I would have ruled this world too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005


(ATTENTION!.....does anyone out there know how to say "BITE MY CHINESE ASS" in Spanish? There's a good reason why I need to know this....just don't ask me why. Its for an excellent cause, though.)

Here is a list of things I've got on my mind:

1. My neighbors - I don't know a whole lot about them personally but they seem to be nice ABLE-BODIED people. How come they have this nice surburban home with all the amenities but they don't ever go to work? And how can I get in on a situation like this?
2. My neighbor's dog - She's some kind of Alaskan-type dog. Every once in awhile she starts this howling that's hard to describe. Its almost other-worldly sounding. I didn't even realize it was a dog for awhile there....I thought some kind of wild animal had gotten loose. I thought dogs either barked or "AWOOOOOO!"
3. Spring break for the high school - all this week. The kids are being encouraged to go visit older brothers/sisters/friends who are in college and sit through a class or two with them. Isn't anyone else out there worried that this could have the opposite effect of what the school is hoping to accomplish? I think if I had had to sit through one of Prof. Noyes' lectures beforehand, I would have run for the hills. I wonder whatever happened to Prof. No Yes?
4. Abusive teacher? - A female teacher here in Durham got arrested for improper touching/whatever towards a 16 year old female student. Now there's a scenario you hardly ever hear about. Unlike Mary Kay Letourneau, I don't forsee a happy ending in this case. I'll never understand what these teachers, male or female, are thinking sometimes.
5. Alarming - I saw a certain man that I know rather well today....he is an older guy and nice as can be...and he's looking horrible. If he's sick, he either doesn't know or he's not talking. Have you ever been to a funeral home and seen an older person laying there in the coffin......you know how sometimes their hands and face have a waxy look to them....they don't quite look real? Well, that's what his hands and face look like. I've never seen anyone look like that while they were alive. I couldnt shake the horrible feeling that might be the last time I see/talk to him.
6. Asshole Extraordinaire - I had someone on an internet message board call me a "hick" because I am from NC and it totally pissed me off. I realize I'm a bit too sensitive about it....but I have been discriminated against about it so many times that it makes me crazy (which I am sure was this asshole's intention). People just assume Southern Accent = devoid of intelligence.

7. Total Asshole Extraordinaire - this same asshole (yes, we had it out big time) informed me that my blog makes me appear to be a "rocker chick" who is "desperately hanging on"....what I am desperately hanging on to wasn't specified. I love music....I'm totally unashamed....and I'm not making any apologies. We have rock musicians still performing who are in their 60's and heading for 70's, so I don't feel any need to pin my hair up and get busy with the knitting needles. Memo to Asshole: When I'm blind, deaf, incontinent, senile and confined to my bed....then you can rejoice because I'll finally be exactly what you want me to be.....BUT WAIT! You'll be a hell of a lot older too, then, won't you? Bald maybe? Impotent? Heh heh. Go munch on a big shotgun shell.
8. Indonesia - Memo to God....time to give these folks a tiny break, please?

That's all for now you guys!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Boy, I sure have been serious lately. No comedy, no pictures. I just haven't felt like uploading any pictures lately. And nothing seems funny. Well, I'm just going to roll with it for now. Maybe I'll say something deep and inspiring instead. Don't hold your breath, though.

Judy at http://justaskjudy.blogspot.com/ gave me the idea for this blog entry. Lil' Bud had just died and Judy had one of her dogs to pass away. I decided I was going to blog about my cats. All of them. From back in history. I started writing and I got extremely carried away. But one thing is for sure.....this is THE Definitive Cat Blog Entry....and I should never have to blog about my cats ever again. That is, unless they do something unbearably cute. Read on, read on....

I just love my cats. I have two cats, Kitten and Miss Kitty. Kitten is already going on 8 years old and Miss Kitty is at least 4 or 5. I’m not really sure how long cats live but I am trying to prepare myself for the fact that they may not always be around. I’m not even supposed to have cats anymore, I made a promise to myself a long time ago….NO MORE CATS. So how did I end up with these?

When I was growing up, we always had a cat or a dog…..I had a parakeet once….we had a few critters here and there and I remember having a white mouse named Bruce. The cats and dogs never stayed around too long…there was always that urge to roam and then they were just gone. I don’t remember ever seeing one of my beloved pets as a deceased being.

I had my own place by the time I was 19 and I had a soft spot for stray cats….and if there was a stray cat around they always found me. By the time I was in my early 20’s I had 3 cats and loved them dearly. Their names were Kitty Boy (God, I’m so creative), Noodles and Target (due to the perfectly formed bulls-eye target on each side of his body). Life was good.

But then in the space of a few days:
Me and Boyfriend broke up. I was really down about it.
Noodles got hit by a car. My mom’s significant other found him and took him away to bury him (but probably just dumped him somewhere) before I even knew it happened. SAD
Target got struck down with feline leukemia and got so sick within the space of a few days that I had to have him put to sleep.
Then Kitty Boy got extremely sick with the feline leukemia and I had to put him to sleep.

I swear all that happened in the space of like, a week. You know too how everything is when you’re in your early twenties….it was very traumatic and everything was so much drama. My inner violin played for days and I cried and cried…more for the kitties than the boyfriend, I think. And I felt so alone grieving for my cats…you know how it is when you have deal with a lot of non-animal lovers. Nobody understood my PAIN, dammit (I was emo before emo was cool). And I swore right there and then….no more boyfriends, no more animals. It was all too painful to take.

