June 23rd, 2005

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Oh. My. God.

Two days ago I was given a vintage women's winter coat in bright red. I love the coat and it was free! Anyway, putting it in my closet, I suddenly realized it would be perfect for a Handmaid's Tale Halloween costume! What more appropriate costume to have these days, right?

And then I read THIS article, reporting news that totally slipped by me. What the HELL!!!!!?????

Life Begins at 'Want a Cigarette?'

The headline isn't really enough to tell you anything, so here's the lead:

Presidents and babies are usually an unimpeachable combination, but two weeks ago, when President Bush stood for a photo-op in the White House with 21 "Snowflake" children, the scene sent a chill through the scientific community. Each tiny tot was a former frozen embryo rescued from cryogenic storage and implanted into an "adoptive" Christian mother. Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as "This embryo was not discarded," Snowflake infants highlight the human potential of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) industry's vast and growing pool of spare fertilized eggs.

Run by the Nightlife Christian Adoption Agency, the Snowflake program is one of a growing number that seek out Christian couples willing to be implanted with some of the estimated 400,000 fertilized eggs residing in the nation's IVF freezers. Proponents refer to the process as "embryo adoption," and while no state or federal law currently recognizes the term, bills to do so are now being put forward in several state legislatures, including California's. To many scientists, however, Bush's endorsement of these programs signals yet another attempt to stymie embryonic-stem-cell (ESC) research.
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The Cruel Shoes*

Genetically speaking and otherwise, I've inherited a lot of great things from my mother: nice figure, solid constitution, strong bones, etc. And then there are not so great things, like: low iron, my "baby" belly, susceptibility to mosquito & flea bites.

Another rotten thing I got from my mom is a tendency for my feet to get blisters from almost any women's shoe. Or make that shoe -- period. My feet are constantly being shredded by my shoes and I normally have blisters on my toes or heels or both. I'll wear a pair of shoes for a half hour and get gouges in my heels that take a week to heel. Meanwhile I either have to wear the ugly oversize French shoes I have or, if I want to wear actual nice shoes, I have to apply lots of bandages. As soon as I've healed up, I'll wear another pair of shoes and think they're fine and then I go walking and the skin comes right off again!

I talked with my mom about this and she says she has the same thing. The skin on our feets, and our whole bodies actually, just rubs off really easily. I can rub my inner arm and skin will just come off. Having this on my feet sucks though. It's also kind of funny, too, since like Mom I've got calluses on the bottoms of my feet, and yet the toes and back of my feet are super soft.

There are a few pairs of shoes I've had that have been perfect and don't cut me up, but they've "passed away." The first pair of Rangoni shoes I had were INCREDIBLE. They cost $140 but oh, were they worth it! Perfect fit and I wore them all the time for a year and a half. Another great pair of shoes I had were these sandals, also Italian I think, that were both casual and elegant. Great walking shoes too, which you can rarely say about a sandal. I adored those shoes. Sneakers are also generally OK, although the two or three German pairs I have also cut up my feet.

I plan on doing some shoe-shopping in Milan, as my fav shoes are normally Italian and I know they make my size (11 US, 43 European). I'd like to get something like my my old Rangoni shoes that fits better than my current Rangonis, which ack, shred me. Also a pair of sandals. In black, of course, since out of my 20+ pair of shoes, only about 3 aren't black.

* Subject line is tribute to an old Steve Martin bit, which I could relate to.
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All Kinds of Random Bits

Before I hunker down and program in this latest survey for Caleb's company, I've got stuff I want to log here:

I was getting tired at the computer so I went to lie down for a nap. Naturally as soon as I closed my eyes Caleb called. He needs me to finish the survey by tonight. So I got up and decided to find some caffeinne.

So I to Starbucks and -- possibly because of my smiley, friendly demeanor -- the barista didn't charge me. He took the order, made it up, and handed it to me. I went, "Um, I have to pay!" And he said, "Nah. Have a nice day!"

Earlier today I met up with my old boss Raj from Georgia Tech. Went out to lunch and he put it on his AmEx. Excellent! We had a good talk. I offered him some frank testimony on my former coworker/supervisor Tonette and advised him on how to improve her performance. I also told him what a great manager he is and how much I enjoyed working under him, which is really true.

So far I haven't finished cleaning my place and I haven't started at all getting ready for Italy. I have the checklist I used going to England, which I'll use, but I haven't started checking things. So much goes into leaving -- subscriptions cancelled, clients notified, pet care arranged, etc. Packing comes last.

Going to Savannah on Saturday. Contact my friend Lynn who's from there and got some recommendations, including one for a bakery. Must have bakery! I don't remember a lot of other restuarants or stores there except a nice Irish/Celtic one and a record store, where last time I bought a Kraftwerk album on vinyl. If it ends up Caleb is at his conference a while, I guess I can explore on my own. In any case, there will be lots of picutres, as Savannah is a beautiful place.

I guess I have to do this survey programming now. So that's all!
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    Hednigarna
firstgrade

As the caffeine hits me

Just finished programming the survey. Before I test it, I need a brain break.

This whole survey business is basdically a lot of really repetitive gruntwork -- creating the 100 graphics, pasting in all the questions, ratings scales, etc. This survey had about 90 pictures.

More random bits of news:

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Fevzy, the Turkish guy at Ali Baba's downstairs who has flirted with me for 3 years, told me today he got married last week!!!!!!

He married the beautiful woman who works in his shop. It's funny how as soon as he said this, I felt instantly more comfortable around him and knew I could now walk through the entrance by his shop w/o worrying. If he flirts with me still, I know he's just playing. (Plus I think he's also trying just to be nice, as he keeps saying things like "Why do I always see you alone? Such a beautiful woman!" and "I cannot believe you're not with anybody." From anybody else, this would be annoying, but not him, because I think he's pretty sincere.)

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Got another piece of "Royal Mail" Staffordshire china on eBay -- a big platter. It was only $5 and $5 shipping. It arrived in only one day!

Been having good luck on eBay lately, winning a nice CD player and selling off my Fellini book. After my trip I'm going to try and stell three other vintage film books from the same series, on European directors: Fritz Lang, Ingrid Bergman, and Luis Bunuel.

I also have a couple other film books, one on pre-Third Reich German cinema, another on the Keystone Cops. My brother gave me all of these books, following up on my obsession with old movies I had in my early teens, but honestly all of them are too dry. I read the parts of the Fellini book about Satyricon and Roma, but that's it. The rest are just taking up space.

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My longing for more pets is strong. Some people want 10 kids, but I want 10 animals. Not going to do it, though. Not only do I not have the room, but my current "zoo" isn't compatible with certain animals. I would love a cat and probably have room for one but no way can that happen with my birds. I've also been thinking that whenever my two birdies pass away, I'd like a cockatiel, but again, that would shut off the possibility of a cat. I would love a dog, but I don't think that really is going to work, as city dogs need about 4 walks a day and I also want a BIG dog. Would love a cat though. Also thinking about hamsters. They are SO cute and run around a lot in their cages.
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firstgrade

A peek back in time

Decided to scan in a few pictures from photo albums -- in particular the ones I have from prior to college. My parents have most of the pictures of me from elementary school, but I have a lot I took myself as a grew older. Anyway, scanned in several, just odd moments, me at various ages, my dog Taffy, and more.

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Hope you enjoy!