Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I'm stealing this meme (my very first!) from:

....Jezebel's Journal. I'm not really up on the meme etiquette, but it seems like, so long as you mention where it came from, it's alright to post. (I'm sure if I'm wrong, someone will wander by and tell me...)

10 favorites...
Favorite Color: Lilac
Favorite Food: Right now, there's this 5-point Lemon Cheesecake w/berries at Applebees... mmm yum. Why doesn't Applebees deliver?
Favorite Song: I'm feeling very happy with Michael Buble's version of Sway . It's so peppy, which I am not, but sometimes need to pretend being.
Favorite Movie: Of all time - no clue. Of the past little while? Love Actually
Favorite Sport: I dislike sports - I don't really understand the point of most of them, and my own experiences have only led me to believe that sports equipment is my enemy.
Favorite Season: I like the cripsness of fall, and it's a bonus that that's when I'm at my least allergic.
Favorite Day Of the Week: Right now it's Saturdays: I get to listen to SRO, and try to get other things accomplished.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor : I'm thinking Peppermint Stick...
Favorite Time of Day: Just lately, I've been finding 11:00 pm the highlight of my day - The Daily Show rocks!

9 Currents...
Current Mood: Working on cheering up
Current Taste: Strawberry Jelly
Current Clothes: A white tank, w/a wife beater underneath; red, very comfy Old Navy pants, and green frog socks (Because all though I thought to change my outfit when I spilled soup all over it, I forgot to grab a clean pair of socks)
Current Desktop Picture: Niece-to-be's ultrasound pic
Current Toenail Color: Nude
Current Time: 10:25 p.m. EST
Current Surroundings: In bed, semi-snuggled surrounded by puffs and pillows
Current Annoyance(s): I'm going to keep it from being an exceptionally long list and just say the fact that the 6 clocks in this house all chime the hour individually: why can't we get them all on the same schedule?
Current Thought: I'm wondering now if you're allowed to just steal a meme... does the person have to ask you to fill it out? And how do I link back to the orginal page? hmmm...

8 Firsts...
First Best Friend: Jen B. She pretended to cut my hair in Kindergarten. We stayed friends till she transfered to private school in the 7th Grade, but we still exchange Christmas cards (and I'm supposed to call her to set up lunch... Note to Self)
First Kiss: I'll have to go with first non-kiss instead: 8th grade dance (in the gym, of course) and the Boy moved in for the kiss, I closed my eyes and waited: Somebody noticed us and gave a whistle, Boy moved back as if burned. :sigh:
First Screen Name: Still using my first screen name, my first account, etc.
First Pet: Sasha, a black furred, white bellied cat who was more regal than most people.
First Piercing: Earlobes, sitting in the mall, being bribed by my mom to "act like it doesn't hurt" so that my younger sisters would follow suit without tears.
First Crush: Ricky. Jen B and I fought over who got to sit next to him at her birthday party in 4th grade. (Although, it was her birthday, I managed to convince her to put him in the middle between us.) We went to see Batman, and were foiled when he sat next to Paul instead.
First Music: I used to have some sort of Disney Disco tape, that came with a book ("You can read along with us in your book. When you hear the tone :beep:, turn the page.") I still know all the words to Macho Duck (Can he move? Well guess what? Watch his wiggle waddle strut).
First Car: I still don't have one, unless the Fisher Price variety counts?

7 Lasts.....
Last Cigarette: Never
Last Drink: Having some water right now, actually.
Last Car Ride: Umm... Last Monday, to and from the doc's office.
Last Kiss: Youngest Nephew as he raced out the door at 7:30 tonight.
Last real kiss: If only I had an answer (or even a smart ass avoidance answer)to put down.
Last Movie Seen: On the Town Sunday, thanks to TMC. (And then, was nicely surprised to see Betty Garret on that night's Grey's Anatomy as well.)
Last Phone Call: Talked to N (the Mum of Youngest Nephew) about three minutes after that last kiss.
Last CD Played: Yeah, I've been Media Player-ing it lately, but I did burn a disk of some of my favorites that I listened to the other night.

