Friday, December 29, 2006

Another Work Year Ends

The work year is drawing to a close.
Another Friday and I'm here by myself.
I think I might lock the door.
Mostly because I'm playing my iPod rather loud.
Sing to me, Eddie!
And just to satisfy anyone's curiosity, this is the Vera Bradley case I received for Christmas:DN1 got the pink and green one which even though those aren't her colors (she's not a petal pink kind of girl - reds and oranges yes), I didn't want to have two black ones in the house, and oh yes, the black one is mine.
Yesterday DN1 got really busy in the house and moved things around - it was lovely!
I'm so proud of her, and not just because she organizes my life. But she did help me create my own little Virginia Woolf room. I can't wait to get in there and shut the door and read, or knit, or listen to music sans interruption.
I'll post pictures later, because it will be awesome, oh yes.
A domani!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Are bedbugs the new cockroaches?

I'm working on this scarf for my brother using some Bernat from my stash. I had to make something for him especially when he contacted me after I sent him a handknit hat for Christmas. He told me (via email) that he could use some cold weather coverings because his apartment had become infested with bedbugs and he had to throw a lot of things away.
Bedbugs seems like such an archaic thing, so Mother Goose or something (Sleep tight! Don't let the bedbugs bite!), but apparently they are becoming even more common than before.
So I posit that bedbugs are the new cockroaches.
I found this article from Harvard discussing bedbugs.
And you may remember that Maya Rudolph (of SNL) had to flee her NYC apartment because of bedbugs.
They're not pretty.
I can't imagine crawling into bed with anything so hideous (that's what she said).
They remind me of ticks and I hate ticks.
So this is not charity knitting, just helping a brother out because winter in Beantown can be mighty chilly.
Cheers mate.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Ho Ho Ho and Off You Go

Santa's gone, folks and he left some mighty nice things.
For one thing, Santa sure knows how to shop off of my wishlist.
Smart guy!
Because then he knows things are always just right if you buy me what I want. And if you don't, I'll just buy it for myself, but a surprise is always nice.
I received my first, ever Vera Bradley bag - it's the train case - and unlike DN2, I did think I would have to wait until I was 75 to get my first piece. (For the record, I'm not a huge Vera Bradley fan - those cloth bags would not hold what I carry in my bag everyday, which is usually one to two books, knitting, numberous receipts, at least four tubes of lipstick and other assorted accoutrements.)
So I was pleased with my gifts, and my children were too.
Here's a picture of my gamers in action:

Now sometimes things seem magnified and perhaps a bit strange after you've been drinking. And let me say for the record that on Monday night I hadn't imbibed so much champagne that my judgement was impaired, but as I sat there drinking I heard my son's voice come from the television set. It was totally surreal and all I could say was "Wow," "How cool," and "Is that you, God?" Because I have to tell you, even though I know a rotary phone would kick my kid's collective butts, there is nothing like this new XBox 360. I don't play the games, they're too difficult for my small brain (I never know which button to push), but the fact that my son here in NY can play, and talk to, my other son in Minnesota, as well as a friend in Virginia and another in Minnesota...well, it boggles the mind!

But they can play all they want, because I'll be up in my room knitting and eating my Crunchie bars. Yum yum. Hope you all had fun!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Six Weird Things

I've been tagged by KnittyOtter and I feel compelled to comply because she's just so awesome (you are!).

Here are the rules: "Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

Oddly enough, I'm having trouble finding enough weird things about myself to complete this list(ha ha!). So really, if you feel the need to contribute weird things about me, by all means go ahead, but I know you'll have trouble, because I may be whacked and a total dork, but I'm not weird!!

1. Eggs. I am very particular about my eggs. I cannot stand for my eggs to be cold. If I could eat them straight from the frying pan I would, because I hate it if my eggs get cold. And I get very angry if anyone gets in the way of me eating my eggs after they have been sitting on my plate for more than a minute. Now if I purchase them from somewhere that I don't expect to be fresh and hot, like the hospital cafeteria, right Sheri, then I will get them scrambled and cover them with ketchup. (I don't like buttering cold toast either - the butter must be placed on the toasted bread as soon as it is finished toasting so that it has an opportunity to melt into the toast.)

2. I like to eat the food on my plate one item at a time. Normally I'll start with vegetables first, but I also factor in what I will eat last since that is the taste I want to have in my mouth when I'm finished eating. And yes, Jean, the foods can touch, but only sometimes. If I am at a buffet I do not like my food items to touch. I like for them all to have their own little spot on the plate. I'll go back for seconds and thirds just so my food doesn't run into each other.

3. I have intellectual crushes on writers. I'm just a dirty whore, I know, but sometimes I just can't help becoming attracted to someone through their words. I believe we've already discussed my fascination with Albert Camus, but I also like Gilbert Highet and H.D.F. Kitto. And no, I don't look at their pictures, I read their words. Much more effective, because their looks? Meh. Their brains? Oh yeah, baby.

4. I abhor having my picture taken. No really, I really hate it. With a passion. I wish that I were as photogenic as my children, but I think I look goofy and dorky (and gigantic) in every picture, except for some that were taken in 1996. Yes, for a short period there I actually peaked.

5. I follow stories in comic strips and certain tv shows to the extent that I feel anxiety for them. I know they are not real people. I can't help it. I get too involved. What will happen next in For Better or Worse??? This is why I don't follow a lot of soap operas, because I know I'll become addicted and filled with anxiety. It was wrenching for me to move up here and not be able to watch EastEnders anymore. I've got history with that show - I've been watching it since 1992!! Literally. So I try not to think about it and how I don't know what is going on. It's difficult. I miss Grant! (If only I could access the Buffalo or Syracuse PBS station.)

And if my kids are reading this, they can stop right now. Good-bye!

Psst. Are they gone?
Okay good.
Here's that last one.
6. Beer makes me horny. And you know I have to be careful when I drink it and read Camus. ^_^

Now I'm supposed to tag six people. That may be difficult, so let's see, I'll choose three and then three other people can chose themselves. But let me know who you are!! Here goes: Kat, Micky, and Jennifer.

If this doesn't make you feel old, I don't know what will

Time: 10:30 pm (it's late, it's a Saturday, so sue me)
Place: My living room
People: DN2 (age 8) and me
Watching: "Desperately Seeking Susan"
Set up: Scene where Roseanna Arquette is in jail and is placing her one (actually second) phone call. She asks if she can make another call and then proceeds to dial the phone (it's a rotary dial).

