Monday, January 31, 2005

Getting Ripped

This weekend, we were having dinner with some friends, so I really started paying attention and asking questions about how to copy my music CD's onto my computer (having quizzed Keri last week about iPods). I found out that you can copy all of your CD's onto your computer, and play at will. Even shuffle the music, perhaps!



This copying of the CD's onto the computer (if you know about this, tune out now: this is for dummies like me) is called "ripping"-- presumably because you are "ripping" music onto your computer (or "ripping it off" as in violating copyright).



Then, when you put music onto a blank CD (or put any other kind of data onto it), this is called "burning." (I told you, this is for dummies!).



So, now I want to know how I can put music clips onto my blog (am waiting for Chris at Rude Cactus to email me, or Don, whomever responds first).



Just because I want to know everything about blogging there is to know.

Strange Sensation

For my entire life, as long as I can remember, I have experienced not being able to shut off my brain, not even when I have desperately wanted to.



For some reason, it has decided to shut itself off. And I cannot for the life of me figure out how to turn it back on.



I have just been empty this weekend. Devoid of thought. Devoid of the ability to write or blog. I finished a novel, read three magazines, saw a good movie (Cellular), had dinner with friends, went to see a good band (The Ike Reilly Assassination-- watch for them, they are supposed to hit big-- and they actually look exactly like that in person. Very nice-- the drummer was very flirty. His name is Dave.). But I've got so much nothing, I can't even think of anything to say about any of these things.



But my brain my have shut off because I also worked this weekend. And maybe my brain just decided that it couldn't take anymore, and so it went on vacation.



If it is on vacation, I wish it would send a postcard or some kind of indication that it is doing well and coming back.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Holy Mackerel! Go Read This!!!

I was blogwalking today, catching up on a few blogs I haven't had time to read this week, and I stumbled across the most fabulous set of posts!



Socal Mom used to work as a writer's assistant on the Tonight Show for four years (1986-1990) and she is recounting her days working there, as a way of dealing with Johnny's death.



It's fascinating stuff! I can't believe this hasn't been published more widely!!!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Jenorama...

Karl made this for me for our one year blogging anniversary.











Check out my new toy!

I got my latest blog toy from blogtricks.com. I now have my very own chat room! You can see from one of my other toys how many other people are online at any given time. If you click on the link for the chat room from my sidebar and choose a username, you can chat with other people!



Heck, maybe I will even be there waiting for you.



It's more immediate than commenting!



But if you talk about me when I'm not there... say nice things!



You should go get a chat room for your blog! It's easy and it's free!





Happy Anniversary to Me

January 28, 2004



This is my first Blog. I want to change the font already. My friend told me that I'll need to learn HTML (then she laughed evilly).



I have never blogged before, but I really need to start keeping a journal again, so here it is.



I am working from home today because I took the kids and self to the dentist today and there wasn't time to return them to school. Although, the youngest said he wanted go to the After School program and play with his friends, so I need to go pick him and some Ragu up in a minute.



More later.



What an exciting first post.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Dereck

loves me. He is bringing me a sammich. And we are going to get sodas and chips from the machine.



And our babysitter is coming over to fold all of our clothes.



ER is on tonight, and I have Alias on tape from last night.



Tomorrow is Friday.



It's the little things, but they sure mean a lot.

GRRRRR...

I don't know whether to kill somebody or cry.



Oh well.



I decided to make you all laugh by describing what I am wearing today, after reading a post by Beth (not in St. Louis) that made me laugh:



Long-sleeved white shirt.

Blue-framed glasses.

Red earrings.

Red corduroy jumper.

Bare legs.





(Wait for it)...



White ankle socks.

Black penny loafers.



It's called "out of pantyhose, couldn't find red mary janes, and too irritated this week to give a flying fuck."



But I have to laugh at myself (at what I know the ladies are saying) and Beth's post just made me decide that this was too good to keep to myself.



This is why my roommates in college often refused to be seen with me unless they got to dress me first.



Da Answah

Wow, some of you folks were up really early or really late last night!



I blog for both myself and my readers. I started for myself, of course, but it became a process of reading other blogs, being read, and starting to communicate with other people. And I think Heith summed it up nicely: If I didn't care about my readers, I might as well just write in a notebook with a pen.



Actually, I do carry around a notebook and some pens. Everywhere. But I don't have nearly the devotion to them that I do to my blog. And that is not just because of my readers-- I have always journaled-- it is more because I type faster than I can write these days!!!



But for things that are not fodder for the blog, I either write them down in the notebook, or more likely, don't write them down at all.



But one of the things that has been so lovely about blogging (and I just passed my first anniversary of blogging, don't know exactly when, but within the past week or so) has definitely been YOU guys. There are blogs that I read every day, people that I email, people who read me every day (and so, if I know I won't have time to update, I try to say so :) ) people who send me books, scarves and spices, and people whose thin mints I have been driving around with for a week and haven't had a spare minute to get to the post office. There are people who need someone to buy things for their kids' fundraiser, or donate money for cancer research.



Over the past year, my readers have become important to me-- not as an audience for my blog, but as my friends. It started out as my friends whom I know in real life, and was a fun way to check in and to have more insight into them.



But since then, all of you have become my friends.



The blog as a medium has become the avenue, the communal spot, through which we all check in and check up on each other. When the internet first started, I realized immediately that suddenly our communities don't depend on where we live anymore. We can choose from across the nation and around the world whom we like, and with whom we want to share our lives.



Isn't that amazing?



So, what started as a way to get me to write every day has now become something different altogether, although I do still like the fact that I am writing every day. And my parents and Dereck's parents can check in daily. And my kids will have a record (I need to back up to discs!) of my life that is much more legible than all those notebooks.



I would say that before I started blogging, I had more literary ambitions: I wanted to be a published writer, fiction or poetry or nonfiction, I wanted to be famous because I wanted to be read. But I have to admit, blogging pretty much satisfies everything I wanted to gain from that ambition.



Okay, now I have to get ready for another full day at work!



But that's my answer. Thank you for reading, and thank you for playing along!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ha.

All this teasing about my blogging zeal has given me food for my next post: do you blog for yourself? Or for your readers? Or both?



Discuss.



p.s. I was wrong on all three counts.



Obviously.

Wednesday is Hump Day

It is unlikely that I will be able to blog today. Or read blogs. Or comment on blogs.



Maybe I am wrong.



I don't think so.



Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I don't want to have another baby...

But sometimes I just want to smell one.



Not that part.



Like a five month old one.



Like Yvonne's.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

What I should do...

What I should do is wake up around the same time every day and go to sleep at the same time every day, so as not to mess with my biorhythms too much...



What I want to do is sleep in on weekends and stay up way past what is good for me reading...



What I should do is work...



What I want to do is sit on the couch all day reading my magazines and finishing my novel...



What I should do is go work out on the elliptical trainer...



What I want to do is go take a bath...



What I should do is start reading my new Madeleine L'Engle book...



What I want to do is start reading another trashy book...



What I should do is go to Mass tonight at 7:00...



What I want to do is go out for Mexican food, tape Arrested Development, go shopping, and rent The Forgotten for tonight...



What would you have done? What did you do today?

Things that make me go, "Hmmmm...."

Is God an Anti-Depressant?

Studies Show That Religious People Are Happier

- Is there a secret weapon against depression? Research suggests it might be religion. Studies show that people who practice some sort of religion are happier and less stressed out than those who don't. [So, the practice of it seems to be important.]

Those findings come as no surprise to Dr. Harold Koenig, a psychologist and co-director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University, who says there are a number of factors that contribute to religious people being happier.

