Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simon's Cat Vs The World

Simon's Cat Vs. the World!

I love Simon's Cat! This collection hasn't been released in the US yet- I had to order mine from a British seller on Amazon, but it was worth it. It's a slim volume compared to the other 3 books, but it's a hardback AND it's in color. I was surprised at how much depth the coloring added to the drawings. most drawings are 1 page each and show the titular cat taking on various things/days/what have you. Appearances are made by his new kitten pal, the hedgehogs, and many more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good Line From Antenna TV

TV show line of the night:

Maude: I don't want to be attractive, Walter, attractive is the consolation pirze. I WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bad Dates 4- The Yahoo Personals Date w/Surprise Bonus Follow-up!

Oh yeah. I went there. The same idiot friend, M, who set me up on the first blind date managed to talk me into the early days of online dating. (in retrospect, it looks like *I'm* the idiot since I keep letting myself be talked into these things) It actually started as a class project- we were learning computer skills (a class mandated by the school for the non-traditional students. Really useless as most of us were more savvy than our instructors as well as our fellow traditional students) and one of the projects was to join an online group that related to one of our interests. Since most of the wrestling chat rooms were (and probably still are) mostly filled with comments like "THE ROOOOOCK IS SOOOOOO HOTTTT!!!1!" and "UR A GAY TARD!", and most of the rooms I found for my other interests were mainly peopled with freaks trolling for sex (again, probably still are) I was not enjoying this project.

Then M found the Yahoo personals. Have just broken up with her on/off boyfriend again, she decided to post an ad. But she didn't want to do it alone, so she convinced me and 3 other girls in the class to do it to. It took about 4 responses to my ad for me to realize that this was NOT one of her better ideas. The vast majority of the people who responded (not just to me, but to all of us) were only looking for sex, and freaky deviant sex at that. If that's your thing, cool, but keep it to yourself. Don't bring it up before you've even met the person you're propostioning, and no, thank you, I don't want a candle stuck there. (that was one of the tamer offers I got)

In amongst the disgusting pervy replies, there were a few that had some potential. One, and I swear I cannot remember his name to save my life, sent me messages that were intelligently written and we actually had some common interests. He was also a student, although a little younger than me. He sent me a picture of himself, taken at an awkward angle, so it was mostly his face, but it wasn't a face that sent me screaming out of the computer lab. (I learned later though that this should have been my first warning flag) After several weeks of emailing, I finally agreed to meet him in real life. *cue ominous music*

Actually, it wasn't that bad. Except for the fact that we lived in different parts of the state. I live in Louisville. He was in a small town near Lexington, about 45-75 minutes away. He didn't want to come to meet me and insisted I come to him. (warning flag number 2, if you're keeping score) Stupidly, I agreed. I did, however, tell several friends WHO I was meeting, WHERE I was supposed to meet him, WHEN I should be home and that if I didn't call them within 24 hours of the date to report me missing and to call my mother.

So I drove to Lexington and found the restuarant with very little trouble. Bud (well, I have to call him SOMETHING) had chosen a Mexican chain called Don Pablo's for lunch. Hey, it was a step up from my usual fast food dates. (my talent for finding cheap jerks is legendary) It didn't occur to me then that it might not have been the best choice for a first date. Now, I hadn't been able to send Bud a picture of myself, but I did give him a fairly honest description of what I look like. (I still don't put many pictures of myself up online- mainly because of my Bell's Palsy now, but I've never liked having my picture taken. In case you've not met me and are wondering, picture the Rock in drag only flabby, not as pretty, and with a bigger chest. That's fairly close)  He was waiting out front when I got there...only I thought maybe he'd brought his little brother and sent him out front to meet me.

Nope. It was Bud. He'd neglected to mention that he was a Hobbit. I don't mind dating guys shorter than me (up to a point), and I don't mind dating heavy guys because it's not like I'm skinny myself. But when you're only 5 ft tall and as big around as you are tall, a little honesty might be a good thing. Then again, in our shallow society, honesty probably got this poor guy rejected a lot. Who knows? "Wow," he said when I walked up and said hello. "You really ARE 6'2!" Um, yeah. Silly me, I actually was honest in my description. (I've since learned that a lot of people, especially those with an interest in sci-fi/fantasy, tend to describe themselves as they wish they were or ther way they imagine their RPG characters to look. Did I mention that I used to be somewhat naive?)

