(Christine Kane)

The midnight sky all stars and black
Like darkened glass and glitter
Suggests that I go back inside
And wait for warmer weather
So here it's New Year's Eve again
And everything keeps changing
I raise my glass and toast the Gods
In charge of rearranging

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
What's it like to be overjoyed

In spite of day-time planners higher standards
Dreams defended
There's not a single thing that's turned out
Quite like I intended
And so you learn that holding on
Is nothing less than panic
When big things fall apart
Then hearts get that much more gigantic

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
Are you scared to be overjoyed

It used to be a race to see
Just who'd get there the fastest
But this frozen night it's only right
To consecrate the madness

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
Here's your chance to be overjoyed

photo essay

There's a photo essay in the Moscow Times looking back at 2004. This picture in particular, following the school siege in Beslan breaks my heart. There's also an article about how the town isn't celebrating New Year's (looks a lot like Christmas here, from the Soviet era, new year's trees, etc. Also Russian Orthodox Christmas is around January 13 or so). In the town of 40,000, six people lost their entire families (spouses and all of their children), "18 children lost both parents, and more than 100 children lost one parent."

stupidheaded AIM

is letting me use my old screen name again. No, it wasn't shut down for 2-4 days, it was cancelled and not recognized for over a MONTH...

BTW, if you have an explanation that involves anything along the lines of "user error," I'm not in the mood.


I'm sorry to say that Julynn's prize for the funniest Christmas present ever has been ousted from that position. Why? Well because, last night after going to Michael's and JoAnn trying to get more yarn for my sister's poncho I'm knitting (no dice, they don't carry the color I need here, I forgot to get enough of one dye lot, so will have to order it online and hope it's not TOO noticeable of a color difference), as well as the crafts needed to make the captain's apron and visor, Crazy Mara picked up a latch hook kit. Yes, to make her own Froggy rug. Then, after a dog-feeding break and an online IM conversation I made my way back to her house where we watched Jersey Girl. No, I wasn't expecting it to be good, but I expected it to be better than, say, our home movies from the mid-80's. Anyhow, she gave me a lovely little gift. I've been googling it trying to find an online image of it, but without an artist's name or title, just typing in keywords is not as fruitful as I would like. It's a pen and watercolor drawing about 4x6. At first glance it's kind of funny. Then the closer you look, it gets funnier still.

At first you notice it's a dance studio. There's a grand piano in the center of the frame. Being played by a white and black St. Bernard with a moustache. (For being a St. Bernard one would have hoped that his legs would reach the pedals a bit more easily, but there you go) Sitting on the edge of the piano is a tiny ballet director. Who is a frog that is either a woman or a dandy - it's a little ambiguous as to which. On the floor are 5 ballet students - also frogs - two males and three females. The students are all in second position, except for one of the girl frogs who is doing a lovely arabesque. As you look closer, however, you see the frog doing the arabesque is actually reaching toward an errant fly in the studio with her frogsnout (presumably her tongue is to follow). And the dandy director is holding up a sign that says "Lunch Break."

Should anyone be able to find an online copy of this, please, please let me know! In the meantime, my personal quest to find it shall also continue.

Cockamamie traditions

Typically, on Christmas, my family has scaled back over the years. For the past 5 years my sister has had a disabling neurological condition. My sister and my mom have been also known to contract nasty cases of bronchitis in the weeks before Christmas. My dad gets random, yet frequently severe medical conditions out of the clear blue. So, when I make my way to California a day or two before Christmas, any decorations in my parents' house are usually left up to me - the only one who is still upright in the days before Christmas.

However, this year, I got in to my parents' house around 10:30 pm on the 23rd to find them in the midst of a massive sewing project for their church that needed to be done by about noon the next day. It hadn't been designed yet, much less patterened, and it was with a tricky material. So my first two hours was helping design it, pattern it, then finally collapse into bed around 1:30 am (after having been up nonstop since 3:30 am California time to make it to work at 6:30 am on Thursday morning).

At 9:30 am Friday, Christmas eve morn (it was really 8:30 but the clock in the bedroom hadn't been reset to standard time), I awoke to realize I had a WRETCHED migraine, which got progressively worse through the day regardless of medication, homeopathic remedies, rest, etc., and culminated in my arrival in Urgent Care at 9 pm Christmas eve for a dose of Demerol and Visterol which knocked me on my can for the rest of the night, the rest of Christmas day, and half of Sunday the 26th.

So this year, the Christmas decorations that were up when I got home were the sum total of the Christmas decorations we had. (see photo above) There's no scale, but that bad boy is about 7" tall and has flashy lights all around it. There was also a creche set in the other room. Mind you I'm not really complaining about that - I'd just as soon spend time with my family than feel duty bound to decorate when we're all half unconscious, but this was a little piteous, even for us...

Multi-disciplinary approaches to Autism

I spent several years working with children diagnosed with Autism, and LOVED it. It's some of the hardest work I've ever done (Freddie, if you have the link to the Salon article, that'd be faboo), it's definitely not for everyone, and Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorders - ASDs, such as Asperger's Syndrome, Rett's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder - I know, don't get me started - etc. etc.) is a difficult disorder to explain, much less treat. I worked in several different fields, using quite a few different frameworks and applying different skill sets under these frameworks: music therapy, applied behavior analysis (ABA), Lovaas, cognitive development, Floortime, socio-emotional development, on and on and on.

Today there's an article in the NYT about Autism, and each time the mainstream media spotlights the disorder, I alternate between thrilled and discouraged. It is a difficult disorder to spotlight in that it's manifested ever so differently from person to person - it's a spectrum disorder and a syndrome so a person diagnosed with ASD and the different syndromes manifests a different set of skills and disabilities, with different levels of severity in those areas. No two children with ASD present exactly the same. When an article or news story appears, it brings levels of awareness abou a disorder that is grossly on the rise for reasons unknown, widely misunderstood (Rain Man, while a start, is one of the most high-functioning people with Autism I've ever seen - possibly second only to Temple Grandin, whom I met a few years ago and is remarkable in so many ways and a beacon of hope for so many parents) but also does not do enough research to present a story that may leave the reader or viewer more confused - sadly without them ever realizing their confusion. Often it presents ABA as the be-all, end-all of Autism intervention.

This article bemoans the lack of current, pure, scientific research of the effectiveness of ABA Autism because the parents often interfere with the would-be effectiveness of this research by accessing multi-disciplinary treatments. In an online article that covers 4 pages, today's article mentions numerous treatments and interventions and gives them cursory, derogatory explanations, or no explanation at all. Sensory Integration is not a wild, unknown, fringe-treatment, as portrayed in the article - there's years of research to back it up, not to mention testimonials from parents whose child never showed any interest in playing even near other children in the sandbox during recess because they couldn't tolerate the feeling of the sand (I, personally, totally understand that one - sand on my feet triggers a gag reflex). Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diets are helpful for some children, and also address sensory processing difficulties. Floortime, helps parents and children to interact with each other - a skill never previously addressed as developmentally necessary for the child or the parent. I've met families with children 7 years old, and the parents seem as emotionally distant as their children; they've never played with each other because the parents have never learned that their patience and persistence in reaching out to their children is as important for them as it is for their kiddo, and using Floortime models, these parents have interacted with their children for the first time.

I definitely understand why research is important in the treatment of any disorder. However, I also understand the need for parents to treat their children with as many interventions as possible - since Autism comes in as many colors as there are water droplets, no single treatment or combination of treatments is likely to work universally as the Cure for Autism. Many people illustrate the parents as accessing interventions as a way to manager their grief as going into overdrive. In many cases this is true - but if you look at the motivation, it's difficult to portray them as therapy-seeking maniacs who want their children to spend their whole lives in therapies. In most cases, these parents are doing whatever they can to give their children what every good parent wants to give: their child a happy, healthy life where they can live as independently as possbile to go on and do the same for their children further down the line.

Christmas traditions...

I got to California only 2 hours late (they forgot to find someone who was allowed to fly the plane, as opposed to the pilots who had been flying for so many consecutive hours that regulations would not allow them to fly 2 more hours to get to Ontario from Denver so we had to wait until they could recruit 2 pilots who thought they'd spend the night in Denver, but instead had to spend the night in Ontario, and this would be okay with them... can you tell I spent many of my formative years reading Sassy the parenthetical mama magazine of them all?)

I got home and, true to tradition, there were no Christmas decorations up. Well, almost none. My sister has had a disabling illness for the past 5 years, and everyone has been so busy for the last 10 that it has become my LEAST favorite Christmas tradition that I have to decorate the entirety of the house by myself, usually on Christmas Eve day whenever I stroll in off of a plane from wherever I happen to be living. So on the 23rd, since I got in around 10 pm, had been up since 3:30 California time, my family took pity and didn't push the decorate NOW issue. I went to bed and woke up on Christmas eve day.

With a blazing migraine (the likes of which haven't been seen since the ugly incident this March that kept me out of workfor a week, and made Dilaudid my friend. ) And I slammed the Mountain Dews, took the drugs, slept in the dark room (which isn't fun for a whole day, when you only have 4 to visit with friends and family), and eventually wound up going to Urgent Care.

