Friday, December 29, 2000

A final report (I think!?) on the Holiday Hooligans. Here are some more reported recipients and *exposed* "Holiday Hooligans":
  • Bob Muenchausen of Idaho, sent Jack Trotter also in ID, "How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci : Seven Steps to Genius Every Day". Sounds like a great book, eh?
  • Bob also sent Jim Weseman of Meridian, ID, "The Wisdom of Insecurity" by Alan Wilson Watts. Also sounds like a great book!!
  • Kim Hegge of Minnesota, sent a "Gypsy Kings of Music" CD to Esmeralda McCord in Blue Earth, MN. I hope that Esmeralda enjoys it!
  • Laura Lewis of Minnesota, sent "Courts of Love: Stories" by Ellen Gilchrist to Laura Weldon of Erie, Colorado. Sounds like a sweet book.
Thank you all for participating. You're all very giving people and as you probably know, I think that all good random acts of kindness and selfless deeds pay you back immeasurably. I hope that the coming year brings you health and happiness.

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

I was perusing my website's hit report for this month and what do ya know? The Holiday Hooligans were mentioned here: Click Here to read the comment. As I had hoped, one of the recipients was planning on buying another random person a gift. YAY! :-) It just makes me smile.
Oh, You Turkey! One of the local newspapers in town runs a coloring contest for kids. I'm awfully fond of the Duct Tape Turkey. hehehe. Just thought I'd share. I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season. Gobble, Gobble.

Friday, December 15, 2000

Thanks to a wonderful cash donation to the Holiday Hooligans from Ivan O. of South Jordan, Utah, the following *victims* were chosen today:
  • Colin Elliott of Midlothian, Virginia received a copy of "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlen.
  • Christina Nutter of Omaha, Nebraska wished for and received the "Geatest Irish Hits" CD. Hmmm...there seems to be an Irish theme running in the selections tonight...the CD and two Colins...
  • Colin Gallagher of Brookline, Mass requested and received the LEGO Star Wars Landspeeder. I know Star Wars. I know LEGO. I didn't know the two flavors could mesh into one.

Snow is falling here in the Twin Cities as it has been quite frequently this season. Each of the recent snows have had their own personality...fluffy wet snow, Wednesday's dry ultra shiny (and slippery!) snow and tonight's somewhat pellet-y snow. It actually looks like it's ventured into the fluffy variety now, but when I was driving in it earlier tonight it was definitely pellets. I'm fond of the first two varieties. Not wild 'bout the pellets though. The pellets are like quick frozen droplets...they're not *baked* long enough to have the intricacy of gorgeous flakes. Rumor, ok, the *forecast* is calling for blizzard conditions near to where I live. Wheeeee! It's been a while since I've experienced that. If ya don't *need* to be somewhere it's a great day to stay home, stoke the fire and bake some cookies. :-) Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 14, 2000

Before I end up seeing another movie this weekend, I better put up a couple of two second reviews before I forget 'em!
  • Vertical Limit-- Lots of great *hold your breath* action in this one although the over all movie fell a wee bit flat. I loved some of the tense scenes, but found myself bored between them because of a lot of the predicability of the general plot lines. Don't get me wrong, there are a few surprises to be had. Overall, it was a decent $7.50 spent. I don't think I'd bother watching it again however. Oh, one thing that *really* bothered me at the theatre...during the opening sequence there's a seriously tense and horrible scene. If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, a couple people in the theatre laughed right after that scene. Makes me kind of ill just thinking about it. Yuck, yuck, yuck. People seriously scare and disappoint me sometimes. Movie grade- B
  • Proof of Life - It's one of those movies that was ~~OK~~. Nothing really bad nor really good about the flick. Well, Russell Crowe -- definitely good. Yum! Especially yummy 'cuz he's not hiding his Australian accent. :-) The movie seemed to be very *safely* crafted. Not a lot of creative risks being taken...probably what kept it from being better. The low risks also meant that it turned out to be not horrible either. :-) How vague can I possibly be?! :-) B-

Tuesday, December 12, 2000

I have my list of Holiday Hooligans complete. Some of the orders have already been sent. Yay! Here are my "victims" and what they received. Happy Holidays to each and everyone of them...oh and to you too! I hope you consider joining me in this Holiday Hooligan effort. See my photo of the week for details.
  • Gee Gee Vanvig-Reiter of Howard Beach, New York received a Teletubbies Collectible figures 4 pack. I think Gee Gee was ordering for her kids.
  • Joan Kiley of Waltham, Massachusetts received a Arc Angels audio cassette. One of my search terms was "Joan". Just try to keep up with the Joan'ses. hehehe.
  • Marlene Allen of Girard, Ohio received the Baby!Talk! book. I think, I could be wrong, I think that Marlene was ordering books for her grand children, of which she has two. I picked Marlene from a search on "Marlenes". She just happens to be married to Ernie. Yes, this coincidence was too great...my mom was Marlene and my dad is Ernie. Go figure. How could I pass her up??
  • Stacy Lear of Vienna, Virginia is getting the book entitled, "Harold and the Purple Crayon". I couldn't pass up a book like that. I can't recall how Stacy's list came up in my search criteria. It must be a nickname that she has that I hit upon. Oh, now I remember. It was Kit. A pseudonym apparently. She's got a web site like me! Well, not like mine, but a vanity site to be sure. :-) http://www.forevervain.com/ -- I kid you not. :-) She actually is a lovely woman with a healthy sense of self.
  • Joan Wendland (yes, another of the joanses) of Sterling, VA received a novel entitled, "Men at Arms : A Novel of Discworld". She had a lot of the Discworld titles in her listing. I don't know the series, so I cannot comment.
  • Sherie Poulson-Cook of Grand Island, New York received "Because it's Christmas" by Barry Manilow. I don't question the music quality...I just grant the wishes. :-)
  • Constance Brunner of NY, NY (Yes, there appears to be a lot of New Yorkers on the list...and even more east coasters. This wasn't intentional...purely the luck of the draw.) received a two quart stainless steel colander. I hope she enjoys the meals that are drained with it!
  • Ernest Bornheimer of San Diego, CA wished for and received the "Tremolo" CD by My Bloody Valentine. Sounds like interesting tunes. I hope he enjoys it. Oh, by the way, the search term was Ernest and hey, the West Coast is finally heard from!
  • Kitty Fitzsimmons of Warwick, NY wished for the "50 Below Zero" paperback. It was about that cold her today with the windchill factor. Again, how could I resist?!
  • Kid Peevey of Bryan Texas requested the "How to Draw Pokemon, How to Catch 'em All" book. I don't think that "Kid" is the real name of the person getting the package, in fact I think it was a grandmom surfing for her grandkids. Well, this ought to help flesh out the gifts for them!
  • Shizuka Gannon of Hayward, California wanted "Halloween ABC". Sure, Halloween is over, but Halloween is good all year long!
  • Cassandra Wallace of Huntington Beach, CA received the classic, "A Tale of Two Cities." It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Not much more needed than that!
  • Constance Dehais of Cumberland, Maine received the novel, "The Body in the Bog." I don't know the book nor the author, but ya gotta love a spooky title like that. It's probably about migrant workers in the cranberry bogs for all I know. :-)
That wraps up my Holiday Hooligans for this year. I hope all of the secret Santa gifts are received in good spirits. I can imagine the surprise and confusion that some recipients will probably go through, but hey, then they might realize that's it's not a BAD thing to be a Holiday Hooligan's "victim".

Monday, December 11, 2000

We've been having some beautiful snow the past couple of days. A few days of big fluffy flakes....you know, the kind where you can actually see individually fabulous snowflakes? Well, the other day when I was out I was looking at the flakes that fell upon my sleeve, I actually found two that looked identical. I was so excited!! I know that some lab found a couple that disproved the theory that all snowflakes are unique. So very excited...I breathed in and then out...well, lets just say the water droplets looked pretty much the same too. ;-)

Saturday, December 02, 2000

Breaking away from movies for a minute...here's a fabulous recipe that I wholeheartedly recommend for those of you doing some holiday cooking...especially for those of you giving baked goods/candies as a gift. These keep well, taste nummy and are easy to make:

Soft Caramels

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a 4-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until butter is melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking until candy thermometer reaches 244 degrees F or a small amount of the liquid dropped into water forms a firm ball. This could take a while...up to an hour!
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x13in pan. Cool. Cut into small 1x1.5 inch pieces and wrap with plastic wrap. Makes about 6 dozen!

