Sunday, May 27, 2007

Summer is so cool, right? Wrong!

I have come to the conclusion that the Summer is my mortal enemy - for many reasons.

1. I have an Irish complexion. Reddish-brown hair and white-as-a-ghost skin don't do too well with the summer sun.
2. I'm fat. Having even a tiny layer of blubber makes the heat unbearable.
3. Grandma. She loves to sit on the porch in the heat, great, right? Sure, if she actually goes out. It's like pulling teeth to get Grandma to eat on the best of days, let alone a hot one where she's never hungry and refuses to drink more than she needs to gulp down her frickin' pills. "I'm not hungry...I'm not hungry." I swear, if I hear this one more time today, I'm going to get violent.

*sigh* And yet, I love growing things. I think growing plants is the only thing Summer is good for. It certainly does nothing for the slight hold I still retain on my sanity.

Oh, one question: Why is the noun "complexion" when the adjective is "complected"?

Oh, joy, she's back inside. I guess I get to go outside and stitch again. Bitch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Book Signing Fun and Frustration

The Borders near me is having a book signing June 9. I want to go since I like one of the authors. I've been researching the other three that are going to be there and each has books that look interesting. The problem is that most of these came out as e-books and the paperback versions are going to run around $13.50 each. Gideon, by Jacquelyn Frank is a mass-market, at least.

The only thing that's annoying me at this very moment, though is that the one book that really looks interesting by Stella and Audra Price is called Fire in his Eyes. It's a dragon/shifter romance. Lovely, but they just switched publishers, so it won't be available for Stella's signing!

The other two authors showing up are Bianca D'Arc and Rene Lyons. I've already picked out books by them I want: Ladies of the Lair and Midnight Sun, by the authors, respectively.

This should be fun. I just hope Mom's not working so I can go. And that I have a spare $40 to spend on only three books...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tim Curry blew up my DVD player!

My DVD player blew up. I turned it on and loaded Clue for a few hours of mindless fun (and counting gunshots) when I realized the movie wasn't loading. I then noticed a small plume of smoke coming from the side of the player. I quickly unplugged it from the wall and the TV, showed it to Mom as I went downstairs and left it in the entrance. My room smelled like burning plastic and circuitry for about two or three hours afterwards. Mom was boggled. SO was I. I never even thought something like that could happen.

I guess this means the next one I buy will cost me more than $30 if I want it to last a significant amount of time and not burn my house down. For now, I'm watching movies on the laptop.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Your Power Bird

Via Morchades

Your Power Bird is an Owl

You are beyond wise. You are so smart, you're almost prophetic.
Your inner voice always speaks the truth, and you take the time to listen to it.
You are good at seeing who people are... including the darkness of others.
As a result, you tend to have a rather dark - yet realistic - outlook on life.
What's Your Power Bird?

I am not a bit surprised by this result. I absolutely adore owls. They are gorgeous, fascinating and best of all, nocturnal!

Dementia and Shortcake

She's getting worse. We took Grandma to the Glider for dinner the other night and the only thing she insisted she wanted the entire night was their Strawberry Shortcake (damned good Strawberry Shortcake, I might add!). Well, when we got it, Mom and I dug in. (No, it isn't GF. Fuck it.) Grandma sat there a minute, fiddling with the fork and knife next to the plate, but not picking them up to eat. I had to hand her a fork before she started to eat. I really think she'd briefly forgotten what to do. This dementia thing really sucks.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lackawanna Politics, part 2

As promised, here's a listing of the candidates for Scranton District of Lackawanna County. I tried getting all of the candidates for Lackawanna County but the clerks were a bit stressed out and the Scranton district was all I could get. After all, there are something like 163 districts in Lackawanna County. Well, here goes the list.

