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I Miss My Grandma

25 Aug

I walked into the bathroom earlier to see that Nephew has been filling in a puzzle in the crossword book I keep in there. It’s a habit I picked up from my grandma, my mom’s mom. She always had a puzzle book in the upstairs bathroom of her house. Sister and I would often start working on one of her puzzles during a visit and carry the book into the bedroom we shared, where between the two of us, we’d end up completing the book before the end of our visit. Poor Grandma; I wonder how many new books we made her start that way.

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A Thank You from the CARDIS

24 Jun

Wow. Look at that. Can you believe my pilot made me live in that cold? I'm a desert car, y'know! It's so great to be back home!

HI! This is the CARDIS (stands for Chronology And Relative Dimension In Space). I understand at least one person was disappointed that there wasn’t a picture of me in the call for help posted by ButMadNNW, so I thought I’d take a moment to thank you personally.

My pilot and I are both positively gobsmacked at the generosity of the donors who commissioned knitting or gave without expecting anything in return in order to keep us together. In just over a day and a half, you’ve exceeded the minimum we need to keep the monsters at bay. You have no idea how much it means to us; we’ve been together for over four years and being separated would be horrible. Who knows what kind of a reckless, bumper-sticker-loving cretin I might end up with?! It’s bad enough ButMadNNW sticks these silly Disney antenna balls on me. [She’s joking; the CARDIS loves her antenna balls. ~ButMadNNW]

A little history, for those wondering: I was already living with my pilot for a year or two before she met the Doctor and realized I had a name. So no, she didn’t take me home because I happen to have the same paint job as that Time Lord’s vehicle – might be hard to see in that photo, but I do – that was just luck.

Personally, I can’t wait for my pilot to get a job. Not only do I know how hard this whole situation has been on her, I’m sick of sitting in garages or on driveways in all sorts of weather with no place to go! I’m a vehicle, hello! I’m meant to move!

In the meantime, ButMadNNW wanted me to let you know that she’s happy to take some more knitting commissions via the Donate button on the right of the screen. The threat of me being taken away is only one of the problems being faced down right now. So every little bit still helps. I’d offer to help her with all the knitting she now has lined up, but it’s hard to hold needles with tires.

What’s that, pilot? We have to run out and drop off some applications? Brilliant! *revs* Thank you all again, but I have to run! *purrs*


21 Mar

As I’m starting this entry, the #1 worldwide trending topic on Twitter is #100factsaboutme. Sure, why not?

  1. Continue reading

On a special anniVersary

17 Mar

Five years ago today, my mother met me after work and we went out to see my coworker’s husband play a St. Patrick’s Day gig with his band. Realizing that we didn’t frequently get a chance to have a night out, just the two of us, Mom and I snuck out of the gig early. For lack of any better idea, we decided on seeing a film and I called the cinema to find out what was playing. I vaguely remembered seeing an ad for one of the titles, that it’d looked good, and it was opening that night, so we decided to see it.

The film was V for Vendetta.

Strange how such a small and seemingly random chain of events can utterly change the course of one’s life. Continue reading

“Home is where they have to take you in”

13 Mar

…has long been my father’s reassurance to Sister and me. Whatever is going on in our lives, no matter our age… if we need to, we can go home for a while and regroup.

As I type this, I’m sitting on a floor in Minnesota, across the room from half-empty bookshelves, a stack of stuffed plastic bins stashed in the closet. In a desert dwelling 1,824 miles away (according to Google), my father is reserving a U-Haul trailer and making road trip plans with his friend. Not far away from him, Sister, Brother-in-Law (BIL), and Nephew are clearing out a room, probably confusing the dogs in the process.

I’m going home.

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What is the smallest thing? (via The Daily Post at

3 Mar
Claddagh ring

"When worn on the right ring finger with the heart pointing to the fingertip, the wearer is free of any attachment."

The smallest visible thing near me is on me; specifically, on my right ring finger. It’s the sterling silver Claddagh ring I never take off; the only times it leaves my hand are when I’m doing something where it might slip off irretrievably or get overly messy (e.g. swimming, baking).

I purchased the ring at the Scottish Heritage Shoppe near The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, so long ago that I can’t remember exactly when I bought it. But I know I’ve had it since before January 1998, when Angel gave Buffy a similar ring. I remember at the time feeling a bit superior to all the girls who rushed out to buy one after that episode aired; unlike those wagon-jumpers, I’d known of the rings and their symbolism since before Buffy Summers got one from her undead boyfriend and then inadvertently turned him back into a soulless killing machine.

That symbolism is why I love the rings and why I hope to use Claddaghs as my future wedding rings. The heart stands for love, the hands for friendship, and the crown for loyalty; three of the most important qualities for any relationship, up to and including marriage. Wearing a Claddagh is also one of the ways I (literally) stay in touch with my heritage; genetically, I am connected to every country of the United Kingdom.

A particular oddity about my ring (which, by the way, is stamped “Made in Ireland” on the back of the heart) I noticed a few months ago is that the band is no longer a perfect circle; it’s flattened between the right hand and the middle of the band. Since I very rarely take it off, I wondered for a while how I could have hit my hand hard enough to flatten the ring without remembering doing so. On the other hand (pun not intended), the new shape fits my finger so well, I’ve now come to think that perhaps, over the last 13 or so years, the ring has just slowly morphed to match my finger…

I’m okay with that.

