Friday, May 30, 2008

An unmarried person

Picture it: passing papers with a paralegal at the attorney's office (refinancing), one of the documents defines the terms used throughout the rest of the pile we will work through. I am to initial showing that I have seen/read/comply with/have simply initialed these definitions.

Borrower: Caroline Bender, an unmarried person.

I am now defined by a negative. Not to mention that I am also a non-male person, non-procreated non-Pagan who is only marginally visually impaired.

What kind of definition is this? It would kill you to write "single person"? "Head of Household"? It would be some miscarriage to amend this "definition" with "and none other named herein..."

If I were to marry now (oh stop it - I'm making an argument) do I have to get an amendment?

Would I have to write a Lifetime movie to get this corrected? Should I bother? Miss W was once listed as "Male" on her driver's license. She bothered. Even though no one would have been confused. In high school, my permanent record listed my middle name as "Juan." We bothered. Perhaps you've heard the story about how my birth announcement neglected to mention my gender.

Marion the Librarian, Dr Rice and I are indeed single people, meaning never married. Seems to me an unmarried person had a spouse and doesn't now.

But if the paperwork is already wrong it is already initialed.

Did you know that Saint Catherine is the patron saint of unmarried girls? In French culture, a Catherinette is a woman still unmarried at 25. Oh..honey. 25... how cute.

Do you know how many bloggers are using "Catherinette" as their sobriquet? (french.)
Here's one Here's her friend And this might be her again

Proving you are single can be like proving you have no auto insurance, which I once also had to do. I found a notary who took my word for it, after trying to frighten my car renting (and therefore clearly a Catherinette) self that insurance fraud was frowned upon.

One last unmarried woman find. So it seeeemmmsss... that someone tried to sue on the grounds of housing discrimination when an ad read "perfect for singles."

And to you, you big selfish Breeder, I say boo-friggin-hoo.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I looked into it

Dinner with a friend the other night and we get to telling outrageous news stories, many of which had the sound of distorted myth. Since I stopped watching TV regularly, I am never in on the topics people are talking about, but I think it gives my dinner mates the floor without interruption, and I am sure they enjoy that to some degree.

There were 2 stories I just had to verify. So I looked into them.

Man loses diamond ring in metal detector
If you are picturing it riding through on the conveyor, all on its own, as I did, you can see how you would suspect this story of being questionable. But that's not how it happened.

The facts:
April 2007 - Bangkok
German tourist Richard Chrobop, age 60, claims the 2.5 ct ring was in his waistcoat (waistcoat? Where were his spats and top hat?) which was in a plastic bin when it went through the Xray. When it came out, it was gone.

So he's lying, right?
Not necessarily. The airport is known for thefts, and the ring was photographed by the scanner.

So he'll get reimbursed, right?
Not necessarily. After admitting the ring was photographed, the airport manager refused any further cooperation.

But they have a suspect, right?
The police investigator, pictured below, deduced, '"I believe someone took the ring while it was passing through the machine,"

MIT student arrested for suspicious t-shirt
The facts:

September 2007 - Boston
Star Simpson, age 19 was charged with "possessing a hoax device." She has pleaded Not Guilty, and her case is still active.

That's crazy, right?Not necessarily. Simpson did disregard an "airport employee's" questions about the shirt she was wearing, which contained a clumsily taped-and-batteried circuit board and some obscure handwritten scrawl on the back.

Police Maj Scott Pare, pictured below, said, "Thankfully because she followed our instructions, she ended up in our cell instead of a morgue."
In one version of the story she is described as holding "a lump of...putty," though that detail disappears in later editions. Because it was Play-Doh.

To your point, though, the guns-drawn surrounding and take-down of her on the sidewalk may have been extreme.

What is wrong with you people? What is your fear of circuitry?
I dunno. These guys, mostly. But to your point, they didn't have any circuitry.

She wouldn't knowingly do something dangerous, would she?
Star writes, "When I was very young, my mom told me to never mix electricity and water. I had to know why, so I loosened the bathroom night-light from its socket, turned on the tap, grabbed the contacts, and stuck my other hand into the running water. ZAP! The shock sparked a lifelong interest in electricity and electronics." aaaw-sum.

How did this turn out?
The case is continued to July. You can follow updates here, or by email. Simpson is unable to comment until then.

Fly safely. Bookmark this.

and remember.....
Potentially explosive water is perfectly safe when bunched together in nearby bins

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There is an update

I have to provide an important update to my earlier post, in which I referred to myself as the Susan Lucchi of the International Audio Awards. I came back to the office to a call from the Studio Director to let me know I had won Program of the Year.