Well the boyfriend exile thing lasted about 6 months I guess. But I stuck to the animal thing. I owned NO PETS until I was married and had a child. And even then I didn’t want one….my husband came home with a stray one day and I said no, I didn’t want a cat. But he wore me down till I said “Fine, whatever, but I’m not having anything to do with it.” That lasted about a week. Kitty (another original name) wore me down being unceasingly cute until my cold heart melted.

I think poor Kitty might have been poisoned. She came home one day behaving very strangely but seemed to recover. A week later she disappeared. I let her out of the house and we never saw her again.

Since then there have been some other cats….I took in two cats a friend of mine had because she couldn’t have pets when she moved. One was unhappy and ran away the first chance she got. The other ran with her but obviously not very far….apparently he hid under the house until hunger MADE him love me. His name was Percy (my friend’s name for him, not mine). He was a sweetie but the awful day came when I accidentally ran over him. I buried him and went back in the house and didn’t come out for 3 days.

One stray cat I ended up having to take to be put to sleep because he was incredibly old. He was a sweet kitty too but he was so old he was incontinent, arthritic and his little teeth were starting to fall out. If I didn’t have to work, I would have continued to take care of him but I couldn’t be with him and it didn’t seem right to make him have to find yet another home and be in such pain in his old age like that.

And now its Kitten and Miss Kitty. Kitten we actually got from a pet store. Her nickname is “Pet Store Kitty”. Never go look at the kitties at the pet store when you don’t have one at home or you’ll end up taking one home. Miss Kitty was a stray, starving to death. Now she’s so fat people can’t believe it. She obviously has an eating disorder due to her starving days but that’s okay.

So what happens when they have gone to their reward? I don’t know. To be honest I really don’t want to get another one….but knowing my luck some homeless kitty will find me. I’d really kind of like to get a dog….I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid….but I have some serious doubts about this since I’m gone all day….I know dogs need a lot of attention but I see others that have dogs and are gone from them all day and are doing okay with it. And I need to make sure I can afford vet bills….I don’t really take the cats to the vet. I get them spayed or neutered and then they are on their own after that. There’s no budget for vet bills on Planet Brenda. I would want to be able to care for a dog just a little bit better than that.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


I had a comment from Old Horsetail Snake. He was a little confused as to who was going to be giving advice to the lovelorn. Actually, Mr. Snake, (can I call you Old Horsetail?} its DAWN http://webmiztris.diaryland.com/ who were were referring to as the advice columnist....but since you decided to write anyway...the least I can do is answer the question. Here we go:

My girlfriend wants to "do it" in the bathtub. And while we're doing it she wants to drop in a plugged-in curling iron. She says it will really charge us up, bucking and jumping around on each other. Is this a good idea? Leave your answer below, please, and soon, because she wants "it" on Easter.

Dear Easter Bronco:
I don't see anything wrong with it. However, you need to make sure the bathtub is well padded with a soft material. Certain bones like elbows, knees and skulls do not fare very well when slammed against porcelain at 60 mph. Also, you may want to consider a mouth guard as teeth slamming together at 60 mph usually don't last long either. Be careful and practice good common sense and I'm sure it will be an electrifying experience!

Love, Brenda

Friday, March 25, 2005


Poor Lil' Bud, possibly the Internet's most famous hamster, was laid to rest in Hamsterdam in an empty box of blank checks and a soft bedding of toilet paper. I was obnoxiously sad about the passing of this hamster. Sparkle reflected quietly for a moment upon hearing the news of his death, then announced that she would go get a new hamster. "Let me get over this one first!" I sobbed at her. Sometimes it just seems like the laws of the natural balance of universe do not apply in this particular household.

Greg over at Hasty Ruminations
http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com/ wrote a Lil' Bud obituary and included a picture of a hamster dancing with joy. So now I imagine Lil' Bud dancing in the fields of Hamsterdam, where all of the food is sunflower seeds instead of those pesky (but nutritious!) pellets and that he is thorougly enjoying his afterlife reward.

On to more death:

Remember how Scott Peterson killed his wife dead, dead, dead? He stood trial and was sentenced to death. Now, fast forward 35 years or so to when Scott will actually pay the price. How will Scott Peterson leave the earth? A nice swift injection....off into la-la land he goes.

Now, the Supreme Court has sensibly decided that poor Terri Schiavo has withered away in a hospital bed long enough and is going to allow her to die with some dignity. Does Terri Schiavo get a nice swift injection? Nope. She gets to lay there on that damned bed and die by slow painful degrees.

What else can you say to that? Granted, doctors say that Terri probably has no idea what's going on and doesn't realize she is dying....but still....how do they KNOW? Maybe its not slow and painful for her....but dammit, its slow and painful for all the rest of us....its atrocious and something has to be done.

Anyone who doesn't believe in the right to die has never stood at a loved one's bedside and watched it happening. My mother died of kidney failure amongst all the other myriad diseases that crop up with that particular disease. She was already gone as far as rationality.....she stopped making any sense about a week before she died. She bloated up pitifully from fluid retention....while the hospital personnel insisted on continuing to take her blood pressure every thirty minutes until her arm exploded. Yep, a big ol' rip right in the arm....no bleeding...only fluid came out. Her body and face began to turn black. She began to smell. She was decaying right there in front of our eyes but she wouldn't die. Everytime the hospital personnel moved her position she would scream. And nobody cared....all those hospital people cared about was keeping on their schedule. You don't want to know what its like to stand by your loved one's side and pray for them to die and all the guilt that comes with that. She finally drew one last tortured breath and then she just couldn't go any further.


