Monday, July 31, 2006

Tahiti 80

I have much to tell you all about this weekend, but I have to start with this new blog I just found. Okay, I lie, I didn't find it. KristinTracy found it and I just followed her link. I thought he was hilarious and he writes quick, easy-to-read entries that made me laugh. Just felt the need to share.

I am now the proud owner of an air conditioner – that works! Woohoo!!! I had this one put in the living room, since the whole "let's put it in the dining room in order to keep the bathroom cool, so that I could put on make-up without sweating" scenario worked for crapola last summer. I have to say that it's awfully nice to sit in my apt. w/o sweating to death. I can wear clothing in my apt. again. Now I just have to get the AC in my car re-charged as it was fighting a losing battle on Saturday to keep me cool. I love sweating to death while dressed for a wedding.

I wore the Marilyn Monroe dress I got in New Orleans last year. And at one point, I stood over the air register at my friend's house and blew my skirt up. I'm so Marilyn-esque! LOL! NOT! I guess the dress is called the Obi Dress, but it was still pretty Marilyn Monroe-esque, so I'm going with it.

The wedding itself was fine. The bride had 12 bridesmaids and two Maids of Honor. The groom had 12 groomsmen and three Best Mans(men). The church was air conditioned and the ceremony was quite lovely. The reception was very nice. Sit down, family style dinner with just enough vegetarian food to keep me going. I was stuffed by the time dessert arrived, I can't even imagine how full I would have been if I ate meat! I didn't dance as it wasn't my kind of music. Actually, I danced to one song (they had played a song I love earlier in the night, but for some reason, no one was dancing at that time and I wasn’t going to be the only one on the dance floor – I'll do it at my bar, but not a wedding), and then I was done. I hate having stupid feet which hurt. I love my Chucks but they don't look good with the Obi dress. I stayed way later than I wanted to, because I had gone with a co-worker. She was drinking like a fish (if I had drunk what she had drunk I would have been found the next day underneath a table), and I had to drive her home. The deal had been agreed upon in advance, so it wasn't an issue. I would have gladly driven except for the lack of air conditioning in my car.

I got completely blindsided at the reception, and felt like I had been punched. A couple from my church was there and I went up to talk to them. Now at church, Carol always greets me with a huge smile and wave (or hug if we're not on opposite sides of the church), but she didn't greet me at all at the reception. I was asking how they were as I had missed two Sundays in a row and they don't go every Sunday to my church, as she's a member at a different church. She was sitting there completely stone-faced and wouldn't even look at me, so I was basically talk to Roy. He said they were getting ideas for their wedding, so I asked if they had set a date yet. Roy said, Yes, June 9. I asked if they had chosen which church yet, hers or his. No decision on that yet. I asked if her church was air conditioned since ours is not. "Oh that's a good point." During all this Carol is just sitting there with this nasty look on her face, but I simply thought she was in a bad mood for whatever reason. I asked if they found a hall yet, all basic questions, I thought, for people planning a wedding, and nothing overly personal. She finally said, "Why are you getting into my business?" I was floored. WHAT? "Why are you asking all these questions about my personal business? This is none of your business. I'm making all the plans for the wedding. He doesn't know anything." I could feel my face burning beet red as she had said this in front of a table full of people I didn't know. I stammered, "I'm sorry, Carol, but have I done something to upset you?" because she's always been so nice to me before this. She responded, "Yes, you're getting into my personal private business. I know you to speak to you. I don't know you well enough for you to be getting into my personal business. Why are you asking all these questions?" Everybody at the table was looking at me surreptitiously, and I felt about *this* big. If I had had my wits about me, I would have said something about being part of a church family, as those words are always being tossed around at church, but I was too dumbfounded by this completely unprovoked attack. I sat there trying to come up with something to say, but finally just stood up and said, "I'll see you at church." And walked away. I wish I had thought to say, "If you don't want people asking about your wedding plans, you shouldn't tell them you're engaged. If you're so damned private, keep your news to yourself." And I'd liked to say that I didn't say anything because I took the high road, but the truth is that my brain has simply stopped functioning at that point.

Back at my table, my friend looked at me and asked if I were all right. I was so upset that I almost cried right there. I just smiled a little and said, "I'm fine." I glanced over at Roy and Carol's table a few moments later and I could tell that they were having an argument. I like to think that Roy was asking her why she treated me that way, but I'm afraid she was probably in charge, although what she'd be saying I have no clue. I'd like to say that I shrugged it off and didn't let it bother me, but that'd be a lie. I let it bother me all night. I almost didn't go to church, even though I knew they weren't going to be there.

