Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Dear Santa,

I am SO not in the mood for Christmas. I’m in a deep blue funk and can’t seem to get out of it. I even tried watching “A Christmas Story”, the classic which is played every year (with little Ralph Parker, 1983), but still I was not able to shake off my lingering gloom.
It doesn’t help that the temperature has once again dropped to minus degrees, which tends to make me want to act like a hibernating bear and stay put in the house. The dreaded long winter here is looming on my mind, making me wonder, “will I gain another five or ten pounds again this year?”. By the way, I really wish they would hurry up and invent that miracle “fat burning pill”.

I forced myself to make my homemade salsa to give to co-workers and friends. Something I usually like doing.

Maybe I am subconsciously worried about the crazy Mayan prediction that is just a few days away. If they are right, I am going to be sooooo perturbed, as I am scheduled to get out of this place which is colder than a penguin’s derriere, for about a week. I REALLY need this break away as it is so dry here, I also feel like an itchy bear cub. All these things compounding the urgency for some relief from the constant cold.
Why the hell did I move here? Oh, yeah, a job. That is a whole other story.

If I don’t get my “fun time” in some warmth….I will really get bitchy (and I will probably look and act like a grumpy bear).

No wonder people here get “cabin fever”, where they go stir crazy from being inside and it is dark all the time. I see those “lamps” for sale, to help people with this weird condition (to try and keep the insanity at bay). I guess they work.

I could really use some of that “global warming” here…that would help with my sanity. Not too much though, as I moved from “hell”, where it was hot ALL the time.

I need a happy medium please. That is all I am asking for (well, that and please don’t let the world end on December 21st).

Yours Truly,

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So, What is the problem?

I mean….what are you scared of? Liberty, Freedom? The Pursuit of happiness? I mean really….you would think this country is ashamed of these long-life liberties that are ordained to each and every one of us!

If you listen to what Obama and the democrats say….making a profit is bad. Someone making a profit, utilizing the free enterprise system. Why is it so bad? To make profits, and succeed? I just do not understand their logic.

That is what separates us from the REST OF THE WORLD. Think of it. We allow people to start up a small business, and with capitalism…the result is growth! What is better than growing a business and expanding? How do you think McDonald’s or Wendy’s grew to be such a huge success? By expanding and growing to other states, and even expanding to other countries!

Do not be fooled by those who try to scare you into subservience…..yes…you do not want to owe ANYTHING TO ANYONE. Trust me….I know.

Be self-sufficient…and fight for what is right. You will appreciate yourself in the end.


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Over Spring Break, we decided to get away for a few days. I am lucky as I get to pick where to go. I tend to find obscure and off the beaten-path type of places. I think my husband is embarrassed to tell his co-workers where we will go, as he usually does not disclose what we will do, unless someone asks him what his plans are.

I have several web sites I like to check out for vacations, and one of my favorites is www.familygetaway.com. , and their sister company, http://www.luxurylink.com/.

I found an auction for three nights, at the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The pictures were beautiful, a remote area, nestled in the Ozark Mountains. One can read over the “guest reviews” and make an informed decision if they want to either bid or buy-now on a package deal. The great thing is, if you lose a bid, or don’t have time to bid, you can utilize the “buy now” feature.

I like the package deals they offer on the web-site, as they usually include breakfasts, tickets for local sightseeing tours, and a dinner voucher, along with the room. I don’t like to pay for extras, I like the all-inclusive deals that can be purchased, as usually you save some money if you get “the package deal”.

Here are some pictures from their site:

The 1886 Crescent Hotel.....in summer.

When considering where to go for a vacation, I like to find somewhere I have never been. Fortunately, I am not afraid to meet new people, and find it interesting to experience all kinds of different cultures and food, and believe me, there are many different cultures within the borders of the U.S.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, sits on top of Crescent Mountain, overlooking the town named Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is listed as a Historic Hotel in the National Trust For Historic Preservation, and the chateau-like structure has served as a luxury hotel, all girls school, and a cancer hospital, run by a phony doctor.

Just to clarify, we didn’t actually sleep in the hotel, but rather, stayed in one of their “cottages”, which, of course is more modern.

A "cotage" at the Crescent

Living room in the cottage.

The wrap around patio

From past experience, I have learned that it is better to “sleep” in a more modern building, and then experience the “historical” part of it during the day (read my paranormal experience in New Orleans and you will understand why…..I am a person who needs my sleep….lets leave it at that).

 An added bonus, it just so happens that the Crescent is also considered one of the most haunted hotels in America!