Later I talked to someone who knows a lot of things and he said that I shouldn't have felt so helpless about it....death is a path we all walk eventually and we all walk it alone. Its much harder for those left behind to watch than it is for the person making the journey. Yeah...but.....if you know for sure someone is going to die....and they're already mostly there anyway....why do we still make people go through every last step? With all the drugs and stuff we have...why can't we send them peacefully on their journey? Is it really a wrong thing to do?

Well, this has stepped away from Terri Schiavo and more into the personal....but waiting for Terri to die is really preying on my nerves this week. Why do our serial killers get to leave this earth more peacefully than our hopelessly sick?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Lil Bud passed away today....laying in his favorite spot under the water bottle. He had plenty of food and water...I'm not sure what happened. I know this particular species doesn't live a real long time, but damn. Lil Bud was really special.



I suddenly remembered my taxes today, with a violent lurch and a hesitation of the heart. OH YEAH, TAXES! Then I remembered it wasn't April 15th yet so I'm good. I'm sure for most of you, tax season 2005 is already a distant memory and you're sitting around reaping the benefits of your return. Not me. Every year I end up using my tax return to pay my house taxes, which for some stupid reason I forgot to have included in my mortgage payment. So basically I use my taxes to pay my taxes....and its very depressing. This depression leads to procrastination. Last year, for the first time in my life, I actually did the deadline extension thing. I guess its a good thing they actually have a deadline, because I'd probably just let them pile up for a year or five.

Because I hate taxes with a passion. From the moment the W-2 shows up, my mind goes into shutdown mode. I will never do my own taxes...I'd much rather throw a little money at someone else and make them do it, preferably on the very last day possible. If I were truly smart about this, I bet I could find all sorts of loopholes and shortcuts and actually save a little money.....but I just don't care. Please just get it done and let me leave. Hopefully with enough coming back to cover the house taxes. I guess I could actually take a leap and get the house refinanced and get everything like it needs to be....but hell, what would I complain about if I did that????

I've been kind of bummed out. There's going to be some shuffling going on at work....my cubemate Elroy is moving away and Pizza Woman is moving in. Pizza Woman wants to order pizza every single day and she gets mad if everyone else won't go in on it with her. I got a feeling things won't be nearly as great with P.W. on the scene. I'm so totally going to miss Elroy....he's the ultimate cubemate....we stayed out of each other's business but we still confided in each other. We covered for each other when it was time to sneak out to the bank or just plain sneak. P.W. might cover for me if I promise to go in on pizza the next day. I just see darker days ahead....long, sad days filled with sausage and pepperoni......and I need time to adjust, I guess. Maybe I should tell her I ONLY eat pizza if it has anchovies on it, doctor's orders. Do anchovies have a lot of iron by any chance?

Its going to be one of those nights. Sleep well my pets! I certainly will.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


If life is a concert.....and going to see Queens of the Stone Age is a Survival of the Fittest.....Sparkle, Bitchard and I are Dead Meat. As good as dead, anyway.

We took off for Norfolk on Saturday, HOURS after what I'd planned to leave, so we didn't get there till late afternoon. We decided to go stay at Virginia Beach just because and the place was mobbed with people. It turns out there was some kind of huge marathon thing going on. We finally found a place there on the beach and you ladies out there will be interested to know Mr Front Desk rated a solid respectable 87 on the Brenda Hot Guy Scale. I tried to get a pic but you know how that goes.

We decide to go out to eat dinner so we chose a buffet place nearby. It was just a run of the mill restaurant, no big deal....the food was okay but not GREAT. I quickly found out you cannot purchase a glass of Sweet Tea in Virginia. The waiters wanted to bring me a glass of unsweetened tea and then I could add sugar. I didn't know how to explain to them that it just doesn't work that way, so I changed my order. Wow, I never realized I was on the utmost Northern edge of the Sweet Tea Phenomenon. Then the waiter brought the check and I almost fell out! It was expensive as all HOLY SHIT! I knew right then we weren't leaving that place without taking something along with us as a souvenier...so we did. Meet our new pet, Bob.

He's awfully sweet and very cute...he doesn't seem to enjoy doing anything but just laying around, though.

The next day was fun. Sparkle immediately spotted the twin bikes and wanted to go for a ride. Bitchard declared the bikes were gay and he wasn't going. There was much discussion and a bit of a lovers' spat but you know what ended up happening:

Look at that profile. You know its him. Its Bitchard and he always will be Bitchard, especially after I explained to him that changing his moniker would be devastating to his online fans. He didn't know he had any fans so he's happy now. p.s. You notice I'm not on the bike? Bwahahahaha!

Then we decided to go out walking and were stunned to discover our outside time was going to be censored:

That's right. Daaaaaamn, we were in a No Cussing zone! It was tough but we behaved.

But then I wanted to scream at this guy: "HEY, GET BACK HERE SO I CAN TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR BITCHIN' MULLET!" But it was No Cussing so I couldn't. This shot from behind does absolutely no justice to the Grade A quality mullet this guy was sporting. It wasn't just a haircut, it was a work of art.

But then we saw this:

and I became paranoid. The Viking is Everywhere. You Cannot Escape. Notice the evil fog rolling in off the ocean to the right. It was time to go back to safety of our room and get ready for the concert!

