Friday, July 28, 2006

Gluten-Free Beer in NEPA/Scranton

Okay, if there are any Celiacs from the Scranton/NEPA area reading this, I found a GF beer that's sold in our area. It's Ramapo Valley Brewery's Gluten Free Honey Beer. It's sold at:
Cadden Brothers Beer Distributors 634 Luzerne St. Scranton , Tel: 570-346-6578

I called them and they quoted me the price of $31.99 plus tax for a 24 count case.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tyrannosaur running with scissors

Have you ever felt like you have no control over anything? That the world is just spinning and spinning and if you let go you'll go hurtling off it's surface into some black hole?

I'm tired. I have no energy to do anything. I just want to sleep for a whole day and not have to take care of anyone or anything that day.

My brother just called. He's going to Iraq in September for at least four and a half months. I say "at least" because he just told me he wants to stay there for eight months. If he does, then by the time he comes back all of his debts will be paid off and he'll have money in the bank. I'd rather make sure he's alive and well in the States than worry about his flipping debts.

It may not be totally apt, but I keep thinking of a quote from Jurassic Park: "The world is changing so fast, and we're all running to catch up." No, I'm not Dr. Grant being chased by genetically engineered dinosaurs, but it seems like everything is changing around me and I'm out of sync with it all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Overheard at the bus stop

"Pennsylvania doesn't do anything for seniors." This came out of the mouth of a senior citizen. She was using a bus pass only given to seniors and complaining about a lot of other stuff.

If she hates it here so much, she can move to Florida and let the lottery proceeds be divided fairly among the needy demographics of the state. I think using the proceeds from the lottery, as Colorado does, to keep tuition at state universities at a reasonable price would be a good first step.

So there!

You wouldn't know it by my last two posts, but I actually do like most senior citizens. I consider them to be often-wise individuals who have seen a lot of life and deserve to be listened to. I just wish they would treat younger people with the same respect we were raised to treat them with.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dirty old men need to be scrubbed from the planet...

Okay, today I was really creeped out. An older man wanted my help, saw my name badge and grabbed me under the chin and repeated it a couple of times. I forgave this because he only held my chin for a few seconds, even though it hurt when he grabbed me. He then wanted help with portable DVDs. When I couldn't find one that was cheap enough for him he was fine with it, I guess, because he put his arm around my shoulders and kissed my cheek. Now, okay, if we were talking about a gorgeous, young stud, I wouldn't mind, but he was definitely not. Basically, I was molested today and it happened so fast I couldn't even react. I should have kneed him.

Let me tell you, if I see this dude again I am running for the damned hills.

Oh, and he was also complaining because we don't offer a senior discount. We are apparently a selfish company.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

What's so honorable about this?

My disturbing news of the day:
Honor killings in Turkey will get the murderer a life sentence and Turkey not accepted in the EU, so conservative Muslims are driving their daughters to suicide instead to restore the family name. This is progress?

It used to be so simple. A girl would dishonor the family by being raped or wanting to go to the movies or looking at a cute boy so the family would have a younger son kill her. Because of the age of the murderer and the fact that the family was forced to kill the girl, the boy would get a light sentence. Now the EU and UN are pressing Turkey to actually progress in their treatment of women. This means that the former light punishment for honor killing is jacked up to an automatic life sentence, regardless of the age of the murderer. Since this means the families would lose two children, including the all-important male, families are making the daughters commit suicide or covering up a murder by staging it as a suicide.

A quick Yahoo! search led me to this page which confirmed what I thought. Suicide is against the teachings of Islam. So is the killing of innocents, but then, I guess if a girl has eyes and happens to admire the form of a handsome young man she is no longer innocent. I guess if she's raped by a stranger or family member she is no longer innocent. I guess if she wants to go to the theater and take in the latest movie she is no longer innocent. I guess if she wants to wear a pair of jeans she is no longer innocent. And I guess that she is not going to go to the Islamic version of Hell for suiciding because the Qur'an didn't plan for a situation where the family might have to lose their precious sons if the girl didn't commit suicide.

What do I know, though? Hey, it may be honorable in some alternate dimension where the grass is red (not only from the poor girls' blood), parental love is measured only in what a child can do for them and that child has no independent thought.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I love my Grandma!

Mom was talking about possibly getting tickets to see Toby Keith when he comes in for her and my brother. Backstage passes would be really cool if she could actually get them.

Grandma's response: "Who's Toby Cease?"

