Friday, April 28, 2006

Don't Make Me Come To Vegas

I decided yesterday that since the whole nap before the game on Tuesday thing didn't work out and since I hadn't actually stayed up at all for Tuesday's game, I decided to go about it exactly opposite-ly. (Yeah, it's a word, I just made it up, deal with it.) I did NOT nap. I watched Miracle in an effort to kick-start the Wings. Back in January 2004, the Wings were playing like shite and I thought it would help them if I watched my Wings box set. I thought it would remind them that they did know how to play the game. And it worked, subliminally. I didn't know if the Wings box set would work again, so tried Miracle. I wore my tie-dye shirt from Loopy and I stayed up. Oh yeah, as soon as I walked in the house I took off all of my jewelry, which I normally do, but didn't on Sunday as I thought my Swedish coin earrings would help our five Swedes get motivated (yeah, that worked Nicklas Lidstrom was a -3 for me that day). And at the end of it all, I stayed up to watch the game, harassing DWD every ten minutes or so. I think we helped each other stay sane during the five-on-threes. And it seemed like it was all for good as the Wings won the game in regulation 4-2. Whew!

Now for my observations on the game:

I don't care where you are or who you are, it's bloody rude and disrespectful to yell and scream during another country's national anthem. Of course, having been to many races in Canada, I can tell you that I have seen people very obviously sitting with their arms crossed mutinously through the U.S. national anthem and then just as obviously standing for the Canadian. It's rude, I don't care how much you hate us, it's impolite and tacky.

I completely disapprove of this relatively new (within the past ten years, I think) phenomenon of NOT cheering for the home team, but jeering against the visiting team. Again, I think it's completely tacky. The Edmonton crowd spent a good portion of their time JEERING My Manny and that pissed me off! I want to state for the record that as much as I hated Patrick Roy I never went along with the PAT-RICK taunts that the Wings fan started (in response to the hideous behavior of the Avs' fans with which I won't bore you, unless you ask). In fact, I get really annoyed when people start behaving that way and I'm at the game. It just pisses me off that people have to be so negative these days. We were talking at lunch yesterday about how basketball and football players seem to celebrate things as an IN YOUR FACE thing. It's not so much about winning for some people as it is about demoralising or showing up your opponents. At any rate, Manny isn't a grandstanding showboat, like Roy – see 2002's Statue of Liberty play – he's just a quiet guy trying to do his job. Sure, he let in a bad goal in Tuesday's night OT, but it's just pathetic to waste four good opportunities to chant FOR YOUR TEAM. I normally like Edmonton (and root for them when they're not playing the Wings), but if their fans continue to act like Avs' fans, I'm not sure how long I will be able to support them.

The Wings played dismally in the 2nd period, except for killing off those penalties – the officiating was abysmal!!! It seemed like the refs felt that if they had to keep penalties even. They called seven penalties on Edmonton in the 1st and then eleven against the Wings in the 2nd. And then the fans in the 3rd wanted a penalty called on Nicklas Lidstrom for something which wasn't a penalty and wasn't called, but Nicky scored on the play and the crowd started chanting Bullshit. No, dears, what was bullshit was that your player completely dived, thankfully the refs figured that one out, unlike one of the calls in the 2nd. A sportswriter for the Freep said it should have been an interference call, but I think she must have been asleep when it happened, because there's no way in hell it was a penalty.

I had more observations last night while lying in bed after the game and completely unable to sleep but I can't remember them right now. The thing I did figure out though was that there was a common denominator between Friday's game and last night's game, and that was that I had eaten at Red Robin both days. ARGH!!! Now, I really enjoy Red Robin, but I think I get my full allotment of calories for the day in one meal there. I don't really want to go to lunch there tomorrow! ;-)

The good news is that I have gone from last (6th place) with 6 points up to 4th with 39 points just since Monday. I hope that continues, although I could be in trouble. I picked ZERO Colorado players as I thought Dallas would take care of them handily and I have two Dallas players. The problem here is that Colorado is up 3-0 in the series. Dallas at least better make a series of it so I can get some points before they bail on me completely.

Oh, update on Netflix pissing me off, the disc that arrived yesterday was Season 2, Disc 4…Disc 3 is supposed to arrive today or tomorrow. I'd dearly love to slap someone.

Speaking of slapping, I have come up with a great idea for making money for charity. Now this event will only work in a hockey city, but I know many hockey fans who would line up for this. Actually, I have two ideas both having to do with Gary Bettman, the weasel who singlehandedly wiped away hockey tradition by changing the names of the conferences from Campbell and Wales – historical hockey names with the bland, unexciting, not quite descriptive Eastern and Western Conference. I say not descriptive because Detroit is in the Eastern time zone, but we're in the Western Conference. It's just wrong! Anyway, back to my idea, somehow someone has to convince Gary to sign up for these events, but go with me here, don't get all technical on me. The nonspecific you takes Mr. Bettman into a city, I'd say use their hockey rink, charge $5 for entry to watch and for an additional $5 you get to slap him upside his head. Now there are rules: no punching, no eye gouging, no high sticking. You're allowed just a nice little slap upside his pointy little head. I think it would bring MILLIONS, especially if you start in Canadian hockey towns. My other idea is a little less nice. Again, you take Bettman and you place him in a hockey rink – this will only work once for obvious reasons, and for this little exercise I think the best place is Denver – and then you take Todd Bertuzzi and put him on the same ice. Yup, you got it, Todd "Goon Who Shouldn't Have Been Allowed To Play This Year" Bertuzzi will then be told to hit Mr. Bettman the exact same way Mr. Bertuzzi hit Steve Moore. Perhaps then, Mr. Bettman will understand why Bertuzzi shouldn't have been allowed to play this year. Actually, I think that as long as Steve Moore can't play due to the health issues suffered from the hit that Bertuzzi shouldn't be allowed to play.

