, last night at the concert, we had this nice older couple from Higgins Lake (way up north an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge) sitting next to us. We chatted and found out that it was their 46th wedding anniversary and that they were staying at a B&B right in downtown Detroit (I had no idea there was a B&B in downtown Detroit, and wouldn't have thought there was much call for one, but it's nice to see that people do stay down there). Anyway, I was telling them that they should go to TJ's for dinner (yes, I realise I'm obsessed with the place, but I like to make sure all people know about it). After the concert, the man asks me to write down the details and he hands me his program and a pen. As I'm preparing to put pen to program, this woman stops dead in front of us and looks at me intently. I'm wondering, "WTF?" when she said something about "Is she a famous person?" to the older man. I wasn't really paying attention, so I just continued writing. When I finished the man said to me, "I almost told her that she could have an autograph too, for $10." I had to laugh, because famous people always sit in the cheapest seats in the house. And I wonder who the hell she thought I was, but I like to think that I must have looked fabulous to warrant any sort of attention. Still makes me laugh when I think about it. I think the woman was a little embarrassed to find out that I wasn't anybody famous, just somebody giving directions.

. *And just for the record, I've never seen Phantom of the Opera and don't actually care to.

More DSO and Neeme Talk

The Järvi Encore Gala concert last night was beautiful. I'm so glad I got a ticket and went to it. It was supposed to start at 7:00 but there was 20 minutes of presentations and crap (the two women on some sort of committee were the crap part – what a waste of time when I could have been listening to a world class orchestra). I, being the complete freaking wuss that I am, was dabbing at my eyes during all the presentations. The concert was sponsored by Guardian Industries which is owned by Bill Davidson (same little old man who owns the Detroit Pistons). Mr. Davidson was a little busy elsewhere last night, so the president or some other high-falutin' officer from GI was there to present Neeme with some presents – a Pistons jersey with his name and double zero on the back and a Pistons black leather jacket. And then one of the violinists (but not the Concertmistress) gave a little speech (which made me dab my eyes a lot) and then present Neeme with a framed photograph of the orchestra (and I think everybody in the orchestra had signed it) and a limited edition CD of the symphony playing this year. Everybody who could afford the Gala Dinner (that was not me, unfortunately) were also to get the Limited Edition CD and a Neeme Järvi coaster. I'm hoping that some of those people last night decide they don't want the CD and take it to Switched On so I can get my hands on one without paying the exorbitant price of the dinner and champagne reception.

The orchestra finally started playing shortly after 7:20 p.m. but stopped promptly at 8:30 for the Black Tie Overly Expensive Dinner. I was so hoping that they would play the Ginastera from last week, because it was so incredible, but it didn't happen. Neeme's daughter Maarika Järvi joined him on stage for two flute solos. They were very lovely, but I have to say that the flute doesn't do much for me. His youngest son Kristjan conducted two pieces, a very modern Route 66 by Michael Daugherty who was the DSO's Principal Composer for three years and then Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Talk about energetic. I thought he was going to knock himself off the dais at one point. I really wish Paavo, the eldest son, could have been there just to compare his conducting style to his father's and his younger brother's.

I did not go to the gym yesterday as I was just so exhausted that I decided a nap was a better idea. I did NOT want to fall asleep during the concert (although it wouldn't have happened). Still it was a good excuse to take a nap. I will be back at the gym this afternoon and then I'll be back downtown to Orchestra Hall to see Maestro Järvi one last time as Music Director. Mom is going with me and it'll be interesting to see what time she gets to my house. The woman is notoriously late for everything – which drives me up a freaking wall. She's supposed to be there at 5:45, so that we can go to dinner at Traffic Jam. If I play my cards right I'll eat there three nights in a row and four nights in one week. Keep your fingers crossed!!! Darrell and I went there last night after the concert (since it was over by 8:30) and I had the mac & cheese and soup combo. Something nice and light – or not. And a lovely 40th anniversary pale ale – so incredibly tasty, but I did not need the 22 oz. version – that's for damn sure. Anyway, I'm taking bets on how late Mom will be and what her excuse will be. She's supposed to leave work at 4:30 – but she has trouble leaving when she's supposed to. Then she has to go home, change clothes and drive to my house. Figure 15 minutes to drive home (although I've done it in 9 minutes). She'll be late…there's no doubt in my mind as getting off at 4:30 and needing to be at my house 75 minutes later leaves absolutely no room for error and trust me, Mom always find plenty of crap with which to waste her time.

I love my mother, but I just can't stand when people are late, especially when it's a regular thing. An example is that my Mom is late to church every single solitary Sunday. Mass is scheduled for 9:30. Mom regularly walks in around 9:35 or later. I don't know, but if I were always five to ten minutes late for something weekly, I think I'd say to myself, "Self, perhaps you should leave a little earlier next week." And then FREAKING DO IT!!!!

When Mom got to church this past Sunday (10:30 at Precious Blood, so she had a whole extra hour) she was once again five to ten minutes late. She sat down and said, "Why are you so far back?" I just looked at her and said, "If you had been here on time, YOU could have picked the pew." She just smiled at me and shut up. She knows that I hate that she's always late, but it doesn't seem to do any good.

Next Thursday we're driving to Cleveland for the race and I initially told my Mom to be at my place at 3:00…then while talking to her I revised that and said, "No, make that 2:30." She has the day off, but now that we're not leaving until later in the day, she can go into work (because the woman lives to work, and not have to think about anything) and leave around noon. If she left at noon, I might be more optimistic about her being at my house by 2:30, but I know my Mom. She won't leave at noon. She'll stay until 1:00 or later and then have to race to go home, pack up the car, pick up my nephew and then get to my house by 3:00 p.m., if I'm lucky.

Yes, I know she's my Mom and I should cut her some slack, but to me a person who is always late for stuff is showing a general lack of consideration for others. It says, "My stuff and I are much more important than you and your silly timetable." And it's exceptionally rude.

