Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Time Is Here

It's that time of year.

My Sister and her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's 16 year old dog, are coming to stay for a few days.

We plan on going to an early Christmas Eve service, then out for Moroccan food, then back to our house to unwrap presents. All 9 of us: me, my husband, my parents, my husband's parents, my husband's Aunt, my Sister, and my Sister's boyfriend.

Not sure if we'll do anything else on Christmas Eve... maybe in the morning my husband, myself, my sister and her boyfriend and maybe my Dad will go see the Natural History Museum. My Mom's not very good at walking long distances anymore: congestive heart failure. Also, she's 77. So she's not coming. Dad's technically not too good at walking long distances either... he is 83! But he's still in pretty good shape... so we'll just walk slowly.

Then Christmas Day, the only thing open is a Railroad museum. Ditto: same 5 people: me, my husband, my Sister, her boyfriend, my Dad... uhm, assuming my husband is up for it, of course. :) Or my Dad is up for it. Or if any of us are up for it by then.

And then on Tuesday, the 26th, we go fishing in the ocean from 9am to 3pm, off of a boat. Me, my husband, my Sister and her boyfriend. [Dad has to work. Yes. He's 83 and he has to work. :P Don't ask. But at least it keeps him going...]

Then Wednesday, my Sister and her boyfriend are out of here, and we collapse into a small puddle on the living room floor, with our 2 German Shepherds standing guard. ;)

Maybe Wednesday morning I should put a "Do Not Disturb: Christmas Vacation Detox in Progress" sign on the door. With something extra like "Trespassers will be Bitten by Dogs that May or May Not be Rabid." And then we can tie some frothy cotton on our dog's muzzles to make it look like they are frothing at the mouth. [And before you ask, their rabies shots are up to date.]

Yeah. I like that idea. ;)

My Mormon friend, Kenya Starflight, was very sweet and sent us Christmas gifts. I've never received Christmas Gifts from a person I only know online before! This is rather neat. ;) I sent her something as well.

We've exchanged photo's, so she knows what I look like. Uhm, on a GOOD day, anyway, LOL!!! And we've been pretty good about emailing each other really often, so I really feel like we know each other. Hope we can meet in person one day. She's very cool.

The shopping is 99.999% done. I may go get something for a friend's daughter. I already got stuff for another friend's daughter, but I haven't seen the first mentioned daughter in a long time... so am feeling disconnected, and in the great scheme of things, only thought of it recently when in contact with her Mom. Sigh. I feel like the shopping and the wrapping will never ever really be done... maybe I should just leave everything unwrapped under the tree, and throw a big blanket over it all to hide it. ;)

The tree... heh. It's plastic. And still in the box. I need to put it together before I can even decorate it. This is the first year I've condescended to purchase a plastic tree.

Let's just say this year has been a little hectic, and somehow I've done an incredibly good job of procrastinating. :)

Like the lights outside... they only went up this past Tuesday evening. And only on the long bush that is next to the walkway leading up to our front door. I called it a "rapid deployment of Christmas lights". It actually turned out pretty good, for 15 minutes of feverish untangling and arranging.

And no short female computer programmers had to get up on any nasty scary ladders to hang Christmas Lights from the roof. ;)

Oh, crap. I went shopping, and I forgot to get seasickness meds for Tuesday. :P Well, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just barf. I've gone scuba diving, ocean-kayaking, flying, etc. But put me on a boat and try to cross the Channel to the islands here and it's seasick-city for me. Well, maybe it won't be too bad... we're not going all the way out to the islands to fish... just 8 miles out.

Oof. And the tree... it's not exactly going to smell like pine. [Should have picked up some pine scented spray.]

Wait, did this just change from a report on my Christmas to an online Christmas to-do list? ;)

Anyway, in all the insanity this time of year, I don't want to forget the Reason for the Season. Even though Jesus was probably born in the summer, this is the time of year we celebrate His birth. It's not about presents, it's not about holiday decorations, or holiday food, or egg nog. Or mistletoe and making our dogs wear fake antlers while we take pictures of them. ;)

It's about the gift of salvation through God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

I may be, in my opinion, a really flaky Christian. But that's not going to change my knowing the real reason for Christmas.

So, to quote my favorite Christmas passage, one that Linus quoted so well in "A Charlie Brown Christmas", here is Luke chapter 2, in the Old King James. [It somehow sounds best in the Old King James.]

Luke chapter 2:

[1] And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

[2] (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

[3] And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

[4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

[5] To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

[6] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

[7] And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

[8] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

[9] And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

[10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

[11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

[12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

[13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

[14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas, everyone. :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Mouse, he left our house

"The Mouse, he left our house.
No Mouse today, he's gone away.
To ease the pain, he's down the drain!"

Well, ok, he's not. And btw, if you can identify the above quote, I'll give you free dead mice in the mail.

Anyway, I'm sick. I caught the flu. It moved from my throat to my sinuses to my bronchial tubes. I did the fever thing. Now I'm doing the bronchial cough/exhaustion thing.

And my husband is sick. Because it wasn't enough for it to go through my body, it had to leap to his body too.

I stayed home from work this week. My husband had to fly up north and work, and sleep in a hotel room every night. :P He realized he had it about midway in his first workday up north. He's now home, after 5 hellish days for him, and very happily glued to the couch.

We have 2 big German Shepherds. Do they scare rodents away? Hell no. Do they care if we have a rodent? Not even. Do they help with killing rodents? Nope.

They have a strong prey drive. But nothing of that came out to help in this instance.

So this past Wednesday, I'm home sick, right? Coughing up a lung. And I open the doors to the cabinets to find something to eat. Hoping there's some soup I didn't realize was down there. Oooh. Look at all the little poo-like objects down there. Uh-huh.

I pulled out 2 mouse traps, and set them both. This was a major challenge for me because mouse traps scare me. Well, loud sudden noises scare me. It took me a while to get used to gunfire when my Dad taught me how to fire a gun. Little kids running around with balloons is like torture, because I know eventually they are going to pop something.

But I was sick. And something about feeling like crap made setting traps not a big deal. Just bloody had to be done.

I dropped one on the floor to hear it snap, to desensitize me. Then I proceeded to mess up and snap it on my fingers. Twice. Well, I was pretty damned well desensitized by it by then, LOL! I placed two traps Wednesday afternoon, and by Wednesday evening, we have the following:

And my first response, instead of "what a filthy, disgusting, disease ridden creature", was "oh, that poor cute little thing... and it's in pain..." Yeah, I know. I've lost it. But take another look:

So I've got this mouse. And it's still alive. And suffering. *sigh* I take pics of it, and send them to my husband. We talk over the phone. He tells me I can clock it with a shovel. Uh-huh.

I gave in and put it in a ziplock plastic baggy. I picked it up with the plastic baggy turned inside out to use as a fingerless glove. Works great. Thanks to all the lessons from picking up dog poop. ;)

Here's another picture of the cute poor little mouse:

So I picked up Mr. Mouse, and put him (or her?) on the kitchen floor, inside the plastic baggy. And then I beaned it with the handle of my husband's foot-long black flashlight.

Yes. This mouse. Down here. Beaned it. No pics of the beaning, though. Sorry. I'm not quite that twisted.

So I've been washing dishes (and coughing up a lung) ever since. The cleaned pots and pans (that the mouse ran over and in many cases, poo'd in) are all piled up on the kitchen table. Most of them... not quite done. Moving kinda slow while coughing up a lung.