I think that's enough hockey for the day. Is it bedtime yet?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mutiny in Heaven

Netflix has pissed me off, really pissed me off. It's not bad enough, in their eyes, that they're throttling me, but now they've taken to sending me my movies not in my queue order. As you might know I've been watching the Babylon 5 tv series. I have watched all of season 1 and am partway through season 2. I'd be through more of season 2 except that two weekends ago they send me two Babylon 5 movies which were shown during season 5. Now I had these two movies in my queue in the right place, but I got them at the end of season 1. I mailed them both back (it was a weekend which really messed me up) without watching them as I want to watch them when they are appropriate, and then put them back in my queue, once again in the correct spot. Yesterday I got the same bloody disk although I was supposed to be getting Season 2, Disc 3. If you have Netflix, try sending them an e-mail sometime. If you want to report a problem you can only push a button that corresponds to what they perceive to be the most likely issues. I sent them a "suggestion" as that was the only way to write something open-ended. I got a return e-mail saying "This isn't customer service, so blah blah blah." This earned them a second message which was almost as nice in tone as the first. Sometimes I really wish that when you write an e-mail while enraged that the sound of the keys clacking furiously would show through.

In an attempt to watch Babylon 5 w/o interference from Netflix (if you all remember I used to love and adore them) I have asked to borrow my friend Woof's boxset as he was silly enough to tell me in one of his comments that he owned it. ;-) So, now I am eagerly awaiting Seasons 3-5 from Woof and I can't wait to watch three discs in one day and not be punished by someone withholding the next disc.

Today is Bring Your Rugrat/Brat/Tax Deduction to Work Day. Martha was telling me how much she hates this day but I like it. People are much less tense with kids around. The whole atmosphere is much less dismal and depressing. I'm pretty sure that productivity has dropped big time, but as this article at pointed out it might be smarter to slack off at work occasionally instead of multi-tasking constantly and working yourself to death. '"The physiological effects of tiredness are well-known. You can turn a smart person into an idiot just by overworking him," notes Peter Capelli, a professor of management at Wharton.' I think today will help people feel more like buckling down tomorrow. A day away from interminable meetings is not a bad thing.

I did not stay up the other night to watch the Wings play in Edmonton. The game didn't even start until 10:00 p.m. and I was just so darn tired, even though I had taken a nap with the expressed intention of staying up. I set the VCR and went to bed wearing my brand-new tie-dyed t-shirt from Loopy. Now to decide if I should stay up tonight, since going to bed didn't help them win, or go to bed not wearing the tie-dye shirt. I'm just not sure what will be best to help them win. Yes, I know there are people out there who believe that nothing I do will change the outcome of the game, but I like to think otherwise. So, deal with it. ;-)

I had a lovely time out with Ursamajor the other night. I introduced her to tempura asparagus sushi and she liked it better than the California rolls. Everybody to whom I have introduced the tempura asparagus sushi rolls loves them. I should say that once we got to the restaurant it was lovely. Michigan Department of Transportation has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to put construction on every major freeway going out to Ann Arbor. Now I could have gone to the Novi restaurant, but anybody who lives on the west side of Detroit knows that the regular rush hour traffic heading in that direction is hideous. I-94 is down to one lane at 23 while M14 is down to one lane for a good number of miles. And of course, Michigan Avenue which is the logical alternative to I-94 is also under construction. It's utterly ridiculous as they do it every single time. Is this just a Michigan thing or are other states as messed up? Thankfully, Ursamajor used to live out that way so I was able to get off the freeway at Saline Road (after sitting there forever) and take back roads in. I was STARVING by the time we got there. After indulging in some sushi, we went to the mall because we both needed stuff from The Body Shop and the one at our mall is closed for remodeling which I found out last week when I went to the mall just for something at The Body Shop. A wasted trip to the mall is always frustrating.

I had symphony tickets for tomorrow night, but since they're playing one of my least favorite pieces of music EVER, I gave the tickets to Mom. Saturday is Knitting Night (You joining us, Mr. Schrprock?) which is always enjoyable. Sunday Jason is making dinner for a bunch of us. Jason is an amazing cook and last year he made the most fabulous mashed potatoes I've ever had. To die for! I'm sure he's going to outdo himself this year! It's going to be a very good weekend, I would guess!

I just got back from lunch so I'm going to lapse into a food coma!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

Party Til The World Obeys

I have so much to talk about today. First and most exciting, tonight is sushi night with Ursamajor. I've been wanting sushi for about two weeks! Yesterday afternoon I was watching Ellen when I heard the distinctive "ting" of a Yahoo! IM waiting for me. It was from Sal, my bestest friend from SF. (Go and check out his blog, he is an HTMLing fool with links everywhere and a fabulous picture of himself in a 2-ft tall Easter bonnet, not bunny, because that would be ridiculous.) He had IMd me earlier in the weekend but I wasn't on, I then IMd him back when I got the message but he wasn't on. We were playing IM tag. Yesterday's message read "You there just being invisible?" Yeah, pretty much. As my POS home computer takes about a year (or 30 minutes) to boot up, I've taken to leaving the sucker on to make it a tad more efficient, and this means that I'm logged in Yahoo! Messenger all the time, but I'm invisible.

Sal's original message from Friday had said that he had had a dream about me the night before. In his dream, he had dreamt that he was straight and that he had asked me to marry him. I laughed, of course, especially when he told me that he waited a day or so to tell his partner about it. His partner's response was that Sal has good taste. I knew I loved those two! In the dream he didn't get a response from me, but I said if he were still Sal just straight that I would have said Yes.