Ah, Urgent Care, the next Heatherfeather's Family Tradition. Usually it's my sister with her inflamed cranial nerve who goes to Urgent Care on a major holiday (usually Thanksgiving or Christmas, but sometimes Easter). If it's not my sister, then it's my dad with a Slicing Onions Gone Horribly Wrong injury, pulmonary embolisms, etc. But this year, it was ME. We had planned to go to midnight mass for Christmas (which here is 11pm - mass, not Christmas) but didn't even get back until 11:30, so that plan was out the window. Not to mention the re-visiting of the Attack of the Killer Sidewalks after the Demerol and Visterol (sp?). So I went to bed. And this morning I still have a touch of migraine, so will go back to bed soon.

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Thanks to...

...Julynn for giving me the funniest Christmas present ever:

A big bottle of Benadryl.

How well she knows me...


There was something I was going to post about yesterday but decided not to since I had posted 3 times already... If only I remembered what it was... For what I'm posting today, I'll bullet point because there's not much order to be had...

  • With regard to old wives' tales for predicting the sex of your baby, the funniest and possibly the least likely is to pour Drano (okay, maybe it's a somewhat recent wives' tale_ in the toilet and pee (assuming you're the pregnant one). The Drano is supposed to turn pink for a girl or blue for a boy.
  • It's COLD here today. It was 12 degrees when I woke up and by 3 pm it should be down to around 7 degrees, and drop to -4 degrees tonight. Then tomorrow, it's supposed to be 37, then 40-something Saturday, and almost 60 on Sunday. It's supposed to be around 60 in California this weekend, too.
  • I'm nervous about leaving the pet with a pet sitter but glad that I have a way to spend Christmas with the fam.
  • I tried knitting in the round last night. I get it, I can do it, but if anyone has pointers re: decreasing the amount of slack between the sets on the dpns, I'd be a happy monkey!
  • Sweetmonkeys, I only have to work for 2 hours today!

Improvements can be made!

Following my previous post, I decided to peruse the Rockland (Maine) Police Blotter to see how my wordy writer was doing. And after two wordy days, there's a marked change in the length and descriptiveness of the summonses, complaints and arrests. But true to form there was one good post about a car egging. (evidently the eggee was not disliked enough to have their car deviled egged):

Dec. 15
On Prescott Street, a resident reported her car was covered in eggs sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. No damage was done, and police have no suspects.

Dang, Russia!

Russian communists have declared Joseph Stalin a better leader than Vladimir Putin. Yes, Stalin was a brilliant military mind, but he did "purge" the Red Army pretty heavily. Yes, Putin's a little bit shady, but seriously, a centralized government (and certainly not democratic) is the only kind of government Russians have EVER known (life wasn't exactly picnicky under the Tsars or the Soviets).

However, Putin's statements on the Ukrainian elections are a bit suspect...

a post on (g)knitting(k)

I have a touch of the knitting ADD meets knitting bipolar disorder. I go for years without picking up needles, and go manic and all I do is knit. However the ADD kicks in when I never go much beyond stockinette and seed patterns. In theory I know how to knit in the round, tend to think that by and large dpns are better than circulars (although it DOES depend on the project), but I can't do short rows, cables frighten me, and have never been more adventurous than scarves (rectangles are good) with single colors.

So December 2003, I told my lovely Mary W. that I'd make her a scarf. A pink scarf to suit her pink obsession (sort of like me with orange, or more recently, kermit green). And I decided I'd do multiple colors in stripes, not rows. And since I was feeling uber-adventurous, I'd do random racing stripes instead of knitting the colors one into the next. I didn't get started until January of this year. And a HUGE portion of the project was dividing the 3 colors of yarn into 7 (yes, seven!) different working skeins. (My dad's engineering background came in handy when it came to putting them on nifty cardboard winders of his design that were finalized in about their 9th incarnation). And I started off rustily, as it had been about 3 years since I'd thought in that methodical knit-purl, cross over, blah blah blah, and it was uneven, I fidgeted around with a pattern that was quickly abandonded...however not abandoned quickly enough to make the frogging worth my effort... And I trudged. Slowly, slowly, slowly. I made some real progress when I first moved to Denver and didn't have a job. And suddenly, it was mid-December, I was going to California in 10 days, and 1 year later this scarf was about 5' long, which was FAR too short for it's 14" width. So I've knitted like a madwoman, and decided that it would NEVER be finished in enough time to bring back to CA. So I got inventive. And worked off of the slipknot function of the scarf that people seem to use (I personally prefer enormously long yet skinny scarves - about 8-9'L x 4"w so as to wrap like mad around my neck without being too bulky or making me claustrophobic). And I decided I'd knit a hole into the end of the scarf, so as to slip the other end through and lessen the need for length. And then I tapered it down at the end so that the 50-odd stitches narrowed to 3.

And it looks like crap. After a year of putting it off, I can't even in good conscience give it to miss Mary.

So, Mary, my darling, I've gotten a yarn selection I prefer, I'm going to buy some dpn's (about size 15, with the chunky yarn), make a tube scarf, and if I'm lucky make a matching hat. Because I suck, and I'm sorry. But I still love you!!!


...would have been Summer's 28th birthday.

Happy birthday Homer, I miss you.

Going back to Cali

Leaving Thursday evening. It's supposed to snow here today, tomorrow, and Thursday. The high temperature today, 30, tomorrow, 26, Thursday, 19 (when the low is forecast -3). I think I won't mind a 68 degree Christmas after all.

oh my heavens...

This story is terrible and takes place in my one-time sleepy, yet highly lovely French town of Pau where I passed a lovely and memorable summer... Seriously, if you're not in the mood for gore, just skip it.

I cannot for the life of me remember where the hospital in town is... I'm clear on centre-ville, the university, the shops, the BEST Indian restaurant ever, the castle, the place to get the good crêpes, the fun bars, the churches, the house where I briefly lived, the mall, the grocery, the parks, the place the Roma stayed in the summer... But no hospital comes to mind.

Russian politics and Romanian cats

Putin's ever fervent attempts to distance himself from the Yeltsin-era oligarchs continues... Take that, Khodorkovsky!

So in our very best impression of a Chinese Fire Drill over the phone, it took about 10 phone calls for Timmy to leave Denver for Philadelphia. See, Mara will be here over Christmas (what with her having gone to Detroit for an early Hanukkah over Thanksgiving), but very few others who know Timmy will not. Timmy has a charming little cat from Romania named Huzat (which is the evil Romanian wind that sneaks in through the cracks in the doors and gives you toothaches and colds and whatnot) that will not go to PA with him (the trip from Bucharest to Philly to Denver this summer having been a nightmare), and Mara will watch her. (I who am not wild about cats....previously Cy was my only feline chum...LOVE this cat...she's sweet, slightly evil, smart, tiny and loves the feathered pink bangle bracelet from Chuck E. Cheese more than catnip, cat toys, food, or Timmy himself). However, Ashley took Timmy to the airport early this morning as I was shuttling my aunt around Denver. Mara's in San Diego until tonight. How would Mara get the keys to Timmy's house to get in, play with, show pictures of Timmy, walk her on a leash, change the litterbox, and tell her that she is a loved kitty cat at least 5x a day so as to avoid moodiness (seriously, this is all in the instructions Timmy left)? Well at long last, I got a spare key to Timmy's car, in which he left his house keys, from which I would collect said keys and present them to Mara tonight when she gets off of the plane.

In Huzat news, however, I think she's lonely, because she's never been super cuddly with anyone except Timmy, and today she was LOVING me... Sweet cat with BAD taste in jewelry.

Brain dump

I had a strange breakfast: hash browns and 2 fuji apples.

I drove to Flatiron Crossings this morning to pick up gifts for my aunt and her roommate at Nordstrom from my family so as to avoid shipping charges. On Hwy 36, I was looking at the fields, admiring the goregeousness of the Rockies all purply and capped in snow, and swerved at the last second to narrowly avoid hitting a 3 legged coyote crossing the highway. I couldn't look in my rear view mirror for another 2 miles lest I see carnage...

I have to clean my house today so that I have a lovely home to come back to after Christmas - nothing's nicer than a clean house after you've been away... granted the large dog will have been staying here, so there will still be spare dogs that he shed in the corners, but I can organize my coffee table. Just not dying to douse the shower in bleach and scrub that out today.

Getting hair done tomorrow. yay! It's been a LONG time since I have... mid-October if I'm not mistaken.

Watching Zoolander... What good silly fun is that movie... "When all he had to do was turn left..."

Update: In more poor nutrition, following my apples and hash browns for breakfast, what else would I have for lunch? Corn Pops.

