Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spy in the Cab

Can you all believe that November is essentially over? I honestly have no clue where the time has gone this year. It's crazy.

I have some business to take care of before I get into the thrill that will be today's entry.

First, Ben O. over at the Procrastination Station asked how the craft show went. Yeah, that was a bust. I sold one scarf – to my friend's mother. I was pleased. My friend said that there were two other people selling scarves and although lots of people checked them out, she said she could tell they were knitters, because they were inspecting the stitches and yarn and such. I've done it myself, so I can't complain. The good news is that my friend sold seven of her felted purses (they're beautiful and I'm surprised she didn't sell more). And since I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm doing another show with her on Friday at her church. She was in charge of the tables, and she says there are no other scarves, so I'll be sitting in a suburban church hall (gymnasium) on Friday night (I know how to party) hoping to sell a few scarves. If I don't, I'll sign up for a table at my own church's craft show for next Saturday. And if that doesn't work, I'm posting them here, so you can all marvel at their beauty and beg for the opportunity to buy them. ;-)

Second, Beth, the Gardening Knitter expressed an interest in seeing my handiwork. That can be done (not all of my scarves on there) at my site. Once I get them back, I'll post more. I need better lighting in my house though because the colors aren't coming out right.

There hasn't been a whole lot going on in my life this week. Work has been great fun (lots of 2-4 hour meetings which will wipe a person out). I never even got a lunch yesterday. Hell, I didn't get any breakfast either. I was surprised I had the energy to do a full hour on the elliptical with no sustenance all day. The weather has been fabulous (but that's supposed to change midway through today), so instead of going to the gym, I've been walking outside. Last week Tuesday & this week Monday I walked up to Kroger (pretending I live in Europe or SF by buying only a few items at a time), it's about a mile each way – maybe a little more than a mile. Then Tuesday I walked 2.5 miles outside. I did my 7-mile loop a couple of weeks ago and didn't enjoy the blisters, so I decided to be smart this week. I still got blisters which didn't make me happy. I might have to switch to my new New Balance shoes when walking as opposed to ellipticalling.

I don't have a lot of Christmas shopping to do which is nice. I got the Little Brother (LB) this year which sucks. Don't get me wrong, I *love* my LB, but all he wants is a gift certificate to Circuit City (or Best Buy, but I object strongly to Best Buy as they suck in the whole "I want to help you buy that television you're obviously looking at" department) to buy computer supplies. I’m knitting Mom's present which I hope to have done this weekend. I just finished Grandma's birthday present (Dec. 10 she'll be 88 years old – she's so damn cute), then it's on to my niece's poncho. I made it for her a couple of years ago and it wasn't fabulous (more cape-like than poncho) and although she didn't care, her mother wouldn't let her wear it, so I got it back and am taking it apart and going to start again. *sigh* I asked my niece what she wanted for Christmas and she shrugged. I said, "if you don't tell me what you want, you're going to something educational." She said, "I like educational toys. But I would like my poncho back." You can't argue with someone who actually wants your knitted goods.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff Kay at the West Virginia Surf Report entertained us with stories of school gym classes and asked for our reminisces.

I went to Catholic schools from 1st to 12th grade and if you know anything about Catholic schools in the 70s you'll know that they weren't really big on the less academic subjects. We didn't have music, art or gym teachers. We had homeroom teachers who did all that, along with their regular academic subjects. Now, picture my 5th grade homeroom teacher, Sr. Humiliana. Yup, that was her chosen nun name and she was at least 80. She didn't just still wear a habit, she wore the old habit. The old habit was floor-length, had a white rope tied around the waist with knots in it (no clue, don't ask) along with a rosary, and the high wimple. The high wimple had a white hard material which stood up off the top of her forehead a couple of inches and around her head and under her neck. That was covered with the same lovely black fabric as the habit. She also moved as fast as a tortoise. Now, please remember that she "taught" us gym. We had it once a week and on gym day, girls were allowed to wear shorts under our uniforms (but no other day or you got sent home). The ritual was that we'd take our jumpers and ties off in the classroom and we'd go to the gym in our shorts and white blouses. We must have also changed our shoes, because they were ANAL about street shoes on the gymnasium floor. I'm amazed we were allowed to do this in the classroom with the boys, but we were. Boys didn't get to wear shorts, they just took off their ties and put on their tennis shoes.

Gym class itself consisted of whatever lame activity Sr. Humiliana came up with. I remember once gym class that was all calisthenics – jumping jacks and such. Another time we had these boards that were maybe ten inches square and wheels on the four corners and we had to scoot ourselves across the gym floor in some sort of relay. The trick was NOT running over your own hands. I vaguely remember one day of dancing, but I don't remember if it was square dancing or not. I think it was 5th grade when Kathy Nelson kicked a ball directly into my chest from about a foot away and knocked the wind completely out of me. I remember being very scared because I simply could not breathe. I forget who did what but I obviously eventually started to breathe. Another favorite grade school gym class was kickball. It's weird, I had 8 years of gym class in grade school and I can remember 5 or 6 distinct classes.

