Thursday, April 30, 2009

The wash cloth conspiracy

Presented for your consideration:

1) Yesterday afternoon, I discovered a pink wash cloth in our downstairs half bath. I assumed that my husband or my son had made a half-hearted attempt to clean the disgusting bowl.

2) In that bathroom, we also have a dish towel that hangs from a shelf. It's loosely tied to a crossbar. The day before yesterday I noticed that it was untied and barely hanging on the crossbar.

3) My husband does most of the laundry in our house. He sorts the laundry on our bed. His clothes go on his side of the bed. My clothes, my son's clothes, and any household laundry, go on my side of the bed. (He figures if he does the laundry, the least I can do is make sure all the stuff that isn't his gets where its supposed to be... A slight source of contention, but there it is.)

The last few months there has been a beige and white dish cloth that shows up on my side of the bed every third or fourth week. My husband typically uses these cloths in his workout bag. Last night I noted the reappearance of the cloth on my side of the bed, so I picked a nit about it. Why is this cloth on my side of the bed? He uses them when he works out. This makes it his laundry to deal with and not mine. He then proclaimed that he hadn't used one of those cloths in months and months. Well then. How was the cloth getting into the laundry every so often.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Boose!

Boose is our younger cat. He is full of foibles and entertaining (if sometimes infuriating) behavior.

After the discussion of the dish cloth, my husband and I discussed all three mysteries. Here is what we have concluded:

1) Boose likes to drink from the toilets. Boose also likes to carry bits of clean/dirty laundry around the house. Since no one in our house knows how the pink wash cloth got into the toilet, it seems that Boose decided that the toilet needed to be cleaned (or something) and dropped the wash cloth into the toilet.

2) Again, Boose likes to drag clean/dirty laundry around our house. He has a particular affinity for small towels, underwear, and fat quarters of quilting fabric. We believe (in a fit of boredom) that Boose attempted to pull the tied dish towel from the crossbar. He must have pulled sufficiently to loosen the casual knot, but not so hard as to drop the towel on the floor.

3) This is the best one yet: the beige and white dish cloth. Since the cloth is small, I usually set it aside on a dresser to put it away 'later'. With the clutter in my bedroom I do not notice it. Boose probably carries it off to the basement. At some point, he deposits the cloth in the dirty laundry pile in the basement. This is not unusual. His toy mice often end up in the dirty laundry pile. The cloth is then washed, folded, and placed back on the bed. At that point, I set it aside and forget about it. Then the cycle begins anew.

Charming, no?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Kitty Diet

I took our cats to the vet this morning for their annual check-up. They both came up aces, and then some. Last year the vet told us that our kitties were getting a little pudgy. So, we decided to cut down on their food and treats. Both kitties lost three pounds. That's about an average 25% weight loss in a year. When I joked with my husband that maybe I should go on the Kitty Diet, he responded that if I ate like them for a year that I too could lose three pounds!

Somehow, I don't think eating what they eat is worth a three pound loss. It's probably not even worth a 25% weight loss (though the later is somewhat tempting... yucko, never mind).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nearly one week since my "One Week" post

This is school vacation week in NH. Before Goblin lost his job, we had planned a European vacation for this week. Maybe we'll get to go next spring.

I had still planned to take the week off from work. However, an outside trainer was coming in offering two days of Information Assurance training with a DoD perspective. My boss asked me if I was available to take the training. Considering the rarity, I made myself available. But, now that the training is out of the way, I have the rest of the week off.

Then again, what is 'off'? Tomorrow I'm taking our cats to the vet for their annual check-up. In the afternoon, I'm going in for my annual mammogram (joy). Saturday, I'm getting my snow tires taken off. I have also generated a 'to do' list the length of my arm. On Friday, at least, I have an extended hot stone massage scheduled. That will be absolutely lovely.

My book group met this evening. We picked a book for June that is not available as an audiobook. Therefore, I probably will not be reading it. However, I did get everyone to agree to a classic SF tale for our July-August choice: Stranger in a Strange Land. Many of us have read it before, but I really want to read it again. Hooray!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do you remeber the song "One Week" by BNL?

Sorry folks, it looks like I'm stuck on video blogging this week.

We've all been afflicted with a song virus. You know, a little bit of a popular (or once popular) song that gets stuck in your head. AKA, the song meme. Yesterday, mine was the Richard Cheese version of "Down with the Sickness" (it was used in the remake of "Dawn of the Dead"). Truly funny.

