Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I would like being a princess

If you are a princess, whenever you have an occasion where you need to look good - which is always - someone comes and does your hair for you.  Think about always looking as good as just after your cut and color!  And you can get your makeup and nails done as well.  Your clothes are always professionally tailored to fit you and your body's quirks.  You have access to the latest fashions.  If you want to go see a show, you can always get tickets.  You don't have to cook or clean unless you want to do it.  You probably don't even have to make your own bed.  Wait to see the doctor?  Not you.  Want to go on vacation - private jet. 
The downside - it's got to be kind of a boring life otherwise.  Yeah, lots of perks - but your job is cutting ribbons and shaking hands?  How do you keep your brain from atrophying?  How do you keep smiling all the time, despite some of the idiots you are dealing with?  And better not get any spinach stuck in your teeth or it's going to be all over the tabloids.  God forbid you get a wedgie!  Can you imagine? 
But that hair styling thing - damn that would be a nice perk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stealing an Education

I read an article in a state newspaper today about a mother who has been arrested for larceny.  Her crime is stealing an education for her son.  It sounds horrifying, doesn't it!  But, what she did is illegal.  She lives in Bridgeport, CT which is a poor city.  She gave a false address so that her son could attend school in Norwalk, CT which is a richer city about 30 minutes away.  (And strangely, there are a couple of richer communities in between the two cities that she could have chosen, with probably better schools, but apparently she was familiar with Norwalk.)

A bit of background - in Connecticut, there is no county government.  School systems are part of the town.  There are a number of regional school districts where two or more towns have chosen to combine all or some of their schools, but the majority of towns have their own school system.  This can result in great disparities between the spending on education and also the quality of the education.  Note that I don't think that there is a complete connection between the level of spending and the quality of education.  One of the problems related to the quality of education is the population.  The home life and parental involvement plays a role in the quality of the education.   With that as a factor, I don't think that even money can equalize the quality of education across district lines.  In Connecticut, there is a grant provided to all school districts called the Equalized Cost Sharing (ECS) grant.  Theoretically it's supposed to somewhat equalize the spending on education.  In reality, it doesn't.  The school district in the town I work for gets a paltry amount in the ECS grant.  Being a wealthy town, sometimes I wonder why we get it at all, but there are almost always some kind of "hold harmless" or "guaranteed minimums" in grants.  And the reality is that if our town wants to spend more than Bridgeport on education, it's a lot easier for the taxpayers to foot the bill.  So, is it fair that students in this town get more money spent on them than in Bridgeport?  People move to specific towns for the quality of education.  Sometimes they even move to specific areas of a town to get to a specific elementary school or high school, based on the perception of the quality of the education compared to the other options.  Isn't that their right?  How do you tell a parent here that they shouldn't spend as much as they want on education because Bridgeport can't spend the same.  Should Bridgeport children be allowed to come to our schools?  What do you tell the taxpayer here then, who is paying a big nut for his house and his taxes and does so to provide his child a better education?  But shouldn't all children have the same opportunities?  It really is a difficult issue.  I have no answers for it, only questions.
Back to the mother who got arrested.  I think arresting her was extreme, but I don't know all the circumstances.  Usually they just kick the kid out of school.  Maybe the fraud in that district is such that they felt they needed to really lower the boom on people.  I don't know.  I do know that she committed a crime and I understand why she did it, but that doesn't make it right.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A book review of sorts - "Those Who Save Us"

I read this book while returning from Las Vegas.  It's one that was hard to put down.  It's the kind that when you are reading it, and someone wants to talk to you, it's really hard to fight the urge to say "leave me alone I'm reading" even if that person is the one you love most in the world.  It's that good.  The book is primarily about two women - a mother and daughter.  The mother is a German women and she gave birth to the daughter during WWII.  The book goes back and forth between what was going on with the mother during WWII and the daughter's life in the late 1990s.  You understand the mother more and more as you learn about her life.  And when it moves back to the daughter in the 1990s, you want her to learn about the mother's life.  You keep waiting for her to learn things.  And she does.  And all is good, but not all is neatly wrapped up.  That, I found disappointing.  At the end, I still had some questions about things that happened after the mother married and moved with her daughter to the US.  I wanted to ask some Was this ever resolved... and Did she ever do this...? I don't want to give anything away, so go read it.  It really is good.  I just wanted things wrapped up a little neater at the end.  And maybe the fact that they aren't is part of what made it a good book - still left some for the imagination maybe? 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday Photos on Saturday

Boomer standing watch over the backyard, some flowers, more Boomer and a market bag I knit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I forgot the best part!

