1.) Are you male or female?
'Cause I'm just a little girl you see
But there's a hell of a lot more to me
Amy Studt "Just A Little Girl"
2.) Who are you?
There are not lyrics in my collection that can sum up who I am. But, this Sister Hazel song captures my essence.
3.) Describe your neighborhood:
The old apartment
Forty-two stairs [actually steps] from the street
Barenaked Ladies "The Old Apartment"
4.) What do you like best about yourself?
I own my insecurities I try to own my destiny
That I can make or break it if I choose
Sarah McLachlan "Perfect Girl"
5.) How would your best friend describe you?
She talks in paragraphs
About her work on a Sunday
Scapegoat Wax "Bloodsweet"
6.) What makes you happy?
Just the bunny
oh i love the bunny
but now i feel real sick in the head from the bunny ;)
Veggie Tales "The New and Improved Bunny Song"
7.) What is love?
Multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls "Power of Two"
Friday, March 31, 2006
1.) Are you male or female?
8.) If you could say one thing to the love of your life, what would it be?
I waltzed around you
Only to become
A melody you never sang
I'm not the one
Collective Soul "Not the One"
9.) What is the most romantic thing that could be said to you?
I will be your sword
And I will be your might
And I will watch over you like a satellite
Your river will flow thru scenes unknown
I'll guide you through by the love I show
And the stars will wish upon the night
That they could have your guiding satellite
Collective Soul "Satellite"
10.) Describe your ideal mate:
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes
Peter Gabriel "In Your Eyes"
11.) Do you kiss on the first date?
I'm done messing
With every pair of lips in town
And I'm guessing
You kiss me right, I'll come around
I've had kisses make me blue
Give me flu, taste like glue
So kiss me quick and make it stick
And I will stick with you
Dave’s True Story "I Will Stick With You"
12.) What's your secret?
Although I've gotten most everything I wanted
Hope is still a flicker in the dark
Somewhere in the distance, a mysterious spark
If we never meet
That would be the saddest thing I know.
There's got to be somebody out there
Someone who burns like a flame
It's a beautiful night by the fountain
But I'm all alone
I don't know your name
This is to you, if you're out there
My love, you seem to be detained
I don't deserve you, but it's too cruel
That you're not here with me
Cherry Poppin Daddies "The Saddest Thing I Know"
13.) Are you strong?
Don't need to you make me strong
'Cause I'm strong on my own
Doesn't come from outside
This beauty I know
Comes from inside my soul
Samantha Mumba "Tell Me I’m Pretty"
14.) What would you like to do that you have never done before?
O, I’ve never plucked a rooster
And I'm not too good at ping ball
And I’ve never thrown my mashed potatoes
Up against the wall
And I’ve never kissed a chipmunk
And I’ve never gotten head lice
And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall
And I’ve never licked a spark plug
And I’ve never sniffed a stinkbug
And I’ve never painted daises
On a big red rubber ball
And I’ve never bathed in yogurt
And I don’t look good in leggings
And I’ve never been to Boston in the fall!
Veggie Tales "The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything"
15.) What do you think about your friends?
You've got a laugh that could bring me to tears
You've got compassion coming out of your ears
You've got a mind that's agile and bright
Dave’s True Story "Spasm"
16.) What is your life philosophy?
Armed with Trollope and a cup or two
I could while the day away
Now just a dollop
Makes me think of you
And that's too high a price to pay
I'll read Kafka's tale about that lonely vermin
I'll read every Jonathan Edwards sermon
Hell, I'll read Emmanuel Kant in German
But I'll never read Trollope again
I used to read him with a friend or two
I used to read him by myself
But to read him now only makes me blue
So I've tossed him from my shelf
I'll read Don Quixote five or six times through
I'll read Jackie Collins till my face turns blue
Hell, I'll even read Bukowski too
But I'll never read Trollope again
Dave’s True Story "I’ll Never Read Trollop Again"
17.) What is your secret wish?
So please please please
Let me, let me, let me
Let me get what I want
The Smiths "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"
18.) What do you think about drugs?
I've had enough of romantic love
I'd give it up, yeah, I'd give it up
For a miracle, miracle drug
U2 "Miracle Drug"
19.) If you could say one thing to your enemy, what would it be?
I never want to see you again
I don't want to be your friend
Now we've reached the end
Save Ferris "It Means Everything"
So, this is getting harder and harder. The songs that I love and want to include don't fit the questions and so I am having to look through the album notes of all my CDs to find songs that I usually skip over. I still haven't come close to answering question #2 which is "Who are you?" My favorite songs are really melancholy, and dark and I don't think that necessarily describes who I am. And I am afraid that if I use some of the really dark ones, which I love, someone might misinterpret them and think that I am on the edge or something... This is going to be a long process. Can we say wasted day off? Yep.
Because I have been admonished... and because Bunsen Burner Day doesn't really inspire much discourse, at least for me, I have been working on my answers to this questionnaire (the one I am answering has a few extra questions than this linked one) that has been floating my office for about two weeks. I started working on filling in some of my answers last week, but gave up on it, because it was taking too much time. And I am having major issues with the a couple of the personality-type questions. (Apparently, I don't know who I am... at 31 that could be a problem.) I started it again tonight, and I think I will publish this from the bottom up. It will look better, more sequential, on the blog that way anyway.
But, here are "The Rules." Take 26 fairly standard questions and answer them with music lyrics. It may take some time, (A freaking long time!) but it is always fun to find the perfect song lyrics to answer a question rather than using the word. (I, personally, added the caveat that I had to own the CD, (or tape) or have at one time owned the CD, so each song really means something to me.)
And here are the answers to questions 20-26.
20.) What do you do on Friday nights?
Watching X-Files with no lights on
We’re dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one
Barenaked Ladies "One Week"
21.) What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
Julie London "Fly Me to the Moon"
22.) What is your favorite time of day?
Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Don McClean "Vincent"
23.) Are you for World Peace?
Show the world how to get along,
And peace will enter, when hate is gone
Fiona Apple "Please Send Me Someone to Love"
24.) Where were you born?
S'out of the ordinary
Talking Heads "Burning Down the House"
25. What song can you quote that no-one else will recognize?
I know you will understand this
and feel the intrinsic incredible emotion
You have just pulled over your head the worn,
warm sweater belonging to a boy
Now, you haven't had a passionate kissing session or anything,
but you got to go on a camping trip with him
and eight other people from school
And you practically slept together,
your sleeping bag right next to his
And you woke in the night to watch him as he slept
but you couldn't see anything 'cause it was dark
so you just laid there and listened to his breathing
and wondered if your heart might burst
Cadell Meryn "The Sweater"
26.) Any closing words?
