Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, April 30, 2004


Dwana just brought me one of the new nickels from The United States Mint commemorating the Louisiana Purchase. A second design, celebrating the Lewis & Clark expedition, will be released this fall. Nifty.

I love commemorative coins. I got a Florida quarter the other day and accidentally spent it. Unfortunately, with the lack of money, I haven't really been able to hoard the quarters like I'd like, although I usually try to make sure a friend has one as I get them. I know he won't spend it. You have to love a quarter with the Space Shuttle on it. :)

On the other hand

I'm kind of glad I don't have TV at the moment...I mean, please, the things they're doing for sweeps these days.
'20/20' Under Fire for Adoption Contest

Oh, please

Stations to Boycott 'Nightline's' List of the Fallen

Shouldn't the people of the United States get to see the faces of the people who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms? If anyone is using this as a political statement, it seems to be the owner of the bloc of stations that are staging a blackout (read, censorship) of the programme. Newsweek has periodically provided similar content as a means of reflection, and it really helped to be able to see the faces, read a little, recognise that each of those names--and the sad thing is that, except locally, we're to the point where it's often not even a name we get in the news, but just a number, in terms of casualties--had a life, a story, a family attached.

Happy Friday, Happy Bealtaine

It's supposed to storm today, but that's okay, because it's Friday. Unfortunately, the Friday Five is still on hiatus, but still, yay!

I woke up to a cat draped over my chest (Spock), purring, one (Darius) draped over my dog (Cerys) because, well, he's terribly devoted to her and must. be. in. contact. at. all. times. I'm not sure how Cerys feels about that, to have this maniacal orange cat of devotion attached to her. He watches her when she goes out. He snuggles next to her whenever she isn't moving. His brother was the same way with his dog, a friend's, and when she'd had to be put down :( the cat waited by window for weeks waiting for her to come home.

The alarm went off and cats went flying (they know the lumbering giant they know as mom is going to get up to turn the infernal noise off) and then I went over to snuggle with Cerys, who'd been sleeping with her butt up by my head. Unfortunately she chose that moment to do one of those shake-your-head-and-flap-your-ears-back-and-forth right in time to slap me in my eye. Ah, my life. :)

I'm looking forward to two things tonight; one, it's game night--I'll be spending time with friends playing board games. Two, it's Bealtaine eve, an important religious holiday which unfortunately I can't really celebrate to great effect (being the fertility/sex one, and not having a partner), but there are other aspects of the holiday, too, although I learnt a long time ago that jumping bonfires was not something to do if you're clumsy and not likely to be procreating--there was one year I injured my foot and it gave me problems all the way to Samhain (November).

Last night's dreams were mostly spy thrillers. I think my brain is making up for the lack of TV. When I was a kid my favourite episode of M*A*S*H was being shown but we were in limbo during a move and didn't have our TV yet, and that night I reproduced the entire episode faithfully from beginning notes to credits, which means somewhere, lost in my brain, is a memory, right? :)

One last thing

I was checking on the status of Mad Mad House, since I am now without cable and can't watch, and I came across a story where Nicholas Brendon of 'Buffy: the Vampire Slayer' has voluntarily entered rehab for alcholism. Sad, but I'm glad he decided to seek help. I admire his efforts to overcome obstacles; I first learnt of his overcoming stuttering through ads in Exceptional Parent magazine. Apparently he has been the honourary chairperson for the Stuttering Foundation of America's Stuttering Awareness Week for three years now. By the way, here's a bit of trivia I didn't know--his name always sounded like it was a first and middle one, and that's actually true; he keeps his last name private, and he has a twin brother, Kelly Donovan. Hmmm...I'm betting someone in the family is Irish. :)

As for Mad Mad House, I'm a little disappointed to see Eric, who just comes off as a jerk, still on. I have to admit, I'm rooting for Nichole, and I think she's probably done the best job, at least from what I've seen. From the beginning, the three I did not want to see win were Kelly, Tim, and Eric. My favourite Alts are Art, Avocado, and Ta'Shia. Fiona's seems a little high-strung. Don...well, let's just say that I think he values shock-value more than substance, and even the other Alts struggle to deal with him.

There are a lot of things on the website like chat transcripts. Now both Don and Fiona have their own websites. Ta'Shia has a blog.

Well, we've had about one minute of rain, followed by silence, I have two cats perched on top of my computer who seem ready to adjourn to the bedroom, and I think it's time to go to bed. (I am so happy to be able to stay up again and not be getting up at 4 am!). Cerys, however, has burrowed under some of my laundry-to-do (yes, I still have part of my backlog) on the couch, so I think she'll stay there for the night. I'm interested to see what I dream tonight. The night before last was a vivid return of Cole from 'Charmed', but a good Cole, with a wedding and odd stuff along the way, but here in Lexington. Last night involved Versailles (one town over, and pronounced here like 'Ver-sales', a river, a journey, and women, ,but I don't remember the particulars...I do know that I somehow got a lot of my job frustrations out in the dream and essentially bitched in my head throughout the night. So who knows what's next? 'Night.


Whilst looking up the link for Belle Brezing I came across this: the official historical Creeps website which mentions Belle, Appalachian Voodoo, music, Lovecraft, and generally piqued my curiosity. Which led to this FAQ and this performance artist's website. The odd thing? It makes me feel terribly mundane, normal, even sane, and that I've lost my touch for knowing the oddest people in the area. I guess it's a new generation, and I know the older eccentrics but not the younger ones. Oh, and here's her diary.

How do you explain to a dog

with great big puppy eyes and salivation that macaroni and cheese is not an appropriate doggie snack? :)
Apparently once I put the bowl in the sink, she got the message and went back to her own food. (Cheese isn't really toxic for dogs, like chocolate is, but it's fairly rich and not all that easy to digest, so I usually avoid it. One thing I found out from that link, though, is that large quantities of onions can be toxic to dogs and cats.

listening to: 'Me and Bobby Magee' (unfortunately not the Janis Joplin version, which is truly wonderful, but Kris Kristofferson's isn't bad); 'We Shall Not be Moved' by the Seekers

*Hysterical Laughter*

I came in from picking a friend up at work and I'd left my computer playing the folk station...and then I looked at the name of the song and just collapsed in giggles: Kentucky Borderline by Rhonda Vincent.

If you've been reading for any length of time, you'll probably get the joke. :)

Ah, well, tomorrow was actually another day

listening to: 'I Ain't Got No Home' from an album called Folkways: A Shared Vision, which is Various Artists but this sound like it's Bruce Springsteen; 'I Hung My Head' by Johnny Cash
feeling: Pretty nice, actually

Yesterday was one of the worst days I've had in a while; in the whirlwind of busy-ness (as opposed to business) I've had over the last couple of weeks, I apparently:
  1. Forgot to take my Paxil. For days, and I'm not sure for how long. It may have been as many as four or five.
  2. I'd apparently set up a payment date for my phone, but it was the day after I put Buns down, and somehow with that on my mind instead, I thought I'd set up a payment itself. So I'd had to run over early yesterday before work and pay it.
  3. I'd thought I had until Friday to pay my electric bill (and since I was getting paid on Thursday and Friday, that was good). I was wrong. I came home last night to a very dark house. Eeeeeekkkk! I will say one thing for KU, though, they had it on in 20 minutes flat after I called in the payment last night. At least I had the phone back. :)
  4. I had the aforementioned run-in with the co-worker, which I'd like to put down to hormones and lack of meds, but really, upon reflection, I was completely justified in my reaction.

Good things about yesterday...
  1. I did take my Paxil.
  2. I went over to the university with Dwana and sat outside her class reviewing my Hebrew. The guest speaker for her class did a very nice overview of Islam, and I got to listen to it. He was very good at explaining differences between American Muslims and Muslims overseas, the different ethnicities involved, Islam's relationship with Judaism and Christianity, and religion's attitudes towards women, in an objective manner. Then Dwana treated me to half-price appetizers at Applebee's, we went to Baskin & Robin's free scoop night (yay, Nutty Coconut!), and then went out to the farm where her graduation reception is going to be and got the grand tour. (It's a beautiful home that one of our co-worker's family bought when it was all but falling down, without electricity or water (it was built about 1810) and totally refurbished.) And, they have a bed of Belle Brezing's (Lexington's famous madam, who was supposedly the basis of the madam in Gone With the Wind and the house is supposedly haunted by ghostly children. I love homes with a history. This one also has a shower for two with 9-foot ceilings. :) It's also for sale in case you're in the market for a small horse farm.

Today has been better, which is good because whereas Dwana was having a good day yesterday and could help me through my issues, things reversed a little today. But her day improved, too. She even got a standing ovation from the parking office when she went to pay a ticket before graduating and they looked at her history and it came up with only one over her entire undergraduate and graduate career. I take it that it was a slow day at UK Parking. :)

I came home and took a nap and built a moonbase on the computer and then worked on a job application and got it ready to print off and send tomorrow. It's for a youth services librarian position at a public library and I think I have a very good shot at it. It's not in Lexington, but it's not a long drive, and I've done that commute before when I worked for the state.

