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.

Friday, December 20, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

Well good news. It looks like the Angels Gotta Fly web page is nearly done so there will be a major new addition to Ladies Advance. Now if only to make the pressies that go with all of this. Then hook it together. Getting there....getting there. Feeling pretty good.

by Eileen Kramer

OK, I'm lapsing again. I guess it's with good reason. It is easier to write to the Ladies Advance mailing list than it is to write here. You have to set this up. I like the focus and the privacy and the spiffy lay out but I don't like having to set up. So it goes. Anyway, Topica is down today so I'm back. I hope to remember to come back more often.

A blog sort of has to carve out a niche for itself. With the mailnig list, this poor blog gets a bit crowded. Well, it's still a great place to write. It is great to write and have no one tell you to shut up. I can write and write to my heart's content. That is something one takes for granted until one is told to shut up.

OK, I'm still trying to decide whether to go to Atlanta or not tomorrow. The last time, I had a little spiritual intervention. This time around my good spirit friend, Gerry, (GMP) is not telling me to get up off my own fat rear. I can make my own decisions. I don't need gentle reminders though I'd like one really badly.

I found this very interesting site late last night and signed on their mailing list. I also have the Angels Gotta Fly page nearly finished. After that I need to make more pressies and start hooking things together. The goal is self-sufficient support and discussion listing. The reason is I'm sick of people micromanaging me and pushing me around. That takes all the fun out of ladies groups.

I am thinking about setting up ZOID tonight too. I have to do that and we have to set up open if I go to Altanta. Do I really want to wake up at 4:30am. It is a magical feeling though coming home with that huge heavy backpack is not magical. It's a bit frustrating because 100 miles is a long way to go for apples. Apples on the other hand mean a lot. I feel like I live in Soviet Russia. Why me? Round and round we go on this don't we?

OK, back to work. I'll blog more later. Here is what is going on at Topica. Damn!

Monday, December 16, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I want to write a second post. There is an email from RAOK Angels of Kindness in my inbox and it is just a card. It has been weeks since we had a packet with more than one or two casualties in it and now the committee is on vacation. I haven't heard from Hugs in weeks. There is a real void here. Ladies Advance does not fill this void, nice group though it is. I need to get a RAOKing life and a cyberhugging life. There is something very nice about doing support work for those who ask. You know you have a grateful recipient on the other end whom you are not imposing on or bothering. The same is true for Hugz Committee. I hope these resurrect themselves after the holidays but they were both fairly down long before.

I'm going to have to work out a scheme for a substitute for these. I could make them my own private Ladies Advance committees and every day go out and do a Ladies Advance RAOK but that is cheesey. Right now Ladies Advance needs shamless promotion. Angels of Kindness is not into advertising. The problem is finding the candidates to whom to give support or for whom to make web pages. Without an organization and willing members, you run into pearls before swine territory big time. I stare at my unused pressies and it makes me feel like crying. Of course there are people who display their grief and stories publicly who probably won't mind a little acknowledgement. I have a couple of RAOKsters who card me back and forth regularly. I could probably pick some good disease related web rings and make up a nice batch of sites to send support messages too. The odd thing I shouldn't have to find my own leads. This is a problem.

You know, maybe this is a job for Ladies Advance. Then again, I feel sad that I see all those sidelined RAOK pressies. It tells me how big Angels of Kindness once was.

This post could turn very fast into a charity rant. Charity can be a very self-serving proposition. We do it to display our art, to feel good, to cheer ourselves up. There are people who even mention that for people alone at Christmas. No other time of the year could one be so frank. I have to laugh.

First of all the do something for others if you're alone and you'll feel better line is bogus. Now there are people who say if they were alone they'd hightail it over to their soup kitchen and feed the homeless. The key word in this is would. They are not alone and they are recommending this for someone else. It is also something they don't do regularly and if it is so great, why don't they do it. Actually, the local soup kitchen, has all the help they need on the holidays. It is full of people needing to get their yearly charitable fix. I know because I inquired.

Even if there were a spot for me at the local soup kitchen, there is a good chance that I might find the work depressing rather than uplifting. Not only am I spending the holiday alone, I'm spending it in one of the dreariest places imaginable. Face it, if I was that interested in helping the poor, I would have become a social worker. I don't mind giving money but face to face with down and out people is a depressing sight for me. If something is onerous any other time of the year, it will be onerous at Christmas.

Now the nursing home is a bit better. It is well kept and the patients there seem well cared for. I can stand that for a couple of hours, but a soup kitchen forget it. Then there's the pearls before swine problem. Face it if you are in a homeless shelter even if you are a mom with kids, you are still a person with wants and likes. I mean if some stranger comes in and reads picture books to your kids or gives them cast off toys, you and they are going to know the toys are cast off and you are going to wonder why the charity lady didn't bring a VCR and that second run movie you were dying to see. After all, you probably can read and if the charity lady were really on the ball, she'd send a crate load of books so you could read to your child whenever. Just because I'm down and out doesn't mean I'll be grateful for any slop you throw my way so you can have the warm fuzzies.

