Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney bought Lucasfilms... and the world exploded!

Or so it seemed.

So Disney buys Lucasfilms, and during that press release George Lucas informs everyone that there will be a Star Wars Episode VII, which he's not directing or writing.

Que the cheers and jeers.

The jeers from the people worried about the "disney-ification" of the franchise.  Jeers from people that thought that episodes I-III were crap and don't want to see any more.

The cheers were from people excited that there would be more Star Wars, and that Lucas wasn't writing or directing.  We all know how brilliant The Empire Strikes Back was, and that's mainly due to Lucas's lessened involvement.

And besides, look at what's coming out of Marvel Studios, another Disney owned property.

I actually have some hope for this.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has hit the East Coast. It's a huge storm that, while still far out to sea, reached out and slapped Hampton Roads.

We're fairing better than we did during Irene. The rain hasn't been as hard. The wind wasn't as strong. I think that the danger in this storm will be in the duration. We're going to feel this for another day or so.

We still have power. We have groceries. The only one that's unhappy is Misty. The rain puts a damper on her walkies.

Stay dry everyone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Girly Products

We've all seen it.

People were upset with Lego Friends.

Then people mocked Bic for Her.  Stupid name, interesting colors (especially for teacher that like to grade in non-red colors)

Now Japan has a car and a laptop marketed towards the girly girls in Japan.

I consider myself a feminist.  And I'm not really upset by this.  And let me tell you why.

(This is all with the following caveat:  I'm ok with this, as long as the pink stuff isn't sold at an inflated price.)

  1. The Lego Friends.  We were a Lego household.  My brother would build things with lego.  I made houses for the Fabuland guys.  Fabuland... just like Lego Friends, but less pink.
  2. It's ok to be a woman and like pink stuff!  There.  I said it.  It's not ok to be seriously upcharged for the pink frilly stuff, but it's your right as a woman to like it and want to buy it.  Mazel Tov.  (It is also your right as a women not to like the pink stuff.)
  3. The car and the laptop are marketed in Japan, where the pink, frilly, girly movement is HUGE.  Will we see the car here?  Probably not.  (I can see the laptop.  Acer had a pink netbook years ago that sold well.)
Maybe we as a society need to move away from marketing anything to a specific gender, and maybe just offer pinks, blues, blacks and all as color options.  

I don't know.  But for now I'm going to use my pink pens (bought so I see people walking away with them) to write in my pink planner.  And I'll continue to use my ladies razor (because it's easier to hold than a man's razor).

Stress, I have it. And I'm not sure why

Seriously, it's been like this for almost two weeks.  My jaw and neck muscles are so tight I have headaches almost every day.  I'm now feeling poorly (headaches, body aches, feeling generally icky), and I wonder if it's caused by my head... or actual germs.

I'm having this feeling of impending doom.  Or it's paranoia... I don't know which.


It could be stress.  My job performance review wasn't stellar.  I need to slow down and double check everything.

Dance class has been stressful, as you have seen.  My house is a mess and I can't seem to make it past thing one on the daily to do list.

Thankfully we're getting out of here early today.  Maybe a nap will help.

And a milkshake.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thar She Blows!

Today in my dance class we presented the pieces our groups choreographed.  These were taped, and then we watched them.

My god....

First, I am PALE.  Like a whiter shade of pale.  Between the black top and my white skin I looked like a beached Orca.

Then I realized that not a single person said anything about our piece... good or bad...  The other pieces were chatted about a lot.

It's going to be hard to drag my beached whale ass to class on Tuesday.

Stop the world, I want to get off!

With a week and a bit to go, I'm so over it.  Between the debates being almost hostile.  (Seriously, it wouldn't have surprised me if one candidate tried to slap the other), the nasty attack ads.... that reference other attack ads, and the sniping on Facebook.. I'm over it.

Then Donald Trump came along:

(Which got some good responses:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Donald Trump's October Surprise
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Donald Trump's October Surprise
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
My first reaction to this supposed big news was to laugh my ass off.  Then I had some thoughts:

  1. The colleges can't release anything without the President's signature.  They can't release your transcripts without your signature
  2. He wants college applications?  Those will be LONG gone.  In Virginia they are destroyed 5 years after the student graduates.  If he wants ALL the colleges the President applied to, those are usually destroyed within 2 years.
  3. Passport applications?  Seriously?  What would that accomplish?
  4. How is his not releasing everything being non-transparent?  And is he really saying he's less transparent than say.. Nixon?
  5. Seriously, can this madness end?  Please?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Switched at Birth Fall Finale Recap

It's been a long and winding road for these families...

And it's been brought to an end.. for now.

Daphne, who seemed to be the kid that had it all together fell for an older man, her boss in fact, and he broke her heart.

Bay, being the temperamental one, ran away from home.

And why do we think these girls were traipsing down these dangerous roads?  Quite simply, their lives are chaos.

