Monday, November 28, 2005


Since the Holiday shopping season has officially begun, I thought perhaps I should post my wishlists where people could easily find them all. I've checked them both over to make sure that everything is something I'd like, that the sizes are properly entered or that there are notes about each item if necessary.

Torrid: This can also be printed and taken to a Torrid store if you have one in your local mall.


Both can also be accessed, should the hyperlinks fail, by going to the main page of each site. At Amazon click on the "Wish List" button at the top of the page. this should bring up your own wishlist or a generic one if you don't have one. In the left-hand column there should be a box that says "Find a Wish List." Simply type my name or my yahoo e-mail address. At Torrid, click on the wish list link at the top of the page. A box should appear to the right side of the screen that says, "enter an e-mail address to view that person's wish list." Simply type in my yahoo address.

Gift certificates are likewise appreciated. I also enjoy surprises. ;D Sometimes, I even like surprises better than the stuff on my wishlists. One might like to keep in mind my interests in the arts and crafts if one has access to cool stuff...

Now to get back to my holiday gift shopping...

"Prison Break" on FOX

If you don't watch it, you won't get it, but...

No new episodes until *March*! What is up with that!? I know that they said that this would be the "Fall Finale"... but March?! ... 12 hours left for the prison break plan to work, and we have to wait until March?! ... ::sighs:: I really hate tv sometimes...

End of the year prep

One of the big signs of the impending New Year I get every year is my car registration renewal forms. I got that today along with a notice that I have to get a new tag. Woohoo! Apparently, it's been 5 years since I got my car. Doesn't seem that long. Anyway, I figured since I have to get a new one anyway, I might as well get a "specialty tag," one of those tags with a pretty picture on it, which signifies that I've donated money to a particular cause or organization. They have them for just about everything in this state, don't know about others, but we've got over 100 of them now. More than half are for universities and professional sports teams, I'm sorry to say.

I wanted to get one for an environmental program. I was thinking of the Florida Panther or the Manatee or Sea Turtle plates, but they raise several million dollars through the license plate program for them every year. I decided on the Tampa Bay Estuary license because they've only sold 15,000 of them in the last six years and they sell fewer every year. Can't see why. It's a good cause! It benefits the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, an education and conservation program which has been working to clean up and repair Tampa Bay for the past seven years. They remove invasive species of plants and animals, plant mangrove and sea grass flats, and educate the public and get them involved in the conservation efforts. I figured, why help just one species when an entire ecosystem could benefit? You can learn more about the work they do here:

Oh, and in other news, I'm getting that spinning wheel. ::sighs:: I love ebay... Here's a picture:
I still have to decide how I'm going to stain it. It's solid maple and handmade in Ohio.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A knitted voodoo doll?

Found a pattern for a knitted voodoo doll, here: I guess it's for the days when driving to New Orleans for one or finding a local voodoo practicioner is just too much... or to add a personal touch to curse that person who did you wrong.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I got my first letter from a university to "encourage [me] to consider applying for admission to the graduate program in history." It's from Florida State University. How cool! ::claps excitedly:: Gonna have to start checking in to these things pretty soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Scary stuff...

Copied from a fwd-ed e-mail I got:

"Please read this, a new twist on kidnapping, a very smart survivor.

"About a month ago there was a woman standing by the mall entrance passing out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other women. The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and discovered that she had a flat.

"She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man dressed in business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and said,"I noticed you're changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care of it for you?" The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off. The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car. She was a little surprised and she asked him why his car was on other side. He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn't seen for some time and they had a bite to eat and visited for a while he got turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was running late and hiscar was clear around on the other side of the mall.

"The woman hated to tell him "no" because he had just rescued her from having to change her flat tire all by herself, but she felt uneasy. Then shere membered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car. She told him that she'd be happy to drive him around to his car, but she just remembered one last thing she needed to buy. She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be.

"She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened; the guard came out to her car with her, but the man had left. They opened the trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station.

"The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it tothe man). What they found was rope, duct tape, and knives. When the police checked her "flat" tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simplybeen let out. It was obvious what the man's intention was, and obvious thathe had carefully thought it out in advance. The woman was blessed to have escaped harm. How much worse it would have been if she had children with her and had them wait in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped into a car seat? Or if she'd gone against her judgment and given him a lift?

"I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.

"Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it....better safe than sorry.


Wow, that's scary! Reminds me of the rumor about a serial killer in Louisiana a few years back who was said to have used the tape recording of a baby crying to lure women out of their house at night. I'm pretty sure that was just a rumor, and I hope this is too... There are a few things in the story which make me think it is.