There's a good shot that a woman in a homeless shelter might just want to be left be with her kids and have some quiet time. She might not be unhappy to be there at all. It might be a relief to be out of the vermin infested pit of an apartment that the landlord torched to get the insurance money or glad to be away from abusive hubby. She might want fresh fruit the shelter doesn't provide, alterations to her good interview suit so she can find a job, new tires for her clunker of a car etc....

Charity turns to exploitation as fast as winter snow sublimates on a windy day. There need to be in place safeguards for both giver and recipient. The recipient can't turn into a leach. If the recipient starts begging for money, there's often a problem. The recipient also has to have her wants listened to (terrible grammar I know). If all she wants is prayer. That's it. If she wants greeting cards, or cash, or a size 9 pair of pants, that's what she wants. It's also unfair to put her on an endless round of gratitude and fawning to the giver. One thankyou card or acknowledgement should be enough. If the giver wants tears, that only happens in glurge stories. Well that's it for real now. More later....

by Eileen Kramer

OK, I was out on Sunday distributing cards and gifts to the music library and my sick boss. I was grading papers this morning and distributing more office gifts. This holiday is enough to make me say "Bah Humbug!" big time.

I've just eaten lunch and I am happily disgesting. I managed to get out a Ladies Advance post. My colleague Julie bought me a savoy cabbage and a daikon radish at the base commissary at Ft. Benning. I still have bits and scraps of work to do before sneaking out the door for a split shift break. I know I have to buy bond paper and stamps so I can keep sending resumes. Sometimes my life is too exciting for words.

After three very nasty tries, I got the RAOK guestbook put to bed. It's time for more shameless self promotion for Ladies Advance or something just sweet and pleasant enough to keep me distracted. The work on my do list holds no attraction for me at the moment. I figure when it quiets around here Thursday or Friday I'll head back to serious work. Right now I'm too tired to work and they're getting a three hour shift out of me on the desk tonight anyway. I have one unpleasant task that I will try to get through before I leave. I have to ask my supervisor what happened to the outline I gave her more than a month ago. The outline was for a virtual tour of the library.

Meanwhile there are now two irons in the fire. I mailed the resumes on the way downtown. This makes me a real job hunter instead of a wannabee. A new job would be the best Christmas present I could give myself. I know that.

Now I need my morale back. Maybe if I weren't so tired. I am fighting to keep my eyes open an my mind feels like swiss cheese. I was up late last night farting around on the net again. Oh well.... back to work because I can't think of anything more brilliant to write.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

The nasty nipple never went to the doctor's because most of the pain and all the discharge has cleared up. Sometimes people heal without being filled with antibiotics. Anyway, I have nearly everything ready to go for the Columbia job opening. They'll probably just toss my resume into the circular file. They want something special, or something for which they may not have funding. I'm not what they want but I'm going to try anyway.

Now here is something really irrational. I want a purple pointsettia. I've seen them around several times. They are this year's hot new color. I think being a pointsettia breeder is among the best jobs in the world. Anyway, I've seen them several times and turned them down because I was too busy to haul one home or because I feared my cats would eat it. Georgia loves house plants. Now I want one. I figure if I go to Wal Mart they will be out of them. They have the best selection of everything except clothes. Go figure on that. I am a big Wal Mart fan.

Anway I have to stop at work and download some assignments a student sent me and find out something picky for the resume packet. Once that's done, it's on to Wal Mart. Yeah, I'm feeling a little better than yesterday when I was just plain too out of it to blog. When I get back from Wal Mart I plan to make marinated cabbage salad and to work on a bit of shameless self promotion for Ladies Advance. I may even do something with the RAOK guestbook and make some new pressies for that committee. It all depends what I feel up for.

Friday, December 13, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

The nasty nipple goes to the doctor's tomorrow and the holiday page is still not up. I just don't have time to put it up. I'm trying to catch up on my HugznFlowers postcards. This takes a while at a 28.8 connection. I burnt a pot of soup, saved most of the soup, and threw the pot away. It was an old pot anyway and I can replace it for about five bucks at Walmart which I will do th is weekend. I am airing out the apartment now because the burnt smell drives me nuts.

