Saturday, February 25, 2006

Love Machine

(clicking the title will take you to lyrics)

Back in the Fall David and I took a weekend trip to the National Corvette Museum and Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY. I've wanted to post pictures from that visit, but my old scanner was all f*cked up and I'm just now getting the pictures done with the new scanner.

Corvette has always been my dream car. It is a true American Classic, and you would be amazed at the quality of these vehicles. Watching them being assembled gave me an even greater appreciation for their beauty, power, and strength. While they might look small and delicate they are built on bigger and tougher frames than most pick-up trucks. And most cars these days don't even have true frames but are built on "unibody" frames. I can personally attest to the incredible strength of the Corvette frame. Mine withstood the force of an at least 50 mph impact from a car running a red light. While the damage was over $9000 it didn't 'total' my car and the damage was limited to the wheel breaking off and cosmetic fiberglass (used to keep the vehicle weight down) damage.

At the Museum there is a row of Corvette Only Parking. That does lend itself to making you feel special. :-)

Corvette Parking Only (my most favorite machine)

Corvettes are beautiful cars. Their bodies are curvaceous and sensuous and unmistakable. But I'm always interested in the insides of things. That gorgeous and fragile-looking exterior hides true hardiness and real muscle.
Here you can see the big frame and the center driveline tunnel which leads to the transmission in the rear. This configuration more evenly distributes weight and enhances the vehicle's stability and handling. For size reference the tires are about 11 inches wide.

Speaking of transmissions, here is one that was on display at the Museum. I can't remember which year, but I'm pretty sure it is one from the very early (50s or 60s) models. I was particularly struck by the beauty of this transmission. It's as exquisite as any piece of sculpture, and I'd love to have one just like it to look at and play with. (David thinks I'm really weird for that.)

When people order a new Corvette they can choose the "Corvette Museum Delivery" option. Here are the new ones that were being delivered the day we were there (I love that blue one). If I ever get to order a brand new Corvette I will do this. David bought my 1998 model from a dentist for about half of what a brand new one costs, but it was so well-maintained everyone thought it was brand new.

Guys always want to see under your hood. So here you go. My oldest is oogling it right after I first brought it home. Brings to mind some AC/DC lyrics... "She was a fast machine, She kept her motor clean..."

Here is mine on the day I got it, Jan. 25, 2005. Its body style is called "C5" and 1997 was the first model year for C5s. 1998 was the 45th anniversary year for Corvette. The C6 body style debuted with the 2005 model year. As you can see (fifth pic down) the new style doesn't have the hidden pop-up headlights. I like mine better, but the new style is growing on me.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mental Health Day(s)

I'm not sure if it's the botched-up job that the TSA did on reconstructing my exploded head and returning my brain, but I'm not feeling so good today. To borrow Johnny Weir's terminology, "I don't feel my inner peace today. I don't feel like my aura is white today. My biorhythms are a little off. I am black inside." I think I probably need to take a little break from cyberspace. I feel like I've misplaced a part of myself in this expanse of code. Sometimes we forget that on the other end of our words are real, live, breathing, feeling people (ourselves included). I just need a little dose of 'reality.' Maybe a little Corvette and retail therapies will help.

Y'all come back now, y'hear!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Political Correctness Gone Wild

Yesterday, Larry Summers, the President of Harvard University, resigned due partly to some comments he made that some interpreted as sexist. The comment in question is as follows:

"So my best guess, to provoke you, of what's behind all of this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people's legitimate family desires and employers' current desire for high power and high intensity, that in the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong."

Well, I don't really see anything there that is in itself sexist or upsetting. I consider myself a "new feminist" which could be described in the vernacular of an old car commercial, "Not your father's feminist." What I mean is that I am comfortable in my femininity and my feminine strengths and weaknesses. I acknowledge that as a female there are some things in which I don't have the same aptitude or abilities as most males. I like math and science a lot and might have a higher aptitude for those things than the 'average' female, but I'm not offended or bothered that many males have a higher aptitude in those things, and therefore have more jobs in those fields.

In contrast, I have greater aptitudes for some things than most males. Nurturing and understanding interpersonal relationships and knowing how to make others feel better are some of my 'female' strengths for which most males have lower aptitudes. Is that a sexist remark? Perhaps I will reword Summers' remark:

"So my best guess, to provoke you, of what's behind all of this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people's legitimate family desires and employers' current desire for high power and high intensity, that in the special case of parenting and nurturing, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination. I would like nothing better than to be proved wrong."

