Wednesday, December 31, 2008


My resolutions for 2009:

1) Learn to drink bourbon
2) Get a fish for a pet
3) Play, laugh and dance
4) Take pictures
5) Read, write and create
6) Celebrate the small things
7) Trust
8) Plant a garden
9) Say "thank you" a lot
10) Stop waiting

Friday, December 12, 2008

My new girlfriend is named Olga

I'm sorry Victoria (Secret), but you'll never caress my breasts again. Despite wooing me with your models (Tyra and Heidi) and the names of your products (Body and Ipex), I've found someone new. Her name is Olga.

I love her because she is so ... available. She's just where I want her, in all the major department stores, and is frequently, umm, marked down. You know what that means. That I'll be able to enjoy more of her.

Victoria, you broke my heart more than once. Your styles and colors were lacking in my size. Oh, I know I'm not 34B and I don't need pushing up but is that any reason NOT to offer me the excitement I crave?

Don't hate me. We'll still be friends. It's just that I love Olga now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

100 Things

Picked this up from some other blog. The items in BOLD are ones I've done. What about you?

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo (you don't want me to sing)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (does a calf count?)
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (depends on whether this means baseball or not)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (spoken word version of "House of the Rising Sun")
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It still screams

I woke up this morning to learn that Tom Gish, former editor and publisher of my hometown newspaper, The Mountain Eagle, had died at age 82.

Tom and Pat Gish were among the adults whom I admired growing up in Whitesburg. They were journalists and business owners and the parents of high school classmates of mine. Pat, in particular, was a role model for girls at the time. She and Tom were partners in the true sense of that word.

They allowed us on the high school newspaper staff to use their offices and darkroom and their typesetting and layout equipment -- as long as we were out of the way when it was deadline time for them. Later, when Appalshop moved in next door to their office and I was there almost everyday taking myself too seriously while learning to make documentary films, I would learn by observation how authentic and serious professionals worked day-in and day-out putting out a weekly community paper that would later become famous, almost legendary.

I was living in Whitesburg and working at Appalshop in 1974 when the paper was firebombed. I showed up at the Gishes' home with dozens of others to help get the paper out that week. There WAS a paper that week -- and the masthead had been changed to "It STILL Screams."

Rest in peace, Tom Gish. You're a legend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too butch?

I ran across the Gender Analyzer Web site today and it told me
We think is written by a man (77%)

Well, what do you think of that?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I'm not writing here

I should write more.

So why haven't I been writing here? I realize that I've been writing other places, like Twitter and Facebook and I have a lively email correspondence going with several different people. So, I HAVE been writing, just not here.

I feel guity, like I'm neglecting someone/something.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No I will not follow you

Today I received this note in my email box:

Angie Milhous (AngieMilhous) is now following your updates on Twitter.
Check out Angie Milhous's profile here:
You may follow Angie Milhous as well by clicking on the "follow" button.

But Angie, sorry to let you down like this babe, but I will not be following you. I won't follow you because you're not a real Twitterer and you cannot spell.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Birthday season has begun

The first birthday card arrived in the mail which means that my birthday season has officially begun.

I like cards. Gifts, not so much. Especially this year, when I am worried about having to pack and move (soon, I hope).

There is one gift I would appreciate. Your vote. Just get out there and do your duty. I'm not even going to tell you who to vote for. Just do it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I don't know what to say

So I've been thinking about what I call this ... my situation. Most couples would say they are getting a divorce and then their friends and acquaintances would express sympathy or support or secretly speculate about whether an affair was involved.

Relatives would ask "how are the kids taking it" and then start asking the most personal of all question "how will you make out, you know, financially?"

My case is more complicated. "Breakup" is just not an adquate word. That's what I'd say if we'd been dating -- rather than sharing our entire lives for over 14 years. But since we're not married, divorce is not the proper term either.

Not that there isn't tons of paperwork and attorneys and notaries involved. We've had to change our wills and our medical powers of attorney. We've had to update our insurance beneficiaries. And then there's putting the house up for sale and (eventually) change of address forms.

