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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in innerdoggie's LiveJournal:

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Monday, February 14th, 2011
12:55 pm
Hi there!
I survived my colonoscopy today; they didn't see anything bad and they let me go to eat LOTS OF FOOD and said come back in 5 years.

I'm still on drugs, so I have to abstain from driving cars and making financial transactions. There goes that chance to pick up 1000 shares of Google, I guess.

Anyway, as somebody still on drugs, I will take the opportunity to ask an exciting question in the philosophy of Art. Can "High Art" ever be stupid? Or does stupidity toss a work of art out of the "High Art" bin and into another one. I've often wondered about this.

This article by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times a few weeks ago about picking the top 10 composers of classical music, mentions a critic who says that classical music isn't always serious or great, but can be stupid, vulgar or insane.

What sorts of stupidities have you encountered in classical music, and do you think the work still is high art? Or do you think those distinctions "classical" or "high" are useless? There are certainly operas I've avoided going to hear because the plots sounded too stupid. Perhaps I should go see for myself.

I used to go to a lot of independent film festivals, and sometimes a movie had a really stupid political or psychological point. That did seem to detract from the art in a way that straight out wickedness might not.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
11:30 am
Home with a cold
I often can't tell how I feel when I get up in the morning, so off I went to work yesterday.

I didn't feel good, and by noon it was obvious that a cold had settled in.

So I'm taking a sick day at home and taking it easy. Colds aren't too bad. You are sick enough you have an excuse to stay home and do nothing useful, but not too sick to enjoy reading, web-surfing, etc. I've had fun tracking down some Christmas carols for my collection, and stumbled across this which is very cool!

I may venture out and get some chicken soup for lunch.
Saturday, December 4th, 2010
10:42 am
People are coming out to me at work!
Two cow-orkers are a couple, and another one just came out to me, too.

Something in the air? Maybe the Illinois Civil Unions?
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
8:51 pm
About a year ago, I decided to stop flying. Airport security was already stressing me out to capacity, to where I was worried about having panic attacks in the security line, when they decided to roll out the the full-body scanners.

I'm really uncomfortable with having naked pictures taken of me, so I didn't want to do that. Unfortunately, the alternative would be a pat-down search that amounts to groping, and that's something I wouldn't like either. (We won't talk about the pain from having a breast cyst mashed!)

Both of these alternatives are too sexually intrusive for me. And to compound the problem, it would be hard to do the things I need to do to protect myself from sexual assault, like running away or fighting back. Either of those could land me in jail. Since I can't run away or fight, would I flip out and scream, sob, vomit or faint? That would probably land me in jail (or worse), too.

So I'm on my own no-fly list; renting cars to see the family, and planning to take Amtrak to Texas.

When I discussed this, many people didn't see what the problem was, and I wondered whether it was just me. In fact, I made an appointment at the shrink! This week, when suddenly everybody started complaining! This fellow, John Tyner told TSA "no", and may be sued by them. Admittedly, he could've been more polite, but he still was a lot more calm and in control than I think I could be.

One report described an airline pilot vomiting from his experience with airport security, just like I was worried I would do.

There's even a name for it: flying while a survivor.

I wish I could come up with some security alternatives. The only one I can think of is dogs. I wouldn't freak out being sniffed by a dog. It isn't sexual, it would be just like the situation before, taking off your shoes and not being able to carry a water bottle. There just probably aren't enough trained dogs to do all the work. Too bad we can't invent a robot doggie to do it.

So I'll be good, and write my representatives, the president, and stay away from the airports until they are better. Apparently it isn't just me this time.
8:08 pm
Hi to everybody!
Sorry I've been away. I will try to catch up.
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
7:57 am
Meant to post happy thoughts, but ...
My dad got melanoma. Not a real bad one, but still.

My mother's old house burned down. She had moved into a condo while recovering from her own cancer since she had cluttered up her house too much for a sick person to live in it. So she wasn't there when it burned down. No people (or apparently animals) were hurt, but all the stuff, trash and treasure alike, is now gone.

Poor house! It's the one I grew up in, and it had architectural virtues. Built in 1946 before air conditioning was common, it had high ceilings and an attic fan and stayed much cooler than you'd think. Part of it was native stone, one room was made from logs.

We did a big renovation in 1967 and turned the screened-in porch into a room, and the garage into the master bedroom. Each kid then got their own room. Mine had the stairs to the attic.

I've heard that they think it was either an electrical fire or a lightning strike.

We had all anticipated that cleaning out the house would be awful. Since Mama is in her right mind, we all stepped back to let her take the lead, and didn't want to get bossy with her (and she doesn't take bossing at all!) unless she got Alzheimer's. My dad proposed renting a warehouse and she could move the stuff there and sort at her leisure.

Oh well, now we won't have to do anything about the house except mourn it. My uncle and his wife are coming to help Mama see if anything's salvageable, and my dad and his wife are helping negotiate with the insurance. The rest of us will find out what our jobs will be.

Thanks for listening!
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
6:49 pm
Saturday, July 17th, 2010
12:57 pm
So I'm taking this video computer course, courtesy of work. Like any student, my mind wanders when it shouldn't and I wonder about irrelevant stuff concerning the instructor. This time, I'm not focusing on a strange item of clothing, but the instructor's accent.

He's speaking in a mostly mainstream American accent (midwestern of some kind, perhaps?) until he comes to the word "again", which he pronounces in such a way that it rhymes with "rain", or "train". OK, now I've never heard an American pronounce that word that way, although they certainly *pretend* to pronounce it that way (without actually doing so) in bad poetry to rhyme it with "rain" or "train".