One of the reasons I started going to my church is that it had restored to me my faith in people. The people there are so loving and warm, generally. Now I was viewing them all as complete hypocrites, wondering how they would treat me OUTSIDE of church, but I got up and went anyway, knowing that I couldn't judge everybody by one person. I wanted to see Cherrell and see what her thoughts were on Carol. I wasn't planning on telling anybody else, just Cherrell. And I didn't, but there's no stopping Cherrell when she has the bit between her teeth. She was so upset by the incident on my behalf that she was crying – she's such a sweet kid (19, I think, now, maybe 20). She turned to her Mom and said, "See, this is why I don't want to come here. They're all a bunch of hypocrites." I said, "Uh, Cherrell, I wasn't going to tell anybody else." But she didn't care, Cherrell now had a cause! I did feel better after telling Cherrell and in the end, her mother, her aunt and my mother, because they were all appalled by Carol's behavior, and I was assured that I hadn't done anything wrong. Cherrell said, "That woman better not ever speak to me, because I will go off on her." And she will, too. Johnny, my church mother's son, told me that I should confront Carol the next time I see her and say my piece and then let it go. He didn't know about whom we were talking, but caught the gist of the problem. I told him that I had decided that I was simply never going to speak to her again. He insists that I should tell her off and then never speak to her again, and maybe he's right, but it's not my style. Ignoring her existence is more my style, not that she'll care, I don't think, because if she did, why did she speak to me like that? It does show me that once she and Roy are married, she doesn't plan on going back and forth between churches. She's not just making all the decisions about the wedding, but probably his life too.

The stress of Saturday night gave me a headache which ended up lasting until I went to bed last night, and I can tell that it's not actually gone, just biding its time, waiting to come back. I was just drained from all the emotion and the headache and did damn near nothing yesterday – I watched the Champ Car race and the movie Syriana. Has anybody else watched Syriana? Bloody hell, but I was confused. I did not enjoy the style at all. I contemplated keeping it a day longer and watching it again when my brain wasn't hurting me, but decided I didn't care that much. If someone wants to fill me, I'm willing to devote a few more moments to it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

There's so much I didn't tell you in my last post about the weekend! First, I was going to bitch about NorthWorst, the suckiest airline in the entire freaking world. Ursamajor proved once again what a fabulous friend she is by getting up way early to take me to the airport. I'm an anal traveler and actually get to the airport two hours early for an international flight. I got through check-in and security within 30 minutes, so I took my time walking to my gate (the flight was listed as On Time although it was a later time than my itinerary read – but I'm easy-going, so no biggie). I bought the Sports Illustrated Special Edition on Steve Yzerman and still had a long time to wait for my flight. We board on time and I get ensconced in my window seat and then comes the announcement from the flight deck "Good morning. This is the captain speaking. We will have a slight delay before we take-off. This plane was originally scheduled to go somewhere else and it has too much fuel on board, so we have to take some off. We are waiting for the fueling guy to come back and help us out with that." Yay.

I got out my knitting. However long later, the captain comes on again, "Okay, the defueling guy is coming. He should be here momentarily." Fifteen minutes later, "The fueling guy has arrived. We should be on our way shortly." However long it takes to get the proper amount of fuel out of the plane, "The defueling is finished. Now we just need to complete some paperwork." An hour after our scheduled departure time, our plane pushes away from the terminal and proceeds to wait God knows how long to take-off. Here's the fun part, my layover in Minneapolis is only an hour and eleven minutes. Good thing, I'm easy-going, right. ARGH!!! I damn near finished the scarf I was knitting (and had just started on the plane and it was three skeins long). I had a very pleasant chat with my neighbor (nobody in the middle seat, so that was nice). He was going fishing in Montana for ten days or so, school principal from the Pittsburgh area, and also saw his hour and ten minute layover disappear. When the flight attendants were handing out beverages (I want the whole damn can, thank you very much, cheap-ass NorthWorst), I asked about our connecting flights. I guess that's one good thing about flying into a hub, they're well used to having to wait for their own flights. And the odds of my international flight to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada being in the same terminal as my domestic from Detroit hub flight? Yeah, slim to none. I had to race from F14 to C-Something in 9 minutes in my slip-on chunky platform sandals (of course, the time I choose not to wear my Chucks, because I was tired of having to take them off to go through Security, I have to race through the friggin' airport like O.J. Simpson) while carrying my two carry-on bags. I was not pleased. My seat mate grabbed one of my bags at one time while we raced through the airport (he was heading to terminal D). He handed my bag back to me, we wished each good luck in catching our flights, and then found out I had to take a TRAM to my friggin' gate. I was positive by this time that I was going to miss my flight and I couldn't imagine there was more than one flight to Edmonton each day. My easy-going-ness was disappearing FAST!

As I ran up to the gate I hear them announcing my name (along with two others) asking me to report to the podium at C-Something. As I ran along the gangway, a worker told me "Plenty of time, don't worry." And of course, there was plenty of time because we had to wait for our luggage to get put on the plane. Yes, it did, thankfully. The highlight of my entire trip was finding out who my seatmate was. On this flight I was blessed in that I got the middle seat. How on earth do overweight people deal with those seats? Crap, but there was no room to freaking move. Knitting would have been rude because my elbows would have been in their midsections. The guy in the window seat is wearing a white shirt with the Champ Car patch on the left side. On my flight to Vegas two years ago I sat next to Roy, a member of the Champ Car safety team. To this day I say Hi to Roy when I see him at the races (he wasn't in Edmonton). Anyway, if you know me, you know that I have a tendency to talk to strangers at ballgames, hockey games, on the plane, standing in the line at the grocery store, just about anywhere, so having a guy wearing a Champ Car shirt next to me, meant he was not safe! I immediately started talking to him, let him know I was heading up to Edmonton for the race, etc. I asked him what he did for Champ Car, "I'm 'the general counsel." "You're their lawyer?" "Yeah, we're not all bad." LOL. By the end of the flight, I had his business card (don't worry, I wasn't completely obnoxious, he spent plenty of time listening to his iPod and reading his book).