I made these tonight...I don't know yet if they came out...the first pint of whipping cream I used was a bit curdled. I had to guess as to how much cream actually went into the recipe and replace the remainder with fresh cream. The curdled cream was two days past the expiration...surely not enough to curdle the whole damn thing. Oh, well, good thing I made 'em early enough to have a failed batch, eh? I hope you're all well!

Three quick 2 second movie reviews
  • Unbreakable -- A look at extremes of the human condition and one man's obsession with another's being seemingly "unbreakable" in contrast to his own frailty. Comic book hero/villain qualities or simply being born lucky and/or unlucky? It's a film with excellent casting...Bruce Willis as the "unbreakable" one and Samuel Jackson as the man who would be glass. The movie's major failure --tries to hard to be "arty" at times to where the direction interferes with the telling of the story. Overall a thought provoking film with a fairly shocking twist near the end. B+
  • Bounce -- I liked this one A LOT. An emotionally charged piece with Ben Affleck and Gwenyth Paltrow falling in love as they come to terms with their roles in Ms. Paltrow's husband's death in a plane crash. Ms. Paltrow pleaded with her hubby to make it home for a holiday outing and Mr. Affleck gave his ticket to the hubby so that he could score with a chick at the bar and so that the hubby could make it home for the holiday outing. All of the characters realistically flawed and genuinely likeable in their failings. The survivors meet and lie to each other about their circumstances and then end up falling in love. Of course the reality of the situation needs to come to the surface at some point, right? Well, it does and that's where things get sticky. What is right to say and what is wrong. How much should one sacrifice for love? etc, etc. Bottom line -- a faboo chick flick that guys will enjoy too. A-
  • Tao of Steve -- A wee art house film that for me, fell a wee bit flat. It was an enjoyable one and a half hours, but was it the popcorn or the movie? The Steve Tao is a phillosophy that the main character lives by...basically it's an ultimate plan to get laid by being cool. Like Steve McQueen, or Steve McGarrett or Steve Austin. I did enjoy the transformation of the main character from thoughtless "steve" to a pained emotional human...that alone was worth the price of admission. B-

Friday, December 01, 2000

Only in Minnesota can you find so many men proud to wear royal purple...

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

As of this afternoon, all of the prints that were requested with "proof of voting" received through yesterday have been sent out. Yay! Oh, and as an added treat, ya'll got an extra print... What more can ya ask for? ;-)

Monday, November 27, 2000

I posted this early last week, but it seems to have disappeared. Waaaaa... Now you're going to have the poorly written, shortened version -- Garden.com sent me an email saying that they were going out of business. A sad day for me, it was. I liked their store. I bought gifts from them for two years running (that's saying a lot in terms of internet years.) Anyway, they have most of their items on 25-50% off now through December 1. Check it out if you need some plants, bulbs or gardening gifties.
So many big upstart e-commerce sites have died lately. Furniture.com, Pets.com, and now Garden.com. They were doing decent business, but they couldn't overcome the debt of the advertising they had to shell out to become well known. Television ads, home mailed catalogs, banner ads, etc. Millions and millions and millions of dollars spent and for what? It's very sad. What happened to the days of starting a business and nurturing it, growing it slowly and THEN spending millions on advertising?
The web is an excellent place to start a small business. The costs are relatively low...no square footage store overhead. No need for a full time staff to keep the doors open. Nope, ya just set up a site, have wares to sell and wait for the orders to trickle in. It's like starting a small business with a kiosk in a mall...then a store...then a chain of stores as word of mouth of good products *and* good customer service spreads. What happened to that idea? Is the world too greedy for that now? On some level, I hope that the failed businesses actually hurt the people who shelled out the hundreds of millions as investments into a huge easy-money venture idea. They were blindly greedy. Of course I could be wrong. heheheh

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

2 second movie review - The Grinch -- If you're into seeing fat folk on the screen, this is the movie for you. All of Whoville is chubby. The film is cute, as expected, but not overwhelmingly engaging. I really enjoyed the first half of the movie but the second half just seemed to get a little Carrey-y. I'm not a huge Jim Carrey fan, so this is a problem for me. The Grinch make-up actually worked very well with Mr. Carrey's usual facial contortions. Overall, a generally fun movie. Don't have too high of expectations, you may get disappointed. B-.

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

I just received an email entitled "Thought of the Day". I thought to myself, I've already had a few thoughts, how can this be the "Thought of the Day?" How do they know that there is just one thought to my day? Am I not thoughtful enough? If there is only one thought per day how can I possibly go on? Do I need to check my email before I can think? What happens if my email isn't working that day, will I be free from all negative *and* positive thought? Something to think about... thought I'd share. ;-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Do you use ICQ and AIM/AOL? and don't wanna have several chat applications running at once? I found a handy little tool yesterday that combines ICQ and AIM together with Jabber. Primarily, it seems the strength in this tool lies in its open code functionality. Firms can internally personalize Jabber for their needs, running their own chat server, for instance. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Thanks to those of you who have sent in your voting "proof" so far, your print is on its way.

Wednesday, November 08, 2000

The afternoon following the morning after. I, like so many of my fellow country men and women, went to bed right after Bush was declared a winner in the presidential election at about 1:30am. Yes, I should have learned my lesson early on in the evening when Florida's confirmation of being a Gore state was recinded. But, noooooo. I followed along, pouted and went to bed. I got a phone call from Justin this morning asking if I had heard the news. What news?? He said that Florida was no longer being counted as a Bush state. No way. How could that happen? Sure, my morning fuzziness was weighing heavily... Anyway, I learned that the votes were to close to call the state. Amazing! If those of you in Florida had wondered before...your vote does count. Only 1,784 votes between Bush and Gore. Amazing. Well, now we sit and wait...and wait. Who will win? Can we be assured that the votes are being counted in a non-corrupt way? What ever happened to the missing vote boxes in Fort Lauderdale? So many questions. Oh, and this one...it's fairly clear that Gore has one the popular vote. Should the Electoral College votes still be the way to elect a president? Information access and voting privileges are so much more available than when the Electoral college was instituted. Is it really the *right* way to elect someone? Michael Moore wrote today people should "Stop Bush's Theft of the People's Will". I agree, but it's one of those things that I don't think we should decide *after* the election. This should have been decided prior to votes being cast. Certainly if I were happily in the Bush camp, I would be agreeing to keep the electoral college no matter how many more popular votes my opponent had. I would just quietly suggest that it be changed *next time*. ;-) Well, since I'm not happily in Gov. Bush's camp, let's get rid of the electoral college NOW. heheheh. Fine, I suppose you can see right through my plea. :-)

So, now that there is no hugely decisive victory for either major party candidate, whoever is declared the winner will be claiming a very lukewarm victory. No landslides this time. No "mandate of the people". No "the people have spoken". Nope, it's a clear sign that the new president MUST listen to both sides carefully and do what is right for the country as a whole. A girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, November 06, 2000

Two minute movie reviews...again!
  • Bedazzled -- a cute movie. Brendan Frasier plays a dorkie guy who is befriended by the hot-hot devil aka Elizabeth Hurley. She grants him 7 wishes, yadda, yadda. Old story line, but this rendition of it is actually entertaining. It's not brain surgery...it's just cute. B-
  • Charlie's Angels -- A hot, hip, happenin', funny movie packed with action and good humor. The characterizations were very enjoyable and the action scenes are as hip as any male dominated action flick. I enjoyed it immensely. A huge leap above the TV-series. I'm sure there will be a sequel...Yay! A.
Have a great day!
Get out the vote!

I'm just trying to drum up some business for the voting booth tomorrow. (Sorry to those of you outside of the US...)

I have my preferences with regards to who I think you should vote for, but greater than that I think that everyone should vote. Now, I can't pick ya'll up and bring you to the polls, but what I can offer is this...

