Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Rantings

I've been meaning to write about this for a long time. My work # is one digit away from a telemarketer's number. The difference seems to be a zero vs. an eight. You would be SHOCKED at the number of people in this country who: 1) call random #s back that show up on their caller id; and 2) can't tell the difference between an 8 and a 0. When I get to work after a weekend or even just overnight, I can tell that my telemarketer was at work because I'll have 8 or more missed calls with any number of voicemail messages ranging from "Don't ever f***ing call me again." (to which I respond, "I didn't, you idiot.") and "I'm just returning your call." Who the bloody hell calls telemarketers back????

2nd rant of the day has to do with people who do not appreciate window seats. I'm not talking about on the plane, because I'm an aisle person myself. I'm talking about at work. I work in a massive building (I've been told it holds 6500 people) and up until they moved my group to Building C (for Crappy) I always had a window seat (to me, a window seat is any desk from which you can see the window w/o having to stand up. I was always a row or two away from the window, but again, to me, that's a window seat. Since the move in September back to Building A (for Fabulous – although it's really not, just is in comparison to Building C) I'm stuck a good six rows from the window, but besides that there's a supervisor cube just on the other side of my row toward the window and supervisor cubes are higher than regular peon employee cubes. And to top it off, the jackass supervisor has a huge poster board of something jutting up an additional 3 feet (almost to the ceiling). Anyway, in all the years (six) that I had a window seat, I never once closed the blinds and my computer screen always faces the window so there's a glare. To me, when you're stuck inside working for 8+ hours a day, you put up with a little glare and you keep the blinds open, so you can have a clue what the weather is outside. And you don't feel so claustrophobic. Now I literally never have any idea what it's doing outside, unless I check the Freep before leaving. I get in early enough that I will go to the windows and open the blinds before anybody else is in. I had a battle of wills with the group near the windows, until they finally figured it out and there's now a compromise. They leave the blinds open, except on one window. I think the window seat people are spoiled and need to be moved away from the windows and their desks given to people who appreciate a glimpse of the outside – like me!

Here in Michigan I've heard a number of people say that if it's going to be cold they want snow and also that they want to see the sun. I disagree on both scores. First off, snow does NOT make cold weather any more palatable. In fact, to me, it makes it that much worse, because snow sucks – just for the record. And the sun issue? Here's the deal: when it's sunny in Michigan in January or February, you can guarantee that it's bloody cold. Case in point: last week the sun was blindingly bright and it was, as I like to put it, freezing butt cold – negative windchills, etc. Yesterday and today, the temps have been in the 30s and 40s, respectively, and guess what, it's cloudy!! I'd much rather have it be 40 and cloudy than sunny and -20, which is what it's going to be tomorrow. Yup, good ol' Michigan, the temperature is going to have a variance of 60F degrees in less than 24 hours. I'm going to be an unhappy camper walking to work tomorrow. Have I told you that I hate winter? I'm not sure I have.

I leave next Tuesday after work for Vegas. I'm bummed because it's not going to be "Kathleen lying by the pool while HRH takes on the house" weather. ;-( I have no clue what I'm going to do Wednesday & Thursday while HRH plays blackjack. I was hoping to lie by the pool and read a book. Ah well. [Okay, I know that I'm a self-confessed grammarian, but I have to admit that I have always had trouble with lay vs lie. I thought it was people lie on beds, but you lay the book (or some other inanimate object) on the table, but I'm just not sure. Can anybody help me on this point?]

My LB and his girlfriend (whom I quite like – first time ever) are coming down from NorCal and on Friday we're all going to Zion National Park. Saturday we're going to the Valley of Fire and then Sunday, the LB, his GF and I will be going hiking at Red Rock (HRH doesn't hike – she likes looking at nature, but doesn't like to be "in" it). I'm very excited. It'll be nice to see the LB and spend more time with his GF who just seems to be quite lovely.

I finally took a picture of the very cool purse I got for my b-day way back in August that I never posted. I also took a pic of my first knitted lace scarf. I swear I'm going to buy an external hard drive and get my music off the computer and download pictures. Sometime this century you'll be inundated with all the pics I've taken since last April. (Road America, Baltimore, Maine, Vegas, scarves, purses, etc.)