"Generally, religious people have a positive view of the world," said Koenig. "They believe they are here for a reason. They see a purpose and a meaning in their life and have hope." [Well: is it religious people or spiritual people?]

Studies show that under severely stressful conditions, religious people also cope better.

"They feel that God is with them and gives them strength," said Koenig. [So, is this confined to religious people who believe in God? What about Buddhists, Hindu, Taoists, Muslims?]

What About Spirituality? [that is the question of the hour]

It is not clear if [whether! God, it's whether! Didn't anybody pay attention to 9th grade grammar???]there is a difference in happiness between those who practice organized religion and those who consider themselves spiritual, said Koenig. In part, that's because it is more difficult to define spirituality.

However, Koenig added, practicing within an organized religion seems to offer people important group and community support. While an activity like volunteering can provide much of the same satisfaction as attending church, many people need external motivation.

"If you give of yourself and love others and have a positive outlook, you can achieve the same thing," said Koenig. "The only thing is most people can't do that. Most people need some kind of faith system and group support which a church provides."

Koenig says it seems to make little difference what religion people practice -- whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim -- but rather how devoutly they practice it. [Well, that answers that question.]

Are Humans Hard-Wired to Be Religious?

While surveys show that about 80 percent of Americans consider themselves religious, only about 40 percent of Americans reported regularly attending church -- about the same percentage as in 1939, said Koenig. And younger generations are consistently less religious than their parents.

But Koenig said there is some research suggesting that humans actually are biologically wired to be religious or spiritual. In fact, this week's Time magazine cover story, "The God Gene," says many scientists believe our DNA compels us to seek a higher power.

"Religious faith may help people live longer," said Koenig. "Because it affects our health, it may be that it's genetically programmed." [Very interesting.]

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Naked Blogging

Do you ever blog naked? Say, your children are out of the house, you are home alone, curtains drawn, and you are out of the shower, waiting for the coffee to brew?



Didn't think so...



Yeah, neither do I.



We are going to the movies this afternoon. I woke up with plans to go into the office and work on The Document. I can work on it at home, but considering the size of it and the fiascos that are likely to occur with emailing it back and forth (and my little jumper USB plug in thingy never did work, and I am too lazy to burn it), I thought the office would be the place to do it.



And so, I started running the tub to shower before I went (just because). (I don't necessarily believe in showering on the weekends).



Then, I noticed that the dishes in the sink could probably be rinsed for the dishwasher.



Then, I started clearing off the kitchen table and wiping down all the counters.



Then, I decided that since the table in the living room was pulled out from when I was programming playing with my dog, I might as well vacuum. And before that, I would feel better if I cleared the mail/magazines off that table and then I went through the mail and kept some and threw some away.



Then, I went and turned off the water in the tub. Then I vacuumed.



And by that time, it was pretty clear that I was not going to the office after all.



I didn't swiffer wet jet today, though I wanted to. Vacuuming sometimes hurts my back (bad posture!). But I did clean the bathrooms. That toilet is so clean, you could eat off it.



Do you ever just get sick of food?



Dereck asked me what I wanted for lunch and went through several options of things I like, including things outside the house, and NOTHING sounded good. Today, I have had coffee and a piece of toast with jam. That is it. And I am not ooky, and I am not hungry, nor snacky, nor weak, nor headachey.



I just don't feel like eating anything.



I just need a day off.




Stolen from This Full House (and

I have to admit, I steal all kinds of toys from this site, so check out

my side bar and see if you can spot the new goodies!).
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Saturday

I don't think it is the Fourth of July.



So. Last night, came home from work and fell into bed. Ugh. I was ooky. Slept right until the doorbell rang, and then sprang out of bed for fun adventures with Cheryl the Dog Whisperer. She has discovered that a cat stole into her basement when an electrician came about a month ago, so she is now trying to tame the feral cat. We discussed that when she leaves next year for her rotations (Cheryl is a med student) that we might possibly become the kitty's owners (I told Dereck: You're the one who says cats find us! And he agreed). So, we discussed all the various ways you can try to tame a feral cat (tuna fish).



I feel like I am learning a lot from Cheryl and training Goldie. It is my mission in life to become Alpha to Goldie, because I am not Alpha anywhere else in my life. I wish I had met Cheryl when Tommy was a baby. I can see all of the ways now in which Goldie tries to re-establish dominance (stopping to scratch herself when I give her a command, or putting her paws on me, which might seem endearing, but is really a way to try to establish dominance). And for some reason, probably because she is a dog and not a human, I just don't put up with any of it. If she starts scratching herself after I have said "Stay," then I stop her. If she doesn't sit immediately after I have said, "Sit," my hand is on her rump pushing her down THAT fast. If she doesn't lie down immediately, I wrestle her down. Immediately.



And so, I think for the first time in my life, I am learning something about establishing boundaries and getting respect in return.



One of the things you may or may not know about me from reading my blog is that I don't really have any boundaries with people. And I have come to think that this is very much a mistake. And I have also learned that I do actually have boundary lines-- I just don't enforce them. Or rather, I do not enforce them until people have crept so far into my territory that the only way to enforce the boundaries at that point is to blow them away at close range. Friendly fire, if you will.



So, I am trying to start recognizing my lines, and to recognize when my lines are crossed. Faster.



For instance: I had lunch with someone not too long ago whom I do not know well. We were sitting in a noisy restaurant which lots of my acquaintances frequent, so from time to time, I would turn to look around me, or at the door when people come in. At one point, the woman was talking to me, and I turned my head, and she immediately said, "Look at me!" So she could make her point, because apparently, she thinks I hear with my eyes. When I taught junior high special ed, we watched videotapes making fun of teachers and parents who get in their kids' faces and say, "Look at me!"when they are trying to lecture the kids. It doesn't work. You can look someone square in the eye and still shut them out.



I did not like it. Not one bit. I actually did turn and look at her, but I will not be having lunch with her again. I got a bit chilly after that.



I had lunch with someone else not too long ago, whom I have known for awhile, and she said, "Do you like for people to treat you badly? No offense, but you seem to let it happen a lot."



And I have really thought about that. She also noticed that I seem to solicit advice from the most casual conversation, therefore, letting another person have dominance over me. I told her later, via instant message, that I thought I probably did it just to make conversation, and that I should probably become a little more comfortable with silences than compromise myself just to make conversation (but she and I both noted that once again, I was actually taking advice. What's a girl to do?)



I have been thinking about this for a long time. And I think I play a submissive role in relationships, perhaps because when I am strong, people take it way the wrong way. Case in point: last night at the bar (yes, I went out-- Happy Ass was playing, and if I can be sick at home or sick out with my friends, I'm gonna go out), Dereck got into a heated conversation with a man named Josh, whom I had started talking to (he started working at the Junior High shortly after I quit), and at one point, Dereck appeared so angry to me, that I had to get up and leave the conversation because I was uncomfortable.



We talked about it later, and even though I knew that he was NOT angry, his voice and face SEEMED so angry that I was uncomfortable.



And people have told me before when I perceived that I was feeling engaged, enthusiastic, or passionate about something, that I came across instead as being in a rage. Dereck and I both do this-- and perhaps it is because we are generally so mild-mannered that when people see us fully engaged, they get kind of scared. Leading us, once again, to downplay it most of the time.



