Where's the village?

Sunday, December 31, 2006

I'm still here

We went out of town for 5 days for Christmas. Had a lovely time, and the dajamou got some good loot. I relaxed and read an entire book in a day and worked on my cross-stitch and let everyone else be the caregivers for a while. Lovely stuff.

Then we came home for a grand total of a day and a half and then we got on a plane and flew to Portland. Somewhere in there, the dajamou had a cold, and then dajadaddy got it, and now I'm battling it. So it's been rather a full couple of weeks. And now that we're in Portland (using Unka's wireless, thank you Unka), it will continue to be quite full. So I'll be rather sporadic for a while longer.

But I haven't abandoned my blog.

I'm working on a post about my feelings about Portland and Pittsburgh, and being a metaphorical transplant, and seeing a place I loved perhaps a little blindly in a different light now that I've been away almost three years. But it's still percolating. There's a lot in there.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Note to self.

Dear self:

Putting candles in the oven on low heat, to soften them up and reshape them a bit, is totally fine.


Leaving them in there for three days after turning the oven off, and only remembering them after you've preheated the oven to bake cookies for the playgroup Christmas party?

Not so fine.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Who knew?

Who knew there were doctors in the world who let you babble on about yourself for 45 minutes? Who knew there were doctors who would ask questions about your past, your family, your lifestyle, trying to really discern the patterns and the signs of what might need to be changed to make you a happier, healthier person?

I went to see one of those doctors yesterday. I am in awe. I'm also a good deal more hopeful about finding a way out of this depression. And perhaps even without medication.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh Holy My Bleeding Ears

The world's worst rendition of "Oh Holy Night." Your dog might sing along if you're lucky.

For the first minute or so, I kept comparing it to different, painfully but hilariously bad things: A stereotypical 80's movie rendition of a drunken sarariman doing Boy George karaoke. No, wait! Cameron Diaz's deliberately awful karaoke scene in "My Best Friend's Wedding." (sensing a theme, here?) No, wait! Some random Monty Python sketch where Eric Idle pretends to be an old woman singing after she's been in her cups too long.

But after a while it just got too bad for comparisons anymore. I keep shuddering, just thinking about it. Wah, I want my 2 minutes back!

Link credit goes to the fabulous Diane Duane over at Out of Ambit.

Off my game

Despite the fact that I didn't stick it through for all thirty of the NaBloPoMo days, I like to think I did pretty well. I remembered almost every day and posted almost every time I remembered. And they weren't no "Here's a post so I qualify" kind of posts either. I actually wrote stuff. Nothing along the lines of my new hero, Twisty Faster, or my less new hero, Laid-Off Dad (I shall never call him old), but I did OK. I was on a roll. And it felt good to be letting some of it out. I didn't realize how much I had to say. It was nearly addictive, I tell you.

So what happened? Here it is, nearly the middle of December, and I have, what, two posts for the whole month so far? Piffle. (I just checked, it's actually four. Yay me!)

I could dredge up the usual excuses of unseasonably warm weather drawing me outside; or the stresses of Christmas shopping and card-writing and travel plan-making that take up all my time; or the extra-specially needy dajamou who has been suddenly (probably due to the aforementioned Christmas havoc) having what we emotionally repressed parents tend to refer to as "accidents," and what I refer to (under my breath, natch) as "god damn messes that suck all the joy out of my day;" or any other number of reasons. But those reasons applied in November too, in large part. So what's the difference?

The difference, I have to conclude (which is really no surprise to anyone who knows me in any depth), is that if I don't have some kind of externally-applied motivation, some kind of commitment I've made to someone or something outside of myself, then I don't have the gumption (I love that word) to do things on my own with any kind of regularity. Is it guilt? Fear of being laughed at if I screw up? Who the heck knows?

I was hoping that the feeling of striving to do something creative would be a little more than nearly addictive. That I would pick up on the ol' clue phone and say "Hello! I like this whole writing every day thing! I think I'll keep it up even after the furor dies away!" And I'm sure that I wasn't alone in both this desire and the failing of it. (Do you fail of a desire? What is the grammar of desire?)

Well, I've pinpointed the root of the problem (or at least kind of shot-gunned the general area of my psyche that needs to be electro-shocked back to life), and mixed nearly every possible metaphor that I could, so I'm going to just say that I'm making a new, personal, just-to-me commitment to keep posting. If not every day, then at least every couple.

Well. I obviously should write more when I'm on the first tingle of my morning caffeine rush. This is fun! And crazy! And completely unreadable! Quick, someone press the Publish button before I get cold feet and erase this whole thing!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Doomed, I tell ya.

I am doomed! (I omitted all the O's that are echoing through my head because then it just starts to look like a Google page. But think zombie-ghost-Vincent Price type voice crying out a long drawn-out "Doomed!")

