Monday, December 25, 2006

a very stacey christmas

My family made this a very Stacey Christmas this are the presents before, looking very festive and happy in their wrapping:

And here they are after they've been'll notice a theme [click on the pic to see it in more detail]:

And now for some choice close-ups. Look for the duster, the skull safety pin, the camo-skull purse, the skull lock and keys, and more. And don't miss the incongruous but very lovely pastel pearl earrings...they really made me smile as I opened them in the midst of the skully goodness.

And now a close-up of the most random bit of Christmas spirit:

I love my family. They know me well.

[you can also see the pics on flickr]

Saturday, December 23, 2006

christmas spirit

christmas spirit
christmas spirit,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
My Christmas, courtesy of my parents. The packages are taunting me...Christmas morning feels so far away.

Love you, Mom and Dad...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

gimme gimme

Traveled down to Santa Cruz last night to see "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes" with Jen, with a stop at Sestri's for a surprise party for her friend Deb [weird synchronicity: I've had tickets to this concert for a while now, and three days before, Jen gets the invite to the party literally 2.5 miles away from the club where the band was playing].

Some highlights of my night:

* getting lost on the way to the restaurant
* very good Lemon-cello Drop
* the mangled cake
* someone fixing the cake
* the cake now saying "Happy Birthday Delorah" [instead of "Deborah"]
* playing with confetti
* meeting Sherri [I have no idea how to spell her name]
* Sherri joining us for the concert
* realizing that the club was the same place I saw "Men at Work" with Susy so many years ago
* the opening band, "Starving Millionaires"
* the second bad suxxOred!!
* Vic, Andrew, BirthdayBoy
* "You're my girlfriend!"
* Jagermeister shots [ugh]
* nice ego boosting from a 24-year-old cutie
* looking good for a 31-year-old
* dancing to the Gimmes [when they were actually playing, and not bantering]
* "Someone here has a high protein diet!!"
* paranoid Andy Dick trying to light up
* the entertaining mosh pit
* stopping in a parking lot to pull out the leftovers
* my car's freeze warning beeping at us on the way home
* the incredibly looooong stretch of 85
* getting home after 1am

And most of all:

* getting to spend time with Jen

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

flickr is cracking me up

How cool is this?? Flickr has added a couple of holiday easter eggs to their site...add a note to your photo with either "ho ho ho hat" or "ho ho ho beard" as the text, save it, and [[poof]]!! Instant holiday fun!

Check out here and here for examples... :^)

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Today was a day of connections. One of those days when you feel a part of the world, and for some reason seem to be interacting with it more than usual. When people make eye contact, say 'hello', smile more than usual, when for some reason, you are making more of an effort than you normally do, and yet it comes easily and isn't an effort at all.

There were the sweet and slightly wacky instant messages from my dad to start the day with a smile. Then came the webcam and quick chat with Steve [with Tash and Max looking on]. The time spent at the Cartoon Art Museum, chatting away with Dave, Greg, and Liz. The email from John [aka "JNL" or "John - Not Locke"] with the update on his dad [happily, he finally had his bypass after too many delays and complications, and seems to be doing as well as can be expected]. The incredibly sweet Swiss man at Rite-Aid, shopping for toiletries because his suitcase had been lost by the airline. Even the homeless man in San Francisco, who thanked me for having a sense of humor [his sign asked for money for the "United Negro Pizza Fund", and I couldn't help but smile], and who forgave me for not having any spare change on me [one drawback of a plastic society: not as much ready cash]...even that was a connection. Sending text messages to my mom and dad made me feel closer to them. And in just a bit, I'm going to go write my weekly letter to my Aunt Essie, keeping that connection across the miles.

It's hard to turn the page on a day like today, especially when I am feeling the lack of those connections in the workaday world. In a way, though, it makes me treasure them all the more...they are that much more special. Life is all about's what makes it all worthwhile.

support your local comic artist

Spent the afternoon at the SF Cartoon Art Museum, chatting with Dave Kellett of "Sheldon" fame []. I had a great time, got excellent recommendations for other comics to read, bought his first book and got it signed, and came away with two original sketches. I already had his second book [the special Author's Edition, limited to 250 copies and with cool sketches in the front], and he was gracious enough to personalize it for me.

If you haven't checked out Sheldon yet, I highly's one of my favorites. And if you get the chance, go see Dave at one of his personal's worth it.

[And those two people in the back are Greg and Liz...check them out at I'm rapidly getting hooked on that one too.]


I framed the sketches, and man do they look nice...check them out! [clicky-clicky for biggy-biggy]

Sheldon and Arthur

Gramps and Flaco

And here is Zena checking out the you can tell by the motion blur, she is giving them a very enthusiastic nod:

In fact, she loved them so much that she *insisted* on posing with them...what a ham.

Late night update...Pepper also approves!

[You can also check the pics out at Flickr:]

Thank you, Dave, for sharing your time and was a blast. And seriously...if you or Greg need a roadie for ComicCon07, I'm there. :^)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

an unexpected find

Do you have a favorite author? Someone whose writing speaks to you, gives you escape and comfort, someone you dearly wish were even more prolific, because you just can't get enough of their stuff? An author that turns you into a collector, looking for any book of theirs you don't have, whether it is in paperback, hardback, or pounded out on tribal drums? I have a few: Robert Heinlein, Spider Robinson [I think of him as "Heinlein Lite"], Mercedes Lackey [specifically her Bard and Valdemar series], Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion and Gird series, Neil Gaiman. There are a few graphic novel titles I count in there as well: Sandman [sadly gone these many years], Lucifer [spun off of Sandman, also ending soon], Strangers in Paradise [an *absolute* must read...and sadly, it is ending in just a few more issues], Fables [happily, no end in sight yet]. Of the authors, Heinlein and Spider are the ones that I have no limits on what I like of theirs...anything they write, I will buy. Or search through used book stores to find that out-of-print copy...and if it isn't there, pay outlandish shipping costs to order it online.

Well, this weekend, I found a new book by Spider Robinson [newly republished, actually]. And it was one I hadn't heard of before, hadn't seen before. I saw it, glanced past it, then glanced back. A little mental headshake, with that slight head tilt that accompanies minor befuddlement.

Mental process:

...doo be doo be doo...scanning shelf for titles by Spider Robinson, out of sheer habit and wistful hope...hmm, that title didn't look familiar...reverse, look again...nope, not one I'm aware of...double-check author name, must have been misfiled...hey, it says "Spider Robinson"!...don't get excited, probably just a new compilation of old stories, they do that to you all the time...pick up book, scan back jacket blurb...nope, doesn't sound familiar...hey, it's a full novel,'s sinking in...a new Spider Robinson book that I haven't read a trusted and very wonderfully consistently good, no great, favorite author of mine...zzzooooOOOmmm!

Cut to me clutching the paperback as if it were The One Ring, racing to the checkout, then planning a lovely night of discovering a new world through the eyes of a man whose works I've been reading for years, and has a world view that, if more people had it and practiced it, would lead to a much better world.

Now I just have to brace myself for the inevitable letdown when I reach the final page and have to come back into the real world...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

those sneaky bastards at merck

So for months now, we've been seeing commercials telling us that cervical cancer can be caused by a virus. Concerned women and their daughters look earnestly into the camera, giving heartfelt gasps as they learn this awful truth, trading loving hugs with each other as they tell us "I told someone", urging us to "talk to [our] doctor" about it. "Human papilloma virus...why hasn't anyone told us about this??" Thank the gods for this altruistic, purely informational public service message from the good folks at Merck. [that was sarcasm...keep reading and you'll see why]

Gosh, what a coincidence that we are now seeing commercials advertising Gardisil (r). Guess what it does? Hmmm...let me think...does it perhaps, possibly, just maybe potentially vaccinate against HPV?? Oh hurrah!! We've been so worried since being bombarded with those commercials that warned us about a virus that might cause cervical wonderful that there is now a vaccine available!! What's this? Why, the good people at Merck are the ones offering the vaccine! Is there nothing they wouldn't do for womankind? I'm sure profit has nothing to do with their selfless campaign. [cough. sarcasm again.]