Once the dishes are fully removed, I can nuke the kitchen cabinets. 'Er, I mean clean them with lysol, pinesol, or clorox. Not sure which to use. Maybe all 3.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jackass 2, Sushi (NOT), and Lightsabers

So, Saturday evening, October 14th, I had the (extremely guilty) pleasure of seeing Jackass 2.

I have honestly never seen Jackass 1. And I heard from friends that Jackass 1 had some scenes in it that were difficult to watch without becoming physically ill. Glad to say that although Jackass 2 has some very disgusting moments, I was able to keep down my Indian-food dinner, as was my husband.

Jackass 2... well the whole Jackass phenomenon... is just scary. I never really put stock into people complaining how computer games like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto could cause little kids to become violent. I probably don't put much stock into it because, well, my husband and I used to be rather addicted to the game! And we have never felt the need to act on the game's violent imagery... uhm... much... :)

But this movie... I could totally see how it would influence young boys ages 8 thru ... ok, 28... to do things that are very likely to take them out of the gene pool.

I laughed my ass off during this movie. But I also cringed through it's entirety. And I still feel kindof dirty for having even seen it.

The movie was supposed to start at 7:20pm, We were meeting friends, R and L. And R brought a friend from work. At about 6pm we arrived downtown Santa Barbara, in search of sushi. There are plenty of sushi places in Santa Barbara. The ones that distinguish themselves from the crowd include Sakana (which is actually in Montecito), Pirana (whose main chef left to start Sakana), and Arrigato, which I am probably misspelling. So there we were, at Arrigato, with a 10 to 15 minute wait.

Husband took off the 2 blocks to the theatre to get tickets while I waited for our table. Then my pants started barking.

I pulled my cell phone out of my pants and answered it. [I have the ring tone set to our bigger German Shepherds bark.] My husband was on the line. "Theatre's actually more like 4 blocks down rather than 2. Maybe we'd better eat down here." I agreed, told Arrigato to cross us off the waiting list, and hightailed it in my "holy-shit-I-can-run-in-these" boots.

Whereupon we waited 10 more minutes outside the Taj for Indian food. The Taj is across from the theatre we were meeting our friends at.

Indian food wasn't what we had our hearts set on, but the Taj is an awesome place. But the waiter in question chose to memorize our order instead of write it down. So, one of our chicken dishes ended up being lamb, and we had to send it back. When the correct order arrived, but sans the raita (an awesome yogurt, onions, cilantro, and other good things dip/spread), we were reluctant to make further changes. As it was, we'd filled up on nan (a kind of flat bread... very good) and the dips that were leftover from the chips they'd served us.

Eating hot and spicy Indian food as quickly as possible is a very interesting thing to do. I was constantly blowing on the food, or drinking 7-up to try to cool my mouth down. And blowing my nose 'cause spices send my nose into a runny tailspin, even though I'm not exactly a gringo here when it comes to spices. [The tongue is willing, but the nose is weak.]

In spite of everything, we greatly enjoyed the meal at the Taj. FYI, they rarely make mistakes in orders like that, so cut them some slack, and go try out their food. :)

We made it into the theatre. The 10 minutes of previews were rolling. We probably missed the first 2. Our friends R and L saw us enter and flagged us down for the 2 seats next to them.

The theatre was not full, which was either because Jackass 2 had been out for 2 or 3 weeks, or perhaps because this theatre was far enough away from the college campus that the students weren't using it as their means of escape tonight. But that doesn't truly make sense because on any given Saturday night, I've seen tons of college students parading down State Street doing the "State Street Crawl"*, so... midterms? Maybe.

* The State Street Crawl is a time honored local tradition. It is literally trying to make your way from upper State Street to lower State Street, stopping in every bar along the way for a drink. People generally don't consider starting the crawl much higher up than Carrillo or Figueroa... the bars just aren't that thick above those cross streets.

I'm going to skip ahead now and talk about the rest of the evening. I am posting details on Jackass 2 below, under the spoiler alert. :)

So, we got out of the movie... maybe around 9pm? We were a bit dazed, and stopped by Borders for hot chocolates. I couldn't help but talk out loud to our friends, R and L, about my plans to escort S and R's daughter around for Halloween in my favorite Halloween costume, Darth Vader. I mentioned that I wanted to purchase the lightsaber that was on sale at the Borders in our neck of the woods, as my current lightsaber isn't red and is getting old. Then I noticed the girl standing in line behind my husband -- the one with the lip piercing -- who was looking at me like I was a space cadet.

It's kindof embarrassing to have someone sorta strange-looking stare at you like you're the strangest thing on the planet.

After R and L meandered to look around, I left my husband in line while I tried to quit dying of embarrassment at admitting in public that I, a grown adult, am jonesing for a replacement lightsaber. ;) [Ok, and that I'm looking forward to being Vader for Halloween.]

We hung around a Borders for a while, then left R and L, and headed, ironically, for the Borders in our neck of the woods. Husband bought a cool book, and I went to the counter to check on the price of the lightsaber.

It was gone! Sold! Aigh!

Well, so much for price comparisons with ThinkGeek. Which is where I ended up ordering my new Sithly blade from. ;) Probably just as well.

Ok, and on to the actual movie:

I suppose I should say "spoiler alert" at this point.

**************** SPOILER ALERT ****************






Ok, that's probably far enough.

How do I describe this movie? Well, did any of you ever see the South Park movie in the theatre? It was like that, but with a different kind of shock value. And it was really funny, although South Park made me laugh much harder.

But it was also extra disgusting. I mean, granted South Park touched on some pretty disgusting things, but it was all drawn in cartoon form. It's hard to be grossed out by a cartoon talking poo. A real poo, however, in the right context, can make you physically ill.

So, let's see.

The movie started out with everyone being chased through some suburban streets by cattle. The expressions on their faces were priceless. This was one of about 3 or 4 stunts involving cattle. Most were surprisingly funny, especially the one where all 4 of them are on this see-saw like contraption, and whenever the bull was running at them, the person in the "line of charge" would kick himself high up into the air, usually even drawing his legs up onto the see-saw to be safe! The goal of that see-saw prank was that the last person on the contraption won. And yes, eventually they were all knocked off, or wisely ran out of there.

Then there was a guy wearing a sock-puppet mouse over his penis. He pushed his penis through a "glory hole" wall opening into a cage containing a snake. Someone had a small string tied to the puppet, and used that to manipulate the puppet into eventually antagonizing the snake to strike. Which it did. That was one of 3 different snake incidents. *shudder*

We had several rocket-propelled-items-trying-to-fly-over-lake incidents. There was a wheelchair, a bike, a shopping cart, and an actual rocket at one point. [And yes, there was a person riding or sitting in each item.]

We had a beer bong in the anus incident. That's... probably as much as I want to say about that.

There were multiple stunts involving poo. Horse poo was eaten at one point, which caused some vomiting, ironically not by the person who was eating the poo. Horse semen was swallowed. [I thought I was going to lose it on that one...]

Four of the guys were duped into thinking they were going to a photo opportunity. Once the limo stopped, the other guys ran over, opened the skylight, dumped bees into the limo, and closed the skylight back up. The doors were rigged so the people inside couldn't get out. Marbles were placed next to one of the doors, and after a sufficient amount of screaming and flailing (and window-kicking) had occurred, someone opened up the door nearest the marbles. And yes, everyone scrambled out, slipped on the marbles, picked themselves up, and continued to run and swat at bees.

