Monday, January 28
I totally stole this from Bulletproof Bracelets. Montel Williams fought the good fight. Has Daniel Day Lewis struck anyone else as a little odd? Because I think Heath Ledger's death is a damned shame, and a tradgedy beyond measure for his family, but is this just my cold hearted cynical nature getting the best of me? DDL dedicated his SAG award to Ledger? I get expressing shock, horror, and sadness upon learning of his death--it was obviously news to him when he appeared on Oprah. Days later, to still be bringing it up seems wrong to me. I think I would feel differently if they had known each other--then dedicating a win would seem a little more natural.
Perhaps I just don't have the patience required for the artistic temperment. I identify a lot more with what Montel had to say than with any bizarre tributes to Heath Ledger from a man who admits they never even met.
Sunday, January 27
The rabbit-ear elves that rule my living room are cruel, cruel, little fae indeed.
Some would blame it on the storm overhead, but I know it's those damned pixies. Like the legend of the changeling child, my English stations have all been swapped for Spanish. Unlike the dull, half lit children in the old tales, the Spanish channels are brightly colored! There's lots of screaming and jiggling flesh abounds! The English channels are fuzzy and cutting out--the Spanish stations have never been so stable and clear. The English stations are all reruns, or stuff so bad nobody wanted to watch it in the first place.
Tonight we were mesmerized by...
Well, I guess it would be Mexican Circus Act Idol.
I am ashamed to say it's not the first time we've been sucked in, but it was CLEAR tonight. I could see the makeup used to paint on muscular definition on the eight to ten year old boys--each team has one--and on the buffed twenty year olds with all the definition they needed. Somebody got creative on one of them and quite frankly, his torso looked like a sea monkee.
We could not look away. If we were able to break the hold and check the English stations for something--anything to watch, it didn't matter. The MCAI lasted for like THREE hours.
The teams didn't have names, just colors. WHY didn't the rope guys wear team colors when dangling 20 feet up? I don't know. But it bothered me.
When the yellow team's rope dancer started losing his blue spandex pants, the honey and I placed bets on whether or not we'd see his underwear (if any) and whether or not they would be thong. (FYI, I totally called it- thong. The honey was a little traumatized)
A new low.
Why couldn't these elves be like the elves and the shoemaker, and make us NEW, better rabbit ears overnight, or come on, a nice new HDTV ready flat screen appearing on my wall.
Shit, I'd settle for them matching the loose DVD's to their cases.
Wednesday, January 23
Saturday, January 19
Friday, January 18
Thursday, January 17
England was lovely as well. I made the mistake of drinking a huge glass of tap water in Oxford, and was hideously, deliriously sick all through France. Germany was full of history and fairy tale castles, and Holland was so cool I died that I was seeing it with my parents. I didn't make it to Scotland, and I'd like to go there if I ever get the chance--Italy and Spain, too. But ultimately I think there's a little piece of my heart stuck in a taxicab driving through Dublin, and when I had my kids and they tell you to find your beautiful peaceful place? I was back in Glendalough.
Wednesday, January 16
28 years old from Wolf Creek, Montana
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
July 29, 2006
Marine Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus was the nephew of Montana Senator Max Baucus. He joined the corps in 2002 and was sent to Iraq in March of 2005.
Cpl. Baucus was killed alongside fellow Marines Sgt. Christian Williams, 27 yrs old from Winter Haven, Fla. and Lance Cpl. Anthony E. Butterfield, 19 yrs old from Clovis, Calif. during combat operations in Al Anbar province.
"Phillip was an incredible person, a dedicated Marine, a loving son and husband, and a proud Montanan and American," Sen. Baucus said. "He heroically served the country he loved and he gave it his all."
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Vote for the candidate who talks about long term plans for the support and care of the troops who have served their country during this and other conflicts. From a strictly financial standpoint, the true cost of this war has only begun to be tallied, and will continue to add up throughout the lifetimes of these eighteen and nineteen year old kids we are sending to war.
Find me someone who will demand reparation from Halliburton, THAT'S my candidate.
