semiotic_pirate: (masked wine taster)
Really, this story isn't as exciting as it sounds. It was extremely funny when it happened; for those who were there at least. Let's see if you think so too.

The story begins when I traveled with DH across state lines to visit with my erstwhile estranged half-sister. The handy dandy aside: I have half-siblings from both my Mum and Dad, but am the only child between the two; he remarried when I was around two (when 1/2 sis was born); she remarried when I was sixteen.

BACK TO THE STORY!

So here we are, driving onward to a lunch meet with this woman. I'm regaling him with all of the best of our stories. There weren't a large number of them; this was the woman who stole my identity to sign up for one of her multiple Columbia House subscriptions. A woman who cut me off at the knees as a teen when she believed her lying "best" friend who she never spoke to again six months later over another issue.

We arrive. It's her favorite local pizz/pasta place, in honor of that one time we both nearly busted our guts laughing as only teenagers can, with each glance bringing on a gale of new giggles. It goes really well, we're all telling stories to each other to try and find common ground and to make a connection that might last. There was a lot of talk of music, pop-culture references we all had in common, and movies.

The pizza was great, by the way.

Then... I noticed the shakey cheese. By this point in our relationship, I knew what DH (who was then not my DH) liked on his pizza and what he was allergic to. You ever see those traditional, roundish shaking serving containers that they put both the red pepper flakes and the shelf stable parmesan cheese in? He'd been reaching to eat his freshly prepared slice, doctored with flakes & shakey cheese, when I noticed - there was some bluish-green stuff toward the bottom of the shakey cheese. THERE WAS SOME BLUISH-GREEN STUFF AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SHAKEY CHEESE AND DH WAS ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN!

We found out he isn't, and likely never had been, allergic to penicillin about two months ago, but this episode was YEARS ago when he was still under the impression that MOLD KILLS.

I held up my hand and stopped him from taking a bite of the latest slice. Just before my interruption, we were talking about The Lost Boys and specifically how we all enjoyed one specific line from the movie, "Death by Stereo.".

At first, as you can imagine, we were all filled with shock, and fear, and waiting and watching to see if SOMETHING should occur. How long would it take, for asphyxiation from anaphylactic shock to happen? We waited. Then we waited some more. It finally got to the point where my 1/2 sis and I would stare at my DH, then look at each other, stare at my DH some more, look at each other, stare, look, stare, look. Then we busted out laughing, DH joining us, with our barely legible words of "Death by Shakey Cheese" wheezing out between the bouts of laughter. It got really morbid as we joked about how his obituary would have to be titled Death by Shakey Cheese, and how we'd have to reference the movie, and go off on tangents. But really, it was the Death by Shakey Cheese. It was just like that day back in the 80s where we laughed so much, in a pizza joint, that we got pains in our sides and nearly fell on the floor out of our chairs.

That was a good day, and there were a few meetings after that that were also good. But then she got mad about something without telling me that she was (1) upset or (2) what it was that upset her. Then this happened.

As a follow-up, in December 2014 I finally found out what had upset her so much. What had her so mad at me since June 2010. When I was getting married to DH, we had originally been talking about the usual size people make things. I sent out informal save the dates to friends and family, given that we knew the date, we just didn't know the details. We'd originally planned to marry back in 2003, but primarily from not wanting to affect my financial aid, my need to finish my returning adult college education, and finding out the COST... we put it on hold and decided to have a long engagement. We find out that the cost was still way too high for us, that we'd rather use the money for more important (to us) things. We ended up with only ten people there. Immediate, close family and friends. My Mum, his parents, my 1/2 sibs on my Mum's side (who I helped raise and was more like a beloved aunt), his brother and three of our long-time friends. Everyone else who got cut from the guest list understood the need to pare down the event. All these save-the-date and cancellation notices were done via email, my preferred mode of communication.

