Friday, April 30, 2004

Remember how proud of myself I was for not spending a lot of money last week at the book festival? Totally blew that Tuesday night. You see, I went to Border's, and used one of the 20% off coupons I'd gotten. So just think of all the money I'd saved that way.

Actually, one thing I got was my brother's college graduation present. So it wasn't all for me. Over half for me? Yes. All for me? No.

The last few days have been a struggle emotionally. I'm taking Renee's death much harder then I thought I would. Maybe because I'm so far from family? Mostly, I think it's because of all the loss we've had in our family in the last two years. It was two years ago Wednesday that we lost Grpop. My family is really going through lots of change and struggle. And it's certainly not easy at all.

Meanwhile, we've been having major discussions about whether I should go up for the service tomorrow or not. Basically, I'd have to leave tonight, spend the night in a hotel, attend, then leave to head back down here tomorrow. I'd be driving and spending two nights on the road for three of four hours with family. Now, if I could do it as a day trip, I'd be there in a heart beat. But it just doesn't make sense for me to go, logically. Emotionally, on the other hand, Mom really wants me there. But since she can tell me all the reasons I shouldn't go, it's been really hard. I've decided to stay down here, but not without some guilt. At least I'll see them in a few weeks at Mike's graduation.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Morning, and welcome to this week's Thursday Threesome. This week, it's brought to us by perfect people and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Goodie-- What is your your favorite "goodie" you treat yourself to when you've finished a project or maybe even just survived a long day? Ice cream? ...a long bath? ...a good book?
Ice cream or a good book would both work quite well.

Twosome: Two-- Quick! Two things that make you smile! No thinking, just write!
Time with good friends and rereading/rewatching something I truly enjoy.

Threesome: Shoes-- ...and how about your favorite pair of shoes? You know, the ones you look for an occasion to wear! (Yes, guys that ratty pair of tennis shoes does count...)
I have dress shoes I wear only if I have to. I have two almost identical pair of everyday shoes. Then I have my running shoes and cleats. Nothing that really seems to fit that bill.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I am kinda just here right now.

My mom called this morning before I left for work to let me know my second cousin Renee passed away just before midnight. Things had been looking up the end of last week. (I know I didn't update you regularly on her condition.) It really seems to be sinking in more and more as the day goes on. I'm having more problems with it now then I did when she called this morning.

Meanwhile, being Tuesday, I'm sure I'll be going home to an empty condo. Not looking forward to that at all. Normally, I would, but just not right now. And I'm not even sure I can handle 24 right now.

Meanwhile, traffic is going to be a nightmare on the way home tonight since they closed the 5 here in town because of a hazardous spill and accident that happened this afternoon. Not looking forward to trying to get home.

Got a note from Erik last night. He's moving out the end of May. Not at all surprised since he's work, going to church, and going to school 40 minutes from here. Basically, making that drive every day of the week. And with gas prices set around $2.15 a gallon, that adds up in a hurry. So, we'll see if OtherSeth and I are actually on the same timetable now.

Ok, enough glum. Let's have some fun.

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Which Nigerian spammer are You?

Rats, they're on to me!

Meanwhile, on the second grammar quiz, I got an 83%. All the apostrophes were correct, I missed two of the comma questions, and I thought about the right answer, but decided to go with the wrong answer. I'm pretty impressed.

Finally, Mary's Tuesday Two:

1. Have you ever made up a really silly song, and, if so, wonÂ’t you sing it for us now?
Yes I have. Trust me, you've never heard of it cause I made up the tune, too. Even if I quote it for you, it won't make any sense to you.

2. What is the strangest nickname you've ever bestowed (or had bestowed upon you)?
I keep going back to it for these nickname things, but I'd say "The Biz" by one of the lead waterslide operators the summer I spent at Windsor Water Works.

Monday, April 26, 2004

So, Saturday was the annual LA Times Book festival at the UCLA campus. As per tradition, Angelique and I met up there and hung out all day. She's wonderful to hang out with because she lets me drag her to the same booths over and over again to met up with authors so I can chat for a few minutes. :)

I was a good boy and only bought 5 books. And they were all books I'd aproved myself to buy before hand. How good is that? I'm actually rather impressed with myself, too. I did take some other books with me and get them autographed. And one of the books I'd bought because I knew the author would be there. But I probably would have bought it any way.

