Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gear Up for February's Love Orgy


Low Vision Awareness Month, National Blah Buster Month, American Heart Month, Bake for Family Fun Month, Creative Romance Month, International Boost Self Esteem Month (Yeah right, during Single's Awareness?), International Expect Success Month, Strawberry Month, Library Lovers' Month, National African-American History Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Pie Month, National Cherry Month, National Children's Dental Health Month, National Get to Know a Real Estate Broker Month (Watch out Aunt Josephine!), National Hot Breakfast Month, National Parental Leadership Month, National Pet Dental Health Month (Does it worry anyone else that pets and children are equalized in this way?), National Time Management Month, National Weddings Month, National North Carolina Sweet Potato Month, Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month, Relationship Wellness Month, Return Shopping Carts to the Market Month, Youth Leadership Month, International Twit Award Month (Shall we take nominations?), Human Relations Month, Chocolate Lovers' Month, and An Affair to Remember Month

January 29th-February 3rd
Publicity for Profit Week (Is there any other reason for publicity?), Solo Diners Eat Out Weekend (At least one thing for single people this month!)

February 5th-11th
Children's Author's and Illustrator's Week, Get Paid to Shop Week (Sign me up!), Just Say No to PowerPoints Week (I only wish I could), Freelance Writer's Appreciation Week, Love a Real Mensch Week (Everyone I love is a Real Mensch!)

February 7th-14th
Rejection Awareness Week, Love Makes the World Go Around, but Laughter is What Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy Week (Okay, how do we celebrate that? For a whole week?)

February 12th-18th
Celebration of Love Week (Can I Puke Yet?!), International Flirting Week (How about now?), National Condom Week, Random Acts of Kindness Week, Bird Count Week, National Second Honeymoon Weekend

February 19th-25th
International Friendship Week, National Engineers' Week, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, National Pancake Week (It doesn't seem right, in the same week.)

February 26th-March 4th
Telecommuter Appreciation Week, "Read Me" Week

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, January 31st

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

Title:Artichoke Artist:Kate McRostie

And what better way to inspire you heart than with artichoke art, because artichokes are good for your heart.

"California Artichokes are a low calorie food, a fat free food, a cholesterol free food, low in sodium, a good source of fiber, a good source of vitamin C, a good source of folate, and a good source of magnesium. California artichokes are a delicious fit for a healthy lifestyle. One large artichoke contains only 25 calories, no fat, 170 milligrams of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and dietary fiber." (Dip into healthy living with California Artichokes)
It is also believed that a daily dose of artichokes with help with lowering cholesterol, stimulating the liver, improving digestion. The California artichoke is also an antioxidant, and is also being studied for its benefits as a diuretic, for kidney disease, and proteinuria. (Herballove)
(I don't know what proteinuria is either.)

Just for the record, I am fully willing to take criticism from those more learned than I in the art arena, the artichoke field, or from a heart specialist. I fully admit that these subjects are not my forte, and this blog is amateur at best.

Title:Artichokes and greens arranged on burlap Artist:Bill Curtsinger

But, we can't have food inspired art without recipes!

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of one lemon or 2 limes
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed & chopped
1/4 pkg frozen chopped spinach
thawed and squeezed
1 pkg of favorite dry salad dressing mix
1 avocado (this is a recent addition to my recipe... It's mighty good)
Diced tomatoes to top

Mix all ingredients but tomatoes together in medium sized bowl. Heat in microwave 1-2 minutes until cheeses are melted. Decorate top with tomatoes.

Title: Two Artichokes Artist: Will Rafuse

Artichoke Bruschetta Recipe

1 14-inch loaf Italian bread
1 cup drained, canned artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup chopped, seeded, fresh tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese(Optional, but I wouldn't leave it out unless I was at the end of a paycheck and I had two flat tires.)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. With a serrated knife , cut off ends from bread and reserve for another use. Slice remaining bread crosswise into twenty-four 1/2-inch thick pieces. Place bread slices on ungreased baking sheet; bake 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.

2.In medium bowl,combine artichoke hearts, tomato, onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, and pepper.

3. Divide artichoke mixture among toasted bread and spread to cover surface. Drizzle any juice remaining in bowl over bruschetta and sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Arrange bruschetta on platter and serve. Yum!

Title:Artichoke Artist:Sarah Waldron

If you are totally disgusted with my spin on Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, please check out this organization Art with Heart. The organization's mission statement is:
"Art with Heart empowers youth to deal with crisis through creative publications and programs that foster self-expression."
Their website covers really well the individual programs that they offer in the communities. I, personally, was quite touched by the services that they offer, and to whom they offer said services. I am hopeful, when I come across organizations like this, that the world isn't headed somewhere in a handbasket because of our current presidential lack of social agendas. I guess that there are enough good people in the world to counter act his blind ear.

Boy, that was a bunch of mixed political mush. Sorry.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Inane Answering Message Day, Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, January 30th

Inane Answering Message Day
Inane Answering Message Day, is all about bringing an end to annoying, endlessly long, or otherwise inane answering machine messages that waste the time and try the patience of unfortunate callers. I, unfortunately, have been responsible for a great deal of these messages. Brevity is not a talent I was blessed with. Therefore, I would like to celebrate clever telephone messages, with the realization the perception of cleverness is idiosyncratic, therefore, it is impossible to actually carry out the mandate of the day by bringing an end to annoying, endlessly long, or inane messages. And thus, I have found that I have painted myself into a celebratory corner.

Regardless, even those wild and crazy government employees are getting into the spirit of today, check out the U.S. Census Bureau Inane Answering Message Day Message.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
We all do it. We all love it. We order things from Amazon.com just so we can get it. We all love bubble wrap. I have taken it upon myself to test the six of the virtual bubble wrap popping games that are available. It took minutes of dedication and sacrifice, and I am sure that there will be many lives touched by my commitment.

After my research, I found that I could only recommend three of the six games tested. The other three were basically repeats of the others, or had poor graphics. All three of the recomended games make noise, so if you are playing them at work, you might want to turn your sound down really low. I am not recommending that you turn it off, because that would eliminate the satisfaction of popping virtual bubbles.

Bubble Wrap Popping Game I This game you can choose the size of the bubbles and the skill level... I liked this one 'cause you can pop a lot in one sweep.

Bubble Wrap Popping Game II This game has colorful messages that pop up while you are popping... messages like "Does your boss know you are doing this?"

Bubble Wrap Popping Game III Has "Manic Mode," and we all know what it is like to have reached "manic mode."

Happy Popping!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chinese New Year, Robert Frost Remembrance Day, Grandma's Birthday, January 29th

Absent-minded Secretary almost forgot that today is the first day of The Year of the Dog. Thank goodness that I called my grandma to wish her a happy birthday, and that Grandma went to a Chinese New Year celebration this morning, because her daughter-in-law, my aunt, is Cantonese. So, after I talked to my grandma, I called my aunt to get all the info.

Chinese New Year officially begins with the first New Moon of the new year and ends on the Full Moon 15 days later. The First Day of Chinese New Year is celebrated with fireworks and a paper dragon parade. The fifteenth day is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and a parade of children carrying lanterns.

The New Year's celebration is a family celebration, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. Ancestors are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations of honor for the family.

