Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Fun Poll

OK. Here's the thing. I'm toying with this story idea in my head and I need to know if the words "poetry" and "poultry" sound similar enough to be confused.

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Inshou ni Nokoru Kisetsu

One of my favorite Japanese pop songs is sung by Saito Kazuyoshi. I heard him sing it live in concert once. It nearly made me cry. His voice reminds me of Rufus Wainwright, only not nearly as whiney.

You can listen to a sample of Enshou ni Nokoru Kisetsu on his website. Click here. Then, click on the 7th song down. [If that doesn't work, try clicking here. Then, click on his 5th album. Then, click on the 7th song.]

Inshou ni nokoru kisetsu ha,
Naze ga itsumo fuyu.

Which is badly translated (by me) to mean "Even though the seasons change, why is it always Winter?"

Which is kinda how I am feeling today. After finishing up my taxes last night, watching a movie, and knitting for awhile, I started reading some of my blog archives just to see what I was doing one year ago.

Apparently, I was having a lot of sex with John.

And reading about the fun times we had (and also some of my frustrations) made me a little sad. So, I went to bed.

Where I dreamed of Kimura Takuya. *yum*

For Dykewife (and any other interested knitter)

Yesterday and this morning, I painstakingly typed up this knitting pattern. You kittens owe me!

EASY MITTENS (from Knit Simple)

Length from wrist to fingertips 7 (10, 11)”/ 18 (25.5, 28)cm
Wrist circumference 5.25 (6.5, 7.5)”/ 13.5 (16.5, 19)cm

TLC Essentials by Coats & Clark, 5oz/140g skeins, each approx 326yd/ 298m (acrylic)
[I used wool I bought in Glasgow – Jamieson’s Soft Shetland]. You need two skeins.

Five size 6 (4mm) dp needles, or size to obtain gauge.
Safety pin or small stitch holder

20 sts and 28 rows to 4”/10cm over St st using size 6 (4mm) needles.

Cast on 8 (10, 12) sts on first dpn, 8 (10, 12) sts on 2nd dpn, 8 (10, 12) sts on 3rd dpn and 8 (10, 12) sts on 4th dpn – 32 (40, 48) sts. Pm to mark beg of rnd and join.
Work in k1, p1 rib for 2 (3, 3)”/ 5 (75. 7.5)cm.
Change to St st and work even for 3 rows.

Rnd 1 k12 (16, 20), M1, k2, M1, k rem sts to end – 34 (42, 50) sts.
Rnds 2 and 3 knit.
Rnd 4 k12 (16, 20), M1, k4, M1, k rem to end – 36 (44, 52) sts.
Rnds 5 and 6 knit.
Rnd 7 k12 (16, 20), M1, k6, M1, k rem sts to end – 38 (46, 54) sts.
Rnds 8 and 9 knit.
Rnd 10 k12 (16, 20), M1, k8, M1, k rem sts to end – 40 (48, 56) sts.
Rnds 11 and 12 knit.
Rnd 13 k12 (16, 20), M1, k10, M1, k rem sts to end – 42 (50, 58) sts.

For women’s and men’s sizes only:
Rnds 14 and 15 knit.
Rnd 16 k(16, 20), M1, k12, M1, k rem sts to end – (52, 60) sts.
Rnd 17 knit.

For men’s size only:
Rnds 18 and 19 knit
Rnd 20 k20, M1, k14, M1, k rem sts to end – 62 sts.
Rnd 21 knit.

For all sizes:
Next rnd k12 (16, 20), place next 12 (14, 16) sts on a holder for thumb, cast on 2 sts, k to end – 32 (40, 48) sts.

Cont in St st on 32 (40, 48) sts for hand of mitten until piece is 5.5 (8.5, 9.5)”/ 14 (21.5, 24)cm, or until hand is long enough to cover index fingernail.

Rnd 1 k1, skp, k10 (14, 18), k2tog, k2, skp, k10 (14, 18), k2tog, k1 – 28 (36, 44) sts.
Rnd 2 k1, skp, k8 (12, 16), k2tog, k2, skp, k8 (12, 16), k2 tog, k1 – 24 (32, 40) sts.
Rnd 3 k1, skp, k6 (10, 14), k2tog, k2, skp, k6 (10, 14), k2tog, k1 – 20 (28, 36) sts.
Rnd 4 k1, skp, k4 (8, 12), k2tog, k2, skp, k4 (8, 12), k2tog, k1 – 16 (24, 32) sts.
Rnd 5 k1, skp, k2 (6, 10), k2tog, k2, skp, k2 (6, 10), k2tog, k1 – 12 (20, 28) sts.

For women’s and men’s sizes only:
Rnd 6 k1, skp, k(4, 8), k2tog, k2, skp, k(4, 8), k2tog, k1 – (16, 24) sts.
Rnd 7 k1, skp, k(2, 6), k2 tog, k2, skp k(2, 6), k2tog, k1 – (12, 20) sts.

For men’s size only:
Rnd 8 k1, skp, k4, k2tog, k2, skp, k4, k2tog, k1 – 16 sts.
Rnd 9 k1, skp, k2, k2tog, k2, skp, k2, k2 tog, k1 – 12 sts.

For all sizes:
Last rnd k1, skp, k2tog, k2, skp, k2tog, k1 – 8 sts.
Cut yarn, draw yarn end through rem 8 sts and fasten off.

Pick up 5 (6, 7) sts on holder with first dpn, 5 (6, 7) sts with 2nd dpn and 2 sts with 3rd dpn; pick up and knit 2 sts from hand of mitten – 14 (16, 18) sts.
Work even in St st until thum measures 1.25 (2, 2.25)”/ 3.5 (5, 6)cm, or long enough to cover half of thumbnail.
Next row [k2tog, k1] 4 (5, 6) times, k2 (1, 0) – 10 (11, 12) sts.
Next row [k2tog] 5 (5, 6) times k0 (1, 0) – 5 (6, 6) sts.
Next row [k2tog] 2( 3, 3) times, k1 (0, 0) – 3 sts.
Cut yarn, draw yarn through rem 3 sts and fasten off.

Work as for left mitten except position base of thumb as follows:
Rnd 1 k18 (22, 26), M1, k2, M1, k rem sts to end – 34 (42, 50) sts. Shape remainder of thumb base and mitten as for left mitten.



More later! *smooches*

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Tax Man Cometh

An important tax advisory, for you, my nearest and dearest kittens:

Did you know that if you make less that $52K Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), you can e-file for FREE? YES! FREE, KITTENS!

No, not free kittens:

Follow the links on the IRS webpage. Do it. It's FREE.