When I bought my bike about two months ago, I had a hard time getting it in my car in the store's parking lot. The lot was mostly empty, so a man talking on his cell phone about 30 feet away could clearly see that I was having issues as there were no other cars blocking the sight-line. After he got off the phone, he opened his car door and kinda shouted over to me asking if I needed any help. I was kinda leery about accepting his help since I was all alone and he was at least 6'4" and probably easily had 100 lbs more muscle than I do, but I just said, "Uh... maybe?"

He came around my car and looked at how the bike was *not* going into the backseat and asked if I thought it would fit in my trunk. I said it was worth a try and popped it. He just picked up the bike like it was nothing and started trying to fit it in the trunk at different angles... It was not working either. Then I remembered that my backseat folds down. So I brought that down and he guided the bike in, while I pulled it halfway into the backseat. Then he secured it with a beach blanket I still had in my trunk from 4th of July weekend so that it wouldn't ding anything if it shifted during the ride home because it still wouldn't go all the way in to my trunk so that the lid would close. He said, "I think this will stay. You don't have too far to go, do you?" I said no, only about 5 miles, and he said, "Oh, it'll be fine. Guess, I've done my good deed for the day," and smiled. I thanked him and shook his hand, and he gave me a couple business cards and said if I ever needed help with a mortgage or a real estate agent to give his wife and him a call. I took the cards, thanked him again, he went back to his car and I got in mine, we both left the parking lot and that was that. And my bike did stay in place all the way home without incident. He was a good guy, obviously, and I was very lucky of that, 'cause even if the story in the forwarded e-mail isn't true, Lord knows there are a lot of creeps out there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

So... What's your sign?

Mine's Capricorn... The horoscopes offered by to members on their MyYahoo page have a tendency to be fairly accurate more often than not. Very rarely do I read mine and say, "What the heck is this talking about?" It was creepy how accurate it was about last New Year's Eve and Day... and in fact the entire first week of 2005. Very creepy. It said I'd be walking around in a fog of "oh, really?", as if someone just switched on the light in a dark room that I'd been trying to find my way through, but that I'd just sit back, take it all in, and prudently not share my thoughts with others and that is exactly what was going on... Very creepy...

Here's what it says today:

"Daily Capricorn Forecast [courtesy of]
"Quickie: Sharing news of your day means nothing unless you share your feelings about it too."

So here goes... Today, I've started trying to set up an exercise support group with my friends. We always say that we all need to exercise more, just to be healthier, but we never seem to actually do it. I figure if we start setting up appointments with each other to go jogging or biking or swimming or go to one of the free aerobics classes at the USF Fitness Center we might actually exercise more. I just hope at least a few of them respond to the e-mail. Getting answers via e-mail or phone has been like pulling teeth lately except from Maria, who tends to be very prompt, but she's living in Orlando until she finishes this semester at UCF...

I think I'm going to have to give this losing weight thing yet another try if I want this neck thing to go away... I'm trying to convince myself that plastic surgery is out of my price range for the foreseeable future. I erased yesterday's blog entry about that earlier this evening, feeling like it was... wrong to have written it in the first place... I usually try to resist those kinds of urges, to censor myself, but I didn't that time. I'm embarrassed about the depth of my vanity and insecurities. It basically was about how I've come to the conclusion that the one seemingly unfixable thing about me that drives me to distraction and makes me self-conscious beyond belief is how my upper-neck area looks in profile. Can't stand it, want it fixed... the sooner, the better. Told my parents this evening that I'd like to look into plastic surgery to fix it. Mom was supportive, I think... and Dad, well, I think he's skeptical that I'll go through with it. He's probably right. I hate doctors... possibly even more than I hate my profile... possibly... That remains to be seen... which is very difficult for me to admit...

"Overview: You'd never admit it, but you tend to be superstitious, especially about sharing secrets. At this point, you need to spill the beans, and do it now -- maybe even twice."

... Unlike me admitting that I'm superstitious... I'm quite surprisingly superstitious. It's one odd thing about Capricorns, since typically Capricorns are extremely pragmatic and firmly planted in reality. I always say "bread and butter" like my grandmother did if she was walking next to someone and they passed around opposite sides of an object in their path. She said if she didn't that a terrible thing would come between her and that person. I never let someone else take a ring off my finger for the same reason. I rinse my hands with clean water before entering a house after coming from a cemetery to keep misfortune away. All of those I got from my Bubbe, which she said her mother brought with her from Russia. I also kinda buy into Astrology as a psuedoscience... kinda... I also knock wood, toss salt over my shoulder, and I've been known to do things to avert the "evil eye" and avoid tempting fate. And I always, always say the Shema as the airplane I'm in takes off or lands, just in case...

