Wednesday, December 31, 2003
New Year's Eve plans
Gonna be a night in, I believe. There's another big storm blowing our way and I have no desire to be out in it. Besides, I've got some canvases that I haven't worked on in a couple of days and I'm getting antsy to paint again. I've got myself a bottle of Cristallino chilling (not a bad bubbly at all for $7.99!), some savory thins, cream cheese, and smoked salmon and I'm good to go.
Besides, it's Billie's birthday! I couldn't abandon the girl kitty on her day! Well, come to think of it, she'd probably appreciate it if I left her the hell alone! LOL! She doesn't mind giving
attention...she just doesn't like getting it.
Anyway, I'm guessing that about half the world has already welcomed in the new year, so to them I say "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
The rest of you will have to wait until tomorrow ;-)
Huh. Learned something new today!
So, there's a link from the Blogger
front page to The Guardian UK
's "Best of British Blogging," or something like that.
From that story, I ended up on Belle de Jour's
blog. Belle de Jour is a call-girl in London. So, don't click the link to her blog if you're easily offended. You've been warned. But I digress. There was a link on Belle de Jour's site to another site where "Johns" submit "field reports," listing the "stats" of the escort in question, where they "met" what the place was like (did they feel safe, were the mattresses manky, was the place cluttered, etc.), if applicable, what agency the girl is affiliated with, how much, what she/they did, you get the picture. FIELD REPORTS
! Errrrmmm...I guess that makes sense. Doesn't it?
And no, I'm not linking to the field reports! If you're in London and are wanting such services, you can do your own damn research!
all in all, a good day. Started off going to farmers' market for some veg. I'm going to make lots of soups this weekend and stash them in the freezer to have on hand when classes crank up again in a few weeks.
Went over to Pet Club to re-stock the kibbles and cat litter. I love the Swheat Scoop litter--and so do Simon and Billie--but it is rather spendy. I may have to switch to something less expensive, but Billie is so damn picky about the litter. Simon's a trooper, he'll use the litterbox no matter what's in there. But the texture has to be just perfect
or else Billie registers her protest someplace else in the house.
Anyway, as I was making my way through Pet Club, a very sweet elderly woman said she noticed I was buying Science Diet and offered me her coupon for $5 off! She said she didn't buy it, but she clipped the coupon and whenever she is out shopping, she looks for people who are buying it and gives them the coupon. Considering how tight money is right now, I couldn't thank this woman enough. Whoever sent me that angel, THANKS!
Then it was off to Trader Joe's to settle up on that package of ground turkey that I didn't get charged for. After all, I don't need to be carrying debt into the new year...monetary or karmic. The manager was really sweet. He thanked me for my honesty, and said it was on the house!
Later, I went out to pick up Billie's birthday present--a small, travel-sized packet of Q-tips because she just loves to play with them. I decided to treat myself to one last peppermint mocha at Starbucks. I haven't had coffee for about 10 days. After the peppermint mocha, I had such a caffeine burst that I shifted all the furniture around my living room! I even shifted the bookshelves out of the living room and into my bedroom.
I had been thinking of this change for several weeks now. As "off" as things have been, I thought maybe I had some bad feng shui going or something. Anyway, I like the new set-up. For now. Goodness knows, I'll get tired of it and shift everything around again!
While I was at it, I had to clean out the algae-festival that was Warren Betta's fish tank! Blech! That was pretty grim. But after a few rinsings, I got almost all of the algae out of the pebbles and re-filled the tank. I put in the chlor-out and stress coat last night, then gave the tank a good 15 hours to "set" before dropping in a "no more algae" tablet this morning. Warren Betta returned home not long after the tablet dissolved. He seems to have settled back in. Poor fishie...I don't think he liked being in the small container while his tank was being cleaned out and set up.
Nothin' like crankin' up the Alice In Chains and re-arranging the apartment to end off the year! Later today, I think I'll run around with the sage smudge stick and see if I can't smoke out the nasty wraiths...don't need to carry them into the new year, either!
Monday, December 29, 2003
This is my brain on...