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Friday, January 25, 2008


I copied this from Fermi, who ripped it off from LL, who got it from Sunshine. No tagging, just a survey with random questions. Copy the list, edit the answers, and call it your name with "ology" on the end.


Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. A really good bleu cheese.

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Taco Bell

Q. What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
A. Traffic Jam & Snug

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. > 20%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. Well, I've been eating a spring mix salad with 1 T of Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Lighten Up dressing every day for lunch for the past three weeks…I'm not sick of it, but I am a tad bored.

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. Onions and real mushrooms (i.e., not canned)

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Butter


Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. Work is a baby rhino with a zookeeper. Home is clown fish in a sea of green anemones..

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. One. It's only me and the cats and they're perfectly happy watching whatever I watch.


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Teeth, tonsils, splinters, herniated disk.

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. First and only was about 4 years ago. I was pissed. Apparently it was no bigger than a pin prick, but the dentist felt better filling it.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. The 5-gal Culligan water bottles

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. I've fainted, trying to remember knocked unconscious. Yes! When I was three, I was running down the driveway pulling a wagon. I tripped on my 3-year old feet (I assume) and fell headlong into the metal garden hose wrappy-thingie. Woke up in the hospital screaming bloody murder as the doctor stitched the hole in my head.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. No. I don't have the mindset to deal with that well.

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. I like my name now. If you had asked me this question in grade school, I would have said "Colette."

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Blue, so the YS tells me..

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. Gum. I don't remember swallowing any other non-food item.

Q. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
A. No.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. Yes, to a certain degree. I was very depressed and close to suicidal one day many years ago. I knew that being alone was not the best thing for me that day, so I knocked on my neighbor's door. He had to go out with his sister, but when he got back, I knocked again and he could tell I was in bad shape. He took me out driving and then just kept me at his apt. watching TV until the problem was over – a good few hours.


Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. Maybe.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. Bloody hell, no!

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. Um yeah…

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. Nobody, but nobody wants to see that..

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. No.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. Absolutely not.


Q. What is in your left pocket?
A. Nothing.

Q. Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. Absolutely not..

Q. Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A. Ugly crappy apt. beige carpet.

Q. Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A. Stand.

Q. Would you live with roommates?
A. I do, Boris & Igor, the cutest cats.

Q. How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A. One pair.

Q. Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A. August 2000 or 2001 – Stupid fascist Dearborn Heights cop.

Q. Who is number 1 on your Top 8?
A. Huh? Is this the same as the Friends' List of Five?


Q: Last Friend you talked to?
A: Friend? I've only talked to work people today. I'd have to say The Dream or The Little Guy.

Q: Last person who called you?
A: The YS.

Q: Last person you hugged?
A: Oh heavens…Debbie, Tuesday night after dinner.

Q: Last person to stick their foot in your face?
A: Boris, little shit is lucky he's cute.


Q: Number?
A: 7

Q: Season?
A: Summer


Q: Missing someone?
A: Great Grandpa.

Q: Mood?
A: Ambivalent.

Q: Listening to?
A: The Dead Milkmen.

Q: Watching?
A: Staring blankly at my computer screen.

Q: Worrying about?
A: The economy, the presidential election, the country.


Q: First place you went this morning?
A: Work

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A: Go to the world's greatest yarn store on Sunday!!

Q: What's the last movie you saw in theater?
A: To Catch A Thief last Saturday.

Q: Do you smile often?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: Oy vey, am I ever. I talk to strangers in the line at the store. I talk to the people sitting next to me on the plane, or in the waiting area waiting to get on the plane. When I went to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra with Martha, she had me sit next to the stranger, because she knew I would talk to them.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger RIP, Weekend Doings

There is so much going on. First thing this morning, after hearing the "RealFeel" temp is -5F (-20.555555 in Celsius) is that Heath Ledger was found dead. I didn't believe it at first. And then I heard it again (apparently there is no news from Iraq, Iran, Gaza, etc. to tell me about), so I had to believe it. I have a few issues with the way it's being reported. First off, who cares if he's naked? Lots of people sleep naked. Hell, if I were to die in bed and made the news reports (not likely, I know), would they be reporting that I was found in a ratty, threadbare T-shirt that was falling apart? And if so, who the bloody hell cares? It doesn’t mean anything, except that I slept better in that T-shirt.