The saddest part of the day was saying goodby to Glynn Marsh Alam. She's the excellent writer of Dive Deep and Deadly, amoung others. I just love her books. She's retiring teaching here in LA and moving back to Florida. The bright side? I hope this means she'll write more. :)

The best part of the day? That's hard to tell for sure. One highlight was seeing Trixie for the first time at the festival. And on a shelf between Nancy Drew and Harry Potter, too. That's pretty good company if you ask me.

The weather has really decided to heat up, with temps in the 90's for the last few days. You can bet that took a lot out of me. But it was so worth it.

Both Angelique and I noticed something interesting, however. Everywhere we went, we found lots of recent best sellers that were anti-Bush. We only found one conservative book all day. Bias at all, anyone? Of course, what do you expect from something put on by the LA Times and UCLA?

Yesterday was a nice, lazy, stay home and rest day. Finished O' Artful Death. This was a wonderful book. Great mystery with plenty of red herrings and twists to keep me guessing. I think I suspected just about everyone as being guilty at one point or another, so I'd say I was right. But I never would have guessed the motive in a million years. It's up for an Agatha for best first novel at this weekend's Malice Domestic convention, as is Murder Off Mike, which you may remember me raving about in January. Frankly, I can't decide which I want to win. They're both great books.

I may be even more confused soon. I've started Dealing in Murder last night. It's a third nominee for the same award. :) After 16 pages, I'm not even going to hazard a guess, however.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Happy Sunday to you. Here's this week's word association:

  1. Elastic:: Waist
  2. Intervention:: Alcoholic
  3. Risk:: Assessment
  4. Junk food:: cookies
  5. Arrogance:: I know better then you!
  6. Responsibility:: What I hate being!
  7. X:: marks the spot
  8. Marshall:: The tech guy on Alias (all new episode tonight!)
  9. Kill:: Murder
  10. Brother:: Mike

Friday, April 23, 2004

So, right after my last post about how nothing new was going on in my life, something different happened.

I went to dinner in the cafe, and something unexpected was going on. The athletics department was serving us. Ok, so it was the same menu, we were going to have, but we picked what we wanted from the table and the "waiters" went and got it for us. It was lots of fun.

Plus, they were having athletics department trivia and a raffle. Pizzas, Quizznos, that kind of thing. Mostly. There was one good prize, and guess who won it. That's right, me! I won a one hour message. Now I just need to schedule it.

And they say that eating dinner in the cafe 7 years after college is a sign of having no life. :)

Yesterday, I introduced the new song "Be Near Me" to the kids. Went well. And I got a few comments about people liking it. Mostly from the adults, but from one teen as well. That makes me very, very happy.

Tonight I came home right after work and met my uncle and aunt. They are leaving on a cruise for their anniversary tomorrow from LA and stopped by on their way through town. Got to show off my place. They loved it! (Like they wouldn't. This is a great place.) Then we went out to dinner. Olive Garden. I haven't eatten there for way too long. Loved it. And had a great time with them.

So see, I had something exciting happen to me every day for the last few days. Not bad.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Welcome to this week's Thursday Threesome. Brought to us this week by family trees and The Back Porch. (Ok, so I didn't know what to say. Could you tell?)

A geek-- Hey, who handles tech support at your place? You? ...the six year old? ...or someone from outside? ...and how about in your web space? No, we're not looking for techs; we're just curious .
My friends. Or a roommate. If it doesn’t do what I want it to do, I’m lost. And this is my only web space. So far. I have got to figure out what I’m doing, if anything, about a web page and take Misty up on her offer of an internet home.

in the-- computer? Just a curiosity for the designer types: what Operating System are you running? ...and which browser? Since sites can show up differently in different browsers it's more than a casual question.
Work is Windows XP and Internet Explorer version 6.0. Home is Windows 98 and IE 6.0 as well. I think. It’s the latest IE, whatever that is.

Family-- Do any family members read your place? Do they care? Do they have a clue? ...and how about your 'off line' friends? ...or do you supply a little bit of separation there?
I have made a point of not telling my family about it at all. A little privacy. A few friends in the area know of my blog, but they don’t come here, that I know of anyway. A few of my friends from out of the area know about it, but only Donald seems to show up and then only rarely.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Welcome back to Mark's boring life.

