Monday, July 30, 2007

My dear friends, Lara and Jeff, lost their beloved kitty, Garnet, today. He was a very sweet kitty and will be sorely missed.

Tammy the turtle says...

"Let me out!"

Controversy Monday!

Ever since I worked as a waitress, I have consistently been a pretty good tipper at restaurants. For a while I even found the need to educate folks about the importance of tipping and was surprised at how many don't realize that waitstaff are paid significantly less than the minimum wage and are totally dependent on tips for their income.

That said, I do not consistently tip at coffee shops or other establishments where I buy my food or drink at the counter and find a tip jar by the register, though for me it is always a moral dilemma. It pretty much always comes down to how much money I have in my wallet and whether I can live with myself if I don't tip. But why am I so torn? Those folks make a better flat rate than waiters do... but then again, I know it's not really a living wage.

What are your thoughts about tipping?

Friday, July 27, 2007

**Note the second:

I've just compared my blog on the three different browsers I have on my computer (Firefox, Safari, and IE) and I have just one thing to say, Internet Explorer sucks! It puts my text in all caps!!

But, actually, now I just tried all of your blogs between the 3 browsers and I've concluded that the version of IE I have on this computer is all sorts of messed up, because Steph's, Susan's, and Ian's blogs show up with the text spread wide across the whole page in one column and Jake's blog won't even load. Looks like it's IE 5.2 for Mac (last updated in 2004). As you can tell, I never use it...

**Note: I just changed back to a Blogger-acceptable font!**

Heya, Blog readers! Could you please post a comment if my blog looks weird to you? My main concern is that this font, which I manually inserted into the HTML, isn't universally view-able. Thanks! :-)
Susan sent me a wonderful refrigerator magnet that says,

do not worry;
eat three square meals a day;
exercise; go slow and easy.
maybe there are other things
your special case requires to
make you happy; but these,
i reckon, will give you a good lift!
(abe lincoln)

just thought i'd share that. it sounds like good advice for today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What did you dream about last night? I don't remember my dreams from last night at all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Getting to Know You:

1. Do you own a copy of the new Harry Potter book?
2. If so, did you finish reading it yet?
3. How many times did you read each of the other HP books?
4. Do you normally read a lot of Science Fiction/Fantasy-type novels?
5. Which do you like better? The LOTR books or Harry Potter?
6. Who are some of your favorite Sci Fi authors?
7. Which is your favorite HP book?
8. Have you been to JK Rowling's website and taken the trivia quizzes?
9. If you haven't read any HP books, why?
10. If you haven't read the newest HP book, why?

(My answers: 1. no :-(; 2. see #1; 3. once; 4. no; 5. LOTR; 6. Tolkien and Rowling, i guess; 7. the last one; 8. yes; 9. n/a; 10. because i don't have any time right now)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


It's 6:00am and I'm up so I can study for my midterm, which I'll take this evening after work. But first, why not write up a little quiz for you?


Briefly describe the nests/living quarters of the following animals: (like is it underground, above ground, in a tree, what materials are generally used, how big is it?, etc.)

1. scooby doo
2. batman
3. mighty mouse
4. blue from blue's clues
5. harry potter
6. the cowardly lion

The prize for this quiz is a surprise!! I promise it will be better than chocolate!

(Apologies to Jake, who won the last 3 quizzes and still hasn't received any chocolate. I'm very sorry for the delay, but promise I'll send it this week.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

This morning on my way to work I got pulled over for running a red light by a pudgy little cop in high boots on a motor scooter. This isn't the first time I've been pulled over in the block of Mass Ave. north of Harvard Square. I'll have to post another time about why maybe that is... I should note, however, that I have never actually gotten a ticket. The first time I got let off with a warning. This time the cop, while writing my ticket, lost my driver's license. I knew there was a problem when I saw him repeatedly looking through his papers.

"What is he looking for?" I thought.

"Uh... I don't know how it happened, but I seem to have lost your license. So, that's what the delay is..." he said to me as he approached my car window.

"Uh... ok," I said.

Ten minutes later, after consulting with another cop who was on duty nearby, he returned to my car to say the good news was that he wasn't going to give me a citation, but the bad news was that he still couldn't find my license.

I started to suggest that he look under nearby cars, since my car was double-parked on the side of the road where he pulled me over, in case it flew out of his hands or something. But, he didn't listen to me. I got the feeling in looking at him that bending over was probably a challenge. He gave me the number of the Cambridge police department and told me to call later in the day to see if my license had been found, told me his name was O'Brien, and sent me on my way.

What a morning!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Guess who came to visit?

