October 2005 Archives


While I was looking for information on the Banshee for Halloween, I came across this site wonderfully spooky Flash animations: Devil's Tramping Ground. It should put you in the mood for the dark nights.


I think some people live to look for negativity in other people. I will fully admit to having a negative streak, but much of that is due to reacting to the circumstances around me. I'm an optimistic pessamist, as I've said before. The glass is half-empty, but I am aware that there are unlimited free refills.

I know a couple of people who seem to listen to only about half of my conversation. They will ignore my giddily jumping about because I just won cncert tickets (which I did on Monday) and completely miss me nattering on about the photograph that I sold for $35 (also on Monday). However, if I make on snarky remark about not holding my breath about jobs, even when they are perfect for me and suddenly they are paying rapt attention and smacking me for my "negative attitude" which is holding me back.

Sure. Never mind how enthusuastic my cover letters are, employers know these things. They can sense my negativity remotely and consign my resume to the circular file. It isn't the job market, it's my attitude that is holding me back! In other words, it's all my fault.

Whatever. I wonder who it was that decided that if you can't say nothing but happy, sunshiney things, even when circumstances suck, then it if your fault that things are the way they are. How did Mary Poppins and Pollyanna become the standards?

I know that I can be downcast at times, but I don't live under a permanent raincloud. So I find it irksome to be told that I have an attitude problem. It gives me the feeling that the people who tell me this are like vultures circling overhead. So long as I am feeling happy and healthy and well adjusted, they don't pay me any mind. They are simply waiting for me, or anyone else, to fall a bit so they can swoop in to pick the bones of the trouble. Does it give them a sense of superiority?

I imagine it does. After all, they just have your best interests in mind. They are just trying to help you by pointing out that you are the cause of all your problems. You should thank them warmly and be on your merry way. But for heaven's sake, don't try to tell them to back off, after all that just shows that not only are you a Negative Nelly, but you are ungrateful to boot.


They Can't Take the Sky from me.

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I think I need to watch Serenity again. Actually, I know I need to watch Serenity again.

The movie was amazing. I literally found myself on the edge of my seat for much of the time. While Whedon had to redo a lot of exposition for moviegoers who hadn't watched the series, he managed to work it in in such a way that it didn't stand on a chair and scream, "HI, I'M THE EXPOSITION, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?!?"

The look of the film was consistant with the look of the show (which is a good thing, since the look of the show was beautiful). I did miss the themesong, though I'm probably in a minority on that.

The acting was astounding. Each an every member of the main cast managed to convey volumes with extremely subtle changes of expression. I was particularly impressed with how Nathan Fillion showed Mal's warring emotions on several occasions. Similarly, the change in Morena Baccarin's eyes as Inara realized that the client she was greeting was not what he seemed was so slight, yet so definite as to leave no question as to what was happening.

The plot was satisfying. And yet...and yet...there is that one thing that I won't name, so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but... AH!!! I HATE YOU, JOSS!! Why????


Tonight, I found a teeny tiny silver key on the ground. It looks like a skeleton key and has some decoration on it, such as a heart shape at the grip end. Realistically, I know that it is a charm that fell off of a piece of someone's jewelry.

However, there is something about the idea of finding a teeny tiny silver key on the ground that just has to suggest more. It smacks of magic. Where is the door that this shall open, and what will be on the other side? This is not something to be lightly tossed aside. Keys such as this lead to fantastic quests. The size of the key suggest that mysterious substances labeled "Eat me" and "Drink me" may be involved at some point.

Blast from the Past

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I forgot to mention, when I was watching the Planned Parenthood documery at the last Artists for Choice event, I may have seen one of my high school teachers in it. He was a science teacher, though I never had a science class with him. I did, however, have a religion elective with him called "Religion and Science".

I saw him during a montage of photos of clinic protestors in Milwaukee. The shot went by so quickly that I couldn't entirely be sure, but it looked like Mr. F, smiling and holding a Bible. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it had been.


After reading it for an entire season, I finally got to watch an episode of Veronica Mars tonight. Woo!

