I just did a Google search for "new years pretzel" and every site that came up was from Western PA or Eastern Ohio. Is that just because there are so many Germans in that area, or is it a tradition that arose there? If it's the German thing, I would have expected at least a few hits from Milwaukee or elsewhere in the midwest.
But I did find a German Bakery in Pittsburgh that ships pretzels! It's a little bit expensive ($21 with priority shipping, but it will be so worth it next year.
I think that's why I have had bad luck since I've moved down here - no pretzel!
Oh, it is midnight eastern time. Happy New Year to all yinz in Pittsburgh (and Ohio, New York, and Maryland, too!)!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
I just did a Google search for "new years pretzel" and every site that came up was from Western PA or Eastern Ohio. Is that just because there are so many Germans in that area, or is it a tradition that arose there? If it's the German thing, I would have expected at least a few hits from Milwaukee or elsewhere in the midwest.
So here we are in the waning hours of 2006. What a year it has been.
At the beginning of the year, I lost some illusions I created about myself and my life, and gained a sense of perspective about myself (thank you world's greatest therapist).
As the year progressed, I lost some respect for the company I was working for (herinafter known as the evil empire), and gained some not so nice knowledge about some people I had considered friends.
Mid year, I lost my job with the Evil Empire and regained my sense of self, which I had sacrificed to the corporate gods.
Soon after that I lost my unemployed status and gained the best job in the world, where I actually get to use my degree (thank you monster.com).
Two very good friends lost parents this year, and I lost my last living aunt. Not much to be gained there.
My car lost it's transmission and gained a rebuilt one (at the cost of $1200, which the transmission guy let me pay over 6 weeks - thanks, Kenny!).
I lost momentum with the Great American Novel (Advice from Uncle Betty) and gained momentum with the Pretty Good American Novel (either Love at the Deli Counter or Steak with a Side of Life and yes, I am still horrible at titles).
I lost interest in one hobby (crocheting) and gained interest in another (quilting).
OK. I'm stretching it now.
So I'm ringing in 2007 with cranberry soda and a huge salad, followed by pretzels and sparkling apple cider consumed from a Santa Claus wine glass at midnight. This is the time of year I am most homesick for Pittsburgh. No one here goes outside in their pajamas and winter coats to bang pots and pans at midnight. I can't find a New Year's pretzel anywhere in town. I even drove to two different bakeries with German names. They looked at me like I was nuts when I asked. But they had king cake already, and it isn't even epiphany yet. Sigh.
Well, I guess that's it, except that I'm ending the year the way it began - with a staph infection. Sigh. I can't reach my dermatologist until Tuesday. But I may avoid it even then - I see my doctor next Monday.
Happy New Year, all. May 2007 bring health, happiness, peace, prosperity, Grace, and gratitude.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Looks like I have competition finally in my run for the White House. I had better step up my campaign quickly. Look for a post on Sunday night or Monday morning.
I do want to note, however, that I was the first candidate to officially declare, even if I won't actually be appearing on your ballots in 2008. That's what write-in votes are for!
Monday, December 25, 2006
That's what Santa says in South Louisiana.
I slept in until almost 1 today because I couldn't sleep last night. Santa never showed, though, so I guess it's true he only comes when you are asleep.
Anyway, went to church last night. It was good. My pastor always does a fantastic job of preaching on Christmas. I sat in front of a homeless guy and behind a gay couple. One of the lectors was African-American, and a couple who just adopted a baby from China were there. I love my congregation.
You know, even though this is my 11th Christmas without my parents, it's still hard. Even though I put a brave face on it for the world, I hate being alone at Christmas. But I hate being with other people's families, too. I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, or like I'm intruding. I hate that. Sigh.
I bought a chicken to make today, but I think I might go to the Chinese buffet instead. Last year they weren't open.
Hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas.
Posted by Sheryl at 2:05 PM
Sunday, December 24, 2006
'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the city,
Ther weather was rainy
And, really, quite sh*tty.
My stomach's upset
for no reason or rhyme.
I'm watching The Nutcracker
For the freakin' third time.
It's only the Eve,
But it feels like the Day.
Why yes, I am running
Out of cute things to say.
So away I must go.
No, don't beg or plead.
I really an hoping
You have a great Christmas Eve.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
So this morning I get an e-mail around 5:30 that said that the store I bought the outfit from has finally processed my refund. Of course. So I e-mailed them back and told them that the package just arrived and asked how I should return the items. Well, I got an e-mail a few hours later that said that I could keep the stuff I ordered for free because it was their mistake in the first place. Yay! Now I just need some place where I can wear the fancy outfit, which is even nicer than I thought. Too bad velvet can only be worn about two or three months out of the year here.
Update on the bra quest. One of the things I ordered with this order was a bra, because they were on sale for 40% off. I have learned never to pass up bra sales.
The one that came is pretty good. It is supportive without any wire or plastic, only one of the cups gaps a little (I've always been a little lopsided
This is a good bra. Not perfect, but good. The quest continues (though I just realized that I shall have to change my tag to "bra quest 2007" in two weeks. Sigh).
Posted by Sheryl at 11:36 PM
Monday, December 18, 2006
So, there was a little pink card waiting for me when I got home. Yeah, the outfit came today. Sigh.
Oh, and will I burn in hell because I tried the giganto-bra on my head when I took it off tonight and thought it would make a dandy yarmulke? Yeah, probably.
Leave me alone. It was a long day made even longer beacause I was fighting with my undergarments. Though it did amuse me to poke in the cups and watch them slowly pop back out. I do have my juvenile moments.
So, I just thought I'd give you an update on the latest chapter in the quest for the perfect bra.
But first, some backstory...
Remember the purple outfit I wanted so badly for the company Christmas party? The one I absolutely fell in love with? Well, it didn't come in time. In fact, it still hasn't come. Trying to get a refund out of this company is like trying to give a shark a dental exam. I'll update you on that story later.
Well, I had to go and buy a new top to wear to the party as I had a perfectly acceptable skirt (technically, it had a top that went with it, but I really didn't like it). I found one, but it was cut low enough that none of my bras would work with it. So that meant...(dun dun DUN) buying a new bra.
Well, the selection at the store left something to be desired, but I had no desire to travel to another store. I found one on sale that was low cut. It was underwire, but I figured I could deal with it. Now, I happen to know from past experience that this particular brand runs big on the bad sizes. I bought one a size smaller about a year ago, and it was still too big. So this time, I went two sizes smaller.
Well, the band fits fine, but the cups...are definitely not C cups. They are more along the lines of double D. They are huge. I was a large C bordering on a D before I lost some weight, and I'm a pretty middle ground C now. There is so much room left in these cups that I could use them for extra storage if I was carrying a tiny purse, and no one would be any the wiser. The funny thing is that these cups are molded, so you can push in on them and they stay collapsed. Well, I think it's funny, anyhow.
I had ordered a bra along with the dress (sale, again) but I asked for a refund on that.
I shall keep looking, however, and will not rest until I succeed in my quest.
(Hey - that rhymes!)
Posted by Sheryl at 2:01 PM
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Stolen from Mark, who I am too lazy to link to, this is the 12345 Meme. I altered it slightly from his version because I can.
1. Grab the book that is closest to you and turn to page 123.
2. Find the 4th sentence on the page.
3. Type the next five sentences in your blog.
Well, the book closest to me was Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security by Christopher Cooper and Robert Block. Did I mention that I work in the emergency management field?
