Sunday, February 27, 2005

Our Lovely Downstairs Neighbor

Our lovely neighbor downstairs is playing music once again.

Kate thinks he's punishing me for making so much noise and banging in the bedroom while cleaning, moving things around and throwing out stuff. I kept on throwing things into the tall kitchen can one by one with a resounding bang each time.

I think he's punishing us all for making so much noise today.

Earlier today, while Kate was about to lift the top part of the desk hutch off, all the side pieces came crashing down one after another. My cat darted into hiding and ran away from Kate every single time over the past few hours. Emma is slowly recovering although still keeping her eye at Kate.

I also wonder if the guy downstairs, which I presume to be a musician based on all the music we've felt over the past year, the dark raincoat he frequently wears, pale skin and dark hair, and having a patio table with umbrella inside his apartment (i'm serious - saw it... along with christmas lights strew along the ceiling)....if the guy downstairs has issues with the Academy Awards. Kate and I have been watching the pre-award interviews. The volume wasn't loud. It was on at a decently low level. I guess it might have bugged him as well.

As soon as I turned down the volume, Kate stomped her feet on the wooden floor, and I stopped moving things around in my room... the music downstairs started to stop playing.

Pure coincidence?

Next time he starts playing music loudly and vibrantly, Kate and I are going to summon all our deaf friends to our apartment, gather in the living room equipped with these blowhorns cops use to speak loudly and microphones and, together on note after counting "1, 2, 3, Go!" ... start singing with our beautiful deaf voices toward our neighbor down below.

Now, that's lovely music for our lovely downstairs neighbor.

A Baseball Player to Watch Out For

Over the past decade, we've had Curtis Pride to watch out for and follow in baseball. As of now, he's the only one to make it to the major leagues. Here is a new player for us to start keeping an eye out for and follow: Ryan Ketchner.

On another note, how many deaf players do we have in the minor leagues?


From the newsroom of The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, California, Thursday, February 24, 2005 .....

Pride is His Role Model

By ALLISON ANN OTTO / The Press-Enterprise

Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols. Ask most ballplayers who they admire on the field, and those are the names that pop up.

Ask minor league pitcher Ryan Ketchner, and you'll get Curtis Pride.

Pride, who played for the Angels in 2004, is the only deaf player in the modern era to reach the majors. Ketchner was born partially deaf. He uses two hearing aids that help him pick up vibrations, and he has become adept at reading lips.

Ketchner was introduced to Pride by a mutual friend when he was in high school, and they have remained friends since.

"He was my hero," said Ketchner, who was acquired from Seattle in April and is in his first big league camp. "He told me I could do anything I want to."

Ketchner, 22, is a lefty who had elbow surgery last fall. In 21 starts for Class AA Jacksonville he sported a 3.02 earned run average, third-best in the Southern League. He made one start at Class AAA Las Vegas and pitched seven innings of one-run ball. His combined ERA of 2.92 ranked second among Dodgers minor leaguers last year.

Copyright 2005 The Press-Enterprise

Mural Stands Tall, Telling Its Stories

Here's a part of our Deaf History. Enjoy.


From the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Florida, Wednesday, February 23, 2005 .....

Mural Stands Tall, Telling Its Stories

By KATHY STEELE

PLANT CITY - The train in the mural looms large. A black man hovers near the tracks, a character remembered as the kindly gentleman who helped passengers on and off the trains that whistled into the depot. He was deaf and mute.

Nearby stands a group of men and women. Behind the group, children fly kites in a field.

On Monday night as fire swept through the historic district, the improbable happened: The mural survived.

At least for now.

The mural is on an outer wall of lawyer James Buzbee's office, painted almost 30 years ago by local artist John Briggs.

A close inspection reveals buckling and cracks in the wall, and fire officials have raised the possibility that the wall must go.

Some have suggested dismantling the wall in sections and preserving it, but that is up to building owner Dennis Spurlock.

``We'd surely like to save it,'' said Buzbee, who has occupied the building nearly as long as the mural has graced it.

Everyone depicted in the mural represents someone from Plant City.

The deaf and mute man who vied for tips at the train station was Albert Keys. In the 1950s, Keys waited for trains and was quick to help women aboard with their luggage.

He seemed to feel the vibrations of approaching trains and knew when they would arrive, said Nancy McLean, a receptionist at The Tampa Tribune's Plant City office.

The 76-by-23-foot mural, called ``Reflection of a Town,'' was meant to unify the community and display the history of the town, named for railroad magnate Henry B. Plant.

It was commissioned by the ARTRAIN committee in 1974 and painted by Briggs, then- artist in residence.

ARTRAIN sparked creation of an arts council, which lobbied to save the old downtown railroad depot. The council also sponsored the Artist in Residence program.

ARTRAIN Chairwoman Betty Jo Vernon and other committee members wound up as subjects in Briggs' art.

Vernon remembered Briggs inviting committee members to Courier Field, where pictures of the group were taken. Old photos of the depot and train also were used.

Students from Cork Elementary School were photographed running away from the camera and looking back over their shoulders. They were painted into the mural, and kites were added later.