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave our worries far behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
The Beautiful South "Dream a Little Dream"
So, I might work on the rest of it tomorrow... I might not. I'm just funny that way.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
- National "Joe" Day
- Education and Sharing Day
- Kite Flying Day
- Quirky Country Song Titles Day
- Eat Something On A Stick Day
- American Diabetes Association Alert Day
- Festival Of Smoke and Mirrors Day
- Knights of Columbus Founders Day
- Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
- Bunsen Burner Day
- National "She's Funny That Way Day"
- Tater Day
- National Clams On The Half Shell Day
- April Fool's Day
- Boomer Bonus Day (?)
- National Fun Day
- One Cent Day
- Lupus Alert Day
- National Love Our Children Day
- Sorry Charlie Day
- Anti-circumcision Day (to link or not to link, that is the question) =)
- Check Your Smoke Detector and Flashlight Batteries Day
- International Children's Book Day
- National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
- Reconciliation Day
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Sunday, March 26, 2006
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Whether you say "pee-CAN" or "puh-CAHN" there's no denying that these little nuts are something special. For example: which nut tree is the only nut tree native to North America? Hmmm... That's right, Pecan Trees! Very special folks! The pecan is a uniquely American nut. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are reported to have eaten the regularly. Also, the name "pecan" come from the Algonquin (a Native American tribe) language which translates to "all nuts requiring a stone to crack." Personally, I hate cracking nuts, and am very happy that I live in a day where nuts can be bought pre-cracked.
Fun Pecan Facts
- The Pecan tree is from the hickory family
- There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans
- Pecans are high in zinc, and zinc is a good thing
- According to this site pecans are also called Dilberts, but I can't find proof of that anywhere else
- The pecan is one of the healthiest nuts; 97% of it's oils are unsaturated (the good kind) and pecans don't contain cholesterol.
- Pecans are high in antioxidants (which is good)
- There are lots of varieties of pecan pie recipes (Yummy, yum yum!)
Also, it's Waffle Day. I suggest Pecan Waffles. March 26th (That's right, tomorrow!): Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
You could share what you would do if you could impose a "National" holiday on the world, or you can just ponder for yourself... just know that tomorrow is the day that you can make at least your friends and family celebrate with you.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Saturday, March 25, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
If you enjoy bizarre and offbeat characters, cool movie quotes, ("Why don't you keep your hands off other people's refrigerators!" & "My cat can eat a whole watermelon." are my two favs) and if you want to watch a good movie with Mahler, clogs used as weapons, and people with dead cat obsessions, you need to get down to the Tower Theater tonight, at midnight to watch Rubin and Ed, or tomorrow night, at the same time.
Rubin and Ed functions as a quest story, a road movie, a buddy film, and a study in abnormal psychology all rolled into one. Rubin (Crispin Glover), traumatized over the death of his cat (which he keeps in a refrigerator), spends his days alone in his room squeaking a toy mouse in synch with a Mahler symphony. Ed (Howard Hesseman) is a ne'er-do-well involved with a motivational cult called the Power of Positive Real Estate who mindlessly listens to a tape recording of the cult mantra: "I am a powerful real estate professional moving higher and higher on the path to success." Rubin bamboozles Ed into accompanying him on a desert trek in order to find the metaphysically right place to bury his dead cat.I consider this a one of the "must see" films from the 1990s, and it's really hard to find, so this might be the only chance that you get to view this classic cult piece.
My dear fellow-Oregonian friends who introduced me to this movie have scheduling conflicts, and I will not be watching it with them. (Darn skiing trips, and baby birthdays!) Searching for a new victim...
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 24, 2006
Two billion people in the world, one third of the world population, are infected with TB bacilli. Almost two million people die each year, and 5,000 people die each day from the disease.
If you look at this article prepared by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, (an organization designed to "support the State Department's initiatives," and influence "media, government officials, opinion leaders, and the general public in more than 140 countries around the world") you would think that Tuberculosis is just a problem outside of the United States, and mostly a disease closely associated with AIDS in Africa. When in reality, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tuberculosis is a problem that is growing in the United States, right now.
"Starting in the 1940s, scientists discovered the first of several medicines that are now used to treat TB. As a result, TB slowly began to decrease in the United States. But in the 1970s and early 1980s, the country let its guard down and TB control efforts were neglected. As a result, between 1985 and 1992, the number of TB cases increased. However, with increased funding and attention to the TB problem, we have had a steady decline in the number of persons with TB since 1992. But TB is still a problem; more than 14,000 cases were reported in 2003 in the United States."Now, I don't think that we should pay attention to this problem just because it is a health problem in the United States. I do think that one of the techniques of political rhetoric is to dehumanized an issue by making it seem far away... a problem with which you and I will probably never have to come face-to-face. That does not make it a non-problem.
Currently, Tuberculosis is more of a threat to human health than Bird Flu, and it is treatable. But, it is becoming less treatable. There are Multi-drug Resistant Strains of Tuberculosis, and these strains have been found in the United States.
World Tuberculosis Day probably won't make a huge difference in the fight against Tuberculosis, and some might argue that the money spent on advertising and promotion would be better used in treatment, but awareness is a major step in prevention, and prevention is better than treatment.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
"Wacky New Ways to Meet Someone" from Hotmail News: 1. At spelling bees One of the latest ideas for mingling and meeting a mate happens to be singles’ spelling bees, which have become quite a hit.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Wednesday, March 22, 2006
National Collision Awareness Month, National Bubble Blowers Week , National Goof Off Day, March 22nd
Things that I realized tonight while deciding what to blog...
National Collision Awareness Month
Sorry, Edgy I hope that I didn't jinx you with the power of suggestion.
March 19th-25th "National Bubble Blowers Week (I can't wait! It had better not snow! Although, that might be pretty too!)"
Sorry, I guess I the snow is my fault too.
National Goof Off Day
Maybe we all shouldn't goof off. I wouldn't want anyone to get into trouble because I suggested it here.
Absolutely no fun for me today! May all my fingers fall off, and my hair turn green if I have any fun today!
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
So, I have been notified that I forgot to blog about Children's Poetry Day.
Children's Poetry can be good, or way too long and tedious for children, or (I am sure) bad, but I can't think of any bad examples off the top of my head...
I am sure that the internet will provide.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Tuesday, March 21, 2006
National Flower Day
Every state has a flower, from the yellow rose of Texas to the Wild Oregon Grape. Check out your State flower here. The national flower for the United States is the rose, specifically, the American Beauty. It did not become the National Flower until 1986, under President Regan. Check out the U.S. Code declaring roses the national flower here. That is if you are like me and like reading U.S. Code. :)
You can also check out the Wild Flower Folklore Website. If you want to find out what flower is effective for birth control, and which flower is "the wild flower of death."
If you want to tell someone message, but want to do it subtly, so subtle that the receiver is just simply happy that they received flowers, check out this site, The Language of Flowers. Now with this new knowledge, you can say "I have a message for you, Beware of a false friend" with just irises and francisca latifolia. Perfect. Now, all we need to do is find out what francisca latifolia is.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
If you're feeling cross and bitterishI'm not sure that just thinking about banana split and licorice will make me feel fine, but, there are some merits to acting happy in order to eventually be happy. Just as long as everyone around me doesn't expect this.