He was on my flight (or was I on his?) coming home on Monday and the poor guy was sitting near me again. This time I had an aisle seat and he was one row back in the aisle seat on the other side of the aisle. I was very good and didn't bother him, although I did pass the sports section back to him at one point. And then when we were waiting to exit the plane I turned to him and asked if it would be too forward of me to send him my resume. My own company is in dire straits and although I like my job and the people, it's a tad stressful always wondering when we're going to cut jobs again. He said, "Of course not, we're always looking." So, I took the time on Wednesday to make sure the resume was up to date (added two references from my current employer and searched down my SF boss and got his number) and then e-mailed it. I get a little queasy just thinking about it. I don't really want to live in Indy, but a friend of mine says it's a nice city. Of course, there's no major league hockey or baseball there, and I would have to get the cable packages which would give me access to Wings & Tigers games, which is a problem, but I think it would be pretty sweet to work for the company I love most in this world. Of course, it's not going to happen, so it doesn't matter, right?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You Should Be Dancing

Whew! My weekend in Edmonton was fabulous! Fabulously hot! And fabulously cool! They broke a 69 year old record on Saturday for highest temperature. Isn't that fun? And it reached 100˚F on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. (thankfully we had left the track by them, so we were probably only out in 98˚F. The air conditioning in our hotel was most definitely not up to the task. It never got cool in there and with the humidity from the shower and from overlooking the pool room (it sucked), the room was just always humid. My apt. with fans and open windows was cooler!

Did anybody know that Edmonton has the largest Mall in North America? (Possibly the world) Yup, it's bigger than the Mall of America and on Sunday afternoon it was JAMMED! You would have thought it was a Saturday in December with everybody doing their Christmas shopping. It has the requisite amusement park with roller coaster, but since it was Canada it also had an ice rink right in the center og the mall. The mall closest to me had an ice rink in it when it first opened, but it was just a normal ice rink, not out in the center of the mall where everybody walked past it. I have to say that it was the first time I had been somewhat cool all freaking weekend long!

Saturday night we went to the Inner Circle Fan Club dinner and it was held OUTSIDE!! It was 90-fucking-some degrees outside, all of us had been at the race track all day long sweltering, and they decided to have dinner on the veranda. Even I, normally a huge fan of the outdoor eating, wasn't pleased. In the end it was all worth it though, because HRH won a pace car ride. (It's a frame set-up, so to view a lap at Edmonton, go Experience, then Take A Lap, and then click on Edmonton, Alberta. It'll take you less than 2 minutes.) Dave & Linda, the couple that runs the fan club, were selling Inner Circle hats for $20 (CDN) for a chance to win the pace car ride. He had about five left at some point and said, "If I sell all the hats, I'll give away THREE pace car rides." Eventually, he said, "I have one hat left, but will still give away three rides." HRH spoke up and said, "If you sell all of them, will you throw in one more ride?" Dave said, "Yes" so HRH bought a second hat which gave her two chances. She ended up winning the 3rd ride. She was on Cloud Nine for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday, even after the ride. As she went through our turn (hairpin), Allison, the driver, honked the horn and HRH waved. I was trying to video it on Roadrunner's camera (as HRH had my camera), but, of course, the jackass in front of me stood up just as HRH went by so I got a nice view of his back. And I didn't see her waving. He's lucky I didn't smack him.

Roadrunner and I are seriously contemplating buying a pace car ride at Road America. HRH said it was the coolest thing ever and she's definitely going to buy a ride at RA. The track map of Road America doesn’t show you the elevation changes, the way the front straight goes straight up into the sky. And even on television you can't see how steep that hill is. My first visit to RA was incredible. Actually all first visits to race tracks are incredible. Watching on TV makes so much more sense when you've seen how the track is laid out, in person. It's hard to appreciate The Corkscrew and Rainey Curve at Laguna Seca until you've stood there and seen the cars go screaming past as they make that blind turn from Turn 7 into The Corkscrew where the track falls away and all you can see is blue sky. My dream pace car ride would happen at Laguna Seca, but since we no longer run there, I'll content myself with seriously considering buying the ride at Road America. I can't even imagine the spell the race track will have on my soul after that experience.

I've found that over the winter I get to thinking that I don't need racing in my life, but then I get to a race and the sights and sounds and smells are so familiar, so beloved. I'm just so happy and content with life when I'm at the track – even when it's 100 freaking degrees Fahrenheit and getting a sunburn through my SPF 55 because the sun is just brutally beating down on us. Even when it's raining and cold and I'm shivering through my rain gear. I simply love racing and am so lucky that I have friends who feel the same way. I don't know that I would be venturing out to all these different race tracks (In fact, I would bet money that I wouldn't be) if I hadn't discovered the ESPN Racing Chat over eleven years ago and found so many like-minded folk who have turned out to be my best friends. From Paula in NC whom we can never get to join us at the races because her life is so crazy busy to HRH in Toronto who is my regular race going buddy to Roadrunner in NM who is going to more races with HRH & me to DH1 and The Boys who introduced us to Cleveland (the race every race fan, open wheel or NASCAR or even neophyte, should attend because it's always brilliant) and for that we'll always love him to Silmo (Silver3 & emmo2) who met because of Cleveland and got married (RIP emmo2, I'll love you always) to Griz (my dear adopted Dad who was supposed to give me away if I ever got married, but God had other plans for him) to Spike & Rowlin', another couple who got together essentially because of Cleveland. Going to races isn't just about the racing, although that's what brought us all together, it's about seeing everybody, catching up in person on what's happening in everybody's life (e-mail isn't always sufficient) and sharing our passion for turbocharged, open wheel, open cockpit, carbon fibre, methanol-burning race cars. It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Start of the breakdown

First things first, I've completely stolen part of Blue Meany's disclaimer and am posting it here in this entry. If someone out there knows how to get it into my header (like Blue Meany), I'd greatly appreciate it.

