Happy Fourth of July! Let's not forget what this day is all about. We struck out and threw off the cloak of tyranny on this day. Our brave forefathers were committing treason, but look what they built for us...Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
When I was in the 8th grade, I had to memorize the definition of "mineral." To this day I can repeat the definition.
Mineral - A naturally occuring, inorganic, homogenous substance that usually has a definite chemical composition and a characteristic internal structure evident in its exterior form and physical properties.
You try to memorize it. Not easy. Now, of course, it haunts me at all hours of the day. What's my phone number? A naturally occuring, inorganic, homogeneous...
Baby and I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. I heard the baby's heartbeat again. It came in at 167 beats/minute. Someone suggested to me that this heart rate, near the top of the range, suggests that the baby is a girl. However, I can't seem to find anything on the internet that suggests any correlation between heartrate and sex.
In an effort to stop the killing, I've given a brief outline of some of the most notorious dictators and their sons. I've also gone a step further and attempted to offer a solution to make the relationship between father and son work a little more smoothly so that perhaps soccer fans, chauffeurs, and innocent virgins can sleep in peace.
Nobody tagged me, but I feel compelled to answer these questions.
(Real questions from the Church of Scientology’s “SEC WHOLE TRACK” questionnaire.)
1. Have you driven anyone insane?
If we pull apart this question, I must admit that I have driven people, and some of them were not in complete possession of their faculties. However, there is no evidence that I had any hand in their incapacitation.
2. Have you ever killed the wrong person?
I am offended by this question. The question presupposes my guilt in killing the "right" person, something that I could be tried and convicted of in a court of law. This is the same as asking someone if they still beat their wife. The question makes an assumption that I am not willing to stipulate to. Try it with somebody less intelligent, not this girl.
3. Is anybody looking for you?
How the heck would I know? The very nature of your question again presupposes that I can read the minds of all people. I will only be able to answer this question in the past tense when someone comes upon me and says, "A-ha, I found you!" Then I can ask if they were looking for me. I am not clairvoyant, at least not in that way.
4. Have you ever set a poor example?
So what if I have? That's not illegal. Are you trying to trick me again? I have said before that I'm smarter than you. That fact grows increasingly more obvious with every new question.
5. Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?
My purposes here are classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to castrate and kill you. Don't ask me again.
6. Are you in hiding?
Again, your stupidity is astounding. If I were in hiding I would hardly admit it, would I? I mean, you are clearly not clever enough to keep a secret, so why would I tell you if I were?
7. Have you systematically set up mysteries?
I am systematic. I am hydromatic. I am ultramatic. They call me "Greased Lightening!"
8. Have you ever made a practice of confusing people?
Obfuscation is an important skill. It is particularly effective against the mindless.
9. Have you ever philosophized when you should have acted instead?
That certainly depends. Perhaps philosophizing is an appropriate action. Have you ever acted when you should have thought first? Based on your well-documented lack of cranial power, that seems to be the better question. Perhaps you should have thought before putting together this thinly veiled questionaire that essentially asks me to inform on myself, Dumbass!
10. Have you ever gone crazy?
Answering this question in the affirmative could give you grounds to have me committed. Do you really think I'm that stupid? Are you new around here - Earth, I mean?
11. Have you ever sought to persuade someone of your insanity?
You tell me.
12. Have you ever deserted, or betrayed, a great leader?
Something tells me that our definitions of "desertion," "betrayal," and what constitutes a "great leader" makes this question misleading in the main. Furthermore, once again you are asking me to admit to things that would be considered crimes punishable by death in places like 1985 Iraq, et al. Even further, your question presupposes my own lack of intelligence because any leader to be deemed "great" in my opinion would suggest not deserting or betraying. You don't do those things to someone you hold in high esteem. Besides, I'm not a follower, I'm a leader. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you? You seek mindless followers.
13. Have you ever smothered a baby?
Oh, come on! IDIOT!
14. Do you deserve to have any friends?
All great leaders and intelligent people have trouble making friends. However, your question was about "deserving." I deserve a great many things. However, your dumbass doesn't qualify for my strict high quality level of personage.
15. Have you ever castrated anyone?
No. However, I know how and have participated in mass castrations. The procedure involves a cowboy boot and a pocket knife. See Question #5.
16. Do you deserve to be enslaved?
Looking for easy prey, are you? Look elsewhere. I'm on to you. Dumbass.
17. Is there any question on this list I had better not ask you again?
Question #5. Are you learning disabled?
18. Have you ever tried to make the physical universe less real?
I will not be tied to your construct of reality. I am a leader. I make my own realities.
19. Have you ever zapped anyone?
Did you enjoy it?
20. Have you ever had a body with a venereal disease? If so, did you spread it?
Oh, so you not only think me stupid and criminal, but also a slut? You shall be zapped again. Maybe it will make you smarter. Don't you know better than to offend your superiors? I'm putting you on the list for castration. People as stupid as you shouldn't procreate. It isn't healthy.
How dare the political foes of the President count the number of times he refers to 9/11/01 in a speech to the American people. It is disgusting to me.
September 11 belongs to me. And you. And even them too, I suppose. I am a survivor. No, I wasn't on a plane, or in a tower, on base, or even at the Pentagon. But I survived it just the same. I bled internally that day, for all of the losses to this country that I love. And to this day, I cling to that pain as a reminder of what this country is all about.
Some people, apparently, weren't hurt the same way that day. Either that, or they are the type who feels that you shouldn't talk about pain, like it is something to be ashamed of in the way some women hide the evidence of domestic abuse or a smoking habit.
I shall not be ashamed of September 11th. I shall wear it as a badge of courage. I shall not wimper quietly in the corner and lick my wounds, but wear the scars with pride - and fight. As is my right.
Perhaps some people in this country need reminding of the big picture, and that is why the President brought up the issue. It seems perfectly sensible to me when the very memorial for the attacks has been turned into some hand-wringing, self-hating, blame-America pity party that in fact has little to do with September 11 and a great deal to do with the inhumanity of man. It seems more than reasonable, in fact, given the daily Democratic proclamations of 'quagmire' and 'torture'. No Raisin Bran for Saddam today? That poor suffering bastard! No humus for the orange-jump-suited detainees at Gitmo? Call the ACLU and Amnesty International - it's an outrage.
It seems to me that far too many people are more concerned with the daily lives of criminals and murderers who wish them dead than the 3,000 innocent Americans who died that day, or even the right to make their deaths not be in vain.
I bleed inside everytime I hear of another American soldier's death. But, I know that they believed, as I do, in Freedom, in Liberty, and in the mission.
I believe that these deniers of September 11th - those that feel it isn't an appropriate subject and not for discussion - are just ashamed of how they feel. And I think that is very sad indeed. But I won't be held to the same shame. You hit me and I'll punch you right back. I'm nobody's victim and neither is this country.
