This is a wha?

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When I was a child, my mother started a very cool tradition. Every year, my brother and I along with my parents would select new Christmas tree ornaments. One for each of us. It could be something that represented you, a piece of pop-culture that you liked or something pretty.

Being the wicked cool mom that I am, I’ve decided to pass that tradition on to my children. This year as we perused the aisles of Target, an ornament caught my eye.

I liked it because it was kinda cute. Who wouldn’t love a portly, pink pig with cow spots, carrying a heart? To top it off, it’s wearing a crown and glittery angel wings.

Wait, wha?

It’s a loving, fairy princess cow pig. That’s totally friggen awesome.

To get the deeper meaning though, I initially took it as a referral to the mantra “When pigs fly.” That makes the whole thing even funnier because if you’ll notice at the top, it says “Sentimental Memories Collection”. So I guess my question is, for whom would you buy this and why? I bought it cause it’s a mystery, kinda like me.

But ultimately, if you’re buying it for someone else, what exactly are you telling them? Cue imaginary conversation in my head:

Me: I thought of you when I bought this ornament.

You: *Looks quizzically at ornament.*

Me: Yeah, it’s a loving fairy princess cow pig.

You: Are you saying I remind you of a loving fairy princess cow pig?

Me: Um, no. I wasn’t implying…um, okay, how about thinking of it as a statement? “Pigs have finally flown!”

You: Just what are you saying? How could you be that cruel? I said I was eventually going to stop having dream sex with Mike Rowe!

Me: Nevermind. *smash smash smash* Ow, my eye!

Conversations aside, the loving fairy cow pig is going on my damn tree.

My Time Traveling CR-V

In the middle of the quiet night, when I am asleep, my car travels through time.

Don’t look at me like that.

It is the only reason why the clock in the dash has been slowly gaining time.

Let me explain.

I was one of those people who set their clocks far ahead in a feeble attempt to make myself feel better.

I’d rush out of the house, look at the clock in the car, freak out a little that I was going to be late, only to have the delicate kernel of memory engage and remind me that I had set the clock fast, so that I would be happy that I wasn’t tardy.

What?

In an effort to curb the insanity and to practice my, “holy hell, get out of the house and¬†get to where you’re going”¬†management skills, I reset the clock in my CR-V to the correct time. This was about two months ago. It was working well. I was getting to be a master. That’s until today. I looked from the digital clock on the dash to the XM radio that hovers slightly above it, and instantly noticed the disparity.

My clock had gained 10 minutes! In the course of two months, this car had done the impossible. It had found a way to cross the rift between time and space. And as I drove today, I realized that with the shift my car completed over multiple jaunts through different dimensions, that I too had interesting foresight. Behind the wheel, those ten minutes belonged to me. I could see that far into the future.

I know, this doesn’t seem like a whole lot of minutes, but it’s enough to win a football game, get out of the way of a speeding bus, catch a train, save someone from drowning, remember the crucial ingredient at the super market which will make or break a culinary masterpiece, grant insight to curb the words from your mouth in order not to have to say you’re sorry later, anticipate an important phone call… see this list goes on and on.

So thank you, my truly awesome time travelling car which grants me powers to see the future. I will not be resetting the time again. I will let you gain minutes and perhaps one day, I’ll be able to see farther than I had ever imagined.

Yes, I know this post will make me look like I’ve finally lost the last screw holding in my brain.

I’ve seen it.

 

**Incidentally,¬†there is¬†some truth to this story.¬†While I may not have the time travelling or future seer powers, my car does continue to gain time. It’s very odd.

Conversations with a Big Mac

Big Mac: I thought you were doing Weight Watchers?

Me: Yep.

Big Mac: Don’t you know I’m like a hundred gazillion points?

Me: Yep.

Big Mac: So spill it, why are you indulging in the horror that is me?

Me: Bad day.

Big Mac: Ah, emotional eater. Babe, you’re not my first.

Me: Really? Are you trying to make me feel worse? Cause, congratulations, you’re succeeding.

Big Mac: Not a tough love kinda woman are you?

Me: Some days it works.

Big Mac: Think of the  potential slamming body you could have if you just made one good choice after another?

Me: Who said you could talk? Suddenly, McDonald’s food gives lip with every value meal.

Big Mac: Just think, the obesity epidemic could be over if we talked Americans out of eating crap like us.

Me: Good point. I’m still hungry.

Big Mac: Fine. Indulge. Give in. I’m sure I’ll make a great accessory in the next tagged photo on facebook.

Me: You read my blog?

Big Mac: Yeah, we think you should bitch more.

Me: ….

Big Mac: Seriously, you’re totally funny.

Me: Now you are just mocking me. When did food get internet access?

Big Mac: Wifi, baby. Micky D’s installs it in every burger so it can track consumer trends.

