Friday, December 30, 2005

me and the universe

My success deferment was leveraged into actuality today. That's HR-speak for saying i was canned in sixty seconds. My boss actually had the nerve to escort me to my office and demand my key and then walk me to my car, as though i were some sort of criminal, watching me like a hawk the whole time. What? She thought i would blow something up?

While I was taking my key off its ring, I realized that I had asked the universe for a job to get me through to the end of the year and that, amazingly enough, gotten it. She walked with me down the stairs, and then as I was standing in front of the door she started -- no lie -- small talking. Now, I had been as pleasant and gracious as anyone could be, no small feat under circumstances that would leave any sane person apoplectic with embarassment, and younger ones in tears. nonetheless, i held my poise, as i have done ever so often in the past several weeks.

and that's when the universe rewarded me. it always happens when you least suspect it, i suppose, but when you act on not even faith, but the faith of faith, the hope of hope. With my back against the door, about to walk out into the freedom to feel and express however i chose, she asked one last question.

Her: So do you have something fun planned for this afternoon?
me: Actually, the timing is just right, as I've decided to start Proust.
Her: puzzled, i thought maybe she didn't hear me, that perhaps my poise had failed me and my voice had shaken. But no. With the sincerity of someone trying her levelbest to seem as though she actually cares about your future: O. . . uh. . is that a school?

And then, with grace and bearing, I got softly to explain that it was not an it, but a he, one of the greatest authors of our time, though i didn't put it in those words. She scuttled, litterally scuttled, back down her corridor to the office.

As i walked into the unseasonably refreshing sunlight, my tin of teabags precariously perched in my soup bowl with its silver spoon, my coffee in my other hand no longer steaming, i thought yes. yes the universe loves me and wants me to be happy. And I laughed at long last, releasing it all, holding nothing back, wholly myself.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


i made it to work this morning, more than on time, more weirdness in dreamland disturbing me awake before the alarm. i am so not certain what is up with that, but it can end any time now and i'll be happy with it. Artsie clearly sensed something wasn't right with me, and was never more than a few inches away all night. Poor thing seemed to be freaking out a bit herself and wanted to be close. Perhaps Guinevere's fairies have come home to roost.

i got a rash of letters this morning and it must be the thursday to catch up: Connor, Scully, Cormac. It was good to connect, and even though I won't make it to the Maryland bash this weekend, alternate plans are in the works. Scully wrote that the music scene where he and his lady are is pretty cool, and I'm attentively awaiting further details.

Still no word on when this contract ends, only that it does, and soonish (probably abruptly once it comes to that). Keep an eye on this space, as the Brown Coat New Year's Details are forthcoming, probably tonight.

2005 trading card

ooooers. flickr toys.
[not nearly as dirty as it sounds.]

i mean what do you do when you can't sleep? i'm off to catch a bit of a nap before getting ready for work (yes, i'm working this week. how obscene is that?)

witching hour

Awakened in the middle of the night, unwinding the dream from the sheets, relieved at unreality, wondering at what my mind is trying to say, suspecting something was lost in the translastion from sub to conscious.

And then of course the dog needing out.

This whole healthy living thing has its downsides.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

who ARE you?

i'm batman.

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight.
As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Neo, the "One"


Batman, the Dark Knight


James Bond, Agent 007


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Amazing Spider-Man


Indiana Jones


Lara Croft


El Zorro


William Wallace


The Terminator




Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

my inner scooby

Your life is full of magic. Sure, you might have been a little awkward in high school, but hey, get over it--you're a hot little number now. Even though you're slightly more worker bee than queen, your friends and coworkers are mesmerized by your hypnotic personality. And you've got more than enough mojo to keep that special someone around. Take the test.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

new versions: not always a good thing

Back in the day, several years ago when i originally took the Geek Test, there were no versions. Looking it up for jax today, i discovered that we are up to version 3.1. So i took it all over again. I noticed that the SCAdian events stuff ahs been done away with, as have most of the sexual questions [i suppose real geeks don't have sex]. anyway, the removal of those along with the inclusion of many other tv / video game things (along withthe removal of having played zelda and tron and zork) have lowered my score down from the mid 80's as it once was, though the classification is still the same: Geek God(dess)[72.58383%]. And yes, I am a member of innergeek, a forum which no longer seems to exist. That's a shame; i'll really miss Scotty Monkeypants.

Quote of the day

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'
- Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 26, 2005

happy kringle!

the boys and i had a lovely yuletide, complete with evening friends and card games and morning paper-strewing, which the kittens adored. the little green army men and little red firemen kept their attention long enough that i finished Anansi Boys (a delight on par with American Gods) and later in the day i got to read all of Memoirs of My Meloncholy Whores. Reading time is the ultimate present for me, so i'm delighted. i also have a new poem i'm working on, and a character who is stirring in her nest. who knows what shall come of it?

hope your holiday was lovely.

Friday, December 23, 2005

there are rules

Some words shouldn't be mixed together in headlines, no matter how accurate. Probe should never be within five words of body parts, especially in any headline that includes authorities, for example.

Monday, December 12, 2005

monday monday

We have a tree. It blinks. Well, okay, the tree itself doesn't blink, but the little white lights on it do. There was a bit of a scare that we wouldn't be going anywhere, given that the battery was more than a little depleted (apparently the keys CAN come out of the ignition when the jeep is in alt mode -- who knew?!?), but the boys were dears of understanding while we fixed alla that. and they ate heartily and well at the MoJo Cafe (highly recommended for all its fare, not the least of which is fairly traded coffee) while the tree rested on top of the jeep on the way home.

Once inside, I amazed myself by not having gotten a tree that needed a sixteen inches trimmed before it could stand up inside. Apparently, a seven-and-a-half foot tree (the boys and I went right to it, all of us, and declared it perfect, even if it was "the short one") is in fact just the right height for my nine-ish feet high ceilings, especially when the stand is taken into account. As far as decorating, that's about as far as we have gotten, but it's pretty cheery nonetheless.

Cormac came over for a bit of lunch and cards, which was fun, and then I napped until our evening showing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Frankly, I loved it, and think that it was an amazing production. I can't wait to see it again. I have heard that it is a pared-down presentation, without all the meaningful bits on how one ought to live, and don't agree. I think that ther's a whole host of the message, sometimes more subtle than others, but definitely there. My favourite line: "So much for love."

We definitely will be seeing it again, at the Grandin. Feel free to join along.

Also, this weekend, I read Nick Hornsby's How to be Good and Avi's The Book With No Words. Both come highly recommended, and Hornsby has really gone out on a limb for himself here. The hip guy-writer has devlved into some serious ground about relationships in the early twentieth century, and does so with characteristic wit and relentless honesty. Nicely done.

monday monday

We have a tree. It blinks. Well, okay, the tree itself doesn't blink, but the little white lights on it do. There was a bit of a scare that we wouldn't be going anywhere, given that the battery was more than a little depleted (apparently the keys CAN come out of the ignition when the jeep is in alt mode -- who knew?!?), but the boys were dears of understanding while we fixed alla that. and they ate heartily and well at the MoJo Cafe (highly recommended for all its fare, not the least of which is fairly traded coffee) while the tree rested on top of the jeep on the way home.

Once inside, I amazed myself by not having gotten a tree that needed a sixteen inches trimmed before it could stand up inside. Apparently, a seven-and-a-half foot tree (the boys and I went right to it, all of us, and declared it perfect, even if it was "the short one") is in fact just the right height for my nine-ish feet high ceilings, especially when the stand is taken into account. As far as decorating, that's about as far as we have gotten, but it's pretty cheery nonetheless.

Cormac came over for a bit of lunch and cards, which was fun, and then I napped until our evening showing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Frankly, I loved it, and think that it was an amazing production. I can't wait to see it again. I have heard that it is a pared-down presentation, without all the meaningful bits on how one ought to live, and don't agree. I think that ther's a whole host of the message, sometimes more subtle than others, but definitely there. My favourite line: "So much for love."

We definitely will be seeing it again, at the Grandin. Feel free to join along.

Friday, December 09, 2005

wintery mix, revisited

Many many thanks to Shane for sending along something positive. It is better than Too Much Coffee Man trying to explain irony.

The boys don't have school today, of course, even though the roads are (once again) just fine. We are looking forward to seeing Narnia this weekend. Possibly more than once. If you're interested in seeing it with us on Sunday evening, please leave a note, as I might be able to get group tickets.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wintery mix

Yay! For those of us disappointed that the six-to-twelve inches of snow forecast turned into a lovely little dusting, we now have a winter storm warning including ice and the whole nine yards. by the way, even though the weather alert reads that travel will be "very hazardous or impossible," I will be at work. I have a meeting at 11, and we will just have to see what comes of that. Thank goodness for four-wheel drive.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

cake, coffee and cards

I am thinking of actually cooking *gasp* with the boys, since I need to spend some time cleaning up the kitchen--it's Dragon's turn, and you know how he loves to cook. Also, I have a new recipe for a vegan cake--that's right, no eggs or milk, and I hear it's delicious; I remain skeptical until there is evidence, which means we get to have a taste test!