I'm going to get an introductory sociology book that Jerry Swatez on Netdynam recommended. It is likely to be a long wait at the doctor's office. I'm exhausted. My spiritual life is a mess. Most of the finals except for the stragglers are graded so work will slow down again abruptly. I'm not sure this is a good thing. There is an opening for a chemistry librarian at Columbia University. Yeah....big time. God only knows if I qualify but I'm going to give it a shot over the weekend. I'm glad this is an off weekend as far as ZOID is concerned. I hope it is not a crappy shot due to it being my first attempt. I'm a bit scaird though the worst they can do is ding me.

It is taking the apartment forever to air. God I hate that burnt smell. The cats are locked in the bedroom. I miss them. The window is open and hopefully the living room is aired at least. I love cooking and hate when something goes wrong in the kitchen. At least the burnt smell is not in my clothes. The burning soup even set off the fire alarm. What a night this has been.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

Well the nasty nipple still hurts a little so I guess I am seeing the doctor on Friday. I'm not all that happy about that.

I am up to my eyeballs in papers and exams to grade. I have six or seven stragglers I think. That is not good. One of them is a decent student too, no make that two of them. Anyway, the grading leaves me time for little else.

Today I looked through the Chronicle for job ads. I found only three for which I qualify and two are in the New York metro area. Would you believe Columbia is looking for a chemistry librarian. I'm not sure I qualify but I can always try reaching for the stars. If I got the job it would sure show them all what kind of stuff I was made of. Would I like to live in Manhattan? Do my cats have soft furry coats. Anyway, the resumes have to wait until after the papers are graded.

I have a holiday page mocked up for Ladies Advance and it is sitting on the machine at work. Someitmes I just get frustrated and have to put something together, bit by bit in stolen time. To tell the truth, I put the page together before I was swamped in stuff to grade. Now I can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I went grocery shopping this morning instead of to the vet. That was good. I'm going to make tomato soup with pigeon peas and rice tomorrow. I'll make marinated red cabbage salad over the weekend. I love writing about food. There is enough bread in the house and I snagged the last bag of empire apples.

The produce at Publix which is the best supermarket around is always sorry. The daikon radishes were made of rubber. The jicama were squishy. A week from Saturday I sneak out early and catch the 7:30am Greyhound to Atlanta for another trip to the holy of holies, the DeKalb Farmer's Market. I really do miss a variety of nice fresh produce.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

Well, the nasty nipple continues to heal. It now only hurts if I rub it a lot and this is late at night. Laying down even for an hour or two makes it pain free. Wearing a bra would rub chafe and hurt the thing so no bra. If I am pain free by Friday, I will reschedule the doctor's appointment. I wouldn't mind a mammogram later. I'm old enough for one. Yikes, I'm getting old.

red white and blue godseye banner This is one of six pressies I made for Ladies Advance. Yes, I love showing these things off. What can I say.

I haven't sent out one resume yet. I'm sitting on my tail with the job hunt big time. Also, Ladies Advance is side tracking me. I finished the microbiology webliography today. I guess life is not all bad. I made some holiday graphics but they are going to need some very meaningful text and all too often I find myself with just a touch of bah humbug.

Now the weird part is I like the glitzy commercial trappings of the holidays. I like seeing the mall all done up in decorations and the crowds of shoppers and the hustle and the bustle. Office parties are fine if the food is good. If the food stinks then forget the party. I already have the company, so I want the food to be good. Crappy food is a persistent danger down here in the Deep South.

I have a tree in my living room even though I am Jewish. It is a white tree, six feet tall and very cool. Now when you start talking about the "Christmas spirit" my eyes glaze over. Giving is fine. I give my family gifts but all this charity stuff that most people don't do, even at Christmas, and then it's just once a year smells of hypocrisy. And forget the Christ child. I'm NOT Christian. Ever get that left out feeling? So what can I say.

This holiday is supposed to be more than sleeping in, eating good food, enjoying well decorated surroundings and pretty music. Not for me. Why should Christmas have a deeper meaning anyway. Hanuka has some very deep meanings and not all of them are politically correct but Christmas is just an excuse for a good time and an antidote to the darkest days of the year. Now how does one say that politely on a web page?

by Eileen Kramer

OK, it's nipple news time. This morning I woke up and the nipple hurt a lot less than it had other mornings. Right now it is fairly sore but it took all day to get that way. I called the doctor and I get to go over there Friday afternoon. As far as I'm concerned he can palpate my breasts all he wants. If he wants pus, I'll squeeze the sore nipple. Apparently women who have never had children can get mastitis. I only get nasty stuff, not necessarily serious stuff but nasty stuff, plantar fascitis that leaves me persnickity and protective of my feet, anal yeast infections (nothing like an itch you can't scratch or a sore nipple you can't rub.) , pin worm, nasty allergic reactions that leave me itching away.

Maybe I'm just unhappy inside my skin. Meanwhile, I put up two new pages for Ladies Advance. There is the activity page and the pressie gallery.

