Monday, December 15, 2003

"Jesus Gets the Boot"

That's what he said. This morning, Brian on the Fox & Friends show said "Jesus Gets the Boot" when discussing the cover change for Time magazine. His co-workers, or more appropriately titled co-talkers, even showed a look of horror once that non-scripted statement was made. After returning from a commercial break, Brian explained his comment that the editors of Time magazine chose to replace the cover with Saddam Hussein and the headline "We Got Him."

Got the boot?? sheesh.

Saturday, December 13, 2003


It dawned on me tonight that I know people who say they don't have a birthmark. Is that possible? Can that really be true? Were they born? I, on the other hand, have more than one, so does that mean I've been born several times? Am I a recycling center for souls some how? No wonder I'm such a restless spirit... all these souls in me trying to go this way, trying to do this when another wants to do that. Perhaps that's why there are always these internal conversations taking place in my head. But I digress. Birthmarks. I'm happy to report that one of my birthmarks is identical to my mother's birthmark. She and I have duplicate marks on our right hip, same place, same size, same coloring. Pretty freaky, huh? My nieces have a unique story about a birthmark as well. Amanda and Ariel are identical twins and one was born with the footprint of the other marked on her back. When they were born, the mark was the size of the baby foot and as they've aged and grown, so has the footprint. Sounds like someone was being a little stubborn on the birthing gig or the other was just in a hurry to get a move on!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Cool Karma

The last job I had before becoming a full-time slacker was in HR for a fortune 500 company. I don't why I'm protecting their name here but it's probably best that I show some discretion. Imagine that, is that a first!!?? Anyway, the last slaveboss I had was a real biatch. She was an Attila with a stone, cold heart. No wait, did she even have a heart? Well, I found out yesterday that she lost her job in this year's holiday-season-stick-it-to-ya. This is the third year running that employees were given a lot of time off for their efforts and I find it sickly satisfying that she, Attila, was cut. I'm going to hell for that, aren't I???

Thursday, December 11, 2003


My wish list is finally viewable! Hurray!


"I want love to be simple. I want to trust without thinking.
I want to be generous with my affection and patience and love unconditionally.
It is easier to love a person with their flaws than to weed through them.
I want to love the whole person, not parts; and this is how I want to be loved."

Copyright Infringement

Let the infringement begin! Finally, I'm going to start burning CDs for people. I feel like I've been in the stone age because this isn't something I've already been doing. Thanks to mail friends, I've been introduced to a lot of new-to-me music because of the mixed CDs they've sent me over time. I can now say that I like groups such as Poe and Black Box Recorder. (thanks Leah!) I've been turned on to some Canadian folk music and have learned what others enjoy listening to due to their kindness of burning and mailing. I accept mixed CDs with gratitude because of the effort the mixer went through to create the CD.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Green Thumb Therapy

Sometimes, I forget how much I love the smell of soil and feeling it trickle between my fingers as I break up its clumps. A few days ago I purchased plants for the front door steps in an attempt to feel holidayish. I bought two aromatic rosemary bushes, four snow white petunias, and two vibrant red poinsettias. My original thought was to keep the rosemary in the house to fill the air with its wonderful fresh scent, but the only time I could smell the shrubs was when I actually brushed my fingers across its piney needles. So to the doorstep they went today. It's astonishing what colorful plant life can do to a front door and to the soul while repotting them.

According to Webster's Dictionary: poinsettias are a Mexican and Central American plant of the spurge family, with yellow flowers surrounded by tapering red leaves resembling petals. What the heck is the spurge family, you ask? Plants, usually with milky juice and diclinous flowers, including the poinsettia, cassava, rubber tree, etc.

The Fine Print

Do you ever read the copyright page of a book? Please say yes to that so I feel a little less like a freak. I do, obviously, or I wouldn't have posed the question.

I enjoy watching Dinner For Five on the IFC (Independent Film Channel) and recently saw the dinner that included author Dave Eggers. I wasn't familiar with him until I saw the show so the next time I went to Barnes & Noble, I sought out his book "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and found myself on the copyright page. Ok, ok, I don't know why, but I did. This was by far the only unique text I've ever read on that page.


While I was at Panera's early this evening, enjoying a very hot cup of chai, writing a letter about how the early darkness of winter was playing tricks with my mind, I overheard a guy talk about the same thing. What he said made me raise an eyebrow because I found it so odd.

He said, "It gets so dark, so early. I could never live in Sweden."

Now, I really found that odd because I don't usually hear people make that comparison... it's usually the Alaska thing, right? "I could never live in Alaska and live with 17 hours of darkness." (or however long it is)

Sweden? HUH?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Tequila Cat

What happens when you have
1) nothing to do
2) a sharp knife
3) a large lime
4) a patient cat
5) too much tequila
6) and it's football season?

**photo removed due to space** :(

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Art du Jour

Well, I'm not in France this week so I'm making use of my time in an artful way. I'm embarrassingly late on creating and sending thank you postcards to participants in a LMAO (Land Mail Art Object) I had on Nervousness and a special request on PCX. The creative juices started flowing last night once the candles were lit and the music was cranked. Here are a some of the cards I made:

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

White Trash Christmas

Tis the time of year when silly holiday emails start the rounds. Here's one I've yet to see over the years:
White Trash Christmas

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Mr. Picassohead

Fun link! Paint and print....... and enjoy creating!


PLEASE read the article posted below. I am embarassed to say that I didn't see, meet, or hear of Vladimir while he was in Missoula. The way this article reads, he was there at the finish but I'm not exactly clear on that. Anyway, I know several riders who have been hospitalized due to injuries incurred during motorcycling and am always upset by the news. The news of this particular rider is especially important as you'll learn as you read the article as well as the link included in the article.

