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

LET'S ROLL THOSE OTHER SITES

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, April 30, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Post here.


by Eileen Kramer

Here is a post.

by Eileen Kramer

Here is a new post.


by Eileen Kramer

I just have an urge to write and here is the place I do it especially when it is about Brainstorms and my brand new, improved, pretend Brainstorms, The Silk Purse. I just love the Silk Purse to pieces. Today I made its first conference. It's not finished yet but you can see it here. This is my Life Stories conference. I can now not only reach places where I write my LS, I can read others' life stories too. Life stories don't need a community. Many are hidden away on web pages with guestbooks that would just love responses. Well, I go where I'm wanted and these are my people. My arms are open for the embrace. So far today, I have signed three guestbooks and it does not even feel like a chore. It is wonderful to stop by the pages and read people's lives.

These people don't have to hide in the walls of a closed community and their pages are things of beauty. Their words are set in elegant web sets and backgrounds and illustrated with crafted graphics. Oh why didn't I think of this. What ever attracted me to that grubby old Life Stories conference at Brainstorms? I wish I knew. I think I didn't realize that with work and discipline I could have something much better. Why did it have to take being kicked out to make me see the light. Well I see it now and that's what counts.

I still have to think of something more to write to Ladies Advance tonight. I want that community to come alive. I suppose an ordinary bloggy post will do it. Sometimes I think I am going to need a deck of conversation topics. Oh well, ingenuity will come to me. I also want to try some dolling. People at the LOTH boards do a lot of this and so I'd like to try again. I don't think I've done any doll making in PSP8. I haven't made cartoon dolls in so long. Usually I stay away from the human form.

Today I also saw a lot of new postcards at Artsmia Oh and I have other good news. I have another phone interview scheduled for the end of the month with [I'm not saying!!!]

I also need a graphic for the Life Stories conference at the Silk Purse. I like making graphics but I don't know if I want something that is such a close imitation of Brainstorms Life Stories' house. The Silk Purse is not Brainstorms and it should not be an exact copy. That's why the pages are so cool and have borders on them. The Brainstorms site was really graphically lame and ugly. My eyeballs have been refreshed this afternoon. I'm really amazed how well the Silk Purse works and it is going to work better and better as I tweak it and get it adjusted.

So far my replacement for Zahava has been a success. I can log in and read life story that is similar enough to hers though she would not think so but it is similar enough for me to enjoy, and there awaits a guestbook already for an encouraging comment. This is much more fun than cold calling which would be the alternative if I started a community on my own and I already run several. I've started scouting for a new Joe on Blogarama. I am still toying with phoning Joe in Manchester, GA but part of me says that it would be awkward and part of me says that a coward like Joe is no friend of mine. Joe is clergy that knows how to keep his job. So too is my rabbi. I recognize too many common traits between them. Sharing space on a communal board where you are assured readers is a fine thing. Seeking out someone like that is not. I can find a replacement and I will.


by Eileen Kramer

It is important for me to blog every day. It is especially important now. I have to remember that discipline beats tears. I still don't fully have discipline yet. Sometimes I feel rotten, angry. I have to remind myself to use my discipline then. It is not easy. Discipline is learned. Discipline takes practice. Discipline takes tenacity and I'm sorry if this blog is cryptic. It just has to be. I can't explain that all here.

Boy writing that put me in a mood. It's been a good day and even a good evening. I had a waffle made in the cafeteria waffle machine for lunch. It just looked like fun to give it a try. I ate lunch with our interview candidate. Of course tonight at 6pm it's my turn. I'm not ready. I am not sure it matters. I want to go through the web site one more time and answer a bunch of questions on paper. That will help a lot, but it will either be too much or not enough.

Suzette picked up her calendar mock up and I played with the size and the fonts and got it a bit better. I'll probably tweak it several times more before production begins.

I also taped Gigi or all but five minutes of it. That means I can take the tape to Oak Manor and share my CD. I need more casette tapes but I can get those over the weekend when I go grocery shopping. I'll finish the taping tomorrow when I set up ZOID.

Suzette took me over to a political meeting but first Suzette was shocked at finding I was asking a colleague of mine to fix torn pants and a torn split skirt. The split skirt has a big hole in the crotch that oddly enough is hard to notice. It is faded but its waist eleastic is in wonderful shape. If I could sew I would patch it. Suzette was horrified but why throw away a pair of pants that are torn. Suzette grew up in the Philippines.

Anyway, the meeting was at the house of a man named Arthur Gilett who is running for school board and I got to learn all about schoolboard politics in Columbus, Georgia. It was fascinating. I never knew there was so much politics around the running of schools.

Of course no politics beats what Leon Koziol did to Veronica Massoud at a summer house in the Adirondacks some twenty-five years ago. While Veronica lay sleeping off having had too much to drink and being a bit sick from it in the house, Leon was making out with two other women at the bottom of the stairs by the beach. When Veronica sobered up and learned about it, she drove back to Utica and I went with her. I never voted for or worked for Leon when he ran or city council. I knew him to be a man without compassion or decency.

I made green pea barley soup and some of the barley stuck to the bottom of the pan. I also cleaned out the litter pans and cleaned up the cat vomit except Georgia, my seventeen year old half Siamese blue cream alpha kitty, is due to barf again because she has been barf free for nearly two days. Hairballs are just a fact of life here. A clean carpet just has to get christened.

This means we are set to go for home worship. I am going to enjoy one of my uglifruit for shabbos. I may also go and buy those gerbera I was talking about. Celebration is part of discipline.

Of course all this discipline is in a way an exercise in futility. Somewhere down the line I am going to end up very very angry and still feeling very powerless. It can't be helped. It's in the cards. Of course this is the classic y-shaped path. Only this time both ends of the path are bad.

You're Not Worth It!

You said play by the rules
I played by the rules
And the rules changed.

I stayed tucked in a defensive crouch
Until all of me hurt.
I should have remembered, I can't fend off
naked power.

You asked me to be complict in silence.
I did as you asked.
Anyway, if I tell my story of you,
All I will have is unclean lips and a bad taste in my mouth.

I dirtied my hands fighting with you,
But somehow I did not bruise my knuckles or break my fingers.
I guess I am lucky.

But you know you have forgotten something very basic.
Your words may sting when I first hear them,
But give it a day or two and they will mean nothing.
You are one small grain of sand on a very large beach.
One rather dim star in the sky.

Your largesse or comdenation are all the same.
You made a fool of me, but that only lasts so long.
I am a slow learner but eventually I do learn.

I haven't forgotten I'm wanted elsewhere.
Let's just say I'm busy and don't have time for you.
You've already wasted enough of my precious time.
You're not worth it.

Eileen H. Kramer 4/30/04

Yes, and don't ask me what that poem is about.

In better news, the RAOK Guestbook Committee has a new member. Her name is Marg. She said in the guestbook she was looking for committees so when I sent her a thankyou e-card you know which committee I recommended. I also got two lovely awards for my site from a man who adores American Indians but who lives in Belgium. It's seeing things like that which feel like omens.

Quite frankly I know where I belong. Marg and Rudy let me know that tonight. You don't have to trust someone to behave toward them with kindness and decency. Depth is overrated. Surface gestures are what count. It's kind of like first impressions.

Community often boils down to the biggest meanest dog on the block trying to rule the pack. Often you are better striking out on your own. Your own sod shanty or trailer beats the noisey gossip of living in town. The frontier is the LOTH Region 7 message board. I can't post everything there but I can post and hopefully others will join me or at least stop by to read. If not, at least I have the pleasure of speaking freely in a public forum. I can't say everything I want to in LOTH but I have Ladies Advance and ZOID for that, and I know LOTH has restrictions, but they are stated up front. The same is true for RAOK. Explicit rules help those who come from a different culture adjust. They have helped me even if I have not always liked the rules or have chafed under them. In the last few days I have gained a lot of respect for the way both RAOK and LOTH do things.

I'm talking about the day to day operating rules rather than the creed. Due process for RAOK goes on behind closed doors. It tends to be relatively swift. I can't say much more about it. My run in with the Grievance Committee the summer of 2002 was very unpleasant despite the fact that I emerged more or less unscathed and this blog which is a private blog was born. If you know about this blog, I have given you the URL.

I think I need to get some sleep. I have that job interview tomorrow evening. I hope my head is in a better place than it is now. The tears are winning right now. Time to regain the discipline!!!!!!


Thursday, April 29, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Georgia is in her nest by the monitor. It is her nes and only if she gets twitchy will I remove her from it. I am watching her as I type and trying to type quietly.

This blog is a great place. It is a great place I can always come back to. It is a place that is all mine. I even pay rent on the server space and my words are mine and I own this place. No one can stop me from writing here. That is a very good thing indeed.

I went over to the LOTH Forums tonight. Region 7, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, had a dead and lonely board so I posted something. It felt good to do that. I will make a point to do it more often. There comes a point where discipline beats tears. I can muster plenty of discipline. This time though it will be going to productive purposes. I can't say for what it was going the last time. I think though that what I started tonight is what I should have started doing in the first place.

Ladies Advance is a part of that new discipline too. It is not that hard to post to an empty board or list and claim it as your own. In the case of Ladies Advance I own/pay for the list. I don't mind. l-advance@home.ease.lsoft.com is a nice ad-free environment. It is also not very secure but we are a little list and no one has bothered us yet. I doubt any one will.

I graded a lot at work today and did not do much else. It was busy but I was barely desked. I did a few links for Diana. I also went to Publix after work while it was still light at least on the way down. I passed a house with big scarlet amaryllis out front. They grow in the soil around here and they put tulips to shame.

I also got to see a very cute and tiny kitten in the pet store. They have had sickly kittens in the cage with the well ones. They have cleaned up their kitten cage but I still don't trust them. This kitten was a brown tabby with a white belly, white whiskers and a black nose. She walked with her tail held up in a cute question mark and I saw her back end so I know she was a she. She sniffed me but did not lift a paw and did not nuzzle aggressively. She was a very sweet and reserved little cat. I felt sorry for her because she is the last one in the cage. All her brothers and sisters are gone. I wonder if she thinks they have been eaten.

Cats do think about things like that. Also good news, Georgia didn't barf today. She is my seventeen year old blue cream half Siamese alpha kitty. She is seven and a quarter pounds of aggressively affectionate feline personality. Hertzel, my white boy of joy kitty has golden eyes and weighs in at twelve pounds. He is a great companion for Georgia.

I am thinking of taking this blog public. I'm not sure I'll get much readership that way. It may be more trouble than it's worth. My old blog used to be public but people come and make trouble for what you say on a public blog. Having a hidden blog is much nicer. Besides, I do enjoy the illusion of an audience, and maybe the illusion is all I need. Yes, I love rereading my old posts.

I did a little visiting to the [Not mentioned on this blog's] web page. It was interesting to read about them. They have every database imaginable. I've probably worked with most of the interfaces though it's been a while since I worked with native Wilson. CSA is something I can search. Of course if I get past the phone interview I'll probably have to do a presentation. I'm looking forward to this, but I am not sure I'll make it that far.

I am also on a search committee that is interviewing a candidate tomorrow. The candidate is going to be the education/government documents librarian. It's kind of an odd mixture. They reshuffle jobs where I work. I can't say much more about this but at least I made lunch so that I don't have to eat the slops they serve in the cafeteria. I think I am going to eat lunch with the candidate. I'm just going to get a drink and eat my own food. I bet the candidate doesn't eat. I had a big appetite when I interviewed but I'm weird.

I'm drawing a hot bath now. I'm not big into relaxation, but I think I need to get genuinely clean. I can't remember when I last had a bath. It wasn't that long ago. I suspect it was Saturday morning. Yeah, I know it's gross but you've heard worse, right my invisibe audience.

