Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Sunday evening....



Friday, November 21, 2008

The Great Southern Juxtaposition....

I left my native South Carolina in 1999. I'd grown up in the South where not only were the summers hot, but they were humid too. My love and need for living by a body of water had its positives, but it also meant that whether it was by the lake or by the ocean, I was going to exist in a humid environment.

After a short stint in Southern California, I spent my first northern winter in Ann Arbor Michigan. That's right here

for you Michaganders in the know.
Around December I started getting nose bleeds and really itchy skin. I started to worry that something was wrong and after all my time in health care (in the south) I couldn't figure out what sickness would have these symptoms. One of my coworkers asked "is your humidifier working OK?"

My what?

After 30 years of southern humidity being the thorn in my side, I now had to put humidity back INTO my environment. WTF? I didn't even know how to begin to do that.

I remember the humidifier that my mom used to put out when one of us was sick, but was that right? I remember it was fun to play with because you could put your face right in the mist and see how long it took the water to build into droplets that would roll down your face. (you get bored when you're out of school and cable TV hasn't been invented yet) But a modern humidifier?

So as I start my 9th winter in the north, I still marveled last night as I scratched my dry legs and realized, with aggravation and begrudging submission, that I had to fill my humidifier with 3 gallons of water and turn it on high for one night so I could put humidity BACK into my environment. So for the next 4 -5 months, this little contraption will be my good friend and keep me from getting ashy... (can white folks get ashy?)

(PS. To fellow blogger Bunny, who made the reverse move from MI to coastal SC, did you take yours with you? Get rid of it, you don't need it anymore!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh yeah, BABY! Take 2

This was sent to me by Kevin (who caught my typo that I corrected) and while not the "Oh yeah, BABY!" geek level of Star Trek, it's still something that gets me excited! Borrowed from the New York Times (begrudgingly)

SO long, Crawford, Tex. Even before President-elect Barack Obama takes office in 61 days, effectively crowning Chicago as the site of the Western White House, the city is basking in a moment of triumph that is spilling well beyond the confines of politics.

A bid for the summer Olympics in 2016, which once seemed like a fanciful pitch, suddenly feels far closer to a sure thing. (No, the ban on lobbyists at the White House does not apply to a little presidential persuasion on the International Olympic Committee)

A spire is finally poised to be placed atop the Trump Tower here, bringing the skyscraper to 1,361 feet, the tallest American building since the Sears Tower was built three decades ago.
A new Modern Wing for the fabled Art Institute is set to open next spring, including a Renzo Piano bridge to Millennium Park, which sat in the distance of Mr. Obama’s election night victory speech here.

Yet this moment of renaissance for Chicago is about much more than architecture and athletics. For the first time in the country’s history, an American president will call this city home. And as he moves to Washington, a dose of the Chicago mood is sure to follow.

“We’re not Little Rock and we’re not Texas,” said Rick Bayless, a friend of the Obama family, who owns Frontera Grill and is among the city’s celebrity chefs. “It’s easy to put on your cowboy boots and eat all that barbecue. You can’t do that from Chicago. We’ve got a lot of muscle and it’s far too complex of a place for that.”

The complexity of Chicago, a city that is multiplying in its new diversity even as it clings to a segregated past, is rooted in the 200 neighborhoods that make up the nation’s third-largest city. America may well know Oprah Winfrey, who became a billion-dollar name through her rise to fame here, but the city holds a far broader identity.

One sign that the Obama brand is replacing the Oprah brand? The talk show tycoon is not mentioned in the city’s new tourism campaign, which invites visitors to “Experience the city the Obamas enjoy.” Ms. Winfrey’s studio is not mentioned along the list of stops, which range from Mr. Bayless’s restaurants to a bookstore in the Obamas’ Hyde Park neighborhood to Promontory Point along Lake Michigan. And souvenirs are on sale across town, with Obama shirts, hats and knickknacks arriving just in time for holiday shopping.

“It seems like there are eight million people walking around here congratulating each other,” said Scott Turow, the best-selling novelist who was born in the city. “Chicagoans are unbelievably proud of Barack and feel of course that he’s ours, because he is.”
Catching himself, he added: “I guess I should get out of the habit of calling him Barack.”

