Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Of course work has already sucked. (For those that miss my old bitter self - here)
Then I read a story from Patti that actually made me feel that things cold be a hell of a lot worse.
I am looking forward to the wine tasting party! I'm glad you can all make it.
So, I was in this all-day meeting today. Then I went to a wake for an infant. Then, off to a company picnic with the Gomez family.
All week, I am trying to figure out how to make the house absolutely perfect for this party I am having for a bunch of women that will be drunk in 15 minutes and won't notice anything anyway. The wine guy who is going to teach us how to drink at this party (because none of us knows how to drink), calls me to tell me has switched all of the wines on me. This means that the food that I have so painstakingly selected to pair with these wines is for naught! In addition, he is training someone so he will have a student with him.
On the way home, I pull into a gas station because I am riding on fumes. I have reconciled that I will pay $3.05 for a gallon of gas. There is a tanker filling up the pumps and four cars twisting all over the place to get close enough to their pumps. There are two free pumps but both are out of order. I pull out in a huff and decide to just go home. I burst into tears because I have just had enough today.
When I get home, I realize I still have more to do. The Burgundy colored bathroom towels are in the wash and need to be switched to the dryer (because we must coordinate!). A piece of trim over the cabinets has shifted and needs to be repaired. It will probably be too hot tomorrow to open up the house and have guests on the patio. By the way, it is supposed to rain tomorrow night also!
So I sit down at the kitchen table with a large glass of wine and I once again take notice of just how ugly my kitchen chairs are. I think they are from 1970. Now, you know me well enough to know that I have been shopping all week for four new chairs so I won't suffer the embarrassment of outdated seating. I just can't get them in time for tomorrow's party!
But wait!!! That's not all!!! Here is the icing on the cake!!!!
Several years ago, I noticed a white film had formed on the glass on my fireplace. According to the manual, this is not uncommon. However, you must buy a very special cleaner for this glass. About a year ago, I bought the special cleaner but never got around to cleaning the glass. Naturally, last week it became evident to me that I could not throw this party with such ugly fireplace glass. Earlier this week, J and I disassembled the fireplace (not an easy chore with a worry-wart like me dealing with gas and pilot lights!). We used the required cleaning product and got fantastic results with little effort. For whatever reasons, we did not get around to reassembling the fireplace until tonight. We put it all back together, lit the fireplace and it was beautiful! It did have that smell that you used to get when you lit the furnace for the first time so we decided to let it run for a while.
J was in the garage getting tools to fix the cabinet in the kitchen, I was in the basement drying the precious Burgundy bathroom towels when we both heard a "POP". Something went terribly wrong and the glass shattered into (literally) about a gazillion pieces. It was still intact, just shattered. We laid out a lot of newspaper, very carefully pulled down the safety grill and turned off the gas and pilot light. He didn't really think the pilot light was a danger at this point but I worry about everything. In addition, I really wanted J to put on safety goggles but he shot me a look that indicated I should back off. Then we looked in the yellow pages for a repair guy to call tomorrow. I poured a very large glass of wine and we came upstairs to play on the computers.
Every half hour or so we hear a crash and know that more glass has fallen out. I drain another glass of wine and J just buries his head in the computer. J won't even let me go downstairs to look at the damage. I think he is afraid I will have a complete and total nervous breakdown. He knows me very well and I love him for it. He keeps my wine glass full at all times.
So, in conclusion, I don't give a rat's &%*% what my house looks like. Just get over here and drink with me!
PS. In light of the fireplace mishap, outside shoes will be allowed (and required) on the first floor.
Patti C. Gomez
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
He had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.
She is pregnant.
The firefighter was afraid of her at first, because he had never been around a Doberman before. When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest. A photographer from the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper, "The Observer," noticed this red doberman in the distance looking at the fireman.
He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.
As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies, and kissed him, just as the photographer snapped this photograph.
Come on. I cannot honestly point out any nincompoopery amoungmy friends and myself if I don't get to point this one out.
May 31 - Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says
August 24th (same CNN) - BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents launched a sophisticated and well-coordinated strike against police checkpoints in Baghdad on Wednesday that left five dead and at least 31 wounded, police said.