It's flipping brilliant. Spend months simply informing people that a bad thing exists. After enough time passes, tell them that there is a vaccine available for this bad thing. It's money in the bank. Especially since few people will make the connection that the same company that raised the alert level to orange is the same one that is offering a vaccine.

Don't get me wrong...cervical cancer is a serious thing, and if anything can be done to help prevent it, that's wonderful. But I have a problem with the ethical side of all this. But then, ethics don't always go hand-in-hand with profits...or rather, it's a slightly different set of ethics. After all, women *will* benefit from this. Of course, so will Merck. It's a fine line.

It's the bottom line.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

evil fudge *rocks*

Just poured a batch of Evil Fudge to cool. Oh my god, this stuff rocks. Some of the ingredients: a pound of butter, a pound of cheese [yes, cheese...makes it creamy and thick and gives it a great flavor], cocoa, vanilla, walnuts, and four pounds of powdered sugar. Yup, *four* pounds. Now you understand why it's evil...but oh, so addictive.

This is a command performance, by special request. I'm going to Karen's for her annual "Waifs and Strays" Thanksgiving dinner...each year, she and her husband Bob put on a lavish spread for singles and couples that don't have their own local families or celebrations. I've been to more than one, and I've had a great time [even fell in love at one of them...fond memories]. Karen requested the "cheese fudge", and I was happy to do it. Really looking forward to tomorrow...haven't seen Karen in person since last year's feast, and can't wait to catch up. There are some friendships that don't need constant tending...and I'm lucky enough to have a few of those in my life. Karen is one of those friends, and I love her dearly.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Thanks for sharing these little random bits of my life with me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

'tis the season

The Holiday Sandwich is back at Erik's Delicafe [stuffing, cranberry, turkey, all nice and warm and yummy]. Gingerbread, pumpkin, and spice flavors are popping up all over [thank you, Starbucks and Gloria Jean's].

Man, I love this time of year, at least for the flavors.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

contented sigh

I had planned to get up and out this morning, head to the farmer's market, to the coast, wander around, but as I was contemplating getting up, one cat jumps up with me and curls up on my legs, then the other one jumped up and settled down on my chest.

It was a sign.

So I snuggled in under the furry, purry goodness and dozed off. Woke up once, they were both still firmly ensconced in the covers...I just couldn't disturb them, could I?? What kind of horrible person do you think I am?? I bowed to the inevitable and put my head back down. When I was finally able to extract myself, I stretched, padded to the kitchen in my big slippers, made some apple-cinnamon oatmeal, grabbed a book, and sat contentedly down at the table to have breakfast [er, brunch].

I love days like this.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

blond. james blond.

See the new Bond movie.


See it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

they like me!

I'm hired! Starting December 4th, I am officially I.T. chick for Code Green Networks in stunning Santa Clara, California. About 15 minutes south of home, near the movie theatre I frequent [thanks to discount tickets from Costco], and oddly only about a mile or two from the old FTP offices on Bunker Hill Lane. Eleven years later, and I'm back in the same neighborhood. Man, the valley is small.

So this means I won't be the one I talk to about getting time off any more...I have another boss now. Thus endeth the hiatus. But here beginneth the paychecks...yay!

Friday, November 10, 2006

took a sick day

Been feeling a bit sniffy, sore-throaty, and coughy since getting back from Vegas with my parents, so I took a sick day today to try to get over it. I called my boss to let her know, and she was a bit of a hard-ass about it: but you've got things to do, you'll be a day behind, blah blah blah. I told her that I didn't care *what* she said, that I wasn't being very efficient as it was, and that I was going back to bed.

Which I did. Ten hours later, I woke up...still sniffy, but feeling much more justified in taking the time to crash. Off to medicate a bit, down some fluids, and wrap up in a warm blanket. And to hell with the boss.

[Get it? Get it? It's funny because *I'm* my boss!! Ha ha ha haaaa! Ha. Ha ha. Ahem. Bye now.]

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
...does anyone else find this as creepy as I do??

Monday, October 23, 2006

mowr mowr mowr mowr

That video of rescue kitty Zena I promised earlier:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

pumpkinfest 2006

the pumpkin gang
the pumpkin gang,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
It's interesting. The older I get, the more I feel stifled by experience, knowledge of what's "right", "good", "the way it should be", or "others do it so much better". As an adult, it seems harder to let the moment take you and just be spontaneously start overthinking things, planning them, needing them to be exactly what you see in your head.

The first time I really started to see this was two years friend Jen and I decided to carve pumpkins. We got everything we needed: shopped for pumpkins, put down a tarp on the floor, markers to sketch with, knives, spoons, trash bags.

Then we sat there and stared at our pumpkins. And stared. And then kind of embarrassedly laughed and admitted to each other that we were a bit intimidated by the idea of what to carve.

It was an interesting afternoon...I have a lot of good talks with Jen, and this was another of them. The realization that the creativity you have as a kid, the imagination, the awe...they are all a function of innocence. You can get it back as an adult, but it takes a bit more effort, and a willingness to abandon yourself to the moment, to risk being embarrased, to chance not doing it quite "right". Having acknowledged and named the feelings, we were able to work through them [after a few dry runs of sketching faces on grocery bags].

This year, we just went for it. Oh, we thought about what we wanted, and asked each other advice on mouths, noses, eyes, but it was easier this year. The picture is what we ended up with...and I think our pumpkins rock. [More pics of the pumpkin gang here.]

A big part of it being easier this time was trust: I can relax and risk making a fool of myself in front of her, because she won't laugh any more than is appropriate [and if she ever should, I could say "ow" and she'd stop...a sign of a true friend]. There is also the trust in takes a bit of confidence to plunge into something that might make you feel stupid/silly/incompetent/incapable. And often, you end up realizing that you aren't any of those things... least not this time.

not the only one's good to know I'm not the only one who notices this. Sherman's Lagoon comes through again:

[See my earlier posts for why this is funny: "today's lesson" and "how's that for timing?"]

Friday, October 20, 2006

a new roommate

About a month ago, I adopted a second rescue kitty [in part to keep my first one, Pepper-of-the-Missing-Paw, company when I return to work]. I got her from "Pets in Need", an excellent no-kill shelter here in the Bay Area [if you are looking for a place to support and/or to get your next dog or cat, please be sure to check them out], and she came with the name "Zena Louise". That simple yet non-descriptive name has since morphed into "ZeanBean" and "Beaner", in recognition of the fact that she is a large black fuzzy beanbag of a cat. [A bonus: she has a fabric tube thing she likes to hang out in...when she's in it, I refer to it as the "Bean Burrito". Har har har...]

She was mauled by a dog when she was younger, and now has nerve damage to her hips. She is still mobile, but doesn't have fine motor control over her back legs...which gives her a hilarious "fishtailing" kind of swagger when she walks down the hall, and it means that when she wants to sit down, she just kind of *thunks* her hinder down and stays wherever it lands. She spent two years in a shelter, and between that and her hip problems, she came to my home weighing almost 19 pounds [now you understand "large black fuzzy beanbag"]. Now, with a diet of indoor cat formula and much more activity, she is down to a still-slightly-larger-than-svelte 14 pounds.