And small things too. She had an extra key to my car. And I had CDs and books that she cherishes stashed among my things. And looming ahead is the big box of photographs from when people actually printed photos (instead of publishing them online) to go through.

So what do I call this? How do I answer questions? Change is hard, and sometimes there are no words for it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Baby I'm back

Been away from the blogger world for a bit but I trust y'all have followed on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. Here's a list to catch you up.

1. Fish
2. Altitude
3. Contractor
4. Insanity

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Suddenly single

I'm not going to say much here except that the relationship is over, the house is going on the market and I'm incredibly sad about the whole thing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food we don't miss

Last week I found this list of "Discontinued Food ... that I really miss" published by somebody named Roger.

I am mystified. What ARE these things? Franco-American® Superiore™ Hearty Twists? Betty Crocker® 2-step preparation Noodles Romanoff?

To be fair, I have heard of a few items on the list, like Five Flavor Life Savers® with lemon and lime and Tan M&M's®.

In 2005 the boy-child really, really liked Kraft® Easy Mac™ Nacho Cheese flavor -- for a total of 97 seconds. But COME ON people, does the world really need State Fair® low fat corn dogs?

I didn't think so.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Batman needs more women

I went to see THE DARK KNIGHT over the weekend and while I enjoyed the movie I left feeling that something was missing.

Thanks to Bitch Ph.D. I now know why. This movie, like so many others, failed the Bechdel Rule. You'll want to read the entire post, but briefly the Bechdel Rule states that movies should have:

1) at least two women
2) who talk to each other
3) about something other than a man.

Oddly enough, MAMMA MIA! might just pass but I haven't seen it so I can't say for sure.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Team Obama

Okay so I went to an Obama fundraiser last night (and yes, I made a contribution) but I couldn't be officially considered an Obama supporter until my Hillary bumpersticker was covered (thanks Belinda!).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stuff I don't have in my kitchen

Over at Accidental Hedonist there's a post about "stuff in my kitchen" which made me want to provide a list of "Stuff I don't have in my kitchen."

1. A toaster oven
2. A Kitchen Aid stand mixer
3. Le Creuset anything
4. Pyrex anything
5. A crock pot
6. A bread machine/rice cooker/fondue pot (or similar)

I do, however have these things:

1. Many things made by Cuisinart
2. Cupcake tins (4)
3. Cast iron skillets (2)
4. Knives that cost over $100 each (3)

What about you?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dinosaur Eggs can kill you

How many of YOU can say that you've been hit by a runaway motorized grocery cart?

I thought so.

Babycakes was minding her own business and I was making faces in the breakfast food aisle (the boy-child had requested something called "Dinosaur Eggs Oatmeal" which I did not want to been seen buying) when it happened. She was struck in the back by a cart driven by a 100-year-old woman. When she jumped out of harm's way, the motorized cart then rammed directly into our (regular) cart which then hit me full force, threatening to propel us and our Dinosaur Eggs all the way down the aisle.

I grabbed our cart to keep it from hitting me again when I realized that the driver still had her foot (hand? how do those things work?) on the throttle and that it was up to me to keep the rest of the shoppers from sudden death and dismemberment in front of the oatmeal and Cheerios.

So what did I do? I squealed of course. Loudly.

"Make it stop!" I think I said. Babycakes didn't squeal (she doesn't squeal) but calmly and cooly reached over and did something that made the cart stop moving. The 100-year-old driver looked around, re-adjusted her oxygen delivery system and corrective lenses, hit the gas (electricity?) and drove away.

And, in case you're wondering, the Dinosaur Eggs squealed too. Just listen.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Home again

I'm still tired, even after I slept well for two nights running and took a long nap yesterday.

Today I'll be doing some work from home plus taking care of piles of laundry and mail. I tried to schedule a massage -- no luck.

I am appreciating home cooked meals, my own bed and my family.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This list of the 100 most mispronounced words and phrases reminds me of my Southern roots [pronounced RUTZ].

