Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I do not make New Year Resolutions. I think that those things are cursed to fail. To be honest with you, as a whole, New Years never really did that much for me. When I was a kid, I got upset one New Year's Eve because I thought that all the music I had enjoyed during the year was now going to go away, because we were starting a New Year. (true story. The top 100 countdown thingy confused me).
As I got older, New Years became a way to make loads of money. I was a much sought after babysitter in our rural area, one of those rare kinds that actually liked playing with the kids. I used to get paid VERY WELL to babysit on New Year's Eve. Then, I became an adult. And I discovered all the idiots who use New Year's Eve as an excuse to get totally bombed, and drive, and shoot guns, and basically, act like the asshats they are. So, I became an anti-social adult on NYE. I stayed home. When I became a nurse, I even avoid scheduling myself to work, because I don't want to take care of the asshats that hurt themselves on NYE.
Now, I don't hate the day. I am coming off sounding like the grinch that stole NYE. I've had people over here for small gatherings, and I have gone to friends' places before and enjoyed the evening. It's just the other people in the world I object to.
Whatever. This post is quickly going downhill.
I will be venturing out tonight, with Mustang Man, and Mustang Girl, to ring in the New Year with assorted friends and their children. I hope, wherever all of you are tonight, in whichever time zones you live in, your New Year is happy, healthy, and safe. Stay away from the drunk asshats. And if you are planning to be a drunk asshat tonight, (which is fine) don't drive! And don't shoot a gun. . . (please?)

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Revolution

This is Susan Brownell Anthony. Her name is widely recognized in the fight for Women's Rights, but I think, when pressed, not many people can actually think of anything concrete she did. This post will explore some of what she did. Her lifetime achievements were vast, however, and to explore it all would take days and pages and pages and pages.

Okay, here we go.
Susan was born in Adams Massachusetts, the second of eight children. Her father, Daniel, was a cotton farmer, abolutionist, and Quaker. Her mother, Lucy, was never a "convinced" Quaker, claiming she was not good enough for the religion. They were followers of the more liberal Society of Friends.
When Susan was six, they moved to Battenville, New York. Susan was to attend a local school, but when the teacher refused to teach her long division because of her gender, her father removed her from that school, and home schooled her himself. Eventually, in 1837 she was sent to a "female semenary", but, her family lost all their money in the Panic of 1837, and she had to come home. She was not sorry to do so. She took a job in New Rochelle, to help ease the family debts. She noted that the male teachers were making four times what she made. Fighting for equal pay was her first foray into the womens equal rights movement.
At 29, she quit teaching, and moved to the family farm in Rochester, NY. From here, she began to take part in conventions and gatherings related to the temperance movement. At this time, Susan, herself, began to distance herself from the Quakers, especially because she noted how many of the Quaker preachers had an alcohol problem. As she got older, she was often chastised by various Christian groups for her non religious tendencies.
Before the civil war, she was very active on both the temperance, and anti slavery movements, especially being raised by her abolitionist father. In 1851, she was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Bloomer. Her and ECS became lifelong friends, and traversed the United States speaking together many times. Susan B. was sensitive about her looks, and speaking abilities, and mostly wrote the speeches, letting ECS deliver them.
Being a long time friend of Frederick Douglass, Susan also made an attempt in 1856 to unite the African American rights movement to the womens rights movement. However, in 1869, the civil rights movement leaders voted to support the 15th amendment, which granted sufferage to black men only. After this, Susan began to devote herself almost exclusively to the women's movement.
In 1868, she first published a weekly journal called "The Revolution". It's motto was "The True Republic- men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less". Susan was the publisher, and and business manager, while ECS was the editor. The journal supported women's suffrage, equal pay for equal work, and more liberal divorce laws, just to name a few things. In 1839, she also was instrumental in forming a chapter of the Woman's Educational and Industrial Union (WEIU) in Rochester, NY, and raised funds to open opportunities for the women of Rochester to study at the university located there.
1869 rolled about, and, with ECS, Susan founded NWSA (Nat'l Women's Suffrage Association). She werved as oth vice president, and president. In 1890 NWSA merged with another suffrage association, creating NAWSA. This was a controversial move, considering they combined with a very conservative organization, and most of the members had not wanted to combine the two. This created tension between her, and ECS especially. Susan felt strongly that a more moderate approach to the movement was needed, rather then the radical one they had been employing. She felt it was more realistic, and would gain them more in the long run. (She was a fan of catching flies with honey, it seems). She got her way, and NAWSA was created, and, in a stroke of genius (IMHO) Susan pushed for ECS to be the first president of NAWSA, thus, drawing her powerful friend and ally back into the fold. During this time, she also collaborated with ECS, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper to publish "The History of Woman Suffrage". She eventually became president of NAWSA herself, and led her life fighting for it. She formally retired in 1900.
Susan died 14 years before the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote. She was honored as the first American Woman to have an appearance on a coin the Susan B. Anthony Dollar. (I gave my sister one for her shoe when she got married.) The dollar was made for 4 years, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1999. Her home in Rochester is a National Historic Landmark, now, and operates as a museum. She died in March, 1906, in Rochester.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

