January 21, 2016

What have I missed?

19 days later...

I was away on a fact-finding mission. I've been trying to find someone who actually thinks Donald Trump would be a good president. A real person, not Crazy Ann Coulter or Word-Salad Palin. Someone I might work with. Or have gone to school with. (Although --full disclosure-- if we're Facebook friends, I will unfriend you because I don't need that kind of lunatic bigotry on my wall.)
So far no one has admitted it formally. I can see that 4 of my Facebook friends "like" the Donald, but I can't see who they are. I can also see a horrifying 5.4 million people "like" him (on Facebook). I am fervently hoping (and I've never hoped for this before) that 5 million of those are fans of The Apprentice and Miss Universe. Please.

January 12, 2016


I can tell it's winter because my flannel pajama bottoms are sticking to my legs.

January 11, 2016


David Bowie and his wife married in 1992 and have one daughter. Just like LSH and I. We have SO MUCH in common!!

RIP, Mr. Jones. You will be missed.

January 6, 2016


Why is it so easy to binge? I don't mean due to access, although we are lucky enough to have at our fingertips, access to entire TV shows, movies, book series, and even need to make little effort for chocolate ice cream or family-sized bags of potato chips. I mean, is there a human disposition to bingeing (how odd that the e stays on that spelling) or is it a peculiarly American thing? If we gave every Bangladeshi access to the complete Breaking Bad series, would half the nation binge on Walter White? Do twenty-somethings in England watch all 9 Harry Potter movies in one sitting? I have to force myself to borrow only ONE book in a series on each library visit or I would gorge on them all and find myself waiting and wanting.
I have most recently become obsessed with the Phryne Fisher television series from Australia. 34 episodes based on the wonderful books of Kerry Greenwood who I have blogged about before. The series is not quite faithful to the books in that it creates a more complex relationship with the two main characters than what exists in the novels, but that is understandable for the medium. The costumes and music more than make up for any flaws in the adaption.

I am currently searching for a new fixation. And taking suggestions.

January 5, 2016

On the 12th day of Christmas

Did your true love give you 12 drummers today?
"XRF 12days" by Xavier Romero-Frias - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons 
Quite an impractical gift anyway. I'd rather have a pear tree. And I know LSH would prefer the nine ladies dancing.

January 4, 2016


Happy New Year!
I resolve this year to figure out a way to get Bingu kitty to chew his treats instead of swallowing them whole.

December 30, 2015

Oh to be young again!

It's true. Youth and beauty are NOT accomplishments. Those of you who have them and enjoy the privileges they provide did nothing to deserve them. And those of you who criticize people who no longer have them are shallow and most likely a jerk.

But once they're gone, oh how we miss them!

December 29, 2015

Yes, it is about race

Last night a grand jury announced the decision NOT to indict two police officers in the execution death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice citing that in the bizarroworld in which they live, it is "reasonable" that a couple of ostensibly trained, purportedly mature police officers were "justified" in driving a police car into a park, leaping from the vehicle, and shooting a boy sitting and playing with a toy.
The "justification" comes from the fact that the toy was a gun that appeared to be real from a distance. And that a 12-year-old black boy appears to be an adult to white cops.
The "reasonable" choice in a situation in which an unknown black male of undetermined (young) age appears to have a gun in a public place in a state where it is legal to carry a gun, is to shoot first. And render no first aid once the black male is incapacitated.

The shame and horror I have in being a Clevelander right now is reasonable and justified.

December 22, 2015

Vacation, day 2

In celebration of the shortest day of the year, I spent it in my kitchen baking no less than a gross of Christmas cookies in five varieties. Quite possibly the worst way to spend a day off. But another box checked on my list of things to do.

December 21, 2015

It's not really a vacation.

Day one of vacation and I have 7 wrapped packages and all my groceries (except I forgot cereal!) purchased. If I can get a few batches of cookies baked tomorrow I will consider the time off a success no matter what else might happen.

December 16, 2015

Have I mentioned how awesome Norway is?

The headline reads "Once again Norway has been voted the best country in the world for humans."
Yes, according to the UN, "Norway cinches the spot as the overall best country to live in, in the world—making this the 12th continuous year that it’s taken the title. Out of nearly 200 countries, Norway continues to score the highest in life expectancy, education, and standard of living, as well as in a number of smaller subcategories... ."

