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.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

by Eileen Kramer

I missed Gerry's ilachi on Wednesday and that hurts more than all the vengance setbacks in the world. Actually the fact that I am blogging again is a very small, nearly nonmeasurable vengance victory. I still don't want a lot of questions if I do play pretend Brainstorms on the Third Rail at work. I am trying to be very careful.

I took my first look at the RAOK board today. It feels impenetreble but it generally does if you have been away for a long time. There is almost a language barrier to cross and no-crit always feels a bit strange. I know when I have grown lazy.

I am learnig to use the GIMP and made a pressie for old time's sake. I haven't uploaded it yet. I also want to try making another one so my skills get better. GIMP is freeware and we need some graphics software for a variety of nice looking design tasks. It is amazing how often you need border objects and separator bars. HR lines and colorblocks make your web pages and reports look like everyone else's. I like distinctive looking designs.

Well, this blog is bleeding together. I guess I better start the other side of it.

I've heard two meows out of Lysistrata, my beautiful classic brown tabby and white girl, tonight. Actually they weren't meows. They were broops, chirps, or trills, a very social feline noise. Lysistrata I think believes that meowing is for kittens. Young kittens who are not weaned yet will meow to get the queen's attention so she comes back in to the nest box and nurses them. Mature cats have no reason to meow. Actually t hey have a few reasons to meow, notably fighting. Kitty expletives can be very interesting, but I hear very few of them which is probably all to the good. Then there is a sharp meow that means "no" or "enough."

Georgia's meows did not sound like kitten mews but were a variety of social meows including the broop, a sharp little food meow that Lou called "the bark," a plaintive meow for asking to go out, and the yowl that turned sweet to get attention after Evander got sick. Lysistrata has the broop but not much of a social meow and she has never learned to ask for things with her voice. I guess she classifies that as kitten behavior.

Georgia did not kneed and kneeding is kitten behavior. Lysistrata kneeds but she does so deliberatley and from a standing position. Maryann, the cat I grew up with used to kneed in this way. Hertzel just kneeds any way he feels like it and doesn't meow much either.

Now the purr is another matter. That is the ultimate feline social sound. I hear lots of purring. In fact, Lysistrata is purring right now. Every now and again in the cat owner advice columns, you will read from an unhappy owner who has a nonpurring cat. The other cats in the household purrs, but this one cat doesn't. The cat either has a very soft purr or often none at all. I guess there are cats who think purring is a kitten sound or who let the other cats in the household do their purring for them. I often wonder what my cats think, since I can't purr.

I learned to password protect a directory at work today. I feel good about that though the colleague who wanted it is at a conference and won't be back until Monday. I am learning to do stand up reference. Standing for hours leaves me exhausted. I feel like a ninty-eight pound weakling. I can walk ten miles without a problem but standing for two hours leaves me worn out in a way that is indescribable.

I am still doing way too much caffeine but I feel like those Indians in the Andes who chew cocca leaves to keep going. Exhaustion expletive deleteds. Tomorrow is the early day. I get off at 4:30pm sharp. This means crowded buses on the way home. I hope to see an art exhibit this weekend. I missed Carmina Burana tonight but I did not want to leave campus 10pm and find myself back there before 8am. I want to be home some of the time and besides Thadea had site fighting to work on. That is th way it goes around here some time. At least there will be services on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

by Eileen Kramer

Vengance is still on hold. I wish it weren't, because I thin it is my duty and I feel as if I am shirking it, but being in a new city with a new job is forcing me to move on against my will. I am trying to keep myself from sliding out of place and so far it is a losing battle. On the other hand, I don't want to explain about my Play Pretend board to new colleagues. I am not ashamed but it is a long involved story.

I am not in the mood for a mast head. I am struggling to keep up with Ghostletters which gets the way Ghostletters gets. There was a reason I was NOT on that list when I was job hunting. Boy was there ever a reason. The reason is not enough to leave the list. It is enough to spend energy elsewhere and not make a steady diet of the place.

I am also doing next to nothing with RAOK and LOTH. It hasn't gotten back to noise to signal. I can translate but I don't want to have to translate from my language to theirs. It is too much work compared with the rest of what is on my plate. I know that RAOK and LOTH are both important to my plans for vengance.

I just wish those plans were not so derailed.

I saw a concert last night at work and there were only twenty people there if that. It was free and it was the chorale from the college where I work. Last Friday I saw a free concert at a different college. There is another free concert here tomorrow night. You can find free stuff to do in Atlanta if you work at it. You do have to work and the official touristy stuff is just outrageously expensive.