I just discovered the Pennsylvania board at Chowhound. And contrary to other Pennsylvania-general boards I've found elsewhere, there is a decent representation of Pittsburgh and other points not-Philadelphia. Which means I'm hearing about all these restaurants around here that people love, and why they love them, and what's good there, and oh my! There goes my food budget for the next decade.

On the bright side, I found out where I can get Dim Sum.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ancient magic from the dawn of time

That's a chapter title from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but really what I'm thinking about tonight is more like ancient technology from the bottom of the sea. Reading this sent tingles up my spine:

The Antikythera mechanism has been discovered to be a mechanical computer of an accuracy thought impossible in 80 BC, when the ship that carried it sunk....Its wheels and gears create a portable orrery of the sky that predicted star and planet locations as well as lunar and solar eclipses.

And the thing that amuses me? NASA is drawing on Wikipedia as a research resource.

Sometimes, if I try really hard not to think about vanishing civil liberties, I can still feel like this is a pretty damn cool world.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Music Meme

Thane over at The StoryWhore has a cute little meme.

You go to this site and select the year you turned 18. Then you copy-paste the list of that year's top songs onto your blog. Bold-face the songs you liked, strike-out the songs "that made your ears bleed" (in the words of someone named Tom) and italicize the ones you don't remember or never heard of.

The hard part is not imposing my current tastes on the list. You're supposed to try and remember how you felt then, which is, shall we say, a smidge diferent from how I feel about these songs now. My tastes were rather indiscriminate when I was in high school. If it was played on the Top 40 station, I memorized the words and sang along. That's pretty much it.

Also? I recognized a lot more songs on Thane's list than I do on mine.

Anyway, here goes:

1. Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
2. Here and Now - Luthor Vandross
3. I Wanna Be Rich - Calloway
4. Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
5. U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
6. Groove Is In The Heart - Dee Lite
7. Vogue - Madonna
8. Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic
9. Here We Are - Gloria Estefan
10. Everybody Everybody - Black Box
11. Blaze Of Glory - Jon Bon Jovi
12. Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega/D.N.A.
13. She Ain't Worth It - Glenn Medeirous
14. Step By Step - New Kids On The Block
15. Unskinny Bop - Poison
16. From A Distance - Bette Midler
17. Cherry Pie - Warrent
18. The Power - Snap!
19. Love Will Lead You Back - Taylor Dayne
20. All My Life - Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville*
21. The Way You Do The Things You Do - UB40
22. Just A Friend - Biz Markie
23. Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
24. Hippychick - Soho
25. Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over) - Technotronic
26. Jerk-Out - The Time
27. Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
28. Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson
29. Miracle - Jon Bon Jovi
30. Joey - Concrete Blonde
31. Epic - Faith No More
32. It Must Have Been Love - Roxette
33. Cradle Of Love - Billy Idol
34. This Old Heart Of Mine - Rod Stewart and Ronald Isley
35. Close To You - Maxi Priest
36. (Can't Live Without) Your Love and Affection - Nelson
37. Vision Of Love - Mariah Carey
38. Wiggle It - 2 In A Room
39. I Don't Have The Heart - James Ingram
40. All Around The World - Lisa Stansfield
41. That's What I Like - Jive Bunny (50s medley)
42. Heart Of The Matter - Don Henley
43. Swing The Mood - Jive Bunny (1940s medley)
44. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
45. Do Me! - Bel Biv Devoe
46. Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode
47. Up All Night - Slaughter
48. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven - Phil Collins
49. Downtown Train - Rod Stewart
50. Freedom - George Michael
51. Suicide Blonde - INXS
52. Pictures of You - Cure
53. Dirty Deeds - Joan Jett
54. King Of Wishful Thinking - Go West
55. Escapade - Janet Jackson
56. Cuts Both Ways - Gloria Estefan
57. Think - Information Society
58. Lambada - Kaoma
59. Two To Make It Right - Seduction
60. Oyo Mi Canto (Hear My Voice) - Gloria Estefan
61. Got To Get - Leila K with Rob 'n' Raz
62. L.A. Woman - Billy Idol
63. Bad Love - Eric Clapton
64. Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
65. Black Cat - Janet Jackson
66. I'm Free - The Soup Dragons
67. Dangerous - Roxette
68. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) - Jimmy Somerville
69. Deadbeat Club - B-52s
70. Doin' The Do - Betty Boo
71. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You - Heart
72. Hungry - Lita Ford
73. Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul & The Wild Pair
74. 911 Is A Joke - Public Enemy
75. I'm Your Baby Tonight - Whitney Houston

* Aaron Neville is a singer that I love to hate. That nasal, quavering moan he uses instead of a regular voice sets my teeth on edge. It's like some bored 8 year old boy is playing with the volume dial, twisting it back and forth as fast as he can. Feh.