That's my general feeling when someone from my real life finds my blog. If you read the comments to the Pictures post below, my younger sister left a comment. Now that familiar mortified feeling is back. I tend to be much freer with my language (the first and probably the only time any of my family members have heard me swear have been times when I was in a play and my character had a swear in the dialog) and the subjects that I talk about on the blog (I tend to keep my thoughts to myself, but not here). In real life, I think I'm a pretty private person. Anyway, I'm out now, and I only hope I haven't written anything personally humiliating or rude or insulting about my younger sister (I can't imagine that I have, I think very highly of her.)

Anyway, welcome to the blog, Kathleen.


Non political

All 3 of my regular readers have probably noticed that I haven't been posting much about politics lately. There are a few reasons.

1. Other people are saying what I think, and much better than I can.
2. I've had all these arguments and debates so many times, I'm just fed up.
3. Some of the shit that the Bush administration is engaged in makes me actually become so furious that I find myself shaking with rage. Not healthy. I know that the rage comes from feeling powerless to do anything, so I really need to channel that anger into something productive.

Letter from camp

I don't believe I've mentioned this on the blog yet, but both of my children are at camp right now. Sio is working as a counselor, and Monkey is a camper. We dropped Monkey off on Sunday in the middle of a monsoon. I left her with envelopes, stamps and paper so she would be sure to write to us.

Well, we got a letter from her today. And when I say "we", I mean "the cat" got a letter from her. It was addressed to Madouc (or, as Monkey creatively spelled it, Madook), and read as follows:

Dear Madook,

I miss you very, very, very, very much, and I'm sure Sio feels the same way. Tell Mom and Dad that I miss them, too. I also miss Cass*, and please tell him that, but I miss you the most.



*Cass is Casmir, our other cat
**This word is enclosed in a small heart. The entire letter is also enclosed in a heart

Added to blogroll

konagod, Property of a Lady, Incomprehensible Demoralization, SAP. I also added my friend's band, Farewell to Arms, to the Other links section, which I should probably change to read Entertainment Links. You probably already check out all the blogs, if not, please read and enjoy. And definitely check out my friend's band!


Inspired by Shakespeare's Sister, here are a few pics.

Note the picture of JFK, or, as we call him, Uncle Jack

This is my gorgeous mother and my handsome father. I don't know if you can tell how gigantic his hands are in this picture.

I adored my big sister

I'm the orange headed baby that looks like a boy on the left.

showing off my legs

I'm the redhead in white at the center of the picture. Hiking up my skirt, grinning like a fool - really captures my pre-pubescent personality very well. (I became surly and angst filled when I hit puberty). Note my severely turned in leg - that's my good leg, actually. I eventually trained myself to walk with my toes turned in the proper direction.


Everybody ought to have a massage

I was nervous going in, but I felt elated and powerful and GOOD coming out. She had beautiful healing hands, and I still feel incredible hours later. I'm going to buy myself a massage for my birthday this year.

One small step for me

My work day is over, and I'm about to do the girliest thing I've ever done*. I'm going to get a manicure, my first one ever. A couple of months ago, I stopped biting my nails, and then Loki won a gift certificate for a manicure and massage, so I am about to take my unbitten and fairly long nails in for...whatever it is they do when you get a manicure.

And then I'm going to get a massage, which I'm slightly nervous about, because I'm mostly a non-touchy kind of person (not with my husband and kids, but with most everyone else). I'm worried that I'll start crying when someone rubs my back, just like I started crying when I went to physical therapy and the PT picked up my left leg and held it gently, taking all the pressure off my joint - just having that moment of relief made me burst into tears.

*I do not count giving birth, because that is womanly, not girly.

Random Flickr Blogging: IMG_4580

Papa Smurf never saw it coming.


It's not fair

It's not fair that just as the weather gets warm enough for swimming, my shoulder acts up. I can hardly move it, and it hurts like a motherfucker. I can only type this because I'm resting my arm on a pillow. I can't sleep because I can't get comfortable. Since I don't have any illegal drugs, I may have to resort to heavy drinking to make it through the night.


grocery shopping

Sio, Monkey and I went to the grocery store together. Like many children, Monkey is always asking for stuff at the grocery store. Unlike other children, she asks for stringbeans and mussels.



