Friday, December 31, 2010

What Goes Up

Must come down. Authorities all over everywhere are urging people not to fire off their guns tonight. Not to shoot them straight up in the air at midnight. Good idea as far as I’m concerned.

For the past ten years or so Reading has been doing a decent fireworks display at midnight over Mt. Penn. My second floor porch faces the mountain, a front row seat. Only thing is I no longer go out to watch. Not since my house was shot by the individuals in my block who use their handguns as noise makers.

No, much as I enjoy the show it’s just not worth potentially getting killed over. There are much better things to die for than idiots on New Year’s Eve. So happy new year, everyone. Whatever you do, be safe, be happy and best wishes for the year ahead. May it be the best so far.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


A month ago I switched companies for my cell phone. Which naturally entailed snagging a new phone. I was all set to be disappointed because Verizon doesn’t carry a green model when the very helpful woman tending to me and my imaginary friend who was with me that day handed me one of the options available. The wallpaper was a field of the right color green grass! And then I opened it to find a safari. An elephant and a giraffe strolling across, yep, you guessed, the right color green plain. She didn’t have a green cover for me there but I found one on ebay for 75 whole cents so I’m a happy girl.

This is the first phone I’ve had that has a full keyboard and it’s big enough to be just fine. The only thing that I’m not so sure about is that the phone is haunted. It randomly reads out my texts. Scared me half to death the first time it started rambling! I know you’re thinking it’s me, pressing some button that makes it do that but I swear it isn’t. I’ve tried to get it to chatter on purpose and I can’t.

I don’t think I mind that it’s possessed now that it has quit frightening me. What I do have trouble accepting is the voice that it uses. It’s a squeaky woman voice. Doesn’t sound at all like the imaginary friend that sends the texts. Yes, that’s a tad disturbing.

What’s that? You don’t quite get how an imaginary friend can go shopping or send texts? Trust me. My imagination is powerful enough that other people can see him too. In fact, it took long enough for all the details to be worked out that the whole Verizon store spoke with him while we were there.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Read a Book!

No big deal. Or it shouldn’t be. Lately, however, for me, it is.

I’ve lost the ability to read again so actually finishing something truly is a very big deal. Huge! And it only took me two and a half months to accomplish it. Pathetic since the book was a Sarah Graves, part of the Home Repair is Homicide series which I adore. Should have taken a day or two.

I started another one, a Rita Mae Brown, Mrs. Murphy mystery. Another series that feels like an old friend and should be a quick, happy read. Only it isn’t. I started it four days ago. Read ten pages the first day. Sat and held the book without opening it the next two. Couldn’t make myself pick it up the fourth day.

Sigh. I have literally thousands as in perhaps twelve to thirteen thousand books. There’s no way I’ll live long enough to read them all. I was pushing it when I read several books a week but now I don’t stand a chance. That thought makes me very, very sad.

I used to love to read. I still love to shop for books. Books used to be my friends. Now? They don’t seem to like me much. And I don’t know what happened to change that. Sorry. I have to go cry again.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A little bit ago I was lounging, watching Joe Versus the Volcano while chatting with a friend. I mentioned it and discovered he’d never seen it. How that’s possible, I have no idea but me, being me, decided that needed fixing instantly.

I paused the movie and wandering into Amazon, since anything you need in life can be obtained there, and ordered him up a dvd. Got an order confirmation as I normally do, both from Amazon and the seller who listed the dvd. Got a shipping confirmation the next day. All was good in the world. Right? Wrong!

Since it was a holiday I expected it to take an extra day. No problem. I made a reference to the movie yesterday and had to explain what I was talking about since my friend still has yet to see it. So I took a moment to track the package. Yes, the nice people included that information in their email.

This is what I found. The movie left Indian Trail, NC on December 21st. It passed through Forrest Park, GA on the 22nd. And got to Hebron, KY on the 23rd where it seems to have taken up residence. Oh they do have a notice to pardon the delays which are due to extreme weather conditions in Europe, particularly in Belgium. Hmm, all right. Sure. That’s exactly how I would get something from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. In fact, the next time I visit him, I think that’s the route I’ll take. Of course starting from here I’ll need to go to Nevada first which will probably be impassible due to a typhoon in Sri Lanka. Perhaps it has something to do with the sidewalk at the beginning of the movie?

