Monday, March 31, 2008


Yesterday, I found myself doing something I did not expect.
But lets start this story from the beginning, shall we?
Last week, at work, I was in charge of the telemetry floor. There was a nurse up there I have not met yet, a newly graduated one. He was talking almost non stop about the new Jeeps that came out. And how he was going to get a black one.
Now, I do like Jeeps.
I have had Jeep envy for years, actually. I know quite a few people with Jeeps. MM has a Jeep Liberty. I drove it a few days when I first started staying here. It was fun.
So, back to the nurse. Talking Jeeps. Eventually, I went onto the Jeep website to see what all the hoopla was about. Looking at them, I felt a tiny thrill. "Those are kind of cool" I thought to myself. 4 door, and the top comes off, in sections. One over the driver, one over the passenger, or one over the back seat area. You can have them all off, or just one. The interior is pretty nice.
On the website, it lets you "build" one. So I did. They had some really nice colors. The one I chose is the one you see up there. "Red Rock". Nice, right?
Sighing wistfully, I closed the screen. The newby nurse asked me later "So when you going to go get your Jeep?" I laughed, and said, probably never.
You see. Veruca Salt, my Saturn Vue? She's paid off. She's all mine. And though I had been thinking she was acting a little gutless lately, and was in need of a tune up, I had no real reason to replace her.
Fast forward to this weekend. Sunday. MM, Mustang Girl and I went to lunch. Then MM started talking to MG about colors for the mustang. (He spent Sat. working on it). He, for some reason, wanted to go to a Jeep dealership, to look at their colors, and perhaps get some color swatches if they had any. So, away we went. I had told him about my "build a jeep" experience at work. Walking around the lot, we looked around, and inside. A smarmy salesman came up to us. And started leading us towards an ugly green Jeep. But out of the corner of my eye, I saw it.
The Red Rock one.
Just like I built it.
So I had to go see, right? Right?
So I did. And smart smarmy salesman followed me, and opened it up. And had me get in. Then asked me those magic words
"Do you want to drive it?"
of course I want to drive it. Was he high?
MM is just shaking his head. Syd is saying quietly here we go again)
she has been through this with her father. Poor Kid.
3 hours later, I drove away in that Red Rock Jeep.
I now have a car payment.
And I traded in Veruca.
Yes, I did. But this Jeep. Its so PRETTY.
It is Veruca kicked up at least 10 notches.
It is fun to drive
and it is now mine. (Mine, and a credit agency's)

Now, the fun part for all of you come in.
The car HAS to have a name. She cannot be "Veruca 2".
This is where the rest of you come in.
Name the car, win a prize. I don't know what yet, I will think of something good.
The judge will be me. (and Mustang Girl)
And it is a "she".
Let your imaginations go wild!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

hmm, thought I would be Eeyore

Your Score: Tigger

You scored 14 Ego, 11 Anxiety, and 15 Agency!

And as they went, Tigger told Roo (who wanted to know)
all about the things that Tiggers could do.

"Can they fly?" asked Roo.

"Yes," said Tigger, "they're very good flyers, Tiggers
are. Strornry good flyers."

"Oo!" said Roo. "Can they fly as well as Owl?"

"Yes," said Tigger. "Only they don't want to."

"Why don't they want to?" well, they just don't like it

Roo couldn't understand this, because he thought it
would be lovely to be able to fly, but Tigger said it was
difficult to explain to anybody who wasn't a Tigger himself.

You scored as Tigger!

ABOUT TIGGER: Tigger is the newest addition to the Hundred Acre Wood, and he lives with Kanga and Roo, because Roo's strengthening medicine turned out to be the thing that Tiggers like best. Tigger is bouncy and confident -some of his friends think he is a little TOO bouncy and confident, but attempts to unbounce him tend to be fruitless.

WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT YOU: You are a positive and confident person. You feel capable of dealing with anything and everything, and funnily enough, you usually ARE. You don't worry about much, and you love to go out and find new adventures.

Your friends and family might sometimes be a little exasperated by your boundless enthusiasm. You don't like to admit your mistakes, and when you find yourself in over you head, you tend to bluff your way out of things. You would be surprised, however, at how happy the people around you would be if you would actually admit to a mistake. It would make you seem more human, somehow.

Link: The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test written by wolfcaroling on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(wolfcaroling)

thanks Mimi!

Short Story Saturday

Jennifer flopped down onto the grass, on her back, staring up at the sky, but not seeing the snail shaped cumulous clouds that scuttled by. Truth was, she wasn't really looking.
Instead, she was trying to sort out the myriad of thoughts going through her mind. Her mind, which she had been unable to turn off for the last three nights. As a result, she had been dragging herself to work each morning, heavy lidded and exhausted.
This morning, though, she just couldn't fathom sitting in front of that desk any longer, staring at all those numbers, and trying to make them all balance.
So she called in sick, considering it a 'mental health day', and took herself away. Outdoors. To one of her favorite places, where she could sit in peace, and relative quietness, not seeing the sky, and sorting out the issues of her world, as best she could.
Rolling over, she crossed her arms, and laid her head down on them, smelling the sweet smell of grass, and the loamy scent of the earth. Closing her eyes, she drowsed in the warmth of the sun. "Just a short nap" the thought to herself, as she dozed off.
A short time later, she woke up. Her mind, unhappy that she had managed to subdue it with warm sunshine, had tricked her, and given her a nightmare, instead of a dream. Sitting up, she reached into her back pack for the Odwalla Mango Tango she'd brought with her. Taking a big drink of it, she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, and, began to do what she came out to the outdoors for.
To think.
All this had started three weeks ago, when Charlie, a man from work, had come in late. "You look awful" she'd said to him, trying to be empathetic. She wished now she had never opened her mouth. Hearing her words, Charlie had turned towards her, eyes red and wet.
"Thanks" he had replied, then sat down in the chair at her desk, and spilled his guts. He told her of every problem he and his wife were going through. How she didn't talk to him, anymore. How their therapist recommended they just divorce now, and get it over with. How his favorite dog had run away.
She had not been surprised, because she and her husband had eaten dinner with Charlie and his wife, once before. And it had been a miserable experience. One they'd never repeated.
But she'd sat and listened to him, making the appropriate sympathetic murmurs from time to time, thankful that she and Jake had such a good relationship.
Or so she had thought.
She'd gone home, that evening, so sure of herself. Cocky, even.
Until she walked in the door, and crashed immediately into 3 packed suitcases in the hallway.
Her husband was standing in the living room, sorting through their CD's with a box at his feet. The box was half full of movies. Movies that they had bought together.
"Going somewhere?" she asked, eyebrows raised in surprise, heart racing.
He turned to face her, and she shut her eyes against his handsomeness.
"Yeah", he answered, voice raspy. "I can't do this anymore, babe. It is time for me to leave."
"What do you mean, leave? And that is MY Rush CD in your hand" she answered, knowing she wasn't going to like what he had to say.
Gently, he put the Rush CD back into the rack. "She knows that one is my favorite" he thought, sourly.
"What I mean is, our marriage, it's a charade. It's fake. It is superficial. And I want more" he clarified, a little harsh, because she had denied him the Rush CD.
As the pain of his words hit her, she sank down to the floor, in disbelief. But, in her heart, she knew he spoke the truth. And that sometimes, the truth hurt.
They'd been high school sweethearts. "Jennie and Jake" had been carved into tree's. written on notebooks, and PeeChee folders. No one had been surprised when they announced their engagement, shortly after they'd both finished college. Every day, people asked them when they were going to have children. They always said the same thing. "Give us time." Truth was, they had been trying for a year, with no baby. And now she was starting to understand why.
It had been three weeks since Jake had left, in his dark green Suburban. Each evening, she set the table for two, thinking this would be the night Jake came back. But he hadn't. And Charlie was now looking at her with sympathy in HIS eyes. He and his wife had found a new therapist, one who didn't recommend divorce. And now Jennifer was the one who was without her "other half" and looking like she was going to end up in divorce court.
She rolled back up to face the sky, and the sun, ignoring the buzz of her cell phone at her hip, after checking to make sure it wasn't Jake. It wasn't, it was work, and, well. She'd called in sick for a reason. She didn't need to answer them, now.
After a while, her stomach started to grumble with hunger, so she got up, gathered her back pack with her unread book, her wallet, and her car keys and started walking the path back to her car. She found a parking ticket on the windshield of her blue Audi, and just shook her head. Apparently, she had been there longer than the three hours that were allotted. Crumpling it up, she tossed it onto the passenger side floorboard, and started her car.
"To hell with it" she thought to herself, and headed to the nearest Taco Hell. Once there, she ordered herself 3 crunch wraps, and a Mountain Dew baja blast, and sat down at the corner table to eat and drink. She knew that she would be sick later, but, she just didn't care. She had not eaten at a Taco Hell in at least five years, but now seemed like the time to do it.
Sitting there, by herself, she became bored, rather quickly. Taking out her cell phone, she decided she would call her friend, Marcy, to see what was up. She noticed she had a new voicemail, and sighing, she took another drink of the sticky sweet baja blast, and dialed in to hear the message.
"Uh, hi, uh, Jennifer?" Great. It was Charlie.
"Listen. I don't know how to tell you this. But, ah. Yeah. They are closing the company. We are all being let go, as of today. So, uh, you need to come and get all your personal items, and your last paycheck. Sorry. Bye."
"Shit!" she thought frantically. "The mortgage payment is coming up, I have no freaking clue where Jake is, and now, I have no job!" Looking down at all the un eaten Taco Hell on her tray she bitterly considered all the money she had just wasted on fast food. Getting up, she slid the whole mess into the trash, and walked back to her car, dialing Marcy as she went.
The phone rang, a few times. Then, much to her shock, it was answered.
By Jake.
"Oh, Jake? I thought I called Marcy" she warbled nervously, all the blood rushing out of her head.
"Damn it Marcy, how many times do I have to tell you to get caller ID" whispered Jake.
Jennifer simply hung up, defeated. She laid her head down on her steering wheel, and found that she was beyond crying. After a few minutes, she lifted her chin, and, wiping her dry eyes, drove to work, and picked up her belongings, and her scant, last paycheck.
Driving towards home, she considered her options. What she'd really like to do is burn the place down. And run away. Far away. But she couldn't do that.
She could go back to Tennessee, and live with her parents.
But she swore she'd never do that again.
She knew the best thing to do was to put the house on the market, immediately. She could not afford, obviously, to keep it. And she doubted Jake would be much help. His job as a grocery store manager did not pay an awful lot. Marcy was a real estate agent. She could list it. The thought of that just made her laugh, outright.
When she got home, she was not surprised to see Jake and Marcy standing on the steps. A For Sale sign was already up in the yard.
"Wonderful" she thought. "I cannot take anymore." Getting out of the car, she began to pick rocks up out of the driveway, and throw them at Jake, and Marcy. She was a pitcher on her school softball team, and was pleased to find that her aim was still true. As Jake clutched his head, Marcy whipped out her cell phone, and called 9-1-1. All the neighbors came out to watch, including that nosy old lady, Edna, with her ga-gillion cats, and those know it all's, the Petersons. Before long, Jennifer found herself, bound up in a straight jacket, and headed to Madrone Hills, the mental facility. "Fantastic" she thought. Now I don't have to come up with the mortgage.

