Wednesday, August 31, 2005

News Stories, List of Five, Katrina and CBC

While reading the Freep this morning I became intrigued by this story about missing women who do NOT make the headlines. I remember when Elizabeth Smart went missing that I had seen a story about an adorable African-American girl who went missing in Wisconsin (Milwaukee, perhaps?). Her mother's boyfriend had walked her to school and left her on the sidewalk directly in front of the school. The poor little girl never made it inside and the boyfriend was never even considered as a suspect. How many of us heard about that little girl? And any subsequent news? I saw that one report, but I never heard anything more. The media followed the Elizabeth Smart story, the Jon-Benet Ramsey story, the Danielle Van Damme story until the bitter end, and in the case of Jon-Benet they're still following it periodically since there was no bitter end.

And yesterday at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch I was reading a story which discussed how the police in that area basically ignored allegations of rape when the victim was either a known prostitute or drug user, and how doing this can hide the work of a serial killer. It was the third in a series on the practice at the St. Louis police department to use memos instead of official police reports and after a while the memos were shredded and never counted in statistics. And it wasn't just prostitutes and drug users, but child abuse cases too, as shown in this story. Mind-boggling stuff.

What a dumbshit!

I finally have come up my List of Five. You know the Friends List where you have five celebrities for whom you're given a free pass assuming that there's a snowball's chance in hell of meeting them and them being in the slightest bit interested in you? You know, that list. The people on my list are: Gary Sinise, Peter Wingfield, Jason Statham, Edward Norton (except when he's in The Italian Job and acting all icky) and Ed Harris. John Cusack gets an honorable mention, because although I've had a thing for him for years, he's a Chicago Blackhawks fan and although that's not as bad as say, someone being a Colorado Avalanche fan (no offense, Heather ;-), it's not a good thing. Besides when I saw him at a game (it was televised and he had seats right on the glass, as you would expect) he looked like heck.

I see old footage of hockey and baseball games and people back in the 1950s dressed to attend sporting events and I think there's something to be said for not looking like you rolled out of bed when going out in public. Sure, if you're just running to the store for a carton of milk, that's different, but when you have tickets in the front row you might want to appear as if you had at least bathed recently. (See Kid Rock at Pistons games last year – can you at least wash your damn stringy nasty hair? – I'm thinking he might be cute, but who could tell through the nastiness of that hair.)

The remnants of Katrina hit the Detroit area yesterday evening in the form of nasty humidity and rain – nothing that compares in the very slightest to the devastation she wrought on New Orleans and Biloxi. I was reading an article about how New Orleans will probably be attacked by a wrecking ball next as with all the floodwaters that a lot of houses will be unsalvageable thanks to mold and structural damage. If you're so inclined, go to the Red Cross' site and donate what you can to help those poor people out.

My favorite radio station is locked out and it's making me crazy. I listen to CBC Radio Two which is Canadian public radio, essentially. Radio Two plays music all day long, mostly classical (until 10:00 p.m. when it goes into jazz) with breaks at the top of most hours for the news. It starts my day off right, at least, it did when there wasn't a lockout. The station is still broadcasting, but it's just straight music, nobody to tell you to what you're listening or giving you the little stories about each piece of music or composer or conductor which I so enjoy. And since I don't believe in crossing picket lines, I haven't been listening. Thankfully, Detroit finally got its very own almost all classical music station (they play jazz at night, and unfortunately, prior to 5:00 a.m., which does not make for good wake-up music for me) at 90.9 FM. I have found that they buy their programming (at least the classical portion of "Through the Night) because it's EXACTLY the same as what 89.3 WHFR plays in the morning. HFR seems to be a second or two behind 90.9 though. I confess though that the second the lockout is over and my CBC is back on air, I'll be giving up 90.9 and 89.3 because I just prefer the CBC's programming and radio hosts. It's nice to have an option, but unless my fave radio hosts don't return, I don't see why I would give it up.

A few years back I was driving to Ottawa and it was so nice to be able to listen to the same station all across the country. Granted I had to find the station in each new city, but it made the drive that much more enjoyable knowing I could listen to Tom Allen from 6:00-10:00, Shelly Solmes from 10:00-3:00 and then Jurgen Gothe from 3:00-6:00 p.m. The schedule is different now with the addition of Eric Friesen from 12:00-3:00 and everybody cut down to three hours total, but at least I know Tom, Shelly and Jurgen are out there the next time I need to drive long hours in Canada. At least, they should be out there to keep me company. The good news is that CBC and CMG (which represents the employees) are going to start negotiating again – for the first time since the lockout. I hope they accomplish something soon.

The gym was not on my agenda for the past two days. Monday I just plain didn't feel like going, so I stayed home and did ab work and leg lifts and shit like that. Yesterday my car was in the shop (loose heat shield) so instead of going to the gym and doing an hour on the treadmill, I walked the 2.5 miles to the garage to get my car and then played with my weights. I really wish I had been paying attention to the news yesterday though because I would have gone to the gas station and filled up before gas prices hit $3.00/gallon. *sigh* Maybe I should just walk to the gym and then walk home. It's a good two-plus miles to the gym, so that would give me almost five miles of walking. Or I could just go back to walking my 7-mile route and that would save me the gas I use driving to the gym. I'm glad I got my airline ticket to Vegas before gas prices rose like this! I have a feeling though this will put a serious crimp in my plans to go Mexico City for the last race of the season if I can't get a reasonable price on a ticket.

And that will bum me out, not just because I'll be missing out on a race, but because I was planning on using up a good week of vacation time on visiting my family down there. And I haven't been to Mexico City in way too many years and I love that place. I also loved Cairo, Egypt, so I have a thing for overcrowded third-world cities.

Don't forget to do what you can for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, even if it's just saying a prayer, sending good vibes, thinking good thoughts, etc., because I know not everybody can afford to give money.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Word Hatred and Movies

I don't know what is up with Word today but the cursor is showing right at the tippy top of the page…and when I go into Page Setup it's showing a top margin as 1 inch. And as I was typing that last sentence it informed me that Word was experiencing difficulties and would have to close, but it would like to save my work. Well, it did and when it came back on right away, it was exactly the same way with my Print View not really being a print view.

I haven't worked on Word to any great degree (i.e., outlines, bullet points, etc.) since my old job in SF, but the past week I have been and it reminded me why I hate Bill Gates so much – or at least his extremely shitty software. At some point when I feel my job is secure (will I ever feel that way with the economic climate the way it is?), I am dumping the POS PC at home and getting an Apple product. I don't know which Apple product, but it will have a cute piece of fruit on it!

I watched Inherit The Wind on Sunday night and found it to be very interesting considering the political/religious climate of today. I kept thinking of the old quotation: "Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it." If you have seen this movie, please tell me you can't see that happening today? Especially with the crap about Intelligent Design which is so popular and prevalent.

I just found this picture and holy shit, Frederic March who played William Jennings Bryan in the film looked freaking EXACTLY like him! I had to look at Clarence Darrow twice to make sure it wasn't Spencer Tracy!

Last night I watched Closer and I'm not sure what to think, other than WTF? This was my favorite quote of the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes: "My desire to give all four a bracing slap didn't prevent me from thinking that somewhere, in a universe I've been fortunate never to inhabit, people play exactly these sorts of games." -- Lawrence Toppman, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

I don't think I hated it, though, as I am thankful that I've never been that fucked up. I honestly don't know how I feel about the movie. I guess like Donnie Darko I'll have to see how it wears/works on/in my brain for a while.

And that's it for today, kids. Time to go home and perhaps walk to pick up my car. Stupid heat shield was loose.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Shop Till You Drop! And ORIOL WINS!!!!!!

I really need to keep a pad of paper and pen at my nightstand, as I get great blogging ideas as I lie in bed unable to sleep on Sunday nights. Every time I think, "Oh, I'll remember this. This is such a great idea." And then the next day I look at my blank screen and have zero clue what my great idea was the night before.

I was completely unable to sleep last night, just like most Sundays and that just annoys me. I even got up and took a nice warm bath thinking that would relax me to the point I could sleep. I was wrong. I didn't even bother with the snooze this morning – okay, I did hit it once or twice, but gave up around 4:30. I had my usual Monday reports to do and one of my co-workers wanted me to help him with something, so I just came in and got the damn reports done. The Co-worker's thing is mostly done. I just have to plug in the page numbers as freaking Word would NOT outline it with the numbers I wanted. Doing fancy stuff in Word just makes me want to shoot people. Today I actually punched my monitor because it was pissing me off so badly. Thankfully I did NOT break my opal which really would have pissed me off.

I did so much damn shopping this weekend! Friday night I went out to dinner with Ursa and OOMA. The original plan was just with Ursa, but OOMA was feeling all lonely, so she asked if he could join us. Of freaking course!!! Damn, but OOMA drives like a Grandpa. I asked Ursa if she were up for a visit to the mall as she had given me a GC for Victoria's for my b-day. She was definitely up for it and the fabulous Miss Sandie joined us as well.

I wish people would pick their feet up when they walk!

We went to Victoria's where I spent more than my GC, of course, and then it was on to The Body Shop. I had held off for years not buying anything from The Body Shop, but now? I'm a complete Body Shop whore. I must say though that the Tea Tree Oil Blemish stick doohickey thingy works brilliantly! I have been fighting a blemish for the past 6 weeks, at least, and it was making me crazy. I started using the Tea Tree Oil on Friday night and it's damn near gone, finally! I also picked up these really fun metallic eyeshadows and a wonderful exfoliating towel which I'm loving a lot.

I'm going to smack the person who has been clearing their throat most obnoxiously for the past hour. Or what seems like an hour.