Cуббота по-русский

I had a bonus Russian class this morning - it was nice to have the opportunity to practice on someone who SPEAKS it instead of forcing it on my coworkers. The 3rd quarter starts on January 3. I asked the instructor to ride me really hard about my accent, which she says in addition to having an American accent, is all in all pretty good, but every now and then she hears something that's almost French in nature. So that all makes sense. I want to have a good accent - I know not everyone can hear many of the distinctions, but my ear for accents is really good, but my oral musculature doesn't know how to make the "ы" or the "щ" sounds. And we're not spending too much time on grammar (it's an adult ed class - most of the students are retired and taking it for fun), and I'm asking so many grammatically-focused questions... I'll see if I can do independent study with her for the spring quarter so that I can know more grammar than what we cover incidentally. (I stumbled upon instances when you would use the accusative case, but only with feminine subjects today, and wanted to know more, but she didn't go into it until after the class when it was only me there)

Я люблю мою семью!

Friday randomness (my boring version of Semaphoria's Friday link-o-rama)

Things I learned about horses from The Apprentice finale:

  • Horses are sissies.
  • They are also anti-capitalism.
  • They would have been frightened by corporate sponsor Wisk's logo being painted on the polo field, or seen it as an obstacle to the goal.

Things of note in The Moscow Times today:

The NY Times (free subscription):

From CNN:

Christmas time in Maine

I had a very brief stint living in rural Maine (South Thomaston, I give you a shout out!), and although there were many reasons I didn't stay, and most likely won't move back, Mid-Coast Maine holds a dear place in my heart. And every year around this time, the person who writes up the police blotters for the local news website gets the winter punchies, and starts to get either very creative or a little lazy. Not all of them are decidedly interesting until you start to appreciate their "show not tell" skills or overall verbosity. Examples:

Dec. 2
A U.S. Postal Service van struck a pedestrian on Maverick Street. The pedestrian, Michael G____ of Rockland, was struck on the sidewalk while riding a bicycle. The driver of the postal van, Thomas C____ of Owls Head, told police the glare of the sun obscured his view and he failed to see G____. G____ was uninjured, the van was not damaged and no charges were filed.

Dec. 3
A Rockport school bus slid into a ditch off Glen Street. A bucket loader from nearby Harbor Plaza helped pull it out and send it on its way.

Dec. 5
Donna D____, 61, of Waldoboro was driving south on Winslows Mills Road when she struck a sheep that had run onto the road. Her 1995 Dodge two-door sedan sustained $2,000 damage. D____ was not injured or cited. The police report did not say what happened to the sheep.

Dec. 6
Two people were arrested following a traffic stop near Main and Myrtle streets. Officer Jay Neubauer stopped a 2004 Chevy pickup for failing to stop at a red light, and the driver, 20-year-old Laramie W____ of New Harbor, was arrested for operating after suspension. An unmarked pill bottle containing cocaine and Oxycontin was found on a passenger in the truck, 19-year-old Bobbi P____ of Washington. Along with the driving after suspension, W____ was charged with trafficking and possession of scheduled drugs; P____ was charged with drug trafficking and drug possession.

Dec. 10
A 43-year-old man was reportedly "clocked upside the head" with a large red flashlight during an altercation on Main Street in Warren.

A report of a domestic argument on Second Street in St. George turned out to be a 48-year-old man who was intoxicated and stumbling around in his house.

Now, granted, none of these top the Rockland police blotter for last year (I'll post it later), but all in all, it makes for a more interesting read.

Update: I searched and searched the website and I can't find the police blotters archived anymore... But I found a story that reminded me of another story I read in the Bangor newspaper during moose rutting season a long time ago. There's increased destruction of personal property during this time, but the most extensive I heard about was a VW Jetta that had all of its windows broken, the body was destroyed and covered with hoofprints... the car was totaled, but worst of all, the inside of the car was "coated with unspecified moose fluid."

Bob and Stuff

James the Chick (aka fred) is just having one bob this time around. While I know that she and Jaimie would have loved several bobs at once to smithereens, one bob for the first time around seemed like plenty to them. He's goregeous and healthy, has two of everything he needs two of, one of everything he needs one of, and is cooking in her oven nicely! Yay for bob!!!! I'm so excited about bob, and I also love James to bits, and I'm super happy she's a bloggomaniac so that I can hear about what its' like to be pregnant even though she lives in OR and I live in CO.

I sat in a hallway at the Mariott in Cherry Creek today for 5 hours. There was a meeting in the meeting room beside the hallway and I had to stay there until 12, so I caught up on the skinny around the hospital.

Ummm... that's all I appear to have rattling around my head right now, though...

Universal Truths

Over Latkes and Hanukkah songs at Crazy Mara's on Saturday, we think we stumbled across the only universal truth:

Beer Goggles.

heidi's, plasma, and baby(ies)

I finally wandered into Heidi's Brooklyn Deli in Highlands Square and I was DYING for a salad. In the winter is when I have insatiable cravings for green yummy salads. So I got an Awesome Salad... which was just okay. Although in its favor, it had pieces of fresh mozzerella and delish avocado. But eh. It wasn't worth $10. Sad Heather.

I did another plasma donation in the blood donor room at work, and they gave me not one but 2 ornaments for my tree! (Bringing my grand total to 7!)

And, now comes the time for us to partieth heartily, for my Freddie May is with child! She thinks her due date is around June 10, but at her 14 week appointment she found out that her uterus is unusally large for 14 weeks, so she's having another appointment to see if she is tiny in proportion to her uterus, if she's actually 18 weeks along, or if [gasp] she's got more than one bun in her oven. But YAY! Baby Bob is bob bob bobbing along!

I'll be in California in 10 days. Weird.

One for two... And music notes - ha!

In a fit of extravagance, I saw ANOTHER movie in the theater last night - Birdget Jones 2. Evidently it was sequel weekend... Yeesh, though, that was BAD. There were some really funny moments, but all in all, nooooooooooooo. If you're a huge Bridget 1 fan (I enjoyed it - only saw it on DVD though), I guess I can't talk you out of it, but this is my attempt to tell you to wait for the DVD. Or just don't.

Music I'm digging lately:

  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas stuff (their stuff that sounds normal and not annoyingly synthed within an inch of its life)
  • Paul Oakenfold (particularly "Ready, Steady, Go" and "Delirium")
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Song for a Winter's Night"
  • Barenaked Ladies Christmas stuff
  • Danielle Howle's Catalog and Live at McKissick Museum
  • various stuff associated with Alias, season 1
  • Bubba Sparks' "Deliverance" (thanks crazy mara!)

I'll give you $1M if you don't talk for the next month

So Crazy Mara and I saw Ocean's Twelve last night. I haven't seen a movie on opening night in a million years, and I forgot how crazy theatres can get when it's a high-budget, high-profile movie like that. But it was good! I left more entertained than when I entered, and I laughed over the throwaway and random parts that most people don't notice (i.e, "shut up or I'll eat your head.") Good thing I get a student discount, though, because I'm seriously hard up for money these days. I can't wait until I don't live check to check. But I digress. So the movie was good, it wasn't as inventive as the first as it had you scheming for most of the movie, but at least I schemed a little bit wrong, so I was surprised at the end. And I want to meet the person who choreographed the yoga/dance/laser beams thing - They're super cool (although it seemed a bit contrived from time to time) and I think that would have been a GREAT fun job to have.

Although it might not have been as entertaining as some of the things you see walking around Cherry Creek North at 9 pm on Friday night. Like the inflatable reindeer with the indecently placed holly berries. Or the sheep on wheels. Or the sad and tiny ice skating rink.


Does anyone else think this sounds surreal?

Don't get me wrong, it's no good in the hood, but LASERS?

Time burner... again

what time is it: 5:49 pm
Name as it appears on the birth certificate: Heather Lynn ........
Nicknames: heatherfeather, muffinhead, hato-pato
Piercings: 3 each ear (historically, 6 left ear, 4 right, had left nostril pierced 2 different times)
What is the most recent movie you've seen in a theater: (humiliatedly) Save the Last Dance
Place of birth: Denver, CO
Favorite food: stuff that doesn't make me break out in hives
Eye color: sometimes brown, sometimes brown
Ever been toilet papering? negatory

Love someone so much it made you cry? yup...but maybe not like you think
Been in a car accident? yes
{Disclaimer: I Heather Lynn loathe "favorite" questions...so I'm going to name more than one for many of these)
Favorite Day of the Week: varies... Thursday or Saturday
Favorite restaurants: Good Indian places, Chili's, that fabulous place in Rancho Cucamonga off of 4th and Haven... I forget the name
Favorite flower: daffodil and crocus
Favorite sport to watch: soccer and hockey
Favorite drink: coffee, good Reisling, Bass Ale, Coke, Water
Favorite ice cream: Vanilla, mint choc. chip, rocky road
Favorite fast food restaurant: Ambivalent. But I do NOT like BK.
Disney or Warner Brothers: Miramax
Color of your bedroom carpet? Hard wood floors
How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0
Before this one, from whom did you get your last email? Vicki Meade
Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Anthropologie

What do you do most often when you are bored? play guitar
Bedtime: early... 9 on weeknights, weekends varies between 10 pm and Sunday morning
Who will respond to this email the quickest: I would say me (and James said me)
Who is the person you sent this to that is least like to respond? dunno
Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire: super
Favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Alias, West Wing
Ford or Chevy: Subaru
What are you listening to right now? Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News
Favorite color: orange and kermit green
Lake, Ocean, or River: depends
How many tattoos? 0
Time you finished this email? 5:59 pm

So deep they squeak.

