Saturday, July 30, 2005

Things I learned today...

1. Never trust your father when he says it's "ok" to put an extension ladder against a tree-like bush to trim it just because he used to do the same thing with cherry trees.

2. Never open your mouth while mowing the lawn.

3. Never repeat almost the same thing your father did (see #1), except with a stepladder...which leans a little to one side.

It is true that you learn something new every day....I just happened to learn 3 things in one day. Does that mean I won't learn anything for the next 2 days????

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Decide for Yourself

The following story is from This is True dated 17 July 2005. It is
Copyright 2005 Randy Cassingham, all rights reserved, and reprinted here

"Ethical" Defined

After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over
four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle
behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched
the occupants throw in heavy plastic bags. They detained the two people
in the van and found 18 dead dogs in plastic bags in the dumpster,
including puppies; 13 more dead dogs were still in the van. Police say
the van is registered to the headquarters of People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals, and the two occupants, Andrew B. Cook, 24, and
Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, identified themselves as PETA employees. An autopsy
performed on one of the dogs found it was healthy before it was killed.
Police say PETA has been picking up the animals -- alive -- from North
Carolina animal shelters, promising to find them good homes. Cook and
Hinkle have been charged with 62 felony counts of animal cruelty. In
response to the arrests PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said it's against
the group's policy for employees to dump animals in the trash, but "that
for some animals in North Carolina, there is no kinder option than
euthanasia." (Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) ...Oops, my mistake: that's
"Playing God" Defined.

In his author's notes section, Cassingham had more to say about this

The more I learn about PETA, the less I think of
them. The story of them killing animals isn't even unusual. According to
PETA's own filings, in 2004 PETA killed 86.3 percent of the
animals entrusted to its care -- a number that's rising, not falling.
Meanwhile, the SPCA in PETA's home town (Norfolk, Va.) was able to find
loving homes for 73 percent of the animals put in its care. A shortage of
funds? Nope: last year PETA took in $29 million in tax-exempt donations.
It simply has other priorities for the funds, like funding terrorism
(yes, really). But don't take my word for it: I got my figures from
-- and they have copies of PETA's state and federal filings to back it
up. The bottom line: if you donate money to PETA because you think they
care for and about animals, you need to think some more. PETA literally
yells and screams about how others "kill animals" but this is how
they operate? Pathetic.

And you know what I wonder? PETA's official count of animals
they kill is 86.3 percent. But if they're going around picking up
animals, killing them while they drive around and not even giving them a
chance to be adopted, and then destroying the evidence by dumping
the bodies in the trash, are those deaths being reported? My
guess: no. While 86.3 percent is awful, the actual number is probably
much, much higher. How dare they lecture anyone
about the "ethical" treatment of animals!

(This is True is a weekly column featuring
weird-but-true news
stories from around the world, and has been published since 1994. Click
the link for info about free subscriptions.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Ever have that feeling that you have TONS to do, but have no idea what it is? I know there are things that I have to do or should do before school starts again, yet I just can't put my finger on it or I'm just purposefully putting them out of my mind. I do know I have to get my resume together and DEFINITELY my portfolio needs some work. I also have to get things together for my friend's wedding. Get my hair cut (hasn't been done since about Feb!) and probably colored...gonna go back to my natural color I think. Shocking, I know! The appointments for Lisa and I's manicures need to be set up. I still have my bathroom to repaint, put the flooring down and possibly put a ceiling in before school starts as well. It's in the basement and was meant to be just a crappy basement bath, but my dad built a base cabinet for it and an over-the-toilet cabinet. I have repainted it a few times (can't quite decide on a color!), but it needs to be different especially since I picked out flooring. It doesn't quite go with the color of the bathroom now. And it's pretty drab. The color I picked looked a lot different in the store. Oh well.