Be careful though, because the companies will try to get you to pay for something, like filing state taxes or loan shark-esque "rapid refund" programs. Don't do those. Do the FREE stuff. FREE.

I am getting back a rather healthy refund. YAY. It will pay for my laptop, allow me to put a chunk into savings, and maybe even pay to get some art I bought framed. *woot*

I have also answered all but one of my email responses and paid my co-op fee. I have been Mr. Productive! Love me! Worship me!

Give me free booze.

Oh. Get this. I was reviewing my budget for the month of February (which is one of the handy things about keeping a budget: I get to see where I am spending my money), and I only went to Halo once this month. What up with that?

Where have I been drinking?

Oh. Right. At home. Alone.

Whatever. I'm saving money and on track to finishing significantly under-budget for this month. [No comments about it being a short month].

There is Nothing to Report

Yesterday was Meat-Free Monday. I made spinach and mushroom quesadillas. YUM.

and, that was about all I accomplished last night. I did start knitting a new hat, but I think it is too small. I am too lazy to start over. Hopefully, the person who I am making it for has a small head.

Today, I have a buttload of email to answer. I must pay bills. I must read a story for class. And, I must work a checkbook balancing miracle. Fun times.

Oh. And I need to file my friggin' taxes. I *really* need to get my refund.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Knittens, Kittens

As promised, here are my completed knittens:
Behold my knitterly goodness!
You may all worship me silently from afar.

There and Back Again

Before I get into my weekend adventures and insecurities, a few tidbits:

It snowed. See photo.
I finished my knittens. Photo forthcoming (hopefully).
I have apparently been banned for life from Scott-o-Rama. *sniff*

So, the weekend ...

pab picked me up from Union Station a little after 10AM. He was late. This did not make me happy. He bought me coffee, so I became happier.

We got to the hotel (Hilton Garden) in Williamsburg around 1PM. We checked in. We got settled. We had sex. It was ... ok. I mean, I suppose that I was expecting something a little more toe-curlingly amazing, considering that he only ever has oral sex. You would think that someone who "specialized," so to speak, would be, well, friggin' fantastic. Perhaps, my expectations were set too high. I mean, it wasn't bad. It just wasn't ... well, I guess it wasn't Mike, who as we know gives the best blowjobs ever. And, I was expecting something at or above the Level of Mike. *sigh*

We cleaned up and then explored Historic Williamsburg. It was cute. The best part was finding the little bakery that makes the super-yummy gingerbread "cakes" [more like thick soft gingerbready cookies, actually]. I bought a dozen (mmmm) and we had coffee - which was equally delicious. It tasted like it had cardamom or something in it. YUM.

We wandered. We went into stores. pab decided he wanted to buy a box to keep his vitamins in. We went on a Vitamin-keeping-in-box Hunt. He eventually found something he liked. I thought nearly $30 for a little wooden box was a bit on the pricy side, but whatever makes one happy, right?

We went back to the hotel and watched a movie (Star Wars). Later we went to dinner at a Greek restaurant. Tres Yum. For dessert, I had the baklava sundae - baklava, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce ... Mmmmmmmm. I felt super bloated.

Back at the hotel, I pretty much went straight to bed. Yes, I'm fun. I'm sure pab wanted to fool around some more, but I wasn't feeling it. Or maybe he didn't. I'm not sure what the current philosophy is about having teh sex before a big athletic event.

pab snores. a lot. loudly.

Sunday morning, pab went to have breakfast. "Do you want anything," he asked.
"Just coffee, thanks," I responded.
When he returned he said, "I brought you your coffee ... and some yogurt, a banana, and cereal."
Which made me wonder, "What part of 'just coffee' did he not understand?"

pab has this 'quirk' in which he likes to ask me what I want, but then goes ahead and does what he wants anyway. *eh*

Around noon:thirty, we checked out of the hotel and went to the half-marathon. It was pissing it down rain, with sleet sometimes mixed in. Inside, I was very happy that I am not a runner. None of the runnerpeople looked very happy.

The race started around one. I went back to the car to knit. Luckily, we parked in a spot near the end of the race so I could cheer pab on as he ran to the finish. Yay me. See? Supportive. That's what I am.

During the 2 hour wait, I called Mike and Darryl and Tomoko. Based on the weather in DC [SNOW! kittens!], we decided to cancel the Oscar party. So, I did not get to see Judi Dench and Pan's Labyrinth ROBBED! of their Oscars. GAH. OK. PL did win 2 or 3, but not for Best Foreign Language Film. Grrr.

After the race, we stopped off for a late lunch/ early dinner at IHOP, because the thought of pancakes is what kept pab running those last couple of miles. Back when I was training for the marathon, it was always the thought of cheese grits.

Then, we drove back to DC. I got home around 7:30. I watched a movie. Finished the knittens. And went to bed. Fun times. Fun times.
Mid-Morning Update: Some words to live by from the WaPo's Fashionista, Robin Givhan:
I had a splendid time at the store. I will not tell you how much I spent. My father might read this posting and he would be appalled. I can hear him now, "Honey, are you saving for a rainy day?" No, but I'll look really chic in the downpour.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Fun Pre-Oscar Poll: Who Will Win Best Actress?

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Behold My Knitterliness!

It's been a superbusy morning, kittens. As evidenced by the following:

Knitten yesterday:


Knitten today:


Tonight, I will -possibly- complete the thumb and start on the next one. Fun times.

Who says it's not Party Central when VUBOQ is around? WHO?

My Nights are Filled with Excitement

So, I was at the Upstairs Neighbor's apartment last night (Hi, Upstairs Neighbor *waves*). She invited me to join her and some friends for knitting and conversation. It was fun. I worked on my knitten. I'm almost finished with the thumb gusset. *heh* "gusset" is a weird word.

I left around 10. pab said he would call last night, but didn't. I called once I got back to my apartment. He didn't answer. I left a message saying I'd be heading to bed around 10:30. Maybe he wasn't free until after that point. It's not like him to 1) not do what he says and b) not call at all. Weird. I hope everything is ok. I might give him a bell during my lunch break today.

And -amazingly- I have no plans for tonight (yet). I might email Jerry to see if he is free for happy hour. Or, I might go home straight after work and watch Season 1 of Extras. It is cold outside. And windy. So not conducive to me wanting to venture forth into the big city.

I wish I had something interesting to blog about, but I guess that can wait until after this weekend.

OH. I know. Did you see this totally cool article in the WaPo:

For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting

Go. Read it now. Then, you can come back and discuss.

