Friday, October 17, 2008

2074 Body Shaper

Friday, October 17, 2008

You know those body shapers you see advertised on TV? We used to call them "foundations", or "girdles". They're now much lighter in weight, and much more expensive. I wanted to try one anyway.

I found some on eBay, and with judicious sniping, I managed to get four different types for the price of one. Figured I'd find out what style I like best.

According to the size charts, I wear a size medium, or B, so that's what I ordered. There's no return unless they send the wrong thing, so I had examined the size charts (height and weight) carefully.

Well, I screwed up on one of them, and ordered a size XL. Oops.

That was the first one to arrived, last Wednesday. It's a two-piece type, a top and bottom.

Because it's a bit big, it didn't do much to smooth out those bulges I have in the back, between the bra band and waistband. In fact, the waistband on the bottom was so tight it made the bulge above the waistband worse. The bottom didn't do much to smooth those lumps on either side at the top of my thighs, either.

And yet, the bottom was so tight and restrictive across my middle that I had to take it off after only three hours. It was making my stomach hurt, and the waistband cut into my waistline.

That was the XL. Uh-oh.

A medium Loba and a size B Spanx arrived today, both one-piece high-waist and long thigh. The Loba (from Brazil, no English in or on the package) is as thick and heavy as a '50s girdle, and no wider than a double palm-width. My stomach hurts just looking at it. The Spanx looks and feels lighter, but it has a heavy band that goes under the bust, and just holding it up to me I suspect it will be so tight I won't be able to breathe.

Not a good feeling to be so out of shape a girdle doesn't work.

2073 Caption THIS!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is a real, virgin, photo (or possibly a still from video). You can find it at the very end of this video clip from the end of the 10/15 debate. It's very quick, but the hands and tongue are right. The point of view must have been from the right, which would make them look closer than in the video.

A few bloggers are running caption contests.

My favorite so far is "Invisible Palin".
One also thinks of Gollum, chocolate, and gorgeous Black behinds.
Anyone else want to offer one?

2072 Vote, Saris, Leaves

Friday, October 17, 2008

Important - If you plan to vote a straight party ticket, to make sure your vote counts, READ THIS:

The description is confusing. On one hand, I get the impression that if you vote for the president, and then vote "straight" party, that amounts to two votes for president, and your president vote will be thrown out. On the other hand, I get the impression that if you simply vote "straight" party, without a separate vote for president, this does not necessarily include a vote for president.

It's confusing.

The solution, if it isn't clear on the ballot or in the booth, is to vote for every candidate separately, even if you do intend straight party.


I had a long lunch yesterday with a young Pakistani woman from whom I buy saris. I had noticed that many of the used saris I buy on eBay and elsewhere are advertised as "worn once". She told me that the younger Pakistani and Indian women in the US wear saris pretty much only to ceremonies and family parties (only "Aunties" wear them daily). And the women tend to be supremely competitive where clothing is concerned. Since you always see a lot of the same people at the occasions where you'd wear a sari, once you've worn one, it's done. You can't wear it again without losing face (and making your husband look cheap, I suppose).

Wow! That can get expensive! Given that a silk sari can easily run $180 for a print to $1000 and more for gold embroidery, and given that families and communities are large so occasions are frequent, well, my head spins.

So women will sell a sari for pennies on the dollar after one wearing.

I said it sounded like there might be a market for rental saris, and she was aghast. No one would wear a rental! "It's like a wedding gown."

Then I was aghast.

Hmmmm. There might be a market for "American" styles custom made from a favorite but "done" sari. Jackets, skirts, robes?


I don't like fall, mainly because it means winter is coming, and I hate winter. Other people rave about the colors of the autumn leaves, but they mostly leave me cold. Literally. I figure if I've seen one red tree, I've seen them all.

Driving cross-county through the mountains to lunch yesterday, I found something I can appreciate. I love seeing clear areas, like open woods, large lawns, completely covered in yellow maple leaves. Especially with a flock of wild turkeys scratching in the leaves.

That's pretty ok.

Then, driving south to dinner last night, the sun was at a steep angle, so that it was hitting the trees on the east side of the road straight on, and in some cases lighting them from underneath, so that they were firey bright.

That was pretty ok, too.

But I still hate winter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2071 Tired

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When I make certain loud high-pitched sounds, Jasper's eyes get big and he stares at me with his ears turned completely around to the back. He looks like a great horned owl.

I forgot to mention that when I got home Tuesday morning, I found that he had taken a mouse apart on my bed. It looked like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.

Watched the debate tonight. Prefer this format. No comments spring to mind.

On the other hand, this is cool - what alternate universe is Sarah Palin living in?

I have a lunch tomorrow with one of my sari sellers, and dinner with Mensa. I don't know that I can eat two meals in one day!

I don't know why, but I'm very tired. I was thinking of bed all day today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2070 Real Time

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"It’s one thing to speak at a rally and steer the crowd into feeling an animosity toward your opponent’s platform; however, when you drive them to hate and fear your opponent as a person by painting the man as a terrorist bent on destroying everything they hold dear, you are no longer campaigning. You are simply a coward creating a modern-day lynch mob fueled by a dangerous and enraged collective ignorance." - Dan, at "The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind"


To NJ last night. Sushi and The Big Bang Theory with The Man. We're working our way through season 1, finished off disk 2 of 3 last night. He swears he hadn't seen season 1 except for one or two episodes he'd stumbled upon, but he was speaking some of the best lines right along with the characters. Strange.

A regular episode of season 2 was on TV last night, but he's one of those people who won't watch any of the next season until he's seen all of the previous season. Sheesh. That means you never see anything in "real time". He loves Boston Legal, too, but he's so far behind he may never catch up. Not in "real time", anyway.

