Saturday, April 11, 2009

2356 Cat Toy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's this, four posts today? I apologize. But I'm excited!

I was talking with Daughter yesterday, and she mentioned that she was letting her cats outside now. I was a bit worried about that, but on the other hand, if they (she and the cats) are willing to put up with ticks and fleas and worms and colds, and a possibly shorter (but probably happier) life, well, ok. I told her that I felt bad about Jasper being stuck in the house all the time, but I can't let him out because we have so many coyotes. He used to be feral. I'm sure he doesn't get enough exercise now. Not just physical exercise, but mental exercise, too. I'm sure if I were he, I'd be going crazy.

I've tried playing with him, but he's not interested in anything on sticks or strings. As soon as he figures out I'm on the other end, he loses interest. Toys dangling from stationary strings or elastics don't interest him at all. He'll wrestle with catnip cigars or bat catnip mice around, but it's kind of halfhearted, and not much exercise.

I was starting to feel so guilty I was considering issuing an invitation (via bread crumb trail and unplugged garage mouseholes) to local field mice.

A few days ago I was wandering around an office supply store, and I bought a laser pointer. No particular reason. Just seemed like a good idea, you know, just in case I ever needed one. It was on sale for a dollar, including batteries.

I put the batteries in it this evening.

Miss Thunderfoot wasn't interested in it at all, but Jasper went wild. He chased the spot all over the house. With just a few steps back and forth, I can get him tearing through the kitchen, dining room, living room, down the bedroom hall into the far bathroom, and back around again, and I'm not associated with it at all.

I turned it off a few minutes ago, and he's still prowling the house "Eep eeping", looking for it.

Ahah! Residual mental stimulation!

2355 Keeping friends

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another blogger brought up a topic today that has me thinking. It's also a topic Piper and I discussed a few weeks ago. Making and keeping friends.

Piper is still in active friendships that started in elementary school (and he's in his early 60s now). It's a bunch of guys, about ten of them I think, who went all the way through elementary and high school together, and then somehow all managed to keep in touch. They all get together several times a year. They take vacations together, in groups of couples. They help each other in business. Nothing any of them has done or neglected to do is enough for the others to abandon him; they actively drag a miscreant back, slap him upside the head, and then keep going. The brotherhood seems to be stronger than a fraternity or gang.

That blows my mind. It is completely outside my experience, even outside my realm of possibility!

The discussion came up with Piper when I had the IBC scare and it occurred to me that I had no local friends that I could ask if I needed help getting to radiation or chemo treatments. I have acquaintances that I like to spend time with, but no one I could ask to give up time for me. When you come right down to it, I have no close friends.

Of course, Piper immediately volunteered to take me to six weeks of daily radiation if I should ever need it, which is awfully nice of him, and probably why he has so many close friends. But of course I would be reluctant to ask it of him, which, when you think about it, is probably one reason why I have so few friends.

He asked why I don't make or keep friends. They're very important to him. I said probably because I'm lazy, and maybe a little selfish. I'm not willing to put in the effort it takes. I'm not willing to put up with drama.

I'm mostly quite happy with my own company, and friends can put so much demand on you, and dump so much crap on you, that it doesn't seem worth the effort. He nodded at that. Yes, he can see that with me.

I'm not willing to ask anyone for help. I don't like being "beholden", and don't want to put others in that situation, either. I'd rather pay a handyman when I need help, and owe nothing more than money, and I'd rather volunteer to help strangers who then owe nothing to me. Don't tell me people don't think in terms of debts! If you have invited someone to your house multiple times, but they haven't invited you to theirs, what's your reaction? If they have a party and don't invite you, what's your reaction? Everyone wants tit for tat. People DO keep score.

If I want to go somewhere or do something, coordination with another person is messy. It's easier to go alone, set my own schedule, and I don't have to compromise on any choices. Of course, once there, I wish someone could be temporarily teleported there, just for a bit, without any of the complications. Sometimes you need to laugh or marvel with someone else.

Part of it goes back to my childhood, I guess. From kindergarten to 12th grade, I was in something like 14 different schools. I was always the new kid, an outsider. Others who had the same experience learned to make friends quickly. I didn't, and it may have been because I was "different". I was always much MUCH smaller than everyone else in my class, therefore different, and also much smarter but not smart enough to hide it, and that combination is fatal. (It may also have been because my family was completely dysfunctional, and I knew I wasn't "worthy".)

