QC-L Version 4.0

Yes, welcome to my lair of evil thoughts and incorrect speech where I don't let go and move on and I talk about whatever I please. On a blog no one ever tells you to shut up. If you don't like what I say, just go elsewhere.

This blog now has a new background and a new theme. It is also using a remotely loaded style sheet. That is a first. It is lush, heavy, and uses a background that has a theme I have never used here before, though I have used it for pressies. Let the show go on! It always does anyway. And yes, we are powered by Blogger.

I am putting a temporary illustration here until I have a logo for this design. Watch this space.

temporary illustration


The Backfile: this blog's archives.

Ajayu, home of my story, The Sneezeweed Chronicles. Yes, I do fiction.

It will have Oneiro, my own little role play.

Unfettered Soul, my flagship site.

The Silk Purse, my play pretend Brainstorms.

Failed Messiah Religious news never sounded so good.

New York Times. Read the news and be smart.

Monday, September 23, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I'm forgetting to blog again. What a shame, because there is a lot going on. I actually won an auction at Ebay. I got some dehydrated bell peppers of all things. That's what I get for bidding for practice. It turns out I was just plain lucky. I was the sole bid at the auction.

I spent Sunday cleaning up and putting to rights the RAOK guestbook. If one visits enough sites that sign guestbooks, one can get a very dismal view of the whole enterprise. People are so starved for attention that many have to beg for it. I'm sure they're not bad people. It is just that the frequent fliers make me feel a bit sad. I am not sure I'd want a pile of guestbook sigs from strangers if I were sick or had a sick kid, especially a sick adolescent. I don't think she'd care that a bunch of adult women who wanted to "do something nice" sent her cards or signed her guestbook.

Gratitude and the charitable impulse could make a whole blog entry in and of themselves. Responding two three weeks worth of guestbook sigs leaves one way too cynical. I know that things are put to rights and that is a satisfaction. It just gets to be way too much of a job.

I joined a new Ladies' group called Ladies' Retreat. It is just an email discussion list but it is mostly female and so far seems chatty and articulate.

Georgia got sick on Sunday. She threw up three times in succession but a half hour later went to eat. I assume she is eating. She is otherwise acting very normal, not sulky or sick. If Georgia gets the least bit sulky, I know something is bothering her. Georgia is my fifteen year old blue-cream half Siamese alpha female kitty. She is co-alpha with my boy of joy white neutered tom cat, Hertzel, the kitty of my heart. I got Hertzel so Georgia wouldn't be lonely. Georgia lost her two companions, Sting and Evander, in 2000. I still miss Evander terribly.

I finally got all the keys to the apartment duplicated and gave the emergency set plus a new back up set to the landlady Sunday night. I lost all my keys on Monday but it took until Saturday to get them all duplicated because I needed to get to a locksmith to duplicate the mailbox key. I didn't miss the mailbox key all that much since my mailbox is usually full of junk and bills.

The good thing out of all this is I got a spiffy new key ring. It was a photo keyring, but since I have an aversion to photography I of course had nothing to put in it. No problem. I have PSP (Paint Shop Pro). I could make an image. I debated between monkeys and snakes and decided that I'd like to try for snakes. I went to http://www.thamnophis.com/ and found some albino garter snakes. It took a screen capture to liberate the images and two slightly enlarged images to fit on the key ring space. I now have the world's only key ring with two albino garter snakes on it. In a way, I feel like a winner for all my inconvenience.

The apartment of course is a mess. What else is new. I have an upstairs neighbor who always vacuums on Sunday. I always find more interesting things to do and wonder how he can be so conscientious. He is also someone who has to have DVD's or TV or music going all the time. I listen to the radio a lot of the time but there are times especially in the morning when I like quiet. The neighbor is divorced and isn't home much during the week. He is about my age and works construction. That is all I know about him. My other upstairs neighbor is Linda and she has a miniature fox terrier named Sierra who is afraid of everything. Sierra is three years old but she must have fearfulness bred into her, much the way my two cats were born with really good personalities.

I am thinking of redoing my personal page. The design is over a year old and the links are stale. I have so many pages that need redoing that I don't really know where to start but I am always hungry for graphics. Oh well, it is time to get back to work.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I spent yesterday at Yom Kippur services. Yizkor was not as bad as I imagined. The sun shown. I got too much of it combined with a lot of dehydration, but the beautiful weather was still beautiful. It feels good to be getting back to normal again, to be back to eating and drinking. Oddly enough, I can't wait for Sukkot. Of course we went to war last year at Sukkot. Maybe that's what's going on. I think we are going to war again. We all have our anniversaries.

