Thursday, May 31, 2012

Post #3 - It's only been a few days, right?

Yup, work is still nuts, but the good news is that the world's greatest supervisor (who isn't mine, just for the record, but was years ago) got my status fixed and I now have to be paid for EVERY HOUR I WORK. Woohoo!! And I have to be paid for every hour I worked last year. Another Woohoo! They haven't figured out how that's going to happen yet, but I won't let them get away with not paying me. I need to pay for my yarn habit somehow. With the help of my dear friend Windy (who found my beautiful house) and my friend Ricardo I have planted my first garden. My soil is crap so God only knows if the daily watering is going to help. I think I need to buy worms and inflict my crap soil on them. I hope it doesn't hurt the poor worms. I still have done zero knitting for me...although lots of yarn buying for of these days. My porch swing (housewarming gift from Mom and aunts) is up and I love it. It was fabulous last week when it was 90F. It's so lovely and cool on my porch. Ooh, it's the end of the month, I could re-instate Books and Movies of the Month.... Books Read in April #16 Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman (2011) 413 pages #17 Poison Flower: A Jane Whitefield Novel by Thomas Perry (2012) 274 pages Books Read in May #18 (of 2012) Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology by Marc Headley (2009) 371 pages #19 All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (2011) 235 pages (the best knitting humorist writer out there) #20 The Serpent's Shadow: Book 3 of the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan (2012) 406 pages #21 Stolen Prey by John Sandford (2012) 402 pages #22 The Technologists by Matthew Pearl (2012) 480 pages #23 City of Lost Souls: Book 5 of The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare (2012) 536 pages Movies Watched in April #29 Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story (DFT) 2011 #30 The Public Enemy (Redford) 1931 - Jimmy Cagney #31 Angels with Dirty Faces (Redford) 1938 - Jimmy Cagney #32 The Bank Job (K) 2008 Movies Watched in May #33 (of 2012) Senna (N) 2010 Yeah, I was on a Scientology jag there. I figure if I'm going to slag something I should learn about it. And it's fascinating. I recommend both books. May Book of the Month has to go to The Technologists. I love Matthew Pearl. It's his fourth book and I have loved every single one. I would definitely recommend everybody read all of them (The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens). April's Movie of the Month was Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story without a doubt. As a Detroiter, I had to pick it, but it truly was a fascinating look at the late 1960s/early 1970s Detroit music scene. And all you really need to know about how cool it was is that The Who played Tommy at the Grande - before they played it anywhere else. Of course, the Ted Nugent interviews underscored what a complete and utter classless asshole he truly is. May's Movie of the Month is obvious since it was the only movie I watched, but I would hazard a guess that Senna would have won even if I had watched ten movies. If you have never followed F1 or even if you know the story intimately, unless you're a Prost fan with blinders on, you'd come away thinking "Damn, Prost was a dick." And if you know a little about current F1, you'd probably think, "Holy crap, Jean-Marie Balestre is a bigger dick than Max Mosley, and I didn't think that was possible." At any rate, definitely check it out. It is an amazing movie...and if you can find Louder than Love, oy, it was a fun movie. Although it might have been the atmosphere, as it felt like old home week at the Detroit Film Theatre that night as all the old hippies found each other and got reacquainted. And while I chose a book of the month for May, I'd say you couldn't go wrong reading any of the books (although I'd recommend reading the previous books if it were a continuation of a series).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Post #2 of 2012 - So Exciting!

Oy vey, work's killing me. I'm not happy about it at all. Another 11 hour day and I could still be there I have so much work to do. I didn't even have time to eat my lunch today. I brought it back home and ate it for dinner.

For the first time ever, I made a New Year's Resolution...which I'm failing at miserably. My resolution is to knit for myself more. I have a ton of yarn that I've bought specifically for me, bought/found patterns which I want to make for me, etc., and so far, not so good.

Part of the issue is work. The other is all the people in my life having babies. I've already finished one baby blanket (co-worker's baby was due today). The second baby is due at the end of February (another co-worker) and I'm waiting for the pink yarn to show up (I don't generally buy pink yarn, as I don't like pink). Then there's my cousin's baby shower in March (it won't be done by then), and then a co-worker whose baby is due in May (yay, a boy, so I don't to knit with pink yarn), and then one more co-worker whose baby is due in July. *sigh*

I've told some people pointblank that they're not allowed to get pregnant, because I just don't have time to knit for them, dammit.

I have yet to finish my SIL's scarf from 2010 Christmas. *sigh* I hope she's forgotten about it and it'll be a surprise when I do finish it.

I signed up with my Knitting Guild's Sneaky Sheep (think Secret Santa, but not at Christmas) which means I'll have to knit something for someone. I think it's due at April's meeting. Let's hope I have time to complete whatever I end up knitting.

This past weekend I went to the Redford Theatre to see Forbidden Planet with a bunch of friends. I had never seen it, and I'm glad I went - I liked it. Only $4, plus reasonable prices at the snack/candy counter...and real butter for popcorn. The weekend before that I went to the Detroit Film Theater (DFT) at the Detroit Institute of Arts to see a restored "Director's Cut" of Touch of Evil with Orson Welles and Charlton Heston. This coming Saturday I have plans to head back to the DFT, this time to see Andrei Rublev, which is a film I've wanted to see for a long time! It's 305 minutes long!!! I'm pretty sure there will be an intermission or two. And since it's a matinee, it should only be $4. Gotta love economic prices.

Okay, I'm giving up on this post, as it's really difficult to type with Igor laying across my arms. Good thing he's cute. I hope you're all well.