Eldarian gave me a new card game as well: Quiddler. Letters and words and cards and suitable-for-up-to-8-folks (o my!), it is made by the same people who brought us the fun that is Five Crowns. Want to come over for some cake, coffee and cards?

Many thanks to all who wrote or checked in on Dragon. He is doing well, and seems to have bounced back from the procedure itself. Also, I officially applied for my job as of this afternoon; for good or for ill, I will know if I am permanently a part of this team in the coming weeks. In either case, I'll be a woman in need of a bit of a get-together, so let's all think about when we can schedule it. Perhaps it will entail another round of cake, coffee and cards.

By the way, I finished PopCo., and I must say it was charming, delightful, intriguing, subversive, and a great read. I am also quite glad that I was given an advance reader's copy, since the cover of the print version really gives me the unholy creeps. Even if the blurb on the back is as engaging on the current cover as it is on the advance one, I don't think I could stand to have that doll face staring at me for the legnth of time it took me to read the book, and I'm pretty fast.

Do please also leave your comments for what you would like at the decoration gathering this Sunday. I have signed up for making mulled cider, and depending on the timing of everything might make an apple cake. Dragon has decided he is in charge of making certain there is eggnog (but don't be surprised if he doesn't share) and Tiger is all about the finger snacks. I'm seeing lots of nibbles available, and we can always figure out the rest of it from there. I suppose since this is coming up so quickly that I should get off my duff and find the Christmas Tree stand. I know it's in the basement somewhere, but somehow that doesn't make the prospect of locating it any less daunting.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

pending rejection from slashdot

CNN has a story on a study relased by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. Apparently, people at high risk for liver damage showed that those who drank more than two cups of coffee or tea per day developed chronic liver disease at half the rate of those who drank less than one cup each day. From the story: "Coffee and tea may reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink alcohol too much, are overweight, or have too much iron in the blood." So go out, get drunk and have drink coffee the next morning -- it's all good.

Monday, December 05, 2005

home again home again, jiggity jig

the airport saga was relatively uneventful, and i am home. i thoroughly enjoyed ottawa just as much as i did five years ago, and perhaps even a bit more. the light dusting of snow that i ordered for the trip arrived just on time, even though i didn't, and once the wind died down, the cold was refreshing. it's a lovely city.

dinner in the revolving restaurant was a fine affair, worthy of being hosted in a nation's capitol. i even discovered that Ontario produces some serious, stand-up wines. but as good as the meal was (and it was) and as impressive as the service was (and it was) i think the best time was still to be found at the mayflower pub and restaurant. breakfast on sunday -- it seemed to be a national pasttime there.

we visited the parliament, hung around waiting for the guided tour to begin, and then bailed when we realised how many people would be in the group. after that, a fair walk about in the snow discussing politics and our lives was just right.

notes for next time: the hotel was perfect. visit the public library. see if there is a film festival going on before the last day there.

my ears did jar a bit when i arrived in the philadelphia airport and the announcements weren't repeated in french. i had quite gotten used to it without realizing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

the auld dubliner

i had an amazingly good culinary experience at the restaurant / pub found last night: four heese spinach dip with pita and a mediterannean quesadilla. the food alone could have me move here. now if i only had a job. . .

off to get breakfast and go shopping. [not a typo: could it be the air?]

Friday, December 02, 2005

Please return your seats to the upright position

I've arrived safely and we are going hunt for a restaurant. Hopefully no menus will be harmed in the process.

canada time

In my efforts not to overpack, I did anyway. There were issues with the laptop, and it is staying home. [kn0w1 knows where i will be and how to get in touch with me.] The pets will be visited.

I have crochet, ample yarn, and a prepublication book.

It's snowing in Canada right now.

Sing it with me: O, CAAAAAAN-a-daaa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World Aids Day

If you get a moment, find a red ribbon and wear it.

Number of people living with HIV in 2005: 40.3 million
People newly infected with HIV in 2005: 4.9 million
AIDS deaths in 2005: 3.1 million

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Dragon seems well enough. We will know more when results from biopsies come back. The results of the viewing seem good so far. Many thanks to all who communicated their love and good wishes, and to those of you who were so supportive. I'll keep you updated.

Speaking of updates, I will be able to post online from my hotel room in Ottawa. Please look here for updates about having arrived safely and the like, though probably not much detail, as I do not expect to have cell service.

There's a mountain of work to catch up on for being out, but it's all good. Dragon is a trooper. He deserves all the gold stars. We did actually hav a bit of fun yesterday afternoon, as he wanted to visit Papa at work (i chose a new dishwasher -- it was an evil alliance, i tell you). We also ended up choosing paint for my office, the downstairs room, and the kitchen. Over dinner at the Olive Garden, all of us worked on developing the back yard Pirate Area (no longer to be confined only to the ship). We have plans for an upper deck, a plank (to be walked), a galley, hammock swings, bells, whistles, telescopes, periscopes, whatever-the-big-wheel-thing-is-called [update: it's a ship's wheel. many thanks to those of you who wrote to inform me of it, and went further to let me know that the person who mans the ship's wheel is called a helmsman], and even a bunk house. we have a name percolating about for the ship herself. we have a plan to officially christen the ship and area on Pirates Day next september. I get to be the Bucaneer, and am working on my costume. Tiger wants to host a tour and charge admission to play in the back yard. arrrrr!

Monday, November 28, 2005

rainy days and mondays

Good morning. After spending all day yesterday on the couch with a serious fever and school bus disease (trust me, you don't want it), i seem to have returned to normal, albeit weakened, state. Many thanks to Eldarian for sitting around and laughing at me moaning and helping herd the boys. Many thanks to the boys for being wonderful and as accommodating as any little boys ever really could be.

The tea, the frog prince and the down comforter helped as well, I'm certain. I have to confess that I was beyond irritated that the second season of Battlestar Galactica isn't out as yet. I think I watched the final six episodes in a marathon.

Hope your monday is excellent. I'm not up for much more than soup today, but that's my plan: it's all about the coziness. Despite being sicker than a dog (well, okay -- dogs don't get this sick; they are shot first), there was much progress made on the house, and the playroom and office upstairs are coming along nicely. The plan is to be able to have everything in such a state as of January that we can have Steve et al come in and finish remodeling the kitchen, put shelves in the playroom upstairs, paint and shelves in the office. . . wow. this list is longer than i thought: the joys of home ownership. anyway, we seem to be on track, even if the list of home improvements is non-ending.

For now there isn't any 'net at home, and i'm grateful for such WiFi as is around the neighborhood. The co-op and barnes and noble share theirs gladly, as does Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea. WiFi, snow monkey plum tea, books and a table. Now that's luxury living.

Dragon has a procedure tomorrow, so don't expect a post until wednesday. We'll be at the hospital at the crack of 06:30, so i'm getting together some crochet patterns and novelty yarn to keep me awake and occupied. I've always been big into shawls, but now there are just ever so many patterns and novelty yarns and the like. how cool is that?

Friday, November 25, 2005


Hi there. Our Thanksgiving was a fun, relaxed affair. the boys and i bought yummy munchies and cooked some favourite dishes, then settled back to play monopoly with visitors. Dragon predictably performed remarkably well. It sort of gives me the creeps that a five year old has that much luck with the dice. Tiger wasn't exactly hurting, either, by the time we all took a break. The food and company were Just Right, and the episode of Battlestar Galactica was just the thing at the end of our day.

I finished up Night Watch wednesday evening, and it was delightful. Many thanks to Jax for lending it to me. i have some favorite quotes, as you might imagine. I started Pop Co. Thanksgiving morning (is there any better way to wake up than to roll over and find a new book to read for an hour?), and from the first few pages, I think this book is going to be a real keeper.