I've been stuck on Deep Thoughts lately. My friend Jake used to have a daily Deep Thoughts calendar and it made 1999 very...interesting. And now for some Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey:

  • I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn't say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. Then at the very end, there's a page that you can lick and it tastes like Kool-Aid.

  • Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

  • Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there, in the room talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books.

  • I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching.

  • As I walked through the woods, I looked up and saw a squirrel. I smiled and he smiled. At least I think it was a smile. My teeth were showing and my cheeks were pulled up. That's a smile, isn't it? (The squirrel was definitely smiling.)

  • If you ever fall off of the Empire State Building, go real limp, and maybe someone will think you are a dummy and try to catch you, because, hey, free dummy.

  • What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk. And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go to sleep.

  • Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.

Just when you think you know yourself...

I heard from someone I haven't heard from in about 7 or 8 months. I got an email, an updated blog address, and a life synopsis that was both too short and too long. But the thing that's killing me is that I suspect he's already read this and... Or if he hasn't read it and I give him the address... well, that I'll be self-conscious of the person that I have become and my metamorphoses over the last 5 years. That I'm not a good enough, existentialist enough, profound enough, or even interesting enough writer for his standards. Because as a writer, he is all of those things. Eloquent in ways I could never dream. I know I'm a good writer, I know I like who and what I've become, I know that I wouldn't travel backwards in time for love or money.

So why do I feel that I don't measure up? Why do I permit this person this power over me where there was none? Since I permitted it in the first place, I suppose the power's mine to revoke at will as well.

Permission revoked.

A good day begins with...

...Finally having your allergy medicine refilled.
...A 2 pump peppermint, 2 pump mocha.
...Knowing you look fun and cute in your skirt, tights, and new shoes (and shirt and sweater).
...Calling a friend "riff-raff" for their birthday (even though it's not until Saturday, but they'll be in San Diego).
...Knowing you'll work enough hours this month to pay January rent, your December pet sitter's bill, your phone bill, and (hopefully) your cable bill.
...Having a fun green purse.
...Giggling because of a football player named Leftwich.
...a long walk in the early morning sunlight...complete with sunglasses and gloves
...looking at pictures of your friends' babies.
...looking for wedding presents for a doctor at work from your boss, and finding one WITHOUT chocolate body frosting or edible massage oil so you don't get sued/fired for giving it to them.
...Having a brand new coffee travel mug that someone at work gave you.
...Being certain that you will leave work ON TIME today.
...Deciding to wait 22.5 more years before joining AARP.

iPod shuffle morning

"God's Country" by Ani DiFranco
"I Feel" by the Sundays
"Word Up" by Cameo
"Train In Vain" by The Clash
"Texas Waltz" by Gina Forsyth
"Blood Roses" by Tori Amos
"Suedehead" by Morrissey

Should I be amused or insulted?

I got a ton of junk mail yesterday. The usual Val-u-Paks, credit card offers, etc etc... But 2 things jumped out at me:

1. A full size envelope from Harvard Medical School. But upon closer examination I saw it was not really from Harvard but a women's health magazine with an article from Harvard in it. So into the dustbin it went!

2. A letter from AARP. For those of you who are NOT in the know, AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons. Yes, Retired Persons. Pretty much everyone is invited to join and get discounts once they turn 50. Yes, 50. And it was evidently a second letter asking why I haven't taken advantage of this fabulous offer. Now, I'm not necessarily thinking that I LOOK 50 (or in that neighborhood) but I am a little curious if someone who IS 50 may have stolen my identity? Or there's another Heather V. with my social security number floating about?

In shocking news, I have a headache... blug.

For 3 Strange Days...

It's been an interesting weekend. My motivation for social activities has been close to nil, which is likely related to how tired and headachey I've been. So I was going to go out Friday night, but they were going to watch the Parade of Lights downtown, and I've been in enough parades that I think they are the most boring things EVER. Saturday, I went to Crazy Mara's and wound up not going out because of the overwhelming urge to vomit and the migraine. Then last night, I swung by Mara's sports bar we had some free dinner (her boss rocks), then were going to go out and meet up with Timmy. But I didn't want to so I went home and decorated my Christmas Tree. It's nice - I actually have a few (precious few) decorations to put on my 4' tree. Including a string of garland, 4 ornaments, 12 tree bows and an angel for the top. The tree's pre-lit. I also have some scented thingies to put in a glass bowl to ake it look like I'm a grownup. Decorating the house is not so much my thing.

Today I have a fun but not fun appointment (more deets to follow later), I have to exchange some shoes for wide width (but they're quite possibly the cutest EVER). I also have my first holiday work party tonight at 5 - at the Cheesecake Factory.

I have to blow my hair dry today. I made a proper breakfast today. I've still got a headache but we'll see how it turns out later.

Anthropology meets psychology

I've always had an interest in language and culture and the way they affect thoughts and physical manifestations. I never had a chance to take more than a cognition and culture, and an intro to linguistics course in undergrad but they've stayed with me over the past 10 years. Involved in a conversation regarding SAD someone said that Americans should stop complaining about weather affecting them to the point where they medicate. (I got disgruntled with the tone of the post but his comment was a fair one so here's my response)

The idea that Americans are the only ones who do suffer, not only from SAD, but depression in general and then medicate themselves to make it better is a very Western idea. In Indonesia (I believe Java in particular), the symptoms that the DSM enumerates as Unipolar Depression are diagnosed in the rural regions as possession by evil spirits, and the people possessed are exorcised. In China (this is where it's a little more foggy so I may be wrong about this, it's been 10 years) I believe that the symptoms we know as depression are...an energy imbalance? So the people who are unbalanced as it were, are treated for that particular disorder with Eastern treatmens. Now in these 3 very different societies, the number of people who manifest these symptoms are proportionately pretty similar. The success rates of treatment for these people in these very different countries with these very different people are proportionately pretty similar. So when it comes down to it, yes, for whatever reason people get so sad from the weather they take anti-depressants, and it works. If I were Javanese, I'd run right to my shaman and ask for help, too. There should be no stigma with needing help to balance a mood.




headachey (day 3 in a row!).

I have a topic that I don't have the wherewithal to talk about tomorrow. In case I forget, it deals with mental illness as it relates to culture.

follow your instincts

When someone asks you if you want to go to a cowboy/hip-hop bar where females pay no cover and get free drinks, and you initially want to say no because you're tired, don't feel all that well, and have to get up early, say no. If you say yes, the night might end up with two of your friends fighting, one bleeding, and everyone cranky.

I'm just saying.


As in, less maudlin today.

Annoyed at people in CA and in CO, but all in all, I am well. Except for the migraine.

If wishes were horses...

So tonight I'm feeling a little sad and lonely... It happens every winter, but it's been easy so far. I survived November which is a task in of itself... the next true test comes in February. The one thing that I've still not mastered is not wanting what I haven't got (a la Sinead). Which is a mixed blessing... it keeps me from settling for less, but it also keeps me from settling in. Patty Griffin is brilliant, she says:

In the middle of the night
We try and try with all our mights
To light a little light down here
In the middle of the night
We dream of a million kites
Flying high above
The sadness and the fear

I want to be a kite. I just want to put some light out there wherever I can. Not so that I can know that I did it, but so that someone else can have some light where they might not have had it before. Because it's sad and scary to not have any.

There's this stubborn idealistic streak in me which is also my curse. I want everyone to have a safe place to call their own. To love and be loved. To find peace in the maelstrom that is the world, even for a moment. To never be hungry or cold. To live without fear. To speak truth wherever they go, whatever they do. To learn to listen to and love themselves...

One of the reasons that I love Joan of Arcadia is that it hasn't lost its hope. It sees the anger and loaghing and apathy in the world, and it tries in its own way to fight against it. One of the best episodes was where Joan met Rocky, a boy with CF... a disease that has played its part in my life, and especially my sister's.

I'm getting more and more maudlin as this progresses which tells me one of 2 things: I need to go to bed or I need to be around people who are bright and effusive. Well, it looks like the former, my bright and effusive ones are currently out of reach. Until tomorrow anyway. Tomorrow I'll be surrounded with crazyfun people, cocky people, funny people, slightly odd in the good way people, corny people... but tonight... tonight I need a good book and a warm bed. maybe a box of kleenex not so far away.

Snowbells? What in the heck is a snowbell?

It snowed here quite a bit the other day. It made driving yesterday less than fun, and slightly annoying today. I had to buy a snow shovel. I shoveled half of the walk before my upstairs neighbor came out and said he'd do it for me. (btw, he hasn't yet) I bought a second doormat for the top of the stairs that lead to my door, and an indoor utility rug to sop up the stuff that doesn't get sopped up by the first two doormats. Ernie loves the snow. He no longer runs when outside, he frolics like a little dog-goat creature (not a guyascutus... a word from a long-ago game of Balderdash with the mom, the sis, and the fred). Many years ago when I would admit to being a voice student, I had to sing a German song called Schneeglocken which means snowbells. Didn't know what that was then, still don't know now.