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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Happy New Year - 2012

Greetings, all (or none). I can't believe it's been a year and a half since I last posted. Where does the time go? I know that in my case it seemed to go to work. 2011 was insane, work-wise. Other than Mondays during the first half of the year, I don't remember leaving the employer's building on time. And from the first week of this year, it appears 2012 is not going to be any better. Yay...not. I'm a peon working manager-like hours without anywhere near manager-like money. I can't even keep up with the shows on my DVR - hard to do when all you do is work and sleep.

Oh yeah, I bought a house in 2011 as well...which was bizarre as I have never wanted a house. I never wanted to cut grass, garden, etc. And now I have one. It's a bit surreal to me still. It's a gorgeous 1920-built Sears Craftsman house which somehow has a maximum of gorgeous woodwork with a minimum amount that has been painted over the years. MIRACLE!!!

The living room had been painted a cobalt blue but had beige curtains, so that had to change. My furniture is olive green with burgundy/maroon flecks. It's now painted a very soft sage (with the beige curtains, it looked beige) and I have sage green gauzy curtains which my friend Joi made for me. It's the room in which I spend the most even though the bigger TV is in the second bedroom - I like looking out my front windows, especially when I have put peanuts out on the front porch ledge for the squirrels. I have a fabulous front porch which once spring comes will have a swing (it had one when I bought it but the previous owners took it ;-( ) as my sister and mother are getting me one as a housewarming gift. I was hoping to have it last Fall, but it didn't happen. Today's so nice I could actually sit outside (almost 50F) - crazy weather for January in Michigan. And I'm not complaining. In fact, it could stay in the 40s until about March and then start getting warm and I'd be a happy camper.

I could show you pictures, but I'm not sure I've taken any. I'll put it on my list of things to do. In the meantime, I think a short post is a good way to get started....let's see how long this lasts.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sweet Video

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Monday, April 12, 2010

This Year Can't Get Any Worse

I was really really really hoping to give you all good news, but my beloved Grandma aka Shortstuff passed away last Wednesday morning early. I knew she doesn't doing well when I left Tuesday night (around 1:00 a.m., so I guess it was really Wednesday morning), but I wasn't expecting the phone call from the YS around 3:35 a.m. saying that Grandma was going...her breathing was shallow. Not even five minutes later, she called me to say that Grandma was gone.

The rest of the week is pretty much a blur of family, funeral home, airport, church, cemetery and condo (Grandma's). I'm exhausted and beyond sad.

Thank you for all your prayers and hugs and good thoughts. They meant the world to me.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Beloved Grandma

Dear Friends,

I honestly had meant to be a more consistent blogger, but life keeps getting in the way. On February 22nd, we had a massive snowstorm here in the metropolitan Detroit area. The snow was super wet and heavy. And we all know what that means. A former co-worker (who took the buyout 2-3 years ago, but was working for a supplier) dropped dead of a heart attack. I had just seen him at the end of January at our Haitian Earthquake Relief Bake Sale and Craft Show. He had thrown $20 into the jar and took a scarf that I had made. I got the phone call Tuesday morning and I heard what Charles said but it wasn't computing, so I made him repeat everything. I couldn't deal with it so soon after Ed, so I made him go to our resident from that supplier and verify (he had gotten a phone call from a former supplier who was in Texas, of all places, so I was hoping he got his wires crossed or something). Harry verified it and I just put my head down on my desk and sobbed. My two cube-mates were quite taken aback and just gave me a hug.

Once again, I had a sympathy card at my desk and was collecting money for flowers and his 12-year-old daughter's education. Jim was truly one of the good guys – just like Ed – it seems so unfair. I can name three people off the top of my head who have proven by actions that they don't give a rat's ass about their children and they're still walking around while Ed & Jim who loved their children, as a father should, are now gone.

Turned out that Jim had stayed home from work that day because his daughter didn't have school and his wife had something going on at work that she couldn't miss. And even though they owned a snow blower, Jim decided to shovel. He had finished his property and was helping a neighbor lady. They had actually finished and the neighbor was putting the shovels away when she turned around and Jim was on the ground. At the funeral, there was a lady sitting in the third pew who just lost in when the priest talked about how Jim was always helping someone, whether it was his parents, siblings or the neighbors. I felt so sorry for her.

I was writing up something about Jim when I could do it without crying (still can't, for the record), but then last Monday (March 15th), I got a phone call from my Mom at work around 7:00 a.m. She was crying and could barely talk, but she said that Grandma was in the hospital (she had gone in Saturday) and was in respiratory distress and had signed a DNR (do not resuscitate). Now, I know Grandma's 91, but to me she's not old. She's still cute as a button and none of the nurses or hospital staff believed she was 91 and all commented on how beautiful her skin is (she swears by Estee Lauder).

You guys all know how much I love my Grandma & Angie Grandma as I wrote an entire post about her a few years ago. So, I called my boss in tears and he could barely understand me as I told him that I was heading to the hospital. By the time I got there, she was doing much better, although she was on a BiPap machine. It's similar to a C-Pap machine that people who have sleep apnea wear at night. There's a mask that sucks to her face and blows oxygen into her nose and mouth. Turns out that she had had a respiratory distress episode on Saturday morning (which is how she ended up in the hospital) and then again Sunday morning. The decision was made that she wear the BiPap machine at night since that's when her breathing is the worst.

Oh yeah, Grandma's problem is that she can't breathe properly because due to her osteoporosis she's lost a good 8" in height which leaves that much less room in her chest cavity for all her organs, and her lungs can't fully inflate. Essentially, as the doctor told us that morning, there is nothing they can do to cure her, all they can do is treat the symptoms. He suggested that we talk to the palliative care nurse. She came by a bit later and talked to Grandma, asking what Grandma's goals were. Grandma said, "I'm not ready to leave these people yet."

She spent most of the day telling us to go to work. We told her that work was getting along fine without us. Then when evening came she tried to tell us to go home. We out-voted her on that one.