I hope your holiday was delightful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

movie review

We saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night. It was the best yet, and the boys' first in the main auditorium at the Grandin. I enjoyed it quite-a-bit-a-lot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


work: I have a job. Woo hoo me. It’s still temp, and looks as though it will continue that way through the beginning of the year. I like it well enough. This is my public journal though, and so you won’t read much about the job here. If you want to know, ask.

boys: They are getting so tall. Tiger looks more like a young man than ever, and Dragon is right behind him. I am truly lucky to have such wonderful children. They do a full day of school and then take the van to Riverwalk near my office, where I pick them up on the way home. It has taken a bit to discover the right routine, but we have adapted to this one quite well. Discussions on the way home usually involve who is cooking that evening (we take turns, to great effect) and what went on in our respective days. We have colds, which have been kicking our butts for too long now. Dragon is reading and writing more than ever, and Tiger seems to have done a really good job at finding a measure of control over his emotions.

pets: We have kittens – two of them. No, one just wouldn’t do, thanks anyway. They are Artemis (artsie), who is sleek, and Aphrodite (nibbers), who is fluffy and cute. They are not related, both black, and frustratingly dear to me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Come one, come all to the before thanksgiving feast

Sunday, November 13
Come on over and join in the pot luck and conversation. Food goes on the table at 7-ish p.m. with the House open for assistance (and I will put you to work) at four (just in time for tea, which I will gladly provide). Dragon has signed up to make beef stroganoff, and Tiger is making his favourite-ever chili. I have no idea what I’m making yet, though it is widely known how I tend to always put out the raw fruit-vegetables-nuts for grazing. Jax is bringing French Onion Soup, so I might just sit back and eat that and hum contentedly. I have one loaf of Jax-bread left, and might let the boys talk me into letting them make a bread braid (I think they like pulling it more than they do eating it). Denniston is running low on root beer and cream soda and ginger ale, so if you want those sorts of things, or want to provide them (and you know who you are!) they will be most welcome.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

movie review

last night i saw A History of Violence, and it was very good. I liked the acting and the unfolding. Maria Bello seems to have been in a number of other things, none of which i've seen, which is a shame since she brings such a powerful presence to the screen. Her interaction with Viggo Mortensen is so real you can almost smell it in the theatre, even over the popcorn, and Ashton Holmes delivers a bullied-teenager at its best, so real i could practically hear what he was thinking. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this young man on the screen in the future. Though the plot had moments of the predictable (perhaps reflective of the story's origins as a graphic novel), the direction was superb and Cronenberg delivers one of the best uses of silence in a film i've seen in a long time, perhaps since Closetland. Overall, the movie raises questions about what makes a family, our goals and obligations, how, when and where we draw the line, the role of violence, and ultimately what makes good men.

of course, i'm sure other people just had a good time with a bit of a thriller. :)

i hope your wednesday is delightful.

Monday, September 12, 2005

scouts and songs

cub scouts starts up tonight, and i've decided to make it another Cheeseburger in Paradise night, not only because it is yummy, but because it is relatively easy and quick, both in the prep and the cleanup, and it reassures me that the boys will have plenty of food to get them through thier evening. Dragon is still young enough to stay home, at least for this year. perhaps he and i will make cookies.
I like mine with lettuce and tomato,
Heinz Fifty-seven and French fried potatoes.
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer.
Well, good God Almighty, which way do I steer
For my cheeseburger in paradise.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


i'm reading Bag of Bones by Stephen King. I'm about a third of the way through, and by this point the prtagonist, an author who has writer's block ever since his wife died, is speaking out loud to the moose head in his lake cabin. bizarrely enough, i understand and identify with this behaviour. it's not mad so much as it is imaginative and introspective, both on the character's part and mine. early on, there is a line about writers being people who have taught their minds to do odd things. perhaps it's true.

i think the reason that writers always seem to have a cat or another about is so that they seem to be talking to someone when they are actually talking out loud, letting the pieces of their internal conversations slip forth into the real world. today, i've been grateful for the kittens, watching them as i listen to the voices inside me, giggling as they show that cats have only one arch emeny, but that they are powerless against it: the sunbeam on the floor (no really, they walk across it and get stuck, sure as flypaper, and then are quickly drugged into a napstate for the coming quarter hour). the soundtrack that seems to be going along with my dialogue today is a snippet of a song, one that i don't know the title of or any of the verse lyrics, but i know the chorus and tune are correct, at the very least.

you should see the look on the animals' faces as i get up to get coffee or go to the bathroom, dancing a bit and singing
I like to hear some funky Dixieland
Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
By the hand, hand
Take me by the hand, pretty mama
Come and dance with your daddy all night long

Saturday, September 10, 2005

september is the smell of freshly sharpened pencils

met Laurie and Ian, spent an hour or so at the blues and jazz festival before heading over to Metro for some suchi and miso soup. though Laurie has been taking the boys to school in the mornings, this is the first time we had to really hang out as girls. we talked about past loves, divorce, cats, dogs, houses, you name it. it was good to connect. park time after sushi was in order (ian was extrememly well behaved, even more so considering he spent yesterday in the emergency room awaiting surgery to disloge a wedge hunkn of apple). he ran into a friend, and we all sat and watched the repeated skateboarding adventures. Tiger and Dragon were missed, and Ian looks forward to coming over for soup night as a play date.

all in all, it was an excellent day.

Friday, September 09, 2005

settling in

after a short week, it seems we have settled into a schedule:
  • 07:00: wake up, roll over, listen for the boys, wonder what time it is.
  • 07:02: boys come into my room and bring their stuffed animals to me for the day's keeping
  • 07:07: brush teeth, get dressed, bathroom routine, waking up conversations
  • 07:17: breakfast and table talk
  • 07:37: pack up backpacks with lunches and folders
  • 07:45: find shoes and socks
  • 07:50: put on shoes and socks
  • 08:00: hugs and kisses on the way out the door with the car pool.
  • 15:45: make snacks for the table
  • 16:00: receive jax and boys to table and snacks and conversation
  • 16:20: wave good-bye to jax
  • 16:25: check folders for notes and homework
  • 16:30: homework or playtime (typically also when Tiger checks his email)
  • 18:15: make dinner
  • 18:30: set table and serve dinner
  • 18:45: eat dinner and talk
  • 19:15: clear table and do dished
  • 19:30: bath routine
  • 20:00: reading time
  • 21:00: lights out
is it nutsy that i feel comforted by this routine? is it even more nutsy that the children are? in any case, it is working and i feel more freedom than i have in quite some time. i'm looking forward to finding a job from 08:15 to 15:45 so i can continue this schedule even while working. i truly enjoy sending the children off and receiving them each day. perhaps it is the old-fashioned training we all received, but it feels wholesome and right.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

katrina, soup night, and a personal note

soup night went well. why is it that i feel so much more restored by being visited by relatively introspective, introverted folks than the loud boisterous ones?

also, my sons and i have raised and matched $125 for the Katrina campaign hosted by i am proud of them and hope it helps. ultimately, $250 doesn't seem like very much.

jaime, i love and support you. no matter what.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


if you haven't read Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, you absolutely should. it's amazing. i read it a couple years ago, and it has yet to leave me. in ways, it keeps growing richer with time.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


in these spiritually bankrupt times, we look for knowledge, wisdom and connection where ever it is to be found. most of us employ yoga, coffee, therapy or some blend of these and other pursuits. honestly, though, i find a regular bit of wisdom on craigslist regularly. it will one day be archived as the Text Of Our Time. here are the latest bits of truth that i have found in the hallowed ether. take it to heart.

this guy had an epiphany while searching the net. this woman's husband changed their relationship forever under similar circustances.

these posts can help us become aware of other people's boundaries as well as our own. and ultimately, they can even serve as warnings of danger inherent in city living. all with a smile, or at least a smirk.

the internet. who knew?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

break out your bicycle

least used chat abbreviationsi love satirewire.

On a different note, if this isn't enough to make you consider alternate transportation, what is?
"There's no question gas will hit $4 a gallon," Ben Brockwell, director of pricing at the Oil Price Information Service, said. "The question is how high will it go and how long will it last?"
my word, $4 a gallon just as i'm heading into back-to-school week is scary indeed. it was bad enough last year when the tank took $30 to fill -- with gas prices doubled since then, it will easily be $60 a tank, and i go through that in a week picking up and dropping off. carpooling no longer seems a convenient and friendly thing, but a matter of survival. natural gas prices have also gone up markedly, twenty percent in the last week alone. frankly, i was pretty impressed that the insulating measures i had taken last year managed to render a measurable reduction in my heating bill for the year. the average went down thirty percent, in a year when prices climbed. am i the only one watching the food budget shrink as the oil prices soar? add to that jeep maintenance and dental surgery and the like, and i'm seeing an awful lot of iced tea and soup in our future.