Me: Eww.

Big Mac: What, it’s capitalism at it’s best. Rise of the corporation! Eat, eat, eat, buy , buy, buy!

Me: *sighs and puts head on table*

Big Mac: Oh. ¬†I can see why you’re depressed. If it feels better, go ahead and eat me. Don’t worry about the tracking device, I’ve removed it’s functionality.

The Big Mac and I have been staring uncomfortably at each other for awhile now. Don’t know what’s going to happen. Stay tuned.

Don’t Tag Me, Bro!

Dear Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Co-workers,

I know you’ve been playing around on Facebook lately. I can see how many farm animals you’ve slaughtered on Farm Town and how many goblins you’ve slayed in D&D. I am truly intrigued by what car or war hero or female goddess or insane murderer matches your personality. I love wishing you a Happy Birthday and I most certainly love poking you back. ¬†It helps me get to know you, really, it does.

I do have one request though — please don’t tag me in photos.

Outlining my fat ass with a drawing tool and typing in my name to ‘tag’ me in a photo that you’re probably lucky to still be alive after taking, is really not the wisest choice. Especially in photos where you can’t really see my face, but an outline of what looks to be human, but is really indeterminable. Or I especially love the photos where I’m eating some sort of food, probably the one meal I’ve allowed myself for the day, which to the untrained eye, looks like I’m a hungry pig at a trough. Yah, avoiding that would be greeeaaat. At the very least, just use excellent judgement. If my bra is showing, or I’ve got something in my teeth…probably not the best idea to post the picture, let alone identify the jackass sporting the spinach on the pearly whites.

I love all of you. I truly do. (Well, except that ONE person who I friended out of pure and insane guilt.) Show me you love me by not broadcasting my double chin, wide arms and big booty all over the social networking site.

Think of the children you’re scaring. Think of the old high school friends I will never be able to get revenge upon, er, umm…I got nothing else.

Thanks so much for all your help in advance.

Sincerely,

Kate “I’ll eat your soul if you tag me in another photo” Baker

In Loving Memory…

This morning, the house is bustling with the sound of movement. It’s usually around the holidays when the nicer clothes are laid out as we run about, getting ready for a special day. Today, however it’s different.

Today, we bury my grandfather. If you ask me what I remember, I’d probably recall something like this:

I can remember walking through his massive garden of zinnias and watching tons of butterflies. People would stop and take pictures of his front yard, and ask if they could buy a bunch or two.

I remember calling him the night the Red Sox won the World Series. Such a fan, he couldn’t take it — he had gone to bed early, thinking they would blow this like they had every other chance.

I  remember picking peas from his immense vegetable gardens, collecting them in the fold in my shirt, and breaking them with him to prepare for dinner.

I remember that he showed me the proper way to eat a tomato, straight out of the garden with a little bottle of salt.

I remember him as the last person every Christmas, to open his gifts. He’d gently shake each package, and try to guess. I was mystified when he’d get them right.

I remember a lot.


He was stubborn, caring, proud, and humble all at the same time and he loved his family. He served this country in World War II, and knew the value of a hard day of work. Together with his wife, they raised six beautiful children. It’s no surprise that my Aunts and Uncles are incredible people because of their guidance.

While today is a solemn and sad day by all accounts, I am happy I had time with him. Knowing him, made me a better person and for that, I am grateful.

He will be missed.

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Zdislaw J. Zielonka


1923 – – 2009


Zdislaw ‚ÄúJerry‚ÄĚ John Zielonka, 86, of Chicopee, passed away on Thursday, August 13, 2009 in Wilbraham. Born in Poznan, Poland and a resident of Chicopee for most of his life, he was the son of the late Frank and Stella (Konarski) Zielonka.

Jerry was a retired employee of Combustion engineering. He possessed a vast background in X-Ray analytical testing and retired in 1985. Jerry also had a career in aircraft maintenance beginning with his Navy service in World War II as an aircraft mechanic. He continued that career path with the U. S. Government at Westover AFB and then at Kaman Aircraft Corp in Bloomfield, CT working as an experimental helicopter mechanic.

Jerry was a Navy veteran of World War II. An Aircraft Machinist Mate Second Class he served at NAS Whidbey Island, WA and was attached to several Air Transport Squadrons. Jerry was a communicant of St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee.

He was a man who loved life. An avid gardener, flowers were his passion, especially zinnias. He enjoyed music, particularly classical and loved to polka dance. The Red Sox and Patriots were his favorite teams and a good day was well spent with a good cigar and a fine glass of wine. Jerry was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Madeline (Stadnicki) Zielonka in 1985 and by his siblings, Stanley Zielonka, Wanda Sayko, Frances Patterson and Kazmiera ‚ÄúKazie‚ÄĚ Gurka.

