Wednesday, February 29, 2012
It's leap day again.
I don't know if I'll post this every leap day, but it feels right to post it again. Some lessons learned bear repeating, if only for one's own reminder.
***
Composed February 29, 2008
This is going to be an odd post for me, and if it's boring or terrible, then I apologize in advance, but this won't be my usual ball-of-fluff. It's just that I have a story I've never mentioned here (I don't think) and it turns out this is the day to post it, if ever there is one.

Though I'm not one to hang a lot of significance on dates, leap day brought itself into sharp relief for me forevermore on February 29 of 1988. I'm probably one of the least superstitious folk you'll ever meet, but when leap day comes back around, I always remember 1988.

I was 22 and working for the US Post Office at the Bulk Mail Center, armpit of the greater Dallas metro area. I had some office details, but mostly I threw around 70 pound sacks of mail for a living. Yes, I was fit and healthy, but then again, at 5'2" I was still no Linda Hamilton. I was paid well and liked the work itself, if not the way the place was run. I went to Europe occasionally, went to every concert that took my fancy, and I was having the proverbial fun a girl was meant to have, very carefree.

I generally didn't hang out with co-workers, although I found some to be passably nice and even pleasant to talk to. One couple I liked in particular kept asking me to meet them out at a bar in a large entertainment district at the west end of downtown. One day, I finally agreed and I showed up-- leap day. I was wearing ballet flats, olive cotton pants and a white tank shirt with little purple lilacs. Oddly, I carried a small purse that night with a long strap crossed diagonally from my right shoulder to my left hip-- I normally didn't carry a purse, finding them cumbersome and a general pain in the butt. The olive pants had no pockets, though, so the catch-all accessory was a must that night. There were a lot of people around, and I felt fairly comfortable, even though I wasn't that familiar with this complex of bars and restaurants. It was still early enough to be light outside.

I walked around the corner where the couple said they'd meet me and instead of my colleagues I saw two tall black men walking toward me. They were memorable because they were both wearing very tight white jeans and white t-shirts, also tight. Strange to coordinate in such a way. Hmm. Whatever. I've always been the never-met-a-stranger type, and I made eye contact with one of the men and started to say "hello," but I instantly sensed menace(?!) in his gaze and I averted my eyes. I heard the words come out of his mouth as if they were shouted from the other side of a field:
"Give me your purse."

What? No! He didn't say that. Brain can't process this.
Yes, it happened very fast but I could chart and graph every scintilla of the experience.
I kept moving forward and the man nearest me reached and grabbed the part of my purse strap over my sternum as he said
"Give me your fucking purse."

I have less than a fraction of a second to process what's happening, I flip through my memory bank of their attire, and considering the tightness of their clothing, I decide they are not carrying guns, and I plan my course of action and move forward with it. I give him the only response which made sense in my universe:

"No fucking way."

People all around. People everywhere. Every direction I look there are people. How can this be happening?

my hands go instinctively to my purse grasping at the corners, a strap extending from each desperately clutching palm as they push me down.
I am in a foetal position around my purse, on my knees. They each are beating with one hand on the back of my neck and on my spine, each pulling on one side of the purse strap with the other hand. I see people standing around in an ovine stupor, useless. I see Madras plaid shorts with hideous tourista white socks. The fists on my spine surprise me - in a way they don't hurt, I feel the force of the blows but it's not that bad, for some reason. I'm on my knees looking around for any help, any port in a storm, and I see a silver BMW sedan with two white couples, men in front, women in back seat, stopped in the street, staring gape-mouthed. "Muffy, look! How quaint-- a mugging!"

Isn't anyone going to help me? A mere female chick being beaten up by two big goons? What in Hades is wrong with this picture?

When will this stop? I earned the privilege to have this purse and all it contains, you sniveling piece of shit-- I busted my ass, I sweated, this is mine. I'm hanging on for dear life, and I can hang on for an hour, if need be. Someone has got to stop this. this must stop. SOmeone will come along. Someone...

my heart sinks as the leather betrays me and one side of the strap snaps free from the bag. as if this were planned - as if they'd been practicing this very move for weeks, the instant the strap breaks free, the guy on the other side grabs the little bag from the underside and pulls the straps clean out of my hands, free, and they are off and running. For hours I won't feel the rope-burns on my palms. I run into the street after them immediately and they run into a parking lot. I stand in the street, screaming yelling an inarticulate babble of rage and despair - what just happened to me?