If I know you personally and haven't invited you here -- well, there's a reason for that, so kindly go on back to whichever part of my life you belong in. Trust me, this is for your own good.

Now, back to your regularly schedule program.

I'm very excited. I leave Thursday for Edmonton. If you haven't looked at a map of Canada before to figure out where Edmonton is exactly, let me just say this: it's REALLY far north. You can try this, but I've found that links to mapquest's maps rarely work, so just go to mapquest, type in Edmonton, AB and then zoom out a bit. The good news is that yahoo weather is telling me that it's going to be 88F & 89F this Friday and Saturday. That won't make HRH happy, but considering that for last year's race, the weather was in the 50s and raining, I'll take high 80s. Freezing to death and being wet at the same time at the race track is so not fun. I've done it and trust me, I prefer sweating to death. But I'm crazy that way.

I had an absolutely insanely busy weekend, which started off with me being exhausted and just got worse from there. As Pamela said on Friday, "I can sleep when I'm dead." And at this rate, I might be upping the ante. The Concert of Colors was very cool. The sad part was that it was FREE, and there were not that many people there. Sure, there were quite a few people, but considering it was FREE!!! The DSO played a piece by De Falla, Danzon #1 by Marquez (Mexican composer) and the Ginastera piece that sent me over the moon last year when Maestro Jarvi played it as an encore. After a brief intermission, the DSO joined with Poncho Sanchez (apparently a well-known Latin Jazz conguero – means he plays the congas) and performed a bunch of songs. I'm not really much for instrumental jazz, but the stuff with the DSO was very cool. The songs he and his band did by themselves were cool, but I have issues with long-ass single instrument instrumental, if you know what I mean. I honestly don't need to hear the trombonist do his thing for five minutes. I prefer to hear all the instruments at the same time. Still, I would have to say it was very cool. We also caught about 15 minutes of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux from New Orleans and they were very fun. I wouldn't have mind catching their whole show, but they were playing at the same time as the DSO.

Saturday I caught up on the Tour de France (half-assedly watching Saturday's stage) before napping for 30 minutes before going to The Nephew's Graduation Party. It was only 90+F, so it was perfect for an outdoor open house get together. The OS, of course, had nothing vegetarian of any sort of substance or nutritional value (cole slaw and potato wedges and fruit salad) She had a pasta/mostaccioli dish with a red sauce and cheese, but when I looked closely, I saw that it was a meat sauce. They also had chicken, so there was no reason to include the meat sauce on the pasta, except that that would mean encouraging me in my silly little vegetarianism. Honestly, it's been over 20 years, at some point, do you think they could accept it and even possibly think about it and consider having food for me? I'm constantly being told to bring my own food to family functions which ceases to amuse after a while. Nobody else has to bring their own food! Is it that hard to pick up a package of Boca burgers when you're buying the hamburger for BBQs? Apparently it is.

Oh, sorry, this wasn't supposed to be a rant entry! After the graduation party, I went home to take a nap, as I was going to see The Muppet Movie at midnight. Jason had mentioned it in his blog last week and I got a bee in my bonnet about it. I wanted to see it on the big screen! I had mentioned it to Martha, Pamela and Pamela's friend Monty and they all sounded fairly up for it, although Martha was unsure about the whole midnight start time. I ended up going with The Libertarian and a friend of his. Pamela is fighting a cold and decided to go to bed at a decent hour instead of hacking and coughing her way through a movie, and Martha never called me back (which she regretted on Monday when I talked to her). Neither The Libertarian or his friend had ever seen The Muppet Movie before! How does that happen??? I've seen it so many times it's not even funny. Some people have lived such deprived lives. The miracle of the night was that I stayed awake for the whole thing!!!!

Sunday was hotter than the hubs of Hell, so, of course, I was sitting at the ol' ballpark in left field with not a smidgeon of shade anywhere to be seen watching the Tigers lose to the Royals. I had a feeling since they had won the previous three games in the series and Leyland was resting our three big hitters, that they were going to lose, but still. I'm a firm believer in the saying, "You can't win 'em all" but when I'm sweating to beat the band, it would help if they could win. Todd Jones is my new favorite Tiger (Sorry, My Brandon), as he brought out the hose and sprayed those of us sitting right behind the bullpen with water. He did it twice and I have to say, "Mr. Jones, it was GREATLY APPRECIATED! You rock!" The second time he was just spraying the shirtless kids standing right in front of him and those of us behind were not getting any of the residual spray, so I stood up and yelled his name, he looked straight at me and then turned the hose in my direction. I was quite wet, but it was worth it. And of course, it was so damn hot out there that I was completely dry within 30 minutes. I'm not sure how The Libertarian felt about Sporting Event Kathleen as at one point, he looked at me and said, "I thought you were shy and quiet." LOL! You've known me for five years and you're just figuring out I'm not shy and quiet? I will admit that I do have my shy moments, usually around new people, but quiet? Ha ha, only when I'm being shy! He lived through the second baseball game of his life, and he did say that I'm his favorite person to go to games with - over the two guys from college with whom he went to his first game years ago. Damning with faint praise?

