What's on my mind.

30 June 2008


"Teardrops will kiss the Morning Dew" (Allison Krauss), "Fly Away" (Sugarland), "Boat Drinks" (Jimmy Buffett), another Allison Krauss, a Kelly Clarkson, then "Long After I'm Gone" by Claire Lynch....

Chad (who got the idea from Matt Yglesias) thinks it be harder to find an non-disqualifying song on his iPod. But apparently my music tastes are very conventional and fairly safe. But then I don't have much music on my work computer and don't own an iPod or other portable electronic music device. (I know, I'm living in the dark ages. I bought a portable CD player and non-earbud headphones for the big trip)

Jimmy Buffett might be a problem but as long as no scans the list far enough to hit on the Instant Karma tracks (various artists covering those hippy Brit's music to benefit Amnesty International is definitely an disqualifier) I might be ok. I usually don't rip cds to my work computer so the risk is limited. If you started shuffling though the CDs I bring back and forth the risk of a DQ would increase - world music (including Cuban music), classical (elitist), musicals (pretty much any track off Rent would do it). On the other hand my somewhat limited classic rock and country stuff and extensive bluegrass selection might be pluses - particularly since there is a relatively high percentage of gospel/spirituals in the bluegrass. My 'Gospel?' CD might get me in trouble though.

How would you do?

26 June 2008

Can you say chick magnet?

A guy surfing with a cat - that has to be even better than a dog at getting girls. It'd work on me*. I'm guessing 'surfing cat' is probably just below 'cute baby/little kid in the stroller at the mall' on the guaranteed-to-get-girls to stop and chat list.

*assuming the cat seemed to like the water, as this one does, and didn't act like it was being tortured, like mine would.

25 June 2008


So, every once in a while I think "I'm just going to do X" or "I'm not going to Y any more" or something along those lines. Then I start trying to figure out how to do X or not do Y and the plan falls apart. I don't know how to be(act/think/feel/...) different(ly) than I do, how I always have (or at least so long that I can't remember what it was like before). I actually had a therapist say "you need to just stop doing that*" and I sat and looked at her thinking "well, DUH, but how?".

That's what I always come back to - but how?

There are so many things about myself I wish were different but I don't know how to fix them and the inertia is high. I am a basically lazy person. It's so easy to allow inertia to just carry you forward and not try.

Oh, in case you were wondering - no, I didn't go to the dance Saturday (but I did renew my membership for the year). Going to the ball would have required thinking about what I was going to wear (fun in the abstract but stressful in actuality; what could I wear vs. what am I going to wear), doing my hair and make-up (why do I bother?), and, the biggie, psyching myself up to spend a few hours with a bunch of strangers (who if history is any guide (and what else do I have to go on?) I won't talk to or get asked to dance, except perhaps by the guy who apparently can't count to 4). It was much easier and less stressful to sit around the house, read, watch a movie, and practice knitting.

*specifically she was telling me I needed to stop focusing on the past. What, am I suppose to ignore what's happened in the past and just expect everything to be magically different? She wasn't the best (match for me) therapist I had at the University's Psych dept. clinic.

19 June 2008

Not 'til Nettie's older

You probably shouldn't grow this pepper if you have small children around.

Thanks Chili Pepper Varieties Database for a smile this afternoon. (Found via wikipedia external links of all things!)

In other news, the little "ornamental" purple peppers I have are Pretty in Purple, or possibly Pretty Purple (but mine are closer to 2cm than 1 inch), and I should wait until they turn red to pick. They are, as I suspected, very hot. No explanation as to why they are considered ornamental other than the plant (purpley leaves, lavender flowers, and deep purple fruit) is pretty and smallish.

Naked Fire Dancing Anyone?

Do you have a better suggestion for celebrating the Summer Solstice*? How about better ones than what I can think of?

Drunken orgies under the mid-summer night's sky? Meditation under the noon sun? Floating down a lazy river? (Unfortunately I have to work.) Actually going out for the evening rather than having Nettie over to watch the latest Disney Channel original movie? (I might do both actually. The TBDC's Anniversary Ball is Saturday night.)

*in the northern hemisphere, those of you in the southern hemisphere will have to come up with wintry activities for the celebration. For example: dancing around a bonfire while naked under your parka.

18 June 2008

Accounts and computers make me grumpy...


Ordering furniture for a State agency is a pain in the ass! Particularly when you're accountant (or her boss) don't seem to understand the finer points of good chairs. (One size does not fit all, adjustablity is good; (relatively) cheap chairs are cheap for a reason.)

I think I made a mistake when I decided to reinstall Windows XP from the install disk rather than the backup. First off, it reminded me of what a POS company Systemax is (in my limited experience with them*). They didn't send me the "drivers" CD when I got the computer. I didn't know I was suppose to have it until I LOST THE MODEM DRIVER with the reinstall. It is difficult to find a modem driver off the internet when your modem doesn't have a driver. (Luckily I could borrow my Mom's computer, or could have come in and used my work one.)

Secondly, my ISP's download-able software doesn't support anything below XP SP2. So I need to either get a CD or get the upgrades for Windows. I have an offer for 1st month free with another ISP so I think, "what the hell, I'll get it; update Windows; download the other; then cancel." WRONG. The first set of updates downloaded fine. The next time my computer started downloading updates (estimated download time 4 hours, yay dial-up) I got kicked off-line after a while. Second time I try getting the big update, everything's fine for a couple hours then I'm kicked off. Third time, same story. There won't be a fourth time. I cancelled ISP 2 this morning, no charge (I can transfer you to our tech support and they could help you. Would you like to try us again? No thank you. Are you sure.....) I ordered the CD from ISP 1 yesterday. So no home internet for a few more days.

