Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Day With Flannery: Home Again







We made a cake.





















...and cooked dinner at the same time!
















I decided it was time to do something about my half of the closet.



















Voila!
















We're going to play some Creature From The Krabby Patty, watch some Full House and go to bed. Goodnight everyone!

A Day With Flannery: Running Errands

I have to go over to duplicating and pick up some booklets. Then I have to deliver them across town. Walk with me...






This contraption will get us to the lobby...
















Once you step out of my building, this is the view to the west...























Then this is the east view, which is the way we're headed, of course.

















This is the tunnel that surrounds my building. It's an aesthetic marvel, wouldn't you say? It keeps debris falling from the building from knocking you out cold, so I guess they went for function over form.























Ah, here we are. A little bit of urban nature before we go into the dungeons...I mean the duplicating department.
















Snazzy!
















This is the view if you follow the sign. The walls are piss yellow and it smells funny, though it doesn't smell like urine, oddly enough.



















Mr. Lawrence is literally freezing his ass off. Let's climb in and hit the road!












This FedEx truck is going about 30 mph. I can't get around him!!!
























Whew! Here at last. Now let's go home...












A Day WIth Flannery: Potty Break

So, I've been pretty busy and I've had a lot to drink. Well, I've had one Diet Coke spiked with "Going Ape" Energy Drink, three glasses of water and 3/4 of a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. It's time to talk a walk. Join me, won't you?









Here is the snazzy elevator bank. The elevators don't stop on the first nine floors, so we don't have to wait for a car or ride with the hoi polloi. Well, it does stop on the first floor, but not two-eight. They have their own elevator bank.














Right. This sign has been posted on the ladies room door for three weeks now. Let's take a peek and see what the workers are doing...
















Men at work.


















The view from the ladies room. Sweet, no?


















I feel so much better.

A Day WIth Flannery: Getting Settled

I'm going to take you on a photo tour of my day. None of these pictures are staged or artificial. They reflect my life as it is.





My Workspace.



















Tools of the Trade.
















My filing pile, tickler file, and supplies.















My reading material.











And the best part of my office...







My view.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Daughter, The Good Fellah


Here is a conversation I had last night while heading out the door after picking up my girls at the neighbor's house:
Me (to neighbor's 4-year old daughter): See you later alligator!
N4YOD: laughs
Me: You're supposed to say, "After a while, crocodile!"
Lucy (2.5 years old): Nobody calls me crocodile.


Well, I'm glad we got that straight.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Flower Story, By Riley, As Told To Elizabeth


What a lovely flower. I wish I could dance with the flowers. I just don't get it! Why can't I dance with the flowers?
The flower spoke and said, "Hello there," with a happy voice. The flower gave lots of kisses. Then the flower puffed a big smile and then its nose popped out and then its eyes popped open and then she danced.
The end.

Friday, January 26, 2007

This Song Will Get Me Through Friday And Set Me Up For The Weekend

Freestylers Ruffneck

I love this song beyond reason. I'm listening to it on my iPod and I even started dancing at my desk. It definately makes me feel great. I hope it does the same for you. YES!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is It Me...

Or does this chick have giant tits:








OK, Here's My New Geek Score

Frank thought my Geek score of 19% was a bit low and recommended I retake the quiz. I did. He was right. I hit 44% on the geekometer.


You are 44% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.


Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

Guilty Pleasure

Sausage McGriddle
This morning I had a doctor's appointment so that they could take my blood and make me generally uncomfortable, but in a nice way. I had to fast for twelve house to prepare for the blood tests they were planning to do. So, from 9:00 p.m. last night I couldn't drink or eat anything. I didn't mind skipping out on the snacks but I missed having a glass of water.
However, at 10:00 a.m. today, I wasn't so cool about the fasting. I was ready to go cannibal if I didn't get something to eat very soon. I had to get on the road and get to work and I needed something quick and easy. So I did something any desperate and time-crunched girl would do when under the influence of low blood sugar: I went to McDonald's and got a Sausage McGriddle and a large Diet Coke. If you're not familiar with this product, it is a sausage patty set between two maple-flavored pancakey buns. I know it sounds disgusting, but it is pure heaven. I know I'll pay for it later; I'm allergic to pork. But it was worth every stomach cramp I'm sure to suffer in order to savor that hot, greasy, salty, sweet treat.
I beg you, though: please don't tell anyone about this. Let's keep it our little secret.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Universe Is Back In Balance


The Academy Award Nominees have been announced and Mel Gibson's movie Apocalypto has been appropriately overlooked in the major catagories. It was, however given a nod for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Make-up.
So, Mel, now it's your turn to grab a Heini, sob into your pillow and ask "Why? Why? Why?" My teeth gnashing, fist-waving, shouting to God days are over as far as your concerned...that is until Atlantisthmus, the true story of what happened to Atlantis, done in the ancient Greek dialect of that era and region, is launched.
Oooh I can't wait for the true-to-life underwater scenes unfold.

