Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Better Days

Happy New Year and God Bless!

I wish everyone was loved tonight, and somehow stop this endless fight, just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

Better Days - The Goo Goo Dolls

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Road Trip

christmastree My best laid plan was to give my cousins a sweetly placed Merry Christmas kiss, be home by 8pm, pack the car, bedded down by 10pm, sugar plums dancing in my head. I would then self-awaken fully rested by 4:00 am, walk the Immortal, gently nudge my daughter into morning and be on the road by 4:30 am.

By the time we got out of mass on Christmas Eve, it was 7pm, I had to clean out my car, grab the gifts for my cousins, and gas up the car. A martini and some champagne later, I was settled in for a rousing game of Seinfeld Scene It with the family. We got home at 10:30. No way I was going to pack at 10:30 and ruin the lovely little buzz I had going.

Woke up at 5, walked the dog, checked the email, packed, got the daughter up, and we were on the road by 6:30 am. Not bad all things considered. However, it is important to note that nothing is open Christmas Day (aren’t there any atheists operating a Starbucks? And why do atheists take the day off? Isn’t that antithetical to who they are? HEY! Atheists! Yoo hoo! Keep those Dunkin’ Donuts open and deposit your barrels full of money in the bank while taking advantage of we stupid Christian sheeple who are offending your very senses by celebrating the birth of our Lord and God! That’ll show us!) so we had to forgo the traditional Road Trip Start coffee.

Another tradition demands that we start the trip listening to Radio Classics on the Sirius satellite radio. We were enormously diverted by the warm fuzzy Christmas stories – the tale of how the song “Silent Night” came to be, “The Whistler” and his Christmas morality play of murder most foul, as well as “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon”. We listened to “The Bells of St. Mary’s” and a touching little piece Jimmy Stewart did in 1957 as part of “The Six Shooter” series, which was a western take off on “A Christmas Carol”.

rifle Warm and fuzzy ~ until Dragnet came on that is. “.22 Rifle for Christmas”. 10 year old finds the rifle his parents have lovingly wrapped a rifle as a happy gift to celebrate the day our Lord was born. He and his 8 year old buddy find it, play with it, 8 year old accidentally shoots self, horrified 10 year old puts him in his little red wagon, drags him to a cave, prays to God for a Christmas miracle to save 8 year old. Kid’s dead. The last line of the program, “Don’t give your kids a rifle for Christmas”. That was just awful. Merry Christmas Jimmy, you’re dead.

Other than that weep fest, our drive up was a good one. The weather was fine and gas is cheaper than it’s been in 5 years. What’s not to love? My son and his wife had a wonderful dinner on the table and we had a wonderful afternoon.

Most fun for the day was driving up to see my Mom. I hadn’t told her I was coming up for Christmas, so when I got to her house, I engagement ringshusshed my sister and walked into Mom’s room. The surprise on her face – I wish I could have captured it. Having learned my older sister got an engagement ring for Christmas I pressed her into coming to Mom’s so we could celebrate and hear all about it. My big sister has had it tough for a long time and it’s her turn to be happy. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!

It was a really joyful evening and worth the 6.5 drive up.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kingdom of the Winds (ep. 18 – 26)

Between making cookies, Legion of Mary work, and attending a party last weekend, I sandwiched in some KotW time. I had promised my k-drama chums that I’d catch up. Something had to give, so I didn’t clean.

It was a win win!

And this is by no means a blow by blow account of each episode. These are meandering thoughts that occurred to me as I watched.


We get an Emperor of the Sea Man-Pain moment when Dojin is drinking away his shock realizing that little Cardboard Face is in love with Muhyul. Main-Pain = drinking alone and swiping all one's dishes on to the floor in a fit of rage, again, a la Emperor of the Sea and Yeom Moon.

Ep. 20
Remarkable, I thought, for two things: 1) It showed how inept King Yuri is that in one generation removed from Jumong, his border guards degenerated into drunken womanizing sots. I don't know why Daeso prepared for war for so long. I little reconnaissance would show that Goguryeo's soldiers weren't up for it. And:

2) SIG facial hair. It's about time.

I’ve decided that the actress playing Yeon is being directed to look just like the little drawing of Yeon in the comic books with the big eyes bright with tears. It’s her only form of emoting.

Ep. 21

It’s hard for me not to compare EotS SIG with KotW SIG, (probably because of the facial hair). I find this interesting because I never did this with Jumong SIG. I rewatched a few scenes of EotS SIG and found him again to be absolutely superb in the role. His angst was portrayed so subtly and delicately. It makes me wonder if he was more relaxed during the filming of EotS - he wasn't carrying the lead role, though Yeom Moon was a significant one - it wasn't the lead. Maybe that's the difference.

Yeon's looking like crap, and Dojin's hair has gotten weird, his black bangs covering one eye. It’s almost like the dark continues to take over the man; the hatred and jealousy he feels for Muhyul continues to eat at him and he gets darker. Or maybe it’s just that the actor’s eye got wounded on the set and they are trying to cover it up. Yeah, that one.

Ep. 23

The Littlest Yeojin finally grew a pair and told his mother off. Good for him.

Ep. 24 - 25

I’m getting very tired of Dojin and his repeated commitment to Fat Daeso: "If you only allow me, I will get rid of the Goguryeo royal family". I don't know what's worse, his broken record or the fact that Yuri keeps believing him.

The best and sweetest moment was when Princess Seryu invited Goeyu to her bed. A thoroughly modern Milly, Seryu sees what she wants and takes it. Goeyu politely drinking the wine at the pretty little table she sets up for him. Goeyu’s eyes saying “Does this mean what I think it means?” Seryu’s eyes responding, “Oh yeah baby it does.” Then Maro’s and Balso’s repeated congratulations to him the next day.

Muhyul marries the Beeyotch Queen but does not consummate the union. Ouch.

