Friday Five: Surprise, there isn’t one!

Yikes! Well, even though I was up with the crack of dawn this morning, I’m embarrassed to say I don’t actually have anything useful or interesting to say at all. (And for those of you saying, “Yeah? What else is new?” I say,

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So let me just tell you what’s going on. See, tomorrow morning, my wonderful husband and I are getting up super early in the morning, driving down to Union Station in L.A., and climbing aboard a really interesting, historic, private rail car called the “Vista Dome Silver Splendor,” for what they call “Brunch on the Beach” in San Diego.

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It’s our belated Valentine’s Day celebration, and we’re really looking forward to it. Only the thing is … I can’t stress this too strongly … we have to get up SUPER EARLY tomorrow morning. So this morning was a “practice run.” Let’s just say this is the first time since I gave up caffeine that I’m kinda sorta missing caffeine!

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So I’ve made a major life decision: Tomorrow morning, when we get on the train, I’m going to allow myself ONE cup of REGULAR coffee. Just one! After that, I’ll go decaf for the rest of the way!

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Seriously, though, this is in the nature of a “special treat” type thing. There’s no caffeine in the house right now, and I’m not planning to buy any to bring home with me. I just think it’ll make the day more Valentine’s Day-ish if I don’t fall asleep for the entire trip.

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Anyway, long story short, the reason I don’t have a Friday Five today is because, frankly, even though I’m the one who’s usually the “morning person” around here, today my husband put me to shame by getting out of bed, taking his shower, getting dressed, and going to work an hour earlier than usual. Not to mention feeding the cats! Or did he? Maybe I woke up in one of those alternate universes in “Rick and Morty” or something.

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Who knows? Anyway, I’m gonna sign off now, go brew a cup of my herbal coffee substitute, and see if anything happens.

Have a great weekend – see you Monday!

(Unused pingback: Rube)

Mid-week interlude: Ash Wednesday and book quiz

Happy Ash Wednesday, everyone!

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Not to mention that “other” holiday:

 

Anyhoo, Amy over at Bibliophile posted this interesting quiz on her blog a week ago, the “This or That Book Tag,” and at first I thought she’d tagged me on it. Then I went back and reread her comment with my eyes a little wider open and saw that, no, she’d tagged three other bloggers and just gave me a shout-out.

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Which I appreciate, believe me! It’s nice to be noticed! Thanks, Amy! But meantime, I had already filled out the quiz, so since I have it right in front of me, and it’s all ready to go, I thought I’d just go ahead and post it. If that’s okay. Is it? I don’t want to make any unfounded assumptions or anyth…

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Okily dokily then!

  1. Reading in bed or on the couch? Depends – if it’s a real (i.e., print) book, couch, definitely. If it’s on my Kindle, bed, for sure! I’ve tried reading printed books in bed and just have trouble balancing them.
  2. Male main character or female main character? Female, usually, but then again, my all-time favorite novel is “David Copperfield,” and David was definitely a guy, although his best pal Steerforth called him “Daisy,” so who knows? Hmm.
  3. Trilogies or quartets? Actually, I prefer septets, like “Harry Potter” or the “Narnia” books.
  4. First person POV or third person POV? I personally prefer the first person POV; however, Christine thinks the third person POV is much more objective.
  5. Sweet snacks or salty snacks? Popcorn, which can be either sweet OR salty, depending on what you dump on it!
  6. Reading at day or night? Daytime, as I’m usually busy at night. (Sleeping!! Get your mind outta the gutter!)
  7. Libraries or bookstores? Until recently I would have said bookstores, but since I started walking regularly, I’m enjoying my visits to the local library. Plus, virtually every library I’ve visited recently has its own used bookstore, anyway, so win-win!
  8. Books that make you laugh or cry? Sometimes you can get both in the same book – hilarious Mr. Micawber’s in the same book with David’s poor tragic mother.
  9. Black books covers or white book covers? I have to confess I don’t really understand this question. I just looked at one of my many bookshelves, and didn’t see any books with only black or only white covers. A lot of them are green or blue. I’m so confused!
  10. Character driven or plot driven? Again, it’s possible to do both – and do it well – Again, Dickens! “David Copperfield!” They don’t write ’em like that any more. (Hmm … maybe I should read something else … )

Since I wasn’t *officially* tagged in Amy’s post, I won’t *officially* tag anyone else, either; however, if you’d like to answer the quiz yourself, please do, and let me know – I’ll link to it in a later post!