I get to say "I" because there truly is no other staff. Producer, host, engineer, Sound FX

This year's entry, "Grand Canyon," really did score Program of the Year, making Audio Journal the reigning champ of these awards and me nothing short of aghast. Six years without a bite, and then shoot right for the top. As I said to The Boss last year when she tagged me a Top Performer... "You realize there is nowhere positive to go from this tier."

I struggled with how to break this news until this silly duck remembered she had a website. Modesty forbid me from sending a mass market email, and the 1 time I tried saying this news in person made me so self-conscious I resolved not to repeat it.

But let me address your FAQs.

What's this again?
The International Association of Audio Information Services. You know, Blind Folks Radio.

Why would blind people need.... let's not go down that road, please.

so..International? really?
Uh-huh, and not just Canada.

Is there money in it?
You're funny.

Do you get to go to an awards show?
No, that already happened. Our studio director was there. Our station has won Best in Show so many times they might start to exclude us. Or at least name it after us.

"Who ever heard of awards without acceptance speeches? It's barbaric!" ~~ Ted Baxter

But I'll steal some mike time when we visit the State House next week for Radio Reading Day and have the ear of the governor and state legislators. I think I'll open with, "It all began at a 5000 watt radio station....."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doesn't that just figure

It has been unbelievably cold, grey, windy, rainy all month. Naturally this would happen when I left town. It is 100 degrees in Texas right now, and I don't think the sun came up yet. I said, "I promise not to complain that it's hot." He said, "Well we're already complaining."

I thought I would eventually get myself caught up to the actual calendar on this blog, but like most of my tasks, there are more of them than time in the day, so I am just going to fill them in here and start fresh when I get back. Also what I did with my work email last night.

I once worked with a procurement guy who confessed that once a year he just swept everything off his desk into the trash. He might-a been funnin' with me.

Notice how they have to remind us all the time it is cooler on the Cape. Because God-forbid we broadcast any weather outside of 128.

So here's what was on my list to Draw In for you, but I will just have to direct you to it and rant instead.

The Baroness sent a great story about washboards, and how the last washboard company in America has rediscovered its relevance by supplying washboards to troops in Iraq. They haven't done so well since the Big One. (Dr A and I argue over whether WWII is the Big One. But I distinguish between it and the Great One. Not Jackie Gleason. What were we talking about?) It seems they are just right for field clean-up, and probably will do for up-armoring if you went to war with the equipment you had.

I like little Americana stories like this, like the VT lumber company that makes Scrabble tiles. Or it did until it closed about 10 years ago. If you like those stories, re-visit our salute to pink flamingos and Table Top pies. And buy one, would you?

There was a story about how I am the Susan Lucci of the Audio Information Awards, having been nominated 6 years running without anything to show for it. It featured this photo, and (I sort of hoped) had a different outcome this year. It didn't.

Oh but it is Radio Reading Day at the State House, so that should either be great exposure... or a disorganized mess. I'll play nicely either way.

Speaking of the State House for a minute, let's talk about Ted Kennedy, because I want you outlanders to know that the "gracious outpouring of love" for the Senator you're reading about is both exaggerated and sort of...hypocritically true. Because there is some Teddy Bear fencing (good pun) going on for sure, but in the day-to-day, most New Englanders -- Bostonians especially -- really can't stand Ted Kennedy.

He is referred to as (talk out of the side of your mouth very low) "Kennedy." Sometimes Bleepin' Kennedy. never Senator Kennedy. And we find him and Victoria quite annoying. Joan - very annoying. Remember when she passed out on Marlborough St? Know who lives on Marlborough St? So why do we keep re-electing him? Better smile when you say that, South Carolina.

We loved our Rose. What a passel of mess she raised up, huh? And Caroline we love, because seriously... can a person take much more? John Jr was a hottie of course, and we liked him for that. What a teddy bear fence that was.

Games to play with your Kennedy coverage. One point each for use of the word
- lion or lionized
- stalwart
- liberal (extra points if capitalized)
- Chappaquiddik
By the way, Mary Jo would be 68 this July.
And Wikipedia has already been updated with the brain tumor story.

Other current news we must discuss is the alleged splitting of Jodie and Cydney, which was reported by The Enquirer, by the way, and picked up by every online news outlet as a real lead. I suspect the Enquirer is hoping that by denying the story, they acknowledge their relationship, in a "Have you stopped beating your wife" kind of way. If 2 children doesn't acknowledge a relationship, I don't know what would. But this was the best answer ever.