So here's what it says:
"It said the city would be submerged 'for weeks or months,' and that direct economic losses could hit $2.2 billion after the first week, with damaged property adding another $20 billion to the tab. It added that the damage to the refinery-rich area could disrupt the nation's energy markets. The analysis was sent to the Homeland Security Operations Center, the department's conduit for gathering and disseminating disaster information. Six and a half hours after receiving the report, the HSOC distributed it. The White House got its copy at almost 2:00 a.m. on Monday."
By the way, this is a fabulous book. Even though I was pretty much down here in the midst of the storm, it was really eye opening to see what was going on behind the scenes. I highly recommend it.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
From LP's Blog...
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely Hot Chocolate, between these two. My current favorite hot drink, though, is Chai Latte from CC's
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Always, always wraps them.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Growing up, we did colored, but in my old age I have come to like white better.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. Don't decorate at all, now. Because if I decorate, then I'll just have to undecorate later, and where is the fun in that?
5. When do you put your decorations up?
When I was a kid, it varied. It could be as early as the first weekend in December, or as late as a couple days before Christmas. The year my dad died, my mom and I didn't put the tree up until Christmas morning. Of course, it stayed up until Easter, but that's another story.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
It was, is, and every shall be cranberry sauce.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
How excited my dad would get about Santa Claus. Way more excited than I did.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Umm..5th grade. I found the microscope I had asked for and a sweater hidden in my mom's closet. Yes, I know I shouldn't have been snooping. Pretty much everyone I knew found out the truth earlier, and I played it cool around them, but in my heart of hearts, I still believed until I found those things.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Some years we opened all the gifts on Christmas Eve, some years none. It just depended on the mood everyone was in.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
We had lights, tinsel, and ornaments, most kitschy ones from the 60's and 70's. Underneath the tree was our little Nativity. We also had a big Nativity that went outside. I gave the baby Jesus my lovey when I was wee little because I thought he'd be cold. It stayed in that crib my whole life.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Used to dread it, now I miss it.
12. Can you ice skate?
Heh Heh Heh. Are you insane?
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Absolutely. When I was around four or five or six, I desperately wanted a tea set. I don't quite know why, but I did, and I told everyone on earth that Santa was going to bring me one for Christmas. Well, my parents didn't have a whole lot of money, so they told me that Santa might not be able to bring it because he had an awful lot of boys and girls to buy presents for. I never lost my confidence, though, that Santa would come through. On Christmas morning, one of our neighbors (an older couple whose children were grown and had no grandchildren) brought over a box that he said Santa left at their house by mistake. It was wrapped in blue paper with snowflakes on it. I opened it up, and there was the tea set to end all tea sets. It had absolutley everything, and it was made by Corning. I was sooo excited. Later on, when I realized that they went out and got me that tea set, I got an even better gift - I learned about generosity and seflessness.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
I'm not really big on the holidays now that I spend them alone, but my favorites when I was a kid was when it was just me, my mom, and my dad. I loved just getting to spend time with them.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Has to be pumpkin pie with whipped cream, though Dutch Apple comes a close second. In our house though, cranberry sauce made a fine dessert for me, my mom, and my uncle. My dad and aunt hated it, though.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Playing cards or board games after dinner.
17. What tops your tree? For most of my life, we had this weird, blue obelisk kind of thing. It was tacky, but fit with the 70's well. Later on, my mom bought a light-up angel and a light-up star at some holiday sale. One went on top of the tree and the other went in the center of the wreath.
18.Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Don't really have a preference
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Religious: Probably Silent Night. Non-religious: Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, for reasons that no one here would understand.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Depends on my mood, the brand, and whether or not they are fresh.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Bored at work so I've been blog surfing (that's not the disturbing part). Found this little thing out there in the blog-o-sphere:
I don't look like Good Will Hunting or Draco Malfoy! No! Even more disturbing is that the next person on the list (after Jim Carrey) was Bob Saget.
UGH! I may never allow my picture to be taken again!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I have much to tell about my Christmas party clothing adventure, however that will wait for tomorrow. I have other things to say tonight.
First, I overheard the best dialogue ever tonight at Albertson's. I was looking at Chapstick, trying to decide what flavor I wanted. A woman an aisle over was talking on her cell phone. She said, "Well, I had to get another bucket...Yeah, I know, but a fish in B291 had blood on it's anal fin...Well, no one told me that...Look, I'm just doing the best I can - I'm only here for another month...Yeah, I was just trying to help out - it wasn't really my problem..." Then she walked out of my earshot. I love living in a university town. I bought vanilla mint lip stuff by the way (it was not Chapstick brand).
Second, I bought chicken rings tonight. As soon as I saw them, I was reminded of TG's post about her daughter's request for ham rings. (and if you still want to know how to create hyperlinks, TG, e-mail me - it's easy!).
I hate it when the 4th Sunday of Advent is Christmas Eve. Everything feels rushed to me. Like this Sunday at my church, instead of regular liturgy, the choirs did a Christmas cantata. That's nice and all, but it isn't Christmas yet. I like and appreciate the anticpation of Advent. I like the feeling of gearing up for Something Important. Even though I know what the something is, it's still exciting. Plus, I like a semi-traditional liturgy on Sunday, complete with Holy Communion. I don't like it when that is cancelled in favor of something like this. Call me an old fogey traditionalist if you like, but that's just how I feel about things.
Now, that doesn't mean I don't like untraditional forms of prayer and worship - I do. Just not on Sunday morning. That would have been a wonderful precursor to the the Christmas Eve service. I would enjoy it then, and even make an effort to get to church early.
Sigh. Enough complaining.
I finished another quilt top today, except for the border. None of these quilts are big, but I'm enjoying myself nonetheless. The next step is actually putting them together with the backing and the batting and quilting them. I just got some stencils in the mail, so I can start that soon. I just wish I had a table to work on. That would make life a lot easier. I may have to get myself a card table for Christmas.
Speaking of which, I suppose I should mail cards and gifts sometime, huh? I'm really, really bad about doing that. I have literally two Christmases and about four birthdays worth of cards and gifts for one of my firends in Pittsburgh that I have never mailed. I'm going to try really hard for this year. I just hate the post office soooo much. (It amuses me that I almost published this with "pot office" instead of "post office." Yes, I can be that juvenile.)
Monday, December 04, 2006
I haven't take my thyroid medicine in 5 days. It's a wonder I can move at this point.
I really do notice the difference when I take it regularly versus when I don't.
I hope the pharmacy has it ready tomorrow as promised. I know that there aren't many people who take such a high dose, but sheesh! It's not like it isn't a common drug.
Posted by Sheryl at 6:04 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
I have a new mission in life. I am prepared to devote all of my energies, time, and resources into finding my quarry. I will not rest until I succeed.
I am looking for a good-looking, comfortable bra that actually fits everywhere.
If I ever find the object of my desire, I will buy 70 of them so that they will last forever. Of course, if I ever find one, it'll probably be of the $50 variety and not the $12 variety. Not that $840 dollars is much better than $3500 dollars.
But someday, I will find a bra that fits in the shoulder straps, the band and the cups with no weird little puckers, no cutting, and no binding. And it will not have underwires or boning in the sides. And it will be soft and not itchy. And it will achieve the look of duct tape without the pain of ripping off adhesive.
