Friday, September 27, 2002

Last night we went out to the Pub, which was a lot of fun. It was the first time I went and could stay until the last set. It was a pretty uneventful night except I splattered a bit of chocolate syrup from my cheesecake on the Better Half's shirt. Unfortunately, since I am working nights, we don't get to see each other much within the next few days. It kind of sucks, since we've had a lot of time together recently, but although I'm a little sad, things could be a lot worse. In fact, for a while, about six months or so, I was working five nights a week. The Better Half was frustrated, I realized I had to rejoin the land of the living in order to save what we had, and to save my sanity. So I left my department and now I get to work in a department four days/nights a week, and get to see the Better Half a lot more. Suddenly, three days seems like such a long time. I remember stretches that lasted a bit longer.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

I am so glad it's Fall! I've had my windows open for the past three days, and usually I am a slave to the A.C.

Only a few more days til the Fair!

Not much else to report, it's been kind of slow. I've been keeping it low-key because of severely lacking funds. Last night the Better Half and I went out to Red Hot and Blue BBQ, and then he hurried off to a couple of meetings as I reconstructed my afghan. I have a feeling it will look better this way.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I'm taking apart what I've constucted of my afghan, it looks rather pitful. Last night I drew out what I wanted on graph paper and now, I think I'm unraveling everything and starting from scratch. I figure that time spent on it will make it better, more of the vision of what I want.

I am tired of hearing about this chick who whupped the bejesus out of her kid in the parking lot of Kohl's. Now the media has jumped all over it, sending out reporters to stop moms on the street, shoving mics in their face to ask, "Have YOU ever lost it like that?"

Look, I'm not saying that this lady was right in any way. Beating your kid isn't the answer. But I will tell you this. According to the accused, the kid was apparently being a real puke in the store. She was running around, yelling, screaming. Then she began to act out in the parking lot too. Chances are, people were starting to roll their eyes and think to themselves, "What a brat. Why doesn't that mother do something?" Mom gets frustrated, and unfortunately, made a big mistake that got caught on tape. And now the spotlight is on.

In order for the species to survive, we must procreate. Not only that, we gotta make, raise and send out good productive citizens. It's a shitload of pressure, in my honest opinion. Now, there are shitty parents out there and they need not to be parents, and their kids are in danger and need to be taken care of. But for the most part, most parents do a kick-ass job of raising good kids with good values. No one's perfect. So Moms of the world, don't let anyone tell you that you're nothing because you decided to stay at home and raise your kid. Don't let any pious busybodies try to tell you how to raise your kid. My hat is off to you. You're doing all right.

Monday, September 23, 2002

I missed the knitting competition at the fair.

I coulda sworn that I'd read that the judging would be done next week so I was taking my sweet time with my project, a baby set with a hat in the shape of a Hershey's kiss and matching booties. I reread the letter this morning and realized that I was supposed to drop off the project on SATURDAY! I raced down to the fairgrounds, and was told that the judging was done yesterday, and all final decisions had been made. But, I still get to display my work, and I have a tag with my name on it to sit on the table with the other projects. I realized that on Saturday, I was with my Better Half, having a great time, and I wouldn't trade that for any blue ribbon. Besides, I'll smoke 'em next year.

The house smells like oatmeal...I am making oatmeal squares, the recipe from the cookbook put out by the Better Half's school. I worked on my afghan the majority of the day, and rented the flicks Harry Potter and Kissing Jessica Stein. Kissing... is a slightly more refined version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding; instead the main character is a semi-practicing Jew and her signficant other happens to be another woman. It's a smart comedy about lesbians that doesn't really get preachy or politically's about embracing who you are, despite what is trendy or in. And of course, I now realize why Harry was such a hit. My favorite character has to be Ron Weasley. Just for his name alone.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Marian and John have gotten me on the What Flavour are You bandwagon. I am sweet, like sugar. Too much of me will make you sick. :)

Tonight after Mass, some of the Young Adults went to El Capala restaurant. It was good food. Laura and I talked about WYD. Also we talked about Disney movies, Broadway, and all kinds of stuff. Lots of laughs.

