Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Well, the maintenance guy and rooter guy just left. Mission accomplished, although it was apparently a very tough clog and all sorts of black viscous goo came out of the pipe. Fortunately, they were very good about cleaning up everything, so I don't have to. I think I fell asleep at one point in my recliner while the rooter was going. You wouldn't think that would be possible, but hey. I'm usually pretty much a night owl, but I was pushing it this time.

Anyway, it's almost 4am. It took a looonngg time, but it's all finished. Apparently my upstairs neighbour must have put a lot of grease down the sink. (She also ran the dishwasher after being asked not to put anything down the sink, then went to bed and they like to never woke her up when stuff started to pour out again. She's an odd duck, anyway.

So, I'm going to bed now. Yawn. I'm so glad I have maintenance that shows up within 5 minutes of a call rather than my student ghetto days where I spent 3 months with raw sewage coming up my bathtub because the sewer lines kept freezing. Those were not the days for fond memories. I won't even go into the rat-infested apartment or the lack of a stove that wouldn't catch fire. I love my apartment now.


listening to: A maintenance guy snake out my kitchen sink
feeling: Concerned

I feel like a Sim. I was typing away and suddenly I heard running water that most definitely was not my aquarium pump. Both kitchen sinks were running over. Fortunately, my apartment includes speedy maintenance service, so I called them and made sure nothing got to the carpet in the meantime. I very nice guy cleaned up the water with a couple of rolls of paper towels and is now working on cleaning out the clog. The water was very greasy; I think it must have come from upstairs, since I rarely use oil or butter in cooking and I haven't used any for quite some time. Unfortunately it looks like the clog is too far for the snake to reach; he's going to call a professional rooter company.

Meanwhile, Spock (my 15-year-old cat) is a little under the weather today. He threw up earlier and had some particularly foul diarrhoea. I usually feed them Indoor Cat Chow which usually sits well with everyone, but I did feed them one serving of some food a co-worker had given me rather than go out to the car in the cold last night to bring the new bag in. Sorry, baby, I was a bad mom.

Cerys (who's 12) really needs her teeth cleaned (I looked them over today and it looks like a tooth is starting to abscess.) I haven't noticed any problems with her eating, but someone pointed out that her breath felt like there might be some decay. The problem, of course, is that involves putting her under anaesthesia, which could cost around $400. I used to be too neurotic to have her put under (or me, for that matter--I still have my wisdom teeth, and they should have come out at least a decade ago); now the problem is financial. So I'm going to save up a little each pay period and hopefully be able to do it in a few weeks. At least it's pretty recent; she was fine at her annual exam. While they have her out they can take off the little fatty tumours older dogs get, too. I wish my medical reimbursement covered pets. It's rough when your pets get to be geriatric. :( It seems like yesterday that I brought her home, after all, and she's been thankfully pretty healthy. Now she's greying and she has cataracts, and I think the terrier in her is causing her to seem older quicker.

Buns (also 12) has been doing better; he's gained weight and most of his hair is back. He still has a couple places that haven't healed completely where he's constantly licking. Meanwhile, Darius (the baby, but 12, too) has been meowing loudly whenever he defecates; I'm beginning to wonder if he has haemorrhoids like Dwana's cat, Simba. Of course, Darius is not a 'cat-of-size' like Simba, but I guess that could be it. I could find myself putting haemorrhoid cream on a cat. Somehow I doubt he'll stand for that. I've got to take the whole herd in as soon as I'm able. At least the good thing is, I can drive them over to Dr Sears' now. I prefer her to the vet across the street.

Well, I guess I get to wait for the rooter people. They should be here within an hour (it's nearly 1 am, though, now). So, I think I'll do a little reading and maybe have some hot chocolate. See what an exciting life I lead? This is a fairly typical Saturday night. Oh, well. Goodnight, anyway.

Saturday, November 29, 2003


I was channel surfing and could not turn away from Hiroshima - Out of the Ashes, a made-for-TV movie from 1990 starring Judd Nelson, Max Von Sydow, Noriyuki (Pat) Morita and a talented cast telling the story of the bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath. Against the backdrop of the disaster--and they did a remarkable job in terms of a detailed set--a variety of personalities deal with the tragedy from their own perspective, including a doctor, a grandfather, a German priest, a young boy, his mother, and two American POWs.

I have always felt remorse for my nation's use of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though it was before my lifetime, and I know that the situation was such that many Americans saw it as a boon to end the war by whatever means possible. My first real introduction to the aftermath of those bombs was the story Sadako and The Thousand Cranes. Later, I read the fictionalised acount Hiroshima by John Hershey, with detailed descriptions that really made me begin to understand the scope of the disaster. I have not read Black Rain, which also comes highly recommended, but I would like to. I firmly believe we can never let our world forget the suffering brought about by such a weapon. Kids today don't remember living in a Cold War or really having fear of atomic weapons. So books and movies, which make it so much more real, are a good route. Of course, today, kids live in fear of terrorism, and there is always the chance some crackpot group will manage to unleash atomic weapons, although of course we try to not think about that.

Seen in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11--and realising just how much larger the scope of destruction in terms of both numbers of people killed at the time and the deaths, ostracism, and illnesses that spanned generations, the movie really had an effect. And the moral of the story, of course, is that we must never let this happen again. To anyone.


I saw a crawl on CNN about a North Dakota woman having been abducted from a mall escaping by jumping out of the car when it slowed down and hoped it might be Dru Sjodin, who was abducted last week. Alas, it was another woman, who fortunately was able to escape. If the cases are connected (and let's face it, in a low crime area like that one with a similar MO, they're likely to either be connected or someone's copying the first), that may indicate Ms. Sjodin has come to harm and the assailant has 'moved on' to the next victim. I hope that's not the case. For more information on the missing student, check out the University of North Dakota's web page with her story.

UPDATE: There has been an arrest in the case, but they are still searching for the student.

Friday, November 28, 2003

A very happy snowy Friday

The Friday Five:

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? Not particularly. I mean, I do like to browse, but I don't like dealing with crowds of people, so I tend to avoid the malls and big shopping days like today. So I tend to go on the hunt and grab instead. [Although ironically I did go to the mall today, with friends, and found that the crowds weren't so bad.]

2. What was the last thing you purchased? A jawbreaker (I couldn't resist the wall of gumball machines at the mall). As for things that are not immediately consumed, I bought a couple of books. What else would you expect from a librarian? My grandmother gave me my holiday money early and made me promise to get something for myself rather than gifts for others/bills, etc. So I got two books and the rest is going to go for socks, a winter hat, a scarf and gloves. Actually, I've bought a total of three books this months after several months of not being able to get any at all, so I'm practically gleeful.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? I prefer shopping online due to the selection, convenience, and lack of crowds. However, I don't like not being able to touch the item myself. In clothing, for example, the feel of the cloth is important to me. And I can't shop for shoes without trying them on--they vary too much in relation to my feet.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? $1 a week. But I tended to skip lunch as a teenager and kept the money, so that made it about $7 a week. When my parents divorced, though, that pretty much went out the window until I went to college, and then my mom was able to do about $20 a week.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? Hmmm...I can't think of anything lately that I either didn't need or didn't weigh carefully before I bought it--well, except for that jawbreaker. A couple of months ago I bought a lock for the gym and promptly lost the combination (it was on a sticker on the back rather than, say, an insert, etc. I went ahead and bought another lock, this time a key lock with a backup key, and that worked much better. So I guess the first lock was one I regret.

I didn't plan on shopping today; I don't like the crowds and the traffic. But Dwana invited a couple of us out to lunch so we went to the Café and Joseph-Beth of of course we had to look around. I found a couple of very useful herbals. Then we went over to her house and hung out for awhile and played with her cats and talked. Once her husband Eric got home we were getting hungry but they remembered they needed to pick up a present for family members so we all went over to Fayette Mall, got the item, and ate at the food court and then got into another big discussion. It was a very fun, totally spontaneous day. So, I'm finally home after 12 hours and I've fed the animals and am considering going on to bed, but oddly enough I'm not really that tired. I may go ahead and read for a little while first. It was great being off and getting to sleep in and then just run around in good company. It's snowing just enough to get ut into the holiday spirit without being dangerous, too. I love the first snow, when dogs to run around maniacally sniffing everything and 'snowploughing' with head down. Hope your day went as well.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

By the way...

Obviously, I got back from spending Thanksgiving day with my family. I had a really good time. Momma sent an entire Splenda™-rather-than-sugar-laden pumpkin pie back with me which is very nummy and I yes, I plan to share. It was a pleasant trip, despite the rain. I also got to go down to the Knobs (a little south of Danville) and the horizon was smoky, rolling earth with fog and clouds brushing the hillsides like some sort of gentle watercolour. I discovered that the car's cruise control works very well.

