Saturday, October 21, 2006

940 Called to Rochester

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Jay's eldest sister called this evening. I haven't talked with her in ages. Haven't seen her in more than a year. There seems to be a problem with one of Jay's father's caregivers, so she's going to be in Rochester next week to find out what's going on, and asked if I'd like to join her there. The problem? Strange charges showing up on the credit cards, the doctor called her and said he suspects emotional if not physical abuse, the vet called her and said the dog is losing weight, etc. Dad's got 24-hour care, there are several caretakers, so it may be a problem in more than one area.

I have to work at the museum on Monday, but I can drive to Rochester on Tuesday (a 6-hour drive) and return on Thursday. It will be nice to see both of them.

I just hope nothing critical happens in Orlando while I'm gone.

939 I'm Tired of Looking Tired

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Every time I leave the house with no makeup on, and not just lately, it's been since my early thirties, people tell me I look tired. Or sick. I don't wear that much makeup - spot coverup on my scars, eyebrow pencil and brown eyeliner and mascara, and that's about it. Sometimes lipstick, sometimes powder, depending on how fancy I feel. Never base or rouge.

My main problem, I guess, is that my eyes are light, my eyebrows are scanty and blonde, almost not there, and my eyelashes, although long enough, are also blonde. So without makeup I look pale and washed out.

Two of the four recessed floodlights in the kitchen burned out today, so I went to the grocery store this evening to buy some. They didn't have any of the type I need, so I just got yogurt and bread. The checkout lady, one of my favorites, ask me what was wrong. I said "Nothing, why?", and she said I looked tired. I said no, that I just wasn't wearing any makeup. She proceded to tell me that I was even moving more slowly, like I was tired. I said no, I'm really ok. She said I even said that in a tired way.

I had been just fine when I went in. By the time I left, I did feel tired. She convinced me.


I'm half tempted to get eyebrows and eyeliner tattooed on, but I'm afraid they'd screw it up and I'd be stuck with a mess. Plus as I get older I might want the eyebrows lighter, and I don't know how that would work. Sister has tattooed eyeliner. I'll have to check hers out better next time I see her.

Sheesh. Wouldn't that hurt? What do you look like until it heals?

938 The Warden's Dilemma

Saturday, October 21, 2006

This week's book is The Warden Wore Pink, Tekla Dennison Miller's experiences as the first female warden of a Michigan male prison. I am enjoying her stories, like the incident of the car bombs.

There was reason to believe that one of five cars belonging to the warden and her staff had been rigged to blow up. The police sent a bomb squad. The owners of the cars were given a choice:
  1. The police could absolutely guarantee that there was no bomb by stripping the cars down to the bare metal. "But we won't put them back together again."
  2. They could be reasonably sure there's no bomb by searching without stripping the cars completely, but "you'll have to start the cars yourself when we are finished." (This was 1977 - no remote starters)
  3. They would simply explode the cars.

All five opted for choice #2.

The comic relief in her rendition of the story is provided by the media.

I've been thinking about it for four days now, and I still don't know what I would have chosen. If there was a bomb, they had an idea who would have been responsible for planting it. I might have let the car sit there indefinitely, until the culprit had been apprehended.

These five, after the police search, one by one, started their cars.

Eek! I don't know if I would have had that much faith or courage.

What would you have done?

Friday, October 20, 2006

937 End of the Week

Friday, October 20, 2006

Catching up. Wednesday I went to the maritime museum and visited the Amistad. One of the crew members made a pretty strong pass. I deflected it. Last evening was the Third Thursday dinner. There were four of us - me, Roman, First Woman, and Super-Ditz. It was very enjoyable, some good and funny conversation.

After Super-Ditz left I'm afraid the three of us remaining made fun of her - not something I like to do, but , oh, she's SUCH a ditz it's irresistible. First Woman speculated that maybe she "puts on" the ditziness, but after considering that a while, we decided no, the woman is, well, I'm being nice calling her ditzy. She actually seems more just plain stupid.

