...the absent-minded ramblings of a sometime diva, hyperactive yarn ya-ya.

My Photo
Name: Cyndilou :)
Location: Texas, United States

Just a little piece of sunshine and rainbow set free to wreak happiness on the universe.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Remembering Grandma

It's funny how you never really think that someone will ever leave this earthly coil. You may or may not be particularly close to them, but when they die, it still hits you somewhere below the solar plexus. God reminds us of our own mortality that way.

My grandmother was not necessarily my favorite person, I guess. She wasn't the sort to make you cookies and milk every day. She was more of a realist - if you fell she'd point out what silly thing you were doing that caused you to fall rather than scoop you up to kiss away the hurts. Still, she was a character I remember from my childhood. We'd go visit her when we could - not every summer or holiday, but pretty close to every year or at least every other year we'd see her for a few days. I remember her eclectic taste in decorating, and the wild gifts she'd give on occasion. Many of the gifts were borne of a need to give something, even when she didn't have a lot of money - some of those I still have, like a very cool costume jewelry necklace from the 40s, which at the time I was entirely certain was a joke. She'd tell us interesting stories from her childhood - but more often we were out playing in the yard with the cousins while she had a beer and talked with the adults.

I think in many ways she is that fireball from southern movies - the one who you both aren't quite sure you want to be related to and yet can't imagine living without. The one you get jealous of other people for having stories about. Stories you wish you could tell, and some of which you can but some of which you embellish just to make them seem more real. Maybe we do that to all of our memories - romanticize a bit, fantasize a bit, keep the good bits and let the bad ones fade out.

Anyway, regardless of the times I was exasperated with my grandmother, I do love her, and I will miss her. I am glad that she is no longer in pain - suffering for the sake of prolonging life is no way to live, and apparently she felt the same. Rest in peace, Grandma, and go with God.

I need new clothes

Losing weight isn't a bad thing, but I hate it when one of my favorite things doesn't fit any more. You start that battle of "how long can I wear this and pretend it still looks good on me before I have to give it up" game, realizing that you could, in fact, just go out and find a new favorite as easily.

...and before some of you harp on me about getting things altered, I've thought about it. I don't sew well, however, and the services of a professional seamstress/tailor would run as much or more than just buying a new shirt or outfit occasionally. Besides, my seamstress won't tailor jeans - and that clunky 'take in a chunk in the back with a quick seam at the waistband' that used to work when you were young doesn't look so hot as an adult.

Friday, September 19, 2008

But who will I share my booty with?

Arr, mateys - it be time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day once more.

Of course, that be hard to sustain. I be short on sleep, what with hurricanes a-blowin' and long shifts of work and all.

Ptui. Back to normal speech - type - whatever. My houseguests (evacs from the Houston area due to Ike) went back home yesterday. I think they still don't have power, and from the pics I saw there is going to be some damage to the house to clean up, but hopefully it is minimal. I haven't heard back from them yet to see whether the interior of the house was okay or whether a lot of water got in, but I do know they at least have a place to stay for the next few days that does have power so they are in a tenable situation. Lots of prayers go out to all still trying to recover! I've been blog-silent mostly due to keeping them company (with a very active little 6 month old) plus work has been insane lately and looks to be a bit busy for a while yet. Life is fun - see you on the flipside!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day of Remembrance

It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since a horrible tragedy struck NYC on a day much like today.

On a morning much like today I was sitting at work when the news broke - a plane struck one of WTC towers. Someone pulled a television from the test lab and set it out where people could watch and suddenly we were riveted in disbelief to an unfolding live horror story, sure that somehow this had to be some sort of Welles-ian joke. Even when prodded by management to not make that the focus of our day we all kept wandering back to take in the ongoing news coverage - or surreptitiously checked whatever newsfeeds we could get over the internet.

Today is not about politics. Today is not about our petty squabbles or minor upsets. There are real problems in the world, and real heroes that go out to make a difference. Remember what precepts our country was founded on, and remember those who sacrifice themselves to make this world, and this nation, a better and a safer place. May God bless us all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Recipe for One

Got this from a friend (and if anyone knows the original attribution I'd be happy to link back to them - otherwise it is a gift of the interwebs because I see it on far too many blogs to know who wrote it):

EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR ONE (1) WHEN YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE CHOCOLATE

3 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour (plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

NOTE: Here's another version; this one uses self-rising flour and the comments have variations.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Health

Just found adult gummi vitamins at the store. Insanely happy.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

LittleBigPlanet

Why I love LBP: the sacks are knit! *crafty geeky gamer love*

More quotables

This time from L:
"I like saying 'son of a biscuit' - it implies the possibility of sausage gravy."

Reposted from a tweet. :D

So hard to say goodbye to yesterday

The larger this blog gets, the more unwieldy it is to continue to use Blogger to manage it. I've yet to find a good dropdown code that works with my site to show the archives in manageable form, as the one piece of code I did have stopped working over a year ago. I still haven't figured out whether it was a fatal error on my ISP's part or Blogger's part that caused the issue. Add to that the fact that occasionally FTP updates from Blogger simply fail (at one point the epic fail was because my site was too big, even though I was only trying to publish a post at a time) and the failures are getting more and more frustrating, and I think it is time to move on and make a change.

At any rate, my webhosting service forced an upgrade on me, but now that means I can actually use PHP and Perl and such on my site --- which means WordPress, baby. It will take me a bit of time to get everything set up on the new blog - and decide how I want to move forward with it - but I've decided it will be ready to go no later than my birthday. That gives me just over a month to get off my duff and get the code cleaned up, plus get my archives here straightened out so that the transition isn't so painful.

Of course, I will post a redirect link so that anyone who is currently hitting this blog directly will see the notice of relocation. However, anyone only subbed to the RSS feeds will have to update their links once the change is made...

Change is good - it revitalizes the soul. Let's see if I can make this one with fewer snafus than other changes I've made lately. Heh.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Are you a foodie?

Snagged from Lauren (edited to add a line I deleted by mistake when changing the first list from numbers to letters...)

a. Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
b. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
c. Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
d. Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanous
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (I don't know - I might have? I love cheese!)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar ok, so I only pretended to smoke
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/€80/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (uh, the clay? otherwise, don't know what this is)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears, and funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (at least, not knowingly - eww)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (in Jamaica, no less)
100. Snake

So there you go -- more adventurous than most, I'm sure... I severely dislike mushrooms and entrails but I'm usually willing to at least try just about anything. Thankfully I am not allergic to anything and I love spicy foods, so I've gotten to try some rather interesting combos when I've traveled, and to date no serious appointments with Montezuma. Then again, I also travel with a mini-pharmacy. Aside from the travels, I grew up in a highly diverse cultural center and I now live in another, so I still get to exercise my palate. You never know what cool things you'll find in someone else's kitchen.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it

Well, got the news from Mom today -- Grandma definitely does have a spot of cancer on her lung. It's not large, and due to other issues (including the fact that she just keeps getting pneumonia) the docs are opting not to treat at this time.

I think Mom has come to terms with it, but she's still going up there to spend a few days with her mother, for which I am glad. She (Mom) was really distraught when she first heard that it *might* be cancerous. Truthfully, Grandma has had so many health issues lately that I am amazed she is doing as well as she is, but she is definitely hanging in there. I don't know what the expectancy is, but all prayers are welcome. As cantankerous as she is, I imagine she'll be with us quite a few more years. :D