It's articles like this that make me regret that I didn't follow the biology track to my education. Of course, I wouldn't have been studying chimpanzees killing bush babies. I would have been studying Assassin Bugs (and the like. gotsta love the Hemipterans!)! *woot!*

Maybe after I get my current Master's degree paid off, I'll go back ...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are You Cuff Enough?

Look! It's a knitten, kittens! Well, at least it's a knitten cuff, kittens!

Yeah ... I've been busy at work today. Yessirree ...

I've finished the cuff of knitten #1, using the wool I bought in Scotland. *woot*

And, notice the weird way the fluorescent lights have reflected off my ghostly pale skin to make it seem like my hand has disappeared.

Gotta love pale white boys, yes you do.


Wow. My Forehead Sure is Sparkly

The Most Marvelicious Mush warholized me. Isn't she sweet? Yay for fun Flickr toys.

And here's a shocker (and, no, not this kind): The class liked my story! Yay! They liked me. They really, really liked me. Lots of nice things were said. And they also honed in on the areas in the story where I had concerns. Which could possibly mean I have good instincts as to when my writing truly does sucketh (kind of like now).

The teacher/instructor/workshop leader made some good points, so I look forward to reading his written comments next week. YAY.

I managed to catch the 10:04 bus to Silver Spring (*woot*), but forgot to request a transfer. The weather was mild, so I didn't mind walking home, slip-sliding on a few icy patches. I spoke briefly to Robert, who is heading to SF for the weekend (for his BIRTHDAY!), and, then, I called pab.

I got home around 11, and the hopes that the long walk home would have helped to settle my brain were dashed. I still didn't fall asleep until after midnight. Different plot points and ideas swirled in my head. I need to figure out a way to wind down more quickly after class, so I can get some rest.
Tonight is Laundry Night. *woot*

And my upstairs neighbor has invited me to her apartment for a little knitting get-together. FUN! I can work on my knittens. YAY!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I am the Alpha and Omega.

pab picked me up at Union Station around 6:15 last night. We had dinner at a little Mexican place, which -as a friend said to me- looked liked a Mexican flea market inside. The food was quite yummy. I had cheese enchiladas. Mmmm. I do so love enchiladas.

After dinner, I was stuffed like a pig at Christmas, so we drove over to the Jefferson Memorial for a bit of a walk, and then pab drove me home. On the way home, it started to rain. We made out for a bit in the car, and I went inside.

A few minutes later he called ... to ask if I wanted to go to Williamsburg this weekend with him. I said yes, with the qualifier that we must get back in time to see the Oscars. Good lord, I am so gay. He's running a half-marathon there on Sunday afternoon. We will leave on Saturday morning so that we can do some sight-seeing and stuff. Then, I guess soon after the half-marathon we will head back. It should be fun. I haven't been to Williamsburg since I was in college. I can already taste the homemade gingerbread. Mmm. Gingerbread.

In other news, I have class tonight. I am reading my short story. Y'know, the one without a hook and that doesn't make use of short, snappy sentences. Also, the one that pretty much uses every stylistic convention that my classmates have said they dislike. And, yes, I did that on purpose. Is that so wrong? Why am I feeling so antagonistic about it? Maybe I want to prove (at least to myself) that, like the workshop leader says, there really are no rules for short story writing. Or maybe I'm simply cranky.

I need to finish critiquing two stories as well. I'm struggling for positive things to say about one of the stories, the one written by the Crazy Lady. *sigh*

Oh, and thanks to the wonderful Ms. Chelsea, who provided a photo on her blog which has given me an idea for the start of a new story. See if you can guess which photo it is.

I guess that's about it for now.
Happy Wednesday, Kittens.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Something is Amiss

pab called earlier today. We're going out for dinner tonight. He'll meet me at Union Station around 6/6:15 and we'll go to some mediocre restaurant in or around Capitol Hill.

I should be excited about this. And I am. I'm also apprehensive and uptight. The relationship has barely begun, and I am already thinking about the end.


Everyone Recovered from the President's Day Craziness?

Ooooh! Guess what? Guess what?

I saw grass on the walk to work this morning! GRASS!
Like greenness. Too long had I walked in a valley of white.
Very excited. I don't know how people up t'North can handle it ... not seeing green for MONTHS.

And, on another bright and cheery note, today is going to be the warmest day in TWENTY-FIVE DAYS! *woot*

Let's have a cheer for "above freezing!" YAY!

OK. Have I blogged about the weather enough to make those people who hate people who blog about the weather irate? Let's hope so ...

Meanwhile, I haven't done any writing or reading for my short story class. Hopefully, I will be able to motivate myself today to critique the two stories, finish polishing my story, and -perhaps- start thinking about another one.

Maybe the tale of a (sort of) young gay man trapped in a job he hates who constantly dates the wrong people. And, all he really wants to do is remodel his kitchen. And maybe paint his spare room (once he gets it clean). And knitting! There could be LOTS of knitting in the story. And by "knitting," I mean "sex."

I've been staring at the screen for about 10 minutes, so I guess I'm done. Perhaps more later.


Monday, February 19, 2007

There is Confusion

But, first ...

OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! I have finished the Never-ending Left Sleeve of the Never-ending Sweater of Doom! Worship me, kittens! Now, all I have left to do is connect the shoulders, knit the neck, and sew the whole thing together! I should be done by AUGUST! *woot!*

Ha. I kid. My goal is to be done by my birthday (March 17th, for those of you who want to send presents).

Oh, and if anyone has any good links for seaming, please send them to me. I have no idea how to do the shoulders... or actually how to attach the sleeves to the torso. The rest will be mattress stitching, I guess, which is relatively easy.

And, now, the confusion ...

I didn't go out with pab tonight. He called around 6:30. I was too comfortable here to bother getting ready and leaving the warmth of my sofa. We may meet up tomorrow depending on his schedule.

About an hour or so after we spoke, he called back. To tell me that he's thinking of moving to South Florida to be closer to his parents. It's good that he is upfront and honest with me. Now I know not to become more emotionally involved. It's not like I'm going to move to Florida, nor is it likely that I will pursue a long-distance relationship.

Of course, I guess the other point would be "when." When is he thinking of relocating? Should I continue to see him while he's still here? Or should I cut my losses and move on? I don't know. Maybe he gives really good blowjobs. That could be useful. At least in the short term.

*le sigh*

OH. And for Meat-free Monday, I made scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach, cheese and salsa, which I wrapped in heated corn tortillas. YUMMY. No picture though. Sorry.

Snow and Margaritas

Yesterday afternoon, I met Tomoko, Robert and Darryl for margaritas! *woot*
It was quite fun. While walking to the restaurant (Alero in Dupont Circle), I thought I saw a snowflake. "Impossible," I thought to myself. "It must be falling off a tree or something."