Muhyul and Yeon also say their goodbyes. A brave move on the part of the writers by giving Munwha Yeon so much dialogue all at once. She didn't do too badly; she kept her eyes nice and bright.

Ep. 26

Whoops! Bad timing on their parts, but in the better late than never column ~evil eyebrows a newly wedded Muhyul and doe eyed Munwha Yeon use a cold and secluded cabin to succumb to their low-banked yearning for each other and spend the night together, likely conceiving baby Hodong. Beeyotch Queen who evidently has some supernatural gift that allows her to sniff out adultery, shows up at war camp. She’s pretty mad. I gotta say, she has some fabulously evil eyebrows.

Kim Il-Stalker

Guest-Blogger-Who-Never-Blogs-Anymore, Starbuck, and I went to a charity event last week at a local tavern – Casino Night. $20 bought chips and play on several gaming tables. GBWNBA is the family craps-maven and we took our places next to her at the table.

It can get macabre, really, when GBWNBA and I go out. Our frustrated inner profilers lunge to the surface and we begin to identify certain “types”.

dahmer “Dahmer, two-o-clock,” I spy. GBWNBA was on the fence with the make, but entertained a gentleman five players down at the craps table.

“There’s your Gacy,” says GBWNBA. “Looks friendly enough. Probably has a clown suit in the trunk.” gacy

I contend that being aware of one’s surroundings lessens the potential one will become a victim. My daughter claims I have created in her a helpless paranoiac destined for agoraphobia.

All in good fun.

Meet up Group Familiars along with Local Tavern Regulars were in attendance at the annual casino event. Jack Daniels, our miscreant from the Great Bonfire Event of two months ago was in attendance. His antics had reached a level of infamy and GBWNBA thought it might be amusing to take off her wedding ring to see if he would attempt to pour his smooth and sultry brand of intoxication into her shot glass, in a manner of speaking. She was wanting to teach him a lesson.

She got attention all right. But not from Jack Daniels.

Ekijnter Kim Il-Stalker, Asian-American, good looking, with a blackberry surgically attached to his palm. His radar pinged on GBWNBA like a tween iming her best friend about vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen.

Il-Stalker slid in next to GBWNBA, asked how to initiate play, thinking he could drop a $20 bill on the craps table. I imagine that he also goes into a grocery store and thumps melons that aren’t ripe. She explained that he’d need to get chips, outlined the rules very succinctly and then focused on Starbuck and I since we were newbies to the table.

It was plain that Kim Il-Stalker was smitten. He sort of puppy dogged her around the bar, blackberry still attached, sat behind her as she played black jack, expressed dismay when she said she wasn’t going to be at the Meet Up Christmas shindig Saturday night. He went so far as to try to talk her into it.

GBWNBA tired early, said her goodbyes to Starbuck and I and started to make her way to her car.

“Can I have your phone number or email or something?”

Taken unawares, GBWNBA spun around. Thinking it would be easier to placate than reject, she naively gave him her email address. I say naively because her email address has the full spelling of her last name and her place of employment. Some pointed googling would further expose her.

He emailed her the next day, extending an invitation to get to know her better. She emailed him back, politely declining the invitation.

Saturday evening; Christmas party. Helpful advice was given to Starbuck on Kim Il Stalker’s status as something of a libertine. Apparently, KIS is a player, pursues women relentlessly, uses his blackberry to collect pictures of his targets.

Starbuck sees Kim Il Stalker come in.

“Hey, is your friend coming?” he casually asks.

“Sister. I’m her sister and nd forget it, she’s married.”

“Married?! She didn’t tell me she was married. She emailed me.”

“She responded to your email. She was being nice. She’s not interested.”

KIS’s disappointment lasted as long as it took him to find another chick willing to engage in some heavy petting in the basement. Both resurfaced an hour later, sloe eyed and hickeyed up.

KIS wasn’t done. As I sat across from him, he engaged a drunken festivity participant in his diatribe of betrayal, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

“See? This is the girl I met Thursday night,” sporting a picture of my cousin on his cell phone, “She didn’t tell me she was married.”

I understood that this was directed at me, but I wasn’t sure what point he was trying to make. What, she betray you, Romeo? She aware that you were capturing her digital image on your cell phone, Pig? She give permission for that?

“That’s f****** up man.” Slurry boy slurred, “s’fuuuuuuu******* up.”

GBWNBA called me the next day, some concern in her voice. “I’m two steps away from coming home and finding a rabbit boiling over on my stove reading a note, I’M NOT GONNA BE IGNORED!”

We joked a little, analyzed the thing, considered options. The best option was to ignore him and figure he’d go away to chase a less-married, more needy skirt.

Except he found her on Facebook and sent her a message. “Your sister told me you were married. She told me to forget it. SHE SAID FORGET IT!”

If he writes on her wall to “…bring over the dog, I’m a great cook,” she might be another step closer to the bunny.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Horoscopes, Books, National Shrine, Christmas

My Facebook horoscope for the today said:

When someone calls you in for a meeting, don't panic. It's actually good news, so stop expecting the worst..

Is it possible that this meant the 90 seconds it took for my colleague and I to decide what to order for lunch?  It was good news that we were still able to get the crab cakes so, spooooooky accurate for the day!

My Chinese dragon horoscope on Facebook said:

dragon7 You may be considering offering a friend a spot on the tour bus you are booking, but think about it. Will they really be that harmonious a traveling companion? Are your interests in line? You might have to juggle things a lot before you can make it work.

So is tour bus a euphemism for something?  Perhaps it references the vehicle I will be taking to drive to NY?  Does this allege I should leave my daughter behind, lest my trip be not harmonious?  Can’t see how I can do that and not get hauled in for neglect.  Perhaps it alludes to the love interest that yesterday’s horoscope promised.  Maybe THAT’S the tour bus – the tour bus of LOVE I am booking. 

Is it a wonder I don’t take any of that seriously?