6 Have You Evers....
Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Friends: Nope
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Only accidentally
Have You Ever Been Arrested: Nope
Have You Ever Been on TV: Only if you count the community access channel, which showed every play or production I was in. ... Oh, and once the back of my head (and a hideous purple bow) were on the Catholic Mass channel.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: Nope (I'm so BORING )

5 Things....
5 Things You're Wearing: see above, and then add my glasses and a puff.
5 Things You've Done Today: Sorted meds for the week --> because I won't take them if there not RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF MY FACE . Gave the Little Guy (Youngest Nephew) and 2ndSister a workout. Didn't eat the Oreos that were left over from Little Guy's Dessert, even thought I wanted them. Checked my e-mail and Bloglines. Made lots of lists (I Love Lists!)
5 Things You Can Hear Right Now: Stupid ticking clocks. 2ndSister laughing with boyfriend. 3rdSister yelling over phone at her boyfriend. Washing Machine wooshing. Maroon Five: This Love.
5 Things You Can't Live Without: The basics (food, water, air & meds); My peoples; Books; Pillows; Connections.
5 Things You Do When You're bored: Read (or re-read), Wander on-line, Zuma, Scrap; Stare at the wall.

4 Places You've Been ...

The Salem Witch Museum
2059 (in books, anyways)
In the Hot Seat
Waiting Rooms (a.k.a. Purgatory)

3 People You Can Tell (most) Anything To...
Mum; Shannon; Ann

2 Choices...
1. Black or White: White, cuz I still want the creme filling from those Oreos I passed up earlier.
2. Hot or Cold: I'm freezing, thanks for asking.

1 Wish...
That I did this right, without pissing off any internet peoples....

Monday, January 30, 2006

Three Posts in One Day...

It must be a record (for me, anyways). I was writing an e-mail to my cousin in Maine, and realized, about 1/4 of the way through, that it was hideously depressing and gloomy. I know that if I sent it as it was, she would be worried, and since it's just a case of me feeling sorry for myself and hoping someone would listen, I cut it up a bit, decided to post it here instead.

I know I've yet to give a clear idea of what my illness is (as if even I had a clue), but it's more because I haven't figured out exactly how to explain it all. Regardless, what I'm feeling today is pretty self explanatory, and should stand up well all on its own.

The doctor called with some more blood test results, saying how he noticed I have a very low XYZ level. This is not good, he says, as far as other things go. So take these pills, and it should give you a little boost at least. Mom, who just happens to have been in a mood quite opposite to my own, says something about magic bullets, and cure-alls, and I seriously, don't know whether to throw up, cry, or punch her in the face.
How horrible is that?

Hating her for hoping?

It's ridiculous!

But, I've taken these pills before, so I know they're not the magic bullet/cure that she's hoping for and I just all of the sudden wanted to scream at her for even thinking it - for making me think it, for even a second. So, there are days, lots of tiny little days, were I just hate this whole thing - hate that I can't even let other people hope, because it hurts me too much when I disappoint them. And that's the kind of day I'm having.

Why do people have to tell me these things?

One of my favorite episodes of the West Wing is the one that has the "The Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality." It's the episode about Big Block of Cheese Day (which, thanks to IMDB and Wikipedia, I now know is Episode # 216 Somebody's going to emergency, Somebody's going to jail), where key White House staffers meet with all sorts of fringe groups that, ordinarily, wouldn't rate a meeting with the Presidential Staff.

During one of those meetings, CJ meets with the members of that Organization, who are proposing legislation that leads to the use of a newer, more accurate map. You can read all about it by clicking
Here to check Wikipedia yourself.

But here (courtesy of westwingtranscripts.com) is the relevant (and extremely humorous) dialogue:

The map enlarges areas at the poles to create straight lines of constant
bearing or geographic direction.

So, it makes it easier to cross an ocean.



It distorts the relative size of nations and continents.

Are you saying the map is wrong?

Oh, dear, yes.

Here we have Europe drawn considerably larger than South America when at
6.9 million square miles South America is almost double the size of Europe's 3.8 million.

Alaska appears three times as large as Mexico, when Mexico is larger by .1 million square miles.

Germany appears in the middle of the map when it's in the northernmost quarter of the Earth.

Wait, wait. Relative size is one thing, but you're telling me that Germany isn't where we think it is?

Nothing's where you think it is.

Where is it?

I'm glad you asked. [brings up a new map, which has its continents significally squished northward] The Peters Projection. (insert map here)

What the hell is that?

It's where you've been living this whole time. Should we continue?

Check out more maps here-----------------------------------------

later in the episode:

When Third World countries are misrepresented they're likely to be valued
less. When Mercator maps exaggerate the importance of Western civilization, when the
top of the map is given to the northern hemisphere and the bottom is given to the
southern... then people will tend to adopt top and bottom attitudes.

