21 December 2006


This webcam is from the Nkorho Pan watering hole in Africa. It's a wonderful diversion!

*Addition at 12:30pm*
Sparky, I think I found a couple of cats for you and Mrs. Duck. In all seriousness, I wonder if there is an "adoption" system for game reserves like this one?

20 December 2006

Howie says "Mewwy Christmas"

Mew meww MEOW! Purrrrrrr

The best gifts are unexpected and free-take for instance my ball of furry love. I found him nearly 5 years ago and each day since has been that much better. He is my family. Howie is a Manx and so he's super affectionate and loves to play and is very sensitive to how I feel. He's always there with a head-to-hand if I'm feeling down, and knows the best place to snuggle with me at night.

So, Sparky, Howie and I would like to say to you and Mrs. Duck that we feel your pain. Losing family is so hard, especially when you've loved your cat so much.
It's hard in this time of loss to think of a new pet, but Howie and I hope that you open your heart and home to another cat. There's a lost and abandoned cat who is waiting to love you as much as Mrs. Kitty, and would be so happy to be a new part of your family.
:) LJS

16 December 2006

My love won't wait: Smoove LJS makes her debut!

I've been enjoying so very much some old favorites: for the past week I've been listening almost entirely to The Beatles and Elvis. Ya know, back in The Day, Elvis was pretty hot. Hmmm. I thought it'd be fun to write a little love letter using most of the titles from Elvis's 30 #1 hits. Many kudos to those who can find them! Guess the number in the comments!

My darling, are you lonesome tonight? If so, then surrender to my call. It's now or never, I can never hear your voice too much. Don't be cruel, my dear. Don't. Since I've met you, that one night, I've been your teddy bear. What else can I say? I'm stuck on you-your keychain is my favorite good luck charm. I still can't help falling in love with you, and I often think of the wonder of you. My heart and soul is on fire-for only you, I am a big hunk of love.
My friends have told me that you have moved on-they say "his latest flame (Marie's the name) is very sweet". And I am all shook up over the news my love because I know that she's not you. With one word you sent me to Heartbreak Hotel, and discarded me like an old hound dog. Deep, way down, I know that you are the devil in disguise but you reach my wooden heart like nobody else can. Come back to me, babe, and I will treat you right. Let Smoove LJS ease our suspicious minds, I will prepare you a feast of chicken wings and potato skins just how you like it. A fool such as I may be known as a hard headed woman, but I will acquiesce your every whim. I know that you love me tender, but my whole being desires your burning love, together we can do the jailhouse rock all night long.
Well, my darling, I guess that I should close this letter. I know that you always like a little less conversation-preferring to speak the language of love in kisses and caresses. Please don't write "return to sender" on this letter, I am waiting for you to knock on my door. I am a crazy fool-crazy in love for you.

Your Smoove LJS

14 December 2006

"Not from this"

I'd like to give a shout out to my friend D, who recently had her 3rd chemo treatment in her quest to kill breast cancer. I admire her tenacity, optimism and her thoughtfulness, and she totally rocks the hat and/or scarf. She told me that her niece asked her if she was going to die, and she had said "not from this". I know that she will prevail.
So, in this holiday season, it's hard for me to remember amongst the shiny ribbons, and DVD's of "Pride and Prejustice" that the best gift is sharing each day with those you love. But, when I see my friends like D, then remembering becomes that much easier.

And Mamma Ber is one day closer to her little ones. Yippee!
:) LJS

09 December 2006

Summertime songs

A bit ago, Hyperion posted his favorite songs with the word "summer" in the title. Me thinks he forgot a couple, and since people enjoy Christmas in July...how about a little July at Christmas?
:) Chow, LJS

11. "Summertime Rolls" by Jane's Addiction
Jane's album, "Nothing's Shocking", was more brilliant, more punk, more "everything" than anything I'd ever heard up to that point. From "Thank you boys" to "Up the beach", the whole album rocked. And, this was/is my favorite song from the album.

"There was so much space
I cut me a piece
With some fine wine
It brought peace to my mind
In the summertime...
And it rolled"

12. "Summer skin" by Death Cab for Cutie
DCFC became really popular after the "OC". I bought their album "Plans". Again, another great full album. I like how the album is full of very somber lyrics juxtaposed to pop-y catchy melodies. Their song, "Summer skin" is one of their best-recalling the end of a summer time romance.

"And I knew your heart I couldn't win
Cause the seasons change was a conduit
And we left our love in our summer skin"

Lucky Number 13. "Summer's Killing Us" by The Tragically Hip
The Tragically Hip are the latest addition to my iTUNES, and I think they are Canada's little gem and defintely belong in the ranks of great Canadian musicians such as BNL and Sarah. I like how the song makes fun of summer.

Where summer's killing us!
Where we sing sing sing all day
It's as if summer just exists in her praises

Summer exists in a doorway
Summer exists at the fair
Summer is forever changes
Summer's taking me unawares"

Hypey missed the Summer movement in The Four Seasons and Summer '68 by Pink Floyd from their Atom Heart Mother album, and a couple of Frank Sinatra tunes ("The Summer Wind" and "The Things We Did Last Summer") but that's all good. The boy's is in a car piloted by a lass named Jane, headed toward the great unknown. Happy Trails. :)

When all is right with the world and we let the heavens sing to us, we gently close our eyes to let our soul revel in divine respite. Good night, my sunshine. Je t'aime.

07 December 2006


I thought today was going to be sooo not good-you know, one of those days where you should just crawl back into bed and stay there. I had spilled OJ all over my kitchen floor, burned my finger on my milk steamer, and tripped all over my self.
But, I got to work and got a present that I cannot discuss in public but just know that it's rated G. And I took data-good data!
I rock, oh yes! Doing the happy dance!

Please. Cover. Your. Things.

Er, no. This is not an open letter to La Spears, although recent events certainly merit a discussion on the pros and cons of undergarments.

This is an open letter, nay, a plea to you parents who think that kids do not need hat, scarves or gloves when it's 22F (-5C), and the wind chill makes it feel like 7F (-12C).


So it's very very cold this morning, wind blowing. I'm freezing cold, and I'm all bundled up in buttoned coat, hat, gloves, scarf. I pass by two "mommies" with very many children.
None (NONE!) of their kiddos had on hat or scarf, and their jackets were left open. I was in total horror-what an oversight and I was really concerned how cold the kids looked.
Did these ladies know better? I really did wonder. So, in pirate form, I muttered "hat?...scarf?" and continued skulking about. I doubt they heard me, but it made me feel better that I did say something.

So...comment y'all. Was I inappropriate?
(9 Dec 06-thanks to Mad Sweeney for making me realize that the connotation of some of my phrases and/or words was...inappropriate, at best. Edits have been made!)

04 December 2006

International Pussy of Mystery

Heh. Sometimes I'm not above creating sensational titles on my blog entries in a desperate attempt to attract more readers.
But, I'm actually talking about Howie Katt-who will be travelling with me during the holidays. Ohhhh the lil critter so does not like the car but I think that once he settles in, he'll be just fine. We'll be trekking up to the Great White North too, so he'll be officially more well-travelled than most 'Mericans. Not that there's anything wrong with a bit o' xenophobia.

I'm trying to become more "involved" in local politics, and thinking that the combination of my super smarts and super slackerhood will be a killer 1-2 punch (the effect from all my push-up bras makes for a nice 3-4 encore..heh.). They'll never know what hit 'em. Muahahahahahah. I look at it as a modest first step to world domination. Joking aside, I am taking the position seriously and the fact that I'll need to step up to the plate and hit a 1-3 minute *speech* is making me nervous. Maybe I should quote Aeschylus? Maybe I'm doing this because I see a lack of civility in politics, that our leaders are worse slackers that I am, that maybe I can make a difference through kindness and understanding and competence. So, I'm preparing an email letter to send out to the folks who will elect the officers. Eeek.

:) LJS

New! The LJS Webcam!

We here at LJS central want to continually provide you, my reader, the best view of a Michigan winter. Michigan's winter skies are world renowned, so here...check it out!