I have been cleared of being a terrorist!  Happened on the way to Vegas.  Yup.  I got picked at random going through security to have my hands tested.  Apparently at my airport, on that day anyway, the person picked in the 8 am hour gets his/her hands tested.  Mine came up positive.  The TSA agent at first blamed glycerin in hand cream.  Boy was he wrong.  The second test said it was dynamite.  Dynamite.   Do you believe that?  I tested positive for dynamite on my hands.  So next, they test my purse and carry-on bag.  Purse is cleared.  The bag tests positive.  Oh shit!  What now.  A is sitting nearby laughing.  I think he's texting people too - telling them what's going on - enjoying it really.  I'm not worried as I know I'm not a terrorist, but wondering why the heck I'm testing positive for dynamite.  BTW - at this point, A does not know what is going on, only that I'm getting tested.  So, now they put me behind the black curtain!  I've got to be patted down.  The female agent puts on gloves, tests the gloves to be sure they have nothing on them before the pat down.  As a quick aside - I sure wish I had the contract to provide the TSA with gloves because they sure go through a lot of them.  I think at least 4 pair were used in my search.  So anyway, she does the pat down, then tests the gloves again and this time I came up clean.  I'm cleared and can go get on the plane.  A and I go into the waiting area now and sit.  I tell him that I tested positive for dynamite and express my amazement at how that happened.  Turns out - it's all his fault.  He has been sent off to various schools by the FDNY as part of his training.  There was Live Agent School and Radiation School and yes - you guessed it - Bomb School.  When he left that school to come home, he had been warned to carefully clean whatever he was wearing and carrying on to the plane.  We think that some residue got on his duffel bag which was checked luggage and at home had been sitting near my carry-on bag that morning.  I had moved it aside, likely then getting the traces of dynamite on my hands and into the bag.  Can you freakin' believe it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

The saying is "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"  right?  After what I saw this weekend, I can understand why some people would feel that way.  Then there's the saying "it takes all kinds" well, in Vegas, I think I saw all kinds!  What a place!  There were the theme hotel/casinos - like Caesar's Palace - and then ones that looked normal.  For theme appearance - New York New York had to be the best!  Paris was cool, but still - NY NY!  Then - there are the others like Excalibur, which looked like a Jersey Shore version of Disneyland.  We stayed at the Mirage - lovely.  I would like to try Mandalay Bay just for it's pool!  And the Bellagio - OMG.  The fountains were fabulous.  Then there's the flower room in the atrium.  I wish I had taken some pictures of it.  I think one of the things that fascinated me the most was the girls that looked to be in their early 20s in the sky high heels and the dresses that just barely covered their butts.  I'm not making that up.   I would look at them and wonder - what do they do if they need to sit down?  Maybe they use double sided tape or something.  Anyway, we saw 3 shows while there.  2 were Cirque du Soleil - an Elvis one and a Beatles one.  Both fabulous in their own way.  We also saw Ray Romano.  Hilarious!  Eye watering laughter.  Snorting even.  And we gambled.  I won!  I learned how to play craps and won some money.  One thing that was hard to get used to was the smoke - everywhere and anywhere.  Some places worse than others.  It really is like an oasis in the desert.  Leaving and going back to the airport - you leave the strip - and it's a different world.  And not so pretty.  But boy - that strip!  Wow!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little frustration with my scale

It's not moving.  If anything, it's been looking up a little.  I don't get it.  I'm doing cardio, watching what I eat.  Maybe not getting enough water?  Maybe a little too much salt?  I really wanted to be down another pound before going to Vegas, but that doesn't look like it's happening.  I think I'll have to watch it a bit while I'm out there - not indulge as much as I would have liked.  Then come home and get right back on the wagon. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happiness is....

....another budget done.  All that's left for me now is the printing.  Yay! 
Other happy notes - daffodils, hyacinths and forsythia all in bloom.  Soon it will be tulips. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recommendations Please!

A & I are taking a mini-vacation.  I have a few books on my Kindle for airplane and poolside reading, but could always use a couple more.  So, I'm looking for recommendations!  I tend towards a couple of specific types.  For non-fiction historical books - I like the Revolutionary War period and WWII.  I haven't read much about the Civil War period, but I am open to it.  For fiction - I like mysteries, medical or legal.   Those are my tendencies, but I am open to breaking out of my ruts.  I've read a few books - "Orange is the New Black" and "The Help" among them - based on the recommendations of others and enjoyed them.  So feel free to expand my boundaries. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dipping a toe into handknit socks

I took a class on Saturday to learn how to knit socks on two circular needles.  I think I'm going to really like this.  I wanted to learn how to knit socks because there are so many pretty patterns and pretty sock yarns out there.  I had started a sock previously, but it was really slow going - probably because I hadn't found the right method for me.  I was using the magic loop method, then tried using a 9" circular.  Neither one really got me in a groove.  I think I found the groove with two circulars.  And the technique will translate to other small diameter circular knitting projects - like sleeves, mittens or the last few rounds of hats.  In other knitting news, the lace capelet is done, ends woven in.  Now it just needs a little blocking and it will be ready to go.  I plan to steam block it, so I may get to that tonight.  I'm almost done with my market bag, now just waiting for goat day to start up for the season and I'll be off to the farmers' market with my own bag.  I could see me making some more of these out of cotton scraps for myself or in pretty colors as gifts.