Democratic candidates (because they come first on the ballot):

Justice of the Supreme Court: vote for not more than two
Willis W. Berry, Jr (Philadelphia County)
Seamus McCaffery (Philadelphia County)
Debra Todd (Butler County)
C. Darnell Jones, II (Philadelphia County)
Judge of the Superior Court: vote for not more than two
Timothy J. McCormick (Westmoreland County)
Ron Folino (Allegheny County)
Anna E. Lazarus (Philadelphia County)
Jimmy Lynn (Philadelphia County)
Christine Donohue (Allegheny County)
John Milton Younge (Philadelphia County)
James M. DeLeon (Philadelphia County)
County Commissioners: vote for not more than two
Michael J. Washo (Newton)
Corey O'Brien (Moosic)
Robert Berta (Jessup) - I can't find a website, sorry.
Evie Rafalko McNulty (Scranton)
Clerk of Judicial Records: vote for one
Mary F. Rinaldi (Dunmore)
County Controller: vote for one
John A. Mellow (Blakely)
Glenn M. Cashuric (Olyphant)
Ken McDowell (Scranton)
County Treasurer: vote for one
Edward Karpovich (Clarks Summit)
County Coroner: vote for one
Joseph J. Brennan (Carbondale)
Scranton City Controller: vote for one
Roseann Novembrino
Scranton City Council: vote for not more than two
Andrew M. Sbaraglia
William Courtright
Robert E. McGoff, Jr.
Greg Popil
Lee Morgan
Scranton School Director: vote for not more than five - see the links below for information
Paul O'Malley
Christopher Phillips
Joseph X. Garvey, Jr.
Tom Gilbride
Patrick Mitchell
Mark Dougher
Kathleen M. McGuigan
Joseph A. Matyjevich
Joe Gatelli
Carol Oleski
Patrick O'Malley
Daniel P. Keeler
Paul McGloin, Sr.
James R. Minicozzi

Republican candidates:

Justice of the Supreme Court: vote for not more than two
Paul P. Panepinto (Philadelphia County)
Maureen E. Lally-Green (Butler County)
Mike Krancer (Montgomery County)
Judge of the Superior Court: vote for not more than two
Bruce F. Bratton (Dauphin County)
Cheryl Lynn Allen (Allegheny County)
Jacqueline O. Shogan (Westmoreland County)
County Commissioners: vote for not more than two
A.J. Munchak (Taylor) - shares a website with Cordaro
Robert C. Cordaro (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Munchak
Rob Castellani (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Spinka
Phil Spinka (write-in candidate) - shares a website with Castellani
Clerk of Judicial Records: vote for one
County Controller: vote for one
Michael J. Bodnar (Dunmore) - I can't find a website, sorry.
County Treasurer: vote for one
County Coroner: vote for one
Scranton City Controller: vote for one
Scranton City Council: vote for not more than two
Giovanni Piccolino - I can't find a website, sorry.
Pat Rogan - I can't find a website, sorry.
Scranton School Director: vote for not more than five - see below
Carol Oleski
James R. Minicozzi
Patrick Mitchell
Kathleen M. McGuigan
Patrick O'Malley
Joseph A. Matyjevich
Daniel P. Keeler
Mark Dougher

I am trying to provide links that will help you figure out which of these people you like best.

League of Women Voters PDF: How to Judge the Judges
Questionnaire for the candidates for Supreme Court
PAVoteSmart - 2007 Judicial Election Information
Scranton Times-Tribune article about the candidates for Scranton School District, including opinions
Scranton Times-Tribune article about the Democratic candidates for Scranton City Council with some of their opinions.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lackawanna County Voting, part 1

Okay, I've been trying to find information about a measure on the Primary ballot. It's been rather difficult. Lackawanna County has no website or other type of information about the elections and candidates that I can find. I'll be picking up a ballot tomorrow to find out who is actually running for what and what ballot measures are on there.

There are some helpful websites, but some you have to take with a grain of salt.

Information on Act One: As an aside, it seems that Scranton School District voters don't have to vote yes or no. I don't know if that's good or bad.
PICPA Fact Sheet
LWV Fact Sheet

The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania - deals with Pennsylvania statewide, rather than Lackawanna County specifically. Here's another LWV page that has statewide judicial races listed.
The Lu Lac Political Letter - a blog about politics in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties
Lackawanna County Department Listing - just a telephone and email directory of the various county agencies and departments.
Doherty Deceit - a blog about politics in Scranton (obviously, very unhappy with the job Mayor Doherty is doing)
Scranton Online Discussion - message board about all things Scranton
Gort42 - blog about local politics (and baseball)
The Independent, Conservative, Common Sense Oasis - conservative blog about local politics
Jennifer D. Wade - local blog with some political stuff
Wilkes-Barre Political Scene - Wilkes-Barre political blog (obviously)

Some of the candidates: (alphabetical order) - I know there are a lot more that I'm missing. Tomorrow I'll add them after I get the ballot.
Evie Rafalko McNulty (Democrat for County Commissioner)
AJ Munchak & Robert Cordaro (Republicans for re-election as County Commissioner)
Corey O'Brien (Democrat of County Commissioner)

Here's a LWV Voter's Guide for Luzerne County, at least.

