Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Snooze clues

I tried to load a photo of (the same type as) my old car, but it won't work and my time is running out. I got up kind of late and still got only five hours of sleep at the most. Well, that's probably why I kept pushing "snooze".

It's gotten to be a habit in the past couple of months--well, this year, actually. I had only used the snooze button about twice ever before and now I've used it three times in a morning several times.

I haven't applied for a job in a long while, but found this one recently. I can think of the perfect person for it, too!

Sith Lord Wanted
Position Available Immediately: Apprentice Sith Lord, Dark Side Consulting Group.

An unexpected position has opened up in the Dark Side Consulting Group for an Apprentice Sith Lord. The ideal candidate for this position would like galactic travel and possess a complete understanding of, and competence with the Force, or demonstrate a willingness to learn.

Duties include: Performing competitive intelligence, hands-on intervention in support of the Sith Master's planning initiatives, ability to travel the galaxy widely, and operating a variety of laser-powered hand weapons and high-powered space/air vehicles. Some slaying of enemies of the Dark Side is also required, which may be performed using the Force or hand weapons.

Qualified applicants would possess good communications skills (especially when speaking in menacing whispers), and would be action-oriented individuals and risk takers. A background in study of the Force (light side or dark) is desirable, as would typically be acquired by those with advanced degrees or significant course work in Jedi Arts from the University of Coruscant.

Applicants should also be familiar with holographic projection equipment, possess a valid galactic pilot's license (for all classes of ships), and must show a willingness to give in to their hate. A proven track record of using fear and/or Jedi mind tricks to control others is also desirable, as is the ability to speak several galactic languages. Ideal candidates for this position would also have no children or other living relatives who are strong in the ways of the Force. (A new hire would be given several weeks to meet this requirement.)

Compensation for this position is commensurate with experience, and is extremely competitive for this field. Benefits include a generous severance package, a company starship, and a dark-colored clothing allowance. The Apprentice Sith Lord reports to and works closely with the Sith Master, and experience in such small, team-based organizations is vital to the success of the master's plans. Discretion is also highly valued, as is the ability to see the future before it happens. Applications will be accepted until the end of July. Transmit them to

ADDED LATER: Carol was right, My name is URL, try here:


Dark Side CG (tm) is a small and highly-focused organization, founded a long time ago in a galaxy far away. Our core values reflect the short-term advantages of harnessing hatred for institutional power and the long-term desirability of controlling the galaxy. We provide direction to our partner organizations through knowledge management, incident control and our rapid on-site intervention expertise. Our partnered organizations include the Imperial Senate, the Hutt Gambling Collective of Tattooine, and many large software companies. Dark Side CG (tm) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft.


Even if you aren't interested in the above position, try the url above. It really works (leads to a web page)!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Here's my car

This is the car I want! Had to try about six different photos (well, they were all the same photo, but from different sites) to get it to upload.


LIVONIA, Mich. (February 19, 2007) – If Batman owned a Mustang, the new 2007 ROUSH Stage 3 BlackJack would most certainly be the ride of choice for the Caped Crusader. This menacing 430 horsepower tone-on-tone limited edition pony car comes straight from the mind of Jack Roush himself and is set to stalk the streets of Gotham City, and the rest of the country.

Jack Roush had the vision, and the ROUSH Stage 3 BlackJack Mustang is the result. He personally developed the content of this black-on-black car, and a prototype build was his vehicle of choice while at many of the NASCAR Nextel Cup events during the 2006 season. That particular Mustang recently ended up on the Barrett-Jackson auction block as an extremely collectible one-of-a-kind car. Now, ROUSH Performance is set to offer a limited edition run of 100 ROUSH Stage 3 BlackJack Mustangs, all of which have been pre-sold through their ROUSH-authorized Ford dealer base.

"I am involved with all the vehicles that ROUSH Performance builds, but the Stage 3 BlackJack is really the first one which was entirely my design and I am quite proud of how well it turned out," said Jack Roush. "When I drove the prototype around the NASCAR tracks last season it got a lot of attention, mainly due to the intimidating theme of the car. Of course, the distinctive rumble of a ROUSHcharged™ V-8 engine turns a lot of heads, too."

Jack Roush's heritage as the winningest name in racing reverberates throughout the vehicle, starting with the powertrain which is what ROUSH Performance is so well known for. The polished ROUSHcharger™ system with a smaller pulley boosts the horsepower to 430 (with 400 lb.-ft. torque) which is the most in the history of the company. This system includes a Roots-style M90 supercharger, 38 lb.-hr. fuel injectors, ROUSH-designed intake manifold, intercooler assembly with radiator and a custom ROUSH ECM calibration to maximize optimal fuel and spark.

Aesthetics were also a big part of Roush's vision for the Stage 3 BlackJack, starting with the matte black 21-inch stripe across the center of the black paint and the addition of the seven-piece ROUSH aerobody kit. Polished billet aluminum accessories, such as radiator, oil and strut tower caps, can be found throughout the engine compartment which contributes to the exciting package for street or track driving. Enthusiast drivers will immediately notice the handling of the vehicle has been improved by the addition of the Stage 3 suspension package which swaps out the stock front struts, rear shocks, front and rear springs, front and rear sway bar and jounce bumpers for ROUSH-engineered high performance versions.

