QC-L Version 4.0

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

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

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

temporary illustration


The Backfile: this blog's archives.

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

It will have Oneiro, my own little role play.

Unfettered Soul, my flagship site.

The Silk Purse, my play pretend Brainstorms.

Failed Messiah Religious news never sounded so good.

New York Times. Read the news and be smart.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

OK I had a vengance setback. this one was entirely my fault. I let myself get bushwhacked. I managed to keep from letting go and moving on when it came to Neopets. I even set up a play pretend Brainstorms board at my Play Pretend Brainstorms to keep my edge and keep me from using Neopets as a replacement for Brainstorms. The boards and my blog and my spirit contact logs have all worked. I think I am a lot more self-reliant now.

I even had the courage to come out about my personnae to both Candi who runs RAOK and to Cari who runs the Golden Elite. Twice, I have been absolved. That ought to be enough to keep me pushing. but here I am with all the push drained out of me.

How did this sorry state of affairs occur? Well, Neopets has a problem with role plays. They are the most intelligent thing you can do on the site, but the board is not persistent and even Neomail offers precious little space plus a ton of censorship. You have to trust your role playing partner not to report your mails. Also letter size is circumscribed and you can only have a hundred letters in your box.

Well Neopians are famous for routing around damage. One of them, a gentleman named Gunslinger, has started a role playing board called Creating Stories. I'll get the URL up some other time. Creating Stories is the QC-L/the Brainstorms of role playing. You must be a literate and verbose writer to operate there. This is for the big people, teens and adults who want to do serious reole playing.

It is a young place full of energy, unlike Ghostletters where my plot has grown unwieldy and my story old. My characters are frozen out on that list. No one has expelled me. I am free to post, but if I see greener pastures, what am I going to do.

Sad to say, I've learned nothing. Exclusive communities of any kind are a bad idea. I ought to know this and support communities that are NOT exclusive. this is a fundamental vengance value. Similarly, I am neglecting my multivoice play pretend Barainstorms though Thadea's recruting for the Golden Elite is doing a bigger and better job of that. Recuiting is just an energy drain.

What can I do? Well discipline is always the answer. I can make a list of places I am to visit and go there and do my thing. It's just a matter of meeting my obligations because in the long run vengance is more important than happiness and having fun. I always blieved that happiness and peace were overrated commodities. I am all for peace in a political sense, but a palcid untroubled existence is a pretty boring one if you ask me. No pain no gain if you get my drift.

On the other hand, discipline is fighting against the lure of haivng a good time and the dream of getting Thadea's really good site fighting team off the ground.

I'm not sure what to do. Creating Stories may get old all on its own. right now I am waiting for a chance to post in response to others. That is a long wait. Thadea can not recruit with no results forever. Either she will have a viable team or she will have given it her all. I need to go down knowing that Thadea and I have done our best.

On the other hand, the fact that I am running a thread on the Creating Stories board means that I'm finally assuming adult responsibilities that Neopets does not let any seasoned member assume. When good things happen like this, is it right to toss them aside and say well vengance got here first?

I guess I really am perplexed and work is not helping. I can't talk about work on this blog. I am not in trouble, but something there is troubling.

Well no more obscene phone calls at work. I wonder if the cops ever caught the perpetrator. How is that for a first sentence.

Lysistrata has learned to meow when she comes in a room or to get my attention. She has a nice varied social meow. It isn ot loud but it is a good meow. nonetheless. Lysistrata loves to nuzzle my feet, face, hands. She washes me and gives groomy bites. She plays lickie fight with my arm and hand. she also does this to my head to wake me up and I must have a sensitive scalp. I hide under the covers to evade her needle sharp claws.

I went grocery shopping on Sunday and paid .99 a pound for red cabbage which is exhorbitanta. Something destroyed the Florida crucifer crop. It did not destroy the kale crop or brocoli rabbe (rappini) but all the other crucifers are not that good and very exensive. The bok-choi even had yellow spots on its leaves. I've seen this with other foods. There was an apple disater in the Eastern United States several seasons ago. Apples were very expensive and the season very short htat year. Mites decimated the honey bee hives in the 1990's making honey a delicacy instead of a cheap bread spread and sweetener. There were medflies in the citrus groves in the 1980's and while I was in high school and on into college, the cod fishery collapsed along with several other fisheries. One day it will be the wheat or potato crop that goes. That will be horrific. Proof that we are messiing badly with our environment can literally sock you in the gut and the pocket book and the wallet.

There is now marinated red cabbage sald with olives, blonde raisins, and water chestnuts in the fridge. It is quite good, but needed a lot of salt and lime juice to work on what was tough old red cabbage. Yeah, that's what my .99 a pound bought me. I also made green pea and turnip soup. Turnips are a third crucifer that is not effected by this year's cabbage plague. The turnips, kale,a nd rappini all must come from some place other than where the cabbages are gorwn or else must somehow be resistant.

I had to go out to Winn Dixie tonight to get extra cat food since we are running low. It is amazing how much food two young, healthy, cats eat. Lysistrata was just at the food dish. Yes, there is a feeding station back here in the computer room.

I got chewed up by mosquitos on my way home. I'm not really afraid of West Nile virus though Georgia is a West Nile state. First, in humans who are young and healthy, West Nile Fever is often asymptomatic and confers immunity that lasts a fairly long time. Second, I think I've had West Nile Fever. A few summers ago, I got really chewed by mosquitos and then came down with something that felt like a mild case of the flu. There is a test, but the way I feel about doctors, I doubt I'll get it done.

Right now I wake up and go to bed slightly crampy from IBS. This has to do with not getting enough exercise since my diet is decent and being all wound up with nerves. My throat is dry. I'm not particularly warm and my fingers are covered with runaway eczema. Yes, I'm putting cream on it. I end up with scaley hot spots with tiny breaks in the skin, before I can get to the cream. The cream is hand cream from Bath and Body Works which works better than the prescription stuff and smells better. The cream does ease the itching and stop the scratching. The thing is that my fingers are usually a raw mess before I can even get to the cream. My eczema strikes like lightening. The cramps at least come and go and right now I'm pain free. The diet is working, and if you read the left side of this blog, you'll know the psychogenic stuff is not going to get better any time soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

One of the cardinal rules of VENGANCE is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If an organiztion stands against Brainstorms or things Brainstormish it is definitely worth a second look. For example direct sales are old fashioned, hierarchical, and stand tall and proud against such organizations as Smart Mobs. If I want to have vengance against Brainstorms, I need to patronize direct sales companies for my products. I have some lovely Tupperware containers and I may buy some more for my birthday.