My grandmother went ahead and gave me my Christmas card and some money and made me promise to spend it on something for me, rather than on some bill or on presents for people and my mom and she said I shouldn't worry about giving gifts since they knew how tight money was for me these days. Sweet. I'd still like to give them something; maybe bake something diabetic-friendly for the holiday. I wonder if there's any way to make a diabetic version of baklava? Does Splenda™ melt? It looks like it, although there are tips to allow for some of the differences between it and sugar. Hmm...this one is at least close. It uses sugar rather than honey, and each piece is about 85 calories. If you use Splenda™ (which doesn't have the aftertaste of some sweetners and can be baked and used in the same proportion as sugar), it would have even fewer--and 5 g of fat is a lot less than regular baklava. I'd probably want to add a little vanilla to boost the flavour and a little cocoa in the margarine to give it a browned look. I've used walnuts (and, for one person who was allergic to nuts, peanuts), but pistachios would be very tasty. Yes, I think this is doable, and I can test it out at our holiday potluck at work first. There are several of us with sugar issues, so I think it would be appreciated.

Okay, I have to give them credit.

This was a coup in terms of the sheer security logistics in a world with instant media scoops, and in terms of public relations: Bush secretly visits US troops in Baghdad. Sometimes they get things right.

...Meanwhile, I was watching a Democratic candidate debate and I've got to say, I'm very impressed with both Dennis Kucinich and Carol Mosely Braun. It was the first time I'd heard either of them speak. I know their platforms, of course, and they both represent an area of the political spectrum with which I resonate. But I was impressed with their delivery. I'm afraid I can't say the same about Kerry or even Dean, both of whom seemed like they were in a Saturday Night Live skit. All I could think of whilst watching is how they'll be lampooned. In terms of personality, I probably have the hardest time with Dick Gephardt (he seems so...boring) and Al Sharpton (not boring, but probably better as a perennial gadfly than President). Let's face it; political issues, although important, tend to shift like sand, so sometimes you have to go with an overall 'sense' of a person. I know it's not logical, but I found it interesting that the people I responded to most happen to be the most engaging AND I agree with their platforms. So, for now, I'll keep both of them on my links. (Okay, I'm on the fence. But hey, it's a big field, and we're six months from a primary.)


A friend stumbled across the following website and thought of me: Botanica - The Wichita Gardens. In my former haunt of Wichita, Kansas, it allows you to do a virtual garden tour.

I lived in Wichita briefly, then moved to Belle Plaine, Kansas. I lived there for about two years. It was a small town (about 1700 people) but it had a true treasure--a mature arboretum down by the Little Arkansas River (that's pronounced Are-Kansas, by the way). It also had a colourful history. I have to admit, I miss it sometimes. I knew everyone in my high school--not just my class, the whole school. (I would have been in the class of 1984 if I hadn't moved. Any of you out there feel free to drop me a line. My name was Lisa Broadbent then.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Over the River and Through the Woods...

listening to: 'What It's Like' by Everlast
feeling: Prepared?

At least in theory that's on the agenda tomorrow. I've filled up the car, filled up the cell phone (special for $25 I got $60 worth of calls, and the minutes don't expire for a year, instead of the regular month, yay!), checked the oil, and bought an emergency kit that has everything from a tyre inflator to jumper cables to a first aid kit ($29.99 at Wal-Mart, incidentally. It also has several bungee cords, glow sticks, a reflective triangle, blanket, flashlight, emergency water container, and a card worth 3 road service calls, all in a compact kit that has Velcro™ on it to keep it in place in the trunk. The first aid kit even has vinyl, not latex gloves. Yipee. Not bad, not bad at all. If you have someone you worry about on the road, you might want to get one as a present for the holidays. It even came with batteries for the flashlight, packaged separately to increase the shelf life.) What can I say, I like to be prepared. Actually, I feel very comfortable with this car, but you have to understand that my last two couldn't make it out of the city without a meltdown of some sort. I'm looking forward to getting out on the highway and playing with the cruise control.

Tonight I found, at Kroger of all places, the perfect holiday cards to send out. They're handmade with see-through vellum and a plaid ribbon, with a leaping stag and the moon in the background, with 'Season's Greetings' inside, meaning it's appropriate for a Pagan to send to all sorts of folks of other religions. :)

Well, that's all for now. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, have a safe and wonderful holiday. Want to know what really went on during that first Thanksgiving? Try the Plimoth Colony, which is pretty balanced, or an indigenous viewpoint. One of my ancestors didn't quite make it there for the first Thanksgiving (he was on the ship The Fortune, which arrived a few weeks later. Of course, some of my ancestors were already here, just further south and west. :) 'Night.

Okay you information professionals (or others up to the challenge), here's a reference question to test your finding skills

[meaning, of course, that I'm mostly coming up blank, right?]

What is the Latin name for a plant commonly known as 'Cruel Man of the Woods'?

I know that it is a root, so I don't think the 'Old Man of the Woods' mushroom is it. I've come across a reference to 'Man of the Woods' for American Ginseng. All references to the plant through Google go back to one book on plant properties or to places that sell the oil. I don't want that. I want the Latin name. It may be a Southern name; it may be a name mostly found in African-American or Creole cultures. It's not cross-referenced in any of my herbals or garden encyclopaedias, but that doesn't mean it's not out there.

Go forth. Find. Report. First person to e-mail the answer (and the source to back it up) wins a prize and credit for his or her endeavour. Fun, hmm?

Study: Cinnamon Mimics Insulin

Cinnamon Spice Produces Healthier Blood Glucose Levels
Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, a new study has found. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick in your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.

A 20% reduction in levels compared to a control is pretty significant, especially for a common and fairly inexpensive spice. Fortunately, I like it in lots of things, not just sweet treats. It's particularly good on macaroni and cheese, for example. Don't believe me? Try it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

On my list of things to be thankful for...

a sane family. I've listened to several people as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday today and, well, all in all it looks like my family is pretty darn functional in comparison. Of course, it helps that it's a fairly small family that's spread out over several states, and of course my dad and I don't have contact anymore. But, I suppose quality is better than quantity after all. So it's hard to have too much friction. But it sounds like several others are in the midst of all-out clan wars. Hopefully I won't somehow jinx the holiday by saying so, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing my relatives. Here's hoping you are, too.

Fear your co-workers

Illinois Library Association worker set up by colleagues for TLC's 'What Not to Wear': Through reality TV, a crash course in fashion

A good article for those of you doing NaNoWriMo

With some books, a certain magic's missing

OCLC and The Library Hotel settle trademark complaint

Library Hotel will receive permission to use the DDC™ in exchange for acknowledgement and a donation to a literacy organisation. Of course, that's what we figured would happen. Glad they made up.

Followup: Library patron loses privileges after tearing off magazine cover

Well, I'm not sure I would have limited it to a month, but I guess that was a decent compromise, since I can't see sending a 77-year-old to prison for that. But I think he should have to pay for a replacement magazine. :)

Library patron loses privileges after tearing off magazine cover

Saw this yesterday and was saddened by it...

Yahoo! News - World's Only Known Albino Gorilla Dies

I guess being albino may have made him more susceptible for skin cancer. It's good that people were able to come say goodbye. I guess, on one hand, he lived much longer than he would have in the wild. Still, he spent more years in a zoo than I've been alive. They've come a long way in that time, but I can't imagine being locked up and on display for that long. I hope he had a good life with plenty of interaction with his own kind. It sounds like it.

Disturbing Incidents in my Hometown

Child Stalker Sought In Four Incidents

At least he hasn't managed to abduct anyone yet. I hope he's found before he manages to do anything else.

Grrr...why do people do this?

Corporal From Eastern Kentucky Dies In Iraq

Sad news right before the holiday for one family...Corporal From Eastern Kentucky Dies In Iraq. And he'd gotten married just a few weeks before being sent to Iraq.

Smoking Ban Back On; Judge Dissolves Injunction


Smoking Ban Back On; Judge Dissolves Injunction

It seems to me that this is a local decision, not the state's, so personally I wish State Senator Dan Seum would butt out (pun intended) and not try to get a state law that would prevent cities, counties, and other local government bodies from enacting smoking bans. Really, by that logic, you'd have to throw out all the alcohol blue laws (and in Kentucky, the home of Carry Nation, a lot of counties are completely dry, with any move to selling alcohol a matter of major contention).

Because of course we know that horses wear bathing suits...

Yahoo! News - Kentucky Law Mandates Bathing Once a Year and other strange laws on the books in the Commonwealth. I knew about the bathing one, but some were new to me. And before you laugh at Kentucky, keep in mind that most places have weird or obsolete laws still on the books.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

As promised...my Halloween costume

Cthulhu Costume

Mind you, it's not easy to tell, but it was about 7 feet tall. My head is actually under the tentacles in what is supposed to be his 'chest'. It freaked people out to have a face up there but to hear my voice come out from below (mind you, I'm also a soprano, so they didn't expect such a high voice. I think that was disturbing in itself.

Now, if this showed up at your house, wouldn't you hand over the candy?

My puppy's in seventh heaven...

