I take pictures. Everything in a picture is important or it would not be in the picture. I control what is in the frame, because I am more important than the picture. I "doctor", sharpen/saturate/straighten/play with focus/crop my pictures because my version of reality is more important than the real picture. My pictures are not news, if I did take something newsworthy I would not doctor it because I am not more important than the news.
Yesterday, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. You probably had saw it on the news or on the front page of your paper today it was illustrated with a photo of a man with his arms outstretched surrounded by out-of focus mayhem. Life is not out of focus. News photos shouldn't be either. The editors made themselves more important than the news. When that many people are killed, it leaves a bloody, sharply focused, mess.. The original, in-focus shot will win a Pulitzer. Go here to see the real picture, and then read here and read about them.
There is a genre in movies called "Torture Porn", TV shows routinely glamerously show us corpses in varies stages of decomp, we play video games where we kill as many in as a bloody a manor as possible and the PTB think we can't handle real death? No real dead people for us? When the news reports tell us XXX number of people were killed, we're okay with blurring them out? Are they afraid that real images of real dead people would turn us off the fake ones? Is it to make sure it doesn't matter to us? Would they prefer we only know fake death? What if 45 dead actually meant to us 45 dead people not 45 points.
And don't give me any we-must-protect-the-widdle-children bull shit either. My Mother saw the newsreels of the concentration camps at the damn movie theatre and she was very, very, very young. You think back in the forties they didn't care about the widdle children?
And how was your holiday? I had a great time and got many nice things and then I got my purse stolen, plus two of the nice things I got that I had stored in my purse. For safe keeping.
From my car. In my driveway.
I had been out shopping and I had things to get into the house. I decided that getting that frozen chicken into the house was more important than getting my brand new GPS unit into the house. I blame the thief for about 2/3s and about about 1/3 me for providing as attractive situation. I'm as mad at him (I assume) almost as much as I am mad at me.
I don't want to kill him though. Stealing is not a kill-able offence in this country. Instead, I would like to leave a scar. I would like him to be scarred the way I am. I want him to feel the pain too. I want him to have to lose control. I would like him to have to make all those calls, to tell the story over and over. I want him to be as angry with himself and I am with myself.
I also have the flu. So, all of this crap I now have to do is also making me very, very, very tired. And I have a sore throat. Oddly, The Kitty is a much better nurse than Dogger. Kitty is all Okay, stay right there, make yourself comfortable, I'll curl up and purr for the next couple of hours.
While Dogger is all Lets go! Hey, hey! Chase me! Ya wanna go to the park! Lets go to the park!.
I'm all Go eat your toy, I'm sick and SOMEONE STOLE MY PURSE.
I found another thing to add to the It’s Just For Looks category.
I have a new winter coat this year. True, I bought it on sale. It was a lot on sale, but no so much on sale that I look at discovering the snaps are purely decorative in nature as a happy surprise, not after discovering that the zipper was just kind of there for looks as well. It was cheap but it was not free. I mean, at some point the coat was being sold at full price
And the zipper did work, for a while. Like in the store and the first couple of times I wore it and then one time I went to zip it up and it kind of stuck, but then it worked and then I went to zip it up later and it did the same thing and I blamed the humidity and after that it warmed up and I didn’t need a coat so I put it out of my mind.
But then it got winter again and I put the coat on and went to zip it up and it did it again and I was like Oh. It’s doing that thing again, but this time it zipped up – in appearance, it didn’t really. What it really did was unzip itself and then be a real pain to rezip and it would do this three or four times until I was making myself late for work. The coat comes with snaps, so I assumed that they functioned as snaps. I thought that was why they gave you both options. You can zip it closed or you can snap it closed and in case the zipper fails, well the snaps are there for you. I’m sure it was a selling point and I bet they charged me for those snaps. They should have mentioned that they were just for looks, like the pretend second set of pockets.
I have a really old coat, vintage even, and it has zipper issues too. But it has 50 year old zipper issues and I can understand that. 50 years old and it still has its original zipper and it will still zip if you give it a running start. It doesn’t have snaps because it doesn’t need snaps. New coat? New coat all ready needs a new zipper and I don’t want to put a replacement zipper in a new coat.
But I’m going to, I mean, it’s get a new zipper or toss the coat. I don’t want to toss the coat and I don’t want to keep wearing the old coat and the really old coat is too heavy for the average day around here. Its wool and weighs about the same as the sheep it came from. And its bright red. It’s memorable to say the least. For every-day wear, I’m not really looking to be memorable. I’m looking for a working zipper.
Attention guy who offices next to me: Stay in your damn office! Stay put! Stop getting up. You make me nervous. And stay out of my office. No, I didn’t forget to stamp that, don’t look at me like that, it’s a fax, and it comes with its own stamp, it’s pre-stamped. Go away. Every time I see you, you give work back to me, I gave it to you, it’s your work, you do it. Troll
Do you know why they invented cell phones? So that you can get up and leave and have private conversations, privately - In private where I can’t hear you. Take the phone outside and have this conversation elsewhere. In private. Away from me. All you have to say to the caller is “I can’t really talk here, let me call you back on my cell in a few and we can talk about this at length IN PRIVATE”.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Firefighters battled thick smoke and flames Wednesday inside the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, which houses the vice president's ceremonial offices. The building, built between 1871 and 1888, is also called the Old Executive Office Building. It was originally built for the State, War and Navy Departments and is an example of the French Second Empire style of architecture, according to a government Web site.
