Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Is my cat's love for the Minkie wrong?

Huge shout out to the Beckster and family who have agreed to let my enormous kitty Peter come and visit them while I am in Spain. This is a huge relief and load off my mind. I'm taking my usual cat sitters with me on vacation, so they weren't too hip on the the idea of staying home to feed the beast.

Peter is a sweet kitty who doesn't talk too much and isn't overly neurotic -- E&A's cats are legally insane and the one is extraordinarily unfriendly. Peter on the other hand is a love whore -- not so much that he drools when he's getting love (that's just embarrassing) but I do catch him every once in a while with his tongue sticking out. He likes to visit during book group - generally he will find the epicenter of the conversation, fall over and expose his big belly for all to see. The boy has no shame.

He does have one weird thing that I will forewarn Beckster about -- he is IN LOVE with the Minkie. This isn't sweet brother and sister love either, this is nasty "CINEMAX at Night" love.

The Minkie, imported from South Korea (where it gets a little cold,) is the best blanket in the entire world. It is two layers of heavy, fuzzy, heat trapping goodness. It is not for the weak - it weighs approximately 30 pounds (no joke) and I live for the coldest winter nights to snuggle under it. My dad tried to nap under the Minkie and had nightmares (daymares?) that he was being crushed by a piano - but he is not the target Minkie audience.

Beckster found the Minkie while stationed in S. Korea with her hubby B.D. The Minkie got them through many a chilly evening. They mailed me one for Christmas and before opening the box I thought they had sent me a set of Korean pottery.

The only problem with the Minkie (other than I can't use it year round) is that you can't put it under the covers - it HAS to be on top or all the bedding slides onto the floor. Peter, who is fixed but tries to LOVE the Minkie in spite of the futile nature of the act, can not handle the exposure to the Minkie. He won't sleep, he won't eat - his whole life becomes kneading and LOVING the Minkie. It's extremely distracting trying to sleep, read or whatever in your bed with a 20 pound cat trying to consummate his love for a blanket for hours on end.

I thought this may have been a feline thing - but Becksters kitties (Neffie and Cleo) had normal love for the Minkie so I think this is a Peter problem. I will give her a heads up so she doesn't experience trauma when Peter puts the moves on her Minkie. At the very least, she will be able to give her Minkie a talk about the birds and the bees prior to Peter visiting. Again, he is fixed, so there's no danger of unwanted Kitty-Minkie mixes running around.

If I had a digital camera I would get a shot of Peter in action -- but I wouldn't want to get in trouble for Kitty Porn! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Vacation Planning & Musings

We are planning for our trip back to Spain in October. Our free place to stay in Malaga has fallen through as we can not locate Tony (the apartment owner.) This was a disappointment as I had not budgeted for accommodations for this 5 night stretch of our trip. However, upon search of and we are finding weekly apartment rentals for quite the deal. Spending $370 will get us a 2 bedroom apartment with a pool and walking distance to shops and the like. This seems quite reasonable.

There are villas for rent - but as I don't have an extra $1500 to burn we will pass on the former avocado grove turned holiday villa. It would be great - but I be po'.

Attended a great play today -- Intimate Apparel at the Intiman Theater in Seattle. It was delightful and I encourage you to go!

My minion finally starts tomorrow! I am so excited. I did learn her name (I'm not totally heartless) and I ordered flowers to adorn her desk. Yeah, it's rookie move - but I'm a nice person -- who knew.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The great Scrabble debate: to poo or not to poo

I returned to Scrabble Club last night. I had stopped going because of the commute and the constant baby talk. I love mommies, but the last time I attended I looked around and I was the only single sans kid in the room and all the conversations were about little Suzie walking or development games or who was having the next baby. WHOA – TP was out of her element. To be fair not all the ladies were so singularly focused in their conversation abilities – but super mommies are hard to derail.

The attendees have shifted abit and I was encouraged to give SC another visit. I'm glad I did, it was an enjoyable evening with discussions revolving around vacations, home remodels, the state of employment and a raging debate that I now bring to you.

Is it ok to put your dog poo in any garbage can you encounter when walking fido?

Most of the gals were in the firm yes camp, citing that if the can is on the street then it is an acceptable action.

It was a mixed decision as to whether or not it is ok to walk up the driveway to the can close to the house and deposit poo. I say that walking up the driveway is trespassing and you should keep walking with your poo. The dog owners said it would depend on the situation apparently there are times when you can’t carry the poo anymore and depositing it in a trash receptacle is the responsible thing to do.

I don’t love the idea of doggie poopie in my trash can, but I can put myself in the shoes of the dog owner too – it would be a much more pleasant walk without the stinky bag.

Regardless of what side of the fence the women were on with the free garbage service, they all agreed that it is rude and inconsiderate to dump the poo in the yard waste container.