Ha. I was soon proved to be mistaken. The snow fell quite furiously for awhile, accumulating about an inch or so while we ate and drank. and drank. and drank.

After the snow stopped and the final pitcher was empty, we slid our way up to Fab Lounge. It was empty, but the beer was reasonably priced. Hmm ... Come to think of it, I believe I owe some people for the beverages.

My walk home from the metro station was a little trickier than usual because of the recent dusting of snow. I'm glad I wore my snow boots! pab called as I slipped homewards. We will probably be meeting up later today. Meanwhile, I will be knitting, watching Pride and Prejudice, and lounging on the sofa.

Happy President's Day! *smooches*

Update: Here's an experimental video that I've been trying to get to work ...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The View from Uranus

The date yesterday with pab was quite fun. He picked me up around noon and we drove to National Airport to return his rental. He has this weird philosophy about not putting mileage on his car, so, whenever he takes a roadtrip, he rents. To each their own, ne?

After dropping off the car, we ended up at this little restaurant in Del Ray (augh. VA, again) for lunch. I had a sandwich with roasted eggplant tomato basil mozzarella. Quite yummy. Then, we drove back into Civilization to visit the National Portrait Gallery.

It was all right. After awhile I began to feel "portrait overload." Seriously, how many paintings of people can you look at, thinking "Hm. Should I know who this person is?" before you go absolutely bonkers?

The answer is apparently ten. I did enjoy the American Art sections of the museum. Were those Noguchi settees and tables in the Modern Art section? I believe they were. Placed there for the huddled masses to enjoy. Hot!

The Joseph Cornell exhibit was also fascinating (Thanks for pointing that out, Matt!).

After leaving the museum, we thought about going to a movie, but nothing was playing at the E Street that I wanted to see (except Volver, and it didn't start for another 2 hours or so). We ended up having coffee at Starbucks, and, then driving to Silver Spring for dinner.

Mmm. Ginger Salad from Mandalay. Mmmm.

After dinner, we wandered over to the AFI, but nothing there was of interest either (that I hadn't already seen). So, we ended up buying a DVD, To Wong Foo - Thanks for Everything Love, Julie Newmar, and coming back to my place to watch it.

This was not simply a clever ploy to get him in my house so we could make out. That was a pleasant side effect though. The movie ended. We got a little hot and heavy on the sofa. He's a good kisser. He has nice arms. Hairy chest. We started talking about what we like (sexually) and, then, it was all

Houston We Have a Problem

He doesn't like butt sex. And I think butt sex is very important. So, I am presented with a dilemma: Is it enough that I've met someone who -very early in the relationship- seems like a great match, funny, good career, interesting hobbies, likes to travel, adventurous eater, yet *may* not be able to fulfill my sexual needs?

Granted, he does like oral sex (a lot, he says). And, he seemed willing -if the relationship progresses to that point- to give butt sex the old college try. But, can you teach an old dog new tricks? Will that be enough?

We continued to make out. Things started to get out of hand, so I said that was enough by telling him what one of my kittens had said the other day on the phone, "A fast beginning leads to a fast ending."

Better to take it slow and see what happens, no?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Long Day. Long Weekend.

On days like this, I have to wonder if time is actually moving backwards.
I am so bored. And, when bored, I blog entire entries revolving around absolute nothing.
I was going to make a short video with my camera involving a pink Post-It note origami crane and a hi-liter, but the actors were not feeling all that improvisational, and I don't have the energy to script it.

I'm sorry.

And, I forgot to video a little ice skating number for you on my way to work this morning. Perhaps because it was SO cold, I didn't want to stop walking. Maybe this weekend, if it remains frigidly cold. That'll give you something to look forward to, right? RIGHT?

I think I'm going to shut down the Hotline early (like 4:30), so I can go meet Kristen at Pentagon Row. We're going to eat at the Lebanese Taverna there. Mmmm. And then K will drive to the Kennedy Center. *woot*

The rest of my long weekend will be spent: on a date with pab tomorrow, at Sunday Afternoon Margaritas with my kittens, and ??? No plans yet for Monday, perhaps I will stay home and clean and organize and knit. Or maybe pab will want to do something.

OH. I keep forgetting to link to Only Me's First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off entry. Here it is! The second photo cracked me up.

I think I'll let the staff go in a few minutes.
I'm hungry.
Anyone have any chocolate?

A Soup-er Evening!

I had loads of fun last night. I had to do laundry, but didn't have enough quarters. I had to scrounge around through buckets of change until I found enough to do one load of laundry. Ah. Clean undies for yet another week. Life. It is good.

I also made soup. I would love to tell you it was delicious, but I burned my tongue with the first bite and lost all sense of taste. It smelled good though. The recipe is thus:

Saute in olive oil 1/2 onion (diced) and clove of garlic (mashed).
Add one apple (peeled, cubed) and 3 potatoes (peeled, cubed).
Add one chipotle pepper and a couple of spoonfuls of adobo sauce.
Cook for a bit.
Meanwhile, slice in half an acorn squash and remove seeds.
Place squash in 1/4 cup of water and microwave for 8-10 minutes.
To the pot add one can of diced tomatoes and several cans of water.
Bring to a boil.
Scoop out squash bits and add to soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When all the veggies are soft, blend the HELL out of those suckers.
Gawd, I love my handblender.

Serve with bread. Eat.
Say, "Yum!"

I should have taken a picture. Oh well, all my blended squash soups pretty much look the same though - orange and creamy-smooth.

I knitted a bit on the Never-ending Left Sleeve of the Never-ending Sweater of Doom. I'm about two-thirds done with it, and I think I must have missed a few increases along the way. Oops. I don't think that will matter all that much. I'll keep increasing now until I have the correct number of stitches. My goal is to finish the sweater by the end of the month and wear it for the first time on my birthday (March 17th, for those of you who want to send presents. And you know who you are!).

pab called on his way home from his school's first basketball game. They lost. He was hoarse. We talked for a bit. He's off to Pennsylvania for the day to visit friends where he used to work.

I'll be enjoying the Edward Scissorhands Ballet this evening with my friend, Kristen. YAY! I remembered my binoculars! Double YAY! Maybe my boss will let us leave early for the holiday weekend (I hope! I hope! I hope!).

I guess that's about it. For now.

*smooches* kittens

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Non-Drinkers Are So Much Fun

The snow looked glassy on the walk home. I hesitantly put one blue-booted foot on it. It was slick, smooth. I walked the rest of the way home on the plowed sludge, frozen, uneven, but easier to walk on. As I passed the middle school athletic field, I was suddenly smacked across the gob with an idea: I should try to ice skate on the track!

