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Friday, February 28, 2003 AD
Q: What Do You Get When It Rains in New England?
A: Damp Yankees!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/28/2003 04:30:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, February 27, 2003 AD
OK, Enough of This Maudlin Crap!
Have I mentioned lately that the Almighty Creator of all that is loves me drastically and inexorably? Have I mentioned lately that He, being sovereign over all things, has ordained all that has come to pass in my life for my sanctification and His glory? Have I mentioned lately that the beauty of His holiness far surpasses that of any created thing, and that it is an immeasurable pleasure to gaze upon His character? He is cause for rejoicing! He is my heart's delight! Glory to God in the highest forever and ever, amen.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/27/2003 09:15:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, February 26, 2003 AD
I'm the #12 Google Result for Valerie
Not bad, but page 1 would be even kewler. :-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/26/2003 07:45:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, February 24, 2003 AD
I hadn't even had a chance to put him back on my blogroll! Peace on your journey, brother.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/24/2003 12:28:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, February 23, 2003 AD
We Regret to Inform You
Friends, the City of Baltimore no longer exists. It has been swallowed by a gigantic pothole. It started out innocently enough -- a little glitch here and there in the blacktop -- but before we knew what had happended, or could purchase enough duct tape to rectify the problem, the little glitches all joined forces to become one gigantic canyon that swallowed the entire metropolis. Of course for some people this probably does not come as bad news. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/23/2003 09:19:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, February 21, 2003 AD
Compelling Photo
"An unidentified man shields youngsters outside San Francisco Centre as vandals try to smash windows at the shopping center."
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 10:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Profound Eschatological Insight of the Day
"Pre-Mil, A-Mill, or Post-Mill? I think I am JOE-Mill. That is the viewpoint that in the end you realize that you don't really know what is going to happen but you hope you get the girl and the heavenly butler gives you some spending cash." - JF

(I have no idea who JF is. I stole this from somebody's sig line on a discussion board.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 10:36:00 PM • Permalink
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Strange Dream
I very rarely have interesting dreams, and I very rarely have a dream that's even a little scary, so this one seems worth reporting. I was talking with Sarah, the under house parlour maid/soup kitchen habitue/scullery maid/actress/son's mistress/nursery maid/ex-chauffer's wife from "Upstairs Downstairs" (I think this was during the nurserymaid phase) because I had found some things that I thought might belong to her. I felt a little reluctant telling her about them, because I know I'd get to keep them if they weren't hers, but they were hers. Then we were at the front door, which was neither 165 Eaton Place, nor my house (but the view from the door was more like my neighborhood), when a man stopped to deliver something. Then we turned to look at the funnel cloud in the distance. It was a cheesy, cartoonish, multicolor sci-fi effects funnel cloud with things zapping out of it and stuff. At first it was just vaguely interesting, but not quite real because of the cheesy, cartoonish, multicolor sci-fi effects. Then it started getting bigger and closer and I was more apprehensive. Finally it kind of exploded into a flash flood rushing toward us. It was quickly reaching the level of the doorway. A man in a baseball cap swept past amid the torrent. He reached out a hand like he was reaching for help, but he was several yards away and moving too fast, so there was nothing to be done for him. Sarah and the delivery man seemed to be paralyzed, so I grabbed both of them to pull them inside and head upstairs. Then I woke up.