We did suggest that the gal who was providing free garbage service for the neighborhood consider taping a sign to her garbage can. “I don’t put my garbage on your lawn, please don’t put your poo in my can!” It doesn’t quite have the same effect as the “we don’t swim in your toilet, so don’t pee in our pool” sign that my grandparents neighbors had painted around the deck of their pool. (Classy!)

If you can believe it, this conversation moved in a MORE disturbing direction when one of the ladies mentioned that people will do anything in your yard. Apparently when her home was being remodeled they brought in a porta-potty for the workers to use and it had to reside in the front yard (in direct view of her kitchen window.) She said that the porta-potty was used by the entire neighborhood: joggers, dog walkers, the mailman and a delivery truck driver who pulled over on his way to somewhere else to use the facility. I had always wondered where the mailmen go when they are on their route. In college a mailman asked to come inside our house to use the restroom and it must have been an emergency as we had to cut that end of the house off for all eternity.

Alright – that’s about all I can say about this topic. Feel free to let me know where you stand on the topic of making unwanted deposits in your neighbors trash cans.

Also – must mention some Scrabble highlights:
Liz and her opening word which was a bingo – Pillows. Very nice! (There were other bingos but I can’t recall the words.)
My game was off and I was trailing until I played XI on a triple letter score to make the words XU and IN… 50 points! I didn’t win – but I didn’t feel like a loser anymore.

Movie Review: 40 Year Old Virgin

Jon Stewart is a god!

This review isn't about John Stewart - it's all about Steve Correll - who is a witty writer and fearless actor. His ability to set aside that little voice inside of all of us that says "don't do that you'll look like an ass" is remarkable.

The 40 YOV was fun, and all the characters were likeable in their own way. The teenage daughter of the love interest reached a pitch that only dogs could hear and yet there was still a tinge of believability about her angst.

In an attempt to increase his sex appeal the virgins friends talk him into getting his chest waxed. This scene clearly was shot in real time and without the aid of any special effects. I'm not sure what was more funny - Steve Correll in character with tears of pain in his eyes yelling at the waxing lady - or Paul Rudd trying to maintain his composure in the background.

I paid a matinee price, but would say that it's definitely full price worthy.

Summer movie favorite: Wedding Crashers... "the painting was a gift Todd, I'm taking it with me"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Israel: Gaza pullout moving quickly

Israel: Gaza pullout moving quickly

I know the issues are complicated and go back hundreds of years - but the idea of an entire group of people being forced from their homes makes me really sad.

I can't help but think about how traumatic it would be to be informed that you are leaving. I can understand the thought that it would be better to burn down your home rather than have someone else just move in like you had no rights to it at all. Leaving jobs, homes and deceased family members behind must be awful.

I hope that this event improves the relations between Palestine and Israel and that Israel has a plan to assist the displaced people in a manner better than the US did with the exiled Iranian people.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Feds urge delay in '.xxx' domain for porn

NEW YORK -- Acknowledging "unprecedented" opposition, the U.S. government has asked the Internet's key oversight agency to delay approval of a new ".xxx" domain name designed as a virtual red-light district.
Michael D. Gallagher, assistant secretary for communications and information at the Commerce Department, stopped short of urging its rejection, but he called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to "ensure the best interests of the Internet community as a whole are fully considered."
The department received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails expressing concerns about the impact of pornography on families and children and objecting to setting aside a domain suffix for it, he said.

This falls into the if we can't see it, it doesn't exist category. Rather than move all porn to a unique domain name (that you could easily bock to protect little Suzie from having to see boobies) these folks would rather it be spread eagle all over the Internet. Little Jeff is writing a paper on the white house and decides to look it up and goes to and gets an eye full of information that would embarrass Heidi Fleiss. would be a little harder to "accidentally run across."

The lengths the government will go to to (NOT) protect families is crazy. My morality is NOT the governments business. PORN is legal and if the government were smart - they'd tax the heck out of it. Imagine how much the Porn Lobby could bring to Washington. The parties would be amazing and a little taste of home for some of the Senators and Congressfolks.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Odd experience #452: Attended the premier of a new band called Stay Tuned. They cover tv theme songs. The show was at the Jewel Box in Belltown. It was a hot hot Saturday night and the venue was small – like 40 people only small. We dallied and failed to get a good seat so we had to sit in the front row. I tried to suppress my giggles and smug superiority but it was hard.

The three piece band, who by day are the IT department at a local company, actually sound pretty good – but they have a couple things to work out:

1) Turn the mikes down after the songs – or kill the sweaty heavy breathing drummer’s mike off so we don’t have to listen to him wheeze.
2) It is rock and roll but you don’t have to use your entire body to depress the keyboard keys.
3) You can NOT mosh to the theme from Alice, anyone trying to do so is mocking the band!
4) If you aren’t famous (and aren’t going to be famous) you don’t have to use aliases. Picking a stage name makes you MORE of a nerd.
5) Don’t cough into a live mike.
6) If you’re going to stick with the TV theme song genre you might want to go with something less arcane than the theme to F-troop. Hello!? Brady Bunch has universal appeal, Facts of Life, theme to MASH, or the Greatest American Hero are snappy and cool.

