Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why? Part 2

There was a story in the news the other day. A Korean scientist and his team have been doing some genetic tampering which produced a litter of glow in the dark beagle puppies. Four out of six survived. All are named Ruppy, ruby plus puppy, because under ultraviolent light they glow red.

This was accomplished by injecting fluorescent genes into embryos and implanting them into a surrogate mother, a local mutt. They say it’s significant that the puppies survived because it is the basis for more genetic research with the hope of finding ways to treat and prevent certain genetic diseases in humans.

Okay, I get all that. Well the importance of the nature of the surrogate. What they didn’t say is why they are tampering with puppies when other scientists have already done the same with cats, mice, and pigs. Seriously, it was already proven possible so why do it again? Why not invest the funds into the research they purport to be doing instead of replicating preliminary research already completed?

The report I read didn’t mention whether or not the puppies, all female, were fertile and capable of reproducing and, if so, the offspring would also glow. Isn’t that the important part here? First generation traits are great but it’s the longevity that counts. Right?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Thereve been some studies done recently. I’m sure very costly studies at that.

One concluded that fish get seasick. This was determined by sticking an aquarium full of goldfish onto a plane and then sending the plane into a steep nosedive, essentially dropping them out of the sky to simulate weightlessness. Hmm, nope, I don’t think their findings are quite correct. Consider this. People are said to be seasick when floating around the sea while in their natural environment, air. Shouldn’t it follow that fish, in water, on a plane are airsick?

The study goes on to say, and I quote, “The fish lost their sense of balance, they became completely confused and looked as if they were about to vomit.” This brings to mind the question of how many studies have been conducted to determine exactly what fish look like when about to vomit. And then the scientist conducting this invaluable research went onto say that such fish would likely become prey in the sea. As it was the eight fish who became disoriented out of the forty-nine studied were culled to have their brains analyzed in the name of said research. The result? Loss of eye contact with water movement and vibration played a large part in their disorientation. He thinks.

The other study, more poor goldfish, concluded that fish do indeed feel pain and that their reaction to memory of a bad experience was more than just basic reflex.

How’d they do this? Glad you asked. They heated two groups of fish to uncomfortably high temperatures to see if the fish would remember and react the next time heat was introduced. Fish in one group were left as is. Fish in the other were given injections of morphine prior to heating to numb their senses.

Yes, the fish who weren’t drugged remembered they didn’t like being nearly boiled. But what the study didn’t mention was the effect of morphine on fish. Hey, if you’re doing this sort of thing, why not be thorough?

Unfortunately my phone line is dead. I'm at my most wonderful friends' house, begging a bit of computer time. They're so indulgent! The phone company said, due to cutbacks they may or may not have it fixed by Friday. If I'm not back, have a nice life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This Is Ridiculouos!

It’s been 90 freakin’ degrees for days now. In April. We should still be having snow storms in April, not having heatwaves. Okay so perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration but this really is just plain wrong.

I suppose there is one good thing I can think of. Should I happen to be bitten by a vampire any time soon they won’t have to worry about having a headache for months, that’s how much preventative Excedrin I’m eating. Hmm, do vampires get headaches? Must remember to ask next time I encounter one.

But as I was saying, it’s too damn hot too soon here. I suspect it’s a plot to try and make me behave, not that it’ll work but I must admit, it’s a nice try, oh universal powers that see fit to mess with me. All I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m so meek and mild. Otherwise I’d have to start issuing warnings. Been a long time since I’ve faced a really good challenge and I’m up to it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

PS - Chicken Feet Follow Up

I received this in a comment from another venue and had to share it with you. Really, doesn't sound bad if you can get past the thought of eating chicken feet. Be sure to let us know when you try it.

"Take the chicken feet and marinade them in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and a little sesame oil overnight in a gallon sized freezer bag. Bring them up to room temp before stir frying or grilling. They do not need much time to cook but if you cook them too long they get really tough. Grill or stir fry them, serve them with a little more soy, sesame oil ginger garlic sauce and eat them like you would a chicken wing. Pick the meat and cartilage off the bones with your teeth."

Happy Dance Time

Out of respect for my friends who have the misfortune of being Flyers fans, I’ve been very quiet and well-behaved on the subject of hockey. But now, my Penguins have once again eliminated your paltry Flyers from the playoffs, and I have to say it. Cheer for the proper team and your season wouldn’t be over quite yet.

Yes, I know. Paybacks are a bitch and I fully expect to hear from each and every one of you when the tables are turned, whenever that may be. Until then…

Lets Go Pens!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yep, It's Me

I went to the grocery store today. Another innocuous activity, right? Not if you’re me it’s not.