I do have to figure out how to celebrate my birthday on my Play Pretend Brainstorms. I will give myeslf the same kind of celebration that I would have had on Brainstorms. It will be fun.

Well, now back to the enemy of my enemy. Tupperware is fine stuff. It is real nice plastic containers and worth the cost which is not outrageous. Avon makes nice things. There is an Avon store around the corner from my apartment. I tried doing business with an Avon lady but we couldn't hook up to make the delivery. I currently don't know any one at work wh is dealing in Avon, but Avon is a real selling enterprise with an honest product. Some people say it is a bit overpriced but so what. I think it is better quality than what you buy in a store.

Now on to the third big direct sales giant, Amway. I remember back right after I got kicked off of Brainstorms, looking for an Amway distributor so I could buy from him or her. I never found one. I think my life got kind of busy. In a way that is a shame, since politically and socially, Amway stands against just about everything Brainstormish. There is a good reason that the lef tand lefty-filled organizations hate Amway.

Well, if Amway were an honest business with an honest product, I'd be happy to buy from them. Though I've considered it, I have been unable to change my religion or a lot of my politics as part of vengance. At best I've dragged myself to schul. I detest our rabbi. I am happie doing home worship with a real Orthodox siddur from Artscroll. Now I can't seem to change my politics or religion which would be a great way to fight things Brainstormish (though being a practicing traditional Jew is a start in the right direction since traditional religion is hierarchical and anti Brainstormish.), but buying a few items from a local Amway rep would be a good compromise as is shopping at Wal-Mart. I actually like Wal-Mart. It is well stocked, has unbeatable hours, and until my diverticulitis flared up, the twenty-five cent cokes wer ethe best.

Well now I'm kind of glad I didn't find an Amway rep. I found this web site and downloaded the book which I am reading. Amway sounds a lot like Site Fighting and I can almost feel Eric's buttons get pushed and stroked as he gets in deeper and deeper. Any one who has ever voted for two hundred sites a day can sympathize. I also suspect that Amway does not ask for a huge initial investment. People may be weiling to invest a hundred bucks without that much research. If they get out early they don't lose so much. If they get in over their heads...well.... And certain personalities are just really susceptible to the message. I wonder how amway recruits Jewish or Moslem distributors, since Christianity is a turnoff to those populations.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend but only to a point. Vengance has its limits and Amway is one of them. I will go check out the Avon store. I want to try some of their products. I also want some of their jewelery. they have lovely jewelry.

Now on to darker news. This is not a vengance set back. This is just Everyone.net BS. AOL has blocked my address. I am trying to get it unblocked. Somewhere in Everyone.net is an open relay. I've been through this with the fire wall at work. It is harder to get throughwith AOL itself. I am working with them. I am hoping to get my address white listed. Meanwhile, I have to use alternative email addresses when responding to AOL users email.

Now this one goes in the "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you" department. I suspect Terri Myers, an old Bainstormer, has had a hand in blocking my address at AOL. I don't know how she did it. I know a bit more than I can state on this blog. Terri and I have never conversed via direct email. I'll say that right here and up front on this blog. The rest of the story I have to leave out. Fortunately, I do have other email addresses.

Thadea is having no end of trouble recruiting fighters to her team. I wonder how long Sahara Elite will let the team exist if it is empty. I wonder for how long Thadea will have to go through the farce of recruiting. I dont' want to work wtih conventional graphics or a conventional team. I'd rather have no team at all. I am not going to let Thadea compromise on this one. I hope Sahara Elite can find Thadea something else to do while her team is inactive. We'll see how this turns out. Thadea plans to spend this evening recruiting. The day, however, is mine as soon as I am done writing.

OK, there is nearly a week's worth of news on which to catch up. I had two obscene phone calls at work. Say that three times fast. The gentleman doing the phoning gave the name Patrick Fuller and then said he wanted to lick my derriere. He used a more vulgar word for it, but that was his message both times. he had a sauve voice. I called campus security immediately after each phone call. There have been a rash of these calls and the police are subpoenaing the pone records. That is where it stands right now.

I made carrot bread with applesauce for Giselle's baby shower. I found a very good recipe for low fat carrot bread at Recipe Source. I want to make prune bread for my birthday but I won't do that until next weekend. I have a big thing of pitted prunes sitting in my cupboard. Don't ask me why I bought those things. Prunes taste good, but i guess this is sort of dried fruit season.

Anyway the big news last night was that I lay down to take a nap about 10:30pm. I awoke at 3:30am in an eerily silent house. the cats were nowhere to be seen. I calld and called for them. I searched high and low but Lysistrata and Hertzel were missing. I checked the window but the screen was still intact. Someone had let them out the door and that must have been me. I had been sleepwalking. Yes, I sleep walk from time to time and one of those times was last night. One of the things I do when I sleep walk is move things around and open doors. I have been known to slip outside in winter, put out the trash, and go through the trunk of my boyfriend's car.

I felt guilty, angry, and scaird. I walked around the complex acalling and calling my cats' names. They didn't come. I put out the trash. I emptied a wastebasket. These were all good excuses for going outside. Then I lay in bed and tried to sleep. That was futile, so I lay in bed reading Zola's Masterpiece and after about half an hour, there was a thump and a shadow on the window that looked suspiciously cat shaped. I ran to the door and there was Lysistrata. She chirped a mew and let me pet her and I scooped her up and brought her in. Well, if I could get Lysistarata, I figured Hertzel wasn't far away.

After spending some love time with Lysistrata, I went out and there was Hertzel unchedup on a window ledge. I brought him in too. I was very happy. My family is with me again and the house is full of purring and lickie fights and all the other manifestations of feline sociability. It feels like home again. There are advantages to having retired indoor-outdoor cats or even retired outdoor cats. If they do get out they have their clawas and they remember living outside and they don't get scaird. Both cats came back on their own none the worse for wear, except for a slightly wet coat due to the morning dew. I went back to sleep and this time had a sociable bed full of kitites to which to wake up.