If you want talking points, why don't you come up with an original idea for once instead of blathering on endlessly about things that make you look stupid. To be honest, those assholes at Gitmo have got it a hell of a lot better than I'd be treating them if it were up to me. And if it were up to me, we'd talk about September 11th everyday and show the footage on television all the time. We should not be allowed to forget. Those that unwittingly gave their lives deserve better.
Some people would rather just forget it, but they are living in a fantasy. I'd like to go back to September 10th and prevent it too, but the time machine is broken. The fact of the matter is we are at war. We are at war. War was declared on us, in a shocking and violent attack upon our homeland on innocent civilians. How do you forget that? How can you avoid the truth? Is it a coincidence that since we took the war to the enemy's home there have been no further attacks here? That's ridiculous. Of course they are preoccupied - we're kicking their asses, hunting them down, and generally making their lives hell. I won't apologize for it.
I won't be ashamed. I shall hold my head up high and NEVER FORGET. Shout it to the rooftops: September 11, September 11, September 11. If they don't want to lead, if they are content avoiding the truth and sticking their heads in the sand, that is their business. But I won't be a party to it. I shall not be ashamed.
Found this lovely little gem at Drudge this morning. It seems that that offensive Supreme Court Ruling on the use of eminent domain to take one private citizen's property and give it to another private citizen has caused a bit of blowback on one of the Supremes.
And it is hitting pretty close to home.
Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.
Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
That is just too delicious! I love it! Sign me up, I'll book a weekend right now! It must really suck to be hoisted by your own petard. In other news, a Texas Senator, John Cornyn, introduced legislation to protect property rights. However, this legislation would not protect against takings by local governments. Individual state laws would be required for that.
I spoke with Spy Sistah last night. She has completed her "sailing lessons" (end of big mission) and now has to "work" on the Fourth of July (Deploying on secret weekend mission).
Her "dog" is coming along nicely on his training, but is having trouble learning the "leash." I suspect, having actually heard the dog bark now, that the dog is a bomb-sniffing dog who is having difficulty distinguishing between two different explosives.
I should be able to provide more details soon as I have a visit scheduled to the island at the end of July. Assuming, of course, that the CIA doesn't shut me down for learning too much.
Yesterday I was watching 'Special Report with Brit Hume', as is my habit, when a spot came on about the FEC regulating political speech on blogs. You all know where I stand on this: namely that it is a violation of my freedom of speech, denies me my soapbox, is a horrible precedent, and a further step toward thought control. But nevermind all of that. No sense in rattling my sword again.
Apparently there was some hearing in DC over this developing nightmare with bloggers testifying. In the video, the author of the Daily Kos (I will not link it - google it if you want) was the only one shown to be speaking. Then, in what appeared to be an companion piece, Wonkette (purposely not linked) was interviewed.
Now, the issue has lefty and righty bloggers equally fired up. But, these were the best examples of the blogosphere? Urp.
Now, I've never read either site, but I've read a lot of excerpts featured on other sites. I am not inclined to investigate further. While I am glad that bloggers are gaining more recognition and are standing up for our rights, it greatly angers me that the MSM can't be bothered to actually investigate the blogosphere. There's a lot more out there than just Wonkette, Kos, and the other stars of the blogosphere. As a matter of fact, there are some other really fabulous DC bloggers that would have been just as convenient for the interview.
As a side note, I'm developing a little crush on Brit Hume. He's kinda sexy, I think.
The Demystifying Divas have tackled many unwieldy topics in the past, ranging from beauty to adultery. The ladies are very good at what they do, and the Men's Club provides a nice balance and alternate perspective.
But, my recent walks down memory lane have prompted me to ask a question of the Divas and The Men. Here's the story. The question is at the end.
When I was in high school, I had a steady boyfriend. I had a large group of friends and we all lived in the same village which was somewhat hoity-toity. Moreover, we were all what some might call over-achievers. We were the brainy rich kids. Now while we were sort of clique-y, we didn't exclude outsiders. On the contrary, we welcomed anybody to the crowd, but few of them stayed around long enough to learn all of the inside jokes. That's a common characteristic of all groups of good friends.
Now, in our Sophomore year, just before I got my driver's license, a new girl moved into the neighborhood. Being the friendly little queen bees that we were, my best friend Christine and I went over and introduced ourselves to the new girl. Being a new girl, she was different, but that didn't frighten us. It should have.
There were many warning signs, but we ignored them all.
I have written in the past about how I hung with one girl (Christine) and a bunch of guys. And this set up worked well until we introduced Jessica to the group. You see, Jessica was one of those girls who is malicious and lacking in any true sense of friendship. At our first group thing with Jessica, she made herself the center of attention. She was the dancing monkey and the boys were entertained. Later that evening on the walk home, she confessed to Christine that she was "in love with" Andrew. She's known him a whole 3 hours, but whatever. Christine and I just figured she was boy crazy.
At the next group function, she put on the full court press, targeting Andrew like he was a prize buck and it was opening day. It was embarrassing for Andrew to keep politely moving seats and avoiding her. It was horrifying to watch this clumsy man-eater's display. Andrew finally dragged Craig out and they left early - something that had never happened before.
At the third get-together, Jessica had seemed to cool her jets. She was being friendly, but apparently it was no longer open season on tall red-headed men. I thought the worst was behind us. WRONG. The predator had merely adapted. She honed her sneaky skills and began to scheme. In the following weeks, she "fell in love" with several of the guys, only to send them screaming for the hills in terror. She lacked polish and any semblance of decorum, and it scared the crap out of those high school boys.
All seemed to calm down, and Jessica started to spend less time with the group. However, one day I learned that my boyfriend was going to ride the bus home with Jessica to tutor her in Geometry. (Brainy nerds that we were, this was a subject we'd all done and had moved past. Jessica - not so bright. In more ways than one.) I had no problem with it. I mean, I had helped Mickey with his papers and vocabulary, so what was the big deal? Eric planned to come to my house afterward so that I could drive him home after we had done our Trigonometry.
However, Eric arrived at my house much earlier than expected. He had news, or I should say a teen drama to share. When Jessica and Eric had arrived at her house, she wasn't interested in Geometry, but in the shape of other things like Anatomy. Eric was a red-blooded teenage boy - he was flattered - but I think she scared even him with her aggressive antics. I don't want to dwell too much on the particulars, suffice it to say that nothing happened beyond some female nudity and some unwelcome kissing.
Eric told me all of this not 15 minutes after it had happened. I felt betrayed. Not so much by Eric, who seemed the victim in all of this, but by someone who I had thought to be my friend. Now, I was no more an idiot then than I am now. I am fully aware that any red-blooded teenage boy may have enjoyed some of the more prurient bits of her display, may have even encouraged her by being mute and letting her continue. I am even aware that teenage boy might have played up his victimization to the girlfriend when he came clean.