But... wait. How... Where else could you put the Northern Hemisphere but on the top?

On the bottom.


Like this.

The map is flipped over.

Yeah, but you can't do that.

Why not?

'Cause it's freaking me out.


I'm with CJ.... It freaks me out too.

Aside from making me laugh, the episode really gave me a lot to think about. Turns out, there really ARE issues with the map we all know and love. It isn't exactly... what's the word I'm searching for here... Accurate. If a map of the WORLD wasn't constant, wasn't exact, wasn't right, what else could be off?

So that's why I was particularly interested in an article in this week's
The Week

that talks about how "the world's timekeepers no longer can agree on an answer" on the best way to tell time. I didn't even know this was an issue, I thought time was a constant: that we all kind of agreed on a standard of time, and this was it.

Turns out, not so much. Time is "still based on the movements of the Earth, and the Earth is a poor timekeeper." THE EARTH IS A POOR TIMEKEEPER? How is that possible? Oh, but it got better - -

"The time it takes for our planet to make a complete revolution around the sun varies from year to year by a half-second or more. The precise length of a day varies too, because the rising and falling of ocean tides has a tiny, but measurable impact on how quickly the Earth revolves on it's axis. Our days, in fact, are getting longer by about two milliseconds a century."

They go on to explain that, while a millisecond here or there doesn't seem important right now, it can eventual cause disaster - perhaps the dreaded Y2K that never came could still be waiting for us at some random point in the future. Scientists are working to find a more accurate measure of time, they insist, but for right now, time isn't right either.


So, let's see - maps are biased, time is "holding it's breath" every couple of years, and white chocolate isn't considered actual chocolate (I'm still in denial here, so I won't look up the details, in the hopes that the world will change it's mind--- again).

Anything other foundations of civilization getting ready to crumble?

If there are, what do I have to pay you to keep it to yourself?

Home again home again, jiggety jog

I was computer-less for eight days. 8 days. And during that time, every other thought I had would've made a good blog post. (Did I, as any smart person would, grab a pen and jot down these excellent blog-worthy ideas? I'm sure you can guess just by reading this post.)

I have now had my computer back for three days (although it took me a whole day to set everything back up, as they replace my hard drive and system board). 3 days. And not a single thought worth posting.

But (again, as is obvious from this post), I shall not be deterred.

I do have thoughts, they will be logical and form cohesive post.



Sunday, January 15, 2006

Top of the TBR

So I'm wandering around, adding titles to my already overwhelemed TBR pile, and I came across this:

"If you don't find something in here that makes perfect sense to you, I can only imagine that you gave up reading, thinking and laughing some time ago" Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby is a fantastically funny writer. Even his one sentence review makes me laugh.

So, guess which books jumps to the top of my list? Sarah Vowell's Take The Cannoli

Anybody read it?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Can you tell I got Netflix for Christmas?

So, today must be my day for mediocre films: I sat through Mr. & Mrs. Smith (very overrated) and The Brother's Grimm (which was just OK). With Mr. & Mrs., I was about 30 minutes into it and knew I wasn't going to enjoy it. But I also had nothing better to do, so I just left it in and tried to zone out for a while. There was too much blowing up of things to accomplish that, so I spent the time cursing my sister (who said this movie was worth watching) and wondering who the movie was supposed to appeal to. I did not come up with any answers.

As for the Brother's Grimm, it was the odd accents that turned me off. here I love a good accent -- but the key there is GOOD. These accents? Odd. And inconsistent. British-y one second, lapsed the next. The French are speaking in Italian and German accents, and I'm not entirely sure if it's part of the joke or not. There's this one little girl (who disappears in a very unappealing and disgusting way), and her accent is indecipherable....The story was interesting, but I just couldn't really get into it.
But earlier in the week, I lucked out. Taking a chance, I sent for Mad Hot Ballroom: it's a documentary about ballroom dancing in the New York public schools. Stop rolling your eyes... it was fabulous! My first thought was how great a program this was - dancing is a skill, an art, a sport; the kids learned so much more than the basic steps. It's certainly a program that should be studied, copied in other cities. My second though was how embarrassed these kids are going to be 15 years from now - I cringe at the thought of my own home movies from then - I can't imagine an actual audience of other people being able to view them.