mmmm, kahlua

So I am so hooked now on making my own kahlua, and since it's a great winter drink, I will now share with all of you my method of kahlua creation.
The most important thing in making a good kahlua is using a good vodka. Don't be cheap, people! It makes a difference! I've also been playing with the flavored vodka's, and to date have made a Mandarin Orange Kahlua (really good in coffee, but otherwise, eeeh.)A Chocolate kahlua (once again, pretty good, especially drizzled over dessert) and a Vanilla kahlua (has been my favorite so far). You can make as many flavors as their are flavored vodka. Knock yourself out!

8 cups sugar
8 cups water
10 tbsp vanilla (if you use vanilla vodka you can skip this)
1 cup instant coffee
1/2 gallon vodka (2 750 ml bottles)

Mix the sugar and water, bring it to a boil, then add the vanilla and coffee. Simmer on low to medium heat for 2 hours. Cool to room temperature (this is important. If it's warm when you add the vodka you'll cook off the alcohol. Thats no fun!)
Add the vodka, then store in your container of choice.

Many of the recipe's and places I looked at recommend letting the kahlua sit for a month before you drink it. I've done that with mine, and it's turned out well. I am not sure how it will taste if you just make it, then drink it immediately. I also like to add a sliced vanilla bean into mine at the beginning. Hmmm. I guess I like vanilla. But if I add the bean, I cut back on the vanilla I add.

In other news, I got the stitches removed from the palm of my hand today. My hand is working much better now, but I am still dropping things (not as often) and have trouble with certain movements. The bruising is much less, but the swelling is still crazy. Physical therapy starts next week, and I will go back to work mid February, probably. Sooner if I get really bored, and my hand co-operates.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday, Dewey style

This is Dewey, my middle nephew, showing the love to the puppet I gave him. I think he's going to grow up to be a puppet master. When he decides to finally talk, that is.

*photo credit goes to Aunt Tuna, I didn't even get my camera out

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Because it's one of my favorites. . .

Merry Christmas, to all of you! I doubt I will post anything until Wednesday, so, I put this up, because I think it's a fun little read before the holiday :)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;The children were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snowGave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,With a little old driver, so lively and quick,I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roofThe prancing and pawing of each little hoof.As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;He had a broad face and a little round belly,That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,And laying his finger aside of his nose,And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Friday, December 21, 2007

for your Friday Consideration

*following post based on Christian learning and philosophy. Hey. Its Christmas. Give me a break. Plus, frankly, the concept of this post intrigued me.* Besides. It's the friday before the big day and most of you won't read this, anyhow.

Picture this.

Your a virgin.

And you have to give birth.

Iknow, Iknow.

But really.

Thousands of millions of people celebrate Christmas. Some call it something different, some celebrate it, and enjoy it, without the religious belief behind it. But it's still Christmas. Christ's Mas.

We wouldn't have it without the help of one, particular woman, now would we?

The Virgin Mary.

She is associated with many things. She is revered by many, and she is controversial. She was a very early 'single mother', because she was not yet married to Joseph when she conceived Jesus. Imagine the stigma back in those days!

She appears in many things. Pieces of toast, potato chips, grilled cheese sandwiches. People have visions of her, where she gives messages to the world. Most recently, she has been heard in Medjugorje,Yugoslavia, where she delivered 10 secrets, of the apocalyptic nature. She also said that after Yugoslavia, she was done appearing. This was a very hot topic of conversation when I was married to the Catholic ex. His Mom was almost a nun, and had a particular fervor for Mary.