By Wednesday, however, she was planning her funeral and had told the same nurse that she was tired and ready to go. Thursday she told us that she hadn't expected to still be here, because she felt so poorly on Wednesday. And while she was still planning her funeral, she was still planning on being here for my YS's wedding in May. She said, "YS, I don't think I'll be able to walk you down the aisle." YS is planning on my Mom and Grandma walking her down the aisle, since we all know the FF isn't even invited. I told her that that was okay because we had a contingency plan for that. The middle Terror Child would push her down the aisle in a wheelchair. Grandma was cool with that, and said, "Oh good."

It was such a scare, though, that all the out-of-towners flew in and we had a mini-family reunion at the hospital. The YS and AP flew in Monday. The LB and AC arrived on Tuesday. BE was supposed to come in the same day but she was flying stand-by and got stuck in Chicago. Thankfully, I have cousins in Chicago, so BE stayed with her nieces, nephew-in-law and grand-niece, and she finally arrived on Wednesday. AK wasn't going to come in because she had bronchitis and a sinus infection, but UJ called her on Wednesday after the second meeting with the palliative care nurse and told her that she should think about coming. AK had talked to Grandma on Monday and explained that she couldn't come, but if Grandma was ready to go that she could go. Well, Grandma kept counting her children and coming up one short and she really wanted AK there.

Of course, trying to get an airline ticket at that short of notice was impossible unless AK and UD wanted to pay around $2000 apiece. Someone finally called Southwest (at my urging, because I love Southwest) and the Southwest agent was able to get them here via a most circuitous route for less than $700 apiece. They flew all day Thursday and got in late Thursday night. I managed to get the bronchitis I had been fighting all winter by this point and felt pretty rotten on Friday. I went to work for three hours (I had a few things to do), then went home to an hour nap before going to my 1:45 dr.'s appt. which was conveniently just a few miles from the hospital where Grandma was. I had to wear a mask, so that I wouldn't get her any sicker.

She's so cute that she was constantly yelling at my brother to go home (he's been suffering from some mysterious lung ailment for the past two months and just feels awful all the time) and when I came down with bronchitis, she kept telling me to go home.

We had Mass in her room on Saturday morning with Fr. Bob. He was a boy in the neighborhood where my Mom and the older siblings lived when growing up. He's kind of the family priest. He said a lovely Mass including an anointing of the sick and Grandma was very moved by it and thanked us all.

I spent all last week Monday through Sunday at the hospital whenever I wasn't at work. Monday she went home to hospice care and I stopped by. I called on Tuesday but she was sleeping and I needed to spend some time at home. I'm, of course, regretting that right now. I went by yesterday after work and spent the majority of my time there rubbing her legs and feet gently. She liked it and said it helped her to relax. When I got there she was talking to AC and while AC is usually the talker, it was Grandma who kept her on the phone. She snoozed a little bit and then the YS called and she woke up so she talked to the YS for awhile and when Grandma handed the phone back to me, the YS was sobbing and said, "She sounds so weak." I didn't know what to say to make her stop crying and since I didn't want to cry around Grandma I passed the phone to AJ and had AJ calm her down.

I'm afraid that if I start crying, I won't stop. I told Grandma yesterday that I loved her (as I do anyway) and that I always appreciated her, because I knew she loved me (unlike my paternal grandparents who couldn't stand me and let it be known, although every member of my immediate family would argue the point, but I know what I know). She mentioned to me that whenever we would go to the paternal grandparents' house they'd always give us a cookie. Now, they moved to Arizona when I was 6 or 7 and don't remember that, but Grandma said how she didn't believe in that. She just treated us like kids (her youngest is only a couple years older than my brother) and didn't think we needed a cookie. I finally had the alone time with her yesterday that I never got last week and then didn't know what to tell her, other than that I loved her and I knew that she loved me, even when she'd come upstairs at her house and tell me to put the book down and come downstairs and join the family party. She laughed. I teased that even though she never gave us cookies like I knew she gave UJ's kids cookies, that I still knew she loved us. I think they were more real as grandchildren to her as they weren't the same age as her youngest. When I called yesterday to see if Grandma were awake and wanted visitors, I could hear her in the background when AP told her that I was on the phone "That Kathleen is a character." I'm sure that's a compliment. ;-)

So, in case you thought I was just being a slacker about blogging, now you know that this time I had a valid reason. And please pray, send good thoughts, etc. to my Grandma and family. We really could use it. And if you want, I'll try to keep you updated. I'm wondering if I pissed off the gods when I said that I was having a rotten 2010…and they're now showing me how horrible it can get.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A 1959 car vs. 2009 car in a head on crash.

This is an amazing video to watch. 1959 Car vs. A New 2009 Vehicle in a Collision: Interesting video to watch. You know how we always think about what big tanks the old cars of the 50's and 60's were. And how we talk about how there is so much plastic on the new cars that if one of the old tanks ever collided with a new car the new car would be demolished? Someone in the insurance industry put that theory to the test and after watching this video you may change your mind...

For the record, I weep for that 1959 Chevy. What a waste of a beautiful classic car.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

September 2009's Books & Movies

Okay, enough of being sad. I think I've gone on long enough about Ed and being sad. I still have my moments, but I actually laughed at work on Thursday which was a huge improvement. I didn't think I'd ever laugh at work again. So, onward.

I believe that the last time I listed the books I had read and the movies I had watched was September which means I have a lot of catching up to do. Let's get to it.

September's Books & Movies

I was a bit of a slacker and only read two books in September.

43. Fordlandia: The Rise & Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin (2009) – 402 pages – Click the link…they have a photo gallery which is pretty sweet. (If you look the book up at, they also have pictures.) The book was hard to read, not because it was written poorly or too erudite, but because it was such a complete cluster f*ck. Henry Ford was a brilliant man about many things, but didn't realise that the differences between Michigan and Brasil were so vast and that the peoples wouldn't respond to the same incentives. I think the really frustrating thing was that it didn't have to be such a mess and probably could have been successful, except for Henry's way of doing things.