That’s all for today! I’ll leave you with a photo I took on a hike through Griffith Park over the weekend. See you Friday!

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Unused Pingback of the Day: Suspicious

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: Clean Monday edition!

Well, good morning, everyone, and happy Monday! Time for another weigh-in … and as you may remember, last week I had a small GAIN. But as Homer Simpson once said, “hope springs internal,” so let’s step on the ol’ scale and see where it lands. Ready? Here goes:

206.8
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Hey, that’s great!

Nice! I think that actually takes me a little lower than I was two weeks ago, so I’m happy. I think the walking I’m doing almost every day is helping a lot – not only with weight loss but with my overall health. If you’ve got a few minutes, why not take a walk yourself, today? (But not till you finish reading my blog, of course!!)

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OK, so today is Clean Monday. In case you’re not familiar with it, that’s the first official day of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox/Eastern Christian world. As virtually every Eastern Orthodox (EO) will tell you, I, by virtue of being Eastern Catholic (EC), am NOT in any way, shape or form, “Orthodox.”

However, we ECs do our best to irritate both the EOs and the RCs (Roman Catholics) whenever possible. For example, we irritate the EOs by copying everything they do, like their liturgy, their prayers, their eating habits, etc. etc.

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And we irritate the RCs by insisting that we’re fully, totally, 100% as Catholic as they are, even though we don’t (officially*) do ANYTHING they like to do, like for example, Ash Wednesday. Now mind you, it’s not that we have anything against Ash Wednesday – it’s actually a lovely tradition, and it’s nice to see so many people who never ever EVER set foot in a church the rest of the year go in to get their annual reminder that they’re skating on thin ice.

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However, we have our own tradition on the first Wednesday of Lent (which we start two days earlier, nyah nyah nyah!) which involves a liturgy every Wednesday evening till Holy Week. There’s always a confused Westerner who stumbles in off the street looking for ashes, and we have to gently explain that we don’t have any, other than whatever’s out in the garden, which they’re certainly welcome to. (I’ve suggested we just keep a container of ashes by the door with a sign reading “Help yourself!” but that never seems to go over too well.)

But that’s okay, we all have our different traditions and practices and that’s what makes religion so much fun, right?

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One thing we ECs DO have in common with the RCs this year is that our Easter falls on … are you ready? … April Fool’s Day! That’s right, Easter is on April 1st, and as you can imagine, the memesters are having a field day with THAT!

And of course, Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day, so even though we ECs don’t join in with the ashy stuff, we can certainly commiserate about the fact that we’re BOTH supposed to abstain from CHOCOLATE on February 14 OMG why why why??? Although I’m sure St. Valentine himself isn’t too upset.

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Oh well, we’ll muddle through somehow.

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And after all, there’s more to Lent – Eastern OR Western – than just giving up stuff. As our priest pointed out yesterday, “The Great Fast isn’t about losing weight. It’s not Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. It’s about getting closer to God.”

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So whether you’re Eastern, Western, or even just an interested bystander – happy Lent to you!

Unused Pingback Word of the Day: Conjure 

Friday Five: Way too many cat memes

Welp, good morning, all, and happy Friday, for those of you who actually work for a living!

You know, I got up this morning and briefly considered getting a few things done before I wrote my post. Then I realized that if I did all of them, I probably wouldn’t write this till around, oh, I dunno, midnight. So I decided to simplify my life and just get this done first.