Mary had to have been a very strong woman. She was a virgin, she had to give birth that way (ouch!) She also had that 'birthing experience' in a manger, a cold manger, full of itchy hay.THEN she had to see a parade of strangers, all come to see her brand new, wet behind the ears child. Um, HELLO? She just gave birth! No epidural's, people! No nurse, nothing! Except a husband who, technically, was not the father of the child! She raised her son, knowing his life was destined to be a very rocky road, AND, she witnessed his crusifixtion. What a painful thing to have to witness! And she survived it. So I submit Mary as my woman of the week. Without her, there would be no Christmas. (Unless the Virgin Ruth, or Deborah, or Rachel or another woman of Nazarith was chosen. But it might not have been the same. . . )

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I got nothin'

Nada, zip. Even blogger tried to get me to post nothing.The old brain is dry.
MM suggested, in this order
and putting the fun back in dysfunctional Christmas.
But I believe in some form, all these things have been discussed.

Cami frequently discusses her rack, and her husbands love of it. And who can forget that we sent out all those drunken Portland Postcards after we'd each rubbed them on our own, respective racks. (And one,special card that got'teabagged', ). Ahh, Portland. Good times. . .

Cats. Well, hell. they dominate sometimes. Just go down a few spaces and check out Audrey in her Christmas Finery

Putting the fun back in dysfnctional Chrismas-
covered that, too, in Roto-Rooter.

But, there is something else I should mention,actually. Maybe 2 things.
if you are looking for a non-alcoholic pick me up, MM has discovered this drink called "Bawls". It comes in Blue bottles. Blue Bawls.
Despite the name, it's quite tasty. Go see MM's blog to see him with blue bawls on his forehead. Totally worth it.
And, (sorry for ending on a sad note, but...)
A very nice lady whom middle sister was very close to died in her sleep yesterday morning. Her family will miss her terribly. Goodbye, Helen, rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


he is in Finland!

MM, being not only stunningly handsome, quick with wit, and exceedingly good with cat wrangling, is also well read, and sent this to me. Huzzah!

Oh,btw. Since I am now using words today. If any of you have the chance to get/try some ice wine (eis wein),DO IT. We had some last night and I tell you, it's nectar. Sooooooooooooooooooooo Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.
costly. But worth it.Especially with dessert.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We should have Roto-Rooter on speed-dial

In my family, a holiday is not complete until something gets broken. Preferably, something plumbing related.
Sure, there is always the talk of the burnt rolls, (grandma does that on purpose,now), the fruit-cake (Uncle Heintz actually LIKES the stuff) and lighting a fire under Santa's ass on Christmas Eve, but to me, nothing says holiday fun like a backed up sink.
For many, many, MANY years, our holiday was spent at the dear grandparents house. Possibly the smallest house, EVER, but, we managed to all wedge ourselves in there.
Her sink was notorious for plugging up beyond repair. I think, basically, it saw us all coming and just gave up the ghost immediately. No matter how we tried to baby it along, not using the disposal, or anything, that sink would clog. One year, Uncle Pebble Beach showed up (DK, better name? Uncle golf god?) and, seeing that we were in sink hell, took up our huge turkey, and washed it IN THE SHOWER. (He didn't care, he didn't have to eat it.). I couldn't quite get past the fact that the turkey shared the same shower as everyone else, Including Uncle B, who though sweet, can be rather, mmm, pungent in the mornings.
Then my Mom, Aunt Tuna, hijacked Christmas for her very own. So we go to her house, now, and watch her lips thin to the point of dissapearing in anger when the family curse follows. One memorable year, I brought the Villiage Idiot with me, and, in true idiot form, he tried to fix it. Without a bucket. Dirty, grody water ALL OVER the floor. I've never seen my mom's lips completely gone so quickly. Luckily, we can laugh about it, now. But then? He was almost sacrificed to the plumbing gods. (Maybe I should have let her.)
So, will I ever volunteer to have Christmas, or Thanksgiving in my wee domicile? Eh. Maybe. (but my Mom has firm control over it, now, and I'd have to pry it from her cold, dead, fingers). But say I did manage that. I'd have a plumber on speed-dial. Or maybe, locked in a closet. . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rogue Elf loose in Canada

Troy, is it you?