Frankly, there's not much going on here.

I'm furious with one of my roommates. The one who won't clean up after himself at all. And when he promises to, it still doesn't happen. There are now six glasses on one end table he promised to take care of, and the kitchen has been dirty for a week and a half straight. He'll only clean it up enough to get what he needs for what he wants to cook this time around and then dirty it up again.

Meanwhile, he's a nice guy, and I hate being mad at him. But I hate trying to make my lunch or watch TV around his mess.

Once again, being a follower, I'll complete the book list now. Inspite of how much I read, this list will look pretty unimpressive.

-- Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Dante - Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Maybe it was only parts of this book, but I sure think I read it.
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies I was surprised just how much I enjoyed this book.
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter This was a good one, too.
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms - Is A Farewell to Legs close enough? :)
Homer - The Iliad -
Homer - The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll's House
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain - And here I thought that was just an amusement park. :)
Marquez, Gabriel García - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
O'Neill, Eugene - Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel - Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet - Not fond of this either.
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
- I think I've read them both.
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath - Hated this. With a passion.
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island -
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden - and it put me to sleep. Great cure for insomnia!
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - love this one!
Voltaire - Candide - Not funny, but weird
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son

There are several authors on here that I've read one of their books, but not the one listed here. Many of them were for school assignments. I think the only reason these books are classics is because everyone was forced to read them in school. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Before we get to Mary's Tuesday Two for the week, I have a very serious question to ask.

Why does my site not come up in the lists of updated blogs? I noticed that places claim my blog hasn't been updated since Wednesday, and this in a week I've actually updated every day. I set blogger up to do it for me, but that wasn't working, so I went back to doing it manually, but that doesn't seem to be working either. And it's driving me crazy because I don't know what to do about it.

Ok, now on the much less soap operay topic of gun control. :)

1. Do you own a gun? Why? And if your answer is no, why not?
No. I was raised with a healty fear of guns. Anything where I can kill someone scares me. I've never hunted and don't go for target practice. What's the point of me having a gun? Might things change in the future? Sure. But I have no need or desire to have a gun right now.

2. What are your thoughts on gun ownership, legal or otherwise, in the United States?
We have the right to bear arms (or is it bare arms? I can never remember) in this country. That means that we need to seriously watch our legislatures very carefully since they seem to want to take that away from us. Now, I have no problem with criminals not being aloud to own guns. It's as much a part of the penalty as loosing the right to vote. And you've shown that you aren't responsible with guns, so you shouldn't have one. But for the average citizen, it's a right.

I know this has been mentioned to death, but the only people who would own guns if they were illegal is criminals. I'd much rather live in a world where they might think twice about attacking someone because of the fear of a gun.

Also mentioned to death, guns don't kill people. People kill people. It may be a cliche, but it's true. If I want to kill you, I'll find some way to do it. And it really doesn't take much. Guns make it easier, but it doesn't make it any less likely to happen. What we need to deal with in this country is the attitude that killing someone is ok or an acceptable solution to problems.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read a murder mystery now. :)

Monday, April 19, 2004

Maybe I should clarify what I posted yesterday. There are a couple reasons I put Ms. after feminist on my list.

First, if I don't miss my guess, the title of a leading feminist magazine is Ms.

Second, it was feminists who first came up with that term. I can remember my mom ranting against the use of that appreviation, especially when she started getting mail addressed to "Ms...."

Now, do I think everyone who uses that title is a feminist? No! Do I have a problem using that title? A little, but I'm getting better. Comes from Mom's rants growing up.

See, what a parent believes really does affect their kids for the rest of their lives.

Now before you get on my mom too much, this was in the 80's. In the days of the career woman only and anyone who stayed home was stupid. For some reason, my mom took that attitude from the press and from feminists rather personally. :)

I didn't get home from the SNYF until 9:20 last night. Didn't mind too much since I only had 14 pages of Evans to Betsy left and was able to finish that up before bed time. Wonderful book as always. Then I watched 24. Man, heart pumping, feet sweaty the entire way through. And I simply can not believe how they ended it. This is not your predictable TV show. Went to bed instead of watching Alias, so I get the joy of watching that tonight, followed by another 24 tomorrow!