44. Even Money by Dick and Felix Francis (2009) – 350 pages – Someone commented at in the article about Dick Francis' death that the last few books written with his son weren't as good. I disagree wholeheartedly. Everything I know about horse-racing I've learned from Dick Francis (I'm one of those rare women who didn't have a horse-phase as a girl, in fact, I don't like horses, they're big and scary and I've never ever ridden one and don't plan on ever riding one), and this one explained the intricacies of the betting industry in England. This one was little guy vs big corporation with the big guys trying to drive out the little guy and how the little guy fights back. As always I recommend anything written by Dick Francis.

Book of September: Even Money because I know I'll read it again. Is it a better book? Probably not, but I enjoyed it more.

I did a lot better movie-wise in September (which I hope makes up for the fact that I watched ZERO movies in October). Stupid DVR. Please note that I choose my links very carefully. I don't just go with IMDB. I make sure the link coincides with my thoughts on the movie. Just so you know.

51. (9/7) Frost/Nixon (N) – 2008 - Being a young girl when Watergate happened, all I remember is the front of the Detroit Free Press with the headline NIXON RESIGNS in huge font. To me, David Frost has always been a respected journalist/interviewer. I had no clue that him interviewing Nixon was the modern-day equivalent of being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest. I found the film quite fascinating and thought Michael Sheen was fabulous as David Frost and Frank Langella eerily quite Nixon-like.

52. (9/7) Quai des Orfevres (N) – 1947 – I have absolutely no idea now why I added this movie to my Netflix queue, and truthfully, if it weren't for the synopsis, I'd have no idea even what it was about. Ah, I figured it out. It's because it was directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot who also directed Wages of Fear which is a movie I appreciate. It's described as a "police procedural" movie vs a classic whodunit, although the audience doesn't know "whodunit" until the police do. If you like old black and white classic films, give it a go. If you hate subtitles and the lack of Technicolor©/VistaVision©/etc., then I probably wouldn't recommend it for you.

53. (9/12) Dial M for Murder in 3-D (Redford Theater) – 1954 – While I own this movie, who can pass up the chance to see it in the theatre and in 3-D? I thought the 3-D portion was minimal, but it did make the red dress Grace Kelly wears in the beginning really stand out (to the point where I question my copy of the movie as being in black-and-white, because the dress was GORGEOUS and I honestly don't remember it from watching it at home. Oh yeah, and of course, the part where she's reaching toward the camera to grab her sewing scissors to ward off her murderer. Reasons to see this movie: 1) Grace Kelly, 2) Alfred Hitchcock, 3) Robert Cummings (whom I love from another Hitchcock film, Saboteur (1942).

54. (9/13) Houseboat (TCM) – 1958 – Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Need I say more?

55. (9/13) Serendipity (WE) – 2001 – John Cusack. What can I say? John Cusack is my age group's Boy Next Door. I don't know many women my age who don't love him as Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything. And therefore, I will see damn near any movie with him in it. I will admit that I wasn't expecting much, which I find helps any and all movies, really. I think I was the only person not disappointed with the first Batman movie (the one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson) because I didn't want to see it and was expecting absolutely nothing from it. I'm not saying I loved it, just that I wasn't disappointed. Now back to Serendipity. It's weird, as I get older and more set in my ways, i.e., not into dating, happy staying home with the cats and knitting (yes, at some point I got old), I find that I like chick flicks.

56. (9/17) Please Believe Me (TCM) – 1950 – The link will take you to a review by the New York Times back in 1950 when the movie came out, which I think is cool. In this movie, Deborah Kerr plays an English girl who had been a pen pal with some guy in Texas who ends up leaving her his "ranch." It shows her trip across the Atlantic with people thinking she's an heiress and men fighting over her. It was amusing, but I'd have to say a tad confusing (at least for me, I might have been knitting more than actually watching, but it seemed that they could have picked men who didn't all look a like to play the three suitors – I couldn't keep them straight). I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it, but if it's on and you have nothing better on the DVR, go for it. Even if it's just to tell me that it was really quite easy to tell the three men apart and that I really need to pay better attention. 

57. (9/19-20) Crisis (TCM) – 1950 – Once again I watched a movie solely because Cary Grant was in it. As the link points out, it wasn't the usual Cary Grant-fare (i.e., romantic comedy), but it was interesting enough to keep my attention (even if five months later, I couldn't remember what the hell it was about). I think that if someone were to describe the movie to me, I'd say, "Oh yeah, I saw that movie, but I have no idea of the title."

58. (9/20) Goya's Ghosts (Encore) – 2006 – Having been a Spanish major in college, I feel a special affinity for Spanish artists, so I watched this movie solely because it referred to Goya. Yeah, yeah, ranks right up there with judging a book by its cover, I know. While not as horrible as Quills, which I watched in August, I'd say that I won't see this movie again. It was "meh." Oh, unless you like to see Natalie Portman naked.

59. (9/21) Bogus (Encore) – 1996 – This was a cute movie, not spectacular, but cute. Haley Joel Osment (who I unashamedly love, hell, I own Pay It Forward) plays a little boy who is orphaned when his mother dies in a car accident (no father), and then shipped off to live with Whoopie Goldberg who was his mother's foster sister. As the review states, Whoopie's character is not in touch with her inner child, and has trouble relating to the little boy. She especially doesn't understand when he talks to his invisible friend, Bogus, played by Gerard Depardieu. I don't always like Monsieur Depardieu (he did NOT portray a starving coal miner very convincingly in Germinal, as he lost NO weight for the film), but he was very lovely in this.

