Friday, December 23, 2005

Feliz Navidad! (Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa)

Hey! Look! An Entry! How exciting!

I can't remember (and am too lazy to check) if I wished you all a very Happy Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.), and since there are three people here at work today, I thought I would take the time to bore you all just one last time in 2005.

Of course, I can't remember the great entry that I wrote in my head on the walk in this morning (I didn't freeze to death like every other morning this week, so that was nice), so you'll have to deal with whatever crap comes from my fingers.

Yesterday afternoon was spent at my favorite bar with friends. I have to remember that I freeze to death at my favorite bar and to wear multiple layers. I was last there about a month ago (the week before Thanksgiving) and I remember having to go home and take a hot bath because I was frozen solid. Same thing yesterday.

Now, Martha refuses to let me walk home from the bar even though I live two blocks away and I live in a safe neighborhood, but I was ready to go home before she was (I was super tired yesterday), so I got Jim to give me a ride home. Jim is my friend that I met because of my Champ Car license plate. He's a good kid (he's only 27) and a nice guy, but Martha got it into her head that I should date him. *sigh* We hadn't even gotten to his truck yet and she called me to tell me to invite him in. I laughed at her and said No. He drove me home, I hugged him Good night and went inside. I then got a series of text message from Martha:

M: Do him!
K: You are crazy.
M: Consensus sd u shd do him! In stupid nt crazy.
K: You are all crazy! For the record, I have no clue what the second half means.
M: Well? How's it going?
K: Fine. I'm running a hot bath.
M: 4 2?
K: No, just me.
M: Crap. Got 2 work on u some more.
K: I am interested in one person only.
M: Sue is giving u shoot & score lessons.
K: Huh?
M: Oy!
K: How can she give me lessons if I'm not there?
M: We'll set a time.
K: I don't need lessons – just the right guy.
M: Could b Jim.
K: No, he's on his way to FL right now. (he's = right guy)
M: Driving?
K: Not Jim – the only guy in whom I've been interested in a very long time!
M: Name of guy?
K: Yes.

That was the last message, so maybe she gave up. But Martha is persistent. She's been bugging me about going to a nutritionist for the past 8 months. I don’t want to see a nutritionist because it's going to be a waste of time. I don't cook. I can cook, I just don't like to. Besides, it's really hard to cook in a kitchen w/zero counter space.

I then knitted a little bit while watching the last half of the Year Without A Santa Claus (I had watched the first half before going to the bar) and sneezing to beat the band. I wonder if I'm allergic to the bubble bath because these were incredibly impressive sneezes. I took my allergy pill and it didn't help at all. I went to bed at 8:00, my phone rang at 9:00 (I thought it was my alarm but it wouldn't turn off when I hit the snooze), Ursa came upstairs to give me my Christmas present, I sneezed some more, took an Alka-Seltzer Cold & Cough Nighttime and then crashed out.

With my luck I'll get sick – it's the holidays and I have a week off. Of course, I'll be sick. I prefer being sick when I can call in to work! ;-)

I have a party to go to tonight and I'm sure it's going to be a good time. Tomorrow is Midnight Mass (at 8:00 p.m., nobody wants to be in my church's neighborhood at midnight) and then I'll go to my aunt and uncle's to help wrap presents. Sunday I'll sleep in, make whatever the heck I decide on (either fruit dip with fruit or this fruit salsa that I had at a party two years ago and it was fabulous), wrap the presents I have to take with me and then head over to my sister's at 3:00 p.m. where I'll be able to eat whatever I bring, salad, whatever YS brings, and maybe potatoes. Oh, and of course, the damn Christmas cookies. ;-)

I think we're going to reach a total of 6 people in the office today from my department. Woohoo!!!

I just got done reading this column on last minute gift ideas and it's pretty damn funny. Check it out.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sunshine on the Leith

I love my cats as much as the next person feels about their pet, but this is ridiculous. The owners of that Black Lab are spending more on their dog than I am officially on my Mom! (Actually, it's probably about equal, but still.)