What got me was the cameraman who sat in the limo with all those bees, calmly filming the entire incident in spite of getting stung. [Hope they paid him well!]

What also got me was that on several occasions, they broke one of the cameramen. Either they grossed him out so that he vomited, or they cracked him up so that he was unable to do his job until he'd finished laughing. :) The latter was very cool.

There were several funny stunts where some guy dressed up as either an old man or an old woman. As an old man, he would be obnoxious on purpose to people to the point where you thought someone was going to hit him. At one point, he had his "grandson" with him, and while he was sitting buying some food for him, kept slipping his grandson something to drink out of his flask, and also offered him a cigarette. Some poor guy tried to save the kid from such a bad role model by asking the "old man" if he really should be giving the kid something to drink. Or smoke.

I was told that if a face was fuzzed out, that person did not sign a release to be in the film. The guy above did not have his face fuzzed out. So I think the poor guy above, who nearly came to blows with the old man at one point, got to find out it was all a joke, and that the kid wasn't really being given booze to drink. Uhm, I hope.

Another guy decided to be "bait" for sharks. He pushed a fishing hook through his cheek (I am not making this up), then jumped into the ocean to swim around. They had footage of a Mako and a Hammerhead hanging out. There were at least 2 divers in the water with the guy, one holding a camera, and the other was actually attracting sharks at one point with chum. I couldn't help but imagine the agreement they must have hashed out with the Jackass crew:

"Yes, we will do everything we can to save this guy from truly being eaten by sharks. But if he does get killed, it is NOT our fault, and we are not liable."

Oh, and the guy survived. The Mako made a pass, got kicked on the nose by the guy, and the guy with the hook in his mouth decided he'd had enough and got back on the boat.

Incidentally, for you scuba divers out there, the Hammerhead was very pretty. Not too large, though... probably a juvenile. Maybe 5 or 6 feet. Couldn't tell about the Mako... don't know how big those guys get. But he was maybe... 7 feet.

At one point they had skateboarders trying to run the gauntlet of swinging padded objects. Tony Hawk was watching the whole thing, which was cool. I can't remember if he tried to run it himself. Oh, and there were a few skateboard incidents involving jumping off houses. Well, one that I can remember for sure. :)

I can't really do this movie justice in talking about the stunts and pranks. There were way too many, and are really better viewed than described. Just know this is NOT a movie you should take little kids to. There is nudity, there is foul language. There is ALOT of poo. But worse, kids are going to want to repeat some of this stuff. Especially the skateboard stuff.

Or maybe the poo stuff.

And no, I'm not going to go into detail on the poo stuff. I started to try to write that up, but couldn't finish it.

I also tried to write up the final gag, which involved in a small part alot of pubic hair, and I just... couldn't go through with it.

Anyway, your children should not watch this. They will repeat it.

There were two little kids, between the ages of 10 and 13, who somehow got in to see this movie. When we left the theatre, they ran past us, carrying their skateboards. They had a crazed look in their eyes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bruce Campbell Book Signing

Last week, Saturday, September 23rd, in Santa Barbara, at Metro Entertainment, Bruce Campbell sat to sign books, pictures, and other paraphernalia. The line was both surprisingly and unsurprisingly long. [Surprisingly long since he is a self-proclaimed B-movie actor, and unsurprisingly long as he's a VERY GOOD self-proclaimed B-movie actor.] The line had somewhere between 175 and 200 fans of the B-movie actor in it. I managed to get to be #120.

Bruce was only signing for 2 hours, and thankfully had a known rate of 100 people/signatures per hour.

Here's a picture of my fellow Bruce Campbell obsessed fans.

The lady on the right dragged one of her daughters to the book signing. She also confessed to having forced her daughters to watch everything that has Bruce Campbell in it. She has the DVD set of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. She has seen all of his Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episodes where he plays the character Autolycus, i.e., the Prince of Thieves. She went on and on about how he is at his best when he is playing against himself.

In the movie "Army of Darkness", Bruce plays the reluctant hero Ash. There are scenes where Bruce is the only actor on screen, but he's playing opposite himself... sometimes multiple versions of himself. She mentioned those scenes in particular, and I had to agree with her that those scenes were priceless.

In one of those aforementioned scenes, Ash is fighting with an evil incarnation of himself. He shoots the evil incarnation in an act reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Harrison Ford kills the swordsman with the gun rather than duel him. Then Bruce blows the smoke from the end of his shotgun and says, "Good Ash, bad Ash, I'm the one with the gun." ;)

Here's a picture of myself in line, with 2nd book ready for a signature.

His first book was quite good. It was called "If Chins Could Kill". His could. ;) Here's a picture of the two of us, with him graciously smiling for the camera.

I intended to get my copy of "If Chins Could Kill" signed by him, but I couldn't find it. My helpful husband suggested I simply have him sign my boobs! Whereupon I explained, as graciously as possible, "I like Bruce Campbell, but I don't like him in that way!"

I'm sure that's just what a tired B-movie actor needed just then... a computer geek exposing her cleavage in hopes of a permanent marker signature being placed thereon. And having that deranged look on her face that would suggest to him that I intended to "never wash that boob again". ;)

Anyway, I "settled" for purchasing his new book, and having that signed. Much less dramatic than a boob-signing, but I think he'd prefer he not have too many horror stories to tell his wife and kiddies once he's done with this book signing tour!

Bruce was very funny in person. Unfortunately, I was doing a little of the "deer caught in headlights" thing, and so kept responding in very literal-minded, deadpan fashion. This would have been good if we were working comedically together, but since I was in fact the audience...

Our conversation went something like this:

BRUCE: What's happening?

I shook his hand.

SNOOPY: Nothing much. Uhm, can you make it out to husband's-name and my-name. I'm my-name.

BRUCE: So where is this husband slacker of yours? Why isn't he here?

SNOOPY: He had to work.

BRUCE: So, what do you do?

SNOOPY: I'm a computer programmer.

BRUCE: Yeah, well, those computers do need to be programmed.

SNOOPY: Yeah...

I think I told him thank you and said goodbye. I think.

I had all these wonderful, brilliant, witty conversations with him... in my head, before I got there. I had wanted to tell him that I loved his work. And teasingly say that my husband and I are his B-fans, i.e., he's a B-grade actor, we're B-grade fans... yeah, yeah, I know, very dorky. But hey, as I said, I'm a B-grade fan. ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dead Possum Demarcation

Driving to work today.

Every 100 to 200 yards or so, lying on the middle of the road nearly dead (pun intended) center on the yellow line was a dead possum.

I couldn't help but feel a certain fondness for redneck notions at that moment...

"Look, Martha... the road-workers have done gotten these here new separation indicators down early this season..."

Yeah, I know... lame attack on rednecks. Hey, did I mention or hint at the idea of roadkill being for dinner? No. So there. Nyaaah.

And really, I probably have some redneck blood in the middle of all that Irish/Scottish/English/German white-mutt blood I've got, so... I'm allowed to make jokes about rednecks. ;)

Either that, or I'm just out of it from the smoke from the nasty fires of late. Yeah. Yeah. That's it...

Ok, ok, I'm in a really snarky mood. ;)

On another note... I'm slacking on Darth Sentinel 2. I apologize. I haven't been feeling motivated. Am planning on making more progress... trying to use a tape recorder to get my ideas recorded.

See, I'm imaging all these great scenes, but when I'm far away from the computer. :P Dumb. Guess it's my brain saying it wants to work on this, but "outside the box".

Anyway, keep your ears/eyes peeled for new chapters.