Yesterday was a good day, other than getting a dream marriage proposal, I also got a package in the mail from Loopy. I got two homemade CDs – I'm so excited there are two Jack Johnson songs on them so I can finally find out what is up with him. I can't wait to listen to them. I would be listening to them right now but I received an assignment from Smed. He wants a Best 5 and a Worst 5 from the CDs he made for me earlier this year. The "Worst of" has been pretty easy so far got two from the Kat #1 CD, but it's hard to pick a Best of without hearing everything all over again. And it's really hard because I'm trying to be fair and not just pick the Madness, Oingo Boingo and They Might Be Giants songs as I love those bands anyway! In the package with the CDs, I got my very first EVER Tie-Dyed Shirt! I'm so excited! I'm planning on wearing it tonight for the Wings/Oilers game in an effort to send good vibes to my boys. The shirt I wore Sunday is in the laundry basket and will never be worn again for a Red Wings game.

I watched all of my Netflix DVDs over the weekend which means I have nothing at the house right now, so I was glad that the Libertarian had lent me Hitch so I had something to watch last night. I had started watching the Montreal/Carolina game but Montreal scored just minutes into the game, so I had to turn it off. I thought Carolina would do better if I weren't watching. I was apparently wrong. DAMN! I hadn't had any great burning desire to see Hitch, but the premise as put to me by the Libertarian (that Will Smith knows the secret to get women to like individual men) made me want to see it, so I could say "No, that's wrong." When The Libertarian brought it to me, he told me it would make me laugh at least at the scene where Kevin James dances, and if it didn't, there was something wrong with me. I have to say that I laughed a lot while watching that movie. It was freaking hilarious, not to the point where it brought tears to my eyes, but damn, it was funny. I do wonder, though, if I was just in the mood for laughing. I had watched Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Sunday (after that debacle of a Wings game) and I thought the movie was pretty well done. When I list April's movies watched and books read next week, you'll see that I've been reading the series on which the movie was based (actually, the movie was based on the first three which I read last year), so I was curious to see how they did and I thought they did a pretty good job. Now, most of you know that I am NOT a fan of Jim Carrey, but after reading the books I realised that he was probably perfect as the evil Count Olaf, and I have to admit that he was. The character could have been written for Jim Carrey, as Count Olaf after the first book shows up in all subsequent books in various disguises. The annoying thing about the books is that I finished Book 12: The Penultimate Peril last night and Book 13 doesn't come out until OCTOBER!!!! I can't wait until October!!! The orphans are in danger right now!

It reminds me of when I first started reading the Harry Potter books. I had bought the first two, but hadn't read them right away. I think Rosie O'Donnell mentioned them on her show, so I dug them out and started reading. The first book, The Sorcerer's Stone took me almost a week to read (started on a Saturday, finished on Thursday). I started Chamber of Secrets immediately and was close to finishing the next day at lunchtime, so I walked over to the Embarcadero to get the next book. I did not want to waste any time. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I finished Prisoner of Azkaban Saturday morning lying in bed (it was a typical shitty cold rainy foggy grey day in March in SF). Even though it was a typical shitty cold rainy foggy grey day in SF I decided that I needed Book 4 right then and there. I showered, dressed warmly and made my up Fillmore Street through the shitty cold rainy grey fog to the independent bookstore right next to Peet's Coffee. (Damn, how's that for a memory – I left in 2000!?) This all happened in either early 1999 or 2000, although I think it was 2000, and if you are Harry Potter fans, you know that Book 4 wasn't out yet. If you look at the pics of Browser Books, the second one shows the interior and if you walk straight back on the right that's the Children's/Young Adult section. That's where I went and found their dry-erase board informing me that I was on a fool's errand that Book 4 wasn't coming out until July, but in the meantime, try these books. ARGH!!!

This wasn't going to be a tour of my part of San Francisco, but my google search turned up all those great links and reminded me of my favorite lift gift shop, Aumakua. It was run by two gay guys and they had fabulous jewelry in there. It's good to see that it's still there. It looks like the bead shop finally closed. The woman who ran it was the most incredible bitch EVER! I had my run-in with her – I'm not sure she actually cared if she ever sell a single bead – and then whenever I would run into anyone who beaded, they would also have a story about what a complete and utter bitch she was. She never got repeat business (and she was massively overpriced), so it's not surprising she's gone, although I was always amazed she lasted as long as she did. I figured her father must have bought the building back in the 30s when it was dirt cheap and she was independently wealthy from living off the astronomical rents of whoever else was in the building.

Anyway, back to the Lemony Snicket movie. The movie itself was fine as I noted above, but then I hit the Special Features. I am a sucker for deleted scenes, bloopers, etc., but lately I've been watching the movie over again (some) with the Commentary. The DVD gave me two choices (or more, perhaps) and I chose the option of director and author, Brad Silberling and Lemony Snicket, respectively. If you've never read any of the books or know nothing about them, you might be best served to go here where you can read the first page of the first book to get an idea of the sense of humor involved here. Or to Lemony Snicket's own website. The commentary had me laughing outright as the director informed the author that he had turned the first three books into a short and that he had made a happy ending. And Mr. Snicket saying, "Oh thank God, I can't imagine why anyone would want to see such a depressing film." I think I've just been in the mood to be amused these days because it struck me as hilarious. Mr. Snicket would comment on he couldn't understand why any good actor would want to be in his horrible film, etc. Very funny stuff.

Way back in the first week of this lovely Spring month, I had the pleasure of going to see Les Miserables downtown with my Mom. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Of course, my mother has huge time issues. Normally she's late for everything, but I have, on occasion, put the fear of God into her enough that she gets to my house early. And sure enough, I had said I wanted to head downtown around 7:15, thinking if she was late we still had time to get down to the Fisher Theater, and she showed up at my house at 6:30. The woman simply has no concept of time. I, obviously, wasn't ready as I know how long it takes me to get ready and to get somewhere, so she stood there and watched me put my make-up on – a fact she noted to my Grandma in a snotty way a few days later. "She took the whole 45 minutes to put on her make-up. You'd think she was old." Or something like that. For the record, we were in the car by 7:00, and that included putting on shoes and make-up and finding a jacket.

