50 Questions

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Why does my hair look so damn good in the morning? Seriously, when I wake up, my hair usually looks spectacular.

2. How much cash do you have on you? a bunch of pennies

3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?” Floor

4. Favorite planet? I'm personally attached to earth, but I think Jupiter is pretty cool.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? my sister-in-law

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? I don't know. I only have the default ring-tones on my phone. I know it isn't Fur Elise, though.

7. What shirt are you wearing? a light gray sweater with some geometric black beads around the neckline, which is a V-neck.

8. Do you “label” yourself? All the time.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing? No idea

10. Bright or Dark Room? Depends on the purpose.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I kind of adore her.

12. What does your watch look like? I can't wear a watch. Well, I *can* wear a watch, but I can't wear a working watch. I have some kind of electromagnetic thing going on that stops watches.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Downloading music onto my new MP3 player.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? I have never received a text message.

15. Where is your nearest 7-11? About a quarter mile from our house.

16. What's a word that you say a lot? Well,

17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Sio.

18. Last furry thing you touched? Cugel, my basset hound.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? I've taken approximately 20 naproxen in the past 3 days.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? Probably 4 or 5 rolls that will reveal pictures taken before Monkey was born.

21. Favorite age you have been so far? 12. That's kind of sad, isn't it?

22. Your worst enemy? entropy.

23. What is your current desktop picture? it's my desktop showing all the files I have on my desktop and all the shortcuts. No picture.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? Big day!

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? Flying.

26. Do you like someone? Duh, yes!

27. The last song you listened to? Not The Same by Ben Folds.

28. What time of day were you born? 10:10 a.m.

29. What’s your favorite number? 7

30. Where did you live in 1987? In Hebron, with my parents.

31. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes, although I try to reframe it as admiration.

32. Is anyone jealous of you? Probably - grass is always greener, and all that.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? In an Oracle database training class in Cranston, Rhode Island.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Grumble and complain.

35. Do you consider yourself kind? Sometimes I am kind. Sometimes I'm not. I would like to be kinder.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? on my ass, where I wouldn't have to look at it.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Francais

38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yes

39. Are you touchy feely? No. Well, with certain people (my kids, people I used to do theater with, my husband) I am, but mostly not.

40. What’s your life motto? I don't have one. Should I have one?

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? there is nothing that I have on me at all times.

42. What’s your favourite town/city? Paris

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? a newspaper

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? I sent out letters with Christmas cards last year.

45. Can you change the oil on a car? My father showed me how when I was a teenager, but I haven't done it since.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? my first love is living in Portland, Oregon, working at a food co-op, and hasn't changed a bit. Which is good and bad.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? I know a little about my grandparents on both sides. Nothing past that.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? Dress fancy?! The last time I got seriously dressed up - long sparkly gown dressed up - was at a holiday party that was held at least 5 years ago. Most recent fairly fancy dress up was for my cousin's wedding about 3 years ago. And regular dressing up - looking sharp, hair done, make-up done, etc. was back in May for my Sondheim concert.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Always - my damn left hip.

50. Have you been burned by love? of course.


Quick Movie Review


I wanted to see this movie when it came out, but as usual, didn't manage to do so. I noticed it was in the Red Box DVD vending machine when I was at the grocery store, so I brought it home for a dollar.

I am not a fan of horror movies or gross out movies, but that all changes when humor is involved. One of the best moviegoing experiences I had in the past few years was Shawn of the Dead, and Slither was in the vein of Shawn. There's not a whole lot of exposition - the movie starts with a meteor plummeting to earth, and a lot happens before we meet a character who can tell us a little more (she almost ingests an extraterrestrial slug that turns people into zombies with a hive mind controlled by the squid-like Grant Grant, the unfortunate resident of Wheelsy who first encounters the meteor, which gives her insight into what's happening.)

It is a little bit gross-out - the mayor gets all "womby" after encountering SquidGrant and can't help himself from indulging in some human flesh, while still being aware of what he was doing. Lots of blood, some really fetid looking sets, but since our protagonists are the good hearted Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks) and the charming Bill Pardy (played by the always charming Nathan Fillion), I enjoyed this movie -a lot- even though you couldn't pay me to see a gross out movie.

If you rent or buy the DVD, I particularly enjoyed the "extra" called "Who Is Bill Pardy?" Hilarious.

Beautiful Girls and beloved pets

Madouc the foundling kitty
Sweet Pea and Monkey
Monkey & Sio

Madouc joined our family when she was not quite 3 weeks old. Somehow, she traveled in the wheel well of a truck from Union to Manchester, and we brought her home, the ugliest kitten ever. I know it's hard to imagine an ugly kitten, but my god, she was ugly. She had no fur on her face and she was just odd looking, with a tiny little head. She is suprisingly normal for a kitten taken from her mother way too young - her only bad habit is occasional bouts of bulimia (she stuffs herself like a pig and then purges, someplace where we'll be sure to find it, like on the stairs in the middle of the night). I hope to someday capture a movie of her playing with her rubber ball, I'm sure I can't articulate how delightful it is. I also hope to someday catch a picture of her in a pose we see sometimes: her rear end sticking out of the food container.