The building is the site of a number of events, including ceremonial signings, news conferences and photo opportunities.
I want to know what the philosophy behind installing glass soles on shoes. I have a pair of shoes that are not new .I wear them on hard surfaces and in theory they should be sufficiently scuffed as to prevent slipping and causing falls but after being worn for months they are still soled with shellac.
I slipped twice today on grass. Once first thing in the morning out in the yard with Dogger, who despite her initial trepidation was an excellent dance partner, and in the soles defense, there may have been frost and then again at my office on my way to lunch when there was most certainly no frost, when I went to chase a plastic bag. Don’t ask.
I don’t see how having the soles of the shoe’s being made slick is a good thing. Is there a guy sitting in a secret high fashion showroom in Italy somewhere and he decided what mind of soles we should have on our mid-priced loafers? Just because they are Capezio we should be expected to spontaneously break out in dance? I’m sure my little spill this morning, set to music would have been quite delightful.
I do not understand how someone’s highly defined, cultured; sense of footwear aesthetics could be offended by a shoe with a slip-proof sole. I do understand that the shoes were no doubt designed by someone with a clinically advanced and possibly crippling, foot fetish and I realize that loafers aren’t exactly the most sexy of foot wear but I don’t understand why they thought a foot would look better if it was in a cast. I do think however that the shoe was designed by an apprentice shoe designer because other than the problematic sole, the shoes do not cause me any kind of pain or disfigurement – attributes that are required design elements of high end ladies shoes. As a mid-range loafer, those sought after extras are not included. However, what they lack in style they more than make up for with the very sexy potential for causing personal injury. I’m sure the designer, having thus proved himself as a true high fashion misogynist, has moved up and on to designs with much more potential for disfigurement by now.
I’m going to channel pre-Seinfeld Seinfeld: What is it with this reverting back from Daylight savings time? What exactly is the benefit of this? More daylight in the early morning? I’m leaving for work at exactly the same time as before the time change and it is as dark when I leave as it was before. I fail to see the upside to “extra” light in the morning hours. I’m pretty sure the harvests are in, and I would be more than happy to have more than 20 minutes of useable daylight in the evenings when I come home. Have you ever tried to explain to your dog the reason you aren’t going to the park is because you stopped to speak with a co-worker on your way out the door and then you ran into a detour downtown on the way home and it took an extra six minutes to get home and now it’s dark and oh well.
Today there was a photocopied Christmas Message in my paper from the Newspaper and my delivery boy. For me Christmas came early, Monday morning my paper arrived on time. As for my gift to him, I all ready gave him his gift this year, last week, one of the days the paper was late, I didn’t call and complain about it! God Bless Us Everyone.
Sunday, Dogger decided that she wanted her chance to decorate the tree. She was playing with the pelt of one of her gutted toys and she threw it into the branches of the tree. It is to her credit that she thought it looked good where it landed.
While Dogger was decking the halls, I was watching Ratatouille. I’m not loving it. I know it’s supposed to be really funny and pf course Pixar is totally Pixar-iffic, but damn, why was this supposed to be so funny? I don’t get the humor of a rat being all over a restaurant kitchen. And riding around under that guy’s hat? Sorry. Ew. Rat cooties all in his hair and he doesn’t wash his hands and you know he runs his hands through his hair as soon as rat goes on break or whatever. Ick. And so far? The rat hasn’t been shown as being all about his hygiene either, I mean if he dipped himself in alcohol and agreed to wear a Clean Suit, perhaps but no, Ew. He’s a rat. I don’t care what kind of foodie he’s supposed to be, he’s a rat. Ew.
I did think the trailer they ran of Pixar shorts looked interesting – One of about 3700 trailers I had to skip in order to start watching the movie before dawn. One trailer is fine, two is okay, three is allowable but when it’s six, seven, eight and nine that it’s getting ridiculous. The damn movie is already almost two hours long as it is. Two hours of a rat gallivanting around a kitchen. Touching The Food.
Maybe it’s better in French.
The food bomb finally exploded at the office. I have a tin of home made fudge, a gift bag full of snack sized candy bars, a plate of deserts I took as a doggy bag from the Nursing Home Branch Christmas lunch, there is a left over crumb cake from our groups Christmas table last week, and some one brought in a thing of baklava – Sam’s, but still. Baklava.
If someone would bring in a tub of cold sodas, it would be great.
In years past the nursing home branch, the acute care branch, the adult care branch and I think mental health had a shared Christmas lunch. The retirees came back, the surveyors were off the road and it was really nice. It was normally a pot luck. Lately, however the branches have separate lunches and they are catered. At least the nursing home branch has it’s catered. I think attendance is down. It was great when it was everybody from all the branches and now that most of us are in the same building, it would be nice if we could get to know each other and the lunch would be an excellent way to facilitate that.
