September 30, 2004

Beating a Dead Fish

It was another really long work day and I'm quite tired. I didn't want to watch the debate anyway so I'm not sorry that I worked through it, plus just about every other blog you go to today is going to have some comment or another on it, so if that's what you want, I'll see you tomorrow.

I'm just not up to thinking hard enough to write anything involved or thoughtful or...well, interesting...right now, actually.

Instead, I'm going to go back to the deep-sea well and let a local movie reviewer I usually don't agree with have the floor. Because, while he goes into more detail and is a lot more critical than was I, we're pretty much in synch on our views of Shark Tale.

So, Glenn Lovell, this is probably the only time you're going to be featured or otherwise even acknowledged on this here blog, so take it away and enjoy your 15 seconds of blog fame. (Reg. or BMN req'd)

September 29, 2004

Something Fishy

Tonight I had the chance to attend an advance private screening of Shark Tale. It is an entertaining animated movie featuring the voices of Will Smith, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, and Martin Scorsese. There are definitely some very humorous moments but it's not what I would call a great movie. It takes place under the sea with fish and sharks, of course, and the sharks act very "out of character," but it's not quite up to the level of Finding Nemo, in my opinion.

Part of the problem for me was that it was impossible to forget that it was Will Smith doing the voice of the main character. It wasn't him voicing the role of a character someone had created, the character was him speaking the lines as a fish. The characters done by Renee Zellweger and Jack Black were much easier to take for what they were. But they really did a fantastic job of creating an entire world, complete with its own "America's Sweetheart" anchorwoman, Katie Current...who was voiced by "America's Sweetheart" anchorwoman, Katie Couric.

I guess what it comes down to, for me, is that it isn't terribly original. The animation is good, but the characters seem like an odd cross between cartoon versions of "The Sopranos" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." I think adults and kids will both enjoy it, and there are lots of pop culture references like in Shrek and Shrek 2, but it's not nearly as clever as either of those efforts from Dreamworks.

In my book, it's a "Matinee Movie" -- I'd pay to see it, but not full price. It gets two bags of popcorn, but only with butter-flavored topping, not real butter, on a scale of one to four.

September 28, 2004

Shake me, quake me

Oy. Remember how there was a situation at work that was stressing me? Well, it has gotten even worse, and will be staying that way for at least two more months. But so far, so good, overall -- as I like to say, I haven't killed myself or anyone else yet, so it's fine, just fine. There was one point where I was tempted to run out of the building screaming, but then I got busy and forgot.

Today was a 12-hour workday, so my level of concentration is not at its highest right now. I've got three possible topics to talk about, and I can't decide which one has the best potential. Okay, make that two things, because between the time I started writing and now, I've forgotten what the third one was.

Aw, hell, I'm going to go with the fastest one. Today there was a pretty decent-sized earthquake here in CA today. It was in the middle of the state on the San Andreas fault, and was felt for a couple hundred miles up and down the state. People in my building felt it, but I did not. I was probably yawning at the time. They're still having aftershocks right now, over 12 hours later. (If you're interested in seeing exactly where and how many, check out this site. I love it. Or, for the whole country, go here.)

At the same time, there are reports that Mount St. Helens is grumbling and making noise, sparking worries that it's going to erupt. Considering how devastating the last eruption in 1980 was, it's definitely a cause for concern.

So, temblors are on my mind and I'm wondering what your experience has been with earthquakes. Never felt one? A seasoned, shaken veteran? Terrified that your state (*ahem*) is going to slide into a nearby ocean? Spill it! I'm all aquiver to hear.

September 27, 2004

Peri's Pet Parlor

Bethany and Kumo

Has it been a week already? I didn't notice -- been too busy watching the furniture in this place moving around again. I hate when it does that; you just can't trust furniture that don't stay put.

This is a pretty strange picture as far as I'm concerned. The hip cat with the cool collar on the right is Kumo, but I'm not sure what the creature on the left is. Looks like a bubble-headed alien to me, and...

A what?

Are you sure? Okay...

Mom says it's "an adorable baby named Bethany" and not a bubble-headed alien. I bet she don't stay put, either, and it looks like she's about to rip the smilies right off that collar. Before she comes after my bell, I'm outta here. Mom should have my spot on the bed all warmed up by now.

(Note from Maura: I'm sure if she knew how to link, Peri would have thanked Howard for the picture of his beautiful niece.)

