Thursday, August 31, 2006

ooh, check out the political links on THAT blog... 

Just added a few links that should have been over under the Politics section ages ago:

Winograd Watchdog - blog run by Marcy Winograd, president of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, co-founder of California Election Protection Network and L.A. Jews for Peace and all around tireless activist. Not only that, she was the Congressional candidate that I worked for earlier this year. Amazing woman - someone needs to bottle that energy.

(PSST: I'm somewhere in the crowds of the photos linked at L.A. Jews for Peace. Play a little "Where's Carol?", why doncha? Though I'm not wearing a knit cap or red/white stripes.)

Iraq Veterans Against the War and Iraq Veterans for Progress - both co-founded by Tim Goodrich, a young Iraq veteran whom I met briefly last summer at an Out of Iraq townhall, in addition to precinct walking for Steve Young and lobbying Howard Berman last year, but I got to know him when we worked for Marcy. A bright young man who is definitely going places.

musical interlude... 

From the very first time I rest my eyes on you, boy
My heart said follow through.
But I know now that I'm way down on your line
But the waiting feeling's fine

So don't treat me like a puppet on a string
'Cause I know how to do my thing
Don't talk to me as if you think I'm dumb
I wanna know when you're gonna come

I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
'Cause summer is here
And I'm still waiting there
Winter is here
I'm still waiting there

Like I said-
It's been three years since I'm knocking on your door
And still I can knock some more
Ooh, boy, ooh, boy, is it crazy? Look, I wanna know now
For I to knock some more

You see-
In life I know
That there is lots of grief
But your love is my relief
Tears in my eyes burn
Tears in my eyes burn
While I'm waitin'
While I'm waitin' for my turn

You see-
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
I don't wanna wait in vain for your love
'Cause summer is here
And I'm still waiting there
Winter is here
I'm still waiting there

Like I said-
I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna wait in vain
I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna, I don't wanna
I don't wanna wait in vain

It's been three years since I'm knocking on your door
And still I can knock some more
Ooh, boy, ooh, boy, is it crazy? Look, I wanna know now
Like I said-
Tears in my eyes burn
Tears in my eyes burn
While I'm waiting
While I'm waiting for my turn

You see-
Ooh, boy, ooh, boy, is it crazy? Look, I wanna know now
For I to knock some more
In life I know there is lots of grief
But your love is my relief

Waiting in Vain by Annie Lennox (from Medusa)

Man oh man, are the memories coming back.

So much has happened since I was first given this CD three years ago. And the young man who it to gave me was one for whom I felt these feelings all too keenly.

Well, those of you who have been following along with your intrepid heroine from the beginning know the outcome of that. For those new to these pages, four words: crash and burn, baby.

Oh, we're still friends. Not as nearly close as we once were, perhaps, but I have to take full responsibility for that. He's still been there for me when I've needed him, even when I haven't asked for his support. He's a good guy like that. I wish I could say the same of me for him. I'm hoping that'll change.

I've dated extensively in the intervening years (okay, mainly this year), and found myself having similar feelings for another friend, whom I've never dated. Might have something to do with the whole "From the very first time I rest my eyes on you, boy/My heart said follow through" thing. Seriously, the first time I saw his profile nearly two years ago I thought, "That is someone I must meet and get to know." And now we're great friends. But being able to recognize the signs of a hopeless torch being carried (hello, previous experience!), I was able to put the brakes on that car before I drove over another cliff. Well, most of it, at any rate. I think a wheel's been hanging off the edge there.

And now?

For more than a month I've been dating someone. The same person. Over a whole month. Stranger yet, he's drawing me from behind the walls I've built up around me. Walls that I thought were fifty feet high and constructed of pure solid titanium, but which might be mere canvas flats after all. My heels are still wearing grooves in the earth, at least a little bit, but I find myself missing him when we don't see each other, such as this week (ah, the joys of dating a single father - I recognize and accept that his children must come first, but I still miss him). We talk or email nearly every day. Until this week we saw each other at least once a week, and sometimes twice. My lack of a car and his residence in the South Bay preclude us from seeing each other more than that. At least for the time being.

I smile when I think of him, feeling my face soften and my heart warm. When we are together, I just want to put my arms around him or lean on his chest or feel his hot bare skin against mine. And it's not just because the boy knows what he's doing in bed (though I won't deny that might have something to do with it).