High school was the hell for gym. First, in Michigan by law you have to have so many years, but at my school you could get out of all but one year of formal classes by participating in sports (intramural or interschool) and normally you took gym in 9th grade, but I had too many classes or something, so I didn't get a gym class my freshman year, so I had to take it when I was a sophomore with all freshmen. So embarrassing!

And it's even more embarrassing when you know that I’m completely unathletic and uncoordinated. We started the year with Archery. That actually wasn't too bad and we got to go outside. That was followed up with volleyball which was when I realised that I actually suck at volleyball although I will play (quite badly) occasionally. After volleyball was racquetball which wasn't too bad until the day I took a racquet to the side of my head. I remember getting to sit on the stage for the rest of the class, so it might have knocked me out for a second or two. This took up the first half of the year. I had no clue that I would shortly be looking back with fond memories at racquetball. The girls' gym teacher at my high school was the gymnastics coach (she wasn't exactly svelte, so it's hard to picture her doing anything gymnastically, but I never actually saw her participate, so maybe she was one of those teachers who can't "do," so they teach). Anyway, the second half of the year was entirely gymnastics which doesn't sound bad until you remember my complete lack of coordination. She handed out a sheet of paper and each activity you completed you got a certain number of points. You had to get so many points (the number 9 is sounding familiar) to pass. Yup, I damned near failed gym, while there were girls who had close to a hundred points. To this day I can tell you what I accomplished – I was able to complete a somersault, a backward somersault, a forward roll, and very badly done backward roll, just don't ask me to do any of these now. I have never in my life been able to do a cartwheel or a round-off or anything other gymnastic-y thing. This, however, was not sufficient points for me to pass, so I hooked up with a bunch of girls and we got extra credit for forming a pyramid. I was on the bottom because having me even one row up would have jeopardized the whole thing. God, I hated gym class. I probably would have taken another gym class to get the credits needed to graduated except most of them were gymnastics or other things I couldn't do to save my life, so I played one or two years of floor hockey, intramural soccer and possibly basketball (although I find this very hard to believe because I can't make a basket to save your life).

The funny thing is that in college my then best friend convinced me one term to take aerobics (it was called dance exercise) at the fieldhouse. I again proved my lack of coordination by being completely unable to follow the teacher that entire first term, but eventually I figured it out as I took her dance exercise classes for a good six years (I worked at the U after I graduated – it didn't take me 6 years to graduate). I kind of miss Peggy Foss' aerobics classes. Omigod! I remember one term where these girls showed up to take the class and they were obviously there just for the credit hours (probably for their financial aid) because they put less effort into it then a little old lady walking across a street. I mean, I would be sweating within 10-15 minutes of the start of class whereas they could go the entire class with nary a hair out of place. In fact, one of them showed up one day in a WHITE sweatsuit with the big red No circle on it and the word "Sweat" in the circle. And trust me, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sweating to beat the band. They certainly never needed to shower after class. We did some crazy-ass routines in that class, but once I figured out she did everything in either 4s or 8s, I was fine. I'll never be on a dance team, but I was eventually able to follow her routines. There are songs that to this day make me think of Peggy and her aerobics class: We Built This City by Jefferson Starship (or whatever the hell they had changed the name to by that time); a Dire Straits song; and, Venus – was that Bananarama? The routine for We Built This City was one of her worst ones. I think we all dreaded that one.

So, what about you guys? Any good or bad gym class memories to share?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mercy Springs

I had been hoping to get a post up last week on Wednesday but quite obviously it didn't happen. Tuesday was a fabulous day. Well, actually, it was the night that was fabulous as I went dancing. I did not go to the gym that day as I knew I was going to be dancing that night. I did walk up to Kroger though for a couple of things (and still managed to forget a couple of things so that might be my plan of attack for today), then I napped for an hour or so. I love naps, but I don't like napping at this time of year because it's bloody difficult to get my butt out of bed when it's positive it's midnight (but it's only 5:30 p.m.). I was even productive and cut up a loaf of bread for stuffing (it had to get stale). I picked up DWD right at 8:45 and got up to Royal Oak as quickly as possible. DWD told me at one point that it's not like we were going to be late, but I can NOT drive slowly. It's just not in me to putz along driving below the speed limit – which is what people were doing on 696 which recently had an increase in the speed limit to 70 mph, but the signs still said 65 mph. Hey, I read the paper, I know what's going on around town – especially when it comes to speed limits.

