Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday, September 30, 2004 - Post, Dammit!

Several of the sites I visit regularly haven't see any action in some time. So post dammit! You know who you are! (Oh, yeah, if you aren't posting, you probably aren't reading this.)

I guess I'll have to update my blog list soon(and maybe find a few more blogs to read [no, no, bad idea! I spend too much time doing this as it is!]).

Thursday, September 30, 2004 - Stupid Earthlink

The problem is not with Blogger. Earthlink's Scamblocker is throwing up these messages for every page that I visit. I contacted Earthlink via their LiveChat function and they are working on it. But for now, I've turned Scamblocker off.

Blast it all, now I look like an idiot to the Blogger folks. I sent them another email explaining, but chances are different people will read the messages and I'll still have to deal with it.

Stupid Earthlink. I pay too much for their dial-up to go through these hassles.

Thursday, September 30, 2004 - "Potentially Fraudulent"

When I went to the Blogger main page this morning, Earthlink's Scamblocker software kept popping up with messages that the site has been place on the list of "potentially fraudulent" websites, which means that they have determined that there is significant risk of identity theft or financial loss. I've already emailed Blogger support about this, because I think it could scare people away from Blogger.

Admittedly, I've wondered if I picked up some adware from Blogger before, but other than that I don't see any trouble. In any case I hope the Blogger people fix things up soon because I'm already sick of the little pop-up boxes and redirected pages Earthlink is sending to me everytime I go to a new page on the site.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - Someone Must Be Buying This Stuff

A few days ago I received a catalog from The Pyramid Collection. It's pretty much New-Agey stuff.

A couple things in this catalog really caught my eye:

  • Some of you may be familiar with The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey (the guy who did the animation on Mystery). For those of you unfamilar, this particular piece of work is a ghastly gothic ABC primer that features small children meeting their deaths in assorted gruesome ways. It's grim and humorous at the same time. The catalog has a poster of this work (not too strange, huh) and a lunchbox. Yes, that's right, you can send your kiddies off to school bearing a tale of macrabre horror! It's the perfect gift for the goth high-schooler!
  • The catalog also has a very interesting collection of videos, including nude tai chi, yoga, and aerobics! Now, I can sort of understand the appreciation of the human form in the first two cases (not that I would consider buying these videos) but the aerobics stirkes me as soft-core porn, expecially since the video features special close-up footage. Sheesh! Who buys these things?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - Family Funnies

Two humorous stories to relate:

1. We are at the dinner table, and Rascal pipes up: "I had a dream that I was chasing a dirty weenie!" Ironwolf is rather taken aback by this and asks Rascal to explain. I, on the other hand, am sitting there stifling giggles. Rascal gets flustered, and I finally have to explain to Ironwolf that he is talking about the dog Weenie (who is shaped like a hot dog, complete with bun) on the children's tv show Oswald.

2. Following dinner, Ironwolf is still at the table reading, and idly sings a Campbell's Soup ditty to himself.

Rascal: "Daddy, you don't put candles in soup! That's silly!"
Ironwolf: "No, I didn't say 'candles', I said Campbell's. It's a kind of soup."
Zipper: "Camels?"
Ironwolf(chuckling):"No, not camels!"
Me(laughing):"Maybe it's cannibals' soup!"
Ironwolf:"Stop that!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - Propaganda Nightmares

I have a confession to make. I'm 31 years old, and I still play Dungeons and Dragons. This topic came up in a comment I made on Wendy's blog, and she responded by giving me links to a site that is just a propaganda nightmare.

I suspect you don't believe any of this crap, Wendy.

When I looked at the pages at first I thought they were hilarious. Then it occurred to me - people actually think this way. People actually believe this propaganda to be true. This is scary stuff. May whatever deity you believe or don't believe in save us from ignorance and stupidity like this.

Here's the links:
Dark Dungeons
Are Roman Catholics Christians?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday,September 27, 2004 - Can I Be Extremely Immature For A Second?

From The War of The Worlds:

I grew very weary and irritable with the curate's perpetual ejaculations; I
tired of the sight of his selfish despair.

*snicker* Yes, I know better, but it still makes me laugh!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Revelations

Today I spent most of my time in church. There was the usual service, preceded by an early morning choir rehearsal because I missed the Thurs. evening rehearsal. Later that afternoon was a special event. One of the members of our congregation was ordinated as a minister and installed at his new church one town over. Our church's choir was asked to participate in the service as well. We are all very happy to see him take his first steps in his new calling.

