Published on May 14 2006

Help with Homework!!! I spent the afternoon cleaning up the last of this @#($)% essay (Toni Morrison, I'm hoping that one day I will again be able to read your work without screaming), and decided on a whim to send it off to kid#1 the English geek/ college daughter. Just wanted to see how much of a giggle she'd get out of Old Mom's babbling. Just wanted to see if anybody else could understand wth I was trying to say--I could no longer step back far enough to see if I made any sense. I was trying to cram my size ten feet into size six shoes. Ten minutes later, the phone rang. "Mom, happy Mother's Day. Your citations are no good." Apparently in the centuries since I was last in school, colleges have switched over to something called MLA style citations. No more roman numerals, footnotes, endnotes, or ibids. None of the stuff I SPENT TWO HOURS on yesterday! x-( Thankfully, it didn't take too long to convert my incorrectly-done citations to the new format. I still can't get over the idea that the MLA format looks weird, though. The essay is DONE, though. Turned in. Out of my hands. Thank God I have a smart, ex-writing lab kid willing to take a bit out of her day to put her mom on the road to (maybe--keep fingers crossed) a "B"!!! I think this means I buy the next sushi dinner.

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Published on May 13 2006

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Published on May 13 2006

Went on a little roadtrip yesterday afternoon with my mother--I just had to escape Toni Morrison for awhile, and Mom is usually ready to go anywhere if she doesn't have to do the driving. We don't get to hang out enough, so sometimes these little trips are in order. We made a stop at Herrschners, which is always a slightly dangerous place for me. Especially if I have money. I managed to get out of there with only minor damage to the checking account, only picking up three skeins of yarn for a shawl-in-progress. I can browse in there for hours if left alone, fondling the merchandise. :-D The real danger came on the trip back, when we swung off the highway to this place. They must have known I was coming, because as we walked in the door a woman walked out from the back room carrying bags of cheese curds. Fresh curds. Warm cheese curds. Oh my god, WHITE cheese curds. 'Scuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin. Ok, better now. Carrying my two precious bags of warm, squeaky cheese curds (I swear, they were squeaking in the bag!), I wandered around the rest of the retail store, looking at various offerings of cheeses and sausages shaped like beer bottles. And then I found it. Lemon curd. Lime curd. Oh my. This was one of my favorite treats back in England. I think the English used it in every dessert they made, from tarts to trifles. It was on everything. It's sorta like a custard, sorta like a jam--and tart and sweet as a lemon drop candy. Mom asked what you do with it, would you put it on toast?-- but I had to honestly tell her that I never bothered with spreading it on anything. The only way I remembered eating it was right out of the jar with a spoon. Good thing I didn't have a spoon in the car.

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Published on May 12 2006

I agree with his conclusions on the effect of this years' mid-terms, but I still don't think Hillary could take Minnewisowa. Love that name, by the way! The 'cluster states' and 2008 - Editorials/Op-Ed - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper
The 2008 presidential election will likely be determined by five cluster superstates.Political strategists, consultants and candidates might want to take note because the conventional model of red and blues states is very old news. I have been calling attention for some time now to one of these superstates, "Minnewisowa" (Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa) but there are, in fact, at least four more of these state clusters located in other sections of the country. In order of their electoral vote size, they are: "West Pennsylhio" (West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania: 50 votes), "Florgia" (Florida and Georgia: 38 votes), "Washegonada (Washington, Oregon and Nevada: 22 votes) and "New Arizado" (New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado: 21 votes). "Minnewisowa" has 28 electoral votes. (I'm not trying to rewrite the political dictionary, but they need to have names.) All of these cluster superstates have critically important similarities, that is, each of their component states share a border (overlapping media markets, similar demographics), and most important, all of the individual states are likely "swing" states or competitive in 2008. If the race is between the current frontrunners, Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton, I suspect that the biggest beneficiary is the Republican Party. Mr. McCain would appear to have the advantage in "Florgia," "Washegonada" and "New Arizado" (81 electoral votes). Mrs. Clinton would have the advantage in "West Pennsylhio," (51 electoral votes), and "Minnewisowa" (28 electoral votes) would be a toss-up. Democrats seem ahead in states with 202 electoral votes, not counting the superstates, and the Republicans seem ahead for 176 electoral votes. (One caveat: Any of these states could shift for a variety of reasons over the next two years.) If the race is between Mr. McCain and former Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, however, there is likely to be a shift toward the Democrats because "Florgia" (with its 38 electoral votes) would now be up for grabs, if not leaning to the Democrats, and "Minnewisowa" might lean Democratic. One final observation: The midterm elections could alter the political chemistry of 2008 more than now imagined. If a wave against President Bush and Republicans actually develops, as some are now predicting it will, and it results in the loss of control of one or both houses of Congress, the political mood of the country could develop into a 2008 landslide election in which the swing status of individual states and superstates would be swept aside. On the other hand, if this Democratic tide fails to appear, the advantage would shift back to the Republicans, who appear to have the only presidential candidate (Mr. McCain) with electoral appeal across party lines. The cluster superstates would then determine the outcome.

