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So we're driving home from SCA on Friday night. It's a little after midnight because we're both always so hyper after meetings (especially Bobby, having just spent two hours bashing people with wooden swords) that we always go with the other heavy fighters to Pizza Hut. Mind, we have to be up at six the next morning for our shift at the Aquarium.

It is the coldest night we've had in Maryland so far this year. The temperature is hovering around 26F/-3C, we're driving north through Carroll County, in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch blackness ...

... and we get a flat tire.

8^|

Okay, not funny, Murphy!

We were following the marshal who's training Bobby (Graham) and his wife (Dawn!), and luckily, we got a flat right in front of a gas station, but probably for that reason, Graham and Dawn didn't think much of the fact that we were limping into a gas station and didn't stop. We watched their taillights dwindle into the darkness. I think I wubbled a little bit.

Changing a tire in below-freezing temperatures, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, while exhausted and knowing that the alarm will be ringing mighty early--like in five hours--does not make futzing with a flat tire much fun.

Oddly, we got a flat on the same tire on the exactly a year earlier, minus one day, while driving home from Ocean City with Sharon and Kirsty. Much as we like Bobby's car (well, as much as two eco-radicals can like a car that's not a hybrid), it does terribly on tires. This is the fourth tire we've put on that spot. Luckily, Bobby bought the warranty after last year's flat.

Also, the Conclusion to the Pie Plate Fiasco *sigh* )
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I'm putting the rest behind the cut because it's strongly opinionated and I don't want to unwillingly subject anyone to my rantishness.

Comments are welcome, as always, but I ask that people be polite (to me and all others) and keep in mind that this is my opinion and my journal and, yes, I need to rant sometimes in my journal.

Dumbledore Is Gay?! )
Perhaps because it is Monday and I am tired from shifting back to my normal nocturnal schedule over the weekend or maybe because I'm PMSing, things have just been getting on my nerves lately. Now I could grumble about my coworkers and their inability to use technology that's been prevalent since the '80s or the way that Maryland drivers drive when they perceive that there might be snow nearby ("like OMG it's piled all next to the road!") or any number of small things, but I'm choosing instead to write about some thoughts that have been on my mind lately about sports, religion, and escapism and how they intersect.

So, yes, I'm ranting. Hopefully not incoherently but ranting all the same. And since it does not always seem to be clear that my journal contains my opinions, then please be forewarned that my journal contains my opinions. You're welcome to disagree but please do try to be civil about it.

Best Served with a Can of Worms.... )
I always hear women extolling the virtues of girlfriends and the power of girlfriendship, and frankly, I'm beginning to wonder what I'm missing. Because I have tried oh-so-hard to have girlfriends, and it never works. I just spent the whole weekend in the company of myself or with my husband and our guy friends, attempting to avoid my supposed "girlfriend" as much as possible.

On Girlfriends )
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Random note:

Okay, as of five minutes ago, we are going to Bermuda! In March! Bobby and I needed to go somewhere to finish our open water dives for our scuba certifications, and we had promised my sister-in-law Erin to pay for part of a trip someplace cool with us for her 21st birthday. We'd originally considered going back to Puerto Rico, but in looking for good travel deals, Bobby found a great deal to Bermuda, at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort, which (for diving geeks) is also a five-star PADI resort.

I can think of worse fates than doing my check-out dives on a coral reef in crystal-clear, warm water. Better than a murky, cold quarry certainly!

I had started this post to muse on names, but that news is simply too exciting not to share. :)

And Now I Shall Muse on Names...Namely *My* Name )
Today, I was surfing the 'net at work and actually being productive in a way that might have real-life tangible benefits, looking for examples of punctuation errors that can lead to embarassing misunderstandings for a writing sample that I was doing. As is often the case with surfing the Internet, I ended up reading something completely unrelated to my original topic and far more interesting.

Most know Lynne Truss as the author the no-nonsense approach to grammar Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Incidentally, that book was the reason that I ended up on her site, ended up clicking a link to her other book, Talk to the Hand, and ended up spending nearly an hour reading the introduction that is posted on her homepage.

Talk to the Hand is about the loss of politeness and subsequent overwhelming rise of rudeness in modern society. Even just reading the introduction, a lot of sense was made for me on points that had before been a bit baffling or simply beyond categorization.

It Takes a Village... )
A Quick Introductory Note:I have written this post for myself because I want most of all for my journal to be just that: a journal that I can look upon in a few--or many--years time. I am leaving it unlocked, however, because I think [hope?] that discussing and thinking about these things will help us in the end, whether in the practical sense of inspiring policy change or in the emotional sense of understanding what happened five years ago and how we were all changed that day.