You would think.
But it would require that a handful of grown women act like adults and we can’t have that. So, Nursing Home decorated the room and had their catered lunch at 11:30 and then took everything down, Acute Care hustled in, redecorated the room and had their pot luck at 1pm. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.
So this is what a weekend is like when you aren’t trying to get everything done is like. Wow, I had forgotten what it was like to catch my breath.
And I also made three batches of dog cookies ( peanut butter, bacon and beta tested apple-carrot), did my laundry, raked the yard, did a little last minute shopping, re-purposed Santa’s workshop back into a bedroom, finally took the decoration boxes back upstairs to the attic. And I still felt like I was sitting around relaxing. That’s how crappy my past weekends have been. Santa’s elves still owe me a thing or three, but after (please Gawd) those arrive, I’ll be done.
Did I over extend myself? Oh lets check my bank statement, Yes! Yes I did! Well, when it comes time for after Christmas shopping perhaps I’ll just leave my purse at home and go on a diet, and wear thick sweaters around the house and walk to work...
I made the new batches of dog treats because I remembered a couple of folks who office upstairs in the new building and they fell into kind of an Out-of-sight-out-of-mind place and all of a sudden I was like Oh, shit! I remember you! Of Course I have Cookies For You! It’s Just That You Have Large Breed Dogs And The Other 1,108 Cookies I Made Were For Small Breed Dogs! I will totally bring in your Large Breed Dog Cookies in on Monday!.
Now, I didn’t just make cookies for the two women at work I forgot about, after I made all those cookies over the past weeks for other dogs, Dogger got squat and she knew it. I was going to make treats for her anyway, this way she just got to enjoy more varieties. She is the only dog to get the apple-carrot treats. She’s special.
I noticed that she likes carrots - which is interesting because a couple of years ago I made carrot treats and she wouldn’t eat them and I think I ended up having to throw them out. I hope they weren’t as big a pain in the ass to make as this batch was, because I wouldn’t be anywhere near as understanding about that now. With this batch I’m like Yes Girl Dog, those peanut butter ones are real nice, and so are the bacon, but don’t you want some of these apple/carrot ones? You like these? Good. Now before I give you your dinner, have four more! Nummy treats!, Hey I know you’re asleep, but here! Have another apple cookie!. I’m also kind of thinking “Do you like them because they are a little softer than the other cookies, Do they taste sweeter then the other treats? Are they too sweet? Do you wish they were crunchy? Did I use too much molasses? Should I have used more? The apples were the yellow kind, do you think Granny Smith would have been a better choice? Please fill out this sheet. 1 means you really, really didn’t like it, 4 means it’s your favorite ever.”
Dogger isn’t just a taste tester, she’s a one dog focus group.
The good news is that she really seems to like the new variety. The bad news is that I’m not going to make them with fresh apples and carrots again. Too messy. Not the prep work part, but the mixing it part and the rolling out part. Do you know how we get apple juice and carrot juice? We administer weight to the apples and carrots and the juice flows right out. Imagine rolling a rolling pin over fresh apple chunks and carrot peices... You may think “moisture” when you think about apples and carrots but I didn’t. Messy, nasty, icky , dough and afterwards it took forever for them to get anywhere near firm. In and out of the oven. High temp for a short time, low temp for a long time, in and out of the freezer. It was really frustrating. It may just be my preference, but I like my dog treats crunchy instead of chewy. I also don’t see chewy as having the same shelf life as crunchy.
The next batch of apple/carrot is going to be made using apple sauce and baby food carrots. I’m thinking that if they are pre-cooked, that it might cut down on the moisture content.
I was face down on my desk when I decided I really, really need a coke. I told my co-workers I was leaving and would be back. I had to go off campus because I believed I had no change. Or cash or anything else a vending machine might take in trade.
As I was walsking out of my office I checked my jacket pocket, Hallelujah! 55 cents in change! I checked my wallet again and found a dime! Saint’s be Praised! I didn’t have to go off campus and risk losing my parking spot! I would be able to score my fix in my own building. Woo-Hoo!
I went down to the closet where they hide our coke machine and fed it my change. It obediently spit out a coke. A half filled coke.
I stomped back upstairs to my office, told/shrieked my tale of woe to anyone who was listening, collected my purse and went off campus to the gas station and kissed my good parking space good-bye. I headed to what I believed was the closest gas station, it was not the closest gas station, the other gas station I think is closer, I could tell this because I had to time to think about the relative distances while I on the way there. If it were the closest gas station I wouldn’t have had time for that much analytical thought about relative distances. Anyway. I went into the more-distant-then-anticipated gas station and bought a coke and some raisins, natures own speed and went to check out. $3.67! Coke owes me $3.02and gas money. As I was walking back to my car I was able to right a garbage can that the wind had just knocked over and thus saved the world.
Coke does not owe me a parking spot because I got mine back. Yay.