It's almost time for me to put up my tiny, fake Christmas tree. Good thing it's a 4-footer, because anything much bigger wouldn't fit. It's fake because I'm a sneezy creature. But I told Mara she could help decorate it because she never even had a Hanukkah bush while growing up. So we'll have a tree-decking party at my house, and a latke and dreidle party at hers. Yay!

shameless solicitation

No, not THAT kind of solicitation. But the kind that says, it's Advent, here's my wishlist so you have plenty of time before I go to California!

Yes, it is a WISH list... but isn't it great when wishes come true???

You will be my hero if you can obtain any of the out of print items on my wishlist from amazon...


I just had the strangest dinner I've ever made:

Baked Acorn Squash
Salted Edamame
Diet Coke


So today (well, technically tomorrow) is the first Sunday of Advent. I really like Advent.

I have a 4 ft prelit Christmas tree. It makes me happy. I have 2 ornaments. I'm thinking I need a couple more. I'm also really jonesing for a black cardigan. I have a brown one, winter white one, a grey duster, and a black duster, but I just want a black cardigan.

For Ernie's birthday I got him a new bed. It's 54" in diameter, and actually big enough for him. He loves it. It makes me happy that it makes him happy! I'm trying to have long enough hair for crazy bun hair again... It's not quite long enough for crazy bun hair. oh well. I'll keep growing it for that. And I have to get it highlighted again... but I must wait until December 20. My hairdresser's going to Mexico this week to get married, and won't be back until the 20th. So I'm first through the door with her.

I'm going to get an oil change... well, I'm getting one for my car. I want to buy some decorations for the tree.

This is just a brain dump. I'm not going to pretend to have any cohesive thoughts. This weekend is about resting up.

Quote of the day from Gilmore Girls: "I hate President Bush. His face is too tiny for his head."


So, the question always comes about, whilst with child (not me), when do you drop the bomb... AND more importantly, when do you post it on your blog (again, not me), thus sharing it with the internet-lovin', googlin' world of ours? Common practice waits until 12 weeks to share the news with the general world, I'm a big fan of not waiting that long... with your friends. A lot of people worry, "What if something goes wrong?" and the dread of having to tell people who ask how the little one's doing... So that's why I think it's important to tell your family and friends early so that you CAN have the support system you need in place in case something (heaven forefend) happens. But in this case, the first doppler at 10 weeks was slightly tricky, and they had to make a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks to try again. And the mother is just slightly hesitant to post the impending bundle of joy on her blog... just until she hears the healthy heartbeat. The people she wanted to know, know. The people who don't... If it will settle her mind to hear the heartbeat in a few more days, then she should wait. By the way, I'm so excited about this little monkey... and will indeed make a trip once he or she is born... I can hardly sit still for the next 28 or so weeks... Not that I don't love all of your babies, just as much!

P.S. Anyone with Clare's email address, could you email or IM it to me please? thanks!


who wants to clean my house? i want a clean house, but am lacking the appropriate motivation to get there.

i have good products, including vacuum, fuller brush broom, and a cabinet full of sterilizers and sparkly-makers. i will cook for you (provided you clean up after that as well) and i am a wunnerful cook.


turkey day, hold the turkey

I had a very low-energy Thanksgiving involving laundry, Miracle, and a ham.

I wish I liked ham.

Super stoked...

Alias, season 4 begins Wednesday, January 5 at 9/8c and a special 2 hour premiere!

a cultural shift

I've decided that if I tell a blonde joke in public I'm not going to say blonde anymore... I'll say cottonheaded ninnymuggins.

A cottonheaded ninnymuggins bought a jigsaw puzzle and invited her boyfriend over to help her with it. He said, "sure! what is it a puzzle of?" She said, "a TIGER!" So he drove to her house, and she met him at the door and said, "I've got it all spread out on the table, but I don't know where to start!" He walked into the kitchen, and looked at the table. He sighed and said, "Honey, first of all, this isn't going to make a tiger. Secondly, let me help you put these Frosted Flakes back in the box..."

You smell like beef and cheese.

When will quoting Elf get old? I don't know, but you'll SURELY notice before I, so please let me know.

My quiet night last night involved, having a spot o' beer a the symphony, visiting with funny people, trying the idea that a great band name would be Grand Funk Railroad (thanks, Mara), watching Amazing Race 6, assembling a lamp and going to bed earlier than I had since, oh, mid-September. And still I wasn't quite ready to wake up at 4:48, but a few minutes later, the iPod turned on and started me busting to "My Finest Hour" which ALWAYS takes me back to Fred's old house in Park City... not the one with the loft for her room, but the one with the loft IN her room. And one night, I woke up in the middle of the night (in the loft IN the room) and was lying there listening to the rain turn to snow, and after about 2 minutes, Fred's voice saying quietly in the darkness, it's just started to snow... It was on the last night of that trip that Freddie and I went to the tennis courts and spun ourselves dizzy, or in my case, sick. That was the last time I saw Freddie until Maryama and Sam got married in 1997. Then the next time we saw each other was when Freddie got married in 2003. But I have a sneaking suspicion I shall travel to the PDX in the next year or so for another visit. Or she could always come here. Either way.

Fight Club, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Shipping News, Whitechocolatespaceegg, Dar Williams (hoo boy, was that a biggie), Beck, Oingo Boingo... It happens a LOT. I was thinking about my proclivity to become very fond of something shortly after publicly proclaiming that I don't really like it (usually happens with music, somewhat with books and movies). And I've become obsessed with "Bubble Toes" by Jack Johnson. After publicly decrying for a year that I do NOT like the Brushfire Fairytales album (it's too mellow for too long and loses my interst quickly), and not being overly fond of that song in particular, the changeover began last week. I got really stuck on the "move like a jellyfish, rhythm don't mean nothing, you go with the flow, you don't stop" part. And the break between the first verse and the second. And then the simple, Jack harmonies in the bridge... it almost always happens to me. The only times that I haven't changed my stance are with Bjork (but "Human Behaviour" is one of my top 100 songs), Radiohead (I would LOVE to love them), there are a couple more to list, but I'm not remembering just at this moment in time. I'm sure I'll remember a couple more later.

If I had a pair of eyes in the back of my head for each time you forgot to take out all the things you forgot to talk about when you took a bite out of my spine, I would have a lot of eyes on the other side, wouldn't I? Wouldn't that just be fine?

so weird...

Tuesday morning

My Peipeipei and my Mara have gone away for Thanksgiving... I may wind up alone on Thanksgiving. Then again, I may not. It's all up in the air.

Yesterday, I was going to clean the house top to bottom, stem to stern, but wound up helping Crazy Mara finish her paper edits and format the works cited. So we wound up going to school to turn the paper in, then getting some foodies, then getting the WEIRDEST mani/pedi (her treat for editing - thanks!) ever from the WEIRDEST people EVER, then to Target where I got lightbulbs for the lamp that's been in my car for 3 weeks that I bought for $10. It's cute (the lamp, the mani, and the pedi, I suppose). And now I work. And there's the symphony tonight at work. So free dinner of appetizers and cocktails. One interesting, unexpected, and fun perk of the ol' jobster.

Tomorrow Ernie turns 5. 5!!! He's such a little doggy inside... his outsides just don't reflect it... And it's been coooold at nights, but I have to leave the windows cracked because the people upstairs control the thermostat and they leave it BLASTING all night long. So it's hot air, humidifier, open window, and millions of blankets. So Ernie often crawls up to the top of the bed (he usually sleeps at the foot, and gradually works his way to the middle, forcing me from it) and snuggles my back and shoulders...and aw, nuts... I need to make a Christmas Kennel reservation for him Post-Haste!)

lundi libre

aujourd'hui est la journée première de mes vacances! je suis libre comme un oiseau! donc, je conduirai ma copine, pei, à l'aéroport dans quelques minutes, je nettoyerai mon appartement (parce qu'il est très, très nécessaire), je laisserai les bons temps rouler ce soir (mais je serai pas très folle, je travail les mardi, et il faut aue je prepare pour le concert de symphonie demain soir à l'hôpital)

mais je suis très libre et je suis heureuse comme une petite fille!

Я работаю...

eh, forget it... i'm on vacation.

hee hee!

i'm done with finals.

i'm on school break until january 3.

hee hee! i'm delighted and full of glee!

but there's no more sanctioning for the end of quarter punchies... now people just will think i'm wacky... oh well, because i'm done!

watching things

i watched elf last night. yay! random narwhale moments! yay! christmas spirit!

i'm watching the long way around right now. it's the documentary series on bravo about ewan mcgregor's trip with a friend (charley somethingoranother) and a cameraman on motorcycle that started in (i'm assuming) continental europe, heading east across europe, russia, asia, and the bering strait through alaska, canada and the us. i'm not certain but i believe that the trip was slated to end in nyc. today, they've crossed from russia into mongolia... it's so interesting. really interesting. i'd like to watch the whole thing if i ever have the time... wait school's over this week!!!

oh! i forgot. i dreamt that i bought not one, but two subaru outbacks (a blue legacy, and a red impreza sport) and my aunt made me return one. i also bought a cake for newborn keira. it was sort of a gross cake because it was 100 percent icing (or ice-ning, if you will). at least i'm not dreaming about school.

somethings wonderful...

it's snowing today.

i'm warm and toasty inside but have gone out occasionally to enjoy the snow.

i watched joan of arcadia last night and forgot how very good that show is.

not to mention its music directors.

so i bought patty griffin's "impossible dream" so i could have my own copy of "kite song" which is wonderful...

and i just have 1 more project to do and i'm 12.5% finished with it.

i can see...

the finish line... sorta.