September 22, 2004

Cell Phone Madness

I think most of us know that cell phone use has gotten out of hand. I'm convinced that within a few generations, all children will be born with their hands curled up next to their ear. You can't go anywhere without someone blithely walking around with all their attention focused on their terribly important call -- you know, the one about what they're going to wear to the party this weekend...while they completely ignore the person they're supposedly with...who's on his phone, too. But, of course, the people who can't go a few minutes without taking or making a call don't see that this is a cause for concern.

If you're yapping, yapping, yapping on your phone constantly while you're driving and think that it doesn't affect the way that you drive, I am here with a news flash for you: You are not the exception and your driving sucks about 90% of the time you have that expensive piece of plastic shoved up against the side of your head. (Can you tell that I don't think there are many excuses for not having a hands-free device in use when making calls from the car?) You don't have the ability, apparently, to see the reactions of your fellow drivers when you're a 40mph zombie in a 55mph zone, or when you suddenly veer over to make the turn you didn't notice coming up. May I also point out that making a U-turn is not a cause for shame -- and, in most cases, is not illegal -- when you do suddenly snap-to and realize you're about to miss the road you needed to take? Many of us actually consider it preferable to the emergency maneuver you insist on making when it's not an emergency for anyone but you.

But that's not what this is about, or at least not entirely. These are just examples of the weird and pervasive presence that cell phones have become in our lives. This is about how it is only going to get much weirder and even more pervasive.

Gee, I can't wait.

A comment on comments

I don't know what's going on, but there seems to be an issue with the Haloscan comment function. Poor LibertyBob left a comment on my last post hours ago and I didn't find out about it until Howard kindly let me know that he was unable to leave a comment at all!

After a few reloads, I'm able to see them, but you may have difficulty. If so, I apologize and appreciate your effort.

Update: The problem seems to have been resolved. If anyone else is having the same problem, however, you can log in to Haloscan and force the comments links to update through the settings page. A lot of people were having trouble earlier.

September 21, 2004

The Good, The Bad, The Really Ugly, and The Really Sad

This has been sort of a weird day. My feelings about things are kind of all over the place.

The Good: My favorites won in both of the reality shows that wrapped up tonight. Chip and Kim vanquished the last two couples in The Amazing Race to take the million dollar prize. I've been rooting for them for a while, so it was nice to see them take it all, especially as it meant Colin and Christie didn't win. On Big Brother 5, cutie pie Drew won a half-million dollars. It wasn't as tense or exciting a final show, but it was a good ending. On a more personal note, I took a chance on doing something I normally wouldn't do and while doing it may not have been a huge success unto itself, I felt good about it. Sometimes it's the little steps we take that stand out.

The Bad: I'm still in "Hang In There" mode at work. I really, really don't like being in "Hang In There" mode, especially for as long as I've been in it.

Mixed Emotions #1: I'm lucky to have a job to be hanging in at, when so many people are still unemployed and underemployed, or have a lot worse working than I do. So I feel bad when I get annoyed about things, because I have it pretty damned good overall and my little problems are pretty damned petty in the large scheme of things. And, hey, I am hanging in there. I haven't given up yet.

The Really Ugly: The continuing beheadings in Iraq. The continuing car bombings in Iraq. The never-ending senseless violence right here at home. Words fail me.

The Really Sad: The huge number of casualties in Haiti due to Jeanne. That country has had such a terrible year, at a time when they should be celebrating a long, hard-won history of independence as the world's first black republic. The devastation that this one storm has brought, when we're already hung-over on hurricane and storm damage in our own country, leaves me feeling a little wrung-out. The numbers are just so enormous, and so many of them didn't have to die. Deforestation is to blame for the severity of the damage, which hasn't been addressed because it's such a poor country and has been in political and economic turmoil for so long. In the space of a few days, the death toll in Haiti has risen to almost 2,500 for the year due to natural disasters. Think about that number. Unbelievably sad. The conditions are horrific. And it's not going to get better for them any time soon.

Mixed emotions #2: Blogging takes center stage in the current issue of Time Magazine. What I'm conflicted about here is that I'm not certain whether this is a good thing or not. Does the blogging world really want it to become so mainstream? How do you ride the fine line between fad and marginalization? But again, it pales in comparison to the sad and ugly stuff above to such a degree that I can't even believe I'm spending time pondering it.