Not only did she get to cuddle with the other people in her pack today (and spend time with other dogs, which frankly I think she would have skipped if she could), when we stopped by the drive through for burritos the guy was so taken with her (she's 12, but she looks like a Labrador puppy, albeit a puppy with cataracts and grey hair) and she was so cute he gave her a few pieces of steak along with my order. Since I'm a vegetarian, the animals don't usually get to tear into real meat, so she was quite ecstatic. :) And I think Buns is doing everything short of eating the container it came in in terms of getting the 'last drops'. Thanks, nice taco man.

Rampaging homophobic vandal takes censorship into his own hands

A suggestive picture featured on magazine cover angered a library patron, so he just ripped off the cover and took it away.
    Guess it never occurred to him that
  1. he could just lodge a complaint with the staff
  2. he was breaking the law and willfully damaging public property
  3. having done it without being caught, taking it to a reporter to raise a stink about it might not have been the wisest course of action
  4. that there were other 'sexual' covers he could have taken, too--

or maybe those weren't infuriating because they were half-naked women, as opposed to two men of different races kissing?

Of course, his concerns of prison time seem to revolve around whether he could watch football. Sigh. I don't know the man, so I really can't make a judgement on his character. But his comments were disturbing. You have the cover, you tell a reporter you ripped it off, but there's no proof to put you away if it comes to that? That, along with the TV football comment, seems to say that either he's out of touch or just not taking it seriously. If I were on the staff, I'd go ahead a file charges on principle, although I'd say restitution would be acceptable (not to mention how galling it would be to have to buy an entirely new issue of objectionable content). I'd probably revoke his library priveleges, since it does seem obvious he can't be trusted around the materials. Gee, just imagine what he'd do to Advocate Men (their version of Playboy. The Advocate itself is a political/cultural/news magazine.) And just in case you think I'm biased, I'd do the same if he ripped off any other covers.

It's funny how people don't necessary recognise a magazine as part of a library collection. I once had a nursing student ask if she should make a copy or if she should just tear the article she needed out of the nursing journal. I very nearly pulled the magazine out of her hands for that and did in my shock say something rather sharp, like 'don't you dare do that!' (I'm afraid I rather reacted like I would to a puppy chewing a book. But then my immediate response was to hit her on the nose with the rolled-up magazine, but I didn't do that. That would be wrong. That would assault and battery.) After the initial shock, I recovered my more professional/sweet exterior and I explained that these were used by many people, then showed her how to copy the article. After she left, happy to have the info she needed, I went over to my desk and put my head down, wondering if it was because it was a magazine and thus 'throwaways' in some people's minds, or because it's a medical library, as opposed to the more familiar school or public library, or if she was just obtuse. Sigh. Does that make me a bad librarian?

Small rant

From the perspective of a historian, I think it's important to remember this as the fortieth-anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. And even though I hadn't been born yet, I am a product of the 60s and as such was moulded by the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, so I probably get how much it effected the nation more than say, today's teens. I understand the desire to play 'what if', to look at things from various angles. But it's been my experience that one-hour television shows really just can't do much more than muddy the waters of history. Much as I love 'educational' TV, I'm often annoyed at the oversimplification of historical issues. And of course, in the case of the Kennedys, it goes WAY beyond historical analysis. There's the scandal spin.

It seems like they're pulling as much Kennedy 'tell-alls' out of mothballs as they can, whether it's documentaries on John Jr's early death, or the 'Kennedy Curse', or 'bad boys' in trouble with the law. Gee, people, can't we give the family a rest? This has got to be a very difficult time for them; every years we dredge up 'new' footage, interviews, etc. that really are done to death. It's like there's a huge mystique built around the Kennedy name that I just don't get. I mean, except for their wealth and lifestyle, they're people just like anyone else. What gives? It's like you can't turn on the TV without seeing either the Kennedy clan or Michael Jackson on. There's a such thing as media overkill. I'm just not impressed with fame. It doesn't put you above the law and it doesn't mean you should be held up to some higher standard than the rest of us, either.

When I look at how much media hype the charges against Michael Jackson are already garnering, and what kind of media ride we may be in for, it's just mind-blowing. If it goes to trial, it'll make the OJ Simpson case look tiny. But I have to ask--if he's guilty, than that would make him a child molester and frankly, scum of the earth and unworthy of all this attention. If he's innocent--and of course, that's the presumption--than it's a lot of muckraking that amounts to unpaid publicity--but this may be an exception to the idea that there's no 'bad publicity'. Aren't there more important news stories to cover? Somehow I don't think the Michael Jackson story will be one of those 'blips' along the bottom of the screen that go quietly away. But it annoys me how these sorts of stories are beaten to death because everyone falls upon them like sharks, with their commentaries, etc., looking for their own pit of fame whilst riding the coat-tails of the subject. And it's not just the news folks--how many 'friends' of parties on all sides will come out of the woodwork.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Taking time out for some self-nurturing

listening to: 'I'm Here Without You' by 3 Doors Down
feeling: Rested

With the advent of the car, I've been running around doing all sorts of things that have been difficult to do without one. I put nearly 200 miles on the car in a week's time. :) With all the excitement and differences in schedule, though, I haven't gotten much rest over the last week. So today I intentionally slept late, then straightened up around the house, went to the gym and worked out, and basically took care of myself. I broke my every-other-day rule I usually keep for making sure I keep my stress down, but that's okay, since it was an unusual week. That rule isn't hard and fast; it's just a guideline I use so I don't find myself scheduled to my eyeballs. But I decided today I should take it easy.

I'm looking into making some changes. I enjoyed the workout today although I kept it simple since I hadn't been for awhile. Still, I was surprised how easy it was to get back into the swing of things. Unlike others, I tend to do best when I go to the gym by myself and workout at my own pace without distraction. I'm actually less likely to cancel the gym than, say, put off going with the idea of waiting to go with others. Don't get me wrong--I love an occasional workout buddy. But my friends who go to the gym have such wild schedules and health issues compared to mine that we just couldn't work out consistently together, and I found myself putting it off until I basically stopped going.

I got back the results from my annual checkup and my cholesterol, a1c (hemoglobin test for overall sugar control), etc. were all in the good range, although the cholesterol was on the high end of normal (diabetes wreaks havoc with lipid storage as well as serum glucose levels). My a1c was 6.0, which is up from 5.0 last year but is still in the normal range below what's considered good control for diabetes. Yay. Still, I'm about 270 lbs and although I've toned up, that weight isn't healthy, so now that I've proven I can exercise I'm thinking about tweaking my eating a bit for weight-loss.

I've been a vegetarian for 12 years. Well, actually a pesce-vegetarian (I do eat fish occasionally). So I probably eat a healthier diet than a lot of folks out there. I love Asian food in about any style (except, to be honest, anything with octopus or squid in it). I love the sheer variety you get with grains and vegetables--variety which some folks can't conceive if they only think of meat and potatoes as a meal. But I live alone and don't tend to cook much, so I do tend to eat too much 'convenience' food--not so much fast food but things that are quick and simple to make, like peanut butter sandwiches or processed foods. In the past, I've found the easiest way to lose weight is to use alternatives for the things I'm allergic to--wheat, eggs, and milk--mainly because that cuts out processed foods which are high in simple sugars.

Now, I'm not what you call a dieter. I watched my mom struggle with weight; at one point she looked terribly sick on Atkins' back in the 70s. That turned me off of those 'lose weight quickly' spiels. What little dieting I have done has been to follow the diabetic choices plan, where you have a lot of choice and just make sure your eating is distributed through the food groups. Rather than a list of 'do nots', I think it's better to have people just choose healthier lifestyles. Still, it helps to have some direction.

I talked a dietician I know and got the name of a diet I'd heard about on NPR, where they were talking about a study comparing various diets--Atkins, The Zone, etc. I couldn't remember the vegetarian diet's name that was discussed. It's called the Dean Ornish lifestyle programme, which advocates a diet akin to what you'd find in Asian and non-Western diets, moderate exercise, and reduction of stress through meditation and yoga. Basically, I already have the building blocks of this in my own life, so there aren't a lot of changes for me to make--I just need to work on my consistency.

Dr Ornish has two plans, one for those who are already diagnosed with heart disease (thankfully not my problem) and those who want to prevent it and have a good overall health improvement (I'm in the second category). I've reserved his book at the library. Since I'm not guzzling down cheeseburgers now, I'm not expecting huge results. I'll be happy if my test values stay steady or improve a little and if I lose enough weight for my joints, etc. to feel better. Also, it sounds like his programme would help my irritable bowel symptoms. I've already noticed that today, with the exercise, I don't seem to be having the problems I have been. I'll keep you posted once I've learnt a little more about it.

red ball:4

Friday, November 21, 2003

It's funny

how after awhile you don't think it's strange if everyone--including you--in the room sees an animal peek out from under the bed and bathrobes, moving the bathrobe and sitting up, then duck back under the bed, when the pets of the house are all in the other room and you realise that whatever you saw wasn't 'quite there'. Or when you see it again disappear into thin air. Fortunately, it wasn't an individual hallucination, so at least I was in good company. I learnt a long time ago to trust my intuition, listen to a couple of people whose 'feelings' I trust impeccably (including my mother, who seems to have a skill at predicting deer before they run out in front of the car), and keep an open mind since last time I checked our modern science hasn't managed to explain everything and in some cases traditional beliefs may be closer to the truth. You may read this and think, 'ah, she's a loon'. I realise that. But I prefer to think about in terms of believing in a larger world than most. I believe in the possibility of a lot of things most people dismiss, although I'm a skeptic when it comes to individual cases (i.e., yes, I believe in ghosts; but I prefer to rule out hoaxes and other phenomena first). :) Anyway, the beastie didn't seem to be a problem, anyway--just something playful passing through. Or yes, I believe that there are probably other worlds with life on them, but I'm the first to look for a simple explanation for a UFO rather than carrying on about little green men--it's almost a certainty that life exists, even intelligent life, since we exist, that gives a 1:1 probability; that said, who knows if we'd ever encounter another civilisation. That bring in a whole other set of things to be factored in. You see what I mean?