The first day of Chinese New Year, the presence of the ancestors is acknowledged with a dinner. It is believed that the spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great whole. The meal is commonly called "surrounding the stove." This feast symbolizes family unity and honors both past and present generations.

The third and fourth days of the New Year are for honoring in-laws.

The fifth day is called Po Woo. On that day people stay home to welcome the God of Wealth. No one should visit anyone on the fifth day because it will bring very bad luck to all involved.

The seventh day of the New Year is the day for farmers to display their produce. These farmers make a drink from seven types of vegetables to celebrate the occasion. So, be sure to drink your V-8 on the seventh day. This day is also considered the birthday of human beings. Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and raw fish for success, so this would be a good night to treat your friends and family to sushi.

The tenth through the twelfth are days that friends and relatives should be invited for dinner for much feasting and partying.

On the thirteenth day you should only eat simple foods that will cleanse the body, to allow yourself to recover from the days of partying and to prepare for the Lantern Festival.

The fourteenth day should be for preparations to celebrate the Lantern Festival which is to be held on the fifteenth night.

Customarily, during all this feasting, people are to give oranges to their family, friends, and neighbors, because in mandarin, the word "orange" sounds like "chi", which means "good luck". People present oranges to express their respects and good wishes for the coming year.

Children and unmarried friends, are given "lai see," little red envelopes with new one dollar bills inserted, for good fortune. (Finally, a reason for remaining single.)

The entire house should be cleaned before New Year's Day. Sweeping or dusting especially should not be done on the first day of New Year, because all the good fortune could be swept away be swept away. If you must clean today all trash must be taken out the back door to fully utilize the New Year chi.

If you cry during New Year, you will cry all through the year. To avoid all crying in your home, children should be tolerated and not spanked, even if they act mischievous, or even if they get ugly.

On New Year's Day, we are not suppose to wash our hair because it would mean we would have washed away good luck for the New Year. (Too late, damn it. I washed away my good luck.)

Red clothing is preferred during these two weeks. Red is good chi. It is a bright, happy color, and is sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. (Wow, I am going to have to do some major changes.)

Today my grandma told me that on this day in 1963, Robert Frost died. I just wanted to take a moment to remember the origin of Blue-Butterfly Day, Dust of Snow, The Freedom of the Moon,
and of course Acquainted with the Night, and Once by the Pacific... and I'm not even covering the poems that we all had to memorize in Junior High, but that are still wonderful.

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Silly little Blogthings... Why am I so facinated by them?

#1: I always knew that I wasn't from Venus no matter what the dating books say.
#2: Spelling has never been my strong point.
#3: Everyone who has ever studied birth order tells me that I am a classic First Born, and now there is proof.(Although, my younger brothers might think that they are proof.)
#4: This does explain why I majored in three other majors before English.
#5: Finally, I have validation for being addicted to PBS science shows.
#6: I guess I need to go buy brown contacts.
#7: I have no inclination for crows, unless you count Poe. (Before everyone freaks out, yes, I know that Poe's crow was a raven. )
#8: I am very relieved to find out that it is unlikely that I have no soul.
#9 Not addicted to Blogthings? perhaps the real truth lies in the future.

You Are From Neptune

You are dreamy and mystical, with a natural psychic ability.
You love music, poetry, dance, and (most of all) the open sea.
Your soul is filled with possibilities, and your heart overflows with compassion.
You can be in a room full of friendly people and feel all alone.
If you don't get carried away with one idea, your spiritual nature will see you through anything.

Your English Skills:

Grammar: 100%

Punctuation: 100%

Vocabulary: 100%

Spelling: 40%

You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.
At work and school, you do best when you're researching.
When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.
Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.
You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking

You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.

You should major in:

Foreign language

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom

What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

You Were a Crow

Eternally wise, you have a deep understand of ethics.
You guide people from the darkness to the light.

You Are 28% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at medium risk for having a social phobia. It is somewhat likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at medium risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is somewhat likely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

You Are 43% Addicted to Blogthings

You're a Blogthings fiend - addicted but not totally dependent.
So what if you know your personality type by heart?
And while you may feel like Blogthings is crack...
There are people much worse off than you!

Friday, January 27, 2006

For LL:

Alas, I couldn't find pics of Doris holding a bunny, but she is wearing an outrageous hat, and there are blue pom poms... on the dogs. And she looks like she is about ready to break out in song doesn't she? One might, at first glance, assume Miss Day's innocence, until one becomes aware of her naked tummy and the phallic-ness of her hat. It's such a strange outfit, (don't you think?) with the organza skirt and the tummy showing. It's like she's stole a six-year-old's Easter dress, but she didn't have enough fabric for her own, so she just cut the skirt off and used the sailor top to wrap around her chest area.

The black and white flooring is reminiscent of a diner, where one might order a pancake... So, I think that we might have all the elements for our pancake and bunny musical, in the most allegorical way possible.

So glad you stopped by, by the way! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Toes, ankles, knees, and DANCING!

So, when I got home tonight, I stubbed my toe so badly that it took a half inch layer of skin off of my toe. And I am thrilled about the blood, because I finally get to use one of my Christmas presents. My Sushi Band-aids! Although advertised, my box did not come with a free toy. Sad. Surprisingly enough, considering my natural clumsiness, it took a whole month and two days for an opportunity for me to use them.

And speaking of opportunities... Please do not miss "Dance in Concert" at BYU Jan. 26-28 featuring "Esplanade" by Paul Taylor. Performed by Dancers' Company. (Don't you love my smooth transition there?)

"This year's "Dance in Concert," by the Brigham Young University Dancers' Company will feature "Esplanade" by world-renowned choreographer Paul Taylor Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 26-28, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. A matinee performance will be presented Saturday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 or $8 with a student ID. To purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-4322 or visit performances.byu.edu.

Performed to music by Bach, "Esplanade" has been heralded as one of the 20th century's pivotal dance works. It premiered in 1975.(BYU Press Release)

I saw this concert tonight. I was moved to tears. Perhaps by the dance, or the music, or perhaps because the male lead (Bryan Madsen, my former home teacher) is performing after he tore his ACL, which should render him un-danceable, and "world-renowned, and French knighted, choreographer Paul Taylor" refused to let anyone in Utah take over the lead. Sir Taylor had someone from his company in NYC flown to Provo to replace Bryan, when he had been informed of the injury. The replacement promptly sprained his own ankle, and doesn't want to further injure himself, as it being the begininng of his dance season, so our local Bryan, with the disintegrating ACL, performed tonight, and probably will on Saturday as well. (But keep the facts about the injuries on the down-low, I'm not sure if Bryan is sharing them with everyone.)

After watching "Esplanade", I was disappointed, at first, and kind of annoyed that the choreographer would be so snotty to think that "no-one in Utah" could replace Bryan, I mean, I do think Bryan is very good and everything... but after seeing the other pieces that were performed. Wow! They just really were not in the same realm as the "Esplanade." The athleticism necessary to perform the piece really isn't obvious, until it is placed side-by-side another piece. And then, it was just magic. I wish that they had saved the piece for last so I would have appreciated to it's fullest while it was being performed. But, I also understand the necessity of placing it first so the dancers could apply full energy to it.