A big Irish cop comes on the scene and gently guides me out of the street onto the sidewalk by the parking lot where the goons both ran. He was the beginning of the universe setting itself aright. A security guard for the parking lot who "saw the whole thing" came over to lend a hand, acting like the calm voice of reason to my sputtered, breathy regurgitation of events. Thanks, pal. Really.

The goons pull up in a 70s car and out of the parking lot exit. The officer does nothing to stop them. They drive away. We get make, model and license plate number.

Emergency room, bruising, no serious injuries. In coming weeks I field an array of variations on "why didn't you just give it to him?" and am told by all and sundry that I'm a moron for not just handing my stuff over on demand.

My dad got in touch the detectives who were handling the case. My dad is the same kind of salt-of-the-earth man they were - the men who make things right. I felt they were as committed as my dad to the objective of holding these dirtbags accountable. We were told it was highly unlikely a mugger would ever be caught, and even more unlikely he'd be positively identified in a lineup. I could see their faces, though, and I still can - identification would be a snap.

In late April, I got a call from the detective: the car was pulled over in connection with another robbery, and could they bring some photos by the BMC for me to look at? I identified the man who was driving the car. The detective would later testify that I shuddered when I saw his photograph.

His pubic defender insisted I identify him in a live lineup - I had named the wrong guy. Again, I had no difficulty in fingering the excrescent congregation of flesh which matched the image seared on my brain.

The trial was set, and so began a pattern: I'd take the day off, meet my dad at the courthouse, then the pubic defender would ask that the trial be postponed at the last minute. This happened about 4 times.

Finally, the day of reckoning came about. The assistant district attorney was a pistol-of-a-woman and one of my personal heroines. On a pound-for-pound basis, she whupped him way more on the stand than he had done me on the street on February 29. She had the most fetchingly homey east-Texas drawl you ever heard - her voice was the aural equivalent of a big, old comfy leather chair - HOME! When the sentencing phase came around, I'll never forget the words with which she admonished the jury:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have asked for a sentence of 20 years and a $10,000 fine, but you do not have to issue that sentence: you may sentence him for more if you think it is appropriate."

I was elated. Props to the lady in shining armor on the white horse! Finally, someone steadfastly in my corner, someone who agreed and said for the record that- dammit- this was my purse to which I had sole right.

In the end he got 7 years and $5,000 fine. He did a plea bargain on all the other charges against him, including raping another inmate, so he probably ended up cooling his heels in lockup for at least a couple more leap days. Happy endings.

It was an incredibly strange adventure. I wish it never had happened, but I learned a whole lot. I learned that bad crap can happen to you and that you can still survive. I learned that other people are very afraid. I learned that other people will try to shame you into validating their fear-based approach to life. I learned that you can not shrink from threat and just hope it will go away. I learned that if you have no plan to react to a physical attack, you won't really know what to do when faced with that situation. I learned that in the moment of real crisis, no one is going to step in and save me: I'll have to save myself.

If I'm ever in that position again-- unarmed and under attack -- I mean to come away from the experience(even if dead) with at least the trophy of one eyeball from my tormentor with which to festoon my trophy case. Next time would/will be tooth-and-nail. If I have time to access it, my weighty little Leatherman will be slammed forcefully into an accommodating temple-- I will do my best to kill with my bare, immaculately manicured hands: no more Mr. Nice Bitch. There are kneecaps, eyeballs, shins, insteps and wedding tackle among the array of vulnerable areas on an attacker, and I'll set about my business if I must.

I didn't believe in just handing it over, and I don't even moreso now than ever. I'm still no Linda Hamilton, but I think this is a principle that applies not just to possessions or your life, but to our very freedoms and rights as human beings. Don't just give it away without a fight. Passivity gets you nothing but soundly and thoroughly ensconced in the bitch-seat, and you teach the aggressors they were right to disdain you.