But that did get me thinking about the girls in this movie - who were not just spectacular dancers (actually all the kids wound up really rocking), but also just balls of fire in all areas of their lives. It made me think - What happens to girls as they get older? The 10-12 year-old girls here were exactly how I remember being at that age: confident, full of spunk, full of energy and attitude. I remember being sure that what I said was not only right, but that it was important, that it mattered (even when other people didn't necessarily agree ;) ). It was in my attitude, the way I moved, the way I spent my time. These girls were all like that -- they said what they thought, they danced how they wanted, they spoke up in class, they gossiped and gave their opinions even when nobody asked.

I can remember being that way at that age, remember the attitude and how well it fit me, but what I can't remember is when it stopped, when I just started keeping things to myself, keeping quiet, watching instead of joining (or leading). And so many of the other girls in my class were like that too - fiesty - but somewhere along the line, we all changed. {I don't know if it's the same for boys (I'm not still friends with any of the boys I knew in 5th grade, so I can't say if they've changed or not)}

On one hand, it made me kind of sad: To think that those girls might grow out of their certainty, that they might never feel that sure of themselves, that strong and powerful again. To think about how strong and powerful I used to feel, and to wonder where it went.

On the other hand, there are parts of being 11 that I would never go back to -- specifically the parts were I'd have to be 13, 15, and 17 again. To have to go through all the uncertainty & awkwardness that followed. And being less sure that I was always right did enable me listen to other people, to see that they had important things to say too. And that's not something I would give up. There's a strength that comes from facing challenges that I didn't have then either -- at 11 the worst thing that had happened to me was that my best friend was planning on moving away. I've certainly faced a lot more than that in the 15 years since.
There's got to be a way to get back some of what I've lost, without giving up what I've learned (earned, even). I suppose that's kind of the point, right?

And that was w-a-y philosophical for a quick movie review.

So, to finish up... Wow, I miss dancing!

This movie has a beat, and a heart. My hips have been swiveling ever since -- it's contagious.

Anybody else seen these? Got an explaination for Mr. & Mrs. or an idea of what those accents were supposed to be? Are you sigining yourself up for some ballroom lessons or rolling your eyes at me cause I would if I could?

I'd love to hear from you - let me know.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rest, relaxation, peace? That'd be nice.

ColorQuiz.comNTE took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Urgently in need of rest, relaxation, peace, and a..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

I know, I know, these things are like horoscopes - they keep them general so that they can apply to almost anyone's situation. But two things in this test just hit the nail on the head for me:

NTE's Existing Situation
Active, but feels that insufficient progress or reward is being made for the effort exerted.

NTE's Desired Objective
Urgently in need of rest, relaxation, peace, and affectionate understanding. Feels she has been treated with a lack of consideration and is upset and agitated as a result. Regards her situation as intolerable as long as her requirements are not complied with.

The "urgently in need of" part especially. I feel like I haven't had more than a minute's peace in almost 12 years. That's a long time.

In other news:

I have to send my laptop off to be fixed either the end of this week or next week, which means no posts for however long it takes them to get it back to me. It also means I won't be able to read any posts, which seems a sort of torture. I don't understand it either -

I only started reading blogs last summer. Before that we had dial-up. I had an 8-yr-old computer that froze every time I opened more than one program. I thought all blogs were filled with political rantings (and usually of the wrong sort).

But now?

Now I need to check them whenever I get online. Now, I get mad when there are no new posts highlighted on my blogline account. (Even though I just checked them 2 hours ago: it's been two hours! Why didn't someone have something to say since then?). Now, I can spend 20 minutes wading through 96 comments that all echo or outshine the "what a great post!" entry I had planned, only not to comment in fear of being to repetitive. Now, I click through an entire blogroll, in the hopes of a spectacular new find. Now, I lurk at more than 50 blogs.

(BTW, I've seen on a couple of blogs already that it's National De-Lurking Week. I'm pretty sure someone just made this up and people started passing it along, but that won't stop me from mentioning it here, in the hopes that there are some lurkers who'd like to make themselves known.)

So being without my computer is not appealing to me. I've plenty of other things that need to get accomplished (my to-do list never seems to shrink), but I'm still putting it off as long as I can. (Besides, I have to figure out if I'm supposed to erase things before I send it or what. They weren't very specific over there.)

But I've still got the rest of this week, at least.

So I should be back.... in case you wanted to delurk: I promise not to miss it.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Embarrassing Way to Almost Kill Yourself #149

Bend over with the toothbrush in your mouth
Bang the end of the toothbrush on the edge of the sink
Jam almost the entire length of the toothbrush down your throat
Choke for 10 straight minutes, all the while thinking of the way this will be written up in your obituary.