i nearly canceled the new york trip at the end of the month. then i talked with jaime yesterday and found out she was in San Francisco (literally sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time), having just completed her interview with a library in sonoma county the day before. the interview went very well, and she loves the area. she said she isn't going to take the job unless they offer her the upper end of the salary, but i think she is hooked, and they would frankly be dumb not to hire her. she is one of the only people i know who can face their technical services situation (acquisition, reciept, payment, and cataloging of books -- they do 6,000 titles a month) without being overwhelmed. in fact, she's excited by it, as i'm frankly glad to see it; as much as i will miss her, it all sounds very thrilling and to be situated near like-minded. the upshot of this is that we have wanted to take a pilgramage to NYPL since september of 1995. ten years ago, my word! and if we don't do it before she moves to cali, we likely never will. so the ny trip is still on the books. i might have to pass the hat to get there.

but enough grim tales. check out the cubist web site story. i can't figure out why if it's a site for cubists that it's not in spanish, but perhaps they were trying to be all cool and stuff. i'll have a cubist cigar and ponder it while i relax in the oval orafice. i think i'll be needing the tee shirt.

music purge

jax recently wrote about a musical moment in which he purged his soul. most people might find that weird, but instead, i find myself listening to music that does the same thing. li'l nibs keeps walking around my ankles as i type and listen to music (her name is being Officially Changed to Ante [with a silent 't' because she is the kitty]. so, with all due apologies, i tell you that that at that particular time i was a little bit lost. i have been looking for too long for a man who will love me with as little in return as i demand. there are of course my own delusions and sins, certain monstrosities to get beyond, but there are things i want as well. and frankly, there are my fears. but ultimately, there is a short list of what i'm looking for in my own life, in my own spirituality, in my own world:
I want a goddess who stinks.
I’m tired of these tired goddesses
Their shoulders white and sandals neatly tied
Their back quivers and bows
Their lack of men and their pristinely polished shields.
I want a goddess who ruts in the mud,
Back quivering
Who bows to no one but bends
Close to the earth
Who buries her face deep in the dirt and the scent of life
Who gathers life and living close to her nose, nuzzling
Who gathers life up gently and pulls it into her bosom
Who licks it and knows it in the dark.
I want a goddess who holds on
With hair and teeth and claw
With dirt under her nails and hair under her arms
I want a goddess who plays and romps
With twigs in her hair, mud on her toes
Cum on her thigh
Her scent thick about her
Her breasts keeping time to her dance through the woods
The flesh of her butt nestled in a crevice
In a cave as she lights a candle and talks to the albino spiders there
Whispering their woven secrets.
I want a goddess with food in her mouth
Light in her soul
Fire in her belly
Blood on the ground as she cradles the
Life she creates.
Be gone with these sterile, civilized he-women
Supports of your nicely approachable reality
Systemized and sanitized
Beyond recognition
Relegated to the wall
Flowers in your halls of
Destruction, despair and propriety.
I want a goddess who stinks.

and there are things i demand of men as well:
I want a man I want

I want a man who is quiet
Who leads by example
Who believes in respect
And respects belief.
I want a man I want to listen to
Not one I have to.
I want a man who is clean
Whose touch cleanses my soul
Whose kiss is redemption.
I want to believe
in myself more because he believes
all the things that I am
and doesn’t care about the places to which I have
fallen and will fall again.
I want a man to whom I can be
released by surrendering,
In whose waters I can dive deep and come
Up for air with full lungs and a whole heart.
I want a man who can
Support without pedestals
Hold his own in a room
Give without smothering
Accept without embarrassment
Argue without anger
Protect without diminishing
Assist without condescending
Fight for me without forgetting I am
Real and passionate and whole

I want a man who sees me
Whole, disregarding the pieces
The shattered tatters of my soul
Litter on the path behind me
Shivered dust of all the mirrors I have been.
I want a man who romps and stomps and drinks and frolics and explores
with me sometimes as good, sometimes better, sometimes needing his hand
who still cherishes me

I want a man to whom I can give
Without giving away
Touch without being consumed
Trust in the darkness
With the sounds encroaching
Have at my back
Build explore create nurture

And a decent game of chess would be nice, too.
She is greedy like that.

butmaybe i'm just demanding like that, wanting a surrendering more than a partnership. perhaps this is why i always end up with assholes i get used to.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

nothing to show

but this brand new tattoo
(actually, we skipped the tattoos this beach trip.)

hi. we're back. we're tan. we have sand in our shoes (and in our bags, and in our ears, and in our jeep, and in the spaces in our wallets where we once had money). we're as happy and relaxed as can be, definitely in a Beach State of Mind, and even though we've been back for a bit, the neon BUM lights are still blinking merrily over our heads.

we enjoyed five days of wave-diving, body-surfing, and sun-worshipping. i lost my glasses to the pounding surf within fifteen minutes of hitting the water, but even that didn't dampen my mood. in fact, i think it went far to make certain i observed heidi's First Rule Of Successful Parenting: don't pay too close attention. we built a sand castle every day, incresingly more complex, with moats meant to be filled up by the rising tide. our last one was a bit far back, and was still standing and decorated with shells when we left. i wonder how long it will last. it was tempting to set up a web cam just to monitor it, but i couldn't see how to make it work. maybe next year.

i'd love to start a seasonal (memorial day to labour day) vegetarian restaurant there. the more often i go, the more often i wonder why i come home. Dragon doesn't help matters much, insisting on starting sentences with "when we move to the beach. . . " and Tiger chimes in with "When we open our restaurant. . . " *sigh* they are wonderful children. we also discovered a fantastic restaurant with awesome food and live piano music. the martinis there are Just Right, and even though it has elegant atmosphere, the boys didn't seem out of place in the slightest in their tee shirts, shorts and flip flops (the blond hair probably helps). we were Finally Tired Of Pizza (after three days, even good pizza wears thin), and we ended up having to cruise around looking for wany place that seemed suitable: all the places we had called acted as though we were speaking greek when we asked if they served a vegetarian burger and fries. you'd have thought we were asking for the philosopher's stone. the next night, though, our last in the cabin, phillip and i made vegetarian burgers in our little kitchenette, complete with corn on the cob, baked beans, tossed salad, and french fries. we called it Cheeseburger in Paradise menu (phillip had the beer while i opted for chianti; and yes, we had heinz 57 and kosher dill pickles, too).

we listened to Tiger on the way there and then on the way back again; we were all enthralled by the story and can't wait to get Monkey, the next in the series. Tiger wailed "that's it?!?" as i groaned, "it's over?!?!" when the final disc ended. four and a half hours passed in near total silence as we were transported by Jeff Stone. it was amazing, and phillip is to be commended for choosing such a fantastic story without having any previous knowledge of it.

when we were actually in the beach area, we listened to jommy buffet. i'm still humming the songs.

gabriel and li'l nibs are home, and it's good to see them again. we came home to find Raiders of the Lost Ark and the second season of MI-5 in the post office box from netflix. perhaps over the few days i'll shake the vacation mentality and get back to being a Real Person again, but for now it's macaroni and cheese and martini time. i'm still barefoot and the boys are still a bit pink in the cheeks. don't expect wildly responsible behaviour from us any time too soon. Monday at the earliest.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

whoda thunnk?

fury called tonight. he recommended that (after a single reading of I Moved To Roanoke In 1978), that i become a writer, an Au-Thor. heh. as if that isn't what i've wanted to be since i was nine (just after i gave up the hope of being the first woman in space, when i found out my vision is hopelessly near-sighted). and that i ought to have a bookstore, preferably a used-and-rare one. i guess i can try to sway jaime to set up our private library in ottowa?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what a whirlwind

this week seems to have flown by, caught up as i have been in laundry (i swear i've done more laundry this week than i have in the past two months), getting a new kitten (named Nibs, short for Nibble, since she likes to play-bite and because she's only half a byte long), and packing up for the beach.

i've taken a break from the nabokov (the commentary section simply doesn't hold up to the poem) to read the truly light-hearted fare of Spider Robinson. I finished up Lady Slings the Booze today, and am beginning Callahan's Key tonight after i pack up the jeep.

wish us well. we'll be back on Tuesday.

Monday, August 22, 2005


this week, i've done more laundry than i've done in a month. that's an emotional statment as well as a practical one. i hope your summer is going beautifully. we're looking forward to the beach on thursday, even though we're supposed to arrive after some thunderstorms bring in some cooler weather (meaning it will only be in the uppper 80's).

love and peace.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


never a good thing. rarely defensible.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

patriarchy and the counter-culture

My fishing friend and I talk, a lot, and about everything. But one theme seems to come up at a slant in our conversations, worming its way in, a tangled virus that at times derails the rest of what we were saying without ever managing to take centre stage: the patriarchy. Last time it came up, I said with a slightly alcohol-added defiance, “I wasn’t raised in the partiarchy. And I’m sorry that everyone else was. It was a bit of a culture shock for me out here, you know.”