Part Geek

I pinched this from Frank. Try it out for a laugh!

You are 19% geek
OK, so maybe you ain't a geek. You do, at least, show a bit of interest in the world around you. Either that, or you have enough of a sense of humor to pick some of the sillier answers on the test. Regardless, you're probably a pretty nifty, well-rounded person who gets along fine with people and can chat with just about anyone without fear of looking stupid or foolish or overly concerned with minutiae. God, I hate you.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

These Bright Stars Are Bummed

And so am I, frankly. On top of my recent bout with bronchitis, I've also been struggling with Major Depression. Since Zach and Mandy have stepped forward and announced they both have been struggling with minor depression, I have gained the courage and strength to step forward too. I'm getting help through pharmaceuticals as well as counseling.

In the past, medication has always helped me get back on track and counseling has done zippo. So, I attended my first counseling session on Monday with trepidation and found it surprisingly helpful. Karen has given me some tips to help me reduce my stress levels and I thought I'd post them here for Zach and Mandy and you, though they may not apply to everyone as not everyone spends 3 hours in the car commuting to work each day, nor do they have children. If neither of those apply to you, you probably won't need these hints. But then again, maybe you might. Here are my stress reducers:
  • Turn my car into a luxurious sanctuary, such that I can't wait to get in it each morning.
  • Bring some fruit and some protein to eat along the way for energy.
  • Do not listen to the news.
  • Listen to books on tape.
  • Introduce some scents such as pine into the car (pine is a stimulant).
  • Don't talk on the cell phone.
  • Get my children on a bedtime schedule where they are tucked in by 8:30 p.m. so that I won't be tempted to push back my bed time to get some me time or some me and Doc time.
  • Add up my salary plus benefits to see what I'm really making at my job.
  • Go for short walks during the day to get some exercise and some sunshine.
  • Laugh more. Even if it means laughing for no reason at all.

So far, I've tried a few of these things and they are helping. But i'm still having trouble with the laughter. And here is where you guys come in. If I'm going to laugh more, you all are going to have to raise the bar and make everything you write funnier. I'm a tough crowd these days so you will need to aim high. Think of all the help you will be giving people like me and Zach and Mandy by just going that extra mile and stretching your funny bone till it hurts. I've thrown down the gauntlet; will you accept the challenge?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

News For Spiritual Seekers: Zeus Is The New Black


According to Yahoo! News, Zeus and Company are making a comeback. Apparently, this new religion is gaining in numbers; like the Never Nudes, there are dozens of them, Dozens! They are mostly religious scholars and other nerds who plan to conduct a ceremony to honor the big 12 at an 1,800 year old temple to Zeus. They are, of course, being blocked by the Greek government who wish to protect ancient sites. But the Greek government is not full of anti-pagan nay-sayers; they actually recognized this religion as official last year. It's adherents are permitted to marry people and that sort of thing.
Sadly, though, this tiny tribe of followers of the Big 12 Greek gods have already broken into two opposing sects. And they can't even decide what to call themselves, either Ellinais, or Hellenic Religion. I'm not too sure which gods are the Big 12, according to these folks. However, thanks to Wikipedia, we can gather some idea. Here is a list of the usual suspects:
  1. Zeus, the CEO, Ruler of Mt. Olympus, god of the sky
  2. Hera, wife of Zeus, the goddess Queen of the heavens and stars, of marriage and fidelity
  3. Poseidon, god of the sea, rivers, and springs, floods and earthquakes
  4. Ares, god of offensive war and slaughter
  5. Hermes, god of guidance, travelers, commerce, inventions, oratory, shepherds, consolation and reunions, athletics, patron of thieves, and messenger of the Gods.
  6. Hephaestus, god of fire, workmanship, artisans and weaponry and the craftsman of the gods.
  7. Aphrodite, goddess of love, sexuality, outer beauty and attraction.
  8. Athena, goddess of wisdom, the crafts (especially weaving, pottery and carpentry), inner beauty, education and defensive war.
  9. Apollo, god of prophesy, light, music, healing, disease and medicine and archery
  10. Artemis, goddess of the hunt, animals, wilderness and the protector of young girls.