Last Thursday I called up Absopure to schedule a delivery of water. The woman told me, "Tuesday." I was fine with that as I figured I'd run out of water on Monday. I did. I put out the four empties before I left for work yesterday and when I got home they were still there. I didn't think anything of it as I do get home earlier than most people. At 6:00 p.m. they were still sitting there. I just called. At first the woman said there was no such delivery scheduled. I repeated what occurred on Thursday and then she saw it. She's putting me down for a special delivery – which will take 1-3 days. I'm sorry, but that's not very special in my book. I have NO WATER, people!!! Thankfully, Schneider and Ursa also get Absopure deliveries, so maybe they could spot me a bottle until mine show up.

What is it with these men who think huge sideburns are attractive? This one guy here has these 2-3" wide sideburns that go all the way to his jawline and aren't exactly trimmed neatly. Kind of like these but picture them much bushier. Yesterday he walked by my desk wearing a Daniel Boone hat. This is, in my opinion, not a good look to begin with, but then combined with his sideburns? Dear heavens, he was lucky I didn't burst out laughing or have a WTF? look on my face. There's another guy here whose beard has migrated onto his cheeks…it's hard to describe and haven't been able to find a picture on-line. It's like he combined his beard with his sideburns, but shaved the upper sideburns and ends about halfway along his jawline, so it's not a full beard, but it's not a goatee/Van Dyke either. And again they're very bushy and it's like he combs them to stick out. I do not understand.

Happy 2nd day of winter! Today we will get more sunlight than we did yesterday! Life is good. We are heading toward summer!

Today may be my last update until the New Year. Tomorrow is a short day (supposedly), Yay! And then I have all next week off which should be quite lovely. I plan on sleeping in every single day possible. And not leaving the house unless absolutely necessary.

Anyway, I find that I'm quite disinclined to go anywhere near my computer when I’m home. Too much to do otherwise. Even if it's just sitting on my couch and watching my Netflix DVDs. So, updates will probably not be happening next week. And you'll all be very thankful as I don't have anything exciting (except for a trip to the Lansing yarn store) planned.

I hope everybody has a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tears Are Not Enough

The #2 reason I don't have a Christmas tree. #1 being I'm lazy and nobody comes over anyway.

You'll all be pleased to know that I made it through the family-studded weekend without killing my mother. Starting Friday at 3:30 and going through Sunday night, I had approximately five waking hours that were not spent in my mother's presence.

We spent Friday night at the Microtel in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Word of warning to all potential travelers:


If you have an option of Microtel or Motel 6, you will be much better off and happier at the Motel 6. I believe they chose the name Microtel because their walls are a MICRON thick. It was the noisiest damn motel ever! Not only could we hear voices from the room next to us, we could hear entire sentences!!! To say nothing of the noise from the room above us, the noise of various machines, and how incredibly loud the shower was in the bedroom with the bathroom door closed. None of us got any sleep that night.

The graduation ceremony was not as long as the one in May, but once again the graduates were fanning themselves from the heat, while those of us in the bleachers were bundled against the arctic chill. OS and I had YS's friend's long wool coat spread across our legs like a blanket, while Mom had YS's coat on her lap.

I left after the ceremony – and all the requisite picture taking – as I really needed some time to myself. Hey, I live alone. I'm used to Kathleen Time! I was already cranky, so no Kathleen Time was going to make me even crankier. YS was going to her friend's graduation party, so Mom went with her and I drove the 3 hours home.

I spent a couple of blissful hours at home on my couch watching DVDs and knitting. Then it was time once again to head out into the damn cold (for the record it was -4F when I walked to work this morning) for the Christmas concert. The Farmington Chorus did an incredible job as usual. My Wallace Shawn look-alike didn't do his usual Christmas song as he's scheduled for open heart surgery in January and his doctor recommended against him. We hope he's up to it next year!

The highlight of the concert was The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Now I was wondering how they were going to sing it since it's an instrumental piece, but it worked amazingly well. They also had a ballet dancer come out and dance to it. She did a beautiful job – and then two of the older men from the chorus of whom it could be said aren't in the best shape of their lives came out in tutus and leg warmers turtlenecks and proceeded to pirouette their way across the stage along with the real ballet dancer. I was crying I was laughing so hard. The real ballet dancer had the biggest smile on her face as she continued to dance. I give them props for being willing to come out on stage in tutus.