During that service there was an incredible moment. In the last part of the ordination, all of the clergy present (about 15 of them) lay hands upon the candidate simultaneously and beseech God to give the candidate the strength to carry out his calling. At least that's what I think they were saying, for I could not recite back a single word spoken, but I in that moment could feel God's presence filling that room like a blazing fire. It's only happened a few times in my life, and I was utterly shaken to the core.

I was not the only one that felt this. I talked with several people afterward and essentially got the same response, which was speechless awe. Nobody said, "what a nice service", it was more like "wow". It's a blessing, and perhaps a message.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Saturday, September 25, 2004 - An Extraordinary Ordinary Day

I couldn't sleep again last night. If I could use the time to do something productive, it wouldn't be so bad, but I tried to read and the words just kept swimming.

This morning, Ironwolf and I were roused from bed by Rascal, who was downstairs yelling "Mommy! Mommy? MOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYY!!! Oh, Mommy!" He must have done it 100 times. Ironwolf and I were making bets on how long he would continue until he would come upstairs to investigate. Then Rascal yells "Time to play chess with me, Mommy!" and we just cracked up.

We've been teaching Rascal chess, and he can't get enough of it. I figure I still have a few more weeks before he starts beating me regularly. :-)

Ironwolf let me run off to the gym in the late morning,and then I joined some friends for a very leisurely dim sum lunch (leisurely because of the horrendous service, but oh, the food is divine!). Just before I left Ironwolf called me to let me know he was taking the kids out for a while. So when I got home there was quiet! I got to lay down for a while!

It's nice to get a few hours away from the daily humdrum now and then.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Friday, September 24, 2004 - Brushing Up On The Classics

Axinar had a great post today. Go read it yourself, my summary would be inadequate. It made me realize how seriously I am lacking in the reading of classic literature. I find it a little disturbing that too much of my knowledge of the classics derives from television and movies. So I have decided it is time to pick up the gauntlet and get reading.

Here is a list of books that I intend to tackle(over the next several years, let's be realistic here). The web addresses listed are the places where you can find these novels online for free! Poverty is no excuse for ignorance! (oh, wait, unless you don't have a computer...)

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Last of the Mohicans - James Fennimore Cooper
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baronness Emmuska Orczy
Common Sense - Thomas Paine
Anthem - Ayn Rand
Frankenstein - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert L. Stevenson
Treasure Island - Robert L. Stevenson
Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H.Lawrence
Moby Dick, or The Whale - Hermann Melville
Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Three Musketeers - Andre Dumas
Ulysses - James Joyce
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper lee
The Crucible - Arthur Miller

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
Faust - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
Candide - Voltaire

Divine Comedy: The Inferno - Dante Alighieri
Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

The Republic - Plato
The Aeneid - Virgil
The Iliad - Homer

Tarzan of the Apes - Edgar Rice Burroughs
Nicholas Nickelby - Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
The Man In The Iron Mask - Alexandre Dumas
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu - Sax Rohmer
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne

Walden - Henry David Thoreau

Friday, September 24, 2004 - The Return of Weebles!

This post is mostly for Jade's benefit, as she was discussing the old faves not long ago on her blog.

I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen the commercial for myself yesterday. Weebles, the famous wobbling toys, have been rereleased by Playskool! There's already a farm, a town center, a "wescue wagon" and several other toys! I haven't seen them in the stores yet (because I haven't looked). They are recommended for age 12 mo. and up.

I'm not surprised that the Weebles have been brought back. So many toys of that era have been rereleased (My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Cabbage Patch Kids, GI Joe, etc.). Any guesses on what we might see again next? My vote is for Pound Puppies!

Friday, September 24, 2004 - Is It Time For Bed Yet?

Ironwolf is away at fablulous Minneapolis, home of... ummm...home of... oh! the Mall of America! He'll be back tonight, thankfully. I knew this new position of his would mean more travel, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

As usual, I stayed up late last night because I just toss and turn when he isn't around. Read blogs, looked at HK apartment costs (there are lots of 60 sq. ft. apartments available, can you imagine?), ate too much junk, and went to bed a little after 1 AM. Tossed and turned until 2 AM, when Rascal decided he would rather spend the night with me.