I'm still enjoying Mr. Wonderful. I also talked with my mom tonight. She said that Harvey really liked his wedding gifts. I feel good since a lot of care went into picking them out. I saw gerbera daisies for sale at Publix three for ten dollars. I'm not sure why I didn't buy them. I regret now that I didn't. I can't go back to buy them tomorrow night because I have a school board campaign meeting at a house in Sears Woods but maybe Friday or over the weekend, I'll get some gerberas and put them in my new vase. I'm also going to eat my uglifruit.

Discipline deserves to be rewarded. I wish I could explain more but this blog has to be cryptic at some times and censored at others. There is sensitive and confidential information that I have to leave out. Anyway, discipline is my defense. It is still good and now it goes to good ends no matter what happens.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Georgia is settling into her nest next to the monitor. Taking posession of it is more accurate. Georgia is my seventeen year old blue cream half Siamese alpha kitty. She just finished a stint standing in my lap and now she is enjoying being on the mommy desk. Well if she starts getting twitchy from the typing, down she goes.

Let's start with the biggest news today. Friday I am going to have a phone interview for a new job. I made the shortlist at [Not going to say its name on this blog.] I hope and pray I survive the phone interview. Phone interviews and I just don't agree. I have yet to have a successful phone interview. I won't say much about the job on here. I am paranoid about sabotage.

Other news is I finally got the calendar for Suzette mocked up on MS Publisher and I'm going thave Jon down in Instructional Technology print out a single sheet version. I will get community service credit for this so it is actually job related.

Libr1105 officially came to an end today. Students will be handing stuff in all week and I'll be grading until it runs out of my ears and dribbles down my shoulders. I don't know how many papers I have given back asking students to follow the guidelines and gather the appropriate sources. Dr. Yu at Utica College would be proud of me. Dr. Yu taught criminal justice students and when they did not find the right sort of journals she sent them yiping up the stairs from her basement office and back into the library.

The problem is students did not read the guidelines/restrictions and they did not articulate the four research cycles with the items they would need for the paper. I've given students two and three do-overs. The paper is not due until May 4th so they have time to do lots of fixing. If I ever teach this course again with a paper we will not be using blogs. We will use scrapbooks to keep the articles in. You can't put books in a scrapbook, but you can put the cover page in which has title and author so you can find it again. This is all I can think of to fix the problem besides getting rid of the paper.

The paper, actually any sort of final project, was ordered from on high. I was told to dread grading papers. In fact, I don't mind grading papers. The paper is supposed to answer ten questions and include five sources of various kinds. It can have many more sources. Here is the link to the World of Troubles paper. I grade the World of Troubles paper by making sure they have answered the questions and gathered the sources. This makes grading cut and dried. I like it when students do it right. I can tell them what they do wrong when they don't. I wish everyone assigned papers like this.

I made roast beets tonight and put them in a salad with moqua squash and peppers. I left the beets whole. They took nearly an hour to cook. I guess they were nice large beets. Next time I might try cutting them in half or even quarters. The salad is sitting on the counter. I have been working on it off and on all night long but now I don't feel like eating it. I usually like eating at night too. I'm just too lazy to get up off my butt and go to the kitchen.

I went for a walk tonight and everything smelled of flowers. That was great. That is what I like about Georgia in the spring. I had planned to visit [I'm not telling you the name of the place's] web site tonight to learn more about them. Maybe I'll get there soon. It's the sense of impending failure that has me paralyzed or at least procrastinating at the moment. I have a day or two so it really doesn't matter if I lose a few hours now. I'm still feeling a bit dazed by the whole thing. It happened so very fast.

hands on a batOh, and I made this today. I really loved the photo used for the middle of this image so I figured why not. It feels good to do graphics again.


Monday, April 26, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

I just told Georgia: "If you start getting twitchy, I put you on the floor." I am keeping an eye on my favorite blue-cream half Siamese seventeen and a half year old alpha female kitty. I think she is a bit stoned. One of the things I forgot to put back in the freezer was the plastic bag that had the catnip. I found it broken into and scattered all over the counter.

What was the bag of catnip doing on the counter. I got a new fridge today. My landlord's handyman's son brought it by just as I was about to leave home for work. I had gone home for lunch so I could eat potatoes and greens and so I could get more checks so I could cut Lou a check and put it in the mail. Just as I am about to leave the doorbell rings and it's the landlord's handyman's son complete with fridge. It's a new fridge instead of a used one.

This is forunate because not only had the freezer died over the weekend, by today the fridge was not working either. It just conked out. My port salut cheese had gone very soft. I'm glad I ate the last of the wheatberry salad tonight. I think its day without refridgeration wasn't that good for it.

Anyway, I manged to get some work done, especially grading. I got to look at search engine links, and yes, I did put Lou's check in the mail. I also checked my mail when I got home and found the two CD's I ordered from Tower Records. I got to listen to three or four songs from Gigi. I'll listen to more while I am getting dressed tomorrow morning.

I need to record Gigi and a record called Mairzy Doats which has seventy two minutes of hits from the 1930's on it to use at the First Circle of Hell nursing home. I also have to figure out how to make calendars with space for graphics and adornments using Microsoft Publisher for Suzette. I did neither of those things today. I feel a bit guilty. I'll find time to do those things tomorrow.

We have a speaker at work tomorrow. He is an art department faculty member who has been made a full professor. The way this works is you get free lunch. He looks like he is going to talk about something other than the people who got him here. This should be interesting. I will end up drinking coke but my irritable bowel is flaring up again anyway. It simply can't get any worse no matter how I abuse it.

I am not sure what Broadway musicals to buy for the First Circle of Hell. I come up with a list that is surprisingly random. I'll probably order more of them now that the first two came so quickly.

I'm also playing with my Mr. Wonderful. I squeeze his hand and he says wonderful endearing things you wish your boyfriend would say. Actually Lou says a few of them and they drive me nuts. The one that really drives me nuts is: "let's talk about our relationship." Some things just get talked to death.

I'm glad I got over my buyer's remorse about Mr. Wonderful. I find his presence very comforting. I don't really laugh when I listen to what he says. I remind myself how good it would be to have a boyfriend who would say some of those things. It feels good to hear those things even if they come from a doll.

I wonder what Lou will make of Mr. Wonderful. Maybe he'll laugh. On the other hand, Lou may not travel down here and I may be going alone to the wedding at the end of May. Sending Lou the check is no guarantee of squat.

I need to get back to job hunting. I saw something from the [name withheld] in my mailbox. It's probably an affirmative action form. I know I'll feel a lot better when I get on the stick with the job hunt and with the favors I owe Suzette. I ought to feel good. I got a new refridgerator today and Georgia is not twitching. She even said "broop."

One more thing: Today (4/26) was the ninth anniversary of my good friend Gerald M. Phillips. I did have some contact with him this morning and forgot to wish him a happy ilachi. There isn't a good word for this thing in English though yartzeit in Hebrew comes close. I hope GMP is not too mad at me for forgetting to do a very polite thing. I have been way too self absorbed lately for my own good.


Sunday, April 25, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

There is very pretty classical music on the radio. It is choral and acapella. It is much better than the church singers I heard today who were not half bad by the way, at the First Circle of Hell nursing home. The singing came with a muppet who preached unintelligibly and a preacher who harrangued the crowd afterwards. The crowd was old people we got upstairs for what is one of the better programs. I asked Suzette to find out for me if there are any Jewish residents in the nursing home or its two other complexes. Something really does need to be done for them lest they be smothered beneath the endless onslaught of well meaning Christianity.

In return I did a favor for Suzette, the head volunteer, and I am doing another one some time tomorrow. This favor is in turn good for me beacuse it involves using Microsoft Publisher rather than the most primitive cut and paste to do calendars. Doing computer work is considered library related enough to count as community service and it is much better community service than hobnobbing with the hoity toity and culture vultures.

Today besides pushing patients and distributing ceramics, I got to go out with the cheer cart. This is a big plastic cart full of assorted junk food to sell to the employees and the more alert patients and to patients' relatives. We did not do so well sales wise but with three people on the cart, there is not much for me to do but ring the bell and hawk the goods.

So I came up with that nice little chant...

Chorus
With rings on our fingers and bells on our toes
We're selling junkfood wherever we go.
It's the cheer cart.
It's the cheer cart.

Of our merchandise we couldn't be prouder
And if you can't hear us, we'll just say it louder
It's the cheer cart
It's the cheer cart

It's beautiful outside. The sun's shining bright
Our selection is good and our prices are right.
It's the cheer cart
It's the cheer cart

Yeah say it! I need to get a life. I used to hawk popcorn in the Carrier Dome back twenty years ago. Some things one never forgets.

I made very good yo choi sum and fingerling potatoes for dinner. If I was the greedy type, I would head back to the kitchen and eat another bowlful, but I'm not that greedy.

I also found out that Mr. Wonderful did not need batteries. I took him out of the box ready to put in his batteries and discovered he was ready to go. I squeezed his hand to make him say the kind of things you always wished a boyfriend said. Tomorrow I put the check in the mail for Lou. For real..... I feel ambivalent about all of this. I don't know if I want to pay for Lou to come up and down the east coast whenever he gets lonely and misses either his brother or me. It will be cheaper to send him the check than to capture him. It will be great to have him at the wedding. I don't want to get stuck doing this for him a second or third time though.

This is not Kramer's hotel. I worked with Ladies Advance tonight. I pay for my fun there since I own the mailing list so I may as well post to it. Paying for something is wonderful. There is nothing like being treated as a paying customer and nothing like putting money into something to make you use it.

I also have a solution to making conversation when there is a void: patter. The patter for Ladies Advance frequently gets behind but if it does I can just fill in the categories I left out. There are about a dozen subscribers to Ladies Advance. It is not a large group but since it grew from nothing and has been in business for sixteen months that's no problem. Also beyond either fifteen or twenty-five members, I have to start paying L-Soft extra for the list, so there is no incentive to grow the group huge.

One can also use patter to journal or blog though I haven't tried that. It takes care of the sitting down and facing an empty page and what am I going to write feeling. Pick your patter item from the list and go. It's really not that hard to do and it's a wonder more people don't do it. I think one of the reasons that people don't is a kind of fear of performing alone. They have no idea how easy it is once you get started but getting past that first barrier is tough.

Georgia, my sweet alpha half Siamese blue cream kitty girl just came by. She greeted me with three or four broops and then leaped to the desk top. I had to take her off because she twitches from the keyboard so she is laing in a sprawl by the doorway. I think she has come to realize the keyboard bothers her too. That is a good thing, not the keyboard bothering her, but her knowing. Georgia will be eighteen in December. Too bad cats can't register to vote.


by Eileen Kramer

A blank box can be a very pleasing thing. It is tonight. This is my blog. It is my blog no matter what. Tonight I think that is a very good thing. I have a recipe board for the same reason. There is a great security in owning real estate online. Enough said...


Georgia jumped to the kitchen counter without the aid of a stool. I knew she still had it in her. She is my blue cream alpha kitty who will be eighteen in December. It is good to see that maybe now she knows she still has it in her.

I also found my way back to Cafe Utne today where my membership still exists and has not been purged for inactivity. That too is a very good thing. I don't have time for all the groups I belong to, but it is good to have them any way.

I'm still having a hard time with spirit contact but it is slowly getting meaningful again. That is good. That is also the good thing about weekends.

I went up to Atlanta today. Instead of taking the Greyhound I took the shuttle and took MARTA in from the airport. MARTA was doing repair work in the north-south line and single tracking trains. MARTA is a commuter train system and bus system in Atlanta. The single tracking meant small delays and very crowded trains. I have never seen MARTA trains this crowded even when there was a cheerleading convention some months ago.

