Strange as it may seem, this life is based on a true story." - Ashleigh Brilliant


name: shanna
age: 28
sign: scorpio
live: louisiana
The current mood of shanna at

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Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:08 PM

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

As promised in today's previous post, I now reveal to you a Spinach Ball. Let me preface this photo by saying this is not one of those foods which looks horrible yet tastes delicious. This bad boy tastes every bit as nasty as it looks (you have been warned).

Alien turd Spinach Ball anyone?

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 5:30 PM

Christmas was great - and long. We spent the Eve of it with Baret's dad, sister and her family. Xmas day we spent a true "Cajun Xmas" with Baret's Mom and her side of the family. Along with Cajun Xmas music playing in the background on a local radio station, his grandfather and great uncle talking in French (Cajun French, mind you - there is a difference), wild duck on the table, and his uncles T'Ken, T'Jun and Chookie calling to wish the family a merry one, it was about as coonass as you can get, cher. I loved it. The true Cajun side of my family has died off, so we don't get to experience that anymore; but it brings me back to the days when we were still able to share holidays with them.

That same evening we drove to my family's and spent Xmas Night with them. I got a ton of books (as always), a documentary video on Mary Magdalen, a new sweater, a white shawl, and something that sprays henna tats on you using a stencil and an air gun of sorts loaded with ink. We also got the crock pot we'd asked for; so that was gravy.

But perhaps the most special gift of all was a heavy one given to me by my grandfather. He watched anxiously as I read the card, which went something like "You're so much like her I know she'd want you to have these. The dents in the mirror are from my head. Don't pawn it." That's summarizing it, it was much sweeter and funnier - you've got to know my Pa-Pa Riley (this is the man that likes to give large amounts of money in quarters and $1 bills). Inside was my grandmother's sterling sliver vanity set - the comb, brush and hand-held mirror - that my grandfather had given her as a gift some 50 years before when they were dating. He had polished them to a beautiful shine (something I was told he'd been working on all week). He cried and I cried and gave him a big hug. It was so very sweet. Of course he had to be all Pa-Pa about it as soon as I'd hugged him. Emotion is hard for him (that stout German blood) so he covers it up with humor. He told Baret, "She's just so much like her," he paused to wipe his eyes and then continued, "She's mean and jealous..." Thanks Pa, I know what you mean and I love you, too.

The food - oh, the food we ate! My usual diet consists of Easy Mac and/or Papa John's pizza so to have good, hot home-cooked meals three days in a row - well, let's just say my digestive system is still having trouble re-adjusting. The first night it was gumbo, candied sweet potatoes, and bread - the next day it was duck, turducken, peas, homemade macaroni and cheese, and buns - that night it was (again)turducken, pork roast (is this a Southern thing - to have two meats? Sometimes we have three...), mirliton dressing, rice dressing, green beans, baked spaghetti (a family classic), and the infamous booty bread (there was more but I can't remember all of it - my grandfather seems to think he is cooking for a small army rather than a small family). Good eating, a few extra pounds, isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Perhaps the craziest thing of all was that it snowed in some parts of Louisiana. Snow in Louisiana on Christmas Day - hasn't happened in about 50 years. We never got to see any come down, but there were patches on Baret's Mom's roof and lawn. Baret's T'Ken said it was "really coming down" in New Orleans; I'd love to have a picture of it snowing in the French Quarter! However, the snow in Louisiana was really only a way of welcoming my brother's girlfriend into the Blank's Law/Luck that she is now entitled to simply by being his girlfriend. They spent the holiday in Idaho with her family and my brother was excited about having his first white Xmas. It didn't snow in Idaho - not a drop; we here in the South had more of a white Xmas than he. And that is a prime example of Blank's Law (and Luck), which I've mentioned here before. It is my birthright - what 'cha gonna do?

I hope that everyone had as jolly & merry a holiday with their families and friends as we did.

(Next post I'll have a picture of Spinach Balls - a new side dish brought by a family member - ever wondered what an alien turd would look like {hint: as nasty as it tastes}? Your curiosity will soon be sated...)

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:47 AM

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

This morning, though I knew the number would grow, I was still shocked to see the death toll for those killed by the earthquake and resulting tsunamis had risen to over 40,000.

I made this - feel free to take it & put it on your webpage/blog/etc. Just a little something in honor of so many that have lost their lives.

In Remembrance
(Please right-click & "Save As" direct linking, please).

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:01 AM

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I had wished for a cold Christmas. It just doesn't seem like Christmas when you're wearing shorts and sweating. Then I walked outside this morning and thought, "Omfg, I'm a friggin' idiot." It's cold - it's fucking freezing. How cold & miserable is it? There's a 10% chance it may snow on Christmas Louisiana. The mere thought of this has sent most citizens into a flurry of excitement. It would be cool, but I'm really not into this cold stuff. You Yankees can have your 1-digit and below temperatures, your snow plows and wool longjohns. Not for me, no, thank you.

My sister emailed me and said I needed to stop being a Grinch and to remember the true meaning of Xmas = fun along with alcohol and crazy families. She's right. There are worse things I could be doing than enjoying the holiday with my family - like being at work for one. Getting off of work is reason enough to celebrate!

In his weekly horoscope mailing, Rob Brezsny had written a beautiful little blurb on the man who's non-birthday we're soon to be celebrating. I couldn't agree more with what he wrote, and I'd like to share it with you here:

Fundamentalist Christians send me hate mail. Religious zealots have banned my last book. Along with meditation, yoga, and sex for fun, the powers-that-be at the Vatican has declared astrology to be dangerous to your spiritual health.

