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Archive: March 2003

What? Where Am I?

I have now emerged from the land of Zelda, only to find that I think I like it better there. I did, in fact, go to work today, and when I got home, I actually started playing Nintendo before checking my email. When i realized what I had done, I knew I had a serious problem. I have enjoyed a blissful 4 war-free days, though. It’s been kind of nice not having to do anything! Kev grilled steaks tonight, so I didn’t even really have to cook. Now if I can just get through the work week, everything will be fine.
On another note, I have a new favorite food item: Sugar Wafers. I loved these as a kid, and they’re even better now that I’m old enough to appreciate the sugar rush they give me. Tasty!
It's a Food Group

Really, I Meant To…

I had every intention of adding a new skin, launching my new book blog, not to mention cleaning the house, but alas, I have been waylaid by the seductive temptress known as Nintendo. Kevin has only seen me emerge from the office to procure groceries and to cook dinner (hey–at least I did that. I cannot begin to tell you how much I needed a weekend of doing absolutely nothing productive whatsoever, and it looks like I got my wish. Now my only problem is figuring out how I’m going to survive the work week with Zelda on the brain. And yes, I realize that I am an adult who shouldn’t be squandering her time on such minutiae, but if you play it, you’ll understand. It was a staple in my youth, and it continues to serve me well. Plus, I’m fairly certain that 48 straight hours of a relatively non-violent video game is a hell of a lot healthier than having one’s eyeballs glued to CNN. Unfortunately for me, it’s almost bedtime, so saving Hyrule from the evil Ganondorf will have to wait for another day. Damn. I just realized what a dork I am. Oh well.

BlogShares or Something

Zelda. Must play Zelda. Oh, and here’s the html tag for BlogShares:
Listed on BlogShares
Help. Am being sucked back in……
Zeeeellllddaaaaaa…………

Send Help

I have been seduced by the power of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Please send help soon, or I may never blog again.

What An Honor

I have to say, I am incredibly honored to be married to the man who is the world’s foremost authority on the Miller Light Catfight girls. Seriously, you have to be kidding me. This is not what I signed up for when I said “I do.” However, everybody has to find his/her niche, and it appears that Kevin has indeed found his, at least according to Google and Yahoo, where he is number one for this particular search. And by the way, I’m really just whoring myself out for more hits. Hmmmm. Maybe we’re more alike than I originally thought…

An Offering For You

Ah, Spring. Warmer weather, birds returning to their Summer homes, and the last hurrah of actual literature before Beach Reading season descends upon us. So, in honor of all things literary, I humbly offer the following selections, which I believe cement the argument that great books don’t have to be painful to read. Oh, I almost forgot: Go read something.

Surprisingly Unintimidating Think of Feynman’s Rainbow as kind of like A Beautiful Mind, only without the crazy, and a whole lot easier to read. A charming story of how one great mind can inspire another, and as the subtitle says, it is indeed a search for beauty in physics and life. Can you imagine starting a new job when your office is just down the hall from one of the greatest scientific minds of all time (think: Einstein). It’s a soft, painless introduction into the world of Richard Feynman as told by the man he mentored. Read it for the gentle probing of issues like God, love, and happiness, but come away from it with a better than average knowledge of quantum theory. To buy it, click here.


Stunning If you never had to read Things Fall Apart in school, then I am truly sorry. You should, however, run out and grab it now, and not just because the themes are especially fitting right now. What happens when cultures are challenged by an influx of Westerners? The story is told through the eyes of Okonkwo, the village pariah. The cultural invasion eventually leads to his own destruction, but along the way, all character flaws are carefully examined and social diversity values are questioned. Achebe’s novel served as a bit of a prophecy, and it definitely brought African cultural awareness to the forefront of every reader’s mind during the 1960’s. Sure, it sounds heavy and depressing, but the prose is lyrical, the story compelling, and once again, the issues are timely. Feed your brain and read this book (bonus points if you can correctly pronounce the author’s name—chin-U-ah ah-CHEB-ee) To buy it, click here.


