Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
It's been really cold here, and the puppies have been curled up and shivering on the sofa for two days. I decided I wanted them closer, so I set them up a little nest on a chair next to mine, and they curled up and snuggled. Was very cute and a very soothing effect to have them near at hand for occasional petting as I was on the phone all day. Am quickly discovering that in light of my workaholic tendencies, I'm going to be working a whole-whole-bunch. Will be good for the bank account, and I'm getting a lot accomplished, and helping out the new folks who have hired in the last month or so. The day flies by when I'm at home, and I'm near windows and not cooped up in a fluorescent veal pen. Much better, this way. I promise I'll blog about something besides pups and work sometime soon-- there's always school! I'm actually looking forward to going back to bellydance class this summer when the semester is over. :)
Wow. One quarter of this year is already over. How???
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
It was a very good day. :)
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I'm up into the wee hours tidying up the house. An IT guy from work will be here mid-morning tomorrow to get my computer all set up for working from home. *cautiously optimistic squeeing here*
Strangely, on the eve of starting to work from home, I interviewed yesterday for a promotion. I think I'm unlikely to land the job, but I was complimented the interviewer said he was pleased I applied. I won't be hurt for someone else to get the job-- I only care that they give it to someone who knows our department, and I think they've got a great field of candidates from which to choose. Still, it was nice to feel like they were excited about me as a candidate.
I'm excited about working from home. :)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Since the camera was invented, it has been used to document the demise of ne'er do wells. It was common in the old west for former bad guys, pining for the fjords, to pose for formal photography, sometimes with solemn lawmen redolent of the gravity and dignity called for on that occasion. This practice was carried well into the 20th century. Google images bonnie, clyde and dead and see what you find.
Further, just yesterday, I read a news article in the British press about gallows humour, and that-- however tasteless-- humour is and was ever thus a method for dealing with having experienced (or heard about) unimaginable horrors.
In that vein, I will say this: I don't know what the men in the photos experienced that led to that moment, and I am heartsick at the atrocity of it all, but I'm also not going to judge them where I don't know the whole story.
I will, however, be awaiting the spittle-flecked vitriolic harangues from the Village Voice decrying the president because he knew, he knew he HAD TO HAVE known! He was IN on it! He encouraged them to behave thusly.
Yeah, I know: *crickets*
Will Cindy Sheehan be flying to exotic locales to protest outside whatever posh hotel is hosting the Great One? Somehow, I think not.
Meanwhile, I remember images of thronging masses of Somalis celebrating in the street as the mangled corpse of an American was dragged through the village nearly 20 years ago. The locals cheered and celebrated. Meanwhile, we're supposed to be the good-natured, slow-to-anger, grin-and-bear-it sort. Somehow, a corpse block-party and step show looks far more barbaric to me than a few instances of an individual posing with long-pig that has given up the ghost. In scale of atrocity, these are light-years apart, in my book.
War is an ugly thing wherein people are assigned the odious task of breaking things and killing people. If we send men and women to go about the business of carrying on a campaign, then I think we need to stay out of the way and let them do their job.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
A prudish, drab creature came up to me one day and anounced, scandalized, that she could see my bra (the merest hint of which was peeking out from the neckline of my top). I looked down and said "ah. Okay. That's alright."
She blinked at me expectantly and for an instant reminded me of my terrier who speaks NO Engrish. Seeing I made no effort to cover up, she fairly hissed "this is a Christian company."
I said "it's okay. These are Christian breasts."
Friday, March 18, 2011
I hardly know where to begin. Marianne Faithfull sounds like she's channeling Greta Garbo. I dunno - tuneless droning in a spangled wimple? Bee-zarre!
And Bowie shaking his chest feathers is very, well, Bowie. Or was. Um. Did he invent manorexia? *sheesh*
Is it just my imagination or do they look a littled hopped-up?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Here's to my Great-Grandpa Smith who sang at church to the end with a voice you could hear a mile up the road.
Here's to Great Granny Smith, ancient and walking in from the garden as we drove up, laughing as she carried a 5' cottonmouth snake draped casually over the end of her hoe, having dispatched the offending creature for trespassing her garden.
Here's to my Dear Grandpa Smith and his abysmal fiddle-playing-- he loved it so, and I could never have imagined it would turn into such a delightful memory!