[The picture above was taken the day I brought her lap isn't the smallest, and she overflowed it past my knees. Not a small kitty...]

Happily, she has settled in nicely, if a bit rambunctiously. For a cat with mobility problems, she gets around: she's found the toilet paper roll, the facial tissues, the space behind the dryer, the space behind the couch, the space under the bookshelf, the decorative box of mini building blocks [which have since been moved out of her reach], and who knows what else. She's picked out her favorite toys, and unlike Pepper, doesn't get bored with them...where he gives up after a few minutes with a very hoity "Okay, I'm done now" attitude, she will keep playing and playing and swatting and chasing and playing and [you get the idea].

She's a total lapkitty, and loves to plunk her beanbag body onto your nice warm lap. I've put a footstool by the couch to help her climb up, as well as an ottoman by the bed [otherwise she kept trying to jump up and failing, which had me fearing both for her and for my bedspread as she dug her claws in to try to save herself]. She and Pepper get along pretty well...they don't fight much, just the occasional "oh, yeaaahh??" hiss from one to the other, and they will both lie happily in the same room with me and can pass each other in the hall without incident [a cat-loving friend of mine told me that this is a very good thing...and was amazed that they would relax and sleep in the same room together after less than a month].

I've got more photos of the latest roommate, and some time in the next few weeks hope to get them off my camera and up online somewhere. I'm also in the process of uploading a video of Zena presenting me with a gift...she has one toy mouse [see the pic to the left] that exists solely for her to carry around in her mouth whilst giving the most plaintive "mowr mowr mowr" sounds. When she finds me, she then drops the mouse in front of me and sits proudly in front of it. You cat people will know what I'm talking about...and I'm glad it's a *toy* mouse that she finds to give me, as I've had cats in the past that felt the real thing was a much better gift [ick].

Watch this space for a link to the's coming soon...

a good message

Courtesy of Dove:

(click on the pic to see the video)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

how's *that* for timing??

The latest "Sherman's Lagoon" strip:

today's lesson


Thus endeth the lesson.

Just finished watching my tape of tonight's LOST episode.

Holy crap.

This was a good one. Not going to give too many spoilers, just in case you haven't seen it yet. Locke. Eko. Charlie. Desmond [naked Desmond!]. Trippin', maaannn...trippin'. Hello Boone! Interesting glimpse into Locke's background. Geronimo Jackson t-shirt [Monte must be so happy]. RAWR! And what's up with Desmond and his "Locke's speech" thing?


Sunday, October 15, 2006

wallowing in guilty pleasures

Bunny feet pajamas, warm sake, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, fireplace going, snuggled up in the blanket my sister made for me, big fat cat on my lap...contented sigh.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

multi-purpose kitchen tool

Try using your french press to froth hot cocoa...yummmmmmy.

How to:
Mix milk and cocoa, microwave until hot enough, put into press, rapidly move plunger up and down until cocoa is frothed the way you like it. Presto! A fluffy, chocolatey, indulgenty drinky! For extra hedonism, sprinkle chocolate flakes on top...then sit back, sip it down, let the chocolate froth foam your cares away.

Bonus tip: The press is also a great way to brew up your loose leaf tea. Crazy multi-purpose!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

bad / good

Bad: You wake up and realize it's trash day and you didn't take the trash out.

Good: You wake up *before* the trash guys have come by, so you get everything to the curb in time.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

king of dreams

Lisa and I saw Neil Gaiman speak at Kepler's tonight...he is an amazing storyteller. He can take the smallest anecdote and spin it into a witty, wry, engaging story. He read from his new book, told us all about the three musical versions of "Coraline" [one with music by They Might Be Giants] and the new Stardust movie [Peter O'Toole! Michelle Pfeiffer! Robert De Niro!], and generally entertained us all for about an hour or so. Come question time, he handled a rather long-winded questioner very deftly, turned a simple question about having to buy a new pair of pants in San Francisco into a funny story about trying to find jeans at Armani [because they were the closest to the hotel], and answered each question as if he'd never heard it before.

When the time came for him to sign my copy of his new book, "Fragile Things", he not only signed it and the "one extra item" we were allowed [I chose a matted Sandman postcard for him to sign], but he also very nicely signed my "Neverwhere" DVD cover and my "Babylon 5" liner notes [he wrote the episode "Day of the Dead", one of my favorites]. Three hundred people waiting for him to sign, and he took the extra time to chat and share stories. I admire artists that share themselves with the fans, both through their work and through personal appearances...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

no comment

no comment
no comment,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
I think this speaks for itself.


originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
What were they thinking??

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Saw "The Last Kiss" tonight [Zach Braff's new film]. It hurt.

I know I'm not the only one to have been cheated on, but sometimes I wish I were...if it never happened to anyone else, then there wouldn't be movies like this, painfully human movies, with not-so-hollywood emotional scenes that are hard to watch. If I were the only one it happened to, then I wouldn't have to feel like a statistic, a sad member of a painful club that leaves you heartsore and untrusting. I wouldn't feel reduced to one of "them", another schlub who has had to pick up, move on, make hard decisions, and wonder what was wrong with them that someone could do that.

How many chances do you give? How many times do you forgive, accepting explanations and it-will-never-happen-agains? And which is worse, when they betray your trust knowingly, make the deliberate choice that hurts you, or when they do it cluelessly, because they lack empathy and ony know that they want what is in front of them at the moment, never even thinking about how it would affect you?

I've had time to think about it, experienced both types, and I feel that the clueless one is worse. If they made the decision themselves, knowing how it would hurt you, then you actually have a better chance in believing what they say going forward. It doesn't excuse what they did, but if they knew the consequences, knew what it would do to you, then chances are they are at least a little aware and can change if they want [or not...but at least it is out in the open and you can get out and move on].

But watch out the for clueless one. No empathy means they have no idea how a situation will make you feel, how it will make anyone other than themselves feel. Each situation must be handled as a new one, because they truly don't understand why you would feel the way you do. So you never know when they might hurt you again. They don't mean to, and they are very genuinely sorry when they finally see how upset you are, but it doesn't generalize for them. They've learned their lesson, but it is very specific to that instance. The next time they are in a situation that pits what they want to do against what is the right thing to do for you both, that lack of empathy has a better than average chance of having them choose what they want...and you get hurt again.

There was one line in the movie that really resonated with's something I've been saying for years. Paraphrased, it's something like, "It's not how you feel or say, it's what you *do* that truly counts." Actions trump words. You can say what you want, and even feel it deeply, but it's how you act that is what really matters. Pretty words, sincere words, typed words, handwritten words...they are just so much meaningless blah-blah if your actions don't match them.

Someone once grilled me mercilessly on what my goals in life were...they didn't like my more metaphysical goals, and needed me to give concrete, discernible goals [mostly because they didn't have any themselves, and were projecting their insecurities (ah, the clarity of hindsight)]. I still stand behind my goals: to be the best person I can, to never stop working on myself, to be content and happy, and to be as true to myself as I can, have my actions match my words. Each of these goals colors any decision I make; by keeping them in mind, I can constantly adjust my course as the days tick by. By keeping these goals in sight, I can use them as a framework to base little and big decisions on...and hopefully make those decisions good ones for me.

And if time shows them to be not-so-good decisions? Adjust the course. That is always an option...always.