Yes, the holy grail of feminine support garments exists somewhere in this land. And I shall find it, or sag trying.
Posted by Sheryl at 3:57 PM
The projected high in Pittsburgh is 20 degrees warmer than the projected high here in Baton Rouge - what's up with that?
I think I need to get me one of those old people pill boxes. I can't seem to ever remember to take my medicine. I just realized that I forgot my thyroid meds again today. Sigh.
Of course, one of the effects of hypothyroidism is short term memory loss. Guess I really should get my levels checked again, huh?
Oh well. Back to work.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Much quicker post than I expected - just saw that there is a planned outage on blogger in 20 minutes.
I have drugs - yay!
I won a big package of neutral fabric in a quilt shop sweepstakes - yay!
And I had the best shrimp poboy and fried mushrooms in the world for dinner - YAY!
The finest contribution Cajuns have made to the world was putting fried shrimp on french bread and slathering it with mayonaisse. Not healthy, but Oh, so tasty!
I think you should all visit South Louisiana just to experience it.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I've enjoyed this month of blogging daily, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if was feeling a little bit better. What is the point of hormones, anyhow, huh? Bring on menopause, I say!
(Of course, I shouldn't say that too loudly, because with the way my year has gone, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was happening, even if it is too early)
I'm out of my happy pills, if you can't tell already. I took the last one on Sunday and called my doctor yesterday. The pharmacy still doesn't have the prescription ready. I only take them every other day anyway, so I was OK until this afternoon. That's when the physical stuff started. Now, I've read people having really bad reactions to missing doses of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. Mine are mild, just like little shocks of vertigo that last only a few seconds. It is annoying, though.
But the other stuff is more noticible to me (of course it could be all in my head - ha!). I find that I get more anxious than usual (which, since I'm taking them for anxiety, makes sense). Everytime my boss asked my co-worker into his office and closed his door, I convinced myself that I was about to be fired. This was despite the fact that we just talked about the fact that I would be the only one in the office over the holidays, and after he gave me a new project. I did the whole self-talk thing I worked on in therapy and got myself more rational, but still.
And I was really hoping to start going off these things in January. I'm just afraid that I won't be be able to handle the anxiety flaring up on a regular basis for no apparent reason. Maybe if I do go off it later next year, I can see my therapist for a little bit of a tune-up. I should see if he accepts my insurance.
The therapy thing was good for me, you know. This was the second time I tried it. Last time, the guy kept trying to have me do flow charts and bar graphs and other stuff a math-averse person like me doesn't want to see. With this guy, it was all about words. Oh, he threw in a few percentges to make a point, but there were no equations involved, so I could deal with that.
This wasn't the post I had planned, but I guess it needed to be said.
Oh, and on a completely unrelated and happier note, I finished a whole quilt top, border and all! That is the furthest I have ever gotten with a quilt. Granted, it is more wall hanging or a baby doll quilt, but I'm still pretty darned proud of myself. As soon as the templates I ordered come, I can move on to the next phase.
Monday, November 27, 2006
For all of you writers (or readers) out there:
If you had a longish piece of fiction with two equally important main characters, how horrible would it be to use multiple points of view in different parts of the story if it is clear who's point of view is what?
Clear as mud, huh?
I'm asking this because as I've been thinking more about the story idea I mentioned several days ago, I've realized that each of the main characters brings a unique and important viewpoint to the plot, and certain parts would be best told from one POV or the other.
So, to the writers, would just the thought of doing that place this work in the unreadable drivel category? Would an editorial assistant see that in a prospectus letter and throw it immediately on the rejection pile?
To the readers, how much would such a device annoy you assuming the transitions are clear but not intrusive on the story?
And yes, that deep post is still coming. Maybe tomorrow. Depends on how I feel (still have a touch of the ickiness, but if history is any indicator, I'll be better tomorrow) and how much I have to do at work
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I feel icky. I'm having female issues today. The only problem with PMS for me is that I don't ever seem to get to the M. I just have to deal with the PS. That probably isn't good, huh?
I went to Michael's today. Word to the wise - never, ever go there the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was crazy. And the cashiers, at least one of them, was horrible. I was in line before she turned her light out, then her supervisor said no more customers after me. Well, she just stopped ringing the person in front of me, and stared at me. Now, I obnly had four items. It wasn't like I would have caused her to be there forever. Then the teenage girl she was ringing up while her mother looked at poinsettias, started staring at me like I had two heads. If I had been feeling better, I might have made an issue of it, but I didn't because I just couldn't deal. Instead, I switched lanes. Then just as I got in line, the cashier turned her light off. Fortunately, she said that I was her last customer. It took forever to get throught the line, though.
Tomorrow, as there is nothing going on, I shall write a highly reflective entry about the nature of confronting oneself with unpleasant truth. But for tonight, I shall take some Advil and some Benadryl and go to sleep.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Made it! I had a heck of a time getting Blogger to load.
I do have something serious I want to write about, but it will wait till the morrow.
But I do want to say, remind me never to buy thread at the fabric store here. It cost four times what it costs at Wal-Mart for identical thread. I didn't realize it until I got home, though I did think the price at checkout was higher than I expected. I didn't think much of it, because my math skills are seriously suspect.
I think I shall return the thread tomorrow.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Today at work I watched X-Men III and marked my fabric squares. It was a little slow. In fact, I was the only one in. I wouldn't have been there either, but somebody had to be, and I'm low person on the totem pole. But a lot of the state governments we deal with were closed, and who knows what was going on with the feds. And my guess is that the capture managers for the proposals I'm currently supporting were out today as well. Sigh.
I bought my dress for the Christmas party. I had to buy it online because they didn't have it in the store. I hope it fits OK. I'm not worried about the cut, because it is typical of things I usually buy and look good in. I just don't know how this designer's sizes run.
I bought earrings on Wednesday as well. Now all I have to find are shoes, a purse, and maybe a necklace. I may just wear my good fake pearls, though.
I found the exact shoes I want on line, but first of all, they are $40, and second, I'm a little leery of buying shoes online.
Only 6 more days left of NaBloPoMo. I'm glad of that. I enjoy blogging, but I don't think I can make it a daily habit. But I think I can make writing a daily habit. And I shall do that.
Tomorrow, I plan to try to find shoes and go to the movies.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I fell asleep. Like, 5 hours ago. After sleeping until almost noon. Sigh.
I think my thyroid is low again. I should call my doctor and get it checked.
I will leave you with this thought:
Thanksgiving means giving thanks to God. (from a Girl Scout project I did a looooooong time ago that involved gluing dried beans and popcorn to a little wood plaque)
Happy Thanksgiving, all.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
When Boss lets me go, I shall take some Benadryl and sleep the sleep of the dead for 8 hours or so.
Got my hair cut today. It's a little shorter than what I wanted, and she used a flat iron, which I hate, but it's pretty good. I have to say, though, that there is nothing more decadent than having someone wash your hair.
Quilt top is done, except for the border. Need to get fabric for that.
Have to go edit a proposal, now. Will you miss me while I'm gone?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Posted by Sheryl at 8:11 PM
Friday, November 17, 2006
It is November 17th. And I am burned out on daily blogging.
Oh, I'll not be giving up. I made a commitment, and I'll see it through. But my life is just too dull to account for a daily entry.