Jeez, imagine how f'ed we would be if they weren't in their last throes!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Pat Robertson - he who wants the commandments posted everywhere - on Victor Chavez " "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Nice talk for the man of God. And he doesn't want him out because of human rights violations or anything. No. It's because, Robertson, called Chavez "a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us badly."
Now, it doesn't particularly bother me that a crazy mofo with a TV show that reaches millions of Americans calls for us to kill the leader of another country (even though it is on the "Christian" Broadcast Network). Okay - it does.
I think he is making all of us Americans look like asses. Particularly as he is a widely respected and followed Preacher in the US. Not just a Preacher followed by millions, but he ran for President (and did very well in some primaries). If a Muslim Iman or the Pope said this about the President of the US - we would all freak out.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Well, True has found new Basenji playmates at the dog park. True (the black one in the middle) enjoys the romps with the other pups. Lynn lets True air it out at the dog park because our boys no longer romp at will. They more - lay around in a highly decorative manner.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Wow, that last post was dull! This is better. This is a picture of Gavin and Mickey's new dog, Casey. Casey is cute as hell.
After Gavin and Mikcey went to P-Town, they went to the Farmer's Market to get fresh veggies for the week. They came home with Tamales and Casey instead. A much better choice I think.
The web allows you to share a quick chuckle. It allows you to check the scores of football / tennis / whatever quickly, easily and without driving your friends nuts.
But then there is the down side of instant communication. People respond in a knee jerk fashion. They may fly off the handle at what they think the read or hear instead of what people are really saying.
Older people may assume whatever is written is true (because it is written down).
Younger people doubt all news / information (because the web is full of crap and lies).
Worse, it can act as some echo chamber. Where you only read what you agree with. We in LA may not know of anyone who actually admits to liking the current administration - and reading online and watching our TV reinforces this. It always surprises me that the Economist (the British news magazine that Ed, John and I love) is actually very pro-Bush - but in a reasonable way. They admit his faults, but discuss his positive points.
The same can be said of people who love Bush. I listen to Rush on occasion, read www.worldnetdaily.com and watch FoxNews. I am sure many people in those target audiences do not know anyone that disagrees with Bush. Bush's popularity with Republicans is still 80-90%. With Democrats is around 20%.
As a nation, we don't really talk much more - we yell at each other and loudly agree with our friends. Where we may disagree with our circle of friends, we don't really say much about it.
I don't know if there is a point to this or an answer to what I see as a problem.
I guess I want to say, to all of you (for the moment I will assume you are all friends :-) - I really do value your opinions. I have learned from all of you (Carson excepted - of course) and I wanted you to know that. I think it is important to say that because, in the normal course of events, I am a big mouth that doesn't acknowledge the other side might be right.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
In a case of "career flame out extremious", Kathy Bates stars in the upcoming lifetime mini-series "Ambulance Girl".
Apparently it is about an overwiegh food critic wirter who "saves herself from dying of depression" by becoming an EMT.
I wouldn't make a comment, except I saw the poster today on my way to work. The picture of a pixie-cut Kathy Bates - staring forelonely out of a billboard picture with yellow police tape spelling out "Ambulance Girl" was ... heartbreaking.
I went to LifeTime network site. They don't even have it listed yet (www.lifetimetv.com) - I think Kathy is embarassed. Think about this. Kathy Bates cavorted through that terrible Jack Nicholson movie naked - but even she doesn't want this bad boy promoted. I'll post the poster when it is out.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Anywho - where was I - oh yes, lunch. So I go grab a bite and drop by Target. Bad idea on a Monday. The store was clean, but the stock was a little bare. They had great T-shirts for Eddie - but they were all S or XXL (the M, L and XL being cleaned out this week-end). And it was the same up and down the line of everything I wanted.
So I am leaving, and I see Mom holding up a pair of purple/pink camo (camoflauge?) capris for her daugher - who looks about 11. I think, what a nice mom. She is going to buy her daughter the stupid pants for school. But no, I hear this:
11 Year Old: Mom! PU_lease. You have GOT to be kidding.
Mom (truely perplexed): You don't like them? (no answer except for giant sighs)... Well what's wrong with them?