And I think that both of us (we talk about this a lot) were raised by quiet, polite people who placed a great emphasis on being polite and nice. My dad always laughs and says, "Nobody would ever describe you as docile, Jen," but I think he is wrong-- especially because people noted that I am quieter in person than I am on my blog. I think in order to succeed in the workplace, I have had to create a quieter, more submissive persona, which is very misleading. It's like I have convinced people I am Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter, and so when I rip off the tie and start kicking ass, revealing my true identity, people feel a little betrayed.



And yet, we all know that Superman cannot go around being Superman all the time.



So, what is the solution?



Not to let people get too close.



I think one of the things I have learned about my adult life is that the only person with whom I can or should attempt real intimacy is the person I am sleeping with.



When I was pregnant with Sam, my La Leche League leader told me that she had lost friendships over different parenting styles. I simply could not imagine. But I think that even more important than religion, politics, or interests, if you differ with someone about how to parent, and what's more, if you actually have that conversation, the friendship is simply over.

Friday, January 21, 2005

TGIF?

I am starting to wonder whether the fact that it is Friday makes one rat's ass bit of difference for my weekend.



This morning, (Edited due to a concerned email from me dad)



I am sitting here in my office on my lunch hour and trying to decide whether my queaziness is due to the flu or just nerves. But I have no desire to eat the pasta I brought for lunch, nor anything else, which sucks, because Dereck and I have plans for beer and cigarettes (just me on those) after work, dinner out, The Dog Whisperer, and then a movie.



But I got an early morning phone call from the ex: "Tommy is sick and has been vomiting, so look for phone calls from the school about the other two."



Considering that I smothered Tommy with kisses yesterday morning means... it could be more than just nerves. Hell, I've had nerves all week, but they didn't stop me from eating my lunch.



So, I'm just kind of sitting here, (Edited)





Thursday, January 20, 2005

One More Reason to Be Proud to Live in America!!!

Wow, those people cowering by the HUGE fence sure look DANGEROUS.





"Not my war. Not my president."







Hosted by Photobucket.com



Thanks to Karl and Vanessa for the photo/news of the tear gas today.

Stolen from Lucy

How well do you know your geography?



Here is a nifty little game for your Thursday workday.



I guess I don't know mine very well anymore: I scored a 76% with an average error of 57 miles and it took me 380 seconds.



I got ballpark averages, okay?



Freaking Haloscan!

The comments are currently down. Please come again. We anticipate this problem to be fixed soon.



Update:



Never mind.


Second Best Compliment.

Last night, I got the second-best compliment I've had in awhile (well, unless you count the fact that when I am in Christian's favor, he likes to say, "You're my kind of woman!"):



Sam and I were sitting on the couch watching Alias, and he said, "You know, I think your stomach is smaller."



But the Best Compliment I've had in a while transpired in Pennsylvania:



I was in a bathrobe in the bathroom after a shower, when Dereck came upstairs and he was talking to me about something, and in the middle of the conversation, I slid the bathrobe to one side and gave him a little peek. He raised his eyebrows and continued talking. So, I gave him another peek. He stumbled a bit in his conversation, but by the third peek, he said just looked and stopped talking.



Then he shook his head and said, "You know, I can't talk to you."



And turned and walked into the room we were staying in, and then came out again immediately and said, "I can't even remember what I came up here for."



I was laughing my ass off. Every now and then, I still laugh and say to him, "I can't talk to you."



It's so nice to know that even after almost four years, I can still have that effect.



Today's the Day!

We talked about it last night and told the kids about it during dinner. We planned what we will have for dinner tonight, and as for lunch, I have a pre-paid card I can use at the coffeeshop-- so I am actually not spending any new money today. Same with the kids' lunches: already paid for. And we will NOT watch the inaugural address, but we have plenty of videos we can watch/books to read/ etc.

The kids were actually a little freaked out by us not spending any money. But we pointed out, "We didn't spend any money today. How is tomorrow any different?" And also, people often go for a day without spending money one day a week, in observance of the Sabbath or Shabbat.

We also pointed out to the kids that they don't really have to worry since they will be spending the evening with a Bush supporter. "Who?" They asked.

"Your father. That is what the W sticker on his car is for."

I know that some people think that boycotts like this are completely ineffectual. And maybe it is. But I am okay with that. My boycott against Nestle is completely ineffectual too: I still do it. But, Michelle has a great idea since she is not going to participate in the boycott: She is going to donate the money to an organization that would piss off George Bush. I think that is brilliant.



Selina-- I haven't heard of any alternative activities. What do you have in mind?

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Are you participating in this? If you are, how?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sigh.

Whenever I feel sort of melancholic like this, it is usually an indicationthat I either need food, or a nap.



I don't need food, so it is probably time for a nap, and also time to go home.



I got a phone call from Sam's principal earlier: he forgot to get on the bus to go to the Presbytarian Church for this after-school program Mark signed the kids up for.



I did not panic. I said, "Is he at the After-School program?" Meaning the one they have at the school. Another phone call: Yes, yes he was.



They put him on the phone. "Do you want me to pick you up and take you to the church?"



"No, I'm having fun here."



I decided to go ahead and jaunt to the church, mere blocks away, and let the other two and the teachers there know not to worry. When I told Christian that Sam wasn't coming, he burst into tears. Sigh. And he was mad at me because I chose the pork sandwich for him instead of the spaghetti.



Fortunately, they were starting an activity so I just kissed him and Tommy and told them I'd be back.



Now. When I first got there, the kids were all seated around a table with snacks in front of them and reciting a Bible passage (I think). Except for Christian, who looked embarrassed, and Tommy, who looked bored.



And every impulse I have to run from propoganda reared up-- they are going to have my kids sit and memorize stuff??? I just wanted to take them out of there.



I don't really think the kids are going to love it. On the other hand, I was given an opportunity to read the Bible as a child/youth, and it is an important part of cultural literacy (NOT that I like E. D. Hirsch, who is a nazi). And I have nothing against the kids going, or the Presbytarian Church, and I know they won't do that the whole time.



It is not a brainwashing camp for my children.



It is not a brainwashing camp for my children.



But still, it was a little creepy.



On the other hand, the kids looked happy (well, not my kids, but the other kids), and I know the woman who runs the program (from way back when I used to infrequently attend the church), and I like the Presbytarian minister. And on the whole, I am satisfied with the kids going there.



I don't like the kids having to say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning either.



But I think it's also wise to pick my battles. Sam had the right idea by just not going. I think Tommy tried that and they went and got him (I called their after school program to see where the younger two had gone).



Now, I have this to figure out: when the kids' campus pals start again, the kids will end up going to the school's After-School Program only four days/month. This program is NOT cheap. But it is the only chance they have to see some of their friends. And when I broached the subject with them last night about discontinuing, they all balked. It provides a constancy and structure in their lives that I am loathe to give up. And frankly, I can afford to send them. So, I will continue to do so.



But it hurts a leetle bit.

Stolen From...

Amy



HASH(0x8969b44)

You're Brigitte Bardot!



Mid-Week Madness

Migraine continues:



Sleep: 1:00 a.m.

Wake: 6:30 a.m.

Number of Kids with Colds: 2

Number of early meetings at work: 1

Number of children who stay home: 3

Number of children still asleep: 1

Number of teachers talked with about child's performance: 1

Number of pages finished on Sucky Editing Project: 35

Number of pages remaining on Sucky Editing Project: 24

Number of pages I'm able to finish on a given day: 18

Deadline for finishing Sucky Editing Project: Friday



No problem.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Stacey and Bill...

It came today! Thank you!!! And it smells YUMMY!



I love the little container-- it's magnetic and sticks to my stove top.



Dereck and I are going to try it first on trout!

Oh. My. Ducking. Dog.