I was meandering along, minding my own business when what did I spy in the meat counter? And on special no less? Chicken feet. Lopped of at the ankle, toenails included. Naturally I had to take a picture for you. Should have seen the look on the face of the little boy restocking nearby.

Of course, since I already had his attention, I asked how one prepared chicken feet. Poor kid didn’t speak much English to begin with and I think I scared some so he finally blurted out grill and stood there trembling. I was nice. I politely thanked him and went in search of someone else to question.

Luckily, it didn’t take long. When I repeated my query as to what one does with chicken feet the first response I got was that they are used in sacrifices. Can you tell we’ve spoken previously? I pointed out that generally those rituals required a live chicken at the start of them so he revised his answer, explaining that some people use them in soups.

As I’ve mentioned before I make a lot of soup but really, I think I’ll give the chicken foot varities a pass.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Things I See

Without even leaving home. Wondering, aren’t you?

I went out in my yard today. That’s it. Less than twenty feet from my back door, no further, but it was still an interesting day to say the least. I was out for two reasons. First, I needed to do the fine weeding. Last time I pulled the major weeds and dead plants. This time I had to get all the little things that cluster at the base of the strawberry plants that are slowly conquering the entire yard. Fine with me. Even though strawberries aren’t my favorite there’s still something about going out, standing there and biting into a succulent, ruby red berry freshly plucked, warm from the sun.

Second, I needed the other half of my summer hair. I already had it cut so in another week or two it will fluff again and I’ll like it. But it’s still winter dark and that just won’t do. Yes, I know, I could go and have it colored so it was the same all year round but I don’t want to. Personally, I don’t mind the gray that’s starting. It’s part of life. But I do mind the rest when it looks flat and drab which means even though I hate summer I still spend some time out in it to get that sun-kissed look. It doesn’t take long and I’m very pale so my skin gets a nice, pink glow to it to go along with the lightened hair, both of which make my eyes seem just a little bluer.

Boring, right? A nothing day, necessary but not something I should be bothering you with. Ah but there was so much more to it than that. It began with a butterfly ménage. Or perhaps they were moths. I really don’t know and it doesn’t matter. They were soft yellow and beautiful as they flitted above my head, circling each other in their dance of foreplay. They’d dart here and there then go back to circling. Spectacular and eventually frenzied. I don’t know exactly how she chose between them but the one not picked dropped out and settled on the iris spike not three inches from my head. I froze and sat with him as he regrouped, wings slowly opening and closing, until he was ready to move on with a sigh. From me, that is. Okay, maybe from him as well.

After a bit more weeding I heard a ruckus by the fence a few feet away. Looking, I discovered a pair of huge bumble bees, fully involved. You know the ones I mean, the big black and yellow ones that hover around, ignoring you if you ignore them. And yes, by fully involved I mean just that, fully involved. Bees having hot gorilla sex. Rambunctious as hell, let me tell you. Amazing, to say the least. Didn’t last long, or it seemed that way to me. Maybe to the bees it was an eternity. All I know is when they were through they were both staggering. He buzzed away and promptly fell off of the leaf he attempted to land on. She took a minute to collect herself, rearranging her tussled wings, only to crash into the fence post when she tried to alight, that’s how erratic her flight was. I wonder if I can work the phrase boiling bumble bee sex into the book I’m working on. I wonder if my editor will let me get away with it if I do. Ah, I suspect the sound I just heard was her groaning half way around the world so perhaps not.

The last bit of entertainment I had was provided by the neighbors two houses away. I heard some shrieking, followed by a door banging and looked over to see a woman in the yard, wrists duct taped behind her back. She was laughing so I merely watched and stayed put. Hey, she saw me too and could easily have asked for assistance had she needed it. She didn’t. I smiled. She smiled. And then she went back inside. Obviously no problem there.

So that was my day. Yep, plenty of excitement around my house. What did you do?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Please Stand

Why? Because, according to the article I read this week, it’s good for you. Just stand up. It’s as simple as that. Apparently there’s been some research done and they found that standing not only burns twice as many calories as sitting it also helps increase good cholesterol as well as stimulates the enzymes that metabolize fat.

Okay, easy enough. However, since I’m at times alone in the office, I took it one step further. Instead of merely standing, I switched on some tunes and had karaoke hour while everyone else went to lunch.

