31 October 2011

Book Review: Attracted to Fire

Lindsay Hall is a drug addict and an alcoholic.  She also happens to be the daughter of the Vice President of the United States of America.

Special Agent Meghan Connors has always dreamt of being assigned to protect the President.  And the opportunity to do that may present herself if she can successfully protect Lindsay during a rehab stint on a working ranch in Texas.  The Vice President specifically requests Meghan, and she's eager to prove her worth, even when she discovers this means working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders, who is notorious for being critical, tough, and biased against female agents.

This was a fun, exciting, fast-paced book.  Read my full review here.

30 October 2011


We got some snow in Philly this weekend.  Unfortunately, it didn't really stick around here.  What fell on house roofs and and car roofs stuck, but nothing stuck to the streets or sidewalks.  Boo.

I was a little amused at the way people (read: the media) were all "ZOMG - it's snowing in OCTOBER!!!"  Clearly, these people did not grow up in Missouri, where snow in October is a regular occurrence.  Granted, I'm not referring to snow on 01 October, but it isn't at all unusual to get some kind of snowfall at some point during October.

When I mentioned this at work, one of the women got excited and said she should move.  But when I mentioned that she'd also have to get used to the summers with 100-115º heat indices, she changed her mind.  Oh well.

29 October 2011

When Mom and Felix Gang up on Me

Last night, I received the following email from my mother:

"Hi How is my wonderful, beautiful, great daughter tonight?  I am really writing to see if you are taking Felix to see Puss in Boots tomorrow.  If you don't, I am going to tell him.
"Love, Mom"
As luck would have it, Felix was actually sitting on my lap when the email came and I opened it.  Hmph.  I asked him if he had interest in the movie, and he actually seemed to.  Double hmph.  So I then explained that we would probably have to rent it because I didn't think he would be allowed in the theater.  I called Mom to tell her that she was causing problems because Fe saw the email, and she was delighted.  "Good!  Now I don't even have to tell him!"
Today, I am cooking a whole chicken in the Crock Pot (hang on - this relates to the story).  When I cook a whole chicken, I boil the liver and gizzard, and let the cat eat them.  Oscar used to LOVE liver so much that I'd buy it for him at the grocery store, but Fe only likes it enough that he gets it when I have it on hand already.  I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone as I was boiling the innards, and Fe was mewing impatiently.  I told her that I had already told Felix that since he was getting special treats today, we weren't going to the movies -- he could only get so much fun in one day.  She informed me I wasn't being fair.

Felix kept mewing impatiently, so much so that Mom finally asked me what I was doing to the poor guy.  I said, "He just REALLY wants his liver and gizzard.  He doesn't understand the cooking process."  To which she replied, "Oh.  I thought I heard him say that he's mad you aren't taking him to see Puss in Boots today."

She's incorrigible.

28 October 2011

List #33: Things I Wish I Knew More About

1.  Art
I always wanted to take an art history class, but I never had space for it when I was choosing classes.  In high school, I took every biology class offered and I packed in six years worth of English courses in my four years there, including taking a "study hall" my senior year, during which I TAed the Anatomy & Physiology class.

2.  History (both US and world)
I've always been bored to death by every history class I've ever taken, but I get sucked into a lot of History Channel shows and documentaries.  I think (like many classes), I just need(ed) a really great teacher who didn't just stand at the front of the room and recite facts, dates, and names.  I mean, in law school, we learnt a TON of history, but it was taught with passion and as stories (which they were, since it was taught as case history), so it wasn't like the typical "learn this date and person and war so you can recite them back on a test later this month."  Everything had context.

3.  Music
I always wanted to take a music appreciation course, too.  While I love music and know a bit about playing it (I played violin), I don't really know that much music history, or that much about different composers, what they wrote, why they're significant (I mean, other than "because they wrote great piece that became famous - duh"), etc.

4.  Physics
Our high school physics teacher was completely popular because she had a kick-ass fun class.  I always wanted to take it, but (1) I didn't have enough time and (2) I didn't fulfil the prereqs anyway (again, because of the whole time thing).  But now there's a guy at work who taught Physics for years, and we've been talking about several of us doing lunches together every once in awhile to discuss real-world issues and how physics applies.  Why, no, we're not geeks at all.