We got to the theater and it was a decent looking place. We had to stand outside for about 30 minutes or so but that was a lot of fun, we chatted up the locals and we met Quen, who gave us the low-down on all Norfolk concert procedures and helped us pass the time.

This is Quen, Queen of Norfolk.

She wasn't kidding about the pat-down and searching procedures, either. BOY! Was this a concert or entrance to Alcatraz? I was fully expecting them to de-louse us after the search. The Norva Theater should just invest in a metal detector. The patrons would feel a lot less violated that way.

Here's Vincent (middle) and his Minions. They were standing in front of us and they were willing to Talk Music for this blog entry with me. They were from Ohio and were taking a break from the college routine. They had seen Queens of the Stone Age during the Songs For the Deaf tour and they were happy to be seeing them again and on the front row. We discussed music in general and in particular the possible death of rock and roll. Vincent and the Minions do not depend on broadcast radio to hear new stuff, they're digging around on the internet and they're listening to what their friends are saying sounds good before they check out a band. Yeah they might download something "illegally"....but if its good they still buy it! These guys are not going to spend their hard-earned bucks on garbage and who can blame them?

The music business can moan and groan about people stealing music online but the bottom line is that people will still shell out the dough for top quality! The only difference is that now the Business can't wrap a CD of filler music around a couple of hits and expect to sell a million. Guys like the ones you see above are looking for quality in their artists and they're not going to put up with something rammed down their throats by MTV or VH1. The Business has been rushing out the "hits" for so long, failing to develop artists, going for the next big scene.....and now its stuck with a lot of so-called artists that a lot of kids really want nothing to do with. Corporate Business (a.k.a. Clear Channel) has failed to understand that there's an audience out there that doesn't want to hear the same 50 songs over and over on the radio. They had best wake up now and do something or they're going to lose this audience to the internet and satellite radio forever.

But anyway....enough bitching....er...griping . On to the show!

The opening band was Throw Rag, whom I had never heard of before. They came out and did what an opening band is supposed to do, get the audience PUMPED UP. They were fast, loud and wrong. And kind of ugly, but that's okay.

My usual photography skills are displayed above. *sigh* Guitar Boy over to the right has a huge hollow body Gretsch guitar. Actually it seemed like everyone was playing huge guitars last night.

Everything was going great until this guy shows up from the middle of nowhere and starts having a head-banging bonanza. Not that there is anything wrong with that but this guy was over the top. He would bang his head a few times and then snap it back and I could hear the wind "whooosh" as he flew half inches from my head. It was really pissing me off and I ended up giving him a good fist in the lower back. I guess I hurt his feelings because he left. Either that or he had to go chill from smoking all that crack. Sheesh.

Here is what the back of an Idiot's head looks like in case you were wondering. And yes, the ugly lead singer in the background IS shoving something down his pants. There was a whole lot of that going on.

After Throw Rag, the Queens roadies came out to set up and all of us were surprised to find out that Chris Cornell's second-cousin-that's-led-a-much-rougher-life is now a roadie:

So, here's the main thrust of the story......Queens of the Stone Age. They come out, everyone goes nuts and......CRUNCH. Everyone behind us took ten steps forward, even if there weren't ten steps to take. I managed to get some pictures....and only two came out, kind of sort of.

Here's Josh. I was getting killed when I took this, which is why its in tripped out-mode.

And I managed to snag a not even half-way decent pic of The Grand Poobah, Troy Van Leeuwen, whilst I worshipped at his feet.

The horrible truth is, I got killed in the melee. My right knee got trashed. Someone landed on my head. I was crushed senseless. I lasted two, maybe three songs and I knew I had to get out. And then I realized that wasn't going to happen, because there was no way out. Panic set in and the Minions helped me over the barrier (thanks guys). When I made it inside the barrier, I promply tripped and busted my ass right in front of the Grand Poobah, God and Everybody. I managed to make it safely away just in time to throw up in a handy trash can.

Good times, people, good times.......

I didn't have to wait long before I saw Sparkle come over the barrier. And only about 5 minutes later here comes Bitchard out of the crowd, looking like he'd seen battle in Fallulah. Once out of that mob I was fine....we got cold drinks and retired upstairs to watch the mayhem on one of the monitors. The show itself was great....though it was surprising that the Queens didn't put as much emphasis on the new stuff as I thought they would....and they played an awful lot of stuff from the first album, which was fine with me. They've played the older stuff so much now they are TIGHT...they don't make mistakes anymore. Joey Castillo in particular shows a lot of improvement since I saw them last. Then Mark Lanegan comes out to sing and the whole time I was wishing I could have somehow toughed it out down in front....but I just couldn't. Does anyone else remember the days when you went to a show and everyone CHILLED while they JAMMED? I've got a feeling that all the marijuana in the air back then was responsible. It mellowed everyone out, even if they weren't smoking it. They outlawed the marijuana and everyone just goes violently insane now. I hate it so bad, man, I love live music with all of my heart but I can see the day coming that I'm just not going to be able to do it anymore. Hmmmm....see it coming....hell, its already here! I've never been crushed so hard I threw up.


So I drove home today realizing that I may never breathe the same air as the Grand Poobah ever again. I did manage to snag this nifty promo sticker after the show to ease my pain though....