I've been looking through the church bulletin, the Defender. I've decided to expand my spiritual horizons. I'm thinking of taking a scripture study class, hosted by a rather energetic nun named Sister Anita.

Yesterday the Better Half and I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Awesome. You'll laugh through the entire movie. Few movies do that anymore. Perfect in every way.

NEW ON ONCOBLOG: How you can help your loved ones fight nosocomial (caught while they are hospitalized) infections.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

This is from the "THE ACLU IS A BUNCH OF TURDS" File. They apparently wanna sue if these idiots don't get the chance to spew their hate.

Racists to meet at library

Wade Runge stood on the podium and cried.

He cried out of frustration. And he cried out of anger.

But mostly, he cried because Chesterfield County had just decided to allow a racist group to meet on taxpayer property.

"I am married to a black woman. I represent the type of people that would be shot and killed by this group," he told the Board of Supervisors. "Our county should have taken a stand."

Acting on its attorney's advice, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors decided yesterday to allow the World Church of the Creator, a national white-supremacist organization, to meet at the Chester Library at 5 p.m. Saturday as scheduled.

The church, based in Illinois, calls itself one of the fastest-growing white-supremacist, racist groups in the country. Its leader, Matt Hale, has upheld acts of violence against minorities, who he said "shouldn't be in America in the first place."

Board members, visibly shaken, said they had no choice but to allow the church to meet.

"We have to bear the unbearable," said Supervisor Jack McHale.

Many in the packed audience shook their heads in disgust. They said the board let them down.

"Someone should have taken a stand for us," said Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, one of the county's largest black congregations. "We look to you as our elected officials. I am ashamed."

Freddie Nicholas Sr., a former Chesterfield board member, said there comes a time when a county must run the risk of a lawsuit. "This was one of those times," he said.

The supervisors made their decision after a closed, executive session that lasted more than an hour. The session followed a request by board members McHale and Edward B. Barber, who asked County Administrator Lane B. Ramsey to cancel the church meeting.

As the board met, John King, Virginia leader of the World Church of the Creator, waited with his security guard. They sat in the back of the county's public meeting room, seven rows behind Glenn.

After the board's decision, King applauded the county for upholding the U.S. Constitution.

"I thank you for choosing wisely and respecting my right to speak freely," he told the board. He then directed his attention to Barber.

Before he could finish speaking, however, Chairman Kelly E. Miller cut him off, advising King that there would be no personal attacks.

"I would welcome his venom in my direction," Barber said. King was told to sit down.

One by one, Glenn and members of his congregation walked out as the board members spoke. Others joined Glenn, saying the issue had crossed racial lines.

"I feel like Glenn. I am mad and I am incensed," said Barbara Turner, a county resident.

No one in the audience, with the exception of King, spoke yesterday in favor of allowing the church to meet.

One person cautioned the county to take additional security measures.

"I strongly advise you to have a large police presence," said David Childress, a county resident and Richmond police officer.

Ramsey has said the area will be secure. King said yesterday that county police are planning to escort him to the library for his safety.

The board adopted a resolution that requires future groups to pay for their own security. This will not apply to the church.

There was a substantial police presence in York County in May when the World Church held a similar gathering. There were no injuries and no arrests.

Chesterfield supervisors said that if they could have blocked the meeting legally, they would have. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia threatened legal action if the county tried to shut down the meeting.

Although many people had left the room, board members took a few minutes to address members of the public still in their seats.

"Racism of any sort will not be tolerated in Chesterfield County," said Supervisor Arthur S. Warren. Miller added that, unfortunately, the Constitution can be "both a sword and shield."

Barber called the church "professional domestic terrorists," and McHale noted that "this is the most difficult issue I have faced."

Supervisor Renny B. Humphrey started to cry. "We don't want these folks here," she said.

Steven Micas, county attorney, told the board that of the 20 communities the church has tried to speak in, not one has successfully blocked its request. He said it is a lost court battle.

Standing outside the meeting, Glenn said he did not care.

"Even if it cost a million dollars," he said. "If we lost, at least we would have lost with dignity."

