Wednesday, November 30, 2005


So here we are, the very last day of November.

That in itself is a little scary. One month left and we close the books on another year. Which, on second thought, isn't a bad thing at all, as it means we're one year closer to ridding ourself of the embarrassment in the White House. Yay us!

But more specifically, as of this posting I've managed to make my KBloWriMo goal of at least one post per day for the whole month. They haven't all been prizeworthy works of genius, but by GOD I did it. Yay me!

Lest you think I just plan to use this post to pat myself on the back for actually posting, including no real content - oh no!

Things that happened today, Wednesday November 30th, 2005:

  • Sandy and I telecommuted together at my place. This is cool, as we usually do it at her house. It was nice to host, though I need to get some of that sweet coffee creamer stuff instead of making her bring her own next time.
  • Nathan got his first fillings and took it totally in stride, even though he had to get a shot. We celebrated with sushi.
  • I discovered podcasting. Whee! Though "discovered" isn't exactly the word, as both Jer and William had been telling me for months that I needed to check into some of the podcasts out there. Now that I have, it can be said that all the cool kids are officially doing it. Comment with suggestions of favourite podcasts, please!
  • I got back to my yoga class after 2 weeks away and found it delicious.
  • I received a very complimentary note about this very blog that still has me smiling.
So now I declare November officially over and officially good. Yay November!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

When You're Right...

Hats off to my dear friend Anastasia who has been saying to me, for at least a year now, "YOU MUST GO SEE THE BILLS!"

Finally they came to Seattle.

I saw The Bills.

I LOVED The Bills.

What is it about me and Canadian boy bands? Now, The Bills are no Früvous (oh god, oh god - will the pain ever stop? will the longing ever cease? will the hiatus ever end?), but they're spectacular in their own right. Take some folk, celtic, jazz, gypsy, bluegrass, rock, classical - I'm sure I'm forgetting a genre or two - and add 5 incredible musicians with enough energy to light up a cold and drizzly Tuesday night in Seattle. That's The Bills.

Only one thing disappointed me. Not one of them was actually named Bill. Go figure.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Good morning, starshine

As little as I love walking out of my house at 6:15 a.m., there are perks that come along every so often. Like this morning: stepping out on my frost-bedecked porch to see a fingernail moon hanging in the southeast, flanked by Jupiter and Saturn in a completely cloudless sky. Wow.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I have lost one of my diamond earrings, the ones Stephen surprised me with for Christmas not quite 4 years ago, the only jewelry I regularly wear aside from my wedding ring that is worth more than sentimental value, the earrings that I'm fairly constantly checking to make sure I haven't lost. I can't remember when my last compulsive checking was, but between then and 30 minutes ago, it disappeared without so much as a tug of the earlobe. Could be at home, could be in either car, could be at Sandy's or at Target.

Stupid Target. The loss is probably karma-related for going there. I thought twice, I really did, because of their asinine policy which allows their pharmacists to choose whether or not their personal ethics will allow them to dispense the morning after pill. I had a long discussion with Anne about it before heading out, and I reasoned that as I do pretty well buying blue, this is one store I'm willing to continue to shop at even though I don't approve of everything they do. Gah.

All of a sudden, a day which was going pretty well has been reduced to me feeling like complete and utter shit.

I am simply undeserving of nice things.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I've been soaked and scrubbed, mudworted and massaged, detoxed and dry-roasted. I'm now smooth, moist, and oh-so-relaxed. Did I mention gratitude the other day? Today I'm completely FULL of the gratitude.

After a day of fun in the mountains which included a trip to Snoqualmie Falls, a woodsy geo-cache adventure, lunch at Twede's Cafe (of Twin Peaks fame), a snowball fight, an unsuccessful attempt to find this scenic overlook, and a lovely chicken piccata dinner cooked by my dear husband, Anne and I headed out to Olympus Spa for an evening of pampering and girl time.

