Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Watching My Father Living with Grilled Vegetables!

Of course, you will die for them, if you come here or - alternatively - go to Afghanistan. Here, in nice suburban Parsippany, we just saunter over to the Kabob Paradise, a food forced lovingly upon me by Lauryn Nolan years back at one of our Parsippany Day events. Since then, I was completely captivated by their food. And Luis and now my father love it, too.

My father got up to 333 pounds over a period of about a year or so, when my mother was struck with the first of too many strokes. And suddenly life was just pear shaped and out of control. So his whole focus became learning to take care of my mother, a task I would not willingly take on (this is a weakness, to be sure, but it is also a definitive statement. This is not an ideal task for someone with my disposition and personality. I cannot be close to ANY of my patients - unlike my father, who cannot do EMS the way I can - divorcing myself from the patient is what I am good at, not the opposite). It took far less time than you'd think, but he really was scared shitless at first - and why not? This is an enormous undertaking. Also, you come out of the explanations and advice thinking, "Oh, my gods, here is my [spouse, child, parent, etc.] with his or her life in my hands! How many ways to Sunday can I fuck this up?" Don't deny it - there isn't a person alive, thrown into a situation without warning of this nature who hasn't thought this at some point[s]. And all kudos aside, Ray had to go through the trial by fire, and asking people for help, and asking questions after questions, and now, well, the change in him is truly amazing.

And the unexpected bonuses that came with it. Truly you will never know what you can do until you absolutely have to - sink or swim, who wouldn't prefer to swim and get out of it more than just alive? Of course we do - it is the indomitable human spirit. Ray not only became a primary care giver but built up his nerve to 1. spend money more comfortably without worrying that overnight he'll be broke, 2. take that "don't mess with me" tone with people when needed, and 3. stop getting too nervous or verbally incontinent when looking into new matters (my mother used to handle all the money affairs - which while she did some good things, very often her view of money management, like mine versus Luis', were completely at odds with Ray's ideas of money management. She and I live[d] by the mantra, 'he who dies with the most money is still dead"; while Luis and Ray prefer to hold onto it with much more vim and vigor. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be smart with it, but often any extreme is not the right way to handle... anything).

[Welcome to the wonderful world of the run-on sentence...]

Well. Once Ray got used to the new schedule and swing of things, his weight remained there. Now, yes, he is very tall - 6'4" - and that helps, but 333lbs, while a nice triple sine number, is not at all a healthy weight. I would bring this up once in a while, but much with Luis, nagging anyone is a great way to ensure that no matter what they might say to you, they will just dig in those heels and not do it. I'm that way, so of this I know.

But then, he met Jane, made good friends, and now they are in a relationship - a very long distance one, but one none-the-less. Everyone is happy! I'm very, very happy - it only took me three years to get him to see the benefits of Facebook and talking to not only his daughter but other adults - people his age, possibly who are or have been in his situation or just to have fun - but to remain, despite this unenviable situation, connected to the outside world.

Now, it is funny but shells and shards, how people will initially react funny to hearing how my married father - whom I am very close to - is "involved with a girlfriend" until they really understand the bare bones of the situation. For one thing, he is in New Jersey, Jane is as far south as you can get without leaving the United States (but not Florida). So it is not as though there is any flaunting or weirdness that turns people off. Then, too, my mother is unable to communicate, move, do anything. Both sides of her body do not work any longer. She sleeps about 20 hours out of each day. He won't put her in a home, won't stop caring for her until the end, but imagine living with no one to speak with, no adult company. So suddenly not one single person has any negative feelings about this!

So often I find I am disappointed by peoples' reactions to many things, but in this, I am very happy! Peoples' reactions have been very positive. And I thank Jane constantly. She has seen what I have always seen, a truly sweet caring person who survived all sorts of life lessons, with Ma, marriage, raising a kid who really put him through the ringer as a teen - I mean, when I was a teen - and has come out as sweet, kind but stronger than ever on the other side. That is no mean feat. But while I never understand mean people, people who love can survive so much. Love's terrible other side, as Madeleine L'Engle wrote about. And while love has its downs and terrors it still keeps us going in a way that hate never can - even though it looks that way.