I read in the newspaper that after portraying the Joker in the upcoming new Batman film that he had trouble sleeping because the character is so dark and depraved, and that two Ambien only got him an hour of sleep. All this from an interview he gave the NYT recently. Anyway, my point is that if you can't sleep, you're willing to try anything after a certain period of time and if two didn't help, you think why not try another two. I made the mistake of reading the first page of comments at the article at the Freep (you'd think I know better because the comments always piss me off) and was appalled at the lack of human decency. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean that their life was spiraling out of control and that they deserve to die. I'm hating people lately. Especially stupid, ignorant people who have no empathy for others. I hope the autopsy shows he dies of natural causes (still sad), but it would shut the losers.

I had so much I was going to tell you over the weekend, but I got caught up in my knitting. I'm working on this lace shawl but as a scarf since I didn't have enough yarn for the shawl. The second picture is closer to what mine is looking like right now, as in the first picture, it's been (or being) blocked). The YS bought this beautiful orange yarn for me at this yarn store in Maine that I never got to (closed both days I tried to go). She was there to buy Tofutsie sock yarn which is made from the shells of shrimp and crab and saw the orange yarn. She was debating about buying it for me, unsure if I'd like that particular shade of orange. It was past the end of tourist season, so the lady told her she could have both skeins for the price of one. SOLD! I love it, love it, love it, love it. If I ever get my computer organized (i.e., get my music off it so I can download pictures – yeah, I know it's been six months since I've been saying this), I'll take a picture and show you the finished product.

It's funny. Every year the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) aka the Detroit Auto Show always manages to be held during the coldest week of the year. This year they moved the show one week later than usual (so the foreign automakers weren't shipping vehicles over the holiday – we're very nice like that here in Detroit) and the coldest weather of the year followed. The traditional week for the auto show this year was damn near balmy (40s, at least). It's crazy. For the third year in a row, I didn't get to the auto show and I'm still bummed. I'm afraid that I got spoiled going during the preview week which has significantly fewer people (obviously). The reason going to the auto show sucks so badly when it's the coldest week of the year is that you can't get a decent parking spot, so you're walking for BLOCKS in negative windchill, so you have to be bundled up. Then you get to Cobo Hall and it's heated to the nth degree, so you're sweating. You don't want to check your coat, because there are jillions of people there and when you want to leave you're going to be waiting in line for a half hour just to get your coat. Instead you walk around carrying your big, bulky coat unable to get near any of the cars, even the not so interesting ones, because there are a jillion people there. You can forget getting anywhere near the concept cars.

The last time I went to the auto show as a non-preview spectator I was still dating the ex, so that was pre-1990. It was hotter than Hades in Cobo, as usual, and we not only looked at every friggin' car, we looked at every friggin' car's engine. And it wasn't just a glance or even a ten second look at the engine. It was a good five minutes at every car. I was going insane and swore I was never going to the auto show again. It's so much more fun when you go with someone with a similar mindset (i.e., let's just look at the cool cars).

On Saturday I went to a Memorial Mass for my aunt's father. Although I wasn't technically related to "Granddad," I loved him as if I were. He was definitely one of the good people of the world. Most of my cousins aren't old enough to remember Grandpa, my mom's father, because he died in 1984. In fact, they're all around the ages my siblings and I were when Grandpa died, so I understand how they're feeling. Of course, Granddad was 81 and Grandpa was only in his 60s when he died. Grandpa's death is the reason the YS is virulently anti-chiropractor. Grandpa had a bad back and therefore went to the chiropractor. The chiropractor took X-rays, as is normal, but didn't tell Grandpa that he saw the tumor in his lungs that would eventually kill him, because the chiropractor thought he could cure Grandpa himself. By the time, he conceded that he couldn't cure the cancer and told Grandpa about it, it was too late and it had spread everywhere (bones, every organ, etc.). I know, in theory, it's supposed to be easier when a person dies from cancer, because there was time to say good-bye, and the person was no longer suffering, etc., but I've never fallen for that BS. I'd have preferred that my Grandpa hadn't gotten cancer at all.