My voracious reader’s appetite has me continuing to plow through the JD Robb “…in Death” series.  I find that series to be the most engaging of the Nora Roberts books – the MacGregor books were fun, and I’m only starting in on the Pagan Stone trilogy, but from the first book, “Imitation in Death” I was hooked on the writing, the characters, the wit and the overall smartness of the tone.  I have read 16 in the series so far, though not in order, and have enjoyed every single one.  I will be sad when I have completely caught up and have to wait for the next book to be published. 

Just as my daughter craves Edward Cullen, so I crave Roarke.

I learned last night at my Legion of Mary meeting that friends are headed to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Scary Jesus Immaculate Conception tonight for midnight mass.  I so want to go, but am unable to work out the logistics.  I have to read at mass at 6pm tonight, go to my cousin’s house for festivities, pack the car for the trip to NY, get up at 4am and go.  I am sad I won’t be able to go to midnight mass there.  The Basilica is beautiful and I can imagine it is more so at Christmas.

My daughter and I went to the Shrine two years ago for Easter mass.  We walked through the upper church, eyeing the Scary Jesus fresco the whole time feeling like he was watching our every move…IN OUR SOULS.  We also went into the little Lourdes grotto downstairs to light some candles. 

I remember the first time I ever went there, when I first moved to the Northern VA area.  It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in October.  I had no idea that it was some special occasion attended by Bishop Loverde who was led in by the Knights of Columbus in full reglia, a chamber orchestra, a childrens’ choir and an adult choir.  I got a little worked up at the majesty of it all and I cried.  I get like that sometimes.  When I am properly disposed, the mass moves me.

Still in all, I will attend mass at 6pm tonight, receive communion, shake hands and share hugs with kith and kin :) and I will not only dream of a white Christmas, but tomorrow celebrate it with my children around me. 

On the holiest of nights, on the most blessed of days, I am the luckiest of women.

Merry Christmas.  God Bless.

More Boredness

I came to the conclusion today that the company I work for must get a break on their heating bill if they turn on the air conditioning so that it blows directly on my right hand and arm. 

It is the only possible explanation for the cold air that pours out of the vent above me.  I decided to go out in 20 degree weather for lunch so I could get in my car and turn on the heat.  Hell on the mileage, but I was certain I would lose my fingers due to frostbite if I didn’t.

This plan was successful. 

My horoscope on Facebook brought several moments of terror:

You will be seconds away from making a huge mistake, but you will stop yourself just in time. That was close..

Phew.  Crisis averted!  I wonder what the huge mistake was?  Not parking on the deserted second floor of the parking garage?  Not listening to CNN?  Heeding the faxed advice of future self urgently urging me to NOT drink the coffee because it was poisoned? 

I guess I’ll never know.

My Chinese horoscope was a little more direct:

You may be considering taking a class, attending a lecture or traveling soon. If you are still single, it will be at a venue where ideas are shared and explored that you will find new romantic opportunities. If you are already married, your partner may give you a new book to read.

Wow – I AM traveling soon – driving to NY for Christmas!  How did it know that??  (Notice how I glibly ignore the “you may be..” part along with my other  How did it KNOW that I AM SINGLE!!!  MAYBE I’ll finally find my new romantic interest! 

Good thing I am not married to that pathetic cheap book buying bastard.  I’m just sayin’.

Another catastrophe was avoided today when I helped route a dropped envelope to the mail room.  Thank God the company has me here this week.

One day to go.  Legion meeting tonight, the laundry and cleaning last minute sprint will begin after that.  I have Thursday and Friday off, driving to New York to spend time with kith and kin.  Kith.  Kith.  What IS that?  Ah – familiar friends, neighbors or relatives.  Now I know. 

Wait, here’s another horoscope:

Although you may be quite willing to experience the shadowy side of love, it's because you know that sweet delights can be in store once you process darker feelings that are in the way. But today you might be stuck and unable to move beyond habitual patterns of negativity. Don't worry; the clouds will clear and you'll be feeling more upbeat before you even know what happened.

Hmmm, maybe THAT’S what I stop myself from doing “just in time”.  Indulging in the “darker feelings” that are on the way.

Queue the creepy music.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Want to Eat My Face

Bored this week. Our company has a shut down the last two weeks of the year, but since I am considered “essential”, I was asked to work. Well, not asked. Told. But it’s ok; means I don’t have to use any of my vacation time.

Since there is no one else here, that means though, that no work is being generated and I’m bored. It follows then, that the most asinine things amuse and enrich the dullest of days….

Did you know that you can wish someone Merry Christmas in Klingon? It’s true – and modify it for a person or for a whole GROUP of Klingons!Klingon_Photo

QISmaS DatIvjaj 'ej DIS chu' DatIvjaj (sg)

QISmaS botIvjaj 'ej DIS chu' botIvjaj (pl)

This may come in handy if my next obsessive phase is set to stun.

Crises were then averted when I was able to email some scanned documents.

High drama then ensued when someone came up to me and ask if I knew why there were no telephones in any of the conference rooms. Indeed, this was odd. I did some investigation. First I called reception:

“Can you tell me if conference room phones have been secured through the shut down?”

“No. You can call security.”

Can you put me through?”


Ring ring ring.

Security.” chew, chew chew, smack, swallow.

Who’s this?”

Chew; “Kim Il Stalker”, (oh sorry, ‘nother blog), “Tim. the sounds of tongue cleaning one’s teeth can be heard.

“Tim, can you tell my why there are no phones in the conference rooms on my floor?”


Should it be reported?”

“I don’t know why it should be.”

If the phones were stolen, shouldn’t I be making you aware of it?”

OH! THEY’VE BEEN STOLEN?” No chewing now.

“I don’t know that they’ve been stolen Tim, I’m trying to determine where they might be.”

“You can talk to my boss.”

Great. Can you transfer me?”

Ring ring ring.


Hi, who’s this?”

Suspicious and annoyed brief pause, contemplating my temerity in demanding a first name.


Hi, Rosella, can you tell my why there are no phones in the conference rooms on my floor?”

