Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My favorite Christmas Joke

This is my absolute favorite Christmas Joke. I first heard it back in the early 80's, when it was faxed from office to office (pre-email days).

December 14, 2006
My dearest darling John:
Who ever in the whole world would dream of getting a real Partridge in a Pear Tree? How can I ever express my pleasure.
Thank you a hundred times for thinking of me this way.

My love always,

Agnes

December 15, 2006
Dearest John:
Today the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine two turtle doves. I'm just delighted at your very thoughtful gift.
They are just adorable.

All my love,

Agnes


December 16, 2006
Dear John:
Oh! Aren't you the extravagant one. Now I must protest. I don't deserve such generosity, three French hens.
They are just darling but I must insist, you've been too kind.

All my love,

Agnes


December 17, 2006
Dear John:
Today the postman delivered four calling birds. Now really, they are beautiful, but don't you think enough is enough.
You are being too romantic.

Affectionately,

Agnes

December 18, 2006
Dearest John:
What a surprise. Today the postman delivered five golden rings, one for every finger. You're just impossible, but I love it.
Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.

All my love,

Agnes


December 19, 2006
Dear John:
When I opened the door today there were actually six geese laying on my front steps.
So you're back to the birds again huh? These geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them?
The neighbors are complaining and I can't sleep through the racket. Please stop.

Cordially,

Agnes


December 20, 2006
John:
What's with you and those freaking birds??
Seven swans a swimming. What kind of fucking joke is this?
There's bird poop all over the house and they never stop the racket. I can't sleep at night and I'm a nervous wreck. It's not funny.
So stop those freaking birds.

Sincerely,

Agnes


December 21, 2006
OK. Buster:
I think I prefer the birds. What the hell am I going to do with 8 maids a milking?
It's not enough with all those birds and 8 maids a milking, but they had to bring their damn cows. There is manure all over the lawn and I can't move in my own house. Just lay off me, smartass.


Agnes


December 22, 2006
Hey Shithead:
What are you.....some kind of sadist? Now there's nine pipers playing. And Christ do they play. They've never stopped chasing those maids since they got here yesterday morning.
The cows are getting upset and they're stepping all over those screeching birds. What am I going to do? The neighbors have started a petition to evict me.

You'll get yours !

Agnes


December 23, 2006
You rotten jerk::
Now there's ten ladies dancing. I don't know why I call those sluts ladies.
They've been balling those pipers all night long. Now the cows can't sleep and they've got diarrhea. My living room is a river of shit.
The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn't be condemned. I'm calling the police on you !

Agnes


December 24, 2006
Listen Shithead:
What's with those eleven lords a leaping on those maid and ladies? Some of those broads will never walk again.
Those pipers ran through the maids and have been committing sodomy with the cows.
All twenty-three of the birds are dead. They've been trampled to death in the orgy. I hope you're satisfied, you rotten vicious swine.

You're sworn enemy,

Agnes

December 25, 2006
Dear Sir:
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of twelve fiddlers fiddling which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss Agnes McHolstein.
The destruction, of course, was total.
All correspondence should come to our attention.
If you should attempt to reach Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have been instructed to shoot you on sight. With this letter please find attached a restraining order prohibiting you from any contact with our client. Also, we have forwarded this to the ASPCA and PETA, who are interested in the trampling death of the 23 birds.

Cordially,

Law Offices of Dewey,.Cheetum, and Howell




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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Songs

There are Christmas songs that I like. There are ones that I hate. And there are ones that are annoying.

But there is only one song that I both love and hate, or course not at the same time.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
and presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Now look at those lyrics. This is not a happy song. The person singing is NOT coming home for Christmas, and depending upon your interpretation, may never come home. He is asking that the holiday traditions continue in his absense, giving him some solace in his loneliness.

It is a sad and poignant song; one that reminds that holidays are more than just days off, parties and gifts. It reminds that it is the traditions that holds families together, even when they are not geographically together.

So when this song is sung with a snappy, upbeat rhythm; when the singer is happy; when it implies that the person is actually coming home; I get torqued.

Don't these people listen to the words?

I know the answer, they don't. I also knew someone who played "When a Man Loves a Woman" at their wedding for their first dance.



Friday, December 08, 2006

No surprises here

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal
Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Thursday, December 07, 2006

And, Somehow, A Good Day

Depression is a funny thing. (see post below) My daughter told me not worry, because depression is all in my head (she was being serious). Then she said that maybe something good will happen today.

And, of course, she was correct.

I'm published.

Not how I expected, but published is published. My first submission as a free lance writer was published today in one of the local newspapers. Hopefully, this is the first of many pieces they pick up. It's not my novel nor one of my short stories, and journalism is not the same as fiction, but I'm reporting on kids' sports, and my novel is about kids' sports.

But still, it means that someone, other than my mother, likes my writing. And that is a good thing.

Bad Day

Last year I posted about December 7th.

Today would have been my 10th wedding anniversary, if in fact, my husband had lived. He died from Cancer 6 months after we were married, so I never had an anniversary.

When I read my post from last year, I realized that I was depressed and morose when I wrote that. And a little bit angry too.

This year I went through that on the anniversary of his death. Now that the wedding day has come, I feel sad, but not devastated, as I did last June.

Funny how what I expected to upset me didn't, and what I didn't expect to did.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Of Coffee and Potatoes



Now I'm not saying that I'm not at fault. Perhaps it really is my fault, but if it is, I just don't understand. Not that this would be anything new. I went through most of my school years not getting "it". I always felt that I had missed the memo that detailed fashion, music, behavior and slang that would have kept me from being out of synch, socially, with my peers.

So maybe I missed the shopping memo too.

It started in Starbucks. Now I sincerely enjoy a good latte, and Starbucks comes pretty close, but it is just a bit too smooth and creamy for me. I've tried with skim milk, but then you lose the frothiness. I've found that extra expresso gives it the bitterness that I enjoy in my coffee, so that's what I ordered.

Me: I'd like a medium latte with an extra shot of expresso.
Counter Girl 1: It already has two shots of expresso.
Me: OK, I'd like an extra one.
Counter Girl 1: You want three shots?
Me: Yes.
Counter Girl 1: Three?
Me: Yes.
Counter Girl 1 (to Counter Girl 2, who was making the coffee drinks): Medium Latte with and extra shot of expresso.
Counter Girl 2: Three shots?
Counter Girl 1 (cocking her head at me): She wants three.
Counter Girl 2 just shakes her head.

Now perhaps I broke some coffee ordering protocol. I know some of the counter people get annoyed because I won't order using the words Tall, Grande, and Venti. Perhaps three shots of expresso in a latte is tantamount to ordering red wine with ice. I don't know.

I would have just dismissed that if I hadn't had another shopping incident. I was checking out of the grocery store and the clerk was checking out and bagging.

Clerk: Do you have anymore produce?
Me (Obviously I don't load the groceries on the conveyor belt correctly either): No, that's it.
Clerk: You don't have any potatoes.
Me: Not this week.
Clerk: You're not buying potatoes?
Me (now I'm started with feel the need to justify my purchases): I have pasta and rice.
Clerk (Quite discussed): But no potatoes!

