Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for January, 2010

Happy Caturday: Addiction edition

Posted by Lissa on January 30, 2010

Oh, poor Rajah!  He just can’t get that monkey off his back:

Even worse, he can’t get it off his head . . .

Poor little Rajah!!  Not only did I neuter him, but he regularly gets dominance-humped by a stuffed animal!

(With special thanks to Mike for going and fetching my camera while the Rajah had me firmly trapped in the chair)

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Book Review: Kinfolk

Posted by Lissa on January 28, 2010

Short review: Excellent!

Longer review:  Good morning, everyone!  How was your weekend?  I took a few days off from blogging to play hostess, but really, what was the news over the last few days anyway?  Did Darth Cheney return?  Did I want to blog about John Edwards?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I decided to do a quick review on Kinfolk when I learned that a friend of mine — who’s MUCH better read than I am — hadn’t read The Good Earth.  I think I first read Buck in eighth grade and never looked back; I can count up at least five of her books on my shelf.  In retrospect, I didn’t know how lucky I was; I used to go to a local library and grab Buck books, not knowing that half of them were out of print and unavailable elsewhere.

Pearl S. Buck was the child of Presbyterian missionaries who raised her in China; she grew up listening to stories from her amah and speaking Chinese*.  If I recall correctly, when she published The Good Earth she was raked over the coals by Chinese intellectuals.  They were horrified that she’d write about the peasants in China; they wanted Westerners to see Chinese culture purely from the view of the elites and the intellectuals, not the dirty commonfolk.

Such an intellectual heads up the family from Kinfolk.  Dr. Wen Hua Liang is a writer and lecturer living in New York City with his wife and four children.  The story follows the children as they fulfill their lifelong dream and, against their father’s wishes, return to China.  Nothing is as they expect; we follow them as they try to reconcile their American upbringing and their father’s glowing, ethereal views with the actual folks on the ground.

I find Buck to be a very entertaining writer.  Part of that stems purely from the fact that she’s an American who wrote a lot of books about China and I’m half-Chinese; not complicated!  But I also love her flow of words.  For example, describing a well into which a body has just been thrown:

Such old wells were deep.  They had been dug in the palace gardens, long ago, so that the Empress might have ample water with which to water her peonies.  Now they were foul with age and death and nobody drank their waters, and all the flowers were dead.

I find that imagery haunting.

My own personal favorite Buck book is out of print, but you can buy used copies from third-party vendors.  Likewise, her short stories are fabulous.  Pick up a book; you won’t be disappointed!

*Yes, I know “Chinese” is not a spoken language, but I don’t know what dialect she spoke and I don’t care enough to go a-Googling.  Knock yourself out. 🙂

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Posted by Lissa on January 26, 2010

Taking some time off from work and blog to enjoy hosting two friends from college.  Enjoy your time off from me!  I’ll see you Thursday!

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Random thoughts

Posted by Lissa on January 22, 2010

  • I woke up convinced it was Saturday.  CONVINCED.  I’m so bummed right now.
  • On the other hand, it means the three projects I have to complete at work before the weekend, can be finished before the weekend.  Negatives, positives.
  • Ever since the weather warmed up and we cleared the junk off the spare room bed, Rajah has abandoned me at night.  I feel so forsaken!
  • I’d toss laundry and boxes across the spare bed right now, only I’ve got guests coming in tomorrow.
  • Oh, and those guests — one is suffering from an ulcer (so no spices) and the other is a vegequarian who can’t eat sugar.  It’s gonna be saltines and vegetable broth on the menu, unless I can think of something more interesting.
  • MIKE:  “The jets are allowing people to pre-order afc champions gear.  2 days before they play the colts.  That just seems to be asking for trouble.”     LISSA:  “Ha!  Now you too can dress like a third-world kid!”
  • Apparently Arlen Specter told Michele Bachmann to “act like a lady”, twice.  Anyone else think of the following passage?

“There’s something I want you to know,” said Cherryl, her voice taut and harsh, “so that there won’t be any pretending about it.  I’m not going to put on the sweet relative act.  I know what you’ve done to Jim and how you’ve made him miserable all his life.  I’m going to protect him against you.  I’ll put you in your place.  I’m Mrs. Taggart.  I’m the woman in this family now.”

“That’s quite all right,” said Dagny.  “I’m the man.”

  • Bonus video for Arlen Specter (I’d forgotten how much Stephen Tyler reminds me of a demented duck.  Seriously, watch the first thirty seconds — he dances just like the penguins in Mary Poppins!)

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Chirp Chirp! Wait, no, Tweet Tweet!

Posted by Lissa on January 21, 2010

Alrighty y’all, I’ve joined this Twitter thingy that’s supposed to be so fabulous.  You can see my brilliant, pithy wisdom — in 140 characters or less! — in the left sidebar.  I may end up doing this every day, or I may decide I’m more interested in other people’s tweets than my own; who knows?  I solemnly promise you this, though —

I will do my utter and level best to avoid EVER using such abbreviations as





Abbreviations such as







are, however, fair game.