Yeah, it's possible someone will divest me of a handbag in the future, but next time, I'm going to take something in exchange, including a heaping helping of their DNA.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, and all that stuff.
***
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I'm allergic to cats, too, but...
but she can have my share of the cats. She'll know what t do with them.
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Monday, February 27, 2012
I'm allergic to rabbits, but... all bunnies will be given quarter...
...so long as I find them before a certain pair of pups do.

... I was just telling Himself on Sunday that I'd love to have pet rabbits. That afternoon, he gallantly mowed the lawn for me only to find that I already have a little nest of baby cottontail rabbits on the lawn (front yard, out of pups' reach). There are 4 in the nest. Though the top of the nest was lopped off, the wee ones seemed snug and warm, and it was not a very cold day and won't be a cold night. He took a mass of coconut fibers and laid that across them to keep them snug until Mama rabbit returns and hopefully moves them somewhere safer. Their eyes are not open yet, and I counted 4. This was the best shot I could get of them, and I also took the shot with quarter to give you an idea of how teeny they are.

They are so incredibly cute. I hope they make it. I'm feeling rather anxious for the little dears' well-being.











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Sunday, February 26, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: let's not do the Time Warp again, mkay?

Saturday night, I continued to convalesce on the recliner and watched Rocky Horror. Chuy was decidedly unmoved by the on-screen antics and couldn't be bothered to muster a care. He sure makes a good lap-warmer, though. Ditto for Praline, who was under the throw at the time, too.

Pups are good therapy.
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Hula hoop cam-- pretty darned uplifting
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Saturday, February 25, 2012
Way to represent, people.
WTF story of the day.

tsk. tsk.

back with a happier post later.
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Friday, February 24, 2012
Any shoe named "Disco Pants" must have been made for me, right?
RIGHT?


It's important that you enable me here, darlings.

Me be wanting on these shoes so hard! See the kitty cats? And their litterbox never needs changing. And they are MUCH cheaper than initial/expense, maintenance on a real kitten, and I'm not allergic to them. I'm not seeing a down-side here.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012
I'm sick, but I'm so very well.
Let me explain.

Yes, the flu has dampened the bathmat of Rancho Phlegmmy. I felt it coming on in a wicked cough on Tuesday during work and by the evening, the devilish malady had achieved full blossom, my body aching and muscles tight as though I actually had exercised recently. egad. I thought this must be what it feels like to be very muscular and work out all the time. Yuck. :P

BUT, Himself has very graciously given a lot of attention to massaging my sore ankle, and it's almost as though I didn't sprain it 9 days ago, so that is is a big plus to add to the physical status column. Hopefully I will feel well enough to go to school and work today, but we shall see.

After dark last night, I had to drive into nearby Burg to take care of an errand which absolutely would not keep. I was pretty miserable, but would have been equally miserable at home.

I drive to and from Town along a rail line, and the line runs less than a mile from my home. I love the sound of the train and when I moved here, I quickly innured to the sound and on the rare times I notice the horns blaring, it's always a comfort sound to me. I think I can't do better than I wrote in late December 2003 as I made a trek out to see my grandmother in Arizona:


Driving deep into the night across West Texas. The crescent moon was a companion as we left the plains for the mountains. It sat like a cup on its back, blackness and stars spilling from its upturned bowl. Its arc followed our progress westward until finally it wafted earthward like a great celestial toenail clipping. Now filtered through more layers of atmosphere, the moon donned an orange glow to match the approaching lights of El Paso.

Civilization is like a train in the desert: we're big, loud and and make a terrible noise, but in the end we are as temporal as anything. Only the tracks we leave will note our passing.

The impermanence of life is actually one of its greatest comforts. Every day and every breath is something to be treasured. Reflection is a gift, as well. I make a lot less money than I have in decades, but I'm so puppy-rich that it's ridiculous. I'm so very, very blessed in my little furballs who make every day a joy. I try to be like them in the way every day is an adventure and the way no time is wasted worrying about uncontrollable crap like death or a society at large that seems increasingly ensconced in the proverbial handbasket to a Not Pleasant Place. I'm not always successful, but occasional reminders come around and bring me back to a place of gratitude for my life and all my dear ones, two-footed variety as well. :)