Read more: Ghosts of 1886 Crescent Hotel: Haunted Chateau Spa Resort in Eureka Springs Arkansas

 Our package included the “ghost tour”, a video of “Ghost Hunters”, and t-shirts, along with the breakfast each day of our stay.

It seemed like a fun spring break getaway!  Here are some pictures from our “ghost tour”:

Orbs....down the staircase where a little girl fell to her death.

I felt kind of stupid taking pictures at random places, as we were instructed by our tour guide to take pictures, and look for orbs.  Well, sure enough…looking back at the pictures I had taken….there were orbs!

Another orb

A frequently haunted guest room....more orbs.

Downstairs near the hotel's spa (and walkway to the morgue) in days past....orbs!

There are four ghosts who have been observed by both staff and guests and their sightings are well documented over an extended period of time. These include Michael, a Irish stone mason who died in a construction accident in 1886 when the hotel was being built; a nurse who is seen pushing a gurney on the second floor; a young woman who is thought to have committed suicide; and a man in formal dress.

I did personally experience a strange thing while registering/signing the guest book. I finished signing, and placed the pen in the book, when it flew off the page and landed on the floor. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but just in that instant, my husband walked up and said to me, “That was weird”, he had watched the whole thing!

In the lobby of the hotel has a very old pipe organ, (which they mention in the tour guide), and it is very beautiful.

It is called the “Welte Philharmonic Salon Model 4” and was made around 1912. It is 10 1/2′ tall, 8′ wide, 4′ deep. It has about 250 pipes plus percussion.

It is one of three of this model still known to exist. The other two are in museums in Germany and Japan. One of the others was intended for the Titanic and the builder, Mr. Welte, was to accompany it on the maiden voyage, however the organ wasn’t done in time so both the organ and Mr. Welte luckily missed that fateful voyage.

After our “ghost tour” we decided to relax by the fire in the lobby, and listen to the other tours going on (people watch).  Sometimes you just have to slow down and take it all in.

My husband relaxing in the lobby.

The grand fireplace

I love this chair...and want to take it home.

It would be a travesty if I did not mention that the Crescent has resident cats (two now), but had one that the owner in the early 1990’s really loved, named Morris (yes, an orange tabby).

Here is the tombstone of Morris, and yes, he is buried on the property of the hotel.

Morris's tombstone

Morris's portrait in the lobby.....what a fine looking feline indeed!

The current resident cats, Casper and Jasper, are friendly felines who come and go as they please, as the hotel has a cat-door installed at the back door (out to the lovely gardens), for them.  You may find them lounging on the couches or chairs in the lobby, or find them out in the garden, hunting and playing as we observed several times.

Eureka Springs is one of the premier destinations in the central United States for the arts, and has been recognized by major organizations across the country. It has been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” and has been selected as an America in Bloom national awards winner.

A destination of choice for artists since the 1800’s, Eureka Springs is currently home to over two hundred working artists and more than twenty art galleries.  For a listing of visual artists, visit:


St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church was built in 1906, and its unique characteristic is that to enter the church, one does so through the bell tower.  This is the view from the Crescent Hotel’s back yard gardens.

St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church

While drive through downtown Eureka Springs, I spotted humpdy dumpty…..still sitting on the wall….

Humpdy Dumpty....before the "great fall" I presume.

Our trip was short, but we did manage to relax a little, and “enjoy life” slowed down.  Sometimes visiting small towns is a good thing.  Especially since there isn’t a lot of traffic to deal with.

I would like to go back during the summer, to see the greenery and colors of all the flowers.  It isn’t too far from where we are, so there is no excuse not to return.

I do miss my “personal” chef….who would cook an omlette according to my instructions, while I watched and waited patiently…..oh I miss vacationing!

For more information on the hotel, please see the following:


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The Website “Craigslist” is notorious for the “personal ads” and “sex hook-ups”, but did you know that there is much more to Craigslist than just smut?

photo from: eatliver.com

Oh yes! It is a mother-load of information, such as job postings, community, housing, discussion forums, of course personals, and on and on.

When you are bored and need a good laugh, well that is the site to go to. What? You ask. Well, these aren’t just any old “personals” or “ads”, no, these are the most hilarious and bizarre notices you will ever read!  Some of them are so weird, you will not believe what you are reading. Yes, it is THAT good.

A word of caution, this site is also known for scams, and there is ample information on their site about protecting yourself from getting duped. Basically, use common sense.

If you have never checked it out, here is the site: http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites

So here are a few postings I found to be extra funny….enjoy!