All of these people would no doubt be shocked if they learned that Jesus Christ is one of the Main High Dudes in my pantheon of gods. They seem to believe that people like me -- goddess-worshiping tantric sufi Qabalist Buddhist pagans who hang around with zen trickster witches and espouse a socialist libertarian political philosophy -- couldn't possibly have an intimate relationship with the cosmic hero they claim to own. They must think they have commandeered the trademark to one of the sweetest avatars in history!

But I do have an intimate relationship with Jesus. How could I not? He was a champion of women's rights, a threat to the established political order, and a radical spiritual activist who worked outside religious institutions. The dude owned nothing and was a passionate advocate for the poor and underprivileged. He was uncompromisingly opposed to violence and war. Besides that, he was a master of love and he devoted his life to serving the Divine Intelligence. I want to be like him when I grow up!

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle," he allegedly said, "than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." That's a pretty clear statement of his position towards plutocratic accumulators of property and wealth.

"Love your enemies," he said, "do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." How any militarist promoting global arms sales and pre-emptive war could claim an affinity with Jesus is incomprehensible.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

So I feel better about the whole thing - even if it isn't "really" his birthday, I jive with the man so it's all good. And besides there's much good food, alcohol & crazy family moments to look forward to; how can you not enjoy that?

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 6:44 AM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Last night we went clothes shopping. This is probably not the brightest thing to do three days before Xmas, but in getting ready for the last holiday party we attended, we realized that all of Baret's clothes are old and faded.

Shopping for a man of my love's proportions (or lack thereof) can be rather tricky. I won't go into much detail about it, because these things are looked at differently by men whereas a woman would be thrilled to have to buy her pants in the kids section. I said too much, didn't I? Frankly, I don't know why he's embarrassed - I think he's the most handsome, adorable little man in the world - and he's properly sized in all of the places that count, so who cares? Its part of his Cajun heritage to be "small" and I think he should be proud of it. Besides, if we could bottle that metabolism of his, we'd be filthy fucking rich.

I also noted that the "Pharmacy" sign on the Albertson's we passed was out, so that it read "harmacy". Indeed.

I'm 82% braindead from the stress I've been under. I'd like to share with you what happened yesterday, but I be forewarned that I simply can't be nice or even slightly objective about it; well I need to be somewhat tactful. Let's just say this - when an engineer cannot install a printer cartridge in his printer, it's really beyond any help I can offer. The problem, however, was not just that he couldn't do it but that he feels it is not his job to install a new printer cartridge in his printer - you know, he is so above that. If he had simply attempted to do it himself, he might could have eventually figured it out - but rather than attempt it, he chose to try and make me angry enough that I'd just throw up my hands and go down there and do it for him - because it's my job, apparently, to hold everybody's hand through the most basic of computer functions.

Let me state, again, for the record that the statement "I shouldn't have to know anything about computers; my job is not computers" holds NO FUCKING WATER with me. Since 95% of your job is performed using a computer then, yes, it IS part of your job to "know computers" - at least the basic functions like turning it on, minimizing windows, restarting and installing a fucking printer cartridge when you've done so a thousand times before. Ahem. Thank you.

For those of you that didn't know, i.t. work is one of the most thankless jobs in the world.

I recently received another of those please-help-me-by-giving-me-all-of-your-banking-information-and-I-will-reward-you-with-millions-of-dollars emails. The ones Kat likes to write mock letters back to. I thought of her when I got this one and, bored one day, wrote up my own. I figured I'd stick in this post since I really have nothing else interesting to say and this takes the burden off of my poor mind having to actually think.

The original letter:


Dear Benefactor,

With the hopes that you are ok and doing fine, I could have notified you about it at least for the sake of your integrity. Please accept my sincere apologies. I have to say that I have no intentions of causing you any pains.

My name is Ronald Guei, the son of late General Robert Guei,the ex-military head of state of Ivory Coast, who was murdered along with the interior minister on the 19th of September 2002(You can visit
for complete review of this incident). I contacted you because of my need to deal with persons whom my family and I have had no previous personal relationship with. Since the murder of my father, I have been subjected to all sorts of harassment and intimidation with lots of negative reports emanating from the Government and the press about my family. As a result I have to run to the Netherlands where I am now seeking political asylum.

The present Government has also ensured that our bank accounts are frozen and all assets seized. It is in view of this that I seek your co-operation and assistance in the transfer of the sum of Eight Million Six hundred thousand United States Dollars (US$8,600,000.00), after the murder of my father, the Current Government seized all our properties and our accounts both local and international was frozen. My only hope now is this cash that my father carefully packaged and deposited as artifacts with a security/Courier Company in the Netherlands in Europe. The said sum can easily be withdrawn or paid to a recommended beneficiary; the security company based on my or my mother's instructions will release the fund to you and you will be presented as my partner who will be fronting for me in area of viable and profitable business investment. To show my preparedness and appreciation to carry-out this business with you, 20%of the total sum will be your share for assisting my family; also 5% is to be set aside for any eventual cost that might arise as the transaction proceeds, and the balance 75% will be for my family and you will assist us in investing in a profitable venture in your country. I need your full support and co-operation for the success of this transaction. I plead with you to treat this issue confidential and urgent because it is delicate and it demands a great degree of secrecy.

Note: your email address will remain confidential in order to protect your anonymity and our continuity. I hope to hear from you as soon as possible. You can reach me on my Telephone Number (0031-629-215-703)

God Bless you and your family.

Ronald Guei.