I talked to Lou by cellphone and he wants me to send him a check so he can come back down to Columbus. He is broke. I know he won't cash the check if he doesn't use it. I just don't want to go through the stop-start routine. I also don't want Lou the wedding without a suit. I am not spending the weekend in New York in the hotel room because Lou is too crippled up to go walking. I guess in the end I'll send Lou the check.

I did some walking around. I realize now there is a way to walk from Whole Foods to an east-west MARTA station. I will need to practice walk it on Maquest first but I think it is doable. It might make the trip to Altanta more fun.

I hit both Whole Foods and the DeKalb Farmer's Market. I got trip food for the wedding, herbal tea, fruits, and vegetables, and quite a few other odds and ends. I got yo choi sum, a Chinese green similar to rappini and fingerling potatoes. I got beet root but no radishes. I guess I'm going to be eating more cooked veggie and cooked veggie salads for a while. That is OK.

I talked with a nice lieutenant bound for Fort Benning on the shuttle ride home. I was glad I had a talkative seatmate. Of course he was quite jet lagged having come from Washington State. One of the nice things about taking the shuttle rather than the Greyhound is that I don't feel at all guilty to be sleeping in my own sheets tonight. The Greyhound that leaves for Columbus is bound for Dallas and frequently is full of long haul passengers who will not reach home until some time the next day.

By now two thirds of the groceries are unpacked. I should eat something though I'm not particularly hungry. I had a very good lunch/dinner in the DeKalb Farmer's Market that included braised kale and Asian noodle salad. My intestines are not screaming as loudly as they did yesterday. I don't feel at all like sleeping. That is not good.

I need to leave here about 8:30am to be at the First Circle of Hell nursing home. I wonder if both of the other volunteers will be there. I wonder if the group coming in to sing at 2:30pm will be any good. I think being out and being away from the computer will do me good. I also think blogging does me good and once again, this blog is all mine.


Saturday, April 24, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

I am too sick and tired to write tonight. I ate junk food this morning and now twelve hours later, I've got cramps and drawing pains in the legs. The cramps feel almost like period cramps except they move right to left. This is the screamy gut brain that rules my bowels. We all have a gut brain but unless my bowel gets enough fiber to help it push smoothly in the right direction, my gut brain forgets what it is supposed to do and screams.

I feel sleep deprived and shitty. I feel too keyed up to sleep. I hope my GAD meds do something for the irritable bowel. Yeah I take Xanax. It's the starter dose. I never needed more. I have a way of running out of the stuff at the end of the month which it is not right now. I could tell all of you about Xanax withdrawal. Benzodiazipenes make you physically dependent. When I come off Xanax at low dosage. I get irritible bowel cramps and a splitting smashing headache. Withdrawal sets in about twenty-four hours after the last pill and runs a day or two.

I ought to be in a good mood. This is the last weekend before a dreaded eleven day work week. I even figured out a way to go the colloquium and go to Atlanta tomorrow. I got money from the ATM by Publix. I cleaned out the cat litter boxes. I met one of my students, Kelley, in Publix. She works there. She asked me if I had gotten her paper outline. I told her I had not only gotten it, I had graded it and liked it. She was a happy student.

I could think of a lot of things that are putting me in my current bad mood. The latest blow happened when I opened up my freezer. I reached in for the bag of Birdseye soybean baby brocoli mix and it came out unfrozen. A finger stuck in one of the cells of the ice cube trays showed that they were full of water. I cranked up the freezer. I also remembered that Wednesday when I took out a bag of cauliflower and a bag of speckled butter beans, both those veggies were nice and frozen, something the remaining vegetables are not now. Yes, if the freezer doesn't make ice by tomorrow morning, I am going to have to call the landlady. Fun! Fun! Fun!

I have batteries for Mr. Wonderful so he has to come out of his box. I am embarassed I bought him but in a way it's good. I think once I have him up and running I might still enjoy him. I'm coming to grips with the whole Lou business. He was talking about leaving Thursday. He hasn't called me. I am trying to visualize myself going to the wedding and to the rehearsal dinner by myself. I am not thrilled with this. On the other hand, I can walk all I please because the crippled up boyfriend won't be there with me. What I am not looking forward to are all his excuses for not attending and the stop start stop of his not arriving. I dread this even more than having to say: "Lou couldn't make it."

Lou's not going to the wedding is going to save me two to three hundred dollars off the $1200 price tag this otherwise would have had. Yes, folks this price tag includes dress, shoes and purse for me; transportation to New York City and back; Two night's stay in a hotel in New York City; gifts; and miscellaneous expenses. How do you say "extortion?" You don't say it. I'm the sister doing the sisterly duty and if you can't afford it either a parent foots the bill to hide the fact or you don't come. Blah blah blah....

The wedding is now a month away. Plan B is a reality. The motel room is booked. Somewhere in this room I have my New York City Let's Go which is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared which means I'll probably buy another one. Oh well it served its purpose and there are plenty of web sites that can give suggestions of good places to go and things to do.

And tomorrow, it's just a short trip to Atlanta. I don't have enough herbal tea to make it through the eleven day week and I need to lay off the soda. Tomorrow when I go up to the First Circle of Hell nursing home I'll bring some 365 soda or a container of iced herbal tea with me. Caffeine and sugar all afternoon are not helpful, the caffeine being much worse than the sugar. I am bringing a box of white grape juice matzoh with me. Suzette has never seen matzoh and unless the old people are diabetic, I can safely share them. In a lot of states, old people have to have their teeth in so they can eat crunchy foods no problem. I'm not sure if old people have to have their teeth in and their hearing aids on in Georgia. I know they do in Michigan.

Suzette also does not know how to make tomato sauce from puree (or crushed tomato). This must be an Italian American or just an American thing. One thing I can do is cook if nothing else.

Tomorrow in Atlanta I want to buy beets or more precisely beet root so I can roast it and have roast beet salad. I don't know what else I want to buy, most likely daikon and/or black radish. I always come back from Atlanta with radishes. Greens for frying would be nice too. I'm not sure if the apples are good any more or if there are decent varieties. Ditto for citrus. I'll see what's there. I may even buy some very expensive uglifruit. There is a premium product worth the price and good for my unhappy irritible bowel.

Well I think I better post this and get some sleep. What is sleep? I don't believe in sleep.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

It looks as if somone has redone the inside of Artsmia Postcards. That is good news because not only do the postcards work and have worked for some time, there are lots of new designs.

I owe someone an e-card and I'll see that he gets it tonight. Work was busy in an odd way. I got up a new marquee display that greeted me as I walked home tonight. It was great to see the professor who will be speaking next Tuesday with his name up in lights. I have a whole animated display for Rite of Passage. It features a cocoon that opens to reveal a butterfly. The butterfly is the Rite of Passoge Lecture logo.

I made the cocoon animation while Julie was still working at the library. Julie got me to do things like that. She recognized what scanty graphic talents I have, but I use them anyway. Anyway, with Julie's backing I phoned Linda Reynolds and asked how to get a graphic on to the marquee. Linda in Student Services gave me the book and I figured it out and with my software, I made all sorts of stuff, but the Rite of Passage graphic is the best.

I had canned grapefruit sections for dessert tonight. Yay! I'm basicly out of fresh fruit and too lazy to go to the store. I had more chayotes too. Oh they are so good.

One student paper which was a rough draft was awful. A colleague was surprised at the current practice of handing in rough drafts. I told her it was not so current. It dated from when I was in school and it was considered good practice since better papers make both students and professors happier. It's a win-win even in a dinky little one credit course.

Anyway, the student with the awful paper got back to me about it and I showed her what she needed. Basicly she had a big hole in her research. She has missed a lot of classes due to illness. Poor student. My students seem to be a sickly lot. I don't remember college students at Cornell being this sickly, except for nerves, IBS, and one or two cases of ulcer.

And speaking of IBS, mine has acted up with a vengance. The fried cheese nuggets (Boy were they good!) assorted other types of junk food and coca-cola did their dirty work. I forget it takes them twenty-four hours to do their dirty work and once it's done, I am gassy, crampy, bloated, and miserable. The chayotes are good for irritable bowel. Corn meal mush would be good too as would fresh apples and oranges. Soluble fiber is very soothing.

This means I ought to go shopping for some fresh fruit. I also would like some really good beets to roast. The problem is really good beets are unobtainable in Columbus most of the time. I kid you not. Other hard to obtain foods are canned grapefruit sections (Pink ones don't exist here. I got the white grapefruit sections at Big Lots which sometimes has canned delicacies the other stores forget to carry.), many flavors of herbal tea, parsnips, string figs, daikon radish (available but the quality is poor. Ever seen a rubber radish?), and black radish.

I am still feeling peeved about not being able to go to Atlanta this weekend. I will call Columbus Shuttle tomorrow. If their price is half way decent, I can walk over after the colloquium or after Lucas gets done with his presentation and still go to Atlanta. Next weekend, by the way, I work. There is an open weekend after that. Then there is graduation and then the WEDDING.

Lou told me today he does not have the money to come down. I suggested sending him a check. He said there would be problems cashing it. All this sounds way too familiar. Suffice it to say, I did not call Lou today. Sometimes I do the right thing but not all that often.

I have some great ideas for PSP graphics. I am home and going to get some sleep soon so those ideas will have to wait. You'll probably see them here. I think they are going to be pressies.

I also ordered two albums of old time music. I made sure that I would enjoy the music, but my hope is to share it with patients at the First Circle of Hell nursing home. I'll buy more music after I pay my bills. I intend to make a collection of this stuff. I bought a collection of old time music by the Merry Macs that features the song Mairzy Doats which dates from the 1930's. My mother learned it from her mother and I learned it from her. The other album was the musical, Gigi. Gigi and the Merry Macs album were low stock items so who knows if I'll get them. I figured it would be a good idea to order them. I hope they arrive.

By the way if music from the 1970's is oldies, what is music from the 1930's or 1940's. Some places call it nostalgia. I don't think that quite fits. I keep thinking ancient stuff or decrepities. Anyway, the show tunes and the decrepities arrive when they get here. I'll trace the order and keep you all posted.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

OK, I'm trying to make this a quick entry. Once I go to work second shift, I am under the yoke and probably incomunicado as far as my usual net fun is concerned. At least I'm being fed, chayote medley (yum!) and whole wheat matzoh. I have so much matzoh left from Passover it is ridiculous.

I even get mandarine ornages (cannded ones) for dessert and hot blueberry tea to drink. Lunch is good but it is all downhill from here. The grading is strenuous and absorbing. I'm not used to giving up all of my headspace. Also students will be coming in for me while I am away from the building putting up the marquee for the next Rite of Passage Lecture. I also have to schedule an early departure because I am going to a school board candidate's campaign meeting next Thursday.

I don't like giving up my time. I like being able to sneak graphics and email and blogging. Unfortunately, one gets used to being spoilt and I am badly spoilt.

I am also unhappy about giving up my Saturday. I am going to try to find a way NOT to give up my Saturday, but all ways may be blocked. I have a student named Lucas who is giving an honors presentation at 11:15am. I wanted to go to Atlanta this Saturday but the buses leave 7:30am and 1:35pm. I don't know how long the student presentations will last but this effectively X's out Greyhound. Now there are planes that fly to Atlanta and the Columbus shuttle and Groom's shuttle that run hourly but they are more expensive. Columbus Shuttle leaves from within walking distance of the house and I think I can get Grooms one way from the airport and take the 10pm Greyhound back so the day may be saved. Lucas is an excellent student and it's important for me to give him my support. And no I can't go to Atlanta Sunday. I have a date at the First Circle of Hell nursing home for hopefully more porch duty.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Well here it is Tuesday. A professor in the nursing department is retiring so I have to be out of here in about fifteen minutes to go to her retirement party. I'm not thrilled. I hope there is somenthing I can eat. I hope there is a cold drink. I am more thirsty than hungry. I haven't gotten much work done this morning, but what I did do met deadline. I graded. I will grade more tomorrow.

