Thursday, December 04, 2008

If I had a hammer

There's a gentleman, we'll call him Kenny, who comes into the clinic for massage. He's developmentally disabled, with a combination of autism, mental retardation, and possibly other conditions of which I am unaware, and stands 6"3 with a heavy set physique. He's been coming here for years, infrequently, for massage, and looks forward to his visits. Lately, he's not been able to make it, so today was something he was looking forward to with extra expectation.
He comes in and needs a hug right away. Usually this is fine, but I'm a germaphobe, and last time he had just finished with some cheetos and left that incandescent yellow, slobbery powder on me. In the past, I've brought a change of scrub top just in case, but wasn't able to today. So this time, I had vowed I wasn't going to hug him, especially since I'm so slammed with the end of the year paperwork.
I was bouncing around, trying to work as fast as I could, and he took it in stride. And then he went to the restroom before his massage. He made a few strange noises, and I was so very alarmed; what was he doing in there? I told the massage therapist to double up the sheets in case he's not well and vowed I would clear him for massage by asking if he was sick. It's not a good idea to get a massage when you're ill, not only because you are undressed in a room for an hour and can't easily return to the restroom if needed, but also because it pushes the toxins through your system which amplifies the illness.
He came out of the restroom after washing his hands (germaphobes always listen to make sure that handwashing is complete - I've sent grown men back into the restroom if I don't hear that water. Sick, isn't it?) I was typing away, entering billing into the system that is way past due, and asked him if he was okay. He said no and looked away. I focused on him and his eyes were red and began to tear up.
"What's wrong?" I ask him and give him a hug like I should've done when he came in. He told me "these guys were mean to me - gave me a hard time" before he just turned his head into my neck and cried.
He rides the bus and rings the bell for Salvation Army, and is aware that his functioning in society is a testament to better social acceptance of the disabled. But right now, he's just wounded to the core because a group of kids thought it would be great to make fun of him.
"I'm so very sorry, honey," I told him, and rubbed his back during the hug. "You just forget about them, okay?" He nodded, still unable to speak. "You know how your phone message says that you'll be able to overcome all of this?"
He nodded again, as he lives in an assisted living home, he has his own apartment and advocates for better treatment of the disabled. He speaks and gets out there every day, doing his work, going to appointments, and riding the bus everywhere. So he's a representative of the cause and is all too aware that he's doing what he can to make this kind of thing better.
"Well, it will happen, okay? You just have to keep going. And I was too busy to give you a hug today..." He pulled back, and I smiled into his teary blue eyes.
"Yeah, I didn't want to bother you - you were busy."
"Were you crying in the bathroom?"
"Yeah." His eyes teared up again, and I gave him another hug.
"If that ever happens outside the clinic, you come in and tell me, okay? I'll talk to them -"
He pulled back again, standing up straight. "But I need to have an appointment to come here, don't I?"
"Yes, you do. I just mean if you're coming in to your appointment and that happens, you tell me. I'll be sure to tell them not to do it again." He came in for another hug.
"It's okay. It'll be okay. Right now, you just go in there and have a wonderful massage. Okay?"
"Yeah. Yeah, okay." He wiped his eyes and smiled, went to give the massage therapist a hug, and went in to his appointment.
But I'm caught out here, unable to do the work that took precedence over a person, on the very day he needed a hug most. I'm angry and disappointed with myself, recognizing that the work was an excuse because I let my phobia overcome me to the harm of someone else. I'm always so self-congratulatory about loving everyone and then I fail so abysmally that I'm consumed with self condemnation.
I'm going to be lucky to muster the time and energy to volunteer with Kim at the Union Gospel Mission, and this terrible emptiness which I used to fill with volunteering has been filming over and hardening. I'm sick of questioning whether or not to donate to this or that, or to give that person on the side of road some cash because I know that the odds are against them actually needing it. I used to be angry at people abusing the system, and I still am because it means one less person who really needs it getting the help that can get them out of the cold. But I'm starting to see that this perspective keeps me from sharing, and hardens that core of my soul even more.
I need a shiny hammer and the guts to break things like complacency, fear, sloth, and the self indulgence that has been glazing me over before I get so hard that I can't move anymore.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Oh, this wacky financial crisis. Isn't it fascinating to see the scramble of each party as they rally round the family? With a pocketful of shells for every sucker - oh, I mean voter - who has turned on the news today.

We got the president telling us in a folksy tone what a mess our economy has become. Mysteriously. Let's not point any fingers, especially at those who might be funding this boy's lifestyle post presidency. Oh, and I don't recall him moderating his language to avoid a panic - nope, it was definitely to cause one. Maybe everyone will dial their representatives and yell at them to vote for the bailout - hell, any bailout! - while they run to the banks. Good work, W!

Then we also get the Democratic reps releasing a news feed about how they've got this all figured out and will put a bill before Congress tomorrow. And no worries, folks! We're the majority, so it's a shoo in! Yep, that's right. No one can oppose us. This whole 'representative' thing doesn't mean we represent what those dopes - oops, voters - want, but rather what party they checked off on that ballot. So we'll send out a generalization of a petition under the guise of polling for opposition against golden handshakes for execs and use those names as voters who 'approve' a bill that we've not released yet. Brilliant!

Even better, the Dems are commenting on McCain's toddering over to the White House as a sign that he's getting desperate and trying to use the crisis as a campaign booster. Ummm...yeah. Like Obama's just sitting on his campaign bus preparing for the debate. Sure, McCain has had more face time with W, but that's no reason to be bitter. He's definitely trying to work this, but Obama is also trying to be engaged in the process. And come on - wouldn't we think less of them if they sat back at fundraising dinners and watched it on TV?