Between 2 AM and 6 AM, Rascal fell out of the bed 3 times and Zipper was up twice. And I continued to toss and turn.

So I'm just whining, but I'm tired, and when I'm tired, I'm cranky.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Thursday, September 23, 2004 - Hong Kong Update

Ironwolf and I have our flights booked. We'll be leaving 10/15. I'll be coming home 10/25, and Ironwolf will return about 10 days later.

It looks like Ironwolf really is seriously considering taking the position over there, assuming the offer is right. He's been poring over Hong Kong books, considering where the good neighborhoods are and wondering how we would adjust to urban life. Well, it's still too early to make a judgement on this situation (duh, that's why we are going!). Guess we'll just have to see what happens.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 - Too Damn Much Stuff

I think I've posted on this topic before early in my blogdom (I'm too lazy to check), so bear with me if it's all the same stuff to you.

My kids have too damn much stuff. Their toys tend to migrate downstairs into the living room over time, and while I have the location controlled to an area behind the couch, the amount of junk they have accumulated is just staggering.

Stange thing #1: I didn't buy very many of these toys. They just accumulate - gifts from relatives, donations of old toys from neighbors, stuff Ironwolf brings home from work, and non-toy items that somehow get turned into toys. Sure, some of the toys are little garage sale purchases, or Happy Meal toys, but I'm just stumped as to how they have acquired so much.

Strange thing #2: I got rid of several garbage bags full of old toys just a few months ago! How could there possibly be so much more stuff that I am sick of looking at it again?!

Blast it all. I don't want my kids to grow up overly materialistic and unappreciative of what they have. But I'm not quite sure what to do. If we end up moving to Hong Kong we'll just get rid of most of it out of necessity, so I guess that's one way out. I suppose I could tell them that if they want a new toy they'll have to donate an old toy to charity. I don't know. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - Foam Pumpkin Mania

I bought one of those funky foam carveable pumpkins today. Zipper thinks it's the best toy in the world. And it bounces! No, you can't dribble it, but I was slamming it against the kitchen floor and it held up to the abuse.

I can't wait until I get a real pumpkin so that I can see Zipper's surprise when he tries to pick it up!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - A Bug Story

In Rory's blog today there is a horrible but funny story about fruit flies, and her story inspired me to write about a similar incident that happened to my brother-in-law and his first wife.

The BIL and wife were having a serious ant problem, which is pretty common around here. So they had an exterminator come in and spray. He determined that the ants were coming in through the base of the house and sprayed accordingly.

The couple came back the next day. My BIL walked into his bedroom and found his entire bed swarming with ants! Apparently the exterminator did not find where the ants were coming in, he found where they were going out. And the ants happily kept coming in from the roof and decided to have a nice nap in the master bedroom.

They had nightmares about that one for a long time!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday, September 19, 2004 - Here's Something You Don't See Every Day:

A Protestant (me) reading a book about Islam in a Catholic church.

Oh, I just kill myself! LOL

I was guest bell-ringing for a service over at my handbell choir director's *real* church (made some money at it too) and I happened to bring "Essentials of the Islamic Faith" with me. The ringing went well, and I really like playing with that group. But man, those Catholics sure make their services lengthy (a little over 2 hours)! And it's not just sit down and listen quietly, it's stand up, cross yourself, sing a hymn, recite the Nicene Creed, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself about...

(don't make fun of the Catholics, don't make fun of the Catholics, don't make fun of the Catholics...)

BTW, I have a fair bit I want to say about this book, but I think it would bore the regular readers, so maybe I'll do up a separate blog for it. Maybe I'll call it Philosophy's A Bitch. Or, Religion For Dummies By Dummies. Or, Everyone Is Wrong About The Nature Of The Universe. Eh, it will just be a place where I can show off my ignorance in theology and philosophy. Better get crackin'!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - A ShadowAngel Improvement Update

I think I've lost a few pounds since starting my weight loss/fitness endeavor a couple weeks ago. It's a little hard for me to tell since my weight fluctuates a lot normally, but so far, so good. I really do need to improve my diet though.

I had another appointment today with Tim, my instructor over at the BAC. Oh, if any of you are wondering, he's not really my personal trainer, although I know I've referred to him as such in previous posts. I would need to have a lot more money to have a personal trainer! As it is, these appointments are covered by the gym membership. Very cool - I need a little external motivation sometimes.

