Friday, July 29, 2005

Another Survey Borrowed from Heather


~First Car: 1976 Ford Maverick in chocolate brown with not so attractive tan interior
~First Best Friend: Lisa
~First Crush: Danny Pilot
~First Job: Babysitting, unless you're talking job with tax forms, then it was Burger King.
~First Dwelling that wasn't your parents': Cheap apartment in Inkster with the most incredible fat slob ever. I'll have to make an entry out of this nightmare.
~First Kiss: This guy on whom I had a complete crush in high school. He was the year behind me and had the most incredible blue eyes ever.
~First Computer: Sadly, my first home computer is the POS which I still have and about which I bitch regularly. It's a HP or something.


~Last TV Show: I haven't watched any TV since Tuesday, but I think it was Cold Case Files.
~Last Concert: DSO, but if we're talking rock/modern/popular music, it was Tears For Fears back in November.
~Last Ticket: Five years ago for speeding. For the record, it was also my first ticket. Oh wait, my last ticket was a parking ticket two years ago. I was parked in front of my own apartment, but literally one foot of my trunk jutted past the sign that said No Parking. I WAS PISSED, especially since one particular jackass has had half of his 1980s Cadillac parked past the sign for over a week now and NO TICKET.
~Last Meal: Egg and Cheese Biscuit from the cafeteria at work (only thing they do decently is breakfast)
~Last Card Sent: E-card to my friend Erich who lost his Grandma.
~Last Really Great Nap: A beautiful half hour nap last night after my shower from the gym and before I went out to dinner.
~Last Trip by Air: To Hermosillo, Mexico mid-May


~If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be?
~What's your favorite swear word or phrase? Bloody Hell!
~What's your favorite article of clothing? My Chuck Taylors
~Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Breakfast
~Red, white, or rosè? White
~Silk or satin? Silk
~In a restaurant - Kids or Smoking? Kids
~Cable or Satellite? Cable.
~Cable, DSL or Dial-up? Cable
~Cat or dog? CATS!!!
~Beach or mountains? This one is tough because I like them both. I like being able to laze on the beach in the sun, but I also enjoy hiking in the mountains.
~If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Haven't exactly figured this out yet. I'm thinking somewhere that it's warm year round and dry.
~For News - Local, Network, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, or The Daily Show? Newspaper
~What would you like engraved on your headstone? Not planning on having a gravestone. I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico.


~Slept in your bed: Still Igor.
~Made you cry: Stupid fuckers being mean to me and pissing me off – and it pisses me off worse that I let them get to me.
~You went to the movies with: Um, I can't even remember the last movie I went to in a theatre, much less with whom. Thank God for my datebook. Revenge of the Sith with Jason as he had been unable to go with the group two days prior.
~Yelled at you: Denis, probably, YEARS AGO. I really dislike being yelled at, so I don't recommend that people who want to stay friends with me not to do it, because reminding me of Denis is never a good thing.

Oh wait, there was the complete white trash family at the Zoo this past Sunday. In the Arctic Ring of Life there are signs that request that you not leave the asphalt path as they're growing natural tundra flora stuff and walking on it will damage/kill it. Being the savvy Zoo-goers that we are YS and I were standing outside the Ring of Life on the upper path and could easily see Bahrle playing with Talini in the pool. This incredible conglomeration of white trash which was apparently a family decided that they would leave the path and climb up the little incline and stand directly in front of us so that we could no longer see. I said "You're not supposed to leave the path" but the one person just looked at me and shrugged as if the rules don't apply to them. Then this very broad teenager came and stood directly in front of me, and I simply said, "Well, now I can't see." He turned around and apologized and moved to one side. You would think that would have been the end of it, but after he climbed back down off the delicate tundra flora (mind you all twelve members of this family had left the trail, and not a single one of them looked as if they were related to any of the others – but they all that lovely throwback look as if cousins had married not far down the family tree), he turned around and screamed at me, "HOW DARE YOU?" Needless to say I was a tad taken aback, as he had been relatively pleasant when standing directly in front of me. And how dare I what? Inform people that they are breaking the rules? I'm sorry, but I go to the zoo a lot and I firmly believe rules are there for a reason – like protecting animals and even plants from harm. His mother then turned on me and screamed at me to leave her precious children alone because they had been through the exhibit twice already and hadn't seen a polar bear and she didn't care about rules. They finally left and nobody else who walked by and stopped to see the polar bears felt it was necessary to leave the path to see them.

~Sent you an e-mail: You*Name*It

Vacations and Hockey Talk

First off a big HAVE A FABULOUSLY FUN and EXTREMELY SAFE TRIP TO ENGLAND AND FRANCE to Julieu and Glen. I expect Julieu to come back completely fluent in French since she will playing Interpreter for the family.

One down, one to go. And IMHO, Bettman was the worse of two evils. I'm really glad Goodenow is gone, but Bettman is the root of all that is wrong with the NHL.

And the Wings went and did exactly what I was afraid they were going to do. They kept that worthless left winger, Brendan Shanahan who has done jackshit for at least the last two seasons (played), while getting rid of Darren McCarty (as I've already bitched about) who was the blood and guts of the team (Stevie is and always will be the heart and soul of the team). I just hope that Babcock is able to get more out of Shanny than Dave Lewis was, and if he's not, he's not scared to sit him. I couldn't even read the whole article as I was gagging too much at all the compliments being paid to him. Yeah, he's a goal scorer, when he chooses to skate. Think how many more goals he could have had. I'm so pissed I could spit.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Shoulder Pain

I'm exceptionally bored today. Not bored enough to file, but bored nonetheless. The long-ass e-mail I expected has not arrived, so I don't even have that to do. And very few people have updated their diaries/blogs this morning, so there's not even that to stimulate my brain.

I did something to my shoulder either last night or this morning, because I can't lift my right arm w/o being in pain (thankfully a very different sort of pain than my herniated disc). And when it's the right arm and you're right-handed, it's kind of a not so small issue. The weird thing is that I can twist my right arm behind my back, like some wrestling move, and that doesn't hurt at all. But try to lift it two inches in front of me and it makes me contemplate a pain killer or two. Just swinging my arm while walking was painful. How stupid is that! I had my Target brand Icy Hot with me (since my arthritic right knee had been bothering me), so I put that on. I don't think it helped, but the smell of wintergreen is pleasant. I think I've found my new perfume!!! Hmm, it hurts if I put my arm out to the side too – weird. And of course, YS got on a plane this morning to visit a friend in DC, so what good does her doctorate in Physical Therapy do me now???? I'm picking her up Tuesday at the airport, so if it's still bothering me, I'll have her check it out. Of course, if it still hurts by then, I might have to see a doctor before that. That's five days away!!!

Shit, my life is so boring, I might have to file.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I hate my fucking POS computer. Let's start with that. I have been tagged by You*Name*It (BASTARD) to do the following survey (which I almost had finished before my incredibly stupid POS computer decided to lock up on me. "Laugh it up, Fuzzball." Goddamn PCs!!!!

Ten years ago:

*sigh* Deja vu...1995? I was working at the U, going to the bar and dancing four nights a week (Tuesdays - super busy, no cover, dollar drinks, video appreciation night; Wednesdays - my therapist appt was on that side of town, so I'd go to my appt., then dinner with my friend Ken and then back to the bar for a night of dancing with nearly nobody on the dance floor - HEAVEN; Fridays and Saturdays - Basic bar night), unless that's the year I worked Friday nights at the bar. I was the cover girl. I took your $3 and occasionally played tough bouncer and checked IDs.
That's also the year the U got the Internet for all employees and I found the Auto Racing Chat (ARC) at and met people who are still some of my best friends today. I also worked for the TV crew that year at the Detroit Grand Prix (thanks to the ARC) as a spotter for the television broadcast. I was literally the width of a concrete barrier from the race cars going full speed. That's totally orgasmic to a race geek such as myself.

Five years ago:

I had just moved back from SF (May), started working for my present company, and almost to the day (of today) I woke up with pain in my neck, going down my right arm through my elbow and into my hand and thumb. For a month, while my brand-new doctor worked to find the problem, I sat at my desk at my new job and cried. She finally got me an MRI which showed that I had a herniated disc in my neck. My doctor said, "It's touching your spinal cord." Yup, I freaked out on that one. I kept my cool with the doctor and took down the phone number of the neurosurgeon she wanted me to call the next day to get an appt. "ASAP." This was 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday. I called my dear friend Paula in a complete panic and since she's so sensible, she calmed me down so that I was able to talk to my Mom when she called from CA to see how the MRI had gone, otherwise Mom would have freaked. It was Labor Day weekend, but I was able to get an appt. to see the neurosurgeon on Tuesday. I had a pain management appt. Wednesday morning which I cried through, saw my doctor Wednesday afternoon where she agreed that surgery, not "pain management" (aka needles injected into your spine) was the way to go. I scheduled my surgery for the next available date - my mother's birthday. I woke up in post-op sans pain for the first time in damn near two months.