It was every bit as great as I've heard from friends who have gone before. The full-body scrub is something I think I need to experience monthly. No, really. Seattle friends who are reading (um, well... as long as you're female) - you want to go? Call me. I'm there.

But the best part, by far, was having some uninterrupted talk-time with Anne. How I love you, internet, for bringing such wonderful people into my life!

At the same time, how sad that teleporters have not yet been invented, so that far away friends could be not quite so far away. Come on, physics folk - get busy!

Friday, November 25, 2005

So Pretty! For ME!

Thanks to Keet for this beautiful drawing. I love it so very much.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she offerred up 25 drawings to the first 25 people who donated at least $25 or the equivalent to an anti-hunger or anti-poverty charity of our choice. Since then, she's been working on these Doodles for Charity.

Not only are they all fabulous, but they're each personalized for the recipient; mine is Pachamama, the Incan incarnation of Mother Earth, chosen because of my dream and impending trip to Peru.

Go take a look at all of them, and if you're a LiveJournal denizen, watch for them as user icons.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I am home now, and I am full, sated with food and drink. Full also to the brim with the love and companionship of family and friends. It's been a wonderful day, begun with parades and cinnamon rolls, culminating in several lovely hours spent eating and laughing with some of my favourite people on earth.

I am so lucky to have all that I do. Though sometimes I get caught up worrying about all those things I feel I lack in my life (*coughiPodVideocough*), it's great to have this day dedicated to gratitude (and to eating turkey) to remind me that - when it comes down to it - I have all the important stuff right here.

What more is there to say, except - of course - Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Have Faith, Gabrielle

While I was cleaning the kitchen this morning in preparation for our Thanksgiving weekend guest, I came across the old wooden shower curtain rod waiting to be recycled.

Please don't ask why it was in the kitchen - that is NOT the point.

Anyway, as I held it, I couldn't help thinking what a great fighting staff it would make. Since the kids were upstairs where they couldn't see me (and get any ideas that would lead to the breaking of lamps), I made a few thrust! parry! ho! moves and was overwhelmed by the desire to actually learn to fight with one.

I wish I understood why I never want to develop skills that could actually benefit me in today's world. Nope, I want to learn dead or not-widely-spoken languages (Gaelic, Welsh, Lithuanian) or to fight with swords and staffs (oh and maybe those cool Sai Gabrielle learns to fight with in the last couple of seasons. Yeah. those would rock.).

I think it's definitely time to get the Xena DVDs and start watching from the beginning.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Brand New '64 Dodge
- Greg Brown

Money comes out of Dad's billfold.
Hankies come out of Mom's purse.
The engine hardly makes a sound
even when you put it in reverse.
It's got a push-button transmission,hardtop convertible, 4-door.
It's November of '63
and the brand new Dodge is a '64.

And we're rolling slow down Main Street -
the asphalt and gravel crunch.
Church is finally over
and we're going to have our Sunday lunch.
And then I will play football
with my buddies down in park.
Later I'll dream about my girlfriend
as I lie alone in the dark.

She's got short red hair and blue eyes
and her swimsuit's also blue
and her little brother is retarded,
but Jesus loves him, too.
And Jesus loves our president,
even though he is a Catholic.
There's a lot for a boy to think about
as he walks along the railroad tracks.

And my sister won't get carsick
'cause we're going only half a mile
and the car still has that new car smell
and dad looks like he might smile
and the world is big and full of Autumn
and I'm hungry as can be
and we're in our brand new '64 Dodge
November of '63

Monday, November 21, 2005

Notes To Self

It's only 8:40 a.m. and I have a couple. Looks like it might be that kind of day.

1. It helps to focus on the physics of the splatter, admiring the pattern made by the coffee that exploded out of the cup you just dropped, rather than the big uncomfortable wet spot on the back of your leg. You'll swear less.