McCain just doesn't want to do the debate, though, so he's trying to make a case for the debate to be postponed 'during the crisis.' Really? You want to go there? It's bad enough that the press had to threaten to boycott the muzzled Palin meet and greet tour (coming soon to a city near you! Watch her talk animatedly with semi world leaders! See her nod and look touched and concerned all at the same time! Wish you could read lips because there's no sound!), but now you're going to give another signal that you have no confidence, this time in your own ability to talk without a script? Sheesh.

But, as amusing as today has been for me, I'm still peering over the cliff's edge. Houses in my neighborhood sit empty. We're cutting back on our expenses and trying to focus on paying down our debt. I'm beginning to doubt whether or not I should continue my schooling right now or take some time off in the light of the coming credit crackdowns. And yet, the Bush administration suggests that we just pat the heads of those individuals who have taken money from uninformed and misguided Americans and walked away laughing while those people stumbled under the weight of the consequence of their financial ignorance. And all of us will pay for the gilding of the handshake these companies will receive? I can only think of those houses, sitting empty, those lots of undeveloped land in my area that disillusioned Americans now pine for, and feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal.

The waves are crashing below us and the tide is coming in.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Heart Me Some Chewbacca

Hey, yeah - it's me. It is I. Gone for long enough that the two people who were reading my blog probably think I have disappeared into the ether, never to corporealize again. Hmm. Corporealize sounds in my head with a Texan accent. Oddness.

We were in Vegas a scant two weeks ago, Keefe and I. Had us some fun and wandered around the strip to have frozen drinks in ridiculously oversized mugs that lit up at the base, dinner at the Top of the World Restaurant (which was actually quite fabulous), and a good time by wandering around Vegas, opening entertainments like your close friend's cupboards to find some comfortingly familiar things and surprising new items. The best part was the burning passion that was kindled at the Hilton. I never thought my eyes would stray, but he just -

Well, he's big and strong and has these beautiful baby blues that just melt your heart, even while appreciating his dangerous side. Sure, if he were to ever come for a visit, I would need a plumber on standby to keep my drains clear, but there's just something about that little Wookiee yell that makes my heart flutter...

It was that yell that drew my eyes to the machine from halfway across the casino. So I prepared for some fun. I had just popped a twenty into the Star Wars slot machine, and hit one eensy little button. And there he was, and there, and again, yep - again, and I'm not IG-88ing you - AGAIN! Do you know what five Chewbaccas mean to me? Palpitations and a cool bean. I'm very small potatoes, so $100 is big to me. I danced around, got all giddy, posed for a picture, and then went to another machine. That one was tapped out, I thought to myself.

So I repeated the procedure - this time with a ticket worth $114.50 - hit my Max Bet, and bopped my head to the Williams' music magic and literally got chills when the next result was shown. There was a few more Chewbaccas in this arrangement as it was more than one line that hit, so it was worth $110! I was very calm this time (likely since I expected a full contingent of purple bunnies with camo and Uzis to morph out of the machine to take me away). I just looked at it, printed my ticket, and waited for Keefe to finish his current slotplay. But the calm wore off when no reality-challenging personificated animal life dripped into being around me, and I had to get another picture. I was so happy. So. Very. Happy.

And to console myself these past two weeks, when the clinic is nightmarish, or I'm tempted to ram someone's car off the road because they are too slow to live, I return to that happy time. I see the blue eyes, the chestnut fur/hair. I hear that rousing refrain of times past, times when Lucas brought joy to his fans because he actually cared to work at the product he released; times when he was open to ideas and got valid input from those around him instead of just nose enemas, and I think: Yesssss [drool, drool].

Right. Well, let's clean up here. So, I have my Keefe, Family, Friends. They're the most important thing. The Oxford class that just started this week, that's a good thing. Once it's geared up, I'll let you know about it. We're just in the honeymoon phase of the class right now, getting online and setting ourselves up. Um. I just did a very quick little exercise in my head to list out the things that make me happy. Keefe, Family, Friends, Learning. All other things I came up with revolve around these items. Can't I just sell my crap, move everyone to England, and go to school for the rest of my life? Huh? Please? Yeah, didn't think so.

So where do all my other activities fit in? The interest in politics? People and Learning. Hobbies like scrapbooking, cards, gaming, reading - the same. Singing? Nope. I don't sing for others typically, so guess that one doesn't fit. Writing, though, is about people and learning for me, so that does. I sing every day, though, and it does make me happy. So is my list then Keefe, Family, Friends, Learning, Singing? How ridiculous! But my addled brain seems to accept it now, and it's like each is a side of my homeplate to happiness. As long as I touch a few sides of it as I'm sliding in from work, obligations, social constructs, or my own self-directed fear mongering, I'll have a homerun to happy.

But now I need to get a homerun to sleepytime. But here's a cool link to The Washington Post's Post Politics Hour, which is a daily discussion at 10 a.m. with their Congressional and White House correspondents. The link is to a specific discussion that has a lot of interesting facts about Palin, but you can wander and see more updated, pertinent forays into public versus media political commutation. A point of interest is the discovery that she had taken a per diem payment from the state for over 300 nights that she was staying in her own home. Per diem is to reimburse you for expenses you incur while travelling on the clock, not kicking back in your own house. Geesh.