Roush was also adamant about including the new ROUSH wheel hop reduction kit to help the rear wheel performance in low traction conditions. This is the only wheel hop kit on the market with a minimal NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) hit and no reduction in bushing life. Other manufacturers trade off anti-hop for a lot of noise, harshness and poor durability of the joints. The stopping rate is greatly improved with the addition of the ROUSH brake kit, a 14-inch, two-piece slotted rotor with four-piston calipers on the front and slotted rear rotors.

Interior upgrades include charcoal leather seating with an embroidered Stage 3 BlackJack logo, white electroluminescent gauges, billet aluminum pedal kit and short throw shifter with black shifter ball. The car comes standard with the ROUSH carbon fiber design dash trim kit and embroidered floor mats. Even the door sills have been upgraded in this model.

A ROUSH Stage 3 BlackJack serialized badge is riveted to the engine compartment, along with a Stage 3 signature badge which is personally engraved with the signature of the ROUSH Performance technician which hand-assembled the vehicle in the company's Livonia, Mich., facility. To further validate the 100 cars, each will come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Jack Roush.

Once you get behind the wheel you will immediately see why we claim that "Between a race car and a road car... Is a ROUSH car."

But sadly, they've all been pre-ordered and sold. Well, I couldn't have afforded one anyway, at $56,000. But what a gorgeous car if you love Mustangs! My first car was a 1971 Mustang Mach I and I've loved them ever since. We drove that car down to Central America for our honeymoon, sold and left it there. We flew back to Miami and I bought a a Ford Stallion. I've always wanted another car like the Mach I, it truly was my first love (in cars). What's your favorite car? First car?

Monday, February 26, 2007


I'm feeling dizzy today. Hope I'm not getting what's going around where my son works. The driving will be iffy, especially since we're cleaning out from under a mini-blizzard. The interstate bridge will be slippery and it's still windy out too.

Yesterday afternoon we dug the cars out in time so son could get to work. After he left, a neighbor helped me by snow blowing out the rest. I had already moved the jeep out and was shoveling a spot for the car and jeep to go back in. Despite the help, the shoveling was brutal. It's hard to believe I used to enjoy shoveling! Now it makes my back hurt, head dizzy (but that might have been the first signs of whatever this is) and my stomach want to throw up. If I shovel too much, I do throw up and feel hurting and sick for the rest of the day. Such a wimp, getting older can be a literal pain in the neck, back and elsewhere. The snow was drifted, deep and heavy to lift (in a shovel).

I just read that Happy and Blue2 is leaving the blogging world, at least for awhile. That's very sad as I love to go there and read the latest story and the comments about it, too. But it's understandable that a person might need more time for his/her real life and to interact in the real world.

Blogging IS part of my world. I get up every morning and look forward to reading and commenting on other blogs and to posting on my own. But there's always sort of a distance, ya know. I don't really get involved or friendly with any other bloggers. I'd like to, but just don't, I don't know why. There are so many bloggers that I'd like to get to know better! It does seem like certain bloggers get to know each other by other means, E-mail, telephone, letters, and that all sounds very fun, if time-demanding.

But I'm a selfish blogger so far and blog mostly just for me. I think the more altruistic bloggers might get worn out from all the blogging relationships and that's why they sometimes need a break. Just a thought. What does blogging mean to you? Have you formed real relationships and friendships from it?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snowed in

We're snowed in today. The Sunday paper hasn't even been able to make it. But I'm calling about it as soon as I get offline. We haven't had a lot of snow this year and it looks like we've forgotten how to deal with it. The roads aren't plowed yet and there are no snowplows out yet. I saw a jeep having a lot of trouble driving DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD while I was out sweeping the deck in my bare feet. So at least 4W-drive vehicles can make it, sort of. I'm planning to walk the two blocks to the gas station to buy the paper, as the coffee is ready and I want to read the paper! It may have not been delivered to the gas station yet, either, but I'm going to check. I'll have to wear actual boots out there instead of the tenner-shoes I normally wear for walking outside. And a coat, scarf and mittens.

Yesterday was fun with my Mom, we went out for lunch and then went shopping at the thrift store. She found loads and loads of books, I found two small stacks of books (like I need more!), a couple of blouses, including a pretty one for my Mom. I also found a like-new t-shirt for son. Mom didn't want to go to the "Music and Lyrics" movie that I've been trying to get to for the past week. Good thing it's still in the theaters. So I stayed and watched part of a TV movie with her and then went to the movie theater alone. It was worth it, what a super movie! I want to own it now, so sweet and funny, just the type of movie that I like.

Son and friends went to see "The Bridge to Terabithia" and he said it was not like they thought, just about an imaginary world but very much a tear-jerker. In fact he told me the story and I was in tears without having seen the movie. Not a good one for me to see in public. I cry over regular stuff let alone a movie like that. And there was an article in the newspaper last week that the movie was taken from real life (but fictionalized).

After the movie I went to the dollar store to get dish soap for work. Yes, we can order it from the supplies catalog, but it's outrageously expensive, and I spent a dollar. Well, actually I spent more than that, picking up things for the house. I was going to go grocery shopping but decided to call it a day and go back home. Now, I wish I'd done that one last step! But probably I can find something to cook, with all the canned food we now have in the cupboard. Maybe the "Lorena Bobbit" casserole with chopped up hotdogs and tomato sauce. It's really quite good even though it doesn't sound like it would be.

