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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dawn of the Tread

Man oh man, it's Thursday already! Well, if we have to be in the dead of Winter at least it's moving right along. We got another 5-6 inches of snow yesterday, then smoothies fell for the afternoon and then it got cold again. It's not 6 yet and it's dark and lovely, though a heavy plow just went by out back and must've woken anyone who wasn't up already.

Let's see... in the news around the big blue marble ...
Is this any surprise?
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/2/27/behind_the_brands_on_food_justice

David Bowie's new album has rave reviews, but I'm not feeling it
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/feb/25/david-bowie-next-day-review

A promising bestseller about a man with Asperger's looking for a wife
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/23/aspergers-novel-1m-debut

Married couple sought for extraterrestrial position
http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/for-mars-fly-by-married-couples-are-encouraged-to-apply

Getting pharmaceuticals out of the water supply
http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/saving-fish-from-human-pharmaceuticals

So now rooting for a team is "sectarianism"?
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/fears-over-police-misuse-of-anti-sectarian-powers.20366385?

Boy am I rooting for these peep
http://www.peoplesworld.org/new-consumer-campaign-higher-minimum-wage-for-restaurant-workers/

That's better. Time for another cuppa, and maybe a bagel...

Monday, February 25, 2013

For Geo.

From Facebook with love.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

And the Winner Is...

It's Oscar night. Oh, am I allowed to say "Oscar"? They're very pissy about who uses their trademarks. Well, I tune in at the end of the red carpet part and am instantly sickened by Kristen Chenoweth, because that's what she does, and then see Renee Zellweger, whom I love but who looks like she forgot to do anything but put on a fancy gown. Well, the show itself is about to start and I'm ready to turn it off. So on to other things.

Life continues in its unexplainable blur of things and people, of plans that change at the last minute, people who cancel or people who show up unexpectedly. It's a juggling act, as my husband used to say. I took a few minutes yesterday to remember him on the 18th anniversary of his death. Hard to believe it's been that long.

Ah, here's comic relief, they roll in Shatner to tell MacFarlane that the show sucks and he's ruining it. How did I ever love Hollywood? Oh, right, I was a teenager. But hey, Daniel Radcliffe does the song and dance guy very well, like an old time actor! That's the highlight for me so far. Considering the fact that I haven't seen any of the movies involved and only know about half of the celebrities being touted, it's wallpaper, as Stevil says.

So let's get to business and then I can go catch up with what looks like numerous recipes that Lawless at http://mybabyjohn.blogspot.com/ has posted for me to use for the Heat Fund and see what everyone's been up to in my blogger family.

I'm loving The Weekly Wipe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6wN5K8qfBU

A way the economy would improve if anyone elected had a spine
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/14728-how-qe-could-save-the-economy-and-why-it-hasnt

We lost Kevin Ayers
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/feb/20/kevin-ayers-dies-aged-68

and Tony Sheridan
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/feb/18/tony-sheridan

A photographer captured the faces of the world's leaders as they heard about climate change
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2013/feb/20/joel-sternfeld-best-photographs-climate-change

What we see is part of how we think and vice versa
http://bigthink.com/artful-choice/do-my-eyes-deceive-me-optical-illusions-framing-and-choice

Today's Mind Memes
http://bigthink.com/mind-memes/5-mind-memes-for-february-24-galileos-brain-oscar-predictions-and-more

Our local website has changed up
http://ibrattleboro.com/

Okay, I'm off but will be back soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Burgers and Books and Help!

Things are tight money-wise. Not as tight as they were when 78% of my income went to my rent, but tight enough that I can't eat beef more than once in a while. Beef's just gotten too expensive. So it's a happy day when I get to have a nice big burger and that's today. A juicy yummy burger on decent bakery bread (the Price Chopper's Peasant bread's on sale for 1.99 this week!) and some homemade cole slaw (longing for Spring started already) has me very psyched for dinner. Woohoo!

Another Woohoo! is that I've been chosen to be a Book Giver for World Book Night
http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/
So next week I'll get the info on what books I'll get and where to pick em up. I have to arrange with the BHA to get time in the Community Room on the night of April 23rd too. Shouldn't be a problem. It's a little project, but it'll be great to encourage the old folks and gimps here to read a bit more. Who doesn't like a free book?