Bravado aside, it is odd to consider that someone could be raised outside her culture. I mean, Jung would scoff, and Ockham’s razor would shred such a notion. But there it is, and I can’t seem to shake it. And this morning, while doing my routine of unloading the clean dishes while waiting for coffee to perk, a random stray comment from one of my graduate sociology classes came back. We had been discussing lifestyles, and the comment came up that the whole notion of lifestyle is itself very much a hallmark of the twentieth century. [Planned developments were followed by communes that refered to themselves as ‘nations,’ which were in turn followed by gated communities to keep the scary elements from messing with the goods of conspicuous consumption, the fruits of having left these very homes to process through the sacred ritual of wealth acquisition to the tune of the corporate calliope.]

What if lifestyle can trump culture? Has culture grown so weak lately? Perhaps it has. When was the last time that someone in your neighborhood was shunned for not attending the right church? Jax recently recounted a joke from Prairie Home Companion:
How do you run a Unitarian out of town?
Burn a question mark on his front lawn.
However funny the joke might be, there is, as in all good jokes, an element of poking fun at ourselves and what has truly happened in our world. Imagine the mere concept of Unitarianism in the middle ages. Go on; I dare you. I triple-dog-eat-dog-poop-if-I’m-wrong dare you. There are the examples of St. Francis, the movement of the Friars amongst the populace in the twelfth century, but come on, this was nothing compared to the feel-good wrap-sessions which have become Unitarian Worship Services. I daresay that the whole of the Unitarian Church would only ever run out someone who dared to say another person’s personal choices were wrong, somehow morally reprehensible, unless of course it involved helping elect a republican.

While lifestyle is truly the hallmark of the twentieth century (and asking “what diet are you on?’ would be the question to help determine if someone were truly a citizen of the U.S.), how is it that one’s lifestyle became more impotant than even a hegemonic partriarchy which has been our partner since time immemorial? And is such a thing a good move?

In the nineteenth century, one of the hallmarks of American society was the beginning of voluntary associations. It’s not difficult to see how one’s identity was gleaned, supported, and known by whether one participated in the sufferage meetings, the anti-slavery meetings, the anti-factory meetings, and political rallies. But the realm of voluntary associations expanded through that century. From the realm of the political, no social institution was left untouched: religious sects became minor and powerful institutions in their own right. Millerites, Christian Scientists, Shakers, Mennonites, Baptists sprang up out of the woodwork in the nineteenth century to change the American religious landscape forever. Even then the Unitarians were new, but the roots of religion-as-a-group-for-social-change are easy to see.

But what of those of us who were born late in the twentieth century, before the moon landing but after the kennedy assassination? In her forward to Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counter-culture, Moon Unit Zappa writes, “Maybe my parents were trying out something new, but I never knew the difference.” These are telling words indeed, and ones I wish I had recalled when I was speaking with my fishing friend. From Mary Baker Eddy to Abbie Hoffman, the line of the partiarchy has not only been crossed: it has been denied.

And what of us who were members of Woodstock Nation, who grew up spending Hours instead of Dollars in Ithaca? For my part, I can only tell you that your partriarchy is not only new to me, it scares me. Scares me not only because it is perverse and wrong and hegemonic; it is all of those things, trust me. Mostly though, it scares me because I was so wholly unprepared for its existence.

Friday, August 19, 2005

the beauty of the rain

is how it falls.

finished up with High Fidelity, and as much as i was won over by the whole of it, the last twenty pages or so were brilliant and charming and endearing. it's a man's book, and one everyone can enjoy. i'm now through the poem section of Nabokov's Pale Fire. Oddly enough, i read poetry more slowly than i read prose, especially good petry, and this is. i like words, i like it when words paint, when the form of them and the sound of them does more than simply sit on the page, but becomes a landscape, a lyric. it does all of this, but it speaks, as well. after nearly a thousand lines, i felt not only drained, but also filled. though i understand that the "commentary" which follows is nabokov's fictional charater as well, making the whole work actually a novel, but there's a hug part of me that wants to stop right here and call it done.

i've also finished the first season of MI-5. brilliant. what is it about the british shows that engages me so much? it has to be more than the odd clothes and accents. i mean, it does, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

it's official

Dragon is now officially allowed to be five. we had cake, balloons, root beer, presents, soup, hummus, but most especially of all, we had wonderful company. i confess that having Julie living just round the bend (pun intended, thanks) is delightful. jack once again wowoed the boys' imagination with storytelling, this time the Death of Arthur.

this morning, we are excavating dinosaur skeletons, making futuristic spaceships with magnets, designing fantasy fish with blocks, and watching the magic of Dragon's new dragon shirt (it changes colours in the sunlight; i want one).

i'm nearly done with High Fidelity and i'm totally loving it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

wekkend update

This weekend i had a wonderful time visiting Jack and Mags. We made far too much food, all of it totally yummy, and celebrated Donald's birthday on Saturday. I finished The Madhouse Nudes Sunday monrning, just in time for an excellent breakfast of Ouveos Rancheros made by Jack.

This morning, the boys and i are kicked back, enjoying house time, and thinking about the upcoming beach trip. it's a quiet, contemplative day filled with reading and stories and thinking.

Friday, August 12, 2005

soup night update

Soup Night shenanigans left me a bit zombified yesterday, but it was a lovely time. i am thrilled to discover gazoacho soup, courtesy of Magpie's wonderful efforts. When i found out how fast and easy it was, i nearly fell over. the garnishes and freshnes of the dish are astonishing. i recommend it.

julie and alan attended, along with the rest of the family, and we had a good time playing girls-against-boys for the Cranium Match. the boys won, but i find it a bit unfair that they got clue like "Stephen Hawking" and defining WiFi. Our turn next time, ladies!

i have finished up The Faerie Wars, and admit it is a really fun read. comnbining mythology, science and magic, it's a great follow up to the Half-Blood Prince. this morning i started The Madhouse Nudes, a book written entirely as one-sided letters, which is intriguing already. i'm not far into it, but Schlutz is doing a great job of heekipng me hooked on the story. lighter fare yesterday including watching Coach Carter and The United States of Leland, different, b ut both enjoyable. i found USofL thoughtful while Coach was typically inspiring and a-soaring-triumph-of-the-human-spirit-and-the-power-of-positive-disciple.

the boys now have their own netflix queue, and i tihnk that i'll need to expand my netflix account beyond the current two-at-a-time (unlimited) since it seems to take forever to get the next installment now.

i'm looking forward to watching the fifth season of Oz with Irk once he gets back from pennsic and i get back from the beach and before he goes off to Basic Training in Fort Benning. once he gets out of there, he'll be based in Germany, with a "highly deployable" heavy infantry unit. we all know what that means, and i wish him well and will keep him in my thoughts. be that as it may, if we are going to get to see this together, i'm going to need to be able to have more than one netflix disc at home at a time. bring on the popcorn.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

organic is btter?

"since crop yields were considerably higher in the conventional systems, the difference in energy needed to produce a crop unit was only 19 percent lower in the organic systems."

yeah, i've always known about this, and actually was surprised to read that organic farming produced ANY benefits in efficiency. it's one of the reasons i've sort of always expected it to cost more. when i worked with the community agriculture farm in floyd, i tell you, i put in a lot of hours, and when i had my garden i did too (though with the arguably added-though-transparent benefit of not having to deal with any local politics and personalities other than my own inherent laziness).

“minor differences between the farming systems in food quality."
there's just no accounting for taste. frankly, i can TELL when i've made a recipe with organic food. but maybe years of smoking and drinking have heightened my pallate somewhat. :)

"No-till farming combined with genetically enhanced crops has been shown to be both better for the environment and more energy efficient than past conventional methods."
if all iwere concerned about were efficiency, i'd still be eating iceberg lettuce from food lion (eewwwwww.) genetic enginerring is bad, mmm-KAY?