Sunday was brunch at Shortstuff's country club and I looked incredibly fabulous in my black velvet Trashy Diva Starlet dress. ;-) If I do say so myself! I wore a red pashmina for Christmas flare!

I didn't overeat this year, so I was pretty proud of myself, although I did splurge and have two scoops of vanilla ice cream with a scoop of caramel and a scoop of hot fudge toppings.

Yesterday I picked up Mom's Christmas present – a digital camera. Then last night OB called me to say that he would buy the memory card as an early Mother's Day gift (as he was already done with Mom's Christmas presents), so that we could put all of our money toward the camera. Today I'm going back to exchange the camera for a better one. Good thing I went to a store very close to home. Now the trick will be to see if OS pays me.

Thanks for all the advice on asking a certain person to a wedding. Now to screw up my nerve to do it!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Swing the Heartache!

So, I have a couple of questions for the male members of my audience. Females can answer, of course, but since I'm looking for insight into the male brain…

First, what does it mean when a boy gives you a Christmas present? In fact, makes a special trip over from his building to yours? And it's a couple of miles away.

Second, I have a wedding in February to attend (God willin' and the crick don't rise that I still have a job) in another city. In said other city resides the only boy in whom I've been interested in way too long. I just rec'd the invitation and it says "Ms. Kathleen & Guest." Do I ask him? Do I mention to him casually that I'm possibly going to be in the big city nearest his home?

And now it's time for frivolity!

With a survey that I stole from Julieu.

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. I've only had two job interviews (same time frame) where I didn't get the jobs, but it was okay because I got the job I really wanted, and had only gone on those interviews, just in case.
2. I'm utterly fascinated by ancient history/cultures.
3. Wool makes me itch.
4. I am the world's worst photographer.
5. Earwigs are the only insect that completely freak me out, just by thinking about them. *full-on body shudder*
6. I sang in the children's choir in grade school, which is really sad since I'm pretty damn sure I can't carry a tune in a bucket.
7. I (along with the rest of the girls) had the hugest crush on our choir director/organist.
8. The only caffeine I ingest is from dark chocolate.
9. I call my Grandma "Shortstuff" as she's barely 4'8" anymore.
10. I have very thin fingers.

NINE places I've visited.
1. Mexico City, Mexico
2. Hermosillo, Mexico
3. Cairo, Egypt
4. Niagara Falls, ONT
5. Toronto, ONT
6. The Florida Keys
7. Las Vegas, Nevada
8. Guadalajara, Mexico
9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

EIGHT ways to win my heart
1. Intelligence
2. More than a passing acquaintance with grammar and spelling.
3. Sense of Humor
4. Listening
5. Understanding
6. Kindness
7. Give me space.
8. Don't make me watch TV with you just to say we did something together.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die
1. Pet/Kiss/Hug a rhinoceros. What can I say? I think they are so cute and sweet.
2. Knit myself a freaking sweater that doesn't look like ass.
3. Get my mother to change her ugly-ass hairstyle.
4. Use all the yarn in my stash.
5. Hike the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu.
6. Convince people the environment is worth saving, i.e., the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
7. Learn Swedish and Russian.

SIX things I'm afraid of
1. Stupid people.
2. Driving in the snow.
3. Big, snarling, barking, teeth-baring dogs.
4. Getting cancer.
5. Losing my job.
6. Losing Shortstuff.

FIVE things I don't like
1. Graduation ceremonies
2. Butternut squash
3. TFG
4. That white shit falling from the sky
5. Sharing a room with my mother.

FOUR ways to turn me off
1. Tell me what to wear, how to wear my hair, etc.
2. Treating waiters/waitresses poorly.
3. Incorrect grammar.
4. Being racist.

THREE Things I do everyday
1. Take a shower.
2. Breathe.
3. Brush my teeth.

TWO things that make me happy
1. Race weekends.
2. The Red Wings winning the Stanley Cup.

ONE thing on my mind right now
1. Work lay-offs

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Draw A House

I just drew a house and the site gave me an assessment of my personality which has a larger picture of my drawn house. It was interesting, if a little contradictory!