But, I had seen this girl in action before. The tale he told didn't exactly require a leap or stretch of the imagination. In fact, I didn't even have to do any mental calisthenics to envision the whole sordid affair. It had been staring me in the face for some time what kind of a person she was. Naturally, I didn't want to be her friend anymore. I didn't see the need to cause an ugly scene - that department had already been handled by her own actions. Moreover, I'm a private person. My public persona in high school, however, was in the limelight. The last thing I wanted to do was air her dirty laundry on my public clothesline.
So I left it alone, hurt as I was, and simply withdrew from our clearly one-sided friendship. She'd proven herself no friend of mine, I felt. But, she chose to make it an issue. In a public forum, she got screechy and demanded to know what was my problem. (Did I mention that all of my guy friends and Christine were present when she went nuts?) In a calm yet commanding voice I informed her that she knew what my problem was, if she cared to think about it for a moment. This teenage girl drama stunned the guys. You see, only Christine and Eric knew what the issue was. I didn't see any reason to destroy the idiot socially. That was my mistake.
The guys knew that if I hadn't told them that I wasn't going to. So, she took advantage and played the victim card to the hilt by giving the guys a story about 'Mean Phoenix' that had absolutely nothing in common with the truth.
Soon enough, the guys were coming to me to intercede on her behalf. They even suggested that she come to church group with us to listen to the sermon about relationships. Not long after that bit of fun, Jessica started sending me notes like this, "Christians forgive and forget." Needless to say, this was the last straw for me. I lost my cool. I told the guys the whole story, in a screaming tirade, and that I couldn't be a friend to someone who wasn't a friend to me in return. I don't like being betrayed by my friends. Can I forgive, sure! Forget? Nope. Sorry. She hurt me. I can forgive her, but I'm not going to put myself in the position again. I didn't want to be her friend. If that means I'm not a Christian, so be it.
So, my questions for the divas and gents are these: How do you deal with someone who is so sexually aggressive that they make people uncomfortable? Was I in the wrong? Should I have seen it more as a casual indiscretion than a betrayal of a friendship? Isn't there an unwritten code that you don't chase after/throw yourself at the current flame of a friend? I'm not talking about someone they are interested in, but someone they are actively involved with. Am I a bad Christian? I can't honestly say I'd behave any differently if it happened tomorrow with a "friend" going after my husband. In fact, I have a feeling I'd take it a lot more personally. What should I have done differently? Now that is a topic worthy of the Divas.
I will be one of the featured writers for the next edition of Take Two (to be posted July 15th).
I have already written it. However, the first draft was 1600 words and we are limited to 1000 - so some serious edits have taken place. We were down to 1000, but our test reader had questions. We dealt with the issues, then had to pare another 100 words. I think it is close to complete. But, there is no doubt in my mind that I could do a better job with more words.
The minute I read Christina's opening, I knew what the story was. I'm curious to see if anybody else comes up with the same thing. A lot of times the stories are similar. We'll see.
I have struggled to convey certain things in the story, particularly the seeming inconsistencies within the character's traits. So, the only thing I will do is tease you with these things - impressions of my own - that are embroidered into the story.
First, we are all multi-faceted characters. Oftentimes we wish to be something other than what we are. Second, we are who we are, not who and how other people see us. Third, sometimes we are shaped by events, and other times we refuse to be shaped.
Was that horrible of me? I shouldn't have mentioned it at all, should I? Well, I just hope I don't let you down. I'm certain I'll be editing right up to the deadline.
I don't even know what to say. I am humbled. Verily.
The thing about blogging is, you tell yourself that you do it for yourself. And for me it is true. But, you can't be oblivious of your readers. You know that they are there, and you appreciate them, every last one. You don't really know why they visit, what compels them to return. You just keep doing what you are doing in the hopes that somebody will be entertained or inspired or provoked into thought.
I started blogging because emailing my rants to family and bloggers was not quite working well for me. They read them, but it was difficult carrying on multiple electronic conversations, repeating my arguments in four or five places.
I watch my site meter tick up and I realize how gratifying it is to be loved - or at least linked. My blog family is amazing - not just for their support - but for the way they stimulate me. I know that many who visit just lurk and leave. I don't mind. I lurk at several blogs myself. I'm just glad you stopped by.
How cool am I, huh? A Flappy Bird. Wait 'til I tell my dad. (He won't get it, but he'll be suitably proud anyway.)
The Supremes have ruled on the presence of the Ten Commandments on government property.
The long and the short of it appears to be pretty vague. It seems that it depends (go figure) on the whole display in context. For example, it it is the only thing featured on three walls of a courtroom - that might be construed as an unconstitutional endorsement of a religion. However, it you have a statue on the courthouse grounds among other statues of historical nature, that would be viewed as taking a historical perspective. It is along the lines of "how we got here" rather than "who we are." Kinda sorta adrift in the vagaries of all of this.
I sorta kinda agree with the ruling though. It is vague enough to please me, I guess.
I am not overly religious. I believe in God, but I don't believe anybody has a right to query me about it. I live my life by a certain code, but I don't enforce my beliefs on anybody else. I find those pushy born-again people offensive.
However, there is no question that this country was founded by people of a decidedly Christian bent. The puritans were not Buddhist or Muslim. These are our roots and they can not be denied. Now, this doesn't mean that we are still Puritans - but it does bear on our national conscience of right and wrong.
For example, some religions wouldn't find some violent sex crimes to be illegal when the US justice system does. Is it wrong to prosecute the criminal if it isn't a crime in his eyes? No, of course not. He gets his day in court, just like all the other rapists. But, if he can't convince a jury of his peers that it was not a crime, he must do the time. That's the way the system works.
I wouldn't be offended if a Koran was in a courtroom, so why should somebody be offended if a copy of the Ten Commandments is present? I don't know. But I can see where the size and the nature of the display have some relevance to the issue. So, I'm willing to see how some might be offended.
However, I can tell you this: people get offended everyday and they manage to survive it. Even me.
Week 12. This is the last week of the first trimester. I couldn't be happier to put it in the rearview window. Again, the experts have this intelligence on week 12:
By this point, nearly all of the organs and structures of the fetus are formed. They will continue to grow and develop until delivery. Fingers and toes have separated and hair and nails begin to grow. The genitals begin to take on their gender characteristics. Amniotic fluid begins to accumulate as the baby's kidneys begin to produce and excrete urine. The muscles in the intestinal walls begin to practice peristalsis - contractions within the intestines that digest food.
That's kind of cool - but kind of disgusting too.
I'm not as tired as I was earlier in the pregnancy. But I wouldn't say I'm back at 100% either. I intend to get back on the treadmill and start that back up again. I think it will help me feel better. I'm still not showing and I can't say that I'm sorry about that.
