QotD: Evaluate Your Life Day

Today is "Evaluate Your Life Day." So, tell us: how do you think you're life's going so far?

I  think, pet, that it's not going so poorly that I can't help but notice your incorrect homophone usage. But I'll try not to dwell needlessly on that just now.

This won't play right for me on here. Maybe it does for you, though, as my computer can be fickle with Vox. This version works but Vox won't attach the picture file with it.

QotD: Run Away

Did you ever run away from home?

Not exactly. But I did always want to be a hobo, so now and then I'd tie things inside a piece of cloth attached to a stick and take long walks through the fields and over the creek, etc. I was always disappointed that I couldn't find a polka-dotted handkerchief, having to do with the usual paisley-ish pattern instead. And I never had the nerve to jump onto an open freight train, but did enjoy watching them go by over my head from the creek bank, counting the open and closed cars. 

I never saw a passenger train until I moved to New Jersey in 2000.

QotD: My Favorite Quick & Healthy Recipe

What’s your favorite quick, easy, and healthy recipe?
Presented by Intel, Sponsors of Tomorrow.Click Here

This is an odd question to me. I'm certain I don't have a favorite quick, easy, and healthy recipe. But here's something you may enjoy doing: semi-homemade spaghetti sauce. 

Heat a large pan to medium and add some extra-virgin olive oil. Um, a couple of spoonfuls? I dunno, depends on the next part. Add some chopped onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, that is, your choice among those* but definitely garlic, and a couple of spoonfuls of dried mixed Italian seasoning. (I have all those herbs fresh but this is good, trust me, especially with Costco's Tuscan seasoning.) Stir that around until the stuff is softened, then add in, oh, a half cup of wine or vermouth. Sure, red is good (not too dry, though,) but white will be fine (but not a dessert one.) It should be drinkable, but not expensive. Simmer that on low for about 5 minutes, then stir in one small can of tomato paste, and a large can of crushed tomatoes. You can use a large can of diced tomatoes instead if you like; my kids do not. Simmer this for a few minutes, stirring a few times, and you're done. You might like a pinch of salt and pepper near the end. It'll keep in the refrigerator for a week or you can freeze it. It will feed 6-8, thereabouts and is worth the time to have some for later if there are not 6-8 of you. 

*Like, 1 small onion or half a larger one, 1/2-1 bell pepper, a handful of mushrooms, 2-3 garlic cloves or spoons of that jarred stuff.

A nice thing to do is take about half the sauce and add a quarter cup or so of heavy cream to it, warm and serve that way, with some thicker pasta like linguini. 

Tthis really is how I cook most of the time and it works out fine. But I've missed sharing real recipes here, so I'm going to work on doing that on the weekends again. It's that time of year. :-)

QotD: You May Say I'm a Dreamer

Do you remember your dreams?

Well sure, at least sometimes. Obviously I can't say how often...

Now and then I can sort of trick myself into dreaming a certain general subject, namely something I perhaps won't name after all.

And there are recurring elements to some of my dreams, especially when part of my brain is trying to wake up the other part. It has me hurrying through this whole series of places; there are two different versions of that, one taking place on a highway and the other in a shopping area, and there are bits of danger or chaos to navigate...


QotD: Best. Present. Ever.

What's the best present you've ever received?

LP has given me so many great gifts, it's hard to know which is the greatest. 

A long time ago he gave me inline skates and all the padding and stuff. That was fun, but having some more kids made it harder to do.


He took me on weekend trips to Chicago for my 30th birthday, Detroit for my 32nd birthday, New York for my 40th birthday. He gave me my guitar, all my iPods and laptops (3 of each,) and my turntable. 

It's kind of feast or famine, to be honest, but the feasts are always something to behold. 

QotD: Fashion Forward

What do you think we'll be wearing twenty years from now?
Presented by Intel, Sponsors of Tomorrow.

Hi, Intel! I don't have your stuff, but you seem sound. 

We used to have these things called Vox Hunt. This would have been a really good one. 


Okay but seriously, anyway, I don't know if there are going to be advances in fabrics; my guess is that if there are, they'll come from lighter and more renewable sources, but possibly be more "disposable" than they are now. 

Tech QotD: The Internet 10 Years Ago...

What do you miss most about the internet of ten years ago?

This might be fun. Let's see.

Well, I miss people not blathering on about Facebook. While I didn't like how they thought everyone who wasn't them was a creepy stalker, which is stupid since everyone is just everyone, I did like how they used discretion and didn't think of the internet as one big corkboard on which they detailed every intimate moment of their day. People seem to have gone from one unreasonable extreme to the other. As they do.

I kind of liked chat 10 years ago. It was pretty fun and sometimes you'd find yourself in really intriguing conversations with people from just anywhere. It was anonymous for the most part, so it was a lot more free. But 1999 was when it was really starting to change and you had to narrow the scope a lot, being less yourself by being more revealing about yourself. I think this is why I like Twitter so much. It's a bit more like the old way of chatting, though sadly less personal. You don't have to keep up with every tweet, just drop in and out when you have time. It's easy to find interesting people to follow. And anyone who is super boring is super easy to just ignore; they can go be boring on their Facebooks, after all.