11 Year Old turns around to make sure no one is watching (Of course - I stopped to watch this little brat through the fit. However, since I was not an 11 year old girl or 13 year old boy - I was ignored.)
11 Year Old: Oh I don't know.... EVERYTHING!! (Mom looks down at the pants and back up at what was once her lovely child - now in habited by the soul of the devil (or at least Paris Hilton).
The joy of her life then utters a breathy 'phuuu' - spins on one hoof and stamps away. But, the silence is too muc. Elvira yells out at no one in particular "OH my GOD!"
Mom looks at me, and smiles weekly.
I smile back at mom (who is younger than me) and say in my best grandfatherly voice, "Fine. You can just wear you have your closet then young lady." Mom gives me a tired smile, hangs the pants back up and tries to find little Linda Blair over in a department which was, I think, marked "16 and not all that slutty".
Friday, August 12, 2005
You know I don't usually do star sightings (because I don't get to a lot of Premeires), but we went to the "40 Year Old Virgin" premeire yesterday. It was good, but definately R rated. There was gratutious usage of the f word, just to get an R rating I think.
Anyway, quite the stellar crowd. Hank Azaria, most of the cast of the 70's show, Ben Stiller, I ran into (literally) Rick Schroder, Bill Maher and a lot of others. One to make Lynn jealous was Nathan Fillion. Better known as the Captain of Firefly or Caleb from Buffy the V Slayer. Cool. He was with some gal - and he looked smitten. He was also the love interest in 2 Guys, A Girl and a Pizza place (later without the pizza place.
And for the straight boyz (you know who you are :-). We saw Tara Reid in this blue halter. I can totally see why her boobs pop out all the time, she barely covers those bad boys. She was out and about with a bunch of drunk girls scoping the studio exces and trying to find the straight guys (I think there were 2 there).
You may (or may not) remember a story of our good friend Shawn - who moved across country. When we last left him, he had made a quick birthday trip out here to show off his new 6-pack and new boyfriend.
Well, now the new boyfriend is the old boyfriend (we don't even discuss the 6-pack anymore) - and Shawn has become the good step-parent of Mike's 2 daughters (Brenna and Engy - seen here with Gavi).
Well... here is where we pick up the story. Shawn is driving back from ProvinceTown with Mike and the girls. As any good East Coast step-parent does, he drives his Jeep Grand (Offensive Indian Name Expunged - curse you NCAA), with the pink bikes on top. Tra-la-la-la. He sings a happy disco tune with the girls asleep in the back, and Mike asleep next to him.
The pull into the palacial Conn. estate (I think the ivy has grown over the trailor wheel wells by now) and into the carport. Shawn - a product of Southern California driving, knows exactely how fast and close in can pull into the carport.
Imagine then his shock as a large crash is heard - startling the passengers awake. Nothing ahead or him or to the sides seems too close. He checks the review mirror and in the driveway lay the decapitated bicycle seats - pink tassels in disarrey.
Before the passengers can fully come awake, he tosses the keys to Mike, says "You unload honey." And proceeds into the trailor (pardon me - mobile home), makes a martini and proceeds to maritnate the steaks.
All I got to say, is that he must be really good in the sack.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Well, it's my Mom's birthday. So Hippo Birdie to you. This pic is from the last time I went to Montana - and yes I have been given shit for not going since :-).
Eddie has updated the Icland pictures to include captions now - so I am allowed to redirect you there.
Finally - this bit of news. After promising (as opposed to threatening) to veto any highway bill over $250 BILLION, Bush will be signing the new highway bill at $286 BILLION. Of course, the new funds are urgently needed (per MSNBC).
Large chunk of money going to Alaska
Alaska, the third-least populated state, for instance, got the fourth most money for special projects — $941 million — thanks largely to the work of its lone representative, House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young. That included $231 million for a bridge near Anchorage to be named "Don Young's Way" in honor of the Republican.
