Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Product Idiocy

How did it happen that out of:

* the person to come up with the idea
* the company rep who heard the pitch
* the division president who approved the product
* the research and development team
* the advertising guys
* the sales team

and who knows who-all else...that nobody thought that encouraging kids to sniff scented markers was a bad idea?

Thoughts that occur to me out of the blue. mk

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Family as Liability

So I'm watching Air Force One. The terrorists are using the President's family as leverage to get him to concede to their demands. Which starts me thinking that the President's family is a weak point, an additional way to get through the defenses. And as much as I love looking at the close family relationship the President has with his loved ones, I cannot help but wonder if it would be better for the nation if the President was single.

James Buchanon has been the only bachelor President. Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson were single when elected, but got married during their term of office. John Tyler started his term with one wife, who died, and then married another during his term. Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren were widowed for years before becoming President. Andrew Jackson's wife died just before his inauguration.

I know that we look at single adult men in a different way than married adult men. We wonder what is lacking in them that they have not been able to find and maintain a relationship and establish a family. We look at "successful" married men as somehow better, more representative of Everyman. They are considered more stable, respectable and traditional.

But are families an asset or a liability when we are talking about the highest office in the United States? I can't imagine it would be easy to maintain a good relationship with your family while also putting in the overwhelming amount of time and energy needed to be a good President. Families are a distraction, and a place of vulnerability. (oh, it's true, you know it)

I'm not saying I think that Presidents necessarily should be and remain unmarried while in office. But it's something to think about. Talk to me people, what do you think? mk

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cellar Rat

I'm gonna be playing cellar rat today.

No, not that kind of cellar rat.

My dad and the rest of my family have been using the term "cellar rat" to mean any time we are spending an extended time working in the basement, or cellar. ("Cellar" is the preferred term in Maine, as in, "I'm going down cellar") So, when I call my parents and ask Dad what he's up to and he says "I'm cellar rat today" I know that he's going to be in the cellar, probably trying to organize & clear out.

Today I will be cellar rat along with my dad, here at my house. Yesterday I heard water hissing in the basement, and it turned out to be a few pinhole leaks in one of the pipes. Dad came up and he and Mark went down and replaced some of the pipes, but that only inspired other leaks to come forth, and now there are leaks all over the place. So Dad picked up some new pipes last night and today we are going to do some major repiping.

That part will be fun, although the timing sucks. It's gonna be cold down there, and also I had some errands that I need to do, and this is a fairly busy week for me.

It does suck that I've gone over a day without any water. The kids went to their dad's last night, so they at least have access to working bathrooms and showers. I could have gone to my parents', but honestly I was kind of looking forward to the time alone. The kids don't go with their dad on Wednesday this week, so that was my break until Saturday night.

Well, I'd better get geared up in my best cellar rat style. (Jeans, old men's sweatshirt) Later. mk

Monday, January 19, 2009


Have you seen the Weight Watchers commercial starring "Hungry?"

I love that little guy. I want one.

Somehow I don't think that was the intent of the commercial. mk

Thursday, January 15, 2009


In about an hour we will be at the last official busline basketball event for Mark...the end-of-season banquet. Everyone brings potluck, the coaches hand out certificates of participation to each kid (usually saying something positive about their contribution to the team and personal growth through the season), each team presents their coach with a gift, and ta-da. Done.

Some of the other invariable details of this event is that the kids don't go anywhere near their parents during the whole thing, instead congregating all together and doing their own little middle-school thing. Usually before and definitely after the banquet, they will play mixed five-on-five in the half of the gym that doesn't contain the tables. That part I like. It's fun to watch. I'm sorry when we have to drag them away so they can close up the school.

I always worry about what to bring for these potluck things. Last year I brought crockpot baked beans, which I had never successfully made before (fortunately, they turned out well, although it was down to the wire). I don't know why I worry so much about it, probably because I worry about EV.ERY.THING.

This year I wanted to bring something with vegetables. Couldn't decide what, though. Looked around at various recipe sites, saw too many things I liked and couldn't make a decision for one over the other, and finally ended up just deciding to create my own thing.