So, there are loads of things I wanted to blog about this week, but my shoulder hurts and I've had a massive sinus headache, so I haven't. Here's a quick list:

The jobs we call blow: I don't think blowjobs are inherently gross, although there was a time that I did think so, and that time was before I fell head over heels in love with Loki. Being tremendously sexually attracted to someone made me feel like putting my mouth in places it had never been before. I do think that blowjobs are inherently awkward and uncomfortable, though, from a physical perspective. Either you're on your knees, which get crankier as you get older, or you're on top and horizontal while dealing with something that is vertical, or there are ways to do it that my own crippled body just cannot handle. Any way you look at it, there's a reason it's called a job.

Linda Hirshman's Op-ed and book: she did a great job of kicking up some controversy, which I'm sure will help sales of her book. Her philosphy is mostly useless to people like me, who don't have a brilliant career but have to work at a soul sucking job that takes me away from the people I love without providing any intellectual fulfillment, and while I agree with her that running a home and raising children aren't honored in our society, I certainly do not agree with her that those tasks are not worthwhile. Her argument certainly doesn't help with the whole division of labor thing - she's just confirming what men have long believed - kids and house are women's work. And I think Amanda at Pandagon is wrong to handwave the critics who are complaining of Hirshman's elitism, because I think it is at the heart of Hirshman's philosphy.

The Secret E-Mail of A-List Bloggers: Heavens to mergatroid! A blogging kerfuffle! Okay, near as I can make out, the big bloggers on the left have a secret clubhouse, and Kos suggested to the other club members that his pal Jerome Armstrong should not be raked over the coals for his shady ethical behavior (which makes his move into political consultancy inevitable, I guess) in the past, behavior that caught the attention of the SEC. Jason Zengerle at The New Republic(an) went public with the private e-mails, saying Kos is telling the other big lefty bloggers that it's a nice advertising network, shame if something happened to it, which everyone is denying. And now I've written more about this than the whole stupid thing deserves.

I want to make some adjustments to my blogroll, but the bursitis in my shoulder is killing me, so I'm just going to go to bed.


Mayor McCoke

Once again, a Connecticut town has a mayor who is indulging in illegal activities. This time, it's Democratic mayor of Bridgeport John Fabrizi who has confessed to using cocaine. As far as bad CT mayors go, Fabrizi is pretty low on the list. We've had money corruption, of course, and sick fucks who don't even deserve to be praised by calling them the scum of the earth.

Fabrizi, btw, is still listed as a supporter of Holy Joe. I'm sure the jowly moralizer won't like that association for much longer.


Bat update

Loki found the bat when he got home from work, so the little guy has now been euthanized and is being tested for rabies. We should know by tomorrow if he was carrying.

Loki grew to respect the tenacious manner Mr. Squeaky clung to life, so he was a little sad that the bat had to die, but I think it was merciful. Since the cat had a rabies shot that should still be good, we're just supposed to keep him indoors and watch him for unusual behavior.


Last August, I wrote this post after I found a bat flying around the living room.

Last night, it happened again, except this time the bat was merely injured, and now I can't find the damn thing.


Random Flickr Blogging: IMG_0382

Fluffy made a good living for himself selling statues of Ra-b, the Sun God of the Lepus tribe. Most of the warren members had shrines in their dens, where they laid the best cabbage leaves, offerings they hoped would increase their harvest, and the prize carrots, which they offered in request for Ra-b to cause pain and suffering to their enemies, foxes, coyotes, hawks, and the MacGregors.

Fluffy himself wasn't orthodox, but he was happy to give up a good carrot to hurt the bad guys every now and again, although he always felt a little foolish placing a nice juicy carrot in front of the resin statues that were made by pygmy rabbits in Utah. One time he watched the statue from a distance after he made his offering, and instead of the spirit of Ra-b descending from on high to feast on the offerings and blessing the tribe by granting their prayers, Fluffy saw Mr. Wiggles, the high priest, take the offerings down to his den. "Still," Fluffy thought to himself, "you can't fight the system, and at least I'm making something off of it."