2 more pages of a paper (which has gone REALLY quickly so far if only I'd stop surfing the internet, i'd likely be done by now).

20 sentences in Russian

Take-home final which will actually be kind of hard but we are allowed to collaborate with our lassmates so you know there'll a lot of that in the near future.. that's due Monday, and then I'm DONE!

Stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge.


most papers done, have a shortie one due tomorrow and take home final due monday.

but i have an enormous migraine.



is annoying.

Brit-Brit's honeymoon poem

(thanks to entertainment.msn.com for posting this guy)

A honeymoon at last, to get away from it all
My assistant Fe gave me the call.

I remember it well, as she was smilin'
She said it was called Turtle Island.

I packed my bags light and quick,
Then grabbed my pink dress & favorite lipstick.

We hopped on a plane and took our flight
I slept really well, all through the night.

As we arrive, I turn and look out the door,
People are greeting us right at the shore.

A meal, a shower and some ice cream
Then I threw my man down, you know what I mean!

Magical nights filled with stars
Silence is golden, no running cars.

Private dinners, romantic fires
Little piece of heaven, whatever your heart desires.

Friendly "hellos" and never goodbyes
When you're having fun, oh, how time flies!

As we sit and prepare to make our part
I thank you, Turtle Island, with all my heart!

stretching the ole brain differently

I've been overwhelmed with school lately. Not precisely overwhelmed, but superbusy. But yesterday I said goodbye to my two favorite classes... they made Mondays wunnerful. I still have a paper to write for one of them, but it's not due until Friday and it's going to be interesting to write.

Condi Rice is being tapped unofficially as of yet for the next Secretary of State. That will make my school VERY happy (she's a DU alum, as well as a GSIS grad). I'm sad to see Powell go, he was the most vocal flea in Bush's ear, but likewise I understand why that's undesirable in a Secy. of State.

Lastly, I keep trawling my ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's blog, for she always has interesting stuff. (Dysfunctional? Yup. Anyhow, interesting stuff.) For instance, go here and learn a tiny bit about the dualist philosophy Manichaeism (from which Augustine converted to Christianity) as it relates to Bush. It's interesting, and was my favorite part of my seminar on Augustine I tried to take my sophomore year of college before the prof. told me it was open only to jrs and srs... There's also a fabulous breakdown of dualism in general in a CS Lewis book... I can't remember which book right now...The 4 Loves? The Problem of Pain? Mere Christianity? It's currently eluding me. Anyhow that's it.


I've been at the library writing my paper for almost 9 hours. I'm on the 9th page. That's not the most efficient thing in the world.

At least it's only a 10 pager and I should be home in the next 90 minutes or so...

I'll show Putin some autocracy...
(help! I made a political science joke...)

Oh My God It Burns!

Oh My God It Burns! please go here for improving the quality of your well vodka.

(thanks for the link freddie)

meltdown expected...i live by the river

90% of my putin paper that's due wednesday is done.

0% of my putin paper that's due tomorrow is done. guess what i'm working on all day long?

ernie very cuddly but sad that i have so little time to devote to him lately.

in the mood to watch toys to hear ll cool j say he likes his food military style, and that it bothers him to have his peas invading his mashed potatoes.

nice long conversation via IM with james the chick (aka fred) to make me happy and make me miss her.

bob is my favorite.

okay. need shower, breakfast, coffee and to go to the library since i don't work well at home. (happy peppermint mocha season at starbucks! not quite CBTL's holidday mint lattes, but there aren't any CBTLs out here.... or sephoras. or trader joe's.)

and so it begins

i got my cp final last night... ugh.

however this is very strange because now i operate in a world where cp means comparative politics, and not cerebral palsy.

Missing Jake

I've really been missing my friend Jake lately. It comes and goes in phases. Last I heard, he was moving out of his apartment in Paris and to Copenhagen to be nearer his girlfriend from California who was living in Sweden. (If I had a dollar for every time I've done that...) But I've been perusing some of his old emails, and it's making me miss him more keenly... He loves his Cadbury Mini Eggs come Easter... Here's a gem illuminating the rockin'ness of Jake:

"The Book Of Jake 8:2

and then, spring cometh, and the winter did flee like a pansy. and the peoples emerged from thier coverings.. and what to thier surprise should appear.. GOD had been.. and he hath planted his seed all over the place... and from each drop sprung goodness.. but alas, this goodness had but one form.. it sprang like tigger.. the peoples picked up the egg shaped gifts from god and placed them gently on thier quivering tongues.. and they knew that it was good.. they knew that it was cadbury.. and they feasted.. upon the Mini eggs, and full size eggs and breakfast cereals... and jake turneth to his people and spoke: "Tonight we shall feast upon the fruit of our lord.. and tommorow we shall purge. Jebidiah," he said,"turn on the stereo and lets get to eatin."

End of Book of Jake"



To pass a constitutional amendment, there is required 2/3 majority in the House and the Senate respectively, and 3/4 of all state legislatures (unclear if this includes DC)

Punchies continue

And why are so many places like Hogwarts... I can never find the same place twice lately... stuff keeps moving... It's also sort of like the Department of Mysteries. And last night we had an excellent reference in class to Harry Potter... Good times.

Anyhow, I'm scaling back my hours significantly at work over the next 2 weeks so I have time to work on my papers and finals and whatnot. I sorta want to cry lately over the amount of work I have to do. And I have indeed started researching most (although not all) of my papers. It's the CP final that has me growing an ulcer.

I went to sleep last night at 10. The night before, at 9.... It was NIIIIICE to get sleep. And then the puppy dog woke me up this morning at 1:45 to go outside, and then when he woke me again later, I thought, no way, we're waiting until the alarm goes off... then I peeked at the alarm and it was already 5:20, and I had set it for 4:45 pm... So props to the princess for waking me.

Thanksgiving week is going to be so nice... I'm off on Monday (and taking Peipei the Panda to the airport - I haven't forgotten), Tuesday I go in late so that I can stay until 8 that night and hear a free chamber music concert at work (one of my projects - it's moments like those that make me LOVE my job), Wednesday, well is Wednesday, I work a full day, then off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving!

You people who will be displaced on Thanksgiving (i.e. DU people without family in the area) are hereby invited to my house for pseudoThanksgiving. Details to follow.

Got my schedule for winter quarter last week... forgot to talk about it in the rush of the election:
-Strategic Intelligence and Data Collection
-International Political Theory (technically called International Politics Theory, but I'm certain that is incorrect - If they wanted to use politics, they should have called it Theory of International Politics)
-Conflict Resolution
-Emerging Diseases in International Affairs

Will I be busy? Yup. Will my hair likely fall out? Yup. But am I excited about all of my classes? Well, most of them (not so much IPT - I don't like theory, and I hear that class is HARD).

Okay, I gots to work.

Sunday morning.

I guess it's sunday afternoon. Oh well...

I went to breakfast this morning with crazy mara. I had an omelette. I didn't really want it to come with a side. So I said, a biscuit. No, toast. No, pancakes. So I wound up with pancakes because I was annoyed with myself. And sure enough, I just didn't want a side. So I didn't eat them.

But the omelette was yummy.

End of Quarter Punchies...

Alright now lose it (ah ah ah ah ah)
Just lose it (ah ah ah ah ah)
Go crazy (ah ah ah ah ah)

This is getting nutty.

Wow, this is a lot even for me!

So, congratulations to Joe and Erika T. who had baby Joseph Daniel: 6 lbs 3 oz, and 20 inches!

A baby on the second (Anna Maria) and a baby on the third (Joseph Daniel)?

Freddie, if Mike and Kimberly had their baby yesterday, I'll drop dead with agogity. (There's a chance I made that word up)

sad heather...

The Christine Kane show I've been waiting for since BEFORE I MOVED TO DENVER, has been cancelled. Christine is sick, she got on a plane anyway, flew from NC to Cincinnati, and her flight to Denver's been cancelled. So in sad news for her, she's sick AND in Ohio. They hope to reschedule...sometime...

So who's free tonight?

And so it is...

