Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Omigod, I Have Fans!

I created a fan page for my jewelry business last night on Facebook. I tried vainly to navigate adding some bells and whistles to it. I gave up because I was tired and getting frustrated, but I did add a 'fans' button onto my blog (see right) and I did update my Facebook status with a note that my business had a page, come see it. (Yes, this is the same Facebook I was going to quit. I decided to give it one more go but this time as a marketing tool).

I then completely forgot about it.

And OMIGOD, I have fans! I was so surprised to see FANS this afternoon when I logged on here. Fans. Me! FANS!!!??? Hee hee hee hee hee......

Monday, January 18, 2010

Strange Dreams

I have a friend who often asks about dreams. Have I had any interesting dreams lately? Well, have I ever! I usually don’t remember my dreams, but this one was….strange. There are elements that you will probably recognize, but I’ll mention a few things at the end. *names changed to protect the innocent*
I was at work, but in our breakroom finishing up lunch. One of my coworkers, K, was there. 8 bags of dead leaves were also stacked in there for me. I was debating with K whether I should go ahead and move them to where my desk was or not because E (the fed in charge of our contract) didn’t want me to but, hey, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right?

So, I hoisted 4 bags over my shoulders (superhuman strength in dreams, apparently), and started to carry them back to my desk with K tagging along behind me, worried. But it turns out I had trouble getting through the hall to my desk because of all the women doing inventory on the books on shelves lining the hallways.

But they weren’t the only problem! For some reason, they’d also routed the lines of refugees through the hall, too. I don’t know where the refugees were coming from or going to, but there were a lot of them and they were going in one door, through the hall, past my desk, through another door and out.

It was overcast outside, the lights were out in the building, women doing inventory, refugees in various states of disrepair walking through the building, 4 bags of leaves, K fussing behind me, and now E appears and I’m struggling to move the bags of leaves from room to room so he doesn’t know I have them up there.
About then I woke up. It was a very strange dream. The leaves are obvious. We’re doing an inventory in the basement of the building right now, and it is dark and dingy down there. I’m guessing the refugees are in response to Haiti, but to tell the truth I haven’t seen much footage about it so it may be something else and these people tromping through the library weren't Hatian. Really, really strange. Sometimes I wish I remembered my dreams more.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

In order to lighten things up here a bit, I want to share a video with you.

On an island off the coast of New Zealand lives a colony of Kakapo. The kakapo is an extremely rare and endangered species of flightless parrot. They have a problem mating. In Douglass Adams' book 'Last Chance to See' he describes it thusly:

The ways in which it goes about mating are wonderfully bizarre, extraordinarily long drawn out and almost totally ineffective.

Here's what they do:

Kakapo, the world's fattest and least able to fly parrotThe male kakapo builds himself a track and bowl system, which is simply a roughly dug shallow depression in the earth, with one or two pathways leading through the undergrowth towards it. The only thing that distinguishes the tracks from those that would be made by any other animal blundering its way about is that the vegetation on either side of them is rather precisely clipped.

The kakapo is looking for good acoustics when he does this, so the track and bowl system will often be sited against a rock facing out across a valley, and when the mating season arrives he sits in his bowl and booms.

This is an extraordinary performance. He puffs out two enormous air sacs on either side of his chest, sinks his head down into them and starts to make what he feels are sexy grunting noises. These noises gradually descend in pitch, resonate in his two air sacs and reverberate through the night air, filling the valleys for miles around with the eerie sound of an immense heart beating in the night.

The booming noise is deep, very deep, just on. the threshold of what you can actually hear and what you can feel. This means that it carries for a very great distances, but that you can't tell where it's coming from. If you're familiar with certain types of stereo set-up, you'll know that you can get an additional speaker called a sub-woofer which carries only the bass frequencies and which you can, in theory, stick anywhere in the room, even behind the sofa. The principle is the same - you can't tell where the bass sound is coming from.

The female kakapo can't tell where the booming is coming from either, which is something of a shortcoming in a mating call. `Come and get me!' `Where are you?? 'Come and get me!' 'Where the hell are you?' `Come and get me!' `Look, do you want me to come or not?' `Come and get me!' 'Oh, for heaven's sake.' `Come and get me!' 'Go and stuff yourself,' is roughly how it would go in human terms. [...]

It's not that they're not willing. When they are in breeding condition, their sex drive is extremely strong. One female kakapo is known to have walked twenty miles in one night to visit a mate, and then walked back again in the morning. Unfortunately, however, the period during which the female is prepared to behave like this is rather short. As if things aren't difficult enough already, the female can only come into breeding condition when a particular plant, the podocarp for instance, is bearing fruit. This only happens every two years. Until it does, the male can boom all he likes, it won't do him any good. The kakapo's pernickety dietary requirements are a whole other area of exasperating difficulty. It makes me tired just to think of them, so I think we'll pass quickly over all that. Imagine being an airline steward trying to serve meals to a plane full of Moslems, Jews, vegetarians, vegans and diabetics when all you've got is turkey because it's Christmas time, and that will give you the idea.