And lastly, I need your help. I'm out of ideas for the Heat Fund Recipe and am drawing a total blank. We try to stay in a meal category (not dessertish; lunchy or dinnerish). I try to stay economical, it also needs to travel and to feed at least 4-6. I make enough food for a crowd because the whole radio station looks forward to it. But the recipe is family sized. If you have any ideas for a dish that'd fit all the criteria-oh, and not include seafood, as the boys can't eat it- I'd appreciate your input and will give you credit! Thank you!!!
Here's the list of what I've already made:

veggie lasagna
chicken chow mein
harvest roast- root vegs and kielbasa
jambalaya
pasticcio
chili stuffed sweet potatoes
Swedish meatballs
Blender Pies
Riva's q-bossy
chili con carne w/cornbread
NYC knishes
cranberry crunch pie
classic meatloaf


Monday, February 18, 2013

Ya Just Shake Your Head

There has just been too much going on. Period. The Pope resigns. Meteorites hit Russia where people see it happen (it wasn't unlike a 50s movie, either). The US has gone entirely out of its mind. Entirely. And we are a danger to ourselves and others so the other countries should have an intervention and get the US some help.

Why do I think the US has lost it? I'm on Facebook. If you aren't on FB I can't quite describe it. If Howard Beale were to get anywhere nowadays, he'd have to come out of FB. The world's  become a strange Heinleinesque dystopia. It's not entirely horrifying nor completely hopeless, but a sick Mobius Strip of ego-driven fearful self-righteousness. And the illiteracy blows me away.

Anyway, we are in the "Days that Must Not Be Numbered" now. From mid-February until the end, I don't track dates anymore. Too many bad anniversaries. This accursed month will be over and we'll be heading toward Spring soon. I've come to really love Spring.

So with all that, let's look at what's up in Austanspace...
Oh yes, there were the Grammies too
 http://www.theonion.com/articles/song-crafted-in-the-deepest-pit-of-hell-wins-big-a,31240/

Will it be Ouellet?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Ouellet

Bernie tells the truth about Congress, which we all knew but none of them ever say it
http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-exposes-dirty-secret-wealthy-people-control-congress.html

If you need a compliment,
http://emergencycompliment.com/

If you're really feeling like dogshit there's only one thing to turn to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP_cLHIYGiI
and if that didn't do it, add this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmZV6KRsMaU

It was Oliver Reed's birthday, and here is one of his best early performances
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVB80VyGPU8

A new reason to cry over slicing onions
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130201132334.htm

If someone dear is having Downton withdrawals get em a souvenir
http://www.giftsforfansofdowntonabbey.com/

And remember the world can't be all bad that produces Calvin and Hobbes
http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/calvin-hobbes-lovingly-inserted-into-13-real-world-backgroun

Saturday, February 16, 2013

No Mas!

There is just too much in life these days. Just picking a toothpaste, or even finding the one you've always used, is a ridiculous mindnumbing venture. There are a couple hundred cable channels. And forget the internet altogether. You could spend your entire life in Facebook alone and never see all the sites, pages, info, pictures, jokes and videos.

My latest frustration was in trying to find toenail nippers (they don't call them clippers much anymore). Since my left hip is becoming less and less flexy it's becoming more and more of a pain in the everything to tend to my left foot. So my nurse says, go on Amazon, there are special adapted things for gimps. Well, that's not exactly what she said. She used medispeak of course. Anyway, I go look on Amazon, and before I knew it, half my day was gone, the cat was laying with her head in her dish and I hadn't found any damn toenail clippers that other gimps hadn't railed against my buying.

Nothing was made better by a series of events that started yesterday morning and crescendoed with my legs blowing up to Hindenburg proportions, the toilet overflowing and flooding the bathroom for no reason, the refrigerator giving off a loud death rattle and shudder before dying and then reviving itself mysteriously, and the cat eating part of a rosebush and puking all over the house.

Yes, there is too much. I thought when I left the working life I'd have time. Time to read all the books, paint all the paintings, fart around, party, do nothing. That doesn't happen. When you finish one busy, there's always other busy that comes along. And there's no such thing as farting around because everything takes you so much longer as you get older that there's no time to fart around. If anything, you spend even more time trying to set up ways to get things done in more efficiant ways. Which result in many failed experiments and more time gone with no farting around to show for it.