So, anyhoo, last night I drove back home from my quick errand. In Neighboring Burg, a traffic jam is pretty much 3 or 4 cars at a 4-way stop. This is provincial, big-time. And I'm grateful NOT to be spending hours of my life in DFW vexed by traffic. I don't miss that. I have so much more time to spend at my own tasks, my own amusements, my own studies. As I turned right on my street in town, I noticed in the rearview mirror the lights at the railroad crossing come on, the bars lowering to block traffic. In that Sunday-driver way I learned so well from my folks, instead of heading on down the street homeward, despite my illness, I hung a left and turned back to the main road to see whence came the train. No traffic around, I sat at the stop sign as the train approached from the east, its two behemoth engines thinking they could pull a long file of empty coal cars to the west. I sat watching, listening and feeling as the electric zing thrummed through my legs, the palpable and awesome power of the engines. Isn't that just incredible?

The trains are moving. Men and women are working and going places and taking things places, and it's XX o'clock and all is well. I'm working and going places and I'm so very lucky that school is an option for me, and I pray all goes smoothly so that I can work soon as a Nurse and really help other people in a meangingful and profound way. All is well.

I hope your day is wonderful.
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Birthday wishes for my beautiful Mother


That little owl looks so blissed-out!

I knew you'd like this, Mom. :) I love you, and I hope your birthday is splendid.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
one year ago today at Harvard
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Did you know that goats have accents?
I want a little mini goat for the puppies. I think they'd have great fun gamboling about with a wee goat. Then again, a goat might make my puppies stinky.

Anyway, did you hear about the article in the London Daily Telegraph talking about a study that shows that goats raised in different social groups have different accents?

Maybe I'll just refrain from getting a goat anyway, though and get a wiener dog instead to thicken my little herd. :)
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Thinking of Myron
For years I have been woefully remiss on making the blog rounds. I can't remember the last time I had time to sit and just go through all of them. One thing I've noticed, though, for more than a year, it seems, is that on rare occasions I stepped onto Myron's blog, he had not updated. I was concerned, but knew he was probably going through something and that he'd post when the time was right. Comments are closed on his blog there, so I'll just say a few words here. Myron posted on January 1 about the travails of 2011, which included the deaths of his sister and his lovely wife Jean. I remember following along as Myron posted photos of the kitchen remodel he did and what a lovely home he and Jean had together. I know she must have felt very spoiled and pampered for him to fluff the nest for her. *hint to all you fellows-- we gals love nice kitchens :) * Thanks for letting us have a peek into your life with Jean, Myron, and we all hope 2012 is a better year, indeed. Many blessings to you and yours.
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now that I think about it, this makes perfect sense:


A fusion of the music of the Gypsy Kings and Arabic singing from world music group Alabina.

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Monday, February 20, 2012
I'm re-thinking crabby patties.



It's downright cockroachian, isn't it?
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Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: guest photo of Chuy
FarmMom snapped this pic of the Chooch last night. He's so glad she and FarmDad came a'callin'.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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*blarg*
Okay, the show is finally over. It was bittersweet to end, but I'm glad it did end, because it's wicked away a lot of study time since school started. Now my schedule should be easy, right?

Right?





*crickets*





Well, anyway, I made some lovely new friends and had a grand time, and I hope to audition for some shows later, maybe in the summer (depending on timing and if my class(es) are online or in the paint).





I'll get a puppy pic up in a bit. Have a great day!
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on the death of Whitney Houston and how she is mourned.
Despite the photo I posted Friday, I hope it goes without saying that I think the demise of Whitney Houston is a sad thing and that it's natural that folks who felt particularly close to her music would feel a profound sense of loss at her death. I felt that way when Amy Winehouse died, but Amy was a little more frank about her struggles, and I think no one was surprised that she died. All the same, I tend toward optimism and I hope for someone like Whitney or Amy to come through the drug/booze haze and find a greater felicity and peace in their existence and live a happy and fulfilling life.

This brings me to the topic of an artist who created a poster (or art?) with a photo of Whitney and then a photo of malnourished African children with a caption indicating something to the effect that one dies/millions weep, 1 million die/no one weeps.