He's intelligent, kind and thoughtful. I'm used to men treating me well. I've been very fortunate in that way - even the two gentlemen mentioned above have sung my praises for the most part - proof that even when my feelings are hopeless, at least the men are worthy. (They've even said things to me that sound remarkably close to a few lines from this song.) Still, I'm amazed that HSTeacher treats me like a princess. No, like a goddess. It's astounding to me.

He's not a vegetarian, but he was, back in his Santa Cruz days, and when we're having dinner together he eats only vegetarian food. I never asked him to. He just does it because he wants to.

We have many things in common. We're not carbon copies of each other, but our politics and mutual love of science fiction and interest in metaphysics - amongst other things - are very complimentary. On our second date he turned to me and said, "Uh, Carol, I don't want this to sound like an insult, but, uh, you're kind of a nerd."

I raised my eyebrow in a very Spockian manner. "Kind of? Trust me, that's not even close to an insult. But I prefer to think of myself as a geek - I don't know enough technical stuff to be a nerd."

When I gaze into his big brown eyes, I find myself happy, then shy, and I bury my face in his chest, which makes him laugh and hold me closer.

He makes me laugh. Y'all know how important that is for me. And I make him laugh, which I love to hear.

We've, well, he asked me a couple of weeks ago if I felt comfortable with him referring to me as his girlfriend. At the time I was simply not ready for that and I told him as gently, but as honestly, as possible.

Recently I told him that, if he wanted to call me his girlfriend, I'd be cool with that, as lately I've been thinking of him as my boyfriend.

Yeah. Me. A Boyfriend. Capital "B". Who'da thunk, huh?

I'm still a bit cautious. There have been one or two other gentlemen over the last few years who were promising, but where nothing came of their pursuits (LiterateLawyerGuy, anyone?). Yet, this whole experience is filling me with wonder.

I have to say that maybe, just maybe, I won't be waiting in vain anymore.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

musical interlude... 

It's been a long time since I had one of these:

You and I
Tempted by the promise of a different life
Time has fled
There's a constant battle running through my head
I don't know what to do
'Cause I still believe
After all the foolish things you've put me through
I could always make a start on something new
And I'll always be a man who's open to

Blind romance
There'll be no half measures given half a chance
But we never learn
Trusting in the fire while the cruel flame burns
And we need to rebuild
What was never there
What got left behind
After all the foolish things that we've been through
I could always make a start on something new
And I'll always be a man who's open to

And it's written in the my heart
So that everybody can see it
And it's written in my soul
After all, I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it

I don't know what to do
'Cause I still believe
After all the foolish things you put me through
I could always make a start with something new
And I'll always be a man who's open to
I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it

Persuasion - Richard and Teddy Thompson (Lyrics by Tim Finn - from Action Packed)

I've been writing again as of late, just a little bit, and I've been listening to a few CDs I hadn't heard in a very long time as I do so, trying to inspire old feelings to fuel my words. As I hit play on Another Disc #6, I was reminded of numerous songs I hadn't heard in many months, but this one leapt out at me from its first note and grabbed me by the eardrums, tugging and pulling me deep into the headphones. Much like my first listening of Nick Drake's Fruit Tree, I was moved to hit repeat over and over again, until the words and music saturated my cells and synapses, coursing along my veins and arteries until they spilled over, my limbs and digits dancing and swooping and swaying.

Curious, I looked up the artist and was surprised to discover the elder of this father and son team was one of the driving forces behind Fairport Convention, a seminal English folk-rock band from the Sixties that MusicianMan introduced to me (from whom I discovered the underappreciated wonder that was the late Sandy Denny).

You realize, of course, that I must now own every album by Richard Thompson. A new obsession may have just been born...


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

how is she? 

Thirteen months ago I took the bus from the Burbank Media Center, headed to my home in North Hollywood in mid-evening. I took a different bus than usual, because my usual bus had stopped running twenty minutes earlier. No big deal. While the bus I was on might have taken a little longer, I knew it would connect me with a bus that ran late and would stop within a few blocks of my apartment.