If you go to the polls tomorrow and vote and you get one of those silly "I voted" stickers, I want you to send it to me with a self addressed stamped envelope (standard size). If you do this, I will send a print of one of the Photos of the Week that was on display at the Stavanger Museum in Norway. Not a huge offering, but hey, I don't have that much to give. I'm not trying to buy a vote, I don't care who you vote for, but rather give you something aside from the future of your country as initiative. It's that easy. :-)

(If they don't hand out stickers at the voting booth, send some other proof of your actually being at the voting booth...photo, election judge signature, etc. )

KO? With this wacky idea in mind, send your stickers or other proof to:

Catherine Nordling
66 9th Street #1916
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Have fun at the polls!
Mike's Message 11/02/00 This is Michael Moore's open letter to Governor George Bush. Read it! :-)

Sunday, November 05, 2000

Check this out...it's a Shockwave video called "I want a fat babe" a spoof of the Backstreet Boy's "I want it that way". A wee bit of feederism thrown in for those who like that and an overall message about body image in the media being a bit skewed. Not only that, but it's entertaining and very well done. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Three 2-second movie reviews. Whoosh...I do see quite a few movies, don't'cha know? I'm not fat...I'm full of movie popcorn.
  • Best of Show -- A very funny fake documentary about the dog show circuit. It wasn't drop down on the floor funny, but certainly worth quite a few chuckles. B
  • Book of Shadows : Blair Witch 2 -- Just say no. I really, really liked the first movie. I know a lot of people didn't care for it, but I think for those people who enjoy non-slasher movies but still enjoy suspense would enjoy it. If you like ghost stories around a camp fire, you'd probably enjoy the FIRST one. This second movie had a good idea for a plot that really fell short in my estimation. The directing was bad. The acting was pretty bad. The music was BAD. You'd be better off going to go see the Exorcist revival currently in the theatres if you need a good scare tonight. D+
  • Lucky Numbers -- Fairly lame, often predictable flick although I *really* enjoyed the Lisa Kudrow characterization. If you don't expect much when you see this one, you'll be getting your money's worth. C+
'tis all. Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

I finished up my 2000 Halloween collection last night. It turned out pretty well, at least *I* think so. :-) Schpooky!

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Today only...LOG ON 10/24/00. NFL.com: NFL For Her The NFL will donate $5 for every page view....
Sorry for the lack of posts this past week. I was spending a great deal of time preparing for the IN A BIG WAY Monstrous Masquerade party last Saturday. The party seemed to be pretty well received and I belive most everyone had a good time. Best part is, I don't think I poisoned anyone with my food offerings. At least I haven't heard of any reports of vomiting since Saturday. That's always a relief. :-)
Two minute movie review - "Pay It Forward". Not a bad flick...it's got very good performances by Helen Hunt, Haley Joe (I see dead people) Osment and Kevin Spacey. It did go a bit far in tugging at the heart strings. Maybe it was attempting to make a difference in the world much like Osment's character was attempting to do? Maybe so. It did cause me to get moist eyes at times and I liked the characters A LOT, but something was missing. Again, not sure what. I think I say that too often...I ought to figure out what that missing element is someday. :-) B-.

Monday, October 16, 2000

I got another reply about the kid peeing thing, this one from Bob who gave me a broader interpretation of the stickers:

"What you're seeing are manifestations of a rather disquieting phenomenon that's actually a surpassing of mere "attention getting" and is moving more deeply into the area of what the Latin community used to call "machismo." It's not just "look at me," it's "look at me 'cuz I'm better than you and if you don't acknowledge that I'll rip your face off." It's everwhere these days; what I call the "WWFing of America."

A brilliant analysis! Thanks, Bob. :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2000

Two second movie review = "The Contender" I liked the film although it's very talky and could be thought of as *boring* by some. The performances were overall pretty good. When Jeff Bridges as the President spoke to the Congress at the end of the film, it nearly made me think that some presidents do in fact have the mettle to run the nation...then all of a sudden, the lights came up and the movie was over. Darn, it was just fiction. B+.
Two great guys wrote to me to explain the "kid peeing" sticker phenomenon. Both of 'em pretty much had the same answer -- it's a mostly southern thing tied to guys who dig NASCAR. Apparently if one were to look closely, the kid is peeing on a symbol of one of the car manufacturers not in favor. Thanks to James and Clyde for writing me! I sincerely appreciate it.

I'm making more cookies and candied/caramel apples today in preparation for the In a BIG Way Masquerade Party in Minnesota on October 21. If anyone is in the area, c'mon out! More details can be found on my In a BIG Way site. See ya there or beware!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

I innocently stroll into the copy room at work today only to be confronted with this poster: "Weight Watchers Shows You the Way to Being a Winner". Huh...I thought I already was a winner. Oh, well, apparently being fat I'm already a guaranteed loser. Sure, there was a wee blurb on the poster about WW giving away some sort of prize money, but let's not kid ourselves...the main message was that if you're not WW thin, you're a loser. I expressed my concern over the poster with the HR department as well as my boss. They both started their reply emails by thanking me for expressing my feelings. hehehe. I felt like I just had a heart to heart relationship discussion with each of 'em when all I did was complain that the freakin' poster was in my face. hehehe. Anyway, I thought it best to complain rather than idly sit back and *take it* from the posted message. I think they'll be taken down, ...errr...I hope they will be.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

What's up with the guys who put the little graphic of the kid peeing on the back window of their truck/car? Is that supposed to be charming? Am I missing the point? Is it supposed to indicate that they brake only for little boys? Do they have a bladder control problem?? Inquiring minds want to know...

Oh, another thing that bothers me (gosh, it must be one of those *easily irritated* days....)... tHe pEoPle wHo WrItE EmAiLS LiKe ThIs. AgAIn, cHarMinG?!? Are they attempting to mask horrendous spelling? Are we, as a society, needing to get attention in every action that we attempt? Is this just another way to do so? Is it an attempt to practice using the shift key? Tell me, tell me, tELl mE! :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2000

Two, two, two, two two-second interviews in one post!
  • "Remember the Titans" - a thoughtful racism in America/football piece staring Denzel Washington. Denzel always place the strong stoic type and doesn't disappoint in this movie either while playing a freshly appointed head coach in a newly integrated high school in Virginia. Overall, a really good flick although I really wanted to off the little girl who loved football....there was far TOO much of her sprinkled throughout the film. She was cute the first couple of times, after that she was pure annoying. On a size acceptance note, there was a really fat kid on the team...and no fat jokes were in the film other than one that the kid made himself. Amazing! B.
  • "Meet the Parents" LOOOOVE this film. It's a very funny flick about a guy meeting the parents of his girlfriend for the first time....uhhh, hence the title. :-) Anyway, the lead character can do no right when he's at the family household...if anything can go wrong, or get misinterpreted, it does. Ben Stiller, as he often does, plays the good hearted soul just a little short on luck...and because of his portrayal, we are able to feel his torment as we look into his soulful eyes. This was one of those movies where I didn't want the film to end, but like a fine box of chocolates, it eventually does. I want to see it again! A.
  • Thursday, October 05, 2000

    Well, it appears autumn is already over for Minnesota. Yes, it's about 2 months shorter than normal, but hey, that's the danger of living in this part of the US. The fall colors are peaking and what is in the weather forecast?? Snow. Snow. Snow. Not a lot of it expected here in the Twin Cities...just flurries, but in all seriousness, one flake of snow ends the pleasant autumnal season abruptly. All of a sudden it becomes winter. Throw white stuff in my face and it's suddenly winter. Hmmm...no wonder I'm not married yet...all that rice getting tossed would send me into a lifetime of winter's darkness, coldness and isolation. hehhee. I'm sure some married women would attest to that happening. ;-)

    On a different note entirely, I hope that some of you watched the first presidential debate. My Photo of the Week is regarding that debacle. For the life of me, I can't figure out why anyone would claim that GWB won the debate. He looked like an ill-informed idiot. He didn't have his facts straight, couldn't speak on his feet and focused mainly on negative attacks. Not that Gore showed himself perfectly...he seemed too much like a commercial that kept playing over and over again, although his commercial was that of a positive push. He did, however, prove that he could talk extemporaneously, unlike Bush.