My response:

From: Mary Montgomery(

Mr. Business Partner,

I sure am glad you emailed me! My sister, Bethany Ann, just had her sixth child (for her boss, but that don't matter 'cause only God can judge). We have been prayin for a miracle - something to help the family out in these dire times.

You see, me and my husband, Joe, only have a two bedroom trailer and our extra room is for Joe's pet boa constrictors. Bethany Ann still lives at home with Ma, and, well, to be honest, Ma's just about run out of room for Bethany Ann and all her children. She said the new baby's gonna have to sleep under the porch. I sure don't want my niece or nephew sleepin under no porch. We didn't know where Bethany Ann could go; it's hard enough raising five kids working at the Dollar General during the day and Denny's at night. And her Geo Metro is just about to crap out on her as well. Only two of Bethany Ann's ex-husbands and boyfriends send her money for the kids; one of 'em because the government makes him and the other only sends $35 money orders every two months.

Then there's my brother, Wesley. See, Wesley needs money for a good lawyer so he can get out of jail. It's a stupid thing, really, and I don't think it was very Christian of him (but that don't matter 'cause only God can judge). See, my brother Wesley thought it'd be real fun to strip naked and rob the gas station here in town. Of course, Mr. Penton recognized him right away and called the police on him; it was the 8th time Wesley had been arrested for tryin to rob that gas station and this time the judge thought it would teach him a lesson if he sat in jail for awhile. I don't think that's fair, though, because Wesley just does stupid things like that when he's drinkin and Judge Wallace knows that. Heck, we all grew up on the same street. Still, we need some money for a lawyer for Wesley, too, you see.

Bethany Ann needs a home for her six kids, Ma needs her space, Wesley needs a lawyer, and I need an end to all this family stress. Then your email comes just like an Angel in the night - I knew the good Lord would answer my prayers!

I was wondering if there could be an advance on some of this money; something up front just so I know you're not yanking my chain or nuthin. It don't have to be much - just something so I know this is legit. When I first saw your subject line, "CRAVING YOUR INDULGENCE", I thought this was just another of them spam emails offering me free sex.

I know you said this is supposed to be all top-secret and hush-hush, but I just had to ask my pastor if doing this would be alright with the Almighty Lord. He said that Jesus wouldn't mind, so I guess we're in business.

I know you gave me your phone number, but we can't afford long distance and I was wondering if we could just continue this in email for awhile. I get on the computers here at the library in the city, and that will do just fine, I think.

I'm really sorry to hear that your dad got killed and all, and I sure don't mind helping out a fellow Christian in need. I'm so glad that you chose me and my family to help you with this very serious and important matter and assure you that you have chosen wisely. We're good people.

Hope to hear back from ya soon, Richard.

Mary Montgomery

Please don't force me to think up any other words to post - you'll just have to wait until I can refill my brain with holiday wine and after-dinner beer, and all will be back to normal.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 12:06 PM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I'm having a day - a motherfucking day I tell you!!! I'm amazed I don't have a fucking migraine now!

So there's this guy at the office that likes to be difficult - I don't know why, but he does. I won't go into detail about what he's doing, but suffice it to say that it got me upset enough that I had to walk away from my office for about 10 minutes to calm down; either that or go home and punch the wall until it or my hand broke. Yes, I was about 2 seconds from losing it. He's still trying, and I'm still fighting for my sanity - just know that however bad your day seems to be going, it can't be this bad.

I don't get paid enough to be this stressed out.

So let's talk about happier things. EQII - that's happy. The whiny morons on the EQII boards, though, that's not happy.

In short, what happened was that the EQII servers went down for almost two days (not quite two days). SOE employees worked 40+ hours straight to get them back up and the president of SOE himself sent out an apology - we were given 3 free days on our accounts and two days of accelerated experience gain to make up for the downtime.

Then you have these immature and childish people on the boards whining "I want my money back" (you got it), or "Let's all file a class action lawsuit" - you know, for missing a few hours of gameplay. I mean, come the fuck on. It's a fucking game (contrary to the asshats that claimed it's the same as the electricity & water that we pay for simply because it's a paid service). In the world of computers, I know from professional experience, anything that can go wrong, will. These guys clocked some serious overtime and even flew people in from out of state to get these losers back up as quickly as possible, and then they have to go to the forums and see nothing but bitching, whining, and griping for their good efforts. I've been there - spent copious amounts of overtime and sweat to get people back up and running, only to have them turn around and throw vitriol your way. It wasn't up fast enough, it shouldn't have broken at all. Really? Then you fucking maintain it and learn how to fix it. I'm sorry - it's a huge pet peeve.

Anything that is computer-based and run is going to run into problems; its going to break and go down and no amount of back-ups or back servers is going to fix this problem. People need to get a grip - I felt that SOE handled it the best they could (hourly updates on the forums even) and compensated everyone profusely. But then you had dumbasses saying "Well, the apology doesn't help me because I work on Monday and Tuesday - so they need to let us CHOOSE when we get our free time." I mean, come on. I know you can't please everyone all the time - and SOE did their best and fuck the haters - but people like this make me want spit nails. How can they expect this company to please every single one of their millions of customers all the time? Impossible.

Oh, and for my also-into-EQII readers, I play on the Guk server. Nysa/Half Elf Predator, Ghia/Gnome Sorcerer and Mielikki/Ratonga Summoner. And if any of the rest of you had any doubts as to my true geekiness - there it is.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 9:34 AM

Monday, December 20, 2004

Will get back to bitching about stupid, whiny people on the EQII forums tomorrow. For now, the head is doing somewhat better, though I'm still rather discombobulated. I somehow made it through the entire day at work, which is something considering I'm usually one to call in if my pinky toe is sore. Thanks for the concern all...looks like I'll live yet.

