Thursday, December 25, 2008
Somewhat tired, but fairly content I'd say. I think James and I both needed the time together - life's been a bit weird lately and just having the chance to spend a couple days with him was nice. And I will admit, I rather like the feeling of coming home from work knowing he'll be there.
Spent this morning at my parents' place, fairly uneventful. But we now have some photos of the two of us, courtesy of my mother. We never actually had any before... and really no good recent ones of us separate either, so I'll have somethng to carry around now. I haven't actually seen the photos yet - mom's going to burn a CD.
He was going to wait and leave tomorrow, but given that the weather is supposed to get potentially nasty again by then, and there'll be more traffic from people heading home, he went ahead and left late this afternoon. I would have liked to have another night, but he has things to do, and keeping him in one piece is kind of on my priority list. Better for him to leave when we know the weather's clear than leave it to chance.
My cat is pouting now that he's left. Okay, so I am a bit too, but I think the cat is even more than I am. lol Hopefully we'll have more chances for quality time soon. Too many "have-to's" lately. But I do find that funny... the cat is sulking now. Yet much of the time he was here, she was snubbing him because he took her spot on the couch. And, of course, how dare anyone come into this house and take my attention away from the one thing worth paying attention to in the household. She is the Royal Fuzzball, and she demands your continuous worship. I mean, how dare he not pet her every second of his visit!
Anyway, the gifting and whatnot went nicely this year. Dad seemed to like the game I got him quite well - Sega Bass Fishing for Wii. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but it's pretty fun. Gave mom a gift card for lack of knowing what else to give her. Tea for my sister. James and I had agreed not to spend on each other this year (though I did get stocking stuffers because mom doesn't like having someone sit around with nothing to open - those were just a bunch of little things though). They gave him a set of photo frames, since I had told mom ahead of time that we wanted some photos taken. I have a new sweater, a nice new desk chair (hooray for having one that isn't like, ten years old and beat up - this one's nice and leather). Also got the full series of MASH - collector's edition - movie included. Which I will have to watch because I've never seen the movie. And, from my aunt and uncle, a nice oversized microplush throw.
And still the cat sulks.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And I've been taunting him all week with the fact that I got him the dorkiest stocking stuffers ever. And he knows he can't ask what they are because I won't tell him until he opens them. *snickers*
Why yes, I believe there is a little evil in me now and then.
Meanwhile, the dsl modem is on its way in the mail. Finally, finally I will have real internet. I'll tell you, going from a ridiculously fast connection in college, only to move back to your home "town" (because it's more field than town) and be stuck with no option but dialup, is just a big kick in the pants. Especially when you're an artist and used to browsing very image-heavy sites, along with uploading the occasional large-format file of your own work.
Having that take seconds rather than minutes or hours (yes, sometimes hours) will be a wonderful change. Hey, updating my programs won't take nearly as long! Especially when that new version of GIMP comes out with more bug fixes (and occasionally more bugs). I usually have to wait about 8 hours for that thing to download. And my dialup times out after 12 hours. Oh yeah. It's awesome.
No, as a matter of fact, I don't have Photoshop yet. One of these days I need to hunt down a used copy of PS7 (because I'm fond of the older program, since I learned on it and know all the controls), but for now I don't do enough digital art to really muck with it. Though that is changing now that I have a tablet... because GIMP rather likes to crash when I try to use my tablet. I don't know why it hates me so.
Anyway, enough rambling for one night. I think I'll go collapse on the couch with a nice cup of tea and relax for the evening.
Monday, December 15, 2008
This will mean I can actually get my second computer and work from home this winter. This will also mean my internet will not suck anymore. Which is a very, very good thing. I'm so sick of dialup. It'll be nice to actually click on a website and have it, you know, load again. I miss that. lol
Saturday, December 13, 2008
But Firefox has been updated with some shiny new add-ons that, while a bit annoying, will be much less annoying in the long run than having nasty little keyloggers install themselves on my computer, run even in safe mode, and disable everything that can kill them.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
So unless my last trick works (my uncle said something about running my hard drive as a slave drivfe to a non-infected computer to let it boot and run the scanners - I'm gonna see if he'll help me with that), I will have to back up all my files and completely format my hard drive, just start over. :\ Which means until I get everything sorted and saved and rebooted, I cannot be online because I don't want some jerk to read everything I'm doing on my machine.
So, I don't know how long it'll be before I can actually start posting again. I just don't have an extra machine to use as a backup until I get this all sorted. *sighs* Anyway, wish me luck....
Saturday, November 29, 2008
That rather disgusts me.
I am, however, happy to know they are treating it as a homicide case. There's no excuse for that. That guy, knowing where he worked, had no choice but to be there that day (sick or not). Couldn't have avoided the crowds by staying home (though people really shouldn't have to avoid being trampled just by going out shopping... if they want to be trampled they can go to Pamplona for the runnig of the bulls). And people were too greedy and busy to get their bargain shopping done, they didn't even stop to avoid hurting or killing somebody.