Now, an admission of which I am not proud. I don't feel special. You know? You expect this time of your life to be sparkly, but I'm not feeling it. I know, we've got a lot going on, but it is sort of a downer not to feel special. I mean, there ought to be a payoff for all of that puking, you know? I realize that this sounds selfish. I said I was ashamed of it, didn't I?
My husband has been an absolute doll. He has taken very good care of me. That's why he's one of the good ones.
Kansas's BTK suspect Dennis Rader has plead guilty this morning to 10 murders. This will avoid a long court battle, but since Kansas didn't have the death penalty at the time of the crimes, Rader will avoid the ultimate justice.
Kathy has an excellent essay about the Supreme Court decision yesterday regarding the scope of eminent domain. I couldn't agree with you more, Kathy.
The decision totally pissed me off. I understand about eminent domain and the need to take some private lands for public use.
However, I don't think eminent domain should be used to turn over the private property of one (or several) individuals to another private entity or corporation. Because I think it is a dangerous precedent to set. The argument endorsed by The Supremes seems to be that this taking of private property benefits the public by adding to tax revenue and creating jobs.
The problems with this are manifold. In my experience, there is usually great tax incentives given to the companies by the locales that are wooing these companies - and they usually have a long tail. For example, where I went to high school, Sears & Roebuck was wooed out of Chicago to the suburbs. They built this sprawling structure and parking garages because they were offered this multi-year sweet tax deal (I think it was 20 years). Everybody said, lookee how the tax base will grow! But the thing is, the schools still haven't really benefitted. Moreover, there wasn't really a gain in jobs, because it just meant that the people who had been commuting east now commuted west. It didn't really create any jobs at all, just moved traffic flow around. Now, when the tax deal runs out of time, what is to keep Sears from picking up and moving to some other suburb that is offering a deal? What do they care if they have to build another building?
Consider...suppose eminent domain were used to take 7,000 acres of farmland in Southwestern Kansas. US farmland only feeds the world, but some private developer wants to build a sprawling tourist trap including a man-made lake, multiple water parks, a sprawling strip mall full of outlet shops, and a series of hotels. To be sure, this would create jobs for a community of only 2,000 people and it might even bring up the tax base. However, it would also bring problems. First of all, you'd have to build several interstates to bring people in from Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Eastern Kansas, etc. (Southwestern Kansas is lacking in anything even remotely like a multilane highway.) It would mean needing to build bigger hospitals, bigger schools, and a number of additional other public services to accomodate all the extra people, both permanent and transient. It would increase crime and require more police and a full-time fire brigade instead of the volunteer department they have now. If you offer a tax incentive to this mega developer, WHO THE FUCK PAYS FOR ALL OF THIS? I can tell you. It would go back to the farmers of the area because they are the ones who own the vast majority of the county. Totally unfair. And yet, according The Supremes, totally reasonable. I say screw them. It is totally and completely outside of the idea of fair. I think it goes against the idea of equal protection under the law, and I find it highly offensive in the main.
You'll say, no doubt, that the concept of putting such a theme park in such a nowhere place would be stupid. I agree with you. However, the fact of the matter is that urban sprawl is not a fiction. More and more farmland is gobbled up every year to expand strip malls and be turned into subdivisions. Eventually this whole damn country will be paved over if we keep letting this happen. I only used SW Kansas as an example, any small farm county in the midwest would be the same.
So, shall we take out a couple of subdivisions to build Chicago a third airport? Shall we destroy a school to provide more parking for downtown Madison workers? There has to be another way! And tell me this...Someday when Chicago expands clear out to Rockford (not too far into the future actually) will eminent domain be used to take out a subdivision to provide a farm and a place to make the food that all those suburbanites eat? Fuck No! Because eminent domain will never be used that way. Feeding the public isn't important enough, I guess.
So I know you are curious what happened to me yesterday.
The gory details are pretty gory. Suffice it to say that I was feeling worse than usual and had ample amounts of evidence to attest to the fact. More to the point, I couldn't keep anything down. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Everytime I tried, I'd get a projectile and topographical reminder.
I think that is suitably descriptive without sending you to your own porcelain dieties.
I took the day off. But I'm back and you can settle in and read more of my pointless blather all day today.
Amelie has tagged me for another meme. This one, intriguingly enough, asks for "Five things society at large enjoys, but that I just don't get...." That shouldn't be too hard.
So, without further ado...
1. Bare midriffs. I just don't get the bare midriff thing. It's so tacky. And let's face it, many of those people sporting bare midsections should really be hiding it under a rock. It is dumb fashion. It is not elegant. And it isn't even sexy in that "I wonder..." kind of way. Tacky. Cheap. It is a trailer trash look.
2. The hoi polloi's fascination with Paris Hilton. She's a fake celebrity. She's not talented, she's not attractive, and she's not funny. As far as I can tell, she's the equivalent of a horny 13-year-old boy with an excessive amount of money. She has a piss-poor reality show that features her making an utter ass of herself - and not in an amusing fashion - all the while proving how little class she actually has. To be honest, I'm stunned that she is actually wealthy, because I'd have expected somebody to have beaten some manners into her before now. She annoys the hell out of me for so many reasons. What a waste! Her parents could afford to have sent her to Harvard - if only she had a brain. I find it highly ironic that her mother is now on a different reality show teaching people how to be sophisticated and enoy the finer life - when her daughter talks like a trucker trying to get a 24-hour truck stop waitress into the sack.
3. Instant messaging on cell phones. Why would I instant message someone from my phone when I could call them? Speaking is a more efficient means of instant communication, after all, and it is a phone's primary function. Moreover, you have to learn all of this shorthand and learn to type using a keyboard consisting of 9 buttons for 26 characters. If I want to send a message, can I not send an email? Or, since I'm on my phone, leave a voicemail message? I don't understand IM, and I probably never will.
4. People who don't spank their own kids. This is a big pet peeve of mine. I'm not suggesting that you abuse your child. Not at all. But, spankings are an important message to developing humans. What good is it to threaten your child incessantly if you never follow through? I'll tell you what that gets you: a child who doesn't listen to what you say. I have heard people tell their kids not to do something 3 consecutive times. When the kid doesn't give up the behavior, the parent gives up. That's an excellent lesson for little Johnny. "All I have to do is wait her out." I dont' even think spankings need to hurt. To me, spankings are about shock and humiliation. You have to break that behavior in the child before it is too late. Isn't it smarter to tap a toddler on his well-padded, diapered bum to teach him to share or be polite than, say...wait until he's a 14-year-old pain in the ass who ignores everything you say? How can you be the authority in your own home if your children don't listen to you? Children have to learn the concept of consequences early, else they are handicapped in the rest of their life by an impression that nothing can harm them and there is no greater authority. Moreover, spankings are a safety thing. You can't have a toddler playing with matches or the buttons on the stove. You catch them at it, you sternly say "no" and give a swat to make an impression. Or else next time the baby's crib will be on fire or you'll have a third-degree burn on a little arm. Will you be proud of your moral stance on spanking then? No. I think spankings are an act of love. I love you so much I don't want you to accidentally hurt yourself or turn into a rude little turd, so I spank. You'll thank me later.
