It is finished ...
... now, let us never speak of this again.

How to make me laugh out loud at 3:30 in the afternoon:
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Almost made me do a spit take ....
... when I saw the photo associated with this article.


Have yourself a merry little Christmas
This song has been running through my head a lot over the past couple of days. I've always liked it ... it's not flashy, it's not one that they made everyone butcher at the Christmas concerts when we were growing up. It's a little melancholy, and it's sung most often by Judy Garland (who seemed to know a thing or two about melancholy). More than anything else, though, I like the song for the hope that it inspires. Yes, the past year has been a struggle. Most of us don't get to spend the storybook holiday surrounded by all of our loved ones. But this song reminds me that there's always a choice. I can definitely choose to be miserable this holiday season ... I'm nowhere near my sister or my dad, I'll never spend another Christmas with my Mom, or truly be able to go "home" for the holidays again ... but instead, I can find a little comfort (and maybe even a little joy) in spending time with my husband's family who accepts me as one of them.

That's not to say that I won't shed a few tears now and then (I'm fighting them off right now as I post this), but I have to say that overall, things aren't as bad as they could be. They're not even as bad as I was expecting them to be. In fact, with the exception of that stretch of highway between Des Moines and Omaha, it has been a nice holiday so far.

I'm sure that the cynical, grouchy Mrs. Swank you all know and love will return soon. But for now, I wish for those of you who read this to have a merry little Christmas. When Mr. Swank and I share our bottle of champagne tonight, I will be thinking of you ...

Not as cool as Grimm's ...
... but here is my rainbow.

Your rainbow is intensely shaded gray, black, and blue.


What is says about you: You are a powerful person. You appreciate tradition and wisdom that comes with age. You depend on modern technology and may feel uncomfortable without it. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

I must say ...
... that I am thoroughly enjoying the Indie Rock stream at today.  A nice blend of the old (Cure, Morrissey, Pixies), the newer (Editors, the Kooks), and some stuff I haven't heard but plan on investigating more.

Random photos
Here's what happens when you're sitting in your office trying desperately not to do the stuff you really should be doing.

You take pictures of the sheep that are grazing at the base of your spider plant:

(thanks again to CuriousLittleMe for the sheep).

And, on a COMPLETELY unrelated note, this literally made me do a double-take in the grocery store tonight after work:

Can you see it?  ( I only managed to get this one shot before someone started to come "assist me", and I wasn't about to start explaining why I was paused in front of the counter with my cell phone open).  It's a cake wreck**!!!  In all fairness to the local store, this one isn't nearly so wreck-y as the ones on the site, but it's certainly bizarre enough to count.  Who celebrates hunting with cake?  Not that it's a bad idea, I guess, but really?  Cake?

** (cake wrecks) + (Ace of Cakes) = happenin' Tuesday night ... though it makes me crave cake.

Nephew, with Bear Ears
I'm sorry, but I just got another bunch of photos from my sister and had to share:

I now return you to your regularly scheduled browsing ...

Curious Optimism
You don't have to spend very much time with me (or read very much of my blog) to know that I view the world with a rather moody filter.  There's a large part of me that no level of pharmacology can convince to cheer up, particularly where politics are involved.  Though I wish it was a quality I could change about myself, I admit freely to it, and it's part of the reason I wasn't terribly surprised to have to endure eight years of the Bush administration.  So, like my friend Jugo, I held off on letting myself believe that anything good would come of this presidential election.  To do so (in my conceptually distorted mind) would be to invite the worst possible outcome.  Because I have that much control over The Way Things Work.

Despite this, on Monday night I began to feel a glimmer of hope.  I woke up yesterday morning excited to go vote.  Excited!  I got there at 7:45 AM, people!  I proudly wore my sticker all day.  And then last night, surrounded by friends, I watched the returns come in, I saw the map turn blue, and I started to feel something I haven't felt in a long time ... optimism, and a wee bit of belief in humanity.

I'm not one of those who think Barack is the new messiah -- I know he's got an insanely difficult road ahead of him, and that he doesn't always see things the same way I do.  But last night, as I sat in front of Betty's TV wiping tears of relief and joy from my eyes, I began to believe that maybe there's hope.

To those of you who helped make this happen, thank you so much ...

In all fairness ....
.... he wasn't an asshat after all.

(and he drove himself back to his hotel.  Without provocation.)


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