Here's to Grandma Smith with her quiet grace. Such an angelic woman. Heaven will not be worthy of the name if they don't have her green beans and fried potatoes there.
Here's to Grandma Bertie who was so free with the love that I did not know until I was about 7 that she was not my natural Grandmother, and she doted on me to the very end. Oh and her buttermilk biscuits and gravy will be on the heavenly buffet, also.
Here's to my Grandma Kent who I only know from portraits of her since she died when my mom was a girl, but I see flashes of her in my mom, and I know she's in me, too.
Here's Grandpa Kent with his brilliant, natural gift for music and for warmth of spirit. I can't think of Danny Boy without thinking of him.
You are always in my heart. Thank you for being worthy of grieving. I am rich and blessed because you made such wonderful parents for me.
Bless all our darling loved ones--present and departed-- on this and every day.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A little old lady flagged us down as she walked from the front of the store, Himself lowered the window as she approached and launched into a little blurt session in which she scarcely drew breath. I would put her at about mid-80s, and she had that crinkly, powdery soft complexion where the skin is gently ebbing to the tide of wrinkles that will not be denied. She was grinning big, and her short but unkempt hair lifted gently in the wind, like cornsilk and her round-cheeks, sparkling eyes and pleasantly-set chin gave her that tweetie-bird look some fortunate little old ladies get.
Meanwhile, Himself did that funny police thing they do(this is true!) where he was saying "uh-huh" every 40th word or so, as he must have done millions of times throughout his illustrious career. I think it's meant to express interest while not interrupting in hopes that this very loosely-wound thread will soon find its terminus.
"They are not open. You can't eat here today. May be closed until Tuesday." Here she reached up self-consciously and patted down her hair. "I can't warsh my hair on account of shingles. Do you know anyone whose had shingles? Booooy, I tell you, it's something else. If you ever wanna wish something bad on someone, you wish 'em to have shingles." Here she made a twisting motion with her hand on the end of her nose. "I was at the airport, and we were late getting onto the plane because an old lady -- She was about 93-- on the flight before ours had diarrhea and fouled herself and they had to sanitize and deodorize the plane before we could get on, and my head was broke out in the awfulest rash and the flight attendants were worried I was having a reaction to the chemicals but I said no, it was just these shingles. I used to work for a company but then I started my own business and I would have every Friday off and that was my treat-- to take myself to Red Lobster for my lunch on Friday. They have a gas leak and I went in there and I was sitting at the table and they said we all had to leave and I said 'you can just bring me my seafood' but they said I had to leave and I've been working around gas all my life. A little gas isn't going to bother me, and if the whole place was just gonna blow up, well, I'll just grab my crableg and hang on."
Another truck pulled into the parking lot and she lit up like a used car salesman at a new prospect. "I'd better go tell him they're closed."
She said all that in about 30 seconds and it all seemed over too soon, but in my heart, that kooky, adorable conversation will live on. I feel like I've seen the elusive purple yak. Someday, in a desolate parking lot, the chatty little old lady may find you, too. Give her leave to speak, and you will be delighted, and she'll quickly drift away, drawn by the siren call of the next short-term friendship, snuffed out by the last gasp of the breath whence it was born.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
h/t to Blowfuzzy von Sassy
I'll prolly start working from home sometime Wednesday. Yays!!! No more cube!!! And I've already started decorating. Dogs in wigs are always a delight.
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I did see this story about two dogs, left behind, that survived the tsunami by running to the highest point in their family's home. Their people came back two days later and found their pups had weathered the crisis. The family must stay in a shelter, but they are leaving the pups at home, and come back daily to care for them. From the article:
Mr. Kikuchi and his daughter said they will come back every day to look after the dogs, but they are not going to bring the dogs to the shelter.
"There are lots of people dead and it's too much to ask to bring the dogs," said Mr. Kikuchi. "It would be inconsiderate to other people's sadness."
I am touched and in awe. Bless 'em.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Were they just festering to bring more inappropriate gifts to Brits on that most important occasion?
Perhaps the Brits have somehow gotten the notion that the Obamas feel no particular closeness to them?
As an American, I don't feel snubbed, and I think it's a little bit funny.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I think my favorite story about her is that when angered by other motorists, she was never content to give them the finger. She gave them the whole hand. You've got to see the motion in person to really appreciate how hilarious it is. :P Lesson learned: don't go half-way when returning an insult.
