Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Five

From the Friday Five:

1. What kind of computer do you have? (Mac, iBook, Dell, etc.)
Dell

2. How old is it? Are you happy with it?
It's about 3 years old. I am not happy with it because it can't handle Sims 2.

3. How many computers are in your household? (at home if you are away at school)
Up and running? I think 2 and a laptop? There are extras about the house, however.

4. What are your favorite games/timewasters on your computer?
Sims, obsessively reading news, google searching for useless information.

5. If money were no object, what kind of computer would you like to have?
Oh, I'd just be happy with one that would play Sims 2.

From the Friday Fiver:

1. What is the most important thing you've ever lost?
Item of most sentimental value - my senior year annual from highschool.

2. When is the last time you lost your keys?
Not for a while, I've been keeping them in my purse. Used to be every day.

3. Have you ever felt like you've lost your mind?
Heh.

4. Are you likely to ask for directions when lost or to continue to wander?
If I understand the general direction I'm trying to get to, I may wander for a bit, but I'm very impatient, so I'll soon stop for directions if I'm really lost.

5. Numerology: reliable or just a load of bunk?
Likely a load of bunk.

Banned Books

Stealing from M's post on banned books:

These are the books on the ALA 1990-2000 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books List that I've read:

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

I like to read. Although honestly, I wish I had *never* read American Psycho. I may hate that book more than any other book I've ever read. And I can't get rid of it. Every time I give it away, I somehow end up with it again.

We were just talking about How to Eat Fried Worms this summer, I can't imagine what would have been controversial about that book, though it's probably been 20 some years since I read it.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Happy Birthday Little Man!





Happy Birthday Gandalf!!!

I can't believe you are already one!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Five

This week on the Friday Five:

Do you have a dream you will always strive to achieve until your dying day?

To see the world, as much of it as I can possibly fit in the time I have.

Do you believe in fate or free will, or something else?

I'd love to believe in fate, it would be a great scapegoat for my own mistakes and would probably make it much easier to go with the flow in life. However, I think I'm becoming more cynical in my old age, and I lean far more towards free will.

Marilyn Monroe. Conspiracy or tragic accident?

I read a few books on this subject - from a book by the coroner who autopsied her, to one by one of her former husbands or lovers who swore conspiracy. In the end, I wasn't there, so I don't know, truly.

Favourite childhood sweets/candy?

Almond Roca. I had sophisticated tastes, or something. I still love it.

Favourite cocktail (alcoholic or virgin) and it's ingredients?

Currently it's the mojito, introduced to me by my amazing aunt marsh. Ingredients are rum, simple syrup, lime, mint, and soda, I do believe...

From the Friday Fiver:

1. What kind of lighting is around you?

A couple 60-watt light bulbs, the tv, and a couple candles.

2. What do you think of your singing voice?

I can carry a tune well enough, but I don't think that my voice is particularly amazing.

3. Who do you try to please?

Sometimes everyone, sometimes myself.

4. Describe your last dream:

I think I dreamt I saw the Posies playing in the French Quarter in New Orleans with lots of flooding around. I don't remember more than that, I'm afraid. There were probably zombies, there often are.

5. When is the last time you bought flowers?

Does being there when your roommate buys them for the house count? If so, then last Friday. If I'm buying them for someone else, it would probably be lavender roses I bought my roommate a couple months ago.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bugs!!!


As an early birthday present, bwb and b. took me to the Natural Science Museum to see the CSI:Insects exhibit. I had seen advertisements for it and had really wanted to go. I love all things relating to forensic science, bugs are no exception. What B. did not tell me was that they were having a guest speaker. Professor M. Lee Goff, one of the leading forensic entomologists in the world, and also the man on whom the character Gil Grissom on CSI was based, was speaking. Oh how exciting.

The exhibit itself was really interesting, they showed how bugs help to solve crime and even had some hands on exhibits to mess around with. At two we headed to the auditorium to see Prof. Goff speak. He is an engaging and humorous speaker. It was a fascinating presentation.

I learned several things:

1. If you die in your house and noone finds you, it might be better to have a cat than a dog. A cat won't wait very long to eat you and he'll start with your face. If you have a dog, he'll wait until he's really hungry though and he will start with your groin. Maybe it's best to be found.

2. Bugs on cocaine progress faster through developmental stages, and you can tell what drugs a person was one by testing the bugs that are eating him.