My favorite: Heineken remover.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Brazen is a very, very good thing

Can I just tell you (again) how much I am in love with Penelope Trunk and Brazen Careerist? I love her writing style. I love what she writes about. I love that she is honest with her readers about her life. I even love that her name isn't really Penelope, because, come on -- if we could choose another name for ourselves wouldn't we pick something like Penelope?

I follow her blog. I follow her on Twitter. I am "linked in" with her. Now I want to meet her and have a glass of wine and a conversation.

Call me girl. We have a lot to talk about.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Consuming ...

- LOST season finale
- Top Chef (the recent episode made me want a steak)
- Krispy Kreme donuts
- Limes, tonic and Bombay (Honey, I think we're out of ice)
- Brazen Careerist (I think I'm in love with Penelope Trunk, or whatever her real name is)
- Strawberries from the farmer's market
- Bill Bryson, who writes the best books to read on airplanes

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Snap out of it!"

I'm feeling better now, thanks.

Severity scale: 4
Length of this episode: 2+ months
Most noticable symptom: Irritability
Treatment: Isolation, self-talk, support of loved ones

No, I don't really talk about it. Depression has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Like most people, I didn't recognize what it was. For me, it's a brain fog and a physical fatigue. It comes, it goes, I deal.

Yeah, I'm one of those.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Grounded, with meatballs

Lovely dinner tonight (spinach spaghetti, meatballs and sauce, garlic bread, salad) with the boy-child and babycakes.

The boy-child was a major kitchen slave tonight. He cooked almost everything. I just supervised.

Maybe we should take his car away and ground him more often. Then he has no choice but to spend quality time with us.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


It's been a week, both professionally and personally. But I don't blog about work, so this will be a post about personal stuff. As usual.

- I have been sleeping. But the dreams are vivid and catastophic. Planes crashing into bridges. Strange people asking favors. These are dreams that mean something, I'm sure. I just don't know what.

- I have not been sleeping. My quiet time is filled with doubts and apprehensions. For most of my life I've paid close attention to the messages that aren't clearly stated. These are among those. I have fear.

- Images are everywhere. They are visions. They are colors. They are things I have not yet encountered. I pay attention. I write them down. I tell others, when they will listen. I tell those who can understand. The rest ... well, I'm not sure about the rest.

- Emotions are very close to the surface right now. I search for the stories to tell. Those stories have always been helpful to me. But, today, not so much. I'm not sure where the words are.

- I need to remember to say thank you to the people who are around me. I frequently forget to do that. I'm trying. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My ears are too close to my brain

You know how people say drivers shouldn't talk on cell phones because they become too distracted? This is so true for me.

But why is that? I can talk to passengers in my car without getting too distracted. I can listen to the radio and I don't get too distracted.

So why is it that I can't talk and/or listen on a cell phone without completely forgetting that I'm driving a vehicle?

While driving home today I realized this (before I wreaked any havoc) and quickly put the phone away.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm voting for Hillary

In my neighborhood the Obama signs are sprouting faster than the dandelions. And I keep getting invited to more and more Obama campaign events.

But I'm for Hillary Clinton.

It's not that I don't like Barack Obama. He's an appealing choice. He'd be easy to support. And if he becomes the nominee I will work hard to see that he gets elected.

But I'm for Hillary.

Barack Obama is like the new kid who moved into town during his sophomore year. He's likable and smart and is elected class president even though he's only been at that school for two months. By his senior year he is Student Council President and King of the Prom. Did he work hard for those things or did he just get picked because he's a boy and we were fascinated by his biracial background?

Hillary Clinton is like my best friend's older sister. The one who explained the facts of life to us and who invited us to her Women's Consciousness Raising Group, even though we were only 12. She joined the Chess Club even though she was the only girl in it. She ran for class president too, but she only got enough votes to be secretary. But she kept working at it.