I was about to tell her that I bought a 5 lb bag last week and still had enough left, when I realized that I didn't need to explain my choices to the check-out clerk. I smiled and paid, wondering if, once again, I'd broken some sort of shopping rule.

If anyone has those lost memos, please send me a copy.



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One more Thanksgiving Post

On black friday, darling daughter and her dearest sister went shopping. One of the items they bought was a gingerbread house kit.

This is what they got:






They were quite proud.




another silly quiz (I love these things!)


You are The High Priestess


Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.


The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Nor'easter

Anyone who lives on the east coast is aware of the Nor'easter that blew through. Here in Pennsy, we had some hellacious rain, but that was all.

However, at my sister's house, in Ocean City, NJ, there was some serious flooding. By Thanksgiving, the storm had passed, but the flooding (always the fun part of nor'easters) was still there, as indicated in these pics:
This is outside my sister's house. You'll notice that in the center of the street, there is a higher area.
The water in the foreground of the pic is the ocean; the water on the far side is the bay.
This is not the first time that I've seen this; however, Darling Daughter and her Dearest Sister had never seen flooding like this. I had to tell them that this isn't bad, I can remember taking a row boat down these streets.

And people ask me why I left the shore.




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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

In the interest of fairness, here is the opposing point of view:









Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Heard of Deer?



Lou: Look at that bunch of deer in the yard.
Bud: It's a herd of deer.
Lou: What?
Bud: Herd of deer.
Lou: Of course I heard of deer, we got a bunch in the back yard.











How many deer does it take to make a herd? I have four who have decided that my backyard is a great place to graze. I wanted to post a picture of them, but that is problematic, as I have to take the picture first, and the deer are, apparently, camera shy.

I've lived here a year, and although I've seen bunnies, and squirrels, and chipmonks, and possibly a bear, but I never saw any deer.

Then last week, I saw one. Actually, my dog saw it first. She got into a "pointer pose" which is odd for a beagle. Then she took a step and pointed with the other foot, the entire time glancing at me as if I should do something about the deer.

The deer looked at the dog as if to say, "What do you think you are doing? I'm bigger than you!" Then the deer took off up the ridge. Buttercup looked at me, and said "No, that's too big for you." She seemed to understand.

Then two days ago, we saw four deer. They were eating my compost (I had just made chicken soup and the compost pile was full of vegtible ends). Buttercup was very upset, but not enough to give chase. Perhaps she realizes that, while technically she is a gun dog, she is only supposed to chase smaller prey animals. I tried to get my camera, but they were back into the trees before I could get a pic.

I've been seeding the compost with veggies, hoping the deer come back. All the land around me is posted "No Hunting", so they are safe here. I'm hoping they are here when we have snowfall.

Deer in the snow. Now that would be a picture worth taking.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wow


I haven't blogged in a long time! Unfortunately, blogging is low on my priority list, and recently I had a high priority item occupying my time.

I finished my book and set it off to an agent who wanted a full.

In reality, it didn't happen like that. I met an agent at a writer's con and for reasons that still bewilder me, instead of pitching one of the 4 manuscripts I have completed, I pitched an unfinished one.

Of course she requested the full manuscript, so I had to finish the sucker and get it to her. Now I'm waiting impatiently for her response.

It is tentatively titled: Best Friends 4 NEver. It's a children's chapter book, geared to the 9-11 girls/early reader market. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and trying not to get too excited about this, but that's hard.
So I'm just waiting.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Random Thoughts

I read over my last entry and I realized that it is a rambling mess. I considered editing, but it did reflect accurately how I felt.

My daughter's best friend slept over last night. I usually don't allow sleepovers on school nights, but this was a favor to the mother. They choose to sleep in the family room. Every October, our neighborhood is infested with these little black and red flying bugs. I don't know what they are, but they don't bite and by November (or the first frost) they are gone. Unfortunately, they have decided that my daughter's room is the optimum entry point to our house. I killed as many as I could and we cleaned them up, but Darling Daughter still didn't want to sleep in there. They both slept on the floor because they were too lazy to use the inflatable mattress and I was too annoyed at this point to argue.

My dog thought this was entirely too odd to go without investigation, so I had to keep her out of the room. When I woke the girls this morning, the dog ran over to where they had slept and laid herself down. After about 3 minutes, she realized that the floor wasn't that comfortable and retired to the sofa. She had an extremely confused look, and I'm sure she was wondering why the girls thought the floor was a good idea when there was a comfortable couch in the room.

The dog, Buttercup, has some odd habits of her own. The strangest is when I take her outside, she must, everytime, without exception, walk the perimeter of our property, sniffing each blade of grass. We don't have a fence, and her ideas of where our property ends is a little fuzzy. In fact, I'm pretty sure she is trying to annex the neighbors' yards as part of her patrol.

I have been trying to declutter my house and my life. It's hard. I'm a packrat by nature and I always think I'm going to need something in the future, or possibly sell it. I'm starting with books. JA Konrath is asking, via his blog, for people to send books to a buddy of his in Iraq.

Now this is easy. While I have trouble throwing away my books that I don't want anymore, giving them away seems like a great idea. Who doesn't have books lying around? Send yours off too!

Monday, October 09, 2006

We Grieve

We grieve for the Amish families who lost their daughters in the tragic school shooting. While all school shootings are tragic, this one strikes me as demonic. The Amish. They are the plain folks, or Plain Dutch as people in my area (the Fancy Dutch) call them. Of course, they are all of German descent, Pennsylvania Dutch being a bastardization of Duetch.

Although I work in the 3rd largest city in Pennsylvania, it is not uncommon to hear a co-worker ask, "Is is making down yet?". Even though I'm a transplant, I know the correct response: "Yah, it's making down goot, but not dunnerwetter, say?" (Is it still raining outside? Yes, very hard, but I don't think we'll have thunderstorms, do you?). We also share traditions such as Faschnacht day.

The Amish aren't shy or standoffish. They are humble. You can't maintain humility if you are a tourist attraction. But if you visit and want to talk with the Amish, go to one of their farmer's markets. In addition to food that is unbelievably tasty, the Amish will talk to their customers.

They are a peaceful people, and an easy target. Even after the murders, they show no animosity, in fact show forgiveness, to the killer. It's all about being humble.

For most of us, when something bad happens, we say "Why me?" Those who practice humility, like the Amish, answer that with "Why not me? Why do I think I'm so special that the tragedy that affects the world should skip me." It is this acceptance that allows them to avoid the anger and grieve in peace.

Hours after the killings, Amish neighbors went to visit the family of the man responsible to show forgiveness. That family attended the Amish girls funerals and many Amish attends the murder's service. That isn't that uncommon. Drivers who have killed Amish in auto accidents are invited to the funerals to show there are no grudges.

So it's ironic that Fred Phelps and his gang of thugs threatened to protest at the Amish children's funerals. I'm unsure why. The above link blames PA Governor Ed Rendel for signing legislation that forbid protesting at funerals. Now I'm all in favor of free speech, but protesting a funeral? Unless you believe that the deceased is still alive, protest somewhere else. Let family and friends grieve in peace.