I made the find of the century though! Since we got downtown early we had a chance to wander around the Fisher Building. I wanted to go to the "City's Best Yarn Store" (read City's ONLY), say something disparaging and then walk immediately out, but I got sidetracked by this where I bought one of these. Oh, did I ever have to have it!!! It being the red medium tote. I also bought myself this t-shirt. In addition, to my successful shopping, I fell in love with Les Mis all over again (I hadn't seen it since the first time it came to Detroit back in 1989) and wanted to see it a second time before it left, but that didn't work out as I got bronchitis. Damn my lungs!!!

That weekend before Easter was just busy. Les Mis was Thursday. Friday was the DSO with Martha and we had dinner at the Detroit Beer Company. It has an amazing menu in that I'm not restricted to the usual one vegetarian item. Next time I go there, though, I hope there isn't a hockey game, the DSO, the theatre and some big religious revival happening at Ford Field. It was crazy downtown that night! Saturday night was my good friend Pamela's b-day, so I met up with her and a bunch of her much cooler/hipper friends than me at Union Street. I don't think I've ever eaten there when someone didn't get the dragon's eggs (except the time I went with Mom, but that doesn't count). They have the world's best fries, for the record, and totally worth $3 for a large bowl. I had the portobello mushroom sandwich and it was quite yummy, if not exactly what I wanted (they took the Portobello Stack off the menu some years ago and that's just a damn shame as it was utterly yummy. It was two Portobello mushrooms marinated and grilled with garlic mashed potatoes and provolone cheese smushed between the two mushrooms. And then some sort of sauce. Oh, do I miss it!

Then Sunday which was Palm Sunday I had to go to the BAB's church because my 8 year old niece had made up her mind to be baptised and she invited Mom and me (YS being out of state couldn't make it, although I'm certain she was invited). I have a tendency to get a little hostile when I'm near a bunch of Born Agains but I behaved myself and didn't spit nails when the pastor made a veiled reference to Catholics and how we do things wrong. After the service I went to Switched On CDs and picked up a bunch of used CDs and DVDs. I got two Eddie Izzards for $8 each! Dressed to Kill and Definite Article. It was a most successful visit to my favorite CD store!

After that it was off to my cousin's bridal shower. I love my cousins, but dear God! The bloody shower started at 2:00 p.m. and we didn't leave until 6:00 p.m. The food was wonderful. My one cousin made all the food herself and since she's a vege, too, I could everything but the crab/cream cheese/cocktail sauce dish. I was STUFFED when we finally left. My personal preference for showers is no bloody games. I don't know anybody who likes the games, but they're always included. A perfect shower (other than me not being invited) would be eat, drink, be merry, bride to be opens gifts as quickly as possible. Boom, you're done!!! Still, I had a good solid hours spent with my extended family and that's actually a good thing. It just happened that that particular Sunday was the first race of the Champ Car season and the race was on at 4:00 p.m. Thank God for VCRs as that's what I had to do. For the record, I still think the first corner accident was all PFT's fault. Bastard! Took out my Oriol, Bruno the whiner, and A.J. with his stupid ass banzai move to pass four cars and win the race in the first corner. Classic PFT move. Jackass. ;-) Now before all of my racing friends (Smed, Woof and Ursa) blow a gasket, I know I'm the only one who thinks it was Paul's fault, and it's probably directly related to the fact that I have disliked PFT since 1992, but I still think that he was to blame.

And on that note, I think I'll sign off for now. I want to tell you all about the Zoo, but I'm waiting for my co-worker to send me the pics she took.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Original Sin

Hockey playoffs start tonight!!! I'm hoping that these playoffs will help me get back into hockey (damn lockout). Two years ago I barely missed a single game of the Wings, but this year? I can count on my two hands how many games I watched and three of those I was at the game! Here in Detroit the only thing that matters is the Stanley Cup. Stevie Y (our most beloved captain, he's been a Red Wing for 23 years and Captain for 20) taught this city that the trophy for winning the Western Conference means nothing. He never picks it up when the team wins it. He cares only for one trophy and that's the Stanley Cup. What this city wants more than anything is for the Wings to bring Stanley back to Detroit so that Stevie can retire on top. It hasn't been announced that he's retiring, but I can't believe there's anybody in this city or who follows hockey who doesn't think it's going to happen. Next year the Wings will have to pick a new captain and trust me, it's a big question as to who it will be, who deserves it, who would be the best, etc.

Here is an assessment of the first round match-ups from Scotty Bowman. Scotty was the coach of the Red Wings for the Stanley Cup winning years and he's a helluva hockey mind. After our last ignominious exit from the playoffs in round 2, I'm a little nervous about the playoffs. I'm loving our new coach, Mike Babcock. He's no Scotty, but he's infinitely better than Dave Lewis (who is a great assistant/associate coach), and somehow Mike Babcock figured out a way to get that slacker Shanahan to start skating again and digging for pucks in the corner. I was ticked over the summer that we let Darren McCarty go but kept Shanahan even though he floated the previous two seasons. As one of my friends described him, "He finally put down his purse to play." I'm still no fan of Shanny's, but if he continues to go into the corners and play as if he cared, I'll kiss Mike Babcock. ;-)

So, everybody, let me know who you think will make it out of the first rounds and if you're so inclined who you think will win or, if you'd rather, want to win or both!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Half of Everything

When I first graduated from college I got a job at the University. I was officially an "Academic Secretary I" for the department of Social Sciences. I had gotten a job in the department the summer before I graduated as a student assistant (back then I was probably making a whopping $3.50 – it's mind-boggling that I was able to pay for college, clothes, food, car, car insurance, gas, etc. on that, but I did) and halfway through my final year the dipshit of a secretary left to take a job in the Dean's office (more money, but she didn't last long). Although my premier goal in life up to this point had been to get the bloody hell out of Michigan (and away from winter) as soon as possible, I had met a boy and decided to stay. *sigh* Stupid stupid stupid move. Except that I had a great time working at Social Sciences and have many friends from there.