5.  Basketball
This is one of the few sports I don't follow.  I don't have anything against it (like my mom's husband does - omg, please don't get him started).  But it's just not a sport I really understand.  I mean, I get the fundamentals - dribble, shoot, two-points, three-points, free throws, technical fouls, blah blah blah.  But I can't tell you much about the different fouls (I bet I couldn't name more than a few), and I DEFINITELY can't tell you anything about the strategy of the game.

6.  World Geography
I used to be fairly decent at this, but I suck at it now.  I'm good at pockets.  I know North America really well, I'm fairly good with eastern/northern Europe, and eastern Asia.  I used to kick-ass at the Mid-East, but not so much anymore.  It's kind of embarrassing, really.  It kind of makes me want to track down one of those more fun colouring books for geography and work through it.  (Hey, it's how I learnt anatomy - why not geography?).

27 October 2011

Recipe: Hamburger Hot Pot Variation

You may remember me posting this recipe for Hamburger Hot Pot a couple of months ago.

What I've discovered since then (although, believe me - it's no great discovery), is that this is a great base recipe.  It's awesome for adding in random veggies and getting a crapload of food that lasts a week.  For very little money, I get a relatively healthy and extremely inexpensive lunch that lasts me all week!  What's not to love about that?

This week, I added Brussels sprouts.  Trader Joe's had entire stalks of Brussels sprouts for sale for a bit less for $3.50, and since this is one of my favourite veggies, I bought a stalk.  I cut the smaller ones in half and the larger ones in quarters.  I still cooked it on low for about 8-9 hours, and it was great.

I have a new recipe that I'm trying this weekend, so stay tuned for that next week.  But the week after, I'll be trying Hamburger Hot Pot again with (probably) the bag of frozen veggie mix that I have leftover from Angel Food.

26 October 2011

Winter Recipe Ideas

The time for cooking soups, stews, chilis, and casseroles is rolling in!  (Well, if you're me, any time is a good time for a casserole, but, you know.)

What are your favourite recipes? or blogs for recipes?

Do you subscribe to cooking magazines that you REALLY love that I need to check out (I just unsubscribed from one because I generally only got two good recipes each issue out of it, and that just wasn't good enough for me.)

Please let me know!

25 October 2011

Transit musings

Almost every morning, I sit next to the same woman on the trolley on the way to work.  If I catch the 6:36 a.m. trolley, I can almost bet on sitting next to this middle-aged, black woman with close-cropped hair and who seems very dignified.  We sit in the very first row on the trolley.

I never speak to her, and she never speaks to me, which seems awkward given that we sit next to each other all the time.  I mean, I get that I'm not on the trolley to make friends, but it just feels weird.

On the other hand, do you remember the man from Mozambique that I met awhile back when a different woman let her three kids sit in trolley seats when adults were left standing in the aisle?  I've seen him a few times since (most recently on the Thursday before Rhinebeck), and every time he and I see each other, we strike up a conversation.  I now know where he works (a large local bakery), his work shift (pretty much all day, nearly every day), and that he brings home seconds for his friend.

In the category of random: It annoys me when the trolley is crowded and people insist on standing in the aisle when seats are available.  I get the mentality of "I'm getting off soon, so I don't need to sit down," but as one of the people who is getting off BEFORE those people and now has to fight my way between all the bodies with my groceries, workbag, or whatever, I would really rather you just sat your ass down and got out of my (and everyone else's) way so we could exit the trolley without all this trouble.

And to the guy who stood in the empty row of seats...  wtf????

24 October 2011

Book Review: Stay

Savannah "Van" Leone is broken-hearted after her best-friend's wedding (who she's been in love with for years), and confused when Peter (the best friend in question arrives at her house and tries to kiss her).  She does something most people can't relate to -- she drunk-orders a dog from the internet... from Slovakia.

When Joe (as she names the dog) arrives, he isn't the small puppy she is expecting, but is instead, a big, lumbering hulk of a puppy with energy to spare.  Soon, her bank account is drained (she spent HOW MUCH on this dog?), she's being evicted for violating the pet policy, and she may developing feelings for the new vet she's had to meet.

This was a fun book and a quick read.  Read my full review here.

23 October 2011

Guess My Word

For about the past month, I have become addicted to this game.  It was mentioned on "Jeopardy!" because the champion for several days in a row is the guy who either designed the game or helped design the game.