The marketing pitch, in the wake of Mr. Obama’s victory, offers a window into the two-fold psyche of the city: It is a big enough metropolis not to be easily fazed by events, though the fabric of the community is stitched just tight enough to burst in a rare moment of giddiness.
Chicago has long been a place that seems comfortable — or, at least, well adjusted — to losing, a place where you put your head down and shoulder through whatever hand is dealt you. (How could it be otherwise, considering all the practice that the cursed Chicago Cubs have provided over the years?)

In 1952, when an article in The New Yorker derisively referred to Chicago as the Second City, little offense was taken. It became a marketing pitch, with the thinking that second fiddle was far better than no fiddle at all. (Which, by the way readers, is NOT why Chicago is called the Second City... FY NY! - Chris)
But that gawking, out-of-town amazement — gee, there really is a city here! — has long outlived its currency. Well before Mr. Obama was elected as the nation’s 44th president — a fact that was proudly amplified by Mayor Richard M. Daley, who ordered up banners with a sketch of the president-elect to hang throughout the city — Chicago was experiencing one of its most blossoming periods in food, fashion and the arts.
Now, people around the country and the world are simply noticing.

Jeff Tweedy, the leader of the band Wilco who grew up in downstate Illinois and lives in Chicago, said the city never felt the inferiority complex that outsiders spend so much time musing about. Still, he said, the election of Mr. Obama, a friend for years, has given an unusual boost of confidence in a city that is usually nonplussed. “I think people really do enjoy the idea that we’re living in the center of the world all of the sudden,” Mr. Tweedy said. “There have been all these prevailing stereotypes, and people don’t know how big and urban Chicago actually is. People think of it as being in a cornfield.”

If the country is set to see more of Chicago over the next four years — many people across the city here are too humble, nervous and practical to automatically assume Mr. Obama will be in office for eight years — at least one introductory lesson is in order.

Like I said OH YEAH BABY!!!

Oh yeah BABY!

What has me geeked out and almost as excited as my upcoming week off from work?

I am not technologically advanced enough to rip it from the site and embed it here, so I'll just have to give you the person I see as the best retro fit for the character, Zachary Quinto.

Yeah, I'm biased because of Heroes, but even thought it looks like a great cast, none of the others just scream a younger version of the original like Zach does.
In the trailer you see just a bit of Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead fame as Scotty. I think he's going to be a hoot for sure!
(Brace yourself for Star Trek Geek analysis)
There was a development with Start Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) that never seemed to be able to happen with the original series until their latter movies. In the original series, you got a feel for the characters, but it was flat. Once TNG got its pace, the writers were able to infuse real characteristics and fluid traits that the constant viewer came to know and attribute to the character. Much like a soap opera, a constant viewer could see things in the later episodes that are from earlier episodes.
The new prequel movie seems to be able to take the character development and make the characters more interactive than the original series was probably able to do.
I can't wait...
May 8.... find me off work and in line for opening night!
Now where is Harry Potter....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Long Lost TMI Tuesday

I've missed a few of the TMI Tuesdays recently. Either they were not a topic I wished to discuss, or it was just a week where blogging was on the back burner to work or something. This week's seemed fun and innocuous enough :)

Welcome back to TMI Tuesday!

1. When did you last use your cellular telephone as a flashlight?
Last night... when will I use it again? Tonight... I also use it as my alarm clock and my only phone (no more land line) As I turn off the lights in my apt going to bed, I have my phone in hand and that last step or two could be in the dark.

2. On a scale from 1-10, how comfy are you being naked?
Alone 10, with others, 5 or less, depends on who and how they look. No matter what I look like, I'll always be the fat kid in my mind.

3. What is the longest you've ever been celibate after having lost your virginity?
Couple of years.. way back when, before.... you know....

4. Have you ever had sex in a car? If yes, since you were a teenager?

Yes, no. The funny part was I had sex in my car in high school. My car was a Chevette. I'm taller than the car is long. Good thing she was short and the hatch back was up....

5. When did you last use food or drink as medication?

Probably last week. A good cheap Little Debbie Zebra Cake can work wonders!

Bonus: Name three words that:

a) get you excited:
-Carolina (NOT USC ... just the Carolinas. I couldn't say SOUTH Carolina or that would have been 2 words)

b) make you squirm:
-the N word

c) make you laugh
-tittie (I'm sorry, I'm childish I know)
-just about any word out of Wanda Sykes mouth

Friday, November 14, 2008

My goofy luck....