Monday, September 18, 2006

weekend synopsis


comedy club
rooster juice
popcorn mask
broken picture
jamie enjoying herself
catching up with david
catching up with jason
jalapeno facial adornment
throwing popcorn at jason and jeremy
jason throwing back
slippery nipple [the drink, you dirty-minded person]
winning $20
losing $20
drink tray frisbee with caleb
the cool bouncer
damned paparazzi


bbq courtesy of eileen and stephane
"royal hiltons" [and lots of them]
the cool skull bracelet given to me by rebecca and diamond
caleb and the pink hat
diamond's advice
floating leaves in the updraft of the fire
cream puffs roasting on an open fire
"I'll go if you go"
people swimming, clothed or not
antichrist nipples
antebellum nipples [see above]
calvin kleins
"you're such an exhibitionist"
branding my jeans trying to dry them out by the fire
"is wiener the same as dick?"
french toast in the morning
chloe dancing
bringing home wine, sourdough bread, and turkey [and lots of them]
damned paparazzi


wonder what else I left off the lists above

Monday, September 11, 2006


I was at Steve's. He was getting ready for work, showering, shaving, the standard routine. I was sitting on the edge of the bed, flipping through channels, killing time. One local station was showing some story with fire engines...the location wasn't familiar, so I changed channels. Next one was showing some other change. Third station, another emergency. Then it clicked: all the channels were showing the same thing. Switch to CNN.

Holy shit. The World Trade Center is on fire. There's been some sort of explosion. Yell to Steve, still in the bathroom [his family is in New York]. Keep watching.

Wait, this just in. A plane hit the tower...that is the cause of the explosion. Some horrible accident. No word yet on what happened. Update Steve. Keep watching.

Steve comes out, wrapped in a towel. We move to the living room, turn on the big TV, watch for updates.

Oh fuck. A plane has hit the second tower. It's not an accident. Reports coming in about the Pentagon being hit, another plane going down in a field somewhere.

Stunned silence. I lean into Steve, he squeezes my hand. We sit, watching, numb, confused, not quite sure what to hasn't really sunk in yet. Local newscast is asking people to stay indoors if they can, stay off the phone as much as possible, keep roads clear, in case this gets bigger. All flights are grounded. Steve calls in to work; they are telling people to just stay home today, don't bother coming in. He tries to call his parents, finally gets through...everyone is okay. I call mine...they were worried, since the flights were California bound and they didn't know if I might be on one. I keep it you, I'm fine, gotta keep lines open for everyone else.

Back to the couch. Back to the news, scanning the stations. Click: ashes raining down. Click: emergency workers carrying bloody bodies. Click: a woman is crying. Click: the impact of the second plane. Click: the collapse of a tower. Click: more footage of the impact. Click: a person jumping/falling from the tower. Click, click, click. We turn the volume down and just sit there for a while. Not sure what we said..."oh my god" and "what the hell?" and "who?" and "why?" and "holy shit" were in there, I'm sure. Eloquent? No. But honest.

I don't remember much about the next days and weeks. We saw that footage over and over and over again. Americans were realizing that we weren't safe...suddenly we were dealing with things that we hadn't really had to before, not on this scale. We'd been fairly fortunate up until then. Much of the world had been living with this fear and sense of violation for years, decades, centuries...and now so were we.

I donated blood, quietly, not telling anyone. It was nothing compared to what others were doing...that day created heroes, big and small, public and private. People became a bit nicer for a while, and we united in a way that crossed borders, boundaries, races, creeds, income levels.

That unity wouldn't last...but it was there when we needed it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

breakfast of champions

breakfast of champions
breakfast of champions,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
I can feel the sugar and nanites rushing through me!

got 'em!

Got 'em!
got 'em!,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
Whoo hoo! A fruitful [chocolate-ful] trip into the city!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

and early turns into later...

So just as I posted the last entry, I saw that my friend in DC was on line [4a my time equals 7a her time, when she starts her workday]. Chatted with her, catching up, then sent a quick IM to my Dad to say hey...turns out Dad was online, so I chatted with him too. Enjoyed it...we don't get to chat together much, so I loved it. And while chatting with those two, I saw that Ixalon had found the first Manchester glyph, so of course I had to update my frag collection and catch up on what the boards had to say [had to, I tells ya! no choice about it! moral imperative! really!]

Two hours later, I crawled into bed at 6:30a. :^)

Gotta love teh intrawebs...

when does "late" become "early"?

So when exactly does a late night become an early morning? Just spent the last few hours online with some LOST friends [yup, another "LOST Experience alternate reality game" post...feel free to tune out now]. There is a glyph hunt going on in Manchester, England, and I hated to leave in the middle of it. Plus there was much fun chatting with a bunch of folks that I've seen on the boards...always nice to "talk" real time with them.

The Manchester hunt is reminding me a lot of the "Urban Challenge" experience I had with Joe and Amy. Ixalon is there on-site, and he's using his mobile phone camera to blog what is happening. The folks there get clues to where three codes are hidden around Manchester, and everyone was trying to help figure them out. The first was a glyph [without code], which looked a lot like a map of streets, with dots where the glyphs might be...looks like a lot of fun. Sadly, it is now 4:40am for me, so I'd better get some sleep.

I'll catch up with it all in the morning...

Monday, September 04, 2006


Woke up feeling woozy today...stood up, and immediately dropped back down as a wave of dizziness hit me. Not sure what's going on, but it's now after 4pm and it's still there. Nothing obvious, so just need to wait it out, I guess. Had to cancel plans I had today...was looking forward to them, too. Feels like I'm medicated, but without taking anything... very shaky, get dizzy and nauseous if I close my eyes or move too quickly, nearly blacked out in the shower. Weird. [insert "Twilight Zone" theme here]

Crawling back to the couch...keeping the center of gravity low, just in case. Curse you, evil shakiness-dizziness-inducing-thing!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

¡me gusta mis zapatos!

These make me very happy:

[ondemclicken für der flickrbloggen]

Saturday, September 02, 2006

late night thoughts

I find myself thinking about John, and feeling sad and confused about what happened. There was a time when he praised me for my strength, for standing up to people who wanted more from me than I was able to give, for taking chances and fighting for myself, for battling to become self-aware, for trying to stay strong in the swirling gusts of things beyond my control: cancer, disease, whims of fate, heartache, heartbreak, chance.

But that changed when he was the one that needed more than I could give. Twenty years, and all of it gone, because he wasn't able to see that I was offering him all that I could. He had his own pains, his own heartaches, and like all humanity, there are times when our personal battles take priority over what someone else is going through. I know that. Unfortunately, this time, it cost us twenty years...and it hurts. I thought he understood, I thought he knew who I was becoming and what I'd been working against. I thought he'd see that I was on his side, and was giving him all that I could.

He'll never know how much I tried to give him what he asked for. He'll never know the nights I lay awake, trying to figure out how to make it work. And he'll never know the pain it gave me to know that I couldn't afford to give him all the shelter he wanted. Partial wasn't enough, he was all or nothing. And because he was so wrapped up in his own pain, he never saw mine. He'll never know, because he didn't want to listen, to hear...the door was shut.

All or nothing. Since I couldn't give all, it had to be nothing. And twenty years was lost like that.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I can't help it...

...I keep playing this over and over. Poor kitty...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

back to the real world

First day back after spending time in Vegas with Mom and Dad. I really enjoyed was the first time I've been on a vacation with my parents as a grown-up, and it was a lot of fun. Gambling, slot machines, showing off Vegas, laughing and shaking our heads at what some women will wear, drinking margaritas and strawberry daiquiris, getting into that "Vegas zone" where the hours blur, bills become Monopoly money, and you eat like you just normally wouldn't. Like I said: fun.