To top it all off: I've never even seen the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

September 20, 2004

Peri's Pet Parlor


Hey, people. This handsome devil is Elliott. Like me, as a kitten he was found wandering around where he shouldn't have been. And, like me, he was taken in by someone with a big, soft, squishy heart and given a great home. Gotta love that.

He's got two sisters, Sophie and Savannah, who Maura says you met already. You know they're keeping him in line and teaching him how to treat a girlcat. Maybe Elliott's mom will tell him about a certain someone who's single and interested in maybe sharing some catnip with him sometime. Yeah, he's a little younger than me, but I've still got fur in all the right places. So if he's cool with it, I could be the pussy for him.

Okay, time to scoot. I think Animal Planet is showing a special on my cousins, the big cats, and I want to pick up a few hunting tips.

September 17, 2004

Licking the blues

Ah yes, the sun did come out today and I turned that frown upside down!

See, I must be feeling better if I can actually write something that corny. And it didn't even take a bowl of ice cream to get me there. It's amazing what a good night's sleep, some therapeutic morning-time baking and a freaking hysterical site can do for one's attitude.

I had the chance to check out Eric Conveys an Emotion today (via Ernie) and it cracked me up so much that I had no choice but to cheer up. This guy has a wonderfully expressive face and a wicked sense of humor. When you need a laugh or twelve, go to his site and start clicking on the filled emotions on the left. I suggest scrolling to the middle and starting from there if you're in dire need, as he has honed his expressions as he's gone along and from "Mr. Burns' 'Excellent' Face" on, he really hits his stride. When you've gone through them all, take at peek at some of his adventures -- I recommend "The New Pad," which has a cameo by Ernie himself.

I plan to print out the Mask of Doom and stick it up in my cube when I'm having a day like yesterday. I think it will get the "go away and leave me alone" message across much more effectively than the terribly polite note I'm using now.

Have a wonderful, sunshiny weekend.

September 16, 2004

La femme malheureuse

Well, damn.

I had a miserable morning before I left for work, oversleeping and then fighting with Blogger and Word to get that post done.

I had a miserable morning at work, for reasons I will not go into here, because the very last thing I need is to even risk getting in hot water over having a blog and discussing things I shouldn't.

I had a miserable afternoon because I had developed a wicked headache dealing with the morning.

I ended up working late, had a quick dinner, then got stuck in a grocery store with too few cashiers, when all I wanted was to get home and watch Survivor. Survivor, a bright light in an otherwise crappy day. Scoff if you wish, I do not care.

I had a miserable day here because after spending such an inordinate amount of time and frustration on getting the last post up, it apparently went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

This is not a bid for sympathy. It's me venting so I can move past it. Venting is a kind of sharing, which always makes me feel more positive.

So, in the spirit of sharing, here's a little piece of my day. Now I'm going to go to sleep and hope that tomorrow is a far, far better thing. Good night.

September 15, 2004


At first, I didn’t have much to say this evening. I had been sitting here for quite a while, waiting for inspiration to either smack me in the head or put me out of my misery, with nothing to show for it. Although I had caught up on the programs I had recorded on TiVo. Not that you needed or wanted to know that.

Anyway, just as I was ready to pack it in and either come here and sheepishly say, "I've got nothing, please come back tomorrow," or make like there had been Internet problems that prevented me from posting altogether -- not that I would do that – I had an actual thought. Thoughts have been in short supply for me today, so this was a moment to savor.

[Ed. - The true irony here is that not three minutes after writing that, I really did inexplicably lose my network connection, which is why this isn’t getting posted until 9:00am the next day. Oh, and I will never, ever, ever again use Word to write a post when that happens, with the intent of "just copying it over." I'm ready to throw the laptop through a window right now.]

I recalled that I had planned to share some of the sites I have found by repeatedly clicking on the "Next Blog" button up there on the Blogger NavBar. I had forgotten about it because, well…the why doesn’t really matter, I suppose. Suffice it to say that some stuff at work has had my mental panties in a twist lately and it’s taking up way too much right-brain space. That makes my left-brain sulky and unwilling to cooperate. Even bribing it with chocolate pudding didn’t work tonight.