I did. It was a brief moment of silliness. It made me laugh. I ran and then tried to slide as far as I could. Of course, only after I stopped did I think, "Hm. If I had fallen, my brittle nearly-37-year-old bones would have shattered."

While I was skating around the track, I missed a call from pab. Once home, and settled, I called him back.

"What are you doing," he asked.
"I'm sorting laundry, hunting for quarters, and making a manhattan." [As you know, I've been craving those lately ... mmm ... bourbony goodness]
"A manhattan? What's in those? Can you make them without alcohol?"
"Sure," I responded, with a laugh. "If you want a cherry in a cocktail glass."

Which reminded me of my 33rd birthday party at the Lesbian (oops. I mean, Lebanese) Taverna in Woodley Park. My friend, Michelle, had told me at work - we worked part-time, weekends only, at the Sackler Gallery Gift Shop, part of the Smithsonian Institution - that she wanted to try a martini without alcohol. To which I responded, "You mean olives in a glass?"

Well, at my 33rd birthday party, in which I drank my dinner and do not know how I got home, but didn't end up with any visible scarring unlike my 35th birthday party, and was quite angry with my boyfriend-at-the-time for putting me on the train and not accompanying me home, Michelle ordered my first (of many) drink that evening: Olives. In a Glass.

She said she had to explain it many times to the waiter. In English and Arabic.

I think I may take my camera with me to work tomorrow and make a short ice-skating video for you.

I must check on my soup.

*many happy smooches*

The Nickname

For four summers, I taught US Geography at a camp for Asian exchange students. My roommate, Don, was an Iowan dairy farmer, part-time college English professor, and a part-time high school Spanish teacher. One evening, after work, we were talking about low-performing students (in general, not at the camp), and Don said, "I call 'em pabs."

"Pabs," I asked. "What does that mean?"

"Peaked At Birth. It's all down hill from there."

And we both laughed.

This morning, while attempting to create a moniker for "the Date," I realized his initials are P.A.B. And I laughed.
PAB called last night. On Saturday, he's going to pick me up for brunch, and, then, we are going to the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery. Fun times, I'm sure.

Little Flashing Lights

The annoying flashing L-shaped lights are back, interrupting my vision and making it hard to blog. I wonder if they're work-related, these ophthalmic migraines. I only seem to get them here.

I'm a little peeved because I forgot my lunch today. Grrr. I realized it about halfway to work. I rode the bus, rather than attempting to sledge through the crispy ice mounds covering most of the sidewalks, so there was no turning back for the hummus and spinach sandwich on sourdough bread still sitting on my counter. Alas.

My Valentine's evening was good. My upstairs neighbor invited me to have dinner with her, her boyfriend, her roommate, and another neighbor. It was quite nice. Good food. Lots of wine. Interesting conversation. A fun time was had by all. Or at least me. And in the end, that's all that really matters. *heh*

Hm. I can't really see anything out of my right eye now. Kind of sucky, that is.

My only plans tonight are to do laundry and make experimental soup [acorn squash and apple]. I suppose I should also concentrate on reading the stories that I was supposed to have read for yesterday and polish my story a bit more. Or maybe I'll start a new one.

More later.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hopin' and Prayin'

Still no news about my class tonight. I am really not wanting to go, and not because I am supposed to be reading ... ALOUD ... my short story tonight. [OK, partly because of that.]

My main reason for not wanting to go is that it will be slippery outside. Slip.Er. EEEEEEeeee...

Usually, I go home for dinner first. Then, I walk to the Metro station and take the Red Line to Bethesda. Yes, this is the long way; however, rush hour Metro on the Red Line is chock full o' hot mancandy. Mmmm. I think they get a discount or something. What else would explain all that deliciousness in one place at one time?

Since the sidewalks are gigantic alleys of slush, I do not want to walk home. I can either take the bus or stay in downtown Silver Spring, which means that I would need to eat dinner out. [Anyone in Silver Spring want to meet me for dinner?] It's an added expense I really don't want.

And, of course, the trip home from class at 10PM will not be fun, since I catch the bus and the formerly slushy sidewalks and roads will have re-frozen by that point.

Oh, and I'm supposed to read my story. aloud. tonight. Did I mention that? It's making my stomach feel a little oogly.

As a special treat, here are the opening paragraphs of my story:

The yellow-hatted first graders ran out of the elementary school gates at 3PM. Satoshi first heard their high-pitched voices echoing down the narrow alley behind his house. Then, through his frosted window, he saw their blurry images clatter past.

“Is it already 3PM,” he thought, stretching his thin arms upwards. His mother and father should be home soon from their monthly visit to his Aunt’s house in a neighboring town. Any moment now, the front door to the genkan (foyer) would slide open and his mother’s voice would call out, “Tadaima! We’re home, Satoshi.”
Makes you want to read more, doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?

A very happy UPDATE: Class has been cancelled! *WOOT*

From My Pussy to Yours ...


We have, like, 2 thousand inches of ice/sleet/snow wintry mix and I don't have to go into work until 10:30. *woot*

I wonder if my class will meet tonight?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Eve

At 2:30, I shut down the Hotline. The roads were becoming dangerous, slicked with sleet and ice and snow. My co-workers were getting anxious. One of the Program Mangers told me, "I went ahead and shut down without permission. The world will go on even if we miss a couple of phone calls."

It's true. If it's urgent, they can always call back tomorrow.

I slipped and slid down the hill home. My overcoat, ice-encrusted. My face, frozen. Once home, I melted onto the sofa.

I called Kristen about the ballet. Neither of us wanted to venture out into the frozen mess. I had the brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea that she should call (the tickets were in her name) to see if we could exchange them for another night. The Kennedy Center website only said "No refunds." It didn't mention exchanges. Kristen called, while we chatted on IM. When I told her that I didn't want to die for the ballet, she laughed and told the operator, who replied, "We don't want you to die either." And, thus, our tickets were easily exchanged [plus a $10 per ticket fee].

Now, We will be attending the Edward Scissorhands ballet on Friday night, for $58 each, rather than $43. Still ... it's better than losing the money and not seeing the dance.

Instead, I've worked on my short story, which is to be read aloud in class tomorrow. AUGH. Panic. And I've been trying to organize my thoughts about the other two stories we have to critique.

I also called the Date ... I've yet to come up with an appropriate moniker for him. Perhaps, "the idiot," because he seems to like me a lot. We had spoken earlier in the afternoon. He called to see if I had left work early. I shared with him my ballet dilemma. He said I could stay at his place if the roads were bad or I became stranded. I demurred. He offered to drive me home afterwards, which was sweet ... but unnecessary. I am independent. Hear me roar!