I've never been one for showing my true feelings in front of my immediate family, at least, not the important emotions. I remember I was writing a paper the night Grandpa died (it was a Wednesday), and we got the phone call from Mom at the hospital. I went to campus the next day and attended my classes as usual, I had a 400-level Spanish (writing and translation) class that I could not miss. The funny thing was that I was completely stressed out that semester already. Along with my 400-level Spanish class, I had a 400-level Econ class (International Finance, I believe, or International Trade, but I think it was Finance). Anyway, Econ met MWFs with Spanish meeting TTHs. For both classes I had to write FOUR papers (long papers) and every single paper was due within a day of each other. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would leave my 9:00-10:30 a.m. Spanish class crying thinking of all the work I had to do, not just for that class, but all my classes, as well as work to pay for my classes. I told you I was stressed.

One of my friends, John, would meet me every TTH with a tissue and a hug. The Thursday after Grandpa died, I sat and cried all through class, so afterwards I went to Manuel's office to explain why I cried throughout his entire class. He said to me, "I was wondering what was wrong. You usually don't cry until the end of class." right when he would be handing out the assignment and I would be trying to figure out when I was going to have time to get it done. Oh yeah, not showing my emotions…I knew I was going somewhere with that story. Back then, it was traditional to have a viewing at the funeral home for two days, and during one of the times at the funeral home, my Mom said to me something about not knowing how I was doing because she hadn't seen me cry at all, but hearing that I was crying all over campus. Therein lies the problem of going to a commuter campus close to home where two of your siblings also go. I'm trying to cry privately (away from family eyes), but not succeeding. To this day I have no idea how they know I was crying all over campus, because neither the OS nor BAB were ever on campus. The OS literally drove to campus for class and then drove straight home. The BAB spent a little bit more time on campus than that, but he was usually in the Natural Area (and trust me, I wasn't there). There are spies everywhere.

Saturday night was a much more enjoyable experience. I went with a group of friends to see To Catch a Thief (don't read the entire synopsis, as I think it retells the entire movie in word form – the first couple paragraphs would be enough to give you an idea) at the old Redford Theater. Only GtG had seen it before, but it had been a long time. After it was over, everybody declared they loved it and acknowledged the fabulousness that is Cary Grant. I was happy.

Sunday I was supposed to go and see Man from Plains but it was my sister's birthday and my BIL invited Mom, Grandma and me to join them (and the niece and nephew) for dinner. The movie was at 4:00 & 7:00, dinner was at 6:00. *sigh* It turned out to be okay, though, because nobody else could go anyway, so we decided we'd rent it when it comes out and all watch it then. Dinner was quite nice, as I had to do a smackdown on the almost 20-year-old nephew (He.Knows.EVERYTHING), and that's actually enjoyable. Mom leaves today for Egypt and Jordan on a 2.5 week vacation, so it was good to spend time with her. I think she was a bit nervous about going, but I know she's going to have a great time. She might lose weight while she's there as she's just about the pickiest eater in the history of the world, although the YS and I have gotten her to eat Thai food and sushi, so she'll try things, on occasion. My aunt and I were discussing what the heck Mom was going to eat there. I'll find out when she gets back. I know they're going for Indian food at the Mena House which overlooks the Great Pyramids of Giza and Mom thinks she doesn't like Indian food. I told my aunt to get Mom Tandoori chicken, as that should be bland enough for Mom.

I guess that's it for now. I need to get a cup of tea.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Young at Heart singing The Ramones

I thought this was hysterical.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

December Movies (finally) and other stuff

I'm heading to bed shortly as 4:30 comes pretty quickly, but felt the need to post. Not that I have a thing to say, but what the heck.