But this - this is the best of love!

And suddenly, you are wondering (as am I) why this post is called "Grilled Vegetables to Die For, aren't you? Well, the real thrust of this is supposed to be Ray's weightless, a battle that has suddenly - amazingly - become not a battle, but a very, seemingly easy, transition into healthy living all around. He is eating great foods, little meat, less carbs, tons of greens and fruits. He is exercising - walking, working outside, working with an exercising device. He is practically racing up and down stairs, doing home improvements, enjoying all of it! It is just a complete 180 degree turn around from the last four or so years. I'm delighted and so proud of him!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Living in Art Again - After 20 Years

I had been drawing, painting, sketching, whatever - all of my life. Well, almost all of my life. From infancy to around age 26, then nothing until just this year, so from 1992 or so until now, not very much - just some aimless doodling on and off. Mostly off, sadly. Now, anyone who knew me from infancy to age 26 recalls that I was always drawing - no matter where I was or what I was really supposed to be doing. It really didn't matter to me - all I needed was a big enough margin and a writing tool... teachers outside of my art classes mostly minded but not me.

And as an adult, whenever I needed a little moment of stress relief, I would doodle. I did it once or twice at the squad house. Danny found it, of course. Wasn't he surprised - I think all he thought I did was read. But it still fell under the heading of Those Weird Little Things You Don't Know About Me. It wasn't something I was doing frequently - not even infrequently. I didn't do it full stop.

But I know what killed it. I mean, it didn't actually kill it - when I went into New York City last year and picked up well over $100 of art supplies, I knew that it hadn't completely died. In fact, it was as though nothing had stopped even though a full 20 years had elapsed. Call it muscle memory, call it whatever you want, it was still there - and so were most of the tricks and lessons and learned things from my childhood and young adult years.

So what did it? What made me stop drawing for so long? Well. Luis and I were living in our first house, the one we rented in Fairfield, New Jersey and moved into in October 2000. We hadn't been together long - about six months - but he asked me to move in and I thought about it for maybe a day or two and accepted. But then in late 1991 I lost my job (I was just a temp, but still - it was devastating). And by the time the Ren Faire rolled around in July 1992, I had to agree with Luis that it was time to sell my artwork.

I began to draw and copy and sometimes colour in drawings all the time. Then I'd drag them up to the Sleeping Dragon tent, where I worked, stuck them in a space that had been created for my art, and try to sell those and the dragons. Well. I will tell you that at this time, I really began to hate this. It's one thing to sit down and create because the mood or need is upon you. It is another thing entirely to do it as a means of survival. And I did not survive doing it - not creating and not selling - I sold two out of ten weeks of working. And after that, I drew nothing.... until this year.

And guess what? I have zero intention of selling it. I may create something for someone who I like or feel very strongly about, but it will be a gift - a gift that means more than anything I could buy anyone - because it came from me. Just me, nothing and no one else. I have a list of people in my head that I would gift art from me to, in my head. I won't put it down here. And I post my work on  Facebook, so some of those who do remember my old art from so long ago can see that I am doing it again.

And I do fantasy art. I draw women primarily - aggressive, beautiful women - and that is nearly it. I love doing women and I'm not good at the masculine figure, in spite of the fact that I'm only attracted to men. But there are other women who do what I do - Julie Bell, Olivia, etc. - and I make no apologies for it. The one difference is I work primarily in pencil, pigment ink, and coloured pencil. I do not do much in paint (although I want to take painting classes - oils, thank you, not acrylic, although I may begin in acrylic and work back up to oils). I do not really prefer pastels. Watercolours make good background colours, providing the background is not meant to compete with the main figure(s). But I know what I am strong in and prefer to work in that.

My friend George sells his work on the Internet, and I am very proud of him and his work - and not a little envious of the fact that he does it. But not for me. I don't want to stop what I have started once again. Of course, I am also the model for some of his more recent work (used from images I have finally scanned in that were taken when I was 19 years old. I had a pretty good body then. I may even use those photos myself. After all, I have all of the originals...