5. People who think I shouldn't have any say in my own Social Security. I have to pay into a system for 50-some odd years and get absolutely no say in how that money is spent. Let's consider, shall we? Suppose I am required to buy food every week for 50 years, but get no say in what I buy. Is that right? Suppose I pay for electricity every month for the rest of my life, but get no say in when I can use any? Suppose I pay for gas every week to fuel my car, but I get no say in where I can go. Is that the American way? FUCK NO. I realize that what I pay into Social Security today gets paid out to some senior citizen tomorrow. I get that. But what I don't get is how so few people understand that this is really just a big pyramid scheme. Don't people realize that we aren't making as many people to stick at the bottom anymore? What fool I, if I really believe that when I get to the top of the pyramid there will be anything to be paid out. Knowing that my actual probability of ever receiving any part of my fair share is the same as Michael Moore's last donut hitting the trash can stale, is it so wrong for me to see myself as getting screwed royally by the baby boomers? I understand about civic duty, but why call it "social security"? Why not be honest and call it welfare? I expect to benefit exactly ZERO when it comes my time to feed at the trough of my grandchildren. Therefore, I see no real harm in letting me invest some of what is referred to as "my contribution" on my own. Even if I am only allowed control of 1% of my "contribution", so long as my contribution is a positive number, I'll still get more than zero. .01X>0. Everytime. Why can't people see this?
Lies, Damn Lies, and the Liars Who Lie Those Aforementioned Lies
Thank the good Lord! Inspiration has finally struck me, like a beer bottle thrown by a biker in anger. The Exceptional and DivineDivas, plus one Sheila, and a horny and happygaggle of men are all chiming in on the Tuesday Topic: the lies we tell our significant others. Read them all, they are fabulous.
However, I want to deviate from the topic slightly and talk a bit about, as the title suggests, Lies, Damn Lies, and the Liars who Lie those aforementioned Lies.
Our first sub-topic: The Compulsive Liar
I have become familiar with this beast mostly through my association with a certain woman I know. She is an eternal optimist and naive about much of life, but, one day this naivete ran away with her.
You see, at a particularly vulnerable point in her life, a man who had ill-used her twenty years earlier came suddenly back into her life. He made his appearance quite suddenly, and they caught up on what twenty years time had wrought in each others lives. Of course, for those of us bystanders who got to hear the regurgitated tale from her lips, it all sounded a bit too fantastic. It was too glamourous by half and the pieces didn't quite fit. Nevertheless, this woman had forced the puzzle together anyway and expected the rest of us to ooh and aah over the pretty picture it made.
The compulsive liar, given a bit of rope, quickly embroidered his tale and hung himself with the self-same rope. His lies all of a sudden had evidence. He's divorced, but not according to any court. He gives expensive jewelry. No, honey, he doesn't. This divaesque lady had to be the one to inform her that the $5,000 he said he had shelled out on a ruby tennis bracelet was either a lie or he was not so up on the glamourous life as he had led her to believe. "Honey (insert shake of head) that bracelet isn't worth $299.00. The rubies are small and cloudy - not quality - and the gold work is not intricate or even well done. The fact of the matter is, you can get this same bracelet or a close imitation at any Wal-Mart. I'm really sorry." Time passed and soon all of his lies (he was exceptionally prolific) came out in the wash.
And so, the compulsive liar got his cajones handed back to him. He was outed and scurried back to his nest with his tail between his legs. But our friend, she was very hurt. It didn't matter that she told him to stuff his sorries in a sack, he hurt her most egregiously. But, she learned from that pain and is better for it.
The compulsive liar lies because he can. He is a miserable human being who builds a sand castle of lies so that he can see himself as the prince of his own kingdom. But in actuality, he is a tyrant who merely wants to enslave others to his fiction. So, let the tide come in and wash the bastard to sea.
Second Sub-topic: Arranged Lies
In my family we have a saying: You lie and I'll swear to it - then it will be fact.
This saying has been put to good use by both my sister and I. You see, sometimes we find ourselves in a situation from which we seek extrication. You know, social obligations and the like that one desperately wishes to avoid. So, my sister and I provide each other with lies. We are each other's secret keeper and co-conspirator. For example, suppose my sister calls me bemoaning some weekend-long company function that she wants to get out of. What do I do?
Well, I might suggest to her that she suddenly get an emergency phone call from me on Friday afternoon. That this emergency might be a brother-in-law who has been injured in a fluke accident in the garage - of which there was no time to get the full details - except he really is a klutz, that brother-in-law of mine - but my sister is begging me to come and help her because he's going to be in the hospital having tests....
Or, we might fabricate a codeword to extricate both of us from an untenable social scenario. For example, she might call my cell phone and then hang up after I've answered. I have a "conversation" with the mechanic who informs me that he'll be open for another hour and I can pick up my car. Naturally, she is my ride, so we must depart.
Are these lies? Why yes, yes they are. But who do they hurt, really? You don't have to tell someone you presumably care about that his friends are rude pricks and that he morphs into one around them. You don't have to linger at some party where you are the youngest by about 40 years and can't find anyone in the room who believes that you should have a right to direct any part of your own Social Security. I say, the Artful and Arranged Lie is a necessity!
But, two words of caution: the best arranged lies discourage others from seeking more information. For example, a lie about someone in the families sexual plumbing emergency may be a better choice because you can use euphemisms that discourage the polite and those feigning interest from seeking a follow-up status report. And in the odd case of some rude philistine who seeks gory details, you can always play up the discretion card and say, "Oh...well, everything will eventually be okay." And leave it at that. If they attempt to pry further, an arched eyebrow and a moue of the lips will do the trick.
My other suggestion is to embroider the tale. If you are going to lie, make it believable. Fill in the blanks with the details and live the lie. Bring it to life! "Apparently the dumb-ass was jumping up to grab something off of a shelf in the garage instead of getting out the ladder. It would have taken a whole five seconds, but not my brother-in-law. Oh no. Instead, on one of his descents, he knocked the shovel off of its peg in the wall. The thing came rushing down and gouged into his sandal-ed toes. Dumb ass! He was gushing blood all over the garage, and then all over the dirty laundry in the mud room before my sister caught up with him. She's really pissed too, because it was all antic baby clothes she was washing and going through for the baby. He's toast if he survives it." If you embroider the lie with enough believable threads, all pointing to truths, then you will be more likely to be believed.
There you have it. One exposition on compulsive liars, and another on how to improve your own lies. It must be Public Service day here at Villains Vanquished.