3. Prof. Goff really let a pig decompose in his backyard to see how long it took for bugs to get into a wrapped body. CSI had Grissom do the same thing. Pretty cool, eh?

4. Chocolate covered mealworms taste an awful lot like Kit Kat bars. B. purchased some for me at the museum and M.R. and I had them for a snack one day at work. I don't think I'm going to start buying bugs in bulk to snack on, but they aren't bad.

A very cool birthday trip, indeed!


Friday, September 16, 2005

How You Can Help?

About a week ago, I received an email from P., a former co-worker from the cactus. She was looking to see if anyone was intersted in going with her to volunteer at the Evacuee Center for victims of the hurricane from New Orleans. She had been over a couple times before, and had been visiting with people and taking home their laundry to wash. The center didn't initially have laundry facilities, and people didn't have transportation, or much money, to go to the laundromat. I decided that I would go with her on her next visit.

P. was not volunteering on an "official" level. The Evacuee Center was located at an old training facility for her company, and she simply decided to go over and see what she could do to help. When we arrived at the center, we were met by one of the staff, who informed us that they only wanted "official" volunteers at the center. P. told her that she was returning laundry and was there to visit with the people she had met, and well, within about 5 minutes we had volunteer passes.

By this point, laundry facilities had been set up, so there was no longer a need for us to pick up clothes to wash. So we went and met people and asked what we could do to help. Mostly people just wanted to talk. Many people had lost everything they had, and were separated from their families. The people I spoke with all planned to start over in Raleigh, and many people needed transportation to go look for apartments and jobs.

The two major volunteer organizations for the center are the Red Cross and Wake Human Services. I decided that in order to avoid the hassles of not being "official", I would call both organizations to sign up to volunteer.

In order to be a Red Cross volunteer, you must attend an orientation class (not a big deal). The classes are offered twice per month. When I contacted the Red Cross to sign up for the next open session I was informed that classes were full and the next available class would be sometime in Novmber. Wow. I had recently read in the news that the Red Cross was short on people and was looking for at least 40,000 new volunteers. I figured there would be at least some need in my area. I was surprised that they weren't offering extra orientions.

So be it. I decided that I would call Wake Human Services and offer to volunteer with them. When I called them I was informed that they had all of their needs met, and unless I could offer a special skill, they had no need for me. I explained to her that I had stopped by the Evacuee Center and that I noticed that people needed transportation around the area while they were trying to get settled. I might not have any special skills, but I do have a vehicle and would be more than happy to offer my services as a taxi for folks. She acted like this had not occurred to them. She said they would take my name, and if there was a need they would call.

It's been about a week since I called. I haven't heard anything from them. I do, however, work across the street from the Evacuee Center. Every day I see the residents walking up and down the median of the highway towards the gas station which is the only place within walking distance of the center. (And it's a hike) There is a little grassy area by the side of the road, and at any given time you will see a bunch of the evacuees sitting and talking. (You can tell who they are by their ID badges) Something tells me that the side of the highway isn't exactly where one wants to go to hang out and have a drink.

I wonder how many other people like me would be willing to grab some folks and show them around town, or at the very least, take them to the local watering hole for a much deserved drink, or even a meal that wasn't chosen for them? I wonder why the agencies running the center make it so hard to do so?

Friday Five Time

This week on the Friday Five:

1. Who is your mobile phone provider, and how many minutes are in your plan?

I was with AT&T, but they merged or something and now I'm with SunCom. I have no idea how many minutes I have, but I have the smallest plan and it's more than sufficient.

2. What program do you primarily use for instant messaging?

I don't instant message.

3. Who do you send and receive text messages from most?

I don't text message.

4. What area code do you live in?

919

5. What year did you first get an e-mail address and do you still use it?

1993. It was through Prodigy. No, I do not still use it.

From the Friday Fiver:

1. Name one thing you've quit:

Biting my nails.

2. Name something you've won:

I won a prize in my elementary school's Science Fair. I made a chicken wire and paper mache volcano.

3. Describe a subject in school you do poorly in:

Chemistry

4. Have you ever purposely not done your best?

I'm sure, but I can't think of something speciifc.

5. Do you lead, follow, or get out of the way?

It depends on the situation.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Friday Five

I'm a little behind on the Friday Five.

1) What was the first song you remember hearing and enjoying on the radio?