Oh yeah, and do you like my new look? (Yes, that's me circa 1997 - and, yes, I was a bottle-blonde for about two years - laugh and I'll cut you - oh, and yes that there is my first tattoo, ma).

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:32 PM

Looking for something for your favorite neutered pet this Xmas? Look no further. Nothing says "I love you, Scruffy" like a shiny, new set of testicular implants.


There was more to this post, but it was pointless and made little sense because it was written through the haze of a fucking migraine. Not just any migraine, mind you, but a fucking migraine; the kind that makes you want to throw-up, makes your jaws ache from the intensity of the throbbing and makes even the little clicking noise of the keys on your keyboard as you type this WANT TO STAB SOMEONE IN THE EYE WITH A NEARBY PENCIL!!!!

The lights are off in my office - the door is shut. I'm shaking like a crackwhore from the BC Powder and Coca-Cola (it would've looked really wrong if I'd just written "Coke" in that sentence) I've imbibed, and if I could close my eyes really tight, click my heels and say "there's no place like home" 3x's and magically end up at home and in bed (in the dark), that'd be so very swell. Did I just use the word "swell"? For fuck's sake, I am sick.

I cannot think straight - I can barely type (you wouldn't believe how many times I've had to use the backspace key already - try every other fucking word). I want to go home, and I can't. I don't know why I'm staying, since I'm really no good for doing anything (did I mention I can't think straight?)...argh, this post is going the way of pointless-drivel and nonsensical-ramble again, isn't it?

Blame it on the fucking migraine.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:46 AM

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I always thought these were a hoot (I even created a site to mock them), but THIS, while not as harmful, is still...a bit much.

Jesus Loves You...

and your footprints.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:04 AM

Friday, December 17, 2004

So I'm hold for Dell Tech Support, and the hold music, which is usually generic elevator or John Denver-ish light rock, begins to play. I mute my own music and listen to this loud and obnoxious noise coming from my speakerphone. It was N'Sync or Backstreet Boys or one of those boy bands I-don't-know-because-they-all-sound-the-same-to-me. If it was new or old, I also don't know, because I've been boycotting local radio for a number of years now. Who or whatever it was, it was still very strange hold music as the lyrics went something along the lines of:

"...if you really like it hot, I can hit the spot...if you want it good, girl, get yourself a bad boy..."

I'd expect them to be playing some awful renditions of Christmas carols or a Phil Collins love song, but not something you'd hear blaring out of an 11 year-old's bedroom. And it was so loud - I had to take it off of speaker for the fear that someone would open my office door and everyone in the vicinity would think I listened to music tripe like that.

And speaking of inappropriateness, every day on my drive to work I pass a large assisted living facility. It's very nice, and I'm sure is something only the wealthy elderly or their rich children could afford. Whatever the case, the past few weeks I have been very disturbed to see this advertisement printed on a large red sign in front of the building (and right next to the road):

"Give a gift to yourself and your loved ones this year: Make Name-of-Facility Assisted Living your family member's home".

Couldn't this have been worded a bit differently? Let's look at what this ad is really saying:

- Make Christmas special by getting rid of the burden that is Grandma.
- Experience the holidays without Uncle Charlie's repetitive 'Nam stories & noxious farts.
- Remind Dad how much his aging is a pain in the ass for you by sticking him in a home for Christmas.
- Tired of changing Mom's diapers? Give yourself the gift of someone else doing the dirty work.

Give yourself a gift? By putting your elderly family member in a home? Someone in the marketing department should be going without a Christmas bonus, methinks.

And to end this second-Friday-post, I nabbed Rose's Religion Creator post. Really, who doesn't want to create their own religion? Try it. This is mine:

From the most serendipitous regions of the spiritual plane, I have channeled the disembodied spirit of Edgar Allen Poe, bringing to you the wisdom and pithiness of the lost city of New Orleans. To usher in the New Age of rapscallions you must heed my words and importune zealously. The time is soon when the space Miatas of our galactic cousins will return and our collective gregariousness will reach critical mass. The highest frequencies of the universe will spiral through the left pinky toe chakras of the worthy, and our 3rd belly button shall be opened. But first we must look deep inside and accept our inner flock. We must feel the inner flock, become the inner flock, cognize it as though it was a beer can. We must accept our karmic past, and, as our yogi master, Shanna, always says 'The true form of a wrath is actually a sublime grape , but enlightenment is like a uncouth genius on the wind'. For there is no right or wrong, no loyalty or anti-loyalty, only one great and omnipresent cigarette.

If you remember anything from Shanna's religion, it should be this:
...cognize it as though it was a beer can and ...(there is) only one great and omnipresent cigarette. I hath spoken.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 12:30 PM

Just Because You Have a New Virgin Doesn't Mean You've Got Your Cherry Back, Bitch

This charming message was brought to you my bestest friend, Nodnarb, who sent me this text to congratulate me on the purchase of my new Virgin cell phone which was purchased at his suggestion.

Pre-pay, easy & quick to setup (I never had to talk to a live person), awesome features, and a cool deal - why didn't I know about this phone before now??

Brand (aka Dnarb) told me all about Virgin Mobile's awesome "Live without a plan" setup. It's essentially $20 for 3 months (you can add more if you need/as you need). I bought the phone at Target (the lovely Vox 8610), got online at home and was setup with a working cell phone in under 10 minutes without ever having to interact with another human being. That's my kind of cell service.