(this image will refresh in about 4 months)

:) LJS

02 December 2006

Back in the saddle

My motorized pirate ship is in the shop of "still don't own one", so I usually skulk around town on a bicycle or use the public bus. It has been two weeks since I've been on my bike and today marked the first time I got back on the proverbial saddle.
I sure picked a fine day too: cold, windy, and slightly forebearing skies. I guess that's actually "good" for a Michigan December. But my early morning yoga class beckoned, and I hopped on my bike after putting on several layers and looking something like Randy from "A Christmas Story".
I'm geeked about the fact that I can still ride my bike in December, but it was really windy and I wasn't sure if it was me peddling or the wind blowing me that caused me to magically appear in downtown. But, it's all good!
Tommorow is the annual "Ber and LJS Cookie Making Day"-a veritable marathon of sugar induced cookie-making madness. Nine types of cookies (plus bourbon balls) and two gals in their jammies. Let's see: Oatmeal Raisin/Oatmeal Butterscotch, Molasses, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Crinkles, Snickerdoodles, Russian Tea Cakes...ad infinitum. Ohhh yeah! I'm very much looking forward to tommorow!

And, now I'm going to marinate in the awesomeness that is "Firefly".
:) LJS

01 December 2006


Lest you, dear reader, think I've lost my edge...and excellent taste in humor...I present to you my new favorite ad for Viagra.

21 November 2006

On the road

I started "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac today, and travelling out West vicariously through the novel. In reality, and even better, I'm headed East.
:) LJS

20 November 2006

taste a little of the summer

It's almost been two years since my gramma died; and I am almost to the point emotionally where I can write about it. I'd like to write her a proper eulogy, I understand that people grieve in different ways, but I feel as if my gramma wasn't given her due respect. If I can practice here...I'd like to first give a bit of backstory.
One of my favorite Greg Brown songs is "Canned Goods"-the live version. I nicknamed it the "Gramma Song". Greg is such a talented musician that he brings out the beauty and charm and humor in the everyday. In this song, he sings about the summer and his gramma, and how much he loves and misses her. He also sings about going to her house on Sundays, something I used to do with my family when I was younger too. The live version rambles and roams- for 13 sublime minutes I am transported back to her home in Avon Lake with my own memories for company.
"Well maybe you're world weary and don't give a damn. I bet you've never tasted her blackberry jam."
I recently started being able to hear this song, because it reminded me so much of her. And it's such a lovely song, for such a lovely lady....

My gramma was the kind of woman whose wisdom and good nature are heralded in songs by folk artists. She was the woman who would be the first to kiss you hello, and the one to hold the "good bye" hug one more second longer. Her humor and positive attitude kept one smiling, even in the face of dire straits.
As a young kid, my gramma was the "cool one". The gramma whose inner child defied grey hair, age spots, shrinking bones and wrinkles. Her cars were cool; she drove without a seat belt but yelled at us in the back seat to "hold on to your gauchos" when making a hairpin turn at 40 mph. She got her hair done every Saturday at the hair dressers-wash and set. I wonder if her hair was a cloud to hold her ethereal beauty down here on Earth. It certainly looked like a cloud! She loved going to the mall and spending the day, wandering around and lazily eating a nice sandwich and some salad for lunch. She was a dynamic lady-and a cool one at that. She loved joking around and making funny faces for us kids. When she'd travel to Aruba, she'd wear a babushka to cover her bleached hair. She loved the sun, and the beach, and the warmth.
Gramma's Sunday dinners were legendary-they were a day to gather, a day to feast, a day to play. Sometimes she made spaghetti with her salad, sometimes we ordered McDonald's. Always we were together. She was at the helm of the ship our family rode on, and the glue that kept us afloat. Her sauerkraut was delicious and her salads were awesome-once I got to like lettuce.
As the years progressed, my gramma maintained her "coolness" but evolved into a woman whom I respected for her tenacity, admired for her unending capability to love, and loved because she loved me. I began to appreciate how devoted she was to her family, and how she embodied the philosophy that the wisdom of the heart does not always heed the warnings of the mind. She loved all, unconditionally and fully. She made a point to visit me in college with my mom, and those visits were uplifiting and fun. We always had a good time going to Wheeling Downs, or driving through Oglebay park or downtown, or hanging out to drink coffee. Even when I moved to Michigan, she came to visit me. She prefered the trip to Wheeling, because it was prettier. She was the only family member to visit me, outside of my parents and sister. Reflecting on it, I think that she wanted me to feel that I was still loved and still part of the family-even though I was far away.
That was just one example of her amazing ability to make people feel loved. It was as if she was a conduit of love, capable of sending love with just one wink of her eye. She was a stubborn woman-she insisted on taking care of you. She was genuinely touched when her love was returned; she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. And, we loved spending time with her too.
As her time became shorter and shorter, we each said our goodbyes. In our own ways. How does one say "goodbye" to someone who has never left? But, hug me just one second longer, Gramma, one more hug...

"Taste a little of the summer, taste a little of the summer. My gramma put it all in jars...
Let those December winds bellow and blow, I'm as warm as a July tomato."

They still suck

OSU 42, UM 39

18 November 2006

LJS 101

This is post #101, so let's get back to basics. This will be known as the post where I rant and rave and kvetch; trying to make an argument for a simpler world.
Be it known that I'm blogging during the OSU-UM game, so I'll be posting updates. It's a bit after 3:30 right now. Goooooo Blue!

OK. So I got a copy of the latest issue of Yoga Journal-it's the last issue I'll receive in my subscription and I don't think that I'll miss it that much. In terms of guidance, I find that the magazine tries to impress people by using covers of very complex, very difficult asana that are NOT practiced by 99.9% of us yogis, their articles are not very enlightening, and there are too many ads!
I practice yoga in the Iyengar tradition-I find that Mr. Iyengar's approach to yoga appeals to my meticulous nature and when I need guidance on an asana or a bandha, then reading "Light on Yoga" has done more to help me than the magazine. So, because I'm no longer enjoying the magazine I did not renew. It is interesting that on the cover of this month's issue is the following headline: "Simple Living: The secret to being happy".

This headline struck me as...funny. Here is a magazine that, theoretically, espouses yogic principles-including satya (truthfulness). I did not realize that this magazine was entrusted to the magical key to eternal and universal happiness, and that secret can be yours for only $3.99! Not that I disagree with the principle of simple living. I have made an honest effort to live simply this year so I can simply live and I find that it's quite agreeable. I'm also reading "The Te of Piglet"-a lovely book-which is very reaffirming in me trying to see beyond the obvious, to see Things for What They Are.
But I do disagree with a magazine purporting to have the SECRET OF HAPPINESS-it reeks of consumerism, a catchy headline to attract viewers...the phrase "secret of happiness" is to new agey folks what two naked females mud wrestling is to the 18-22 male set. It attracts people-and I question the altruism of the article, and now the journal. There is more than a grain of untruth about their headline, and upon reading past issues, I find that "secret to happiness" is a common theme. In light of this, and other, articles that try to help people find their happiness I wonder...

Why is it that we distrust ourselves so little, and others too much when it comes to our happiness? Are we afraid of what our soul would tell us if we gave it an honest opportunity to talk? Are we afraid...of ourselves?

(Shoot! OSU won the coin toss, but SWEET! we're doing an awesome job on our 1st possession...inches away from the goal line! TOUCHDOWN WOLVERINES!!!)

A big shout-out to Tiff who is working to bring Skinny back. But, there's no bringing Fine Lady back-because she never left. Stop on by Tiff's casa, read her awesome musings, and send her lots of e-lovins.

(Fuck. TD #2 for OSU)

11 November 2006

Lady Jane's Scarlett Chili

I am exhaused, cooking in kitchen for nine hours. Now why would an awesome piratess such as myself hang in the galley for so long?


Below you will find an exhausive (and perhaps exhausing) account replete with recipes and photos. Though a piratess never EVER gives up her secrets, intreped and observant little Goonies have been known to sneak away with hidden treasures. Sooooo....

Gather up your hardware....

Et...mise en place, mais oui!

Step 1: Make chili paste

Step 2. Make the red sauce (Biased note: This sauce is also very tasty for enchiladas)
You'll need:
2/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
10-12 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp Mexican oregano
2 tbsp LJS secret ingredient
8 cups chicken stock (6 cups if using liquid chili paste)
EITHER 2 cups chili paste or 2/3 cup chili powder (I highly recommend using the chili paste)

First step of cooking sauces? Make a roue!