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow, so I'll be a very happy camper. It's long and moppish and hideous. I have to be at Pamela's by noon which means I can sleep in until 11:00 and I need it!!! I’m just so tired. I started out having nothing planned for tomorrow and now I have haircut, make salad for church on Sunday since it's Father's Day, dinner with my friend who is moving to SoCal in about ten days, and then a BBQ at the Candidate's house. I'll probably miss the BBQ portion since I am supposed to be going to dinner at Traffic Jam, but I'll show up after the political types have left and since it's supposed to be a little cool, I'm sure there's going to be a fire. Always a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening, hanging around a fire chatting with good friends.

I also want to get to Switched On since they're holding some CDs for me. And I put myself down on the list to take a pasta salad to church on Sunday, but I decided to go cheap and easy and take a cucumber/sour cream salad. Cucumbers and one onion equals very cheap. Slicing up said cucumbers and one onion equals quick and easy. Throw on some sour cream and refrigerate. Could I make anything easier? No, I don't think so.

Sunday is the Champ Car race in Portland, OR and I'm supposed to go to a friend's house for a BBQ and to watch the race. I like watching the races with people. It's nice to be able to share my thoughts as they're happening instead of just yelling at the TV. I want people to hear my pearls of wisdom!!!

And on that note, it's time to say TTFN! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I am having weird, bizarre family issues to deal with right now...and as such it is taking over every other thought in my mind, so I have nothing to write about - other than the weirdness and that's just not for public consumption. When I get my mind straight, I'll be back.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Go and read this story. I hate sitting at my desk wiping tears from my eyes!

To Sir, With Love - RENT IT!!!!

My weekend was relatively uneventful. Friday was the going away party for the Big Boss – I keep accusing him of abandoning us. I have to stop because I think he feels guilty about it. I'm just teasing him, but I guess I'll behave myself and not say it anymore. It was a fun party. Turns out that the department is full of people who like real beer. I took two 12-packs of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and the first 12-pack went very quickly. The other one never got put out, so I took home an 11-pack. The pizza from Jets was quite yummy as was the Turkish food one co-worker's friend had made.

Saturday was errand combined with lazy day. I went to Target, Farmer Jack and Kroger and then home where I played on the computer for the rest of the day. Pathetic. I went to Farmer Jack because I had read on Seventh Generation's website that FJ carried their products. I couldn't find them, so I headed across the street to Kroger and lo and behold, they carry a fairly full line of their stuff. I was so happy. Yes, it costs more, but it's worth it.

Sunday was Mass at Precious Blood. I discovered yet another reason why my church building should be chosen over Precious Blood. No freaking air conditioning (and the acoustics are still bloody awful). We were all dying from the humidity and heat. And with the ceilings three jillion feet high there's no way we'd ever be able to afford to cool that building – much less heat it in the winter.

I had plans with Ursa and Christine to go down to the Detroit Festival of Arts sometime after church. Mass took forever and an hour and a half after it started I got out and checked my phone to see that Ursa had called, so I called her back and left a message saying that Mass had just ended and that I still had to drive home. Turned out that the timetable wasn't as exact as I thought it was, but I still raced home (as much as possible considering the damn freeways are all fucking closed) and changed clothes. I ran downstairs and knocked on Ursa's door and we were outta there. Christine brought her beloved with her and we all had a nice time just wandering throughout the Festival and even walked all the way down to TJ's for some food. I had the wondrous Mt. Olympus salad (fresh spinach greens, feta and oregano dressing, grape tomatoes, beets and deep fried artichokes hearts). YUM!!!

Before Christine and hubby got down there, Ursa and I had time to go to Showtime. I haven't been in there for at least ten years and it hasn't changed at all. And neither has the guy who owns it. I got a new pair of black monochrome Chucks as my daily pair is splitting at the rubber sole seam. I tried on this cool wool vintage suit. The jacket fit perfectly. The skirt I couldn't fit over my stupid thighs. And I've never considered myself to have big thighs. Ah well, I'll live with out it. As we walked out, Ursa decided that I'm going to marry the proprietor of Showtime. I laughed at her and said, No. She said, "Yes. He's cute, he was flirting with you, he owns Showtime. We could get free hats." LOL! I still said No. Then we ran into Christine and when Ursa told her her plan, Christine's response was No way! He's a player and he's odd. LOL! I don't think Christine convinced Ursa that it wasn't a good idea, not that it matters, because I'm not going to marry the guy from Showtime.

As I mentioned yesterday I saw the coolest rhino vase at the Festival and left without it. I'm thinking that even though I hate the Ann Arbor Art Insanitorium that I might think about going just to pick up the rhino vase – if I'm still thinking about it in July.

I was stupid on Sunday and wore sandals instead of a pair of my Chucks with my orthotics. It was a mistake as my feet were just killing me, so I was ready to leave when Ursa was. Normally I would have wanted to stay longer and check out the stuff on the other side of Woodward, but I couldn't have walked anymore. We did stop on the way home (not that it was really on the way home) at Grant's on Allen Road for a lovely frozen custard. Another YUM for the day.

I had two more Netflix films to watch, so I grabbed the first one and put it in the DVD player. If you have not seen "To Sir, With Love," please do yourself an incredibly huge favor and watch this movie. It was just a beautiful movie and I cried at the end. Yeah, I know I cry at a lot of movies, but I wanted to watch it again as soon as it was over. Sidney Poitier was brilliant and I had the song going through my head the rest of the night – and it wasn't a bad thing at all!!!

I also watched "Soylent Green" – talk about 70s Sci-Fi. Dear God. I laughed out loud when Edward G. Robinson told Charlton Heston, America's favorite atheistic NRA president, to Go with God. For me that was the highlight of the movie – that and the extremely bad "futuristic" special effects. And boy, could you tell it was written by a man, certain women in 2022 are "furniture," i.e., they come with the apartment. PUHLEEZE!!! It didn't piss off my feminist self, but it did make me roll my eyes.