Actually, that's not true. It's just that the interesting stuff happens at work, and I can't write about that. It's hard to work for a government contractor.
I broke two nails today. At this rate, I won't be able to get that manicure for the Christmas party.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I have another story idea in my head. I'm choosing not to share anything about this one, however. The characters just started talking to me, and I'm not ready to share them with the world yet.
I really wish I could go on retreat. Just having time away from real life to rediscover my connection to the Big Guy would be a good thing. Alas, it isn't possible right now.
I'm debating about whether or not to turn the heat on. It's a little cold tonight.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
I worked until 1 a.m. last night after not sleeping at all the night before. Forgive me if I am a little punchy.
I did meet my boss's boyfriend, though. He's a cutie. And very domestic. He has a dog and a half (one of them belongs to my boss, but lives at his house - more on that in a minute), both of whom are adorable. I ate black bean soup so I wouldn't offend him, even though I hate beans.
My boss has another dog, who we took back to the office. She is a pit bull, which is why his other dog lives with his boyfriend. She and I bonded last night. She is just so sweet. She wouldn't leave my side last night, and when I finally went home, my boss said she sat by the door and looked for me to come back and whined.
Sigh. I love dogs, but I'm allergic to them. I ended up with hives last night and took Benadryl, which knocked me out totally. I slept through my alarm going off for two hours this morning.
I'm going to sleep now. I still feel like I got hit with a truck.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
...that people who have served our country bravely in the military should never be required to write anything, ever. They've served their time. They deserve a break.
So do those of us who have to edit their writing.
That is all.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Just thought you should know.
So, I have run out of things to say.
I have to work tomorrow. We have a short suspense proposal due, and we are short staffed.
I bought apples at Whole Foods yesterday. You know, I have to say that I don't mind spending more for apples there. They are a thousand percent better than the ones from the grocery store.
I downloaded "I Lost on Jeopardy" to my phone today. There are a handful of people who know why that is significant. Don't know if any of them read this blog or not.
You know, pigeons look smaller on British TV shows than they do in the US. Just an observation as I watch British shows on PBS.
Walker Shortbread is the best ever.
And finally, a deep thought:
How now, Brown Cow? How now?
Friday, November 10, 2006
This is my 366th post. In honor of my second "year" of posting, here is a pathetic, incomplete little piece of fiction based on a prompt TG gave me a long, long, long time ago. It's less than halfway finished and not even close to edited, so don't judge too harshly.
Clint Davis straightened his tie, and brushed invisible lint off the jacket of his $1000 suit as he strode through the hotel lobby. He paused momentarily in front of a mirrored wall to check his appearance. After a small adjustment to his heavily gelled hair, he continued on to the Esplanade Ballroom. He was greeted by multiple balloon arrangements and a black and silver banner reading, “WELCOME PIERCE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1989.”
He stopped at the registration table and was given a name tag that also featured his senior yearbook picture. He frowned at the image of the skinny, acne-ridden seventeen-year-old, who also sported glasses, braces, and a mullet. He tried to shove the nametag into his jacket pocket, but the perky former cheerleader who was manning the registration table wouldn’t let him. Instead, he affixed it to the left side of his jacket, conveniently allowing the lapel to cover the picture.
The ballroom was filled with small groups of people talking, laughing, and reminiscing. Clint made his way through the room, nodding when he caught someone’s eye, or occasionally shooting them a finger gun. He ultimately reached his destination – the bar – where he ordered a scotch and soda. When he received his drink, he moved to the side of the bar and watched the crowds as he sipped his drink.
After a few moments, another man approached him. The man glanced at his nametag then up at him. “Clint Davis?” he asked with a note of surprise in his voice.
Clint looked at the other man’s nametag as well. “Bill Bradley,” he responded flatly. “Long time, no see.”
“Wow. You look…different.”
An uncomfortable silence lingered for a moment, then Bill asked, “So, what have you been doing with yourself?”
“Oh, well, you know,” Clint responded. “I graduated college, founded a software company, sold it, and founded a venture capital firm that is about to have an IPO. And you?”
“Wow,” Bill paused as if trying of absorb all that Clint just said. “Well, nothing as exciting as that. I got my degree in marketing, and I’ve been working at a PR firm ever since.” He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. “Here’s my card.”
Clint looked at it before slipping it into his inside pocket. “Senior account rep. Impressive.”
“I used to think so, until I saw you.”
“Yes. Well, not everyone can achieve greatness.” Clint said, favoring Bill with a small smile.
Bill shifted a little. “No, I suppose they can’t.”
“I’m sorry I can’t reciprocate with my card. I just bought a new wallet at the Coach store, and I forgot to put my cards in it.”
“Oh, that’s fine. Totally understand.” Bill looked around the room for a moment and said suddenly, “Oh, I need to go. My wife giving me the I-can’t-believe-you-dragged-me-here-then-abandoned-me look. It was great seeing you again.”
“You, too,” Clint replied. They shook hands before Bill made his way across the room. After lingering at the bar a moment longer, Clint made his way to the hors d’oveurs table.
When Bill arrived back to the table where his wife was, he asked his fellow alumni, “Have you seen Clint Davis yet?”
Joe Smirna frowned. “Clint Davis?” he asked. “He was that funny-looking guy. Kind of a loner?”
“That’s him. Apparently he’s had a little success in life.”
“Yeah? What’s he doing?” Christine Heinrich-Cunningham inquired.
“Apparently, he owns a venture capital firm.”
The faces around the table appeared genuinely shocked. “Clint Davis? Are you sure?” Joe’s voice held a note of doubt.
“That’s what he says. He certainly looks the part.” Bill turned in his seat slightly scanning the room for Clint. “There he is,” he said when he finally found him.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
...Just in case I get home late. I'm going to see a friend whose mother died last week, and who just had her first prenatal ultrasound today. She wants me to see pictures of her little ball of cells. She's only reaching the end of her first trimester, so I'm pretty sure that's all I'll be able to see on the ultrasound pictures. Then again, what do I know? I've never had a baby, and I probably never will. Female issues. Won't bore you with the gory (or lack of gory, if you get my meaning) details.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Since I have had so many new visitors here lately, I thought I'd pose a question.
Can you freeze something with cooked eggs in it, something like strata? I found a recipe for a breakfast casserole I would like to try, but being a single person, even halving the recipe is too much for just me. I could quarter it, I suppose, but that would be a heck of a lot of effort for two meals. So I thought if I could freeze it, I could solve the eating breakfast problem, because all I would have to do is take a container to work with me and throw it in the microwave. Will it heat up OK in the microwave?
Oh, and just as a note? The pumpkin cheesecake at Whole Foods kicks serious butt They put a ton of cinnamon in it, just the way I like my pumpkin.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Today has been really, really slow again. So I have spent my time looking at recipes on Cooks.com. I've decided I need to cook more.
Oh, and there is great sorrow in the land in my office. The company Christmas party is limited to two free drinks. I don't drink (much), so that's fine by me, but many, many folks are more than a little upset.
I don't plan to stay long anyway, so I have no cause to complain. Parties just aren't my thing. So yes, I am going to spend over $100 on the fancy purple dress to spend an hour at this shindig. Yes, I am an idiot.
Monday, November 06, 2006
I can't believe I have three more hours of work before I can go home. Sigh. That's what I get for sleeping in today.