"Young woman chokes to death on toothbrush."

Oh yeah, my parents would be proud.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A better mood (ish)

See, I promised to try and cheer up, and I (sort-of) have. At least I'm faking it better, anyways. ;)

So I'm doing my internet wandering today, and here's what I think you should know:

First, due to some happy news in my family (My first niece is expected to arrive this spring!!), I've been playing around looking at baby names. The best site I've found so far is the Babynamer on Oxygen. It's a great site - searchable, organized by different topics, & thorough. My favorite detail? They include the drawbacks of a given name - the horrible nicknames that go along with the names you're looking at. (I never would have thought of Cora Snora on by own, for example, but now it's definitely out)
BUT.... I'm wondering who would decide to name their baby based on this category :

People Who Have Tuberculosis ? I mean does that sound reasonable to anybody?


Also got a couple of Flickr pictures that I thought were just amazing:


A perfect moment



And, courtesy of David Letterman (and DevilDucky), the best Bush moments caught on tape.... sadly, this we're only a little more than halfway through with him.


That's what I've got for you so far, people. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Nothing is going well today

My doctor (my favorite specialist) called and the insurance people don't want to pay for my treatments (not that they were doing too much, but they were working preventatively). Plus my primary care doc does not want to be my primary care doc anymore and I can't find someone who knows enough about my particular situations to be any help (or who takes my insurance). I hate having to start over with new docs: they always want to re-run all the tests I've already had six times.


I don't know how to use the stupid DVD-RW in my laptop and I have to back up all my data b/c my laptop keeps freezing and I have to send it to the repair people before the warranty expires next month. I love my laptop: It was my first major purchase on my own, and I did sooo much research... and now it's freezing... this does not instill confidence in my decision making skills, internet people. I use it most everyday, and I don't know how long it will be away with the fix-it up chappies, so am semi-depressed that I will be laptop-less for however long.

But that's only if I can figure out how to back up my files, because I have scanned every stinking picture in our house into this thing, and I am not doing it all over again... I don't care if it freezes every 10 seconds...


The annoying people upstairs keep vacuuming the same exact spot... right over my head. (She's very OCD about that stupid vacuum.) This is the fourth time (the first was at 6:30 this morning) and I know she's the only one home up there, so unless she's refilling the salt shakers over the hallway rug, there is absolutely no need for this.

Also, I know there is a way to change the colors of my blogger text, but I can't remember it, so this post will look very boring.


Two of my sisters have the day off today and are spending it bickering over which one of them gets to wield the remote control - rather than actually accomplishing anything or helping out around here.


I am just having a mood, internet. It is not a good mood either. And I think a large part of it is that I went to bed hearing that 12 of the 13 minors trapped were alive and found out this morning that the opposite is true. It is too sad to imagine, and the reason that I know better than to watch the news. I just can't block myself off from tragedies the way everyone else seems to be able to. It just sort of seeps into me, and now I'm sad.

And grumpy.

(As if that last part needed clarifying after this lovely post.)

I shall try to recover a bit of cheery (or at least less mope) before my next post.

Hope your day is better than...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A couple of books to keep an eye out for

People - how do I love the PostSecret site? I cannot explain my fascination (I also, apparently, cannot spell fascination). But I'm very excited that there's a book: Collection of Secrets.

The next offerings in some of my current favorite series should be out the beginning of the year:

Memory In Death A bit more of Eve's past is revealed... I'm already on the library hold list for this speed read.

A New Cynster Novel (I almost can't imagine how there could be more, but I still enjoy them so I won't complain) came out recently: Truth about Love

It's not my favorite series, but I've really been enjoying the Francesca Cahill mysteries. Next up for her is Deadly Kisses

And since I love the Stephanie Plum books and Metro Girl (another Christmas gift - Thanks Mum!) by Janet Evanovich, I'll be checking out Motor Mouth

Even the Publishers Weekly review of Stephen King's next book is gripping:

What if a pulse sent out through cell phones turned every person using one of them into a zombie-like killing machine? That's what happens on page six of King's latest, a glib, technophobic but compelling look at the end of civilization—or at what may turn into a new, extreme, telepathically enforced fascism.

So I'll be looking out for Cell as well.
Random other reads on my list:

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

With a title like this, who could resist?
You're Wearing That?

The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington

Goddess of The Rose by P.C. Cast

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine

Dr. Golem - How to think about Medicine by Harry M. Collins


I'm sure there'll be more, but I can see there's plenty to anticipate.