    In today's world, the role of President seems to be more of a figurehead, but the difference between a pure figurehead and our President is that the President needs to make snap decisions at times. He needs to be quick enough to counter an argument sensibly among a host of other things. What I noticed the other night was that Bush is lagging in that key skill. I felt he was trying to score a sound byte rather than have a pure debate and he looked a tad like an impetuous child. I seriously feel that he was coached and coached as to what to say rather than it being a natural gift of leadership. Of course this is just my opinion and that opinion is open to change. I urge you all to make an *educated* VOTE! Al Gore's Web Site / George W. Bush's Web Site / Ralph Nader's Web Site / Harry Browne's Web site (libertarian)

    And finally, What was up with the matching outfits? Did they hire the same clothing designer as an image consultant?

    Tuesday, October 03, 2000

    OH, I nearly forgot to mention...the thumbnails with numbers are the non *captured* Snoopys in the parade. I think I got 72 or so of the little buggers with my mug next to 'em. The others were hard to find (some kept getting vandalized and sent to the repair shop...) and others I just didn't get a chance to find. C'est la vie!
    Ok, a major body of work update is afoot...no maybe it's at hand? The nose knows. Word of mouth has it that this site is getting a leg up. Anyway, keep an eye on it.

    Help! Save me from my puns!

    I know I've mentioned earlier that I've been working on a project for my site...a collection of Snoopy photos. Yes, it's raining Cats 'n' Dogs at catay.com: http://www.catay.com/cat/snoopy/. I don't want to tell you how many hours of blood and sweat went into that page. Well, of course I do...toooo many! Tracking all the damn Snoopy photos...there are 101 Snoopys in the Snoopy parade. 101 thumbnails, 101 pages, 101 hit counters, etc, etc. It doesn't have any funny lines in it, but there are some funny pictures. I'd like to put some characteristic 'fat chick' phrases on 'em, but that would mean nearly 101 funny phrases and phrankly I'm not that funny. I suppose I could give it a shot.
    You'll notice when you enter the page that it's all black, mouse around a bit to find all of the thumbnails. I hope you have a decent connection to the internet, but even with a relatively slow one, you ought to do *ok*. Anyway, enjoy!
    The fall colors captured my attention this morning. They are starting to get quite brilliant. It dawned on me while I looked out my window that the current leaf colors are similar to that of a 70's kitchen. Yes, there in my 'backyard' (ok, it's the state capital's lawn...) were all the colors of an oh, so fashionable 70's Tupperware set...burnt orange, harvest yellow and even some of the radical olive green. Of course thrown into the mix of the Tupperware colors was a Jell-o salad red. You can't have 70's Tupperware without some black cherry Jell-o. Please!
    During my drive into work, I witnessed a bush that has colors that are nearly indescribable. Best I can do is aa red-peachy-flame color. It literally glowed in the morning light. Photographs never do that color justice...it simply needs to be witnessed. Ahhhh...a wonderful time of year...

    I just got this joke via email: A Harvest Joke, how timely. :-)

    This was in the Calgary Sun ... the title of the article was "Best Comeback Line Ever." In summary, the police arrested Ward Branham, a 22-year-old white male, resident of Lethbridge, Alberta, in a pumpkin patch at 11:38 p.m. on Friday. Ward will be charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, public indecency, and public intoxication at the Calgary courthouse on Monday. The suspect explained that as he was passing a pumpkin patch he decided to stop. "You know, a pumpkin is soft and squishy inside, and there was no one around here for miles. At least I thought there wasn't," he stated in a phone interview. Ward went on to say that he pulled over to the side of the road, picked out a pumpkin that he felt was appropriate to his purposes, cut a hole in it, and proceeded to satisfy his alleged "need."
    "I guess I was just really into it, you know?" he commented with evident embarrassment.

    In the process, Ward apparently failed to notice a police car approaching and was unaware of his audience until officer Brin Taylor approached him. "It was an unusual situation, that's for sure," said officer Taylor. "I walked up to (Ward) and he's...just working away at this pumpkin." Taylor went on to describe what happened when she approached Ward. "I just went up and said, "Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?"

    He froze and was clearly very surprised that I was there, and then looked me straight in the face and said,

    "A pumpkin? Damn...is it midnight already?"

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    Two second movie review - "Almost Famous" - a wonderful coming of age flick tossed into a world of 70s rock and roll. A-. The main character's cherubic, innocent face makes the movie so much sweeter.

    Thursday, September 28, 2000

    Oh! I forgotsk to post about the Photo Selection of the Week update. Oh, well, I'm sure most of you are aware of the schedule anyway. Here it is.

    Wednesday, September 27, 2000

    Ever get one of those "Getting to Know You" emails which list 60 or so questions where you're to answer the questions and pass it back to the author who sent it to you, as well as a hoard of other innocent email victims? They're quite simply a chain letter thinly veiled as a way to get to familiarize ourselves with our email companions. I have a point here, really, I do. Does telling someone that my favorite color is blue and my favorite ice cream is chocolate really open me up to another person? No, no it doesn't. It's just a simple way to categorize each other neatly. I'm not sure why this bothers me, but it does. I have enough superficial information flying around in my head about my email correspondents, ya know? I don't need to know that they prefer to sleep in a night shirt or boxers vs. briefs. If you *really* wish to know more about me, read this blog...it again, won't tell you everything, but it's a better start. *ahem* With that being said, please don't include me in the "getting to know you" chain...I won't respond.

    Monday, September 25, 2000

    ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZzz I'm at work and dead tired. Got up at 4:00 am to take my friend to the airport for a 6:00am flight. It's just criminal that flights leave so early in the morning, although, I'm likely to book a flight that early too. It's just the day of the flight when you think *WHAT WAS I THINKING* when I booked such an early flight? The good thing about taking an early flight like that is that one can easily sleep in such a state no matter *how* nervous one might be. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Gimme my OJ...zzzzzzzzzZZZZZzz...gimme my caffeine...ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz. Oh, to be on that plane and getting some Zzzzzzz rather than here at work. To dream the impossible dream!

    On a different note, I had an opportunity to view some of the Olympics this past weekend. There are a couple of things that stick out in my mind worth mentioning... 1. The Olympic coverage that we receive here in the states is *SOOOO* USA centric. I really don't care what country wins the medals, it's not as if this is a life and death struggle to determine the world's leaders or anything...it's just sports...err...big business...errr...that's right, it's supposed to be sports. Anyway, I'd like impartial commentary, is that so much to ask? I was watching the women's platform diving and I swear the woman commentator was about to pee her pants when she realized that the US woman was going to win the gold. Yes, it's nice that a US person won the gold, but it's really not *that* exciting for me, the viewer. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm not much of a *joiner*...I don't enthusiastically join in on something just because the crowd is pushing me to do so, ya know? I would like to see the best of the best, but not solely them. This is supposed to be an exhibition in addition to a competion, or so I'd like to believe.
    2. The advertising is overly emotionally manipulative. Not much to say other than "Have you seen the Home Depot ad" with the "Happy and Ya know it" song? Say no more.
    3. Along the lines of #1, I'd like to see some of the lesser known countries in sports like diving, gymnastics, (figure skating in the winter...), etc. I am 90% sure that the judges know ahead of time who they expect to be the best and will not even give consideration to the people with which they are not familiar. Many of the judges have seen the top people over and over again at international competitions, but often some of the smaller countries can't compete at other international competitions aside from the Olympics so they remain unknown up until the big O. Who's to say that the Botswana gymnastics team isn't as technically feasible, but that they have a different style that has up until now not been seen? It would make sense that a completely different culture would have a completely different artistic style even if their technical skills were similar. Because of this cultural difference, wouldn't the judging would be prejudiced? Just a thunk.

    Friday, September 22, 2000

    Things are getting spooky....
    I was out to dinner last night with my friend Alexandra at a place called "The Malt Shop". Surprisingly enough, they sell malts. Midway through dinner we were talking about the trip we took to Washington, DC in June. She was talking about the other roommates snoring habits. (Not me, of course. hehehe. Ok, me included! Apparently I fell asleep on my back...i'm normally a tummy sleeper...when I sleep on my back --> *snorttttlechuck*. Back to the story...) She started talking specifically about an incident with Judy, our other roommate, when my malt started moving across the table. We were looking at each other while talking, but slowly our eyes met the malt. It moved fairly quickly and quite fluidly about 6 inches. After about ten minutes of can't-breathe-anymore laughter, we tried to get the thing to move again, but it met with great resistance on the table. Spooky eh?? I guess it moved 'cuz of ice melting on the outside and creating a slick of water, but we'll never know. It didn't seem to be *that* much water under it, and like I said, we tried to mimic the action again, but couldn't get the thing to even water ski with our finger pushing it. Oh, well. Kinda fun, eh?