These guys should write their own songs and throw a tv theme song to keep up the connection to the name of the band. If they had performed at least one original tune even if it was an alternate version of a tv theme song like Friends -10 years later or Love Boat: the gay cruise I wouldn't be so snarky about their genre.

End of rant…I will link off to the band’s website – but it is not an implied endorsement

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

An excuse to sing badly

Happy Birthday to me! (cha cha cha)

My people are so nice and have been calling me all day. I've been getting super cute e-cards (that I've finally warmed up to now that I'm so busy I can't bother to buy groceries) and it's been a very nice day.

New driver's license photo -- not good. It's supposed to be one chin per person - I've got Shelley Duvall's chin (and mine.)

It's 4:55 and drinks at the W hotel are about to be served! Sangria!!!!!!

Happy Birthday as well to Gillian Anderson, Whitney Houston and Melanie Griffith. It's odd company - Scully, the "Crack is Wack" lady and the I've-had-more-plastic-surgery-than-Meg-Ryan-but-you-won't-notice-if-I-only-talk-baby-talk lady.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Found: One Pillow and Redemption

HA! I knew I didn't have the darned pillow, and now I'm saved from having to buy her one for x-mas.

E-mail from my mom dated Saturday, August 6th:

Yes I know now that you did not have my pillow.
Yes I know now that you never had my pillow.
Yes I know now that you know that I didn't look in my trunk for my pillow when I said I did. Please believe me when I say, I did not find a pair of your underwear in the guest room after you went home. I was just saying that to make you look in your laundry.
I did not find a pair of your underwear.
I know you have no reason to believe me about a pair of your underwear, [I'm sure you keep track of all your underwear at sleepovers] but it is true,

I'm sorry!


Don't get lost in all the underwear talk... the important thing about this message is that I did not swipe a pillow from my sweet retired parents. I take my pillows from hotels like regular people - duh!

Friday, August 05, 2005


"Two airplanes collided in mid air and one plunged into an elementary school in Kennydale this afternoon, more news at 11."

Holy cow, the world is ending in my neighborhood! Well according to the local news anyway.

The true story is sad but nowhere near as catastrophic as the KOMO investigative news team made it sound. Two Cessna touched in mid-air and the floatplane was able to land at the Renton Municipal Airport and the other plane immediately lost altitude and plunged nose first into an elementary school. However, here are the key facts missing from the local news headline:
  • No children were in the school (because it's 5:45 pm on a SUMMER night)
  • The school is in the process of being demolished.
  • The airplanes were Cessna's (each carrying two passengers.)
  • It looks as though the pilot made a controlled crash into the least dangerous place he could -- except for himself.

Truth be told, the pilot of the downed aircraft did an amazing job of not hitting any of the demolition work crew, or any of the multitude of homes in the area. I wouldn't classify this as a miracle but as either luck or quick thinking on the soon to be dead pilot. My heart does go out to the pilot and passenger's family - but they will never read this - so back to the point of my blog.


The KOMO AM Investigative News reporter on the scene (who is the morning disc jockey who happened to be getting his haircut in the neighborhood) ran over to the scene, jumped the protective yellow tape and started interrupting the emergency aid workers to 'get the story.'

Kent Phillips:"Do you know if the pilot is alive?

EAW: "no, I do not know the status of the pilot.

KP: "You've heard it here first on KOMO news 1000, we know nothing at this point."

Radio Announcer:" Kent, can you tell us what we know so far?"

KP: We know that an airplane has crashed into the kennydale middle school about 15 minutes ago, and there are aid workers, fire, police responding from all over the city of Renton. The state patrol is on scene."

RA: "Kent, can you tell us what the scene looks like?"

KP: "We'll it's a two story building, and the fire truck is red and there are people coming out of their homes."

Uh - HELLO!? The fire truck is RED!!! I think it may have been more important to scope the size of the airplane for the radio audience - was it a jet, passenger plane, or personal aircraft? Is the building on fire? Are they pulling people out of the building? It took KOMO AM 1000 over 10 minutes to finally explain the size of the aircraft and then with little else to go on they interviewed their own helicopter pilot - while he was flying over the crash site.

Radio Announcer: "Quick Commute Charlie, can you tell us what you see?"

QCC: "I see Dead People"

RA: "Seriously, can you tell us who's job it is to keep aircraft from colliding in mid air like this?"