In a large Dutch oven, Heat up the oil. Add garlic and onion, let cook for ~20 minutes. In the meantime....

Sift your dry ingredients.

After the onion is nice and soft, slowly add the dry ingredients. Mash for ~3 minutes, and do not scorch!

Then slowly add your liquids, and let cook for ~30-40 minutes. Plain sauce will be a bit bitter, and that's normal! Use a piece of bread of tortilla if you need to get an idea what the "final masterpiece" will taste like. And, trust me, it's gonna be gooood!

This is what it should look like...

Step 3: Lady Jane's Scarlett Chili:
You'll need:
~4 lbs diced stew cow or sirloin if you have extra $ (but if you have extra $, could you bail Hypey from Outlaw Land?)
3 large onions, diced
some white wine
40 oz mix of dark and light red beans (not flavored, rinsed)
3-28 oz cans of whole tomatoes, lightly mashed up

In a large skillet, saute onions in some olive oil. Deglaze with some white wine. In same skillet (after onions and deglaze are gone..duh), saute the cow. (Mooooo!) Deglaze with s'more white wine. Add the onions, deglaze and cow into the chili pot where the red sauce awaits...

Now...I'm telling you this to save you the heartache of scorching your chili. The first two hours are vital to the success of your chili. You MUST watch over this beautiful creation. Tend to it often (15-20 minutes). Lurrrrvve your chili, and it will love you.
If you are daunted by this prospect, I am here to tell you:
"Stop Whining. It's CHILI people, not your neighbors bratty 7 year old. It's OK to babysit this! You will be known the world over as a chili god if you follow my instructions. I have won honors and accolades for my chili, and I am taking time out of my pirating high season (heh, tourists) to show you the path to great chili. The least y'all can do is stir the damn pot."

Cook for 4-5 Barry White/White Stripes CD's. Throw in a run through of "A Love Supreme" for good measure and encore with a few beats from St. Germain.
About 30 minutes before it's "done", add in the rinsed beans.
Garnish with cheese, sour cream, etc...


Back off to loot the tourists! Chow, :) LJS

10 November 2006

Old School Crush

Is it just me or is Morrissey aging really really well? Meow. I'm digging the grey hair, very dignified indeed.
Also, I read recently that Ryan Adams produced "Songbird"-Willie Nelson's latest album. Sounds interesting, especially considering that Jack White did such an awesome job producing "Van Lear Rose". But then again...Jack White is a music god.
Ahoy! :) LJS

06 November 2006

Yeah OK Lance

Lance Armstrong finishes his first marathon in (barely) under 3 hours, and he doesn't know how we do it??

But only half muhahaha-ing because I've only done half of "it".

An amendment for those unfamiliar with the irony and wit of LJS bloggerhood (ahem, Sparky): I was being sarcastic when I was dissing Lance. The boy ran twice as far as I did and it only took him a half-hour longer to do it. Damn.

31 October 2006

My afternoon diversion

No officer, nothing to see. Just head on through. I'm not learning nefarious ways to subvert the TSA or anything here.


Quick Bread Pudding

Serves 2 hungry troublemakers

3 cups bread crumbs, cubed and loosely packed

¼ cup dried cherries

1 tsp fresh orange zest

½ cup sugar

1 cup milk

½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

2 eggs

Make custard: mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and milk with a whisk. Add dried cherries. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour custard over bread and mix until bread crumbs are saturated.

Split mixture into 2 microwave containers and microwave on medium for 12-14 minutes, turning twice until the bread pudding domes from the container. (Depends on the power of the microwave)

Allow to cool and serve. Drizzle with orange yogurt sauce.

Orange Yogurt Sauce

1 6-oz. orange flavored yogurt

1 tbsp honey

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Mix in a small bowl. Drizzle over bread pudding.

26 October 2006

Detroit marathon-for a good cause

Hi all, one of the gals is running the Detroit marathon to raise money for ASHA. In her words:

"I am thrilled to let you all know that i will be running the Detroit half marathon this
Sunday. I must have told you all that i am running this marathon for ASHA, an active
group that aims to see a socio-economic change in India through the education of
underprivileged children.While running for a cause like this gave me enough motivation to
begin, the marathon training has been a challenge - mentally and physically. Long
distance running wasn't easy for someone like me who has never been an athlete before.
With lots of ups and downs, trial and error, pride and pain, i have come a long way. I
have done 10 miles multiple times during my training and 13.1miles seems very achievable
on the race day."

While I am not running for a cause or to raise money, I very much respect those who do. It's not easy running long distance and Aruna's dedication is apparent. And so for the first time on this blog, I'm asking my few readers to stop by Aruna's site and donate a bit of change.

On related news, the carbo loading is going swimmingly. I think that, by now, I've eaten the volume equivalent of a small island of pasta.

:) LJS

When I rule the seas

I will have a law prohibiting the construction of new art museums at the expense of 200 year old trees.

I will have free coffee in the mornings and free beer in the evenings for all me mateys

I will make Rush Limbaugh walk the plank

I will make shoes quiet, and hardwood floors sound proof

I will give at least 10 new people a hug every day, and they will return the hug instead of looking at me as if I were crazy

I will woo my orchids into producing beautiful flowers with my piano playing

I will not have my sunshine separated from me by 1000 km

I will be finished with my Ph.D.

25 October 2006

Arse of the Week Award

If beer if proof that God exists and loves us, then this man is direct proof of Satan (for this reason and many others).
Can't you see the little horns? It matches the regatta jacket very nicely.

23 October 2006

Good night, lil veggie

The Monkey Barn has not one, but TWO Halloween stories for all you good folks!

The Celery Stalks at Midnight -started off by the lovely and talented Sea Hag

Nighty Nightmare - part one by yours truly.

Enjoy! :D LJS

"Surely, men love darkness rather than light" -H.D. Thoreau

On my way through the campus this morning, I noticed a couple of very large, very old trees were missing and *they* were moving some of the smaller ones. Why?
Because *they* are expanding the art gallery. {sigh} I was really sad to see that tree getting uprooted and moved, and I felt so badly for the large trees that were killed off. I think it's ironic that we destroy natural beauty in order to make an artifical shrine to artifical beauty. If one cannot see beauty in trees and stars and sky then there is a shallowness that cannot be cured by a piece of canvas.

20 October 2006

Lady Jane's Chili Paste

As a way of showing my gratitude to Sparky and Mrs. Duck for sharing their yummy Apple Cake recipe, I thought I'd share my recipe for homemade chili paste.

This is a great GREAT alternative to the chili powder, any recipe that calls for chili powder, use this instead! It is hotter than chili powder, but the flavor is more complex and I promise that you'll make the best chili or red sauce with this paste.
Semantics: The paste keeps frozen well for ~ 6 months. I make a double batch, because there is a fair amount of work that goes into making the paste. You can order all of these chiles online at: http://www.loschileros.com/ But if you do, please make up the chili paste ASAP, as the dried chiles get "icky" rather quickly.

Warning! Please use gloves when handling the chiles. There's alot of capsasin flying about!

Lady Jane's Scorchin' Chili Paste
(makes about 2 cups)

~3 oz New Mexico or California red chili pods (~12 chiles)
3 cups of water
~ 2 oz Ancho chiles (~2-3 large chiles)
~ 1 oz guarillo chiles (~6 chiles)
2 pasilla chiles (~ 2 oz. Pasilla chiles are also known as Chile Negro)
2-4 tbsp Adobo from canned chipotles

1. Remove the stems from the chiles and tear into ~1/2 inch pieces. Place into large, heatproof bowl.

2. Bring the water to a boil. Pour the water over the chiles, stir well and cover. This, I call the chili sauna. Let them hang out there for 2-3 hours, stirring occassionally.

3. Drain the chiles, reserving the liquid. In small batches, puree the solids in a food processor until smooth.

4. Press the puree through a fine-mesh food mill (some folks use a sieve, but the food mill makes it easy!) to remove any unprocessed bits or tough skin parts. Stir in the reserved soaking liquid and Adobo sauce.