We had an awesome time -- inside and out!!

(Thanks to Mom for ALL these great pictures!!)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I wanted to include this photo (so you can see my whole gown!), but, even though it shows up in "Preview" correctly upright, it uploads sideways here (even after I rotate it and everything...):

I am clearly doing something wrong...

Here are two pics from the show last night.
This is me (as George Sand) and the awesome tenor, Jonathan, who played Chopin:

and me with my neat-o top hat:

These are from Eddie's show last weekend.
Here we are with our Mom and Dad and the mom and dad of Eddie's best friend, Mike (who lives in NYC):

and here's Eddie at the mic:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tonight during my computer class, while we were looking at some sample SQL code, the following conversation took place:

Student: "What kind of object is result?"

Teacher: "Result is a result object."

I just thought I'd share that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yesterday my boss told me she thinks I have A.D.D. Well, actually, she said, "You know you have A.D.D., right?" I think there might some truth to this. I actually have been saying that for months now, but thought maybe it was because I'm in an environment with kids with learning disabilities and since this is all new to me, I am prone to try on different diagnoses. It's true, though, that I can't seem to concentrate on anything. But, if I do have A.D.D., does it mean I need to go on Ritalin? That's a scary thought. Or is there an alternative? My Dad would probably say I should meditate every day. There are books that would probably say I should avoid sugar, caffeine, dairy products, wheat, and other things. Maybe I should do yoga or breathing exercises? Maybe I need to get off my butt and start running again (even though I have no time for it)? Or, maybe I have only started having symptoms of A.D.D. since I started this job? Maybe being around others with attentional disorders has a negative influence on me? It's true that I have a hard time figuring out what to concentrate on when I'm not in a degree program. Life is complex and confusing to me when I have too many options and decisions to make. But given that I got straight-A's in grad school, I don't know how bad my A.D.D. could really be. But I'm finding that doing even one class while working full-time, traveling back and forth to Syracuse, and rehearsing an opera is very difficult and is pretty much driving me insane. I don't feel like I can give anything the attention it deserves and that causes me a great deal of anxiety. So, maybe I don't have A.D.D. Maybe I just can't handle having so many things on my plate.

1. Do you know the way to San Jose?
2. What's going on?
3. How long has this been going on?
4. Why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near?
5. Where have all the flowers gone?
6. Is there anybody out there?
7. Why can't you behave?
8. What can I do?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm in Syracuse again! Jezebel is poking at me and Vana is scratching at the door. Not sure where Bear is. I just "helped" my Mom take her second shower since being home from the hospital. I didn't actually have to help her at all this time. I just stood outside the door in case she needed me. She's walking with a cane now, too! (instead of a walker). What a relief to know she is able to take care of herself independently! Well, I mean, she's not able to drive yet, but she does most things herself now. Last night was her first time out of the house. We went to see my brother, Eddie, perform at a coffeehouse in Baldwinsville. He actually hadn't planned on any performances while he was here, but randomly got an email from this coffeeshop (which is run by the Pastor from a local church) saying that they loved his album and wanted to have him come and perform. And he just happened to be in town! It was pretty neat. My Mom and I know all the songs by heart now, so we were singing along. My Dad and his girlfriend, Martha, were there, too, as were Eddie's best friend Mike's parents, Ruby and Ray. I have to leave pretty soon for my second "George Sand and Chopin" rehearsal of the weekend. I'm pretty sure the composer is going to be there this time. Yikes! And I've been a total delinquent and haven't yet turned in my computer class homework. Gotta get on that.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I need a nap.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Friendship has been a source of great pain for you. You desired it so much that you often lost yourself in the search for a true friend. Many times you became desperate when a friendship you hoped for didn't materialize, or when a friendship begun with great expectations did not last.

Many of your friendships grew from your need for affection, affirmation, and emotional support. But now you must seek friends to whom you can relate from your center, from the place where you know that you are deeply loved. Friendship becomes more and more possible when you accept yourself as deeply loved. Then you can be with others in a non-possessive way. Real friends find their inner correspondence where both know the love of God. There spirit speaks to spirit and heart to heart.

True friendships are lasting because true love is eternal. A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God, and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional. All that comes from God participates in God's eternal life. Love between people, when given by God, is stronger than death...

You have to trust that every true friendship has no end... Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as to those whom God has given you to love."

- Henri Nouwen

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sometimes I find random sticky notes on my desk:

(it's not my birthday...)
Getting to Know You! (Why don't I procrastinate a little longer...)

