Wednesday, February 28, 2007
3 Word Wednesday XXV
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:
Tile
Scarce
Lieu


By no one's definition would Philip be considered "typical." In thirty-one years, he had been on exactly three dates, only one of which his mother had not chauffeured. Women have a way of making themselves scarce when you are a Scrabble aficionado.

In lieu of a social life, Philip read the dictionary. And recently, using money he had saved working at Radio Shack and despite his mother's best objections, he had his bathroom redone in custom-made Scrabble tile.

But none of that mattered now. And yet, all of it did. Everything he had worked for, the thousands of hours spent playing Scrabble online, came down to the next five minutes. Here he was, one on one, for the Greater Ridgefield Scrabble Championship, sponsored by the West Jefferson Convalescent Center.

"Seventeen," his opponent announced his score from across the table and started Philip's timer.

With only three tiles left in the bag, Philip now trailed by eight points. As he looked up to examine this most recent play, he saw a glaring, fatal mistake. His opponent had left an S open in the bottom left corner of the board!

Philip scanned the letters in his rack. A-O-U-C-T-T-S. Skilled fingers deftly and continually rearranged the tiles, as he spelled out possible combinations in his head. C-U-T... A-C-T-S... C-O-A-T-S... O-U-T.. And then, he had it! OUTCASTS! He played the word down the left side of the board. A bingo and triple word score! Eighty-nine points!

Game over. Suck on that, beyotch!

"Down the aisle with someone else you're walking. Those wedding bells will never ring for me..."

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
24 Recap: 2/26/07
Tired of Bone's wise-cracking comments? Do you secretly despise 3 Word Wednesday? Sick of hearing about General Hospital and 24? And what's up with that name anyway? Bone? What kind of name is that? Well do I have good news for you!

The first ever Roast-A-Bone will be held right here this coming Thursday. It's where you, the reader, will have your chance to say whatever you want about any and all aspects of Bone's blogging, life, personality, and sexual orientation. So put your thinking caps on (whatever that means), and get ready to be funny. The first ever Roast-A-Bone is coming, Thursday, March 1, 2007!

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Recapping tonight's episode, Day Six: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM...

Jack and Marilyn share a "touching" moment as he sees her and Josh off to CTU. He then calls Bill to order a chopper to take him to see Logan. We find out Logan is at his retreat under house arrest.

Fayed is riding in the back of an unmarked UHaul truck and (surprise!) he's on the phone with Gredenko again. Seriously, can we not trace these calls? Later, a shipment arrives at Branch Gredenko carrying something Gredenko refers to as "a drone" that the US government spent millions to develop. Gee, that narrows it down. I'm guessing this drone is going to be used to carry the nukes?

Reed brings in his outside operative, some guy named Carson, who easily clears security, despite the fact he's carrying materials to make a bomb. They go into Reed's office, aka the boiler room, where Tom has awakened and is bound with duct tape. I'm curious. If someone has a piece of duct tape across your mouth, could you conceivably lick it and produce enough saliva to make it unsticky? I may try an experiment later.

At CTU, Morris is having problems completing his daily tasks. Chloe comes over and discovers Morris has specificed the wrong slot assignment for his SIP adapter. Seriously, Morris. That's like forgetting to turn your speakers on. What are you doing over there, playing spider solitaire? Chloe becomes suspicious Morris is drinking and steals his AA sponsor's number from his PDA. She calls the sponsor and leaves a voice mail.

Out at Camp David West, Logan tells Jack he's a changed man and that he can help find Gredenko. He gives Jack the name Anatoli Markhov, the Russian Consul General, who Logan says is Gredenko's liaison. Jack tells Logan he doesn't trust him. Logan responds, "If you want to find Gredenko, maybe it's time you start." Jack calls Palmer and asks for an executive order granting a temporary furlough, so that Logan can meet with Markhov. Palmer reluctantly agrees.

In the boiler room, Carson is making a bomb out of a tape recorder. Boy, those Walkmans have come a long way. Is it Walkmans or Walkmen? Reed seems to be having second thoughts about the assassination attempt. Carson wants to kill Tom as well, but Reed talks him out of it. When he's done, Carson gives Reed the detonation code. He tells him the bomb will explode fifteen seconds after he enters the code and that it has a ten foot kill radius.

Back at CTU, Nadia is becoming suspicious of Morris and accuses Chloe of covering for him. The AA sponsor returns Chloe's call and says she hasn't spoken with Morris in three years. Chloe goes into the men's room to confront Morris, and bursts into his stall! (Editor's note: Ladies, please, PLEASE, NEVER do this! That is a sanctified place.)

Chloe tells Morris she called his sponsor, and he claims that was his old sponsor. When Chloe leaves, Morris goes over to the sink and pours out half a bottle of whiskey. Then leaves without flushing or washing his hands! Where is the "All CTU Employees Must Wash Their Hands Before Leaving Restroom" sign? Also, some guy tries to come in and Chloe says, "Not now." I find it funny that CTU is shorthanded, yet there are basically three people in the men's room at once.

