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Archive for November, 2007

Friday Fill-In

1. When my blog is broken, I would probably go out of my mind until it was fixed. Fortunately that hasn’t happened to me yet (knock wood).
2. I saw the most amazing photographs this morning!
3. August Rush is the new movie I’m most looking forward to seeing.
4. Work: Necessary and evil.
5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy Heroes the most. OK, it’s not a new TV show, but it’s new to me.
6. If only sigh…yeah…if only...
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a free bowl at Genghis Grill and a movie with my honey, tomorrow my plans include working for a few hours and ¬†Christmas decorating and Sunday, I want to go to church and have a relaxing rest of the day at home!

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Pluggin’ For My Pals

Remember the other day when I told you about SpicyBitch over at etsy?

Well, another of my friends has opened up her store at etsy. She’s a fantastic photographer. and is selling beautiful prints at a great price. So if you’re so minded, go check her out. I bought one photo this morning, and there’s another that I’m drooling over (Billboard NYC–you’ll recognize it when you see it). Didn’t get it because I don’t know what Joe’d say. Part of me doesn’t really care. ūüôā

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The victory is one I’m quite proud of. I won against the Evil Empire!!!!¬† Last weekend I went to the Evil Empire and purchased an anniversary edition DVD of the animated Grinch show. When I got home and wanted to watch it, I realized that the shrink wrap had been partially removed. The security sticker across the top of the case was still there, and I peeled it off, popped open the case, and–lo! There was no DVD inside! Someone carefully and stealthily managed to slip it out without breaking the security sticker on the case. Grr.

I was in no mood to go back out at the time, considering how sick I was. Also, the one I had taken was the last one in stock at that store. So I figured this week I’d take it back to the Evil Empire near my office, hoping they’d have a copy of the show. They didn’t. They also refused to discuss it any further with me since I didn’t buy the DVD at that store. I was really annoyed, but dutifully took the empty DVD case back to my car.

On the way home from work the same day, I stopped at the Evil Empire by my house, where I’d bought the DVD. Before going to customer service, I went back to the movie section to see if they had any more. They did not. Armed with that knowledge, I went to customer service and explained the situation. As soon as I was told to “scoot back” to electronics and get another copy, I told her I’d already checked, and there were none there. The woman then told me there was nothing she could do.

At that point my blood pressure was rising. I told her that I had bought the movie in good faith, and got home to find there was no DVD inside. I said that I wanted my money back. She started shaking her head, and I asked her to get me a manager. She and the other woman in customer service were shaking their heads at each other like I was some kind of irrational deranged lunatic. I was angry at the Evil Empire’s ridiculous customer disservice policies, but stated clearly that I wasn’t angry at her.¬† Well, the manager showed up, I was polite but firm as I explained the stiuation to her. She said, “Okay,” and walked off.

At that point the woman helping me suddenly decided to become Miss Friendly Customer Service person and started chit-chatting about how she just loves this show and how it’s such a pity that they didn’t have anymore, yadda yadda.

So I got my money back from the Evil Empire. And that is the last time I will voluntarily step foot inside any of their stores. The sign on the wall behind the customer service stations states that customer services is their #1 priority. What a fib!

The defeat is one I haven’t mentioned here, partly from embarrassment and partly because I hadn’t yet decided what to do. But the vegetarian diet is no more.

For the last three months or so, I’d been having constant tongue pain. It felt as though I’d burned it on some too-hot beverage. And the last week it had begun cracking as well. I’d posted on Vegweb, asking for any ideas, and researched the suggestions. Based on the duration and the symptoms, I strongly suspected it was a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

I know that Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so I had been taking B12 supplements. But I’m guessing that my body wasn’t processing the supplements the way it needed to, and the B12 was just going down the toilet (literally).

So last week when I was sick, and the tongue pain had just gotten to be unbearable, I made the difficult decision to add meat back into my diet to see if that made any difference. And after a week, it did. My tongue is almost back to normal now.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into an Atkins-diet carnivore, inhaling steaks and bacon and pork rinds. Most of my meals will continue to be meatless, and I’ll continue cooking the fantastic vegetarian recipes and foods I’ve found. But I will probably have meat 2 or 3 times a week, just to make sure my B12 levels stay where they should be and I don’t get that tongue pain again.