We got to the bar around 9:15 whereupon I showed my ID (they card everybody) and DWD bought me a lovely Guinness. That was the extent of my alcohol for the night as I was driving. Then it was on to harass DJ Davo. I forget what band he was playing, but it didn't matter because he went "old school" for me and put on Motorcycle by Love & Rockets. That was it. I was on the dance floor and didn't come off except for brief moments of asking Davo for ibuprofen and to ask "Who was that?" "You liked them?" "Yeah." "I figured you would." The video appreciation night was for two bands (Skinny Puppy & Front 242) I knew and two bands I didn't (Wolfmother & HIM). In fact, I knew absolutely nothing about them to the point where I thought they were one band. Turns out that I quite like H.I.M., but could definitely spend the rest of my life never hearing Wolfmother ever again. I still half-assedly danced to them because I didn't want to lose my spot to the stripper who felt the need to practice on her day off. As DWD pointed out it was a bit "Big Gay Disco" night at the bar, but I'd much rather dance near a bunch of gay guys who have a clue how to dance than the stripper missing her pole. As it was, I ended up dancing from 9:20 to about 1:30. A couple of songs got me back out until DWD and I threw in the towel and left around 1:45. All in all, I didn't dance to a total of six songs from the time I got there. Not bad. Of course, I was in pain Wednesday and had definite issues on Thursday with basic walking. Oooh, were my legs tight, but I'd do it again (and will) in a heartbeat as I love to dance and never get to go anymore. I was a little rusty, but I think I got my rhythm back pretty quickly. Maybe I should take Wednesdays off in December and go dancing on Tuesdays instead of taking Fridays off (I have two vacation days left and around here it's "use 'em or lose 'em) and Thursdays at the bar is 80s Night but they include Michael Jackson and his ilk, so between the possibility of hearing Michael Jackson & Madonna and having to watch the 80s Dancers, I'd rather take Wednesdays off.

Wednesday was a busy day with appointments on opposite sides of town and getting ready for Thanksgiving. I also finally got around to using the Chico's gift certificate that my dear friend Railroad got me for my b-day. I got some great new tops which I desperately needed as I am so so so so tired of my present clothes. I tried to take a hot bath to ease my tight leg muscles but there was no hot water. I wasn't in the mood to harass Schneider, so I just went to bed.

Thursday was basic Thanksgiving – get up, make mushroom gravy, drive to Aunt's house, mingle with family, eat too much, drive home in pitch blackness even though it was only 7:00 p.m. There was hot water so I got to take my nice hot bath. The rest of the weekend was lame because I felt completely exhausted and simply slept. I gave my symphony tix to my aunt and she took my Grandma. I missed the party that friends were having which bummed me out because I like parties. I was so tired and unwell on Friday that I was awake for about 8 hours total, and I didn't even have the energy to knit. I hate wasted days like that!!! Why can't I get sick on a work day? Dammit! Saturday was more of the same, although I felt a little better, so I actually got some knitting done. Sunday was Mass (where I wanted to sit the whole time), then onto PetSmart for kitty litter and then home. Ursamajor came over at 4:00 for a mini-Audrey Hepburn Film Fest which included pizza. Yum!!!

And today I was back at work feeling fine. I hate that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Canadian Arts Report (

I stole this from Heather.



FIRST SCHOOL: St. Robert Bellarmine (Uncle Fred used to say he wasn't a real saint, because everybody knows that saints don't have last names.)

FIRST CELL PHONE: an LG – I miss that phone.

FIRST FUNERAL: Either Great Aunt Barbara or Great Grandpa.

FIRST PET: Kitty, a stray that my brother started feeding behind Former Father's back.

FIRST BIG TRIP: The first one was in 1968 to California. We drove Aunt Carol's car to her and then flew home. I only remember the flight home, so I guess the first real Big Vacation I truly remember was the family trip to California in 1973.

FIRST FIGHT: I'm not sure I've ever had a real fight. I might have punched my little brother on occasion, but not a fight.


FIRST TIME OUT OF THE COUNTRY?: I live in Detroit. I'm sure it was a trip to Canada but God only knows when.

FIRST JOB: Other than babysitting, it was Burger King in 1980.



LAST PERSON YOU HUGGED: Aunt Colleen or Uncle Jim on Sunday after our trip to Kalamazoo to see/hear my cousin playing in the Western Michigan University Band.

LAST CAR RIDE: Ride? To Kalamazoo on Sunday. Last time I drove a car was yesterday when I was running my errands: Target, Merchant's, Farm Market.


LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED: I watched Finding Nemo last night as absolutely nothing was on. I watched a bunch on Saturday.

LAST FOOD YOU ATE: Some fancy chocolates a co-worker brought in because in his culture when you have a baby boy you hand out chocolate.

LAST ITEM BOUGHT: Mushrooms, garlic, one white onion, apple cider, half & half, and potatoes at the farm market.

LAST SHIRT WORN: I wore my Le Tour de France t-shirt last night.

LAST PHONE CALL: Martha, she's a good friend.

LAST TEXT MESSAGE: The Libertarian last Thursday when I text him to inform him that there was a squirrel comfortably ensconced on top of my air conditioner between the windows.

LAST THING YOU TOUCHED: My cell phone to check what my last text message was.

LAST FUNERAL: Hattie from church.

LAST TIME AT THE MALL: Vegas, I think, but it wasn't a real mall, it was one of those shopping areas inside a casino/hotel.

LAST TIME YOU WERE EXCITED FOR SOMETHING: A month or so ago when the Tigers were winning in the postseason..

LAST PERSON YOU SAW: One of my co-workers.