The corner the bus let me out on was deep in the heart of Sunland - industrial, no stores, not even a 7-11 or gas station. Across the street was a tiny used car lot, part of it lit up from a small party, Latino music drifting across Lankershim. I crossed two streets to my next bus stop, where a pretty young black woman was waiting. I sat down and continued reading my book, expecting to wait about ten minutes for my bus.

Those ten minutes dragged by. Then another ten, fifteen minutes joined the first ten. I tried to read my book, but I became too agitated to lose myself in it, so I closed it and looked down the road.

The night was growing cooler. I was okay, but the young lady sitting on the bench drew her slender bare arms closer to her. We struck up a conversation and she revealed that she had been waiting for nearly an hour before I had shown up. She mentioned her destination, which was only about a mile or so from my home. We waited for another ten or fifteen minutes, talking, and finally I suggested that we call a taxi, as we were only about six or seven miles from where we wanted to go and I had them in pre-programmed in my cell phone. She agreed and offered to pay for half, which I gratefully accepted, for while I had enough money on me to cover the fare, I wasn't flush with money.

We called a taxi. While we waited, for both the bus and the taxi, several men drove by, whistling at the young lady or asking if she needed a ride, sometimes asking me as well. We both declined. Finally, after about twenty minutes, the taxi showed up - I had to call again to make sure it was on its way. We climbed in and continued our conversation.

During this time I discovered that my new friend was eighteen years old and had recently graduated from a New Orleans high school. She and her mother were visiting family and friends in Los Angeles. She aspired to be a social worker back home - had always wanted to be a social worker - and had applied to and been accepted by Tulane University. She loved visiting LA, but was looking forward to getting back to her hometown a few days later. I told her that I admired her, knowing how difficult social work was. I'm always amazed and humbled when I meet someone who is so devoted to helping others on such a one-to-one basis, especially in one so young.

Ten minutes or so later the taxi dropped me off at my corner, I gave a little over half the fare to my cab companion and wished her good luck with Tulane and with her future. And off the taxi drove.

A little over a month later Katrina hit New Orleans. The badly constructed levees failed and a city endured horrible devastation. Initially my thoughts were for the general population of New Orleans, for the feelings of Ray. The unconscionable lack of response of the federal government took up a lot of my focus and was featured prominently in the political blog that I had co-founded only a week before.

A few weeks later I remembered the girl I had shared a cab ride with. We had exchanged names, but not contact information, and I remembered her name then, though it eludes me now. I wondered how she was, if she and her mother had made it through the hurricane and its aftermath relatively unscathed, or at all.

I still wonder how they are. I still pray that they're okay. That young woman is exactly the type of young people our country needs to survive.

I hope she survived.

Monday, August 28, 2006

bait and switch... 

There I was, checking one of my 359 email addresses (okay, I actually have nine that I check on a daily basis - ten, if you want to include work - no, I don't know why, but I assure you that each and every one has its own purpose). This particular email address is through Hotmail. I logged off and was presented with the MSN page, where I spied the following headline: The upside of being lazy.

Ooh, now there's a article I need to read! I thought. I am a fine lazy person. Frankly, I excel at being lazy. In reference to my own fluctuating energy levels, I am frequently reminded of a Sherlock Holmes quote: "I am the most incurably lazy devil that ever stood in shoe leather - that is, when the fit is on me, for I can be spry enough at times."

So opened up the article and what do I find? The Rewards of Relaxation: Why Slowing Down Is Healthy.

Relaxing is not being lazy. Slowing down is not being lazy. To wit:

1 - abatement or relief from bodily or mental work, effort, application, etc.
2 - an activity or recreation that provides such relief; diversion; entertainment.

1. averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion; indolent.

I was promised one article and was presented with another. This may be cause for a lawsuit.

Nah, don't feel like it right now...


A big congrats to my inadvertent blog daddy, John Scalzi, for winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at LAConIV. An award well-deserved, I might add. If you like SF - especially Heinlein-influenced SF - check out Old Man's War . It's pretty damned good.


Upon reading my Pluto entries, CuteNerdBoy sent me the following email:

Subject: the Pluto-spawned protest you've been looking for

Metroblogging Los Angeles - Pasadena Pluto Protest.

It's no rioting or looting in streets (where are my overturned golfcarts and flaming trash cans?), but it's a start.