I'm trying to decide whether or not to apply for another job that's in Louisville. On the one hand, it's a lot of database development and cataloguing, which was my original training, and it's at the American Printing House for the Blind, which is non-profit yet federally and state mandated, so it probably wouldn't suffer some of the woes we've undergone lately at my current job. I think it would be ideal in many ways, except for the commute, because that's 3 hours a day, and I don't really want to live in Louisville; I really prefer Lexington and of course I wouldn't be able to see my friends as often. It's also primarily interstate driving and then dealing with Spaghetti Junction, and I learnt a long time ago when I was shuttling back and forth to Cincinnati during my grandmother's illness (and that was once a week) that I tend to have issues with road hypnosis. I scared myself badly a few times by nearly falling asleep. Granted I was in school, working almost full-time, and dealing with a grandmother who was dying of cancer on top of that, but still....I may go ahead and apply and then if called for an interview see how the drive goes, and see if the salary could handle the cost of gas and increased wear and tear on a vehicle.

Do any of you have that kind of commute, or have you done it on a regular basis? How bad is it, really?

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ewwww. And I say again, ewwwww.....

Mauled Child Recovering After Pit Bull Attack

After shooting the dog, a family pet, to get it to let go of the girl, and then shooting it to death, authorities realised that the girl's scalp was missing and cut the dog open and took out the scalp from its stomach to reattach to the child.


  1. Why would anyone with small children keep a pit bull as a family pet? Granted, some breeds do get a bad rep but the power and breeding of these dogs were meant specifically to maul other animals, and as a breed they are very territorial. Most dog experts/rescue groups acknowledge this and recommend certain breeds or individuals with a history of snapping, etc., not be put in a home with young children or other pets. As horrendous as this has been for the family, it's irresponsible and just as any pet owner whose animal attacks someone should be held liable, so should the owners of this dog--which is why I'm glad social services is investigating why the dog was able to maul the child.
  2. The result was a terrible and potentially fatal attack on a child, who will probably be scarred physically and emotionally by the experience. Likewise, the dog had to be shot several times, and certainly it seems the only way to have dealt with an animal in that state, but it wasn't a particularly humane death for the dog.
  3. Kudos to the neighbour's son who risked life and limb to protect the little girl from further harm by grabbing the dog and getting the dog's chain off her. It was a situation where there wasn't time to wait for the authorities, action was called for, and he probably saved her life.


I can't believe I missed this!

Google in Latin!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

May I just say how much I really appreciate

those people in my life who are truly empathetic, wonderful, supportive. I just spoke with someone a little while ago who quite frankly has the empathy of the rock (Dwana, can you guess who?) who butted into a conversation I was having with someone else and then got defensive when I used the tone appropriate with people who bulldoze over other people's feelings in a race to get sympathy of their own. The sad thing is that I think she really does believe she is being supportive, and she also confuses a degree with psychology with actually understanding other people, and she doesn't have a clue that she annoys those around her by making inappropriate comments, dismissing anyone else's problems--what, you've had surgery and almost died, well, let me tell you how much pain my back's been giving me, that sort of thing--trying to herd everyone around to do what she wants and control them, monitoring what they eat or what they do, and generally being a pest. And that's just at work. Heaven help her family. :)

It's bad when you cry when they give you a raise...

We weren't supposed to get any raise at all this year, although they did give us all about $175 as a one-time payment back in March. Turns out, things are better than they thought they would be, and we'll get a 2% merit increase starting May 9th.

Of course, that's great; it comes out to maybe $70 extra a month for me. But considering the fact that I'm trying to make it on fifteen less hours per week, it's only a small consolation. I feel like the little Dutch boy trying to plug holes in a flood wall, where I'm just trying to keep my apartment, my electricity, my phone (in that order) until I can find a job that will pay an average wage (as opposed to the 10% percentile I'm in now).

Of course, part of that outburst came from hormones and the fact that I had come home last night to find my phone off. I thought I had set up a payment, but I'd set up a payment date. So during the whole thing with Buns and then the couple of weeks of little sleep, I thought it had been paid, but it hadn't. So, I booked it over to Alltel this morning, went to the wrong parking area, had to pay to get out of the garage, and then coaxed the car to the gas station before it ran out completely. At least tomorrow and Friday are paydays at the two jobs, even if that is pretty much spent already. Sigh.

Still, I know that it will get better. I have utter faith that soon I will be able to make a living. I guess it's not so surprising that things will get worse before they get better. At this point, I'm just wondering if I'll have a roof over my head when I start that new job.

On a brighter note, Dwana got her research paper finished (two days early!), leaving only one take-home final due at the end of next week before she is out of school (for good). If we weren't both broke, we'd go out and celebrate tonight after her last case. Ah, well. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

And of course...

Pig Latin Google and Klingon Google

For 'real' languages, you can check their Language Tools.

Okay, I'm off for a nap.

Someone at Google had too much coffee...:)

Google: Elmer Fudd edition

I wonder

feeling: Mellow and a tiny bit guilty

When I was a kid, I used to stretch out on my bed and look at the ceiling, at how to doorways looked upside-down, and I wondered what it would be like to live in a world where everything was built like that, with the furniture on the ceiling and the floor having spackling and where you'd have to step over the threshold, literally. Today, on my way to put my clothes in the dryer, as a cold wind blew big fluffy clouds above me in a rich blue sky, I was suddenly struck with the same idea, but this time the 'what-if' involved someone standing on one of those fluffy cloud-bottoms looking up at this great, moving patchwork of a 'sky' with mountains stretching down, breaking up the seemingly endless sea. I also wondered how different it would be to be on a white, grey, or reflective cloud. Would you be blinded by a silver lining?

Then I decided that my blood sugar was a bit wonky and that I still hadn't eaten that 'bite' I'd intended.

Oh, and the guilt? I was about to put the last load into the dryer when a guy came in with a couple of pair of jeans looking not for a washer, but for a dryer, and asking the, 'oh, were you going to use this?' as if it weren't obvious. Still, rather than suggest he go to one of the other laundy roomd, I offered to consolidate my loads so he could have the last dryer (there are only four of each machine in that laundry room). Altruistic? Well, not exactly. I'd already cleaned out the lint and one of them had very little. There's one dryer that sometimes doesn't really dry well, and I can never remember which one...but from the lint, it would be the one I gave him. I don't know that for a fact, but I suspect. Now, granted, for two pairs of jeans vs. a full load of clothes, it'll probably do fine for him...but I felt just a little evil.

A mountain of laundry

feeling: Tired but productive

I have four loads of laundry in at the moment, so I've stolen back to the apartment for a bite to eat and to do a little blog reading. I've found that for all of the inane blog-churning out there, there's a lot of really great writing. Take Anne...Straight from the Hip, for example. I found her journal through John Cumisky and found that I could really relate to some of her issues, but even better, she just writes so well that I found myself going back and reading other posts, as well as her Letters to Rob which are particularly moving. I would say they're well-crafted, but that's the thing; they don't come off that way at all...you get the impression that they just flow like that. This is one very talented woman--not just in writing but she also acts (although I don't have any way to review that) and makes a very convincing Legolas. :)

Goodbye, native son

Eben Henson was an icon in my hometown of Danville, Kentucky. He created one of our biggest draws, an outdoor dinner theatre that has seen many seasons of operation and has included performances by a young John Travolta and Lee Majors. His Pioneer Playhouse launched many careers. How ironic that he would die at the same time as the usual final curtain call.

Monday, April 26, 2004

What she said. :)

From the its-not-as-simple-as-it-seems dept.:

Pink Post-Its Online strikes a blow against bitchy-gripers-who-haven't-a-clue-about-being-obese.

What day is it?

Sorry to be incommunicado yesterday but I spent most of it either awake at the wrong times, sleeping during the wrong times, and in the emergency room (for which there is never a good time). [And not to worry, all is better now.] I noticed that UK Med has put in some recliners to make the wait easier...someone had a wonderful idea with that.

I finally got a little rest which is good since my speech had degenerated to things like 'aks' for 'ask' and diphthongs that you only hear in the movie Deliverance, which is somewhat perplexing, as I am neither black nor do I normally sound anything like a Hollywood redneck. So, having regained some control of the English language, I thought I'd write.

So, since I think it's Monday, let me get caught up on a couple of things...

First, to mutter:
  1. Elastic:: Latex
  2. Intervention:: Drugs
  3. Risk:: Management
  4. Junk food:: Unhealthy
  5. Arrogance:: Hubris
  6. Responsibility:: Work
  7. X:: Marks the Spot
  8. Marshall:: Plan
  9. Kill:: Murder
  10. Brother:: Monk

and then there's the Monday Madness:

Using the letters in the word 'blogger' describe your blog for us.
Graffito of

Saturday, April 24, 2004

There's a reason I use my middle name online...