Sometime in my first or second year an adjunct history professor came back from a Fulbright year in China. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the inner workings of a University, adjunct means NOT full-time or tenure-track. He simply got paid a set amount (back then it was piddles) for teaching his one class. He, however, had delusions of grandeur and thought he was a full-time faculty member (this became evident much later when he tried to "retire" from the University and get benefits). One day he came to me with a letter to type up that he was going to send to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. I do not remember the contents of the letter, but it was probably sucking up in an effort to make himself appear to be more important than he was. When he gave me the letter, he winked at me, and said "Just think, your initials are going to be at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing." Even at the tender age of 23, I knew he was completely full of it and that his letter was probably going to be put in the circular file within seconds of it being read. The guy was just so impressed with himself and honestly thought that I cared if my initials were seen by people at the U.S. Embassy in China. I think I rolled my eyes and didn't bother putting my initials at the bottom.

The University was full of people who thought they were better than they were. One of our full-time political scientists pretended he worked at the main campus instead of our nice satellite campus. He never introduced himself as Joe Schmoe from U of M-Dearborn, it was always, "This is Professor Schmoe from the University of Michigan political science department. He would conveniently forget the Dearborn part and the fact that we weren't the Political Science Department, but Social Sciences. It was a tad insulting really to the campus and our department.

We had a number of faculty who pretended they didn't know about the 3-day Turnaround Policy and would bring in a twelve page exam that they wanted typed up, dittoed, collated and stapled that same day. My boss had the Do Not Abuse the Office Staff memo saved and ready to send out on a semesterly basis and when I became the boss I would do the same thing. And it was always the same people who would do it. Of course, it never failed to bring in the most conscientious person and always gave us a week to type up his exams and he would apologise ad nauseum. "Oh, don't worry, Marty, it's not you, but we can't single out the person who is at fault. You always give us plenty of time." The goal in this case being to get him out of the office as quickly as possible as his hygiene was not the best. Very very nice person, just wasn't that well acquainted with soap which was very sad.

I had reached the point where I posted my favorite quote on my Inbox: "A Lack of Planning on Your Part Does Not Constitute an Emergency on My Part." It didn't help, but it made me feel better.

We had another faculty member who was most impressed with her title and her Ph.D. She always always always signed her name as Dr. Mary S. Doe, PH.D. It drove me insane to have to type it up that way, although I would fix the Ph.D. part. It's either one or the other, Dr. Doe or Mary S. Doe, Ph.D., otherwise you're being a tad redundant and full of yourself.

I'm sure some people think that all university professors are worthless or full of themselves, but I actually had very few that made me crazy. Most of them were great and I love them to this day. Our Holocaust historian is one of my absolutely favorite people ever. Our medieval historian is the most fabulous woman in the history of the world. She's one of those people that if I ever heard someone say they didn't like her, I would immediately write that person off as being completely unworthy of knowing. A group of my friends have a knitting club with her and when we tell someone from college that we're hanging out with her they get all jealous and want to go. Friday a group of us are getting together for movie night. No clue what we're going to watch, but we'll eat, hang, laugh a lot, bitch about the state of campus while I pretend I wish I were there (if things were the same, except for the salary, I'd go back in a heartbeat, actually) to deal with the crap that is inevitable. Things are so different there that the Chair of the Department is someone who was an adjunct when I was there!!! He's now an associate professor! I need to find a job where everybody is older than me, so I can feel young again! I went to the zoo on Monday with two co-workers, my niece, her boyfriend, my nephew and a friend of his. The co-workers are closer in age to my niece and nephew than to me!!! ARGH!!!

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about my last two weeks. I've been a busy busy busy woman!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Quiz

How do you know it's Easter?
Kathleen has bronchitis.

How do you know Kathleen has bronchitis?
It's Easter weekend, i.e., four day weekend wasted on sleeping.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

That's What I Get

80 Things I Stole From Heather at Matted Spam

Do you watch the Gilmore Girls?: Nope.

Have you ever enjoyed listening to Jack Johnson?: No. It's not that I don't enjoy him, I've just never heard anything he's done.

Do you listen to Christian rock?: Definitely not.

Have you ever seen or enjoyed watching the O.C.?: Nope, have never seen.

Do you have one or more Britney Spears C.D.?: Most definitely not.

Do you regularly watch the news?: Lately I have been because it comes on right after Ellen.

Which radio station is your favorite?: CBC Radio 2

Are you a Lost fanatic?: Saw one episode in Season 1. It seemed interesting, but I just have trouble committing to watching something every week on the same day at the same time, especially something that starts at 9:00 and doesn't end a half hour past my bedtime.

[[Be honest]]

Do you have a song by Ozzy Osbourne in your library?: I wish I did.

Alanis Morissette?: Nope

Do you watch Family Guy regularly?: No, but I hear it's very funny. I think I've seen a couple of episodes.

The Simpsons?: Haven't watched the Simpsons in years!

King of the Hill?: I think I watched the first two seasons.

[[Admit it]]

Do you read trashy romance novels often?: Not often, but occasionally when I want to read something but don't to get involved in anything that'll take me longer than an hour to read.

Do you really work out every day?: I did last year, but it's hard to get motivated when you don't see or feel any results.

Have you ever eaten chocolate in bed?: I don't think so.

Have you ever eaten an entire pint, or more, of ice cream by yourself? : At one time? No, but over the course of couple of days, yes A pint really isn't all the impressive, really. Now a half gallon! That would be impressive..

Have you ever spent an entire day in bed without being sick?: No.

Have you ever eaten nothing but junk food for a week straight? : I don't think so.

Do you shower every single morning, no exceptions?: Yes, unless I'm sick and even then I'll take one eventually.

Have you ever gone to school/work only 15 minutes after waking up?: Yes, but you feel like you're behind the entire rest of the day.

Do you ever forget to give an Christmas present & instead keep it for yourself?: No, unless I got a replacement gift.

