Archive for the 'Random' Category

My Word Cloud

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I got this idea from Joyce (thanks girl). The image below is a Wordle that was created using the words I commonly write on this blog…not too many surprises here:

Love Those Internets

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I’m enjoying the internet more than ever. Over the years it’s gotten more human. There’s less need to be a geek in order to enjoy its riches. It’s growing up.

I joined Twitter a few months ago. And we had our over-Tweeted honeymoon phase. Then I backed off and found that it has true sustaining value for me. It’s a great source of news (if you follow those who publish news and not shit). And it’s a great way to keep up with the incidentals in my Twittering friends lives. They Tweet about going to the dentist, about the kid being sick, about the hangover, about the dog barfing on the bed. Just the kind of shit I’d want them to tell me about if I bothered to pick up the phone to call them. Follow me on Twitter or don’t.

Yesterday, without any thought, I joined Momentile. I joined because I like the name and because someone on Twitter offered me an invitation. I didn’t even know what it was, except that it had something to do with posting photos online. I’ve only posted two photos but already I feel I’ve found a new form of expression. I can post a photo there without explaining anything about it. It’s meaning and relevance are entirely up to the viewer. All pressure is off. Nice. Stalk me on Momentile or don’t.

Recently I’ve found some blogs that I’m really enjoying. This is largely due to things I’ve seen Re-Tweeted Twitter.

Cake Wrecks – This is a blog that I won’t explain except to say that there’s a picture of a cake in every post. I find this blog to be a lovely vacation from all those blogs that think they matter. And I like looking at pictures of cake wrecks.

Margaret and Helen – Their tag-line is Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting… I love their politics and I love the way they write. I hope I’m that out-spoken when I get to be that age.

Flowing Data – I like this blog, if you can call it that, because it makes me feel smart. I worked for years for a company where part of my job was to take data sets and make them both interesting to look at and useful for making sound business decisions. Those fucks laid me off, but I still get off on visualizing data-sets.

Clusterfook – This is the personal blog of Lisa Kelly who is a cancer ninja. She’s detailed her battle with ovarian cancer in her blog and she’s currently in hospice care. She’s a great writer and has taught me a lot about having a proper attitude toward life and death. She’s a star.

Enjoy the Internets all.

Tough Questions

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

This is a cool meme because the questions change for each blogger. Read on and I hope you enjoy, and then partake, if you are so inclined…

For 7.5 million dollars, would you allow your spouse to be kidnapped and held prisoner for one year? No harm would come to him, but he would only have the basics – food, water and shelter. But at the end of the year, you’d both be millionaires.

No! Money doesn’t motivate me. Not that I wouldn’t mind having more of it. But it’s not worth my husband’s freedom. If my husband wanted to be kidnapped so he could have the money after a year, that would be his choice but I would never suggest he do it.

If you met someone who read your blog but didn’t know you personally, what would surprise them to know about you that they wouldn’t get from your blog?

Christ! This means I have to remember all the stuff I’ve said or have not said in my blog? Hmph! Well, I was a Dead Head, I went to a bunch of Grateful Dead concerts when I was in college. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that.

And my daughter points out that people who read my blog, but who do not know me, would be surprised that I am not often sarcastic in person, though I’m very often sarcastic on my blog. I suspect she’s right. I do notice that my dry, East Coast USA, sense of humor tends to come out in my writing a bit more than it comes out of my mouth.

If you could go back in time and change one event in your life, what would it be?

Tough one. Well, when I got divorced I didn’t change my name back to my maiden name. Then I remarried and took my husband’s name. So now to prove I’m the person on my birth certificate I have to show documentation for two marriages and a divorce. That’s a royal pain in the ass. I wish that I had changed my name to my maiden name between husbands, then I wouldn’t have to keep showing off my previous marriage and divorce.

This isn’t the kind of exciting change that the question seems to invite, but it’s what I would change.