Here is more information about the piece. (Really, I just can't express how good it was!)
"Considered the modern dance equivalent of a Da Vinci painting, "Esplanade" is a physically demanding piece made entirely from nondance movement. Created in 1975 and set to the music of J.S. Bach, "Esplanade" earned Taylor accolades from critics as one of the greatest choreographers ever.

Taylor's inspiration came after watching a girl run to catch a bus.

There aren't any "dance" movements in the composition, which focuses on everyday motion, York said.

"He wanted to make a beautiful dance from pedestrian movement -- walking, running, falling down, natural gestures, human postures," said York, who danced with the Taylor Company from 1973 to 1985. "He clearly succeeded in his goal and "Esplanade" has become the signature work of the Taylor Company."

Because the work is monumental to modern dance, the Taylor Company is extremely selective about who performs it, Phillips said.

Training with York for 90 hours was one of the company's performance requirements, made possible by a BYU Mentoring Grant.

"It is an experience of a lifetime to be doing it," Phillips said. "It is really a masterpiece of the 20th century..." Even though "Esplanade" is based on natural actions, it isn't a quick study. Each of the work's five movements focus on different physical gestures. In the first movement, dancers are walking and skipping but by the fifth movement, they are sliding around and jumping into the air. The aerobic exertion is a challenge for dancers, whose feet were raw and bleeding after a few rehearsals, Phillips said.BYU dancers receive intensive training for signature Paul Taylor composition, Daily Herald
Bryan is the curly haired boy in back For the concert, six numbers were performed, and two were very good, one was amazing, three were 'eh. And by 'eh I mean cheesy and flat. I don't like cheesy modern dance, and flat performances of cheesy work, make it all the worse. I prefer my modern dance dark, edgy, melancholy, and full of angst, to make me cry! not yawn! But, it was worth sitting through the 'eh for the amazing and the very good.

Go, go, go, please go. I can't promise that you will be able to see the dancer perform flawlessly with an ACL injury, but you might see the New York dancer with the sprained ankle instead, and he will probably do just as well. Although, I have a personal preference for my friend Bryan.

Oh, when I am reincarnated, I am going to be a modern dancer. Someone needs to talk to Budda about that for me.

Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement, January 26th

I encourage randomness today.

Tomorrow is Fun at Work Day. I think that calls for Rice Krispie Treats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Forgotten by Absent-Minded Boss

Boss told me not to move, and then he got a phone call and walked out the door, three hours ago. In the interim (Okay, I guess since it hasn't ended, it's not an interim.) I have checked all my email, ("Click here to learn how to gain repeat customers!") done all the work I can do without creating a new project, (except for filing) realized that I left my glasses at home, (so the words on the computer screen are beginning to dance) and scanned through The Skousen Book of Mormon World Records and Other Amazing Firsts, Facts, & Feats, (Elvis once attended a Seminary class. Really! There's a picture!) because I still don't know where to put it on my desk, (It just looks wrong wherever I put it) and listened to an amazingly funny baby-blessing story. I would retell the baby-blessing story, but I don't think that I can do it justice without the use of hand motions. Well... no. It just needs the hand motions.

Compliment Day, January 25th

Origin of Compliment Day:

This day was created in 1998 by Kathy Chamberlin, of Hopkinton, NH. and Debby Hoffman, of Concord, NH.

Compliment Day Game #1:

1. Gather in a circle.
2. Look at the person to your left.
3. Find a compliment for that person.
4. Write the compliment on a piece of paper and who it is for.
5. Gather the notes and post on a board.
6. All players match each of the compliments to a player.
7. The person with the most correct matches wins.

Compliment Day Game #2

Visit The Language of Flowers. Find the meaning of each flower, and try to create virtual bouquet of compliments to sent to your friends. (Hint: of the flowers pictured, there are at least five complete messages.)

Arbor vitae



Sweet Pea




Rose Acadia

Blue Bells





And to the person who most deserves a compliment today: Edgy Killer Bunny.

You are intelligent, kind, generous, honest, and you have a quiet strength that makes those around you feel safe. When I am around you, I am comfortable enough to be my whole self. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! for being you! And thank you for being so supportive through everything! You are an amazing person!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Just Do It" Day and I Just Did It All... January 24th

I feel like I am going to puke. I hate anticipation. I have been waiting for tonight's event for a long time, and I cannot decide if I am happy that it’s almost over, or if I just want to crawl into a hole and pretend that it isn’t happening. I went to bed at 1am. I woke up at 2a.m. thinking that it was almost time to get up. Again at 4a.m. That time I mostly just pretended to go back to sleep. I drifted in and out of awakedness until 5a.m. when I decided that I couldn’t handle being in bed any more and I got up.

I could have taken two different roads at this point… I should have gone down the road less taken, and gone out to my living room to do my Yoga video. That would have worked out my nervous energy, and it would have only taken 57 minutes. I didn’t. Instead, I got into the shower.

I was an hour ahead of schedule and so I felt that I had some pampering time. I decided to take advantage of the time and the Christmas presents from my grandmother: a facial, a moisturizing sea pack for hair, and salt scrub for the body. I gathered all the bottles and jars together and started my shower. It was 5:15 a.m. Plenty of time. I need to start drying my hair at 6:15 to be at work on time. How much time can it take to do a couple of extra things in the shower? I should have time and extra… and be to work early!

I begin sudsing myself down with my Ivory soap. The bar was beginning to show signs of decay, signs that I should possibly get my next bar ready, but it was not down to slivers or anything, so I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, when I dropped the bar and it shattered into pieces smaller than Cheerios. It is very difficult to wash with 15 Cheerio-sized soap pieces. I always thought that Ivory floated? So, I gave up on the soap, figuring that I still had the salt scrub to get to, and that should get me reasonably clean.

I wash and condition my hair, and mixed and applied the moisturizing sea pack for hair. The sea pack has salt, and it started to drip down my face and into my eyes. Yeow! Have to fix this! So, I get out and grab a small towel to wrap around my head while I am letting the pack do its magic.

I decide that if I am going to do the salt scrub, I want to do it over smoothly shaven legs. So, quickly I shave, because the water is getting a little bit less warm than I like it, and I know that I have a long way to go still. I apply the salt scrub, and DOUBLE YEOW! I did not read the warning on back of the jar that says not to apply to newly shaven skin. Salt + tiny nicks = pain. Still, I continue, because at this point, I must be completely beautiful, and I have come so far. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Whoops! Bam! Salt scrubs make the tub rather slippery. Thank goodness my head was wrapped in a towel. As it is I am a bit dazed by my fall. As I recover myself, I have images of how my-naked-but-salt-covered-body is discovered in the shower three days hence when my co-workers finally become annoyed with the fact that I am not showing up to work, or my neighbors become annoyed at the never-ending sound of water coming from my apartment.