I find that sanctimonious finger-wagging to be arrogant and insulting to everyone. I do not number among them, but there are millions of people for whom Whitney is/has been/always will be on frequent rotation in their favorite music. My favorite music is woven into the very fabric of my life, and though it's not the same as a dear friend, music is profoundly meaningful and important to me, so if something bad happens to someone whose music is part of the soundtrack of my life, then of course I will grieve.

The sheer number of Whitney Houston fans is indicative of her importance in their lives. Her songs were played at their wedding receptions, probably for the couple's first dance as married folk. That they should feel a sting in their hearts and mourn her passing is entirely understandable.

On the moralizing about no one caring about starving children in Africa (or anywhere), the US government annually doles out around $60 billion in foreign aid. Millions of people give money to charitable organizations like Heifer International, which I think is great. This is not done because no one cares. Quite the opposite.

Anyway, the bigger topic to me is that people who love Whitney Houston's music are entitled to their grief, and though I don't think they should be rending their garments or doing the sackcloth and ashes routine, I think it's asinine and condescending for someone to try to point out the scale of other very real tragedies in life. Uh, hello: we need the escape of music and art because we are reminded daily of the hardship of life. We all have our burdens, and just because someone sheds a tear over a singer who never knew they existed does not mean that person doesn't care about starving children here or anywhere else.

Sheesh! Lighten up.
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Friday, February 17, 2012
Crashing waves of wrongness

That's plumb terrible, innit?
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There's a lot I could say,
except I'm sort of speechless. I'm dazzled AND horrified. After I got home from school Thursday night, I thought I'd take a wee bit to putter around YouTube and I came across this:




*sputter*
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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Sweet!
I'm in bed under my electric blanket with two cuddly little furballs. Life is sweet!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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5 weeks of school nearly down the tubes
That means the semester is nearly a third over. *whew*

Took my first Psych test last night and was not thrilled that I made 42 out of 50, but it's not terrible, either. I'm just hoping for extra credit opportunities, because I'd like to drag that puppy up to an A. I think so far my average is a high B. Fingers crossed

**************************

The sprain on my ankle is SO much better now. I thought this one was middling, but I think this may actually be the mildest of all sprains I've gotten. I was really worried I'd have to sit out the Scooby-Doo chase sequence at the end of the musical on Friday and Saturday, but now I'm feeling hopeful-- or maybe I can do that part for at least the last performance on Saturday night. I've got dear friends coming in from several points distant for the Saturday night show, so I'd like them to see me in all my goofy splendour.

Yes, I'm goofy, and I'm splendid. Try not to be jealous!

**************************

I didn't watch the Grammys, but I saw some photos and video, and didn't Adele look absolutely gorgeous? I was really happy for her. It was also gratifying that Bon Iver took home a couple of the awards, and was so humble and down-to-earth. Nice when you can feel like the download bucks you spend are in part supporting decent people who just make music because they love making music, and not to be an over-sexed, overindulged superstar with a ridiculous lifestyle.

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I may be getting together with some friends to watch the Oscars, because Melissa McCarthy was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in Bridesmaids. Side-splitting, seriously. It's rare for an actor to be nominated for an Oscar for a role in a comedy, but hers was definitely one of my all-time favorite characters on film. Everything she did was funny. Loved her bridesmaide silk gown with the hideous Moses sandals.
**************************

Have a special Thursday
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Spontaneous acts of dance
My goal is to be a Flash Mob of One, so as soon as I get over this sprained ankle (What I Have Learned: sensible shoes are very dangerous), don't be surprised if I just throw down in a Mini Mart near you. I might as well-- there's always music in my head, anyway. :)

I love Flash Mob (Hammertime is a standout favorite for me) and I really love this one from the grand station in Antwerp (which is a very lovely station, btw - be sure to see it if you are ever in northern Belgium) is quite fetching, indeed. Very sweet, and I love how there are young to middle aged people in this group. Belgians are fun. :)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012
On Valentine's Day...
I think it's nice to have a sweethearts' day every so often, maybe even once a year. It's nice to have a reminder that we should treasure dear ones, and particulary the dear ones who choose to move forward through life together with us.