Finally, Reed leaves the boiler room and plants the tape recorder in the podium where Assad is to speak. Then he goes outside and enters the detonation code. Assad and Palmer are in the room. Assad is at the podium and notices fluid leaking from the recorder. He yells bomb an instant before it goes off. The episode ends with Assad and Palmer lying motionless on the floor.

Overall, tonight's episode was kinda blah by 24 standards. It all pretty much built towards the bomb going off at the end. But I guess when you consider an episode that ends with an assassination attempt blah, you must have a decent show.

The good:
The explosion at the end.

No Sandra and Walid for the third week in a row!

The bad:
No Milo. You can't make us like him, then not include him in an entire episode.

Very little Jack.

Very little Fayed.

The Morris alcoholic thing is already starting to get old.

Best scene:
The closing scene with Assad yelling "Bomb!" and the explosion.

Worst scene:
Marilyn and Jack's "touching" moment. Jack touches her face like he's trying to wipe a bit of mustard off her cheek. It felt rushed, forced, and just plain awkward.

Did you know...
Anatoli is the sixth most popular Russian boy name, trailing Vladimir, Ivan, Boris, Sergei, and Mikhail. (Source: The Pocket Kremlin.)

Svetlana is the most popular Russian girl name. (Source: russianbrides.com.)

Fun Trivia:
What do Charles Logan, Martha Stewart, Jose Canseco, and Galileo have in common?

They've all been under house arrest at some point.

Questions:
Will Logan prove trustworthy?

Are Assad and Palmer alive? If I had to guess, I'd say Palmer is alive. I'm not so sure about Assad. His story really hasn't been going anywhere lately anyway.

Where is Audrey? Something is up, people. There's going to be a twist involving Audrey. I can feel it!

"You dropped a bomb on me, baby. You dropped a bomb on me..."

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Sunday, February 25, 2007
The fever
The First Ever Roast-A-Bone is coming Thursday. Stay tuned for details...

On US Highway 98, just east of Destin, between Miramar and Santa Rosa, sits a little cafe called The Donut Hole. It's become tradition that on the day we leave the beach, we stop there for breakfast.

I recommend the southwestern omelet. And the doughnuts, of course. I always get a box of doughnuts for the road. The food is great. The service sometimes lacking because it's so busy. But I've never been when there wasn't a line of people out the door and down the side of the building waiting.

I wish I was there.

There's a beachside restaurant called The Back Porch, with big bay windows to let in the ocean breeze, an outside bar, and picnic tables in the sand. I recommend the dreamsicle cake for dessert. And any and all of the seafood. You'll think they must have caught it that morning. And maybe they did.

I wish I was there.

There's an empty spot in the sand, just at the edge of the uprush, perfect for sitting. Where the water might wash over your feet once every five or six waves. Where you can bury your toes in the cool, damp sand, and think about anything and everything. Or nothing at all. And even though it's only a few hundred feet to the highway, it seems a million miles away.

I wish I was there.

I've got beach fever, if you can't tell. The highs have been between 60 and 70 here for seemingly the past week. I've been driving with the sunroof open, even at night. And last night before the storms moved in, it was warm and very windy, and reminded me of the ocean breeze.

So I've been listening to Buffett and thinking about the beach. The sand. The breeze. The waves. Gorgeous American girls working on their tans. All the while, me having no clue as to whether they are 16 or 29.

Last night, I opened the window so I could listen to it rain. Seemed like it rained for twelve hours. That's another good thing about the beach. Even when it rains, it never seems to last very long.

I wish I was there.

"I remember Sunday mornings, walking on the beach. And that place we'd stop for breakfast, with the old red vinyl seats..."

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Thursday, February 22, 2007
Fighting myself
The silent stillness of the night is broken by the piercing sound of the telephone. I know who it is, but check the caller ID anyway. Then I put the pillow over my head to lessen the noise until the machine picks up. I wonder how many times she'll call.

This is it. This is how I get out.

There are always a few little differences. But they're mostly the same. She'll call a few times. I won't answer. Then finally, I will.

I won't say much. Just something about how I don't think this is working out. I can always come up with reasons why. She was just saying the other night how I give her mixed signals and how I'm never there when she needs someone to talk to.

I listen. Or pretend to, anyway. To her incessant ramblings about nothing, night after night. And now she wants to nag and complain about our relationship? Well, fine. Let her see how she likes arguing with herself.

Maybe she'll cry. Maybe she won't. I'll probably wonder if I'm making a mistake. But I'd rather wonder if I left too early than regret hanging on too long.

The phone rings again. But for some reason, this time I answer. I tell her I love her and that I'm sorry.

It's a small step. And a constant battle.

I haven't always been this way. But someone hurt me a long time ago.

"The end is coming. She don't even feel it. It's a strange sensation. I'm almost happy..."

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
3WW #24
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:
Wilted
Drawer
Ink


The wilted countenance
The single tear
The last I ever
Brushed away

Letters in a drawer
Pictures in a box
But those in the heart
Fail to fade

The hollow rooms
The silent spaces
I once craved
Now serve to haunt

Pen to paper
I try to write
But the ink
Has all run out

My muse
Has gone

"You could be happy, and I won't know. But you weren't happy the day I watched you go..."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
24 Recap: 2/19/07
This show has more twists than a 1961 sockhop! Very good episode tonight. So let's get right to it. Recapping Day Six: 3:00 PM -4:00 PM...