So, with no further ado, following are my top five Next Blog finds (in no particular order):

Casual Observations - A new blog with some good writing. It has taken on a fairly political bent -- not that that's a bad thing -- but I like many of the observations, and they're done with humor.

Captain Mac's Random Thoughts - My kind of blog. It’s mostly short posts about neat, sometimes geeky stuff.

Chronicles - A blog written by a Florida resident, who had to deal with the hurricane-a-thon but is now getting on with the minutiae of life.

Serial Blogonomy - An interesting blog by a fellow Sagittarian who works as a dogwalker. As I have been a petsitter for many years, that got my attention. The site also caught my eye because of this post, which reminded me of this post I wrote back in June. It’s a topical and humorous blog.

Nithins Amazing Blog - A blog with a lot of photos, some of which are really cute. The series of pets and kids cracked me up.

There were a few others, but they haven’t been updated very often so I can’t really recommend them yet. Please feel free to share in the comments any new blogs you've found this way.

September 14, 2004

Yes, we have no post today

I had planned to have one, but circumstance interceded. So, if Gary Bibb can go be a guest blogger just about everywhere else, he can be mine, too, whether he likes it or not. So go check out his new banner and read his stuff today instead. (He claims that's his picture, by the way, but I have my doubts. Seems to me like it might be a bit further down the page.)

And if you really like him (but not too much, because you have to come back!), go check out his wish list at Amazon and drop a couple hundred bucks on him. It's his birthday this weekend, after all. Or so he claims...

September 13, 2004

Peri's Pet Parlor

The Girls - Cinnamon and Jasmine

This is a picture of my two best dog friends, Cinnamon and Jasmine. I've never actually met them, of course -- Why would I? I mean, come on, they're dogs...just kidding, Girls, just kidding -- but if I were ever gonna hang with some canines, these would be the bitches I'd wanna hang with. I don't get out much but now that we live in the same town, who knows, maybe we'll get together and cause some trouble.

Anyway, word is these sisters are quite a pair. Miss Jasmine is the little lady, while Cinnamon is a bit more out there. They keep their mom on her toes, especially when Cinnamon gets the munchies 'cause the girl can go to town. They're both older than me (I promised I wouldn't say how old, even in human years) but they can kick up their paws with the best of 'em.

I still don't get what the deal is with e-mail, but since they haven't tried to stuff me in that plastic box to take me to the stick my butt with needles place lately, I guess it's all good. Maura said something about, a fan letter, and them maybe wanting me to do a guest column or blog for them, too. I dunno, tho, that place is kinda fuddy-duddy. There's hardly any purple on the pages and most of the cats in the pictures look like someone just stuck their butts with needles. Not that I look at the pictures much, I just go there for the articles.

Well, gotta go -- the flappy things outside my window are getting busy and I have to make sure I keep an eye on them in case...well, just in case. Poop happens, ya know.

September 12, 2004

Roses are...

Late Summer Roses

Roses are red,
Roses are pink,
Summer's soon to end,
I rather think.

The house I've recently moved into came complete with over a half-dozen mature, blooming and beautiful rose bushes. This made leaving behind the one bush I'd planted myself and tended to for years a little easier. I've been taking one bud at a time in to work with me every few days, to put in the tiny little vase I have there, and brighten up the place.

But yesterday, my mom gave me a crystal bowl that we've had in our family for many years, in yet another round of the "Trade the household items back and forth" game we've been playing for the last decade. (The game goes something like this: "You want to put my recliner in your living room?" "Sure, do you want to take this picture and put it on that wall?" "Great! How about putting that coffee table in with the recliner?" "Cool. Want to swap dressers? That one would go better in my room." Etc.)

So I finally had a decent vessel to put some of the open roses into today. Now, I am no sort of flower arranger, but it's kind of hard to mess up roses and I was pretty pleased with how it came out. Since I was berating myself earlier in the day for not taking my camera with me when I really could have used it -- normally I take it everywhere! -- while up in San Francisco at the 2004 T-Mobile International bicycle race, I decided to make it up to myself a bit by snapping a few shots of the blooms.

The above (bad) rhyme and other three paragraphs are a really long-winded way of saying: Enjoy the rest of the summer while it lasts and take time to stop and, er....view the roses!