OK, now I'm going to get some coffee. I hope it's not like yesterday when the pot made horrible weak coffee again. I don't know what the trouble is, first thought maybe the piping was getting clogged as I do put a LOT of ground coffee in there to make a pot! But I've been very careful and there seems to be no particular reason why it makes a good pot of coffee or a bad pot. So far it's still a mystery. Hope a good mystery today! Have a good one.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Run long

Oh, it's Friday, Friday, Friday at last! Hard to believe this has been a short week, sure didn't feel like it. I'm starting to get a lot of calls from people wanting to sign up for our upcoming convention so yesterday was quite busy.

Yesterday was busy, but it was also long. The meetings took two hours longer than scheduled so I had to stay later. It was a good day for catching up a couple of things though, between phone calls. Today is the last day of the meetings. I'm hoping they won't run long like yesterday.

Have a good day and a great weekend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A little set-back

The wind is howling outside the house. Well, maybe not really howling, but making that noise like really strong wind does. My car is tucked in on the driveway, so hope it will start OK without having been plugged in. I woke up an hour before my alarms went off (and they go off pretty darn early!) so got an early start to today.

Today is going to be a super busy day at work. The meeting attendees were coming in already late yesterday and some stopped by the office. I LIKE our clients, even though they are so quirky, maybe because they're so quirky. Well, hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not room for one more

Last night I dreamt I was pregnant, such a logical progression from seeing the baby at lunch on Monday! I was very large and could feel the little elbows jutting into me. It was really uncomfortable and I was walking and biking trying to induce labor. But as I was walking I was worried about going to the hospital and all. We were hoping for a baby girl. The father was in a large meeting hall type place that seemed to be where I worked. He and another guy were trying to put together a baby stroller from out of a box. I was walking and my doctor was driving by and stopped and took out his stethoscope. "It's a false pregnancy" he said, "Listen!" And there was no heartbeat. He told me to get into the car and drove me back to work where he announced that I wasn't really pregnant. The father and the other guy were wondering how they would ever get the stroller apart and back into the box to return to the store. I was very disappointed, crushed really, then I woke up. Weird dream.

My real child, who isn't a child anymore, took off late last night to stay with his girlfriend again in a distant city. She may end up coming up here to live but I told him that could be only very temporarily. One extra is enough, and although it may sound uncharitable, I'd rather not have two young ones running around, eating up all the food, taking showers several times a day and forgetting to do the dishes, laundry or cleaning. Yikes!

I'm at the age where I should be socking away money for retirement and have very little so far. It all gets spent. In the past six months I had to spring for son's car insurance twice, a unplanned (and fairly large) expense. Plus he was supposed to be paying me rent, but wasn't able to do that when going to school. What I'm trying to say is--he's expensive to keep, and old enough to pay his own way. But those sort of things change when family is involved and he is (usually) good company. I just don't want another twenty-something to support! I'm hoping they will find an apartment together either up here or down where she's at. Have a good day!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The start of it all

Well, my nice long weekend has come to an end and it's time to get ready for work. This week will only be four days, but jam-packed with action. We're hosting a meeting with people from all over the U.S. for two days this week. And there's lots of other stuff going on at the same time. It's going to be busy and today is the start of it all.

My plan was to go to the early showing of "Music and Lyrics" but that didn't turn out. My son wanted to go, then we invited Pseudo son and neither of them particularly wanted to go to a "chick flick" so we picked another movie, "Epic Movie". It was hilariously funny, a spoof on many different movies. There was one part where I got the giggles and had to make myself stop. I think it's a movie where you either love the stupid silliness or utterly hate it.

It's a ways to go out into the country, to get Pseudo son and come back into town (the town where I work, not where I live) to the movie theater and son drove. I really tried to relax but was nervous and tense the entire time, not wanting to die going to a movie on my day off! We sped, tailgaited, and my non-favorite, came roaring up to cars stopped at a light or stop sign, without braking until the very last instant. Yikes! And then the windows were so foggy that one could barely see out of them. It was like a ride at the carnival, without the assurance that nothing would go wrong. Even though the jeep gets poor gas mileage, I think I'm driving next time. I'm sure I have more gray hair this morning.

After the movie we went to the bar/laundromat/restaurant and each had a burger and fries. The food there is very good. And then it was speeding back to Pseudo son's house, then back up the freeway to home. So I got to bed somewhat later than I should have, with a busy work day/week coming up. I'm just waiting for that coffee to be done and now have to go and get the ferrets for the daily shower. Have a great day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Off today!

Yay yay, off today! Presidents are indeed good for something. I stayed up late and slept in. Just got up about a half hour ago, in fact. Had some good dreams too, but not as good as yesterday. I'm meeting a friend for lunch at 10:00 so have to get busy with showering with the ferrets and taking care of the other animals. It usually takes me two hours to leave the house in the morning.

Yesterday I went to see if those fluffy heart pillows were on sale--and they were all gone, sniff. I did find a couple of heart mugs when I went to the dollar store with my Mom on Saturday.

I was thinking of seeing a movie this afternoon. Saw "Night at the Museum" yesterday, a cute and harmless movie. I was thinking of maybe seeing that one with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore (I like her) "Music and Lyrics". Has anyone seen it yet? Happy Day to you!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I met the man of my dreams

Last night I met the man of my dreams. Went I got home from taking my Mom out, SLA had called and left me a message that she couldn't go out as we had planned. So I was online researching Sugar Gliders when there was a knock at my door. It was SLA, who had decided that she wanted to go out to eat, at least. She wasn't able to call me, of course, because I have dial up and the line was busy. So we went to a bar and had a drink and a fish special. Then I went home and went to bed early to catch up on 4 or 5 hours per night of sleep all this past week.