One year ago:

I started my on-line diary because I had just found out that a dear friend had been given a week to live. I need somewhere to vent. The next day another friend and I drove to his town with plans to see him first thing in the morning. That morning as we got ready to drive the 5 minutes to his house we got a phone call from Paula to tell us that my dear Jess had left us. It still breaks my heart that I was five minutes from him and he couldn't wait for me to tell him I loved him and good-bye. YS thinks he didn't want me to see him in that condition. The friend and I made the trip anyway to see his wife (also our friend) and to offer our support. We went on to the race, but stopped back on our way home to attend his funeral and represent all of our friends who could not be there. To this day, I miss him and the homemade computer cards he'd send me. When I had my neck surgery, Jess and Wife sent me cards damn near every day.


Went to work, put make-up on at work because it was too bloody hot to do it at home, worked out (one hour on the treadmill, one hour on the elliptical), finally finished watching the Tour de France tape from Sunday, wrote two long-ass e-mails, and posted boring crap at my blog/diary.


Went to work, wrote another long-ass e-mail, went to workout but couldn't because my asthma was totally acting up and I couldn't breathe at all. Went to Target to find the special DVD I've been looking for, went to Merchants to see if they had a Norwegian beer that You*Name*It had recommended (they hadn't), bought a single bottle of an IPA (yummy) and a twelve pack of Guinness in cans (even with the new bottles with widget, I prefer the cans).


Work, write yet another long-ass e-mail (at least I better! *threat*), workout (will take inhaler with me tomorrow, just in case), go to dinner with a dear friend whom I know from SF but does work in Detroit. We were supposed to go tonight (Wednesday) but he couldn't get a flight out. I will be meeting him at my favorite restaurant at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, unless he gets shanghaied by the Hip-Hop Mayor. I already don't like the mayor, so he shouldn't push his luck.

Five snacks I enjoy:

1) Grape tomatoes
2) Guernsey's Mother Lode and Creme de Novi Ice Creams
3) Cheetoh's Crunchy (Salsa or Jalapeno - a type you can only get in Mexico - bastards)
4) Guinness (I'm pretty sure this is considered a snack).
5) Caramel Corn

Five bands where I know the lyrics to most of their songs:

1. The Smiths
2. Joy Division
3. The The
4. Jeff Buckley
5. Barenaked Ladies

Five things I would do with $100,000,000.00:

1) Buy my Mom a house/condo that is not a complete POS like her present condo. I'd make sure it had a garage, too. More family stuff: Pay off OB's house and set up college funds for his kids. Pay off YS's student loans and her beloved truck, Babe. Buy LB a house and since he lives in CA that would cost more than the previous three items. Help out OS somehow and set up college funds for her two kids (but my niece's would be contingent on me seeing her in clothes where I don't have to see her stomach).
2) Buy myself a Mini Cooper S with all the fixin's.
3) Travel to every race on the Champ Car circuit for one year, and take my racing friend with me.
4) Support all of my favorite charities.
5) Establish/endow a scholarship in Social Sciences (Econ, Hist, PolSci) at the University from whence I graduated and where I worked for ten years.

Five locations I'd like to run away to:

1. Spain
2. Sweden
3. France (in July during the Tour de France)
4. Grand Cayman where I could swim with the Sting Rays whenever I wanted!
5. Mexico!

Five things I like doing:

1. Reading
2. Lying (laying?) on a beach in Mexico in the middle of March while Michigan is gripped in the grasp a shitty-ass winter
3. Traveling to Champ Car races
4. Going for drinks on Thursday nights with my friend Martha!
5. Going to Tigers and Red Wings games with my friend, Glen

Five things I'd never wear:

Clarity said she'd never wear bright orange. And up until last year I would have totally agreed with her. But then Champ Car had to go and change their colors from red/white/blue *gag* to orange and black. I have never seen so much orange in a wardrobe before and now mine has tons of orange in it. I'm such a racing geek!

1. Capris - they look so cute on other people, but I feel completely ridiculous in them.
2. Khakis (see above)
3. Your basic strand of strung pearls
4. Pink
Shit, I totally can't remember what I put down the first time around....
5. A wig.

Five TV shows I like: If these were supposed to be current shows, well, tough shit, they're not since I don't watch anything current, at least not on Network TV.

1. M*A*S*H
2. The Pretender
3. Highlander: The Series (*sigh* Peter Wingfield *double sigh*)
4. MacGyver
5. Cold Case Files on A&E (Woohoo! A current show!)

Five famous people I'd really like to meet: Do they have to be alive?

1. Ayrton Senna
2. Ian Curtis I have the pic on the right painted on to my jean jacket. Or at least something very close.
3. Kevin Kalkhoven to thank him for saving Champ Car.
4. My Igor

Five biggest joys at the moment:

1. Boris and Igor
2. The temperature being tolerable enough that I was able to sleep last night (and can sit in my computer room today).
3. My friends
4. Guinness
5. Reading

Five favorite 'toys': Toys? I don't really have toys anymore, not even really the electronic kind.

1. Books
2. My German made markers
3. Boris and Igor
4. My yarn and knitting needles
5. My CDs and DVDs

Bloody hell...that was bad enough the first time, but to have to re-create it??? EXCRUCIATING!!!!

Stuff, Stuff and more Stuff

Well, I finally finished watching the Tour de France last night and I have to say I'm a little pissed at the organizers. As the peloton entered Paris they announced that due to the rain that they would take the time at beginning of lap 1 of the Champs Elysees and that all time bonuses would be eliminated. The sprinters would still be going for points for the Green Jersey, but there would be no time bonuses given. Okay, that meant that Levi Leipheimer finished in fifth. Well, the track dried out and Alexandre Vinokourov went for the stage win (which he totally deserved). I was happy for him since his team had treated him so abominably during the Tour. But then the organizers announced that since the sun had come out that they were re-instating the time bonuses and therefore Vino passed Levi for fifth place, but from what I could tell from the broadcast that news was never passed on to the riders. Levi therefore got screwed. Thor Hushovd of Norway managed to hold onto the Green Jersey and I was happy.

For the first time in Tour history, after the podium presentations and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner Bernard Hinault (five-time Tour winner) handed Lance a microphone and the winner gave a speech. He gave credit to Jan Ulrich for being a worthy competitor these last six years (Jan didn't race in Lance's first win) and then he talked about how hard it was to race against 2nd place finisher, Ivan Basso, as he's a good friend. Unfortunately, OLN felt the need to show "rock star girlfriend Sheryl Crow." The only good thing about her dating Lance is that maybe she won't record any more records. God, her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

And that will conclude the 2005 edition of Kathleen's Assessment of the Tour de France.

While watching the coverage for the tour, however, I saw a commercial for America's Cup. I was thinking that knowing nothing about this type of racing that it might be interesting to check out. Then I saw when it'll be – June 23, 2007. I'm sorry, but why on earth is OLN advertising TWO YEARS IN ADVANCE??? And I just found out why OLN is only on Comcast cable here in Detroit and not WOW or dishes, it's because Comcast owns OLN. So, even though I hate Comcast with a passion, I can never give them up as long as they continue to cover the Tour de France. Now if they'd just cover the Vuelta a España later in the year I'd be really happy.

It's nice to someone trying to fight off Wal-Mart. Who knows how successful they'll be, although all they really need to do is threaten to set up a union and Wal-Mart will be gone faster than you can say AFL-CIO.

I found this column to be extremely interesting. It talks about the love affair that this country has with the present President.

And this is one of those feel good stories that so rarely occur. A mother is reunited with her daughter three years after she's kidnapped by the father and taken out of the country, and this is how they've reconnected.

Yesterday I was getting ready to leave work when the heavens opened and just dumped rain on the metropolitan Detroit area. I mean, it was coming down in buckets and the wind was blowing the tree outside the window sideways. I decided that I would wait until the rain slowed down a touch before I started my walk home. I'm really really smart that way. And joy of joys, it was cool throughout the night and I got some sleep and even was able to put my make-up on at home. Pure excitement! And this lovely weather is supposed to stick around for at least a few days. Yippee!!!

I was back the gym yet again trying to lose this extra weight. I've gotten desperate. I did an hour on the treadmill and then another hour on the elliptical. That's one good thing about the new 8 hour workdays, I can get to the gym before the majority of people and can get an hour in, instead of the usual 20 minutes when people are waiting. Will it work? If it doesn't I'm going to pick up the fucking treadmill and throw it through the glass blocks. LOL! Yeah, right. Like I'm doing any weight training!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Contacts, Birthday, Books and Hockey Talk

I absolutely and positively hate my new contacts. I had called the eye doctor last week to say that I was hating them, but as of yesterday she hadn't called me back, so I called once again. She called me back and apologised profusely for not calling (she had been unsure if she could call me at work). She's going to order my old contacts for me and then I believe my eyes will be happy once again. My eyes are weird in that not only do they suck at seeing, but the right one likes this one brand of Acuvue, but my left eye hates all Acuvue, so for that eye I get a real contact, i.e., not disposable. Hard to imagine that tiny little itsy bitsy piece of plastic costs $100, but it will. And it's worth it because I hate this feeling where I want to gouge my eyes out. I'm pretty certain I've rubbed most of my make-up off. Good thing my new glasses are cute, because I will wear them out in public. These suckers will be out of my eyes two seconds after I get home from the gym this afternoon.

