Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, September 27, 2002

Argh. I blogged. I posted. Blogger crashed.

And so, I try again; this time in WordPad--so if it doesn't work when I'm done, I'll hold onto it till it does. Sorry I haven't blogged in a couple of days--Tuesday was Buffy/Charmed night and I didn't get home until late. Yesterday I took the bus downtown to pay my electric bill and go to the library, and when I got home I pretty much crashed.

So, let's catch up, but first, while I have it in my clipboard, here's this week's Friday Five

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind?
Take a long bath, listen to Loreena McKinnit, watch my aquarium, run my fountain, do yoga, stroke my dog's face (it's like velvet), and curl up with purring cats.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?
Kick off my shoes and socks, go to the bathroom, dodge the kitty greeting committee, and pee. In that order, without fail, no matter how badly I have to go.

3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells?
Lavender oil. I bathe in it, rub it on my temples for headaches, spray it around, scatter powder with it in it, all sorts of things.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?
Definitely hanging out by myself, although I worked hard to go back to that. I went through a period of insanity where I was afraid to be myself. My anxiety medication helps with that.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?
Watching bugs crawl on me--especially ants. I find it very relaxing to shift gears and see the world at their scale. Now, stealth bugs are not relaxing. But you get the idea....

It's been raining steadily for the last twenty-four hours, thanks to tropical depression Isidore. This is generally good news, as we've been in a drought and September/October are usually our driest months in Kentucky. Of course, tomorrow we're supposed to be hit with the biggest part of the storm, so we could have a lot of flooding. Walking to work this morning was pretty wet, and the creek had good waterfall action going on. Obviously I didn't do any fish watching today. They expect rain for the next twenty-four hours, but heavy. But having grown up in Louisiana, it could be much, much worse. I'm glad I don't live down there right now. I remember in the 1974 we got hit with hurricane Carmen, a category 3 storm that hit central Louisiana, and Shreveport got hit pretty hard with very strong winds, etc. I remember being amazed at rain that went horizontal and even up. I'm glad I live in a state that's over 500 feet above sea level. Granted, we are near a fault line (the New Madrid--that's "Mad-rid"), get hit by the occasional tornado, and there is perennial flooding with all our rivers and streams, and we occasionally get a foot of snow, but our disasters tend to be pretty localised. I'm amazed at how large this storm is--it's hitting all the Gulf Coast states at once, and has already generated so much moisture even up here.

My day got off to a bad start. I came in, grabbed breakfast in the cafeteria, watched a small white spider that came off my umbrella, and made the mistake of saying something to it. Yeah, I talk to spiders. Then one of my coworkers took her napkin and squashed it before I could stop her. Zabet will understand my reaction. I have a geas/taboo against killing spiders, because they are associated with my Patron Goddess. That may sound a little screwy to a non-Pagan, but basically it was the equivalent of someone taking the Host and crumbling it into their soup. I just tried to remind myself that the woman didn't know I'd react that way. It's not something that's easy to explain without sounding like a loon. Sigh.

I went to the appreciation lunch. Rafferty's could have been much better. It took them nearly an hour to seat us, and they seemed to be reluctant to push a couple of tables together (there were seven of us, not a huge group), but let in lots of two-people parties who sat at tables for four. Hmmmm..... There was quite a wait for the drinks, and food, too. The salmon was pretty good, though, although the orange-bourbon marinade was a bit much at first. The garlic mashed potatoes were excellent, although I've had heartburn all day--I think I inadvertedly got some bacon in my system from my salad. All and all it worked out. I also got a pretty cool satchel for my help with the committee. It has our logo, a nice long strap, and lots of pockets.

After I sloshed back home, the best seemed to do seemed to be to curl up with a good book and listen to the rain. I read Death at the Priory: Sex, Love, and Murder in Victorian England by James Ruddick. It was very good; it examines a scandolous unsolved murder of the 19th century. I finished it in a couple of hours--it read much like a fictional whodunnit, but I think the author's arguments were very plausible. If you're interested in social history, Victoriana, true crime, etc., you'll enjoy it.

Speaking of crime, here's a suggestion: if you're going to rob a bank, don't steal a getaway car with OnStar. A lethal robbery took place earlier, I think in Nebraska, and that was the result, so the police were able to track them down. Like I've said before, if we must have criminals, let them be stupid ones.

I watched and interesting Primetime show on ABC tonight. It concerned the case from the late 80s of "wilding" in Central Park where a jogger was raped and left for dead. Five teens confessed. I remember there was a lot of tension--all the youths were black. Apparently a convicted rapist/murderer has confessed to doing the crime--alone--and his DNA matched that from the crime scene. The men who were sent to prison for the crime insist they were scared teens who were pressured into confessing. Certainly there was pressure on the police to nab someone for such a high-profile crime. The authorities aren't talking, because they're reviewing the evidence internally. A former policeman said he thought that they were all guilty. I don't know. I tend the think the young men are right. There wasn't evidence of a gang rape, they had no forensic evidence that tied them to the crime--the conviction was based on their confessions. Even the victim, who cannot remember the attack due to the trauma she suffered, says she is interested in the truth.

Having served on a jury (thankfully in a civil, not criminal case), I've lost some of my faith in our justice system. Let's just say, for example, that I'm glad I'm not black, hispanic, or Middle Eastern in ethnicity these days. It bothers me that we put people to death mainly because they can't afford the lawyers to get them off. Being a minority or having a low IQ shouldn't make you more likely to be put to death. It's not like it's cheaper to kill someone, or that it's any real deterrent. Granted, I don't think prisoners should have cable TV and gym equipment, either. If I had Star Trek technology, the punishment meted out would be to take the feelings and memories of the victim and replay them over and over inside the prisoner's head so that he or she has to spend their sentence reliving the pain they caused. And for people who embezzle millions or manipulate companies for the big payoff, the very first thing should be to require reparations to be paid to the victims. I know a lot of people who'd serve a couple of years in prison for a few million dollars. That's just wrong. What's worse, is that a lot of those sort of people never even go to prison, where someone who breaks into a house and steals a TV--no gun, no one hurt, not a large amount stolen--is quite likely to. Strange world. Of course, it's better than places where, say, a bunch of guys molest a kid, then accuse him of inappropriate contact with a woman, so that his sister has to submit to a gang rape. Trust me, I'm aware of the privelege I have as an American.

I finally saw a little of the show Monk. I wasn't sure I'd like it, because the detective has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and that could open up all sorts of inappropriate things in the writing. As someone with OCD, let me just say it's not a funny thing to have. But the character is played by Tony Shaloub, whose work I've always admired (and to be honest, I've always thought he was cute). He makes any character likeable. Actually, I loved the show. It is offbeat, quirky, and while the OCD is a little gimmicky, it didn't offend. Since it comes on before CSI (my main Thursday show), I think I'll keep watching.

I guess that's all. My original blog included a rant about our governor (he was being ridiculed by Jay Leno for the scandal that has erupted over his affair with a woman. I'm not sure it's worth the rant, although I will say that I'm really not sure which is more pathetic--these politicians who wind up like guitarists having sex with groupies, or women who obviously calculated the rewards of having sex with someone in power who then cry foul when the favours stop coming and things turn nasty. Ugh!

Well, I think that's it for now. I'll see if I can post now.

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