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October 2002
Pumpkin Saddam HusseinOctober 30 2002
No, you may not use my Jack O'Lantern for target practice.
Happy Hallowe'en! Pretty scary, eh? Come by my house on Hallowe'en night to see Saddam O'Lantern in all its gory glory.

Democracy inaction. Wait, that's supposed to be two words. E and I exercised our democratic right and duty last night in the fine tradition of the founders of our country: in a bar. Vote-by-mail is great! A beer and a ballot.

I wish MCI would stop calling me.

October 29 2002
I am not a Tommy Girl.
Got my Meier & Frank bill the other day, with a charge I didn't recogize.
Meier & Frank bill
I never buy Tommy Hilfiger products. I certainly don't remember buying anything from Meier & Frank on Sep 25. I can't find a receipt and I usually save my receipts. So I called M&F credit department. Said item is a pair of denim jeans purchased in Torrance, CA. Where I definitely was NOT on Sep 25. They'll send me a copy of the sales slip and a form to fill out. Looks like someone is getting a free pair of jeans.

October 28 2002
Weekend retreat.
Old Wheeler HotelFour days since last entry? I'm getting lax. Speaking of which, we relaxed this weekend at the Old Wheeler Hotel in beautiful wide-spot-on-Hwy101 Wheeler, Oregon. A friend of mine had a gallery opening Saturday at Bay City, which should be named Bay Wide-spot-on-Hwy101. We figured, why not stay the night? We watched the Angels come from behind to defeat the Giants while having dinner in the bar at Sea Shack. E was upset; he's a National League fan.

Sunday we lingered over continental breakfast, then drove down the coast to Tillamook. We picked up some cheese at the Tillamook cheese factory and spent quite a bit of time meandering through the Tillamook Air Museum. If you like old planes, this is da bomb. The Tillamook Air Museum occupies Hangar B (Hangar A burnt down years ago), formerly housing US Navy blimps used to patrol the coast for submarines.

October 24 2002
Nu Shooz.
Nothing perks up a girl like the purchase of new shoes. I dropped my car at the Saturn dealership for its 90k service and took the MAX downtown. I figured out why I kept getting rocks in my right shoe - there was a big ol' hole where the top separated from sole. Off with my faithful old Kaepas and on with a brand spanking new pair of black leather Reebok walking shoes. They look spiffy, although I am puzzled by the little silver bits tucked in.

October 23 2002
We support education in Oregon.
Yeah, that's right, support education, that's the ticket. Lottery funds go to support education. The multi-state PowerBall is up to $72mil, so we (and by "we" I mean E) dropped a fin for five chances to win the big pot. Rationally I know there's better odds of being hit by a lightning bolt RIGHT NOW while a herd of yaks stampedes through my living room and my cat starts singing O Sole Mio, than of winning the lottery. But for a few hours at least, I can nurture the fantasy.

Good Mimi / bad Mimi.

I finally updated the knitting page!

October 19 2002
Confessions of a pledge drive phone volunteer.
When I proudly announce to my friends that I volunteered my time as a pledge drive phone answerer, they start in with the kvetching about public broadcasting pledge drives and how they interrupt favorite programs with pleas for the scratch. Whiners. I always say it beats hearing every 50 minutes how I have a friend in the diamond business.

Phone answering was fun. I got to talk to many interesting people who shared a passion for supporting public broadcasting. One fellow had recently moved to the area; what he really wanted for a thank-you premium was an OPB sticker for his car. I took a call from a society matron with a Dunthorpe address who very properly informed me she was renewing her membership and gave her membership number. One man protested the need for separate fund drives for radio and TV - he wanted to donate only once a year and have his donation split between the services; he then pledged $480 to radio, my highest pledge. At the other end of the spectrum was woman who told me she had a mental illness and couldn't work, but she could donate $5 to the only radio station she listened to; and she had been calling in previously, pledging $5 at a time and was now up to $20. A woman who had pledged the day before asked how much she needed to pledge to be included in a drawing for an oriental rug; I told her she could just enter and she said she wanted to pledge because "it made it more fun." I hope she won a rug for that.

October 16 2002
Melitta coffee makerI love our new coffee maker.
Our new coffee maker is beautiful. I am enthralled with its exquisite hourglass shape, its sleek black skin and most of all, the way the carafe fits into the coffee maker, as if they were molded together. It makes the most soothing gurgling sound as it makes coffee, gentle wafts of steam rising enticingly from its vents. I don't know where we're going to find a replacement carafe, however, if I break it as I did the carafe of our previous coffee maker.