I begin to ponder if starting my facial is a good idea, but, every other pore on my body has been scrubbed and tightened, I might as well do my face. So, I squeeze out the clay and spread it over my face, forgetting that I need to leave it on for 15 minutes, and I still need to rinse my hair, and the water is bordering on lukewarm. I don’t know how much longer I will have until all the warm is gone. Maybe it would be a good idea to check the time… Okay, 5:50: not too bad. I should just stop the water, and wrap myself in a towel. 5:57: shivering uncontrollably. Must get back into warm shower. No longer care about maximum benefits of facial mask. Too bad the water isn’t warm. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Wrap up in two towels. Crawl into bed.

6:20: Have stopped shivering enough to crawl out of bed and start blow drying hair with new pomade. Actually, it’s an old pomade, one which I haven’t used since my hair started growing out. Have visions of the pomade creating beautiful separated corkscrew curls. No, it just increased my blow-dry time by 10 minutes. 10 minutes!!! 7:00 finish with drying and hot rolling hair. Brush teeth. Do make-up.

7:15: take out hot rollers. Hmm. Those are some mega-curls on top of your head sweetheart, straight as a bone on the bottom part. Nice. A professionally styled mullet. When are you ever going to learn not to try out new hair routine on an important day! Didn’t the pipe-cleaner frizz incident (not the gentle waves promised by Seventeen magazine) at age 13 teach you a lesson? Finger comb hair; clip it back from face. Will figure out the rest later.

Put on clothes. Hmm, grey skirt, needs black nylons to match—so glad that I wasted time shaving my legs! Out the door at 7:25 a.m. Have to be at work at 7:30. I have 5 minutes to get 14.7 miles. Yeah. Very productive extra hour this morning. Lots to show for it. My hair looks stupid, and I am hiding my VERY silky legs under opaque hose.

Okay, after I got to work, I was able to fix the hair, and it has settled into a nice soft 1940-ish wave. I am happy with that. My skin does feel good from the salt scrub, and I feel like I still smell pretty, even now at lunch time. That is nice. I do have a nice bruise developing on my upper thigh to remind me of my morning. But, despite all, I feel put together enough that I can face my dreadful evening... at least until I get lost on my way there.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Measure Your Feet Day, National Handwriting Day, National Pie Day, January 23rd

Measure Your Feet Day

My right foot is 8 6/10 inches, and my left foot is 8 4/10 inches. Odd. I always thought that my left foot was bigger than my right. I guess that's what makes days like this useful.

National Handwriting Day

According to the online handwriting analyzer The Handwriting Wizard my handwriting exhibits these traits about me: AMS exaggerates about everything that has a physical nature. Although she may not intend to deceive or mislead, she blows things way out of proportion because that is the way she views them. [What!!!] She will be a good story teller. AMS has a vivid imagination.

AMS allows many people into her life because she is accepting and trusting. [Umm, no.] She is sometimes called gullible by her friends. [Again, no.] That only really means that she trusts too many people. [Very, no.] One way AMS punishes herself is self directed sarcasm. She is a very sarcastic person. ["If it weren't for sarcasm, my life would sound pathetic." - Scott Raymond Adams, Dilbert ]

AMS is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. [I like to think so.] This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. [When do things ever go as planned?]

AMS basically feels good about herself. She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, she will not take great risks, [I only take risks if the outcome is guaranteed.] as they relate to her goals. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence category, her self-perception is better than average.

In reference to AMS's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. [Thank you!] She probably gets too many things going at once. [Who are you, my mother?.] When AMS slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. [Or she leaves all of them unfinished.] She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. [I have a quick mind? Where is it?] When AMS is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip. [Climbing mental mountains? That makes me tired.]

AMS will be candid and direct when expressing her opinion. [True!] She will tell them what she thinks if they ask for it, whether they like it or not. [Very true!] So, if they don't really want her opinion, don't ask for it! [Warning to everyone!]

AMS is moderately outgoing. In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes. AMS will be somewhat moody. Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. [Isn't everyone?] She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls AMS an ambivert. [That's me, ambivert! I've always said so!] She will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." [They haven't looked at my movie collection.] She will not buy into anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. AMS is an expressive person. She outwardly shows all her emotions. [Only to a select few, and if the occasion calls for it.] She will often show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. [I am a sap in movies.]

AMS is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. [If left-wing is middle of the road.] She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, [Horrid! I am not a fence-sitter!] and then will decide when she finally has to. [Okay, lately I have been putting off a few decisions... like purchasing cell phones, but only because I a tired of making decisions, and really, how important is a cell phone in the grand scheme of things?]

Okay, so according to the internet handwriting analysis, there is my personality. I feel psychoanalyzed. I think that I need to go have pie now. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tristan & Isolde

Tonight I finally got to see Tristan & Isolde. This is one of my favorite stories, and I have been dying to see it. But, no-one else seemed as interested as I was, probably due to the lukewarm reviews, maybe for reasons that I can't comprehend... anyway, finally I got someone to go see it with me and we made plans for tonight. My friend, Beautiful Brown-Eyed Dave (I call him this because I have four friends named Dave or David and I need to separate them in my mind) agreed to meet me at my apartment around 8:30 or 9:00 so we could grab something to eat before we went to the 10:30 show. At 10:15 he finally arrived and we...
BBED: Hey, that's not fair. I had a perfectly good excuse for being late.
AMS: I forgot to mention that BBED is still here. He decided that we need to watch another love tragedy to round out the night, and so we are watching Romeo and Juliet.
BBED: Did you mention the donuts?
AMS: And we are eating Krispy Kreme Donuts from Smiths. Which was closed when we went to purchase said donuts. Apparently, the Smiths in Pleasant Grove is not 24 hours, and not open on Sunday, unlike the Provo Smiths.
BBED: It wasn't even 1pm.
AMS: You pried the doors open. I am still in shock over that. It was completely unnecessary. Walmart is just a block down the street. I am never going to be able to show my face in the Pleasant Grove Smiths again.
BBED: The lights were on and there were employees in clear view. Walmart doesn't have KK Donuts.
AMS: I am not going to win this argument, obviously, since this is the third or fourth time we have had it. We were lucky we weren't arrested. Then we would have had to call someone who wouldn't mind driving to P.G. in the middle of the night to come bail us out of jail because we were too lazy to drive to Orem. Anyway, we were fifteen minutes late for the movie. So by the time we got there, we had missed the previews, opening credits, and part of the movie. (Which means I need to go see it again to catch the beginning.) We sat down, and BBED had to ask me to catch him up, which should have been unnecessary because he should have had read the same book that I had in the Film-as-Lit-Class-that-Wasn't-Really-Film-as-Lit-
BBED: What book?
AMS: Just a minute. I'll look it up. Oh, gag me, look at Amazon, all the books are about kissing.
BBED: You're complaining about that when will have watched two kissing movies when the evening is done?
AMS: Yes I can complain, because every one who kisses ends up dead. It's the whole concept that Amazon is preparing for V-Day. It's such a overrated holiday. Yes, I'm a bitter, single old woman. Here's the book: We : Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, by Robert A. Johnston. And it was a good book. I can't believe that you don't remember it. Fine, ignore me. So, anyway, I catch him up to where we are in the movie, I think, and the little girl who is supposed to be playing Isolde is speaking with a British accent. She is supposed to be Irish. That bugs me.
BBED: You didn't tell me that during the movie...
AMS: Because, generally, I don't talk in movies, unless I have a brilliant insight that must be shared.
BBED: (Ignores AMS)
AMS: Isolde's father the Irish King has a Scottish accent, which was also annoying. When we got to the first romantic part and BBED says "You know, they wouldn't speak the same language." I said, "Who?" because I was a little absorbed in the movie. BBED said, "Tristan & Isolde. He was Cornish, and she was Irish. They were two different languages." I said: "They were both forms of Gaelic... maybe they could understand."
BBED: Give me that. (Referring to the laptop) Irish hello: "CÃead míle fÃeilte romhat!" Cornish hello: "Durdathawhy" Do those look like they are pronounced the same?
AMS: That is not a fair comparison. You forget I am watching you. The Irish was more correctly translated as "A million welcomes" and the Cornish was the formal hello.
BBED: Irish: "Dia dhuit" Cornish: "Dydh da"
AMS: Which might be pronounced similarly! Ha!
BBED: There were lots of other problems with the movie.
AMS: Just because you couldn't suspend belief for two hours...
BBED: There was glitter. You said that it was supposed to be Pre-Christian, and there was glitter, and the dancing was clearly not Pre-Christian.
AMS: Arthurian texts always have historical inaccuracies and continuity problems. Look at Geoffrey of Monmouth.
BBED: Who?
AMS: History of the Kings of Britian, he had all sorts of problems with reality. And all the French romances, when they get mixed in with Malory people start confusing Lancelot and Tristan, and there are two Elaines...
BBED: What about The Sword and the Stone? There aren't continuity problems in there.
AMS: I believe that you are referring to T.H. White's The Once and Future King with Merlin living backwards, and if that isn't a continuity problem, I don't know what is. But, that is a very good book, and if you haven't read it, I would recommend it. Much more than History of the Kings of Britian. King Arthur was my senior course... you remember, you shouldn't argue with me about this... I don't even attempt to argue Milton with you.
BBED: Because you haven't read Milton.
AMS: I did so! I read part Paradise Lost. But then I got lost...
BBED: I know, I know, and you had to use Cliff as a map through Paradise.
AMS: I did like the description of Lucifer falling from heaven.
BBED: You, don't like good literature.
AMS: Excuse me! This is my blog! I don't have to take this from you!