Insanely Aggressive, Territorial, Guard Duck, (Muscovy)


This posting is about “MR. DUCKY.” When he was a chick, he was my favorite out of the entire flock. He was one of the few ducks that would gently nibble on my finger. He would always let me pet him and feed him spinach. Now he has become a horrible monster of a duck. His nibble has turned into a skin-tearing instrument, his feet have turned into painful, skin-piercing talons. Anything moving in the yard that is non-duck, he attacks. He attacks raccoons. He attacks dogs. He attacks cats. Now he even attacks full-grown humans, galloping around the yard with clipped wings like some sort of maniac. Sandals are out of the picture now, unless I want scabs on my feet. This was semi-tolerable for a while, but now he can inflict a fair amount of pain on my calf through my work jeans, and I can’t get anything done in my back yard. So this is my ad. If you want a duck that will scare/maim/fight any animal that might be threatening your flock, MR. DUCKY is the craziest damn duck I have ever seen in my entire life. He is only friendly with ducks. I don’t know about chickens, but he charges crows or other birds that land in the yard. He is a great guard duck. I have a newborn son that I want to have ten fingers growing up. $40 OBO, MR.DUCKY. Upon pickup, feel free to observe his behavior. He is one-of-a-kind.
Call: 253-[deleted] I live in Bremerton, will deliver.

Free stuffed walrus head

This walrus head has been in my family for years. I have never liked it. It was given to me by my father in his will. I’m sure it’s his idea of a way to get back at me for my alternative lifestyle that he never approved of. I’m going to throw this in the dumpster if I don’t get rid of it by the end of the week. I can’t even sleep with this thing in my house so I’ll be awake all night, feel free to give me a call at any time to let me know when you can come pick it up. CJ 435-[deleted]

Location: St George

Orange Popsicles

Okay, it’s Craigslist. One day you can have free fill dirt (you haul), the next day it’s tons of moving boxes all in good shape.

Well, today it’s orange popsicles (all in good shape, you haul).

A regular box of popsicles includes cherry (my favorite), grape (so-so) and orange. I don’t like the orange ones. I’m a grown-up and I don’t have to eat them if I don’t want to. On the other hand I can’t bring myself to throw them away and I don’t have children or grandchildren living in the area to give them to (assuming they would like them).

I currently have a bunch of orange popsicles in my freezer. If you want them,, let me know. If you are paranoid about them, you probably shouldn’t be looking for free things on Craigslist in the first place. However, keep in mind they are all “factory sealed” and whoever takes them probably isn’t going to end up on the 6:00 news because they were poisoned to death by orange popsicles.

Someone is going to want these things, so you better hurry. If things work out, maybe we could develop a “popsicles are ready for pickup” relationship whereby I send you an E-mail whenever the freezer overfloweth.

Keep in mind that a box of 24 popsicles costs about $4.50 and you are only getting 1/3 of a box…or in this case 1/3 of several boxes. The point is I don’t think you should consider driving from Estes Park for the orange popsicles. However, if you do and you are first, I will give them to you.


Q: Are the orange popsicles sugar free?
A: Do I SOUND like someone why buys sugar free popsicles? No, they aren’t.

Q. How many orange popsicles are currently available?
A. As of 3:15 on 1/27 I have 17 of them.

First person to respond gets all of them!

  • Location: Lafayette

Personal Assistant 1 hr/day 8am wanted

I want to get out of the house and workout everyday. I need help motivating my body to walk out the door. I need someone to come ring the doorbell and tell me to get out of the house to go for a run, hike, kayak or such.

It should only take a week of this to get me motivated enough to go on my own.

  • Location: Redmond

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In the quest to be perfect and gorgeous, the beauty industry keeps pushing the envelope, by coming up with even more bizarre products for women to spend money on and “try” to achieve perfection.



The company, Allergan has discovered that the same formula that is in an eye drop that is used to treat glaucoma, has the side effect of providing long thick eyelashes.

To have these wonderful lush lashes will cost you $120 per month, or about $4 per day. And since women spend roughly $5 billion a year on mascara….this is the biggest thing in the beauty world since Botox!


What is the name of this wonderful new product? “Latisse.”


Here is a funny foreign advertisement  for  “fake lashes”:


What?  Eyes  have God????



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My 16 year old son is a big-time X-box 360 gamer. For those of you out there who don’t know any better, this is how teenage boys spend their free time with their friends. They can play video games “online” and talk with each other, plan, make teams, etc….while battling Natzi-zombies (Call of Duty Black Ops), or other evil disgusting things. The graphics in these games are light-years beyond the days of playing “Atari’s” pong.