I watched Steven Spielberg's first film Friday night. It was a made for TV movie called Duel and was done in 1971. It freaked me out. It was essentially a film about road rage gone homicidally insane. If I had been sitting on the couch and not the floor, I would have been on the edge of my seat. I have to admit that I'm a little freaked right now just thinking about it.

Saturday was ostensibly a trip to the Lansing yarn store. We left the house shortly after 10:00 a.m., but didn't actually reach Threadbear until oh, about, 3:30 p.m. (or 3:00 p.m., I can't remember, it was a long ass day), as we were driving through this tremendous downpour around 11:00 a.m. and saw this accident happen right in front of us. In the interest of safety we got off the freeway at the next exit ramp to wait the storm out. Was it our fault that the next exit was the outlet mall? I don't think so.

I found incredible deals at the Casual Corner Annexe, the Van Heusen store and at the Liz Claiborne store? A poncho for $10 and a purse for $10. You just can't pass up deals like that! Hell, I couldn't make the poncho for $10!!!! And it looks quite lovely with my sleeveless red blouse that I got at CCA for $13. Deals, deals, everywhere!!!

We finally got to the yarn store where I had two GCs to spend. The store is just the most wonderful yarn store ever, but it's just so overwhelming that you don't know what to buy. I did the impossible, however, and managed to find yarn that cost the EXACT amount of my two GCs. They told me to buy a lottery ticket for that night (which I didn't do, of course). Julieu had seen the curlicue scarf at Yarn Harlot's site and decided she needed to try it. A friend of ours had done it but used basic cream yarn and I'm afraid that it didn't do much for me. But the boys had Threadbear had one done in this fabulous silk variegated yarn and it caught my eye. I ended up getting two skeins of yarn (not the silk as it was $40 a skein, but this very cool yarn made from bamboo at $12.15 a skein with one skein enough to make one scarf) to make two of the damn things (one for me, one for YS) – thinking that at some point I'll be able to make something other than squares/rectangles. Julieu is going to try it out and then do her best to show us (Spoozy and me) what the heck to do. I better be able to do it or I'm going to be furious at myself for being so damn untalented!

I got home more than twelve hours after I had left it in the morning. The cats were pretending to be starved (they weren't, trust me) and I spent an hour putting away everything I bought. I even did the girl thing and washed my face and then moisturized and serumed and whatevered it. A girl's gotta work hard to maintain that fresh, dewy look. And I rarely work that hard at it because, essentially, I'm lazy.

The BIG NEWS of the weekend, of course, was that My Oriol got his FIRST WIN in Champ Car!! Go Oriol! If I had been home alone watching that race I would have cried (yeah, I'm a complete geek like that) but I was at my friend J's house, so I simply confessed that I would have done that. He made fun of me oh so briefly before he admitted that when his favorite driver got a win last year he was a bit tear-eyed himself. He also called up everybody he knew to tell them, even if they didn't have a clue what he was talking about. LOL! I just thought fondly of the Catalan flag that I have at home (b-day gift from HRH) and how I'm so getting him to sign it in Vegas next month! And thought bitterly about HRH's brother who had felt the need to visit for the first time in fifteen years so that we couldn't go to the race. I can't believe I wasn't at Oriol's first race win.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Not much of anything


You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

So, the Tigers have once again been bitten by the "almost .500 bug" and managed to lose the last two games. I'm REALLY glad I didn't go to yesterday's game which I saw in the paper was an 11-1 loss. Yikers! Wednesday's game (the one I went to) was just painful. Our ace did not pitch well but then took a line drive to his throwing wrist. He was writhing around on the ground and I was very scared for him. He apparently has no broken bones, so that's good news. He thinks he's going to pitch in Monday's game which would be his next start. Tramm's not so sure. Jeremy hates it when he pitches badly and wants to get back out there to redeem himself. I understand, but there's no reason to push a return until all are certain he's fine.

I did not go to the gym last night as I had to go to the funeral home. One of the mainstays of my church died last Thursday after a very short (two weeks) illness. YS was pretty sure that the last time she saw him that he was having a series of strokes and it turned out that he did end having a stroke. I took a nap before I went to the funeral home as I was so so tired yesterday from not getting to bed until midnight. I'm planning on going to the memorial service today at 10:00 a.m. I think back on the church I attended as a child through high school and it was just huge and if someone died I more than likely didn't know them and I most definitely didn't go to the funeral, but when your church has less than hundred members, it's easy to get attached to them. Barney made me a little crazy when he would take up the collection and he would shake the basket in my face, but I know he didn't mean anything by it. And for the record, I would write out a check once a month, which is why it didn't look like I gave every week.

I promise that I will be at the gym this afternoon and then I'm going to Red Robin with Ursamajor tonight. I have a coupon for my b-day and it expires today. To work off the food I'm going to eat at Red Robin, I'll be working out for at least two hours. Earlier this week I only managed an hour each day, but today, no more slacking!!!

Back from the funeral and it was not very well-organized. First off, there was no funeral Mass. Now I know it's not de rigueur or anything like that, but this was a man who NEVER missed Mass and was VERY involved in my church, and was the Chair of the Worship Commission, not exactly a faint of heart Catholic. Instead they had a Memorial Service where his oldest son didn't even show up until 10:30. Remember above where I said the service was at 10:00? Yup, a half hour late to his own father's funeral service. There was no microphone, so half the time you couldn't hear Fr. or the oldest son (once he got there). His wife was supposed to sing a song, but that didn't happen because she NEVER showed up. Still I'm glad I went and represented my own family since Mom had to work and YS is up north working.

Not a whole lot happening here. Don't forget to watch the Champ Car race on Sunday from Montreal. It's on NBC at 1:30 pm ET!


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nightmares and Tigers

The last two nights I have had trouble sleeping and I definitely can't blame it on the weather as it's been beautiful sleeping weather. I fall asleep fine, but wake up much earlier (couple hours) than I need to and then can't fall back asleep even though I'm still very tired.

This morning I had absolutely fabulous dreams about sharks and leeches. In the first part (I think it was the same dream), I was on this extremely long pier but the pier had a wall along one side and this shark was trying to get me. It kept ramming its head up against the bottom part of the pier as I ran back towards (presumably) shore. Every once in a while I would stop and lean against the inexplicable wall and the shark would know where I was and just batter the hell out of the underneath. Boards were popping up all around me. I finally get to the beginning of the pier, but it doesn't go all the way to the beach, but stops at a man-made reef (for lack of the correct term) consisting of lots and lots of rocks. There is very wide expanse of sea I still have to cross to get to the beach, but I believed that the shark could still get me. But the shark sort of ceased to matter because there were all these people on this reef and one of them kept cutting up what looked like jellyfish, but I knew were leeches and the person was throwing them into the area of the sea I need to go through to get to the beach, and I kept pulling the leeches off me, but more would take their place. I woke up with the willies.

Last night was a good time at my Grandma's house. The OS brought the new puppy, Swiffer and he was a hit! And my one cousin showed up with her 5-month old baby and in my family, all babies are a hit. I got to feed him and burp him and everybody commented that I should have one of my own – knowing damn well that my plan is NEVER to have children. Yes, they're cute. Yes, I love them. But no, I do not want any of my own! There was a discussion last night about favorite sounds. As my nephew crawled all over me, I said my favorite sound was the quiet of my apartment after spending a few hours with the Terror Children. Everybody else was getting all philosophical – the sound my baby makes when it first wakes up, the sound of the hardware clanking on a flagpole, etc. It's darn hard for me to be philosophical about sound when there are yelling kids around. And trust me, I don't begrudge them the yelling because their parents do.

My 12-year-old cousin just called to see if I wanted to go to the Tigers game tonight with him. His friend and friend's father had two tickets but weren't able to use them, so offered them to the G-man. My uncle is out of town and my aunt wasn't really interested in going, so someone suggested they try me. Yay! Jeremy Bonderman pitches tonight and he's our best pitcher so it's always good to see him pitch. The Tigers are on a five game winning streak after beating the A's last night. They are within one game of .500 and every time they get close, they get nervous or something because they have not yet quite reached .500. I want them to continue their winning ways! Especially if I'm there! *fingers crossed*


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

All Sorts of Musings and Meanderings

Pretty much the quickest to piss me off is to try to tell me to do something or in the case of the guy at the gym yesterday to tell me that because he doesn't get sick in more adverse conditions that I can't get sick. I think he figured out he pissed me off because he didn't say anything else after that. This was all in response to me not going to the gym on Friday when I was home sleeping feeling like shit. What is it with people who don't get sick. Yes, I'm happy for you, but unfortunately, I do not have the ability to ward off germs like you. I'm very sorry if that annoys you, but guess what, it fucking annoys me worse! Does anybody really think that I wanted to feel like shit on MY BIRTHDAY??

Okay, I'm over that now.

I finally watched Sideways last night. It was an enjoyable movie, for the most part. As long as I didn't think about the loser Jack intent on cheating on his very soon to be wife. I'm sorry but I have cheating issues. Yes, I know it's a movie, but there are guys out there who think it's okay to sleep around before they get married in a week, because they won't be able to afterwards. Uh, sorry. If you're willing to do it a week before the wedding, why do I think you won't do it after the wedding? The wine stuff was way over my head. I either like a wine or I don't. I'm not overanalysing it, basically, because I do not have a "sharp palate." I certainly can't tell if a wine is "oaky" or whatever. It's wine, you drink it. Sorry, Jason. ;-) And can somebody please explain the title to me? Why Sideways?