I didn't have enough time last night to finish watching the Tour from Sunday as I had to go to dinner to celebrate Ursa's b-day. I went with her and her mom to La Shish and totally overindulged on their fabulous pita bread and the garlic paste. I ate a bit of my salad but that'll be dinner tonight. Our waiter last night was not the world's greatest waiter, but he was pleasant, so even though I didn't get my smoothie for at least a half hour and then he brought me the wrong salad (TWICE, I just accepted the second one as the right one), I'm figuring Ursa's mom didn't cheat him on the tip. She didn't seem the type, knowing her daughter. ;-)

When I got home, I could have watched the Tour, but I really really really wanted to finish the book I was reading. It was a true crime novel, Till Death Us Do Part: A True Murder Mystery written back in the 70s by Vincent Bugliosi (same lawyer who wrote Helter Skelter about the Manson family killings). I had to find out if the two people on trial were found guilty or not. In the book Bugliosi makes his case for capital punishment, but said that if life imprisonment without possibility of parole were available, he would not be as inclined. I'm just thankful that Michigan has Life in prison without possibility of parole and no death penalty. Of course, the case in this book took place in 1966 and even though CA had the death penalty at the time, all death row inmates had their sentences commuted when the Supreme Court said that the death penalty wasn't constitutional. This is why Charles Manson actually comes up for parole every so often. As does/did the guy in the book. I want to do a google search and see if he's still in jail. He better be. All I can find is about the book and the made-for-TV movie. Not helpful.

The weather forecast this morning said that the high temp tomorrow is going to be 74˚F. Only in Michigan can the temperature drop 20 degrees in one day. Trust me, I'm not complaining, at all! I will be thrilled to pieces to have a chance at a decent night's sleep, but usually when there's a drop in temp of 20 degrees people end up sick and with colds. Sure, that's usually in the fall/winter/spring, but why can't it happen in the summer? Our bodies adjust (as well as possible) to the 90˚F heat and 95% humidity and then all of a sudden, it's a livable temp and our bodies rebel. If I get a cold I'm going to be pissed!!!

And oh yeah, thanks to the Detroit Red Wings organization for getting rid of Darren McCarty. God knows he didn't do anything for the team in the years he had been there… just scored the most beautiful goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 to give us our first Stanley Cup in roughly forever. Took care of the hideous and vile and evil Claude Lemieux after Claude illegally checked Kris Draper from behind face first into the boards (broke Kris' eye socket, cheekbone, and jaw and he also need something like 100 stitches). The biggest issue is that Claude never apologised for the hit and even said, "Draper should thank me for that. I made him famous." Claude Lemieux is a fucker of the first order and don't let anybody ever tell you differently. Darren's also embraced Detroit as his city and he deserves to stay. If the organization has made the decision to keep Brendan Shanahan after waiving McCarty, I'll be beyond livid. I know he's popular (especially with the women because he's "cute") but the fact remains that for the past two years he has not played up to his abilities. He's floated around the ice hanging out in neutral territory acting like he's the ultimate cherry picker of all time since Wayne Gretzky and then when it's near the end either of regulation or OT, he picks his speed up, gets a timely goal and people think he's fabulous. I'm telling you, if we keep him, I'll be beside myself. And if I get to a game, it'll be all I can do to stop myself from booing his ass. Consider yourself warned.

It's hard for me to get worked up over Derian Hatcher being gone since I think he played something like three whole games with us, but I will miss Ray Whitney. He didn't set the place afire, but he was a good steady player (and cute besides). But McCarty??? I want to go out and buy myself a McCarty jersey just to show people. So there! ;-)

I'm so outta here…gotta take these damn contacts out!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Sunday at the Zoo

Sunday was a GREAT day, for the most part, even though it was thundering and lightning and pouring when I woke up in the morning. Mass was Mass, but unlike last week, the sermon made sense and Father knows enough to know that singing is not his forte. And Fr. also used me as an example in his sermon. I think I blushed bright red. No, he didn't use me as an example of what not to do. Thanks for thinking that. ;-) I happen to think that Fr. O is just the cutest thing ever (he's 78 years old, for the record), and I have a tendency to be a tad disrespectful and call him Cutey. When I'm feeling respectful, I call him Fr. Cutey – yes, to his face. During his sermon, he gestured to me and something about me calling him Cutey. He said, "I don't see what she sees, like most of us don't see the good in ourselves, but she's showing me God's love by letting me know that I am loved." Or something to that effect. After Mass, he asked me if I minded that he pointed me out during church. I told him, No, of course. Like I've said before, it's a very small church/congregation and it's not like I don't know everybody there. And I'll continue to call him Cutey, because he is.

Even though it was still raining and looked positively threatening outside, YS and I decided we were still going to the Zoo anyway. And by the time we got there, it was just barely raining and to our amazement there were a number of cars in the parking lot. Guess we're not the only nutcases in the city. After not even an hour, the rain stopped completely and it got quite hot, and we were walking around the Zoo with my rain jackets tied around our waists.

The purpose of this trip to the Detroit Zoo was to see the new rhinos. We haven't had rhinos since they had to put Rudy to sleep way back in 2001. Only Tamba was out, but it was enough for me. I got to see a rhino yesterday, people!!! You have no idea how excited I was. I watched him walking around for quite a while. At one point, he even wallowed in his mud puddle. I kept encouraging him to roll in it, but he just sat in it. We ended up doing damn near the whole Zoo twice. A friend of my sister's was going to join us but he originally had to work until noon. When YS called him to find out if he was joining us, he told her that he had a meeting from 12:00 to 1:00 but he would call us when he got out. He finally called around 2:00 and we met him at the front of the Zoo (YS went to the car to dump the jackets, as we totally didn't need them by now) and while we waited we bought sunblock at the gift shop as we were frying by this point.

We also got to watch the polar bear rescued from the Mexican circus last year, Bahrle with her new baby daughter (she's 5 months old now), Talini. Bahrle and Talini were playing in the pool and they were so cute and having such fun. When we first saw Bahrle she was pacing on the side of the pool and that's when we noticed Talini was in the pool. Bahrle just walked along next to her for a bit and then she got in herself. I think polar bears are so cute when they pop their heads up from under the water and the water streams off them and their cute little ears stick straight out and they stick their noses into the air. Talini even got out a few times and did the polar bear belly flop back into the pool. So so so cute!!!

I'm glad that YS and I got there early as the weather hadn't gotten truly scorching yet right after the massive rainstorm, so the animals were very active. The tiger siblings were playing and chasing each other around. We even saw one get out of the pool. The lions were up and active, too, which is tough because they are typical cats and sleep a lot! The snow monkeys were as cute as always. We always seem to have snow monkey babies and they're so damn cute as they follow their mom around and race up the trees and the rocks. So damn nimble. The white-ruffed lemurs were acting all freaky and making this horrible screeching noise. Quite disturbing actually. We got to see the baby wolverines that were the center of quite a controversy early on in their lives. As some of you might not know the wolverine is the mascot of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. When the two babies were born, somebody thought it would be cute to name them Bucky and Sparty (cutesy names of Ann Arbor's arch rivals from Ohio State – Buckeyes, and Michigan State – Spartans). I thought it was very cute, and I went to UofM (but not Ann Arbor). Apparently, Michigan fans have ZERO sense of humor and people who have given money in the past threatened to withhold the funds this year (when they're absolutely desperate for money with the City of Detroit being in very deep financial trouble, because they're paying for the Mayor to stay in swanky hotels and drink expensive champagne), so they changed the names. The Zoo capitulated to the humorless people and changed the names to something related to trees, I think. At any rate, the baby wolverines were pretty damn cute, which is saying something since a full grown wolverine is definitely NOT cute.

We also saw the usual suspects: Giraffes (so freaking cool), hippo (yuck), Grevy's zebras, Oryxes, a tapir, capybara, anteaters, bald eagles, white lipped deer, Bactrian camels, ostriches, emus, pudu, tree kangaroo, red panda (so cute), regular kangaroos, prairie dogs (always great fun to watch), seals, harp seal (only one in captivity – rescued), assorted birds about which I care nothing – turkey vultures, flamingoes, peacocks, peahens, peacock/hen chicks, grizzlies, black bear, Syrian brown bear, coati, chimpanzees, Diana monkey, mandrill, lion-tailed macaques (but I think they should be called lion-maned macaques), Siberian Sun the thoroughbred horse saved from the glue factory, peccaries (where the seals and sea lions used to live) and ….ooooh!!!!

Gorillas!!! Sunshine, our silverback, who usually sits in the one place where you totally can't see him because he's damn smart, was sitting right next to the viewing window. He is so freaking cool and huge and just cool. I know, I said it twice, but, fuck, he's amazing. We think he was sitting there because it was out of the sun and the air conditioning might have made the glass cool to lean against. I just stood there and watched him and just took all of his magnificence in. His demeanor did not invite hugs, but I wanted to hug him, nonetheless. Things got moved around at the zoo since I was last year and somehow there was a Diana monkey and a mandrill in with Sunshine, but no other gorillas. YS remembered hearing that Cora, a female gorilla, had died. We got three other male gorillas from some other zoo (brothers, I think) and one of them tried to usurp Sunshine's position as silverback. Uh, the attempt to overthrow Sunshine failed miserably and apparently during the fight Sunshine broke the other gorilla's back, so now they are kept very much separated. Sunshine was outside yesterday while the three reprobates were inside, and I think they would have switched them around last night, so Sunshine got the air conditioning for sleeping. For the record, Sunshine is much larger than the three brothers, so God only knows what they were thinking!!!