“Uh, no."

Should that be reported?”

Thick with attitude, and this is a supervisor, mind you. Uh, phones is not a security issue maam."

“Are stolen phones a security issue Rosella?”

You can almost hear her spine snap as it straightens up with the prospect of office chicanery.

“OH! Yes! They were stolen?"

“I don’t know Rosella, I only know that there were phones there, and they are no longer there. It’s possible they were secured for the shutdown, but I can’t find anyone with any information.”

“Well, we can fill something out,"

In the meantime, the other “essential” person in the department came waltzing over – non-security personnel by the way. His investigative work complete. And yes, the phones were secured in a safe location.

“Never mind Rosella, we got it.”

Nervous, and finally respectful voice was turned on, OK, thank you, maam."

See? Drama. It’s gonna be a loooooong 2 weeks.

Oh, and by the way:

메리 크리스마스 잘 지내고 새해 복 많이 받으세요
meli kliseumaseu jal ji naego saehae pog manhi pateuseyo

(“Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, you’re doing well”)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kingdom of the Winds (eps 15 – 17)

To be fair, no k-drama series swept me off my feet in the first several episodes. Except maybe for “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”; that series picked up the funny ball right away and kept going with it. By the time it got a little more serious, you were in love with the characters and pulling for Sam Soon all the way.

Even my beloved “Thank You” – didn’t capture my heart immediately. It took me four or five episodes before I was aching for these characters. It’s easier though, when you know there is a lovely defined number of episodes. “Thank You” had 16, so thank goodness I was captured by the 4th episode. Jumong had 81 and I don’t think I really enjoyed much of it until episode 22. That’s a tremendous investment of time when you aren’t feeling the love.

Kingdom of the Winds starts to heat up a bit now that we are nearly halfway through.

Episode 15

The love triangle between Muhyul, Yeon, and Dojin is starting to sizzle a bit! Spying our flirty couple stealing a comforting embrace, Dojin feels anger in his loins.

sig You see, while running Black Ops for Buyeo (long story), Muhyul and Dojin bond. bizzaro sigThey consider themselves brothers. You’d almost think they were brothers, our mirror-image dopplegangers look so much alike.

During their last parting, a necklace was touchingly exchanged for weapons blueprints. Up to now, there has been a little push me pull you between Muhyul and Dojin regarding Cardboard Face Yeon. They both love her, but you get the impression that either would give her up for the other.

Times and circumstances change for our boys in black. Dojin has decided to take the path of evil while Muhyul decides to trod the path of the righteous. Caught in between is Cardboard Face. It’s pretty clear to us that she loves Muhyul as a man, and she loves Dojin as a brother, but this is not clear to Dojin. Dojin gots himself a bellyful of wants. He wants his family’s honor to be reinstated. He wants to take his rightful place as the heir to Daeso as King. He wants Yeon by his side as his wife.

Meanwhile Muhyul gets busted by some guys playing the palace machinations game for being a former Black Op of Buyeo. By this time, Yuri knows that Muhyul is his mostly dead son from 20 years ago, he just hasn’t told Muhyul that yet. So when Yuri gets wind that Palace Shenanigans are taking place, he goes stomping off to save his son.

It’s a pretty powerful moment at the end of episode 15, with dramatic kingy music playing. Gave me quite the little thrill. The guy playing Yuri is one of the better actors in this series.

Episode 16

I think it was in this episode, where Muhyul takes on more of a leadership role with Gorguryeo’s soldiery that I realized something about SIG. He just doesn’t do scrappy youngster well. He annoyed me in Jumong (those first 22 episodes), and just bugged me so much in Lobbyist I couldn’t even finish it. Here in KotW, I realized that this was where my ageda came from. SIG has a certain screen presence that doesn’t lend itself well to being doofy and truculent. When he’s King of Gorgureyo, when he’s hot king pirate in Emperor of the Sea – he’s thrilling. Scrappy? Not so much.

So in this episode we get “take charge” Muhyul. He’s training soldiers to be able to defy Buyeo’s Black Ops. He’s strong and tough. He’s intelligent and with purpose. He lights up the screen and you finally feel his charisma again. About effing time.


It was otherwise an unremarkable episode really, though we get some fine screen time with Muhyul and the Bizzaro Muhyul (Dojin) where there is some underlying tension while on the surface they act as brothers. Bizzaro Muhyul makes sure that Muhyul knows how he feels about Yeon and what his expectations are. He wants her for his wife and he does it all very softly and carefully, like we’re all pals here, marking his territory. I like the chemistry between Muhyul and Dojin much much more than I like the chemistry between Cardboard Face and anyone.

These two have started circling one around the other and it’s becoming interesting.

Episode 17

The best episode so far.

Secrets secrets secrets. The secret of Muhyul’s lineage is about to explode. Dojin, who has sided with Palace Machinations and his ilk, has deduced who Muhyul is and conspires to play on the people’s fear by spreading rumors and poisoning the water. Muhyul, rather than swallow the whole “the gods are punishing us all because of the ghost prince” does some fine investigative work in an effort to soothe the populace.

He does so well, that Princess Seryu (his sister but he doesn’t know it yet) asks him to look into the possibility that her mostly dead brother is still alive. He scouts out the tomb where the royal relics are and discovers who he is. In case there is any uncertainty, Yuri follows, unaware that Muhyul is nearby and laments Muhyul’s twisted and black fate.

SIG’s performance here was exquisite. The shock and panic as he puts it all together, the horror at who he is, what his fate is, that he was a real brother to Haemyoung, and that people are already dead because of him hits him hard. I was looking for overacting here, but found myself lost in the character and his anguish.

Muhyul then thinks back through his life and most touching are his moments with Haemyoung, looking at them now with the eyes of understanding. They really were brothers. His brother sincerely loved him, showed him so, wanted to protect him and teach him ~ just wanted to be a big brother. Very moving. I got choky.