She says things and holds opinions that when you hear them, you laugh, thinking she's making a joke. Then you realize she's serious. For example, she doesn't understand why we haven't nuked Iraq, and it's useless to attempt to explain to her why that's a very bad idea , because she hasn't the vaguest idea what's going on there or why. Her thinking is linear: war - nuke - end of war - what's the problem? She votes. That's scary. And yes, she's a Mensan. That's scarier.

After dinner Roman and I wandered around the mall a bit. At the cars we hugged, and I really didn't want to let go (I think he was holding on, too, he was stroking my hair), and he was about to kiss me, when I decided it was more than time to define the bounds of a friendship. I told him how I felt about him, BUT that there would be no more physical intimacy because I refuse to put myself into that position again. I just can't do that any more. Of course, there were a lot more words wrapped around it. We need to get past being uncomfortable. We need rules. Boundaries.

And I felt ok driving home.

Today I had lunch with Piper. He has embarked on a major weight loss and body building program. He's starting to look a lot better. I hope it has nothing to do with me. That way lies disappointment. I really don't see him that way at all. But he's starting to imply again that his relationship with the woman he lives with is platonic. Today he even said that he's free. I'll bet you a few hundred thousand that she doesn't see it that way, and from what I've heard of her, I wouldn't want to attract her anger.

May called this evening. I haven't heard from her since Moonlight Madness, Last June 11th. I had been worried about her that evening, and I followed her most of the way home to make sure she made it ok, and then the next day she called NJ, the hostess of Moonlight Madness, and furiously "tore her a new one", told her that she was never going to any more of her parties ever again. She was angry that I had followed her home, and blamed NJ. The whole thing was completely unreasonable. She and NJ have been good friends for at least twenty years.

NJ called me to warn me that May was angry and might call me to chew me out, but she never did. I figured she was even madder at me than at NJ and that's why she didn't call.

This is the woman whom I was so worried about back in June. It's very difficult to help her because she denies any problems and refuses all invitations (except for the twice-yearly parties at NJ's).

So I haven't called her, because I'd figured she wouldn't want to talk with me, and I'd given up on her anyway. There's only so much you can do.

So, she called this evening. She even called at a decent hour (she's been known to call people at 3 am). She sounded sober, sensible, and in good spirits. One problem is that she wants to stay on the phone forever, and she starts telling the same stories over and over, but I had a good excuse to cut the conversation short after 45 minutes - I hadn't heard from my sister about our nephew today, and I wanted to call her before 10 pm. So, anyway, that was good, knowing that she seems ok.

Then I tried to call Sister. We have either talked or I'd gotten email from her every day since Nephew's accident. Her last email was yesterday, and then she said he had developed pneumonia. Nothing today. So I called her cell phone just before 10 pm, and it went directly to voice mail. I didn't leave a message.

Things aren't good at all, so it's not a good sign that I've heard nothing today. Nephew's intracranial pressure, with the shunt, has been in the low 20s. That's not too bad. Adults can be conscious in the low 20s. When it goes over 30, the blood supply can be cut off and brain cells die. He's been at or just above 30 for brief periods. When it goes over 40, major damage is guaranteed. At some point in the past two days, they tried taking him off the paralytic meds, and he started thrashing around, and the pressure went over 60. Sister didn't know how long it was so high, but it doesn't take more than a few minutes to turn his brain to mush. Another ominous sign is that his blood pressure has remained pretty steady. When the intracranial pressure goes up, the blood pressure should also go up, in an attempt to force blood through the brain. Sister thinks it's a good sign that it didn't. I haven't corrected her. The pneumonia may be a blessing.