As birthday presents to myself go, this was one of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


If it weren't for Lisa, MyFriendJen, my insurance agent, and the folks at KFOG, this would be one of the most depressing birthdays I've had. Luckily, I'm heading out tomorrow to meet my folks in Vegas...that will help.

Until then, I'll just sit here in the corner, with my cupcake and candle, flicking the lighter on and off and on and off...

happy birthday to me... [flick] ...happy birthday to me... [flick flick] ...happy birthday, dear stacey... [flick] ...happy birthday to me... [flick]

Monday, August 21, 2006

weird al rocks

He's a classy guy...check out how he's handled his parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", so as not to step on record label toes. NPR article sure to follow the linky goodness to hear the song.

And points to James Blunt for saying 'you betcha' to Weird Al...

Friday, August 18, 2006

know what I had for dinner?

Half a slice of chocolate cake.

Because I can.

uh oh

I've got that little sparkly spot in my vision that presages a migraine. I call them my "Vegas" migraines, because they start with a little sparkly dot in my vision that grows into a big sparkly area, blocking about 1/3 of my visual field. Then about 20-30 minutes after full sparkliness, I get hit with the pain.

At least I get a forewarning [she says, trying to find the silver lining]...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

another song that needs to go away

KT Tunstall - "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"

Overexposure is *killing* these songs.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

stupid space-time continuum paradox...

This one made me giggle. I love the two pink panels: the first has the palpable "wait for it....waaaaiiiiittttt for it" pause, and the second is awesome for her tiny little smile that surfaces. You can feel the smug satisfaction.

Direct link:

Image [click to biggerize]:

good memories

Meeting a friend for breakfast, and parked beside a BMW 330ci...brought back good memories of Steve, our time in Europe, and our domestic life after. The car is even the right color: steel blue.

A nostalgic smile and good memories...a good way to start a Sunday.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

personality traits

Had some friends over not too long ago...we sprawled out on the couch and floor, talking, laughing. I had a pretty good was nice. Realized something the next morning: when the girl got up to leave, she picked up the throw pillows she had been using, put them back where they came from, and straightened the floor rug she had been lying on. When the guy got up to leave, he... up and left.

It's kind of an interesting game to play in your head when you are hanging out with friends at someone's to see who straightens cushions when they get up, and who leaves the couch rumpled, blankets unfolded, pillows lying about. You can learn a lot about people just by watching their unconscious actions when they are in a casual group. Who takes their glasses out the sink? Who leaves things lying about? Who offers to bring something back from the kitchen for others, and who just goes out, gets what they want, and comes back? Which ones relax and kick back, which ones sit carefully and take care not to mess anything up? Which ones help themselves, which ones ask before taking anything from the fridge?

I love people watching...

a late night

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE LOST ARG [alternate reality game]. Seriously. I'm not kidding. It's just blah-blah if you haven't been following it. Imagine the Charlie Brown adult will be like that.

Wah waaah wah waah waah waaaaaaaah...


Stayed up through both hours of DJDan's podcast last night. It started out pretty lame, but I was hanging out on the ITE and TLEC boards, so it was more of a party. Vague hints about a glyph showing up Monday in a touristy area of a major American city [most popular guess is the ABC billboard in Times Square], lots of lame shutdowns by DJDan without giving us any good information, Speaker and Ninja both got through [along with other folks on the was fun putting voices to names].

Then things got really interesting when a mysterious voice called in with a message for Rachel. He started spouting off a string of numbers. Luckily, I had pen and paper nearby [yup, I was ready for DJDan when I started]. And they got even *more* interesting when Marvin the Earthling called in, saying he was being chased, but that had seen an odd symbol and was faxing it through to DJDan. Dan got the fax, and let those of us listening know that the glyph would be available on the front doors of Radio Harvest [where the broadcast was coming from]. Then the 'cast was "shut down by the man"...Hanso agents swarmed the place and DJDan had to go running.

So the boards were going nuts. Some of us posted our strings of numbers so we could compare them; once we did, we wracked our brains to decode them. Fenris and team figured out that the numbers referred to pages in "Bad Twin"; take the first letter of the page, and you get "I know where he is, I can set it up!"

I checked the WHOIS info for, but it was just generic Network Solutions stuff. A quick web search and a closer look at the site showed a "Harvest Films" connection...WHOIS on gave a Santa Monica address. I posted it to ITE, and jendog [YAY JENDOG!] went running out at 1am Pacific to do us proud, along with tapdawg and Eric [who I think may be UnseenPresence...looks like he was first on site, go Unseen!].

We all waited, chatting, theorizing, yawning, until she returned about half an hour later...with the glyph! It wasn't live yet [harrumph], but we are all crossing our fingers that jendog gets the credit for the find.

Then I crawled into bed around 2:30am [finally letting my poor F5 key cool down], only to dream about frickin' glyphs and running from guys in lime green coats. Sheesh.

Now to figure out the whole "chocolates/Sublymonal" thing from this week's Entertainment Weekly...

Friday, August 11, 2006

one massive intraweb meme mix

If you want a mash-up of twelve of the most prevalent internet memes [sorry, "teh intraweb"], click below.

Be warned: you will either be ashamed that you don't know them [in which case, links to the originals are included, so enjoy!], or that you do know them. I recognized them all, and could sing along...I'm frightened.

[Crap. Now it's in my head. "Cat. I'm a kitty cat. And I dance, dance, dance...Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring bananaphone....badgers badgers...move zig!"]


Thursday, August 10, 2006

time for you to go away now

Yes, Daniel Powter, we know about your bad day. Now please stop.

No, really...


Go away.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006

one of these days...

...I will find myself dating somebody who can't wait to spend time with me, and who doesn't see it as an awkward interruption of their day to try to make time for me. We will see the rest of life as what is keeping us from spending time together, rather than the reverse, and even better, we will find ways to *share* those bits of life with each other.

How do I know that this will happen? Because it is one of the many things I've learned through the years about what I want in a partner and a relationship: somebody who willingly makes time for me and for whom I want to make time; somebody that is a partner, where we are the equal of each other in most ways, and also better than the other in complementary ways [in the "supplying mutual needs or offsetting mutual lacks" definition of the word]. A relationship in which you put each other up on pedestals, yet see the faults and love each other anyway. Need and be needed, love and be loved, support and be supported.

I've been lucky...I've had this in various forms and times in my life. That's how I know what I want [okay, that, and the fact that I've seen what I *don't* want, as well]. It's all a matter of refining the parameters, figuring out what *really* matters to you, what you will and won't compromise on. And the nice thing is that when it happens, I will be going into it with eyes [and heart] wide open...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I hate saying goodbye

I just found out that one of my all-time favorite comics is ending. Only 7 issues to go, with the last book due in May 2007.

It's "Strangers in Paradise" by Terry Moore, and it has some of the most amazing character work I have seen...I'm hooked on these folks, their lives, their loves, their pain. The storyline is intricate and intriguing, and the art can be heartbreakingly personal...there are some panels that just grab you and make you keep turning back to look at them again.

SiP has seen me through some rough times in my life, and I'm sad to see it go. But I know that this last ride will be a good one...and I can't wait to see what Terry Moore does next.

monster ho

monster ho
monster ho,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
Sadly, it wasn't the kind of movie you would think it would be based on the ticket...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

repeating myself

Just noticed I used the phrase "old school" in my last two posts...gosh, how "hip" and "with it" I am.

Just for that, no using "old school" for at least a week. You are cut off, young lady...I mean it.


for your viewing pleasure

Two amazing stop-motion animations, both tipping their hats to old school video games:

Friday, July 28, 2006

bytes and pieces

Back in the day, I used to be really good at editing email replies...I would only include the specific text I was replying to, with the quoted text called out with a "> " in front of each line, then my replies, then the next bit of quoted text, and so on. But now, few email editors include the markers in front of replies, so it's easier to just leave the whole message at the bottom of your reply for easy reference.