I didn’t go to my ACORN meeting Wednesday night. I just didn’t want to go. I could have gone but I had baking for actual human beings to do and while I could have done that same baking Thursday night, I wanted to do it Wednesday night. I also think that the meetings are a big pile of time waste and I would go to them freely if going to them was proving something. So far so not, I feel an obligation to attended the meetings but I don’t want to be there.
It also annoys me that in the meetings the phrase “the community” is used over and over. The Community Needs To…, The Community Should… The Community Deserves… Members of the Community… It does not mean the people who live in the area, it’s shorthand for the poor black folks in southeast Raleigh who have historically been used and abused when they weren’t being ignored. Times have changed, there are a whole lot of different people in the area who are being used and abused and ignored as well. Being reminded over and over I am not a member of "the community" does not make me not feel a part of The Community.
The leader guy wants us to lead, we aren’t leaders. We want him to tell us what to do but he's not talking. He's "facilitating" he wants us to come up with ideas and we are idea free. I think most of us would at least attempt whatever was asked of us but he wants us to come up with our own projects. If we could come up with our own projects we wouldn’t need him or his meetings. We want a magic wand and he keeps his locked in his trunk. He seems to believe that we have magic wands of our own or together we can achieve magic wands or something. I have miss placed my magic wand fragment.
The nominations for the 2008 Golden Globe Awards for film and TV productions in full from: BBC.com
Best film - Drama
American Gangster Atonement Eastern Promises The Great Debaters Michael Clayton No Country For Old Men There Will Be Blood
Best film - Musical Or Comedy
Across the Universe Hairspray Juno Sweeney Todd Charlie Wilson's War
Best Director - film
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd Ethan Coen and Joel Coen - No Country for Old Men Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Ridley Scott - American Gangster Joe Wright - Atonement
Best performance by an actress in a film - Drama
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age Julie Christie - Away From Her Jodie Foster - The Brave One Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart Keira Knightley - Atonement
Best performance by an actor in a film - Drama
George Clooney - Michael Clayton Daniel Day Lewis - There Will Be Blood James McAvoy - Atonement Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promise Denzel Washington - American Gangster
Best performance by an actress in a film - Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams - Enchanted Nikki Blonsky - Hairspray Helena Bonham Carter - Sweeney Todd Marion Cotillard - La Vie En Rose Ellen Page - Juno
Best performance by an actor in a film - Musical Or Comedy
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl Tom Hanks - Charlie Wilson's War Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Savages John Reilly - Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story
Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a film
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There Julia Roberts - Charlie Wilson's War Saoirse Ronan - Atonement Amy Ryan - Gone Baby Gone Tilda Swinton - Michael Clayton
Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a film
Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War John Travolta - Hairspray Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton
Best foreign language film
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France and US) The Kite Runner (US) Lust, Caution (Taiwan) Persepolis (France)
Best animated feature film
Bee Movie Ratatouille The Simpsons Movie
Best screenplay - film
Diablo Cody - Juno Ethan Coen and Joel Coen - No Country for Old Men Christopher Hampton - Atonement Ronald Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Aaron Sorkin - Charlie Wilson's War
Best original song - film
Despedida - Love in the Time of Cholera Grace is Gone - Grace is Gone Guaranteed - Into the Wild That's How You Know - Enchanted Walk Hard - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Best original score - film
Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Edder - Into the Wild Clint Eastwood - Grace is Gone Alberto Iglesias - The Kite Runner Dario Marianelli - Atonement Howard Shore - Eastern Promises
Cecil B DeMille award - Stephen Spielberg
Best television series - Drama
Big Love Damages Grey's Anatomy House Mad Men The Tudors
Best performance by an actress in a television series - Drama
Patricia Arquette - Medium Glenn Close - Damages Minnie Driver - The Riches Sally Field - Brothers and Sisters Holly Hunter - Saving Grace Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer Edie Falco - The Sopranos
Best performance by an actor in a television series - Drama
Michael C Hall - Dexter Jon Hamm - Mad Men Hugh Laurie - House Jonathan Rhys Meyers - The Tudors Bill Paxton - Big Love
Best television series - Musical Or Comedy
30 Rock Californication Entourage Extras Pushing Daisies
Best performance by an actress in a television series - Musical Or Comedy
Christina Applegate - Samantha Who? America Ferrera - Ugly Betty Tina Fey - 30 Rock Anna Friel - Pushing Daisies Mary-Louise Parker - Weeds
Best performance by an actor in a television series - Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock David Duchovny - Californication Steve Carrell - The Office Ricky Gervais - Extras Lee Pace - Pushing Daisies
Best mini-series or film made for television
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee The Company Five Days Longford The State Within
Best actress in a mini-series or film made for television
Bryce Dallas Howard - As You Like It Debra Messing - The Starter Wife Queen Latifah - Life Support Sissy Spacek - Pictures of Hollis Woods Ruth Wilson - Jane Eyre
Best actor in a mini-series or film made for television
Adam Beach - Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Ernest Borgnine - A Grandpa for Christmas Jim Broadbent - Longford Jason Isaacs - The State Within James Nesbitt - Jekyll
Best supporting actress in a mini-series or film made for television
Rose Byrne - Damages Rachel Griffiths - Brothers and Sisters Katherine Heigl - Grey's Anatomy Anna Paquin - Bury My Heart On Wounded Knee Jaime Pressly - My Name is Earl
Best supporting actor in a mini-series or film made for television
Ted Danson - Damages Kevin Dillon - Entourage Jeremy Piven - Entourage Andy Serkis - Longford William Shatner - Boston Legal Donald Sutherland - Dirty Sexy Money
Here it is 12 days before Christmas and there are no treats in the office! I'm starving to death at a time I should suffering from Christmas Cookie Bloat. There should be sugary, sticky snacks covering all the flat surfaces. There should be office to office cookie pushers! We shouldn't be able to get in the door without proving we are carrying goodies. We should be writing memos in frosting! Our interoffice envelopes should be freezer bags!