In parting, let me say to Karen both "thanks" and "thanks" (with rolled eyes) for getting me back on Grey's Anatomy for this season. I was really fine to let that go, but I realize what was dragging my mood was being unable to channel Dr. Bailey through my work day. I am so much better now.

I will see YOU all later.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Learning Dusty Springfield was white

#10 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.

I don't really have a story to go with this memory. It's not the Fall of Saigon -- now that's a story -- or the job interview by phone where I was told "we were hoping to hire a boy" (and to be precise that was 1982), but it is a realization many people admit they stumbled onto. One fella I knew stumbled onto it in the 1990s.

Shouldn't Dusty Springfield look like this?

that is our adorable Dana Owens...aka The Queen

For heaven's sake, her name is Dusty. She's with the son of a "preacher man." "Dusty In Memphis," right? Why is she dressed like Karen Carpenter? Were she and Tammy Wynette separated at birth?

In a world populated by Joss Stone, Susan Tedeschi, even Norah Jones (Ravi Shankar? really? well I don't what the hell then...) the wonder of Dusty Springfield may be lost to us. But there was a night -- some Dean Martin, King Special, Sonny & Cher Show night -- when my world was completely rocked.

Like seeing this guy on Hee Haw.

It ain't your parent's hit parade anymore.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rejected Titles

The Bourne Facsimile

The Bourne Condundrum

The Bourne Hilarity

The Bourne Factotum

The Bourne Postulate

The Bourne Memorandum

The Bourne Homily

The Bourne Microcosm

The Bourne Mollusk

The Bourne Sequel

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Day No Pigs Would Die

a Mill update.

Last day of the Free Lunch. (except for special occasions like Fridays, when fewer people are on the job, and more prone to disappear into town on a warm sunny day. if we ever have one of those.)

It was October when this chapter began. All pools on how long the soup line would last were blown away long ago. I stuck to my guns on standing in line for handouts when disaster had not actually struck, but daily que'ing became a fact of our mill life.

If we had passed a rule that said at the sound of a bell all workers will leave their stations and assemble for baked potato bar, there might have been a rebellion, but since it was a benny and not a duty, you couldn't keep the crowds away.

Some meals were not a hit, and quickly scuttled.

Fried Chicken (or "mouse," as one of my co-workers named it) proved to be messy and unmanageable, and the white meat/dark meat people could not work out their differences. naturally, the dark meat eaters felt they should get two-for-one against the breast eaters, and no one wanted the wings.

Ziti and red sauce was reluctantly eaten, and everyone griped, as they mounded their plates with it. The Boss ate hers standing, while asking who was ordering in.

The pizza was bad, and the Pizza boxes worse. There was a movement to provide crackers on soup day -- a movement that was successful, I might add. Crackers are very hard to come by.

I couldn't get a read on baked potato bar, but it came around often in the rotation.

The most popular menu turned out to be pulled pork. And I haven't known an odder smell in my workday since I attended 7th grade next door to the Brown & Williamson factory. Oh, but how the folk went mad for they po'k. "Pulled pork day" became a common excuse for not doing whatever was requested of you. Not only did it mean you certainly weren't going out for lunch, or a walk, or a pharmacy run, but you had to miss a meeting so you could stand in line. So you shrug to your team, "well, it was pulled pork day..." and they nod as if you had said (as we used to in Texas) "then the train pulled in, and...."

Here are the rules of pulled pork day:

1) You must always say "pulled pork." Never call it barbecue, because you are a Yankee, and never just say "pork," because somehow a "pork sandwich" sounds common, and a "pulled pork sandwich" sounds like a restaurant.

2) Make sure all your co-workers are alerted that it is pulled pork day. They may have anosmia. I looked that up for you. You're welcome.

3) Insist that they must stay for the pulled pork. Forget you know pronouns or synonyms, and say "pulled pork" about 50 times in this conversation. Stand right next to me while you do.

4) Be unapolgetic to anyone who does not eat pork -- pulled or otherwise.

5) (if you are me) Call it "Pig Pickin'."

May 9th is the day no pigs would die. The cafeteria has re-opened, the caterers have moved into it, and the line you will stand in now is to pay them. Boss of Bosses takes full credit for the redesign. He told us in a recent company meeting that we pay "real dollars" in rent, and should get good services. He meant to thank the crew who was cleaning our common room every day. I am sure he meant to.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Uncle Safa Needs You

It's the time of year when we start threatening to move away if things don't go as desired in the fall elections. Some of us do. and it turns out it is harder to emigrate to Canada than one expects.