Meanwhile, I will be finishing Madness at Moonshiner's Bay tonight. Only 40 pages left after reading at lunch time. I'd forgotten how intense this book is. It was all I could do to come back to work after lunch time. And Ricky on the raft in the swamp was heart stopping, even if the book is first person narration.

This morning was interesting on a personal level. A co-worker came into the office to let us know he'd quit. Don't know why, but it's a shock. He was a great guy and had been her almost three years now. Then a friend comes in a shares some stuff with me. I was beginning to feel like I had an "unburden yourself to me" sign on me today. Not that that's a bad thing. But it still felt weird.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Good afternoon and welcome to this week's word association.

  1. Virginia:: Williamsburg (site of Trixie camp 2001!)
  2. Soft:: Har
  3. Carol:: My friend since Kindergarten
  4. Vanity:: Fair
  5. Feminist:: Ms.
  6. Alias:: The best TV show currently in production. (New episode tonight!)
  7. Coward:: Scardy Cat
  8. Beer:: Yuck! (If you hate how it smells, why would you drink it?)
  9. Chance:: Community Chest
  10. Honest:: Abe

Saturday, April 17, 2004

[Checks calendar again.]

Yes, it is April. Certainly wouldn't know if from the weather. It's cold out there, and raining. Heck, it was hailing on me at one point while I was out and about today. What happened to my nice spring like weather of Wednesday?

Went to see Home on the Range earlier this afternoon. Not good or bad really. Enjoyable. Although I might have enjoyed it more had I not found out the lead was Roseanne. I can't stand her normally. She was ok here. Typical stuff with some fairly obvious plot points and a few I didn't see coming. Some really funny lines that I seemed to be the only one who got and one completely pointless uncalled for line in the opening few minutes.

So Misty created a Friday Five yesterday. But since it was so late at night, I'm doing it today. So far, I seem to be the only person answering these. Do I get a prize or something. :)

One: Summer is quickly approaching. Do you have any summer vacation plans? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
My brother's college graduation. Extended family get together in Washington. My brother's wedding. Really exciting stuff, isn't it?

Two: Do you have a comfort item you always travel with when taking a trip? What is it and why do you travel with it?
Books. More then I could possibly read. I don't know why, but I must take more books then I need on any trip. 6 books for a four day weekend kind of deal. Or two spares if I'm just starting a book. I'd hate to be caught without something to read, I guess.

Three: What would be the ideal summer vacation spot for you? Are you a sun worshipper or do you prefer to flee to cooler climates when the mercury spikes?
The beach. Anywhere with sun and water.

Four: Plane, train or automobile - Which is your favorite mode of transportation?
Depends on how far I get to go. All have their uses, although if I'm not driving, then I get to read more. :)

Five: If you only had one day in which to travel, where would you go? What are the hot spots near your home?
I could hit Santa Monica or San Diego. Hollywood is right here, too. Never more then a few hours from something fun to do.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Thanks to Aleta, I seem to have a new obsession.

I'm sure by now you've seen the reading list I've added to the side of my blog. I found that site thanks to her blog. Well, you can add information to the site about books like number of pages, chapters, first line. That kind of stuff. They are storing it all in a database. And here, they list the most recently added information and the people who have contributed the most. And guess who has entered teh top 15 this week and will be at top 10 by the end of the night.

Am I strangely obsessed or what? I mean, really, what makes me want to add information about books I've already read to get up that high. Granted, it doesn't take much when you have several catagories per book. But still, why do it at all?

Meanwhile, talk about symatry. This 500 review has submitted his 500th review on.... Well, go take a look for yourself and see. :)

We had a small turn out at youth group last night. See, last week was the public school's spring break, but it was this week for the kids at the Christian school. I think we had 6 jr. highers. All but one from public or home school. Still, it was a good evening.

As you can see, I finished the new Nancy. I must admit, I really enjoyed it. They seem to have given all the characters more personality and depth. And the first person narration was a plus. The bad thing? I didn't think the crimes were truly worthy of the Nancy of old.

Which means that I've started Evans to Betsy. Can I just say I love to visit Llanfair? With the publication of Evan's Gate this month, once I finish Evans to Betsy, I'll only be two Evans behind. Just were I was a month ago. Like it's a pain trying to catch up. The pain will be when I've caught up. I won't be able to wait until the next one comes out.