Tongue pain. It sounds so banal, so insignificant, doesn’t it? But it was honestly to the point that it hurt constantly, and was particularly painful whenever I did try to eat anything.

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Or perhaps it’s a toy store. I’m not quite sure which. If it is a menagerie, it’s one from a galaxy far, far away. As I sit facing my computer, to my right is a monster I’ve named Selma; she sings, in a very gravelly voice, Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Mah Na Mah Na. Normally Norbert sits to her left, but he’s visiting L-squared right now. Then atop my monitor, starting from the left, is a small stuffed Buffalo, Humphrey (with Patrick Star sitting on his left paw), and a tiny purple gr-arrgh Mutant Enemy Monster. Behind my monitor is a stuffed Grumpy. Mr. Bill (oh no!) is on my desk, and to finish things off I have a beautiful life-sized stuffed Border Collie puppy that Joe brought home for me last night.

Molly was enchanted with the puppy, and Joe opined that she’d think it was a real puppy. Nope. She just wanted to rip it to shreds and pull the stuffing out and strew it all over the floor. I know my Molly!¬† One of the managers came by to ask me for some supplies, and nearly freaked out when he saw the puppy. He said it was so realistic that he thought it was a real one. It’s not that realistic, IMO, but very cute and adorable nonetheless.

Oh, and I also have a lovely ceramic dreidel music box on top of my desk right now. It plays the dreidel song, which drives me nuts as I catch myself walking arounding singing, “I had a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. And when it’s dry and ready, dreidel I will play.”

I spent my lunch break at the library restocking on library books, since I’ve read all but two of the last batch. Somehow I managed to inadvertently put one of my own books in my book bag, but caught it just before I was about to slide it into the book return chute.

Among the other things Joe brought home from Buffalo, he got me a half-pound box of Christmas chocolates from Antoinette’s. Antoinette’s makes the most divine candy imaginable. He ate half of it last night after I went to bed, which as I’m typing it out makes me realize why he and I have been picking at each other today (chocolate turns him into a crazy man, and not in a good way), and I brought the rest to work to remove from his temptation. To my credit, I’ve only had one piece. I encourage anyone who comes in to take one. The rest I’ll take with me tonight when I meet up with my peeps.

Yes, the inimitable V. is back in town for the holidays, and she texted us this morning to see if we wanted to have dinner at Spiral Diner. To be honest, if Godzilla texted me and asked me to have dinner at the Spiral Diner, I’d say yes, as long as he understood that the Spiral Diner is a vegan cafe and I am not on the menu. But I’m really looking forward to seeing V.–she left for Ohio & grad school the day after we closed the Juarez show in August.

My boss is providing lunch for everyone tomorrow. It’s not every day I get to call and order 55 large pizzas and 300 wings, let me tell ya! But one of our collectors has a contact at a pizza place, so we get a really great price. I haven’t had any of their pizza yet, as I’m always either out or out to lunch when we’ve had them brought in. But maybe I’ll have a slice or two tomorrow.

Molly was so excited when Joe got home last night that she was spinning in circles with a huge grin on her face. He knelt down on the floor to give her some loves, and she jumped up on him and put her paws on his shoulders and put her face by his face. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She’s been dealing a lot better with his absences than she was at first, but she is overjoyed beyond belief when he gets home.

Chicory has her spice tins up for sale. I ordered a set for myself last Friday. Take a look, and while you’re there, buy a set. Buy two and give one as a Christmas gift! She has worked long and hard to develop a high quality product, and you will fall in love with them when you see them.

So that’s all I have today. Be excellent to each other!!

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Booky Goodness

One good thing about being sick (at least for me) is the time I get to read. When I’ve got a cold, all I want to do is lay around and sleep and read. So here’s what I’ve been reading lately. And just because I don’t comment on a book doesn’t mean I didn’t like it; it just means that I don’t have it in front of me to tell you much about it. I guess that means it was good but unmemorable.