Friday, March 28, 2008

thanks Daryl e!

I got it. Here it is. A lovely award. One that I will pass on to some others early next week? But I got it.
Isn't it purty?
Been working the last 2 days, but I have a story for tomorrow.
Oh, I probably got some brainless person fired at work, too. (one can hope)

Friday "mie"-ography

Hedy Lamarr.
Pin up girl.
Thats right. I said it.

She was born in Austria, in 1913 as Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, daughter of a bank director father and a mother who was a pianist. Raised as a Catholic, she studied ballet, and piano in her youth. She was noticed early on, and declared "the most beautiful woman in Europe", and shortly after that, in her teen years, she began accepting major roles in German made movies.
In 1933, she married a Austrian arms manufacturer named Friedrich Mandl. 13 years older than her, and a fascist, he did not approve of a film she had recently made (nude scenes,) and tried to buy every version of the film. He did not like her facial expressions during the nude scenes. Sadly, to get those expressions, there was a director poking her bare bottom with a safety pin. OUCH!
Anyhow. He prevented her from acting, and instead, took her to meetings with technicians, and business partners. Mathematically talented, she started learning about military technology during this time in her life.
In 1937, she literally ran away from home. To Paris. Then London, where she met Louis B. Mayer. He is the one who had her change her name to Hedy Lamarr. LaMarr was a last name taken from a famously beautiful silent screen actress who had died of TB that Meyer was fond of.
She made her way to Hollywood, where she began to be cast as a glamorous and seductive. She got many roles, very quickly, including a role in the movie Zigfield Tirl, with Lana Turner, and Judy Garland.
She is well remembered for playing Delilah in Samson and Delilah, the highest grossing film on 1949. In 1953, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States. She also got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1967 there was a publication of her autobiograpy, and in 1966 Andy Warhol made a short film called Hedy.(with a drag queen playing her.)

Her role as an inventor came about in 1941. She was friends with George Antheil, who was the son of German Immigrants. Together, they got a patent granted for a frequency hopped spread spectrum invention. It used a piano roll to change between 88 different frequencies, and was intended to make radio guided torpedoes harder for the enemies to detect, and jam.
However, technology during that era was not exacly up to snuff, and it was not realized until 1962, when it was used by ships during a blockade of Cuba. Their patent had expired, so they never saw any money for it. The frequency hopping idea serves as a basis for modern spread spectrum communication technology that we use to this day, in cordless phones, and WiFi Internet connections. She wanted to join the National Inventors Council, but was told, instead, that she could help the war effort more by selling war bonds. She once raised 7 million dollars, for just one event.
Hedy died in 2000, in Florida. In 2003, Boeing corporation honored her as a woman of science, by running a series of recruitment ads featuring her not for her movie roles, but for her invention skills.
She was married a total of six times, and had 3 children.

Good Hedy quotes? Sure!
"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."
"Films have a certain place in a certain time period. Technology is forever."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Hey. Guess what. It's Thursday. Has been for about an hour, now. Yes I am at work. Trying not to watch the clock. Things may get busy here in a moment, but I am going to try to bust out a post before that occurs.
I love museums. I think I have said that before. Love staring at good art, painting, sculpture, usually any kind of art. I will admit that there are some things I don't consider my kind of artwork (cough Picasso cough) but some people really like it, and, to each their own.
So I was web surfing earlier yesterday, and came across some different kinds of museums. Some I'd love to see. Others, not so much.
One I would surely love to visit is the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. Unfortunately, it is in Prague, in the Czech Republic. I doubt I will be getting there any time, soon. There are over 60 torture devices located there, and a useful tutorial on how to operate each machine. (no, MM, you should not be scared. Really. Okay maybe a little. No, really not.) Admission is a measly 12 dollars. I think that would be a 12 dollars well spent. Co-incedentally, I am making an extra whopping 12 dollars tonight for being charge nurse. See? I could go.
Another place I may want to see some time is the Museum of Bad Art. I wouldn't have to go so far, just to Boston. Been there, Syb or Holly? It is a free museum, and boasts to have a permanent exhibit of the most offensive attempts at art. Could be interesting.
Then, there are the sex museums. We had my mom all set to go into one while we were in NY city. I was thrilled she agreed to go in. Alas, the morning we had allotted to go in, the damn thing was closed. I have a GREAT picture of her flipping me off in front of it though. They also have sex museums in Amsterdam, Paris, and, of all places, Iceland. I didn't see the Parisian one. But I was too busy in the Louvre and the Musee Orsay to worry about sex. The one in Amsterdam is the oldest one, half a million tourists a year go there. The one in Iceland is mainly dedicated to phallic symbols, I read.
In Philadelphia there is a museum I am BOUND to visit. (Look out BW, I am headed your way.) Its called the Mutter Museum. It has some 20,000 objects that showcase human health anamolies. Hell yeah. I am a nurse, people. Just try to stop me. They even have President Clevelands cancerous jaw growth. Awesome. They also have a skeleton of a woman who was a long time wearer of a corset. Not to be missed, I tell you. Gonna go in with me, BW?
One place I will certainly skip is the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, in New Delhi, India. The las thing I want to see are a bunch of toilets. In India. Taj Mahal? Yes. Toilet collection? Not so much.
Another one on my must miss list is the Vent Haven Museum, in Kentucky. It is full of ventriloquist dummies. Scaaaaaarrrrrry. I would have nightmares for weeks after that. I saw a bit of that movie, Magic, I think it was called, when I was a kid. Don't like the scary dummies. Plus, my luck, they'd have that old broad Madame there. (You people remember her, right?). I would never sleep again.
So, there you go. My Thursday rambling.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

my trio

Ever transported three cats, loose, in a car, just a few miles away to a house where they don't recognize anything but you?

neither had I........

until yesterday, that is.......