What is your favorite pet rescue story? Which one (story) changed your heart the most?

Oh shit, I have to pick just one? Each time I’ve rescued a pet it’s been a big, huge, life-changing, heart-rending event. Well…one of the early rescues was Rudy the cat. We were working on renovating our house and my husband went off one day to the hardware store. When he got there he saw a badly injured kitten. The store owner said that the kitten had been hanging around, crying pitifully, for a couple of days. The owner had bought some cat food for it, but wouldn’t take it to the vet despite a huge open infected leg wound.

My husband came home from the store (without the kitten), and when he told me about the kitten he started to cry. He said he didn’t know what to do. I said I knew what to do. We took a cat carrier and went to get the kitten. We took him straight to a vet. The vet didn’t expect him to make it. But two operations later the kitten was on the mend.

We named him Rudy, after Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, because he purred like a motor all the time. We still have Rudy and he still purrs often.

If you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a baby, would you do it?

This is the hard question for me. I do not believe in capital punishment and I’m not sure I could take another life even if my own was in jeopardy. But if I could knowingly prevent the Holocaust and its nearly 8 million murders I think I would feel obligated to do it. I’m sure it would come at a great personal cost to me, but if I could prevent those deaths I would.

Bonus question: If you choose to kill baby Hitler, how would you do it?

Painlessly. With lethal injection. The way my vet puts animals to sleep.

Fellow Bloggers
If you want to do this meme leave me a comment asking to be interviewed and I will send 5 questions for you to answer.

Then post your answers in your blog, include these directions and link back to the original post, which for me was Capricorn Cringe’s post 5+1 = blog fodder

The Rules
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Like I Need Another Distraction

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

I finally checked out Twitter. I’d been avoiding it because I figured I’d get addicted to it as soon as I created an account there. Now I’ve got an account and I even set it up so I can send Tweets from my cell phone. So we shall see how deep my addiction will run. Here’s a link to my Twitter profile: http://twitter.com/RiverGirlCancun

Maybe I should buy a Tricycle

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

The Tour de France ended today. And unlike past years I didn’t get to see much of it. Being in Maine during part of Le Tour meant being with family who don’t have cable TV. So I saw very little coverage of the tour this year. (I need to remember not to travel in July.)

I’ve watched and followed the Tour de France since I was about 17 (so that’s 23 years). It’s like an old friend now. I can watch coverage in any language and tell you more-or-less what’s going on in the stage just from the way they are covering it, I don’t need to hear it, I can tell if the yellow jersey is under attack or if a breakaway is doomed. But I prefer to watch the tour when Phil Liggett is commentating. He is simply magnificent at bringing home the action of the race and making it real. When I listen to him my legs ache and I can feel the pain the riders are suffering.

I’ve never been much a cyclist myself. Although I currently own 2 bikes. But there’s something about bike racing that I can relate to on a deep level. Maybe I’m the perfect cycling widow.

In the late ’80’s I remember being in New York City, standing on a corner, watching a stage of the Tour de Trump. We could see the pack of riders coming toward us and we picked out Greg LeMond in the middle of the pack. He was talking casually to the rider behind him to the left, and he had his head turned to the left as he navigated a 90° right turn within a tight pack of at least 30 riders. Maybe this doesn’t sound like much of a feat to the uninitiated, but learning to ride in a pack is hard. And being able to navigate a corner you don’t even look at, without crashing, well, I’m still impressed 20 years later.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention the tour because it’s part of my July each year. I will leave you with a link to a great piece of art by Phil Hansen, it’s titled Lance (after cycling great Lance Armstrong). The work was created by dripping paint onto tricycle wheels and riding over canvas. There’s a video to go along with it. It makes me want to get a tricycle.

Show Some Skin – My Homework

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Recently I attended the first ever LatAm Bloggers Blowout. Sadly I was only able to attend the Friday night blowout, I had to miss the subsequent Saturday and Sunday blowouts.