I made my fat butt go to the gym yesterday where I did another hour on the elliptical machine but this time the program was trail blazer which is more difficult than Forest Walk. And I'm planning on going again today before heading to the baseball game. At least I'm trying. I might not be accomplishing anything, but at least no one can say that I'm not trying.

Today is my third baseball game in six days. I'm going with some co-workers. It should be quite exciting as we are playing the White Sox who are 4.5 games back on us for the Central Division. Nate Robertson is pitching and I'm very excited about that! I tried to buy Major League Chew last night for us, as Nate started the whole Gum Time which is kind of the Tigers answer to the rally monkey, but stupid CVS didn't have any. I hope Dentyne Fire works as well!

And there you have the excitement that is my life! Hope I had you on the edge of your seat!

Friday, July 14, 2006


I am so bloody tired it's not funny. The bloody baseball game ran quite long. I swear we were barely to the fifth inning after 2 hours. I kept exhorting them to speed the game, "I need to go to bed." Yeah, they didn't listen to me. As usual, I annoyed the people in front of me. I don't plan on doing it, it just happens. I'm sorry but when I go to games (and races), I get into the event. I yell for all my favorite players (racers) and I don't give a flying fart if the people in front of me don't like it. I find it more fun to get into the game. I'm silly that way. The two old ladies finally moved five or so seats down, but the old men stayed right there in front of me, occasionally whispering to each other and trying the surreptitious glance back (I love it when I catch them doing it, as they immediately turn back around like they weren't looking at me). Did it stop me? Hell no!!! You're at a sporting event, people, deal with a little yelling. I'm sure they thought I was drunk, because don't people only yell and holler when they're drunk? Nope, not me. I yell and holler when I'm sober. I did have a Mike's Hard Lime yesterday but it took me over an hour to drink it, so I wasn't even tipsy. And when I have been drunk at a game (see: my birthday last year), I was too oblivious to what was going on to yell about anything.

I don't know if the Libertarian is prepared for Sporting Event Kathleen, but if he's not, life's rough. I will be wearing a Tigers shirt, a Tigers hat (probably my orange 1934 World Series hat) and my Tigers Chuck Taylors (sixth pair from the bottom). I believe in showing my full support for my teams.

I only got 2.5 hours of the five tapes hours of the Tour de France from yesterday watched before I had to get ready for the game. I was hoping the game would be quick and I'd be home by 10:00 to watch a bit more, but that didn't happen. So, today I need to watch the remaining 2.5 hours of the Tour, go to the gym or nap, and then get ready to go downtown to the Concert of Colors. Martha is going with me and we're planning on going down early and eating at Union Street which works perfectly since Union Street was the location Pamela chose to have the group gather before we walk down to Orchestra Hall. Union Street has kick-ass French Fries, but I will be good and not get them as I am trying to lose weight (oh so unsuccessfully).

I have decided that a nap is most definitely necessary today, I'm too tired to sit in a concert w/o falling asleep. They could be doing the 1812 Overture and I'm pretty sure I'd still fall asleep.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I was a good girl yesterday and went to the gym. It was weird, because there was no thought process involved. I got home from work and put on gym clothes and went to the gym. I did my usual hour on the elliptical, although at times my knees were absolutely no cooperating and causing me some decent amount of pain. I guess I should get serious and get the X-rays of them taken again and then make an appt. with the orthopedic surgeon, just to see what's going on. I found out that the cyst in my right knee is IN the bone. For the past 2-3 years I thought it was on the knee (yeah, I don't know exactly what I thought, but IN the bone is a little freaky to me).

My problem is that I'm just too darn busy to do these things, especially when the X-ray place is a good 30 minutes away. Not something I can do in the middle of my lunch hour or anything. Oh, and I'm lazy. That might have something to do with it too.

I did laundry last night and we got another new used washing machine. This one looks exactly like the second machine (which as you might remember sucked ass in the spinning dry department), but works oh so much more efficiently. My clothes dried in less than the hour my four quarters buy me. So exciting! I was even feeling kindly and put The Basement Dwellers two t-shirts into the dryer when I was done to use up my remaining time. The chick really needs to learn the art of WRINGING her clothes out. I just hope she doesn't freak out when they're not on the line and thinks to look in the dryers as I wasn't feeling so kindly as to go back down and take them out and fold them. My niceness only goes so far.

All this means (along with a 30 minute phone call with Martha) that I didn't even start watching the tape of the Tour until 7:00 p.m. (I couldn't miss Stargate SG-1) which wasn't the best move since it was a four hour tape. I didn't get to bed until 11:00 p.m., and if you know me, you know my bedtime usually starts with a 9. I'm in big trouble today because coverage started at 6:30 a.m. today which means FIVE hours of coverage to watch at some point, but not tonight, as tonight is the baseball game with Glen. He's picking me up at 5:00, so I have to decide between going to the gym and napping. I asked one of the secretaries here and she said, "Gym." I know she's right, but that's not what I wanted to hear. ;-) We're playing the Royals tonight which kind of sucks because right now the Royals are in a fierce battle with the Pirates for Suckiest Team in the Entire League. Of course, if the Tigers are anything like the Wings, they'll play down to the level of the Royals and end up losing. I'm praying they're not like the Wings.