Okay, by now you should know I'm a name freak.

Name Statistics - How popular are your first and last names?:
Eilir is a very rare female name.
Very few females in the US are named Eilir.
Be proud of your unique name!
source namestatistics.com

Compare this to:
Lisa is the #11 most common female name.
0.704% of females in the US are named Lisa.
Around 897600 US females are named Lisa!

Elisabeth is the #558 most common female name.
0.023% of females in the US are named Elisabeth.
Around 29325 US females are named Elisabeth!

Rowan is the #2029 most common last name.
0.006% of last names in the US are Rowan.
Around 15000 US last names are Rowan!

which was a change from:
Broadbent is the #9052 most common last name.
0.001% of last names in the US are Broadbent.
Around 2500 US last names are Broadbent!

One friend comes out as very rare pretty much all around. He knows who he is, and we know he's unique. :)

This is for Dwana

Name Statistics - How popular are your first and last names?:
Dwana is the #3891 most common female name.
0.001% of females in the US are named Dwana.
Around 1275 US females are named Dwana!
source namestatistics.com

Too bad they don't break it down by race, since Dwana always dealing with people surprised she's white.

The Fifth Sentence

This one's fun.

Grab the nearest book
Open the book to page 23
Find the fifth sentence
Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions
From The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carrol: All of Lewis Carroll's STories, Verses, Puzzles, Acrostics, 'Phantasmagorica' and Other Comic Writings, Illustrated by John Tenniel, page 23, the 5th sentence:
I'm sure I sha'n't be able!

You know you're tired when

you don't even have the strength to blog. Or play video games. I'm just now getting back to feeling like a real, live person again.

I worked most of the day at a gait conference yesterday, helping to set up for the banquet and then working through the first part of that...so I worked from 10 am to about 7:30 pm, then stayed at the party until about nine, and came home and crashed. Dwana had to turn around and work from 7 am - 1:30 pm today, bless her heart...so she's pretty wiped out. Many of my co-workers have been involved with this for the better part of a week; I'm not sure how they're holding up. I've slept most of the day after getting up from about 5:30 am - 7:00 am and I'm not feeling too great. On the one hand, I've managed to catch up on the missing sleep from this week (I've been averaging about 4-5hours a night). On the other, I was so down on my blood sugar and hungry by the time I ate last night that I overdid it, and the fried catfish especially has not been sitting well on my stomach. Still, there was great Bluegrass, country, and Gospel music and dancers who did clogging and step dancing, and it was interesting to see everything behind the scenes as a plain ballroom was transformed. I wish I could have stayed to watch the whole show, but I was just so tired. I'm really impressed with one of my co-workers, who ran the sound and who sings, dances, and directs a group of professional entertainers for these sorts of events. The staff of the hotel were superb in preparing, serving, and bussing the meal, too.

That's pretty much all I've been up to, other than being very glad that I'm not in school this year and dealing with papers like Dwana. Still...she's almost finished and then it's on to graduation. :)

Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, it makes sense

I finally have a negative comment to reply to (gay marriage, war in Iraq, half a dozen other controversial things and it's tobacco-related?) and I can't get my reply to show up in the comments system...so, while it's still in my clipboard...

Jamie Riley wrote:
I am so tired of self righteous people trying to protect me from myself.
I am no longer able to smoke in a bar, but i can get drunk till 2:00 get in my car and kill someone.
You may need to jog my memory, but i can't recall anyone smoking a cigrette and then killing anybody! excuse me for living in this world full of crass, arrogant, asinine, do-gooders!

Fair enough, everyone is entitled to an opinion. That said, here is my reply:

You also live in a world that if you do get drunk and go out and kill someone, you can be prosecuted for murder and be put away. So, I wouldn't say you're 'allowed' to do it.

I have asthma. I can't be around smoke without it severely impacting my dining experience or my ability to breathe afterwards.

No one has ever said being around one smoker would kill anyone (well, short of being on an oxygen tank and going boom)...but over time, it can. I have lost two people in my life to smoking-related illnesses. It was their choice to smoke, but it did impact our lives as well.

If I were working in a business that had me spending 8-12 hours a day surrounded by many smokers for that time, I would probably be on disability within a short time. The smoking ban was not enacted to punish smokers. The smoking ban was enacted because it is an occupational and public health issue.

No one is telling you that you can't smoke. They're just telling you that your right to smoke ends where it impacts upon the rights of others to breathe. You can smoke to your heart's content in your house, your car, outside, etc., etc. I'm simply expressing my joy at being able to actually go to places, socialise, and not worry about winding up in an emergency room.

Personally, I am tired of smokers whinging about how their rights to inhale a toxin are being impinged. Get over it. You know what you're doing is not healthy. Most smokers try to quit at some point. It's a lifestyle choice, and a stupid one, but I'm not going to tell someone who's an adult that he or she can't do it, just like I'm not going to tell someone who's an adult not to pour acid onto his or her skin. I assume that he or she should know better, and is choosing to do something stupid, for whatever reason. But I don't go around putting pissy comments onto smoker's blogs just because I don't agree with that choice. I suggest you channel some of that righteous indignation into something more constructive.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

So, what's the point of a bus system that doesn't work?

Bus routes, schedules are cut

If you've read this blog for awhile, you've probably heard me complain about the ups and downs of LexTran, our bus system. If it weren't for my mom and stepdad's generosity of finding me a good used car, I'd still making four-hour trips to the grocery. No Sunday service? No service on night after 8:20...before the stores are even closed, or in the summer while it's still light outside? Come on.

I've long thought we needed better support for the system, and frankly, better management, too. The past few years the bus system has gone from barely a mass-transit solution to frankly just broken. I'm about all those people who won't be able to go to work unless they, too, luck into a car or can find someone willing to give them a ride. Argh.

How sad

Reports: Explosion kills thousands in North Korean train station

Details are sketchy, due to the lack of information available from North Korea. But it sounds like a major disaster with a potential huge loss of life. My condolences to the victims and their families. You might want to check North Korea Zone for updates.

Yipee! Yipee! Yipee!

Supreme Court Upholds Smoking Ban

Let the celebration begin...at least after midnight on Monday. :) Anyone up for O'Neil's?

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It bothers me that

20 years after taking college calculus, I could not calculate a derivative if my life depended on it (fortunately most people are not held at gunpoint and made to do higher math). So, given the power of the web, I've decided to do a study on my own. I don't know how this happened; I miss calculus. I miss chemistry and doing stochiometry. I want to do math. Am I being taken over by aliens? Actually I think part of it is a better sense of self-esteem. I used to think I was awful in math, when really, I was above average, just sucky compared to my reading skills.

I also found my Hebrew book in the great excavation, and I'm getting rusty so it's time for a review.

Ah, the bliss of not being in school--you get to study when and what you want, and screw grades.

I agree, war should be seen in all its ugliness

A Unique War Photographer

...not glorified, not used to get 'viewers'--indeed, I think playing images on screen over and over just desensitises, whereas print tends to capture the horror and gives you time to process it fully--but to show people the horrors of war. Not young children, certainly, but those of us who vote in our leaders and help make the decisions to wage war.

For Yoshito Matsushige's photos, as well as others taken at Hiroshima, check out: the Hiroshima A-Bomb Photo Museum. The pictures are very graphic, but than so was the devastation.

Actually, it's not just Seattle

Yahoo! News - Seattle Folk Smell the Coffee -- in Their Gardens

The Starbucks here puts bags of used grounds in a container near the door and you can just pick it up when you want. I have some in my trunk right now to add to my garden. :)


Yahoo! News - Returning a Library Book After 42 Years

Note to those long-term book-holders: You can usually mail them back rather than have it weigh on your conscience for all that time.

'He's family, but I want to slash his throat and drink his blood.'

Israel frees nuclear whistleblower

Gee, if your own uncle feels that way about you, I'd definitely want to leave the country, wouldn't you?

I don't know enough about this story to really sit in judgement, but that's a rather scary quote.

Despite the fact that I'm very pro-Jewish, I have some issues with Israel, especially in their treatment of the Palestinians. It's a place of such contradictions, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians of all bits of the political spectrum live together and apart. Frothing radicals, religious and secular, exist there. From an American point of view, it seems that some of the government's actions are downright draconic. But some feel it's the only way for a small country to survive, especially given the feelings many Arab countriess have for their neighbour.

I have a minor in Judaic studies, have taken classes on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and really can't say I understand Israel at all. Maybe if I lived there, I'd understand more, but frankly, I don't think I'd want to live there, but I've wanted to visit, but not for now at a time when walking through a marketplace or taking a bus could end the visit permanently.

I used to talk with a Palenstinian who owned a gas station near my house downtown and he mourned the loss of the Jerusalem he had known, where he'd attend seders at Jewish friends' homes, had friends from all faiths and no real fear of anything.

