Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I'm not big on the whole baking thing and over the years, baking chocolate chip cookies at Christmas became one of our traditions. So, I am preparing some for the mini-Christmas package.
I actually mixed up the dough last night. And while I was doing so, Jason came wandering in with Thor.
"Thor wants to help." I was told. Thor collaborated this with a longing glance at the ingredients strewn across the counter.
"Really?" I replied, "He wants to help? Like Man-Child used to help me with this every year?"
"So, he is going to help soften the butter, measure the ingredients, try one practice stir, disappear, return for the first warm cookie out of the oven, then disappear until the entire batch is finished?"
"No, he just wants to sniff everything, leave a few cat hairs in the dough, then disappear."
Thor sez: My hairs are clean!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
No, no, it shall not be revealed here as there might be spies about!
It is that perfect.
So now all I really have left is to make up some chocolate chip cookies, package up the man-child's "out-to-sea" Christmas, holding off on his real gift buying until Christmas in Spring time. Obtain and decorate a tree. I even stocked up on wrapping paper, bows, gift tags and tape at the Wally World this morning!
Oh, and Shadow of Diogenes? Was that you in the cat food aisle? I don't know why I ever would have thought I'd recognize you, but was it?
Oh, and Marcheline? I got the scratch about half way faded before my poor arthritic fingers said WTF? Jason is out there now taking his turn. You rock!
Thor sez: Moooooooom! Pleeeeeeeezeeeee stop!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I just wish I'd gotten at least 2,000 miles on it before I scratched the hell out of it. And I feel completely stupid about it because it was all my fault. See, my driveway, when backing out, the view on the right is obscured by my neighbor's holly hedge. And the drainage culvert is right there too, so I tend to watch the right side as I back out, then stop and check traffic to the left. If I'd looked to the left, I might have seen that the trashcan had been left in the driveway. I might have noticed it before I scraped a lovely three foot scratch in the side of the car.
I think it is shallow enough that it will buff out and I won't have to have the whole side repainted. I hope.
In better news, I've almost finished my Christmas shopping! Just need to figure out something for my mother - who is notoriously difficult to shop for - and put together a small care package for the man-child who is floating around the Persian Gulf via the Mediterranean Sea for the next six months.
Thor sez: I wonder what Santa will bring us this year!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Okay, Mr. Darabont?
Yesterday afternoon, Jason and I went to see The Mist. Actually went to a theater and paid full ticket price because we both were looking forward to seeing this adaptation of Stephen King's short story, done by the writer/director who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
The movie was great. Awesome. The characters were lovable/hatable, which ever they were supposed to be. Special effects were great. It was scary without being too gory. Loved it.
Right up to the end.
I won't reveal the final scene in case anyone out there has plans to see the movie.
I don't care that Mr. Darabont changed the ending. I do care that the ending did not make sense. I felt like I'd been handed my crap sandwich.
I understand the shock value he was going for and if I contort my mind around it long enough, I can sort of, kind of, maybe see what he was maybe, sort of, kind of implying.
But it didn't fit the scene as it was played out. I felt cheated. Not only as a viewer, but as a writer. As Jason said, "It was a cheap trick to play on your audience."
Happy ending, sad ending, indifferent or vague ending, I don't care how you want to end your story, but it has to make sense. It has to fit with the scene. That's all I'm saying.
Thor sez: I smell something rotten in The Mist!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friends don't let friends oppress and torture.
Oh, wait. Yes they do.
Our allies (read: people who have made the Bush family rich) have this charming little...oh wait, it isn't a democracy....aren't our troops being killed and maimed to spread democracy...well...never mind......LOOK! It's Bin Laden! Hehhehheh.
Saudi Arabian women: cannot drive, cannot work, cannot VOTE, cannot leave their homes without a male escort - this is why this 19 year old gang rape victim has been sentenced to jail time and 200 lashes with a whip. Two hundred. Lashes. With a whip. Because she went outside.
Saudi Arabian women cannot see a doctor unless a male family member gives permission. Cannot open a bank account without the permission of a male family member. Cannot have custody of their children.
I get so confused sometimes.
Oppression and torture are good, the inherent right of the government of Saudi Arabia to control..oops govern its citizens.
Oppression and torture in Iraq is morally wrong and evil and we must sacrifice the lives of our soldiers and go 10 trillion dollars in debt to end it.