Things that make me think I'm a man

I was reading this post over at Pandagon, and it made me feel like a "nice guy" per Amanda's definition, which is really more "passive-aggressive guy". I think everyone in my house will agree that I am the remote hogger, and I will criticize the programming that others in the house are watching until they feel shamed and hand me the control. I feel appropriately guilty about my passive-aggressive ways, and will try to change.

Added to blogroll

Added: Stephen Benson's blog, The Minstrel Boy. Read and enjoy.


I don't think I've ever done this before

Today I spent father's day with my father. Weird, for us. My father is not big on celebrations, particularly not those that are not associated with the Catholic church. I remember asking him once what he was going to give my mother for mother's day, and he said "Nothing - she's not my mother."

Anyway, the girls and I went out to my parent's house. Sio has decided that she wants to start recording all the great family stories we tell (we went to a party on
Saturday and I was in party mode, so I told some of the great stories, and they got a hugely positive response, which I think triggered Sio to want to get everything down). We had some fun answering Sio's questions - she asked me to tell her about my strongest qualities as a child, and I told her my overriding quality was my know-it-allness. I actually remember the first time I realized that it was possible to be wrong, and let me tell you, that was like getting punched in the stomach.

We did learn some new things. For example, my mother can remember every address and phone number she's ever had. And when my father first came to the U.S., his nickname was Wee Willy (an ironic nickname for the 6'4" Irishman with hands as big as frozen turkeys). And neither one of my parents know how many kids my uncle Ned had ("a lot" was the best they could come up with.) And if my parents remember when they first met and how their relationship progressed, they sure as hell aren't sharing it.

We didn't see Loki until 8:30 or so tonight - he spent the day with his dad, building a gazebo. The girls presented him with the traditional Father's day present of ties (solid colored ones since Loki is not the kind of guy who knows what tie goes with what shirt.)


People Unclear on the Concept of Democracy

John F. Droney, Jr.:

Political Wire has learned that key allies of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are making contingency plans for the three-term senator to run as an independent in this fall's U.S. Senate race in Connecticut. Lieberman faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from businessman Ned Lamont.

In fact, an important Lieberman backer, former Connecticut Democratic chairman John F. Droney Jr., is quoted by the Hartford Courant as a supporter of the plan: "I think to be terrorized through the summer by an extremely small group of the Democratic Party, much less the voting population, is total insanity for a person who is a three-term senator."

Wrong, Mr. Droney, Jr. For Lieberman to have a primary challenge is evidence that democracy is working. Lieberman no longer represents a good 30% of his constituents, at least (judging from the votes he got at the convention), which is not an extremely small group. And that 30% is going to grow as Lieberman's arrogance, his overwhelming sense that he is entitled to his job as Senator, comes out.


Allow me to brag

The a capella group at Sio's high school is ranked 5th in North America, and next year, Sio will be the alto section leader of that group. I'm so proud of her. She is a much better musician than I am (I'm a singer, not a musician), and she has high standards, so I won't be surprised if their rankings improve next year.


Random Photo Blogging: IMG_9369

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style="font-size: 0.9em; margin-top: 0px;">href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/moneyca/152604831/">IMG_9369
Uploaded on May 24, 2006 by href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/moneyca/">moneyca

A thermal coffee pot
saw a bottle of Red Hot
(the patron put some on his tots)
She thought "He would hit the spot,
that tasty bottle of Red Hot.
I wonder whether or not
he's into thermal coffee pots?"

So she opened up her top,
and she flirted, "Hiya, pop!"
And with a shuffle and a hop,
she nudged closer to his stop
on the table they shared at IHOP.

He said "Oh, please, no, dear ma'am,
I suggest you better scram,
you see, I'm quite betrothed
to that pot of strawberry jam."

the picture won't show up, so I linked to it in the title


Gays vs. Grandkids

My mother-in-law, right-wingnut, was scheduled to come to visit at the end of July. Sister-in-law called me last night to let me know that MIL is changing her plans because her church has scheduled a vote on whether to leave the Episcopalian church over the appointment of a gay bishop. MIL is not sure she will be able to come at all, because it is crucial that she and her husband are there to cast their votes to defeat the gay menace.