Generic Pennsylvania politics sites:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Work errata

Okay, there's a lady at work that I actually like most of the time. She's nice. She's also forty years old (looks like she's about twenty-five, tops), lives with her parents (pays nothing toward bills or rent) and consistently does the exact opposite of what she's supposed to do at work. She has tendonitis, so she doesn't want to pull or backstock anything because it hurts her elbow. She has sinus problems and calls off if they're bothering her. The newest ailment is bursitis in her hip and now she can't do the comp shopping because walking around Wally-world is too much for her. Nor can she climb ladders. Today, she was doing something that required nothing more than standing and reaching up or down. She left early.

As I said, I like her. She's a nice girl (if I can call a forty-year-old a girl). However, if she can't do the work (she came to my team from customer service because she doesn't like the customers) either fire her or put her on disability and give us someone who will do the work required, dammit! One of my other team-mates has had both hips replaced and walks with a hitched step. He's also damned efficient and hard-working. One of the older ladies needs her knees replaced, but she can't afford it. She's also terrified of heights and isn't very high herself *coughshortshitcough*. She makes herself go up the ladders. Another has arm problems and tires easily and makes herself do the work needed. The lady next oldest to me has blinding migraines and cysts on her ovaries that keep her in constant pain. Yes, we're a very healthy bunch. *snort* But we do the damned work!
I know, I've called off due to illness before. I won't deny it. I've left early when I was sick. However, constantly leaving or making others do tasks you just don't like is plain wrong. She needs a wake-up call. I wish my supervisor would actually do something about it, rather than just shake her head and look the other way out of fear we won't get anyone to replace her. Frankly, she's useless to us at the moment. This has gone on long enough.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Argh Redux

So much for a good thing. Mrs. Hyde is back. Grandma's been listless lately and now the bitch is back. Between her and Mom I'm ready to murder.

Thank the Gods I got out last night, at least. I saw Spiderman 3. It was better than I thought it would be, but not as good as I hoped.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My timing just sucks...

Do I have shitty timing or what? A few weeks ago I found out about a museum in NYC (Cooper-Hewitt) that has major holdings of textile arts, like needlework samplers, lacework and tapestries. Since Mom has been talking about visiting Corning on Mother's Day weekend I figured this would be a great time to go there instead. I just found out that they ask for two weeks notice to see their holdings. OK. Maybe I could have worked around that with the fact that I didn't know they existed until two weeks ago. However, it's hard to work around the fact that they are packing up all of those wonderful things I wanted to see and will be storing them off-site for at least a year!

The woman suggested I go to the Washington exhibits since they are one of the Smithsonian Museums, but looking at the Smithsonian site, the only place I can find that seems to have the textile exhibits I want is the American Museum, which is closed for renovation until Summer 2008.


I wonder where we'll end up. Maybe the planetarium in Schenectady? I just feel like going somewhere unusual for us, you know? Maybe I should just convince Mom to go somewhere with my brother and enjoy a weekend with absolutely no one around.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Insane Stitcher

I'm working on a new cross-stitch design. Well, two of them, really. One is going to be an accordion-style pattern book done to keep a record of my blackwork patterns and the other is an attempt to recreate an origami fortune teller in fabric and stitches. The pattern book is fairly normal. The other? Um, not so much. We'll see how well I succeed at them.

In the meantime, I still have to work on the Temple, the Chameleon and Kwan Yin. Kwan Yin is being shunted to the side for a while, as the recipient has moved and hasn't provided me with a new address yet, anyway. If I look at my grand plan for the year, I've already violated it in so many ways. I've done way more small projects than I said I would and haven't worked on my main projects enough OR the Dragon Dreams ornies for myself. *sigh* I have no discipline. I do, however, have two gifts and one exchange project ready to be given away. I also have a yearning to do these for everyone's Christmas gifts. Heidi liked my biscornu scissor fob, so I might make one for her (as a sachet) for shits and giggles. Ahem, after I finish more stitching on my main projects. Also, I really want to try these - third picture down. Well, Kim, would you like one?