This race is going to be so much fun. Maybe I should add it to my happiness parameters?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Found this on The Root regarding Obama's part in the changing race paradigm of the U.S., inspired by Jesse Jackson's recent speechifying faux pas:

Worth a read as it's a quick snack that has a bite but a quixotically smooth finish.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Suicide Kisses

I was driving up 405 on my way home from a usability study for Microsoft. Had some fun and got my toy as reward, so not melancholy, despite the weather. I was in a good mood and there was a break in the rain which has been relentless this spring.
My eyes were drawn to a hand fluttering out of a driver's window. I love watching people in the other cars, heading towards something or someone. I imagine their lives, taking those flashes I see and creating a flipbook in my mind of who they could be. All these people clutching cell phones, twining hair, eating, reading (I kid not - saw a woman reading a book propped against her steering wheel while merging onto the freeway. Might have mentioned her before), they each have alternate fates that my insatiable imagination has penned in my mind's eye for them.
But this hand dancing from an SUV didn't provide anything. I like to think it's because somehow I knew that a piece was missing. Sometimes, on sunny days, I'll cruise my arm out the window, orchestrating music or just dancing with the breeze - I'm running alongside the car, in the sun, even when I don't have time to enjoy the warmth and am zipping from errand to meeting. So my imagination had enough to go on with this butterfly hand, but it was stalling on dead air. I was nearly parallel with the SUV, curious now, when the hand swooped inside and then popped back out again, this time with a cigarette.
Such a lovely hand; fine-boned with elegant fingers, youngish, and turned so quickly into an object of pity. The only thought I had was that this woman was slowly killing herself. So no backstory was bubbling up from my creative recesses because it was fruitless, her past. She didn't have much of a future, so forming her past in my head would be a maudlin exercise of futility.
I was passing her by, but my thoughts stayed on her and her smoky hand. How sad, I thought. Interesting that I am so convinced of premature passing with that habit. My mind went exactly there - oops, kiss her goodbye. What a waste. Yet on a more surface level, I'm not sickened by smoking, it's just not for me. But I do have the underlying belief that it shortens lives and that those who do smoke, die younger than they might have. Probably from my father dying as young as he did. And it's just true that every smoker I've met knows they should quit and that it's harmful, but they do it anyway.
It's been hours, and I had forgotten until Keefe was playing GTA IV, smashing his car through police barricades and swooping over pedestrians and I was suddenly reminded. I don't know why. But I felt the need to post a farewell kiss to the suicide girl.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anchoring Tags in HTML

Good explanation of creating anchors in HTML so you can link to a section of a page you've created, in order to jump to a particular point on the page from a link. I got this from Indiana University's coding pages:

  • You can also link to a specific part of another document that you have created. In the destination document you use the following markup:

    <a name="anchor name">text</a>

    In the main document, where the user will see the link, you put the following markup:

    <a href="pagename.html#anchor name">text</a>

    So in the destination document (which in this case is the Table of Contents (DemoCon.html), you would place the following markup tags somewhere on the page (in this case the last word of the first paragraph).

    <a name="Links">current</a>

    And in the document (this one) where the link appears, you would place the following markup tags in the place that will be the jumpoff point (which is the sentence that follows the markup example):

    <a href="DemoCon.html#Links">link</a>

    So it will look like this:

  • You can use this link to go to the section of the Table of Contents page with the link back to this page!

  • Just thought it was cool and wanted to share.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Peek a Boo!

    Wow, out of commission for a little while there. Holiday, longer work days, and laziness all combined to produce a big batch of -- nothing!

    Strangely, I'm not too disappointed with that, though. I've been pretty happy with my Legos, watching Keefe on Grand Theft Auto, and organizing my scrapbooking stuff.

    GTA is insane! The gameplay is a bit clunky here and there, though, so in a hurry you can hit your cell phone instead of running or get in a taxi as a passenger rather than jacking it if you stand in the slightly wrong place. Otherwise, loads of bloody goodness with spatters on your car if you mow down the screaming pedestrians and lots of extra fun to be had in the absofreaking huge Liberty City. Wow! They were not kidding around on this map - even if you don't play, you need to see the representation of Times Square. It's beautiful.

    As for the campaign stuff, the Congressional District Caucus is this weekend, and now that Clinton has won another pool of delegates, it's a bigger priority than it was just last week. So I'll be going as an alternate and hoping that all the delegates show so I can get out and enjoy the sunshine. Why the decreased focus? Because this caucus is the one that 100+ people are campaigning for (drumroll, please) THREE spots. Three! And each person gets to make a one minute speech. It's going to take HOURS.

    I'm not running for this one since I personally feel that the Elections Committee needs to be comprised of individuals with more political experience than I. So since the weather report calls for sunny skies that have seriously been lacking lately, I am praying for everyone to show up with bells on so I can run out into the sun. Oh, please. Please.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Pursuit of Nothingness

    I've had so much fun being a delegate so far, and have found that I love to talk to people about the campaign. A hard task because politics cannot be discussed with just anyone. There are those who get so emotionally invested in such things that they become unreasonable, and make judgements about others who do not share their views. Well, this can even happy without the emotional component. I've done this.
    One of the girls in the clinic is a Republican. I used to think that Republicans were people who didn't appreciate advancement; types who felt that the old ways are the best ones, most likely were very religious, and that all this 'new fangled' stuff was for the donkeys. But she's very broad-minded, open to new ideas, has a tattoo, and likes Science Fiction as well as video games. Darn it! But she does have a strong faith perspective.
    I'm really happy that I'm wrong, because I detest classification but recognize it as a natural tendency of us humans, so roll with it when the slope gets too slopey. But it really makes me ask what the difference in all this is. I dislike the leanings of politicos lately of wanting everyone to cork themselves into a bottle of one party or the other, such as being required to vote party lines. This is because I've favored candidates from both parties before, though lately that has declined enough that I can seat myself in the Democrat section. Yet now I ask, what does a Republican make? Compare the main national parties:
    Republican Democrat