My friend Laurie
pointed to this interesting test on her blog.
The Mind Media Brain Persuasion Test
Your Brain Usage Profile
Auditory : 46%
Visual : 53%
Left : 40%
Right : 60%
victoria, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.
Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.
You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.
In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."
All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.
You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.
It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.
I'm unemployed. And I vote.
From today's L.A. Times: "Jobless Count Skips Millions
I'm one of those millions skipped over in Team Bush's overly-rosy picture of an allegedly dropping unemployment rate. I gnash my teeth every time I hear a Bush apologist talk about how much employment has improved because I think of myself and a lot of other people I know who have either dropped out of the job hunt (because you can really only handle being kicked in the gut so many times) either to go back to school or try and start their own business. Or they've dropped off of the unemployment rolls because of being out of work for so long, the compensation ran out. Or they have taken part-time, very low-wage "survival" jobs. Now, I defy you to "survive" in the Bay Area on a part-time job at $7 or $8/hr. Lessee, do I wanna pay the rent? Or do I wanna have heat and a working phone? Or do I wanna feed the cats? If I beg enough and get to work overtime, maybe *I* can eat too!
And Team Bush's answer seems to be giving more and more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and corporations because they're supposed to invest this tax savings and stimulate the economy. Well, they've had, what three rounds
of cuts now, yes? When, I wonder, will they actually start investing that money...and I don't mean investing it in offshoring more jobs to India or Russia or China or wherever they can find people desperate enough to work for pennies a day.
We're unemployed, George. We're not stupid, we're not bad people, we're not bad workers. We are, incidentally, voters.
I've previously documented
my seemingly decreasing threshold of tolerance for the extraordinarily heavy footsteps of my otherwise perfectly lovely upstairs neighbour. (I didn't realise I could string together that many $10 words this early in the morning!)
It is 6:00 a.m. OK, that's nothing really to howl about. Except that I've been UP since 4:00 a.m. and awake since around 2:45 a.m.
And it wasn't the storm waking me up or keeping me up. It was him
. Evidently, he had some "personal emergency" around 2:45 because I was jarred awake to the THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD of him rushing from his La-z-boy to the bathroom. Now, given the general sound and rhythm of the recent seismic activity in the Oakland area, when my ears hear THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD, my brain registers "EARTHQUAKE!"
OK, so for about 30 minutes or so I deal with processing that little surge of adrenaline through my systems...no biggie. Except he kept getting up. THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD back to the bathroom. A few minutes later THUD THUD THUD THUD again. I finally gave up when it was THUD THUD THUD THUD THWAEEAKK! on that one very squeaky floorboard that happens to be right over my bed.
So at 4:00 I said, "fuck it" and got up. I ended up melting some glycerine soap and making a complexion bar with tea tree, spearmint, rosemary, geranium, lavender, rose water and lavender water and vitamin E. I also made a couple of bars of "Icon" soap...now, if you're a longtime Lush
devotee like I am, you'll remember Icon. It was the most wonderful scent they made, IMNSHO. Bergamot, Orange, Myrrh, Sandalwood...and to that I add Patchouli, Lemon and just a couple drops of "Ingredient X" which actually swings it closer to their "Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds." While I was at it, I made a new bottle of Icon fragrance, since I'm just about out of my first batch and the new batch needs to sit in the dark for 6-8 weeks.
So anyway, getting jarred out of bed wasn't a total loss. I'm working my way through a pot of chai tea and I gave the cats 1/2 of their brekkies at about 5:00 (poor furkids get so confused when the routine is upset...they couldn't deal with me being "up" and them not eating). And I'm listening to the storm outside. Lots of wind.
still up thudding around every 20-45 minutes or so...feh! I guess I'll just finish this cuppa and go take a shower.
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Ok, there was one thing
I've got some zucchini that I need to cook up and I've been wanting to have it with pasta. While it doesn't necessarily *require* parmesean cheese, it does make the experience just a bit better. So off to Trader Joes I went.
Interesting thing, though, was looking out at the Bay on the drive over. It's calm. Not just calm...but like glass. That eerie calm before the storm. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen the bay that still.
