What? This doesn’t even make sense…..

Please explain to me why anybody would have to convince Vermonters NOT to use Canadian maple syrup.  Seriously, this would have made more sense pretty much ANYWHERE else…..

 

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — People for the Ethical Treatment of

Animals is taking its campaign against Canadian seal harvesting to

America, urging consumers to boycott Canadian-made maple syrup.

Three PETA activists — one dressed as a baby seal — campaigned

outside the Statehouse in Montpelier on Tuesday, smashing a

likeness of a maple syrup bottle until it squirted red “blood” —

it was really theatrical makeup — onto the sidewalk.

Passersby didn’t need much coaxing, though. Nineteen-year-old

Anna Macijeski (muh-JESS-key), of Northfield, said she never buys

Canadian maple syrup anyway.

Simon Trepanier, a spokesman for the Federation of Quebec Maple

Syrup Producers, says he doesn’t understand what seals have to do

with maple syrup. He says maple syrup makers are working with

nature, not against it.

Sunscreen

I don’t care what you say, I still think the world revolves around me.  In 1999, I graduated from college and Baz Luhrmann was telling everybody to wear sunscreen (you KNOW what I’m talking about).  You can pretend that you think the song is corny, but it’s clever and bold and straight to the point. 

I was reminded of this song the other day by, of all people, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk if you’re nasty).  The timing was perfect.  Over the weekend I watched the Carnegie Mellon University commencement online (how far we’ve come in 10 years) and I was feeling incredibly nostalgic.  I wanted to shout to the graduates that they were full of promise and to treasure every second of this time. 

To add to my nostalgia, on Monday I spent a few minutes with a friend from college.  She was in town for a conference and emailed me to ask if I’d be available to meet for a few minutes while I was at work.  It was great catching up and comparing notes on people we were each still in touch with.  There were several people who we summed up with “Oh, still the same old Kurt (or Lori or Carlos)”.  I sometimes worry that after 10 years of no contact, maybe I’ve completely lost connection with a person.  Maybe we’re both too far removed to feel like we know each other.  It’s nice to know that some things don’t change.

So, I was missing college, missing old friends, missing being “free” and having my entire adulthood ahead of me.  I was missing that spark that made me feel like anything was possible and that, some time soon, I was going to change the world.

Then I happened to click of one of the zillion links that @aplusk posted on Twitter and I suddenly felt renewed.  I’m thinking about starting every day by watching this while I drink my morning coffee.

 

Come on.  You know this is the quintessential graduation song.  Clearly it was written for me.

Nothing But Love

Recently, I’ve been noticing that a lot of my friends are having a hard time.  These are friends from all different areas of my life, the problems are diverse & the severity is all over the board.  There’s no consistency, no pattern, no reason that they’d all be feeling this way at exactly the same time.  Basically, things just suck.

I’ll admit that I’ve dug myself into my own little hole lately.  Maybe it’s the time of year…the span from March to May has always had a lull in it for me.  I may be the only person that doesn’t really like Spring at all.  I was a little bummed when I realized that Z would be born in April.  It’s just not my favorite month.  Maybe that’s why he HAD to be born then. 

Anyway, I’ve been in a slump.

Over the weekend, I got kicked out of my funk a bit.  I spent some time with my family and then I spent some time with some friends.  I had a good cry & had a really good talk with a friend (the 2 overlapped actually).  And then that was it.  I cleared the air with a couple people on Monday, got some stuff accomplished on Tuesday.  Suddenly, BOOM….I’m feeling better.  Weird. 

Once I started checking in with my friends, I noticed that they had a lot going on too.  While I was hibernating, a really good friend made a really difficult, major decision in her life.  I wish that I’d been there a little more for her, but she seems okay.  Another friend told me that she was exhausted from being the one that was always helping people…and that sometimes she needed help too.  A third friend is beginning to address some unresolved issues she has with her family…things have come to a head.

At work the other day, I was talking to a friend with a life situation eerily similar to mine.  She’s a working mom, she and her husband both work crazy schedules and never see each other, they have no family near-by & she just feels like she’s treading water with no boat in sight.  I can COMPLETELY relate.  We talk about it every so often.  One will be talking, trying to find just the right metaphor, and the other will be nodding vigorously and saying “YEAH!  EXACTLY!”.  Damn…I wish we were neighbors. 

While talking to this co-worker, I mentioned that I’d noticed that a lot of people around me seemed to be having a hard time with various things.  I know that the economy has a lot of people feeling down, but this seems different.  Unemployment isn’t the issue, everybody who needs a job has one.  Nobody’s about to lose their house or their car.  I guess it’s a possibility that the economy is indirectly to blame.  The evening news has been a bit of a downer (more so than usual) and when you’re surrounded by unhappiness and frustration it’s bound to rub off a bit.

Later that evening I noticed a status update on Facebook by a girl I went to high school with.  She was a few years younger, my sister’s year, and I never knew her THAT well….but she played field hockey with me and I always liked her.  Her status read: “… is physically and mentally exhausted.  Will I ever truly be happy again?”.  When I read this, it made me really sad.  She has a young daughter and on a couple of occasions we’ve exchanged wall posts about the chaos of raising a toddler.  I knew that she’s been dealing with a lot, but honestly have no idea what happened to bruise her spirit.

