Monday, November 30, 2009

30 Books

Goal achieved.

I hit 30 books in just under 11 months (this doesn't include the books I re-read over the summer, of which there were probably five or six).

I'll keep reading - I'm curious to see how many I can finish by the end of the year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own: for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.

--Rod Serling
The Twilight Zone
The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street
Season 1, Episode 22
Original airdate: March 4, 1960

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gearing up

Thanksgiving is a week from today. Holy cats, people, how did that happen? It seems like it should only be September. Instead we're 5 weeks away from Christmas.

5 weeks.

Are you ready for it? For the rush, the shopping, and the Christmas music? Parties and presents and travel and tons of food? My answer is no. No I'm not ready. Even though I've already got the Christmas music station tuned in at work.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? We have to get through Thanksgiving first. Thanksgiving and then Black Friday. Which I will be working. In retail.

Digression: If you are going shopping on Black Friday, keep in mind that we peons are working as fast as we can to get you out the door so you can hit the next sale. Keep in mind that we'd probably rather be shopping ourselves, or home decorating our Christmas trees, or stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving leftovers. We'll wish we were almost anywhere else but there. So bring your patience with you, lady, because minimum wage isn't enough incentive to keep me from telling you to stuff it if you get snippy with me. end digression

My Thanksgiving will be spent at my parent's house, eating a ton, laughing a ton, and watching the parades on TV. I'm sure we'll play games, and it'll get loud, and we'll all have a great time. I'm really looking forward to it.


Gear up! It's almost time to break out the Christmas tree, lights, and tinsel.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home! Dogs! Chaos and Mayhem!

S is home, safe and sound. His flight arrived on time even though it took off late. (How do they make up that time? Speed? I thought the plane roads had set speed limits so there would not be mishaps. Maybe I'm wrong.)

Anyway! We were up late into the night looking at pictures and chatting and catching up and I was so very glad he was home.

Then! We got up early to chat and look at videos and catch up and drink coffe and I was still so very glad he was home. As I continue to be.

He had many good stories from his 10-day cruise and I know I've not heard them all yet. (I'll ask if I can post some of his pictures.)


This past weekend, I stayed at my parent's house. Sunday morning while they went to church, I took the dogs for a walk*. Their dog Annie is a Shih Tzu puppy and has not had much experience on a leash. She stuck close to Russ and followed his lead but she was not walking tail-up, ya know? Cautious, she was.

I thought it was adorable so I snapped a pic and texted it to my dad. My (72 year old!) father texted me back saying he got the pic. So I called him. Told him his Annie was doing fine and that Russ was being a good walk-on-a-leash role model** for her.

About this time, he darts sharply left just about jerking me off my feet. I had a brief glimpse of beady eyes and white teeth before Russ came up with The Raccoon With A Death Wish. Russ begins shaking it like it's a stuffed toy.

Meanwhile, I'm still on the phone with my dad. "HOLY SHIT, he's got a raccoon, I gotta go!"

A ruckus ensues: hanging up, raccoon shaking, leash tugging, screaming DROP IT -- all while standing in the middle of the road, mind you -- more shaking, and finally! I get the leash pulled up enough that Russ drops TRWADW.

On my shoes.

Luckily Russ had grabbed TRWADW by the scruffy bits of it's neck and shoulders so there was no blood***. Thank gawd.

TRWADW shook himself off, then made haste for the side of the road**** where he hopefully climbed a tree instead of sitting at the base of one WAITING FOR ANOTHER DOG ATTACK*****.

It was about this time that the bumping, dragging noise I was hearing registered. It was Annie, tearing ass down the middle of the road, dragging her retracto leash behind her. HOLY SHIT! My dad's pride and joy was running like her tail was on fire.

"ANNIEANNIEANNIEANNIE!" More screaming, some running, much tugging on Russ's leash with shouts of "This is your fault, MOVE YOUR ASS!" The yelling finally broke through her panic. Annie stopped, turned around, saw Russ trotting towards her and became her usual puppy self again.

But she made me carry her home.

My throat hurt until Monday morning.

To any of my parent's neighbors who were trying to sleep in? Oops, sorry.

*down the very un-busy-at-10 a.m.-on-a-Sunday-morning dirt road that is across the street from their house.
**he lied.
***Russ is current on his rabies shot and a close inspection revealed no scratches or puncture wounds on the big doofus. I'm watching him closely anyway.
****but not before looking over his shoulder to either a) determine he was clear for a get-away or 2) to send Russ a WTF? look. I think it was the latter.
*****GAH! Raccoon! Sitting at the base of a tree! Was he eating? Was he sleeping? Had he been hit by a car? I was going to go back and check on him but I still had the dogs with me. Poor critter. I hope he's o.k.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Awaiting takeoff

S's plane.
Awaiting takeoff.
Awaiting S's plane.
The dogs.
Awaiting dreams of the mailman.
Awaiting sleep.
Awaiting his stories.
The dogs.
Awaiting a nice long walk.
The dogs.
Awaiting something.
Lift off.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A couple of too-bright photos



Crappy cell phone pictures, but you get the idea.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shelley, Austen, and Gaskell

Oh, people. Do you KNOW how difficult I'm finding it to read Frankenstein? It's very slow going. So slow, in fact, that I was less than half way through it when my book club met on Monday to discuss it. I'm not even to the second part yet. I pick it up with every good intention, but find myself distracted by the language/style/whatever. I read a sentence, then have to stop and translate it so I can understand it.


Austen is written in the same style! I LOOKED!


Elizabeth Gaskell. I love the movie versions of her novels (Wives & Daughters*, Cranford, and North and South) and would love to pick copies up to read but HOLY CATS, the LANGUAGE!

I'm stressing over this. I love the IDEA of the Shelley, Austen, and Gaskell novels but am not sure I'm cut out to actually READ them.

Please tell me I'm not the only one.


*OK, I just read the first little bit of Wives & Daughters on and it probably won't be so bad.