    You'll note that I had to use Wikipedia. Fascinating, really. But the Republican party website lists out their ideology quite well, as well as their worship of Ronald Reagan, whereas the Democratic party website only has the last approved platform and a host of links that do not specify Democratic ideology, just lots of contribution and volunteering links. Hmm.
    Either way, it's a good thing to read up on and be familiar with terms that are tossed around like lettuce pieces in the salad of today's journalism. One wonders if the pundits have become the pun.
    Obviously, I'm having a great time with this and am looking forward to the Congressional District caucus. But I know I don't want to run for the Elections Committee for Washington State at that caucus, since they are responsible for so much. I don't have the background for it. Hopefully, I can play a part electing others who might be willing to suggest me as an At Large Delegate for National. Oooh! Look how easy it is to become a politician!!
    Oh, sadness. Laundry calls. I think I'll stay hidden here in the computer room, scrapbooking my little heart out until it's too late for folding.
    But two late little notes: I'm successful so far in the poem a day thingy, though I've started writing more than one per day. Curses! It's a good kind o bad, really. And I am now armed with my 360 Achievements for Legos Star Wars. Maybe instead of scrapbooking, I'll go rip the arms off 25 stormtroopers to get my Let The Wookiee Win. Eeee heee hee.

    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    Two Minutes Till

    Okay, I have two minutes to post here before the maudlin hour. I can do it!
    We had a great weekend of fun, lots of scrapbooking and I got the craft room organized a little better. Mom and I went shopping today and had a nice time, without feeling too crazed. I don't want to go back to work tomorrow because DG is in a mood and has invited his sister to join the clinic even though I asked him strongly not to. It's going to be fun trying to juggle the responsibility of training her as well as dealing with any nepotism.
    Keefe and I had a nice morning, though it's never enough time. He's going to catch up on Battlestar G and finally see The Lost Boys. Weird that he hasn't seen it before. Sadness that Torchwood season has ended with such overblown and yet predictable plotting, but great happiness that Doctor Who is on Sci Fi!
    And I'm 25% done with Legos Star Wars! Whoohoo!

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008


    Okay, reading the titles of this blog may lead one to think that I'm bipolar lately. But I recovered from Monday with a lovely evening of tasty dinner and Doctor Who with Keefe. Then, Tuesday was decent, I got a lot done in the clinic, and now Wednesday has started off with a wonderful surprise.

    The Poem A Day guy featured one of my poems! I'm insanely jazzed; I feel like I got published. Here's the link, though you'll have to go to Day 7 Highlights and page down a bit to see me:

    So cool

    Just had to share. I sent an email to the fabulous writing square ladies because of this and also because I got my most recent project done. It's a short story that might turn into a larger one, and I'm also ridiculously happy about being done. I think it's because I've spent so long on prior projects that being done has always been a big deal. Hopefully, I'll be so much more productive in the future that this will stop being the case.

    Monday, April 14, 2008


    Does somebody have a case of the Mondays?

    Crankiness has a new poster child. Me. I get in to work this morning, late, with the fill-in doctor waiting in the parking lot. The cleaning crew didn't make it, so I'm rushing around trying to clean the place while he's chittering at me.
    Why's it so cold in here? Oh, that would be because DG turned off the heat over the weekend. Lovely. Frickin' icebox. So I turn that on and begin to wonder what I did wrong. Why's there hate on me? Just in time for the wave of patients to crash in the door and cry about DG being gone today. More snarky comments about vacation. Actually, no - there's a family member in the hospital. I don't even feel bad for making them feel bad. Another bad.
    Then the therapists poke their heads out of the massage rooms, hair plastered to their heads from the sauna-like conditions. I wrestle with the heater, but it insists that it's still only 64 degrees. I lose. Oh, well. We'll call is hot massage and charge extra for it. Worked for yoga.
    Lunch begins with everyone leaving, even Mr. Chitters. But he returns, oh so quickly, to request that I turn off the lights in the treatment rooms so he can nap. Fine. The phone rings off the hook while I try to eat lunch and then succeed in dumping my Izzi soda ALL OVER myself and the floor. Then comes the people while I'm mopping it up and trying hard not to smash the candy dish for real; I just do it in my head, over and over and over.
    It's only half past two.

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Suddenly Maudlin

    I'm still doing the poem a day, which is a lot of fun. I think I'm learning so much just by reading what everyone has posted. Not that I'm applying it or improving. Poetry isn't my thing. Maybe that's why I'm doing this - to try and see if I can improve.

    At any rate, most of mine have been fun. My topics have ranged from banana chips to Charlie Brown, to Spring snow. And then there's tonights:


    Faded junipers
    Outlined against the sky, a dull blue
    With nonchalant smears of cloud
    Painted on by a hand
    That now turns away
    Leaving droplets of disinterest
    To pool and harden

    A front lawn crisping
    Waiting for sprinklers on Saturday
    With running, wet feet and screams
    Fading by Sunday
    And forgotten by Wednesday
    Just an aspiration today
    Making it through

    It's so quiet here it hurts my ears

    Eek. I should have known not to post anything past midnight. It's my maudlin hour.

