Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If You Can't Get Your Kid to Turn Off the Game, It's Your Problem, Lady

Apparently, there are parents out there who haven't a clue on controlling their kids. Who knew?

A Boston mom actually called 911 because she couldn't get her 14-year-old to stop playing "Grand Theft Auto" at 230am. He also committed other 911-involving acts - like walking around the house and turning on the lights.

For wasting the time of the Boston PD and the money of the Boston taxpayers, I think this woman should be required to take some parenting classes. I mean, really. She could have:

1. Said no and meant it.
2. Unplugged the game system/television.
3. Taken away the game system.
4. Threatened a punishment (grounding, taking away television/electronics/cell phone)... and followed through.

It's not rocket science.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: A Year in Review

I skipped 2008. Time to catch up. Thanks to Avindair for the format!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Had an MRI. (To be more concise, about 5.)
Got diagnosed with Multiple-Sclerosis.
Had a spinal tap. (It's really not as fun as the movie.)
Gave myself injections. (Not as bad as I thought it would be.)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Some I was able to keep. Others, due to circumstances, couldn't be kept. I think of them more as hopes than resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes. Two co-workers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. I lost my uncle, Leo, in September. Then my grandmother, Minnie (Leo's mother), in November. It's been difficult, but toughest on my Dad, who's now the only one left.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly, just the U.S. of A.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Steady health.
Fewer "emergencies of the week".

7. What date(s) from 2009 will remain etched your memory, and why?

April 20
It's the day I went into the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for the "attack" that led to my MS diagnosis.

December 12
Seeing our son as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" and getting to hear him sing! If I'd been standing, it would have knocked me off my feet!

8. What were your biggest achievements of the year?

Recovering from the attack and going back to work full time.
Learning to give myself injections.
Learning to pace myself and listen to my body.

9. What were your biggest failures?

Not that I didn't make mistakes, but I think just getting through this year was a win.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

See everything above! Yes, I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. At first, it was a very frightening prospect. My grandfather had MS, although he must have Progressive MS, and every year of his life we watched as his physical capabilities went downhill. From cane, to walker, to wheelchair. But treatments now are so much better than they were for him. There's no cure, but there are options. I just have to listen to my body, stick to my medication, and stay as healthy as I can.

Although I have my good days and my bad, I'm coming to terms with it. My family has been unbelievable through everything. Our friends have been wonderful. My workplace has been incredibly supportive. I can't ask for more.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My medication (That seems to be doing it's job.)
XBox 360 Elite for Tony's birthday

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Avindair, SportyGirl and MonkeyDude: I don't know where to begin. Their strength and love has seen me through so much this year. Words can not express.

MagicMarmot: For seeing me through getting admitted to my hospital room... and the laughter and tears. I am truly grateful.

Garrett: For watching out for my family that first night. You are truly a friend indeed.

Penmaster and Raven: For showing up on our doorstep and holding our hands through the rocky early days of the diagnosis. We are blessed to have you as friends... but really, you are more "family" than "friend"... but you know that! :-)

My Boss and Co-workers: My boss made sure that work was to be the least of my worries. If it weren't for her support, I really wouldn't have recovered as quickly and returned to work like I did. My co-workers helped carry the load until I was able. I couldn't have done it without them.

My Dad: He's been through so much this year. He was a caretaker to his brother and his mother. Seeing them both through the last days of their lives. His strength astonishes me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The usual:
Corporate America
Our government leaders
Americans in general

14. Where did most of your money go?

Hospital Bills

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Small moments (really small, like being able to write my own signature legibly!) in my recovery from the "attack"
Going to see Gaelic Storm again with the family
MonkeyDude in "A Christmas Carol"

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2009?

I don't think there are any. I'll have to wait until 2010 and beyond to see.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

Believe it or not, happier. December 2008 was tough, as I recall. Mostly due to work. Plus, I just had a good MRI that showed some small reductions on my brain lesions. So... good news.

ii. thinner or fatter?

About the same. I'm wearing the same pants, at least.

iii. richer or poorer?