Hope anyone in the burn areas in California is doing ok, as well as their friends, families, pets, homes, etc. :P Hang in there, and Godspeed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jet skis are cool, m'kay?

2 weekends ago my husband and I rented jet skis with a friend, and laughed ourselves silly bouncing around the ocean, and getting thoroughly drenched.

Words of advice:

1. Any speed over 25 miles per hour means you are going to almost be unable to see, especially if you are heading into the wind and waves! Salty water will continuously be hitting you in the face. You will end up spending most of the time at this speed with your eyes closed in preparation for the next splash of water.

2. Driving with your eyes closed is probably not a good idea. So play around with speeding sporadically, and after you've made sure the coast is clear!

3. Hitting the water at speeds in excess of 25 mpg hurts like hell. Or so I've been told. I managed to do all kinds of stupid things, but still hang on to the hand grips. :) [Our friend has face-planted before, but not on this particular occasion.]

4. Do not EVER take your hand completely off the throttle. If you are planning on stopping... safely... without going over the handlebars... I suggest you *ease* off the throttle gently. Contrary to what you are used to happening on land, taking your hand (or foot) off the throttle or gas does not mean you will gently coast to a stop!!!

5. If you need correction for your vision, wear contacts. The water hits you hard enough that any glasses you wear have a high likelihood of going flying. Besides, your glasses are going to be spotted over with water very quickly.

6. When you are coming off a wave, you will be thrown forward into the next wave. This will force your hand down, if you are not careful, onto the throttle. This will make it that you will keep accelerating as fast as possible up the face of the next wave you land on. This is kinda fun, but rather unnerving when you are doing it w/o meaning to. ;)

Oh, and big piece of advice. When you are coming back in to harbor, they don't want you speeding. They don't want to risk a wreck. In case either the fear of being written an expensive ticket, or the fear of a wreck don't dissuade you, consider the fact that the bacteria count in the harbor water is comparable to what's in your toilet. Before flushing. And consider the following recommendation: "Don't make waves". :)

Which reminds me of a funny joke I heard a famous comedian tell:

Hell is actually a lake filled with the most disgusting muck you can imagine. The "water" comes up to just below everyone's chins. And the only thing you ever hear anyone say is "Don't make waves".

And on Sunday, the Devil goes water-skiing. ;)

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Well, I finished (and posted) the last chapters of Darth Sentinel almost a month ago. I have been making minor edits to my offline copy, in hopes of posting it to later on.

I have also been working some on the sequel, tentatively known as Darth Sentinel Two, for lack of a better name. On Darth Sentinel One, I posted chapter 1 after having already written 10 chapters. Am not sure if I'm going to be patient enough to do that this time, and I suspect I'll be wanting to post chapter 1 after I'm only done with chapter 3!

My friend, Kenya, seems to be able to write her stories effectively that way... so what the heck. I may write myself into a corner that way...

My husband knows a couple of writers. With his help, I talked to both of them, getting all the writing information I could get. All the how-to web pages, books to read, etc. And from their recommendation, I am now attending a writers group every Saturday morning, and I intend to take a class this Fall at Adult Ed.

Today, Saturday, was the 2nd time I've attended the writers group. I was supposed to read Chapter One of Darth Sentinel (with recent edits) to them, but I chickened out. :P

Then someone read something that made my little love story between Mr. Tall, Dark and Asthmatic and my heroine seem not quite so strange. I then let the instructor know that I thought I'd be able to read my story out loud, if I was the last to read. I don't think that he heard me correctly, because I was never given the chance to read before the end of class, and he then let me know he expected me to read next class session!

Oops. I guess I should speak louder! :)

So I spent the entire rest of the session waiting for my chance, and having big, reptilian butterflies bouncing around my stomach the entire time! Now I realize I'm so jonesing to read that I think I'll be able to do it next weekend!

The chapters and/or short stories the others read were all very interesting. We have quite the diverse group. I'd like to tell you what they are writing, but am not sure that that's like telling about new patent ideas someone is working on, prior to the patent being approved! I.E., I don't really want to mess with anyone's story ideas and their chances of publishing them by my letting their secret plot be known.

Let's just say that it's very interesting. :)

In the meanwhile, maybe I should create the Darth Sentinel Two blog... I want to eventually use for these stories, but... I already have warm fuzzies with blogger. ;)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My Star Wars obsession

So, I'm up to 25 chapters posted on Darth Sentinel, my Star Wars fanfic.

I'm not sure where all this is coming from, or where it's going!

Matter of fact, as of my last post earlier today, I'm stumped! I do believe I've written myself into a corner. :)

But I've sort of been going with it, letting the story tell itself. And I trust that the characters will tell me where it needs to go.

I've joked with Kenya Starflight that I'm channeling the Sith Lord Darth Sentinel. She's writing this, not me.

On a side note, it's made me appreciate the problems Lucas had to deal with. I know there are multiple plot holes all over the place in the 6 Star Wars movies + 6 Star Wars books that were based upon the scripts. I don't know yet if the Clone Wars cartoons makes things any worse! [I have the Clone Wars DVD's, but have yet to watch them.]

But I also know, or am betting anyway, that Lucas did his best to stomp out all the plot holes he was aware of.

I find myself having to skim back several chapters to remind myself what I had posted, and ensure that what I was about to post wasn't going to contradict anything! You'd think I'd remember what I posted, but each chapter goes through several passes before I am sure I've got it right.

I would like to thank several people for the inspiration to write Darth Sentinel.

First and foremost, my thanks go to the following people:

Kenya Starflight is incredibly prolific! I got hooked on her blog, which tells her tale of life with a live-in Sith Lord Darth Vader. She has made me chuckle, and she has brought tears to my eyes. She has me hooked on her writing. I am slowly devouring all of her works, which are spread around a bit, most of them being on at HERE. I expect to see her publishing awesome works of fiction in the near future.

Cheeseburger Brown. Reading his fanfic, "The Darth Side", and his original blog/novel, "Simon of Space", were pivotal moments in my online life. It started me reading Star Wars fanfics, in general. Before, I wouldn't have thought that anyone who wasn't employed by Lucas could really bring extra life into my favorite Dark Lord. If you haven't caught either of Cheeseburger's works, read them. NOW. He also has other works he's done, and I suspect great things are in store for him in his future.

Then there is PCBabySunribbon, who also has a live-in Darth Vader. Her view of the Dark Lord is also very amusing and touching. She is also a prolific writer, and a big Dr. Who fan.

If you haven't figured it out, there are multiple Star Wars universes floating around, and I can't say I'm not guilty of creating my own. This means multiple Vader's. Be afraid. :) You don't know the power of the Dark Side.

Other inspirations are shown to the right in my Darth Vader Related Links section.

Special mention goes to Anne Arkham, whose
interview with Darth Vader (Cheeseburger Brown's version of the Dark Lord) left me rolling on the floor, holding on to my stomach. :)

Thank you all for rekindling my obsession with Mr. Tall, Dark and Asthmatic. ;)

I hope to finish Darth Sentinel... maybe in another 5 chapters! The darned thing has definitely taken on a life of it's own.

There may or may not be a sequel. I have a story in mind. Will keep you all posted.

But first I need to get them out of the pickle they are currently in. :P

Thursday, June 15, 2006

OCD moments

Was feeling a little less than sharp today. I needed brain food, badly. So I opened a can of tuna fish. It's not on my diet, but what the heck... it's a healthy thing to eat.