Lawyer Jim Redman, banker Mac Hooper and educator Dwight ``Bud'' Nifong are among local luminaries on the wall.

Briggs also appears in the mural, standing on the platform behind Vernon and her husband, Bill.

``People were delighted with it,'' McLean said. ``They would go and watch the progress of it being finished.''

© 2005, Media General Inc. All rights reserved

AOL Strange & True News Headlines

Love checking out AOL's Strange & True News Headlines once in a while. We really have some stupid and weird people and ideas in this world.

*shaking head*

Here are few examples....


Thieves Steal Built-In Swimming Pool

OSLO, Norway (Feb. 21) - A Norwegian family's swimming pool wasn't just bolted down, it was in the ground -- but that didn't keep it from being stolen.
When the family visited their mountain cabin over the weekend, they discovered a big hole in place of the swimming pool that had been installed 20 years ago. The pool -- 16 feet in diameter -- and all of its equipment had been uprooted and stolen.

The theft happened between early November, when the family closed up the cabin for the winter, and this weekend.

The woman who owns the cabin with her husband says no one, not even the police, believed them at first.


02/21/05 12:51 EST



Malaysian State Offers "Happy Toilets'

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Feb. 22) - A Malaysian state will soon build public toilets equipped with piped music and newspapers for people to enjoy while using the loo.
Officials in the northeastern state of Kelantan on Tuesday announced that "Happy and Healthy Toilets" would be built in popular spots, with facilities "guaranteed to make users happy," Malaysia's national news agency Bernama reported.

State public administration official Takiyuddin Hassan said the toilets, to be completed within three months, would have newspapers so that "users can keep up with current issues while performing their business, while being entertained by music."

People would also need to wear special slippers provided in the toilets to maintain hygiene, Takiyuddin was quoted as saying by Bernama.

It was not clear how many such toilets would be constructed.


02/22/05 05:45 EST



Blind Man Charged With Biting Guide Dog
Scottish Official Calls It 'First Case of Its Kind'
EDINBURGH, Scotland (Feb. 24) - A blind man who allegedly bit his guide dog has been charged with animal cruelty.

David Todd is accused of sinking his teeth into the animal's head in a busy street, Scottish police said Thursday.

A police spokesman said: "Any attack on a defenseless animal, particularly one trained to help people, is appalling."

An eyewitness reported seeing the 34-year-old bite the dog and kick it repeatedly at a shopping mall on Feb. 8, a spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said.

Officers arrested the suspect on Feb. 10 and charged him with animal cruelty and breach of the peace, the spokeswoman said.

Police took the Labrador/retriever mix into protective care and handed it to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Colin Gallagher, a district team manager for the association, said: "This is the first case of its kind I have known of in 11 years in this job."


02/24/05 08:32 EST

Cost of Homelessness Article

What are your thoughts on this? What will truly help them, and how is society willing to spend the allocated money to help our homeless citizens?

Read on.


Options for the Homeless Can Be Costly

By ALLEN G. BREED, AP

(Feb. 26) -- What's the cost of homelessness? In Atlanta, it's $11 a day at a shelter, $53 a day in jail or $335 in a mental hospital. In San Francisco, make that $28 for the shelter, $94 for the jail and $1,278 for the hospital stay. What these raw numbers, compiled for the nonprofit Corporation for Supportive Housing, illustrate is that the societal costs of homelessness depend on the options we leave ourselves.
"While we know that nobody spends 365 days a year in a psychiatric hospital or in a jail ... what it shows is that being homeless can be very expensive," says Lyn Hikida, a spokeswoman for the California-based nonprofit that promotes permanent, low-cost housing for the homeless.

When it comes to serving the homeless, as with many things, the general rule is you have to spend money in one place to save it in another.

Homeless people tend to get in trouble a lot, be it for public urination, sleeping on park benches or pushing their belongings around in borrowed shopping carts. Since a night in jail costs many times more than a night in a shelter, it behooves government to keep homeless people out of the system.

That is why more than a dozen jurisdictions across the country have set up "homeless courts" that divert nonviolent offenders to services rather than cells.

"We want them to become productive members of society, and the homeless court program is designed to do that," says William Hoch, an Oklahoma City attorney who chairs the American Bar Association's commission on homelessness and poverty. "If we keep heaping monetary fines on homeless individuals, then that's a system that's broken, and it won't ever be fixed. If they can't afford a place to live, then how do we expect them to pay a fine?"

But in the complex calculus of serving the homeless, the known costs must often be weighed against unknown benefits.

In a landmark study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tried to assess the cost-effectiveness of providing housing to New York's chronically homeless.

The study found that, before placement, a homeless person with severe mental illness used about $40,000 in services a year. Finding that person housing reduced those costs by more than $16,000, but the cost of living space raised net spending by about $1,000.

"Basically, providing housing to chronically homeless people with mental illness is a nearly break-even investment," says Dennis Culhane, one of the study's authors. "And we can either spend lots of public resources maintaining people in homelessness, or we can spend nearly the same amount and have much better quality of life for them, for us and a better outcome for society."

The question becomes: How much is society willing to spend?