We went in and had lunch and managed to have a fairly lively, entertaining conversation once we both relaxed and he realized I wasn't going to look at him and run away. The problem was that we hadn't made any plans beyond lunch. I just didn't think about it, and he figured I'd blow him off when I saw him in person. There was a Barnes & Noble nearby, so after the third time our server walked my the table and glared at us, we decided to head over there and talk books.

Now, while I wasn't feeling the least bit romantically inclined toward him, I WAS enjoying the conversation, and I can talk books for days. He said he was going to stop by the restroom and he'd meet me at the store. I went to the bookstore and started browsing.

Still browsing, it occurs to me some time later that I haven't seen my "date" since I left the restaurant. I looked at my watch and realized I'd been there for 45 minutes. Well, I'll be dipped. Did *I* just get blown off? I had picked up a couple of books, so I decided to head to the register. I was almost there when I heard my name being called. Here came Bud, gasping for breath. "Sorry to take so long in the bathroom," he said. "Mexican food does that to me."

I could have gone the rest of my life without knowing that. I almost would have rather been blown off. We chatted a few more minutes, and I finally made my way back to Louisville.

Bud & I emailed a few more weeks, but he never wanted to make the drive to see me, and I wasn't interested enough to keep driving there to see him. The story more or less ends here...

...Until 1-11-13...

My BFF Laura is a big fan of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series. Joseph-Beth in Lexington, one of the few surviving indy bookstores in the area, was hosting a signing with Brandon Sanderson (the estate-approved author who finished the series after Jordan's death) and Jordan's widow. Laura was dying to go, so I agreed to go along for the ride even though I've never had an interest in the series. We had a great day- stopped at a couple of needlework stores, had a great Mexican lunch (I know, I know), and when we got to the bookstore, she waded into the crowd and I went and found a good chair to read & people watch.

Let's just say stereotypes exist for a reason. That night was proof that nearly every one about sci-fi/fantasy lovers was true. The handful of us who weren't there for the event spent our time fending off sundry geeks & nerds who didn't get the "GO AWAY" signals. My favorite was the guy with the wooden sword who posed in front of me. I looked at him, at the sword, rolled my eyes and shook my head NO. He shuffled off, to be swallowed by the crowd, and I went back to my book.

Then it happened...I heard a voice say, "Hey, don't I know you?" I looked up and there was Bud. OH NO. We exchanged hellos and he asked what my line number was for the signing. I'm not proud of what I did next, but in the interest of honesty, here it is: I told him I wasn't there for that myself, but with someone who was. (true) He craned his neck to look at my left hand. No ring, so he asked (in what I think was a hopeful tone) "Oh, are you here with a boyfriend?"

(I'm going to hell for this one) "Nope, here with my wife." The look on his face was priceless. "Yeah, she loves this series & got a good line number, so we should be out of here pretty soon." Just then, Laura texted me that she was through the line already and would meet me by the registers. I made my excuses to a stunned Bud and fled.

Laura just about died laughing when I told her what I'd done. I had to tell her right then- we'd decided to grab a snack in the cafe before we left and there was a chance he might come over to say hello. I would have told her anyway, just not while we were still there. At least she waited to call her husband and tell him about it until we were in the car and on our way home. I think he's STILL laughing.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Godmother

My mother decided in high school that she would name her first born daughter after her best friend. (Despite the fact that her friend wasn't that crazy about the name herself) Amusingly enough, she & her mother were present for my birth while my dad remained at work and dropped by the hospital after his shift. They'd come to visit mom, who had moved to NC by then, and I decided to make an early appearance.

I didn't meet Aunt P again until I was an obnoxious teeneager and we'd traveled to Iowa for their class reunion. She & her mom had moved to New Mexico, where they were teachers, and she had recently gotten married. She never had children of her own (lots of fur kids though, and she wound up playing mother to several of her students over the years) and laughingly declined Mom's (halfway) joking offer to hand me over. I liked her a lot, despite my teenage drama.