Anyway, from time to time, my son will come and get me to watch something he says is, “so awesome”. I will stop what I am doing, as this IS our quality time (when he wants to share something with me). I go into his game-room, plop down on the couch and try to decipher what is happening on the TV screen. I usually have no clue what I am watching, or what I am supposed to be looking for, so I ask him for a quick update to clue me in.

Usually, his idea of “awesome”, and mine are quite different. He likes killing everything, especially the zombies….the bloodier the better. Me on the other hand, I don’t like gory stuff, so I usually don’t watch those excerpts for very long.

Tonight was different, he comes into the room, “Mom, you have to come see this” He’s laughing between his talking. “This is hilarious…you have to come see it.”

“Ok, what is it?”

“I’m trying this new game….Techno Kitten Adventure.”

“What?” I can hear some crazy techno-music playing. “Ok, sure, I have to see this.”

I follow him to the game-room, he starts the game…..it looks like an eight-year old made this game….and it is really funny. A cat is flying through the air with a jetpack on its back….you have to guide it pass obstacles, while things fly towards it from the psychedelic sky/background. When you die (or rather when kitty dies), it falls and breaks into pieces…while meowing as it falls.

It really is hilarious….that made my evening.

The Best Game Ever!!!

Description of the game:

Navigate a kitten by jetpack, fueled by hopes and dreams, through a fantastical world of techno music. Featuring DJ Hixxy’s Sea of Love …

Screen shot 1

  • Release date: 9/6/2010
  • Developer: xMONOx
  • Genre: Music


  • Offline players 1
  • Dolby Digital

Screen shot 2....of kitty's awesome adventure!

I just love the part of the description that kitty is fueled by “Hopes and dreams”.  Do kittens have hopes and dreams?

Wow….it is so awesome!

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So, I found this old advertisement for “vitamins”, that gave housewives “super energy”………. and it it hilarious.

I’m thinking, “I need those vitamins”, as it seems I just don’t have the energy to  “shampoo the carpet, give the dog a bath, clean out the garage, go through all the closets and get rid of extra “stuff”, clean the baseboards, dust the lamps and fans, weed the flower gardens….all that besides the everyday stuff of cooking, cleaning, laundry,and basic pick up and put away things that everyone else didn’t put away.”

Oh....the good ol' days!

What do you suppose was in those vitamins?  I’m sure today they are “illegal”…..oh well.

Any thoughts?



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It is that time when we reflect on how our life has played out…… for yet another year. There have been studies that show it is in January and February that most divorces occur. Perhaps this is because we do not want to be the one to “ruin” Christmas, or we don’t want to be alone on New Years, but for whatever reason…..after all the holiday cheer, reality sets in and we decide it is time for a major change, as we discover we are not happy.


I really like the following quote:


For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.



From the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” 2008



I would like to add that besides “strength”, there would need to be “courage” to “start all over again”.


Life is short, so, as you reflect upon your life so far, choose “happiness” for yourself, and do whatever it takes to achieve it.


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I believe the following should be evidence enough to close the debate about allowing or NOT allowing Sharia Law to be practiced in the U.S.


Here is a pictorial which shows the difference between a Muslim Country and the United States.


A typical scene in the U.S. :




A typical scene in a Muslim country:



Now, I know men are “visual” animals by nature, so…..if you think about it, do you really want American women to be walking around like this?


France Today....the Muslim population is growing and taking over Europe.

Yeah…..NO, just as I thought.  Of course you don’t want that to happen here!


Honestly, I don’t believe American women would allow that either.  Why? Well, as any man knows, we love our clothes and shoes, and all the accessories that goes along with our wardrobe.


We refuse to be subject to the following limited choices:


Any thoughts?



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A pilot program in Tanzania, is currently using trained giant rats to sniff human sputum samples to detect Tuberculosis (TB). This is a contagious and potentially fatal disease that can affect almost any part of the body but manifests mainly as an infection of the lungs.

Photo by: Boston Globe

These giant rats are said to have improved disease detection by 44 percent, as they find TB that is not detected by conventional testing.

According to the World Health Organization, TB can be difficult to detect under the microscope, and estimates are that 2 billion people around the world are infected with it.

Rat sniffing out landmines photo from boingboing.net

Besides being able to detect TB, these rodents are also good at detecting land mines. In the full article, it is stated that, “Whatever dogs can detect, rats can detect equally well, a rat can be trained for one-fifth the cost. They’re more calm than most small animals, very intelligent and social, and they love humans.”

To find out more about the research utilizing rats: Apopo

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