Heh, heh, heh...

Still, I have shared everyone of them that has been scanned in thus far and will share the rest when they go in. I'm very proud of those pics, and so is George - he engineered many of them, as well as the model. But to see what he is making now is really cool.

Just for you to see:

If you go to The Hedgewood Annex (it is on FaceBook and the Internet) and look this up (it is called The Lady of Bones), you will see just how similar the image he created is to this very picture which he took and of which I am the model in 1987. It was a very good year. I have no doubt there will be a lot more artwork coming out soon. I will not post any more pictures of me like this. But I will be more than happy to point anyone in the right direction to see his work.

There is really no telling that it is me in his version, but he did that specifically for me. I certainly wouldn't put this on FB. (If someone else does, I suppose there is little I can do to stop it, but keep in mind my father is on there too.)

Even so, I am proud of this and being his main model at the moment. There is something very cool and very flattering about that.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Living in Celebrity Apprentice All-Star Season

I think we watched six or seven of these shows... something happened to our TiVO and it missed a huge number of these shows. We always have it set up to record this show. However, a marathon of six or seven of this in one night is overkill. Once a week it is entertaining, mostly. Mostly... Some of the celebrities make me crazy.

Who annoys me? Gary Busey, who is a major head case, made me totally nuts. He describes himself as "thinking out side of the box" and that is close... I don't consider him to actually be capable of thinking and his team clearly sees him the same way, but for some reason, they all become suddenly circumspect (if not outright wussy) about mentioning this in the boardroom to Mr. Donald Trump. I'm not sure why. I certainly would have no trouble at all giving his ass the chewing out it needs.

Which brings me to Omarosa... Omarosa... I'm not sure if the spelling is correct and I have no idea what her surname is. I don't particularly care, however, and I have to really have strong antipathy towards someone to not give a rat's ass how to spell his or her name. But antipathy is fairly weak in describing how I feel about this wretch of a woman. She is just the worst person, no morals, no caring about her team. And yet, curiously, no one would bring her back to the boardroom! It was mind-boggling! I didn't honestly think LaToya Jackson could manage it - she is a total pussy. But even though she bitched and moaned about Omarosa, LaToya did not bring her into the room for the final reckoning. So LaToya got fired.

Claudia, another actress or whatever, did the same thing! She bitched and moaned about how awful Omarosa was, and then brought back Dennis Rodman, who was useless, and Lil Jon, who should never, ever, see the inside of the boardroom other to receive kudos, but did not return with Omarosa. I had reached the conclusion that LaToya was afraid of her; everyone reached this same thinking when Claudia did the same thing.

Next annoying person: Dennis Rodman. Not only is this nutter a walking freak show, he's lazy and uninterested in adding anything to the team's efforts. He wasn't drowning in alcohol at 0800, but he was not particularly useful or resourceful and was definitely the weakest link.

And then there was Stephen Baldwin. Normally you would think he would be a good addition to any group but it turns out that the only person he would consider as having anything good was himself. He constantly steamrolled over everyone else. He was not a good creative person (no matter what he thinks) and had some truly awful and terrifying ideas. Penn had no use for him, and I had to agree. However, I was hoping that Penn would actually stand up to this loser and tell him to shut up, but it never happened.

Who else? Let me see... LaToya Jackson. Oh, how I despise this woman. I don't care for most of the Jackson family, it's true, but it is truly a toss-up between the sexless Michael Jackson, who did not biologically produce any of those kids, or LaToya, who is wussy and has the worst wimpy voice. She is useless and so regressive, everyone walked all over her with cleats on.

I really don't know Brande Roderick well enough. I didn't find her to be interesting or much of a team leader, but she wasn't offensive or annoying. Lisa Rinna is okay, although the over-collagening of her lips is... scary!

I like Marilou Henner well enough. Not heaps, but well enough.

