Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Phone service still out in my neighborhood

The phone is still out. Theoretically it will be fixed tomorrow but I hear there were seven or eight trucks down the street working on it all day and still no joy.

The most annoying thing is that if anyone calls me they get my voice mail so people must be thinking I'm ignoring them.

Sunday our furnace stopped working, the phone went out Monday, today my mouse stopped functioning. Of all these only the mouse was a huge problem. Even though it was like 21 degrees on Sunday we sort of stayed warmish what with crowding everyone in my room, turning on the computers and bringing the cats in to keep our feet warm...

Monday, February 27, 2006

What do Studebakers, Santa Claus and Sudafed have in common?

Sometimes I can't say the right word to save my life.

Cullen's sick with a head cold. He takes some prescription medicine when he gets sick called accuhist, or some spelling like that. He took some this morning and he felt a little better although his skin stayed this odd putty color he gets when he's not feeling well. (When he's feeling awful he turns a pale shade of green, I kid you not.)

He was just going to bed and I asked him, "Do you need a Studebaker for your head?"

He said no, he thought that would be a really bad idea and not at all good for his head. I said "I mean a Santa Claus. I mean a stinklemeyer. I mean a studefend. A sudafed."

Cam finally says "You mean an accuhist?" I said yes. Why was I stuck on those s words? Because sudafed used to be in a lot of cold medicine? Who knows. Thank goodness my kids can translate for me.

It's queer talking to someone not used to me. They just look at me and wait politely for the proper word, not realizing I really do want them to jump in if they know the word. Ah neurological deficits, aren't they the best?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lunesta, brought to you by the absinthe fairy?

Have you seen the commercial? People start hallucinating an absinthe green moth, obviously related to the green fairy of absinthe myth and legend. Is absinthe famous for putting you to sleep? Or maybe you just think you're asleep?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Night Becomes Day and Day Becomes Night

I'm still struggling with this stupid lung thing. The biggest problem I have is that the cough medicine makes me sleepy, but not enough to actually make me get some decent sleep, just enough to make it almost impossible to do anything. Too woozy to think or get anything difficult done but too much coughing to sleep.

Today I spent the morning sorting through old files, EOBs, school papers, etc. from 1995 - 1996, throwing away a ginormous trash bag full of paper. Then I sort of fell asleep, woke up, fell asleep, woke up, fell asleep, blah de blah until about nine pm when I woke up and started feeling like maybe I could accomplish something.

I posted a couple of ads for the new messageboard up at craigslist and bought Chris some birthday presents. And now I should go to sleep but am more awake than I've been all week.

That's it. What a fun and exciting day. W00t!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Burning Body Out by Cul and Cam's School

A police officer saw a fire at 3 am this morning. He stopped to put it out and realized it was a body on fire. The body was so badly damaged at first it wasn't even possible to tell if it was a boy or a girl. Now they think it's a white man, in his teens or early twenties.

How do you set a body on fire? It's crazy and terrifying.

One story can be found here.

So in the last couple of years we've had a shooting at the school, two attempted kidnappings, one rape, a stabbing. And this is one of the better schools...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stupid Eyes

I went to see my optho-neurologist this morning. She said my color recognition is good and my vision loss has stabilized. But the papilledema is back. She said it's not bad, about five percent but she's worried. She doesn't want to increase the amount of Diamox I take because of the side effects and because she's concerned about how much potassium I would lose. So I guess she's hoping that the Adult Hydrocephalus program doctors at Hopkins will have some advice for me.

I'm concerned because I think the Advair (inhaled steroid) I'm taking for my cough is what's aggravating the PTC. I stopped using it when I was diagnosed two years ago and my optic nerves have been totally flat. Now I'm using it and my nerves are raised. It's something to think about.

But you know, breathe or see, it's kind of a no brainer.

I started Cell last night after the Olympics, around midnight and finished it. Then I didn't sleep well. Big shocker, I know. I thought I would read just the first couple of chapters and fall asleep. Ha ha. Who was I fooling?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Where Are the Zombie Olympics?

I reached the top of the library waiting list for Stephen King's Cell. I've been looking forward to this book for months and I'm excited. But the Olympics are on!

Zombies or ice dancing? Hmm, what a choice. Why don't we have zombies on ice? Oh sure they aren't so very graceful but just think you wouldn't have to worry so much when they fell. Heck, they're already dead, what's the worst that could happen to them?