I've already downloaded two custom rings, though I'm normally opposed to such things. Music I don't jive with, but I thought these were great:
Duuuude and Special Ed's Boo-Yaaaaay. Right now, though, I'm stuck on "Duuuuude". Baret and I have been calling each other all day singing that little ring. Obnoxious rings aside, I normally only have my phone off of "Silent/Vibrate" when I'm home, so I don't have to worry about it annoying others. Having insufferable rings is one thing - it's quite another to force others to endure your cheesiness. I keep my cheese to myself; private cheese, if you will.

And my voicemail message totally says: "It's Shanna. I'm either not around or driving, so leave me a message and I'll get back in touch with you." Talk and drive? Me? Not in this lifetime. It's so bitchy of me to use my voicemail to make that stab, but I couldn't resist.

So I'm sure there are those of you wondering how such an adamant hater of cell phones and cell phone users could be so excited about getting a cell phone. I love my cell phone - my cell phone; but I am someone who is considerate enough to take steps to make sure my cell phone use does not irritate or endanger others. Most people aren't. It isn't that I hate cell phones, necessarily, you see. I hate the way they have made the masses even more inconsiderate; how the common user is completely oblivious to the people he's bothering or the lives he's jeopardizing - in fact, he could give two shits because being polite, considerate or responsible isn't nearly as important as the conversation he's having at that moment. I hate the way people use cell phones; I hate the way people abuse cell phones. I hate the way some people can't even seem to take a shit without dialing everyone they know to tell them about the shape, color and smell of their by-product.

My cell phone is for emergencies. My cell phone is for getting in touch with people when I'm not near my home phone to give directions, or choose a place to meet up. My cell phone is to call Baret and ask if it's scoopable or non-scoopable litter I'm supposed to be buying. My cell phone is not to gab with everyone I know 24/7 about the dinner I'm eating, the movie I've just come from, or the turn I just missed driving to work. My cell phone is not to keep me connected with every person I've ever come across every free second of my life. I didn't buy it for that, and I will not become one of those people who use it like that. I barely ever answer my house phone - I don't want to be connected. In fact, no one should be that connected.

So, yes, I do love my little cell phone and I'm so happy that Virgin Mobile has the exact-plan-I've-been-searching-for-all-of-my-life. Virgin Mobile rocks - the Vox 8610 kicks ass - and those that talk & drive still suck the wrong end of a donkey, duuuude.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:00 AM

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Since I'm not really a fan of painful death, I guess I'd best do this quiz (thanks Rose).

Three names you go by:
Sha-na-na-na (at work)

Three screennames you have:

Three things you like about yourself:
I'm passionate
I'm a damn good friend
I'm open-minded

Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:
I stress out & worry myself sick
The older I get, the more anti-social I become
My love of material things

Three parts of your heritage:

Three things that scare you:
Making certain important phone calls
My growing social anxiety

Three of your everyday essentials:
Black tea
Checking email

Three things you are wearing right now:
My no-lace Skechers
My Moonstone necklace
Faded green khakis

Three of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment):
Westside Chemical

Three of your favorite songs at present:
"Cold" by Crossfade
"Heaven's a Lie" by Lacuna Coil
"My Immortal" by Evanescence

Three new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
Learn to crochet/knit
Being able to write CSS from scratch (getting there)
Walking caneless

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):

Two truths and a lie:
I was in a car accident that involved a large train.
I've been in one fist fight.
I'm on a Girls Gone Wild video.

Three physical things about the opposite sex (or same) that appeal to you:
How they carry themselves/comfortable in their skin

Three things you just can't do:
Not be me
Remember numbers or do anything with numbers

Three of your favorite hobbies:
Web design

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
Go home (I'm at work)
Have a beer (I'm having a stressful day at work)
Have sex (It's been too long - more than you wanted to know, isn't it?)

Three careers you're considering:
Web Designer (full-time)
Forensic Pathologist (or any field in forensics)

Three places you want to go on vacation:
New Zealand
All of any of Europe
California (to relive some sweet memories)

Three kids names:

Three things you want to do before you die:
Share a life with my twin soul/flame
Travel extensively
Have an entire book/novel published

Three people who have to take this quiz now or die painfully:

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 11:37 AM

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You are so lucky you're getting this update.

Truly, the only reason for it is that I decided to get up rather than wake up every thirty minutes after dreaming of every possible thing that could go wrong today; don't you love nights like that?

My supervisor has fallen ill, which has caused an enormous responsibility to fall right into my little lap. Not that I mind that - I love huge responsibilities and the chance to shine - but this is a bit different. I am responsible for all of the equipment that runs our very intricate video conferencing equipment for two state-wide conferences/training classes that are being held today and tomorrow. My supervisor is the one who coordinated the set-up and told them how he wanted everything set up. Since they only completed this job the week before he fell ill, he had no time to show me any of it.

I spent all of yesterday teaching myself what the myriad of buttons and control panels and shiny boxes did, and testing the equipment against our satellite sites. I am going in early today for last-minute tests, but the fact remains that, when it comes to such things, all the testing in the world doesn't mean something still can't break or not work. Last night I dreamed of every possible piece of equipment breaking - first it was that the sound wouldn't work; I woke up and went back to sleep only to then dream the CSU DSU went out at our New Orleans site. I fell back asleep and dreamt that the laptop used for Powerpoint presentations went kaput. The entire night was like this.