    Wednesday, September 20, 2000

    Posted the Photo Selection of the Week. Not much more to say 'cept G'NIGHT!

    Monday, September 18, 2000

    Were you a fat kid? If so, do you have a story to tell about your childhood existance? Was there an embarassing moment? Was there a time when you suffered major ridicule? Were you put on diets at an early age? I've started a new site for memories of being a fat child entitled "I was a fat kid...this is my story" I've got a contest running to start it off...a $20 amazon.com gift certificate will be given away to one of the people submitting a story to the site. Good luck!
    Do you wash your hands after leaving the restroom?? Hmmmm?? I will not, errr...cannot leave the bathroom without washing my hands. Here's the article that provoked this rant: (Star Tribune article) When I'm at work sitting in a restroom stall doing my thang, I listen to the other chickas leave the restroom. It never fails...about once a week a woman will leave the restroom without even a drip of water from the faucet. I used to pay closer attention as to who was in the restroom when I had to actually do tech stuff at other people's keyboards...well, 'cuz I'm a nut and I don't want to touch a keyboard of a person who won't wash their hands when leaving the restroom. Ewwwwww! Anyway, now that I *rarely* have to visit a client workstation, I'm less fanatical about it. Suffice it to say, too, that I've had less colds and flus in the past two years of not needing to visit other's workstations. I'm sure that's in part due to the whole sans-washing thing. It takes just a few seconds with a wee bit of soap and water to kill a load of bacteria. Is it *that* hard to do? No. I've heard some women say, especially in winter, that their hands get dried out if they wash their hands too often. Hello? Have you heard of lotion?! *ahem* Stepping off my wee soap box now...
    Let me set the scene.... a crank out window that won't crank back in, a rainbow out my window on a warm yet windy morning, a dark and ominous cloud bank heading my way, and a kitty who *really* wanted to see what I was doing. I realized last night that my window wouldn't crank back in, (Yes, it's the cheapo lameo crank window on one side and a stationary window on the other side that is so common in these parts of the world in downtown highrises.) but I figured the weather would hold. Yesterday was a gorgeous day for Snoopy hunting (we got 31 more!!!) so I figured today would be the same. Not so. So long about 6:50 this morning, I look out my window and see the aforementioned scene. I take off the screen on the window as there is no way to touch the wayward window without taking the screen off. I start to pull the window in, and realize that the crank mechanism is no longer stuck, in fact it's pretty much just separated from the window itself. Fine, no biggie. While I'm trying to reattach the crank, (crank shaft? I know, sounds too engine-y. hehehe) I look down at the bottom of the casement and see a bunch of dead hornets. "Wow," I thought to myself, "Poor things must have been dead in there quite a while..." Doodly doo, I go about my business of trying to get the crank attached. A blust of wind and suddenly the hornets are ALIVE and DOING QUITE WELL, thank you. "Shit!" <--- actual quote. Screw the crank! Abandon ship, abandon ship! I quickly try to get the screen back on the window. Damn thing wouldn't get back on. I was holding it hoping the hornets wouldn't *see* me as the one disturbing their slumber. *phrew* I got the screen back in after about 5 attempts to get the spring mechanism correctly placed in the casement...and get the screen up and over the crank handle. So, there I sat, watching the hornets on my window. I turned the crank all the way to the 'closed' position, and the window closed with the wind. "Great" Now I had 5 angry hornets on the inside of the window and a screen that has a big enough lesion through which a clever hornet could certainly crawl. I stared at the little beasties quite a while...I'd open the window and let the wind close it again...I was hoping they'd get blown away, you see. My cat decides to taunt them a big by tapping the screen. They didn't seem to like that, but what they *really* didn't like was my Calgon body spray. hehehe. Yes, when the "Cat and hornet game" was getting a bit long in the tooth, I decided to use my weapon of choice (ok, ok, the nearest sprayable substance...). Not only will the alcohol in the spray annoy them, the frangrance will make them smell lovely! *spray* *spray* *spray* They were quite pissed off. I'd open the window...spray one of 'em and they'd BUZZZZZZ and get blown away by the wind. Success!
    Have a great day! I'm off to that work thang....

    Saturday, September 16, 2000

    Anyone know Norwegian? The art show that I am a part of in Stavanger, Norway was reviewed on a local TV station, and the piece about the show is available on the net HERE. I would be ever so greatful if someone could write the translation of what is spoken in the piece. Thanks! I hope you're all having a good weekend. I'm off to the In a BIG Way picnic.

    Thursday, September 14, 2000

    Oh, wow, my Right to Bare Arms is not just a personal/fat acceptance struggle. Read this. The right to bare arms is apparently a universal struggle. I'm so *au current*. :-)

    Wednesday, September 13, 2000

    Photo of the Week time again: http://www.catay.com/cat/week.htm. Geez, I almost did something sexy, but then I scrapped the idea. I almost did something Olympic related, then I scrapped the idea. I almost did something artsy-fartsy, then I scrapped the idea. Well, you get the idea, right? Several hours of creative torture. The resultant pic is fun, it was taken up at the headwaters area of the Mississippi.

    I was scoping out the Martha Stewart online site the other day. It's really quite well done and her over priced product placements are everywhere. $32 for cookie cutters? Sure, why not. Not! They are very cleverly placed...they give the famous Martha Stewart idea and then put the corresponding Martha by Mail product placement right next to it. I was *almost* conned into buying her special Halloween idea magazine...only $4.75 and since I'm hosting a Masquerade/Halloween party, I was in need of some fresh ideas. Anyway, I put it in my cyber-basket and proceed to check out. Whoa! Shipping and handling $5.75? You gotta be kidding? Is it hand packaged by Martha herself? hehehe. Anyway, suffice it to say that I got my butt into a magazine store tonight and handled & shipped it myself in my Beetle.
    Some day I hope to have enough time lying around to be Martha Stewart. Until that time I'm going to be a cut-rate knock-off.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    Catching up...
    This past weekend, I went up to the Northwoods of Minnesota, specifically to Lake Itasca State Park. For those of you unfamiliar with the significance of Lake Itasca, the Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca. Here, you can cross the river, and if you fall in, you won't be dissolved in the industrial chemicals that pollute the river a wee bit further downstream. A group of us stayed at a GORGEOUS two-story log cabin in the park. It's quite a steal, actually, because for ~$350/night, you can sleep 21 people. Plenty of bathrooms, bedrooms, air conditioning (if you want) and a beautiful fireplace in the center of the great room. The only thing that disturbed me about the place was the balcony on the second floor. The railing on the balcony was low...just about hip high. If I were to take a spill on the rug while walking toward the railing, my center of gravity would easily swing me over the ledge and down to the great room below. It wouldn't be pretty. :-)

    Thursday, September 07, 2000

    All of the hubub about the little fat girl taken from her family in New Mexico has gotten me thinking about my childhood, and some of the things that I had experienced as an abnormally fat child. I really haven't taken an active interest in the events surrounding the sensationalized *abduction* of the NM child, so I don't know much about the whole story, just sketchy details. Consequently I feel I can't acurately form a strong opinion about the state's action. Obviously it's a difficult situation for all involved and that probably goes without saying.

    Anyway, the point of this post is state/school interference and the fat child from my personal experience.