Yesterday I saw pictures of myself from Friday's party…and it scared me, so at the gym I did 45 minutes on the treadmill and another 40 on the elliptical. I would have done the full 45, but I was watching the clock as I had a 5:30 eye doctor's appt. to get my new glasses. I got there right at 5:30, so I guess I judged it well.

And I know I've said this before, but dear heavens, is it really necessary to work on every single road in this metropolitan area??? I went up Merriman Road even though I knew it was down to one lane between Warren and Ann Arbor Trail, because I had enough time. On the way home though, I decided not to go that route. I ended up taking Inkster home because I needed to stop at Walgreen's and I knew there was one at Inkster and Cherry Hill. Well, what I didn't know is that Inkster is down to one freaking lane at Ford Road. ARGH! And then to top it all off, Walgreen's didn't have what I went there for anyway!

By this time I was so frustrated that I went to Merchant's to see if they had my salad – and they did! I recommended that they change the name from Orecchietta (which is just too damn hard to say) to Kathleen's Salad. Much easier for all to pronounce and appropriate since it is My Salad. I also elicited compliments on my new glasses (because I'm sad and pathetic that way).

I just had my Interim PR with Soon-To-Be-Ex-Big Boss and it went well. I'm going to look for "an opportunity" to improve my work self. Anything that keeps me from filing works for me. Bloody hell, I hate filing.

This week is shaping up to be a busy one. We have yet another going away party which got moved from Thursday to Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I have tickets to the symphony. I think Mom is going with me. I better call her and make sure. Otherwise, foxymama needs to get a plane ticket to Detroit, as she's offered to go with me. I love all people who love Neeme Jarvi!!! I was just talking to the Big Boss and he actually saw Arthur Fiedler conduct the Boston Pops playing the 1812 Overture. I'm so jealous!!!!!

And I am also planning on getting to the gym every day and upping my cardio to the full 90 minutes I've been threatening. Once I do that and I still can't lose weight I can bitch nonstop ad nauseum about how I can't lose weight unless I stop eating. It'll be fun. Wait for it!

And I guess that's it for this fine Tuesday – which is supposed to be the last one with these high temps and high humidity – I don't know, but I'll believe when I feel it!!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

60 Things About Me

Some Semi- and Not So Semi-Interesting Facts about Me::

1. You will never see me in light colored pants, i.e., khakis. I just can't do it. I have tried to buy some and I feel like I look ridiculous, so generally black pants or blue jeans.

2. I hide my weight well. I need to lose at least 25 lbs, but nobody believes me. Even when I weighed 103 lbs, people would always guess me at a lower weight, i.e., 90 lbs. Not all bad, but I still need to lose at least 25 lbs.

3. As I've gotten older, I seem to have become obsessive-compulsive about some things. Not in a clearcut OCD way, but an example, when I learned how to knit I started doing it constantly. I always take knitting with me wherever I go (not always to work), but it's there, just in case I have some free time (even just five minutes). I can't go to Grandma's house without my knitting. If we're going to sit around and talk (and there's nothing wrong with that), I have my knitting there so that I'm accomplishing something. Same with the exercising thing. I always said that I never joined a gym because I knew I wouldn't go and it would be a waste of money. Well, I joined the work gym (free) back in February and except when I was sick with Bronchitis and Shingles, I go every day that I can (five days a week at least) and at least an hour of cardio. When I like something I just take off and learn as much as I can about it.

4. I love pizza and could eat it every single day if I let myself, but I don't consider it to be my favorite food.

5. My favorite "salad" is the caprese salad of fresh real mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil. To die for!!!

6. My Grandma is the coolest little old lady ever and I gave her the nickname "Shortstuff" years ago. I think she likes it since she signs my birthday and holiday cards with it.

7. I don't miss San Francisco at all after living there for four years and being back for five. I miss certain friends and my family who live around there, but that's about it. I hated my job there – although I had a great boss.

8. I have been blessed in this worklife of mine in that I have generally had very good bosses. There have been two that I could have lived w/o and one of them was my boss for less than a year (thank God).

9. I have a thing for shaved heads on men.

10. All of my headphones develop a short in the wiring which causes the music to cut in and out – trés annoying – is it me? Or are they just cheaply made?

11. I haven't watched a single episode of a "reality" TV show of my volition.

12. I think Ancient History is so much more interesting than American history. Hell, I think just about all history is more interesting than American history, although I do appreciate and enjoy all the monuments in Washington, D.C.

13. I have trouble picking a favorite classical composer, but I think it's a toss-up between Tchaikowsky and Mahler. Or just about any other 20th center composer which is funny since I was raised to hate modern classical music by FF (Former Father).

14. I have more books on Joy Division than probably any other person in the world.

15. I absolutely and positively hate going to the grocery store.

16. If I never get shingles again, it'll be too soon. If I ever actually get rid of it comopletely.

17. Now that I'm back to 8 hours days I'm actually trying to come in earlier so that I can leave even earlier. We'll see how long that lasts.

18. Polar bears used to be my favorite animals, but they have been usurped by the rhinoceros. While I still love polar bears and dream of visiting Churchill, Manitoba one day, I find rhinos to be just so freaking cool. Check this out. I want him so badly, but behaved myself yesterday at the Festival of Arts in downtown Detroit.

19. I'm not the least bit adventurous when it comes to activities where I could fall and smash my face in. (One of the guys did this last year while mountain biking with his sons and he's still a mess.)

20. Although I've always hated the color pink, I write with a pink pen here at work (or a purple one) because everything else around here is so dull I feel the need to brighten things up.