LAST THING YOU DRANK: Chamomile tea.

LAST PERSON THAT BROKE YOUR HEART: Tikal - he might have been a cat, but he was the love of my life and losing him broke my heart. I'm too hard-hearted to let a PERSON do that to me.

LAST TIME YOU WERE REALLY HONESTLY HAPPY?: I guess when the Tigers won the AL Pennant.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Down on the Street

Yesterday I felt like death and my nose wouldn't stop running. Now, you might be thinking, "Geez, sounds like Kathleen has a cold," but you'd be wrong. No cold, just Michigan friggin' sinuses/allergies. I mean, I'd rather have a damned cold, because those you know are going away at some point and if you're suffering badly enough, work sends you home so you don't infect everybody. Instead I get to feel like death for however long my sinuses feel like it. And I can either suffer by blowing my nose every other second until my poor nose feels like it's going to fall off or I can take sinus pills and then fall asleep at my desk. Ah, the options.

The big craft show is tomorrow. I have to take my scarves up to my work friend because she's having a back treatment today and not coming into work after all. No biggie except that I told her I'd be there at the height of rush hour. What on earth was I thinking? My left hand has been bothering me since Sunday so I'm glad it's here so I can take a break from knitting for a few days (not too long as I have to get Mom's Christmas present done and an afghan for my cousin). So much knitting, so little time.

The symphony this past Friday was FABULOUS!!! Maestro Järvi was back and all it did was remind me how much I love him! He has such rapport with the orchestra and the audience. The William Tell Overture was incredible and there were lots of kids there to enjoy it. I love seeing youngsters and 20-somethings at the symphony. Eduardo Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole was quite beautiful and the solo violinist, Vadim Gluzman, played exquisitely. After the intermission, the DSO performed Dmitry Shostakovich's Symphony #15. I try to make it a point to listen to the music that the DSO is going to play before I go, and I knew I had all of Shostakovich's symphonies (the 7th is brilliant – I highly recommend it), so I pulled it off the shelf two weeks beforehand because I knew I hadn't listened to it a whole lot. The first movement "samples" the William Tell Overture. According to the program notes, the symphony discusses the composer's life with the first movement dealing with his childhood. Unlike many of my favorite symphonies it does not end on a bombastic note (that's reserved for the second movement) and if I hadn't listened to it before going I would have been surprised by it, as it ended very quietly, especially if you're familiar with #7 the Leningrad at all.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Beers, Steers & Queers

I have decided that November is my favorite month this year – essentially because I have so much freaking time off from work – what can I say, I'm fairly shallow. I had Tuesday off to go vote (I think it should be a national holiday like in 3rd world countries since people wouldn't have that convenient excuse for not voting), I have this coming Monday off for Veterans Day (or as it's more commonly called Hunting Day – first day of hunting season is the 14th this year, but that would be too too obvious), and then there's the two days for Thanksgiving which is three days for me, because I take that Wednesday off to do my cooking. After that vacation day I have two left for the remainder of the year. I was thinking about taking the last two days before Christmas week kicks in, but since EVERYBODY takes those days off, it's kind of stupid to waste them like that. So, I'm now figuring on the 15th and 18th of December to give myself a four day weekend before Christmas starts up. With my luck, the OS will decide to have Cookie Day that Friday and I'll be pissed. God, I hate Cookie Day, particularly because the OS took it upon herself 20 years ago to make the Christmas cookies, but then got ticked because nobody helped her (she didn't actually ask) and now it's mandatory that I spend a day at her house making cookies nobody needs.

We have these traditional German sugar cookies which are just hideous, but since we've always had them, we have to make them. They suck to make and they're not the tasty of cookies – they're edible, but given my druthers you can bet big bucks that I'll be eyeing the Peanut Butter Blossoms instead. God, I dread Cookie Day. An entire day that could be spent knitting Christmas presents will be lost.

Tonight I have symphony tickets and I'm going with Ursa. The concert should be fabulous as Maestro Jarvi is conducting (and we all know how much I *LOVE* him) Rossini's William Tell Overture (Theme to the Lone Ranger), something by Lalo (no clue) and then Shostakovich's Symphony #15 which samples the William Tell Overture in the first movement. I absolutely love Shostakovich, especially his symphonies, so although my two cousins bailed on me, I was bound and determined to find someone to go with me. I had thought of a couple of people, but then realised it's been a long time since I've dragged Ursa with me, so I asked her and she said, Yes. It was so easy!

Since I'm a cow who gains fat while ellipticalling a full hour five days a week, I'm not even going to suggest that we hit TJ's after the symphony for dessert. Of course, I should since being good isn't helping. I went to the doctor's on Tuesday and that's where I found out I had gained all three pounds I lost last year (after exercising 2 hours every day for a good portion of the year) and gained an additional five. Yeah, I was pissed. Everybody says, "Oh, you just gained muscle." Nope, I know what muscle is and I know that my pants are once again fitting a little too snugly. It's just so frustrating. I talked to my doctor and he gave mea prescription for Meridia, but then my pharmacist said my insurance doesn't cover it and at over $100 a bottle, I decided I'll just be fat.