For the record, the Red Wings are going to suck next year. The GM said this week "We hope to make the playoffs." WHAT!!! ARE YOU FRIGGIN' KIDDING ME??? HOPE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?! Well, then, here's a suggestion, how about you don't sign a completely washed-up hack of a goalie with a bad back? I read that Toskala of the Sharks thinks the Sharks should trade a goalie as he doesn't want to fight it out with his good friend Evgeny Nabokov for the starting position. Unfortunately, I don't think the Wings have anything to trade (maybe they should have signed the cherry-picker and then traded him for a bloody goalie), but I'd take either one, especially over Belfour or Hasek. *sigh* Looks like I'll be throttled by Netflix again next winter.

Sorry about the inundation of sports-related posts of late, but it is July and things are a'happening there, which is good since there's a nothing happening in my life, but what else is new?

I did "dare to suck" again this past weekend. And boy, did I accomplish that! The manual transmission and I are not friends when it comes to hills. It didn't help that we were out there driving during rush hour. I'm all worried about the cars stuck behind me while I was stalled at the damn light, and the Libertarian is saying, "Don't worry about him. He can wait." Not my style, since I know how annoyed I get when I'm stuck behind someone who doesn't "go" when the light turns green. There aren’t a lot of hills in southeastern Michigan, but he found a second one for me to suck at, when I refused to go back to the first one. He finally figured out that I was too nervous about people hitting us in the back end to concentrate on what I needed to be doing, so we went back to our trusty parking lot where I practiced shifting and accelerating smoothly and properly. I'm still not very good at it, and I know that's normal and it takes lots of practice, etc., but I don't like doing things at which I'm not good, so it's hard for me. But I will persevere because what Democrat wants to fail in front of a Libertarian??? ;-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I don't know what is going on, but I've been completely unable to sleep for the past few weeks. Last week, I could chalk up to not being in my own bed (and them there was the whole "Scare the crap out of Kathleen with deer tick and Lyme disease stories"), but I haven't been able to sleep since I've gotten home either. Very frustrating as I do like my sleep. I even stayed up late last night (10:00 p.m.) in an effort to fall asleep which failed miserably. I finally got out of bed and took a shower, hoping that would help. Yeah, it didn't.

After work yesterday, I had decided to walk to my pharmacy and then to the farm market. I briefly changed my mind because I was too fat to fit into my shorts and that just disgusted me. But then I saw my 'script lying there and realised I had to go. So, I walked to the pharmacy and got my prescription filled and then on to the farm market, I'd say it's a good mile there and another back, so it was a decent walk, especially the walk home when I was carrying a number of pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers, nectarines, plums and popcorn. I thought that would help tire me out and help me sleep. Yeah, not so much. I have to decide if today I walk to Kroger and buy groceries (the only foodstuff I have in my house other than the stuff bought yesterday is frozen spinach) or go to the gym and spend an hour on the elliptical. Or two.

I had been planning on blowing off Mass this past Sunday, just because, but I got a call when I was at the Tigers game two Wednesdays ago from a woman at church asking if I were going to be there. I asked why and she said it was the day of Erica's baptism (they spell Erica a completely different way, but I can't even begin to attempt it as it contains A, K, H, Y). As I'm Erica's godmother (yeah, I should figure out how to spell it), I said, Of course I'll be there. Fr. did a totally kick-ass job of moving things along and even with the baptism, it only took an hour and a half. I congratulated him after Mass. He just laughed. I have pics of Fr. to post at some point. I took two pics of him with my church Mother.

I think I've told that story before, but it's always a fun telling, so I'll tell it again for my newer readers. And one point of clarification, my church is in Detroit and is 97% African-American.

Back in 2000, after I had just moved back, they asked in church one Sunday to pray for Bennie because she was in the hospital (I forget why). YS and I asked after church which hospital she was in and we took off to visit her. When we first got there, she was napping, so we wandered around for a little while. She was awake when we got back and was very happy to see us. We were just chit-chatting about whatever, when a nurse came in to check her vitals. Bennie said, "Oh, nurse, these are my daughters." The nurse glanced back at us in greeting, and then did a double-take. YS and I were trying not to giggle, as Bennie clarified with, "My church daughters." We all smiled politely at each other, but when the nurse left, we all giggled about it.

I think it was good that I took a couple of weeks off from church because I actually missed seeing everybody, and I wasn't feeling hateful toward a certain choir director. It didn't hurt that the extremely, horribly, sucky long-ass Alleluia has gone away (I hope forever) for a nice normal (and shorter) one.

After Mass, I had a mini-family reunion (very mini) at Grandma's country club (YUM) with Grandma's brother's kids. Their mother's side of the family had had a reunion, so most of the girls showed up (three out of four) but none of the boys (one ex-wife, whom it was fabulous to see), and a number of their kids whom I did not know. I always thought that side of the family was cool, probably because we saw them all so rarely. Of course, the fact that I had a total crush (when I was 10 and he was 20(?)) on one of my cousins might have played a part. He wasn't there as he is off sailing in the Greek Isles (Yeah, I'm a tad jealous), but it was his ex-wife who showed up and it's always great to see her. The LB called me later that day and I told him that I got a picture of her for him and he asked if I had told her that he was available. I laughed at him, and then told him that I had invited her to join us in Vegas when we go in October. She sounded like she might, so that'd be fun. I told her we were going hiking and shegot this look on her face, so I said, "Or you can hang out in the casino with HRH." Her face cleared and she said, "Oh, yeah, that's more my cup of tea." I hope she does come up as it would be great to see her again.