After my years in health care I'm still amazed that so many people think that health care is an exact science. They seem to think that practicing medicine is just a bunch of if:then statements (if you feel this, then you prescribe this) and finite solutions. The fact of the matter is that health care is still a huge guessing game and physicians are specially trained guessers who, while that sounds scarily vague, make the best guesses based on human history. The fact of the matter is, they often don't actually know, they just try what is the better of the evils.

Some things are easy. You have a burn. Debride the dead tissue, treat with whatever medication fits the level of burn, and wait. Some things are not so easy. You have a non-specific pain over here that's inhibiting your day to day life and causing your other systems to go out of their normal range. The doctor starts his guessing game with lab tests and imaging to rule out this or that as he or she hones in on what could be the true problem.

Don't get me wrong, and if I have any physicians or fans-o-physicians who are reading, don't get your back up, this is all in support of you. I don't mean to say that you're guessing as it's a bad thing. If medicine were as simple as a long list of if:then statements, then anyone could be a doctor; hell, we could keep the chart on the fridge and just take care of ourselves.

It's always been an annoyance to hear laypeople complain and bitch about hospitals. Think of your local hospital and then think of how many good stories you've heard about it vs. how many bad anecdotes and horror stories you've heard about it. So many of these stories reach my ear and as they're going on, I think through what probably actually happened and realize they're just going on their limited knowledge and painting a bad picture when they think they have the answer. "Well granny had was coughing up blood, they should have just given her a pill and sent her home!" yeah, there's a pill for that.....

I realize that there are malpractice situations out there. There are idiots with an MD after their name that I wouldn't let my hamster go to, but there are 1000 times more car wrecks in a day than there are medical malpractice cases. I think often times people think that because the first thing a doctor tries doesn't work within a 24 hour period, people call quackery. And that's a shame and a detriment to your own health.

My advice is to work WITH your doctor on your own care. You don't have to be a physician to take an active part in your health plan. Know what you have, know why you have it, ask why you need to take this medication or undergo that procedure. Ask AHEAD of time about any side effects and always ask, don't rely on reading alone, if there are food or drug interactions with what you're about to take especially if you see more than one doctor. Heath Ledger (rest his soul) showed us what can happen when one doctor doesn't know what the other is doing. There's one common denominator in all of your health care and that is You. Be proactive and work with your doctor.

Now you may ask, what brought about this medical rant? No clue. I just thought it was funny this morning that while I feel fine, the change in temps here in Chicago is affecting my sinuses. It's settled in my throat and has given me a froggy voice. When I feel like crap, I sound fine. Now I feel fine and I sound like a bad drag queen.

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Shit Sherlock!

"My wife reminded me that, `hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say.'''

- George Bush in an interview yesterday

Sometimes people say something so obvious you just want to smack them. This article came after the Obamas went to visit the White House. I know it was all he could do for Obama not to roll his eyes. I bet Michelle had to stifle that "mmm - hmmm" at least 100 times.

Bush Says He Regrets Use of Iraq `Mission Accomplished' Banner

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said he regrets the display of the ``Mission Accomplished'' sign as backdrop for a speech he gave about a month after the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
``To some, it said, well, `Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over,' when I didn't think that,'' he said in a CNN interview today. ``It conveyed the wrong message.''
The sign was hung on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, when Bush landed on the carrier wearing a flight suit to declare that major combat operations in Iraq were over. That speech has since served as a rallying point for critics of Bush's policies in Iraq.
Bush also cited other regrets in the CNN interview, which was conducted aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York after a Veterans Day ceremony.
``I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said,'' Bush said. He cited comments he made after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: ``I want justice. There's an old poster out West that said, 'Wanted, dead or alive.'''
He also said he regretted telling Iraqi insurgents in 2003: ``There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on.''
`Be Careful'
In the interview yesterday, he said, ``My wife reminded me that, `hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say.'''
Bush, 62, also described his Nov. 10 meeting at the White House with his successor, President-elect Barack Obama, and said he asked former President Bill Clinton for advice on handling the transition.
``It was interesting to watch him go upstairs,'' Bush said of Obama's visit. ``He wanted to see where his little girls were going to sleep. Clearly, this guy is going to bring a sense of family to the White House, and I hope Laura and I did the same thing. But I believe he will, and I know his girls are on his mind and he wants to make sure that first and foremost, he is a good dad.''
Bush said he would return to Texas when he hands over the presidency Jan. 20 and may write a book.
``I want people to know what it was like to make some of the decisions I had to make,'' he said. ``I've had one of those presidencies where I've had to make some tough calls, and I want people to know the truth about what it was like sitting in the Oval Office.''