Hmmm...I thought the total bill seemed low. Turns out I wasn't charged for the ground turkey. I'll have to hold onto the receipt and make good on it on Tuesday when I venture out again.
Time to make some pasta.
Hmmm...good time for more painting
Just got a "High Wind Advisory" in the email box. Looks like a nasty storm coming in. I'm stocked up on the essentials--cat food, tea and wine--so I don't need to go out until Tuesday (when the storm(s) are meant to have passed through). I'll be ready to get out of the house by then, besides I need to pick up a couple of things for Miss Billie's birthday on Wednesday!
I'll be thinking good thoughts for a safe drive home for my friends Laurie and Chuq. I hope the I-5 is kind to you...especially through the Siskiyous!
Back to the easel for me...after looking at the portrait of Simon this morning, I decided I really hate the way his whiskers turned out (again). So time to paint over them and do 'em over! And the anemonies field needs more anemonies. And...and...and...
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Jumpin' Back In
Well, really I've only been out of painting class for a couple of weeks...but I really couldn't get into a rhythm this past term and consequently, did not finish a damn thing in class.
The last two or three days, though, have been quite productive. My big (30x30") Calla Lily is actually starting to look
like a calla lily! That one only has a couple more tweaks that I need to wait until it's more touch-dry to do. My portrait of Simon is **this close
** to being done (I've been working on it for a year now). I thought I was pretty well done before supper time. I signed it and put it in the drying rack (I may oil it out just to give it a sheen). Then I looked at the real Simon's beautiful face and realised...I still have to put in the eye whiskers. D'oh!
I've got another canvas that I had put away for another time...it's a painting of a field of anemonies in Golden Gate Park. I really messed up the tree on the left side of the painting but am slowly fixing it (she says...). Anyway, I went ahead and stuck in the anemonies this evening, as well a some daisies and grasses and it's looking much better.
There are really only three or four more canvases I'm still dealing with. A red pepper that I keep messing up, another calla lily, a sunflower and a sunken rowboat. I plan on working those out tomorrow.Note to self
: Those big cans of turpenoid may be a good value...except when you go to pour some in a jar. It's NOT a value when it sloshes all over the place! Oy...that was about 40 minutes of cleanup I hadn't planned on and that was before
I even started painting!
Other than the cleaning up bit (which takes forever with oil paints), I'm really enjoying painting right now. And I'm actually figuring out how to solve a lot of the problems I got myself into in my earlier efforts.
Of course, once I get these canvases finished (and waiting for a varnish in six months time), I've got a stack of blank canvases just waiting for something...and a big roll of untreated canvas stashed in the closet.
I'd better get busy!
Friday, December 26, 2003
"Butterfly on a Bullet": The Columbia Shuttle Tragedy
The L.A. Times ran a six-part story
this week about the Columbia tragedy.
Reading this story, it strikes me that there are just so many things wrong with how the space shuttle program has been handled...right from the original design of the craft...that it just hurts my stomach, like someone has repeatedly punched me in the gut.
What if the top management of the Shuttle Program had let the subordinate engineers continue their line of questioning? What if they had been allowed to investigate their concerns about that foam that flew off and hit the left wing? What if this program (like so many other government projects/programs) wasn't smothered by overly-territorial senior management?
What if those seven astronauts didn't have to die?
According to the story, eleven of the managers involved in the shuttle program were demoted, reassigned or took early retirement as a result of the investigation.
What remains to be seen, though, is whether or not NASA has really fixed what was wrong. Territoriality and lack of accountability in the executive wing is always bad for business. In a program as important--and delicate--as this, it is fatal. I hope that the lessons have been learned, that they will be applied, and that those seven astronauts did not die in vain.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
If you celebrate something around this time of the year, I wish you the best and merriest and happiest of times!
Here on Planet Vicster it's quiet celebration (well, except for Simon carrying on while I cooked up the gravy for breakfast this morning...he managed to meow himself hoarse!).