Tomorrow I have to help Julie, my colleague, defrag her computer. She's never had to set it in motion herself before and this old 'puter of hers needs a defragging. I'll defrag my own machine too and put up some new items on the cork board. I need to get to the HugzNFlowers postcards too. Nice bit of side work there. I live for side work.

So far seven students have come through the final exam. That is seven of about twenty-three. Some students may fail because they are missing too much stuff. Other students got their stuff emailed to them. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. By this time next week, it will be nearly all over and who knows when I'll teach again. I feel sad about that.

It's a long pull with lots of grading ahead, and I need to get to sleep so I can meditate in bed. Tomorrow I get to buy groceries in the cold winter night. I think the "day schedule" for Ladies Advance needs to be revised. I think Ladies Advance had to happen sooner or later. Laurel just precipitated it. I've had enough long term trouble being able to speak my mind in ladies groups and have seen enough crap ass leadership that it was time for me to seize the reigns. It's a little hard when you post solo, but I make myself do it. This way there is lots of stuff in my inbox. That feels good. Well more for tomorrow. Talk joy. Think joy. Act joy. It's much better than the alternative.

Monday, December 09, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

Monday is games day at Ladies Advance. We inherited that schedule from Laurel. Usually I am at work and can't really play the games very well, but I soldier along anyway because I am determined to use my pretend list to remain a member of Ladies' Retreat. Well here is a very cool maze site that I'm going to recommend. Now to find a trivia site. Wait, one good maze site deserves another. I guess this takes care of games day.

Now on to other things. Small things make me happy. The stupid garbage disposal is still inoperative but the drain works and I have a trap in the sink to keep the solid material out of the disposal where it gets stuck and blocks the drain from emptying. This means no more backed up sink. Yay! An especially big yay since I like to wash my hair in the kitchen sink.

I also have toothpaste which means I leave for work tomorrow with a good taste in my mouth. Yay! The cat litter pans are clean. My life is exciting, right. I started working on the Activities Page for Ladies Advance but still need to dig up the graphics. I also owe some administrative work, namely taking on new members for ZOID. That is just going to have to wait.

I get to revise the microbiology webliography. This link is to an older edition of the page which is the one currently up. I also get to grade anything that comes into me, but I am only on the desk for an hour. That means lots of dead time in my office. How do you spell "bored?" My mother used to say: "don't you wish you could bottle all this extra time up in a bottle and let it out when you are really busy?" My answer is no. I'd like something more interesting to do now.

Oh well, here is some bad and squicky news. I have a sore nipple from which I can sometimes squeeze pus. It's my left nipple as if that makes a difference. I was sitting in the ladies room at Walmart and gave the offending and painful thing a squeeze to see if anything would come out, and out came pale thick yellowish fluid that tasted salty. I think it's pus. I think I have an infected nipple. I know now that I have to call the doctor. My main complaint is that this thing is very very sore. Having a sore nipple is NO FUN.

I did some looking at web sites about nipple discharge and sore nipples. Most of the sites are more concerned wit discharge. My discharge doesn't rate as bad since it takes a good squeeze to get some out. It's also not bloody. According to these web sites I probably have some kind of mastitis or ductal ectasia. In other words, my poor nipple has a nasty infection. I'm still scaird because doctors sometimes still do surgery for ductal ectasia. Yikes! I hope they just give me antibiotics. Why do I get this crap? You would not believe how much a nipple can hurt. A nipple is full of nerve endings. Ouch!

Hertzel has a vet's appointment this week for his shots. Because he is such a big strong boy, it takes two of us to keep him restrained. He is thirteen pounds of solid muscle. He is a gentle giant with white hair and golden eyes. I love my Hertzel boy of joy. I have a mid afternoon desk shift on Wednesday so I get to miss the teleconference on the US Patriot Act. I also have to proctor my class' final. It's the last time I'll see a lot of my students. This makes me sad. This blog has been around nearly as long as my class.

Somewhere in all of this is the work luncheon that I may or may not be attending and the white elephant party and a ton of office gifts that will probably make it out to the dumpster. Christmas in the office is bah humbug in the extreme.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

Usually on Sunday I got Country Life but I'm sick of anything to do with food. I ate too much at Julie's. I guess I was hungry. I hope I wake up hungry. I slept half the evening after a hot bath left my limbs feeling like rubber. Tomorrow, I need to change the cat pans. This apartment smells ripe. I don't know how the poor cats put up with it. I have leftover stringbean salad, and roast squash, and the soup and the pie. I am not going to starve for a long time.

I'll remember to take some exercise tomorrow. Maybe I'll walk around the lake at Cooper Creek Park. Also the postcard cycle begins at HugzNFlowers. I am watching the Kringles Elves mailing list. There is not much to talk about there, so the list is like Pravda. The thing is, all the Kringles kids did not get adopted. I've already done my share in this department. I gave a kid in Owensburow Kentucky, a gift certificate to Powell's books.