I know it's an inevitable symptom of this email-driven world, but the "old school" Pine/Elm text mail user in me cringes at it. Yes, it's nice to have the whole thread available, but oh, the wasted bits!!

Sigh. I'm a bit/byte person in a gigabyte world...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

oh, the irony...

This week was when I was going to re-engage in life, catch up on email, answer the folks who've contacted me, get back into blogging, do the electronic things I've put off while I hid from the world. But the universe has other phone and DSL are down, from Tuesday afternoon through at least Friday afternoon.

So I'm taking the chance the universe has given me, and I'm staying offline a bit longer. When life hands you DSL outages, go outside and play...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

class act

On the plane, heading home...slurged on the upgrade, so flying first class. I'm spoiled already and we haven't even taken off...

Monday, June 12, 2006

winding down

Head back to California tomorrow...packed as much as I can be [including the extra box of stuff, like the quilt I got for half off in Amish country, some of the clothes I got during the marathon bargain shopping sessions with Mom these past weeks, and a collection of knives from my Dad]. Now just in the 'stalling to keep from going to bed so that tomorrow doesn't come too soon' mode...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

melancholy mood

It's one of those days, where you just can't muster much enthusiasm...things seem a bit washed out, distant, and every little interaction drains you just a little bit more.

And of course the universe senses this, and gives you the present of a mildly pissy day: things just go slightly askew, service is poor, traffic snarls a bit, people are pushy. Silly little things that wouldn't ordinarily even blip on the radar, but get through the defenses this time. Especially icky when you aren't on your own turf, so your time is mostly about others and you can't really afford to take the yime you need to get back in balance.

Nothing to do but ride it out...

time well spent

time well spent
time well spent,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
Visiting with my aunt Essie...we are on the way for ice cream [at her request...she loves her ice cream :^) ].

something's not right here...

something's not right here...
something's not right here...,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
Why do I have strong cell signal in Amish country?? Seems weird, doesn't it?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

aaah, indulgence

Treating Mom and myself to a manicure/pedicure this morning...she deserves some pampering.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

a very good sunday

Yesterday was a very good day. Trying to be a good houseguest, and truthfully, I'm really enjoying being able to do things for Mom and Dad, so yesterday I did the dishes, gathered and finished all the laundry, straightened up, went shopping for dinner ingredients, and even made dessert.

The fun part is that we had "dessert for dinner" last night, which for Mom and me was a banana split [bananas, low-fat ice cream, chocolate syrup, nuts, yummm]. For Dad, I found a pretty yummy frozen apple pie with some dangerously good crumb topping...baked it up, kept an eye on the crust to keep it from burning [used the 'aluminum foil around the edges' trick], then served it up warm with ice cream. A very yummy dinner...

And the dessert? Jiffy Pop (tm) popcorn. :^)

highway to hell

highway to hell

Yep...there is a highway 666 in Dresden, Ohio.

guess where we are?

guess where we are?

Mom's favorite place

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

visiting hours

Visited Essie on Monday evening. Her daughter Diane and Diane's husband Jim were there; Diane was giving Essie a nice manicure, and Essie was loving it. The five of us sat and chatted for a while, then Diane and Jim had to go. Mom walked out with them for a smoke, and I got to talk with Essie alone for a while.

She told me that she was having a really rough day. She woke up that morning feeling lonely, and as the day went on, she got down and depressed, feeling that no one was going to visit her. She said she felt better when Diane showed up, and then when Mom and I showed up, but she was still a bit down.

It was a good and sad talk...she talked about how she gets lonely and weepy, which then makes her feel vulnerable and so she gets snappy. She said she knew she needed to work on that, since it made some of the people around her angry with her.

It broke my heart. I told her that she was definitely entitled to her feelings, and that *she* was the one going through this, so she had to deal with it her way. I reassured her that she was not unusual, and let her know that now was the time to focus on herself and how she felt, not the way other people needed her to act so they could feel better about it. Not sure if it will help much, long term, but she thanked me for listening to her and letting her talk about how she really felt.

When Mom got back, we checked Essie out and headed up to Dairy Queen for Moo Lattes [and a brownie sundae for me]. We took our desserts and sat in the car on Main Street in Coshocton, something Mom and Essie did with their parents a lot when they were growing up. It was a really good time, even if the people watching was minimal [five people and two dogs was the final count]. Essie got brain freeze from sucking down the Moo Latte too fast, which gave us all the was a good time.

Back to the center to get Essie ready for bed. Rubbed cream into her legs to fight the excema, got her into pajamas, got her bed ready for her. She was getting weepy as time for bed and for us to go came, but Mom held her and reminded her off all the good times she'd been having, and told her to keep those in mind when she felt down. Essie smiled at that, said she was happy to have the day with us, and calmed down...hopefully she got a good night's rest.

She hates being alone...the two things she said is she is scared of most are being forgotten and losing her independence. I'm hoping that people in her life can coordinate their visiting schedules so she gets visitors fairly regularly...she's got a lot of family in the area, so if they get together, they can cover just about every day. It's hard...people have their own lives to keep going as well, and it *is* tough to see her so frail after being so feisty all her life. But now is the time that it needs to be about *her*...she needs us.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

roadside attraction

roadside attraction
roadside attraction,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
Snapped this going through Newark,'s the headquarters of the Longaberger Basket Company.

Yes, it's a seven story basket building...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

on the road again

Like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway...

d.i.y. waffles

Finished the day with random wandering around the campus area,
then dinner at Bennigan's and some mall-wandering to work off the
meal. Mom was feeling a bit worn out, so I did the driving for
the afternoon...and *man* is it hard to drive a Jeep Cherokee
after years of driving a Mini.

To bed around midnight...Mom and I tossed and turned most of the
night, then we were up before 6a [darn it]. Since we were all
awake, we headed down to breakfast in our pajamas...make your
own waffles, yum.

Time to pack everything up and get ready for the 4+ hour drive
back to uh-hi-yuh...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

hi dad!

Mom and I send our love...

50 yard line

Well, close to it, anyway. Went into town to the stadium, walked
all the way around, and found an open gate. It technically wasn't
open to the public, but we headed in and got some great pictures
[I'll post some soon]. I even "found" a sign from the concession
stand for Alexa [photo soon].

It was pretty impressive to be in the stadium when it was's under construction, so you get an idea of what goes
into building a huge structure like that.

Not sure what's next today...going to be really hard to top this.

Friday, May 26, 2006

go wolverines

Made it to the hotel with only one false step, then across the road to the Briarwood Mall for some Starbucks, pretzels [yay, Auntie Anne's], and shopping. I found a decent suitcase to replace my poor one with the broken zipper, some random shirts, and some sushi [which made this California girl very happy].

Just spent an hour or so at the relaxing and gearing up for tomorrow's visit to the University of Michigan for Alexa.

G'night from Michigan!

and away we go...

Hit the road for Ann Arbor earlier this morning...Mom, Debbie,
Alexa, and I piled into Mom's car and headed out. Breakfast at
Cracker Barrel, then back on the road...we should be in Michigan
around 3p or so. Good thing I've got my invisible ink books to
keep me busy... :^)

Thursday, May 25, 2006


To the care center to see Essie tonight. We got there as she was finishing dinner; we hung out with her for a bit, then Mom leaned over to her and whispered something and disappeared for a bit. I talked with Essie for a while, asked her how she was doing. Her answer really hit me: "I'm okay. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I hate being held back, not being allowed to do things." She went on to talk about how she isn't like some of the others in the ward yet, and that she hates not being able to go walking on her own, to go outside, to take care of herself. She said that she knows she'll be worse soon, and wishes that she had the chance to be everything she can now, while she still can. She "hates losing the independence", hates "feeling like a prisoner".