I saw my dad last weekend. He stayed at the Four Seasons and only wanted to go places that his rich lawyer and retired lawyer buddies went. We had a very good lunch at a white table cloth restaurant. I had heirloom tomato salad, but I'm a bit disappointed that my dad didn't walk with me or give me a ride down to Ponce so I could pick up my prescription at the Krogers. Somehow it was just unparently if that is the word. We could have had lunch down in that area and dad and his girlfriend would have seen another part of the city.

I don't want to say more about my dad so I will bash my schul instead. Now I like the local Chabad House well enough. The rabbi does not resort to cheap shots like Rabbi Roth back in Columbus and there is plenty of old fashioned prayer and fellowship, but last Saturday I got up the nerve and discipline to walk to schul in the rain and...no services. If they can't get the word out and provide services regularly. I have to go somewhere else. That really stinks because I think Chabad is a decent enough place.

Now of course, I would not want to live with Lubavitchers in one of their neighborhoods. I'm just too assimilated and they have weird internecine battles over whether the Rebbe was moshiach or whether he is alive, waiting to be reborn, alive in spirit etc... Sorry, that sounds way too much like Christianity, and besides Menachem Mendel Schneerson missed the boat. He missed it the day the car in his motorcade killed seven year old Gavin Cato and injured the boy's sister. The Rebbe had the opportunity to be a gentleman and take responsibility. "Yes, it happened on my watch. Yes, it was my motorcade. Yes, I am responsible. Yes, I am sorry." And then he should have donated money for the girl's education and hospital bills and maybe a wreath of flowers or basket of fruit. That is what moshiach would have done.

That said, I am trying desperately to get in touch with the rabbi and make sure there are services at the Chabad house this weekend. Otherwise, I am going to have to go to the schul way up in Toco Hills. I may meet more people up there but it is big and a bit barnlike and I fear I'll be falling in with a bunch of long time provincial fat cats. Southern Jews can be a real problem. I'm not really one of them and boy do they know it.

Well I just got in touch with the Chabad rabbi and services are on for Saturday morning. I guess that makes me feel good. In fact, it makes me feel excellent. I don't even care that it is raining. The rain goes plop in big nasty drops against the building. It sounds just like popcorn and it is a very pretty noise. I am drinking half cold Craberry Zinger tea. If the rain lets up this evening, I'll stop by Rainbow Natural Foods and buy a box of herbal tea. What is here at work and what is at home are both going to run out sooner rather than later. I have replacement black tea but no replacement herbal.

I have started using Access to keep a budget of all the little items I buy from all the different stores. Atlanta is a multi store place. My finances are very disorganized. I also need to get off of caffeine. I'm bloated. I'm starting to itch across my back. I'm cold all the time and I'm itching somewhere unmentionable. Sometimes I am afraid to go to sleep. I'm not afraid of anything happening while I sleep, I just think I'll miss something so I shouldn't go to sleep. Don't ask me what I think I'll miss. I just would rather stay awake. I stay up late, drag myself out of bed, get my fix at the QuickTrip and I'm as happy as a pig in excrement. The problem is the long term effects. It is getting hard to wear a brassiere. The one I have now itches and chafes against skin that is getting sensitive and dry. I haven't encountered the incredibly bad taste in my mouth yet, but that comes if I eat junk food. The discomfort is low end and constant and ugly. It is not potent enough or immediate enough to act as a deterrent.

What I need to do is go cold turkey on the caffeine starting on the weekend and work out some other sort of morning ritual rather than a visit to Quick Trip. I probably need to bring more breakfast to work. I may even need diversionary soda, Knudsen's Spritzer's and Whole Foods 365 are both good. I'll get the calories without all the untoward side effects. Oh well it's off to the desk...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

by Eileen Kramer

This is a test post. This is day five of Operation Straight and Narrow. I have an appointment with the boss this morning at work. Lysistrata broke a Fiestawear cup last night. Fortunately, the cup was empty.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

by Eileen Kramer

It's time for a masthead. It's worth it! It was worth it to be kicked out of Brainstorms. It is worth it to be who I am. It is worth it to do what I do. It is worth it to say what I said, though God only knows I was polite as pie, until the end, then I gave them what for and still do. I live for vengance against all things Brainstormish and my Play Pretend Brainstorms is ten times better than the original.