I really like how it's turned out. And there's a TON of stuff in there. We have four different kinds of rice (Texmati white, brown, red & wild), black beans, kidney beans, black olives, peppers (red, yellow & green), broccoli, corn, celery, onions & carrots. A little bit of spice (crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, parsley, and dill) and there ya have it. What do you think? mk

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Coming!! Everybody Hide!!

I just saw my first online article this year about Valentine's Day. Fuck. mk

Previous years' posts on that topic.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I haven't even decided yet what I'm going to write in this post

I know, I know, I'm tempting the Gods of Writer's Block. I am opening a blank document without having prepped a topic. This promises to be a totally inane entry, but hey, it's my blog and if I want to fill the whole damn thing with "lalalala" I can. I probably wouldn't, because it would be pretty stupid and I think even I would get bored with the redundancy but the point is I COULD.

I've been doing a lot of running away lately. Not literally, although that would be a really good idea because face it, the body could use a LOT of running to try to rid itself of some of this excess. I did get quite a bit of a workout on Saturday when I played basketball with Mark, Kira, a kid on Mark's team, Brenda, Brian, and my MOTHER. (I am awed that Mom played. She is so freakin' cool.) Anyway, we played mixed three-on-three for the most part (Mom & I were like a tag team, one or the other of us was out on the floor, but rarely both.). I sucked, but had a lot of fun. I played pretty much exclusively defense. I also blatantly fouled, a lot. I was a thug. It was awesome.

Anyway. The running away. Meant figuratively. I've been avoiding a lot of things. I'm avoiding the house, and the overwhelming drudgery of cleaning it. I'm avoiding taking on any of the million different projects that would help the house run more smoothly. I'm avoiding the projects that would make the house more enjoyable. And most importantly, I'm avoiding my own brain, being alone with my own thoughts and trying to figure out just what the hell is going on in my life, how I feel about it, and what to do next.

At some point I need to just suck it up and sit down with myself and probably some blank paper and just figure out where I stand within my own being. Try and settle this whirlwind that I've got going on in my head and determine some concrete steps I can take to improve my situation. Work out some kind of goals. Not resolutions, god no, but just see if I can even figure out what direction I want my life to take, or something I can do. Right now I am doing entirely too much existing and not nearly enough living.

I know there are people out there who have mapped out their entire lives. Many people who have these "five-year plans" and "ten-year plans" and know exactly what they want to do. There is no way I'm going anywhere near any of that crap. At this point, if I had a friggin' five-DAY plan I would be doing pretty good.

I feel so much of the time just like screaming at the top of my lungs, jumping up and down like a child throwing a tantrum and just generally freaking out. I am so frustrated with this stuffed-cotton feeling in my brain whenever I try to figure out what I "should" do or even what I might WANT to do. I get so overwhelmed with the infinite number of choices that I just shut right down. I wish, I wish for someone who could just take care of me for just a little while. Someone who could take over the decision-making and the organizing and the arranging and the caregiving and the fixing and the doing and just take all of this out of my hands and let me just collapse.

Most of the time I'm just fine with being alone, with not having just one more thing to work at and worry about. But sometimes, especially lately, I really really miss just some of the simple things, like being held in someone's arms, being touched gently, being looked at as a woman. I miss holding hands. I miss kissing. I miss secret smiles and private jokes. I miss feeling sheltered and treasured. I miss the excitement of looking forward to seeing someone and knowing that they are just as much looking forward to seeing me. I miss that tingling feeling that starts in the pit of your stomach when you remember a look or a touch. I miss having someone to miss.

It's been over six years since I've been in any relationship, longer since I've had any of the things I just mentioned. It hurts my heart to think about. It saddens me beyond belief to think that I may never have any of that again. Yes, I know it's not likely, but it is possible that I will never have it. That I could very well be an old, old woman, still alone and horribly, horribly lonely.

But most of the time I can avoid thinking about this. I can block it in behind a thick wall, beneath layers and layers and layers of rock and brick. I can push it all away. Bury it deep. Shut it away from the light.

I can run away. mk

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Life Amuses Me

Can't believe I hadn't posted this pic before, but I made Ro take this back in November when we saw it in the parking lot. Life really does amuse me most of the time. mk

OK, this is just mean

“Life On Mars” star Lisa Bonet and her husband, “Stargate Atlantis” actor Jason Momoa, welcomed a baby boy toward the end of December, and his name’s a real mouthful — Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa...The name is pronounced Na-Ko-Ah Wolf Mana-Ka-Ooh-Ah-Po Namma-Kay-Ah-Ha Mo-Moa, a Hawaiian source told Access Hollywood. (source)

Holy torture-the-poor-new-baby, Batman!