On the run from Jack's father's men, Milo and Marilyn hide behind some dumpsters, and are found. Milo gets shot (SPF: 1) in the shoulder trying to cover Marilyn. The men have been instructed to bring Marilyn back alive. They're about to shoot Milo when Jack shows up, blows two of them away, and disarms the third one, who we come to know as Hacker.

Jack grabs Marilyn by the throat and asks why she helped Gredenko set him up. She confesses that it was Jack's father who called her. And that he threatened to kill Josh if she didn't comply. After she reveals Gredenko's real location, aka Leningrad East, Jack has a CTU team sent there. Then he has Hacker call Jack's father and say that he's apprehended Marilyn, but that she won't give up Gredenko's location until she sees her son. Jack's father tells Hacker to bring Marilyn to his hotel.

Down in the boiler room, Tom brings Reed a copy of the President's itinerary. Reed says he needs Tom to give security clearance to an outside operative who will "carry the ball." (Which is evidently White House lingo for "kill the President.") Tom is afraid everything will be traced back to him, but Reed assures him all the blame will be placed on Asaad. While they're talking, Palmer calls and asks to see Tom.

At CTU, Morris, apparently still suffering from Post Torture Depression, goes out for a walk. He purchases some whiskey and Altoids at a liquor store, downs half the bottle of whiskey, then appears to throw up. When he returns to CTU, both Chloe and Milo smell it on his breath (the alcohol, that is), but Morris assures Chloe he is sober.

In the bunker, Tom is surprised when Palmer asks for his input on Asaad's speech. And when Palmer likes all his suggestions, Tom appears to be having qualms about the assassination plot. When he returns to the boiler room (aka Reed's office), Tom assures Reed that the security clearance is in the works. As soon as Reed leaves, Tom calls a secret service agent and says he needs to meet with him immediately. When Tom opens the door to leave, Reed is waiting for him and whacks him over the head.

In the stairwell of Jack's father's hotel, Jack receives a text message informing him that CTU agents found Gredenko's safe house empty. Jack, Marilyn, and Hacker enter Jack's father's room and also find it empty. The phone rings. It's Jack's father, telling them to look out the window. He is on the roof of an adjacent building holding a gun on Josh. Jack offers himself in exchange for Josh. Jack's father accepts.

Inside a room on the roof of the other building, Jack's father has Jack get on his knees facing away from him. As he raises his gun towards Jack, he says, "It didn't have to end like this." Jack says he had to go his own way, apologizes to his father, then says he is ready. (I honestly thought Jack's father might turn the gun on himself here.) When no shot comes, Jack turns around and finds his father gone.

Outside, Jack sees a cell phone on the ledge. There is a text message on the screen instructing him to call a number. (Text message count for the hour: Jack 2, Bone 0.) He does so and Charles Logan (President from Season 5) answers. Logan, now sporting facial hair, says he can help find Gredenko and tells Jack he wants to meet.

The good:
The final scene with Jack, Jack's father, and the Logan twist.

Tom showing some integrity. And then Reed whacking him just as he is about to uncover the whole plot. Typical 24.

Jack showing up just in time to save Milo and Marilyn.

Milo continuing to emerge as someone we can count on.

The bad:
No Fayed.

No explosions.

Best line:
"Dad, I'm unarmed!" Simply for all the implications that go along with that statement.

SuperAgent 101:
When apprehending a hostel, force them to their knees, have them put their hands behind their head, and be sure to have them interlace their fingers. This is vital... for some reason.

SuperAgent 099:
Jack: "Do you know how to use this?"
Marilyn: "No."
Jack: "Point and shoot."

Did you know...
Altoids is the preferred breath mint of recovering alcoholic CTU agents everywhere.

Chloe-isms:
"Call your sponsor."

"He didn't metabolize the alcohol." What!? Who says that?

Questions:
Why did Jack's father not shoot him? (Other than the fact Jack is the star of the show, of course.)

Where is Audrey?

"Join the mob, join the mob. It's all over. It's all over. It's all over. There's a leak, there's a leak, in the boiler room..."

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Thursday, February 15, 2007
Nuvaring is not for everyone
To whom it may concern:

My name is Bone. I am a single, straight male who looks forward to coming home after a long day at work and settling in to watch my favorite soap, General Hospital. There are two Soap Digests on my bedroom floor at this very moment. I enjoy keeping up with the adventures and misadventures going on in Port Charles.

However, what I do not enjoy is being mercilessly inundated each and every commercial break with ads for birth control, tampons, feminine hygiene products, and Playskool toys. And if it's not that, it's an ad for problems of old age featuring Wilfred Brimley. Yes, I liked him in Our House, but that's beside the point.

The other day while watching, one particular break began with the line, "How do you say so long to a period that's too long?" I. Don't. Know. And I'd rather not think about it. Then I had to watch a 60-second dialogue about Valtrex, and how one partner had herpes and the other partner didn't want to catch it. (How about not sleeping with her, genius?) That break ended with a What About Brian promo, because we know how many men watch that.