Ahhh, Chick Lit So you’ve never taken a Women’s Lit course. Here’s your chance to find out what you missed. Forget visions of angry women hurling Flannery O’Connor quotes in your direction; Kate Chopin is much more subtle. My favorite short story–ever–is “The Story of an Hour”. Sure, you could read “The Awakening” and be amazed at the feminist themes in a time when feminism definitely wasn’t the “in” thing, but for my taste, “Story of an Hour” invokes a much greater emotional response. This is an excellent story with which to begin your foray into critical analysis of women’s literature: The themes are broad and easy to grasp, and it’s only two pages. For writers, it’s a valuable lesson in economy of words. Read this, now. And no, I’m not doing the dishes. Do ’em your own damn self. To buy the book, click here.


Once More Into The Breach In honor of all the men and women in our military fighting in Iraq, this one’s for you. Henry V is a miraculous play: It consistently inspires no matter how many times you read it. Even if you’ve never read Shakepeare before, you shouldn’t find this work too challenging. The language as well as the story are relatively easy to follow, and the story takes you straight to the battlefield. Sure, you could chicken out and rent the movie, but you lose something when you don’t have the words in front of you. Speaking of the movie, I made Kevin watch it not too long ago, and he loved it. How much more of an endorsement do you need? To buy the book (oh, okay, the movie too), click here. Oh, and one more thing. If you do read the book, your best bet is the Folger edition, as the footnotes are the easiest to understand as well as the most comprehensive.


An Old Standard I’m a firm believer in re-reading the stuff I enjoyed as a kid, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that Shel Silverstein is one of my all-time favorites. What’s even better is that he’s funnier as a grown-up than he ever was when I was a kid. Plus, now I get to read the Playboy interviews, where many say he shone his brightest. Oh, yeah, one more thing: This selection is in honor of National Poetry Month (that’s April, for those of you who may be unfamiliar). To buy this trip down memory lane, click here.
Silverstein Image Found on www.dannyfoster.com
P.S. Yes, I have decided to have themes for all my Reading Lists. It’s a lot more organized that way!

And A Splendid Time Was Had By All

Sometimes it’s fun to play tourist in your home town, and today I got to do just that. Brooke, Whitney, and I wandered around the Stockyards, drove around Fort Worth, and had a tasty lunch, which included a view of the hottest guy I think I’ve ever seen. All in all, a pretty good day. Plus, we got to listen to not one, not two, but three CDs I made for the two of them. I have to make copies for myself, because they were really good. Now it’s off to the store to buy some stuff for the troops so we can drop it off at the Red Cross Drive. A pretty good kick-off for Date Night, huh? In the words of R. Kelly, it’s the freakin’ weekend baby, I’m about to have me some fun!

Ahhhhhhh, The Weekend

Well, mine anyway:devil. I’ve enjoyed a war-free 24 hours, and now I think I’m almost ready to once again turn on the news. I have to mentally steel myself against the images awaiting me once I flip to CNN. My original plan was to catch snippets of news on and off tomorrow, in between updating the Reading List and burning a CD but I have now been summoned to lunch with Brooke and her niece (who is visiting from Florida. Hi Whitney!). So it’s off to the old stomping ground and an enjoyable day spent in Fort Worth, once again away from things that depress me. Hooray for the weekend!

We Have A Winner!

Forget Eminem (well, not really forget Eminem, that would indeed be a tragedy, after all). I have found the song that irritates Kevin beyond belief, so I shall now commence to an incessant barrage of R. Kelly’s Ignition (Remix). Sure, he’s into kiddie porn (oh God, I can see the searches to my site being flagged by the FBI as we speak), but that just boosts the level of torment. Hooray for me!

Kevin’s Favorite New Game

I know you’ve read all the stories about the phenomenon known as the earworm, right? If not, click here, and you’ll be enlightened (also, please refer to the poem below, as Billy Collins continues to express it so much more eloquently than I ever could). Well, count on Kevin to exploit my predilection for bursting uncontrollably into song. Yes, I know I am indeed a freak, but please allow me to explain: I do this in an attempt to purge myself of the incessant annoying songs swirling around in my brain. At first, Kev thought it was amusing to “plant the seed”, because, you see, I have a horrible tendency to start singing the last song I heard. Then he took it a step further. He now purposely plants the most horrible songs in my head, and sure enough, five minutes later, I’m belting out “Blue Suede Shoes” or “The Pina Colada Song”. He’s slick about it, too. He very quietly hums the melody with which he wishes to torture me, and then sits smugly silent until my subconscious picks it up. Bastard. It even took me a while to figure out that he was doing this intentionally, and I probably never would have, except he didn’t quite hide his chuckle in time when I started up with “I Wanna Be A Cowboy (And You Can Be My Cowgirl)”. He claims to possess a vast arsenal of audio assault weapons, and I’m kinda nervous. I think I’ll just torture him with a barrage of Eminem while I plot my vicious revenge. Bwaaahaahaaa!