I Am Trying To Believe

I'm completely dreading the first half of this weekend. It's YS's doctorate graduation ceremony and I really really really really really don't want to go. It's going to require driving up to Mt. Pleasant tomorrow after work with Mom, sharing a hotel room with Mom and YS, getting up before the crack of dawn on Saturday (my only day to sleep in), dressing in layers because God only knows what the temp in the gym/auditorium is going to be (at the May commencement ceremony – yes, I've already been to her Master's commencements – the graduates were sweating down on the floor while those of us up in the bleachers were FREEZING), sitting on hard bleachers for at least three to four hours (have to get there early to get good seats) while nothing happens, while the boring keynote speaker drones on and on (we couldn't hear jackshit during the May ceremony), then while the 500 graduates get their little slip of paper which tells them if they passed their diploma will be mailed to them. It wouldn’t be bad if it were just graduate students, but it's the undergrads too.

I've had Martha praying for snow (because if the weather is bad, I've been told I don't have to go as driving in snow is one of my most despised activities), but she prayed too hard and it came a day early – yup, it's snowing today. Supposed to have anywhere from 4-8" when it's all done. *sigh* Too little, too soon.

And because of the graduation, I had to switch my Friday symphony tickets to tonight (it's Beethoven's Symphony #9, otherwise I would have just found someone to use my tix), so I'll be heading downtown in 4-8" of the white crap. I'm really not happy about this.

The rest of the weekend should be fun, though. Saturday night is a friend's Christmas/Holiday concert. Normally, I'd be shunning local community singing groups' holiday concerts like the plague, but this group is very good and always worth seeing. They have one guy in the group who looks like Wallace Shawn (poor guy) and every year he writes his own Christmas/Holiday song which is usually beyond hysterical, especially when combined with the appropriate costume. There are usually tears in my eyes when it's over and I'm gasping for breath from laughing so hard. Somehow though it always snows the night of that concert.

Sunday is the Christmas Brunch at Shortstuff's (Grandma) country club. Ooh la la! I'm planning on wearing the black velvet dress I got from Trashy Diva in New Orleans when we were stranded there in January. Grandma invites the entire family, including significant others, so it's the most non-stressful Christmas gathering. Just eating lots of food, no presents, no one has to do dishes (except the people being paid to do it). After the brunch, we'll all head back to Grandma's and annoy her husband who somehow thought that when he married Grandma we would all disappear and leave her to him. Yeah, right.

Okay, enough from Ms. Cranky Pants today. ;-) Except for the virus infection below….

I've been "infected" by Clarity with The Infection. It's simple, "Write 5 random facts about yourself, and then list the names of 5 people whom you in turn infect".

1. I don't like potato chips.
2. I love cookbooks and own more than you could possibly imagine, but rarely, if ever, cook.
3. I have zero athletic ability and am lucky I'm able to walk without falling flat on my face.
4. I like being helpful.
5. Just like a school kid, I live for summer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Amen, Mitch Albom, amen. I heard part of the press conference on this morning's news and it was even harder to listen to than it was hard to read. And Mitch is right, hockey is not worth the risk. There's a difference between playing hurt a la Steve Yzerman and playing with a bad heart. As Mitch said in the column, Jiri was DEAD! His heart was stopped for 24 seconds before the team doctor brought him back. This city has dealt with enough tragedy over their sports teams, we don't need to be mourning again. He has another chance and he should grab it with both hands and do something that's not going to endanger his life unnecessarily.

I want to send this article to the OS. It seems to me that she's raising her kids to be as racist as she is and that's just unacceptable in this day and age. My nephew isn't stupid and it would be helpful if he were exposed to different races and cultures. They live in the whitest city in the U.S. of its size (pretty damn big) and it shows sometimes. It frustrates me. The Niece used to like going to my church, but OS wouldn't let her come that often because it's in Detroit. Now she goes with her boyfriend to a mega-church with stadium seating and cupholders (cupholders????) and a video presentation. Someone I know went to this church a while back and he said there was no sign of anything in the least bit spiritual. When I questioned OS about it, she said, "Well, Niece likes it." Well, of course, she does, it's like going to a movie!!! *sigh* I guess the important thing is that she's going to church, but I'd like to know what she's getting from it.