“the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’– [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”
oops. salient leaps here, and not always the most logical ones. i believe that it is important to go local, pesticide free over high-scale organic industry production. one of the reasons i believe this is because i think it is simply dumb dumb dumb not to A) know where your food comes from and B) live near a reliable source of food. i'm not saying that in the event of major catastrophe not to get food from elsewhere. but having a community, pesticide free, possibly no-till garden is pretty cool, dont you think? and when was the last time you ever saw anything but a surplus out of anyone's backyard gardening efforts? (go look at the stack of tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and corn that little employee break rooms during the summer months, and you'll know what i mean). frankly, the small few and lazy-ass efforts i put into my garden out back the two years i had it yeilded enough food and magic and wonder for the whole family and then some.

it's not only about efficiency. it's about reconnecting, being sustainable, not poisoning your food or your body or the environment, and not freaking out if kroger is closed. on that note, pick up a copy of the spring issue of the co-optimist next itme you're in the area. apparently two of the masions on grandin road (next to the post office) have been bought by my friends pete and kristen. they want to turn the extensive grounds into a permaculture organic garden, with the houses being used as community centers where we will learn to cook and put up food. organic homegrown foodstuffs all year? now THAT's something to crow about! [the vision is that for a few hours of work in the garden and the center, with whatever skills you have, results in getting to take home food from the garden. have another mouth to feed? spend a little extra time in the garden. can't pull weeds because of a bad back or pregnancy? host a class on how to can green beans or taking dried beans and cooking them up with winter's root vegetables, or just making your own basic salsa and setting it up with a shelf life of ten years or more. how can this ever be a bad idea?)

as to the honest tea, YAY for the organic chic making it to sheetz! i'm not a sheetz fan myself, but any time the populace puts status on a product that is better for the environment than one that is harmful, i'm all for it. thanks for doing your part by closing the circle and voting with your dollars. for that, i can overlook you eating junk food and calling it a meal. :) [read: i love you and don't want you to get cancer, mmm-KAY?]

does it matter? well, i doubt it could hurt. imagine if the people currently working in diamond mines in africa, women and men in the prime of their lives, frequently killed in their efforts or stricken with industry-related debilitating diseases and injuries, were to quit their jobs, quit growing cash crops (such as tobacco and coffee and other cash-agribuisness specific crops instead of focusing on actually growing food they could eat), and started planting a few, manageable rows of food that could sustain them. would they be worse off? my data tells me no, unfortunately. i hate this. that the people in africa are mining themselves further into poverty and starvation to profit debeers is bad enough, but to know that debeers doesn't provide adequate pensions, let alone long term medical care or short term either, is abominable.


i'm interested in your thoughts.

love and peace,

kn0w1 wrote:

just a random google and came across this..
really it's about organic farming vs conventional
kind of interesting..
but like most enviromental issues it seems there are always "facts" and proponents (not counting CEO/CFOs and their political friends) on either side (that is.. the hard vs. soft green sides; not the let's not even worry about it side)..


Find this article at this address:
Are organic foods really better?

Facts challenge organic's benefits over modern agriculture
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

Recently the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture published a highly publicized study comparing two types of organic farming with two types of conventional farming. Initially (and to the delight of enviro’s everywhere) newspaper reports claimed conventional farming to be the loser in at least 2 categories: That is, in its economic and environmental efficiency.

However when one pulls up the weeds from the research, one quickly discovers that reporters are playing fast and loose with the facts in order to show that organic farming is indeed more “efficient”. The research actually, in fact, points to an entirely other direction.

Advocates of organic farming claim that the study shows organic farming uses 50 percent less energy. However, this statistic does not take into account that the study also shows conventional farming to be 20 percent more productive than organic farming. Therefore, according to the study’s own conclusions, "since crop yields were considerably higher in the conventional systems, the difference in energy needed to produce a crop unit was only 19 percent lower in the organic systems."

Another claim of organic advocates is that organic foods are far superior to conventionally produced foods. This study asserts, however, that there were only “minor differences between the farming systems in food quality."

Also, the study did not test the organic system against the most recent form of conventional farming. No-till farming combined with genetically enhanced crops has been shown to be both better for the environment and more energy efficient than past conventional methods. If this method were placed up against organic farming, the 19 percent energy advantage of organic farming would, according to experts like Ron Baily of the Reason Public Policy Institute, likely disappear.

As for environmental benefits, conventional no till farming also matches the advantages of organic farming; such as less pesticide and fertilizer runoff, greatly reduced soil erosion, and a higher presence of beneficial insects, and it adds the other advantages of conventional farming such as higher yields.

Such higher yields are enormously important. They are not only economically beneficial to consumers in developed countries, but especially vital to the health and well being of those in underdeveloped countries who might well starve without such technology.

Little wonder that many scientists, such as Cambridge chemist John Emsley, believe that “the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’– [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

next summer

early this year, the boys and i were on the way to school, listening to NPR. there was an article on the Congo, on how the people there were suffering in poverty, with no education, clean water, medicine, food, or homes. Tiger piped up that he felt very sad for these people, and that he wanted to do something to help, even if it was just to send a card, like the ones we had signed from Amnesty International to send to political prisoners, reading "you are not forgotten."

over the past several years, the boys have expressed serious interest in having a sister, "twins, so we can each ahve our own baby sister to take care of," and have been so forthcoming about wanting to help and take care of it that at times i felt as though i were being viewed as a breeding machine. they have not lost their desire to increase our family by two more, and even though i have occaisional baby-cravings, i'm not inclined to go through the whole man-in-the-wings thing that usually accompanies it.

the new computer being set up, Tiger has more and more wanted to go online to research things. of course, at first he wanted to go to the Disney store, or play games at But instead, i pointed him to the Un site, to the government site of our local community, to the local newspaper, and he is only allowed to reasearch these things. this has been a great thing for him. he even reads some of the UN articles and journals to Dragon, who sits near Tiger's computer chair in rapt attention, with no small amount of awe.

They have come to want to go to the Ivory Coast of Africa. They want to see the diamond and gold markets of Sierra Leon, and to visit the children there, to touch them, hold their hands, learn their stories, to remind them that they are not forgotten. They want to see how they can help, to listen to what the children there have to say. They ask me how these children have any hope. They care.

i am considering seeing if i can get a community school contingent of parents to join me in going to Sierra Leon next year. We will have to save a great deal to finance this ourselves, but after talking with the boys, it's definitely how they want to spend next summer. I am more than a little intimidated by the prospect, but am inspired in the extreme by their desire to do this.

They are convinced that they will find their sisters there. They just might, at that.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

it's just a game, right?

"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion". what in the world? and he quit his job to spend more time gaming. points and curiosities that the article didn't mention which game he was playing.

back to school

today i received the back-to-school packet, jarring me into the reality that there are only four weeks left before the boys start classes. we are not in any way prepared. one of the things that has happened is that tiger has grown out of everything this summer, sometimes in between trying it on and taking it home. he's seven; it happens. the school packet was filled with the typical many emergency information forms and family info forms and school schedules. but that was only one-third of the packet. the other two-thirds contained the many ways in which i can pump and be pumped for fund-raising. so instead of harranguing you all year long, i am simply going to buy each of you a community school tee shirt (wear it or not, as you choose). please let me know what your size is (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and if you prefer short or long sleeved varieties. they aren't really very expensive, they aren't really very attractive, but hey, i wasn't consulted. if you have co-workers or fellow folk at other associations (think kung-fu, rapier fighting, fellow gamers, co-workers who need a gag gift, you get the idea) whom you think i could regale with these things, please don't hesitate to let me know. i feel as though i ought to do a bit to help out, since the boys receive such a generous percentage of the school's scholarship fund.

i called land's end to see if the school participates in its fund-raising program. typical of the hippie mentality, it doesn't. so i'm going to speak to the development co-ordinator and see what the deal is. three percent off qualifying purchases isn't a small deal, and there is a free logo set up, and free mailings to parents of the back-to-school catalog with the school's id number right on the back. since we all shop here anyway, what could be easier? then i found out that there is a gift-card program at land's end, wherein the purchase of $5000.00 of gift cards (which can be spent on anything in the catalog, online, or on land's end merchandise at Sears) yields a whopping 15% return. now, at first i thought that five grand was a bit much to try to find commitments for, since we would need at least the five grand pledged before we went to the school and said let's do this. then Tiger and i sat down and figured out all the stuff his growing-little-self is going to need for the upcoming year:
1 lunch box
1 sling bag
3 short sleeved polo
5 long sleeved polos
5 turtlenecks
2 corderoys
3 khakis
1 sweatpants
1 sweatshirt
1 hoodie
1 polartec pullover
3 oxford shirts
2 chambray shirts
2 cardigans
3 crew sweaters
3 vests
5 teeshirt
4 pkgs. Socks
1 leather oxfords
1 squall jacket
4 pkgs. boxers
2 belts
total $999.00 (before tax and shipping)
suddenly five grand didn't seem like such a stretch.

Monday, August 08, 2005

three cheers for letters

I just finished The Venetian Affair, and i have to say a loud huzzah! for the adept writing of Andrea Di Robilant. Brilliant writing pieces together the letters, and his work in understanding their lives as well as their voices is commendable. The book ought to be required reading of any aspiring historian, as it relies on primary documents, is well-research, well-cited, and anything but dry. The voices of the clandestine lovers comes through amid the tapestry of mid-eighteenth century venice, spans the decline of the great city and is practically a primer on social and political life in England and on the Continent during the Seven Years' War. Finally, as the letters cease, Andrea Di Robilant does not leave the story there, but researches out the end of their lives, seeing her return to Italy, his rise in politics in Venice, her growing literary career, and ending ultimately with a quote from her penultimate letter.