Other than the concert tonight, my only other plans are a party tomorrow night at The Mexillents and then over to my friend Jim's house on Sunday to watch the last Champ Car race of the season. And then Monday I knit and vege. The craft show I'm sending my scarves to is next Thursday, so it's my final big push. I also need to get to Staples and find little tags with string for pricing information. I hope I sell lots. It not, I guess I'll sign up for my church's craft show which they finally announced this past weekend.

If you have access, I have posted at my private locked diary.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I fixed yesterday's post which was impossible to read.

Oops, when I got home last night I looked in my bag of new Used CDs and found out that I missed a bunch. So, another music post today. I started out today with the Barenaked Ladies CD. It sounds like the Barenaked Ladies and amazingly enough, Peterborough and the Kawarthas is my favorite song so far.

#11 CD - Belief by Nitzer Ebb - I think I will listen to this next, mostly because of this line in the review linked above: "At its best, Belief is a captivating call to surrender the pretensions of free will and control; escape is only possible through dance." Because for me, dancing is an escape. Already, the first song has me dancing in my seat. I hope to go dancing the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I take that Wednesday off to get my cooking done, which means I don't have to get up at 5:00 a.m. I need to dance!

#12 CD - Essential Pogues - I saw them in concert way back in 1985 or 1986 at St. Andrew's Hall in downtown Detroit. That was THE PLACE for punk type shows back in the day and I spent a fair amount of time there back in the day. I even saw my very beloved Iggy Pop there for his Blah Blah Blah concert. My ears were ringing for days after that one! Not that this is related to music at all, but if Shane MacGowan were a baseball player, he'd definitely make my All Ugly Team (which still only has three members). I was told that The Essential Pogues is a good Pogues album to have if it's your only one. And since I trust my record store owner (and all his workers) implicitly, I went with it.

#13 CD - Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & the Way to Suck Eggs by Ministry - I had this album years ago, but for some reason sold it to a local record store when I was purging for my move to SF. Another industrial album made for dancing. I just need to hear the opening chords of most of these songs to be heading for the dance floor – if I'm not already on it. N.W.O. reminded me how much I used to hate George Bush Sr.'s voice, which has sadly been overtaken by how much more I hate his son's voice.

#14 CD – Last, but not least, I found a whole pack of Moby CDs in the Used CD bin. When we were on the Catamaran ride out to Stingray City two years ago, they were playing a Moby CD and I actually liked it. I don't remember which one it was (it might have been Hotel), but I took the stack of CDs to the world's greatest record store owner and he picked one out for me. He chose Ambient which was Moby's 2nd album. I listened to a little bit of it on the way home, but with the rain and the stupid way people were driving, it didn't get a whole lot of my attention.

Last night, sushi with Ursa was quite yummy. And since I seem to get sushi so rarely these days, I did pick up a takeaway order so I have a fabulous lunch awaiting me. On days I have sushi for lunch, my mornings go by so slowly!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This Heaven

Yesterday was a pretty good day considering how much it freaking rained here in Southeastern Michigan. I woke up early (7:30 is early for me when I have no plans for the day) and got to my polling place before 8:30 a.m. I was officially voter #70 at the old folks' home. I was smart and dressed for it. Two years ago I dressed too warmly and was dying as I waited in line. I didn't have a line this time (not worth mentioning) and was still glad that I had on a short-sleeved T-shirt. Bloody hell! But it was HOT in there. It's nice that apparently people who can barely hold jobs at Hardee's are allowed to vote. I saw someone while voting yesterday who worked at the Hardee's on campus. I'm not sure he was allowed to make sandwiches or anything other than drinks, I think he just cleaned tables and such as he's what might be called "slow." Yup, he was there voting yesterday. He told the guy that he couldn't read the ballot because he forgot his glasses, I'm questioning if he can actually read, but he got to vote. I had the little voting "booth" next to him, so I got to overhear everything as the poll worker (there were only three at a precinct that was supposed to have four) read everything to him. "I don't care about that. When do we get to the judges?" I was trying not to listen, but Fred was never very quiet. I accomplished my civic duty and walked home in the rain.

I was so excited yesterday morning when I turned on the TV to accompany my knitting and found that The Equalizer was on SpikeTV. I LOVE The Equalizer and used to tape it when it was on A&E ten years ago or so. It was one I hadn't seen, so it was even better! And it had Jennifer Grey in it. The excitement of my life!!! I was actually productive as well, besides finishing one scarf and starting another, I did three loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and even cooked!!! All before I had to leave for a doctor's appt. scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

The highlight of the day was after my dr's appointment when I walked into my favorite record store to find someone had brought in a bunch of used CDs that were totally up my alley – so much so in fact, I began to question whether or not someone had broken into my apt and stolen my CDs. I mean, really, how many people own Plight & Premonition by David Sylvian and Holger Czukay? I picked up some great CDs:

1) a Tones on Tail I didn't have and definitely needed (been listening to it all morning);

