geminigirl: (LJ)
So, does anyone else reading this think about how they get things like horses or kayaks to the Olympics?

Or is this like the time my mother was wondering how many rolls of toilet paper were used a day at Disney World?
geminigirl: (Alton Brown)
Does anyone happen to know which national brands of TVP and of soy cheese are vegan, not vegetarian?
geminigirl: (Yip Yip)
The name of a local salon? "Mullet Salon and Spa" (for locals, it's on Mills a little north of Colonial.)


So I'm contemplating volunteering at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center-I was over there tonight, and I'm not sure it's a good fit; it seems that about all they have that they can have me doing, is answering phones. I'll give Planned Parenthood a look and see if they have things that actually take advantage of my skills and experience. One thing I've thought about, and that I hate to think that I've had to think about it, is whether or not my involvement with that organization might affect our ability to adopt a child in the future if we wanted to. I hate that I've had to think about that. (Florida is pretty firm in their anti-gay-parent stance. I worry already that being pretty much out and queer will already be a big negative.)

Okay, so I've written about being queer lately. I know there are a bunch of new readers (I noticed it on my info page the other day.) If you feel like it, let me know how you got here (I like to know that.) And for everyone, let me know if you've got questions, or are unclear on something, from what color my hair is (auburn) to where I live (near Orlando Florida) to whom I'm dating (I'm involved with [livejournal.com profile] aquariumgirl and I'm married, legally, to [livejournal.com profile] zedrikcayne,) to my favorite color (green) to all sorts of stuff in between, let me know, and I'll try and answer you.
geminigirl: (Cooking Mama)
Anon posting on, IP logging off for a little while...

What don't you talk about? Drugs? Abortion? Guns? Repubicans? Vegeterians? Peer pressure? Why not? Is there anything you want to say about the topic that you wouldn't want your friends to know you were saying? Here's a chance to say it?

Comments unscreened at the moment; if you prefer that I screen comments, let me know, and I'll screen yours.
geminigirl: (Default)
Does anyone have a copy of Hale's or another really good resource for pregnancy, breastfeeding and US available meds? I have a question that I've yet to ascertain a definitive answer to, and I might as well put it into the notes for my April doctor's appointment if I can find an answer.
geminigirl: (Education)
Are there any other French speakers on my f'list who also use IM, who would be willing to chat in French? My reading comprehension is decent, [livejournal.com profile] zedrikcayne pointed out that I managed the sign at Niagara Falls with historical information pretty well, and that I do okay with the jokes that his Mom sends (though I miss some of that because I'm till not fantastic with some of the idioms...literal translation doesn't always work.) I'm stuck in the "think in English, translate to French" phase again. I'm trying though.

Je ne parles pas tres bien. I'm also lazy, so I'm not inclined to hunt for accents on my keyboard, either. But, I'm a pleasant (mostly) conversationalist, if you're willing.

([livejournal.com profile] pinkfish maybe you?)
geminigirl: (Scream Faces)
Last night, before I went to bed, I did a little bit of bill paying/banking sorts of things. I'd gotten our new mortgage statement in the mail, and for some reason, I hadn't ever entered the mortgage payment into the bank's electronic payment system, so I wanted to take care of that. It was late, but I took care of some things, and in doing that, I discovered that a check we'd written to the old apartment complex for replacing the carpet (we had a blue area rug that bled onto the carpet, and so it had to be replaced) hadn't ever been cashed. We had a payment agreement with the old place, and made the first payment late last month-[livejournal.com profile] zedrikcayne dropped the check off in person. This morning, after a bit more investigating, I give the management office a call. No idea where the check is, but call the company that used to own the apartments, (it was sold officially at the end of October) and see if they know anything about it. Still no luck. Call Cayne. He did drop it off, but he didn't write down the check number. Circles, circles, circles. Phone calls here, phone calls there. Finally, I figure out what the only mising check number is, put a stop on the check (for 31 dollars!!!) and reissue a new check to the apartment complex, this time directly through the bank's website, which may make it easier to track if it fails to get cashed in a timely manner.