I've had insomnia lately (except for Saturday, when I slept all day), so I took Benadryl last night so I could get to sleep at a decent time. Yeah, it knocked me out really good. I got up to go to the bathroom at one point and I felt like I was under water, I was so groggy. Normally I wake up completely in those situations. And when my alarm went off this morning, there was no way in creation I was getting up - I wasn't physically capable of it. Next time I have to take something, I think I'll take it earlier.
The good thing is that my company doesn't care what hours you work, as long as you work at least 80 in a two week period. I really like that about us.
I'm going to get the purple outfit for the Christmas party. I looked at it in person this weekend, and I really liked it. Now I just need to find jewelery, shoes, etc. Sigh. It's tough being a girl.
Oh, but my nails are growning and not breaking! My nails have been brittle for so long that I've forgotten what it was like for them to grow like this. As soon as they are all a decent length, I'm going to treat myself to a real manicure, maybe even at a spa. And maybe I'll even get a pedicure. Yeah.
But first, I need to get my hair cut. It's really long, and when it gets really long, it gets tangled. I actually broke a comb trying to get a knot out today. And not one of those cheapie combs. This was a good one.
That is enough girliness for a while. I may be back later in the day.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
So, it's 11:15 and I'm not in church. Again. Sigh.
My sleep has been really disturbed lately. I used to have no trouble getting up by 9:30 to get ready for church. But when you don't fall asleep until after 7 a.m., that's kind of difficult. I wish I could sleep in the bedroom, but alas, I can't (that is a really, really long story). I bet I would sleep better. Sigh. Maybe I can get a new mattress early next year.
So since I am not at church, I'm going to write the entry I should have written on Tuesday, which was Reformation Day - the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. I am going to write about what led me away from the Catholic church and to the Lutheran Church.
Now, if you dig through my archives, you might think that it was my experience working for a church that led me down this path. I suppose that was the catalyst, but I think this was a long time coming. I will say, though, that there is nothing like working directly for the Catholic church (or any other church, I suppose) to bring to light all of its warts.
But really, my journey away from the Catholic church started when I was in fourth grade. That was the year in my parish when boys could become altar servers. Now, keep in mind I had been to church with my Lutheran mother, and I had seen girls serve at the altar. They wore the same things our servers did, and they seemed to do the same things as well.
Well, one day Fr. David Kriss came into our classroom, to make his pitch for boys to become altar boys (I used his real name because he is dead, and I really don't care if people know I harbor some animosity toward him. That is a long story as well). He specifically said he was there to talk to the boys, and the girls didn't have to listen. Then he talked about what an honor it was to serve the Lord at the altar, and how altar servers would learn all about the Mass from the inside, and how it would lead to success later in life. Now, all that sounded good to me. I was a pious little kid. I liked church. I prayed voluntarily on my own. I tried to read the Bible. I sincerely wanted to be a server.
So, after Fr. Kriss finished his spiel, he took questions. I waited until all the boys had asked whatever questions they had, then I raised my hand. He called on me, which actually surprised me. I asked him why girls couldn't serve at the altar. He told me that it was because being an altar server was the first step in becoming a priest, and women couldn't be priests. I responded that not all altar boys go on to be priests. He said that some do, and it was just the first step in the process. I asked him then why women couldn't be priests. He said that it was because that's the way Jesus wanted it, and that's why he chose only men to be His apostles. I said that wasn't fair. He said that he thought he had to have a talk with my father about my smart mouth. That was the first of many times he left me in tears over the next four years. My dad could be a bit...hard when it came to religion. He actually considered the priesthood when he got out of the Army, so he was very serious about that stuff.
It turned out that I didn't have anything to worry about. There was no love lost between my dad and Fr. Kriss. When he first came to our parish, he once delivered an hour long homily about how evil popular music was. My dad timed it. It was exactly an hour. Now, Catholics are used to homilies that are, at most, 10-15 minutes long. My dad complained about that homily for a long time, both for its length and its content. Not that he didn't think that pop music was bad; I wasn't allowed to listen to the popular stations until I was a junior in high school. But my dad also believed in free speech, and believed that it was up to parents to decided what their kids were exposed to, with no interference. He resented Fr. Kriss telling parents what to allow or not to allow their children to listen to. He didn't like priests in generally sticking their noses into marriage or parenting. So when Fr. Kriss talked to him the following Sunday, he pretty much ignored him.
Oh, and that was the beginning of my dad's efforts to avoid the Masses that "Fr. Little Priest" said. We seemed to go to a different mass every week so my dad wouldn't have to deal with him.
The frustration I felt at not being able to serve Jesus and the church was the beginning of the end for me.
I shall write more later. I should probably actually get something done today to make up for yesterday.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I have done nothing but sleep pretty much all day today. I'm not proud of that fact, but it is what it is.
I think my glands are swollen. I don't feel sick, though. They just hurt. I'm going to ignore it though. I don't have to go to the doctor until January, and I don't plan to tempt fate.
Christmas party is on Dec. 8th. I was going to get my hair cut next week, but I think I'll put it off unti closer to the date.
Not much of a post considering when it is.
Oh well, laundry calls. Sigh.
I shall see you after church tomorrow.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Sorry I never made it back. That pesky thing called work got in the way. Plus I had a headache. I hate it when I wake up with a headache.
I'm going to save the rest of the story of Sheryl for tomorrow. Instead, I have a few other things to write about.
First, an online literary journal has published a previously unknown poem by Sylvia Plath. She wrote it in the margin of a copy of The Great Gatsby she used during her senior year at Smith. The article I read said that the poem showed the characteristic combination of humor and darkness that is present in her later poetry. I think that is really cool, and it makes me happy that some of her very early work is being discovered. Take that, Ted Hughes (who said that Plath essentially became a poet when she met him...arrogant jerk).
Oh, and the poem was a Petrachian sonnet. Just in case you wanted to know.
Second, the whole mess with the evangelical minister and the allegations he had sex with a male prostitute. The bleeding heart liberal part of me wants to cheer that further hypocracy has been revealed in that whole religious/political movement.
But the Christian part of me worries for that very reason. It seems that the vast majority of what most people hear and read about prominent Christians in this country are all stories out of the evangelical right. And most people, I think, even some conservatives, can tell that there is something...extreme about that whole movement (yes, I am trying to be kind). And you know, there are a lot of people out there who's sole impression of Christianity is one of hellfire and brimstone preachers condemning homosexuality, premarital sex, extramarital sex, masturbation, alcohol use, drug use, abortion, euthanasia, , stem cell research, and tons of other things I can't even think of. Then they see these same preachers getting caught by the media in soliciting prostitutes, being drunk, using drugs, etc. It's no wonder that a lot of atheists, agnostics, and others see Christians in an unfavorable light.
I was thinking about that today as we discussed this mess at lunch. I know that my boss really has no love for Christianity (he grew up in Catholic schools, which is not a great place for a gay person to grow up - especially when he was young), and one of my coworkers looks at me with a little less respect whenever I mention something having to do with church. That makes me sad. Not every Christian thinks less of people who are gay, or believes that America needs to be run on Christian principles. Not everyone opposes researching what stem cells may be able to do.
But as long as things like this happen, as long as this is the only image of Christianity the media chooses to share, that is the impression that people will have.