Anyway, that's enough blogging for tonight. I'm heading (finally) to bed. Must see about doing some writing for NaNoWriMo. I am sadly neglectful now that I'm mobile [175 miles running around Lexington in one week, with a quarter of a tank still left towards figuring miles per gallon :)] 'Night.

Happy Friday :)

listening to: 'My Immortal' by Evanescence
feeling: Serene

The Friday Five:

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
  1. Get the okay to return to school as a doctoral student
  2. Sell or give away some of the things cluttering up my house
  3. Straighten up the study, which has become more of a 'junk room'
  4. Go up to Owenton to care for the family graves now that I have a car that can make the trip
  5. Get AAA just in case it can't

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
  1. Paul Scarboro
  2. Deana Headley
  3. Jody Sauers
  4. Julia Hollingshead
  5. Larry Simpson

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
  1. Fly a helicopter
  2. Hand-thrown ceramics
  3. Form the aorist in ancient Greek
  4. Crochet
  5. Belly dance

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
  1. Pay off student loans/debt
  2. Buy a little land and build an environmentally-friendly home
  3. Make sure my family and friends were financially secure
  4. Adopt children
  5. Practise philanthropy by supporting the arts/humanities/literacy, fighting AIDS and its societal effects in Africa and throughout the world, improving resources for the homeless and others in need of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing, supporting tolerance for diveristy, and funding resources to prevent and deal with the after effects of domestic and child abuse

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
  1. Listening to Loreena McKennitt
  2. Cuddling with animals
  3. Yoga
  4. Experiencing nature
  5. Taking long baths

red ball:3

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Happy Birthday to Dwana

No one seems to believe she's hit 29. Normally, people think she's a lot younger because she's a lot shorter than her husband and naturally baby-faced; but I think now it's just people are used to the 29-and-holding that others try after hitting 3-0. Really, though, you do have to pass 29 on the way. :) Anyway, here's to the birthday girl.

She called into a radio station this morning and won a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart. So, she and Eric are in good stead for the dash to the store at 5 am the day after Thanksgiving. She celebrated with her parents last weekend and I took her out to eat on Tuesday, and she and Eric are celebrating this weekend, so she's getting a weeklong celebration. :)

At work we ordered pizza and had cookies (she prefers them to cake) and her co-workers gave her a Mickey Mouse charm for her charm bracelet. As her boss said, she never seems to get overloaded on Disney. :) [We shake our heads, because we don't get it ourselves, but hey, that makes it easy to make her happy.] The woman in charge of planning had a friend who was going to Disneyworld pick it up, since they're hard to find around here. She also got a journal with a kitty on the cover. Needless to say, Dwana was quite happy with how the day went. It's a shame she had class, but hey, at least she's had several days of celebration to make up for it.


University of Florida-invented patient simulator 'Stan' appears tonight on 'ER'

Stan is an artificial, computerised (sort of animatronic) patient that can mimic the symptoms of a drug overdose, heart attack, etc. Nifty.

red ball:2


I went to pick a friend up from work and as I was driving down Fontain (mind you, nearly 1 in the morning) I came across an SUV stopped in the middle of the road with its lights on, both front doors open wide, and no one in sight. I suppose someone could have been on the other side, say, with a flat tyre, but you'd think the driver's side door would be shut. I had to go around it into the other lane. Needless to say, I thought it was suspicious. (No. I didn't stop. I'm a woman driving in a car alone in the middle of the night, after all.) However, I do have the non-emergency number of the police in my cell phone so I called and made a report. After I dropped my friend off--about 5 minutes, top--I drove back. There was a police car there already. The doors were now shut and the headlights off. Still no sign of anyone in the car or around it, and no light on the other side if the police were assisting there. Weird. It could be innocuous, but...well, I mean for all I know someone could have been grabbed or had a fight or been shot, etc., and the vehicle was directly in traffic. I'd rather report something that was minor than ignore someone who really needed help.

Almost home, I had someone ride up on my bumper and then zip around me in a no-passing zone. That SUV almost turned right onto Lakeshore, but then headed on down Fontaine. It could just have been a hazardous driver. For that matter, I suppose it could be the same vehicle--they were both dark, and I don't know make and models enough to know the difference. Maybe they saw the police and wanted to get away. Maybe they'd been drinking. Who knows? But just in case they were in any way related, I did go ahead and chant the licence number for a block until I got home and could write it down.

Note to self: Try not to be out about closing time for the bars. Too many weirdos out that time of night. Gee, I'm tired of the whole Law and Order day. I think it's time to turn in.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I was watching Hocus Pocus earlier...

(I love that movie) and was thinking that the little girl, Danni, was not so much cute as a child who would grow up into a beautiful woman, and I was wondering what had become of her in the intervening years. So, I watched the credits, and behold...Thora Birch! Thora Birch? Never noticed that before. Wow. Sigh. I used to be able to connect all sorts of people between movies (yeah, typical geekazoid). But now it's like, you mean Spiderman's girlfriend was Claudia in Interview With the Vampire? I am so losing my touch. Or maybe I just have trouble with recognising the kid-->adult transformation, being someone who hasn't substantially changed in looks since I was five.

Let's try that again

listening to: 'Building a Mystery' by Sarah MacLachlan
feeling: Breathe. In. Out. :)

Actually, it's been that sort of day. Well, really, it was a day with good outcomes, but it's just been kind of disturbing and nerve-wracking. It started with this horrible dream where I'd dreamt I'd killed a man, my half-brother Creon (yes, points to those of you who recognise the classical reference from Greek tragedy; this is what happens when classics majors dream), rendered his body down into a liquid which was then mixed with clay and formed into an artefact, a masque. I then spent most of the dream trying to prevent the one person whom I knew would know in an instant what I had done, being depressed, shuttling between two apartments, looking for work, dealing with unemployment, avoiding the Furies (who punish those who spill the blood of family members) and generally being psychotic.

I woke up thinking I was getting an early start but took a long bath and when I got out discovered I only had 15 minutes to get to work. Did that, but had to immediately go into a benefits meeting (not fun), followed by a fire-extinguisher inservice (fun; we got to squirt water at things). The whole time I felt like one big ball of jangled nerves, very jittery. I hadn't eaten yet, and it occurred to me that the last time I took my Paxil was Saturday. Bingo. I was in one of those panic attacks where you can function but you feel like you're just going to have a heart attack any moment. Also, that could account for psycho dreams. So, I phoned in my refill and grabbed that before heading on my adventure to the new courthouse.

Court is always an adventure. One, you have to go through a metal detector. Since I had just started my period (another reason for jangled nerves), I'd picked up some pads and some thermal patches at the pharmacy. I decided that the iron filings in the pads could cause an embarrassment at the metal detector. So, I tucked one in with a pad and in turn slipped that into my billfold, which had been stripped down to the bare necessities--car key, money, ID, comb, garage ticket, and receipts. Everything else stayed in the car.

This was my first time at the new courthouse. The room was larger. The pews (that's the best way to describe them) were a little uncomfortable but you could walk in front of people who were seated without trouble, which was nice. Arraignment circuit court sessions go like this: anyone with a lawyer goes first, then anyone in jail via closed-circuit TV, then everybody else. I'm convinced this is to give those of us who are up on misdemeanors a chance to sit through all the stuff people who do more serious crimes go through so we don't go on to become felons. :) So it took about an hour to go through the more serious cases. I had not seen this judge before; it was interesting to compare the differences in how the courtroom procedures work depending on the judge. For one, I noticed prisoners were much less likely to give the male judge the lip. I really enjoyed the people skills of the female judge I've seen before, and she was always firmly in control, but she would occasionally have to stop things and explain to someone not to try to talk over the judge, not to call the person with the protective order from jail, etc. In the old courthouse there was less room and we had to move to another courtroom entirely if a session went over. This judge was very no-nonsense, although patient with those who did not understand things well and careful to explain any charges. The lawyers were quicker, too. I guess maybe they change their manner depending on what the judge prefers. And instead of having us all get in a line by alphabetical order, this judge went down the list a few of us at a time. Anyway, things fairly flew by compared to what I've experienced before. Also, apparently having a different prosecutor makes a big difference too. Let me explain.