We didn't make it into the Wildlife Interpretative Gallery which is only worthwhile because to get out of the gallery (which is pretty damn boring, I find) is to go through the butterfly garden. If conditions are right, butterflies will land on you which is pretty freaking cool. Not as cool as kissing a sting ray or Tamba or hugging Sunshine, but pretty darn cool.

I got a bit of sun yesterday but considering that I didn't put sunblock on for the first two hours and then only put on SPF 30, I think it's pretty good that I'm really not that red at all, essentially just added to my base tan.

There was more to the Sunday, but it was pretty darn boring as it consisted of driving with YS out to Camp Dearborn, snarfing down a bit of food, wandering all over CD to see how it's changed since we had last been there (it's a lot smaller than when I was a kid, and they no longer make real cotton candy at the Canteen, just that crap that comes ready made in a foil bag) and then going home, showering and then sweltering in my bed. If it's as damn hot tonight as it was last night, I'm sleeping in the living room which is a lot cooler!!!

I think I'm over my funk of last week. I wasn't even PMSing, so there is just no explanation for my depression. Thanks for all the nice and helpful comments. I appreciated them.

Friday and Saturday and more of my thoughts on the Tour

First things first. Everybody go to Ursamajor's site and wish her a Happy Birthday! I won't give away her age, that's up to her to do! I’m going out to dinner with her and her Mom this evening. Yay! Yummy Arabic food will be eaten!

Bloody hell!!! WTF is up with this weather???? I was listening to the radio at 4:58 a.m. today and the temp was 84˚F and they didn't even tell me the humidity level, but I'm pretty sure it was at least 95% (or 3 billion per cent) And my brother just told me that the humidex (which combines the temp with the humidity) at 11:00 p.m. last night was 100˚F. Are you fucking kidding me???? 100˚F at 11:00 p.m.???? Needless to say I got very little sleep last night and was outta the house this morning before 5:15 since I was sweating so badly that I couldn't even contemplate putting my make-up on at home. I grabbed my make-up bag, took out what I knew I wouldn't need and threw it in my bag and bailed! I'm looking forward to Wednesday when it's supposed to be 78˚F. That will feel like heaven, I'm sure.

Friday I went to the gym and did an hour on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical and then 15 minutes on the Stairmaster. You'd think that would be enough to lose weight, wouldn't you? Yeah, well, whatever. I also watched my tape of the Tour and since I didn't take notes, I don't remember it very well. So, no recapping of Friday's stage (yeah, yeah, I know you're all heart-broken). I ended up going out for drinks with my friend from work. He had mentioned it to another guy at work and he showed up with his wife and we had a lovely time sitting outside drinking beer and just talking. I had four Guinnesses and they were just lovely.

Saturday I got up before 8:30 so that I could start the laundry before the Tour started. Like I've said many times before I LOVE LOVE LOVE the individual time trials of the Tour. And this stage was no exception, although I want to say right off the bat, Poor Ol' Michael Rasmussen, as Phil Ligget said roughly 3,824 times on Saturday. Michael had the worst time trial I have ever seen. The poor thing fell off his bike twice, changed bikes four times (according to Phil and Paul) after having a puncture and then just not getting comfortable (I guess) with the replacement bike. My heart just broke when Lance who had started six minutes behind him passed him. Good for Lance, really really sucky for Michael. I'm sure he felt like giving up, but he persevered and yesterday (I'm assuming that things didn't change and that Michael didn't abandon yesterday which would have been silly and ridiculous) he got the polka dot jersey as King of the Mountain, but I so wanted him to keep the podium position. Lance kicked complete butt, once again, in his time trial and took the stage win and cemented without doubt his seven Tour win. The guy on the radio yesterday said, "Lance Armstrong will win his seventh Tour de France today, as long as he doesn't fall off the bike." Uh, no, dipshit, even if Lance had fallen off the bike, the peloton would have waited for him and he still would have won the yellow jersey. There are rules and etiquette involved in the Tour and if the leader falls, you wait for him. Lance did it in 1999 or 2000 when Jan Ulrich went off the side of the mountain. Lance waited for Jan to climb back up the hill carrying his bike and then they took off once more. I realise that in this day and age of reality TV shows where it's all about being as dickish as possible that this is a foreign concept to many people, but it's nice to know that there is etiquette left somewhere in the world.

I got my three loads of laundry done while watching the Tour, then quickly showered and ran out of the house because my cousin's Graduation party was starting at 1:00. I got there at 1:17 p.m. to find she wasn't even there, so I could have stopped at Target to look for blank video tapes and a certain DVD of a certain fabulous Audrey Hepburn movie, but I hate being late, so I didn't stop. *sigh* I thought I would have time after the party, but the party didn't really end. It just moved from Grandma's clubhouse to Grandma's condo. I got home after 10:30 p.m., and still had to put clean sheets on the bed. I knew I would regret not making the bed before I left, but I so hate being late, as I've stated before.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Oh yeah!

You Are a Glam Rocker!

You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!

Humidity, Family Time and the Ramones

Okay, but I'm really ready for the humidity to go away. Everybody always jokes about dry heat, but bloody hell, there really is something to be said for a dry heat (sure once it reaches 114, it really doesn't matter), but the difference between 90˚F with 20% humidity and 90˚F with 93% humidity is HUGE!!! I'm so tired of putting my make-up on at 5:20 a.m. and sweating profusely because the humidity is too much for cute little window unit. The other day (Tuesday?) started out with stupid high humidity, but the weather forecasters said that it was supposed to lessen throughout the day. And amazingly enough, they were right and when I walked out of the building at 2:00 p.m., it was hot, but not suffocating. And then Wednesday wasn't bad, but Thursday that damn humidity was back. Again, they say the humidity is going to lessen today, I hope they're right again. It just sucks.

It's very exciting, there are only three stages left in the Tour de France and Lance is looking good. Today will be a basic flat stage, there shouldn't be any changes within the top 10-20 positions, but tomorrow will be where it all shakes out. Whoever has the yellow jersey going into Paris on Sunday will keep it. The big question to be answered on Sunday will be the Green Jersey of the sprinters. They'll be the ones you see go out and do the laps of Les Champs Elysées. I have a feeling that Robbie McEwen will end up beating out Thor Hushovd and that will not make me happy, but I have a feeling that I'll get over it.

My big plans for tonight have gotten canceled because Martha's plane isn't coming in until 3:30 a.m., if she even decides it's worth coming home now when she'll be right back at the airport Monday morning by 6:00 a.m. I told her that it probably wasn't worth it. I mean, it'll be 4:30 a.m. before she even gets home and then she'll probably a little wound up and not able to sleep until 5:00 or 5:30. She's going to sleep the day away and then just end up messing with her sleep cycle. I'm really bummed, and I know she is even moreso, as she won't be able to come home until two more weeks now.

I know that my aunt will call me when she gets in today and see if I'm going to Grandma's tonight. I'm leaning toward not going for a number of reasons: 1) I'm going to see everybody tomorrow, and then 2) I'll see them all again on Sunday, and 3) too much of my family, extended or not, will make me crazy. I'll just stay home, watch my tape of the Tour and then get to bed at a decent hour so that I can get up early and watch the time trials tomorrow before I have to head to Grandma's. When my aunt calls me today, I'll find out what time I'm supposed to be at Grandma's as I'm too lazy to search out the invitation which is on my dining room table somewhere (probably very easily accessible, if I care enough to put that effort forward).

I weighed myself again yesterday and I have lost nothing. In fact, I checked the sheet that the gym did where it listed my vitals from March and not only have I not lost weight, I've gained six fucking pounds (bloody shingles). I'm really really really discouraged. My friend Paula said that I have to kick-start my metabolism so not to eat more than 20 fat calories in a day. I don't even know what a fucking fat calorie is, so I'm basically going to avoid fat. I had one cup (or so) of dry Cheerios for breakfast and a bottle of water. Lunch I'm going to have some fat calories, but then dinner is going to be steamed broccoli and raw celery. So, no fat calories there as I don't put butter on my broccoli (I prefer it plain). Tomorrow at the graduation party I'll avoid the cheese tray and stick with the veggie tray (no dip). *sigh* Are there fat calories in fruit? Can I eat fruit? I've been doing an hour on the treadmill with increasing speed and increasing incline throughout the hour and then 15 minutes on the stairmaster, but it looks like I'll have to get back to the elliptical machine as well. I wonder if an additional hour is too much? Shit, I lost no weight when I was doing 90 minutes of cardio, maybe I need 2 hours.

On a happy note, the NHLPA ratified the contract that Bob Goodenow (that worthless piece of shit) and Gary Bettman (his own brand of worthless shitness) finally agreed on with 90% of the players voting for it. I wonder if the 10% was just trying to make a statement. I have no clue what that statement could be, but whatever. We'll have hockey next year and it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out and what the Red Wings will look like, as well as the Rangers. It'll be funny (or not) if the salary cap helps the Rangers actually end up playing better – I think their salary total was higher than the Wings the past few years and they couldn't even make the friggin' playoffs (and trust me, I'm not complaining). The only team I want to see lose more than I want to see the Rangers lose is the Colorado Avalanche (sorry, Heather). The next few months are going to be fascinating to watch as teams figure out who they can keep and who they can't.

I've been listening to "We're a Happy Family – A Tribute to Ramones" and I have to say what a fun album this is. Somehow U2 doesn't come across as pompous when singing "Beat on the Brat." It's on loan from a friend, but I think I'll need to pick this up for myself.