Don't sit and whine
Think of banana split and licorice
And you'll feel fine
What do you know... google the words "cheesy proposals" and a BYU Magazine is one of the results.
Me, I think that I am going to re-read Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal today. If you join me, remember that this is a satire, and I do not support the eating of babies, of any kind, including veal. Well, I guess I eat eggs. But, they are not quite babies.
Rotten Sneaker Day
Yeach. If you have them, you should throw them out today. If you don't have them, you should read Holes today in honor of Stanley Yelnats, not Stanley the onion-eater, but Stanley the inventor. But, if you don't feel like reading 240 pages of purely delightful prose today, you can watch the movie Holes, which is also quite delightful.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Monday, March 20, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
- I can fit 97 stars on a 4X4 square, but only 84 flowers.
- I have lost any and all inspiration to create new formats for Annual Reports, after only 5 years of designing them.
- Annual Reports should not be due at the same time as Annual Audits.
- If I spread lots of paper over the top of my desk people will think that I am stressed out and that I work harder than they do, and will do nice things for me without me asking.
- I don't feel stress out one bit.
- I should feel extremely stressed out, because I have to send the Report to print on Monday, and as it is now... the colors don't match, and I hate the format.
- Getting your lunch served late can be rewarding, but only if you aren't hungry, and you have good company to laugh with.
- People who send email updates about grammar rules are inconsistent with their preposition policies.
- I really should be working right now.
- My boss can be very nice and undemanding when he thinks that he is overworking me.
- What looks beige in my bedroom light, is stark-white in my office light.
- I can sit and make up lists all day, just to avoid editing and designing.
- I believe that I will find inspiration over the weekend, and it will all fall into place... just like the play on Shakespeare in Love.
- Updating websites for work, aren't nearly as fun as blogging.
- I am going to have to work over the weekend.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
St. Urho's Day
What is St. Urho's Day? It's a Finnish-American celebration, began in Minnesota, attributed to Minnesotans Richard L. Mattson and Sulo Havumaki. The first documented celebration was in 1956.
Legend has it (according to Mattson and Havumaki), that St. Urho saved the Finnish wine-grape harvest from an unusually large plague of locusts. St. Urho, whose name is (surprise) translated as "hero," raised his staff and yelled in a Valkerian voice (okay, I'm making that part up... Valkerian is feminine) the phrase, "Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, menetaalta hiiten" (which in English means "Grasshopper grasshopper get the hell out!") which once and for all got rid of all the grasshoppers in Finland, and saved the grape harvest.
Some people, who don't like to have fun, poo-poo the existence of St. Urho. They point out that there is no Finnish wine-grape crop, and that the country is still occupied by grasshoppers. Also, the legend is quite similar to the legend of St. Patrick- you know, driving the snakes out of Ireland and stuff. (But, Ireland never had snakes, so there isn't that much to complain about.)
Still, not to be outdone by their Irish-American counterparts, Finnish-Americans celebrate Urho's feast by wearing green and purple (the colors of the grape vine) and drinking grape juice, and wine, and purple colored beer (they were just jealous of the green beer), and planting donut seeds (Cheerios). Others re-enact the Urho Day miracle by shouting his famous command to every insect they see, (because March isn't the season for grasshoppers) while some areas of the US, with large Finnish populations, celebrate with pitchforks races running down hills and chainsaws competitions cutting down giant wooden grasshoppers. Fun!
Lips Appreciation Day
Get out the lipstick, lip gloss, chapstick, or whatever you use to make those lips more appealing... it's almost here! The day that it is okay to kiss perfect strangers, just because you might be 1/1024th Irish. Or, if you only have Irish eyes, people should just kiss you anyway. Because kissing is so much nicer than that pinching thing.
Everything You Do Is Right Day
Considering that yesterday was Everything You Think Is Wrong Day, this is a nice follow up. I wish it came with a guarantee.
If you want to check out some other websites that have the St. Urho legand (because you think that I might be slightly off) try here or here or here or here or here
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Thursday, March 16, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
The Ides of March, Brutus Day, True Confessions Day, Buzzard's Day, Everything You Think Is Wrong Day, Dumbstruck Day, March 15th
The Ides of March
The Ides of March, as a date, was not meant be remembered for always and forever synonymously with death. But when Shakespeare penned the lines: "Beware the Ides of March!" The words became mythic in our literary memory. (We love you Shakespeare!)
To put this in perspective, if something very bad happened to you at work on the first Monday in April. Then if Dave Barry picked up the story, and wrote about it and in his writing process decided that the very bad thing wasn't foreboding enough, so in his embellishment wrote that before the horrible thing happened you walked down the street and a fortune teller popped out at you and said "Beware the first Monday in April!" And he also said the people near and dear to you started having bad dreams about the first Monday in April. But, you went to work anyway! Wow, we all would be Bewaring the First Monday in April now because of Dave Barry.
Now, I want to spit in the eye of my sophomore English teacher who was a bad English teacher, who had a crush on Paul Newman, and was the only teacher in my entire scholastic career to send me to the principal's office. (But, that's not why I want to spit in her eye.) I want to spit in her eye (today) because she told the class incorrectly that Ides meant middle.
Ha! Ides doesn't mean middle. To understand what the Ides of March is, we will need a little history lesson. And, afterwards we will be eternally grateful that we do not go by the Roman calendar anymore.
The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:
* Kalends [which means "to proclaim"](1st day of the month)
* Nones ["Nones" (nine) was intended to express the inclusive number of elapsed days between first quarter and full moons](the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
* Ides [which means "divider" from the Etruscan verb "iduare" meaning "to divide"](the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)
The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones 5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).
Days in March: March 1: Kalends; March 2: VI Nones; March 3: V Nones; March 4: IV Nones; March 5: III Nones; March 6: Pridie Nones (Latin for "on the day before"); March 7: Nones; March 15: Ides (Infoplease.com)
Anyway, back to the story according to Shakespeare, Julius Caeser minimized the importance of the soothsayers warning about the Ides of March, and his wife's foreboding dreams. And then he went to work because another man called him a chicken for even considering listening to his wife. (What a surprise, a man that didn't listen to women, and succums to machismo.) So he died. He is dead. No more Caesar. Killed by his friends and co-workers. His final words: Et Tu Brute? (I think, I'm too tired now to to look it up. I told Edgy that I was going to bed three hours ago. But Master Fob distracted me with his Gizoogle post. So, if you want to read my blog and have it read as if you are watching a Flavor of Love Episode, read it here. ) (Sorry, but if the phrase M****f****** offends you, don't read it.)
There are some other celebrations today, and we can creatively connect them to the Ides of March
True Confessions Day
Everything You Think Is Wrong Day
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
National Pi Day
Today is the day to celebrate Pi... no, not that pie.
To celebrate Pi Day you can look up the location of your birthday in Pi, sing Pi Day songs, or play Pi Trivia.