Sweet Pea is not our dog, she is Loki's sister's dog, and she is the sweetest beagle ever. She engages in an activity we now call "beagling": she pushes her head up under your chin while you pet her, snuggling up against you and making these hilarious little snorting and snuffing noises.


#18 on the list of reasons why people don't take peace activists seriously

Orgasms for Peace

(NYT link, if you get a login page, you can use gorevidal for the username and password)

I'm a fan of both orgasms and peace, but this just isn't going to help.


I went to this concert yesterday

It featured The Woodland Scholars, a 16 voice professional choir, and Sio's high school a capella group, The Roundtable Singers. It was held at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, a beautiful church across the street from Mark Twain's house. Despite lousy weather, the concert was very well attended.

I sat next to a lovely older couple. The woman and I got to talking during the intermission, and I told her about Rev. Right-Wing at the church where I sing. She told me she and her husband had left the church they had been members of for 40 years after the minister starting putting anti-homosexual messages in his sermons. She said Horace (her husband) stood up and told everyone who supported the anti-gay turn of the church that they could keep thinking they were good people because they went to church every Sunday, but to remember that the men who lynched blacks in the 30s and 40s went to church every Sunday. She told me I should talk to the Music Director at their church to see if they would have room for me in their choir.

I e-mailed him today. I told him I'm currently being compensated, but my real goal is to sing in a more open and affirming environment. Hopefully, I'll hear something good from him.

In the meantime, here's a snippet of the concert. Sio is in the next to the last row, second one from the right. The sound quality is not great - they sounded phenomenal in person. But they're still pretty good.


Sure, the 10 story walk-up had a great view, but some days, Marge wished she and Henry had an elevator.


Sunday Night Cat & Monkey Blogging

I think you won't find this kind of feature anywhere else on the internets.

First up: cat blogging. My cat likes Viva paper towels.

Next: Monkey blogging. My favorite little Monkey in a rare natural pose.


Commercials that bother

1. The commercial for the car that parallel parks itself. There is a simple science to parallel parking, and everyone who drives should have to learn it. Besides, the more power we give the machines in our lives, the closer we get to Terminator.

2. Every hair on my body stands on end when I see that Discover card commercial with the scissors that people are feeding their credit cards to as if they were birds. Can you imagine a world where scissors are all over the ground, pointy side up? Falling down would be a whole new experience - you'd either poke your eyes out or get an important body part impaled on the business end of a Fiskar.


Politics at the Pump

I went to the gas station to fill up my car tonight, and there was just me and one other customer there. We were on opposite sides of the same pump, facing each other, and he started up a conversation.

"Winter's coming," he said.

"Yeah, but it's been pretty nice for November so far," I replied.

"Don't forget to vote tomorrow," he said.

"Oh, I'm definitely voting tomorrow," I said.

He said, "My father-in-law is a Republican, he told me to make sure I remember to vote on Wednesday. I'm a Democrat, so I guess he thought that was funny."

"My father-in-law was a Republican his whole life, but he said he's going to vote for Democrats from here on out, because he hates George W. Bush so much," I said.

"Good for him!" the guy replied. "I'm 59 years old, there has never been a president as bad as Bush, he's just terrible. I'm voting for Lamont, too."

"Me, too."

"Lieberman is on their side, I just couldn't vote for him," he said. "Besides, you ever notice how the only time he shows up in Connecticut is when he's running?"

"Yeah," I said. "Plus, remember when he was running for the Democratic nomination in 2004 - he said he was going to move to New Hampshire and Florida for the length of the campaign."

"Is that right?" the guy said.

We were both done pumping gas by then. I told him to take care. He said "I hope there are a lot more people like me and you hitting the voting booth tomorrow."

Me, too.


It's my birthday

And as much as I would like it to have everyone make a big deal without me asking for it, I hate being disappointed, so please, I encourage you to make a big fucking deal about my birthday. Have some cake, send me presents, open a present yourself, blow out some candles, and get another day older, and now I'm officially in my late 30's.


idea I'm tossing around

I've come to realize that a big part of my obsession with Sio's college application process is due to the fact it was always my dream to go away to college, and I never got to do that. So I'm tossing around this kind of radical idea of upending my life and the lives of everyone I live with, and applying to Smith College's Ada Comstock Scholars program. I would want the whole college experience, living there, going to school full-time, etc. We could sell our house here, move to Northampton, we could buy a condo there or a smaller house, or we could even live in on-campus housing.

Am I crazy? Am I having an early mid-life crisis? Does it make sense for a 37 year old to start anew as a college student, to graduate, say at 42, with thousands of dollars in education loans? Is this doable? Is it a bad idea?


NaNoWriMo: Day 1

Well, it is nearly the end of day one of National Novel Writing Month, and I have successfully met and surpassed my goal of 1700 words - my novel is already 2031 words long. Of course, most of those words are utter crap, but that is not the point of NaNoWriMo, the point is merely to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I have no clear idea of exactly where my story is headed thus far, but the book will feature a political scandal (not sure if it will be merely financial or financial/sexual) that brings down a conservative politician, and the effect that has on his conservative wife who learns that their marriage was a sham. And there will be a trip to Ireland, because I want to reminisce about our trip to Ireland this past February. Otherwise, my characters are moving wherever my brain happens to send them as I'm typing.