He's just mad because none of the White House interns wanted to blow him.

RipVanWinkle, move over....

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, or Remembrance Day if you're in Canada or the UK. Working for an association means you usually get these lesser holidays off too. I had planned to use the day working on a few things around the house, going to the grocery store, blah blah blah. Even with all the plans, I did know that I wanted to sleep late. Usually sleeping late for me is 8am. I went to bed around 10pm on Monday night and as I woke up, here's how it played:

Wake up, see that it's light outside, look at clock, 8:15am. Still sleepy so roll back over for a bit more.

Wake up, see that it's light outside, but not bright. Pull aside curtains and see that it's overcast and dreary. Look at clock, 10:00am. OK, one more hour and I'll get up and get started. No big plans, so not in a hurry.

Wake up, see that it's light out, but darker than before. Pull aside curtains expecting to see dark thunder clouds or something and it's just darker. Look at clock, 5:15pm!

NINETEEN HOURS! I slept for 19 hours. Sadly I didn't mean to or want to, but BAM, I nearly slept an entire day! I don't think I've slept that long uninterrupted in my entire life without having just come through surgery of some sort.

Luckily i was able to get to sleep for the most part last night, though I did wake up throughout the night. Too bad God didn't give us a need for a finite amount of sleep. If so I'd be ready for an all nighter at the bars this weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today would have been my mom's 73rd birthday. I have never wanted to remember, or in any way commemorate the day she died, but I'll remember her birthday anyway and will still do a candle in the cupcake for her. I also decided that I'd do something for her on her birthday too. Nothing earth changing, but something that I wouldn't normally do or have been putting off that would be meaningful.

Since Mom's passing, I've been horribly remiss in writing to her sister Jane, however Jane has remembered my birthday and sends Christmas cards. I know, I'm a heel, but Mom and Jane were close so writing her is going to be hard. But today seems like the perfect day!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another damn book!

Since I moved to Chicago in 2000, I've essentially read more than I've read in my life! If I'd had this ability to read when I was in school. I'd have done better I believe. Ahh, who am I kidding? Harry Potter is still better than Chemistry or Economics.

I did a quick calculation and I've commuted for 6,240 hours in the past 8 years (give or take a couple hundred based on where my job was) That's a LOT of reading. There have been some books I've read for a second time. I just finished reading a funny book, Misadventures in the 213 and am in the middle of Screening Party, both for the 3rd time and both of these books are by Dennis Hensley. Both of these books have been out for years, but they're just as funny the 3rd time around for me. One part I had a big laugh about on the bus yesterday is a part I'd forgotten about. As with many things I post, I hesitate as there might be just a tad bit too much truth in it about me, but then that's what this is about.

Dennis and his roommate take some time to list and define the various types of Fits one can have (tizzy, hissy, etc) Below is an excerpt from Screening Party defining the levels of fits. Yeah, they're me... but they're YOU too!
Tizzy: More of an act of clumsiness than an act of anger, the Tizzy Fit involves the thrower fumbling a physical act, getting frustrated with himself, and then losing control for a spell, resulting in a brief burst of unfocused energy. A Tizzy thrower might call himself a ‘spaz’ or refer to what they just did as ‘spazzing out’. Though tizzies are ultimately harmless, they can be quite entertaining to watch. Witness Beth Howland accidentally hurling straws about the diner in the opening credits of TV’s Alice. A classic TV Land Tizzy.

Hissy: Unlike a Tizzy, the Hissy Fit is brought on because the thrower believes he or she has been wronged. It has elements of a Tizzy, in the it contains physical moments that the thrower cannot control. However, in the case of the Hissy, these movements can often be quite effeminate, which is why a Hissy thrower will never refer to the outburst afterward as a Hissy, though everyone who witnessed it will. Hissy throwers often have an overgrown sense of entitlement. They want what they want when they want it, but they don’t like to get their hands dirty. They’d rather just bitch and twitter. A Hissy thrower is unlikely to ask you to step outside and rumble. They will, however, speak to your manager and have you fired. For several examples of classic Hissies, I suggest you rent the Elton John documentary Tantrums and Tiaras or get a job as a personal assistant for one of the Velvet Mafia.

