Saturday, December 30, 2006

Black Doggie Visits Little Pond

There was a black dog waiting for me when I returned from work. She waited in the front yard, standing at attention. Then she came to the door with me.

When a strange dog visits after midnight, we are pretty sure she's a stray or runaway. The most unusual part of this was her submissiveness. She was extremely obedient and trusting, even allowing me to check her tags. The rabies tag was from our local animal hospital.

We called their 24 hour emergency service. The person who answered told us we would most assuredly be able to locate the owners. We waited for regular hours; the little lady slept on the carpet next to the sofa, and I pulled out the sleeper. She followed me to the bathroom each time during the night.

This morning we called the family, who were just arising, and didn't know she was missing. They came for her and our visit was over.

The night before, I had walked her right past her home, searching for her owners. Today they did not bring a leash to collect her. She ran up the street when they tried to lead her to their car.

She was a quiet, sweet dog. I hope they watch her a little more closely.

Little Pond

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Prayers Left

The holiday did finally drain me: too much activity. And the emotional stuff. We saw many more relatives than we expected, and didn't have presents for them all. I always feel a little bad about that when it happens. Still, love and hugs make up for the lack.

However, the defining Christmas moment came not from gifting, incoming or outgoing.

Remember when I mourned Beirut? It came back to me Sunday, during a visit with a Lebanese-American neighbor. My sadness was nothing next to her very real fear for displaced family.

One can mourn the urban beauty and former glory. But this lady's siblings fled their home, and then their city, and have even spent time living in nearby caves. Our friend choked on tears as she explained that her packages no longer reach her relatives. She felt anxious and hopeless in the face of letters begging for her aid.

It still hurts to see the mess made of Beirut and even Bethlehem. Christian and Muslim, merchants and professionals, tradesmen and service providers, were all getting along, thriving side by side, for decades. It shames me to say that before Sunday, there was no real face to put in those neighborhoods being destroyed by the ongoing conflict.

Now there is. She told us she stands at the window facing East and rages against God and her own helplessness. She can do nothing to save her family from hardship and danger. She knows her tears are not enough, and she said she has no more prayers left.

So I promised to pray for her family. Her siblings are mine now.

I wish I could do more.

Little Pond

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gray and Rainy Christmas Eve Little Pond. One daughter will take me to a Unitarian service this morning. We will also visit our neighbor's with a gift for her little doggie Holiday, and no, HuggaMutt is not invited. She'd been scratched a while ago for nipping the owner. In her own yard, no less. Directly afterwards to the In-Laws for Christmas Eve. Finally our other daughter will accompany me to Midnight Mass at our Oh!-so-conservative St. Casimir's Catholic Church. High Mass (fully sung) no doubt.

So, here's a quick round of links to all things Christmas. Another round tomorrow at the MSCompanion!

LaShawn Barber's Christmas Card

Rishon Rishon
Why not take lessons in our Our Savior's Sacred Language?

The Happy Catholic's Christmas Card

Cathy's Rants offers A lawyer's Christmas just for fun.

My Little BlogSister Pearlie's Christmas Poem is a real treat.

Shushan's Shore dedicates an entire site to her Santa Penguin!

My Journey With MS is experiencing a Blue Christmas...

One Crazy Chick's sweet little greeting.

Dreaming of a White One? Then you've got to go to Word Salad!

A blissful Christmas Eve to you all.

Little Pond

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Sometimes when I am on break at work, I check in with my blogs to read comments. A while back, I simply typed in the subject of my post, and brought up something similar to Pat's Pond.

They were paraphrasing the blog and using it to bring in Googlers to a site of junk links. I noted it, and forgot about it until a comment thread brought it back to me.

I googled the concept and came up empty-handed. No wonder. This week I turned to Yahoo! for a change of pace and found this.

There's a special circle in Hell waiting for those people. I can only hope that we are afforded a front row seat to watch them suffer, from eternity to eternity.

Little Pond

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


No more shopping! Two giftcerts from the local Catholics schools and a trip to the postoffice for local shipment tomorrow. Both preplanned and budgeted and both easy stops.

Hope it's the same for you all.

Little Pond

Friday, December 15, 2006

Five on Friday tackles stress

This is so very right now. Criminal Grace is posting about Stress Relief.

I'm in a mad rush, so here's the short version:

1--right now money is my worst stress-inducer.

2--if we don't count stomach and skin trouble, I think I handle stress rather well.

3--video games relieve stress for me by creating fictional stress.

4--relax? Does sleep count as relaxation?

5--until my recent allergy troubles, chocolate and cheesecake were my comfort food. But hypersensitivity is changing that. I don't want to think about it.

Gotta Go.

Little Pond

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Final (Fantasy) Post:

If you've been to my profile, you probably know I am a Final Fantasy Fanatic. I don't play anything else. My apologies to anyone who hoped I would join World of Warcraft Online. So sue me.