Brilliantly done, it reads well. Not only does Di Robilant care about this long-ago couple and their passions, positions and persecution, the reader is impervious to help but care about them as well. As a work of history, Di Robilant suceeds masterfully; as a first work at all, it soars.

happy birthday, jaime

on a monday no less. i hope jaime has a beautiful and satisfying year to come, filled with love and laughter. i miss having my school sisters closer to me. this past few months especially, the physical distance between me and jaime, jennifer and keira has been particularly noticeable.

the boys and i have a busy-but-mundane day ahead of us, including co-oping, visiting the orchard store, heading to the pool once it gets hot again. i am halfway through The Venetian Affair, and have received a shipment from amazon of three more tomes. i have enjoyed my summer of reading and movie-watching immensely, but am still looking for employment for this coming september. while there seem to finally be job postings in my field and in my location, the number of applicants for each position is staggering. still, it's a good sign, and i'm not ready to take up residence in the Cubicle Farm for another month or so.

According to my konfabulator countdown, it's only sixteen more days until our second beach trip. we can't wait. (it will be konfabulous.)

Sunday, August 07, 2005


very very quiet.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


required viewing: the vagina monolouges. no. i'm not kidding. it is amazing and funny and true.

i've also seen walking tall, which is great with popcorn, and aviator, which is weird and disturbing and ever so well done. i actually don't know much about Mr. Hughes, and have been inspired to learn more.

i read Transgressions yesterday and it is taught, compelling, and well-written. as summer reading goes, this will please even the most literate amongst us. nicely done, with psychological twists and turns to please all.

i'm about birthday partied-out. Dragon's birthday looms on the horizon, and typically i am wiped. when we came home from tiger's skate-and-swim shindig yesterday, i was sweaty and cranky and trying to decringe from the chaos. as we got out of the car, the two children who recently moved in two doors down were on their bikes near our house. we ended up introucing ourselves, making friends, and playing together for a fine hour or so. while the children played, i talked with their father, telling him about the other children on the street. while i was talking, i noticed two things: 1: we have an extrodinary amount of young children living here now and 2:they all live on our side of the street. given all the youth, i'm considering having a block party for dragon's celebration, tying balloons around and hauling out rootbeer and inviting everyone to just get together, talk and play. to heck with this sit-down, in-my-house thing. we live in a village for a reason.

this afternoon, irk and i are going to take in Must Love Dogs down at the grandin while the boys play at the pool.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

and what a night it was

soup night was a ball. really. not only did i have a marvelous time connecting with members of my household, you should have seen us playing cranium (the turbo edition, even!) after eating. kn0w1, tiger and wizard teamed up, despite wizard being prety sore from recent martial arts. tree enjoyed not being The New Girl in the aching-and-sore department, and gave wizard good natured grief. Tree and I teamed up with Dragon, and Jack and Mags teamed up on their own, all to great success. I have no idea who was ahead, and i don't really think any of us cared. it was a grand time.

girl time with tree on the porch was far overdue. we stayed up until tweet-tweet o'clock, and i'm glad we did.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

minestrone with a side helping of network

the soup is ready, along with a large amount of tabouli, which i think tastes particularly yummy. kn0w1 and i spent the afternoon with wireless routers, power supplies, and software. all in all a good day so far.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


too hot to read. too hot to think. too hot to be social. perfect day to clean out the refrigerator.

tomorrow night is Soup Night, and i'm looking forward to it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

media this week

a few nights ago i watched Love Me If You Dare, a witty and charming recent french film, and caught myself not merely laughing but actually giggling out loud several times. I was wholly fetched by it. recent books include Palahniuk's Haunted which, while well-written, left me wonderfing if i was so dense i had missed the point. Perhaps it will come to me with some distance, since most of his novels speak volumes to me, especially Diary: A Novel which i recently finished. Markoe and Prieboy's The Psycho-Ex Game is at least as hip and engaging as promised, and had me hooked the whole way through. Up next are Robert Shultz's The Madhouse Nudes and Andrea di Robilant's A Venitian Affair. I have some Nabokov en route from amazon, and am looking forward to it. I certainly have been going through the books this summer, and i confess that it has been glorious.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

never could get the hang of thursdays

today has left me introspective, a bit more so than usual, and quite convinced that Life Is Pretty Good. of note: while i wasn't paying attention this afternoon, Tiger used my phone to order a pizza, then to make a few calls and invite people over, and also to call a few other folks and check on upcoming birtday plans and present options. not a bad deal, really. he came in and said, "Don't worry about dinner, Mom. I called Papa John's."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

the more

the more i hang out with people, the more i'm convinced that i liek the few friends i have. call me idiosyncratic, but there it is.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Today i'm reading byatt's Little Black BOok of Stories, delighting in each one. I recently finished Diary: a Novel and highly recommend it. there is no finer way to spend time than with a truly good book.

Friday, July 22, 2005

some days you're the windshield

some days you're the bug.

while i'm certain that most folks feel "sunnier" during daylight savings time, i am not amongst them. the news that it will be extended doesn't tickle me much. needless to say, i'm not throwing a party about the renewal of the Patriot Act, either. i'm not feeling very served or protected by the folks in washington these days.

Credibility, Responsibility, Accountability

i listened to this address from Senator Barbara Boxer on the situation in Iraq [many thanks to jaime], and i have to wonder, is Senator Boxer willing to consider a bid for the Oval Office in 2008? at this point, it just important to listen to her words, consider what you think, and have an informed opinion, whatever it might happen to be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

hot hot hot

the weather is muggy and sticky, though nothing like what they are seeing in arizona. the boys and i have taken to reading in the late morning, then doing errands and such in the late afternoon or early evening. we went to jamison's orchard store yesterday, a place i used to go nearly weekly but somehow haven't visited in nearly three years. we bought fresh-picked corn, green beans, peaches, potatoes and even treated ourselves to some ginger crisps. i made mashed potatoes and an apple pie, took the boys over to my mom's where we lounged by the pool before eating and playing games. Tiger won clue, as usual, though mom and i were but a turn behind. mom is still reigning champion at yahtzee, and a good time was truly had by all.

i've reading Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception today. somehow, with all the heat, anything heavier than harry and artemis are just too much. [a good thunderstorm could change my point of view in a second.]

the buisness of the house is sorting and storing: sorting through the stuff that seems to accumulate everywhere, donating or throwing out what we don't use, and storing the (hopefully few) things which remain. Tiger seems to have grown several inches all of a sudden, all in his legs. Dragon is now wearing the pants Tiger wore last year, and Tiger mostly wears shorts. i'm not going shopping for long pants until september, fearing he'll outgrow them by Hallowe'en if i buy them too soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

in the throng

yesterday i was doing the Just Like Everyone Else thing: i went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the late show, and then afterward picked up my reserved copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Irk and i arrived at Barnes and Noble around midnight-thirty, and as i was number 458 to pick up a book, we didn't leave until nearly an hour later. There were folk about in capes and pointed hats, decorated with stars, lots of wands. And of course, once home, i had to start reading. both the movie and the book are this far delightful.

tonight i'm going to a birthday dinner for a friend of a friend, and cleaning up a bit in preparation for Tiger's birthday dinner at the house.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

quiz, again

Your wise quote is: "Our greatest glory is not
in never falling, but in rising everytime we
fall" by Confucius.
Yes indeed, you see true strenght can only be
seen when a person has "fallen". Only
then one can tell how they will handle it. Just
don't make others fall so you can know who they
really are. You on the other hand may be a very
quick recoverer and don't let people bring you
down. You are your own, and you're find with
that. Emotional issues is something you handle
rather nicely.

What wise quote fits you?(pics) UPDATED
brought to you by Quizilla

quiz addict

PATRICK MAITLAND. Self-centered, a womanizer,
obsessed with sex, and quite a 'big man'
indeed! *wink wink* You don't have enough blood
to run both your brain and your sex drive at
the same time, so you usually concentrate on
sex. You've had bad experiences with haircuts
and competitive employees at other firms, but
that's okay! Your staggeringly large
'equipment' makes up for everything... even if
it does give you a bit of a balance problem.

Which 'Coupling' character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

i've had a lovely day or two, all round.

Monday, July 11, 2005

quietly monday

today dawned a new week, and the rain seems to have missed us. it's a quiet day here in heidi land. i had lunch at my favourite cafe, some casual but wonderful talk afterward along with a game of chess, coffee in buttefly cups and Surfacing in the background. it's a fine introspective time. i'm looking forward to seeing Jaime on friday. last night i watched Blue; it was very French, and very touching and wholly wonderful. i recommend it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


it's not about your money. it's about your voice. sign the petition.