It wasn't until the middle of this past December that she finally let the anger out. "You don't send someone a save-the-date and then don't invite them to the wedding or at least have the decency to call and explain why." This? This after knowing from previous conversation how I communicate with people, how I don't like talking on the phone with most people, especially family. This angry burst of text came out of her after I wouldn't give her an address that she should've already had so she could tell my other 1/2 sib, her brother, so he could supposedly update his security clearance. I wouldn't because she had had her phone and email account hacked multiple times over the years. I got a huge long set of texts venting her anger at me, her shouting that she got married two years ago and how she never bothered to contact me because she wanted to get back at me and she was still angry... It was a veritable spewing geyser. And I haven't heard since.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE JUST GOING TO GET A FUNNY STORY, YOU GET ALL KINDS OF COMPLICATED UNDER- AND OVER-TONES. THAT'S LIFE, HUH?
semiotic_pirate: (eyeball)
About an hour before I was scheduled to leave work today I got called by my half-sister and was baldly told that my biological father had just died (of a heart attack). Let me preface this by saying that I have been estranged from this man since I was in my early 20s, or at least that's when I realized that my relationship with him qualified as estranged.

Sink into sadness back behind the blank stare )
semiotic_pirate: (OMG!  OMG!  OMG!)
To start things off, I wanted to talk about the following NYT article, its comments, and some speculation of my own.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/science/dogs-and-humans-speculation-and-science.html

Reading through the comments and I realize that the relationship between humans and the various companion animals are symbiotic in nature. Each of the creatures provides a specific group of traits and abilities to the whole that the other creatures cannot or cannot easily do for themselves. This is especially true of animals that have been working partners in various professions and livelihoods: cats, dogs, horses, hawks, geese (the guarding type), etc.

Just as an example, a comment on the article started with “The presence of a wolf track alongside that of a child DEEP inside France's Chauvet cave to me constitutes powerful evidence of domestication 25,000 years ago.” Fire, and those that can carry it with their clever paws (hands) would be useful to dogs in certain places and situations.

Additionally, I think that we didn’t domesticate them… we domesticated each other by learning how to communicate without them speaking a human language and without us speaking canid or feline or what have you.

As one commenter put it: “The naturalness that dogs and humans share in social interactions had to have developed through mutual evolution. Watch people let their dogs sniff their babies; the trust had to have evolved.”

Another good comment on the usefulness of speculation and daydreaming about all the “what-ifs” in the world:

“Even if the author doesn't have a useful test for his hypothesis, someone else may. By publishing an interesting speculation, scientists give other scientists the opportunity to devise means of testing the theory.

Observation gives rise to questions, experiment ratifies or rejects hypotheses. But we shouldn't forget the importance of the process in the middle, that of theory formation, because it is there that the most brilliant and important work is done. The notion that science is just a matter of empiricism is wrong. Any naturalist could observe birds in the Galapagos: it took a Darwin to tell us what they meant.”

The speculator in question: http://www.patshipman.com/about/

The article causing all the chatter: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/do-the-eyes-have-it
Single page – printer friendly version: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.15294,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

And now, a handful of links I found interesting earlier in the day:

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/35-star-wars-pop-culture-tributes/?pid=7077&viewall=true

http://www.etsy.com/shop/LosAngelesNeedlework

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/star-wars-blaster-speed/

Oh good lord… The following article link is about how Facey Space is going to synthesize all our data (which belongs to them, remember) into easy to use data models representing the connections betwixt all the users in existence (and all their stuff, services, habits, etc). “Little snippets of your online behavior are streamed into the Facebook Newsfeed and onto your Facebook Timeline, and ultimately, this feeds the habits of your online friends.”