QCC: "It is the pilot's job. (really, so we can't sue the city or anybody?) Each pilot has to keep an eye on everything in their path... Ah NUTS, I just hit King 5 Kenny... I'm going down, I'm going down.. Ahhhhhhhhh."

KP: "This is Kent Phillips on the scene of yet another catastrophic mid air collision that happened in the exact same spot at the first collision. This appears to be the most dangerous section of airspace in the entire world right now. The scene is chaotic, another fire truck has pulled onto scene, and it is a lovely candy cherry color - the fire personnel are dressed in heavy yellow suits, which must be hot - it's hot today, did anyone notice that? I'm so thankful I'm in shorts. Live from the scene, I'm Kent Phillips. More news at 11."

Uh, whatever!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

For Ransom: One Pillow

My mom thinks I took a pillow from her house and she won't let it go. She mailed me this message yesterday and I was laughing so hard I couldn't not share it:

After reading your blog about the lint trap on your dryer, I imagined that by now you have done your laundry from your trip to see Dad and me. And you found my pillow didn't you.You know you did. And now you are thinking it is your pillow, it has always been your pillow.But it is not it is mine mine mine. Count your pillows. I found a pair of your panties and I'm holding them hostage until I get my pillow back, MISSY
Love, Mom

Monday, August 01, 2005

The non-promotion promotion

My boss has an amazing ability to make my same job sound like a promotion. He sent out the attached email (edited and shortened) to the free world at MegaBank to announce department changes. I've been getting congratulation phone calls and e-mails all day. Hello people, neither my job nor the compensation has changed at all! I do have a nifty title for my resume but really -- that's it.

Here's the shortened memo:

I am pleased to announce a reorganization of the MegaBank Security Team, as we further refine our information security model. These changes will help us to assure that MegaBank will continue to respond effectively to rapidly changing risks to both Corporate and Customer Information.

TPgal has been named VP of Information Risk Policy and Strategy, reporting to me. TPgal will be assisting me in the definition of Information Risk Strategy as well as overseeing the Information Security Policy Program. TPgal will soon be hiring an individual to take primary responsibility for the Information Security Policy Exception Process and to assist with Strategy and Policy development.

Betty Rubble has been namedÂ….

Movie Review: White Noise

White Noise: Michael Keaton’s young wife dies and comes back to remind him to take out the trash. Instead of using standard ghost stuff like popping up in dreams or Whoopi Goldberg to get the message across she chooses to come through the fuzz in the TV. It was sufficiently scary and I did a lot of pacing into the kitchen and back.

We’ve seen this communication concept before in Sixth Sense only this time instead of a crappy tape recorder turned up into the red (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) zone, Michael has the funds to purchase lots and lots of equipment. He sets up a tricked out media room all watching the fuzz on different VCR tapes. I wonder what the ghosts will do when we all finally succumb to digital and the fuzz is gone?

I do have a couple problems with the movie – there is a strange relationship with Michael and his ex-wife. I think they were trying to show that everybody got along – but she seemed a bit distant when the beautiful young wife bit it.

Secondly, I think movies are scarier when they don’t show the monster. Shadows and movement are ok – but I don’t want to see some image made by 22 year old CGI whiz kid – it ruins it for me. This was the fundamental problem with the Mel Gibson, Juaquin Phoenix movie Signs. I was needing a new set of panties until the alien clipped into the room sounding eerily like my cat in between nail trims.

A key plot point to White Noise is that the dead are communicating that they are ok (or not) to you and you have to be able to understand the signals. So, to make things clear, my friends and I picked a phrase that will indicate that everything is A-O-K on the other side. However, I don’t want to see anybody pop up into my bathroom mirror. I hate that and don’t be writing on the mirror in the steam either. I have a very shy bladder and I don’t need you haunting my loo! Feel free to haunt my kitchen – I need incentive to stay away from the fridge!

All in all, I’d give the movie a 6 on the TP rating scale – 10 being Schindler’s List and the Pianist and 1 being Natural Born Killers and Dude where’s my car.

Finally I must confess that I almost got arrested in Blockbuster on Friday. My real estate agent gave me a couple free movie rental cards from BB and I’ve been hanging on to them for ages. I tried to use one to rent the movie noted above and the &^$* expired! I asked Punky Brewster behind the counter how could something that someone paid for expire? She couldn’t answer me so she called over the store manager (who was I swear to God seventeen and had an eye patch) and he squeaked his explanation that “these things happen.” I admit I raised my voice when I told Jr. Pirate Joe that this is the reason I’m happy with Netflix – because BB sucks! Thank goodness for the after hours drop off so I don’t have to face them again.

The nutty thing is that the ‘free movie’ was worth maybe $4 – and I just blew that and more on coffee and a donut at Starbucks. I wasn’t really out any money so why was I so upset? Still - for the record let me be perfectly clear on one thing: Blockbuster Sucks!