Okay, I think I get it. Torture and oppression are in the eye of the money-holder.
Friday, November 23, 2007
I liked the first Die Hard. It was the classic American story line of the lone hero triumphing in the face of overwhelming odds. I like that story line. That is why Jaws remains one of my favorite movies.
But this. Okay, if you haven't seen it, the plot is basically Bruce Willis and Jared save the world from internet terrorism. It wasn't a bad plot.
It was the special effects that were bad. I kept expecting Wile E. Coyote to fall from the sky, holding some bit of Acme product. I have this complaint about a lot of movies these days. Just because you can do something with computer graphics doesn't mean you should.
A human can not outrun a fireball. A human being whose pelvis and legs have been slammed between a truck hood and brick wall at a high rate of speed will not continue to fight on. One bad guy with a machine gun who can kill 50 people in two seconds will not miss the heroes. Cheap apartment walls will not stop bullets from a super high powered machine gun. A human cannot jump from an exploding bridge onto a crashing F10 fighter jet and walk along the wings to hop off safely.
Keep it within the realms of reality or it isn't a hero movie anymore, it's a cartoon.
Loki sez: Reality? You want reality? In what reality do cats wear hats?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Remember those old commercials for - I think - Dove dishwashing soap? Who is the mother and who is the daughter?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I lobbied hard this year for going to a restaurant. I love going to restaurants for Thanksgiving. It's the best thing ever invented on the planet. You dress up, mosey on down to your restaurant of choice, eat super yummy scrumptious food. I'm fond of the buffet style so you can over eat until your stomach is going to explode, just like at home!
But I am surrounded by traditionalists who think tons of cooking, tons of clean up and left overs fermenting in the fridge or becoming relics in the freezer is a good thing.
My mom is cooking half the dinner - turkey, stuffing, mashed taters and gravy. She's entrusted me (hahahahahahaha) with the other half - sweet potato casserole, some veggies (orange glazed carrots and scalloped cauliflower) and dessert. It's only going to be a couple of us, so we're keeping it small.
But I'm still gonna end up elbow deep in ten thousand dishes tomorrow because my mom doesn't have a dishwasher, well she has one, she's just never used it in the entire 15 years she's lived in her condo. But then, I don't use my dishwasher either, so I guess I can't say too much, although I don't use mine for environmental reasons - it is old and inefficient and uses way too much water.
If I were eating at Blossom's I wouldn't have to wash dishes.
If I were eating at McCrady's, I wouldn't have to cook.
(Hmm, well, maybe I would since those hootchie expensive restaurants tend to think charging $40 for a teaspoon of food is about right.)
That's all I'm saying!
Thor sez: Mmmmmm, left overs.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Why do you suck so bad? Really? Why are you being such misogynistic pig-holes? I sign on in the hopes of finding some new and exciting veggie recipes for Thanksgiving and on that little screen thingie - which by the way takes freaking forever to load - I see this little nugget:
"7 Reasons Why Girls Pick the Wrong Guy"
So, of course I have to click on the link to see what kind of mistakes all we girls are making.
And I find a pretty accurate article about the poor decisions made by ANYONE, male or female in selecting a partner.
So why, dear Comcast, did you feel it necessary to label these mistakes as 'girl' mistakes? Why not "7 Reasons People Pick the Wrong Partner?"
Loki sez: Oh My Ceiling Cat, she's gonna rant about this all day!
Monday, November 19, 2007
So we ambled some more and then I said, "Hey, let's Walk This Way to Joan's house and knock on her front door." But he told me how far it would be and I had to admit it was too far for me. (I had worked the night before and had not slept a wink, so it was getting close to 24 hours of no sleep at that point.)
Instead we strolled back up Queen Street and saw a couple of tuff-city-kitties who sneered disdainfully at my attempts to lure them close enough to pet.
Once home, I passed out around three while watching The Barbarians on the History Channel, once again apologizing to Jason for my rude ancestors. He cooked me a yummy supper despite the fact.
I'm supposed to paint ceilings today. Yawn. Soon. I swear. Just as soon as I finish this cup of coffee. And take a shower. And do the laundry. And vacuum the rug. And go buy more coffee creamer. And line edit that short story.
Thor sez: Oh, I've heard all this before.
Friday, November 16, 2007
For Pete's freaking sake. It's a freaking book. Yes, it deals with the destruction of the Church in a mythical world.
If you don't like it, don't read it, don't let your kids read it.