And where do I even have time for Metal anymore, you may well ask. We all know that a good Metal session means a dedicated 4 hour block of time wherein you sink slowly into the grinding bass lines and rise up to the pointless yet cathartic guitar riffs while airdrumming and scraping your vocal folds raw. This is not easy to squeeze into my non-working life. I don't know why. I used to Metal out regularly back when I had 2 or 3 jobs. Now that my neighbor bitty has gone almost completely deaf the noise isn't an issue. Her phone is louder than my speakers. I have to make time. If you go too long without Lemmy bad things will happen.

Oh, but Stevil came by for lunch on VD and took this photo of the Beest:

And this photo of me surprising the Beest and showing her belly, for which she's not speaking to me:


I don't know. All I know is there's just too much. And now I have a zombie refrigerator that I'll never trust to stick my head in again, a bulemic toilet, and my head is light from huffing all the bleach from the clean ups. And it's 9:40 p EDSFT and I'm wide awake and totally sober. This happens far too much. Changes will be made!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This Week's Theme

Yes, this week has Valentine's Day in it. Always seemed weird that a martyr would be the symbol of romance, but that's humanity for you. These days, people even blame Chaucer for everything..

Anyhoo, some people seem to believe I'm an anti-romance cynic. So I'm here to say that's not true. I simply am, at the moment, free of a romantic relationship so I can say what I think about love and relationships, which you never really can do while a significant other is still significant. And I wanna get this outta the way before VD is over.

The Big Love of my life is dead, and has been for 18 years. There have been many others since, and lots of different sorts of loves. I never knew of any romantic sort but the "I'm in love, let's marry" sort of love until after I'd been married. But there are many sorts of romantic loves. There are those that are only physical affairs, and those where the other feels much more than you do, and then there are those lovers who weave in and out of your life, and those who are loves in every way but physical. Who's to say which is "best" or most worthy of celebrating?

Then there's being single. In being single and not wanting to couple up anymore, I grew to understand and really really like being single. Did you know there are some of us who actually like not being half of a couple? There really are! Who knew!? And ya know what?  Not wanting to depend on or answer to anyone else, or have anyone answer to us, isn't a character flaw. Not craving or needing romantic love doesn't make me a freak or a bad person. Because I despise romance novels and Lifetime and other "womens" programming doesn't mean I'm less of a woman. There are those who can't live without it, but there are plenty who can, or don't give a rat's ass either way. I was raised to think my Uncle Bert was sorta weird for never marrying. Well, ya know what, he was busy paying my cousin's- his brother's son's- child support. And living with, supporting and caring for my Nana, who lived to be 95ish, while his brothers married and had children. Growing up certainly gives you a different perspective from what you were raised to think. For some people, the Big Love of their life is the life they lead and the people who need them.

Romance, like all intoxicants, has its place. It's popular amongst those who like it. It has fabulous possibilities, terrifying chasms, catapults and drama galore. So if you like all that, balloons and whipped cream to you. After all these years I've realized it was a bill of goods sold to me and not what I want for myself. If it was, I'd be out there looking for it right now. I had it once. I'm glad I had it once but I'm not living to find another half. I'm quite whole on my own.

But don't let my disinterest disrupt your arrow-firing. Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love, In Itself

Valentine's Day is not a day I embrace with unmitigated joy. February in general bums me out because there's been so many devastating deaths in February. And for most of my single years I managed to break up with someone just before Valentine's, and this year is no different. There will be no romance, but that's all right. There are many types of love.






I do love love, and so I mark the day as just that- the holiday of Love itself. I have grown over the last few years to play a lot of Beatles love songs and a few others on VD. Here I'll share:

The full Beatles Love Songs album
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QipYo4Xf-1g



The incomparable Beach Boys' God Only Knows
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMyS78o5YI

The ultimate break up song, Trilogy by ELP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt-sfNULEzE




And my own Valentine's Day Song of 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rys84_qyQtI


And so with all that in mind, I must ask... will you... 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Regular Snowy Winter in Vermont

We had a lovely old-fashioned snowstorm. The Shire is swathed in big ol' drifts of white, which I got up at 3 a.m. to watch. But it was nowhere near the red alert they'd hyped it up to be.