I love that woman!

The typical good news, bad news and GREAT news...

Good news:
Public Schools perform near Private ones in Study

Bad news:
In Nebraska and Tennessee, More Setbacks to Gay Rights

Great news:
My brother is coming home for a visit before his deployment back to Iraq. He's coming in on the 29th. He'll be driving from Alamogordo, New Mexico to Scranton, Pennsylvania. It's a two-day trip: complete with dog (who will be staying with his ex father-in-law. LOL) and (drum roll, please) my niece and nephew!!! Yahoo!!! I love the little monsters.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Numa Numa - Our Fighting Men At Play

I'm sorry, but I simply must share this one. It's just too good to not pass on.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stitching Habit Feeding Time

Well, I finished Elements/Rainbow a few weeks ago. I'll post a few pics of it. Now I have to finish Kwan Yin for Ami and Dan's baby. I figure the munchkin will get it for Yule. It'll be a good Turning of the Year present.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

"She's a User, an Abuser..."

I have to laugh. My grandmother's friend just came over to talk to her.

The two of them used to go to Red Baron games every year. Mom and one of my cousins would get Grandma $50 ticket-books. Grandma would give them to *Mary* to turn them in for actual game seats. Mary would then come back and tell Grandma what days they were going. They would split the tickets that we bought for Grandma. Mary would always upgrade their seats a bit and tell Grandma how much it took to upgrade and Grandma would pay all of that. Mary would pick Grandma up for the games and pay the $2.00 parking fee. Then she and Grandma would leave around the sixth or seventh inning (Mary rarely wanted to stay for a full game) and they would drive to Mary's house close by, where Grandma would call Mom r one of her sibs to drive out there and pick Grandma up. Supposedly she has a problem with night driving. Of course, she leaves our neighbor's house after dark every Sunday she visits, which is nearly every Sunday...

So, for the price of $2.00, Mary used to get $50 plus worth of baseball games and didn't even have to drive her benefactor both ways.

Now, she's saying she hasn't gone to any games this year. Grandma has only gone to one and that was with Mom paying (July 4th for the fireworks mostly). Mary just told Grandma that if Mom had any extra tickets, to let her know so she could use it. The noive! I can't wait to tell Mom this one. Although, her blood pressure might go up high enough to explode. It did when she finally found out that our Christmas gifts to Grandma were paying for Mary's games. Maybe it would be better if I didn't say anything.

By the way, this is the friend whose beliefs about early popes not being married I simply had to refute. She actually believed that celibacy had been a requirement for priests since the very beginnings of the RC church. Given her age and generation I should have shut up, but the Historian in me wouldn't allow it. Besides, she was being so damned snarky/sanctimonious about it. She didn't stay long that night. Sorry, Grandma.

She didn't stay long tonight, either. Oh, well. I wonder if Grandma will insist on leaving the light on for her, when she makes sure she turns it off each night before Mom gets home...

World Cup is over for 2006

I finally watched a full World Cup game. I wanted France to win, but Italy played a damn good game. Actually, I wanted Germany to win since the USA was eliminated. Since Italy beat Germany I was ticked at them and happy that France had beaten Brazil. So I was rooting for France. How is that for circular logic?

What the hell was Zidane thinking - head-butting Materazzi like that? What a way to finish a great career, to not even be able to stand with your team to accept the second-place award on your last game ever. He had one hell of a goal, though. I didn't even think it went in at first.

LOL. One of the Italians just put an Italy funhat on the trophy. I don't think the players are ever going to let it go. The official handing out the trophy gave him a funny look and took the trophy away to actually give it.

I love soccer.

What Century Do We Live In?

Alright, any of my friends will tell you that I get up in arms over certain political issues: religious equality, gay rights, environmental issues and anything the Shrub does that I disagree with. Well, here are two that have gotten my goat lately.

Family Disowns Indian Prince For Being Gay

Honoring Sgt. Stewart: Wiccans are Americans Too

Isn't it silly that such things are even an issue these days? A man comes out of the closet to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS issues in India and his parents disown him? A soldier who gave his life fighting where his country told him to go cannot be buried with the same gesture of respect that his fellow soldiers can?

"Where is the love?"

Monday, July 03, 2006

Why? (A Long Grandma Update and Rant)

I have to wonder why we do this. Why do Mom and I subject ourselves to this mental abuse? We love Grandma, but it's getting harder and harder to deal with both her and the family's attitudes.