Movie of September: Dial M for Murder

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 is sucking canal water

I had honestly thought that 2010 was going to be better than 2009, but it has proven me wrong already. In 2009, the problem was seeing friends being laid off. This year, well, we already know what this year has wrought. And trust me, when you add them all up, I'm way over my requisite "happens in 3s." The latest being Dick Francis. No, I didn't know him personally, obviously, but he has been one of my favorite authors for over 25 years. *sigh*

I had to clean Ed's desk Tuesday morning. I got most of his personal belongings together, but have a few questions for his supervisor before I can finish that up completely. And I haven't even looked at his professional files or binders yet. I was told the day before that his supervisor and possibly our manager are setting up a meeting with Ed's wife to get his computer, cell phone, etc. from her and I figured I couldn't be a wuss any longer, as she'll want his personal items. I did it first thing as I didn't want too many people around to see me cry, even though I thought I was going to be able to get through it. Yeah, I was mistaken. And I discovered that my new waterproof mascara isn't very waterproof…or at least tear-proof.

I think that two hours of cleaning a deceased friend/colleague's desk should equal eight hours of regular work. I was emotionally drained and tired and just wanted to go home to bed. Crying is unbelievably exhausting.

It took everything I had to get out of bed this morning. I just wanted to stay home, but I had to go through the questionable items from Ed's desk with his supervisor, which we just did. And I'm right back to feeling as I did yesterday - eyes burning, wanting to curl up under my desk and doing nothing.

I'll try very hard not to be depressing/depressed on my next post.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I am heartbroken.

Good-bye, Ed. You will be missed more than you can possibly know.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've had better weeks

I know, I've been missing for quite a while. My excuse is that in December I was busily doing my Christmas knitting...then I was catching up on the knitting that didn't get done by Christmas and then the earthquake in Haiti happened which inspired one of my friends from work who is a fellow knitter to want to have a bake sale/craft show at work to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims, so I spent the past two weeks knitting my little fingers off and conning a number of my knitting friends to do so as well.

The bake sale/craft show was yesterday and we raised over $2,000 (it's not all in yet). The best part is that my friend who had the great idea wasn't even in town for it as her son got invited to the Hollywood screening of the movie Flipped since he's in it and has a speaking line. Which means that I kind of had to run it myself yesterday, as much as I could leaving others in charge while I got some work done and attended my usual 2-hour Thursday meeting. We had people giving $20 for a brownie and at least one wanting change from his dollar for a cupcake (FOR HAITI!!!). We didn't say anything or give him The Look he deserved, just gave him the two quarters he wanted and then rolled our eyes. I had a guy claim meetings for the entire day when I asked if he was going to support our bake sale. Really? Meetings from 8:00 to 3:00??? It was a lie, but a better lie would have been, "Yes." I wasn't there all day, I wouldn't have known. People are pathetic, I find.

I had been planning on getting more knitting done for the sale, but I lost two days this week when I got the news at work on Monday that one of the truly great guys at work collapsed at home on Sunday and was in the hospital with swelling of the brain, in a coma and unresponsive. I spent Monday and Tuesday crying. Especially Monday when I got a phone call telling me that my co-worker who is a true friend was given two days to live. I simply didn't feel like knitting and even went to bed at 7:00. Tuesday wasn't much better and I went to bed at 6:00 - oh yeah, I was fighting bronchitis all week, too. Wednesday we heard that he opened his eyes briefly when his wife stroked his head, so I managed to keep it together Wednesday. We got no news yesterday (besides, I didn't have time to cry with as busy I was with the bake sale/craft show), so I went home with all mascara intact for the second day in a row. I know that I'm praying for a miracle and am unproud enough to ask absolutely everybody I know to also pray for a miracle. Last night one of my co-workers went to see him and today she said to me, "Kathleen, he's not going to get better. We have to accept that he's going to pass." She wasn't meaning to be harsh, I think it was her way of dealing with it and not crying. She's a much stronger woman than I am.

Honest to God, I can not imagine losing Ed. My heart breaks at the thought of never seeing him again....never going out to lunch for sushi with him, never stopping at his desk just to chat. When we first got the news on Monday, I looked at Mary (my knitting abandoning for Hollywood friend) and said, "I love Ed." She hugged me and said, "You love everybody, Kathleen." "No," I said...she replied, "Okay, you love everybody but John." And we both laughed sadly, because it's true, I don't love John. I don't even like John. While I don't wish ill on him, I wouldn't be sad if he got laid off. I even told J who sits next to Ed that I can't stop by and see him anymore because seeing Ed's empty desk saddens me too much. All week long people have stopped by my desk for news, because I'm that person in the department...the one everybody goes to when they want to know what's going on. Not because I'm the busybody, but because I'm the closest thing there is to a secretary who binds the different sections into one department.

So, even though I've been a complete slackass in the blogging department (not because I'm not totally fond of you guys, but because I suck), I am asking for prayers for Ed (or if you don't believe in such things, good thoughts), because we (his wife, two kids, brother, sisters, parents, co-workers who love him sincerely) need a bloody miracle. We need and want Ed back the way he was, sitting at his desk and making me smile because he is such a lovely person, and I truly love him as a dear friend...a few times this week when I said, "He is one of the good guys." I got "He's a great guy." in return. One of the engineers in his section said to me, "I love him." I replied, "I know, A, I love him, too." And we cried.

Another of our engineers was going to the hospital tonight (or this weekend) to see him, and she's supposed to call me with information. She's with me on the hopeful but practical side of things. Desperately hoping and praying for a miracle, but supposedly preparing ourselves for the worst...but I know that I am not and will not be ready for the worst, if (or when) it happens.

Please pray for Ed. Thank you.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Word of the Day

I signed up a while back for the word of the day from's (or at least I read it today) is "nonplus." And that's EXACTLY how I'm feeling right now. NONPLUSSED.