I stumbled on this parody of Bare Naked Ladies "One Week" that describes the problem perfectly:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Matrix as a Windows program

I know that we're all so over The Matrix at this point. And, I know that most of us despise Windows, and don't need another Windows joke. However, I really do like this (I saw it a few months ago, but was just reminded of how wonderful this is):

Quote: "I'm going to learn Ubuntu?" Yes, Neo, you are. It is the best reality.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where did the week go?

My intention when I started this blog was to post at least once a week. I noticed that it's been a week since I last posted. OK. So, I'm not too far gone to recognize when I was about to blow off my very minimal commitment.

What have I been doing that's been keeping me from posting? Have I been saving the world from Conficker? No, that was two weeks ago. Have I been furiously writing my heart out for my online writers' workshop? No, but that is something else that I should have been doing. Have I been working extremely long hours? Not so much.

Mostly, I've just been inordinately exhausted. Get up. Exercise. Go to work. Come home. Vegetate. Attempt to get enough sleep. Repeat.

There have been some things in my personal life that have been stressing me a bit. I'll leave discussion of those to those who have my email.

All in all, the week was pretty much a wash. I've been way behind in my writing workshop. I set aside last Sunday to play catch up. Then, my son and I had a melt down. I couldn't focus afterwards. Yesterday, I hoped to catch up, but I had committed to some major cooking for a deleted Seder celebration at my church that was held last evening. (Which, was a bright spot when all was said and done.)

Today, I have managed to catch up somewhat with my workshop responsibilities. I turned in four critiques for the folks who are planning, with me, to continue as an online writing group after our current course finishes up in two days. I hope to turn in my last writing assignment tonight. I also did a lot of the setup and leg work for the continuation of our little group today. We're going to try doing a Yahoo Group for a week as a trial run.

Our class had us committed to turning in something every two weeks, and trying to critique the work of eight other people every two weeks. It was too much for my schedule really. The continuing group has agreed that we would each take turns posting. It works out to about once a month. The others would then have a week to critique that person's work. Much more doable.

Now, back to my exhaustion, and hopefully to finishing my last assignment for my course.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NH hate crime?

When 40 buildings at a Christian Conference Center are destroyed by fire on the holiest holiday of the Christian calendar, is it a tragic accident or is it arson? And, if it is arson, does it constitute a hate crime?

Even in a predominantly Christian country, wanton vandalism against a Christian property on a high Christian holiday qualifies as a hate crime. If a synagogue had been set on fire this week (Passover) it would definitely have been considered a hate crime.

Hate crimes are not just aimed at minorities. Sometimes that seeming majority is the target as well.

I do not consider myself a Christian. However, setting fire to any group's property is reprehensible. I hope whoever set the fire is tracked down and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Sun worshiping

Sitting at my desk on weekend mornings usually invites feline companionship. The sun slants through the window next to my computer until nearly noon. It's sunny this morning, if a bit cool (34 degrees) outside. You'd never know it from my happy sun worshipers:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mini-vacations (May and July)

On May 8/9, we're all going down to Worcester so Grendel can participage in WPI's FIRST Robotics competition: Battlecry 10. I'll probably take Friday, May 8th off, since we'll need to depart right after school lets out (around 2-ish). It should be fun, plus it'll give us all a chance to give WPI a glance, which is important since Grendel has expressed a keen interest in going to college there. (Anyone got about $160k lying around?)

This morning, I heard that one of Grendel and Goblin's joint favorite rock bands is coming to New England this summer. While Grendel says that AC/DC's latest material kind of sucks, Goblin is drooling at the prospect of seeing the legends in concert. Gillette Stadium is about 90 minutes from our house, so we decided to get a hotel room for after the concert. We got pretty nice seats (Club Level). Since the concert is on a Tuesday night, I'll probably take that afternoon and the following day off from work. So far, with concert tickets and the hotel, I've dropped about $500 on one night of fun. Yikes!

While neither event makes up for loss of the long-planned European vacation, such mini-vacations should give us things to look forward to and small mental breaks from our mundane existence.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Random knowledge at your finger tips

I was looking something up on Wikipedia tonight when I noted the ever-present Random article link to the left. Click on it and dare to learn something obtuse!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Interesting movie experience - great quote

On April 24, Mutant Chronicles hits theaters. The trailers make it look somewhat schlocky. But, we have an affinity for scholck SF in our house. Amazingly, Amazon was running a special pre-release rental of the flick this weekend. For $10, you could rent the movie for 3 days and watch it on your Amazon-compatible PC or device (including TiVo, thank you). So, we decided it was worth the experiment. Let's watch a movie before it hits the theaters!