Take a deep breath

Last night I got my CPR skills brushed up. The first time I'd learned it had been Red Cross and it's been a while. This time it was the American Heart Association. A few things have changed, but it came back pretty quickly. The only annoying thing was trying to use the breathing mask with the dummy. It was tough to get a good seal, and made it awkward to switch between chest compressions and rescue breaths. Straight on mouth-to-mouth was easier.

The really neat part was discovering exactly how easy to AED is to use. The equipment itself is well labeled, and the computerized voice talks you through the steps. It will even talk you through CPR if you want it to. It made me very glad that AEDs are becomming a common public feature. The trick will be getting people to think to use them, rather than panicking helplessly.


Tonight was the last of the six Artists for Choice events at Cafe Montmartre, which featured a number of short films from Wis-Kino and a screening of the Defenders, ad short documentary about Planned Parenthood by Trilobyte Pictures.

The only downside of the night was discovering that the walls of Momo had been repainted, which meant that my art had been taken down....only, it was put back up oddly...and without tags...and two pieces were missing. However, it seems that they will be tracked down and replaced, so I think I can go to sleep tonight.

They shoot they score!

I attended my second ever Badger sporting event this weekend, courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was Camera Day at the Kohl Center, and the Badger Women's Hockey took on the MN Duluth Bulldogs. They lost 5-2, but it was great fun, none-the-less.

The event was well run and enjoyable for both Bigs and Littles. My Little got a huge kick out of being able to go out onto the ice. We both learned more about hockey than we ever knew before.


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Following a discussion about the Incident Command System (ICS) on Making Light, I decided to take the independent study course offered on the topic.

Today I received a certificate in the mail from FEMA acknowledging that I have "reaffirmed a dedication to serve in times of crisis". Now I feel all warm and fuzzy. Well, mostly. Kind of. Maybe a little.

Continuing on that topic, on Tuesday I will be taking a class through the school on CPR and AED (automated external defibrillation). I took CPR a few years ago, but I'm overdue for a recert (ditto on First Aid, though that is mostly still with me). Now that all schools have an AED, it's good to know how to use them.

I am not a professional first responder, and I doubt that I ever will be. However, I'd like to be someone who can keep their head in a crisis and handle an emergency until the professionals can arrive. I know the top two basics: 1. Call 911. 2. Don't just go rushing in, because an extra hurt or dead person does no one any good.


Some of the fabulous ladies I know have been hard at work putting together an erotica site for geeks, by geeks. Gnymphs is very classy, and I'm impressed at what they've been able to put together.

Hello there, have you heard of a babysitter? Yes, I know they can be expensive, but do you honestly think it is a good idea to bring three kids under the age of four to a movie? Really?

And if, if you plan on bringing said children to a movie (one that isn't Rugrats) don't you think you might want to emphasize to them some of the rules of movie watching? I particularly loved the bit at the end when you just let them start running around playing tag up and down the aisles, and across rows. That was swell.

Mad Hot Ballroom

Mad Hot Ballroom was a lot of fun to watch. It was like Spellbound with dancing. Many times it was laugh-out-loud funny and while it was never heartwrenching, it had its poignant moments.

The film follows fifth grade students in in three out of sixty New York City schools that take a semester of ballroom dance classes, and then compete at a citywide competition. As I watched, I kept thinking about the fifth graders that I know from teaching, and imaging them in that setting, wondering how they'd take to it. Some of what I saw in the kids seemed so familiar to me.

The schools followed where in Tribeca, Bensonhurst, and Washington Heights, and had a broad cross-section of ethnicities, backgrounds, and socio-economic status. It didn't seem to matter where they where coming from, all of the kids appeared to grow and have fun in the program. They were all bright kids with a lot to say about their friends, their futures, and their world.

Almost as interesting to watch were the adults, who looked as though they got as much out of the experience as the kids. I saw a mixture of excitement and pride in what the kids were doing, with a wee bit of "self" thrown into the mix to keep it real.

The filmmakers did an excellent job of getting into the lives of these kids without seeming too intrusive. Beyond the presence of the camera, they barely make themselves felt as an extra person in the story.

Go forth and see this film.