And her daughter's name is Zoe. A nice, relatively simple name. What the hell happened there? mk

Mom's on Facebook heh heh

I created a Facebook account for my mom this morning. I told her she should get on there, there are a bunch of people she knows, including everyone in our International Night Club, but she was nervous about it, so I just made her a profile. I think she's going to like it. I loaded a few pictures of family & camp, which she likes.

I happened to have a bunch of old photos of her & my dad that I had scanned for before their 35th anniversary party (back in 2002). So I used an old photo for her profile pic:

And my kids were saying that 80's hair was big!!! Heh heh. mk

Friday, January 09, 2009

Endorphin High

Well, I'm in the grip of an endorphin high from just finishing a workout (loooooove Billy Blanks), and also the last couple of days I've been really looking at my need to increase my activity level. Not just for the exercise, although that is really REALLY needed, but also just to keep me moving and interactive with this incredibly beautiful state that I live in.

This is, of course, a gigantic change from the way I've been living for the last forever, when just getting through a day was a challenge. And who knows, tomorrow I might be back to the "you've got to be kidding me" stage, but in the meantime today I am enthusiastic and trying to create a list of possible ideas.

Once spring gets here of course there are a lot more things open that I'd like to do, especially kayaking. I also want to do more hiking. Last spring when we hiked to the top of Mt Battie as a part of Brenda's wedding weekend, that hike kicked my ass. Therefore, I want to do it again. And again. And again, repeat until it's easy. I also have a couple of other trails I want to check out. Like the one on Rt 17 that is on my 101 list.

But now. Now is winter. And I need winter activities. Preferably that get me the hell outside so I can take advantage of the weak sunlight and possibly stave off the Seasonal Affective Disorder I struggle with every year.

I might do some snowshoeing. I've got to get Dad to check to see if he still has a pair of bear-paw snowshoes or if he sold them all in the lawn sales last year. I'll start with just walking around outside in my yard, because what I remember from the last time I went snowshoeing, when I was a teenager (yes, I know, shut up), it was that if you don't snowshoe a lot and you go out for a several-mile walk in them, that will be the last walking you will do comfortably for quite some time. Need to build those leg muscles up.

Also could do some regular walking/hiking. Take the car down by camp so I can have some pretty, relatively little-traveled roads to walk on, with multiple directions possible. That would be really nice. And I can build up on distance.

4-wheeling on the lake. This will probably be restricted, due to the need to have Dad along, since it's his 4-wheeler and he has a whole spiel that he does before he lets anyone (well, anyone other than another adult male) on it. Yes, sexist. It's a Dad thing.

I'd like to do some cross-country skiing, but I'm scared of it due to the wonderful accident I had the first time I tried it, where I skillfully managed to permanently wreck both ankles at once. Is it possible to cross-country ski without hurting myself? Dunno.

Same thing, I'd like to work on ice-skating, but my ankles are so frigged up, I can't see being on skates. ow ow ow. But it looks so FUN to zip along. sigh.

Tubing. That was fun. It would be nice if I did it more than once. (rolls eyes)

I think the big thing is for me to just get outside. Even if I start out just friggin' standing there.

Well, kids are home and we're due for a family meeting so I'll check back later. see ya. mk


OK, I have *really* got to get my ass back in gear on the blogging thing. I've started journaling recently, and of course I'm doing Facebook, which really doesn't satisfy the blurt-out-everything-in-my-head idea that blogging does, so I'm making a resolution (a "blogalution" if you will) that I will be making a concerted effort to keep up on the blog front.

To that end, a random idea that has been rolling around in the ol' noggin is wondering how many individually nameable external body parts the human body has. Does it cover every square inch? Is there a place on the body that doesn't have a "real" name?

OK. More later, but I need to boot the kids out the door and get a dang shower. Mark took up all the hot water AGAIN and I have been waiting for it to refill and getting totally grossed out by my own funk (and yes, I showered yesterday. I am apparently just hypersensitive to it right now).

Blah blah blah blog. :) mk