Do you sing obnoxiously in the car when you're driving alone?: Sometimes.

Do you sing obnoxiously in the shower when no one's home?: I live alone, but do not sing in the shower.

Have you ever watched a little kid's show when you were over 12?: Who hasn't?

Have you ever looked forward to going to school?: Yes, I loved school, although I wouldn't go back for anything.

[[The Necessary Love Questions That Aren't So Necessary]]

Have you ever had an explicit dream involving your crush?: I so rarely remember my dreams that it's hard to say what I've dreamt.

...Did it include a broom closet? I think I can safely say that I have never dreamt about a broom closet in any way whatsoever.

Have you ever pretended your crush was with you when they really weren't?: Nope.

Did you draw for your first crush back in elementary school/preschool?: Draw? Hell, if I had a crush on him I wasn't going to scare him away with a stick figure drawing! I used to exchange books with him.

(Girls) Have you ever asked a guy out?: Yup, and just let me say that men do NOT want to be asked out by girls, unless the girl looks like Halle Berry.

(Guys) Have you ever liked a girl but didn't ask her out b/c you were afraid?: I know many guys who have not asked out girls because they were afraid.

Have you ever written a poem/story about your love life? What love life? I wrote a blog entry about some of my blind dates.

An autobiography?: Oh yeah, because people would flock to buy a story about my life.

Have you ever listened to a song repeatedly just because it reminded you of your crush?: I've listened to a song repeatedly because I didn't have a crush. I don't think there's a song out there that makes me think of my crush.

Have you ever spent over an hour thinking about nothing but your crush?: No, because it's depressing that the crush is not returned.

Do you reread meaningless AIM convos just because they're with your crush?: Never IMd my crush, but I don't find myself re-reading his e-mails.

Have you ever reconsidered liking someone because of their appearance?: Not really. I firmly believe that you can meet somebody is positively gorgeous, but their personality sucks canal water (none, bad, asshole, etc.) which causes me to view them unfavorably, i.e., they are no longer good looking. On the other hand, there can be someone who is not all that attractive to begin with, but as you get to know them and they turn out to be utterly cool, they become much more attractive.

Have you ever liked someone solely for their appearance? No.

[[The Questions You Love: Completely and Utterly Pointless Ones]]

Do you eat all the servings in the food groups on a daily basis?: Nope. I'm a vegetarian.

Are you ever a freak about cleanliness or organization?: I only wish.

Have you ever been treated for OCD? ADD?: Nope.

Do you own a graphing calculator?: I have no idea what this is, but I think I can safely say no.

Have you ever been to South America or Africa?: Yup, Egypt and I can't wait to go back!

Have you ever owned a Klutz book or kit?: I have no clue what this question is asking.

Do you know how to knit?: Oh yeah. Anybody want a scarf? I think my family and friends here are scarfed out.

Do you have a cellphone or iPod with a patterened cover? Nope.

Have you ever written song lyrics yourself and put them in your profile?: Puhleeze.

Do you keep a diary or journal (online or on paper)?: Yes, but I don't write in it very often. I only seem to write in it when I’m severely depressed or things I don't want to include in my diary/blog.

Did you ever want to be an astronaut or a teacher when you were a kid? I might have wanted to be a teacher at one point, but I don't remember it being a burning desire.

Do you own a striped sweater?: Hell no!

How often do you take a bubble bath?: When my apt. is freezing and I can't warm up.

When you open your closet, what is the dominant color of your clothes?: Black or red

[[Truly Unusual This or That Questions]]

Baskin Robbins or Coldstone?: Guernsey (I don't think I've ever been to Coldstone).

Sees or Godiva?: Can't get See's in Detroit.

The Shins or the Decemberists?: I'm assuming these are bands.

America or Canada?: I'd have said Canada until about a month ago but since they just voted in a Conservative government I guess I'll stick with my own country for now.

Physics or chemistry?: Are you kidding? This is a choice? Why don't you ask me if I want to die by the sword or the hangman's noose?

Glamorous or au naturale?: Oh, definitely glamorous!!! That's how everybody who knows me describes me. LOL!!!! I'm so funny!

Earphones or headphones?: Headphones. Ear buds hurt!

Chocolate brown or teal?: Hmm, I've been wearing more brown lately, but I wore teal yesterday and I have to say that I should probably wear it more often. I didn't look nearly as drab as I usually do under the fluorescent lights.

Earrings or a ring?: Why do I have to choose? I wear both.

Commitment or casual dating?: I hate dating.

Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?: Harry Potter, of course. I have yet to see any of the new LOTR movies – the one from the late 1970s pretty much cured me of wanting anything to do with LOTR.

Fly or road trip?: Depends on distance and time. Flying is helpful if you're going a fair distance and only have a few days. Road trips are cheaper (have you seen the price of airfares these days?) and I can listen to my music. Good thing about flying though is that I get knitting done.

Starbucks or Petes?: I don't drink coffee. I'd kill for Jamba Juice.

[[Another Wave of Random Questions]]

Do you know what a geisha is?: Duh.

What is your favorite Disney movie?: Mary Poppins (that was Disney, right?)

Do you have a more classic style or do you stay up-to-date (clothes wise)?: I would say neither.

How much jewelry do you own?: A lot.

What year do you (did you) graduate high school in?: 1982

Have you memorized the rejection hotline, just in case?: I doubt if I need this.

Have you ever given someone the rejection hotline as your number?: That would require unwanted attention from boys and since there is no wanted or unwanted attention in my life, this is unnecessary for my life.

Have you ever eaten at a food court?: Of course.

Have you ever bought clothes at Sears?: I have a couple of white shirts from Sears which I never wear. I used to wear the one to races instead of sunblock. It's signed by race car drivers but I retired it after Walter Payton (yes, he used to race cars and he was good) died. He was the third person on my shirt to die and I couldn't handle it anymore, so it got retired. The second white shirt was a replacement for the first shirt but I decided to invest in sunblock instead of wearing long sleeves to races when it was 90˚F.