I suppose the reason for my worries is that I've been told "this is all on you" and if "ANYTHING goes wrong" the #1 claims he will be "very pissed off". I believe he doubted my ability because he felt the need to threaten me with this yesterday morning. I wasn't daunted (though I'd already sweated through my nice blouse) and calmly told him, "It won't be perfect - I can't promise perfect - but it will be the absolute best I can make it." I figure, if I give it my all (and I am) and that isn't good enough, then it isn't my problem. However by the end of yesterday he seemed perfectly pleased with my endeavours, since he thanked my profusely and hugged me. Yes, these seminars are that big a deal.

Well, I'm sure that bored you all to tears, but I wanted to let you know that you likely won't hear from me for the next few days and that is why. And if you know any make-all-equipment-work-perfectly mojo or spells, I also would be appreciative if you'd send those my way; just trying to cover all of the bases.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:12 AM

Friday, December 10, 2004

The young man in this photo went to a place called Sundarbans with his friends and he asked his friends to take this photo on this spot.

While his friend took the photo, he screamed and fainted, 2 days later he died in the hospital. The doctors said he died from a heart attack.

When the photos where developed, in the last photo there was a woman standing next to the young man, even though his friends said there was no one with him when the photo was taken. Many people know of this rumor and the last photo is the result of the blessings of technology. But still, the photo is very mysterious and I'm sure that when you see it you will feel the same as me. Here's the photo!! A Naval Officer sent it to 13 people and he was promoted within 13 days. A businessman was sent this and he erased it and with in 13 days he lost everything. A laborer received this and sent it to 13 people and within days he was promoted and all his problems were solved. So send this to 13 people and good things will come your way. Don't be lazy what have you got to loose.

For those of you that find this blog because are looking for more information about this stupid email, I send you to:

Snopes: Double Exposure and Asian ghost gets around.

If you think the photograph or the story in the email is real then I cannot help you - perhaps you might want to try writing your name or reciting the alphabet instead of sending/reading emails; I believe that is more your speed.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 2:37 PM

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Holiday weekend schedule:

Friday nite - Xmas party
Sat nite - Xmas party in St. Martinville (1 hr 15 mins away)
Sun - Go visit a friend all day
Sun nite - Xmas party in Maringouin (1 hr away)

Shanna's holiday-frazzled state:
Harried but resigned to her fate.

Is there some social god/dess that I can look to for some inspiration here? Maybe Bacchus - he wouldn't have balked at going to party-after-party-after-party, and he is a favorite of mine.

Bacchus says, "To make it through the holiday social gatherings, my child, stay merry with copious amounts of good wine."

Thank you, Bacchus. Thou art wonderful.

Bacchus, patron saint of wine and bacchanal parties - patron saint of orgies; my kind of guy. Throw in a little Pan - the original Satyr himself - and it could be a damn good time.

I'm babbling, aren't I?

I leave you with the latest edition to The Halls of Stupid:

paolo_mash: hi

vamp_lynx : hi

paolo_mash: wer ar u from

vamp_lynx : Louisiana - it's in my profile

paolo_mash: i am from rome

paolo_mash: wat is u job

paolo_mash: valeria u r very nice

paolo_mash: have u other pic?

paolo_mash: if u want i like talk sex

vamp_lynx : I bet you do.

paolo_mash: yes o no

vamp_lynx : What does that mean?

paolo_mash: i like it

paolo_mash: i like sex

paolo_mash: i like talk it

paolo_mash: u r sexy

vamp_lynx : How do you know if I'm sexy? You've never seen me.

paolo_mash: i see u pic

paolo_mash: i like kiss every part

paolo_mash: do u like it

vamp_lynx : Do I like what?

paolo_mash: i like kiss every part of body,do u k

paolo_mash: do u like ,i kiss u body

vamp_lynx : How are you going to kiss my body from Rome?

paolo_mash: with my lips

paolo_mash: and if u want

paolo_mash: i like liuk vagin

paolo_mash: send me u sexy pic plz

paolo_mash: kissssss u vagin

paolo_mash: hi

vamp_lynx : Kiss my virgin?

paolo_mash: vagin

vamp_lynx : Vagisil?

paolo_mash: valeria send me u sexy pic plz

vamp_lynx : Vegetable oil?

vamp_lynx : Vagabond?

paolo_mash: vagin

vamp_lynx : Venetian blinds?

vamp_lynx : I don't understand

paolo_mash: u behaind

paolo_mash: i kiss u behaind

vamp_lynx : Be-wha?

paolo_mash: u sessual apparat ,i kiss it

paolo_mash: kissssssssssss

paolo_mash: kissssss u

vamp_lynx : My sandalwood armoire?

paolo_mash: wer do u like my lip

paolo_mash: kiss u lipssssssssss

paolo_mash: hi

paolo_mash: Come here you. Come on. Closer. Closer.

vamp_lynx : Are you high?

paolo_mash: why

paolo_mash: kiss u sexy lipssssssss

paolo_mash: kisssssssssssss

paolo_mash: kiss u leggggggggggggg

vamp_lynx : but I haven't shaved!

vamp_lynx : Hairy legs turn you off?

vamp_lynx : ??

vamp_lynx : Hello?

vamp_lynx : Are you there?

vamp_lynx : Don't want to talk anymore all of a sudden?

vamp_lynx : The English translation site go down?

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 4:57 AM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I remember bitching about this when it first made headlines, but I am once again reminded how stupid and sensitive people can be when I read that: The computer term "master/slave," which was banned as racially offensive by a Los Angeles County purchasing department, was named the most politically incorrect term of the year on Thursday.