September 11, 2004

Three Years Hence

Three years hence
and here we stand,
looking back
through time and fear,
sorrow and reflection,
to a world that stopped,
Now poised
upon a precipice
of change and rebuilding,
promise and remembrance,
we seek a balance
between the need
to move forward
and the need
to never forget.
We struggle
to maintain
purpose and meaning,
acceptance and resolve,
in the face of
unanswered questions
and unassuaged anger.
In meeting
these challenges,
unwanted and terrible,
stinging and unforgiving,
only we can make
the difference
between faded hope
and enduring legacy.

September 10, 2004

Unexpected Circular Thinking

Recently, Cbeck talked about his experience with the "Next Blog" function that has been introduced into the new Blogger Navbar, and how to deal with the...shall we say..."undesirable" blogs that you can encounter while using it. And encounter them you will.

I've done my fair share of Next Blog surfing since it became available, and I've found both some interesting blogs and a whole mess of really bad and/or uninteresting ones. Later I want to introduce you to some of those I've found that I like. But first, three of the worst characteristics of the undesirables I've come across are:

1. Blogs that make you click "OK" on their little pop-up boxes, usually containing indecipherable or cryptic messages, before you can have the dubious honor of viewing their offerings. This is annoying. Being annoyed predisposes me to not think kindly of your blog. If you do this, 99.9% of the time I will be clicking on Next Blog before you can type "LOL."

2. Blogs that blast (bad) music at me as soon as the page loads. This is highly annoying. This guarantees that I will have clicked Next Blog before I can read a single word.

If your blog does either of these first two and combines it with the indignity of trying to launch a "spam deleting" program that I have to say no to repeatedly before it will let me move on, you are condemned to the lowest depths of the blogosphere in my book.

3. Blogs that are created for the sole purpose of advertising some fly-by-night business. I haven't come across too many of them, but the ones I have are pretty despicable. They have post after post after identical post with links to whatever their purported business is. I imagine they post repeatedly to increase the chances of being picked up by the Next Blog function. I believe that Blogger has gotten wise to this, however, because two of the links I noted can no longer be found. Bravo Blogger!

These impediments have not stopped me from compulsively clicking on Next Blog when I'm bored or uninspired, hoping to cull the wheat from the chaff and find the one gem that's going to make me want to visit again and again.

Sometimes I'm amazed by the variety of it all, even when so many of the templates look the same.

Sometimes I'm surprised by coming across a blog that I've already hit on a second or third time, given that there are so, so many of them.

And sometimes I'm simply astonished by finding something from someone I know from the blogging world, something I didn't know about until I came across it by coincidence while clicking on Next Blog.

This was my experience, not five minutes ago -- truly -- while in the middle of writing this entry. (I hop around a lot while I'm composing, I can't just stay in one "place" and write.) To have had this happen when it did, and by whom, was true serendipity. It brought things around full circle because it was from none other than Cbeck.

September 09, 2004

In memorium

The Vigil

Tonight was pretty interesting. I got there a few minutes before the vigil was due to start, and people were milling around the front of the church where it was taking place. Some people had their candles already lit, so I asked someone for a light and waited to see what would happen next. More people filtered into the yard and the group got bigger than I expected, but in a good way.

I didn't hear anyone actually say anything, but all of sudden right at 8:00, it seemed like the whole group turned and walked toward the street, lining up along it with candles lit. I heard one woman kind of whine, "I thought we were going to get into a circle..." but she was pretty much ignored.

There was a solemn moment, when I felt like we all were thinking about why we were actually there. Then a horrific squeal split the air and we all turned back to the church steps with a group cringe where the pastor was trying to use a bullhorn to address us. He quickly abandoned the bullhorn, so of course we couldn't all really hear him. But I did catch him thanking us for being there, reiterating that it was meant to be a silent vigil and he liked that we had moved to the street like that. We all turned back to the street, candles aloft, some people holding signs, some people holding two candles. There were candles of all varieties, but I do believe mine was the only purple one.

We were all settling into it, getting a sense of how it was going to go, when I noticed a young girl there with her mother who wasn't really getting the "silent" part and Mom wasn't reminding her. When she busted out with, "Does anyone know any anti-war songs? 'Cause I sure don't!" that was when I decided I needed to find a different place to stand.

As a matter of fact, a lot of people didn't really get the "silent" part of the whole thing. In a world with a cell phone stuck to its ear, I guess the only bad thought is now the unexpressed one. At least the two ladies I ended up next to managed to chatter sotto voce.