Given some other events in my life that belong on the left side of this blog, I think I want my rabbi to bless this apartment. Well it's a sunny day and there are six hours of daylight left. I may walk downtown and go out for dinner. That would be fun. I'll also get to walk on the river which will be even more fun. I haven't been in ages. I can't see spending the rest of the day doing chorse or even buying gorceries. It is good to have a day that is all my own, and the cats will be locked safely in the apartment.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

Tonight should have been a VENGANCE VICTORY, and maybe it was. Thadea has a massively revised web site with two new pages and a revised web site page. Thadea is using a Creative Commons licesnse to partially copyright her works. She also applied Creative Commons to her team at the Golden Elite.

With all my talk about intellectual property, it feels funny doing something that would make Brainstormers happy, but a Creative Commons license is still a copyright and it says you care about intellectual property, and Thadea is using more self drawn images. Gradually, she will purge her site of everything that is not unambiguously hers. As I've said and as she has said, those who do not care about copyright and intellectual property also often do not care about people. Caring about property and people goes hand in hand.

Yes, and it is time I purged my computer of those MP3's I downloaded during the golden days of Napster. I don't even listen to them any more and feel ashamed that I have them.

I guess I figure that having copyright gives me the right to do as I see fit wtih my rights and I am willing to share. Not everone else is and I respect persons and business' right to be selfish. Self-interest is of course the guiding principle behind free enterprise, and I am profree enterprise.

I ought to feel good about all the web work that Thadea has done lately, but I don't. I know this will pass. Here is the problem. Only one of us, Thadea or me, can live in my head at the same time. Thadea has been around long enough to have memories. I was walking down to the store today and enjoying Thadea's memories instead of my own. Yes, I know this stuff never happened but I know the stories and love them any way. Some I've told. Some I've just kept to myself. I realized that Thadea's husband, Jacob, has or had commencement this weekend and he marched just as I did and that Caltha would like to take over Haldis' bedroom.

I envy Thadea. She has a big happy family and a big happy extended family. She does not live alone etc... I have some problems and they are not easy to solve and some of them are systemic. That is not a good feeling. I did not make them and there is no fast way out. An adult who has never married and who moves far from home, is oging ot have a thin social support network unless she is a real butterfly.

It takes a while to realize that a lot of what has happened to me is not my fault. I did not burn most of my bridges. I think I burned one. What I do to alleviate boredom of clerical work is what I do to get by. The problem is that most of my bridges are in disrepair, and does crossing the river on them get you anywhere better? That is as descriptive as I can get. This is a public blog and blogger ate the other side of it, so I'll let it go for now.

I went shopping today and cabbage to be very expensive. I had a whole long essy on this but blogger ate it and I'm going to bed and not bothering to write this side of the blog tongiht.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

I am on the blog this late at night because I took a nap earlier, and then Haldis had to score. Thadea had some edits to do. Taking care of business is not vengance, but this page kind of fits in. Making sig files feels like vengance some of the time since it encourages the use of MSN Groups which are wonderfully unBrainstormish. That is terrific!

I have been reading on a Delphi Forum called Etiquette Hell (It is too much like Brainstorms and I really shouldn't go there...) about people who won't shut up. I'd recommend that they get blogs. They can write about those bothersome topics to their hearts content. Of course there is a chance that those people may want to go home because they'd really prefer to write on their blogs or that they'll take notes for their blog. The idea that saying what you want in a blog beats enduring restricted conversation is a novel and revolutionary one, and don't ask what I would have done before there were blogs and vanity mailing lists etc... I would have kept reams of diaries. Maybe I even would have self published and distributed my books in a laundromat. There were always people who did such things. Now with the net we can do them easily. I have an audience and no one tells me to shut up.

In fact if someone tells me to shut up, I tell them I'd rather write about it on my blotg than talk to them. Of course if the person is work related I kind of have to tone that down, but I can't wait until I can get away to my blog. It is worth staying up all night for so I can write what I want.

That is why I've been able to keep the flame of vengance burning strong. I don't have to worry about people telling me to shut up. I come here and write about it all I please. Woo hoo! Shout it out loud and proud! Blogs are great!

Anyway, the pressies are vinally galleried. That feels good because I am actually using them. Now if only I can play less Neopets and do more PSP stuff.

Actually, I have a nice pile of Neopoints I made today and did not bother spending on dubloons to train the pets. I got caught up role playing. It was a very strange situation. I started out with a high school role play which I love to do for nostalgia reasons. It's fun to play (and everyone knows you are playing) an alienated teen. Most of the people I am playing with are middle schoolers and have neve been to high school. They have no idea that teens are obsessed wtih the adult concerns of money, freedom, and success. This can make high school the epitome of the rat race. New little rats are much more scaird. My rather hapless hip to be square high school female came out of her box. The thread proceeded bumpily and then the topic disappeared.

Seeing a topic get pulled always frightens me. I know I had no part in the pulling. I have too much wealth to defend to break Neorules and boy am I conscious of the censorship. You can't say a boarding school is in godforsaken place. That might trigger a complaint about religion due to the "god" god in godforsaken. A teenage girl can't say she curses her parents in her mind. The word curse may precipitate something. As I said, wealth makes me conservative.

So I was left high and dry. Fortunately, there was a second story starting, a boarding school for the gifted. Well, I figured these kids would be younger (the ones role played. Most role players are themselves young but they would not be playing sixteen and seventeen year olds which means less chance of a pulled thread due to "romance.") I wasn't sure I wanted to play a middle schooler but since it said gifted, I'd give it a try. A school full of nerds appealed to me.

What I forgot was that young Neopians and I are divided by a common language. Gifted did not mean academically gifted. It meant magically gifted, and no this was not Hogwarts. It was something I've seen on the cartoon network a few times. I watch ver little TV. I do not even own a TV but I do watch tghe cartoons whenever I am in a place that has cable. There is some cartoon that involves superheroes acting as den mothers for magically gifted teenagers and I think there are several stories like this. The magic can alienate, but the kids are always cool and don't quite fit in and don't have the money/success/freedom triad bothering them that real kids that age do. I struggled to put a character together and finally modeled one on Alise, one of my Ghostletters characters (I've got to get active on that list again.) only this girl was white. My Ghostletters, character Alise, is both black and Jewish.