And in a burst of wonderful timing, Mom came back and told Essie, "I've signed you out. Come on, we're breaking you out of this joint for a while."

We went driving around Coshocton, here and there, with Essie reminiscing about this house, that place, that plant where her father worked for 30 years. Mom drove me past the house I came home to after being born, which I really enjoyed. We dropped by to see Richard [Mom and Essie's brother] and Mary [his wife], which Essie seemed to get a kick out of. More driving, talking, remembering, then back to the care center to wind down a bit. Helped Essie into her nightclothes, put more ointment on her legs, then left with hugs and kisses. A very, very good evening.

And now it is thundering, which I I said, a very good evening.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

set the waybac machine, sherman

Tonight was my nephew Cole's "promotion" from eighth grade [apparently it isn't called a graduation any more]. It was strange, being in the new middle school that didn't exist when I lived here, hearing many of the same last names being called and realizing these were the kids of people I'd gone to school with.

Before the ceremony, I saw Lynette Whyde...she was my closest and best friend way back when. She lived down the block, and we ran around together, took swimming lessons together, did the things that 9- and 10-year old girls do. I recognized her right away...she was always a beautiful girl, and now she is a beautiful woman. With luck, we'll be able to get together while I'm here, to catch up, share stories, see where life has brought us.

I also got to talk with Brad Dye for the first time in about 21 [gulp] years. We were on the quiz team together, and I had always admired him...he was a smart ass who was also smart. He said what he felt, acted up, but was also a good friend and was always there for you. I envied his self-confidence and took me many years before I embraced the cynical, sarcastic side of myself.

Another highlight was getting to see Mr. Goins, who is now the assistant principal of the middle school. He was my honors English teacher in high school, and I really respected him. He was one of the few teachers who treated us as adults; this didn't go over so well with some, since it meant adult expectations, but I learned a lot with him. I had last talked with him about six years ago; I'd coincidentally run into him during a visit home, and got a chance to tell him how much his teaching meant to me.

Tonight, they announced that this was his last year teaching...he was retiring after 35 years. After the promotion ceremony, I stopped by to see him...I waited my turn, then said simply, "Thank you, from a member of the class of '87." He actually remembered me, which was incredibly flattering, especially given a 35 year career...he asked me if I was still in California, and even told me that he still had one of my poems around. We chatted for a bit, he hugged me, I thanked him for everything...his influence is still there with me, 20 years later.

Then Mom, Dad, and I went to dinner at Adornetto's pizzeria...every time I come home, that is a must for me [you've got to love their ever-so-appropriate slogan: "the pizza people come home for"]. It is still there in the same place it has been for more then 30 years, and was a big part of my high school times. It's changed a bit inside, but the pizza is [thankfully] still the same. Sadly, they've gotten rid of the "Fanky Malloon" was an automated machine that blew up and dispensed helium balloons. You pushed the button of the color you wanted, a carousel rotated around, a balloon came down onto the nozzle and inflated, then it went "PONK!" and popped off, sealed and ready to go. Of course, it didn't make it very far, since helium was meant to be inhaled...

Ate far too much [yum], then Dad drove us down to Dillon Dam for some sightseeing and to check out their fishing spots. The drive back was nice...quiet, warm, food-coma setting in, good company, the obligatory stop for Mom's English Toffee coffee. Now we are home and unwinding for the evening, with nowhere to go, nothing specific to do, just relaxing and spending time together.

This is the way it should be.

Monday, May 22, 2006

sad and sweet

Spent the evening with my aunt Essie [Mom's oldest sister]. Essie is in the Alzheimer's wing of a nearby nursing home, Autumn Health Care, and we kept her company during dinner, then spent a few hours together. It was hard, though good...Essie was the oldest of eleven kids, always the one in charge, running things, strong opinions, big heart. The heart is still big, and it's hard to see the effect the Alzheimers is having. She'll hunt for words, forget how to use a fork or put on glasses, how to dress. But she's still in there, and you can see it frustrates her. She remembered me, though she hasn't seen me for a year; she even asked how Pepper was doing. She knew Mom [and got choked up while telling me how much Mom means to her], she knew I was Mom's daughter.

The facility she is in is incredible. Quiet, well-run, and the thing that I noticed the most was the smell...or rather, the lack of it. It was clean, fresh; it felt more like a hotel than a nursing home. The rooms were well laid out; even though they were shared rooms [two to a room], there were closets in the middle to make it feel like each resident had their own space.

Feeling pensive and a bit off-kilter right can't help but picture yourself in that same situation and wonder how you would handle it, what you would do. Or you picture other people close to you there, and wonder how often you could visit, how you would keep your life going while also letting them know that there weren't just dumped and forgotten, how you would pay for it. It's sobering, it's saddening...but it was also uplifting to see the amount of indepence this facility gave the residents. They were watched, taken care of, monitored, but they were free to walk around, feed themselves, chat with friends...all things they wouldn't necessarily have at other nursing homes [and that she *didn't* have at the one she was at prior to this one].

I'm glad places like this exist. And I hope one is available to me if I ever need one...

Love you, Essie.

ah, youth today...

My nephew: "Do you watch [some cable television show]?"
Me: "No...I don't have cable."
Him: " have DirecTV?"
Me: "Nope. Just whatever comes over the air."
Him: ...stunned silence...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

happy birthday, mom!!

I timed my trip to Ohio so I could be here for both my mother's and father's birthdays. Today is Mom's day...and Dad went all out. She woke up to small pieces of paper scattered on the floor, down the stairs, and into the kitchen, all with birthday-related pictures and sayings [one of my favorites: one that said "I'm this many", with a hand sticking up its middle finger].

When she got to the table, there was a vulture piñata hovering over her chair, some black roses inserted into a flower bouquet she already had, two small cakes, decorations, and gifts. Dad had gone online and found a lot of birthday articles, some humorous [the "remember when you didn't have to lock your doors" kind of lists], some really interesting [Newsweek's article on baby boomers turning mother was born in the first year of the baby boom], all very sweet. My dad is really good at these things...

So now we are relaxing, taking it easy. My sister is going to be coming over with pizza in about an hour; the boys will be here too, so we can all share the day with Mom. This is a special one [well, they are all special, but this one is especially special]...this time last year, we didn't think there would *be* another birthday to celebrate. Today, it's all about her...happy birthday, Mom.

the travel gods were good to me

The day before I left, there was rain that caused a two hour delay; today, the day after I arrive, it is raining here in Ohio. So for the one day that I was travelling, the weather behaved itself and I got here smoothly.

Need to remember to sacrifice a barometer under a full moon in thanks...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

getting ready

Going through the morning routine and doing final packing for the trip to Ohio. Need more sleep, but that seems to be par for the course lately. Looking forward to seeing Mom and Dad...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the doctors were in

Just got back from the Saw Doctors concert at Bimbos in San Francisco. It was, as always, a great concert. The band was having fun, the crowd was into it, and a good time was had by all. I'm frickin' exhausted...there is always a lot of bouncing, singing, and dancing at their shows, and I definitely enjoyed myself. Even managed to snag a set list, which is always nice [and props to Jim, who apparently stood over my shoulders and got the band's attention for me].

To the right is a Bimbos napkin...gotta love the naked woman on the goldfish [read more about it here].