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    Democratic Caucus 4/5/08

    Saturday was the Legislative District Caucus, and what a whirlwind. I was hopping around in the cold as a Fred Meyer employee unlocked the doors at 7 a.m. so I could run in and make copies of my campaign flyer. I drove to Lake Stevens High School with doughnuts and butterflies in the stomach to a few cars in the lot. Luckily, I was successful in getting a good number of volunteers to arrive early, so we all were huddled outside in the parking lot, waiting for the doors to open at 8:30 a.m. Once open, the first few hours were a frenzied blur of setting up tables, signing in delegates and alternates, and then campaigning in the packed gymnasium.

    I wasn't kidding about that; running as a delegate was highly competitive. Involving speeches, position statements, flyers, and posterboard that left my hands looking like auditionees for the Blue Man Group. There were a good 150 of us running around in between announcements, Q&A sessions, and flute-playing (by the talented Jackie who was helping to MC the stalling sessions) as we waited for the credentialing process.

    Each delegate needed to be verified for identity, voter status, and cross-referenced on the list of electees from the Precinct Level Caucuses. Those were the ones that everyone did back in February, electing delegates to go to the LD and County level. Once the verification was completed, we were able to proceed to the question of absentees - and oh, joy. Then verify any alternates that were still around by the same, lengthy process. This seemed to be the main investiture of the day, since we finally got all that done around 2 p.m. (it started in earnest at 10 a.m.).

    Things moved pretty swiftly for a while after that, since there were no objections to keeping our LD platform and we heard from local Democrats who were to be running this fall for election. And then came the nightmare prospect of speeches from all those running for the next caucus, the Congressional District Caucus on May 17th.

    The CD Caucus purpose is to elect the national delegates for the Democratic Convention in August that we keep hearing about in the news. Those elected here (51 Delegates + 9 Alternates) are "pledged" delegates who must represent the result of the caucuses and will be known as the Elections Committee.

    They will be responsible for electing the "At-Large Delegates" (17 Delegates + 4 Alternates), also pledged, who are people like me that are not elected officials of the party, 10 "Pledged Party Leaders" who are elected or posted democrats within the party that also must vote according to the caucus process results, and 2 "Add-Ons" that are unpledged (don't have to vote according to the results of our caucus) from the State Convention in June to go to the National Convention.

    Add those to the 17 "Super Delegates," another term heard a lot these days, to equal the full complement of delegates from our state which is 97. About Super Delegates: all are unpledged. They are not required to vote according to the caucus results. So even if Washington State caucus results are 75% for Obama, these Super Delegates could all vote for Clinton if they chose. It's based upon their individual preferences, not our state's results. Super Delegates are elected democrats of the U.S. House and Senate (8), WA Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire (1), members of the Democratic National Committee who live in WA State (7), and The Hon. Tom Foley, as our "Distinguished Party Leader", former Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives (1). Clear as mud? :)

    The Elections Committee, formed at the Congressional District Caucus, is the goal of everyone running to be a delegate to the CD Caucus in May. From there, it's National Convention time in Denver, which is where the final determination happens, if things proceed as they have been without a decision, for the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Heady stuff.

    I'm in CD 1, which is a little dragonet on the map of WA State of four counties: Snohomish, Kitsap, Island, and a sliver of King. Here's the map if you want to see it or find your own in WA. There were so many people running for this CD that we had to be called up in groups to make our 30 second speeches. Sadly, I was last since I was running around as a volunteer and helping where necessary. Mine had to be truncated, the legs of my reason for running and what I can bring were swept off in an effort to conserve time. This was due to the hour - it was already 4 p.m., which was a good hour and half past when we were supposed to be done.

    Once the ballots were cast, a few people began to fade away. We had been there all day and a lot of people were thirsty and hungry since there was no break for lunch and we had cleaned out all the vending machines. We were chuckling to think about the poor kids coming in to the high school on Monday and cursing our names since all the soda, water, juice, and snackies were already purchased by the thirsting and hungry Dem masses.

    We heard the word for the first round, which I didn't get but a fabulous guy named Reggie did. He and I had been running into each other and feeding off one another's enthusiasm all day, so I was really excited he got it. I campaigned for an alternate position and waited another hour to hear that I GOT IT! I did a little squeak of a 'Yay!' when they read my name. It's such a cool accomplishment, to get something you're trying for, and that moment when you have it is like cool water on the parched lips of anticipation.

    Next up are the 44th LD meeting this Thursday and helping with the County Convention to happen this Sunday at Comcast Arena. Suddenly I'm an active, dues-paying member of the Democratic Party because of one charismatic guy running for president who believes in being a part of the process - Barack Obama.

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Two-Thumbed Time Bandit

    What is it about seeing beloved film characters depicted as squat and square little stump-legged waddlers that is so damn cool?

    Legos has created quite the empire of games, with Star Wars and Indiana Jones, due out this summer. When I first heard about the Star Wars game, I thought "aw - that'll be great for the kiddies."

    A year later, I'm playing Legos Star Wars The Complete Saga. Egad! I've succumbed to the Lucas ploy of buying the same thing twice! I have The Original Trilogy, loved it, and still went out and bought The Complete Saga, which has The Original Trilogy and prequel trilogy both. What a maroon!

    It's a tough game for me because I'm an OCD gamer. So going through it was hard because I was so frustrated by not being able to get all the Lego Canisters, Studs (money), and other goodies like Power Bricks.