"Sandy Paws" treated the furkids well. Besides the treat of country gravy, there was some deli turkey for Billie, and they got a new water dish (non-skid...or so the label claims) and a new wooly bed (which Billie has taken possession of).
I'm doing some painting on some of the many, many unfinished canvases and am supposed to meet up with a friend later.
Whatever you celebrate, wherever you're at, we wish you a wonderful day!
~~Vicster, Billie, and Simon~~
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
It's a Christmas Miracle!
Simon and Billie are curled up on the couch sleeping. Together. Peacefully. No growling. No hissing. No swatting. No biting. No wrestling pins. Just sleeping. Snuggling
This can only be because they know "Sandy Paws" is coming...
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
...and I thought the danger was breaking a tooth
Cookie and cake decorating used to be fun and beautiful. Until the lawyers
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Been a long, long time since we rapped. Whatever neighborhood you've landed in in PDX, I hope you're healthy, wealthy, and still as happy and madly in love as you were when last we talked!
If by some bizarre chance you ever find this, make use of the "email Vicster" button and let me know how things are! Then you can give me shit about having cats!
Happy Birthday, Butt-Head!
p.s. would you still lie down in the back of a speeding truck for me? ;-)
This is just wrong, wrong, WRONG!
PETA is taking their message to little kids now. Specifically, little kids whose mothers happen to be wearing fur coats
. I've also heard from a parent in England whose seven-year-old
girl was accosted in McDonalds by someone from PETA claiming that her parents didn't love her and were poisoning her by feeding her meat. This person then proceeded to show this little girl pictures of mutilated chickens and cows! Needless to say, that child was devastated, and to what good?
Look, I can totally get on board with the concept of People Treating Animals Ethically. It's something I've become more and more aware of over the years, in part because of some of PETA's more rational educational tactics. But, YOU DO NOT ATTACK LITTLE KIDS!!! EVER!
Is PETA that ethically bankrupt--hell, that creatively
bankrupt--that they can't find a better way to educate the public (especially children)? How can they possibly be proud that the message they're pushing on children is that their mommy is a murderer and that they should watch out for their puppies and kittens or their mommy will kill them too?
This is every bit as disgusting and counter-productive as those whack-jobs who stand outside Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics with big posters of aborted fetuses.
Sick, and wrong...
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Well, my old dedicated flash unit seems to have packed it in. I'll have to see if I can find a deal on one at the photography swap meet in January. And I was hoping to use the flash to do some experimenting with my "toy"...oh well. Guess I'll have to get my artistic ya-ya's out with the paint brush instead. There are a good half-dozen canvases begging to be finished...
Friday, December 19, 2003
It's that time...
I just got Excalibur
in from Netflix. It is my second favourite movie about King Arthur. It certainly has the most interesting cast. Helen Mirren (purr!), Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne (MEGA PURR!!)...and, with the exception of Helen Mirren, these guys all have small parts in the movie!
My favourite King Arthur movie? Monty Python and the Holy Grail
, natch! It was one of the first movies I bought when I got the DVD player (along with "MP's Meaning of Life" and the best MP movie, "Life of Brian" and "Slapshot"...which has nothing at all to do with the Pythons).
Sounds like a double-feature this weekend!
Done. Done. Done. and...Done!
Took the last of my finals this morning! It was easier than I thought it would be...or maybe I was just better prepared this time. Now, comes the wait to see what grades I've ended up with.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
A blow for Team Bush
A federal appeals court said that Team Bush cannot detain Jose Padilla
(the "dirty bomb" suspect) without actually charging him with a crime.
From the article:In a 2-1 decision, the court gave the government 30 days to release Jose Padilla, a Bronx-born Muslim who allegedly conspired with Al Queada operatives to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States.
The judges did not say Padilla must go free. Instead, they say the government must charge him with a crime if it wants to hold him.
The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said the decision was "troubling and flawed," and the administration said it would seek a stay of the ruling.
OK, I find that statement by Scott McClellan extremely disturbing. What the hell is so "troubling and flawed" about telling Team Bush they actually can't arrest and detain an American citizen without charging him/her with a crime?!?