Back to my commentary on the movie... Overall, it was mediocre. I was disappointed about a few deviations from the original story.

BBED: Disappointed! That's an understatement. You couldn't stop talking about the draught!
AMS: Obviously, I did because we bought donuts.
BBED: Don't forget about the Cherry Lime-aides.
AMS: And we are drinking Cherry Lime-aides to commorate the fact that the movie left out the magic draught. Anyway, I have decided that I need to learn how to knit, so that when I get married my husband will look like this in a sweater.
BBED: Right there is another problem, they kept on plunging themselves in the Northern Atlantic waters like they weren't cold. Haven't they ever seen Titanic?
AMS: Some people did not grow up in California. Some people understand that if they want to be one with the wild that is the ocean, they must get cold.
BBED: Don't get all Northern Oregon Coastal on me. I just was making the observation that they didn't even wince when stepping into the cold, cold water.
AMS: I am sure that if you are a coastal people, and living north of the 45th parallel, you get used to the cold water, and don't wince every time you step into it. Or your feet naturally grow numb. And who cares if your feet are numb if your heart is warm and your lips are being kissed.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

National Hugging Day, National Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st

National Hugging Day, National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Study: Hugs warm the heart, and may protect it, By Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY
PHOENIX: Cuddling may be good medicine for the heart. A brief hug and 10 minutes of handholding with a romantic partner greatly reduce the harmful physical effects of stress, according to a study...Loving contact before a tough day at work "could carry over and protect you throughout the day," says psychologist Karen Grewen...

So, there it is folks. Go hug someone today, and tomorrow, and the day after...

Print this Picture and wrap it around your finger...And I gave you a hug today!!

And least I forget, it is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. (Leave it to The Powers That Be to appreciate something when it is hibernating.) I happen to love squirrels. My grandfather used to take me for walks around the family farm and during the early part of the walk we would look for Mister Red Squirrel, and at the middle part we would look for Mister Grey Squirrel. As we walked, my grandpa would tell me stories of the animals that lived in the forest. He told me that the squirrels told him all the news every day, because they are naturally chatty animals. I believed him, when I was younger, and when I got a little older, I still believed him. Because of these walks, I thought that my grandpa was magic. I was sure that the squirrels would really chatter with him, if only I wasn't there to see it. I would let him walk a little ways ahead of me, always hopeful that I would someday catch one of the animals running up to him to say hello.

That part of the farm is no longer wooded. I bet the squirrels are gone. I just realized that. My younger cousins and new niece will never know about Misters Red and Grey Squirrels. I hate having childhood magic disappear.

Apparently, some people don't like squirrels. The site scary squirrel world discusses "where skwerls come from," with various theories ranging from "The Preternatural Theory: supporters of this theory think that skwerls are alien life forms from outer space." to "skwerls come from pumpkins" complete with "compelling video." They also have a lot of squirrel movies. But, I would not recommend the ARE THERE SQUIRRELS IN HEAVEN? page or it's links, frankly, it's just weird non-funny stuff with hokey music.

I forget to mention that Thursday was Penguin Awareness Day. Apparently, there is no end to the celebrations for cutesy animals. I am not sure how to tie the two together, since squirrels and penguins only live in the same zip code in a zoo...But here is a try...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Feeling Loved

I feel very loved today, for three reasons:

1) I was jarred awake this morning by a phone call that reassured me that my boss needs me. This is my current goal in life, to make myself irreplaceable at work. My goal is on the road to accomplishment.

2)Every time I have checked my email today, I have had a message. I guess it helps that I have been choosing to be away from my computer today, and therefore I have not been checking my email every three minutes. Of course, I need to address the fact that at least five of my messages were about my graduate school status. I guess that eventually (and probably sooner would be better than later) I will need to make a decision about my status and future at BYU, as well as some practical decisions about how much a degree will help me in my career. Anyway...

3) I have had visitors at my apartment three days this week, wait, four, one came twice! This is a record since I have moved into my own apartment. I tend follow the patterns and habits of a recluse, or maybe a work-a-holic would be a better nomer. (Is nomer a word? How can we have misnomer without the root?) I have been particularly happy because these visitors also happen to be all of my most favorite most dear friends, my inner circle, except for Miss Laura who insisted on moving to California to get married, she didn't visit this week, but that is my fault. I need to call her. I appreciate these visits because I realized again today that I have amazing friends... way more amazing than I deserve. They have been supportive of me through thick and thin, sickness and health, emotional rants and silences, and all other sorts of stuff. They all deserve some sort of accreditation, and I don't know how to do it. Posting it here only works for one of my circle, (and is probably not as much as he deserves) as I have kept this part of my life pretty secret from most of my friends. I don't know... I should do something. Especially since some had to wait until pretty late at night to visit just so I would be home. Maybe I will make cookies... that seems lame though.

Friends are just awesome.

Wow... two more email from BYU, that makes seven in one day!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

There is a table in my dining room...