NEW YORK - Three former waiters at New York’s posh 21 Club, where a hamburger costs $30, have filed a $5 million discrimination lawsuit saying they were fired for being French.
A $30 Hamburger?!? Holy Shit! That's highway robbery!
In a civil suit made public on Monday at Manhattan Supreme Court, the three men, Rene Bordet, 68, Jean Claude Lesbre, 63 and Yves Thepault, 68, said the restaurant’s management falsely accused them of drinking wine on the job and “created and fostered an environment rife with anti-French sentiment.”
A Frenchman drink wine on the job? Quelle suprise! I mean it. I'm shocked. Aren't they weaned on wine? What's the big deal? Did it make them ruder than normal to the patrons? I would believe that! Typical. Just typical. These Frogs are used to sucking at the welfare teat that is the French Government and the EU bureaucracy. They come to America and find us less than accomodating, expecting employees to be not under the influence while on duty and what do they do? They sue. Friggin' Frogs. Go HOME! Go back and suck on your personal teat, work only 30 hours/week, and enjoy your six weeks of vacation.
Week Eleven. A very exciting week, all told. This is what the experts have to say:
I'm a Fetus! Starting with this week, the baby is now called a fetus. The most critical part of the baby's development is over. This is a period of rapid growth, and the baby is about an inch or so in length at the beginning of the week and will be about 2 inches by the end of the week. The baby's head is about half its length. The eyelids will fuse shut, and the irises will begin to develop. Sometime during this week or the next week, blood will begin to circulate between the baby and uterus and the placenta starts to function.
Which is all very exciting, I think you'll agree. Mommy, however, has been feeling rotten. I didn't post yesterday because I was busy puking. I puked before leaving the house. I puked three times at work. I projectile vomited Propel water, for heaven's sake! Ug. I suspect that the reason I was sick at work yesterday THREE DAMN TIMES, (insert puppy-dog eyes and desperate plea for pity here), was because the powers that be left the air conditioning in the office all weekend and decided it was unnecessary yesterday too.
Let me disabuse you of a few easily made assumptions. You might think that this would be no big deal, the weather was fine all weekend and only got slightly above 80 degrees yesterday. But you don't know the half of it! You see, we have these halogen lights beating down on us all day. They are very chic, but very hot. I have 4 of these things over my desk alone. I also have a huge window that I face all day. The view is great, but in the afternoons, the western sky is filled with the sun and I get to squint into it while it bakes my brain. (No blinds on our windows yet.) Add to those two heat sources the significant heat put off by the electronic equipment in the room. For example, I have two monitors, a pc, an adding machine, a printer, and a time-stamper at my desk. Every desk in here has at least two monitors, some more, and some have more than one computer. All of this electrical equipment adds to the heat. And yesterday there was no breeze either. So, the effective temperature in the room was 90 degrees and it was killing me, making me pukey.
This morning, I turned on the a/c first thing. I simply couldn't do that again today.
I'm not quite as tired as I once was, but I'm hungry more often. I get irritable if you even suggest I wait 5 minutes to eat. I'm tired of feeling icky all the time. Prince Charming is patiently dealing with it all, like a Saint, which only makes me feel worse.
Do you remember that story of the Minnesota man who killed 6 Wisconsin hunters in Northern Wisconsin?
He was poaching somebody else's tree stand, remember? The confrontation resulted in a bloody massacre and Vang ran off and was eventually nabbed in the woods.
Well. Vang's attorney has successful wrangled him a Dane County Jury, a local jury being too biased and full of "racial tension."
This just pisses me off. It is my understanding that the area in which this occurred is more...let's say conservative...than the major population centers of Madison and Milwaukee. So, rather than a jury that might actually hold someone accountable for six murders, they are going to find themselves a jury of 12 hand-wringing apologists. A Dane county jury, you see, may see the other six "hunters" aka "bambi killers" aka "gun nuts" aka "dangerous criminals" as the real menace.
And that possibility makes me so mad I'm ready to throw things. I mean, are there no other counties in Wisconsin that might be a better fit? Jesus jumpin' Crist on a Harley-Davidson!
A news article this morning had me singing Alanis Morissette's famous lyrics.
Two individuals from Hampton Roads, employees of the Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, were arrested Wednesday night in Ahoskie, N.C., on animal cruelty charges.
The two were arrested after authorities allege they dumped dead dogs and cats in a dumpster at a shopping center on Memorial Drive in Ahoskie.
Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, were arrested at the shopping center. Police say they found 18 dead animals in the dumpster and 13 dead animals in the couple's van, which according to authorities, is registered to PETA. Both suspects were charged with 31 counts of animal cruelty and eight counts of illegal disposal of animals.
According to police, the animals were from two North Carolina animal shelters - one in Northampton County and the other in Bertie County.
Officials say the animals were alive when they left the shelters, but have not said how they died.
Wow. I'm still gonna call it ironic. Talk about a PR nightmare for PETA! Few deserve trouble more than they do. Well, maybe Dick Durbin, Amnesty International, Barbara Streisand, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Sean Penn, Charlie Rangel,...okay, this list could go on for a few days.
I know that there are many out there in the big wide world who will find this news appalling:
PARIS - Actor Tom Cruise said he and girlfriend Katie Holmes are engaged, after he popped the question early Friday morning atop the Eiffel Tower.
But I'm not one of those "Free Katie" people. I believe in love. And when I look at the pictures of the two of them together, I am often struck by how happy they seem. I find it quite convincing - because Tom's not that good an actor. And let's face it, she's over the moon! Of course she's head over heels. She fell in love with him watching Top Gun like the rest of us 30-somethings.
But, I still contend that it must be love. Weirder things have happened. And I, for one, have decided to be happy for them.
Internet was down for a while, but we are back. That was scary. Like being stranded on an island with a gun, one bullet, and a bottle of Jack. You don't realize how much you depend on it, until it is gone.
Whatever happened to funny? If you are watching any television these days, you will find it sadly lacking. Instead, so-called "reality" shows have taken over.
And I've had it up to my eyebrows with the crap!
I don't care if Paris Hilton is learning to be human. The fact of the matter is, she wouldn't recognize reality if it side-swiped her limo. This girl doesn't do her own laundry or walk her own dog. She's a fake celebrity and an idiot, and not worth my time. That goes double for her has-been sidekick Nicole and whatever oatmeal-for-brains replaces her.
And don't even get me started on that "Who wants to be a Hilton" show that Paris's mommy is hosting. Who wants to be rich, arrogant, insufferable, stupid, crass, make poor jokes, and swear all the time? That seems to be the measure of a Hilton if we watch Paris, so I ask again. Who the hell would want to be a Hilton? Definitely not me. I like my brain. I use my brain. This show asks you to donate it to the nearest civil waste reclamation/water treatment facility.