Yosaifa (no accident in the name. There are ways to slip Biblical allusions past the censors) had the "gift of tongues." What do you do with a fourteen year old that speaks twenty languages fluently and writes five or six well? Ship her upstate to the North Country so she doesn't wander around the ethnic neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.

Unfortunately, just as the TV show that inspires this sort of thing, has no geographic setting, this role play school did not have one either. I ended up setting the stage which is how the place landed in the Adirondacks. Worse yet, no one knew how a dormitory would actually work except me because I've lived in both dorms and small residence units. I ended up doing a fair amount of stage setting and out of character coaching. I was smitten with my own character who was angry, alienated, cheated, tired and out of sorts and with Mist, the other girl's character who while she may have been a cliche was played so well....She was wonderfully mute and all body language. The whole thing was shear pleasure in the way the board at Neopets rarely are.

The disquiteting thoughts came later. I was eleven about thirty years ago. This puts me at a generational distance. I can't remember believing in magic at that age. Actually I did believe in magic at that age and did so profoundly, but it was a dark spiritual magic that involved deception and betrayal. People were not who they semeed. Parents did not live up to their role of protecting the young. These were the stories in my head at the time I was about eleven through fourteen.

I never fantasized about having magical powers or being pat of a group of heroes that had them who while being somewhat alienated from the common herd, use their gifts to benefit mankind. Usually these kids are also not being raised by their parents but by other cool adults or even just plain on their own. My Pippi Longstocking fantasy involved a blank check or a full wallet rather than magic and I had no pretensions about being a heroine in such a role. The Pippi fantasy was purely hedonistic and indulgent. Sometimes I combined it with a betrayal story as well.

I tried to think where this school for the gifted is coming from. I have seen the TV show a couple of times, but it can't be that new. I must have seen it growing up. The fact is I didn't, or rather I didn't at the time I would have incorporated it in to a kind of personal mythology. Now I did read fantasy books from the time I was in fourth grade until I was in about eighth grade. My mother didn't like this. She said it was like a diet of chocolate chip cookies for the mind. It really wasn't. What I remember from the more outrageous ones was these great alternative world settings. The characters not only had magic, they were also not fully human. Some were intelligent insects. There was a cherub in Madelein L'Engel's books. There were alternate post holocaust Medieval worlds. There were evil aliens in cities full of poison gas. John Christopher was my favorite author. It bothered me that his main characters/heroes were male, but they had no magic powers. They had their wits nad their strength to take on evil, be it evil wizards and princes or evil alien monsters. John Christopher's Prince in Waiting trilogies were not Pippy Longstocking superhero fantasies.

The other reason that I did not get into the alienated pippy long stocking teenage hero fantasy was that I am nearly forty-three and American. This number is critical. I was a big superhero fan. I was the biggest one you will probalby ever meet. That is why I was so disillusioned and angry in 1970 when all the superheroes disappeared from Saturday morning and afterschool TV. there was a major crackdown on violent childrne's programming. I felt betrayed. I felt angry. I did fall in love with Edmund Leer's poetry which was presented on a show called Tomfoolery that ran for two seasons, but when the superheroes came back they were adult noralists (There were some vey misguided efforts at using cartoons to build character) not just crime fighters. All the good shows were gone and so too was my faith.

The villains had all the best lines and I was a cynic as far as the cartoon world was concerned. I drew my own heroine all through sixth grade. She was Linda the Louser. Her job was to go in and louse up the already ruined cartoon world. No I did not make Linda comics. I just drew Linda's everywhere. Then the Linda's turned into drawing nudes and girls in leotards. Figure drawing is addictive. The fantasy books replaced the cartoons and then I got i nterested partialy through a lot of prodding and partially through enjoying stealing my parents books in adult literature around eighth grade.

My adult fantasy stories are all betrayal and deception stories even when characters have some magical powers. Magic is no match for a venal and ugly world where those who should protect the young don't. Usually there is a coming of age where the heroine must now as ill prepared as he/she is take the role of protecting someone weaker. This is not an easy task. I've done this on Ghostletters. Neopets role play does not last long enough.

Anyway, I'm not sure how good it is for middle schoolers to believe in magic to the extent where they wish they had magic powers and think those powers will in the end make it at least partially better. Magic can be symnbolic for inner strength I suppose, and for alienation as in the vampire tales. I also know it was a historical quirk that this fantasy did not become a part of my life. On the other hand, there is no such thing as the kind of magic that elevates and sets one apart. If you have some magical abilities (and I'm a freelance medium of sorts) you still have to get up in the morning and go to work. My favorite literary character with regar dto magic is Daniel in the Bible. He held an executive position in Nebuchanezzar's court, but at night he had prophetic dreams and visions nd did dream interpretation and also wanted to maintain his identity as a Judean. In other words, Daniel's magical abilities did not exempt him from the real world or enable him to save the real world. He still had to live like the rest of us. One thing that did influence my world view is Scripture something with which the young Neopians are unfamiliar and whichis cnesored on the boards. It's hard to write fiction without referring back to something though.

By the way Joseph (Yes, my character tonight was named Yosaifa) who also had magic (He was gifted with tongues and the ability to interpret dreams) was a captive in Pharoah's court, did time in jail on a trumped up charge of rape, and had to deal with a positively toxic family dynamic. Magic did not solve all of Joseph's problems either.

Well I didn't mean a sermon here, and I've still got the right hand side of the blog to write. I wonder if I should just stay up the rest of the night.

OK, it's so late it's early. Ten students out of twenty-two are under the wire. Tomorrow more should go. I am hoping most of my clas does decently. I am going to be grading until it falls out my ears and dribbles down my neck.

On another subject, I found out that tempeh is a good nut substitute. I wonder if I can buy tempeh at Country Life. I brought some home from Atlanta and really liked it. I seem to tolerate it. God, I hate that word. Later in the week, I may make black bean macaroni salad. It may be a while though.

Saturday I march in commencement which will be boring. I'll probably get yelled at if I slip a book into the sleeve of my robe and sit there reading. I can't eat the breakfast they provide, so I may sneak my own in. I'll be so glad when the stinking ceremeony is over. I enjoy seeing studnets I know graduate, but commencemnt is BORING.

My cats are wide awake this time of day. They play chasey games all through teh apartment. Lysistrata does most of the chasing which is good. She is helping to keep Hertzel, my sweet white boy of joy kitty, young.