2. Please remember that a) the side curtain is open and b) the neighbours have people working on their house before coming out of the basement with no pants on (having put them in the washer so the coffee didn't stain them). Complete strangers don't need to see you in your underwear.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

No Rest for the Restless

Oy. Sundays are supposed to be lazy, aren't they? Perhaps I will see that, one day, but this Sunday I worked it and worked it good. Put together a couple pieces of furniture (oh, IKEA, how *could* you short me two screws?), cleaned, shopped, cooked, did laundry, wrote (er, attempted to, at least) refrained from selling the kids... thank goodness that Stephen got home an hour ago from his weekend in Boston. I honestly don't see how single parents do it, though I guess if you don't have a choice you just do what you need to.

Now is the time for resting. My brain is mushy and spitting out the blah blah blah.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Night of Music

This evening Sandy and I went to see a Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry concert. Unbelievably, though I've been in Seattle for nearly 6 years now, it was the first Seattle Folklore Society show that I can recall going to.

It was a great set, and Sandy enjoyed it as much as I knew she would. The set list was interesting in that there are some songs that I've become accustomed to hearing Tracy play, Dave Carter "classics" as it were, that she didn't include... "Gentle Arms of Eden" and "Mother I Climbed" among them.

While I was disappointed not to hear them as they are some of my favourites (and the ones I'm listening to, now, after the show), it makes me think that it's part of Tracy's process of discovering how to move forward in her career, not become simply a Dave Carter tribute show. I love her version of "Pancho and Lefty" and Slaid Cleaves' "Key Chain." And damn, but she has the loveliest voice.

Tracy and Jim have good stage chemistry together, but I can't help thinking, throughout their performance, how difficult it has to be to fill that role and to stand in that spot. Jim sings Dave's parts in many of the songs, plays the guitar and mandolin beautifully, but there is always a third presence onstage - not that it's a bad thing, but it's there. For those who know how much was lost with Dave's death, I wonder if seeing Tracy perform will ever NOT be accompanied by a wistful sadness, a reflection on how short and unpredictable our time on this earth is.

One thing I can say with certainty - that I only got to see Dave and Tracy play together once, and never in an imtimate venue (the one time was at Falcon Ridge Folk Fest, 2001), is one of my biggest musical regrets.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Verdict




The movie was so very very very good. So VERY good. I turned to my friend William about halfway through and said "I want this move to never end." I loved it. I loved the story (yes, a LOT was cut, but what was left in was just what should have been), the casting (Krum! Cho! Fleur! Voldemort!), the effects (the Hungarian Horntail and the Mermaids were spectacular), and - of course - the Weasleys.

Fred and George, forevah, man. I'm just a Weasley girl, through and through.

T Minus 3 hours

... and counting, until I get to see The Goblet of Fire. WHEE! I'll report back, but don't expect me to be among those whose panties get bunched because Hermione wears pink. I think she looks just fine in the colour and, as the mother of a girl whose room is painted two different shades of it, there's NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Mostly am looking forward to some Weaslies and my first glimpse of Voldemort.

Did I mention WHEE!?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Words That Bring the Tears

We had a lovely family evening; Thursdays are the nights we normally eat out, and our restaurant of choice is frequently Rositas, a yummy and uber-family friendly Mexican restaurant where we're on a first-name basis with a number of the staff. Sophie was full of chat and questions, Nathan and Stephen played table football, and I downed my margarita in no time flat. What's not to love?

Bedtime though, did have its drama, but not due to any family strife. No, Jack, Laura's beloved dog (On The Shores of Silver Lake) died, and Sophie wept the loud and bitter tears. I will say that the girl comes by it honestly; my tears were silent, but still they were there.

After I got her to calm down a little, I explained that she and I have what my friend Bonnie once referred to as "big feelings" and that she could probably look forward to a life time of crying at books, movies, dolphin shows, musical performances, parades, and particularly poignant Hallmark commercials (I do! I care enough to send the very best!).