    Guess I should explain how it works: First, you go through the game guided by the Story. You collect your canisters, studs, and bricks in between fun little snippets of the movie reenacted with Legos CGI and (very loosely) based on the plot. Then, after playing the entire game, you can go back into Freeplay mode for what you've missed. Or, you can spend your Lego studs on characters to get to areas unavailable in Story mode before then, but it feels like a cop out. Well, it's in Freeplay mode where you can get some of the canisters, and until then you can't have all of them which means you can't get all the Power Bricks. This drives me to clutching my controller a bit too fiercely and twitching. But I'm working on that.

    So I have this game and the Original Trilogy to keep me occupied on the Legos front until this summer, when Indiana Jones is due. RockBand, GH3, GTA3 (soon! Ever so soon!), and, I admit, Bejewelled 2, help to round everything out.

    But I tripped over this poor film quality, but really fun smash-up of Indiana Jones Legos on YouTube. Damn them. By having the relevant list of videos in the right column, I have seen the hoardes of Legos vids on there. Now I know that all these little videos are out there for me to burn brain cells watching. Maybe you save brain cells when you're charmed and smiling at a program - I mean, you're engaged in it, right? Or you just don't miss them as much with the endorphin's coarsing through the blood and your giggles echoing in the room.

    Either way, my gaming has regained its prominent position as a time sucker. If slot machines are the one-armed bandit, my XBox 360 has become my two-thumbed time bandit. And don't even get me started on the Wii.

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    One Day - But Who's Counting?

    I actually finished that evil little tome and am now able to write with abandon. It was one day off my mark, but I finished it on the oh, so appropriate date of APRIL FOOL'S DAY.

    Yeah. That about encapsulates the entire exercise for me. But Huzzah! And only silence answers...

    April is the month of poetry. Nationally recognized. I just bet. Spring, flowers, burgeoning - all about the whimsical promise of Spring. So this guy on Writers Digest has coordinated his blog for A Poem A Day in April. Fun stuff.

    I posted just now a quick little number. I don't know if I'll follow it through, but it's jolly for the time being. The subject is a prank, and this one is from April (yes, yes - an evening of apropros), an LMP in the clinic who actually pulled this one off on her boyfriend last year:

    Let it fly
    Smiles swirling around us
    But not yours
    Your mouth a letter of surprise
    Confetti in the air
    In your car
    From the heater
    And from me

    Oooh! It's so good to have that ridiculous constraint, that albatross of a novel off my back. A chittering monkey that kept pulling my hair, reminding me of commitments made and disregarded.

    Tonight, I recognize myself - I am a Corn Flake. Making cheap allusions, breathy references to paths untaken and a punchline to smooth the rough edges. But I flutter off to the next thing once I think I've made a good go of it. The novel took so long because I tried to make myself be what I'm not - focused and committed to writing. Writing is just a part of me, it's not my life's work. I'm a hack and I kind of enjoy it!

    Right now, the only thing I'm really committed to is making the 44th Legislative District caucus a success and getting enough people to sign up as volunteers. Oh, and bringing the sugar so everyone's nicely hyped up enough for some manual labor. Hmm. I seem to be committed to being bossy - but bossy with tasty vittles!

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Shock of the Pod

    Wow, so I really will recap more of our Gallifrey adventures. For now, Keefe and I did an audio review for the fantastic lads over at DW Podshock. Check them out:

    It was supposed to be around five minutes or so but turned into 20+ minutes of us babbling about how great a time we had. Hopefully, they'll be able to use it, but considering how long it is, Keefe and I will understand if they don't. If not, I'll get a link on here for it so people can listen and laugh. Could be mildly amusing or vastly uninteresting to you, but if we haven't had a chance to meet in person it could be funny to hear our voices, at any rate.

    I have a couple of writing projects that I'm working on and am very excited to report one of them is non-fiction. It's a BF guide and should be hilarious to write since I don't read non-fiction, self-help type guides. I expect it to be a bit snarky and unpublishable, thus purely for my own entertainment. On a less exciting basis, one of them is that heinous novel that I swear is going to be done this month or else. For those of you who know, this is a hollow sentiment and no one in their right mind has any cause to believe this claim. But, in a fit of optimism (with plenty of thrashing and frothing), I will still make the claim and attempt to complete it. Come back in a week's time to read my pathetic dejection when I fail, hmm? Ha! Now I'm guaranteed to do it since I expect to fail. So there!

    And one last bit of excitement for me - I'm a delegate for our local caucus process. Ooh, say that fast. Sounds a bit naughty. So I'll keep you up to date on all the fun stuff which begins this Saturday with a local meeting. For delegates, there is actually a campaigning aspect to continuing your delegate status. This includes forms, baby-kissing, fundraising, hand-shaking, and speech-making. Ah, the glories of the political process. Rife with sharing ideas, dreams, and germs. Whoohoo!

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Take The Tour!

    A quick little note before more Gallifrey postings. Take the Blog Tour. Seriously.

    I have been spending a bit of time every evening lately tripping through the blogs and it's

    So take a couple of minutes and hit Next Blog, check out someone's blog links, and then Next Blog again. I've already been to Europe, Egypt, Guatemala, and a slew of US States just tonight. If you're lucky, you hit a blog that has a good amount of pictures and you can see life blooming on the site.