The Veterans Administration spends an average of $18,000 a year on mentally ill vets through two programs that target the homeless. Dr. Robert Rosenheck, director of the Veterans Administration's Northeast Program Evaluation Center, tried to determine the benefits of providing housing vouchers for homeless veterans in addition to the other services.

Rosenheck thought he might find a significant decrease in homeless days and services used. But for the additional $2,000 a year the vouchers cost, the result was only a "modest" 35 percent drop in days homeless.

"As a scientist, I am forcing myself to tell you the cold truth, which is it is sadly not true that for an expenditure of a few thousand dollars, that we can make people healthy and save money," he says. "That's the dream ... but my study didn't show that."


02/26/05 11:57 EST

Call for Submissions

Subject: Project - The Joys & Lessons of Twentysomethings

Hi-

I'm working on a little project for my blog - just for fun.
I'd like to ask you to email me your thoughts and/or comments. Humorous ones are welcome as well as bland yet important ones. Your names will not be included to respect your privacy. Feel free to share with your friends and have them send me their contributions. Thanks for your contributions!

I'm compiling a list called, "The Joys & Lessons of Twenty-somethings." The list covers things we've learned during our twenties and will bring with us into our thirtysomething years. For those of you who are not in your twentysomethings, please tell me what you would like us to learn or realize... or what you remember from when you were at that age... or what you wish your adult children would learn or have learned. :)

We entered this decade of our life as kids in college and are leaving with a little more wisdom (I hope!) such as...

1. how to manage our money better

2. only one or no pet is more than enough instead of few if you're still living in an apartment.

3. no more hand-me down and recycled furniture from our friends and relatives, et al... and that IKEA furniture, altho cheaper, do not last and isn't worth the money you spend on it

4. Realizing you should start stopping telling your parents about your finances as time goes on

5. Realization that you are on your way to being "the next generation" of adults in your family as your grandparents and elders start to pass away and say hello to God.

6. You want to live by yourself, your significant other, and/or are done living with roommates. If you cannot afford to, you want just one roommate. Some of us still love having few roommates.

7. With each relationship and date, you are one step closer to the person you are meant to be with if you want a life partner... or that you don't want a life partner at this time.

8. The older one is numerically doesn't necessarily mean a person is more mature or secure. Age is just a number for some people.

9. You find your first white/gray hair. You start doing things to prevent skin wrinkles. Something MAY start going south somewhere on your body.

10. You start to realize you really do need to start exercising on a regular basis before it's too late.

11. You may start to need to buying bigger Advil or Tylenol bottles more frequently.

12. Hangovers begin to affect you differently during your late 20s than during your early 20s. You do not necessarily bounce back as quickly as you think you will, and you learn this the next morning. These mornings may become less frequent.

13. Your friends seem to be getting engaged, married and be popping out babies all year long. You have a frequent-flyer mileage or good customer account qualifying you for good deals/discounts with http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.weddingchannel.com/, and http://www.babiesrus.com/ as well as at least one airline company. You also know what the "To Do" list looks like for organizing a wedding and have hosted at least one baby and/or wedding shower. You also begin to learn quickly parental issues and hear your friends talk about their kids' doo-doos, farts, feeding schedules, how to soothe a crying baby, and expensive diapers. You also realize that there really is a difference between parents and non-parents sometimes. A whole new world and social life opens up once you become a parent.

14. You finally figured out how to either budget for high-end clothes yet get your bills paid or how to look as if you shop in high-end stores without wrecking your credit cards.

15. Your ideal boy/girlfriend and what you look for in a person/friend changes significantly.

16. You're still "growing up." Adults are just big kids who know a little more. The world is one huge classroom.

17. You finally start to think you may understand your current HMO health insurance company's rules, billing, and "this is not a bill" statements.

18. You've been through at least 5 different health insurance companies while trying to "build up" your career after college or figure out what the heck you want to do with the rest of your life after college.

19. You've seen a therapist at least once. More often than not, it has something to do with an issue(s) with your parents or partners (or lack of).

20. At least 5 of your deaf friends have worked as a case manager or residential counselor somewhere in the United States at one point during the past 5 years. You know at least 2 deaf people who have served in the Peace Corps. For you hearing folks, at least 5 of your friends have worked as a waiter, cashier or actor within the past 5 years. Yes, community theaters, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants apply.

21. You begin to see a big difference between yourself in your late twenties and people in their early twenties. Things that people older than you have been saying for years make a lot more sense to you now. You actually start to apply them to your life.

Regardless of whether or not you are in your twenties now, please send me anything you think of that you learned, enjoyed, or experienced during your twenties.... or wish you learned back then! Or, it' can be something you still are learning or are coming to realize. It can be serious or fun. Just send it my way.

I'll send you a copy of the list once it's done.

Thanks,
S

Friday, February 25, 2005

My S&M Cat

If there is a concept such as self-loving (coined in lieu of the word masturbation), is there a concept such as self-torturing in S&M? My roommate just whipped her own foot with the pink feather on a stick... while whipping it on the floor for my cat. I asked her if she was enjoying torturing and whipping herself.