Mom has told me so many stories that I feel like I knew her as well as she did. The name seems to have been a mixed blessing- we were an awful lot alike. I say were, because my hell-raising, fire-breathing namesake passed away this morning. She had developed some serious health conditions over the last few years and made the decision to stop receiving treatment for them this week once the doctors told her that she was too weak to survive the liver transplant surgery she needed. She was tired of living in pain and hated having to depend on others for her care...much like I would be in the same situation.

Aunt P is being cremated and there won't be a funeral. She asked for her ashes to be put with her mother's until they could both be taken to Iowa and buried with her father. I imagine Mom & I will go for that, whenever her husband decides to do it. Mom seems to be taking this better than I am, oddly enough.

I'll share some of the stories about Aunt P & my mom some time in an upcoming post. Right now I'm a little too numb to remember any.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The sentence that made me snort iced coffee over my monitor...

Taken from a story about food tv on the Guardian UK website:

Making Michel Roux Snr do an omelette challenge is like making Beethoven fart a sonata through a kazoo.

Oh Myyyyyy- George Takei

Oh Myyy! (There Goes The Internet)

This was one of my favorite Christmas presents! While my main focus on Star Trek was Spock, I always thought it was a shame that Sulu didn't get to do more. However, there is so much more to George Takei than just his role as Sulu. He has a become a voice for education, working to make sure the world does not forget the injustices done to Japanese-Americans during WWII. He has become an activist for the LGBT community, telling them that it's ok to be who they are and standing up for the rights for all to marry. And he brokered peace between the Star Trek/Star Wars fans by pointing out that feuding with each other left room for the enemy to take over and that we all needed to take down the Twihards!

He has also become one of the greatest sources of my glee with his hysterically funny posts on Facebook. I hear he is also pretty funny on Twitter. This little volume is George's take on how he became an unlikely social media superstar. It's an entertaining read, from a man who is no longer overlooked.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ok, that's enough of this.

While I am in aboslutely NO hurry to experience any hot weather, especially the wretched heat we had last year, I have had enough of the cold weather we are having. The day here started out at -5 with the wind chill factor. UGH.

The best part of weather like this is curling up under 50 layers of blankets in bed with one or both cats burrowed into my back/side and sleeping a day away. Second best is sitting in my recliner with one or both cats in my lap and the space heater blowing on my feet while I read/stitch/watch movies.

And while I'm griping, here are a few more things I am sick of:

1. Kim Kardashian & her family

2. Beyonce. The bitch can't sing and had to lip-sync. And I still think that was a fake pregnancy.

3. The word 'babymoon', most commonly used in stories about stupid celebrities who go on romatic trips that normal people can't afford while in the early stages of pregnancy.

4. The concept of 'push presents.' Again, mainly used by idiot celebrities. WHY do you deserve an expensive toy for giving birth? Especially one that could feed a 3rd world country for a year? I'm sure that Poor Woman Giving Birth in a place like that would love a push present too... probably decent medical care.

5. That damn commerical for some male enhancement product that features Joe Theisman telling me more about his prostate than I *EVER* wanted to know.

Did I miss anything major? Share your gripes below.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gun Control Is More Than Just Hitting Your Target

Time for the unusual- a serious post from yours truly. This is one of those hot-button topics that I would normally try to avoid, but I've given this a lot of thought and think I can talk about it rationally here. Live & in person, not so much, but here should work. The points I am going to try to make are not political (at least I don't think they are) and I am not saying that NOBODY should be allowed to have a gun. That said, let's give this a try...

My first point is addressed to the people who scream that "we have a constitutional right to bear arms!" and think that it's a be-all/end-all answer. It isn't, at least not to me. At the time the Constitution was written, guns were not the same as they are today. The Founding Fathers didn't have semi-automatic weaponry. They had mostly single shot muzzle loaded weapons that had to be reloaded after every use. They also didn't have law enforcement the way we do today. When you think about people living on small, far-flung homesteads with predatory animals and disgruntled Indians (an argument for another time), it made sense for the people of that time to have weapons in their homes. There was no-one to call if someone broke into your house, or threatened your life in the woods, so you needed to be armed. I can understand and appreciate that. I also understand that it made hunting for food easier. Again, not a problem.