When I went to my apartment yesterday, they all three let me know, in various ways, that they had had enough of my "visits". Even my chairs at the table were knocked over. (I am sure the downstairs LOUDS loved that one). Thinking about it, I put in a quick call to MM, who was very nice enough to open his doors to the three furries. So after a quick trip to the store, away we went, Chez MM was about to get furry.

On the way there, we were listening to Cherish the Ladies, and the three decided to "sing" along. It was a lovely spring day, and I had a window partially down, and any car near me could hear the meow mix trio echoing through my car. Jack, in particular, has a gift for sounding like someone stabbed him.

Mustang Girl had no clue what was headed her way. When I got here, I opened the door, and tossed Jack in. I believe all she really saw was a pair of big, bewildered eyes, and a black streak before he was off to the races. Angus, then Audrey followed.

Audrey took to the place immediately, walking around like the Queen she is, claiming this house as her own. Angus spent the first 15 minutes singing in the kitchen, (good acoustics) and prying open the same cabinet over and over again to get in it. Not discouraged at all by me pulling him out every time. But by last night, he was walking around more comfortably, as well.

And Jack?
spent hours figuring the best way to get INSIDE the couch of MM. He has been pulled out a few times. He, too, by last night, was cautiously exploring the place, wide eyed, low to the ground. Like a sniper, getting ready to attack.

This morning, Audrey is here, laying on my foot, purring, as I type this. Angus decided Mustang Girl needed a good scare during the night, and delivered it, by jumping up on her bed. I have not seen him, or Jack, yet this morning. I am sure they will be out soon to greet me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

ah ha! I knew it

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and expressive, you were meant for Paris.

The art, the fashion, the wine!

Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...

You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.

appliances, toothbrushes and toasted peeps

I am still, location wise, enjoying the quiet of chez MM, on the outskirts of Nirvana city. Last time I was at my apartment, the downstairs Loud was playing Bobby Brown loud enough to vibrate my floor. I kid you not. Bobby Brown. I was *this close* to turning on the Wicked Tinkers (bagpipes) at a high decibal, and leaving on, all weekend long, for her enjoyment. But I didn't, because she is spiteful.
Since I have been here a week now, the things that I can't seem to live without have followed me over. Whenever I go to my apartment, I usually come back with something.
Toothbrush, naturally. I mean, I gotta have it. It is an essential.
The funniest things, though, are my cooking appliances.
I can't seem to get along without them. To date, I have brought over my rice cooker, my George Foreman Grill, my Waffle Iron, my Slow Cooker, and my brand new blender. Hell, we almost brought over my little grill (Peter Parker) this weekend. I don't think I have an appliance that ISN'T here now. Its the standing house joke. But. I am used to having these things at my disposal. And the MM house kitchen? Much bigger and roomier than mine. That has been wonderful. Today, when I go back into Podunk, to gather some uniforms for work (prepare to have your closet breached, MM.) I will look at my poor little neglected kitchen, and sigh....
As far as the peeps go..
did you know when you impale them on a stick and hold them over a fire, they caramelize, nicely? That is until they blacken, then fall off the stick to their gooey, fire-y death.
We celebrated Easter with some nearby friends, over at Clancy's house. A good time was had. A few Guinness (from a bottle, with a rocket widget). Eggs were eaten, Elk was bbq'd (yes really) along with brats, and tri-tip and a piece of tofu that looked like a sponge. (One vegetarian amongst our group of carnivores). Kids ran amok hopped up on sugar and plastic eggs, until the Post Easter Sugar Crash of 08 hit. Then we all wandered back and eventually, slept like the dead...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Edna pulled out of her driveway in her lime green Gremlin. As she checked her rear-view mirror, she reached up and wiped the tears from her face, along with most of her blue eyeliner. Tucking the soggy kleenex into her purse, she sighed, and reversed into the street, almost running over the teenager on the skateboard who had the misfortune of being in the street behind her.
The Gremlin was all she had left of her husband, Albert. Albert had died, ten years ago, and she still missed him. He'd been in a freak train accident in the small town they lived in. The train wasn't supposed to come down those tracks anymore. Unfortunately for Albert, it had. One last time. She'd gotten a fair settlement from the train company, though, that she'd used to pay off their modest modular home. She'd not seen the need to replace the old Gremlin. Albert had worked long and hard on the car, and he'd loved it. Some called that Gremlin his mistress.
Thinking about her husband, Edna tearfully drove towards the local Grab n' Go. Parking her car in the handicapped zone, she sat for a moment, gathering herself. She wasn't sure how long she sat there, but the sun was much higher in the sky when a young man in a Grab n' Go smock knocked on her window, startling her enough so that she cried out "Fluffy bunnies!". Frowning, the man asked "are you coming in or what, lady? There are other people who might want to park in that spot."
"Oh! Oh yes!" she replied, and quickly re-applied her bright red lipstick around her lips, being careful that it didn't bleed into the wrinkles surrounding her mouth. Knowing that she could not procrastinate longer, Edna sighed, and, gathering her large purse, soggy kleenex and all, she got out of the car, commandeered a shopping cart, (Welcome to Grab 'n Go! it said, in bright yellow letters on the seat) and went inside.
Once inside, she slowly began to peruse the aisles, hearing the tick... tick.... tick... of the clock on the wall. HE would be very angry if she was slow with the shopping, but she just could not bring herself to be in a hurry to get home. Home was not a place where Edna was happy, anymore.
Up and down the aisles she went. Looking at things, trying to decide what she wanted. "Should I get the blue toothbrush, or the red one?" she thought. (She chose the blue.) The produce aisles totally had her dis-combobulated. All those choices! All those pears! She poked and prodded the different fruits and veggies, eventually settling on a homely looking head of cauliflower, half a cantaloup, and some green beans. They would do.
For dinner, she chose some ham, and a box of Rice-A-Roni. She was only really cooking for herself, and her tastebuds had kind of given up the ghost a long long time ago.
Finally, she made it to the aisle she was dreading. The last aisle she had to go down.
The aisle of doom.
Stopping, she lowered her head, staring at the white tiled floor, with black marks from the other shopping cart wheels streaking it. She saw the young man wearing the Grab n' Go smock whom had startled her earlier passing through the aisles with one of those furry push brooms. Those did nothing for the black marks, though.
Finally raising her eyes, she slowly scanned the shelves for what she needed. Her eyes did not find them until she reached the top shelf. Way over her head. Sighing, she opened the tall glass door, and, standing on her tippy tippy toes, stretched her arms up as high as she could, hoping, somehow, magically, that she would grow another few inches, to be able to reach what she needed. HE would not let her back into the house without them. Standing, stretching, but not reaching, she almost cried in frustration.
From behind her, she heard a kind voice inquire "Can I reach those for you?" and before she could say yes, a young, long, strong arm reached around her, and took down what she needed. Dropping back to the flats of her feet, she spun around, and accepted, with pink cheeks, her four pack of Guinness, in a can. (ban the cans!)
"Thank-You, young man", she stammered, grateful, but yet, embarrased.
"No problem" he answered, selected his own drink (a Rock Star!) and loped away.
Shopping finished, she reluctantly went to check out, and, then, drove home in her green gremlin.
She banged her special, assigned knock on the door, and a querelous voice inquired "did you get my Guinness?"
"Yes!" she squeaked fearfully.
The blue front door, with white daisies swung open, and she quickly entered her home. Sprawled on the couch, straw in hand, was Seamus McMonahan. Leprechaun. The tiny mite who'd been terrorizing her for the last three years. Ever since she had dared to take a coin from his pot at the end of the rainbow.
"Well?" He asked, one red eyebrow raised in irritation. Scurrying to deliver his Guinness before he got REALLY mad, she moved forward, and plunked the four pack down on the table.
"Bloody well time" he snarled. "You've been gone three hours."
"The lines were long at the check out!" she stammered, fearfully, with good reason. Ignoring her, he flicked his wrist, and pinched, and one of her many cats yowled, then turned into a garden gnome. Tearfully, she gathered up the gnome, and took it outside, where the other seventeen resided. "You were my favorite, Angus" she wept, as she found a good spot in the shade for him. Wandering her garden of gnomes, she patted each one of them, tears falling freely. "There's a good one, Spooky. Nice to see you, Chuckles. How are you, Lightening?".
"Get in here woman, and open my beer!" cried Seamus McMonahan, who could not open the cans well with his little fingers. When he used his magic on them, they exploded. Hurrying in, she failed to notice that the mean little bugger had gotten off the couch. Underfoot, she heard a crunch, and a tiny voice screech 'faith and begorrah!" and with a green pouf! Seamus was gone. All that was left was the leprechaun goo on the bottom of her shoe.
Around her, cats sprang to life, and bounded inside, looking for food. Including poor Angus. Not surprisingly, Lightening was the first one to the bowl. Grinning, she went further inside, ignoring the scowls of her neighbors. Happy to be free at last.
"Crazy cat lady" said Mr. Peterson to his wife, Judy.
"Yes dear" answered Judy. "but where did all the gnomes go?"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday "mie"-ography