I talked to Lou on the phone last night. I don't really want to stop volunteering if he returns. He is making noises about coming back. I also don't want to get caught up in a loop of will-he won't-he when-will-he. The capture at the end of March was to set a date and a time and then go. Lou is awful on follow through. Lou is undependable. I love Lou despite all this, but I can't live with this any more. I finally told Lou that I don't think much of his X-history last night. I'd rather he go back to the ministry. Lou is an Old Catholic priest. Yes, folks, trusth is stranger than fiction. Truth is too strange sometimes.

Aki Asuwa pressie You may see these some day in your post. These are mainly for Caringbridge. I make graphics when I need them. I don't need them yet. I need them after work when I am tired and at the end of the proverbial rope. This one is an Aki Asuwa pattern. I am the conservator of his his original Japanese Patterns. These are very versatile and elegant. They were made using a UNIX machine (don't ask me how) when Aki was a graduate student at MIT back in the mid 90's. Then he left school but his textures were just around the net. I had a few and I searched for a few more. I'm kind of glad I saved Aki's patterns. I just wish I had done it sooner. There are about a dozen lost patterns.

Aki is now back in Japan. He never cared about his graphics all that much. I did write him once and he wrote me back that he liked what I did with my guestbook using one of his patterns, the ice pattern. I was just learning to use PSP at the time I found Aki's patterns. Turning them from grey and white to color is a challenge. The graphic above uses a custom texture, glass effect, and burning as well as inner bevels. That's a lot of technique for something so small. It's the mark of a real PSP fanatic.

It's Aqua ManThis is more traditional flat work though it uses an outer bevel. It is a pure scrape or close to it. Diaper Man is the best super hero, but Aqua Man is strikingly attractive. I think it's the green tights that do it. Anyway, all the Caringbridge kids are heroes. Their parents.....well parents have feet of clay. They can rage and while they have every right to their raging that is not a time you want to be too close.

Savannah is still alive and is dying by inches and painfully. That is tough to read. I signed her guestbook using a fairly new RAOK pressie since flowers are fine for her site. The little boys though need something more masculine. I run out of words so the graphics are a must in these cases.

I'm back from the party. There is another presentation going on about the photo exhibit but I am partied/presentationed out. Besides it looks way too crowded in there. I have to teach at 4:30pm. The class will run short. I'll ask for lots of questions. I hope students have them. I hope students show.

I also have to do a kind of brutal trouble shooting data entry that makes my skin crawl and my mouth go dry with dread. It's brainless yet intense work and the intensity is what bothers me. Yes, I complain when I have nothing to do and when I have something to do that is useless and painful. That is all for now.


Sunday, April 18, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

I was away all day in the world of volunteerism. I volunteered in the Pine Manor nursing home out on Warm Springs Road about three miles from here.

Most of my day was spent sitting around and pushing patients and running the cheer cart which sells snacks to the employees. Most of the volunteers are young, high school or college. People who are married and have kids are too busy.

The nursing home is the first circle of Hell. It is clean, and yes the patients are pretty messed up. There is assisted living for the very frail and not quite there, but it is still possible to end up in a place like Pine Manor, and still be present of mind. Parkinsons, severe arthritis, and several other diseases can do this.

That is a scarey prospect indeed. More than half the entertainment consists of church programs. I'm not Christian. I suppose a local schul could send out its rabbi or others to pray with them or do other ritual things but when the entertainment is constantly Christian stuff...it feels smothering. Of course not all Christians are enamored of a constant stream of church programming. They get churched out. The virtue of church programming is that it is cheap. Congregations and their groups come by to sing and preach and if their singing is awful (I heard some awful singing today) too bad. They are doing good works and the inmates take what they get.

If you don't like church stuff on Sunday afternoon, there is sometimes the porch. I got to porch sit today. I won't next week because the church entertainment is coming early. On the porch there are free snacks and then the CD player. The problem is that the CD collection contains 1960's and 1970's rock, gospel, a bit of country and western music, and some holiday records. The problem is the inmates were born around 1930 or even a bit earlier. This is NOT THEIR MUSIC and nobody has thought to buy old time pop songs, show tunes, blues, jazz and whatever.

At my grandfather's nursing home back in 1990 the activities people played old time songs that the residents of Douglas Garden could relate to. These were mostly religious songs. This was a Jewish nursing home.

At my grandmother's assisted living center, they had an inhouse DJ (one of the residents) who played 1930's and 1940's favorites and sang them too.

If they pay an activities director, why don't the old people have their own secular music? When I am old and sick I am going to want my own music. This is important.

Third...the food. Even if I ate meat, I would be afraid to touch the slops that pass for food. It smells gross. It looks worse. The veggies are overcooked. There are no whole grain options and I saw ABSOLUTELY NO FRESH FRUIT on any food trays. Fresh fruit is considered a treat at this nursing home rather than something one gets as a matter of course. At my grandmother's assisted living fresh fruit was always available for dessert (I ate the food on a guest pass and I ate a lot of dinners) as one of the choices. I also remember bananas on my grandfather's food tray in the nursing home. Imagine having to live on the awful Pine Manor diet.

I know I can't do anything about getting old and sick, but I hope someone takes better care of me than the way patients get cared for at Pine Manor.

I tried downloading some old time music tonight but had no luck. I got Soul Seek to work but spent all my time "Awaiting User" I would do better buying my CD's. I'll try the mall some time this week, then go to Amazon.com or Tower Records if they have an online place to order what I want. I hate having to do this, but my 28.8 connection is just too slow for peer to peer downloading.

I'll be going back to the nursing home next Sunday. I'm not in the first circle of Hell. The inmates are. The volunteer leader on the weekends is named Suzette. She is Philippine American and she was mortified and horrified that I don't drive. She demanded to give me a ride home and then let me shift for two hours for myself at the new mall. I got a vase which means one less item in the Un-Registry. I'll have to revise that web page before long. That is what makes getting and spending fun.

She offered to drive me out but I finally told her that given the good weather I really preferred walking. The idea that someone would get about on foot just shocked her but I mean people must do that at home in the Philippines. It may be a class/caste prejudice on her part. She asked me how to help her get motivated since I have a lot more education than she does. I realized only while walking around the mall that Suzette who is finishing up an LPN degree has no idea that in a four year school you study two to three hours outside class for every credit hour. Quel horreur. I think that most of Suzette's work is rote memorization. Suzette works hard and shows up though she will have no trouble anywhere she goes. Ninty percent of nearly all jobs is showing up and if you are conscientious the rest doesn't really matter unless you have a creative position. Then one expects more.

I saw a good beet salad recipe in a women's magazine while one of the church services was happening at the nursing home. I'm going to modify it and make it when I can get some decent beets. That means the tops go in soup or get steamed and eaten with butter. Beet greens are a fine delicacy.

Suzette does not know how to make her own tomato sauce. This is easy if you buy tomato puree for starters and the sauce is velvety smooth. I should write her up the basic recipe. Maybe I'll donate it to my recipe board and Ladies Advance as well.

Philippinos by and large know nothing about Jews and Jews barely know about Philippinos except the names are distinctive and they are Asian and Catholic. That isn't saying a lot. I had to explain what kosher was and how Jews and Christians are different. I don't mind doing this. I know it is kind of necessary. I'll be back next Saturday.

Lou called twice today. I was out and by the time I got in I had things to do. I realize that I'm not sure I can cut off all contact with Lou. If I do that, he'll realize something is up and my secret break up won't be secret any more. I really don't want my cover blown. I am sneaky. I am ruthless. Boyfriends, be aware if you let your girlfriends down enough, they can do to you what I am now doing to Lou.

I get to cook in a couple of days. I scored ZOID tonight and it took only thirteen minutes. That is a record. The other competition team (It belongs to my young, brilliant, and temperamental cousin, Haldis!) is functional. I have to fix one page, but this is a big relief where there was a very ugly technical malfunction that had poor Haldis begging to invalidate the scores. She made a very public prodction of it because she was the first team leader to get in this kind of trouble. Governmance has been a sore spot at this competition so setting up a precendent for dealing with this publicly and erring on the side of honesty is important. Yes, folks I mean honesty. If you are taking the time to vote and your votes don't get through, do you want those scores to count?

Of course you don't! I'm thinking of burning some of these MP3's I've collected to CD. I could always bring them to Pine Manor. I'm not sure what my fellow volunteers would make of Tom Leher. I think I need some sleep. I'm blanking on work but that is OK.


Saturday, April 17, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

I below off schul by oversleeping. Part of me is saying "what's the point." I think of some of the awful things the rabbi said and cringe inside. It's just so much nicer at home without him. Of coruse I really can't do Saturday services but I can get started reading the weekly parsha on my own. I guess that is the next step.

I know the counter argument is that religion is supposed to be social, but this schul really hasn't been either. I like the Saffrons and if you asked the Spandorfers they would say they had been nice and so would half a dozen others and I would have to agree. The problem is being nice and being cordial is not enough. And yes, the Saffrons sent me cards and came to my house after my grandmother died last summer. I'll grant all of them that...but as I said before....

The absence of invitations to anybody's home (I've been going to this schul for five years) and the fact that no one hosts me on Thanksgiving or asked where I was going to be for Passover is the real acid test. Besides that there is a demographic problem. The Saffrons are kind of an exception as is a nice radiologist named Michael Schneider but everyone else who actually shows up regularly at services is a generation older than me and if you are talking Jewish singles, don't waste your breath. Everyone in this congregation is married off. Most are richer than I am or wish they were and want to act this way.

I mean is it worth it to pray with these people if I have to put up with the rabbi. Are the bonds of friendship strong enough for me to want to be part of this establishment on a regular basis despite the rabbi. Is all of this enough to make me want to get up early on a Saturday and walk four miles?

Being unschuled is scarey, but not as scarey as it was four months ago. Home worship helps a lot, though I want a better siddur. I also want a maksor and something for doing Saturday morning services. An alternative to davening in a poor quality schul with a rotten excuse for a rabbi is wonderful. It's empowering.

And tomorrow I had better not oversleep because I am going to go to the nursing home and volunteer. This is not a substitute for Jewish ritual. There are no substitutes for that but this will help me find males. I am hoping I won't get stressed out by all this. I did well with old people before and I tend not to get too depressed but maybe since losing my grandmother all of that has changed. I guess I won't know until I try.

I'm supposed to be job hunting too but with a web site competition, a team at another competition, the project for Hugs Committee and other web projects to take up my time plus my container garden (I lost two marigolds out of twenty and that makes me sad but I expected some mortality) plus my cats plus the apartment who has the time. I think there are people who like job hunting. They like it enough to constantly suggest openings to me. I think those people live in a distant universe.

Well I've scheduled a resume clinic for tonight. I'll try and get several of the things into the mail and then I can say I'm job hunting again.

This is not procrastinating. The sun is out and it is a lovely day. I'm not going to waste the day indoors. I did enough of that already taking care of some web work obligations. The page for Sally is up and just needs better attribution for the poetry. The other things are out of the way too. There is a long sunny afternoon out there. I'm going to use it to take a long walk to Petsmart and get Georgia's cat food since we are out of that. I'll also get some double A batteries for Mr. Wonderful. He is going to come out of his box. So what if I'm a bit slow. I bought him and he is mine.

When I get back tonight, I'll start looking at the jobs that are available and putting together three resume packets. After that the evening is mine to do with as I wish which probably means Cybersoulmate.

I called Harvey and Elizabeth this morning and both were cordial. Harvey finally asked where I was staying and I told him it was none of his business. He asked if I was staying with mom and I told him that Jack doesn't allow houseguests in the apartment when he is present. Jack is my mom's boyfriend. Yes, both my parents are divorced. Anyway, Jack doesn't even let his kids stay over in his New York City apartment so that is it. The kids know and they know well in advance and it is HIS apartment. Everything a parent has doesn't have to belong to everyone in the family. I think this is weird too by the way, not letting your kids occasionally stay with you, but people can draw their boundaries where they like as long as they don't severely put anybody out by doing it at the last minute and not being open about it.