It's more like 12-15 years ago, but I miss CompuServe forums, the new flashy Netscape Navigator (and ooh, Communicator!) and finding out that other people also missed Danish Go-Rounds, Dawn Dolls, and the little records we cut off the back of cereal boxes. It was so exciting to finally learn all the words to all the cheesy songs that creeped me out when I was a child. 

I kind of miss the scarily ignorant and witless Y2K forum on AOL. It was fabulously hilarious and angering, all at the same time. Truthfully, I miss the whole idiotic spectacle of Y2K.

I miss our first iMac, which is actually just up in the attic and could technically work, but wouldn't be able to handle the web at all, or most updated applications. 

If you could transfer all of today's technology to the web community of the 1990s, that would be pretty great. But I guess it couldn't work that way at all, at all.

Vox QotD: Inhaling Fumes

The smell of gasoline: Love it or hate?




It's a big reason on the list of "Why I have an electric lawnmower."

QotD: I Take These Things For Granted

What are five things you take for granted? 
Submitted by meowkitty.

Although only a couple of these photos have any tiny bit of "art" to them, I owe the reminder of beauty today to Princesskasren, who posts the loveliest photos and thoughts on her page.

A beautiful shiny eggplant will grow from the death of this blossom.

I will make spicy soup and lovely fresh iced tea in my new home.

Fresh lavender has a heaven-born scent.

These tomatoes will eventually ripen, hopefully many of them before I have to leave them behind.


No one who is likely to move in here after we leave will appreciate the amount of work I put in here in such a short time. But I'm totally okay with that.

QotD: Sorry, You Can't Wear That Anymore

What clothing item do you wish could be banned?
Submitted by Mike E.

Banned, huh? Well, nothing, when you put it that way. There are some things I wish people wouldn't wear, and many things I'd never wear. Camouflage print, for one. It sort of turns my stomach.

I think thongs are horrible, and I'm hoping that all the new seamless underwear will help put a stop to those for everyday wear. You can still try to vamp it up for your partner or whatever, in your home where I don't see evidence of it, or have to endure sympathy chafing.

But I'm glad you asked, because I have a lot to say on this subject. I will be adding photos later, but I have to go do things soon.

I don't see why people whine over certain styles that don't suit them. Most every style suits someone, except some of the extreme high-fashion choices, which are mostly for show, anyway. For example, I see nothing at all wrong with skinny jeans on the right person, worn correctly, in the correct size, and so forth. At a half size smaller, I look good in them myself, though they're a bit young for me in general. I think flared jeans look good on almost no one, but some of the wide legs do, again, fitting properly.

There are so many fit and style choices these days, people can find what suits them, if only they'd put a little serious effort into it instead of whinging on about anything they find uncomfortable or strange. I like that we're no longer slaves to the fashion moment; instead we get to work within a wide spectrum. Younger people have no idea the strict limits we used to have with our clothing choices, even long after women were allowed to wear pants and jeans everywhere.

Usually, bad trends don't last, unless some dedicated and misguided souls out there attempt to keep them running. There was no need for women to continue to wear long sweaters over leggings a full decade after someone got a look in a mirror and said, "whoops." When was Kate and Ally cancelled, anyway?

There's little need for waistlines of pants to hit us right where we digest the food. Wearing them above or below, depending on what suits us best is much better, and I'm glad we have that choice now.

Many times, the trends that cause problems have to do with how the clothes are "enhanced," with attachments of various kinds, or the shape/cut/sizing of the garment. If people would figure out the cuts and colors that look best on them, they could easily decide which of-the-moment fashions will work with their basic wardrobe, and which ones to give a pass to.

And everyone should look in a floor-length mirror before they leave the house. I don't care how poor you are, and I've been there often, you can save up, get one of those for ten dollars, attach it to the back of a door, and never leave the house looking like a mess again. And if you shop twice a year at the department store clearance sales, when tons of things are 70% off, you can always look as good as anyone who has money.

I recently read a blog where the writer describes just what you need in a basic wardrobe. I agree, but I don't, because she's not factoring poverty into the mix, and it's kind of too much with the black. So I'm going to make a list and put it in here later, along with some shopping rules. Why, you ask?

Well, largely because I'm trying to redo my own wardrobe and this is heavily on my mind just now. Also, I'd like everyone else to dress better, as well. Then we all feel better about ourselves and make nice with each other. :-)

QotD: What I Love About Summer

What do you enjoy most about summer?
Submitted by Alex.

I have to answer Alex's question! But gee whiz. I like everything about summer that separates it from all the other seasons! It's warm and shiny and green and things are growing and smelling good and I don't have to wear a lot of clothes or shoes, and I want to embrace it all.

I might have more to say about that later on.

QotD: My Movie Cliché Moment

What movie cliché would you most like to live out in real life? 
Submitted by Wes.  

Many seemingly chance encounters with a handsome, slightly older man in a foreign city, some rain, a train or a boat, a tiny and meddlesome but loving housekeeper who speaks a dialect I can't always make out, leading to an amusing but easily resolved misunderstanding about his relationship with the woman who turns out to be his sister, and a really big family dinner at the villa we now will share for the rest of our days. Or at least a while.