Nov 10 2012

Hope you had a lovely Carl Sagan Day


November 9th being the birthday of Carl Sagan, and an unofficial holiday to lovers of science.

We had cake!

I had wanted to make a cake.   Actually, I have a brilliant idea for a Carl Sagan Day cake, which would be delicious, symbolic, and scientifically accurate — but it would require experimentation (as all good science does), and I just haven’t had the TIME!

So, at the last minute (“Aw, geez, it’s Carl  Sagan Day already?  We need cake!”)  I nabbed a generic cake at the local Stop & Shop.

I wanted something blue.   I also wanted stars, but had to settle for blue.

Not many cakes are blue, except for those that resemble the Cookie Monster.

So I settled for the presence of blue in some form, which in this case took the form of roses.



If we must have flowers, at least these are blue roses, which exist only in the imagination.   And on cake.

Generic birthday cake.


But stars!   I must have stars!

I searched the cake-decoration section of the grocery store, hoping for stars to sprinkle across the cake.  Alas, none.

But I found colored sugar.  Hm….

A little creative snipping of paper stencils, some sprinkling of blue and gold sugar, and then —


So, the blue roses are the nebulas, the white cake is the cosmic background radiation...

It needed more stars, but it's a small cake!

There.  Stars.


happy cat mug is happy there is cake

It all its glory.

Well, not bad for last-minute!

Now ask me how long it lasted.

Of course the roses went first.   I am a sucker for frosting roses.

For a store-bought cake, really excellent chocolate, and a fluffy frosting.


You could still go and get some cake!   Carl won’t mind if you’re a day late.


UPDATE: Hey, I just found out about

Nov 7 2012

Oh, good grief. Seriously?

I was NOT dressed for the cold!   And I had to shovel snow off my car!   With no gloves!

4PM out the front door at the DayJob

I just hope all my friends and favorite people who live on the coast, or in New York, and in New Jersey won’t have it too rough after Sandy slammed them.  And I hope they all get their power back!  SOON.


I have electricity, heat, food, a car that runs and an actual roof over my head.  Thus puts me in the “extremely fortunate” category.

And it’s going to rain tomorrow… and get up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.


I think Bel would call this Rendezvous weather.


Nov 6 2012

Sandy ate my week


Despite being hardly hit by the hurricane at all (being very far inland and away from flooding), Sandy managed to suck away my entire week.

This due to the fact that I had been under the impression that the DayJob office was closed on Tuesday, when in fact it was open!  And no one told me!  In fact, we were told specifically that it was expected that the office would be closed until Wednesday, and if it was not closed on Tuesday, we would be contacted.

But apparently, everyone else said to themselves: “Hm.  I wonder if the office is open.  Think I’ll give them a call, just to see.”

And I did not make that call.

Result: I missed a day of work.    Which I then made up by working extra hours the remaining days.  Ack.

I did that largely out of worry that they might force me to use one of my three remaining days off to compensate.

And those days off are already committed: since we get Thanksgiving Day off (by law), and we are always given the day after Thanksgiving off (by custom), I can use my sad little three remaining vacation days for the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of that week, and Voila!   A entire week off!

As I often do on holidays, I shall eschew celebration and run away to an undisclosed location.   Sabine, on the other hand, will hang out with friends, laugh, talk, schmooze, eat turkey, drink wine, and watch holiday shows on TV, unencumbered by grouchy authors who just want to be left alone to write, thank you.

This time my undisclosed location is a place I actually have to fly to — and I’ve bought the ticket.  Which is non-refundable.   So I’ve got  to go!

So, now that Sandy’s over with (and the next big storm is on the way), let’s see about catching up on the important work.   As in: non-DayJob.

Back at the library, and here’s your random quote:


He pulled out a thick blue folder.  On the top page, the words were typed in bold black letters: “Proof of Existence, Community #4, Unit # 125091, Head of Unit: Nguyen, Khuon T.”

“This number, 125091,” he explained to my mother as his thick finger ran across the cover page, “is your family’s number.  We don’t like to use the word family.  It’s too personal, too alienated from the whole.   We refer to each family as a unit, like in biology — the single cells that make up the body.   A word of advice: you should guard this paper with your life.  For the time being, this is your identification.”

The Unwanted by Kien Nguyen, 2001, Little, Brown & Company, publishers


And then he went on to write novels.

From the back flap: "Kien Nguyen was born in Nhatrang, South Vietnam, in 1967 to a Vietnamese mother and an American father. He left Vietnam in 1985 through the United Nations Orderly Departure Program. After spending time at a refugee camp in the Philippines, Nguyen arrived in the United States. He is now a dentist in New York City.


Nov 6 2012

What country are you living in?


How would you like to live in a country where all your decisions were made for you?   Where the things that affect you are completely outside of your control?

A country where those with power wield it however they please, regardless of what you want; a country where none of your knowledge, hopes of beliefs make any difference; a country where you are subject to the will of others, where you have no choice, where you have no voice at all.

Sounds like oppression?

You wouldn’t like to live in that country, would you?

Well, maybe you already do.

If you don’t vote, other people decide for you.   Other people choose the laws you live under, and how you’re going to live.

And whatever you want is irrelevant, outside of your control.   You are ruled by others.

What country do you live in?   What country do you want to live in?

You need to vote.   Go do it.