Based on your ads, one would think your viewers were all either women who have lots of (sometimes unprotected) sex and weird cycles, young mothers, or old retired men who may or may not have problems urinating.

And that may be. But I find it hard to believe that Stephen A. Smith and I are the only two young, virile males out there who care what happens to Sonny, Carly, Jason, Elizabeth, Nikolas, Emily, Lulu, Lucky, and Luke. Besides, if, God forbid, I ever do have "weak stream", I won't need some commercial to inspire me to action. I'll run screaming to the doctor's office. Believe me!

How about tossing in a Sears commercial once in awhile? Maybe a Men's Wearhouse ad. Or at least a movie preview. And while we're on the subject, whatever happened to the Doublemint twins? They were cute.

All I'm saying is you could be missing out on a whole segment of your audience. After all, as one of your frequent ads says, "Nuvaring is not for everyone."

Indeed.

PS: Any chance Sam might be leaving the show anytime soon? Also, if you could get Jason and Liz together soon, and give Luke a bigger part, and bring Jonathan Jackson back as Lucky, that'd be great. Thanks.

"She says she's leaving on a Sunday. I don't care. I need to know where to turn. I tried it once. It never caught on. I was the only one who got burned..."

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
3 Word Wednesday #23
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:
Carriage
Silent
Haste


"You have got to be kidding me."

Paul said the words out loud, even though no one could hear him, as he saw the red lights start flashing and the crossing gates come down. He was already running late. Jacobs had come in at five 'til five and laid some work on his desk that had to be finished by the end of the day. And now this? And today, of all days. Unbelievable.

There was no way he was going to make it by 6:00. He reached for his phone to call and say he was going to be late, but it wasn't there. He felt his pockets, checked the console, the passenger seat, the floorboard... no phone. Great! In his haste to get out of the office, he must have forgotten it. Sometimes he wondered why he even tried.

Having now resigned himself to being late, he took a deep breath as the railroad cars rushing by became a blur. The radio up loud made the train seem completely silent. Down one of the side streets, Paul saw a couple taking a carriage ride. And his mind wandered.

He thought of his wedding day. And how badly Lisa had wanted a horse-drawn carriage. And how she'd seemed so happy when he surprised her with one. And how he still didn't understand how things could change so quickly. His thoughts were interrupted by the blaring of a car horn.

The train was by, and Paul continued to his destination. Arriving about 6:15, the place was nearly deserted and the door was locked. He knocked and apologized to the girl who answered the door for being late.

Then a sleepy-eyed face peeked out from behind the daycare worker. Tiny hands held up a folded piece of red construction paper, and the sweetest voice in the world said, "Happy Ballentine's Day, Daddy."

And he remembered why he tried.

"I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm. You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born..."

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007
24 Recap: 2/12/07
A special two-hour 24 on my birthday! Coincidence? I think not!

We are introducing a new feature this week. The Splatterage Factor, or SPF, will rate shootings from 1-10 (10 being the best) based on... well, I think you'll see once we start. Recapping Day Six: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM...

On the way to Fayed's (kind of like on the way to Grandma's, except not), Morris tells Rita what McCarthy is really up to. (No wonder I didn't recognize the actress playing Rita. She was in Gigli. Who saw that?) At her next opportunity, she shoots and kills McCarthy (SPF: 4). She then delivers Morris to Fayed with plans on keeping the $7 million all for herself.

Fayed has Morris tortured. They play human pinata with him and also have him involuntarily bob for apples in an empty tub (talk about cruel). Finally, as Fayed begins drilling a hole in Morris' shoulder for the second time (SPF: 9!), he gives in and programs the trigger. At some point during the torture, Fayed kills Rita. I had a feeling she was gone as soon as she shot McCarthy.

Jack and the cavalry arrive for the Gunfight At The Fayed Safehouse. They get there just in time to save Morris and miss Fayed. They find one suitcase nuke that Fayed has left behind, set to go off in three minutes. Chloe talks Jack thru how to dismantle it, which he does with seconds to spare.

Back in DC, Asaad has arrived and Palmer talks him into appearing on television and appealing to American Muslims for help. Meanwhile, Tom throws a hissy fit and decides to resign since Palmer has rejected all of his radical proposals. But later, his sidekick, Reed, talks him out of it. The two of them meet in a secret location, which looks a lot like the boiler room underneath my old middle school gym. Reed talks of "removing Palmer."

Back at CTU, Marilyn and Josh, Graem's wife and son, are brought in, where Bill tells them Graem died of a heart attack. Marilyn shows little emotion. Jack later apologizes to her, and she confesses she had been trying to leave Graem for years, but he told her she'd never see Josh again if she left. She also later alludes to a past between her and Jack, saying she's been trying not to think of him for the past twenty years.

Jack asks her if she remembers anything that might help in finding the nukes. She says she followed Graem out one night. He went to a house in West LA. Listening from outside, she heard voices with a Russian accent. Jack figures that must be where Gredenko is. So he, Marilyn, and Milo are going to try to find the house.