I don't know what to do about it. I'm not suggestion that I have any...suggestions. Part of it is the fault of mainstream churches for remaining silent when we see our Evangelical brothers and sisters loudly preaching less than wonderful messages. Part of it is the fault of the media for only focusing on the sensational and the outrageous.
I don't know. I just know it makes me sad.
Finally, on a semi-related note, apparently Neil Patrick Harris has announced that he is gay. Part of me says, "Duh!" but part of me doesn't want to give up my Doogie Howser fantasies. Yes, I just admitted that I have had fantasies about Doogie Howser. Of course, he was always of an appropriate age in them, except of course when I was in high school.
I'm going to stop putting my foot in my mouth now. Have a lovely night.
The Bloptastic adventure continues. This month (and we're only three days in) has made me realize just how much I like blogging, and that I really ought to do it more. I't also seems to have my writerly juices flowing. If I get into the habit of writing every day, perhaps the completion of the Great American Novel might not be such a pipe dream.
So since there are so many new folks wandering through here, I thought I should take a minute to introduce myself again.
Let's see...I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, went to college in Erie, PA. I moved to Baton Rouge a little over four years ago. It has been a bit of an adventure, to say the least.
I shall continue this later.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
One of the best things about NaBloPoMo is getting to visit lots of new sites, and getting visits from folks who would never find you otherwise. I had 37 hits today.
And on that note, if you click on the first link in my link list, it will lead you to a random NaBloPoMo site, thanks to Pink Elephants.
It is a really, really slow day at work, so enjoy! (via LutherPunk)
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (a little one)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (well, done a zip line at any rate)
11. Visited Paris (Texas)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise.
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (tomatoes and peppers)
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (I sometimes lay on the southern a little thick, especially when doing business with "good ol' boy" types)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (No, but I'm up to 28)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip (drove to Houston once for no apparent reason)
48. Gone rock climbing (I'm counting the wall in the gym in high school)
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow (and have the pictures to prove it)
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero (I had a thing for jumping off the back of the couch and pretending I could fly when I was little)
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain (though I have never skinny dipped in the rain!)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China (hey, it's the name of a restaurant here in BR!)
67. Started a business (a lemonade stand counts, huh?)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (home movie, that is)
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (see the bit about the Queen of Hearts and the traffic light)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo (no, but people keep trying to get me drunk so I'll get one)
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark (no, but I have eaten alligator and crawfish)
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone (does the KH during the 1992 elections count?)
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised (raising) children (child)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (no, but I have walked the Smithfield Street Bridge, the Fort Pitt Bridge, the Fort Duquesne Bridge, the West End Bridge, the 7th Street Bridge, the 9th Stree Bridge, the Birmingham Bridge, and the Chartiers Bridge)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived (I was damned lucky the van ran over my leg and not something critical)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart (probably)
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show (no, but I did win a case of beer on the radio)
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse (and a donkey)
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (yeah, but it never quite takes)
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad (and the Odyssey)
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (Salinger, Kipling, Austen)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (we've only managed to have one, and since it was in the bar that didn't check ID's when we were in high school, I decided it wasn't worth the plane ticket back to Pittsburgh)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream depressing though, that.
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair (worked at one)
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
If you do this on your own blog, leave me a comment so I can check it out
...and so am I.
For those of you new here, if you haven't already figured it out, I'm really bad at titles. Hence the name of my blog. I frequently resort to song titles and lyrics, or leave no title at all.
Well, here we are on day two of NaBloPoMo. So far, so good.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
So, I'm going to continue in the vein of randomness and share a whole bunch of unconnected stuff with all of you today. Don't you feel privledged? Huh?
(suffers the indignity of resounding silence...)
- I think I need to see my dermatologist again. I had another staph infection (which the antibiotics cleared up nicely), and she prescribed antibiotics without seeing me. But now my skin is freakishly dry and itchy. Plus I just had another mole pop up as if from nowhere, and it's pretty big. Crap. I hate doctors.
- Speaking of skin, I found a great new website if you are into skin and bath products and stuff like that. They have a lot of European products all in one place. I just bought some Lily of the Valley perfume that actully smells like lillies of the valley. Casswell-Massey and Crabtree&Evelyn never did. I love it! There prices are pretty good compared to other sites I've seen, and their shipping is incredibly low. Plus, they will gift wrap for free.
- The co-worker I've written about before? The one who intimidates the living daylights out of me because she is sooo much cooler and more sophisticated than I could ever hope to be? She's leaving. She got a really great job opportunity. I wish I could say that I'm sorry to see her go, but I'm not. She's the reason I was working late last night, and yes, it's not her fault she was sick, but it just seemed too convenient that it happened to coincide with a proposal she didn't want to work on in the first place.
- The Great American Novel. Sigh. If only I could get all the stuff in my head on paper, without actually having to type it.
- I'll grant that I was a pretty shy kid in college. And I'll grant that I was one of the few who didn't drink until I was 21, and even then was never drunk (heck, I was designated driver for my 21st birthday). But I'd like to believe that no amount of alcohol in the world would cause me to strip naked and go skinny dipping in an apartment complex pool, where all 150 or so units overlook it. Why yes, I did witness this in my complex the other night. It was pouring down rain, to boot.
- The sample lables on the Blogger Beta posting page are scooters, vacation, fall. I really want to write a post that incorporates all three, so I can make use of them. Perhaps I shall write about the accident where I fell from my scooter while on vacation in the fall. That is totally made up, by the way. I'm way too uncoordinated for scooters. Heck, I broke my foot twice, once while practicing the Mexican Hat Dance and once when I was walking down some stairs. I shudder to think what a scooter could do to me.
- Is deep, deep purple an OK color to wear for a holiday party? If it is, I think I've found my outfit for the company Christmas party. I shall post pictures later.
- Finally, in honor of Halloween, the absolute best Halloween costumes I ever had were the the year I was the Queen of Hearts (my mom made an absolutely stunning gown out of nylon net, and I wore a white nightgown underneath it), and the year I was a stop light (My dad cut three holes in a big cardboard box and covered them with red, yellow, and green cellophane. I had a flashlight inside and could shine it through the colors. Unfortunately, he had to go up to houses with me because I couldn't carry my treat bag myself).
- Finally for real, I think my hair is falling out. I'm wearing a cream colored sweater today, and I just looked down at my shoulders, and there is hair all over the place. That's not good.
My first official post of NaBloPoMo. For those just passing through, if you want to know what I'm talking about, scroll through to the post called "Giving In." Linkage is there.
I had a big, long post planned for this kickoff, but I got stuck working late on a proposal that wasn't even mine. Wasn't really happy about that, but it's a long story.
So instead, I will leave you with these bits of information you really don't need to know about my life.
- I just picked at a scab on my calf from where I cut myself on a knife that I accidentally threw in the trash. I'm bleeding profusely at the moment.
- I desperately need to do laundry but don't feel like lugging it all the way across the complex.
- I think I'm having vision issues, but I can't get my insurance company to approve an appointment with an opthamologist. They say I have to see an optometrist first, but the only ones in the plan are ones affiliated with opticians. I don't trust them.
- My hair needs to be cut really, really badly.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Posted by Sheryl at 7:33 PM
This year, I am not doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who are among the uninitiated). I have come to the conclusion that my writing style just doesn't allow for writing 50K words in a month.