I’m now eagerly anticipating future episodes where SIG grows some facial hair. As does his doppleganger, Bizzaro. A good twin and a bad twin. Hot.

bizzaro hair

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kingdom of the Winds (eps 11 – 14)

Lots of spoilers in this – you don’t want ‘em, don’t read ‘em.

The last time I wrote about KotW, I was at episode 10. I was still waiting for the magic to hit. I wasn’t feeling the love and I was becoming discouraged. I backed away and I felt bad; I had done the same thing with “The Lobbyist” and never went back.

So, I made the effort. I carved out some time this weekend between laundry, steam cleaning the rugs and decorating for Christmas to try to reinvest in this series. It took me considerable effort, as you will see from my notes:

Episode 12

Muhyul has abducted Yeojin in an effort to flush out King Yuri so he can exact his revenge. Now up to know, we have endured Muyhul’s torture at a variety of hands, poisoning (where we got to see feet), dozens of arrows to the body, and all-but-fatal sword cuts so that we can get to see his love interest, Dr. Buyeo Princess Yeon, nurse him back to health.

In this episode, Muhyul has abducted the King’s youngest son, Yeojin in an attempt to flush out the king and exact his revenge. His ploy is successful; King Yuri rides out alone to save his son.

arrow to back In the manner of evil doers everywhere when their prey is in their scope; Muhyul, rather than just putting an arrow in Yuri’s eye, has to tell Yuri all, why he is exacting his revenge. As the scene comes to a shuddering climax, Muhyul shakes with rage and as he is about to make good his word, the three cabelleros shoot three arrows, dead center spine and Muhyul falls. Of course, since this is the star of the show, we know he will make a full recovery and so aren't over worried. He's like Jason in the Friday the 13th movies, they keep killing him and killing him, but he just won't die.

Episode 13sick muyhul

My disillusion with the drama continues as this was all interesting in the episode I could find to write about:

In episode 13, we get the miraculous white cloth of life AGAIN herbssopping up the sweat of impending death AGAIN and for the 147th time, Muhyul wakes up looking into Dr. Yeon's worried eyes AGAIN. After applying the pus-sucking herbs of healing, Muhyul recovers.

I wanted to eat my face off.

Episode 14

I was apparently warming up to the series, since my sarcasm quotient went down slightly:

Muhyul is shown the error of his ways in that his reasons for vengeance were flawed. He cries a lot and uses the churning adams apple of emotion and wants to make up for his mistakes by becoming a double spy on Buyeo (Daesoland). daesos shot To prove his worth, Muhyul is determined to steal secret documents and kill King Daeso. He gets the documents, and shoots an arrow center mass into Daeso's chest from a fine vantage point. Since men seem to die from less in battle, you’d think it would be all over for that miserable fat tub of lard in yellow. I don’t think anyone sharpens the arrows in Gorguyeo because I'm pretty sure Daeso lives.

flirtysig A sweet moment while little cardboard face Dr. Yeon (sorry, she’s not a very good actress)flirty cardboard face is busily tending to the unwashed masses. Muhyul butts in line all flirty. “Oooh, oooh, my heart hurts, can you fix it?” Gooey looks are exchanged while men are oozing blood and junk out of their faces. Hey, Doc's gotta get some. We get a trademarked SIG headhug between Muhyul and Yeon. Worth the episode.headhug I was still not invested.

Monday, December 1, 2008


How was your Thanksgiving?

Spent mine in bed. And not in the good way.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my throat said howdy to the killer bees that wanted to scout the area. My chest, always friendly, shook hands with the marauders, invited them in for tea and alveoli. I raced home to douse myself with Vitamin C and Echinacea, the palliative endorsed by millions and I went to bed with hope.

Shortlived hope and dashed the next day. Felt like junk. Throat bees were constructing some migrant accomodation and a few decided to reconnoiter into my ears making it difficult to hear at work.

There went the plans. Plans of making chocolate creme pies and rutabega for the family feast ~ dried up. Plans of snacking and picking and conventional Thanksgiving overindulgence ~ dashed. I sent my daughter over with pies and spent the day on the couch.

4 days in bed. The bees and I watched 6 episodes of "Third Rock from the Sun", 9 episodes of "Coffee Prince", and a half hearted attempt at "Cold Case Files". We read 2 paperbacks, 1.5 hardcover books, consumed countless Excedrin, Advil, Tylenol, Dayquil, cough drops, throat lozenges and tissues. We gargled with warm salt water, later with dissolved aspirin in warm water, took at least 8 baths, and a cold wet washcloth, a thermometer and heating pad saw constant use. Bees didn't care. They allowed me these small indulgences.

Kept my daughter away from the bees as much as possible. The Immortal was happy enough to sleep by the door and come over to lick my face occasionally. Bees don't like him.

I missed Thanksgiving Dinner, Black Friday, a birthday party (for several women, one of whom was ME), confession and mass.

Sunday, I felt like getting out of bed and taking a shower. This exhausted me, but I was able to freshen up and lay on the couch. The bees had gotten quiet ~ I think they knew their long weekend was over and it was time to pack the kids and whatever vocal chord they took a shine to and move on to the next community. I spent the whole day watching "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy on TNT - I think it's almost like 12 hours of movie. I fell in love with the characters and the movie all over again and didn't mind a bit.

The silver lining was that I had that full four days to recover from the killer bee infestation. I didn't have to go in to work OR take sick time.

And for that, I was thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lacie - An Appeal

I've written about Little Lacie of the Enormous Brain a few times. Wanted to update and make a request.

Lacie is going in for her surgery the beginning of December.

Many have been privileged to read and be part of this tiny little woman's incredible journey. Out of her generosity, and let's face it, her need to make sense of this whole process, she let us in. I've known her for, I don't know, going on 10 or 11 years now, and the way she has carried herself throughout has been an inspiration to me as I know she has been an inspiration to countless numbers.