Sister gave me Nephew's mother's address (ex-sister-in-law) and suggested I send her a note. I haven't because for one thing, I don't know what to say - this is one area in which I am a major klutz, I never know what to say about any sensitive thing, I tend to giggle at funerals - and second, I'm afraid that by the time a snail-mail note got to her, the situation may have changed so much that whatever I say would be the wrong thing. I don't know what I should do. I've seen her exactly once in 37 years (at my mother's funeral, when she and Nephew were the cause of my giggles) so it's not like she's wondering why she hasn't heard from me.

Sigh. I gotta remember to pick up some duct tape. I've got too many warts, and they don't seem to be going away themselves.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

936 Halloween "Decoration"?

Looking for something to do for Halloween, guaranteed to freak out your guests? Check out Triggur's idea.

935 Hafla, November 11

As a service to local (within 100 miles) aficionados, I am reproducing here the entire text of the invitation to the biggest, bestest, friendliest Hafla in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Greetings Bellydance Lovers!

Our Hudson Valley Hafla will be happening on November 11, 2006 in Kingston, NY. Be sure to register soon to reserve your seat! And we have to know how much food to make. ;)

Here's all the information you need to know to come to this awesome event!

Crimson Gypsy Dance Productions Presents
Hudson Valley Hafla

Saturday, November 11, 2006
7:00 - 10:00 p.m. - doors open at 6:30 p.m.

White Eagle's Benevolent Society
487 Delaware Avenue - Kingston, NY 12401

The Evening Hafla will feature:

  • A LIVE DJ with plenty of OPEN DANCING for everyone.
  • Performances by local teachers, dancers and students.
  • Refreshments, Middle Eastern Appetizers and a light buffet will be served.
  • Vendors selling sumptuous Middle Eastern Treasures!
  • A cash bar will be available downstairs.
  • Students and Teachers, Soloists and Troupes - All Styles - are welcome to perform!
  • Middle Eastern Drummers and Musicians are welcome!
  • Guests are welcome to come enjoy the Hafla. Bring your family and friends - whoever will enjoy an evening of bellydancing and fun!

General Admission - $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Children 12 and under free.
Performers - $10, advance registration required.
Teachers who are performing get in for FREE! Advance registration required.

Hafla Information Webpage

Printable Registration Form

[Edit - Willow's phone number and email address were here, but I have removed them for this post. If you need further information, contact me, Silk, through a comment, and I'll help.]


If you are looking for a local Hudson Valley Bellydance Teacher, look no further. The Hudson Valley has it all, Egyptian, Cabaret, American Tribal, Tribal Fusion, Sacred Goddess Temple Dance - so many styles are represented in the Hudson Valley! If you've been curious about trying a different style of bellydance or didn't know where to find classes, you can find local teacher contact information on Willow's Bellydance Class page -
All local teachers are listed there with the style of bellydance they teach and their contact information and websites! Check it out. There are bellydance classes EVERY night of the week, and with the lineup of amazing teachers in our area, you can't go wrong with any one of them! There is a bellydance style and teacher for everyone here.

That's it for now. But you can be sure there will be more exciting events coming up down the road. I'll be here to keep you posted on the bellydance events and happenings around the Hudson Valley. For more information and to be part of the network, join the Hudson Valley Bellydance Tribe at

Until next time, happy shimmies!

Peace, Love and Blessings,

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

934 What Kind of Brain....

(Yeah, ok, I'm bored.)

You scored 45 Right-Brain, 45 Left-Brain, and 36 Dual-Thinking!

Which category did you score highest in? That's your dominant brain hemisphere. Only about 2% of the population are "whole brain" thinkers. Most people have a strong preference for either left brain or right brain thinking.

If you scored highest in:

Left brain: You're more likely to use logic when making decisions. You enjoy analyzing situations, and don't mind paying attention to detail. You're effective at recognizing patterns and developing strategies, and tend to be cautious about taking risks. You may not have confidence in your ability to draw pictures well.

Right brain: You're an intuitive thinker, and can see the "big picture." You're more likely to be artistic and creative. You are also more likely to understand and enjoy symbolism, spirituality, and philosophy. You enjoy drawing pictures.