Wikipedia, says that we should "eat pi (pie), play pi (piñata), drink pi (Piña Colada), eat pi (Pineapple) or watch Pi (film)." And we should save our major celebration until 1:59 pm, to recognize the six-digit approximation of Pi: 3.14159.
Fun Pi Facts
-Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
-March 14th is also Albert Einstein's birthday! (Coincidence? I think not.)
-Pi in Binary looks like this: 11. 00100100 00111111 01101010 10001000 10000101 10100011 00001000 11010011 00010011 00011001 10001010 00101110 00000011 01110000 01110011 01000100 10100100 00001001 00111000 00100010 00101001 10011111 00110001 11010000 00001000 00101110 11111010 10011000 11101100 01001110 01101100 10001001
Learn About Butterflies Day
If celebrating Pi is a little too analytical and systematized, then you should try something more natural and holistic, and learn more about butterflies today.
- The word butterfly came from the English word Buttorfleoge.
- The collective name for a group of Butterflies is a flutter.
-Butterflies don't have lungs, they breath through openings in their abdomen called "spiracles".
-There are nearly 18,000 species of butterflies.
-Butterflies taste with their feet.
-Butterflies can attain a flight speed of up to 50 kph.
-When it rains butterflies find shelter in dense undergrowth and tree cavities.
-Some male butterflies emit pheromones through special scales on their wings.
-The average lifespan for an adult butterfly is just 20 to 40 days; the minimum lifespan of a butterfly is as little as three or four days; and the maximum lifespan of a butterfly is six months.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Open an Umbrella Indoors Day
It’s interesting to think of how superstitions are passed on from generation to generation. My parents weren’t particularly superstitious. In fact the only superstitious thing that I can remember them doing was, knocking on wood when they would say something that either they wanted to happen, or didn’t want to happen in order to confuse the wood sprites.
It must have been in school that I learned all the other little saying that children pass to one another. "Step on a crack and break your mom’s back," "break a mirror and you will have seven years bad luck," and "it’s bad luck to hear an owl hooting three times, or to see three butterflies together."
When these, and other, superstitions became a part of my paradigm, opening an umbrella indoors became indistinguishable with the parental imposed faux pas of not washing my hands before I ate dinner. My mother hardly knew what to do with this little girl that would not open her Holly Hobbie umbrella to let it dry out… and in Oregon, it often needed to dry out.
So, because I am interested in these things, I think that my readers must be as well, here is a possible explanation why it is bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, as well as other umbrella superstitions that I was not aware of: (Did anyone know that if a single woman drops her umbrella, she’ll never marry?” That’s it! I’m not carrying an umbrella ever again!)
Open an umbrella indoors and bad luck will "rain" on you. But why? There are two schools of thought:
The most common stems from the days when umbrellas were used mainly as protection against the sun. To open one indoors would be to insult the local sun god (especially Ra) and invite his wrath on everyone in your household.
Another theory borrows from the idea of an umbrella as a protector against the storms of life. If you were to open one in your home, the household guardian spirits might think you felt their protection was insufficient, and then they'd leave in a huff. Once again, everyone in the house is cursed.
In truth, the superstition is probably coincidental. (Someone left his umbrella opened in the hall and had a terrible day--he told his friend to keep their umbrellas shut, and it spread.)
It isn't always bad luck to open an umbrella inside. According to some, it's only considered bad if any of the following apply:
-The umbrella was a gift.
-The umbrella is black.
-The umbrella has never been used outdoors.
-There is a sick person in the house.
Other bad luck umbrella superstitions:
-Never give an umbrella as a gift.
-Never pick up an umbrella you dropped (ask someone to do it for you).
-Never place your umbrella on a table or a bed.
-If a single woman drops her umbrella, she'll never marry. (Answerbag.com)
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Monday, March 13, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Alfred Hitchcock Day
There seems to be some disagreement on the internet about which day actually is Alfred Hitchcock Day: March 8th or March 12th. I'm going for the 12th, otherwise, we have missed it. (Sorry!)
Appropriate food for today... "The" Cornish Game "Birds", Twice Baked Potato "Lifeboats," "I Confess" I Like Spinach Salad,"Dial 'D' for Death" by Chocolate Cake, and "Champagne" Tee hee!
If you just want to celebrate by learning more about Hitchcock, his movies, his wit and wisdom, his cameos, and all sorts of other stuff, I would check out this site. I was quite happy with it.
Plant a Flower Day
In Utah, they say it's not safe to plant flowers outside until after Mother's Day. And even with the promise of green (can we say COLD!) it is currently snowing. Perhaps we should postpone Plant a Flower Day, unless you happen to live in a more moderate climate.
There be snow here!
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Sunday, March 12, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
Festival Of Life In The Cracks Day
349 Google results later, and I still don't know what this day signifies. But there are some pretty big cracks in in the world. And inside those cracks, life. But do we really want a festival about this? I think of spiders, and scorpians, and other sorts of creepy crawlies, to whom it would be rude to not invite to the festival, since we are talking about their homes.
Maybe we all should just bypass this day... and start planning what we are going to wear next Friday.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 10, 2006
Thursday, March 9, 2006
On Panic Day Eve, I am a bit stressed. Most everyone will probably just want to stop reading now, this probably isn't going to be one of my more interesting blogs. I think that I am only writing this because I have gotten into the habit of blogging, and now I am pretending that this is a journal or diary or something. I will get back to normal programming soon...
I have my annual employee review tomorrow. I have three things that are stressing me out about this. I'll go with the most superficial first.
I have been having some problems with my medications lately, (I have Multiple Sclerosis) and because of that I have been retaining water like crazy. And because of that I only have three shirts that don't look like I am completely clueless about what size I wear. Everything else is tight, gaping, and obviously too small. But, since this is a result of a medication problem, I refuse to buy a new wardrobe over it. But, for employee review, I want to wear one of the shirts that fit me.
The must-wear shirt is the one that I have to iron because I accidentally dried it in the dryer instead of laying it out. So I got out the spray starch, ('cause if I am going to iron, I am going to iron right.) It's been a while since I used it. When I spay it, it comes out all flaky and yucky, on my clean, black shirt. I used a damp towel and got most of it out, and continued with my ironing project. Now this is a shirt with fun sleeves- sleeves that could use cuff links. Sleeves like this have extra buttons. I hate the extra buttons because they are hidden in the folds of the cuff. And yes, I spent a little too much time with the iron over one of these hidden buttons, and burned the fabric. Arrggh!
I wish I had cuff links. The only piece of jewelry that I have ever asked a boy for was cuff links. I'm not a needy girl... I don't ask for much. I have never even asked for a engagement ring. Just cuff links, and not even a committment to go with them. I just really like cuff links. Both boys that promised me cuff links fail to follow through with their promises. Sigh. Some day I will find a boy that will give me a pair of cuff links. And then I will not iron over the hidden buttons on my shirt before employee reviews. It's all their fault. (Please note the heavy sarcasm.)