With the internet, it's possible to locate people known decades ago. I've tried, and I've had a very strange experience, both from friends located, and from myself.

I had two very close female friends in high school, and three fairly good male friends, whom I have managed to locate and have attempted to contact through notes in Christmas cards and emails. I've received in return total silence from all but one of the guys, and after an exchange of perhaps two emails each, that contact petered out.

I had two very close female friends in college, and a few male friends. Again, no response to repeated contact attempts - except one male who became a minister, and whom I have managed to keep up with, and one female with whom I was not that close at all.

And so on over the decades. There are one or two people here and there, like ex-coworkers who have moved away, the once-a-year letter kind of thing, but there's no deep connection to anyone.

I've got cousins, but since we left our respective families, there's been next to no contact. In fact, I've spoken with only three cousins in the past forty years, and that was at an aunt's funeral. One of them and I did correspond for a short time, but it petered out when she moved to England.

I have two younger brothers I haven't seen or spoken to in nigh on twenty years, and one remaining younger sister. The sister and I got reacquainted a few years ago, and that's looking good. She's in Florida. Given my tendency to alienate everyone close that I'm not sleeping with, that distance is probably a good thing. (Sometimes I think the only reason I haven't alienated Piper yet is that he's still hoping.)

Nothing else you could call close. No one. The few friendships I attempted to cultivate in my adult life mostly ended badly. Gossip. Nastiness. Accusations. Sometimes I think I attract crazy people.

Locally, I have acquaintances, many of whom I truly enjoy. But again, there's nothing strong there (except maybe Piper). A few years ago I decided I really needed a close female friend to ram around with, and First Woman and I discovered some common interests --- and all that attempt did was to prove to me, again and for good, that sometimes friends are more trouble and angst and pain than I care to endure.

It's just too much trouble.

2354 Dead Heat

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back in this entry, I mentioned an election where I didn't feel either candidate deserved a vote, because they both ran despicably nasty campaigns.

The election was several weeks ago, and (as far as I know at the moment, without looking it up) there is as yet no winner. It's a dead heat.

I guess I'm not the only person who decided they were equally bad.

How'bout we throw them both out and try someone else.

2353 Fly like an eagle

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Interesting video. If you are at all prone to motion sickness, you might want to skip this one. It's pretty swoopy and at the same time jerky, but thrilling nonetheless.

When I was young, I'd lie in the grass watching the birds, and I tried to imagine what it would be like to be one. Video via Switched - Spanish photographer Jose Luis Ortiz strapped a camera to his pet golden eagle and let him go. My favorite part is at the end, where you can see the man very far away and the eagle swoops in for a fast landing.

I wonder what the eagle thinks about. By the way, what looks like a snow-covered mountain in the freeze below is the eagle's head. It's kind of neat when he turns his head as he's flying and you can see his eye and beak.


Friday, April 10, 2009

2352 Observations on panties, which concern may not matter any more anyway, since it's possible no one but me will ever see them again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Beautiful almost warm day today. I had hoped I'd be able to see Daughter, I was about 50 minutes from her home this morning, but she was not only working, but working late.

Last night with The Man was nice, but I finally dumped a load of what every man dreads - "relationship talk" - on him. That'll teach him to spend concentrated time alone with me!

We'll see what happens. He's too old for me to change him, and I'm too old for him to change me, and that's a good reason not to complain about little things. All it does is create resentment. You have to decide for yourself whether you can cope with or ignore the little things that annoy or anger you and mostly keep your mouth shut.

On the other hand, I can change me, and he can change him. So in fairness to the other person, when there are important issues, things that may eventually cause the demise of the relationship, they do need to be brought up, so the other person can decide for themselves whether they want to do anything about it. They shouldn't be seen as just complaints. (I'm sure he has no idea how much I haven't brought up, how little I've complained about.)

We'll see what happens.