Today I did my first stint answering phones for the OPB Radio pledge drive. It was kind of fun. I felt I was doing something useful, taking calls from OPB listeners willing to pledge their own hard-earned cash. Some people even apologized for not being able to give more. Hey, that's cool. It all helps. Especially since our state legislature cut $1.2 million in funds previously allocated to OPB.

So call. In Portland Metro area 503-245-2345, outside Portland Metro toll-free 1-800-245-2346. Or visit OPB.org and make a pledge.

October 15 2002
Call me. In Portland Metro area 503-245-2345, outside Portland Metro toll-free 1-800-245-2346.
Dial that number between 6AM and 8:30AM Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and I might pick up the phone. Be prepared to pledge a goodly amount o' cash to OPB Radio. Yup, I'm going to be a phone volunteer for OPB Radio. I've always thought it would be fun, and since I now have a flexible (unemployed) schedule, I thought why not. You can visit the web site and make a pledge there, or just look at the nifty premiums/thank you gifts.

October 14 2002
Iseeperfectlygoodnibblesyoucaneatthem.
cat bowlsThe other day I picked up one of the outdoor cat bowls and it broke in half, right in my hand. I went to Goodwill and picked up some pretty new cat bowls. I found four of the same pattern, so I replaced the one outside and three inside.

This last weekend we did something I've wanted to do for a long time. We went through a corn maze. You know, when they groom a few acres of feed corn into a maze, ususally making some attractive pattern when viewed from the air. It wasn't all that challenging, to my disappointment. But it was a pleasant stroll among the corn stalks. The real downside was we went to Sauvie's Island on a weekend before Hallowe'en. Getting there is not a problem. Getting off the island is.There's only the one bridge and when a lot of people want to leave at once, traffic gets backed up. Thanks to the intervention of the Multnomah County Sherrif's office, traffic was kept moving smoothly, if slowly.

October 12 2002
Blog posse.
Last night a bunch of us met at Tyron Creek Grill to celebrate Cherz's birthday. Yes, our Cherz is growing up. Now he looks 13 instead of 12. A bunch of bloggers were there: Cherz of course, Nerdygirl, Silky (got his skeleton x-rays), JByte and finally I met Semaphoria. I kept wanting to call Jaime "Banky" because I watched Chasing Amy last week and he was wearing his baseball cap backwards. Plus he has the same open face look as Jason Lee. Nerdygirl whupped Cherz's ass in pool, but I avenged him by cleaning her clock.

October 11 2002
American sicko.
Two weeks I've felt headachey, sicky and generally "off". Finally it culminates into an illness I can identify: a wimpy little cold. That's it? That's the best you can do?

Friday Five, courtesy of smattering.org. Tough one this week.
  1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be?
    I'm not really a music person, so it's hard to say. Something by Bach, maybe or ooh ooh Beethoven! The Glorious Ninth! Or perhaps Lotte Lenya.
  2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be?
    For its storytelling, Night on Earth. For the way everything comes together sweetly, Cold Comfort Farm.
  3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be?
    Winter's Tale Mark Helprin, A Dead Man in Deptford Anthony Burgess, The Man Who Grew Young Daniel Quinn.
  4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be?
    Gotta have water, no doubt. Oatmeal; it's high-protein, filling and comforting. Grapes, I really like grapes. Some kind of protein here would be good, too. Salmon, yes, salmon. It's got those fatty Omega-3 watchmahoozies that are supposed to be good for your heart.
  5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be?
    Well of course E is at the top of the list. Then of course my good friends Connie G, Denise A, Jason E and Anne T. Really tough to narrow down that list. Apologies to everyone who doesn't get to spend eternity with me.
    I didn't realize just how many good friends I consider myself to have until I started thinking about it. On my desk I have this Ben Jonson quote, calligraphed for me by Denise A:

    True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.
October 10 2002
Dude, was that your stomach?
Still listening to House & Senate discussions on NPR. I was listening to Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when I heard this strange growl coming from the radio. I thought, dude, was that your stomach?

This is CNN. The House of Representatives voted 296-133 Thursday to give President Bush the authority to go to war to disarm Iraq.

Police action close to home. Last night E and I stopped in at the Safeway (ironic name) after picking up a hunting/fishing tag for him at the GI Joe's. We just got through checkout (I saved $4.28 with my Safeway Club Card) when the checkers told us we couldn't leave and step back from the doors. The cops were arresting someone in the parking lot. They had their guns out. We bided our time, admiring the many frozen confections.