Boy, that was a long time on the superficial... I think that I will show some restraint, and skip the telling of parts two and three of why I am panicking (Well, not exactly panicking, stressed is more like it) about my employee review. Things will feel better in the morning, I am sure.
Employee Appreciation Day
I could only find one reference to today being Employee Appreciation Day, and I usually only blog a holiday if I can find three or more references, because then I feel safe about not needing to cite, because it is then common knowledge... correct me if I am wrong, please. But, I thought it might be appropriate to mention Employee Appreciation Day, on my Employee Review Day. Hopefully, I will be appreciated.
Hopefully, everyone will be super appreciated today!
Happy Employee Appreciation Day! and if you feel you must celebrate Panic Day, I am sorry, but you are in good company!
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Absent's first job, other than babysitting, McDonald's, and King Henry Apartments Cleaning-Check Slave, was as a Receptionist/Veterinary Assistant in a Veterinary office in my home town, the Iris Capital of the World. I got the job because I dated the Veterinarian's son, and the son was such a good guy that he felt badly that it didn't work out, and he convinced his parents to hire me to make it up to me.
I loved working there, but I wasn't a very good Veterinary Assistant. I hated that part. I would get sick during surgeries. I didn't have good reflexes during examinations, so I often got scratched, and I would cry every time we had to put an animal to sleep. But, I was a fairly good receptionist. I learned how to cheerfully say "no" when the situation merited it, how to explain office policies with the right amount of detail to get my own way, and how to get payment before services were rendered to ensure payment, all skills that I use to this day.
Many times while I worked at the Veterinary Clinic, I was asked to housesit/petsit for people I barely knew. My one qualification, they knew where I worked. And I was paid, I thought, ridiculous amounts of money to watch these animals. Once, I was paid $300 for one week. For one cat. And this was 10 years ago.
Well, of the times that I was asked to housesit/petsit, was for my high school AP US History teacher. Now, this teacher only knew me as "the Mormon girl that corrected him during the Joseph Smith lecture" and "the girl that argued with Senator Mark Hatfield when the television networks came to our school." (My one bold moment in high school.) I had to reintroduce myself while I was moving into their house. (His wife hired me.)
Mr. AP History Teacher (and beloved high school coach) and his wife were gone for two weeks. During the first week several things happened.
1) Almost half of the High School's football team, which was predicted to take the State Championship, decided to film themselves while they beat a mother possum to near death and then set fire to the poor animal. Then they showed in in their film class at school, assuming that no-one would tell. (And we wonder why football players have the reputation for being dumb.)
2) Those members of the team were suspended from playing at the State Championship.
3) Rumors spread around town that the team is going to "get back" at the school administration.
4) I found one of Mr. AP Teacher's cats dead on the back porch early on Thanksgiving morning.
Now, I had a pretty good imagination at that time (still do) and I have been accused of always assuming the worst in any given situation, (I am working on that) but, finding the cat dead on the porch freaked me out. Never mind that the cat was almost fifteen years old, it was one of the stormiest nights of the year, and I had heard it outside crying around 2am. I freaked out. (I know, I already said that.) I was sure that the football players had waited outside of Mr. AP History Teacher's house until they saw the cat and strangled it.
I took the cat into the office where I worked and made the doctor come done to the office to examine it, on Thanksgiving morning, to make sure it hadn't been murdered. He convinced me that it hadn't. Then, I had to wait another horrible week until AP History Teacher and his wife came home from their cruise to let them know their cat, and companion of fifteen years, had passed to the other side. Not my favorite-most-shining moment in life.
That was my last housesitting/petsitting experience, and probably not someone that I should put on my resume, if I ever decided to become a professional pet babysitter.
To all you professionals out there, hats off to you!
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
It's interesting how memory works. You try not to focus on a date, and still, it comes around and bites you. Everything was normal this morning until I dated a letter that which made me realize it was March 7th today. I don't know why that specific moment I remembered, and yesterday I didn't. Even last night, while I was writing my blog for today, and I wrote March 7th, I didn't remember. March 7th was the day my brother died, and every March 7th I remember, though I don't plan to. I want it to be a normal day. I want to forget. I want to be a normal person without that word "suicide" hanging over me.
This year, I can do something to remember this day, that will maybe help someone. In the past four years I have been privileged to volunteer some of my time to mental health awareness and suicide prevention in the State of Utah, through the Utah HOPE Task Force. They have asked me to speak at two of their Conferences, to present the perspective of a sibling survivor. Today, to remember my brother, I am going to share that speech. Maybe it will show up in a Google search someday, and maybe it can help someone who happens by. (Hopefully this will eventually get more traffic than Cordova Ice Worm Day, which is currently my most Googled page.)
HOPE Suicide Prevention Conference 2005
Suicide Survivors- Break-out Session
Why are we called suicide survivors?
I would like to explain why we call ourselves survivors. The term can be confusing to those who don't understand all the implications of the term. When you read an obituary you see that those left behind are listed as survivors. Once you have reached a certain point in life, everyone has been listed as a survivor in an obituary. How come we don't have a society of survivors? Why would a survivor of someone who has died from that particular cause, suicide, choose to label themselves from this one event? If you are a suicide survivor, it might be difficult to put into words why.
Research by Barbara Rubel in "The Grief Response Experienced by the Survivors of Suicide" found that certain grief complications are unique to suicide survivors, such as a loss of social support, an increase in self-destructive tenancies, and suicide survivors list guilt as the most distressing factor of their grieving process. Rubel's research also stated (this is my favorite) "that suicide survivors tended to be more psychologically disturbed, [and] less likable ... than non-suicidally bereaved."
David L. Conroy, PhD in his book Out of the Nightmare Recovery from Depression and Suicidal Pain listed twenty-one qualities that intensify grief that are specific to suicide survivors. Among these are:
-a lack of time to say good-bye to the deceased
- reoccurring health problems such as headaches, and stress related illnesses,
-increase of mental health problems, and
-a stronger likelihood to develop suicidal ideation.
He, like Rubel, notes a "lack of social support" he recognizes society is getting better at supporting suicide survivors but "the amount, quality, and duration of social support ... is still much less than the normal grieving process." During the grieving process survivors feel an intense lack of trust in others and in self, weakened interpersonal relationships, and Conroy spends quite a bit of time on what he calls the "deep and complex feelings of guilt."
These are just some of the issues that suicide survivors must work though. No wonder we feel a bit different from other grievers. No wonder we feel like aliens compared to "normal" people for years after the death of our loved one.
General public needs to be aware that there are many survivors in our community
Many sources estimate that for every suicide there are six to ten people whose lives are and will be irreversibly affected by the suicide. With thirty thousand Americans dying annually by suicide, that makes at least an estimated one hundred eighty thousand new survivors a year. With numbers like that, if you are not a survivor, you likely know a survivor, or will intimately know a survivor in the future.