Pat Robertson is a good Christian or not. WTF? Calling for the assassination of another country's president? I'm pretty sure there is not a God in existence, even Robertson's, who would approve of this. Here is the final paragraph of the article reminding readers of previous idiocy that has come from this "Christian" man:

Robertson has made controversial statements in the past. In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

Clarity shared with her readers memories of her father (who is in Iraq) cutting the grass while she would stand inside and watch and then get him a glass of ice water when he'd finish. My father (Former Father) pawned the grass cutting chore off on to his kids as early as possible. First my older brother, then my older sister and then me. I would say I was cutting the grass by the fourth grade. Someone would cut the front and then somebody else would cut the back. I honestly don't ever remember my father cutting the grass. I remember him fertilizing the lawn with a SCOTT machine (we saw one for sale at a garage sale over the weekend). I remember my Mom cutting the grass and her white Keds being all green from it when I was in college and was never home to cut the grass because I was always working or studying. I remember that in the winter when the walks needed to be shoveled that we kids would do it or again later on my Mom doing it. I would say that my father had kids so that he wouldn't have to do the shitty jobs around the house. To this day you won't catch me gardening as I HATE weeding. I live in an apartment so that I don't have to cut the damn grass, edge the lawn along the sidewalk, plant flowers or a garden, etc. It is just not my idea of fun. I know I complain about FF a lot and you're probably thinking, Geez, Kathleen, do you have any good memories of him?

That's a really good question. Let me think. Um, no, I can't think of any offhand, but I'll try to come up with some. YS did point out the other day that it was thanks to FF that we all have very eclectic tastes in music, including classical. Of course, I can't thank him for my love of punk or rock music as he hated them. One summer, my parents and YS and LB were away in California on vacation. I was home because I was in college and had to work in order to pay for college. While they were gone, I was BLASTING my Billy Idol albums on FF's really nice stereo system (we were allowed – don't stress – maybe not the BLASTING part, but we were allowed to use it) whenever I was home. And since it was summertime and this was before the prevalent use of central air windows and doors were open. One day I was outside hanging clothes on the line (the dryer never worked properly and got too hot so all clothes had to be hung) and Mr. L next door was in the backyard and greeted me. "Hey Kathleen. Your parents are away on vacation?" "Oh yes, they're in California." "I had a feeling with the fine music that's been coming from your house this week." I was mortified, and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll turn it down." "No, no need to do that. You kids don't get to break out enough. You enjoy your music while you can." I mean, even the neighbors knew what a jackass FF was. And besides I wasn't playing late into the night, it was usually during the day/evening.

Okay, I remembered one. I apparently was more in need of FF's approval than the rest of my siblings because I bit the classical music bug pretty hard – not to the exclusion of all else – but I had a thing for Beethoven's 9th Symphony. And one year the DSO was playing it and FF actually got tickets and took Mom and me. I don't think he did that for the other kids, but he might have. Of course, back then the DSO played at Ford Auditorium which was a POS acoustically, but I certainly didn't know that at the time and was just over the moon that FF was doing something just for me which is not something that happens very often when you're one of five children.

When we were kids he would play softball every Tuesday night in the summertime. This meant that we got a kids' meal earlier than usual dinner (and by kids' meal, I don't mean fast food, I mean waffles and sausage or hot dogs and Chef Boyardee – shit my father would NOT eat), and then sometimes Mom would take us all down to Hines Park where FF would play softball in his employer's league. We loved it because we could run around and play on swings, etc. with the other kids. I did enjoy FF's softball league.

I just read this story which reminded me of my own athletic team tryouts in grade school and high school. I got cut from every team for which I tried out. I am just not athletic, but FF was a high school football star, sports were important to him, so I tried out because I thought it was one way to get his approval. And it does not help when OB and OS actually make teams. I felt like the biggest loser when I didn't make the girls softball team in grade school. I tried so hard I remember chasing a ball on the school parking lot (I think the diamond was either being used by the boys or it was rained out) and completely wiping out on the gravel and crap at the end where nobody ever went. I was a mess from that wipeout. OS, of course, made the team. I didn't bother trying out the next year as who needs that pain and embarrassment twice in a lifetime. But then in high school, we got a girls soccer team. I figured this was something I could do. The coach had his preferred girls already picked out though, and he only ONCE came to where I was doing practice drills and of course, I was so nervous I messed up. That was it. He cut only two people – and once again OS made the team while I proved once again that I'm sadly lacking in athletic abilities. And like the "most kids" in the news story, I didn't go back the following year to try again.

My sister has (or had) a cheerleading trophy, a softball trophy and probably a bowling trophy. My only sporting trophy was for my intramural girls soccer team which won the school championship one year…and of course, the team invited OS to be on the team after her team had gotten eliminated (this was allowed), so she got the damn plaque too.

It's a really good thing that I don't allow my self-esteem to be sucked down the drain by my complete suckiness at sports. And I stopped caring years ago about getting FF to like me or approve of me. It's a lost cause and I know that it is his problem and not mine.

So, how's that for a completely convoluted fucked up entry? Have a jimdandy Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Lots more Tigers!

Happy Monday, All! I'm feeling much better than I did on Friday, that's for darn sure. I left work at 8:30 and went straight to bed. Of course, being my birthday, my phone was ringing off the freaking hook. I just wanna sleep!!! I slept for about three hours and got some more cleaning done, including vacuuming which I hate with a passion. The cats aren't overly fond of it either. After lugging boxes around the apt. and vacuuming I took a shower and then crawled right back into bed. I am telling you, NO ENERGY, and generally feeling not that fabulous. HRH called around 4:00 p.m. to say she was on the bridge and should be through in ten minutes (never ever ever guestimate how long crossing the border will take you). An hour later she showed up (I'm a 20 minute drive from the bridge on a bad day) and since she had heard that there was a bar downtown called Hockeytown she wanted to check it out. BTW, if you ever go there and decide you want a Labatt Blue, make sure you're prepared for The Big Blue which is 25.3 fluid ounces (or something very similar to that number – yes, the equivalent of 3 beers). Thank God I was not driving.

The Tigers had a great run over the weekend. They won Friday night when I was at the game along with what was supposed to have been 31 other friends and family members. Three people did not show up, but my sister made it. All three people had called, so they're not in trouble. ;-) Saturday I veged out completely (i.e., sobered up) until it was time to go to dinner with Mom for my b-day. I got to pick, so we all know what I chose. Yup, the Traffic Jam & Snug. We shared the large size of the black bean & cheese nachos and they were yummy. For dessert, I got Carlotta Chocolatta Ice Cream Cheesecake. It's so good, but soooo RICH! That was literally my excitement for Saturday…other than suffering through Mom's driving. Dear God, remind me never to let my mother drive again. I thought it would be good for her because we've gone downtown a number of times, but she always avers that she doesn't know where she's going because either YS or I do the driving, so I figured I'd let her do the driving and that way she would have to pay attention. Yeah, I was wrong. First off, there's no such thing as paying attention to the road when there are cool clouds to check out. And then my mom seems to have issues with the gas pedal. Not a big fan of "putting the hammer down" my mother. No, she thought that getting on I-94 doing 45-50mph was sufficient. ARGH!!! I wanted to repeat my inimitable drivers ed instructor from oh so many years ago, "Put your foot to the floor or I'll do it for you." Yeah, he was a charmer, or something. I managed not to hyperventilate and eventually Mom got the speedometer up to 60 mph so I didn't feel like the semi was going to run over the top of us. NEVER AGAIN!

Sunday was one of those super busy days where you just want to collapse at the end of the day. Usual Mass at 9:30, but sans MCJ, organist/choir director extraordinaire, and that's always a good thing. It was the 3rd Sunday too so she would have given the homily (I'm sure I'll have to suffer through it next week though). As it was our usual-75-minute-Mass was over and done with in less than an hour, which was a good thing since I had to be at Glen's by 11:30. I had time to hang around, chit chat and still get to the house early. Glen had gotten majorly fabulous tickets to the Tigers game and he wanted to get there early to watch warm-up. Well, we got down there on time, but one of our party didn't know that I-96 was completely closed off heading into downtown, so he was WAY late. We missed the warm-up and the free Troy Percival Bobblehead doll giveaway. Glen figures he'll never pitch for us again, so it's not a huge deal. However, if it had been a Brandon Inge Bobblehead Doll Giveaway, you could bet good money that I would have gone in and gotten one. He would make a very nice addition to my collection of Detroit Famous People Bobbleheads. It's a very eclectic collection consisting of My Igor (Larionov), of course, and Neeme Jarvi, Director Emeritus of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The Tigers won Saturday night in the 13th inning which I did not watch, but I definitely watched yesterday's game. We had BRILLIANT seats right behind the Visitors' Dugout way to the left side of the dugout, i.e., home plate was RIGHT THERE! And we got to see a show starting right in the first inning. Sean Douglass was the starting pitcher and got the Blue Jays out 1-2-3. The Tiges got up to bat and somehow managed to get seven runs in the first inning! The second inning had the Blue Jays going down 1-2-3 again, whereas the Tigers got two more runs. By the time it was all over the score was 17-6. It was completely insane. I felt sorry for the Blue Jays' starting pitcher, Dustin McGowan. And for the record, Russ Adams, the Blue Jays' shortstop is officially a nice guy. When a ball went foul toward the dugout while Mr. Adams was in the batting circle, he picked up the ball and threw it directly to a little kid who was totally on the ball and saw where the ball went and was right there. And then when he was in the field, Glen saw some garbage blowing through the diamond and Mr. Adams the Good picked it up and put it in his pocket. So, for the record, Russ Adams is my favorite Toronto Blue Jays player.