Those ten are for sure in the Top Twelve and here is a list of rotating alternates, for those of you keeping score at home:

  1. Heracles, god protector of man from evil and of heroic endeavour (after his elevation to godhood).
  2. Hebe, goddess of youth and brides
  3. Helios, god of the sun, brother of the moon, Selene, and the dawn Eos.
  4. Hestia, goddess of the home, family and the hearth.
  5. Demeter, goddess of the fertile earth and agriculture. Her bounty sustains mankind.
  6. Doinysus, youngest of the Olympians, and god of wine, vegetation, fertility and the theater. He alternates with Hestia in ancient lists of the twelve Olympians. Some scholars do not count Dionysus among the Olympian gods because though he is the son of Zeus, his mother was a mortal.
  7. Hades, god king of the third portion of the universe, the dark gloomy underworld, home of the dead.
  8. Persephone, goddess queen of the underworld, death, and spring renewal.

Apparently, 20 out of a total of 34 adherents of this old school religion were successful in holding their festival next to (not in) the Temple of Zeus with little fuss and ado. They are demanding world peace and education for everyone, noble goals to be sure. I wonder, though, if their pleas for world peace will piss off the likes of Ares. I'm not sure how they will reconcile that little detail. However, dogma has been squished and smeared and pressed into logical boxes to be filed away for years and years by many other religions, so I suppose it's possible here too. But, if I recall my Homer and Hesiod correctly, these particular gods are pretty touchy about being ignored or dishonored. I fear for these 34 people that they may be smote down by a revived god of offensive war and slaughter. Perhaps, they will get lucky and this new Ares will emerge as a more PC type and he will represent the god of offensive war on terror, drugs, and poverty as well as the god of the slaughter of racism. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Ares will just be so glad to be revived that he won't want to be the god of offensive war, in the traditional sense of the word.

If the threat of being punished by the god of offensive war is not enough to put the combined panties of these sincere followers of Zeus and company in a wad, what about the wrath of the Greek Orthodox Church? This is an organization that, for sure, has no interest in seeing the revival of the ancient pagan religion. They've already crushed it once, after all. So far, the Greek Orthodox Church's first move is to frown disapprovingly at them. But, I gather, they are slow to anger these days. I'll keep an eye on the matter and let you know when the stonings/burning at the stake/ostracizations occur.

My question for the followers of the big 12 is this: Why revive such a complicated system of beliefs? Rather than having one god in three parts watching everything you're doing, you've got up to 18 various gods on your ass at any given time. I mean, these gods almost outnumber your membership! Besides, what about all that sacrificing? It is time consuming, expensive and messy. If you're a lady, you have to worry about being a target of Zeus' wandering eye. The next thing you know, you're saddled with a child like Achilles, who was more than a handful, let me tell you. You always have to watch what you say, as these gods are touchy and vengeful. Instead of confessing your sins and getting absolution, they'd just as soon tie you to a rock out at see and let the gulls poke your eyes out. Or they may make you push a boulder up and down a hill over and over again in aeternum. It just doesn't seem like it's worth it, to me.

I think I might know what is behind the move to revive this old time religion. The followers are a group of scholars. They love their history. They love it so much, they want to relive it. They are the Greek equivalent of Civil War Reinactors and members of such institutions as the Society for the Creative Anachronism. That the state has recognized them as an authentic religion has added fuel to their passion to live what they've learned, regardless of how inappropriate, ill-fitting or inconvenient it might be. Don't get me wrong, I love that they are doing this. I myself was a member of the Society for the Creative Anachronism. I was almost engulfed by the Trekker sub-culture. I empathize greatly. As a student of ancient history, I admire their willingness to go for the gold, so to speak, and represent ancient religion.

However, having read many of the classics that had these gods as characters, I never not once had any inclination to live during these time, either Greek or Roman. I always found the gods to be petty, head-strong and selfish. They were cruel. They were the personification of all things not human. They treated people as playthings in a giant game of revenge against each other. I personally, am glad to have a more simplified faith with a forgiving god. I appreciate the judeo-christian god's laissez faire attitude toward humanity. I like have the opportunity to fuck up my life, ask forgiveness and be given a clean slate to try again. I've really got too much on my plate as it is to worry so much about offending this god or that. I probably couldn't keep up with the sacrifice schedule. And toga? No-ga.

So, while I wish these folks well on their quest to revive the inhabitants of Mt. Olympus, I also kind of hope they fail. After all, don't we have enough monsters in this world already?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

But I Have So Much To Say...