I'd gone out to try to make a snowman or 2 to surprise my nabes but that wind was fierce and the snow was almost sandy it was so powdery. I gave up quickly- just the fallen snow was over my Beanboot tops. Then I went back to bed when the sun came up and burst through the blowing sheets of snow, after 7 a.m. I could get out the back door at 3 a.m., but not at 7 a.m. when I tried again. This year's snow clearers are really clueless around here. The path they finally made out back (I can't use the front until my walker's brake is fixed and there's still nobody to fix it) was meant for small children in single file- a shovel wide. The kind of shoveling job that'd get me grounded when I was a kid. I'd knocked a bunch back down into the path just trying to get outside. To my amazement and happiness, I didn't have to bitch; neighbors were already out at 1 p.m. with their walkers and canes, yelling and gesticulating at the nimrods who were plainly working against, not with, each other. But the drifts! They're now up over my back windows. Good insulation; my house is quite snug.



Anyway, it's only a foot or so. We have it well sorted out. All of our neighboring states declared an emergency. We quietly went about business. True, the PO didn't open or deliver (and I've got a bone to pick with them about a delivery they claim they made but didn't) but all the stores downtown just shoveled and opened like always.

That's our Main St.

So yes, snow came. There are 8 ft piles and 5 ft drifts all around, and the wind is up, but it's Winter in Vermont. It's good to feel normal.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Great Fantasy Opportunity!

This week's Yammy Friday at
http://susan-swiderski.blogspot.com/2013/02/please-pick-your-proper-place-in.html
has, among other things, a cool bloghop. You can get the further details from Susan but here's the skinny...