I know a lot of you are sharing your thoughts online. I have read them all, even if I did not comment. My own thoughts and views follow. Because I know that some would rather not read political opinions associated with 9/11, I have divided the post into two parts. If you want to read my personal story, you will know that the topic is going to change by my usual line break "~oOo~".

Likewise, if you prefer me ranting on a soapbox to squicky personal posts [because this is a very personal story and not a time in my life that I like to talk about] then you are, of course, welcome to amuse yourself with my usual pissing and moaning, keeping mind that these are, of course, my opinions, and as my father-in-law is fond of saying: "Opinions are like ass****s; everyone's got one, and sometimes, they stink."

~oOo~


Today is the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I know that I am not alone in saying that I will always remember that day: where I was, what I was doing, how I felt. I often hear people say how they can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the attacks.

My 9/11 Story (cut for angst and personal shtuff) )

Have We Learned *Anything* from All of This?? (cut for slightly rantish behavior on possibly inflammatory political topics) )

*is annoyed*

Apr. 7th, 2006 01:36 pm
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
This is an entry that--timewise--I cannot afford. But it's my lunchtime, so screw it. I'm indulging.

Just a Flat-Out Rant )
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Bleh.

Jan. 19th, 2006 10:42 am
dawn_felagund: Skeleton embracing young girl (Default)
Life is really just annoying and not much fun right now. And I think it's a worldwide condition. I've seen a lot of you say the same things in your journals.

Completely Self-Indulgent Rant Complete with Cursing and Whining...You're Welcome to Skip It and My Feelings Won't Be Hurt )
I had jury duty today. (For those of you who don't live in the good ol' USA and therefore have no need to have knowledge of our judicial process--if anything that slow can be called a "process"--jury duty involves random selection from a list of registered voters and drivers. It is basically considered to be one of the banes of life: a pleasing combination of boring and inconvenient. Oh! But they pay you $10 a day, which makes it very worthwhile to miss a day of work, especially if you don't get paid time off.

(Which, believe me, if I didn't get paid for the day I took for jury duty, I would have been out of the state this week.)

But, I do, so alas, I did my civic duty and went.

It was...interesting.

They kicked things off by showing us a video about jury duty. It was all grand-sounding and called "Your Turn to Serve" and included personal testimonials from jurors, beginning with how inconvenienced they felt and ending with--literally--testaments along the lines of, "This was such a wonderful experience! I can't wait to do it again!" (Seriously, one woman said that.)

I laughed through the whole thing.

I felt really bad about that. Well, not really bad; I felt a miniscule amount of badness because some underpaid bureaucrat (like myself) is probably so freakin' proud of that thing. I was thinking, "Do people actually buy this?" Yes, well, I suppose they do. They've bought worse.

After that, we sat. I finished a Joyce Carol Oates collection of horror stories called The Collector of Hearts (highly recommended to those of you out there who like darkfic), started the Chronicles of Narnia (which I want finished before the movie comes out), and wrote my brainstorm list for Nelyo's first official staff meeting (which means Bobby and me sitting on the couch in our PJs and probably eating some evol snack with a hockey game in the background, chatting about the imminent candy biz.) After two hours went by, the head guy (don't know what his position is actually called) came in and told us that no jury trials were going to be held today, and so we would be excused.

(Likely, I would have been excused anyway. The one trial that might have been a jury trial was a criminal case. I work for a law enforcement agency devoted to locking up parole violators. Really, I don't have much of a "cop mentality"--I'm just a statistician after all--but they don't need to know that this is one matter on which I am fairly unbiased. They see "Warrant Unit" and goodbye....)

So for two-and-a-half hours of work, I made ten dollars (four dollars an hour, yay! less than the legal minimum!) and got to go home early and work on my NaNo story.

Which because I know everyone is waiting with bated breath, is up to *exactly* 34,500 words. You don't need to tell me that I'm a sick person. I know I am.

Mini Rant (cut for verbal badness) )
Forget the terrorists. Forget the people who have been killed in 9/11, the London subway bombings, and in the other terrorist attacks occuring daily around the world. Forget the efforts of people like my husband and my coworkers, who go out every day and risk their lives to stop crime and terrorism.

Because what we need is protection from pornography.

The following article appeared in The Washington Post on 21 September 2005:

Recruits Sought for Porn Squad )

Commentary from the 'gund--THIS WILL BE POLITICALLY INCEDIARY. IF YOU WILL BE BOTHERED BY THIS, DO NOT READ IT. (Also, there is a discussion of sexuality. ::gasp!:: )

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