Does anybody watch The Graham Norton Show on BBC America? It's on Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. (I think - I DVR it) and it is so bloody funny. I laugh out loud all the time. I love that he has his guests come out right at the beginning and he talks to them together. One show last season he had on Marilyn Manson and Nigella Lawson, the cooking show woman. Stinking hilarious. If you have BBC America and you're not watching, you're not doing yourself any favors. They do stuff on British telly that is just insane. And they get to swear, but of course, it gets beeped out here. Our family values will explode if they're allowed to say the c-word for a male anatomical part on TV, I guess.

Even though Christmas is officially over I still have tons of knitting to do. I have gotten into slightly more complicated knitting, as I found myself actually a little bored with my usual scarves. I've finished two scarves of late that includes slipping stitches and passing the slipped stitch over, and yarnovers and knitting stitches together. It's quite exciting. I've even started, for myself, a 20-row lace pattern. This means that rows 1-20 are different from each other and when you reach row 21, you start over again with row 1. Not really the mindless knitting I've always preferred. It's quite scary. I might even tackle cables sometime this year. *shudder*

I did my civic duty today and voted in Michigan's "primary." It's in quotes, because I've heard that because the Michigan legislature voted to move our primary up from its usual Super Tuesday date, in order to get a little bit more attention from the candidates, the Democratic Party has taken our delegates away from us. And the Republicans only get half the usual number of delegates. So, that worked really well. The only Democrat who came to the state was Dennis Kucinich, while the Republicans (minus Giuliani, of course, who is planning on winning the Republican candidacy on only Florida) were criss-crossing the state all weekend. It was making me sick listening to Mitt Romney talking about how he's a native son, blah blah blah. He hasn't lived here since he was 18 when he left to go to Harvard (or some other Ivy League college), and that's a good three + decades.

I watched a ton of movies in December, but I don't feel like linking, so if you're interested, you can google, IMDB or rottentomatoes them yourselves.

Evil Under the Sun - old Agatha Christie with Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. Always a good time.

Howl's Moving Castle - This was up against The Corpse Bride and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit for best animated Oscar a few years ago. I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would. I will, however, stand by my assessment that The Corpse Bride deserved that Oscar - and I love Wallace & Gromit.

The Other Side of the Street - This was billed as a Brasilian Rear Window which it kind of was with an unexpected twist at the end. It's not better than Rear Window, but I mostly liked it.

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same - I have NO clue what I was thinking when I netflixed this because I *hate* Led Zeppelin. I watched the entire thing, though, so give me credit for trying to broaden my horizons. The little vignettes that supposedly showed the mindset of the individual members of the band were just plain strange. The only one I liked was the one of the drummer (John Bonham, I think) because it included all sorts of cool cars, including him drag racing. SWEET.

The Squid & The Whale - I try to watch most films nominated for an Academy Award, even if I don't get to them for a few years. That's why I watched this one. I fucking hated this movie. I hated Jeff Daniels (I think it was Jeff Daniels) beyond words. I didn't hate Laura Linney quite as much, but it would have been hard to reach the level of malevolence I felt for Jeff's character. Do not waste your time with this one unless you want to stab people when it's over.

American Hardcore - Very cool documentary on the hardcore music scene in the States. I loved it.

Friends With Money - A movie that looks like it's a comedy, but isn't really. Jennifer Aniston plays the poor friend of three couples who all have way more money that most of us. I think this is the first movie I've seen with Joan Cusack where she played somebody not completely likable. It was "meh."

That Touch of Mink - Cary Grant, Doris Day...love it!

None But The Lonely Heart - I had to look this one up. 1944 Cary Grant movie where he plays a drifter, essentially, who comes home for a while with every intention of leaving quickly until the neighborhood doctor informs him his mother is dying. He gets mixed up with the wrong people, and it goes on from there. It's Cary Grant, which means I recomend it, of course.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - I watch this every year with a group of friends from when I worked at the University. I had never seen it before 2000 or 2001, but I can say appreciated it more this year than any of the previous years.

The Bicycle Thief - I had heard about this classic post-war Italian movie for years, and I finally saw it. The YS (younger sister) had seen it in college in a film appreciation class and she didn't appreciate it at all. I did, however.