My cat is a S&M player. She doesn't like light foofy movements with cat toys on stick. She plays rough. Sometimes I swear she was a dog in a former life, if you believe in that stuff. She goes crazy when you just whip the stick around in jerky loud movements or spank the bed or floor with the whip. She loves the leather flogger-type stick even more than the feather stick. So, I've come to terms with the fact that my cat is a S&M cat.

Magnet Lines

Magnet Lines ... seen recently in a store...

Mother: What did you learn in today's cooking class, honey?

Daughter: The take-out menus are in the top drawer... and when all else fails, microwave!

Mother: Good girl!

###

I've got nothing against God. It's his fan club I can't stand.

Crackers

Check out this link: www.smilinggoat.com/Crackers1.html

Enjoy!

It's a humorous spin-off of the Cristos' Gates in Central Park. The website even has a Cracker store.

Photographs were done by ©2005 Jane Hanstein Cunniffe

Features copied from the website:

••• The Crackers Store
••• Don't miss the all-new Counting Crackers
••• For New York Times coverage of the Gates and of The Crackers
••• Also featured in The International Herald Tribune, amNewYork, ABC NEWS NOW, and Germany's biggest daily (or download PDF in English) "The Crackers" are the new David Hasselhoff
••• Coming soon: The making of "The Crackers" and Cracker Portraits
••• Christo & Jeanne-Claude were both born on June 13. Chris & Jane were born March 30 and January 27
••• Volunteer and chief location scout, Shay Moscona came from as far away as Tel Aviv to be part of the project.
••• To help fund the project, look for early drawings of "The Crackers" on eBay
••• Have you been eating too many crackers? Not to worry. "The Crackers Diet" is coming out when the Gates come down. ••• Get 'em while they last at The Crackers Store.
••• Enough with The Crackers, already!
... [Stay tuned for Pretzels for Peace.]

Women have PMS. Men have PES

Women have PMS; men have PES

I am a strong believer that, although women and men differ in many ways physiologically, men are not immune from certain hormonal cycles, flukes and syndromes throughout their life cycle....especially hormones often associated with our sexuality and sexual drives such as estrogen, progesterone, and testesterone.

Women have PMS which is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Men have Pre-Ejaculation Syndrome.

I don't know what you call the cyclic syndrome that many men experience as they get older.... often paralleling what women go through during menopause. Whatever it's called, men DO suffer from PES as well as suffer from the effects of their own male hormonal cycles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Catalina Sandino Moreno

Catalina Sandino Moreno..... *sigh*

I'm in love with her.... mmmm.... *sigh*

Just saw her act as Maria Alvarez in "Maria Full of Grace" movie. I fell in love with the plumpness and shape of her lips, these beautiful cheekbones, her eyes, lusciously trimmed eyebrows, and her perfect nose. She had great hair and body to boot. *sigh*

I can see my heart beating through my shirt. Where's the fan before I faint? It's getting hot in here. Please fan me.

Seriously, she's beautiful and an incredible actress.

I was also in love with her character. What Maria (character) went through in the movie really touched me. I admired her for her fierce spirit and determination to make something more out of her future instead of settling for less. I related with her character big time since I've always been determined all my life to not let my childhood limit me or define my future but to break free of its chains and make a better future for myself (and redefine the direction and quality of my life) as soon as I legally became an adult and could leave home.

The movie itself was good. Watched it with B2 and CQ at CQ's home. Here's the synopsis:

"Winner of the Dramatic Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and two major awards at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival, Joshua Marston's MARIA FULL OF GRACE introduces us to a determined young woman whose desire for a brighter future leads her into a world of unimaginable danger.

Maria Alvarez, a bright, spirited 17-year-old, lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Columbia. Desperate to leave her job stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation, Maria accepts a lucrative offer to transport packets of heroin -- which she must swallow -- to the United States. The ruthless world of international drug trafficking proves to be more than Maria bargained for as she becomes ultimately entangled with both drug cartels and immigration officials. The dramatic thriller builds toward a conclusion so powerful and revealing it could only be based on a thousand true stories."

*sigh*

Monday, February 21, 2005

Seeing the Light

I'm seeing the light once again. The electrician showed up at 8:45 AM with his assistant.

Electricians who are foreigners are much easier to communicate with. We communicated in few gestures and pointings, and he understood what I was saying about the electricity problem in the kitchen. He got right down to work immediately and was done in a half hour. The ceiling light fixture was burnt beyond the bulb and inside the ceiling. The wires were redone, and a new fixture was installed. They ran a check throughout the apartment then plugged in the refrigerator to be sure it wouldn't compete with the ceiling light for electrical juice.

Now the refrigerator is plugged in. Bowls of baking powder are in the refrigerator and freezer section to absorb that nasty odor of spoiled food (which the electrician and his assistant were very polite keeping a straight face about - to my amusement). I put a soda bottle in the refrigerator to see how well it's working and chilling within a hour's worth of refrigeration. I played with the light switch to test the light and refrigerator. All seems good.

Let's hope that this is the light at the end of the tunnel with apartment glitches.

Hello, Mr. Electrician?

Dear Mr. Electrician:

Where are you, Mr. Electrician? There's a glass of water in the kitchen waiting for you.