?More Than a Woman?
Ever since I woke up today,
a song has been playing uncontrollably
in my head?a tape looping
over the spools of the brain,
a rosary in the hands of a frenetic nun,
mad fan belt of a tune.
It must have escaped from the radio
last night on the drive home
and tunneled while I slept
from my ears to the center of my cortex.
It is a song so cloying and vapid
I won?t even bother mentioning the title,
but on it plays as if I were a turntable
covered with dancing children
and their spooky pantomimes,
as if everything I had ever learned
was being slowly replaced
by its slinky chords and the puffballs of its lyrics.
It played while I watered the plant
and continued when I brought in the mail
and fanned out the letters on a table.
It repeated itself when I took a walk
and watched from a bridge
brown leaves floating in the channels of a current.
In the late afternoon it seemed to fade,
but I heard it again at the restaurant
when I peered in at the lobsters
lying on the bottom of an illuminated
tank which was filled to the brim
with their copious tears.
And now at this dark window
in the middle of the night
I am beginning to think
I could be listening to music of the spheres,
the sound no one ever hears
because it has been playing forever,
only the spheres are colored pool balls,
and the music is oozing from a jukebox
whose lights I can just make out through the clouds.

Copyright 2002 by Billy Collins

An Ode To Earworms

What’s On My Mind

I was in a fabulous mood all day. That is, until about 3:00, when I realized that I was in a fabulous mood, and then felt immediately guilty. What right do I have to have a good day when so many others are in so much pain? Soon after, my mood was thrust into a downward doom spiral. I hit major traffic on the way home, about which I usually don’t have to worry. Then I got a headache. Then I read the aforementioned article which made me mad. And then I got to thinking: I am really, really, really lucky to have all that I have in life. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a wonderful (if crazy) family, a job I love, the best dogs in the world, and a husband who is my greatest source of happiness. So yes, I can be in a fabulous mood, simply because I am able to appreciate the blessings in my life. And I won’t feel guilty that there are so many men and women who aren’t with their families tonight. Instead, I’ll be proud of them, I’ll show my support, and I’ll pray for their safety. And when they return, I’ll owe them a debt too enormous to ever repay, because they gave me the security and the peace of mind to simply have a good day.
Show Them Some Love!

Um, Duh.

I have to comment on this story on behalf of women like me everywhere. For those of us who are having, um, let’s say, a challenging time conceiving, people who would willingly choose to engage in this kind of crap while pregnant really piss me off. Do whatever the hell you want before you’re pregnant, but if you have someone else to think about (Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about actually considering another human being, oh mighty selfish one…), do us all a favor and take care of your unborn child. And like this is such a newsflash anyway. Do you think there are really people out there who read this article and were like, “NOOO!!!! Really?!?!?!?”
Sorry. This is just a touchy subject for me.

Whew!