The Polar Express - Wow, I really didn't appreciate this Christmas movie at all. About halfway through I was absolutely hating it, but came to not hate it by the end. I don't think I'll be making this a Christmas tradition, but it didn't suck completely.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeousie - I did not "get" this movie. But it was directed by Luis Bunuel, so what did I expect. It had Fernando Rey whom I love, so that helped get me through it. A little strange, especially when the two couples and Fernando Rey would be walking down the middle of a country road...it was interspersed throughout the movie and the meaning went right over my head. If someone could explain, I'd be oh so grateful.

My Left Foot - Yeah, yeah, I know, the whole world saw this back in the 80s, but I didn't. I can now say, "Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis definitely deserved the Oscar for this movie." After reading Angela's Ashes back when it first came out, I have avoided most movies and books that have anything to do with the bleak Irish life, but this one was worth watching, as it wasn't completely bleak.

Wilde - Movie with Jude Law about Oscar Wilde. It depicted Oscar as quite a congenial fellow. It was OK, not stellar, but not hideously hateful. Sad, of course.

To Have & To Have Not - Bogey & Bacall's first movie together. LOVE IT!

Casino Royale - This was not the Daniel Craig/James Bond movie of last year (or the previous), this was a Peter Sellers/David Niven spoof movie. I wrote in my notebook - complete ridiculousness, as you'd expect from Peter Sellers, no? Orson Welles is in it and I read somewhere that he and Peter Sellers hated each other and one or the other of them wouldn't show up for their scenes together. That had to be fun.

White Christmas - Mom and YS had never seen White Christmas, so the Sunday before Christmas we went to Grandma's to watch it with her. I love Danny Kaye. If you have never seen this movie, you must see it. At the end, I teared up, as always, but tried to be surreptitious about it, until I saw the YS going for the tissue and then passing it to Mom. All three of us were crying - Grandma's not that sentimental, cute as she is.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God - I've finally gotten to the Werner Herzog movies in my Netflix queue. The man is in a class by himself. And it's not altogether good. The movie is good, but he has some interesting ways. Klaus Kinski plays Aguirre, a Spanish explorer, conquistador in Peru who is a little crazy and mounts a mutiny against the leader of the expedition. It's a little weird to hear "Spanish" conquistadors speaking German, but it doesn't really detract from the movie. As is normal with Herzog's films, this isn't exactly uplifting.

The Blob - Steve McQueen's first movie - I liked it better than I thought I would and saw where Slither (the Nathan Fillion movie I watched back in November) got most of its ideas.

Besides these movies, I went to three live performances. The first was my friend Dan's daughter in a Salute to 21st Century Broadway. She was fabulous. Next up was The Brian Setzer Orchestra's Christmas Extravaganza. I've seen them twice before and loved those shows. This one I didn't think was as good. I hate and despise long-ass guitar soloes and drum soloes...and they were definitely more prevalent this time area. I hope he doesn't do that next year. And finally, Stuart McLean of CBC Radio brought The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Concert to Windsor. It was fabulous fun, as always, and we even got TWO Dave & Morley stories. If you have never heard Stuart, go to CBC Radio. If you live in a border state, find it on your radio. If you don't, you can go on-line and I understand there are podcasts now, so you don't have to try to catch it at 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday mornings on-line.

Whew, only halfway through January I finally listed my December movies. I'm such a slacker.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Woohoo! I didn't die from my cold

Thanks for all the get well soon wishes. I woke up yesterday feeling immensely better. Of course, the head cold simply moved to my lungs, as all illnesses are wont to do with me. I was so happy to have clear sinuses again that I took it in stride. What else can I do? I'm back to coughing up a lung regularly, which for me, beats the hell out of blowing my nose every other second, stuffing tissues up my nose just to sleep, and sneezing more violently than usual. (Heather, I know exactly what you mean, I'm pretty sure I woke the lady downstairs with my sneezing over the weekend.)

I didn't go to the gym, but I did do my Drew Workout on Tuesday (minus the squats and lunges, as I knew I didn't have that kind of energy). Yesterday I walked a bit over 1 mile each way to the Farm Market to buy fresh fruits and veggies (and forgot to bring an apple or pear with me to work). I'm coughing so much today that I'm light-headed (no, it's not a normal state of mind for me, thank you very much), but I'll see later if I'm up for a walk or the gym.