My Family's Story
I am the oldest of my parent's four children. My brother was born just two week shy of two years apart. We celebrated our birthdays together, having one birthday cake-one set of candles to blow out. I liked frosting, and he liked cake, so I would eat his frosting, and he would eat my cake. We were very close friends as we were young. We were playground buddies, co-conspirators; we presented a united front against parents, other neighborhood kids, and sometime our younger siblings. As we entered teenager-hood, he began to have problems adjusting socially to middle school, and was held back a year. He hated school. I loved school. Our closeness changed; we grew apart. His teenage difficulties were different than mine. My mom said that he would go into a deep dark place for days, and wouldn't talk. I couldn't understand the place my brother was in, and frankly, at that time, I didn't want to try to understand.
His freshman year of high school, my senior year, we had a very difficult year in our relationship. I couldn't wait to go to away to college, and a lot of that anxiousness was from the tension that his illness created in our home. That year he was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and when he chose medication as his treatment option, things did get much better.
The next school year was my brother's first full year of medication, and his best year in school ever in his whole life, socially and academically. He became a photographer on the school yearbook committee, did the sound and lights for the school play, and had a close group of friends for the first time since his childhood. Since I was at college, from long-distance we began to rebuild our friendship. He wrote me letters, we talked on the phone. I began to see my brother as my friend again. In his letters he sounded excited about life. Every letter he ended with "I can't wait for you to come home." I never wrote him a letter that year. It is the biggest regret of my life. I considered our phone conversations enough.
Then March 7, 1993, my brother, took his own life. He was sixteen years old. It was the last night of the school play that he had worked so hard on. He did not leave a note. We as a family still cannot find any significant warning signs... if it had happened the year before, it would have made sense, but he seemed to be doing so well. There are so many unanswered questions.
My parents became completely different people from the secure, safe, strong people that I had always relied on. They were completely shattered by my brother's death. I felt that my real parents had died with my brother. I know that sounds very harsh to the parents in the room, but I feel very strongly that parents need to be aware of this. Your children cannot talk to you about their true feelings about their grief. You must provide another safe adult, who will listen to them during the grieving process.
I felt abandoned by my friends and church leaders. My friends were young, and did not know how to react to my grief. Whenever I tried to talk about my brother, the subject would quickly be changed. When I would ask sincere questions to my church leaders they would give me the equivalent of a head pat, or a trite answer. We need to encourage community conversations about suicide so that people can understand the needs of survivors and respond appropriately when they need support. During those first few years, I had only one friend with whom I felt safe sharing my feelings, and I cannot imagine where I would be if I did not have that friend. We need more friends out there to support survivors.
There is no way to prepare for the magnitude of the loss that suicide creates or to prepare for the lack of support following a suicide
No one is ready for the loss of a loved one to suicide. Even if there are warning signs due to mental illness, one simply cannot prepare oneself for the actual impact of losing a loved one by the violent act of suicide. In our culture, suicide is still a taboo subject. Sometimes it is impossible for survivor to share their grief surrounding a suicide because they feel blame and judgment from the community that should be supporting them. Society has an unspoken message that a suicide is indicative of a character flaw and/or a family dysfunction. We need to change these perceptions.
There is no-one to blame
When suicide occurs, there is not someone or something concrete to blame, like in a sudden death due to a car accident, or cancer. This is difficult for anyone to face, but for young people who are not experienced with expressing and understanding their feelings, this ambiguity can be extremely difficult. Human society craves fairness. We need a villain, or something to blame. It is extremely confusing when suicide happens because it's extremely unfair, and it's not unfair in the way that death from a car accident or cancer is. With non-suicide related deaths it seems okay to be angry at something other than your loved one. Survivors of suicide feel guilt for blaming their loved one for their death. We feel wrong for being angry and for going through the normal grieving process. The easiest way to deal with these feelings is to blame ourselves for not seeing the pain, or understanding the pain, that our loved one was going through. We blame ourselves for not seeing the signs, or listening to promptings, that might have changed the outcome of the situation. We can sit forever blaming and being angry with ourselves, but it will not allow us to progress. We, as survivors need to learn from whatever mistakes were made, and learn to live life, and to love those around us without regret.
Suicide changes the family- forever
When suicide occurs, our family has forever changed and we are forced to reorganize and redefine roles in our family. The suicide destroys the safe haven that the family has formed, that the siblings have formed. As siblings we are bound by love and respect, friendship and jealousy, we have stuck up for and fought with one another. Siblings play an important role in the people that we have become, and what we will become, and when this tie is cut, the loss is significant.
When you lose a sibling to suicide, you lose part of your childhood. Your shared memories become tainted, and it seems as if the act of the suicide bleeds backwards into the happiness that had once been. For many sibling survivors the suicide is the first young person they know that has died. This death is the first step into the realization of our own mortality.
Siblings in families that have suffered a suicide loss have many issues that they have to deal with. We deal with the crushing pain of our parents. We see our parents as shattered, imperfect human beings, instead of the super-human personas that seemed to exist before. We feel that if we share our own pain with our parents, it will increase their pain, so we hide the increasing senses of loss, anger, guilt, sorrow that we feel that we cannot express.
The loss that a family feels from a suicide will be felt almost every day. As my family gathers for family celebrations, we are very aware that my brother is not with us. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, never seem completely right without him.
Moving past the pain of suicide
Soon after the suicide, I made the mistake of putting myself on a time schedule. I felt that I needed to go through the Kubler-Ross grieving schedule in an organized grieving process. The reality of my grief was that it was real, it was ugly, it was not organized, and it often snuck up on me leaving me in tears without warning. I often felt many emotions in a matter of seconds, and I could not logically put myself in any phase of grief.
As each month of the first year passed, I would think "Just give me a year and I will get over this." After the second year, which was worse than the first, I wondered if I would ever get over it. I saw people in my life withdraw from me because they thought that I should "be over it." I became suspicious of people wanting to be my friend because I thought that eventually they would not want to be my friend because I would be forever sad.
In the years since, I learned how to incorporate the pain into my life. There will always be times where I feel a big empty spot in my heart. I have learned that is part of life, and I would rather that I have the experience of knowing and loving my brother, than not to have the pain.
I have no doubt that my brother's choice changed my life. But, I believe that all suicide survivors make a choice to either be proactive and become stronger from the pain, or to let the pain rule your life. Some days, some hours, it may feel that we survive because we have no choice. We have to go on, even if it seems that nothing will ever be normal again. Twelve years later, I still cry for my brother, for the unnecessary loss, but as time goes on, I do feel a sense of normalcy that I did not feel before.
I will never be the same person I was before my brother's suicide. In some ways, I am much stronger than before the suicide, in other ways I am more vulnerable. Sometimes when things start to get stressful, I feel renewed by the challenges that life has given me. I am the eighteen year old who cleaned out her brother's locker, and spoke at a school assembly, and finalized the funeral plans in the first week after my brother's death. I remember these accomplishments as strengths. Then there are the times I remember the eighteen year old girl two weeks after his death, who struggled every morning to get out of bed and talk to her roommates, and pretend to be a normal college student because I was overwhelmed with guilt, and sorrow, and wondered how I could have saved my brother, and why I wasn't a better sister, why I didn't send him even one letter while I was away at school. I feel responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life, with my family, in my job, and in the lives of those around me. I feel overwhelmed by life, unable to accomplish any task. I can relate these feelings directly to the impact of my brother's suicide. But, I do hold on to the belief that as I accept new challenges, life will continue to provide a new sense of normal.