I just wish the hate could recede. I remember the situation when I was younger, the terrorism, the strained relations. Then it seemed there was hope. Now it's all been dashed again. I wish stability for the Middle East, but I don't expect it in my lifetime.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm awake

Which isn't usually that surprising, except that I pulled an all-nighter and went to work with a two-hour nap from dawn to about nine. Oddly enough, with the exception of bad hair, I did rather well, and was awake and active right up until the time I got home, at which point I crashed.

I went to Perkins late last night--it's one of the few places to eat that's open after the bars close--and although it was not chock full of loud, obnoxious drunk people like the last time I was there, there was one woman who had an extremely loud, nasal voice (think Gloria from Mame) who was holding court with a table of men and milking it for all the attention it was worth, who looked like Olive Oyl in a plunging halter. We also had a waiter who used 'dude' and 'man' and spoke like he'd been smoking weed, very surferesque, which is a little odd affectation here in the Bluegrass. Two girls were watching the show, plus studying for school I guess. Well, one was watching the show, and one was kind of Goth and basking in the blue glow of a laptop.

Perkins in the middle of the night. It's a gold mine (I must still be a little sleep-deprived; I almost typed 'land-mine') for people watching and budding writers, although not always good for being able to hear your own thoughts or carry on a conversation. Still, I had a mushroom & cheese omelet and pancakes, a free meal, and good company, and I so needed an outing.

In the struggle to dehoard my apartment, I haven't had a chance to really mourn Buns properly. Yesterday at work I was at my computer, having a quiet moment, and it really hit me that he was gone. Then I came home and checked my mail and the vet office had sent a condolence card that was very sweet (I'd chosen my vet based on the experiences of others who'd had to put pets down; they're very concerned with the well-being of the human side of the family, too. I was able to hold and pet Buns until the end, and she asked me questions like whether I'd rather see her wrap him up or not, that kind of thing). When I got the card, it all seemed more real suddenly, and I teared up.

Today, I caught myself calling one of the other cats by his name. I'm mostly okay, really, but it's harder than I imagined to get used to that sense that there's something missing from the whole that lingers after the relief of it all coming to an end. I know that it was utterly right to do, though, and that's a comfort. It was actually way past the time, really. But I'm a little surprised, because despite having Buns for twelve years, I always saw him as closer to a friend (whom he adored) and until he started feeling bad, he was always somewhat stand-offish with me. I'd adopted him as a comfort to Spock, who'd lost a sister in the divorce, but I didn't ever really realise how much I'd bonded with him over the years. I try to give all my animals equal time, but Spock is of course the one who is constantly with me--it's just his nature, following me from room to room, having to be near me or on me at all times--but even Darius (the unseen cat to anyone else in the house) was more of a cuddler than Buns, although it has to be on his own terms. So I'm a little surprised at the sense of loss for his physical presence. Does that make any sense?

It's amazing how different their personalities are, and how much of an effect they have on our lives. Anyone who sees a cat or dog as 'just an animal' has the empathy of a rock. I'm convinced that there are two types of people: those who 'get' animal companionship and those that don't. There are people who are at the fringe of both sides; I've known a few people (all women, actually) who related better to animals than to people, and frankly, I used to be one of them. I've known others who have no compunction to poison a cat because it goes after the birds in the yard, or who see a dog as just a security system. (Mind you, no one in the latter category is what I would call a friend, or even a close acquaintance...my experience is that if they dismiss an animal that easily, they're not really great with people, either. They're people I know of or interact with on a very superficial basis.)

Well, I guess that's enough babbling for now. Just wanted to 'catch up', so to speak. I feel almost like I do when I move...lots of toting things, cleaning, and little sleep or food. But the house is much better (although not completely together). I haven't been able to eliminate the smell where Buns had soiled the carpet; I'm thinking it's going to take a professional cleaner--or more realistically, replacing the carpet, but that's not finacially feasible just yet). I can see the floor of the study and even things that are not in a place (because, for example, I probably need about five more bookshelves) are at least stacked in a more pleasing manner. So...I'm starting to reap the rewards to a less cluttered environment. I have to do this periodically, because I have a tendency to hoard (well, okay, actually I have a pathological need due to my OCD, although I haven't really been full-blown hoarding so much as just unmotivated to really do anything about stuff; sometimes being on medicine to prevent the swing between building pathways of junk and ultra-maniacal cleaning has such a calming effect that I'm just messy). It's sort of like binging and purging with food--I do it with stuff. I get to a point where there's a buildup--usually of paper--and then to bring some sanity and Zen-ness back into my life, I have to go through and get rid of it. And yes, I know it's easier to do at the time, but when you're running all over or feeling a little depressed it's easy to let it build up, you know? But taking control of the clutter makes me feel more confident in general and just seems to make for a more relaxed environment. Plus, I found my Hebrew book, my Dictionary of Baby Names that I want to lend to an expectant mother, and several other things I'd been looking for. It's like getting new stuff in a way. :)

I've followed these stories for years

Yahoo! News - Group calls for probe into pumas and lynxes roaming Britain

It's not quite cryptozoology (think Bigfoot/Loch Ness Monster), but there's a lot of controversy regarding sightings of large wild cats in Britain. Certainly there seems to be evidence, and goodness knows enough large cats were brought from overseas by the Victorians--in a totally uncontrolled way--for private menageries to engender feral descendants.

Perhaps one day we'll have a programme on Discovery of 'Predators of the Moors: Filming Britain's Great Cats'. :)

Monday, April 19, 2004

The cleaning gnome is very tired

I have finished the kitchen, except for putting away the dishes, I've done the floor in the living room and have it 95% finished, and I'm working on the bedroom now. I've sprayed the bathtub down with cleaner and hopefully soap scum is draining down the walls. I haven't been back to the study yet, but I have about half of it to go. I have a headache, and I'm tired, but I'm sure this will be worth it in the end, right? It has to be ready by tomorrow morning, and it will be, even if I have to stay up all night. Argh. (And no, this isn't my OCD kicking in...it's an external deadline.)

Multicultural health care

A selected, annotated list of materials that support the development of policies designed to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities

Translating statistics for consumer health

This is an interesting article on the problems and benefits of expressing probabilities in lay terms for health decisions. What are the chances? Evaluating risk and benefit information in consumer health materials. If you provide materials to consumers--or if you yourself are somewhat mathematically challenged--you might want to check it out.

I have no real reason to post this other than

the fact it's interesting and I might want to find it later. A fellow librarian had to search it out and it was pretty elusive, so she shared it with us. It's Pope John Paul II's speech on life-support treatments and persistent vegetative state.

I can always depend

--no matter how stressed I am--of having someone in my life who's situation is somehow worse. Today it's Dwana, who's off work trying to finish her comps, get ready for graduation, and a whole host of other issues. We talked on the phone earlier and I think it calmed us both down. :)


I'm a little stressed because I have a lot, as in a slew, of things to do today, and then I'm going to spend the next week getting up about the time I normally go to bed, and well, I feel like I need to go into overdrive, but if I do that too much, it's downright paralysing.

So. Breathe. Calmly go about my tasks. Ah.

That'll probably fly out the window once I get to work, but still...

Red Letter Days

In ancient calendars, certain days were not good for embarking on plans because they were seen as either sacred to the Gods or cursed. These were referred to as 'red letter days' because they were often written in red ink on the manuscripts bearing those calendars. You may scoff at the idea as superstitious, but consider:

The Roman Emperors ignored the advice of the prognosticators twice in their centuries-record of battling to conquer and expand territory, on April 19th. One emperor was killed and his body was lost in a Yugoslavian bog and another was killed, stuffed, and put on display in an eastern temple. Granted, the calendar's changed a bit since then, but you get the idea.

The Ruby Ridge, Branch-Davidian Waco compound, and Oklahoma City bombings all took place on April 19th. Those on the fringe tend to pick this date to go on murderous sprees because of this. Or, they pick April 20th, Hitler's birthday (as did the gunmen at Columbine).

I made that connexion in a class on the Roman Empire as our professor told the above anecdotes. His reply, 'well, there you have it!' He was pointing out that the Romans fed sacred chickens before every battle to determine the outcome. One commander tried to stuff the birds when they did not eat readily (meaning no battle should be undertaken) and then in a rage threw them overboard). Say what you will, the Romans conquered most of the known world using the sacred chicken method, and woe befell them whenever they ignored them, or worse, affronted the Gods like the naval commander.

So, I have to admit, I always hold my breath a little every year when these two days come along, you know?