TAFH was in this weekend. She immediately turned off the air conditioner. She saw that Grandma had her sweater on (and shorts) and made like it was too cold in the house. It was 76 degrees. TAFH was cold, after all, and there's no reason for Grandma to wear a sweater if she's chilly. Never mind the fact that it's simply habit for the woman to pull the afghan over her when she's not even cold. Especially never mind the fact that when TAFH comes in and other time the thermostat MUST be set at 68. "Just put on a blanket, Mom." But it was too cold and we had to open the doors. She's a cheap little bitch. I apologize if any minors are reading this, but that's the nicest way I could put it. Grandma just backed her up and told me I was wrong when I stood up for Grandma. I was then chastised for not having read the owner's manual of Grandma's air conditioner.

That was just for starters. There was the strawberry-picking adventure, the Chinese take-out fiasco, the cutting remarks and the pure illogic of the woman. Coming back from Pallman's Farm, where we pick the strawberries, she had to pick up sugar and gelatin. We were going to pass right by Gerrity's and both Grandma and I were perfectly amenable to wait in the car for the few minutes it would take her to run into the store and get the stuff. We actually even agreed that it made more sense for us to do that. Of course that wouldn't fly. We had to drive right by Gerrity's, go home and unload the entire car, then TAFH went back to Gerrity's. *sigh* She'd make a terrible Vulcan.

The best was at the very end. Apparently, Mom and I chose the worst week for everybody else as our week to take our vacation, even though it was literally the only week we could take given our schedules. Oh, and two months notice isn't enough time for all of them to figure out who is going to take care of Grandma when. She actually told me that we don't have to schedule our lives around them, but that's what it sounded like to me. None of them ever ask us about whether or not their vacations, dates, book clubs, nights out with friends (What the hell are those anyway? Not friends, but nights out...) might be happening at a time inconvenient for us. They rarely (practically never) offer to help us with Grandma.

Aunt L comes over every Saturday, early in the morning to bring over some fruit that she picks up at Aldi's and check to see if there are any bills to be paid. She does this early enough that Grandma and I are still both asleep so she doesn't really visit with Grandma or give me any time to myself. Uncle B occasionally asks her over for dinner. Both of them will come over and watch her if we absolutely need them, but we're nearly always made to feel guilty for asking. Like tonight: B, the lady who watches Grandma during the day, told Mom this morning that she's off tomorrow because she doesn't work holidays. This is news to us, by the way. No one ever mentioned this. I had to call Aunt L and she was quite grudging about it. I can't afford to lose a day's pay. Neither can Mom. Aunt L's a teacher. I'm sorry if she had plans, but this is for her damned mother!

And then there's TAFH. This charming woman does give us time off when she's in, but is it really worth having one night out every month or so, to have to put up with a near-constant stream of negativity and belittling? If she doesn't have something to complain about, she's not happy. I swear the woman is pure poison. I'd say she's clueless, but I think she knows precisely what she says and takes pleasure in the fact that at least one of us (me) can't say "boo" to her, no matter what she says. I deserved a medal for my silence in the Chinese take-out fiasco.

I was going to order salads for Grandma and I before TAFH got home. She didn't want salads. She preferred Chinese. Grandma doesn't really like Chinese, but she agreed to get it anyway. TAFH, of course, had to tell me that Mom and I were wrong about the spring rolls. They apparently "don't have just a little bit of wheat, they have a lot." Fine, we were wrong. We've never had a problem with them, so we'll look out for them from now on. She was a snot about it, though. Then the air conditioner thing happened and I retreated upstairs. When the food finally arrived, she wanted me to give her ten dollars to pay the delivery guy. I told her I'd put it on the credit card. She apparently thought I was saying that I would put it on the card. I kept repeating that I put it on the card, but once something gets in her head, she's unstoppable. She only stopped paying the dude when I asked her to make sure my card wasn't charged. Of course, as we were unloading the food she had to give me a grammar lesson and tell me I spoke unclearly and was wrong. Hello, this is the woman who is such a bad writer she can't get published on her own. She's a professor going for tenure, so publication's a big thing. I am the one that has had articles printed under my byline in a newspaper. Granted, it was local paper and small, but I was still published, paid and asked to write an article for them. I was editor of a college 'zine. I was copy editor at my college newspaper. I think I know something about grammar and proper usage of language. Snide, pompous pain in the arse.

Oy! Toss in my father's side of the family and we have the true dysfunctional American family.