(I love you, brother. I wish you well. -- Absent-Minded Secretary)
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Name Tag Day
Today is the day that everyone should wear a name tag. Whether or not you place of employment requires them of you. Of course, you can make up a name if you want. I won't tell.
Unique Name Day
Okay, this is the funniest website that I have seen in a really long time. It is the Utah Baby Namer: An online help for parents looking for that distinctive name that says "I'm a Utah Mormon!" Please, please, please visit this link. You will see treasures like a list of Utah Mormon names, including (not kidding) Abcde, some poor girl-child's name. I wonder how it is pronounced.
I know that there are other cultures that uniquely name their children, but I don't really feel membership of those groups, so I don't feel that I can comment on anything other than my own culture. So, here it is for all the Barbie-Dees, and Golden-Nobles out there, we do love you, we also love to discuss your names. Thanks to you and your creative parents for having them.
And if anyone has a clue as to how to pronounce Abcde, I really would like to know.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Monday, March 6, 2006
So, at 6pm today the turkey was still at the same spot as it was last night, and I could smell it from 15 feet away. I was pondering what sort of note I could leave on the turkey to encourage my neighbor to a) move the turkey, b) not eat the turkey, and c) answer his door occasionally so that neighbors can let him know when there are turkeys on his doorstep. So, as I had decided to leave my apartment to check my mail, I discovered that the stinky rotten turkey was sitting on my doormat!
Now, I know it didn't move there by itself, no matter how full of bacteria it is. I am annoyed, because now it is 10-15 pounds of sticky rotting turkey flesh, polluting my doormat. My once-nice doormat.
So, as I am standing in the doorway, with my front door open, (letting all the stinkiness into my apartment) my keys in hand and my mouth agape, a man walks up. He looks like a door-to-door salesman, but I don't notice this as he walked up.
I ask him in my annoyed voice, "Do you know whose turkey this is?"
He looks surprised, "Umm, no, I don't."
We exchange a few words about the turkey and then he turns and knocks on my neighbor's door... and Neighborboy answers it!
Mr. Salesperson asks Neighborboy, "Umm, is this your turkey?"
Neighborboy says: "No, it's not mine." And here is where I think he noticed me and the look on my face. "I don't know where the turkey came from. I have been wondering about it."
Me: "It's been in your doorway for three days."
Neighborboy: "Uh, yeah. I know. I saw it there. I didn't know what to do about it."
And here it is folks, the reason I'm still single...
Me: "Maybe when something sits next to your door for three days, you should assume that it is yours, and do something about it before it becomes a problem to your neighbors."
Learn What Your Name Means Day
"The dog that wags its tail may have good reason; but the grass that is mown cannot articulate its despondency."
If you already know the traditional meaning of your name, and would like to know the something silly, based on your favorite punctuation, or how many generations your family has maintained literacy, or your favorite part of a sentence, try here. You can ignore most of the stuff, but it will give you a funny motto.
If you want a real answer about what your name means try here. At this site you can do searched based on names, meanings, name days, popularity, namesakes, and a glossary.
I looked up my name day, and my name doesn't have a name day. But, Edgy does. It's French, and November 12th. I'm not sure what we are supposed to do about it, except maybe celebrate it like another birthday, and eat French food. LL, has several name days: Czech: June 1; Estonian: January 18; Finnish: January 18; Hungarian: June 17; Latvian: April 18; Lithuanian: June 17; Lithuanian: October 19; Polish: June 17; Slovak: June 5; Swedish: January 15. Now, I totally feel left out.
Another cool feature on this website is a page for logical names for twins. Like Grace and Hannah because Hannah means "grace" in Hebrew; and Nathaniel and Theodore because both names mean "gift of God", but Nathaniel is Hebrew and Theodore is Greek. Just kind of fun to see what is "logical" to name twins.
Fun Facts About Names Day
If the facts that you want to read about baby names are how popular a name is in a give year go check out the Social Security Administration Database of Baby Names. You can check out the top five names by state by year, or the top 1000 names of the decade. (Personally, I think romance novelists should be introduced to this site so they can think before they name their heroes Jerome, and realize that Jedediah will be so much more appropriate.)
Wikipedia has some basic information about names, but I couldn't find any "fun facts" to share with you. So anyone who would like to share some fun facts... please do. Also, if you didn't find a new name on Get a New Name Day, perhaps today would be a good day to find out your pirate name, or actually, it is Irish American Awareness Month, everyone must get their Irish Name today! I declare it!
Saturday, March 4, 2006
Dear Next Door Neighbor:
I realize that we have only met passing in the vestibule during the wee hours of the morning, when both of us have been making our way home from various social activies. I realize as well that sometimes there isn't a reason to leave your apartment on a Saturday until late in the afternoon. In fact, sometimes, on an occasional Saturday, there isn't a reason to leave your apartment at all. But, if your friends are going to leave you a turkey on your doorstep, perhaps you should poke your head out your door to see if it has arrived.
The turkey wasn't there last night at 11 pm. But it was there this morning at 7 am. It was still there at 1 pm. And now, at 4 pm, when I poke my head out with extreme curiosity to see if it is still there... it is.
I probably should knock on your door to let you know about said turkey. I have visions of Samonella, Botulism, and Avian Influenza floating in my head... but, I also am curious to see how long it will remain there.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Saturday, March 04, 2006
Friday, March 3, 2006
I Want You To Be Happy Day, What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day, Shabbat Across America Day, March 3rd
I Want You To Be Happy Day
The only information I can find on this day is e-card websites, which leads me to believe that this isn't a real holiday, but a made-up holiday to create more e-traffic. I would guess that this could be a useful holiday, if you already wanted to say this to someone. Otherwise, I think, just out of no-where, the phrase seems a bit odd. Almost, like you are breaking up with them, but want to be nice. But, maybe I'm tainted. Hotmail just sent me a list of reasons why I'm still single. I'm afraid to open it.
Anyway, the number seven result from my google search for the "I want you to be happy day" was No Pants Day which isn't for 62 days, 13 hours and 10 minutes of me writing this post. Interesting site. There are songs and everything. Maybe if I didn't wear pants I could fix that single thing.
What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day
Someone wondered. Someone cartooned it. Someone made a day about it.
Shabbat Across America/Canada Day
In the middle of Lent, we can forget that there are other religious observations honored at this time. Tonight is Shabbat Across America/Canada. If you want to learn more about Shabbat observance, try here. If you want to try cooking your own Shabbat meal, look here for some menus and recipes. (I really like that each menu has a different recipe for the challah bread, but each recipe has the required step of saying a blessing when you divide the dough.)