I looked at my panty supply the other day, and realized I wear granny panties.
I hate thongs. They hurt. The narrow part goes right through a sensitive area, and RUBS!
I hate bikinis. The elastic comes right to the fold in my tummy and that's annoying.
I dislike the panties that are high cut at the legs, because if they're tight they make the bottom of my backside lumpy, and if they're loose they eventually end up bunched in the crack.
I hate the "boy shorts" because they don't rise high enough, and eventually end up folded down under my tummy.
Why don't comfortable but sexy underpants exist? We shouldn't have to keep pulling at our panties all the time! Who designs these things, anyway? They're not made for real women, that's for sure.
Why can't I wear boxer shorts? Oh, yeah, they're not sexy. May as well keep my grannies. Besides, the booty-exposing feminine version of mini-boxers bunch up in slacks.
Have you noticed that everything that's sexy (stilletto heels, thongs, short skirts, tight dresses, etc.) is hellaciously uncomfortable or requires constant adjustment?

So I found and bought some new panties that are sorta like my tried and true grannies, but at least they're lacy. They arrived today, and within minutes I remembered why I don't have lace panties.

Lace itches!

I'm about ready to go commando. It's comfortable (except in jeans), and sexy. Just means I have to do laundry more often.

I am a slave to my closet.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

2351 Twoops

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Are people who Tweet, people who use Twitter, properly called Twits?

I'll be seeing The Man this afternoon and evening. He's had a few rough weeks. We don't plan to go anywhere or do anything. Jacuzzi and a DVD movie or two, probably.

He'll be heading south for the holiday weekend. Maybe someday he'll invite me along? I won't hold my breath until then....

Damn Aspie. Damn Sheldon (TBBT reference).

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

2350 I don't know what to think of this...

The government of India is pushing condom use, and this is a public service video, Bollywood style. It's seven minutes long, and definitely not safe for work, or any other public space. But, it's cute and catchy.

I had to look up "nirodh". It's Sanskrit for "control", and is the brand of condoms handed out by the government.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

2349 Geek Test

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Are you a geek? Take the Asperger Test at (Safe link, according Firefox.)

I took it for myself, and got 17, "female scientist". Well below Asperger level, which is 32, I think. 34 is described as "extreme".

Then I took it as I think Jay would answer, and got 38.

Then as I think The Man would answer, and got 37.

I guess when he frustrates me, I should keep that in mind.

Challenge: Take the test - then post your score and your occupation in the comments.

2348 Sad outside

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nature is a tease. Last week it was in the 60s and 70s. This week it's close to freezing, and when I went to the gas station this morning, there were tiny bits of white drifting down from the sky. The sky is low and gray. The wind cuts.

I always tell folks that our last snow is historically the first week of April, and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy, but IT IS!

I've been freezing in the house, especially at night when the sun goes down, but I look at the thermostat and it says 73.

I don't understand.

2347 Foop.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Zayrina, over at her eponymous blog, (and technically I just used that word wrong, but at least I know that), describes a conversation with her coworkers about flatulence. And how a soda straw in the armpit of someone with an 8-year-old sense of humor can create a passing semblance (very subtle pun there).

Anyhoo, that reminded me of an incident when Daughter was very young. I was certain I had already written about it here, but a "search this blog" for "foop" didn't turn it up, and neither did Google when I looked for a key phrase from the story. Gee, aren't you supposed to forget things when you get older? I seem to be over-remembering or something.

So what the heck. I'll tell it again. Short version.

Very young Daughter and I were sitting at the table, she coloring and I drinking tea, when I heard "foop" from her side of the table.
Me: "What?"
She: "Huh?"
Me: "Did you just say something?"
She: "No."
A few seconds later, "foop foop. foop."
Me: "What?"
She: "Huh?"
Me: "Did you just say something?"
She: "Nooo..."
Me: "I thought I heard you say 'foop'."
She: "No ... oh! (laugh) That not me. That my bottom. That all he know how to say. Foop!"

She finished her coloring and took her picture off to show her father. A few minutes later, she came back.

She: "Daddy's bottom says 'BRRRRAAAAAAAAAP!'"
Me: (Once I stopped laughing) "What does my bottom say?"
She thought about that a long time, and finally said, "I don't know. Your bottom whispers."


What a difference 33 years makes. I've become more outspoken in my old age.

Monday, April 06, 2009

2346 Phish Alert

Monday, April 6. 2009

I have received several emails today, to my AOL id, from unrecognized parties. They all have the same message in the text: "[Blah blah something interesting...] Click on 'Show Images' above for details."

AOL doesn't allow images or links in email unless you give explicit permission.

Of course, I haven't clicked on "Show Images" for those emails. It now has me wondering if one can get worms or viruses just from images embedded in emails. Can they contain executable code?