21. I absolutely hate black pepper. I wish restaurants didn't feel the need to pepper hash browns or French fries. If people like it they can add the black pepper (which cooking does not help in any way), but if you don't like it, you're stuck. And the funny thing is that I like hot (picante, not caliente) food, but in foods that are meant to be spicy, not a potato dish.

22. I love going to art fairs (except for the Ann Arbor Art Fair as it's way too busy and I hate dealing with three hundred trillion people all trying to buy the same "in" ugly metal sculpture or whatever happens to be "it" this year), even shitty ones, because they provide a wealth of opportunity to rip on shit. "Did you see this?" "Have you ever seen anything so ugly?" "Can you believe people buy this shit?"

23. I never considered myself much of a movie watcher until the kind soul invented NetFlix. I'd like to give him/her a hug.

24. I can hear my knees cracking as I walk up stairs. I've always wondered if people walking up with me can hear them as well.

25. I love mashed potatoes (keep that damn black pepper to yourself though), and consider them to be the most fabulous of all comfort foods.

26. I've never been brave enough to use the men's room at the bar, even when the line at the Ladies was a mile long and there was nobody in the men's. I even had my guy friends let me know that it was all clear, but then when I got in I saw that the stalls didn't have doors. No way!

27. I rarely remember my dreams.

28. It used to take a hydrogen bomb going off right next to me to wake me up in the middle of the night. In fact, I've heard something like one thunderstorm in my life. Growing up I slept next to the window, but it was the OS that always had to get up to close the windows because I never heard the thunder. She was the one who had to get up with the YS when the YS would be puking because I just didn't hear it. I always told OS that she was happy that I didn’t wake up because she would have been dealing with two puking sisters then. I still don't wake up during t-storms, so I try not to have anything near my nearly always wide open windows.

29. I tend to walk with my big toes up, so all of my socks eventually develop holes. I threw out of my favorite pairs yesterday. I hate my big toes.

30. It completely pisses me off that the Red Cross desperately needs blood but won't take mine because one of their quickie tests came back positive four years ago for Hep C, but after they ran my blood through the more thorough test, they told me not to worry I don't have Hep C, but they won't let me donate anymore. Even though they only have ONE pint of my blood type at this point. It just seems to me that if I absolutely do NOT have Hep C, that there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to donate since so few people are willing to do it. The Red Cross comes every six weeks to my work building and even though there are 6000 people in this building, they're lucky if they get a few hundred pints. Get off your duffs and donate people. The life you save may be a loved one, or even your own.

31. I hate the intentional walk in baseball. It just seems like Wuss Baseball to me.

32. I always use my turn signal. I've even been known to use it as I pull away from the curb which always makes other people laugh at me.

33. I am completely jealous of people who are able to play an instrument. I always wanted to learn to play the violin. I think it's the coolest instrument, although I'm completely in love with the percussion section.

34. I love olives – green, black, kalamata, etc. I particularly love the big green ones stuffed with jalapeños.

35. The more musicians in the symphony orchestra and on the stage, the more I’m likely to like what they're playing. Something about seventy-five hundred million thousand violins all playing the same bit of music just thrills my soul.

36. I pretend I'm an artist every once in a while and break out the art supplies and then inflict my "art" on my friends. Be very scared – the colored pencils and markers have made an appearance.

37. I pretend regularly that I'm a writer by posting here.

38. I have a tendency to cry when I read my old-fashioned bound journal. Mainly because I only seem to write it in when something is going on in my life.

39. My favorite race to attend is the Cleveland Grand Prix. It's a combination of the track layout (you can see the entire track from our seats, except for turn 8), pits and paddock accessibility (and therefore driver accessibility), and the number of my friends who always go to it. Oh, and it's a nice quick 2.5 hour drive.

40. My age.

41. In a few weeks, I'll have been with my present company five years. Where does the freaking time go?

42. If you ever need to know the timeline for Rulers/Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, just ask me. I bought a regular 12-inch wooden ruler at the SF Legion of Honor museum with all listed. Sometimes you just need to know when Menkuare reigned. (2490 BC, for the record)

43. I'm a hometown team girl. I hate basketball, but I root for the Pistons wholeheartedly, same with football and the Lions. On the other hand, I love the Wings (when they freaking play) and the Tigers. I hated (and still do) the SF teams when I lived there, however.

44. My favorite gemstone is the opal, specifically the black opal (set in white metal). One of my goals last year was to have an opal ring for every finger. I accomplished that goal and promptly stopped wearing a ring on every finger.

45. Although I'm known for my jewelry, I take it all off (except for the polar bear stud earring in my right ear) the second I walk into the house. At one time (a few years back), I would wear 26 rings at ONE TIME.

46. I walk to work even when I know it's supposed to rain. I figure I'm not made of sugar and am not going to melt. I walk to work 99.9% of the time.

47. My plan is never to date an engineer again as long as I live.

48. I own more than 100 t-shirts (it's been a while since I counted, so I probably have more).

49. I own 11 pairs of Chuck Taylors. I wear the monochrome black ones to work 99.9% of the time, and bought a new pair at Showtime in Detroit (who knew it was still open after all these years of Daniel threatening to close and move to NY) yesterday.

50. I went through black phase in the 80s. Everything I owned was black. My grandma likes to tell the story of me visiting my aunt in CA and how when I opened my suitcase, my aunt was stunned by the solid black, completely unrelieved by any color whatsoever. I remember the ex-boyfriend's mother being shocked that my underwear wasn't white, when I did laundry over there once.

51. I have never shoplifted, and I've given back the extra change when a cashier has made a mistake. Comes from being a cashier for six years.

52. I worked at Burger King for six years and it paid my way through college. I was a helluva lot more friendly to the customers than the fast food cashiers seem to be today. One of the managers would harass all the girls by putting his fat arm around our waists and squeezing. When I told him to stop it, he got defensive and said it wasn't harassment. I told him I didn't care what he called it, but that I would prefer he not do it again. He didn't, at least, to me, but he kept it up with the younger girls.