The concept is easy.  You guess a word, and the programme tells you if the word of the day is before or after your word (in the dictionary).  Keep guessing until you get the correct word.  Whether you want to get the word in the quickest time or the least amount of guesses is up to you.

The game is maddening but addictive.

Have fun!

22 October 2011


I briefly mentioned this incident on Twitter two weeks ago, but I also spoke to SEPTA (Philly's mass transit system) customer service and they advised that I file an online complaint.  I took their advice, and I filled out the online form.

This is what I entered in the space where I describe the incident:

"During the ride, the driver kept reading a book, which I do not think is safe for a trolley operator to be doing while operating a trolley full of passengers, even if underground.  The book appeared to be an employee manual of some kind, as she kept reading aloud a passage regarding something being due the Sunday after schedules come out and how this isn't fair, especially to Overbrook operators.  First, this is a safety issue for her to be reading while operating the trolley.  Second, I think it is extremely inappropriate to be discussing company policies and procedures in that kind of public forum when passengers can hear (I was three rows back on the right side).

"When I attempted to take a picture of her reading (for proof to attach to an email to SEPTA), she saw me and asked her friend, "Why is that Chinese lady taking my picture?"  He said, "Want me to go make her wipe it off?" and they laughed.  First, I am not Chinese -- I am Korean.  I do not expect that the average person will know my ethnic background by looking at me, but it is extremely rude and insensitive for her to make assumptions like that.  I believe that this issue should be addressed with her, as well.

"I also think that SEPTA employees should not allow their friends to block ingress/egress to the trolley.  There were several times when people were entering and exiting the trolley at the same stop, but they could not do so at the same time because the operator's friend would not move from his spot.  In turn, this slowed down the trip as people entering would have to wait for people exiting, then the guy would move to the other side, etc.

"Thank you for your attention to this matter."

This past week, I received the following reply:

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and please accept our apologies for the actions and inappropriate comments of this operator.  SEPTA operators are required to direct their full attention to the task at hand - providing a safe ride.  In addition, operators - like  any other SEPTA employee - are expected to perform their duties with a level of professionalism.

"Your report is being forwarded to Management in the Elmwood District of the Surface Transportation Division.  The information that you have provided will be used to identify the operator cited.  Once positive ID is established, appropriate action will be taken."

(I had provided other information on the online form about the route I had taken, the time I had boarded, where I had boarded, etc.  Thanks to sending a text just as I boarded, I was able to give an EXACT time of boarding.  lol)

I am quite pleased with the response that I received, and I do feel that my complaint is being taken seriously.  I am also glad that this route is not my regular route, as my mom told me "Well, when you don't get picked up for work anymore, you'll know why."  But I told her it wasn't my regular trolley since it was a random trolley I took into the city from work.  Ha!

21 October 2011

List #32: Things I Miss About Being Unemployed

1.  Sleeping in; not having to set an alarm clock

2.  Being able to go to doctor's appointments anytime during the day
Although my job has flex-time and is pretty good about letting you leave early/stay late to make up time if you have appointments, it was great to be able to just call the doctor and accept whatever first available appointment they gave.

3.  Being able to do household chores when I wanted to
There are three students in my building (six of us in my building total), so it isn't as if we're all competing for precious evening/weekend spots for the one washer/dryer that are in the basement, but most of us tend to do our laundry in the evenings/weekends anyway, for some reason.  So when I was unemployed, I tended to aim for Monday mornings.  Now I aim for Friday night or early Saturday morning.  I keep trying to Monday evening since I figure I'll be the only one going for that time slot, but I keep forgetting.

4.  Being able to run errands at off-peak times
This actually isn't that bad since I get off work at 3:00 p.m., but it does mean that even though I get to the stores in the city before everyone else, if I'm not careful, I still end up hitting the rush-hour commute on the way home.

20 October 2011

Job Stuff

So, some of you know exactly what's going on, and others have just heard me talk about the things at the new job going all pear-shaped as of last week.  For reasons that should be obvious (given that this is the internet), I'm not going to go into detail here, but I will say that things are Officially Not Good.

On top of (1) family stress and (2) health stress, I now have (3) job stress.

Is it any wonder that I'm not sleeping nights?