I got up at 7:45 AM in order to let you in for the 8:00 AM appointment to repair the kitchen outlets and electrical wiring. It's now 8:36 AM, and I am still waiting for you.

Did lovely Sacha give you the day off and blow us off once again?

In the meantime, Emma (cat) is sitting staring at the door while I take frequent glares towards the doorway, hoping to see those 2 familiar dark spots of your feet at the door.

Hope to see you soon!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Love Gloves

If you thought dirty when you saw the title, shame on you for your dirty mind!

Love Glove by Four Paws company was ordered for the household cats since they shed a lot during seasonal changes. It "removes loose hair while gently massages and grooms your pet." It:

- removes dead dull hair
- cleans and softens coat
- eliminates mats and tangles
- gently and soothing to your pet
- one size fits all

Well, it's definitely a "one size fits all." It's huge for my hand! And, the cats were terrified at the sight of this huge hand glove thing.. a white thing with red bumps in the palm and thumb. Nonetheless, it works really well in sucking dead hair off the cats' coats.

The "soft flexible rubber tips gently lift dirt, dust and dead hair from your pet's coat." Check. True.

When I just picked it up, the cats ran away at the sight of it. Oh well.

A Friends Moment

While sitting in a booth by the window inside a diner with 3 friends, I suddenly realized that it felt like a Seinfeld/Friends/Sex & the City moment. We settled on it being a Sex & the City moment since we were mostly sipping Mimosas and just chatting about topics the Sex & the City girls normally cover.

That's how comfortable we were - eating, chatting, laughing, clicking glasses (mostly Mimosas or water), and just being together. It was really nice, just being ourselves having a good relaxing chat during a Saturday afternoon.

They left for ice skating in Central Park. I'm now back home curled up under my blanket cursing my cramping womanhood for the day... hoping it goes away soon.

It's beautiful inside the apartment with the sun trinkling through the window. I'm going to curl up in bed and take a nap soon.

May meet up with them again later at Therapy for Dave's birthday gathering.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Run, Sarah, Run

"Run, Sarah, Run!" Every time I let someone know online that I need to step out to use the ladies' room, I'm told to run. My roomie did this once again not so long ago.

What I'd like to see instead is, "Run, Sacha, Run!" Sacha is our contact person at the apartment management company. She can be a pain to work with since she changes her talk all the time and often postpones the time and day a repairperson can come to our apartment for this or that. Argh!

Last night, my heart decided to do some running of its own and raced the equivalent of 2 marathons. It decided to take off on its own suddenly and raced hard for with each beat pounding clearly and strongly, averaging 180-200 beats a minute for 1 1/2 hours to the motto of "Run, Heart, Run." Sigh. I kept on postponing going to the ER in hope that it'd slow down on its own. 1 1/2 hours later with no end in sight, I finally got up and got in my friend's car to go to the ER. On the way, it stopped as suddenly as it started. Whew. Saved myself some bills. Now it's rest and taking it easy for the next couple of weeks. No caffeine. No nothing. So. I'm just glad I'm fine. Didn't hurt at all. Just a nuisance, that's all. At least I don't need to go to the gym this week for any cardio. My heart took care of that part on its own. :)

Now, can everything stop running, please?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Just One of Those Days....

It's just one of those days when I seem to trip, step and bump into everything. It's cloudy and rainy outside. The sky colors keep on changing which meant it was dark and grey at times while it was somewhat brighter during other times.

This morning, tripped over a backbag. Nearly stepped on my roomie's cat which I didn't see. ALmost knocked over a drink. Argh! What a great start! :)

I'm in Brooklyn now helping a friend pack for moving out of the apartment.

Stepped into few huge water puddles while walking to the bank and pharmacy then on the way back. Tripped over a boy kneeling in the drugstore aisle. I apologized then walked away quickly. Knocked over few display items. Poked a lady while opening my umbrella. It seemed to never end. Now I'm back safe in the apartment to trip, step on and bump into anything without anyone or any cats around. Good thing I'm in a good mood. Makes for a great adventure.

Gonna get back to packing and cleaning.

Locked Out

For the first time in few years, I was locked out of my apartment.

I had run downstairs to the corner deli in my flip flops, sleeveless polo shirt, pants, and a thin jacket to buy soda before my friend arrived and before the deliveryman arrived. I bought soda and a surprise dessert for my friend.

When I reached my building door, I paused to slip my hand into the jacket pocket to get the keys. Nothing. Checked the other pocket. Nothing. Checked my pant pockets. Nothing. Rechecked all pockets. Mmmm... smirked... thought again about what happened and what to do next.

In my rush, I forgot to pick up my keys from the keyholder hook. Mmmm....

Do do? Who can I ask to page my roommates? Can I remember anyone's phone numbers, even cell phone numbers? Nope. I'm not even warm enough to walk to the nearest internet cafe to page my roomies. What's more, I am expecting a friend and a deliveryman anytime now. The laptop is still on. The internet and AIM were left on. Mmmm...