Hillary reminds me of that girl who finally made it to vice-president of the Student Council and the president was a boy who played football. There were no sports for girls back then -- unless you counted cheerleading or being a majorette for the marching band. But Hillary has thick ankles and doesn't care about those things anyway.

I'm for Hillary.

I think it's true that women have to work twice as hard as men to get to the same level of respect. We live in a sexist world. And I'm sure Barack was a very nice boy in high school. I'll bet he didn't have to work as hard as she did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What's up with my brain?

I left the house without my keys this morning.

But I never lock myself out. I never lose my keys. I don't leave my umbrella behind in a restaurant. My sunglasses break but they never get lost.

I was lucky that Babycakes stopped at Walgreens before she headed to work today. And that her cell phone was turned on when I called her. I stood on the porch for 5 minutes before I was rescued. Could have been much worse.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


About this video:
The Academy-Award® nominated animated short-film tells the story of a lonely inventor, whose colorless existence is brightened only by dreams of the carefree bliss of his youth.

By day, he is trapped in a dehumanizing job in a joyless world. But by night, he tinkers away on a visionary invention, desperate to translate his inspiration into something meaningful.

When his invention is complete, it will change the way people see the world. But he will find that success comes at a high price, as it changes himself, as well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I deserve it

Things I think I deserve:

- More than one sunny day in a row.
- Someone to agree with me at least once every day.
- Free tickets to something. Anything. Please.
- A meeting-free day at work.
- Absolution.
- A good night's sleep.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March musings

- What the heck does "seed" mean to the NCAA? Why has this never been explained to me?

- According to my calendar, it is spring. Dammit. Act like it.

- Where did all of the new Indian restaurants come from all of a sudden?

- Why are democrats still campaigning? It's been over a year people. Figure it out. Nominate someone. Stop embarrassing us.

- I'd like some new entertainment that doesn't involve food, drink or listening to someone talk, sing or act. Kite flying comes to mind.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Peanut butter is not dessert

If you want to read about what I ate last week while I was in Las Vegas attending a conference check out what my colleague Dana wrote on her food blog.

I have a lot of food rules but Dana and Jonathan were excellent sports and wonderful dining companions.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Al Watan in the house!

Wonderful meal last night with Alex and Bay. Takeout from Al Watan.

- Hummus (both kinds)
- Babaganous (both kinds)
- Falafel
- Yogurt salad
- Arabic salad
- Grape leaves

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Consuming ...

Chicken Soup
What was going around finally took me down. My cure: Soup and television.

The Wire
HBO's landmark series about Baltimore is one of the best things I've seen in a while. I only started watching during season 4 and now I can't miss a second of season 5. I'm sad it's ending in two more episodes. Favorite character: Bubbles.

Letters from Iwo Jima
Wow. Ken Watanabe. Wow. He really is the last samurai. Wow.

Make Me A Supermodel
Okay, okay. I tried to resist Bravo's latest reality series but once I saw 15 minutes I had to DVR everything. And watch it more than once. I like the boys best. But I don't like the viewer voting part. Someone else judge please! I just like to watch.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Abject failure

I tried hard to have a computer-free weekend.

But I woke up late this Sunday morning with itchy fingers and intense guilt over my lack of blogisity lately.

I've been READING blogs but I just haven't written anything. I think I will blame it on the writer's strike (solidarity forever) or laziness or the lack of vermouth in the house. I might also blame it on snow days, birthdays, long work days or a boring life.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ready for weekend

It's been a week. A really busy four day week.

Jury duty continued (I never got picked for a jury, dammit) plus I went to work every day. Before jury duty. After jury duty. During the waiting around time at jury duty. At lunch while on jury duty. There was work to be done. So I worked.

I think I hear a martini shaking ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Films from 2007

These are the films released in 2007 that I saw last year.

Charlie Wilson’s War
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The Golden Compass
Hairspray: The Movie
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I Am Legend
Into the Wild
Michael Clayton
A Mighty Heart
The Namesake
No Country for Old Men
Oceans 13
Peaceful Warrior
Pirates of the Caribbean 3:
Sweeney Todd
What Would Jesus Buy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jury Duty: Day 3

I was part of another voir dire panel today. This time 60 of us were questioned for more than two hours.