Saturday, March 19, 2005


The BURNING Question of the Day - Did Greg from http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com/ actually go to the Slipknot concert in Hampton Virginia? Just the thought makes me crack up.

Here's what they look like. I hope he went. Now that would be one review worth reading!

Have you been feeling smug lately about how well-read you are? Well, find out how well-read you REALLY are. This is sure to bring you down a notch or two. I started out real good but then things rapidly declined and I suddenly realized I'm overdue for a library trip. I got this list from Christina's blog, http://www.wherepigsfly.blogspot.com/ This is a list of the 110 most banned books. Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of. Ready, set, GO!

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal) by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Friday, March 18, 2005


So I sit down once again and attempt another post. Blogger has been such a bummer! Of course I know a lot of you out there are having problems, too....so I feel much better knowing I am not the only one. Everything takes forever to load and it just....it just sucks!

I was talking to someone today and telling them that I was feeling much better since I got that iron infusion. I mentioned that I had felt so drained of energy and that I had been worried it was depression. This person comments "Well I'm glad you found out what it was. I was wondering if you were going to "be depressed" forever!" Yes, at least there was something REALLY wrong with me and not that play-acting attention-getter, depression! Its hard to believe that in this day and time, when there is so much information available, that there are still people so ignorant about the facts of depression. I really wanted to launch into a lecture, but what's the use? Ignorance is ignorance and always will be.

Left to Right: Troy Van Leeuwen, Eric Estrada, SOME RANDOM, Nick

Me, Sparkle and a passel of kids are going to see Queens of the Stone Age in Norfolk this weekend. It should be a blast. Sparkle is trying to convince me that SOME RANDOM in the above photo is a sunburned Josh. There is no way in hell that is Josh. Its SOME RANDOM. And Eric Estrada's name isn't really Eric Estrada...I just thought it was funny because he looks just like him. His real name is Joey Castillo. Compare for yourself:

Totally NOT the same dude.
However, SOME RANDOM was able to snag 3 members of QOTSA for a photo, so he must have it going on.

Okay, this worries me a bit....

Here's Grand Poobah of Planet Brenda Troy Van Leeuwen in his natural habitat.

NO more pictures of them for now. Anyway, I hope to have some good ones of my own when I get back from the show to post.

Well, unless its just Blogger screwing up....and I have a feeling its not that.....Blogger has deleted the Viking King's blog again. I wonder what the hell is going on? Why is the Viking King such an enigma? And how come MY blog kept getting hits from government agencies when he left to go to China? That had me paranoid. I'm starting to think the Viking King is some kind of spy or something.

Dear Mr. Government Agency:
I met the Viking King when I found his blog when I was surfing. I was struck by the fact that he cursed more in his blog than I did in mine and told him so. He then surfed my blog and told me it was too long and boring. And we became blog friends, that's all! I swear, I don't know anything about any conspiracies and I know virtually nothing about the Viking King or his pot-smoking minions. I do know he's a kick ass artist, that's about it.
Thank you,
P.S. Feel free to come back and hang around on my blog anytime you want to, though.

Here is someone who wants to be a Viking King.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Blogger has been making me so cranky! I wish when they are having problems they could post something to the Dashboard section so we'd at least know it was going on and that it wasn't a problem on our end.

Ryan at http://www.monkeytraumacenter.blogspot.com/ asked me the other day about Sparkle's name, which was a timely question since Sparkle's real name was revealed yesterday. You still don't know her last name though....ha! It's NOT Love, either.

I have always tried to give anyone I blog about (who doesn't have a public blog) an alias. I've been pretty good about doing it but I have slipped up a couple of times. I don't mind putting my own self out there but I feel like everyone else should make that own choice for themselves. If someone knows I am going to write something about them in my blog, I usually ask them if they want to make up their own alias. If someone doesn't know I'm writing about them, I just make something up that's close to their real name.

Surely you guys have already figured out that "Conglomo" is an alias for my work place, right?

My girl's alias is "Sparkle" because she's so pretty she sparkles! Her cousin "Glitter" is ditto.
I've had one problem because Bitchard now hates his alias. Apparently everything was okay until a certain person named "CHODE"......translation: small penis.......has been running the "Bitchard" thing into the ground in real life. At first I was going to change Bitchard's alias....but its just way too cool. Instead I think I am just going to let CHODE know he needs to chill. If he doesn't chill I'm going to change "Bitchard" to something else, which would be a shame. The "Bitchard" alias has enjoyed popularity on my blog and Bitchard has fans. Don't make me have to change it or I'm going to be pissed off.

So that's it for today but one last thing......I've noticed a substantial increase in hits on my site the past couple of days....what's going on with that? WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE????

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I am sitting here writing in Microsoft Word until Blogger decides that it can work again. I saw that some people were able to update today but I definitely wasn’t one of them. Its very frustrating. So I just figured Id do my typing and whenever it comes back up I will post this.
ADDENDUM: When I first posted this entry....all of my punctuation was causing really strange thing to happen with how my blog looked. All punctuation is now gone because I just cant deal with it right now.

Well, well, well, look what I found on my camera:

Lou and Ace (Louace?) acting normal. These guys and Bitchard on bass are band rehearsing for an actual gig at the at the South Granville Senior Prom this year.....be there or be square!