I live with this insane fear of not being remembered, or overstepping the line of familiarity with people from my past.  I remember (most) people really well and could pick up an old inside joke 10 years later or make an obscure reference from high school.  Of course, that freaks some people out and makes me look like an obsessed stalker.  Because of this, I don’t always respond to old friends’ posts.  I don’t want to come on too strong or make them feel self-conscious. 

This time though, when I read this update, I just felt that a response was necessary.  I thought about how many people I knew who were feeling pain and I wanted to help.  I wanted to make her feel better.  I wanted to make all my friends feel better.  I wrote to her and told her that I was sending her good thoughts.  She immediately wrote back and thanked me.  It was so simple, but I think that it brought happiness to both of us.

Sometimes you need to bring  joy to others in order to find joy in yourself.  That’s the point I’ve hit- I’ve come through a rough patch and now I want to pull others up with me.  I can be there for the people I care about.  It’s the one way I know that I can help.

It’s nothing but love.

Have you ever heard someone from R.I. tawk???

My mom & Grammy Flo are visiting for the week.  We were looking at a recipe and it called for White Hominy.  I asked what exactly hominy was. 

My Mom:  Ma….how would you describe hominy?

Grammy Flo: Like….togetherness?

If you’re familiar with southern New England and how people sound, you understand why this is hilareous. 

I’d like to point out that Vermonters do NOT speak like this.  I’m not quite sure why people assume that we do.  No, a VT accent is a whole other brand of crazy…..

Reading List – Making Progress

I’ve plowed through 3 more books (go me!) so I thought I’d update my list…..

 

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  13. Ulysses by James Joyce
  14. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  15. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  17. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  18. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  20. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  21. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  22. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  23. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  24. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  25. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  26. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  27. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  28. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  29. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  30. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  33. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  34. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  37. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  38. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  39. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  40. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  41. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  42. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  43. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  44. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  45. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  46. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  47. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  48. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  49. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  50. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  51. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  52. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  53. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  54. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  55. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  56. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  57. The Stand by Stephen King
  58. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  59. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
  60. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  61. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  62. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  63. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  64. Dune by Frank Herbert
  65. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  66. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  67. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  68. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  69. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  70. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  71. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  72. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  73. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  74. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  75. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  76. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  77. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  78. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  79. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  81. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  82. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  83. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  84. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
  85. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  86. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  87. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  88. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  89. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  90. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  91. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  92. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  93. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  94. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  95. Emma by Jane Austen
  96. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  97. It by Stephen King
  98. Light in August by William Faulkner
  99. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  100. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

 

I have  Moby Dick on order from the library.  Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should read next???

Julia

I LOVE that Julia Roberts looks like a real mom in this picture.  I love that her belly is a little deflated instead of being taut & tucked.  It shows that she’s carried babies. 

 julia

I also love that, for the most part, I haven’t seen a lot of snarkiness online about the fact that she doesn’t look flawless.  I’ve actually seen many comments about how great she looks.  Of course, she’s Julia Roberts and completely magical.

 

The lower back tattoo….meh.  Of course, I’ve got my own potential tattoo location of questionable taste.

Lines on the Road

Well…you might have heard…a lady ran across our lawn a couple months ago.  You know, from now on I may just incorporate this story into EVERY post that I make.  It’ll be a bit like the joke my co-workers have about how every conversation I have leads back to either my kids or my ankle (a story for another time).  

 After the ‘incident’, and my subsequent appointment to ‘street captin’ (I still don’t have a hat.  lame), I started working with the HOA president to get the Douglas County DOT to address the speed probem in our sub-division.  I’m not sure what had been going on before, but shortly after I became involved, the DOT agreed to meet with the homeowners.  (It had nothing to do with me, I never called them.  I don’t want to make it sound like I made it happen.  If anything, it was the police report that someone had been speeding and driven off the road.)

At the beginning of the meeting, the representative from the DOT gave a pretty standard sounding disclaimer.  They said that they wanted to work with us to make this right, but that EVERYTHING takes time and EVERYTHING costs money.  I think they probably thought that we’d come in, guns blazing, demanding speed bumps or traffic lights.  Maybe some people DID have that plan.

At the end of the meeting, the homeowners had come to the conclusion that what our main streets really needed were…….center lines.  We have some wide open areas on our street where there aren’t a lot of houses and people fly through, all over the road.  There are people who will pass you IN OUR SUBDIVISION if they feel like you’re going too slow.  Seriously.  I see people come around the blind corner below our house on the wrong side of the street all the time.  Basically, our neighborhood is an f-ing free-for-all and people are all over the place because they don’t think that they have any boundaries.  A line down the center of the road would at least keep people in check.  I think the DOT guys were a little shocked.  Their reaction was essentially “Uh….oh….okay.  We can do that.”

It took a month, but yesterday I saw the big machinery drive up past my house.  I was giddy like a schoolgirl because I knew what was coming.  After they drove back down the hill, I went outside. 

This is what I saw…….

 

DSCN3092

DSCN3093

Ta-da!!!!

Beautiful double lines down the center of the street!  Let the age of responsible driving begin!

(yeah, I know that people are still going to drive like maniacs…..but let me have my moment.)

We’ll see what actually happens.  To fully evaluate the effectiveness of the lines, I’ll have to spend some time this weekend sitting out in my drive-way (sipping a cool beverage, perhaps) watching people drive past.  That should be no problem.   🙂