But for reindeer, it's decidedly NOT hospitable. Not only are they a source of red meat in Norway, badass Norwegian eagles have developed a taste for Rudolph and his fellow sleigh-pullers as well. "Olav Strand of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research told New Scientist that he has seen golden eagles kill adult reindeer weighing more than 130 pounds."

December 15, 2015

Heymomheymomheymomheymomheymom...watch this.

The cat does a lot of things while we're at work all day, but one thing he does NOT do is screw with the Christmas tree. This is Bingu's 3rd Christmas with us and he has not damaged our tree while we were away ever.

He waits 'til we get home.

Seriously. He has attempted to chew two branches and eaten at least three strands of tinsel in just the three days the tree's been up this year. But only if I'm watching.
Idiot cat.

December 14, 2015


Christmas trees don't photograph well. Much like myself. It must be one of the reasons I like Christmas. We all know both of us look better in real life.

(At least I like to think so!)

December 9, 2015

Haul out the holly

I've got my Christmas tunes going. Every year we get a fresh crop of recordings from artists as diverse as the Vienna Boys Choir to Keith Urban to Queen Latifah. They all re-do the classics from the 1700s thru the 1950s, but new holiday songs have slowed to a trickle. I will admit to being woefully underinformed about the music industry in general and "cool" music specifically, but on my iPod, I have precisely three songs that were written in the past decade.
Shouldn't there be more than that?

(Although, frankly, I'm a sucker for the Carol of the Bells in any rendition.)

December 8, 2015

Fa la la la la, girlfriend

When did nutcrackers come out? Or am I jumping to conclusions?

Not judging. ;)

December 7, 2015

Back into the fray

Yes. I took a week (or so) off. I will probably do so again at Christmas. Tomorrow, I hope to return to regularly scheduled blogging. And NO, I can't bring myself to comment on the events of the past 10 days. It's all so disheartening.
I've been lobbying my representatives for better gun control laws since 2003. Twelve years. And nothing has changed. (Primarily because I do not have a "voice" --read: money-- as loud as the NRA.) But if all 78% of Americans who ALSO think guns should be regulated (just like it says in the Bill of Rights --"well-regulated militia") then maybe, just maybe, we can drown out the voice of the NRA.

November 25, 2015

Pie!? We don't need no stinkin' pie!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am fortunate enough to have a TON to be thankful for. (Health, happiness, family, a beautiful and accomplished daughter, a considerate loving spouse, a precious little house, a few affectionate cats, very dear friends, etc, etc, etc.)
To celebrate, we are gathering at mom's for a big dinner and I am bringing dessert. Not pie. I know I've already committed the ultimate holiday solecism here --on par with politics at the dinner table-- but there are only eight of us so we don't need to go big. And while there are only eight of us, all of us like something different, so in order to please everyone I would have to bake at least three pies. For eight people. Ridiculous.
Also ridiculous: the piecaken (although frankly I'd eat it). Maybe next year...
But now I hear from Slate that apple pie is "wrong" at Thanksgiving. The author advocates strongly for pumpkin and pecan pies, so she will be hugely disappointed if she comes to our Thanksgiving dinner where dessert will be a caramel-apple cheesecake.
If I'm going to do Thanksgiving dessert wrong, I'm going all-out wrong.

November 24, 2015

Black Lives Matter

Between the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump (and friends) and the disturbingly regular deaths of minorities at the hands of police, you would have to live in a wealthy insular exurb to not be aware of the fact that racism in America is alive and a serious issue. For all of us. (Even the white ones.)
Sure, being white comes with the privilege of not having to be outraged at the excessive violence in our country when its victims have skin that is browner than spaghetti. But the fact that we share this country, this planet, with people who live under the oppression of racism which carries with it -as we have seen- the real threat of injury and death, means that as human beings we live under the same oppression. We just don't recognize it from where we're sitting: On top of the oppressed.

November 23, 2015

And I have the blisters to prove it.

Hey! You know what we did this weekend at the Punkinhouse? (And no guessing "read" because that is a given.)
We raked leaves!! All of the leaves. In the State of Ohio.
An anonymous Internet user's image of what our leaves kinda look like.
Well, it seemed like it.

November 19, 2015

I'm not fat; I'm healthy

How could my chubby self NOT choose to feature this little beauty in the weird science category?
"Being Overweight Offers Health Benefits"