Before they leave, Jack's father asks Marilyn what's going on. He then asks her if he can take Josh home with him. She says OK. As Jack and Marilyn are on their way to find Gradenko, Jack's father calls her and tells her if she ever wants to see Josh alive, she'll lead Jack to the address he gives her. She does.

Jack and CTU agents enter the house as Milo and Marilyn wait in the CTU van, which looks a lot like a UPS truck. The house is empty, except for a couple of boxes... and a bomb. Jack spots it, yells "Bomb!" and jumps thru a window just as it explodes. He radioes for any CTU agent, but there's no response. Man, these CTU field teams are dropping like flies. No wonder they're always shorthanded.

A car comes out of an alley and goes after Milo and Marilyn. Milo is manhandling that UPS truck, until he hits a concrete wall. Under heavy fire, he tells Marilyn to get out and hide behind the truck. Then he sets off a bomb for cover as he and Marilyn take off running. And the UPS truck is no more.

The good:
Milo! In the field. Booyah!

The Morris drill bit. Pun intended.

Marilyn. More Rena Sofer, please! With no Audrey, and little Nadia, the hotness factor had been lacking thusfar this season.

Multiple explosions, splatterings, and Jack in a chopper. All 24 staples.

Repeat after me. No. Sandra. Palmer. For two whole hours! Happy birthday to me!

The bad:
Anything I list here would be nitpicking. Tonight was money!

Best line:
"CTU, this is Bauer, we have a problem." (Jack, upon finding the suitcase nuke.)

One of those awkward times when you don't know what to say:
Chloe to Jack: "I'm really glad Fayed didn't kill you this morning."

Did you know...
The actress who played Rita was in Gigli. No wonder I didn't recognize her. Who saw that?

Questions:
Who is the guy Reed keeps calling on his cell phone?

Why couldn't Morris stall for just two more minutes while programming the trigger to allow Jack and CTU time to get there?

Will they leave Milo in the field? I hope so!

"Bail out, goodbye. Take my chances, I don't wanna die. Count ten, just pray. The nick of time can save me any day..."

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Sunday, February 11, 2007
DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2017
Dear Forty-four,

I'm writing from ten years ago to see how things have been. I'm curious as to what became of you. It's hard for me to believe you're six years away from fifty. Life goes so fast.

I wonder if you're married. And if you are, who did you marry? Did you ever become a Dad? How many kids do you have? For their sakes, I hope they look just like their mother.

I still remember when you were thirteen, and you'd lie awake at night and try to imagine being an adult, and having a family. Back then, you couldn't fathom it. And then one day you woke up, and you were thirtysomething.

I wonder about your job and where you live. Did you ever move out of that small town? And if you did, have you ever wanted to move back?

Are you a writer? Did you chase your dreams? God, I hope you did. But don't tell me if you failed. Some things I'd rather find out on my own.

I'm almost scared to ask, but I'm wondering. Are Mom and Dad OK? Let's see, I guess they'd be sixty-six now. And what about your sister? Are the two of you still close? I imagine you have a niece or nephew by now. How incredible that must be.

I guess I'm full of questions. There's just so many things I'm curious about. Most of all I wonder, if you could go back in time ten years, what would you change? What would you do over?

Things here are fine. Although sometimes it seems I'm stuck in a rut. I feel like I'm on the verge of making a drastic change. But for some reason, instead of taking that big leap, I just keep creeping closer and closer to the edge. Waiting.

Tomorrow begins a new year. What am I waiting for.

You know what? On second thought, don't answer any of my questions. I don't want to know. I'll find it all out in time.

For now, I guess I'll go. It's getting late, and I think I might give Dad a call. I pray that forty-four finds you healthy and happy, and that everyone you love is still alive. And I hope to see you in ten years.

Something tells me the time is gonna fly.

"Fifteen, there's still time for you. Twenty-two, I feel her, too. Thirty-three, you're on your way. Every day's a new day..."

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Thursday, February 08, 2007
What we leave behind
When I first heard about Anna Nicole, I didn't believe it. Then I read the story on google news. She had become a laughingstock in recent years, the butt of a thousand jokes. But when I read she had died, I was only sad.

I sent the link to a friend. She wrote back, "Have no idea why that makes me sad."

I replied, "Me too. What a sad, tragic, short, wasted life :("

Then almost before I hit send, I questioned my statement. Was it a wasted life? After all, she was a model, an actress, had her own reality show, and married a billionaire. I haven't come close to doing any of those things. Maybe she had the full life, and I'm the one with the wasted life.

If I never become a writer, will my life have been wasted? If I never have children, or never get married?

What constitutes a wasted life? Or for that matter, what constitutes a wasted day? Or a wasted hour? I can't answer that. I guess everyone's answer would be different. And perhaps that's the way it should be.

Is it about finding happiness and contentment? Experiencing as many new and fun things as possible? Or making a difference, making the world a better place? Even typing that, I already know what I think most important. So why am I not doing it?

If I sit home tonight and cook dinner and watch The Office on TV, is that a wasted night? I mean, it's something I enjoy. But should I be doing something more productive? Something to better myself or something beneficial to society?