Tim's been helping me out setting up a program on the Nautilus machines (so I can get buff - ha!). The (good) odd thing though is that he keeps asking me back for more appointments. The standard there is 4 initial appointments, and then periodic appointments just to check on how things are going. Well, he just asked me back for #6. This means either:

  • I'm totally incompetent at this fitness thing and I need more help, or
  • He needs appointments to fill his schedule so he looks like he has something to do, or
  • For some strange reason he enjoys my company

Probably some combination of those, actually. What the hey, he's fun to talk to and I think he sincerely has my best interests at heart. And, as I mentioned before, he's damn cute!

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - Hullo, folks!

I've been a little behind on my blog greetings lately, so a big welcome to Bebe, Sam, and Rory! Hope I'll hear more from you!

Hey, Rory, I need a little time to digest your blog, but you will probably start hearing from me there soon.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004 - I Can't Complain

I have no business bitching about my life. None at all. It's strange to think of my life this way, but I realize that I've got it better than almost everyone else in the world.

I've got:

  • financial security (tenuous as that can be in this day and age)
  • reasonable physical health
  • reasonable mental health (slight madness aside)
  • terrific relationships with most of my family (and at least cordial relationships with the rest)
  • a happy marriage
  • the best kids in the world (yeah, I know, your kids are the best in the world, not mine)
  • good physical security
  • few, but very close, friends
  • spiritual peace (ok, how about not constant spiritual torment)
  • time and capability to pursue intellectual enrichment
  • rhythm (who could ask for anything more?)

This is an abbreviated list. Most people don't have all these things, and I know I don't deserve all that I have. I'm lucky or blessed or both.

What I will be judged upon is how I have used these blessings to help others.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004 - Sometimes My Idiocy Even Amazes Me

A few of you may have noticed somewhere hidden in this blog that I made 2 identical comments about 2 different posts. So, to answer all your questions:

Yes, I sing tenor in the church choir! Yes, that's right, with the guys! Yes, despite my somewhat high speaking voice! Yes, I do feel silly about bringing it up over and over again!

Thursday, September 16, 2004 - An Important Recommendation

You may have noticed that I added a couple new blogs to my "awesome blogs for your perusal" list. I ask you, dear readers, to consider one in particular, Blog of a Female Nobody. I read through it all, and it made me cry. I want to leave comments for her, but I really don't know what to say.

You need to read it, and she needs you to read it. After you do, I recommend that you read Axinar's insightful commentary on his site.

This is important, folks. Please, if you can spare the time, read her blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - Zipper is 2!

I don't have a little baby anymore! Wah! He is growing up so fast!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Zipper! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - Even Though We Don't Dare Wear Short Shorts

Foolishly, I decided to try Nair, the famous depilatory cream, without doing a spot test as they recommended. My skin started burning almost immediately and now I have a bit of a rash not unlike a bad razor burn on my right underarm and lower leg (I had the good sense to stop after that). I will not be trying this product or similar ones again!

I guess it's back to the trusty razor. I'm not quite masochistic enough to handle waxing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - Monchichi, Monchichi!

I could not resist...

In response to Jade's 9.14.04 post about the incomparable Monchichi toys of decades past, I present to you my rendition of the Monchichi theme song (216KB), sung by me from memory, and in an appropriately silly voice!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Evil Football, Dan the Man, and Other Nonsense

Stupid Bills. Stupid idiot can't get it done on 4th down Bills. Stupid crappy lose in the last second of the game Bills. Ugh. Another season of this, and no hockey to temper the pain.

Pastor Dan at our church celebrated 25 years with our church today. There was a picnic, special presentations, and such. He deserves all the laudatory verses he can get. For that matter, so does his co-pastor, Kay, who has now been there 26 years. They are the baddest (goodest?) tag-team ministers out there today!

I've noticed that I have been uninclined to write much of anything serious lately, with the exception of the 9-11 thing yesterday. It must be because I've been in such a happy place recently. Well, I suppose that simply means that you will have to wait until I am miserable again to hear anything particularly meaningful. Deal with it! :-P

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - Hickstock!

After that exhausting evening I had to get up early for an appointment with Tim at the gym. He had me on one of those cross-country skiing machines. It was very odd. I couldn't quite get used to the sensation. But it's low-impact, so I'll give it another try sometime soon.