I missed schul this weekend but they were charging $8.00 for a dinner in honor of AJ Friday night, and today I couldn't have managed the walk to the schul and to Julie's. The party at Julie's was pretty good. Nothing untoward happened. I think a lot of the guests were uncomfortably putting in an appearance.I got some advice for fixing my garbage disposal which I now know is broken pretty bad. I reached in and scooped out any residue. If it holds for a day or so, I'll put in a sink trap and not tell the landlord the disposal no longer works. As long as the sink drains, I can live without the stupid garbage disposal. I never wanted one anyway. It just came with the apartment.

Now I can go to Glenda and tell her about the busted electrical wiring in the bedroom. This is not my fault. I was plugging in my boom box, heard a poof and now half the outlets in my room don't work and the edge of one looks a trifle burnt. I don't like getting accused of abusing my apartment. I am not the greatest housekeeper but I don't trash this place. Puh-leez.

This blog should be renamed "apartment blues." I am glad I don't own a place, though I'd love to have a full size garden and paint my walls. I sure as you know what would not have a stupid garbage disposal or a dish washer. The sink is just fine for washing dishes. That's what drainers are for, to dry the dishes.

Anyway, I didn't get to work on the Ladies Advance site today and only got in a few letters to the list. Unlike, Ladies Retreat, if I don't write there is no list. I am going to write the book or article on pretend lists. I am learning so much about keeping one going.

I'm looking at cloth at Kente.net and I guess that means more decoration when I get up another page. It will most likely be the activity page. Of course I need a few more pressies because our fisrt activty at Ladies' Advance is going to be a guestbook gauntlet. I'm ready to run. I just need the goodies. I also want to get the Mavica camera from work and photograph my tree. I figure this will be a start for the holiday pages or maybe the photo page. Slowly and surely it will all come together.

Now if only I can take the job hunting plunge. My shrink thinks my job is not so bad. I think it's worse than I thought. I am just fed up. Columbus sucks. I wish I knew what happened to that coat I was supposed to receive. I haven't seen hide nor hair of either of my interview coats. I need a new winter coat anyway. My big navy blue down coat is getting frayed at the hem and sleeves.

Oh well...this looks like it will be a rough week at work. There is tons of grading to do. I have one more day of freedom before returning to the salt pits. The pigging out is over. I'll clean up the apartment and turn over a new leaf -- after I sleep in.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

The apricot kuchen came out as a disaster. A few of the apricots burned, but the pie also looks like a warzone. I can't take this to Julie's house so I will probably make string bean salad in the morning. I made some pretty good lima and pole bean soup with dried tomatoes. I guess my kitchen endeavors were not a total loss. The kuchen will be good here at the house though I don't need the calories. It smells good and probably tastes half way decent. I am curious how the crust tastes cooked.

I fixed up the page at Ladies' Advance today. I also spiffied up the guestbook.

I get to go to Julie's for an open house tomorrow. It's way out in the boonies. I reviewed the directions on Mapquest. I feel more confident even though I know it's an incredibly long walk in brisk southern winter weather.

I ran myself into the ground this week. I feel guilty about gorging on junk food today. I told myself it had to happen. I wish I weren't so disorganized. Of course now I am feeling pretty good. ZOID is up and ready to run. There is soup and roast squash should I want a hot meal. I even got the sink drain to work.

I am going to talk to the landlady late tomorrow morning and tell her that I am having trouble with that stinking garbage disposal again. I will tell her that I am telling her and not Herb because he treats me like dirt and accuses me of abusing the apartment. This is bullshit. The insinkerator leaves an open unscreened hole in the sink. If you cook or wash dishes a lot stuff falls down the hole. So far rubber bands from scallions and a scrubby have gummed up the insinkerator. I don't know what's down there now but given my history, something is.

I pay $490 a month for this lovely two bedroom apartment. It has way too many goodies for me. Anyway, I've been here four years and never bounced a check. I keep my place not all that clean but it's far from a health hazard. I'm a good tennant. I don't deserve crappy treatment.

Well, I'm back on my meds and this feels good. I am more relaxed than I've been in days. I feel much better than I did last night. I wasn't even all that embarassed at the shrink's though I must have looked like hell. I haven't told him about the Making the Life You Love class. This will be the second time this class has met during a fighting cycle.

Well that's about it for tonight. I hope my spiritual life comes back now that I'm on meds and actually sleeping and eating like a human being. Who knows...

Friday, December 06, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I feel good tonight because I made pie crusts for three pies. I'm only going to fill two. I'm making apricot kuchen. I'll get to post the recipe to Ladies Advance tomorrow.