And last night I caught a promo for some show featuring two rich boys. Daddy pays for everything and they spend cash worse than drunken sailors with a few days liberty. Daddy says enough is enough (about 18 years late) and now they have to (SHOCK) earn money. How much you want to bet that "earning money" involves no work whatsoever?
This isn't reality! It isn't reality!
It is fantasy drivel. You want reality? Here's a few suggestions for the characters in these so-called fish-out-of-water "reality" shows.
Paris Hilton: I suggest she actually try the simple life on for size. I suggest that she switch places with a 23-year-old stay-at-home mom of 4 toddlers. I suggest that Paris be responsible for diapering and feeding twin infants, instructing a 3-year-old on the alphabet and numbers and keeping him occupied all day without a television, and getting a 5-year-old to and from school everyday. All the while, she must also keep house and prepare 3 meals each day. She is only allowed $40/week in disposable income for magazines, nail polish, and other non-essential items. She would have to keep an irritable hard-working man fed, clothed, and happy. She must do this for, oh, let's give her a break and only say 6 weeks. Now that would be reality.
Nicole Richie: I suggest that she take on the work of many average Americans. Nicole will get 2 8-hour/day jobs. Many people work two jobs, so she should be able to do it too. Her first job will be waitressing at a TGI Fridays from 4 pm to midnight everyday. Her second job will be an 8-hour job on a factory line performing the same monotonous task all day long with only two 15-minute breaks and a 30-minute lunch. Imagine little-miss-rich-girl trying to keep orders straight, bussing her own tables, dealing with irate customers who've been waiting for a table for 45 minutes only to learn that they can't get a baked potato anymore. Imagine her spilling drinks in laps and being treated as less than for once. She might learn some self-respect and a little humility, for once. Then, she could learn about the humdrum monotony of being just another cog in the big corporation. She would be nothing significant, unless she isn't making quota or keeping up with the line. She'd have to pull her own maintenance and take care of her own tools. Nicole's reality would include her sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with one bathroom with 4 other people. All of her salary would pay for her share of rent, utilities, transportation to each of her jobs, and food. Her only spending money would be from tips. Again, she would have to do this for six weeks.
Rich boy #1: I suggest that he would have to take on two jobs. His first would be an 8-hour shift at a fast food restaurant. He would have to mop, clean grease traps, make fries, take out trash, and clean tables. He would have to deal with teenage know-it-alls, slow geriatrics, and people who don't know what they want. His second job would be in lawn care and landscaping. He'd spend hours everyday mowing the lawns of suburban housewives and elderly perfectionists. He'd have to plant flowers and trim hedges, all the while sweating his pretty little butt off. He'd have to deal with dogs and snot-nosed children, and rearrange his mowing schedule around when the neighborhood kids are not in the pool. He'd have to deal with his own allergies and sunburns, insects, and weeds. He would have to live with a suburban family and drive a 1972 Chevy Nova – faded lime green – with balding tires – and a penchant for burning oil like gas. He too would have to pay for his room and board from his salaries, but would get spending money from any lawn tips he might receive and for doing his chores around the house. However, gas money must come out of his spending money. Again, six weeks sounds like enough time for reality to really set in.
Rich Boy #2: Ah, I’ve saved the best for last. This fine young gentleman is going to work our nation’s wheat harvest, from Texas right on up to the Dakotas. He’s going to be the “new boy” on a professional cutting crew. He’ll have to work 17-hour days driving a truck, combine, or grain cart. He’ll survive on Dr. Pepper and ham sandwiches. He’ll be stuck in Nowheresville, KS and a dozen other such type towns where there is next to nothing to do, if you have any spare time. He will learn to pull his own maintenance, gas and grease vehicles, change a bearing and replace a pulley. He’ll learn about the hazards of not thinking on the farm, driving too fast, smoking in the fields, and lack of caution. He’ll learn about constipation and wheat chaff, itchy eyes, and sweat. He’ll learn about life on the farm – real work – and how weather can shut you down. He’ll have plenty of spending money, his room and board being part of his salary, but he’ll have no personal means of transportation, and let’s face it, no place to go if he did. He’d have to take his turn performing the rolling household duties too, including cleaning out the waste storage on all of those trailers. Unfortunately, in this case he’d have to stay until the last job in North Dakota was done, but I wouldn’t make him do the return trip – Corn Harvest from North Dakota to Texas. Imagine all that he would learn, and how he would grow.
Now that would make good television!
Seriously. Where are all the smart, funny sitcoms?
Here's a little secret about me: cowboys are my weakness.
I'm not talking about dimestore cowboys, either. I'm talking about a good ol' boy in a hat and straight leg jeans that fit really well in the seat. I'm talking about the guy with dust on his leather cowboy boots and a grin on his face. Cowboys are a dying breed. They just don't make them the same way anymore. Nowadays, cowboys are likely to be wearing a Guess? shirt over their Levis.
A cowboy is a wonderful thing. First of all, he can charm a preacher into a whore house, he's that good. His smile is open and infectious. He is a friend to any and all and can be counted on to deliver.
But, let's get one thing straight. I'm not talking about those "cowboys" who don't know which end of a horse to feed. I'm talking about the ones who ride rodeo, work on a ranch, and dance like they own the place. Cowboys, by their very definition, are supremely comfortable in their skin. They work hard, drink hard, and play hard, but at essence are just good honest guys.
I fell hard for a cowboy once. It was so easy. He was a team-roping, bull-riding, force of nature. And, eventually, he ran out of charm and broke my heart. But, a cute ass in a pair of faded jeans and boots still can catch my eye. But, you know what they say about once bitten, twice shy?
Not long after my romance with Prince Charming began, and things were still very new, we were talking one evening and he dropped a bomb on me. "Oh, yeah," he said, "I used to ride bulls."
Scared the ever lovin' crap out of me, right there. But, I cowboy-ed up and am ever so thankful. I roped me a reformed cowboy!
Recently I have come back in contact with 2 old friends from high school, both out of the blue. One has been less lost than the other. Mark, my good buddy who ran in my pack, actually lives in Wisconsin - in Madison no less - but he travels pretty extensively (Alaska, Spain, etc.)
Now, a bit of explanation: In high school, I had one very good friend that was a girl and 8 good friends that were guys. Christine and I liked (loved really) having that many guys around all of the time. The guys were Mark, Mickey, Andrew, Steve, Eric, Matt, Craig, & Brad. The guys called themselves "The Regulators" after that Young Guns movie. High school boys, I tell you! Dopes.
But, they were pretty great guys and we all hung around all of the time. Literally. We were constantly together, usually at my house. The thing about high school boys is, they are easily managed. Christine and I would decide what was going on each weekend, we'd let the guys know, and they would show up. Extraneous girlfriends came and went, joining the group on occasion, as did Christine's boyfriends. All in all, though, we were an exceptionally tight group. (I dated one of the guys all through high school, in case you were wondering.)