I had several of the nicest, coolest dreams and in the last one I met a guy who had come out with the team from DC to meet with us at work. He was dark-haired, very attractive and his name was Dieter (I'm probably spelling it wrong). We were flirting during the day and by the time we were going out after work, I could tell he was interested. One of my former bosses from another job also was with the team but she didn't go out with us. There was a weird spot in the dream where we all camped out on a hill in the rain, but then it was back to after-work. We went to a bar in a mall and they kept changing our chairs and our beers. They poured my beer into another glass and I wasn't sure which was mine.

I had to make sure I sat by him all the time, through all the switches. We were walking down a hallway, alone together and I asked, "Would you settle for me?" which might seem like an odd, overly humble thing to say, but like my first husband, the gorgeous girls were always hanging all over him, trying to pick him up. There was a long, rather awkward pause (for me) and he laughed and said, "Of course! And it's not settling." So then we were a couple and went back to sit at the bar. Later we were wandering the mall and he had an artist do a painting of me.

Turns out that he wasn't really settling at all, as the dream me was very attractive, dark-haired and named Pam, which I didn't know until I saw the painting of "me". There was a whole lot more to the dream, which I'm not telling, but it turns out that he was a twin and the twin was an evil twin, of course.

Unfortunately I woke up this morning and lost my dream man. But at least I met the man of my dreams, or rather the man IN my dreams! Happy dreaming to you!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Since you asked.

Above are photos of sugar gliders. And some info I copied about them:

Sugar Gliders are marsupials; that is their young start life off in a pouch (like a kangaroo). They originally hail from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and live in forests. Their name is derived from their diet (in part they feed on nectar and the sap of eucalyptus), and from the flap of skin they have between their wrists and ankles that allows them to glide between trees. They are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plant material and meat - food in the wild include nectar, fruit, insects and even small birds or rodents.

Aren't they adorable?

And you thought I was out drinking again

Last night, following a grueling and stressful day at work, I went out with Anton and Amanda. First we went out to eat and talk. Anton told us that he's given up drinking, and I said I had recently taken it up as another hobby! Because it's true that I used to go out every month or two and have A beer before and now it's more often than that, and more beers than one. I switched to light beer after the first one on Thursday night though, just to let you know! Thanks for the great advice in your comments.

After the meal (and no drinks) we went to the 41st Annual Duluth Boat Sports and Travel Show at the DECC. It was very fun, especially with A&A, they're a fun couple and up for adventures. The Boat Show had a mini NASCAR racing track that I was dying to try. But it had a long line and it seemed like it was only for kids, not adults. We saw the "Fishing for Laughs" show by the Bassmeister, the Desert Display and the Falconer's Walk with lots of cool animals and birds. We climbed up on and into many beautiful boats and RVs. There was a lot of fishing gear, tanned leather stuff and fur and all sorts of interesting booths and gadgets.

At the end we climbed up into the bleachers and watched and listened to "The Legends, A Rock 'N Roll and Comedy Show." They were funny and entertaining, but only played cover songs, of course. And not to be unkind, I enjoyed them but they weren't the most gifted live band I've heard! So I was surprised that they were swarmed with people wanting T-shirts and signed copies of their CDs at the end. Amanda bought a T-shirt and had the band all sign it. It was cute and she bought it several sizes too large as a sleep shirt. Anton liked them too and was looking over the CDs for sale. I don't know if he bought any because I was watching one of the band members teaching a young boy how to tap dance. It was the cutest and sweetest thing! I wish I had a video clip of it, there was a real "awwwww" factor going on there.

I almost came home with a new pet, too. Right at the beginning there was a booth with Sugar Gliders for sale. I'd heard of them before but had never actually seen one. They are the cutest little creatures and make adorable little noises, the first awwwwww factor of the evening! I've never purchased an animal without researching its needs thoroughly, but almost made an exception in this case.

At the end, I wanted to walk out back by the booth but A&A wisely took me another way so we missed it but I do have a brochure from them. The Boat Show wasn't a good place to be selling any animal and especially not an animal like that. So I'm wondering if they weren't the Sugar Glider version of a "puppy mill"? But now I want a Suggie desperatly. Or rather, two, because like ferrets they're a social animal and shouldn't really be kept alone. Have you owned a Sugar Glider, or know someone who does? I researched them some this morning and found out that they're a marsupial from Australia but are bred in captivity (like a ferret).

So I wasn't out drinking again (that's tonight, with SLA and friends) but was out scoping possible new pets. Have a great rest of your weekend, mine is a three-day weekend, yippee!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Smoking is bad for your fingers

I have no hangover but ouch, my finger is sore! Now I can barely type even though it was kind of numbed last night. It was cold and windy outside last night, of course. So lighting up was difficult and the matchbook was old and worn. When the match (placed right under my finger) finally lit, a glowing piece went under my fingernail. So that part of my right index fingernail is burnt off and there's an angry red spot under the nail. Yes, it really hurts. Smoking is bad for your fingers. The Surgeon General ought to put that on the cigarette pack. It might be a good deterrent for teens.