Life is good. There is a table in my dining room. Inspired by EKB's Books Are King: b is for I have counted my books, and discovered that I have I have 336, (Edgy you are the Most Awesome!) with only two accidental duplicates, and one there is six (would you call that a sextuplicate? I guess I could look it up, but it's more fun to make up a word). And today, I realized that I do love my job. Which is a satisfactory realization after working 33 hours in three days.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Dogs Upstairs... and ABBA inside my head

My upstairs neighbors must not be home, because their dogs are fighting. They are fighting so loudly that they woke me up from my doze. Which was a good thing... I fell asleep on the floor with my head leaning up against my laptop. I probably would not have been comfortable there all night. I like dogs, in moderation, and when they are well behaved. Not when owners stick three fairly young ones into a one bedroom apartment, and only occasionally visit them. These dogs have gone ferral.

Ever since I read the beginnings of Edgy Killer Bunny's Alphabiography, Books Are King: a is for I have had ABBA's song "Take a Chance on Me" in my head... all day, while I have been trying to concentrate on numbers. I must say, it was much more fun to concentrate on ABBA than numbers.

I, like Edgy, was raised by ABBA listening parents, although I think my mother was more of the ABBA fan. (Usually, my father took the lead in our music upbringing, which is why I enjoy bagpipe music, and Rush, the group, not the Limbaugh... anyway, on with the story) I remember long car rides, sitting in the back seat, with the song "Take a Chance on Me" playing, because that was my favorite ABBA song as a child. My child's mind thought the song was about a train and I interpreted the background singing... "cha-cha-cha-chance" as "cha-cha-chug... cha-cha-chug." (I think that I was in college before I sat down and carefully listened to all the words and realized that they weren't mimicking a train in the background.)

This reminicing brought back a funny memory, and I wonder if my mom remembers it. In Oregon we are not allowed to pump our own gasoline. Don't ask why, it's a long political discussion... Anyway, I remember a drive up to Seattle to see my uncles' at their college, and both me and my brother were in car-seats so I must have been three maybe four, the next brother hadn't been born yet, so I wasn't yet five. Anyway, we stopped to get gas somewhere not in Oregon so Mom had to pump the gas, which she wasn't used to doing, and ABBA was playing on the radio, at least it was playing in my memory of the memory. I watched her spill the gas on the window, and all down the side of the car. I smelled gas for the rest of the way to my uncles' and I threw up from the fumes when we reached my uncles' apartment. Mom hadn't brought any other clothing for me, (probably because at that point she thought she had got past the need to bring extra outfits for me) so I got the never-before-priviledge to wear one of my uncle's t-shirts like a dress-- with no underwear- while I waited for my clothes to be washed. While I waited for my clothes, and the adults talked, I danced around the room to the music in my head and felt like a little heathen child borne of the freedom of not wearing underwear.

try once more
like you did before
sing a new song
For the longest time I associated getting sick with being in a car, from the smell of gas, and from the smell of rubber glue, which I thought smelled like gas, but not with ABBA, not ABBA ever. I associate ABBA with wearing no clothes except my uncle's t-shirt, and feeling rebellious because I was walking around in public with my bare bum rubbing against only one layer of clothing.

...And it's back again... "If you change your mind, I'm the first in line... cha-cha-cha-chance on me...."

I have been accused....

I have been accused of not having a sense of humor because I have to redo sixteen pages of spreadsheets because some accountant, on the west coast, does not like what I have named the individual line items, and he wants three columns moved to different places on the sheets, and he doesn't like my shading... nevermind that all the formulea are correct, the columns contain information that is not quantifiable, and therefore it doesn't matter where on the sheet they are, and the information contained within the sixteen sheets, is accurate... they still must be redone, and the shading eliminated (because why would we want to make the lines more readable?) to pacify the accountant.

So, to prove to the universe that I have a sense of humor, I am sharing some things I found funny today while I was searching the internet for a reason to exhist on my lunch break. (Okay, I know that there is a dangling modifier in there, but I don't know how to fix it quickly...)

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." - Frank Zappa

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." - Frank Lloyd Wright

"I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me."
-- Winnie the Pooh, character created by author A. A. Milne (It's Winnie the Pooh Day today)

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong, is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." - Douglas Adams

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it. " -W. C. Fields

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And finally, my favorite...

by Dorothy Parker

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Roumania.

Okay... maybe I don't have a sense of humor... maybe I'm raging against the machine today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

International Printing Week, Hunt for Happiness Week

International Printing Week
Jan. 15-21, 2006
Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Birth
of Benjamin Franklin, the "Father of American Printing"

The 2006 edition of International Printing Week (Jan. 15-21) is especially significant since it marks the 300th anniversary of the birth (on Jan. 17, 1706) of Benjamin Franklin, America'’s most famous printer, an event that will be widely covered [widely covered?] in the media and marked by special events around the country during January.

NAPL (National Association for Printing Leadership) is a sponsor of International Printing Week, which was established by IAPHC (International Association of Printing House Craftsmen) in 1928.

Do check out the NAPL page. It has a quiz, t-shirts, and several ideas for parties... okay, so most of the ideas are specific to printing companies... they are easy to adapt. I know that the answer to number nine on the quiz caused quite a debate and made Mr. Franklin quite upset in his time.

Hunt for Happiness Week
"The Secret Society of Happy People enthusiastically declares January 15-21, 2006, as the fifth Hunt for Happiness Week."

Didn't you just always know that there was a "Secret Society of Happy People?" I wonder at what stage of happiness you are invited to join? Or if it is like The Blue Bird of Happiness, and you find that you always had the ability inside to become a member?

Hmmm. Interesting idea since the Secret Society of Happy People encourages us to purchase things for our Hunt for Happiness. They say
1) "Start collecting something that makes you happy. For example, begin a rock, coin, doll, angel -- whatever makes you smile -- collection."
I happen to know that other than rock, collections cost money. And even some rocks can cost money. Like gemstones, my favorite rocks to collect. They cost lots of money.
2)"Create a “Happy Space" in your home or workspace. Use colors that you love, add a candle of your favorite scent, music that makes you feel good and any decorations and textures that bring a smile to your face. Surround yourself with happiness."
Every time I try to do something like this, I am out at least $200. Probably, that's just me.

Perhaps, the moral of this story is: Money can buy happiness!

I have begun my Hunt for Happiness by purchasing an ottoman to put under my desk at work. This will make me happy. It was not what I had in mind for my quest yesterday. I did not find a perfect set of counter stools for my counter space, I found one, but one is always so hard to match. So the hunt continues! It has been decided that Froggy is a bedroom frog anyway, so perhaps I should go back to Target to get the single counter stool that I liked. I guess I don't need a set of counter stools... unless I want to have a friend eat with me... but, that might make me happy too!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 16, 2006

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

On this "Human Rights Day" (in Utah) I wanted to share a little bit more than the typical "I Have a Dream" speech. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote many other speeches, and this one is probably my favorite... but I am biased, because of the field that I work in.

"I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin [applause], we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. [applause]

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth."- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Beyond Vietnam"
Address delivered to the Clergy and Laymen
Concerned about Vietnam, at Riverside Church
4 April 1967
New York City

Isn't that just the coolest speech! I wish that I could have heard it in person. It is still so pertinent today... especially today when the gap between the haves and the have nots is getting wider.