I have no trouble falling asleep once I go to bed, but I wake up about every two hours.  And while I generally fall asleep not quite right away but soon enough, it's the constant waking up that's annoying.  And the fact that the last time I wake up tends to be around 4:40 a.m. when my alarm is set for 5:35 a.m. is EXTREMELY annoying.

Equally annoying is that Felix doesn't understand the difference between "time to get up, Mom!" and "no! Mommy is still trying to sleep.  I love you a lot but GO. AWAY."  There have been a couple of nights where I've nearly locked him out of the bedroom.  He tries to burrow under the blanket, which means that he digs at my neck and arms, to get under the RIGHT layer, but this is annoying because I KNOW (from prior experience) that this will end with him getting under the blanking, turning a few circles, crawling over my body, then deciding this is at all what he wanted, and then coming back up for air (by crawling back over my head).  So I'm trying to nip this in the bud by just not letting it start.  Blech.

Then I end up going to work feeling like I got next to no sleep.

Fun times.

19 October 2011

Random Rhinebeck Ramblings

Market baskets should not be allowed.  The fad this year was market baskets.  People bought these huge market baskets that they would then tote their purchases in.  Said baskets were usually carried on the arm of the person, which put at my eye level.  These baskets were hard and had no give.  The fact that I didn't come home with two black eyes is completely unexplainable to me.

There was also a man who was carrying his toddler on his back in a huge-ass back-pack-like contraption.  not one of those small, cosy, things that kept baby close, but a huge contraption that was basically a carry-all, a tote, and a storage bag all in one.  Okay, fine.  But then you might want to mind when you're backing into people, things, displays, etc.

I found out that it simultaneously amuses and annoys me when I pet a sheep and he poops as I pet him.

I will never again hear Peruvian flute music and not automatically want to pee.

I will never know what the other ladies in the bathroom thought when Ria, Rachel, and I went into a stall one-by-one and came out laughing.  But it really worth the trip.  And it was totally hysterical.

I still don't understand when they think they're going to the punkin chunkin.  "We told them they can come any day."  But it's a two-day event!

Some people really just do NOT understand that when they start telling you a story and the first part of the story is "Can I ask you something really inappropriate" and they are a complete stranger, that maybe the rest of the story/question shouldn't be asked/told.

The potato chip/dip man may think the sale to Ria and I wasn't worth it.  But I do!

I think we scared the poor guy who asked if he could help us.  When he said "You could have just said 'no,' that probably was a bad sign.

All in all, I don't think I stopped laughing (well, after I stopped crying when I told Rachel about The Work Incident).

I'm sorry I'll miss Rhinebeck next year.

18 October 2011

Rhinebeck, Part III

Sunday morning, before we left for the fairgrounds, I made sure to update my notebook with exactly what I needed.  Whew.  My plan to be more organised was complete.

Now that I knew exactly what I needed, I was set.  We set out, and I was pretty bummed because I hadn't been that excited by what I had seen for the one pattern that I DID know what I needed.  And we only had a few barns left.  Boo.

But we did some pretty serious power shopping, and by the time it was time to go home, I had secured yarn for all three of the patterns I needed yarn for.  The optional patterns didn't get yarn bought for, but my budget had been met, anyway.

We set sail for home, and bid Rhinebeck adieu.

I was particularly sad since I won't be able to make Rhinebeck next year, unless I want to miss the Kansas race for the second year in a row (which I probably won't), so I'm bummed.  BOOOOO.

17 October 2011

Book Review: Creep

Dr. Sheila Tao is a psychology professor at Puget Sound State University, and Ethan Wolfe is one of her students and teaching assistants.  For just over three months, they've been having an affair, but now Sheila needs to cut off the relationship because of her engagement.  Ethan doesn't take the news well, and he threatens to release a sexually explicit video the two of them made together.

Ethan also begins looking into Sheila's fiancé, Morris, to scope out the competition.  Eventually, Ethan also begins following Sheila, all to gain more information about her in order to carry out the master plan -- kidnapping her.

This book grabbed my attention on the first page and it never let go.  Read my full review here.

16 October 2011

Rhinebeck, Part II

Friday night, Ria and I went through the patterns that I wanted to get yarn for while at Rhinebeck, and I wrote in my notebook what kinds of yarn each pattern required.  I was trying to be systematic this year since in past years I've gone home with two yarns for the same pattern, but no yarn for a second pattern, or the wrong type of yarn for a certain pattern because I was going by memory.