The best part was meeting all those great bloggers. Us bloggers are a bunch of blabbermouth extroverts so there was no shortage good conversation. I wish I’d had more time to get to know everyone, but there’s always next time. Thanks again to Wayne for sacrificing his sanity to organize the event, he did a bang up job.

Attendees of the Blogger Blowout were given blog homework assignments which came from the book “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog” by Margaret Mason.

My assignment:

How did you get those scars? The one on your thumb is from when you were three and you wondered whether scissors could cut skin. The one on your stomach is from your emergency appendectomy. Your boss figured you had to be in the hospital, because it was the only reason you’d ever be late to work without calling.

Your scars indicate what type of life you’ve lived. Whether you’re athletic, fighting for your health, or just occasionally clumsy, let each scar remind you of the story behind it.

My oldest scar is in the middle of one kneecap. The Momsicle tells me that I acquired it by jumping off a chair when I was about 18 months. I don’t remember exactly what she said and I don’t remember the event.

My next oldest scar is on my face, just by my eyebrow. It causes the nearby eyebrow hairs to poke out at weird angles. I was about 6 and I was trying to pull some piece of clothing out of my sister’s hands. I remember it being her clothing, or rather, I remember myself being guilty. She let go of the item and my own momentum sent me headlong into the corner of my bedpost. One inch over and I would have hit my eyeball on that bedpost.

Then I’ve got a scar just to the side of my other eye, it’s very small. This one was from a raging lunatic who had taken an ungodly amount of LSD and was drunk as well (terrible combination that is). He threw me down 3 flights of stairs. Before I passed out I remember hearing his mother yell “Call the cops before he kills her.” It apparently took 6 cops to get him into the patrol car, but I don’t remember that part. I’m lucky to remember anything at all.

I’ve also got a scar on one foot from a drop of hot oil that flew from a pan. That should have taught me not to cook barefoot…but it didn’t.

And my most recent scar is from a glass that one of my kitties broke. I brought the glass upstairs. When it was empty I placed it near the top of the stairs so I would remember to bring it down. Well my Lilah cat went romping and hit it and broke it. Then I walked by, didn’t see it, and got a deep cut in the top of one foot. That cut healed quickly, but left a distinct scar which still hurts.

I’ve got a few more scars from surgeries, but all were laparoscopic, so there’s almost no scarring on the outside. The inside, well, that’s another issue…

Wikipedia & Barack Obama

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’m kind of a Wikipedia junkie, I even use Wikipedia as a verb, as in “Hang on a sec, I’ll Wikipedia that”. Today I came across the Wikipedia article traffic statistics page, which provides information about how often different Wikipedia pages are viewed. But most interesting to me was the list of the most viewed pages.

In the month of February 2008 the most viewed normal page (not the home page or a search page) was, not surprisingly, a page titled “Valentine’s_Day”, at number 6. It was viewed 2,368,531 times during the month (well, the majority of views were on February 14).

The next most viewed normal page, at number 7, was the “Barack_Obama” page, which was viewed 2,625,243 times during February. That’s a lot of interest, in fact it’s more than 90,000 views per day.

Number 9 was “John_McCain” which was viewed 1,614,941 times (that’s more than 1 million fewer viewings than Barack’s page had).

I got curious about where Hillary Clinton’s page was in the list, I started scrolling down and didn’t see her name. So I used the browser’s search function and found her down the page at #77. The “Hillary_Clinton” page was viewed 646,899 times in February (that’s almost 2 million fewer viewings than Barack’s page).

In fact, in February there were a whole slew of things that Wikipedia users read about more often than they read Hillary’s page, including:

Sex at #13
Zacarias_Moussaoui at #20
Amy_Winehouse at #39
Canada at #46
Lost_(TV_series) at #32
Global_warming at #51
Abraham_Lincoln at #54
United_Kingdom at #55
Scientology at #56
George_W._Bush at #63

I’m not sure what all of this means, but I must say it didn’t surprise me. I find Lost and Global Warming and Sex and Abraham Lincoln all to be more interesting than I do Hillary Clinton. Not that I won’t vote for her if she gets the nomination, I will, but she simply doesn’t interest me.