This is Virginia Apgar, MD.
Many of you Mommies will recognize her last name, as all of your children were given an Apgar score when they were born. Yep, she is why they get that.
She was born June 7, 1909 in Westfield, New Jersey. She came from a family of amateur musicians, and played the violin,viola, and cello. and more. She became skilled enough herself to play with the Teaneck Symphony.
In 1929, she graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where she had studied zoology along with the pre med curriculum. She supported herself during this time by being a librarian, and a waitress. She also played in the orchestra, earned a "letter" in athletics, and wrote for the school paper...
In 1933, she graduated fourth in her class from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and became the fifth woman to hold a surgical internship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. In 1935, the end of her internship, she realized that female surgeons had few opportunities. It was the middle of the depression, and few male surgeons were finding positions. So, she transferred to the new medical field of anesthesiology. She spent 1935-1937 as an anesthesia resident at Columbia, and Bellevue hospital. In 1937, she became the 50th physician in the US certified in anesthesiology. In 1938, she was appointed the Director of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, the first woman to head a department at that hospital.
For the next 10 years, she served as a professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University, the first female to be doing that at ANY institution. 1949 was the year she developed the APGAR score for newborns. Before the use of this system, the focus was more on the mother's condition after birth, than the babies condition. It is widely used now in the US, and elsewhere. For those of you that are curious, the APGAR score looks at these things:
Appearance (skin color)
Pulse (heart rate)
Grimace (reflex irritability
Activity (muscle tone)
Respiration (breathing)

She spent lots of time studying how different anesthetics affected newborns, and was instrumental in finding the safest ones for deliveries. In 1959, she left Columbia for Johns Hopkins, where she earned her doctorate, in Public Health, and decided to change her career. She moved into the divisions of congenital malformations, specifically working for the March of Dimes organization, which she helped to refeocus from polio to birth defects. She was also serving on the board of Mount Holyoke College, and lecturing at Cornell University, on birth defects. In 1972, she co wrote a book called "Is My Baby Alright?" which she also published herself.
She also built musical instruments, and learned how to fly, after she was 50 years old. She enjoyed fishing, photography, gardening, and golf. She dies August 7, 1974. She never married.
Her famous quote, which I love is "Women are liberated from the time they leave the womb"

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I have this idea.
It may be wildly UN popular with some. But since when has that stopped me from thinking it out loud?

When it comes to cars, and colors for them, I think the worst color EVER is that bright yellow. It doesn't look right. (If any of you drive bright yellow cars, I am sorry. But its true.). That color of yellow only belongs on Taxi Cabs.
But I digress.

I think, that certain people should HAVE to drive bright yellow cars. People who have had too many traffic violations. If they get X amount of violations, then, BAM! Penalty? Paint your car bright yellow.
That way we'd all know who they were.
And, I think that the elderly, past the age of oh, 70?
Yellow cars.
Now I LOVE the older population. I do. Their stories about 'their day', ect. I expect to be one of them myself. But I know, and have seen evidence of, their slowed reactions, their blindness, with, and without glasses. Their dirty glasses. Their deafness. Their penchant for getting forgetful as the sun goes down. I am not saying every single person 70 and older are bad drivers, per se. But, percentage wise? Yup.
Maybe, they would take a drivers test at 70. And if they didn't perform well, THEN they'd get the yellow car. The plan is imperfect in my head yet. But I am working on it.

Mustang Girl is still percolating in her head on what she would want to blog about. She already has blogger block. LOL. But, hopefully before she goes home I will have her back on the blog. She is helping me with my Saturday Short Story. She has a great imagination.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crime and Punishment

I was talking with a friend yesterday, who happens to be the mother of 3 girls (twins included) and a little boy. She was talking about how hard it is to punish one of her particular children. This girl likes to be alone, so sending her to the corner, or someplace by herself, is useless. And sending any kid to their room these days is pointless. It's where all their stuff is. The stuff they love to play with....
She is a little too young for grounding. It doesn't hurt anyone less than a teenager, very much.
This conversation got us to talking about the punishments we got as children, and had me remembering the worst one that ever happened to me.

I was 10, and hot tempered for a kid. My Mom was working full time in a town a little more than an hour from where we lived, so me, and the 2 sisters were basically stuck with each other every day after school, until well after 6 pm.
One day (Well, okay, every day) Older sister really ticked me off. And then, because she could, she sent me to my room. This was an every day thing. But for some reason, I didn't want to go. So I stomped up the stairs, ( I was wearing boots) and kicked my bedroom door. Promptly putting a hole in it. (Not very solid; not solid at all, really).
Needless to say, when my mom got home, I was in some serious trouble.
She had my Dad take the door off my bedroom. It was gone for months.
Those of you who know me in real life, know that I really value privacy, and am fairly modest. Not having a door REALLY impacted me. It was disturbing. Anyone could come in, at any time, and see what I didn't want them to, or the mess I was making, ect. I HATED having my door gone. I begged, frequently, to get it back.
I finally did, hole and all. And I was very grateful for its return. And I never kicked my door, again.
As for my friend, with the kids?
I wish her luck.

Monday, March 17, 2008

change of view

My Mac is getting a change of scenery at the moment. Mustang Girl is gracing us with her presence for a few weeks, and I am up in Nirvana City, at 'chez MM'. There is such a difference.
Most of you know I iive in an apartment in Podunk, with these really annoying neighbors. Its been really interesting there, lately. Over the past few months, she and her on and off again boyfriend, (lets call him Mr. Loud, shall we?) have been either arguing, or, ah, making up. (Ahem.) REALLY LOUD.
Out here, in Nirvana City, Mustang Man, and Mustang Girl live in a house, a nice house, with a large kitchen, roomy rooms, and best of all, neighbors that don't have connecting walls. Its a beautiful thing.
Mustang Girl is going to be guest posting here, when she thinks of what she wants to post. So, how about it all of you out there? What should Mustang Girl post about? Keep in mind, she is 13.