Friday, April 08, 2011

or not

So the boss's wife brought their 2 month old baby in today.  He's very cute.  As we stood around and talked, one of my co-workers said "Oh K, to remember those days" referring to having an infant.  I said "I would have liked to have had those days."  What The Fuck!  She knows damn well that it's not just that I don't have kids, but that I couldn't have kids.  WTF!  It hasn't put me in as big a hole as I was yesterday - but still.  What The Fuck!  I thank those of you who sent me virtual hugs yesterday.  I'm looking forward to the real live hugs I will get from A tonight when he gets home from work.  They are great medicine for my wounded soul.

It's starting out a better day today...

What did I wake to this morning?  A furry face with a wet nose staring at me.  Then a doggie kiss saying "must do business Mom".  The cuteness just melts my heart.  Then, I get dressed for work and put on some khakis I haven't worn in a while and there's money in my pocket.  $3.10.  Definitely shaping up to be a better day than yesterday.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

It's going to be one of those days

So today started learning about PETA's dumbass contest.  Now, the former chairman of the board I work with just stopped in my office.  I haven't seen him in a while.  So what does he say "Any kids yet?"  The tears came right up.  I told him "I can't."  I wasn't going into details.  I am proud of myself for being blunt.  He of course suggested adoption.    I again was blunt "We can't afford adoption."  He then told me that his second child is adopted and noted that it was expensive and an ordeal.  I think I'm doing well, that the pain is blunted, not so close to the surface, but then - today happens and right now - I'm fighting to keep my office door open, to not break down in tears at my desk.  Please let something good happen today.

Dear PETA, Infertility is not a joke

Check out this link.

In "honor" of National Infertility Awareness Week, PETA is having a contest to win a vasectomy.  I'm so disgusted, I have no words.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Happiness is... you have to ask?  Did you not read yesterday's post?  U!C!O!N!N! UCONN! UCONN! UCONN!  NCAA Men's Champions!  WOOFREAKINHOO!!  Back before the season started, I was just hoping they would make the NCAAs.  And they WON IT!  What a run!  What a fabulous run!  And how do you not just love Kemba Walker.  Beautiful player.  Graduating in 3 years.  Hard worker.  Leader.  Awesome.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Thing of Beauty?

No, it wasn't - but that doesn't matter - UCONN is the NCAA Men's Champion!  The first half was one of the ugliest halves of basketball I've seen.  In the 2nd half, UCONN turned it on.  Butler didn't.  It's a shame that a team as good as Butler went out that way.  I think that UCONN just didn't want to lose.  They may not have been the best team over the season, but come tournament time, they just weren't willing to lose.  And now - 3rd time as NCAA champs.  UCONN! UCONN! UCONN!

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Got the new PC - so I'm loading up some photos.  These are just some knitting projects.

And Boomer.

Friday, April 01, 2011

No Photo Friday....again

This time the problem is that I have no computer to upload them!  I bit the bullet and finally bought a new computer recently.  It arrived at my local Staples on Sunday.  So, I bought the old one in for them to transfer the files.  It's still there.  First they had trouble, couldn't get my old one to work with their display, so I had to bring down the funky display cord connector from my old PC.  That was Tuesday evening.  And so I sit.  And so I wait.  I could use A's laptop, but honestly, just too much of a pain to set it up, etc.  I'm hoping it will be ready today. 
My big dilemma for today (note I am using the apparently correct 2m spelling of that word instead of dilemna) is do I go to the gym after work.  I'm going to a jewelry party tonight at a neighbor's.  I will have time to come home, eat and shower after running - so that's not an issue.  The thing is - I kind of like what I'm wearing right now.  If I change into workout clothes, I'm worried about getting makeup on the neck of the lovely cream colored turtleneck I am wearing, which would mean no wearing it to the jewelry party tonight.  It's not as if I don't have other wardrobe options for the evening - but I just saw myself in the bathroom mirror and think - I'm looking pretty good.  So - will I go to the gym tomorrow if I don't go tonight?  Or at least go for a run in the neighborhood?  And if my computer is ready - I don't think I have time to go to the gym, pick up the PC, eat, shower, etc before the party.  Oh - the decisions of a Friday!  :)