...just like you said it would be. Life goes easy on me, most of the time. (damien rice)

Okay, for some reason, even though last night I got SO much more sleep than I did the night before, I'm SO tired today. And am required to put in a full 8 hours today. I was at the school library last night freaking out a little because I put my schedule together and it looks like a really big scary thing for the rest of the quarter. Next Wednesday, our take-home finals for comparative politics will be available. We have 12 days to do them. This means they'll be HARD and we'll have to reference and quote all of the readings from the quarter, not to mention the lectures. And let me tell you, we've spent nearly NO time discussing the readings and the lectures have been rather apropos of nothing. I have a 12 page paper (a thinkpiece) on Vladimir Putin's presidency and his move toward increasingly authoritarian rule and severe backslide in democratic processes due the 15th, a 9 page paper on Vladimir Putin's policies and a political theory analysis of his actions due the 17th, and a 7 page paper due the 19th on the intelligence system's applications of federalism, and policy processes involved therein. The 22nd is the day the take-home final is due. This is also still with working and class and I'm going to cry a little, tiny bit.

But in funner news, Christine Kane tonight at Swallow Hill! Yay!

Also, if anyone wants to buy me this, I'd thank you most profusely (and it'd be VERY close to Crazy Mara's).

Maybe the moral high ground isn't as high as they say it is.

I'm having a bit of a rough morning. It's partly sleep deprivation, partly election aftermath, partly the song I'm listening to, and partly the lively and heartbreaking and emotional vs. idealistic debate happening over at freddie's place. It's actually a lot of work to be an idealist. And people try to disillusion me all the time. But without ideals, without hope, without something to work for, I feel like I'll curl up and blow away. In one of my classes on Monday, I said (only half-jokingly) that I didn't want to know about the interest groups that are lobbying the Intelligence Community because I'm an idealist and I would be disillusioned soon enough... but the professor said, "sorry, but I'm going to disillusion you anyway." Which didn't make me mad, but made me sad. I have SO many years of public service coming my way whereupon I'll be forced to swallow these illusions and become jaded and callous; does it really need to happen any sooner than necessary?

I'm feeding off of other peoples' sorrow, fear, anger today. I feel like a sponge for strong emotion and I can't seem to separate them out from my own this week. Here's something from an email I sent to someone just this morning that's tied in:

"It’s disturbing to think of the many levels that the presidency, the British/American love affair, the Iraqi war, the loss of ever-increasing lives (collateral or not), the funding and materiels going into it, the Russian president moving toward an authoritarian state in so many ways seems like news that we can rant and rail and rage about…but there’s always someone it will resonate with more desperately, more hopelessly, inciting so many more ripples of personal grief, fear, despondency… there are so many levels on which people are affected, there are so many ways to take action, there are so many ways to play into the apathetic lazy American stereotype, but… see, now I’m losing my train of thought.

This is so enormously also involved in why I believe I’m going to work in the public sector. I have the opportunity to make the world a safer, less conflicted place. If only on the most microscopic level, it goes back to the butterfly effect. Or that cheesy story about the boy throwing starfish back in the sea. Yes, I’m being overly idealistic here, but it’s the only thing that I can think of right now. But it’s something that I am able to do and accomplish in my short time on this earth. I do love this country. It’s taken me a long time to realize that. And I have a lot of personal conflicts in my professional life ahead of me, but to quote Utah Phillips (who may have just borrowed this from yet another source, or it may be a cliché I just don’t know), following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked. I have to try and keep battling for what I know is an intangible ideal in my lifetime: a utopian society where there’s a perfect economy of all things material, emotional, and societal. I’ve been saying this in many situations these days, but without hope, without faith that there is something better than the world we have right now, we have nothing. So you move forward, you do everything you can to do no harm, if not ameliorate what is ameliorable, and you never become complacent."

"Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so that if I lost a part of me, I’d still have two of the same to live. But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we’re universal. To let this love survive would be the greatest gift that we could give."


my cousin beth had a baby girl yesterday morning: Anna Maria Kozial!


christine and her cat

From the Christine Kane mailing list:

Happy Late Autumn to the good people on my email list,Tomorrow is Election Day, and I'm encouraging everyone I know to please, please, please vote. It matters greatly in this world today. I'm also reminding myself that whatever the results are, it is up to each one of us to commit to making our world more peaceful and loving. That is no small task, no matter who ends up in office.

My other request is that if you know people in or near Denver, CO, please let them know that I will be performing at the main theater at Swallow Hill this coming Friday night, November 5. Most of my shows this fall have had good audiences primarily because of word-of-mouth and mailing list. I thank you for this. I couldn't do this without your support. I've been traveling pretty much constantly.

And because I feel compelled to tell at least one stupid story, here's a cat moment from last week: I was home for the full moon, and it was gorgeous. I was standing outside in the dark calling my cat Gracie, and weaving all sorts of witch-ly stories about my mysterious cat, and how she must be out casting spells beneath the moon, or doing some sort of goddess ritual. Then, from down the street, she came charging towards me with something in her mouth. I was pretty scared because I didn't want to have to extract and rescue a mole or bunny. (Gracie's never caught anything before.) But then she ran right past me. And what was in her mouth was a big slice of pizza. She looked up as she ran past with sheer panic in her eyes, as if to say "Quick! Open the back door, and I'll give you some!" So much for the goddess. Thanks again to each of you. I'll see you soon!

17 degrees without the windchill

It was chilly this morning. In fact, it was downright cold, and I had to put on a jacket before I'd let the creature out for his morning tinkle (I usually tough it out in a tshirt or tank top and pajama pants with flip flops until it gets to about 25 degrees... then I cave and this morning wore a jacket and stylish black loafers with my tanktop and pj pants).

Even if it is 17 degrees, and the windchill is down to 6, you have to VOTE TODAY. You are excused from voting today for only 4 reasons:
1. You're not 18
2. You're not an American citizen
3. You've already voted by absentee ballot
4. You've participated in your state's early voting (that was my choice)

I don't care how apathetic you are, or disillusioned by the American government, you have to vote to effect a change. Write your congressional representatives when you are displeased, but be aware that voter records are available to them, and they are more likely to respond and take action if you are an active voter (if you actively voted for them, they're more likely to respond, but they know that if they go to work for you, you're more likely to vote for them next time around). You have certain rights to be heard as a citizen of this country, but if you don't take advantage of the simplest, most accessible one, you're wasting my time and my taxes (and I even am a HUGE fan of taxes and don't have problems voting to raise them). And if you're complaining but didn't vote, you're wasting precious resources like air in a society that chops down trees like they're going out of style and therefore convert less of your windbag CO2 into O2 for us to breathe.

I don't care if you vote Dem or Rep (well I care a little, but that shouldn't concern you), just please hop to, little ones and VOTE.

Il neige...

Je vois la neige pour la premiere fois que j'ai quitte Maine...

La neige est tres belle, mais j'ai de l'anxiete de conduire dans elle...

Mais elle est tres belle... et le chiot l'aime aussi.

Good morning America, how are you?

I'm very well, thank you!

Had a fun day yesterday that consisted of me taking a pair of jeans that I loathe because they fit funny and turning it into a skirt that fits pretty darn well, thank you, hanging out with friends (thus beginning the 3 day birthday celebration of Crazy Mara - who has yet to have a superpower delegated), going out dancing, then for late night grilled cheesies. (I accident typed gilled cheesies, which seems very gross) I'm making a cake today after I finish my Afghanistan presentation. Then academic craziness sets in and I have very little fun.

The best laid plans...

So I went to the mall last night, didn't do my Russian homework til this morning, and started on my skirt around 1. I went to bed around midnight.

in funny news...

My proclivity for giving people nicknames or adjectives in front of their names led one James the Chick (aka Fred), who by the way is the only one to have a parenthetical note in HER nickname, asked me how all of my crazy superhero friends are doing...

So tell me Fredlet, what's YOUR superpower?

Update: I've just realized with all of my superfriends with their supernames and superpowers, I don't have one. I'm opening the floor to get one. It's less cool if you give yourself one.

Friday, where have you been?

It's going to be a long, day, but it's Friday! And Friday means going shopping with Pei Lo Mein, making a skirt out of a pair of jeans I never wear because they're funny looking, doing my Russian homework, and going to bed EARLY tonight. Last night was the earliest I'd gone to bed in about 4 weeks. It was 10:30.

I am trying so hard to mentally tune out the political commercials (particularly in the Salazar/Coors CO senate race) because I've voted, and the commercials instead of being merely annoying are utterly revolting.

I'm having a Caramel Macchiato today for the first time since... it's been a long time. I've become such an Americano girl that even with the extra espresso, it's sickeningly sweet. It's supposed to be a rain/snow mix on Sunday. It usually snows here on Halloween.

I'm having mixed reactions about Yasser Arafat's failing health. It's bizarre because he's the only Palestinian leader I remember... Remember when he won the Nobel Peace Prize? I'm frightened to realize that as terrible as the situation is in Palestine/Israel, it's a situation where the devil you know seems better than the devil you don't... But maybe we need 2 new devils before anything can get better.

Okay kids, get crazy with the Cheez Whiz, I gots to work.

Prolific, aren't I?

So why so many posts today? I have no idea.

Moving ahead.

It's baby seal stranding season in Maine right now. Poor Andre.