Today's request/plea though is this: I want us to buy Lacie some wigs. She has resoundingly approved of this idea and fully intends to wear whatever we buy her. We can get some lovely things here at a very reasonable price, or you can be more conservative here, but slightly more expensive. While I may look for something in a Scully fashion, I might decide to pander to Lacie's geekier side and get The Matrix Twins Wig. :)

Here's what I would like you to do: if you want in, if you want to in some small way, help support this beautiful woman who has inspired and moved us, email me at I will coordinate the types of wigs so there is no duplication, tell you where to ship them to make sure they get to Lacie so she can smile and feel your love. If you can't afford a wig, which is cool, email me and I'll collect cards, letters, emails, and love for her and deliver them in a happy package to her door.

Cards and words of encouragement for her husband John would be a great idea too. I know what it's like to have a spouse in the hospital. I know what its like to carry the load at home, caring for the kids, working, rushing to the hospital, and worrying all the time.

Let's show Lacie and her family how much she has touched our lives, while she Lives Loves and Laughs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last blog, we had Belly Drama, Car Drama, Comedy-Drama Drama and Korean Drama.

I had hoped life was ready to return to normal. We had anticipated family coming in for Meg's play and we weren't disappointed. Adam (Ensign Parkinson) and Rob (Meg's Dad) merged north and south for their favorite girl.

Adam got in town Thursday afternoon and was able to enjoy opening night with my family. He bit his nails with everyone else when we feared Meg would shame herself and vomit on stage.

He then spent a wonderful Friday golfing, singing karaoke, working the room, and hitting on women.

Saturday broke with Adam feeling a bit off. We assumed it had to do with the amount of beers gleefully consumed at the club the night before. We set off to pick up Rob up at the airport.

On the way home, in the furthest of four lanes of traffic, Adam turned to me and said, "I'm going to throw up."

Since this announcement was without warning, I registered surprise, "Are you serious?" Adam turned his head and a torrent was desposited on the floor of my car.

I guess he was serious.

I pulled over the four lanes as I scrambled to unlock the door and open the window at the same time. The boy was trying to find the handle to the door and the Dad was anxiously looking for some way to help from the back seat. Adam finally got the door open, we found a blanket in the trunk to sop up the goo and did our best to console Adam as he continued to rid himself of whatever it was he had in his stomach.

Can't much top that and the rest of the afternoon was something of a denouement as I took my car to get detailed, and we all stuck around home as Adam struggled to feel better. During Meg's final night, the poor guy just wanted to die, but stayed there for his sister.

And so in one day and in one fell swoop, we had belly drama, car drama, and comedy-drama drama.

The weekend of Melodrama.

Monday, November 17, 2008

(More) Belly Drama, Car Drama, Comedy-Drama Drama, Precious Little K-Drama

It is my goal to keep my life drama-free.I like getting up at 6am and putting on my RPI sweatshirt to walk Buddy WhoisImmortal. I wake up my daughter.I check my emails and if I have time, my Facebook. I then shower, dress, and get ready for work.My commute is predictable based on the time of day, and I like to get in to the office a half hour early.I anticipate my routine at night and get irritable if it is thwarted o’er much. Not quite a slave to my routine, but I’m certainly its’ sycophant.

I can make exceptions – and do – life is filled with unexpected color and we have to roll with it when God decides to gild the fresco.

Last Monday morning, 12:33 am. I wake with a gurgly stomach. My first thought, no wait. My first thought was to make it to the bathroom; which I barely did. Gurgly stomach turned into explosive vomit. Sans graphic language: I have yet to clean off the ceiling in my bathroom and I threw my back out as my body rejected what was left of dinner 9 hours before.

My second thought was for my daughter. This week was the big play; she was playing Penny Sycamore in her high school production of “You Can’t Take it With You”. Meg had the largest female role and she had been working for weeks on it. This was obviously on Meg’s mind too as I hear her frightened chirp of “Do you think I’ll get it?” in between yakking.

After scrubbing the bathroom down with bleach,throwing rugs and towels into the wash, showering, and changing, I was able to convince her it was probably something I ate. My subsequent fever and body aches belied this but I decided not to tell her. I’d just avoid physical contact. Belly Drama.

The silver lining for Monday was that I was able to play catchup on all the episodes of The Great King Sejong that I had sitting idle. Good show btw. Precious little, but it was still Korean Drama.

Tuesday afternoon; back at work. My son’s wife called me to tell me that Josh was in a car accident. Not the call you ever want to get. He was ok, banged up a little, sore, car got it pretty bad, but he was ok. Could have been so much worse. Thank you God for taking care of my boy. Car Drama.

Thursday morning (opening night). I was having some pretty weird dreams about being mad at someone at a party and cleaning the ceiling with a mop (heh – just got that - I obviously still had not cleaned my bathroom thoroughly). In the dream several people were trying to get me to stop cleaning the ceiling by calling my attention: “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. MOM. MOM. MOM!"

I woke up. My daughter was calling me. “Mom.I feel sick.” Meg had caught the bug. We tried to tell ourselves it was opening night jitters, until she called me at work to tell me she hurled in the girls dressing room at school that afternoon. I told her to take a hot bath (hot bath cures everything) and rest.

Bless her, the show had to go on and she performed flawlessly. Just before the performance, she told me she had alerted the sound guy that if she said, “Could you excuse me a minute? I’ll be right back.” and it wasn’t in the script, to cut her mic because she was going to be puking in the bucket they had handy for her backstage. Family was on horrified tenterhooks when we heard her say “Could you kids excuse me a minute? I’ll be right back.” But thankfully, it was part of the script and the show went on. Comedy-Drama Drama.

A week filled with drama. I embrace the stories, but I’ll be glad when life gets back to normal.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Voting Opera

Shame this wasn't posted before the election - it's cute. Long, but cute. It's a - micro-opera about the undecided voter, the methods used by the parties and the media to present their candidate, and the almost rabid push to get out the vote. An archetypical teen twist at the end lays bare the mind of youth.