Now the rabbi's sermons was a dog. It was a cliche fest of the worst order. It is what happens when the Dale Carnegie method goes awry big time. Of course it didn't go awry with everybody. It just went awry with me. The rabbi used the phrase "teach me to number my days" as the launching point in her sermon. She then talked about all the things she appreciated and that I should appreciate too, because by appreciating these things I become wise.

Let's start with number ten, she said. Ten is the number of years she'd been married, but she had friends who were widowed. Still their loss had made them strong. (I told you this was a cliche sermon didn't I?) They could love again and had remarried. They were wise. I wondered if this rabbi had any friends who were widowed and maybe seeing a shrink for their depression or who were still carrying the torch for their departed spouse or who had decided for other reasons that remarriage was not an option, or how about a friend with a really messy divorce? Hmmm...I guess in the rabbi's eyes those folks would be dim bulbs.

Then the rabbi continued to number seven. Seven is the week from shabbos to shabbos and how that was how family life was. Whose family? NOT MINE. I only met people who were shomer shabbos when I met religious Jews as an adult. Sorry, this was not my family. In fact, the whole thing of religious holidays as family holidays is utterly foreign to me. I am the only religious one in my family. The rest of them are clueless. Yes, I come from a line of dim bulbs.

Then we have number four. The rabbi's four grandparents had taught her to cherish life and how to live. My grandparents, the three I knew, are/were dim bulbs. At least none of them taught me morality. Actually my grandmother taught me that if you want to live to 101, care about the surface details, sharp clothes, nice furniture. These count. Grandpa Kramer could build stuff, and even Grandma Kramer was a pretty good cook but when it came to deep moral and philosophical advice, none of my grandparents could offer anything decent. As I said above, I am a dim bulb from a line of dim bulbs.

Of course if you number your days you'll obtain wisdom and wisdom is just a heartbeat, but one heartbeat separates life from death. So big deal. What makes life so great in itself? I mean my life is pretty good. I want to work on ZOID and I just finished a webliography that I'm going to send to a colleague to mount. I have two cats who love me and students and colleagues who depended on me. The world is better off with me alive because dead I'd leave a big hole, but the world is better off with me alive because I am a full time employed pet owner who is teaching a one credit course, not because life itself is precious.

Put another way, I can think of fates worse than death. Going to jail tops the list. Imagine having to spend twenty years behind bars. How about spending months bed ridden with some horrible degenerative disease. Then there's always losing your job and not being able to work in your profession ever again. If I'm going to pray for life, I'd rather pray that I keep my job and stay out of jail. I don't care that much about being healthy except I wouldn't want to be bedridden but I do want to come and go as I please and have some source of income.

Well, that's the rabbi's sermon or at least a dim bulb's critique of it. I guess smug cliches are a recipe for trouble. Oh well, the rabbi is a hired functionary. We're on our own for Sukkot and next year we get our very own once a month rabbi. I doubt any rabbi would want to work full time for Congregation Shearith Israel because there's a revolving door on the place. I've seen two good rabbis fired and one leave to have her third baby. She was the circuit rider. I don't miss her, but I miss the two we fired. I joined the schul so I'd have a vote in such matters. I'm tired of having things done to me at my house of worship.

Well back to work.... This was fun.

Monday, September 16, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I just lived on the computer today. Oh well....I'll be in schul tomorrow most of the day. I just hope it dosen't rain. That feels like very bad luck. I also hope there's not a lot of September 11th hoopla at yizkor time. I may skip yizkor or just read the service privately. I'll have to think about all this. I read a different Torah passage than the one my schul substitutes for the afternoon reading. The old one was good for a couple of thousand years so why change things? There's a reason it is there after all.

I got Thadea's voting list set up and I got her page liberated. I also took a very long walk into Castlewood, a posh neighborhood about a mile from here. It kept threatening rain but I got to see a lot of really nice flowers and landscaping, including some gorgeous canas and real lion's tails. I've never seen lion's tails in the flesh before, and I mean the flower not the tails attached to lions.

I called my mother this morning. She forgot to wish me an easy fast. I called Lou tonight. He wants to come down here and marry me. I started fasting at 7:30pm. I'm starting to feel hungry but I think it's just self-consciousness on my part. It feels so much like a holiday, I forget that most of the world does not observe Yom Kippur. In fact, tomorrow is Monday and most people are going to go about their business as usual.