If Team Bush has the goods on Padilla, then present this evidence, lay down the charges and let's get him tried! Jose Padilla is an American citizen...and the last time I checked, American citizens have a right to a fair and speedy trial
(that's the Sixth Amendment, BTW).
What is troubling and flawed
is an administration that believes it's okay for them to deny AMERICAN CITIZENS their constitutionally protected rights.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
I don't do "the holidays"
I'm not a scrooge, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone their holiday cheer. But I just have a fundamental disconnect with what the holidays have come to be about.
Even as a child, I didn't particularly care for Christmas. It had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn't raised in a Christian household (there was no "religion" in my home at all, though my mother gave me the freedom to go to any church I wanted to). I just found it distasteful that "Christmas" was all about the loot. THE topic of discussion when we got back to school in January would be, "what did you get?"
And it wasn't that I didn't get anything, or I only got crappy gifts, not at all. I got wonderful presents from my mother. But I always knew that she nearly killed herself every year trying to be sure I had a Christmas. That knowledge always cut an edge off of my enjoyment of the season--it didn't diminish my appreciation of the gifts, though. There were just always pangs of guilt that my mom had to work so damn hard so her stupid brat could unwrap presents Christmas morning.
I remember that I wanted so badly to believe in Santa Claus. If for no other reason than it would be great if there really was some benevolent old man who distributed the perfect presents to kids so their parents wouldn't have to work extra hard to get them. But I knew at a very young age that such a kind old man didn't exist.
And I absolutely cringe this time of year when I hear a parent warn their child to be good or "Santa won't bring you any presents!" What the hell kind of sword is that to swing over a little kid's head? Is this the kind of "holiday memory" these parents want their kids to carry through to their adulthood? And who defines "good" anyway? Does "good" mean, don't piss mom and/or dad off or they'll call Santa and tell him to give my gifts to a "better" kid? Or is there some old man watching me 24/7 who knows everything I do? How creepy is that
In my house, there was also the problem of making sure I reacted with just the right amount of enthusiasm about the gifts. Every reveal had to be a "Kodak Moment". Kind of a difficult pace to keep up when you've gotten up too early and you're starting to crash after an hour or so. I remember a few times when I really love the gift, but I didn't get the reaction quite right. I could sense the "no matter what I do it isn't enough for you" resentment from my mother.
When Christmas becomes nothing but pressure--pressure to give the right gift (and the right number
of gifts) and pressure to give the correct reaction--it ceases to be a time of celebration. Which is what I always was told Christmas was: The celebration of the birth of Christ.
So, why do we start with the pressures and expectations in OCTOBER? When did it become all about gimme, gimme, gimme?
OK, so I guess I'm not completely doing away with the holidays this year. After all, the furkids will get a visit from "Sandy Paws" just because they're good kitties and they're about due for some new toys and treats.
Maple Leafs, Melancholy, and Indoor Lacrosse
I attended a hockey game a few weekends ago. The San Jose Sharks played the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-2 tie. It was a thrill for me because it was the first time in my life I've seen the Leafs play in person...something I had always wanted to do.
After that game, there was an exhibition indoor lacrosse game between the San Jose Stealth (a "new-to-San Jose" team) and the Anaheim Bullfrogs (I think that's what they were called).
I have to say, I really enjoyed watching the NLL (National Lacrosse League) game. Indoor lacrosse is fast-paced and exciting with just enough of the rough-and-tumble to keep fans jacked up (yes, there were fisticuffs...just like in hockey). And, frankly, the guys playing were just yummy, and that always scores points in my books! I'd go to more of their games, if it wasn't such a pain in the ass to drive to San Jose (I-880 is the Ultimate Moron Parade...but that's for another blog entry).
I found myself feeling a bit melancholy as the game got underway. I watched the crew lay down the turf over the ice and saw the game night operations staff scurrying around making sure all the entertainment (not just players, but the music, the anthem singer, the between-period activities, and such) was in place and ready to roll on schedule. Well...the turf proved to be a bit problematic, but I'm sure they'll have it sorted out after a couple more exhibition games.