But then I read this interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of Fred Phelps, by Alan Colmes. Here is the most despicable dialogue:




COLMES: Did those girls deserve to be killed?

PHELPS-ROPER: Well, they did get killed, and they did that. Who controls the hearts of men? It was at the hand of an angry God those girls are dead.

COLMES: Did they deserve to die?

PHELPS-ROPER: They did deserve to die.

COLMES: How you can possibly make a statement like that?

PHELPS-ROPER: Because that's exactly what happened, and it happened at the hand of the lord your God.


I'm not even going to comment on the insane logic. Or that Fox Network is giving these people air time. Maybe on another post.

I'm sure all of Phelps lunatic flock were WWJD? buttons and shirts. But what would Jesus have done? Would he go and cause pain to those who have lost their children? Or would he have offered comfort, even to those who have caused him harm?

I think Jesus is on the side of the Amish.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rogue Scholars

If you want a laugh, go to Tod Goldberg's blog. He has a fine example of what to do with hate mail.

Just go there. You will laugh.

Medieval Pennsylvania

This is the 21st century, isn't it? Women do have rights, don't they? A doctor in Lebanon Country, Pa, doesn't think so.




A firestorm of controversy has erupted over a young woman who was denied emergency contraception after she said she was raped.

The emergency room doctor in this case said it is against his religious beliefs to give out what has been called the morning after pill, even after a rape. The morning after pill is a high dose of birth control medicine that can prevent pregnancy.

The doctor was quoted as saying:

Dr. Martin Gish, a Mennonite, was quoted in a local newspaper saying, "The dilemma I have is the whole rape issue. Which side are you more concerned with? Are you more concerned about the mother or the life that was possibly created? That's my dilemma."
Reading between the lines, it would seem that the doctor has a problem with rape. I'm not sure what the "dilemma" is.

And obviously, he is more concerned with the possible creation of life that the welfare of the woman. And why would that be? Why is this such a dilemma? Perhaps it is because a woman's life or welfare is less important than her serving her purpose. To procreate.

Or maybe he thinks we live in Afghanistan, where a woman who is raped is accused of adultery.

And I guess is doesn't matter that the "woman" involved is a child. Or that she had forced intercourse. Or that she was brutalized in a way that most rape victims describe as a "little death". That she will never look at the world or people in the same way. That she will never really trust again. If you want to read a first person account of what rape does to a woman, go to BB's blog, The Den of the Biting Beaver. She explains it more elegantly than I ever could.

The concern here is that this doctor is forcing his beliefs on his patients. And while one might question that a patient can go to another doctor, this guy is an emergency room physician. Most people going into an emergency room don't have a choice. That sort of if the definition of an emergency.

My beliefs about abortion have always been if you don't like abortion, don't have one. Personally, I'm not completely comfortable with abortion, but I am less comfortable with anyone dictating what a person should do with her own body. Especially a rape victim.

There is a bill being introduced in the Pennsylvania house to require hospitals to rectify this. Personally, if you're a physician who doesn't like emergency contraceptives, then you shouldn't be working an emergency room.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunflowers

I'd always felt that sunflowers had been overdone in the past few years. I mean, after Van Gogh, why bother?

But Mother Nature is the true artist, and here are a few of my sunflowers from my garden.



Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jesus hates your thighs

Darling Daughter wanted to go camping with her friends. Camping is something I enjoyed at her age (14), but hate now. I felt guilty depriving her of this experience. So when the opportunity presented itself, I was quite happy.

The downside is that the camp is a church camp. Now we are spiritual people, but not religious. Not for lack of trying, I'm a non-practicing Catholic, Lutheran, Wiccan, and Neo-nonsensical pagan.

The particular church involved in this camp is the Mormon church. Now you may wonder I would allow my daughter to attend a camp that is run by one of the more strict and conservative religious organizations.

Well it wasn't just an opportunity for her to live for a week without a blow dryer and makeup. First reason: The family that runs the camp are very good friends of mine. And they are a nice family. Regardless of what I may think of their religion, they are loving families who take care and nurture one another.

Second reason: I want my kid to be tolerant of others. Tolerance gets a bad rap, but I believe that tolerance is the solution to prejudice. Of course, tolerance is not a blanket to accept any behavior. But even though I think most religious people are full of shit, as long as they don't hurt anyone, or become a pain in the ass about it, or try to make laws so that I have to follow their rules, it's Ok with me if they want to be full of shit. I'll tolerate it.

Now this camp has rules, one of which was a "modesty standard". The girls are not allowed to wear shorts above their knees, only one piece bathing suits, no tank tops or sleeveless shirts and no belly shirts or halters. I thought this would be a deal breaker for my daughter, because, much to my disappointment, she is the fashion goddess. But she surprised me and said it didn't matter, because she really wanted to go to the camp, and didn't care about the clothing.

So off we went to shop for camping supplies and modest clothing. While shopping in Foreman Mills, darling daughter picked up a cute tank and short set. I said, "Put that down, don't you know that Jesus hates your thighs? And your shoulders too." Then she grabbed a halter and said, "Can't buy that, Jesus hates my stomach."

We continued throughout the store, commenting on what Jesus would not approve. I'm not sure what the other shoppers thought of our commentary, but we were cracking each other up.

Blasphemy can be a great topic for mother-daughter bonding.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gone...But just for a little while

I'm back.

I didn't die, or get sick. Nor did I win the lottery or run away on a spur of the moment vacation. Unfortunately, I wasn't consumed in writing my novel, either.

I was depressed.

And as is my way, I shut down. Not like you see on television or in the movies where someone gets so depressed they can't get out of bed. I got up and went to work, took care of my kid, kept appointments. But that was it. I did the bare minimum that I had to do. I was surviving, but not really living. This is what I do when depression hits me. And I do that until it passes (which it always does--thank the gods!).

June 25 was the 9th anniversary of my husband's death.

I don't know why the grief overpowered me this year. But it did. Entirely. It was surprising because I thought I had absorbed the grief. That I had internalized it. That being a widow had become such a part of me that the sadness, while always there, had just become a facet of my personality.

Once again, I was wrong.

July is usually a good month for me. My daughter's birthday and mine are in July. Also, the date that my daughter's adoption was finalized is in July. Those are happy dates. But the depression continued.

The only extraneous thing I did was work my garden, particularly the compost pile. Now it may sound odd, but I enjoy composting as much as gardening. Every time I turn my compost, I thank the earth for what it has given me, and offer the return of the nutrients. Of course, part of me says, "Hey, you're playing with garbage", but it doesn't deter me.

If I get a chance, I'll post some pictures of my garden. It's not huge or particularly noteworthy, except that I'm a city girl, and this is my first venture into horticulture.

Something about the plants growing out of the earth, makes me feel insignificant and wondrous. Either that, or I'm spending too much time in the sun.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Weekend in Philly PT 2

I had one bizarre moment during my weekend at the writer's conference in Philadelphia. If you read the post below, you'll remember that I took a train to Philly each day. I had to get a 7 am train to get to the conference by 9 am. The nice thing is that I can easily sleep on the train.