The movie starred Thomas Jane (from "The Punisher"), Ron Perlman (of "Beauty and the Beast" fame), and (briefly) John Malkovich.

The judgement? I gave it a B-, Goblin gave it an A.

However, we both agreed that there was a very memorable line in the movie. Thomas Jane's character is one of the few survivors near the end. The little band is following a book held by monks for hundreds of years that tells how to stop the mutant forces of evil from wiping out humanity. Jane is a non-believer. When challenged about his non-belief while being on this mission he responds:

I'm not paid to believe. I'm paid to fuck shit up. Are you coming? - Hunter The Mutant Chronicles

Great line!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

They started on daytime...

By the way, Kevin Bacon was on Guiding Light:

As the World Turns had a few more notables start there:

Marisa and Julianne:

Meg Ryan:


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today's poem - The Outsider

Not earth-shattering, but I thought I'd share, because I kind of liked what I did:

Why do you do that?
Why do you say that?
Why do you dress that way?
Can't you see that you don't fit in?
Don't you care?

I know it's supposed to be good to be an individual,
But how far are you supposed to go with that?

Yes, we are all individuals.

Don't take that too far.
Be careful how individualistic you are.

Ultimately, they may lock you up.
Minimally, no one will speak to you unless necessary.

Then they'll wonder,
Are you necessary?

An end of an era

When I was a toddler, my mother and grandmother both watched soap operas. By the time I got to first grade, I knew all the characters on the soaps that they watched ("Search for Tomorrow", "Edge of Night", "Guiding Light", and "As the World Turns"). Over the years, I started following the soaps myself. I lamented the loss of "Search for Tomorrow" and "Edge of Night". I picked up "Capitol", and lamented its death in just a few short years. While in college, I tried to get into some of the ABC soaps (Luke and Laura fever), but didn't stick with them. I also picked up "The Young and the Restless" and then "The Bold and the Beautiful". I even got one of my roommates into watching "As the World Turns" with me (Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, and Meg Ryan were all on during that era).

In grad school I bought a VCR and taped my soaps during the afternoon and watched them when I got home (much to the chagrin of my live-in boyfriend). In later years, I started reading synopses of the soaps in TV Guide and then on the Internet. I rarely actually see the shows, but I still try to read the summaries a couple of times a week. Sad, huh?

Today I read that the longest running soap, Guiding Light will end on Sept 18. This makes me sad. The original main family, the Bauers, have not been seen on the show in probably twenty years. The mainstay families since have been the Lewises and the Spauldings. The perennial vixen (bad girl, good girl, misguided girl) has been Reva Shayne Lewis. Her on-again off again romance with Josh Lewis always kept viewers coming back for more. The evil business man, Alan Spaulding, could always be counted on to inspire everyone to route against his evil plans and to pray for his opponents.

Maybe the days of the soap opera are numbered. Some say it's the economy. However, I would think that more unemployed people would equal a larger pool of potential viewers. However, soap watchers are from a different generation. Soaps were big when many women stayed home. They really started to wane when cable, VCRs, and DVD players gave those who were home during the day more options for mindless entertainment.

Perhaps the decline of the soap opera is yet another testament to the declining attention span of the American public. Soaps rarely resolve a conflict in less than a month. After all, they need you to keep coming back day after day to watch their sponsors' commercials.

I am very sad that the days of following the exploits of Reva & Josh, Alan and his son Philip, and the rest of Springfield will soon be coming to a close. It makes me wonder how much longer "As the World Turns", "The Young and the Restless," and "The Bold and the Beautiful" will be around. Though I can't watch, I will still read the summaries, and I will lament their inevitable passing.

Farewell Reva! Maybe some of the Bauers will show up in the final months. That would be fitting. (Kind of like the prodigal doctors returning to ER's final episode tonight!)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Write a poem a day? And, today's playlist

I like writing challenges. Here's one I might have to play along with this month: Poem a day

On the other hand, to show you how (not) creative I'm feeling today, I feel inclined to share this morning's incredible iPod shuffle playlist that accompanied my morning cardio routine:

The Distance - Cake
Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull
Everybody Wang Chung Tonight - Wang Chung
Taxman - Beatles
Evil Angel - Breaking Benjamin
You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Can't Get Enough of You Baby - Smash Mouth
Take A Look Around - Limp Bizcut
Rock the Casbah - The Clash

Off to work (listening to Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov)

... Work should be a blast today. Can you say Conficker worm?