If you are offended by the 'master/slave' computer term, then you have bigger issues than I can even begin to go into here. Offended? You are OFFENDED? Do you realize how ignorant you have to be that you are offended by two hard drives being called "master" and "slave"? The Los Angeles county that went along with this tripe is doing nothing more than perpetuating the thin-skin that is so prevalent in today's society. Give it a few more years and I'll be able to sue someone for saying I have brown eyes (they're hazel - I'm so offended!).

You know, I think they should change the common name for USB Keycards - Flash Card just isn't appropriate. I was flashed once by an old man in a park and the term just offends me. And I just don't feel right telling my child about the male and female electrical plugs - and how the male goes into the female. I mean, that's just not right - we have to call it something else - that's so offensive. And memory - we shouldn't refer to "memory" in a computer because we might offend Alzheimer's patients. And the microphone "jack" and headphone "jack", that just has to go, too, because that's offensive to all the people in the world named Jack. And you know how you "turn on" a computer? That's so wrong! What are we teaching our children? We simply *cannot* "turn-on" our computers anymore - a new term must be made, one that's less offensive. And I, for one, just hate the term "disc" - it's so close-sounding to "dick"; yes, yes, that offends me as well and it must be changed, too.

Political correctness offends every last one of my senses. The stupidity of the human race offends me. This entire post offends me - I am offended - the word offend offends me. I am too offended to go on.

Offensively yours,

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 1:38 PM

Monday, December 06, 2004

Hello, my name is The Grinch.

I've been doing some soul-searching as to my current state of aggravated apathy and this growing distaste for anything Christmas-related.

It could have something to do with amassing a year's worth of parties, get-togethers, and gatherings in less than one month's time. I'm not an overly social creature by nature. Though I do love my friends & family and do enjoy social gatherings, I do not relish partaking in them on every single second-off-from-work that I have. This rushing to be everywhere and see everyone is ridiculous. With no time to myself or to hole up in my house and do "my thing", I'm slowly going insane. Not everyone needs the back-to-me time that I do, but it is essential to my emotional and mental well-being. I suck up a lot of what is around me and after many days of constant contact with other people, I find myself at the very bottom of a dark and desolate muck. I need time to rinse myself clean of everyone's emotions and thoughts. I'm an empath - you can think that's weird or crazy and you can absolutely not believe its true - but the fact is that after much rubbing elbows, I am drained and unable to connect to myself. This holds truer the older I get and the Christmas season drains on me a little more every year. I find myself depressed, dreading the next social gathering and wishing it would all end as quickly as possible.

I was reading blog postings from December of last year, and I was no ray of light at that time either. Perhaps this is just a rough time of year for me for the above named reason and because of the weather. Have you ever spent December in Louisiana? Let me tell you what you're missing. A look out of the window shows an overcast and blustery sky. It looks chilly - you expect it to be chilly because wherever you're looking from is likely cold from the a/c. Then you step outside, expecting the chill of a gray, windy day and are smacked with warm air so heavy it feels as if an actual weight has descended upon your skin. Your perfect coif melts into a damp, springy mess and you start to sweat even if you just bathed. The humidity is so heavy it's almost hard to breathe, and the warm wind only makes it worse. It's December and you want it to be cold, but it just isn't - it's hot, sticky and clothes-clinging humid. Then it rains - it rains for 2 or 3 days - stopping and starting with no end. You expect the rain to bring cooler weather, but it remains hot (high 70s) and becomes even more humid. There's a reason the song was not written "I'm dreaming of a humid Christmas" or even "I'm dreaming of a soggy, tepid, muggy Christmas." It's depressing as all hell. Everything is hot, wet, clammy and miserable.

I can't even find a good reason to claim celebrating Christmas anymore. It's for children and Christians - of which I am neither. For those two groups, it's a magical, fun and special holiday. It is none of those things for me anymore. It's trying to get all of the shopping done while attending all of the parties. It's smiling when I don't want to and coming up with something pithy to say when I don't feel like chatting.

For me, it's also spending money on gifts that will never be used or looked at twice, and feeling like a scumbag when I see a homeless person on the side of the road. Perhaps that's what Christmas is about for me. The real giving - the kind that counts. Getting Aunt Martha that mohair scarf she's been wanting is not giving - not in the sense that I believe Christmas is supposed to be about. Maybe next year I can request that all money I normally would've spent on gifts for friends & family, I'm donating or using to make "packages" of food and necessities that I can hand out to homeless people (something I've always wanted to do). Maybe I'll spend Xmas itself in a soup kitchen somewhere, handing out food to the less fortunate. That would mean something to me. That would make me feel spiritual and uplifted and cheerful.

I might've just talked myself into realizing what the spirit of Christmas is for me. Maybe there's something there in this Grinch-sized heart after all.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 1:10 PM

Friday, December 03, 2004

Holy Demeter Mother of Persephone! Three posts in one day? Whatever has come over me? Count them - one post - two post - three - three posts - hahahaha-ha. (The Count would be proud - you gotta love a purple vampire).

But I had to share this.

So I go to the bathroom here at the office and a particularly chatty employee is going in at the same time. She proceeds to start chatting me up as we step into our individual stalls. I figure she'll stop once the locks are clicked - isn't that the unspoken rule? - but she continues. I'm peeing and you're peeing, I'm thinking, and I just don't think we should be talking. She even raised her voice to be heard over the pee tinkle.

I'm feeling a tad uncomfortable - but it's all cool - until she says yells, "Oh my god, I can't believe I have so much pee in me!"