The document I have been working in just "generated an error" and closed.



Poof.



Good thing I save along the way, but still!



Did you know that by typing "More evil than God" into Google's search engine, you used to come up with Microsoft? Do you now understand why????



That is it.



I get a cigarette.

For Lucy and Karl and Anyone Else...

Who do you think this is?



Blah

This document I am editing is giving me a migraine.



And every time I go down to the bathroom, the zit right below my bottom lip is bigger. So, this is what happens overnight sometimes-- you just wake up, and whammo!



Hmmm... migraine, zit, pissy yesterday...



Can you say PMS?

Grrrrrr.... Might as well be Monday!

I have been working all morning on the same damn mess of a project I started working on last week.



It is a real stinker. I think I may have a permanent scowl on my face after this, from sitting here frowning at the screen.



I am taking a very small breather as in ten minutes I am going to lunch and in the meantime, I want to calm down so I don't feel like I want to kill someone when I eat with my friend.



I have actually made more progress than I had formerly thought-- I may actually get a first pass at it finished today, rather than next MONTH as I had previously thought.



It would have been a great three-day weekend, except that I was so pissed off* yesterday, I could hardly see straight. I eventually just had to go take a nap, and that pretty much ended it. I have had two series of pretty disturbing dreams, and that was enough to knock the other situation right out of my mind. The dreams were actually pretty interesting though, and I have been thinking about them on and off all morning. I may have to call upon some assistance with these, later.



It's a sad state of affairs when you actually prefer disturbing dreams to some of your real life situations.



As Karl would say: GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.



*fyi: It would be erroneous ever to suppose that I am ever angry with Dereck, because a) it doesn't happen and b) if it did, it certainly wouldn't be fodder for the blog.

Monday, January 17, 2005

You will NEVER guess what happened!!!

Tonight after the stupid city council meeting (which had record attendance) to try to convince the arrogant mayor and her knuckleheads that selling part of the watershed to a cattle rancher so he can drive cattle across it is a BAD idea, we went and got the kids at their father's and when we got home, and Tommy got out of his seat, I looked back in the car and...



There, sitting frozen in Tommy's seat was...



The Lucky Orange.



Now that is one damn lucky orange.



And one very happy little boy.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Stolen from Karl

I took this quiz twice, and got this both times. Hmmmm....



ed abbey
You are an ecocritic. An environmentalist who loves
deep ecology and the green lifestyle, you rage
against anthropocentricism in all its forms.
You love the nature in your backyard! You also
love Wendell Berry, William Cronon, Henry David
Thoreau, Alan Buell, Edward Abbey, and Annie
Dillard. You are out to destroy the
nature/culture binary, and possibly sabotage
some logging equipment with the ELF on the
weekends. Good for you!



What kind of literary critic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



Sunday Sunday

Thank you all so much for commenting on the post below! I was very interested in your responses-- especially the ones which said that I was shy or quiet in public or talked more here. Could it be that (gasp) Don was wrong when he said that everyone thinks of me as loud and coarse? I am really happy to hear that Tom doesn't think I am nearly so addlepated in person (though, I attribute that to the magic, healing effects of highland farm).



Does anyone else think it is funny that both my and Dereck's dads are named Tom? And so, since Tommy was named for my dad, Tom can make that claim also? Tommy always asks me why he was name Thomas when his name is Tommy. No amount of persuasion can convince him that "Tommy" is actually a nickname.



I have been feeling my typical Sunday Afternoon melancholy (which has plagued my dad and I both for years) and I realized: I don't have to go to work tomorrow!!!



Hurray!



It has been a busy little weekend, and even now, I am so desperate for a nap (despite going to bed early and rising late), that I don't know how long I'll post.



Friday, I left work a little early and had Dereck pick up kids and meet me at the movie theater (two blocks from where I work) and we all went to see Elektra.



With all due respect to Charles Taylor, the author of the Salon.com review that I have linked to, I am NOT in love with Jennifer Garner, so I am not going to give her the benefit of having a severely underwritten part. A better actress would have done something more with being on screen for so much of the movie. Now, you know that I adore Jennifer Garner and that I love Alias (third season not withstanding). But it's like she said, "Hmm... I have a wide range in Alias, so in order to be different, I will be as muted and robotic as possible."



Garner had exactly two speeds in this movie: Cold bitch, and in tears. We adore going to the movies and then picking them apart afterward, but I cannot recommend that you spend your money on this. The plot was minimally interesting, there was not nearly enough backstory to justify some of the images and flashbacks-- and we never actually learned anything real about Elektra anyway. I had no idea what she would be up to at the end of the movie-- and I didn't really care if I never found out.



After the movie, we came home and Cheryl, our dog trainer, came over. Cheryl is AMAZING. I said, "Has anyone ever told you you have magical powers with dogs?" And she admitted that people call her the Dog Whisperer. Cheryl is a pretty, petite woman with a loooong blonde ponytail, but she laid our dog out flat and then lay over her and told Goldie sweetly, "I'm sorry, but I always win." And Goldie just adores her. Goldie knows when Cheryl is in the room exactly who the boss is. We learned some good things to do with Goldie, and we have had a good time ever since having Goldie out with us on the floor and working with her. And it has just made the whole dog ownership thing a better experience. Especially to realize that she really is a smart, trainable dog. She stays now without us having to touch her. I never thought I'd see that.



Yesterday, Don and Ellie came over and Don and I went through my template and validated it and fixed all the html errors that we could, and then I made chicken and pepper fajitas for us for dinner. Don called us right after they got home to report that Ellie had several treasures in her pockets, which they returned to us today. Ellie told us, "You lost these last day." It was hilarious. She had some brightly colored stones and some of my rings, including my old wedding ring, which she was very attached to. I actually am not very attached to it, but for some reason, I like knowing where it is, and it would bother me if I lost it (which I know because I lost it for awhile in my last apartment, and it bothered me). Just because the marriage didn't work out doesn' t mean I had anything against my rings, which I picked out.



I asked Dash if he wanted to watch a video last night, but it was DAMN cold, so we just decided to stay in, and I fell asleep with the little guys, only to crawl into our bed at 11:00 and pass out cold.



Tonight we have some shows on, and I wouldn't mind also renting a video, but I have finished one book and started another (and also read People, In Touch, Us Weekly, and Star, loathing myself as I did for poor Jennifer Aniston's sake-- it's like a train wreck. As horrified as I am by my own participation in this media circus, I cannot turn away-- and I have found myself genuinely moved by the pictures of this couple, both approaching and following their break up).



This afternoon, Barbara and her boys came over and we each made our own pizza for lunch (with dough I had made) and then we went bowling. I forgot how much I hate bowling and how much it makes me crabby, but we had a good time in spite of that. I bowled a spectatcularly lousy game, but that is okay. I know Dereck is itching to make me a better bowler-- and I can tolerate his teaching tips when we are playing pool, but not when we are bowling because I really really don't care whether or not I become a better bowler. I don't get crabby because I bowl poorly, and it's not that I dislike bowling because I am bad: I just hate to bowl. Being better at it would not affect that-- it's just not something I like.



Christian has had an orange since Christmas morning that he dubbed his "lucky" orange, and he has been carrying it around and sleeping with it ever since (despite our protests that it was, in fact, turning into a rotten orange).



He wanted to bring it to the bowling alley, for luck. And stupidly, I let him.



Well, even though I told him there to grab it, he made it home without the lucky orange, and Dereck even went back out to the bowling alley, but the Lucky Orange was gone. Christian is weeping in the kitchen, watching Futurama and eating an oreo cookie.