Monday Madness in G Minor

Pick a letter; any letter.........Got one?
Ok, for the following questions, each of your answers must begin with the letter you chose.......Have fun!! =)

1. If you were limited to 3 things to pack for an overnight trip, what would you pack? Glucophage, Glucometre, and Glucose tablets
2. What 3 things would you pack in your picnic basket? Gaeng Kari Tua, Gobi Ain Banarsi, and Gulab Jamun (hey, what can I say, I'm ecclectic)
3. What are 3 things you'd rather do than go to work? Garden, game, gallivant
4. Name 1 song. 'Give Me One Reason' by Tracy Chapman
5. Name 1 movie. Ghostbusters

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings for the week

  1. Virginia:: Commonwealth
  2. Soft:: Fur
  3. Carol:: Sing
  4. Vanity:: Press
  5. Feminist:: Writings
  6. Alias:: Pen name
  7. Coward:: Noel
  8. Beer:: Triple Stout
  9. Chance:: Love
  10. Honest:: Admirable

Sheer lunacy

I like the moon phase module to the right, but it's off. New Moon isn't until Monday morning, local time. It's already saying we're into the phase.

This is fine if your religious practices aren't tied to the moon. Some of mine are. :(

But, still, it's the best alternative I've see so far and it gives a good general idea of where we are in terms of phase. But if you want a more exact time, check out the US Naval Observatory charts.

Okay, definitely time to go to bed...must get up tomorrow early and clean more. :)

The Lexington Farmers' Market has it's own blog :)

Lexington Farmers Market Newsletter

The farmer's market is one of the best things about Lexington. During the warm months it's outside on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday (the latter being downtown). Over the winter they're continuing it inside nowadays. It's a great place to find herbs, vegetables, local produce, flowers, plants for the garden, random guitar players, neighbourhood organisations--you name it. :)


Murderer blogs from behind bars | The Register

I don't have a problem with someone in prison journalling. I do have a problem with someone offering 'premium' (=money) content that includes things like photos of his victims.

Someone is celebrating the warm weather

by shooting a handgun off in the direction of Richmond Road. So, I just called 911 and let them know I've heard four shots since I got in a few minutes ago. It sounds like one gun, at least, and it's not rapid fire--not a shootout, almost a steady fire, with a minute or two between each. Maybe some idiot having 'fun'?

I, meanwhile, am happily in my house and fortunately far away from the shots. It sounds like it's across Richmond, maybe to Fontaine, Lexington Mall, or even to Codell.

Contrary to the opinion of many outside the US, we're not all a bunch of gun-toting maniacs. Still, there are a few of them out there. May they stay far away from me.

At least I haven't heard any more since I called...hopefully someone decided that it wasn't the smartest thing to be shooting late at night in the city limits.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

A Saturday Slant: What is your pet peeve?

A simple The Saturday Slant - New Every Saturday Morning this week.

This is only a major pet peeve because I encounter it so much in my line of work. Yes, it's the infamous 'lieberry'. I do not work in a 'lieberry'. I am not a 'lieberrian'. Please, people, put in that 'r' where it belongs!

(By the way, the clock just bonged ten and I just laughed like the Count from Sesame Street. Definitely too much cleaning.)

Tick, tock

listening to: 'Once More, With Feeling', The Cast from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
feeling: Tired

I've been cleaning all day. Spring cleaning, I suppose. Putting in my energy getting ready for a project that requires a clean house and it has the added benefit of erasing some of the signs of Buns' illness, I suppose. I've got a lot accomplished, but I'm reaching a point tonight where I just don't feel up to doing more and I think I'll need to start anew tomorrow morning. But I did one last thing before calling it a night.

Last Christmas, my mother gave me our family clock. She had had the one from my great-grandparent's farm fixed by someone in the area and so she'd passed on the clock we'd had when I was growing up to me. It's a wall clock from Japan, with dark wood and a prancing horse at the top, the type you wind up and it bongs the hour and half hour. I didn't put it up immediately because I didn't have a stud finder and I didn't want to take a chance with it falling, but I picked up a little magnetic stud finder for a couple of bucks yesterday and decided to get it out.

It's hard to find any wall surface in my house not covered with paintings--I'm lucky enough to have a talented friend who can't store all his works--but I did manage to re-arrange a little. Now it's ticking away. I'll probably have to reseat it a couple of times before I get it working just right, but for now, it sounds like home. My dad brought that clock back from Tokyo on his way back from Vietnam. It's not really old, but it's the one thing in our house that symbolised home for me. It seems a little odd having it my apartment. :)

Well, that's all for tonight. I think I'm going to spend a little time with the animals and plan the next wave of attack. 'Night.

Friday, April 16, 2004


The Young Librarian - Weblogs as Libraries by Katie Dunneback

Book Burning in the Electronic Age?

Via LISNews: Prison destroys inmates' writing

Okay...I get the whole making-sure-prisoners-don't-profit-from-their-crimes thing, but these women didn't; they simply wrote about their experiences as prisoners. I can see blocking the award of money or whatever, but there's really no sense in setting up a 'rehabilitative' writing class if you're then going to destroy the work of the students, is there?

Today I really need a Friday Five:

1. What do you do for a living? I am a medical/consumer health librarian, coordinator of an early literacy project, and distance learning assistant. I am also clergy, which although I'm unpaid, it's a vocation.

2. What do you like most about your job? The variety; you never know what you'll have come through the door or what question you need to search out.

3. What do you like least about your job? The pay. I've gone through a partial lay-off in the past year just at the time I thought I could almost make my bills, and now I'm one step above destitute, because I'm now working 20 hours at a job that was already $10K under the norm for my position.

4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____...They've found a new way to reduce the scope or responsibility of my position. I think they'll eventually make it pretty much secretarial. The problem of being a librarian in health care is that often you're the only librarian, and the only person who really knows what you do. You can try to educate them, but you are always going to take a back seat to clinical needs and monetary pressures.

5. What other career(s) are you interested in? Writer, teacher, counseling, landscape architect, and advocate for people with disabilities who have to hurdle mountains of paperwork to get the health care, drugs, and benefits they need in order to live.

I just buried Buns' body

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

and it was hard; among other things I had to take his body out of the cadavre bag because the soil was so clay I couldn't have made a big enough hole otherwise...but it's a beautiful spot, and it just served to remind me that what I buried wasn't Buns. Still, I'm a little shaky...I'm actually eating (and I suppose that's surprising to some that I could, but...); it's helping to ground me.

Yesterday I came home, took Buns into the other room and shut out everyone else, and just lay for an hour petting him. When we took Buns in yesterday to the vet, he started bleeding when I picked him up to put him into the bag I was using as a carrier. That did clot, but then when the vet gave him the injection, he started pouring blood and the vet tech had trouble stopping it. He was fine when we held him, but he growled at the vet and vet tech--which is a bit of fire from his old self. He used to cling to the kitty scale and growl at them and they'd have to do all their exams and shots with the cat attached to a scale. But when he went, he went easy. He just eased down to the table. I guess what I wasn't prepared for was that his eyes stayed open. My friends who have worked in healthcare tell me that's normally the case with any creature.

We think he may have had cancer; that could account for the skin ulcers, the wasting, and the most recent issue, the bleeding. It could even have affected his heart, spleen, and brain. Until the bleeding started, I really couldn't put him down. His health issues were a problem, but not immediately life-threatening. But I couldn't ignore the bleeding; I couldn't let him bleed to death at home without me around.

My friends were very comforting. I want to thank you all for your understanding. And a special thank you to 'You Know Who I Am' for going with me; Buns was as much your cat as mine, and I think it comforted him to be with you. And thanks for taking care of me afterwards.

The animals don't really seem to realise that he's gone; he was always a little apart from the others. And it's strange...I held him as he died, I watched them put him in a bag (they asked about each, but I felt I needed it to be as real for me as possible so that I could mourn) but until I woke up and didn't have to clean up after him (he'd been incontinent for some time) it didn't really hit me. And, then, of course, burying him, and seeing his body looking much like the cats we dissected in high school biology. That was hard, and I had to fight a little not to throw up at the smell of death. And I'm sorry if I'm being too graphic but I need to record it because my tendency is to dissociate from anything unpleasant or scary and I need to feel this completely...it's only fair to me, and he deserves my grief as well.

I came to realise yesterday that this is a step away from my tendency to delude myself. Every now and then I have to do that to move on with my life. I have an extraordinary ability to convince myself that my quality of life or that of the animals is better than it is. I used to refer to an apartment that had spaces between the walls and the roof and that was in a constant flux of renovation (not to mention under siege by an incontinent beagle) as 'charming'. It was probably past time to put Buns down, but until this weekend, until the bleeding, I really couldn't do it. I do think in doing so I spared him a lot more pain and progression of the disease.