More protests against Pluto's demotion can be found at:
Worth 1000: Save Pluto
Make Very Excellent Mnemonics: Just Start Using Noggin!
A Glimmer of Hope for Pluto?
Reinstate Pluto as a Planet
Little Pluto

See what happens when ya start messin' with Pluto, IAU? I'd be carefully reconsidering that vote, if I were you...


Sunday, August 27, 2006

quiz me like you mean it... 

Are You A Good Kisser?
Your Results:

Play-By-Play Lip Locker

You make an attentive kisser because you enjoy the melding of you and your partner's kissing style. Depending on the mood and the moment, you may be more adventurous or more soft and gentle. It may take you and your partner some time to really get down a compatible style, but once you do, kisses can become very intense because they are showing the deep connection you and your partner have with each other. Make sure to allow things to happen naturally rather than focusing so much on technique. Be confident in your skills and open to new styles of kissing.
Are You A Good Kisser?

What's Your Movie Star Sex Style?

Your Results:
You are a Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct." Need we say more? You have command in the bedroom (or wherever else it may be.) Sex is very important to you, and a relationship that is vacant of frequent sex can never be truly fulfilling. You may be more dominating and you probably are the one to initiate sex and determine how it will be done. You're willing to try anything because you want to keep sex interesting and exciting, which to you is what makes for a good lover. If your sexual style is a little overwhelming for your partner, the most important thing to remember is to make sure they feel comfortable enough to express themselves sexual in their own way. Once the playing field is more even, you'll reap the rewards of a healthy sexual relationship.
What's Your Movie Star Sex Style?
Lifescript Quizzes

Friday, August 25, 2006

for freak's sake... 

Ya know, I haven't written anything about the whole "breaking developments" on the JonBenet Ramsey thing. Why? Because it's bullshit.

The death of the little girl was tragic, to be sure, but it's ridiculous that it's gotten as much press as it has. Not to trot out the old chestnut, but how about the many tragic, unsolved murders of non-wealthy, non-white children throughout the country, if not the world? Not "news-worthy" enough?

Besides, it's been ten years, people - if anything qualifies as old news, this does.

Which is why I signed this petition to try to get the news industry to cover real news again. Maybe it'll work. It probably won't. But at least I'll have felt I've done a little something.

BTW, Keith Olbermann had a brilliant rundown of the coverage of this crap last night. Check it out. (Unfortunately you'll need IE to view it - damned MSNBC...)

inside looking out... 

My apartment should have as good a view as my work:

Oh, how I love the green...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

you're on notice... 

You're On Notice!

From the ever lovely Ray in New Orleans

BTW, Jon Stewart may be my pretend boyfriend, but Stephen Colbert (and Keith Olbermann) are in my male harem.


BTW, if you're wondering about the dog-on-turtle action, it comes from a short post I wrote on the SoCal Grassroots blog.

the iau can bite my shapely ivory ass... 

Pluto is no longer a planet.

To paraphase Mike Brown: "Pluto's dead, Jim."

Athena Scalzi said it best: "Pluto's been demoted? That's crap!"

*looks out building window*

WTF? Still no rioting? Freaking physicists and engineers. Don't have a clue of how to protest a major upheaval like this.

Probably Pluto-Haytas, one and all. Don't worry, Cthulhu will get you. You and your little dog, too.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

feelin' the podcast... 

Just sitting here at my desk, enjoying the Women Who Rock podcast put together by Dave of Dave's Random Thoughts and promoted by Pamie. Them's some good listening there.

Too bad I can't blast it as loud as I'd like...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

take a picture... 

...it lasts longer.

Well, I would if I'd remember to start bringing my digital camera with me everywhere - the way I used to. I mean, the reason I bought my current purse is because it's big enough to fit my camera, but not so big that I'd end up stuffing it with all and sundry, thereby causing my doctor (were I to have a regular one) to scream at me for carrying heavy things on my shoulder, further endangering my already screwed-up neck.

(Yes, I still have my camera phone, but the gallery is full and I haven't gotten around to emptying it and besides, when did you turn into my camera monitor, hmmm?)

Anywho, I wish I had my camera today, because I saw something that makes me even happier to be working at JPL: a deer on its hind legs, feeding from a tree, mere feet away from me. I didn't even startle it.