I havent blogged a bit about Duke this season. Congrats to the team for winning the ACC Tournament! Now its on to March Madness. We Duke followers are plenty spoiled....we win so much and we always go to the NCAA tournament and do well, that is if we don't win the thing. It could happen. Im a little concerned about Coach K though and have been for awhile. A few years ago he had some mysterious illnessand was gone for awhile and Duke played shittily while he was away. He had a fainting spell this year during a regular season game. Sometimes you can just look at his face and tell he doesnt feel well.

I love living in this basketball-crazy place. Its a lot of fun talking junk with everyone about the games. People here actually have obituaries in the newspaper saying "He was a True Blue Duke Fan". I think I mentioned awhile back that I attended a funeral where the guy was laid to rest in a Carolina Blue coffin and had a huge UNC-themed casket spray. Ive even seen a couple of friendships go through changes when too much junk talking occurred between the parties. Coach K is a mega-celebrity in this town. Roy Williams rules Chapel Hill....and the retired Dean Smith is just one ladder rung below Jesus himself.

My friend Elroy is getting married! He got engaged last week….Congratulations! If you listen to the wind carefully you can hear the distinct sound of the native female North Carolinian heart breaking…..and Im not kidding. Out of the hundred thousand women who have deep feelings for him, he was able to choose the best one for him. This means I have a good excuse to start a cross stitching project! Maybe this one:

And speaking of projects, Sparkle’s birthday banner is coming along nicely. Maybe TOO nicely. Heres what Ive painted so far:

Heh heh, I guess Sparkle’s real name isnt such a secret anymore. As you can see, the banner features a reproduction of real gothic script and a heartagram. The only other things I really need to do are paint good ol’ Ville Valo (her hero) on there and color in the background (the official pink/purplish color of H.I.M). But….Im having second thoughts. The whole thing was supposed to reflect the H.I.M. goth thing….this thing looks positively evil to me! I can just imagine some of the parents reaction if they see it...all they will see is WELCOME TO THE CHURCH OF SATAN or something. What do you think? It wont actually be IN the school…it will hang out on the ballfield fence well away from the school. All opinions accepted.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Sparkle: I'm leaving now, Mom.
Me: Okay. Please please come home early, I want to go shopping. I need some stuff, you need some stuff, so come on home, okay? The mall opens at 12:00. So be here, okay?
Sparkle: Okay.

Do you think she came home on time? Do you think she even called (up till a little while ago)? I waited and waited and I fell asleep on the couch waiting. Now the stores close in a hour. She called a little while ago.

Sparkle: Mom, I'm coming home now so we can go shopping.
Me: No, don't even bother. The stores will be closed before you can get home and we can get there.
Sparkle: Well who says we have to shop at the mall?
Me: Honey, where else are you going to shop on Sunday that doesn't close at 6:00?

Sparkle: *silence*
Me: Right!

Then an argument ensued. I don't care. When MY mom was going to buy stuff for me, I was prompt-o there on time. I don't understand it! Its not like I've bought so much crap for her that she doesn't care.....she NEEDS stuff. So why? Well, I'm not buying her anything and I'm going to tell her when she gets home. She can get some stuff when she's learned a few manners and can pick up the phone and call somebody.

So my day was practically a total waste. How was yours?

And by the way, you really need to check out Alli's new blog at http://63days.blogspot.com/ You will need to start at the beginning but its only 3 posts in so go ahead and get started. Alli's got a story to tell and she's finally going to tell it. This is one of those blogs that might get published in the future.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


In response to someone from the email.....Yes! Ever since the iron infusion my urine HAS been a happy-go-lucky sunny yellow instead of a dull, drab color! Thanks for asking!

They finally caught the dude that shot the Atlanta judge. Is this the new fad or something? How dare those judges come down on criminal activity! Its so unfair. *rolls eyes* Let's hope this is one fad that gets squashed before it catches on.

Over at Christina's blog http://www.wherepigsfly.blogspot.com/ , she has been dealing with some kind of racism issue that she can't give specifics on but whatever happened has her very upset. It got me to thinking about racism and the incidents I've come across in the years of my life. There's two in particular I'd like to share with you.

My dad always got up early, like 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning. I don't know what his problem was, but he'd always get up early like that to go get a newspaper or whatever it was he did. Well, one weekend morning when I was about 14 he comes in and drags me out of bed like at 6:00 in the morning (on a WEEKEND!) and I'm like, "oh my God, why, WHY?" We had to go somewhere and buy cans of black spray paint because during the night someone had come into our neighborhood and painted "GO HOME [N-Word]!" really big on the road in front of our new neighbor's home, who just happened to be black in our all-white neighborhood. I'm like "Dad, I didn't do it, why do I have to get up early and clean it up?" but he wasn't hearing any of it. We got out there in the road and spray painted over every bit of it with black paint. Then we had to go up to the people's door, explain what had happened (because THEY weren't even up yet) and that not everyone in the neighborhood felt that way. Well, I was rolling my eyes and mad as hell and totally NOT CARING, but looking back on it I swell up with pride that my Dad was so good inside and that he made me be good inside until I could care enough to be good inside on my own.

The next story I'm not nearly so proud of. I was a grown gal when this happened, which makes it even worse. Up the street from here (different neighborhood) one of our neighbor's house caught on fire, who just happened to be black in our nearly all-white neighborhood. We don't see too many fires in these here parts, so Sparkle and I and everyone else for a mile around went up there to rubberneck. It was really burning and our poor neighbors were all to pieces. They'd been cooking and something got out of control and POOF! But the good news was that everyone was out safe and they had insurance and stuff. Everything was going to be okay. The fire department got things under control and Sparkle and I (she was just a little thing then) decided to head back home.