A phone call to Mom, because I know that she's had similar issues with my Dad failing to write checks down in the checkbook, to ask what her solution to the problem was. (She didn't really have any suggestions, though she did have some interesting ideas that had worked for them, and Cayne's next checkbook will have carbons-I don't know why this one didn't.)

Then a fruitless phone call trying to track down the $28 the water company that managed billing at our old apartment owes us. All the phone numbers I have for them are to automated billing, so I sent an e-mail. If they still don't respond, I will have to start writing letters.

And then, the really irritating part of my morning. Which has been an ongoing irritation since we got the new phone number here. When you get a new phone number, you have to deal with the dregs of whoever had the number previously. You just do. Most people (including me) also promptly register the phone number with the Do Not Call list. Which I did. Dealing with the holdover from the person who previously had your number might mean a few wrong number calls, or it might mean some collections calls, or whatever. So, apparently, the people who had this number previously (who were not the previous owners of the house) had some outstanding debt. Most of the time, when I've dealt with the calls, they've called once or twice, and stopped when I explained that no, we weren't Margaret or James Hipp, no, we didn't know who they were or where they lived, and that we'd gotten this number early in September. They're polite, considerate, and reasonable. With one exception. And I'm hoping someone who has better resources for dealing with this information or knows how to find information that I'm not finding, may be able to help.

We get frequent, repeated phone calls from a particular number. And I'm going to put the number out there, because well, perhaps someone has some better ideas than I do. Most of the calls from this number are hang ups, though four times, I've actually spoken to a real person. The number that appears on the caller ID, is 716-566-9598. It comes up as "Unknown Name." Calling the number back gets me an automated "this number cannot be dialed" type message. Google tracks the only links back to here, which is largely useless. (If you don't feel like looking at the whole document, the summary is that the information comes back to a link to the Irving Rambler, to the police blotter, and lists it as a "possible telephone scam".) Using whitepages.com tells me that the number belongs to Paetech Communications who tell me that the number isn't even in their database.

Four of the phone calls that appear to come from that number have put me in touch with a live person. I believe one of them claimed to be collecting for Blockbuster Video, which involved threatening me, and telling me that "If I was Margaret Hipp, he'd come after me." Two involved arguing with me about being Margaret Hipp, and why wasn't I interested in their services, and refusing to put me through to a supervisor. One of those involved claiming he was from a company called "National Security." (Ha! You try googling for that one!) And then this morning, I was again threatened, lied to, hassled, called a bitch, and put through to a fake supervisor. This morning, they called and claimed to be from a company called "Paystream" which turns up links like this. Paystream also does business as Banksafe, and I spoke to someone at their office this morning, about the phone calls. I've also filed a complaint with the FTC, but they can't do much, since I have no idea who this company actually is, or where the calls actually come from. I'm frustrated, and angry, and completely not sure where to go next. I may take a ride over the the police station, or give the non-emergency number a call and see if they have any suggestions. The phone company can probably trace the number, but it will cost an arm and a leg to do it, and since I've twice been threatened, it may become worthwhile.


This afternoon...going to try and buy new jeans (though I think if I don't find them at the first store, I'll go tomorrow to the other, since I'm getting a much later start than anticipated), buy some point protectors for my knitting needles, and ribbon for Cayne's sister if they have the one she wants, go to the bookstore (yay coupons) and stop at Office Depot to buy a new chair and a laptop pouch. I think a quick grocery run for the stuff I forgot yesterday and some butter to make cookies for Sunday with, too. And tonight, the guy who will watch the cats while we're gone will come by for dinner, though, he's kind of anti-social. I'll make food, and he'll eat and hang out with the cats.

How was your day?
geminigirl: (Liberal)


And, if you're interested in US politics, what's your favorite source for information about candidate and ballot initiatives?
geminigirl: (Queer Duck On The Town)
I realize we've got a while before we book tickets, but with the cost of moving hanging over us, and knowing that September means three paychecks, I'm trying to pre-plan our two known winter trips, to my Mom and Dad for Thanksgiving in November (and since Orlando to New York is a popular flight, I'm not too concerned about that...I can comparison shop for tickets on airlines we like) and to Canada in December. Last year, we flew all the way through-Air Canada from O-town to Toronto, and then Air Canada Jazz from Toronto to Sudbury. Thing is...the Toronto-Sudbury flight cost as much as the Orlando-Toronto tickets. We were thinking that instead of flying striaght through, it might be less expensive for us to rent a car in Toronto and drive up. (The cheapest way to do it would be to fly into Buffalo, but that would add two to three hours onto the drive, and in potentially bad weather, at a holiday, and dealing with a border crossing, I'm not sure that's the best plan, so we've sort of decided that in the time/money equation, the couple of hours we save crossing the border is better for us than the fiscal difference.)