So, I think I'm going to make my final year in school count. I'm going to hang out with my friends more and even if that means staying out late, I'm going to do it! I'm not going to be the old lady and poop out! And there's a conference in Atlanta in November that I want to go to. It will probably cost a few bucks, but I think it would be worth it. I haven't been able to go to ANY type of conferences and since I'll be graduating, I think I should attend at least one. I mean, I didn't get to study in Italy this past semester, so I should at least go on one trip. I hope there are others who will go though. Some did last year to this conference when it was in Seattle. I think Atlanta will be more fun....and warmer!!! :)

Speaking of warmer climates, I still think of moving away once I graduate. Maybe I'll send out resumes just to see what happens. I wouldn't have to accept a job, but perhaps I will. I'd feel bad about leaving the parents without any children remotely close, but then I think about why should I be the one out of us three to be here? Why shouldn't my brother or sister move back so I can have my life? Then I think, can't I still have a life and be in this area? Well, yes, I can, but I really, really, REALLY hate the winter and cold anymore that I don't know if I can bear it anymore. It really gets to me and makes me grumpier than I normally am. Perhaps I'll just move slightly more to the south. Then I could be farther away from the "lake effect snow" and possibly the frigid temps, but still be able to visit when necessary.

My dreams have been really strange the past few nights. I can't recall everything that happened, but I do remember the general theme of them. For some reason or another, I'm running and hiding from people. I always have people I'm with, friends and others that I know in my dream, but aren't real people. It's just weird how we're always running and hiding from these others who are bad. There aren't any guns or any violence in my dreams, just that anxiety and fear that you're going to run into them with every turn to make and be caught by them. However, that never happens in my dreams. I think I wake up before they're done or something. One really kind of spooked me and I woke up, but as I was drifting back to sleep, it was as if I hadn't left and went right back into it. Yet, I was conscious enough to realize I didn't want to dream about it, and fought to not dream about I didn't. Dreams are weird. Most of the time I have good ones or I can't remember them, but these ones recently have been the weirdest I've had in a while.

Speaking of dreams, I had better get to dreamland so I can just get up and go to work tomorrow. Ugh. Really can't wait for school to start, then I'll be working only 16 hours!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm counting the days!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Classic Musical????

It's "classic" since it includes:

~Speaking into funnels to make a glass box spin around from the flame that was created by the 'h' sound made while speaking into the funnel.

~Talking about rain on the plains of Spain.

~Singing housemaids and butlers.

~Playing a Xylophone.

~Talking with a mouth full of marbles.

~Miraculous ability to speak "proper English" instantly.

~Wanting to dance all night and still ask for more.

Kinda weird what people watched for entertainment and what "Hollywood" thought would be entertaining. If you haven't guessed it, I'm watching My Fair Lady on TCM. Breakfast at Tiffany's was on before this...that one is MUCH better.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

In Remembrance...

Mr. Andrew Anthony Aljancic....ALL-STAR!

That's what my English teacher called himself in high school and probably throughout his life as well. He even had a tie with a baseball diamond and 'A's' at all the bases. Sadly though, he passed away on Tuesday, July 12th, his birthday, at age 63.
My friend Jennifer was the one who told me about his passing. It was on the day after she and I had just been talking about him...July 12th. Strange, isn't it?

He was an All-star really. He taught me English my Freshman and Junior years at St. Thomas. I must say that I thought he was quirky and strange, but now, 12 years after my last day at St. Thomas, I still remember what he taught me. As my friend, Lisa mentioned, he had his rules.....grammar rules to be exact. The BIG 11 Grammar Rules. (although I think he called them "drills") Still, we had to learn them, and learn them we did. I feel that my ability to scrutinize written word and be able to know where and when a comma goes,(<---like here) came from his class. To this day, I have the Big 11 Sheets and will continue to use them throughout my life. I'll probably even pass them on to my future children, like an heirloom, so that they, too, might learn from the great Mr. A. His classes were fun. He wasn't that sort of English teacher who just sat up front and read a book to us as we followed along in our own copies. No, when he read a book to us, he acted them out....with his voice. For instance, in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, he would use this creepy, almost parrot-like voice for when the raven would say "Nevermore." Also, in The Bells, he would say "the bells, the bells, the bells" to echo the sound of a bell ringing. Yes, it was weird, but effective. Like I said, it's been 12 years since high school, and I still remember it so he must have done something right.