Well it looks as if I have one final in my inbox. There will be more tomorrow. I want to meditate and get some sleep. I'm sorry this side of the blog is so short.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

I guess we need a mast head. Here it comes....It was worth it to be kicked out of Brainstorms. It is worth it to do what I do, be who I am and say what I said, not that I was impolite. I was polite though not all that tactful until they booted me out and then I told them what I really thought of their show. If they had kept me I probably would have gone on with being polite and no I don't move on or let go. That is why I keep putting up my mast head. This is my blog where no one tells me to shut up. Anyway, I have my play pretend Brainstorms which beats the pants off the original. I have to do some revising and updating on it but it is still very good and it's been in use a whole year! Woo hoo! Shout it out! Loud and proud! Passion and joy are in here and irony is out! Woooooooooooo hooooooooooo!

Boy if that doesn't make you feel good, you need to be carried out feet first. Well I have a small VENGANCE VICTORY to report. I finished Collapse. Yes, finally. I'm reading a novel by Zola now. I'm not sure this will gain me any vengance points because it is way too much like taking care of business.

Meanwhile, Thadea hs been working on her team at the Golden Elite. She had one of those good ideas that only come along every six months. The rest of the time you repeat the tried and true. Good ideas are just plain rare. You can tell you've been in business for a long time when you have had a sting of them. In about a week, Thadea gets to go out and sign guestbooks. We are both dreading this. It is not that I dislike guestbooks though I feel there is a special place in the infernal regions for Bravenet. It is that Thadea has a masculine appealing team and a history of being able to attract male fighters. Now where are the boys when you need them? We are going to have to figure out how to find them. Though vengance is not taking care of business, finding a good source of male fighters would be a vengance victory as far as I am concerned.

The disclaimer on the front of the Golden Elite makes me nervous. I remember dealing with ugly fighter mail. Sahara Elite must be getting her share. It hurts to read stuff like that.

I also haven't been to the new group all day. I guess that is a good thing. I don't want to get too dependent on them. They are a vegance setback because they are an "intelligent conversation" group. Folks like Sahara Elite and Candi who runs RAOK are the true salt to of the Earth even if I would handle governance differently and not take everything quite as personally. The fact that they take stuff personally is good. The golden rule kicks in at some level. It is nice NOT to be on the receiving end. That said, I mean to stop by the new group before I go to sleep.

I played Neopets today. I fed the pets. Roasalita, had not eaten any of the toys I buy for her and that is a relief. Rosalita is a princess and queen among grarrls. If I ever meet up with Fyora, I am going to paint Rosalita orange like a Tropicana rose. Right now she is brown. Ornage paint brushes cost way too much money. I refuse to kill myself playing Neopets.

I was able to put two pets in training today. Shanti is receiving lessons on agility (speed) and Bballfan_104735 is learning defense. I have four pets with rather impressive stats. Some day, thanks to the sponsors (Isn't free enterprise wonderful and so unBrainstormish) my pets will all have godlike statistics.

The big news is I went to Atlanta. I am also going to be a lot more picky about where I eat out. The buffet in the DeKalb Farmer's Market rocks, but most other places just throw a lot of white flour at you even when they are supposed to be classy places with fine food. Subway and Blimppie's are the exception. Panera, where I ate Friday night, pretends to be upscale, but they have no whole wheat bread, something any diner or deli would stock. They also serve baked potato chips and did not even ask if I wanted the real ones. Baked Lays taste disgusting, not like a good potato chip at all. If I'm going to indulge in chips (and I usually don't because something in some of the oils doesn't agree with my colon.) it's going to be real chips, not something that tastes like a bad imitation of Pringles.

Atlanta was a food trip. Atlanta is always a food trip. The shuttle is now fifty-five dollars. This is making them bad competition for Greyhound which while far less convenient was six dollars cheaper. I think they were thirty-two dollars round trip. Add to that ten dollars for a cab ride home. The shuttle used to be forty-eight dollars and before that forty-six. That made them competitive. They may have priced themselves out of the market. It is a long walk downtown and the bus leaves at either 7:30am or 1:35pm, but for the June trip to Atlanta, I may be riding the dog.

When I arrived in Altanta, I found a rather unpleasant surprise as soon as I paid my MARTA fair. MARTA was single tracking on the north-south line. This meant trains every twenty-five minutes instead of every eight. It also meant no short north-south trips. It meant I left Whole Foods and went down Boulevard (Yes, that's what they call the street) to Decatur St. to the E2 (King Memorial) MARTA station wihc is on the East-west line. I got to see an interesting mostly black neighborhood. There are some parts of Boulevard (the last block or two) where I would not like to be after dark, but summer days are long. There is an interesting used furniture store along Boulevard. They had a pink lamp for sale I would have bought if I was with Lou in the car.

I also passed the Martin Luther King Memorial. Some day I am going to take the tour there. I saw the fountain in the plaza and that alone is inspiring. Martin Luther King was shot April 4th of 1968. I was in kingerdgarten and I remember how shaken up the teacher was. I decided the Black Panthers had the right idea. At least their leaders didn't usually end up dead. Nonviolence only got you killed. Two months later Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy. I was home sick, very sick, with tonsilitis. I sat eating soup while reports of the assassination came in. I knew that no matter what grownups told me, they were lying. Grownups liked to kill each other. I wondered who would be shot next. Any way, I want to see the King memorial. I figure I should pay my dues after years of white tourist in the South.

The DeKalb Farmer's Market was cool and so was Whoel Foods. I used the automated check out and ended up yelling at it. When I got done, I gave the machine the finger. There was a six year old girl standing next to the machine next to mine. She was with her younger sitser and dad. I felt very embarassed. I did say the machine was mean and deserved it. I wonder if automated check outs will ever catch on.

At the Farmer's Market buffet, I had mashed celery root and it was delicious. I wanted a celery root or two to take home, but the ones I found were soft and not too dense. They had lovely eggplants, but I wanted a spahgetti squash. They were the same price, and looked excellent. I've learned that here in the South, Mexican squash is often first quality.