Anyway, I called to tell him that I would not be going to the ballet tonight, that we were able to exchange our tickets. We talked. He suggested that we get together tonight. I said no ... in a nice way. Or at least in as nice a way as VUBOQ can.

We are going out on Saturday. That's soon enough. I have concerns that he's projecting ideas of how he thinks I should be on how I know I am. "You would love this," he says. Until I say, "Um. No. I don't think I would." Getting to know each other. It's a long process. And it hasn't even been a week.

At least I think he's worth getting to know. That's a good thing, right? Right?

Hm... and I was going to take this opportunity to tell you about the Valentine's Day Lonely Loser Dinner, but I guess that will have to wait.

*smooches* and *hugs* kittens

One Year Ago Today

VUBOQ was born.

Well, at least VUBOQ: The Blog [merchandise available soon at a store near you!]. VUBOQ: The Person is a tad older.

Diary-X had crashed and burned, and I needed a place to type in my thoughts ... and to keep me entertained during the long slow slog of the workday.

And, y'know, like, people are reading it,
Which is surprising. About 25000 hits in one year (half of which are probably mine).

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and leaving comments and stuff.

I'm going to the Edward Scissorhands ballet tonight. *woot*
More later. I have a fairly busy morning ahead of me. Lots of email to answer.


Monday, February 12, 2007

More About Chili

OK, in addition to Marve, a few other bloggers have posted their chili pics:

Cooper, Hyphenated non-IDentity, and Goblinbox.
Oh. And Diablo made chili earlier in the week, too.

Visit their blogs. Comment on their wondrous chili creations! Mmm. Chili.

And, since today is Meat-Free Monday*, here's how I made my chili on Saturday:

VUBOQ's Easy Meat-Free Chili
(adapted from Lorna Sass' Short Cuts Vegetarian cookbook):

1. In a large pot, add some olive oil.

2. Saute some garlic (to taste) and one onion (diced) until mostly cooked.

3. Add chili powder. Cook for a bit.

4. Add half of a green bell pepper (diced).

5. Add three cans black beans (drained and rinsed), one can kidney beans (drained and rinsed), and two cans of diced tomatoes with chilies (neither drained nor rinsed).

6. Add two carrots (minced in handy dandy food processor).

7. Add one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (also minced) and a couple of spoonfuls of adobo sauce (depending on how spicy you like it).

8. Add one 12 oz. bag of Morningstar Crumbles.

9. Add 1 or 2 cups of frozen corn.

10. Let all this cook for a bit.

11. If you want, top with sour cream and shredded cheese. Also additional hot sauce, if you so desire.

12. Serve with cornbread.

13. Eat, smile, say "YUM!"

Here's the photo again:

My Meat-Free Monday meal will be the last of the chili and cornbread. I thought I would have loads left-over, but the ravenous horde devoured nearly all of the chili! So, it must have been good (or they were too drunk/hungry to care).

*Do your part for the environment by enjoying a delicious Meat-Free meal today!

There Was a Date

So ... I went on a date Sunday.
We met at Union Station for coffee. I had to pay, because as we were ordering he couldn't find his wallet. He was getting a little panicky, so I had to remind him to remain calm and as soon as our coffee came up we would go check his car.

I am very level-headed when the crisis doesn't involve myself (unlike last weekend, when I had to tear apart my house because I couldn't find my wallet).

We talked and drank our coffee for quite sometime. He's a senior administrator for a local college, very interested in international education and preparing students for globalization. He'll be going to China in April (I think), so I told him about my experiences working there.

After coffee, he drove us down to the Mall and we walked around the Lincoln Memorial for awhile. He's very big into fitness, has run a half-marathon or two. And has also run a duathalon. He's a fast walker. *whew*

It started to get colder, so we went to Cafe Asia in Arlington (Rosslyn? Somewhere. Over there. Across the bridge). His food was delicious. Mine bordered between ordinary and *meh*. He doesn't eat red meat and used to be a vegetarian, so he's veg-friendly. Which is always a plus.

After dinner, he drove me home. The date ended with a hug. And he kissed me on the cheek. Which was kind of sweet.

All in all, a very good date. We seem to have a lot in common. Potential problems? He's older (47), which in itself doesn't have to be a problem, but it could be. I don't know. Also, he's a fairly devout Catholic. And, well, as you probably know, I'm not very religious at all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yet Another Chili Post

OK, everyone, I've been scouring the 'net for your First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off posts, and so far, I've only found Marve's post about her Super-Delicious-looking "seitan-ic" chili! C'mon, kittens, I need to SEE some CHILI Postings!!!

props to Marve for going veg! *woot*

Anyway, here's a fun little game for you that I call: SPOT THE PUSSY

How many pussies can you find in this photo:

Meanwhile, my date was very good. I will blog more about this tomorrow after I process. But, for a first date. VERY. GOOD. And he called on the way home to say he thought I was "cute, smart, and funny."

Which is so very very true.


Chili, Kittens

Here's a short photo montage of the Night o' Chili!

Mmm. Chili! More on the First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off later.

I must go to bed, because, one of us, meaning ME, has a date tomorrow. WOOT.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Budgeting Dilemma

Should the purchase of bourbon and sweet vermouth be placed in the "entertainment" or the "groceries" portion of the budget?

Mmmm. Manhattans.

A Week of Triumph

Well, my first week of tightening the Budgetary Screws is about to end with some significant successes!

First, I brought my lunch to work EVERY DAY this week! Which, if you think about, saved me at least $50. *woot*

I also did not purchase any coffee shop coffee. No Starbucks. No Panera. No Borders. No overpriced coffee! I either brought it from home or drank office swill! Savings: probably about $20. *woot*

So far this week, I am well within the confines of my budget boundaries. Of course, this is the first week of the month. Hopefully, I can maintain discipline. Go me!

Last night, I did laundry. *woot*

Tonight, I have no plans. I think it's going to be too cold to venture into DC. I've been craving Manhattans lately, so maybe I'll buy the ingredients [bourbon, sweet vermouth, cherries] before heading home. I also have to go to Giant to buy groceries for ...

The First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off!!!! *woot*

I can't wait to see everyone's pictures and recipes on Saturday (or Sunday). This is going to be so much fun. And, if all goes well, my cooking won't kill the 5 or so people who are coming over on Saturday night.

