Friday, October 31, 2008

KZSU goes international
One of my favorite sources of music at KZSU is the Francophonie Diffusion Network. They have a website where radio stations can obtain the latest singles from France and French-speaking countries.

This month I am interviewed in their "closer look at" feature on their website. Each month they focus on a different radio station around the world and KZSU is the latest feature. My English is a bit "quaint" as the contact there got rid of my colloquial speech, but it's a nice write up of the station and even includes my photo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The curse of Halloween
The curse of Halloween is not headless horsemen or wayward ghosts....nope, it's mini-candy bars. You know you have to buy them, because the gremlins are coming and they don't want that bag of pearl barley you can't remember why you bought. They want candy.

So you buy candy....and then the candy calls you from the kitchen. Candy. Not something we usually have in our house. And now there are bags of Snickers, Milky Way, and Hershey's with almonds just sitting there. And you know I have no willpower. But if I give in I'll gain back all that pre-zarf weight, and I kinda like being skinny. (Well, skinny for me anyway.)

I can hear you being the voice of reason "why didn't you buy candy you hate, and then you won't be tempted." Yeah, not going to work. The only candy I hate is the candy that kids also hate. And I just can't bring myself to give kids those wierd suckers that only show up in bags of 300 for $5 around Halloween. Nope, for someone who is not really a kid-person, I still want to give them yummy candy because that's what's Halloween is about. When I was a kid, we hated the house that gave us raisins -- and we'd always toss out the Abba-Zabba (what the hell is Abba-Zabba anyway?) But we were big fans of anyone who gave us really good candy. And not just one each -- people who'd give us a handful were our best friends.

Back when I did AIDS work and got free condoms I also gave them out on Halloween. No, not to the 5-year olds. To the junior and high school kids who'd come around after 9, barely bothering with costumes, jonesing for some free M & Ms. Surprisingly enough, the condoms were quite popular (and yes, the got candy too). But now it's just candy....and it knows my name.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The "C" word...
On Friday I was at the Stanford Shopping Center where I passed by a store that already had a Christmas tree in their window. Good lord, it isn't even Halloween!

And yet, in spite of my annoyance at people jump-starting Christmas earlier every year I started my own shopping in August.

Yeah, I'm one of those damned people who gets there shopping done early. I'm always done by shoot me. I think it comes from having worked in retail for so long. I hated being in stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The crowds. The insane lack of parking. The waiting in line forever. All to prepare for an event that everyone knows is coming but nobody seems ready for. So I got into the habit of shopping early.

I suppose it's easier now that there's this crazy thing called the Internet. Not having to go into a mall is a good thing. But I still try to get done before turkey day. Now it's more a case of not wanting all the Visa bills to come at one time. If I spread it out over a few months then it doesn't seem quite so painful. I know it's a stupid fake psych out, but do what works.

So I've already got a stash of gifts, but very few ideas for the majority of my family. I'm trying this year to shop with organizations that do some good in the world. My favorite is Serrv International which sells fair trade gifts and helps support artisans in developing countries. I highly recommend them. I've been a customer for years and have always been increased with their products and service. They have a wonderful selection of gifts, especially baskets and jewelry, from around the world. I have several of their African baskets in my home and they're really beautiful. Anyway, if you have lots of shopping to do, you might want to check them out. Since we all have to spend money, it helps to know you're spending money for a good cause. update....

So "Glory" (see below) is back to being "Lily" again. My mom can't really make up her mind. But the cat is doing well. She spent the day out in the open, mostly sleeping on mom's sofa. Unfortunately she still seems to prefer me to mom. When I went over this evening to check up on them I went to the sofa and sat next to Lily. She immediately woke up, walked over to me, curled into my lap, and went back to sleep again. She stayed there for almost 90 minutes. She really seems to have taken to me -- I just hope she's as affectionate with my mom and my sister.

Also, knowing how much trouble Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) can be in the middle of the night, I'm hoping she's not too annoyingly nocturnal. I can't imagine either mom or sister being as tolerant of feline insomnia as Husband and I are. If she's too much trouble I can easily picture mom wanting to give her up. If that happens I have a feeling she'll end up here. And, as adorable as Lily is, I don't know that we want another cat.

OK, I won't borrow trouble. But I am concerned.

Cipher's cousin
So yesterday I took my mom to the Humane Society and she adopted "Lily". (Although my mom has changed her name to "Glory.") She's a small, shy, white calico with a sweet disposition and an off-key meow. Apparently she spent the night under my mom's bed but she's slowly coming out to explore her new space. I helped get her and mom settled yesterday and went back today to see how they were getting along. My mom's not big on patience so she's a bit bothered that the cat is still hiding, but I told her to leave Glory alone and that she'll come out when she's ready.

Oh, and the cat seems to like me more than my mom. When I went into my mom's room, the kitty came right to me and curled up in my lap. I must have animal magnetism.