Another topic that will be fun to cover, since I am here is David's weekend wandering. He wants to know if I have an embarrasing relative. The short answer to that?
but I have to decide if I want to elucidate further on that topic. On that note,
Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Audrey sighed as she stood and surveyed the crowd in front of her. It had taken her two full weeks to hitch-hike from San Francisco, to New York, but, this concert was not to be missed.
She'd been at the Monterey Pop Festival a few years back, and, from what she'd heard, this concert, Woodstock, was supposed to be even better than that one, if that was possible. She'd been tired of San Francisco, anyhow.
Looking at the crowd, she shook her head. Since she'd left her Wisconsin home, she'd been back and forth across America. But she'd never seen a crowd like this one. Pulling up her ratty, faded jeans, and making sure her flowered backpack was closed, and her sleeping back was firmly tucked under her arm, she dove into the crowd, determined to make it to the stage. Ravi Shankar was wailing away on his Sitar, and it was raining like crazy. She wanted, and needed to be closer.
Sticking her nose in the air, she detected the scent of Patchouli, sweat, and some good grass. Making her way toward's the grass, she tried not to trip over the multiple couples already writhing on the ground in their multi colored sleeping bags. Eventually, she came to a small camp set up with brightly colored tents. They were fairly close to the stage, and, from the smell of it, they also had the good pot.
"What's up, little sister?" said a voice behind the smoke. "Sun's going down" she replied. "I need a place to crash". As the smoke cleared, she saw a good looking man, brown eyes and hair, long hair. With clean fingernails. She was a sucker for clean fingernails. Gesturing towards a yellow tent, he said "crash in there, with me." Needing no further invitation, she went and put all her stuff in his tent. Coming back out, she sat next to him, and watched Joan Baez sing "We Shall Overcome". Moved to tears, she laid her head on the shoulder of the man with the yellow tent. The rain had stopped for the moment, and she was at peace.
Crawling out of the yellow tent at sunrise the next day, Audrey made her way towards the free breakfast. "Yum, powdered eggs" she thought sarcastically as she took a bite. Stumbling towards a pond, she took her clothing off and went in for a quick wash, cleaning off the night before. When she got back out, she found her jeans and shirt, but not her shoes.
"Damned thieving whore" she thought, looking around. "Now I have to walk through this place barefooted." Peering up at the sky, she noted the ominous storm clouds. "Great" she thought.
Up at the stage, some group was throwing maracas into the cheering crowd. "Interesing" she thought as she studied the feet of every woman who passed by, looking for her shoes. She got momentarily distracted as Country Joe McDonald took the stage, and by the time he sang his "Fixing To Die Rag" she was dancing along, barefoot in the mud. After that, John Sebastian came on. She didn't care much for him, so, she continued the search for her shoes.
Rounding a corner, she stumbled over a pair of boots, all alone, stuck in the mud. She slid her right foot into one of them, cursing, because it was too small. Pulling her foot back out, she noticed a rotund, grey haired man, with a pipe in his mouth. "Bad luck, sister" was all he muttered, and passed her an acid tab. She took it gratefully, and kept on walking. Someone, eventually gave her a slice of watermelon, and her gaze focused back in on the main stage. Santana had come and gone, and the Grateful Dead were singing Dark Star. "Cool" she thought, and sat down in the mud to watch for awhile. Sitting there, she realized she'd left her sleeping bag in the yellow tent. Looking around, she saw at least 50 yellow tents, and shook her head. She'd never find it, now. The dead gave way to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and then, as the night wore on, Janis Joplin. Audrey got close enough to smell the southern comfort wafting down from the stage. As Sly and the Family Stone came on, she nodded off, in the mud.
Waking up a few hours later, she was grateful for the fact that some kind soul had thrown a blanket over her, and amused to see that The Who were playing, and Michael Lang was telling Abbie Hoffman to "stay off the stage". Wrapping the blanket around herself, she stayed where she was until the sun came back up, and Jefferson Airplane was on. Sadly, it still looked like rain.
The music stopped after Jefferson Airplane, and Audrey wandered fruitlessly through the crowd, one eye still out for her shoes, and the yellow tent. The storm finally came, and it was magnificent. Audrey watched it from under the shelter of a shared poncho with some guy named Jack. He was too hyped up, and, as soon as the rain was over, and Joe Cocker began to play, she got away from him. But not before he'd given her a hit of the brown acid...
That third day passed in a big, muddy blur for her. She retained only bits of memory from it, laughing at "Sha-na na", weeping at Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and staring in wonder at Jimi Hendrix, in all his glory. She wanted his set to last forever. Sadly, it didn't. She nodded off.....
Snapping awake, she found herself muddy, on a cot, in a tent.
"Welcome back, sister" said a voice to her left. "You are in the bad trip tent. You should have stayed away from that brown acid."
"Damn that Jack" she thought, then struggled to get up. "What day is it?" she asked.
"August 18th, sister", was the answer.
"I gots to go" she announced, and flew out of the tent. Gasping, she saw the mass exodus of all the people. Sighing, she touched the purple stone necklace around her neck, and thought of home.
In a flash, she found herself muddy toes and all, dirty faded jeans, and a smile, standing in her homeroom classroom, in Wisconsin.
"Let me tell you about Woodstock" she said to her classmates, who were all due to graduate in the year 2135...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday "mie"-ography

Many of you recognize the woman I chose today. This is, of course, Bonnie Raitt.
I've been a long time fan of hers for many years. Her father, John, is a musician himself, a Broadway singer. Her mother, Marge, is an accomplished singer and piano player.
She was raised in Los Angeles, taught to respect the arts, the families Quaker traditions, and learned a commitment to Social Activism at a very young age.
Her father gave her a Stella Guitar for Christmas when she was eight years old. She was passionate about her music, but, she never thought of it more than just a growing interest.
She grew restless in the late 60's, and moved east, to Cambridge, Mass. She began to attend Harvard/Radcliffe, with a major in Social Relations and African Studies. She also immersed herself in the cultural, political, and musical happenings in the area. Another factor? "The ratio of guys to girls at Harvard was 4:1".
She'd heard an album at 14 that had increased her interest in blues, and slide guitar, "Blues at Newport, 1963". Between her classes at Harvard, she explored local coffee house gigs looking for more. Three years after starting college, she left it, wanting now to commit herself full time to the music.
Shortly after that, she found herself opening for, and learning from, some of the greats, like Muddy Waters, Sippie Wallace, Jon Lee Hooker, and Son House, just to name a few.
Her reputation grew quickly, the young, red haired blueswoman, with her uncanny insight into blues guitar. Warner Brothers gave her a record deal, and in 1971, she debuted her first album, "Bonnie Raitt". Over the next seven years, she would record six more of them.
In between constant touring, she was also giving benefits, and speaking out in support of the causes of her times. She campaigned to stop the war in Central America, participated in the Sun City anti-apartheid project, the No Nukes project, Musicians United for Safe Energy, and for the rights of women, and Native Americans. In 1987, she went to Moscow, and performed in the first joint Soviet/American peace concert.
In 1989, she found herself a member of Capitol Records. In 1990, she won four Grammy's, including one she got for a duet with Jon Lee Hooker.
She then released four more albums, and toured them. After that, she decided she needed a break. She took some time of, and spent it biking, hiking, doing yoga, and traveling for fun, instead of work. She still continued her activism, and also guested on albums of her many friends. In 1996, she got another Grammy for her instrumental collaboration on "SRV Shuffle", from an all star tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan. She also performed with her father, John, on his album "Broadway Legend."
In 1998, she came back to the studio to do another album, called Fundamental. This one was a different sort of music for her, as it was inspired by the music of Zimbabwe.
March 2000 saw her inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. In June of 2001, she and her father were inducted into the Hollywood Bowl hall of fame. Over the years, Bonnie has guested on over 100 album projects. During the decade, she continued to release more albums of her own, including a "Best Of" collection. In 2005, she lost both of her parents, her Mom to alzheimers disease, her father to a "prolonged illness". Her older brother was also diagnosed with brain cancer, for which he is in remission for.
She was married to actor Michael O'Keefe from 1991-1999.
She's released 18 albums of her own, so far in her career, and, as I mentioned, been a "guest" on more than 100 others, and she is still going strong.
You'll have to excuse me now, though, because I want to go listen to her wonderful music!
Happy Friday to you all

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Paddy's Day

yay! My slippers won a fabulous award over at Jo's party!. Me and my bees thank you, and will really enjoy the book, Jo.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up. On Monday. I do love this strange day, the corned beef. The cabbage (though I like mine crispy, not limp). Green is my favorite color.
MM and had a short conversation about St. Paddy's day last night. And I learned something new about him.
The only Corned Beef he has ever had has been from a can.
NOT surprisingly, he didn't like it.
Now, MM doesn't eat a whole lot of beef. He is more of a chicken/fish type of guy. When he eats beef, it needs to be lean beef.
So here, then, is my conundrum.
He says he is willing to try corned beef, if I make it.
Personally, While I like the corned beef, I don't HAVE to have it. It is not a necessary part of St. Paddy's for me. (Wearing green is, though, and I do pinch the people who don't.).
But he's only had CANNED corned beef! Beef in a can! Thats almost as bad as the Canned Haggis we had at the Celtic Festival! I still maintain that Cans should be banned!
Do I have an obligation to show him what good Corned Beef is? Will he even like it after the canned fiasco? Can I find a piece lean enough? It does have to be lean.
You guys tell me...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What a difference a year makes....

Remember, anyone, a year ago, today?
Pour a big glass of wine, and relax (you too, ladies)

Yeah. I thought so. I had a total of ONE person somewhat interested in what I had to say. Lucky for me, she pimped me out to her friends who are now MY friends. I feel lucky and privileged, ladies.