Also, I think drinking alcohol eats your brain cells. I'm having a tough time spelling things. "Surgeon General" and "deterrent" look wrong, are they? I have a contract and a resolution to finish up today at work. We have a financial meeting in the afternoon that could be stressful. I'm all ready for it though, went through the invoices (an inch high stack of paper) yesterday for an analysis. So my vices of last night will not get in the way of my job today! And today is Friday, have a good day and a great weekend!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Drunken Meme-ing

I borrow this from Stacy, The Peanut Queen. I did ask, but didn't wait long enough for a reply, hope she doesn't mind. It's a one word meme. Since I'm more than half bombed right now from going out with the gang from work, it's about all I can manage.

1. Yourself: hopeful
2. Your spouse: gone
3. Your hair: limp
4. Your mother: lonely
5. Your father: gone
6. Your favorite item: many
7. Your dream last night: work
8. Your favorite drink: beer
9. Your dream car: Mustang
10. The room you are in: bedroom
11. Your ex: gone
12. Your fear: embarrassment
13. What you want to be in 10 years: retired
14. Who you hung out with last night: family & friends
15. What you're not: skinny
16. Muffins: fattening
17: One of your wish list items: suit
18: Time: lacking
19. The last thing you did: drink
20. What you're wearing: workclothes
21. Your favorite weather: spring
22. Your favorite book: various
23. The last thing you ate: wings
24. Your life: changing
25. Your mood: good
26. Your best friend(s): sad
27. What you're thinking about right now: sleeping
28. Your car: parked
29. What you're doing at the moment: blinking
30. Your summer: soon
31. Your relationship status: none
32. What's on TV: unknown
33. The weather: cold
34. The last time you laughed: 1/2hour

This was the first of three nights out in a row. Tomorrow night I'm going out with Amanda and Anton and their friends, and on Saturday night with SLA and her friends. I came home pretty early tonight, but we went out early right after work and had a great time. I even had a cigarette (first in over a year) and burnt my finger. It's sore but isn't keeping me from typing this. Maybe that's a bad thing....


My coffee pot worked this morning and I am happy. Turns out that the workshop yesterday did have some coffee in the classroom and it was decent. Good thing, as I had run out of time to zip by McD's and get some. Just as well, because I do love their breakfasts and haven't had one in ages, since last year, ha ha. It would have been very tempting.

I want to go back to school! That class was so fun. At first it seemed like the instructor really didn't like me (and I'm sensitive, or over-sensitive to things like that). I thought that because we were having a discussion and many people were asking questions, I had a question so I asked it. The instructor sort of went off on my question and almost scolded me, yikes! It wasn't a bad question, just about in-kind donations, and I didn't ask it in a smart-ass way either. But I jumped right back into the discussion and it seemed as the day went on that he had dropped his "thing" against me. That was good because I had to go up to him after class and ask his permission to use some of his materials for work! I hope he was flattered.

It would be so fun to go back to school and learn more stuff. I actually (as mentioned above) took part in all of the discussions and spoke out in the group. Normally I'm very quiet in large groups. I've found that it's much easier to speak out in a group of strangers. For our work meetings I feel either judged harshly or ignored when I say anything, so usually, I don't. I'm the one taking meeting minutes and it's hard to come up with things to say when you are quickly writing down everything that everyone else is saying.

I met most of the people in the class yesterday, and what a bunch of interesting people! I'd like to stay in contact with some of them but they went on to another class today and tomorrow while I just had the one. But I'm so glad I could go. It reminded me how much I enjoy going to school. The problem has always been what type of study to take up.

So to borrow an idea from our valentine, Mr. Happy and Blue2, here are two questions:

1. Would you like to go back to school?
2. Do you speak out in groups?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

History of Valentine's Day

All right, I just had to add this before Valentine's Day is gone. I had an inkling that the holiday was older than Saint Valentine's early christian connotation, and that it was some sort of pagan holiday. It is. After the workshop I wandered around the college campus, where I first went right after high school. There was a little booklet called "Minerva Zine" that supposedly had a web page. The page doesn't work so I have to type in the information, but it's from that zine, to give it the proper credit, although they got it from somewhere else, too. I did run into other information online that tells pretty much the same history of the Valentine's Day holiday:

The Romans celebrated (febris, in Latin) a holiday of the Goddess of amorous love, Juno Februa, on February 14, coinciding with the time when the birds in Italy were thought to mate. Rites of the Patroness of Passionate Love, merged with Lupercalia, the festivities in honor of the pagan god, Pan which were observed on the following day, February 15. On Lupercalia, (named incidentally in honor of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, fabled founders of Rome), men and women inscribed their names on love notes or billets and then drew lots to determine who their sex partner would be during this festival of erotic games.

Lupercalia, which combined elements of worship of Juno Februa and Her Northern equivalent, the Norse goddess Sjofn, was the original Valentine's Day. Naturally, the fathers of the early Christian Church outlawed its observance as lewd and heathenish. However, they were quite unable to halt the practice. Eventually it was necessary to create a sainted martyr whose feast day would be observed on February 14th. In this way, the Church could sanction a celebration that it simply could
not suppress. There are, depending on the source, anywhere from three to eight Saint Valentines. Each has a conflicting biography concocted by a different author. But in every version he emerges as the patron of lovers, bowing to the original intention of the occasion.

The first St. Valentine's Day was celebrated in 468 AD In the beginning, the Church attempted to institute the practice of exchanging billets printed with pious sermons and scripture to encourage a holy attitude. But the experiment failed on a grand scale. By the fourteenth century, the celebration of Valentine's Day had lost all Christian content and had reverted back to the love feasts of old, albeit, tempered by more than a thousand years of church-imposed morality built on the separation and opposition of body and soul. One now strove for perfection of the spirit through the repression of the body. Courtly love, which was chaste and pure, was the ideal in the Middle Ages.