I have another very booked week/weekend planned, to say nothing of next week. Netflix will be doing the happy dance as I watched my first two movies of the month over the weekend and that'll probably be it until August as July is scheduled to the nth degree. My schedule is so stupid, I haven't seen Martha in a year (okay, that's a slight exaggeration, it's probably been a couple of months). It doesn't help that her schedule is stupid, too. Holy crap! I just went through my book and I haven't seen Martha since May 11! TWO full months. Craziness. Our after-work hours are just silly busy, so we've made plans to go to lunch on Friday (something I rarely do is leave the office for lunch, because then I have to stay longer). Thursday is (or maybe that's "used to be") our usual after work drinks day, but this Thursday I'm going to the Tigers game with Glen the Good aka GtG. Yay!

A month ago when Pamela and I were at the Detroit Festival of Arts, we had discussed going to the Concert of Colors at the Max M. Fisher Theater on Friday (July 14). Saturday is The Nephew's graduation party and Sunday might be another baseball game. It's free Cap day, so I want to get there early and get a hat! Free Tigers caps are all good in my book! Next Monday I will rest, in theory, but then Tuesday is back to the ol' ballpark as I made plans with two co-workers to catch a game, before one goes off on launch (the same two co-workers with whom I went to the Zoo on Easter Monday). Wednesday I'll be packing because I leave Thursday morning for Edmonton for another fun-filled (but exhausting) race weekend.

Damn, I'm tired just thinking about everything I have planned!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oh Happy Day

Oh Happy Day!

I totally did the Happy Dance today when my Mom told me the news. He's been a slack-ass for the past three seasons, floating around and hitting only when he couldn't avoid it and then he didn't hit any harder then my 87-year-old Grandma. Nice to see that the Rangers are still over-paying players, even in this day of a salary cap. I had been scared to death that the Wings were going to re-sign him, so Whew! Next up on the Worry List? They're freaking talking to Belfour??? What the hell? I think people down at Olympia Entertainment are smoking crack, because it's the only explanation for considering that nutcase. He's just another player who needs to give it up and retire. He's too damn old for the game, to say nothing of his previous injuries. And I won't even mention the time he tried to castrate Martin Lapointe with his goalie stick.

Tour de France 2006 (Stage 8)

I love the month of July because it is the month of the Tour de France. If any of you are watching you already know how utterly fascinating it is. If you're not, I highly recommend that you tape (or Tivo, if you've joined the 21st Century) the morning coverage (generally starts at 8:30 a.m. ET), as opposed to the 8:00 p.m. "Enhanced Coverage." The reason I recommend the morning coverage is that you get Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett as commentators vs Bob Roll (see: Most Annoying Color Commentator in the History of the Freaking World). Besides if you tape it, you can fast forward through the darn commercials, and that is all good. I have no clue what's "enhanced" about the prime time coverage, unless it's the whole Bob Roll thing, because he annoys me so badly that five seconds of him on my TV and I'm ready to throw my beer bottle at it.

One of the things I love about the Tour is when the breakaway actually works and someone who left the group early in the stage wins. It rarely happens, sadly, but today (Sunday) it did. Congratulations to Sylvain Calzati, who had to abandon the Tour last year in Stage 8. He took off at kilometre 46 with a group of five riders, but with 30 km left, he decided to take off on his very own. Very very cool to see a breakaway win.

The Americans are in trouble, except for Floyd Landis (probably my least favorite American, although I can't say why I haven't warmed up to him). My very favorite, Levi Leipheimer, had a shitty time trial on Saturday and when he should have moved up the standings, he lost 6 minutes and fell way back. In today's interview he explained that he hasn't been feeling well and he's hoping that he starts to feel better. I hope he can go out in a breakaway in the mountain, and gain some time back.

Monday is a rest day, so you have until Wednesday until I bore you with another Tour de France post.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Captain Retires

On Monday, Steve Yzerman, The Captain, announced his retirement. It was an announcement that most of Detroit had been waiting for, not anxiously, but simply expecting. Although Stevie played his heart out this season, when he played, everybody knew it was over. It is the end of an era, not just here in Detroit, but in major sports everywhere. Mitch Albom did a nice job explaining what Stevie means, to this city. I don’t think anybody here really ever wanted to see the day that the Red Wings put the “C” on somebody else, but it is time. Come next season it’ll be weird not seeing him on the ice, not hearing Bud Lynch calling his name as a starter, not experiencing the standing “O” that was de riguer when he was announced. People in this town love him for all he did for this town, how he put his heart and soul into our hockey team and embraced the city as his home.

Thank you, Stevie Y, for all you gave the “D.”


I've been on the far west coast of Michigan since Sunday visiting the YS. Her BF was here until yesterday when he headed north to visit his family. I had met him twice before but hadn't really spent any time with him as he lives in VA. Sunday night when he was taking his dog out for a "walk," she asked me if I liked him. I seriously don't think you should ask that question. If your family likes him, they'll tell you. I remember when I started dating the ex- 20 years ago, the OS invited me over for a night in the hot tub. I should have suspected something because she never did that, but I was naive. She proceeded to tell me that she hated him and that she wouldn't speak to him and that Mom and FF didn't like him either. Mind you, I had only been dating him for about four weeks. If she had kept her mouth shut, I probably would have dumped him within three months as was my norm, instead I dug my heels in and wasted four years with him.