Included in the bill's special Alaska projects is $231 million for a bridge that will connect Anchorage to Port MacKenzie, a rural area that has exactly one resident, north of the town of Knik, pop. 22. The land is a network of swamps between a few hummocks of dry ground. Although it may or may not set the stage for future development, the bridge, to be named "Don Young's Way," will not save commuters into Anchorage any time, says Walt Parker, a former Alaska commissioner of highways.
There is yet another Bridge in the bill (longer than the Golden Gate, higher than the Brooklyn)...
A mess of thorny devil's club and salmonberries, along with an old chicken coop, surrounds the 40-year-old cabin where Mike Sallee grew up and still lives part time on southeast Alaska's Gravina Island. Sallee's cabin is the very definition of remote. Deer routinely visit his front porch, and black bears and wolves live in the woods out back. The 20-mile-long island, home to fewer than 50 people, has no stores, no restaurants and no paved roads. An airport on the island hosts fewer than 10 commercial flights a day.
"I can take off from the homestead and walk the beach for several miles before I get to any other habitation," says Sallee, a fisherman who also operates a small lumber mill. "There's two main mountain ranges on the island and a big valley of forest and muskeg."
Yet due to funds in a new transportation bill, which President Bush is scheduled to sign Wednesday, Sallee and his neighbors may soon receive a bridge nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and 80 feet taller than the Brooklyn Bridge. With a $223 million check from the federal government, the bridge will connect Gravina to the bustling Alaskan metropolis of Ketchikan, pop. 8,000.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
So, while Eddie was gone I was busy busy busy. I created a miniture golf course (a putt putt course). I was in a mood (don't ask). Anyway, it is done and it looks cool.
It's only 6 holes, but we christened it today (Eddie and Lynn tied - I lost). If you want to play let me know.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Well, it's August. That lovely time of year when you can hope for the best, before you know the worst. So the mascots are the Quarterbacks for the Bruins and the Badgers (John Stocco from Wisconsin is at right)
I actually wanted the new Olsen (Ben) who is a 22 year old Mormon from Missoula to start, but they are going to let 3rd year started Drew - Butterfingers - Olsen play. So root for him I will. But secretly, I want the ugly Ben to play (below).
Finally I must say I had a problem with the Mascot of the Month this month. There were no pictures that weren't too depressing to look at daily for a month, but I really wanted to give the Mascot of the Month to the men of the Ohio National Gaurd who lost their lives in the last few days.
To me, you can agree or not agree that the war in Iraq (as opposed to the war on terror) was right. Reasonable people have reasonable views -that often don't agree. But these 14 men were true American heros. They were fighting for what we, as Americans, all believe. That people deserve to live free and safe. It is an easy thing to believe in. And, at 46, not a factor for me. But for these guys, their beliefs in what was right lead them to protect people they didn't know. To try to protect people that often hated them.
So mascot of the month seems to flip for them. Instead they have my admiration and appreciation and, as undefined as they are, my prayers.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Iceland was really cool in a lot of odd ways. Hard to describe, but it was a lot of fun and wonderful to be back with the bf. I will expand a little over time. Here are 2 cool things.
1) Iceland is full of hot springs / baths. Every city has at least one public bath. It is fun. we went to the Reycivik public one, which was great after a long day in the car. But clearly the coolest was the Blue Lagoon. Iceland put in the this giant geothermal power plant. Well, they let in ocean water about 2 miles inland to use to drive this. It overflowed into a lagoon. No problem. But the lagoon also has hot springs - so there is this cool mix of hot spring water and ocean water. And they have built a resort at it. We went a couple of times. The water is cloudy blue (with Silcates and sulfer). And as you move through the lagoon the water fluctuates from about 88 degress to about 106 degrees, waffting by in warm currents. It was cool. Below is a picture of Eddie at the overlook, and me in the lagoon.
2) We went to the cite of the founding of the Allthing - the worlds longest serving delibrative representative body (like a congress). It was founded in like 930 and hase been running ever since. Well the history lesson was okay, but the cool thing was that the place was right at the rift between North America and Europe. Unlike our faults, here the earth is tearing away from each side. Making a scar that runs through the middle of flat country. We hiked up to a waterfall. It was cool!