I am so disappointed in my fellow man.... No, it's beyond disappointed. I'm outraged. That people turn into that big of MORONS for a day of shopping... and it really is all greed, folks. That's not what this season is supposed to be about.
I hope those idiots are damn proud of themselves. I really do.
*shakes her head*
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Was listening to the radio on the way home, and an ad for some jeweler came on. Naturally, I tuned it out. Until I heard:
"Or check out our new cocoa diamonds!"
Now, even this didn't seem too attention-worthy, since I figured it was the name of some random color of diamond they were offering. But it went on:
"That's right! Chocolate-covered diamonds! What better gift to give your loved ones this holiday season?"
Uh... the heimlich maneuver? Trip to the dentist?
Can we say "lawsuit waiting to happen"? Yes, yes I think we can.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Mr. LEWIS of Georgia.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank my friend and colleague for yielding me the time.
Let me say to the gentleman that when I was growing up in the south during the 1940s and the 1950s, the great majority of the people in that region believed that black people should not be able to enter places of public accommodation, and they felt that black people should not be able to register to vote, and many people felt that was right but that was wrong. I think as politicians, as elected officials, we should not only follow but we must lead, lead our districts, not put our fingers into the wind to see which way the air is blowing but be leaders.
Mr. Chairman, this is a mean bill. It is cruel. This bill seeks to divide our nation, turn Americans against Americans, sew the seeds of fear, hatred and intolerance. Let us remember the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths self-evident that all people are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This bill is a slap in the face of the Declaration of Independence. It denies gay men and women the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Marriage is a basic human right. You cannot tell people they cannot fall in love. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to say when people talked about interracial marriage and I quote, ``Races do not fall in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married.''
Why do you not want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy? Why do you attack them? Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their longings, their aspirations?
We are talking about human beings, people like you, people who want to get married, buy a house, and spend their lives with the one they love. They have done no wrong.
I will not turn my back on another American. I will not oppress my fellow human being. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Mr. Chairman, I have known racism. I have known bigotry. This bill stinks of the same fear, hatred and intolerance. It should not be called the Defense of Marriage Act. It should be called the defense of mean-spirited bigots act.
I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill, to have the courage to do what is right. This bill appeals to our worst fears and emotions. It encourages hatred of our fellow Americans for political advantage. Every word, every purpose, every message is wrong. It is not the right thing to do, to divide Americans.
We are moving toward the 21st century. Let us come together and create one nation, one people, one family, one house, the American house, the American family, the American nation.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I got my 11 free trees from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Thanks, guys. *headdesk*
Hopefully we'll find a way to keep them alive over the winter. Was planning to give them to my parents since they wanted more trees in their yard. That would suck if they all just up and died.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I have always been amazed at arts like this... always wondered how the maker can possibly know that the end result will be so beautiful. Much like with fireworks... things that are not often noted as arts.
Yes, I took the bloom from my teapot and put it in a vase. And there it will stay until it loses cohesion and stops being beautiful. It's just a simple little thing... but worth preserving for as long as possible, for the work of art it really is.
Friday, November 14, 2008
For the first time since college, I've gotten hungry for ramen.
Except now I doctor it up so it's actually worth eating (granted I did like the Shin Ramyun spicy ramen they used to sell at the Asian grocery... oh how I miss that...).
Also, I finally found a tea shop near me that's well worth going to. I rather wondered how they stayed in business being so hard to find. Spoke to the lady inside - they've been there for about 6 years, and make most of their money through wholesale. They import several of their items directly from China....
I behaved myself. I only bought 3 things.
..... okay 4. But the sakura tea looked interesting and I couldn't resist.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.
Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.
And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.
If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.
Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?
I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.
The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.
You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.
How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?
What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.
And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?
With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.
You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.
This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.
But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this: "I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. "It appealed to me as the highest that I can envision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."
Maybe, in that way, Prop 8 passing was a good thing.
No - hear me out!
See, Proposition 8 is just one more in a long line of state laws being passed that are terribly unconstitutional. My own state passed a law banning gay marriage a few years ago, which irked me to no end. But never once has it actually gotten national attention.
Until it happened in California. California, which has a large gay population. Which has Hollywood. Which has all these things we expect to be so progressive.
And yet this bill passed.
It was a wakeup call, and, terrible as the passing of this law is, it got everyone's attention.
Sometimes bad things need to happen to slap people in the face and make them say "enough is enough". It is a shame, but it's true.
Hopefully this will be that slap in the face this country needs. Hopefully we will rise up and tear down these laws that try to tell us it is wrong to love somebody.