Now, when South Park attacked our northern neighbors, and Robin Williams wanted us all to "Blame Canada", I refused to do it.
But this is too much!
We all know Santa REALLY lives in Rovaniemi, Finland, with Mrs. Claus, and all the reindeer and elves.
I grew up knowing that Santa was Finnish. And now I share that knowledge with all of you! Because he wants me to. He was here last week stuffing MM's stocking, and he told me to tell. And, no, I wasn't on pain meds!
(believe it or not, I have not taken any in a while....).
So, despite the rogue Canadian's, Santa is out there. In Finland. And that one elf is going to get coal in his stocking, at the very least!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Audrey says 'happy weekend'

Really, thats what she is thinking, here

Friday, December 14, 2007

short, and 1 handed

for anyone wanting to read about my surgery, yesterday, I figured a better place for that was at First Do No Harm, so now I am going to attempt my usual Friday thing. But a short one.

So the holidays are upon us, and I figure this is a good topic for them.

There is this lady named Candy Lightner. She truthfully did not set out to live a life uncommon. She was born in Pasadena, California, and, raised in the "usual" fashion. After attending college, she met and married Steve, a Forest Serviceman. They had three children. Like many marriages, it ended in divorce, and she found herself selling reality in Fair Oaks, Calif.
On May 3, 1980, her life turned for the worst.
Her 13 year old daughter, Cari, was struck and killed by a drunk driver, who did not stop. He hit Cari so hard it was impossible to donate any organs...
The driver had 4 other arrests for drunk driving, including a hit and run the weekend before. The most jail time he spent was 48 hours.
Cari left behind a twin sister, and a brother who, also had a previous accident, hit by someone under the influence of tranquilizers, and has permanent brain damage.
A few days later, Candy learned that the asshat who hit her daughter was not going to serve any jail time. And almost instantly, Mothers Against Drunk Driving was born. Candy quit her job, and threw time, energy and money into lobbying for stricter laws. She did nothing but devote her life to MADD for 5 years, and then realized though she had done much that was good, she was leaving out the most important thing. Her family. She moved on, but MADD continues on, a force to be reckoned with. It is international, now, with over 3 million members. There is also, though, a story out there that the board of directors fired Candy, for having different "goals" for the organization.
Candy, after leaving MADD, realized she had never grieved Cari's death. Doing so, she eventually found herself writing a book, with a co author, about coping. She also continued to give lectures on Drunk Driving, and started yet another organization, the Victims in Action. She also, in what many consider to be a sellout move, eventually became a lobbyist (a well paid one, at that) for a group called The American Beverage Institute", who, ironically, had a goal of NOT lowering the legal blood alcohol level. She maintains that the higher leveled drivers are the majority out there, and cause 80 % of the deaths.
Whatever the controversy that surrounds her, if she "sold out" or not, she still managed to do something that needed to be done, in the wake of her own, personal nightmare. We needed stricter laws and punishment for driving under ANY influence, and, thanks to Candy,and MADD, we got them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am home

I survived, and am doing ok. More later!

butterflies and chopsticks

So. Today is the day.
I'd be lying to you all if I said I wasn't nervous about it. The butterflies have been flying since yesterday, to some extent.
Its a very strange concept for me, to be on the other side of the coin, here. I woke up every few hours last night and looked at the clock, mainly thinking "I should get up and drink some water", then I fell asleep before I did that.
My procedure is at 12:45. I can have water until 0845 this morning. I can't really have anything else. So yes, I have a big glass of water sitting in front of me. But if I drink too much water, well. There could be trouble.
On the plus side, MM and I had a really good sushi dinner last night. My only complaint is that they make their rolls so big that I can't really fit a whole piece in my mouth! Especially the Rainbow Roll. If my mouth is too full of good things, how do I slow down and enjoy it? I had chipmunk cheeks every time I put a piece in my mouth. We had the afore-mentioned Rainbow, a California Roll, and a Philadelphia Roll. We also had a dinner, (because, frankly, that meal has to last me until somewhere close to 3 this afternoon). The miso was really good, and we had salad's that had this excellent, kind of tangy dressing on them. By the time the dinner came, (I had teryaki beef, he had teryaki chicken) my right hand had had it, though, and I could not really make the chopsticks go that well. Especially picking up the end pieces of meat. It was pretty frustrating. But I wasn't using the chopsticks properly anyhow. I can't, at the moment. We also learned last night that MM doesn't quite care for Green Tea ice cream.
One of the fun things about the place we ate at, is that they were playing a Godzilla movie on their television. There is something inherently right about sitting there, eating sushi, and watching Godzilla. Sadly, at the table next to us (and right in front of the television) was a gaggle of twenty something, chattering girls who had NO appreciation for my scaly friend. And I couldn't really see over most of their hair. And the one sitting with her back to us? Kept flinging her hair around, in a somewhat close proximity to our table. The sushi was on the other side of the table or she might have gotten a chopstick between the eyes. Even with my left hand I can be deadly!
I am really unsure of what condition I am going to be in tomorrow, and so there is a high probability that my usual Friday really isn't going to happen. I was planning on Susan B. Anthony, and she'd be a long one. Something tells me that my right hand is not going to tolerate that. We shall see. . .
Hopefully, though, the numb, the tingly, and the pain and stiffness are going to (eventually) be a thing of the past. . .
wish me luck! (It will be fine, really it will. . .)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We are living in a Material World