I’m sure you’ll appreciate the effort it took me to postpone:

  1. Making breakfast. Actually, making breakfast is the easiest part of my day. My hubby rarely wants anything more substantial than a Trader Joe’s cereal bar and a glass of water. Occasionally I’ll surprise him with some bacon and eggs (mainly when I want some too), but for the most part, breakfast is easy to postpone.
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  2. Cat maintenance. This one includes feeding them, letting them out the back door, letting them back in (we have a cat flap, but they like that personal service), checking the litter boxes, checking the treat stations, flea combing, catnip application, peacock feather waving, and other miscellaneous attentions as required. I’ve done a couple of them already (I have to, or they’ll beat me up), but at the moment they’re sleeping off the catnip, so I’ve got a little window of time.
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  3. Shoe shopping. Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Normally I buy my shoes, clothes, books, and other necessities of life online, as you do. However, I was looking at some Skechers “Go Walk” shoes on Amazon last night, and they looked really comfy. However, I realized from bitter experience that I probably should buy at least one pair in (shudder) an actual store, just to make sure they’re as comfy as they look in the photos. I’ve been burned before. (Literally as well as figuratively – I’m not that handy around the stove.)
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  4. Laundry. I’m actually pretty much caught up on the actual human being laundry. This goes back to #2, because most of the laundry I need to do now involves the various things the cats sleep, shed, sneeze, and deposit their various and sundry bodily fluids on. Every piece of clothing I own, if it were sentient, should tremble in the fearful knowledge that it could wind up as a cat bed. Fortunately, clothing isn’t sentient, although who knows? It’s a funny ol’ world.
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  5. Transcribing. Heh … yeah, this is my ACTUAL WORK that I am theoretically supposed to be doing when I’m home, to make money. You know, money really helps vis-a-vis cat stuff, shoes, and future cat beds aka clothing. I suppose I could ask Purina or Friskies (are they even different companies? who knows these days) if they’d throw me some free cat treats in exchange for mentioning them in my wildly popular blog, but that’s probably not gonna happen any time soon. (If it does, I’ll let you know.)
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So once I’ve finished writing this post, and applying all the appropriate memes and formatting, I guess I’ll pick one of these things to get done. Probably breakfast, ’cause I’m hungry.

Unless, of course, the cats wake up first.

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Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in: Fare Thee Well, Colonel Sanders!

Good morning, everyone! Well, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve slacked off a bit this past week, so I have a bit of a gain this morning. Let’s get this over with, shall we?

208.8
Wow, that’s not so great!
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Oh well, as Homer Simpson once said, “Hope springs internal!” And if you’ll permit me to explain, I do have an explanation, kinda sorta!

Now as I’ve said before, this isn’t a religious blog. However, my lame excuse perfectly reasonable explanation involves religion, so those of you who hate God feel uncomfortable with that should feel perfectly free to go back to bed.

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For the handful who remain, the excuse explanation is that, as I’ve mentioned before, we’re Eastern Catholic, which is similar to Eastern Orthodox. And yesterday was Meatfare Sunday, aka “farewell to meat,” or as I like to call it, “Bye-bye Colonel Sanders!” Sunday. That means it’s the last day we can (well, *should*!) eat meat before Lent starts next week.

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So I allowed myself to overindulge a bit this past week on things like KFC and, er, chicken-fried steak with gravy and scrambled eggs at Corky’s Diner. Because breakfast food, amiright?

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So this week was a bit of a wash. Howsomever (and yes, that’s a real word! I looked it up! so there!), for the next six weeks I’ll be foregoing the hot cooked flesh of helpless animals, so things should even out pretty soon.

Still, NEXT Sunday is Cheesefare, which means I’ve only got a week to indulge in dairy products … milk, butter, cheese … oh no …

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Oh dear! Well, luckily, we have some friends in high places who have some excellent recipes for meatless cheeseless Lenten indulgences, so perhaps I’ll find some delectable substitutes to get me through this.