How many millions of book have pro-Christian themes? Do you see non-theists getting all righteously indignant and having apoplectic fits about it?
I didn't want my child exposed to the often hateful and intolerant views and teachings of fundamentalist Baptists, but plenty of them sure felt completely comfortable over-riding my parental authority. Did I complain to the media? Did I demand the that state/federal government ban things associated with that religion? Did I demand the the school only stock non-theist books?
No. I sat down with my child and taught him. I taught him what I thought, I taught him what you thought, I taught him what they thought. Because how can he know what he thinks unless he has all the information?
Do you really think that the handful of non-theists in this country are a threat to you and your children? That we might actually remove religion from the fabric of American life?
I'd be more concerned with the violent movies like the Saw series, which glamorize violence and torture for the sake of violence and torture, than a fantasy movie about a fantasy world.
I'd be more concerned about television shows that are supposed to be for teens that depict casual sexual relationships with no or easily solved in twenty minutes consequences.
Thor sez: Why can't you humans just get along?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The title came from a quote that I'd heard (or read) years ago, so long ago I can't remember the source: A weed ain't nothing but a flower blooming out of place.
There is also a connection between a drawing of a garden by the main character and the creation of a real garden. And the journey between the two.
But I have been a very bad bad girl. Very lazy. So lazy that even my beloved has begun mentioning my lack of new writing, perhaps sensing that I need a kick in the ass.
And I think it is this. Writing Garden of Weeds was extremely emotional. It delves deep into the realities of domestic abuse and the mental contortions a woman of no means must go through to enable her to endure abuse without going insane. It also deals with the realities and anxieties and hardships of getting out of a situation that while despised, it is a known world. The outside unknown world is what is scary.
And after the emotional highs and rushes of that, everything else I write seems drab and boring. It bores me to write it.
I began this year with the idea that I would concentrate on non-fiction essays. Which I suck at. Seriously. So I gave that up and began working on a short story and the conversion of a short novel written many years ago. I liked the characters, disliked the story. That fizzled.
Part of it, I think, is that I don't have the audience of my writer's group. I really did sit down to write just because I knew people were waiting for the next installment. I won't go into the reasons why I don't attend meetings anymore other than to say it was just something that I could not bear to endure any longer. (and it had nothing to do with the critique of my work, I actually loved that part)
So now, nearing the years end, all I have accomplished is almost finishing the short story. Actually, I'll probably finish it today. First draft finish, but finished.
I just don't know what to do to make it exciting for me again.
Thor sez: Don't worry about it. I'm going to kill you in your sleep.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Wal-Mart. I knew better. But still I went.
But when it comes to the kittens, early is necessary. Their holiday outfits are purchased. A Santa hat and cape for Thor and a darling elf hat and a collar of holly leaves for Loki.
On various days, we will wrestle them one at a time into something resembling submission - i.e. no-one has a claw or tooth embedded in flesh - and don their gay apparel.
Then leap back and attempt to take a good picture.
No luck yet.
Thor sez: You better get that thing off me!
Yes, that's Loki's elf hat, I was seeing if maybe Thor'd like it better. Because this is what he thought of his Santa hat:
Loki sez: Nooooo!!! Don't want!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Children across America and right here in Charleston face this every weekend and every day. For whatever reason, the only reliable source of food they have is the free breakfast and lunch provided in school. Once the weekend comes, they are on their own.
Teachers have known this for years. Teachers know that children who are chronically malnourished can't learn. This is part of the problem with our education systems, especially in the low-income areas.
Next time you hear someone rant and rave about how a teenager or young adult should just get a good job or go to college, try to remember his/her brain most likely was handicapped by chronic starvation when he/she was a small helpless child. He/she was unable to learn because of the crippling effects of chronic hunger.
Backpack Buddies is a program that is trying to help. Non-perishable, nutritious, kid friendly food is sent home with children and their siblings. Enough for three dinners and two lunches and breakfasts, enough to last them through the weekend.
My place of employment sponsors an elementary school here in Charleston. Ask your child's teacher about the program. Is there one in your local school? Or go to the website at America's Second Harvest to learn how to help.
Loki contemplates a world in which every child has enough food.
Monday, November 12, 2007
To all who drive around with yellow ribbons on their cars, please make sure you keep up with what is happening to our veterans.
Medical benefits are being slashed.