I am sleep deprived and half starved most of the day. This time of night, I'm wide awake. This is a major problem of mine. It's a really crappy habit. I have to see the shrink in the morning and I'm going to walk in looking like.... I'm embarased. I am also broke so I'll cut a check. There's no cash in my wallet but there's money in the checking account.

Julie has an open house on Saturday. Her brother was sent to the gulf on a " secret mission" I told her not to worry. The last war there did not have many casualties so he should come back safe and sound. It's a damn studpid war if you ask me, but what can I do. I have my antiwar t-shirt. I was wearing an older antiwar t-shirt today. I didn't show it to Julie. Julie was showing me Arthritis Foundation web pages. She wants more arthritis web pages on the Big Diseases webliography. I'll put them there, when the webliography goes into the rotation. Julie is off from work and cooking tomorrow. Poor Julie. Poor Callie. Poor me.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

OK what I want to write about work isn't bloggable so I'm going to skip it. I think it's the people who pull you up that matter. The only person who holds me back is me. Someone else created the crappy atmosphere at work. I let it get to me. I adapted badly to it. Now I've got to unadapt without letting it hurt me. Yeah, change from within. It's not likely. It's just not going to happen. I need to change me.

Here are some ideas. Walk to visit colleagues. I already do that but it helps to break down the geographic cure that is no cure. I'm going to let Julie critique my lack of polish. I have lots of questions for Julie. You know what they do with Messiahs. I think they do it at Columbus State too. In fact, I'm sure they do. I'm glad I'm not a Messiah. Julie is the BI Messiah. Long ago, I had a professor whom I call Chuckie McClure. Chuckie was a hatchet man Messiah for his boss. His boss left. Let's just say he came from the same state as Julie and ended up in Syracuse, New York. I had the misfortune to have him my first semester. He was a mean bastard.Julie is nice but she's still stuck in one nasty role. I am glad it is not my role. Yes, this deserves saying twice.

I won two coats on Ebay yesterday. If I don't get them, I won't pay for them. I ended up with two winter coats to replace the navy blue down coat which is now five years old and fraying at the seams.

Lou, my boyfriend, got a phone call to call his work and it was "important." He fears he will be fired. I asked him to call me at work. Lou may be back in my life this winter. I am too busy on the net to be a good girlfriend.

I still have not looked at one job ad. Actually I have but I did not send a resume packet. I need to get on the stick real bad in that department. Of course if they try to reach my director, she is home sick recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her small intestines. Poor director and I'm serious. How will she do our evaluations when she misses three months of work due to serious illness?

Again, this is not my problem. I feel bad for Callie because I know she likes holiday festivities and she hurt for a long time before they figured out what it was and they got it out of her, but Callie's troubles are not my troubles and I can't blame my troubles on Callie's illness.

Yeah, that's about it in the rant department. It's just sad stuff. On a better note, I had a piece of very good and tastey buttercup squash for dinner along with some of the TVP veggie soup that is now a week old. It doesn't taste bad yet. The squash was excellent, full of flavor and much better than that sorry banana squash I got from Atlanta. The honey soynut butter that I got from Atlanta did not have to be stirred. This is the first soynut butter I bought that was not so old it had to be stirred to mix the oil back in. Soynut butter is excellent stuff. Isn't it interesting when people invent new foods? I think it is cool.

The other thing I think is cool is purple pointettias. I saw one in Publix the other day. I pointed it out to CZ but CZ didn't care. He is flunking biology and could care less about animals and plants. Anyway, the purple pointsettia is very pretty but I did not buy it. Last year they had pointettias with tiney wrinkeled blossoms and leaves. They were excedingly handsome. I guess they show later. They were new too. Every year they come out with new pointsettias. I think one of the coolest jobs in the world must be being a pointsettia breeder or a carnation breeder. Some people say breeding day lillies is cool too. The same goes for irises but there are zillions of kinds of daylilies and irises and not that many kinds and colors of pointsettia or carnation. Breeders of these flowers really expand what's available. I wonder if Europeans have different colors of pointsettia or if they just stick with red, white, and pink. I guess I could ask on FutureC.

Anyway, I need some sleep so this is it for tonight.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

OK, this is an exercise Karen Teeter asked me to do. This is for the Making the Life You Love class. I think Karen is a bit off the wall but let's go.

I close my eyes and see the inside of Lenoir Hall for some reason. Lenoir is the science building atColumbus State where I work. It's the same building but what is going on there is a revolution. I am on my way to a committee meeting. No, this isn't like the committees I'm on now which basicly have space for everyone so they have a committee assignment and can say they have one. This is a committee that is a real working committee. We meet once a week, sometimes more often. We email eachother a whole lot.