The symbols of Lupercalia come down to us intact, but thoroughly cleansed, completely abstracted from their original flesh and blood intensity. The cute little chubby Valentine angel so familiar to us, is a characterization of Cupid, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Eros, the Hindu Kama. He was the son of the Roman, Venus and Mercury, The Greek, Aphrodite and Hermes. S/he was thus an Herm-Aphrodite, an embodiment of the duality and opposition of the sexual union. The arrows that Cupid shoots are the phallus, the lingham. These projectiles of passion are often depicted as piercing the heart. The heart, the center of the soul. A bittersweet image which intimates that love hurts. A graphic image of penetration, which is reminiscent of the arrows that Hopi's shoot into rounded bundles of corn as a ceremonial gesture of fertility.

So, OK, I retract my semi-harsh words of this morning. Christians might NOT like the Valentine's Day holiday much! But I still do. Hope you had a good one.

Like Water for Coffee

Happy Valentine's Day to all! Even to those grumps who think the day is a "manufactured" holiday. Aren't they all? Even Christmas, one of our most sacred holidays, is believed to not be the true date of Jesus' birth. Even our months and days are "manufactured," that is, man made. A real month would be one moon cycle, or 28 days. So then only February qualifies as a natural month, and only in non-leap years. Since lack of enthusiasm irritates me, I could go on and on about how some people think looking bored and having no enthusiasm is being cool, sophisicated or grown up. They may be grown ups, but awfully dull and boring ones, I'd say. But, enough of that.

I got up an hour later than normal, it was sweet. It would have been sweeter if I hadn't gotten to bed so late, though, still got only 4 or 5 hours of sleep, like usual. I didn't plug in the jeep and have now found out that it's -10F, so I might be taking the bus to the workshop. Hope not.

My coffee pot made two bad pots of coffee this morning. Even though it's fairly new, I think it's broken. The first pot was like water, so I thought I hadn't counted the spoons of coffee to put in it right. Pot two was even worse and I KNOW I counted the spoons right! AUUUGGHHH. And all of that coffee wasted because it's undrinkable.

It's a bad day to start off with no coffee, as I'm not going in to work (where there is coffee) but to the workshop at the nearby university. I might do a drive through McD's to get some of their coffee. It's really very good, have you tried it? Normally I try to stay away from that place and have done that successfully for quite a while now.

I worked late last night to make up for the fact that I'll be gone all day today. Well, it won't really make up for it, but at least I got a couple more things done that couldn't wait until tomorrow. And wasn't I not going to rant about stuff that irritates me anymore (the first paragraph) oh well, too late. Have a wonderful, exciting, happy, Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I gotta have heart(s)

It's Valentine's Day tomorrow, my very favorite day! I don't have a valentine this year but that won't stop me from enjoying the day. I like it as well as and maybe even better than my birthday. Normally I take my birthday off from work but not Valentine's Day. Tomorrow I have a workshop at the nearby college for the entire day. It sounds interesting, and is paid for by my work, so that will be my Valentine's Day present. I also was looking at some furry heart pillows but am going to wait until after to see if they go on sale. The last time I did that the Valentine's Day stuff just disappeared off the shelves. I think they sent it all back or somthing. I did score some coffee mugs with hearts on them one year, though, in the aftermath sales.

Anyone who knows me well at all knows that I love hearts. Or I could (and have) said I "heart" hearts! Like some people collect salt and pepper shakers, or penguins, or ducks or bears, I like hearts. My friends used to buy me things with hearts on them until I moved to the itsy bitsy little county house and there was no room. I got rid of my collection of heart boxes, velvet ones, satin ones, boxes with ribbons. Now I wish I'd kept them. I still have the wooden heart wagon that SLA made for me, piled high with movies, and two heart jewelry boxes. Oh, and a red heart pillow on the living room couch, and a fabric heart picture frame. So I still have some hearts! What sort of things do you like to collect?

Monday, February 12, 2007

How 'Bout Those Grammys?

I love award shows so last night was a good TV night for me. But my favorite show "The Apprentice" came on another channel, so I had to migrate to watch them collect, process and sell honey. Also had to do dishes and read the paper and some other things. So I probably missed quite a bit of the award show. I did see Justin Timberlake perform, twice and some people I'd never heard of perform too. Hate that when I've not heard of them. It feels like I'm out of the loop for sure. Many of the awards were a disappointment. The award-ers certainly love the trilling, up and down, on and on boring vocals!

Did you watch the Grammys? Who were you cheering (won't use "rooting for" this time!) on to win?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

To-Buy List

It's a nice sunny Saturday and already I've gotten two loads of clothes washed. But not dried. The dryer isn't working well and takes 20-25 times to dry a load! So it takes me, oh, about a day or so to dry a load of clothes! Still, it's much better than taking the darn things to a laundromat.

I've just sat down after cleaning the kitchen floor, doing the dishes, taking care of the animals, etc. and am listening to Nelly Furtado right now. I just burned the CD from a borrowed stack. The Black Eyed Peas are in the stack, too. Quiet Co-worker has an IPod with 1800 songs on it already. I want one of those! But first a dryer that works and a laptop would be good. Those are the first two items on a long To-Buy List.