A couple of years ago on Cookie Day YS and I decided to make the almond version of the German sugar cookies blue instead of the traditional red (pink) in an effort to make my family a little more culturally aware/diverse. I think they all just shook their heads at Kathleen and her Liberal ways. It was just an excuse to brighten things up and it didn't hurt if it annoyed the family just a little bit. ;-)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Call Me Mellow

The weekend was a weekend. Friday night I actually went out (it's really hard for me to get motivated to leave my house when it's midnight dark at 5:00 p.m. and FREEZING BUTT COLD) and met Martha for the movie. If you have not seen Capote, I highly recommend it. Philip Seymour Hoffman was unbelievable! If I hadn't known better I would have thought it was really Truman. I wonder if it's easier to play a live person who has such obvious mannerisms.

We about froze to death walking from the parking to the movie theatre. I escaped a major bullet. I was completely brain dead (comes from driving in rush hour traffic since I never do it) and forgot to feed the meter. DUH! We had a glass of wine before the movie, so I had time to run back to the meter and feed my few quarters into it. Whew!

Saturday was knitting day. I finished an order for two scarves, started a third which I finished yesterday. And then yesterday was Cookie Day.

I don't think I've ever expressed here how much I hate and despise baking cookies. Normally, I'm able to avoid the whole process as I live alone. But once a year I get shanghaied into helping to make Christmas cookies. If it were up to me, there'd be no cookies and everybody would thank me because that would mean fewer additional pounds for the family. But it's not up to me, for some reason. The OS took it upon herself oh so many years ago to rescue Mom from Christmas cookies as a step toward her martyrdom (sister's, not Mom's – although Mom has her own martyrdom happening). Anyway, a number of years back OS got annoyed with the Christmas cookie process and got snotty about nobody helping her. I was living in SF, so I was able to avoid it for a few years, but when I moved back, that was it. There is no option. I have to be there or I'll never hear the end of it from OS. This year I didn't even get included on the date discussion. It was "Oh, by the way, we're making cookies at OS's on Sunday." I almost had had plans for that day and boy was I ticked they hadn't worked out. ;-)

I really needed yesterday for knitting, but instead I was at OS's playing with a flour-butter-sugar-flavoring mixture and didn't get home until 10:00 p.m. The last cookies to be baked were the peanut butter blossoms. Niece and Boyfriend were in charge of rolling them into balls while Mom was in charge of rolling them in sugar. Mom proved herself completely incompetent of making balls. By the time she got done with them they were caked in sugar (nasty) and in every shape except round. She then got all offended when I shook the extra sugar off of them and put them back into ball shape before I put them on the cookie sheet. I swear the older she gets, the more childlike she gets.

I burned myself twice – which isn't too bad. OS has those damn stone baking pans from Pampered Chef and I hate those damn things. They feel like fingernails on a chalkboard to me and they're heavy and awkward and they get fucking hot and stay fucking hot! And then the cookies end up with a slightly more browned bottom than you really want.

Oh well, it might be the last year, because OS was bitching about how she's not doing it anymore. And I can guarandamntee that I won't be volunteering to do it.

Okay, I'm done bitching. ;-)

I told OB (BAB) that I would be terribly thrilled to babysit the Terror Children tonight so that they have time to get some Christmas shopping done, so that's where I'll be heading once I leave work today. I just wish OB and SIL weren't Born Agains and had already told their small children that there's no such thing as Santa Claus, because I would so be using him against them to make them behave themselves. ;-) Hmmm, maybe I'll take my Christmas DVDs (which I watched on Saturday as I had no Netflix movies) with me and make them sit and watch shows about Santa Claus. I need serious knitting time tonight!

And Patsy Darling asked about the purple mashed potatoes from Friday's post about my cousin. Last year on Thanksgiving, my cousin and my niece thought they needed to brighten things up and wanted to put food coloring in to the mashed potatoes. I was very much opposed to the idea as we had purple potatoes one year for Easter when living in SF and they were most unappetising. I lost out and Cousin and Niece put red and blue food dye into the middle of the mashed potatoes and walked away and waited for whomever to mix them up once more (it was bound to happen in our family) to discover the purpleness. How many people can say they had purple mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner? No, it didn't affect the flavor of the potatoes, but the purple was a tad disconcerting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

All In My Mind

It's hard to write an update when pretty much nothing is going on in my life. I've been working and then going home and watching DVDs while knitting up my scarf orders. I've finished three of them. I'm not really sure how many more I have to make. I should probably figure that out at some point, eh?