Tuesday, January 15
Breakfast wasn't served until 7, and I scared the innkeeper half to death when she came in. I had a book and was reading quietly, but she wasn't expecting anyone to be lurking in her dining room at the butt crack of dawn.
Breakfast was bacon and eggs.
Now, in all honesty, it never occurred to me that the eggs would not be cooked to order. I had, in my sheltered life, eaten my eggs scrambled. Period. Fried eggs with their oozing yolks had never appeared on my plate. Until that morning. gulp.
I already felt bad for scaring her and making her feel like I was rushing her to feed me, and now I was looking down at two yellow eyes staring back at me, along with the thickest, most undercooked slab of pork ever. On the side, making the plate ever so pretty, were three slices of HOT tomato.
The need to be cool, urbane, and grown-up (and the terror of complaining) overrode my squeamishness, and much like the grinch, my palate grew two sizes that day. (The grinch grew three sizes, but that undercooked pork stayed on my plate like a red headed stepchild.) Still not a fan of the HOT tomato, but I gained a new appreciation for the humble egg.
I wandered the city until my bus tour started, thoroughly enchanted by the Georgian architecture (jeebus, I think it's all Georgian) with the brightly painted doors. I made it to the bus pick up and boarded the bus for Glendalough.
I guess a jaded Irish native would be sick to death of the happy rural stereotypes and scream that the REAL Ireland is nothing like The Quiet Man with John Wayne. They would be right, Dublin was a major City with all of the accompanying baggage. There were streets I wandered into that I quickly turned back around and got back to the tourist friendly path. But the people? They were every bit as friendly and helpful as the drunkest American's St Patrick's Day fantasy, and the landscape was every bit as green and lush.
As I rode that butt numbing bus into County Wicklow, we had to stop for sheep blocking the road. The bus driver explained that the gorgeous fields of yellow flowers were actually giant gorse bushes, the dreaded weed. Didja follow that link? Because it's a terrible gnarly weed, full of spikes and things. But it's gorgeous to see a field full of it. As we rolled though this incredibly lush green landscape, with little stone walls older than the town I grew up in, even their freaking WEEDS are pretty.
(Northern California break again: lots of red dirt, scrub oak, and manzanita bushes. Everything's a dull sage green or gray brown--even the birds are dull brown.)
We arrived at Glendalough and once again, the history and blood and passion that goes into a historical church is just beyond comprehension without seeing it. I was raised Seventh Day Adventist (itself a "new" and not-so-historical religion) and am not terribly religious, but I am reverent, and that's the best word I can come up with. The little stone church no longer had a roof, and long before there was stained glass, the church window was composed of these stones edging an arched opening looking out into the most beautiful peaceful valley. It looked like pictures I drew as a kid. Two big green hills overlapping, with a river meandering between them. The stones edged the window like jagged grey fingers, jutting into the view of the two perfect hills. This tiny stone church stands in the valley, like it has for ages, held together with mud, blood, animal hair, and faith. Looking out at that valley it's not hard to understand why they had such a faith in a God that gave them such a beautiful place to live (at least until the Vikings came and they had to scurry to the tower). I get that same feeling coming into San Francisco from the north, those lush rolling hills must have truly seemed like the promised land to people arriving by ship after who knows how long at sea...
Monday, January 14
Saturday, January 12
I still think the reason I got to go was because my parents didn't dare leave me at home with the bad boyfriend. Subliminally I suspect they hoped I'd drop him like a hot rock (or vice versa) when we left.
I was out of high school, but still seriously enamored with all things Celtic. So I scraped my meager bookstore shekels together and paid for a solo ticket to Ireland (from London) for three days. Our arrival in London is a story for another day, but after a day to recover, I waved goodbye to my parents and hopped on yet another plane.
In hindsight, that was a terrible plan. I had never traveled to another country WITH my parents, let alone without them, and I would have done things differently had I taken my solo trip at the END of our adventure.
I may as well have had a "Tourist" t-shirt printed up. We were traveling carry-on only, plus a fanny pack. I emerged from the airport in Dublin with the address of the tourism board clenched tightly in one hand, my bag in the other. I decided I was not ready for a bus, so I timidly climbed into the taxi and read off the address.