But one thing I'm sure of: there is no WAY we're going to be reading Where the Red Fern Grows anytime soon.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Howard Dean! (grumble, unelectabe my *ass*, woulda shoulda coulda...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can I Be On the List? Please? Pleeeeaaassee?!?!?

I'm not talking about the Santa's "nice" list - I'm certain I'm already there, thankyouverymuch. (And, as a side note, I hear that Santa is bringing nice girls new 60GB video iPods this year - sweet!)

No, the list I'm aiming to get on is the one that McCarthyist fuckwit Bill O'Reilly (AKA BOR - isn't that appropriate?) promises to publish of those of us on the internets who were a wee tad offended that he called for an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco.
Some far left internet smear sites have launched a campaign to get me fired over my point of view. I believe they do this on a daily basis. This time the theme is O’Reilly is encouraging terrorist attacks. Unbelievably stupid. Not unusual with these guttersnipes.

I’m glad the smear sites made a big deal out of it. Now we can all know who was with the anti-military internet crowd. We’ll post the names of all who support the smear merchants on So check with us.

I just hope that he links to my blog, so I can watch the hit count go through the roof. Actually, I'm pretty sure that BOR has already visited; he's certainly one of those pervs who gets here by googling "writhing" in hopes of finding good girl-on-loofah pron. Note: If you're not BOR and got here by googling "writhing" - welcome! No naughty photos yet, but lots of really entertaining writing... stay and read for awhile; you can always masturbate later.

In his column today, my friend (well, not really, but I'd love him to be - e-mail me, dude!) Mark Morford says that we should look to BOR as a cautionary example of what we don't want to be, that we can always feel good about ourselves because at least we're not him. He also says "it is up to us to merely look at him like Shiva looks at a sea slug -- i.e., a moment of compassion for his regrettable incarnation -- and then laugh and shake our heads and move the hell on."

A-freakin-men. The man is beneath contempt, a boil on the arse of society. Karma is a bitch though, and his next incarnation will surely pay. Which gets me wondering... how awful would one have to be in a past life to have come back as Bill O'FalafelReilly?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005




Note to self: Regardless of how much you are accomplishing, how cool you think it will be to wake up in the morning to see the fruits of your labour, GO TO BED AT A DECENT TIME! You're getting too old to try to get by on 5 hours of sleep, and you WILL pay for it the next morning.

I'm just going to put my head down for a moment now. Go on about your business. Nothing to see here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Sweet Smell of Avoidance

Cleaning is such the perfect activity when one is procrastinating for all one is worth, is it not? Yes, yes. I have an article I could be writing, but instead I have thoroughly cleaned and organized the living and dining rooms (to the point of rearranging DVDs and moving a bunch of kid books and stuff up to their rooms). I have also cleaned my computer desktop, caught up on logging my sales tax receipts (yes, I am a freak, thank you very much), and updated Quicken in preparation for balancing my checkbook (every month, to the penny - freak!).

The article isn't due tomorrow or anything, but it's starting to niggle at the back of my brain, giving me the feeling that the Sword of Damocles is, if not right over my head, at least right outside the front door waiting to get me when I walk through.

It's all good though. Because in the next two weeks I will manage not only to get the article done - on time! - but also to get the guest room painted and set up for our Thanksgiving guest, pay all my bills, blog, find an Incredibles poster on eBay for the kids, schedule several holiday activities, see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and floss every single day.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Promised Photos

Okay, okay. I wanted to wait until it was ALL done but honestly that could take a few more weeks, all the little things like, oh, re-hanging doors and getting all the fixtures changed and putting final coats on trim and touching things up and... and...

This is how it looks now... and there are a few before photos (from when we first looked at the house when it was on the market) scattered in. Normally I'm not at all into painting wood, but it was SO dark up there and the kids were weirded out by all the knotholes that looked like "eyes." It's lighter and brighter and all theirs.