What do we talk about? The great and exciting curriculum change that is shattering the earth of sleepy old Columbus State. Integrated programs that combine student interests and prospective majors with core competencies in an interdisciplinary way that makes college education a satisfying whole. Information literacy is a part of that whole so as liaison to the science and health science departments I am on the development team for these new courses.

The old English 1102 has bitten the dust or it will soon. In its place is a system of elective interdisciplinary writing courses. These include a heavy reliance on science literature such as New Scientist and Science News. Budding science majors can get a taste of what interests them as they learn research and writing skills. They still read quality material but they read what they like. In another offering a science/humanities pair, students read the Piece of My Mind and Poetry and Medicine columns from JAMA regularly. They also read Klawans and Oliver Sacks.

For students further along in their majors, their science courses help satisfy the new campus wide writing requirement. Organic chemistry students now have to do a three page paper on a topic in organic chemistry that interests them. The same is true for students in any biology course that does not include a lab, only their term papers are larger.

There are also a series of science and society courses that have papers that go with them. This does not only make good and interesting work for the librarians and give the students plenty of chance to learn research, it helps them see the relationships between the different subjects they learn and see the relationship between those subjects and the real world. I was lucky enough to have a fairly integrated major. Most college students aren't.

Over in the interloan department, our interloan person now works full time. Reference librarians have to verify interloans on the desk. The system won't work unless those interloans arrive clean. We are currently a net borrower as the new courses come on line but that will change. The library has renounced its new addition and is using the money instead to rebuild and enhance its collection. We are a long way from ACS accreditation but we have what Katz (Magazines for Libraries) says we should. They have just printed a new serials list because of the additions we are adding. Woo hoo! And on GALILEO there is Chem Abs and Science Citation Index.

Reference librarians have to be out. They need to be out. They are out at least fifteen hours a week. Students are getting enough practice using the library that the director is thinking of abolishing Libr1105. This is good because it means students are not only learning library skills, they are putting them to work in ways that are meaningful and useful.

As I walk out of Lenoir Hall, one of the faculty asks me in a soft voice: "Have you seen anything useful?" We both know what I mean and I am relieved that he has asked. In real life (not this fantasy I am writing) I am in touch with a dead colleague. I have not told any one I work with about this, and the silence has at times felt awkward, but somthing has changed and in this fantasy people know and accept what I do so it does not have to be a dark dirty secret. If it makes them uncomfortable, they don't talk to me about it, but most are polite enough to ask me from time to time just as I ask about what interests them. I pass on the news about the dead colleague who is doing reasonably well but still misses his old job and students and widow. It feels good not to have my life so compartmentalized, and not to have to carry secrets that wanted out so badly.

I get home from work around 7pm. Lou is there. He has finally managed to make it in Columbus and look after himself enough to relocate. It is not easy to make it in this town. It is so far from Utica, New York. Well Lou is there. He has made red sauce for dinner. He has picked up fresh basil at Publix after watching me buy fresh dill in the produce department. He is finally unafraid of supermarkets. He asks if he can come with me to schul on Friday. I say sure. I am glad he is taking an interest in my religion. He tells me that he wants to go to the nursing home on the weekend to minister to the residents. I am glad to give up some of my Saturday for this. It is good to see Lou working on his ministry.

In real life Lou, my boyfriend, is an Old Catholic priest. They can court and marry. I am an observant Jew.

OK, let's fast forward to Friday night. The schul is packed with high school students who have all brought their friends. They have to use the upstairs sanctuary because we all won't fit downstairs. The baking squad has made coffee cake with peaches and that is for the oneg after services. People take a big interest in their schul which is the center of Columbus' Jewish community. College students, high school students, parents of young children all take time out of their busy lives to pray together and chat afterwards. Lou is impressed. He asks what has happened.

In real life, we are lucky if we get a minyan on Friday nights (the minimum required to hold a full fledged service) and the food is made by Thomas. Usually the person sponsoring the oneg doesn't even show up.

Well there you have it. Fantasy is wonderful, but it sure is not going to happen in real life and not in Columbus, Georgia.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I ranted all over my list tonight. Argh..... Well it's important that Ladies Advance not repeat the mistakes of the past. The web page is still not uploaded because it's still not finished. I ended up working an extra hour doing some real serious work with students. It was the good kind of work for which I really earn my keep. I wish I had that kind of work more often.

The password to the Chronicle of Higher Education is sitting on this desk here at home. That means I can start job hunting. I looked at and turned my nose up at my first help wanted ad. It was for a community college in Hawaii. I have nothing against Hawaii, but community colleges are under funded and I don't want to be where students don't write papers, magazines aren't preserved etc...