And this brings us to the truly likable people. Trace Adkins, Penn Jilette, Dee Snyder, Bret Michaels, and Lil Jon, who should drop the "Lil" and just go with Jon. There is nothing little about this man. He wants to win and generally is an excellent player.

Trace is a tall, sweet, gentle-spoken man. He is funny, in a dry kind of way that I appreciate. He had no use for Baldwin, either, and at one point had requested Penn as a teammate, which I liked. He recognises other strong players. I was happy to see he was back; and he developed more of a backbone. 

Penn Jilette, of course, is scary-smart, full of interesting ideas, has a huge creative streak, and worked well with many, even the ones that made him crazy. I would have liked, again, to see him stand up to Baldwin - to his face - but, well, maybe that made him more politic than me. Then again, most are more politic than me.

Dee Snyder: another smart man, smart, fun, polite, has good ideas. For some reason, he never seems to get far in this show, which is a pity. But he is extremely likable.

Same with Bret Michaels. I think he is just great. And Donald brought him back to be in the show as a judge for the South Africa tourism contest. A good choice.

Jon is truly amazing. He lost to Arsenio Hall, but only one person could win and while it was very close, Arsenio was a wonderful contestant. I think Jon will win this Celebrity Apprentice, but it is a toss-up, except for Gary Busey, who has to go. How he made it to the top six I will never know. Penn and Lisa should have made a stronger case for his uselessness, but they won the last challenge, so there was no getting rid of Busey. There is something really, really wrong with that guy. He has a knack for saying the exact wrong things. All the time. Every time. It is staggering.

The show has some things to recommend it. Ivanka and Donald Jr are very likable, so is George. Some of the other judges are wonderful, too. Piers Morgan I have no use for. But I find (against my earlier opinions) I like Donald Trump, too. The comb-over is awful - the man could afford a decent wig - but otherwise he is fairly intelligent and people-smart. Certainly he surrounds himself with good people. That is the key to wise companies. No one can do it all alone.

The guy who is the producer, Mark Burnett, must be the richest show producer anywhere.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

I.Q. - Am I Smart or Not?

This was what I got when I took an online I.Q. Test:

Apparently, at a figure of 111, I am more intelligent than 72% of the population. This seems a little unlikely to me, but maybe I'm too hard on myself. This is not easy. I am caught by living with someone who has a 125 to 130 I.Q., which doesn't make me feel particularly smart. On the other hand, a score of 111 doesn't make me a blathering idiot, even if I feel like it most of the time. I am not a good linear thinker and generally get too excited about many topics and this doesn't make me come across as smart. And I definitely suffer from a lack of common sense.

On the other hand, I do know my strengths. I'm very empathic, excellent at reading people. I am reassuring and comforting to people. In fact, almost all of my strengths tend to be in dealing with people, which occasionally means I am too forward with them. But mostly I do well there. I can spell and write well. I am very much the artist - in mental capacity and temperament. My normal temperament is actually more serene than most artists but internally I'm more of that fiery, overbearing on my own efforts, and occasionally over the top, etc. I am not one to get angry easily. When I do get angry, truly angry, run! It has happened once or twice and most people find me a terrifying person when truly angry.

Still, this score of 111 seems... inaccurate. Oddly enough, though, Luis guessed my I.Q. to be 110. That man just flips me out sometimes. He's creepy in his ability to read me. And he often reads my emotional state and thoughts with an accuracy that really is scary. He insists that he cannot "hear" my thoughts, but can pick up on my expression and body language. Ironic, since as a programmer (a very, very advanced programmer), his ability to read and communicate well with people is on a level with the character Harold Finch. Weird, huh?

Living in Person of Interest - The Real Deal or Telly Paranoia Run Amok?

I happen to love the show Person of Interest. I like all the actors, as well as their characters. I do feel a bit bad for Jim Caviezel - this guy takes a beating in every episode! I wasn't too thrilled with him when he did The Passion of Christ - a movie I did not see and wouldn't due to the abysmal violence - but I'd read about it and his feelings on it and just did not see the value of either. My bad, right? Actors tell stories - sometimes ones they like and sometimes ones they do not - and who am I to criticise? So I have long since gotten past this.