Ah, but that's trivial compared to the rest of the day. The family took a trek to the Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Annual Rally. This is a rather large event (a few thousand attendees), whose main focus is tractor pulls, where they hook up tractors to a weighted sled and compete to see who can get the farthest down the field. There are many different categories of tractors, from little garden tractors to very large farm tractors, plus other specialty tractors like the alcohol-burners. Other things at the show include various engine demonstrations and a flea market. We didn't see the half of it.

Anyway, the reason we were there, because this isn't the kind of event we would normally go to, is because my sister's fiance's family does this for a hobby, and now my sister does too! It was really cool watching them pull that heavy sled down the field. None of them did particularly well in the competitions on this day, but it was still really cool!

Here's a pic of my sister in the middle of her pull in the 4500 lb. tractor weight class!

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - A $3000 Night of Debauchery

No, no, wipe that shocked look off your faces! I'm going to explain!

Last night we had plans to go over to a friend's house for a campfire. That was cancelled because the footbridge over the creek we have to cross to get to that part of his yard was a foot under water!

So we found ourselves with babysitting and no particular plans. We decided to go to the furniture store and found a lovely bedroom set. This, of course, accounts for most of the $3000 mentioned in the title. It was about time - my husband's dresser is literally falling apart.

We were driving along after that and I complained of hunger, so Ironwolf whisked me away to a fancy restaurant along the Niagara River. Very, very nice!

After that, we went up to the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls. Now, I'm not much of a one for gambling, but I did put a little money away for such an occasion. We played blackjack for a little while - I stayed about even and Ironwolf won a bit. He then blew his winnings on a craps throw. Then we played roulette for a long time. Ironwolf was up $65 or so, but lady luck was not with me and I blew through $100. Ah, well, that's why I don't go gambling very often.

I don't get nearly enough time out with my husband. I'm glad we made the most of it. I just hope we don't spend as much money next time! LOL

Saturday, September 11, 2004 - Brief Reflection On 9.11.01

I don't know what to write. I am not eloquent enough to recapture the sadness and anger of this terrible event. My sympathy goes out to those still suffering from the loss of loved ones on that day. My admiration goes to the brave soldiers in the Middle East, no matter what I feel about our country's presence there. My concern goes out to my mother, my sister, and her family, who are in the skies this day. I know my fears are irrational, but they will always be a part of me.

Perhaps, someday, humanity will look at history and wonder how things like this could ever happen. I hope so.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004 - We're Being Traded?

Yes, that's right folks. Virtual shares of your blogs are being traded at It is like a stock trading game except is it based on blogs (more specifically, the links that you have to other blogs, and other blogs that link to you - I didn't look into it more than that).

If you want to see your "value" on Blogshares, my recommendation is that you *not* directly go to the site, because you can't do a search on your blog from there. What you *can* do is go find your friendly neighborhood search engine and search for your blog name + blogshares. Or you can look for your blog (if you are currently linked with me or vice versa) through my blog here.

Totally weird, huh?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - So Now I'm A Gym Rat...

I had my first session with *Tim* today at the gym. He's a super nice guy. We are setting up the inital fitness program. Unfortunately, everyone has to start somewhere, and Tim took all the measurements that show how far I have to go. I've been avoiding taking a hip measurement for a long time, but now I know the horrible truth! Even so, I gave a good accounting of myself, and I am really looking forward to getting in shape. I have another appointment Saturday morning - should be fun!

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - The Kindness Of Strangers

Ironwolf is on vacation this week, and we took the clan out to breakfast this morning at a little Greek place nearby. The kids were surprisingly good, and the regulars there chatted with us a bit. After one of them left the waitress approached us to let us know that the gentleman who had just left took care of our bill. What a nice gesture! I didn't know there were still people like that in the world!

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - The Musings Of A Slightly Mad Housewife 100th Post Spectacular!

As a special treat, we have an audio post (168 KB) for you today! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - 200,000 Steps To A Whole New You

Here's the bad news: I have decided to forgo the karate class for now.

Here's the good news: I just signed up at a fitness club (the BAC for any of you locals) and I am just psyched. It's going to cost too much money, of course, but isn't my health and wellness worth it? Ha, I'm starting to sound like a commercial!

I have my first appointment with a personal trainer, Tim (who is awfully cute for a 40-year-old *ahem*), tomorrow afternoon. Who knows what the future will hold? (Probably a lot of sweating, from the sound of things...)