2) Adolescent Sex by Japan – which was a surprise to me because I thought I had bought all of Japan's CDs when I got into them slightly less than 10 years ago. I'm so caught up in the Tones on Tail CD that I haven't listened to this yet, but soon. Okay, I took out the Tones on Tail and have now listened to this one and a half times. Not my favorite Japan CD, but some of the songs that I didn't really care for the first time around grew on me the second time, so it has potential;

3) Solitude by The The - This seems to be a compilation album, but there were a few songs I didn't have, so I went for it. The main reason I bought it is the first song which I think might have been my first The The song 20-something years ago and I didn't have on any of my other The The CDs.;

4) The Singles Collection by Spandau Ballet - I probably have everything I need now by them. If you're a fan of Highlander: The Series, then you know Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet. He was in the first season and played the guy who became immortal but thought he had been saved by God and became this crazy-ass proselytizer. It's not my favorite episode because he's so good that he creeps me out. He's done a lot more television in England which we can't get here, darn it.

5) This Heaven EP by Love & Rockets - It's Love & Rockets, I know I'm going to love it!

6) Beers, Steers & Queers by the Revolting Cocks - I've danced to a number of these songs over the years and they still make me want to dance. They are completely irreverent and probably more than a little offensive, but I love any song that induces me to dance.

7) The Barenaked Ladies brand new album, Barenaked Ladies Are Me was a major find in the Used CD bin, as it just came out last week. I don't have that one with me and haven't listened to it yet, but I was laughing at the song title, "Peterborough and the Kawarthas," as when I was able to listen to Radio Two on the computer, the announcers would always give me the weather report for Peterborough and the Kawarthas. I had no clue what the bloody Kawarthas were, so I had to do a search.

8) Symphony No. 1 by Joe Jackson - I had no idea this existed which is sad since it came out in 1999. I wasn't in the mood yesterday for classical, so I didn't listen to it, but will soon and let you know. I was going to mention how Joe Jackson joins Billy Joel in the classical music arena, but it's obvious that Joe was there first, so it's Billy who followed in Joe's footsteps.

9) Flowers Become Screens EP by Delerium. I essentially picked this up for the Libertarian since Delerium is his favorite band and I don't remember him having this one when he lent me his entire collection. I'm not a huge fan of dance remixes, but if he doesn't like it, I'll keep it as I find that the Delerium's remixes don't bother me as much as others.

10) Heartbeat by Ryuichi Sakamoto - Holy cow, check out this guy's discography! I picked this one up basically because I've seen his name on my various David Sylvian albums and figured I'd give him a chance. I'll let you know how it all ends up.

And thus ends my shopping spree from yesterday. From there I went home and watched a little TV and knitted. The craft show I'm in is next Thursday so I have a lot to do before next Wednesday when I turn all of my knitted goods over to the co-worker who will be running the table. Today's big excitement will be going for sushi with Ursa! YUM!!! Now to post this and see how many broken tags I have with all the blasted links!

Monday, November 06, 2006

We Close Our Eyes

I've been having some interesting conversations of late. Conversations that helped me see why I act/react certain ways to certain behaviors. And it's been enlightening. I've always known that I didn't like being yelled at (yeah, really, who does?), and I always blamed it on the Former Father (FF). I was scared to death of my father when I was growing up. He used to say that he never had to hit me (I remember being spanked once, but it might have been twice), because all he had to do was look at me and I'd start to cry. When people yell, I can feel myself physically quail and shake and react in fear to the noise. They don't even have to be yelling at me, and I find that the older I get the more I dislike it when people yell.

I was telling the Libertarian that I despise being yelled at and he asked who yelled at me and that I should avoid those people. I said it was mostly the FF, but then I realised that it wasn't just being yelled at that bothers me, it's also be ridiculed. I equate being ridiculed with being yelled at And as I look back at my formative years, I have come to understand that the FF didn't really yell at me so much, but used ridicule as a way to control his children, or at least me and probably the Little Brother (LB). And the sad thing is that my family still uses this method for whatever reason. And I really hate it. I despise people making me feel incompetent and/or worthless.

My Younger Sister (YS) is really good at it, especially when she's mad at me, like now because she asked my opinion of her new boyfriend and insisted that I give it. It's pretty much a given that I have zero athletic ability. The FF used to say that I couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time (I can, for the record) and that I throw like a girl. The sad thing is that it was 1986 before someone looked at me and said, "Kathleen, you are a girl." Honestly, it was a huge revelation to me. All I knew was that in my father's eye, it was an insult. Now, he never bothered teaching me how to throw like a boy, as he couldn't be bothered to waste his time when I wasn't going to be his golden child and follow in his footsteps (he was a high school jock/football star). That was reserved for my Older Sister (OS) and possibly the YS. I think boys automatically know how NOT to throw like a girl.