But I did come across something I can handle. Via Laid Off Dad, I learned about NaBloPoMo. National Blog Posting Month, for those of you who can't figure that out. The goal is to post every day for the month of November. I can do that. If you are interested, click on the link in the title to sign up. To get a groovy icon to put on your blog (which I have yet to do) click here.
Oh, and someone recently asked me about my presidential campaign. I have not abandoned it, but I realized that the elections are not next year, but in 2008 (yeah, I can be slow like that). So rest assured, my fellow Americans, that the Birthday Party candidate will be updating soon.
And just as a side note, let me just say that I seem to have acclimated to living in the South. When I left the apartment, the temperatures were in the 50's, and I was freezing.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I am my father's daughter. And my mother's, too.
Let me explain
My dad had the soul of an artist. I always wished that whoever advised him when he was in college (he did two years before dropping out) had pushed him toward art instead to business. For a tough, blue-collar guy who served in the military and grew up during the Depression, he was surpisingly sensitive.
My dad loved watching home improvement shows on TV. Now, we didn't have cable, so it was pretty much whatever was on PBS. He always thought that he could build whatever Norm Abrams was making, or whatever. The problem was that even if he did attempt it, he wouldn't be able to.
It wasn't that my dad didn't have the skill. He was amazing with wood when he wanted to be. The problem was that my dad didn't like to follow directions. He didn't measure anything ever. You know how they always say, "measure twice, cut once" to avoid mistakes? My dad thought that measuring took the fun out of things. He had a picture in his mind, and he somehow made the picture tangible.
Now, things didn't always turn out the way he planned. He made a paper towel holder for the kitchen that was really great, but the two sides the tube holder went into somehow ended up uneven and really not looking anything alike. But it had a certain flair to it nonetheless.
The best thing my dad ever made was a stable for our nativity set. He didn't measure anything at all. I know this for a fact because I watched him the whole time. But somehow or another, even with windows cut into the sides, it turned out absolutely perfect. Oh, it's a little lopsided, but when you think about it, buildings then, especially somethng like a stable, probably were. That's what makes it so perfect.
My dad also did wood carving. I saw pictures of some of the pieces he made and sold, and they were beautiful. For some reason, though, he quit doing that. I think it was probably because the arthritis in his hands was too bad.
My dad alos never used power tools, except for his drill. if he had to make a hole in something, he drilled a hole through the center and used his coping saw to cut out the hole, then he'd sand it until it was smooth. I think he liked the challenge.
Now, my dad was capable of creating and using measured drawings. He took drafting classes in high school, and in fact he designed a World War II Memorial in his old neighborhood (if you are in Pittsburgh, take a drive down Spring Garden Road. If you are coming from town, it will be on your right, not much past my uncle's old bar. Of course, you most likely don't now where that is, so I suppose that's a moot point). I think he just didn't like working from them because they were...uniform.
Now my mom, on the other hand, was all about measuring. She sewed, knitted, and crocheted. And even though she grew up in the 40's and 50's, not many women of her generation did that. It was already a dying art, and now it is fading even more.
When my mom was making something, she was all about precise measurements. Even if she was making something as simple as a scarf, she knew exactly how long and wide she wanted it to be, and she knew exactly what the guage was of the yarn and needles she was using. If things didn't turn out exactly the way she wanted, she'd rip out all her stitches and start again.
When my mom was trying to teach me to sew, she'd get really, really frustrated. See, I was like my dad, and didn't like to measure. If I was knitting, I never knew how many stitches I casted on, so I never knew when I dropped stitches. If I was crocheting, I never knew how long my chain was, so I never noticed when my piece got progressively more narrow. And if I was making something from a pattern...forget it. Somehow, I never could manage to cut on the lines of the pattern. Nor could I manage to sew a straight seam, either by hand or on the machine. I personally didn't care, but it drove her up a wall, and usually ended up in tears for one or both of us.
I think that's why I liked making things with my dad more than with my mom when I was little. He'd give me a board, let me pound nails in anyway I wanted, and make string art from it. He'd let me draw a pattern freehand on a piece of board and try to cut it out with the coping saw. He'd never get mad when I couldn't get it perfect because, "that's what sandpaper is for." We'd make these really ornate paper cards (another skill my dad had) with fancy cutouts, and even if I couldn't recreate the lacy patterns he seemed to create without even trying, it was OK (though it wasn't OK when we used my mom's fancy sewing scissors to cut the paper because they were finer and smaller than the other scissors).
I find it funny (peculiar, not ha ha), then, that I find myself drawn more to fabric and yarn craft now than I do to woodcraft. Now, I could blame it on my bad experiences with wood in academia (wood shop in OVT in 7th and 8th grade, Scene Tchnology in college), or my absolute fear of power tools (which they made us use in academia, no matter hard we begged to use a plain old coping saw or hack saw). But I really don't know.
But the really interesting thing is that despite the fact that I crochet and all that, I never measure. I just make a chain until it looks long enough and go from there. Then, when the piece looks done, or when I run out of yarn, it's done. As a result, I have some of the strangest looking pillows ever seen in my apartment right now. The one I finished last night is a case in point. It's about six inches wide, about 18 inches long, and about 3 inches high. I decided to make this one kind of like a bolster, so I had to make two end pieces. Well, I didn't measure, and they didn't quite fit, but I faked it. I also bought cheap stuffing (not going to do that again, I think). The result is a a weird, lopsided, lumpy mess. But at the same time, it is amazingly cool.
My point to all this is that I seem to be combining the best qualities of my mom and dad when it comes to creating. And I think that is pretty cool.
My next obsession after crocheting pillows is going to be quilting. We'll see how that no measuring, no pattern thing works out with that.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
You scored 83% knowledge and 64% obsession!
|"'Did you like question ten Moony?' asked Sirius as they emerged into the entrance hall.|
'Loved it,' said Lupin briskly. 'Give the five signs that identify the werewolf.' 'Excellent question.'
'D'you think you managed to get all the signs?' said James in tones of mock concern.
'Think I did,' said Lupin seriously.
'One: He's sitting on my chair. Two: He's wearing my clothes. Three: His name's Remus Lupin...'"
Well done! You are obviously knowledgeable and you have a great attention for details. You have a keen interest in the magical world, but you do not become so emotionally invested that are are no longer objective. It is important to keep your wits about you in dangerous situations, but you are able to do it with ease. You are an excellent teacher, a loyal friend, and a worthy opponent. As long as you keep a bit of Wolfsbane Potion on hand, you should manage well. Anyone who wouldn't want you as an ally is being totally Riddikulus!
|My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Harry Potter Obsessed Test written by ack_attack on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Saturday, October 14, 2006
So yesterday I was trying to find a recipie for corn chowder that is in a cookbook I can't currently find. I found it, but in my search, I happened upon a recipe for crockpot apple cobbler. I made it, and it was good, but cobbler is really a bit of a misnomer. It's closer to an apple crisp, I think. I've included the recipie below, along with my modifications, and what I plan to do next time I make it.
The recipie calls for eight apples, but I used 10: five Granny Smith, four Braeburn, and one Mcintosh that I bought by accident. That's a pretty good mixture of sweet and tart.
The recipie called for 3/4 of a cup, but I used a full cup. Might have been a skosh too much - it was a little richer than I would have wanted. You could substitute margerine if you wanted to, I suppose, but why would you?