And to the Fat Ugly Old Guy – let the kids have the baseballs. He actually used his mitt to get a ball thrown to a kid and then KEPT IT! I just have to believe that karma will bite him in his fat ass one day. The kid had been patiently waiting before the game and then after the game and finally when one is thrown to him, FUOG used his mitt to get the ball and then he kept trying to get a player to sign it. Glen thinks the guy is a professional autograph hound who is probably going to sell the ball. Jerkface. Twit. Jackass. Loser.

And on that upbeat note, I'm going to sign off for today. TTFN!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Nothing Exciting

Yesterday I went to the gym as always and after getting my fat percentage checked (I'm down one whole percentage point) I got onto my favorite elliptical machine (the one in front of ESPN, but not the one that smells) and found that I had ZERO energy. I didn't think anything of it at first because I figured I just needed to get warmed up. Well, it never happened. I forced myself to do 30 minutes but it was a baby speed. When I finally got off, I realised that not only did I have no energy I was also nauseous and light-headed. I stopped at Merchants on the way home because I needed something to eat and I knew I didn't have the energy to fix anything. Thankfully they had the Kathleen Salad (way far down in the post) as well as good chocolate bars 3 for $5. They were out of the good margarita mix (good meaning that it's not made with high fructose corn syrup), so I got a different one. Then I went home, ate some of the salad and then crashed. I was actually cold. I can't remember the last time I was cold in my apartment. I figured it wasn't a good sign. I ended up taking a good hour nap which was not in the plan. The cleaning last night consisted of taking out the garbage and putting videos and books away and then shoving boxes into my massive living room closet. I still have more boxes with which to deal, but I just couldn't. I took a shower and went to bed. Today I need to vacuum and figure out where HRH is going to sleep. I hope she wants to sleep on the couch because that's a helluva lot easier than dragging the futon off the frame (it's better that way, trust me) and making it up. Too damn hot for that much exertion.

I almost didn't come to work this morning, but I have an agenda to get out, a meeting to attend at 7:30, and I believe that if you are too sick to go to work, you're too sick to go out, which would have been a problem since I have 31 people meeting at Tiger Stadium tonight (yes, I know it's called Comerica Park, but in my mind, the Tigers play at Tiger Stadium and that's all there is to it), so I have to be there – besides the fact that I've been looking forward to this for almost a month! I'm going!

I've had my meeting, now to track down some engineers and get agenda items, then I'm going the hell home to bed!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Swear Words and more Baseball

I took the What Curse Word Are You? Quiz which I found at TrueJerseyGirl's blog. It's a complete shocker than my word is not the well-known F one.

Your word is SHIT. You are laid back and relaxed,
and most people like you. You don't especially
want to stand out from the crowd, you are
pretty happy with your lot.

Which Swear (Curse) Word Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

When I got to the gym yesterday and got my usual elliptical machine right in front of the TV that shows ESPN I noticed that they were showing the Boston/Detroit baseball game. Cool. Didn't need my book. As I'm watching though, I notice something quite intriguing. The Boston Red Sox were apparently playing the game against nobody. I finally commented to the guy next to me that ESPN was simply ignoring the Tigers' existence. He said, "Well, it's a national broadcast (DUH) and they're the World Series Champs." Uh huh. I understand that, but dear God. The shit they were saying. At the time I started watching the Red Sox were down 5-2. They got one run and then that same inning Chris Shelton (a great addition at first base) hit a homer with nobody on. At the end of that inning, "Boston came within 4 of tying the game." Or something like that. I just looked at the TV and couldn't believe it. They were spinning everything to be in Boston's favor. Now mind you, I like Boston. I was cheering for them last year when they beat the Yankees and then went on to take care of St. Louis for their first World Series in 40 million years or whatever the actual count was. But I don't root for them over my Boys and I just think a little balanced announcing would be nice. Literally, when the Tigers were up to bat they talked only about the Boston pitcher. Then when Boston was at bat, they only talked about the Boston batters. They wanted Boston to win that game so badly, they could taste it. By the end of the game I had moved onto the treadmill, so there was a different guy next to me. I turned to him and said, "ESPN Is going to be really pissed when the Tigers win this game." It was very close, but the Tiges held on in the top of the 9th to retire the side on a double play ball hit by David Ortiz who had killed us the night before and win 6-5. Good job to Placido and Brandon for that beautiful double play! And of course, a very nice catch by Chris Shelton. Woohoo!!! Now, please, dear Tigers, deliver me a birthday win tomorrow night against the Blue Jays!!!

African Photo Map

I found this article about the human imprint upon Africa to be quite fascinating. There is only the one picture included in the article, but I would say that the old adage "One picture speaks a thousand words" to be singularly apt.

A quote:

One hundred thousand images, 70,000 miles and 21 countries later, conservationist J. Michael Fay thinks Bono, Live 8 and the G-8 have been misguided.

Fay, a biologist and member of the Wildlife Conservation Society and National Geographic Society, spent seven months flying at low altitudes across Africa, and he has mapped enough of the human footprint on his trip to be disturbed, he said at a news conference Wednesday to highlight his findings.

"People aren't connecting the dots," he said of African relief efforts. "We gotta stop talking about poverty alleviation, and we gotta start talking about sustainable development."

Maze-like buildings, Apartment Cleaning and Exercycles!

The building in which I work is so huge that for the first year I worked here I was scared to leave my desk for fear of getting lost. The first few weeks I was lucky to find my desk, but would break out into hives if I had to talk to my boss, since I wasn't sure how to get to his desk from mine. This building is a maze, an absolute maze. I remember that within my first month I had to find my cousin's fiance's desk. It wasn't far, but I honestly had no clue how to find it. I was so relieved when I got there, but then had to find my way back. Now I can do it w/o even thinking about it, but back then? I was near tears. I HATE being lost and feeling like an idiot.

There are directories located every ten feet or so which is helpful, but then you feel like a moe because nobody else is stopping to look at it. At least, that's how it felt. Now I see people all the time with that "I'm so fucking lost" look on their faces and I will usually stop to see if they need help.

The year I started here we had a huge mother snow storm in December and when I went outside to go to work, I took one look at my car which was literally a block of friggin' ice and figured out that I could see my building from my street and that I would be outside less time than if I broke my car out of its iceblock. I walk to the nearest door but my desk was on the complete opposite end of the building – a good half mile as the crow flies – and I literally had no idea how to get there. I walked into one area and even though there was a foot of snow on the ground and it was only 7:00 a.m. I found a man to whom I had sent e-mails in his office. I introduced myself and asked how on earth I could get to my zone. He told me and I left not very confidently. I walked along and just felt that I was never going to get comfortable in this building and that I was going to have to find my way back somehow. I found another person along the way and he gave me further instructions. I eventually found my desk, but was not in the least bit confident that I could find my way home. Sure, I could have easily walked outside, but it was bloody cold and that wasn't going to happen. I don't like being cold.

Within a few months, I was walking to work every day and feeling relatively confident in finding my way around the building. I even walk the hallways on my way home reading my book. People always have to comment on that usually by saying, "Must be a really good book." My normal response is just a smile, but I always think, "No, but it's more interesting than these white walls." Am I the only person who reads while walking? When I worked at a certain fast food burger chain (Have It Your Way) back in high school and college, I walked to work because I didn't get my driver license until I was almost 20 years old. And on that walk I would read a book. It just passed the time more pleasantly. But apparently it's a weird thing to do.

I have taken to driving to work this week though. I can't afford the time loss that walking home, changing clothes and then driving to the gym take. I have to get my silly apt. clean! The dining room is as good as it's going to get at this point. The hallway and living room need some serious work and that's on today's agenda. If I don't get it done tonight I'll have to forego the gym tomorrow and just go straight home. I must admit that I'll be glad when it's clean and that I'm really glad HRH is coming in for the baseball game as it was the incentive I needed to take the time to do this hideous task.

And I've found someone who wants my recumbent bicycle. Yay!!! I hate that damn thing and now that I'm going to the gym daily, I certainly don't need it taking up precious space in my living room. I hope my friend from church can come tomorrow to pick it up, but I have a feeling that this weekend will be a bit more realistic. I just want that sucker gone!!! She's tired of her ten-year-old Stairmaster and thinks this will be a nice change of space.

Hard to write anything interesting or exciting when all I've done is work, exercise and then clean. Is it naptime?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


The baseball game last night was amazing! And I must start off by saying, "I'm very very very sorry" to the Tigers for having no faith in them yesterday. Not only did they beat the BoSox, they did with a come from behind victory in the bottom of the 9th. And I must say Thank you to them, as well, for taking care of business in the 9th and not just tying it up and making us go into extra innings, because I was already damn tired. As it was, it was 11:30 before I got to bed and then it took me longer to wind down. I have NO voice today and my throat hurts a touch. That's what I get for screaming and yelling. As much as I love hockey and Champ Car racing, there aren't the fabulous opportunities for yelling that a baseball game provides – even if you're way out in right field. I'm sure they all can hear me screaming their names individually, don't you think? ;-)

I remember thinking partway through the game that the fans were being lame, not cheering and hollering like they should, but then they came through in the 8th inning (I think it was the 8th) when somehow they got the Wave going and it went around the entire stadium at least ten times and the upper deck even got involved. It was very cool.

