Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Home sweet home

Pictures from the trip soon to follow. Right now, I'm thinking bed. I have been awake for 24 hours.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."

-- George Bernard Shaw

Friday, October 13, 2006

Isn't it ironic?

Sara Evans, a singer I never heard of until she appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars",* has filed for divorce and the divorce papers are filled with ugly Jeri Ryanesque accusations. While it's never good news to hear someone's getting divorced (hey, we liberals don't like it much either!), I find this particular one especially ironic given Tom DeLay's endorsement of Ms. Evans for "[representing] good American values".

*No, I don't actually watch the show. I find it dull after the first two minutes, the hosts annoying, and I'd rather be dancing than watching other people dance. Even stars.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Today, I was at Walgreens near my apartment, when I walked by a homeless guy. He was the saddest homeless guy I'd seen in a while, and there are a lot of homeless people here in Sweat Sock City, especially in downtown where I walk by them -- without looking or acknowledging -- on a regular basis. But to see one here at Walgreens was a surprise, because I live in an extremely affluent area that's closely patroled. I picked up a few items and made my way to the battery section which is right near the cash register. The homeless guy was standing there, fiddling at the refrigerator that held all the Red Bulls. A well-dressed guy, maybe around my age, asked the homeless guy, "Are you in line, sir?" The 'sir' struck me instantly, but then the batteries caught my eye again -- alkaline or lithium? -- and I forgot about both the well-dressed guy and the homeless guy until I turned around and saw the homeless guy standing there, drinking his Red Bull.

"Are you in line?" I asked, and I didn't add the 'sir', but then it's rare I call anyone 'sir', except for maybe upper management. The homeless guy shook his head. He was dressed in worn, faded clothing that probably hadn't been washed in months, if not years. He was old, maybe in his late 60s or early 70s. His glasses were battered, and one lense was covered with duct tape. He wore some kind of cape over all of his clothes. He was mumbling, was clearly not all together. I think his hair was grey-white, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm ashamed to say I didn't look at him too closely.

The well-dressed guy was in front of me at the register and he was asking the cashier for some cigarettes. I remember thinking, "How disgusting. Such a cute guy, obviously professional, and ugh, cigarettes." And then he was fiddling with the Snickers bars display -- 2 for $1 -- on the counter. The cashier asked if he wanted them, and he said yes. When she moved to put them in his bag, he shook his head and pointed his finger at the homeless guy. He swiped his credit card, took his cigarettes and left.

When I got to the cash register, I stared at the two Snickers bars. The cashier was ringing up my stuff -- boring stuff like toilet paper, contact lense solution, batteries, shampoo -- but each item cost more than the Red Bull the homeless guy was drinking. I remembered then an incident a few months back when a co-worker and I were out to lunch. We'd gone to Papa John's and bought personal sized pizzas -- about $5 each. A homeless guy had somehow made his way down into the tunnels and he asked us if we could buy him lunch. We ignored him and went and sat down. I felt awful later on, because really, what was $2.50 each to us? And he wasn't asking us for anything more than a pizza and if we bought him lunch, we would know he wasn't spending the money on drugs or alcohol. And yet, we said no. To his face.

I looked back at the homeless guy and he was clutching a wad of bills in his fist. He was clearly going to pay for the Red Bull. I looked back at the Snickers bars and then told the cashier I would pay for the homeless guy's Red Bull. Maybe he could use the $2 for something more substantial to eat, I thought, but really, I was thinking about the guy who had asked me to buy him lunch and I had said no. Guilt can be an awfully powerful motivator.