"The budget proposal would eliminate federal funds for a program that provides long-term care for veterans and reduce funds for VA nursing home care by $351 million, which could lead to the elimination of about 5,000 nursing home beds administered by the department (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 2/9)".
Hospitals are in need. Returning soldiers who have psychological problems due to spending the last year playing "is-today-the-day-I-get-blown-up-by-an-IED" are being labeled as having had those problems before enlistment. They are denied medical assistance because the problems are now (suddenly) a "pre-existing condition".
Let's not mouth meaningless thanks. Let's not get patriotic and lump-throated one day a year.
Write to your government representatives and tell them you expect our veterans to get what they gave - the best of this nation.
Loki sez: Say it's not true!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I'm ashamed of myself. I'll do the kitchen ceiling tomorrow.
I'm such a wimpy whiner.
Thor sez: Look! Kung-Thor!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I like to paint. I'm weird that way, I know. It goes back to my years of living in moderate poverty. I might not be able to buy new furniture or new rugs, but $15 would get you a fresh coat of paint and perk the place right up.
But I'd never painted a ceiling. Never lived in one place long enough I suppose, for the ceilings to need paint.
It might not have been so bad if I hadn't had the bright idea that as long as I was having to move everything, I might as well do a big time cleaning as I went. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, taking curtains down, hauling cat trees into the kitchen - oh run Loki run it's the end of the world! Then spreading out the drop cloths, now that is where Thor's help becomes annoying. See, he's cute, but (whispers) not really that bright sometimes. So he dashes under the drop cloth, enjoying the crinkling noises until he realizes he can't see his way out. Panic ensues. Drop cloth put back in place. Repeat twice.
See, now all that was before I even grasped my handy-dandy designed for painting ceilings roller brush with the drip guard (which really did work) and the extended handle. Worked great but was really heavy, so frequent hand cramp breaks began.
The paint I got was supposed to 'paint on purple, dry white'. Well, it was more like a paint on barest of lavender, dry almost immediately in the sunlit, warm room. About half way through, my thoughts on missed spots, streaks or overlaps were running along the lines of "Who looks at ceilings anyway?" and "If anyone spends that much time critiquing my ceiling paint, they are freaks anyway so WGAF?"
In the interest of possibly returning to work next week NOT in a neck brace, I have finished one room and will not attempt any more today. Tomorrow, if I have the use of my hands, arms and shoulders, I will attempt the kitchen ceiling.
Unless the CIA has anyone sitting around in the Navy Brig....?
Thor sez: But I like to help!
Friday, November 09, 2007
But first, I think I need to track down some Johnny Cash. I painted every room in this house to music. The Allman Brothers, The Doors and CCR are very conducive to painting. However, yesterday, I was captivated by this Johnny Cash video.
A fact that many people find contradictory about me is that although I am not a theist, I enjoy good gospel music. Especially the old-time Appalachian inspired music or the gospel of traditionally black churches.
I think it is because I just enjoy good music. I enjoy all the fruits of true talent. Whether it be music, art, literature. Now, this song in particular, I know I like because of the theme of self-interest, my mind is saying hedonism, being destructive. Christians think they have an exclusive on that, but really all religions touch on it. Even the Wiccan's believe that: An it harm none, do as ye will. And while that may seem like permission to debauchery, remember, that "none" includes yourself.
But then I got to listening to more. And more.
And now I've got me a serious case of Johnny Cash fever.
Loki sez: Can you work on getting a case of feed the kittens breakfast fever?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Me, I get this:
Loki sez: Huh?
Thor, on the other hand, is a cute little guy. More than a bit goofy and extremely willful. He is a bit funny looking with his off center nose splotch and black lips. But he takes the best pictures. And he takes direction. I swear I'm not crazy, but I think he understands posing. He will hold a pose long enough to get several shots.
Thor sez: Mine!
I took at least ten shots of him with his paw on that bucket. He sat there like that until I was finished. And Thor seems to have a wider range of expressions.
Loki is startled, sleepy or bored.
Loki sez: OMCC*! What is that?
Thor sez: What is my motiviation here? Am I frightened? Repulsed? Ferocious?
There is no point to this, other than I'm slightly insane and since I've just completed night six of six, I can always claim extreme sleep deprivation.
*Oh my Ceiling Cat!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
If I could vote, I'd vote for my adult life-long dream: Charleston seceding from the union and the state of South Carolina to form our own city-state. Anyone not in residence for ten years will be escorted to the border.