We're walking back and a sweet little old lady, like 85 years old, like my GRANDMOTHER'S AGE, pulls over and gently asks me what happened. I told her the tale and that everything was okay. She looks over at the house for a second and then says, really sweetly, "well I guess it don't matter much anyway, don't nothing but a bunch of [n-word]s live over there no how."

People, you could have knocked me over with a feather! I think I went into shock....I absolutely could not believe those nasty-ass words came out of that sweet little old lady's mouth. The first thing I did was look to make sure Sparkle wasn't listening and she wasn't. I looked back at her and she was just smiling at me. I'm sure I probably had the damnedest look on my face. I remember feeling outraged and like I was going to cry all at the same time. And God help me, I didn't know what to say to the woman. I was like "Okay, gotta go now, buh-bye!"

And its torn at my soul ever since. I should have called that old woman out, somehow I should have found a way. It shouldn't have mattered how old she was....I should have let her know her manners and her point of view were unforgivable. How dare she assume she could say something like that me, just because I'm white? But then another part of me says....I was probably right to just let it go....the woman was old as hell (and surely dead by now), that's the way she grew up thinking and no dressing down from me was going to change it. I STILL don't know what would have been the right way to handle the situation and it will probably gnaw at me till the day I'm dead and gone.

So there you go. Not nearly as dramatic as I am sure others have faced, but still Racism in its purest forms. If you have a racist story, tell it on your blog and be sure to let me know.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


You knew I wouldn't stay away long. I just had to de-internet myself for a little while, I felt bad and I was PMSing and the entire internet was pissing me off so I just left for awhile. This usually happens to me once or twice a year. I took my break and then it wasn't long before I was wondering what everybody was doing. I took a peek at my pet blogs last night just in time to discover that I couldn't comment on anyone's blog with Blogger comments and as soon as I made my first tentative post, it was lost in the Blogger Black Hole, so its great to be back!!!

I got my IV infusion of iron on Wednesday. I was a little nervous when I realized I was getting two bags of a liquid that looked just like sweet tea from Denny's but all was well. They had all the IV infusiants lined up in a little room with a big comfy chair, our IVs and CNN Headline News. The best part was the guy next to me. His doctor was trying him on a new medication for his migraines. Non-narcotic medication. The doctor was quite hopeful that this new medication would cure the man's headache pain and get him off the Percosets. Just one look at this guy and I knew I was in for an Oscar performance of a lifetime and he didn't disappoint. About midway through his infusion he complained of becoming violently nauseated and clutched his little barf pan pitifully, though of course he never actually blew any chunks. He moaned and thrashed about with great gnashing of teeth until the doctor ordered the new medication be ceased and he got an infusion of something else that promptly settled his ass down. His doctor came back later and said "Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll be able to take you off the Percoset at this time" and it was all I could do to keep from rolling my eyes. The man says "Okay" all disappointed and spaced out sounding...but when Doc returned with his prescription I noticed Homeboy perked right up, grabbed his script and was checking out how much he had with how many refills. Its a hard job but somebody's gotta do it. Getting those pills out on the streets where they belong, I mean.

As for myself, I'm feeling pretty OK. I'm not Superwoman like I had hoped to be but I'm not drop-dead tired anymore either. I even walked today so hopefully I will be getting back to normal soon. Ever since Wednesday though...I have had the most vivid dreams. I've hung out with everyone from Johnny Depp to Tom Brokaw and had a damned good time of it. Tom Brokaw helped me with painting a mural on the wall of my apartment....except I don't have an apartment, but whatever! I went to a college reunion pool party....and everyone there was very familiar but I didn't know any of them. They knew me, though. Meg White from the White Stripes got very mad with me about something last night and totally kicked my ass. Then she unleashed a very potent locust plague on the entire city. After that there was a full-length documentary of all the very bad things Courtney Love has done. I'm telling you, my brain is in overdrive!

And last of all....And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead is coming here for a concert. Well I already knew I was going to go but guess what? Ticket prices are $10.00. That's T-E-N dollars. Which leads me to believe that they should change their name to And You Will Know Us By Our Incredibly Reasonable Concert Ticket Prices.

Friday, March 11, 2005


Dear Brenda:
Just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed hanging out with you in your dream last night. It was insane! My favorite part was when I fell down the steps. I just wanted you to know that I had a blast and hopefully I'll be able to come back and visit you in your dreams again soon.
Party On and Love Forever,
Johnny Depp

p.s. Oh yeah it was fun seeing JOSH again too.

It was kind of weird to find out that you didn't actually KNOW any of the people in your dream last night. Maybe you accidentally hi-jacked someone else's dream waves? Oh well, LOL,
Johnny Depp

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Hi youse guys. I am closing the blog until further notice. Try back this weekend. And remember,
It's better to be gone but not forgotten than it is
to be forgotten and not gone......or something like that.

Friday, March 04, 2005


No pictures today, just words.

I am really happy and I want to share it with you. Let me back up just a little bit to the beginning. I try not to blog too much about my health because I don't want to sound like some little old crone bitching about her aches and pains. So a lot of what I am about to share with you will probably come as a surprise to a few of you because there is a lot I've never told you. But I have mentioned in this blog before off and on that I do suffer a lot fatigue, a lot of colds (this year especially), some depression and just feeling generally run down a lot. I get frustrated with my energy level and its interfered with the amount of exercise I want to do, being the weight I want to be, achieving the things I want to achieve, etc. etc.

