A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rainy Day and the Treat

UPDATE ON CNN QUICK VOTE: It has disappeared from cnn.com! Now, back to our regularly scheduled nattering------

Winter in Port Charlotte, Florida
Rainy Day had a treat the other night – we had a thunder and lightning show like she hasn't seen since leaving Florida. There were few things Rainy Day did not care for in Florida, the biggest and worst being the humidity. In the summer, it was so humid that Rainy Day's few functioning brain cells could barely tread water in a tepid bath of brain fluid. She had to escape and come back to Washington and the desert.

Winter at Rainy Day's House
Alas, when she escaped, she left a lot of really good friends, and some fascinating wild life (especially alligators), and thunder and or tropical storms. Oh, Rainy Day loved those storms. She loves the noise, the light – but not the damage when damage happens.

Rainy Day would like hurricanes, too, if they didn't cause so much damage. Of course, if we didn't have air conditioning, the hurricanes wouldn't cause near the damage they cause. And, Rainy Day thinks, if we didn't have air conditioning, Tropical Storms wouldn't cause the damage they cause, and for the same reasons. Without air conditioning, people wouldn't choose to flock to the Gulf Coast by the millions.

Wildlife in Florida
Wildlife by Rainy Day's House

So, the other night, her friends in Florida must have all gotten together and somehow convinced the gods that be to send a real thunderstorm to Rainy Day. Believe me, after going six years without a really good one it was more than a little appreciated. Rainy Day just hopes she doesn't have to wait another six years for the next one;-) Rainy Day heard the Elves of Heaven roll their bowling balls and see the lightning of their strikes for close to an hour.

Wide Open Spaces by Rainy Day's House
Thunder Storm in Florida
Wildlife in Florida
Of course, Rainy Day knows there are no Elves in Heaven bowling and that thunderstorms are caused by the physics of warm and cold air coming together in just the right amounts at the right times, but she rather likes the image of bowling elves.

Sometimes, Rainy Day wonders why she moved, and then she realizes she's written several novels and made several quilts since moving – things her few functioning brain cells couldn't handle in the high humidity of Florida, but once they dried out a bit....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rainy Day and CNN's Quick Vote

There was a time when Rainy Day was a News Junkie, but any more, she skims the headlines, reads a few articles on line, perhaps comments now and then, but that's about it. Except for the polls and Quick Vote on CNN.com.

CNN has a daily Quick Vote, except it isn't daily. Rainy Day has the sneaking suspicion they leave it up until they get the numbers they're looking for. Of course, it isn't a scientific poll, one can vote as often as one wants, possibly skewing the results no end. And, does anyone besides Rainy Day pay any attention?

Sometimes, they have some pretty good ones, such as:

1. Which quality is most important in a vice-presidential candidate?
            Common touch
            Great hair

Rainy Day thinks Great Hair should be a really good call – not! But, she did find the question a bit confusing. Nothing about intelligence was asked, or education. Not one question about issues, or stance on Foreign Affairs. What does Common touch mean? Can the person relate to the Common woman? And what makes a person Electable? An ability to tell lies with a sincere smile? And where do they get Experience at being a VP?

The last time she looked, Experience stood at 61%, Great hair at 16%, Electability at 12%, and Common touch at 11%.

Now this one is sort of interesting, offered due to the twitter dust-up between Ann & Mitt Romney and Hillary Rosen:

2. If you had the means to do without the income from a job, would you work outside the home?

At the moment it's 50% would, 50% would not.

The problem with this question is, in Rainy Day's mind, it is really too simple. Men, so Rainy Day has been told, need the job to feel good about themselves. Especially if it is a job of power. Women, on the other hand, may want to escape their husbands, kids, and the confines of their jail, uh, home, for a while;-) (Men have a need to bring the meat home, so to speak, whether in the form of a carcass or a paycheck. Women have the need for intelligent conversation.)

Rainy Day thinks the question should have been carefully considered and reworded. Perhaps along the lines of: "If you could afford to stay home to raise your children, and not lower your standard of living, or their health care, would you chose to do so?"

Rainy Day also wonders how many women who like Ann Romney chose to stay home had domestic help – nannies, cooks, maids, etc.?

All of the women Rainy Day knows are in the 99%, and most of them truly wish they could have had the option to stay home to raise their children, without going on the Welfare Rolls, but it wasn't an option. They had to work in order to provide or help provide shelter, food, and clothing for their families. They had at least two full time jobs – that of housewife and mother and that of worker bee.

Rainy Day thinks CNN needs to get someone else to write their Quick vote questions.

In the meantime, Rainy Day is still trying to decide who to vote for based on their having Great Hair. Hmmmm....Rachel Maddow? G. W. Bailey? Sasha Alexander? David Boreanaz? Kyra Sedgewick? George Clooney? Mary McDonnell? Gary Cole? --- so much hair and only one vote....

Oh, they've added a new question for this week.

3. Do you believe your home life has suffered because you work too many hours?
Yes is 65%
No is 35%

Rainy Day couldn't, in clear conscience answer. You see, she has no job and she has no home life. Rainy Day isn't sure she has a life, but that's a whole different topic. Trust her.