DN2: How do they do that?
Me: What? (Pause) Dial the phone?!?!?!
DN2: Yes
Me: Well you put your finger in the holes and turn the dial.
DN2: (Pauses while thinking) You're going to have to buy one because I just don't understand.
Me: (Laughing)

Tomorrow we'll talk about records. This should be interesting.

In the spirit of the season, apparently I'm a dork

You Are Donner

The most loveable and sweet reindeer, you're also a total dork!

Why You're Naughty: You keep (accidentally) tripping the other reindeer while flying.

Why You're Nice: You're always smiling, even if you've fallen flat on your horns.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Longest Day

According to the Naval Observatory today's sunrise is at 7:41 and sunset is at 4:40.
Welcome to the shortest day of the year and the longest day of the work week - the Friday before Christmas.
And what is truly sad is that I snagged the best parking spot this morning. Of course, there were only 4 other cars in the parking lot. What's even sadder is I was running about 4 minutes late (so 8:04) and I still got the best spot.
That's okay, I've got my book, I've got some knitting, and Lord knows I have work today (meh), and I'm hoping a guardian angel will come along and say, "Oh, please don't stay all day. Leave early if you'd like."
Because Christmas is the time of benevolence and good will, or so I've been told.

Note: Time on deck is 1337 (that's 1:37), and I'm the last one here. It's kind of like standing duty, being here all alone, but at least I don't have to go out and tour the area making sure all is secure (or keep a logbook). I would start to become concerned if I heard the elevator running - that might freak me out. But I've been given permission via General Order #5 and I will be quitting my post at 1400 (that's 2:00), so I'll be hightailing it out of here in order to go home and, well, do nothing! Kind of like how I spent this week at work! Enjoy the weekend!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blogging, Knitting, and Wasting Time

Hey y'all - I don't know if any of you noticed - but Wendy commented on my blog!
I had to call my husband and then email all two of my friends who would care.
It's like a visit from a celebrity - and one that I like!
Because honestly I've been around celebrities, and not all of them are worthy of being honored.
But the ones that are - well let the genuflecting begin.
I feel that I have arrived (and they haven't had time to show me the back door yet).

Now, I started working on the Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers from Stitch & Bitch Nation day before yesterday. Working with four needles is like trying to diaper an eel (because obviously I've done that before), but I'm persevering. Well before I started working on them I had a thought - and you know, it was one of those thoughts that you should listen to, you know, the one you ignore because you think it's all crap anyway. At least my thought processes are usually crap. So I thought perhaps I should check on the web and see if there are any corrections to this pattern and then my laziness kicked in and I didn't bother.

Big mistake!

Because yes, there are corrections to the pattern. Big corrections. Massive cable knitting corrections that if I were able to think and knit at the same time would not have made sense ergo I wouldn't have made the mistakes, but noooo (and I'm channeling John Belushi here). I sat through Talledega Nights and several hours of Dog the Bounty Hunter knitting up mistakes. What a fool I am. I guess I should have been sleeping instead. Well perhaps I'll put it down until tomorrow and watch some Miami Ink, drool over Ami James and rip it out and start all over again. Arrgh.

Nice Dreams

This is about that moment when you're thisclose to waking up and you're involved in a really nice, or cool, dream that you just don't want to leave - and then that damn alarm clock starts squawking and you have to leave the land of make believe.
Yes, today was one of those days.
I love my dreams.
Sometimes I think it would almost be cool to be comatose.
Because when I dream it is like having a movie inside my head every night.
I am always entertained, sometimes scared, but always entertained.
And the thing is, I'm not always the main character. Sometimes I literally watch a movie, edited with slow-mo and fade outs and other techniques. It's so cool.
And I know there is music inside my head too, because one time I was having surgery (not on my brain, but darn close, Ms. Proboscisface) and I was listening to Vivaldi. When I came out of the anesthesia I asked the docs if they were listening to a classical station. They said no, their radio was tuned to something else.
So I know there are things going on in my subconscious that only get tapped at night.
Like last night I dreamt I was in a city and I was going to walk home and this chick named Fyodorika Finlandia (don't ask me where that name came from - perhaps something to do with Dostoevsky and the flag of Finland that I saw yesterday) and she said, don't walk home alone, it is unsafe. So she walked home with me, and then I had to go inside and get someone to walk home with her and there were more bizarre things happening, like we drove her home in a wagon pulled by horses, and when we dropped her off she worked at this modeling agency that classified their models as either back door or front door (nothing to do with sex, just how they looked). Strange stuff and really not entertaining for anyone but me.
But waking up from these wacko dreams is the hardest part, because sometimes I just want these dreams to go on.
Alas, they never do, because reality butts in and here I am, hard at work, anxiously awaiting the hour when I can go back to sleep.
And before you start asking questions, no, this post has nothing to do with a Cheech and Chong movie, nor with any of the illegal substances of which they partake.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New ideas to rid myself of stash yarn, and yes this means knitting them (and following directions)

Wendy over at WendyKnits has a new plan for 2007.
Knit from your stash; this pretty much follows the idea behind much depression-era thinking which is "make do or do without."
Well I want to do without. For a bit anyway.
There's even a hot, new button or four you can choose from.
These two are my favorites:

She has even developed a set of rules which I will copy here forthwith. Now these rules were created for Wendy and her friend, L-B. Chances are if Wendy had a look at my stash she'd create a new chapter in her next book entitled "The Determined, Yet Still a Loser, Knitter." And then light fire to all the acrylic yarn in my house while laughing at the puny amount of good yarn I own. Here are her rules with an extra-special caveat at the end:

"1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.

2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

Anyone else who would like to join us in this is welcome to do so! Feel free to link to this page or to post the guidelines on your own blog. You may also alter the guidelines to suit your own situation."

Yes folks, it does say, "...alter the guidelines to suit your own situation..."
A nice easy out. And that third rule -- what does that say??? Gifts of yarn - yes, we can buy and give to each other. Ahh, how nice. And what Wendy doesn't say in her rules, however, applies to knitters like me with pitiful stashes -- there is the possibility that I might knit through all of my stash yarn! And if you believe that, George Strait and I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Arizona. At the speed with which I knit I think I might still be working on a lace hanky by the end of next year, unless I have about 25 works in progress. And that's actually doable.