    Anyway, I had to note it while I ignore the host of tasks that are looming around me. *Quit poking at me! I'll get to you in a minute...*

    Saturday, March 01, 2008


    So, yeah. We partied so thoroughly Thursday night that I didn't really sleep. I napped for a little bit and then awoke still inebriated. It didn't last long though, since my excitement was able to chase the vertigo away. I bumbled downstairs to get a smoothie from Latitudes at 8 a.m. , determined to galvanize myself in anticipation of the fun to start in two short hours.
    Victorious, I headed back to the room with smoothie in hand, glanced up and saw Sophie Aldred coming down the hall. Oh dear. I was so excited I had to bother her. She was simply gracious and didn't seem bothered by the interruption on her way to rejoining her breakfast party (she seemed to have run up to the room to grab some papers and was returning). I asked how she and her family have been enjoying their stay (knowing that they came in a few days in advance of the convention), and she replied that they had a great time in Disneyland yesterday. But a guy walked up and started talking to her with such familiarity that I thought they must know one another, so I awkwardly excused myself. Instantaneously I discovered that he was a fan as well and that I had just missed a nice opportunity to talk with Ms. Aldred. Ah, well! I told myself it was only beginning and I ought to get another chance.
    So I rustled Keefe out of bed and we got downstairs in time to see Nicole, register, and run into the Dealers Room. Dan (CaptJackFaceOfBoe) was manning the door as a volunteer, so we said hi and leapt into the bright expanse of merchandise. We should have been banned. See the pic header for Doctor Who on the right and you'll understand.
    While shopping, we talked with so many people. Saw Steve and met his wife Sue, saw Justin and met his wife Kathy, and then met John for the first time, though briefly. By chance, we noticed that in the corner were two guys at a table. Looking closer, it was none other than Sylvester McCoy and, we learned momentarily, his son Sam. We wandered over there, curious as to why no one else was mobbing him. It was our deduction that people just didn't realize he was there. He wasn't on the schedule to be in the room, and so people saw what they were seeking, which was merch, instead of Sylvester hanging out and able to do autographs. We bought a really snazzy picture of him as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace, and he signed it as well as a figure that we had just bought. Wicked!
    We actually had to run our purchases up to the room at this point, since we couldn't possibly lug it around with us. Also, we didn't want anything to happen to the signed Sylvester McCoy figure nor the really cool circa 70's Tom Baker figure that Keefe had found. We were giggling, heading upstairs while everyone else was heading down to the con, our arms full of bags and toys. Comprar!
    Knowing that the rest of the weekend would be busier each day, we wanted to get in line for autographs. So we brought the pic we had just bought from Sylvester McCoy to have Sophie Aldred sign it and went looking for the room. Sadly, we had just missed the cutoff. But Keefe, adorable thing that he is, put his hands together and pleaded with Ann, who was the special guest liasion, to let us in. Really, he's so freakin' cute I don't think anyone can resist him. She was so nice and allowed us to go in after monitoring that the line was moving at a decent click.
    So we found ourselves in line and very quickly talking with Sylvester again and Sophie. It was great because I had the chance to ask further about Disneyland (her boys were entranced). We also had a fabulous moment of realizing who Rob Shearman is when we saw that he had written the ep Dalek from Eccleston's season. This is the ep that reintroduced the Daleks, setting the tone for the new series and how it deals with previously glossed over issues between the Doctor and the Daleks like the similarities that exist between them. Great stuff. We were quite excited to meet him. Regret washed over us as we realized that Gary Russell was there and we didn't have any comics for him to sign, though. Finishing the autograph gauntlet, we once again had to go to the room to drop off our precious new acquisitions and sprint downstairs to catch more programming.
    We caught the end of Lisa Bowerman's interview when someone gaffed and spilled the ending of an audio. There was much groaning over that. Though Keefe and I hadn't gotten into the audios yet, after the con we started listening to and loving them!
    After her interview was the joint interview of Sylvester and Sophie, with random questions being asked by an audience member selecting a number. Really fun. Highlight of course was when asked what their favorite toy from childhood was and if they still have it, Sylvester looks down at his lap. From that point on, the subtle nature of the carnal references sharpened into more overt statements, garnering laughter and pinked cheeks from Sophie.
    We stayed in our seats for the Opening Ceremonies where all the guests were brought up to the stage. It was short, but funny, and everyone was released for dinner. We had some burgers, realizing that we were starving at this point, and headed up to the room to relax before the evening showing of Time Crash (Children in Need special) and Voyage of the Damned (DW Christmas Special that is still unavailable in the states on DVD). I also wanted to head over to karaoke, where even more people from the forums would be meeting.
    Alas, we fell asleep. Blearily checked the time around midnight and decided to give up the ghost. We were done.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    No Sleep Since Gallfrey

