I need a fucking vacation

And while I'm gone, I need someone to come clean my house, feed my family, do the laundry, and feed the animals.

Alternatively, I need for everyone in my house to go on vacation and leave me alone at home.

This is one of those days where I will drift off to sleep, fantasizing about living in a studio apartment all by myself, with just the bare minimum of belongings. I couldn't live that way, of course, I like shopping too much and I'm a lazy, lazy housekeeper*, but I fantasize about it, nonetheless.

*I love when the house is clean - I still have dim memories of that day - but I hate cleaning.


Bush and Deadlines

I've been staying away from the news lately because it gives me such agita, but I caught the re-run of Jon Stewart attempting to remove McCain's head from his ass, and that got me thinking about Bush and his adamant opposition to timetables or deadlines.

One of the supposed benefits of Bush as president (I knew it was bullshit, and so did you) was that he had experience in the business world. Let's set aside, for the moment, that his experience was heavy on failure. Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America has probably gone through some kind of training in goal-setting and achievement. I went through various iterations of this kind of training when I worked for a certain cable company, and one thing that stuck with me was the concept of SMART goals.

Attainable Realistic Timely

From the above website:

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions:
*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, "Get in shape." But a specific goal would say, "Join a health club and workout 3 days a week."

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable - When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

Timely - A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? "Someday" won't work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, "by May 1st", then you've set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
T can also stand for Tangible - A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

(emphasis mine)

I believed that this war was doomed to failure from the start, based on the ever changing reasons presented for why we had to go into Iraq in the first place. Now the Republican party is saying that any end to this war is failure. Well, that is what they are saying, but it's easy to see what they are really saying: we are going to stay in Iraq until a Democrat is in the White House - they can leave, and we can paint that as a failure, and that will help us win back Congress and the White House.

I think this gives us - the people who want our soldiers to come home - a real timetable for when we have to end the deadly folly of the Iraq War. We need this to happen before November 2008.



Well, our deposit is in the mail, so we are now committed to WPI, and just like that, I'm $13,000 in debt!

If anyone has any ideas of how to make $13,000 quickly and legally, I'm all ears.



Chad rediscovers gravity, again.


Teacher, Mother, Secret Lover

The other thing I've been doing instead of writing my blog is watching TV. Lots and lots of TV. It asked so little of me while my eyes were leaking mucus and I could hardly stand to swallow - I just had to press a button.

Drive - when I heard about the premise of this show, I believe my exact reaction was "some people will watch anything, won't they?" And then I found out Nathan Fillion was going to be on it, and I decided I would be one of those people.

This picture is not from Drive, this is Nathan as a Jedi Chef

Nathan (of the late and much lamented Firefly and the kickass Serenity) plays a Nebraskan landscaper named Alex Tully who is forced into an illegal cross country road race by some people who kidnapped his wife. In the first three episodes, though, we find out that Tully is not just a landscaper, he also used to race semi-professionally, which makes me think he has a better chance of winning the illegal cross country road race than some of his competitors: Wendy Petrakis, a recent mother and abused wife and possibly crazy person played by Melanie Lynskey (excellent in Heavenly Creatures); a soldier who is unknowingly AWOL from his unit because his annoying and childish but hot wife deleted messages from his CO; a pair of half brothers, one a recently released felon, the other a preppy pretty boy, who just met and have some kingpin father; a girl who is not Lindsay Lohan before she got skinny and blonde and her father who is dying (played by the awesome Dylan Baker); a trio of women who survived Katrina...those are all the teams I can remember.

Anyway, the show is fairly mindless, but I was excited that Tully's kidnapped wife was played by Amy Acker who played Fred on Angel, and the detective who is investigating Mrs. Tully's disappearance is Richard Brooks, who played Jubal Early on the last aired episode of Firefly, Objects In Space (and in a sweet nod to Firefly fans, his name on Drive is Det. Ehrli). I'll keep watching anything Nathan Fillion is in.