Not much else new here.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Welcome to this week's Thursday Threesome, brought to us by the insomniacs at The Back Porch.

Onesome: Insomnia-- Ever have it? Some do and some don't, but have you ever been hounded awake for that endless hour after hour with no hope of sleep? ...or does the very act of touching head to pillow put you out for the count?
Every so often I get it. Mainly when I’m really worried about having to get something done by a deadline. Even more so if there’s a trip involved. Last time was in January when I was concerned about making it home before Erik wanted to move in. Like I needed to worry. I beat him by several hours.

Twosome: the cure-- Hey, if you do have the occasional bout or chronic insomnia, what do you do about it? Work? Read? Try cures? Hmmm... Did you ever find one that worked?
What works best for me is giving up and reading until I fall asleep. Fortunately, I’m one of those people who can fall asleep reading anything, not someone who actually wakes up when reading.

Threesome: for sleep-- Female/male, young/not so young, we all need varying amounts of sleep. What's your personal sleep cycle? Five hours? Ten hours? ...and if you had a choice, what would be your personal sleep cycle? ...and yes, "All day long" is a valid answer
I seem to need 7 to 8 hours a night. And I would prefer to get up about 8 AM. But I seem stuck having to be up long before then. Weekends, however, I very rarely sleep past 9AM anymore.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Irony is laughing at me again.

So last night, I get home and immediately sit down and finish my book. I finish it at 8:57 PM, just in time to turn on the TV and watch..."The Simpsons?" Seems that, because of the Presidential press conference, 24 had been prempted on the East Coast. So it's going to be shown on Sunday instead. At 9 PM Pacific. Opposite Alias.

And, just to prove that the jokes on me, what's the one Sunday this month when we have a SNYF? You guessed it! I probably won't even be home before 9:30 PM. So guess who will be starting Monday very tired next week after having watched both Alias and 24 starting at 10 PM.

And, yes, the fact that this is the worst thing going on in my life right now is a good thing. :)

I realize I have yet to discuss the rest of what I did to my facial hair last week. On the 1st, if you'll recall, I shaved my chin so my beard went from sideburns up and over my mouth. Sunday, the 4th, I shaved off the connecting strip, so I had side burns that went down to my jaw and the sides of my mustache also went down to my jaw. Tuesday was sideburns half way up my ear and a regular mustache. And Thursday was completely shaved. To top it off, Friday I got a hair cut. Still long enough to comb on top, but much shorter.

Lots of people are giving me second looks these days. I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep the completely shaved look, but for another couple weeks at least.

As you can see on the side, I've started the new Nancy Drew's. I'm not a traitor, I promise. Am curious, however, how they are. So far, 50 pages in, I'm liking the first person narration and the characterizations. But I think I'm going to find the plot a little two young for me. If these are supposed to replace the traditional Nancy's they'll fail. The crimes just seem too young. Vandalism and petty theft vs. some of the bigger stuff she used to deal with. Heck, Trixie most of the time handles stuff bigger then that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Today's topic is fun with statistics.

And I'm going to start off with something you probably never thought you'd see here, a link to John Kerry's official web site.

If you follow that link, you'll find that they have created a new economic index. The Middle Class Misery Index. Naturally, since they created it, it makes things look bleak under Bush.

The graph is about half way down the page. When you look at it, remember that the higher the number, the better off the middle class is. The graph starts with 1976, and as you can see, every time a Democrat has been President, the middle class has faired better then when we've had a Republican in office. This is even true for Jimmy Carter.

Now, frankly, I find it hard to believe that this could possibly be true. The middle class was better when we were suffering from stagflation? With interest rates so high that no one could afford to buy anything on credit? Yeah, that sounds about right to me. Talk about cooking the books to make it appear that Democrats are better then Republicans.

Now I know I haven't gotten into the technical stuff on this. This was just my first thoughts when I saw the graph. I actually started laughing out loud. But they appear to be serious and think this will be believed by people out there. Took me about five seconds to see though it, how about you?

And if you are interested in a series discussion of what exactly is wrong with this "study," check out this link.

