December 2008

busI decided to take advantage of the commuter bus and metro to get to the airport as I embarked on my “trip from hell”.   My husband dropped me off  at the commuter bus stop. I had my backpack and a piece of luggage that was pretty large but since so many people took off this week I thought I could catch a break and get a seat to myself.  I took a seat near the front since I had so much stuff to carry.  Sure enough, even though there were many other open seats on the bus, someone HAD to sit next to me which meant my luggage had to go in the aisle while the bus was in motion and then onto my lap as we got into town and people started exiting the bus.  So I had my backpack, the luggage, my purse and it was a little crowded.  The person that HAD to sit next to me started to bitch and moan about not having any room and I just said, “oh well”.  She then let loose with a string of expletives and I started to laugh which made her all the madder!  Too bad!

You know there were countless times when I have had to deal with people so huge they took up two seats or they were carrying a lot of stuff and took up two seats but I figure, “hey, that’s part of the crap you have to deal with when you take the commute from hell”, and I gave them some slack.  So I really didn’t have much sympathy for this person.

Miss Piggy (actually wearing sneakers and not sandals or flats!) was on the bus and took a front row seat (of course) but the bus driver was not much of a talker.  BUSTED!!

Naturally the escalator at Metro Center was out so I had to walk down to the metro platform.  From then on things went pretty smoothly.  The metro wasn’t crowded and I checked in my luggage very early.  Since I was wearing a corduroy shirt over a t-shirt I had to be padded down by airport security.  That was my thrill for the day.  I sat and read a book until my flight started boarding.  Once seated I found the person sitting next to me was some “young dude” who was wearing jeans with the knees cut out.  Why bother with the jeans? Why not just wear shorts?  I guess that was his idea of “winter apparel”.

The flight was smooth and it was fun watching DC and FL from the air.  The Potomac looks huge from the air!

There was some family drama but no “incidents” yet–however there is huge
potential in the days ahead so stay tuned!

stephen-colbert‘Colbert,’ ‘SpongeBob’ may go dark on Time Warner

“SpongeBob SquarePants” may be getting squeezed off of Time Warner Cable.

Media giant Viacom Inc. said its Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and 16 other channels will go dark on Time Warner Cable Inc. at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if a new carriage fee deal is not agreed upon by then.

I thought this was illegal? Is Blagojevich selling them?
Well anyhoo.

Here’s an article about ticket brokers from CNN.


Rusyns (Rus. Русины, also referred to as Carpatho-Rusyns, Carpatho-Russians, Ruthenians, Ruthenes, Rusins, and Rusnaks) are an Eastern Slavic ethnic group which speak Rusyn. The group is descended from the minority of Ruthenians who did not adopt the ethnonym Ukrainian to describe their ethnic identity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Serbia, Rusyns are recognised as a national minority officially.[4] Rusyns were first recognized as a seperate ethnicity in Ukraine in 2007 by the Zakarpattia Regional Council.[4] Ruthenians within Ukraine have Ukrainian nationality and most have adopted a Ukrainian ethnic identity[3] Most contemporary self-identified ethnic Rusyns live outside Ukraine. Of the approximately 2 million people claimed by Rusyn organizations as being ethnically Rusyns, only 55,000 declare themselves as having this ethnicity (from Wikipedia).st-marys

My grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from the Austria Hungary Empire in the late 19th century.  Their hometowns were situated in what is now Eastern Slovakia.  In 1918, after WWI, the country of Czekoslovakia was created as one of the successor countries of the Austria Hungary Empire.  The country of Czekoslovakia existed in some form until 1992 when the Czech Republic and Slovakia seperated into their own distinct countries.  This totally boring history lesson is essential for you to understand when I talk about how difficult it was (and still is) when I try to explain to anyone my ethinic make-up.  I was Baptised into the Byzantine Catholic faith but at the time Eastern Rite Catholics referred to themselves as Greek Catholics.   So whenever I was asked about my ethnic make up or religion it usually resulted in a round of 20 questions.  Are you Czech? No.  Are you Hungarian? No.  Are you Slovak? No. Are you Austrian? No.  You’re Greek Catholic, does that mean you’re Greek? No.  Do you speak Greek? No. Are you Greek Orthodox? No. Later, when I found out I was not just Slovakian but Carpatho Rusyn I got these questions–is that Russian? No. Is that Ukranian? No. Isn’t Dracula from there? No. No.No. No. Bo. No.  Since the break up of the Warsaw Pact countires and the creation of the Republic of Slovakia things are a little easier to explain but not much.

Rusyn life

Andy Worhol–famous Carpatho Rusyn!

Byzantine (Greek) Catholics–Religion of many Carpatho- Rusyns

and you thought all Catholics were Roman!

Carpatho-Rusyn Society

Rusyn International Media Center

What is the Byzantine Catholic Church?

w-ft-lauderdaleOn Tuesday I will embark on a trip from hell.  I am going to Ft. Lauderdale for my cousin’s wedding.  On this little jaunt (because it’s a small world after all, right?)  I will actually be taking trains,  planes and automobiles.  My  husband is dropping me at the Metro (by automobile) which I will take to National Airport and catch a plane to Ft. Lauderdale where I will be picked up, in an automobile, by my Aunt.

Family Fued

This trip could also turn out to be the family gig from hell.  Two of my siblings have been estranged from my aunt since my mom passed away five years ago.  There is no telling what could happen when they finally see each other face to face.

Also, I am staying at my Aunt’s with another sibling (we have stayed in touch with my aunt and have forged a tenuious truce with our other siblings ever since–a truce that could blow up in our faces!) who is a neocon AND just became an Episcopal (there is nothing wrong with being an Episcopal however, my parents and grandparents, devout Roman and Byzantine Catholics, must be rolling in their graves!).  Then there is my Aunt who at best can be described as brass and crass who has never shied away from speaking her mind.  Hijinks just may ensue!

Will sanity prevail and everyone behave themselves for the sake of the occasion or will DECADES’ worth of grudges and hard feelings reign? And…will my SPF 99.5  sunblock work? Tune back here, same bat time, same bat channel, to find out!

THEN there’s my aunt’s FIVE cats!

How weird a year was it? Here’s how weird.  From the Washington Post.

Year in Politics

Year in Headlines

Year in Global Headlines

chesapeake_bay_american_cruise_linesThe Chesapeake Bay is not tar-black and dead. It is not bright-green and toxic. It looks just as beautiful as ever, come a sunrise in Annapolis or a sunset over Tangier Sound. What the Chesapeake has become is emptier.

large_tina-sarahIn a year when everyone was looking for a bailout, politicians did more for political comedy than any other industry. From Huffington

chesapeakebaywatershedChesapeake Progress Reports Painted ‘Too Rosy a Picture’ As Pollution Reduction Deadlines Passed Unmet

fp1Top Ten stories you missed in 2008 (from Foreign

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