Wednesday, September 8, 2004 - No, Photo! No!

Yesterday the whole family went out to have pictures done. A nice little family portrait. Yeah, right! Rascal and Zipper were both terrors, yelling, running around, throwing things, making silly faces, and just generally not doing anything that the photographer asked. Ugh. Despite all this, we still managed a couple good shots, so I'll have the photos in about 2 weeks. Maybe I'll put one up (illegally) for you to see.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Monday, September 6, 2004 - Another Greeting

Hello to Bebe too! I didn't even know you were reading, but I couldn't resist clicking through to your blog!

Monday, September 6, 2004 - Hong Kong Is A Go!

Hooray! It looks like the trip to China is going to materialize after all! Ironwolf is going to go out there for work for a few weeks and I get to tag along for part of the trip. We are traveling to Hong Kong (and Ironwolf will also hit Shanghai and maybe Beijing too), largely so we can decide if Ironwolf wants to take a 2-3 year stint there.

Me, I'd love to live there for a few years. But it won't happen unless everything about the offer is just right and if we are sure that we would be happy there. I put the odds at about 10% that we'll be going.

The tentative departure date is Oct. 9th (my birthday!). I'll be keeping you informed!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Sunday, September 5, 2004 - Greetings, Earthlings!

I try to make an effort to greet my readers when they leave comments, just so they know that I care (and oh, yeah, because I wouldn't mind expanding my readership a bit [hee hee])

So a big hello to Samantha, and a belated big hello to Tubbs!

Sunday, September 5, 2004 - Labor (Day) Weekend

A thought just occurred to me... if I didn't type the date in the title of my posts, there's a fair chance that I would not be able to tell you what the date was...

Let's sum up how the weekend has been progressing:

  • Friday - celebrated Ironwolf's birthday and hosted poker night (already discussed)
  • Saturday - attended friends' wedding
  • Sunday - hosted big birthday bash for Ironwolf, his grandmother, and for Zipper (who turns 2 on the 13th)

I am exhausted!


The wedding was that of one of Ironwolf's hockey buddies and his fiance (duh, of course). Not close friends really, but they're good people, so we went, along with several other friends. This wedding was, honest to goodness, the first wedding I have ever known where the drinking started before the ceremony! And continued through the ceremony, which was quick and painless.

Do you? Yes! Do you? Yes! Good, you're married, kiss her!
(a la Princess Bride)

No sound system, no photographer, no fancy dinner (awesome hors d'oeuvers though). Simple and direct. We had a blast! Well, the open bar helped with that...

The wedding/reception was held at the Clement Mansion (better known to any local readers as that fancy Red Cross building over on Delaware). My goodness, what a gorgeous place! Think of Buffalo as a shithole if you want to (you'd mostly be right), but believe me, the city has some of the best architecture in the world. It's a well-kept secret that shouldn't be secret. The building isn't normally open to these events, but the groom has connections, so he managed it. I was really impressed by it - particularly the copper elevator, which was the first ever elevator installed in a private residence.


I busted my butt for days over this party we threw today. I spent so much money that, well, let's say I shouldn't buy any more food this month! The endless cleaning and running about doing errands, cooking, and other preparations was just incredible. I limited it to close family only, which made the total 22 people (including kids). My dad came into town for the weekend from South Carolina, so this was an extra-special get-together.

The weather was perfect, the kids spent most of the afternoon splashing in the kiddy pool and eating junk, Zipper didn't get a bunch of crappy toys as presents (thank goodness), almost every single beer and soda was consumed, and a good time was had by all!

Of course, we had to do all that cleaning up afterwards (ugh!), but things are finally returning to normal, and I have nothing else to do this weekend! Yay!


Lesssons learned from this experience:

  1. Poker can be a lot of fun, especially when you whup your friends/relatives behinds!
  2. Nobody is going to care if you spend hours and hours cleaning if they never go into that part of the house.
  3. Never ask the bartender to make you up something extra special of his choice. Oh, wait, maybe that should be always, not never!
  4. Two dozen helium balloons and a subcompact car are not a good combination.
  5. Saying "you know, my kid doesn't really need anything" works!
  6. My mom makes the best antipasto in the world.
  7. Insanity = hosting 2 parties in 3 days!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Saturday, September 4, 2004 - Poker In The Front, Liquor In The Rear

I went down into the basement to play poker with the guys last night, just like I said I would. This is funny, guys.