Now am I going to be attacked as a sexist for saying that females have certain other higher aptitudes than males and that explains why more women are stay-at-home parents than men? I hope not. I hope that people will get over themselves and think rationally about these things. Watching the Olympics has reinforced my understanding of intrinsic aptitudes and variabilities of aptitudes. As I mentioned in a previous post on the Olympics each sport has a particular body type which facilitates excellence in that sport. The downhill skiers are generally tall, heavily muscular people. The figure skaters are generally shorter and have more muscular legs and butts. The speed skaters have those huge thighs. It seems that people who are genetically predisposed to a particular body type and stength are the ones at the elite levels of their sports. We (collectively) don't seem to have a problem acknowledging that particular body types have a higher aptitude for certain sports. So why would we think that our brains are any different in that respect? Why are people so frightened to acknowledge differences in mental aptitudes?

Part of the answer to that last question probably has to do with the aptitudes that we place high value on in our society. And that point is covered in the Summers quote when he mentions "socialization and continuing discrimination." And those issues are being examined and studied. I hope that eventually we all can learn to appreciate our own strengths and weaknesses and stop belly-aching over the ones that we don't have. I learned in my years of figure skating that I didn't have what it takes to be a world class skater. Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I say that I was being discriminated against? No, that would have been ridiculous. Do I have the aptitude to be a brilliant physicist? No, but I don't let that stop me from trying to learn as much as I can.

I suppose I might sound like I'm singing that "Let's Celebrate Our Differences" song. Well, what's wrong with that?

To end with a little humor, here are some new Politically Correct terms:


1. She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."

2. She is not a "SCREAMER" or a "MOANER" - She is "VOCALLY APPRECIATIVE."

3. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."



6. She is not an "AIRHEAD" - She is "REALITY IMPAIRED."

7. She does not get "DRUNK" or "TIPSY" - She gets "CHEMICALLY INCONVENIENCED"

8. She does not have "BREAST IMPLANTS" - She is "MEDICALLY ENHANCED."

9. She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."

10. She is not a "TRAMP" - She is "SEXUALLY EXTROVERTED."

11. She does not have "MAJOR LEAGUE HOOTERS" - She is "PECTORALLY SUPERIOR."

12. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."


1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY."

2. He is not a "BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."


4. He is not "BALDING" - He is in "FOLLICLE REGRESSION."



7. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."

8. He is not a "MALE CHAUVINIST PIG" - He has "SWINE EMPATHY."

9. He is not afraid of "COMMITMENT" - He is "RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGED."

10. He is not "HORNY" - He is "SEXUALLY FOCUSED."

11. It's not his "CRACK" you see hanging out of his pants - It's "REAR CLEAVAGE."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Okay, this is really funny! (to me anyway)

Your Birthdate: January 25

You excel at anything difficult or high tech.
In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.
It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.
Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

Your strength: Your unfailing logic

Your weakness: Loving machines more than people

Your power color: Tan

Your power symbol: Pi

Your power month: July

Neutron Splicing and Other Adventures (part two)

In case you missed part one you can click here to read it. For those in a hurry, we left off where my four male dinner companions and I climbed out of our limo to eat at Cracker Barrel...

(More Fun Than) A Barrel Full of Neutrons

I've always assumed that these four men were traveling together, but it's possible that one or more of them were tag-alongs like me. Actually, because I was essentially deaf and mute (because of my head cold and the severe descent into Waco made my eardrums feel like they had burst) they could have told me anything, like that they were an intergalactic group of Knights Templar on a quest for the Holy Grail, and I would have just nodded and smiled, trying to act like I could hear and understand. I'm sure they just saw me as a nice enough lady who was having a hard time communicating. I did try to explain that my ears hadn't recovered from the pressure changes of the flight.

We exchanged the usual pleasantries of asking where everyone was from, how many kids they had, etc. I don't know what any of them said because I just couldn't hear well enough. Add to that the noisy Friday night restaurant background chatter and I was just totally screwed. They seemed somehow impressed (or maybe it was well-disguised disapproval) that I was traveling all the way to Alaska by myself and that I was leaving a four month old baby (and two other young children) for a week as well. I tried to explain that after three kids I was confident enough to leave them for a few days and that they would be well cared-for by my mother-in-law and husband. The four month old wouldn't even know I was gone.