53. I worked there twice. The second time I quit right at closing and convinced one of the closers to quit too. I was trying desperately to burn that bridge, so that I didn't feel I could go back. A few years later the owner called me asking if I wanted to be a manager. Yeah, right. I want to earn $15,000 a year, be on call 24/7 and work stupid hours, so that when you considered the hourly rate I would be making less than minimum wage (which at the time was $3.??).

54. I didn't get my license until six weeks before my 20th b-day. I walked a lot back then. I walked to and from the University a couple of times – approximately 6-7 miles.

55. I flunked swimming as a relatively small child. My parents never tried again. Sometimes I really hate being unathletic.

56. I throw like a girl. This bothered me for many years until somebody pointed out that I was a girl. And then two summers ago it bothered me again when YS and LB laughed hysterically at me. I laughed too, outwardly, but inside I felt like crying, because it made me feel like a failure, which is completely stupid.

57. The FF has a lot to answer for.

58. My family can tell when I don't like somebody because I don’t waste my time talking to people I don't like. I never talked to OS's ex-boyfriend as I thought he was a complete idiot (which he was). And one of OB's girlfriends told me once that she knew I liked her (this was after I said something to that effect) and she said, "Yeah, I know." "How'd you know?" "OB told me that you don't talk to people you don't like." And the thing was that I never knew it until Linda pointed it out to me.

59. I'm getting my new glasses today. In theory, they're cute, so I'll wear them more often. We shall see.

60. My favorite toppings on pizza are onions and real mushrooms (not those nasty slimy canned ones).

Friday, June 10, 2005

The DSO and Ginastera - WOW!

Last night's DSO concert was unbelievable!!! I mean when you leave muttering, "That was bloody brilliant." and "The DSO fuckin' rocked tonight." You know it was a good concert. And holy shit, did they ever fuckin' rock!!! The first two pieces were lovely and all, but they were completely overshadowed by Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (if you've ever seen Fantasia, think of the dinosaur piece), but then the Rite of Spring, amazingly enough, was beyond overshadowed by the encore. Neeme Jarvi ALWAYS ALWAYS (well, he didn't once, but that wasn't his fault due to the lengthy power outage in the middle of the concert) ALWAYS does an encore and I was really looking forward to it. And Bloody Fucking Hell, it brought the entire crowd to its feet yelling and applauding. Well, what the hell was this fabulous encore already, Kathleen? It was by an Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera (HEE-na-stera) and it was the finale (Malambo) from his ballet "Estancia" (ranch essentially, if I remember my not used very often Spanish correctly). I've already sent an e-mail to Glen asking him to look in to getting it for me. I'm going to have quite the little stack of CDs waiting for me at Switched On when I finally get there.

If your computer (my work one doesn't) allows you to listen to the little soundbites at, do yourself a huge favor (even if you don't think you like classical music) and go and listen to the Malambo (finale). I don't know how much they let you hear, but I'm sure it's worth the listen. And if you live in the Detroit area and have nothing better to do this weekend, get your sorry butt down to Orchestra Hall (8:00 p.m. Friday, 8:30 Saturday, and 1:00 p.m.(?) Sunday). You won't regret it.

I'm sure Darrell will enjoy it tonight. I got very little sleep last night as YS and I had to go to TJs for dessert. Always YUM!!! Oh yeah, Darrell, if you're reading this, you better get the Boblo Island Memory Maker soon, because it's moved to the white menu.

Next week are the last concerts of the year and the last concerts conducted by Neeme as the Music Director, before he heads off to New Jersey. *sigh*. I picked up my ticket to the gala concert on Thursday last night (Neeme will be joined by his excessively musically talented children for a concert "to be announced from the stage.), and then my usual Friday night concert. I have to remember to call Mom and see if she's available.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

More of the same

I "borrowed" this survey from Heather.

( ) snuck out of the house – Nah, I was too damn scared of my father to sneak out. Although when I was about 6, I think, I slept walked (how do you write the past tense of sleepwalk) out of the house and went next door to see if Lisa could come out and play. My parents discovered me as I walked back into the house (still asleep).
( ) gotten lost in your city – Probably way back when, but not recently. I believe if you just keep driving, you'll figure out where you are eventually.
(x) seen a shooting star – My paternal grandparents lived in AZ and I remember hanging out in their backyard because that area was known for them or something
(x) been to any other countries besides Canada – Mexico, British Virgin Isles, Egypt
(x) had a serious surgery – cervical diskectomy and spinal fusion
(x) gone out in public in your pajamas – I've taken the garbage out in my PJs, does that count?
(x) kissed a stranger
(x) hugged a stranger
( ) been in a fist fight – Hell no, I would lose.
( ) been arrested
(x) laughed and had milk/coke come out of your nose
( ) pushed all the buttons on an elevator – I've accidentally pushed more than the one I wanted and got really annoyed, so I wouldn't do that.
(x) swore at your parents – Oh yeah, that's one of Former Father's favorite things to use against me.
( ) been in love
(x) been close to love
(x) been to a casino – Yes, but I don't actually gamble. I do enjoy (mostly) watching my friends gamble though.
( ) been skydiving – Cliché, I know, but I will never jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
( ) skinny dipped – It's an intriguing thought, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do it.
( ) skipped school – And risk the wrath of Former Father? Hell no! Like Heather, I don't count college.
(x) seen a therapist
( ) done the splits – I am completely inflexible (you should see me in yoga).
(x) played spin the bottle – I was at a party in college and people discovered I had never played, so we got a game going. It wasn't as decadent as I thought it would be.
(x) gotten stitches – Near my right eye when I was 3, still have the scar. And then when I chopped the tip of my finger off.
( ) drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour – I'm not sure why anybody would want to.
( ) bitten someone -
(x) been to Niagara Falls
(x) gotten the chicken pox – I'm so lucky I managed to get shingles too.
(x) kissed a member of the opposite sex
( ) kissed a member of the same sex
( ) crashed into a friend's car
( ) been to Japan
(x) ridden in a taxi – In SF, of course. In Detroit? Heck no! This is the Motor City! We don't believe in public transportation.
(x) been dumped
( ) shoplifted – Again, the threat of Former Father's wrath was enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.
( ) been fired
( ) had a crush on someone of the same sex
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back – Who the hell hasn't?
(x) gone on a blind date – Unfortunately.
(x) lied to a friend
(x) had a crush on a teacher – Mr. Gavin, 9th grade Honors English – damn, he was cute.
( ) celebrated Mardi-Gras in New Orleans
( ) been to Europe
(x) slept with a co-worker
( ) been married
( ) gotten divorced
( ) had children
( ) seen someone die
(x) had a close friend die
(x) been to Africa - Egypt
(x) driven over 400 miles in one day – Just last week – twice. I'm not quite why this is an accomplishment of any sort.
(x) been to US - I live in the US!
(x) been to Mexico – I love and adore Mexico and have been twice already this year.
( ) been to India
(x) been on a plane
( ) seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show – Sadly no. When everybody I knew was going I wasn't allowed out that late. And now it's not showing anywhere. I suppose I could Netflix it.
( ) thrown up in a bar
( ) purposely set a part of myself on fire
(x) eaten sushi – vegetarian sushi, obviously
(x) been skiing/snowboarding – And hated every minute of it.
(x) met someone in person from the internet – They're my best friends.
( ) lost a child
(x) gone to college/university
(x) graduated college/university
( ) fired a gun – I'm a pacifist and always worried that it would blow my CO status.
( ) purposely hurt yourself
(x) taken painkillers – You get a broken rib, cramps or shingles and try not taking painkillers
( ) been intimate with someone of the same gender