OK, take your best shot at interpreting that!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 09:43:00 PM • Permalink
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Eric the Human Emoticon
Link via Paul D.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 06:46:00 PM • Permalink
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Our office was open today, so I went to work for the first time this week. I am so ready for the weekend. This is not a good sign. In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I hate my job.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 05:23:00 PM • Permalink
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I Tellya What, Phillip...
You play matchmaker and find me a nice Reformed Southern gent who's available, intelligent, and not too hung up on the Civil War (something one must clearly specify where Reformed Southerners are concerned), and get him to marry me and take me away from all this snow, I'll be glad to move south! Sorry I missed your phone call again. I'll try you back this afternoon...and I'll try to remember not to ask for Phillip. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/21/2003 01:21:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, February 20, 2003 AD
What Is It With That?
Why do some people, when you ask them a direct question, answer a completely different question? I can't figure out, in the case I'm thinking of, whether the person in question A) is incapable of comprehending a simple question (he's not too bright), B) is so caught up in looking at the big picture that he can't focus on the specifics (he's got a personality that's different from mine), or C) is just so full of himself that he's willing to bulldoze over my agenda to promote his own (he's a jerk). There's a part of me that's reacting as if it's option C, but I'm trying to convince myself that it's option B. Or maybe it's a mix of both -- he's got that big-picture point of view, and he hasn't learned to be aware of the pitfalls associated with it. I've noticed that other people with that proclivity -- big-picture visionary types -- can drive me nuts for various reasons. So I need to learn to be aware of the pitfall of misinterpreting their responses and getting peeved when I interact with them. And I need to be aware of the pitfalls of my more detail-oriented personality. For instance, I can get paralyzed when confronting the distance between point X and point Y because I see the infinite number of points on the straight line between them. Not to mention the obstacles around which the line, quite deprived of its straightness, must navigate. I also need to learn that it's OK to say stop, slow down, back up, listen, etc.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/20/2003 04:16:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, February 19, 2003 AD
I just moved my church website to a new server. I found out that the new server is a Unix server, which evidently differentiates between upper and lower case. I had not been careful with internal links, so I needed to make the site consistent. In Dreamweaver, I changed each file name to all lower case, diligently clicking "Update" to change it wherever it appeared throughout the site. The changes didn't take. Now I've got to go through every single blasted file and make the changes individually. Dreamweaver has never let me down like this before. I am very disappointed.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/19/2003 08:47:00 PM • Permalink
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Rechargeable Batteries
It didn't occur to me that they wouldn't come pre-charged and I'd have to wait six hours to use them. Cheesy. That's what it is. Not that I had any desperate immediate need for them; it's just the principle of the thing.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/19/2003 06:49:00 PM • Permalink
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Or Maybe Not So Inconceivable

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/19/2003 06:19:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, February 18, 2003 AD
Hooray for Amos and Lawrence!
The two young gentlemen in question are my stalwart shovellers, who earned their fifteen bucks a piece yesterday (plus homemade chocolate chip cookies and the loan of my shovel for their next couple jobs) in digging my house out from the biggest snowfall in Baltimore's history. I finally got brave enough to venture out this afternoon, and of course headed straight for the church office to visit my poor lonely 'puter. I'm quite stir crazy otherwise. I've called just about everyone I know (except Paulo, whose phone has been perpetually busy), including my 15-year-old nephew, who brilliantly held up his end of the conversation with a perpetual stream of un-huhs. That boy is impossible!

I've watched at least half a season of Upstairs Downstairs, and I'm getting tremendously bored with that. The series' inconsistency with characters might not be so appallingly glaring if one were watching it over a period of months or years, but when one is swallowing large doses in such a brief period, one rather wants to smack around a few writers a bit! Of course I'll still take it over most of the trash on broadcast TV these days. I've done a little bit of reading, too, but somehow it's hard to focus when one is restless as I have been. I'd be fine if there were just a bit of snow and I was choosing to stay in, but knowing I'm trapped has made me a bit jittery. Well, I suppose too many chocolate chip cookies have had some effect, too! ;-)

Now I'd better scram and get back home before the sun sets and I can't see well enough to navigate the narrow path into my driveway.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/18/2003 05:52:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, February 15, 2003 AD
Impending Cabin Fever
We're supposed to get 12-18 inches of the white stuff tonight. Which means church will likely be cancelled tomorrow :-( and that I won't be able to get to the office for a couple days. So I left my house at 11 p.m. to run down here and check my e-mail. I just couldn't bear the thought of not being online for a few moments while I had the chance. Pathetic, I know! But it's not just the Internet -- I may not see anyone I know for a couple days, which can be a real bummer.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/15/2003 11:58:00 PM • Permalink
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Family Fortune
"Remember Jack Miller used to say we confess that God loves us but hesitate to say that he likes us. In line with that observation, it is an amazing thing that God gives us himself as an inheritance. But it is exponentially more amazing that he tells us that we are his inheritance, as if he is a minor waiting for the resurrection to come into his family fortune. Can anyone get their brain around that?" (From Mark H.)