October 9 2002
Remember the Maine.
More House and Senate debates. Everyone's got to get in the record.

Politicians these days are just plain lazy and unimaginative. In the good old days our govermnent went to the trouble to manufacture believable attacks on US interests. It could take a single incident in a tense situation and recast it as a serious threat to US peace & security. The best W can do is say, Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, he's a really bad guy and we've already experienced what other bad people can do to us. That's like saying arrest my neighbor who's been checking out my house because I've already been robbed by my neighbor on the other side. (Actually my neighbors are a little old lady and an assistant pastor with a wife & 3 kids.)

This current crop of senators and representative are just a bunch of wussies. If they're so hot to let W send troops to Iraq, they should exercise their constitutional responsibility. Iraq has shot at US and British planes patrolling the no-fly zone. That's a perfect excuse. Call it an act of war and declare war. None of this Tonkin Gulf Resolution-style blank check nonsense.

October 8 2002
Sweet home, Alabama.
I've been listening to Senate and House debates on whether and why we should wage war on Iraq, on NPR. Lots of air spent comparing Saddam to Hitler. Fair enough, Braeburns to McIntoshes. But the good people of Alabama's 6th district have elected as their representative a man who cannot distinguish between a US citizen subject to due process under the laws of the state of Maryland and the leader of a sovereign nation over whom we have no jurisdiction, however much we wish we did.

October 6 2002
Why me?
What have I done to deserve this headache? Besides drink two beers last night. I've had a headache all day today, as well as off and on all last week. It sux. Wah. I'm whining.

About the knitting: I am still working on and making progress on the argyles and the little red Aran tam. I just haven't taken the time to photograph them and post them.

October 4 2002
Jerry Falwell sucks up to Jews.
In an Associated Press story printed today in my hometown daily, The Oregonian, Jerry Falwell is quoted as saying "I think Muhammad was a terrorist". Fine. That's the kind of hysterical nonsense I expect from Jerry Falwell. But in another statement he said, "Jesus set the example for love, [okay, no argument there] as did Moses."

As did Moses? What bible is Falwell reading? Moses, who demanded that those who didn't worship the golden calf prove their loyalty by killing their friends and family who did? I'm not sensing a lot of love there. Moses, who commanded the Israelites to slay all the male children and every female not a virgin among the Midianites (this after they already killed all the men and took women & children as slaves, standard operating procedure at the time)? Not a lot of compassion, but hey! Whatever makes God happy, I guess.

I say Jerry Falwell is just sucking up to the Jews by lumping Moses with Jesus. And I won't be taken in.

I have just been informed that chicken counts as meat and my borscht is therefore treyf when I add sour cream. Damn.

On to the Friday Five, courtesy of smattering.org.
  1. What size shoe do you wear?
    Ladies size 7-1/2. I don't know the European equivalent.
  2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
    Eighteen. But I only wear a few pair regularly. I have a fine selection of dressy pumps rarely worn.
  3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?
    Birkenstocks.
  4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?
    My Birkies. They are just so comfy. I wear them year 'round, with wool socks in winter.
  5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?
    The most I spent on a pair of footwear was a $100 impulse purchase of a pair of dark red Western-cut Frye boots, fourteen years ago. I've had to replace heels and toes nearly every year. I still have them and they still look good.
October 2 2002
You look terrible. Have some soup.
Getting in touch with my Old Country roots, I made borscht. Lots of borscht. Would you like some borscht?

Also I've been feeling kind of crappy the last couple days, like I'm coming down with a touch of something. It didn't help that the phone rang at FOUR AY-EM this morning. E answered, but all we could hear was beeping. Neither of us could get back to sleep. E read and I just lay there, planning how I was going to use my lottery winnings from the big multi-state PowerBall that we never play.

October 1 2002
This time we mean it.
On the last day of September, about a week after the autumnal equinox, the weather finally turned to fall. The rain came hard and clouds stayed low. There's a chill in the air, the kind of damp chill that penetrates the bones. It was dark last night when we ended kung fu class at 7:30. I feel like cooking.

I'm making borscht today. I haven't made borscht for years, but I got some big beautiful beets at a farmers' market on Sunday. I used to follow the Moosewood Cookbook recipe, but I don't have that book. I pulled a few recipes off the 'net and am improvising. Most recipes call for beef stock or broth, but I'm using chicken. That way it won't be treyf when I add the sour cream. Not that we keep kosher, but it just wouldn't seem right otherwise. The Moosewood recipe was completely vegetarian.