"hzze Bzz areee ween?"
Crap. I could not understand anything he was saying. His accent was glorious. I could have spread it on toast and eaten it up, but my dreams of being worldly and urbane were crushed as I had to ask him to repeat himself over and over. I think he was more excited about my first trip to Ireland than I was. We finally fell into a rhythym and he dropped me off with a big wave, and I probably tipped him waaaay too much, but what a sweetheart.
I wasn't sure about hostels(again, things I would have done differently...), so I opted for a bed & breakfast that was supposed to be just a few blocks away. The girl at the tourism office gave me a horribly xeroxed map and off I went.
To stare in horror at empty corners. There were no street signs. I finally stopped dead in the stream of traffic, dropped my bag, and ta-da!
I'm not even sure my bag had hit the ground when a hand took my elbow and a man asked where it was I was trying to get to. He pointed out that the signs were posted on the buildings themselves every other block, gave me some terrible directions to my destination, and hoped I had a wonderful trip. I floated up the street...
For a pathologically shy, (in my mind) chubby nineteen year old, the friendliness of the people combined with with the frenetic vitality of a large city were intoxicating. Did I got out to a rocking pub and meet a charming Irish lad? Good lord, no. I wish!
I was smiley and happy and still pathologically shy. But I had scheduled bus trips to see the sights for the next day, and spent the rest of that day wandering the streets of Dublin on foot, just soaking it all in. I found the backside of Christ Church Cathedral, which was amazing to a girl from California where every church was a ranch style stucco thing. California history didn't really take off until the mid 1800's where I grew up, and it was more saloons and courthouses than epic monuments to the lord built over time. If there was one thing that I brought back with me from that trip, it was that we need to tear down the churches here and demand that they be built with the blood and sweat equity of the faithful. Just breathtaking stuff.
I carefully set my little travel clock so that I wouldn't miss breakfast, as I was not a morning person, but had worked my included breakfast into my budget.
Thursday, January 10
* My mom called to tell me that she is almost out of peppermint marshmallows, and she has become addicted to them, She demanded more. Immediately! Her birthday is in February, and I am toying with the idea of Mochamallows...have to give this some thought...
* tons o' work, so my posting is down
* my yahoo is screwy so no access to flikr right now--sorry the blog is so plain.
* CHUUUUUUUUCK! Post something for fuck's sake! KIIIIM! Post something more often, or okay, just email me, chick! AAAAN! Thank dog you're back!
* I miss Greg Beck when I see the story about the guy who cut off his hand because he thought it had the mark of the beast on it. He took a circular saw and whacked it off(buzzed it off?). He cooked it in the microwave and called the police.
* I think of CRSE when I see on Oprah that there really is a reason for buoyant pooh. (It's probably been a year, but the line about apparently eating a lot of cork still cracks me up)
* Ooh, the landlady. In the middle of December she told us she couldn't pay the heater guy so we should just pay him and then take it out of our rent. I reminded her that her daughter had warned me against just that kind of thing. She got miffed and said it was none of her daughter's business (RED flag, anyone?). We had her pay the initial consultaion fee, and instead of the six hundred his company would have charged, the guy came back and did it under the table for one eighty. Let me remind y'all that this was freaking Christmas, and we had to come up with a hundred and eighty dollars. Now she has no memory of this, and feels like we have scammed her. I know she was scammed by the previous tenants, but I HATE that she thinks we are dong that to her. It makes me feel dirty, when I could have insisted that SHE write a check that day, but I didn't because she didn't have it. ugh.
Monday, January 7
Sunday, January 6
On a totally unrelated note, Charles is looking for feedback about marketing his book. I got myself a free copy of his first book, but do not have the attention span for ebooks or podcasts (although with DSL it might not be such a horible concept...) stop by and see him if you know a little something about those!
one of my guilty little pleasures is Vanity Fair, kind of a grown up People magazine. I just stumbled across the online version, and spent all day...