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Published on May 11 2006

Here I am, parked at the dining room table, working on Toni Morrison. I took a break to refill the coffee cup, and looked at a couple of favorite sites. One of them contained a link to the Eagle Cam, which is a webcam focused on an eagle's nest in British Columbia. The chicks are fuzzy little things, and ugly as hell right now. But I could see them moving around, so I turned up the volume on the laptop to see if I could hear them as well. Absolute dead silence from the birdcage on the other side of the room. The cockatiels fell silent for the first time in the dozen years we've had them. Apparently they don't like the sound of eagle peeps! Can't wait till Momma Eagle comes back to the nest! I gotta record this, to play back when Bart and Crybaby take off on one of their "extended squawks". K. 'Nuff torturing the 'tiels. Back to Morrison.

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Published on May 11 2006

Yesterday...temps in the 70's and sunshine after a bit of rain in the morning. I wore shorts and a tank top for my bike ride. Got a little (welcome) sun on the legs. :-) Today....the temp is 32 degrees and we are in the midst of an ice-and-sleet storm. I am outfitted in full sweats and my sheepskin slippers over wool sox, and if you think I am setting foot out in that mess, think again! :-( I'm buried in an English Lit paper, anyway. UPDATE: I absolutely refused to take any photos of the stuff that fell out of the sky, but local photog Tom was braver than I!!

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Published on May 10 2006

I just know I am going to screw up the explanation of this, but here goes: There's this Dutch guy who teaches himself to sing LedZep's "Stairway to Heaven" backwards phonetically. This is the link to that video on YouTube. Now, for the confusing part. This link leads to the same video, played backwards so that the song comes out forwards. I just know I pasted those links in bass-ackwards, but oh well...go watch..it's hilarious.

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Published on May 9 2006

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Published on May 9 2006

Guys. Let's dispense with delicacy here. You know how there are certain times of the month when the little lady is, shall we say, slightly grumpier and puffier than usual? Do you remember the last time she threw a (full) coffee cup at you when you commented that it must be "that time of the month"? Do you live in dread of that hormonally-charged temper every four weeks? Well, never again live in fear of not knowing when your sweet Dr. Jekyll turns to Mrs. Hyde. Be informed. Now you can have her cycle delivered to you right along with your favorite blog feeds. Never again make the mistake of blaming an argument on PMS when it's truly because you SCREWED UP!

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Published on May 9 2006

(As I was reading, the Joe Cocker version of the song came on the sat, therefore the headline. Sorry.) Ahmadinejad's Letter to Bush It's an interesting read. We get history lessons, international relations lessons, philosophy and religion. It's a rambling letter of 18 pages or so. I'm still not exactly sure what the point of it was, but let's begin:
Throughout history, many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.
Ummm....isn't that sorta how the United States came into existence? Granted, we've been around a *little* bit longer than Israel, but.....
Students are saying that 60 years ago such a country did not exist. They show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
Time for some new globes, guys. We've got a lot of new countries since WW2.
I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families. Again let us assume that these events are true.
Or, on the other hand, we could just say it was all a hoax.
Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East region is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime?
Could it have anything to do with comments made about wiping Israel off the map? Nah, couldn't be THAT. That's just silly. We then get a lecture on Latin America and Africa. Yeah, you know--Africa, the place where the Arab Janjaweed are committing genocide against black non-Arab peoples in Darfur. Both are Muslim groups, by the way. Or wait....not enough have been massacred or made refugee yet for the UN to call it "genocide". I'm surprised he didn't weigh in on the illegal immigrant problem, while he was at it. I mean, as long as he was lecturing us and all... Then it gets good:
All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems -- and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services -- or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?
I wonder if he's been reading the Democratic Underground. Or any of the other myriad conspiracy sites, maybe?
After 9.11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people -- who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks -- some Western media only intensified the climate of fear and insecurity -- some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear.... ...Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity? ....Again I need to refer to the role of media. In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles....
I'm thinkin' the media isn't going to be too appreciative of those comments! :-)) Continuing on...after quite a long bit where he lectures us on montheism and Christian principles (an interesting concept in itself), we get down to brass tacks:
Liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems. We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point -- that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"
If it involves sharia law and Islamic women's rights, no. I think I'll pass, thanks. Even if I do get to attend soccer games. UPDATE: Cancel all of this, everything I wrote. I have just read the absolutely bestest reaction of all! My Immediate Reaction to the Text of Iranian President Ahmacrazyguy's Letter to Bush

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