The big excitement here is that we actually got the amount of snow predicted by the meteorologists! How often does that happen? They said 2-6" (4-12 cm) and we supposedly got 5 inches of the shitty white stuff. I planned accordingly this morning and wore my big clown boots for the trudge into work. There wasn't a plowed sidewalk in sight. In fact, even better, some bloody dumbfuck plowed the entranceway at work and put all the snow onto the sidewalk. I had to climb over a five foot pile of snow sinking in up to my knees. I was pleased. By the time I got to my desk (it's a five minute walk outside, seven minutes inside) I was hot and sweaty with wet cold feet. I had the heater going to dry out my jeans and socks and the fan.

I actually finished watching my Highlander DVD box set and watched a few movies before getting into the Highlander: Raven series (it only lasted one season). The movies I've seen:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – I actually liked it. It will not replace the original in my heart, but it was good. I should read the book and then I'll probably like it more, but then I might not like my original as well.

Garden State - I really liked this movie, and I didn't really expect to. I'd really like to see the director's cut (if it ever happens) because he cut a lot of stuff out because the American public supposedly can't handle a movie that's longer than 100 minutes.

Memento - My friend Adam had recommended this movie many times but we were supposed to watch it together. It never happened and he moved to California earlier this year. I borrowed it from a friend at work and found it very interesting. In a good way. Of course, the fact the Guy Pearce is extremely good-looking did NOT hurt its cause at all. ;-) I did not find it confusing to follow at all and even figured out the little twist before it officially happened. I realise that everybody else has seen this already, but what can I say I'm a little behind on my movie watching.

Over the Rainbow - This is a Korean film kind of boy meet girl but with the twist that he was in a car accident and can't remember who the girl is that he liked. It was a sweet film. I would recommend it, if you like foreign films.

The Fog of War - This is a documentary on Robert S. McNamara, the Secretary of Defense under JFK and LBJ. I found this to be a fascinating account of his life and the Vietnam War. I highly highly recommend this!

I ♥ Huckabees - Another interesting movie. I didn't dislike it, but I wouldn't say that I loved it. It was a good movie, but different. I have no clue how to describe this movie that would make you want to see it, but I think it's worth a watch. And since I suck so badly at this, go and click above on the title and find out what Rotten Tomatoes has to say about this movie. I think it's worth the click, since I made it sound so blah!

Tonight Martha and I are going to hang out and catch the Capote film at the Royal Oak Main Art Theatre. It seems like it focuses mainly on his writing of In Cold Blood which I had read in college. We also saw the original version of the movie one rainy December night near the end of the term. It was a tad freaky, as (if I remember correctly), the killers were executed on a rainy night.

Go to the About Page at Rotten Tomatoes – at the bottom are fascinating Notes on this movie. If you want to see a movie about this, see the original, not the remake with Dr. Green from ER.

To end on a very happy note, my cousin returns today from Iraq where he's spent the last year. Knowing how things are going over there, he might have to go back, but at least he's home for Grandma's b-day (tomorrow) and Christmas! It'll be nice to have him back, even if he does make purple mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Posted at Loopy's

I'm being completely lame today. I posted over at GoingLoopy's today. Go and read it if you're in the mood to be depressed. I wasn't depressed or sad when I wrote it, but that's how it came out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On The Run

Why oh why do I feel the need to indulge in cheap milk chocolate? I know it's going to make me nauseous in about five minutes, but I do it and then wonder where my brain went. And I gave up four quarters for that (quarters are very precious when you live in an apt. and have to feed the great washing machine god said quarters). Now to find my Tums.

I had a pretty good weekend. The highlight of which was finding a Used CD at my favorite CD store of Bigod 20 with their cover of Madonna's "Like A Prayer" on it. For the record, I can't stand Madonna and literally the only reason I know the words to this song is because of Bigod 20. If you can listen to a snippet, go for it, because it pretty much rocks in a way Madonna only dreams of rocking!!!