Okay, I have had enough internet playtime. Time to vacuum my apartment, and unload the dishwasher.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 03, 2006
National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week; Return the Borrowed Books Week; Universal Human Beings Week;
Celebrate Your Name Week; National Professional Pet Babysitter's Week (There are Professional Pet Babysitters?- I have a story about this); Read an E-Book Week; Help Someone See Week; National Cheerleading Week; National School Breakfast Week; National Procrastination Week; Newspaper Education Week; Save Your Vision Week; Universal Women's Week;
Girl Scout Week; Campfire USA Birthday Week; International Brain Awareness Week; National Toad Hollow Week;
National Chocolate Celebration Week; or American Chocolate Week; or Death by Chocolate Week; (your choice) National Agriculture Week; National Animal Poison Awareness Week; World Clown Week; National Bubble Blowers Week (I can't wait! It had better not snow! Although, that might be pretty too!); National Spring Fever Week; Week of Solidarity with Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination;
March 25th-April 2nd
National Spring Cleaning Week; National Sleep Awareness Week; Pediatric Nurse Awareness Week
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Friday, March 03, 2006
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Zucchini Tart on a Hazelnut-Thyme Crust
(Recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini)
- 140 g hazelnuts (skin-on for a nicer color effect)
- 100 g white chocolate
- 140 g flour
- 1 egg
- 100 g butter, diced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 kg zucchini (5 medium)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 C mascarpone cheese (cream cheese can be substituted)
- fleur de sel (or regular salt), pepper
Start with the dough. Chop the hazelnuts and white chocolate in a food processor until reduced to tiny chunks, small enough but not so fine as to be powdered. Add in the thyme and butter, and mix until combined. Add in the egg, mix again. Transfer to a medium mixing-bowl, and add in the flour progressively, kneading the dough until it is no longer sticky and can be rolled into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for a couple of hours. The dough can be frozen at this point, then thawed in the fridge before using.
Rinse the zucchini, and cut in sticks (one medium zucchini should yield about 16 sticks). Steam the zucchini sticks for about 12 minutes (I use bamboo steaming baskets), and let drain thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
Roll out the dough on a floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper. Transfer the dough onto a 24 cm (10-inch) pie mold (nonstick or buttered). I find it easier to work with one half of the dough at a time without caring too much about the shape, and then assemble pieces of the rolled out dough to adjust to the shape of the mold. Prick all over with a fork, top with parchment paper and baking beans if you have them, and put into the oven to pre-bake for ten minutes.
In a small mixing-bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese and egg. Take the dough out of the oven, transfer onto a cooling rack, and spread the mascarpone mixture onto the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Arrange the zucchini sticks in a sunray pattern on top, breaking the sticks in smaller pieces to fill the gaps.
Put into the oven to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the filling looks set. You can make this ahead and reheat the tart for ten minutes just before serving.
(I'm just kidding, by the way.)
Vegetable is a culinary term denoting any part of a plant that is commonly consumed by humans as food, but is not regarded as a culinary grain, fruit, nut, herb, or spice.
These include leaf vegetables (e.g. lettuce), stem vegetables (asparagus), root vegetables (carrot) and flower vegetables (broccoli), and botanical fruits such as cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, avocados, capsicums, et cetera, as well as botanical pulses like green beans, and fleshy, immature seeds such as those of peas or beans.
Vegetable is not a botanical term and so there is no contradiction in a plant part being a fruit botanically while still being considered a vegetable.
Puzzling Evidence from Veggie Tales that documents again that Edgy is the center of the universe.
Dr. Seuss's Birthday
Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. Because it's his birthday, the NEA (National Educator's Association) is celebrating with their program: NEA's Read Across America: Building a Nation of Readers. You can check out their website, which is mostly geared toward teacher and the like, but other right-minded individuals can get involved in the promotion of Read Across America.
Originally created as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading on March 2, Dr. Seuss's birthday, NEA's Read Across America has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day of the year.How cool is that! This author has changed children's literature so much that his birthday is celebrated nationally as a literacy day.
If you want to celebrate Seuss by just learning more about him, there are many sites dedicated to him. These two I thought were interesting:
1) Dr. Seuss Went to War. (I found this one fascinating. He was a very successful political cartoonist during World War II. It's fun to see his very distinctive style making fun of republicans, who talk about changing times, were opposed to going to war.)
2) The Center For Seussian Studies
Or there is the Random House Welcome to Seussville site. This one is geared to kids.
Or there are things like this which show that Dr. Seuss has permanently embedded himself in the psychic memories of our culture. (Yes, I did link to this already, but I really like it.
World Book Day
World Book Day is a similar celebration to NEA's Read Across America, but it is the British version.
World Book Day was designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and was marked in over 30 countries around the globe last year. The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George's Day − a tradition started some 80 years ago...The site notes that UNESCO sponsored World Reading Days in nations other than the UK are celebrated on April 23rd.
...World Book Day 2006 in the UK and Ireland will take place on Thursday 2nd March. It is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.
One interesting thing that the organizers over in Britain did to prepare for World Book Day, was complete a Happy Endings Survey. If you click on the link on the main page you will download the results in a Word file. The have some interesting facts in the study. You should check it out. Apparently, not only gender determines what type of ending we like, also age has some influence:
"41% of people are overwhelmingly in favour of books with a happy ending, as against 2.2% who prefer a sad ending. Women were 13% more likely than men to say they want it all to end happily. Almost one fifth of men expressed a preference for books with ambiguous endings. Young people were most likely to prefer books with a sad ending - 8.6% of under 16s. Those aged 41-65, however, shun sad endings, with only 1.1% of them preferring books that end this way." (Happy Ending Book Survey, http://www.worldbookday.com)
Personally, I prefer an ending that fits the story, if it's happy, but the happiness betrays the quality or the tone of the story, I don't like it. But, that's just me.
If you want to make your own Dr. Seuss bookmark, or happy ending bookmark, here is a blank template page. Just get creative and have fun!
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Named for the Roman God "Mars"; Irish American Month; Music in Our Schools Month; National Craft Month; National Frozen Food Month; National Nutrition Month; National Peanut Month; National Women's History Month; Poetry Month; Social Workers Month; Foot Health Month; Humorists Are Artists Month; National Furniture Refinishing Month; National Frozen Food Month; National Noodle Month; Youth Art Month; American Red Cross Month; National Feminine Improvement Month; Honor Society Awareness Month; International Ideas Month; International Mirth Month; International Listening Awareness Month; Irish-American Heritage Month; National Caffeine Awareness Month; National Collision Awareness Month; National Eye Donor Month; National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness; National Kidney Month; National Hold-On Month; National Talk-to-Your-Teen-About-Sex Month; National Umbrella Month; Optimisim Month; Play the Recorder Month; Poison Prevention Awareness Month; Save Your Vision Month; Small Press Month; Spiritual Awareness Month.
We'll do the weekly celebrations later.
Posted by Erin aka- absent-minded secretary at Wednesday, March 01, 2006