Mostly though, I was ignored by them as they were engrossed in their own discussions. At least in my miserable condition it seemed that way. The one who was sitting across from me did make more effort to talk to me even with all the hassle of having to often repeat things. He's the one that I thought was cute. Maybe they all were, but in my incapacitated condition I just didn't get a good look at all of them. And maybe I liked that he actually made an effort to talk to me. The conversation turned to what brought them to Knoxville and where they were headed and what kind of work they did.

As it turned out they were nuclear physicists that had been to Oak Ridge. Wow, cool, I was having dinner with a bunch of rocket-heads (meant entirely in the most affectionate sense)! They said that they had been there to assist or consult or something (remember I couldn't hear well) with the building of a new nuclear project. What I heard was "neutron splicing." See, with a Southern accent you also hear Southern as well as speak it. When we say "splice" it's actually something like "spulice" because we often tend to make single syllable words into two syllable words. They went on to explain that they were working on a particle accelerator that would 'scatter' parts of neutrons and that the resulting particles could be used in nuclear medicine, etc. How interesting! Too bad I was too deaf, mute, and miserable to really engage in a conversation. They actually had come from New Mexico where they worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory. And the facility they had visited in Oak Ridge was the Spallation Neutron Source. But I didn't realize that it was "spallation" and not "splicing" until after my return from Alaska and I googled "neutron splicing" and found that I'd misunderstood completely. I really hope they either didn't notice my stupid mistake or that they understood that I was too sick to really hear what they were saying.

After dinner we had to walk about a mile back to the hotel. It was cold, foggy, and drizzly. The road was in poor condition with lots of potholes and puddles. I wasn't wearing appropriate shoes for the conditions and my feet were killing me. During our hike back to the hotel their lively conversations of neutrons and whatever other exciting things continued while I was absorbed in my own misery. I was a little bothered by their seeming lack of chivalry, but really, what could they have done? I just toughed it out.

I had a bag of take-out food for my grandma roommates. When I finally got back they were very relieved and scolded me again for "running off with strange men." They said they were getting really worried because I had been gone for a long time. I explained that dinner took so long because the restaurant was busy and that it took a long time to walk back on that bad road. All's well that ends well, at least so far. And that night I slept with a complete and total stranger whose name I don't recall. If I hadn't been so sick I don't think I'd have been able to fall asleep at all because of the weirdness of the whole situation.

What is the strangest sleeping arrangement you've ever experienced?

Yes, there will be a part three soon, but as a courtesy to those who are only interested in neutrons I'll say that the rest of the story will consist only of "Other Adventures" and no more neutrons.

Me, Reconstructed

Well, the TSA felt bad that my head exploded and decided to return my brain and reconstruct my head. Well, you can't rely on the government to do much of anything right...

But I have my brain again anyway. And for those impatient people waiting for Part Two of "Neutron Splicing" I'm working on it!

Monday, February 20, 2006

It finally happened....

Momma's Head Exploded!

The many meanings of P-M-S:

1. Pass My Shotgun

2. Psychotic Mood Shift

3. Perpetual Munching Spree

4. Puffy Mid-Section

5. People Make me Sick

6. Provide Me with Sweets

7. Pardon My Sobbing

8. Pimples May Surface

9. Pass My Sweatpants

10. Pissy Mood Syndrome

11. Plainly, Men Suck

12. Pack My Stuff

.....and my favorite one..

13. Potential Murder Suspect

And as an example:

Q: How many women with PMS does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One!!! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY?
Because no one else in this house knows HOW to
change a light bulb! They don't even know that the
bulb is BURNED OUT!! They'd sit there in the dark
for THREE DAYS before they figured it out!! And,
once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to
find the light bulbs despite the fact they've been in
the SAME CUPBOARD for the past 13 YEARS! But
if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find
the bulbs 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to
stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would
I'm sorry. What was your question?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Neutron Splicing and Other Adventures (part 1)

This is kind of a long story so I'll be breaking it up into parts. Unfortunately, I lost the notes I made then, so I can't remember any names or other such details.