I also saw a nice Indian lady (She was from somewhere in Asia and not China or Japan) wrapping up yo choi sum into bunches. This is a green like kale or rappini but with a better shelf life than rappini and definitely more tender than kale. I bought two bunches from her and she said "you cook?" I told her that this green tastes good with frozen Italian style mixed vegetables to stretch it and also a carrot or ttwo or more... We Americans eat the world's food if you let us. This is the second third world person who was surpised I still cook. Well it's not a lost art yet. I said you have to get either ver poor or very sick to cook. I was very poor twenty years ago and learned to cook. Since I've been very sick, I'm glad I can cook.

I talked to my mom today and she thinks I should not have the barium enema my gastroenterologist recommended. First the doctors know what I had and what I have. Second, the barium enema requires ingesting a laxative which will disrupt my bowel rhythm which will wreack havoc with my IBS and antyhing else that needs a quiet well functioning bowel that knows how to push painlessly. The doctors all have different ideas what this test will find, polyps, Chronn's disease etc... The false positive rate on a barium enema is five percent. That means a one and twenty chance of getting a good scare and lots of invasive treatment for nothing. The alternative is lots of watching and waiting. That is the alternative I want. I also am going to control the IBS with diet alone plus my psych meds. My mom said the pills will only tempt me to cheat on the diet.

And let me repeat it, if you cook your own food, a high fiber diet is easy and good tasting. I just wish restaurants and institutional places catered to it. Eating out is a bear, to say the least.

OK, here is what I bought when I went to Atlanta: herbal tea in assorted flavors (no surprise there. Whole Foods carries the full assortment), honey creamy soynut butter (do try this...It's great stuff), assorted olives and a container of grilled eggplant (I can not resist Whole Foods amazing olive bar), yo choi sum (A Chinese green that is like rappini with shelf life. If you wonder how I got started eating it, I tasted some raw and it tasted like rappini. Eat one dark crucifer and you eat them all.), spahgetti squash (Yes, it's from Mexico but it was first quality), a big bag of bosc pears (These are from Argentina so they are this spring's harvest.), rice vinegar, fingerling potatoes (I'm making kale and potatoes later int he week.),short grain brown rice, whole wheat elbows, chipotl peppers that I think I lost, and tempeh which I cooked tonight. The pears are not ripe yet, so they are sitting in a bowl on the dining room table where they can be shown off. I think few things say prosperity like a big bowl of pears. One pear is a generous breakfast. My gasteroenterologist says I no longer have to peel my apples or pears so I again have the joy of biting through the skin.

I'm a chow hound thorugh and through. I should get over to their board more often. Oh well, I have another board to visit.

Today I graded about a dozen assignments. I am hoping to see more assignments tomorrow. One student just handed me in a pile via email. I hope she does well. So far there are five students under the wire and one nearly so. I may be merciful to the one student. To say more breaks confidentiality. This leaves either sixteen or seventeen students still waiting to make it under. I am going to be grading until it comes out my ears. About 11am or so Wednesday morhing it all comes to an end. Next weekend, I "march" in commencement. Then it is officially summer. I guess that will feel good. See the left side of this blog for more details of what is in store.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

I worked on my Neoadventure today. I don't like writing where there is so much censorship but it felt better than cruising the boards. Now that making tons of neopoints is not a priority, I can do what I want. I am forgetting to potlatch. I'll just have to do it spontaneously since my store is full. I've been busy with the semester and taking care of a cat who needs antibiotics. I'm playing some Neopets because I need it to relax and as an antidote to a pile of clerical tasks that get under my skin.

I am listening to Carmina Burana which is Thadea's music. I fear the whole business with the avatars has gone too far. I have feared this before and always found there was farther to go. I think the distance is infinite. I am not in any kind of trouble. I almost wish Thadea was.

I wish I could go into this more deeply on this blog, but this is a public blog and there are real people at the other end of this discussion. And speaking of real people, Thadea is aobut ninty percent me. We sare a similar educational background, college major, religion etc... If anything Thadea is a bit more conventional and hasn't tried to reinvent herself multiple times. This makes what is going through Thadea's head tonight especially painful, but I can't discuss it here tonight beyond what you are reading.

I'm lisetning to Carmina Burana which is Thadea's music. Twentieth Century classical reminds me of techno and Thadea loves her music sterile and a bit challenging.

I did something wonderfully unBrainstormish tonight. I went to a religious revival at a neighborhood church. The revival was not advertised with posters tacked to telephone poles or on the radio or with posters in stores. I only know about it because I don't drive and saw the big trailer behind the church which indicates that a visiting preacher is in town. Why the Baptists don't do home homspitality for visiting clergy is beyond me. I felt sorry for the family that has to drive that big gas guzzling monster from city to city.

The preacher was a small man. He had on a suit with a very weird long sport coat. It became him and it made him look taller. Only when he was off the pulpit and greeting people at the end of the service did I see he was about my own height 5'3" He was a banty cock of a preacher, fast talking like a machine gun and talking tough with a muscular Christianity. He preached on the story of Shadrach, Mishack and Abednego in the book of Daniel. It is one of my favorite Bible stories so that was cool. His preaching, however, did not quite hit the story where it lived. He made it a caricature. The three young men in the story are meek in their own way. They do not know themselves if they will survive. They go to face martyrdome rather than commit a chilul ha'Shem. They survive through God's grace. The story also mirrors a Midrashic tale of Abraham and his brothers, Nahor and Haran, who face a fiery furnace rather than worship Nimrod's idols, and there is a later story about Hanna and her seven sons, all of whom are martyred for refusing to bow down to idols. Seen in this context, the story comes out differently. Still it was a pretty good show.

At the end, the preacher asked any one who doubted they were saved to raise their hand. I raised mine. I had good reason. I don't want people praying over me in secret. I'd rather just give them permission. It's less awkward later. I then found myself being pressured into an altar call. I guess within this culture it is effective but all I could think of was "oh no!" It was a reaction to high pressure.

If I weren't to some degree interested in Christianity I would not be at a revival right. Why rush things? Why make something that is this momentous this public? Anyway after the service I asked for a New Testament. I already have a JPS Bible but it doesn't have a New Testament. I decided it can't hurt to have a New Testament in the house or even to read it.

Quite simply put, I'd be better off Christian. I like this church because they are conservative and serious and they like to sing. They have some understanding of music an seem to live their faith. Some Christians would call the Lighthouse Baptist Church legalist but as Jew I find that appealing. I'd be better off Christian because I would get my choice of clergy and better yet, this particular church is not a fat cat church. I would not face discrimination for living near the university in a rented apartment. On the other hand, being starved into a conversion stinks unbearably.