I should walk into my office in the morning and find a waiting plate of breakfast cookies and then when I come back to my office from lunch there should be a nice desert plate waiting for me. The blame for this treat drought probably falls with the fact we no longer have a bullpen. There is no one place that everybody goes for everything. So no one has anywhere to go. The bullpen, while loud and exposed was always full of food. I also blame the increase in home-based workers the preponderance of dietitians who refuse to go home. Social Workers, RNS, are all about making you feel better. Dietitians want you to be better. I hate dietitians.
How are we supposed to get through Christmas without snacks at the office? We need them! How are we supposed to pace ourselves at holiday parties? I mean, by this point I should be able to be fairly strong when it comes to being faced with a holiday spread, but this year I am totally powerless. I would jump head first into a tray of cookies and I’m afraid if I ran across a plate of something frosted, well it might get ugly. The office cookie tray is supposed to toughen us up, make us strong, spoil us for other temptations. If you have spent all day grazing in the break-room you can be strong at a party that night. Now? I’m likely to end up wearing a bunt cake on my head.
There was an open house in personnel the other day and that did help a little, but it’s not like I had all day to forage. I had to get in and get out fast. I only had time to fill my very small plate and then I had to go back to the office. Home made candy requires a full day of being snacked on. You can’t appreciate it after only one or two or three pieces! It takes time, you have to be able to compare and contrast it at your leisure and then start on the other home made candies. What if the first kind isn't really good? Of course, it;'s good but what if there was a better? How would you know if you had nothing to compare it to? It could happen. Not all home made candy is made equally and it can be hard to tell if you don’t have a comparison. Here we are forced to eat store bought peppermints one at a time! I mean, It’s Christmas.
We are finally taking it into our own hands. If other people won’t bring in treats for us, we are going to bring in our own. Friday, we feast. On Frosting.
I come home after work. I’m tired and I don’t want to go to the park, I tell Dogger that I am tired and I don't want to go to the park and she looks at me like I hate her. We get ready to go to the park. I can't find her harness. She has two harness. One new and one old and I can't find either. Dogger doesn't go anywhere without her harness. I want to find at least one of them but every minute spent hunting means burning another minute of daylight. At this time of year daylight is extremely flammable.
We go to the park without the harness.
I see a crowd at Drama Dog's usual table but no Drama Dog. It's the smokers, one of whom, a Marine, has a new bumper sticker on her car that reads Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Democrat. I don't see any of the GOP hopefuls being good for the military at all. Huckabee doesn't even think the world is round so I don't see him spending a lot of money for new and improved war toys if he thinks they are going to fall off the edge of the world once they make it over the horizon. She makes a lot of noise about being a Marine and yet she isn't in a war zone and never has been. I'm always thinking I'd be respectful of your pro-war views had you actually been shot at and still held them, sweetie. She's a medic, she should be there or have been there or be on her way there. All hat no cattle. She told us about having to unwrap Toy's For Tots gifts every year because the threat of international terrorism. I told her that they have been asking for unwrapped toys for decades, and they did so to protect the children from the domestic terrorism of wrapped up phonebooks. She was not amused.
The Collies of Doom are there. It is very hard to keep a hand on Dogger without the harness. She and are are not enjoying ourselves. I decide to take her to a relatively unpopulated side of the park and she gets to gamble around a bit. She is happier. Part of me just wants to let her go but the Collies of Doom are there, and while we were standing around before everything was fine, Dogger was also on a leash. The Collies of Doom and Dogger share two things, resplendent beauty and short fuses. Dogger annoys them and they have low tolerance for being annoyed. The COD have a strict sniff/snarl policy in place.
Dogger does end up having a very good time playing chase with an Italian greyhound in a parka, its wearing a parka because it gets cold, which is understandable except it is 72 degrees outside. The dog is so slight that lightly stroking it almost raises bruises. I feel bad for it. Later, as we are leaving its people tell me he is a really a big dog because he has a huge personality.
I distribute more dog cookies and we go home. Dogger has no food! I wind up supplementing the dog food crumbs she did have left with a chicken breast and some left over rice. She looked at me with the doggy version of a really stricken expression on her face: Real chicken and rice? Is there something you aren't telling me? Am I dieing?