  • If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period – Gennifer Choldenko
  • Threadbared: Decades of Don’ts from the Sewing and Crafting World – Mary Watkins and Kimberly Wrenn. This is a hilarious look at some of the ghastly fashions that proliferated in the how-to crochet/knitting/sewing magazines.
  • Daemon Hall – Andrew Nance
  • Silent Echoes – Carla Jablonski
  • Defect – Will Weaver. I can’t praise this book enough.¬† David, 15, lives with his foster parents on a hog farm in Minnesota.¬† He has a physical abnormality that he has kept hidden from the world. But when circumstances reveal his secret to the world, he is faced with some truly difficult decisions. Awesome, awesome book.
  • Girl at Sea – Maureen Johnson
  • The Bermudez Triangle – Maureen Johnson. I learned about Maureen Johnson from Scott Westerfeld’s blog. This is a fantastic book!!!¬† Three girls, very close friends, have a summer that leads to an unforgettable senior year of high school. One of the friends goes off to pre-college, and falls in love. The other two girls, left behind, end up falling in love–at least for a while–themselves, with each other. Johnson’s characters are believable, and you agonize with them as they’re exploring their inner selves.
  • Truth or Dairy – Catherine Clark
  • Freak – Marcella Pixley
  • Angelmonster – Veronica Bennett. A quite good book about the relationship with Mary Shelley and her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and how the book Frankenstein came about.
  • The White Darkness – Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Lost It – Kristen Tracy
  • Demons of the Ocean – Justin Somper. This is the first of the Vampirates books. I liked it okay. Enough to read any sequels? Possibly, but I doubt I’d go out of my way to find any. An orphaned brother and sister escape the town that wants to place them either as the pampered children of a rich childless couple or in the orphanage; a storm at sea knocks them out of their boat. The brother is rescued by a pirate ship, and the sister ends up on a ship of vampires. It’s an intriguing premise, and Somper does a good job with it.
  • The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
  • Good as Lily – Derek Kirk Kim & Jesse Ham
  • The Christopher Killer: A Forensic Mystrery – Alane Ferguson
  • The Garden of Eve – K.L. Going
  • The Poison Apples – Lily Archer
  • Dramarama – E. Lockhart
  • Gatsby’s Girl – Caroline Preston. This book fictionalizes the life of Ginevra King, the first love of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the model of several of his characters, including Josephine of the Basil & Josephine stories. It was extremely well written, and Preston did a great job with the framework of the story. I do recommend it, particularly if you’re a fan of Fitzgerald or his works.
  • The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan
  • The Truth-Teller’s Tale – Sharon Shinn
  • Abarat – Clive Barker. I fell in love with the Abarat books in no small part because of the glorious full-colour paintings Barker did. The characters are complex and the detail is rich. I really like the first two Abarat books, and am hoping for more!
  • Days of Magic, Nights of War – Clive Barker
  • Pucker – Melanie Gideon
  • The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth – Jenny Bowden
  • Life or Debt: A One-Week Plan for a Lifetime of Financial Freedom – Stacy Johnson
  • Freak Show – James St. James. St. James wrote the novel that the film Party Monsters was based on. That should give you plenty of information about this book right there. A drag queen gets sent by his mother to live with his father in Florida, and goes to a very snobbish intolerant private school. Where some people might try to fly under the radar, Billy Bloom shows his fabulosity and nearly gets killed in the process.¬†
  • Return to Labyrinth – Jake T. Forbes. If you’ve seen Labyrinth with David Bowie’s drool-worthy performance as Jareth, the Goblin King, then you’ll be able to follow the story pretty easily. Toby, who was stolen as a baby by Jareth and then rescued by his teenage half-sister, is now a teenager himself, and something keeps calling him back to the Labyrinth. It’s a manga, and the illustrations are beautiful.
  • Robot Dreams – Sara Varon. This is another manga, with little to no text, but it’s sweet and beautiful and sad and I really loved it.
  • Erec Rex: The dragon’s Eye – Kaza Kingsley. Another excellent book. Erec gets cloudy premonitions, and his first in the book tells him to go to a certain hot dog stand to find his mother, who is lost. He won’t find her at the hot dog stand, but that’s where he has to go to begin looking. He ends up entering a world of magic, competing in some challenges designed to identify the 3 new rulers of this world, rescuing his mother, and finding out a bit about himself along the way. This is obviously the first volume of a series, and the end of the book doesn’t finish the story. It’s quite good, and it’s one that I will gladly seek out the sequels as they’re available.
  • Stuck in the 70’s – D.L. Garfinkle. I wasn’t nuts about this one. A spoiled selfish obnoxious rich girl ends up being shipped back to the 1970s. She lands, to be specific, naked in a teenage boy’s bathtub. She is completely bewildered, having no idea how she got there, and all she wants to do is get back. At first.
  • Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature– Robin Brande
  • King Dork – Frank Portman. Another one I wasn’t too crazy about.
  • The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World – E.L. Konigsburg. It’s reminiscent of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, with quirky characters and an artistic find. I liked it, but not as much as some of Konigsburg’s other work.