2345 Sissy Bits

Monday, April 6, 2009

Well, the local M3nsa newsletter arrived a few days ago, and I read it yesterday. The 0mbudsman position is shown as open in the officers list, and there's a call for volunteers for 0mbudsman and treasurer. Nice of the board to let me know that my resignation had been accepted.


The Man teases me that most of my friends are homosexual - outright, closet, bi, or unaware. He may be right. I am completely totally absolutely exclusively hetero, but I can understand other orientations. I can even understand cross-dressing. When I wear clodhoppers, loose jeans, and a t-shirt under a flannel shirt, I do feel more strong and capable than in a phoofy dress. The least bit of lace softens the way I feel as much as the way I look, and sometimes I want to feel harder. So I can understand where even a completely hetero man might like to try silk and ribbons and lace occasionally to feel softer and less pressured. And maybe intensify it with a little role play.

(Jay was and The Man is about as masculine as you can get, and both enjoy a bubble bath. Pardon me while I giggle.)

What I don't quite understand is mixing homosexuality with cross-dressing. I mean, if I wanted a woman, it seems like I'd want a woman, not a pretend man, and if I were a man who wanted a man, I wouldn't want a pretend woman. I find that all very confusing.

I guess that's part of being completely totally absolutely exclusively hetero. I assume that if a man wanted a man, he'd want the same thing I want, because that's so wonderful.

If you want to see some interesting stuff, search for "sissy" in the clothing category on eBay. Apparently that's the code word. I bought a sissy teddy a while ago on eBay, before I knew what it meant (yeah, the fit proportions were way off), and the purchase led to some interesting correspondence and product offers. Part of the confusion was that I'm still using Jay's email id.


My knee feels a bit better today. The whatever-it-is has moved to below the bottom edge of the left kneecap, and it bites me only occasionally.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

2344 Fairies

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The following is all absolutely true.

A little family background first. My mother's side of the family is pure Welsh. My great-grandmother was, when she lived in the mountains of Wales, known as a wise woman. She had the healing gift, and "the sight". I was born in Scranton in 1944, while my father was off flying jets in France, so Mom (Little Mary) and I lived with Gramma (Our Mary) and great-gramma (Mary!). Mom worked in the Scranton Lace factory. Great-Gramma died when I was very young, but until then, she was my primary caregiver. She understood English, but refused to speak it. She spoke only Welsh. Mom and Gramma had no "gifts", but Great-Gramma said I did. She told me to watch for fairies, that one would come to me, and when she did, to listen.

In that family setting, I was the one who "knew" potatoes. Remember back when every bag of potatoes had a few with black rotted centers? Even as a toddler, Great-Gramma or Gramma would set me in front of a pile of potatoes and have me pick out the bad ones. I was never wrong. At the big family holiday dinners, it was accepted that I would sort the potatoes, because I "knew" potatoes. One time we were in a restaurant, I was perhaps 12, and the waiter brought me a baked potato wrapped in foil, and without touching it I told him that it was bad and he should bring me another. He was indignant, but my mother said "She's never wrong", so he took it back to the kitchen, and when he came back out he apologized. The cook had cut it deeper in the kitchen, and yeah, it had a black center. I can do it with worms in lettuce and cabbage wedges, too.

Anyway, for many years I watched for fairies, but never saw any. In my mid-teens I found out what Great-Gramma meant.

This is hard to write about, because I instinctively knew that for as long as the fairy was with me, I couldn't speak of it to anyone, ever, under any circumstances. I think she has moved on now, so maybe now it's ok.

You know how people talk about having "an angel on your shoulder"? I think it comes from what I had, what I experienced, so I think other people have had it. I think there are other people who do know what it is. But I think that most people who talk of angels and shoulders don't really know what it means. I think they just like the words, the idea, without knowing the reality.

My fairy appeared as a bright light just behind my right shoulder. There was no light. If I turned and looked there was nothing there, no light, no nothing. But there was a distinct feeling of bright light just above and behind my shoulder. And thoughts. I would be "told" (no sound, no voice, just an awareness, a thought) that I should do something, or that some particular thing was unseen but just ahead. Warnings.

My fairy seemed to specialize in police cars and deer. Maybe she liked riding in the car or something.