Saturday morning, I woke to what I thought was a nightmare, then I thought maybe it was a flashback, then I realized it was just the gods playing a joke on me.

I had boarded the train and settled in for a nap. I like trains. They have big comfortable seats. The gentle motion is like a boat on a calm sea. I can't really read on a train (motion sickness) or do any other kind of work, so sleeping is my commuting activity. I always hope I don't snore.

I was sure I was dreaming. I am a vivid dreamer, and many times, my dreams have a soundtrack. But this time, it had to be a nightmare. As I came out of my slumber, I heard:

Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver
And the other gold.

It was being sung in a round. This was followed by the Jeep Song, Cowboy Joe, and One Bottle of Pop (also being sung in a round). Now I was awake, or at least I thought I was. The mostly empty train was full. Full of Girl Scouts!

I thought this must be a flashback of some sort. All those years I spent in the girl scouts, at girl scout camp, singing these simple-minded songs. It was some sort of karmic illusion. If I closed my eyes, would they go away?

No, it wasn't a flashback, I was on an hour long train ride with about 50 girl scouts. And they were singing.

New Template

This is the new template. I didn't move all of my customizations over yet, but of course none of them are documented, so it's a pain in the ass.

And I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this template.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend in Philly

I believe I've fully recovered from my weekend extravaganza at the Philadelphia Writer's Conference. It was a wonderful conference, exceedingly so, because I got a scholarship for it from my writers group.

Unfortunately, I did not have the money for a hotel room, I commuted each day. Which wasn't too unfortunate, because the regional rail line is a great way to travel to the city.

The PWC is different than other conferences I've attended. The major sessions were 1 hour on each of the 3 days of the conference. That truly made a difference. Too many times these sessions are too short to achieve any depth. Issues are glossed over and there is no time for discussion.

On Friday they had the agent/editor appointments. I signed up for the agent who represented children's lit. After I introduced myself, I started my pitch. She immediately interrupted to tell me she did not represent picture books. Not to be daunted (and because I was hyped up on adrenaline and caffeine) I asked if she would mind listening to my pitch and give me suggestions. She agreed. After my pitch, she did not offer suggestions, she asked to see the manuscript. Although she does not represent PBs, she wants to read it to possibly pass on to a co-worker that does PBs (do literary agents work like real estate agents? If an agent facilitates a sale, do they get a cut from the other agent?). I was beside myself! But I was smart, since I only used about 3 of my allotted 5 minutes, I went over my "Writing Business Plan" with her and asked her advice.

One interesting tidbit she passed on is that she reads writer's blogs to see if they are crazy. This was not the first agent I heard say that. And I'm pretty sure crazy is a euphemism for "pain in the ass" or "impossible to work with".

On Sunday, I found out that I had won the "Wall of Words" for poetry competition. For those who are unaware, this is common at conferences. Writers can place a one page piece on the appropriate wall (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). Name of the back so all are anonymous. Everyone gets to vote. So I was pretty stoked. People who were not related to me liked my work! Yeah me!

If you have an opportunity to attend a con, don't miss it. I've been to 2 and they have been unbelievably helpful.

I'll post more later.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogging for LGTB families

Today is "Blogging for LGTB families" day. I didn't know about it until I read Terrance's post on Republic of T. Now you might ask why would a straight woman care about lesbian and gay families.

Because an attack on any type of family is an attack on all families. Including mine.

Why should these families be treated differently? What makes the man/woman/child family somehow superior than any other combination?

I think the problem lies with the conservatives. Now maybe you believe that the man/woman family is best. I'm not going to argue that. But having an opinion doesn't make it so. So in typical conservative style, they seek to criminalize behavior they can't control. Control, I believe, is the keyword there.

My opinion is that when these conservatives (particularly christian ones) see g&l families flourishing, they feel threatened. They feel threatened because they must believe their belief system is right, absolutely and unquestionably, or their entire belief system falls apart.

So if they can't convince people to be straight for Jesus, they will marginalize, penalize and criminalize the g&l family.

I've found that g&l families tend to be excellent families. Maybe because they have to fight for being recognized as a family, they take it more seriously. I don't know. But I do know that 10 years as a foster parent, I've seen no kids taken from gay families and put into foster care. However, I've seen many gay families open their doors to foster children and adopting them.

Something I don't see these conservative Christians doing.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Meme

This is from Ben, at Dictionopolis at Digitopolis

10 Favorites
Favorite Season: Autumn
Favorite Color: Hunter Green
Favorite Time: Pre-Dawn
Favorite Food: Poptarts, strawberry, no frosting
Favorite Drink: Jack and Coke
Favorite Ice Cream: Hard serve, chocolate marshmallow
Favorite Place: Key West, FL
Favorite Sport: Figure Skating
Favorite Actor: Dennis Quaid
Favorite Actress: Jodie Foster

9 Currents
Current Feeling: Pleased
Current Drink: Ice Tea
Current Time: 3:09
Current Show on TV: TV is off
Current Mobile used: The one that my company pays for
Current Windows Open: None, central air here
Current Underwear: Yes
Current Clothes: Yes
Current Thought: Is it time to go home yet?

8 Firsts
First Nickname: Petunia (don't ask)
First Kiss: Can't remember his name...
First Crush: Dave S
First Best Friend: Deneen M
First Vehicle I Drove: Plymouth Duster, 1972
First Job: at a daycamp
First Date: Bobby ? took me to the mall
First Pet: A simese cat named Reena

7 Lasts
Last Drink: Latte
Last Kiss: From my daughter
Last Meal: Sausage McMuffin
Last Web Site Visited: Dell
Last Movie Watched: War of the Worlds
Last Phone Call: A psychologist who had to have his laptop fixed today, absolutely, needs it tonight. Called to tell me he will pick it up tomorrow.
Watched: Sopranos

6 Have You Ever...
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes
Have You Ever Been Drunk: yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: yes
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: yes
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: yes
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: yes.

5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: My boss's best friend calling him names.
Things On Your Bed: Not at home now, but probably a Beagle and a Cat
Things You Ate Today: Sausage McMuffin, and a banana
Things You Do When You Are Bored: walk the dog

4 Places You Have Been Today
McDonalds
Borders
My office
My daughter's school


3 Things On Your Desk Right Now:
Laptops (lots and lots of laptops)
Software
Laptop Harddrives
Screwdrivers and other assorted tools

2 Choices
Salt or Pepper: Do I have to make a choice?
Hot or Cold: Hot

1 Place You Want To Visit
Grand Canyon

Tagged: anyone who reads this

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank you


There is nothing else to say.











Tags:

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's a Small World (after all)

I had a first happen to me today. I met a blogger whose blog I have on my blogroll.

I was at the monthly meeting of my writers group. The speaker was an agent, and her topic was promotion. Not a pressing issue for me, as I can't get any interest in my books, and I'm concentrating of short fiction.

However, an agent is someone who I should listen to, regardless of the topic. And there were quite a few tidbits of info about querying and finding an agent. When she mentioned her agency's name, I recognized it from the blog.