5. Cover and refridgerate or freeze until use!

Next Friday, I'll serve up a recipe for red sauce.

Mildly yours, LJS

18 October 2006

I am a bad "Feeder #1"

Howie Katt would like me to point out that I completely missed celebrating October 15th as All Cats Day. And now I must propiciate the fuzzy feline with a tribute to cats. So, today I have gone all out here- a "Kitty Haiku", a top 10 list of cat attributes, a few awesome links and Howie Katt's photo.

Kitty Haiku-by Feeder #1

Graceful and smooth fur
Perched by the couch side, waiting
Pounce! The fur does fly!

Top 10 favorite cats of all time

10. Tigger
9. Si and Am from "Lady and the Tramp" (We are Siamese if you most please..meow!)
8. Battlecat
7. Mean Kitty (all bow before Mean Kitty!)
6. Morris the cat
5. Puss...in Boots (the bestest Shrek sidekick ever)
4. Bill the Cat (no other cat can cough up furballs like Bill)
3. Bucky Katt (If I had another cat, it would have to be like Bucky)
2. Hobbes
1. Howie!

Some purr-fect links!
And onward to the carnival of the cat, or perhaps to some adorable kitten pictures? If you want some sarcastic cat, head on over to visit Mean Kitty. And there are some cute cats, adorned, for our persual at stuff on my cat. Best of all, since cats are our beloved pets, please treat them nicely and they will give you many years of love in return. Consider offering a loving home to a lonely kitten or cat, there are many clinics and shelters that have adoption programs. Sometimes, though, feral cats are best left alone (thanks for the reminder Mad Sweeney!).

(At this point, Howie Katt is reminding me to tell you that I adopted him when I found him in my garage...lost, scared, emaciated, and lonely. I instantly fell in love. He was and still is the sweetest cat ever, and I'm happy he's my companion!)

And, don't forget to make you and your loved ones the kitty litter cake to celebrate!

:) LJS and first cat-Howie Katt

(The author does not condone regular donation of Doritoes to the feline, but Howie digs having a treat every now and then)

And, a shout out to Watts-my favorite "Third White Stripe" kitty

15 October 2006

The smells of fall

I love the fall season.
What fall lacks for warmth, it makes up for in wonderful smells. Both indoors and outdoors.
Outdoors, the lovely smell of burning leaves and fresh crisp air.

Indoors, my orchids are blooming. In a couple of short weeks, my beautiful Stanhopea Oculata will grace chez Scarlett with the bewitching aroma a vanilla and chocolate. I look forward to this bloom all year-the flowers only last a few days. They are both uniquely beautiful (the blooms grow out of the bottom of the plant!) and intoxicatingly delicious to smell. Here's a pic from last year's bloom. I wish I could make the picture "scratch and smell" because I think that if everyone could smell these flowers, it'd remind them how beautiful this world is and we'd have world peace.

I also have four cattleya's that are coming into bloom. Photos are coming soon, because they take a few days for their blooms to fully "ripen". I'm waiting for my paphs to start spiking, but it looks like my phals won't be blooming this year. Pity too, because their blooms last for months.

:) LJS

10 October 2006

Another Birfday!!!

Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.


On a completely random note, I had cow last night for dinner. Not a cow, just "cow"(I refuse...REFUSE...to call it "beef") Said cow was sauteed in some weird Korean BBQ sauce and served up with a side of spicy pickled cabbage. I usually don't nosh on bovine, and now my pirate tummy is swashbuckling around....like a good pirate tummy should.
And, I can't believe I just wrote about my tummy growling at me. This is beyond mundane.
:) LJS

Bear Market

This post is to solicit ideas from the Monkey Barners about giving our new Bearverlord a proper (and warm) welcome back to the Monkey Barn. For those Barners who don't visit my den (a thousand whip lashings and a walk on the plank for you!) er...I'll be finding them and letting them know my evil plan.
Some of my ideas are: Top 10 lists, a "Bear" day on the Barn, Bear recipes, an ASKHAT perhaps devoted to figuring out why grown men are still attached to their teddy bears or team mascots, cute and fuzzy pictures of teddy bears. Or...maybe this adorable little critter?

After a few weeks of being away, I am back! Blogger beware! Muhahahaha!
:) LJS

06 October 2006

Revving up Spunky Dick and Kinky Jane

In three weeks, I'll be running the Detroit half-marathon. Now, I know that I swore I'd do the full marathon. But it's so not encouraging to finish 2.5 hours of running and know that you're only halfway finished. And, it's more fun to run with someone and I had two choices:
1. Suffer through the full marathon alone
2. Run a great half marathon with someone and train to run a faster pace than last year

I chose to run the half. It's going to be lots of fun! Instead of dyeing my hair bright red, I'm going to get Spock ears. Heh. If anyone has any suggestions for race-time "flair", please share!

So expect some updates as I wind down my training. The drama of preparing, the insanity of pre-race expos, the awesome fun of carbo-loading...

I am getting sleeepppyyyy...but I wanted to share that I've updated my "photos" with some Disney stuff. Isn't Francis adorable?
:) LJS

22 September 2006

Wanted: Dead or Alive

Have you seen this man?

Exhibit A-The Hyperion in his Goth Overlord gear (aka his jammies)

Before you answer that, you should know whom you are dealing with. This is no ordinary mortal. Oh no, folks. This is THE HYPERION: overlord of simian indoor facilities, master in the fine art of smacking down anonymous commenters, awesome writer, and powerful force of nature. Even though he may side with ninja, that's OK because we pirates appreciate his kick-ass jewelry (see Exhibit A).
I first suspected foul play when he was conspiciously missing from the Monkey Barn activities. Now today, I KNEW something was amiss when my favorite column ASKHAT was not published.
So folks, I need your help. If you see this man, you are to NOT confront him for that may provoke him even further! You are to run (not walk) to the nearest convienence store and grab as much beef jerky as your hands can hold. You are to then lure The Hyperion with a trail of beef jerky to the local Denny's restaurant where lacivious waitresses and delicious hotcakes can soothe his savage soul. He may need some hugging too, and for that...call in Kaida. She is a Class AAA, triple black belt expert in the matters of The Hyperion hugging. Plus, she's a wonderful lady.
Heed my words well! Do not attempt to handle him alone-for fear this (see Exhibit B) may happen to you!

(Exhibit B-When provoked, the Hyperion eats small children. It's a nervous habit and one that a 12-step program just can not help)

Fools jump in where angels fear to tread...
:) LJS

16 September 2006

No, I mean a break from us

I'm so very tortured about the VERY SUDDEN collapse of my relationship with the Monkey Barn. Our Barn Overlord has gone completely berzerk and unilaterially decided that we were going to be on a break. I'm considering a mutany, but until then I say that we boycott the Barn Overlord until the boy-child returns to his senses.

If you DO return to the Institute, I recommend that you watch your back 'cause you never know when he's going to start ranting about who stole his strawberries.

:) LJS

"It's so much better when everyone is in. Are you in?"

15 September 2006

Come one, come all!

Check out this week's Carnival of the Mundane. Nelumbo does a great job hosting!


Hey! In case y'all didn't know, today is my Birthday! Or, as I used to say when I was a wee pirate-Birfday!
In a classic instance of solipsism, I have declared today International Lady Jane Scarlett day, and make confessions about the "penguin incident".
Little T sings me a song at the Hyperion Institute (today's ASKHAT is awesome!) and the Monkey Barn has some classic LJS moments.