I took my measurements on New Year's Day (I have no real clue how much I weigh as I don't own a scale), but I'm not happy with my measurements (what woman ever is, really). I have started writing down everything I eat, in an effort to find out why I can't lose weight or inches, no matter how much I exercise. So far, except for probably New Year's Day when I was at a party, I haven't eaten anywhere near 2000 calories in a day, so I'm not sure eating is my problem. *sigh* I'm pissed.

Oops, still no movies...one of these days...

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I think I'm dying from a cold

On Friday I did something I have never done before in my entire life. It was suspenseful and exciting. Any guesses? No? Prepare yourself, I threw up at work. Yes, indeed. How's that for an accomplishment? I trust you are impressed. I woke up Friday morning feeling fine. I had gone to the gym the afternoon before and had done a full hour on the elliptical. All was right with the world. I walked to work as usual, but a third of the way down the final long corridor I have to walk I started to get that metallic saliva-y taste/feeling in my mouth. Oy vey, I thought, and stopped at the drinking fountain. That seemed to help a little bit, but I didn't really think much of it. I just figured it was because I had taken my two medications at the exact same time w/o food (the one is supposed to be taken w/o food, the other I've never had trouble with before) and that as soon as I got to my desk I could eat my bowl of cereal and that would calm things down.

Not so much. I took one bite of my cereal and was racing for the restroom with a tissue pressed to my mouth. Thank heavens I get to work before anybody else in my area and nobody saw me. I puked my guts out (one whole bite of cereal) and then dry heaved awhile. It was charming. Oh yeah, I threw up on my sleeve, so that pleased me. I usually just wear a fleece at work over whatever work clothes I choose in the morning, but that day I was actually wearing a nice little jacket. Thankfully, I leave a fleece here at work so I rinsed the sleeve and hung the jacket on my chair. *sigh*

I didn't feel too bad after that, at least for a couple of hours, until I started to feel as if throwing up again was an option. My boss was in a meeting until 9:30, and I didn't want to leave until I saw him. I had also wanted to stay because the department was scheduled to have a meeting with our Big Big Boss about the fact that we, as a department, no longer had a Big Boss and that the Big Big Boss would be acting as our Big Boss for the time being, in addition to being the Big Big Boss for at least two other departments. Bossman assured me that the Big Big Boss wasn't probably going to tell us anything that we didn't already know, he just wanted to make us feel welcome and as part of the team, since our Big Boss wasn't very good at that (example: we used to be split into two groups, Branches & Roots, but two years ago the powers that be decided that it would be better to join us into one group, Tree, but to this day there are people from Branches that don't know people from Roots and vice versa – it's sad).

Once I told my boss that I had upchucked at work and was feeling like it was within the realm of possibility again, he told me to go home, so I did. I slept for a few hours, got up for few hours and then went back to bed where I slept for 12 hours. I had to go out Saturday because we were having our hockey pool re-draft and I had to dump some underperforming stiffs (sorry, Heather, but Liles got the boot), and I had to proxy for my friend Darryl who decided not to drive in from Milwaukee. I didn't have to go off his list, so that was good.

Some of my friends were going out to dinner after the re-draft but I was too sick to bother and went home (had to stop at Murray's along the way as I was out of windshield wiper fluid, which is just not a good thing in Michigan in winter with all the salt on the road, that is, if you like seeing where you're going). I don't remember if there was a nap involved or not. I did, however, go to bed at 8:00 and slept until 9:00 the next morning. And that was the last time I slept. I had to go to Target to stock up on Alka-Seltzer Cold & Cough (daytime version) and by the time I got home I was just drained and collapsed on the couch. I wouldn't let myself nap as I knew that meant I wouldn't sleep that night – which I didn't anyway. I contemplated staying home from work yesterday but since I hadn't slept, I decided I would go to work and then, in theory, be able to sleep last night. Yeah, not so much.