This gave me something to talk with her about after the lecture, which is great, because I suck at small talk. However, with a point of reference, I can talk to anyone. Without that, I tend to sound like a sychophant. I didn't get to speak with her in detail, as many of our members wanted her attention. Just a hello, what is the name of your blog? Agent Obsucra? I read you! I just put you on my blog roll.

I might have remembered to thank her (but I may not have--my bad!).

But it was pretty damn cool to accidently meet someone whose blog I read.

Tags:

Friday, May 26, 2006

Last to know

As usual, something is going on, and I'm elsewhere.

For the unaware (like I was), the Absolute Write was abandoned by their web host because Barbara Bauer, an agent of questionable repute, got pissed when she was listed as one of the 20 worst agents.

I knew that I couldn't get onto AW, but I thought my work filters had caught it. The site is up again, but unfortunately, the forums are not. And there were some great threads there!

Now it seems that this Barbara Bauer's biggest crime is that she hasn't sold any work (or refuses to acknowledge any sales). This would be like a real estate agent not wanting anyone to know that she is the the million dollar sales club. FWIU, this is like the agents resume, and is SOP.

I hope the forums are up soon. But I am spending more time writing since they went down.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sometimes I am ashamed to be American

This is one of the cruelest and meanest parts of our nation's history. I have to warn you that the images are disturbing.

Searching through America's past for the last 25 years, collector James Allen uncovered an extraordinary visual legacy: photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America.

But the idea that someone though taking pictures of lynchings was a good idea is disturbing. Then they made the pictures into postcards, MANY OF WHICH WENT THROUGH OUR POSTAL SYSTEM, is worse.

As discussed as I was by the images, I had to look, I had to read about the victims (if for no other reason than to acknowledge they were victims and owed some respect and not to be forgotten.) Because as horrifying as it is to realized this is part of our countries (and therefore its citizens) history, the very fact that our horrifying acts can be publicized, is the best thing about this country.

I'll never forget those images. I dare anyone to check out the website and not be moved.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Where do you get off behaving that way with women you don't even know?

Biting Beaver blogged about fuckability and what happens to a woman when men stare and objectify them:


To these men I was simply a convenient ass to stare at while they were in line. I could be a Nobel Prize winner, but they wouldn't know and they sure as fuck wouldn't care.

I was reminded that despite how capable I felt; despite being proud of myself for battling the triggers and the anxiety and being able to get my car working again I was still nothing but a feature in an afternoon porn flick in their heads. I wanted to turn around and punch the three of them, I wanted to turn and scream at them to knock it the fuck off. I wanted to turn around and ask them why they felt as though they had a right to use my body to fantasize about while they stood in line. I wanted to ask them who gave them the right to make me uncomfortable, to make me lose my good mood. I wanted to ask them all of these things.

In the end I just stood there. My mood deflated and my place in society brought back home in stark clarity. All of the joy I had just experienced, all of the elation at fixing my car and the feeling of accomplishment ran right out the window. To these men and to so many others like them, I was a mere afternoon diversion.


Interesting enough, another one of my favorite bloggers, F Train 2 Brooklyn, posted this:


The three men at the table were trying to engage the three of us in conversation. We're all married, so we're empowered by the fact that we are taken and do not care what single men think. We turned down their drink offer and they referred to us as bitches. I almost snapped and reacted to them. My two companions were getting ready to turn on them too.

I said, "Don't let them turn us into her. She's the bitch. Just think: what would Princess Diana have done?"

"Exactly," said companion #1. "Carolyn Kennedy would walk away."

"Hilary Rodham Clinton would too," said companion #2. Then we laughed, because she'd probably bitchslap the lot of them.

Instead of snapping, we ignored them and enjoyed the rest of our time. As we were standing to leave, the boyfriend said loudly, "So long, bitches."

Why couldn't he just leave it alone? We turned up our noses, flipped our hair, and gracefully excited.

Here's my problem - it was a decent place in downtown Manhattan, we are three attractive, unassuming, intelligent women just out for a quiet afternoon minding our own business - so why did he feel it was his right to try and ruin it? And ruin his daft girlfriends afternoon? Why are there men like him in the world?
This kind of behavior begs for a Thelma & Louise moment. Because I don't think there is a woman alive who hasn't had to deal with the male priviledge.

For some reason, women are supposed to be flattered that a man would deem the woman worthy of his attention. And if the woman objects, there is something wrong with her. She is a bitch, a ballbreaker, frigid, a cunt, and a dyke.

But, I don't really believe that. I don't think men are flattering us. They are reminding us of where our place is. They are reminding us that we are sub-human, objects, just 3 holes and a pair of tits. A warm, wet place for their penis.

There is a definite correlation between this behavior, and the behavior of whites during civil rights. The more rights that blacks were able to achieve, the more shit they had to put up with, until black people finally said, enough! The men would not be called "boy", their women would not be treated as whores, or worse, animals.

Do women need to face this behavior head on? Confront it when we see it? Make it uncomfortable for men to do this to us?

Because its more than just words. There is a barely veiled threat from some of these men, that they can do what they want, and we can't stop them.

Before you jump on my comments, I know that this not true of all men who behave misogynisticly, and that some men just slip into the misogynistic behavior because they think it's OK. But remember, women can't tell which man is going to be apologetic or embarrassed, and which is going to follow us to our cars.

Remember, many black men were lynched for not staying "in their place".

And Thelma and Louise were well armed and had nothing left to lose.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I hate TV, now more than ever

I'm going to have to stop reading Lee Goldberg's blog, even though it is one of the best writing blogs around.

Now he tells us that Surface and Invasion aren't coming back next season. I never really got into Invasion, but Surface was one of my favs. I think I liked Surface because I grew up at the seashore. As a child, I was certain that there were horrible creatures in the ocean. And those creatures wanted nothing more than to eat us.

Surface tapped those fears, along with my fears of a Tsunami (I know, New Jersey is not known for tsunami's, but I always used to look at that horizon and wonder.) After the season finale (which now looks like the series finale) I was looking forward to how they would resolve this sea monster thing.

It was bad enough that Threshold was cancelled with no resolution, but now Surface? I guess my viewing tastes are out in left field. I used to have a policy to never watch a new TV show, until I knew if it had been renewed for the next season. I think I'll have to reinstate that policy, because I can't trust the networks to continue the shows that I like.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I really hate TV

There are only about 4 or 5 shows on TV that I care about, and maybe 5 more that I can tolerate. Now, according Lee Goldberg's blog, it looks like HBO is going to drop Deadwood.

No official word yet, but:



Deadwood Dead?
Variety reports that HBO has let their contractual options lapse on the cast of DEADWOOD, which begins airing its third season in a few weeks. This decision frees the cast to pursue jobs elsewhere, which strongly suggests that HBO has lost interest in a fourth season of the show before the third season has even aired.


HBO insisted that conversations about future cycles of "Deadwood" are ongoing, and Milch told the Boston Globe in the April 30 issue that he had always planned to exit the series after the fourth season; he has been reported as saying that he'd envisioned each season as a year, and the actual Deadwood camp was destroyed at the end of four.