And the advertising companies would like to make us all believe that we are Material Girls.

Every time a commercial comes on these days, even if it's during football, it always seems to include one of a woman getting a gift from her man. And these gifts are ALWAYS either a car, or diamonds. If I hear 'Every Kiss begins with Kay" one more time I am going to lose it.
Of course, they got what they wanted, I have their ad stuck in my head, right?
But still, really. It annoys me, that in the advertising world, they are representing women as materialistic, I think. Most women I know are not going to be dissapointed if they don't get diamonds, or a car for Christmas.
I, personally, like the gifts that have some thought behind them. I also like anything hand-made. How hard is it to go plunk money down on a counter for a diamond that someone is telling you, commercial after commercial, that you should buy? (It's the same damn necklace every stinking time).
And as far as the car. Unless the man in her life is a millionaire, how are they paying for that car? Month by month. So, Merry Christmas, Honey, I just put us 50,000 into debt for the next 5 years! Yay!
Nope. Not for me, I say. And not for most of the women I know, and am friends with.
And I have yet to see a commercial telling us to buy our men things like ski boats, or fancy watches, or even diamonds.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I lost a day

Sorry about my lack of posting today. I spent the majority of the day chasing down things, having lab work done, and such because the surgeon I saw this morning thinks I cannot wait for surgery any longer and he is having them squeeze me in THURSDAY. As in THREE DAYS FROM NOW.
I will post more tomorrow, now I am going to go get more of my ducks in a row!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

beer bottles? Bah!

Note the look of concentration on my face. I was not going to spill a drop of that wine!

Here, is the elusive MM, proving that his family, too has the balancing skill. See the label on that bottle? Yes, It's 'Ripper Red', a delicious wine created by the family Kaos. . .

And, one last shot of me, balancing the Ripper Red, myself. It's not as easy as it looks, bottles of wine are heavy!
Much fun and hilarity was had with this task. I can't WAIT to see what happens after DK and NK land in Oregon, and the martini glasses are broken out. Dare I suggest that this coming summer, we have a tiki balancing photo?
Ahh, LOL. Good rest of the weekend, everyone.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lest We Forget

Usually my Friday's are dedicated to the ladies.
This friday, I am going to talk about something historical, that involved women as well. Even sounds like a woman.
Pearl Harbor.
Isn't that a pretty name?
On this date, in 1941, it wasn't so pretty.
350 Japanese aircraft in 2 aerial assault waves had the goal to destroy the Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
2 battleships were sank, six more were damaged. The U.S.S. Arizona taking the major brunt. She is still below the water, and 945 of her crew stayed with her. It was deemed unsafe to pull them out.
3 cruisers were damaged.
2 destroyers were sank, one more was damaged.
1 "other" ship type was sank (minesweeper, I think)
three more were damaged.
188 aircraft were destroyed, that was every plane we had there. 155 of them were still on the ground.
The Navy lost 2008 men, 1,177 of them were from the battleship Arizona.
710 Navy men were wounded.
The Marines lost 109 men, with 69 wounded.
The Army/Air Corps lost 218 men, with 364 wounded.
That's 2,504 men lost.

And, civilians?
57 of them dead, including women and children. Children as young as 3 years old.
35 more injured.