    My first memory about this was in the early side of grade school when I was pulled out of class a the beginning of every year to go down to the nurses office to get weighed. Of course, only the fat kids were called down to the office at that time. I suspect that at the beginning of every year, the teachers were asked who in their classes were *too* fat or *too* thin. This went on for a couple of years and I was always embarassed to get weighed, especially in front of the other fat kids who were also in the nurses room. I can recall the coldness of the room and the pepto colored couches on either side of the room. Towards one side of the room was the entrance to the actual office of the nurse. Some years, the weighing was done in the nurse's office, but with the door open, and a couple of times the scale was in the room with the two couches while the other children watched. The looks on all of the kids' faces were horrible. I think we all knew why we were there from the moment we entered the room. Of course back in the classroom, the kids in the room also knew that the fat kids were being taken out to the *pasture*. The didn't know what was going on, of course, but they knew that we were different and completely unacceptable by societal standards. What a way to alienate the fat kids, eh?
    Long about 4th grade, I had finally understood that the power of refusing to do something that I wasn't comfortable doing. My mom had always told me that, good thing to know, eh? Anyway, that year I took an empowering stand and refused to be weighed by the nurse. She was dumbfounded. Aghast too. A combination of the two, most likely. Poor Ms. Perazino had lost her power over me. What was really cool was that when I refused, other kids refused too. YAY! It was a great moment. Ya had to be there. ;-)
    I believe that in years following that I was still called down, but I don't believe they ever requested me to step on the scale again.
    Come junior high, not only was I called down to the nurses office at one point, but they contacted my mum and called a public health nurse to come to visit my home during the summer months. The public health nurse came to see me and my mom to talk about food portions, etc. I remember thinking that the little rubber half cup of baked beans seemed like a little amount...I guess I was a baked bean nut back then. She also during her visit asked me to step on the scale. I refused. I think she wanted my mom to force me on the scale, but instead she supported me in the decision. Way to go mom! (On a side note, my mom was fairly thin all of her life...she hovered between size 10 and 14 most of the time. When she was ill I believe she got up to a size 20...nowhere near to my size.) Anyway, that refusal was another victory for me and my wee self esteem.
    In high school I was contacted one time about my weight by the nurse. A huge issue was not made of my weight...that I knew of...

    Long about 19 years old when I was taking care of my ailing mother (she died of emphysema related complications when I was 20...), my mom and I talked about a lot of things that she normally protected me against. She spoke one time about the calls she would get from the high school nurse and counselor about my weight. I had no idea they even contacted her at that time. Anyway, the counselor and/or nurse made comments to her that I would "never amount to anything" and "never have a *normal* social life" or life at all unless I lost weight. What was really curious about it in retrospect was that I had a very active social life, I was involved in a ton of after school activities, I was the editor of the high school yearbook, I was the treasurer then president of the Thespians, I helped start the video yearbook, I had a decent grade point average, etc, etc, etc. This was in a school of 2,100 kids, so no small feat to be accomplished with so many others waiting to fill in the gaps. What were they basing this diatribe upon? Their own failings in life that they blindly based upon one's weight? Anyway, I'm sure as a mother she hated to hear those things. I felt bad for her when she told me....to basically be told that she had failed as a mother 'cuz I would be such an unproductive citizen when I left the school. What a horrible thing to hear on the other end of the phone, eh? I felt so bitterly angry at the Stillwater School district for doing that and believing their own diatribes so much that they would call parents and harass them. How simply wrong they were.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2000

    Site update: Updated the Photo Selection of the Week *and* by popular demand I've added a new collection of photos entitled: A Right to Bare Arms.
    I hope you're all having a fabulous week. Until next time when I have more to say...

    Monday, September 04, 2000

    Another day of Snoopy hunting. Caught 22 more of the little guys today. I'm well on my way to a whole display of 101!! A Cat's work is never done. :-)
    On a completely different note, I have a deep love for pop-up books. I don't know why it is, it just is. I'm not talking regular ol' kids pop-up books, although they can be endearing, I'm talking about intricate works of paper art/engineering that just *happen* to be in a book. There are several authors/artists that come to mind when talking 'bout the *good ones*. For instance, Robert Sabuda. Never saw a book of his that didn't charm me. The pieces are usually simple yet intricate.
    I recently became aware of a pop-up book that I found amazing. It was given to me as a gift. "The Pop-Up Book of Phobias". It's spooky, clever and brilliantly executed. If you get a chance, check it out. I've linked the book title to Amazon's page on the book, but the cover doesn't do it justice. Inside you'll find very dark, wicked illustrations that are sure to delight...and or cause a relapse for those of you post-phobia therapy. :-)
    Another favorite of mine is the "Architecture Pack" It's a pop-up historical look at architecure. Combining two passions into one! Yay! :-) Again, if you see it, check it out. I can't seem to find it on Amazon to give ya a peek at it. Oh, well. I'm sure it's still in print.
    Now, if only I can make a pop-up web page. Hmmm...I'm working on it. hehehe. Wouldn't *that* be a surprise?!?! :-)

    Sunday, September 03, 2000

    How to put a duvet cover on your king size comforter by yourself.
    1) Fold the top of the comforter down to the bottom.
    2) Fold the right side over the left.
    3) Smoosh the comforter through the hole in the duvet
    4) Get the bottom left corner into the bottom left corner of the duvet cover.
    5) Crawl into duvet cover.
    6) Panic that you are caught in the duvet cover and will never be freed.
    7) Breathe deeply.
    8) Relax
    9) Realize that even if you do get caught inside, the rest will be comfy on top of the four layers of the feather comforter/duvet. 12+ inches of fluff!
    10) Unfold the right side of the comforter to the right side of the cover so that bottom right corner of the duvet mooshes properly into the right hand cover corner.
    11) Find the exit of the duvet cover
    12) Climb out.
    13) Pull the top end of the duvet towards the top end of the cover.
    14) Moosh the corners of the duvet into the corners of the cover.
    15) Button up the cover.
    16) Sleep.
    Ah, the end of a very full day. It's 2:45am. *yawn* I spent a great deal of the day hunting Snoopy. Yes, my friend Peter and I were hunting the Snoopys around town for a new section of my website which will be titled "Cats 'n' Dogs". Basically it's going to be a collection of photos of me and all of the various Snoopys around Saint Paul. There are 101 decorated Snoopys scattered around the city. It's intended to be a dedication to Charles Schulz. For those of you from the Chicago area, you'll probably recognize the idea. Apparently last year(?) Chicagoans were treated with decorated cows around the city. Anyway, the chances of me getting *all* of the darned dogs photographed it pretty slim, but I'm sure I'll have a decent selection. Here's a sample of what I'm talking about: Cats 'n' Dogs preview. The real trick in getting the photographs is finding the darned pups. They put 'em in some strange places sometimes. Sure, I have a map, and even street addresses, but in unfamiliar areas of town it's still a bear...errr...hound to find 'em.
    I'm off to bed. Catch ya on the flip side. *woof*