I’m still a bit spent from my little tirade yesterday, as I am not accustomed to ranting (at least not in a somewhat public forum). Kevin was in the process of hanging a brand-spankin’-new American flag outside, and by the time he was finished 5 minutes later, I had hammered out my quiet and diminuitive opinion. Do you see now why I keep that to an absolute minimum? It did make me realize, however, that my thought processes are much more coherent when I sit at the keyboard pounding away without a thought in the world to syntax, which was a refreshing revelation. Apparently, I’m also more prone to verbosity when I have a day off. Hmmmm.
Since it’s Monday (and I can no longer think, therefore forgive the imminent rambling), and I have not (blessedly) watched the news today, I thought I’d take a moment, climb on my soapbox, and comment on the Oscars last night. Now, I watch the Oscars every year, even when I’m not particularly interested. It’s a tradition. I’m big on traditions. I have to confess, though: Last night I kept muting the TV. I did manage to catch Michael Moore, though, and while his little speech was not surprising (come on, it’s Michael Moore!!!), I was relatively shocked, nee impressed, with the audience’s response. Kurt Loder summed it up best here. Adrian Brody was very moving, and managed to convey the thoughts of most Americans while touching the hearts of everyone watching. I think I’ll go rent Liberty Heights
Finally, it just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t acknowledge Eminem’s big win. Sure, we all thought “I Move On” from Chicago was the shoe-in, “Father & Daughter” from The Wild Thornberrys Movie was the most touching (and who doesn’t love Paul Simon?), but my boy Eminem stole the show with “Lose Yourself”. Yes, I know I’m an approaching-middle-aged-wanna-be-soccer-mom, but I can’t help myself. I LOVE Eminem. What’s worse is that I can listen to Eminem and Yo-Yo Ma back to back. He he he. I’m a Gemini, what did you expect?
Lose Yourself

A Rebuttal

It isn’t often that I find myself on Kevin’s side of the fence, but I feel it necessary to share this, just in case some of you miss it buried in the comments.
First, the dissenter:
How about the captives your government is still holding in cap X-ray Cuba?

I’m not against removing Sadam from power, not by a long shot, but really, do you honestly believe in the motives of your government?

It’s about oil, and control over oil, nothing has changed this past year in Iraq, nothing got better and nothing got worse, but this time last yeah Europe was debating lifting sanctions on Iraq, the only thing that changed was Bush’s govt’ coming up with the idea of war.

What happened to not giving up untill Binladen faces justice, is this going to be a similar hunt that just gets dropped.

If supporting terrorism was so bad, how come the US still donates so much money to the I.R.A, responsible for nearly 30 years of terrorist actions, bombings etc.

It’s all so damn hypocritical, i’m not saying stop the war, that’s pointless now, to pull out without nailing Sadam would be dumber than going in their in the first place.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2878777.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2878565.stm
Posted by tristan at March 23, 2003 01:58 PM

And now, my rebuttal:

First of all, please learn to spell and punctuate properly. Next, it is futile to argue with Kevin, because, although you may not agree with his views, his research is, in fact, impeccable. Third, in case you have not been paying attention to all global events of the past five days, we are currently engaged in an operation called “Valiant Strike” in Afghanistan, where we have proceded to flush out several Al Quaeda operatives along with several WMD (that’s Weapons of Mass Destruction), capable of producing both Anthrax as well as a multitude of chemical warfare. To say that we have been ignoring the hunt for Bin Laden is ignorant and insulting to the U.S. troops currently engaged in a combat situation in Afghanistan. Finally, I urge you to think back to Bush’s address of last year in which he named the powers that make up (and bear with me, because I am not a Bush supporter) The Axis of Evil. Please do not forget about the imminent threat of North Korea and Kim Jong Il. If we fail to address the issues in Iraq, we will then set a dangerous precedent and be powerless to defend ourselves from the much greater threat that lies in North Korea. Please remember to research your facts before commenting. While I do not support violence or war, I understand that it is a cost of maintaining national safety and the security of sovereign democratic nations everywhere. If we don’t do it, no one will, and no one else has the capability. The price of being a global, social, and economic superpower is sometimes measured in human lives. As crappy as that is, this is a structure that will never change, simply because BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS must be defended. I’m not just talking about the things that give you the freedom to dissent, and on a much more basic level, give you the freedom and prosperity to use the internet, talk on the phone, go to the grocery store, sleep with a roof over your head, go to bars with friends….in other words, all of the things I’m sure you take for granted on a daily basis, and things that 85% of the gobal population are unable to enjoy. I’m referring to a life free from fear of rape and torture, death and destruction. If you’re interested, see the conditions some Iraqi citizens are facing here.

I implore you to do your research before flaunting your views. I support your right to disagree, but if you’re gonna do it here, at least come prepared with intellectual ammunition. You’re in our house, now, and though we welcome debate, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

Sorry, Kevin, for taking over.

Posted by merrin at March 23, 2003 03:18 PM

I hope that clarifies things for those of you who question my views. Thank you.
“What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.”

Saturday.

Ugh. Have to work.

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