I spent most of last night cuddling with Spock and Darius and Cerys. They all slept with me, and they were a comforting presence. I know that they'll eventually go down the same road. But for now, they are with me, and I want to make the most of our time together.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

In honour of Buns...a Googlism

buns is deadly
buns is time
buns is located at the santa
buns is under new management
buns is the third in the tori miracle series
buns is connected to the following things
buns is connected to because
buns is a closely guarded heinze family secret
buns is a aanr/swsa non
buns is to use lots of pastry flour
buns is the only club we know of
buns is like going to mcdonald's or to church
buns is mailed out once a month to the main discussion list
buns is a fresh mushroom and spinach salad tossed with oil
buns is 1 weiner to 1 bun
buns is the site where you can find pictures and information on female presenters who work in current affairs shows in the uk and the usa
buns is in the oven
buns is easy and so much fun
buns is still idle
buns is a longtime packo tradition that began about 25 years ago when celebrities were asked to autograph real hot dog buns
buns is the only good one in my opinion
buns is also leftovers of older customs
buns is designed for women
buns is a last remnant of the crushed caraway seed comfits which were used to flavour buns as late as the
buns is a wonderful arab/morgan mare
buns is a 15 year old jennet that was rescued by deborah little of ramona
buns is fun and easy
buns is located on winter st just off of sandusky which is the main street
buns is also a very fine workout for that part of the body
buns is a 100% aanr club
buns is continuous as long as buns dues are current and the member is in good standing and not expelled
buns is all about
buns is gloriously
buns is that they were hung from rafters to scare away any evil that lurked within the house
buns is what's known in nudist circles as a "travel" club
buns is perfect for sending to friends and family in the united states
buns is in stable condition
buns is getting all high tech and stuff
buns is a delicious meeting place
buns is a bun; stock is 20
buns is now 19 rule make_regular checked rule
buns is de voornaam niet bekend
buns is worth mentioning
buns is per the order listed on the table
buns is one of our fave things to do
buns is also a captivating portrait of new brunswick's north shore
buns is a dwarf rabbit
buns is bright orange
buns is one of the worst things to happen to you in your life
buns is home
buns is also said to have pagan origins
buns is so yummy
buns is substantial without being heavy
buns is an excellent series of three 10
buns is pretty evident
buns is expecting
buns is sure to fatigue the muscles while holding the attention of its participants
buns is truly a creative mecca and everyone has fun with it?especially maggie
buns is $2
buns is believed by many to be a purely christian emblem
buns is
buns is dividing and wrapping the product ready to be transported to schools
buns is an early
buns is neither an ox
buns is unattractive
buns is a nonlanded club affiliated with aanr/swsa/tns
buns is barry
buns is through the use of "creative cube cages
buns is a good friday custom that has taken root in america
buns is a real rabbit and can visit your school
buns is recommended for those seeking a shorter workout with more emphasis on the butt
buns is infused with animal energy


It's sunny, a little warmer, and I have a positive bank account for the first time in weeks, and so I should be happy. But it's also the day I take Buns in to be put to sleep. Last night I gave him a whole can of tuna. You're really not supposed to feed cats tuna, you see. There's too much of something (magnesium?) and it can mess with their urinary system. Occasional treats at best. But it doesn't really matter in this case, and he certainly appreciated it.

I keep finding myself second-guessing...is this the right time? But everyone I've talked to who isn't so close to the situation admits they would have done it a long time ago. Even I contemplated it a couple of years ago, and there hasn't been much improvement since then. And 95% of the time he's listless and not really having much of a quality of life these days. He's been perkier since I made the decision, and that's made it harder. But I know it's just a temporary improvement, sort of like how Alzheimer's patients experience clarity right before they die.

I've tried to pet him and spend time with him but he's not really having much of it. But the other day he let me scritch him all over and cuddled up next to me for a long time...even came into the bedroom and treaded. That's the Buns I know, the one I'm used to, the one who's feeling well, and I haven't seen that in a long time. When he started bleeding the other day, it scared me, because it was coming out quickly and it took awhile to stop. So it's better to do this now, so that he doesn't start bleeding alone or some similar issue and die. But it's still hard.

I can't afford to have him cremated, but I have a spot in mind to bury him that I can visit even after I leave this apartment. It's surrounded by trees, and birds, and squirrels, and all the things he enjoyed watching from the window.

I'm taking off tomorrow from work. I don't think I'll get anything done if I go. I'm not sure how much I'll get done today, to be honest, but I'll try. The appointment's at 4:15. Wish us well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

92 years ago tonight--a clash between nature and technology

that caused hundreds to lose their lives.

Encyclopedia Titanica
Titanic Timeline

Hard to believe we're a mere 8 years to the centennial. By the way, the first link allows you to browse by occupation of the pasenger or crew, which is how I know that there were several people (in addition to students) who had 'book' or 'writing' related occupations...

Bibliophile: Harry Elkins Widener, 27 years old, Philadelphia, 1st class passenger, died in sinking.
Library Steward: Thomas Kelland, 21 years old, crewman, died in sinking.
Journalist: Sleiman Attala, 27 years old, Ottawa, 3rd class passenger, died in sinking.
Journalist: Mansouer Nofal, 20 years old, Lebanon, 3rd class passenger, died in sinking.
Journalist: Edith Louise Rosenbaum, 37 years old, Paris, 1st class passenger, survived, and lived until 1975.
Journalist: William Thomas Stead, 62 years old, London, 1st class passenger, died in the sinking.
Writer: Jacques Heath Futrelle, 37 years old, London, died in sinking.
Writer: Col. Archibald Gracie IV, 53 years old, Washington DC, survived, but died of a diabetic coma 8 months later.


A gay friend gave me a head's up on this:
Jamiel Terry (son of anti-abortion/anti-gay activist Randall Terry comes out.

And here is Randall Terry's response.

I haven't seen the actual print version of Out, which has the whole story by Jamiel Terry. But it's obvious that there is estrangement. I don't know these people...for all I know, Randall Terry's claims are true...but still it's sad to see a father turn publicly on a son. Nothing in the online version really seems betrayal to me...maybe the print version is more negative. But it's easy to see that beliefs about sexuality--not sexuality itself--can cause divisions. Even Jamiel Terry buys into some of the stereotypes of gays in the article.

Here are some other examples of divisions...
For father and son, gay marriage is the ultimate wedge issue

Quotes from many sides (I especially love Coretta Scott King's.)

In Jamaica, father encourages students to maul 'gay' son, police stoned

I've known too many gays who have been 'thrown away' by their parents when they do come out, or lived a life in secret that they loathed because they were afraid to be treated like so much garbage. One young man killed himself after one of those ministries who claim to 'change' homosexuals harassed him at work and home. People point to gays as being drug users, fickle, promiscuous. I've known some that are, and it's the saddest thing, that self-loathing. But, I've also known others that are indistinguishable from anyone else in behaviour. I think a large part of it isn't so much one's sexuality but rather how accepted/rejected you may be, especially in the most important arena, your family. Think I'm wrong? Check out Better to be dead than gay? A look at gay suicide. I particularly agree with the following quote by Kevin Jennings: 'If you teach a young person that their life has no value, they'll treat their life like their life has no value.'

People are more than a sexual orientation. They are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, neighbours, friends. They deserve to be treated as human, as loved ones. And so do the people they love.

Cloak and Dagger

I love my country. But is it any wonder I don't really trust my government or for that matter, big corporations?

Wired News: Data Disclosure Contradicts Feds

Interesting article...

AMNews: April 19, 2004. Journal free for all: The electronic future of scientific publishing ... American Medical News

Why is this an important issue? As an example, consider that my library's print subscriptions through Lippincott Williams & Wilkins--the majority of our titles--will no longer have any free access along with the print subscription, and this will increase subscription costs by several hundred dollars per title, in a world where researchers and clinicians either don't want to or can't wait for an article to be copied or sent from another library through interlibrary loan. Also, they will only be available through Ovid, a provider of full-text services. But see, Ovid is owned by Wolters Kluwer, the same people who own LWW. See how that works? Lucrative for them, difficult for us.

Today's e-mail gem, or, I have a new respect for pigs

Couldn't tell you the veracity of these 'facts', but I do know several are true...but regardless, enjoy. The comments under each were part of the e-mail, not my own.

Did You Know...

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that's more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.)
(I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
(Do not try this at home. Maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
("Honey, I'm home. What the....?!")

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.
(30 minutes... lucky pig. can you imagine??)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
(I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.
(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(OK, so that would be a good thing....................)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
(I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains.
(I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
(What about that pig??)

Here's an interesting study on mobile phones in public and how they're perceived

Why Mobile Phones are Annoying (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Never underestimate the power of ramen noodles, Gatorade, road crews, and a little faith

6-year-old girl survives crash that killed her mother for 10 days before being found.


Iraq's postwar kidnapping crime wave

Okay, let me get this straight...

I pay taxes for the general welfare of the Commonwealth, but Kentucky lawmakers are likely to adjourn the 2004 General Assembly without passing a state budget but seemed to have plenty of time to while away on issues they have no business in, as shown by the fact that a same-sex marriage ban passed in the House.


And even if I didn't support gay marriage, I would agree with this:
"I will never vote to put discrimination in the Kentucky Constitution," said Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville, her voice rising with anger.
I think using the constitution to prop up some sense of defence of marriage is wrong; so is incorporating a ban on civil unions. But even beyond that...