It was worth it! It was worth it to hav emy Roanna_np account frozen on Neopets. It was worth it to write th ekind of role plays I wanted. Self expression was more important than painted pets and Neopoints. and I can play pretend my old pets at PHATCH. Besides, I have a nice little surprise for Neopets.

Project Straight and Narrow is now in Day Three and one way or another the data will be available when I am ready to make it ready.

In other Vangence news, I went to schul today, to a Chabad house yet. Synagogue and traditional organized religion are antiBrainstormish. so this was a small but significant vengance victory.

Well the magic in Atlanta continues. I went to schul today. It was not just any schul, it was a Chabad house about five miles from here. For reasons that have to do wtih patterns of settlement in Atlanta, there are no schuls in Decatur. Well, imade the walk through Druid Hills (Yes, that is what it is called) down Ponce de Leon Road to the schul.

I also walked five miles back. I took a nap in the afternoon, but that was OK too. I had spirit contact and saw Merib. This is the tenth anniversary of his suicide. He asked me if I had really enjoyed my trip to Phipp's Plaza yesterday. I said yes and it baffled him. He also asked if I really trusted my new boss on the new job. I have a comlex answer to that question. I don't want to write it here.

Now some of you are going to ask : are there any schuls that will ever satisfy me? The answer is "not completely." It's a complex answer. First, I liked Chabad and would go back again in a heart beat. It was warm, friendly, they didn't heard aeveryone together through the prayer book which meant you could think, meditate and read at your own pace. There were young people there, and families with kids. They knew their main business was prayer and fellowship. I even learned a nice tidbit of real information in the sermon. We had a sermon. Of course we had a sermon, a real old fashioned five minute devar Torah.

Chabad is every bit as good as I remember, and every bit as flawed. The flaws are not a big problem becasue I am a female who became observant as an adult. I don't read a lick of Hebrew so participating in athe services is not really an option. The prayer books have excellent translations anyway. The first problem is that the Lubavitch mix up European shtetl culture with Judaism. There is nothing sacred about cholent and kishkes. I got to try kishkes and found them nothing to write home about. If I am going to eat something that unheathly give me potato chips or Doritos any day. They taste better. The cholent also was the meaty kind with the barley cooked to mush and the broth unskimmed. I did not eat much of either of these things. There are just better things to eat and most of them are kosher. Even on Shabbos your body is still a temple.

That brings me to flaw number two. Chabad encourages a kind of boys will be boys good fellows camaraderie and taht includes loud singing and plenty of booze, in this case big bottles of Scotch whiskey on the table and the guests partaking, but mainly the male guests. The women do not drink much. The menon the other hand get disgustingly sloppily druink. Fortunately, no one was an ugly druink. Set and setting controls a lot of it.

According to one of the college students there "drinking lechaim" is not the same thing as taking shots. I'd been watching the activity at the tables and I begged to differ. True, people were not driving home so if they got ripped off their posteriors what difference did it make. Note: a lot of families wtih kids took their kids home before the meal really got under way. I'm not sure why. To me drunk and sloppy in the middle of the day is still drunk and sloppy in the middle of the day.

The problem of liquor and Lubavitch or just liquor on the Shabbos table is an old one and not one I'm going to solve on this blog. I've seen it other places. If I was going to solve it, I would include other chices besides har dliquor and I'd have out mixers so that those who wanted hard liquor could have cocktails. I'd also have digestifs and apparatifs and cordials. Sipping cocktails or having a ordial at the end of the meal is not the same as getting smashed for a religious reason. The problem is Judaism permits drinking in moderation, and Lubavitch ant to make sure the world knows that we are Jews. It is just a question of where to draw the line. You can see why this is a tough one.

I think obeying some of the common sense drinking taboos is a good start. I also think the Lubavitch should pay more attention to healthy food and drink. Having only one bottle of non caffeinated non diet soda out there and big bottles of whiskey on the table sends a bad message especially when there are sickly children at the hsabos table.

p> This schul also has fat cats. What schul doesn't. It does not have a fat cat problem due to its emphasis on prayer and fellowship. Still when someone sits and tells you about what plane tickets to Israel cost for Passover (and they've bought them before and are buying them again.) you know that they are loaded. A lot of these families also live in the far suburbs. Some live closer by. there were students from Emory University at the Chabad house as well. The fact that I work at a large academic community college puts me in a different world five days a week. I know all this stuff, though I am trying to put it aside. Not being a fat cat, and being afraid of being doctored (You are better off if you don't end up in the doctor's office in the first place. They usually do as much harm as good.) though puts me in another world with very different concerns.