Barack Obama on the other hand does interest me. In fact I’ve subscribed to his web site’s RSS feed, so I can stay up to date on whatever his camp is up to. And I find myself visiting the Barack Obama web site pretty often (it’s a well designed site with nice graphics and I like looking at it). I guess I’ve become a Barack Obama junkie as well.

My Favorite Red Bicycle

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

The coolest thing in the world happened to me today. Well, it happened to my kid. But what’s the difference?

You see, I bought this road bike years and years ago when I was 19. It had a classic, beautiful but pretty rare frame and it was made in Japan and, well, it was the first present I ever bought myself when I got a REAL job. And it was this dark ruby red color. And it weighed almost nothing. It was a work of art.

I was in love with this bike. And I rode it a lot. And then I stopped riding it. And I started just moving it with me wherever I lived and storing it in my garage. Boy did it look good hanging on garage wall though. I would ride it once in a while and be happy. And the rest of the time I would just walk by it and be happy.

But then we decided to move to Mexico. And I had 3 bikes at the time. And I rode 2 of them, but I didn’t ride the red road bike. So my husband INSISTED, in that way that only a husband can insist, that I really should sell the bike to make room for other stuff on the moving truck. And the very sucky thing is that he was right.

So I did sell it. To some Mexican guy. And I’ve regretted it ever since.

Now my daughter has a mountain bike, she rides it to school in the middle of snowstorms and everything. But she’s been wanting a road bike. And she’s been volunteering at some kind of bike exchange program where volunteers pull apart donated bikes and make whole working bikes and give them to people in need. And as a volunteer for this bike exchange my kid gets to build herself a road bike from the available parts.

So tonight she calls. She’s put together her road bike. And the frame she’s got is the one from my old bike!!! She’s got my beautiful deep red tripled-butted gorgeous road bike frame. Her dad, my ex, remembers that bike and he identified it when she came home with it. I can’t wait for them to send a picture.

And I can’t tell you how happy I am that my bike is back in the family, where it belongs! Yay!!

I Am Not A Junkie

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

I woke up yesterday and thought I was going to die. Pretty soon I figured out that it was *simply* a terrible allergic reaction to something airborne. I had every pollen allergy symptom in the book: dry eyes, massive sinus headache and lungs that felt like they were turned inside out. But today I’m fine. And all I took was tea, honey and one dose of generic Advil. Weird. Must be a short-blooming flower. Or something.

While I was dying yesterday on the couch I got out the laptop and made a list of the top 50 celebrity-frequented detox centers in the U.S. It was actually not very hard to find these places thanks to the fact that celebs have no privacy at all and the press blabs about where they end up in treatment. In theory I could make a lot of money because of this list. If that happens I’ll let you know. For now you can just wonder.

One interesting thing was that most of these treatment centers have little “should I be institutionalized for this hourly crack habit” quizzes that you can take FREE on their web sites. So in the course of the day I took about 18 of these “am I a junkie” quizzes.

And I can say with certainty that I am not a junkie. Phew, really good to know because I sure as hell can’t afford any of those places. One of them charges $75,000 USD per month, but most of them only charge around $30,000 USD for 30 whole days. Some of them charge less but you have to bring your own team of doctors! What the hell is that?

Whatever, just be glad you aren’t Britney Spears. That poor girl ain’t right.

What Jack Said

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I was just cleaning out and organizing my Google Documents. But I came across this, which can’t be cleaned out or organized. It’s just perfect the way it is.

Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
A list of thirty writing “essentials” from Jack Kerouac:

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside your own house
4. Be in love with your life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yrself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

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