Anyway, onto the question. I've rented cars before, but only in the US, and it's always been when someone else is paying for it, or at the last second with Enterprise, who had a deal with the place I used to get my car repaired in Virginia. I think I know what the requirements are to rent a car in Canada, but I'm not sure what travel sites people like to find the best rental car deals.

Favorite sites for rental car deals when you travel?

(If you're in the Toronto-ish area, we're planning at the moment to spend a night on either end of our trip in Toronto, and might be up for socializing, though we might plan an extra day or two, since I've never seen Niagra Falls and would really like to. And while it might make more sense to do it in the warmer weather, I think our plan is to go via Ottawa in the summer, and see friends there. The drive from Toronto to Sudbury is apparently a better choice in the winter than Ottawa.)
geminigirl: (Housewife)
Some of the questions that follow are largely oriented towards parents, but I'd be interested in feedback from party-goers in general about things. And I'd really appreciate if people would link this in other places-the more feedback the better.

With the new house, we're likely to plan a housewarming. And most of the parties we attend are family events, not adults only. I'd like to continue that trend, as someone who would like to have children one day, and because I know it means that some of our friends are far more likely to attend when they can bring their kids along.

Some parents are better than others at watching their children or making sure that there's an adult responsible for their children, at making sure their children are entertained and not getting into things that might not be safe, and that someone who doesn't have children might not have remembered to put away or thought to put away. (And the fact that one couple we know is not the most attentive to their two and a half year old when we're at parties is a big part of the reason that this is on my mind, after watching what that child got into at someone's house last weekend.)

So, what I was thinking about is setting up a sort of kid-space at our house during the party. Pull out the card table (which has a very nice vinyl top so it's easy to clean) with kid friendly toys and activities. I'd put it in a space that allowed parents to both watch their children, and enjoy the rest of the party. I might include things like paper and crayons, play dough, lego/duplo, and I'm not sure what else. Maybe also, set up a space to put movies on for the kids. Most of the kids are probably between two and a half and about six, with a few older ones, in the elementary school range who require less supervision. The one high schooler I know tends to not be at parties with his Mom and Dad.


Onto the questions:

If you're a parent, how would you feel if someone set up kid-space at a party? Would you feel good and try to take advantage of it, or would you feel like you were being relegated to the kids table?

If you're not a parent, how would you feel about kid-space at parties that are family-friendly?

Do you have any suggestions as to what might have kid-appeal and be reasonably safe for children ages 2 and a half to about 9. I'm thinking lego/duplo, some non-messy-ish art supplies, some balls and stuff to play with outdoors, maybe checking to see what Oriental Trading has to offer.

Depending on the timing, I'm thinking this might also be halloween themed, and I might also set up pumpkin carving/decorating, as well. (We used to throw a party for this when I was a kid, and it was a blast, so I'd like to revive this tradition.)

Any thoughts? Please share far and wide. The more feedback on this the better.
geminigirl: (Sex Education)
Part of a response I wrote elsewhere this morning...

"It pains me that you (or any person) feels the need to fake interest in sex, or fake orgasms. I think it can be really harmful to a relationship-dishonesty in other areas of a relationship is, for most people, unacceptable...why do so many people feel it's okay in the bedroom?"

I know there were times when I was younger, and didn't have the self-awareness or self-confidence to speak up as much when I faked interest. But at some point, I realized or I learned that it caused more harm than good, that having sex when I didn't feel like it, or having sex and faking it to get it over with was wrong for me, and my partner. I'm glad I came to that place, but I wonder about people who choose to fake it. In most cases...what's the benefit?
geminigirl: (Education)
Cayne and I are trying to move towards a mixed French/English speaking home, in hopes that when we have children, we'll be a bilingual house...that we'll speak French at least half the time at home, and English elsewhere.