Now I know most of you have decided that I'm not blogging that much because I'm spending too much time on Facebook (trust me, I am not). I just don't feel like spending a boatload of time on the computer once I get home from work. I'd rather's that time of year. Anyway, the Saturday after Thanksgiving I went to a High School All Year Class Reunion. Those of you have been reading me for a couple of years know that I went two years ago and declared that I was done with such bullshit. *sigh* And so I was. Then a close friend from high school found me on Facebook and while I was reluctant to go there, her message seemed genuine, so I replied and then she asked me if I would be attending the reunion. *double sigh* I responded, "Honestly? Only if you're there." *triple sigh* She was making the trip from Happy Valley and said she wanted to see me.

I contacted Marianne, the only person from high school with whom I still speak or spend time, to see if she could go. She had her kids that weekend but was going to see if the boyfriend could watch them. Turns out he had to spend time with his mother and I couldn't, in good faith, make Marianne leave her kids alone for a couple of hours to hold my hand. They're old enough, but she doesn't like doing it if she's not close to home. *quadruple sigh* I told her I was an adult and could go by myself.

I had made sure in the meantime that a few other people I knew were going to be there (a guy from work and his sister Mary from my class). The OS asked if it were okay for her to go, which I thought was a ridiculous thing to ask as it was being held in a bar and she had gone to the same high school. Mary showed up as I was about to walk out because I'm really a wuss when it comes to high school. She's much more self-assured than I am, apparently, so she decided to go for it and I followed her. We found John S standing at a table along the outside windows. He told us that he had laid claim to the same table the year before and didn't leave it. I decided that was good enough for me, and I stuck with him. We chatted with each other and others as they walked past. Finally, the girl I was there to see showed up and it was good to see her. She told me that I look great (I scoffed) and that I needed to gain weight as I was too skinny in high school. She really did look fabulous and she introduced us to her husband who was very nice. All in all, it wasn't the hell I had expected it to be.

To get back to why I'm of the guys from high school who made my life hell just sent me a Friend request. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? This guy is the reason NONE of my supposed friends talked to me through most of senior year and ignored me completely at the five year reunion (my supposed best friend and locker partner - she moved out of our locker halfway through our senior year without telling me - walked away from me at the reunion after I walked up to her and said Hi. Literally, she looked straight at me and walked away.), and he sends me a Facebook Friend Request!!! The reason I blame him? Just after senior year I remember asking Judy (the one who walked away from me) why I was never invited to events that the group was doing and she said, "Well, Norm and Dan usually set things up and they don't like you, and we just don't think about it." As if an insecure 17-year-old needs to hear that. And it doesn't matter that I'm no longer 17 wondering why people who are supposed to be my friends don't like me, because part of that 17-year-old still exists. Which is sad and pathetic, I know, but doesn't change the facts or the way I view the world.

So, should I be a wuss and Friend him or Ignore him and let him know that all these years later he got to me?

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Monday, November 02, 2009

I Wanna Be Your Dog

I Wanna Be Your Dog from LEGS on Vimeo.

By Legs' Georgie Greville (whoever the heck that is)...I haven't decided how I feel about it.

According to the website, "Georgie won the Samsung Grand Prix for this piece at Diane Pernet's festival 'A Shaded View on Fashion Film.'"

I'm off to Vegas until Monday, so I'll have a good excuse for not posting for the next week at least.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time Flies...

Wow, where has the time gone? I can tell you! At work. I've been working stupid hours for the past month and am just exhausted. Now, I realise that LL normally works 12 hour days, but I think (and I could be wrong) that 12 hours of physical labor, while physically tiring isn't as mentally exhausting as 12 hours of office work, especially when you take into account the lack of daylight. Zone D for Dungeon is so not a good time. I honestly don't have a clue what is happening outside ever. Summer, fall, winter, spring – it's all the same in this crappy area.

Now, you might think that once I got home I could write a blog entry, but I was so tired, it was all I could do to get a beer out of the fridge. Yes, I've been eating oh so healthily, too. And with it being October, I've been trying to knit as much as possible. On my trip to Atlanta , I met a young man from my hometown on his way to Afghanistan , and I told him that I would knit him a hat since Afghanistan can be bloody cold. I finished the hat last week, but am waiting on his father to call me back with the address. I have some of the yarn leftover (hoping half) and I'm thinking of making another for him to give to someone in his unit. It only took me two days (once I got going – had the damnedest time joining in the round w/o twisting it), so I could whip one out and that makes me think about knitting a bunch for the South African AIDS orphans. I started knitting for Knit-A-Square a few months back, but they need more than just 8" squares (to be sewn into blankets once they get to South Africa) and are happy to accept hats and pullovers. The idea behind the squares is that they're easy and quick and not as imposing as knitting a whole blanket. I mailed mine a while back right in the middle of their mail strike and so far, they haven't gotten them. I'm getting worried, although I'm sure they'll get there and help to warm up so poor child.

I'm home sick today. I don't know what is up but I'm nauseous all the time. I left work yesterday around 12:30 and went straight to bed. I've been up a whole hour and a half and am ready to go back to bed. I hate being sick. And with that, I'm signing off...because you don't really want to read about me feeling like puking.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vacationing in a Flood Zone - Part Deux

Happy Sunday, all and sundry.

I made it home from GA earlier today. Way earlier than my original flight, too. I tried to stay awake since I knew taking a nap would make the whole sleeping tonight process much more worthless, but I just couldn't. I completely unpacked(!!!) and then just needed to sleep. I set the nap alarm, but my body would NOT get out of bed (and I don't blame it all). It was a very exhausting Wednesday-Sunday kind of weekend.