And...I'm 31. Yikes. The morning of a new year has begun, and I can't wait to see what awaits!
:) LJS

"And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere."
-J. Donne "The Good Morrow"

14 September 2006

Like a fine wine

Perhaps some of us do mellow or get better with age. I don't know. I've been reflecting on what Hypey had quoted when he nominated me into SKITTLEhood- "Pain is just weakness leaving the body". I can't say how much that quote has helped me out, and how much thought I've give it.
Geez if that quote's true, then I was a puny scrawny weak-ass pirate a mere couple of years ago. Because I had gone through alot of painful experiences-the pain sometimes returns, especially this time of year. I don't mark the onset of my adulthood when I hit my 20's. I marked it when I went through three months of pure emotional hell, and I lived through it-stronger and hopefully more kind and more sensitive. I had an epiphany, one I needed. Flying over the mist covered Smokies, I had written "Perhaps in grief, and one cannot see grace, that it is there for us in multitudes to support our sadness". I didn't feel alone after that, even though the worst was yet to come.
So, it's good to know that I'm not alone. Not now, not ever. I have my family and friends. I have my sunshine. And, even though this past year has not been easy, it's been made better by many things. Like the fact that I knew I did the right thing, for me. Like the fact that my sunshine has made my life so full of joy. Like the fact that my friends and family astonish me with their never ceasing capability for love.
So, I turn 31 in eight minutes. Tick tock. For all that was, for all that will never be, for all that is lost, for all that is found...I count my blessings twice and leave the rest behind.

Happy day! :) LJS

11 September 2006

Welcome, newcomers


Two thousand one, nine eleven
Three thousand plus arrive in heaven
As they pass through the gate,
Thousands more appear in wait

A bearded man with stovepipe hat
Steps forward saying, "Lets sit, lets chat"
They settle down in seats of clouds

A man named Martin shouts out proud
"I have a dream!" and once he did
The Newcomer said, "Your dream still lives."

Groups of soldiers in blue and gray
Others in khaki, and green then say
"We're from Bull Run, Yorktown, the Maine"
The Newcomer said, "You died not in vain."

From a man on sticks one could hear
"The only thing we have to fear.
The Newcomer said, "We know the rest,
Trust us sir, we've passed that test."

"Courage doesn't hide in caves
You can't bury freedom, in a grave,"
The Newcomers had heard this voice before
A distinct Yankees twang from Hyannisport shores

A silence fell within the mist
Somehow the Newcomer knew that this
Meant time had come for her to say
What was in the hearts of the five thousand plus that day

"Back on Earth, we wrote reports,
Watched our children play in sports
Worked our gardens, sang our songs
Went to church and clipped coupons
We smiled, we laughed, we cried, we fought
Unlike you, great we're not"

The tall man in the stovepipe hat
Stood and said, "Don't talk like that!
Look at your country, look and see
You died for freedom, just like me"

Then, before them all appeared a scene
Of rubbled streets and twisted beams
Death, destruction, smoke and dust
And people working just 'cause they must

Hauling ash, lifting stones,
Knee deep in hell, but not alone
"Look! Blackman, Whiteman, Brownman, Yellowman
Side by side helping their fellow man!"

So said Martin, as he watched the scene
"Even from nightmares, can be born a dream."

Down below three firemen raised
The colors high into ashen haze
The soldiers above had seen it before
On Iwo Jima back in '45

The man on sticks studied everything closely
Then shared his perceptions on what he saw mostly
"I see pain, I see tears,
I see sorrow -- but I don't see fear."

"You left behind husbands and wives
Daughters and sons and so many lives
Are suffering now because of this wrong
But look very closely. You're not really gone.

All of those people, even those who've never met you
All of their lives, they'll never forget you
Don't you see what has happened?
Don't you see what you've done?
You've brought them together, together as one.

With that the man in the stovepipe hat said
"Take my hand," and from there he led
Three thousand plus heroes, Newcomers to heaven
On this day, two thousand one, nine eleven

Author UNKNOWN (What a shame!)

10 September 2006


Today has been rather interesting in Scarlettville, folks. A morning of highs and lows. Let me share with you the good first, because that's just how I roll.
This morning I ran in a 5K race to benefit a UM center that studies diabetes. The run was hilly, but there were lots of people there and it was definitely a good cause. The center will be using this money to do research into diabetic neuropathy. I'm not going to tell you about it, because one can Google these things and I wouldn't do a good job explaining it anyway. All I know about it is this: it kills the nerves in diabetes patients and they no longer feel their toes, their fingers etc. Pretty nasty stuff.

Onto the sadness.

After the race, I went to work and saw that a fish in our lab died. I had to give it a burial at sea. This fish was in our lab for, by most estimates, 7 years. And in the past couple of weeks, the poor critter was not doing well. I knew that its *time* was close at hand. Yet, every morning when I saw it flutter about, I did a mental cheer and prayed that it would just last one more day. Today, fish did not putter about the aquarium or kinda try to move. I did a death check, as I had done a couple of times in the past month. I picked up fish and moved him around the aquarium this morning, but his lifeless little slimy body told the truth. He had given up the spirit. I cried, and I buried him (at sea). For a fish, whom I had never touched or talked with, his loss had affected me.

It made me appreciate how close humans are to each other. Tommorow, we mourn the loss of over 2900 people. Most of whom, we have never met or never seen on the street or heard chatting in the subway. I did not know any of the September 11th victims, but I mourn their loss. Their death, affected me and so many people around the world. We forget how close we are until that connection is missing or lost or stolen. Those people, those families, those folks...they were stolen from us. And the world suffers still.

So, tommorow I'm going to rededicate myself to making a few more loving and positive connections. Tommorow. Rededicate to hugging your family a bit longer, telling your mate how much you love them more often, petting your dog or cat a bit more. Hug a tree and kiss a squirrel. The world, even in its apex of sadness, can be made happier and brighter if we all "make it so".

:) LJS

LJS Trivia

Schrodinger's Kitten is a hilarious gal, I visit her blog pretty often. She's funny and witty and throws a bone to us nerds every now and then. Even her name should make every scientist giggle with delight. She recently linked to a "trivia generator", and I did it! Although I am no proud of the fact that I share a *talent* (see #3) with Tobias, I am very pleased that I can make the world a happier place with all my UFO sightings.
Going when no one has gone before, :) LJS

  1. 68 percent of all UFO sightings are by Lady Jane Scarlett.
  2. The Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter is made entirely of Lady Jane Scarlett!
  3. Lady Jane Scarlett can squeeze her entire body through a hole the size of her beak!
  4. Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are Lady Jane Scarlett!
  5. About one tenth of Lady Jane Scarlett is permanently covered in ice.
  6. Influenza got its name because people believed the disease was caused by the evil "influence" of Lady Jane Scarlett.
  7. Lady Jane Scarlett was invented in China in the eleventh century, but was only used for fireworks, never for weapons.
  8. Lady Jane Scarlett has four noses.
  9. Lady Jane Scarlett can fly at an average speed of fifteen kilometres an hour.
  10. A Lady Jane Scarlettometer is used to measure Lady Jane Scarlett!

06 September 2006

Open Letter

This is a letter to the gentleman who told me to "Ride your bike on the damn sidewalk"....as you drove past me on Packard last night...

Dear Kind Sir:
I appreciate your concern for my safety and well-being. The fact that you slowed down your car, during rush hour traffic, showed me that you truly cared. Never mind the hoardes of cars that slammed on their brakes behind you, never mind your car swerving in the road as you turned your head to tell me where to ride my bicycle. It is your kindness and consideration that I will remember, forever. That, and your jalopy of a four-wheeled vehicle. I am positive that your concern for the welfare of Ann Arbor bicyclists is matched only by your concern for the environment. It is only for those reasons that I now breathe easy. Thankfully, your car is fueled by massive amounts of hot air that you exude so it appears that you are not held to the same burdensome fuel efficiency standards like the rest of us serfs. Truly, your choice of vehicle is a paradigm of eco-friendliness. I dream of the day when my bicycle can achieve the same standard of efficiency and cleanliness.
To answer your pleas that I ride on the sidewalk, I am compelled to beg you to only please consider your own well being in the future. It is this kind of selflessness that brings about so much stress and I fear, especially in men of your age, it may be a cause of heart attacks, strokes, and mental breakdowns.
I am forced to remind you that Michigan state statutes, local laws, and common sense tells me that, as a bicyclist, I am not only required to ride on the street but I am also entitled to do so at my leisure. I perfectly understand that there are portions of the sidewalk that are, in name only, called a bike path. However, as any bicyclist can attest to, the sidewalks are more dangerous to ride on than any street. Why you may ask? Because of drivers. Drivers who do not stop at the white line on the street, or at the stop sign. Drivers who turn into cross-streets or parking lots without so much as a glance onto the sidewalk. Drivers, my dear sir, much like yourself.
Especially considering that you slowed down your car to yell at me because you cared so much about my safety, without regard for your own, I thought about your request. However, my personal experiences indicate that driving on the sidewalk is actually less safe and state/local laws have given me the right to be on the road.
It is with a heavy heart that my answer to your request is a loud and clear "fuck off".
Best regards, Lady Jane Scarlett

05 September 2006

Your love, is better than...