I made a note to myself to 1) Go buy dog food and 2) Occasionally give her real chicken when she isn't ill.
I thought I was done with the cookies. I am not done with the cookies.
Dogger needs cookies, she knew what I was doing, she was watching what I was doing and she knew that she wasn’t getting any of them and she was unhappy. All she knew was that somewhere out there, other dogs were getting “her” cookies and she was not feeling the love.
And also, I forgot one of the dog people at work and then there is that girl I went to high school with and I’m pretty sure I mentioned dog cookies to her and that I would send her some. The good thing is that she I’m pretty sure is Hindu and her husband is Jewish, so I don’t need to worry about beating Santa to their tree, so perhaps they will get Happy New Year dog cookies instead. But the lady at work, her, I need to get to sooner rather than later. And Dogger is sad, and she does need her very own cookies. But this time, No More Stars. I am over star shapes. I’m going to make these all large bone shaped because the dogs are all large and large dogs need large cookies.
But tonight, tonight I am taking a break from baking and my plans are to wrap gifts. I want them wrapped, I need them wrapped, if they are wrapped they’ll be done and I can take another thing off the old to-do list. Is it too on point to wrap something in gift wrap that kind of comments on what it is wrapping? Say, I am wrapping a stuffed bear and I wrapped the stuffed bear in paper decorated with stuffed bear images, is that just too something? Because I have some great paper that would be so cool to wrap this one thing in but I won’t if that sort of thing is not done for whatever reason.
I could also be deeply over thinking the problem too, which I think is moot because I am making gift wrap into a “problem”.
I looked at my collected gifts and thinking what a good year it had been. I had been able to amass a lot of stuff while saving lots of money. Yay me, yay for my family. Well. I got to wrapping and it started to dawn on me, the women in my family had been very, very good girls this year while the men in my life apparently had been out killing nuns and drowning puppies.
I blame Alphagal and Tiny E and my Mom for being so easy to shop for. I can walk into a store and see eight things Alphagal needs right now, I can walk past a store and see a dozen things my Mom would love. Tiny E is 15 months old, she wants all the cute things, whether she knows yet or not.
Speaking of getting things off the to-do list. I mailed everything I had that needed to be mailed. It cost me $41 which is about three and half times what it cost me to make 360 cookies and buy the two photo frames that I had to mail. Six boxes shipped out of state $41, getting them all out of my life? Priceless.
You started on the second floor of a building that had two floors and a basement, you walk down one flight of steps and you are one the first floor. There is one more flight of stairs going down, where is the basement? Do you stop and ask where the basement is or do you just continue down? Gah.
It’s the oddest thing, since I relegated Dogger back to her bedroom and out of the rest of the decorated and not-at-all-Dogger-safe rest of the house, she seems happier. She seems happy to be able to use her crate again. I took her bed out of the office and put it in the living room so she could be out and I had been keeping the office door shut, you know so my office could function as an office and not as the dogs bedroom – for the first time in five years, and Dogger had her run of the rest of the house (more or less) and it turns out, she was happy in the office. She didn't want her freedom, she wanted her crate back.
Done Cards mailed Check House decorated Check House Clean Check Tree Decorated Check Dog Cookies competed, five varieties, Check Dog Cookies bagged Check Dog Cookies distributed Check Gifts for distant family and friends wrapped Check Gifts for distant family and friends packed for shipping Check Doggers Christmas cards either packed or mailed to distant family and friends Check Dog Cookies packed for shipping Check Doggers’ Christmas cards distributed to co-workers Gifts for co-workers Check Cards for co-workers signed Check Distribute gifts/cards to co-workers Check Distribute Dog cookies to co-workers Check
And I took a moment to gaze at my beeyoteeful tree and visit with my poor, neglected little animals and catch my breath. And then I remembered:
To Do Find where family gifts were stored for safe keeping three months ago Remember which gift belongs to which family member Wrap gifts for family Remove tree decoration boxes from front entry and return to attic Re-shelve decoration boxes in attic Repair done for tree box Return Santa’s workshop back into usable bedroom Do Laundry Cards for people at work, not co-workers Bake Dog Cookies for people missed in first go-round Rake yard again
I get one to-do list finished and find another one waiting in the wings. Here is a thought, who ever thought that Carol of the Bells would be good to play for the holidays? It’s the single most stressing piece of music I can hear this time of year and that includes the wretched Christmas Shoes.
The Christmas Shoes
It was almost Christmas time, there I stood in another line Tryin' to buy that last gift or two, not really in the Christmas mood Standing right in front of me was a little boy waiting anxiously Pacing 'round like little boys do And in his hands he held a pair of shoes
His clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe And when it came his time to pay I couldn't believe what I heard him say
Chorus: Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time You see she's been sick for quite a while And I know these shoes would make her smile And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight
He counted pennies for what seemed like years Then the cashier said, "Son, there's not enough here" He searched his pockets frantically Then he turned and he looked at me He said Mama made Christmas good at our house Though most years she just did without Tell me Sir, what am I going to do, Somehow I've got to buy her these Christmas shoes
So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great
Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time You see she's been sick for quite a while And I know these shoes would make her smile And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight
Bridge:I knew I'd caught a glimpse of heaven's love As he thanked me and ran out I knew that God had sent that little boy To remind me just what Christmas is all about
Really, I swear to Gawd, it’s a real song. Now this one, not quite as, um, pop, or as radio friendly but...