I also wanted to have a small notebook with me so I could note if I saw certain yarns at a place that I liked but wanted to come back to later in case I didn't find something better later.  Rhinebeck is large enough that it's dangerous to buy things on Saturday or buy the first thing you see unless you ABSOLUTELY fall in love with it and MUST have it (or aren't on a strict budget).

The problem was that for two of the patterns I needed, I only wrote how many skeins of the suggested yarn I needed, which isn't helpful since I hadn't looked up how many yards each skein of the suggested yarn had.  Blech.  So on Saturday we mostly went around looking at pretty things, getting ideas for the one pattern I did know what I needed, and getting possible ideas for the others.

At the end of the day, we made sure to hit the wine and cheese barn so Rachel could have some wine to drink while Ria and I watched the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.  However, because of the stuff that happened at work on Friday, I ended up falling asleep almost as soon as the race started at 7:30.  The connection?  I barely got any sleep Friday night.  Combine that with walking around and shopping all day, and I was a sleepy knitter.

15 October 2011

Rhinebeck, Part I

Yesterday (after receiving the suckiest work news of all time -- yes, suckier than being laid off - at least when I was laid off, my character wasn't attacked), my friend Rachel came over, picked me up, and we headed off to pick up our friend Ria in north Jersey.  But first, we had to raid Target for some road trip snacks.

After that, we were off.  We had some great conversation on the way up, although I wish Rachel had mentioned earlier in the trip that she didn't have a GPS so we could have used mine.  Oh well.  We got to Ria's house in 2.5 hours.  It would have been 2 hours, but SOMEONE doesn't know whether to turn right or left off the exit to get to her own house.  (See if I trust HER directions again!)

Once we picked Ria up, we were on our way to Rhinebeck - whee!  Our tradition is to hit this lovely sushi place every Rhinebeck weekend Friday.  I think I need to stop mentioning it, though, because it was pretty crowded this year.  Hmph.

By the time we got there (not that late, really), we were hungry and ready for our sushi.  Rachel and I always talk about the Godzilla roll, which we both ordered, but I was disappointed by it this year.  I don't know if I was just too full by the time I got to it, or if my tastes have changed in the past two years (when I last had it).  But the Mexican roll and the Kamikaze roll were both SOOOOOOO good.  Rachel was going to order the crispy potato roll, so we could share it, but they gave her crazy spider roll instead.  Boo.

Then it was back to the motel room where we could watch the rest of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and strategise for the weekend.  Whee!

14 October 2011

List #31: My Favourite Poets

1. Edgar Allan Poe

2.  Maya Angelou

3.  Langston Hughes

4.  A. A. Milne

Hmm, I clearly need to either be less discerning or read more poetry. 

My Favourite YouTube Videos

I met with my friend Joanna for supper tonight.  During supper, we ended up talking about some of my favourite YouTube videos.  My newest favourite I shared with you on Monday.

Here are the other two that crack the top three.

1.  Epic Why Guy.  I discovered this video because it was posted on Ravelry a couple of years ago.  Ever since then, Ria and I have discussed the many ways in which we could re-enact this.  When I posted on Twitter the other day that I was going to be on the news, she replied with "Did they lock you out of the mall again?"

2.  The Difference Between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England Explained.  A great video made of facts but done so awesomely that it's just hysterically funny.

12 October 2011

Rhinebeck Prep

I spent tonight getting ready for Rhinebeck.  I'll be out tomorrow after work, so I knew I needed to get things together tonight.  What's left for tomorrow is to get patterns (that I want to shop for yarn for) printed, get food together for the weekend, and last-minute stuff that I can't pack until after I use it in the morning (toiletries and such).

And, of course, I'm packing some knitting to take with me.

I'm exciting since I had to miss Rhinebeck last year.  And I'll get to see Ria.  Yay!

11 October 2011

How Wrong is Curt?

Very, extremely, awesomely, hugely, exceedingly, immensely wrongity wrong wrong wrong.

Just so you all know.

10 October 2011

Not a Book Review Monday

Usually, I bring you a book review every Monday.  Although I have several queued up, I've been so inspired by this video, that I had to share it with you.

And it's tied into Book Review Monday because it's by one of my favourite authors, Brad Meltzer.