Do you have a To-Buy List? What's on your list?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why Girls Don't Drink Beer

Well, we went out after work last night and I drank beer, a whole lot of it. It was fun and I had a blast but I bet I drank a million-billion calories. This morning it seems like I have gained weight. This is terrible, a horror, because as you know, I'm not exactly skinny to begin with, yikes! I'm a fat chick who drinks beer.

I really need to find a less-caloric drink. Most of my woman co-workers, who are thin, drink a glass of wine or two, sometimes a couple of martinis, but I don't like those. Like the little boy in "King of the Hill" I like beer! I think it has something to do with growing up with brothers and hanging out with guys much of my young adult life. But this going out and drinking all those liquid calories is taking a toll on me, despite the fact I'm pretty careful of how much I eat.

Well, the options would be:

1. Quit going out so much. Nah, I don't like that option.
2. Switch to a lighter beer. Maybe, but I don't like them as well, yuck.
3. Drink fewer beers. That could be an option, not a great one.
4. Switch to another drink. Hmmm, better choice, but which drink?

I may try door #4 next time and switch to whiskey-cokes. The caffiene would be good and I like whiskey quite well (see, you can really tell I've hung out too much with the guys!)

But I'm interested in your experiences with this dilemma! Here's a poll: which option (1-4) would be the best for me? Any personal stories or reflections as inspiration?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Year Resolutions

I was thinking about my last post, made before I went to bed last night. Geez what a crabby, complaining old lady I am! The getting older I cannot help, but the whining could be curbed. While it's true that my journals (both blog and notebook) tend to show my dark side, that dark side is really in need of some improvement! Is it too late to do New Year's Resolutions?

I've always liked to think of myself as not the typical Virgo: who's always looking for the flaw, the fault and what's missing from every life experience and person she/he meets during the day. But that's sort of how I revert back to when alone with my thoughts. Oh sure, I do (and mean!) the grateful exercise where you think about all the things that you are grateful for before going to sleep. And I have a lot of things to be grateful for, for sure, I know that. But I, like a so-typical Virgo, tend to get tripped up on the little things, and with what's missing instead of what's right during the day when I'm actually living the experiences and not just thinking about them later in bed!

Oh sure, I have a helpful, cheerful, optimistic exterior in most social situations, even if I'm quite quiet. But what I'm looking for is some more depth and especially, some warmth. I tend to step back and do a lot of observing in my daily life, I'd like more engagement. And I have an excellent role model to help me with that, bet you'll never guess who it is. Or maybe you will.

She's young, of course, as I'm surrounded by younger people both at work and at home. She's poor but very generous, very open (too open, my little complaining Virgo mind would say) and engages with everything and everyone in her path. I can really see her virtues shining clearly through. It's our temp, of course. Did you guess? Tonight we all are going out after work. This was her idea for a weekly outting and it was a good one. So, if it's not too late, here are my New Year's resolutions:

1. Enjoy life and people, quit worrying and fussing (internally and in my journals) about everything and everybody.

2. Learn Spanish well enough to read and speak it.

3. Exercise and get into better shape. Find a good sport that I like and start doing it regularly again.

4. Do art and writing regularly.

Have you made New Year's resolutions this year? Have you kept them?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Not too taxing

Tax season is here! I've always enjoyed reading through the tax booklet and finding the correct answer to put on a particular line. I suspect that the main reason I enjoy doing taxes is because I don't earn enough to have to pay in much! So finding all of the little deductions and angles, even earned interest and all--is rather interesting. So much so that I used to do taxes for other people. For free. Just because I enjoyed doing it, even though it would take me several hours to do some of the more complicated ones.

There was a particular close friend for whom I did her taxes for years and years. She had stocks and lots of little "extras" to make doing her taxes somewhat of a challenge. Then one year the IRS sent her a notice that she had earned $12 more of a refund than the tax return I did for her. I don't know if I made an accounting error or just plain forgot to figure something in, but my bottom figure had been wrong. Yes, it was a mistake on my part, but I figure it could have been worse--she could have OWED them the $12! Plus I had been doing her taxes for free for ten to twelve years, so she had saved far more than that mistake, even if it had gone the other way.

But after that she seldom missed an opportunity to tell groups of her family and friends, "PBS screwed up my taxes this year!" or some such comment like that. I think she was just trying to be funny but it was embarrassing and made me mad. Especially since I did some accounting at my job and it made me look like maybe I wasn't doing my job so well, either. She didn't stop doing spreading the word even after I told her how I felt. So I never did her, or anyone else's taxes again. Not even my Mom's taxes. Of course as a senior she can get them done for free now, so losing my tax services was no great loss to her!

The friend whines every year now (and there's been about three or four years since I quit doing other people's taxes) that she has paid $40 or $60 or more to get her taxes done. Well, too bad. She has finally stopped telling people about how I goofed up her taxes too, it's old news.

This year I have a new state for which to figure my state taxes. So reading a brand-new little tax booklet might be fun--as long as I don't have to pay in very much. So, do you do your own taxes or does a family member or friend do them for you? Or do you have a tax professional prepare them for you?

Oh BRRRR and Oh BRRR Again

We have a windchill of -40 this morning. The actual temperature is "only" around -20 but there's a stiff, strong and very cold wind in addition to that. I have the Jeep plugged in but I hope it starts! If not, there's always the bus. But I'm not so gung-ho on standing out there to wait for it, nor walking the six or more blocks down to our new office location once I get off the bus.

Yikes, it's cold! Inside too, even though I had the heat turned up (in theory) quite far, I don't think it topped 60F upstairs--which feels quite cold IN-doors.