Ah! Press the buzzer for my neighbor. Door clicked open. Walked up the stairs to her apartment. Rang her doorbell. She opened and let me in. She was sweet. Made a phone call for me to ask someone to page my roommates. She informed me whenever my apartment buzzer rang. We took turn pressing the buzzer button to let whomever into the building. I learned that sometimes people just press any buzzer buttons just to get into the building, especially deliverymen and lazy neighbors. And, folks really can hear who comes in, etc. The walls were much thinner than I thought. In the meantime, we chatted. She's such a sweet lady who has lived there for 45 years!

Finally, my friend arrived. Then, the food arrived. So, we ate in my neighbor's kitchen and chatted for a couple of hours. Whatever calories we consumed during these hours were burned off by frequent laughters. That guy is SO funny! :)

Finally, I thought I heard something and a familiar footstep pattern. I opened the door and saw my roommate. She was surprised to see us peering out of the door just as she was getting her keys out to open the apartment door. Funny. We thanked our neighbor then went into my home.

Home sweet home! Whew!

John Paul or Jerry?

Last night, I went over to a friend's place and watched The Bachelorette show with 3 other ladies.

We sipped wine and traded opinions, observations, and made guesses about who Jenny would choose as the final 2 men. It was fun chatting and drinking on a mattress set on the floor with pillows and Pandu (cat) walking around.

Now, it's down to John Paul and Jerry. Who will be the last man standing? And, will Jenny accept an engagement ring in the end?

Next week, the men will return and discuss their experiences. In 2 weeks, the final ceremony will finally take place! And, Andrew Firestone is expected to pay a visit! Am curious to see how the last show turns out.

I am rooting for Jerry. Why would Jenny and Jerry be challenging each other and being so drawn to each other if there were no sparks there? Jerry admitted that he's put himself out more than he has ever done with anyone, and he's sharing himself with Jenny more than he usually does. Sometimes love can do funny things to people. Also, I don't see Jenny putting on a fake smile or as polite with him as others. You see a fuller range of emotions between them, especially her.

There is something about John Paul that just bothers me....can't quite finger it.... alongside his lips (which bugs me), smirk and the way a strand of hair keeps on hanging over his forehead. I personally do not find him attractive at all. He may seem to "have it all" and have a family very similar to Jenny's. But, this doesn't necessarily mean he's the right one for Jenny. Compatibility doesn't necessarily mean that two people are very similar in certain ways. He definitely seems to be stable and that a wife would be the only missing piece in what seems to be a "perfect American life."

Jade, by the way, Pandu looked great and appeared very happy. He's being well-taken care of and loved by his catsitter. :)

RD Hit List

From Reader's Digest December 2004 Edition: RD Hit List (p. 26)....

5 MUSEUMS NOT TO PLAN CHRISTMAS AROUND


Want a fun vacation? Maybe you should skip these "educational" destinations.

1. Celery Flats Interpretive Center.
Portage, Michigan. Bland vegetables make bland museums, even if you can party in the grain elevator.

2. Greyhound Bus Origin Center.
Hibbing, Minnesota. A 10-hour Greyhound ride beats this shrine to bus transit.

3. Mount Horeb Mustard Museum.
Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. Thousands of mustards; not a hot dog in sight.

4. Macaulay Museum of Dental History.
Charleston, South Carolina. Proves that going to the dentist has never been fun.

5. National Museum of Funeral History.
Houston, Texas. Marquee exhibit: a 1921 RockFalls motorized hearse. We're on our way!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Childhood Memories with Brother

My brother, Chris, is one of my best friends. With close friends, I would say, "my bestest friend." :)

We talked about some early childhood memories the other night. Here are several.


* Pretending to have a restaurant in NJ, cooking and serving meals made with playdo or pine needles, leaves, and dirt dishes concocted on the old-fashioned pottery wheel

* Burying hidden treasures (i.e., toys, rocks, cards, etc) under the large backyard pine tree

* Building extravagant snow ramps with bumps and slides from the elevated wooden garden wall into the yard

* Building castles or camping grounds using sheets and blankets spread atop chairs, furnitures, beds, bookcases, and more

* Endless imaginative adventures

* Painting Halloween scenes on storefront windows during a town halloween contest on Morris Ave

* Going to swimming lessons

* Playing soccer and softball together

* Books being taken away from me as a form of punishment while giving my brother a book was punishment enough

* Trying to pretend to play golf at Pilgrim Pines when we had no idea how to play the game or hit the ball

* Catching frogs, fireflies, tadpoles, turtles, and other living creatures together

* Going for walks on the dirt roads with Grandpa on the farm, cracking different kinds of nuts on the old house porch, and running through the farm fields with our cousins

* Playing superheroes on our beds and "flying" through our bedroom before we moved into our own bedrooms

* Dressing up our pets (cats/dogs) in clothes and showing them off

* Eating a paper plate of mozzarella cheese while waiting for pizza to take out at Jolly's Pizzeria

* Playing musical instruments to our relatives and collecting money at the end

* Putting on magic shows for our parents in the basement

* And many more!

I love you, Chris.

Dyke Knitting Circle!

I don't know why, but I never thought of a Dyke Knitting Circle as an existent concept.

Dykes + Knitting = ? Not two words I would normally put together in one sentence. Shattered another stereotype I had about dykes. But, hey, anything goes.