It was, indeed, a day of infamy. One that time has "mellowed", and some people have forgotten, or choose not to think about because it did not "affect" them. I wonder, in 66 years, will people be saying that about the September 11 attacks?
There are still Pearl Harbor survivors alive. Not many. I read yesterday, that some of the Arizona survivors chose to be buried with their ship-mates when they passed away. They are allowed this honor, and their bodies, or ashes, sunk to return to their ship. I've personally been to the Arizona Memorial. I was very emotional, and quiet the whole time there. I could still feel the devastation. And looking at all those names, my heart sank to the depths of that cold water.

So, sixty six years ago today. This morning, as a matter of fact. Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

LMAO at this one. . .

Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Santas Reindeer


Like Dancer you are graceful and elegant. People can't help but watch you when you walk into a room

Find out which of Santa's Reindeer you are at

Fun Quizzes

moi? Merci Beaucoup!

My lovely cousin, CamiKaos, in her selfless desire to share, has awarded me a 'mad skillz' award. For finding the perfect present. I do try.

She has charged us recipiants, however, to go forth and 'award', ourselves. So I will. (Lets see how many blogs are going to have Cami with a beer can on her head on them!)

lets start with MM. He has some serious mad skillz. Most of which I won't tell you about. But he can nudge with power and authority, AND he can even talk about computer stuff at a level I can understand. Now that's a mad skill. He also has an excellent sense of humor. Dark, and sarcastic. Definately my kind of man!

And, David in DC. He has the mad skill of reminding us all of very important things, like what is going on in Darfur right now. Also, he has a hampster the size of a wookie named Ted. AND his son, Monkey boy? Has probably got us all beat in the Mad Skillz department.

Cami already got Celtic Rose, (and, everyone ELSE practically) so I will just have to agree with her on that one. (However, she could share that award with Chad. . .)Though, I have to tell you, CR has many many more mad skillz than her inattention to her blog. One of them, (and one of my favorites) is that she can speak in a perfect Irish Brogue at the drop of a hat, and maintain the thing for a whole day! Especially at the Ren faire. Another mad skill? She is, probably, the friendliest, sweetist and kind person I know on this earth. Seriously. Also? Yesterday was her birthday.

And, lastly, but not leastly, Jamie.
Jamie has mad skillz that I think she wish she didn't have to have. She has mad coping skillz. She has a lot on her plate, but every day, she deals. And finds the positive. I hope you got a good new pair of shoes, Jamie! I'm so exited for you!

Okay, there you have it. I have passed on the love from my cousin, AND a picture of her with a beer can on her head. I'm sure the family is so proud!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

broken? Not really

Reading Cami's blog thinking about my time in the Navy, and about Christmas has all caught up with me, and made me remember things that were well, not forgotten, but tucked into the recesses of my brain. This is one of them.

I was 18 when I went into the Navy, it was the summer after highschool. By November, I was done with whatever training they were going to give me, and I headed out to see what life in "the fleet" was like. My first duty station was Yokosuka, Japan. I went on December 7th, many of my family and friends liked to tease me that I was the ultimate revenge for Pearl Harbor. (hee hee).

Anyhow. I made friends quickly, that far away from home. Some really good ones, some really bad ones. If I remember correctly, I spent my first Christmas from home with a friend named Jewel, and some of her other friends, and we rode a train to an Army base for some event they were having there. It sucked. We had more fun on the train.
The next Christmas, I had a boyfriend (who later became my husband). I took some paid leave days and we spent Christmas, just the two of us, staying in a nice hotel in Yokosuka, and being with each other un-interrupted, which was something we had not been able to do, EVER. We'd been dating for 10 months. I think I took four or five days, and we just relaxed, and wandered, and talked, and it was really like there was no one else in the world but us. (Hey, we were young, and in looooooove- or so we thought). It was a pretty great Christmas. No exchange of gifts, or tree's or cookies (we did have some of his Mom's really good date nut cake, though).
Fast forward to the next year. I came home on December first, and hadn't been home for two years. I had a month of leave to burn up, and was going to be having Christmas with all the family.
Never have I really felt so off kilter. There I was, in the midst of all the Christmas cheer, the tree's the food the presents the decorations the music the family the talk the EVERYTHING.
And, I hated it. Don't get me wrong. I loved seeing the family and friends and all that, but, I'd forgotten how to act, I had forgotten how to do this big thing called Christmas, I'd forgotten the stress of it. I'd forgotten all the commercialism of it. I MISSED the simple Christmas' I'd had in Japan, where it was a celebration just to BE with people, have a nice dinner, and spend quality time with them.
So, there I sat, that first year. Twenty, and lost, in my own family. I tried really hard to pretend that I wasn't. I know I fooled some, but probably not others, the wiser ones who'd been there, the ones who REALLY knew me. (I didn't fool my Dad for one spare minute.). I felt broken, and kind of defective, that I'd forgotten some elemental skill of family.
But I tried.
Many Christmas' have passed since them. I've spent a few more away from the family. I work a lot of them. One memorable Christmas, my grandfather died. It might sound odd, but that one? Was just a little more special, actually.
I love Christmas, the cookies, the family, the gifts, the decorations, the tree. But, secretly, there is still that part of me that wishes we could NOT do all that, and just be with each other. Having a good meal, a good laugh, and enjoying each other's quiet company. It's really nice.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Anchors Aweigh