Traveling Chica wrote a post a few weeks ago about 'someday.' About how we make plans and always seem to think and behave as if we have plenty of time, when in reality, we may not. We're not guaranteed a certain number of years, or even another month, or week. All we have is today.

Yet knowing that, why don't I value each second as the priceless commodity it is? Why do I often go weeks or months without talking to or seeing friends? Why do I find myself so many nights realizing it's 11:00 and wondering where the evening went and what I did with it?

The question isn't will I die? But rather, will I live?

I was talking to another friend about Anna Nicole later in the afternoon. She posed the question, "Do you think she was ever happy?"

Of course, there's no way I could ever know the answer to that. But even the thought that she, or anyone, might never have been happy deeply saddened me. To the point that I changed the subject, not wanting to think about it anymore.

When I die, I don't care so much if other people say or think, "what a wasted life." As long as I don't agree.

"They said she died easy of a broken heart disease. I listened thru the cemetery trees..."

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
3WW #22
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:
Drum
Secrecy
Ante


From his seat atop the wooden stool, Carter Conway had a clear view across the street of his closest competitor and biggest rival. Lacey McCrary had been outside three times in the last twenty minutes, talking to her brother Evan. Smiling. Giggling. Something was going on over there. But what? Carter hated the secrecy.

But he couldn't worry about it now. It was early afternoon and sales had been extremely slow today. All week, actually. The summer sun forcing his eyes into a permanent squint, Carter tried to think of ways to drum up some business.

This was July, usually his busiest month. But not this year. Not with Evan putting in across the street. And that stupid Hawaiian Shaved Ice stand going up three streets over. Didn't anyone drink plain, refreshing, delicious lemonade anymore?

Maybe he was getting too old for the grind. Besides, there was probably some enterprising eight-year-old on the block ready to take over. Or maybe this street just wasn't big enough to support two lemonade stands. But then what would he do? He'd have to go back to delivering papers. He let out a long sigh. Being eleven shouldn't be this hard.

Carter's train of thought was broken when a door opened across the street. Lacey came out of the house again. This time she was carrying something in her arms. What was she carrying?

Carter watched intently as Evan got up and started writing something on his sign. When he was done, Carter could hardly believe his eyes. On the sign, just beneath the words "Lemonade 25 Cents," Evan had written: "Free Cookies."

That did it! Evan was upping the ante. Well, two can play at this game. Carter ran towards his house. With visions of Nestle Toll House cookies in his head, he burst through the front door calling, "Mom!"

"Let's call in sick, leave this town. Don't matter where we go, let's just go now.
I'm thirsty for a glass of lemonade..."

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
24 Recap: 2/5/07
I have three words for you: 24 is back!

OK, so actually I guess that's two words and a number. Or one hyphenated word and two regular words. Nevertheless, recapping last night's episode, also known as Day Six: 12:00-1:00 PM...

Jack and Jack's father are led at gunpoint out to a poorly landscaped area by two of Graem's men, where they are apparently about to be forced to pour concrete or something. Jack's father refuses and turns around, distracting both men. Long story short, Jack and Jack's father get their guns and each kills one of Graem's men. (Is it just me or did that happen a bit too easily, even for Jack Bauer?)

Back at the hotel lobby that is the Presidential bunker, Wayne Palmer is watching news coverage of the nuclear explosion. With Karen now out of the way, Tom continues pressuring the President to sign an executive order that authorizing his radical security measures. Palmer tells Tom to convene the cabinet.

McCarthy is on the phone with Fayed again. (I swear, he's gotta be in Fayed's Five.) And says that he's found someone who can program the triggers for the other nukes, but that said programmer will have to be coerced. CTU intercepts the call and Morris tries to decode an image of the programmer that McCarthy sent to Fayed. A message comes in that Morris' brother has been exposed to radiation and is in critical condition. He starts to leave, but Chloe talks him into staying and finishing decoding the image.

Walid is in a bed somewhere, recovering from the beating he took at Detainee Central. Sandra is by his side. (Argh, I thought we'd make it thru an ep without her.) She calls Palmer and tells him she's scared. He goes all Shawn Mullins on her and says, "Everything is gonna be alright."

CTU agents raids Graem's house. Jack and Graem face off, each with a gun pointing at each other. Graem finally surrenders, even though I think his gun may have been bigger. Jack then tells some nameless CTU agent, "Set up the interrogation package." (There's five words you never want to hear.)

Graem is injected with something that makes him scream really loud and sweat profusely. Finally, he confesses to authorizing the assassination on David Palmer, as well as having Tony and Michelle killed (back on Day 5). He says he did it for his country, then tells Jack that the two of them are the same. In a rage, Jack pushes Graem over backward in his chair, tells the CTU agent to run the injection level higher, and points a gun at Graem's head. Then Jack sees Jack's father and suddenly stops.

With the cabinet convened, we get our first glimpse of Vice President Noah Daniels. At least the first glimpse that I remember. He is on a plane and listens in by speakerphone as Palmer once again rejects Tom's radical proposal. The Vice President tries to argue, but Palmer stops him, saying, "The discussion on this matter, is over!"