In other news, I'm about 60 pages away from finishing The Right Hand of Amon. Sure hope to do it tonight. It's a mystery set in ancient Egypt. Like the 1400's BC. I've really been struggling with it, but I discovered something today. I think I'm actually enjoying it. I certainly care about the outcome, and I'm even thinking about finding out what happens in the next book. And here, 24 hours ago, I would have told you I hated it. :) Shows all I know, about myself.

Finally, the grammar quiz.

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

How in the world did I get that answer? I was guessing at half of the answers at least. (Then again, if you read this blog regularly, you already knew that.) Probably shouldn't have confessed to that, right? :)

I really would have liked to have seen the correct responses to the questions, too.

Monday, April 12, 2004

It's here! What, you may ask. Go on, ask! I finally got my copy of the new Ginny Owens CD today. It's wonderful. So far, she's three for three with awesome CD's.

On the other hand, I got the Veggie Rocks! CD today as well. This CD is Christian artists redoing classics from the Veggie Tales video series in their style. As I figured from looking at the artist list, it's pretty much hit and miss. Worth it since I would have wondered about it and I didn't pay full price. But I doubt I'll really listen to it much.

But you probably didn't log in just for some CD reviews, did you?

It's been a few days since I updated you on my life completely.

My second cousin took a turn for the better over the weekend. She's off the ventilator, can move all four limbs some, and can communicate through grunts. They still don't know for sure how much damage has been caused by this and what will be permanent or not.

My dad got a promotion at work!

Saturday, we had a ministry thing at church. We handed out water bottles along the bike path behind church and made wordless book brachelets to send to the Olympics this summer. While standing outside doing all this, I got a nice sun burn on the back of my neck.

Didn't got to Santa Monica yesterday afternoon like I had planned (no evening service at church.) Instead, I hung around the condo with Jeff and a couple of his friends. Jeff bought everything for Easter dinner. We swam and a long time.

Basically, this entire weekend was nice and relaxing. Doing very little of what I thought I should be doing or had planned to do last week, but very nice in the long run.

And now today is back to work. Why do Monday's have to come every week? Couldn't we get just one week a year without a Monday in it at all?

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Resurrection Sunday to all! He is Risen!

This week's word association:

  1. Boxing:: match
  2. Lewis:: Clark
  3. Bodyguard:: Whitney Huston
  4. Burnout:: Tired of doing the same thing
  5. Cruising:: for a bruising
  6. Easter:: Sunday
  7. AA:: Getting over a problem
  8. Research:: Library
  9. Redemption:: Making up for wrongs done
  10. Snickers:: Candy Bar

He is Risen indeed!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

You'd think I forgot to post the Thursday Threesome or something. Of course, I remembered. :)

Brought to us this week by The Learning Channel, PBS, and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Home- What's the one thing your dream home must have?
A pool and hot tub. I've gotten much to used to having them whenever I want them with all the apartments I've lived in in the last few years. Plus, I've always loved to swim. You never would have guessed by the fact that all my fan fic set in the summer seems to wind up at the lake at some point. :) (Yes, all two stories. I know, I know.)

Twosome: improvement- What's the one thing you would change about your current home? New bed, couch? New carpet or wallpaper? Or something major like an addition?
And addition would be nice. However, I don't see my neighbors or the HOA going for it. :) I'd love new carpet. I'd love to replace the entryway carpet with hardwood or something like that. Make a big difference in the place to me. I do need a new couch and chair for the living room, too.

Threesome: shows- Do you ever watch home improvement shows? Which one(s)? Do you actually learn anything, or is it simply entertaining?
I used to watch This Old House with my family when I lived at home. Don't watch any now that I live by myself, however.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Had fun Monday night. Stephen and Natalie came over and we watched the remake of The Music Man. Man, I love that musical! And we chatted before and after and generally had fun. At least I did. Hope they did, too.

Last night, I stopped on the way home to pick up birthday cards for Mike and his fiancee since their birthdays are both coming up before the month is over. Found the perfect card for Mike in about two seconds. Then spent half an hour on Zoe's card. Trying to find a card that isn't way too sappy but isn't suggestive is hard. I mean, really, how many suggestive cards do we need? I'd bet over half of them were inappropriate in some way. Some of them even made reference to a contraption to hold water and make a lake. Do we need to start rating cards now?