"If a series is successful, the commercial interest is in keeping it on, even after the creative interest is in ending it," Milch told the Globe. "With 'Deadwood,' my intention is to end at the end of the fourth season. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's where I'm getting off the bus."



I really hope this is just a rumor, or perhaps a publicity stunt.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chutzpah to the Extreme


There is Chutzpah and then there is CHUTZPAH.

This guy, Al- Fatar King, owns a couple of Philadelphia Newsstands. He obviously didn't like competition, or his competitors locations, or just his competitors.

So he hired a crane to move those offending newsstands to other parts of the city. When the folks showed up for work, their place of employment was gone.

I bet every business owner wishes they could just move their competition to somewhere else!

Mr. King is a jerk. And he is also an idiot (he gave his real name to the crane company, who promptly point to Mr. King when the cops showed up). But, Damn!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Creepy, beyond all belief

I would seem that in Oklahoma, a 45 year old man is advertising for a bride. And he is willing to pay $1,000. Tacky, but creepy? Wait, it gets worse.

The "woman" in question is to be a virgin between the ages of 12-24.

--12? You ask? That must be a typo.

No, I answer. It is not a typo. Here is the story.

What kind of 45 year old would want a 12 year old wife? Michael Thelemann of Bray, OK, that's who. Neighbors think he is a pedophile, and I tend to agree. Mr. Thelemann doesn't understand, he said:


I'm just somebody who is getting up there in years, and I'm looking for a born-again, God-fearing virgin between the ages of 12 and 24 who can bear me children," said Thelemann, who was divorced in 1989. "What's the problem? I just think I have some wicked neighbors."

Google this creepaziod and you'll find over 120 news stories, but what concerns me is that no one is objecting to him "buying" a wife.

To him, a wife is nothing more than a commodity. From the ages, he is not looking for a partner, he is looking for a subordinate.

And what if he found this virginal, child bride? Who would get the money? I doubt she would! Wouldn't that be like paying the money to himself (as the head of his family)? I have a feeling he is looking to pay a parent. A parent who would sell their child in marriage.

And it is this attitude that upsets me. This is why we live in a rape culture. Biting Beaver has a great post on that subject, and I'm not going to repeat it. Follow the link and read it, if you care. I must warn, she is prone to hyperbole and doesn't have a shade of grey anywhere on her blog. I don't believe everything in that post is true all of the time, but I know all of it is true some of the time.

But whether you believe the rape culture surrounds us, or is just a small, insanely sick portion of society, the roots of this behavior is the belief that women can be bought and sold, or taken.

Doesn't matter if the man is paying a grand, buying dinner, or just the belief that being a man makes him in control of any woman he desires, it doesn't matter. It is attitudes like Mr. Thelemann's that it so damn dangerous for women.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I love bumper stickers



I'll admit it. I like to read bumper stickers. I like the fact that people put their opinions on their cars and drive around.

I like the funny ones.


I like the ones that make you think.











I like the ones that are just silly.








I like the ones that have good advice.
I have driven out of my way to follow a car, just so I could read the bumper sticker.




And I just found a new one that I love!










Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Oh yeah, she'll be annoyed

But what is a mother's job, if not to embarrass her child?

This year's skating pics:














Yeah, she will be seriously pissed at this.

Easter is the time for eggs, and eggs is the time for Easter

Easter, in our house at least, was a pleasant holiday. We went to my sister's house (which is also where my mother lives) in Ocean City, NJ. We got there Friday morning, and could not have planned for better weather. We walked the boardwalk and the beach, the kids went in the ocean (see my blog post about the kids and swimming out of season).

No hunting eggs, no dying eggs, the kids are too grown for that.

As sad as that seems, it was a relief for the adults. Even though I miss the holiday traditions with my daughter, we are forging new ones (swimming on Easter) and we keep some of the old ones (blowing up peeps in the microwave).

In the evening, we sat on the front porch and watched the sun set into the bay.

This was one of the best holidays I've had since becoming an adult.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sick Days

This is what happens to my desk when I'm out sick:
















In case you can't see, that is 26 laptops for me to fix!

Like having the flu/bronchitis wasn't bad enough, I have to come back to 26 broken laptops.

Also, someone took the charger for my cell phone and the USB for my palm pilot. I guess I'm lucky my flat screen didn't walk.

Luckily, I could tell who was using my PC and what they downloaded (new wallpaper, a couple of joke programs that run on boot-up and a bunch of music that I don't like). Just wait for their vacations. Of course, that doesn't work for our assistants, because they don't have desks or cubicles.

I would complain to my boss, but he won't do anything. In fact, I think this is part of his attendance plan. Allow the monkeys to raid our cubes, then we think twice before taking off.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Once again, Conservatives Show Their Priorities

From This is Not Over:


From reader Andrea:

An outrageous bill has been introduced in the Ohio State House of Representatives. If passed, House Bill 515, also known as the "The Adoptive and Foster Children's Protection Act," will prevent homosexual, bisexual and transgendered individuals from becoming adoptive or foster parents. But wait! There's more! The law reads such that anyone residing with a homosexual, bisexual or transgendered person also faces the same ban.
This act is not only out-and-out prejudice, but will reduce the pool of potential foster and adoptive parents. And this is supposed to "protect" children?
Much worse, the timing of this bill is quite suspect. A divisive bill like this introduced so close to mid-term elections seems like a play to mobilize the conservative voting base.
Shrinking the pool of prospective foster/adoptive parents and slashing family rights all for the sake of mainpulating voters? Congratulations, Ohio Republicans, you've sunk to a new low.
You can read the actual bill here, and Ohioans can contact their reps to complain here.


They really don't care about children. They care about hate. They hate gays, and they want them back in the closet, on the fringes.

I'm not familiar with Ohio's foster care system. I can't find a statewide site, but here are two county sites: Green County and A Child's Waiting.

Look at those faces. How dare they deny these kids a loving home?

I guess it's more important to do bad things to gay people than to help children.

Monday, March 27, 2006

OK, who am I?




As Dumbledore, you are talented, intelligent and powerful! You may prefer to be in a leadership position, and always uphold what is right. You set trends with your crazy beard.




discover what candy you are @ quiz me



Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!




Ok, it's really boring at work today.

This does not surprise me

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

Logic was never my strong suit.

But test taking was. While some people suffer from test anxiety, I perform better on tests than I should (based on the amount of studying and what I knew going into the test).

So I don't trust tests, except when I score really well. Then the test MUST be correct.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Writing Update

I haven't blogged about writing lately. I guess it's because I haven't received any rejections lately.

Which is odd, because I have 11 items on the street. Maybe that's a good sign, but I know that isn't necessarily true. I had one book take 10 months to get rejected. 10 months! It is a picture book, the manuscript is 3 pages. Now how long does it take to look at 3 pages and decide if you like it or not? On good days, I like to believe it was considered and reconsidered. On bad days, I'm sure it fell behind someone's desk, and when it finally found, it was promptly rejected.