Just Stuff

A quote from Theodore Roosevelt to start the day.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (1918)

Which John Cusack Are You?

I took the music nerd quiz and am only 42.51208% - Major Music Nerd. I'm pretty sure that's going to be the lowest of one group of friends.

Lite-Brite - Just to prove that I'm still not in the least bit creative…the first thing I "drew" was a freakin' flower, which was the only thing I was ever able to "create" on our cheap-ass version called Electro-Art.

All I can say here is: EXACTLY!!! And anybody who knows me knows I've been saying the same thing about Bettman and Goodenow for the past year (if not before that). FIRE THEM and GET SERIOUS about ending this lockout!!!

I watched Alfie last night – the original with Michael Caine, not the remake with Jude Law – and let's just say it's not quite the comedy it's purported to be. I mean, WTF! Even the theatrical trailer (which I watched after I watched the movie) claimed it was a witty comedy. Sure, there were some funny bits, but I don't know, when there's an illegal abortion involved, can it really be called a comedy? FUCKIN' A, man! I am interested, now, in seeing what the remake is like. And I think if you have shadows on your lungs and have to be sent to a sanatorium to "rest" that it might be a good thing to give up the friggin' cigarettes. But maybe that's just me.

Tonight is symphony night as tomorrow night is Boss' Abandoning Us party. The DSO is cool about switching nights when you can't go on your regular night. YS is supposed to go with me. I think we'll be hearing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, so that'll be sweet. And while I'm there tonight I need to pick up a ticket for next Thursday's concert gala. It was supposed to be the last time Neeme Jarvi conducted the DSO as the Principal Conductor and Music Director, but his son Paavo who was to conduct next weekend's concerts (the last of the season) had to back out because of a hand injury, so Neeme will be taking over for him. I'm a little bummed because I was interested to compare his conducting style to his father's, but I never regret a chance to see Neeme conduct. He's so fabulous. I really shall miss him.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Working Out, Teenagers and Plastic Surgery, Etc.

What Pattern Are You?

Bloody hell. I'm going to have to give in and have Chris put my air conditioner in. It's just too damn hot. I guess it's trying to make up for last year when it was cool and rainy damn near all summer long. It was freaking 90˚F here yesterday and it's only June 8. Today's supposed to be just as hot along with some major thunderstorms and possible tornados. Gotta love Michigan – you never know what the weather is going to be like. It's only 6:00 a.m. and it's already 70˚F out there and humid as all get out (whatever that means).

The getting off at 2:00 p.m. is working out so far (two whole days into it) as far as my workout is concerned. I get to the gym before most people are off work and don't have to fight for a machine, so that's good. I get my 30 minutes in on the treadmill and the elliptical without feeling guilty that someone is waiting for it. And I got back into the weight lifting portion of my workout this week. As much as I loved my Great Grandma and really thought her flabby upper arms were cool (they were soft) as a child, I now know that they were not cool and I do not want her arms. And I get home in time to sit outside and enjoy the late afternoon sun by sitting on my front lawn and reading my book – where it's cooler than being in my apt.

I'm reading the latest book by Iain Pears called The Portrait. He wrote one of my favorite books, An Instance of the Fingerpost and so I watch out for his books when come out. Instance was basically a murder mystery set in Oxford, England back during medieval times with historical figures appearing throughout. For some reason I really find those types of stories really interesting. Don't ask me why, I just do. Anyway, he also writes murder mysteries with an art history theme, but I've only read one of those. I enjoyed it, just haven't had the opportunity to pick any more up. I'll have to get my butt over to my used book store (next to Switched On CDs, the best CD store in the metropolitan Detroit area – check it out). No reason to buy new when used read just as easily.