Um, guys? We have issues like the budget, unemployment, education, roads--a whole slew of issues that affects everyone in the Commonwealth. As one of your bosses, I'd urge you to learn to prioritise. Kentucky law already prohibits same-sex marriages, for one. Why waste precious time on a divisive issue that is already addressed by law? Why not work for the people of the Commonwealth and pass laws that will improve our state and the quality of life for her people? Just an idea.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The storm within, or, me and my freaky brain chemistry

listening to: Alto pipes
feeling: Drained

I had a panic attack today. Fortunately, they don't hit me very often, especially since I'm on anti-anxiety medicine. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of talking to someone on the phone in the midst of it who probably now thinks I was stark raving mad.

Panic attacks are often described in physical terms...heart racing or palpitations, dizziness, etc. With me I do get the symptoms of a 'fight or flight' response, but far more debilitating is the emotional turmoil that happens. I get hyper-sensitive to light, to people, to touch; I have to remove myself from any sort of stimuli and go into a dark quiet room, almost like with a migraine, and then try to slow down my breathing. If I can't do that, I get almost paralysed with this inner storm of labilty (rapidly changing emotions), I feel overwhelmed, and I can no longer really verbalise coherently.

That's how I was today. The smallest things overwhelmed me emotionally, although if anyone were to be watching, I seemed very productive. Being around people--even people I know and love--was difficult. My social phobia tends to colour panic reactions...I get to the point where having people going about normal activities around me makes me feel pressed in, almost claustrophobic. I also have trouble with noise coming from all directions. Trying to focus on something is very hard for me if, say, someone is talking but there's a radio or TV going at the same time. If there are several different groups of people, or say a TV in one room and a radio in the other (another friend tends to have these on all at once), it's worse. Usually, I can ignore the distractions. But sometimes it's just overwhelming. When I'm in the midst of a panic attack, it's almost painful to be around anything or anyone, and part of me wants to lash out and make it all stop. It's very scary.

I have a lot going on lately, and so I guess it's not supposed that surprising that it happened. Although a lot of the issues have been going on for awhile, one thing that is different and may have triggered the attack was my decision to put Buns to sleep. Ironically, after I was able to stretch out and do some breathing exercises to calm down, I fell asleep thinking about where I could bury him (I don't really have the money to cremate him and keep the cremains).

And then...

I woke up sometime later to a cat treading on my hip. I reached up to pet him, and found that it was Buns. It was the first time in two or three months that he's come into the bedroom and snuggled up to me. I gave him a long session of petting, and he purred. Again, the first time in a long time. It made me wonder if I were making the right decision. Of course, a little while later he peed under the table right in front of me, so there's still the incontinence issue. Now he's curled up on the couch, and he doesn't seem to feel that well. Earlier seemed to be just an aberration.

Gods, this is going to be hard.


listening to: 'Downfall' by Matchbox Twenty
feeling: Momentarily Jubilant

After days of having a song in my head but unable to find it on the radio or coax LaunchYahoo to play it, I took a bottlecap I found in my purse for a free song from iTunes, courtesy of Pepsi, and now can report I can listen to it constantly if I so wish. Yay for free, legal music online!

Monday, April 12, 2004

This is one of the best takes on chain quizzes I've ever seen

and you don't even have to forward it. (But, it may offend you.)

Try it.

Ah, Monday, and it's positively dreary outside...

One of the The first things I did today was withdraw my application for a security position at work:
Dear ---,

I hate to do this after starting the process, but I'm withdrawing my application for the security position. I met with --- on Friday and I'm confident that I could do a good job in terms of the rounds and watching out for various problems. Oddly enough, the hardest thing for me, I think, would be the sheer regimented nature of it.

However, after speaking with --- on Friday I realised just how much unresolved frustration I have with [the company], particularly due to the erosion of my position and the layoff. Picking up work here is not really going to resolve that, and I realise that now. So far I've been able to continue to do my job and serve the needs of the organisation, but I can't erase the betrayal felt or the fact that I really no longer enjoy working here. After thinking it over this weekend, I don't think visitors need someone putting on a 'brave face' when I'm no longer certain I really believe completely in [the company] anymore. I need to put all my efforts into finding a position outside of our system in order to be truly happy with doing a job well again. I know money has been desperate, but frankly I think picking up another part-time job somewhere else would be better for me, and by extension, for [the company]. I hope you understand. Thank you for considering me, though.
He was very gracious and understood; someone in his family was another of the 'layees'.

Then I called the vet and discussed the situation with them. I made an appointment for Thursday and then promptly went into the bathroom and cried. It's going to be a hard week.

So, in an effort to take my mind off things I've thrown myself into work but now I'm taking my break, and so...it's time for Monday Madness:
Let's do something with colors this week....Each question will begin with 'What color is your favorite.......'

1. Vegetable Green, occasionally yellow or white. Very nummy, although it's not high on most people's list. Can you guess what they are? I'm tempted to say 'red', but technically that's a fruit, even if most people think of it as a vegetable.
2. Beverage Orange.
3. Room Deep honey.
4. Outfit Purple (of course).
5. Mood Sky blue.
6. Season Multi-coloured with lots of delicate pastels and bold colours.
7. Fruit Brown and green with a little black.
8. Dessert Caramelly-cream
9. Pair of shoes Black. (Actually, 2 of the 3 are, indeed, black. There's one that's brown.) :)
10. Color???? Purple

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Ah, another myth busted...

A friend mentioned that a friend of hers had found a website discussing US Presidential IQs, of which our current Commander-in-Chief ranked dead last. It is, unfortunately, a spoof that went too far. Check out Urban Legends Reference Pages: Inboxer Rebellion (Presidential IQ) for the full scoop.

Still, I have to admit, as mucked up as IQ tests and scores are, it's an interesting concept. Hmmmmm. Check out an interesting analysis of presidents' intelligence, social skills, ambition and emotional quotient. They also have an interesting graph on average IQs for a variety of occupations. I didn't see librarian listed, but it was sort of interesting. Just keep in mind that these are just averages. There's also one where you can estimate IQ based on SAT scores (that helped them reach a score of 125 for GW Bush). Still, I don't put much credence in it...unless my memory's way off, according to that I should have scored a SAT score about 170 points higher than I did (it was the math, I tell you!) Speaking of which, there's also a section on gender differences.

I like the more modern approach to an overall skill level. Some of the smartest people didn't finish school, and I know some supposedly genius-level people who couldn't make it through simple English classes because they were bored. So, go figure. I like the different style of 'smarts'. I'd also add mechanical ability and artistic ability as important.

Who's the fool?

LISNews.com | April Fools Editions Have High Price for Some

Okay, enough depressing stuff

...time for a little fun.

  1. Boxing:: Helena
  2. Lewis:: & Clark
  3. Bodyguard:: Whitney Houston
  4. Burnout:: Career
  5. Cruising:: Gay men
  6. Easter:: Bunny
  7. AA:: Batteries
  8. Research:: Grant
  9. Redemption:: Hope
  10. Snickers:: Bar

A difficult decision

I apologise in advance that this is going to babble a bit. It's how I get when I know something intellectually--or even intuitively--but my emotions are all burbly inside and I don't really want to have to admit that I should do something. Let me explain.

Yesterday I found blood on my desk and traced it to my cat, Buns, who was bleeding pretty badly from one of the sores that have plagued him for the past five years. I was able to stop the bleeding with some difficulty. It's like the blood didn't want to clot. There are lots of reasons for skin ulcers in cats, but it can be damnably difficult to do a differential diagnosis, and in most cases you treat the symptoms anyway and may never know the real reasons behind them--and finding out can be a very expensive process, one that I haven't, on my limited income, been able to pursue. I still owe Zabet for an emergency bill after an anal gland fissure opened up.

His sores ooze without getting infected, and that's a blessing. But it seems no matter what we've done--whether treating him with steroids, changes in diet, changes in litter, antibiotics...it's all been to no avail. There is definitely something wrong beneath the obvious...he has breathing issues, he's fought ear infections most of his life, he had a viral infection in his eyes...the list goes on. It's hard to tell if it's a matter of genetics or environment, but it seems like his body is attacking itself with some form of immune system disorder. He doesn't have feline leukemia or feline AIDS. But he is a very sick kitty.