Ate some tuna fish. Found some white, unidentifiable substance in the can with the fish. Figured it was fish fat or something.

Then the OCD started churning.


And I became convinced that, since it was white, it was something else! Something that was most certainly NOT supposed to be in my can of tuna fish!

I probably never should have watched Fight Club. Uhm, no, nevermind... I would have thought of this w/o having had watched Fight Club.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

They say it's your birthday...

Darth Snoopy, the WWI Flying Ace is hung over right now. :P Too many root bears.

The Dark Side of the Force is not helping me stop the throbbing pain. But it was worth it. ;)

Today was my 38th birthday.

I had to take my car down to the Saturn dealership, 40 minutes away. It's way out of warranty, but the local Chevrolet dealership didn't have the necessary software to diagnose the error my car was reporting. [The only symptom was one of those lovely "service engine" lights.]

Saturday the 10th was the earliest I could get my car in to the dealership. So, I decided I was spending my birthday in the town 40 minutes away.

Spent the day with friends at a PeeWee Golf place. We played 18 holes. Did the bumper cars, bumper boats, little race carts (with huge bumpers, but signs advising you to avoid crashing into the wall or other carts!), and lazer tag. Oh, and goofed off in a large arcade there. I felt like I was reliving being 14. :) (Only this time it was a good thing.) One of my friends brought her 9 year old daughter... it enhanced the experience, getting to see all our silly activities through their eyes. :)

Then we all went to Olive Garden, and after I verified that my car was still in the shop, and stuck there until sometime Monday, my husband and our friends proceeded to get my non-driving butt seriously drunk. ;)

We got home at nearly 6pm. I took a shower and crawled into bed. I didn't get up for 2 hours.

I'm sunburnt and hung over. And my head is throbbing... uh, was throbbing, I think the Advil finally hit it's target. ;)

But boy, that was fun. ;)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Writing Bug

I'm having WAY too much fun doing the Star Wars fanfic. :)

The characters are very real to me. Well, Vader was unnaturally very real to me ever since I was 8 years old. :) But the character I created, Darth Sentinel, is becoming a person to me. I actually care what happens to her. I want her to be happy.

*Happy Sigh*. This whole writing thing is rather addictive. :)

Oh, Chapter 3 is up on Darth Sentinel

[I'm in the middle of writing chapter 16 or 17, but delayed posting material. I wanted to have this mostly written before I started releasing it for public reading.]

I managed to find Blogger's policy on content. I think I'm going to have to tone down a few scenes. At first this bothered me, but I realize I'm not writing this to titillate, I'm writing this to entertain. And I think I'd like to not weird out my audience by anything too explicit. :P

As to future stories, I've already got a couple of story ideas for after this story is done. I don't want to spoil things by describing them, and they may drastically change in my head as my subconscious ruminates over them while I finish up Darth Sentinel. But I find myself excited by these new ideas, as well as excited by recent ideas for where the Darth Sentinel story is going to go...

In my real life, things are pretty much status quo. The dogs are doing well, but they keep getting into our newly planted vegetable planters. They were really good until plants started to break the surface of the dirt, and then it seemed to be all about knocking the things over! Or digging in them!

I think our dogs have gone over to the Dark Side. :P Sigh. I trained them too well.

Other stuff is normal. Work is work, for both me and my husband.

We both badly need a vacation! I could kill for 82 degree water, good visibility down to 100 feet, a clean beach, cool ocean life, and lots of margaritas for when my husband and I are done with scuba diving for the day. :)

Sigh. Soon. Somehow.

In the meantime, I get to keep writing. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

Extra-curicular activities

So, I've been working diligently on a Star Wars fan fic.

Writing is something I've always wanted to try, and writing about "The Big Guy", as many of my fellow Vader fans call him, has always been something I've wanted to do.

So I'm doing it. I'm thinking of this as a dry run at the whole writing thing. Who knows... maybe some screenplay I've written for tv may one day appear on the Fox channel for some sitcom. ;) But I have no plans on giving up my day job: I like coding too much.

Where will I post the story? Will I even be brave enough to post the story?

Not sure. I have another website I could use. Would like to post it here, but there are some racy spots, and I'm not sure what Blogger's viewpoint on that is.

Will keep you all posted. Uhm, assuming any of you want to read my weird little story. ;)

I have most of it written... uhm, depending upon when I finally decide I'm actually done with it. It keeps getting longer and longer... I have yet to get to what I think might be the dramatic final scene, and even that scene isn't what I want to end this story on.

So, we'll see how this goes. Wish me luck. Or tell me that the Force will be with me, whatever. ;)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Comic Relief

So, last weekend, my husband W and I planted 2 avocado trees, and 4 tomato plants. In order to get the ground to cooperate, my husband wet it down significantly. Then after the trees and plants were in place, they got another good drink.

Our German Shepherds, Boss and Ellie, wanted to be a part of everything. Everything! Needless to say, our shoes were muddy, our pants were muddy, our shirts were muddy, our hands were muddy. And our dogs were muddy.

We did our best not to bring our mud inside. W got on the phone with his Dad, talking about the feeding and caring of tomato plants and avocado trees.

I went to the garage and stripped. (A week later, my shoes are still sitting on top of the trash can, waiting to be washed.) I came back in, grabbed Ellie's choke chain, and headed for the sliding glass door. Called Ellie in. Boss tried to come in too, W wrangled him back outside to wait his turn.

Ellie knew the drill, and wasn't going to have any of it. W got to watch me lose my grip, and chase Ellie around the house, buck naked. He was trying not to laugh into the phone... he was still chatting with his Dad.

Ellie ran to the front door. I ran into the bedroom, thinking she might run in there for her crate, her favorite hiding place. She had other ideas. She ran in to the bedroom alright, but she then jumped up, in all her muddy glory, ONTO OUR BED, to cower.

W heard this unholy shriek come from me!

After some yelling and chain yanking, Ellie and I finally both ended up in the shower.

Ellie was terribly cooperative once in the shower. I felt horrible for having screamed and yelled at her.

Boss was next, then I took a shower, as did W. Let's face it: you wash your animals first, then you clean up from washing your animals. ;)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I will not think that, Sam I am

Trying for a Dr. Seuss spin on my title here. 'Cause feeling kinda Dr. Seuss-ish.

Spoke with friend. She unloaded. I tried to help. I think I did help. Wasn't too bad, felt like she felt better from relieving emotional pressure, I felt better for having been there for her, and I also got that wonderful and stupid self-inflated ego from feeling like maybe I gave her good advice and an objective opinion.

[Yeah, right. And for my next trick...]

That wasn't so bad. I think it wasn't so bad because, although I felt for her, I wasn't so close to the problem that I started to feel it WITH her. I have to be careful of that, 'cause it's really easy for me to stress myself out over other people's problems.

Then I talked to Mom. She did some unloading. Nothing I can really effect change upon. I'm not sure she really de-stressed. And for some reason, family unloading doesn't seem as synergistic as friend unloading. Or at least, mother-daughter unloading seems merely to pass the load. One party may feel better, the "recipient" is however ready to pull hair out.

It may be in part that my empathy circuits were already starting to tap out. Not sure. Or that I simply worry too much about my elderly parents.

Trying not to OCD over Mom's stuff. Trying to do the whole wise serenity thing:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."