I wasn't sure how to respond. "Thanks for sharing."; "Should I call a doctor?"; "So there is a plus side to being deaf." I chose to remain silent.

This is something you hear a fellow second-grader yell out from the stall next to you - it is not something you expect to hear from a 50+ year-old woman who makes sure she is saying it loud enough that everyone in the bathroom and anyone walking by in the hall can hear. Oh my god I have so much pee in me. Pee in me. Pee me. Oh my god. Indeed.

I don't even like for people to hear me peeing, much less announcing to the world that I'm gushing fountains of urine. I mean, was this really necessary? Did I or anyone else in the bathroom at that time need to know this? Did she REALLY need to share this tidbit of her personal lavatory affairs?

TGIF has never rang quite so true.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 8:07 AM

To make up for my laziness in posting as of late I offer you two posts in one day. Oh you lucky lucky readers you!

Please note that I have completed my posters-hanging-in-my-office-at-work collection! Yea. Adorning my walls so that everyone in the agency can continue to think I'm a bit strange are:

Albert Einstein

Nikola Tesla


Isadora Duncan

Three people I totally love and admire and feel so privileged to be surrounded by in paper form.

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:41 AM

I just finished reading an amazing book called "speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. My sister urged me to read it after having to do so herself for a college class. She told me that the book is banned in a few schools and is on the PABBIS list of "no-nos".

It angered me to think that parents are banning their children from reading this book. I can't imagine why - the subject matter? The main character's dark cynicism? My sister said one of the things quoted as being "inappropriate" was the protagonist facing the demon that haunted her throughout the book and finally coming to the realization that she would survive.

This is inappropriate reading? You know, its parents like these that cause kids to go over the edge when something traumatic happens to them! Its these very parents that cause teens-in-trouble to get themselves in even more trouble just to avoid having to go to their parents with their problem!

That's just how I feel about it.

Watch out because here comes a heavy dose of Grinchiness, but I am so hating the holidays right now. Its non-stop visiting and partying every weekend and damnit, weekends are when I RELAX! I'm forced to be social eight hours a day/five days a week with people I normally wouldn't interact with. I don't want to spend every single weekend forcing a smile and barfing up mind-numbing drivel at party after party after party. It's not that I'm anti-social - quite the opposite - I love my friends and I love hanging out with them and we do so at least every two weeks or so (busy schedules permitting). But I need my recoupe time; I need my breath of fresh air away from people. I need to be by myself, talk with just myself, do the things that I like to do alone. I am not one of those people that is afraid to be alone or needs to surround myself with a gaggle of bodies or needs a man to feel complete in life. I enjoy my solitude, I enjoy having nothing to do but what I feel like doing (even if that's nothing more than lying in bed with a good book all day). I'm a hermit-at-heart, truth be told. I don't mind the occasional social gathering, but when it's every day of every weekend with no end in sight until the-day-celebrated-as-Jesus'-birthday-even-though-it-isn't is over. Is that horrible of me?

In other thoughts, my recently-married friends with two kids called last night and asked what we were doing this weekend. I told them there was a laidback, TGIF, ordering-out-for-pizza party at my pad tonight and they were certainly invited. "Could we bring the kids?" they asked. This is one of my main fears about having kids. Other than these two, none of my friends are married or burdened with children. That sounds wrong - please, readers & friends, do not think I mean to imply anything negative about those of you that DO have children; it just isn't something I personally desire in my life, nor do my friends, so to us, personally, it would be a "burden". I have the utmost respect for someone that decides to share their life with a child - it is not an easy thing by any means! Anyway, my friends, along with Baret and myself, are of the "never marry, never have kids" genre. This doesn't mean we never will (life likes to play tricks like that) - but for now, it isn't something we want or are planning for. We like to have fun and party whenever we want to do so. Yes, it's selfish - but I'm admitting it. It would be much more selfish to have a child and continue to party and cater to my own desires. But I felt sorry for my friends-with-kids in that moment. I had to tell them no. And it's not that I mind the kids in question - they're my godchildren and the coolest two kids IN THE WORLD - no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But my friends are not PG, not even PG-13 for that matter, and are not used to censoring themselves. Everything is about sex or something very un-pc, and there's been spontaneous strip poker games known to just pop up at any given time. Not the kind of party you bring your kids to, in other words. They were able to find a babysitter and are going to come anyway, which I'm glad for, but I wondered how I would feel having to put my life on hold like that all of the time and just thanked the gods that I've been blessed with being childless so far.

I know that's kind of taboo in our society. When I tell people I don't want kids, they look at me like I've got a two-fingered hand growing out of my forehead. Then they chuckle and shake their heads as if I'm just-ig'nant-that's-all, and say, "Someday you'll change your mind." Well, what if I don't? And you should see the looks I get when I say I don't want to get married - that it isn't a goal for me and not something I'm looking for. You'd then think I had skin-sculpture of Barbara Streisand singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" growing out of my forehead. Why is that so weird? I think there are a lot of people in my age group that are chucking the "traditional" societal norms of settling down and adding to the population as soon as humanely possible. Why are we all expected to settle down with one mate and have many children? Me? I'd rather have many mates and no children - doesn't that sound more fun? But seriously, times are changing and I, for one, am proud to be part of the non-married, no-kids crowd (clear forehead and all). I respect people that take the plunge, I'm just not into diving.

There's no point to any of this - I'm just rambling. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend that isn't over-wrought with too-many-Christmas-parties! I'd like to sleep in JUST ONCE this month!

- shanna bared her soul & griped a bit @ 7:29 AM

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