Be we mery in this feste, In quo saluator natus est. In Betheleem, that noble place, As by prophesy sayd it was, Of the vyrgyn Mary, full of grace, Saluator mundi natus est. Be we mery, &c. On chrystmas nyght an angel it tolde To the shephardes, kepyng theyr folde, That into Betheleem with bestes wolde, Saluator mundi natus est. Be we mery, &c. The shephardes were copassed ryght, About them was a great lyght, Drede ye nought, sayd the augell bryght, Saluator mundi natus est. Be we mery, &c. Beholde to you we brynge great ioy, For why, Jesus is borne this day (To vs) of Mary, that mylde may, Saluator mundi natus est.
PLEASE DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR UNTIL SOMEONE COMES OVER TO CHECK IT OUT. IT DOES NOT SEEM TO BE WORKING CORRECTLY.
I just learned from REDACTED that the water to The New Bldg will be off until 2 PM. Apparently, the receptionist was supposed to make an all building page but I never heard it.
There is no water in the New building due to a water main break. Staff are working on it.
Really, nothing makes you thirsty or develop the need to go to the bathroom like being told there is no water and you can not go to the bathroom. I don’t use the elevators, but I know there were some people who took the news that they couldn’t use the elevators harder than when they were told they couldn’t use the toilets.
One of my co-workers brought in the first round of office gifts today. What is it about me that makes people think I like Butterfinger bars? I really, really don’t. They seem to be chocolate covered Doritos and I can’t see how that would be taste good. The candy did come in a nice mug though, although, I am afraid the pretty, shiny stars on it make it non-microwavable and this makes me sad. Co-worker does get credit for being organized and getting her gifts to the office in a timely manner. I’ll get mine in but it’s not going to be timely. My hope is that I don’t end up having to find Happy New Year wrapping paper.
My cards are mailed though, damn it.
It would also be nice if I would get the last of the dog treats made. I want to take Dogger to the park but that eat’s up valuable dog cookie baking time. I can treat my dog or I can make treats for dogs.
Something that makes me happy! It turns out that I don’t have too many Santa’s! I had this idea that I had too many and that I might be running out of space for them and that I might have to go on a Santa diet; But as it turns out, this was not the fact. It wasn’t until I had them all up that I realized that I don’t have too many and in fact I might not have enough, I have fewer than I thought I did. This means, I do not have to go on a Santa diet! I can continue to binge to my little hearts content! If you are going to collect Santa’s, you really need to collect Santa’s! Whole heartedly, with little regard to space issues. I thought I was going to have to start showing Santa taste or at least come Santa self control in my Santa pursuit but I don’t have to! I might however, try to stick to smallish Santa’s and perhaps, Santa’s a little less uniform in appearance. As much as I like the really big Santa’s, I may start concentrating on Santa’s that are a little less garden gnomish in appearance. Once your collection starts to look like a cattle call for a new Travel City commercial it’s time to broaden your Santa scope.
The good news is that the To-Do List is almost finished, the bad news is, "almost". So, until it is, Lets Play Fun With Christmas Carols.
Which carol is this?
Hint, the fromage, she is also a floor wax.
Moi, j'ai vu petite maman hier soir En train d'embrasser le Père-Noël Ils étaient sous le gui Et me croyaient endormi Mais sans en avoir l'air, J'avais mes deux yeux entr'ouverts Ah si papa était v'nu à passer Je m'demande ce qu'il aurait pensé Aurait-il trouvé naturel Parce qu'il descend du ciel Que maman embrasse le Père-Noël. Moi, j'ai vu petite maman hier soir En train d'embrasser le Père-Noël J'ai bien cherché pourquoi Et j'ai deviné, je crois C'est parce qu'il m'avait apporté De si beaux jouets Aussi pour l'an prochain, j'ai bon espoir Qu'il viendra encore à mon appel Et de nouveau, je f'rai semblant De dormir profondément Si maman embrasse le Père-Noël.
While it's the Christmas "season", it is also the actual Hanukkah.
The bad news is that my burglar alarm went off. The good news is that I am the one that set it off. I came home, unlocked the door and punched in my code... and the alarm kept going off and off and off
And I’m going shit!shit!shit!shit! I have to make this stop! "Stop it! Stop it!". Oddly, the alarm does not respond to voice commands. Both my burglar alarms are bad dogs.
So the alarm is hooting and shrieking and I know the neighbors are just loving this. I would be. I love hear alarms go off, other people’s alarms are always music to me. While my alarm is telling everyone within a three mile radius that my perimeter has been breached, I’m waiting for the alarm people to challenge me. My alarm company does that. Make the alarm go off, don’t make it stop going off fast enough and the alarm people will challenge you. They have questions, you had better have answers. The right answers.