Trying not to let Mom's feelings become my feelings. Well, that's not the right way to say it: I agree with Mom's feelings. Trying not to let myself over-feel them, and then carry them around with me as burdens. It won't help Mom. Yes, be empathic. No, do not allow Mom's feelings to stress me out such that I give Mom a new loved-one to worry about! :)

Trying also to be mindful of my thoughts. "Be mindful of your feelings, young padawan." Heh.

My husband told me about the plight of a friend of his. This friend is trapped by an uncaring bureaucratic part of the government. Yeah, I know: that's most of the government! But I want to protect the innocent, and not piss off the guilty here. :) Anyway, I got all worked up about it. The story was supposed to be funny, because the whole situation is thick with irony. But it's meaning this guy has about 6 months of jumping through hoops, and forced travel every week. It's not clear how much of this he will have to pay for. And no, it's not something that he deserves... it's not something he's at fault for!

I totally got worked up about it. Wanted to go call people, yell at people, do whatever I could to somehow ease his burden. I totally ran with the ball. It's not necessarily my fight, and although I consider it (and I believe my husband's friend considers it) a hardship, it's one of those things that is probably better left alone. Is fighting it going to improve things in the long run? Is not fighting it going to mean my husband's friend gets run over worse? Can I even help out? And should I really be allowing myself to become stressed out over it in the first place? [Calm blue ocean... calm blue ocean... ]

I mean, my husband's friend has decided to see the humor in it. It's basically either that or cry.

And truly, if I asked him if he wanted my help, (a) would he really want me involved, and (b) what could I actually do??

I need to live in the moment, and not in my mentally manufactured sense of powerless indignation. I need to remind myself that there are some things that my OCD is good for, like pursuing software bugs or ensuring I've covered all the bases when making software changes. But my OCD is not good when it's becomes involved in my empathetic nature. Because when it gets involved there, if I am not careful, it goes destructive on me and not constructive. I run with the ball. And I never really make a touch-down... I just keep running. :P

For example, my OCD will have me live out arguments in advance of them even happening. The argument may never even happen in the first place, but I will project and worry ahead, and literally stress myself out to the point that it's as if I had the actual confrontation or argument.

And my OCD will make me second guess what I've said. Did that person take what I said the right way? Do those people over there now think I'm crazy 'cause I made that weird comment? Must remember to apologize to so-and-so since I now think what I said came out too harshly.

OCD is great for regurgitating the past, and finding real or imagined mistakes. OCD is also great for projecting yourself into an imagined, worst-case-scenario future. OCD is not great for serenity.

But, OCD is great for writing software, as I've said, as long as you know when to draw the line, when to keep it in check. And I'm sure there are other career fields where OCD is a good thing.

Just got to keep the beasty in it's place, where it is helpful and not hurtful. Heel! Heel, I say!

I will not think that, Sam I am.
I will not think that in my car, I will not think that near or far.
I will not think that in a bus. I will not think to make a fuss.

I will not... great, now I'm OCD'ing about Dr. Seuss related OCD rhymes! ;)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Do what now?

There's this one cartoon show that took me a while to warm up to, but once I did, I was gangbusters for it. It's called "Aqua Team Hunger Force". The characters include Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad.

In one episode, Frylock asks Meatwad to roll around in some broken glass, then go out into the ocean and poke a hole in this giant balloon animal that has sorta become alive, and is shocking/destroying stuff through it's huge static electric charge. In order to ensure that Meatwad is buoyant, Frylock removes Meatwad's brain. This sounds horrendous, but Meatwad has simply enveloped a toy, plastic brain that he's glued pieces of macaroni to, and has convinced himself that this brain is really his own brain. [Meatwad, btw, is a big wad of hamburger meat, if you hadn't figured it out already. Although, he also has two eyes, a single tooth, and a perpetual smile, unlike most wad's of hamburger meat. :) ]

After removing Meatwad's brain, I think Frylock throws Meatwad into the ocean to a location just a little bit away from the balloon monster.

Come to find out, this plastic brain apparently does somehow hold Meatwad's intelligence. In spite of Frylocks explaining the task several times, and Meatwad subsequently yelling back that he understands, about a few seconds after this interchange, Meatwad yells back "do what now?"

I had a very "Do what now?" moment today. And it's reminded me of several other days with very high quantities of "Do what now?"

Let's start chronologically.

(1) 11 years old, 6th grade Halloween. I wear a costume to school... a dragon mask I've made, a purple cape from some other costume, white top, white gloves, and white legitards. I think I was going as the dragon "Ruth" from Anne McAfrey's "The White Dragon", one of her Pern books.

My Mom was too tired to properly see me off before I went to school. It was only once I was in school that the other children made sure to inform me of my tragic mistake: I should have worn shorts over the legitards. The little flowers in my panties were visible!

That evening, the situation was rectified. But my ego would never be the same! :)

Skipping forward MANY years... not because there weren't other mindblowingly stupid incidents, but more that I seem to have blocked out everything else from my childhood. I wonder why....

(2) 28 or so years old At my Boyfriend's Sister's wedding. Someone asked me to help out by filming the ceremony while he/she took pictures and/or was in the ceremony themselves. I couldn't get the whole scene into frame nicely. I actually rotated the video camera 90 degrees, the way you would a regular camera, for several minutes during the ceremony... until my Boyfriend's urgent (and recorded) whispers broke through the fog that is my brain!

Sometime later that year, we're all (recently married Sister included) sitting at my Boyfriend's parents house, watching the wedding video... and leaning our heads to the left in order to watch the tilted part! [Have yet to live THAT one down...]

(3) 37 years old Between 15 and 16 hours ago. My Husband's Aunt's Husband's funeral. :( I hug my Aunt-in-law, crying in spite of my attempt to remain strong. The funeral hasn't started yet. I walk back to find my Husband a few pews back, then realize I'd totally spaced on hugging my Husband's Mom. I turn around, walk back, and in the course of navigating back to my Mother-in-law, I manage to swing a leg under one of the tripod's legs... the tripod that is holding a poster picture of my recently deceased Uncle-in-Law!

One of his Son's picked up the poster-picture while I reset the tripod and apologized profusely and with great embarrassment.

Made my way over to my Mother-in-Law, who was gently teasing me about it by saying stuff I was within earshot to hear. :) I hug her and say "I'm just the plucky, comic relief". :)

At least I'm learning better come-back lines when I do stuff like that!

FYI, in spite of what a goofball I can be, the boyfriend during the second to last incident is now my husband. Yes, he's still speaking to me in spite of the most recent incident. ;)

Really. I swear... my roots are NOT blond!

Monday, April 03, 2006


Can't sleep. Got leg twitches. Am waiting for some Vitamin B to calm that. And took Advil PM to ensure would sleep at a semi-decent time tonight... the first official night of daylight savings time.

Last week, talked to my Mom. She told this very sweet tale about how Dad comforted her through a heart attack recently, by holding her close and telling her funny stories from his childhood. She and he laughed hysterically. Her chest pains went away.

She's done the emergency room thing a bit too much, I guess. She's been having chest pains that she just rides out instead of going to the hospital.

She has an appointment to see her pace-maker guy, and the nurse of her new cardiologist, on April 10th. Asked her to please be sure to bring up the recent incidents of chest pain. Would like her to know if she can safely take aspirin (she's on alot of meds as it is), or possibly have some other medication on hand for when she's having a chest pain incident. Thinking of those movies where the guy grabs his chest, asks for his meds, and some kind soul goes to grab the meds and water so he can take them. [Unless of course it's more of a murder-mystery situation, in which case the victim usually doesn't get his meds in time!]