I'll tell you something. Love may be hard, it may make us a little crazy sometimes, but real, true love is never wrong. How can it be? How can it possibly be? This, the purest and most unpoisoned of all emotions? I'm not talking about all the substitutes out there that are often mistaken for love, but love itself, true and genuine. How can that ever be wrong?
If there ever comes a day in this world when I feel in my heart that real, true love is wrong, then this will be a world I no longer want to live in.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So maybe that's why such things are necessary in every life. Only then are you truly laid bare to yourself, and forced to face you at last.
The question is, who do you find when you look that deep inside?
Friday, November 07, 2008
I call my parents to let them know since that's rather high and I wanted somebody to be aware (well, somebody closer - James had been informed I was going home sick so called to check in on me already). They said to keep an eye on it, but not to worry because I always got high fevers growing up, and often hit fevers of 104 as a child. At which point I mentioned that that's a little scary since they say that a prolonged fever of 103 or higher can cause brain damage.
So how do my parents respond? With words of concern making sure I get my fever down ASAP? Telling me to lie down and drink lots of fluids and stay cool? Oh no. Dad immediately responds with:
"Oh, so *that's* what's wrong with you."
Gee thanks, Dad. I love you too. lol
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
This entry is a long time in coming. It's quite often over the past few years that I've pondered this very thing in the middle of the night, but never once did I post it.
There are all too many things we take for granted in life. Doesn't matter how old we are. But it seems in childhood is when it happens the most. All too soon we want to grow up. Then when we do, we realize what we've lost. Or, at least, that's how it goes for those of us whose childhoods were, well, the way a childhood should be. But one thing I find myself missing is small, simple... just the utterance of three short phrases:
I love you.
I'll see you in the morning."
Every night for nearly 18 years (excluding, I suppose, when I was a baby since I wouldn't have understanded the words then), this was the last thing I heard before going to sleep. It's one of those little things you never realize you care about so much until you miss it.
"Good night" I'm sure we all keep hearing now and then. It's fairly common. That one we'll say to pretty much anyone as an evening "goodbye".
"I love you"... now there's something we hear less often. Even rarer if the person saying it well and truly means it. I suppose there must be those in the world who go their entire lives without hearing it. And for that, those of us who have heard it, I guess, ought to be grateful. Especially those of us who have heard it said and truly meant by someone outside our own family.
"I'll see you in the morning." Strange, isn't it, how that phrase is heard even less often than the other two. After we no longer get tucked in by our parents, it seems to go away entirely. There's plenty of "I'll see you tomorrow", but no "I'll see you in the morning."
Somehow, combined, the three phrases seem somehow more powerful. That strange comforting effect, perhaps just because it reminds us of a simpler time when we had fewer worries, when we were more sure of our place in the world.
Lately, at last, I have two of these phrases becoming more common in my life. "Good night" and "I love you." The latter, it seems, we went so long without saying, for whatever reason. But either way, it's nice to hear it again, and nice to hear it combined with a "good night".
Hearing all three together, I suppose, may never happen again. It's sort of limited, somehow, to tucking someone in. You have to say goodnight, leave them, and then expect to see them as soon as they wake up. I mean, I know some couples have taken to sleeping in separate bedrooms, but I rather find the practice somewhat silly myself. So your therapist told you the bedroom should only be for sleep and nothing else. Do people not like cuddling with their significant other in their sleep? Seems odd to me.
But it's strange, how much I miss that little triad sometimes.
But two out of three ain't bad.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I mean, I'm doing well where I am, but it's no secret to them that it's not where I want to be (which I suppose makes it that much more impressive to them that I'm doing this well... but just because I don't want to be there doesn't mean I won't do a good job while I AM there, and from what I'm told that makes me different from a lot of people, go figure). I find that funny actually... I apparently don't interview well because in spite of working on my confidence and social skills, when I'm new in a place (which includes interviews - can't be newer than that, right?) I'm still pretty awkward. But those who actually see through that to keep me tend to find out what an asset I am. My "worst" seems to be better than a lot of people's "average", and maybe even better than their "best" though I have no idea how many others are slacking off to be sure if they're even trying.
Of course I have to pause and make a tangent off my tangent to give a public thank you to Brian (dang, sorry, forgot your last name) of Tattletale Alarm. He's one of the most perceptive people I've ever met, and in an hour was able to tell me all about myself, down to the style of work I probably preferred. I don't believe he made a single mistake. At the time, though, I thought he had made one. At the end of the interview, he told me I'm a businesswoman. I disagreed, but he insisted I just didn't see it yet.
I think I'm starting to see it now.
Strangest interview I've ever had... was more like sitting down and chatting with friends by the end of it. Even if I was nervous as ever. Definitely the first interview I had where a dog was determined to get me hired. Ah well. Shame there wasn't a fit, but I guess that just means my life is leading me elsewhere. Or maybe that it just wasn't time yet. Who knows? Life's funny like that.