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/facebook-open-graph/


TOWEL DAY!
http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/05/etsy-guide-galaxy/

http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/05/42-in-pop-culture/

http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/05/hitchhikers-live-onstage/

http://www.hitchhikerslive.com/

http://www.hitchhikerslive.com/tour-dates.html

OMG! OMG! OMG! – how I WISH I could be in Edinburgh for the show on July 21 when the Voice Of The Book is Neil Gaiman! Gaaaaaaahhh!
semiotic_pirate: (freckles & sunglasses)
Had a mostly great weekend away at Cape Cod the past couple days. I'm new to the experience of the "family vacation" so was slightly put out from time to time when I wasn't able to do things (three hour naturalist seal & lobster boat tour). The upside of this was that I was able to relax and discover things that I might not normally have gone looking for: The Zooquarium! I had soooo much fun there. Had so many different "moments" with so many different animals. Wow. Especially the turtles. They were loving me.

Saw a sign that made me do a double-take: Consigning Women - this I assume was for a consignment shop run by women... but. *shrug*

On the drive home we stopped at a few places - a really nice "General Store" in Hyannis (I think) where I picked up

*authentic Bayberry taper candles, hand-dipped (they make the candles from the wax on bayberry fruit)
*a plastic collapsible cup, with a pillbox in the lid (I've wanted one of these for years)
*Hydrangea scented soap
*Cranberry scented soap (this one smells particularly good)
*shot glass with a bunch of partying mermaids and a caption reading "Girl's Night Out" - the image goes all the way around without repeating

We stopped at the Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern (the one we had passed by on the Ghost Tour the evening prior) - which had EXCELLENT food and atmosphere. There was a duo playing jazz on a cello and guitar; the cello was being hand-picked. www.barnstablerestaurant.com


We then stopped at an antique store in Dennis... (all this is on Route 6A btw) where I picked up a few things for a song:

*BIMBI Stories for Children, eigth impression, by Louisa del la Rame (aka Ouida), with color plate illustrations, (C)1910
*The Land of Oz The Further Adventures of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, by L. Frank Baum, illustrated edition (C)1904
and the piece de resistance
*Andersen Fairy Tales World-Edition complete (boxed) with the illustrations reproduced direct from the Vilhelm Pederson and Lorenz Frolich originals in the Hans Anderson museum at Odense, printed and published in Odense Denmark. Translated from the original Danish by R.P.Keigwin, 18th edition (from 1970)

Maybe the others are worth more... They both appear to be first editions. But I really love the little HCA books, there are four, maybe 2"x3" laid out in the box. Matching blue covers with embossed silver foil image and writing. Perfect condition.

SCORE!

Back to work tomorrow - working on a new deal that will take up most of my attention for the next week or so. I like being in on working with a client from day one of the deal, it makes me feel personally invested somehow.
semiotic_pirate: (Juicy Oranges)
Absolutely gorgeous day today. Spent it entirely here wandering around with CoB and family. The best thing was that ALL the buildings were open and there were numerous artisans working their craft and able to talk because we got there so early. We ended up leaving around 2pm, just as the ravening hordes descended upon the grounds.

Best quote of the day? "I have jello in my pants; and I like it!" A comment made by CoB... (hee!) as an interpretation to an exclamation made by his toddler nephew (which his other nephew promptly started repeating as a "cool catch-phrase the rest of the day) while eating... or rather, playing with jello for the first time. The rest of the day was full of snarky references to having jello in ones pants.

Best food item: Hand-crafted white chocolate peanut butter cups. This thing was close to two inches in diameter and seemed to be made from a top and bottom mold set together with the peanut butter in the middle. CoB and I shared it and it was delicious.

After making the drive back home, I collapsed on the bed and took a wonderful nap. Just caught up on my f-list, my my you were all busy! Had to read back over forty to get to CoB's post about the Indiana Jones movie from this morning.

And now, I am off to find something to eat, read my great new book (500 Kingdom series by Mercedes Lackey has a new release!) and lounge with my honey.
semiotic_pirate: (sad woodstock-raining)
My grandmother is in the hospital.

A few weeks ago or so she had been in, for falling down and bruising her hip. She got out a week or so ago... (Can you tell my family doesn't communicate well within the ranks?)