If you have a boss, or a network of bosses that don't believe in Human Rights today, you can go somewhere Hot and Spicy for lunch to celebrate Hot and Spicy Food International Day.

If you do have the day off, and don't feel like being political and stuff, perhaps you should just celebrate National Nothing Day. Celebrate NOTHING! Its a nihilist's favorite holiday. An ecthroi day. So, if you believe in nothing, or like to do nothing, then do nothing in celebration of nothing day. Or, I guess don't celebrate because that is how a nihilist would celebrate... I'm getting really confused here... I could be crossing over into deconstructionism.

Anyway, as I commented yesterday, it is Appreciate a Dragon Day. If you thought that the Dragon Snot recipe was just a fancy name for Mormon Wedding Punch, try Pickled Dragon Eggs, or Dragon's Breath Chili, or Dragon Pork Loin Dinner, or Butterbeer, ...wait, maybe that's not dragonish, that's plainly HP. Well, it just looks yummy.

I am going to buy a counter chair today... or maybe two so my Christmas Frog can sit next to me!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another Step Closer to Green Eggs and Ham?

Genetically Engineered Green Pigs. Green Glowing Ham. Yum.

And now I a going to begin my second blog of the day, an anomaly for me. Mostly because I am determined to stay awake until 11 o'clock. I have two hours to fill. The sound of the wind outside is making me nervous about going to sleep. I am afraid that it will effect my dreams. The sound really is poignant... the wind. I feel like I am in a Jack London story... well, one of his Alaska stories. It sounds so cold and lonely outside, but, when I look out the window, I see just a light dusting of snow, and my neighbors' televisions.

I am not as isolated as I feel- and I have a cell phone now. I can call people, even long distance people. It only took me three weeks to get it, after I lost it. I was picky; I didn't want a pink phone. I know that a pink phone would make me the coolest babysitter ever in the mind of my favorite seven-year-old, but I didn't think it would be very professional when it started ringing in a meeting (as it would probably the first week that I had it, because my life is like that.)

I think that I won't go into my dreams... I might wait until after I have consulted my favorite fellow Jungian, Dr. Laura, no, not that Dr. Laura. If you link up to the website, check out Scrabble, under the "Games" tab. I do have to admit that Laura has kicked my butt many times at Scrabble. In fact, pretty much everyone can kick my butt at Scrabble, regardless, Laura is especially good.

I think EKB might make me give up my English degree if I don't stop blogging confessions like "I'm bad at Scrabble," and "I hated Canterbury Tales."

January 15, 2006

Absent-minded Secretary is back! A day earlier than promised, with a whole lot of stuff on her mind. First I should explain a bit why I was grumpy last week and had to ground myself from posting. You see, I have Multiple Sclerosis and I have been going through some medication adjustments, which always makes me grumpy, and my boss was out of town, which creates a pressure cooker type environment for me. And because my work is my life, if work is bad, life is bad. (Not really true, but true this week.) I decided to wait until this weekend to try the final two meds, because it is a three day weekend, and my doctor said that they might have some interesting side effects. There have been some. First, I have slept... a lot. About 35 hours since Friday night. I might need to see if I can do something about that. Second, I had some really freaky dreams during those hours of sleep... I might go into that later, or not, I might not need to share a trip into my innermost psyche with the internet. I need to talk to my blonde doppelganger and fellow Jungian, Laura. Third, I have a horrible metallic taste in my mouth. I mean, tongue-stuck-on-the-lamp-post-in-an-ice-storm taste.

I don't usually talk about my M.S.- at least I try not to. I try to pretend that I am a normal-working-over-thirty-and-single-mormon-girl-who-votes-democratic-at-every-election. Wait, maybe that isn't so normal. Sigh. My point is, I try not to get all "woe is me" about my illness. Regardless, I have been forced to realize, that it does make me different from "normal" people, that I need to make my own adjustments to my life, and especially that I need to not judge myself by anyone else's standards of normal. I can create my own normal.

Okay, so you, (I am pretending here that I have a massive readership) might be wondering, "why is Absent-minded Secretary all of a sudden making this dramatic change in the scope of her blog?" Well, after not posting anything for a few days, I have been spending a lot of time reading other people's blogs- a lot of other people's blogs. I have reached a few conclusions from reading their blogs... knowing that there are other people out there with similar feelings and frustrations... helps me. Even if the situations are completely different, reading their frustrations with society, and their intelligent, quirky comentary on life, makes me smile. I might not be as articulate as some people, but no-one knows who I am anyway... so why should I be shy?

I probably will continue to do holiday blogs... because that is still a part of who I am. After all, we wouldn't want to miss "Appreciate a Dragon Day" (Harry Potter Dragon Snot recipe) tomorrow.

In my sort-of-awake-fog this morning, I did a quiz. Apparently, my new nail polish color is black.

Your Nail Polish Color is Black

How you're unique: There's nothing about you that isn't unique

Why your style rocks: You are a total indie chick... and you can pull it off

What this color says about you: "I'm a trendsetter and don't care what anyone else is doing!"

I don't think I can pull off black nail polish. I think that my boss would send me home until I returned to normal. Or he would look at me sideways all day, wondering if it would be sexual harrassment to send me home for poor nail polish choices.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, January 10th

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
Read up on winter-time energy-saving tips

Weekly Celebrations

Intimate Apparel Week- Wait until March, go to Philly, see the play Intimate Apparel

Graves' Disease Week-Frequently Asked Questions
About Graves' Disease

International Thank You Days/National Thank Your Customers Week- A link to "Thank you" in over 465 languages just in case you need to say "Ngiyabonga ka khulu" to your Zulu customers as well as to your other international friends. Although your Estonian friends might wonder why you are saying "ngiyabonga ka khulu" when a simple "tänan" will do.

Cuckoo Dancing Week- Jan.12-18 is Cuckoo Dancing Week,
honoring the memory of Laurel and Hardy,
whose theme song was "The Dancing Cuckoos."”

National Skating Week- Try out The Strong and the Sequined: A Figure Skating Soap Opera if you want to dedicate time to Parts 1-239, spanning 1997-2003. I tried Part 32..And I didn't make it through two paragraphs. The characters didn't captivate me. Which was disappointing. Usually, I am easily captivated by both soap operas and figure skating. One tear.

National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week- To read scary warnings about fresh squeezed juice, check out Fresh Squeezed Facts: A Parent's Guide to Juice (Apparently, you can die from drinking apple juice.)

Monday, January 9, 2006

Thank God It's Monday Day, National Clean Off Your Desk Day, Organize Your Home Day, Word Nerd Day, January 9th

I wonder how one could honestly "Thank God It's Monday" when one must face the chores of "Organizing Your Home Day" and "National Clean Off Your Desk Day" in one single day. Really, the organizers that be could have had better foresight. If one spends their entire day at work cleaning off their desk, and by similar responsibility, their boss's desk, and nearby work table, how is one supposed to have the desire when reaching home to organize their home?

I guess it's good that I did my major putting away of Christmas presents and other lingering assorted stuffs over the weekend. I reduced my "to be read" pile from eleven books to a much more manageable four, by retiring those I haven't read, and probably will never read to my bookcase. My eyes lately have been too big for my time, or interest... if that makes sense. So, I have the goal this year to reduce my pile to none, without adding any more to it. Unless I have a book or two very highly recommended to me by Edgy.