Topic #58 What is the smallest thing near you? Write a paragraph about it. Bonus: Use your imagination – are elements the smallest thing? atoms? quarks?  How do you feel about the fact we keep finding smaller and smaller things inside of things that are already quite small? … Read More

via The Daily Post at

How “Hunter’s Safety” had me frozen in fear

2 Mar

A message to all parents: Please – please – always be on time to pick up your children!

Last night, HousemateF and I were watching this week’s Castle. Without dropping a spoiler upon the wild wrath of the Internet, let’s just say that there was a very, very cold scene. So I turned to HF and asked her if I’d ever told her about the night my dad was late picking me up from Hunter’s Safety class.

When I was growing up in Wisconsin, my parents hunted: deer, pheasant, grouse, etc. There were shotguns and rifles kept in the house – safely locked up, with the ammunition in a separate, locked drawer. They weren’t hidden or mysterious or glamorous; we knew they were there and exactly what they were for. From a very young age, Sister and I were taught how to handle guns, shoot guns, and – most importantly – respect guns as deadly weapons. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of afternoons spent with Dad, helping him refill shotgun shells. It was also required that, as soon as we were old enough, Sister (not interested in hunting) and I (interested in bow hunting, but never actually went) both go through Hunter’s Safety to learn outdoor activity and gun safety.

By the time I was 12, I was already a crack shot with Dad’s .22 rifle; when my Hunter’s Safety class split in two to take turns at a local shooting range, I (metaphorically!) blew my instructors away with my neat shot cluster in the middle of the target. Meanwhile, my peers were sometimes hitting the middle of the paper, but more frequently scattering their shots from edge to edge and even hitting the wall. But I digress.

Hunter’s Safety was scheduled in the evening, so we kids had time to leave school and go home for dinner before class; and the first class after I turned 12 was, I think, late winter/early spring. On what I remember as a particularly cold evening, Dad was late picking me up. Mom was away, probably in Chicago at one of her Seminary classes; Sister was back living at home and commuting to her university.

As I waited outside a junior high I didn’t attend during the day, I watched all the other kids be retrieved one-by-one by their fathers, mothers, or licensed older siblings. Time passed, the crowd disappeared, and there I stood, shivering alone in a dark sporadically cleared by lampposts.

Remember, this was 20 years ago. Mobile phones were still a distant glimmer in some geek’s imagination, and there wasn’t a convenient pay phone to be seen outside the school, which was locked for the night. I didn’t know anyone who lived within walking distance of the school, and even if I hadn’t been carefully warned against knocking on strangers’ doors, I was convinced that Dad would show up the moment I left the usual pick-up point to find a phone or warmth.

Here’s the kicker: that was the night they’d shown us the film on how to recognize and prevent hypothermia. Continue reading

The Snow Plow

20 Jan

I posted this to my LiveJournal on this day last year, but I no longer really use LJ and a lot of you reading this now didn’t know me a year ago, so I thought I’d repost. If for no other reason than: It’s my birthday and I’ll post if I want to! 😉

One of my favorite stories of my childhood didn’t happen during my childhood, but a week or so before my actual birth day. Obviously, my parents tell it much better than I do, since they were there and all; but I’ll do my best. (And hope that Mom and Dad forgive the errors.)

Before I get into the story, thanks to everyone who’s already wished me a happy day and advance thanks to those who will as the day goes on (this is not an attempt to “guilt” anyone into saying the words; I’m just saying). And now, without further ado:

Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 1979
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Doctor-y thoughts

25 Aug

I know, I know. I haven’t posted anything here in a really long time, but I have a good excuse. Several good excuses, in fact, that include positives such as celebrating BIL’s Marine Corps retirement with my family at Disney World and new editing tasks from the Unk world and CONvergence and moving house, and negatives such as moving house and work instability and financial woes and general “someone please make the suckage stop, thanks”. In my absence from the Refuge, I’ve been accumulating various topics for posts, including a couple new MSG Reports; when or whether I’ll get to them, I cannot say right now.

But for the moment, I just want to dip into Fandom. If you’ve never seen or don’t care for Doctor Who, you may want to skip this and move on to watching cute kitten videos. So if you want to get up and leave now, no worries. I’ll wait.

….Okay, they’re gone. On with the squee.

A friend posted the excellent news that Matt Smith is slated (pending an actual contract, but my fingers are crossed – so ignore typos in this one, please) to continue in his role as the Eleventh Doctor until at least 2013. This prompted a discussion on said friend’s Facebook page that involves minor spoilers and in-references that are going behind a cut. Voilà: Continue reading

The 5 Stages of Temp Contract Cancellation

8 Jun

A major drawback of doing temp work is that you can be “let go” without warning. Last Friday, my two officemates and I were cheerfully doing our work, chatting a bit, when we received a surprise visit from two of our superiors.

“Hi guys. We, um, have some bad news…” Cue the stomach drop.

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