A few years back the family was all together at my aunt & uncle's house for some function or other and the YS, LB and I were out front playing Frisbee. Somehow it turned into a game of catch and they both started making fun of me throwing like a girl, and they were pretty relentless about it. They were laughing hysterically and I started out laughing, but when they didn't stop I found that it got me to me and I found myself crying. I said something to them to lighten up and they said, "Why? You're laughing, too." I couldn't tell them that I was crying not from laughing so hard, but because they had hurt my feelings, because that would have brought more ridicule my way. In my family you don't show fear or any weakness. Stupid, yes, but I felt so humiliated because I can't throw a ball in a way that doesn't make people laugh at me. I figure the ball gets to where it needs to be, who cares how it gets there? It's not like I'm bouncing it before it gets to the plate.

Last weekend I figured out that the YS feels contempt for me. I think she would deny it, but then maybe it's just that she thinks I'm a complete idiot. What is it about me that engenders this response in people? My best friend growing up actually said the words "Familiarity breeds contempt." about me when the guy she was dating saw I lived next door and said something about me being nice. The reason I know that? She told me. Anyway, back to the YS and last weekend. I had bought some underwear recently that didn't fit, so I gave it to my cousin who is quite thin. I didn't want to throw them away and it's not like I actually wore them or anything. For some reason when my cousin got home and checked them out she texted the YS, instead of me, asking if I had text messaging. The YS said Yes, and Cousin said to get me to show her the text message. I didn't feel the need to share, so simply told the YS that she was thanking me for stuff I gave her. She, of course, being nosy, had to ask what. I told her, "Underwear." And she said snottily, "Oh, that's a normal gift to give cousins." I felt like telling her to fuck off, but I didn't. I lamely defended myself instead of just walking away which is what I should have done. I could have said something like "Well, I guess I don't know any better since I don't have my doctorate." But then she'd just think (which she already does) that I'm jealous of her degree which I'm not. She actually told the LB that I had changed toward her since she had decided to go to grad school. LB told me, of course, and said, "Of course, she doesn't know that we know what she said." What she said has been pissing me off for four years. Should I get over it? I don't know. You tell me. Every single one of my siblings has a college degree – undergrad. (Me included, for the record.) None of us use our degrees in our jobs, although I doubt we could have gotten our jobs without a degree. So, the weekend YS moved up to Mt. Pleasant for grad school, Mom went with her, of course and YS said to Mom, "Well, at least one of your children will be using their degree." Geez, YS, why don’t you show a little more contempt for all of your siblings!? Now, the reason we know this is because Mom is blonde and thought that that statement should be shared. Yeah, she was proud of the YS for going to grad school, but did she think about how insulting that statement was? Mom told my older brother and sister and their wives who, of course, felt the need to share. Good job, YS, you pissed off all your siblings with one comment. My SIL was even offended because she includes herself in our family, as she should. Apparently, YS thought Mom was smart enough to keep such a snotty statement to herself. Guess not.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Terra Firma

Here, finally, are the movies I watched in October:

The Life of Emile Zola (N) - 90% rating at – I read Germinal back in college and I remember that the back cover of the book alluded to "The Dreyfus Affair," but I never had a clear picture what it was about actually or how Zola became involved in it. This movie cleared that up for me. I found this movie quite fascinating.

The Littlest Diplomat (short) (N) – This was a short included on The Life of Emile Zola DVD. I was scared that Shirley Temple was in it (sorry, but, dear God, she annoys me), but it was actually a cute little short.

Romance Road (musical short) (N) – Another short, musical this time, on The Life of Emile Zola DVD. This was very corny while also being fairly tragic. Although I like musicals, I don't think it goes well with tragedy.

Firefly (K) – As I might have mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I received the complete series (all one season – damn you Fox) as a birthday present. I loved this. I'm still trying to figure out how I became a sci-fi geek.

The World's Fastest Indian (N) – 79% - I wanted to see this movie when it was out, but never got to the theatre. Being the huge racing geek that I am, I'm fascinated with the Bonneville Salt Flats and the clichéd Need for Speed. Anthony Hopkins plays a New Zealander, Burt Munro, who showed up one year with an ancient motorcycle, an Indian, and wanted to run it for a world land speed record. It starts in New Zealand and follows his trip across the ocean and across the country from LA to Salt Lake City. It was a cool movie and if you're into mechanics at all, I think you'd enjoy this movie. If you like feel good, people accomplishing things despite massive odds movies, I think this movie is also for you.

Serenity (N) on 10/24 – with Commentary on 10/29 – 81% - We all know that I have come to the Firefly/Serenity party a little late, and that I've jumped in with both feet, as is my wont. I think, seriously, though that it was worth it, even though I'm now left feeling bereft that I've seen all there is to see. So sad when you consider some of the TV shows out there that get renewed yearly which suck canal water.

The Birth of a Nation (N) – 100% - This movie is listed in my 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, so I watched it. It's over 3 hours long and silent. Yup, a silent epic. The music was perfect, however, as an accompaniment. I found the theme of the movie a little hard to take – glorifying the Ku Klux Klan – and the other main criticism I had read was that it contained stereotypes of the worst sort. Yes, this was true, but for heaven's sakes, people, the movie was made in 1915! I firmly believe that you can't judge another time by the mores of today. Yes, it's offensive, but hell, I'm pretty sure I've seen similar stereotypes in movies made a few decades later. No, they're not right, but that's not the way to judge this movie. D.W. Griffiths based his movie on a book, and all the criticism about the racism and stereotypes and aggrandizing of the KKK was the incentive he needed for his next movie, Intolerance.