I think he'll live.



What have you been up to this weekend?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Please Comment on This!

Beth wrote this today, and I think it's a great blog topic:



"I almost never talk about my actual real life on my blog. I’m not going to start, I was just thinking about it because I was wondering whether my fellow bloggers feel like their blogs are fairly accurate representations of themselves. I think mine is an accurate representation of an aspect of me, but not an accurate representation of me as a person. I think if you read my blog and then met me, I would not be quite what you were expecting.

So what do you think? If I met you after reading your blog, would I be surprised, or would your blog have given me a good idea of what to expect?"

And I thought I would throw this out to the floor. Please answer about your own blogs, but also, if you both know me in person and read my blog, what do you think? Is this blog an accurate representation of me as a person? I mean, it can't be completely-- but generally, would you say I am very different in person than the persona I have on my blog?

And for Michelle and Pie-- were you very surprised by meeting me? I wasn't by meeting you, except by how you both looked, because I had a picture in my head that was different, but that faded in about 30 seconds.

Discuss! (please!)

Your Friday Quiz

Stolen without apology from Michelle, who posted the most beautiful poem today. Go check out her blog (but scroll down past the first post, which she uses as her blogroll).







You Are 30 Years Old






30










Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.



13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.



20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.



30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!



40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.









TGIF

Let's see how fast the ol' fingers can fly this morning. I have been editing one of the biggest messes this morning that I have ever seen. I have been working on it for two and a half hours, and I am on page 14 out of 62. Sigh.



Don scored an 80 on the nerd quiz, just so you know. I asked him if I could post that here, and he said, "If you want to."



He and Ellie are coming over tomorrow so we can take apart our old computer with the kids and put it back together and then order something in for dinner. Linda wisely decided to stay home and enjoy her time to herself.



Last night, we went out. It was so much like college-- I bathed before ER, then sat with a towel on my head in my bathrobe, and then did my hair and makeup and got dressed at 10:00 p.m. We were going to the opening of a new club in town (well, okay, the ONLY club in town; Toons does NOT count, Karl, because it is just too icky for words).



I was nervous about going because I was just sure we wouldn't know anyone (hahahahahahahahaha, but I really did think that!) and that I would feel like this old, fat woman around all the students.



We saw people we knew right away, and went and sat with them. We got a free well drink with our admission fee, and it was the crappiest gin and tonic I've ever had (well=bottom shelf alcohol that sucks). I actually went back and ingratiated myself in with the barmaid (who served us in a tube top with a $20 bill sticking out of her cleavage, and I thought, "Are there strippers here?") by saying, "I don't think there is actually any gin in this."



She said, "Well, I know there is because I made it," but she added some gin all the same, and then later refused to serve me, ignoring me three times and then finally passing me off to a guy, whom I tipped generously. Bitch.



But there wasn't any gin in it.



When I had to start paying for my drinks, I was standing there (being ignored) with Royce, who had a $100 bill (ha, in your face, Bitch, that will teach you) and so I got the TOP shelf gin-- Kendricks.



Halfway through that gin and tonic, I was talking to Robin, who had come (Robin is one of the only people in this town who really knows how to go to an opening. She had dressed up and her entourage had dressed up as well: slinky halter dress, makeup, tights (she tucked her wallet into her crotch), and moon boots), and a woman we knew came over and told us she was drunk, so she was just going to stand there. I teased her-- she is about 1/3 of me-- that I was not drunk and we'd had the same amount to drink.



That always comes back to bite me.



The dance floor was great with terrific light shows and smoke that smelled like vanilla and laser shows on the ceiling and very good music. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with nothing underneath but my bra, and next time I go, I will wear a tank top. I was slick under my sweater, and it was a little nasty, but I just had such a good time dancing-- Yaz, New Order-- ahh, my college days came hurtling back to me, and I danced my ass off!



Dereck went and got me a drink when I'd drained the second g and t ("Surprise me," said I) and brought me back a Cosmopolitan.



By the time we left at 1:00 a.m. (How in hell did that happen?), I was certifiably, Vonnegut-dialing, drunk.



Naturally, I had to call someone. Who would be up?



"Karl, I think I am drunk."



"I know you are."



"How can you tell?"



"Voice pitched three octives higher and slurring."



Then I started laughing and apologizing, my drunken MO. As soon as I got home, I started instant messaging him and doing some drunken commenting (sorry!), and then drank copious amounts of water and headed off to bed.



I am not hungover today, and surprisingly, not addled or very tired. My body just knows its routine, when it should wake, and when it should sit in this chair for eight hours.



I will surely crash later.



I told Sam he could invite a friend over to play Halo2, so hopefully the boy will be able to come, and we are ordering pizza and buffalo wings (Christian requests it daily, and he is lucky to get it once every couple of weeks). I imagine that when I put the small fry to bed, I will fall asleep with them.



What are you doing this weekend?



Here is to three-day weekends. Thank you for your great accomplishments, Dr. King.



Oh that reminds me. Did you hear about that stupid Royal Twit, Harry?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Some Good Advice...

Oh. My. Heck.



I have been working my fanny off ALL DAY. My favorite kind of day-- just flew by!



So, I took a break, noticed that Melly has updated her blog, and found the following request:



A couple of years ago, I began putting together a book that I'm going to give to Matthew when he turns fifteen. I asked people to email me advice or quotes or whatever to put in the book for him to read when he's going through one of the most awkward times in his life.

I decided that since I am putting so much time into making this scrapbook, that it would be made even better if I could incorporate some of the advice people sent me.

I'm asking for more because I'd like for each page to have something written on it from a different person. You can be funny or serious or both. It doesn't matter. Just think of something that you'd say to a fifteen year old kid. And make sure that you put where you are from.

Email it to me at jezemelly@yahoo.com

So, here is advice I got when I was a teenager that I found particularly useful.



You have to understand the rules of the game before you can break them.



This is something that my seven year old could use. I was given no assistance with this advice, so I offer the following example that could be used for a fifteen year old:



  • If you want to be able to cut classes without getting in trouble, you must become a teacher's pet.

  • You must get good grades at first, and you must earn teacher trust (offer to organize a book shelf during your study hall).

  • Then, you will obtain a signed pass from that teacher authorizing you to cut study hall to go and organize the book shelf.
  • Now, you are licensed.

  • Do not abuse this at first.

  • Go, and organize the booksehelf. This is all about building trust. People will get used to seeing you in the halls with you signed hall pass, and they will talk about how wonderful you are in the teacher's lounge.
  • You will get to the point where you no longer need the written pass-- curve your fingers under so you look like you are holding a pass, hold your head up high, and make eye contact and smile.
  • Say something friendly to every teacher you pass.
  • You can now do anything you want. You own them.
  • So, have fun with that!


Will I tell my children this little bit of advice?



Only if they don't figure it out on their own first.










Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Here is the Actual Truth

I took the quiz honestly this time and here are my results:



I AM 23% ASSHOLE/BITCH!
23% ASSHOLE/BITCH
I am not an asshole or a bitch, more like an asshole and bitch target. I have no backbone, and fold at even a slightly insincere look. I need to stop crying, I am such a wuss.




And yes, Karl, I did answer that one question honestly, and these were still the results.



So, for all of you who thought that I actually was a bitch.... Waaaaaahhhhh!!!



I need to stop crying, I am such a wuss.



Tonight when I was putting Sam to bed, he asked if he could talk to me, and he talked to me about this little group of boys he is on the fringe of, and the one boy who appears to hate him. And he said he knows he is really annoying around this boy, but he can't seem to help himself. He just feels nervous because he doesn't know why the boy hates him.