This video has been tugging at my brain since I first saw it this weekend.  In fact, I now have a little sticky in my cube at work that reads "he was a"

Enjoy.  I hope you're as inspired as I was.

(Btw, TED = Technology Entertainment and Design; MIA = Meet Inspire Act)

09 October 2011

The Autumn Wind

On Sundays (and some Saturday evenings), I usually glued to Race Day, the two-hour pre-race show on SPEED Channel.  But today, I switched over to FOX NFL Sunday, the one-hour Sunday football show.  Howie Long is one of the panelists, and he was a Raider for 13 years.  I knew that every national pre-game show would have a segment on Al Davis, but I particularly wanted to catch what Howie had to say about Mr. Davis.

But it was actually what Terry Bradshaw (the former Steelers quarterback who won four Super Bowls) said that was more poignant.  When Bradshaw (who my mom would leave her husband for in a New York minute) retired, he had returned to his Louisiana ranch, and he got a call from Mr. Davis one day.  They talked for a bit, and Davis asked how he was doing financially.  Bradshaw said he "was okay - nothing coming in, nothing going out."  And Davis told him, "If you ever need ANYTHING, you give me a call and let me know."  And he and other panelists commented about how such offers wouldn't be made in this day and age.  Davis valued loyalty above all else, and if he saw something in you that warranted his loyalty, you had it forever.

Now, for those of you who don't know your football history, this is huge.  For the owner of the Raiders to make a gesture like that to someone from the Steelers organisation is no small thing.  The Steelers are the team who benefited from the play known as the Immaculate Reception.  In fact, Bradshaw said that one time (before the call), he happened to sit at a table near Davis, and he didn't say hi to Davis because of the history between the Raiders and Steelers, but Davis waved him over and they shared a meal together.

One thing Howie Long said that I think is important, though, is also something that makes me sad.  Although I have no illusions that the Raiders will take the big prize this season, I do think this season is a turning point.  And it saddens me that our fearless leader won't be able to see the ship righting itself.  And I hope his death won't mean that everything falls apart.

In closing, "The Autumn Wind," the unofficial anthem of the Raiders.  It's often played at our home games:

The Autumn wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
Swaggering boisterously.
His face is weatherbeaten
He wears a hooded sash
With a silver hat about his head
And a bristling black mustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.

08 October 2011

A Sad Day for Raider Nation

I had another blog topic prepared for today, but I've just learnt of the passing of Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders.

While I sometimes disagreed with his decisions (firing Jon Gruden?  Seriously?  benching Marcus Allen for two seasons?  Really?), I had mad respect for him.  He is the only man who has played every role in the NFL.  Scout, assistant coach, coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.  When he was an assistant coach in college, he recruited the first black quarterback in the PAC-10.  As a coach, Davis was the first to start recruiting from black colleges.  And as an owner, he was the first to sign a black head coach (shout-out to Art Shell!), a Latino coach, and a female CEO.

He wanted his team to be internationally (not just nationally) recognised.  This vision came from him growing up Brooklyn and admiring how ubiquitous the Yankee pinstripes were.  A guy I worked for when I taught once remarked that "no matter where I go, I find you people (Raiders fans) everywhere!  I can't get away from you!"

Davis coined the catchphrases "Just Win, Baby," "Commitment to Excellence," and "Pride and Poise."  While the Raiders have had their ups and downs and for the past decade, the organisation as a whole has become a recognisable icon and not only among football fans.  ESPN's show "30 for 30" showcased the impact that the Raiders have had on the hip-hop industry, for instance.

Raider Nation has lost a great leader, visionary, and competitor.  This is truly a sad day for Raider Nation.

07 October 2011

List #30: Fall TV Shows I'm Digging

1.  The Playboy Club
This just got cancelled, so I'm not going to bother to tell you what I liked about it, lest you get excited about it.  I will say that I'm not entirely surprised that it's been cancelled.  While it was good, it wasn't GREAT.

2.  Person of Interest
I am absolutely fascinated with this show.  The (very, VERY basic) premise is that "The Machine" (built after 11 September and originally designed to predict who would commit acts of terrorism) spits out the social security numbers of persons of interest.  The problem is that these people may be of interest because they are going to commit a crime or because they are going to be a victim.  A team of two men track down the person of interest from only their SSN, find out what their story is, and try to prevent the bad thing from happening.  And, as with successful dramas these days (that aren't police procedurals), there is a ton of mythology that goes along with this.