The recipie calls for 1 3/4 cups, and doesn't specify what kind. I used right around two full cups, half brown and half white. I think I would probably go a little lighter on the sugar as well
The recipie says a teaspoon, I say the more the better. I love cinnamon, so I put a lot of this in.
- Granola Cereal
The recipie says 2 cups. I used around 3. I bought plain granola, but the instructions suggested fruit and nut granola. I don't like nuts, however, so I bought plain.
Peel and cut up the apples. I used a mixture of slices and chops, mainly because I'm really bad at cutting things. Toss them in the crockpot, and mix them together with the sugar and cinnamon. Now, the directions say to melt the butter and coat the granola, but I didn't do that. Instead, I cut up the cold butter into pieces and mixed it in with the apples and sugar. I don't think it really makes a difference. Then put the granola in and mix everything up. Cook it on low for about 6 hours.
It was really good, but with the texture, it would be best suited as a topping for ice cream or waffles or something like that. What I did when I served it was to mix in more granola. That gave it a little more heft, and a little bit of crunch.
I think if I make it again, I will only put a cup of the granola in at first, and then put the rest in about an hour before it is done. It needs some in there when it is reducing to thicken it up, but it basically disinegrated.
I'll share the corn chowder recipie a little later.
Crockpots are a good thing (or they would be if I didn't keep breaking the crockery. I have three pots, but only one crock.)
Posted by Sheryl at 4:11 PM
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Well, I am officially a loser now. The computer geek who's into cross stitiching and fly fishing closed communication with me because he thought I was boring. Sigh. I'm going to die alone surrounded by fish wearing little sweaters I crocheted for them.
Forgive my emotional whining. I have cramps again - still no results, but the cramps are there. Boy, are they there.
I'm also wearing all black today. How much more emo can you get? I suppose I could play funeral dirges while I work, but I doubt my coworkers would appreciate that.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
If not, this should confirm it.
If You Were Born in 2893...
Your Name Would Be: Emi Iara
And You Would Be: A Time Traveler
Apparently, normal names are going to disappear in 800 years.
|You Are Homer Simpson|
You're just an ordinary, all-American working Joe...
With a special fondness for pork rinds and donuts.
You will be remembered for: your little "isms" and philosophies on life
Your life philosophy: "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel."
|Your Career Personality: Independent, Insightful, and Ingenious|
Your Ideal Careers:
Video game developer
|You Are 64% Shy|
You are a very shy person, and it has started to impact your life in a negative way.
If you can avoid human contact, you usually do. And as a result, you miss out on a lot.
|You Are 92% Lady|
No doubt about it, you are a lady with impeccable etiquette
You know how to put others at ease, even if their manners aren't the greatest.
|You Are 50% Weird|
Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!
This one I can go with...
|Your Hillbilly Name Is...|
Who knew? My grandmother's middle name was Pearl, though. Perhaps it was meant to be.
|You Belong in 1973|
If you scored...
1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!
1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.
1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!
1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.
1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!
|Your Monster Profile|
You Feast On: Lasanga
You Lurk Around In: The Ocean
You Especially Like to Torment: Dentists
I like this one. Surfing dentists of the world, watch out!
|Your Animal Personality|
Your Power Animal: Deer
Animal You Were in a Past Life: Panda
You are a fun-seeker - an adventurous, risk-taker.
While you are spontaneous, you are not very rational.
|You Are a Conservative Democrat|
Frankly, the way most other Democrats behave embarasses you greatly.
You pride yourself on a high level of morals, and you have a good grasp on right and wrong.
It's likely you think America needs to get back to its conservative, Juedo-Christian values.
Why aren't you a Republican then? Because you believe the goverment helps more than hurts.
|You Belong in Brooklyn|
Down to earth and hard working, you're a true New Yorker.
And although you may be turning into a yuppie, you never forget your roots.
|You are a Believer|
You believe in God and your chosen religion.
Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..
Your convictions are strong and unwavering.
You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.
|You Should Learn Swedish|
Fantastisk! You're laid back about learning a language - and about life in general.
Peaceful, beautiful Sweden is ideal for you... And you won't even have to speak perfect Swedish to get around!
|You Are Rowlf the Dog|
Mellow and serious, you enjoy time alone cultivating your talents.
You're a cool dog, and you always present a relaxed vibe.
A talented pianist, you can play almost anything - especially songs by Beethoven.
"My bark is worse than my bite, and my piano playing beats 'em both."
|You Belong in San Francisco|
You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.
You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.
People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!
|Your Band Name is:|
|You May Be a Bit Dependent...|
You're more than a little preoccupied with being abandoned.
You need a lot of support in your life, at all times.
It's difficult for you to survive on your own...
And you don't reallly think you ever could.
|Your SAT Score of 1320 Means:|
You Scored Higher Than Howard Stern
You Scored Higher Than George W. Bush
You Scored Lower Than Al Gore
You Scored Lower Than David Duchovny
You Scored Lower Than Natalie Portman
You Scored Lower Than Bill Gates
Your IQ is most likely in the 130-140 range
Equivalent ACT score: 30
Schools that Fit Your SAT Score:
College of William and Mary
New York University
United States Naval Academy
University of California, Berkeley
|You Are Bert|
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
|You Have Your Sarcastic Moments|
While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.
|Your Aura is Blue|
Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.
You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.
The purpose of your life: showing love to other people
Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah
Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor
|You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer|
Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!
|You Are a Chihuahua Puppy|
Small, high strung, and loyal.
You do best in the city with a adults - young kids could crush you!
|Your Christmas is Most Like: A Christmas Story|
Loving, fun, and totally crazy.
Don't shoot your eye out!
|You Are 30% Left Brained, 70% Right Brained|
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.
The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.
|The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic|
Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.
Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski
|You Are 0% Extrovert, 100% Introvert|
You avoid people at all costs
You aren't one for social interaction
And you limit your interaction to a select few
Thank God for self checkout!
|You Are Expressionism|
Moody, emotional, and even a bit angsty... you certainly know how to express your emotions.
At times, you tend to lack perspective on your life, probably as a result of looking inward too much.
This introspection does give you a flair for the dramatic. And it's even maybe made you cultivate some artistic talents!
You have a true artist's temperament... which is a blessing and a curse.
|Your Boobies' Names Are...|
|You Should Rule Jupiter|
Huge and hot, Jupiter is a quickly turning planet with short days and intense gravity.
You are perfect to rule Jupiter, because you are both dominant and kind.
You have great strength and confidence, but you never abuse your power.
You are always right. Even if you make mistakes, you compensate for them... before anyone knows it.
Headstrong and ambitious, you always have a goal in mind. You are optimistic and believe thing things will always work out.
|You Are Boston|
Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.
Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block
|Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking|
You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.
You should major in:
|You Are Greg Brady|
Outta sight! Suave and all American, you tend to be clean cut and upstanding.
You're friendly with most people and a huge flirt (sometimes even with family members!).
|Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence|
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
|You Have Good Karma|
In general, you like to do the right thing when it comes to others.
Your caring personality really shines through.
Sure, you have your moments of weakness - and occasionally act out.
But, all in all, you're karma is good... even with those few dark spots.
|You Are 60% "Average American"|
You are average because you donate to charity.
You are not average since you rate your appearance 4 or lower.
|You Belong in Amsterdam|
A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).
|Your English Skills:|