I was with YS and as soon as we got into her truck (why oh why do I let her drive? I swear she drives so slowly on purpose to make me INSANE!) I ejected whatever CD was in and put in the Bigod 20. I was like a little kid in a candy store. Dancing around in my seat belt, banging out the beat on my air drum. Yup, it was very cool. Yesterday I listened to the entire CD (six different remixes of On The Run, plus one other song with no words) and it's all pretty good. I quite like it and it was definitely worth the price!

The Craft Show went well, thank heavens. I was sitting there for at least four hours before I sold a single thing. I was sitting there thinking "It's a donation to the church. It's a donation to the church." Of course, what I was going to do with all those damn scarves I didn't want to think about. I hope next year that the planners of the Craft Show figure out that maybe, perhaps, possibly it would be a good idea to advertise the damn thing.

I sat there envisioning me bringing the leftovers to work and see if I couldn't pawn them off. But I didn't have to do that! The one person who drives me most insane bought 3 of the $20 scarves. Egads! Now I'll have to be nice to her for a while! Let her hug me and say Hi. *sigh* And then my church mother's daughter showed up and threw 3 $20s on to the table and laid claim to a $20, a $15 and a $10 scarf. I owe her one more $15 and I've been working on that since Sunday. I have three orders as well, so what started out looking like a debacle turned out quite well. And I have orders from work as well, so I'll be busy the next few weeks. Hmm, wonder when I'm going to get my shopping done!!!

I now have to think about my guest entry for GoingLoopy. I have it one-third finished!

Oh yeah, to Crave, newish sushi restaurant/nightclub in my neighborhood. When I live a quarter of a mile away and can make out the actual songs you are playing at 1:00 a.m. (Sunday night/Monday morning), it might be a tad loud. FUCKERS!!!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Kick in the Eye

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent at the racetrack. It was HOT there (high 80s) and it felt like Cleveland (which is usually in the 90s). The best showers in the world are the ones you take after spending an entire day hot day at the race track. You start to feel as if you're never going to be clean again, but then you jump in the shower and life is good again. Not that life isn't good at the racetrack, because life is BEST at the racetrack.

To show my complete Champ Car Geekness, here is a picture of me (I swear the camera put all extra 10 lbs on my face, so beware of the fat-faced chicke) with Kevin Kalkhoven, aka The Savior of Champ Car and co-owner with Jimmy Vasser and some "P" guy of PKV Racing who raced Jimmy Vasser and Cristiano da Matta this year.

I got a hug from Scott Pruett when he saw me (I sat across the aisle from him on a plane from Cleveland to St. Louis, as well as talking to him in the paddock at various races) and that was pretty exciting to this race fan. I don't think he realised I was just a fan that he's seen tons of time, but I'm relishing that hug!

Monday was the absolute pinnacle of my trip because I ate at the same restaurant as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata! In fact, there are stories of Pancho Villa riding into the restaurant/bar on his horse. And I don't know if everything that occurred there happened on the same visit, but he also shot his gun into the ceiling and the bullet hole is still there. And supposedly Villa and Zapata ate together there and planned the revolution. I was beyond excited to be there as my first cat's name was Zapata – named for Emiliano.

And a close-up:

That bullethole was over the booth next to us. And this was my view from our booth:

Besides eating at La Opera we also touristed at El Zocalo where we saw the National Cathedral which was impressive,

This is the smaller altar you see when you walk in the door where they hold daily Mass:

This is the side entrance to the Cathedral:

and the National Palace

which has Diego Rivera murals up the yin-yang (all incredible) and we had a guide which explained them all to us with me obnoxiously nodding along to show my immense knowledge of Mexican history. They were just brilliantly done. Here are the main three:

We then walked to the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)

where most of it was closed off (other than the lobby) but we did enjoy an extensive visit to the bookstore where amazingly enough I bought NOTHING!!! How unbelievable is that??? From there we walked to La Opera where I was in my glory sitting in the booth next to the one with Pancho Villa's famous bullet hole and chose to believe that Zapata had eaten at the same table as me!