But I'm not really into the whole commercial holiday thing. I know I put that Zooey Deschanel song up which gently chides a guy for forgetting about Valentine's Day, but V's Day is not such a big deal, in my book. At the end of the song, she does say the more important thing is that he's her guy. It's neat if you are both into the holiday and if your lives and schedules afford it, you could have a grand night out on Feb 14 every year, and celebrate the sweetness of your love. That's sort of not my style, though. I want to feel special and treasured all the time, but the last thing I expect is for my fellow to feel bad about not doing the whole wine-and-dine thing every February 14. He's a responsible person, and Tuesday is his regular work night. I have plenty of studying to do, anyway.

When I started dating Himself, I was living in Dallas and he was several hours away. This meant we'd get to have a date on the weekend (he worked weekdays then). Now, having moved out to his neck of the woods, we see each other every day, but he works a pretty dramatically different schedule than I do, and I really have to be a grown-up about this. There are a lot of harsh realities when your guy or your gal works in a dangerous field like law enforcement or Fire/Rescue or even in less dangerous but equally schedule-trying fields like hospital work. Come to that, this applies to anyone who does shift work. You have to make your own holidays, and they may not necessarily fall on the scheduled, traditional date. In the past year and a half, I think he's worked 2 Thanksgivings and one Christmas, and them's the breaks.

The fact is that he's a wonderful guy who bears his responsibilities manfully. He rarely calls in sick to work, even with pneumonia(I called him a rude name for that one, because I felt he was endangering his own health), because bad guys never take a holiday, and he's that rough man standing ready daily between a lot of decent folks and some truly evil people. I know it's not fun to go in to work on Thanksgiving right about the time most people are sitting down to a big family feed, but I know he also thinks about the family he has at work, the young men and women who are learning to be responsible role models for other young people in turn one day. Someone has to do it. You can't just stick a baby monitor on crime scenes or in jails and hope the critters will sort of behave while all LEOs run off for face time with their families.

He doesn't whine or act like he should be exempt from holiday work while his charges at the Sheriff's Office have to give up time with their own families. He leads by example, and I think that is a rarity. I've been to several gatherings where the young officers he trains have been in attendance, and I see how they truly admire him-- not in the way of someone who is intimidated-- but in the genuine way of a person who has been given respect and straightforward, useful guidance from someone who is caring and accessible. Oh, believe me when I say I have no doubt that when pressed in a professional situation, he can be way more terrifying than any lunatic who comes up against him, but when it comes to his dear ones, he has truly a sweet heart.

That should be Valentine enough for any girl, any day.
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Happy Valentine's Day!
Don't know how long this little ditty will still be up, but for now, enjoy!

:P

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Celebrities: a rather protected class
I was thinking how despite the way a lot of celebrities have shuffled off this mortal coil in recent times, I think their mortality rate is generally lower than that of the general population, don't you? I wondered if there was some tracking engine that had a celebrity death metric online somewhere, but I didn't find it. What I DID find was this funny blog post from Mark Wiberg from Sunday entitled Celebrity Mortality Rate Under Obama Administration Skyrockets! I really don't think there's a connection, but I confess the thought of same did inspire some wicked giggles in me. Funny stuff!

************************

Meanwhile, there was that flap about Gisele Bundchen talking smack about her husband's teammates when they went to the World NBA playoff showdown supergame or some such. Apparently his team lost the big game, and she was goaded by onlookers as she did the walk of shame, so she mouthed off that her husband couldn't play the whole game by himself.

This is boring. I'm sure every wife or husband of a famous athlete on a losing team has run that gauntlet at one time or another. The thing was it was fun for these juvenile types to give copious amounts of guff to a gazillion$-earning $uper-model.
cha-CHING!

It's annoying that she let them get her goat, but I can understand her rising to the bait. OTOH, I don't feel sorry for anyone who just moved into a $20,000,000 house a few weeks ago. Seems to me they have the ability to be quite insulated from much of reality, so, uh, suck it up and deal with it, heifer!
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Monday, February 13, 2012
moment of zen
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Sunday, February 12, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: ickle bruvva is the best chinrest evar!

Weather is VERY cold today, so the bulk of this afternoon/evening will be spent snuggling under covers while mumsy reads her textbooks. Here, the pups took an over-cover break, and Praline rested her weary head on baby brother. Cozy cuddly!
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busybusybusy
Tried to post an update from my iPhone yesterday but it was being cantankerous, so no updated went through.