I didn't know her at all, really, but by extension, I know the most remarkable and wonderful thing she ever did. She gave the world my beloved Holly, and I can tell you a lot about the mother by describing her daughter. Holly is a trailblazer, a one-of-a-kind, one who never tests the winds or someone else's pulse to know her own thoughts on things. Holly is not one you can label with the usual pat, politically correct method of describing people. She is a complex and delightful person herself, and one whom I admire tremendously. Holly's been a pillar of strength to me at moments I felt most bleak and also at my happiest moments. Holly's fierce sense of justice has led her to work in fields where she could be a true and very present help to others. Her knowledge is vast and she is ever ready to bring her expertise to bear when friends or loved ones are in need.
Holly is, well, she's a lot like her namesake, the Ilex plant of the family Aquifoliaceae. Holly, no shrinking violet, comes equipped to arm itself and its gorgeous berries are the winter sustenance to many varieties of bird. The jaunty, defiantly pointy leaves carry with their beauty a thorny discouragement those how would crush its form, and its vibrant green and red in the dead of winter is a reminder that warmth will again return and is always present deep within its fiercely beating heart.
I don't have to know her mom very well to grieve her passing. I just have to look at Holly to know I know all the very best of her life, and I am so, so very thankful every day that she lived.
My dear sister Holly:
I hope you are comforted by thoughts and memories of all your finest moments with your mom. I hope you are comforted by knowing how very dearly I hold you in my heart and how very much I love you.
This made me laugh madly. And so did all the other BBC dance videos from this show. I had a hard time choosing just one. I hope you get a giggle.
my favorite bit is the "trussed in the good times."
Friday, March 11, 2011
I got word Tuesday this can be done as soon as I have the phone and internet in place, so I got on the horn with the phone company to get that set up. Thursday night, for the first time, I had a doubt. I'm a very social creature-- will this be bad for me-- to stay home and not get out amongst people? I kind of think not, but it's definitely a consideration. Then again, in January, I received 1004 calls and made 1440 calls. Somehow, I do believe that counts as human contact. Some of these calls go on for as long as an hour. It will be nice to not feel self-conscious about the sounds of a block party breaking out behind me when I'm talking on the phone.
There's a bit of pressure in this regard, too, because if I don't do well, then this will bode ill for others who would like a crack at telecommuting for our company. I feel a little pressure, but I think I'll do well. I vow to get out of bed more than 5 minutes before my shift starts. I vow to eat out in restaurants less at lunchtime. (YAYS!) Perhaps most importantly, I vow not to stay in pajamas for 3 days in a row.
Whatever the case, it's going to be different. I'll do my best. Wish me luck.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Killing Joke is playing the Granada Theatah in Dallas on June 3.
I don't know if I'll go, but for a very, very long time, they were a big personal favorite. What may tip the balance is that for the first time in 20 years, Big Paul Ferguson is on the drums again. I was sad Raven died last year, but it would be sweet to see what remains of the original lineup.
People talk about belt-tightening, but no one wants to be the one who has to take a pay cut. Well, m'dears, your unions are screwing you right out of a job entirely, and that'll fix your little red wagons, right? You'll show them, right? Baby, if the money is not there, then someone's going to have to compromise. Union pensions effectively scuttled the ability of most of the American automotive manufacturing industry to be competitive with cars produced in places where folks were grateful for a steady job. I think the AFL-CIO is in large part to blame for the coming failure of the US Postal Service, and I think that's a damned shame.
Here's a novel concept: management and union bosses meet and face the budget realities and seek a compromise in which the workforce is simply reduced by attrition and wherein any future hires come in under a different framework of pay and benefits? I'll tell you why they won't: unions would never agree to this because they are like our federal government-- they exist only to ensure their own future existence, no matter who else is damaged in that process. They are on the teat as much as any crack-addict welfare woman with 12 Trojan poster-children. Time for some weaning. A little potty training, too, perhaps.
I know whereof I speak. About 25 years ago, I accepted a job here in Texas-- an open-shop state-- where there was immense pressure to join the Postal Worker's Union. In fact, at orientation, all the management and trainers left us alone for a while with the union goons, and we were made to understand that it would be foolish for us to not sign on and fork over an hour equivalent of every paycheck to support the cause. Our union dollars at work meant that at election time, I received very pointed propaganda (which I ignored) telling me for whom to vote. Certain people in the workplace got big support from the union, and others, not so much. From what I saw, the union people were every bit as licentious and corrupt and exploitative as the worst of the management.