SIL confessed to me that she had to resist shouting out a "YES!" at the news that her mother might not visit.

I can't wait to tell my own mother, who says "God must love the gays, otherwise he wouldn't have made them so talented." My mother thinks MIL is a whackjob because she chooses to live 3,000 miles from her children and grandchildren (something that her own children find to be one of MIL's most appealing qualities, actually).


I like my steak bloody.

My eggs? Not so much.

I decided to make chicken pot pie for dinner tonight, since we had leftover chicken and gravy. I decided to use this nice popover crust that you make with Wondra flour - a cup of Wondra, a cup of milk, 2 eggs and some herbs.

I mixed together the flour and the milk, and I cracked open an egg, and what landed in the bowl was a bright yellow yolk floating in a sea of blood.

I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight, and I'm damn sure it will be a good long time before I'll be making eggs.


I bought some Manchego at the store today....

so now is the time for some whine.

I am slowly losing my mind. I don't know if it's hormonal or neurological or psychological or merely inevitable, but I'm losing it.

When I was a child, I used to do this sort of grimace thing with my face when I was excited or anxious...well, that grimace thing has come back, along with another old friend from my childhood, humming. Maeve told me she heard me humming while I was in the bathroom, but I wasn't humming a tune, I was just humming a tone. I don't think I do it to the level that would mean I have Tourette's syndrome, but I do it without being aware of doing it.

I went to see a psychologist and have a basic diagnosis of depression with a side order of obsessive compulsive disorder - except my OCD isn't the kind where you have to clean things all the time, but the kind that makes you hoard stuff and scratch your ears and make weird faces and eat compulsively.

And I can't even let go and enjoy my slide from sanity, because it seems like such a self-indulgent thing to do. I have to keep putting up the pretense that I'm fully functional.

Today, I was working on a bid at work, and I had to call the insurance company for Sio, and I burst into tears of frustration at trying to do two things at once, something I have to do all the time. Well, maybe that wasn't the crazy, maybe that was just PMS.


Good evening, comrades

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Monday Random Photo Blogging: IMG_1339

I can't help but think that the photographer could have taken a step to the left, and then we'd be looking at a picture of the American Artificial Limbo.


By Presidential Standards, I still have 3 and a half years to engage in youthful indiscretions

After reading this post and the comments over at Shakespeare's Sister, and then this post and comments at 11D, it is clear to me that I have not had enough wild and crazy, damn the consequences fun. I've only been drunk once in my life, and I didn't do anything embarassing...to be honest, I wasn't even that drunk. I've appeared nude on stage in front of approximately 1100 people, but I wasn't embarassed by that as it fit the character, and you couldn't really see me behind all the other naked people.

My whole life, I've always been the responsible one. In high school, I never smoked, drank, did drugs, or had sex. I tried pot as an adult, but that was primarily because I read that it eased the pain of arthritis, which it did, but I would never take the risk of actually buying any while it's illegal. I don't even speed! I've never gotten a ticket!

Clearly, I need to let loose a little. I am taking suggestions in the comments section.


Friday Pandora

Still no iPod, so here's my Friday Pandora 10:

Overpowered by Funk - The Clash
It's You - Micky & the Milkshakes
Junior Mint - Heat Miser
I'm Not In Love - Talking Heads
Age of Consent - New Order
Do You Remember The First Time - Pulp
Here Me Out - Ben Kweller
Work It Out - The Glands
Tubby Brothers - John Langford
Dodging Seagulls In An '89 Grand Am - A Roman Holiday

Now I'll let you in on a little secret - I didn't actually hear any of these songs, because I don't have speakers on my computer at work! I'm familiar with The Clash, Talking Heads, New Order, Ben Kweller and The Glands songs, the others...I have no idea what they sound like, or whether I even like them or not.


Where's my flying car?

My husband has a post up about the future at my sister's blog, Burb Rocking. I'm amazed at how restrained the post is, because he lost the whole thing moments before he was ready to post it - our electricity went out.