Yesterday was a day of realizing goals, achieving one's dream and conquering slinertia (that's slacker+intertia=slinertia). Folks, I finally made it to Dairy Queen. There's a cute DQ on my way to school and ever since it opened in May (!), I've promised myself that I'd treat myself to an ice cream cone or sundae. Well...for one reason or another ({cough cough} no cash), I never made it to DQ. Until yesterday. Yesterday morning, I woke up and I knew it was going to be "the day". I was going to Dairy Queen! So, I took the day at my leisure, preparing myself for the big moment. I brushed my teeth, for the first time, at 5pm but in the glee of the day...I didn't notice my furry teeth. I dressed in my finest "yeah, I didn't take a shower so I don't want to wear anything too nice" clothes, donned my bike helmet, and grabbed my keys. At 5:26:09 pm, I made off my bike and travelled over to DQ, change in pocket. Ohhhh, it was a beautiful day and when I got to DQ, I relished over the menu for several minutes before making my choice. The air was crisp, the laughter of children surrounded me, and I could have sworn that I heard Jack White singing a cover of Sarah's "Ice Cream" faintly...in the distance. For one moment, the ka in the universe was mine and I seized the opportunity.
"Small hot fudge sundae with krunch koat sprinkles please"

I sat at the DQ and thoroughly enjoyed it. :D

Though one season ends, a new one begins. I hope the last couple weeks of summer are good to everyone.
:) LJS

On another happy note, I am now a S.K.I.T.T.L.E. What does that mean? Well, for starters, Hyperion offered to bear my children. I'm so totally taking him up on this offer. I'll no longer wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats worrying about the pain of labor, discolored stretch marks, forever ruining my figure or accidentally ripping out the epidural needle thus paralyzing myself. Thanks Hypey! :D

30 August 2006

Rashomon story

I always enjoy participating in Hyperion's projects. On Weds, he set the stage for our Rashomon project and today we are unleashing it to the world.
Me? I play the role of Bishop Janiff. I am the dude in the black robe and glasses, see the photo. I am telling my story to Bishop Valetti, the dude in red (scarlett?) robes.
What is truth? Come explore with us...

In the burrows of the Nightmare

Where Justice naked is,

Time watches from the shadow

And coughs when you would kiss.

Thanks to the Auden society for letting me copy and paste this section from "As I walked out one evening"

28 August 2006


I've been having an extremely productive day. For a slacker gal, such as myself, I have a reputation to uphold and I usually don't tell folks that yes I do work. But, today, the work is part of my repetition. I have been getting up from my desk every 3-5 minutes since 10:30 am and I'm getting pretty sick of it, even though the data I'm collecting is totally kick butt! The constant getting up to move samples, take spectra, rinse and repeat has put me in a mindset to think about habits and schedules and the future. Alot of thinking goes on underneath this slacker facade, indeed.

So I've been contemplating my birthday. Since I'm sure that you constant readers will note that I am aging so gracefully in all your comments, I am compelled to preemptively say "thank you". ;)
That's NOT the reason why I'm musing and being all Linus-like about my birthday. Good grief. (Aside-Charles Brown is a great blues musician. Meow.)

There are some people who love their birthdays and are very vocal about wanting to celebrate birthdays. My ex sister-in-law was very much one of those people-she even told me that she thinks her birthday should be a national holiday. She seems to be always disappointed on her birthday because the celebration is never *enough*. Then there's the polar opposite-they hate their birthdays, are very quiet about their birthday, and try their best to not celebrate it.
Me? I LOVE my birthday, and I love it when someone does something nice and thoughtful for me on that day. No great expectations: it doesn't have to be a grand gesture, or something big for it to be memorable. For example, it's nice to get a card from my family or get a phone call from a friend or last year I got a small gift card for Whole Foods that I used for some delicious tea that I enjoyed for several weeks after my birthday. With all the small gestures added up, it's nice to feel like a *superstar* on your special day! :D

Stranded on an island, licking salty peanuts. :) LJS

Totally on notice

Tracy Lynn posted the link to the 'on notice' generator awhile ago-and slacker me is just now getting to it. Note the inclusion of ninja! I've been reading too much "Us" magazine-and getting annoyed at two-dimensional actresses....will somebody please give these girls a cupcake!?!? (or some of Dragon's mac-n-cheese!)


24 August 2006

This optical arrangement looks *a tad* convoluted. I'd hate to see what aligning that system entails.
But, awesome work.

LJS is famous!

One day, while I was working (naked, natch), Hyperion took it upon himself to interview me on Yahoo. Here is the exciting revelations, everything you ever wanted to know about me folks is revealed in the Monkey Barn!
Ever your immortal beloved,
:) LJS

Artist, this one is not

This has got to be the worst rendition of a microscope. Ever. Thankfully it's a beta version, so it should improve in the upcoming weeks.
I guess that I should be thankful that there's nothing in here that looks obviously phallic, but I'll betcha that Lord Mullett finds one anyway.
I'll blog more later about my trip, but for now I'm trying to make this darn thing look better.
Eh, :) LJS

14 August 2006

Star Trek is, like, totally inspiring

So check out the awesomeness that is James T. Kirk and his intergalactic band of hotties. Although I maintain that Picard is a way better captain, the crew of TNG doesn't really "fit" with these types of inspirational posters.

As Dragon said, three more sleeps. :D

I'm totally craving potstickers. Yikes.
:) ljs

12 August 2006

Alternative names

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and current street name)

Whisky Linden

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side, your favorite candy)

Nola Sweet Tart

3. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your middle name)

K Ann

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Violet Pussy

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)

Ann Cleveland

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in.)

Dehka Anbru

8. SUPERHERO NAME: (your favorite color, favorite drink)
Violet Tea

All told, my alternative names kinda suck. But I am digging my Star Wars name, and any name that can use the word pussy in it (without the irony, without the snickers) is fine by me.

So, play along folks. Tell Lady Jane Scarlett what your names are too!

10 August 2006

Wear you helmets kiddos

'Cause Auntie Jane Scarlett will drop a bunch of f-bombs. She's that angry.

You've been warned.

So I've been in the worst kind of hell-graduate student limbo- since October. And the reason why I'm still stuck here is because of one person. I can't even say they are a person, they are more akin to a force of nature.
I can't even begin to describe my frustration, mostly because I know that I've done my best to satisfy this person and they have done nothing but move the carrot stick a bit further away from me. Shortly after one my oral exam, I knew that my committee had concerns about my research proposal. While I did not do exactly what they suggested, I did do other types of data analysis that did the exact same thing. I sent out the revisions late November. I heard back from all of my committee members by early Feb. They were happy with the revisions and OKed me to leave graduate student limbo.
{insert noises of chirping crickets here}
I did not hear from this person until June. That's right folks...fucking June. I had a one-on-one meeting with them, and during that meeting I got:
1) My ass torn out
2) More suggestions, more concerns, more reasons to not advance me to candidacy

Despite the ass chewing, despite the "but you're young, so I'm going to help you" bit (tangent-heh, it's good to know that I can still pass for "young"), despite the nearly 6 months of unprofessional silence, I said to myself "I really respect this person-they are very intelligent, they have their stuff all together, they are on the ball. Their suggestions are reasonable. I want this person to be on my committee because I know that I'll be a better engineer in the end for it."

So, the month of June was spent learning all about statistical analysis of data, setting up experimental designs and other stuff that would bore non-engineers to death. I learned alot, and I was begrudgingly grateful that they made me do it. I presented to this person a report of my findings-they liked the results, but now they wanted a clarification on the meaning of a term in my proposal. No problem. I had been studying this very issue in the literature and in my own research so I was able to provide them with a succinct answer in less than a week. I thought that I was finished-I had satisfied this person's concerns and now they would OK me to leave graduate student limbo.

Uh. Not. So. Much.