I tried to explain about vicious cycles and living down to peoples' low expectations of you: if someone generally has a low opinion of me, I will certainly measure up to that. The corrollary is also true: If someone thinks highly of me, I am generally inspired to do better.



So, I explained that maybe it was time for him to try to make new friends, friends who have no expectations of him, so he can simply be himself, rather than always remaining on the outside of his group.



And I explained that he is gifted and special. He said he doesn't have anyone he can really talk to about his interests and I said, "Honey? That is because most people do not really have any interests. " And sadly enough, I find that to be true of the majority of people I come into contact with, and they find me really odd. That used to be a slight, but now it is a compliment, indeed.



Don't get me wrong-- other people's opinions of me probably carry far more weight with me than they should.



But I am starting to learn how to let go of that and listen to myself.



I'm 35, Sam-- you have 24 years to go.

It's Karl's Fault.

He saw my nerd, and raised me an asshole/bitch.



I told him that I thought I could score as more of an asshole/bitch than he did.



And I did.



What you have to ask yourself, dear reader, is did I answer the questions honestly, or did I cheat so I could win?





I AM 54% ASSHOLE/BITCH!
54% ASSHOLE/BITCH
I am abrasive, some people really hate me, but there may be a group of other tight knit assholes and bitches that I can hang out with and get me. Everybody else? Fuck ‘em.

An Entire Bag.

  • I come into work this morning, and there is an entire bag of Girl Scout cookie boxes sitting on my chair. I am a pathetic suck up who overorders Girl Scout cookies to make friends.
  • I find out that I am double-booked for meetings.
  • I arrange to leave one meeting early.
  • I am in a teleconference call when the physician is called out of the room and I hear what appears to be a woman having a fit, while I am trying to maintain professional composure over the phone, instead of giving into the urge to run out and look.

  • I hoodwink Dereck into going out to the kitty shelter with me at noon.
  • I make him take the bag of cookies away from me.
  • We do not buy any kitties, even though that calico cat was soooo friendly and has exactly the kind of coat I love in a cat. She. Was. So. Friendly.
  • Someone has donated a box of my favorite kind of Girl Scout cookies to the kitchen, which is right next to my office.
  • Listen. Can you hear them? They are calling to me.
  • I might be thinner if I didn't give in to my inner desires for Dr. Pepper when we sail through the dining room at Wendy's for lunch.
  • A strange man came and asked for one of my co-workers today after lunch.
  • I told him I didn't know where she was, nor when she was coming back, and I admit, I was not super friendly or helpful as I did so.
  • A few minutes later, a security man came through the door.
  • The strange man was mysteriously escorted away.
  • Lesson Learned: go ahead and be chilly to strange, unknown men. Security will then come and take them away.

Hey!

Today I guestblogged on one of my favorite new blogs. Go check it out!



You can guestblog there too!



I should do that.... Hmm...

Weird Quotient

Stolen From Lucy.







What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!




Stolen from Selina:



square1
You are a Square. What a weirdo.



What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Completely Illogical

Today, I took a little bath before I ran into the office to get things I needed so I could work at home. But I did not wash my hair.



Around 4:00 p.m., having decided that I was freezing, I took another bath. I did not wash my hair (again) because I decided I was going to work out, and I would do my hair after that.



The bath made me sleepy, so after my bath, I took a nap with the lights on, so I wouldn't crash too hard.



I woke up at 5:30, and got back on the computer and did some more work while Dereck made fantastic meatloaf for dinner (thanks to Highland Farm beef and sausage!)



After dinner, negotiated homework with youngest child with the cool zen of a buddha master (I asked Dereck later if he were impressed, and he said, "I would have blown.").



Hung out with la famille, put kids to bed. Lay down with the kids.



9:00 p.m., my hair looks worse than ever because now I've slept on it twice. Called our sitter to see if she is still coming for karaoke. She had completely forgotten. She is coming in 18 minutes.



Do I take a shower and do my hair so I can get all smokey and have to wash it again in the morning?



Don't be silly.



Karaoke is dark.

This One's For Don



I am nerdier than 47% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!






I wish I were more nerdy-- I should go through and try to answer as if I were Don...Except that I don't think I can!

Food For Thought

I don't know whether I can print this here or not-- so I am linking to Salon.com and making sure that I give full credit to the author.



The not-good-enough girl


It's 2005 and newly separated starlet Jennifer Aniston is -- surprise! -- being pilloried for putting her career before motherhood.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - -

By Rebecca Traister*

*I have abridged this for faster reading.

"Jennifer Aniston failed to reproduce with her husband, Brad Pitt. But her failure -- as reported between the lines of every story we're reading -- wasn't simply a fertility issue. It was an unfathomable -- though possibly temporary, at the precarious age of 35 -- prioritization of her career over her family. It was an instance in which we were treated to the sight of a woman we like, openly wanting to get further ahead professionally before giving over her life -- and yes, her body, which is a serious commodity in her business -- to the demands of childbearing and child rearing. And clearly, it still makes us uncomfortable.

Aniston's career is at a stage that's perhaps more delicate and pressing than even her blessed biological clock. She has 10 years as one of the most successful sitcom characters in television history to wipe out if she wants to become a viable movie star. And she should act fast while she is still a known quantity, and can still draw on her looks and fantastically fit body. She has four movies on deck and yes, that has meant time away from her marital bed -- and all its baby-making potential -- to shoot them. All while her husband, 41, who began the game as a full-blown movie star and "the Sexiest Man Alive" and once deigned to guest-star on her sitcom, has lowered the burner on his career and turned more attention to things like architecture and his Jolie-inspired humanitarian pursuits. In a particularly poignant fuck-you to Aniston, photographs in one of People's sidebars ("Separate Lives: The year they drifted apart") show Pitt kibbitzing with Nelson Mandela and architect Rem Koolhaas while Aniston shoots a film with Hollywood punch line Kevin Costner.

So she may be hanging with Costner while Mr. I'm-Ready-for-Children is befriending Mandela, but at 35, why is it such a crime that Aniston should want to get the good roles she's still offered and up her asking price before her female body and face begin to fall and age and literally lose their value?

The New York Daily News on Monday ran a feature in which it interviewed New York mothers about the impact of Aniston's breakup with her husband. "I still give her five years to make up her mind," one 30-year-old mother was quoted as saying, while a 36-year-old dad said, "She has time ... With technology today, people are having kids into their 50's." One grandmother said, "She can go back to a career afterward. She has to think about her biological clock."

It's enough to make us all -- movie stars and non-movie stars, moms and nonmoms, those of us married to Brad Pitt and those of us who are not -- sit back with enormous martinis and consider whether the most interesting things about us will ever cease to be our uteruses."

School: Cancelled

Don't get me wrong-- I love it when school is cancelled. It means that I get to stay home too. But today? Ridiculous. This ice storm that is supposed to be coming better be a doozy, because it is 8:08 a.m. and I have already been to work and back, and the most dangerous place I saw was my driveway, as we are out of rock salt.



I hit my snooze this morning several times, after having had to get up in the middle of the night with kids, and did not hear one school closing. I do not know what possessed me to actually check the school's website, but I did and sat here with my mouth open.



I went into the bathroom where the kids were trying to wake up in a bath and said, "I'm sorry. School is cancelled."



Well, they thought I was mad (as in crazy)-- they didn't care about having been woken up! It was more vacation time!