In the bottom of the 8th we were down 6-3 but managed one run before the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox put in Curt Schilling with two outs and Curtis Granderson up. I didn't understand that at all. First off, I didn't realise that Schilling had been made into a closer, so I was VERY confused and then to put him in against Curtis Granderson?? I mean, he's not like a household name, even here in Detroit! Whatever. Schilling struck out the man I kept referring to as Our Swede (he's not, as far as I know, but I decided I was wearing my Swedish coin earrings for him). The Boys of Summer came through and got the Sox out 1-2-4 in the top of the 9th and then it was on to face Mr. Schilling once more. Up to this point I had completely forgotten about putting on my rally cap, but I saw a little girl with hers on and I immediately transferred mine into its rally power and had the Mexillents put their brand new Tigers hats on in a rally-mode! I spent most of the 9th inning on my feet, clapping my hands until they were red, swollen and sore, and cheering for every one of my batters. First up was Placido Polanco, who was a marvelous pick-up mid-season and he got on with a single. WOOHOO!!! Lots of cheering and yelling! Up came DY, our DH. He had gotten out every time up to bat in this game, so I yelled that it was time to do something. And do something he did! He got a triple! According to the paper, he would have been out at third if the throw had been spot-on, but it wasn't and he slid headfirst into third. SAFE!!! It was now 6-5. Tram replaces DY with Nook Logan, a very speedy guy, as pinch runner. Mags aka Magglio Ordoñez (what a great pick-up that was – thanks White Sox for letting him go) is up next. And he gets a single which brings Nook home quite easily – no need for his speed as he practically walked across home plate. I so did not want this game to go into extra innings. I kept imploring my boys to finish the game NOW!

Schilling next walked Craig Monroe which put my Brandon at the plate. Unfortunately, Brandon struck out swinging. This brought up John MacDonald who had replaced Omar Infante at shortstop after Omar did not run out what he thought was a foul ball but ended being fair in the 8th. After the throwing error Omar had made earlier in the game, a good sitting down and talking to was in order. So, this John MacDonald character of whom I knew nothing comes up to bat. And delivers an absolutely beautiful single to left which rolled into the corner. This brought home Mags and that's all we needed! The Tigers fans in the crowd were going crazy whereas the Boston fans were a tad crestfallen by seeing their heroes fall to the lowly Detroit team. Sorry, kids, but you still have the World Series, comfort yourselves with that.

Oh yeah, and there were two streakers in the 6th inning. I was more amused by the Boston players' response to the streakers than the streakers themselves. The players just stood there and waited patiently, as if this happens all the time at Fenway. Literally, there was no reaction from Johnny Damon or the left fielder. They simply waited for the guys to get caught and taken away. Someone said, "Talk about the perp walk of shame." The guards took the two naked guys out up an aisle between very full sections. Egads. And if you don’t know the consequences and are thinking that streaking sounds like a good idea, the two guys will now be on the Sexual Offenders Registry to say nothing of the remaining charges they'll face. I can't imagine it's worth it.

I hope last night's win wasn't a fluke and they're able to get one more from the Sox before they leave town – and get all geared up for Toronto this weekend. A win for my birthday would be so fun!!! Go Tigers!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ridiculous Criminals, Grammar Lessons, Presents, and Puppies!

What on earth do you expect to happen when you kill a corrections officer? I believe in rights and all, but to fight extradition? You know it's going to happen, it's not like the fugitives made it to France, so just give in peacefully and go back to Tennessee and face the consequences of your actions.

This was the second escape I read about where some stupid woman got sucked in by a violent felon and decided to help him escape. So, now instead of being able to visit the love of your life, you get to spend time in your own prison cell and not see said Love ever again (for the most part). Do people think at all anymore???

"I have went through…" - *wince* I just heard this said at a desk near me. This example of someone who wasn't paying attention in grade school, but somehow got through college just makes me crazy. I might have mentioned this woman with whom I shared a cube when I first start working here who used to say "I seen…" and "I had saw…" I nearly dented my skull banging my head on the desk. And the best part? She thought she was so much smarter than everybody else. Uh, no, sweetheart.

For the record, it's "I saw the bird (or whatever the fuck you saw)." And "I have seen…" Got it? Excellent!

Friday I went down to Greektown for a very late lunch/early dinner with LB, YS, Grandma, Grandma's husband, my cousin and her baby. Had a very lovely lunch, of course, and then wandered down the street checking stuff out while LB, Grandma and GH went into the casino to get the parking stubs validated (only good thing about the casino, IMHO). The local over the top pastry bakery had one of those dry erase boards sitting outside their door with a list of goodies that they sell. The sign read: Latte's, Cappuccino's along with a bunch of other things with an apostrophe to indicate PLURAL. I went up to the sign and very methodically erased all the extraneous apostrophes. The funny thing was that they also sold milkshakes and didn't use the apostrophe on that word. I easily erased ten apostrophes from that sign. I wish I had had time to go back down there on Saturday to see if they had added them back in.

Yesterday at church there was a priest there (there were actually a throng of priests present at it was a special Mass for men taking vows to continue in their priesthoodness, and I guess priests turn out in force to show support) who looked like George Dubya Bush. Can you imagine how disconcerting it must be to see that face looking back at you every morning? *shudder*

I have gotten some early b-day presents and I must admit that I enjoy b-day presents, be they early or late. I like to think that late presents just extend the b-day celebrations. My very first presents I got two weeks ago from my friend Sunshine/Railroad. I got The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow which was my very first The Smiths' tape, but I just never got around to buying it for myself on CD. It was technically from her son, though. That two year old has great taste in music! She and her husband got me the Schoolhouse Rock DVD which is just super duper cool. Hey, it was from the 70s, right, so I gotta talk like the 70s! ;-)

My third present was from my Rabid Republican Aunt (RRA) who is also my godmother. She got me some sort of floating frog tray for the bathtub. Sure, it's cute, how could rubber frogs not be cute, but what the hell am I going to do with it? When I take a bath, it's to relax, not play with tub toys. I stopped doing that some years ago. Ah well, they're cute, right?

My fourth and fifth presents completely kicked ass (as did the first two). My friend Adam who moved to SoCal earlier this summer was back for a few days as his GF is defending her dissertation tomorrow (Good luck, Laura! Everybody think good thoughts for Laura tomorrow), so I had a chance to spend a few hours with him yesterday. He gave me a new pair of Chuck Taylors, and we all know how I love my Chucks. My new Chucks are even called Goth! (7th pair down) How cool are those? I think they're very cool. And the fifth present? An official-straight-from-France Tour de France yellow T-shirt from Glen and Julieu! Woohoo!!! I'm wearing it to the gym today and going to make everybody oh so jealous of my fabulous camiseta!!!

OS and her family drove 4.5 hours to Ohio this past Saturday to get a puppy. Yup, 4.5 hours there and 4.5 hours back. OS's husband named him Swiffer because he looks a tad like a mop. Swiffer is a Malt-a-poo (or however the hell they spell it) which is a Maltese/Poodle Mix. Ah, the people who know such things seem to spell it Malti-Poo. Oh, but wait, a different website spells it, Malte-Poo, so there's apparently some dissent within the dog breeding industry. Ah, on further inspection, my original spelling is also a contender. This is so exciting.

Swiffer is all white, and looks more like this. YS, LB, Mom and I went over Saturday night to meet the newest member of the family and I have to say that Swiffer is pretty freaking cute. The reason they drove across the country to get this particular dog is because it has hair, not fur, and supposedly doesn't shed. OS and Nephew are very very allergic. They knew somebody who had gotten Swiffer's sister, Tina (a shout out to all you Napoleon Dynamite fans out there), and OS was able to put her face in Tina's fur w/o a problem. I guess the family needed a dog, because now they have one.

I'm a fan of the use of the adverb – something that doesn't happen very often these days, I've noticed, and it's just so easy. The other day I used "fuckedupedly" which I think might have been the first documented use of the F-word as adverb. Mom was most impressed, but said that if anybody were going to do use it adverbially, it would be me.

Tonight I'm going to the Tigers game. They're playing…let me check…ah, Boston, shit, they're going to lose. Ah well, good thing I'm prepared for that. As Glenpointed out in his blog today, we need our high-priced talent to get a move on. Enough of this shit. Of course, trading our best reliever for two minor-leagues who did nothing when they were at Atlanta was not the smartest move, but then again, remember that the Tigers originally drafted John Smoltz and then traded him away for CRAP.

And somehow between now and Friday afternoon I have to get my apt. in some semblance of an order since my friend HRH is coming to town for the birthday baseball game and I'm sure she'll be staying with me. So much to do, so little time. I spent a couple of hours on Saturday working on the mess that is my apt., but couldn't spend all day like I wanted since it was LB's last day in town. I have a total of 32 people going to the baseball game on Friday and I'm pretty darn excited. And since it's my aunt and uncle's anniversary that night, I'm having that little tidbit of information flash across the screen. My group sales contact said it'll be up between the top and bottom of the fifth innings. I don't know that we'll be able to see it though, since we're sitting in left field. ARGH!!!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Game On!

I participated in this game over at TrueJerseyGirl, so now I have to play as well.

1) Reply with your name, and I'll respond with something random about you.

2) I'll tell you what song/or movie reminds me of you.

3) I'll pick a color/flavor of jello to wrestle with you in. (Maybe)

4) I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.

5) I'll tell you my first memory of you.

6) I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.

7) I'll ask you something I've always wondered about you.

8) If I do this for you, you must post this on your blog. You MUST. It is written.

Picnics, Four Square and The Muppets

This past Wednesday was my department picnic, which I very half-assedly arranged at the request of the Bossman. The good thing is that despite my half-assedness and the friggin' rain, it turned out pretty well. At the end there was only a half of a pizza left and some salad. I hate ordering pizza for 24 people. I know how to order pizza for one person – me! And I’m very good at it, but 24? ARGH! And the good thing about the half of a leftover pizza was that it was the veggie variety, so it's in my fridge. Yay!