Dozens of churches and civic organizations across the Richmond area have issued statements condemning the group and its meeting. Some are planning protests and silent vigils. Many called The Times-Dispatch yesterday to voice their opinions.

Chester Clergy, a multiracial and multidenominational association, issued a statement that said discrimination of any kind would not be tolerated.

Tommy Baer, honorary president of B'nai B'rith International, said, "Hate is an incitement to violence. If the ACLU wants to sue, then we should let them sue."

Members of the Chester community are holding a unity meeting at Thomas Dale High School at 5 p.m. Saturday, which board members encouraged people to attend.

The Chesterfield County Democratic Committee will hold a stand for unity outside the library. The Rev. Harold Braxton said a number of groups of different races, including members of the Chesterfield branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will gather outside the library at 4 p.m. to be there when members of the World Church arrive.

Glenn said he not only plans to protest the World Church's meeting, he plans to attend it.

"I cannot sit by and watch this happen," he said. "We will take a stand."

If Chesterfield is your home, and you're pissed at this, go to that unity meeting and be with your brothers and sisters. I encourage anyone who is angry about this not to retailate. Don't stoop to their level. Pray for peace, keep the peace, and if you do go to protest at the library, please be safe. But if you do get hurt, sue the pants off of this "Church" as well as the ACLU.

Last night the Better Half and I watched a documentary on Chuck Jones, animator of Bugs, Daffy and some of the best damn cartoons in the U.S. Highlights included the Three Bears serial, as well as One Froggy Evening with Michigan J. Frog ("Hello my baby, hello my honey?), and the Dot and The Line. There was clip of The Opera episode (with Elmer Fudd singing "Kill the Wabbit.") and the Barber of Seville. And of course, the Coyote and the Road Runner. Very very funny stuff. It's really interesting what kind of an audience these cartoons aimed for, verses the actual audience. I mean, I was watching these cartoons when I was a kid, and the average Chuck Jones cartoon aims for an adult audience; it's rather sophisticated humor. I think that is what makes a good cartoon, one that can appeal to a mass audience. Today's good cartoons- Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, Simpsons and South Park- do just that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

I’m working now on a multi colored afghan with light and dark hued green and blue squares. I am gearing up for Christmas season. I will be busy.

For the UB Christmas charity auction, I plan to make a matching Dad and Kid UVA sweater set. Then on the list is a baby set for the Better Half’s college housemates, who are expecting in April. Their alma mater, Susquehanna University, happens to have the same colors as Virginia Tech, UVA’s arch rival. Next will be a sweater for the Better Half. He wants a V-neck orange and maroon sweater. I have to stock up on orange.

Not much to report. I rented Monster's Inc, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and Comic Book Villians.

Monster's Inc- Disney Pixar, John Goodman. Nuff said. Great plot, very funny.

40 Days and 40 Nights- Remember Pearl Harbor, or as it should have been called, Ben Affleck's Chest ? Okay, the guy who wasn't Ben, he stars in this movie about a guy who decides to get over his bitch ex by giving up sex for Lent. His friends are assholes, his female co-workers try to make him fall, and his seminarian brother, who is supposed to be the voice of reason, is an oversexed pious dick. This "religious-themed" movie would have been great, if it had the ending of Dogma, where all of these losers meet the fate of, hey, six degrees- BEN AFFLECK! But since that didn't happen, this Catholicism for Cheerleaders movie blew.

Comic Book Villians- Pulp Fiction meets Mallrats. I actually know guys who would commit crimes for comics, so this movie was rather entertaining. Also, it has Donal Logue in it, who is great in Grounded For Life, and The Tao of Steve.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Today I stopped by my grandmother's house. My cousin was there too, and I ended up staying two hours, catching up on family gossip and thensome. I then went to gather ingredients to make a chicken casserole for dinner. The Better Half came over and ate before he had to go tutor. I am waiting for him to come home. It's almost ten, and he said he'd probably be home around 8 or so. I have a feeling he's studying a bit. He is taking a rather difficult child development class for his teaching certification.

I was off today. I love working twelve hour shifts.

"In a conversation, do you listen, or wait to talk?"
That's a line from Pulp Fiction, if you didn't already know.