Or maybe it's just a bunch of silly kids trying to get a good grade on their school project.

My daughter Meg and a bunch of her friends from high school wrote it, scored it, choreographed it, filmed it and directed it. Her drama teacher makes an appearance as Joe Biden near the end.

It's long and I may be the only person who gets a kick out of this, but I thought it was fun - (Palin's cute).

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Went to a bonfire last night with Starbuck. Having been to a few bonfires when I lived in upstate New York, all was as I suspected. A large fire, hotdogs, marshmallows, jello shots. Starbuck had expected a Texas A&M Log-o'-Death-Fest, and so was mildly disappointed.

Started out as tame as could be; quite a panoply of characters to get to know and observe. Let's be clear however: this was coordinated by a "Meetup Group" ~ adults who are in general unconnected looking to connect. To find "the one". To have a good time. To maybe meet Mr. or Ms. Right. To form a relationship. To get laid.

Or to get tanked. Whichever came first. In a manner of speaking.

I'll call character #1 Jack Daniels. Friendly fella, making nice with all the ladies; had brought a tent, as did several others, to camp out for the night and not risk a DWI on the way home. Full of the milk of human kindness, he invited all to doze in his tabernacle of friendship should they find themselves spent and in need of a place to rest their weary heads, a peaceful abode of slumber - all above board, no monkey business, we're all friends here. A grand fellow; a true advocate of the drinking man.

It didn't take long for our champion of bonhomie to size up the herd, lope to his tent and whip out a bottle of Jack Daniels to dangle in front of his prey, one woman, well juiced.

"I don't know. I just don't get it. I find a guy, I like him, and then he leaves me. I just don't understand. What am I doing wrong?"

A friendly rub of the arm, a few sympathetic noises. A soothing bottle of Jack Daniels shimmering delicately in the light of the fire.

"No. Seriously. What am I doing wrong? I just don't understand."

"You just need to talk it out don't you? Come over here where it's quiet," our Lothario, ooozing understanding, willing to open the Secrets of Man playbook to a woman whose tank was 3/4 full smoothed the path to his tent, "You know, guys are just dicks sometimes..."

This was all Starbuck and I heard before the tent was zipped open and our friends were cocooned in it's dark embrace.

Meanwhile, Starbuck was employing her considerable charm on several of the menfolk. In her element, she boldly proclaimed herself a Girl Scout Leader who could make an oven out of nothing but a box and tinfoil, bake muffins, start fires and cook spider dogs after bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and never get it. Character #2, who we'll call Ted Kaczinsky, was intrigued. He moved in behind her and whispered;

"I'm the king of bullshit and can smell it where it sits. I'm smelling some right here. That was pretty smooth." He moved away smiling with his pole of hot dogs at full mast. It was apparently the remark about being a Girl Scout Leader that captivated Ted. He quietly boasted to Starbuck that he had been an Eagle Scout. In a manly show of dexterity, Kaczinsky deftly balanced the shaft that held his two hot dogs over glowing coals.

I had been chatting with a technical writing enthusiast and so was not privvy to all of Kaczinsky's love talk, but I had a hard time trying to hide my horror as he offered one ash-covered dog to Technical Writer. "Oh," murmured Starbuck, "You got a little dirt on that." Perhaps it was the way of the Eagle Scout to eat his hot dogs with chunks of burning wood embedded, I can't be sure. Always quick thinking and kind, Starbuck cleansed the offering with some of her beer.

Technical Writer ate it. We continued chatting.

Kaczinsky opened up to Starbuck, lamenting that his fondest dream was to retire and learn to fish from his kayak, but when duty called one must answer. Apparently when he was in fourth grade he was chosen for his genius among his classmates to participate in a special program for the particularly gifted (apparently part of the curriculum was his training and eventual soaring to the rank of Eagle Scout) and was eventually culled out of that crowd as well and trained by the CIA, Special Operatives.

Now Starbuck is either a terrific sport, or naively credulous, "Oh! Really? Were you in something like the Navy Seals?"

"Navy Seals wish they were us. They're too busy glad handing and being political. We're the guys who really got the job done. We were before the Navy Seals. My best friend just came back from a mission last week, a mission that had world wide ramifications. He came back to see our country in the shape it's in and has to face the fact that no one...NO ONE will EVER KNOW that he just saved this sorry world."

I guess I could appreciate that sometimes, a guy just wanted to eat coal covered dogs and fish off his kayak. Starbuck and I sat by the fire.

Just then, a married couple joined us our side of the flames. We all immediately launched into a vivisection of Jack Daniels and the poor slob of a woman he corralled in his tent. Married guy was horrified at this bitchy show of bitchiness, "They're just going to talk. Give him break."

What a guy. Defending a brother. We made appropriate snorts of derision and continued with our dissection.

"Yeah, he tried coming on to me earlier," stated Married Chick, "but I told him I was married. He THEN went on to tell me that he had a wonderful girlfriend at home, blonde, lovely, brilliant and they had sex 4 times this week." None of us believed this but it didn't stop us from analyzing him to death.

Married guy said again that they were just talking; that he could hear them in the tent. Indeed, Starbuck thought she heard someone say, "Kinda." This hardly convinced us that all was chaste within. We suggested possible alternatives; "This turn you on baby?" "Kinda." "Was it as good for you as it was for me?" "Kinda".

Women. Are. Evil.

Jack Daniels and Boozy Woman exited not long after. To be fair, they were fully clothed and didn't look like they had spent their time locked in sweet embraces.

The Jello Shots came out some time after Starbuck gave neck rubs to some party attendees but before Jason Bourne offered to show her his "toy". Some guests had never indulged in Jello shots before and required some instruction...which Starbuck gladly provided.

"See? You stick your finger in like this," the crowd of spectators grew as she showed her audience by demonstrating, " And then you stick your tongue in like this and woooops! There you go!" The throng eagerly stuck their fingers in their little cups of Jello in unison, seeking validation of their technique. "Like this? Like this?"