Rain had been forecast but how often do the weather forecasters actually get it right? Exactly! When you have a picnic planned! Thankfully it started with a few sprinkles, so we had time to grab the food and pop and jump into our cars and drive to the other side of the park where there was a pavilion. After less than an hour the rain stopped (it came down HARD), and in an effort to get people involved in the few activities I had conjured up, I started playing catch with our summer intern, much to the amusement of all the men in the department. Yes, I throw like a girl. I'm a girl. I've come to terms with this. And when I try to throw the "correct way," the ball doesn't go anywhere near where I want it to go. Throwing like a girl works for me. Deal with it.

The problem with "throwing like a girl" is that my arm does the throwing, so it gets tired easily (and the muscles are achy). Somehow I'm supposed to use my body to propel the ball forward, but as I told some of the men who tried to teach me otherwise on Wednesday, I have been throwing this way for damn near 40 years (I wasn't really throwing as an infant), so it's just the way it is.

A few of us got involved in a hardcore game of Four Square. I haven't played since the University (I had already graduated, but was working there and after work I'd head over to the radio station to hang with my friends, so we would play outside the station with masking tape marking the squares). It's a fun game. Finally, the picnic broke up with a number of people going back to work (die-hards), a couple of people heading off to the a local bar, while some of us stayed and played Four Square some more. We finally headed home when flies started biting us. Little fuckers hurt!

Yesterday I only did an hour of the elliptical at the gym because I had an important mission. I had to find my tape of The Muppet Movie soundtrack, as I have no clue where my CD is. Years ago LB and YS started doing a puppet show to the soundtrack with the various Muppets they had received as presents (this was many years ago when YS was in single digits). Now every few years they break out the Muppets and put on the show for the latest generation of terror children in the family. This year it was my niece and two nephews turn for the show. They thought it was hilarious and got tremendously silly at first, but finally settled down and enjoyed the show. They need a new Miss Piggy as she's apparently falling apart (and looking quite skinny). YS and LB don't fit behind the couch as easily as they did in the beginning, but that's part of the fun at this point, since I've seen the show so many times. Miss Piggy makes eyes at Kermie, Fozzie does his Wokka Wokka look and Gonzo puts on a showstopping version of "I'm Going To Go Back There Someday."

What brought about the biggest laughs though (because my family is classy that way) was when LB farted while behind the couch with YS. It took a few seconds, but then the odor came wafting out as YS scrambled as quickly as possible out from behind the couch and we all escaped the room. The funniest part was when LB said, "I didn't know it was going to be so loud." SIL retorted, "The sound wasn't the problem." And we all lost it in gales of laughter once more.

That was my exciting last two days ending with my two terror nephews being complete smart alecks and calling me, "Sweetie pie." It sounds completely hilarious coming out of the mouths of a 5 and 4 year old!

I'm outta here early today because I'm going to a late lunch with LB, YS and Grandma! Rumor has it we're going to Greektown. YUMMY!!!

And don't forget that if you live in the Denver area, the Champ Cars will be racing around the Pepsi Center once again. Go down and check them out!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Killer Trains

I don't fear a lot of things, but my one major fear is trains. You will almost never find me in my car creeping slowly over railroad tracks. It does NOT happen. I fly over those suckers and I don't fucking care if it's bad for my shocks. I've seen or heard too many reports about people whose cars have gotten stuck on the tracks with a train coming and that freaks my shit right out. I have no clue how cars get stuck, but I can guarandamntee you that my car will not be one of them. And just to feed my fear, I watched Investigative Reports yesterday on A&E and the show was called Danger on the Rails or some such thing. If there is a show that somebody with my fear of trains and railroad tracks does not need to watch, it's this show. Bloody hell. Here is a stat from the show: "Every 90 minutes a person in this country (U.S.) gets hit by a train!" WTF!!!! And I trust Bill Curtis. That man does not lie.

They covered all kinds of trains (i.e., freight, commuter, Amtrak) and railroad crossings. The one that just about had me in tears was a commuter train problem. I think they said it was in Chicago. The video showed all these people running across the tracks after getting off the train. The gates were down and flashing. There was a train sitting still in the near tracks, the far tracks empty. They highlight one woman in black who looked and then stepped back and decided to wait. They then showed two other people who went rushing past the woman in black. A train moving at a high rate of speed appears in the far track and just as it's about to hit one of the two people the screen went blank. Trust me, it was enough. I knew what happened and it didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. In fact just thinking about it gives me the chills and makes me feel a bit like throwing up.

The show also interviewed people who had family members who had gone around the railroad track barriers trying to beat the train. DON'T EVER FUCKING DO THAT!!! It's so not worth the miniscule amount of time you might make up. And especially don't do it with me in the car. For many many years, I could not walk across railroad tracks. Thankfully the main street by my apt. has a railroad trestle overpass, so I can walk down and under to get to the shops and restaurants that I patron. I have reached the point where I can walk across them, but you'll never see me dawdling there.

I don't know if I have told this story before, but if I did, tough noogies. I'm telling it again.

When I lived in SF, I would come home during the summer, usually for at least a week. One evening after Mom got home from work we decided to walk up to Guernsey for some ice cream. This part of metro Detroit is not really walker friendly, but Mom said she knew a way to get there. Okay, I'm game. We're walking down 8 Mile and reach this point where Mom ventures off the road and into some weeds and stuff. It's hard to describe because I was too freaked out to pay much attention. She starts walking on some railroad tracks. I thought it was a short trek simply to cross said tracks. After a number of feet (we were on them much longer than I was comfortable), I finally said, "Are we going to get off of these damn tracks soon?" She just looked at me in surprise and said, "The weeds are high and scratchy." I simply said, "And trains are big and fast and kill you." I was quite literally losing my mind at this point. Mom's response? "The train isn't due for some time now." I got off the damn tracks and Mom got the hint and got off them too and led the way. Needless to say, we took a different way home. The tracks run right behind Guernsey and you would not believe the number of friggin' idiots who sit on the tracks and eat their ice cream. We crossed them there and walked through a fancy subdivision with huge-ass houses and I was a much happier camper.

When we got home I talked to YS and asked her in a high-pitched freaked out voice, "Do you know how your mother goes to Guernsey?" YS just laughed and guessed, "Along the railroad tracks?" "YES!"

And there is my biggest hugest most gargantuan fear and I've literally made myself ill thinking about this. Time to find something else to think about so I can calm down. I think my hearts going about 95 bpm. Time for some deep breathing exercises or something!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Memeing away!

I found this interesting musical "meme" at Warcrygirl's blog. The premise is to pick a band and answer the following questions using song titles. I know this will be a complete shock, but I shall be using my all-time favorite band, Joy Division.

Are you male or female: She's Lost Control

Describe yourself: Dead Souls

How do some people feel about you: Disorder

How do you feel about yourself: Insight

Describe your current significant other: No Love Lost

Describe where you want to be: Wilderness

Describe what you want to be: Heart and Soul

Describe how you live: Isolation

Describe how you love: Eternal

Share a few words of wisdom: Love Will Tear Us Apart

I didn't think that Joy Division's song lend itself well to this, but it did. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I tried to do another one using the songs of Tori Amos, but that totally didn't work.

Bertuzzi back...

No, I'm sorry, but Todd Bertuzzi should not be allowed to play another NHL game until Steve Moore can. I don't care how freaking sorry he appears to be. And I'm sure he is, although I don't consider a 17-month suspension that much of a hardship when the freaking NHL didn't play all last year!

"I believe that Mr. Bertuzzi is genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions on March 8, 2004, and the consequences that have flowed from such actions," Bettman said. Whatever, Bettman, I'm still awaiting for your letter of resignation from the debacle of what was NOT the 2004-2005 hockey season. And now this? And I'm pretty sure Mr. Bertuzzi is more regretful of the consequences of his actions. Do I think he's sorry for his actions? Probably, but the fact remains that he's a HUGE guy and Steve Moore will probably never play hockey again. And if Marc Crawford still has a job in the NHL, I'll be even more disgusted. He's put goons on the ice late in a very much decided game too many times for it to be a coincidence. He's a goon in a suit and one helluva lot of hair gel. I'd like to see him blackballed from ever coaching again in the NHL.

Danson (Steve Moore's attorney) added: "I think this is a missed opportunity to send out a very strong message. In my opinion, no matter which way you view the facts, the N.H.L. has given Bertuzzi a 19-game suspension for the most violent criminal act in N.H.L. history." And that's pretty damn hard to argue against, thank you very much.

And trust me, I hate the Colorado Avalanche, being an ardent Red Wings fan, but that which is wrong is wrong regardless of the team to which the person belongs. And I think that if one of my beloved Red Wings had done the same thing I would be saying the same thing. Of course, my beloved Red Wings would never act in such a horrible way. ;-)

More Interesting Survey than Usual

I stole this from TrueJerseyGirl. She calls it a "meme." I've seen other people call these things thusly but I have no clue why.

01. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at? The bags under my eyes and consequently the mascara remnants that gather in the corners of my eyes while sleeping. Tres attractive!

02. How much cash do you have on you? Sadly about 37 cents

03. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"? best

04. Favourite plant? Something that requires a minimum of care and effort, i.e., thrives on neglect.

05. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Unavailable, which means Martha calling from Mexico!

06. What is your main ring tone on your phone? I don't have a main ring tone as I assign separate ringtones to each individual.

07. What shirt are you wearing? Red sleeveless shirt I got at Chico's

08. Do you "label" yourself? Who? Me? Never, oh wait, or is it ALWAYS! How about fat, insecure, pathetic, loser. I'm such a negative nelly, aren't I?