My Friend Leslie

A decade or so ago, maybe 1993 or 94, I was doing a lot of community theater, and I auditioned for The Odd Couple (Female Version). I felt like I had a really good audition, and then I got called back. There were four people called back for the role of Olive Madison (Oscar's counterpart): me, Leslie (who I didn't know at the time), and two other people I don't remember. Leslie was very funny, I do remember that.

I felt fantastic about how I did at the callback, and later that night, the director, Karen, called to tell me the part was mine, because I was funny and vulnerable. I had a lot of fun doing the show and everyone said I did a great job.

A year later, I auditioned for a play called I Hate Hamlet, by Paul Rudnick, which was being staged by the same group. The director called me after the audition to ask me to play a part that is ordinarily written for a man, the part of Gary Peter Lefkowitz. (Sidebar: I have a long career of playing parts that were originally played by men. I have no explanation other than my childhood as a tomboy and my rather deep voice).

I showed up for the readthrough, and Leslie was there, cast as the main character's real estate agent/communicator with other worlds. We bonded fairly quickly, as actorish types seem to do, over coffees after the rehearsal.

We were only a few rehearsals in when Karen, Leslie and I went out after rehearsal (some of the other actors were probably there, too), and Leslie said, with solemnity, that she had a confession to make.

"For the past year, I was plotting your murder."

Okay, that was not anything I ever expected to hear. I had to know why.

"You got the part of Olive Madison. That was supposed to be my part, and my friend Karen gave it to you instead of me. I was going to hire someone to kill you."

Karen interjected "I needed Maureen because I needed someone to be vulnerable as well as funny!"

"I can be vunnerable," Leslie said.

I laughed. "You can't even *say* vuL-nerable!"

I think we all laughed.

I have to admit, I was flattered that someone had been thinking about me so much. True, she painted me as her enemy, but I was in her thoughts. It actually meant a lot to me. Yes, I have self-esteem issues.

I asked Leslie why she confessed.

"Because now that we're doing the show, I got to know you, and you're so nice. I just can't hate you anymore."

And thus a friendship was born. Nowadays, we are lucky if we see each other quarterly, but we still keep in touch, mostly because of Leslie's efforts. She was at the hospital when Monkey was born, she has brought Christmas presents, she helped me clean and organize my dining room (she's a professional organizer - we must be friends because opposites attract). I helped her to find her inner liberal (she was not only a Republican, she was holding elected office!). Aside from theater and humor, we don't have much in common. There's the organizing thing, for one. She loves David Cassidy, was riveted by the OJ trial, and visits psychics. I don't, wasn't, and wouldn't.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Leslie because I know she likes reading about herself (something else we have in common), and because I love her.


I may have mentioned this before, but I have the black thumb of death when it comes to gardening. I have killed many fine plants in my time. The only plant that still survives in our house is an aloe, and that's because A) it's a succulent so it's okay if I forget to water it every now and then and B) two people in my house have skin conditions that find aloe soothing, so they are the ones who remember to water it.

Despite my inability to nurture a plant, I love fresh vegetables. I was going to purchase a half share in a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, but then I got a better offer - my father tilled an extra chunk of yard for me.

So I have to pick up some seedlings to pop into the garden, and then my dad will work on my garden while he's working on his garden. I've already decided that I must have watermelon and green peppers, and I think I will probably plant some zucchini and other squash for late harvesting. String beans are also good, although they're in season right now, so possibly too late. Potatoes? Maybe - I always liked digging them up. Cucumbers, onions, and maybe some herbs. I'm kind of excited about this. I'll just have to keep my black thumb off of the plants.


I love Pandora. Every now and then, though...

Tonight's playlist:

I Need You Back, Ben Kweller
Company Calls, Death Cab for Cutie
My Car, Gin Blossoms
Straight to Hell, The Clash
Kingdom Come, Tom Verlaine
Pet Sematary, The Ramones
Orange Crush, R.E.M. (meh)
Hey Now, Talking Heads
White Lexus, Mike Doughty
Red Shoes, Elvis Costello

I was pretty happy with all those songs (meh on R.E.M., but tolerable). And then Pandora gives me a clunker: Make It Alright, Sammy Hagar. I'm actually slightly offended that Pandora thinks I would like Sammy Hagar. Does Pandora know something about me that I don't?