Richer. Avindair has a regular paycheck now.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?


19. What do you wish you'd done less of?


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

At home with the family. Maybe light the fireplace. Play some games. See a movie or two.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Over and over... with Avindair.

23. How many one-night stands?


24. What was your favorite TV program?

That needs to be "programs". :-)

"Big Bang Theory"
"Doctor Who"
"True Blood" (except for the season finale - fail)

24b. Shows that let you down?

Mine are all the same as Avindair's.

"Battlestar Galactica" - Final episode EPIC FAIL.
"Smallville" - Dullsville

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. People worth hating aren't worth my time.

26. What was the best book you read?

"Orlando" by Virginal Woolfe

27. What was/were your greatest musical discoveries?

SportyGirl can answer that question. I just listen and enjoy.

28. What did you want and get?

- I put work in its proper place.
- I had more time with Avindair and the kids.
- I got perspective and found more joy in the little things in life.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Probably "Avatar".

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 43. We picked up Buca's on the way home from work and had a lovely, quiet dinner with Avindair and the kids.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Nothing. Everything - good or bad - had its purpose. Just making it through 2009 is satisfaction enough.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Business casual at work.
Casual casual at home.

34. What kept you sane?

My family.
My recovery.
My work.
My friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Still a big fan of Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The health care issue... or lack thereof.

37. Who did you miss?

My Grandma Minnie
My in-laws (yes - my in-laws - I adore them)
Penmaster and Raven

38. Who was the best new person you met?

One of my new co-workers. She's something else! (In a good way.)

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

Take each day as it comes.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"I've paid my dues -
Time after time -
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime -
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world

I've taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all -

But it's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race -
And I ain't gonna lose -

We are the champions - my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end -
We are the champions -
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world"

-- We Are the Champions - Queen

Friday, August 07, 2009

John Hughes, February 18, 1950 - August 6, 2009

You'll never be 18 again, but you can watch it in technicolor.

I heard yesterday that John Hughes died.

I'm 42. I've never had a problem with my age and I still don't. But yesterday, when I heard that the director of those quintessential teen films was gone, my memories took on a more sepia-toned hue.

John Hughes wrote and/or directed many of my favorite films of the '80's: The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Weird Science. His characters were fun, and smart, and often - even in the silliest of plots - honest. I know they weren't the best. They didn't have action, or special effects, or graphic sex scenes, or anything else that makes a blockbuster nowadays. But they had heart, and they had great music, and they spoke to a generation.

I didn't realize it until now, but those silly teen flicks meant a lot to that idealistic, starry-eyed, definitively '80's girl.

It's going to be a rainy weekend. I think I'll snuggle up on the couch with my family, a big bowl of popcorn, and have a John Hughes film festival.

Best Intentions

Writing that the past few months have been a rollercoaster ride would be an understatement.

I have been online: emails, Facebook,reading other people's blogs, but just haven't felt up to the task myself. I figure it's time to start posting again.

Not to be overly mysterious, but several months back I was diagnosed with a medical condition that my family and I have had to adjust to. In time, I'm sure I'll discuss it here. Thus the reason for my lack of blog presence.

Now, I want to come back. Rhapsody will be the same mish-mash of whatever happens to be bouncing around in my brain on any given day. Sometimes serious, sometimes ludicrous. No theme. No promises. :-)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

These Boots Were Made for Walkman

I remember when having a Walkman was "the shit". Of course, at that age, I would have never, ever said, "the shit". It was always better to depend on the radio stations, though. Playing cassette tapes really ate up batteries quickly.

Walkman, at 30, a mystery to teen

Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What better way to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sony's iconic Walkman than to ask a teenager for some feedback on the device?

I like to imagine that the experience was similar to an archaeologist rediscovering how a recently excavated artifact was employed thousands of years ago. But I'm well aware that it must have been different for 13-year-old Scott Campbell, who co-edits his own news Web site. For one, teenage impatience must have stood in the place where I fantasize scientific curiosity should have been.