I'm such a city girl that it's still amazing to me to see deer at my place of business. I mean, if I worked at a zoo, I could understand. But an organization dedicated to technological wonders? It still throws me for a loop.

When I was here last year I took pictures of the deer - I just have to remember to keep a camera on me at all times.

Monday, August 21, 2006

a pattern develops... 

It seems the only time I update my blog is when I have an office job.


No epiphany there. Frankly I'm too tired to have any epiphanies. I'm barely awake enough to spell "epiphany."

Not that I'm complaining about being tired. Oh no, gentle readers. Staying up late with a young man who inspires a girl to be bad - in the best possible ways - is never something to complain about.

(And yes, I am referring to HSTeacher.)

Still, it's a very good thing my boss isn't here today...

how'd that happen? 

I want to apologize to y'all for not responding to any comments since my return to the blog. Somehow comment moderation was turned on (something I didn't know Haloscan had for free accounts) and I didn't know I had comments waiting.

I've turned off moderation (I don't have much use for it) and now I'm going through my comments. Thank you to everyone who left notes!

Friday, August 18, 2006

from the pages of "duh!" magazine... 

New data suggests BMI can't distinguish between fat, muscle:
BMI is determined by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, while anything over 25 is said to indicate obesity. For example, a 5-foot-9-inch person weighing 170 pounds has a BMI of just over 25.
I've always felt that BMI is a bogus measurement for this very reason.

If a person were to go only by BMI measurements, then Sylvester Stallone - said to be 5'9", though there are conflicting reports - had a BMI of 25.8 during his Rocky III days, in which he weighed 175 pounds. According to the National Institute of Health, a BMI measurement of 25.8 is considered overweight. Okay, only slightly overweight, but still it doesn't even begin to look at muscle mass vs. fat mass.

I still fervently believe that the best thing folks can do for their health is exercise and eat a variety of healthful foods and, provided there aren't physical problems that interfere, the body will do what it's meant to do. I'm a fan of moderation in all things. Sometimes I even follow my own advice (though not often enough - I'm still a big girl, by any standards).

But just as there is no magic pill that will cause all the fat to melt away without side effects, there is no one measurement of weight and mass that is truly reliable .

Banish the BMI...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NSA Eavesdropping is Bad, MMM'K? 

Cross-posted from SoCal Grassroots

Bless U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor from Michigan. She has ruled that the NSA eavesdropping program is unconstitutional:
[Taylor] further declared that the program "violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III."

She went on to say that "the president of the United States ... has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders."
I think we need to send her a big candy heart and a bunch of flowers.

(The complete ruling can be found here.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

re-evaluation: all the fun of the fair... 

Back in January, I checked to see how much my blog was worth, and the verdict was zero. Naturally that made me frown.

Well, I thought I'd check to see if anything changed and lo and behold:

My blog is worth $8,468.10.
How much is your blog worth?


and then there were twelve... 

So there's been all sorts of discussion as of late regarding Pluto's place in the planetary scale of the galaxy, as in, "Is it really a planet? Or just a comet?" (Check out John Scalzi's Whatever for some serious Plutonian hub-bub, including a video in which a Pluto-Hayta gets his just desserts...)

Well, the International Astronomical Union has declared that, not only is Pluto still a planet, but under the new rules, we have another three planets to boot: Ceres, Charon and 2003 UB313. Previously Ceres was classified as an asteroid, Charon was considered a Plutonian satellite and 2003 UB313 (nicknamed Xena) apparently was just known as a far-out Pluto-sized object.

And yes, this is causing a hell of an uproar in the scientific community. Frankly, I'm surprised I'm not seeing rioting in the halls of JPL.

Maybe I should set a trashcan on fire. Just so folks realize what we're dealing with here...

NOTE: This was just a proposal put forth by the IAU - the actual vote by the IAU membership won't be until next week. I love this line from the Space.com article: "IAU members will vote on the proposal Thursday, Aug. 24. Its fate is far from clear." (emphasis mine)

That sounds pretty ominous. What'll happen if the proposal is voted down? Are we going to Death Star Pluto and the other bodies in question out of existence?

Maybe, once the vote comes down, then I'll see scorched overturned golfcarts throughout the lab.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

oh, quizzes, how i've missed you... 

