Chattering Magpie Past Web Log
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November 2002
Nov 30 2002
We are BACK.
Finally we are back and I AM SO HAPPY. Our one night in Vegas was fun, but four days in the middle of Nowhere, AZ, was almost more than we could take. There's nothing to do, unless you go into Nevada to gamble. We're not good at just sitting around, "visiting". Not our style. E read about one book a day. I was drinking Wild Turkey 101. Straight. In the middle of the day. Dad and Max did their best to make us feel at home, but E and I are just not ready for the Arizona retired folk lifestyle.

I'll put pictures up tomorrow.

Nov 24 2002
Blah blah blah.
Yeah, I know, nearly a week since last update. I just haven't felt like it, okay. Today I really don't feel like it either. I drank and ate too much last night. My head hurts. I've got a load of work to do around the house. I've been sewing two pair of kung fu pants. That's a major project as I am not a fast sewer.

Tomorrow we fly to Vegas. We'll spend a night there, then to Arizona for Thanksgiving with Dad. Back late Friday. In the meantime, here's some links for your entertainment:
Black People Love Us
Bad Cinema Diary
Computer Stupidities
Shakespeare in the Bush
The Kwoon
Dancing Paul
Brunching Shuttlecocks

Nov 19 2002
UI blues.
Yesterday I filled out and mailed in the form for extended unemployment benefits. That will take me to the end of the year, when I can apply again for regular State of Oregon unemployment benefits. Lots of people will be getting cookies for Christmas this year.

On the positive side, I have a newsletter to format this week and the client is a fast payer. Next week, it's Viva Las Vegas. You never know, I might put a quarter in the slot machine at just the right time.

Nov 17 2002
My bruises have bruises.
Mo Duk Pai camp is over. I got home last night, took a bath and slept for twelve hours. Friday I found out I was to be in two demos. Fortunately, my role in the first demo was just to hold a sign. Still, I was slow picking up my cues to turn the sign around. I was recruited at the last minute for the second demo when another senior student, who shall be unnamed but knows who he is, got ill and had to drop out. Still, for a last minute demo I thought we did pretty good: we demonstrated two kick attacks, two punch attacks, two knife attacks, two club attacks and a multi-person attack. I even improvised a line at the end, which got quite a few laughs.

Today I want to do a whole lot of nuthin'.

Photos of what we do at kung fu camp.

Thanks to the miracle of booze, I don't mind the aches.

Nov 13 2002
Mose makes sweet sweet love to my training shoeSweatalicious.
Mmm, nothing beats the wonderful scent of Mommy's shoes after she's been working out. That's my little darling, Mose, rubbing herself on my sweaty training shoe.

Last night I attended a class on street fighting, concentrating on low kicks. Good tactics for bringing a taller person down to size. I could have made myself go to a second class, but I felt a headache coming on. I didn't get a nap yesterday. I'll take one this afternoon, so I can go the distance tonight.

Up early this morning for qigong. It was a little easier to get up this second morning, but I still take abuse for whining about it being so early. We walked into the studio and boy did it reek like a week old armpit.

Nov 12 2002
Sifu Andy Hahs and meKung fu Kaos.
A sea of purple and blue shirts, half of them writhing in pain, half grinning with the joy of inflicting it. That's how we started 2002 Mo Duk Pai camp last night. That's me, on the left, having my elbow and wrist and fingers jammed by Sifu Andy Hahs. The white haired devil you can see between us is Professor Fred King, founder of Mo Duk Pai. This was his idea.

We're practicing a joint lock sequence from a form called Mo Sam Do, which simply means Third Martial Form. Throughout the exercise I kept thinking, "You want a website? Don't mess with the hand."

I got up early this AM to attend qigong class. 6AM, every morning this week. Last time I was up that early, bad things happened. I'm counting on taking naps during the day. What of the agency project that was going to take all week? I whipped out the bulk of it yesterday. Today I go back in the afternoon to smash through the first round of revisions.

Nov 10 2002
The end is nigh.
I have just made my final unemployment claim. Now I wait to receive the extension form. Bleh. I have never been without full employment for this long. It's the stupid economy.

We made a nice little supper last night. We picked up a spaghetti squash and some Italian sausage and pulled a quart of rattatouile out of the big chest freezer. Baked the squash, fried the sausage and nuked the rattatouile. A little bread and olive oil, beer from the kegolater and we had a lovely little easy meal.

Nov 8 2002
Oh my head.
Damn. You'd think I'd learn someday. Just because one beer is nice, that doesn't mean a second one will be ever so much nicer. And there's absolutely no reason I have to top it off with a dollop of vodka.

This is the week my unemployment benefits run out. Bummer. On the bright side, I've picked up a project to keep me busy all next week. I even get paid.

If ever there was a week I didn't want to work, it's next week. We have kung fu camp, with special classes every evening and an all day session on Saturday. I want to go to the early morning qigong classes and was counting on being able to take naps during the day. That's out of the question now, so we'll see how this will work out.

Nov 7 2002
Hey Paleface.
Next week is Mo Duk Pai kung fu camp. My special job is to organize the black belt photos on the wall of our school. I've scanned in an overexposed photo of a new black belt and am struggling mightily to make it look halfway decent. Ugh.

Nov 6 2002
Damn technology.
I just changed color and black cartridges in my Lexmark printer. The black cartridge decides it's not going to entirely print, it's a little congested. I'm trying to clear it out by printing a bunch of pages of nonsense (my resume). Nothing to inspire confidence like a big *CLUNK* from the printer. Yeesh, now what have I done. I've got to print out a resume, a fact sheet and some photos this afternoon.

E is off to Tacoma to see the Rolling Stones.

Nov 4 2002
How dry I am.
The whole state's dry. Washington, too. In Montana the winter wheat is coming up, but without a protective covering of snow, the freezing cold will kill it.

A lot of people complain about the rain, but without it, we have no snow pack. It's what we rely upon for next year's electricity. Kind of like me and unemployment. Sure it's a nice leisurely life now, but I'm not able to save any money for the future when I'll need it.

One of the problems with our dry air is I get so congested at night and wake up with a headache. A couple kung fu buddies highly recommended saline nasal spray. Yes, just a couple squirts of salt water up the nose keeps your tissues hydrated and happy. I tried it and find it really does help. Of course if you really want to keep the ol' nasal passages clear, try Nori: The Original Nasal Passage Cleaner. It's safe, gentle, and natural.

I decided I have time to whip out a baby sweater for Christmas.

Nov 1 2002
Rose of NovemberRoses of November
I still have roses in November.

My stars, it is COLD. It's as if we went from summer to winter without stopping for fall. Cold east winds are not letting up. I did replace our dead electric blanket. So nice to crawl into a heated bed.

Hardly any Trick-or-Treaters this year. We never get many, but the cold kept most kids indoors this year. Blood masks, with red liquid pumped through the space between a mask and a clear plastic top layer, were popular this year.

If you haven't seen this years Jack-o-lantern yet, click back to October.

Friday Five, courtesy of
  1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?
  2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?
    No, mostly on account laziness and a lack of faith. Plus when I found my birthfamily I discovered I am Jewish.
  3. What do you think happens after death?
    Whatever you think will happen. Everyone gets the afterlife they expect. For myself, a whole lot of nothing. I don't know why people think this is such a scary idea. If you don't exist, you don't know the difference.
  4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?
    Anything involving food.
  5. Do you believe people are basically good?
    Yes. I simultaneously believe people are selfish and self-serving and given the opportunity will act in their own self interest.