I love Buns. Despite the fact that he's gotten names like 'ooze kitty' and 'litch cat', I've done what I can to make him comfortable and minimise the chance of a secondary infection. The fact is we may never know what has caused this...but I do know that it's getting harder to pretend it isn't affecting his quality of life, and for that matter, the quality of life of the household. He's lost more weight and has shunned the litterbox for some time now, to my dismay. It used to be an occasional thing. Now I'd have to say he's incontinent. No matter what we do, things aren't improving much. Sometimes it gets a tad better--he'll go through times when his hair grows back and the ulcerations seem a little better. And then it gets worse. It's hard to say he's not in pain. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but animals show that in different ways than humans.
Buns, the cat

The last few days have been worse. He's clingy and wants to be touched, but he doesn't purr making me think that he is uncomfortable and perhaps in pain. He's spent a lot of time on top of the computer; I think he may not be warm enough. Even though the apartment is comfortable, I'm not sure he's regulating his temperature well. Until he started having these issues he was a fairly aloof cat; now he needs comforting, and although I'm glad that I can do that for him, he's not getting physically better or stronger. I don't know what caused the bleeding yesterday. The sores always drain a bit but one must have torn open or perhaps he scratched it. I'm afraid that if this continues, he'll start bleeding and it won't clot quickly enough, especially if I'm out and not able to help. He's such a small cat these days and a little frail. In a couple of months, he'll be thirteen years old. I'm having to face up to the fact that maybe it is time to go ahead and put him to sleep.

I've talked with friends who have had to make that decision with their own animals. I've never had to do it myself, though, and this is so hard, because it's so difficult to figure out when there is no hope. No one I've talked to so far could fault the decision to put him down. Tomorrow I'm going to talk to my vet and see what she thinks. The last time I saw Dr Sears, during a friend's visit, she said that Buns had had the worst case of skin ulceration and the most resistant she'd ever seen. I know she won't tell me what to do--it's up to me, my responsibility--but I want to see if she can give me a little guidance on gauging when to do it in order to minimise his discomfort. I'm taking a friend over there on Thursday for an appointment. I'm considering taking Buns there, too. Just thinking about it makes me cry. I feel like I've somehow failed him, but honestly I don't think I could have really made it better, even with enough money to pursue all the possibilities. Still, that doesn't really help, does it?

I think it's going to be a hard week. But for now, I'm just trying to spend some time with him and the others, and remember better times....

Whenever I think I'm losing faith with some of the people in this world...

a story like this comes along. Dying Child Leaves Legacy for Playmates

Mak Shulist died Friday after battling a brain tumour. But when asked what his dying wish was, he asked Make-a-Wish to do something for the friends he was leaving behind--build a rock-climbing wall at his elementary school.

I think our world leaders need to pay more attention to nine year olds.

The picture of Mak reminds me of my cousin Steve at that age. The resemblance is enough that I had to look twice.

The first child I ever knew who died was Linda Probst, a classmate in my elementary school and at my church who died of leukemia. She was nine, too. It was such a shock to me that anyone our age could suffer such a terrible illness.

Dwana lost a brother to a brain tumour a few years ago. I don't think a day goes by when she doesn't think about him. She's shared a little about how difficult it was for her family and some fo the things they do in his memory. The courage these kids display in the face of everything they undergo is amazing. I don't see how anyone could come away from that experience changed. Despite everything, I think sometimes those changes make such a big impact in many lives, that while we may not fully understand the whys, we find some part of us is stronger, some part more understanding or sympathetic, some part that wants to carry on their legacies.

I hope he and his family find peace at the end of his suffering, and that his family receives the support they need to recover from such a grueling ordeal. I get the impression from Dwana that it never gets 'better', per se, but it does slowly become less raw in terms of the hurt and loss.

Mak's illness--and more importantly--his generosity, will probably touch those around him in a way that stays with them throughout their lives. Although I really know Linda before she died, now, nearly thirty years later, I remember her name. I remember her pale face the Sunday before she died as she struggled to stay awake for our lesson. I remember the pain in our teachers' voices when they announced that she died. It was before they brought counselors in. I remember being shocked at the idea of bleeding to death in the hospital. I'm actually not sure if that's what happened; it may have been an infection. I just remember that in our limited understanding, that's what we thought happened. We knew leukemia was a blood disease, but not much more. I'm not sure if we even realised it was cancer at that time. I remember the regret of not having ever gotten a chance to really know her. And I remember the sister and family she left behind.

Found inside a bottlecap for Jones' Diet Black Cherry Soda

"Your ability for accomplishment will follow with success."

Yay, bottlecap fortune cookies. :)


Lilly and Patches: This is a rather unusual adoption request. Lilly is a Rottweiler mix who must be adopted with her cat, patches, because they are inseperable. I am already full up with one dog and three cats, but I can understand how dogs and cats can get very attached. I have one cat that loves my dog almost maniacally. Can you help?

Every now and then

my training in Christianity does crop up, even though I myself am not Christian. I did a lot of studying of the Christian scriptures, and so when I mentioned Jesus' descent into hell to gather the righteous dead during a conversation recently, I was asked for the scriptural basis. This is one of the best descriptions I've found, including a good description of the orginal vs. modern meaning of 'hell' and how some misinterpret it and pretty much muck with the canon in their ignorance. IQB: Jesus' Descent Into Hell

So, since this seemed an appropriate time (happy Easter to those of you who are Christian), I thought I'd post this for safekeeping for those times I have to try to remember the info (since I have a memory like a sieve). But for once I did remember it correctly, although I wasn't sure of the timeframe of the descent. According to tradition, it was during that time after the crucifixion but before the resurrection, which frankly was what made sense (well, and I don't mean to make this sound offensive, but in as much as the story itself makes sense; there are a lot of people who see it as pure phantasy or at least a tale built from a long tradition in paganism of descent and return from the land of the dead, with Jesus as one more 'wonder worker' in a climate of many.) It makes more sense for it to happen then rather than after the 40 days before the final ascension.

The sad thing? Many Christians will be celebrating their Lord's rise from the dead and really have no concept of this tradition being associated with it, because in my experience, the vast majority of people who identify themselves as Christian don't bother to actually read the Bible or learn the theological theories behind it. I once had a Jewish professor (married to an Episcopalian and an expert in Islamic culture) who tried to teach a survey of Judaism in the Middle Ages by making connexions between Judaism and Christianity (the majority religion of my classmates) only to find that he couldn't because they didn't know much about their own religion. Still, it's not my place to tell them how to practise their religion, even if it is a faith based on the accounts of a sacred text. :)

But, if you are interested in where things come from, pull out your Bible (hey, even I have have Bibles--the Tanakh (Jewish), King James, Apocrypha, NIV, and Vulgate--and it is the #1 seller/translated book of all time, so surely you can get your hands on one) and look up the referenced passages. It's probably better than hunting eggs (which, after all, derives entirely from pagan practice to celebrate the renewal of growth with spring and fertility) although in retrospect the egg hunt is more fun. :)

By the way, if you want to see how Islam views this descent, you can check out the Eschatological Descent of Jesus. The idea of Jesus not being crucified I ascending to heaven without dying would be pretty heretical from a Christian viewpoint, akin to the heresy of Docetism, since orthodoxy emphasises the sacrifice that Jesus made in order to save humanity. But Muslims cannot be heretics, by definition, because they are not expressing unorthodox belief from within the faith, but rather are a separate religion.

Don't you love religious history? :) This particular aspect gets into Christology, or the study of the nature of Christ.

Oh, and if you want to see a little more about Christian heresies, try: Early Christian Heresies and Christian Heresy, the Cathar Heresy (a later heresy put down in the Middle Ages).

Hope I didn't hurt anybody's brain. I'm not a religious scholar but I am pretty well studied. Feel free to comment if you have a correction.

I was going to add this to my blogroll

(for the non-geek-attuned, that's technolese for the list of links on the side of the webpage), but it turned out to be a fairly short but illuminating account of a New Zealand woman who worked in Baghdad wiring a theatre, recommended by Salam Pax. Since she was there only a few days, it's brief, but still have a look: Wires - A girl, a toolkit, Iraq. The comments are particularly illuminating in how people from different areas of the world view this war. I must say, she's got chutzpah--braving Iraq and scathing web surfers. :) On their way back, they ran into trouble at Fallujah (which is now infamous in the media) and were able to escape similar problems only through the work of their driver and fixer.

You also may want to check out a companion account by one of her co-workers.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

How best to deal with a rejection letter?

Play 'Get Medieval', a game through RealArcade and kill lots of 'girly monsters', as one character, a big buff Schwarzeneggar clone puts it.

The Lexington School was impressed with my background, and I think I did well in the interview, but since I do not have actual job experience in a school--just training in children's lit and library programming for children and the experience at the hospital with our early literacy project and some work with patients--I think they felt they needed to go with someone more qualified. That's okay, I knew it was a longshot. At least I got some interview experience in. I think they were impressed by my willingness to seek certification if it would help serve the students.

I really didn't see it as a job that was a 'good fit'. I'd do much better in an adult academic setting, to be honest. I'm in my element ; it's what I trained for, and where I spent almost half my life. I have no doubt that the right sort of job will come along. I just know things are going to be tough until it does, and it's hard not to feel pressured to take any job at this point.

On the plus side, I had a great day...a birthday continuation including lunch, shopping, and Starbucks, followed by watching TV with friends. Now I think I'm going to get a little more game play in and then do a 'Spa Lisa' on myself. 'Night.