The first time I had to go to circuit court--a couple of years ago--I had recently moved and apparently there had been a cheque that was returned. [My credit union has some good points, but a bad one is that if there are insufficient funds, the cheque is returned unpaid, as opposed to many banks, where they'll charge you a fee but pay the draft. The credit union still charges, but doesn't pay it. Although I had occasionally had a cheque bounce with banks, I never had them thud until I started banking with the credit union. I probably should change. For now, though, I just don't write cheques :)] Anyway, I didn't know about the return. I thought something else hadn't gone through and was referred to to the county attorney's office and found that no, what I was checking on wasn't an issue, but I had an older cheque which needed paying. I went down and paid it, and was handed a receipt and then sent to the sherriff's office. I went there, thinking I had to verify the payment, when actually they needed to serve the summons to me, since they'd been unable to serve it after the move. So, I went to court. Because it was my first offence, I was eligible for diversion, which allows you to pay $80, do 60 hours of community service, and my record would be expunged. So I did all that, putting in the hours of work and paying a total of about $140 for what had been a cheque for a dog wash at the pet store, feeling like a total failure.

Keep in mind that at the time I was dealing with a lot of anxiety issues and so despite good intentions, I landed back in the same situation shortly afterwards. I don't mean this as an excuse--I'm responsible for it, and it was stupid, but it'll make more sense to know I was in the midst of what I call my 'breakdown'--meaning I was suicidal, labile, dealing with a lot of unresolved issues, and operating from a borderline perspective. The coping skills that I'd learnt as a child failed entirely. I nearly lost the most important friendship I've ever had then. Two days before 9/11 I was given an ultimatum to seek counseling or end the relationship. Add the uncertainty in the aftermath of the terror attacks--which didn't affect me directly but at the time I think it seemed like the world was ending, and I wrote a cheque for groceries that that hit the account before my deposit, and I wasn't able to pay it off in time.

So, it was back to court. I did pay the cheque and fees before going to court, but then paid the fine and court costs and, I'm sad to say, have a criminal record. In the meantime, I did get the counseling I needed, was treated for the depression and anxiety and for the physical illnesses which had helped trigger it, and generally have managed to recover. I use my debit card and cash now, and keep a record of my spending on my handheld, and that seems to work better. Unfortunately, in that rebuilding process I still managed to have three unpaid cheques from earlier this year go to the point of summons. With the state my finances have been in both before and after the layoff, I was just lucky to not be evicted. So, when I took out the money from my retirement and my mom helped me out, I paid my rent and the cheques, but had to go to court today. I noticed diversion was offered mainly for other things, like littering or a minor moving violation. Those of us in for cheques--whether first offence or not--were asked if we'd paid them off and then asked to show proof, and the county was willing to dismiss with proof. So, even though there were more cheques, for a larger amount than before, I didn't have to pay court costs, fines, and it won't be anything additional on my record. In all, it was like having a tail light out, where you just show you've fixed it and they're happy. I was free to go, when I'd been afraid I'd be paying another $50-100 in fines per cheque plus court costs. Which should make me happy, and really, it does, it just makes me wonder what would have happened the first couple of times if I'd had this judge/prosecutor instead. But that's a game of what-if that doesn't change anything. All in all, I learnt quite a bit about law and order today. Eventually I can get that one count off my record--it only stays on for so long, and hopefully I can keep my nose clean from now on. And unlike that first time, I know that I'm not a bad person, although I have to be very careful about spending money for emotional or desperate reasons (not surprisingly, every one of the latest drafts were for food). Now that I'm caught up with the necessities, hopefully I can keep it that way.

Oh, and incidentally, if you're reading this and thinking, my God, this girl has no sense of fiscal responsibility--I'm very good at finances at work, because it's all budgeted, there are few surprises, and it's purely logical. My counselor once told me the majority of my anxiety and other problems came from the fact that I wasn't getting paid enough to live on. Of course, she also told me most women wind up in prison for killing husbands or unpaid cheques. :) I've never been extravagant; I'm one of those people who nickel-and-dime myself to death. And once you get behind, it's so hard to get back out, with late fees, etc. eating up any potential surplus. Right now, even with the librarian position, teaching asssistant, and unemployment, I'm making less than twice my rent. But, hey, that just makes life more challenging. And if I can get a librarian position that pays the actual going rate in this area, I'd be making about three and a half times my rent. Here's hoping. Is there an emoticon for crossed fingers?

red ball:1L


Listening to: 'Powerless' by Nelly Furtado
Feeling: A little annoyed since my cat just erased my whole post!

It's not your grand-dad's workplace...

But keep in mind that things you write on a blog are about the same as, say, broadcasting something on television and radio. Work is a big part of people's lives, so people sometimes talk about it. Which is why there's--

BLOGGER - Knowledge Base - How Not to Get Fired Because of Your Blog

Circumspect is good. Knowing your company's policies and abiding by any confidentiality agreements is better. For that matter, I'm still waiting for the test case of some blogger who's sued for libel (as opposed to slander, which, in a verbal format, is much harder to prove).

One thing the Blogger folks suggest is changing blog entry post times. Of course, it works the other way, too. So companies shouldn't assume without proof that a worker blogged during a critical project timeframe. I've occasionally changed time if I thought about something but didn't get around to blogging until much later but for whatever reason it seemed more timely with an earlier post time, for example.

I guess the sociologist inside me finds the whole phenomenon interesting. The paranoid inside me tries to give scrupulous thought to most of what I post. The free thinker in me likes to give my opinion about most anything that hits my mind at the time. I guess the trick is to balance those, right? In the case of sensitive information, security, etc., though, I think it's usually best to err on the side of paranoid.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Motivational Quote of the Week

listening to: 'If I had $1000000' by Barenaked Ladies
feeling: Productive

I'm cleaning out my e-mail, and I couldn't part with this gem....Dwana sent it to me, so I'm posting it here so I can go back and read it when I need it (and delete it off the e-mail system). Thanks, D.

Don't Ever Stop Dreaming Your Dreams

Don't ever be reluctant
to show your feelings when
you're happy, give in to it.
When you're not, live with it.

Don't ever be afraid to
try to make things better you might
be surprised at the results.

Don't ever take the weight of the
world on your shoulders.
Don't ever feel threatened by the future,
take life one day at a time.

Don't ever feel guilty about the past
what's done is done.
Learn from any mistakes you might have made.

Don't ever feel that you are alone
there is always somebody there
for you to reach out to.

Don't ever forget that you can achieve
so many of the things you can imagine. ...
It's not as hard as it seems.

Don't ever stop loving
don't ever stop believing,
don't ever stop dreaming your dreams.



Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Says the Commonwealth Cannot Ban Gay Marriage.

Let's hope for a domino effect--although I think something similar in Kentucky may be a long time coming....

Okay, that's a little odd...

listening to: 'My Immortal' by Evanescence
feeling: Mellow

I have run into a very small, minor eccentricity of the new car (I don't normally name them, but this one cries out for one...any suggestions?) My radio started going out randomly today whilst driving...not in terms of reception but in speakers...but it works fine so long as the car is in PARK. It seems somehow linked to the steering/shift. At one point I sneezed and it cut out, and all I can think is I jerked the wheel a little. Also the seat belt light came on a couple of times. I'm thinking there's a loose wire somewhere. I've duly reported it (Momma called today to make sure I received the registration) so maybe John will have some ideas. But it's just a minor inconvenience. It's working wonderfully otherwise, and I'm now up to 100 miles. :)

I promise, I'll eventually stop writing about the wonders of automobile travel. It's just been so long and I'm so happy with my new-found independence. I told my mom that it's changed my life overnight, literally. :)


Today I happened to see what this blog looks like if you have an older form of Netscape. Trust me, it's really ugly. Unfortunately, making it Netscape-friendly would take a total re-design, and while I've been playing with some ideas tonight, it'll probably be awhile before I can get Navigator compliance up and running. Please just accept my apologies and if you have access to IE, you may want to use that. And before you grumble about the evils of big companies, consider that both are owned by mega-giants. Now, if you're using a lesser-known browser and run into any trouble, be sure to drop me a line with suggestions/comments. Thanks.

Monday, November 17, 2003

A quick break from work

listening to: NPR's 'All Things Considered'

I can't believe that it's been 25 years since the mass suicide/murders performed at Jim Jones' People's Temple in Guyana. I was 11 at the time time, and it's one of the first news stories I really remember, because it was so shocking. The idea of all those men, women, and children taking poison at the behest of a charismatic leader was unthinkable then. This was before Waco, before Heaven's Gate; communes and strange cults had been around awhile, but this was when the mainstream news really took notice, and it showed what could happen when utopian ideals truly went wrong.

As I listen to a survivor's story, her pain, her tears, I realise it doesn't seem so long to her as well. Strange how time can telescope and a mere mention of an event can take you back in time to your emotions, as if you're there--whether memories of joy or pain. Humans are remarkable creatures, although some, of course, are more dangerous than others, as the People's Temple incident shows us.