"Daily extended (by Prepare yourself, because you're due for that thrice-yearly irritating astrological period: Mercury's retrograde, and this lasts for three weeks but classically feels as if it lasts a lot longer. While none of your best-laid plans will probably work out the way you want them to, at least knowing that it's coming can help you, right? Don't be mad at anyone who's late or absent, especially since you may have a turn at that yourself next time around. Be patient."

Oh goody! The autumn Mercury in retrograde... This one tends to kick me in the butt more than others. During one a few years ago (before I knew about them), I had my two car accidents within three weeks of each other. Other little unpleasant things often occur during these three weeks... Supposedly, it is unlucky to get married or do any kind of major business during Mercury's retrograde because it's like Murphy's Law in overdrive. Looks like I should probably take a deep breath, learn to meditate and chill so as not to get stressed out.

On a mostly unrelated side of things, I found a pretty cool blog while trying to find the text of the Avot ("The Ancestors" prayer of Jewish liturgy... one of my favorites, it's got a great rhythm) earlier this evening (And I can't find it anywhere. Yet another reason why I need my own copy of "Gates of Prayer" at home.). Here's a link: . Gonna have to remember to follow this one...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wow! historic knit petticoat

This is amazing! Wish there were more photographs...

Try here: .

If that doesn't work, go here: Then enter in the search field as follows:

Object type: women's clothing
Place: Netherlands
Date range: 1700 - 1760

The two images that come up are what I'm talking about... I'm jealous! I wanna do that!

Weekend warriors

Joe and I just finished putting in two hard Saturdays' worth of work getting the pond installed in my backyard outside my parents' bedroom window. It's about 4' x 6' and about 18" deep. There's a lot of cosmetic stuff that still needs to be done and plants and fish need to go in but it's basically done. Here's the photo of what it looked like about an hour ago when we were finished (for now):
As you can see, the liner is still very visible and a lot of things need some adjusting, but it's basically finished, as I said before. This week when I have time, I'll go around with a spade and even out the ground under the liner around the edges and get the pavers in tight, and I'll spread more pebbles out over the liner, and maybe I'll finally get the roses planted at some point. I also want to put in some papyrus and irises, but those will probably have to wait longer until we get the bed around the pond better defined.

The Holidays are close at hand...

Woo! My favorite time of year is the end of October to mid-January. Why? Because it's one fantastic holiday after another. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas, New Year's... ending with my birthday on January 10th. It's just great!

In preparation, I've been going over my wishlist, which is the easiest way to keep track of the mostly moderately priced junk and stuff that I'd like to have for a number of reasons... It can be found here: Or you can just go to and find one of those "find a wishlist" boxes which are in different places on different pages at Amazon and then type in my yahoo e-mail address or my first and last name. I really like that it gives options on how to sort the list (by price, by priority, etc.) and it has ways to narrow the list down by categories (DVDs, music, books, etc.).

I've also been going over possible gifts for other people. I've knitted a number of items intended as gifts, but no matter how quickly I knit, I'll never be able to knit something for everyone... That's okay though because I have a number of ideas for most of the people I don't have knitted items for... I do need to remember to get the bitties' wishlists... eventhough I have a number of things in mind for them already, it's always good to know what they actually would like to have.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I've been practically obsessed with the show since day one. It's just so well-written and the acting is so wonderful and the story and characters are compelling to say the least. It's up there with "The X-Files" as far as all that. (Can anyone tell that "The X-Files" tends to be the TV show by which I measure all others? I can't help it. It was just so well done... until the last season, which we will not speak about here...) Man, oh man... Just saw the latest episode.

***Spoilers beyond this point (that people who don't watch the show probably won't understand, but I've got to gab somewhere)***

So "the others" are at it again... as if they ever stopped. And now this thing with Walt. Not only Shannon seeing him, but also Sayid now... And the voices... And where did that dog go? And now Shannon has been shot by trigger-happy tough-chick, and in the gut too, as if being shot when they are so low on antibiotics weren't bad enough. We already lost Boone, we can't loose his sister too! She better have not just died in Sayid's arms! Neither Shannon nor Sayid need that right now. And of course, there's my favorite cowboy bad boy, Sawyer - also shot and obviously suffering from a very nasty infection. ::sighs:: Ai, this show! I hope they were only messing with us that someone was going to die in this episode, that it was just that new character from the other side of the island who has now disappeared.