I am under doctor's orders to stay home and get better. I am suffering from accute bronchitis, and boy is it adorable ::rim shot:: He gave me a flu shot in the arm and a cortizone shot in the butt. I have a double z-pack of antibiotics and Alavert. But the best part of all is my giant bottle of robutussin with codiene in it and my two-day order to stay home from work.

Wish me well as I waste away in bed.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Avatque Vale, Bobby Knueven

You were too young to die.
I found out that a former co-worker of mine passed away after playing a game of basketball after work. He was in his early thirties and was a really terrific guy. He was our webmaster when I worked at The Ohio State University. He was a graduate of OSU and a true Buckeye. He turned me on to Spongebob Squarepants before I had kids. He had a couple of bulldogs. He loved MG's. I haven't spoken to him in a while, but he is on my AIM buddy list and I saw him there and available everyday at work. It was nice to know that, though we were far apart, we could check in with each other if one or the other of us needed a reference.
He was just so smart and funny and vital. He had had health issues and I assume those were what did him in, alas. What a loss. So, hail and fairwell, Bobby; it was way too soon for you to part.

They're Back!

Bring it on.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mel Gibson Advises His Critics To Do Their Homework

Mel Gibson said, in this Yahoo! report, that people who criticise his movie Apacalypto as being racist should do their homework; he did.

The Yahoo! article went on to say, "Mayan critics of "Apocalypto" say scenes of scary-looking Indians with bone piercings and scarred faces hurling spears and sacrificing humans promote stereotypes about their culture."

So, first, he's being a total gonad for telling the Mayan people to do homework on themselves to learn that they really are only a bunch of savages. I'm sure they are well versed in all aspects of their own culture, moreso than you are.

Secondly, let's talk about those critics of your "film" who are not Mayan, like, say, me. I will tell you, bucko, I've done my homework. Not on the Mayans, necessarily, but on historiography. And this Yahoo! report has finally helped me put my finger my major problem with this movie and with the historical accuracy flag you keep waving in everyone's faces. Here is the quote:

"He produced and co-wrote the movie, which revolves around one man's quest to save himself from human sacrifice in the ancient civilization." [italics mine]

This major element of the plot begs the question, if you were a Mayan guy living in this time and were up for human sacrifice, wouldn't you go forward with the sacrifice because it was your duty? I mean, it's part of your culture, right? So, we can presume, the possibility of being sacrificed was a very likely eventuality in the minds of the Mayans of that time, no? It reminds me of the story of Socrates' execution. He had the opportunity to flee Athens and escape death, but he refused. He was a part of Athens and had always abided by her laws. To flee to save his own life would break the law of Athens and cheapen all that he ever stood for. So he drank that poison and died, much like, I presume, many Mayans did in their time as they faithfully adhered to their own religious beliefs and faiths. They accepted it as their lot in life and did not abandon their beliefs to save their own lives or the lives of their hottie Mayan wives.

So, why would this Mayan guy flee his sacrifice? Maybe he's a coward. Or maybe he's just a character in a movie about ancient times who has the anachronistic values of a modern, North American Catholic action hero. If he is the former, then why write about him at all? Cowards typically do not belong as protagonists in "historically accurate films." If he is the latter, then you cannot call this movie historically accurate, dumbass. It's cheating to plaster ancient characters with the morals and values of 21st century inhabitants. So fooey on you and your historical accuracy. It is a sham.

Dear Warren Beatty, I Bet You Think This Post Is About You

Congratulations on the recognition you received at the Golden Globe Awards last evening. Sadly, I was unable to view the coverage in its entirity; I lack the staff to properly organize every aspect of my life and, therefore, failed to view the show as it happened and lost the opportunity to set the DVR to record it. I missed all the red carpet kerfluffle and a majority of the award presentations. Fortunately, my poverty in both material goods and posse membership did not prevent me from viewing the results this morning on the internet. Two things pleased me much: J-Hud's award for Dream Girls and Mel Gibson's loss for his overblown, overrated and, obviously, flash-in-the-pan grab for artistic credibility, a.k.a. Apacolypto.

I suddenly remembered at around 10:00 p.m. that the award show was on and, being a rabid fan of award shows, I figured I ought to tune in; so I did. And I was just in time to view three quarters of the tongue bath given to you by Tom Hanks, who believes saying that someone has balls is somehow both risque and hilarious enough to repeat at least eight times during is pre-eulogy to you, the Promising New Star of 1962. And then I watched as you received the Cecille B. DeMille award for Over-The-Top Assholery (I hazzarded a guess as to what that award recognizes, as I missed the explanation of its significance. I'm pretty sure I'm dead on.). And your speech moved me to tell you this, Warren Beatty:


Oh. My. God. Please shut up!