You Should Rule Saturn

Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone delve beyond your appearance.

You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life.
You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past.
What Planet Should You Rule?

You Are A Walnut Tree

You are strange and full of contrasts... the oddball of your group.
You are unrelenting and you have unlimited ambition.
Not always liked but always admired, you are more infamous than famous.
You are aggressive and spontaneous, and your reactions are often unexpected.
A jealous and passionate person, you are difficult in romantic relationships.
What's Your Celtic Horoscope?

Your Brain is 67% Female, 33% Male

Your brain leans female
You think with your heart, not your head
Sweet and considerate, you are a giver
But you're tough enough not to let anyone take advantage of you!
What Gender Is Your Brain?


It's all about the timing.

As y'all know, I'm going to be here at JPL until October, thanks to a bit of good timing.

Today I ran into one of my former JPL compatriots from my Professional Development days, who informed me that, though the last time we spoke - about three weeks ago - nothing was happening in PD, recently three positions opened up. He immediately thought of me.

Three. And while I can't exactly say that I'd have my pick of them, at least two of them would be ripe for me.

When we last spoke, I was only scheduled to work at JPL for two and half weeks, which he remembered. When I told him I was in my current assignment until October, his face fell.

"Oh. We can't wait that long."

Damned bad timing.

We talked some more and he suggested that I keep my eyes open - maybe one of the positions would still be open come October.

Let's see if the timing will work to my advantage again...

Friday, August 11, 2006


I updated my damned "READING/LISTENING/WATCHING" links, after being way too stagnant for too long. I'll try to be better about keeping that current.

(Oh, quit yer muttering...)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

great thing about jpl... 

I get to type out all sorts of stuff that have to do with Astronomy and Physics (since that's the directorate I work in), but I have no idea what most of it means. Which makes things difficult when a person is trying to decipher handwriting.

Y'all think doctors have bad handwriting? Try the handwriting of a scientist or engineer. Next to them, physicians write in Zaner-Bloser, Simplified.

Still, it's pertty damned cool for a science groupie like me...

don't know which is harder... 

The mornings or the nights.

Sunday morning I went to feed the cats, filled all four food bowls and was in the process of filling the fourth water bowl when I realized that only six bowls were needed now, not eight. Needless to say, I didn't handle that well. I took away the two extra bowls, put them in the sink, then crawled into bed and cried in HSTeacher's arms.

Monday morning I fed the cats and automatically went to fill up the fourth food bowl. When I saw the empty space where it had been, it all hit me again. I managed to suck it up enough to get ready for work, but nearly lost it again several times on the bus and again at work. Too bad companies don't give bereavement leave for the loss of a dear pet.

Yesterday morning was better - I consciously remembered not to turn the direction of the phantom food bowl. But this morning I again twisted to fill Noel's bowl (as much as any of the bowls belong to particular cats - they've never been territorial like that) and halfway through the twist, I remembered that my reflexes were not needed anymore.

But nights? Either I cry myself to sleep holding a little pillow that says "You're Purr-fect!" (cheesy, I know, but for some reason it's the only thing that I have to remind me of Noel, aside from photos and his food/water bowls, none of which are all that comfortable to sleep with) or I stare at the ceiling, wishing he were back.

I won't lie - a small part of me wonders why I'm grieving so hard for a cat. But he was my cat, my Sweetie Noel. He had been a big part of my life for over a quarter of it. It still hurts.

Friends and family have been wonderful, of course. Condolences from people who know how much a beloved pet can mean to a person - CuteNerdBoy, MusicianMan, IrishWriter, YoungerSiS, Mom, ModelGirl, Sarriah, Squiggy. Even Boychik - who doesn't like cats much because of allergies - has expressed sympathy over Noel's death.

But I have to really thank two people - ScreenWriter and HSTeacher.
ScreenWriter is a dear friend whom I hadn't seen over five years - matter of fact, he was my boyfriend right before I hooked up with the Ex and the only boyfriend I had befriended after we broke up. We had rebefriended each other within the last couple of weeks and were scheduled to meet on Saturday for lunch. I found Noel right before he arrived and he stepped up to the plate - double checked to see that Noel was dead because I was completely freaking out, drove me to Home Depot so that I could pick up a shovel and a flowering plant, then helped me bury Noel in the hills of Griffith Park, helping me with a little ceremony to send Noel's kitty soul off properly. And he held me when I sobbed.