Kate Walsh, the actress, once said in an interview that there's a difference between being kind and being nice, and the difference is compassion. Anyone can be nice, Kate Walsh said, but not everyone can be kind. The guy standing in front of me in line was a true example of being kind. His actions were quiet, deliberate, and he wasn't doing anything more than recognizing that someone else had a need that he could fulfil. And more than that, he showed respect, and that's something money just can't buy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I'm always blathering on about bloggers and the media, and now I've found this older clip of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert talk about this very important topic. Click to watch.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Are you watching "Battlestar Galactica"? I mean the *new* one, not the one from the early '80s (which Lori has been going through over in her blog). If not, you're missing the best show on television. So seriously, get thee to a television set tuned to Scifi at 9 pm EST/8 pm CST on Friday evenings.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cents sense

Yesterday at the mall someone tried to sell me a nail spa package from Dead Sea Secrets for $35. I think most of you must have had a run in with these people -- they're the ones who want to file your nails and rave about how much your nails shine after they're through with them? Anyway, I politely declined, because I know me -- a $35 product is pretty much going to go to waste because I have about a 3-day attention span when it comes to things like this.

Well, today I was at Target to pick up some things for my trip, and what do I find in the travel-size section? A nail buffer for $0.99, complete with a side to file your nail edge, a second side to remove ridges, a third side to smooth your nails, and the fourth side to shine said nails. I decided to pick it up just for fun and see how it compared to the $35 thing (which, to be fair, included the buffer, some lotion and cuticle oil). Well, I'm here to report -- I can't tell the difference between the $35 nail and the $0.99 nail. So ladies, if you're looking for a nail buffer, try the travel-size aisle at your local Target and skip the Dead Sea Secrets version.

The other thing I figured out today was that women's socks are way more expensive than men's socks. At Target, you can get one pair of women's knee highs for either $2.99 or $3.99, depending on the brand. I'm just looking for basic black socks, but not trouser socks because I want something warmer and less slippery than those for the trip. So I went over to the men's section and found a package of 3 pairs of men's dress socks in basic black for $5.99 -- a savings of $3 to $6 depending on how you look at it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Woman who blames "Extreme Makeover" for sister's suicide settles case. I always thought this show was reprehensible, even with its touchy-feely reveal at the end. I'm not sure that I'd blame a suicide on the show (or lack thereof), but I do think that it was an emotional rollercoaster and people were forced to say things they weren't ordinarily going to say all for the sake of good television. Long after the episode airs, the families are left with the things they said and no touchy feel clapping end scene is going to make up for all the awful things you said before. It's really a very sad story.

Also freaky: Remember the Taliban? They're back!

Friday, October 06, 2006


My AC doesn't seem to be working. It's 90 degrees in my apartment and the ceiling fan in the living room doesn't have any effect here in the office. Wah!
Download of the Day

Today's music recommendation is provided by ::drumroll:: my mother! She sent me this link (right click to save to your computer) to "How Could Anyone" by Shaina Noll from the album Songs for the Inner Child. Very pretty and calming, probably good for yoga practice.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Remember the Very Special LOTD from the other day? Well apparently, some parents in Utah kidnapped their daughter in order to prevent her from getting married. No word yet on what Special Issues (tm) prompted this devoted parental action. Apparently, the bride and groom did eventually get married three days later.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Florida Girl is obnoxious when she is making fun of my long emails. She has been laughing with barely a pause to breathe for nearly 15 20 minutes. Now I'm going forever be self-conscious about my emails. Geez louise. With friends like this...

I am completely and totally obnoxious when I'm right. I'm just sayin'.

My previous survey is definitely very skewed the more I think about it because I'm guessing most of you found this blog because of some connection to writing -- either my fanfiction or from the Story Exchange -- or because you know me in RL which means you have a contractual obligation to read every word (especially if you are my mother), regardless of pictures and music. So in general, my guess is we as a crowd are pre-disposed to long emails -- either receiving or writing -- and we enjoy them. And I guess if you needed pictures and music, you'd have stopped reading this blog long ago (g).

Anyway, I thought this was a really good example of bias in survey/research. Stuff like this happens all the time, which is why things like "New" Coke go wildly wrong or why you can't take online polls as representative because they aren't randomly sampled enough.

Still behind on all my email. Again, my apologies.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My answers

I'm on hold with the credit card company right now, so I thought I'd play fair and answer my own survey and also give you some motivation as to why I asked the questions I did. Thanks to everyone who answered (your answers made me smile), and a big welcome to Matt, a friend of Harry!