As I watched the crews working, I remembered the first exhibition games and first regular season home game we had when I worked for the San Francisco Spiders (of the now-defunct International Hockey League--I actually predicted the league's demise...despite the fact it had been around and healthy for over 50 years). I remembered the scurrying, the running around, making sure everything and everyone was in place. And I remembered seeing all of us office staff either in our Spiders polo shirts or wearing red and black (the team colours).
I remember how exciting it was. It was new. It was all OURS. We did this. The first home game in front of a big crowd (unfortunately, the last big crowd we'd ever see at the Cow Palace, a.k.a. Chateau du boef) was just unbelievable! I know I felt such a huge rush...I can't imagine the rush the players must have felt. But at least THEY could burn off that nervous energy playing the game. I literally had to run laps on the concourse to bring myself back to a normal, functioning level (by the time the players were out for warm-ups, I couldn't even speak full sentences, I was so jacked up). The first time the crowd let out a cheer for the Spiders, I had tears in my eyes.
I saw the same energy and pride (and relief!) on the faces of the staff of the Stealth. And I really missed that feeling. I missed the stress, the nervous energy. I missed the feeling of seeing something kinda big--that I had a hand in building--come to life. I remember an acquaintance of mine at the time commented that I was absolutely glowing for the six months or so up until that first game.
Hopefully, I'll have another job (soon, please) where I can feel all those feelings again. But I am grateful that I had the chance to even experience that in the first place.
Monday, December 15, 2003
My Political Compass
Hmmm, right over in the neighbourhood
of Ghandi and Mandela...but even further to the left from Dali Lama!
Here you can see where you land
on the quadrant.
I live in an apartment. My upstairs neighbour is a nice guy for sure...but he walks very heavy on his heels. He's not a particularly large man...I'd say somewhere around 6'0 - 6'2 and reasonably fit. He just has Very...Heavy...Footsteps.
A couple months ago, I was making my supper and I heard THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD and thought at first he had bought an exercise tape or something. Then I thought, "he just doesn't seem like the 'Jane Fonda Workout' type..." and realised we were having an earthquake! I'm not kidding! We were having an earthquake and I thought the guy was up there sweatin' to the oldies! How messed up is that?!?
I don't know why, but for some reason it's just really started to bother me lately. I don't know if his footsteps have gotten heavier, or if I've grown more sensitive to it (I don't know what he drank the other night, but I sure didn't appreciate him hitting the one squeaky floorboard right over my bed at least a half dozen times during the night on his way to the loo).
Argh! He's doing it again! He's up thud thud thud thud thud thud into the kitchen thud thud thud thud thud thud THUD into his la-z-boy, then up again and thud thud thud thud thud thud back to the kitchen and so on! Gaaaahhhhh!
I swear, one day I'll live in my own home and it'll be a feckin' Ranch house with no upstairs! Or if I have an upstairs, I'll occupy it so I don't have people stomping on my head!
Crikey! He's off again! GAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!
Yes, this is actually exciting in my household...
likes catnip again! She's started to actually eat it again.
A couple years ago, when she first came to live with us, she had to visit the vet (she's a bit susceptible to UTI's). I thought I'd put some catnip in her carrier, so that she'd associate going to the vet with getting one of her favourite treats...and then going to the vet (or being put in the carrier) wouldn't be so bad.
Unfortunately, that backfired. She associated getting catnip with going to the vet. And she wanted nothing to do with catnip for a looonnnggg time. Eventually, she'd sniff the container; then she'd sniff the container and rub her head on it (essentially giving the container a "snoodgie"). Last night, when I gave Simon his catnip, Billie was really interested in the container...to the point of dunking her nose in it! So I put some out for her and, after rolling around in it for a couple minutes, she started eating it!
It's really good that I have another treat I can give her...she's extraordinarily picky. Other than her dry cat food, she only likes deli-sliced turkey and petromalt. (Simon, on the other hand, eats anything that doesn't eat him first.)