Twit!  Twot!  Tweet!

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I’m not crazy! So there!!

Posted by Lissa on January 20, 2010

Because sometimes I do feel crazy.

Living as an anti-statist in the bluest of blue states means having to assume that anyone I talk with has very different views than I do.  Mind you, most people are polite about it, and the workplace isn’t a forum to really discuss politics anyway, but that’s just how it is: Statistically, I assume that anyone I talk with thinks I’m wrong.  Or nutso.

Or in support of an irresponsible homophobic racist reactionary ex-nude-model tea-bagging supporter of violence against women.

Massachusetts is sending a Republican to the Senate.


I would have sworn that we would send a horse to the Senate before we’d send someone with the dreaded “R” after his name.

I’m not denying that this was, as Geraghty put it, a perfect storm situation.  And while Scott Brown seems very likable and intelligent, he’s still a politician.  Perhaps a better man than many — but he’s not the second coming of Christ, he’s a pol.  I don’t know but that he’ll be replaced in two years, when Pres. Obama heads the ticket.  (Here’s hoping he is wise about building up and maintaining the incredible support network he put together over these last few weeks!)

But for today, I’ll go around with a nice fuzzy glow.  Enough MA voters liked Brown, or hated Coakley, to send a Republican to the Senate to finish out Ted Kennedy’s old term.

Suddenly — *sniff* — I don’t feel so alone!!

P.S.  Not that I really felt alone — my blogroll is full of people from MA who don’t think I’m crazy.

They KNOW I am.  🙂

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Posted by Lissa on January 19, 2010



Am I awake??

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Range Report: Ruger LCR Edition

Posted by Lissa on January 19, 2010

Guest post by Mike . . . Happy now, Jay?  🙂

The LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) is Ruger’s answer to the popular Smith & Wesson J-frame snub-nosed revolvers.  It weighs just 13.5 ounces—the aluminum frame and polymer fire control housing help there—and would be pretty concealable if one is into revolvers.  It shoots .38 Special, which is certainly respectable out of a tiny gun.

I’d heard that the LCR had some amazing frame technology that made recoil very reasonable, but I was skeptical.  My only prior snubbie experience (a “Bodyguard” shrouded hammer S&W J-frame, also .38 Special) left me a bit underwhelmed.  I didn’t shoot it well in my five shots, but it was horribly unpleasant to shoot.  I’d been interested in such a revolver as a potential carry gun, but that pretty much killed it for me.

Recently, I found myself at a shooting range in the Charlotte area intending to rent a big .357 magnum—they had a S&W Model 686—because I thought that’d be fun to shoot.  While I was waiting for a lane, I noticed they had the LCR available too.  Since they only charge $5 to rent a gun, I figured I could give the LCR a try first and just swap for the bigger 686 and be able to use up the rest of the .38 ammo if I disliked it.

Here’s how I shot the J-frame revolver a couple months ago (the two squares in the upper right were Lissa’s and mine with that gun):

Jay – UL and ML, Me – LL and UR; Mike – MR and LR

Here’s how it went with the LCR at 20 feet:

I really surprised myself with how well I shot it—the silky smooth double-action-only trigger helped a lot—and that gave me more confidence and made it more fun, so I shot the entire 50 rounds of ammo.  On my first target, I counted 23 holes out of 25 rounds fired, but I was 25 for 25 in keeping it on the paper with the second one after I got a bit more used to it.  Whether it’s the frame design, the Hogue grips, or both, Ruger has made the recoil very manageable.  By the time I got to the end of 50 rounds, my wrist was feeling it a little bit, but not enough to make me stop.  The LCR would perform admirably in any real-world application of a snubbie, but I still wouldn’t want to shoot it all day.

The bottom line is that, if I ever decide to get a snubbie, the Ruger LCR is the one I’d get.  They were selling them new at the same place for $400, so it’s reasonably affordable.

In other news, later today, I hope to get to the local range to try out some shiny accessories for my Sig Sauer P229.  I recently added on Crimston Trace laser grips and obtained the Sig .22LR conversion kit.  Both should help me become better, but I’m also hoping the conversion kit will save me a bundle in the long run.

[Thanks, sweetie, for the guest post.  P.S. GO SCOTT GO!!]

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Wow, I’m important

Posted by Lissa on January 18, 2010

Calls so far today:

– Message from Ayla Brown

– Volunteer for Scott Brown

– Volunteer for Martha Coakley

– Message from Vicki Kennedy

Plus, we got a message from Curt Schilling over the weekend.

Who knew we were so popular??

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Quote of the Day

Posted by Lissa on January 18, 2010

The quote of the day comes from my father, who wrote:

“I wish I lived in Massachusetts!  That way, I could vote for a Brown who was light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.”

I come by my snark honestly, y’all.  😉

P.S. Thank you, everyone, for the good vision wishes!  Healing continues apace!

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