Lately, for some reason, I have been waiting to talk. Not really listening to people. I need to work on that.

Okay, so go ahead, I'm all ears....

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Tonight was my cousins' joint birthday. Brendan is 16, and Kelly is 12. I can't believe how much they have grown.

Also there were my other much younger cousins, Bridget and Gene. I spoil them. The big thing with them now is collecting pennies. I dug in my purse and retrieved some. Bridget immediately put it in a sock. Gene stuffed his in his pocket. He was watching me sort through my change and asked if he could have the big quarter that was a part of my change. I gave both him and Bridge some loose change. Later on, their mom told Bridget she had to give it back, but I insisted they keep it. Remember when you were little, and you got a quarter, through some stroke of luck? And how stoked you were? I do.

Later on, as they were getting ready to leave, Gene, being a typical 2 year old, threw a mini-tantrum because he wanted something he couldn't have. A few minutes later, he came up to me, with his chubby hand full of the change I had given him. I think his punishment was that he had to give back the change. I tried to tell him to keep it, but he ended up saying, "No, I can't." and walked away.
It broke my heart. So for Christmas I've decided to give them piggy banks full of change. Maybe stuff a dollar in their pockets once in a while. It couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

On this Day of Remembrance, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I had the day off. I knew I didn’t want to stay inside all day and watch the news coverage. I knew I needed to get out and do something to help my fellow man. Today, I signed up to become a Red Cross volunteer nurse. I donated a pint of blood. Tonight, I will remember those who lost their lives at Mass. I figure that is the least I could do.

Inspired by my friends, who gave a beautiful concert of “Songs of Courage and Faith,” last night, I post these two prayers. The first is a nondemoninational prayer for life. The second is a Catholic peace prayer to the Virgin Mother.

Creator of All,
You adorn all living things
With splendor and beauty
And fashion our lives
In your image and likeness

Awaken in every heart
Reverance for the work of your hands,
And renew among us
A readiness to nurture and sustain
Your precious gift of life.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Help us to conquer the menace of evil,
Which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
And whose immeasurable effects
Already weigh down upon our modern world
And seem to block the paths toward the future.
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every
Kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life, deliver us.
From hated and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God,
Deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international,
Deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the Commandments of God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ,
This cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole scenarios.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin:
Individual sin and the “sin of the world.”
Sin in all it’s manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world
The infinite saving power of redemption:
The power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil.
May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope. Amen.
Pope John Paul II

Monday, September 09, 2002

On my commute to work today, I hit some debris on the road, and it tore the plastic off of the bottom of my car! I was about an hour late for work, and I flubbed through the day.

In better news, The Better Half and I just got back from D.C., where we had so much fun. We went to the Health and Medical Museum at Walter Reed Hospital, and we went to the Spy Museum, which was incredibly interesting. We did so much walking, my feet and legs are aching! It was so much fun, and it was good to get away with my man for a while. I got to meet up with our friends Mike and Christina, and met John's friend Bob, who lives in D.C. We ate lots of great food- we found this great place in Chinatown with the best Chinese food! Sajji recommended a good restaurant in Georgetown that had great Gyros and Lebanese beer. I keep a running list of places I've had beer far I've drank beer and wine from about 7 countries and counting.

The Medical Museum was my choice on the itenerary. It is infamous for graphic examples of irregularities of human anatomy. Our friend Sajji said there would be lots of babies in jars, but we didn't see a whole lot of those. Plenty of gory medical was great!!! There was an exhibit on the rescue workers at the Pentagon, there was something about the MASH units of the Korean War, and some things on STDs. THere were health screenings the day we went, so pretty soon Oncoblog will feature prostate cancer information.

The Spy Museum was chosen by the Better Half. It is basically all about people get into it, how to be good at it and famous spies in history, including Mata Hari. At the end, there was a segment about current events. The theme of the spy museum is "Things are not what they appear to be." John thinks he could be a spy. I think he'd be a really sexy spy, better than Bond. Plus, since he worked in the Navy for a while, he does know a lot about survival and using his instincts.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

In brighter news, the latest issue of BUST came to my door today. It's entitled "The Sex Issue." It has Beck on the cover, as to convey a non-traditional view of what a sexually attractive person is. Not bad from what I've looked at so far.