Scrubs - I rarely caught Scrubs in its early seasons because it kept moving around, but it's in syndication now so it's on all the freaking time. It's amusing and surreal sometimes fairly serious, it has some pretty great music, and it has the adorable Donald Faison - I'm all about the Brown Bear, forget nebbishy Zach Braff. It's not my favorite show, but it beats doing dishes.

House - I really hate the format of the show. Patient has weird problem, House and his team try a bunch of things that make the patient worse, they try something that temporarily makes the patient better but ultimately makes them worse, the team tells House he's going to kill the patient, the patient is doomed, then House talks to someone who makes his brain light up, and patient is cured! However, it rises above the format because of Hugh Laurie, who is just several hundred kinds of awesome. I think I watched about 4 episodes of House in the past week, and I think they were from 2 or 3 different seasons, but the one that was on an airplane was kind of fun because of AirChase, AirForeman and AirCameron House bounced his ideas off of.

Amazing Race - I was pleased that my favorite team, Danny & Oswald, came in first on the most recent leg, which was in Hong Kong and featured ninjas, automobile stunts, and kicking down doors. If they don't win, I'm rooting for Dustin & Kandace. I find Danielle and Eric to be obnoxious, and I loathe Mirna more than I can fully articulate, so I don't want her and Charla to win.

30 Rock - it's the funniest show on TV right now. Alex Baldwin as Thomas Jefferson as imagined by crazy Tracey Morgan? Will Arnett from Arrested Development in a very short robe? Avian bone syndrome? As Gob would say, "come on!"

what's up with us

I'm sure my tens of readers have noticed a paucity of posts lately. Aside from the plague of conjunctivitis that swept through our house, followed by the whole swollen uvula/glands/tonsils/sore throat that evolved into upper respiratory yuckiness and clogged ear ducts, and aside from the fact that the world is terrible place in so many ways (Virginia Tech, Iraq, Supreme Court), and aside from the fact that I did our taxes back in February but I neglected to submit them until Saturday, we're also more than halfway through the month in which Sio must choose a college.

A visit on Saturday sealed the deal for Sio: she is planning to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute, my favorite of the colleges we visited together. I am very excited and nervous, excited because I can vicariously experience the whole going off to college thing - buying stuff for a dorm room, moving in; nervous because we have not yet received their financial aid package so I don't know how much money it's going to cost us.

I'm so proud of her.

What Digby Said

I bet my blog would be even better if I just posted a daily post called What Digby Said.



Between a nasty bout of conjunctivitis and a viral infection that has caused my tonsils and uvula to swell and the filling of my sinus cavities with fluid, I haven't been very functional for the past couple of days. I was in marginally good health on Wednesday, when Sio and I visited a college in NY, but Thursday morning, I couldn't open my eyes because they were swollen shut and kind of crusty.

Today, my eyes are still very pink and watery, but not as goopy gross as they were yesterday, my throat doesn't seem to be any better, and I've added a cough and a weird ear thing.


1. How tall are you barefoot?
Not quite 5'2"

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?

3. Do you own a gun?
Only of the water variety

4. Who's your best friend?
my sisters and my sister-in-law

5. Do you get nervous before "meeting the parents"?
Yes, although parents usually love me

6. What music are you embarrassed to admit that you listen to?
I'm slightly embarrassed when I find myself enjoying rap or hip hop, if only because I'm in my late 30s and white and I suspect people would think that I was just being a poseur. But I love me some Missy Elliot.

7. What's your favourite Christmas song?
What Sweeter Music by John Rutter - saccharine sweet, but lovely to sing
Still, Still, Still
The Christmas Song - as performed by Mel Torme

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

9. Can you do push-ups?
Probably not anymore

10. Why does one question always disappear?

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
I don't wear any jewelry, I find it annoying, although I admire it on others.

12. Do you like painkillers?
My kingdom for a Vicodin script with multiple refills

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
I don't have one, and most members of the opposite sex tend to think of me as one of the guys

14. Do you own a knife?

15. Do you have A.D.D.?

16. Middle Name?
don't have one

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
I'm tired, I would like to go home, is Sio okay?