Harvey and Elizabeth got both the gifts and even called to thank me. I think that was sweet and very gracious. Harvey especially liked the cat bookends. He called them "unique" but Harvey and Elizabeth are both animal lovers, not just cat lovers. I told Elizabeth about Pacific Spirit/Northstyle/Mystic Trader Northstyle is not at the web site but they are the same company.

This ought to feel good. It just feels like a relief. So it goes. At least it feels like a relief. Now the bath is drawn, the window is open to air the apartment. It was neither cold nor hot outside. I still don't know whether to wear pants or shorts for my outing. Oh well, maybe a walk will set me to rights.

I almost called Lou to tell him that the call to Harvey and Elizabeth had gone well. I dialed the number and then nearly kicked myself out of the chair. I miss Lou. I don't miss him here as much as I miss calling him. He thinks I'm still angry with him. I am just trying to get through the hard task of doing without him. Oddly enough I had no problem giving Elizabeth the spelling for Lou's name for the place cards. For all I know, he'll be back here or meet me in New York for the wedding. Anyway, my break up or lack thereof is none of Harvey's business.

Breaking up in secret is sneaky. Breaking up in secret is hard. Breaking up in secret is fun when you are all over Cybersoulmate looking for someone new which at this stage just means meeting new people. Low expectations make cyberdating or planning for cyberdating fun. Breaking up in secret means me wish I could smash my stinking cell phone because it would be so easy to talk to Lou as I walk back from Petsmart. It was too easy. Sometimes the best path is not the one of least resistance.


Friday, April 16, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Open the blog and pour in the entry. There will be some daylight when I get out of work. That is a good thing. I guess I hit bottom. I've been living on junk food all day. I feel like.... Use your imagination. The data entry is glitched. The cards do not match what is on the spread sheet which means something is either wrong with the spreadsheet or with the cards. I am going to have to talk both to Diana in systems, the creator of the spreadsheet (It was automatically generated but it is still her baby) and Cheryl who runs interloan and who is interested in retiring.

Julie was supposed to be in today to turn in her keys. I am glad she didn't show up. Dealing with someone who is so sick and so defeated by sickness in real life is just hard. Caringbridge I can walk away from whenever I want. Julie whom I like and whom I still wish was here is another matter. I miss Julie way too much to want to see her if that makes any sense.

I still have to RSVP for the rehearsal dinner for Harvey's wedding. I may do it from work on Monday. I need to RSVP by calling my brother from work. He will be at work and I will get to sleep to Elizabeth. Elizabeth, Harvey's fiance, is not a bad sort. Am I jealous of her for getting married. Not really though I'd like to have a crack at getting some of the stuff she is getting. Oh well I have the Un-Registry. That makes a big difference.

I washed out last night at spirit contact which leaves me feeling lonely this time of day. One of the spirit friends I work with really likes my relationship with Lou. With me scheming to dump Lou behind his back, I don't know what he will have to say. I'm not scaird he will or can do anything bad to me, short of refuse to speak to me, something I would understand. Men always side with men, even spirit men.

And speaking of men, Mr. Wonderful arrived late last night. The delivery person gave him to my upstairs neighbors who brought the box downstairs. I haven't opened the box yet. I don't think I have the right kind of batteries to bring him to life. Yes, he takes batteries. Also I feel strange now that I actually have him. I bought him on impulse and now it just doesn't feel right. Go figure.

I suppose I can take Mr. Wonderful to home worship tonight. I never played with dolls much so I figure I am missing something. And speaking of boyfriend substitutes, Cybersoulmate is heating up. I was all over the boards this afternoon and even met a very nice guy who noticed my posts. Two men wanted my phone number and my Yahoo messenger number respectively. I said "no." I said email was enough. I don't want things to go so fast. It is not that I'm waiting for Lou to return. I'm not. It's just these are total strangers. Am I getting cold feet? I've never seen an online dating forum work out this well before. This feels so little like a meat market it is wonderful.

framed foxtail lilies in a snowglobe And yes, I did some graphics today. This is my second and much better attempt at a snowglobe with a phot in it. They call these snow globes even if they are not snowy. All it takes is a bit of organization and making vector layers into raster layers at the right time. The frame is both an inner bevel and the texture is soft plastic. I adore foxtail lilies. This image is one of my photos on Cybersoulmate and it is also in my postcard gallery. Yes, I have my own e-card mill. Would you expect anything else. It is remotely loaded but the images are mine. You won't get them anywhere else unless you download them.

Today I also discovered an oldie but goodie. Diana listed it in the links I am annotating for her webliographies. Absolute backgrounds and borders lets you make custom borders edit textures and do other neat things like make buttons. It is an impressive site even if it does have a few dead links in it.

prayer board I used one of the backgrounds as a custom texture in my PSP to make this graphic. This is for Sally's memorial page that I am making for the RAOK Hugs Committee. The page is ready for prime time but I am waiting on more poems and graphics and such from Felisa. ChrisM, the leader of the Hugs Committee, supplied the prayer for the graphic. It's a pretty nice prayer and I like the wooden background. I like wooden backgrounds, but I like them better slightly pickled. I can do a better job pickling with my own PSP. Besides it's more fun that way.

I am listening to the BBC and deciding whether to sneak up to the third floor and gather weedies. I think this can wait until Monday. This is a busy weekend. I am going to try to go to schul Saturday morning and then on to the museum. Sunday I am due at the nursing home and then I am going to walk to Petsmart and get cat food for my sweet Georgia and Hertzel. When I am feeling down I have to remember I am not alone. I have two great kitties. I'll be in and out this weekend.

I have two competitions to set up, actually it's one comp and a team at another comp. I am an administrator for hire except I don't get paid. I need a plan for tonight. Go for a walk. Go home. Meditate. Home worship. Eat and work on setting up ZOID. I'll also work on the team site a bit. It will be very easy to set up. That is for a number of reasons MOST UNFORTUNATE but that is another story.


Thursday, April 15, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

goldfish in a bowl I am losing myself in graphics. This unpretentious little graphic is one of my attempts at glass in PSP. This is kind of a holy grail with me. I am not sure why. I've seen people do it with tubes. I want to know how to do it from scratch. I tried downloading what I thought would make a good glass texture but it did not work all that well. The goldfish though is kind of cute. I also like the colors. I do a lot of work in forest green. I am not sure this image is entirely color safe. Most likely it is not.

I called the nursing home this morning and I'm due to go over there Sunday morning and push patients to church. If I find it utterly loathesome I don't have to go again. Hopefully there will be gentleman volunteers. And yes, Lou called me at work. He made it in one piece to Utica despite crumby weather. He is sick with a cold. He blames me for giving it to him. Anyway, he has heard nothing about the speaking engagement and wants to come back to me. Fine, let him drive back. I'm not fetching him and I'm not paying for his return trip.

Meanwhile, I have been busy at Cybersoulmate. I have six contacts. One is married. Another lives in Australia but fine...so what.... I mean for chatting and web boards these guys are fine. The one that is moving to Atlanta is a possibility, albeit a remote possibility. I was told Cybersoulmate was full of young people, and I'm surprised to find out how many forty-something guys there are so that is refreshing.

daffodills in lucite We had a speaker today at work who actually spoke about something worthwhile. The topic of his talk was "Computer Parasites." Yes, folks that's malware, something of which I see way too much. Anyway, it reminded me to update the E-Card Education Center. I ran an update on the public terminals and on this machine with the security turned up so the cards did not appear. They just don't when the Active X controls are turned off and also a fair amount of Java. That is fine. All I need is the send out form and the pick up letter.

Anyway, here is the second graphic. This is my take on a snow globe. I can do tetrahedra which are an older take on this, but this is the real thing. It looks more interesting before I turn the top layer transparent. It came out looking like lucite and yes, the diamond is a custom shape. There is also a custom texture involved as well. There is always more than meets the eye. I think this actually came out closer to glass than many previous attempts. The glass technique provides the three changes needed to break the copyright chain that holds a lot of photographs captive.

I started the data entry and discovered that half the cards I have don't work with the data I've massaged. I got through about a third of one group of cards today. I'll do another third tomorrow. I'm getting things done at work, but they are dull things. At least there is something to do. Tomorrow, I'm going to give myself a break and do some weeding on the third floor as well as another pile of data and ten more links for Diana. The Diana project is long range and I've been warned there are a lot of dead links. For some reason, however, Diana, the systems librarian, has chosen a lot of fairly stable and well kept sites. This is at the bottom of Diana's do list so she doesn't care when I get it done. This was given to me to balance out the work load. The problem is most librarians still do not want to do webliographies even if I'm around to annotate their links and put them into rudimentary html so the projects I work on that are not mine, inevitably hit bottle necks and snags.

And yes, I ought to be job hunting. And yes, I ought to be home. I have litter pans to clean and a bit of cat vomit to take care of etc.... Yet, here I am. Go figure. I even told myself I'm making creamy cole slaw tonight but I can't get my rear out of this chair. Normally cooking really motivates me. I also know I need to take a walk. I know I'm not really that afraid to go home to an empty apartment. It is not empty. There are two wonderful kitty children who need me. There are things to do. There is computer work to do that really needs to be done at home. So why won't I get up off my tail. Oh well....


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Hey, OK, I owe you some more blog. I managed to go home for lunch, but what am I still doing at work? I'm blogging. I also did some PSP graphics so as a result, I feel much better. Lou should be in Utica in an hour or two if he is not there already. I am glad I won't be going home to pick up his phone call. I may not call him back tonight. I really don't want to hear from him. He sounds so damn sincere when he says he is coming back. This is not Kramer's Motel!

fritillaria circleIn spring my mind turns to fritillaria which we all know don't grow in the South. I can always use another "thinking of you."

I didn't touch my data entry at work. I'll have to do it tomorrow. I'm not on the desk much so having plenty to do back here in the office is pretty good. There will be free food for lunch, most likely chips and dip. Thankfully it is no longer Passover. I enjoyed the holiday but it is good to be able to eat like everyone else or as close to the way everyone else eats as I want to eat.

I'm going to miss Fred's home of cheap mayonaise if I don't get out of here soon. They close at 8pm. Oh well, let them lose my business. Publix sells mayonaise too. I need so many groceries it's pathetic. Usually I can get up a lot of energy to go food shopping. Not tonight. I'm going to be cooking. Today was a pleasant day. I ought to be stinking grateful. I'm not. Go figure.

I guess I am going to miss Fred's so what. Anyway, the pressie made me feel a bit better. I called up the nursing home today to volunteer but never got a call back. I supposed I could check my phone. It's not like they have people beating down the doors to volunteer. I'll try again tomorrow morning. I should have known this would not be easy.

Well, I need to go out and buy some food. It's hard to stay focused.


by Eileen Kramer

Here it is 6:36am. I am usually sleeping and may yet crawl back into bed for a half hour or so under the blankets. I took a nap and got up in that weird time that is so late it is early. I took care of a few computer tasks that were hanging fire, wrote to one email list, cleaned the kitchen which I should have done last night, and here I am.

The kitchen cleaning at five in the morning is decidedly weird for me, but I conked out around 10:30pm. I got some decent spirit contact work in. It was not even that garbled which is nice. I went to bed cold and got up all sweaty and decided there were things that needed to be done. I decided to put that filthy kitchen to rights. It now has a cleaned stove, wiped down counter, and washed floor. I'll stick all the junk in the kitchen either before I leave or when I come home on my lunch break.