3.  Unforgettable
This is about Carrie Wells who has a medical condition that ensures that she never forgets anything - ever.  Which, of course, makes her a great detective.  Ask her a date, and she can tell you anything that happened that day (involving her, or as long as she had some experience with it).  She often solves crimes because she's able to recall the crime scene and then compare that memory to things she experiences and sees during the investigation.  While I like her character, I really don't like any of the other characters.  And the thing with her mother having dementia is just too...  cutesy (in an ironic way, but you know what I mean).  And I'm not sure how they'll keep this show fresh.

4.  Prime Suspect
Maria Bello plays a detective in New York City who is competing with the Ol' Boy's Club.  She's not your average "I'm trying to use my womanly ways to my advantage" kind of female detective.  She's hard, tough, and completely gung-ho.  But not so much so that she's a caricature.  I'm really loving this show so far.  Also, Maria Bello is just hot.

5.  Pan Am
I didn't think I'd like this show.  I only watched the pilot episode on a fluke.  In fact, I had forgotten that I set it to record "when possible" since it conflicted with some other shows with it originally débuted.  But this is quickly becoming a favourite.  I was wary of it, because really - a show about flight attendants?  or people flying?  Really?  But it's actually a show about people who just happen to work in the flight industry.  The story is told non-linearly, which apparently bothers some people, but I'm enjoying it (although I HATE books that use this device).  For instance, one of the stewardesses (remember when we still called them that?) is a runaway bride.  And as the flight takes off in the first episode, we flash back to the day of her wedding to find out exactly what happened.  And we're still finding out the entire story about the other characters a few weeks in.

06 October 2011

The Most Interesting Day

My day started out perfectly normal.  Then I went into the city for physiotherapy.

That's when I ran into the protesters gathered at City Hall.  I had heard on the news that a protest would be happening, and Mr. Lee at the corner store (he sells me my lottery tickets every week) had asked me about it yesterday, but I didn't think I'd actually run into them.  They were at City Hall and every time the light changed, some of them crossed 15th Street.  Chants ranged from "This is what democracy looks like" to "Stop the war, fund the poor" to "We are the 99 percent."  Signs included "I am not an ATM," (glad we cleared that up) "I have too many grievances to list in this space," "I am sick of this shit," "separate corporations and state," and "I can't afford a lobbyist."

While watching the protest, I began talking to a young man standing next to me also observing.  Conversation was stilted because he speaks French and not much English.  I, of course, speak English and not much French (although I was able to tell him in French that I speak only a little French, but me speaking in French lead to him speaking a lot of French to me.  Seriously, dude - ONLY.  A.  LITTLE!).  I also told him in Spanish that I speak a little Spanish, but he told me (in English) that he doesn't speak Spanish.  I said, "I think we have an impasse," and he laughed.

He's from Nigeria.  He's been travelling the world.  He stopped first in Germany, then somewhere else, and now Philly.  Today is Day 17 of being in Philly.  I found out that in Nigeria, everyone can go to university free, but the quality is not good.  He has no set plans, and would like to stay in the U.S. as long as possible, getting a job, working, etc.

Also, he's possibly the cutest guy I've seen in a very long time.  And also way too young for me (he's 20).

After that, physiotherapy.  I found out that the front desk woman who I adore is leaving at the end of the month to go study in Virginia.  She wants a Master's degree in Chemistry.  As if that's better than taking my co-pay twice a week!  Hmph.

Next up, I planned to go home.  But I passed by the Apple Store, where I saw a makeshift memorial.  People had stuck Post-It notes to the floor-to-ceiling glass front window and had put flowers on the sidewalk in front of the store.  I was curious about what some of the notes said, so I crossed the street to check it out.  One of them was written in Arabic, one was written in Japanese.  One was a drawing of Homer Simpson that read "Mmm, Apple."  One said, "iMiss you"

As I stood there, I started getting emotional, thinking about what it takes to see a dream come to fruition, to be an innovator, to believe in oneself...  you know, all that pie in the sky stuff.  And especially to pursue that crap when facing one's own mortality.  Apparently, my emotion was apparent (yeah, those of you who know me are SHOCKED by this - lol), because a newswoman from NBC10 asked if I wanted to say something on camera.  I turned her down, but she asked again, and when I told her that I simply didn't know what to say, she said it's just nice to express what I'm feeling.  I started out kind of dumb, but then she started actually interviewing me.