I think it's important to remember that

Sunday, November 16, 2003


listening to: 'Someday' by Nickelback
feeling: Contented

From my horoscope:
Get that body moving! There's a whole world out there for you to explore and the fun is just beginning. You have increased stamina, which allows you to do some of your favorite things all day long without tiring out. It's been a long time since that's happened.

That's exactly what I've been doing this weekend. I have now run more errands, had more fun, and felt more free than I have in a very long time. I even survived a couple hours at the mall yesterday. Whether it's a five-minute trip to the grocery rather than four-hour, or hanging with friends on a weekend past the last bus (9:20pm), I've had a ball.

Today also marked the return of Brenda to the game after she spent about a month sewing frantically for a dual-cast version of Hamlet with an all-male cast alternating with an all-female one. This bright directorial idea gives costumers fits. She regaled us with stories of her trip up to Kent University to meet a friend who'd come from Britain for a sociology conference. She and her friend Hope went up and discovered the woman wistfully looking at the shopping centre across a five-lane highway and trying to figure out how to navigate without a car. They went to the mall, to Wal-Mart (where they showed her that yes, indeed, in the US you can find endcaps full of gel pens and ammunition and buy honking big guns). Then they went out exploring the countryside. Apparently everything here is 'big'. Brenda and her friend Hope just sort of looked at each other and shrugged. It wasn't even a super-Walmart. :) Then they went to some little historical site off the beaten path, the site of a Revolutionary War fort, where Brenda got to have the surreal experience of listening to a 'we whupped the Brit's and their Indian allies' asses' film whilst sitting between a woman from Britain and another who's half-Indian. Fortunately the woman is actually Irish and holds no grudges, and Hope didn't get too bent out of shape. :)

I'm sorry I haven't been typing here. I've driven something like 84 miles in 3 days--just around Lexington. I haven't gotten much sleep either. It's sort of jump-started me. I plan on going to the gym after work tomorrow now that I can get down Richmond Road without trying to catch a bus in the middle of all the construction. Also, I've been reading until the wee hours of the morning, too. I've just had more energy, although I think I'll turn in a little earlier tonight; I had a wonderful meal with friends (Curried lentils with hardboiled egg, Spanish salad (peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and onions), and clafouti). I have the happy satisfied feeling you get with good food and good companionship. So now I'm home and spending a little time with the animals and thinking of going on to bed.

So, hope you had fun this weekend. Mine was busy but productive.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Reparations take different forms

In Fiji, ritual apologies for ancestors who ate missionary have been made in the hopes of lifting a village curse.

Time for Friday!

I'm up at an ungodly hour because I'm excited about being able to run errands before work. Yes, I know that's sick, but a car changes everything, what can I say?

So here's the Friday Five for this week:

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space. cluttered

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer. eccentric, worthwhile

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime. interactive, adventurous, butt-kicking

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day. busy, interesting, challenging, social

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life. secure, academic, loved, philanthropic, nurturing

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Yay! Yule came early this year

listening to: 'So Far Away' by Staind
feeling: Giggly

    Today I:
  • Went into utter shock at the surprise of receiving an early holiday present--a car!
  • Visited a friend
  • Stopped by a gaming store
  • Ate at Long John Silver's/A&W
  • Browsed Joseph-Beth
  • Received a couple of my Yule presents early--the traditional calendars--one for home (Cobblestone Way) and one for work (Edward Gorey)
  • Checked out a neighbourhood for eventual relocation possibilities
  • Ran into Kroger for a 22 lb bag of dog food (lucked into a sale + coupons and got it for about $4, which I could take advantage of only because I had a car to haul it!
  • Read part of the owner's manual
  • Figured out the trick to unlocking all the locks at once from the outside
  • Got a money order to take care of everything down at the county attorney's office
  • Paid my phone bill
  • Brought my cable bill current
Leaving me with some money to still live off of and put towards next month's rent and pay my fines with. Yay!!!!Meaning that I'm suddenly on target and not behind in everything, and I'm mobile. I feel like someone waved a magic wand. I spent most of the early part of the day waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I'm thinking I was due a little luck. I'm very happy, and very grateful for all of those who have been so supportive the last few months. Thanks.

I am SOOOOO in shock...

feeling: Delirious

As I mentioned previously, my mom and stepfather was coming to Lexington today and were bringing some money to help out with my dismal financial situation, for which I'm quite grateful. I didn't really think about both of them coming up...I figured they were doing some shopping. John particularly likes to hit the computer stores in Lexington.

But I found out there was another reason for both of them to come. I was paged to the lobby and I took Dwana along because I wanted her to meet my parents (and vice versa) and instead of coming back to the library they asked me to walk out back with them. A surprised glimmer of hope began to swell inside me. Apparently John showed Dwana some keys and motioned for her to come with us, and my mom winked at her. We went outside and John goes, 'where are you parked?' When I said I wasn't, he gestured towards a car next to my mom's truck and said, 'Oh, I think you're parked right over there'--and handed me the car keys.

It's still not real. Momma and John told Dwana to make sure I didn't accidentally walk home after work. Then Momma gave me some money and wished me an early Christmas.

It's a 1996 Taurus, a little high in mileage, but well cared for. The inside looks brand new. It's got cruise control and power and I'm pretty sure, for the first time, I have a car with air bags.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I'm mobile! And I can pay bills!

Oh, and it's payday at both places and I bought a Diet Coke and won a free one with the bottlecap. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket today? :)

Thanks Momma and John!

Sure, it's only satire...

But it could happen to you. :) The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog

My mom knows about my blog. But she's pretty cool anyway, and let's face it, my life is boring enough to pass--the only thing she has to worry about is me becoming homeless, and she already knows about that. I generally don't censor much about me, although I'm a little circumspect when I write about other people, who after all may not want their privacy violated, or say, frustrations of work, that sort of thing. I have friends for those rants.

But why do people write on blogs as if no one's reading? Isn't the point to expect someone to read it?

PS Be sure to check out Blogger take on this.

Life is full of adventures that are just never captured on 'Sims'

Whenever Dwana and I get together--particularly for a car ride--adventures happen. Today we went out during a rainy day at the worst possible time...the sky was very black for 3 in the afternoon and it was raining buckets. We both got soaked to the skin, our umbrellas woefully inadequate. Dwana's actully flew wrong-side-out due to the wind. Then we tried going down Fontaine, only to get to a point where the road was flooded and there was no way to get through. We went down a side street to find SUVs turning around, but it didn't seem deep--until Dwana noticed water coming up under her pedals before we'd gone more than a yard or two. If we'd gone any further she would have stalled out and I think we would have floated/taken on water. We had about eight cars behind us and one of the neighbours ran down the line telling them to back up so we could go back. We then went back the way we came, went over to her house so she could change and get things for school, stopped by my house so I could get changed, and then went over to a friend's house--this time going another way entirely. She went on to school and presumably things had dried up before she got out of class, although she called me and all of her floorboards are soaked, so she was going to use a wet dry vac on them. Bleh.

The other unfortunate thing about this is that it was over 70 degrees today and tomorrow it's not even supposed to be 50, so the temps will plummet tonight. So I've got a headache and none of us felt great at work and somehow I think tomorrow is going to be a winter wakeup call.

But at least we didn't go floating away, right?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

This really isn't a political blog, per se...

but politics affect us all in our daily lives, and I've obviously got opinions like everyone. There's one candidate for President that really resonates with my beliefs in what is important, and even though he's 'out there' on a limb of progressive liberalism and I don't think he'll really 'make it' as a party nominee, for now, leading up to the primary, I'm supporting him because he is the type of candidate I would want in office. His name is Dennis Kucinich, he's from Cleveland, Ohio and is currently a US Representative for that state. He's got a lot of enthusiasm, a refreshingly un-politics-as-usual platform, and is squarely in the court of the average American rather than big business or special interests. As such, I'm not sure he has a chance in hell of winning the nomination. But I like him, anyway. So, I'm adding a link to his official campaign site and the associated blog. Laugh if you want, but if we have a chance of working with the world rather than playing some sort of schoolyard bully, we're going to need more candidates like Kucinich.

Surveillance in America

Concerned about citizen privacy issues? Or, on the other side of the coin, are you interested in the government's tools for fighting terrorism? Check out: Surveillance in America

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Remembering Veterans' Day--a bit melodramatic but with good intent

In most of Europe, this is Remembrance or Armistice Day, and recognises the signing of the armistice that ended the Great War (World War I)--and with the subsequent Treaty of Versailles, eventually led to World War II. It is the reason you often see poppies (a symbol of the sacrifice of soldiers, as illustrated by the famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'. Because America already had Memorial Day (or Decoration Day, as it's often called in the South), which had its roots in the Civil War, this day instead is one of remembrance of all veterans, living or dead.