For a murder trial.

Again, the questions were personal -- "Has anyone in your family ever been a victim of a violent crime?" "Do you own guns? What do you use them for?" "Have you ever gotten into an argument with a stranger?" "Did you drive downtown for jury duty today? Do you ever feel nervous driving downtown?" and "Do you have any bumper stickers on your car?" (WTF?)

They didn't ask if we ever watched "Law and Order."

The process was fascinating. My fellow jurors were in a talkative mood and spilled their guts (and prejudices) to the court. Sometimes I was shocked at what they said. Several men bragged about the fistfights they'd been in. The gun owners were downright cocky. One man said "You don't have no right to ask about guns" but the judge politely explained that they certainly did have that right.

If we wanted to give our answers privately we were asked to "approach the bench" but we quickly learned that doing that would prolong the process so most people didn't.

I noticed that the prosecutor tried to be charming and funny while the defense team was deadly serious and professional. I'm sure that was a calculated tactic by both sides.

No, I wasn't picked. But, for the record, I'm not afraid of driving downtown and I have three stickers on my car: Yarmuth for Congress, a Human Rights Campaign "equal" sign and a rainbow squiggle.

Voir Dire

Finally they called my juror number and I was allowed to leave the "big room" where all 400+ jury poolers must hang out until we're told to do something.

Yesterday afternoon about 40 of us were sent upstairs to a courtroom for "voir dire," which is pretty much a set of questions they ask to determine whether I'd be one of 13 lucky folks who would be chosen to sit on a real live jury. This was a criminal case. Robbery.

The attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense were there (two on each side). A police detective was there. The judge and the judge's staff were there. And the accused person was there.

The judge read the indictment and gave us some basic instructions then the attorneys took turns questioning us as a group. "Do you know anyone involved in this case?" "Have you ever been robbed yourself?" "If members of the police force testify in this case, would you be more or less likely to believe what they say over the testimony of other witnesses?"

Wow. Did that question get some interesting responses. Everything from "I hate cops" to "Police officers would know more than anyone else what really happened."

The attorneys watched us like hawks. They made notes about our answers and our facial expressions along with our genders, ages and ethnicity.

After about 90 minutes were were given a 45 minute break while they selected the jury for the case.

No, I was not picked.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm in the jury pool

I reported for jury duty yesterday. If and when I am selected for a trial, I'm not supposed to tell anybody anything. But I haven't been, so I'll tell you what NOT being selected is like.

We showed up at 10:30 as instructed and had to scan the barcode (!) on our summons to check in. We were a well behaved crowd. We sat where we were told to sit. We watched a video. Someone in a Sheriff's uniform was pretending to be a comedian. Either that, or he was conducting an orientation. I'm not sure which.

Sometimes we just sat there doing nothing. Since I had been warned of this, I took a good book and my iPod.

Then the real business of jury duty started. The woman in charge said, "If I call your juror number, please leave this room, have some lunch and be back here at 1:30." Then she called out about 4 million numbers, none of them mine. When she was done she said, "The rest of you are excused for today. Call the number on your pamphlet after 5 p.m. to find out your check in time for tomorrow."

I went back to work.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Not exactly what I expected

I had IntraLASIK surgery last Thursday. The procedure was painless and my doctor and his facility were top-notch. Today, two days after the surgery I have the best distance vision I've ever had in my life. The trees really do have individual leaves!

But (and this is a big but), I opted NOT to have the "monovision" version of the procedure where one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other for presbyopia or close up vision.

Now I wish I'd gone for monovision. Reading glasses will be required for most activities within my arm's length. And while my vision (both near and far) will improve somewhat during the next several months I can now "see" the value in going for the monovision ... maybe. Presbyopia occurs for most people as they age and even if I had corrected it now I would have needed reading glasses at some point anyway.