The males therefore get extremely overwrought sitting in their bowls making noises for months on end, waiting for their mates who are waiting for a particular type of tree to fruit. When one of the rangers who was working in an area where kakapos were booming happened to leave his hat on the ground, he came back later to find a kakapo attempting to ravish it. On another occasion the discovery of some ruffled possum fur in the mating area suggested that a kakapo had made another alarming mistake, an experience which is unlikely to have been satisfying to either party.

So, anyway, the BBC is filming another installment of Last Chance to See, 20 years after Adams did his book. Stephen Fry and the original photographer went to visit the Kakapo (which is doing much better, by the way). Here's what happened:

Someone commented that they thought it was nice that the parrot returned for a post-coital cuddle. After I sent it to Matt, he called me. He said he'd gotten the video, he liked it a lot....did I want him to get out the turkey wings tonight??

Thursday, January 07, 2010

In other news…

…I’m working harder at getting another job. I have several in mind and I hope to get the e-paperwork together this weekend to submit. The one I’m seriously hoping for is with Fish & Wildlife Service (Dept. of the Interior) in Shepherdstown, West-by-God-Virginia. It is about an hour commute, but it is more money and most importantly IT ISN”T WHERE I’M AT NOW. There are a couple others with Custom & Border Protection that are about the same distance, but I really want the FWS job.

All good thoughts, wishes, prayers, etc, that you can send my way with this would be much appreciated. I’m going crackerdog where I am now. It’s well past time to move on.

Please also be sure to read and comment on the post below, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the situation...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I’ve had a lot going on lately that I’m still trying to process. A LOT. Some of it is funny. Some of it isn’t. Some of it I will need some input on. I think I’ll start on one of those topics here.

I think I may have found my sister (part 1)

Those of you who know me well know I’m an only child. Those of you who know me REALLY well and have been paying attention know that I do have a half-sister from my father’s first marriage. She’s 11 years older than I am, and she’s deaf. I’ve never met her, and we have no idea where she is. Every few years I go looking for her online.

I think I may have found her on Facebook and also on, with pictures. Everything matches up. Everything. Age, middle name, red hair, she’s deaf, she’s even in the right state. It’s got to be her, but I still have that shadow of doubt sitting there. I need to confirm a birthdate and then I’ll know for sure.

I haven’t contacted her. I’m not going to, at least not for now. I know that she knows where my/our father is and she hasn’t contacted him. That tells me she doesn’t want to. I can respect that, I have no idea what she knows or was told about dad. That’s a can of worms I’m not sure I want to open just yet.

She’s got two kids. Do you know how strange it is to think that I might have nieces and/or nephews? That’s always been something other people have had, never me. Because I don’t have siblings. But I do have a sibling. But not really. It’s so complicated.

It is a very very strange feeling. All evening the day I found the pictures I would be working on something and the thought would flutter through my mind

I may have found my sister.

And I’d stop for a second and blink. And then continue with whatever it was I was doing. And then I’d be walking down the stairs and there it would be again

I think I’ve found my sister.

And I’d shake my head a bit and move on.

And the pictures. I look at the two pictures and originally I thought: “Nah. She doesn’t look anything like me, or my dad.” And then I’d look again, at the tilt of the head and the smile and remember the pictures that I have of me that look just like that. But still really different. I likened it to looking at two faces and then seeing a candlestick.

Part 2: the not so great part

So, when I was growing up, the topic of the half-sister was taboo. We didn’t talk about it. Questions weren’t acceptable. It was a non-topic. My mother did tell me a few things. Dad? Never.

So, imagine my surprise when, last week when we had an influx of (dad’s) family coming north for a funeral that my closest-in-age cousin told me that dad had talked TO THEM about it while they were visiting. Not only does dad know where she is, he talks to her.

So he tells my cousin all about it….but not me. WTF??? I’m. Really. Not. Happy. I really don’t know what to think. I was shocked.

Matt and I have talked about it and, knowing what we know of my control-freak dad, we decided that there were two reasons we can see him doing this:

1) by him being the only one in contact with her, he controls what she knows about him/us. If I were in contact with her, who knows what I might tell her?

2) this forces me to ask him, which puts him in a position of power/control. I’m betting he guessed my cousin would bring it up to me. He also has a habit of underestimating me on a regular basis, so I’ll bet he thought I wouldn’t be able to find her myself.

I’m pretty angry. The fact that my mother hasn’t told me about this also upsets me.

I’ll open the floor to discussion now. Thoughts? Opinions?

Monday, January 04, 2010

I Feel Like This!!!

One of the funniest things I've read for a while, and it does strike a

Brent: Before going full-time with art, I used to take portions of cheese from larger bags and put them into smaller bags for ten hours a day. As much satisfaction as one can derive from such an occupation, bigger-to-smaller-bag-cheese-portioner just wasn’t the career for me.

From this week's Quit Your Day Job.