Good thing.

Person of Interest is - no pun intended - interesting. One man, Harold Finch (well-played by Michael Emerson, who is eminently likable), developed and built a super-computer colloquially referred to as "the machine" which sees and hears everything and identifies people just by their nine-digit social security number. Originally, this computer was developed to alert the government (the inference is that this will alert the Federal government, not local) to potential terrorist threats. Period. However, Harold Finch noticed that the machine was also producing a different list of numbers. These numbers showed no terrorist threat, but a threat of a different nature. The machine passes these number(s) on to Finch, who wants to save the person or people as they will be involved in some kind of crime outside of terrorism - possibly the victim, the perpetrator, or just someone who witnesses something - but he cannot act alone. Finch is the computer person, his job is the surveillance via computer, phones, etc. He is the brains behind this.

What Finch needs - and finds in John Reese (also well-played by Jim Caviezel) is someone who will be the brawn and make the connection with the person or people involved. He also does surveillance but via following the mark and taking pictures with a telephoto lens and camera. He is most definitely not the computer-savvy type. He was in the Special Forces and has a range of rather dubious talents, including killing without any remorse (this certainly takes a unique personality, of course. And I don't mean unique like serial killers, but especially unusual in that he has a strong moral compass pointed (in general) in the right direction). As a pair, they are extremely effective in helping victims get out of their special situations.

However, just the two of them was not quite enough, so they brought a "dirty" police detective into their fold: Lionel Fusco (played by Kevin Chapman, who played Bunny in Unstoppable, one of my favourite movies) and, after she tried chasing John and gave him up to the CIA, who shot the hell out of him and she helped Finch to rescue him, also became one of their outside world contacts. She is Detective Joss Carter (played by Taraji P. Henson, who was in Boston Legal and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, two of my most beloved shows). The two detectives at first worked separately without knowing that the other was involved but at some point in Season 2 this was fixed to avoid issues.

There is a sub-plot to the show regarding a sect of very corrupt police officers called HR which to date has not been explained and we still haven't the idea of what "HR" stands for. I am not tickled by this - I didn't spend decades doing Human Resources to have some telly writer dump on the initials for this group. But it is television, so I'll deal with it (it's not as though I have a choice, other than not to watch it and that, frankly, isn't an option). At any rate, it is a poor secondary plot compared to the main thrust of this. Finch and Reese help people who need help. It is a delightful sentiment and thought.

I was pretty proud of myself for noticing a small but key feature in the intro of the show: If you watch, they show the person whose number comes up just at the end of the intro. The reason I'm proud of this is because Luis did not catch this little detail, and normally I'm the one who misses things. I was quite happy I noticed this. (I also have a tendency to see and realise errors in movies and telly shows, such as the scene in The Goodbye Girl, where Richard Dreyfuss (a huge favourite of mine) is bombed in a play, shows up drunk, knocks over a table by the window. When his girlfriend pulls him back in, the table is righted and everything as it was before! And in the Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, he and Michelle Yoeh need to escape Jonathan Pryce's lair, so they tie each others hands together, and run to jump through a window - except they jump through two windows, separated by a section of concrete... without losing their hands. How special...) Usually I'm clueless and Luis catches the weird little details. but not those...

Back to Person of Interest. The only episodes I did not care for where the first two of Season Two involving a character called Root. (I've forgotten the real name of the character.) She was one sick twist, which once the mystery was solved made sense, but I prefer violence to be inferred, not obvious. She was obvious. And so was the female spy whose name I have forgotten... let me see... is it Samantha Shaw? I think so... not completely sure.