And with that I'll sign off for now. Have a great weekend if I don't find more with which to bore you all.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Three Posts in One Day???!!!!

I was poking around in Nikib's diary and found this survey (which I had seen at Younameit's diary and Clarity's diary) and I decided it was finally time to take it.

My uncle once: was a hippie and is now highly embarrassed of the family portrait with him in long scraggly hair (especially now that his son is looking like a Beatle).

Never in my life: have I shot a gun.

Highschool was the most: incredibly demeaning time of my life.

I will never forget the moment: I found the courage to post at the auto racing chatroom at back in 1995 and met people who are good friends to this day.

I once met: Dan Gurney and damn near swooned.

There is this girl I know: spent years in therapy and realises now that she could go back to work on further issues.

Once at a bar: I danced the night away…oh wait, that was not just once, it was four times a week.

Last night we watched: Well, *I* watched the Tour de France. I'm not sure if Boris and Igor watched, but I think I remember them hanging out in the overly warm computer room.

If only I had: the ability to knit all of the things I want to knit, instead of fucking everything I try up.

Next time I go to church: Fr. O will give the sermon and I'll do the happy dance discreetly in my pew, because the woman who gave it this past Sunday drives me up a freaking wall.

Terri Schiavo: had a husband who loved her and only wanted the best for her. I'm not sure the same could be said for her parents. They might think that, but I think they were doing the things they did for themselves.

When I turn my head to the left: Bill's empty cubicle.

When I turn my head to the right: File folders and my Five Year Anniversary plaque.

You know I'm lying when: You'd have to ask my mother. She can always tell when I lie.

What I miss most about the eighties is: College and the music, most definitely NOT the ex-boyfriend.

If I were a character written by Shakespeare: I'd be Kate, from The Taming of the Shrew.

By this time next year: nothing will be different. I still won't be dating anybody. I'll still be working (hopefully, here) and I'll still be completely obsessed with the Tour de France even though Lance won't be in it.

A better name for me would be: PITA.

If I ever go back to school: This will never happen. There is nothing that I want to study that would get me further along in life, and I don't need to pay people to make me read books on Mexican or ancient history (the only things I am interested enough in to bother with).

You know I like you if: I talk to you easily. If I don't like you, I have a tendency to ignore you. I don't believe in wasting time talking to people I don't actually like.

If I won an award: it'd be a freaking miracle.

Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens, and Geraldine Ferraro are: an scientist, a composer, an actor and a politician. Outside of that, I do not believe there is anything that connects them together in any way.

Take my advice: Fly under the radar at work and keep your job.

My ideal breakfast is: Eggs Florentine and hash browns, but I so rarely get them. I have an egg, cheese and biscuit sandwich most mornings these days.

A song I love, but don't have is: "Like a Prayer" by Bigod 20

If you visit my hometown: You will understand why we called it Deadford.

Tulips, character flaws, microchips, and track stars: I honestly have clue what to say here.

If you stay overnight in my house: it best be in the late fall, winter or spring, because it's too damn hot in the summertime!

I'd stop my wedding for: So, not even an issue!!!

The world could do without: war

I'd rather: dance all night long, if only I didn't end up hobbling off the dance floor in pain when I was done.

My favorite blonde is: my two nephews, the cutest little towheads ever!

Paperclips are: cheap!

If I do anything well: it'd be a freaking shock. I suck at everything!

and by the way: I'm the biggest Champ Car you'll ever know!!!!!

Another win for Team Discovery

Another fabulous day at the Tour de France for Team Discovery Channel. Paolo Salvodelli won the stage for the team's second stage win of the year (and the second by someone other than Lance since 1999). Woohoo! CONGRATULATIONS, PAOLO! I was pretty darn excited. I believe today is the last of the mountainous stages, then tomorrow is an undulating stage and then Saturday is the big day, the individual time trials. This is where Lance needs to put his stamp on the race and gain time on his rivals, because they'll be trying to gain time on him. I love the time trial days.

I have my cousin's graduation party Saturday afternoon and I am hoping to get my hair cut before going to the party, so I might have to get up early to watch the time trials. Sunday is another family get together but it's my uncle's side of the family, all extended family types (aunts, uncles, cousins, i.e., people I don't know) and I was planning on not going – we hermits need our time to ourselves, but my Aunt in CA called me yesterday to ask me to re-consider going as she'll be there and it'll be fun. I don't know. I so wanted to stay home and watch Lance ride into Paris and take the yellow jersey for the last time. I know me, though, I'll give in and do what others want in order to keep the peace. Sometimes I hate that I’m like that.

This story makes me sad and angry. This happened across the street from where I live and it's just wrong! I don't understand the mindset that tells a person that it's okay to steal other people's possessions. This family has lost important items from their life, not the least of which is the dog, but also their sense of security. These are people who actually came to Detroit to check things out and then someone has to go and steal their truck/camper. Welcome to Detroit. I guess the thief saw the Alaska plates and figured there was stuff in it that would be worth stealing. The family has written off the camper/truck, and just want their dog back. But I hope that we're all pleasantly surprise and the police find everything. It is shit like this that makes me lose hope in human nature.

Another story which makes me just a little crazy. Not because I think more people should give blood (which I do, but it's a personal decision), but because I've been deferred for-basically-ever because one of their quickie tests three years ago came back with a false positive. They took the blood and subjected it to further tests and determined that I did not have Hep C and that I was fine and that there was nothing to worry about, but I'm still no longer allowed to give. And I know another person to whom the exact same thing happened. He asked me one day, "When will I stopped being pissed about this?" I said, "I don't know, I've only known for a couple of months." So, right there are two people who gave regularly that the Red Cross has deferred for what I think is a ridiculous reason. Yes, I want the blood supply to be safe, no doubt about it, but they assure me up and down and all over the place that I do not have Hep C, but sorry, we still don't want your blood, even though we're dreadfully short all the time and are constantly sending out pleas for more blood. Whatever! I'm sure that since it happened to me and this other guy that there hundreds more who would be giving blood if they could.


I had such a bad day yesterday and after thinking about how my high school friends dissed (what is the proper word anyway? What did we use before "dis"? I know that dis is for disrespect, but that's not the word I would have used) me. I didn't include this yesterday but Judy told me the reason Norm didn't like me was because I was "insecure." Well, I'm pretty sure the way to make an insecure person more insecure is to start excluding them from functions and make them wonder even more what's wrong with them. And then I thought more about it and realised that I'm still that silly insecure teenager, it's just that over the years I've learned to hide my insecurities. And now I wonder if the way I hide my insecurities has made me too obnoxious to be around. Think of the number of people you know who have to outdo you in everything you do or say. I've always figured those people are just trying to hide their incredible insecurity. I try not to judge those people too harshly, because I can tell that it's the insecurity talking, and maybe I can tell that because I'm so insecure myself.

Therefore I'm viewing my options as 1) continue to be the person I've been for however long and if people don't like it, fuck it; 2) learn to keep quiet and not feel the need to express an opinion unless asked for it; or 3) be a hermit and embrace my insecurities tightly to me and damn Norm and then myself for allowing what some fuckhead said 22 years ago get to me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Apparently there are tons of people out there who are searching for the big event in the latest Harry Potter. I don't get it. If you like the series, then don't you want to find out how it all plays out by READING the book? And if you don't read the books, why would you care what the Big Event is?

So, at any rate, I'm sorry to Julieu for calling her out on this...and thanks for posting a spoiler warning, just in case, you have more than one lunatic HP friend.


Do you ever get the feeling/impression that there are people in your life who really don't like you, but you're part of the group so you get invited to do things anyway? In high school, my group of friends stopped talking to me or inviting me out with them and when I confronted the person I thought was my friend, her response was, "Well, it's just that Norm and Dan plan everything and they don't like you, so they don't invite you and we just don't think about it." Which is just further proof that teenagers and high school suck completely.

I'm thinking that it's time to take a page from You*Name*It's book and become a hermit since I get the impression that's the way some people prefer it. I was on my racing forum last night and it just seemed that everybody was on my case. And this is a forum where we all agree that Champ Car racing is the best, but everybody there is just so full of piss and vinegar that they were all on my case because I prefer the Cleveland race to the Toronto race. I mean, give me a freaking break! I had to get off before I told a number of them to fuck off.

And if you haven't finished the latest Harry Potter yet, do NOT go to Julieu's site because she gives away the ending w/o benefit of a spoiler warning. She hates Harry Potter and all the fuss, so she decided she'd ruin it for everybody else.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My weirdass cats and my take on the Tour de France

I'm trying to decide if this is a good deal. Bear in mind that I never wear foundation and can't imagine why I would start now. It just seems like such a good deal, in case, I do decide I need to wear foundation.

One day last week I went to Merchant's Warehouse to get a little dinner from the deli. The "Kathleen" salad was not there, sadly, but I decided to try the brussel sprouts which I decided would make a lovely dinner. Little did I know that Boris would also think that Brussel sprouts would make a nice change from his usual cat food. Crazy cat loved the damn things. I didn't give him a whole one or anything, but would pluck off a leaf and give it to him. He just snarfed them right down! And was very unhappy when I finished off the last one. And then on Saturday I let him lick the bowl I had used for my leftover palak paneer (and I had gotten it medium spicy). He licked it quite clean. My cat has very strange tastes in food. On the other hand, Igor is not a fan of the treat, although last night he did eat one tiny little piece of cheese, but just one. I tried to give him more, encouraged by him actually eating something other than cat food, but he would have nothing to do with it. Of course, moments later I turned to find him eating paper. Yes, I have bizarre cats. One eats brussel sprouts while the other eats paper.