What really scares me is that I am doing in real life what I have done the net. The net is a big cafeteria with people of different interests and radically different ways of talking seated at different talbes. If you want to lear aobut them just go to their table and sit down. Most people still don't look up from their food so they have no idea how many different ways of talking, thinking, and believing there are but I've been around the cafeteria a bit. I'm partially multlingual which is why Thadea has not bolted. It takes work to remake yourself, but it is not impossible by any means. These are the folks that Brainstormers dread and being one of them woujld be very attractive, especially since I used to break bread at the enemy table.

The question is do I have the energy? It is the end of the semester. I have a ton of grading to do. I have that New Testament. I guess the thing to do is start reading and as for the usualy objections...if they came for the Jews whoever they are, these folks would be the ones most likely to be fighting the they doing the coming for in the military. I'd still come up on the right side.

And don't aks me about evolution tonight. I did not go to a revival to learn biology. Besides quite often people ask this question as a way of saying in code "you want to associate with those yahoos?" Well, I've sat at the yahoo table once and I'm going back for more. I won't let them high pressure me. I'll abandone the project if it gets to be too much. If I do switch faiths it will be at my own time and after sufficient thought.

As for being a sherashi and being a Christian, there are spiritualist churches in larger cities but the one here in Columbus is Wiccan. I like the people who run it, but I'm not Wiccan. If I converted, it would mean the end of being a sherashi, but Gerry would understand as would Merib. Van and Block Pusher do not have formal sherashi contracts with me or the equivalent, but I would simply say no more. Collin right now would be the biggest problem. Am I ready to give up my spirit firends for a strong faith with lots of fellowhsip and a chance to stand against very evil people in a public arena? This is why the whole adventure of exploring Christianity is going to take some time. Thankfully I don't have to get the whole thing done tonight.

Lysistrata does not have to take any more pills! Lysistrata does not have to take any more pills! Lysistrata does not have to take any more pills! That means no trip to the pill jail tomrrow. In fact, the pill jail is out of commission. Now for the bad news. Lysistrata has the runs. The green litter pan is full of buried loose stools. Lysistrata did not have the runs when she came into this house. Either her food is disagreeing with her or the antibiotics did a job on her gut fauna. She is only going a couple of times a day if that. She also acts like a healthy cat. I'll ask my vet if I should fast her for twelve hours (She gets water this time around) and put her on Iam's lamb and rice. She is a good candidate for a home run cure. The runs may also resolve on their own and she is a thin cat, so the vet may want me to do nothing.

It is the end of the semester and students are playing catch up left and right. I am innundated. Tomorrow I do nothing but grade papers. My inbox is flooded with them. My drop off folder is full to bursting. I even stole a really nice green pen from the chemistry department for grading. It is a very spiffy roller ball pen. I'll bring it back when I am done grading. Hopefully nearly all my students will pass. Three already have grades. That leaves nineteen. It is strange to see them all crawling out of the woodwork.

The apartment is a wreack. There are bills to pay. I just want to sleep and slip off to Atlanta for the day. Time for a minivacation and a food run. I ought to find out about a spiritualist church in Atlanta. I wonder if I could get there early enough on Sunday morning for services.

I also need to get back to volunteering at the nursing home. I haven't talked to Lou for a few days. Whenever I do this, he says how much he misses me. He wants to be down here by the weekend. Fat chance. My mother has been making noises aobut having me visit her. Well, I might just do that and then head upstate and capture Lou for the trip home. I ought to fly to Syracuse or Albany (That's New York not Georgia folks) and have Lou pick me up. Then I would know if my name is on the no-fly list or not. I strongly suspect it is.

I am listening to Carmina Burana which I like. It is loud and bangy enough not to sound too much like classical music. It is also choral and has lots of horns. I need to go to bed but napped earlier today. I will feel like a washed out rag by the time this week is finished.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

by Eileen Kramer

I caught up on the multivoice boards, and Thadea has heard nothing from Sahara Elite about her last revision so one must guess that all is OK. The other teams are going up. I really can't say more because this is a publicly read blog. There are always mixed emotions when one sees people one idolizes up close. The fact is that the Golden Elite will again be a great place for fighters. That is what counts. That is the most important thing. It gets better with time and not working a weekend.

I played Neopets minimally today. The pets will not be starving Monday. I need a computer update so I can play Neopets at home. I don't know how that will work out. I think Coltzan's Shrine now has a means test and as an old wealthy player, I fail it miserably.

I owe e-cards everywhere and am way behind on the RAOK guestbook. I am likely though to let it go another few days until Lysistrata is finished with her pills. After that and after the grading starts to come under some control, I'll tackle the guestbook. Guestbooks are not as popular as they once were. In some ways the net is a sewer. Guestbooks get spidered. Leave your email address in one and see spam in your inbox. My address gets so much spam it is not funny. I use my own crude filter and Everyone.net's loose but smart filter and most of it never sees the light of day.

I took a quiz on Neopets to see what I lliked and disliked about their paid service. I did not like anything much about it. With all their censorship, I would not want to use them as a portal. Where would they be getting their news from? I don't even use the portal at work's headline service. I want to know the origin of my news. I also want free access out and the ability to add whatever outside links I desire and I can build my own portal page with real html in rented space. I don't need Neopia to give me this service. I got Neopoints for the survey though. That was good.

Lysistrata just gave me a sweet and very rare social meow. It went "bggggrew?" She has emerged from her den under a chair in the living room and come back here to eat nd be social. She can be such a sweet social kitty sometimes. We are through ten of the pills. There are only four to go. Tuesday night is party night. No more pills for Lysistrata.

Wednesday I may get up early and walk to Petsmart to get Lysistrata a collar. The grubby pet store near Publix does not have any cat collars. That place sold sick kittens and let healthy kittens share the kitten cage with them. I wouldn't buy anything from them except a cat collar if it was exactly what I wanted.

Well tomorrow is day eight of an eleven day week. I had no weekend though I did go out for a Subway sandwich this morning. It was a veggie delight on wheat with swiss cheese, chipotl sauce and everything but jalapenos. They had an older guy making the sandwiches who did not know what he was doing. He put spinach and carrots on mine in addition to all the usual stuff. He complained it was a salad. I did not complain. I got something extra for my two and a half bucks.