I'm following my plan. I'm concentrating on my short stories for magazine publication. My reasons are as follows, I haven't been published yet, because:
  • My writing sucks
  • I don't have enough exposure (read: publishing credits) to attract anyone's attention.
  • A combination of the two

But that doesn't matter. Because if my writing sucks, then I need to write more and improve my craft. The best way for me is through short work. And if I need credits to get attention, magazine publication is probably the easiest way to go.

So the solution seems to be the same for both. I have to accept that some of what I'm writing is probably crap. It's easier for me to accept this of my short pieces, than a larger piece (not really sure why...Just seems easier). So that's my plan.

Also, I'd like to put a plug in for my writers group, Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. They run monthly programs and get togethers. It's great to network with other writers. If you live anywhere in this area, you should try it out.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Woman who truly Lives up to her Name






Cecilia Fire Thunder.

She is the President of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota. And she knows how to speak fire and thunder. Undaunted by the new law to ban abortion in South Dakota, Ms. Fire Thunder has decided to take things into her own hands.

I love this woman!

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to me last week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."

You can show your supportfor Ms. Fire Thunder :
You know she is going to get threats after this, some support letters of support would certainly help. But I wouldn't send money, like some people have suggested on their blogs. At least not until this is more than an idea.

Oglala Sioux Tribe
ATTN: President Fire Thunder
P. O. 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

OR: and this may be preferred, due to mail volume:
ATTN: PRESIDENT FIRE THUNDER
PO BOX 990
Martin, SD 57751

And please blog about this courageous woman who is taking on her state government.

Or just blog about it because you KNOW it pisses off the Right.

Thanks to Biting Beaver for this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cinderella

I had an interesting conversation with Darling Daughter the other day. We are reading the book, Just Ella, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This is a great young adult book (ages 12 and up). It is a variation on the Cinderella tale, starting where the original story left off. The author has removed the magic elements (they are rumors and gossip) and given Ella a feminist viewpoint.

My daughter and I read together almost every day. She has a learning disability that manifests itself in her reading. She IS intelligent, and that isn't just Mom talking. She faked her way through 6 years of school, using memory and deduction rather than reading and studying. It wasn't until 7th grade that I realized that she had a problem reading.

So we read together.

Now Just Ella is a clever book. When I first read it, I was critical of the language and attitudes of the main character, Ella. She seemed too modern for the story, not authentic. Of course I realized this was based on a story with a fairy godmother, mice who turn into horses, and love at first sight.

We were discussing the story, and my daughter surprised me by defending the original Cinderella. She was upset that the book portrayed Prince Charming as a dullard, and he and Cinderella weren't really in love. When I pointed out that the Prince only choose Cinderella because of her beauty, my daughter became defensive. She insisted they were truly in love, even though she admitted that the Prince didn't even bother to ask Cinderella her name. (Of course, I'm referring to the fairy tale/Disney versions not the multi-cultural/politically correct revision of the Rodgers and Hammerstein version). While she agreed with me, she still insisted they were in love.

This amazed me. The kid obviously saw the faults with Cinderella, but instead of accepting them, she decided to claim they didn't exist.

Finally, she relented with the statement: "But I LIKED Cinderella when I was little." That was the telling statement. She wanted Cinderella to be a "good" story because she liked it. I don't even remember her liking that story so much, so it could be a nostalgia thing.

I explained that it was just a story, and that if we didn't believe that pumpkins could turn into coaches, why would we believe the falling in love with beauty myth? There was nothing wrong with enjoying a silly story, as long as you realized it was just a story. That no fairy godmother was going to save you and that a woman is more than just her looks.

Is this when people first learn to blindly believe?

Is this when people start ignoring the facts that contradict what they want to be the truth?

Is this when it starts? When their childhood treasures are challenged?

This is definitely something that requires my attention.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Places I've Been



create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I was quite surprised at how many states I have visited. I got this from Oral Report.

Sopranos

The Sopranos are back. I really missed them, but I was nervous about the new season. Too many times, when television shows are continued after they should have shut down production. Sometimes for years after the show stopped being interesting. But they continue to produce episodes and people continue to watch. I think it's because the show becomes like an old friend and is comfortable. Viewers are no longer critical, just happy to see their friends.

I hate that. It is an insult to what the show once was.

Fortunately, the Sopranos did not disapoint. Below are spoilers, so if anyone TiVo'd it and did not watch it yet, don't read the rest of my comments.


I was surprised. The show started out slowly, doing the "catch-up" thing. I hate that. Doesn't everyone have HBO on demand? I guess not. But I was able to watch the entire last season the week before the new season started, so I'd remember everything. It started out slowly, and I know some people have complained, but it was just a set up, to lull you before the big finish.

I never expected for Junior to shoot Tony. I should have been expected, because senile dementia (which is most likely what Junior has at his age, not Alzheimers) patients revert to their youth. Obviously, Junior was reliving his past.

Some of my more imaginative friends have suggested that Tony will be dead or in a coma and the rest of the show will be his visions or dreams. I don't know about that, afterall, they were the same folks who insisted that Adreana could still be alive after last season because we didn't see a body. Yeah, like Silvio would disobey orders.

I loved the scene with Carmela and Big Pussy's widow (I can't remember her name, and I'm too lazy to look it up). I always saw Carmela as a tragically sympathetic character. However, her greed has just become too much. Yeah, she was sympathetic while attached to the Mafia teat. Last season we saw her cut off, and damn, did she lose points with me! Of course, that answered the question, "Why did she put up with Tony for so long?" Obviously, it was the money. I think I like her better as a money hungry whore than the long suffering martyr.

The look on her face when she saw the Vett that other woman was driving. Carmela must have realized that being a mob whore was not the only way to have material goods. Just loved that! I guess I never liked Carmela that much.

I wish they had gone into the gay Vito thing. Or what the hell happened to AJ's hair. But maybe next time!

I have more comments, but no more time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Every Sperm is Sacred


I found this at Feministing.

Every sperm is sacred!

What a Week!

Once again, I've been a lazy blogger.

Like I said, I do most of my blogging at work. I have 4 network drops at my desk, but I've had to use all 4 for work related activities. I have been so bored! Watching 4 laptops load software for 8 hours is pretty much a definition of hell.

But I've had some good news, too. Last week, I attended a local writers group. I was happy that it is a large group (about 30 people there) and it was run in a professional manner (I have a thing for Roberts Rules). The members seem to be an eclectic mix of writers. Fiction, non fiction, poetry, journalism, professional newsletters and travel guides were just some of the areas these people were writing. A woman read from her recently published chick lit book, and there was a speaker, whose topic was point of view.

It was good and interesting, but there was something else. A vibe. I left there so jazzed up, I completed and submitted 3 short pieces I'd been playing with and not finishing for about 4 months.

The other interesting thing was a writers workshop that was at Barnes and Nobel. Once again, it was good, but nothing spectacular. However, the woman running the workshop was a published author promoting her book on writing. While I was talking to her, she asked if I had any paper with me. I gave her my notebook and she wrote the name of her agent, and suggested that I contact the agent. Now I just have to write a killer introductory/query letter.

All in all, it's been a good week for me, even if I haven't had time to blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

South Dakota Abortion Ban

Yeah, I'm that pissed off.