HSTeacher was scehduled to come over Saturday night, so he helped to distract me the tiniest bit over dinner, then held me and stroked my hair when I cried that night and the next day. And he kept me entertained for most of Sunday. He's a good guy and a lot of fun. I am growing fonder of him.

Don't worry, this isn't going to become a grief blog - I tend not to operate that way. But I can't pretend this entire week hasn't been darkly colored by losing Noel. Today has been especially bad thus far.

Three bits from emails this week:

CuteNerdBoy - "My heart's with you, and I know that over time, the pain will subside, but the good memories will live on."

MusicianMan (who never met Noel, but knows him through the memorial page and my descriptions of him) quoted Simon and Garfunkel - "Time it was, and what a time it was, it was/A time of innocence, a time of confidences/Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph/Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you."

IrishWriter - "May the goddess bless his path..."

Thank you, one and all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

requiem in pace 

Yesterday morning my beloved cat Noel died of unknown causes. He was nearly thirteen years old.

He was a Christmas present in 1993 from the Ex - a 10 week old ball of fluff, all ears and attitude:

Christmas Eve 1993 - Kitten Noel

He was a curious fellow, always getting into things:

What's in this basket?

But he also just loved hanging around:

Feeling Groovy

Noel saw me through a lot of unheavals over the last thirteen years. Though I love the other cats, he was my special "Mama's Boy".

There won't be a morning that I wake up where I won't miss his big body curled up against my tummy. There won't be a day where I won't miss our little nose kisses.

I love you, Noel sweetie. I'll always miss you.

Noel - January 2006
Noel Stanley Bobtail
October 1993 - August 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

1st myspace entry: support america's next top model writers 

Confession time: I have a MySpace page. And I occasionally watch America's Next Top Model on VH1. I have to confess these so that y'all know the backstory to my first MySpace blog entry, which I'm cross-posting here because folks need our help:
Welcome to my first MySpace blog entry. I write elsewhere to satisfy my writing jones, so I can't say that I'm moved to do a lot of (or any) writing here. But today I want to let y'all know about my new friend: America's Top Model Union.

Despite working long hours on one of the most popular forms of entertainment on TV (which rakes in buttloads of money for producers and networks), writers on reality shows do not fall under the WGA contract. Regardless of your feelings about reality televison,all of the folks who do the day-to-day work of creating them deserve to be compensated accordingly.

Disclosure time: Though I'm not a fan of the majority of reality TV (my feelings are, watching people on TV that I'd want to smack for their stupidity in real life is not entertaining), ANTM has worked its way under my skin, thanks to unending replays on VH1. I mainly love the fashions and the photo shoots - if they could get rid of the rest of it and just boil it down to eleven minutes an episode I'd be a happy girl.

So, yes, I am supporting the folks who have given me at least a little bit of pleasure. But I'd be supporting the writers behind American Idol, though I haven't watched more than fifteen minutes of the show in total, because that's some hard work, my friends.

Besides, one of the writers is Daniel Blau, who contributes to one of my favorite blogs, Pamie.com - Boy needs our support!

So check out their MySpace page and do what you can to help.

kansas neanderthals beaten back...for now 

Ah, how my science-loving little heart swells when learning that anti-evolution dinosaur-brains have lost control of the Kansas Board of Education.

I don't know how long it'll last - as John Scalzi points out, those nutbags will be back again because, by G-d, ain't no one never gonna make them believe that we humans came from no apes. And they'll be damned if their young'uns learn that! Or anyone else's, for that matter.

Kansas voters? You've done good work. Keep it up. And keep vigilant.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

um, update much? 

Apparently not. Sheesh. I gotta get back into writing about the silly minutae of my life. Some day.

So here's my monthly update!

The prospective web work from home never materialized despite my repeated efforts to make it so. And since I was considered an independent contractor with the congressional campaign, I was considred ineligible for unemployment. Ouch. So, in the interests of paying my bills and not having IrishWriter kick me out (or at least get really, really angry with me) from my inability to drag in an income (no matter how kicking and screaming it might be), I decided it was time to look for a job.