09. Name brand of your shoes currently wearing? Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Hi-Tops

10. Do you prefer a bright or dark room? At work I like it when the lights are off and I just use my desktop lighting. At home while knitting or drawing, I like a nice bright room. Dark for sleeping.

11. What did you have for breakfast? Egg and cheese biscuit sandwich with a cup of decaf green tea

Yeah, where is #12?

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Soundly sleeping

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say? Aug 1, 11:53 a.m. – Lance Armstong is on David Letterman tonight (for the record, I did not watch)

15. Do you ever click on "Pop Ups" or Banners? Not usually. If I do, it's an accident.

16. What's an expression that you say a lot? Bloody Hell! Or "I'm so fucking tired."

17. Who told you they loved you last? I think Aunt Carol told me last night.

18. Last furry thing you touched? I think I patted Boris' cute little head as I passed him this morning.

19. How many hours a week do you work? 40 exactly, not a minute more since I've been told I could be terminated for working more.

20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? None, as I don't own any camera of any sort.

21. Favourite age you have been so far? 26

22. Your worst enemy? Definitely myself and my extreme underachieverness.

23. What is your current desk top picture? Bahrle and Talini lolling in the grass at the Detroit Zoo.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? I think we were discussing a part order.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to go back in time and fix all your mistakes which would you choose? The million dollars. My "mistakes" have helped make me what I am today and even though I get negative about myself sometimes I don't think I'm all that bad of a person. And who knows if my life would be better if I attempted to fix my "mistakes."

Rants, Weekends and Mothers

Okay, first off, my rant from the weekend. If you decide to buy and then drive a Red Corvette, please do not fucking drive 10 mph under the friggin' speed limit. Dumbass blonde bitch. You're in a goddamn sports car, do not drive it like a little old man in a hat in a Buick, okay? And what is up with people who feel the need to drive 5 mph under the speed limit during the No Passing Zones, but the second I have the right to pass they suddenly find their stupid gas pedal and they're doing 5mph over it!?!? I want to smack all of those people. FUCKERS!

Thanks for listening, my rant is basically over for now…at least until the next time (today) I take Hines Drive and get stuck behind some jackass who does not understand the joy of cruise/speed control.

I had a very good weekend. I know I was dreading parts of it, but it all turned out quite well.

Friday I got my workout in, got to the post office before it closed (who knew it was open until 6:00 p.m.?), bought the stuff I needed at the grocery store and flirted with a cute boy in the check-out lane (in town for a wedding). I managed to stay home that evening which was a goal of mine for the weekend. I did not get to bed by 9:00 as I had planned because I found Apollo 13 on the TV and it was on until 10:00. I've seen it before a few times, but when I have a chance to swoon over Gary Sinise, I'll take that opportunity. *huge deep sigh* ;-) One of the guys at the BBQ on Saturday just looked at me weirdly and said, "Gary Sinise isn't usually the type that people "have things for." Perhaps not, but there's something about him.

Saturday's meeting at the seminary was not what I had expected. Since it was being held at the seminary I thought that there would be archdiocesan types involved and there weren't. I'm very glad I went though because we made what were essentially MAJOR decisions regarding the merger. We also found out that the Archdiocese is giving money to help the microphone problems that are a huge issue at Precious Blood. I don’t think it's a microphone issue, but an acoustic issue, but perhaps they can do the trick. We decided on a name for the to-be-newly-merged parish, as well as some other things which I totally can't remember. The vote for Mass time was 16-14 in favor of 10:00 over 9:30. I said that a two vote difference should not be considered a mandate, but apparently we'll come to terms with that at some point. I hope we come to terms with it by having Mass at 9:30.

I got totally lost going to the seminary and there is nothing that makes me crankier than being lost and late. I hate being LOST! I had looked up directions in mapquest but the directions they gave took me on freeways that I knew were closed. I should have printed them out just for the fun of it though because my chosen way of going so did not work. I'm just glad that I was mistaken about that starting time (I thought it started at 9:00, but it was actually 9:30), so I wasn't late like I thought. We also chose a date for the Closing Mass and the date for the Opening of the new parish. They chose my dates and reasoning for that so I was pretty happy – now to win on the 9:30 mass time. ;-)

We got through everything more quickly than originally figured so I got to go to the art store and the farm market and have time to sit and do whatever for a couple of hours before the BBQ.

I went to the BBQ about a half an hour later than the listed start time thinking that would be late enough to avoid having to play in the "mandatory" softball game. I was wrong. The guest of honor hadn't even arrived yet when I got there. The smart girls had worn sandals and skirts so they got out of playing. DAMN! I hate softball, not because it's not fun, but because I suck! My first at-bat I struck out and responded with a strongly felt, "FUCK!" One of the smart girls was taking pics and she said, "Oops, got that." WHAT??? Turns out she didn't, but it scared me for a second. My second at-bat I got a single (grounder), which I thought was an automatic out because we didn't have enough people to cover the right side of the field, but I think they were feeling sorry for me because I am so pathetically unathletic, that they said I got the base. I even scored. Woohoo! Third at-bat was another strikeout. I finally asked Ryan who was catcher if I was even close to the friggin' ball. He was sweet and lied and said Yes. ;-) My fourth at-bat was another single. Woohoo! I'm retiring while batting .500.

We will not even discuss the incredible lack of fielding abilities, even if I had been playing with Al Kaline's 1968 glove. Yes, really and truly. I do have great friends, though, who were unbelievably encouraging (thanks B and K for yelling encouragement from the field – they were on the other team). And thanks to John C for telling me that I can throw like a girl if that's the way it works for me, when I tried to throw to him in a way that I thought wasn't "girl-like" and the ball went God only knows where. I so suck at sports.

The BBQ itself was a fun evening and I stayed way too late (but it worked since thanks to Dearborn Homecoming's fireworks there was no parking on my street until after 11:00 p.m.).

Sunday was a very busy and exhausting day – to say nothing about how damn hot it was. There was Mass and then the race home to finish making the taco/Mexican layered dip, then on to the store because I had forgotten to buy chips. I also changed clothes into my new Capri pants. Everybody said they looked cute and my cousin couldn't believe this was my first pair as she spends her entire summer in them.

My cousin and my niece both tried to steal my new brown sandals (which for the record do not make my feet all that happy – but they are damn cute). I had been smart enough to buy a pair of brown low-heeled close-toed mules, so I ended up wearing those most of the day. I used to be able to run in heels! Now I can barely wear them. So sad, this getting old shit.

YS raked in the goodies at her graduation party even though she had asked for no gifts. People will just ignore that if they want to, and I, personally, don't have a problem with that. I don't think it's right to deny people the right to buy gifts, if that's what they want to do.

Well, it's now Tuesday. I wrote all the previous stuff yesterday but then had to bail as I had to get to Grandma's at some point and I was not going to give up my gym time.

My mom really pissed me off on Sunday. One of the men at church asked me if I were jogging, and Mom spoke up and said, "No, she doesn't exercise." I just looked at her and said, "Do you mind not speaking for me?" I am 40 fucking years old and my mother feels the need to answer for me as if I were 2 years old and still learning to talk in full sentences. To say nothing about the fact that she doesn't know what she's talking about. I said something about the treadmill and she spoke right up again, "Oh that's right, she does do the treadmill." She's so fucking lucky that I didn't smack the shit out of her – because I was raised properly and would never hit my mother, no matter how tempted I might be. And this is the second time she's chosen to inform me or whomever that I don't exercise. I realise that I'm not a marathon runner like the YS, and that she's Mom's favorite (no matter what Mom says), but give me a fucking break. I am perfectly capable of speaking. And as you all know because I've been bitching enough, I have been exercising since February. And the other time she mentioned my lack of exercising, I had said something about my bike, and Mom said, "YS said you're not riding that anymore." I said to her, "If you want to know what's going on in my life, I suggest you ask me. YS doesn't necessarily know everything."

I remember when OS got married, Mom indicated that now that OS was married (just out of college) that she now knew everything because she was married. And now that YS had her doctorate, she knows everything! Since I'm apparently never getting married and I know for a fact that I'm never getting an advanced degree I'll never know everything in my mother's eyes.

I'm thinking that it's time to move away again. Living within 20 miles of my mother is not working. She drives me up a bloody wall. Yes, I'm a bad daughter. I was lucky enough to avoid seeing Mom last night because I left Grandma's before she got there.

And on that exceptionally bitchy note, I'll sign off for now!

Everybody, go to Clarity's and JulieU's and wish them a Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Open Letter to My Sweetie ;'-(

Dear Jess,

I can't believe it's been one full year since you left us. I don't think I'll ever forget that day, from Paula's phone call to stopping by the house to see Patty and offer what little comfort I could. I am glad that you were able to see the beautiful quilt that Patty's sister had made for you.

I will always remember the first time we actually met in person at the inaugural U.S. 500's qualifying when it was 19 degrees Fahrenheit wind chill factor and just so bloody cold, and you were trusting enough to leave my friends and me with your nice and warm wool blanket as we foolishly stayed to the end.

And the way you let us all think that you and M were married when really you were brother and sister, and how we were all so confused that year in Cleveland when we asked Mere where her husband was and she said, "Brother." HUH? No, husband. "No, brother." You had such a laugh over that and we all still do, shaking our heads at our silliness.

Cleveland just isn't the same without you there being all annoying in your Target Chip Ganassi gear. ;-)

I also want to thank you for being such a good friend over the years, sending all those cards when I had my surgery and was home for three weeks without a computer. I also treasure the fabulous racing pictures you've given me over the years. My racing room wouldn't be the same without them.

So, Jess, I just wanted to let you know that I still love you and miss you. You were a great friend, and the only person ever to call me Cutie. You always made me feel as if I really were cute.