The reaction we got was, thankfully, universally positive. There wasn't much at first, apart from a general slowdown of passing cars. Then I heard from a passing car, "Bush sucks!" Now, there really was nothing political in what was going on -- there were no election signs, no partisan indications, nothing controversial -- but a few people passing by did so with less than favorable things to say about Bush.

The only time I had a twinge of worry was when a guy in an old pickup truck almost screeched to a halt in front of where I was standing and I thought, "Uh-oh, here we go." But then he bellowed, "It's our motherfucking president's fault! That's what it is. Blame that mother..." which trailed off as he accelerated down The Alameda. I think we all kind of breathed a sigh of amused relief because it wasn't what we expected.

The darker it got, the more people seemed to be willing to honk, which was the most common response. In between the cycles of the nearby traffic lights, when few or no cars passed by, it was easier to focus on the why of the vigil and reflect on the lost lives. During those times I found I was locking my knees, so I had to concentrate on not doing that, because that can be a one-way ticket to passing out if you do it long enough.

After a while, I felt comfortable enough to bring out the digital camera. There had been people taking pictures on and off, so I didn't feel too conspicuous doing so by that point. Right as I was taking the first one, my candle -- which had been burning a bit more rapidly than I would have liked -- finally dripped over the little paper wax-catcher ring and burned my thumb a bit. Ouch, but I got a semi-decent shot anyway. After taking a few more, my little paper wax-catcher ring caught on fire because the candle had really burned down, so that curtailed the photo-taking for a bit. While the picture I chose to show above is not what you would call a technically good one, it was the most interesting of the ones I took and, to me, best represents the sense of being there because it wasn't so much about the faces of the people, but the signs and the light.

After about 20 minutes, we saw a smaller group of candle-bearing people coming toward us down the other side of the street. They lined up across from us, though it was clear they were part of the same group, and things got quiet again for a little while. After a while, one of them crossed the street and let us know they had come down from the nearby highway overpass and they were ready to go back that way and wanted us to join them. I wasn't sure if people were going to go, since it was about 15 minutes until when it was all supposed to be over. But I figured it was in for a penny, in for a pound, so I joined the migration.

Once we got there, horn honks were in abundance, from the street and from the highway below us. People got a little chattier, and I found myself next to a guy who I had overheard right at the start, asking the guy now on the other side of him the same question he asked me: Are you with MoveOn? When I answered in the affirmative, he said, "Right on." I don't think he saw the irony in that response.

It was beginning to look like things were winding down and a few people were heading off when, right at 9:00 -- a full 15 minutes after it was all supposed to be over -- along comes a news van. Right On Guy got a little excited and I think he was ready for his moment in front of the camera. But it never came. For some reason, the camera guy and reporter chose to go to the other side of the street, even though there were far fewer people on that side. The street is a rather broad and busy one, so I didn't blame them for not wanting to cross in the middle of the overpass. They took some footage of us from afar, but I know my new friend was disappointed.

Once they left, and people's candles were starting to burn down and sputter out, more people started to drift off. Mine was down to an interesting half-inch, which had become affixed to the charred little paper wax-catcher that I was using to hold it, when I decided to call it a night, too.

If we accomplished anything by making people think about where we're at with this war -- both those of us there and those driving by -- then it was time well spent.


I am, in fact, going to attend the candlelight vigil tonight. It would be accurate to say that I am both looking forward to it and am nervous about doing it. The e-mail I got confirming my participation encourages people to take digital camera pictures, so it's possible that I'll have something along those lines to share. But maybe not -- depends on the vibe, as far as I'm concerned. So I'm off in a minute to go buy a candle -- mine are all still packed -- and it will be a purple one, in case you were wondering.

You know how "they" say that, eventually, we all turn in to our parents? It just hit me that my conflicting feelings about this are probably directly related to the characteristics I inherited from my parents -- I think my dad would be looking forward to it and I think my mom would be nervous about doing it.

The somewhat nervous part of me feels that I should mention that if I don't post later tonight about how it went, I'm probably sitting in jail. Is that likely? No. I just have this image of a bunch of angry vets showing up and it turning ugly. It's not supposed to be, it's supposed to be very quiet, dignified and non-political. But you never know. This would likely be why I don't normally attend these kinds of events -- fear of the unknown.

Damn, better make sure that my cell phone is fully charged, huh?