SHARE this story with others... and if you can, assist Vladimir with any financial support you can offer. His most important goal now is to heal.

Injury Can't Keep Globe-trotting Biker Down

Fellow Motorcyclists Help a Deaf Belarussian After His World Tour Took a Devastating Turn

By Russell Working
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 29, 2003

PEORIA -- He was a world traveler navigating a motorcycle around a country where he couldn't read billboards or hear the sounds of traffic.

But when Vladimir Yarets, a Belarussian who cannot hear or speak, suffered a devastating road accident in Downstate McLean County on Oct. 14, he found himself in the company of friends--biker friends.

Yarets, 62, is a former mechanic who says he had logged 69,600 miles in 29 countries and all 50 American states on his aging Czech Jawa 350 before a tangle with a truck shattered his pelvis and broke bones from his left elbow
to his shins. It will be months before he walks again.

He has no insurance, reads no English and converses in a sign language system not used in the United States. Yet in the weeks he has been hospitalized at St. Francis Medical Center, a nationwide network of motorcyclists has raised cash, spread the word of his plight on the Internet and is doing its best to find him another bike.

Individual bikers and clubs ranging from the Chicago Russian Riders to the Sons of Thunder Motorcycle Ministry, a Christian organization in Normal, have contributed money, bought clothes and kept him company in his hospital room.

"It's a group that's come together out of nowhere," said Jim Winterer, 54, a Minnesota university news service director and long-distance motorcyclist who hopes Yarets can continue his attempt at a record-setting world tour.

"We're going to do whatever we can to help him do that--any way we can help with all the issues involved in the accident, getting a new bike and helping nudge things along for his healing process," Winterer said.

Yarets, who lost his hearing in infancy, explained that he began fantasizing about travel when he was a schoolboy. To communicate, he jotted answers to questions written in Russian--widely spoken in his former Soviet homeland--and amplified with gestures, miming and occasional pup-pup-pup vocalizations when he wanted to get a listener's attention.

"Since my childhood, when I was 12 years old, I loved geography," he wrote. "And I was very good at it."

He pantomimes a classroom full of dunces and a displeased teacher, which changes when he hands in a paper. The teacher's eyes widen in delight, and she pats the young Yarets on the head.

His love affair with motorcycles began in 1965, when he bought a bike and tried to get a driver's license, but Belarussian officials refused. In defiance, he set out to tour the Soviet Union, a country stretching across 11 time zones and with little more than tracks in the taiga or mountain trails in many places.

In 1974 he was on his way to Magadan, a remote northern Pacific city, when villagers tried to convince him with gestures that he was crazy to continue across a marshland after a terrible downpour had destroyed bridges, according to a 1999 article in Fakti, a Ukrainian newspaper.

"Vladimir was upset, but with the obstinacy of a Belarussian bull, he moved ahead," Fakti wrote. "It took him 10 hours to pass only 60 km [36 miles] with no roads to the next village, called Rosomakha. Sometimes he had to drag his motorcycle and all his equipment over obstacles. He carried an ax in case he met a wolf or bear. There was not a single soul around, only clouds of annoying mosquitoes. Vladimir was very scared that the night would fall before he reached the next destination."

When he returned to Belarus, motor vehicle officials were so impressed with his journeys that they granted him a driver's license--the first such honor for someone in the Soviet Union who could not speak or hear, the paper wrote.

He has since traveled across the former country, Europe, Canada, the United States and parts of the Caribbean, often staying with people he meets and accepting money to cover his travel. He spent three months in a Cuban jail when he arrived there without proper documentation, said his son, Vladimir Yarets, 34, in a phone interview from Belarus. The son said he used to puzzle over his father's love of motorcycle travel, but he has come to understand it.

"This is a passion," he said. "This was given to him from above. It's not for money or glory. There is some little devil inside him that makes him do it."

Rick Martin, 58, a forklift mechanic from Peoria, met Yarets when Martin reached Missoula, Mont., after August's Iron Butt competition, an 11,000-mile motorcycle ride around the United States. He found Yarets parked with a sign reading: "I want to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the only deaf and mute individual who has traveled all of the former Soviet Union, Europe, Africa and the Americas on a motorcycle."

"They were just in awe at what he's accomplished on such a small motorcycle," Martin said. "We had a supper, and when we came out of the supper, here he was in the back parking lot, and had all his maps and pictures laid out, kind of like a gypsy."

At St. Francis Hospital, Yarets has been a determined but challenging patient. At first, nurses couldn't even ask if he needed a cup of water, a snack or another pain pill.

"He yelled out a lot at first," said Melissa Derham, a registered nurse in the orthopedics unit. "And you didn't know if it was because he needed something, or if he was scared or in pain."

Derham, herself a motorcyclist, found translation programs on the Internet to render words into Russian. Nurses learned to read his gestures, while translators have helped from time to time by writing phrases in Russian and allowing Yarets to scribble his replies.

He is slated to leave the hospital Monday for an affiliated nursing care center. Motorcyclists set up a Web site to pass on information and raise money:

"He's really living the dream that we all have of just going off and riding and seeing people and places and doing this sort of thing," said Tom McIntyre, a news anchor at Peoria's WEEK-TV and a motorcycle buff. "And he's also in the same kind of situation where, if we had done that and been in an accident, we would like this kind of support system too."

Copyright © 2003, Chicago Tribune

Monday, December 01, 2003

So Much To Say, So Much To Say

My brain is going haywire with things to blog yet there's no real update of sorts. Perhaps tonight... perhaps tomorrow. Sometimes I realize that I really do have a lot to say/write but the sentences fail to form and for you, the reader, that's a real problem.