Making of The Birth of a Nation – This was an extra on the DVD and I have to confess that I don't remember much of it. How sad is that!

Intolerance (N) – 93% - I liked Intolerance better than Birth of a Nation, even though it was another 3 hour silent film. This one was his attempt to show how Intolerance has been with us through the ages by showing four different stories: first in contemporary time (1916), second was the time of Jesus, third was Babylon (539 BC) and the fourth was about the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in France (1572). Worth the watch, I think, as was The Birth of a Nation.

An Affair To Remember (K) - 64% - I had a shitty day on Tuesday, and as I didn't have a Netflix movie to watch, I grabbed something off the shelf. As schmaltzy as the ending it, I will always love this movie and watch it a couple of times a year. Maybe I'm more of a romantic that I think I am!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I know I'm a little late on commenting on my beloved Tigers failing in the World Series, but life has been crazy lately. I'm knitting up a storm trying to build my stash as I'm participating in a craft show with a work friend in a couple of weeks. She knits fabulous felted purses/bags and felt she needed some lower end things for her table. So, she's going to take my scarves and put them on her table. I hope I sell lots – and I hope she does too. I think her prices are too cheap, especially for the neighborhood where this extravaganza is to be held, but if she's happy, that's all that matters.

On to My Tigers. I wasn’t mad at them, although I was a little disappointed in their fielding attempts. Fielding and throwing errors abound and it was painful. But again, I felt that the post season was all gravy (or frosting, if you prefer). When the season started people were saying they'd be happy if the Tigers simply had a winning season. I think it would have been a bit TOO Cinderella if they had won the whole kit 'n caboodle. And I'd rather lose to St. Louis, a fellow Midwestern blue-collar type town (and according to a report published just the other day, the first most dangerous city in the country with Detroit second), than New York. Granted, I have some issues with certain portions of the team, etc., but all in all, better them than any New York team.

As we say in Detroit, "Bless you, Boys!"

Since it's the first day of the month, you will now be subjected to the list of books and movies read and watched throughout October. I don’t think I did too badly, considering a lot of my time was taken up with baseball games and trips to Vegas.


Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer – 385 pages – I love this series of Young Adult books damn near as much as I love Harry Potter. The cool thing is that Mr. Colfer doesn't limit himself to one series. Back in August, I had read one of his other books which sounded like it was going to be the beginning of another series. I like his style of writing and his imagination. If you aren't scared of "children's books," I definitely recommend the Artemis Fowl series

The Sultan's Seal: A Novel by Jenny White – 351 pages – I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. It was interesting, especially since I know damn near nothing about the Ottoman Empire, but it was essentially just a murder mystery. It was a relatively quick, easy read, and it kept me entertained, but I don't remember being overwhelmed by it.

The End by Lemony Snicket – 337 pages – I had been waiting for this book to come out for MONTHS, and it did not disappoint. It came out the day I left for Vegas, but didn't buy it until the day I came home when I picked it up at the Borders at the McCarran International Airport. I finished it before the plane got to Detroit. That's what happens when you fly through security at the airport (same airport where it took me damn near two full hours to get through security last year) and have HOURS to sit and wait for the plane which arrives late anyway. It was very Lemony Snicket-ish in that although the ending wasn’t what normal people would consider to be a happy ending, it was better than I had expected. I loved it.

Revenge: A Story of Hope by Laura Blumenfeld – 374 pages – The front of my book read "A terrorist shot my father. Ten years later I went looking for him." Or something along those lines. You can read the back cover of the book here for a much better summary of the book than I could write. Although this book was a bit different than the rest of the books I read last month, I really appreciated it. One thing I took away from it is that I could never in a million years be a reporter. It gave some interesting insight into the Jewish/Palestinian question regarding Israel. I highly recommend this book.

Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde - 216 pages – I had bought this book a few months back, but lent it to a friend who loves Oscar Wilde. I didn't want to get too involved with a book with only a couple of days left in the month – it's all about finishing books for this monthly post – so I picked this up and immediately got sucked in. It's weird, I hate, as a general rule, short stories, but I have always loved fairy tales. I have this book called 50 Famous Fairy Stories that appeared at some point in my childhood and I have read it cover to cover more times than you can imagine. When I saw this book I read the first fairy tale and loved it. The difference between Oscar Wilde's fairy tales and the ones I read growing up is that the old ones ended "happily ever after." (Yes, I know all about Grimm's and how they're actually quite grim, or were originally, but I'm talking about the happy versions), while dear old Oscar was a bit more melancholy. Most of them ended quite sadly or at least, not happily. I thought they were quite clever and definitely worth reading. I would definitely recommend it.

I will tell you all about my movie watching tomorrow. I need to get my sorry butt to the gym.