Last week was another mad rush per usual, and I had a 1 page paper on a sleep disorder due by midnight on Friday for Psych class. I was much occupied with A&P studies and test for the week so I didn't get it done before I went in for the performance on Friday night.

I had the germ of direction for the sleep disorder (I chose insomnia), but really had not written same. PLUS, I had to refer to partculars on a sleep disorder website for stats to cite, etc. Got home from performance about 10:40, composed the little bugger and hit the submit button at 11:14.

Got a 100 on the paper, I learned yesterday. YAYs!

Yesterday I went to my other university site and found out I made an 80 on my A&P I test, and my heart grew wings. I'm sure that I benefitted from some sort of curve, but I'll take it, and I'm vowing to do still better. Thanks again for all the reassurance, folks. You were right, and I apparently did better than I'd feared. *whew*

Will get a pupdate up before today is over. It's cold and teh puppies are particularly cute and cuddly this morning.
Cheers!
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Friday, February 10, 2012
A new sobriquet for your humble narrator.
*ahem*

I've noticed that the kids in my A&P lab are shaky and nervous. That is all good and well while we are working with pre-prepped slides, but, frankly, I don't feel like having my game harshed by some shaky person who is freaking out about handling specimens like sheep blood or worse. Visions of airborne Petri dishes of syphilis are dancing through my head. I don't want to be in the same room with someone who is all trembly and mere thin sheaths of glass between us and cooties.

Maybe I'm strange. Maybe I should have gone the medical route aeons ago and become a surgeon, because handling this stuff rattles me nary a bit. I just like knowing the pathogens are in a contained area and will remain so. This requires an un-wobbly constitution.

Anyway, my lab partners at my table dubbed me Magic Hands, because I'm the only one who can really focus the microscope and do shit with the dropper without going into paroxysms. One woman is taking the class over to up her GPA, and she said I really should be working in a lab, because I KILL with micrscope. Finally! Someone recognizes my skills!

Dunno about that, but I'll take the Magic Hands label. WOOHOO!
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Thursday, February 09, 2012
Wow. How did THAT happen?
It really seems odd. It's like about 6 weeks ago I auditioned for the musical (it was more like 12 weeks ago) and then I applied for the university a few weeks back and started school about 2 weeks ago, right? Wrong. Today will be the end of my 4th week back at school. Hard to believe a month of this has slipped by. Then again, my schedule has been addled by the demands of the production (which ends on the 18th) and just life in general. I don't watch tv at all, so that helps, and I've certainly not troubled myself with housekeeping-- it looks like Hurricane Rita hit it. [Hurricane Rita DID hit it]. I've barely held on to my internet habit, and I still feel like I spend too much time online and being lazy.

Still, I'm baffled that a month has passed and I expect it'll be a few blinks of the eye and the semester will be over. Thus will the time slip through the sieve as I work on school. This is hard and it's stressful, but it's so going to be worth it. I appreciate all of you for the encouragin' words. I can't tell you enough how much it means to me, especially coming from people as special as you are.

Thank you.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2012
shame spiral
First blush of confidence was likely unwarranted.

After work and school yesterday evening, I opened my A&P book to study, and immediately found at least 5 things I got utterly wrong on the test. That was my score down to a 90% right there, and several of those had been things of which I'd been fairly certain.

Time to change study methods, I think. More re-reading for one thing. I've been reading the text through, maybe not entirely grasping things and then spending the remainder of my time with my notes and the voluminous study materials, with frequent referring back to the text.

This is exhausting, but if other people have done it, I can do it.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I'm just a monkey in shoes.
I know I've learned a lot, but I think I've only scratched the surface of required information for the test tomorrow. I'se mighty scared. Mighty scared indeed.

At least I'll get a full night of sleep.

TTFN and wish me luck.

***********
Post test update - More on this tomorrow, but for now, I think I did better than I feared and worse than I'd hoped. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, and at least half of it I feel reasonably confident I got absolutely right, and another quarter I'm confident with reservations, and the final quarter, well...