Do you own any Care Bears memorabilia?: Dear heavens, no. I think they showed up when I was already in college.

Do you have a quilt on your bed?: Nope, down comforter!

What color is it?: Duvet cover is brick red.

I'm not sure this was all that interesting but it was easier than putting my brain to work today.

Friday, April 07, 2006

As I Sat Sadly By Her Side

100 Things I Dislike/Despise/Hate:
(In no particular order)
(which, for the record, took me three weeks to come up with)

1. Being called Kathy.
2. White sweatshirts
3. The cafeteria at work
4. Tom Cruise
5. The Religious Right
6. My lack of artistic talent
7. Winter/Being cold
8. Caffeine
9. Intolerance
10. Amber (if it's so freaking rare, why is there so much of it for sale EVERYWHERE? And I swear it all looks like plastic.)
11. Hippopotamuses
12. Getting out of bed in the morning
13. Cold as ice toilet seats
14. Junk mail
15. Speed traps
16. Health insurance companies who deny treatment to patients on basis of cost while the CEO makes $22.2 million in one year.
17. TFG (If you need help figuring out what the "F" stands for, just ask.)
18. Medium point pens
19. Snow
20. Arthritis
21. The guy at the gym who hacks every 15 seconds while on the treadmill
22. Self-righteous people
23. Black Pepper
24. People who are too bloody lazy to go to the copy room to get paper, so they put 3-hole paper in the printer. I want to smack those assholes!
25. Spam (the mystery meat or is it Soylent Green?)
26. People with absolutely no personality.
27. Sheryl Crow
28. My mother's martyrdomness
29. That the transgender at work dresses and accessorises better than I do.
30. Driving in Chicago
31. Calling my doctor's office.
32. The chemical smells of cleaning solutions (make me nauseous)
33. White chocolate
34. Wheat beers
35. Taking children to the Zoo (I like to look at the animals for longer than 10 seconds)
36. Horror movies
37. Misuse of the apostrophe (you don't need the apostrophe to form the plural of a word, my pet peeve)
38. People who brake at green lights. Those fuckers always brake, the light turns yellow, they sail through and I'm stuck sitting at a light I shouldn't be.
39. Shoot-outs in the NHL
40. Walnuts (basically any nuts in my cookies or brownies, but especially walnuts which are just vile)
41. Pumpkin pie (you can put all the damn walnuts you want to into pumpkin pie, as I'm not going anywhere near it)
42. When I can't find somebody to go to the DSO w/me
43. Beautiful weather on Thursdays and crappy, cold, rainy weather on Saturdays
44. Engineers
45. People who borrow my books and don't return them
46. Strawberry jam (too sweet)
47. Gin
48. Puking
49. Ultra-violent movies, e.g., Robocop I & II
50. Airfares right now
51. Cold rain
52. Stupid people
53. Being my mother's travel agent/entertainment
54. Soy milk
55. Salt
56. Oatmeal
57. Lavender scented candle from Yankee Candle (way too strong)
58. Babysitting the Terror Children
59. Going to the gym and seeing no results
60. George W. Bush
61. Participating in athletic/sporting events as I have no athletic ability or hand-to-eye coordination whatsoever
62. Being "throttled" by Netflix
63. Blind dates
64. Escalators
65. Yellow gold
66. Diamonds
67. Small, discreet jewelry
68. April showers
69. Mud
70. Outlook 2003
71. Most hip-hop
72. Racists
73. Sexists
74. Turquoise
75. Southwestern jewelry
76. The "n" word
77. Watching the Red Wings lose
78. Watching Michael Schumacher win F1 races (if he gets another pole and takes the pole record from Senna, you'll hear me scream)
79. Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo
80. People who don't believe in global warming
81. Companies who pollute w/o compunction
82. Selfish people
83. The new Target set-up
84. Being wet through to my socks and underwear
85. My complete lack of self control re: buying Chuck Taylors, books, CDs, DVDs (I'm going to take my credit card out of my purse, not that'll do me any good since I know the bloody number by heart).
86. Filing
87. Watching an F1 race only to see Kimi Raikkonen getting knocked out or some stupid cheap part on his car failing.
88. Having to listen to Bruno Junqueira interviewed – what a friggin' whiner!
89. Having a bridal shower planned for the same day as the first race of the season.
90. The Formula 1 Silly Season since it seems never to end anymore. Used to start around the last month of the season and extend until all seats were taken, but now it lasts all year long.
91. The fact that my city doesn't have curbside recycling for apartment buildings, but also doesn't have a Saturday drop-off anymore, so I have to store empty bottles and cans in my tiny kitchen until I get to my aunt's house. The BIL gets upset if I fill up his recycling bin – don't ask me, I don't get it either.
92. People at plays/concerts who rustle their candy bag or candy wrapper for a good minute and a half.
93. Michigan Sinuses
94. Paying bills
95. Running, since between my knees and my lungs I'm reminded that I'm no longer 18.
96. Construction barrels
97. MS Windows
98. Spending an entire Saturday doing laundry or planning on it and having the Basement Dweller jump in and steal my dryer with my quarters in it.
99. The new Jo-Ann Etc. near my house
100. Having an ass the size of Texas
101. UPS

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Do You Love Me? (Part 2)

I was visiting The West Virginia Surf Report today where he talked about taking his Blazer into the shop for its annual check-up (it might have been Friday's post) and it reminded me of my Escort. Back in 1996 I was in the process of moving to San Francisco. I wasn't taking my car with me, but living in Detroit I did need a car until the day I left, which of course means it started acting up, specifically, the transmission. I was moving mid-September and this was mid-August. For some reason, instead of taking it to my normal mechanic, I decided to take it to a transmission place. The hucksters at the transmission called me a few hours later to tell me that my transmission was shot and that it needed to be replaced at a tune of hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. This was news that made me happy as I didn't have hundreds upon hundreds to waste on a car I was only going to drive for another month.