September 08, 2004

'Cause my momma told me so

She really did. She called me at work to ask me if I'd seen the commercial with Edie Falco in it. Once I got over being flabbergasted that she knows who Edie Falco is -- she's not what you could even remotely call a fan of The Sopranos -- I was immediately interested when she described it because while I hadn't seen it, I think Ms. Falco kicks ass.

And now she's all MOBbed up, for real. The commercial is there, if you want to see it. I figure about half of you will run in the opposite direction, based on opinions you've expressed, but I respect that. I don't understand it, but I respect it.

I received something else somewhat related in my e-mail today. I believe I mentioned quite a while ago that I belong to I can't say that I 100% support all the actions they espouse, and it's not something in which I have actively taken a role or to which I have contributed time or money. But I can say that up to now it has, if nothing else, gotten me more involved in contacting the Congress members in my area about issues that matter to me. The organization makes it very easy to do that through e-mail campaigns and it has led to my receiving more information from the two main ones, which I appreciate.

Today I got a message letting me know about candlelight vigils that will be held across the country tomorrow night in honor of the 1,000+ soldiers that have been killed in Iraq in service to the U.S. Attending an event like this is not something that I have ever done. I may be, to some, a bleeding-heart liberal but my heart tends to bleed unseen under my sleeve because I am, for the most part, a private person. I can't tell you why (and not just because I'm being private!) but I want to go.

Maybe because I want to do something and I feel pretty impotent about fomenting change in my community, let alone my country. Maybe because supporting the troops but not supporting why they're there needs an outlet right now. Maybe because the parents, spouses, lovers and children of the members of our military services who have died should know that those of us who haven't lost someone care about their loved ones and are affected by their loss. Maybe because I need to feel a part of something right now, and to see that there are other people who might share that feeling.

Oh, and maybe because as I discovered yesterday, I've gotten my "second wind" on the political thing to some degree. Just in time with only 54 more days to go!

And because I will definitely be voting --and I have a feeling that you will be, too -- it's the American way to be rewarded for that, isn't it? So go here and see if we can't both be rewarded.

September 07, 2004

Color me claret

After a three-day weekend...for most of us...on that first day back, who really wants to think all that hard about anything? So this link is the easiest "personality" quiz you'll ever take -- all you have to do is be able to pick your birth month out of twelve columns. Don't let the pretty colors distract you!

Okay, it's a goofy little thing, but sometimes you've got to take the goofy with the good. Once you take that leap, pick your month, read about "your color," what it says about you and what others colors can influence certain aspects of your life. You can also, if you're so inclined, send along an e-card to share the joy with someone else. And couldn't we all use a little more rainbow in our lives?

If you're really into the concept at this point, you can also click on the "learn more" area and get the whole flash presentation on what it's all about. It's kinda new age-y, but I've seen worse. "Your birthday color may or may not be your favorite color, but it is a color designed to nurture the real you to recognize, celebrate and honor your own true colors. While your color preferences may change as you evolve, your birthday color remains constant." You know, a lot like some women's ages once they pass twenty-nine.

September 06, 2004

Peri's Pet Parlor


So Maura woke me up from a nap to do this, for the price of some of my favorite treats. If she thinks I'm going to do this each week, she'd better go get a whole bunch more because I can't be bought that cheap. Typing with paws is not the easiest thing to do, especially when she's clipping my nails all the time.

This is me chilling in one of my favorite spots in my mom's room. I tried to let Maura know I was having a Garbo moment, but she kept chasing me with that stupid flashy thing so I sat still for this one to get her out of my fur.

Anyway, she thinks I should be the one sharing pet pictures with you here. Not that I've ever actually met another animal -- apart from that one time when some hairball came up to my screen door and tried to pick a fight, but Mom broke it up before it got good and he never had the cojones to come back -- but she says I have something called "perspective." Whatever. As long as she coughs up those treats, and maybe a few more of those damned white mice that keep disappearing, I guess I can give up a little snooze time.

I have no idea what e-mail is, but apparently I have it. So long as it doesn't mean that I gotta go to that place where they stick my butt with needles, I'm cool with it. Sounds like you can use it to send me stuff; stuff like letters, gift certificates to Petco, gift certificates to Petsmart, and, oh yeah, pictures of pets. I'd rather have the gift certificates, but I guess the point is the pictures. I don't see why they have to be your own pets, it's not like I'll know the difference. So if you have any good ones feel free to send them.