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A little blue

I’ve got the blues today. I think it probably has a lot to do with having been sick for what seems like a couple of months, on top of almost no sleep last night. Whatever the cause, it really stinks.

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I stole this from No Nonsense Girl.  

 

Completely, Ridiculously Random

  • What is the single largest item in your house? Bed
  • How well can you write your name with your non dominant hand? It depends–if I’m writing on a wall or a chalkboard, it’s legible. But if I’m trying to write normally, then it’s completely illegible.
  • What color is your bedroom?Kind of a honey-orangey colour.
  • What type of computer mouse do you use? a optical mouse
  • What is your earliest memory? I don’t have very many early memories. For a long time I used to have vague memories of myself standing at the edge of a very deep hole and looking into it, and some years ago actually saw a photo of my childhood self standing at the edge of a not-very-deep hole.¬† It looks like I’m 5 or so in the picture.
  • Have you ever jumped off of a high dive? Yes, and it scared the stink out of me
  • Do you take vitamins? When I remember to
  • Do you like to color inside the lines? Occasionally
  • What do you have set as your home page? Yahoo
  • Do you have your own radio? No
  • Where would you hate to have to work? Fast food restaurant
  • Who is on your speed dial? Family and close friends
  • Do you prefer¬†light bulbs¬†or candles? Depends, for light bulbs, for the feeling; candles.
  • How much money did you spend today? Nothing yet, although I’ll probably spend about $10 at lunch.
  • What are you sitting on right now? chair
  • Do you look at yourself when you pass by reflective surfaces? Yes
  • Would you ever get plastic surgery? Yes. I’ve already had breast reduction, and there are some other things I’d like to tweak given the money and the opportunity.
  • Did you play with shaving cream when you were a kid? I don’t recall.
  • How big is your bed? Queen bed
  • Do you like the smell of axe?If Axe is that stuff advertised that women allegedly find irresistible, I think it smells like goat sweat.
  • What is your favorite flavor of lifesavers? pineapple
  • Have you ever seen a volcano? No, and it’s on my wish list.
  • What is the best Halloween costume you have ever worn? Tree
  • What kind of soap do you use? Tone sugar scrub.
  • Can you snowboard? No and have no desire to
  • How many icons do you have on your desktop? 13
  • What is the biggest amount of money you have ever had at one time?That would probably be the $15,000 we withdrew from Joe’s 401(k) to pay for our IVF, and writing that check just about made me croak.
  • Do you understand how telephones work? Can I dial it? Yes. Do I understand the inner workings, or the satellite towers, etc.? No.
  • Do you write notes on your body? Very rarely
  • What is the prominent color in your closet? Black, brown, dark green
  • What is sitting next to you right now?nobody.
  • Do you believe in lots of conspiracies? No
  • Do you own any really old video game systems? No
  • Are you good at baking? Yes, but I rarely do it
  • Have you ever made your own clothing? Twice.
  • How many doors does your house have? 2 outside doors
  • Do you prefer tootsie pops or blow pops? Tootsie pops
  • Do you sneak into movie theatres? No
  • Are you a really fast text messager? No
  • Do you have anything you keep on you 24/7? Nope
  • Do you usually write in print or in cursive? This hybrid of cursive & print that’s illegible to anyone but myself
  • What was your first job? Babysitting
  • Do you prefer crushed ice or cubed? Crushed
  • What print is on your plates or cups in your kitchen? No print. Black dishes.
  • Have you ever made a mixed cd for someone? Yes
  • What do you want to buy from an infomercial?Nothing now, but I did buy that laundry folder thingie. I like it!
  • Do you believe that animals have souls? Yes