Due to the flooding in Atlanta, we didn't do the tourist-y things we had planned (MLK museum & some civil war site - I was bummed about missing MLK, not so bummed about missing Civil War stuff) and it didn't matter anyway. I'm one of those anal travelers. Airlines tell me to get to the airport two hours early and I get there two hours early (the time I don't will be the time I miss my flight), so I was sitting at my gate waiting for my 10:30 am flight on Wednesday when a NorthWorst/Delta employee comes over and tells the few of us sitting there to go and get on that plane over there (if we were 10:30 flight ATL passengers). He said something about a mechanical problem, but I was really not sure what was happening. Turns out that the plane for my 10:30 was the plane with the mechanical problem and that flight out and out canceled. He had said our luggage probably wouldn't make it, but I decided what matter was that I get to GA. I land in ATL right around the time as HRH and we get the rental and head out to get some food as my luggage wasn't going to arrive until 3:00, which would have put paid to our tourist schedule if we hadn't already decided not to play tourist.

We head for our hotel in Lawrenceville and on the commute I said something about making dinner to meet college friends of mine. And she says, "Didn't you get a hold of her yesterday to cancel?" "No, I tried to get a hold of her to see how things were, but I never did and I didn't know I was supposed to cancel?" Turns out that when HRH had suggested just heading straight to the hotel and getting settled, she had just meant canceling the MLK & Civil War stuff, she met canceling dinner with my friends. I called my friends and there was no flooding there and even though there was flooding in L'ville (or so we were told), we never saw a bit of it. We checked in and ran and made it to my friends' house before the "man of the house" even got home from work.

We had a lovely evening with my friends, HRH and Man of the House and his mother (who was visiting to babysit the 3 daughters this weekend so my friends could go to Florida to hang with friends) got along famously bitching about health care. I heard the words "health is a privilege, not a right" spoken. I had already abandoned the table to help clear up, because I was not getting sucked into the conservative discussion. I knew the opposition and was not prepared to engage and heat up an evening with friends I don't get to see very often. Of course, just to set the stage - I was sitting in a 9000 ft house with secret doors and granite countertops the size of my bed.

Thursday we went to the track (Road Atlanta) and met up with one of our old racing buddies, DH1 whom we hadn't seen since Cleveland 2007. Even though the forecast had been rain and thunderstorms and cloudy, it cleared up and got damn close to 90F. And even though I put on my sunscreen (SPF 55) as soon as I sat down and again later, I got sunburned in interesting locations. *sigh* It was bad enough that on Friday I wore a regular t-shirt instead of my tank top. DH1 and I walked the entire track on Friday - saw the spot where Scott Sharp had a massive shunt on Thursday and put the entire schedule behind as they had to repair about 900 ft of catch fencing which had done its job of catching the car and throwing it back on the track instead of it ending up in the spectators.

We were all exhausted by the hot sunny day and didn't stay on Thursday for the combined night practice (we figured we'd see them race in the dark on Saturday). Oh, were we wrong. The weather prediction for Saturday was for rain all day to which HRH was looking forward, but I was not yet. It never fails that when she wishes for rain, we get a friggin' deluge and they "race" in the yellow which means running behind a pace car which means no passing - essentially a parade of race cars in the rain. This time, however, we got red-flagged which means they stopped the damned race, because of thunder and lightning. I had made a new friend, Liam (19 year old Brit whose father works for Panoz), at the race track (as I usually do) and was sitting with him down at the fence just before they disappear under the tunnel to go into the last turn of the racetrack. As much as HRH says she loves racing in the rain, she really hates the outdoor elements and she was watching in the van (rental, of course) and DH1 was watching from his truck. Anyway, Liam and I were being diehards and sitting the rain (in our rain ponchos and under Liam's umbrellas until the thunder and lightning came, and they red-flagged the race. We sat in the van drying to get dry and watching the rain run down the straightaway and carry red Georgia clay with it across turn 10a. We stayed for a few hours, but when they announced that the rain was supposed to let up in about an hour and half and that they would then start to prepare to re-start the race and this was 6:00 p.m., we figured if they ever did go racing it would be at 8:00 p.m. at the earliest and it would be an hour and half race at the longest. We decided it wasn't worth it and maneuvered our way around the freaking Honda minivan that was blocking us in. Liam called his parents to come and pick him up (at one point, he said, "I'm sitting in a car. pause with my buddies.") and we said we'd wait until his father got there so that he wasn't sitting in the rain with all of his stuff, and then we made straight for ATL as HRH had a 6:30 a.m. flight out to Toronto this morning. Our incredibly icky hotel room was directly under the flight path and I don't mean a few miles away, I mean planes flying about 50 ft overhead as they prepared to land. Good times.

I was up at 3:15 today to get HRH to the airport on time, and to deal with NorthWorst/Delta (whom I am never ever flying again - if Southwest doesn't fly to a destination, I don't need to go to that destination - that's my new rule) who had sent me an e-mail on Thursday telling me that my 2:30 p.m. flight was canceled and that they had moved me to a 10:30 a.m. flight - which in actuality was better for me, but I was still annoyed because if HRH didn't bring her laptop everywhere she goes, I wouldn't have been able to check my e-mail and find out about the change and in theory could have shown up at ATL at 12:30 for my canceled 2:30 flight). Anyway, I go to check in and it says I can't, so I find a real live person and she tells me that I'm on the 2:30 flight, I explain that I got an e-mail saying it was canceled, she checks again, etc. In the end, I gave the nice lady (she really was pleasant, but her charming personality doesn't make up for NorthWorst's shitty policies) my Southwest credit card to pay an extra $50 so I could get the bloody hell out of the Atlanta airport earlier than 2:30 p.m. (it was at that point 4:50 a.m.) I shall be calling Northwest, sending them a copy of the e-mail which said my flight was canceled and getting my $50 back. Fuckers. At this rate, I can pay an extra $100 for a Southwest flight and still be ahead when you take into account the ridiculous $15 baggage fee and the aggravation of dealing with the world's shittiest airline - Northwest/Delta.