In the meantime, I’ll just recite the movie to him. It’ll be a lot easier than figuring this one out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Snowed

Just a coating here. Not like the rest of the east coast. We only got about an inch. I’m told it was slippy yesterday while it was snowing but Howie and I were home by then.

I was out and about in the morning. In the heavy hush that descends when snow is imminent. I love that. Snow is magical. Oh hush. Yes, I know snow is a nuisance. I know it inconveniences everyone. I’m not talking about the practical stuff, the technical details involved with dealing with it.

I’m talking about the feeling. The thick silence. How even normal noises are muffled as if in awe of what nature is capable of. The anticipation of the first flakes. How they sparkle. The way even Reading looks beautiful as the world slowly turns white. So yes, the street I park on at work was packed down solid and turned to ice which made getting to my car treacherous this afternoon and the wind is whipping around what little snow we got, trying to make it seem as if it’s more than it is but still, is there anything prettier than a freshly dusted pine tree?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Proceed at your Own Risk

There’s an old railroad bridge not far from my house. It’s weirdly shaped inside. Low and narrow. Not very user friendly for how heavily travelled the road is.

Since it’s gotten cold the icicles are forming again, as they do every year. This year, however, they seem particularly wicked. I’m sure glad Howie isn’t any higher because it would really hurt him to hit one.

It seems others with taller vehicles have because a bunch of the points are broken off. They get ground into the street below and are working on forming a rather nice sheet of ice. Yeah, Reading’s lots of fun in the winter.

And the bridge itself? Isn’t it cool? You have no idea how tempting it is to scale the steps beside them. You can’t really tell how overgrown they are in this picture but I don’t think it would be all that easy to do. Of course, the way they’re crumbling doesn’t help either but one of these days…

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One of the Few

Darkness pervades the pale hollows of my soul

Chasing out the last of the frolicsome motes

And I welcome it.

Gone are the cluttered trappings of the pretender,

The one who used to be.

The disgruntled malcontent

So infected with society’s hype,

Replaced now with the stark nothingness of authenticity.

No more games.

Never again the marionette

Torn asunder while struggling to conform.

Lines purposefully severed.

Dancing at the end of the strings no more.

Consciousness awakening.

A hyena scavenging the mindless carcasses of those yet confined.

Open, absorbing the elemental power of the void.

Linking to those who lurk beneath the throng

Poised, ready to accept my destiny

For I am chosen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Have you read about the mailman who made a delivery in the buff, hoping to cheer up a female employee at a business in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin? It backfired and he was arrested. For lewd and lascivious behavior as well as delivering the mail wearing an unsanctioned uniform.

Personally, I think this is a hoot. So much so that I questioned the mailman who delivers to my office as to whether or not he’d be following suit. His response? Basically it was no. As in hell no! His reason for rejecting to further this trend was the temperature; it was in the twenties and windy today, not that he has any qualms about striding around naked. Yeah, I found that funny too.

Note to self – Ask again in July.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I’ve decided Beau was a raccoon in a past life. He spends all his awake time scavenging. He’s poked into everything. Literally. Things that the other cats have never given a second glance. He squirms and prods and pulls until he has whatever it is open far enough for him to wiggle his way inside. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found the tip of his tail sticking out from somewhere.

And then, when he’s asleep he does a great impersonation of a coon skin cap. He moulds himself to my head and either wraps his tail around my neck or drapes it down my back. Only I don’t think coon skin caps purr quiet like he does.

I saw his momma today. In the yard at work. Poor little girl must have been freezing. It was 20 and windy as can be. I told her if she would be friendly and trust me just a little bit I’d bring her home where it’s warm and there are soft things to curl up on with regular food and lots of petting. She gave me a look as only cats can and turned me down. For now. I’m not giving up though. Maybe one day she’ll have had enough of fighting to survive on the street and decide to come inside.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Event

I went to see Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader Saturday with one of the little girls. The movie was most enjoyable. Action, adventure, a little magic, humor, a sarcastic talking mouse who is a great warrior, mysterious fog, a hot guy with a few tears thrown in at the end. What’s not to like?

Afterwards, we went to Austin’s for dinner again. She made me misbehave the entire time we were there. You see, most of the staff is now made up of elves. Nearly identical, perfect little creatures. Too perfect. At first we couldn’t decide if Santa might be having some sort of problem that had the elves departing the North Pole or if this bunch did the prep work and had already finished their Christmas duties. But then we paid close attention and spied a few switches beneath their perfect little ponytails.