There will be a Dyke Knitting Circle event at Bluestockings Bookstore soon. Read below for details.

Bluestockings Books
172 Allen Street(bet. Stanton & Rivington)
F train to 2nd Ave.
(212)777-6028

Sunday, February 20th @ 4pm to 6pm -

Free Knitting: Dyke Knitting Circle!

Come on in and knit, make new friends, drink some tea and learn a new craft at a self-help and member led group event.

The Dyke Knitting Circle is open to all levels of experience and meets every 3rd Sunday of the
month. Please bring yarn and knitting needles, and feel free to contact the DKC at knittingcirclenyc@yahoo.com or (212)714-8375 with questions.

Early Spring Cleaning

I've definitely got a headstart on an early spring cleaning in the apartment and life in general.

I donated a HUGE travelling duffel bag on wheels full of clothes and items to a group home.

I've thrown out 6-8+ bags worth of stuff, including papers.

I've given away many things. Your perspective on essentials and what to keep drastically changes after living in a small Manhattan bedroom for a while.

Soon, I'll donate my old computer to a non-profit agency for recycling or whatever they do with it. They will get proceedings from the recycling or something of that nature.

An old well-used cat post will be saying hello to the garbage men by next week.

A roommate arranged for Salvation Army to pick up the couches next week.

Hallway and most of the kitchen baseboards were dusted and scrubbed clean. There's more to tackle in this apartment.

I'm looking forward to hopefully resuming classes this summer.

There's a lot more to do, but it feels good. One step at a time. By the time spring and summer come, many things will have been crossed off the "To Do" list.

On sad and happy notes, one of my roommates will be moving out next week. It's sad because I'll miss her. We've been through a lot as roommates over the past 3 years. I thank her for shared experiences, long chats, great lending ear/eyes, magazines to browse through, teaching about some things, her beautiful pictures/ paintings/ mother's drawings, and more. I'll miss her and her cat (a wonderful soft purring living creature) as roommates. Yet, I'm really happy for her because she will be moving in with her beloved, and they'll start a new chapter in their lives together. This warms my heart. I look forward to having lunch or dinner with her in the future and getting to know her on different terms after we part as roommates.

It's cool how we all grow as individuals and what/who we come across in life. There's always a time and place for changes, for paths to cross, meet and part. And, there's always time for spring cleaning, no matter what time of the year it is.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Star Jones on Self Esteem

I came across Star Jones' comments about where her self esteem came from while doing research for a fashion designer friend. I though it was worth sharing with you. Read on.


WHERE DID STAR GET SUCH GREAT SELF-ESTEEM FROM?

I am so blessed that I have always had a mother and father who believe in me. I never knew a day growing up when my parents didn’t say something encouraging. I was always smart…never “stupid”. I was always pretty…never “ugly”. I was never compared to other children…I was just me and encouraged to be me. That is the greatest gift you can give a child…the freedom to be them. I had the most wonderful upbringing from two of the kindest human beings on the planet. Now don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t a perfect child. I had a big mouth and thought I knew everything (like you couldn’t guess that) so I was disciplined…but in ways that would put me in check, not stifle my free spirit. I have never heard my father raise his voice to my mom or to my sister or me. His manner taught me how a man is suppose to treat a woman and he has raised the bar so high that I was willing to wait for the man who could reach it! My mom was indeed the disciplinarian in our family. She taught us responsibility, self-esteem and encouraged us to shine brightly...and I thank her everyday. I will mirror her child rearing technique with my own children and I hope they love me as much as I adore my mother. It is because she was my "parent" growing up, that she is my "friend" now that I'm an adult. I don't like to end the day without calling to laugh with my mom about something. Even now, my parents never end a conversation with their children without saying, "I love you". If I can grow up to be 1/10 the woman my mother is...I would count myself a success.

How do I have such self-esteem? I know who I am…and I like me.

(Copied and pasted from www.starjones.com website)

Warm Heart

Aww... my heart's melting a lot these days and filled with warm love.

One of my dearest childhood friends, Julie, received the gifts I ordered for her soon-to-arrive baby. What she wrote on her blog just made me cry. Yes, Julie, I AM visiting you in the spring. You have my word on this.

Also, one of my roommates is moving out. We've roomed for 3 years. It's amazing what happens in 3 years and how quickly time goes by. It all started with her grinning face sticking out of the car waving past the building. Since then, we've been through so many things. It's amazing how people grow and what happens in life... and to witness/experience this yourself and with your roommates. I'm already missing her and grieving her departure. Yet, I'm so happy for her because she'll be moving in with her love. They're so beautiful together, real and complement each other.

I wonder how the cats will be after they split when Lucy moves with my roommate. Emma and Lucy have become 2 stooges, chasing each other, pouncing on each other after using the liter box, fighting like sisters, and just sleeping together. Emma even comes to me or sits next to Lucy staring at me when Lucy wants something. Lucy does the same for Emma sometimes. I'll miss Lucy's wonderful purr, soft hair and warmth.

Sometimes, other things in life and the little things people do just melts my heart and makes me cry (ok, in private. I'm not a public crier.)

Life's beautiful.

Underwear Laundry

Had a funny chat with a friend online about underwear/laundry.