I'm settling into my new office at work. It sure is nice to not be interruped constantly, which is what happens to anyone sitting at the front desk. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Temp to Term

Well, it's decided. We are going to hire our temp at least until August as a term employee. I'm glad for her, and she is the hardest working of the lot and thus the most deserving.

I'm glad for her, she's much much younger, cuter, and most importantly--far more aggressive and outgoing than I am. I know what the bosses at my workplace like, and it's bold, audacious, never mind the details action. And my job (library, accounting) is all about details. The co-workers with the crazy big ideas have always been the ones to zip ahead of the rest of us, and quickly, while we detail people are left with the difficult task of implementing their unlikely schemes. Then they are off to present the next big crazy idea while we're still struggling with making the last one a go.

Since I've been working at this place, I'm no longer fond of big ideas and grand schemes. Most of the time it's someone's way of showing off to the bosses while others (me, for example) get to do the grunt labor to make the idea come together. The author of the crazy idea gets all the credit, even though they have done none of the work. But at least somebody liked my cookies!

Monday, February 05, 2007

I didn't lose my cookies at the game

I felt much better by Super Bowl time, which was lucky. That headache was a doozy and I still have it a little, but not enough to make my stomach sick, like most of yesterday. I used to have migraines but hadn't for many years. I think that may have been one, because it was only on one side of my head, all the way from front to back but only on the left side. Anyway, I sure can't say that I'm seldom sick anymore!

The Super Bowl party was fun but I can't say the game was great. Oh the Bears started off like a house on fire but their famous defense didn't hold up to the Colts. But I sort of like the Colts too, so that was OK, just wish it had been a better, more exciting game. Most of the Super Bowl food got eaten but people didn't like my cookies, for some reason. They wouldn't even take them to eat later! So, Hmmmph, I'm bringing them to work today to get rid of them. I knew work was good for something (besides the obvious--the paycheck!) Have a Monday!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Oh oh for the Super Bowl

Oh dear, I'm not feeling well this morning and trying to shake it off. A blast of fresh air helped even though it's really cold here this morning. And, no I was not out enjoying myself last night. There's absolutely no reason why I feel so sick today.

I'm still in my long, warm nightgown, in fact, although it's 11:00 AM. That's a sure sign that I am sick, as even on weekends, I'm up showered and dressed at a pretty early hour, 7 or 8 at the latest.

I've made most of the sweets: fudge cookies, chocolate nut candy and the ginger snaps, and a couple of the other dishes: crab dip and crock pot smokies. I've made and frozen some more Tom and Jerry mix. But I still haven't made the cheesecake and the nacho cheese dip. Today the very thought of working with food makes me feel ill or ill-er. I'm currently cautiously sipping mint tea to settle my stomach and get rid of a killer headache.

Darn, drat and all! The Super Bowl isn't until quite a bit later, so maybe I'll feel better by then. But I still have lots to do! I haven't done the booze shopping yet, and am not up to it right now. The party isn't here either, so I will have to pack and carry all this stuff over to Mom's apartment. I was going to put some highlights in my hair today but I know I couldn't stand the smell from the hair coloring stuff right now. Well, I'm off to suffer! Hope your day is going much much better.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A long trip and a talk

We survived the funeral and the long trip to there and back. The roads were slippery and the weather was cold. My older brother drove the entire time, both ways in his nice cushy car. Mom and I had blankets to keep warm but didn't need them until the trip back.

The funeral was very sad, of course. His wife (my aunt, and my Mom's sister-in-law) had only died last January, so January has become a bad month for them. Not many of the family were there but many other people came because he was a WWII wounded vet who had received a Purple Heart, had been on the City Council for years, active in his church and in many other organizations. His middle son got up and had a long eulogy of telling touching and funny stories about his Dad. He did really well and barely choked up while speaking, but sobbed once he sat down again next to his wife and they started to play a really sad song. I had to shut my eyes or I would have started crying too. I always cry when I see other people cry.

My brother stopped at my place once we'd dropped Mom off at her apartment. He actually liked my lasagne (which is a compliment, because his wife is an execellent cook!) and we both enjoyed two Tom and Jerry's and two beers apiece. That was enough to get to talking and we had a really good heart-to-heart like we hadn't had for a long long time. He's not happy that our favored younger brother ended up with my parents entire 80 acres of land. He wanted the back 40, and I kind of wanted at least 20 acres. We loved that land. The ironic thing is that Mom sold it to him for such a low price that we could have afforded it, too, but didn't know that until after the fact and it was too late.

The Living Green Conference is today. So soon I'll head over that way to attend various workshops and seminars and meet up with people that I don't see much anymore. Normally on a Saturday I'd go get Mom for an outting but we're doing that tomorrow, watching the Super Bowl together. I still need to go grocery shopping to make food for it. I already made and baked some ginger snaps and have a bowl of fudge cookie dough chilling in the refrigerator to bake when I come back home. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Super Bowl XLI is this weekend and I can hardly wait! I love football even though I haven't followed it too well for the past many years. I'm hoping the Bears take it, although I haven't got anything against the Colts. The Bear are from the old "Black and Blue" division and thus our old arch-rivals. Since neither the Packers nor the Vikings made it this far this year, I'm for the Bears.

Who are you rooting for (and isn't "rooting" some weird slang elsewhere, I seem to remember reading on a blog a while back?) So OK, who are you CHEERING for? Even if you don't enjoy the football game, the commercials are worth watching. People talk about some of them for years later.