But cheer-up, America, because there are jobs in Finland.

In fact, there are jobs for the taking all over Scandinavia and they are fighting for your affections. Finland wants you to know they have good air, good services, good management, and they really do have 4 seasons.

Finland is the "underside" of the unfortunately shaped scandinavian region. (Oh, don't act shocked. They know what it looks like same as you, and they know which part Finland is. The part where all the business is.)

Unemployment is low-low in the great north. And that's good for Nordic society, but not so good for Nordic business and they need the high-tech skills.

Oh...we got Trouble. Right here in Helsinki...
So if you got the mad skills, and like your reindeer rare, here is some good news/bad news about your relocation opportunity.

Cool Finnish stuff
The most sparsely populated country in the EU: if you like your commerce organized, but your life simple, this might suit you. Helsinki has half a million, so it's not exactly Cicily, Alaska.

Lapland. White Nights. Saami people.
70 degree summers.

Nokia. and they are hiring. KI think.

Questionable Finnish stuff
Finnish is not an Indo-European language. There are 8 vowels. No word on "sometimes Y." The rest of that article read like this.

Finland is not in NATO. But their army has a Jaeger Brigade. She is not in it.

A city named Espoo. You will giggle till milk comes out of your nose.


Finland is ....

Finland isn't entirely above the Arctic Circle, it just feels like it.
Helsinki is quite far south, near Estonia. And you would never visit there unless you emigrated to Finland. Is that reason enough?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I am so tired of the Duggars

18th child expected

Michelle Duggar is 41 and the mother of soon-to-be 18.
The oldest is 20. The youngest born is 9.
The uterus is 1000.
Even a brood sow gets to retire.

I am tired of their procreation being sponsored by corporate America.
Sadly, not this sector.

But mostly, it is this that is so completely tiresome:
Joshua, Jennifer, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger (ew. did you forget the Y?), Joseph, Josiah, 11, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, (it took them this long to choose JAMES) Justin, Jackson, and Johannah.

I am not even going to post their picture.
I am going to link to this instead.

Your social security benefit will be paid for by the home-schooled. Plan accordingly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Click and be counted

The counter has been returned to the DrawingIn Room. I had a site meter in the early days, but when I upgraded to the new version of Blogger I didn't carry it over -- no real reason except I forgot to.

Recently, a newcomer to the blog world was asking about site meters and which ones were recommended, and after giving her what little I knew, I decided to turn mine back on. You will find it at the bottom of the page, and here is what it is telling me about you.

A whole lotta drivebys: As I write this, over 200 since May 5 (please be assured that it is not really May 6 as I write this -- that is a trick I pull to make me look more attentive to my audience.) Length of average visit though..... 36 seconds? I hope this is because you check in to see what's new, and of course NOTHING for days on end. So I will try to be more frequent if you will try to shop at the concession stand and tip the waitresses.

Site meter predicts that based on this rate, I will have 2000 visits over the next month. I find this highly unlikely. Has one of you made me your home page? Because that may be skewing things. Before you say it, I'll tell you that site meter does not count ME. I have a setting for that.

Site Meter tells me where you are and what page you linked to. Here's what's catching attention out there:
  • My observation on moving heavy equipment
  • The joy of fresh tomatoes (this reader from NC, where the tomatoes are being planted right now)
  • In Boston they are reading my tips on The Economist.
Without new content, the readership has been forced to the archives.

The most popular entry page at present is my discussion of Ladies and their Girdles. 18 visits? Do I dare wonder why? It's from a year ago. It's the people at Spanx, about to send me a cease-and-desist for stealing their photo. Or more proof that I never know what people will respond to.

So I hope I have spent the past few hours giving you some new places to play. But my elbows hurt now, and I do have other items on my list to attend to. So have a pleasant evening and let me know you dropped by. 200 of you must have something to say.

Love, C

Monday, May 5, 2008


Added another chip to my Big Divas scorecard this week with Dolly Parton at the Boston Opera House. I see I still have a long way to go, and these girls ain't gettin' no younger. If I can score Babs, I think I have a circle-Bingo, which must be worth something. The price of Babs tickets, one can hope.

I have seen Linda Eder, the working man's Barbra, and in the round. So who needs Caesar's Palace?