And now on to my Tour de France commentary:

Friday's stage (or was it Thursday's) where Team Discovery (aka Lance's team for those of you not watching) lost Manuel "Tricky" Beltran in a fluke crash in which he hit his head. He tried to continue but after riding for another 30 or so minutes he could remember nothing of the crash and didn't really know where he was. Good call from Johan Bruyneel to pull him from the race. Thankfully he's now fine and it was just a concussion, but Lance takes great pride in having his entire team finish the race and this will be the first year where he doesn't have all of them with him when he rides into Paris (hopefully in the maillot jaune). Another loss on Thursday (I think it was Thursday – I watched Thursday's tape on Friday, so it's hard to remember) was the leader in the Green Jersey contest, Tom Boonen. That bummed me out, just as losing Alejandro Valverde in the White Jersey for Best Young Rider on Saturday made me sad. Thor Hushovd of Norway is now in the Green Jersey (Best Sprinter) and I hope he keeps it. His main competition is coming from Robbie McEwen who pissed me off in Stage 3 when he used his head to keep Stuart O'Grady behind him. Robbie has enough talent not to have to do that, and he did lose all points he had gained that day, but still, it was very unsportsmanlike of him. Therefore, I'm putting all my rooting for the Green Jersey behind Thor Hushovd (besides, Robbie's won it a number of times already). And for the polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains, I'm hoping that Michael Rasmussen is able to hold on to it, as well as his podium position right now in the GC (General Classification). He lost 2nd place to Ivan Basso on Sunday, but he still have 3rd over Jan Ulrich. Go Michael!

The T-Mobile team on Saturday did something fairly unprecedented in the Tour. One of their riders had taken off from the breakaway group to get an advantage and when he looked back he saw that it was his own teammates who were trying to catch him and bring him back. This is just not done. Teams normally do not chase their own teammates to put them behind. On Sunday when George Hincapie was in the breakaway (along with nobody else who was close enough to Lance in the overall classification to worry about), Team Discovery did NOTHING to bring him back. The team of Ivan Basso did all the work trying to bring the breakaway back because it was more important to him that he not lose his podium position. Anyway, the move by T-Mobile had Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett guessing that Alexandre Vinokourov would not be part of the T-Mobile team next year after being treated like that. This is just not done in bike racing.

Phil Liggett made me laugh during Sunday's stage when he was talking about a rider, I think it was Michael Boogerd of Rabobank who was in the breakaway with George Hincapie. OLN had put up Michael's statistics, weight, height, hometown, major wins, etc., and Phil said, "And Michael's almost six feet tall." I looked up to see that he was listed at five feet nine inches tall. In whose world is 5'9" almost 6'0"?????

And for Pete's sake, but can Texas please get over themselves? I mean, if Lance were from Michigan (Colorado), Michiganders (Coloradans) would not be in France flying the Michigan (Colorado) flag, they would be waving the U.S.A. flag. They really do think that they are their own country down there. Sure, the Basques are waving the flag of Catalunya, but they also have their very own terrorist organization fighting for independence, so I'm not going to argue with them. Of course, I'd gladly let Texas go and be its own country since then we could get rid of the present President.

And on that note, it's time for me to bail…gotta go the gym and frustrate myself further by working my ass off and not losing any weight.

Congratulations to George Hincapie!!!

First off, I had to tape the Tour de France on Sunday as I had church and then I was supposed to go to my OS's house to discuss the graduation party for YS and then from there it was on to Grandma's for my cousin's 12th birthday party. I didn't get a chance to watch it until yesterday when I decided it was much more important than me wasting time and effort at the freaking gym to lose nothing. So, without further ado, CONGRATULATIONS, GEORGE HINCAPIE on a magnificent Stage 15 win!!!!! It was BRILLIANT and incredibly well-deserved. After spending the last 10 years playing domestique to Lance, he got a chance to show that he too is a great bike rider. Being a domestique means that you ride for your leader. You are there to do what you can to make sure the leader has his chance to win. Bike riding at the professional level in huge tours is not an individual sport, contrary to popular thought. It's a team sport and each member of each team is picked for his specialty and his ability to protect the leader. Since 1999 when Lance won his first Tour, no other member of his team has ever won a stage because the bigger goal was the overall victory. Lance may get the official credit for the wins and it's his name that is remembered, but he would be the first to admit that his team plays a huge part and that w/o people like George Hincapie, he wouldn't have six Tour de France wins and be on his way to a possible (very possible) seventh.

Now back to my regularly scheduled boring post about the weekend:

Friday night I waited up way past my bedtime and went off to Borders around 11:30 to buy my pre-ordered copies of the latest Harry Potter book forgetting completely that last time I had driven there around 9:00 p.m. to get a number and then went back. Which meant that I got #492 and 493 and would be called around 1:00/1:15. ARGH!!! Dammit, but I hate it when I'm stupid. I thought about going home and just coming back the next morning, but decided that since I was there I'd just stay.

I had, of course, brought nothing with me to keep me out of trouble for an hour and a half. I tried calling my brother in California since at midnight EDT there weren't a lot of people I could call. Unfortunately, LB was still at work and couldn't talk. I leafed through a couple of knitting magazines and then a vegetarian news magazine, but I'm really not a magazine person. I need more than a page of text about something or other to hold my interest.

I then made my way to the sports aisle and was going to looking for a mountain climbing book that I didn't have, but I didn't get that far. I spotted Lance Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike and started reading that. By the time numbers 400-500 were called and I got to the front of the line I had read 64 pages (I'm sure I could have read more if the teenaged girls behind me in line weren't incredibly loud, obnoxious, stupid and annoying). I got my two HP6 books and the Lance book and went home practically running to my car so that I wouldn't become the old cranky adult and inform the teenagers that they were beyond stupid.

(Example: One of the girls was looking at the DVD of Hitch for $23 and made a comment that she got it cheaper somewhere else. Another of the girls said, "I wouldn't buy it at all. I'd just rent it and copy it." It was all I could do not to turn around and inform her that the FBI warning at the beginning was a clear indication that that behavior was illegal. I knew she'd just laugh at me and call me a stick-in-the-mud or whatever the 2005 equivalent is. She then went on to say that she didn't understand why there wasn't a CD renting store. She figures they'd make a lot of money. And I believe it was this same brain surgeon who asked her friend "What does that mean?" when we had turned the corner and the registers were in sight and the friend said, "We're in the home stretch." ARGH!!!)

I did NOT start to read the book when I got home (it was 1:30 a.m. and I had been up for 21 hours at this point). I slept in like I said (12:44 p.m.) and would have been upset about missing prime sitting in the sun and maintaining my tan time, if it hadn't been raining. The rain stopped and I sat outside for a whopping hour before it started up again. My plan of finishing the book on Saturday was not realised as I *had* to finish watching Friday's stage of the Tour de France and then watch Saturday's as well. I can't help it, I’m completely addicted to the Tour. In fact, while watching I made all sorts of notes to blog about, so that I can bore every single one of my readers who just don't give a shit. But I'll save that for a bit later. Right now, I'm DESPERATE to find someone who has finished The Half Blood Prince because I have and I need to talk to someone!!!!!! Anyone! It's killing me not being able to talk to someone about it. Write to me, please, if you have finished it and wish to have a Harry Potter nerd conversation.

Saturday night I went out for a beer and some bar food with DWD up at Cheli's Chili Bar. They have the BEST nachos ever. I had a great time. DWD always makes me laugh and Saturday night was no different. The boy is just hilarious. I remember way back when when we were going to the bar dancing every Tuesday night (Miss Anne, DWD and me) and we would take turns driving, so that one of us was always the Designated Driver. It didn't matter if he were drunk or sober, he would make me laugh so damn hard that I would practically drive off the road while stone sober or I would be crying.

We watched the Tigers game, the Tour de France and I occasionally glanced at the evil IRL's race, so that I could make rude comments about Danica. DWD was telling me to give Danica a break and I asked why I should. Anybody who treats a four-year-old Downs syndrome boy badly doesn't deserve a break. He asked me where I had heard she had done this. I told him that I hadn't heard it, I had witnessed it with my own eyes, while I was holding said Downs syndrome boy. He backed off then, but not before I asked the guy sitting near me if he thought that anybody who dissed a four-year-old Down Syndrome was a fucking asshole. The guy agreed w/o knowing about whom I was referring. So, there ya go.

And apparently, it's not natural to have an opinion on everything, or so I've been told. I can't help it, but I do love and hate things at equal measures. I happen to LOVE Paul Sherwen and Phil Ligget's coverage of the Tour de France (which is why I tape the morning show and not the evening extended coverage show which features Al Trautwig – who is fine – and Bob Roll – who drives me up a freaking wall with his Tour Day France and ridiculous hand movements). And I love the Tigers and hate the Yankees. I'm sure other people have strong opinions about things, don't they? I'm not the only one. And I don’t think I'm opinionated about everything, just the things that matter to me. You know, like I love Joy Division, but hate the band that they became after Ian Curtis killed himself, New Order. I hate the company for which I worked in SF, but loved my boss there. I love the University where I worked before I moved to SF, but hated one of my bosses there who had made my life a living hell. I love SF as a city to visit, but didn't really care for living there – see, I didn't say HATE. It just wasn't for me.