I don't have any poker experience beyond playing video poker and having a brief tutorial courtesy of my hubby. (He enjoyed his last birthday present LOL)

It's $0.05 ante/$1.00 max bet poker, so this is very small stakes stuff. I buy five bucks worth of chips (most of the other players shelled out $10 - $15 to play that evening) and throw away a bunch of crappy hands before winning a big pot and tripling my initial stake.

Oh, it would have been fun to walk away from the table at that point, but I thought that I would be sociable instead. Besides, what was I going to lose? 5 bucks? So a couple hours pass by, and I lose a couple bucks in the process, but nothing too bad.

At 1 AM we decided to have a final hand of Texas Hold 'Em. I'm dealing, and I draw a pair of 6's. Everyone stays in while I flop a 2,4, 3. Things start escalating and a couple people drop out, leaving three of us. So we are all thinking "who's got the straight?" A 2 comes up on the turn and betting starts getting rough, with the three of us throwing in $1.50 each on the bet. The river comes up...6! My hubby raises $1.00, my friend raises $1.00 beyond that, I raise $1.00 beyond that, and my friend raises $1.00 one more time. This is a lot of money in the pot - right around $20.00! My hubby shows the straight, my friend shows a pair of 4's for a 4-2 full house, and I take it with a 6-2 full house!

I walked away from the table with over $30.00 on my initial $5.00 investment. Beginners luck, they call it! Bwah ha ha ha!!!

Friday, September 03, 2004

Friday, September 3, 2004 - Drink Update #2

If you add a shot of Sour Apple schnapps to that drink recipe, it's still quite chuggable.

Now a 4-shot drink and counting!

Friday, September 3, 2004 - Ring-A-Ding-Ding!

Yes, folks, it's true! Church handbell season is upon us again! Huzzah!

Oh, yeah, I'm probably the only person in the world who gets psyched about playing handbells. But I think it's a lot of fun, and I'm pretty good at it too. And BONUS! I get to play with a different group in a couple weeks and make a little cash doing it too.

Friday, September 3, 2004 - Happy Birthday To Ironwolf!

Yup, Ironwolf is the big 33 today! One of his coworkers reminded him that Jesus was that age when He died! (*chuckle*)

We had a little immediate family gift-giving, where he received a new video game, a CD, a can of super-spicy peanuts, and some very expensive whisky (and he'd better let me have a little for how much I paid for it!)

He's downstairs playing poker with the boys while I deal with the little ones. In a little while I'll go down and pretend that I know a little about poker.

Then I suppose that after the guys leave I'll be expected to give Ironwolf his real birthday present... LOL

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - I'm A Geek And Proud Of It

My dear reader Wendy pointed The Geek Test out in her blog sidebar, and being of a rather nerdy persuasion, I couldn't resist!

So who wants to guess my score?

It's 55.42406%, which just puts me into the range of Extreme Geek! My analysis indicated that this would be my approximate level of performance +/- 3.1415926535 %

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - The Force Is With Me

Oh, BTW, I finished that Star Wars game, saved the universe from being overrun by the Sith and all that, soI have officially returned to the land of the living (much to my family's relief!).

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Regarding Soulmates

I felt this to be worthy to include in my blog. It is a recent post from Axinar's Universe for which I provided a lengthy comment. I am interested in hearing my dear reader's ideas on this topic as well.

The post/comment is at

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Disgruntled Elmo

I don't know who decided that this was a good face for Elmo, but I think it's just creepy! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Bjork! Bjork! Bjork!

A little Swedish Chef humor, that's all. (Or should it be Icelandic Chef?)

I picked up Bjork's brand new album, Medulla, today. It's an a cappella album full of basso rumblings, labored breathing, high-pitched shrieks, incredible layered harmonies, and every other funky vocal trick in the book. It's really cool! I've never heard anything like it before.

Bjork puzzles me. Much of her music seems to be weirdness for weirdness's sake, yet I still find it compelling, and I still keep buying her albums just to see what she has come up with this time. The best conclusion I have been able to come to is that she is not a musician but an artist who uses music as her medium.

If you are only going to download one track, I personally recommend "Where Is The Line." Very goth, B-horror movie-ish. But don't judge the album just by that track - there is a lot more to the album than that particular sound.