And that was my wonderfully fun vacation to Mexico. I hope you enjoyed my little account of it. I have more pictures of different things from the Museum of Anthropology, so if you're interested, let me know I'll post them or send them. The problem is that most of them I don't remember from what era they are, but they're still very cool.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Sky's Gone Out

Wednesday was the official Día de Muertos so most people didn't have to work. We chose that day to head to Teotihuacán which is easily one of my favorite places in the world. It is unbelievably cool.

For many years after my initial visit there I would get so annoyed with people who believed the only ancient cool pyramids in the world were in Egypt. I was very partial to Mexico's pyramids. Then I went to Egypt and discovered that their pyramids were equally cool – just in different ways. Whereas Egyptian pyramids were tombs for pharaohs, pyramids of the Toltecas, Aztecas and Maya were temples to their gods. In fact, a recent discovery at Teotihuacán said that the Pyramid of the Sun was more likely dedicated to Tlaloc, the Rain God.

I was amused to find that while looking for links that each website said something different about Tlaloc. One said he was "benevolent" who only released floods and lightning when angered. Another one said that he's "not nice." Personally, he's my favorite of the Aztec/Toltec gods, but mainly because I think his statue (see above) is cute.

We climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun (or as I like to think of it Tlaloc's Pyramid) and although it wasn't as bad as I remembered it, it was still a bit of hike. The steps are narrow and high (theoretically, to force a supplicant's pose – damn hard to climb that puppy standing completely upright) and with the altitude, the air is a tad thin.

I found that slow and steady won the race (thanks, Tortoise). This time I noticed that you could walk all the way around the pyramid at two different levels, so we did that.

On the second highest tier, we came across this group of people doing some sort of religious ceremony. They were chanting something about blood as we walked past. I had held off walking past them for a few moments to give them a little privacy, but when it went on and on and on, I decided not to wait any longer.

And here we are on the top (all the people behind us were kneeling at this tiny shiny bit of rock set into what I assume was the very center of the pyramid top and putting their thumb on it. They believed it would give them energy.

When I was there last you couldn't climb the Pyramid of the Moon, but this time it was open.

Unfortunately, once again due to a late start, we didn't have time to do it or get to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (which really bummed me out) as we had to be home by 3:00 p.m. for dinner. We were late for dinner too, as we had to stop in the nearest town to Teotihuacán to buy tortillas. There were apparently none to be found in Mexico City!

I did see parts of Teotihuacán that I hadn't seen before:

I took these as Mom had to use the restroom (you can see her in the picture). She was wondering where they came from when she had them developed, even though I had told her that I took some.

Dinner was a family affair that evening with ME's brothers joining us. Tio Alfonso was hysterical claiming to be this world traveler and how he only does such-and-such when he's in England or this-and-that when he's in New York. The girls were giggling at him and telling me that he had never been out of Mexico in his life. There was lots of meat involved in dinner that night (lamb and chicken and pork), but ME was always very good (after the first night – I'm positive the lasagna had chicken in it, but I didn't make a fuss and ate around it once I figured it out – so, yes, people, meat passed these lips w/in the past month – deal with it) to have something vegetarian for me. In fact, most nights there was way too much food on my plate.

Thursday was spent at the Museo Nacional de Antropología

where I got to see Tlaloc as that's where he resides these days.

It was a highlight – because I'm a complete Mexico History Geek. Mom got to see the Aztec Calendar/Sun Stone which made her happy. The picture of her with the Sun Stone didn't turn out as I hate her camera (I'm talking to the siblings about getting her a digital camera for Christmas as she kept forgetting film in the car or her other bag or whathaveyou) and the picture was way blurry.

Thursday evening we had dinner at La Parrilla Suiza where my Mom had eaten when she was there in 1977 for ME and J's wedding. I got the newly introduced Vegetarian Meal which included nopalitos (cactus), white cheese (kind of mozzarella-ish), mushrooms and onions all grilled. It was a ton of food, which I didn't finish, but all quite yummy.

Weekend and Monday will come next - I think I have too many pics in this entry because it wouldn't take another one.

Mr. Schprock - I'm thinking you had been in Tijuana. I've never been but I understand it's a complete pit! I think that would be like judging the U.S. by going to El Paso (not that I've been other than the airport, but I know someone who had a job interview and he pretty much said it was the armpit of the U.S.).