Monday, December 14, 2009

Attention spammers:

Really, I'm not going to invest in your scams. Go away.


If you pray, please send good thoughts to an old Dave Barry blog buddy of mine who is now also friends of my sisters. He just found out that he has prostate cancer and has to wait over a week for the appointment with his surgeon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Twilight saga revisited

Yes, I have a stack of books--good ones, from the blurbs on the covers, or the pictures on the cover, which is usually what attracts me to a book (yes, I'm shallow.)--on my bed to read. There are hundreds in the bookcases. So in the last couple of weeks, I've reread Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. And I liked them.

Are they fine literature? Depends on what you call literature. After rereading the series, I don't see the reasons that many detractors say that they're so poorly written. Evidentally there's something universally loved in them, by tweens and moms and grandmoms alike. The Washington Post article that I linked to a couple of weeks ago said it well. I'm paraphrasing here because I'm just too lazy to look back and click on the link, but the gist of the thing is that it takes us (women) (okay, some women) back to a time of first love, innocence, not to mention that teen angst, depression, insecurity, etc. But the books really are innocent; kisses, hugs, snuggling, and it very strongly encourages abstinence. (For a few minutes I couldn't think of that word; all I could come up with was incontinence. That comes much later than the series ever goes.) I don't think that sex is even mentioned, much less implied, until Breaking Dawn, which is the only book in the series I wouldn't want my granddaughter to read until she's, oh, 30, but the first three are innocent fun.

For some reason it surprised me to discover that Stephenie Meyer is Mormon. A Mormon mom writes a series of vampire/shapeshifter love stories? Tom is Mormon, so I mentioned it to him. He said, why wouldn't a Mormon write it? She's human, she has a degree in English, so why not? Anyway, I think that maybe that's where the insistence on abstinence comes from. I'm really happy to see that someone with so much influence in the lives of teenage girls (and old{er} women) doesn't have her characters falling into bed, or the backseat of Edward's Volvo (although really, that car is much too small; maybe Bella's old truck?) or anywhere until they're married. Edward was very definite on that subject, although I think that Bella would have been okay with it.

So. The point is, who cares if it's good literature? In my opinion, it's good if it's something that I enjoy, that I want to reread, that takes root in my brain and rots it entertains me for months on end. I'll read the entire series again. I've started reading Midnight Sun, which is available as only a PDF file which cannot be printed and I hate trying to read stuff on a computer screen but the story (Twilight from Edward's point of view) is so damn fascinating that I'll have to read it anyway.

Once again I cried at the end of Breaking Dawn. It ends so perfectly. I was so sure, the first time I read it, that

***SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT*** (even though there probably aren't too many people around who want to read the series and haven't) (if you are one, then stop now, because I'm going to talk about the ending of the saga)

Bella was going to die. I simply could not accept that, and I seriously considered putting the book down before the last battle. Fortunately someone (Urban Mom, thank you so much!) persuaded me to keep reading, and I love it.

So what will I read now? I don't know. Maybe I'll start over. The whole Twilight thing has taken root and I can't get rid of it. I don't want to. I like the innocence of the characters (right, vampires and werewolves innocent? In this series, yes.), the whole story. The fantasy. No, not the fantasy inspired by visions of naked teenage abs, although that one is all right, too. It's the whole fairy tale that ends like a Disney cartoon.

And I love it.

More attention than I need

I guess I've hit the big time. I'm now attracting spammers. So far it's not a royal pain, but if it continues, I'll have to go to word verification to prevent them.

I have to check to see just what it is that they're googling; I'm kind of afraid to see!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today's weather

Here (lifted from NOAA's website):

Winter Storm WatchHazardous Weather Outlook

Today: Snow and sleet likely after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 39. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight: Snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 11pm, then freezing rain between 11pm and 3am, then rain or freezing rain after 3am. Low around 31. South wind between 3 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch possible.

Aaaaannnnndddd at our place in the Keys:

Today: Sunny, with a high near 80. East wind between 5 and 10 mph. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. South wind around 10 mph. Wednesday: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a high near 83. South wind between 5 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.Wednesday Night: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. South wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

So, where do you want to be?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Why I didn't go to see "New Moon" again today

Chester's opinion of the snow:

It's mine, too.

Cause and effect

A teacher gave me this:

because this is on my office bulletin board:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Comedy of errors

and this time it is not my fault.

Xerox is no longer my new BFF. When the new copier was installed two weeks ago I asked how long the toner and staples would last, as they didn't send any extras along. The tech assured me that staples would last for at least a month. After only 5 days of use, the staples ran out. Monday. I called for more. The rep asked what product number I needed. I looked online, saw there were several types of staples for this machine, and told him I had no idea because I'd never ordered any. He kindly chose one for me and sent a box of four cartridges, which arrived yesterday afternoon. He was WRONG. They don't fit this particular machine.

I called yesterday and talked to a very knowledgeable, helpful, funny rep, who just happened to be born in Virginia, too. We bonded. She said she'd send out several boxes of the correct staples and would overnight one box to arrive today. She was my new BFF.

Seems that Xerox is having a quality control problem with their warehouse employees. The box that arrived an hour ago was suspiciously light. That's because it contained a plastic waste toner container. Not staples. Two numbers were transposed somewhere between the order being placed (my BFF had the number right) and being sent.