Anyway, back to the career change.
I tend to write instrumental music now and then for fun, that turns out well. But usually if I try to add lyrics to something, it ruins everything. I can write poetry, I can write music, but heaven forbid I try to put them together.
Unless they're utterly stupid, parody-ish songs (think stuff along the lines of "driving a truck with my high heels on", the vast majority of Denis Leary's songs - utterly ridiculous, most goodnatured jabs that might get my butt kicked by those with a less forgiving sense of humor). First was the infamous Pennsylvania Song that my parents got to listen to as we were getting lost in Pittsburgh. Invented on the spot based on the conversation, and things that actually happened.
Then there was the Canada Song which is not complete. Not necessarily a parody, but the lyrics are so corny it sounds much better if I pretend it was meant to be a goofy sort of song.
Today it was a love song involving a truck stop. Because on the way home from vacation there's a truck stop/gas station called "Love's", and dad made some comment that "love's truck stop" just made it sound wrong. I decided it sounded more like a bad country song.
I already have the first verse and need more.
Between the dumb songs and the book I'm trying to write, I'll have some material that may make some publishers think I'm out of my gourd here before long. lol No idea how long the book will take, but I WILL be finishing this one, and it's definitely getting pitched to someone.
On a final unrelated note, after a week of being away, my cat is VERY happy I'm home. Her babysitter for the week said she was an absolute pain within a few days of my leaving (thankfully didn't take long to give up her hunger strike), and I had a few stray messes to clean up. *shakes her head* My cat has separation anxiety... and gets jealous of any other animal in the house so I can't get her a buddy to play with. Can't afford kennel fees - no use though since she's not too big on strangers. She likes most of my family, but she's a bit warier than she used to be since whatever happened to her eye way back when, before she was an indoor kitty. So I don't have many options. She ignored the used shirt I left out for her to snuggle with.
Granted this time was worse than others, probably because of the power outages the same week I left. It disrupted our routine beforehand, then I disappeared for a week. She's now sittign here beside me, at least one eye open at all times to make sure I'm still here. Hopefully she won't go bananas when I leave for groceries tomorrow.... cats are easier than dogs to leave behind, I guess, but oy. Sad part is, if the drive weren't so long, I might have been able to take her with me. She actually adapts very well to new locations, as long as she knows where to find her food bowl, her litter box, and the bed. lol But she doesn't like the car.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This was when I realized that, in addition to the fact that I spent more time outside when I was a kid and living with them, I have also been missing something from my diet since I moved out of there.
Notice I didn't say natural foods. No, I'm not talking organic. I'm talking about honest to god, walk out into your backyard or the nearest forest where countless animals are bound to have peed on it kind of wild food. Best stuff in the world, I'm telling you.
See, it's not that the yard I share with my grandparents isn't nice, just for some reason between here and just 1/4 mile down the road the ecosystem is different. For one, up here I'd be more at risk of farm contaminants even if I did find something, since the fields right by me are crop fields. My parents live next to a cow pasture but that land is pretty much chemical-free. Yes, the creek also runs by my backyard too, but it doesn't have those low-slope banks, and just doesn't seem to have the same kind of soil. Here we have a few inedible weeds (okay, nettles are edible/make good teas after they dry, but are YOU going to pick them for me?). But there is a little spot right by my parents' creek that they never mow, that has wild onions, violets, and all sorts of things that are probably also edible if I cared to look them up.
And when I was a kid and spending so much time in the interesting diversity of my parents' yard, I would grab whatever plants were nearby and just munch on them, not even stopping to think of what kind they were. Various weeds I'd eat the shoots. Much to my mother's dismay I was fond of her daylily shoots too - didn't know at the time that daylily shoots and petals are, in fact, a perfectly edible food source. I just knew the little white bits tasted good.
So I wonder what nutrients are missing from my diet now that I don't just sit around outside and eat plants at random. Who knows what good I may have gotten from those? I certainly seemed healthy back then.
Of course, it was probably as much the sunlight as anything else.
Anyway, tonight I am planning to toss some chicken in the wok and stir fry it with some mushrooms, wild onions, and violets. Unfortunately the mushrooms are not wild - I forgot to ask my folks before they left if I could snatch some of the morels my other grandparents brought up from West Virginia. I'm not sure how many they have left anyway.
I suppose I'll give them a call and see if they want to do that for dinner and share with me.
Friday, February 22, 2008
If you have access to cable (unlike me, who has to leech off my parents' DVDs), there's a Canadian show that's recently started airing in the US that, if you have ever lived in a small town, you can easily get addicted to:
Seriously. I can't get enough of this show. There's only 4 seasons on DVD right now... I just keep watching them over and over and over... it really is one of those shows you can watch over and over again without getting tired of it.
Seriously, go watch it. Then share the addiction with a friend once you're hooked.