The next day I get an email back stating they were impressed that I had learned so much regarding this issue. But now, they were concerned that I don't know what kind of protein I am dealing with. In their words "Not a good thing".
Huh? What the fuck is this "Not a good thing" bit? Martha fucking Stewart does engineering?? So, I replied to their email. Hoping that I'd get a bone, a bit of consensus.

Uh. Not. So. Much.

Instead, I get a cryptic " Your understanding and presentation of what is meant by "disorder" are now vastly improved from your earlier presentation, and you have an opportunity with your research to clarify this to the community. I wish you the best of luck."
HUH?? What in the fuck does THAT mean??? So I'm confused, I'm stuck, I'm frustrated, and I want to scream scream scream. I have no fucking clue what else I need to do. I suppose I could ask, but I'm too frustrated. I'm wondering if this is *just* how it's going to be with this person, but a deadline is approaching and I need to know if this person is going to get me out of limbo or not. In the immortal words of THE KING, it's now or never.

I know that there's the easy way out, but I'm not about to give up after all this time. I'm too darn stubborn. And, I still like them. After all this time...

Ever hopeful, but still pissed off... LJS

03 August 2006

Copy and Paste

I'm really excited about going to Montreal in 13 days! :D

I thought that an email I sent was kinda fun, so I'm sharing. The names have been changed to protect the utterly boring.
:) LJS

After waking up at 6am, then again at 8am. I have now put in 2.5 hours of
partially productive work. Actually, it was completely productive if one counts blog
stalking, checking email, and listening to Robin Williams tell NPR that Ann Coulter's
blood can be used as snake anti-venom because not even cobras want to go near that shit.

31 July 2006

Odd first-aid tip

I've learnt that one shouldn't touch their nose after handling jalapeno peppers. Why? Because Capsaicin, the chemical that makes peppers hot, is not soluble in water, ice tea or boogers. Thanks to Ber for suggesting veggie oil on a Q-tip. I sure hope she can find a cure for blondness too...

That's all folks! :) LJS

28 July 2006

Pile of furry lethargy

In the dog days of summer, my cat is too furry to be comfortable. So, I'm going to shave his fur with the help of Ber.
In the meantime, don't you get the impression that this is the philosophy of all cats??
Enjoy your weekend, :) LJS

27 July 2006

Today is MY day

Whenever I have something bad happen to me on *a* day, I try to make up for it in spades by doing all the things I enjoy and love. I do it just so that I don't always remember that day as "oh that's the day when the only thing that happened was the world fell apart". One particular example was when I had "bad day X" and on "bad day X", I made it a point to take a nice long walk, go visit the botanical gardens, talk to my best friend, and eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant. So, now I remember "bad day X" for the bad thing, but I also remember the good things with it. I guess one could call it forced optimism; but it works for me.
Anyhoo, today is pretty bittersweet. An ending, but also a beginning.

So...here's part of my optimism for today.
I'm so thankful that Lord Mullett is in my life, he's the most understanding and wonderful guy. He's my everything. And, he loves pancakes as much as I do!
I'm really happy that Hypey declared July 27th as LJS day. I definitely needed some silliness, and of course Hypey's up to the task. It's great to see all the e-love and it's an ego boost to know that today is MY day! And, no...I don't look like that picture. My boobs are totally bigger. ;)
I'm so happy to see Ber and D tonight, they are so wonderful.
I can't adequately express enough love and gratitude to Tina. She's been my best homie since blue mascara was popular and she is an incredible woman. Likewise with Lainie, except for the blue mascara bit. My two sisters by choice, how did I get so lucky?
OK, off to grab some lunch at one of my favorite places. Yin and yang.
Chow, LJS

26 July 2006

Another Geek Crush

Here's another reason to love Colbert.

25 July 2006

Merry Julistmas!

So check out all the fine Christmas in July goodies that Santa Hyperion has in store for all the good little boys and girls. My favorite is Revenge of the Sith set to some cheesy Christmas music. It does work...awesomely.

:) LJS

23 July 2006

Welcome Home

I've become a convert to "A Prairie Home Companion", it seems like Garrison Keillor's voice was made for Sunday afternoons. A radio "geek crush" indeed.
Ray is now home, and it's evident that some people still haven't learned how to secure their wireless network. Not that I'm complaining or anything. Repetez apres-moi...Merci Ray.
This week, I coin July 28th as International Geek Crush Day and wonder if the Supreme Court justices are naked under those robes.
In another homecoming, of sorts, I celebrate the return of Ber to the train. Welcome back, mi amiga, we're going to have fun! After burning enough energy to launch a mini-rocket this morning, I'm taking it easy. So easy, in fact, that I took a nap and haven't finished cleaning chez Scarlett. And, I've already eaten all the leftover's from Ber's party last night. Yum. Homemade hummus, tabboluli, pickled turnips (!) and grape leaves. The eagle never fails to impress and surprise me. She is fierce and smart and has a sixth sense on finding her prey. Yet, she knows how to take care of her peeps and it's nice to see her tender side.
Heeding the call of the carb, :) LJS

21 July 2006


Royce is an impossibly adorable dog. Check out the jowels on that pooch!

19 July 2006

body and mind link

Ummm...Yeah. I'm not trying to be new age-y here but bear with me.

It's not too late for me to reconsider my training path (the way of the utterly insane is only 26.2 miles long), but I realized that these past couple of years have been pretty good for me because previously, I had never considered how much the body and mind and spirit are linked. I ignored being healthy and eating decently, I chowed down Macaroni Grill with gusto, embraced insomnia, and neglected exercise. Whether it was a bad mix of graduate school, full-time work and taking care of house (Version 1.0) was to "blame", who knows? I surely don't. I guess getting a mass the size of a baseball removed from your neck makes you reconsider life. So now there's no more Version 1.0, no more work, but still...graduate school (will it EVER end?). Anyhoo. My point being is that some people *do* exercise because it's the right thing to do or it gives them a great shape or blah blah blah. But, I've happily discovered that getting outside and doing something (anything) has such a positive effect on my spirits, and it's a great feeling. It's nice to embrace the bod, no pun intended, and treat it well. So, I am going to train hard for the Detroit marathon. And even if I have to crawl on all fours, I'm going to finish. That's my goal. Finish.

I'm off to find some zen. And, maybe some twinkies...
:) LJS

18 July 2006

Don't eat the...

...sushi if it's shiny, stinky, or has a funky two-toned color on it.

Just a little random lesson learnt from today lunch.

Ok bloggateers, LJS is back from her sojourn to Montreal and I have a few minutes left in my lunch "hour" to electronically jot down a few thoughts. I'm even wearing a red shirt today, so I am in full LJS mode. Ninja, Kirk fans, and evil thesis advisors BEWARE!

Random thought 1: Toronto traffic really sucks. If one wonders "How is it possible to traverse only 70 km in 90 minutes?", I suggest that they go to Toronto and find out. I would think that getting out of the only North American city affected by SARS would be a high priority and people would drive accordingly. Eh...not so much. (please note the effective use of the "eh")

Random thought 1a: Is "eh" a word, a phrase, or a way of life? Canadians, please feel free to put your comments here.

Random thought 2: Despite the traffic, my road trip was wonderful. I can't wait to do it again. Next time, though, I'm going to attach my solar-powered rail gun onto the front bumper to fix my issues with Toronto traffic. Travelling 606 miles in 10 hours (with ~ an hour of time for stops etc) is simply unacceptable. Maybe I should learn how to fly instead...

Random thought 3: Doesn't he look adorable???

Random thought 4: When in the hell are we going to Cedar Point?

Random thought 5: When the power goes out in your apartment, please remember that your showers are going to be akin to swimming in the Arctic Sea in January (but without the polar bears to motivate quick movements)

Random thought 6: Sometimes a piece of paper is the shortest path to happiness.

Random thought 7: No, this isn't a top 10 list.

Random thought 8: I'm a Gen X-er, mos def. I'm sick of old people telling me that "I can write my own ticket". I don't want to write my own ticket, dammit. I want someone to do it for me. Then I can come in after all the hard work is done, make loads of money, and spend the rest of the day with my sweetie pie.