    Gallifrey 2008 began for us last Wednesday, and I can hardly believe only a week has gone by since experiencing the most amazing whirlwind of a lovefest for Doctor Who fans.
    As our new friend Nicole has mentioned in her blog, there was a surreal aspect to the first night and how we came across members of the Con. We all just seemed to drift together, sensing somehow that kindred spirits were near. Or maybe it was just that spirits were near, the comsumable kind, and the bubbling congregation around the bar just had to be excited Con-goers clinking glasses in anticipation of the event.
    Either way, within moments we had met Nicole in her wonderfully fun penguin shirt with pint of Sam Adams in hand. And were babbling like old pals on break before a long weekend. And it was a long weekend, bracketed by Valentine's and President's Day, though of course it was over way too quick.
    We had left Wednesday night, just one week ago, and got in desperately early on Valentine's Day. Keefe was sleeping and I had run downstairs for some water (wow, this is starting off like The Night Before Christmas - how apropos!) , and Steven Moffat walked into the hotel. I froze. It was 1 a.m. for heaven's sake, so I couldn't bother the man, but I was obviously grinning like an idiot since the bell boy did a double-take to check out the identity of the poor sod with whom I was keeping pace. Moffat has that delightful glower that just screams "I'm a writer! I'm brilliant and tortured!" I picked my tongue up off the floor and headed back to the elevators. Keefe was still sleeping, but I had lost my chance at that now.
    So I napped. Wasn't the first time and so far, has not been the last. All I seem to get lately are naps.
    But we both got moving at a decent time in the morning which was one day before the official start of the convention. We arranged to go to Universal Studios since we had such a beautiful time when last we had gone, which coincidentally was 10 years ago. We utilized VIP tours, which was a trip and a half. It was a bumpy, scary ride as the driver swept around Century Blvd and its gauntlet of hotels to catch more people. We were sent to a process station like a bag of fish (it felt and smelled that way at least), where disconsolate souls appeared to have been tagged and stacked, waiting for transportation. This had apparently been a long wait, judging by the loss of hope in their eyes, so our opinion fell steadily as the minutes ticked by. We were too snappish in our decision, however, since we soon were tossed on a bus and on the way to Universal.
    The drive took a while, but we had a lovely couple from Texas who were a nice distraction. They were excited to see the Hollywood sign, and so we'd turn a corner and a flash of white on the distant hills would turn our heads with an "Oh, there it is!" I love those moments when people, strangers in tandem especially, can shed their adult shells and have a moment of glee.
    Upon arriving, Keefe and I jumped out of the bus, grabbed hands, and just laughed at the sight around us. The last time we were here was a huge highlight of that trip - he and I have the most fun together.
    We really wanted to do Jurassic Park again, so headed down to the Lower Levels. Have you ever been? The escalator system is like a life-size Chutes & Ladders. Quite the trek. The ride was still the best in the park for us. Keefe lost his hat plummeting down past the T-Rex, which is wonderfully captured in the photo. We found it in the last row of seats, which was great. Much like his clover necklace that had gone missing for a moment back at the airport. Keefe was to the point of eulogizing the jewelry, "It had a good life," when it was found and clutched gratefully in his palm. Oh, we were so soaked from that ride, though. I just had to sit up front! But I'm glad of it.
    We did some more rides, almost forgot to do the tour, but did go through the Horror House which was goodness! Frankenstein chased us around the laboratory a bit. I love haunted houses. I was giggling and hopping my way through the whole thing.
    Then shopping and we were back to wait for the bus. Now I haven't mentioned how cool the temperature was, nor how blightfully windy! But it was not so evident all day as it was while we waited for the bus. We stood there as the sun slipped from memory and the wind sealed the door. Shivering, the crowd of people grew. Soon, there were 30 or so of us waiting less and less patiently. Around the corner came that bus, and the crowd recognized simultaneously that not all of us would fit on that little bus. And the surging began. No longer was there a polite bubble of space nor intent as everyone jockeyed for position near the front of the line.
    The driver, the brave soul, stepped out of the bus and stepped on some necks, cooling the furor. He was a man in his fifties, still handsome, who had the trappings of charisma ghosting his features. His voice, a baritone smoothness, was loud, firm, and so kind all at once that people instantaneously calmed and held out their tickets. He kindly smiled as couple after group were given the hard news that he wasn't their driver; their bus was still on its way. Keefe handed him our ticket, though, and he smiled with more gladness as he said we could get on the bus. The warmth in his voice was lovely but couldn't compare to the warmth of that bus at that moment.
    He was like the Sorting Hat personified, and we were able to identify our seats and sit in our House, looking forward. But all those outside, shivering, slowly sobered our smiles. He, kind man, offered any who wanted to sit on the bus for warmth to come aboard. There were a few, but not that many. It felt to me like the hordes of the needy who are left out of the system. Unknowing or resistant to the help available to them. It's frustrating and feels like fear. As though those who need the help the most sometimes don't trust the system not to drive away with them in the wrong direction if they accept the hand and step aboard.
    Time came that their bus arrived. Everyone was aboard and we were on our way. We learned that our driver was a retired police oficer and volunteer for a youth program in LA county that helps teens get away from gangs. He was driving that night as a favor to his friend who owns the company. When he smiled, you just knew that this was a man who has seen things and has not lost hope. He turns his smile on everyone he meets and sees the dark and the light, and is rooting for the light to shine on. He worked the LA gang beat in the eighties and nineties the longest, but said that narcotics was the hardest. I don't know his name. That hurts a bit. But his life was so amazing that I didn't get his name.
    We talked on the freeway and mentioned that we wanted to go out for a nice dinner. But it was Valentine's and the only place we knew of was away in Redondo Beach. He not only suggested that The Warehouse in Marina Del Rey was better, but offered to drop us there since he had one last drop off to make in that neighborhood. Just an amazing guy. He was right, though - the food was fabulous and we so totally lucked out by actually getting in within a decent amount of time.
    If you go, the lobster is fantastic and so are the crab legs. But if you have a ride, get the Volcano. Best rum punch. Biggest rum punch. Made for two. Holy hell. We had two. We meandered into the unofficial opening ceremonies at the Marriott, outside Champion's bar as mentioned previously, and kicked off the Con with Nicole and a great guy from the Outpost Gallifrey forum.
    We knew it was gonna be good.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    Too many passwords

    Oh, it's so sad. I couldn't remember the password on here for over a year, hence no posting. I had pretty much gone over to MySpace for blogging anyway, but that's been somewhat dissatisfying.

    Now I'd like to go back to the days of posting without letting everyone know I'm online so there's no hard feelings about my not replying to emails or comments. Some days I just want to post a quick blog without having to run the social gamut of replies and witticisms.

    So here's my quick blog and I'm back to work. As usual.