So...let me take a moment to remember the veterans who have served in our armed forces, and particularly, the ones in my family...
Allan J. Broadbent * Allan M. Broadbent * Richard Cobb * Robert Cobb * Samuel Cobb * Tyrus Cobb * Vergil Cobb * Edgar Craig * Joe Craig * Oscar Craig * Roy Craig * Levi Doty Jr * Cantrill Duncan * Catlett Duncan * Joseph Duncan Sr * Squire Duncan * Stephen Karnes * Terry Karnes * Curtis Mefford * Leonard Mefford * Lindsay Mefford * Orville Mefford * Billy O'Banion * PT O'Banion * Woodrow O'Banion * John Montgomery * Frances Duncan Broadbent Vanarsdall

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I know of, spanning as far back as the Revolution to just a few years ago. I don't know anyone in the family currently serving, but if so I hope they're reunited safely with their loved ones soon--a wish I hope for all out there. So many times we take our military for granted. Even though I'm not big on the destructive power of the military--that should be obvious from reading my writings, I've always supported the military personnel themselves and their families--having been raised in the Air Force myself and a child of the Vietnam era. Don't take them for granted...our free society does rely on often very young men and women who have agreed--or in the past, drafted--into many hardships, for very little pay, recognition, etc. Those of you who are younger may find it hard to understand what sort of 'homecoming' the veterans from Vietnam received. And although the men and women who served in WWII were welcomed with open arms (well, mostly the men), they're just now getting a national memorial, when so few are still left to see it.

So keep in mind when you're going out to Veterans' Day sales or if you're fortunate to be off what the holiday really means.

One last thing before I go...

If you've read this site at all, you know I'm a proponent of tolerance--by which I mean that essential quality that promotes understanding. Tolerance isn't about letting bad people get away with evil. It's about seeking justice for what people do rather than pay lipservice to justice by treating people differently because of what they are. Tonight I was thinking of the Middle East and the history of terrorism, which goes way back, both in that region and outside, and this ethical dilemma came to mind as a way to get people to understand others better. Ready?

What would you do if you found out that a relative--particlularly your own child--was a terrorist? Generations of parents of various nationalities, cultures, and creeds have had to deal with this. What if your daughter blew herself up in a crowded market, or your son committed acts similar to those of Timothy McVeigh? Or you knew that it was likely to happen? Would you be like the Unabomber's brother and make the difficult decision of innocents over family? We all probably know what the ethical thing to do is--but faced with that choice, what would you do? Discuss amongst yourselves and get back to me.

The sad thing is that many folks probably never dream that this could happen to their family. You expect it in, say, families where extremist ideology plays an important role. But a lot of otherwise moderate people wind up in this situation. The trick then becomes, how do we prevent it and make our young people less vulnerable to those who would build up their esteem through hate?

Monday, November 10, 2003


listening to: 'Clocks' by Coldplay; 'Fallen' by Sarah MacLachlan; 'When I'm Gone' by 3 Doors Down
feeling: Tired

I'm sleepy, but I can't go to bed yet because I have a load of laundry in the dryer. It's just enough to have an outfit to wear to my library meeting tomorrow and jammies tonight. I'll do more tomorrow, but really, tomorrow is another day.

It took me a long time to get home tonight. I think I said some very unkind things about LexTran. Two months later, they're still not running the peak schedule buses and i keep getting stuck when they make the switch in times/send buses to the garage. It's disheartening to see two buses go out in the other direction and know you'll wait awhile for one of them to come back. At one point I just went on back to work. Poor Dwana felt guilty because she's been through a lot today and really couldn't come pick me up--not that she should be driving tonight, and I understand that. (So would you if she could blog about it; her computer's having fits, but keep checking back, I'm sure she'll eventually get to post.) Suffice to say more medical procedures were involved, and she's in pain, bleeding, and faint. No driving allowed. :)

But one thing helped...listening to a little FM radio play Barenaked Ladies' 'Another Postcard'. You just can't help but laugh at that song...the visual of chimpanzees in all these different roles is too much.

Tomorrow I'm going to Harrodsburg to a BML meeting. It'll be nice to spend time with some other librarians and get out of the city for a little while. And I don't have to ride the bus anywhere tomorrow. :)

My mom called tonight, too, and we set up things so I'll be visiting on Thanksgiving day. Momma's actually off that Wednesday night, so we can visit and she won't be really sleepy. :) It can be difficult getting together when people are on different shifts; but then my mom's worked nights for nearly all the time I've been alive. She asked how I was doing and I told her about the near-eviction and the retirement money helping and impending court, and I guess maybe she's in a better place financially now because she told me to let her know if I needed any help. I'll know more next week. But that helped. I'm trying to do okay on my own (I'm 36, after all, shouldn't I be self-sufficient?) but it's reassuring to know there are people out there who care enough to help. I just hope one of the jobs I've applied for will pan out and I can finally get a little security. I'm at that point in my life where that's getting to be more important.

In the meantime, I find that I'm looking forward to the holidays, and I'm not depressed about the lack of money. I've decided to make baklava for the non-diabetic folks and crafts and small gifts for everyone else. I'm feeling better in general than I did the other day (I really think that was hormones rearing their ugly head). I'm hoping that keeps steady.

Okay, I think my laundry should be finished. I think I'm going to sleep early since I have to get up early. 'Night.

I'd like to say this was just poor judgement...

but it pretty much sounds like stupidity in action.

A white judge in Louisiana is under fire for going to a Halloween party costumed in blackface makeup, an afro wig and a prison jumpsuit with shackles around his wrists and ankles.


listening to: 'Bigger Than My Body' by John Mayer
feeling: Perky

Good news: My crème caramel tealights came in from Partylite. Bad news: in my generally ungraceful way, I managed to embed a staple in my finger as I tore open the bag. Sigh. But now I have a nice, sparkly, holographic, latex-free bandage on it. :)

In Amazon’s Text-Search, a Field Day for Book Browsers

Check out a NY Times article here.

This is a great tool for people who come into the library with very vague requests ('it was red and was about polar bears who go on an adventure'). It should be interesting to see how it affects life as we know it.

Of course, many are afraid that people will just read what they need online rather than buy the books. In my student poverty, I can remember going to a bookstore and doing just that. There was one book of a favourite series that came out in hardback and I couldn't afford it, so I went a read a chapter each time a friend and I would go to the store. But after about chapter 6 I had save enough and did, indeed, buy it. I think when it comes to it, people have always based their decision to buy a book on whether they will truly get either enough info to make it worthwhile or a good story--with paperbacks going for $8 a piece these days and even magazines at $3-$6, the era of just grabbing something went out the window a long time ago, don't you think?

Action Figure Librarian stars in a strip of Stone Soup

Stone Soup: Nov 2, 2003


Sunday, November 09, 2003

I love 'The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy', but

they finally hurt my brain. I'm not scared by tentacled things, Grim Reapers, anything of that sort. No, it was the happy little square nuns who came together like a transformer Battle Action Nun. That disturbs me. :)


Results...: You are Mandy. You plan to rule the world someday.

(Big Surprise)
Which Character From 'The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy' are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Soothing Raccoon Trauma

Yesterday when I talked to a friend, I told him I planned on coming over but I was going to sleep in, and he agreed.

So, when I got an early morning call from him, the first thing out of my mouth was, 'What part of sleeping in did you not understand?'

Mind you, I only reacted that grumpy because he has a bizarre tendency to call me repeatedly on those rare mornings when he's up early.

Then the following words changed the whole day: 'We're trapped in the bedroom, huddling and yearning to pee.'

Yeah, it brought up visions of 'give me your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to pee'. Of course. So what could cause two grown men and five animals (including two very large dogs) to be hiding in one room? Well, apparently throughout the night my friend had heard sounds like the cats knocking things over. They were acting weird and running around as a team. He figured it was full moon or something and they were just acting like cats rather than the usual diurnal creatures they are (having been trained to go against their feline natures in that respect). After getting up and chastising them several times, he finally fell to sleep around five, only to be awakened by the Rottweiler's deep woofing.

Now you have to understand, she doesn't normally bark. If anything, she might give a woof or two whilst playing. This was sustained barking. The type that translates into: 'There's a thing! I found a thing! Let me show you the thing!'

Barely awake, my friend sent his boyfriend to check it out; there must be something wrong if she's barking after all. A moment or two later the boyfriend returned with the following proclamation:

'Honey, I'm confused. We have another animal in the house and I don't think it's (drag cat who hisses at everyone).'

That got his attention. So he bounds out of bed and goes out, and there is a huge RACCOON treed up on a chest by the Rottweiler, hissing. The raccoon was easily larger than half the size of the other big dog, a collie/shepherd mix (who, incidentally, slept through the whole thing).

Knowing that cornered raccoons can be vicious, and that they can carry rabies, he then corralled all the animals, the boyfriend, and the phone into the bedroom and called animal control, which apparently doesn't handle raccoons, so they suggested a commercial critter control company. Then he called me as they waited for the return call.

My first inclination was to go over and help do some sort of raccoon drive out of the house (mind you, I was sleepy and not thinking well, and I'm not afraid of most animals) and then thought back to my last encounter with a wild animal (which resulted in a squirrell bite) and decided that the plan for critter control was better, and wished them well. Then I went back to sleep.