Or not, I don't really care, because I'm overdue for an appointment with my Littermaid.

September 03, 2004

Sad news

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I feel compelled to pass along to you some unfortunate news.

Yesterday, after I had finished but not yet published my post sharing with you the link to the wonderful pictures of Hudson, and gone back to the tedious matter of work, Hudson's dad, Robb, began to post about Hudson being sick and headed to the vet's office.

I learned later that he updated during the afternoon and things got worse, then a bit better but still not good. I did not have the opportunity to catch up on these development before publishing my prepared entry, which in hindsight was a regrettable oversight on my part.

There is no other way to do it but to tell you that today I learned that Hudson didn't get better and, I am so very sorry to say, he didn't make it. It's heartbreaking to have celebrated a beautiful cat one day and have to share something so utterly sad the next.

I hope you'll send Robb your best and give your own furry friends a little extra love today.

September 02, 2004

Oooh, catblogging!

I happened by Sharp as a Marble this morning to catch up on the last few days and found he had once again posted some great pictures of his cat, Hudson. (Great picture of his beautiful daughter there, too, but as I am daughterless I won't be emulating that!) This post has what is, thus far, my favorite of the pictures he has featured. And with a "Carnival of Cats" promised sometime for the future, there's more to look forward to there.

What I would like to know is why Norman has not once given him a hard time about his catblogging since he started. (It's true, I checked.) Granted, most of his pictures are a lot better than mine -- and those on most every other catblogging I've seen, gratuitous or otherwise -- but the man is a professional photographer. The quality improvement is, therefore, to be expected. But it's still catblogging, so what gives? Hmmm?

I figure this is as good as any time to announce the imminent return of catblogging to One Ping Only. This upcoming long weekend, I will labor away on the format with my new blogging partner and I hope to unveil it for your holiday enjoyment.

This post is in the can and coming to you early (for me) because I have yet another fun-packed evening planned. Thanks to the generosity of my friends Rita and Eddie (who, by the by, is Squeaky-Ruby's dad and official photographer), friends and I will be going to the SF 49ers pre-season game tonight against the San Diego Chargers. It has a late start (8:00pm) for some reason, and I have to drive my companions up into the big, bad city afterwards, so I anticipate my return to the Valley to be fairly late into the night.

I need to get to sleep at a decent time just once this week or I'm going to crash. So in the interest of spending the time between getting home and going to bed by watching tonight's episode of Big Brother 5 (it's "live" eviction night!) on TiVo instead of slaving away here, a little pre-planning was necessary. Don't worry, it won't become a habit.

September 01, 2004

A Night on the Town, Playing Possum

Because, as I've mentioned before in passing, I enter a lot of contests (like every one I come across that appeals to me), from time to time interesting things show up at my door unexpectedly. Yesterday was one of those days.

On a mere one day's notice I was awarded the chance to go see Dame Edna's new show, "Back with a Vengeance, " in its pre-Broadway run up in San Francisco. If you don't know who Dame Edna is or what her act is all about, skip that paragraph or go check out the site above because I'm too tired to explain it to you right now.

So April and I trekked up to Baghdad by the Bay (it is still okay to call SF that, or does that politicize things?) for a quick, inexpensive bite before the show at Lefty O'Doul's, which is apparently an institution, and which neither of us had ever been to before. The food was good, though not great, but I got to watch the Giants game for a while so it was time well-spent. We were still early -- this does not happen very often where I am involved -- so we walked around the theatre area for a while, dodging all manner of characters and not finding a single decent place to get some post-dinner, pre-theatre dessert!

The show was a delightful and hysterical combination of improvisation and in-character patter that had her devoted audience of possums, many of whom ended up on stage as part of the show, in stitches. To those who were asked but chose not to go: You. Missed. Out.

It ran a little longer than I had anticipated, but once I got over my intermission-length yawning stint I was ready to hit the long trail back to the South Bay, especially with the promise of sweet succor along the way. It has become our tradition to stop at Krispy Kreme on the drive home and, although the "hot doughnut" light was not on, it was as delectable as ever. To those who were asked but chose not to go: You. REALLY. Missed. Out.

Now if I could just win tickets to something that actually takes me out of the greater Bay Area, life would be looking up.