Seriously, if you’ve never seen Father Moses and Mother Gabriella’s show, “Eastern Hospitality,” it’s a real treat! They make all sorts of excellent stuff (plus I think they’re really cute together!)

Maybe during the next few weeks I’ll actually try one of their recipes, instead of just saying what a nice idea it is and then buying some overpriced fake cheese at the grocery store, like I usually do. If so, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Meanwhile, on to the real cheese!!

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Friday Five: Groundhog’s Day Edition!

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Well, it’s Groundhog’s Day … again …

and since my efforts to ditch the “Friday Five” format seem to have puzzled my stalwart, long-suffering fans, I thought I’d relieve your tension by inviting you to join me in celebrating my FAVORITE secular holiday with five funny GH Day pix! Enjoy!

  1. Since we finally turned off our Christmas lights yesterday, I can kinda relate:
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  2. Of course, being a “Doctor Who” fan, I had to include this one.
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  3. Someone had to say it.
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  4. Retro Groundhog!
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  5. The perfect place to celebrate today:
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    and tomorrow … if there is a tomorrow …
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Well, hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into the wonderful world of Groundhog’s Day! Sorry to tell you that Punxsutawney Phil apparently DID see his shadow this morning (at least according to CNN, but you know how trustworthy *they* are, so maybe check somewhere else to make sure), but always remember:

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Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: who needs coffee? [groan]

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Good morning, everyone! (Yeah, I’m awake!) Time for the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In! All set? Well, let’s get to it, ’cause I’ve got some super-exciting news to share wit’ ya! Ready? Here goes:

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Let’s Go To The Zoo!

So anyway, lest I stifle your enthusiasm, the big news is: I’ve given up caffeine!!

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No, no, this is good! Really! See, a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across this great book via Kindle Unlimited, called “Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug,” by Stephen Cherniske. I was reading it while sipping my daily cuppa Joe, and realized that maybe I’d sorta underestimated how much caffeine I’d actually been pulling in.

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Yeah, that, plus I was in the habit of having at least a couple of 20-ounce bottles of Diet Pepsi or Coke, or hey, store brand’s fine, whatever, as long as it’s fizzy and bubbly and, most importantly, has plenty of the Demon Caffeine inside.

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So I realized that maybe, just maybe, I was having a scoche too much stimulant every day – and I decided to exorcise Demon Caffeine from my body. Out, damned soda! Fly thee back to Hell from whence you sprang! (or 7-11, more likely)

I tapered down, not wanting to do the “cold turkey” thing (not fond of headaches, so sue me) over a period of a week, and one fine morning, I woke up, yawning and stretching and feeling, well, not too shabby!

It helps that I discovered a really good coffee SUBSTITUTE, too! Not just decaf – did you know there’s still a little caffeine in decaf coffee? I didn’t!

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(True confession: I keep some really high quality Trader Joe’s Whole Bean Decaf on hand, for emergency use only!)

But what I’m drinking now in the morning is this great stuff called “Teeccino.” Seriously, you should try some, it’s really good. My favorite is the Vanilla Nut, though I like the Java too. (The “Dandelion” varieties don’t do much for me; I’m a literary soul, so Dandelion should be for wine, not coffee, dagnabit!)

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(But maybe I’ll grow into it. Heh – get it? Hmm … )

Anyway, the basic idea was to get drug-free, so now I can bounce out of bed every morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with no need for artificial stimulants of any kind. My mind is completely free to absorb great ideas and … and … um …

hmm, lost my train of thought there …

hang on a sec … gee, a good cuppa joe would be pretty helpful right now.

No no no! I’m off the hard stuff now! No going back!!

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Hmm, maybe I better brew up some o’that sweet, sweet decaf! Have a great Monday, everyone, and enjoy your coffee!!

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