Why French? Cayne speaks French...his education was French-Immersion, when he was growing up (if you're familiar with schools in Sudbury, he went to Alexander Public and then Lo-Ellen Park.) And I studied French, years ago.

Still, it was a long time ago, and I need to spend some time studying, and refreshing my French language skills, my grammar and vocabulary.

I need resources, and assistance. Has anyone done any sort of language self study before? Is anyone homeschooling, and using a particular method for language study? Does anyone know someone teaching French who would be willing to spend some time working with me, or who might share their resources?

I'd prefer to keep the cost reasonable, and I've obviously got plenty of conversation sources-Cayne, his Mom, his sister, and so on, so that's not a concern. The big thing is retraining my brain to recall the basics of grammar, and then to build vocabulary.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Apples?

(Please feel free to direct other people you know to this post to provide input/suggestions/ideas.)
geminigirl: (Bi Pride)
As I was cutting up some chicken to go in a stir fry for Cayne's lunch, I had Oprah on the TV. She's interviewing author Terry McMillian (of the semi-autobiographical How Stella Got her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale and others) and her ex-husband, Johnathan Plummer, who revealed to Terry that he was gay.

During the early part of the program, Oprah was discussing with Terry McMillan how Johnathan revealed his sexual orientation to Oprah, and how, at the time he revealed to her that he is gay he also said that he'd never been intimate with a man. Terry McMillian responded with, "That's like saying you're an alcoholic without ever having had a drink."

It's a frequent refrain, "How can you know you're lesbian/gay/bisexual if you've never had sex with a MOTAS1?

So, how did you know about your own sexuality...gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, whatever label you choose to apply? Before or after you started having sex? Did you ever question it? How do you feel about what Terry McMillian said to Johnathan-do you think people can know before they try it?

(Anon posting on, IP logging off, so go ahead an answer anonymously if you like-also, feel free to link to this post and encourage other people to answer, and [livejournal.com profile] mactavish I can re-post it Friday to [livejournal.com profile] bisexual as a QOTW if you like.)

1. Member Of The Appropriate Sex
geminigirl: (Hula Girls)
We're now in Florida, which means I've got to get even more serious about sunblock than before. (The joys of being redhaired and fair skinned.)

The water here is also drying my skin in new and exciting ways.

I can find okay moisturizers for my face with sunscreen in them, but here's what I'm wondering:

Do you know of any good body moisturizers with good sunscreen in them

Or

Do you put your sunscreen on first or your moisturizer?
geminigirl: (Wanker)
Cayne and I were discussing hat-wearing etiquette the other day, and how few people do things like take off their baseball caps when they're inside, though I was pleased to see how many people took their caps off for the National Anthem when we went to the Yankee game last weekend.

So here's the question...in a domed statium, at a baseball game, is it appropriate to wear or to remove one's hat?
geminigirl: (Butterfly in grass)
Someone asked me last week if I had any feelings on turning thirty (which I'll do on 5/27.)
I replied, "I don't, really. If I didn't have the wedding, and (other project which isn't public knowledge yet) I might be, but I'm so focused on other things that I just don't have time to think about it."

That's semi-accurate...I haven't given much thought to turning thirty. Part of it is being so focused on other things that I have coming up. Part of it is being happy with where things are at. Turning 26 was hard, but I was unhappy then. No wonder I was unhappy about my birthday.

Tell me about your birthdays? Tell me which years were hard for you to face, and which ones you looked on with joy and excitement.
geminigirl: (Sunflower)
In Judaism, numbers and numerology can be very significant. Seven, eighteen, and so on. Numbers have great meaning.

So I know that once the Pope dies, there are nine days of mourning before the College of Cardinals picks the new Pope. Why nine? What's the significance, where does the choice of nine come from? Tell me more about it, please?
geminigirl: (Hula Girls)
Hey friends,

I know that quite a few of you grew up in "the south" and are familiar with culture and traditions that go along with that. Someone on [livejournal.com profile] weddingplans is asking for help with wedding traditions more common to the south. If you have time, could you read this post and provide her with some help?

Thanks for being wonderful.

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