Anchorage via Waco

In December 2000 I got to go to Anchorage, AK, to visit my very close friend who lived there at the time. I was to fly from Knoxville to Houston to Seattle to Anchorage. Cheap flights from Knoxville always have lots of stops like that. My flight out of Knoxville got delayed several hours due to heavy fog in Houston, but we did finally get the go-ahead. I knew that I would miss my connecting flight in Houston, but they assured me that they would get me on another flight that night. Okay, no worries. This is my vacation and I'll go with the flow.

I'm a people watcher. I like to study how people interact (or don't). It's interesting to watch which people in a crowd end up talking. On the plane to Houston there were three seats in each row, one on one side and two on the other. I was in the single seat. The guy in front of me amused me to no end in the way he was very blatantly admiring (lusting) and practically hitting on the girl next to him. She was one of those typically beautiful women who attracts that kind of reaction from many men. She seemed to be fairly receptive to him, but she might have just been trying to be nice. I could almost see the thought bubbles over his head... "Man, I'd love to get all up in that."

About half-way through the flight the pilot announced that we were being diverted to Waco, TX, because the fog in Houston had gotten too bad to land. The flight attendant announced that they would arrange for transportation to a hotel. I could see Mr. Horny Toad's (the guy in front of me) thought bubbles explode into possibilities. He was thinking, "Oh, what an opportunity!" I think I even laughed out loud a little.

Unfortunately, I had a cold, and we all know what happens when you fly with a cold. Your ears hurt really bad, especially on those smaller planes. For whatever reason the descent into Waco was especially fast and my eardrums felt like they were bursting. And I couldn't hear, and I couldn't talk because of the pain and stopped up feeling in my head. I was essentially deaf and mute.

After we landed in Waco I found myself next to two older ladies in the airport. We were waiting to find out about the hotel arrangements. They announced that people would have to share rooms for the airline to pay for them, so I thought I'd hook up with the least threatening people I could find, viz., those two older ladies. I'm pretty innocuous-looking, too, so when I approached them they agreed to share a room with me. I figured a couple of grandmas were the least likely to end up being ax-murderers killing me in the night and stealing what little I had with me.

My roommates whose names I've lost and forgotten.

Because of all the delays and the diversion to Waco I hadn't gotten to eat in a long time and was starving. Somehow my grandma roommates and I ended up getting a ride to the hotel in a white stretch limo with four men who were traveling together (all of us on that same flight). On the way to the hotel we asked the driver about places to eat. He said that after we got checked in he could drop us off at the Cracker Barrel that was about a mile down from the hotel. He said he couldn't wait for us and take us back to the hotel because he had another group to pick up soon. The older ladies didn't want to walk the mile back to the hotel, but I was that hungry that I would have walked 10 miles if I'd had to. I offered to bring them something back. The four men said they wanted to go to Cracker Barrel, too, and that I could tag along with them. The grandmas looked askance at a young woman (I was 32) going off with four strange (not weird, just unknown) men (probably mid-thirties to mid-forties) in a stretch limo and then walking a mile at night with them. I felt no danger whatsoever. These were not the gang-raping types of guys. Sometimes you can just tell those things.

The limo and the back of one of my dinner companions who(m?) I thought was cute, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I do have to admit that I pondered the strangeness of the situation as it was happening. It did seem like one of those funny scenarios you'd see in a movie or something. And as we pulled up to Cracker Barrel in that shiny, white limo I wondered what people might think when they saw four men and one woman climbing out of it. What would you have thought?

Stay tuned, part two is coming soon. I know you're wondering what neutrons have to do with anything. ;-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Peppered Thoughts

Much Ado About Nothing

I'm a little scattered today, but I do want to say a few things. First off, this whole uproar over the Dick Cheney hunting accident is just totally ridiculous. The entire 'controversy' is media-created. They are just whining and being complete babies about not being alerted to what happened the second that it happened. Get over yourselves you stupid media vampires!

Just think about it. If you were out hunting and you accidentally shot one of your friends would your first thought be, "OH! Call CNN! Quick!"? I don't think so! What kind of incredibly self-centered and pompous group of people get their panties in a wad because they weren't the first to get the 'scoop'?? I never have had much respect for the media, but now they have earned my disgust. And I'm almost as disgusted by the people who are led astray by these wolves like brainless sheep. Come on people, don't give the media so much power. Power corrupts. And the media are obviously corrupted.

Worst Dressed List

Did anyone watch the men's figure skating short programs last night? I tried to. It was really difficult for me to see past the horrific costumes. I'm not sure who's designing skating outfits these days, but whoever it is needs to be fired. The first one that astounded me was worn by a French guy, Frederic Dambier.