Now, if I can just find Bleak House on CD or cassette and we get a blizzard in by the first week of January, I'll be all set.

What my obituary will say - but I'm not planning on dying yet!

'What will your obituary say?' at

Monday, December 18, 2006

Book Meme

Courtesy of Kat.
Because why should you have to listen to me complain about how poorly my knitting is going (is it possible I just cannot read directions?).
Or about how I'm searching high and low in my house trying to find Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol so I can finally catch up with the Knit the Classics Ring? Anyway, here's a book meme and it goes something like this.

1. Find the nearest book.
Since I'm such a wonderful housekeeper (watch out Little Suzy Homemaker), I am able to reach over to the side of my bed and search amongst the half dozen books lying there.

2. Turn to page 123.
Easy enough to do since there's enough wattage coming from the neighbor's
Christmas display to blind me. Not to mention the streetlight.

3. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
Glad I'm not wearing socks - I need my toes to count.

4. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
Now shouldn't they have revised that sentence? Why write it and then type it?
Time management folks.

5. Name the book, the author, and tag three more folks.
Tag, you're it. And no touchbacks.

This is what I have:

Mersault already knew the owner of the cafe, a former tenor who would sing behind his bar and between two beats of Tosca threaten his wife with a beating. Patrice was asked to serve with Bernard on the holiday committee, and on July 14 they walked through the streets in tricolor armbands or argued with the other committee meembers sitting around a zinc table sticky with aperitifs as to whether the bandstand should be decorated with ferns or palms. There was even an attempt to lure him into an electoral contest, but Mersault had had time to know the mayor, who had "presided over the destiny of his commune" (as he said) for the last decade, and this semi-permanent position inclined him to regard himself as Napoleon Bonaparte.

A Happy Death Albert Camus

Yes, folks, this is what is next to my bed. And you wonder why I'm so whacked out.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am Charles VI, I am, I am

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other's language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry's underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout "boo!", upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.


My kids love - they have great t-shirts that make me laugh.
This is one of my favorites.

It's called "The Communist Party."
Karl Marx wearing the lampshade cracks me up every time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Man am I boring

I got this Meme from Kat.
You're supposed to take the first sentence from each month throughout the year and post it here.
What do I have?
Some damn boring entries - check it out:

Here it is - the first time out there.

I’ve thought long and hard about writing a blog.

I read a lot of blogs, some are about knitting, and some are about celebrities.

When I was growing up, I always felt a connection with the south, primarily because I was born in Virginia.

Today is Franz Kafka's birthday.

There's a little more sadness in the world today.

It's officially over.

My youngest son has friends who are licensed to drive.

Last year when DN2 and I went trick or treating, we went out with a friend of my brother's and his daughter, who is the same age as DN2.

What is it with cats?

If this is a writing exercise you know what I've realized? That I rely very heavily on my title, and when my first sentence is separated from the title it doesn't stand on its own very well. Yes, I've taken a fun meme and turned it into an exercise in self-awareness. See - I must be boring!
Now, if you want to check out a blog that is not boring at all but quite informative with regards to the celluloid industry (movies, folks), head on over to Reel Fanatic. You know me, I'm so easy (glad that's not a first sentence) - post a comment on my and I'll link to you for life. Honestly, he's got some very well-written movie reviews and discussions about what's going on in the film industry and without the snarkiness of the gossip blogs. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What Kind of Reader Are You

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Christmas Music

I like to buy new Christmas CDs every year. I love Christmas music, and sometimes you can get some really good music. And then every year I would read the reviews for Christmas CDs in the Washington Post and a lot of time I would purchase these CDs based upon their positive reviews. Well, I don’t get that newspaper anymore and yes, I know that I can read it online, but sometimes finding when they have published the Christmas CD reviews is just too much work. So this year I’ve decided to review some CDs myself.

The first CD I purchased this year was Sarah Maclachlan’s.
I had high hopes for this CD because honestly, who doesn’t like Sarah Maclachlan, and she is always innovative in her interpretations of songs, especially ones that are not her own (which are few). And the primary reason I was excited about this CD was because I had purchased a Christmas CD she produced and released about 4-5 years ago and on which she sang two tracks. This CD featured all Canadian performers, and I have to say it has become a family favorite (Lalique glass or crystal?). But then I listened to her new CD. Well, let me put it this way, there is nothing new and innovative with these songs. They are boring and mundane. And I almost don’t want to listen to this CD again. Blech. She has a Joni Mitchell song on here that everyone wants to sing called “River” (even Robert Downey Jr. sang this song in a movie). If you haven’t heard it I’ll tell you that it’s a sad, soulful song about a woman who is alone at Christmas in California and she’s pretty depressed about the whole thing. Great song, very sad, but great. I thought that Sarah’s interpretation would be outstanding. Well it’s not. It’s actually almost a little too upbeat. Come on – this woman is depressed. And here’s Sarah singing as if there’s no problem at all! It is horrible. At least to me. I made DN1 listen to it and she told me to turn it off, she couldn’t stand it. I’m adding that in just so you know it’s not just my opinion. Now truthfully I believe that Tori Amos has the best version of “River” bar none – and that means her version is even better than Joni Mitchell’s – and I’m comparing these versions to a live, bootleg recording of Tori singing this song! So I’ve set a difficult bar for anyone to overcome, but Sarah doesn’t even come close. Number of stars: 2 (and I almost want my money back)

Next comes James Taylor. You know, what can I say, it is James Taylor. I love him, but let’s be honest, a lot of his music sounds the same. The first part of the CD he tries to reinterpret some old carols, and it’s not too bad. His version of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” is kind of catchy. He too sings “River” and it is only slightly better than Sarah’s. The second half of the CD is just some innocuous singing, sounds original, but doesn’t grate on my nerves. After a bit I find myself singing along. And let me put it this way, if you’re hurriedly writing a paper at the last minute and you don’t care what you listen to as long as it doesn’t interfere with your thought process about Albert Camus (or fill in the blank with whatever you’re writing about), than this CD is for you. Number of stars: 2 ½

The third CD is Celtic Woman. I love this group, or combo, or gaggle of women, whatever they are calling themselves. I have their first CD (a non-Christmas one) and it is a pleasure to listen to. I also had high hopes for this CD and I was not disappointed. It is an excellent CD and what makes it easy for them, besides their obvious talent, is that they can switch around singers and this way none of their songs sound the same. But truly, they have done a wonderful job and even though a lot of the songs are not traditional “Celtic” songs, they are still done very well. Their version of “Carol of the Bells” is one I listen to often and I’ll tell you a funny story about their song “Christmas Pipes.” I was busy writing and listening to this CD and this particular song came on, but I misunderstood what they were saying; I thought they were singing about Christmas Pies. And I just couldn’t understand why someone was so excited about pies, which made me start thinking about which kind of pie and perhaps it is mince. Anyway, it is not a song about food, but I did crack myself up. Definitely one that I will listen to again each year, and sometimes in July. Number of stars: 3 ½

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Post Secret

I don't know how many of you use the link to PostSecret from my blog but I suggest that you might just want to sit down each week and do that. And I'll tell you why.