So I updated my Monster resume, contacted the staffing agency that deals with JPL, and did some serious job hunting. I got one bite at Netflix for web database maintenance, but apparently my interview with them was rather underwhelming, because I didn't hear a thing.

But that's okay, because it served as a practice interview. Later I received an email out of the blue from a staffing agency for what promised to be a wen content specialist. Whee!


It was for an insurance company. The kind that insures landlords and business and handles malpractice.

Long ago I swore I would never work for insurance, because I knew the atmosphere would be stullifying. Here I had an opportunity to do work related to web sites, but it would be for an industry that would kill what little soul I had left (oddly enough, I've not found entertainment or politics soul-killing - there's something very wrong with that...). I decided to go on the interview after all. More practice, right?

So I went and they loved me and I went back again and they still loved me. The money would be okay, but the web work wouldn't be until "sometime down the line" - I'd be involved in insurance document creation.

Shoot me now, I thought. But I had no other serious prospects and I was desparate. So when the staffing agency asked me to come in for software testing, I agreed. Except I couldn't come in when they wanted, which was immediately, as I wasn't feeling well. So the position went to someone else.

Enter JPL, with its glowing halo and mechanized wings. I ended up interviewing for three different temp positions and guess what? I landed two. They're in the same section, so when I finish my current temp position in the middle of August, I'll be moving over to the other, where I'll be until at least October.

I have to say, there are very few places I would willingly be a secretary again. JPL is at the top of the short list. And this time I'm working in Astronomy and Physics and making a little more than I was last time.

I'm a pleased little pup.

I've also spoken at a Board of Supervisors meeting for California Election Protection Network, after being asked personally by Mimi Kennedy (she called my cell when I was out leafleting parking lots with WriterDiva). Ok, it was for the day after Independence Day, so the folks who usually speak at these things were unavailable, but it was still cool to be asked. And since I was available (this was before I turned into Job Interview Girl for two solid weeks), I said sure.

I have to admit, though I had no time to prepare, I had a few minutes at the start of the meeting to write out a few thoughts. And when someone else who was supposed to speak didn't show up (it was going to be three of us, but only two made it), I asked to speak on the other woman's behalf (I knew the points she wanted to speak to) and was granted permission, which is unusual as they rarely let anyone speak twice. Thank heavens I was having an eloquent - and relatively non-nervous - day. Those don't happen very often.

I've been dating a lot this year. So many first dates I've almost lost count. I've even had a few second dates. But no third dates.

Until last week. And now I think I can actually say I'm dating someone, as we're making plans for Date Number 5 on Thursday night.


Poor guy - I admit I was a little reluctant at first because, well, physically he didn't quite fall into the sort of man I envision myself with. Not that I think I have to date drop dead gorgeous guys. Matter of fact, there is a wide range of guys I find attractive. But HSTeacher (yes, he teaches computers and web-related stuff at a high school) was outside that usually wide realm, though I have to admit, he is cute. And yet, even though I dug my heels in, I found myself agreeing to go out with him. Again and again.

I had to admit to myself that there is some sort of connection there. We do have a lot in common. And he's quite a good kisser (okay, so maybe we've done a teeny bit more than kissing). So I've decided to hang out and see what happens. He's an interesting guy.

There's still a part of me that is holding back, because of my previous experience with, well, everyone I've dated since 1997. There are way too many singe marks on my heart for me to throw myself into the deep end so early on. But I think it could still be fun.

Even if his hair is longer than mine.

(My hair? Halfway down my back. His? Down to his ass. Gotta say, that's a new one for me...)

And last, but not even close to least, BabySis and her family on currently on their way to Florida. To live.

Yep, the last remaining area family member to whom I'm still speaking has uprooted and moved to Florida.

I understand the reasoning: houses are way less expensive out there, as is much else about living, but she and her husband can still make the same money they made here. They'll be able to afford to give their children everything that might be iffy out here. Plus that's where the in-laws live, so there will still be family nearby.

Doesn't mean I'm happy about it. I helped them pack this weekend - in between birthday parties for their children - and they left Thousand Oaks at 1:45am on Monday morning.

I know I can go to visit. I'm going to make a concerted effort to do so.

But why Florida? Why?

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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United States, California, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, English, Carol, Female, 36-40.

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