I am going to demystify something for you.
I am going to tell the tale of what happens, on a Navy Ship, when the Equator is crossed.
There is a tradition, that until you have crossed the equator on a ship, that you are a Lowly Polly wog. Most of you, I suspect, my bloggy friends, are such Wog's. As was I, until one fateful day.
'Wog Day' is a much anticipated day on any WestPac(western pacific) Cruise. The 'foreplay' if you will, starts well before the equator is even neared. It practically starts the first day the ship is underway on said cruise. Because, my bloggy friends, if you've already crossed the equator, and you are no longer a Lowly Polly wog, that means you are a Shell back, and, when the equator is crossed, you get to beat the hell out of the new Wogs, so that they, in turn, might become Shell back. It's the circle of life, Navy life.
So the threats from the Shell backs begin to fly. The closer you get to the equator, the more they fly. 2 weeks before the equator is approached trash starts being saved, and old, orange fire hoses are cut into 'shillelaghs'. (Basically, an arm length piece of hose used to beat the arse of the wogs as they crawl through the ship).
So, Wog day comes. It comes with a vengeance. As a wog, I am hiding, wearing my uniform as prescribed (inside out and backwards)awaiting the Shellback that will find me and my wog friends in our hiding place. A big, tall, dark officer found us, somewhere around dawn. He was dressed in purple and had a mighty arm, that's all I remember. We crawled all over the ship an his command, yelling at times "Cock a doodle do, wake up Samuel Gompers", and, "I'm Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs". (both his choices.)
Sadly, for me, I forgot to get gloves. We crawled a little to close to the engine room level, and the metal floor was hot enough to blister my hands. Purple officer got us out of there and took us down to the 'wog pool', a section of passageway filled with salt water. Here, my bloggy friends, is where my blisters broke open, allowing salt water to flow freely over tender skin. HOLY HELL.
Because I was injured, purple officer set me aside, with my friend Todd's bitch girlfriend who was whining. (I was not whining, I wanted to bea shellback!). My hands were seen to, we went on our way. I was taken to 'wog breakfast'. (Green stuff in a bucket), then, up to the flight deck for the main event. Once there, I passed through the trash shoot (twice, so that a friend could get a picture), then I had to pull the cherry out of the greased belly button of Davy Jones. All around me, other wogs were suffering the same fate. Eventually, I found my way to a smaller salt water pool, where, once I was dunked in, I was no longer a lowly wog, but a Shell Back. Then, my whole uniform was ceremoniously dumped over the side of the ship, and I was free to shower, and wash the 2 week old spaghetti out of my hair.
I'm so proud of my certificate. My one sadness is, I never got to cross the equator again, as a Shellback, to beat virgin Wogs. (But it wasn't worth re-enlisting for).

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Now leave me alone, I'm watching the game. . .

post game edit



I love me some Midshipmen!
we destroyed the Army, for the SIXTH year in a row!

I wish I could somehow explain to you all how much goes into this game. Everything stops for these few precious hours. Every eye is pinned to the television. Bragging rights are at stake. All the Navy bases, all the Army bases. I never personally miss this game day, and I remember how it felt to lose. BUT THAT WAS 7 YEARS AGO!!
Hell, I even had a bet with someone this year that involved a tattoo. (I knew my Middie's wouldn't let me down).

And now, I will have a huge smile on my face, ALL DAY LONG.

thanks, Midshipmen!