I voted on Monday after class. This is the very first time I voted for all one party (note: this is VERY different than voting along party lines which I think is foolish, but chances are we've likely had that discussion). And like a true registered Democrat, I voted "yes" on all of the tax increases. I think taxes are good things. I don't think they're penalties, and I don't mind paying them (it's different when your job messes up your withholdings and you have to pony up $800 in one lump sum which is just annoying, but that's not the US' fault). I think bigger government is a good thing. I think nationalized health care is a good thing. I think having firefighters, teachers, police, public transportation are good things. But, to get back to my point, Colorado has early voting. So I went to the Safeway, stood in line for about 2 minutes, went into my booth and voted.

You're going to vote too, aren't you?

Saw a baaaad ska show the other night.

Had a boring class last night, followed up by yummy chinese food.

more about music

I've been slowly getting back into the music groove... I went from playing the guitar for about 2-3 hours a day to maybe playing for 15 minutes a week. But as I'm starting to balance out work, school, and homework, I've had a little more time for guitar play. But I can't remember beyond about 5 songs what I know how to play. If I remember their names, it shouldn't be a problem to start playing them, but I can only think of the same 5 songs... Someone, please remind me what songs I know how to play... Here's the 5 I can remember:

It's Over - Lisa Loeb
The Sweetest Sound - Gina Forsyth
I Love, I Love - Dar Williams
The Blower's Daughter - Damian Rice (I raise my glass and sigh)
Perfect - Doria Roberts

(end of plea for help)

But I've also been going back and listening to music I haven't typically listened to in a while (I go through my experimental rock, then folk, then classical, then poppish phases sequentially, and forget that I can balance it out and not only listen to one genre at a time) but I've started pulling out my Clash (about 6 weeks ago I changed my ring tone from Alias {gasp!} to London Calling), Ramones, Mind Science..., Neutral Milk Hotel, Great Lakes, and some old songs I'd forgotten about by Bright Eyes and Danielle Howle... But I'm making a conscious effort to listen to a bunch of different genres at a time this time around...

It's high time I razed the wall...

I got home last night from class and checked my email. And I had an email from my friend from college, RockStar Matt "Smartin'" Martin. I haven't heard from Matty in about 2 years, and last I had heard he was living in Chicago being a rock star and taking a break from his band Amerigo. Matt's also a music therapist, but I don't know that he ever did his internship. Anyhow, is email said that he was living back in New Orleans, and playing guitar with a band named World Leader Pretend (it's high time I razed the wall... I raised the wall and I will be the one to knock it down). His band was just signed to Warner Bros. records, will be going on a small tour of the US for the end of the year, releasing a new album after the first of the year, and then going on a World Leader tour next year. So, go to www.wlplover.com sign up for the mailing list, buy their first album, buy their second album and go see them when they're on tour.

the autumn of my discontent

There's a short story by David Foster Wallace called "Here and There." There's a passage in it that says something to the effect of eventually every there you head for, filled with excitement though you may be to be heading to a place of new people, new adventures, new life, every There evenutally becomes a Here, with your eyes focused on an all new There. I am very happy Here. This Here is still very much a There.

But there's something nagging at me just below the surface. Something that makes me want to "buckle up my tough old heart and hit the road." Pull a Codi Noline (not to mix my fiction, but I've jumped over to Animal Dreams by Kingsolver) move ahead and experience my next place, get out of Grace, AZ and move on to Telluride. AD also has a passage where Codi hears that the Pueblos used to take a piece of their home with them when they moved on so that they would never be without the things they love and cherish. She says she'll probably take a piece of Grace (which is a metaphor I love...) when she leaves. But someone points out to her that there's a difference between taking a piece of home when you move on and always moving on looking for a home. About ground orientation: instead of circling above the ground looking for a great place to start life and live, and being down on the ground and living it.

That's the distinction I've never mastered. Denver fits my bill in a lot of ways: nice people, less expensive gas than in CA, a good school that is keeping me challenged, the right kind of seasons, and I've met some fantastic people. I don't want to leave here, at least right now. But when it gets to be too much, I want to find a geographic cure for a problem. Which is in a lot of ways like drinking chamomile tea to stop nuclear proliferation; two different categories.

It's just going to be a long 3 weeks before the quarter ends.

fell in love with a girl

I said "I must be fine because my heart's still beating
Come and kiss me by the riverside,"
"Bobby said it's fine, he don't consider it cheating."

good song.

Stuck in my head for about a week... it might be the next "Bad Moon Rising."

works for dogs too. (thanks fred)

cat hair removal guidelines

  • hair from clothing
  • de-fur the inside AND the outside of all cardigans
    ( to avoid embarrassment during warm business meetings )
  • de-fur the backs, arms, and leg rests of all chairs twice weekly
  • don't forget your car seats
  • and yes, your chair at work too
  • move neglected laundry pile from floor to inside of closet
  • don't forget to close closet door
  • just in case, lock it.
  • vacuum three times a week minimum
    ( make sure your roommate does the same )
  • groom the cat daily
    ( make sure your roommate does the same )
  • consider grooming cats while naked, then shower immediately
    ( putting on clothes post-grooming would adhere fur to inside of clothes, see cardigan guideline )
  • use groomed fur to knit warm fur sweater
  • knit while naked, then shower immediately
  • consider using sweater proceeds to hire maid to help with vacuuming
  • shave cats.

mmmm.... coffee....

So there's a chance I'll be going to a ska show tonight... I haven't been to any sort of concert in ages, so I'm totally excited. However, Mindy Smith is playing in Boulder this week, and Christine Kane is playing in Denver next week... and I've been waiting for the Christine Kane show for almost 6 months though... argh! I think I'll do ska and CK. I have seen CK once, and it was in Clemson, SC at the Freedom Weekend Aloft, a hot air balloon festival that takes place every Memorial Day Weekend. My friend David took me, my roommate Mina, his girlfriend Karen and I to see Dar Williams, but it turned out to be CK... and she's one of my favorites EVER now. I just got her new album Right Outta Nowhere and it is SO good...

Get to go look at the museum of Nature and Science today to see our locale for out biiiiiiiig party I'm planning for work... Yay! Big party = big budget!


So, Saturday night, there was a GSIS (school) party that was highly unofficial. I believe it was entitled something along the lines of "Party Like an Undergrad" and there was a flyer and everything. But the funny part was it was distributed on the school Listserv. So, that was funny. And I went with it with a bunch of people, met some new people, had a beer, whatever. The host was there, and wearing a tie. It was a pretty quiet affair all in all, with a couple of intoxicated people, but all in all not rowdy (I had some issues with the music, too, but that's another post for another day).At one point, I was talking about how weird it was that the party was sent out on the listserv, and concluded Susan (the administrator of the listserv) will put ANYTHING on the listserv with very little bureaucracy, when my friend Pei pointed out that the host was sitting 2 feet from me, so I bit my tongue and he didn't really hear me. And later I heard that he had passed out in his room and was no longer partying like an undergrad (or perhaps, he WAS partying like an undergrad...). By and large I had a good ttime, followed by returning to Crazy Mara's house with some peoples and indulging in late night music and snacks (and a very unpleasant experience with slivovitz...sp?, which shall henceforth be known as Romanian Firewater... I had a little and that was all I could deal with. It was nasty) I had a good time, went home really late (well, it was 6 am...that's theoretically early, I suppose). Come today, I'm checking my school email, and lo! there is a letter on the listserv entitled "Party Aftermath"

There was an apology from said host for "being such a lame host", and I'm going to post a bit of the letter. (few people from GSIS likely read this, and I was WITH them, so it's not going to be a thing...I don't think):

"After two consecutive games of beer pong early in the night, my stomach had had enough. At one point the puke hit the back of my throat while I was in the basement. I ran up the stairs, bumped a really cute girl and made her spill her beer all over herself (sorry, whoever you are), committing my first major faux pa of the night, and hurled all over my tie in the back yard. "

So I believe it's safe to assume Susan WILL post ANYTHING on the listserv.

Monday, Monday

If only Mondays were more like Fridays...

It's going to be a long 4 weeks.

Crimes against technology

My friend Tim's laptop was stolen from the DU library yesterday. He stood up to print out his paper that was due in 10 minutes, walked 10 feet to the printer, went back to his computer, and it was GONE. Fortunate things: he had emailed his paper to his yahoo acct., he had already printed it... and that's about it. New computer, 1 payment in, and no insurance... Ew.

I don't leave my laptop unless someone is sitting right next to it and they'll just keep an eye out. But I REALLY don't want it stolen. But that is just unpleasant...

Okay it's time to reimmerse myself in Soviet-Afghan relations in the 80's.

There's a slim chance...

that I was at the library until 1 writing a paper (of the 14 other people in the class, I knew of at least 6 people who were nowhere near as far along as I was when I left last night), made it home around 1:30 ( I took a stupid route home that took me past some ladies of ill repute on Colfax and I didn't even get a big huge bottle of water like I was dying for and was the reason I took the stupid route home), fed the dog, let him run around and frolic for a little while, drank half of a lake's worth of water, went to bed around 2:15... 5:30 came mighty early...

About this blog

erratically updated for food, yarn, or other nonspecified reasons