  • First the switch, and the move
  • Katherine wrote a book
  • The lawsuit against the hospital
  • Angelo, first leaving, then marrying Regina
In all of this, the girls were left to fend mainly for themselves.  Bay got into trouble, but no one seemed to slow down enough to really talk to her.  (She brings this on herself, but honestly, the parents are too hard on her)

Thankfully, Emmett is there.  His solution:  slow down and communicate.

Thank god for Emmett!

For an ending, I was most satisfied!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Tired, Part II

I'm tired....

  • I'm so tired of the political ads.  I'm tired of seeing them on TV, on Hulu, On the right side of my Facebook feed.  I'm tired of the fights that litter my Facebook feed. The cute pictures that call one candidate or another an idiot.  I've made my decision, and now I want to not see these ads anymore.
  • I'm tired of the yo-yo-ing seasons.  It's October, please keep the temperature below 70.
  • I'm tired of stressing out about money.  I bought myself a Halloween costume, and felt guilty for a week about it!  
  • I'm tired of living in my apartment.  But, we're besically never going to move.  Between passing credit checks at other places, and pet fees we'll never find another place.
maybe it's the time of year.  Maybe it's the time of the month....

but I want to hide under the bed for a few weeks and regroup.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A cat in the bathroom..

Let me tell you a story of how I brush my teeth.

Every night... And every morning...

I step into the bathroom, and Meryl, our cat, follows.  I dance around her, as she rubs against my legs, meowing loudly the whole time.

Then I move to the other side of the bathroom.  I can't walk.  I have to shuffle, because where I want to place my feet, there's Meryl.

When I sit, she's there, rubbing and meowing.  If I stop petting, she places her paws on my thigh and digs claws in, trying to get her head toward my hands.

Every night...

Except last night, when I told the Spousal Equivalent this.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I went to see the Dalai Lama Today!

Now, let me begin by saying, that I have a notoriously bad memory, and the Dalai Lama speaks with a rather pronounced accent….

But here is my account of the Lecture by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama:

At noon, on the day of the lecture, I was promptly kicked out of my office so I could get a decent seat.  I'm rather glad of that.  My social anxiety-laden self managed to get a seat that wasn't too high up, and on an aisle.  Bu 1:30 the place was full.  8,200 people.  5,000 from the William and Mary community.

First, the reaction that he got from the crowd is usually reserved for rock stars.  There was thunderous applause, hooting and hollering….

Until he said, in that quiet way, for us to all sit down.

The first half of the program was a lecture about Human Compassion.

The Dalai Lama welcomed us, his brothers and sisters, today.  That is the basis for his talk on Human Compassion.  That we are all brothers and sisters.  We are all human.  Here’s the highlights:
  • All living beings have compassion.  Human compassion entails empathy, and concern for others well being.  We have to love our enemies.  That is the test of Human Compassion. 
  • He acknowledged that no one wants any problems.  People don’t willingly seek out conflict.
  • Fear and anger are linked.  They also lead to stress
  • Religion can create walls between people
  • Calm minds can think objectively, and compassion keeps the mind calm
  • Everyone has the right to life a happy life, and others are the source of our happiness, since we live in a community
  • We need to value others well being… which will leave no room for bullying
  • Now… too much compassion can overwhelm you.  Help yourself, so you can then help others.
  • Compassion has religious roots, but since religion can divide as much as it brings people together…. A secular approach to human compassion must be used.
His Holiness then answered questions that were submitted by the campus community last week.

The first was about living in a multifaith world, and the faiths not getting along.  He started by saying that often it is best to stay the religion you were brought up in, but if you chose another path, you should respect the faith you came from. He also mentioned that India is getting the living together in harmony right…. But I’m not so sure he’s taking Kashmir into account.  He also mentioned that we shouldn’t base the acts of a few as a reflection on the faith as a whole, and we should make an effort to reach out to people of other faiths.  And like a true Buddhist, he stressed investigation and experimentation over blind faith.

In the end, he gave scarves to people, the president of the student body, the professor that moderated, and, my favorite, the sign language interpreters.

What an amazing man.. seriously….

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day

In many parts of the country, today is a day off of work, and parades, and eating Italian food.

In other parts of the country, today is a day of mourning.  The Indigenous people of  North America had their lives radically altered after 1492 (when Columbus sailed the ocean blue).

I spent much of yesterday watching Into the West, a miniseries that explores the rise of westward expansion and the subsequent Indian Wars.  After watching the end parts, depicting life on reservations...  I did some research

And on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Near Wounded Knee)
  • As of 2011, population estimates of the reservation range from 28,000 to 40,000. Numerous enrolled members of the tribe live off the reservation.
  • 80% of residents are unemployed (versus 10% of the rest of the country);
  • 49% of the residents live below the Federal poverty level (61% under the age of 18);
  • Per capita income in Shannon County is $6,286;
  • The Infant Mortality rate is 5 times higher than the national average;
  • Native American amputation rates due to diabetes is 3 to 4 times higher than the national average;
  • Death rate due to diabetes is 3 times higher than the national average; and
  • Life Expectancy in 2007 was estimated to be 48 for males and 52 for females
and this:

It's devastating problem... and I don't know how it can be resolved....