By the way, that is Jim Bailey as Judy Garland on that top row. I am old, but not that old. Now, I did see Sonny & Cher in 1971 and it sort of counts, but she was only sassy then, not yet FIERCE. So I didn't mark it.

I was once on a plane with Miss Patti LaBelle. Like Dolly, she is all heels-n-hair, and very approachable. Thankfully, none of us in line said, "Voulez vous coucher avec moi."

I am actually afraid of Eartha Kitt (creepy puppet) and Diana Ross (insane robot), but if you had tickets, I would shriek like a drag queen.

For more on Dolly, manager of the year, check out my man Jay on HR Cleanup.

So you know I give equal time, I also have this Bingo card:

It's a work in progress.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

To hell with everything

Dream or nightmare? First one to try it, please report back.

I thought I had reached the living end when we over-caffeinated soda and called it Jolt. But shortly after that we caffeinated beer, then water, but then as I have confessed, I am no early adopter.

But why pussyfoot around any longer with heartpounding liquids when you can just indulge in Bacon Salt?

Their motto: "Everything should taste like bacon." everything
I expect something like this hit the Roman Empire just before it all went up in flames.
Crispity Hickory-smoked flames.

This website is either true or brilliant, but one thing it is is THOROUGH. And thoroughly absurd.

bacon salt is vegetarian - because that's the same market, right?
bacon salt is kosher - repeat last remark
BaconSalt (the entity) was funded by America's funniest home videos. and the video is not at all funny. It must have been a light week for submissions.
bacon salt has a fan base - Exhibit A & B and merchandise
bacon salt is being air-lifted to the troops - Which should endear us to our Muslim "hosts." Boys from Texas gots to has they bacums.

serve it with this.
And that my friends, is a full circle.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A dream? Or a dud?

Your Score: Pure Nerd
69 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 47% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendencies associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Thanks Again! -- Link:
The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test


One of the popular blog-memes in which I have not yet indulged, asks the individual "Are you a Nerd, Geek, or Dork?" One test might be knowing what a meme is, and using a construction like "in which I have not yet...." But these test designers have instead come up with a 60 question quiz to determine which you are.

Staying fixated for 60 questions is another such test.

I scored Pure Nerd. Oh I am so proud. Without any interest in science fiction, Phaentasy, fanzines, or fan cons, I have managed to score above-average on things nerdy. Ouch.

Not that I ever thought I was an Alpha. My crowd in high-school was best described as Square White College-Bound. Our counterparts, Square Black College-Bound, were equally nerdy, but much more popular.

things the quiz does not ask but to which I will admit:

- Going through a magic trick period

- Latin Club (this is Mathletes for the Liberal Arts set)

- Drama Club - where to meet pretty gay boys

- Newspaper editor (2 years running. uncontested.)

But all of that is a long time ago. Certainly a lunker like me, refined in the finest woman's college in the See-outh, could re-invent herself into a first-class urban sophisticate.

You can take the girl out of Toughskins, but you can't take the Toughskins out of the girl.

Where the quiz brought me into the nerd-light:

Reading - uccch. poor girl. Nonfiction. sad. textbooks. Now let me clarify. I read textbooks as a job. (but I do actually enjoy it) tsk

No sports, no dancing. But as I often say: No one wants to see the Baptist girl dance. It isn't pretty.

Using encyclopedias to obtain information. It was not asked if you keep one by the TV to better appreciate Elizabeth the Golden Age or Troy -- 2 movies you should skip, by the way. Commenting on movies.

Consider self both above average intelligence and below average in looks. Studies show that higher achievers will score themselves lower. I could cite that source, but that would be so farty.

Farty, but the way, "Gay" and "A Fag" were not part of this test. You don't have to hide your Members Only jacket.

Pointing out spelling and grammar mistakes. Real Corporate Email anyone?

Excelling at trivia games, esp. in a particular subject area. Which is is why no one will play TP-Silver Screen version with me. sniff.

Knowing where my library card is. In the recent corporate scavenger hunt, the other teams took a pass on the "check out a book in a library" points when they realized I was their opponent.


Comics. Ssh. But very specific ones - EC Horrors between 1945 and 1960... oh, I did it again.

Anticipating the outcome of the quiz AND.... being wrong. I thought for sure I was a geek.

If you are brave enough.... share your results.

I think the test should have displayed a female photo in the results, but the quiz-makers may have never seen one.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Postage increase

In anticipation of this month's price increase, Americans stock up on the new "Forever" stamp.
Ralph could not be reached for comment.