(sorry, pilfered pic, but it's got its copyright on it, and the next two are borrowed from NBC) In case you can't tell that's fishnet that goes past his hip. I was so horrified by his costume that I don't know what skating he actually did.

And then another Frenchman, Brian Joubert, wore some terribly distracting James Bond outfit.

And then there's our very own flaming faggot, Johnny Weir, in his Swan Lake spectacle.

Lest anyone be offended by my calling him a flaming faggot don't be because he's effectively called himself that. He's very out and flamboyant and obnoxious. If he can use his homosexuality as an excuse to be obnoxious, loud, and proud, then I can exercise my freedom of expression too and call him out.

Anyway, to the designers of men's skating costumes, PLEASE use some discretion and higher standards and stop it with the sheer and/or fishnet insets!! Men, even flaming faggots, shouldn't wear fishnet on ice. It's terribly distracting and does not add to the artistry of the programs. There should be a stricter dress code. Back in the day we weren't even allowed to wear sleeveless dresses for competitions, let alone sheer insets that left little to the imagination. I know I sound like an old prude, but come on, when your kids ask you why those boys are dressed like girls it's gone too far!

The one skater that got it right was our Matthew Savoie. (sorry, no pic because I'm getting aggravated at AOL right now) His costume was subtle, sophisticated, and in very good taste. Sometimes (Johnny!) too much flash takes away from the beauty.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Citius, Altius, Fortius

The Olympic Motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger.

I love watching the Olympics, winter and summer, but I think the Winter Olympics are my favorite. That is mainly because I was a competitive figure skater while growing up. When I first started lessons I had those Olympic dreams that so many young girls have when the start skating. Obviously, that wasn't in my future, but skating was a great experience anyway.

I feel bad for Michelle Kwan. She had to withdraw from this Olympics due to a groin injury. This was her last chance to get the one title that she lacks, that of Olympic Champion. But apparently, that was not in the Plan for her. I think she'll be just fine with all the other accolades she's earned over the last decade. Perhaps her lesson in this is to be happy with the achievements she has had and not to mourn too much for what has eluded her. That's a good lesson for all of us. And that's one reason why the Olympics are important for more than just the athletes who compete. We all can learn lessons in sharing these experiences with these athletes.

Another reason I love watching the Olympics is because I am amazed at the extremes to which people can push their physical abilities. And it's interesting how each sport's athletes are built for those sports. Look at the light, thin bird-men of the high jump. These guys are all tallish and very thin which makes it easier for them to glide longer and farther through the air. Some of these guys have the height and weight of supermodels, i.e. 5'10" and 135 lbs. I do wonder if they starve themselves to stay light and keep that advantage for their sport. This athlete anorexia isn't uncommon, but I hope that it's less common now than it was in the past. Then you have the downhill skiers who are bigger and heavier which helps them gain more speed. Some of them are 5'10" and weight nearly 100 pounds more than those bird-men. But they have to be that big and strong and sturdy to be able to go 80 mph on just their legs and slabs of fiberglass, metal, and whatever else skis are made of. Can you imagine? I don't usually drive that fast. I just can't imagine skiing down a huge, steep mountain going faster than a car. With only my legs. Wow!

And many of the Winter Olympic sports have evolved from the apparatus that people developed to move through cold, snowy environments. The bobsled and luge might seem purely recreational now, but they come from practical sleds that people used to get around. Who was the first person to decide that it would be fun to start racing their sleds down icy tracks? Most of these sports involve an element of dare-devilishness. Maybe they should add 'Fearless' (Impavidus?) to the Olympic motto?

And I'm a fan of the newer events too. The snowboarding events are fun to watch, and I'm glad that the Olympics are evolving with the times to include these newer sports. But there are also events that are no longer part of the games. One is the figures portion of the figure skating competitions. I kind of hate the demise of this event because it requires such precise control of your body and skates to make these circles and turns and to be able to retrace them exactly. But in these days of flash and daring and TV ratings the triple jumps and freestyle skating have taken over.

I wish good luck to all the competitors in Torino. I'll be watching!

And here's a question: If you were a Winter Olympian which sport would you choose?