    Friday, September 01, 2000

    I got up early this morning to take my baby in for his 10K checkup appointment at 7:30am. My baby is my VW Beetle. A cute dark blue baby. :-) Anyway, I take my car into the service garage, tell the intake guy about a couple of problems that my car has...1). The auto window switch broke off, coincidentally, the day I made the appointment for the 10K checkup. 2). The air panel light goes out if I push on the a/c button or turn the air flow nob a certain direction and then goes back again if I turn it the other way. It goes off pretty much when it damn well feels like it, quite frankly. 3). A couple of wee squeeks were heard from the front. Not sure if it was coming from the brakes or the suspension (struts, etc.).
    They had three issues to look at and the 10K checkup duties. It's going to take 1 to 1 1/2 hours, the intake guy says. "Cool," I say.
    I go into the waiting room and see one of the attorneys from my firm. What are the chances of that? Anyway, we just exchanged politenesses. I don't know him well, and I think he just *vaguely* recognized me. *tick tock* *tick tock* *tick tock* I've read the entire St Paul Pioneer Press.*tick* An Architectural Digest *tock* and another magazine from May of 1999 thats name is escaping me now. *tick* *tock* I get up out of my squished butt chair and stand up to look out the dealership's windows. There's my car. It's just sitting there. *tick tock* I wait. Of course the intake service guy must have something urgent going on. *tick* I see the intake service guy come in, grab a cup of coffee *tock* and he heads back to his stand in the service center. *tick* Two people who arrived 20 minutes after me *tock* got their car from the guy. *tick* 15 minutes later, my happy little bug is still sitting out on the lot. *tock* I go to the service guy and ask him for my car. "Oh, yeah, gotta get the paper work on your car." *tick* He comes back and says they fixed the window opener. Yay! He then says that the technicians test drove the car and didn't hear the wee squeek. Ok, not a problem, I don't hear it often anyway. "I'll just keep my eye on it." I then ask about the panel light. He shuffles through the papers. "Hmmm...looks like it didn't make it in there." I think to myself, "You mean, you didn't put it in there? You are the one who puts in the customer requests..." It was as if he was trying to blame someone else. Anyway, he inquires as to whether or not I'd like to have it fixed now. "It shouldn't take *too* long." "How long is *too* long? Oh, and what time is it now?," I ask. "9:15, it shoudn't take long...about 1/2 hour," he stated. *gulp* Another 1/2 hour? Gack. I had to be to work by 9:30. He asked if I'd like to make an appointment now or just wait for the 15K checkup. Granted, it's not a HUGGGE problem. It's just a panel light. It certainly can wait. I ask if they stamped the owner's manual when they insisted upon at the 5K checkup. "I don't know if they did, let's check. Sometimes they're a bit flighty about such things," he quipped. I vaguely remember the intake person doing it last time. Could be that it doesn't matter *who* does it. Anyway, we go back to the car. It hasn't been washed or vacuumed. Ok, I was ticked and tocked. When I initially bought the car, that was one of the things that the salespeople told me 'bout the service. They *always* wash the car when you come in for service during the *checkup* period. "A nice touch," I said. Anyway, I tell the service intake doufus that the car hasn't been washed or vaccuumed and that one of the people who had *just* picked up their car exclaimed with delight that their car had been cleaned as they walked out of the waiting room. The pass-the-buck intake service guy says "We've been having trouble keeping car washers with the economy as it is now." I reiterated the fact that the car right before mine had been washed and *prettified* and that I passed on a car wash this morning for the express reason that I would be getting one at the dealer. He then makes the excuse that the car washer may have been called on another duty 'cuz he's not *just* a car washer. Fine, cool, dandy.
    Really, all I wanted was some sort of apology for 1). Not fixing what I expressly requested to be fixed. 2). Not following through with consistently delivered *nicey* *nicey* service things that a normal oil change place like Jiffy Lube would even offer.
    I didn't want Mr. Pass-the-buck to blame anyone else. Just take it on the chin and apologize for the quality of the service. It's that simple. A two second "I'm sorry." would have *almost* made it "OK." I would have, at the very least, accepted the apology with an "I know, it's ok, it's ok," as I'm apt to do with my Minnesota-nice upbringing.
    With service of this quality, it made me really wonder if any of the 10K checkup items had actually been done. At least when I go to Jiffy Lube I can see them actually putting the oil in the car, for instance. At the dealership, I was hustled off to a waiting room without windows toward the service garage. It looks bad for the dealership, plain and simple. Ok, enough griping. I've been *tick tocked* enough for one morning. :-)

    Thursday, August 31, 2000

    Oh, one more thing worthy of note. My site has been finally listed on Yahoo.com's web site listing. I've been in the 'pages' listing for a long time....now I'm finally in the *real* listings. It's contributed greatly to the influx of new people. The photos of the week are running about 500+ visitors ahead of where they normally are. Amazing what a little search engine listing can do for a site. Oh, by the way, I don't think I submitted the listing that made it in there. The supposed name of my site is "Cat's Fat Acceptance Emporium" Not a bad name, but as you know, my site is called "Cat's House of Fun". Hey, if the new name got me in, more power to it. :-) It's got a nice ring. Oh, thanks to *whomever* submitted my site with the dandy new name.
    The Photo Selection of the Week is posted. http://www.catay.com/cat/week.htm For those who are unfamiliar with my site's schedule, the photo of the week is updated late Wednesday nights. I think I've only missed one scheduled launch since I started that photo thang, and that was due to an internet connectivity glitch. There may have been one other time that I was early, but that's about it.
    The requests for a new collection of photos has been great. I think I finally have enough new pics of a similar nature for a new collection from the photos taken this evening in the black jeans and leather top. Watch for it in the coming week.
    Did I mention I'm tired? It's what? 1:30am? Blarg!

    Tuesday, August 29, 2000

    Yet another update...the San Diego National NAAFA tour page is up now too. *phrew* I think I'm almost done with tour pages. Click Here to see the San Diego Tour.
    Just a wee mention of a web page update I did last night. The Vegas Tour page is up and ready for visitors. Click Here.
    It's almost Labor day, the unofficial end of summer. What comes after Summer?? Halloween of course. :-) I love this time of year...changing leaves, Halloween and cooler days. (Not cold days, mind you...just cooler!) Thoughts of Halloween costumes fill the air...time to get creative. I've had a lot of fun costumes in the past...the acrylic fish bowl, the pineapple, the ear of corn... What to be, what to be. I have one costume in mind that I will be entering in the costume contest (either in Chicago or in Atlanta at their BBW bash) but the costume isn't super comfy for dancing. I can't, of course, divulge my *brilliant* idea 'cuz others are sure to copy it. hehehe. If you have any ideas for me that would be *danceable*, drop me an email at cat@catay.com If I choose your idea, I'll send ya a prize. (It's a cool prize...trust me.)

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    Time for another two second movie review: "Bring it on"
    I knew going into the movie that it was a cheerleading flick. Expectations were low. I didn't want to see a violent movie this weekend, so this ended up being the selection. Turns out, it wasn't *THAT* bad. It was definitely geared towards teen agers, but it wasn't painful to watch. The storyline was simple and predictable...just what I needed. :-) I'd give it a C+ rating.
    hehehe. Just found a few more fat chick things when I was testing my link to the towel: Bathing Beauty Spreaders. (Honest, it's for spreading butter or something...get your mind out of the gutter!) Four fat chicks atop the spreaders.... very cute, and only three buckeronis. There was a bathing beauty candle too, but that looks sold out. Waaaa. I do my part to support fat chick merchandise. For instance, I have a collection of fat chick dolls that have been put out on the market the past couple of years...the Mimi doll, the Rosie O'donnell doll, Ursula from the Under the Sea movie, etc. I'm not a huge doll collector by any stretch of the imagination, but it's just that when I was a kid there were *NO* fat dolls unless they were wee little roly-poly baby dolls. I think it's important to keep the fat women on the shelves. :-) We've got to infiltrate the consumer's consciousness as a viable saleable item. Maybe that way, the Lane Bryant catalog people will finally switch to models who could actually wear the crap they sell? Maybe...
    Some catch up to do.... First, I've got to recommend a towel that I found at Amazon.com. It's a beach towel with a fat chick on it! It's on clearance now 'cuz they were trying to sell it through their kitchen wares area. I bought it thinking it was a kitchen towel. It's only $6.40 so you can see why I thought that. The amazon description doesn't say the size, but I'd estimate it at 60x30...not huge by any stretch of the imagination. Anyway, if you're interested in an inexpensive big beautiful bathing beauty beach towel, click here.

    Thursday, August 24, 2000

    Sleeeep...sleeeep...my kingdom for some sleeeeep. I'm just a wee bit tired. ZzzzzzzzzzzZZZ. Several nights in a row of 6 hours or less can really add up. Throw in a chocolate binge due to hormonal cravings and you've got one zonked chick.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2000

    I'm still beaming. I beamed at work earlier and sent an email 'bout the show to all of my co-workers. My boss thought it would be great to have a link to the museum and some samples of my work showcased in our daily newsletter. Hmmm...I passed on the sample idea. I'm not embarrassed by my photos, but I don't want too much *in your face* stuff being pushed down my co-workers throats by having my naked tummy in their daily newsletter. Just a bit too much over-activism I think. I will show them prints if they request it, which several have. I think there was a wee bit of shock with one of 'em, but she was still supportive. hehehe. Gotta shock 'em once in a while....especially when they ask for it. :-)

    Tuesday, August 22, 2000

    It's official!!! The Rogaland Kunstmuseum in Stavanger, Norway has updated their site...I'm listed as an artist. *beam* http://www.biz.no/rogkunst/eng/ for the english version. Look for a wee artist named Catherine Nordling to be part of the Utopia exhibition...that's me! Yay!!!! This is soooo cool. :-) The internet is a wonderful thing!!!!
    I've got the answer! Thanks! Al Jarreau sang it. Click here for the info. My mind can rest easy now. heheheh. I hope you're having a great day!
    Does anyone remember the song at the beginning of the TV-show "Moonlighting"? If ya do, drop me a line at cat@catay.com. Thanks!