I pronounce it "agin" to rhyme with "gin", "pin (pen)" and other words like that, guilty as I am of the Pin-pen merger. Apparently, there are some who say "agen" to rhyme with "pen" which is not the same as "pin" for those folks, but I can't hear the difference unless I pretend it isn't English they are speaking. (Thank you to muckefuck for this reference.

So I ask you, my friends, are there American accents where you pronounce "again" to rhyme with "rain" and "train"? A google search indicated that there may be people in the Northeast who do so, although I can't remember ever hearing anybody do this. It sounds UNAMERICAN, I tell you.

The other weird pronunciation is "expiration" to sound like "expire": "expire-ation". I'm suspecting that's an idiolect rather than a regional accent. But y'all know this stuff better than I do.
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
7:38 pm
latest exercise(?) injury
Fitness is hard! Now I've done something to my ribs, probably the little muscles around them. It's rest, ibuprofen, maybe ice. I don't know what I did -- all my sports injuries are like that. Everything is great for months, and then something starts hurting.

Oh well. I can use my time away from the gym to GOOF OFF.
Saturday, June 5th, 2010
10:38 am
I got the workplace cold and it's a doozy!

I'd rather not be spending my weekend this way.

Oh well.
Saturday, May 8th, 2010
7:06 pm
I'm back on LJ. How has everybody been?
Sunday, March 7th, 2010
2:33 pm
more food
So I had a cup of whole milk left over and I decided to make a burfi or milk fudge with it, without a recipe.

I put the milk in a non-stick skillet along with some sugar which I didn't measure, and proceeded to boil gently while stirring constantly.

When it got thick, I threw in some somewhat crushed pistachios and mixed them in.

I spread the mixture on a plate to cool.

It was very tasty. A bit too sticky, so I probably should've let it boil a bit more.

But it was fun to just wing it and not measure anything.
Saturday, March 6th, 2010
9:10 pm
Saturdays are back
I'm done with my class, although I still need to study up for that certification exam. I think I'll try to take it in May.

So it's great to have Saturdays off again. But part of me would just like to be a student again full time. My freshman fantasy is to go to a decent state school and take:
1. Spanish
2. Intro Statistics
3. Music Theory (nerd bootcamp style)
4. Studio Art (probably drawing.)

This isn't regret for what I have studied, just what I'd like to do right now. In fact, it is possible I could retire earlier than I thought and just do that! What a thought.

On the other hand, I've thought about signing up for Algebra (not the high school version, the scary core undergraduate math major one) and Analysis once I retire in order to ward off Alzheimer's.

What things would y'all like to study?
Sunday, February 21st, 2010
6:17 pm
I really love sweet potatoes, although I dislike the canned kind, or that casserole with those tiny marshmallows and too much sugar.

Anyway, I was thinking of how to cook them and came up with a gratin after stealing other people's ideas and smooshing them together. I've been trying to figure out gratins, and don't quite have my ratios and times figured out, but this was a great success, so I will share:

Here we go.

Get out your gratin pan. You'll want something with lots of surface area rather than a deep casserole dish.
Grease it with some olive oil.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice two sweet potatoes thinly (like 1/8 inch slices)
Chop one onion and some fresh sage and cook in olive oil.
layer the potatoes and the onion/sage in the pan.
Pour one cup hot milk over the potatoes. (I used whole milk. You could substitute half-and-half, cream or try evaporated skim milk. I have a hunch that regular skim milk is too watery).
Grate some Gruyère cheese over the potatoes.
Cook a longish time (like 40 minutes) covered.
Uncover and cook 15 or 20 minutes to brown the cheese a bit.
Times are very approximate.

I liked it a lot! I wonder if garlic would be nice.
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
8:55 pm
Soy milk machine
tyrannio and I bought a machine for making soy milk.

Unlike nut milks like almond milk, soy milk is made by both grinding the beans and somewhat cooking them.

We ended up with the Soy Quick SDZ-4. I see some improvements that could be made in the design. It is difficult to put the filter cup on, since you are putting it on with the beans inside over the grinder. And like every electronic cooking gizmo (except the rice cooker), cleanup is a bear.

Still, it made decent soy milk, with a pleasant, assertive soy flavor. Soy milk that isn't pretending to be anything else, and without all those weird hippie additives like "Job's Tears" whatever they are.
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
7:44 pm
Friday, October 16th, 2009
8:43 am
Well, I'm sitting next to Mama in her hospital room at Mayo's (actually Methodist Hospital, if you want to be exact and precise).

Unfortunately, she has one positive lymph node, so it'll be chemo for her. She'll start chemo in a month. Don't know much about how it's done or how long it'll be. The good side is that for colon cancer, the survival stats are really good compared to other cancers.

After she gets through this, she has an excellent chance of getting back to her ornery ole self. In the meantime, her three siblings, her three children and many other people are volunteering to help out. She's popular!
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
7:59 pm
I'm at the Mayo clinic with Mama. She's going to have surgery tomorrow. If everything goes OK, they said she'll be good to fly home (or my house, or elsewhere) 10 days post-op.

If lymph nodes are positive, she has to do chemo. If they are negative, most likely she won't.
Friday, October 2nd, 2009
10:09 pm
This sux
My mom just called to say she has colon cancer. Don't know the staging or type of cancer yet. Sounds like it is not metastatic. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Current Mood: cussin'
Friday, September 25th, 2009
3:36 pm
Good stuff
No job yet, but good things. I have a job interview on Tuesday, and it also looks like the WIA (Workforce Investment Act) people will give me a retraining grant to take some classes. I think I'd like to get Official DBA Certification and improve my web skills.

They also gave me a CTA pass. Apparently I'm entitled to one.
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