I do not like Impressionism and I firmly believe it's because when I take off my glasses or take out my contacts, that is exactly how I view the world, and I don't really like it all that much. On the other hand, I completely get surrealism and find it utterly fascinating and much more interesting than Renaissance art which bores me to tears.

I hate my headphones which seem to have a loose wire and cut out quite often. I love Iggy and The Stooges. I despise people who buy a six-pack of something, but decide they want to make up their own six-pack, so that when I come along and buy the six-pack of Mike's Hard Lime and get home and take one out only to discover it's a Mike's Hard Lemonade and look more closely to see that I have three Limes and three Lemonades. Fucker. Buy two six-packs if you can't make up your freaking mind.

Remember, please, if you have finished HP6 (or are reading it), please e-mail me. I need to talk to someone before I explode!!!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Willy Wonka, Food, Stealing Jesus, Tour de France, Harry Potter and whatever else

I don't know, I'm just so torn. I love the original Willy Wonka movie and anybody who doesn't absolutely adore Gene Wilder should not come near me, and if anybody other than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp had made the re-make, I wouldn't go near it with a ten-foot-pole, but it's Tim Burton and Johnny Depp!!!!! The reviewer dissed "Candy Man!" If you're going to diss any song from the original, you gotta go with "Cheer up, Charlie" which was just an incredibly suck-ass song! "Candy Man" was the best song!!!

This is hilarious, particularly if you think Tom Cruise is a complete nutjob and you appreciate it when people make complete and total fun of Scientology. Thanks to Mopey Chick for finding the link.

The Indian food with Ursa Wednesday night was quite yummy and it'll be quite yummy tonight when I get my leftovers. I got my sushi last night and completely spoiled myself by ordering two additional orders of tempura asparagus to go (lunch today). It's going to be hard waiting for 11:00 a.m. knowing there's sushi waiting for me.

The reading discussion group met last night and it was a good discussion, I thought. Only a few of us had actually finished the book, but we made it sound interesting enough that the others said they were now planning on finishing reading it as well. And they all got their copies of the book from the library. I'm so used to buying books, that it never even occurred to me!!! Not that I'm sorry because I really liked the book, Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity. Ursa wants to borrow it now that I’m done with it. We had a nice discussion about it Wednesday night at dinner.

I have to be careful today and do my best to avoid all news of yesterday's Tour de France as I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I had to finish the book for the discussion group so that took precedence. For the record I want Lance to win his 7th, but I'm really pulling for Levi Leipheimer to have a fabulous race (he's in sixth right now). I literally finished the book sitting outside the house as I waited for 7:00 p.m. Not having met any of these people beforehand I didn't want to be rude and be late or early.

I did not go to the gym on Wednesday as I was disgusted with the whole pound and a half that I've lost in two months, but went back yesterday and did another hour on the treadmill while reading the book (really damn hard to underline while on a treadmill, I have to say). I'll be back at the gym again today *sigh* because even if I'm not losing weight, "it's good for my heart." As everybody is telling me. *double sigh* Whatever.

Tonight is the Big Night! Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince comes out tonight at midnight, and yes, I'll be at Borders to get it. Tomorrow my grand plan is to sit outside in the stifling heat (with my SPF 50) and read the book. I'm losing my tan from Toronto and I can't have that!!! I look better with a little color in my pasty white face.

I heard that yet another major character gets killed off in this book and of course, there's the Big Rumor that J.K. kills Harry off in the seventh and last one. Man, oh man, that will just piss me off, if she does that. I have enough trouble re-reading the fifth book because she killed off one of my favorite characters (see how nice I am that I'm not giving it away just in case there are people out there who for some reason or another has not yet read it). If she kills off Dumbledore or McGonagall I'll be most displeased. And if she kills off Dumbledore (in HP6) and Harry (in HP7), then Voldemort and Evil wins…so, I choose to think she won't do that. Harry has to win the battle against He Must Not Be Named (aka Voldemort). But then I think that she's said all along that there are only 7 books and I think that people would clamor for more books with Harry as an Auror, and the way to get out of that would be to kill Harry off in the last book – maybe with him and Voldemort killing in each other so that Evil is Conquered by Good, but she's not stuck having to come up with more ideas. I just don't know. I plan on having HP6 done by tomorrow night, especially since I have a very full Sunday – and it's full not doing what I want to do at all. ;-( I was supposed to go to my friend Jim's house on Sunday to watch the race from Edmonton (3:00 p.m. on Speed – it should be a great race, so tune in), and instead I'll be at Grandma's for my incredibly bratty cousin's b-day. I'm not completely upset because I do love getting together with my huge extended family and seeing Grandma, but I hate having to miss a race live! I have to get my butt to Target and buy some blank tapes. I'm taping over copies of The Pretender just to get the Tour de France yesterday and today. Yes, I know, I'm a geek, but I loved that show.

I am hoping to get my DVD from Ursa sometime soon of the races so far this year. She DVRd them and said she'd burn them to a DVD for me, so I can have them forever and always unlike tapes which degrade quickly. I'm so excited!!! I still need to see Cleveland and Toronto (I completely messed up the taping of Cleveland and missed the last half hour of the race). I'm so outta practice since I didn't tape any hockey games this past Winter. But I will be next season! We're getting hockey back!!! Yay!!! Thank God I live in Detroit and can get every single Wings games, as well as Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays. I will miss the ESPN coverage where I could catch other teams, but at least I don't live in Chicago where all the Blackhawks' games are not televised because the owner is a dumbass loser.

Well, it's time to post this and fill out the spreadsheet for Finance so I can see what's left and who I need to harass with these open orders.

Have a fabulously brilliant weekend!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Stupid People, Weighing In and Indian Food

This story just broke my heart. It's 2005, people. This is the stuff of 1905 from when people didn't know any better, for whatever reason. What the hell is wrong with people? People nowadays should know better. As Depeche Mode said, "People are people." And the color of someone's skin just shouldn't matter anymore. And to burn a cross outside a baby's room? Wrong, just freaking wrong. And ignorant. And vile. And evil.

Check this out. Those are NOT dolls! Those are CHILDREN! How sick and wrong is that!?

I went back to the gym on Monday and due to the incredibly huge blister on my left heel from me walking all over Toronto in a pair of Chuck Taylors (yes, I know, but they're so much COOLER than regular tennis shoes) that I was only able to do 45 minutes on the treadmill. Yesterday afternoon I did a full hour on the treadmill because I was reading the book Stealing Jesus and trying to make notes at the same time. The treadmill wasn't fabulous for that, and the elliptical was going to be worse, so I just stayed on the treadmill. Instead of underlining key passages, I just put a very sloppy looking asterisk next to parts that I felt were pertinent. I'm really looking forward to the discussion group tomorrow evening. Hmm, the person's house where it's going to be held is near my sushi restaurant. I might have to go out early and get me some sushi! YUM!!!

I weighed myself yesterday. All this bloody exercising that I've been doing since May? Yeah, I've lost a whopping pound and a half. I'm so excited to see some results. Fucking A! The thing is that I'm pretty sure that pound and a half is from me not eating all that much over the weekend as it was just too fucking goddamn hot to eat in Toronto. Will I give up? Probably not, because this way when YS and Mom talk about me being fat, I can say that I have been fucking trying for months and I’m sorry, but I just don't lose weight. And I'm sorry, but when somebody is doing 90 minutes of cardio they should fucking see results, dammit!!!

Tonight I'm going for Indian food with the ever lovely and talented Ursa to thank her for taking care of Boris and Igor (or as she has taken to calling them Malamute and Marmaduke as she was quite impressed with the size of their turds) and taking in my mail while I was gone for a week. It's not completely altruistic, I love me some Indian food and Ursa is the only one I know who likes it. Yay, thank God for Ursa!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sunrises, 41 Home Runs, Up North and Toronto

There was the most beautiful sunrise this morning as I walked to work. I walked out the door to the most gorgeous pink cloudy sky and as I made the five minute walk to work the sky brightened to orange and then onto yellow and I could see the rays of the sun just like the Japanese flag or a child's picture. It was not a bad way to start out the day!

I stayed up way too darn late last night watching the Home Run Derby here in Detroit at Comerica Park (aka Tiger Stadium). I wouldn't have felt obligated to stay up, but our very own Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez made it into the Final Round. It was damn near 11:30 before I got to bed. I finally dragged my sorry butt out of bed around 45 minutes after the alarm first went off.

I had a great week off, even if I still resent the fact that I was forced to take vacation time when I didn't want it. The cottage that we rented was perfect! Right on the lake, perfect firepit for bonfires which our very own Swiss Army guy built every night, a pontoon boat for lazing on the lake, and a trip into town where I found a $242 black dress for $48. Okay, I didn't find it, Julie found it on the clearance rack. After Spoozy tried it on, I decided to try it on and liked it. While standing in line to buy it, I realised that we had been complete goofballs and tried the damn thing on backwards. Out of line I got and went back to the fitting rooms to try it on correctly. It fit even better when put on front to front and back to back. I told Spoozy she could borrow it whenever she wanted (as long as I'm not going to the same event). Oh yeah, back to the bonfires - they were so huge and roaring that we were sitting at least five feet away and saying, "Oy vey, it's so hot." Okay, I was the only one saying Oy vey. I was very good and had only ONE 'smore made with my vegan marshmallows. I'm still trying hard to lose weight and went back to the gym yesterday after taking a much needed mental break.