Back at CTU, Morris has the image decoding and gets up to leave before it's done. After he leaves, everyone is shocked to see that the image that eventually comes up on his screen is... Morris! It's a set up! They call Morris, but he's already on the highway. As he is trying to turn around, someone fires shots at his car. He is kidnapped by McCarthy and the blonde, who we now know as Rita.

After Jack boards a helicopter to CTU, Jack's father asks for a moment alone with Graem. We learn that he's been in on the whole thing! They are convinced they've fooled Jack into thinking Jack's father is innocent. But apparently, that isn't enough. Jack's father turns the IV back up, then covers Graem's mouth. Graem struggles for a few seconds, then his body goes limp.

Best line
Jack to Graem: "We are not the same!"

Other best line
Jack's father to Graem: "You've done everything I asked. Only this time, I asked too much."

The good
The Jack/Graem interrogation, of course.

The Morris twist!

Jack struggling with the whole 'doing the right thing/this is my family' quandary.

Palmer standing up to Tom, Tom's sidekick, the Vice President, and apparently most everyone else.

Finding out Jack's father is involved in everything and then him turning on Graem at the end.

The bad
Sandra Palmer's "Oh Walid, I was so worried about you" routine. Barf.

Still just a bunch of random nameless faces in the field for CTU. We need a Tony. Or at least, a Curtis.

Still not much Chloe.

Did you know...
8cc's of hyocine-pentothal can cause a heart attack. 9cc's can cause you to act like Paula Abdul.

Questions
Will Morris program the triggers for the nukes? Will he die? And if so, will Chloe ever recover?

Does Marilyn (Graem's wife) know more than she's letting on?

Karen resigns, and no one replaces her?

I miss...
Tony. Why'd they have to go and mention his name? Sigh.

"Even her smile looks like a frown. And she's seen her share of devils in this angel town..."

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Monday, February 05, 2007
Obligatory Super Bowl recap
Well, that sure was... the last game of the year.

What more could one say about a Super Bowl which featured eight turnovers and was often about as exciting as watching grass grow? I mean, there were a couple of exchanges where the players seemed to be playing hot potato with the football. Which would actually have been more entertaining.

And what can I say about Rex Grossman that some Chicago fan hasn't already said, and probably much more colorfully than I ever could? There was one time where, on consecutive plays, he tripped over his own feet and then fumbled a snap. Seriously, he was like a one-man Bad News Bears out there at times. I almost started to feel sorry for the guy by the end.

And is it just me, or is the Super Bowl starting to become more of a human interest story than a football game? Last year, we had Jerome Bettis winning his final game. This year, it's Manning and Dungy finally winning the big one after trying for years. And I could have sworn I kept hearing Katie Couric's voice over and over and over.

Normally, when the game itself is kind of blah, you can always count on the halftime show commercials to provide some entertainment. But not this year. I mean, when one of the best ads involves K-Fed, you know it's a bad year for Super Bowl commercials.

Although personally, I was intrigued to see the Izod and Van Heusen commercials. Is Izod back in?!?! And if so, how did I miss that? What's next, Jordache? From there, we're standing at the top of Acid-Washed Hill, looking down over Tight-Roll Valley. I've been there my friends, and that's one slippery slope.

And I love Prince. But is the Super Bowl halftime show ever any good? And is it really necessary to hire hundreds of people every year to jump up and down and wave their arms in the air? I mean, is anyone sitting there watching thinking, this halftime show kinda sucks, but all those people are jumping and yelling, so it must be good.

Thankfully, Animal Planet was running Puppy Bowl III Sunday, which I found surprisingly hard to turn away from. It featured Bowl Cam, a camera located in the bottom of a clear water bowl, as well as a kitty halftime show. And a lone referee occasionally throwing flags and calling penalties on the puppies. It was engrossing.

After the game, someone was flipping channels and wound up on the Fuse network. Now I don't get this channel on my cable. So imagine my surprise when I saw Jodie Sweetin in a tight-fitting, revealing referee jersey that she was wearing as a dress. She is the host of Pants-Off Dance-Off, which basically amounted to a PG-13 rated striptease competition.

Wow. Pin a rose on your... uh, nevermind.

"I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain. I only wanted to one time see you laughing..."

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Friday, February 02, 2007
Do you hear what I hear
Please stop by and welcome Pia home, and read about her adventures south of the border. Apparently, while she was in Mexico being mistaken for a puta, I unwittingly missed Thank Your Mentor Day. And actually, the entire National Mentoring Month. Oops. Who knew?

Oh, and Happy Groundhog Day. My Groundhog Day post last year got some very interesting responses.


For Christmas this year, Dad put a key finder in my stocking. My sister got one too. The key finder attaches to your keychain and when you whistle, it is supposed to emit a series of beeps, allowing you to locate your keys.

After testing it out a few times, I found it was erratic, at best. It wouldn't work half the time when I whistled directly into it. Other times, it would go off at random. So I tossed it into a bag with a few other stocking stuffers, which I'm not overly proud to say is still sitting in my living room floor. And the key finder was forgotten. Until last Thursday night.