EDIT: The kids are home today because the roads were icy this morning. Their being here has upset my ability to concentrate (hey, it sounds like a good excuse to me!), and I've decided that I did not express myself well enough in this post. I meant to better explain that one of the cool things about the Winter Olympics is that it illustrates as much people's ingenuity in improving their apparatus as it showcases their physical abilities. I meant to give examples of the ways in which the equipment various sports use have been improved over the years to help improve the athletes' performances. It is truly an exhibition of the collaboration between man and his implements. Okay, not that I'm expressing myself any better now, but I just wanted to add that little bit.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shameless Self-Promotion

Vote for me! Madman is having the Ms. Blogger 2006 contest. If you'd like to vote for me then go leave a comment on the post with my picture. Thanks! If I win I will make my it my goal to bring World Peace by getting all the world's leaders high. See, if they all got together and smoked some pot and got high they would sit around hugging and loving each other instead of hating and wanting to kill each other.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Than Three

Hi, this is Rae Ann's evil doppelganger. I just wanted to make that clear up front. I got a new t-shirt today (at Walmart, in the men's department) that has this old Tootsie Rolls ad on it. It looks just like this lunch box except it doesn't have the "Mr. Owl," part. I remember (since I now am in possession of Rae Ann's brain) those commercials. I've always been (well, Rae Ann has) a more-than-three-licks kind of girl. While the destination is great the journey is worth taking plenty of time to enjoy.

Sooo, how many licks does it take?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Left My Brain In Utah

Apparently, in addition to breaking and spilling some of my spa goodies the TSA has abducted my brain. Perhaps they scanned it and saw that it is full of dangerous and explosive ideas that must not be allowed to see the light of day. Or maybe it's just a cute souvenir to go with my panties. Either way, I had an appointment to see a urologist and have some tests to try to find the cause of my recurring UTIs. I had been dreading it all week. I knew it was this afternoon and even made sure that David would be able to pick the kids up from school. I went to the office and signed in. The receptionist looked at me funny and asked who I was seeing today. I told her, and she said that he wasn't here this afternoon. The other receptionist asked my name so I told her. She gave me an annoyed look and said, "Your appointment was yesterday." DUH. Okay, so I told them I was so sorry and that I've been out of town and got my days all messed up. The nice receptionist was nice about it and made me a new appointment for tomorrow morning. The annoyed receptionist was just kept being annoyed. I called David and apologized to him and told him that I would be able to pick up the kids. He said that was okay.

So, what is the claims process for recovering my missing brain? How can I document that I actually did have it previous to my return from Utah? (I don't have any receipts.) What kind of kinky conspiracy have I found myself in? If you see me out and about be very suspicious as to whether it is really me. The TSA might have created a doppelganger with my brain to execute some secret plan. If I am acting strange and saying weird things, then it's their fault! Help me!

The preceding message was brought to you by the Friends of the Brainless Who Nonetheless Have Delusions of Persecution and Grandeur.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

From the Mailbag 2

(more chimerical correspondence)

Rae Ann,

Rumor has it that your 'retreat' to Utah was really a court-ordered drug rehab stay.

Big Brother

Big Brother,

Well, I didn't use any illegal drugs while in Utah. Does that count as rehab?

Rae Ann

PS I really got pissed when your TSA jerks destroyed some of my spa goodies when they searched my checked bag. Did they think I was smuggling drugs or a bomb in a perfume bottle? And don't they know how to screw a lid back on a jar? (this part is totally true)

Dear Rae Ann,

You've been skulking about some academic blogs and leaving dumb comments. Why? You are way out of your league and should stop exposing yourself as a non-member of the academic intelligensia.


The Thought Police

Dear Thought Police,

I dreamed about you one night in Utah. In my dream God told me to annoy you and be relentless in showing you all your contradictions and biases. Your totalitarianish persecution won't stop me. Just remember that Groove is in the Heart, not in the Head.


Rae Ann

PS I graduated magna cum laude, but it would have been summa cum laude if I hadn't blown off a non-major class my last semester. I'm not interested in being a card carrying member of the intelligensia.

Mrs. M______,

I work for the TSA and I have to confess that I sniffed and stole one of your panties while searching your suitcase. I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist. I've never done anything like that before.

Ashamed TSA


I knew it! I hope you're not the same one who broke my other stuff. If Mr. M______ knew what you did he'd cut off your nuts. Just don't try to return them (my panties) now. And please, I don't want to hear any more about it.

Mrs. M______

Rae Ann,

When are you going put up a map of the States that you've had sex in?