Now I know some of you will rake me over the coals. "People talk that way." They never used to. And, when you can leave the word out of the card and it makes just as much sense, then tell me why it was needed to ruin a perfectly good card.

I guess my thing is, why do we need to reflect the way people actually talk? Can't we reflect the way they should talk? Or has our collective vocabulary dropped so far that we can't think of anything other then four letter words to say? And, since they can be used as any part of speech, why do we even need other words?

Really, I want you to do me a favor. Next time you are tempted to write swear words in your blog, see if you can't come up with better words to express yourself without resorting to that. I'll bet you find you can get your point across just as well if not better without being lazy like that.

In other news, my car is in for it's 45,000 service right now. That's set me back more money. After paying my car insurance this month, I've really hit a set back money wise. Fortunately, I've got roommates. :)

But this just underscores why I'm so dead set against going home this weekend. I just changed my oil two months ago, and it was already time for my next service. Now I did drive to see my family in February and then I drove to Donald's wedding a couple weeks ago. Both those put the majority of the miles on my car.

As I've said before, I'll be making a total of 5 trips to Santa Rosa this year, and my family will be making no trips down here. Now I know they've got a lot going on this year. But, when Mom starts trying to make me feel guilty about not coming up this weekend when we were talking on the phone on Sunday, it really steams me. I don't have the nerve, but I feel like saying, "Until you have made one trip all the way to Santa Clarita for the sole purpose of seeing me, then you have no right to make me feel guilty about how many trips I've made to see you." But I know me and my family. If I ever did have the nerve, I'd somehow be the villian for feeling this way and expressing it.

Meanwhile, not only is Mike's wedding interfering with Trixie Camp this year, but his graduation is the same day as a concert I'd really like to go to. I'm frustrated and feeling sorry for myself over both, and I'm frustrated and feeling sorry for myself for feeling sorry for myself.

Can we just fast forward to 2005? I think I'll be much happier then. I wonder how Australia is this time of year.

Ironically, today hasn't been a bad day. Guess I just have some frustration I need to work out.

Thanks for listening to me rant.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

In honor of it being Tuesday, I'm copying from everyone today and not doing anything original.

First up, Mary's Tueday Two.

1. Who is your favorite Sport’s team?
The Oakland A's because they are the only professional sports team I've actually seen play.

2. What was the most exciting game you’ve ever been to in person? (You can also throw in the most exciting game you’ve ever seen on TV or heard on the radio, if you like. It’s all good.)
Considering how little sports I actually watch... I'm going to go with this year's Superbowl. And not for the half time show. But the last quarter, especially since I was rooting for a team that very few of the poeple I was watching the game with was rooting for. "My" team won. Now remind me again, who was playing? :)

And since Eric is doing his Psycho Survey again, I must participate.

1. Nevermore - The Sanity Assassin: What was the last thing that drove you totally crazy?
Trying to get hotmail to cooperate on this stupid computer! I get "can't find this page" pages instead of my inbox nine times out of ten here at work. It works perfectly at home, but not here.

2. In Flames - Dialog with the Stars: What was the last inanimate object you felt the need to speak to aloud?
Can't really think of one. I've been keeping a pretty constant inner monologue going recently, but I don't think I've been talking to anything in particular.

3. Iron Maiden - Can I Play With Madness?: What was the last very crazy thing you did for entertainment?
Driving all around Hollywood and Beverly Hills when I didn't get into the taping of Reba, I guess.

Finally tonight, as seen lots of place,
My inner child is ten years old today

My inner child is ten years old!

The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether
I'm off on my bicycle (or pony) exploring, lost
in a good book, or giggling with my best
friend, I live in a world apart, one full of
adventure and wonder and other stuff adults
don't understand.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, April 05, 2004

Considering how much I wanted to do this weekend, I really was rather successful. I got most of the reviews written I wanted to get done. Finally got my favorites from 2003 done for Amazon. (And it's only April!) Finished Glorious Appearing. Started Litlle House on the Prairie. Cleaned the condo. Played ultimate Saturday morning. And all without feeling overly stressed.