Every Sunday, Frank, who is the keeper of the postcards, posts new secrets. Some are funny:

Some are full of hope:

And some are achingly poignant:

We live in a society where we can become instantly connected to people on the other side of the world but at the same time feel alone and isolated. PostSecret is intended to show us many things, primarily that no man is an island entire to himself (to misquote John Donne).

So go on, check it out. You won't be disappointed. And you may just find that someone else has the same secret as you.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Safest Forecast

Around here the safest, and most used, forecast is "lake effect snow." It may not always happen but it's the safest bet to call for it, then if it doesn't happen, I don't know, blame it on the Canadians (just kidding! I love Canada!). We began the day yesterday with the threat of lake effect snow. This is what I saw out my front door yesterday morning:

Not too bad. Here's a picture from work just to thrill ya:

By yesterday afternoon, however, the winds were picking up and the forecast continued to call for - what else - lake effect snow. Here's the scene out my front door this morning:

You can't even see down the street and of course I didn't want to step outside only wearing slipper socks (thanks Sheri!). And it continues to snow. Just goes to show you, when the odds are even your forecast may actually end up being spot on - at least 50% of the time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In sync

I just received a phone call from SN1 (my number one son) in Minnesota and it went like this:

Me: Hello
SN1: Hey, guess what I'm watching
Me: "The Witches"
SN1: How did you know?
Me: Because I'm watching "The Witches"
SN1: You are? On HBO?
Me: That's cool we're watching the same movie.
SN1: It's my favorite movie.
Me: I love this movie.
SN1: But it's freaky
Me: Well, it's true to Roald Dahl because it's not nice (said during scene where the grand high witch sends a baby in a pram flying down a hill towards the edge of a cliff).
SN1: I'd like to see a movie based on BFG
Me: They'd probably ruin it

1000 miles apart and we are still somewhat in sync.
And my sons wonder why I don't like their girlfriends...

Holiday Celebrations

I received a party invitation from a high school friend and I thought it was so clever that I must share. The invitation states that guests are invited to a celebration on Saturday, December 16 and once at the party they are encouraged to:

Please feel free to Celebrate any of the following: Independence Day in Central African Republic, Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence in Portugal, National Holiday in United Arab Emirates-Laos, Independence Day in Finland, Delaware Day in Delaware, Independence Day in Ivory Coast and Panama, Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday in Fiji, Mother’s Day in Panama, Blessing of the Water in Uruguay, Our Lady of the Coupe in Paraguay, Independence Day in Tanzania, Human Rights Day, Thai Constitution Day in Thailand, Wyoming day in Wyoming, Foundation of Worker’s Party Day in Angola, Independence Day in Upper Volta, Independence Day in Kenya, Republic Day in Malta, Statue Day in Netherlands Antilles, Constitution Day in Nepal, Day of the Covenant in South Africa, National Day in Bahrain, Hanukkah Semitic Diaspora, Victory Day in Bangladesh, National Day in Bhutan, Republic Day in Niger, Victory Day in Egypt, Emperor’s Birthday in Japan, Christmas Day in USA-South Korea-Philippines-Macau-Germany-France-Australia, Constitution Day in Taiwan, Children’s Day in Congo, Kwaanza African American Diaspora, Birthday of Quaid-i-Aziam in Pakistan, Bank Holiday in Canada-Ireland-UK-Cayman Islands-El Salvador-Honduras-Pakistan, Boxing Day, Family Day in South Africa, St. Stephen’s Day, Feast of Our Textbooks in Greece, Constitution Day in North Korea, Public Holiday in Lesotho-Zimbabwe, Civic Holidays in Costa Rica, His Majesty, The King’s Birthday in Nepal, anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar, Proclamation of the Republic of Congo, Feed Yourself Day in Benin, New Year’s Day-Earth, Independence Day Haiti-Sudan-Burma, Universal Fraternity Day Mozambique, Ancestry Day Haiti, St Berchtold’s Day Switzerland, Revolution day upper Volta, Martyrs Day Zaire-Panama, Children’s Day in Uruguay, Three Kings’ Day Puerto Rico, Christmas Ethiopia, Pioneer’s Day Liberia, Armed Forces Day Liberia, Zanzibar Revolution Day Tanzania, National Liberation Day Togo, Martin Luther King Holiday USA, Adults Day Japan, Arbor Day Jordan, Martyrs Day Benin, Revolution Day Tunisia, Confederate Heroes Day Texas, Ethiopian Epiphany Ethiopia, Name day of Archbishop Bakarios Cyprus, Army Day Mali, National Heroes Day Guinea-Bissau, Lee-Jackson Day Virginia, Robert E. Lee’s Birthday Alabama-Mississippi, Our Lady of Altagracia Dominican Republic, Feast of St Ildefonsus, National Handwriting Day, Economic Liberation Day Togo, Republic Day India, Australia Day Australia

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.
This is actually pretty accurate.
Okay, well I do not always have a sunny disposition.
Those who know me well would call me some kind of vile name, like a female dog or something (speaking of which I just had one of those flashes of memory back to when I was about 8 or 10 years old and my old Uncle saw a dog on the porch at my Grandmother's house and he said, "Get that bitch out of here" -- it made me giggle).
Anyway, my grandmother had wild daffodils growing in her yard - and they are still there even though my grandmother is no longer with us - and we used to always have daffodils in vases at our house.
Even though I hate the color yellow - hate it - daffodils have always been my favorite flower with irises coming second and lily of the valley third. Not that anyone cares, but what the hell, this is my blog so I'm blogging!
Now, take the quiz and find out what kind of flower you are!

