Monthly Archives: February 2008

“1234” lyrics

SONG: 1234
BY: Feist

One, two, three, four
Tell me that you love me more
Sleepless long nights
That is what my youth was for

Old teenage hopes are alive at your door
Left you with nothing but they want some more

Oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, You know who you are

Sweetheart bitter heart now I can’t tell you apart
Cozy and cold, put the horse before the cart

Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes
Too scared to own up to one little lie

Oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, you know who you are

One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten
Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then
One, two, three, four, five, six, nine, or ten
Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then

Oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, you know who you are
Oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, you know who you are
Oh, who you are

For the teenage boys
They’re breaking your heart
For the teenage boys
They’re breaking your heart

Bellefonte’s Law

I asked my dad about the law that I named “Duncan’s Law” and he said it’s actually called Bellefonte’s Law, but the principle is the same.

Every action has a pre-action. Anything that must be done has at least one requirement that must be done first.

Or, put more simply: if you want to do something, you’re going to have to do something else first.

Amtrak lets its employees profile passengers

Grrrrrrreat. According to WABC online, Amtrak has changed its passenger policy to include random (yeah, right) checks “in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.”

Basically, that means that employees will have the power to “temporarily detain” anyone they want for whatever length they like under the guise of “random checks.”

I thought I knew you, Amtrak. And here I find that you’re just like all the rest.

Clan Donnachaidh

That is, the Scottish clan “sons of Duncan.” And yes, there actually was a king (Duncan I) who was murdered by his uncle, MacBeth. It’s pronounced roughly “DON-na-key”… with a Scottish accent, of course. ^_^ More about the clan’s history is here. Of all the informational websites I found, Clan Duncan Society was/is the most put together and organized, though I haven’t yet gone much further than the front page. According to, Clan Donnachaidh includes the following surnames:

The main clan name and that of the chiefs is Robertson, but many other names taken by those descending from the chiefs or belonging to the families who lived on clan estates and sought the chief’s protection can be considered septs of the clan.

The most prominent are Duncan and Reid but others that may be septs include:

Collier, MacDonachie, MacRobie, Colyear, MacInroy, MacWilliam, Connachie, MacIver, Reed, Donachie, MacIvor, Robb, Donnachie, MacLagan, Roberts, Duncanson, MacLaggan, Robson, Dunnachie , MacRob, Roy, Inches, MacRobb, Stark, MacConachie, MacRobbie, Tannoch, MacConnichie, MacRobert, Tannochy

While I disagree (of course) with the idea that “Robertson” is the clan’s main surname (it’s “sons of Duncan” not “sons of Robertson” ya’ know), I do know that somewhere along the line, the Duncans and Robertsons either merged or one of the founding Duncans had a son named Robert who ended up being an important part of the clan, or something like that. Still, you Robertsons, get your own clan! You don’t even have the right tartan. This is the modern Duncan tartan (drool but hurty in the pocketbook), and this is the modern Robertson one. Not even close, are they? Maybe I’m just biased, but the Robertson tartan is sorta hard to look at… the color contrast hurts my eyes.

On my mother’s side
paternal surname was Owens (Welsh); maternal surname was Sterling (Scottish).

On my father’s side
paternal surname was Duncan (Scottish); maternal surname is Pennington (English).

So, assuming I don’t go back any further than my own grandparents’ respective last names, I’m pretty much from the British Isles through and through (though I know there’s some German and probably some Irish in there somewhere). In this picture of most of Great Britain, the green part is England, the red/yellow part (to the left) is Wales, and the blue/white part (at the top) is Scottish. Obviously, my ancestors had a hard time getting off the island.

But somebody was eventually voted off, ’cause all of my most recent ancestors (that is, my immediate and extended family) are from Texas, not Britannia. More about Duncans in the United States can be found through the Duncan Surname Association and the DNA Project.

PS: If you’ve ever wanted to wear a kilt but never had the excuse, I present Kilt Day. Which, omigawd, is TODAY! Or, if today’s a little bit short notice, you can wear a kilt (with an excuse) on St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Andrew’s Day (November 30, “an annual celebration of Scottish heritage”), or Tartan Day, or No Pants Day. But, an excuse isn’t really needed. Not really. I mean, boys in kilts are hot.

And remember*
You don’t have to be a cowboy to wear blue jeans or a cowboy hat.
You don’t have to be an athlete to wear a tracksuit.
You don’t have to be a pilot to wear a bomber jacket.
You don’t have to be a baseball player to wear a ball cap.
You don’t have to be a hunter or a soldier to wear camouflage clothing.
You don’t have to be a man to wear trousers and…
You don’t have to be a Scot to wear a kilt.

* Shamelessly stolen from

Urge Congress to stop “drive-through” mastectomies

(In case the embedded thing below isn’t working, go here and type in my “bra ID”—which is 228973—to see “me”)
    I received the following email from a friend:

I’ll never forget the look in my patients eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the Doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies.