And, as Lisa also said, he used music to enhance school spirit. He wasn't an alumnus of St. Thomas, but he sure was proud to be a Knight!
We had our own little pep rallies right there in his class, which no other teacher did, even those who DID graduate from STA. He would play the Pink Panther theme on his record player, and we would sing/shout "Goooooooooooooooo Knights!" and "Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat Central!" at the appropriate places in the song. I'm sure there was another one he used, but none was more resounding than the Pink Panther theme.

He also encouraged creativity and didn't make you feel bad or stupid for your ideas...crazy as they may seem. We had to write poems, limricks, haiku, papers, and God knows what else. Little did we know, his ulterior motive was to gather pieces for the school's literary magazine. (Not to brag, but I did have a few pieces in the magazines. What can I say? He liked my stuff.) He inspired some of us to become English teachers and others to become anal with punctuation and grammar.

He was one-of-a-kind and there will never be another one like him. It's sad to know that the Big 11 sheets became no more after our time at St. Thomas.

So, here's to you Mr. A! You were a great man and teacher, who will be greatly missed, yet fondly remembered!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Thought I had something to say....guess I don't. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

You Want Fries With That?'s the holiday weekend and you know what that means! I'm living it up on Delaware again! Pool temp is about 80 degrees and should get warmer with the sun. Can't wait to get rid of my farmer's tan. Gotta get that taken care of before my second stint as Maid-of-Honor this september. As you're all well aware, I am the ONLY maid left which leads to me being my friend's MOH. Guess we're just saving the best for last, eh? was a rough ride down to Delaware. My car has no A/C and even though I left early in the evening, it was still stinkin' hot! Not as bad as it could have been, but still pretty warm. I stopped to get something to quench my thirst, but apparently EVERYONE had the idea to stop at McD's for something or other. There was a family of about 10 all lined up along the counter so you couldn't tell who was ordering and who was just standing around taking up space with their mullet. Seriously...I'm talking MULLETS!!!! and on all ages too! Anyway, so, after about 5 minutes of waiting....and waiting...and waiting. I left...still parched. Ugh! I just got in my car and started driving again. Although it was challenging for some people to actually accelerate their car enough to get ON the highway. That really didn't make me feel any better. I was thirsty and hot and now getting cranky! Not pretty. Didn't everyone see that I was driving without A/C and therefore they should just get outta my way?! Guess not. So, I kept driving until I was to Ripley, WV and stopped at the McD's there where no one was waiting. So I thought, "great! I'll get my stuff and get outta here!" And I did. I ordered a Fruit and Walnut salad and a bottle of water. Ahhhhhh. Refreshing! However, to my disappointment, I discovered about 10 minutes away from there that they forgot a bit of my order. Instead of getting a fruit and walnut salad, I just got a FRUIT salad. So, did I get to pay 1/2 the price when I got 1/2 the product?! So, I think I'm going to e-mail my buddy Ronald and tell him that he needs to monitor his bazillion stores a little more closely. I'm sure he'll listen to me! I'll probably just get a coupon or McD money or something. I'd rather them send me the walnuts that were missing from my "salad". On the upside, the water was GREAT and refreshing! But then, they can't really screw that up, can they? I mean it was already in a bottle so they couldn't like forget to add the O or forget one of the 2 H's, right? The rest of the drive was ok...not as humid. Although in some areas it was downpouring which caused people to become stupid and pretty much STOP on the highway. That was nice! So, a normally 4 hour drive took me a total of 5 1/4 hours! I thought I'd NEVER get there! That was the longest amount of time it's ever taken me to get here and I hope to never repeat that either, unless I move farther away. Otherwise, it had better take me 4 hours and not a minute longer! to the pool! Gotta get rid of some of this stress somehow, right?! If only they had a hot poolboy!!! Now THAT would be nice!!! :)