I think I might be on to something. Where are all the venture capitalists?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Best Olympic Interview EVER

I just watched Shani Davis win the gold medal in the 1000 meter long skate. It was an awesome race and he did a wonderful job.

He's been getting a lot of flak for "not having enough team spirit" - whatever that means. He didn't compete in a team event because he was concerned about being too tired for this race. Come on all you idiots giving him hell, if an athlete doesn't know his own body who does?

He did win the race with Joey Cheek coming in second, that was nice, I like Joey Cheek because of his charity work at the Olympics, and it was terrific.

Then this fluffy blonde chick tried to interview him but he wasn't giving her the responses she wanted to hear. She started stammering and panicking, you could tell she couldn't think of what to say when the athletes didn't give cliched responses. Finally, and this was only after a few questions, she asks "Are you angry?"

Oh my God, I never thought I would laugh so hard watching the results of a skating race. She turned into the typical insecure chick who thinks a talk with a dude isn't going well. "Honey, are you mad? Is it me? Do you think I'm fat?" It was hilarious.

He said no, he was at a loss for words.

You know what I think? I think he didn't want to give the people who were nasty to him any of what he was feeling. They didn't deserve it. Kind of like the story of the little red hen, she grew the grain, harvested it, ground it, baked the bread and then everyone wanted to share it.

This story, We Have Always Spoken Panglish, from the sci fi website about language might help explain what I mean. I was thinking about it after the interview, the part about letting the language die rather than letting the overlords have it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sick and Tired

I don't know why I can't call out for a column when I get sick and can't concentrate. If people deliver pizza why not columns?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm sick and grouchy

I've been coughing a lot for the last couple of weeks and coughing up blood since Friday so I finally dragged myself in to see my family doctor today. She said my lungs sounded clear, "except for here, and here, and here, and all through here and all of this, oh that's your whole lungs! But your right lower lobe sounds great." Then she sent me for an x-ray. She said she didn't understand us asthma patients, we always think we're doing better than we are. I explained that quite frankly I've been feeling too sick to go to the doctor, a weird state of affairs that will no doubt kill me one day.

In other news I'm enjoying the Olympics when I'm not cringing and worrying that the athletes are going to get injured or killed. I guess that's one more thing curling has going for it, it looks pretty safe.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Our power is back on

I am very glad to say we have both light and heat. And internet and computers and a way to wash the clothes and dishes and all the other things I adore because I am supremely lazy and spoiled.

Power out in our neighborhood

We've got loads of lovely snow and no power. Sadly I had the window open so the cat could see out right before the power went out so it's already cold in the house.

I'm on a laptop with 30% power remaining and on dialup but I'll be shutting down in a couple of minutes. If anyone needs me, like you Fred, you'd better call me. I don't know when the power will be back on.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My contribution for a better tomorrow

I can't get figure out how to link this image, so click here for the Clarion workshop information. I would love to go to this.

Ridiculous Censorship

I haven't posted much this week because I've been excessively grouchy. And busy, but mostly I didn't just want to complain about stuff. However here it is, barely ten am and I've already been dismayed and irritated by stupid censorship stuff.

I was just updating my mini at Pogo.com, a sort of paper doll that you can dress up, you buy the clothes with tokens you win playing the games. It's a brilliant idea and whoever came up with it should get a ginormous raise.

The newest thing with these minis is allowing you to write a caption under them. I just bought a superhero suit for mine and she's out on Route 66 with her trusty turkey Winston. Because the costume is a cat and the turkey is looking up adoringly I tried to edit my caption to read "He'll eye me suspiciously," a line from Jonathan Coulton's brilliant song, "The Future Soon." But because the censorship program is, shall we say intellectually challenged, it censored my caption just so:

Isn't that ridiculous?

In other news, I see that Senator Ted Stevens (R) (Jerk) held hearings about "indecency." According to my Playback (AFTRA/SAG newsletter)

Under consideration is legislation that would fine individual performers up to $500,000 for speech or action deemed to be "indecent."

It goes on to say our new president, Alan Rosenberg is defending us and pointing out that actors don't write their own lines.

Can you imagine the chilling effect this law would have? Actors would be afraid to work. Screenwriters would be afraid to write anything that could be considered indecent - a word that can be interpreted in so many ways as to be completely meaningless.