That's none of your business. I'll just say it is far fewer than the ones I've slept in.

Rae Ann

Hey, everyone is welcome to ask a real or imaginary question.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Word of the Week


Main Entry: free·dom

Function: noun

1: the quality or state of being free: as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :INDEPENDENCE c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous [freedom from care] d: EASE, FACILITY [spoke the language with freedom] e: the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken [answered with freedom] f: improper familiarity g: boldness of conception or execution h: unrestricted use [gave him the freedom of their home]

2 a: a political right b: FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE

synonyms FREEDOM, LIBERTY, LICENSE mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. FREEDOM has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated [freedom of the press]. LIBERTY suggests release from former restraint or compulsion [the released prisoner had difficulty adjusting to his new liberty]. LICENSE implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom [freedom without responsibility may degenerate into license].

States I've Been To (driving or airport)

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

States I've Slept In

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Superbowl Commercials

I half-assed watched the Superbowl yesterday. I decided I was 'for' Seattle when they gave Pittsburgh a touchdown when on the replay it was clearly not a touchdown. I asked David if he's want to be a ref and he said no. I said I'd like it but everyone would hate me because I'd be a real hard-ass about that kind of thing. Oh well.

But I did see some of the big commercials and here's my little take on the ones I can remember:

1. The Burger King musical extravaganza was good. I liked it and was glad that I didn't miss it. Funny stuff!

2. The Fed Ex one with the prehistoric guys. Again, very funny!

3. The 'new' Escalade... WTF?? Whoever that commercial's target audience is I'm not in it. That was one of the stupidest commercials I've ever seen.

4. Some hybrid car commercial (sorry, I don't know which company it was for) that talked about doing things for a better future had a Spanish speaking father and son. The son asked why the father learned to speak English and he said something about it being for his son's better future. THANK YOU!!! No offense to immigrants, etc., but if you want to live in the U.S. you better learn to speak our language. Period.

5. David laughed out loud at the face I was making during the commercial for "Desperate Housewives", especially the part where Hugh Hefner is giving moral advice to one of the characters. Ugh. I'm so out of the loop of popular crap sometimes.

6. The couple of beer commercials I saw were absolutely stupid too.

7. The careerbuilder spots with the monkeys and jackasses were clever and funny.

8. I missed the Fabio shampoo commercial. But really, isn't that just a little too surreal anyway?

9. Disney's Shaggy Dog, what a waste of money and I think Tim What's-His-Name must be broke to have agreed to be in such a piece of utterly stupid crap. Not funny at all!

I missed most of the commercials, but here's a link to some of them. Not sure if non-AOL users have access to this link, sorry!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Groove is in the Heart

Back to reality. I got back from my retreat late Wednesday night and now I'm settling back into 'real' life. It has been a relatively smooth transition. I'm trying to maintain a higher level of peace utilizing the experiences I had at Green Valley. As has happened with my two previous visits there I feel recharged and refreshed, but this time it is even more so. Maybe it's one of those 'better with age' things. I received some confirmation of things that I knew in my heart, and being the 'scientist' that I am I find confirmation vital. Some might see some of this stuff as hokey or whatever, but we create our own reality and this is mine. My self-perception has always been divergent from others' perception of me. But I'm finding them becoming more aligned now. Apparently, others see me as warm, open, and loving (except when I'm hormonal) while I've previously seen myself as quiet, shy, and somewhat withdrawn. Go figure.

But I have been doing some deep spiritual work in the last year or so, and it seems that it has been working as I had hoped. Everyone I met on my trip responded to the love aura I hoped I was emitting. (Now, when I say 'love' I don't mean 'sex'.) Groove is in the heart. Some even said I was "glowing". Wow! (Maybe that has something to do with my being born in the Atomic City- Oak Ridge. LOL) Of course, being in such a relaxed place has something to do with that too. But it is interesting to watch people relax in your presence when you turn on the love groove. Try it sometime when you're in a situation where people might be feeling uncomfortable or shy. The love groove is always there. You just have to tune into it. Shine a little love.

Oh, and on the flight from Chicago to LA (lots of plane changes to go from a small airport, Knoxville, to a tiny one, St. George) I got to sit next to a totally HOT, young, friendly Navy MP. Gave this old girl a thrill to get to bump shoulders and knees with such a hottie. Groove is in the heart...