Where I spent my high school and college years, in northeastern Pennsylvania, many people every year were killed or maimed or totaled a car in collisions with deer. My fairy always appeared and told me when there was a deer about to burst out of the woods in front of us. There'd be the glow, the thought "deer!", and I'd say "Deer!", and the driver would slow down, and a deer would cross in front of us. I was never wrong. There were never any false alarms. People would ask me how I knew, and I'd just shrug. They'd assume I had seen the eyes, but most occasions were around curves, or leaps off banks, and they knew it wasn't eyes.

When I was in college and started dating, it was deer and police cars. I'd get the glow, and the thought "cop", and I'd say "Cop!", and my date would look all around and sure enough there'd be an unmarked cop car coming up fast behind and then passing us, or a black & white behind the next billboard, or whatever.

Over the years she warned me about weak branches, snakes behind logs, and once a purse snatcher. That time I got annoyed and ignored her urges to move my purse, and my purse was stolen.

Oddly, that was the only bad person she ever warned me about.

Over the years, her appearances grew rare. The last time she visited was early 1995. I had picked up my father-in-law at Kennedy airport and was driving him to where Jay and I were living, in the mid-Hudson valley. We were almost home, on a country road doing 55, approaching a curve with a steep bank on the right, when I got the glow and suddenly slowed down. The FIL fussed "What? Why are we stopping? What's wrong?" and we rounded the curve at about 10 mph, and found a huge herd of about 30 deer crossing the road. We had to stop to let them all cross.

He looked at me in shock, and asked how I knew. I shrugged. When we got home, he told Jay, and Jay shrugged and said, "She knows deer."


When my daughter (born in 1975) was growing up, when we walked in the woods, I used to tell her that every tree had a fairy living inside it, and if you watch very carefully out of the sides of your eyes, you might see one. Just a glimpse, a flash of bright, but maybe.

In the fall of 1995ish, she was driving back to Penn State after a visit home, and she was to give me a safe arrival call when she got to the college. When she called, she said she was home, and then there was that long pause that mothers recognize. I waited.

"Mom," she said, in a very small voice, "remember when I was small, and we walked in the woods, and you told me there were fairies?"

"Yes. Fairies in the tree hearts."

"Were you serious? Are there really fairies?" asked my 20-year-old engineering student math-whiz daughter. Her exact words.

I laughed and said, "So. You've seen her, eh? Tell me what you saw." Note that I had never told her about my fairy, or how she appeared, only that fairies existed.

She described a bright light over her right shoulder that wasn't really there, and a distinct thought that popped into her head that she knew wasn't hers.

"Deer?" I asked.

"Nope, cop." She had been speeding, and suddenly she got the glow and the thought, and she slowed down in confusion, rounded a curve, and passed the patrol car tucked into the shrubs.

So I yelled at her about speeding, and then told her about the fairy, and that she had to always listen to her, and never speak of her to others while she's with you.

A few weeks later, Daughter did speak of the fairy again. She was in a deserted laundromat at 1 am, when the fairy told her to leave, NOW! She had been about to load the dryer, but she packed up the wet clothes and left. Not 20 minutes later, a girl arrived at the laundromat and was attacked by a guy who had jimmied the back door and had been lurking in the back room waiting for someone to come in.

I asked her once a few years ago if she still had the fairy. She said she couldn't tell me. So. That's good, I guess. I do wonder, though. Just from a few things she's said and a few things that have happened, I think her fairy is less concerned about deer and more into people situations than mine was, so maybe it's not the same one.

I miss mine.

I have a very strong belief that there are all kinds of things possible, but to sense them, we have to first be open to them. Like, you won't see fairies unless you first truly believe in them. Only then do they become possible, but even then, only on their own terms.

2343 Hurting

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I hurt today.

I have a headache above my right eyebrow.

There's an ache under the left side of my jawbone.

My lower back aches.

The biggest hurt is my knee. Last night when I was walking to the kitchen, my right knee bit me, just once. Then the left knee started biting (lower part of the bulge on the inner side) randomly. It seems to happen when the leg straightens behind me at the end of a step, but not consistently. It doesn't happen at all if I go up on my toes to walk. It's scary beyond the hurt, because I jerk when it bites, and I'm afraid I might fall. I suspect it's muscle/tendon rather than joint/ligament, and that's why going up on my toes "fixes" it.

Mother is not happy today.


Correction to the previous post - the shooter worked for The Company for a short time in the early '90s. The company that laid him off was a vacuum cleaner manufacturer.