Random thought 9: Mark Twain was so true when he said that there are 3 kinds of deception: Lies, damn lies and statistics

Random thought 10: Lunch time is over, cats really do slobber when they kiss you hello, art fair is so not fair, and I've got some swashbuckling to do!
Ahoy! :) LJS

13 July 2006

Road Trip!

Heeee! I'm super excited-I'm taking my first road trip in YEARS tommorow! I'm packing a lunch, some water, a whole bunch of CD's, and a teddy bear just for good luck (and hold my drinks).

In the meantime, ponder this.
Which is the most difficult: a) fall in love , b) stay in love or c) fall out of love?

Doing my share to ensure whirled peas,
:) LJS

06 July 2006

New Beta-Yum yum

Ahhh, another beta version that will never see the light of day. Besides for you, my lone faithful reader.
:) LJS

The effect of subchondral bone (you know, that hard stuff under your cartilage) health on the progression of osteoarthritis is a very cool question. Similar to the “chicken and egg” question, thinking about an answer to these questions may make your head spin. Where does OA start- in the bone or the cartilage? There have been lots of studies to show that it starts in the bone, but there’s an equal amount of studies to show that it starts in the cartilage. So, nobody knows for sure. But, what IS certain is that the role of the subchondral bone in OA progression is more substantial than from what we thought 30 years ago. But then again, we were engaged in the Cold War-so that just might partially explain how silly we used to behave in the 1970’s. In light of all this exciting research, we’re throwing our hats into the fray. We use super cool method R as a non-destructive way to study bone mineral from mousey femurs. Although, I’d hardly call the process of: specimen sacrifice, dissection, and either soaking the leg bone in a bunch of cancerous dyes or zapping it with a laser “non destructive”. I plan on presenting data on how we “non destructively” collect data, and how I’ve interrogated the data more than a guest at Hotel Gitmo. Yes, the data did talk. You’ll have to wait until January to see what they said.

04 July 2006

Art Fair Bingo!

Every year, Ann Arbor hosts a really nice Art Fair. Many people come from out of town, out of state, and out of country to enjoy the art and sales and yummy deep fried foods. (Elephant ears anyone?)
Us locals (yes, I consider myself a local-I've been here 9 years already!) have a fun game during Art Fair. Grab yourself a bingo sheet and start walking around. When you see an item on your sheet, mark it off! The first one to hit bingo gets a free art-on-a-stick or beer...it's your choice! Anyhoo.
Here's a sample sheet of ART FAIR BINGO. Enjoy!
:) LJS

03 July 2006

Motorcycle mammas

This was too cute not to share. My niece and her new best friend just sat on Francis's bike, and they loved it!
:) LJS

01 July 2006

Pirates prefer Picard!

Dude, I am totally wickedly happy that June 29th (International Pirates for Picard day) had THE most comments for June. Bwah ha ha ha!
Good night and have a pleasant tommorow. Yours in open seas hijinks, :) LJS

20 June 2006

Isolating iTUNES

Sea Hag,
I know you wanted a list of "sad (because someone I like doesn't like me) songs". This playlist is for you dearie!
:) LJS

My Doorbell The White Stripes
I Want To Be The Boy The White Stripes
Your Heart Is An Empty Room Death Cab For Cutie
16 Days Ryan Adams
La Cienega Just Smiled Ryan Adams
When Will You Come Back Home Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
A lover i don't have to love Bright Eyes
Land Locked Blues Bright Eyes
Jane Barenaked Ladies
Dear John Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Honey Please, Can't Ya See Barry White
Standing In The Doorway Bob Dylan
The Blower's Daughter Damien Rice
The Brilliant Dance Dashboard Confessional
As I'm Leaving David Gray
Be Mine David Gray
Here With Me Dido
She Elvis Costello
I've Got A Crush On You Frank Sinatra
Looks Like Rain Grateful Dead
Lover, You Should've Come Over Jamie Cullum
Now You're Gorgeous, Now You're Gone Joe Firstman
Lies Joe Firstman
Split Screen Sadness John Mayer
Hurt Johnny Cash
Back to Me Kathleen Edwards
Your Eyes Open Keane
I Alone Live
Have Mercy Loretta Lynn
Miss Being Mrs. Loretta Lynn
One Of These Mornings Moby
The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get Morrissey
I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday Morrissey
Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup Nat King Cole
Jealousy Natalie Merchant
Which Will Nick Drake
In your eyes Peter Gabriel
Jealous Guy Roxy Music
Let Down Radiohead
What Sin Replaces Love Ryan Adams
Possession Sarah McLachlan
I Love You Sarah McLachlan
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now The Smiths
I will not take these things for granted Toad the Wet Sprocket
All I want Toad the Wet Sprocket
Love Rescue Me U2
All I Want Is You U2
Space And Time The Verve
We're going to be friends The White Stripes

15 June 2006

Fear me!

Meander over to International ___ Day for some phobia pfun! :) ljs

11 June 2006

"Nice legs"

And with those two words, I had found a new meditation during today’s run.

Let me back up here. I don’t like running with music; I find it counter productive to my desire to be as unplugged as possible. Plus, it IS dangerous because you can’t hear cars, or some psychotic flasher/crazy person running after you. So, I look forward to my long runs because they’re a great chance to sort out my mind; separate out the good, the bad, and the ugly of psychic cowboys. My long runs have been a blessing, especially in difficult times. Today I was considering the misuse of the word “myriad”, living in the country versus the city, the emotional fortitude of vampires, and noting the beautiful landscaping in some yards.

I’m about 3 miles into my run and I pass by a *guy* who said to me “Nice legs” in response to my “hello”. Ummm, yeah. “Nice legs” is not, to the best of my knowledge, the most socially acceptable greeting but I laughed it off because it was just so surreal. As I ran on, I realized that I was simultaneously

a) weirded-out

b) disappointed at myself for being flattered for a millisecond. Gloria and Betty were so not happy with me and may revoke my membership in the “we are self-respecting women and thou shall not treat women as objects” group.

Overall, I figured that the *guy* was harmless but very inappropriate.

For the next 3 miles, I began to ponder the acceptability of such statements to total strangers, and I wondered why it was more likely that a man would say that to a woman but not vice versa, or even for a woman to say that to another woman. Now I’m curious. And, if a Gen X-er such as me is curious, then I will actually do something about it. Heh. As I’ve told Lord Mullett, “the world is our oyster, but all I want to do is take a nap”.

If you have a story or something to add, please do in the comments.

I use the word *guy* with intent because I was reminded from this quote from “Say Anything”: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy.

I'm off to re-read "Love in the Time of Cholera", it's a wonderful novel. It may even surpass "Wuthering Heights" as my favorite book.

Stay vertical, :) LJS

08 June 2006

Her Blondeness

If it’s not one thing, it’s another eh? As blogger is temporarily on hiatus, I am typing this blog on Word. It is not without a hint of irony that I said I am typing on Word, because it was giving me problems since last Thursday. I would try to open Word, and see…nothing…blankness. But, it would follow shortcut keys and actually open. I thought many things:

1) Oh drat, it’s the end of my productivity

2) A file is corrupted! Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

3) Office had gone beserk, despite the fact that all the other Office applications worked just fine

4) A spyware or virus had eaten Word as a tasty snack

5) By enabling a “feature” to save versions of my documents, I had unleashed the Hounds of Hell and they were attacking Word. Poor helpless little software. {sniff sniff}

So…trying to be e-savvy, I did the following. Reupdated virus definitions and ran Norton several times, bought (ack!) Spybot, uninstalled and reinstalled Office 2003, defragmented my C drive, ran scan disk, and prayed to the all knowing Gatesian god from (longitudinally) above. Alas! None of this worked, although now I must mention how awesomely fast my computer is running. I know that y’all are wondering what caused this problem, and took away many hours of grad student productivity.

The answer is…

My blondeness.

Yeppo. In a blonde moment of epic proportions, I had *forgotten* that I was using two screens when I was visiting Montreal and hence did not revert my laptop back to the single screen. I was using Word on the 2nd screen, and my computer thought that I was still using 2 screens and THAT’s why I wasn’t seeing Word. When I switched back to a single screen mode, Word magically reappeared and all is now right. Egad, that was painful to even write. Damn, I need tequila.

Word out, yo. :) LJS