2069 Bits

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Many years ago, probably in the late '60s, I visited Mystic, Connecticut, where I saw what was described as recreations of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. They were tiny!

I asked if that was the actual size, or if these were scale models, and the costumed male docent assured me these were the actual size. I asked how many crew members each carried, and the docent told me 6 on the Nina, 9 on the Pinta, and 13 on the Santa Maria. There was no room in the holds, so the crew slept on deck. The Nina was so small that even 6 men sleeping on deck was crowded.

I believed him.

For the past 40 years, when I've seen those ships represented in movies, and the large crews they carried, I snorted. Historical inaccuracy!

Well, the docent was wrong. I don't know if he was stupid, or just teasing me, but what he told me, and what I believed for so many years, was simply not true. Here is the actual crew list. The Santa Maria carried 40, the Pinta 26, and the Nina 20.

Happy Columbus Day. Unless you're native American.


With all the moving I've done, and all the looking at houses when Daughter and Hercules were house-shopping, I've seen many bathrooms where the tub/shower has been placed against an outside wall, with a window above the tub.

Inevitably, the window sill rots from shower water, water gets into the wall, the wall softens, and you get moldy insulation and falling tile.

I have never understood why people allow this, when it's so easy to avoid the problem.

Some people cover the glass with a stick-on translucent covering, but people rarely put a curtain on the window, because "it gets wet".

Well, duh? Why don't they put a plastic curtain there, wider than the window and extending lower than the window sill? No more problem with shower water. Depending on the height of the top of the window, or the force of the water hitting the side of the curtain, an even better solution might be a second rod and shower curtain on that wall, cut short or installed high, reaching just past the top of the tub, so that when it's open it doesn't interfere with baths.

There's still a condensation problem. People think that if you have a window, you don't need an exhaust fan. Wrong. You need an exhaust fan because there's a window that will attract condensation, and the window should be double-paned to lessen the attraction.

So why are there rotted bathroom walls? They shouldn't exist.

(Many European bathroom showers don't have doors or curtains, or even enclosing walls. The shower head comes out of the wall, and there's a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. It's actually kind of nice, but I've wondered about the soap scum problem involving the entire bathroom. On the other hand, it's easy to rinse the whole room down after scrubbing. You can even throw buckets of water around.)


I'm still having problems with feeds. hasn't shown any posts since October 2, and had a burst of twelve posts last Friday, but nothing since. Bloglines insists this blog URL doesn't exist. I checked with several verifiers, and they all say there's nothing wrong.

I don't understand....

Later - I just discovered I'm not getting Bloglines feeds from OTHER blogs, either. The last post I got through Bloglines from was September 29. They normally post several times a day. Feeds from also died on September 29. There are many others. Now I wonder if it's just me, or is it happening for others, too. Anyone else missing feeds? Bloglines "help" seems unaware there's a problem.

Something in Bloglines is broken - at least for me it is.

2068 Reedin n Ritin

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back in my day (sit back and listen to the little old lady) we read. We read good books, and a lot of them. TV channels were few. We didn't have computers, or the internet, or iPods, or even transistor radios. We didn't have spellcheck, where you can accept a correction without thinking about it. We wrote real letters. When we wrote a research paper, we actually had to read the reference documents. Most of what we read was written by professional writers, proofed by professional proofreaders, and edited by professional editors, all of whom had respect for the language.

We absorbed vocabulary, spelling, grammar, construction, and usage by osmosis, and it was reinforced by our teachers all the way through school. Along the way we also absorbed attention to detail, and most of us learned critical thinking.

Today's youth don't read, not like we did, anyway. Most of what they read is written by each other! Errors, bad grammar, bad spelling, all the faults that lead to difficulties in interpretation, are reinforced. Detail is no longer important. Structure is not important. I don't think anyone is teaching about homonyms any more. The wrong homonyms are increasingly turning up everywhere. I am sick of seeing the increasing use of "site" when people mean "sight".

Is conjugation still taught? If so, why are so many people having so much trouble with the various forms of "lie" (as in "to lie down", as opposed to "to tell an untruth")?

It's getting really sad, especially because we are now seeing the effects as these young folks grow up and move into business, advertising, journalism, spokesperson positions, and even (God help us) teaching, where they perpetuate and exacerbate the problem.

I'm seeing things now that clam to be professional efforts, and I look at them and think, "Didn't anyone proofread or review this before it was released?"

The evidence tells me that no one is reviewing anything any more. Junior employees are told to put something out, and they write it up and out it goes without any review.

A current example is the hundreds of absentee ballots sent out by Rensselaer County, NY, wherein the candidate's name is listed as "Barack Osama". They claim it's a typo. Yeah, sure, the "s" is nowhere near the "b", folks. Whatever. Did no one review this, did no one proofread it, before it went out?. Oddly enough, they claim it was reviewed and approved by three different people, and missed. You know, that scares me more. There wasn't much writing on the page. That says that reviewers aren't reviewing.

I've already mentioned how I decorate the local school newsletters with the red pen of frustration, and mail them back to the superintendent's office anonymously. Don't they have any English teachers on staff who could review them before they're mailed? Worse, I doubt that teacher review would have helped.

My broadband support puts out a message when the device is first plugged in: "Please wait while configuring your device". Uh, did anyone review that message before it was shipped? Did no one notice that egregious sin of dangling a participle? Did no one suggest, "Please wait while we configure your device" or "Please wait while your device is configured"? Why did they use the most awkwardly incorrect construction possible? Does anyone even KNOW what a dangling participle IS these days?

It's snowballing, and it makes me sick.

I'm hoping Harry Potter can help, but even the advances of a new generation of readers can be held back by the sloppiness that surrounds them on all sides. Including the schools.