Click the staircase to go to the photo set.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Poems & Prayers & Promises

Just in a John Denver-y kind of mood. His music is one of my guilty pleasures, kind of like Anastasia has her Neil Diamond-y thing. This is probably my favourite of his songs, even if he does use that oh-so-not-PC-term "old lady." Eh, it was the seventies and he was stoned. Would that times were still so mellow!

I’ve been lately thinking
About my life’s time
All the things I’ve done
And how it’s been
And I can’t help believing
In my own mind
I know I’m gonna hate to see it end

I’ve seen a lot of sunshine
Slept out in the rain
Spent a night or two all on my own
I’ve known my lady’s pleasures
Had myself some friends
And spent a time or two in my own home

And I have to say it now
It’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine
To have a chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around

And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday
And what about tomorrow
And what about our dreams
And all the memories we share

The days they pass so quickly now
Nights are seldom long
And time around me whispers when it’s cold
The changes somehow frighten me
Still I have to smile
It turns me on to think of growing old
For though my life’s been good to me
There’s still so much to do
So many things my mind has never known
I’d like to raise a family
I’d like to sail away
And dance across the mountains on the moon

I have to say it now
It’s been a good life all in all
It’s really fine
To have the chance to hang around
And lie there by the fire
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around

And talk of poems and prayers and promises
And things that we believe in
How sweet it is to love someone
How right it is to care
How long it’s been since yesterday
What about tomorrow
What about our dreams
And all the memories we share

Friday, November 11, 2005


It's hard to believe but it's true - our children are - right now - upstairs going to sleep in their very own beds in their very own rooms. The work isn't completely done as there are still dozens of little finishing touches I'll be making for months probably, but the kids are happy with it and most of their stuff migrated up today.

Nathan has been ready since the end of the summer when he spent 3 weeks sleeping up there in what was then the guest room (moving down only when we started painting). We weren't so sure about Sophie; if you asked, she said she was ready, but between being on a different floor from us and never having had her own space since... well... birth, we weren't completely sure.

No worries. She was thrilled to get into bed, turned her lights low until they looked like stars (they're halogen spotlights on a dimmer so she can bring them down to a glow), kissed us goodnight and that was that.

Tomorrow we go look for desks, under-bed storage containers, and a table with comfy chairs for their hallway sitting area. And then I take pictures. Patience.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'll Take Mine Black, Please

Iowa Woman Finds Dead Turtle in Coffee

November 10,2005 | AINSWORTH, Iowa -- Marjorie Morris just wanted to pour coffee into a canister. What she found in the package of freeze-dried coffee left her shell-shocked.

Morris, 77, of Ainsworth, found a dead baby turtle in the 2-pound package of Folgers coffee last Sunday.

First thought: Thank god I live in Seattle, where our coffee is both plentiful and turtle-free!

Next thought: Folgers? GAH! The turtle actually probably made it taste better.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What Dreams May Come

Sometimes it takes a big ole kick in the pants from your subconscious to get it into gear, does it not?

I've always been a dreamer. I don't mean in the starry-eyed romantic sense (although... well... that too). I mean literally - I dream often and vividly and I am frequently able to remember my dreams for more that 3 minutes after I wake up. I keep a dream journal, on and off, and luckily have captured some of the really cool ones so that all it takes is a reading through to bring it all rushing back.

This one was a morning dream, begun after the alarm had come and gone and finished about the time my youngest crawled into bed for some warmth and cuddles. The dream itself couldn't have been longer than 30 minutes, but it grabbed me and still hasn't let go.

It was simple, and devastatingly sad. Jer, my best friend of nearly 20 years, died. I'm not sure how - it was quick, unexpected. And nobody told me. When I found out I flew down to Peru, where he lives half of the time with his partner José, and where he had been when it happened, where his service had been held without me. I let myself into his house and looked through his things, trying to find something I could take with me to hold and remember, sobbing sobbing. I looked through his clothes and could still smell him, and I looked through photos, finding some he had taken of me when I wasn't paying attention. José wasn't there so I called him and told him how sorry I was - sorry for his pain, and sorry that I hadn't made it down to meet him, and to see them together while Jer was still around. All the time bereft, wracked with sobs, on my knees, filled with guilt.