It was during this time that Kaczinsky, suspicious that the other wolves were circling to gorge on his kill, sat in the chair next to Starbuck and placed a territorial hand on her chair, staking his claim. Respecting his alpha status, Technical Writer, Jack Daniels, et al, wordlessly backed off.

A wasted woman next to me fluffed out a blanket and plopped down. "I can't lie down, I might fall asleep. I can't lie back. I can't." Jack Daniels moved in.

"I got a tent right back there - you can go on and lie down - it's cool. All above board, no monkey business." Jack culled another one from the herd.

"I gotta," slurred the latest victim, "I gotta...I gotta...get my shit together."

Jack placed a gentle hand on her back, nudging her toward his nylon haven, "Your shit will be here in the morning," he assured.

"Your dignity?" whispered Married Chick to me, "Maybe not. But your shit? Your shit will still be here."

My other ear heard Ted Kaczinsky speak Russian to Starbuck. "Blabbity blah blah blahski."

I turned and smiled, "Nyet."

His eyebrows raised, perhaps he had been working on the wrong woman. "Ahhhh, bwah bwah bwalosnikov?"

"Da," I said. "It's all I know. Da and nyet."

"Then maybe you should know what the questions are first before you answer," he guffawed. The answer was almost always going to be no, I thought, but I didn't say it. He turned back toward Starbuck. "Can I show you my toy?"

Starbuck announced to me, Married Guy and Married Chick that she would be right back; she was going to go look at Bourne's toy.

Just as I was starting to ponder whether or not I should have taken her keys, we were distracted by a nearby conversation about spray on condoms. Any concern I had about Starbuck and Boris Badinov's toy was forgotten. Starbuck came back moments later - apparently Bourne had shown her his kayak and his van.

"Did you go in the van?" I asked, trying to hide my worry.

"Ew, no. There are nice vans and there are vans and ew. Then there is his van."

"It wasn't a rape van was it?"

"A rape van?" she looked around, "What's a rape van?"

"What color was the van?"


Married Couple and I looked at each other and gasped, "Rape van!" and proceeded to explain that very often, van descriptions from eye witnesses at the scene of a crime are of non-descript white vans with no windows in the back. Rape vans.

A poor little toad was spied leaping toward the bonfire. Maybe he was lost. Maybe he just wanted to die. I couldn't just watch it happen, so I grabbed the little fellow and took him to the edge of the wood. If he was intent on ending his life, he could do it while I wasn't there to watch. Walking back, I heard the sounds of someone wanting to die ~ Jack's little tent amore was vomiting, I'm pretty sure, inside the tent.

A little while later, I noted a well toasted Jack Daniels was making a move on Starbuck. After a few minutes, she stepped away and told me she needed to use the bathroom and then she'd be ready to leave. Jack Daniels came up to me and asked where my "sister" went.

"Cousin. And she's using the bathroom." I watched him.

He thought. And carefully he thought some more. "I have to go pee."


Jack apparently did make a move on Starbuck as she exited the facilities. It may have included still another invite to the tent (neither knew about the vomiting girl yet) but Starbuck resisted. It was time to go.

We talked all the way back and agreed that we had had a very good time. I berated Starbuck for telling Ted Kaczinsky her full name and where she worked. She agreed that it had been a lapse in judgment but we were thankful she had escaped the rape van.

Not long after she dropped me off and I was snuggled in bed with a book, did I receive a call. Starbuck had gone to pick up her son from a party. She noticed a vehicle behind hers as she pulled away from the curb.

It was a white van.

(Cue Psycho music).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

E Comedy

This is very cute.

What it was, was Football.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Monday, October 13, 2008

Road Trip - Hi Moms Dinner

I remark all the time what great kids I have. My kids also have the benefit of belonging to a splendid family.

On the drive up, I imagined cars from the entire east coast converging toward Newport. We had family and friends from New York, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida all driving together to celebrate Adam's achievement.

Adam and I had been working on a list for graduation for several weeks. In the end we had the largest crowd of family and friends at graduation - 14 - which I know meant a lot to him. Rain was forecast which sorely disappointed the boy; he had so much wanted to run in cadence with his brother and his friend William. There was also a whole PT thing that got canceled.

There were only 10 chairs per table and being the rebellious lot were were, we broke some protocol by stealing chairs and place settings from another table. We all wanted to sit together. It worked, our table was the most fun. The Long Island Iced Tea didn't hurt. We were regaled with stories about his War Spoon, and methods used by the Marine Drill Instructors to whip the soon-to-be-officers into shape. Adam is a wonderful storyteller - something he gets from his Dad. He had us laughing all evening.

When we got a look at Adam's DI, everyone at the table started saying, "Mayo! I want you D.O.R.!" "I got no place else to gooooooooo....I got....nuthin'!" We are not very original, but we are fun. The DI did make the class do push ups while yelling, (down) "When the mind fails to comprehend! (up) The body must be punished!" The class loved it. They loved him. Though I suspect that if they met him as a civilian on the street, even outranking him, they will never be able to look him in the eye.

It was the night I realized that not much else awaits me but grandchildren and death. Here I was - my kids and their friends all wanted me to go out drinking with them. How many parents get that compliment? And how I wanted to - but I had a dog doped up in my hotel room and bless me, I was just tired. Blah blah appendicitis blah blah drove 9 hours blah blah let the kids have fun blaaaaahhhhh blahhhhhh I should have gone.

I learned the next day that the kids headed to some bar where Eddie Money was apparently playing - time hasn't been particularly kind to Eddie, so I'm told. But what the hell? Me either. Adam was enjoying the attentions of some Eddie groupies; one who could rival Hallmark's "Maxine" for crusty nicotine throat and the other younger one - well, let's just say that Adam's brother tore him away before he needed a layered course of antibiotics for the rest of his life.

The kids had fun, got in early (about 11:30 pm I'd say; not late at all). We all got a good night sleep.

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