So there I sat with my patients, giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn’t grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet ‘Thank You’ they muttered.

A mastectomy is when a woman’s breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let’s give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important .. Please take the time and do it really quick! Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times.

If you’re receiving this, it’s because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on this issue and send it on to others. You know who will do the same.

There’s a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require Insurance Companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It’s about eliminating the ‘drive-through mastectomy’ where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on.

PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the Web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family, and on behalf of all women, THANKS.

and decided that signing the petition (the text of which is below) would be a good idea. I suggest you all sign, too. (Note, though, that signing a petition isn’t actually voting on anything, as it implies in the above email.) Mastectomies are already scary enough without having to try to take care of yourself afterwards. People heal, yes, and those patients should go home eventually, but honestly… making mastectomies an out-patient procedure? No. Aaaaand, then I decided to do the little “My Bra” game just because I was feeling silly.

Text of Petition:

“Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross joined Lifetime, Senator Landrieu (D-LA) and Representatives DeLauro (D-CT) and Moran (R-KS), at a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday, January 23, to give voice to the 20 million signatures collected on urging Congress to end the practice of “drive-through” mastectomies, when women are forced to leave the hospital following their physically and emotionally difficult breast cancer surgeries before they and their doctors may feel they are ready to go home. Senator Landrieu and Representatives DeLauro and Moran are championing the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007 (S.459/H.R 758), which includes no mandates but allows a woman and her doctor to decide if she is best off going home or staying in the hospital for at least 48 hours after having a mastectomy.

PS: Just sign the thing. It really does take only about 30 seconds.

End radio silence

Meanwhile, here’s a Valentine’s Day rant. Late in posting the link, but I think it vaguely relates to this entry, if only because this entry is about (a former) love.

I saw Bennett today (before this), after a little over 2 months of no contact whatsoever. He was his normal self. He knows that I know where he lives now. Elvira, his current girlfriend, apparently hates me, even though we’ve said all of 5 or 10 words total to each other, including today. I met her at the apartment building door on her way out for her morning run. According to Bennett (who, admittedly, isn’t the most trustworthy person in the world), she thinks I’m some kind of “scheming cat” (his words, not mine, though the image that ran through my mind is amusing). She evidently has no problem judging other people, even when (or, especially when) she doesn’t know them. He says there’s very little grey in her world, only a lot of black and white.

Anyway, someone in the FDNY ran over his phone… which I think I remember happening before we lost touch, but I’m not sure about that, so I let it slide. I had contacted his dad (I’m pathetic, I know) and had written him a letter that included my cell number and new address just in case something like breaking his phone happened. He had my letter in his jacket pocket (I was surprised when he pulled it out) and said he’d struggled with calling me everyday for a week since receiving the letter, but obviously hadn’t actually dialed the number and called. Sheesh.

I did some digging and found his new address and basically stalked him. Only today, though. And only because I know he hates calling people on the phone. Christsakes, he’s worse than me. He was impressed with my detective work, and I warned him not to make me find him again. It was really uncomfortable for me… I’m not really the stalking type. I was relieved, though, that he was glad to see me. He said he doesn’t maintain friendships well: the only people who are still his friends after his disappearing multiple times are the ones who doggedly refuse to give up on him. He’s glad I haven’t.

But you know what? I kind of just pitied him. It’s obvious he’s not happy. Elvira isn’t helping, but if he moves out he’ll have to go back to his parents’ place and that would be considered a failure. Not that he wants to move out. I don’t think he does. In any case, I didn’t feel any happiness I was used to feeling when we were going out. He seemed more tired than usual. Generally, I mean, like life is wearing him down. I don’t know, maybe it is. But I didn’t really feel sorry him (he put himself in this situation, after all) except that the whole thing was just pitiful.

Plus, since she knew I was there when she left and he wasn’t there when she returned, he had hell to pay upon returning home. I kind of think that’s funny, in a sadistic way. I mean, I kind of wanted to see her yell at him. Even better if he blew up at her for being a jealous… person (not the original word I was thinking of)… and she stormed off and sulked. I think they might just deserve each other.

One interesting thing, though. Elvira has a habit of creating “bombs” (that is, difficult situations) in all her relationships because she never thinks she’s wrong or apologizes and is pretty hard-headed about The Way Things Should Be. So, Bennett’s had to disarm some potentially dangerous situations that she’s created. He’s good at that; if anyone can ease the tension between two or more estranged groups, it’s him. But, he’s getting tired of it because these people aren’t his friends or coworkers or family, they’re hers.

“She’s going to have do it for herself. I can’t keep smoothing things over forever,” he said to me this morning.

“Now you know how I felt,” I said. He looked at me quizzically. “When we were dating, I wanted so much to just make your pain go away. To just find a job for you and call all those people for you. But you had to do that for yourself. I couldn’t keep smoothing things over forever.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

Could be he’s learning. Imagine that.