When I got out of bed, the first thing I told Stephen, after detailing the dream, was that I was going to Peru in the spring. Jer has wanted me to - I've wanted to - for a long time, but the timing has never been right, the money has never been there, I've had commitments here, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

But there's only so much time, and we don't know how much that "so much" is, do we? We have the now, and if we're lucky the next moment and the next. And as much as we might want to deny it, as hard as we try to push it away - those moments are finite.

There's no time like the present. And there's no excuse that stands any scrutiny that I haven't met the man my best friend loves and shares his life with.

So yes. Peru! In March. I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In the "Things Could Always Be Worse" category

Doesn't it suck, when you're only a week from harvesting the wheat that will pay for the house you bought on credit and give you enough money to buy new boots, when a cloud of grasshoppers descends and destroys your whole crop?

Man. I hate that.

Yup, we're reading the Little House series at bedtime with the kids now, and we've made it to Plum Creek where Laura has crossed paths with, and leech-slapped, Nellie Oleson. Oh, the memories!

Note to self: Add Little House DVDs to Amazon wish list. L'il half-pint, here we come.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

"Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said. "Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture."

I guess it all depends on what this administration's definitions of "law" and "torture" are.

Oh, and then there's this, when asked about the Plame investigation:

"We take this investigation very seriously and we'll continue to cooperate during the investigation," he said.

God, I'm ashamed.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

This 'n That

Well damned if the kind weather gods didn't listen and give us a lovely day of sun and blue sky and light breezes to dry up some of the wet. Still cold, but cold without rain is completely tolerable. I wish I had the same kind of pull with the benevolent lotto gods. (And just in case I do, pleasepleaseplease nice deities of the big money, I will certainly play this Wednesday.)

Ah, coincidence. It's a funny thing. I finished the novel Broken For You last night and was talking to a friend about how much I had liked it, at the same time noting that you have to accept that the resolution involves some mighty big coincidences. Then, before falling asleep I read through the book's acknowledgements and got hit between the eyes with my very own coincidence when I came across the name of a good friend of mine among the thanked. Stranger even was that I had seen this friend earlier in the evening and almost brought up that I was reading a book I was sure she would love. I'm glad I didn't though - it was more fun this way.

I'm feeling very content tonight. It was just an incredibly pleasant Sunday, and I accomplished much: watching Nathan's soccer game, painting, grocery shopping, putting together a photo album for Sophie's soccer coach, raking, visiting with friends, cleaning fish tanks, and more painting. My sweetie is home from his trip, kids are sleeping, and life is good.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rain Rain Go Away

Today was the kind of day that those who don't know much about Seattle think is typical. It started raining early this morning, and hasn't stopped, hasn't even let up a little bit. It's a steady, drenching downpour with no end in sight. And it's cold. And it's gloomy.

"But you chose to live in Seattle and everyone knows it rains there all the time," says our clueless fictional antagonist, "what are you complaining about?"

The thing is - this kind of rain isn't at all typical. The kind of rain we get most often here is a light drizzle, oftentimes not even enough to bother with an umbrella over. In fact, Stephen and I complain endlessly while watching Grey's Anatomy, much as we love the show, because they have it raining like this all the time, throwing in some lovely thunderstorms for good measure.

So yeah - I do get grumpy when we get this kind of weather, just like I would were I living someplace that didn't have the rep for rain that we do. Bring back my sweet drizzle, oh weather gods. A sunbreak would be all that and a bag of chips.

Luckily, the kids and I (Stephen is away on a business trip this weekend) had a plan that was perfect for rainy day weather - a trip to the Northwest Puppet Center. It's one of the arts venues that I adore in this city, and it's right in our neighbourhood. We saw a lovely performance of Raven and the Box of Daylight which was just the antidote for such a gloomy, dark day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'll Drink to That

Damn, this is clever, and quite funny.