Dual-brain: Your brain hemispheres communicate with each other effectively, making you highly adaptable to many situations. Read the other two descriptions and evaluate how the ability to think of both the literal and the figurative have helped you make difficult decisions and to learn tough topics in your past.

Link: The What Kind of Brain Are You Test written by MsTerious1 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

933 Jack and the Cow

One day, when Daughter was about two and a half years old, she sauntered into the kitchen pulling her wheeled riding horsey.

Daughter: "Hi Man. My name Jack. This my cow."

Me: "Oh, my. What a nice cow."

Daughter: "You give me magic beans for cow?"

Me: "Why yes. That's such a nice looking cow, I'll give you six magic beans for her."

Daughter: "Ok."

Me: (Counting six pretend beans into her palm.)

Daughter: (Holding the palm with the beans under the cow's mouth) "Look cow. Man give me beans for you."

Cow: "(munch munch munch) Mmmmmm. Goooooood beans."

And then Daughter and Cow wandered out of the kitchen.

I figured next time I told her a story, I'd better be more specific.

932 Emotional IQ Test

You scored 80% on validity, 54% on Maturity, 33% on Sublimation, and 100% on Wisdom!
You were straight foward and open in responding to the test therefore results are valid.
You are a genuinely open person who has a great deal of awareness of the complexity involved in emotional situations and in being close with others. You tend to be dominated by whatever you feel at the time and you are a very expressive person. The key is that you do not allow your emotions to dominate you and you make decisions that are mature and well thought out. As a result, others know the way you feel and your relationships tend to be close, deep and satisfying. Folks always know where they stand with you and that is a real source of strength for you in your life.

Link: The Emotional IQ Test written by serenity737 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

931 Amistad

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's raining today. Blah day. I don't "do" rain well.

The recreation of the 19th century schooner La Amistad has been at the Maritime Museum for a few days. I worked yesterday at the museum from noon to six, but Monday is the crew's day off, so I didn't get to go on board. Many of the crew members visited the museum, so I talked with a few of them. Tomorrow they'll have a special time for volunteers to visit, after the school groups and before the general public, so I'll go then.

The following images are scans from the brochure. For more information, see the Amistad website.

(Visit sponsored by The Bruderhof Foundation, Rondout Savings Bank, and Ulster Federal Savings Union. Donors: Central Husdon Gas and Electric, and River Radiology.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

930 Nephew

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nephew, earlier this year. He's 37 years old. He has "our" family nose and cheeks, and his mother's eyes.

When he was a child, starting at about age 3, whenever anyone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he always answered, "I want to be a fireman!"

And everyone smiled and patted him on the head.

When he was a teenager, and people asked him what he wanted to do, he always said "I want to be a fireman!" And people nodded, and figuratively patted him on the head. "No, really. What do you really want to do?" Eventually he just said "I don't know."

Then he started college, on some business track that he had been guided into, like with a lot of accounting. He was living with my mother (his grandmother). He obviously wasn't happy. So my mother sat him down one night and asked him what was wrong. He said he hated the classes he was taking, and saw no future in any of it. She asked him "What do you really want to do?"

She said he looked up with tears in his eyes, and wailed "I want to be a fireman." Mom helped him to change academic track. And it was good.

He is an Orlando fire fighter.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

929 Fashion and Glasses

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I currently have two pairs of glasses. I always have two, because I'm so blind I can't chance being without. These two are very similar, same style, just slightly different color.

It's time for new. They're looking a little battered, but I refuse to buy new frames right now. The fashionistas have declared that we must all wear straight-across narrow frames, regardless of our facial shape or visual needs. I HATE the shape! I've visited every shop in the area, and that's ALL they have.

Why do they think we all want the same thing?