I couldn’t remember the right answers. Answers I had, the right answers, not so much. It has been years since this happened, “years” is a long time to have to remember stuff.
I went through Mother’s maiden name, childhood pet names, the name of the hospital I was born at, my social security number and then they gave me a hint. Finally. The hooting stopped. They told me what to do to make the shrieking stop and it did, for a minute. The second the walls stopped talking to me the hooting started again. This was going to make it very hard to get to the park in a timely manner.
Back to the keypad I went, and I found the culprit. A number was stuck. It got stuck when I punched in the code, so instead of the my digits, the alarm thought I had punched in something approaching the first hundred digests of pi. That made the alarm system very angry. You have to be very careful about what you say to Happy Fun Alarm System. It's like walking on egg shells around here. Yeah, no wonder it went off. Yeah, I could understand it now. Yup. That would do it.
And then Dogger and I went to the park and had such a good time! Our friend dogs were there and Drama was not. Dogger played and ran and got in a good game of tug with an even larger dog and I got to play with a nice mid-sized dog. My friend and I were admiring the dog, we thought it was a exceptionally happy dog. We asked how old the dog was, thinking maybe a year, two at the most, it turns out it's only four-months-old and all ready the size of a year old lab. We were floored. The guy told us it was a bloodhound cross. We asked if it was a bloodhound/Clydesdale cross.
We told his person that he was going to have a very, very, very large dog and that we hoped he had a big enough place and maybe he should look into a larger car or into a used troop transport. It was me and the person of a bigger dog than Dogger. We know from large dogs and I mean, this dog is going to be a large Clydesdale. It’ll be bigger than Dogger. I can only hope he forgets that Dogger tried to squish him because in a few months? It’s going to be a crime-fighting Clydesdale.
Whew, I didn't really have a chance to write and entry but...
I got my cards put together and addressed and stamped and ready to go, of course, once again the enveloples failed to seal and this year I didn't cheap out either, I spent retail! so I had to use two year old cancer society Christmas seals to make sure they stayed closed. I got my friend at works birthday card and gift taken care of and I chased The Kitty around so I could take
...And that was about it. What's your favorite Christmas carol?
Which means figuring out which box marked “Outdoor lights” actually contains the working outdoor lights as opposed to containing non-working outdoor lights that are being kept around because they and they alone use the same lights as the working strand - not all strands of lights are created equally and there doesn’t seem to be an industry standard for outdoor lights. They are all different and they do not work together. The strand that doesn’t work is almost more valuable to me then the strand that does work because I can use it for parts to keep the working strand working for another season.
And have you noticed that they almost never sell the same styles of outdoor lights one year to the next? I bought two sets of outdoor lights when I moved into the house and I really liked them, the problem being, I only have two sets and bulbs being bulbs, they break... and I have not found a single replacement bulb for the set and I have never seen the style sold since then. I’m probably going to have to go online at some point to find more of them. What I’m really waiting for is for the new LCD lights to come in more styles. Anyway, I got the lights up and my fab air blown snow globe up and my wreath. hung. Done
2. Rake the front yard.
I actually did this first. I had to deal with harassment from some guy walking down the street who I think may have wanted me to hire him to do the job for me. He claimed I was“Missing half the leaves”, which I noticed, but I also noticed that my tree is still full of leaves and any raking is a fools errand anyway. The more I raked up the more fell from the tree. By the end of the day, aside from the huge piles of leaves at the curb, you couldn’t tell I had done any raking at all. Done.
3. Bake more dog cookies.
I have fourteen dogs and counting on my dog cookie list this year!. So far I’ve made batches of: cheese, bacon, molasses and now I have one green batch and one red batch of milk flavored in slightly larger star shaped because am worried that I am not going to have enough cookies to go round and bigger cookies take up more space. You get more of the smaller cookies, but they are small and take up very little space in the bags. As God is my witness, I will make a batch of peanut butter, damn it... I might end up making an apple batch because I saw a box of apple and carrot cookies at a store and I thought that sounded good. Kind of, Dogger has rejected carrot cookies in the past, but maybe if I sweetened it with a touch of molasses?... traditional dog cookies, Done
4. Decorate the interior of the house.
Yeah. About that...
5. Do laundry
Well, does Sunday evening count?
6. Take Dogger to Petsmart for Santa picture
Must be done between eleven and four Saturday or Sunday. Now I want a Santa picture for The Kitty but think I’m going to have to think outside the box to get it done. Dog picture, Done
7. Prepare cards for mailing
Oh leave me alone!
8. Bring tree down from attic, set up and light.
You know, there are six other days in a week...
I have a deadline. I’m having Broskey and Alphagal and Tiny E over to the house this coming weekend to help me decorate the tree and I would like to have the house clean and decorated and ready to go prior to that. The tree can not be decorated if it is still in a box in the attic. Do you think my boss will buy it if I call in “busy”? I have cookies to bake, a house to clean and decorate, a tree to deal with, gifts to wrap and oh, yeah, tomorrow is one of my friends at works birthday lunch and I signed up to bring something for it.