I'm going to go be depressed... and eat some chocolate now.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I've owned this book for years, but only read it a year and a half ago.

I was reluctant to read it again before seeing the movie.


Because it resonates so strongly with me that it's scary.

The book is a series of letters from Charlie to a nameless friend.  In these letters Charlie details his first year of High School.  He talk about being a loner, dating, making friends, losing friends, and mental scars that he tries to keep hidden.  The movie moves beyond the letters, letting us see the world around Charlie, not just what he tells his "friend."

I remember reading the book and wanting to take a highlighter to it (Something I'd rather do with the eBook).  Chbosky summed up many of the things that were written on my heart.

I went through periods with no friends.  I dated people simply because they asked, and was completely unsure as to how to get out of the relationship.  I've been the person with friends that were parted by college (though it was me leaving, and not them).  I've had thoughts and images in my mind that I couldn't get rid of.

This is why we had to stop for shakes
But unlike Charlie, I've never eaten a pot brownie or dropped acid.

I'm a wallflower.

There are millions of us around.  We sit back and watch, and notice things (if I have a lot on my mind the notice thing gets spotty).  We are quiet, and tend to get forgotten about easily.

We also can be fragile.

Toward the end of the movie, Charlie is in a rather bad place.  He cries about pain.  Why there is so much pain in the world.  Like he's feeling everyone's pain.  I know that feeling well.

This is why wallflowers, while sometimes fragile, are important.  We can't ever forget the pain of others, for being numb to pain will in the end create more pain.

But Charlie gets past it.  With the help of friends.

When we get past it, we feel infinite.

"But mostly, I was crying because I was suddenly very aware of the fact that it was me standing up in that tunnel with the wind over my face. Not caring if I saw downtown. Not even thinking about it. Because I was standing in the tunnel. And I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

This is a battleground!!!

*cue ominous music*

I live in a battleground state.  What does this mean?  It means that I tape everything that I watch, just so I can fast forward through commercials.

It means that the phone calls are coming.  People knocking at my door.

You know what?  I know who I'm voting for.  I am registered to vote and I'll be voting.

I'll be SO happy when November gets here!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Does that make me Crazy?

I ran across this at The Vintage Apple.. and thought I might play along!

We all know that I'm a little crazy.  But some of my crazy thing are done by other people too:

  1. I not only talk to my dog, I sing to her.  The songs are generally popular songs, with new lyrics:  i.e. "Do you hear the Misty Bark?"  (you know.. from Les Miserables...)  
  2. Before leaving for work in the morning, and to come home in the afternoon, the last thing I do is make sure I have my phone and keys
  3. Also, after getting into the car every morning, I wonder if I A. Locked the door and B. turned off the coffee pot.  The answer is always yes, but I always wonder.
  4. I have turned around to make sure.
  5. the very last thing that I HAVE to do before going to sleep is pee.  I can watch tv in bed for hours, but before I turn off the lights, I have to get up and pee.
Oh, I know that there are tons more... but I thought I should stop at 5.

Aahhh, October

October... it's the beginning of fall.  It's also breast cancer awareness month.

Well, it would be fall around here, if the forecast today didn't call for 85 degrees and sauna like conditions.  Seriously, I'm so ready for sweaters, boots and scarves.

As for the breast cancer awareness.... I went yesterday to get a mammogram.

I have been before.  In my early 30's I found a lump.  It wasn't a huge lump, and actually it was gone before I got in to be seen, but still...

For everyone that is afraid of going because it's uncomfortable.  It's the fastest uncomfortable appointment ever.  I was in and out in under 20 minutes, and most of that was filling out that form that every doctor has you fill out.

I put the gown on backwards, let my boobs flop on the machine (only in a mammogram are saggy boobs an advantage), and after hugging the machine and getting the girls squished I was done and on my way.

Easy Peasy.

And for all you pink lovers, now is the time to buy stuff!  Everything comes in pink in October!

And because I love pink.. and girls...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife premiered in the US last night.  The rumor was that it was better than Downton Abbey, so of course I recorded it!

Within the first five minutes, the audience realizes how much of an impact family planning makes in a lower income neighborhood.  (The kids in buggies parked outside the door was shocking, and yet amusing.)

The audience and the main character, Jenny Lee get exposed to the shockingly poor East End of London.  She thought she was being sent to work as a small private hospital.  In reality she's being sent to a group of Anglican Nuns.  (I didn't realize they made those!)

So far, so good.

And seriously... if 25 kids with 23 back to back pregnancies doesn't make you want to use family planning (so many kids, and so poor they don't use plates or bowls)... I don't know what will!