I just found out that she is again in the hospital, by accident, though I would've found out about twenty minutes after I did when my Mum called on her way back from the hospital.

Apparently she's had Emphysema for at least ten years, had a partial lungectomy at the time... Along with COPD and CHF. Duh, I was an EMT, I dealt with patients who had these diseases, she was a very long term smoker I thought she was just genetically "lucky" not to get lung cancer.

Grrrrr! Now, she's got a lung infection, she's on a ventilator, sedated with morphine (unconscious through medication or otherwise) and...

OMG. *shock*

No one (even my cousin's father, who was at the hospital today, and he had even called his stepmother and she didn't tell him) told my cousin, and I had talked to him the other day so I called him to make sure he knew. He hadn't been contacted by anyone.

We chatted about the quirks of our family, we talked about the various relatives and so forth... especially a particular aunt. And then we enjoyed reminiscing about our great-grandparents.

*large mournful sigh*

I just called in "sick" for the first time with my new job - I told them what was happening. My manager was very understanding.

I wonder what would be worse. Her dying, or her living, especially given what I now know about her medical condition. At least I talked to her and had a really good phone conversation with her just before she went into the hospital the first time. She was spunky and happy from the convo, even called my Mum and praised me and all that... *embarrassed look*

On top of everything else, but this is actually (I don't understand why) giving me some sort of strength.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
The following articles are being read by me after just having started reading a book titled: The Mommy Myth. Let me tell you, between the government itself and media images and the news - we are being retrained to see being subservient little housewives an mommies as what our lives should be, what we should want them to be. I am appalled to say the least. Over 800 books published in the last twenty years telling us how to be better mothers, that we can't be satisfied without children, that children need to be our number one priority in life, that we should sacrifice ALL to them... I like kids and all, but.... And then the crap that they are feeding men, that they should want someone who they can boss around, someone who will view them as godlike. ::shudders:: No thank you, I don't want a man who needs that. This is all such utter bullshit. I wonder how long it will take us to get past these cultural idiocies - or if women (please NO) decide that it isn't worth the hassle and just go back to the status quo that we've been railing against all this time?? I wonder if we all realize how LONG it is going to take to effectively make changes? Not decades people, generations...



Men Just Want Mommy
By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

A few years ago at a White House Correspondents' dinner, I met a very beautiful actress. Within moments, she blurted out: "I can't believe I'm 46 and not married. Men only want to marry their personal assistants or P.R. women."
Read more... )
* The article referred to in this article:

December 14, 2004


Glass Ceilings at Altar as Well as Boardroom
By JOHN SCHWARTZ

Men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses, and evolution may be to blame, psychology researchers at the University of Michigan reported last week.
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Well, at least, that is the song I am singing to myself as I update here.


The first thing that I want to make everyone aware of - I found a NEW SUSHI place! Yay! They just opened up down the street a ways - less than five minutes away. Only $4.00 a roll; they had my three favorite rolls, salmon skin roll, spicy tuna roll and spicy crab roll... and the seaweed salad was awesome! This is their grand opening week. They are going to have in house all you can eat sushi for $20 per person... AND every sunday you can be taught the art of sushi making (I think the hours were 12-2pm) for $50 per person - and I had just talked to my Mum earlier today about taking a class to learn how to make the great sushi. Yes. I absolutely LOVE finding great new places to eat.


The next item of business is a continuation of one of my earlier posts here. It is an article that was posted through The Washington Post. An article, mind you, that I was able to read in the passenger seat of the car on the way home from NH using my new giftie PDA/phone combo! Yay! So: Bring on the Re-Pet!





Cloned Cat Sale Generates Ethics Debate

By Paul Elias
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 23, 2004; 12:09 AM



SAN FRANCISCO – The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.

The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, named Nicky, who died last year.
Read more... )


Glad everyone in the great white north liked their gifties! ;-)

And now for something completely different. )

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