Yes. My first blog post.
A year ago, today.
A year ago, today, I knew OF MM, but we had not met, yet.
I still had an intact ligament in my right hand.
I had a Dell Desktop.
But I didn't have nearly as many the fun friends I do, now.
I mean, where else can I go to a cyber Pj party?
Who else could have gotten me to give up Chocolate, for a month?
Over time, more family jumped into the blogsphere, too. NanaKaos even makes some good, timely comments over here, now.
I found some new friends, of my own, by bloghopping.
More new friends found me. Just go look over there, in my linky love side bar. It grows all the time.
I even started a second blog. I used it to lure a bff into the blogsphere with me.
Then, there is MM. I started seeing him during the early days of this blog. He started out here as "Newman". (Sorry, sweetie. I couldn't think of a better name. I needed to get to know you. Now, I do, and your name is much, much more appropriate, yes?). I didn't blog much about him, at first, because, I don't kiss and tell. But, I can look back into this blog, and see the tracings of my life, what I was doing. And how we've developed. AND, he got sucked into the blogsphere, too. I love the stuff he blogs about. (*Hint, Hint, blog again, soon!*).
So one year.
394 posts. (Counting this one.)
Countless new friends.
Fun new topics.
A way to shop in my side bar.
I don't think I will be quitting any time, soon...
and if any of you are prone to giving me gifts... go look at my Treasurelicious
(thanks Miss Burrows!)

oh, and since it is Wednesday, I had to toss up a picture.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

crap in a can

I've lived in various places in the US.
California, Tennessee, and Rhode Island to be specific.
It is true, that the food choices DO depend on where exactly you are, and what their specialties are.
For instance, Rhode Island boasts of things called Scrod, Quahogs, Grinders, hot dogs with hamburger meat on the top of them, with celery salt, on buns that look like folded white bread. I forget what those are called. I don't miss them. Oh, and coffee milk. I loved me some coffee milk. There is an actual 'coffee syrup' back there you make it with. Yummy.
What sucked out loud was that none of the stores I went to seemed to believe in Sourdough bread. They made fun of me when I had the audacity to ask for it.
Tennessee was fun, too.
Catfish and hush puppies, excellent BBQ anything. Elvis. Lots of southern fried comfort food. And Okra. I like Okra. Okra is under-rated. One does not starve in the south. But, no Sourdough.
The real crime of humanity in both of these places, though, and the one that damn near killed me dead
was the lack of fruit. The produce sections in the grocery stores was enough to bring this Cali girl to tears. I love fresh fruit. I am used to having fresh fruit. I don't get what the difficulty is getting fresh fruit to the East Coast. Or Tennessee. Or even Mississippi, when I visited there.I mean, we have fruit being flown in from Chile, and Australia and other exotic climes. Why can't the fruit make it a few hours more to the rest of the USA? Which leads me to the alternative. Which makes me upset to even type. But I will do it...
What I can't abide is fruit from a can.
Who in their right mind wants a syrupy, grotesque canned peach?
I remember my Mom giving them to us on a piece of lettuce, and a glop of cottage cheese. I turned my nose up like no body's business at that. She tells everyone I am the "picky eater" of the family. I just know what's good. And Canned fruit is a crime against nature, as far as I am concerned.
Why buy a can of 'fruit cocktail' when we can get fresh fruit, and use a little effort, and make a salad? I understand the cost of some of the organic, or exotic fruits may be kind of prohibitive to those on a budget, but there are some really good basic fruits out there that are MUCH better than buying crap in a can. I think canned fruit should be banned forever. (for that matter, so should canned beer... but that is another blog post all together)

Monday, March 10, 2008

What we did on Sunday

MM found a new Mustang to love a few weeks ago, and we went to retrieve it this weekend. Of course, I brought my camera. For those of you interested, it is a 1964 1/2 4 speed.... currently the motor is not quite in place, and it needs some help with the brakes. But other wise.....

The first picture is once we got it back to 'Clancy's' shop, where most of the work will be done. The second picture was taken from the view of the passenger side mirror. We used his truck to bring the car to Clancy's. And the third picture is just a shot I took from the rear view mirror of the truck. I kind of liked it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Lauren sighed as she looked out the window. The weather was overcast, grey and murky. It seemed like winter was never going to go away.
"Oh well, it's no use" she thought to herself as she pulled her black hoodie over her head. Forgetting, she let the hood settle half way onto her head, and immediately pulled it off. Not fast enough, though, as she caught the fleeting glance of the old man in her mirror.
"Damn it" she thought, cursing the fact that she didn't have the money to buy a new hoodie, or something warmer. Her mother, a waitress at the cafe in town, didn't have two dimes to rub together, either.
Grabbing up her school books, she flung them into her black backpack, wondering what had possessed her to promise Meg that she would walk over and help her with her homework. Meg was the closest thing to a friend she had, though, and at sixteen, one needed all the friends they could get.
Stepping out of the house, she was careful to lock the door. Her mother wouldn't be home until after midnight, and Lauren was half hoping for an invitation to spend the night at Meg's. Her mother wouldn't care. Shaking her head until her long black hair swung in the breeze, Lauren started the walk to Meg's. It wasn't a long walk, just about 10.5 miles down a windy, country road. If she was lucky, she could catch a ride. Shivering a little, Lauren increased her pace, thinking about the day she discovered the secret of her black hoodie.
She'd been in the local thrift shop, last October. The weather was getting colder, and she didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on a warm jacket. Fingering her ten dollar bill, she'd gone through every rack, despairing that she'd not find anything, at all. Finally, on the last rack, there it was. Conveniently, it was reasonably priced. $8.99. Looking it over, she didn't find any holes, tears, or stains. "Some rich chick probably got tired of it" she thought as she pulled it over her head to see if it fit. It had. Leaving it on, she went up to the counter, and paid for it, and, pocketing her change, left the store. She'd planned on walking over to the nearby Jack in The Box to get a hamburger with her change when the first, fat drop of rain fell. Pulling up the hood, she gasped, and felt like she'd been electrocuted. Passing by a car window, she'd gasped even more when she saw not a reflection of herself, but the reflection of a tall, blonde woman, wearing the black hoodie! Pulling the hood down, she'd felt the same feeling, and her own reflection returned. Sick to her stomach, she hurried home, forgetting the hamburger.
Since that October, she'd done a few experiments with the hoodie. Sometimes, she really liked whom it turned her into, other times, she couldn't get the hood down fast enough. She also learned that the longer she left the hood up, the stronger the other person became, until, in a sense, she lost herself. It wasn't always easy to get the other person to pull the hood down, either.
Lauren got pulled out of her reverie when a black jeep sped by, spraying rain water across the pavement as it hit a puddle. Sticking out her thumb indicating her need for a ride, Lauren then flipped him off as he continued to speed right past her, spraying her with water."Asshole" she thought, dodging to avoid the splatter. Looking back up, she squinted as a drop of rain hit her in the eye. "Great" she thought. She was less than half way to Meg's house. She now had a choice. Take a chance on the hood, and whom she would become, or, arrive looking like a drowned rat?
Looking about, making sure no one was watching, Lauren carefully pulled up the hood, hoping for the best. Feeling the electricity she'd halfway gotten used to, she looked down at her hands, then sighed gratefully when they were only slightly modified. Wandering over to a puddle, she peered in, looking at her wavy, grainy reflection. Staring back at her was a woman, looking to be in her early 30's, with red hair, and big, brown eyes. "Not bad" thought Lauren to herself. "Of course not bad! I take care of myself!" was the echoing thought returned immediately. "Oh, sorry" said Lauren. "Of course you do."
"Can we go to a bar?" the voice in her head asked, hopefully. "No! said Lauren, as she thought "great, another one of those." One of the people she'd changed to, once, had a penchant for rum and coke, and Lauren had woke up extremely hung over the next day.
"We are going to help my friend with her homework, and as soon as we get within viewing distance of the house, you are gone" Lauren said to the red headed woman. "So you might as well settle back, and enjoy the walk".
"That's what you think" snarled the red head. "I will be in control shortly here, missy".
Angry, Lauren pulled the hood off her head, not willing to take the chance. She hated the bossy ones! A scream of rage sounded in her brain as the red head faded away. Sighing, Lauren walked a bit more, hoping it would not rain hard.
Sadly, it only seemed to get worse. Again, Lauren pulled up the hood, sending a silent prayer up for someone nice. Glancing down at her hands, she sighed. They grew large, and hairy, quickly. She didn't need a puddle to know that she'd somehow, morphed into a man. Men were harder to deal with, they always wanted to go and do things like work on cars, or pick up women. Lauren had NO desire to do either. Reaching up, she touched her face, feeling a beard and mustache. "Well, at least if I am a big hairy man, I will be warm" she thought, trudging along, waiting for him to let his presence be known.
"Cool" was the first word she heard. "But why are we walking?"
"Because I have to go somewhere" she answered tiredly. "We don't drive?" he answered, shocked.
"No, we don't she retorted, irritated. She COULD drive, if she could afford a car.
"Oh well, he replied, easy going. "Were are we going?
"To my friends house, to help her with her homework." she answered. Hearing another car on the road, she stuck out her thumb, hoping for the best, and that the people wouldn't be intimidated by a hitch-hiking man. To her relief, they did pull over. "Where you going, buddy?" asked the man leaning out the passenger seat window.
"Oh, just over to Blue Owl road" answered Lauren, in the deep voice of the man.
"We are headed near those parts, climb on in". Answered the driver. Gratefully Lauren climbed into the backseat of the Bronco they were driving, coughing at the obvious scent of marijuana that pervaded it. Blaring Metallica, the Bronco took off. Rounding the corner, though, the Bronco hit a patch of water, and, hydroplaning, it cartwheeled, and rolled across the pavement, and down an embankment.
"Fabulous" thought Lauren, as she hung upside down, suspended by the seatbelt she had only just managed to get on. Her hood had come off in the accident, and she was back to herself. Slithering out of the bronco, backpack in hand, she studied the wreak for a moment. "Strange, I don't see the others" she thought to herself. Unhurt, she climbed up the embankment, and started again towards Meg's house, where she could call 9-1-1. She couldn't afford a cell phone, either. She did not notice the ghostly two men following her. A bit further down the road, she passed by the black Jeep, now upside down, as well. She laughed at the obnoxious sticker on the front window that read "if you can read this, turn me right side up". She looked around for it's driver, as well, and couldn't find him. "Now I have to report two accidents" she thought. "Bad day to be on the road." She didn't notice two more ghostly people now fall into line behind her.
The farther she walked, the more people she didn't notice walking behind her. It started to rain, yet again, and pulling up her hood, all she felt was rage and anger, so she yanked it back off, determined that cold weather or not, she was going to throw the hoodie away as soon as she got to Meg's house. She was tired of it all.
Finally, hours later after she'd left, she found herself at Meg's house. Or what was left of it. The house was a smoldering remains of bare wood and scorched belongings. Meg ran up to her, crying. "Who are you, who are all these people with you? Where is my family? What is going on?
Turning, Lauren finally noticed the line of people around her. Meg, crying, went to join the line. "What are you doing?" cried Lauren, suddenly very afraid. Pulling at the hoodie, she tried to get it off, and yet, was unable.
"We are waiting to see where you will lead us, Death" answered the first person in line, expressionless. "Where you go, we will follow."
Sorrowfully, Lauren pulled up the hood. No longer caring who she changed into. And death walked down the road...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday "mie"-ography