Later I went over and checked on them. The guys from critter control had captured the raccoon, a pregnant female, with a loop on a stick and were going to take her outside the city and release her. She'd apparently gotten in from outside into a crawl space above their apartment and dropped down. It had turned cold last night and I think she just wanted to find a nice nest for her little ones. Can't really blame her, really--silly humans, building a city on top of her range. The critter control guys actually asked if they wanted to keep a baby, to which my friend replied, 'what, raise it and send it to college???' I think they just wanted the raccoon to go somewhere not their apartment.

She was mightedly thwarted by two things: the fact that everything from the dog food to the bread box was sealed in containers she couldn't open, even with thumbs (although she tried) and a big woofing dog. She'd knocked things around in the bath, kitchen, and closet and either used the bathroom in the tub or taken treats from the cat box and put them in there. At one point the boyfriend accidentally let two of the animals out and my friend went and got them, then stayed out on the couch waiting for the control people.

The whole house was traumatised by this. The cats, with a 'we tried to tell you something was wrong' stayed huddled in a high window together the whole day. The dogs kept looking for it. My friend kept trying to get a hold of his landlord to explain what had happened and to hopefully get the passageway sealed. He was so tired he fell asleep on my shoulder for a couple of hours, so I just watched TV and provided a calming presence (well, except for pointing out they could easily have had a snake--the boyfriend is phobic on that one). Before I left, my friend actually hugged me (not usual behaviour) and thanked me for helping soothe raccoon trauma.

Well, it was an exciting Saturday, anyway, although thankfully it didn't actually happen to me. I have no doubt what havoc a raccoon could wreak on my kitchen, where both the trash and the animal food are unsealed in cabinets, which would be no trouble for an enterprising raccoon to tackle. :)


Nothing like a lunar eclipse to throw off your sense of things. As a pagan, I tend to notice and keep up with lunar cycles (hence the module on this page), and as someone interested in astronomy, I usually keep up with space news, but I this time I somehow the fact that there would be an eclipse tonight.

A friend made the comment today that things were crazy like at full moon (more on that later) and I remember thinking, well, it should be full, after all. But on the way home the moon seemed, well, waning, which didn't make sense to me, but I thought, gee, you've been busy, you were just wrong--even though a part of my brain was also going 'but the moon's in the east, and it's just after sunset, so that should be full (having paid attention to those lectures in astronomy)...but again, I dismissed it because hey, I have the memory of a gnat--I can look anything up but it's hard for me to pop out total recall. I went in for a few things at the pharmacy across the street and then came out and...lo, the moon is red, a rosey-red you only get during an eclipse. Ergo, the earth is between it and the sun (lunar eclipses only happen during full moon; solar eclipses only happen during new moon, you see--paired, in fact, although the upcoming solar eclipse on November 23 will not be visible here). Mystery solved. Which explains why things feel little oddly quiet for an autumn night. Usually a full moon night is teeming with magical energy, but tonight everything seems to be at ebb, as if veiled. Hmmm...

Friday, November 07, 2003

Happy Friday!

1. What food do you like that most people hate? Lima beans

2. What food do you hate that most people love? Alcohol. If I can taste it (and I can in even supposedly 'non-alcoholic' drinks, I don't find it appealing, with the exception of mead and triple stout.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you? Tom Cruise; Penelope Cruz

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive? Sam Watterson (Law & Order)--ever since I saw him in Great Gatsby back in high school :), Adrien Brody (what can I say, I like big noses on a guy); Sandra Bullock (yeah, she's a big star, but she's not a classic beauty, more girl-next door)

5. What popular trend baffles you? Body modification; I really don't get the addictive need some people seem to have for piercings

Good Samhain...and a fruitful new year

Okay, those Pagans out there are going to go, huh, isn't Samhain November 1st? I'm of the school that uses astronomy to determine the quarters and cross-quarters that make up our holidays. I figure in the old days, they celebrated as they observed the sun in relation to the elliptic, rather than sticking to a strict calendar, given the trouble with standardisation before our global culture.

Politics & Science: Investigating the Bush Administration's Promotion of Ideology over Science

The report Politics and Science in the Bush Administration finds numerous instances where the Administration has manipulated the scientific process and distorted or suppressed scientific findings. Beneficiaries include important supporters of the President, including social conservatives and powerful industry groups.

To view the .pdf, maker sure you either have a view such as Adobe Acrobat Reader installed or you can also search it in Google and view it in HTML. :)


Yahoo! News - Policeman gets two years for oral sex

They're rough on you in Singapore. Prostitution is legal, but oral sex between consenting adults carries a maximum of a LIFE sentence. Puts a whole different light on the 'is it or isn't it?' debate after the Clinton scandal, doesn't it?

I don't think I'm going to be travelling to Singapore anytime soon; I think I can avoid oral sex, but if that's outlawed, who knows what else is? And I'd rather not end up in a foreign prison because of ignorance of the law.

Funny Foward of the Week

A Nun asked her class to write notes to God.

Here are some they handed in:
Dear God:
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool. [I agree; that's where I got the inspiration for the colours on this website. :)]
Dear God:
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't You keep the ones You already have?
Dear God:
Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other if they had their own rooms. That's what my Mom did for me and my brother.
Dear God:
If You watch me in church on Sunday, I'll show You my new shoes.
Dear God:
I bet it is very hard to love everyone in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I'm having a hard time loving all of them.
Dear God:
In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation?
Dear God:
Are You really invisible or is it just a trick?
Dear God:
Is it true my father won't get into heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?
Dear God:
Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
Dear God:
Who draws the lines around the countries?
Dear God:
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in the church. Is that OK?
Dear God:
Did You really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"? Because if You did, then I'm going to get my brother good.
Dear God:
Thank You for the baby brother, but I think you got confused because what I prayed for was a puppy.
Dear God:
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.
Dear God:
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over.
Dear God:
You don't have to worry about me; I always look both ways.
Dear God:
I think about You sometimes, even when I'm not praying.
Dear God:
Of all the people who worked for You, I like Noah and David the best.
Dear God:
My brother told me about being born but it doesn't sound right. They're just kidding, aren't they?
Dear God:
I would like to live 900 years just like the guy in the Bible.
Dear God:
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said You did it. So, I bet he stole Your idea.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Well, pooh!

Yahoo! News - No more "ghostly tales" as Malaysia bans books

At least Harry Potter is considered 'benign'.

Oh, this could make my life sooooooo much easier...

A local store, Slone's Signature Market, which is a smaller grocery than the big chains in town, is turning to online ordering AND DELIVERY as a means to reach a niche market. For someone like me who doesn't have a vehicle, and spent four hours the other day on a 'simple shopping trip' where I couldn't even get out of the parking lot with my cat litter bag and had to return it. The service is provided anywhere within Fayette county for just $10 (which granted can be a lot of money, which is better than cab fare. If you don't want the hassle of dealing with the store and lines but do have transportation, for $5 they'll get your order ready for you and you can just pick it up in a drive through window.

This, along with a phone call from my library consortium president offering to find me a ride to our meeting in Harrodsburg next week, is vastly improving my day. :)

Hopefully there will be some closure

As a man confesses to being the Green River Killer, a long series of murders and bodies and lots of fear may hopefully come to an end, and families of the victims may find some closure, although as part of the deal to discover as much about the crimes as possible, the confessed murderer will not be given a death sentence.

There's a fascination serial killers hold in the popular mindset. How could anyone do such evil acts? How do they go about often scripted, ritual acts again and again without getting caught. This man fits the profile always suspected in the case. Maybe his cooperation will help law enforcement catch other similar killers. But in the end, one thing that is true about all serial killers is this: they are pathetic losers who often seek to control others because of a lack of control in their own lives. In this case, he sought out vulnerable women, often prostitutes or drug addicts, because they would be easier to control and kill, because he believed no one would miss them. He saw it as doing a favour to law enforcement to control these women he saw as worthless.

As he made his plea, family members of the victims cried. Those women were not missed, although they did fall through the cracks of society. The saddest thing in all this is that there are people out there who might even agree with this murderer that no one should mind a dead prostitute or two, or even a hundred.

As much as the psychology of serial killing fascinates me, I've come to realise that more important than anything else is to remember the victims, not the murderer. We hear of the Bundy and Zodiac and Son of Sam--and now Ridgway--but most people who are not involved in the case ever know much about the victims themselves, because they become statistics. But every single victim was someone's child, often a mother, a sister, etc.

If you look at the list of Green River victims and do the math, you'll find that the great majority of them were teenagers, many as young as 15 or 16. These weren't fallen women. They were desperate girls trying to get by. And no matter what the Ridgways of the world may think, they did not deserve to be used as an object of lust, murdered, and then tossed away like garbage. They never 'belonged' to Ridgway, in life or death, no matter what he may have thought.

I can only hope that with his confession and cooperation in locating and identifying his victims that their souls may find some peace and that, in their next life, they find a kinder world.