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought:
coffee, bagel, gasoline

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
coffee, water, ice tea

20. What time did you wake up today?
7:30 a.m.

22. Current worry?
My eldest child and online boyfriends, college, paying for college

23. Current hate?
being sick

24. Favourite place to be?
on the beach

25. Least favourite place to be?

26. Where would you like to go?
Paris, bed

27. Do you own slippers?
Yes, they are blue and made of felted wool

28. What shirt are you wearing?
black sweater

29. Do you burn or tan?
Burn baby burn

30. Favorite colour(s)?
blue, green, purple

31. Would you be a pirate?
If i could be a nice pirate, yes

32. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?
February, at Tart's

33. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Whatever pops into my head. This morning, it was "Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem", which I sang on Easter Sunday

34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
The scary tree outside, my father

35. What's in your pockets right now?
no pockets...although in my coat pocket are gloves and sunglasses and keys

36. Last thing that made you laugh?
30 Rock - Alec Baldwin as Thomas Jefferson giving the Maury audience the double bird

37. Best bed sheets you had as a child?
I don't remember

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
I was born with congenital hip displaysia, which caused me to have a slipped ephiphesis and serious degenerative joint disease/osteoarthritis

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?

41. Who is your loudest friend?
Leslie. She won't be offended

42. Who is your most silent friend?
Giovanna, Lorraine, only because they never call me back

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
No, and I don't think anyone's ever had a crush on me in my entire life

44. Do you wish on shooting stars?

45. What is your favourite book?
Too many to list

46. What is your favorite candy?
Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars

47. What song do you want played at your wedding?
If I got married again, I think I would want some Debussey, Ravel, Liszt

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
I'd like to have my favorite songs played at my funeral. Or possibly a karaoke DJ.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night?

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?
Weird dream


Melancholy Mood

I think melancholy just cries out for some Rufus Wainwright.



Edgar was filmed, but ultimately cut from the "Raise Your Hand If You're Sure" ad campaign after a focus group said it just wasn't believeable.

One of these things is not like the others....

Tags: Sports, Illinois, Christian, Paintball.

Christian paintball?

Tags: Rock, Punk, Bowling

Punk Bowling?


One Week

One week from today, I will once again allow myself to ingest sugar. It's been fairly interesting, being sugar free. I've learned a few things.

1. My moods are much more even sans sucre.
2. Every baked good on the planet contains sugar, and the ones that don't are kind of disgusting.
3. I am much better at resisting temptation than I expected I would be.

This was a good Lent for me. I enjoyed sticking to my guns and turning down anything with sugar. This is good, because the next thing I must embark upon (again) is a weight loss program. I have to lose a fairly significant amount of weight before my orthopedist will replace my hip, and I'm ready to say goodbye to the chronic pain of severe osteoarthritis, even if it won't be permanent.

I've done Weight Watchers before, with good success, but I think I'm going to try something a little different this time. The problem with me and Weight Watchers is that you really can eat everything you would ordinarily eat, just less of it. This is fine for most people, but I'm a compulsive overeater, so I can't really allow myself that kind of freedom.

So I am going to use a recommended daily guideline for people who would like to lose weight. This involves a daily consumption of 2000 calories, 50 grams of protein, less than 65 grams of fat, less than 20 grams of saturated fat, 300 grams of carbohydrates, 25-35 grams of fiber, 300 mg of cholesterol, 18 mg of iron, 2300 mg or less of sodium, and 1000 mg of calcium.

I'll also have to add exercise. I like weight lifting, and when summer's here, I'll be swimming pretty much every day. I may try some yoga, too, since it would be good to increase my limited flexibility. Unfortunately, the kinds of exercises that really burn calories are the same exercises that leave me in exquisite amounts of pain - running, extensive brisk walking, aerobics.

Before I start this, though, I'm going to take a day or two to enjoy the things I've sacrificed in the past 33 days - a really good cup of coffee, a piece of cake, some real ice cream. And I'll probably want to have a lot of cheese before I try to lose weight.