Hoping she'll be given a prescription of nitro or whatever to have on hand for the next time she once again refused to go to the ER.

My husband is on travel all next week. He's bummed on that. And Sunday afternoon we found out his uncle passed away Friday evening.

I feel like shit about it. My husband and I took some awesome pictures of his uncle and aunt's 50th wedding anniversary, at which they renewed their vows. I think this was back in 2002. I put the pics up on one of our websites, and then tried to spread the word to our family about their location. When I went to talk to his aunt and uncle, found out that their internet connection was dialup, and that their computer was fairly ancient as well... so perhaps it would be the bottleneck instead of their internet connection! I don't think they even tried to look at the pics.

A friend of my Mom asked me early last week for some doggy pictures... she wanted to frame one and give it to my Mom for her birthday, which was last Wednesday. I went to Costco to get some printed up. And it occurred to me, while I was there, that I really should finally get those 50th anniversary pics printed out for my uncle and aunt in-laws. You know, it had been 4 years... it felt like it was definitely TIME!

Shit. Too damned late. This task basically got lost in my bottomless todo lists. And I let it go.

I had a chance to maybe get this to them in time before my uncle-in-law passed.


So, Monday am plotting the following tasks:
1. Finally get the 50th Wedding anniversary pics printed out, put in a nice album, and specially blowing one of them up and framing it. Delivering all, with a card, to my aunt-in-law, with flowers and heartfelt sympathy from me and from my husband.

2. Tattling on my Mom to the people in charge of her heart health. Maybe they will say that it will be ok, that it can wait until she goes to visit them on the 10th. And that they will be sure to bring it up if she doesn't, so they can suggest either medications she should have on hand... or slap her on the wrist for not going to the ER!

3. Taking funny movies over to my parent's place, and watching them with Mom, and hopefully also Dad if he isn't too tired. [He is 83 and still has to work in order to support the two of them! They've had terrible financial upheaval in their lives. :P]

Mom is 77. I know she's had a good run. But I'd really like to see both Mom and Dad stay on the planet for another 5 years at least!

Anyway, have been a little rattled of late. Done some bit of crying. Done some bit of regretful thinking. And worse: I keep running scenarios in my head where I've just heard that my Mom has died.

[No thanks to watching way too much Law and Order, at least one of those scenario's involves me finding out Mom just died because I'm being arrested for her murder! And no, I have no desire to kill my Mom. Throttle her senseless for not taking better care of herself and for ironically how she over-mothered me, but otherwise no desire to commit matricide, thanks.]

Is matricide the right word? I know patricide exists, and am 99.999% certain it means killing your Dad.

Thanks to my Sister's continual reminders, since 1990, that "this might be their last Christmas", I got to the point of finally ignoring my Sister's warnings. I just wasn't able to maintaining that high level of anxiety right around Christmas every year! Christmas has to be perfect each year because this one might be their last? Having that thought re-iterated for the past 16 years? No thanks. But this year, she might be right.

I am SO not ready.

Friday, March 31, 2006

What does your birthdate mean?

Your Birthdate: June 10

Independent and dominant, you tend to be the alpha dog in most situations.
You're very confident, and hardly anything ever shakes you.
Mundane tasks tend to drain you - you prefer to be making great plans.
You are quite original. When people don't "get" you, it bothers you a lot.

Your strength: Your ability to gain respect

Your weakness: Caring too much what others think

Your power color: Orange-red

Your power symbol: Letter X

Your power month: October

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Which One?

I came home in a really good mood today.

I'd bumped into an old friend. She and I chatted for probably 30 to 45 minutes in the cold. We were both playing catch-up on each other's lives and on the lives of shared friends.

So my friend, S, wanted to know how my husband was doing...

I told my husband that S hoped he was well and was enjoying his new job.

My husband said to me, "Well, one out of two ain't bad..."

Straight from the hip I responded, "Which one?"

Massive semi-hysterical giggling ensued.... ;)

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Been reading this book called "Dogs that know their owners are coming home". Wait, is that the right title? Well, anyway, it's a pretty cool piece of research on the "telepathic" abilities of dogs with other dogs, dogs with humans, and other various animals with other animals/humans.

Like, there was a cat that, when it was getting mauled and disemboweled by 2 dogs, it communicated it's distress to it's owner, who was many miles away, driving. She had to pull over... she was feeling physically ill, and very anxious. She called home, but they said everything was fine. When she drove home, she and her family happened to look outside in the back yard and see the dogs standing over their poor dead cat. :P

One of the points of this book was that dogs can pick up on their owners intent... say, to take them for a walk, or their intent to come home when they are miles away from the dog. In some cases, they can even pick up on desires the owner has for their dog to do something, like pick up their toys in the living room, and put them in the toy basket!

There is so much evidence of telepathy... the author provides many instances where there was no way the dog could be picking up cues from the owner's physical movements. Or in the case of owners who are coming home, there was no way the dog could either hear the owner or smell them. The dogs that were picking up on the owners intent to come home were getting excited only at the moment when the owner decided to come home, and start the long drive. And this happened even if the times for returning home were completely random.

I've been trying to project my desires to my dogs... w/o much success. Or at least, if they do hear me, they may be deciding to just disobey me! :) But this whole telepathy thing with humans and dogs is greatly dependent upon the human's telepathy skills, the dog's telepathy skills, and how deep the human-dog bond is. It may also depend upon how adept I or my dogs are at this skill... we may all need more years of practice!

But there's something very comforting about the idea that dogs and humans who enjoy a relationship (and even humans and other humans who enjoy a relationship) have this extrasensory connection to each other, if they will just relax and try to use it.

In some of the cases, pets have been saved because their human could "hear" their projected distress, and have been able to find them because of it. That's just totally cool.

I remember in one or more cases I read that a dog sensed (from a distance) that his owner was in jeopardy, and got other people to come help out... saving the owner from drowning!

This telepathic connection seems to only exist in animals who live in groups and/or nurture their young. I gathered from this that there wasn't any evidence (yet) of such a connection existing between, say, alligators! The point seemed to be that creatures that are capable of compassion and affection for one another appear to also have this telepathic connection.

Ok, I've babbled long enough. I'm going to go kiss my dogs on the forehead, and rejoin my husband in bed -- I'm out here in the living room typing with insomnia. :P

Sigh. I hope this means that dogs go to heaven, too. :)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Food Coma

Today.... 'er, yesterday, February 23rd, was my husband's birthday.

Friends of ours (let's call them Sam, Renee, and their daughter Ida) conspired with me to make it a good, relaxed one. They offered to cook. [I was unable to convince them to save themselves the trouble of cooking and cleaning, and BOY am I glad I was unable to convince them! They are kick-ass cooks!]

I was in charge of cake, ice cream, and wine. [I don't cook. And when I do cook, most people wish I hadn't!] They were in charge of the most awesome Pakistinian food on the planet.

The cake was vanilla cake, with vanilla frosting, with vanilla custard and strawberry preserve layers. Yumm!

The ice cream was French vanilla, and also chocolate raspberry truffle. [Because the 2 adult females and 1 child female in our little party NEED chocolate, thank-you-very-much.]

Renee had promised Ida that she could bake cookies for my husband, so just to increase the risk of diabetes, we also had some oh-so yummy and chewy chocolate chip cookies. [Which were actually baked in the end by Renee instead of Ida. :) ]

The wine was Amazir, 4 bottles of it, purchased from a local Morrocan food restaurant called "Chef Karim's". Amazir is Amaz-ing. Smooth, red wine that you can drink w/o hardly any of the red wine sharpness that can make it hard to have more than one glass. No, this is some stuff that you can seriously pound down w/o realizing you are pounding it down. [BTW, Chef Karim's is an AWESOME place to eat. If my friends hadn't cooked, it would probably have been where the 5 of us would have gone.]