I do very much like Zoë Morgan, and Carl Elias, who is a criminal who is trying to take over the city's crime ring and become the overlord of the entire New York City crime syndicate. He's overly intelligent, suave, well-spoken, soft-spoken, and loves chess. He first shows up as a victim - a school teacher named Charlie Burton, who witnesses a violent crime and has some Russian guys trying to kill him. By the end we find out he is Carl Elias, mastermind criminal. But he just seems far too smart to end up in a short-term career like that. Still, he is very likable. He is played by Enrico Colantoni, who has been in NYPD Blue, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Bones, all shows we love(d).

I love watching old episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation because I recognise all kinds of actors after the fact - he will be one, so will Amy Acker and a whole host of others. In fact, I think I will do that now. I have every season on DVD, right up to last season. This will take me bloody weeks to watch!

(My fingers and arms hurt from so much typing...)

I'm back a few hours later. I feel I need to explain the title of this post, not just natter on about the show and the actors but to address the title, which connotes a different angle of looking at Person of Interest. It is a show that bears a certain amount of scrutiny. Ever since the 9/11 attacks and the development of the Patriot Act, how unreasonable is it to think that maybe someone, somewhere hasn't developed a super-computer that has everyone in a geographical area mapped in with all their little details (not just the public record items such as school attendance, criminal records, physical and/or psychological information; but things that we put up on our social networking sites and personal blogs and private Web Sites. A scary thought when you look at it that way, isn't it?

It is hard to imagine that every move I make outside of the house is noted and logged and pieced apart by some benevolent (I hope) computer. The idea is that once this machine went online, it had no back door (good thinking as there is always someone who can get in that way), it will update itself and is impervious to malware (a little unrealistic that, but this is television). It is secreted away physically. Human hands are no where near it. An interesting theory, isn't it?

And the intro starts with the very seriously uttered words, "You are being watched." This is enough to give anyone slightly paranoid to get the screaming memes and run into their homes and lock up everything! For the seriously paranoid I would not even want to think about it. I delight - evil person that I am - in playing the intro of this show loudly to scare the outlaw, who thinks the FBI has our house infiltrated. Heh, heh, heh...

So that explains the title of this post. No matter what, whether it is somewhat true, very true or completely false, it is an excellent show. Of course, actors are storytellers and the best of them deliver stories that they tell so well we can believe them!

Living in Splash - Celebrity Fun & Fright in Water

Yes, I know. As much as I say I won't get into new reality shows and generally have no trouble doing it, this one was rather unavoidable. I love swimming and I used to be a fairly good diver (forward dives only, however), so this is something quite enjoyable. And I could not have stayed away when I found out who was in it.

I find Kareem Abdul Jabbar to be such a sweet man - as so many tall men are, he is a pussycat. He does have one issue that he can't seem to get past - he dives off of boards that are far too short for his height. Think about it - the standard diving board is geared for people ranging from short to around 6'. Kareem is over 7' tall - a poor fit for the two shortest boards.

Louie Anderson... now in his early 60s and well over his correct weight (not that he was ever small but yikes!) and still as funny as ever, graced this show with his presence. It was painful to watch him try to do anything, but he certainly gets many points for bravery and trying to do this and anything else.

The others are a mix of semi-known and completely (to me) unknown celebrities, but I have come to like most if not all of them and I can see how hard this is for all of them. Some are really picking up a lot, some not so much, and some have gotten some pretty gruesome injuries but they are all putting their all into it.

This is the sixth episode and what a difference this particular dynamic has made. The previous episodes mostly had them diving on their own. One was a partner dive, which was a really great episode (although one woman bailed out and left the show). The rest were good, fun, interesting to see where people excelled and where they failed (overextension almost nearly does them all in), and of course the most fascinating person was Louie Anderson. Unfortunately while the show was very, very good for him and resulted in his losing many inches from his very overweight physique. But he could not dive - and it is understandable on the one hand, but it is crazy on the other. How could a man who had to sit down to make his "dive" off a board get a score higher than another contestant who did not dive well but still could, to the letter of the description of this word, actually dive?