Over these past few weeks the situation has progressively gotten worse. It seems like all I really want to do is sleep, my time with Sparkle has not been as quality, my concentration has been bad, I feel like my work quality has suffered, my blog is sucking, the house is a freaking mess and I've been in a mental funk. The number one priority has been dealing with and functioning at a decent level at work because I've GOT to have a job above all else. I've tried everything I could think of to get myself perked up, even tried some desperate measures which I knew were stupid. Finally I went back to the doctor, put my foot down and he referred me to a neurologist over at UNC. I went for the appointment last week and the doctor they assigned me is a really nice lady. I told her what had been happening with me and that everyday has been a very difficult struggle for me. I told her that if there is truly nothing wrong with me, if its just depression or whatever, that I may as well just go ahead and kill myself because this is going to eventually wear me down enough that that would be the final outcome anyhow. That probably wasn't the smartest thing to say to a doctor, them's INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT FOR OBSERVATION words right there Jim Bob, but its honestly how I felt and she was very understanding.

She recommended a sleep study to see if my brain is attaining all four levels of sleep. Apparently you can sleep your life away but if your brain isn't getting all your levels you will still have fatigue. She sent me to have a ton of blood samples and reassured me that she's not the kind of doctor who gives up easily, that she will try everything in her power to find a way to help me feel better.

This morning I opened the mailbox and there was a letter from her. She states that a person should have an iron level reading of at least 50 percent to achieve adequate rest. My iron level reading is 14. I am unbelievably anemic. She sent a prescription for some strong iron pills and I have to go into the hospital this coming Wednesday (the absolute earliest time they could get me in there) on an outpatient basis to have an iron IV drip for about 3 hours or so.

I feel relieved. I feel validated. I'm not just some fat ugly slovenly bitch who is good for nothing because she's so lazy. I'm not some psychotic depressed person who is too unmotivated to deal with the real world. There is a concrete problem and there is something that can be done about it! Wednesday cannot get here soon enough for me. The thought of waking up in the morning and actually wanting to get up and go, the thought of getting caught up with everything and not feeling like I'm going to pass out from doing it, the thought of getting regular exercise again and working on my self image....I'm totally stoked. Managing my life just like real people do! I am expecting drastic results from this IV therapy. With an iron reading that low...there's nowhere to go but up!

I realize, of course, that I should have concern for the REASON why my iron level is so low....I can't imagine why it would be that low because I eat meat and dark green vegetables and I take a multivitamin. There's definitely something going on there but at this point I DON'T CARE. Just let me get some balance back in my life and I will deal with the rest later.

Thanks for reading all of this. If any of you have experienced something like this or heard about somebody with something like this, by all means please share because I am very interested to find out all I can about this.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


The Hamster Beauty Contest is officially cancelled. I had so many great plans. I had all these cute little outfits to put on them and even a guitar. Guess what? Hamsters don't play that crap. Happy is totally skittish tonight and he's usually the more laid-back one. They would not keep still, refused to have anything put over their heads and once they'd had enough of it all, started crapping all over me. End of show right there.

We actually got a decent picture of Mr. Chubbs for once.

This is Happy, pre-poop, and that's the best we could do. He doesn't care if he got dissed the other day, he'd rather dance to his own drummer anyway, I guess. The Poop Drummer.

I do hereby promise not to abuse any more hamsters by trying to dress them cutely.

To Judy: Re: 10 things you've done: Judy, your list is great. I'll start thinking about mine. I don't think I've actually DONE 10 things and definitely not like the things you've done. I think I should do some more living.

To Ace: Re: BLOG: I can't put you in my blog when I don't have pictures! What happened to all the pictures?

To Jacqueesh: Re: Fish Question: I WILL ASK THE FISH QUESTION, PROMISE!!

To EVERYONE: The new Mars Volta scores about an 85. Its not BAD....its just either its not quite as good or I have some more maturing to do musically. Or something.

Anyways, gotta run. We're having a homework crisis and the computer is needed. Later!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Tonight Sparkle, Bitchard and I did the Drive-by Concert experience and went to see Autolux. Can you believe that after all the talking I've done about them that I was having a Tuesday night moment and didn't want to go? The kids got me in a better mood so we finally went. And it was worth it because they were good. I was pissed because I forgot the camera but I did get this nifty flier:

I didn't even have to steal it this time.....the guy actually said it okay to just take it. I think the kids enjoyed themselves but they bitched about all of Greg Edwards' feedback. I mean, that's just what he does. This would be like bitching because Hendrix used feedback, or bitching because Townshend does windmills. Its just WHAT THEY DO. Kids today just don't understand anything.

Just look at Sparkle trying to be so sweet and innocent looking and she's NOT. You won't believe what she did the other day. She told me that HER hamster was cuter than MY hamster, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HAMSTER!!!! I tried to get his little ears covered before he heard such hurtful words but wasn't successful. So this means WAR. Please tune in tomorrow....for the very first annual Planet Brenda Hamster Beauty Contest. See two hamsters compete for the title of.....ummmm.....Prime Minister Hamster. And you get a chance to vote!!!!!


Who will win the title of most beautiful and desirable hamster? Tune in to find out!
Keanu Reeves said he would be casting his vote!

(people voting for Keanu as most desirable will be disqualified)