I hate having to call people. I think I've mentioned before that I absolutely hate talking on the phone. I think I can trace it back to early in my first marriage when I was stupid and naive and believed everything that I was told and my then-husband thought it would be funny to play a prank. He gave me a phone number, said they'd requested that I call, but he didn't know who it was. It was the local mortuary. For some reason this embarrassed me so much that I became phone-phobic. I don't even like to answer it unless I know who's calling, and in West by God Virginia we don't have caller id. At least, we don't.

Anyway. Back to my current problem. I called Xerox again and used my I've-been-pushed-waaaay-beyond-my-limit voice. The rep to whom I talked couldn't help me because they had to send me a new order without charging me. Turns out "everyone" in that department is at a meeting.

My stomach hurts.

Oh, and the toner that I ordered when I first ordered the staples? Came yesterday. And the first one in the machine hasn't run out.

I want to go to sleep.

Update from the Keys

Weather: 79 degrees and raining.

Health: ill, possibly flu. Going back to the condo to sleep.

Last night my stomach hurt so much that I thought I'd die. I couldn't straighten up. When I didn't die after half an hour, I went to bed. I figured I'd die or sleep. I slept. Fine today.

Overall, I'd rather be in Marathon.

Weather report from South Florida

Tom called at 9 last night as he left Orlando and headed to Ft. Lauderdale. (Someday I'm going to google to see if there really is a fort there.) He sounded far too happy when he told me that it was in the 60s there. It was 30 here.

It's supposed to snow here tonight.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Lazy days

Nope, not just summer's lazy days. It's a way of life for me, unfortunately. I mean, not unfortunately for me, just for those who have to deal with me and my ways.

Tom's heading back to our place in the Keys early tomorrow morning, taking a load of stuff to Jennifer, then on to our place in the Keys to start demolition on the deck in preparation for the tenting next week (if still in place, the whole deck will have to be tented, too, and that just costs too much), moving the electrical box thingy, whatever it's called, so it's in the wash alcove in the kitchen instead of in the master closet. He's also taking more of our houseplants with him; they can't do much worse in the shade down there than they do inside during the winter up here. He's taking a generator, just in case. He'll have the electricity finally turned on after the box thingy is moved. The toilets have to have their seals or whatever replaced so they don't leak (not sure what's going on with that, since they weren't leaking when Tom was in there right after the auction).

Meanwhile, I'm up here in the cold, scraping ice off the windshield of the car, shivering as I drive to work. Okay. I don't scrape the windshield; I turn the defroster on and let it work its magic. I'm lazy.

Speaking of the Prius, I love it. It's got pep when it's needed, which isn't that often but it's nice to know the option is there. It's getting about 45 mpg and costs about $22 to fill it when it appears to be empty (still has about 3 gallons in there when it's crying wolf). I love the way it handles, it has a great stereo with 6 speakers, a cd changer, and (for now) XM radio. I know, I know. I hate Sirius since it took over XM, but it's fun to have anyway. So there. I said it.

Thanksgiving was a busy time with visiting family and family visiting and so on. My family got together at Betty's house and Tom's family got together at his sister-in-law's house 10 miles away, so we got to visit with both. Zippy was happy that his cousins Henley, Millie, and Benji came along to Betty's, and Deja and Snickers were at the Post's house. He was one tuckered out little boy, although not as worn out as he'd have been if his One True Love, his cousin Max, had visited.

My dog is gay, NTTAWWT*. Or maybe he and Max are just trying for dominance, which looks the same when it's two male dogs.

Tom's daughter and her boyfriend drove up from Ft. Lauderdale and stayed over the break. It was nice to have them here.

I've been knitting some Christmas presents (gee, aren't you happy you're related to me?) and working on a pair of black socks for me. I need black socks. I put clear silver-lined beads instead of working the hearts on one sock; unfortunately it looks better stitched than with beads, but what the heck.

I'm rereading Eclipse, for some reason. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I did the first time, probably because I can imagine the actors in the roles. As for New Moon the book, I think it's the hardest of the four to read since Bella is so catatonic through most of it. I like the movie more than the book, which is unusual for me. I may go see the movie again; Kara's been twice and will go if she's not worn out from grooming dogs 60 hours a week.

I'm looking forward to Christmas Break--oops, I mean Winter Break. I'm leaving for Florida after school on the 18th. I've only driven to Florida (Sanibel) once and figured that was enough and flew after that, but the Prius is so easy on gas that I'm going to try it again. I'll stop in Orlando on the way down and back, both to break the trip and to see the family. Maybe they'll go to our place in the Keys (read: if we can borrow the condo) for a few days, which would be nice. I think I'm going to go to the beach on Christmas Day. I've never had the opportunity to do that before. I don't think it gets much better than that!

On the work front, I have a brand-new Xerox 4595 to complicate make my job so much easier. It's twice as fast as the old ones, works a zillion times better, and jams only occasionally and it's really easy to fix them. I <3 it. It's so very fast that jobs are finished almost before I scan them and I'm having a hard time keeping them separate. But what a problem to have.

After 3, time to go home!

*not that there's anything wrong with that