I know I'm not the only one who feels personally burned by a union. Why aren't more people describing them as the thugs they are? Maybe they are afraid? Unions have had their day. I don't think they are entirely bad, just pig-headed like a greedy child with no maturity or foresight. It is abhorrent to have absolute job security no matter how poorly you perform. What good is winning the current golden egg when you've killed the goose? You may not have noticed, but that goose is a rare bird, and getting rarer still.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Among the other hours and hours of homework I have from this one maths class, we are working on factorials(!) I've never heard of factorials in my life. I was wondering if this concept was formulated in the intervening 20-something years since I was in high school. Apparently not. Apparently, factorials have been around for a couple centuries.
I'm sort of getting a grip, but I have a major test tonight. I hold little hope of earning another 100, alas. I feel like my brain is a little fried, honestly. I don't know how young adults do all this crap and still manage to pull all-nighters with booze and other recreational activities. I have one class and I'm barely holding it together. This is discouraging, as I'd begun to hope I might actually pull off an A.
Still hoping for that, but let's face it: I'm tired.
An intruder calls 911 from the Portland house he's broken into, because he's afraid the owner has a gun.
The call from the homeowner is pretty entertaining. She's laughing. Her chickens were inside the house with the intruder. She needs her coat and her slippers. She seems not at all worried. Then come the officers, a woman, a guy, they have uniforms and really nice flashlights!
My guess is she's not packing. It's too bad her dog Tanna was asleep on the job. My puppehs would have lost their tiny little minds if someone entered our home.
Oregon must be a whole 'nother world.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Or redneck, or whatever.
Grind up ingredients in food processor.
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Monday, March 07, 2011
...accuses The Icecreamists of "taking unfair advantage of, and riding on the coattails of" Lady Gaga's trademarks in a manner that is "deliberately provocative and, to many people, nausea-inducing".
Um. Right. First of all there's the name. "Gaga" is a nonsense word associated with the human baby since long before I uttered it. I think the best thing Lady Gaga can do on that score is to issue a public statement denying any association with the product and let it go. That said, if she pursues legal action against the ice creamery, it would be a toothsome thing indeed if David slew the Gagoliath. Really. It will be interesting if Madonna's heir apparent tries to crush the small business beneath her 12" heel. *aherm* This is a bit of a stretch. More likely, she's butt-hurt because she didn't think of it first.
More obnoxiously, I think it's interesting that she'd have legalese put about that she takes exception that someone might think she's associated with a product that was "deliberately provocative and, to many people, nausea-inducing" because I think that is precisely how a great many people would describe her music videos, if not her music itself. She done plumb broke the irony meter on that one.
Musically, Lady Gaga is an innovator and a stylist. Hers is not to my taste, but I can see the canny quality of her compositions and I do hear the appeal of her music. I've pretty much chalked her success up to a lot of hard work, natural musical talent and some very good instincts to mold herself after the savvy template forged previously by Madonna. I'm disappointed in this (can-only-be-mock) outrage, because she can't seriously believe everyone on the planet is trying to take a ride on her disco-schtick, can she?
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
Thursday, March 03, 2011
He was a marvelous bad guy in The Princess Bride, but if I didn't already adore him, his turn as Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman would have cemented my affection.
*snicker* Why that dance never caught on is simply beyond me.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
I always look forward to winter and that big heavy pile of covers on the bed. If you get too warm, you can kick off the top layer or two. In summer, if you get hot, there's only so much you can take off, and then you're just hot. Misery!
Now there's stuff going around about how it's easier to insulate yourself than it is to heat up your house.
Welcome to the party. Time to cuddle teh puppehs.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
I love my math teacher. He looks like a 60-something David Arquette, and in that way of math teachers, he's zany, but in a very sober and geeky way.
Unfortunately, I keep imagining him in a burlesque show with unkempt tuxedo swilling champers from the bottle whilst getting a lapdance from a midget stripper.
I've always had a hard time focusing in math classes, and this is not helping.
There's an online lab for studies which has an address that includes "mathlab." Mebbe it's the people I hang out with or something, but I never go to the site to do my online homework without thinking of "meth" labs.
Ah, higher learning. *snort*