The Pakistinian food was a beef kabob dish that roughly looked like light-colored hamburger patties and tasted like heaven. I know there was stuff finely chopped and mixed into the kabob's, but I couldn't identify it... just that they rocked. Then there was the chicken... melt-in your mouth chicken that was swimming in an incredible sauce in the pot. Nan, which I'm probably not spelling right, and is this flat bread that melts in your mouth. Raita, this yogurt and cucumber and cilantro and... other finely chopped veges "salad" that tasted good in it's own right, and is also there to help your tongue recover... because everything else you just ate except for the Nan has tried to burn your tongue off! :)

They also picked up an appetizer from an Indian restaurant. Some kind of meat + vege cooked inside a pastry, with some sweet sauces.

Well, all of us have been on this diet. Our friends had gone off of it, and my husband was mostly off of it, but I still have alot of pounds to go before I can totally quit. But today was "cheat day", so off I went.

Everyone achieved food coma status by the end of the meal. 5 of us had cake, 4 of us had ice cream, all 5 of us had at least 1 cookie. I'm pretty sure all of us had 2nds of most of the Pakistinian dishes.

I forgot my stomach has shrunk on this diet.

You just can't stop at one serving of their food. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed their cooking on this diet, until their heavenly ambrosia touched my tongue. I had a little too much of everything, and then when I reached dessert, because I haven't had ice cream in months (except a little from their daughter's plate when we went out about a month ago), I gorged. And well, you have to have a nice glass of milk when you eat even just one cookie.

So between all of the food, dessert, milk, and the 1.5 glasses of Amazir, I suddenly realized my stomach was entirely too full, my blood sugar was through the roof, and I felt like I was going to hurl!

I took a good long walk outside in the cold air, w/o a jacket, until the cold air burning my lungs felt worse than my stomach. Thankfully by that time, my stomach had calmed down, and I'd burned off some of that sugar overkill. Meanwhile, my husband and Sam were enjoying the Scotch that Sam, Renee (and Ida, in spirit :) ) had given him.

When we got home, fed the dogs, and went to bed, I realized I felt more tired than I had in a long time. I was crashing bad from that sugar rush. It felt like I'd been doing hard manual labor, but w/o the normal amount of muscular ache.

Oh-my-gosh. I am never eating that much sugar or food again! Heh, heh, "we all say the same prayer then... say it with me... 'I swear that I will never do this again, (for how long?) for as long as I live.' And some of us have that little addition, 'and this time I mean it!'"

I think my husband had a much better birthday than if we'd had a ton of friends at it, at a big restaurant or something. He needed to be able to relax, laugh, and gripe freely, as needed. And we were within walking distance of home, so if the Amazir did both of us in, we could wobble on home. Which we did, but I think more from food coma than the alcohol... at least for me. :)

Happy Birthday, Love. :) Hope your food coma isn't too bad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Candy Heart

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.
Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Five Stages of Drinking

It's almost 6am. I think the room has stopped spinning. But before I crawl back into bed, I think the following is highly appropriate. :)

The Five Stages of Drinking
-- by comedian Larry Miller

It's 11:00 on a weeknight, you've had a few beers. You get up to leave because you have work the next day and one of your friends buys another round. One of your UNEMPLOYED friends. Here at level one you think to yourself, "Oh come on, this is silly, why as long as I get seven hours of sleep (snap fingers), I'm cool.".

It's midnight. You've had a few more beers. You've just spent 20 minutes arguing against artificial turf. You get up to leave again, but at level two, a little devil appears on your shoulder. And now you're thinking, "Hey! I'm out with my friends! What am I working for anyway? These are the good times! Besides, as long as I get five hours sleep (snaps fingers) I'm cool.".

One in the morning. You've abandoned beer for tequila. You've just spent 20 minutes arguing FOR artificial turf. And now you're thinking, "Our waitress is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen!" At level three, you love the world. On the way to the bathroom you buy a drink for the stranger at the end of the bar just because you like his face. You get drinking fantasies. (like,"Hey fellas, if we bought our own bar, we could live together forever. We could do it. Tommy, you could cook.") But at level three, that devil is a little bit bigger.... and he's buying. And you're thinking "Oh, come on, come on now. As long as I get three hours sleep... and a complete change of blood (snaps fingers), I'm cool.".

Two in the morning. And the devil is bartending. For last call, you ordered a bottle of rum and a Coke. You ARE artificial turf! This time on your way to the bathroom, you punch the stranger at the end of the bar. Just because you don't like his face! And now you're thinking, "Our busboy is the best looking man I've ever seen." You and your friends decide to leave, right after you get thrown out, and one of you knows an ... after hours bar. And here, at level four, you actually think to yourself, "Well... as long as I'm only going to get a few hours sleep anyway, I may as well... STAY UP ALL NIGHT!!!! Yeah! That'd be good for me. I don't mind going to that board meeting looking like Keith Richards. Yeah, I'll turn that around, make it work for me. And besides, as long as I get 31 hours sleep tomorrow

Five in the morning. after unsuccessfully trying to get your money back at the tattoo parlor ("But I don't even know anybody named Ruby!!!"), you and your friends wind up across the state line in a bar with guys who have been in prison as recently as... that morning. It's the kind of place where even the devil is going, "Uh, I gotta turn in. I gotta be in Hell- at nine. I've got that brunch with Hitler, I can't miss that." At this point, you're all drinking some kind of thick blue liquor, like something from a Klingon wedding. A waitress with fresh stitches comes over, and you think to yourself, "Someday I'm gonna marry that girl!!" One of your friends stands up and screams, "WE'RE DRIVIN' TO FLORIDA!!!!!" -- and passes out. You crawl outside for air, and then you hit the worst part of level five -- the sun. You weren't expecting that were you? You never do. You walk out of a bar in daylight, and you see people on their way to work, or jogging. And they look at you -- and they know. And they say... "Who's Ruby?" Let's be honest, if you're 19 and you stay up all night, it's like a victory like you've beat the night, but if you're over 30, then that sun is like God's flashlight. We all say the same prayer then, "I swear, I will never do this again (how long?) as long as I live!" And some of us have that little addition, "and this time, I mean it!"

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Catholic Church thinks I'm "a Melancholy"

Your test results indicate your primary temperament is melancholic

Time alone is vital for this reflective, introspective temperament. A perfectionist at home and on the job, the melancholic is likely the one with the perfectly organized closet and kitchen, the tidy desk-top, and the painstaking attention to religious observances, sometimes to the point of scrupulosity. A melancholic longs for a deep soul mate, yet when he is around people, he often finds himself mistrustful and disappointed. Sensing this criticism, others will keep their distance—thus further entrenching the melancholic in his solitary life. In relationships, the melancholic tends to be slow to initiate, cautious, hyper-critical, and pessimistic--yet, once committed, they are unwaveringly loyal and self-sacrificing.

But this is only part of your results! Most people are a blend of two temperaments, and this and more information is waiting for you if you sign up for an account! Read more about your specific temperament blend, saints who had your temperament, virtues, vices, and so much more, and again it is FREE! Go to:

...and click "sign up" to see the rest!

[This quiz thanks to Captive Bead]