To the best of my knowledge this whole write in and complain about everything you see on television campaign is the work of one astroturfing company. They and all their little, whiny, scared of life members, need to grow up and start worrying about serious problems, you know, the Miss America ones, world peace, hunger, AIDS epidemic, global warming or the fact that the Red Cross is using my donations to make AOL rich and to sue video game companies and first aid kits, or perhaps makers of first aid kits.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Culture of Greed

I'm extremely disturbed by recent articles I've read about cable providers. Verizon and bellsouth want to double charge for internet. They already charge the user and now they want companies like google to pay also. They say in return they will give preferential treatment to the big companies that are paying. I have no idea what that means and I don't care. Internet access is already ridiculously expensive for what we get in this country. Our broadband is utter crap when compared to certain other countries and we pay through the nose for it. Why on earth should ISPs get to charge twice?

I just finished an extraordinarily annoying article at the New York Times about how Yahoo (reviled for ratting out a Chinese blogger whose currently rotting behind bars) and AOL (reviled for, well being AOL) are going to start charging companies to deliver email. That's right, instead of stripping the email and sending it to the junk mail or eating it completely, for a fee they'll make sure they deliver the mail, something they're supposed to do already! UGH.

All right, so again, AOL already charges for the access in the first place and Yahoo has ads everywhere so what the hell?

And in another twist Comcast, my own ISP and cable TV provider, is inserting ads in their on demand program. Some bigwig was whinging because he gave away millions of dollars of on demand films and programs last year and had no ads in any of it. HELLOOOOOO! I pay for cable to avoid advertisements. And I pay a pretty premium for on demand. I am currently paying $125 a month for my cable, internet and TV and film channels. That's a huge amount of money. How dare he say he gave away anything at all?

Now he's going to collect for ads for something I'm paying an arm and a leg for. I keep thinking it's time to stop being so attached to my comcast email address and look for another company.

The thing is I figure it's sort of okay for me to pay that much for my cable since I was paying to commute and now I telecommute so I'm not so upset about the bills, it's the sheer greed and effentry of acting like we're getting something for nothing when we're paying enough to feed an entire family in certain countries. Seriously, too damn annoyed to make any more sense. Hopefully you get the gist.

On the good news front Cullen fixed my w and Crystal Steel started a quote of the day program at agentoasis. W00t!

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Fucking HATE Dell Laptop Keyboards

These things are the most fragile, impossible to put back together pieces of shit I have ever encountered. They're worse than crystal vases for breaking and not going back together again.

I've been sick with stupid flu or cold symptoms this week and I just got out my inhaler because I was coughing and wheezing. My hands are shaky from cough medicine and I dropped the inhaler on my keyboard from the ginormous height of five or six inches. The w key came off and I can't get the damn thing back on. Cullen is the only member of my family who can fix these keys and he's over at his Dad's house. By the time he comes back I will have lost the pieces, just as I did with the control and the tilde keys.

How on earth am I supposed to write without my keys? Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

WaPo Discussions About Proposed Same Sex Marriage Ban in Maryland

I'm heartsick over Erlich's insane attempt to change the constitution of Maryland to outlaw basic rights for homosexuals. This proposed amendment is so ridiculously broad that it could actually outlaw all divorce in Maryland and make it impossible for a parent to choose a same sex child to hold their medical power of attorney. A father would have to find a daughter or someone other woman and a mother would need a man to be in charge of her, a throwback two centuries ago. It's a disgusting, hateful, vile proposition and it makes me doubly sick that these bozos pretend they're protecting marriage.

Here are two transcripts of our delegates discussing the issue. One is an idiot parroting platitudes and speaking the party line of hate and exclusion and one is articulate, thoughtful, witty and concerned. I'll leave figuring out which is which as an exercise for the reader.

Transcript - On Proposed Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage in Maryland - Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt (R-Dorchester)

Transcript - On Proposed Amendment Banning Same-Sex Marriage in Maryland - Del. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Stargazy Pie and Control F

All week long I've run into references to stargazy pie. Every time I've had a very specific image of it in my head. A charcoal looking drawing with a large pie with a wonderful, thick crust and eight or so little pilchard heads peeking out. No tails, just the heads.

I got to wondering if I had seen an illustration like that in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell so I took it down from the shelf and was saddened to see there was no list of illustrations at the front. And would you believe control f doesn't work on a 782 page hardback book? What's that all about?