Love and hugs,

Weekend Preview!

My weekend is booked solid and we all know how I hate that!!! I literally will have damn near zero time for myself, and I'm sorry, but I'm single for a bloody reason. I like time to myself. I actually backed out of an outing to the Meadowbrook Music Festival tonight with Mom and aunts to hear the DSO play an All Tchaikowsky program (and we all know how much I love dear old Piotr Illych), but the thought of driving I-94 and I-75 with all the construction and then dealing with the extra traffic heading to the Concourse d'Elegance and then trying to find a way home (since they're closing I-75 tonight) was just too much for my poor tired brain to contemplate.

I'm going to start with Sunday.

Sunday will start with Mass at the normal 9:30 a.m. time which will be followed by me racing home to make the seven-layer dip I have to take to OS's house for YS's graduation party. I need to be there by 2:00 p.m. and will probably be ragged on when I try to leave around 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, which is normally my ONLY day to sleep in, will be spent at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. I have to be there by 9:00 a.m. or some other absolutely ridiculous hour (for a Saturday) and the meeting is supposed to last until 4:30. This is a meeting to discuss the merger of my church with Precious Blood. I hadn't planned on going, but then it was announced this past Sunday that we only had 11 people signed while Precious Blood had 26 or 29. I'm Catholic enough for this guilt tactic to work. Dammit. I really really don't want to go. I'm going to spend an absolutely beautiful summer Saturday sitting inside? And I'm pretty sure that the reason there are so few people from my church willing to go to this meeting is that we know that it's bullshit. We know it's the Archdiocese's way of trying to make us think that we will be active participants in the process, but it's hard to believe it when they insist on treating us like mushrooms. We *KNOW* that they have chosen Precious Blood as the church we'll be moving into, but to pretend we have a voice in the matter? That's what pisses me off. Just say straight out: "Yes, St. Francis' church is much more practical, but Precious Blood has that absolutely amazing architecture and stunning stained glass windows, and even though the acoustics are terrible and you can't actually hear the priest from the altar or the pulpit and even though it's huge and you'll never be able to afford to heat it and even though it has no air conditioning, we think it's the better option." Don't fucking lie to us. As you can see I have a really bad attitude about this. I'm just so tired of the lies that come out of the Archdiocese. If I didn't love my church family so much, I'd be ditching this crap.

After the meeting I have a BBQ to attend. A good friend is moving to TX because he's in love. Completely understandable as she is a lovely person. I'm very happy for him, but will miss him. Thankfully they aren't heading to TX right away and they'll still be here in two weeks and are going to the Tigers game with me for my b-day. Yay! There is supposedly going to be some sort of base/softball game played at the beginning of the BBQ, but I shall be doing my very best to avoid this as I suck complete athletic ass. I have no abilities whatsoever. The last time I threw a baseball/softball, YS and LB were rolling around on the ground laughing. My fragile ego can't handle much more of that. I know I suck, there's no reason to roll around on the ground. I can play catch until the cows come home (as long as people aren't laughing hysterically at my expense), but put me in the outfield and I hide from any ball hit to me. And I always get put in rightfield because "nobody hits to rightfield," but then every fucker in the game will do their best to pull the ball so that it comes to rightfield. I love watching baseball, but God, I hate playing it. I know I'm inept, I don't really need it hammered home. I wonder how late I can be to the BBQ to avoid the damn baseball game. ;-)

And then there's today. If I were to go to the concert tonight, I probably wouldn't be able to get my full workout in and we all know how I hate that. And then I would have no time to get to the grocery store to buy the stuff for the 7-layer dip that I need to make on Sunday. YS recommends that I make the sour cream/cream cheese base tonight so that the flavors have time to meld together. No, the sour cream and cream cheese don’t need to meld, it's the taco seasoning packet I'm going to add to them. So, I'm blowing off my two California aunts and Mom (and possibly YS) to stay home (or go to a friend's for some pizza). I really really really want to go to bed by 9:00 p.m. tonight – how lame am I that I am planning on going to bed at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night – since I have to get up early tomorrow morning.

And yes, for the record, I will be taking knitting with me to the meeting tomorrow. An 8 hour meeting (or 7.5 hours) is a situation ripe with knitting possibilities! To keep me from the falling asleep possibilities!

Yesterday was singularly uninteresting, so I won't bore you with the details of me working out, driving to the eye doctor's to pick up new contacts while screaming at the idiot drivers going 5mph UNDER the speed limit in both friggin' lanes and then picking up some fish for the kids (Igor once again proving that he's a weird cat as he turned his nose up at said fish) and then doing a little knitting before going to bed at 8:00 p.m. I don't know when all this extra energy from working out is going to kick in, but I keep on waiting…same as I'm waiting for the weight to drop off me.

And on that tired note, I'll sign off for the weekend. Have a great one, everybody!!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

100 Things I Like

KT shared with us, her faithful readers, her 100 Likes the other day. I thought that it was a great idea, so I'm totally copying her. I also found out that Heeland Lass did so as well. The idea is catching on!

100 Things I Like

Rules: Make a list of 100 things you like in no particular order. Avoid the obvious (significant other, cake...) and be completely honest with yourself. If you try to think of things that you are curious about and inspired by, you'll end up discovering a lot about yourself and in doing so developing a sort of bank of your interests and ideas.

For the record, I don't agree with the cake issue as I don't actually really like cake, except pound cake, but there you have it.

1. knitting
2. yoga
3. footbridges where you can play Pooh Sticks
4. Audrey Hepburn movies
5. sleeping
6. lots of blankets
7. Guinness
8. sitting on the front porch reading a book
9. silk
10. maps
11. Scottish accents
12. MAC lipstick
13. office supplies
14. sushi
15. Faygo Pineapple Orange
16. holding a baby and getting it to stop crying
17. my uncle's fabulous Swiss cheese potatoes
18. Detroit
19. rings
20. rhinos
21. fun-colored Post-it notes
22. writing letters
23. Mexico
24. Heath bars
25. spy novels
26. Champ Car
27. all that is Harry Potter
28. Netflix
29. asparagus
30. shopping with Martha
31. water
32. giving gifts
33. Canadian money
34. Hines Drive
35. yarn stores
36. jewelry that makes noise
37. staple removers
38. The Body Shop Papaya scented products
39. squirrels
40. the way babies snuggle against you
41. compact cars
42. reading while walking home
43. meeting new people
44. museums
45. Just for Redheads
46. blue jeans
47. taking a shower after a long, hot day at the racetrack (best shower ever)
48. blue skies with pretty fluffy white clouds
49. the idea of wishing wells
50. concerts
51. learning the flags of other countries
52. reading on-line diaries/blogs
53. foreign films
54. ibuprofen
55. Spanish literature
56. a good stretch
57. my boss
58. fried food (sadly)
59. pinot grigio
60. not leaving the house on cold, snowy days
61. cookbooks (sad thing is that I rarely cook)
62. watching movies with people who know how to be quiet
63. having a cat crawl into your lap while watching TV
64. watching thunderstorms from the safety of the house
65. polar bears
66. Chuck Taylor All Star High-Tops
67. my Dan Gurney for President bumper sticker
68. driving long distances alone
69. herbal teas
70. playing "keep the balloon off the floor" with a bunch of people
71. going out for ice cream/frozen custard
72. my hair short
73. trees
74. hockey
75. giving screaming, dirty-diapered babies back to their parents
76. going home after spending time with multiple loud children
77. spinning little kids around and around and around while they giggle with glee and then can't walk straight
78. tall silver slides – the ones made by American who built their name into the steps
79. Friendly's Reese's Pieces Sundae
80. having the boss tell you that you can go home early
81. summer
82. champagne
83. the soft glow candles give off in a dark room
84. grilled cheese sandwiches
85. my freckles
86. childhood memories of all the neighbor kids playing games late into the evening
87. pyramids
88. old book stores
89. orchestras
90. my ruler which is your standard ruler on one side but lists Egypt's pharaohs along with years on back
91. calling the computer help desk the Helpless Desk
92. going to baseball games with friends
93. crispy crunchy tofu from Thai Stick in San Francisco
94. enchiladas suizas
95. kissing
96. lights turning green as I approach them so I don't have to brake at all
97. blowing on babies' tummies and making that noise to watch them laugh
98. people who believe wholeheartedly in a worthwhile cause
99. timing race cars at the track – best when I have three stopwatches
100. crying at movies or books
101. hugs (yes, I can't count)

Crying and Earthquakes

I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night and when I reached the part where the major character dies tears were falling so hard that I couldn't even see the book. And I was wondering why I let myself get so involved in stuff like this. I know the characters aren't actually alive, and therefore, can't really die, but it made me think. Is it possible that I cry at books and movies which I know aren't real because it's easier to cry about something which is finite than to cry about something real in my own life which doesn't seem to have an ending? I mean if I let myself think too deeply about certain things in my life, I might never want to stop crying, so to release tension, I cry at Harry Potter and when it ends, my tears end. And I read a while back that when you cry you release chemicals, endorphins, protein and stress hormones, all of which is supposed to help you to feel better.

Last week I read an old (1977) book by Alistair MacLean called Goodbye California in which the main plotline was somebody using nuclear bombs to set off massive earthquakes in California. Therefore, I found this article from today's to be incredibly fascinating. In the book, the scientists actually explained boreholes and how they were drilling ten of them in different locations in California. This article states that they only started drilling this particular borehole a year ago, so who knows if there were boreholes being drilled back in the 70s, but it's interesting that it's come about now. At least, I think it's interesting. But I have to say that I do not miss earthquakes.