The Lights of the Season

DN2 and I drove around last night looking at Christmas lights. We stayed in the village and didn't travel out farther. We'll save other trips for another night because some of the houses that we did see go above and beyond - and it's great! They are deliciously tacky, as if the more lights and blow up figures on the lawn the better. (Honestly, what does Shrek have to do with Christmas??) I'm still a big fan of the simple look such as candles in the windows, but then the simple look is not worthy of a picture (because it's boring). It is the garish and tacky decorations that need pictures!

So we drove around and took photos, some not very good, mostly because I scared DN2 and said, "You better hurry up with that picture taking because someone may come out their door with a shotgun and try to shoot at us." Hey, you never know. But we had our excuse all ready because they are actually holding a contest for house decorating and they have some really outrageous categories - which some of the houses we saw may actually win!

What we discovered during some of our travels is that the people who had great houses at Halloween time also took the time at Christmas to go crazy. I say, good on 'em.

Friday, December 01, 2006

This is why I put paper down

What is it with cats?
They scratch doors and meow to get me up in the morning, act so anxious when I come down to give them their food, and when it is in their bowl they look at me like I'm trying to feed them chopped dirt.
I just don't get it.
Another thing I don't understand is what they're doing with the litterbox.
They have this huge litterbox and yet they miss it at least once a month.
Don't they know that when they're doing their business their ass is hanging over the edge and they are completely missing the box?
Or are they doing it on purpose because they're pissed at me?
Is it because of the food?
Trust me, my cats are not starving by any stretch of the imagination, but there you have it, a big plop of cat poop completely outside of the litterbox.
I'll spare you the picture - just use your imagination.
But just so you know, this is why I put paper down.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mediocre films

There are some films out there that are really not very good yet I continue to watch them every time they are on. And quite often I think fondly about a particular movie, even if it has a banal storyline and the acting is so-so.
Why is this?
I think it is because of familiarity.
These are movies where I can begin watching in any part of the story and know what happens before and what happens after. Primarily because I really hate catching movies I have never watched in the middle of the story.
And so I think it is odd, really, to watch something that isn’t a “great” movie by any stretch of the imagination but be so devoted to it.
Two movies instantly come to mind: “Empire Records” and “Singles”.
Neither of them great movies, although certainly reminiscent of the early 90’s, a time when I wasn’t even living in this country so I missed that whole jeans and flannels, Kurt Cobain-ish style, although I did have some Doc Martens that I bought on Carnaby Street. They both have great soundtracks for sure, but the actual movie? Meh. Although they are funny in their own mediocre way.
"Singles" was on this morning and so I stopped what I was doing (getting ready for work) to watch it. Of course this movie does have many redeeming qualities, such as appearances by Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. I’d watch them work their way out of a paper bag.
But as far as the movie in general - not worthy of more than five stars.
What movies do you like that aren’t very good?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Long night last night.
Seven people each with a 20-25 minute presentation.
We didn't get out of class until 9:30.
But it's over and my presentation went okay.
I hate second guessing myself and after I listened to the first two presentations I just wanted to go next, because as I sat there all I could think was, "Damn, I should have written that, or I should have expounded upon that even more."
So I got it over with.
And I have to say that not only was everyone very attentive and respectful to their fellow students (it should be that way, but sometimes it's not), but the presentations were actually very enlightening.
These are the books that were presented:

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Dead Souls, Nicolai Gogol
Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe
The Stranger, Albert Camus

I'm sure that it sounds quite enticing for everyone, but it actually was a great introduction to novels that I don't know and to learn something new about those that I do. People have done a lot of research, and it showed.
And now I have more books I want to read.
The last book is mine.
I heart Camus.
And I said as much.
What the hell.
I'm just a looney middle-aged lady.
And this morning I watched "The Constant Gardener."
What a film.
Sad, depressing, almost suffocating, but really quite moving.
Highly recommended.
Now, I have to get ready for work!

Monday, November 27, 2006

We're having an Amazon Christmas

Can someone write a song about that?
Yes, I have placed orders from Amazon. Apparently it is important to place orders for things that are in distribution centers close to where you live and that can be shipped easily because the orders (plural) I placed this weekend will be here this week.
But don't even try for Nintendo DS in Coral Pink - that won't be delivered until after Christmas.
Along with the Aly and AJ Christmas CD which is apparently in high demand as noted previously so that won't come until after Christmas either. This is why we have options. It's called and the CD is here already.
And I love Christmas music.
Absolutely adore it.
But not when Neil Diamond sings it. Sorry Gayle, I know he's your fave, but it just seems odd. He is Jewish after all. Perhaps if he released a CD with The Dreidel Song.
(And when Hannukah is here I will post a picture of my crystal dreidel.)
I love listening to Christmas music. Sometimes in July.
I just loaded some onto my iPod yesterday and created a playlist called, what else, Christmas music!
And to make a correction to a previous post, DN1 did not talk me into going to the mall. She called me out in a reply. So I will post a retraction.
But then I will clarify.
She guilted me into going to the mall.
And that's the truth, thus spoke Edith Ann.
Not much knitting going on around our house.
Or cleaning either.
I've been very busy completing some final projects for my class.
Do I expect an A?
Well, if my professor is reading (Hi!) certainly!
I have a 20 minute presentation ready for today and a rough draft of a paper. As she would say, so rough you'll cut your fingers.
And then a final version due in 2 weeks.
After that, back to knitting and reading some of the books I've been ordering for myself along with those Christmas presents (the best gift is the one you give to yourself, right?). I haven't picked up needles in a while and I have all this lovely sock yarn languishing waiting for me to knit with it!!
And my poor eldest son, I've been so busy I haven't even mailed his birthday package to him and as you might note, his birthday was yesterday.
Bad mother.
You can see why I'm in the 8th circle of Hell.
There is hope for me yet, though, something that will bring me forward a few circles.
I've been asked to be a substitute Sunday School Teacher for DN2's class (grades K-3).
Can you imagine that?
Me either.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Just to give you some perspective on how much he has grown in 22 years.

Happy birthday to you, Jordan.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It used to be pop

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

But now I call it soda.
How come there is no bar for the twangy, nasal-accented Western NYer's???

Already aggravated in the parking lot

You know it is not a good day to shop when you arrive at the mall and the stupid drivers in the parking lot irritate the piss out of you.
But we persevered.
Because I wanted to go buy these.