Fun times, kittens. Fun times.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Glasgow Patter

As some of you kittens may know, my friends, Mike and Matt recently relocated to Glasgow, Scotland. Matt has started a blog. Go visit. Say hi. I've linked him over there -->

Or just clickity clickity click click here: Glasgow Patter

*smooches und love*

A Moment of Silence for Anna Nicole Smith

*hums soft music*

Thank you.
Now you can all leave snarkibitchy comments.
Thank you, again.

VUBOQ is Reminded Why He Doesn't Buy Plants Often

A few days ago, I bought a gerber daisy from Whole Foods. They were on sale, only $3.99. And, I felt the need for something pretty in my house.

I placed it on the center of my table. It looked very nice there, a spot of vibrant red amongst the brown and white. PsychoKitty Isabella seemed to like it there too, because she began eating off the leaves.

Yep. She eats plants. I had forgotten that. And then she vomits. More than usual. Oh. Joy.

In an act of preventative maintenance, I have moved the gerber daisy to the top of my refridgerator, where it will live when I'm not at home. I don't think Isabella can jump on top of the fridge. At least, I haven't seen her do it yet. Maybe the deliciousness of Mr. G. Daisy will inspire her to leap to new heights.

In other news, class was interesting-ish. We spent the entire time critiquing the three stories. Hearing everyone's input was good. Crazy lady from last week remains crazy. Quoth her, "I didn't find your first paragraph engaging, so I re-wrote it in a way that I would find engaging."

Um. OK.
Not helpful.
Unless you want your story to engage crazy ladies.

We are reading her story (the one she ripped up in college and has spent years trying to recreate) for next week. I did something very foolish. I have volunteered to read my story aloud in next week's class.

That means I have to a) finish it, b) practice reading it aloud, and c) PANIC LIKE CRAZY!

I think class would be better if we did some writing exercises as well. But, maybe that's not how workshops operate? The class does seem to have more advanced writers than beginners, which may be the reason for the lack of directed writing?

Meanwhile, if anyone has any ideas on how to say "masturbate" in a literary way, please let me know.

Don't forget: Saturday is the First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off!!! *woot*

So far, I know these fabulicious bloggers are participating:

only me,
and cooper.

It looks like I'll be having about 5 people over to eat chili and play games on Saturday night! Fun! It's a party!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Cook. Therefore, I Am.

Or at least, therefore, I eat.

Last night, I made a very yummy pasta dish. I sauteed some leftover butternut squash (maybe 1 cup's worth) in about 3 tbsp of butter. Once it was soft, I mashed it with some salt, pepper, and thyme. To make it a bit more liquidypasty, I also added a smidge of olive oil.

To this, I added a whole lot of grated parmesan cheese. Then, I tossed it with penne pasta.

I served it with a simple salad.

It was surprisingly delicious.

In the meantime, is everyone thinking about CHILI (not Chile! and not Chilly!)?

There Be Snow

Yes, it snowed last night. Not much, maybe about an inch. Because it's so cold here, the snow is powdery and sweepable, which is nice.

And, you know snow means, don't you? PERFECT CHILI WEATHER!!!

Just in time for Saturday's First Annual Blogger Chili Blogoff! *woot*

So far, the following fabulicious bloggers are participating:

marve, and
only me

I have conveniently eliminated some of the competition by inviting a few friends, including a fellow blogger or two, over for chili and games on Saturday night. *hah* I am so clever.

My writing class is today. I need to read the three stories and type up my comments on them. I want to polish up the draft of my story ... or at least polish up the bit I've written so far.

But, first, I must venture to the Safeway to buy detergent, Plax, and candy! Have a totally groovilicious day!

And, think CHILI, kittens!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off!

Kittens, it's cold outside!

And what do we want to do in cold weather, besides snuggle with a cute cuddlebunny and/or drink loads of alcohol (it's insulating ... really)?

EAT CHILI! That's what!

Thus, I propose the

First Annual Blogger Chili Blog Off

for this Saturday, February 10, 2007!

Here's what we do:

Step 1: Spread the word throughout Bloglandia!
Step 2: On Saturday, make chili!
Step 3: Take photos of the chili!
Step 4: Post photos of your chili!
Step 5: Post your chili recipe!
Step 6: Accept wonderful chili-flavored praise from your friends and readers!

There will be no judgement, only positive chili affirmation!

You could even invite some friends over to partake of your delicious chili creations!
Mmm. Spicy Meaty (or Beany) FUN!

You know you want to do this ...
[even those of you who say you can't cook]!

*red hot chili smooches*

Behold, What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

Yonder. *heh*

If I hear or read one person saying/writing that the recent cold snap is proof that climate change is not occurring, I may have to pound their face into the dirt with my copy of The Weather-Makers. It's a hard cover. It would hurt.

Not that anyone has ... yet.

It is cold. I am cold. My face durn-near froze off on the walk to work. I briefly considered taking the bus, but it was crowded. And I really hate standing. Especially while loaded down with my laptop (I'm hoping to get some of my short story written today) and a travel mug filled to the rim with Brim (ha! Actually, it's filled to the rim with my favorite, Quartermaine's House Blend. YUM).

I did an initial run through of my taxes last night, and I was ... um ... disappointed to say the least. My refund is not as big as I was lead to believe it should be. And, my federal refund was only a couple hundred dollars more than my state refund. I don't understand how that can be.

Yo! George! Where is my friggin' tax cut? Hmmm?

Still, my refund is more than I usually get, but I was hoping to have enough to pay for my laptop, put some aside in savings, and turn my spare room into a study. I will probably only have enough for the first two items on that list.

Time to start seriously budgeting, saving for the study, and changing my birthday vacation plans. *sigh*

Maybe I'll take the bus to NYC or somewhere for a few days ... that should be cheaper than flying to visit my cousin in Ann Arbor. I think ...

Oh, and even though my Meat-Free Monday meal consisted of leftover soup, here's a picture of my Winter Vegetable Chowder (aka Crack Soup):

Winter vegetable chowder

[I used carrots and butternut squash as my Winter Vegetables, btw]

*Stay Warm, Kittens smooches*

Monday, February 05, 2007

Are Cherokees Hairy?

I've been trying to make the most of my workday by knitting (some), reading (some), and brain-storming on my short story.

I'm on the second reading of my classmate's story and she has a line about how the main character (female) has a hairy face and thinning hair, which the main character blames on being part Cherokee. Not that I know many people with Native American ancestry, but I always thought that Native Americans tended to be not-so-hairy. Maybe I'm wrong. Does anyone know?

In other news, this guy on the phone was totally Mr. Flirty McFlirterson. I answered his questions. Then, every time I was about to end the call he'd ask another question.