There are three that come to mind:
Sukiyaki - A Taste of Honey
Elvira - Oak Ridge Boys
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band

So, um disco and country in the early, early years?

The first album I owned, however, was Blondie - Parallel Lines

2) If you could only listen to five CDs for a year, which five would they be? (Boxed sets can count as one CD. Sigh.)

1. The Posies Box Set
2. REM - Dead Letter Office
3. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
4. The Cure - The Head on the Door
5. Kirsty MacColl - Titanic Days

3) What was your favorite year, music-wise?

Maybe 1989, that's when I discovered both REM and the Posies. ;)

4) If you could witness one historical music event through all time, what would you pick, and why?

You know, I'm not really sure. I would have liked to see Elvis or the Beatles.

5) Do you have a song that never fails to cheer you up? What is it and why does it do that for you?

American Jesus - Bad Religion, even if it makes me drive too fast and Mr. Horrible - They Might be Giants.

From the FridayFiver:

1. Soothing sound:

Traffic outside the window (don't know why), loud fans, and the ocean.

2. Comfort food:

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes or mac and cheese.

3. Relaxing music:

Billie Holliday

4. Gentle voice:

no clue.

5. Calming smell:

apples and cinnamon

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tuesday

Today was one of those days that you could just taste fall. I'm sure it was still in the 80's, but there was little humidity and a cool breeze and it made me excited for the fall.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Friday Five on Sunday!

I didn't like this week's Friday Five, so I picked one from another week I hadn't done.


1. What foods did you eat growing up that you later found out were regional items? (specific brands or recipes that you thought everyone could buy or make)

Because my Dad is from the South (as well as he was in the Navy and traveled a lot) and my Mom is from the North , we ate a hodge podge of regional items. We moved a lot, so when I was little living in Hawaii we ate sushi and Chinese food, in the Pacific Northwest we ate a lot of salmon and clam chowder, in Connecticut we ate a lot of lobster. I always knew that grits and liver mush were from the South, however.

2. Ham or turkey at Christmas and Easter? Or was there some other main course not typical for your area or religion?

Turkey, please...I'm not the biggest fan of ham. Although the biggest tradition at Christmas is my Dad's traditional Christmas breafast. It's a high fat and heavenly combination of eggs, bacon, cheese, and a white sauce, served over biscuits. We are only allowed to have this one day a year, because it is certainly a recipe for a heart attack.

3. What was your favorite meal served at your elementary school?

I lived in Connecticut for most of elementary school, and we did not have a school cafeteria. In other schools in later years, I think my favorite was the nasty cafeteria pizza. It was square.

4. What family recipes have been handed down to you, and have you tweaked any of them a little bit to make them more yours?

Too many to count. I change every recipe a little bit. I'm not too good at following directions, and everyone's tastes are a little different.

5. Are there foods/recipes you wouldn't eat as a child that you now regularly enjoy?

Some that come to mind: vinegar, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, salsa, falafel, italian dressing, or salad dressing of any kind, wine, wings (well I'll still only eat Tish's), and steak.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans

I had plans to go to New Orleans in April. I have a group of friends who I like to travel with (it's kind of a bit like taking home with you when you go away), and we were in the begining stages of planning a road trip to New Orleans sometime between Mardi Gras and Jazzfest, when there would be less people.

I'm thinking this trip is not going to happen now.

And I'm sad, selfishly I know, because on my list of places I *really* wanted to see, New Orleans was in the top five, and I foolishly (hindsight) passed up an opportunity to go earlier this year.

But regardless of how this fucks with my vacation plans, this has been a devestating tragedy.

It' s hard to fathom just how bad this really is. Not just for New Orleans, but all of the areas affected by the Hurricane. There's the obvious destruction of property and loss of life. News reports are saying that people won't be able to return to the city for 3-4 months. You have to wonder what these people are going to do - no homes, no jobs, no income. And when they can return "home", what are they really going to be returning to?

I admit to being a bit obsessed with the news at the moment. Some of it makes you laugh, like the guy who jumped from his roof into his power boat and then rescued some people who fell from a tree (i know it's a sick humor), or heartbreaking (initally, anyways) like the gentleman whose wife was "TORN FROM HIS ARMS", or just depressing, at the state of human nature when you see the looting or read about all the shootings and the rapes.

Though I imagine they will eventually be able to fix the levees and remove the water, New Orleans appears to currently be one giant toxic lake.

And that, my friends, pretty much sucks the whole way around.