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    Updates to my US Tour section: Mardi Gras/New Orleans and Washington, DC
    I've posted my International Initiative page. http://www.catay.com/cat/international/index.html Enjoy!

    Saturday, August 19, 2000

    I took about half an hour tonight to stop in an AOL chat room. It gives me great reason to not chat there again. The room was filled with the "lowest common denominator" chat. Granted, AOL isn't meant to be the intellectual chat mecca of the world, but please, at least there can be chats that go beyond base, rude, insulting, almost-humor! There was a discussion about "aprons"...tummy aprons, not the cooking kind. It wasn't a frank discussion, no it was a bash session in a room called, "Cute Fat Chicks". The negative *jokes* came from both fat women *and* men. I'm sorry, but what I saw wasn't "cute"...the chicks in there were fat, but they definitely had nothing *cute* going for them...

    I'm not an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination, but it just makes me wonder why ignorance can be revered in such a chat room? I mean when I spoke back to these people about their rude behavior they stood, arm in arm, (figuratively, you understand) and defended quite proudly their ignorant behavior. I really don't understand that. I really, really don't.

    Join me in adding drawings to the following site http://www.youdraw.com/ Apparently the drawings will be added to a book at *some* point in the future when they reach 500,000 drawings. Help 'em get there while letting your creative juices flow!

    Friday, August 18, 2000

    Two second review of "The Cell": A slightly less intense "Silence of the Lambs" meets the *prettiness* of "What Dreams May Come." Visually appealing and yet *something* is missing. I can't put my finger on it yet. Maybe because I didn't really get a strong feeling for the Jennifer Lopez character nor the main FBI detective. B+ It's been a terrible summer of movies. There are really no stand out movies to mention. The blockbusters fell flat and there haven't been any completely *feel good* movies either. Just overwhelmingly blahhhh.
    I'm off to a movie. Dunno which one yet. I'll be back later with a two second review.
    Oh, look! My first thoughtful email about my blog. It's great to think that I've already brought out some discussion! Yay! Anyway, I've received permission from the author to post this in my CAT-a-BLOG, so not to fear that I'll start randomly posting emails. I thought it was worth posting. What do you think?

    Dear Cat, I was taught that "if you didn't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all" and I've found that it helps me not notice or focus on the negative things in the people around me. I know I prove my humanity with my faults and idiosyncrasies and still hope for acceptance. Unfortunately, people forget the act of finding fault lessens the integrity of the complainer much more then it hurts the receipiant of the criticism. We all shoud endevour to set standards of tolerance and forebareance in our dealings with each other because there will always be the times we need tolerance for ourselves. I am old enough to remember having prayer in school. In my class we had the standard Oklahoma perdominance of Southern Baptists, one Episcopalian(me), one Lutheran, two Presbyterians, and two Jews. We each took turns leading the prayer and our teacher assured us that God would hear us regardless of who lead the prayer. The Baptists had extemporanous prayers, and the rest of us had memorized prayers but I never noticed any significant difference except Melanie's and Stan's prayers didn't end in amen. I don't know where tolerence and respect for diversity is taught instead of given lip service but it sure would be welcome. If we choose to drag people down we only lower the lowest common denominator. If we choose to accept and rejoice in the diversity of humanity we ennoble ourselves. Having friends of differentraces, sexual preferances, the opposite sex, and different etnic backgrounds has enriched my life in innumerable ways. While complaints and derogatory statments by me have only diminished me. I am sorry I've gotten so preachy but your Cat-a-blog is something I've noticed also. Thanks for giving me a forum to share my feelings. Harry

    Why do we believe hieroglyphs or cave paintings to be "historical" writings? Couldn't they just be fiction or modern day romance novels? hehehe
    Are people generally good and just *happen* to do bad things, or are they overwhelmingly bad and struggle to do good 'cuz they think it's the *right* thing to do. The use of the terms "good" and "bad" are obviously subjective, but if you thought of it on a general level, which would it be? For me, the answer changes from day to day. (I'll be the first to admit that often the opinion will change during different times of the month...)

    Today, the sun is shining and the answer is..."overall good," but they are lead to do *evil* by desires that are beyond their emotional control. Ask me another day, and the magic 8-ball will have a different answer. hehehe

    ~~~~~

    This brings up another thing that I've been tossing around in my head for a couple of months. Silent Hatred or Hidden Hatred. It was a long car journey from Chicago in the spring after a BBW bash that made me think of this concept as being a detrimental to society as a whole. The general idea is that so many people present a pleasant front, but deep down they hate or strongly dislike an individual for *whatever* reason.

    At a recent BBW bash, I saw so many examples of it...

    • a thin family who laughed and joked about the fat chick in the elevator until they saw me coming down the hall. The immediately stopped when they saw me. Then, when they thought I was around the corner, they started up again.
    • A woman who I know trashes me behind my back, asks me in an all too sweet pleasant tone "How are you..blah, blah, blah, blah"
    • A very happy woman gets off an elevator, her two *friends* (I use that term loosely) make faces at each other and roll their eyes immediately after her departure

    It goes on from that bash to online:

    • Web boards on which private or personal *differences* are supposed to be written about in email, not in a public forum even though the *differences* were discovered on that public forum. (This doesn't happen *just* in size acceptance boards, but all-over the net.)
    • An instance posted on a board that indicated that there was a strong dislike of a person for *months* even though I had wittnessed a lot of *nicey* *nicey* banter between the parties.

    I could go on and on, and I intend to at a later date. I find all of this soooooo disturbing. I'm sure this is not a new societal thang. I'm sure it's been around for centuries. Is it human nature or just a fact of our society? Is it more common now than one hundred years ago? Anyway, chew that up...I'll write more about this at a later time.

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    Oh, some news! I'm in the new issue of Radiance Magazine. You'll find me in the black and white pages of the swimsuit layout. Wheee! Find it at a newsstand near you, or if you prefer, I think you can order a subscription from http://www.radiancemagazine.com/
    I just re-read my posts to make sure I don't sound like a complete nut. Note to self: stop using the phrase "Who'd have thought". Gads!
    I suppose I should do a formal WELCOME to those who actually stop to read this, eh? Well, here it is: WELCOME. Thanks for stopping by my Blog. Who'd have thought that my site would contain more than just hundreds of photos?!? :-)
    Ok, it's *live* now. Do ya think anyone will read this? Nah...
    I'd *love* to be able to go to the opening of the "Utopia" show in Stavanger and, of course, have dinner with the mayor, but at this point, it doesn't look likely. Airfare is *really* high...around 1200 dollars. A bit too steep for a ~4 day trip...although it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Pay out the bucks to see the opening or maybe go after the opening at a cheaper autumn flight rate? Waaaaa. I'm torn.
    Oh, just thought, most of you probably don't know why I've been invited to have dinner with the mayor of Stavanger. Recently the director of an art museum in Stavanger Norway contacted me about being part of an art show there. He noticed the artistic quality of the work in my "Photos of the Week," particularly the "American Beauty" piece and he sent me a very nice email. I guess it put a bee in his bonnet, 'cuz shortly after that he invited me to participate in the "Utopia" show that's from 9-September to early November. Who'd have thought that a site like this would open a door like that!? I'm lucky!
    I got my invitation to have dinner with the mayor of Stavanger, Norway yesterday. Unfortunately, the gum of the envelope stuck to the invite. Waaaaaa. Who'd have thought that I'd have to fly to Europe to have dinner with a Mayor? Go figure.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2000

    To edit the look of my blog, I've needed to update the page using HTML. Yes, it's been a while since I've edited HTML directly. Oh, sure on a typical day basis I go in to the HTML of a page once or twice to tweak something, but rarely am I creating code by hand. It's not as fun as it used to be, I tell you. heheheh
    What is a blog, you might ask? Just my ramblings, quite frankly. Read at your own risk. I have no time frame for my ramblings, as it should be. Just when the mood strikes, I'll be speaking into this keyboard.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2000

    Hey, does this work?