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington And they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Dragon and i ran errands this morning after dropping Tiger at summer camp. He is now the proud owner of a bank account at member one credit union, and glowingly proud to have 'my very own money.' we had lunch at wildflour and did a bit of browsing at ram's head books, selecting presents for Tiger's upcoming natal celebration. by the time we were done, the beach pictures were developed and printed; it's always interesting to see pictures the boys have taken, especially since it's more than evident how tall they are: this year, the adults have middles, whereas last year we had mostly just legs.

while i was visiting friends in callaway, i read Angels & Demons, and though i'm not a conspiracy theorist, the story itself is pretty compelling, and reads well. i'm reading The DaVinci Code at the moment, and though it's not as good a story (yet, at least), it's still fun summer reading. i considered picking up the summer of faulkner suggested by Oprah, but for now i'm sticking with Palahniuk and am looking forward to reading Diary: A Novel. i also have a bit of Terry Pratchett on loan from Jack, which should make this week's reading very satisfying.

and news of the weird: it seems my digital music collection now far outweighs my physical one. i think i need an iPod. how bizarre is that? next thing you know, i'll be buying a PSP.

Friday, July 01, 2005


we've been to the beach, and had a marvelous time. i watched all four seasons of Coupling, and howled. it's good enough to watch twice. we've visted karen and jack in callaway, had creek time at deborah and robert's, and all in all begun the serious work that is Enjoying Ourselves This Summer.

Last night i saw the local production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and laughed and enjoyed myself so very much that i'm considering revising my wholesale dismissal of musicals. This morning i finished reading Fight Club, and i'm pleased to report the book is even better than the movie. i'm looking forward to reading other Palahniuk works.

i'm more or less getting my life back together, and have even applied for a job.
wish me luck. i'm looking forward to joining the working class once again.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

and i quote

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Friday, June 10, 2005

amen sister!

no, i will not have coffee with you.

feel free to skip the several paragraphs at the beginning to get to the real meat of the post:
On our date, I want to see you eat something. I want to know right off the bat if you are one of those "delicate eaters" who has to inspect every bite and scrape it around on the plate in an elaborate food Kabuki. I want to see you laugh at something or enjoy something or hate something. I want to see if you can hold your liquor or if you order 9 beers to my two in a 2-hour period. I want to know if agreeing on what movie to see is going to take up half my week. I want to learn something about you that you couldn't have just told me in an email. I want to see what you look like swaying to the house band in a dive bar. I want to see what songs you pick out on the jukebox. I want to see if you are game enough for karaoke. Look, I will watch you paint fucking pottery if it tells me something about who you are. Let's bowl. Let's go to free Tuesday at the Art Institute. Let's eat sandwiches on a park bench and watch people walk by. Let's fly kites. Let's ride bikes. Let's hop on the eL and try to see how many stops we can hit in a day. Let's play poker for pennies. Let's go to experimental theater or the Uptown Poetry Slam. Let's listen to terrible Mexican bands in the basement of the local anarchist collective. Let's go to the Observatory and look at the stars. Not everything has to cost money, or be weighed with Great Emotional Significance.

Because sitting across from you over a cup of coffee is not working. You never want to call me again. I never want to call you again. It's too forced. The light is too bright. The people around us clack away on their laptops. We can't even commit to an hour in each other's company, we're hedging our bets already. You talk, and talk, and talk about your job until I glaze over. I pull out all my best stories and try too hard to be funny. We are bored from the get-go.

So, boys of Chicago, are you listening? No more Coffee Dates the first time out. It is the path of least resistance. It is emasculating you. It is part of the culture that says "be safe, be detached, don't be too needy or geeky or freaky, keep it all on the surface, don't make a move, don't meet in a bar (that's sleazy), don't talk about anything controversial." This is an amazing city, full of life and things to do, and I know we can do better.

the information chasm widens

this morning while perusing cnn, i stumbled across an article on how google maps is being paired with existing external statistical data to some very creative ends. rocks, or if you are looking to rent an apartment or buy a home in major cities, google maps have been blended with the ever-popular craigslist. (by the way, when does roanoke get a craigslist? yes. i have emailed them.)

and the Patriot Act is going to protect me how? clearly what i was saying yesterday about the misunderstanding of how information is stored, manipulated and retrieved is evident here. the gap between those who get it and those who don't is growing. fotunately, those of us who get it like to share.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

and this makes sense HOW?

the patriot act is being expanded. The FBI has gained new powers to demand documents from companies without a judge's approval, as well as the ability to designate subpoenas as secret and punish disclosure of their existence with up to one year in prison. Would someone please explain to me how this actually might stop terrorism? i'm lost here. Since the beginning of the Patriot Act, we have been told that this legislation was necessary to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on information. But it seems to me that those making the laws and giving out powers reminiscent of the McArthy age have no real understanding of how information is retrieved. i mean, how can the Patriot Act stop anything when we have resources such as 3D mappings of major cities? it all seems very short-sighted, a misapplication of legislation at the best, and a wholesale dismissal of basic tenets of the Constitution at worst.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


wow. there is something about fishing that totally restores me. all seems to be coming along nicely as the school year winds down and summer rears its sunny head. ethan graduated from being a tiger cub to being a wolf cub on monday, and i had end of the year conferences with both boys' teachers today -- just as i suspected, they are wonderful and brilliant and charming. :) the school celebration is tomorrow evening, and we are looking forward to an evening of artistic entertainment and enthusiasm.

when we aren't playing around or sorting through the remains of the house remodeling, we are putting things together for a Father's Day beach trip. The boys and i usually go to the beach at the end of august, just before school starts again, but we decided that we might need an extra one this year and are looking forward to playing in the surf.

i spent the day fishing yesterday with one of my friends, and we caught two fish, both rainbow trout. mostly, he does the casting and i do the reading of the river and love the fact that i'm in the water and out of the city. fishing is a glory. i keep walking around and randomly saying, all tickled, "we caught twooooo fish!"

fishing on a different front, i have applied for a technical writer position. here's hoping that the luck from the river holds.

Monday, June 06, 2005

v. i. lenin

it is interesting to me that the same man who said "One man with a gun can control one hundred without one" also said "It would be the greatest mistake to think that concessions mean peace.Concessions are nothing but a new form of warfare." these two quotes, juxtaposed, seem to sum up the twentieth century for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

festive sunday afternoon

the boys and phillip and i went downtown to roanoke's annual Festival in the Park. we watched kn0w1 and tree in their kung fu school's demonstration and then stayed for the Russian American Kids Circus. i ended up being one of the volunteers to try to stand on the circus ball. kn0w1 got footage of my antics, which, as Tiger said "were pretty cool, except that part where you kept falling down." [could kn0w1 have been out of tape by then? o but no.]

all in all, it was a hot, sunny, lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Friday, June 03, 2005


today the tile is being laid in the dressing room, and tomorrow the grout is being put in. could it finally come to pass that the destruction is just about over? i need to paint the office, the kitchen, and the dining room ceiling, deal with Donate Mountain and begin putting my house and my life back together.

small bites, but it looks as though the end is in sight.

notes: i think the kitchen will be a venetian red. the office and the downstairs bathroom will be pale yellow. yes, i'm still putting the blackboard paint back up, even over the new plaster.

i'm sick enough of remodeling that i think the tile for the kitchen, the tile and standing shower for the laundry room, and the roof for the deck are simply going to have to wait a year or so. the most i feel i can commit to doing at this point is putting gas logs in the fireplace, and even that probably won't happen until october.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

one liners

B'Trey writes Does this mean I get to wear a cool fedora and carry my distro CDs in a violin case?

When i read Jon Katz's Geeks, there was one line that never left me, even though the whole book is worth reading: "We run the systems that run the world." It's true you know, and becoming more true every day. Right now i'm really giving the idea of what i want to do with my life a serious look. The boys are in school, and more than ever i feel as though i can make decisions again, not only that i can, but that i must.

Some of the candidates in the running are:
  • Acquisitions librarian
  • Systems librarian
  • Forensic nurse, preferably pediatric
  • Forestry
  • Linux system adminstration
Kind of all over the board until you realize that i'm looking for something that involves detail, is a semi-autonomous or autonomous job, and involves puzzles or big pictures.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


i went to the detective's office this morning and ended up giving an Official Statement (yet again). he was very professional and kind. i hope we get this creep. he told me that the forensic lab is backed up some eight to nine months, which was a real jaw-dropper. what the heck?!? anyway, it's good to know, so that i have my expectations in line with reality.

having lunch with anj today at the wildflour and looking forward to it. weirdly enough, i don't think i'll ever be comfortable having lunch out alone again.

happy thursday.