After that part was over, she and I got to talking.  She's going to law school part-time where I went to law school.  We discussed professors, classes, and what she's wanting to do with her law degree.  It was a fun conversation.

From there, I intended to head home.  But the protesters were still at City Hall.  And it was a slightly different group.  So I stood and watched for a few more minutes.  This group had an upside down U.S. flag, the Gadsden flag, and one sign that read "Can you hear me, or do I need more money?"

After that, I FINALLY made it home.

05 October 2011

General Update

Last night, I had a wicked nightmare.  My therapist and I discussed things today, and we decided to try Ativan for awhile.

I've been working on knitting more.  The project I'm working on now is on a deadline, which helps.

My acid reflux is worse than usual.  I've gone through half a bottle of Mylanta in the past few days.

I have a headache that won't quit.

I'm loving the fall television season.  There are several new shows I like, but (as per usual) two of them are already getting low ratings and EW is predicting they won't be on the air much longer.

Felix has taken to trying to sleep on my head at night.  No, not on my pillow or by my head, but actually ON. MY. HEAD.  There have been a few nights I've nearly locked him out of the bedroom.  Fighting with a cat so I can sleep probably isn't conducive to that whole "general malaise and fatigue" thing I've got going on.

Work - it's work.  I'd probably be enjoying it more if it wasn't for everything else going on in my life.

04 October 2011

Brad Meltzer's Decoded

I got an email today.  It asked me to pass along this message:

My friend Brad's TV show, "Brad Meltzer's Decoded," kicks off its second season on Wednesday at 10pm/9c on the History Channel.  Please watch as he tries to see what's really inside Fort Knox.

03 October 2011

Book Review: A Killing In Antiques

Lucy St. Elmo, owner of St. Elmo Fine Antiques, is gearing up for Brimfield, the country's largest outdoor antique fair.  Just as things are kicking off, she's astonished to hear that her friend Monty has been killed.  But she's even more shocked to see his business partner Silent Billy being arrested nearly immediately for the murder.

Lucy has been snoop before, but the last time she did, she got shot, which lead to her promising her husband that her snooping days were over.  However, she's sure that Silent Billy couldn't have killed Monty.  Before Brimfield comes to a close, Lucy knows she has to prove him innocent.

Read my full review here.

02 October 2011

Let's Go, October!

The bad news: For the first fall in many years, I'm missing the race in Kansas.  I could have gone (I told work from the beginning that I needed this weekend off), but I decided (well, Grandma decided for me) to save my days for Christmas/New Year instead.  Race weekend is also my Grandma's 90th birthday, so we'd have to leave the Saturday race mid-way to go to Grandma's birthday supper.  And it didn't seem worth missing two days of work and flying halfway across the country to see a 1.5 races.  And Grandma would rather see me for longer at Christmas, instead of just for a short meal for her birthday.

The good news: I had to miss Rhinebeck (NY Sheep & Wool Festival) last year since I was unemployed, but I get to go this year, with my usual crew of Rachel and Ria.  I'm super excited, and I'm already planning my shopping (mostly based around Christmas knitting).

My new physiotherapist is pretty good.  She's no Sandra, but I do like her so far.  She does seem better than the first guy I worked with.

The maybe news: A friend of mine is awaiting the results of a job interview.  I really want her to get this job.  It would super awesome, for myriad reasons.  I told her the other day that I needed one thing to go right this month (she interviewed in September), and I was picking that.  So it's potential good news.

I also scheduled the consultation with the sleep centre at Jefferson Hospital.  So I've got that going.

01 October 2011


I spent today doing housework, which should really do itself.

By the time noon rolled around, I had put in the fifth load of laundry, taken out one load of trash and two loads of recycling, and done a load of dishes.  And I had forgotten to eat breakfast.  Oops.

I keep meaning to try to fit in housework when I get home from work so I can have weekends free and clear, and I'm getting better at it, with the exception of laundry.  I just need to get a schedule, which is difficult when I'm just exhausted all the time.

And I have a cat who seems to think he needs attention ALL. THE. TIME. when I get home.  Weirdo.