Anyway, I told the YS that he was fine. A friend of hers came over last night and the friend point blank asked me, "Do you like the BF?" What the Fuck!!! DO NOT ASK THAT QUESTION like that unless you either don't want the truth or you already know the answer. YS apparently didn't fall for the "He's fine" response, because last night she said to me, "I know you don't like him. Why not?" I said, "I don't have to like him. You're dating him. You need to like him." She didn't really take that answer and asked for specifics. My problem is that I have a tendency to process situations, thoughts, etc. down into the overall feeling and forget the specifics. I do remember that when we were out hiking, he would say things that were a tad passive-aggressive, he-man-ish, etc. I had walked away from the friend's question and as I came out of my bedroom, I heard the YS say, "She doesn't like him because he likes Bush." WHAT!?! I said, "I didn't know that." That definitely is a huge strike against him in my book.

We did a helluva lot of hiking, first Sunday and then Tuesday. Sunday we went out to the Ludington State Park and first went out to the lighthouse and then hiked the Lighthouse Trail out. It was very beautiful, but the trail started out all sand and continued that way for a good half of the trail. Sand is a bitch to hike in.

Tuesday we hiked a good 10 or so miles for a good four hours. We started out on the Ridge Trail, then moved to the Lost Lake Trail, then the Island (or something) Trail, then something that wasn't named (I don't think) and ended on Skyline. As we walked back to the truck, we saw three deer, two does and a fawn. So cute. I got TONS of pics!

Yesterday I sat outside and read the latest Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum book and got a tad sunburned. Right now I'm watching the Tour de France and then I'll head to the beach (with sunblock) and read the latest John Sandford. Apparently, we're going hiking again tonight after the YS gets home from work and I head home tomorrow morning. When I got up Sunday morning with my bags all packed and waiting in the hallway, all of Boris' toys (they're technically Igor's too, but he won't have anything to do with them) were sitting outside my bedroom door which indicated to me that Boris was stressed about me leaving. Usually he only carries one or two around the house while I'm sleeping. It had been a very long time since he's brought all of them to me. So, I'm heading home tomorrow morning and won't go anywhere until it's time for me to head to Edmonton (two weeks).

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. Once I get all my pics into flickr, I'll post some, as it doesn't seem blogger wants me to include pics still.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy July!

Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian readers (Dreadmouse).

I'm on enforced vacation starting Monday which means I'm heading out of the metro Detroit area tomorrow morning. I got up at 6:30 this morning (that's a Saturday for those of you reading on Monday) in order to get my damn laundry done as the used new washing machine has not been replaced with a machine that actually spins the clothes dry. I still need to pack but am waiting for my clothes to dry as they hang on the line.

Since it is the first of the month, here is a list of movies (shamefully short) and books read and watched in June.


Babylon 5 Movie: In the Beginning (N)
Babylon 5: Season 5: Discs 1-5
Babylon 5 Movie: Thirdspace (N)
Tears for Fears: No Show: California Nights (GtG)


The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr

This book had started as a short story for a book that was kind of a tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous detective Sherlock Holmes, but Mr. Carr ended up writing a novel. It was very very good. I have read a couple of his other books, The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, and since I had been quite entertained by them, I was looking forward to this one. I definitely recommend it.

Alex Zanardi: My Sweetest Victory: A Memoir of Racing Success, Adversity, and Courage by Alex Zanardi with Gianluca Gasparini & Foreword by Mario Andretti who was my very first racing hero.

I know this book has limited appeal if viewed simply as a racing book, but I honestly believe that it's more than that. If you don't know even the most rudimentary facts about Alessandro Zanardi, the fact that he survived an accident that should have killed him might interest some. I actually met 'Sandro in Cleveland in 2001 and he was a complete gentleman and even though I was completely starstruck, he acted like he didn't notice. Read his book, it is very worthwhile, even for those who think they hate auto racing.

The Lost Painting: The Quest for A Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr.

This book is a true story which read like a novel, incredibly fascinating and well written. I knew next to nothing about Caravaggio except that he was an Italian painter and probably from the Renaissance, which is not my favorite era for painting, a little too religious for me, but the book read like a mystery. I definitely recommend it.

The Secret Sister by Elizabeth Lowell.

I picked this up thinking it was just another suspense novel, but in actuality I would say it was a romance novel disguised as a suspense novel. It wasn't a bad book, but didn't need the sex scene. The story itself was actually interesting and it was easy enough to skip the sex scene.

The Good German by Joseph Kanon

I read his first book, Los Alamos a few years back and had picked this one up at some point. I heard George Clooney was making a movie based on it, so decided it would be smart to read it before the movie came out. I have enjoyed both of his books completely and recommend him wholeheartedly. And as soon as I work my way through the stacks of books awaiting me I'm seriously considering picking up his other two books, The Prodigal Spy and Alibi. He's a good writer with excellent pacing. I can recommend the books I've read of his, most definitely.

I must now go pack for the week on the West Coast of Michigan. I hope to take some fabulous pictures for you to enjoy them when I get back.

Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow American readers.