Me: Thank you for calling.
Him: Uh. So how's the weather in DC?
Me: It's chilly.
Him: It's close to 80 here in LA.
Me: It's around 20. Have a nice ...
Him: I miss cold weather.
Me: Anytime you want to switch places, let me know.

And on and on and on ... until I could get him off the phone. *sheesh*
I mean, I'm bored at work, but I don't start inane conversations with everyone I talk to.
Maybe I should though. It might help pass the time.


Let's Review, Kittens

Water Flea:


Sushi Bandage:

My injury:


Any questions?

Falling Apart

I am experiencing the joys of an ophthalmic migraine this morning. *woot*
And in how many places am I bleeding?

I cut myself shaving this morning. Ouch.
Last night, while grating parmesan for the soup, my hand slipped and I grated my left knuckle. Ow.

Yesterday afternoon, while taking out my recycling, I started to unscrew the lid on a bottle. It had a snag which caught my finger and sliced it as I twisted the lid. It's a little deeper than a paper cut. And very annoying.

As is this migraine.

The soup last night was amazing! So very, very yum. I'm surprised Mike liked it, because usually he turns his nose up at things which "smell bad." Not that the soup smelled bad, but it does smell differently from what one would expect a soup to smell like. He actually said it "smelled good." Hm...

Then, we watched Over the Hedge. He went home. I cleaned a little. Chatted with a few friends and went to bed.

Today, I must write some for class, read some stories for class, clean my kitchen, and stop slicing various body parts. Fun. Times.

Don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday. Do your part for the environment by enjoying a delicious meat-free meal today. I will be having Leftover Soup Edition, methinks.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Grow Weary

My date yesterday was ... um ... well, it simpy was.
There was no spark. No connection. Conversation was strained and awkward. And not helped by him losing is train of thought every time a hot waiter walked by.

um. hello? i'm right here. focus on me.

Is that asking too much?

It's all so much work, this finding someone. And I grow weary.

I sit here typing up a post and eating the bag of peanut butter M&Ms I bought to send to you-know-who. Looks like I'll be heading back to the Safeway tomorrow during my break.

In other news, Mike is coming over for dinner. I'm making the Winter Vegetable Chowder which Pesky Apostrophe raved about. I doubt mine will be as good as hers, but I'll give it the old college try!

Now, it's time to think about life and knit.
*Happy Sunday smooches*

Friday, February 02, 2007


For some odd reason, I am tempted to take a photo of myself with a knitting needle up my nose and post it here. Fortunately for all of us, I am very able to resist temptation.

Instead, here's a fun photo from my computer files:

Look! It's me! Driving a car! Actually John's car! My friend, Mari, took this photo when she was visiting from Japan. Obviously, since I am driving, John must have been on one of his "work" trips, where he did "worky" things with cute 20-something boys. And I got to stay at his place, drive his car, and take care of the DemonDog Puppy from Hell.
Aaah. The memories.

Comments about how cute I looked back then (oh, so long ago, the Fall of 2005) gleefully accepted and appreciated.

Today, I am wearing one of the sweaters I bought at H&M last weekend [Buy one get one free! *woot*]. For a fun game, I am going to guess how many gay boys I will see wearing this EXACT SAME sweater tonight. If I'm right, I win a prize. If I'm wrong, I win a prize!

I love sponsoring contests!

And, my guess for how many gay boys will be wearing this EXACT SAME sweater is ...


Ha. I kid. That's actually the answer to the ultimate question.

My real guess is 3.

Let's see if I'm wrong.

*Happy Weekend Smooches*
luv luv hugs hugs

For You, the Thinky

[cross-posted at Envirowonk]

From today's Guardian: Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to bepublished today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

From today's WaPo: Higher Oil Prices Help Exxon Again Set Record Profit

You do the math.

Bring Me Java. Bring Me Joy.

A friend of mine sent me this song, Taylor, the Latte Boy, which I am now totally in love with and listen to ALL the TIME. I've attempted it to upload it to so all of you can share the love.

Here's the link: Taylor, the Latte Boy
Let me know if it works.
The song? It's totally cute.

Meanwhile. yesterday, was laundry day. Fortunately, I had enough detergent to do my one load of colors. I must get to the grocery store soon, not only to buy more laundry detergent, but also to buy certain somethings for a certain someone. Which need to go in the mail SOON. Gah. The pressure.

Other than laundry, I typed on my short story for a bit (it's up to about 2 pages, oddly spaced). I knitted some.

And that's about it. My life is thrill a minute.

At least this weekend should be fun, happy hour tonight at Halo with my kittens. Game Night tomorrow at Kristen's. And, Winter Vegetable Chowder making on Sunday. Especially since no one has invited me to a Super Bowl (aka the Straight Oscars) Party. A friend suggested that I invite the guy I had the one date with last week (the week before?) to partake of the soup.

What say you?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Valley of the HeteroWhite People

My first writing class went swimmingly. I was articulate, funny, and engaging, especially if you consider my clever use of the word "thing" in almost every sentence and how I engagingly punctuated every other word with "um" or "er." I lack the critical vocabulary necessary for a workshop, methinks. Pacing? Interior dialogue? It had a good beat and I could dance to it?

14 people attended the first session - 10 women, 4 men, all white, all very, very straight (except lil ol' flaming gay me). I wonder if my first story should include explicit gay sex? Most of the people in the class are experienced writers. About half the class is made up of lawyers. Yawn! "I want to be the next John Grissom," they scream, as they launched into boring anecdotes during break about class action suits and tort laws. Mmm. Torts. Aren't those yummy little layered cakes?

3 people brought in completed short stories for us to read and comment on for next session. 1 man read his very short story during the class. We have to comment on the story? I'm second? How did that happen? How does one say, "Um. I hated it" nicely?

I went for "The strength of the story lies in its rhythm and use of language. Generally, I felt like it needed to be developed, like it was a very good beginning to the first chapter of a book." I hope that sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

I don't. I figure, though, it's going to be a lot like a business meeting. Once I learn the popular buzz words, I throw one or two around ... tossing them among my classmates like a beachball. Rhythm. Cyclical. Layers. Pacing. Deeper meaning. Conflict. External. Descriptive.

After class, I walked to Bethesda metro station, debating whether to take the train or the bus. My question was answered by a J2 bus pulling into the parking lot as soon as I arrived. I rode to Silver Spring standing among the festering, seething masses, yearning to breathe free. On the bright side, the bus ride only took about 20 minutes. The train takes about 40. Getting home at 10:30ish versus getting home at 11 might be worth the discomfort.

Once I got home, I couldn't turn off my brain, so I typed up about a page of a story that's been floating around in my head. Got to bed around midnight. I am very tired.