I wanted to get the iced tea glasses (on the left) at Macy's, and how could I pass them up? They were marked down to $29.99 until noon. And they come as a set of 12!! I arrived at the store at 11:50. Just in time. After some assistance from a very nice salesperson (if you can believe it) I went to the register, used my $10 off coupon and paid (pre-tax) $19.99 for these suckers. Not bad, considering we hardly ever entertain -- although there is a family in North Carolina I wish would come up for an extended visit!!

Shopping here in Western NY is so much different than in Northern Virginia. Locals, as a rule, wouldn't really spend their weekends in Potomac Mills mall from Columbus Day until after the 1st of the year, unless it was to go to the movies. It was madness! Truly, utterly packed with people. People coming from out of state to shop at our mall!! And you can only imagine the parking situation. Ick. I don't miss the crowds. Which is why I was surprised I let DN1 talk me into shopping on Black Friday, but there we were.

After living overseas for 7 years and then in Northern Virginia for another 9, you begin to behave a certain way when shopping. While living overseas the rule of thumb is if you see it in the Exchange and it is a new item, you know that if you don't buy it then and there chances are you won't see it again. Now things have changed a bit because we lived overseas from 89-96 and this is all pre-internet shopping, but even still, when we had our Thanksgiving in London we couldn't find any baking soda in the commissary. People horde. Because they all live by the same rule. It doesn't matter anymore anyway, because any of us who lived overseas are not allowed to donate blood to the American Red Cross (mad cow disease and all that). I don't know how that fits with hording, but it serves us right I guess.

The second rule of thumb, and this applies more to Northern Virginia than to Western NY, is that if you want to see a new movie, chances are with 250,000+ people living in your county someone else is going to want to see the same movie. We went to see a Harry Potter flick in 2002 (which one was that?) and the theater was so full at 12:30 in the afternoon that DN2 had to sit on my lap! Don't these people work?!?! So when we moved up here we were still in rush, rush mode. Get to the theater, someone has to go get seats and someone else gets popcorn. But the first few times we "rushed" we realized, hey, no one else is here. So slowly but surely we're breaking the habit, but once learned it's difficult to forget.

I don't know what any of this has to do with buying crystal glasses at Macy's. Other than when I got home I called my mother to tell her about it she said, "Well you've got all of Great Aunt Mytle's stemware here you could have used."


And as for deaths in the family boy we've had our share. My elderly cousin (89) died two weeks ago and my uncle's wife (his third) died yesterday.

Again, nothing whatsover to do with crystal stemware or stupid drivers in the mall parking lot. But then again, perhaps it does.

Hope everyone had a great turkey day. Tomorrow is a special day for someone very special to me -- it's my little Hawaiian boy's birthday (he's not really Hawaiian, some haole called him that to her daughter when the two of us were sitting outside a hotel in Honolulu). The big 22. Bring it on.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life is good when there's turkey to eat, Charlie Brown to watch, and a birthday to celebrate (and no guests coming over, ergo, no house to clean).

So Happy Thanksgiving to all, and Happy Birthday to the girl who is no longer a teenager!

Hope you enjoy your birthday/turkey day Beanie!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


According to Wikipedia, an always reliable source, the following contains the demographics for the town in which I live.
Man, we're poor. And white. (And my friends wonder why I act like poor, white trash.)
With the entry of my family into the town I'm sure we've increased the Hispanic population by 1% or so - guess we'll find out with the next census.

"As of the census of 2000, there were 8,103 people, 2,399 households, and 1,221 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,448.4/km² (3,752.0/mi²). There were 2,589 housing units at an average density of 462.8/km² (1,198.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the village was 91.84% White, 4.41% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.92% of the population.

There were 2,399 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the village the population was spread out with 15.0% under the age of 18, 44.6% from 18 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 13.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $37,068, and the median income for a family was $50,828. Males had a median income of $34,375 versus $24,556 for females. The per capita income for the village was $14,729. About 5.2% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Congrats go out to Chrissy

Congratulations to Chrissy (she was my partner in the Knit Tea Swap).
She just got engaged!
Go to her blog and check out how she received her ring, it's a very sweet story.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Last of the Summer Wine

This is the last bottle of wine we'll ever receive from a certain Hungarian gentleman. He died this week.

His is an interesting story. He and his pregnant wife (who goes by the same name as me) escaped from Communist Hungary. Upon their arrival in Austria she gave birth to their oldest of two sons in a Red Cross camp. Later they moved to Canada and then down here to a small town in Western New York where they came to be friends with my mother and step-father.

This weekend we will drink from this last bottle of wine he gave to us and offer him a toast. He will be missed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scene from a library

Note to the cross dresser:

If you choose to dress like a woman, that's cool, but please remember to keep your wardrobe appropriate to the season: No white after Labor Day!!!

Otherwise I might have to go all Serial Mom on your ass.

How can this be?

I went to place an order from for some Christmas items. Nothing special, just an Aly and AJ Christmas CD and things like that.

I got to the checkout section and under estimated delivery date it said: December 26, 2006.

How can this be? (I ask again!)

So much for having an Christmas. I might as well go to the mall and pay a bit more but get it in time for the actual event!


Perhaps I should try and see if their international delivery is faster.

Recruiting Issues

The Army has been having some recruiting issues and they have had to modify their standards in order to attract personnel.

Semper Fi!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I guess this is where I belong

I took two different tests and ended up in the eighth level of hell both times. I guess this is where I belong.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Eighth Level of Hell - the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test


Incentive #5 to get your kid to church:

You can't see your girlfriend all week if you don't come to church this morning.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On a Rainy Autumn Day

Barbie and Ken dry off by the fire after a quick swim in the kitchen sink.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Beyond Harry Potter

It was with great shock the other evening that I discovered that my professor has never read Harry Potter. I looked at her and said, "Really?" in an accustatory manner, because honestly, who hasn't read Harry Potter? Well, she hasn't. But I believe it is probably for one of two reasons (or perhaps both): too many other books to read and intentional avoidance. She does have a Ph.D. after all and is reading massive Victorian tomes while I'm sneaking in Donna Parker Goes to Hollywood in between writing a paper on Albert Camus.

What can I say - I love young adult literature. Especially those that are set pre-women's lib; it's like reading stepping into a time warp. So as I continued to deal with my shock that there is someone out there, not from a Third World Country, who has not read Harry Potter (I suggest listening to it on tape/CD - very entertaining), I recalled a series that I have read twice in the past three years. There isn't much to recall really because I look fondly at these books on my shelf since they are located just below the two shelves of books I read for my other Master's program. Place of honor indeed. This series of books is far better than Harry Potter. Yes, I've just blasphemed but I can't help it because it is true!