"My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day," Campbell wrote. "He had told me it was big, but I hadn't realized he meant that big. It was the size of a small book."

Sure enough, people on the street noticed the antique clinging from his belt with amusement and friends on his school bus were quick to come up with some witty remark.

Campbell went on to criticize the portable cassette player's size, appearance, functionality and the "hissy backtrack and odd warbly noises."

Even when he discovered the cassette had more music on the other side (it took him three days), Campbell was still disappointed it could only hold a small fraction of what an iPod can.

"Did my dad ... really ever think this was a credible piece of technology?"


A daily dose of postings from The Chronicle's technology blog (

This article appeared on page C - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead Trailer

Glee! Doctor Who Easter special this weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Have you seen any small, white rabbits running around London with great, nasty teeth?

Recently, a toy replica of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch was responsible for a bomb scare in London.

Not kidding.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm a Millionaire!

Hey, everyone! I got this email today. Looks like I'm set for life!


Greetings from Dave Yorke,

I am Dr. Dave Yorke, Group Accountant (R.B.T.T) However, I have already sent you this same letter by post one month ago, but I am not sure if it did get to you since I have not heard from you, hence my resending it again.

I discovered a dormant account in my office, as Group Accountant with Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. It will be in my interest to transfer this fund worth $28.5M Dollars (Twenty Eight Million Five hundred thousand Dollars) in an account offshore. Can you be my partner?

Regards and respect,
Dave Yorke


So people actually fall for this crap?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Minnesota - Killing Me Softly

I've started this blog post at least half-a-dozen times in the last few minutes. My current location has me feeling like one cranky bitch. I'm cold. Cabin crazy. House bound. Hungry. Bored. Light deprived. Lonely. Usually, I hit this point around February. Discontent arrived early this year.

Where am I? I live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

My family and I have lived here 10 years now. We've given this place and these people a decade of our lives. We're still treated like outsiders by the natives. We've lost more friends than we've made. Sometimes I felt like we did everything short of standing on our heads and shooting fireworks out of our asses to please people. Minnesota is not famous, but infamous for its fabled "Minnesota Nice". A phrase that to those in the know generally translates to "passive aggressive". We've made no more than a handful of friends, most from outside of the Twin Cities area; many however, are no more than acquaintances. I even have relatives here. Relatives that I've seen a sum total of 8 times... at least half of those were just because my mother was visiting me.

My husband spent 4 months in school in Florida this past year. In that time he made many friends... more than we had in 10 years here. Friends that he's still in contact with nearly every day. People we know here we sometimes don't hear from for weeks at a time, and usually only if we initiate it. During the 4 months that I was here alone as a temporary single parent? I heard from local people less than a dozen times.

At least folks from the Twin Cities match their climate.

Several months out of the year we spend fighting the artic weather. Believe it or not, I was born and raised in an even harsher climate, North Dakota, but I've had it. I've come to dread doing the basic necessities of life, because it involves going outside. The climate is physically and mentally draining. I've spent 40 years fighting the cold: brutal temperatures, dangerous driving conditions, wear and tear on vehicles and homes, depression from light deprivation, having entirely separate winter wardrobes, cramming all outside activities into a few good months... the list goes on and on.

This past Christmas, our "celebration" meant that out of 36 hours, 10 hours were spent in said dangerous, white-knuckled driving conditions due to winter weather. Here, that can hit anytime between November and April. While people in other parts of the country are walking around in their shirt sleeves enjoying the sun on their face, we're wrapping up in double layers of clothing until only the whites of our eyes show for fear of frostbite. Even in the house or at work, I'm cold all the time. Being cold leads to a ravenous appetite. Of course, the human body, when faced with cold tries to shore up its reserves and store fat. The result? Constantly denying my hunger just to button my pants.

Lonely. Cold. Hungry. Depressed. I'm done. I can't live like this any more.

We really wanted to leave years ago, but we have two kids. Two kids who had been moved around a lot when they were younger. We were determined to stay in one place until our eldest graduated high school. We have a year and a half to go. One more winter to endure.