I actually have all kinds of things to do at work this week. The time just flies and I don't have time to do all my normal time-wasting stuff. I hardly make it through Reader. Never mind blathering to you all on the interweebs. Honestly what do they think they hired me for?

*order this computer as a computer-to-order through Office Depot. I ordered (and payed for) Office pre-installed. I neither got Office pre-installed nor got a CD. When I tried calling Systemax's help line, after entering my computer's serial number, that I was no longer in the 90-days free tech support but if I wanted to stay on the line I could enter my credit card information and they would be right with me. WTF? The computer had arrived a few days earlier and I'd ordered it less than 2 weeks before!!! Like hell I was going to give my CC info to these people. I tried multiple times to get to a human being, without luck. I set an email to their customer service, asking them to send me the discs. They could keep the $1 for the install, I really didn't care so much about that. No response. If I'd been reading the Consumerist I might have gone exec-email carpet bomb on their asses. As it was I finally gave up and just bought Office, again (educational pricing, thank God, being a teacher did have a few perks). Office Depot's CSR was apologetic but unhelpful.

06 June 2008

Travel blog

Since I know everyone is just dying to hear all about the trip and look at all the pictures with captions. Here's the scoop:

Tuesday Nettie and I rode the subway in from the Greenbelt station(Bert and Bill live in Bel Air, MD so we had to drive there first.). Nettie thinks public transit is one of the coolest things in the world. (We even had to change lines coming and going!) Since it was about lunch time we went to the Old Post Office Pavilion and ate in the food court then we went up the bell tower. After that we walked over to the National Air and Space Museum. Planes and rockets are neato. Then the Hirshorn. You all would have been so proud of Nettie - we walked into the first room and she says "This is art?" (It was a bunch of large geometric shapes and/or stripes). Yes, sweetie, when you grow up you can get paid lots of money to make colored trapezoids. She liked some of the other paintings and the sculptures. There was also a loooong video of a Rube-Goldberg like set-up that was cool. We only did the third level, the second was closed for installation and I couldn't remember if the basement had much. After that we walked on down the Mall a bit and then went home.
Big Trip '08: DC, day one
On Wednesday Mom, Dad, Aunt Roberta, Nettie, and I all drove in.* We started at the Einstein memorial. Getting her picture with Einstein was a do or die thing for Nettie. Then we went to the Vietnam Memorial. Nettie and I walked over to the Lincoln Memorial and then walked up the Mall to the National Museum of Natural History, where we spent the entire afternoon. (Literally all afternoon. Nettie and I got to the gift shop at about 5:15 and they close at 5:30.) We then got an impromptu tour of NE Washington as Dad missed an exit. It only added an hour onto our drive back to Bert and Bill's. Oh, and Dad had parked in a 'no parking after 4' zone and got a $100 parking ticket, along with a bunch of other tourists.
Big Trip '08: DC, day two
Thursday we drove to Cape Cod and Judy and Danny's house. Friday we (all except Danny) went to the Cape Cod National Seashore. Watched a nice video about the formation and geology of Cape Cod; nice example of glacial erosion and deposition as well as reminders that the sea (and all of nature) will do what it pleases despite man's best attempts to control her. Had a nice walk on the beach, too. We picked up many many beach rocks and shells. A shipwreck was washed up on shore last January and some of it is still visible (the sand is covering it up more and more). It is expected that another storm will wash the remains back out.
Big Trip '08: Cape Cod, day one
Saturday Danny took Dad, Nettie and I for a walk along the river (don't know the name) down a spit that separates the river from Centerville Harbor. (Mom and Aunt Judy went shopping.:P) It was very windy and a bit cool so we mostly stayed on the river side of the dunes. We saw tons of little fiddler crabs, four (!) horseshoe crabs, some terns (I think) including babies that looked like cotton balls floating just above the sand. Later, we three went and watched Uncle Danny clam. Best tasting clams ever!
Big Trip '08: Cape Cod, day two
Sunday morning we drove back down to Pawtucket and had dinner with Jim and Peg and several of their kids and grandkids. Their house looks exactly the same as always. The yard seems smaller than it did when I was a kid. I think it may be because the pool is gone. I remember the pool bigger than it most likely was. Jim was doing well that evening, seemed to recognize us all and was generally 'with it' through out the visit, which was really nice. Nettie made fast friends with her cousins.

I flew home Monday. Mom, Dad, and Nettie stayed in Pawtucket for a couple more days then drove back to Maryland. Dad and Nettie spent most of yesterday (Thursday) at the Baltimore Aquarium. I think today they are mostly just visiting with Bert, Bill, and Aunt Gail (came up from the Eastern Shore) and maybe some of my cousins. I left my camera with Nettie so I'll put her pictures up on Picasa after they get back.

03 June 2008

travel pics

Well, I've got all the pictures uploaded if anyone wants to poke through all 300+. (Because I know my readers are just dying to see all my multiple attempts at the same subject and a million pictures of my little sister.) I still haven't done anything with them. Maybe I'll get to it latter this week, so far I don't have much to do at work. Nettie has my camera so I'll have pictures from Pawtucket and Baltimore to add later.
DC (first few pics are the view from the Salem, VA Howard Johnson parking lot)

And on the Cape

02 June 2008

Home again, home agian, jiggity-jig-jig

Well, I survived. I had fun.

I've only got the first day's worth of photos uploaded and I haven't done anything with them yet. Honey was very excited to see me.

I think I'll go upstairs and watch the Lost finale now.