I know, I know. It isn't a picture of a woman. But this woman, she flew that picture.
Today, we are going to talk about Grace O' Malley. Also known as Grania, or, Granuaile.
She was born in 1530, in County Mayo, Ireland. Her father was a famous sea captain, Owen O' Malley. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be a sailor, but since she was a female, she was "discouraged" from that choice. Once, when her father refused to take her on a trip on his ship, it it said she cut off all her hair, and dressed herself in boys clothing to show her parents she could live the seafaring life. Her father, however, just laughed, and tagged her with the nicname "Grainne Mhaol", meaning, Bald Grace. She remained persistent in her desire to sail, though, and eventually was allowed to go to sea with her father, on his fleet of ships.
On a trading mission overseas to Spain, their ship was attacked by an English vessel. Grace had been instructed to lock herself below decks were this to ever happen. Did she? No. Instead, she climbed up the rigging. From above, she saw an Englishman sneaking up on her father, so, she jumped down upon him, screaming the whole time. This distracted the attackers, and the O'Malleys regained control of their ship.
Eventually, Grace learned the ways of sailing enough, and got her own fleet of ships. The O'Malleys gained their wealth mainly through fishing, and trade, however, Grace branched out into piracy, taking on the Turkish, Spanish, and English fleets. She eventually grew her estate to include not only her ships, but several islands, ad castles on the west coast of Ireland.
Her reputation grew, and she was regarded as a fearless leader. Legend has it that Grace gave birth to one of her son's on board ship. The next day, a Turkish ship attacked the ship she was on, and she did not hide. She fought.
She married twice in her life, the first to Donal O'Flaherty, son of a chieftain, and next in line. She was 16 at the time, it was an "arranged" marriage. The O'Flaherty's were a seafaring family as well, and Grace learned much from them as well about the seafaring life. She was soon in charge of their fleet of ships, and and ruled the waters surrounding their land as well. Her husband had a reputation for his fierce temper, and he was killed by a rival clan. They ad been married for 19 years.
After his death, according to Irish law, Grace was entitled to a portion of her husbands estate. The O'Flaherty's saw it differently, though. She was forced to rely on them for her support. She didn't like this, so she set out on her own, and traded on the sea's to earn her own way. She broke free of the O'Flaherty's, went back into the O' Malley's, and ended up becoming a chieftain in her own right.
Her second husband, Richard Burke, she married in an effort to strengthen her hold on Irelands west coast. They were married for 17 years. She had a total of 4 children, 3 with Donal (Owen, Murrough, and Margaret) and with Richard, one son, (Tibbot).
In 1593, after years of fighting the English, and the capture of her brother, Grace went to see Queen Elizabeth, to make peace, and gain her brothers release England had taken over much of Scotland by this time. Grace, as a chieftain, became rebellious because of this, and never wished to give up her independance or her land. She held out longer than most, but in her later years, the pressure from the English began to really weigh heavily on her.
When she was 56 years old, Sir Richard Bingham, a ruthless governor sent to Ireland to rule over the lands, captured her, and scheduled her for execution, along with many members of her clan. At the last minute, her son in law offered himself in her place, as a hostage for the promise that she would never return to her ways. She was released, but Bingham took away her cattle, forced her into poverty, and even plotted to kill her eldest son, Owen. (the plot succeeded)
During this time, the Spanish Armada was terrorizing the Irish and Scottish coastlines. Around 1588, she was responsible for slaughtering hundreds of Spaniards on a ship near Clare Island. She was in her 50's, yet, still fierce in battle.
Still penniless and under the thumb of Bingham, Grace was writing letters to Queen Elizabeth demanding justice. She got no response. In 1593, her son, and brother were arrested and thrown into prison. Irritated, Grace went to London in person, to gain their release, and to get help in regaining her lands and wealth.
No one really understands why Elizabeth actually met with her, but she did. She conversed freely with the Queen, explaining that her moves over the last years had been self defense. She told about how both inheritances from her husbands were held from her, and asked for their return, and she agreed to use her strength and leadership to to defend the Queen against her enemies.
The Queen agreed, and Grace returned to Ireland, demanding the release of her son and brother, and her wealth returned. Her son and brother were set free. Her wealth? Not so much. But, as she was now "defending the queen against her enemies", Grace returned to her life of pirating and trading.
She died in 1603.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sybil and her very interesting questions

So I wasn't exactly called out for this meme, but, it is one of the few that I have seen that I actually kind of like. So, I am going to play along. Go read Sybil's blog for her take on it if you want, I will wait...

Okay. Lets start answering questions...

If you could travel back in time, what time period would you choose, and why? Um. This one is hard. I'd love to go back to so many different places. But if I had to pick ONE, then, well. Elizabethan England. But only if I could be a rich noble woman that she liked. She had her father's temper, and I would hate to have pissed her off.

Would you rather be a teacher or a prison guard? Why? A teacher. If I wasn't a nurse, I was going to teach. Why? Well, I have seen prisoners, in real life. They, for the most part are not exactly nice people who are known to fling body fluids at people randomly. And people would frown upon me if I just shot them for that. Kids? I can take a kid. Especially a small one. They can be annoying, but they can also be a lot of fun. Besides, who wouldn't want a child whose young mind has been moulded by Mielikki? bwaaaa haaaa haaa.

Which relative do you most resemble? Do you like the resemblance? Appearance wise, I most resemble my middle sister. And no, I don't mind. Other than her idiot husband, she's a pretty nice person. Personality wise, I most resemble my Dad, I think. He's a pretty laid back, wicked sense of humor person (if I do say so myself).

Seduce me - or, rather - how would you seduce me? This is a loaded question. Being as Syb is my cousin's blog wife. I'd feel like it was incest or something. But if I HAD to. Well, home made waffles with chocolate chips in them, some syrup, and some home made kahlua might do it...

Where was your first kiss, and with whom (family doesn't count!)? My first REAL kiss? High school, right after a graduation ceremony, when I was a sophomore. He was a drummer in the band. I'd crushed on him all year long. And he finally got around to noticing me, and deciding I was worthy of his time and attention. He is now married, living in my old home town, with his wife and three daughters. His kiss wasn't bad. But we didn't stay together long, after it...

Now, for my 5 questions. This is for whomever really wants to answer them, I am not particular

1. If you won a free trip for four, to anywhere in the world, no expense to you, where would you go, and who would you take with you?

2.If you could only listen to the music of one artist or band, for the rest of your life, who would it be?

3. If you could go back in time, to your 21st birthday and do it all again, knowing what you know now, would you?

4. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds?