I ended up doing quite well last night despite being gorked on Benadryl. Today I got about 5 hours sleep though, and surprisingly, I am not as bearish as I thought I'd be.
The Better Half came over and we watched the Sept 11 DVD together. It made us both tearful...we talked about what happened last year. After work that day, I went to his house and I collapsed on the sofa sobbing. He held me for the longest time and while it was almost agony to watch, we couldn't tear ourselves away. Later on that week, John's brother Tony, a firefighter in NJ, was called to Ground Zero to recover the victims. John said he still won't talk about it to this day. I can't seem to blame him.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

On my excursion to Target to buy a shower curtain rod, I came across the DVD of the HBO tribute to Sept. 11. I put it in and had to cut it off about 30 minutes into it. It is very intense, but at the same time very well done. If you go to OncoBlog, there is a new link to a website featuring the stories of the nurses at Ground Zero as well as in D.C. and other parts of the U.S. Some of these stories are incredible.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Yawn. I got my hours mixed up, and thought I was working at 11pm tonight. At 5:30pm, I took a Benadryl and then realized that I was scheduled to come in at 7pm! I panicked, and ran to the drug store to find something that I could use to counteract it.
I drank a buttload of caffiene, and so far, so good. Whew!

Last evening the Better Half and I had dinner with a family from the school where he teaches. It was fun. They showed us pictures of their recent trip to Disney World. We ate really good brisket.

We watched Heartbreak Ridge, another in a series of my Better Half’s favorite movie genre, the military drama. I am all for patriotism and supporting our troops, but most of these movies do nothing for me. The plot is similar in each one- group of ragtag bad seed recruits taken over by gruff and experienced but kindhearted captain/general/CO learn about becoming men through a series of military training rituals before the big finale in which they get to use their learned skills in a battle/competition/Army-Navy football game. Throw in a couple of explosions, some cadences, a precocious actor to provide comic relief, and military speak and you’ve got most of these movies. My Better Half still watches on, enthralled, and never fails to be surprised at the end of each of these movies. I try not to let my Better Half see my tears of boredom. As for me, I don’t tie myself down to one movie genre. Most of my DVDs are comedy and movies that I loved in my youth, like Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.

We do have a couple of movies we both like: Godspell being the most recent addition. Then there’s This is Spinal Tap, The Emperor’s New Groove, any of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 series, Saving Silverman, both Caddyshack movies (I prefer the first, the Better Half says the sequel is better) any Mel Brooks or National Lampoon movies, and the best comedy ever, Airplane!. Airplane! and Yingling beer were the two main catalysts to our relationship, granting the Better Half the confidence necessary to put the moves on. And the rest is history.

Monday, September 02, 2002

:*( My dog Ginger died yesterday.

Apparently, she wouldn't eat, and when they took her to the Pet ER, she died in the car on the way there. My mom said she didn't suffer, and it was exactly how she wanted Ginger to go. Ginger was 14 years old, and in people years, that is over one hundred. So, she had a long and happy life. She was very very smart. She taught the other dogs how to chase squirrels and how to open our sliding glass door with their front paws. It was very strange going over to the house and only seeing 2 dogs. It is going to take a lot of time to adjust.

Today the Better Half and I watched the movie Godspell for the very first time. It is so cute. I have a feeling if it was done at WYD, I would have had a better time. If my WYD had consisted of helping the Sisters of Mercy and Godspell, it would have been perfect.

There is a scene in Godspell in which the cast re-enacts their version of the Good Samaritan parable. In their own silly way, they rejoice. Jesus tells them instead to do a good deed in secret, and don't do good deeds in order to get recognition- that's the worst. I agree wholeheartedly, but I have to sometimes feel like a hypocrate because I do toot my own horn a lot, especially with my nursing. I guess I have to draw the line between informing about what nurses do and tooting my own horn.

That shouldn't be too difficult...right???

UPDATE TO ONCOBLOG: Jenn waxes philosophical to Fr. John about psychiatric patients.

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