Unfortunately, not so for me. Do I get to go back to bed? Curl up with a nice vampire book? No. I have work to do, I have deadlines to meet, so I had better get to it.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Year End Meme

Ah, Memes, Perfect for A Lazy Sunday Afternoon. Stolen from Keri.



1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

  • organized a fundraiser for a friend who had had a massive stroke
  • started my blog, plus Linda's blog, which kept many people in touch. Selina got me started on the whole blogging business, after I stumbled across hers one late night.

  • made Karl start a blog.
  • Went to Florida.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't make them, so yes, I kept them*. But I have been thinking about writing down some goals for this year.



I'll let you know.



*Edited to reflect Don's logic.



3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, my sister-in-law gave birth to my nephew, Devon.



4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, praise God. But I may not be so lucky this year, as we have a friend who is dying on liver/stomach cancer.



I lost two beloved kitties, though.



5. What countries did you visit?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.



6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

More personal investment and daily energy in my job.



7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

February 8, 2004, when it became utterly clear that Linda was Locked In. I keep telling her that none of us are really over that yet-- except her.



8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The amount of money we raised in that fundraiser, which still isn't public knowledge. But I know-- at least, I have an estimate. Only Don knows for sure.



9. What was your biggest failure?

Hmm... not for blog consumption, I think, though scroll through the archives and you'll figure it out, I think.



10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major, thank goodness.



11. What was the best thing you bought?

Fifty million Orthodox Icons-- though, probably not the best for my pocketbook.



12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Dereck's-- always.



13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Dubya's. All the time.



14. Where did most of your money go?

My guess would be icons and books. Hard to say really, and if I actually added it up, I might sink into a depression that would be hard to climb out of.



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My spiritual journey.



16. What song will always remind you of 2004?

Probably anything from the Garden State Soundtrack.



17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? a little bit of both. probably sadder.

b) thinner or fatter? same, unfortunately.

c) richer or poorer? poorer, but that is okay.



18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Reading and writing.



19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Aimless internet surfing.



20. How did you spend Christmas?

With Dereck and the children on Highland Farm.



22. Did you fall in love in 2004?

Stayed in love.



23. How many one-night stands?

Zero.



24. What was your favorite TV program?

ER, though I wish Noah Wyle would just QUIT already.



25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I'm not big on hate, so, no.



26. What was the best book you read?

Hmmm... The Cloister Walk and A Circle of Quiet.



27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Garden State soundtrack.



28. What did you want and get?

A ring from Dereck, and Xanadu the movie.



30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Before Sunset, Garden State, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (I am tired of linking now).



31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I don't remember what I did on my birthday. I was 35.



32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not for blog consumption.



33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Jeans. T-shirts. Tevas. COMFORT... (for work: lots of black with white cat hair).



34. What kept you sane?

Dereck. Seriously.



35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

ColinFirthLiamNeesonAlanRickmanHughGrantEthanHawke





36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gay marriage, followed closely by the atrocities in Iraq.



37. Who did you miss?

My parents. And my kids sometimes when they were gone for extended periods. Dereck when he was out of town.



38. Who was the best new person you met?

Whom I had never met before? I met Michelle and Pie in Seattle last summer.



39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

I need to trust my instincts.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Too Early or Too Late

It is 1:48 a.m. as I am beginning this post.



That is one of the best things about being an adult in a world where the kids are at dad's and tomorrow is Sunday and ain't nothin' on the schedule: if I want to sleep all day tomorrow and stay up all night tonight, I can.



Last night we had dinner with Don and Linda, (Don made a perfect Pad Thai, which was too spicy for Linda, but Dereck and I loved it-- just the right amount of sour from the limes) and had originally been planning to watch a movie. Ellie (age 3) planted herself on me and stripped me of all my jewelry ("My Precious!" she told me, pocketing my ring) and then bossed me around for the entire evening, until I put her to bed. Then, we started talking about geek stuff, because we are geeky, and Linda finally got tired of listening to computer talk and picked up her book, and we stayed til midnight looking at how Don has wired the house with remote control lights. It was great. I could have stayed for two more hours, and Dereck wisely sensed this and pulled me away at midnight.



Today, I went and let someone else color my hair for a change. Ahhhh. Three different colors of highlights, but it's very subtle. Then, we ran errands, and while buying a birthday present for our medical student friend Eithne, noticed the Kinsey was playing uptown, and looked at the clock: there was a matinee in ten minutes! Trotted down to the bank, got some cash, and went to the movies.



Didn't knock our socks off, but Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, and Peter Sarsgaard are always good.



And if you don't know Peter Sarsgaard yet, you need to see Shattered Glass and Garden State.



Then we went home, and I decided that bathing might be nice today, so crawled into the tub with another good vampire novel. When I got out, we were late for Eithne's surprise party: we were supposed to be at the skating rink by 7:30, and it WAS 7:30.



I got dressed in record time, and we got there by 7:45, and it turns out Eithne didn't get there til almost 8:30.



After we surprised her, I had to run to the grocery store for smokey treats, and the Friday tabloids (I know it is Saturday, but they were still there), because I had learned earlier from Lucy that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have formally separated.



Shocking.



I am a celebrity gossip whore, so of course, I had to read all the internet news about it when we got home. The magazines had reported that they were "back on" after their sexy new year's vacation, so we had a good laugh about that at Eithne's party.



I put on roller skates. I went around with Dereck holding my hand. I have no physical memory of skating from junior high. I told him I did not like it.



But instead of taking of my skates and returning to the tabloids, I actually re-taught myself to skate and ended up going around six times by myself, and twice not having to cling to the wall. So, I felt pretty happy by the end of it. We ended up drinking in the Leisure World lounge afterward, and it was a very pleasant party.



But because I had to read about Brad and Jen, that led to blogging.



I would like to stay home tomorrow, though. I have barely been home in two days.



And maybe I will even sleep.

Friday, January 7, 2005

I am a Blogging Fool.

Here is your Friday Meme (stolen from Pie) and no, I don't know what FQ stands for. Go ask Pie.



FQ TOPIC:



Time.



FQ1: What's something you often must do that's a complete waste of time?



Surf the internet. Today I spent an embarrassingly long time looking for more vampire smut titles on Amazon.com and adding them to my wish list.



FQ2: Who's a public figure you wish would stop wasting everybody's time?



Arnold Schwarzenegger. And if they change the laws so he can run for President, I'm moving.



FQ3: What's something you'd like to do more of if you had extra free time?



I'd like to go to France.



Oh wait. More of? Reading. There is never enough time to read books, because if I do that at work, it won't look like I am actually working.



FQ CLOCK:

What time is it where you're at right now, and what time zone are you in?



It's 3:13 p.m. and I am in CST. And it's verrrry verrrry quiet here.

On the Lighter Side

Thanks to Amy and Dereck for this one. (Wondertwin powers... Activate!)



You have to go look at this lego church this woman made for her dead cat...



And then the FAQ-- she clearly has a sense of humor about the whole thing...



It takes all kinds, people.

We are going to have to move soon.

Thanks to Dawn for this.



This is absolutely ridiculous. It scares me to death. And the thing is, it's just stupid enough to pass in Virginia. And the Missouri legislature surely can't be far behind-- lord knows, we're dumber than people in Virginia.



This is what the climate is like right now in our country-- I know I am not telling you anything new, but why isn't there a bigger outcry? We should be descending on Washington in droves.



We should be afraid.



Very very afraid.





Democracy for Virginia: Legislative Sentry: HB1677 - Have Miscarriage, Go to Jail?