Me (A)
Friend (B)

A: i keep on procrasinating the laundry, so i hope to finally get it done tomorrow
A: seriously
B: ugh
B: I'm sending it in tmw too
A: here, it's cheaper to drop it off and have them do it
A: time is money... and.. if u've got a load, it's cheaper for them to do it
A: overall
A: then i just carry it home
A: nice
B: yup
A: i still have some undies left, so i sld be fine for at least few more days if i forget again tomorrow
B: I did the estimate, save about $3 if the dryers are working well
B: lol
A: lol
B: I sometimes buy skivvies at the discount store
A: the machines are so expensive here... and soap, etc.. not worth the lugging, etc
B: so I won't run out :)
A: and money
A: i drop off.. simple..
A: lol
A: join the club
A: i've done that a couple times
A: one person i know does it ALL the time!
A: and she has a machine right in her own apt!
A: doesnt need to go out to a laundromat
B: oh, I know many like that
B: if I have a lot of heavy stuff, like jeans
A: is it a NYC thing?
B: I might do them at once
B: and let them dry at home
B: everything else goes to laundry. they even fold my socks, who's complaining?
A: makes sense
A: oh yes
A: mine even organizes my undies by color!
A: how many laundromats do that??
A: nice for a fem like me
A: when they do that
B: oh yeah, mine too
B: blacks on one side, whites, and reds in the middle


This sounds SO NYC to me when it comes to dirty underwears, buying new undies when there are no more clean ones, procrasinating laundry and laundromats.

The Bachelorette... Ramblings

Unexpectedly ended up watching The Bachelorette on TV tonight after inserting the tape into the VCR to tape the show for Carm. The last time I watched was when I taped the first show for Carm a while ago.

I finally got to see who Jerry was. I've heard about him all along as the CODA one and was very curious to see how the family visit turned out. I had mixed feelings about how the visit went with Jerry's mother.

Prior to the show, we had such a wonderful roommates dinner. It'd been a while since all the roommates got together for dinner. I always love it when we get together to eat and have great talks.

We had a yummy meal, not to mention that cool Japanese dessert - a small round rice ball thing with ice cream inside it. I still can't remember the name of it. Minchu? Linchu? Anyways, I got a kick out of its texture that I ended up running my fingers over it and playing with it for a while while chatting. Finally, a roommate told me to cut it out and just eat it. What I was doing looked obscene. It was delicious! I had the mango one. The others had mango and/or green tea. Mmm... I'm going to buy some soon... as soon as I remember the name of the dessert.

Friday, February 04, 2005

"Healthy Proverbs"

Got these "healthy proverbs" from a relative recently.

1. If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

15. No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

(How true, especially here in NYC - Sarah)

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

25. Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.

Wise King

Wise King Magic Wand shared a wonderful saying today:

"I rather you hate me for who I am than to love me for who I'm not."

Bush Rage

When I sat down the other night in front of the TV, I was looking forward to a night of good simple amusing shows. Suddenly, a newscaster came onto screen and started talking about the State of Union speech. I pressed the guide button on the remote control to see what else was on.

State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union
State of Union

Ahhhhhhhhh! Nightmare!

My roommate smirked as I made faces and comments while watching dignitaries walk down the aisle saying their polite hello's before being seated to listen to Bush's State of Union.

Within the first few minutes of his speech, I already spewed out an endless stream of responses to what he said. Finally, my roommate suggested that I do something else. We ended up joking about anger management issues, politcal issues, and so on.

I've had plenty of practice over the past 4 years dealing with Bush rage, especially after seeing how his policies and decisions directly harmed and made life harder for clients I worked with as well as fellow Americans who didn't fall into the top 3-5% income bracket.

Here's to another 4 year of Bush rage.

East Coast Whore

Did one of these "44 Questions" emails recently. Once in a while, I get those questions emails from friends and answer them for the heck of it... for fun...

this time, there were two questions:

1. HOW MANY STATES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
2. HOW MANY CITIES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?

I sent the email with my answers to my brother and few folks. It was a fun way to get to know some folks as well as share about myself.

Anyways, when I received my brother's version with his answers, I looked and counted at how many states and cities we lived in. It hit me. We were East Coast whores. Take a look.

1. HOW MANY STATES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
1. GA
2. TX
3. NJ
4. NY
5. CT
6. VA
7. FL
8. DC

(These don't include long extended stays with relatives in HI, ME, etc.)

2. HOW MANY CITIES HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
* Athens, GA
* College Station, TX,
* Springfield, NJ (2 places)
* Albany, NY
* Slingerlands, NY
* Danbury, CT
* Fairfield,CT
* New Haven, CT
* Washington, DC
* West Hartford, CT
* Blacksburg, VA
* Vero Beach, FL
* Brooklyn, NY
* New York, NY

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Gay People & Copy Center

What is it with gay people and copy centers?

It seems that everywhere I go, there are always gay workers in each copy store I step into.

Is there a subcommunity within the gay community for copy shop workers? Is there an union for Kinko gay workers? The Kinko gay workers must have helped negogiate the merge with Fed Ex so they could get access to those "hot" delivery men and women.