Thanks for the well-wishes. It was not as scary as I expected. I expected to not feel confident of any of it. :P

Now, on to work.
Cheers!
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Monday, February 06, 2012
If JayG were an Australian former Metal drummer comedian...
...he'd be this guy:


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Sunday, February 05, 2012
The Inner life of the cell
Harvard biologist worked with animators to create this animation of aspects of cellular function. Golly, we're all so busy on a cellular level, no wonder we get tired!

The complexity is mind-boggling. THIS is why I'm so frantic to learn this stuff. I love the bit with zipper-like action of the microtubules-- looks like a knitted tube, or an Ndebele-style woven tube of beads -- really cool!

I'm pretty sure some Mitochondria made appearances in Ghostbusters, too.



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dagnabbit.
I am trying to set boundaries with this study crap-- really, I am. I planned to do intense reading for most of Sunday afternoon/evening (I did) and to finally knock it off about 9:30 and then go to the computer for about 30 minutes of practice quizzes. About 11:45, my computer crashed, forcing me to stop the practice quizzes and tests. I'm really getting somewhere, and I think I may do better than I feared.

Then again...

I'm nervous about the test on Tuesday. I don't want to just barely scrape by. I'm going to be in nail-biting mode until I see how I do then. Thank goodness my computer crashed, though. I probably would have kept going into the wee hours.

*ugh*

Up in 6 hours. G'night.
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Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chiweeniehog Day
If the Chiweenie sees his shadow, I get to stay in bed for two more weeks, right?
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Saturday, February 04, 2012
You think the honey badger cares?
BlowFuzzy von Sassy sent me this clip some months ago, and I woke up thinking about this video today.

I am SOOOOO tired. We had a show for schoolkids on Thursday, then a show last night (after I worked 8 hours) and then I have to work 4 hours this morning, have a 2:30 show and a 7:30 show. Tomorrow I need to study for my A&P test on Tuesday. I'm nervous, but I think with proper focus, I can at least pass the test. I'm doing well in the lab, so at least hopefully I'll have a good grade there to pull up the rest of my grade.

So, yeah. You think the honey badger cares?
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Friday, February 03, 2012
Someday...



Justin Bieber's testicles will drop.












I'm baffled generally by celebrity fragrances, but this one blows my tiny little mind in particular. I mean, he's a guy. It's bothersome enough to me that someone wants to buy perfume from Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but at least you can imagine them wearing their own fragrances.








Oh-- wait. Never mind.








Anyway, it actually smells fairly good and doesn't smell as cheap as most celebrity fragrances do. Still, I find a young male poptart marketing a fragrance for women to be a little, um, yeah.








Then there's the issue of the interesting sculpture on the top of the bottle which-- call me weird, but-- I think looks positively labial.








But if you want to wear this stuff, well, good on you, I suppose. I'm still baffled by the whole Bieber Fever phenom. Rudy Valentino he ain't.
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Thursday, February 02, 2012
7 is a magic number.
Apparently.

I get up for work about 6:45 or 6:30, having usually gone to bed about 11-ish.

I studied several hours last night and felt drowsy, so at 10 I did as the puppies suggested and crawled into bed. Foolishly, I brought my entire stack of books, about 20 pounds of the things, and thought I'd get some more reading done. I was asleep almost right away and then woke up about 5AM, so apparently 7 is the number of hours I naturally want to sleep. Or maybe it's just a deeply ingrained habit at this point.

I must say that it helps working from home. No mad scramble to get gussied up and schlep into town through traffic, etc. Then again, it hardly merits calling traffic what happens on the roads here. I do love that aspect of provincial life. In Dallas, I lived at one point 11 miles from my work, and the drive to work would take 20 minutes down the toll road in the morning, and the drive home could take anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes. It was freakish to make it in 35. Taking all that stuff into account, getting ready and driving, would add 2 hours to my work day, compared to here.

Someday I'll be a nurse and I won't be working from home, where I have a sweet puppy to scoop up and hold on my lap if someone is being nasty to me on the phone. I don't make a high salary by any measure, but having little doggies around is massive value-added. :)

*****
Threw up a wee post from my iPhone yesterday which I think did not appear here? Hmph.
*****

In other news, going to the NRA convention in April. *giddy* That's going to be fun. :)

Are you going?
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
FATALE ABSTRACTION


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