I had a good week, doing that without anyone walking in though I’m sure my luck won’t hold. I’m happy to report that in addition for being physically good for me it also improved my mood overall because afterwards I spent each afternoon laughing at myself. Still, I think it best to hang onto the article for when I do get interrupted. I’ll show it to them, hopefully proving that I’m not completely insane.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Come One, Come All

I heard this advertised on the radio this morning and just had to share it with you. I know it’s a bit early but I’m sure you’ll all want to change your schedules and make travel arrangements so you can attend.

The location?

Leesport Farmers Market
312 Gernants Church Road
Leesport, PA 19533
Off Rt. 61 in Leesport.
Drive back to the blue building.
Enter through the first set of double doors.

The date?

Saturday, May 2 from 10:00 – 6:00

The event?

The Fourth Annual Spring Rodentfest

Just so you know there's also a rat show that’s part of this shindig so make sure you bring your finest rat along with all the proper paperwork. Wouldn’t want your baby to lose out on the best of show trophy because you’ve forgotten the particulars, now would you?

Please try to contain your excitement. I know it’ll be difficult for you but you really must. You have another week to wait and you might strain something if you don’t. I’m sure you’d be kicking yourself indefinitely if you let that happen and prevented you from being there.

We’ll all be waiting anxiously to hear what you think so please report back to us once you’re home again. Oh wait. That won’t be necessary. After all, we’ll be there with you. Okay then, stop back and we’ll trade memories.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just in Reading?

There was yet another attempted bank robbery in the area this week. We have them all the time, many of which are successful. This one, however, wasn’t. The bank in question recently installed a new security system. Apparently there’s now someone monitoring folks as they come in the main doors who can then bar the inner door, preventing entry should they look suspicious.

The news reported that it was the first time the system was put into use and the bank officials were pleased with how it functioned, real time. Good for them. My question here is why they didn’t take things one step further. The monitoring person saw the man entering the bank had a mask on beneath his hoodie. He pushed the button, triggering the inner doors to lock. The would-be thief turned and ran once he realized he wasn't getting inside. And got away. So now there’s a big search for the individual from the really bad, fuzzy picture. Why don’t they have a similar locking device on the outer doors that, when activated, would then trap the person between the sets of doors?

Is it just me here that’s wondering about this? Seriously, if they’re spending the amount of money to install the system in the first place, why not complete it?

While I’m on the subject of local bank robberies, I’ll mention one that occurred a few years ago. The robber took a taxi from his home to the bank, had the driver wait while he went inside and then was dropped back off at home. Yeah, I bet he’s still confused about how he got caught.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It was drizzly, dreary, and damp yesterday, predicted for today and tomorrow too, and I love it, although today turned out to be sunny. So disappointing. There’s something about mist that makes me feel peaceful. Have you ever stood in it with your eyes closed and just breathed while it soaked into your soul? If not, I strongly recommend it. It’s an experience you need to have but to truly have it you need to open your mind and let yourself feel the mist permeating you.

Ah, you’re wondering now, aren’t you? That’s okay. I know how it sounds. But you shouldn’t judge something before you’ve given it a fair chance. Seriously, what would it hurt? And maybe, just maybe you’ll find that mist gives you a sense of inner harmony as well. It really is magical if you can find it within yourself to accept it.

Go on. Give it a try the next time the weather cooperates in your area. Once you do, email me and let me know if you get it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Disappointed? Perhaps Not

I had a Midnight Truffle Blizzard. Yes, I caved. Hey, you should be impressed that it took a whole week. So I had one. I wish I hadn’t. It was okay. That’s it. Just okay. The dream of it was so much better than the reality.

But that’s life, isn’t it? Why would a silly treat be any different? Or perhaps that’s why I let myself have one, thinking that something so inane might possibly live up to the hype. All in all it doesn’t really matter but still, it would have been nice.

“The first rule of avoiding disappointment is to lower your expectations.” I heard that on a commercial. The problem, as I see it, is that you must first have expectations in order to lower them. I gave that up a long time ago. It makes life easier overall that way.

Ah but wait. That’s only half of it. There are also the things you encounter purely by chance that surprise the hell out of you because they are so perfectly right in what they are it’s like you were meant to come across them, that they were waiting specifically for you to find them even though you have yet to determine their cosmic purpose. Which brings up the question of whether or not you really need to know that in order to accept what’s right in front of you. No, I don’t think so. Some things just are and I’m okay with that.

Yeah, life sure is funny sometimes. I’ll attempt to make more sense tomorrow but I’m not giving you any guarantees. Life’s like that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Was An Adventure

I know you’ll find this difficult to believe but I misbehaved when I was out and about yesterday. I didn’t mean to. Really I didn’t. But sometimes an innocent comment is enough to get me started and one thing leads to another and before I know it I’ve become visible again without intending to. I’ve found once that happens its best to go with it.