Conniption: The dictionary defines conniption as “a fit of violent emotion”. Indeed. Though there is a good deal of violence in the Conniption Fit, it is by far the most focused and justified of the fits. The Conniption thrower is not unreasonable, he’s just had enough and he’s not going to take it anymore. He might “blow a gasket” or “rip someone a new one” but he’s usually right and in complete control. Angela Bassett setting her cheating husband’s car on fire in Waiting to Exhale is a conniption, albeit a simmering, tightly wound one.

Shit: Look the fuck out. Shit fit throwers are not just reacting to the perceived injustice of the moment. No, a lifetime of disappointment and rage bubble to the surface as well. The Shit Fit thrower is out of control, dangerous, and probably a little bit crazy. Jack Nicholson smashing someone’s car with a golf club, and the “no more wire hangers” scene in Mommie Dearest would fall under the category of Shit Fit.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I usually check on my favorite blogs twice a day. First thing in the morning before I get started, and while I sit at my desk eating a quick lunch.
(yes, though I swore I never would, I sometimes have to eat at my desk, which I detest)

Once in a while one of my favorite blogs will have a comment from someone who's comment is fun enough that I follow their link and look through their blog. Today while checking out OhNoChrisO I found a HOOT of a blog. it's called Margaret and Helen - Best Friends for 60 years and counting.

These two ladies live in separate states, but blog together after one of their grandsons showed them how. I haven't delved into their blog yet or figured out how long they've been around, but talk about readership. Their blog today already has 129 comments. The one from yesterday has 471! Go see them (below) and read up. We should all be so spry at that age!

Can you feel a BRAND NEW DAY?!?!

It's official!

I couldn't stay up long enough to see the final counts, and honestly, I didn't want to. Once the voting is over or getting toward the west coast being over, it's just pins and needles for me so I stop watching and wait until I wake up the next morning to find out the outcome.

It was a joy to wake up this morning to Channel 5 news this morning and the first three words I heard on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 was "..Obama is President"

I could have stopped there and the day would be perfect!

I wanted to dig up "Brand New Day" from the Wiz on YouTube, but they must have had copyright issues because I can't find anymore. Intent on keeping with the genre of good over evil, I found this... same thing. Witch, Bitch (from Alaska...etc)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Quickies

Happy Monday everyone!

Is that a contradiction?

Today is a busy day at work, but since I missed posting since last Thursday my guilt of neglect made me decide to throw some quick bits out there.

-It's hard to believe that the country is essentially on hold until tomorrow evening. The election out come seems to mean a whole lot more this time than in the past. In my admittedly limited political knowledge, past elections have come down to feeling the candidates were essentially going to do the same things in office, it was whether or not one was going to cave to the left or the right. This election seems to have candidates that are night and day.

- I think McBush is running scared though. He's desperate and is probably kicking himself for picking the true "that one" as a running mate. The only smart move he seems to have made this entire election was to keep Bush from actively backing him. It is no surprise, though that the first black candidate would endure extra mudslinging. However, while it's no surprise, it's still appalling the lengths and names they go to. Check out SueBob's list (with links) to the names and ideas the GOP has come up with.

- Go Vote... go vote, go vote, go vote. If the thought of more of the same doesn't scare you, really think about what it could be like to have the weather girl turned lipstick pig hockey mom as president. It will happen if they win.

- And on top of all this worry, I am launching our new Webinar series at work today and I'm really nervous. It's the first anything I've ever launched where it's been mine from inception. I'm not presenting, but I'm running the program. I know in my heart it's going to be fine, but my head sure has stage fright! Cross your fingers for me at 2pm Central time.

- Sadly being nervous gives me the munchies and I have no will power. Thank goodness they took away the office Halloween candy. I may have to make a run for a danish....

See you at the polls tomorrow!
There were unforseen glitches with the webinar and we started 20 minutes late. I didn't have a coronary until after everything was over. I would say after it was over that I feel like I gave birth, but a co-worker and mother took me to task on that. So I'll just say I feel like I just passed a kidney stone.... (and if you've passed one, don't take me to task, I'm not in the mood :) )