5. Are you an Organ donor? Why, or why not?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

wordless wednesday

*photo taken by MM

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

the Royal Soap Opera

Like my pal Bubblewench and my Uncle, DK I am a history freak.
I love almost every period in history. I have a hard time with some of the REALLY ancient stuff ( think King Tut, pyramids, ect. fascinating to look at, but, I can't get into the actual history of...)
One of my favorite time frames, though, is British history, the time of Henry VIII. I can name off all his wives, his chldren, who was schlepping who (usually) and spout my opinions on much of it. I took the online poll to see which wife I was. I was the first one, Katherine of Aragon. Sadly, she died alone, of what is supposed to be breast cancer, after he threw aside the religion they followed, created one of his own, and divorced her. It could be worse, though. I could have been Anne Boleyn.
I am sure we all know that Showtime is doing a series called "The Tudors". I don't have Showtime. (Or is it Cinemax? I don't have that one, either.)
However, someone at work pointed out to me the other day that they are showing the whole season for free this week. So, curious, I have been investing some of my time trying to watch this.
I won't say I hate it. I don't. I just have a few issues with it.
King Henry, for instance. That actor played Elvis in a mini-series, and I keep expecting him to break out with Heartbreak Hotel at any given moment. And, well, he's too damn pretty to be Henry VIII. Seriously.
I do like the actress they are using for Katherine of Aragon, though. Too bad they barely show her. Yet, at the point they are focusing on, Katherine was on her way out.
I also don't like the lady playing Anne Boleyn. Well, I don't know her in real life, so I can't say that. She also appears to be a fine actress. But, does she really carry off the crazy Anne? Could any actress do that job? She doesn't look crazy enough, or conniving enough (so far). And, they barely made an effort to give her some red hair. It is black with red highlights. At best.
Sam Neil as Cardinal Wolsey, though. That's just awesome. And Jeremy Northam is also doing a fine, fine job
My biggest complaint, truthfully, though, is that they have basically taken the whole time period, and turned it into a soap opera. Seriously. They make attempts at showing some of the political intrigue that was going on during that time, but they barely scratch the surface. People probably would not watch it if they did.
But yet, I am still watching it. I am curious about how far they will go. Of course, I won't see the whole thing, because a new season will start, one that I will not pay to see. But if I am curious, I bet, this time next year, I can watch season 2 for free, as well.

Monday, March 3, 2008


This weekend, MM and I were out and about in the glorious weather we are currently enjoying, and in our travels we ventured into the lovely, nearby Target. Yes, I am a Target girl. Here in podunk, we have, nearby, a Target or a K Mart. You do the math.
Anyhow. Target. Lots of stuff at Target. I like getting their cleaning stuff (its cheaper), and I usually get all my cat related necessities there, as well.
This is where the fun comes in. There is this brand of cat toy that my cats ADORE. They are called Fat Cat toys. I can usually find them at my local grocery store, and at the afore mentioned Target. They had a new toy out, this mouse looking thing with a 15 inch tail. For dangling fun. I bought two of them. (Jack is a selfish beast who usually will not share.). They have catnip in them. My three do not usually go wild on the nip, so it didn't make a difference to me.
Surprisingly, Angus went nuts for these toys. Saturday night he loved them up, frolicked with them, chewed on them, wore them both on his back for awhile, and basically caused a huge amount of kitty silliness. With BOTH of them. Those are HIS toys. Then he went banana's and started running around like a crazy, heroine injecting cat. He eventually crashed.
After the laughter, this led MM and I to question whether or not we would wake up to find a hung over cat the next morning. Do animals feel hangovers? I would think so. Maybe not from the nip, but if we gave them hootch. Yep, I would guess so. AND NO I AM NOT SUGGESTING WE ALL GET OUR CATS DRUNK TONIGHT....
Angus was his usual self the nest day. And those toys? Still his. For once, Jack didn't have a chance.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

here I sit, cell phone in ear.
Why, you ask?
Because my lovely cousin Cami is doing Mr.Fab's radio show. And since I am at home, indoors, on a BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon, I figured I'd call.
Now I know she is popular and all that, and I expected to be put on hold (I think I am on hold) but I have been here for 25 minutes.
And Mr. Fab isn't even playing any good music as I sit here. Just empty space. Thats all I hear
as I sit and wait patiently for my turn.
Will I get a turn?
That beotch Sybil is probably taking everyones turn.
I am also curious as to why, in my mac download file, there is a picture of a scantily dressed blond. Oh, here comes MM, lets ask him, shall we?
He says "someone sent it to me and I was trying to figure out what it was". My answer?
It's a blond, with her nipples out.
huh. Imagine that, mystery solved....
and I am still on hold
But nipple girl just went into the trash. She had big, collagen filled lips, too. And an ugly red negligee on.
See, if I were talking with Cami on the radio show, I could be telling her all this.
Instead, she is probably giggling with her wife, Sybil. Her other wife is at home, sleeping.
ho, hum
you guessed it
still on hold
MM is sitting next to me, now, reading (finally) the last Harry Potty book
I could be mean and spoil it for him
but I won't. He is also currently being stalked by Jack, the youngest, and evilest black cat.
Look out
still on hold
good thing I have an overabundance of minutes on my phone.
there is only 20 minutes left in the show.
Curse you, Sybil!
Shouldn't a voice come on at least, to tell me I am on hold, and have no hope in hell of getting connected?
I hung up and re dialed.
Same british voice
"please wait while we connect your call"
same dead silence.
I don't think I am going to get to talk to Cami on the phone on the radio today.
What do you think?

* after staying on the phone for 45 minutes, I never did get to talk to Cami on the radio. But I tried. As MM as my witness I tried
and his predictions for the HP book?
He says Harry is going is going to punch Voldemort in the ear.
and he is going to beat Snape with a cricket bat
And Ron and Hermione are going to do the 'freak-eeeky"

oooops- okay edit again
I thought that it was 4 pm, east coast time, but it isn't, its 4 pm west coast time. (the time of the show) so I will be trying again. Duh....

Re Edit
yeah that was fun. And enlightening. And slightly frightening.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Virgil Smoot is an odd little man.
He'd be the first to admit it, too.

You see, Virgil Smoot came from a long line of Virgil Smoot's.
Virgil Smoot, the Viking
Virgil Smoot, the Pope
Virgil Smoot, the book seller
Virgil Smoot, Gunslinger

Yep. I said it. Gunslinger.
That particular Virgil Smoot had, at one point in time, been the fastest draw in the state of Vermont. He stayed in Vermont, because he liked to ski, and, well. He was afraid of those desperado's out west.
But I digress.

The Virgil Smoot we are concerned with is, at this writing, 94 years old.
He wasn't always 94 though. All ears, and big eyes hidden behind big glasses. Looking, sadly, like Mr. Magoo.

No, Virgil Smoot was once a young, virile young man. All the ladies wanted Virgil Smoot.
However, the Smoot was Smitten with one Leonora Van Flipperly.
He met Leonora one day, in the park, where she was arranged prettily by her lady in waiting on a park bench, all pink frilled and parasol'd, being careful that the sun did not make the slightest freckle on her perfectly peaches and cream complexion.
A stiff, spring breeze arose, however, and the pink and white polka-dotted parasol was torn from her lily white hands, and sailed merrily away.
Virgil Smoot had been walking through said park, bored with life, and the universe, and wanting something new and exiting. Little did he know, when that pink and white parasol hit him in the head, that his life would be changing forever.
Catching the parasol, he cast his gaze, looking for the owner. On a park bench, there she sat, sun lighting her pale blond hair to perfection. She looked distressed, until she saw him, with her parasol
"Silly man" she thought, "Pink is not his color."
"You there, bring me back my parasol" she commanded in her high pitched, uppity tone. For Virgil Smoot, it was love at first sound. Hastily, he made his way to her, delicate parasol clutched in his big, meaty hand.
Leonora was far sighted, and as Virgil Smoot came closer, she noted how handsome he was. "Oh my" she thought. Smiling prettily, she accepted her parasol, and, shockingly, the offer of a walk through the park, on his arm.
Together, the handsome couple promenaded through the park, aware only of each other. They walked, ignoring all others, gazing into each others eyes, until, quite suddenly, the sun began to sink. Leonora's lady in waiting, trailing behind them the whole time, gently reminded her mistress that they needed to seek their home.
"But I don't even know your name!" wailed Leonora, as Virgil Smoot bowed, to take his leave.
"Virgil Smoot" he answered "at your service"
"Smoot?" she said
"Unnaceptable, I cannot be 'Leonora Smoot'. I shall never see you again. Begone"
Hearbroken, Virgil Smoot did as she asked. He left the park, and the snooty Leonora who would not be a Smoot.
He joined the Merchant Marines, and entertained all variety of young ladies, but never forgot the rejection of Leonora. He vowed one day, to find one worthy of the Smoot name. And he did. Gert Smoot. And they lived, happily ever after.
And Leonora, you ask?
Still on the park bench, under her pink parasol, wishing she hadn't been too snooty to marry a Smoot.