Now, if I can only get her to not hate Simon
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Saddam Hussein Captured
This is certainly good news
! I expect to see him brought to justice and expect nothing less than a completely above-the-board, legal and fair trial. Which is a hell of a lot more than he ever gave his people, and likely a hell of a lot more than he deserves. But I want no loopholes, no loose ends, no doubts that he was tried fairly. History is watching how this all unfolds, after all.
Does Hussein's capture change my mind about the war on Iraq? No. Team Bush's "justification" for this war was that 1) Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and 2) he was about to use them against the US. There also was just enough innuendo fed to the American public to make a significant portion of them believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center despite the fact that there has been NO verified evidence of such
! Zero, zip, zilch, nada, noneatall.
So, let's see if Hussein leads Team Bush to those WMDs...and let's see, provided they find
said WMDs, just how close they were to being fired on US targets.
By the way...I'd like to take a minute to point out that Osama bin Laden, the "leader" who actually is responsible for 9/11
, is still at-large. And, I believe, much more likely to pose a threat to the American people than Saddam Hussein was.
But at the end of it all...my thoughts are with the Iraqi people. I am glad that they are no longer ruled by such a demonic creature. And I look forward to the day when they are truly free
. Free to choose how they want their country run. Free from interference from the war lords and overlords--including George W. Bush. It's time to pull out Team Bush's "interim" government and let the Iraqi people decide how their homeland is going to heal from decades of brutality, chaos and destruction. My hopes and prayers are with them today.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
For the frustrated artist in all of us
(just move your mouse around the screen)
-- and --Mr. Picassohead
An apology from Microsoft for some swastikas
that ended up in their Bookshelf Symbol font package.
is one of the things that sets "hockey people" apart from other sports (and their fans). It would be so easy for the Detroit Red Wings organization and their fans to have forgotten Vladimir Konstantinov by now (five years after that horrible limo accident that nearly killed him, Slava Fetisov and Wings trainer Sergei Mnatsakanov). But he continues to be part of the family, not shunted off to some care facility or shut in at home, but as much a part of the Red Wings organization as he can be. It would be so much easier on the player known as "Vlad the Impaler" to simply stay home and let his care staff take care of him. But he gets up and gives it another go every day.
For that, I have a hell of a lot of respect for the Detroit Red Wings. And Vlad is an even bigger hero to me these days.
Well, not so much homework now. I've got three finals next week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). I'll likely spend the afternoon organising the Geography notes, condensing the thick wad down into what my instructor is covering on her "hints" sheet. And I'll pick out one of the essay questions from the sheet and write a practice answer.
Anthropology, I'm not so sure about. While the subject matter was interesting, my style of learning just wasn't compatible with the instructor's style. So, unfortunately, that class pretty much sucked dry my will to live. At any rate, I'll spend most of tomorrow organising the key terms from every chapter and going over concepts that I feel rocky on.
As for algebra...astonishingly enough, I'm getting an A in that class thus far. There are a couple of areas that I'm still fairly wobbly on (story problems), so I'll spend a lot of time on those areas next week. That final isn't until Friday, so I'll have almost all day Wednesday (the Anthro final is 8-10am) and all of Thursday to deal with that.
And then I'm done for the term. AhhhhhhWOOOOOOoooooooo!
Ah the joys of parenthood #1
It's an interesting challenge, trying to get anything done on the computer when you have a furkid insisting on his "mommy-and-me" time. Simon just came in...and told me a lot of information in kitty-speak (which I only partially grok). Then he tried to contribute to this blog (I think he's going to want his own blog...goodness knows what he gets up to on the computer when I'm at school). Then he started purring and rolled over for a tummy rub (and he knows I can't resist that tummy!). Then he stretched himself out across my shoulders and whapped me in the head with his tail. Repeatedly.
At last, he's given up on getting my attention and is having a bath on the cushion next to me. At least I can get some work done while he's otherwise occupied.
See, this is the danger of me setting up a blog...I'll just talk about Simon and Billie even more!
Friday, December 12, 2003
A redesign...and a blog!
Yeah, I bit the bullet...this should do for now. I hope!