The Portrait is different in style. So far (and I have no reason to believe this will change), the only story is told by one person as a narrative. Shit, it's hard to explain. The little blurb on the jacket cover reads: "A perfectly rendered short novel of suspense about a painter driven to extremes." The inside jacket cover says this: "An influential art critic in the early years of the twentieth century journeys from London to the rustic, remote island of Houat, off France's northwest coast, to sit for a portrait painted by an old friend, a gifted but tormented artist living in self-imposed exile. Over the course of the sitting, the painter recalls their years of friendship, the double-edged gift of the critic's patronage, the power he wielded over aspiring artists, and his apparent callousness in anointing the careers of some and devastating the lives of others. The balance of power between the two men shifts dramatically as the critic becomes a passive subject while the painter struggles to capture the character of the man, as well as his image, on canvas. Reminiscing with ease and familiarity one minute, with anger and menace the next, the painter eventually reveals why he has accepted the commission of this portrait, why he left London suddenly and mysteriously at the height of his success, and why now, with dark determination, he feels ready to return." It goes on to say that once you turn the last page, you turn to the first page to start all over again to discover the nuances that you missed the first time through. It's quite intriguing so far.

Here is one view of the critic:

C: "Are you with me or not?"…"Whose side are you on?"
P: "Is it a question of sides?"
C: "Yes. A few friends, the rest enemies. That's the way the world is. If you don't destroy them, they'll destroy you. You'll learn that eventually." (Pears, p. 81)

I don't agree with that at all. I think it's a very sad and lonely way to go through life to think that you constantly have to watch your back, in fact, lash out first for whatever reason. I like to think that there are many friends and few enemies – unless you're a politician or something like that. But maybe that's what makes a person a critic, of whatever form art takes. It's just not in me to be that critical (unless you're short and a little heavy and wearing large horizontal black and white stripes – but then you're just asking for it.), as I think that at least the person is trying (then again, except for the last Star Wars film) and deserves some accolades for trying and being willing to put themselves out there for critiquing. There's a nice way to go about it and a not so nice way. But maybe that's just me. Maybe there are more people out there who view the world as a place full of enemies and few friends.

And here a couple of stories to make you cringe:

Parents allowing their teenaged daughters to have breast augmentation. Now there's a message…hell, my parents didn't even allow me to wear make-up until I was 18 (not that I didn't borrow friends' make-up in homeroom and put it on), much less pay to have me increase my bust size. The scary thing is that I wouldn't bet against my OS allowing my niece to do something like this. OS seems to have taken the opposite approach to my parents' form of parenting, and if the kids wants to do it, it's probably okay (except for drugs – my OS hasn't completely lost her flippin' mind). My niece has been wearing make-up since she was at leawst

And teenagers anthropomorphizing anorexia and giving "her" the name Ana and with the help of the Internet forming friendships/clubs to help each other stay on the true anorexic path. SCARY!!! People always accused me of being anorexic back in high school and early college, but I wasn't. I could eat like a horse and just not gain any weight. I had a metabolism I wish I had now. *sigh* It's just so sad that these girls haven't learned anything from Karen Carpenter (hell, they probably don't even know who she is) or Mary-Kate Olsen.

After my workout yesterday afternoon I decided that I needed to walk up to Merchants and figured why shower and get freshened up when I was just going to be walking in 90˚F heat and just sweating more, so I rubbed my wayward hair with a cold, wet washcloth, shoved a ball cap on my head and was out the door. I walked in and a guy I've never seen before says to me, "You can't go to the gym and then hang out at the wine store." I was startled and said, "How did you know I was at the gym?" And he said, "I saw you there." Whew! I thought I was looking particularly sweaty or something.

Jason had me taste a new wine that they're thinking about carrying (Zed from an Australian vineyard) and it was quite yummy!!! And the price will be yummy too – about $8 a bottle. I've been in a wine mood for the past month or so, and I don’t quite know why as I never used to like wine all that much. I'm still a white wine girl, but occasionally Jason recommends a red that I don't hate, so maybe my palate is getting as old as the rest of me.

The wimpy weights I lifted on Monday have my muscles expressing their displeasure at being abused so. I feel like the biggest loser when I go to a machine and take out the pin from 125 lbs (or more) and move it to the first weight – Woohoo!!! 25 whole pounds! I'm going to be ripped in no time – or not. ;-) I guess what matters (as I'm not looking to build muscles like those body-building chicks you see on espn2) is that I'm doing it and trying to get into some sort of shape – other than out of….

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Milwaukee and AWS

Wow, so much to tell you…the weekend was a good one. I left work at 11:00 on Thursday and hit the road to Milwaukee at noon. Last year it took me 5.5 hours to get to MKE. This year it took me 7! Can I share with you how much I hate Indiana and the Chicago toll roads? I was barely in IN before I came to a complete stop – three lanes of highway traffic going nowhere. 30 minutes later all of a sudden we started moving got up to 35 mph without seeing a cause of our stoppage. By the time we saw the cop cars on the side of the highway we were doing the speed limit – which in IN on lovely three wide lanes of highway is 55 mph. Better to get money out of all those people just blowing through their sucky state on their way to better places. At one point the speed did go up to 65 mph. Wooo! Don't overdo it. And of course, toll roads? Dear God, but who thought this was a good idea? Sure, in theory the roads are better maintained because of all this money they're collecting, but I have to say that in the Chicago area that I-94 was in better condition when you left the toll area. My car felt like it was going to shake apart on their frickin' pay to drive road. And I have to give kudos to Ohio (something a Michigander rarely does) for doing something right. No, I didn't go through OH to get to MKE, but I drive OH's turnpike at least once a year on my way to Cleveland for the race. And they know how to run a toll road. When you get on, you get a little ticket. You tuck it into your visor and go along your way. When you reach your destination, you hand the little ticket and money to the person in the toll booth. MUCH MORE EFFICIENT than this stopping every three miles or whatever to throw dimes into a friggin' basket. Also, the OH turnpike has lovely "oases" for stopping to pee and get gas and food. The toll roads in IN and IL are lacking in this amenity. I had to pee when I got stopped in the IN traffic jam, but couldn't find a friggin' bathroom until Wisconsin. Sure, there was an "oasis" near O'Hare, but by that time my mindset was "JUST GET THE FUCK OUT OF CHICAGO." It took me more than an hour to get from one side of Chicago to the other. As a comparison, it took me a mere 5.25 hours to make the exact same drive in reverse on Sunday.