Developers will be required to live in the neighborhoods they build and send their children to the overcrowded schools they create.
Gay marriage will be legal.
Medical marijuana will be legal.
Every citizen over the age of ten will be required to write an essay demonstrating that they understand the difference between the ravages of poverty and the happenstance of race.
The phrase "well, back where I come from" would be illegal and you will be driven to where you come from and left there.
Every citizen will be required to be able to appropriately answer the question, "Who's your kin?"
Cell phones will be banned while driving, shopping, or eating in restaurants. Or walking down streets. Or standing in lines. Yes, go hide in a closet to speak on your cell phone, thank you very much.
Every child under the age of 15 will be required to attend a finishing/manners class.
That should get us off to a good start.
Loki sez: May I be in charge of the Charleston National Opera?
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thor sez: AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!
Thor sez: Oh, wait, Christmas. Maybe I should get started on my letter to Santa.
Thor sez: Human, take this down: Dear Santa, how are you? I've been a very good kitten this year....Human, why are you laughing?
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Okay. So there.
The only thing to do now is for everyone to tell my boss to never put me on the list again so that Charleston can be spared the ravages of hurricanes in the future.
I'm just trying to help.
Thor sez: Your powers never cease to amaze me, human. Tuna, now.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
The flock of house sparrows that live under my house began a very loud chatter. I turned to look, thinking a neighbor's cat might be out there, but didn't see anything. All fell quiet and I returned to my sammie.
Then came a very hard WHAM on the large window. Loki went up and off the end of the couch in a panic. I managed not to choke on a chunk of sammie and turned around just in time to see either a falcon or a small hawk sitting, stunned (or pissed) on the sidewalk. By the time I extracted my poor tired nursey toes from the massager, he had flown away.
Poor Loki was freaked out. I can't blame him. A hawk just tried to kill him. Add that to the list of why I don't let my cats go outside. I'd heard stories of some eagles in a neighborhood on James Island attacking and carrying off cats in recent years, most likely due to over development and the loss of natural prey.
I watch the wildlife around here and this is the second time I've seen this hawk/falcon, the first time he chased a brown thrasher into the hedge and then sat at the end of my driveway for a few minutes. Maybe he is a youngster and isn't that skilled at hunting yet. Maybe that's why only one squirrel showed up for the pile of peanuts I left under the oak tree a few days ago.
Loki sez: I told you they were out to get me!
Friday, November 02, 2007
NO F'ing FAIR!
Here's the deal. For many, many years, I toiled away every weekend, night shift. Twelve and a half hour long weekend night shifts, no less. But did I complain? Not much. It was my choice.
And when the "fall back" of DST came rolling around, offering the lovely thirteen and a half hour night shift, leaving me slaving, SLAVING, away while all y'all lollygagged around in bed, wallowing up that extra hour of sleep. Which I also did NOT get to enjoy as I still had to be back on duty in eleven and a half hours, irregardless of what the clock used to say.
So when I changed my work schedule to every other weekend, I specifically sat down with the schedule maker and a calender and counted it the freak out so that I would NOT be working the weekend of fall back.
Yippee! Dancing in the streets!
Then they change it? Move it forward?
Just for me? Because I just love it so?
Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.
I'm going to call everyone I know at 0300 a.m. and wake your butts up and check to make sure you remembered to set your clocks back.
Thor sez: For Tuna's sake! Do you need to go to Loki's hissy fit room for a moment?
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I must get half a dozen hits a day on this.
It's a awesome looking yacht. I've seen a picture. Hell, I'd even post the picture if it hadn't been lost in the last great computer crash.
My son took the picture a few years ago when he was in Rhodes. Greece, that is. Apparently Slow Hand had parked a few dock spaces down from the US Navy.
But I don't get searches for Billy Crystal's yacht. Or Hugh Hefner's yacht. No searches for Elton John or Mick Jagger's yachts.
Just Eric. It makes me curious. So, please, random visitors looking for Eric Clapton's yacht, please educate me.
Why it is good to live with a multi-talented* person:
* purchased, carved, arranged, photographed and cleaned up!
Thanks to Uncle Zoloft for the inspiration.
Loki sez: Excuse me, but as fascinating as your blither always is, can we move on to the important information now?
I Can Has Cheezburger update: Page 33, 4th photo down, 446 votes.