On top of that, I have questions left over from previous episodes... Where the heck did the French chick go? And where did that Irish guy go? They both just disappeared into the jungle... "The others" don't go after them? Crazy as they both obviously are... Then there's the hatch thing. What is up with that? Experiment gone awry? Where are the replacements? I'm figuring that the guy who went crazy and died back in Australia and the guy who went crazy and was in the same mental hospital as Hurley in California were the previous workers in this hatch thing and that's why both of them repeated the numbers over and over again... Unless I'm forgetting something from that episode. And what was the French science team from Fiji doing out around the island before they were shipwrecked?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Updates and a link

Sorry I haven't written anything lately... Been pretty busy the last few days. Figured I should write something while my facial is drying.

The pond in the backyard is about halfway done. It's all dug out. Now, it just needs to be lined and filled with water, plants and fish... I've got blisters though and that won't do because one can always tell a lady by her hands, although in my defense (unlike Scarlett) I *was* wearing gloves. So finishing that will have to wait until tomorrow. After all tomorrow is another day. (Who saw "Gone With the Wind" far too often at apparently too young an age?... Me! Me!)

I can't remember if I mentioned it yet, but I got a B on my Geology midterm and an A on both my Archaeology midterm and paper. WooHoo!! Quite happy about that. I'll be able to register for Spring semester classes on Nov. 16th. Don't know what I'm taking yet because once again there are like *no* Medieval history classes being offered... Professor Hughey and I must be the only people in the school who care about Medieval history. ::sighs:: I'm going to try to do an independent study so I can get my upper level credits finished. And then there's two options: foreign language (which is almost definitely out because they aren't offering many beginning levels this semester unless I want more French, which I don't because it will require 4 more credits than I need to take it and that's like $400 I don't need to give USF), or the History exit requirements. I'm going in to talk to my MIA advisor next week come hell or high water or both. And that's that.

And as I promised some people a while ago, here is a link for the "Very Secret Diaries" written by Lord of the Rings fan Cassandra Claire: The diaries are a work of parody, all in good fun, but they are *definitely* not appropriate for children. And for the sake of continuity, they should be read in the order in which they are listed going left to right. Also, best if read when one is in the mood for something funny. If you're not, you might just think it's really dumb... which it probably is, but it can be really funny too...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pleasant surprise

Usually, I dislike female characters on TV... Lana Lang on "Smallville," every girl on "90210," "Melrose Place," and (uck!) "Sex in the City" to name a few off the top of my head. They're unusually vapid and self-centered and completely obsessed with guys most of the time... and I could probably say the same thing about "Desperate Housewives," if I actually was ever bored enough to watch it... And by and large, female characters on network television can be easily categorized into the virgin, vixen or mother archetypes. But this Fall season, I tell you! There are some fantastic, role-model worthy female characters in the new offers from network TV. There's "Dr. Temperance Brennan, PhD," based on real-life forensic anthropologist Dr. Kathy Reichs, PhD, on "Bones." She's a forensic anthropologist who is obviously brilliant, very professional and doesn't take crap from other (living) people. All of her coworkers seem to be trying to get her to lighten up, but she seems to think she's just fine the way she is. Then there's "Dr. Molly Caffrey, PhD" on "Threshold". She's a woman who comes up with contingency plans for end of the world scenarios. Her "Threshold" plan was put in place when something extra-terrestrial began infecting humans. (I also love this show because - other than that it' good - it has a character who is a dwarf, but not comic relief. He's a brilliant scientist and a linguist. Very nice from breaking out of stereotypes. And if all that weren't good enough, Brent Spiner - "Data" on "Star Trek" - is also in this show.) And then there's "Melinda Gordon" on "Ghost Whisperer." She's a newly wed, who co-owns an antique store with her best friend in a small middle-American town. The catch is that she can see and communicate with ghosts and they have a tendency to seek her out at inopportune times. What I really love is that the male characters in all these programs take a backseat to the female stars. There aren't very many programs in television history that that can be said about (I've read academic essays on it for modern American culture classes), so I take that three new characters like this in one season, at least two of whom are shaping up to be as well-rounded as Dana Scully, as a very good sign... Good sign of what exactly? ... That women are perhaps finally being more equally represented in positive roles on television to start. And that they are being cast in roles that many people wouldn't automatically think of a woman doing - such as forensic anthropology and secret government jobs (both fields from what I understand are dominated by men).

But I'm an equal opportunity television watcher... Of the new Fall programs, I'm also watching "Prison Break" and "Supernatural." "Prison Break" only has two characters who are female, and other than that they are both totally all guy shows.