Friday, September 29, 2006

Classic Mom

Mom called today and asked if I wanted a Curves membership for my birthday.

I told her no thank you. So she started the hard sell on how great Curves is, and how much I'd love it. So, I explained that I had joined another gym across town, and didn't want to also belong to Curves.

"But do you GO?"

Ah, yes. Love that. At least this morning, when I was at the gym, another woman commented to the group of people in the room that she knew which treadmill is "Christine's machine" before 7 am...In some circles, at least, I am known as a gym rat...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It takes two, baby

Yesterday I heard that a neighbor has noticed my puny weight loss. And I also got a phone call from someone I've never met, because of something he read in my blog. Thanks, guys, for making my day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

And I thought going to the groomer was bad

Crapmaster O has been fighting getting his claws trimmed, lately. Son #2 and I have gotten tired of wrestling with him. So yesterday we took him to Petco (it is, after all, where all the pets go) and let the groomers there take care of it.

Otis is not a fancy dog, so we didn't spring for all the extras. Just clip those toes and we would be happy. It was a much more enjoyable experience for us people, and probably for Otis, as well. But I must admit I never thought of myself as the type of person to use a groomer. Heck, you could count on the fingers of one ink-stained hand how many times I've had my own nails professionally pampered. So I was feeling a bit sheepish.

Then we turned a corner in Petco and I saw this book.

I feel ever so much less crazy, after seeing that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You can tell a lot about a person, from the way they handle dissent

For the past week or two, I have been receiving mass emails encouraging me to protest a redistricting plan in our neighborhood.

It's a plan that I hadn't heard about, but after reading about it (and reading, and reading; these emails just keep coming) I realized pretty quickly that it's actually a piece of redistricting that I wholeheartedly support.

I talked about it with a neighbor, and he agreed with me. Not that he was going to say anything about that to the people spamming the neighborhood...and neither was I, until today.

The last email I received encouraged us all to read a letter to the editor by the same person who has been sending the emails. I read it. The gist was, "Why don't developers ask the community what we want?"

And I realized, not only does this person not know that she's sending emails to someone on the opposite side of the idealogical fence, she also is under the impression that the whole neighborhood agrees with her.

I sent her the following email:

I've been reading your emails
and so I also read your letter to the editor in the

Not everyone agrees that development is a bad thing. I
am looking forward to those pieces of development. I
think the super Wal-Mart is going to be a real benefit
to my family, too, not to mention all the new jobs
development creates for the community as a whole.

We're not all going to agree on development issues,
but thanks for bringing this one to my attention.


I thought that was pretty reasonable and mild-mannnered. But boy, did I get bitch-slapped when she responded to me. I have put the stuff that made me laugh in bold, so you can get the joke, too...

Dear Christine,

Thanks for your e-mail and your thoughts. I have to say your e-mail is
first one that I have received that supports the Super Wal-Mart. But it
also obvious to me Christine, that you have not read the e-mails,
flyers, or
letters well
. Most of us are not opposed to development when
development is
put in place with proper guidelines and sanctions - that has not
very often in this county. Not sure how long you have lived here; I
lived here 42 years and have wept at some of the unnecessary
destruction to
our natural habitats not to mention to neighborhoods. If you have not
by St. Andrews Estates then I suggest you do so and talk to the people
live there and whose backyards were raped by the current developers of
Wildewood. St. Andrews Estates is only one small example of
wanton, selfish development.

Do many of us prefer that the corner of Shady Mile Drive not be
or that Shady Mile Drive not be widened and then possibly opened up to
4, the answer is "yes" we do oppose these actions. But we have accepted
Paul Summers is within his legal rights to develop that corner; we
want the zoning to remain residential mixed vs. commercial mixed.
Residential mixed does allow for small businesses and homes to be
constructed. Actually, many of us would like to see office buildings
constructed there as there would be less impact on traffic and the
would be relatively quiet at night and during weekends. Tammie Sebacher
I have suggested this to Mr. Summers and Mr. Kabat.

As far as the super Wal-Mart goes, I'm afraid I don't support your
Wal-Mart is understaffed now as it is, and one large component of this
Wal-Mart will be a grocery store. Christine, we need another grocery
along this corridor like we need a hole in the head, not to mention the
impact on traffic in front of Town Creek Manor. The kind of jobs that
Wal-Mart creates are really not very beneficial to the county's economy
although they may benefit a few individual people and do purchase TDRs.

Sadly, especially in this country we are consumed with ourselves and
guilty of not having a more global view of the world. I would be happy
introduce you to a long list of people/families whose lives will be
by potential large scale commercial development (if this is approved)
at the
corner of Shady Mile. And by the way Christine, personally I will not
be as
affected by this development as the many others whose homes abut this
property as I live further back in Town Creek. But, I am compassionate
enough to know how people's lives will change and not for the better.
beyond yourself and think of your neighbors.

In conclusion, I do thank you for writing and although I cannot agree
your opinion; I do respect your correspondence especially as you
represent a


I just love that my disagreement instantly makes me unable to "look beyond myself and think of my neighbors".

YUP, she calls herself compassionate, so I guess she must be. Me, I'm just pure evil, but at least I represent a minority (that minority being people willing to disagree with her, I'll wager).

I also am amused to read that she actually lives far from the proposed development site. So, her opinion, holy as it is, is more "what the community wants" than the opinion of those who disagree with her but who actually live here.

See, told ya it was funny.

Ronald McHummer

This is actually an anti-McDonald's protest site, but I just liked it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Michael Kiefer

When the towers came down, the Pentagon was in flames, we weren't quite sure that my mother in law was safe or when my uncle would be able to fly back home, I gathered my children and reeled in shock at an evil I couldn't understand.

Five years later, I still don't understand it. I think of those men, praying to their God as they planned to kill thousands of innocent people, and I can't see how anyone could make that choice and think it was a moral one.

Fortunately for all of us, there is decency and strength, bravery and commitment every bit as incomprehensible as the worst of humanity. And we saw it, every one of us, on that same day.

Michael Kiefer is listed, by some, as a victim of the 9/11 attacks. But the truth is more than that. As a firefighter with FDNY Ladder 132 in Brooklyn, Michael Kiefer was one of those who made a heroic effort to save lives that day.

He was twenty-five years old, looking forward to marrying his sweetheart in 2002. He had every reason to be selfish, and yet he was not.

Perhaps, devout Catholic that he was, he prayed to his God as he ran into those towers, to save innocent people. That, I can understand. A little bit. And honor, and praise, and be thankful for, on the behalf of all those he lost his life to try to save, and all the rest of us who are still inspired to tears by his bravery and sacrifice, five years later.

Thank you, Michael. Your honor, your decency, your bravery in the face of unspeakable horror, are all still remembered. YOU are still remembered. God bless.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's not all about me

Monday is the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I'll be one of the bloggers writing a tribute to someone who lost his life that day. I hope I can do it in a way that honors him, and I hope you join the effort on your own blog, too.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Freecycle Pet Peeve

Freecycle is awesome. Post your unwanted stuff online, and people who want it pick it up. They get free stuff, you get rid of stuff, everyone's happy.

I've been using Freecycle a lot, lately, mostly to get rid of things we're not using (although I've also managed to pick up a few quirky necessities of my own).

One thing bugs me, though. Who are these people who expect me to DELIVER? I mean, yes, a foosball table is large. A sectional sofa, also darn large. But if they are also free, that means that I am giving them away and getting nothing in return, save the additional space in my house.

So, tell me again why I should be the one who drives it across the county?