This week's suddenly cold (for spring in Georgia for sure) weather is testing my resolve to come home for lunch now that Lou is not here. Well, I'm going to make it two for two, and yes I ate in the dining room last night. Unfortunately, a phone call from Roanoke Virginia, the half way point on the trip between Columbs, Georgia and Utica, New York was on my answering machine. Yes, I called him back. Yes, he says he is coming back and that we "did everything right." The problem is Lou's credibility is shot. Is it my problem? Probably so. Is it his problem? Probably so. Is it both our problems? Hey you should be writing this blog instead of me.

I managed to hear some of Bush' press conference last night. Boy does he sound inarticulate and cheesey. Maybe he does better on TV when you can see the handsome WASP face and tall body behind the folksy and stumbling words. I wasn't upset and I wasn't surprised. Let's just say I'm used to W.

I got home from work late yesterday. I'm not happy with that but overall I'm still handling this breakup well. It's not an official breakup yet. I just think it is over and am acting accordingly. If he comes back, he is welcome. Meanwhile, I've got a life. That's about where it stands.

I haven't started looking for work elsewhere again but I did join http://www.cybersoulmates.com Most of the people appear younger but this is a free online dating service and the price is right. I am still learning my way around there. It will take some time to get up to speed. Today's goal is to call the nursing home on Warm Springs Road and find out how to become a volunteer there. I need an evening or weekend position. I figure this is a good way to meet the right kind of guy.

Well my bath is ready....More later...


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Lou had fair warning. No I'm not selfish. Lou is not right for me. I need a guy with a wonderful conventional nine to five (or equivalent) job.

Lou called today to say he is leaving to go north for his speaking engagement some time next week. I do not have the time to rescue him again and I do not have the energy to twist his arm.

He kept thinking I was crying last night. I told him You aren't worth my tears. Well, that still holds through this morning.

This is going to sound crazy to all of you but I kept thinking of a path that forms a Y. One end is the good end of the Y where Lou stays and all is well, the other is where I come home to a deserted apartment and a long note. Well, I guess I did see it coming.

I thought about it coming enough to implement a plan B. Here it is:

FIRST I'm not going back to living like I did when I lived alone. Lou's leaving is not going to take that from me. I can go home for lunch by myself as easily as I did when he lived with me. It is much nicer to do this than eat in front of the computer. Lou is not taking that away from me.

SECOND I am NOT twisting Lou's arm about getting him to return in time for the wedding. I can save the two to three hundred dollars it would cost to outfit him. I can have a much better time in New York alone because Lou is now so crippled up from obesity and not having decent shoes that he can't walk any distance. I'll be free to walk as much as I like. If any one asks about Lou I'll just say he couldn't make it. People will wonder what kind of a boyfriend he is but not for long.

Here's Mr. Wonderful THIRD This one is a little weird, but I don't want to sit at a dinner table set for just one so I'll need someone to occupy the empty chair and I might also like to take him to bed with me. I need a male companion and this one only cost $14.95. Keeping up with how good things were when Lou was here is going to need a boyfriend proxy so I decided to get one. Mr. Wonderful will be arriving in about two weeks. I ordered him over the net because I don't think Dillards has any more Mr. Wonderfuls.

As for going out, guess what, I can do that solo. I don't need Lou. All it's going to take is a lot of discipline.

Of course it also means that I am back in the boyfriend market again. Lou does not know how much trust he broke by doing this. Actually the breaking of trust is cumulative in his case. It's all the times he said he would leave Utica and didn't. It's all the times I tried to be a good girlfriend. It's all the times I've had to put up with the X-history project.

And yes, the X-history does have something to do with it. I read Lou's precious advance copy of this book and found it a mishmash of conspiracy theory and ranting mixed in with some coherent stuff about rocket planes and high altitude reconnaisance ballons. The prose jumps around. It is full of unwarranted assertions. There are no references or articles for further reading. The documents don't go with the text.

I also don't agree with X-history. This is crank stuff. This is conspiracy theory. Lou wanted help with the writing. I told him I would need to go over the book page by page. Quite frankly, I am glad I am not going to have to do this now. I can't get behind Lou's X-history dream. I'm glad Lou is gone because I don't have to try to do that any more. I really don't want to put myself in a positition to have to do it again.

In short, Lou doesn't know it but it is over. It is over because I am going to put down that burden I shouldered. I am not going to pick it up again. I am not going to chase Lou out of Utica again before the wedding. I just don't think there is the time for that. I can check to make sure, but I feel as if I've been made a fool of and I'm not that desperate to have to look after a boyfriend who is freaking out about New York City.

Saturday night I return to either the Firehouse or the Loft or some other watering hole. That is a beginning. There is also online dating. There is also volunteering and joining the Y to meet males. Then there is looking for work elsewhere since Lou is not returning to settle down. I've done all I can to bring him down here and at the first invitation he is gone. That is it. I've reached the end of the rope, the end of the line. No more tears. Lou's not worth crying over.


Monday, April 12, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

It's late in the day and I'm blogging at work. That is not so bad. I can't really start anything new and I'm sort of adrift but I'll just flow with it. I want some hot tea very badly and may go brew a fresh mug of that stuff. I can't kee away from Savannah's Site I don't want to drive up the counter on that page. I just did. Shame on me.

It is windy and warm outside. It is cold at work and Erma, my supervisor, is suffering mightily. I sat through a one hour search committee meeting this morning and decided effectively to do nothing. I don't want to say more about this.

Lou noticed I was down and out of it at lunch. He was right. It is Monday. I did get some of Diana's webliography links taken care of. They seem to be in good shape with no unpleasant surprises. I suspect that the whole batch of them is decent. That is a relief.

This is one of those days where I don't have a lot to say. I teach tomorrow and I am trying not to think about that. Teaching this late in the semester is hard. The students have other committments and your one credit class goes to the end of the line which is frustrating for starters. Yes, all this stuff matters. We are doing paper writing tools and outlines and anything else I can think of next class. This will be one of the few Libr1105's that actually runs short. This will also be our last time meeting in the library. I have to do reverse signage and then more signage for next week. Next week we do Ingenta. I know by now most of the students who have stuck with the program this far, are working on their papers. It will be hard to hold their attention.

All the marigolds in the container garden are surviving. I have heard nothing from Chris at the RAOK Hugs Committee. As I told a woman who was interested in getting more out of RAOK, most of the action occurs on the committees. This one makes web pages for members who are in need and well enough known to merit a web page. It is supposed to make celebration web pages too but the sad occasions outnumber the happy ones. Well, we are making a memorial web page for Sally, a member who died last week. I don't know Sally from a hole in the wall but I pitched in to do some design work.l I feel good about this project.

Sometimes I just don't have words and here I am blogging anyway. I have a long tired evening to face at the house. Lou got domestic today which means I am going to have to do something about the kitchen since it's one thing Lou can't be trusted with. Also, I'm due to make stir fry tonight because we are at the end of a food cycle. Tuesday night, Passover ends. I would like to just go out tonight. I don't care where, even to Wal-Mart would be decent. I would like to take Lou to buy sneakers. Fat chance of that.

I'm still thinking a lot about Savannah and her site. Raging L goes in the same camp as the two Raging P's I have known. Yes, I know she has a sick daughter she is about to lose, but what I know of Lisa is her web personna, as a perceptive writer who never begged for a dime. Now I am seeing a different and much less desirable a face. I see a couple who broke up while they were promoting a sick daughter as a poster child. This was a school aged girl so she had to know what was being done on her behalf. That is if all of this were true. The promotion, the secondary gain, the feeling of entitlement (Hey you can't always be right all the time.) are all things I can't stand. I know advice in these situations. I am just having a hard time following it.

A memorial basket for SallyIt is just easier to do support work when the person at the other end is dead, or it's for a whole organization or the ongoing stuff doesn't get ugly. This will be done and over with soon. Sally's family will send an email of thanks even if they don't feel the least bit thankful and then on to the next.

What would I tell Lisa if I could tell Lisa? When you go public, your get fans and your fans matter. When you go public not everyone will agree with you. If you leave your URL around, you are inviting everyone who reads it to your site. Local mounts, password protection, etc.... are all ways to keep the rabble out. I came in with the rabble. I don't think I made a blip on your radar, but that is who I came in with. I have no intention of leaving though if the site gets silent I may be long gone. When you went public and complained about your fans, Lisa, I lost my patience and a lot of my sympathy. I feel bad for your daughter who is so deathly ill, but you are the owner of the page and the journal, Lisa. Quite frankly, I can and should go where I am wanted which is why you will never hear what I am writing on this blog.

There are plenty of other families at Caringbridge who want outsiders' signatures in their guestbook. I can go there. If you had wanted a private site, you should have password protected your pages. You can't have it both ways. I can't say that enough. Sorry Lisa.

Well, I'm going to be late heading home. I don't particularly care. Maybe I'll find something worthwhile to listen to in the kitchen. It has been ages since I last heard Phil Hendrie. I am kind of glad he is booted out. I don't want to hear his political rants. His comedy is wonderful, but his political rants are pure garbage. I also haven't let myself listen to Dr. Laura. Say what you want about her politics, her caller torturing is what makes the show great entertainment. Clear Channel and I have not been together for two weeks, and I don't want to go back to hearing that garbage.


Sunday, April 11, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Lou's sleeping so I can blog undisturbed. That is good. I fell asleep for two hours tonight trying to get through his X-history book. It's all about UFO's being intelligence ballons built by the US army. The ballons helped us win World War II until the Germans built rocket planes that could shoot them down. This is why the US lost the Battle of the Bulge and why World War II ended in a negotiated settlement.

Have you had enough already? I've had so much X-history rammed down my throat or just suffusing the atmosphere I'm profoundly sick of it. Lou's human origins stuff is even weirder. If you ask him and you only have to ask once, he will tell you all about the three inch hominid fossil that was found in Peru. Forget that this thing was never written up in a reputable scientific journal. Lou would do great on the Art Bell/George Nori show, but he hasn't applied to speak there yet. I may yet be doing Lou's web work. Look out world. Here comes Mr. Black and X-history!

And yes, I feel disappointed. Lou won't take me dancing. That is a given. I am trying to lure and badger him to the sneaker store so he can have comfortable shoes so he can take exercise which he does not want to do in the worst way. Lou is getting to remind me of Nero Wolf.

At the moment I can hear Lou snoring on the day bed in the living room. I try not to listen. I've got work tomorrow. The prospect doesn't scare me though I know something is up. Something is always up at work.

Chris who runs RAOK Hugs Committee got sick so gave the page for Sally to me. You can see it at http://tacheiru.us/raokhugs/sally.html There are already several gifts and I added some music. I also trouble shot Chris' coding errors so the page feels good and professional and slick. I'm surprised how easy all of this was. It is as if being around RAOK makes me forget what I can do.

Lou says I should do web pages for a living. I am not sure I am ready to deal with paying customers, besides if I can do this...so can a zillion others including any and all of my potential customers. I will probably be doing web work tomorrow, testing and stringing computer science links for Diana, our systems librarian who does not have time to work on webliographies. Webliographies have become a big part of my job. It was something I could do and the thing fit and I don't mind. It is something useful to do like weeding books. I hope I understand the computer science pages well enough to summarize them. I fear having my eyes glaze over.

In other news, I have decided to STOP signing the guestbook at Savannah's site http://www.caringbridge.org/ar/savannah until or unless things on the site calm down. Lisa, Savannah's mother, turned ugly. There is a fight with her exhusband at the base of all this and someone stole pages of Lisa's Caringbridge journal and pasted them to Savannah's public site http://www.savannahhurley.com The public site is not owned by Lisa's exhusband, but by a woman named Shannon and the page requires registration. I am getting to think all of this is qustrange, and to make matters worse, Lisa got angry at all us healthy and uninvited visitors to a page she now considers private. Yes, CaringBridge offers password protection, but the page is not password protected, and in happier times Lisa left the URL for the page in guestbooks. Lisa can't have it both ways.