I took Howie for an oil change. Yep, that’s it. Simple, right? How can that possibly cause a stir, right? Well, if you know me, then you don’t have to ask those questions. By now you’re shaking your head, wondering what the hell I did this time.

Nothing earth shattering, I assure you. I didn’t slip up that much. Not yesterday anyway though that possibility is back out there now, due to circumstances I have no desire to control. Ah, but that’s for another day. Back to Howie. He actually started it. Pretty cool, having a car that misbehaves too. It’s guaranteed that the people at the oil place are going to remember us next time we’re in. And my specific counterman, well let’s just say I left him with a smile and a sense of wonderment that I have absolutely no doubt he took home to share after his shift yesterday.

Now tell me, were you an adventure yesterday too, as I asked you to be?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Busy day here. I have just shy of a gazillion things to do but you know what? I really don't feel like doing any of them.

I've been having some bizarre dreams lately. And some bizarre discussions too. Now there are things rolling around within my head that seem to be taking roost. They're not going to go away until I do something with them. But what to do?

Ah well, I suppose the answer will come to me as they tend to do. In the mean time, I may as well sit back and enjoy the show.

Do something for me, if you will. Go out and be an adventure this weekend. if only for a moment.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's the Weekend

Go Have One

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One of Those Days

It’s entirely too bright out there today. So bright it hurts my eyes. Or maybe the intensity of the sun is due to the thirty-five degree jump in temperature that’s making my head wonky. Yep, mid-April and it’s started already. This summer might be the one that finally kills me.

Have you ever attempted to extract a miniscule splinter from the outside of your own foot? Let me tell you, it’s damned near impossible. Maybe, at some point in my very early life I was bendy enough to do so but not anymore. I was so desperate that I tried to convince Harry to use his dagger-sharp claws to dig it out for me since he was poking at it anyway. As if I didn’t have enough trouble seeing it to begin with. Damn cat wouldn’t. Of course, if he had, I’d probably have huge gouges missing from my foot now and still have the splinter. In the end, my solution was to numb it so I can’t tell it’s there. I figure it’ll work its way out on its own eventually. Either that or my foot will turn gangrenous and need to be cut off, something I can manage myself.

But today wasn’t totally awful. I entertained myself by playing Christmas tunes all day. Yeah, that part amused me, especially when it was obvious someone had noticed and couldn’t decide if they should ask or not.

Hey, it’s the little things…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Bizarre

But first – "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain."

Now back to the real blog. I saw this in the news yesterday. There’s a man from Russia’s Udmurtian Republic that was diagnosed with cancer. He had chest pains and was coughing up blood. They did x-rays and saw a growth.

But then, when they went to remove it, the doctors discovered it wasn’t cancer at all. Nope, it was a baby fir tree that had sprouted and was growing within his lung. They figure he somehow breathed in a seed and it took root.

As if there’s not enough to be paranoid about in the world today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

A few years ago, Pennsylvania legalized slot machines. The plan was to use the revenue generated for schools. Once things were in place there was a question added to the next ballot as to whether or not your particular school district should be involved in the proposed program. Reading was one of the few districts in my immediate area that said yes.

Last fall when I got my school tax bill the amount owed was zero. Yay me! Lots of people in Reading had zero bills. Everyone else’s was greatly reduced. Wonderful, right? It worked as it was supposed to, right?

Wrong! Last week they sent out revised statements. It seems the powers that be ignored businesses when dispersing the amount of money obtained from the state. My immediate reaction was too bad. I know, shameless of me but as I see it, businesses are hopefully in a better position to pay excessive taxes than I am.

As it turns out most businesses now qualify for a rebate and I only owe a minimal amount, unlike some people I’ve spoken with. Not awful, right? But wait, my tale isn’t quite finished. You see, the notice to businesses was just that. A notice. The actual rebates won’t be mailed, as in a third set of envelopes, postage, and people paid to prepare them, until the end of next month.

And then, two mere two days later, there was an announcement. A portion of the new bills are incorrect, don’t pay anything yet. Yeah, like I’m going to rush to pay them a second before I absolutely have to. They’ll be sending out yet another round of statements. And how much is this costing us? Oh wait, there’s a website (that is definitely not user friendly, mainly because the statements aren’t user friendly) where you can check yourself to see if your bill is one that is in question or not.