If you're really interested in magic, especially old magic, then Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series is just for you.

The first book introduces us to Will Stanton whose world turns upside down on his 11th birthday. In it he finds out he is not who he, or his family, believes him to be.

The second book, Over Sea, Under Stone, introduces three different characters, two brothers and a sister, who have an adventure in Cornwall helping to defeat the dark.

Greenwitch is the third book which brings all four children together in Cornwall in order to defeat the dark. After two other books the dark is only being held at bay.

The Grey King takes place in Wales and is really a transitional book leading up to the final book in the series. Bran, a Welsh boy, is introduced as a primary character.

The final book which culminates the series is Silver on the Tree. In it the people who represent the light, the five children and Merriman, an old one, band together in a final attempt to vanquish the dark. After reading this book I had to visit Wales. Well, I wanted to but I haven't been there yet. It is comforting to know that I have ancestors who emigrated from this part of the United Kingdom along with my Scottish and English ancestors. Perhaps there is a biological reason for the connection.

I cannot say enough about these books and my short annotations do not even do justice to the depth of Susan Cooper's story telling. She combines mythology, legend, old magic and fantasy, and the books are really just so enjoyable and believable. I love them so much that I am ready to read them again even though I just read them last fall.

So if you want an alternative to Harry Potter, try Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. And I'm sure if my professor reads this she might consider these books - and I hope you do too!

Happy Birthday, Marines

Today is the 231st birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.
I would like to share a story with you about Chesty Puller and some great quotes about the Marine Corps.
Semper Fi!

In October 1954, Chesty was the base commander at Camp Lejeune. I was the commanding officer of A-1-2. In those days (and maybe now) we had a rifle company on each coast that was combat ready and on alert to fly anywhere on a couple of hours notice. The duty or alert fell to one company for a period of time, then to another. In early October 1954, Able Company was the "clutch company" when the panic button was pushed. I was called to battalion. The battalion CO and I then rushed to regiment. We picked up the regimental CO and sped to division, straight to the war room. In the war room was the division commander, the G3, G2 and an awful lot of brass. And, in the back of the room sat Chesty Puller. The briefing started. First, one Colonel, then another, briefed on where we would be going and why, how soon we had to be in the aircraft, initial destination, and all that. Maps were brought out, various opinions offered, and contingencies discussed. As I recall, when the division commander asked if I had any questions, I was so overwhelmed that I did not. Then, the division commander turned toward Chesty Puller in the back of the room. "General Puller," he asked. "Is there anything you would like to say?" Chesty looked at me for what seemed an eternity, then said rather quietly and very seriously, "Son, if they give you any shit, level the place."

We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanastan, 20 September 2001
As reported on page 1 of the New York Times

The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!
MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952

Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.
Navy Times; November 1994

Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.
Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997

For all of those that have son's or daughter's at bootcamp let me pass on what I found. Let me give you a little back ground first. When my son left home he had no motivation, he was lazy, slobby, no pride, no self worth. This is the boy that got off the bus March 18th at Parris Island. The man that I met on Thursday for parents day is AWESOME. There is no way I can describe to you all the difference. He looks different, he walks different, he talks different, he has such a sense of bearing and pride all I could do was look at him in awe. Oh yes, the training is hard, what he went through is unimaginable to any one that has not been there. They are definitely taught to be Warriors. Let me tell you the surprise of what else they are taught. My Marine son has better values, better morals, better manners than any one I know. It is so much more than Yes Sir, Yes much more. He cares about how he looks, he cares about what he does, and its not a boastful, bad ass thing. He is a true gentleman. I saw patience, and a calmness in him that I have never seen. I could never express my gratitude enough to the Marine Corps for what they have given my son. I know this, I have an 11 year old Devil pup still at home. When the time comes for his turn if I had to I would take him kicking and screaming all the way. Although I'm sure that will not happen. The hero worship I see in my younger sons eyes for his Marine brother tells me I will have two Marines in the family, and I will be one very proud mother.
"Cybil", Mother of a Marine writing to the myMarine Group

The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; 23 February 1945
(the flag-raising on Iwo Jima had been immortalized in a photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal)

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983

The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997

Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?
GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC
near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC
in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!
Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950

Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.
the mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987

You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!
Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943

We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess.
Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000

I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC
in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918

I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.
Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reader Responsibility

I received my latest mailing from Mystery Guild last night and as I was perusing the packet it occurred to me how out of touch I am with contemporary authors. There's probably a reason (it's called "taking classes for the past three years straight"). And I haven't purchased from Mystery Guild in a while and there's a reason for that too - it's called the library. I'm a little tired of spending money on crap books that just hang around my house. I am also trying to be a little more selective in choosing what I buy. Just because I've read all the other books in a series doesn't mean that I want to have them around all the time.

For example, I have purchased and read all the "Cat Who" books by Lillian Jackson Braun. I like these books a lot, I really do, but I've also found that as time goes on the stories become a tad less complex and the margins on the page increase. I think it is great that someone continues to write as they age because mental acuity is great at staving off the loss of memory (obviously as a doctor I'm qualified to make this dogmatic statement). However, there comes a time when I must stop spending money on these books (especially when there are so many other things to spend my money on). Another author who started increasing her margins is Phyllis Whitney. Back in the 80's I hit the jackpot at the Quantico library and purchased a ton of books for ten cents each, books by Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I'm not that much of a snob that I would deny reading them because I think both women are gifted story tellers (and they are NOT Danielle Steel novels - I do have standards). But when we moved up here and the movers were packing our 20,000 pounds worth of stuff, I had to make a decision and Phyllis and Victoria had to go. And as I've been slowly unpacking I've been getting rid of many other books too.

Ultimately I've been trying to whittle down the books I own in order to keep only those that I've read two to three times and will most likely read again. My comfort books I call them. And the others, well, I'll just find them at the library.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cookie Central

This is what 53 cases of Thin Mints looks like:

And here are some more stacks:

One hundred eighty three cases in all.
Yes, I'm the Cookie Mom.
Because I just don't have enough to do.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday morning

And this is what I found when I came downstairs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh to be a French Woman

Mireille Guiliano has a quiz to find out how French you are.
I am Potentially French.
But I always knew that.
Let me go live in France and I could be une vraie Francaise!