And when I finally got to my hotel they informed me that they did NOT have the exact room I had reserved (and already paid for). I could get a non-smoking room with ONE queen-sized bed. "Do you need two double beds?" Um, yes, that's why I asked for two double beds. It was the only room they had though, and they promised to bring in the roll-a-way, so I took it. Thankfully, after spending a night on the floor (since the rollaway bed was not what I would call in the least bit supportive) on the thin foam mattress, they had a room the next day and HRH QE1 and I were able to move into a two double bed room right across the hall.

The race weekend itself was wonderful, but race weekends generally are. Friday it was overcast and a tad chilly, but not as cold as 2003 when we damn near froze to death (40F). I lost the qualifying contest between HRH and myself. DAMN! I had to buy her a beer. After qualifying there was a two hour gap until ARCA qualifying (which we said we were going to watch), so we went down to the infield to hang with the YFDSers, which is a forum to which HRH and I both belong to discuss auto racing with like-minded folk. It was fun to meet people and put names and faces with forum names. I wouldn't have minded staying longer and meeting more people, but ARCA qualifying was about to start and those fuckers are just too damn loud to watch while standing right next to the track. We went to the stands and watched three cars qualify, whereupon I turned to RR and said, "I'm already bored with ARCA." To which she replied, "Me too." We both turned to HRH and told her and she said, "I've been bored." So, we bailed on the ARCA qualifying.

Saturday morning we were back at the track bright and early, to catch Champ Car's morning practice. And then we had a few hours to waste until the race actually started at noon CDT. The race itself was quite exciting. HRH was beside herself because fellow Canadian Paul Tracy (PFT) went from fifth to 2nd in the first turn and then caught Jimmy Vasser on the restart after Ryan Hunter-Reay's hard hit into the wall on lap 5. RHR was fine, but our safety team (best in the business) took their time and got him out of the race car very carefully since he had been complaining of neck pain. Thank God, Ryan just had severe bruising. PFT controlled the race from then on, but AJ Allmendinger (2nd year young American driver – everybody is so concerned about having American drivers) had a great run and was closing in on PFT when the race ended. Would AJ have been able to catch PFT if the race had gone on longer? Probably not, because as we say in racing, It's one thing to catch a driver, it's another thing to pass them. And PFT is not an easy person to pass. And for me, the highlight of the race was Oriol Servia coming in 3rd in his possibly on-off ride in the Newman/Haas car. For those of you unfamiliar with Champ Cars, the Newman in Newman/Haas is Paul Newman, he of the famous blue eyes and Oscar winning actor, as you can see from the picture of Oriol standing on the podium at Milwaukee.

I was quite happy with Oriol's podium finish as he finished ahead of N/H regular and 2004 Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais. If N/H does not keep Oriol in that car until Bruno is able to come back I'll be PISSED!!!

I know most of you have left by now as you're bored spitless by my Champ Car talk, but let's see…oh yeah!!!

As most of you know, I've been lucky enough to work four ten-hour days for the past two years. Well, that came to end starting June 1 thanks to the loser/fuckhead/dickweed/asshole/shitface/dipshit in the Oval Office. You know, Dubya/Shrub/Weed/incompetent moron and the OT bill he shoved through into law last year. You know the one that takes OT away from more people, but somehow managed to change my job classification to one that now is supposed to earn OT, but at my company you need to have all OT pre-approved (i.e., the week before, and you have to be 100% committed to very special projects to get it), so essentially, I'm now considered to be hourly (I was salary before June 1), so any time worked over 8 hours in a single day is considered OT and this all means that I’m no longer allowed to work four ten-hour days, under threat of termination. And trust me, there will be no OT in my future, so essentially I'm just screwed.

Now, I don't understand why HR and Dubya should care if I want to work ten hour days and enjoy a three day weekend every weekend, but they did and I no longer can. I know, some of you are thinking, "Like I care, I've never had the opportunity to work four tens, and had Friday off. Join the rest of the world, Kathleen." Yeah, I know, but it pisses me off that it was taken away for such a stupid reason. If my dept. had decided that they really needed me on Fridays that would be one thing, but since it's just a bureaucratic piece of crap ruling, I object. Not that it matters. So, I left yesterday at 2:00, went to the gym, and was home shortly after 4:00 p.m. and back to sitting outside to read my book (as it was cooler outside than it was in my sweatbox of an apt. – damn fucking black tar roof). And this means that unless I feel like bring my workout clothes to work with me and changing at the gym, showering and returning to work, that there is no more Friday lunchtime yoga for me. PISSER! I was really enjoying yoga. There's a Thursday 5:15 p.m. class that I can take, but that would mean going back to the gym getting done with my workout around 4:00 p.m. I guess I'll figure it out. *sigh*

I called my doctor last week because I need him to send in a new prescription for me and you know how hard it is actually to talk to a doctor. I forgot what the woman said to me, but I had to suggest to her that she take a message for me. She even said, "Oh, that's a good idea." I'm sorry, but you're the RECEPTIONIST!!! Why do I have suggest that you take a message? She was very nice, but really!!!! And then even though I explained things very succinctly, she didn't write everything down, so the doctor called me back with a question for clarification, but it was something I had told the receptionist at least twice. It's mind-boggling that there's a 7% unemployment rate in this state, but this woman has a job. I'm pretty sure there are other people out there who would know that the job description of RECEPTIONIST includes TAKING MESSAGES!

Ah well, I guess the important thing is that I'm going to get my preventive inhaler prescription in the mail in a few days – so I can start breathing a tad more easily.