After years of playing and replaying, and playing around with, Final Fantasy VII, I finally composed a story about my adventures with the game. For you non-gamers, this is known as a FanFiction, a story about the game's story, and not about gaming. Naturally it is in the first person, since I personally manipulated the controller in all those many, many, many hours. The product does not quite stand alone, although I provide a lot of backstory, just to help the continuity of my narrative. This means that if you find yourself lost after a few paragraphs, you may want to either invest in a Playstation and the Squaresoft game, or drop the whole thing.

The hardest part about writing this novella was keeping it PG. I am a grown woman, after all, and these are the adventures of a co-ed group of road warriors. Any follow-up will probably be even more difficult, because it will step outside the game's parameters and delve into interpersonal relationships. As in Man and Woman or, more accurately, Man vs. Woman.

Over a decade ago, I worked in video rentals, and it was necessary to write descriptions of sexually oriented videos, without resorting to any sort of graphic language. This became my forte for a few years. I hope to do that one better, and hint at the Great NoNo without taking the rating beyond that of its predecessor.

To those of you who've already published Final Fantasy VII Fan Fiction on the Internet, your place as pioneers remains unchallenged. I'm just another fangirl with broadband and a keyboard.

To the rest of the world, I guess this is an admission that I am, most likely, a game geek. And when geeks grow old, it isn't pretty.

Little Pond

Monday, December 11, 2006

Satisfied Customer

If you are a Virgin Mobile customer, you may remember my posts regarding a dead cell phone. I'd been left stranded at the County Fair without service that had not been reupped when I did so. This is a very dangerous situation for me, because I am stupid and will run where angels fear to tread. In fine, I get myself into a lot of trouble when left to my own devices. My cell is my lifeline. I won't link to the posts, because all is forgiven.

At the time I left the thing live and continued to subscribe. But I tend to hold a grudge and expected to change over as soon as something better came along. In fact, I nearly went with the Cingular Go Phone, because a friend sells them at Sam's Club.

Again: All is Forgiven. Thanks to Terry of OurTeam who emails from Virgin Mobile USA
and to Stacy who works the 866 line, and hails from the West Coast. )Where they were reeling from the recent storms.)

Through Terry's advice, I began to monitor my service through the website. I never knew I could. There were charges I didn't remember, but guessed I must've signed up when I used a minutes card. Yep, that was the case, too. I fixed a few things here and there, but nothing happened and the stuff kept coming.

By the way, going through the online trouble-shooting manual turned up a "I have no service, although I topped up" selection that is now available to customers.

My next email suggested a toll-free number that gave me Stacy, and we walked step-by-step through all the various dark little pockets of my service. Located the problem, which was corrected. I work nights and failed to take that into account when I checked the online account manager. 12:15--AM--does not belong to the previous night, even though my body and brain insists it does.

But Stacy had a suggestion that had infinite appeal for my tired old brain. Automatic topping up is available, and can be had for as little as $15.00 a pop! Should I need more than the minimum of minutes--not usually the case, although the Wonderful Wedding Weekend came close--I can add them and that will cancel the very next topping up. Sounds like it should work for me.

She was very patient with me and double-checked every little detail. I am a very happy camper and now a satisfied Virgin Mobile customer.

Now if they could just get rid of that perky little twit that sends me junk voice messages to clutter my inbox...

Little Pond

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Night of the Long Knives

Walked into a very uncomfortable workplace last night. Coworkers were gone, and the remainder were spooked. The ax finally began to fall at the paper. Losses due to the changeover are having their effect.

The inhouse IT department was completely wiped out. Gone forever. We also lost our Marketing department, one of whom is a personal friend. Her office-mates from Specs were still crying when we came in. All were accorded severance packages. This go-around was not temporary.

None of my department mates (except for my immediate boss) has ever been laid off. They are all kids and cannot believe that we are expecting a second cut in February. This is quite common in advertising. After the Christmas rush, there is usually a round of temporary layoffs.

The last layoffs related to the changeover continued into the spring. At that point, the necessary personnel will probably be offered positions in Johnson City. Many will leave, because the last group was whittled down eventually by the 45 minute commute.

None of us are safe from the ax. Senior employees were included this time, and may be next time.

Update on the Venusian Virus.

Little Pond

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Got an opinion on everything.

It's just the same one, regardless of topic:

Who cares?

I've got a whopper of a cold, and nothing matters.

Got my first night's sleep all week, but am still plugged up and sore.

Ultimately, nothing matters when I'm sick. Nothing, not even my children. What a terrible thing to think. But I sincerely tried to keep the girls away from me, because I didn't want to have to worry about them getting this awful cold.

Life still taste good, but it tastes less good.

For instance, it is much better to put tangy apricot jam on toast, rather than blueberry preserves, my usual favorite.

And Husband RJ brought me Red Velvet cake. I scarfed a piece and stopped. Better to save it for when I would appreciate the taste.

And while constantly changing and laundering clothes, pajamas and sheets doesn't ease the symptoms, it makes me feel less gross.

There aren't too many things grosser than Homo sapiens sapiens with an upper respiratory infection.

Back when I'm better.

Little Pond