That straight narrow shape is not good for my face. They just emphasize the width of my nose. But worse, I like a deep lens because my neck is a bit delicate. With a deep lens (I have bifocals) I can look up (distance) or down (near) without moving my head, just my eyes. With a narrow lens, I am forced to tilt my head to (for example) see the keyboard, or the dinner plate, and that will almost guarantee a krick in my neck.

If you need glasses to see, a narrow lens reduces your visual field. That's never good.

I hate those skinny frames! I think they look stupid. But they've been out long enough now that almost everyone has them, and my deep lenses now look sadly old-fashioned.

On the other hand, they've been out long enough that almost everyone has had to buy them, so we're ripe for the manufacturers to change the style, so all the herd-followers will have to buy new ones. Money, money.

Daughter has new glasses, and she got the "frameless" kind. I hadn't been able to find frameless or half-frame in like 15 years, and I love that style, so maybe (I hope!) that's the direction they're moving. You can have almost any shape lens with frameless. I just hope I can hold out one more year (or however long it takes for a new style to show up in this backward area).

Why do we allow designers to dictate what we wear? Arise! Revolt! Glasses are not a fashion accessory and should not be treated as such. For some of us they are a necessity, and our needs and preferences should be considered.

928 Nephew

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The nephew isn't better, but he's not worse, either. He has a shunt to release pressure. With the shunt open, the intracranial pressure remains in the low 20s. When they close the shunt, it rapidly shoots over 30. I have to wonder why they'd experiment with closing it. Sheesh. It's sort of like testing whether water is boiling by sticking your finger in it.

He's still described as in a coma, but a nurse asked him to give her a "thumbs up", and he did. The hospital has restricted his visitation, and have asked people to not touch him or talk at all, even to each other, when they are in his room. I sort of do and sort of don't understand that. With the fire department folks sitting vigil, he was getting a lot of visitors, and maybe they were thinking that if he is aware, it's tiring him.

So, we wait.

927 Sunday

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I went to Rakkasah yesterday, mainly to see Willow dance. She was, as usual, terrific. The audience response was extremely positive, especially considering that it was improvisation to a live band, as opposed to a rehearsed routine to recorded music.

I didn't get there until after 6 pm, but it seemed like all the best dancers were from 6 to 11, so even though I was there for such a short time, I was satisfied. Others who were there were staying through today, but when I was about to put my makeup on in the hotel room this morning, I suddenly decided I didn't want to, and I wanted to go home. I don't know why. I just felt tired, drained. My feet hurt because I had worn the wrong shoes Saturday, and I hadn't brought any others.

I almost fell asleep on the 2.5 hour drive home. I wore my bedroom slippers to drive home. And no makeup.

I got home about 1:30, lay across the bed to read a bit, and fell asleep. I didn't wake up until after 5 pm. This is highly unusual for me.

When I got to the hotel room last night, according to the thermostat it was 70 degrees F in the room, and it felt cold to me. I boosted it to 75, and still felt cold all night. When I got home, the thermostat said it was 75 in my house, and I felt cold. I've boosted it to 77, and I still feel cold. I had about convinced myself that there was something wrong with my home thermostat, that it was registering high, but now I wonder. It's not likely that the hotel thermostat was also registering high. I think I'm just feeling cold. My hands, feet, arms, legs, face - sometimes it feels like my nose is about to fall off. I get shivers. I don't think it's a circulation problem, 'cause everything's still pink.

A few days ago I felt like I had a fever, you know, that "loggy" feeling?, so I took my temperature. It was 96.2 oral. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the thermometer, so I tried again with a different one. Same result. I have always run a bit low - 97.7 to 98.2 is normal for me - but this is unusually low.

Thyroid? Insulin? I guess I should do a little research. My internal thermostat might have gotten reset this summer when the A/C was screwed up and it got into the 90s in the house.

Right now I'm too tired to think about it. (Hmmm. That sounds thyroid, too. Could also explain why I haven't been able to lose any more weight.) Funniest thing is that when I kick myself into gear, I'm fine as long as I keep moving. It's only when I stop that I feel so tired.