Carlton Draught Big Ad

And here you'll get some behind-the-scenes of how it was done.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Out Damned Spot!

I am sure, though I can't exactly picture it right now, that there will be a day sometime soon when I can't find any paint blotches on me, hidden behind an elbow or on the bottom of a foot or nestled against my scalp. It's going on 6 weeks since we started our upstairs painting project and I am SO sick of it that I probably won't go up there for weeks after we finish and get the kids moved in.

But I do have to say - I think it's looking damn good. After the new carpet is laid next week I'll be able to tell whether it's simply paint blindness or whether I truly like it. At the very least it's bright and colourful and clean. Photos to come.

And whatever will I do with all the extra time on my hands after I finish this project? Why, take an online Lithuanian class, of course!

I've always wanted to study the language, knowing only a little bit from hearing my dad's side of the family speak it. Although UW offers undergrad courses in it (which thrills me no end), they're taught during the day so I've been unable to make the scheduling work. But, as I found today, there is an experimental online course, absolutely free for the taking. It's a good start, I think.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Give 'Em Hell, Harry!

Did you SEE what happened yesterday? Our Democratic Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, thunked Felonius Frist right between the eyes and called for a closed Senate session to discuss the intel used to justify the Iraq war, and why there has so far been no investigation into the Bush administration's role in manipulating that intel. My god, what a breath of fresh air, and an indication that there are Dems in Congress who are still capable of fighting back.

After receiving an e-mail from my good friend Howard Dean (oh how I still love that man), I immediately sent off a contribution to the DNC and a letter of thanks to Senator Reid; I encourage you to do the same, if you can.

Kinda makes this bleak anniversary a little bit easier to take. 3 more years, my friends, unless Bush's lies - damnable lies! - catch him the way Nixon's caught him.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Requisite Halloween Cuteness

Darth and the Littlest Ghost
Originally uploaded by monagrrl.
Another night of sugar and revelry has come and gone with much success and more candy than any pair of children needs. We got a wee bit damp but stayed reasonably warm and had a great time tromping up and down the hills in our neighbourhood with a pack of good friends.

It took Nathan only 1/2 hour to ditch the helmet (the eyes kept fogging up) and the gloves (he couldn't grab the candy very well). At which point he declared himself the Boy in Black. Uh-huh. Sophie's costume, on the other hand, held up very well and got lots of comments as to its originality which boggled my mind. Nobody wants to be a sheet-bedecked ghost anymore, apparently. Go figure.

Though undocumented photographically, I'll report that I was dressed as a bird flu victim - grey-faced with dark circles painted around my eyes. If only I had had a rubber chicken to carry around, it would have been the most awesome costume ever.

Crazy, but not that crazy (yet)

You've heard of NaNoWriMo, yes? It's a yearly event where, all over the world, people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. That's roughly 1700 words per day, unless you're a procrastinator like me and leave it til the last week, then attempt 7,000/day and end up so weakening your body and mind that, like writers of the last century, you die of TB at a young age.

Yeah, that last sentence, plus the fact that I don't really have a solid idea for a 50K word novel, pretty much explains why I won't be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. But, in honour of the event, and as a way to kick my blogging ass into gear, I've created a November writing event just for me. KBloWriMo - Kristina's Blog Writing Month.

Each day I'll be here writing... something. Maybe even a couple somethings! (Hey, if you don't have starry-eyed optimism at the beginning of a project, you're sunk before you even begin, right?) By the end of the month, my hope is that the daily writing habit will be entrenched, never to disappear again. Right?

So. Let the blogging begin! Feel free to join in (on your own blog, of course), if the inspiration hits. And finally, good luck to my friends who *are* participating in NaNoWriMo this year. May your ideas flow and your fingers remain nimble and uncramped.