1. I usually don't return 'missed calls' if there isn't a message, unless it's one of two or three people, one of which includes my mother. I figure if it's important, the person will leave a message. If not, they will call again. The reason I asked was because I get 'missed calls' both on my cell and my work phone and I never know quite what the right thing to do is.

2. I totally believe thank you notes are absolutely necessary and should be mailed the next day at the latest. Obviously, there are occasions where it's impossible to get all the thank you notes out that quickly, but I do think gift receiving requires a note of thanks. I ask this because my best friend and I were debating this and she doesn't believe thank you notes are necessary, especially if you thank the person in, um, person. I just didn't know if I was in the minority,

3. I love writing and getting long emails. I love reading them and I love knowing that someone took time to write me such a long email. I especially love emails that paint a picture for me. I ask this because my best friend told me that my emails are too long and that when I write long emails, I'm putting pressure on the person who's receiving them to read and respond.

4. When it comes to email, I generally respond within the week, unless it's short in which case I respond pretty much immediately when I get it. I'm pretty good about responding to long emails within a day or two as well. It really depends on whether I logon or not that evening and what email account the email went to. I don't check all accounts every night so emails do tend to ferment if they went to one of the step-children accounts.

5. I like pictures, provided they are thumbnails, on blogs, but I don't require them. Maybe it's because I'm mostly on the Internet for the reading aspect -- stories, news, blogs -- and so I find that pictures and music distract me from my overall goal, which is either frothy entertainment or intelligence gathering. Plus, I find music slow and annoying because 9 times out of 10, I'm not going to like the song in question. Again I ask because aforementioned Best Friend (wow, she's coming up a lot) said she prefers blogs with pictures and music to one like mine which is 98 percent text.

6. I actually had a post written about the social networking site, MySpace.com, and one of these days, I'll get around to publishing. That site scares me more than anything else online and it pretty much takes a lot to scare me online. Maybe it's because it's been in the news so much, or maybe it's the fact you have all of these people in one space who can easily be found. I dunno. Plus, the web purist in me doesn't necessarily care for templates etc. I like designing my own sites thankyouoverymuch. And just for the record, none of the Seemas on MySpace listed as residing in Sweat Sock City are me.

7. This actually happened to me at dinner on Thursday. I was blatantly cut and at first, I thought it was a mistake, the woman was just talking to her friend, but no. I didn't say anything, but I wish I had.

8. Baseball! Because the season is over, I was curious to see who was following, who cared about who was playing, etc. I think most of you know who I was rooting for and now that we're no longer in the mix, I'll go with the Cardinals over the Mets.

9. I think it should be dutch on the first date. Because honestly, as my brother says, a first date is only to find out if you want a second date. And if you don't think there's going to be a second date, it seems kind of poor to make the guy pay up. Plus, I like the fact that I can pay my own way and it releases me out of any further obligation.

10. Why do people treat parking garages like the Indy Speedway? I mean, seriously. It's like a gauntlet of people, tight corners, two way traffic, and parked cars, and yet, there they are, roaring past at 20 miles an hour. Crazy stuff.

This was fun.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Survey says

And this, dear readers, is where I ask for your feedback. I have some burning, important questions on my mind, and I'm just curious as to what the consensus is. I will tell you my opinions after you tell me yours. How about that?

1. If someone calls you, but doesn't leave a message, do you need to call them back? (This is assuming you have caller ID and can tell that you missed a phone call).

2. Are thank you notes necessary when you receive a gift?

3. How long is too long for an email? Or better yet, do you like receiving long emails? Do you feel pressure to respond if it's a long email?

4. By the same token, how long do you take to respond to an email? Same day? Couple days? Couple weeks? Couple months? Couple years?

5. Do you need pictures/music on a blog to make it interesting or are just text entries okay?

6. How do you feel about MySpace?

7. If someone cuts you in line, do you say something?

8. Cardinals or Mets? Another team?

9. On a first date, who pays?

10. Your pet peeve of the day.