What I’d like to do is tape a dime to a piece of paper and mail it to them now, then follow up next month with a letter stating there was an error with my payment and finally pay the balance when I feel like it, probably the week before new bills are sent out next fall. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Speaking of taxes, I was a very good girl and mailed of my federal tax owed yesterday. And I managed to do it without jumping off the roof. Aren’t you impressed? Actually, I was afraid the roof isn’t high enough to kill me and I’d end up a vegetable. But I have that covered. You see, I have a friend who’s promised, should I ever be in that state, to make me into the main course at a barbecue. Roast me on a spit. I think, however, I’d prefer a peach stuffed in my mouth to an apple. Hmm, perhaps a nice peach glaze too, while I’m roasting. Mm, probably taste like chicken. Wow, have I gotten sidetracked. Hey, maybe that’s what happened to the folks preparing Reading’s tax bills too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So Evil

Last night after I was finished lounging on the porch I decided to lounge inside and watch the Sound of Music for the 104th time. Relaxing, harmless entertainment, right?

Uh, nope. All was fine until about half hour in when I saw a commercial for the new Dairy Queen Blizzard. Midnight Truffle. The description, straight from their website – “Rich truffle pieces blended with dark, decadent cocoa fudge and creamy vanilla soft serve.” Need I say more?

Oh my God how I wanted one! Only yesterday, as you know, was Easter so I was SOL. Damn! I propose that commercials for such wicked things only be shown during hours when they are readily available. Otherwise it’s just plain cruel to torture us like that, flashing pictures in front of us with no way to get to one. Evil bastards.

You’ll be pleased to know by the time I was heading home today the desperate need to indulge had passed…barely. They better not show that damn commercial again tonight. I have things to do and there’s not enough time for a trip to Dairy Queen. No, really there’s not. Repeat after me – I do not need a Midnight Truffle Blizzard. I do NOT need a Midnight Truffle Blizzard. I DO NOT NEED A MIDNIGHT TRUFFLE BLIZZARD!!! No, but I sure as hell still want one.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Not much today. I spent the morning getting my yard ready for spring, yanking the old plants that I left for the birds to pick at throughout the winter, pulling the weeds that are already growing, planting some new bulbs that I don’t have room for. It’s okay though. I had a chat with the yard spirits that watch over things for me and they assured me all would be fine. Early purple daylilies, mid-summer Mexican daylilies in shades of pink that shouldn’t grow in this region but will since I consulted the yard spirits and some late summer fire flowers in red and yellow that I’ve never seen before but look like they’re in the lily family.

At the moment I have a bright yellow primrose carpet, assorted daffodils including mini ones and pink ones, multi-colored hyacinths and grape hyacinths. My red tulips have buds, the old-fashioned orange poppies will soon and the shades of purple columbine and coreopsis are sprouted. And some of the annual pinks from last year survived the winter so they’ll be blooming very early. Keep in mind that my entire yard would probably fit in an oversized living room so I have way more stuff than I should. All it takes is some friendly yard spirits and everything grows beautifully.

Okay, it’s a holiday so I think I’ll spend the rest of the day on the porch reading while by fur babies do some bird watching. Have a wonderful day, whatever you do.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Big Mistake

I made a huge error in judgment last night. I watched Marley and Me. Oh my God, what a mistake! As a rule, I don’t read movie reviews. I prefer to form my own opinion. Well, in this case, I think perhaps I should have so I had some inkling of what was coming.

You see, I thought, due to the previews that this was a funny movie. Wrong! I started sniffling near the beginning and ended up full on sobbing to the extent that I actually had to turn up the volume in order to hear it. I was crying so hard I couldn’t see.

I should have turned it off but I didn’t. I kept hoping they’d somehow make it all okay but no, they didn’t. There’s no way to make that sort of thing okay. Sure, they tried to instill a bit of a lesson at the very end but it didn’t work. Not for me anyway. What they said was good but it’s something I already knew so it didn’t soften things one bit.

It was very well done so I’m not saying don’t watch it. Just if you do, be prepared. And maybe it would be better not to watch it alone.

In the news –

Punxatawny Phil, the groundhog, is trying to escape. Um, can you blame him? When not being yanked out to look for his shadow, he lives in an artificial habitat within the Punxatawny library. Over the last two weeks, he’s gotten into the ceiling three times and crawled around until falling through into the library offices. Personally, I think he’s figured out a clever payback. Imagine sitting at your desk and having a groundhog suddenly fall from the ceiling. Go Phil!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Day

I went to visit my great aunt today. It was a very bittersweet day. She’s 92 and still a true sweetheart but she’s definitely beginning to fail. Her body, not her mind. It’s as sharp as ever. This time she had a tremendous amount of trouble getting up out of chairs and the car. She mentioned that there are few places she goes these days because it’s just too much walking.