Mm hmm. Cyborgs in the guise of elves. Just the right height so they can stand next to the tables and chat with the customers without needing to bend over or strain to hear. I suspect their presence to be economically based. You invest in cyborgs up-front and don’t have to pay an hourly wage. You get to keep their tips since you just switch them off at the end of the night. No health insurance costs or staffing difficulties due to illness. Yes, makes sense if you think about it.

We did observe the other diners and it didn’t seem as if they noticed anything out of the ordinary. I found that most distressing as plastic mechanical beings do malfunction at times, intentionally or not, and then there’s no telling what you’re in for. It’s okay though. The little girl and I did notice. We were prepared, ready to fight our way out of there, should it become necessary.

Oh, yeah. Cyborgs or not, dinner was still ultra yummy and all in all it was a very good day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


For being so boring
I’d write you a blog
But then you’d be snoring
Asleep, dead like a log

I have a bit of a cough
So, if you please,
I’ll take the day off
Ere I start to sneeze

It’s me who should sleep
Alas, such a pity
I can’t sink down deep
Without my Bix kitty

Instead, I’ll brew up some tea
Perhaps a whole pot
Some for you, some for me
And that, my friends, is all that I got.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Assistance Please

Are there any new TV Christmas movies I need to see? Not having TV makes it difficult to know what Hallmark is up to. I like some of their movies. Family channel has a nice one every now and then as well but again, kinda tough to know what they’ve come up with this year without TV. Let me know if there’s anything new that’s worth watching and I’ll go invade my neighbor’s living room and kick them off their couch for an evening.

Weird that I like to watch Christmas movies since Christmas is another of those holidays that I prefer to skip. Maybe there’s a part of me that still believes if I watch them often enough I’ll get to have warm fuzzies like in all the movies myself one day.

When I was either three or four, I sat on the floor in the doorway to my room and watched my mom and dad assemble my brother’s train set that was supposed to be from Santa. They didn’t notice I was there until after they had it finished and after that, nothing they said could convince me there was a Santa. It ruined the magic for me but I was sworn to secrecy so I never told. I think that made me miss out on a lot, growing up. How I wish I could go back and have a real childhood now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Look What I Did!

For the past three months I’ve been working on this for a friend of mine. I couldn’t tell you about it sooner because it was a surprise present. I finished it last week, with two days to spare before I was due to visit which is when I planned on giving it to her. Isn’t it pretty! I also gave away the other sweater I made that I showed you a few months ago.

My friends’ reaction inspired me to knit more. Only this time, I’ve decided I’ll design the sweaters myself. What? Think I can’t do it? Why not? Oh, because I have no idea what I’m doing. Ah, I see. Well, I had no idea what I was doing when I started knitting the sweaters I just shared, even with the patterns so why would I let a minor detail like that stop me?

I decided to start with the yarn and go from there. I walked into the store Saturday, expecting to spend a good chunk of the afternoon fondling and comparing in order to choose the perfect yarn. How wrong I was. It took all of three minutes. And they had enough in stock. The yarn vibrated when I looked at it, that’s how magical it is. It’s grey, sort of. Color-shifting grey that might be very dark indigo in some lighting or black in others. This particular yarn is a wool/camel blend which feels absolutely amazing so I can’t wait to get started.

Shouldn’t even take that long. I was flipping back and forth through my handy dandy history of aran sweater book and I think I have the pattern pretty much formed in my mind. All I have to do now is chart it out and voila, I’ll be off knitting again.

Scary, aren’t I?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

And Then There Were Four

Bixby, the last of my original cats, died this morning. He was nineteen and a half. I'm sad. I know I've posted this poem before but I need it again.

Angel Cats

“Angel cats are just pretend
Just sorrows that will never mend”

But if I believe that, I’m untrue
To someone who loved me and you.
For I have felt my cat’s sweet weight
As she cuddles into bed so late
And heard her purrs, and felt her sigh
Mend my grief: sweet lullaby.

Faulty vision? I think not!
An angel cat, off like a shot
For that was how she ran while here:
Now plain sight, now disappear.
Angel cats are surely real
They stay in touch to help us heal
Their fur dries tears that will not dry
And as we mend, our spirits fly.

Rachel McGrath-Kerr