On my way to Castlewood, I heard church bells play hymns. It was annoying. I mean not everyone is Christian and that church imposes on the whole neighborhood. Fortunately, it was 3:30pm on a Sunday. I guess nobody was asleep but still, I mean peole have a right to the noise of their choice.

I finally did get to pick those wild apples. I offered some to my neighbor but he said he had apples from the supermarket. Most of the apples were up on high branches I could not reach. A wild apple was the last solid food I ate before starting the fast. The wild apples taste like Asian pears. I have a bunch in the fridge now and I'm sure they'll keep twenty-four hours.

I also made spahgetti squash, and when I cut the squash open, I found part of it was rotten on the inside. I cut away about a sixth of the squash before cutting it up and setting it in the roaster to bake. Spahgetti squash tastes good reheated. It is squash season. Talking about food while fasting feels weird. I know I shoud get some sleep if I'm to get down to services early. On the other hand, sleeping wipes out a good portion of the fast. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow so I can go for a walk during the break at services. I could look at Accuweather, but I don't want to see bad news.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I can't believe I have not gone farther than the laundromat today. For a day when I did not travel much, I sure got a lot done. I washed my hair, cleaned the litter pans, washed clothing and bedding, made macaroni and bean salad. I also installed a cgi script for a counter at ZOID.

I know I need to get outside and take a walk. The world is full of people who make themselves sick. I don't want to be one of them. September 11th (Please, don't let your eyes glaze over.) began with an ambulance pulling into the courtyard of my complex. A woman in #5 had a diabetic insulin crisis. The paramedics got into her apartment by knocking out the screen.

Since then, I've seen two more ambulances heading somewhere into the neighborhood. I also learned my neighbor who is only five years older than I had quadruple bypass surgery. Boy I live in a city of sick people. It scares the you know what out of me.

I got caught in a downpour from Tropical Storm Hanna, Friday night. She came north from the Gulf and just dumped down rain in sheets. All my clothes were soaked except my shirt which was under a waterproof rain coat. Umbrellas don't work as any northerner will tell you. A coat with a hood will keep you drier. Friday night was drowned rat time.

There were no decent apples to be had at Publix. I was tempted to go to Dekalb today and get them but that is a lot of time and money for ten ponds of fruit. On my way back from the laundromat, guess what I discovered? There is a tree of huge, nearly perfect wild apples. They are yellow apples with lots of russeting and a taste sort of like Asian pears. tmorrow I'm going to pick a whole sack of them.

tes, and the fast begins at sundown tomorrow. I dread it. I don't even want to think about it. It's not a pleasant way to take a day off.

Making the graphics for the counter was one of the more enjoyable things I've done in a long time and the first graphics in a long time. I have to deal with Thadea's vote exchangers tomorrow. It will be a truncated list but it is still a huge list. No I won't be voting on Monday. I'm not sure I want to continue voting. I am sick of all the ads, the productivity tools, the necessity for a wall of sound. Voting shouldn't have to be this hard. Oh well...

Friday, September 13, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

It feels very strange to be blogging again. I changed the security protocols so this blog is now a lot more aesthetnically pleasing and easier for those who belong here to find. If you've crashed the party, what can I say. You're good. I invited a lot of people in one fell swoop. I'm going to invite a few more. What fun is a blog without an audience. It just has to be an audience made up of the "right people."

So what has been going on with me. I'm still dragging around with the ragged remains of the flu. Hibiscus tea soothes my throat. I am also supposed to be consuming fewer calories but I'm getting no exercise because I'm too tired. I may go grocery shopping this afternoon. That should give me a nice four mile walk. The humid air will be good for my sore bronchi and trachea.

I pretty much finished up the Friendship Parade. I owe a ton of voting and do not feel like doing it. Thadea, my good friend, lost at Crystal and is taking down her campaign. This leaves me very sad. HugzNFlowers which has a weekly round of thirteen e-cards. It's fun getting the e-cards back and reading the little notes that tick off the sending of cards. You are supposed to publicly thank card senders on the list. This group went dormant for a while. It is now back. I wonder when looking at card detruitus will get old. Right now I find it oddly soothing.

I need to get a bit of work done but not much. Everything feels weirdly under control. I may go home early so I can start shopping early. I want to sit in tonight and cook and think and not do much. A very good spirit friend of mine said "cultivate yourself." I'm not quite sure what this means. I think some of it has to do with getting my blogging voice back. The rest I don't know about.

by Eileen Kramer

OK, this is a test..... I've just made a few security adjustments.