That makes me very sad. My great aunt is the only family member who’s ever told me she’s proud of me. Even today, she said it again. The anthologies I have stories in with Total-E-Bound are finally in print so I sent them to her. She only had them for two days but already read both my tales. She also wanted to know all about what else is going on with my writing. We were waiting for a table at Olive Garden when she brought it up and the other family members that were with us actually moved away when she asked. Now I’m sure, if I pressed them, they’d say it was purely coincidental that they chose that particular moment to drift off but I have my doubts.

My great aunt is down another friend since I saw her last so we exchange a few memories. This friend was a fellow teacher who she’d known for 70 years. She was around my entire life and she was one, like my great aunt who was always happy to see me and declared me wonderful, merely for showing up. Years ago, when I had a day off and met the ladies for lunch, she appeared with the prettiest pair of ruby and diamond earrings for me. She had gotten them as a gift only they were for pierced ears which she didn’t have. With all the females she knew, I was the one she chose to pass them on to. This woman couldn’t cook to save her own life. She roasted a chicken once but used drink stirrers as skewers. Naturally they melted long before the chicken was cooked but even so, she ate it anyway. And then there was the time she came to school and asked my great aunt if she could still eat a slice of ham that had grass growing on it. And she was forgetful. Not just towards the end. She’d always been that way. When arranging a lunch with her my great aunt would have to confirm it at least six times or the woman would go somewhere else and then call later, wondering where she was and why she hadn’t shown up.

For years, I heard a new story about what this woman was up to just about every time I called my great aunt. I think I’m going to miss her almost as much as the locals do. And now I have to worry that my great aunt has one less contemporary to hang out with. As I said, it was a bittersweet day.

Enjoy the people in your life while you have them.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


It's like that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Specialist?

There are foot doctors, ear, nose and throat doctors, kidney doctors, head doctors and doctors for your insides but is there one that specializes in hands? If so, I think I need one.

About a week ago, my hands started to hurt. Well, they usually hurt to some extent but I mean here is serious hurt as in oh-my-God-make-it-stop hurt. Do you know how your shoulders and neck feel after working on something that requires you to hold your arms up for an extended amount of time? Okay, take that tired achiness and add a burning/throbbing sensation. Now imagine it multiplied to the point of being nearly unbearable and you’ll be getting close to how my hands feel.

I suppose it didn’t help much when over the weekend I picked something up wrong with my right hand and the muscle attached to the middle and ring fingers went snap-twang. That hurt all the way up to my elbow and was so bad it made me instantly nauseous. Still does if I turn my hand the wrong way.

I’ve had my feet x-rayed so I know there’s arthritis in every joint in both of them. I suspect that’s what’s wrong with my hands too. I know. If that’s the case then I’m screwed and need to learn to live with it. I just wish I knew what I did in my past lives to deserve the migraines, bunions, kidney stones and now this. And that’s only the physical stuff. I don’t know what it was but I sure must have pissed off the universal powers that be in a huge way. Perhaps I’ll go get hypnotized and find out. Oh the other hand, maybe it’s better not to know what level of evil I’ve been capable of in my past.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I have a weakness for cards. Try as I might, I can’t ever seem to stop at the one I walked into the store intending to buy. I get sidetracked and end up looking at ones I know will never suit the individual I set out to purchase a card for.

This is an ongoing problem for me. I always manage to find the perfect birthday card for someone whose birthday was the month before. I suppose I could get the card, tuck it away and attempt to remember I have it next year when their birthday rolls around again. Mm, I know. Not real likely that’ll happen. Besides, next year it may no longer be the best choice.

Years ago, I came up with a solution. Unfortunately, no one saw it quite as I did. What did I do? Sent out birthday cards when I found them regardless of when the actual birthday was. Confused the hell out of some people. Actually, it was kind of fun to watch when they couldn’t decide if they should point out that it’s no where near their birthday or not.

But I ask you, what’s so awful about sending a birthday card to let someone know you thought about them? Some are too damn funny to ignore and, if I know it’ll make a friend chuckle, then why not send it?

Life’s too short. Find enjoyment in the little things.

For instance, today’s radio announcements –

Police were called to a park in Detroit to break up a fight. A pillow fight that is. The people were released with their pillowcases but not their pillows. Apparently you need a license to carry any concealed weapon.