My sister and brother-in-law were over for supper and we began to hear a beeping noise. I'd heard it a few times before, but was never able to figure out what it was. My brother-in-law knew right off. It was the key finder! I immediately ran to the Christmas bag and found it.

Friday morning as I was getting ready for work, I placed the key finder in my pocket. Having just watched The Office the day before, I had an idea.

Now the object of my office pranks is most often the secretary. She's in her forties, and looks like someone who would wear lots of sweatshirts with bears and stuff painted on them, even though she doesn't. And she's always a good sport.

When I got to work, I scouted her office for a suitable place for the key finder. Some place she'd be sure to hear it, but unlikely to find it. First I tried pushing up one of the ceiling tiles and leaving it in the ceiling. I whistled, but could barely hear it. No good. Then, I saw it--the tissue box! Perfect. I dropped the key finder in the tissue box and got ready for the fun to ensue.

As soon as she arrived, I walked thru and began whistling to the radio. Then listened. I heard the key finder. It was working. Although she didn't seem to notice it.

Oh, but she would.

The fun began shortly after 10 AM. She walked in with furrowed brow and asked, "Am I going crazy, or do you hear beeping noises?" She seemed to be alluding to the radio.

"Beeping noises? In the radio?" I replied, as if she may very well have lost her mind.

"Yes! It seems like almost everytime a new song starts, I hear a beeping."

"I haven't noticed. But I'll start listening closer."

About forty-five minutes later, I walked out to her office. Before I could say a word, she spoke.

"I figured it out!" she said, as if she's Bell and I'm Watson, and she'd just discovered the missing piece to make her invention work. "It's not in the radio. It's coming from my phone!"

I had her. Hook, line, and sinker. I began to smile, but she continued.

"Everytime my phone rings, it beeps. Here!" she said as she pulled out her cell phone. This was going even better than I had hoped. She dialed the work number. The phone rang. The key finder beeped.

"There! You hear it?"

I'd regained my poker face by this time. I squinted and leaned in as if trying to listen closely.

"Ummm, no," I lied.

"You don't hear that?!" she exclaimed, before letting out a sound that sounds a bit like a puppy whimpering. "You probably think I'm losing my mind."

At that time, I decided that I'd gotten my money's worth out of this joke. And while she'd been talking, I'd been reaching into the tissue box. As she had no idea what's going on, she simply thought I was getting a tissue. I finally retrieved the key finder and tossed it on her desk.

She looked at it, realized what is going on, and jumped out of her chair, all within about a second and a half. I took off running and she chased after me. She later told me the beeping noises made her think her phone might be tapped.

I guess the key finder worked after all.

There's nothing like seeing a carefully planned prank coming together perfectly. Although now I must await her revenge. I've been half-expecting a live snake to drop from the ceiling at any time. I must be vigilant!

Oh, and lest you think she doesn't deserve it, don't forget this.

Have a great weekend and Super Bowl Sunday! And remember, if your name was Punxsutawney, you'd stay in a hole most of the time, too.

"If you ever get annoyed, look at me I'm self-employed. I love to work at nothing all day..."

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Thursday, February 01, 2007
One man's dusting is another man's blizzard
Well, I'm on new Blogger now. Not by choice. I was forced to switch over, or never post on my blog again.

While attempting to sign in today, I was rather rudely informed that I would no longer be able to sign in using my old Blogger account. Apparently they have all the kinks worked out of the new Blogger. (Pause for laughter.) And now they are requiring everyone to switch over.

Nevermind that new Blogger is not able to be imported to WordPress. Or that it seems to have even more issues than old Blogger. Or that after I switched, several of my comments are now showing up as anonymous.

This must be what it feels like to live under a totalitarian regime.

Blogger: The North Korea of the Blogosphere. (Copyright 1999-2007, Google.)


It snowed!

Here!

Last night!

Sure, it was in the forecast. But it's been in the forecast before. To wit, one of the local weathermen has predicted snow three times in the last week. This despite the fact I don't think it has snowed here three times in the past five years.

Shortly after midnight, I looked out the window to see if it was doing anything yet. And it was! Snow was falling. Like beautiful flakes of crystalized ice come down from heaven. I put on jeans, an old sweatshirt, socks and shoes, and ran downstairs and outside, knowing it might not last long.

Have I mentioned how much I love snow before? Well, perhaps here. And maybe here. And I suppose this might have given some clue. But if you didn't already know, I love the snow! It's beautiful and inspiring, exhilarating and peaceful, all at once.

I tried to take some pictures. Taking pictures of the snow at night is not the easiest thing. Not to mention the weird feeling that came with using the flash at 1:00 in the morning. This is about the best one I got:



The snow was a long-awaited, wonderful treat. It fell for about an hour, covering the rooftops and most of the cars. I stayed up until after 1:30 watching it, until it changed over to sleet.

This morning when I woke up, the sleet had changed to rain. And the snow was all but gone. I felt like Moses on Mount Nebo. As if I'd been given a glimpse of the promised land, but never got a chance to play in it.

Still, having seen it's majestic beauty, I can now die in peace.

"If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world..."

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