And now it's time for me to get ready to go for dinner. A friend is moving to Atlanta and he leaves tomorrow. I shall miss him but wish him much luck.

I hope you all had a less eventful weekend - or at least less stressful, i.e., didn't have to deal with air travel! ;-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vacationing in a Flood Zone

I have proven my drought-breaking abilities once again. I have an airline ticket to Atlanta tomorrow...and if you've been paying attention, you'll know that they've been getting shitloads of rain and been suffering from floods. I'm so excited to be spending my vacation in a flood zone and more than likely a quagmire of mud at Road Atlanta.

You're probably wondering about my claim of drought-breaking. Well, a good 20+ years ago California was suffering from a drought. I made plans to go and visit my aunts in SoCal and NorCal....and it rained the entire freaking time I was there. It started in Los Angeles (where I also started) and it followed me to San Francisco. It rained the entire time I was there, after a few years worth of drought.

Essentially, I'm just letting you know why I won't be posting - all three of you readers who are left. ;-)

Have a great weekend and please pray that somehow Road Atlanta dries up really quickly and I won't be traipsing through mud for the entire time I'm there.

Oh, and the ENTIRE TEN HOURS of Petit Le Mans will be broadcast live on Speed Channel, so check it out for a few minutes on Saturday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I love live music.

Earlier this summer I received a phone call from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra asking me to consider subscribing to a concert series as I had in the past. As there had been no new rumors about lay-offs at work, and thinking about how much I had missed going to the symphony, I went for it (fewer concerts for about the same amount of money), and tonight was my first concert, and Opening Weekend. I waited until the last minute to find someone to go with me, because when I got the tickets, it just seemed so far away. Oops. I sent an e-mail to my friend RE on Tuesday, but never heard back from him (figuring he's on vacation and doesn't use that handy Out of Office message supplied by most e-mail software programs). Next I tried my friend Carol, but she couldn't (can't remember why), third was my other friend Carol (she thought she had to babysit her granddaughters). I then had the brainstorm to ask one of the engineers from Mexico. He's returning to Mexico in three weeks, and although he's done a lot (hell, he knows how to get downtown which is something my mother can't do although she's lived her entire life) and taken advantage of his time here in Detroit, he hadn't gotten to the symphony.

In my last two years of missing the symphony, the DSO hired a new music director (Leonard Slatkin) to replace Neeme Jarvi (who is irreplaceable in my book) and he was the conductor this evening. As is normal, we started with the national anthem. It's the most amazing thing. How many sporting events have I gone to with tens of thousands of people where everybody is too damn cool to sing the anthem? Not so at the symphony. Everybody stands (of course) and sings proudly. It really is quite moving, at least for us wusses.

After the anthem, the orchestra played Dvorak's Carnival Overture which was spectacular. That was followed by a Sibelius Violin Concerto with soloist Midori. It was fine. The woman at the end of my row, however, was quite impressed because the second it was over she was on her feet yelling Bravo and clapping madly. I have nothing against Sibelius, but he's not my favoritest composer ever. In fact, while listening to it, I was making up a list of My Favorite Composers (mostly in order) which I'm going to share with you...otherwise, that Sibelius was completely wasted. ;-)

1) Mahler - I know he's not universally beloved, but I think he's utterly brilliant. Check out his Symphony #5.
2) Shostakovich - Have you heard his Symphony #7? It's been much too long since I've heard it. I'm getting it out to rectify that problem.
3) Prokofiev - I have two words for you - Alexander Nevsky. Netflix the movie, buy the CD. It's stirring.
4) Tchaikowsky - I like bombast, percussion and, in case you couldn't tell, Russian composers, particularly late 19th Century/early 20th Century Russians.
5) Dvorak - Symphony #9 "From the New World" is special, but don't limit yourself to only that one.
6) Beethoven - Hey, look! Late 18th C / early 19th C and not Russian (yes, I know Mahler and Dvorak aren't Russian). He was my first classical music love.
7) Mozart - I know people who don't like Mozart and I can understand (to a degree), but he has written some beautiful violin concertos.
8) Haydn - I really like his so-called "London" symphonies

After the Sibelius and the intermission, we were treated to Copland's Symphony #3 which is very Copland-esque, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I figured it was a nod toward 9/11 by having an American composer as the main piece of the night.

I don't love all 20th Century music, just for record. Have you heard Messiaen or Boulez? Kill me now. When I lived in SF, I had a six concert series and the SF Symphony likes to play a 20th century piece as their first piece for every concert - at least, that's the way it seemed. Anyway, they all sucked, except for the Benjamin Britten work. I heard a Messsiaen, a Boulez - one of which was described as "repetitive and clangorous" - doesn't that make you want to run out and buy it? - a timpani concerto which was godawful and a viola concerto which wasn't much better.

That said, we were treated to an encore just like Maestro Jarvi used to do, except that Maestro Slatkin actually used a microphone to talk to us (I never could hear a word Neeme said) and he told us that he was going to continue the tradition, except that we wouldn't always get an encore (we always did with Jarvi) and we wouldn't know when we would be so treated. He said he was being humble by playing his own piece as the encore. He got the appropriate laugh and applause with that line. The piece played was called Fin and he said he wrote it when he was in Florida and saw a pod of dolphins swimming. I quite liked it.

Not only did I get to listen to great live music, I got to see Norbert who sits across the aisle from me. He said that he spent the past two years looking for me wondering if I were ever going to show up again. We were both happy to see the other person, even though we only know each other from the symphony and only talk briefly. He knows where I work and was happy to hear I was still employed. I know where he works and was also happy to hear he was still employed. All in all, it was quite a lovely day.

It's now 2:30 a.m., the bar is finally quiet and all the loud, yelling drunks should have gotten to their cars by now, so I'm going to go to bed.

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