And last but not least, there was a study done. 11:45 A.M. Tuesday is the most stressful moment at work. I must be unusual. My 11:45 today was about as unspectacular as they come.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Solution

I had the radio on again. Yes, I know, I really should change the station but it’s so bizarre I just can’t. Last night I heard an ad that is the answer to the meltdown the world is experiencing. Are you ready? Survival Seeds. From the Survival Seed Bank.

All you need to do is buy some of these magic beans, er, calypso beans I mean, and all your troubles will be solved. When everyone else is going hungry you won’t. Not if you’ve spent your hard-earned $129 on this wondrous assortment of Survival Seeds. That’s the reduced price, it’s normally $249 so you better hurry. And you have at least an acre of land to plant them in. And you know how to tend a garden, including collecting seeds for next year’s crop. And you can go without food for a few months while your seeds sprout and come to fruition.

Now these are not your average, every day seeds you can buy at the store today. No, the readily available seeds are hybrids. These Survival Seeds aren’t which means you really can propagate them yourself. According to the ad these plants will also assimilate minerals from the soil, unlike hybrid seeds because they are made by God. Yup, slipped that in there too, clever doomsday Sayers that they are. They even quoted Genesis for good measure: And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.

Okay so not only do you get calypso beans in your assortment of individually package seeds which are then sealed in foil packets to increase shelf life you get a total of 22 different types which will then, and I quote, “produce thousands of pounds of nutrient-dense food for pennies a pound.” The other items included in this amazing offer are: Hidasta red beans, tiger’s eye beans, bloody butcher corn, country gentlemen corn, forellenschuss lettuce, speckled lettuce, boule d’Or melon, Australian brown onion, American spinach, scarlet nantez carrot, white box radish, Siberian Tomato, Amish snap peas, mammoth red rock cabbage, giant swiss chard, dark red beet, big butternut squash, king of the north pepper, Georgia flame pepper, double yield cucumbers and Rossa Bianca eggplant. Wow, quite an appetizing list there, isn’t it?

But wait, that’s not all you get. Oh no sirree, in addition, if you act right now, you also get a bottle of “Nitro Seed Starter Solution” to soak your seeds in before planting so they can hit the ground running, as it were, as well as detailed instructions for saving seeds for next year. Thank goodness for that. How on earth could we possibly survive without radishes to tide us over until times get better?

Naturally, you must order now. As they say, time is of the essence! Yes, they really do say that. And, in case you’re worried about the neighbors breaking down your door to steal your precious Survival Seeds, you needn’t be. The whole kit and caboodle comes packaged in a handy dandy Indestructible Survival Seed Bank that can be buried to keep it safe. Yeah, like anyone is going to steal seeds when they can wait and steal produce instead.

Whew. I feel so much better now, don’t you?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yes, Yes, Yes

I read a knife catalog the other day. No, not kitchen knives. Real knives. Oh, wait. Perhaps I should back up and mention that I’ve always had a certain fascination with knives. But I don’t have any. Well, a variety of Swiss Army knives of differing sizes and an army issue knife from Vietnam given to me by a friend who was there and used it. Oh and my sword of course but it’s ceremonial so it doesn’t really count. Nor does the machete I use in the yard.

There? You see I don’t really have any knives to speak of. But, reading this catalog, I sure found a bunch I covet. Good thing I have a modicum of self-discipline at the moment or I’d be ordering all sorts of cool stuff.

For instance, I’d love to have a walking stick with a sword hidden inside. Nope, no practical purpose whatsoever, I just want one. Then there are the necklaces with knives hidden inside. Some are attached and pop out, some are detachable. And they’re pretty too. Had to turn the page as they were becoming far too tempting. Only when I did, I came across assorted throwing knives and dagger sets. With sheaths included!

Ooh, don’t get me started on the combat knives. Every size and shape imaginable, with and without guthooks, and most of them are black. I don’t know what it is about black knives but oh my God I have to have them. With the push daggers and tactical tomahawks. Naturally. I mean, really. You have one, you absolutely have to have them all, right? Right? Right. And there’s even a matching grappling hook and spear. Mm, yeah. Sigh. Someday…

Oops, I think I better go throw the catalog away before my willpower vanishes because I’m very close to caving here. Have a good weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nope, Not Me

Warning: This blog contains content that may not be suitable for everyone.

I watched a documentary called Perfect Private Parts. As you may guess it was about vaginal cosmetic surgery. The woman who undertook the making of the show did so in order to understand why women dislike their parts so much that they’re willing to undergo such a procedure, in particular young women.

One thing that was recommended prior to jumping straight to surgery is to have a cast made of yourself. That way you can see your vagina’s true size and shape in all its 3D glory. Another pre-surgery suggestion was to participate in a group where women get together and study first themselves and then each other. The point being to show that we come in all different shapes and sizes and all are equally acceptable.