Jerry is survived by his children, Ellen Wittmer of Brooklyn, CT, Janice Zielonka of Seattle, WA, Carol Mann of Storrs, CT, Karen Beauchemin of Belchertown, Mark Zielonka of Prospect, CT, Lauren Howell of Chicopee; (8) grandchildren, Kathryn Baker of Enfield, CT, Evan Wittmer of Berlin, CT, Matthew Morrisson , Heather Morrisson and Samuel Morrisson all of Kent, WA, Sara Morrisson of Brooklyn, NY, Jessica Zielonka and Rebecca Zielonka both of Prospect, CT and (5) great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be on Monday, August 17, 2009 from the Lawrence A. Maziarz Mortuary 456 Front St., Chicopee at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Liturgy of Christian Burial in St. Stanislaus Basilica at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Chicopee. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2009 from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions in Jerry’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701. For Guest Book: maziarzmortuary.com

Your Motivation For Today

The video is pretty pointless. Common prescription for most dance videos. Sexy women getting undressed and hopping in some sort of fluid.

Oh, don’t look at me like that. Just listen.

When I first heard “Deep at Night”, I immediately thought of the montage in the movie Real Genius. It’s almost what the underlying synth would sound like in “I’m Falling” if updated. The Comsat Angels rock out with the song below.

“Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?”

“A Glorious Triumvirate of Literary Nihilism”

Not my words, those came from the brilliant Peter Watts.

I woke up early on Saturday morning feeling absolutely fantastic. The birds were singing. The sky was blue. People waved hello as I crossed the busy streets of Montreal on what could most certainly have been a perfect day.

Fuck that. Who needs flawless and harmonious peace and love when you can have Peter Watts, John Scalzi and Jon Courtenay Grimwood? Mind raping, raucous, existential fun that reading was, oh yes. Deadly whips and chains and insolent Gods. Beheaded introspection (is that possible?) never sounded so, dark and scintillating.

So long perfect day. Now where did I put those razor blades? ūüėČ

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On Being a Science Fiction Fan

I’m beginning to slowly realize that the title of this post is not necessarily the same as being a fan of science fiction. If recent comments in the blog-o-sphere are any indication, the two are vastly different. Take the recent hullabaloo with Adam Roberts’ assessment of this year’s Hugo nominations. There seems to be both agreement with his ideas and a growing dissent.

A current Hugo nominee, John Scalzi, has offered his thoughts on the issue as well. Instead of reacting in defense of his novel, he sides with the group that Roberts attacks in the first sentence of his perceived elitist manifesto; the Science Fiction Fandom.

Ultimately, I’d have to say that I agree with Scalzi. It’s perfectly okay to dislike something. However, ¬†I take issue with Roberts trying to convince the world that everyone else must be wrong and that as a group, fandom is grossly stunted in their ability to appreciate fine science fiction and fantasy literature.

Roberts’ argument is moot atleast to me, only because I am of the mind to judge a book by multiple facets. Did it move me? Did it make me laugh? Did it make me cry? Did I want more? For most of the novels up for consideration this year, I’d say yes to most of those questions.

No one ever wins this argument, and I would go as far to say that it is a rather meaningless quibble to be had. Instead, the science fiction community should be discussing ways to better incorporate all forms of appreciation into fandom. ¬†This year’s Hugo nominees more than help with this agenda.

Sure, I guess you could look at the current list of best novels as mediocre if they don’t fit a narrow category . OR you can start recognizing that authors like Doctorow, Scalzi, Gaiman, and Stross are helping to build the fan base from the roots much like Heinlein, Clarke, Harrison, Norton, L’Engle and others did when SF/F became it’s own niche. Those authors, much like the ones on the current ballot offered memorable stories to the demographic every genre should be after; children.

The definition of ‘literary’ is changing to mean something much more encompassing. It’s up to you to either embrace the fuller meaning or rant when your personal ideals are not met.

I ask you, both fans of science fiction and science fiction fandom,  is it a reflection of the current state when a publishing panel at ReaderCon this year suggested that the difference between an event like DragonCon and Worldcon is that the latter has more men in wheelchairs?

Old habits die hard. People cling to the familiar. It’s never been just about what may or may not have literary merit when it comes to storytelling. I don’t think it’s a matter of survival at this point, but in order for the genre to grow, we must embrace all aspects of the writing. Literary, entertaining, amusing, excellent story telling. Some have all, some have most, some are specialized in the effort of grasping different readership. All are successful in one way or another.

Embrace this and the fandom it brings with it, or face the fact one day no one will care, and the youth of today will not be filling those wheel chairs at future cons.

Personally, I’d like to see the grandchildren starting to attend today. How do we do this? By celebrating authors like Gaiman, Stross, Doctorow and Scalzi and not complaining that their works don’t fit narrow ideals.