Not that it was majorly exciting, of course. But I'm happy with what I got done. Not happy to be back at work, because there's always more fun stuff to do. :)

I'm trying not to get too excited, but I think I got the best news imaginable yesterday. There is a song I've been wanting to teach the youth at church ever since I came down here. I haven't because of copy write issues. The guy who taught it to my college group at my parent's church told me a friend of his wrote it and it wasn't to be used generally. Sunday morning, it suddenly dawned on me that Benjamin was going to the same college that guy was. I asked, and sure enough, he knew the song. So I'm now waiting for him to get the copy write info from a friend of his so I can start using it. I'm trying hard not to be too excited in case I'm told I can't use it, but surely if it's still being used there after 10 years, I can use it. I'm just about dancing for joy every time I think about it. Or at least squealing with joy. Which is a scary thought for all of you, I’m sure.

In sadder news, my second cousin is in the hospital with what appears to be a stroke. At this point, they don't know for sure what kind of brain damage she's had or if she will ever get over her paralysis. The scary thing is, she's only a little older then me (like 13 months.) She's always had health problem, but nothing like this before.

Last night was a family fellowship. Basically, different families from church go over to one person's house for a potluck. They're always fun and a good way to get to know people in the church you wouldn't get to know otherwise. And last night was no exception.

You might be wondering why I've been bolding weird words. Well, my friend Mike J. is claiming to be influencing bloggers to bold the topics of each paragraph. Naturally, I have to show him that not all bloggers are conformists. :) Love ya, Mike. :) LTMS

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Welcome to 4/4/4. I just love these dates each year. :)

Before we do this week's word association, I have a very important announcement to make. Today, I received my 2,000th helpful vote at Amazon!!!!! Yes, I'm thrilled to have reached this milestone, why do you ask? :) As with winning the ultimate frisbee tournament last summer, all I get are bragging rights, and darn it, I'm going to take advantage of them!

Ok, without further ado....

  1. Condemn:: Judge
  2. Promiscuous:: Prostitute
  3. Pro-life:: Saving the unborn
  4. Mona Lisa:: Smile
  5. Crown:: Jewel
  6. Mumble:: Speak Up Please
  7. Hack:: Cough
  8. Diet:: Soda
  9. Introduction:: Nice to Meet You
  10. Latin America:: South America

Friday, April 02, 2004

Weather sure was weird yesterday. Started out sunny. Then it clouded over and poured for about an hour. Then it was clear again. I heard on the news that some places got as much as 3 inches of rain! Obviously, it rained longer there.

But here in town, it was sunny at the mall, which is only a few miles from work.

Fortunately, this has knocked the pollen out of the air. My allergies were killing me all week!

We had fun with the kids during game time last night. Set up the circle for AWANA style games and treated them like clubbers.

For those who don't know, AWANA is a church program for kids. It involves Bible memorization, service projects, and a game time every week around a circle with relay races and fun stuff like that. It was fun.

I had thought about putting up some radom Metalica song or something as our first powerpoint slide for worship time, but I didn't. Mainly because I don't know enough to come up with a good song. :)

I've been hinting that I was going to do something for April Fool's Day. I have started shaving off my beard. I shaved my chin, so the hair connects from my sideburns up to my mustache. No one at work has even commented, but my friends sure said stuff, as did the kids last night. Most of them thought I just looked funny, and a few compared it to Martin van Buren. I'm impressed they knew who that was, cause I certainly wasn't thinking of that.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Morning. Time for this week's Thursday Threesome, with a theme I was not expecting. It is brought to us this week by James Dean and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Rebel-- Hey, are you considered a rebel in any areas? Yeah? Like how, man? (...or not? Maybe you are one of the conforming types?)
I’ve said before, about the only way I rebel is what I do with my hair. Most people don’t like my shaved head, but I do it anyway. Today, I’ve shaved off the hair on my chin but kept the rest of my beard, but no one’s even noticed.

Twosome: Without-- Hmmm... What have you done without lately that you could use a little of? Sunshine? A break from schoolwork? Housework? Kids?
Some time to myself. I can tell I need a weekend with nothing going on but what I want to do. Fortunately, I get one in a couple days. And already I can tell it won’t be long enough for all I want to do.

Threesome: a Cause-- ...and just 'cause' it's the type of thing we ask: are you getting away for Easter/Spring break or is the usual routine in effect?
I get half a day off for Good Friday, but I’m staying in town.

And, as a public service reminder, if things get a little weird today, do what I do. I slap floor.