If a woman is determined to go through with this mutilation, they go and consult a vaginal plastic surgeon who will then critique her form, giving their opinions on her aesthetic beauty. They then pour through pictures from which the woman can select what she’s aiming for with surgery, should she opt to have it.

The presenter went so far as to ask the men she had in to paint her house how they would describe the perfect vagina. They were very candid with her on their preferences. One favored clean shaven with tucked in lips, the other liked hair with firm lips. They went on to say some elements of sex are all about presentation. I had to wonder if that included presentation of their own dangly bits as well.

The girl who was profiled was in her late teens. She was determined to have the surgery because she’s had men comment on how unattractive her labia appeared. This is where I had a big problem. As far as I’m concerned if someone is going to make fun of my privates that’ll be the last time he sees both me and them. Sorry but no way in hell am I being nipped and tucked for some asshole who taunted me. He’d be damn lucky I didn’t kick him at that point, especially if he suggested chopping of some of my flesh to suit him. Just my opinion, of course. You’re welcome to share yours.

Sorry. Back to the girl in question. After undergoing what seemed to be an extremely painful procedure while awake and screaming, she stood around, unable to sit or close her legs comfortably for weeks while her incisions continued to bleed because the labial skin was stretched so tightly from being swollen and having so much removed. And then she had to go back to have the stitches removed. Have you ever had stitches removed? Oh my God, I don’t even want to think about that one. In the end, she said she was pleased that she had the surgery. Not that I’m not happy for her but really, I still have to wonder at her motivation. I think it shows just how screwed up some women are when it comes to the importance of body image.

The program ending with the organizer sitting with her infant daughters. She declared that she would put aside her personal discomfort in order to ensure that they were accepting of the bodies they were born with once they’re old enough to discuss the matter. She said love yourself as you are, be happy and tell anyone who criticizes you to go away.

Your assignment now, ladies, should you chose to accept, is to get out your mirrors and have a good long look. Are you okay with what you see or are you off to the nearest plastic surgeon? If you choose to do that, please report your experiences back to us. Guys, you get an assignment too. Nope, no way am I letting you off the hook. Tell us, if you would, do you have an ideal appearance that you search for when seeking a partner for sex? Will a certain look make you decline once you reach the point of seeing her parts up close and personal? Enquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hey, Guess What!

I have a book releasing today! Drake's Rules at Cerridwen Press. Pretty darn cool, huh? I have to tell you there are parts in this one that will make you sigh, it's that sweet.


Megan Lewis has been alone ever since a bad experience in college left her afraid to trust her instincts about men. When she comes home from her morning bike ride to find her neighbor's young daughter alone in her hallway, the last thing she expects is the overwhelming surge of desire she feels the moment she meets the girl's panicked father.

When Professor Drake Edwards loses his wife and son in a horrible accident, he moves his daughter to a new town for a fresh start. He has no intention of getting involved with anyone. But when he finds his neighbor, Megan, watching over his daughter, his body has plans of its own. Can his heart and mind overcome the guilt he feels?

Reader Advisory: Includes explicit sex scenes.

Click here to read the excerpt.

Okay, back to edits on Questing. Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Uh Oh

Did you see they are now recalling pistachios? I read the article as I was eating my pistachio muffin last night. It’s been a whole day and I’m totally fine so I’m not worried about it. Wasn’t worried then either and no way was I tossing the muffin.

In case you haven’t guessed, I love pistachios. In all forms. I even enjoy shelling them. Yes, I do know they’re available out of the shell but that’s the only way to control how many I eat. When my fingers start to hurt, I’ve had enough.

I saw that they’re recalling Planters products. I have a container of Pistachio Lovers Mix, 50% pistachios with cashews and almonds. Nope, they can’t have it back. I’ve eaten about a third of the container over the last week and a half and again, I’m still okay so I’m keeping it.

Supposedly they shut down the plant because two people called the FDA complaining of gastrointestinal troubles that as yet have not been definitively linked to the nuts. And then, to be proactive, they recalled 2 million pounds shipped out to 36 countries between September and now. Commendable? Perhaps. I suppose it’s better to be safe than have death by pistachio.

Something I found interesting is the discussion on how roasting is supposed to kill off salmonella bacteria. Does that mean in general raw nuts are all contaminated to some extent? According to the California Pistachio Board, California provides 99.9% of all pistachios in the country. Didn’t even know there was such an organization but perhaps I should ask them.
To find out some really cool nut facts, click on the pic.