Now look at modern weaponry. With semi-automatic handguns, depending on the size of the clip, you can get anywhere from 10-30 shots off in a very short span of time. Revolvers are a bit more limited, but still allow for multiple shots. With modern law enforcement, I don't think that every citizen NEEDS to be armed to the teeth, but I can sort of understand the desire to have a gun for protection. (for the record, I neither have nor want one- with my temper I'd be in prison for murder when I shoot the first person to really piss me off. And anyway, I have a sword) What I do not understand is the people- especially those in larger cities, who have freaking arsenals in their homes.

Working for the police department, I see a LOT of guns come through my office. It honestly scares me to see some of the things that are brought in. We had a case where someone who lived literally ACROSS THE STREET FROM A DIVISION OFFICE was arrested and they found over 35 handguns and long guns in his house. Including an anti-tank gun that was as tall as me, weighed almost as much as me, and took two of us to haul into the gun cage. WTF? Was he expecting someone at Ft Knox to go rogue and drive to his house in a tank to get him? Some of the guns were legally registered to him. Most weren't. We've also seen rocket launchers (wish I was kidding), bazookas (still not kidding), and every kind of assault rifle you can think of. Many of these come in from drug dealers and other menaces, a surprising & saddening amount are taken from teenagers, but the ones that worry me are the people who are served with mental inquest warrants and have enough weaponry in their homes to protect Ft Knox.

Side moment of levity- I was giving a rookie & his training officer a tour of the building once, and the rookie asked about the large number of swords we have as evidence. (my favorite is the Excalibur replica, BTW) His PTO told the kid that the crazy people always seem to have swords. I looked him dead in the eye and said " *I* have a sword." Without missing a beat, he looked at his PO and screamed "OMG, RUN!!!"

What about people who hunt? Yes, I understand wanting to keep a rifle/shotgun for hunting purposes. I don't like the concept of hunting just for the sake of killing things. Most of the hunters I know personally hunt for the thrill, but they also only hunt things they (or someone they know) will eat. (I've got at least 5 officers who bring me venison during deer hunting season- I can eat it as long as it's not identifiable. Show me the whole dead deer and I won't be able to swallow a bite) What I don't understand is the people who have to have the most hi-tech rifle/shotgun they can get their hands on, complete with a scope that lets them see the individual legs on a flea on a critter's hind end from a mile away...or why they need more than one of them.

I'd keep going, but I think you get the point. What are your thoughts? Please remember that while I respect your right to your own opinion, I would prefer NOT to have any political ranting on my blog. Thanks!

Normal snarky, sarcastic, inane posting to resume next week...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jamie Oliver's Great Britain

Jamie Oliver's Great Britain: 130 of My Favorite British Recipes, from Comfort Food to New Classics

I've never been a big fan of Mr Oliver's, but I thought I'd give him one more try since this is supposed to be his take on classic British dishes. Bleh. The non-recipe pages are hard to read with their multi-colored print, and the recipes themselves are crammed onto their pages with small print. And the smugness I've always perceived from him just flows. I agree with Gordon Ramsay- "Every time I see him, I just want to hold him down and give him a good wash!"

Reading it was an interesting way to spend a few hours, but I wouldn't want to cook anything from it. (for the record, as much as I like Gordon, I don't want to cook any of his recipes either)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bad Date Stories 3- The LAST Blind Date

Despite previous experiences, I let a friend talk me into a date with his coworker a couple of years ago. It was another case of "good match on paper due to mutual interests" with the warning that his social skills needed a little work. C passed my number on to his work buddy and I waited for the call.

A few days later, the guy called. He asked me to meet for lunch becasue he didn't want to spend a lot on dinner in case it didn't work out. Strike one.

I suggested a few places for lunch, none of which was ungodly expensive. (Panera, for example) He countered with White Castle or McDonald's. Strike two.

I firmly told him that if we were going to do burgers, I at least wanted to go to Steak & Shake...and I would pay for my own meal so he wouldn't feel the burn if our 'date' didn't work out. He agreed to that. *eyeroll*

We met for lunch on the agreed day. C, and our friend B (who also worked there), apparently had described me well enough for him to recognize me as I walked in, but failed to mention that I'm, shall we say, statuesque. So I was greeted with, "Are you Mickey? Damn you're a big 'un!" Strike 3.