I now have possession of my "new" car. It's so great. 2002 black Elantra. Manual. The radio dial has a trippy display. It even has a new car smell. And they gave it to me with a full tank of gas.

The ride is very smooth and quiet. No shuddering and shaking and stalling. I can open the doors without rolling down a window first. In fact, I can lock and unlock the doors remotely. I'm very happy right now.

Mulling it over


I'm still working on the Serenity review. I want to do a good job of it, and this week has been full of activity and exhaustion. I'd also like to see it again if I can.

Dear Friends,

President Bush has nominated Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court which may very well have a monumental impact on the future health and safety of women in this country, on the future of gay rights, on the future of privacy rights, and many other basic civil rights that are being threatened by the religious right and by the "war of terror". We in Wisconsin are lucky enough to have two Senators on the Judiciary committee. They can have a big impact on the confirmation, and you can have a big impact on their choices. They need to ask Miers tough questions regarding her views and see that she answers. Making a phone call to Senators Kohl and Feingold is easy, takes only a few minutes, and lets them know how strongly their constituents feel about the matter. Please call and urge them to confirm only those nominees who will uphold fundamental civil rights, including reproductive choice.

Russ Feingold's contact info is:

506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4904
(202) 224-5323
TDD (202) 224-1280
Fax (202) 224-2725

Herb Kohl's contact info is:

330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4903
DC Phone: 202-224-5653
DC Fax: 202-224-9787

And, while we are one the topic of choice ... :) Here's the last event in the three month Artist's for Choice series:

Tuesday, October 11
in the Sidecar of Cafe Montmartre
featured event: Wis-Kino Filmmaking Collaborative hosts an
evening of independent film and filmmakers including films by
Establishment Productions, Wis-Kino Filmmaking Collaborative,
and introducing "The Defenders" (a historical documentary about
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin) by Trilobyte Pictures

Doors open at 8pm at Cafe' Montmartre, the festivities kick off at at 9pm
and cost $5.

Thanks muchly. You all rock.

Seeing the bright side

Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will have my "new" car.

Tonight, I got to meet two good Samaritans. I was heading home and was low on gas. I just had to get over a hill (it was one of theose long hills) and I was at a gas station, but my car had over plans. I was in the left lane on a 4 lane divided road, with no shoulder. Fortunately, there were houses along the road, and one of my Samaritans was standing in the driveway of one of them.

He came out and helped me get the car backed down the hill and off the road, into one of the driveways. It was a little awkward, so the car sort of ended up partway onto someone's yard. He then offered to drive me up to the gas station. (The offer made me a little nervous, though I didn't get bad vibes from him. If I had accepted his offer, I would have first called someone I know and tell them exactly where I was and what was going on.)

First, though, we went to knock on the person's door to explain what my car was doing there and see if they might have a gas can we could borrow. Turns out, he did. And it had some gas in it. Enough to get me to the station. And he wouldn't take any money for it. They were both really nice and helpful, and I'm totally going to pass that one on.

The first guy was cute! :D

Dear Town of Burke

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Curse you for not being part of the smoking ban. I would dearly love to go dancing without having to lug along my inhaler, and also to come hme from said same dancing without smelling like a chimney.

Have I broken a mirror or something?

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I've been having a real run of rotten luck lately. Now granted, I have my health, my limbs, and nothing I own is under water right now so this is all in perspective. Still...

For example at the moment my car has two signal lights not working (I replaced the bulbs and that didn't help, so it may be a fuse). My horn hasn't worked since spring (also probably a fuse). Various screws have been popping out of where they should be because the threads in the holes are worn to nothing. My drivers door (the important one) can only be opened from the outside. It occasionally has problems with stalling when it comes to a stop. And as of yesterday, the infamous clutch problem seems to have returned. (I'm going to blame that one on jinx. I stopped at the shop on Tuesday and two of the mechanics asked how it was doing. I said it was fine. Ha!) I keep waiting to see if any new and interesting symptoms are going to add themselves to the stew.

In the meantime, I've started to research late-model used cars, since new is out of my budget. Let's hope that the Jeep keeps running until I can do something about it.

Want to place any bets?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2005 is the previous archive.

November 2005 is the next archive.

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