One of my biggest struggles in life has been getting over the feeling that God loves me in some sort of begrudging way -- that He merely perseveres in the duty. About 10 years ago, I remember really fretting over the question of whether God liked me. I never really got an answer, and the words of the question sort of went by the wayside, but the substance of it has never really gone away completely. One morning over a year ago, when I began to pray, I got the distinct image of God turning toward me with a smile and delightedly saying, "There's my girl!" It freaked. me. out. I wrote a bit about it here, bringing up the question of images and imagery, but that wasn't the real issue. The real issue was that it just didn't seem right to believe that God could have such an attitude toward me. Life has taught me not to expect love, so somehow love has become utterly unexpectable. Somehow I've come to believe in the objective truth of my unloveableness. On the plane of human relationships, this has meant that I am not allowed to ask for anything good -- no kindness, consideration, help, or affection -- and that I am not to be offended by anything bad -- neglect, rejection, betrayal or abuse. I am, of course, inconsistent in the practice of that false religion and often fail to keep its rules. But when its god reexerts himself, he is none too pleased with my rebellion and proceeds to beat the crap out of me in one way or another.

This syncretism is exhausting. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!"
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/15/2003 01:43:00 AM • Permalink
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Friday, February 14, 2003 AD
So What You're Saying Is...
...that we should replace the old "duck and cover" with the new "duct and cover"?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/14/2003 06:04:00 PM • Permalink
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Poll du Jour
Valentine's Day...
a. is just stupid.
b. is just depressing.
c. is just a marketing ploy.
d. is just for martyrs.
e. [other]
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/14/2003 05:46:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, February 13, 2003 AD
...to Bill, for the CD, which is playing now. I went straight to track 16, of course. Now I'm on 17. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous! Which one are you in the photo?
...to the Garvers for sending me a Valentine's Day card.
...to my mommy for sending me a dish cloth and the pattern to make my own. These are really great dish cloths and I'd managed to wear out a couple I already had. Now if only I can remember how to knit.
...to Pentamom for telling me how to fix that thing in Windows without all the smartalecky comments I got from Teed and Moose.
...to Joan, for reading my blog sometimes, even though she never comments because she doesn't really love me. ;-)
...to everybody else, for putting up with such a silly blog entry.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/13/2003 08:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, February 12, 2003 AD
Why do I occasionally get hits on my referrer logs from pages that have no links to me? I've had a couple of those this week. Veddy strange....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/12/2003 01:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Amazon Cracks Me Up Sometimes
The "People who wear clothes also bought..." feature is funny enough, but the "You know you want it" thing can be good for a laugh, too. They use that headline and tell you that an item from your Wish List is beckoning you. It's a shameless attempt to inspire covetousness. When I visited Amazon a little while ago, it tried to tempt me with Decision Making and the Will of God. Casting a book about the pursuit of godly wisdom in the role of seducer struck me as giggle-inducingly ironic!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/12/2003 12:51:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, February 11, 2003 AD
Wearing Your Theology On Under Your Sleeve
Speaking of tattoos...

Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/11/2003 04:19:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, February 10, 2003 AD
A Little Antecedent Problem There, Folks!
My fortune cookie says, "If you promise someone something, keep it."
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/10/2003 02:29:00 PM • Permalink
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Ah. Nothing like curry beef with onions to clear the sinuses. And I'll save the wonton soup for supper. Chinese food -- Kyriosity's cure for the common cold!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/10/2003 01:38:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, February 08, 2003 AD
Finally Back to My Old Template!
Took me a while, but I finally got my act together and took down my Christmas template. The change required FTPing a revised CSS file, and I just today got back my FTP powers after I wiped my hard drive in December.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/08/2003 07:07:00 PM • Permalink
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I go through phases of wearing make-up or not. I put some on for the wedding a couple weeks ago, and have worn it almost every day since. It's kind of fun to watch the reactions of people who have only seen me bare-faced for ages. One colleague stopped by my cube and didn't even say a word -- he just gave me a nod and a thumbs-up. I suppose I could wear it all the time, but I do so enjoy the occasional ability to strike people dumb with the realization that I clean up pretty good and ain't too ugly for a fat chick.

Of course being less fat wouldn't hurt. Here's a picture from a few years (and too many pounds) ago:

And yes, I really do have paisley tattoos all over my face! (But if you click on the picture you can see what I'd look like without them.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/08/2003 06:40:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, February 05, 2003 AD
Sick Again
Missed my second day of work. Dragged myself out last night to check e-mail, blog, go to covenant group and try not to breathe on anybody. Dragged myself out tonight to get food, check e-mail, blog. Time to drag myself home again and drag the groceries into the house.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/05/2003 08:30:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, February 04, 2003 AD
What I Hate Is When...
...I'm watching a movie that I taped off the television, and forget that I can FF through the commercials.
...I'm watching a movie that I taped off the television, and I realize too late that there was more movie than there was tape.
...I have a vague memory of having taped this movie once before and I hunt and hunt for it and I finally find it and the tape says, "Part 1 -- first 15 minutes."
...I hunt and hunt and hunt for part two and finally find it and put it in the VCR and discover I've taped something over it.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/04/2003 06:58:00 PM • Permalink
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Monday, February 03, 2003 AD
Blocked Driveways
On January 16, I arrived home at about 11 p.m. to find someone parked in front of my driveway. This would not ordinarily be a big deal, because there's usually a spot on the street, but on this particular evening, the snow was falling and a pretty significant accumulation was predicted. It is imperative to park in the driveway during a snowstorm because a) I have to do less shovelling to get out and 2) I don't have to be tempted to murder if someone steals my spot on the street. (And don't think people don't shoot each other over stuff like that. And don't think I don't sympathize with them.)

Now if I'd had any sense, or any Ranger genes, I'd have looked at the snow to see if there were footprints from the car leading to one of my neighbor's houses, knocked on the door, and asked that their guest move his truck. But instead I got cranky, huffed and puffed, and called 311 (the kinder, gentler version of 911). Being as my brother's a cop in the district where my house is, they recognized my last name and promised to send somebody out. Being that they are still the Baltimore City cops, and that they have real crime to be dealing with even when a colleague's sister has been inconvenienced, they had not come by 45 minutes later when I looked out the window again and discovered that the truck had moved. So I called them back and said forget it and went out and moved my car into the driveway.

It turned out we only got about half an inch of snow, anyway, after all that.

On January 21, I arrived at my friend Joan's house at around 6:10 p.m. I was going to celebrate the fact that it had became her house (or at least her mortgage) just that day. I chose a spot across the street, being careful not to park in front of the fire hydrant and parking hastily because I was supposed to have been there at 6 and I didn't want to keep Joan and her sister waiting. So I went in and we celebrated and banged on the kitchen wall because our friends Jocelyn and Greg live next door and we wanted them to know we were there. We laughed and had a fun little celebration and Greg came over for a bit to share in the festivities. After about 45 minutes we headed out, Joan and Barbara walking back across the street with me to where they currently live.

My car looked funny. As we got closer, the reason became clear -- somebody had egged it. It was then that Joan noted what I had not noted earlier -- I was blocking somebody's driveway. Now there's no way of knowing for sure if that's the reason my car was egged or of those were the folks who did it, but Joan commented that the folks in that house had been nothing but trouble since they moved in, though they were supposedly Christians. The three of us talked about it for a minute or two, with me throwing in the final comment: "And I hope they don't have anything for breakfast tomorrow!" Then I pretty much emptied the windshield washer fluid trying to get the egg off with the wipers at least well enough so I could drive home.

Over the next few days, I never got around to dealing with it more thoroughly. For one thing, I was extremely busy. For another thing I wasn't feeling terribly well. And for a third thing, it was the coldest week of the winter and I didn't want to be outside washing my car. I figured the egg would be frozen and fairly inert, causing minimal damage to the paint. Finally on Saturday, knowing that I needed to pick up Paulo for Brian and Stacey's wedding, I went at it with an ice scraper and got the worst of it off. I also refilled the washer fluid and did a somewhat better job on the windshield. My plan was to go to a carwash before fetching Pau, but with my usual fine time management skillz, I didn't get to it before the hour appointed to pick him up, so I skipped the carwash. Once Paulo was in the car, I asked if we could stop someplace to at least buy paper towels and some kind of cleaner. After discovering that the Rite Aid he recommended had been razed to the ground, we ended up at the Sav-a-Lot, where I parked in a loading zone while I ran in; fetched towels and Windex; ran back out; and frantically sprayed and scrubbed while Paulo helped, a homeless guy shouted advice, and a business owner stood and scowled at us. A couple minutes later we'd gotten the worst of it off -- enough so you'd have to look really close to realize there was more than just average dirt on the car -- hopped back in and sped off before any trucks were inconvenienced by my illegal parking.

I think it was the next day that we got another little bit of snow, which proved to be a good abrasive for cleaning off remnants of frozen raw egg.

So be careful where you park your car. Be gracious when others haven't been careful where they parked theirs. And be grateful for friends who are available with sympathy and elbow grease to help resolve the problem.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 2/03/2003 09:18:00 PM • Permalink
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