At least the food was good. (I ordered onion rings- a sure sign to anyone with a brain that you are NOT getting a kiss or anything else) The company left a lot to be desired. He spent most of the meal talking about his ex, ranting about politics (he was VERY conservative. I am not- in fact I was surprised he agreed to go on an interracial date by the way he ranted), and how he shouldn't have to support anyone but himself. I didn't get a word in edgeways, not that I tried too hard.

During a pause for breath, I mentioned that I needed to leave soon as I was due in to work in 20 minutes. (not true, but I needed an excuse and forgot to arrange for the fake emergency call. What? Like you've never done that) Waved the server down for my check- I DID pay for my own meal- and left him there to finish the food he'd barely touched while he was ranting.

C called me a few hours later, laughing. My erstwhile date had called him and said I seemed pretty cool and we'd be going out again soon. "When he told me that he was surprised you'd ordered onion rings on a first date, I knew he'd blown it even if he didn't. Are you really going out with him again?"

Um, no. In fact I was surprised to hear that he thought we would. He did call me later that night and tell me that I seemed like I'd be laid back and not demanding (ok, maybe C & B didn't describe me that well...LOL) or a gold digger (that part was right), so he'd be up for another date. I told him I appreciated the thought, but just didn't feel a connection, so maybe it was better not to see each other any more. "Oh," he said. "In that case, bye!"

And that was that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Ideal Bookshelf

My Ideal Bookshelf

This was a fun read where people from various walks of life are asked what books would be on their ideal bookshelf and provide a brief narrative explaining their choices. Artist Jane Mount then draws a lovely image of what the shelf would look like, and she captures the real covers of some of the books VERY well.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bad Dates 2: The First Blind Date

Shortly after I moved to Kentucky, one of my classmates at culinary school asked if she could set me up with a friend of a friend. Since I was trying to embrace a new phase of my life, I said yes. The first warning sign should have been the fact that all communication was done through my classmate.

Since I wasn't crazy about giving my home address out to a stranger, I offered to meet him at the Books-A-Million cafe. (you think I'd have learned to avoid anything to do with that place and dates) M told me that she'd given him a rough idea of what I looked like and that I had a dominant personality. (remember that) All she told me about him was that he was tall.

So, date day arrived. I got to the cafe early, ordered a drink and settled down at a table to wait. it didn't take long. I heard someone say "oh my lord" and a few snickers, and I knew without turning around that this was going to be my date. Sure enough, this figure walks over and stands at attention beside me. Dressed in head to to black latex. He was tall, I'll give M that much. About 6'5 and weighed about 100 lbs. (not a typo) And he apparently took "dominant personality" to mean something entirely different.

"Hello, mistress!" Gulp. "I've been a bad boy...will you punish me?" *facepalm*

The people sitting around this spectacle were gawking and starting to snicker. I quickly jumped up, told him there had been a mistake, and practically flew out the door. Jumped into my car, burned rubber backing out of that lot at 90 m.p.h., and fled home. Called M, screaming, when I got home. She spent the next 6 weeks apologizing and doing my dishes in class.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Celebrate- Pippa Middleton

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends

Bwahahahahahahahahahaha! She got paid HOW MUCH for this?!? At least she admits in the forward that people mainly know who she is because of her sister,  her brother-in-law, and her butt.

Ok, let me find something positive to say: The pictures are pretty.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I don't normally bother making these since they're usually worthless within days, but thought I'd give it one more go. So, for 2013, I resolve:

1. Not to eat pickled beets...

2. ...or pickled herring

3. Not to gain 75 pounds

4. Not to take up smoking

5. Read whenever I get a chance

6. Work on my cross stitch whenever I get a chance

7. To give my cats belly rubs at least once a week

8. To go to Peking City Bistro for meat & veggie dumplings and Mongolian Bacon

9. Not to run a marathon

10. Not to leave the toilet seat up

11. To scream obscenities at other drivers when they annoy me

12. To go to the library

13. To keep making inane blog posts ;-)

Any resolutions from my readers?

Happy New Year

*I love Google Images! Thanks for this design, too!*