I was humiliated for you by your obvious vanity and shallowness. Sure you may be a great actor/director/producer/screenwriter. But you seem to revel in your power like a pig lolling in mud. Frankly, it turned my stomach. The only respite during this 20 minute hubris-fest I felt was, when you were jabbing at my boy, Clint Eastwood, for being an overachiever, the cameras focused on the lovely visage of that old cowboy and TRUE TALENT and lost focus on you and your swaggering, swaying peacockery! Jesus, your speech made me long for a holier-than-thou address on Tibetan public school funding from Richard Gere! At least he has a cause other than himself and his own smarminess.

Your speech went on and on and all you talked about was how lucky you were to have access to just about everyone and everything on the planet. Fuck you, Warren Beatty. Fuck you. And, by the way, where was the orchestra that usually coaxes blowhards like you right off the stage?!? Alas, they were nowhere to be found. Perhaps they were washing your Bentley.

So, instead of enjoying the rest of the award show, I was forced to turn you off and watch some Scrubs. Hopefully, you'll enjoy what remains of you life by revelling in your good fortune and rubbing it in the faces of everyone you meet. I suppose that's what I would do, once I'm famous.

Thanks again for being a role model to us all.

Sincerely,

Flannery Alden
Celebrity Watch Dog

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Riley TV

Last night, Riley announced that she wanted to start her own TV network.

Riley: "...it will be called Riley TV."

Me: "What shows will be on it?"

Riley: "Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, Fairly Odd Parents, Oobi...and that show with Michelle..."

Me: "You mean Full House?"

Riley: "Yeah, that one!"

Me: "It kind of sounds like Nickelodeon..."

Riley: "...and Nick Jr."

Me: "And Noggin..."

Riley: "Yeah, but it will be called Riley at Night and will have only the shows I like."

Me: "Sounds good to me!"

Monday, January 08, 2007

Introducing...

My New Mentor

Good Morning, Class!



Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a teacher. I used to play endless hours of school with my friends and by myself. There are several teachers in my family. It kind of seemed like a no-duh that I would become one one day. When I told my band director in high school, who was a mentor to me, that I wanted to be a teacher, he said, "Don't do it; you'll never make any money at it."


So I didn't do it. Now, I find myself with a BA in Classical and Medieval Studies and working in education on the sidelines, as it were, as a level four bureaucrat. I just took the Myers-Briggs personality assessment on Johnny Yen's blog, and what did I discover? I'm an eNFj, AKA the Teacher Idealist. According to the website, there are only 2 to 3 percent of the population with this personality and they are uniquely suited to the teaching profession. Way to go, BAND DIRECTOR. Thanks for your stellar advice.


And way to go ME, for letting one guy direct my future.


This little case study will stand as a lesson for all of you out there: NEVER MAKE LIFE-CHANGING DECISIONS WITHOUT CONSULTING AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE, ONE OF WHOM SHOULD BE A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY WHO KNOWS YOU WELL.


Class dismissed.

It's Better To Look Good Than To Feel Good, Dahling!

For the sake of all that is holy and fashionable, I will need to continue to tinker with the look of my blog. After my good friend, Terry pointed out that the new color scheme was a Glamour Don't, I figured my redecorating job was incomplete.

So, please, pardon my dust, as I attempt to make this place the awesomest and fiercest blog on the block.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Revised 2007 New Year's Resolutions


Well, not snoozing didn't work for me. I snoozed yesterday and I snoozed today. I'm going to keep trying to quit, though. After all it will be a new week soon. However, I thought I'd better find some other resolutions where the bar is a bit lower. Here are my aspirations for the year 2007:
  1. Cease dotting my i's with hearts and/or stars.


  2. Stop quoting from Joel Olsteen's book, You're Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living to Your Full Potential to all my friends and random strangers.


  3. Start watching Full House religiously.


  4. Shop for teddy bear sweatshirts to wear on casual Fridays.


  5. Stop tucking in my sweaters.


  6. Contemplate helping those less fortunate than I am.


  7. Stop saying "yup."


  8. Reread all of the Garfield cartoon strips from the beginning.


  9. Monitor all of Mel Gibson's activities


  10. Defeat Guitar Hero II on the "Hard" setting.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Riley's Pix

I was inspired by Phil to post my four year old's mad photography skillz...
Fierce Mommy

Daddy's Chin


Lucy's Tummy


Our Little World


A statement on materialism