Georgia and Hertzel loved their fresh bag of Iam's. Boy did those kitties eat and eat and eat. I still have half my dinner to eat and I did my hair. My hands are so dry and rough they don't feel like mine and they hurt. I'm going to slather them with prescription cortisone cream again. My guess is it's this nervous frenzy. I always react in my skin. It may be in my head but it still hurts.

The Ladies Advance web page is still a figment of my hard drive. That sucks. What can I say. I did not have the time. The bills are in their envelopes waiting to be mailed. The rent is late. My life is flying frayed at the ends. It is 1:22am.

Monday, December 02, 2002

by Eileen Kramer

I finally learned about the CD P was trying to hawk at the mall in the Albany, New York area. Here it is. This is not meant as a free endorsement or advertisement. Fifteen dollars to see high school choirs in concert and who knows what price for the CD. I figured it would be local bands or someone vaguely professional at least. Yeah, this is not asking people for a buck or two. In Upstate New York this is dinner for two. For fifteen dollars someone who does not have a lot of money can buy a pair of pants or shirt for their child. Fifteen dollars will not buy a coat but thirty dollars might and that's two concert tickets. Well, she who laughs last laughs best.

I think there are about fourteen posts on the Ladies Advance list. Woo hoo. I'm posting away and no one is stopping me just like I blog here. I don't like the P stuff showing up on the list so this blog is good for all the dirt. OK, I'm off to grocery shop. I just couldn't resist.

by Eileen Kramer

Here is a person who got booted off Ladies' Retreat. She took a licking and kept on ticking. Sometimes she ticked a few people off as she pretend posted to the list. In twenty-four hours, she had herself a new list called Ladies Advance. This is a definite improvement. I also find I can post solo endlessly. Today, the list received ten posts and I think the traffic will continue. I like posting alone. I post more. I know if I want "Ladies Retreat" posts in my inbox, I have to create them since this pretend list is an important replacement.

Anyway, let's just say I work fast. I pretty much have the web page for the group, Ladies Advance, ready to go. I am searching for a nice Motown or soul midi to put with it and then up it goes. It took Ladies Retreat weeks to get a page. Of course the page doesn't have a guestbook yet. I'll have to fix that when I get time. I also want a web board and all sorts of other goodies. I don't want to upload the site without music so it sits on my hard drive. This is a major disappointment. It looks nothing like a typical ladies group site. You can guess who DOES NOT get free advertising here.

Anyway, I want the look and feel to be really different, almost diametrically opposed. OK, what else did I do with my day besides watch the 'puter? I went and got ten bars of home made cold cast soap at Georgia Soaps. I got a twenty-five percent discount for my quantity purchase. The soaps are office gifts and they even came wrapped in green tissue. I stuck them in the freezer to keep them fresh. They have a way of getting slimey on warm days and I'm sure their scent dissapates so into the freezer they went.

I made stir fry veggie delite with all the leftover vegetables that my boyfriend and I would have eaten had he shown up for Thanksgiving. Yeah, I got noshowed. No it wasn't my fault. Well actually it was my fault for believing he could get down here without asking for days off from work. Dumb is not smart, but hey even we dumbies deserve a ladies group of our own.

Anyway, I realized after I started my own group that I haven't heard anything from Childfree Singles in a while. I need to do my HugzNflowers postcards and I should do a bit more for SecretAngelFriends. There are other groups but none was as fertile as Ladies' Retreat or invites the nice easy free form uninhibited posting of Ladies Advance.

There is something wonderful about not having the yoke of some busy body female list Czarina about one's neck. Also mailing lists may simply outdo blogs as places to spew freely. I mean this has to be set up and it can be edited and formatted etc.... In other words, it's very cumbersome. I like my sleak little topica list. I can have that nice full inbox any time I want it just by writing myself a few posts.

I can have my pretend list as long as I'm willing to take all the roles. This is a bit difficult. I can find plenty to talk about since Ladies Retreat functioned as a community blog, but things like games and entertainment leave me clueless. I don't have a TV. God the taste of some of those ladies was just in their mouth. I read. I play with my computer toys. I do graphics. I go for walks. I'll have to broaden some definitions. Games day, tomorrow is going to be a bear. I'll need to find a book of riddles or a web site with games on it. Maybe some recreational math problems will do nicely. I'll figure something out. I'm too damned good an administrator not to figure something out. Wait, I'm not good, just really experienced.

Of course getting up a guestbook is going to be a priority too. I work late tomorrow. This will really be fun. I'm thinking of trying Template Depot since they're new. I'm going to blog mark this site because I have work in the morning. I don't feel like sleeping, but I found a really good arrangement of For Once in My Life and it might just be perfect for Ladies Advance. I guess that is a great way to end the day. It only gets better from here, and tomorrow's Monday. Uh oh.