BST and I left Up North on Wednesday morning and made very good time getting home (my goal is always to get home as fast as possible) and I had time to do two loads of laundry, go to the mall to find some new shorts as I tore the only pair in which I'm semi-comfortable up at the cottage, re-pack and watch a movie. Thursday morning was an early start to our (Mom's and my) trip to Toronto for the race. We got to the hotel where we've stayed for about five years only to find out that it's no longer a Quality Hotel, but a Holiday Inn (changed the day before). They told us that we couldn't check in, but in the end they let us. My mission this trip to TO was to find a yarn store. Last year we walked quite a distance to find out that the yarn store I had found on the Internet had changed into a bike repair shop. The previous years my mission was all about finding Chuck Taylors (I'm pretty sure I didn't win the contest, as I've heard nothing. DARN), as the only store I knew that sold tons of different colors was out in Ann Arbor and I hate driving/parking in Ann Arbor. The exchange rate these days is not favorable (as it has been in the past), so went yarn looking. Mom and I walked all over Toronto. I had a map and I had addresses, so off we went. It was a very long walk to the first store which was pretty sucky – basically just worsted weight yarns in a variety of whites, beiges and not very exciting colors. We were in there less than two minutes. It was on to the next store which was still further away. I had a huge ass blister by this point, but I wasn't going to give up my search. We found the next store and it was much nicer. It was called The Knit Café and it was a combination coffee shop and yarn store. I bought a very beautiful 70% kid, 30% silk yarn in a gorgeous blue. I'm going to make something for Mom out of it since she was such a trooper and walked so damn much just for me to check out the yarn store. The woman who owned the shop was very nice and pleasant, like most yarn store owners. We started the walk back and I was ready to give in and take public transportation, but my mother is nothing if not cheap. And even though I had two blisters by this time I was not going to insist, as I was bound and determined to keep up with my 63-year-old mother! Thank God I had my blister bandaids with me. If you ever have a blister on your foot, these things are the best ever and worth the price.

It was a very hot weekend in TO and I have come back to Michigan a bronzed goddess – well, as bronzed as a redhead gets. I even wore a white shirt yesterday to show off my bronzed goddessness. Today I'm wearing lilac. I so rarely tan that I have to take advantage. It'll fade by tomorrow. It was so hot and sunny that even though I slathered my exposed skin in SPF 45 and 50 sunblock 2-3 times a day I still got a little pink, but not anywhere near as bad as it could have been.

We met some great people in our grandstands – some of whom we've talked to briefly in previous years, but we actually introduced ourselves this year. This one group (Bob, Jo, Bob's Cousin Dave) has been in front of us for a number of years and we were talking about my penchant for cheering for every driver as they go by in the driver parade. I told them that I had contemplated staying down below in order not to blow out their eardrums, but Jo said, "No, I've been looking forward to it. I'm all geared up." The best part was that this new woman was sitting in the rows between us and she was having a heart attack hearing that I yell. She was dreading it like you would not believe. The driver parade at the Toronto race is the best because they all get their own trucks so I have time to yell and cheer for every driver. In Cleveland this year they packed 3-4 to a truck and went by so fast I barely had time to figure out who was in the damn truck much less cheer them on. That annoyed me.

And the absolutely best part of the driver parade is that I was actually yelling loudly this year and they all heard me and looked up. I got a thumbs up from a number of the drivers. Some years my throat gives out and I don't make enough noise for every single driver.

I started doing this in 1996. I was there with my friends Brian, Mark, Pierre and Pierre's friend Ray. I had just met Jeff Krosnoff two weeks previously in Cleveland and got his autograph on my racing shirt. He had been exceptionally nice with a ridiculously shy fan and I became a big fan that day. This is when I started my tradition of cheering for every driver. Jeff ended up in an incredibly hideous and fatal crash that day and I was beyond distraught. They didn't announce anything at the track (they were trying to find his family first), although we waited quite a while after they had red-flagged (i.e., stopped) the race. It had been near the end of the race and there was no way the safety team was going to be able to get the mess cleaned up in time to race to the finish. I've since learned that whenever the announcer doesn't say, "So-and-So Driver is fine." Pretty quickly that So-and-So Driver is not fine.

We waited and waited and waited and finally decided to head home. The guys waited while I used the Ladies' Room (the only temporary street circuit that supplies real toilets and sinks with running water) and while in there a woman came in and said, "I shouldn't have come today. Every time I go to a race somebody dies." I just stood there and fought back tears, and finally turned to her and stammered out, "You don't know that for a fact, do you?" "Yeah, I was standing in that turn, I saw the accident. He's dead." I let some tears fall, but didn't want to appear to be a freak, so I held back, but when I got to the guys, they looked at me and I said gulping through my tears, "A woman in the rest room said that he's dead." And then I just started crying. The guys all that panicky look on their faces that men get when women start to cry, especially women who are not their wives. It's the only part of that day that makes me a smile a little bit. They all tried to calm me down and told me that the woman didn't know and we should wait for the formal announcement. I cried all the way to Brian's house on the bus. Once we got to Brian's house we buttonholed his wife Linda to find out what she knew, but she knew no more than we did. I had plans to have dinner with Pierre that night, and we had a very nice time and I was able to forget briefly that we might have lost Jeff. By the time I got back to Brian and Linda's, the news had been announced and it was official – the woman in the washroom was right. To me, turn three at Toronto will always be evil and I can't view that turn w/o seeing Jeff's car flying into the air and hitting that fucking goddamn tree which was outside the safety fencing. My dear friend Pierre knew it had really affected me, and he said to me sometime that week that Jeff had died knowing that he had a fan (he had come from the Japanese Formula 3000 series, so he was an unknown commodity in his home country and as a result got no cheers except from me) because he heard me yell his name during the driver parade and had looked up and acknowledged me. Pierre said I should take comfort in that. Did it help? Yes, I'm afraid it did. I think about Jeff every time I go to Toronto and I don't care how badly it annoys the people in front of me, I'm going to cheer for every single driver because they're all out there doing the same dangerous job and they all deserve recognition for their abilities – even the Speraficos and not just the Paul Tracys and Jimmy Vassers of the world.

And as Max Papis said on the podium that fateful day before he knew Jeff had left this cold cruel world, "Go, Jeff, Go." You are remembered…

Friday, July 01, 2005

You Go Girl!

Brooke Shields has take on Tom Cruise in an Op-Ed piece. This was in regards to his declaration last week on the "Today" show that he knows all about psychiatry and how it's a pseudo-science. Bloody hell, can somebody shut him the fuck up!!??

And more depressing news (so we'll all - Liberals, that is - need anti-depressants which won't make Tom Cruise happy) is that Sandra Day O'Connor has submitted her resignation from the Supreme Court. Dubya is dancing with evil glee rubbing his smarmy little hands together around the Oval Office as we speak as he can now push his religious conservative agenda on to the country even more completely.

Thank you, Justice O'Connor for being a voice of reason for these past 24 years. You'll be missed more than you can possibly imagine.

Happy Canada Day!!!

HAPPY CANADA DAY to all my Canadian friends and readers!

If there weren't already enough reasons to hate Nike. WTF? I hope Minor Threat and Dischord Records sue the shit out of them and WINS fucking big time. Thanks to Collin for finding that. Oh, I read further at Collin's site and Nike is now saying "Oops, we didn't mean to steal that." Fuck off, Nike. Okay, here is Nike's actual quote: "This was a poor judgment call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records." Yeah, like who doesn't know that stealing somebody else's idea is WRONG and ILLEGAL. Let's all send Dischord Records $5 to help them pay their lawyers to take on the big bad corporate evilness that is Nike.

My afternoon/evening was kind of not all that interesting. I did a little knitting, got the knitting I’m going to take Up North all organized, found my Animal Rescue Site tote bag and packed it with my beach towel, bath towel, washcloth, hand towel so that we're not wasting paper towels, and movies. If there isn't a DVD player up there though I'm screwed because I only packed DVDs. I packed 12 Angry Men because BST hasn't seen it and I think he would like it. I already know that Jason loves it and I think Glen likes it, so I don't think it's a bad choice. I also packed some icons, like The Breakfast Club, Major League and Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. I left all the Alfred Hitchcock at home, which makes me sad, but no reason to overdo it!

Tonight will be a fun night! My friend Martha is coming home from Mexico for the week and we're meeting up at Cheli's for beers. She's been in Mexico since January and I miss our weekly Thursday beer nights. She's threatened to keep me out very late, which is cool. If I'm too tired to drive, BST said he would drive my car. I'll probably be fine since we're not leaving until 11:00 a.m., but it's good to have a back-up plan!!! So, tonight I'll be off my no food after breakfast diet and will have multiple Guinnesses and maybe Cheli's most fabulous nachos!!! I can't wait for her to come home from Mexico for good and we can get back to our Thursday routine!

Don't forget that I'll be gone all next week and won't be back until July 11th.