It sounds preposterous to talk about criminalizing women who suffer miscarriages, but one Virginia legislator is proposing just that. HB1677, "Report of Fetal Death by mother, penalty" is a bill introduced by John A. Cosgrove (R) of Chesapeake. Cosgrove's bill requires any woman who experiences "fetal death" without a doctor's assistance to report this to the local law-enforcement agency within twelve hours of the miscarriage. Failure to do so is punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor.



As Dereck pointed out, shit like this is introduced all the time-- And I liked what he said about it so much, I am quoting him here: "What's interesting is that a) somebody in the media picked up on it, and b) it's newsworthy because in this climate, even if it won't pass (and it won't), it will become a cause celebre among the Xn Right. If anyone wasn't aware of the level of misogyny and fear of sex in this country, they should be now. Actually, that part is not so inconceivable -- something the Democrats should have been screaming about during the entire election is that there is a covert assault on birth control brewing, and will be the next step after Roe falls. But when that happens, maybe finally some of these women who are voting Republican will get a clue. It might be too late though."



We are so poorly educated about our civil liberties, we are surrenduring them right and left, starting with the Patriot act. Every time I let them pat me down in an airport in the name of safety, I am surrenduring my civil liberties and my dignity.



My ex-husband had all kinds of reasons for restricting my freedoms in the name of my safety. It's fascist.



The road to hell is paved with good intentions, people. Beware the demons who come at you with that mask on.

Something to do on Inauguration Day

(The following may give some of us something to do on Inauguration day,other than wail to the Heavens and rend our garments....)



Since our religious leaders will not speak out against the war in Iraq, since our political leaders don't have the moral courage to oppose it, Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn DimeDay" in America.



On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.



During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases. Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.



On "Not One Damn Dime Day," please boycott Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target. Please don't go to the mall or the local convenience store. Please don't buy any fast food (or any groceries at all for that matter).



For 24 hours, please do what you can to shut the retail economy down and let your voice be heard in the silence.



The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.



"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international funnel cash into American politics.



"Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm 's way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan - a way to come home.



There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action bydoing nothing.



You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.



For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our Religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people).



Thursday, January 6, 2005

No title

Today, we began the enormous undertaking of cleaning the house. And not just cleaning it, I mean, we have been going through the kids' room, book by book, toy by toy, and getting rid of what we can (and I have a really really hard time giving books away, so I haven't made too much progress there). I need more bookcases, or I need to just treat books like clothes: if it is something we never read, and probably never will and I'm keeping it just because it still has value, it's time to let it have value at the Public Library.



Sigh.



And I have followed a link on Keri's blog to Bookcrossing.com, which is a very cool thing. You register your books with them, and write the registration number inside the cover, and then you leave the book for someone else to find. And hopefully they'll go register with Bookcrossing and let them know who has it. It's a booksharing. So, that might be a way to get rid of some of the vampire smut that I probably won't re-read, enjoyable as it was the first time.



Alias



premiered last night, at long last! I spoiled the plot for Sam a bit, I think, by anticipating things ahead of time, but he is pretty good at anticipating himself.



I don't know what to think. It could be promising, but some of the premises are just so unbelievable. Arvin Sloane has been chosen by the CIA to head a black ops unit, and all of the others are just supposed to go along with this so they can keep an eye on him? And they are supposed to be able to do this, while they are in the field relying on him for their lives, HOW? And the extent of the fuss is that Sydney has a pouty face and hisses a bit and then they whisper about it privately just like any office has its little moments of disgruntlement. This is the black ops of the CIA, and this is how they treat the problem?



Encouraging. Really.



Do I want too much from my crappy TV shows? Yes!



We stopped watching 24 because it got ridiculous. We stopped watching West Wing because it got lame after Sorkin stopped writing it. ER and Joey, with a little Will and Grace are about all we have left. Oh, and the fabulous Arrested Development.



Now. I went for years without watching television, mostly not by my own choosing, but I have to admit there are benefits (and probably would be if I'd cut down on internet usage as well). But I do enjoy watching TV with my sweetie. Our date nights when we eat in the TV room and watch something we enjoy together are among my favorites. Because as enjoyable as reading and internet are, they aren't exactly things I can participate in simultaneously with Dereck (especially at home-- instant messaging each other would be silly, and so far, we don't sit and read books to each other. Some couples do, and that is cool-- we don't).



So I would just like my television to stop sucking so much.



Please.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Today is De-Lurking Day





I've stolen this from Dawn, who got it from Liz, who got it from Paper Napkin.

I know you're out there. My stats tell me you're out there. And today you have a once in a lifetime chance to let your presence be known.

Well, okay, technically you have that chance everyday, but today is De-Lurking Day! A special day celebrating lurkers, and exhorting you to muster the strength and bravery to click on that comment button and end the deafening silence.

So say hi, or tell me your wish for 2005, or what you're having for lunch, or your diabolical plan for world domination-- whatever. I am one of the worst offenders, and may be popping by your site to say "Hello, I'm Sheryl, and I am a lurkaholic"

To give you a little more incentive (I"m starting to feel like a used car salesman), I will personally donate at least one dollar for every commenter to aid the tsunami victims.

So what on earth are you waiting for?! Come on down to Big Lou's Pre-owned Palace! If I can't get you the deal you want, I'll bite the head off a live chicken!

If you're a blogger who wants to know who your readers are, click here and you'll see a few more buttons for your right-clicking-and-saving pleasure. I'd like to see this meme spread far and wide. Happy commenting!



Christmas Photos

Christmas Eve







The First Gift







Santa Came...







Battle Droids!







The Ants Survived The Sleigh Ride







Santa Likes to Leave Small Replicas of Himself







Snow!







Sledding on the Farm







New Year's Eve





Snowed In... With Children...

I had insomnia last night, and I was freezing. So, I got up, put on socks, pajamas, and my winter coat and turned up the heat in the house and sat in front of the computer until I felt warmer.



I couldn't sleep because I had a headache from the smokey bar, and because I couldn't remember the name of the villian from Alias. And that is important, because tonight is the season premiere of Alias, for which they have made us wait for months. Arvin Sloane. The two-hour season premiere. I can't wait!!!



I got up with my alarm this morning, looked out, saw snow, stumbled to the computer, noted that EVERYTHING is cancelled, emailed work, stumbled back to bed.



To be awakened shortly thereafter by the phone.



I figured it must be important for somebody to call so early, so I actually got up and heard little voices on the phone. "Mommy?"



Mark came on the line: "Jen, do you have power?"



"Yes."



"We don't have power or heat, so can I bring the boys over to you?"



"Of course."



He lives about 20 miles up the road, out in the country, and has to drive across very hilly, rural roads to get them here. I was not pleased that he was taking my children out on those roads under these conditions, but they can't cook, have no heat (except the woodstove in the basement, dummy), and more importantly, no video games.



I am sure that he now is going to have a lovely little vacation with his girlfriend, but she also has three kids, so it won't be that lovely.



I went back to bed. Two hours later I woke up, after having got up several times for false alarms (also known as cats) and they were still not here, so I called Mark's cell.



It had taken him 45 minutes to de-ice his car, and he had let the kids play a bit after breakfast. He had thought of calling but had correctly surmised that I went back to sleep. He apologized (!) and about half hour later, they arrived safe and sound.



Ahhhh...



I wish we had gone ahead and picked up more milk and more gatorade yesterday-- but we thought we were fine, just the two of us.



But as I told Stacey this morning, this is why I live where I do: If I have to, I can walk.



So, anyway, our being snowed in may have less romance now, but suddenly it is also more fun.



And now I'm really glad I didn't go into work!