However, over at the Den of the Biting Beaver, there was a great suggestion:

I've got a pile of wire hangers and am hunting for a box as we speak. Everyone should be doing this. Preferably with a letter that says something like "We realize that after you sign the anti-abortion bill, your state health agencies will need vast stockpiles of these to handle the demand. Here is our meager donation."

The address for the governor's office is:
Office of the Governor
500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

If you think this is as awesome an idea as we do, post it on your blogs and messageboards and anywhere else you go. The more, the merrier!

Yeah, I've got a bunch that I can send. How about you?

Almost forgot, Thanks to Republic of T, where I stole that graphic.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm back!

I've been such a lazy blogger. Truly a disappointment. My only excuse is that I do most of my blogging at work.

And I've had to work at work. Now before any one decides they need to warn me about blogging about work, let me assure you, my boss is well aware of my work time blogging.

Most of my work revolves around installing and testing software. Which means I get to spend much of my day watching software install and computers reboot. While the computers are doing this, I have time to blog, read website, write, etc on my computer.

But these last few weeks, I've had to go out to our schools and work on site. Now I don't mind that. I figure that whatever time I spend in my car (and depending upon traffic, this can be up to 3 hours a day) is my time, like an extended break. But I can't blog while I'm out of the office.

Not to worry. My major responsibility is laptops and out wireless labs are not cooperating with our newest Windows image. It takes almost an hour to image a laptop (this is all automatic--you start it and come back when it's done) so I image, test, change, repeat. This process can go on for days, until I track down all the bugs.

So as soon as I'm done with my current project, I'll be blogging with some regularity.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Blogs

The Highlander, who blogs at Miserable Annals of the Earth has asked me to announce that he is making his blog members only. You can email him at docnebula @gmail.com (space inserted to prevent spammers) to become a member.

The Highlander has an interesting blog. Go there, you'll enjoy it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lie to me!

This is a great post from All Kinds of Writing. It is quoting the article from Times Online The Facts. Don't Give me the Facts.


If you followed the James Frey big brouhahaha (ha), you will be interested in this:

From The facts. Don't give me the facts:


AFTER READING JOHN BANVILLE'S Man Booker prize-winning The Sea, a slim volume trumpeted as fiction, I was startled to discover, upon perusing my hefty atlas, that this supposedly fantastical place named Ireland was an actual island. While reading, I thought it sounded familiar, yet I let it slide, not wanting niggling particulars to ruin the experience.


But as a page-by-page analysis of The Sea turned up a plethora of verifiable facts, I believe a comprehensive investigation is in order. If the sanctioned percentage of fact (to be determined by James Frey) exceeds the appropriate percentage of fiction, I suggest that it would be prudent for the Booker committee to strip Banville of his award.


This feeling of being cheated and of violation to my very soul led me to contact a lawyer who is at present engaged in writing a class action against authors who have mis-stated fact for fiction.



Well, I believee that says it all...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I was in Hell

Yesterday. I was in Music Hell.

I was working in an office that listens to some softrock, nonsense, easily forgotten radio station. I was replacing hard drives and reimaging laptops, actually enjoying myself, when the radio station played the Carpenter's "Close to Me." I tried to block it out (I'm usually good at blocking out bad music, I have a teenager) but that particular song has a way of entering the brain as if it had a purpose.

One of the women in the office commented that the radio was playing all music from the 70's that hour, and wasn't this just a wonderful song? They played it at her prom. The song ended and I thought 70's does not need to be all bad. When I think of 70's, I think Springsteen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Doors, The Who, Rolling Stones. Even music that wasn't great, such as Queen or possibly Meatloaf, was at least fun. And there was some great R&B music like Sly, James Brown, Aretha, Gladys Knight. I was hopeful.

The next song was "Chevy Van", by some artist that I've obviously chosen to block from my memory.

The point to remember is that this is not my office and I have no control over the music. I just have to put my head down and work. And these are songs that stay with you, stay in your head, and bring the agony to you throughout the day.

I was almost done with the machines, and I just knew this station couldn't play anything worse.

Of course, I was wrong. I heard laughing from within the gates of hell.

The next song was "Clap for the Wolfman".

I was definitely in hell.

Now it isn't all bad. When I left that office of terrible music and got into my car, I heard "Funeral March for a Marionette". I knew I had escaped from my personal hell.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shoes! Glorious Shoes!

This is an open question to anyone who happens to read this:

Are you a woman, or do you know a woman, who becomes absolutely orgasmatic over shoes and shoe shopping?

The media tells us:
  • Women love shoes
  • Women love to shop for shoes
  • Women want to have a closet full of shoes
  • Women buy more shoes than they could possibly use
  • Women like spiked heels and open toe shoes

I see this in commercials, TV shows, books, magazines, and movies. My question is, who are these women? Because I've never met one of them.

In 40 some years on this earth, you'd think I would have met one woman who had this shoe addiction. I've met 2 women who came close, but I don't think either one qualifies.

The first one has one foot 1/4 size smaller than the other. She has trouble buying shoes that fit and are comfortable. She has many shoes she doesn't wear because they didn't work out. She buys a lot of shoes because she has to, not because she wants to.

The other woman is a compulsive shopper. When she is off her meds, she has been known to buy 20 pairs of shoes at one time. Of course, she is just as likely to buy 200 boxes of cake mix. It doesn't matter what she is buying, as long as she is buying.

So who are these "shoe-women"?

If it were just commercials that were promoting women as shoe-whores, it wouldn't bother me. If you were trying to sell women's shoes, it might be a good marketing ploy to show shoe shopping as a fun and exciting adventure. But it's not just commercials.

And it's not just that women are portrayed as shoe-whores. It is the shoes they are buying. I don't understand why anyone would want a pair of these:


Just looking at these makes my feet hurt!

I can hear the comments: But they are so sexy!

Really? Why are these considered sexy?

Could it be that it makes women seem helpless?

You can't run in them. You can't stand for any length of time. You can't take a long walk in them. They offer no protection from the elements. And you'd better have a recent pedicure! Because we don't want any of those ugly calluses showing!

Is this any different than Chinese foot binding? Except for the temporary nature, I don't see the difference.

Is it that some men are so frightened by a powerful woman, that she needs to don this restrictive footwear to seem attractive? The patriarchy is a scary thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The 11th Hour

My cousin's ex-wife died of breast cancer on Saturday. She was 46. She was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, and seemed to have been in remission. However, it came back, with a vengeance. The end was quick.

Even though they were divorced, or perhaps because of it, he is bitter and devastated.

Things were said that shouldn't have been, and things that should have been said were left unsaid.

Their daughter is 14, a terrible age for a girl to lose her mother (not that there is a good time, however the teen years are worse).

If you are inclined to pray, please include this family in your prayers. They are hurting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dancing with Republicans




Don't be afraid. The scary white men can't hurt you. Just don't make eye contact.

Thanks to Dependable Renegade. I'm going to have nightmares about this!

Dancing with Republicans:

Who does Bush think he is? Sinatra?

I think these two have been hitting the drink cart on Air Force One.