Word Nerd Day: any ideas of how to celebrate?

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Friday, January 6, 2006

Cuddle-Up Day, International Respect for Living Day, Epiphany, January 6th

Epiphany, it's the last day of Christmas. No more presents after today, at least Christmas presents.

And speaking of presents... I need to put my Velma Dinkley
glasses on to solve the Mystery of the Cryptic Crimson Blossoms. Anyone want to join me in the Mystery Machine?

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Twelfth Night, January 5th

One of the favorite holidays that I have never celebrated properly (until tonight- wahoo!) is Twelfth Night. The days between Christmas and Epiphany (January 6th) was traditionally a time of feasting and partying. It was common in the British Isles to celebrate holidays at 6pm the previous evening, as in Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve before New Year's Day. This is why Twelfth Night became a bigger holiday than the more religious based holiday of Epiphany which celebrates when the Wise Men arrived at the stable and gave gifts to the newborn Savior.

Some things you should know about Twelfth Night:

* You should take all your Christmas decorations after your Twelfth Night celebrations, if they are taken down before or if they are left up for another night, you will have bad luck the whole year. If you are late taking your decorations down, to avoid a year of bad luck you must leave them up for the rest of the year.

* It is a time for tricks and practical jokes, if you have a party you should appoint a Lord of Misrule, if you have problems choosing one, stick a bean in a cake, and whoever gets the bean becomes the Lord of Misrule

* Traditionally, wassailing was done on this night, which was pouring the spiced drink onto the roots of the fruit trees to ensure a fruitful new year. I think drinking yummy wassail should be good enough for modern celebrations.

* If you kept a Yule Log burning since Christmas, you need to extinguish it tonight

* Likewise, if you have a natural tree and wreaths, you should burn them in a bonfire

* Mummers, if you happen to have a few hanging around, should perform at your festivities

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Memento Mori Day, National Write to Congress Day, National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, Festival of Sleep Day January 3rd

Weekly Celebrations:

Celebration of Life Week
Diet Resolution Week
New Year's Resolution Week
Silent Record Week (O-kay)
Someday We Will Laugh About This Week
Women's Self Empowerment Week

Daily Celebrations

Memento Mori Day
Memento Mori is a Latin phrase loosely translated as "remember that you are mortal" which doesn't seem very cheerful, but apparently was more of a "carpe diem" type phrase. So, while at first it doesn't seem like a very New Yearsy type day to celebrate, it actually is... Set those resolutions! Life is short!

National Write to Congress Day

To write your elected officials all you have to do is click here. I have posted this link three times since I began blogging, a month ago today, but it is important to keep your political servants aware that they are supposed to be serving you, the voter, and the best way to do that is let them know that you are aware of what they are doing.

Since it is also National Poverty Awareness in America Month, there are many things that you can write about that issue to your Congressperson. Especially, since they just passed a new budget that gives tax breaks to people over the $1 & $5 million income range and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and other necessary programs. President Bush's 2006 Budget Plan.

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

I never had liked Chocolate Covered Cherries, until I worked in a doctor's office where the doctor's wife loved them. Whenever she felt that something particularly stressful had happened, she would pop out a box of them and hand one to me, and she would eat one herself. After weeks of disliking the jellied cherry stuff with plastic coated chocolate, I became quite attached to them. Occasionally, I will buy a small box to keep in my desk. Mmmm, they probably are on sale from Christmas!

Festival of Sleep Day

Does anything need to be said about this day? Yeah Sleep!

Monday, January 2, 2006

Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes it Day, National Science Fiction Day and Happy Mew Year Day for Cats

If you have the day off, you will have ample time to celebrate one of the three celebrations of the day: Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes it Day, National Science Fiction Day and Happy Mew Year Day for Cats.

Run Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes it Day

"Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes" is an expression. It means to float an idea to see what people think, or if they notice. The term is commonly used in advertising and print media.

Run it Up the Flagpole to See if Anyone Salutes Day is set aside to allow people to do just that. Be creative today. Use this day to try and test new ideas and concepts. Don't limit the ideas to business applications. In your personal life, try out a new dress or clothing style, perhaps a different haircut. Or, maybe buy a new houseflag and run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes...or even notices. Holiday Insights

National Science Fiction Day

Having been the only girl in my family, except my mom, and being the only girl on my street for the majority of my childhood, I tend to be a bit of a tomboy. I like football. I am a Trekkie. Sad, but true. I know when James T. Kirk's birthday is, and I know all the rules to the game Fizbin. Anyway, to celebrate today, I would recommend a classic sci-fi film... and according to this website even Frankenstein will do. (Although, I would consider that horror.) I personally would recommend the movie Trekkies,
especially if you like the mockumentary genre. This isn't exactly a mockmentary, but if you have ever enjoyed sci-fi a little too much, or knew someone that did, you will find this movie quite funny.

And, if you have a cat, you MUST celebrate Happy Mew Years Day for Cats!

Sunday, January 1, 2006

New Year's Day, First Foot Day, Banished Words for 2006- January 1st

Since it is the first day of the New Year, as well as First Foot Day, I suppose one of the best ways to start off on the right foot would be to eliminate your vocabulary of all unnecessary, or "banished" words. I came across this list of Banished Words for 2006. Apparently, Lake Superior State University annually releases a "List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness." This year is the 31st year of the publishing.

These are my five favorite words and phrases from this year's list:

1) FEMA Dedicated to the memory of a great federal agency consigned to the ash heap of parody. "If they don't do anything, we don't need their acronym."--Josh Hamilton, Tucson, Ariz.

2) BREAKING NEWS- Once it stopped presses. Now it's a lower-intestinal condition brought about by eating dinner during newscasts. "Now they have to interrupt my supper to tell me that Katie Holmes is pregnant." -- Michael Raczko, Swanton, Ohio.

3)AN ACCIDENT THAT DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN- Best-laid mayhem. "This means some accidents need to happen, for whatever reason, I can't figure." -- Thomas Price, Orlando, Fla.

4) FIRST-TIME CALLER- Preamble often heard on talk radio. "“I am serious in asking: who in any universe gives a care?" --Miguel McCormick, Orlando, Fla.

5) DESIGNER BREED- Many nominators consider this a bastardization of dog breeding. It may be a good line to use on angry neighbors when an un-neutered dog escapes. “When you mate a miniature schnauzer to a toy poodle, it's not a 'Schnoodle,' it's a mongrel." -- George Bullerjahn, Bowling Green, Ohio.

And since we are starting a new month, I should inform you of January's celebrations.

January is: Book Blitz Month, Celebration of Life Month, Cervical Cancer Screening Month, Family Fit Lifestyle Month, Financial Fitness Month, International Creativity Month, International Life Balance Month, Jump Out of Bed Month, National Be-on-purpose Month, National Clean Up Your Computer Month, National Get Organized Month, National Glaucoma Awareness Month, National Mentoring Month, National Poverty Awareness in America Month, National Returns Month, and Oatmeal Month.

Happy, Happy New Year!!