On March 13th &14th, bloggers everywhere will participate in National Wormhole Day by posting a 100 -word or less fantastical wormhole in time story. Where and when would you go if you had one single safe round trip to any date, past or future? To do what? To see whom or what? To change things or watch the truth happen?
~~~sign up at~~~
http://bardsandprophets.blogspot.com/

This, fellow blogbabies, is going to be fun!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Lying Groundhogs!

Ha! The weatherbees are telling people to be wherever they intend to be for the weekend at noon on Friday, cuz up here in Yankee country we're getting snow.

http://www.weather.com/news/weather-winter/winter-storm-nemo-20130206

How silly. Even if we get the threatened 2 feet of snow (and I'll believe it when we get closer to the storm's arrival time) it'll just slow everyone down for a day. Everything will be running normally on Saturday after the snow's done and the plows get out. Honestly, you'd think it's an apocalypse. Every little thing is a huge red freakin alert anymore.

Anyway, whichever rodents said that Winter was over- liars. Really, we can cut out the rodents and whatever other poor creature we endow with the powers of the Oracle of Delphi. The short form is, if it's mostly sunny on the 2nd of February there's more Winter coming. That's because an ancient Irish Goddess makes it decent so she can gather in all the wood she'll need for the coming weeks of Winter. Now, isn't that more believable than a rodent in a hole in the ground?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Last Plantagenet

527 years after the death of Richard III of England at Bosworth, he's in the news. Not that he's not newsworthy. There is still mystery and intrigue around his life. Shakespeare made him out a villain, deformed, pathetic and friendless. But of course, Shakespeare was writing to please the new world order of their day, the Tudors, who were the real victors in the War of the Roses.

But lately, people have been digging into who Richard III was and how much truth we know:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6JczvS1PL4

Here's the earliest portrait we have of him.

Speaking of digging... It's all but an absolute certainly that the bones that were unearthed last fall in Leicester are his, at the site of an ancient Grey Friars church. Rumors had placed the defeated monarch as buried in the civic parking lot, where the church choir had once been.

Now scientists have researched DNA evidence that the now-living family members of Richard III (his older sister's descendants) carry, and are satisfied that it is the actual skeleton of Richard III. Watch the vid to see why it was all done "just in time"...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYPTuwdMrW0

Here's a facial reconstruction (they waste no time, eh?)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21328380

And of course, as soon as the news was out, the jokes started
http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/04/top-ten-twitter-jokes-about-discovery-of-king-richard-iiis-skeleton-3380279/
So anyway, about those two princes...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/feb/05/princes-in-tower-staying-under?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Remember that Dave Clark 5 song? It's pretty a propos today, as I've just truly realized Boomer's really gone away and I don't know if I'll ever see him again. We'll stay in touch, email, call. But that bit of our lives is done. Then on the other hand, I had a long talk with my very close pal Ace. She was there thru so many years of Stuff That Would Test a Viking!'s Constitution. Going back to the 80s when I was a newly wed. We have mileage. The last time we hung together was at my brother Johnny's funeral in Denver in 2006. A couple years later we fell out of touch. It wasn't the first time that's happened, but it never lasted 4 years before. After we gave our lists of who's since died and what major life changes have happened, we were just like the kids we always turn into when we're together. So that was marvelous. And talking to Billy later, he'll try to coordinate and be here when Ace is here, a mini-family reunion.

In totally other bits and pieces are things I've been saving to post for you. Without further ado:

How did I miss his birthday?
http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/17-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-you-never-hear

Or his?
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/25/my-hero-robert-burns-lochhead

Here is the Earth's own song, captured to hear
http://www.minds.com/pages/view/34972/the-sound-of-earth039s-magnetic-belt-capturing-solar-winds-particles

If you've missed any Downton Abbey, or would rather read it than watch it, here is the whole current season ep by ep:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/series/downton-abbey-episode-by-episode

A full Zep concert at the Royal Albert Hall:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edPEBB6VjRQ

And here's some Jean Shepherd, just because it's not Summer
http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Jean%20Shepherd%22

It's good to be back!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Now You Been Told

This flu's hours are numbered. Not only have I taken the ingenious Geo.'s remedy to heart and have been wearing a magical blanket of my own on my head but I've eaten some very hot chili peppers and kielbasa. That'll show it who's boss.

And then the best thing for a sickness- good news. Out of nowhere, an old friend found me on fecebook. Not just any old friend, either, but the best friend I'd lost touch with several years ago. The best friend whose life was entwined with my own through marriages, disasters, celebrations. The best friend who'd been through as much as I have because she was there for nearly 30 years now. We have a few years to catch up on, and I've put aside all tomorrow afternoon for just that. Also, I tried to call Billy and he's outta the house. I hope and am pretty sure he's at a Superbowl Party. He's never missed it. Normalcy has become very dear indeed these days. I have a whole new appreciation for traditions.

So yes, Flu, you had best consider your ass kicked and leave before I get ugly about it. Life goes on, and there's no time for your crap. Now, git! Before I call on my little friends...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wait, It's February?

Well, January went quickly. See- I really want that to be "went quick" but I can't do it. And that's pretty much how I've been and how it's gotten to be Saturday and I still haven't blogged. At least 4 times a day something passes through my head and I say, "I gotta blog about that." Then I go back to doing what I was doing and it's promptly forgotten.

The flu is taking more last bows than Liberace. It's been almost 6 weeks. The only thing that works is sleep. On the days I get 8 hours of sleep I gain on it but it's not always easy to sleep. I've been tiring myself out. Since Billy is in a Herculean Task with all that Mac bought and hoarded- the dining room is wall-to-wall, he just told me- I've decided to get off my ass and do things here. There was all of the holiday schmaltzarama to pack up. In Billy's cleanout, he's been sending me some of Mac's overspending evidence. So I'm sorting thru that too, and finding appropriate homes for what I can't use. Then there are plenty more boxes of my own to sort out, stuff  untouched since coming back from the flood. There're still missing items and I've been back a year and almost 3 months. Ya think it's time to search maybe, and even lighten the load a bit? Of course, the physical exertion bites me in the ass. I'm trying to find that happy place where I'm worked out enough but not so much that pain will keep me awake. And I spend way too much time farting around on facebook. Getting back in touch with everyone (godalmighty I've known a lot of people) and responding to each little conversation....well it's very, very time-consuming. I'm a newbie in it too. It'll calm down and fairly soon I'll be ignoring a lot and not responding unless necessary. I've been on the phone more in the last week than I have in the past few months put together. And when all of that's not going on and I'm not doing the other regular things in life I'm working on the book. Not the Gimp's Guide. No non-fiction; I don't know that I'll ever finish the two books I thought most important. This is children's market, the 8-12 year old crowd. It's mystery, it doesn't talk down to kids, it's semi-serious. And I'm having fun writing it. No nightmares, no crying. Escape.

So yeah, that's how time has been spent and a small quasi-excuse for not being here.

I keep telling myself I'll take notes on what I want to blog about. Or I'll remember it (Ha!). It's just too busy. Being sick is even a busy business these days. It seems to me I get sick more when I'm not smoking. Perhaps Ian had a point, he used to argue that smoking preoccupied your lungs and made them impervious to germs. :) Anyway, things should slow down with the anniversaries of death and Ed Gorey world without humor known as February. It's always been a bit ironic to me that the very most miserable month of the year begins with the sweet fire festival of Imbolc. We're halfway to Spring. Ah well.



Off I go to light my candles...