Last night as I lay (lie?) there with tissue stuffed up my nose (isn't that a pretty picture?) in an attempt at God knows what in order to sleep, I came to a new appreciation for people diagnosed with a chronic painful incurable disease who seek out the help of someone like Dr. Kevorkian. I'm not trying to say that my cold is the least bit similar as an incurable disease, but five days of watering eyes, running nose, fever, cough, aches, etc., and being unable to sleep due to all of the above, I can't even imagine how I would feel if I knew it would never ever go away. And for some reason, my beloved Alka-Seltzer Night-time Cold & Cough is not doing its job this time around. Normally, it dries me up and I sleep like a rock when I take it, but it has failed spectacularly the past two nights.

HRH called me yesterday to discuss our plans for Vegas (we finally got a weekend when we think most of the California contingent can make it), she said, "You're sick again?" She sent me the website of some organic mushrooms (called New Defense, I think) that are supposed to help the immune system. She swears that since she started taking them, she hasn't had a cold. What the hell. There's a place a mile from me that sells exactly what she recommends, so I might make my way there today to pick some up.

I'm really ticked because I had gotten into a short groove of working out and then BAM! sicker than a freaking dog. I know you can technically work out when you're sick, but it seems to silly to tax an already overtaxed, underworking body. What are your thoughts on working out when sick?

I know you were all expecting December's Movies Listing, but it'll have to wait. I'm so not in the mood to link. I hope everybody else is feeling significantly better than do!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

December's Books & The Book of the Year

Happy New Year to all! I hope you all had a lovely holiday. Mine was quite pleasant, especially since I get the week between Christmas and New Year's off from work. Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I only read two books in December as it was taken up with knitting, as usual for December. I watched a lot more movies, but I want to dedicate one entire post to the books because the one was too important, I feel, to get passed over, as I'm sure it would be, if it were part of a super long post.

My dear friend GtG gave me the book Three Cups of Tea for my birthday and it had been a book I had seen before and contemplated buying, but hadn't yet. I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. Words fail me. It's the story of Greg Mortenson who in the early 90s failed in an attempt to climb K2, got lost coming down the mountain and wandered into a little Pakistani village which took care of him. He promised that one day he would come back and build them a school as they didn't have one.

He talks about how he went about typing on a typewriter 200 letters to various people asking for money to help build this school. He was living out of his car to save money while working as an emergency room nurse. The amount of money needed was a paltry sum (if I remember correctly, $12,000) when you think about constructing a building of any type.

It talks about his travails in acquiring supplies in Pakistan, getting said supplies to this little village, and how they had to first build a bridge, etc. There is also the time he got kidnapped and held hostage for a period of time by tribes known to be quite brutal, but once they heard he was in Pakistan building schools for girls, they let him go.

This book shows that the way to defeat terrorism is NOT with warfare and bombings, but by buildings schools which have a balanced curriculum. One of the reasons there are so many suicide type terrorists coming out of Pakistan these days is the rich, ultra-right wing branch of Islam is building huge schools in Pakistan and indoctrinating them in their own brand of Islam. The last few years three of my friends and I have chosen not to exchange gifts, but to donate to each others' charity of choice. I had chosen Nothing but Nets for the second year in a row, until I read this book and changed it to the Central Asia Institute in time for my third friend to donate, because I believe in Greg Mortenson's way of fighting terrorism.

I want to buy this book for every person I know and have them read it and pass it along to everybody they know.

The other book I read was The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. I had bought this before The Zombieslayer gave it a bad review. And I think his review helped in that I wasn't expecting much. I ended up appreciating the book. I'm not sure I believe in its message, which I think was essentially "Go for your dreams." Not that that's a bad message, but I'm not going to be selling my sheep and traveling to Tangiers, anytime soon. I did, however, quite like the little twist in the ending, and I laughed out loud. My copy of the book included some questions for discussion at the end and they made me realise that I read for fun these days and not for analytical purposes. Life's too short to answer philosophical questions about books. I believe in reading one and moving on to the next one.

I think you all can probably figure out that Three Cups of Tea is the book of the month. It is also Book of the Year with damn near no competition.