1. Are you wearing contacts or glasses or neither right now?
2. When did you last pet an animal?
3. When's the last time you saw your Mom?
4. What do you wish you had to eat right now that you don't?
5. Name 5 people you saw yesterday.
6. When's the last time you saw me?

(my answers: 1. glasses; 2. tuesday - jezebel, vana, and bear; 3. tuesday; 4. a scone, some fruit, milk to make a shake, anything really... i'm hungry and i don't have any food to eat, as usual; 5. kathy, chesley, collin, chris,... wow - that's it, actually. well, i mean, i saw some people at verrill farm and the fed ex place and on my street, but i don't know them; 6. just now in the mirror.)
Congratulations, Jake! You win again!! The only one you got wrong was #2 -- it's Tyler Hamilton, not Floyd Landis. I think Floyd is from PA, although I'm not sure.

I LOVE that Susan thought Renee Fleming was Sarah Michelle Gellar! That's some photographer!! :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ok -- you guys clearly need some help! So, I'm going to give you a few hints...

#1 is an opera singer
#2 is an American cyclist (from MA)
#3 is a computer genius
#4 is a musician
#5 is a foreign politician

Does that help?? :-)

Name these famous people:






(As always, if you win, please e-mail me your address and I'll send you chocolate!!)

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm still here in Syracuse and though I'll be back in Boston tomorrow evening, it looks like I'll be returning here the next two weekends to see my Mom -- and my brother, who arrives tomorrow and stays for a week! -- and to rehearse for the chamber opera I'm performing on the 20th in Cazenovia. Mom continues to do well and it's not surprising that she's not content to just sit around, but rather is up and about as often as she can manage it. We've been doing a set of physical therapy exercises twice a day and that's going well. She says her leg feels strange and sore. We think the doctor cut through a muscle (perhaps the sartorius?), so we think much of the soreness and pain is part of the muscle rebuilding process. I've been trying to keep up with the reading for my class and am hoping to at least get a start on this week's homework today. Yesterday I kept feeling sleepy while reading, so I made myself a pot of yerba maté tea. Within a half-hour or so I was covered in hives! I looked like I had a sunburn and mosquito bites all over my body. Yikes! Luckily, after a couple of Benadryl, everything cleared up and I've been fine since. Strangely, though the Benadryl made me drowsy, I was better able to concentrate while reading under its influence than I am now or was before I took it. Hmmm...

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm in Syracuse and Mom is home from the hospital and doing well! I'm making her a cup of coffee right now the way she learned on her recent trip to Ireland -- instant coffee with brown sugar and cream... Maybe I'll try some, too... :-) Cheers!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I was very sad to read that Beverly Sills died on Monday. She died of lung cancer, though she had never been a smoker.

You Tube has a good collection of recordings of her singing. Not sure this is the best, but my computer is way too slow to find out for sure.

She was an AMAZING singer and a true inspiration. Watching her sing on these You Tube clips, I'm not just impressed by the incredible beauty and flexibility of her voice, but also by the wondrous joy that exudes from her being as she sings.


(I will be spending the day reading and doing homework... as soon as I get motivated, that is...)

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Harold Whitman

The winner of this week's quiz is SUSAN! Yippee!

The answers are:

1. hyacinth; 2. pansy; 3. water lily; 4. poppy; 5. orchid; 6. bird of paradise; 7. buttercup; 8. rose; 9. magnolia; 10. apple blossom; 11. dogwood

(I put the bird of paradise in there just for you, Andre! You gave me one once a long time ago. I don't remember what the occasion was. :-) )

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thank you all for your well wishes to my Mom! I will make sure to pass them on to her! I talked to her this morning and she is in quite a bit of pain and feeling weak, so all your positive thoughts and prayers are most welcome!
Name that flower:












Monday, July 02, 2007

Steph just posted a really interesting entry about the Farm Bill. Read it! She makes some really good points!
I feel really nervous this morning. Maybe it's because my Mom is about to have major surgery -- and maybe the stress from the fact that I didn't get as much studying done this weekend as I would have liked and that my car insurance expired and I haven't had a chance to take care of it is just putting me over the edge. My stomach is what I would describe as a firey pit. My Mom is supposed to be at the hospital at 9. She's having her hip replaced, which everyone agrees is a good idea, since she doesn't have any cartilage left between the bones. She's going to be just fine and the surgery could potentially bring her back to a much higher quality of life, since she loves to climb mountains and do lots of active things. But, surgery is surgery and it makes me nervous -- and I wish I could be there with her sooner than Friday.


This just in (at NOON) --

The surgery is over and went well!! Yay!!

What a relief! Whew!