Now to publish this, drink some water, then read for a while until the adrenaline settles down...wheee!!!

the sound of breaking glass

Folding laundry a little while ago and heard a CRACK! CRASH! KERTINKLE! [insert Batman-style visual effects here]. There were guys mowing the lawn next door, and it kicked something up into my dining room window, breaking out a pane. They were really cool about it; turns out the guy is my next-door neighbor and does landscaping and lawn work. He offered to replace the window himself; got his card and left a message for my landlord. Swept everything up, pulled out the jagged bits that I could, put cardboard and plastic over the hole [need to run to the store to get duct tape to seal the outside a bit better]. Luckily I was home at the time, so we knew what had happened...would have been more frustrating had I come back hours later, with no clue as to what broke the glass.

Man, there is nothing like the unexpected sound of breaking glass to get your heart rate going...

way too much time spent

Just spent way too much time at these sites:

with the help of:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

what an interesting idea

Can't remember how I found this site [that random clickstream of web-consciousness that happens when you are surfing with no goal], but I thought this was both odd and interesting:

one sheep, two sheep...

Went to bed at normal time [11pm-ish], read for a while, then fell sound asleep. Had a weird sci-fi dream about a team of us having to be away working on-site for a while; when we came back, we found that ants had gotten into the facilities. Following the trail of ants, we found a stream of increasingly larger insects, all moving towards one specific place. All the bugs were carrying fruit, finally handing it up to other "helper" bugs at a central point; the helpers then handed the fruit behind a corner to something. We realized that they were making offerings to some much bigger, much more powerful, mafia-like godfather bug....I woke up just as we were debating just what kind of creature was hiding in the darkness that would engender this amount of devotion from other insects, and how the heck we were going to deal with it and get it out of our living quarters. It was one of those "story" dreams, the ones where you are simply being entertained, not really involved; no personal emotions being invoked, no scariness or drama, just a mental movie happening behind your eyes.

And now, for some reason, I am awake at 3:30a and can't get back to sleep. Hurrah for the internet [or, in l33t speak: teh intraweb]...

Monday, May 15, 2006

yay, books!

Went to Book Buyers this afternoon to stock up on books for the trip [assuming I don't read half of them before's been known to happen]. Had a very odd conversation with a very normal-looking guy...survived unscathed. Got some good used books, including the Madeleine L'Engle "Wrinkle in Time" series [haven't read those in way too many years to count]. Picked up a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I've read "The Fountainhead", and it made an impression; Rod is currently reading "Atlas", and it sounds like one I'm going to have to read...hence my own copy. Some random collections of fantasy and short stories...good plane reading.

Now to hold myself back and not read them all before I fly this weekend...

I'm a dork

Sitting in a bookstore, sipping non-fat chai, reading, and catching up on email on my phone [so any typos are due to the phone keyboard...thats my story and Im sticking to it]. Yup...bookstore, email on phone. Dork.

Picked Rod up at SFO this morning, then we went to brunch in the city [Squat & Gobble...chicken pesto crepe, yum]. Good time, relaxing, interesting out and about, running some errands, enjoying the weather [though temps in the 80s area bit *too* warm for this autumn-weather-loving gal].

Off I go to the next stop...woot!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

recipe for a nap


1 lazy Sunday afternoon
1 sunny, moderately warm day
1 light breeze
1 set vertical blinds
1 comfy couch
1 sleepy kitty
1-2 good books

Adjust vertical blinds until light is softly filtered. Mix afternoon, warm day, and light breeze with blinds until soporific. Separately, mix books, sleepy kitty, and couch together; when sufficiently combined, add previous mixture until nap is achieved.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


A great day...went into SF to hang out at KFOG KaBoom with Jim [and a few thousand other close friends]. A great atmosphere out on the piers, and one of the best fireworks shows I've seen. Nice way to spend the day...

An update: KFOG says there were about 45,000 people on the piers, with another 350,000 gathered along the waterfront; they've posted a video of the fireworks at the link above.

Friday, May 12, 2006

a waste of a day

Well, not a waste, in that it was apparently necessary, but *man* I hate being sick on my own time! The bronchitis took me out today...could barely get out of bed, so gave in and didn't fight it. Slept much, coughed much, still tired and aching from the inside out.

But hey, you get a great ab workout from the coughing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

the best pun ever

When I was in high school, there was a girl a year ahead of me named Amber Graves. And for a while, she dated a guy named Wayne. To this day, I can't hear "America, the Beautiful" without thinking of them:

"O beautiful, for spacious skies
For Amber Graves and Wayne.
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain."

[Seriously...I swear I'm not making this up. Those were their names...and only a pun-loving goob like me would get such a kick out of it. Guilty as charged...]

'round and 'round we go...

So I get up crazy early, and make it to San Francisco by 6:30a to pick up Rod. To the airport, drop him off, head back home...but a few minutes into the drive, my phone rings. His flight was flight is at 12:45p. So turn around, head back to airport, pick him up, turn back around, head to my place. Hang out, talk, walk down and get some coffee, chill, then climb back into the car and head to the airport for the third time today.

No word from him yet...taking that as good news. :^)

one advantage

A nice thing about not working is that I can take friends to the airport during the week. Mind you, making it up to the city [sorry..."The City (tm)"] by 7a isn't my most favorite thing to do, but it's cool to be able to be "the airport friend" while I can. Plus it gets me extra time with them before they head off to other added bonus. Last week, Lisa; today, Rod...and then next week, Jim is being sweet and will be *my* airport friend as I head off to Ohio for a while.

Off I go, to beat the traffic...hi ho, Cooper, awaaaayyyyyy!!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

kathleen turner...whoo hoo

So it's a chest cold again. Well, actually, it's likely "still"...the same one that caught me a few weeks ago probably stuck around, and is resurfacing. Low-level bronchitis, or some such thing. Nothing to do but wait for it to run its course, but I've got some fun medication [medically-induced wooziness...yay!]. For the first time in a long time, I'm leaning more towards the "Kathleen Turner" voice than "Minnie Mouse". Of course, it's likely to slide right in to "Bea Arthur" before long, but that's still better than squeaking like a Disney character on helium.

The plus side: not working right now, so I can take it as easy as I need to. The down side: it's my own time, darn it...and I really would rather be out there walking, bike riding, finding bookstores, anything but feeling poopy.

Pepper is enjoying the company, though...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

the smell of summer

A very nice day yesterday...Jim came over and we grilled in my backyard. He kind of overshot on the volume of food [I tease him that he must have been an army cook in a previous life, with the massive amounts of food he ends up cooking], but it was good: grilled onions, zucchini, peppers, sweet potatoes, chicken sausage, chicken breast [in a really good asian marinade he made]. After the cook-out, we went down to Castro Street in Mountain View for gelato, but found a street fair going on, which was a nice surprise. Wandered it for a while, got some good flavored almonds [butter toffee for me, cinnamon/cajun for him], and wrapped up the afternoon with a banana split. A very nice day, indeed.

Today, not as nice...beautiful weather, but I'm getting a cold. Actually, I expected this: it's the old "been running too much, too busy to get sick, then the minute you slow down, it catches up with you" thing. A little chest congestion, alternately stuffed/runny nose, that tired feeling. But there is a positive side to this: maybe this marks the first of my "two days in pjs" goal that I set for myself during my last week of work [oddly, I haven't been able to fulfill it yet...who know it would be so tough to give in to utter sloth for two straight days??].

Off to medicate a bit, feed the cat, grab some breakfast, get some laundry started, then pick a movie to enjoy...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

pics from my last day

Just uploaded and captioned the pics from my last day at Acti...for those that are curious, they are at