  • What word/phrase do you find really annoying? Whatever.
  • Do you have a lava lamp or a black light? No
  • Do you find yourself not having enough electrical outlets? Yes, but I can’t add more until we rewire the house.
  • What is the longest you can wait patiently? It just depends upon the situation.
  • Have you ever been under anesthesia? Yes
  • Are your fingernails long or short? Short but not bitten, can’t keep ’em long.
  • Are you afraid of bright colors? No
  • Has anyone ever accused you of being gay? Nope
  • Can you tell people honest things to their face? Yes
  • Would you rather eat grits or oatmeal? Grits. Oatmeal makes me barf.
  • Do you own a kite? No
  • Have you ever run down an up escalator or vice versa? Once
  • What do you think of clothing for pets?I think it’s cute, but my dog hates it and so I don’t torture her with it beyond the occasional “wear this Halloween hat for 30 seconds so I can take your picture while you cuss at me” thing.
  • Do you tend to want things you cannot have? A little but not so much.
  • Is it true that you can be anything you want to be? Yes it is
  • Were your parents honest to you about serious things when you were little? I think so, in the sense that they didn’t lie about serious things. There were things that they didn’t talk to us about knowing that we were too young to understand.
  • Would you ever dye your hair purple? How funny! Because I just said in the previous post that I plan to dye my hair purple within the next year or so.
  • Who do you think should play you in a movie?Thora Birch
  • Would you ever kill someone? Never.
  • Do you prefer stripes or polka dots? Neither, really.
  • Do you dot your is and cross your ts?Always cross the t’s; occasionally dot the i’s.
  • Are you double jointed in any way? Nope.
  • What kind of super power do you wish you had? Flying and super strength for a bonus!
  • Are you easily offended? I don’t think so.
  • How often do you watch the news? Rarely
  • Do you have nightmares very much? Occasionally.
  • Which power ranger was your favorite? I never watched the power rangers.
  • Did the movie Jaws ever scare you?Well, when the head popped¬†out of the boat, yeah, the soda and popcorn went flying, much to my chagrin (and the ire of those sitting behind me)
  • Have you ever cried to get away with something? Not that I recall
  • What do you think of feminists? Well, I am one, so I can’t be objective
  • Are you friends with anyone famous? No
  • Do you lack common sense sometimes? Occasionally
  • Are you afraid of snakes? Hell freaking yes!
  • Do you use recycle bins at your house? Yep.
  • How hot do you like the water in your shower? Closer to hot than warm
  • Do you ever walk around your house naked? Only to and from the bathroom
  • What is your favorite art form? Everything–words, music, pictures
  • Do you want to be bilingual? No–I want to be multilingual.
  • Is energy wasted on little kids? No
  • Do you lie to make people feel better? No
  • How many times a day do you look at the clock? A million?
  • Do you like to organize things? Yes, but they never stay organized somehow.
  • Are you going to have smile lines or frown lines when you’re older? I think my lines are smile lines.
  • Do you floss your teeth every day? Yes
  • Do you like the game red rover? No
  • Which is better, thick crust or thin? Thin
  • How good are you at keeping secrets? Pretty good.
  • What stupid little thing really stresses you out? Grammatical errors
  • Can you remember what you wore yesterday?Yes, my grinch pajamas
  • Which Disney parks have you been to?Disneyland and Disneyworld.
  • What do you think the drinking age should be? 18
  • Do you like to wear socks? Sometimes
  • What is the last cartoon you watched?The Simpsons
  • What does your bed comforter look like?It’s kind of a creamy ivory patchwork quilty thing that Joe picked out. I’m not nuts about it, but it’ll do for now.

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