Some thoughts

I always end up sitting behind or near women who insist on talking as loud as they can to each other and to everyone else. (Hello! I'm engaging in anti-social behavior here! Can you keep your voices down???)

If Melinda Gordon aka "The Ghost Whisperer" aka The Boob Whisperer, continues to tell people about the ghosts she sees, by Season 3 everyone in her town will know she has this gift. ("Aw, that cute girl with the big tits talks to ghosts.")

My mother, at 75, can now feasibly fit into my size 9 Calvin Klein jeans I've saved since high school. (Bitch can't have 'em.)

Just because the movie is a cartoon doesn't mean it's appealing to kids. ("Ferngully" and "We're Back" are ones that immediately come to mind.)

It's difficult to skim a 300 page book. (But by golly I'll try to do it before Monday.)

It's so awesome to feel superior

Especially when you're eight years old.
Watching the news at 4:30 this morning (yes, she's awake).
NBC Early Show announcer comes on to discuss the opening of the new Marine Corps Museum in Quantico next week.
Except he pronounces Quantico incorrectly.
And she laughs and says, "He doesn't know how to say it! Did you hear him?"
This is not the only time she will feel superior to those whom she sees on tv.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It's snowing again. The weather forecast calls for it to be 6 degrees tomorrow!
Oh wait, that's the forecast from the Toronto radio station.
And they measure using Celsius.
Man, I always get that confused.
Sometimes I just can't remember where I am.
Who am I again?

National Novel Writing Month

Wow, I must have been living under a rock for the past decade, because National Novel Writing Month is in its ninth year. Why didn't I hear about this sooner? Why couldn't it have come in February when there's definitely more indoor time?

Regardless, this is such a great thing! You have one month to write a 50,000 word novel. You can post to their website daily and have others read your work. And because NaNoWriMo is a non-profit, they will be happy to accept donations and put them to good use building libraries and helping people to read and write. And you can't help but like the people who run this - read their history. Even better, there are schoolteachers out there signing up with their classes! You've gotta love anything that encourages creativity.

As soon as I can figure out how I will post their button on my sidebar because yes, I did sign up for this. Forget that 20 page paper on Camus...this is more fun! Now I'm already a day behind, so as Jimmy Neutron would say, I've gotta jet. I'm going to channel Snoopy and begin my novel.

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Small town trick or treating

Last year when DN2 and I went trick or treating, we went out with a friend of my brother's and his daughter, who is the same age as DN2. He invited us because he knew that we were new back to the area, and just because it's always cool to have a second generation become friends too.

This year, however, DN2 and I decided to go it alone. And the biggest difference is that we weren't trick or treating from my mother's "out in the country" but this time we were right here in town. We had thought about going to a housing development, but quickly found out that there was plenty of candy to be had here in town.

One of the reasons we didn't want to trick or treat in the village is because this is also a college town. You know what when you're in a college town, and that is the unexpected, unpredictable, and vomit on the street corners. Being game we headed off into the direction of the largest off-campus housing in town -- right down our street. In this village (I call it a town, but it's really a village) there is a main street, and that line of demarkation is huge. The issues on the east side of Main Street are different than those on the west side of Main Street mostly because the west side is where the college (and the majority of the off-campus housing) is located. Ever wise we chose to live on the west side.

The standard rule of thumb with trick or treating is that if the porch light is on you're open and amenable to trick or treaters. Apparently there were some college students who figured that they would leave their porch light on for safety (good on 'ya) but didn't anticipate small children coming by and demanding candy. So at one house, DN2 received 2 pieces of Orbit gum and a guarantee that it would freshen her breath.

We decided not to venture down much further into the college housing territory and turned around. We went onto the next street and there were met by a woman who looked at DN2's devil costume and exclaimed, "You need to be wearing my horns!" This lady had on dollar store horns that blink on and off, and surprisngly she took them right off her head and put them onto DN2's head! (No stories about lice and unsanitary measures, I know, it's the gesture here folks).

After walking around for 2 hours, we were both pretty tired and DN2 had a pretty good haul. We saw some parts of the village that were really highly decorated and it brought home to me about how lazy I am about decorating. I looked at some of these houses with the lights and the yards all done up and I thought to myself, "Geez, you've just got to take it down tomorrow. What a waste." Regardless, we ended the evening with no property damage and lots of leftover candy. Yum yum.

Now, time to get ready for the Marine Corps Birthday, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

When life's happening, blogging ain't

We've been busy so I think you get the picture - there's been a lot going on around Chez Igloo this past weekend, and not much time to blog about it.
We had guests up from Ole Virginny for DN2's birthday and see, I was so busy I didn't even have time to post a happy birthday message to her on my blog.
Instead, she had to settle for the new My Chemical Romance CD (parental warning be damned) and these boots:

I think she was good to go and more than satisfied.
Then from our Commonwealth friends she received the new Hannah Montana CD and DVD.

Now there is one ritual that I have everyday when I go to work, and I do this because I don't listen to music at my desk: it is imperative that the last song I play before heading inside is one that I will hum (and sometimes sing out loud to) for the rest of the day.
But nooo.
Not today.
Today I was singing about Hannah and how she has the best of both worlds.
I'm a closet Billy Ray Cyrus fan just like many other people out there (like in "Doc") but enough is enough -- especially when you're trying to channel the Allman Brothers and all you get is the daughter of the Achy Breaky Heart man. And especially when your daughter plays Nine Inch Nails just for you on the radio at 6:15 in the morning (oh Trent, you want to do what like an animal???). Fortunately, but a bit too late in the day to save my sanity, DN1 attempted to rescue me with a text message telling me about a Cornflake Girl, so I left the building with that song in my head.

It was a good weekend, and we capped it off with a nice bit of antiquing in what is becoming my favorite (and closest) antique store. Here Ms. T (professional party planner extraordinaire) shows off the dinner plates from the two Spode 5-piece place settings she purchased from the shop. Ebay price: $83; antique store price: $35 = Bargain! Now that kind of math I can do.

I purchased an inexpensive bookshelf right out from under the noses of some other customers -- they should become familiar with that old Latin phrase - Caveat emptor, which translated into contemporary English means, you snooze you lose, sucka!

We were sad to see them go, but we'll be down to visit real soon.

And now we can turn the heat back down, since the thin-blooded Southerners have gone.