So I am making a tactical decision. Sometimes when you see a trainwreack, you have to stop being hypnotized by the blood on the tracks. That's the case here. No more Savannah. As things stand now, I may not even know when Savannah dies. The not knowing is sad.

Well, I guess I get to post this blog entry and meditate and get some sleep. My spirit contact is still just slightly garbled which is annoying. I guess that is becase I am preoccupied and busy lately. I wish I could get a nice long easy shift of contact, but that doesn't seem to be the way it is working out.

The fridge is also nearly empty. Lou and I have munched down the seder treats. It will be a day or two until we shop again. It will be after Passover then. Lou is itching to make pasta and saunce. I am looking forward to green pea soup.


by Eileen Kramer

I finally have time to blog! I drove Lou nuts tonight going in and out with the watering pitcher as I was putting in the container garden. I made Lou take me to Wal-Mart to buy marigolds and top soil and tonight by the light of the moon, I planted the marigolds.

Lou still does not have new sneakers so he can walk. Lou has no sneakers. I just want to go for a walk with Lou. I know at this stage I can not talk him into taking me dancing. He is wrapped up in a book he is trying to self publish. I am sick of the book because it isn't mine. It's also a military/speculative history thing that bores me to tears. There I said it.

Lou is on the computer and feels it is his priority when he is home. I can get on at work, except I am trying to make time for Lou so I have to finish up work and do a minimum of side work so I can get home and then... he is on the computer. I don't write to the two email lists I really care about (I own both of them) and the RAOK guestbook round up was way overdue.

I went to work to take care of the roundup today. I also gave a part time librarian a GALILEO tutorial. GALILEO is the statewide collection of assorted databases. It used to be better but it is still a sweet and powerful tool.

The roundup went well. There were no spam artists, word salad, get rich quick schemes, quack doctors, or people trying to proselytize their friends who recently signed the RAOK guestbook. You can visit my guestbook at http://www.theraogkroup.com Just click sign/view guestbook.

While Lou worked on the table of contents for his book, I got the container garden ready for planting. That was how I found out that the little plants with purple spotted leaves which became big plants with purple spotted leaves were so successful. They were almost impossible to pull out even though they have been dead for some months. Their roots were everywhere and the soil in many of the pots was like grey sand. Water and some potting soil I bought tonight helped with that, though compost or manure would have been better. Wal-Mart doesn't sell it in big or little bags. Lou was grossed out by the whole business. He finds gardening loathesome.

Too bad. I don't feel so bad. I can't go on long walks with Lou. I'm sick of his book. No I don't want to send him back to Utica, but I find myself straining to get time to myself. I guess this is part of all relationships. Lou is sleeping right now and I am using the time to catch up on net things I can't do except late at night.

The RAOK hugs committee page I designed has been put up on Geoccities. It had a few coding glitches in it, so I sent Chris the corrections. I haven't been back to see if she implemented them. She did not write me back. Chris is head of the RAOK Hugs Committee.

I also received an invitation to join this fine organization http://www.angelsofcompassion.com I don't know if this is a fine organization or a cruddy one and the creed is boiler plate. They are scraping up members off the street which is odd since they have fairly stringent membership requirements. I got my invite though no one inspected my web site. Maybe they don't bother until you apply.

But my gut instincts and experience make me suspect there is precious little inspection at all. They take the members in and expel the ones who don't fit and don't leave or quietly slip away through inactivity. I am not positive of this, but I've had enough experience with smaller ladies groups to know it often works this way. Still, oddly enough I am tempted to join. Yeah, where will I get the hours in a day?

There is something else at work with the Angels of Compassion site. It's not exactly beaurocracy but all the membership requirements and talk of expulsion is reminiscent of small people throwing their weight around in a big way. I've seen this at some web site competitions. Hands off is a great policy but seeing that when you are in a position of power is hard.


Friday, April 09, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Well I skipped a day and I have so much to write about I don't know where to begin. I am trying to be sociable and get along with Lou but sometimes, I come home at lunch for a quick half hour of paying attention to the boyfriend only to hear that the computer is infected with a virus. Now, this is possible being that the home machine runs with very little protection, but on the other hand, there is just Lou and I using the thing, we use web based email, we don't open unasked for attachments. You get the idea. Also I was using the computer in a particularly safe way last night.

Yet, there is Lou complaining that the computer has a "hello" virus on it. It jams up IE and it says Hello and puts up yellow (actually cream color) flags in the task bar. The hellos are cream colored on a reddish brown background.... It turns out that last night during the big thunder storm, I turned off the computer at the surge protector. When Lou rebooted, ICQ came up and on a 200 mhz Pentium with a 28.8 dial up connection, ICQ has a way of slowing things way down. Also the jerks who show up to bother me regularly are a persistent and pesky lot and a bit scarey to the unitiated.

I have a whole series of jerk games I play on ICQ. The favorite one is see how long a jerk will last before he makes an innapropriate comment and lands on the ignore list. It usually takes about five rounds of conversation if one can call it that. I think ICQ jerks are born with a rejection complex. I mean what sane woman would want to "cyber" with a complete stranger?

Well Lou learned about ICQ jerks the hard way. I showed him how to turn off ICQ which I do a lot of the time. Things are quiet around here now. I RSVPd Harvey and Elizabeth's wedding and bought them their gifts. That means my wedding couvade is back. Stop by the UN-Registry for a look http://tacheiru.us/unfettered/unregistry.html There are new items available for my getting and spending pleasure. I've thought about starting an UN-Registry web ring or email group. I'm on Childfree Singles. Someone in that group might be interested. I need to start another group like I need a hole in my head.

I haven't looked at Savannah's web site so I don't know what is up with her. It can't be good and I worry. Well Savannah is still alive. http://www.caringbridge.og/ar/savannah if you care to visit her site. I haven't been around in a couple of days. Lisa wrote something interesting in her journal with regard to another healthy Bridge groupie named Paine. It is worth a read. I do feel like telling Lisa that when you go public with any kind of a support site, you attract everything from do-gooder groupie types, like me, to voyeurs of one stripe or another, to vote exchangers whose silence and support you buy. You get this last if you site fight.

I'm supposed to cook a Passover Seder tomorrow. It was supposed to have been Monday but I said "NO" I worked last weekend and struggled valiantly and successfully to get this apartment flipped over. I just couldn't have turned around after working Monday and cooked a huge meal.

I am off tomorrow. I just survived a ten day week. I was up until four in the morning last night working on a design for RAOK Hugs Committee. Don't ask me about the RAOK guestbook. It is out of control. I intend to do a roundup this weekend. Mess is too good a word for the guestbook. An Easter activity has percipitated a round of signings including a newbie who wants guidance with the RAOK site for which I am not responsible and which I always thought was user friendly.

Anyway if you want to see the design I made it is at http://tacheiru.us/unfettered/sally.html It may actually get used. I was shocked and surprised. Chris, the head of the Hugs Committee, said it was better than anything that is usually out there. That is because I have years of experience with gallery pages. All of this really got me thinking.

By all rights I should not be a RAOKster. I come from the wrong background. The fact that I am female and live in a small city in the South makes me only a partial demographic match and my background in verbose intellectual groups on the net is all wrong. It took getting kicked out of a couple of groups and a general disgust with some of the games played on a third group to make me a convert.

The story that springs to mind is that of Ovadiah the Proselyte. Yes, there really was an Ovadiah. He was a Norman on the First Crusade. He touched the walls of Jerusalem and realized he was on the wrong side. It took me a bit longer to realize this than it did for Ovadiah. He headed north from city to city and town to town in his armor and still brandishing his sword. Eventually he reached Aleppo, Syria and came into the schul. He asked for the rabbi. Then he took off his armor and sword and asked to become a Jew.

Well I threw down my armor and sword and said make a ladies group member out of me. Of course the most interesting and best part of Ovadiah's story is the part that happens after the story ends. Ovadiah becomes a Jew alright. He goes to adult education classes or their equivalent back there in the twelfth century, but nothing takes his memory of learning to wield a sword and ride a horse. If he could read in Latin and French he still can. Of course he has remade himself. The self is a lump of clay. You can become something else if you work at it.

But you are never the same as the people who come by being what they are naturally. I ran into trouble with the RAOK grievance committee. RAOK is also a world that values family and nurturence and supports illness and suffering. As a healthy single adult, I am automatically a creature of low status. Yet, RAOK can use me. I take care of the guestbook. I spent twenty of my own dollars to make sure we have a pop-up and ad-free guestbook that takes html and that is large enough for a site with RAOK's activity. Technically, I can run circles around a lot of RAOKsters. In a world with no rigor (In ladies group lingo it's a world that "does not judge") skill is often invisible. It is strange to find a part of my old self valued by any one in RAOK.

No doubt Ovadiah was useful in training the Jews in Aleppo in military skills. He certainly earned his bread and the respect of others, but at times he probably wondered who he was. I mean if you can remake yourself, at least to some extent, well then you are just your own creation. Your self is a lump of clay, and that is wonderful, but squeeze that clay enough and you forget what original shape your self ever had. You begin to wonder if you are real or how much of you is original material and how much of you is your own handiwork. I think most of me is something I created.


Tuesday, April 06, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

I'm writing in bits and fragments because a day without blogging is like a day without sunshine. Both are equally disasterous. I teach a class I really enjoy tonight. It's a free speech on the internet class. The link was to the student assignment. I use the world famous, Bonsai Kitty, site as an example of a free speech success story. Most of the time, free speech on the net is at the mercy of private entities so it's not covered by the Constitution. A lot of you know this, but my students don't think about it.

Like most people, my students think about free speech as something abstract or worse yet something that happens to the other person. They also think they have an iron clad right to it that can be defended in court. None of the above is true, but teaching that is hard. I think I have figured out how to do it. I hope I have. I have done this class before but never in a course that had a paper as a final project. This class is singularly ill timed.

In other work related news: the meeting yesterday was as good as two hour meetings get. We debated a work related issue and it was lively. We did not reach any conclusion or closure. We will do that in July. That is a long ways off. I can't say any more.

I tried to explain to Lou that between working full time and having the bulk of the domestic work I am often too tired to help him with looking for work. That is true. I wish it were not so. He has all day when I'm not around to look after himself. He is a big boy. You know the rest of the drill so it is not worth repeating here.

Today I can't go home for lunch because there is something doing all afternoon starting about twelve o'clock. I bought some macaroons at Publix so there would be a kosher for Passover item on the buffet at the Rite of Passage lecture at 12:30pm. The macaroons and a plate to put them on are in my backpack right now. It is way too early in the morning to think about them. I did not tell Callie or any one else of my plans. Sometimes the cultural insensitivity here in the deep South just gets to me. In that case, the best thing is to do something.

As of yesterday http://www.caringbridge.org/ar/savannah is still alive and eating and drinking and playing with stickers. This comes as a very pleasant relief, even though part of me dreads the long slow road ahead. Savannah's last name by the way is Hurley. Her full name is Savannah Phoenix Hurley.

Yes, I could vet the entire family on Switchboard, but if they had an unlisted phone number than what would it prove. Besides they are in an unknown rural town in Arkansas. I think Lisa, Savannah's mother, is an excellent writer but, the story is horrific enough, I would not mind it being fiction. Good fiction beats bad reality any day of the week.

I even found a Caringbridge site that is close to being site fought. Look at http://www.thesitefights.com/cherubs/roster.html and click on the save Annabelle link. Genetic defects are singularly weird and compelling to read about. I had a course in human genetics in college and it was the most fascinating course I ever had.

new thinking of you circle with anemoneAnd yes, I have two new or very recent pressies. I'm going to try to make a third one today if time permits. This is a standard "thinking of you" with a very nonstandard background pattern. The threads are a washi paper texture that I imported. I imported a lot of my own textures into PSP.

helbore leaf sympathy graphicThis is that unfinished green sympathy graphic. It just feels very springie. It also has a new innovation, or at least a new skill for me. I can now make curved text wtih the warp grid. I just was trying different things and this one worked. I did not use a tutorial or anything. I can now make cilendars with good labels on them. This is a big plus.