One of the most interesting things about eating in a Subway is watching other people order. People are real picky about what goes on their sandwiches and sandwiches with poultry are far and away the most popular. It's the pickiness that floors me. I just say "everything but jalapenos." I'll eat banana peppers, green peppers, cucumbers, black olives, onions. People down here in the South call me picky because I eschew meat, but they are fussier than I am when it comes to pickles nad veggies.

Subway is an all purpose sub restaurant. It's product is tastey but generic. The chipotl sauce, salty wheat rolls, and all those veggies make a sandwich taste good, but it's the same product from one coast to another. Blimpie's is ver New York. They even serve veggie burger subs. Their subs are moister. They also offer more sauces. Larry's Giant Subs (Home of the big one!) is a Southern sub chain. They have egg salad on their menu but unavailable on weekends. Their egg salad sub is fit for the gods and their veggie delight sub is also good but they have no fancy sauces, and often enough no egg salad. Then we have Quiznos. I don't like their subs. You get no choice of sauce and their subs come with guacamole and Italian dressing. This is not a great combination. Also their subs are toasted. There is no need to toast a good fresh sub roll.

My colleague/supervisor disdains both subs and pizza. She bent over backwards to be courteous when she took Lou and me for subs when we were down here to get housing during the summer of 1998. When we have had salespeople in and were going out to lunch with them, and they asked me for input, I of course wanted to go where we could get sandwiches. My colleague/supervisor all but snorted at me that she wanted something proper in the way of lunch, and to her a sub was not proper food.

One last thing, the best vegetarian hot dogs are at Country Life. I have to find out what brand they serve and get some for the house. Having a meatless hot dog on a bun is one of life's pleasures.

And yes, I cooked my first chametz tonight. I made barley salad and I'll post the recipe on Ladies Advance.

by Eileen Kramer

I did not do my multi-voice boards today because I slept all morning and worked all afternoon and Thadea had to do another edit on this page. No there is still no ssi to go with the .shtml but the page is set up the right way with the right number of rounds. Yes, Thadea is using split heats. This looks like the sweet sixteen or elevated eight or final four NCAA basketball schedule. It gets rough if we end up with very large teams or with odd numbers of fighters. Also it is more than possible for a statistical outlier to run amuck and defeat a strong fighter who should advance because she has the misfortune to be stuck in the same heat with this juggernaut.

Once Thadea is sure that her ballot page passes muster, she needs to work on her own site to make sure it is in fighting trim. The page needs new illustrations and an update. I also need to add a new gallery page to Unfettered Soul. I want to put up the new graphics I have been making, especially now that I have PSP 9 on the work computer.

I also need to make myself a new award of uncommon courage even though I do not feel very brave. I felt braver last year and more in need of the joy an award brings. I think the awards we give ourselves are the best.

I played no Neopets today. I don't feel bad about that. The pets will keep. I just did not have time to sit at work after or before hours and play the same games repeatedly, even Fyora's Quest. I'm by no means through with Neopets. I think once I get a new computer here and I'm going to have to do it due to planned obselescnce, I'll be able to play Neopets at home. I'll probably also be switching to high speed internet access as well. I've been over to Best Buy to look at their machines. I am going to need a jump drive to back up everything on this machine and then begin the transfer process. I will also need new software. Am I ready for all that? You know the answer already.

Lyistrata is exploring among all the junk in the computer room. She climbs, pokes, sniffs, and keeps exploring. Hertzel, my white boy of joy kitty, watches her. I did not have to give Lysistrata a long scruff ride into the pil jail tonight. She also swallowed on the first try. There are eight pills gone and six more to go. Four days are done and three more remain. I'll be so glad come Tuesday night it won't be funny.

The cats are out of food. I forgot how much two young healthy cats eat. I was going to go to Winn Dixie tonight (It was too late for Publix) and get cat food. I got outside and found it was pishing rain. I did not want to walk through teh cold in the wet by the cemetary and where there are no sidewalks. There is emergency wet cat food left over from Georgia's last illness. I can give the cats some of that in themorning. They will think they died and went to Heaven. Lysistrata has never had wet food before. She eats kibble as if it is going out of style.

I hope tomorrow's pilling goes as well as tonight's did. It will be good to be on the way to the end of all this. I still worry.

I have my period. It took forty-nine days to arriave and it is not as bad as what I dreaded given that I was sick this cycle with diverticultis. I am relieved to say the least.

Today was day six of an eleven day week and we were not all that busy. I got some needed clerical work done and will do the rest of the project early next week. This way the data will be ready when my boss remembers to ask for it. I wish I could say more, but I can't say much about work.

I need to pay the rent and clean my bathroom. Passover is over, and I can eat chametz again. I am debating what to make for supper: either green pea soup (Do I ever get tired of green pea soup?) or else stir fry. I think I can let the items in Publix' produce department help me decide. I would not mind ratatouille either this week, but eggplant can be iffy and zucchini pricey. I brought home a bag of prime quality zucchin from Atlanta the last time I went up there and lived on zucchini dishes for a week. For some reason, zucchini is one of my favorite things to eat. Normally, I buy chayotes, but this year chayotes have just not been good. Some years are better than others for certain vegetables. I remember the year a disaster trashed most of the crop of eastern apples.

Tonight it is too early to dream of the trip to Atlanta at the end of next week. It is too early to think of next week. I know the end of an eleven day week always feels ragged. I will need tea. This will be the seocnd trip to Atlanta since I got sick and recovered. I know I can make it now. I want to try the inexpensive and flavored grilled tofu they sell in the DeKalb Farmer's market. I also want some good beans like beluga lentils. They had cranberry beans and wax beans. Maybe I should go in that direction. Citrus will still be pretty good too. It is fun to do the monthly food run. It is almost as much fun to plan it out. I'll be going to the Democratic Party meeting before the food run, but that is next Saturday and so far away.... I hope the meeting is good.

The Saturday after next is graduation. There is a ceremony and luncheon at my schul. I will not be able to attend since I have to show up for graduation. That will be a miserable crashing bore. It always is. Also the gym where they hold the ceremony is always freezing cold and I won't be able to eat the free breakfast this year. Oh well, I'll get through it somehow.