Huckster tells me that if I wanted he would be happy to help me out and buy the car off me for a super discounted price (as the transmission was shot) and since he's in the business he could replace it for less money, blah blah blah, etc. I tell him that's not in the least bit feasible as I do need a car to get around for the next four weeks. I tell him not to touch my car and hung up. I then called my mechanic and they said to bring it in. I picked up my poor car and took it where I should have taken it in the first place. They called me a few hours later to say that the transmission was fine, since it was an automatic it needed to be flushed. They flushed it, replaced the transmission fluid for less than $100 and I was on my way. I probably should have called the Better Business Bureau on those shylocks at the transmission place, but I didn't.

Demon John

I'm generally a friendly person, I think. When I pass a person in a narrow hallway, I have a tendency to say Good morning, but I find that not everybody thinks that way. At my old job in SF, there was a woman who had the office on the 14th floor at the bottom of the stairs from the 15th floor where I sat. I can't tell you how many times I would walk down those stairs and she would walk out of her office and we'd nearly run into each other, but she couldn't be bothered to respond to my Good morning. I thought that was so incredibly rude.

This morning as I walked through the building I passed this man that I see regularly, he had just walked in the door that I was about to exit (the building is huge and rambling and I think it's quicker to walk through the parking lot than around it). I noticed that his eyes were turned to the right and downward, I was on his left. Now I'll admit that I'm no Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, but I'm better looking than the dirty floor (at least I would hope so). Anyway, I said Good morning and he didn't lift his eyes at all, but he did mumble a good morning in return. I felt like I was torturing him by greeting him. He reminded me of this person at the University when I worked there whom I'll call Wilbur. Wilbur worked for one of our historians in a Research Center, and I'm sure Wilbur is very smart, but he's one of those smart people who is quite lacking in the social graces. Do parents really think they're doing their kids a favor by not teaching them how to interact with people? I was a little mean back then, because although Wilbur knew me he always about blew a gasket when I would say Hello to him. Technically, he was a part of my department, so I would feel rude passing him and not saying Hello, but as I said Wilbur was a bit deficient in people skills. If I said Hello to Wilbur, it seemed like I threw him off his game. He'd be walking along and I'd say, "Hello, Wilbur." "Oh, uh, er, hello," with blinking eyes and a momentary pause in his walk. I always said it was like he was a computer and he had to re-boot completely because I had caused him to lose his train of thought. Wilbur had feet the size of a supertanker and he was pretty tall, but he always walked bent forward at the waist and at full speed. Speaking to him would halt his forward momentum. It was funny, but sad at the same time.

The mother of the professor for whom he worked died one semester, so we all went to the funeral and after the funeral there was the usual funeral luncheon. It wasn't that usual, though, in that it was a sit-down fully-catered affair at their fancy church. By sit-down, I mean china, extra silverware, bread plate, water glass, wine glass, etc., like a really fancy wedding. I was fortunate enough to end up sitting two people over from Wilbur. It was painful to watch. One of us had to tell him to put his napkin in his lap and as the rolls were passed around, the faculty member sitting between us had to tell Wilbur to take one and put it on his bread plate. He was in his mid- to late-twenties at this point and he needed coaching throughout the meal. Now some etiquette rules I think border on the ridiculous, but these were basics. My Grandma taught me years ago, but I don't always do it, that when eating a roll you break off a bite sized piece, butter it (if you're so inclined) and then eat that one piece. You are not to butter the entire thing and eat it like a barbarian, which is how I so often eat my roll, but I do try to behave myself at fancy occasions or Grandma's house. Trust me, we didn't try to make Wilbur eat his roll in that way. We were literally just trying to help him not embarrass himself in front of his mentor's family and friends.

My favorite Wilbur story though happened one day in the summer. I think I had gone for a walk around campus for lunch and I ran into Wilbur walking along the back half of campus in his buttoned down shirt and dress pants carrying a box of books and sweating profusely. I had to stop him and ask him what he was doing. His car had died on the exit ramp from Southfield northbound to Michigan Avenue westbound. He had walked to campus (which is a fair walk in the summer while NOT carrying a box of heavy academic tomes) carrying the box of books because they were too valuable to leave in the car. Not really, but that is what he's like. How much faster could he have gotten to campus if he hadn't been carrying that damn box? I walked back to the office with him and INSISTED of driving him back to his car to get the rest of the boxes. Yup, he was going to walk back to the car to get another box of books and walk back to campus. I forget how many boxes he had, but he would have done it instead of asking for help. It just wouldn't have occurred to him. And for that I blame his mentor who had no compunction about taking advantage of Wilbur. Of course, if that professor hadn't given Wilbur a job, I'm not sure what he would have done as I don’t think he'd make in the corporate world. He'd have to find a small boutique type company who needed his brilliance and could deal with his many eccentricities. Of course, I believe that professor has retired, so I wonder what Wilbur is doing these days.

Monday, April 03, 2006

March's Book & Movie Listings

Here is my book and movie listing for the month of March. Again, I didn't watch as many movies since Netflix has been taking their own sweet time in mailing my very popular (NOT) movies to me.


The Stranger (N)
The Order (N)
Lord of War (R)
Beyond the Sea (N)
Pay It Forward (K)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (N)
Yojimbo (B)
Stalingrad (G)
A Fistful of Dollars (N)
Broken Flowers (N)
Babylon 5 (Season 1, Discs 1 & 2) (N)
Motor Town Music Review – Live at the Apollo (1963?) with Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Marvellettes, Stevie Wonder, etc.
DVD on Historical Buildings of Detroit – more depressing than anything.


The Butcher's Boy by Thomas Perry
Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry
Big Fish by Thomas Perry
Sleeping Dogs by Thomas Perry
Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry
Dead Aim by Thomas Perry