My newest idea for a pressy will use a black/purple fritillaria, one of the small ones, not a Crown Imperial. I want another "thinking of you" You can't have too many of those. Well at 10am a whole bunch of errands start. I have to make and put up signage for my class to make sure they know they are in Woodall. The free speech class is hands on. I also have to ask Callie for more information on Rite of Passage lectures so I can get up the marquee displays. Cheryl is not in so the data entry project is momentarily blocked, but I didn't do my weeding Friday so I can head to those third floor stacks. It is also warm here at work this morning. One should be grateful for small blessings.


by Eileen Kramer

I'm writing in bits and fragments because a day without blogging is like a day without sunshine. Both are equally disasterous. I teach a class I really enjoy tonight. It's a free speech on the internet class. The link was to the student assignment. I use the world famous, Bonsai Kitty, site as an example of a free speech success story. Most of the time, free speech on the net is at the mercy of private entities so it's not covered by the Constitution. A lot of you know this, but my students don't think about it.

Like most people, my students think about free speech as something abstract or worse yet something that happens to the other person. They also think they have an iron clad right to it that can be defended in court. None of the above is true, but teaching that is hard. I think I have figured out how to do it. I hope I have. I have done this class before but never in a course that had a paper as a final project. This class is singularly ill timed.

In other work related news: the meeting yesterday was as good as two hour meetings get. We debated a work related issue and it was lively. We did not reach any conclusion or closure. We will do that in July. That is a long ways off. I can't say any more.

I tried to explain to Lou that between working full time and having the bulk of the domestic work I am often too tired to help him with looking for work. That is true. I wish it were not so. He has all day when I'm not around to look after himself. He is a big boy. You know the rest of the drill so it is not worth repeating here.

Today I can't go home for lunch because there is something doing all afternoon starting about twelve o'clock. I bought some macaroons at Publix so there would be a kosher for Passover item on the buffet at the Rite of Passage lecture at 12:30pm. The macaroons and a plate to put them on are in my backpack right now. It is way too early in the morning to think about them. I did not tell Callie or any one else of my plans. Sometimes the cultural insensitivity here in the deep South just gets to me. In that case, the best thing is to do something.

As of yesterday http://www.caringbridge.org/ar/savannah is still alive and eating and drinking and playing with stickers. This comes as a very pleasant relief, even though part of me dreads the long slow road ahead. Savannah's last name by the way is Hurley. Her full name is Savannah Phoenix Hurley.

Yes, I could vet the entire family on Switchboard, but if they had an unlisted phone number than what would it prove. Besides they are in an unknown rural town in Arkansas. I think Lisa, Savannah's mother, is an excellent writer but, the story is horrific enough, I would not mind it being fiction. Good fiction beats bad reality any day of the week.

I even found a Caringbridge site that is close to being site fought. Look at http://www.thesitefights.com/cherubs/roster.html and click on the save Annabelle link. Genetic defects are singularly weird and compelling to read about. I had a course in human genetics in college and it was the most fascinating course I ever had.

new thinking of you circle with anemoneAnd yes, I have two new or very recent pressies. I'm going to try to make a third one today if time permits. This is a standard "thinking of you" with a very nonstandard background pattern. The threads are a washi paper texture that I imported. I imported a lot of my own textures into PSP.

helbore leaf sympathy graphicThis is that unfinished green sympathy graphic. It just feels very springie. It also has a new innovation, or at least a new skill for me. I can now make curved text wtih the warp grid. I just was trying different things and this one worked. I did not use a tutorial or anything. I can now make cilendars with good labels on them. This is a big plus.

My newest idea for a pressy will use a black/purple fritillaria, one of the small ones, not a Crown Imperial. I want another "thinking of you" You can't have too many of those. Well at 10am a whole bunch of errands start. I have to make and put up signage for my class to make sure they know they are in Woodall. The free speech class is hands on. I also have to ask Callie for more information on Rite of Passage lectures so I can get up the marquee displays. Cheryl is not in so the data entry project is momentarily blocked, but I didn't do my weeding Friday so I can head to those third floor stacks. It is also warm here at work this morning. One should be grateful for small blessings.


Sunday, April 04, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Well, what can I say. I'm at work. It is not that quiet which is good. The wind is up outside despite the bright sun. Lou is doing his laundry this afternoon. We went out to the Chinese pig buffet last night. I had lots of rice, sushi, and firey hot kimchee. The rice was the best part of the meal, warm, sticky, and even made with salt. I'm going to miss rice because starting Monday night it is PASSOVER. I'm looking forward to matzoh and brie cheese, matzoh and almond butter, and just plain matzoh.

I managed to pop ZOID open and do some web work, but I am still not all caught up. This is the midpoint of an eleven day week. This one more or less snuck up on me. It is not as dramatic or traumatic as the last eleven day week, but that is OK. I like it better that way. Maybe my 2,400 mile hair shirt road trip did me some good. Lou has been inside most of the week nursing a bad cold and playing around on my computer. That is OK. He sent a letter to a convenience store chain trying to get them to sell his book. That is also OK. I know nothing about sales. I don't think the book is all that good though I think Lou is an excellent salesperson.

Savannah http://www.caringbridge.org/ar/savannah is still alive though she will never recover from her brainstem tumor. She is proof that one can be deathly ill without actually dying. Lisa's diary is fascinating. If you have the fortitude please go sign Savannah's guestbook at Caringbridge.

Friday I started working on a new sympathy graphic. Savannah's mother is the intended recipient. Well, I'm glad the graphic is still unfinished. I probably will finish it. Someone will get it in their guestbook sooner or later. That is the way with pressies.

There is still some cleaning left to be done before the Passover flipover, but I am at the point where I can look beyond the cleaning. I want to attack the container garden next, pull out all the dead plants, and dig up the soil, add 5-10-5 and then make a trip to a garden nursery for marigolds, and celosia to grow out of doors all summer. It will be nice to have a garden even if it is only a few pots on my front porch.

I also would like to take a walk tonight or meditate. My spiritual life has stayed oddly intact though it feels a bit weird. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. No one is ordering me to do anything awful. It's just the contact is short and often just a little bit garbled.

I have my period. I got it this morning. I was expecting it and the naproxen is doing a decent job controlling the pain. I'm kind of glad I started it today instead of Tuesday when I teach. I'll be glad to get home. I need to figure out when to take exercise since Lou doesn't and taking it means leaving Lou alone. Walking on my lunch break is a possiblity though most of the time I've been walking home to see Lou.

Tonight I'm going to try to pay the bills as well. When I do that, I will send in the RSVP for Harvey and Elizabeth's wedding. Then I will order the first of their two wedding gifts. The extortion begins in earnest. Between gifts, a trip to New York, new clothes, and a cat sitter, this wedding is costing me $1,200. There is a reason I would like to have a wedding with Lou. It would be time to extort back sums legally. Vengence is a wonderful thing when one can practice it free clear and legal.

I am not sure the gifts I picked out for Harvey and Elizabeth are still available. I picked them out a while ago. I also know that the bills need to be paid before I can begin my buying adventures. Of course once Harvey and Elizabeth have their gift sent to them, I can return to updating the UN-Registry. I want a matching Fiestaware butter dish, some matching spahgetti bowls, and of course, two cloth table cloths. There are other things I'd like, but this is it for the UN-Registry for now since that is supposed to have a domestic flavor.

My Deva Lifeware catalog came today and I noticed they still have gauchos. I want another set. Call me frumpy and retro, I love wearing gauchos. The only pair I have are blue and a bit faded. Lou calls them grey. I remember them as blue and I still wear them to work.

Oddly enough I want to go out to dinner tonight. I don't think we have enough food in the house for another meal and I'm sick of looking at what we do have. I will even pay. I ate stuff I shouldn't at work so I'm not that anxious to go rushing to the restaurant. I just want to have enough to eat and eat in a relaxed way. Tomorrow is Monday morning and it will hardly be relaxed.


Friday, April 02, 2004

by Eileen Kramer

Sorry for the skipped days. With a boyfriend in the apartment, I don't have the time for private pursuits like blogging. That said, the prePassover bakathon has started in earnest. I cooked off the last litlte orphaned bit of rice in the cupboard last night. My thought was rice salad at lunch. I am going home for lunch at one pm and still have some peanut sauce left (Another chametz killing recipe). Well then I remembered rice muffins. I used to make them when I worked for the Grunes up in Ithaca.

Here is the recipe. You will need.

3/4 of a cup of cooked rice
2 tlbsp of melted margarine or butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of milk
1 egg
2 and 1/4 cups of flour
5 tsp of baking powder
salt (optional esepecially if you made the rice with salt)

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Melt the shortening. Put it in another bowl. Add an egg, the sguar and the rice. Mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. This is a nice sticky batter.

Put in greased muffin pans, about two thirds of the way up. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees or a bit less. These seem to cook fast. Let cool to close to room temperature. Since these are fresh you can even eat them cold or refrigerated and they'll still taste nice and fresh.

This is a very old time recipe made from when people often had nothing to eat in the house.

And if any one is curious, I'm making cheese biscuits tonight. We'll have plenty of &qout;replacement bread" and Lou, my boyfriend's other name is "bread fiend." Atkins is an anathma in our house. A meal without bread, rice, or pasta is just not a meal. For any one who is curious, I have managed to lost about twenty pounds in a year and a half while still enjoying, bread, pasta, and rice.

There are pounds of matzah socked away in the closet in the study which is also Lou's closet. He shares it with the matazh. Lou was very tired and I think he is a trifle depressed. He lays around a lot and doesn't do much though he says he is working on a project. He is a guy with a case of the "gonnas." I knew all this when I went up north to fetch him so I'm not complaining. I get more energetic when there is someone in the house which makes Lou look even lazier but he's not lazy. He's just sort of out of focus and sometimes a bit helpless. That is the best way I can describe it. I am hoping if he takes more exercise and gets some fresh air he will start feeling better. So far he has not gotten me down, and that is a very good sign.

As of yesterday, Savannah was still alive. No news may well be good news though who knows in this case. If you can do it, please visit http://www.caringbridge.org/ar/savannah

I cleaned up the apartment last night. I took care of the cat litter pans and the cat vomit. I did some vacuuming. I made rice muffins and cleared the counters this morning so I can make the biscuits tonight. I'm also going to make string beans (actually pole beans because those Italian style string beans rock) almondine tonight. I'll spare the cheddar cheese or boil some eggs if any one gets protien conscious. I'm hoping Lou eats the tail end of the sauce and pasta though we could have that too.

Note: it is easier to both think and write about food than to do other things. There are problems here at work that can not be written down on this blog. They are not happening to me directly but they are still painful all the same. I don't know today's installment of the pain, but I can find out about it.

I am on a search committee at work and stalling so I don't have to do a certain job I loathe painfully, calling references. I don't like seeing job applicants get stabbed in the back, and when calling references there is always a chance that will happen. Actually, I am waiting for my cell phone to charge up which is the best excuse there is, since it needs juice and you don't want to call people until they are well settled in for the day. These are long distance calls. I can't say where of course.

When the cell phone has juice, I also need to call Lou and tell him when my lunch break is (1pm if any one is curious). This way I can walk home for lunch and spend some time with him. Of course it would be good to call Lou and find out he is not home. This means he actually headed for the unemployment office. There is a new company in Columbus called Techsphere that looked interesting. Maybe they are hiring. That might be good.

OK, that's it for now. More later. ...