This episode differed in that this time, the celebrities were partnered with children of whom the oldest of them was 12 years old. Twelve! And they all dove as though they were Olympic level competition-level divers! The moves they could do! But they really brought some amazing quality to the show that I had never seen and never would have believed if someone had told me about this. Every diver showed a marked improvement diving with those young kids and showed a mettle I'd never credit. I was flabbergasted; so was Luis. We both found the improvement to be incredible.

Kareem was the lowest scored diver when all was said and done and was not able to win the dive-off challenge, which was a pity, but he seemed to take it well. I hope he continues to dive, though and finds a board that is just the right height.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday Stealing: The Unlucky 13 Meme

April 21, 2013

The Unlucky 13 Meme

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!

Today we ripped off a blogger named Avery 11 from her blogLa Vie Neuf. She states she grabbed it from Nakeisha. But it was probably stolen there as well. So, tracing back the thefts of those that we steal from could take a while. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Link back to us atSunday Stealing! 

1. On average, how long does it take you to get ready for work/school/a day or night out?  Not long. Twenty minutes for a shower; five to ten minutes to get dressed and put on watch, jewelry; five minutes to put together what I need in a bag. So a total of 35 minutes.

2. If you could ask your favorite author one question about the book(s) they wrote, what would it be? Oh, my. One question? Nay, I'd never be able to limit that.

3. What do you think is the hardest thing about growing up? School and the cruelty or the other kids. Children are horrible to each other; that is just a fact. What really made it terrible was the fact that the school employees could not bother themselves to do anything about it. I'm delighted to see that they are taking the heat for this now.

4. Who would you rather switch places with for a day: your favorite celebrity, or your favorite fictional character? Oh, my. I would switch places for a day with Menolly from "Dragonsinger". I love that character so very much.

5. Who would you rather have point out a flaw that you weren't aware you had: a close personal friend, or a total stranger? I wouldn't mind. We grow from knowing our flaws. Either one makes sense, although I'm not sure that all strangers would accurately pin my flaws down. Undoubtedly some would but not all.

 6. Do you get jealous easily? If so, what sorts of qualities or characteristics in other people are you most likely to be jealous of? I'm the last person on Earth to be jealous. I have long since gotten past that ugliest of emotions. I was dating a guy from my high school (after we'd graduated) named Sean. I was nuts about him but insanely jealous of anyone else even looking at him. I drove him away by engaging in this behaviour and I regretted it when he explained it to me. After that I worked hard to rid myself of that feeling and realised that it took far more effort to consider all women as y enemy than as my friends. I have never once looked back on that. I am so much happier for this. So I am not envious of anyone or anything.

7. Which version of yourself would you rather have a conversation with: the one from ten years ago, or the one you turn into ten years from now? Oh, definitely the one I was ten years ago. I'd tell her how much her life would change and what mistakes to fix ahead of time.

8. Were you ever bullied in any way as a child? If so, how has it shaped you today? See Question 3. I was terribly bullied in the eighth grade when I started school in 1981 at the George Washington Middle School, by all the kids. I remember Lori Ziem so well - what a -- well. You get the idea. I'm sure she ended up in prison, the shit that she was. She was a stocky, bullying girl who looked like a Rikers inmate. She was one of many, but she didn't get a good life by treating me poorly. I laugh at her now. I'm content knowing I turned out very well. School was not my best time, and so I did not leave my best days behind in a school but went on to get better and better all along.

9. What is one fear you would like to overcome in your lifetime? My one fear is arachnophobia. I hate it. But I very much doubt I will get past it. Still, that's fine. I'm not afraid of anything else.

10. What is one food you haven't tried yet that you would like to? Hmmmm. I'm not sure. I'm a very fussy eater.

11. Is it easier to forgive someone for the wrong they've done you or to seek forgiveness from someone that you've wronged in any way? It is not easy to do either, but I do both. There is nothing to be gained by being bitter in any way.

12. Let’s go random: What did you do for New Year’s Eve for the turn of the millennium? Nothing. I doubt we went out but celebrated it at home. We are not big fans of New Year's. If we did anything, we went to my parents' house.

13. What else around here have you noticed? Well... around where? The question is rather vague. But I did enjoy filling this out!