So, CNN, news central for the world, puts up these burning questions, and leaves them either until they get the numbers they want, or a better one comes along, Rainy Day isn't sure which. But, Rainy Day does wonder, are these questions indicative not just of the office people they hire, but of their reporters and their reporting abilities? Is this part of the Dumbing Down of America?

But, what Rainy Day really wants to know is, would you really vote for a person because they have Great Hair?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rainy Day and Ethnic Menus

Rainy Day likes to say she has yet to meet a calorie she didn't like, and if it's from a culture and country other than hers, well, the enjoyment quotient goes up. Way up.

She loves Korean food, Japanese food, food from Szechuan, Vietnam, and what little bit of African food she has eaten. Greek? She loves it! East Indian? Yummmmm! Native American? Oh, to die for! Soul food, Southern food, Cajun or Creole, well, she's game to try just about anything from any culture that is classified as 'edible.' There are a few things she may not be all that willing to try, but we don't need to go into those delicacies here. (She would hate to say she wasn't interested in trying them, only to discover, at a later date, that she actually loves them!)

What Rainy Day has questions about are not the recipes but the menus in these (for lack of a better term) Ethnic Restaurants. Are the words deliberately misspelled so Americans will think the owners/chefs are more 'authentic'? Or are the words misspelled because they truly don't know any better? Now, Rainy Day really doesn't care if the chef can read, write, or even speak American English, as long as said Chef can cook and put yummy and authentic food in front of Rainy Day.

But, she just has to wonder about the menus and the information offered thereon and online. She has considered, for a small fee of course, asking the owners of the various Ethnic Restaurants if they would like to hire her to edit their menus, to spell the words correctly, to use American English words and word order and punctuation. But, maybe, they want to appear somewhat, ah, different?

Rainy Day doesn't have a clue. Do you? If you know the answer, would you please let Rainy Day know?

In the meantime, Rainy Day thinks you are missing a great adventure, if not a series of adventures, by not trying the Ethnic Restaurants in your area. She knows for a fact there is more out there than Burger King, Red Robin or Outback! Find a Russian restaurant and try some sauerkraut soup, a Korean restaurant and try the bulgogi, a Greek restaurant and have a salad! And for dessert, get thee to an East Indian restaurant and order Kheer (rice pudding).

Get out there, find, read, and order from some of those Ethnic Menus. Try new foods, and spices. You may discover a whole world right in your own back yard. And remember, other countries will have different cuisines between their North and South, East and West, just as we do. So if you don't care for something in one restaurant, try it in another. While it may not be as much fun as traveling the world for real, it's a heckuva lot less expensive;-) And doesn't require either an expensive Passport – or hassles with TSA;-)

Rainy Day apologizes for not getting this up on time. She is busy reworking/editing her latest Jiang Li novel, and was lost in the ancient world of China – where she almost ate her fill of hum boa (steamed bund), pickled vegetables, and rice.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rainy Day and the Library Card

When was the last time you went to the library and checked out a book? Yesterday? Last week? A while ago? Rainy Day is almost certain your check-out was done by computer by either swiping your card through a reader, or holding it so a reader could, well, read it. And your books all have coding for the same purpose. Did you even talk to a Librarian?

Those of you who are 'of an age' probably remember the old fashioned way of checking out a book. In the back, or possibly the front, of the book a paper envelope was glued to the inside cover and inside this envelope was a piece of cardstock with dates and initials on it. When presented to the Librarian, she would stamp a date on the card, and return it to the envelope, and copy your library number and book down somewhere. Rainy Day couldn't see over the high desk to know for sure.

Rainy Day doesn't know about you, but she loved looking at those cards, seeing how many times the book had been checked out, and could she, by any chance recognize the initials? Alas, Rainy Day lived in a large city, and she never recognized the initials. And it was many years later she figured out the card with the date was not the card from the book;-)

Rainy Day loved going to the library every Saturday morning. She loved bringing in the stack of books the Librarians had entrusted to her care, all read of course. She loved returning them, and she really loved gathering more books to take home where she could not only read the books but puzzle over the initials on the checkout card.

Rainy Day misses those check out cards. She misses the card catalogs, too, though she is sure the Librarians don't;-) Rainy Day could, and did, spend hours flipping through the card catalogs looking for interesting books to borrow.

All this is to lead up to Rainy Day borrowing a couple of books from a friend the other day. A group of us met for snacks, and with a very serious demeanor, Rainy Day's friend handed her a pencil and two cards just about the size of the old Library check out cards. He asked for her to write her name and phone #, and when Rainy Day obliged, he handed her the two books she was borrowing and there, in the back of the books, glued to the inside cover was a paper envelope, and within the envelope was a card with a due date properly stamped in black ink!

There were several of us at the table, and we all had a great laugh, and for those of us who are 'of an age' a wonderful walk down Memory Lane. Oh, and the books are due back on or before said date – or Overdue penalties may apply;-)