For me, it was like having 7 big (and little) brothers. They looked out for me, though I resented it. And, because they weren't actually brothers, crushes developed. Proximity breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds comfort, and comfort breeds...interest. I tell ya, Proximity will get ya everytime.
I have the best memories of these guys. I love them all!
Steve was the tallest of the bunch and played on our very succesful varsity basketball team. He was super smart and sexy in that self-assured good guy kind of way. Andrew was the math wiz. Super Brainy. He had rusty red hair, was a great dresser, and played tennis like a demon. He used to write poems with Steve about me when we were in Mr. Lymon's Analytical Geometry class (we used to call that our "shape of shit" class). I still have those poems. I love them! I was paired with Steve and Andrew for a big project in Mrs. Brown's Lit class. Part of the project (on The Grapes of Wrath) was about creativity. Steve and Andrew changed the words to Vanilla Ice's Ice, Ice, Baby to Grapes, Grapes, Baby. John Steinbeck's Grapes, Grapes, Baby. They rapped the whole thing for the class. "Rollin' in Pa Joad's jallopy." I've never laughed so loud or so long. These two took turns falling for Christine, and both dated her. Steve and Andrew used to bet each other over the smallest and most inconsequential of things. I once saw Steve eat a big hairy spider because Andrew bet him he wouldn't. I gagged on the spot. Steve and Andrew now run a business together. Not even surprised. Steve is married to a doctor and living in Chicago. Andrew is married too, but I don't know much about her or where they live.
Mickey was the nicest of the bunch. He played football and everyone got along with him. He wasn't the brightest, but he was the sweetest. He had a crush on my sister for years and never did anything about it. Of course, I would have had to kill him if he did. She was my little sister, and I had heard plenty when these guys talked about girls. Mickey was always the one I figured for a future in politics. He's currently working for a public defender while he pursues law school, I think. I think he's in South Carolina. Mickey is still single, as far as I know.
Mark was the matching bookend to Mickey. Where Mickey was built with football power, Mark was wiry and fast. Mark was more of a tennis and golf kind of guy. In the middle of our Sophomore year, Mark and his parents moved away from Sleepy Hollow to Door County Wisconsin. But, we saw him pretty frequently. He was really smart and Mr. Bodishbaugh's Chem class just wasn't the same after he left. He also had the latest curfew, so before everybody could drive, (I was the first with a license), I ended up spending a lot of time with him, driving him home last. He was most brother-like to me. When we were freshmen, Mark, Mickey, Christine & I would spend a lot of time together going to the movies. Mark was (along with Andrew) one of the most vocal about my love life. Mark didn't feel that Eric treated me well enough, that he certainly didn't deserve me, and that I ought to make a change. He was right, and I can admit that now, but at the time I really didn't want to hear it. At the end of our senior year, literally at graduation, he sent me a letter making his feelings known, but it came as a complete shock to me and I'm afraid that I flubbed it, but good. In all honestly, that could have been a great relationship, if only I hadn't been too stupid to pick up on the clues. Mark is still single, I believe.
Matt was gangly and loveable. He was an only child, though, and even then you could tell that he always needed to be the center of attention. He played tennis, of course, and drove the hottest car! He was big into skiing (along with Craig and Andrew) and I feel like I've known him forever. When I first moved into the "hollow" he chased me through the middle school hallways. Our last names were next to each other in alphabetical order, so our lockers were always smack dab next to each other. I have to tell you, in middle school, he was an annoying little creep. He mellowed, though, or I came to accept the geeky freak. Matt, I knew always had a crush on me. Let's put it this way, on my Sweet Sixteen, Matt called me at 5:30 a.m. and told me to go check the front door. He'd gotten me 16 red roses and laid them on the front step by that time in the morning. He was a great guy. I wasn't interested, always considering him a little brother, but he was really sweet. Matt is married and living in North Carolina. He's a photographer and a computer geek.
Craig was Matt's other half. Shorter and blond, they did nearly everything together. Craig was quiet, but he had this killer wit. When I was in Kansas each summer, he would send me these hilarious letters. He was a really good friend. I could always count on Craig. As a matter of fact, in college, at a low point in my life, I crushed on Craig for a while. It was his quiet confidence and his reliability that drew me in. Unfortunately, he too was always pining for Christine.
At this low point in my life (in college) we all got together at New Year's Eve. Andrew was having a party. I was having a really rough holiday, having just caught my stepfather cheating on my mother (caught red-handed or in flagrante delicto), and desperate to escape the suffocating clutches of my then boyfriend/transition man who felt that I had invited or encouraged my would-be rapist to do the deed, I got drunk for the first time in my life. I'm talking really drunk. 5 Tequila shooters, a glass of Everclear, and I was gone. (Mr. Suffocation himself "surprised" me by showing up at this party. Let's just say I was less than pleased.) Long story short, I was super sick and woke up between Mickey and Craig the next morning (not next to Mr. Suffocation). Thank goodness it was them, I couldn't have trusted anybody else. Craig is working in Chicago, but I don't know much else.
So, we are down to three.
Eric was my boyfriend on and off all through high school. After freshman year, I never dated anybody else. I thought he needed me. His mother was a psycho who I was sure had abused him emotionally. His father was too weak to stop it. His parents, I felt, never supported him. Eric was beautiful. He was a soccer stud and a tennis star. He dressed impeccably and all of the underclassmen girls wanted him. He had that blond god devil-may-care thing going on. And, he knew just what to say to a girl. Hindsight being what it is, I now realize what a schmuck he was. To be honest, he may have cared about me, but it wasn't a fully developed thing. He always cared for himself more. I now recognize that he was a habitual cheater. He cheated at school, on me, and in a thousand other ways. He dated me because that was the image he wanted to project. I was a mover and a shaker, I was Miss Thing, so I must belong to him if he wanted to be Mr. Thing. I spoiled him rotten, and he took full advantage.
Where did this sudden epiphany come from? Ah. College. You see, we would break up every summer when I went to Kansas. I was still wearing his ring, but he had his freedom for the summer. At the end of our Senior year, we did this again. But, we didn't get back together in college. He was dating the ho with which he'd perpetually cheated on me (and anybody else he could get into bed). I started seeing my transition man, Mr. Suffocation.
Unfortunately, and against my wishes to the contrary, Mr. Suffocation pledged the same frat as Eric (and Craig). This meant that I was often at functions at this house, and Eric took the opportunity. He resented my dating someone else (even though he was tom-catting all over campus) and would touch me at times when Mr. Suffocation couldn't see it or wouldn't see it. At first these touches seemed creepy, but were nothing you couldn't blame on the familiarity of three years together. However, eventually they crossed the line and I told Mr. Suffocation about it. But Mr. Suffocation was a pig and felt that I had encouraged the behavior, that it was no big deal. And that was his same message to me when I told him that Eric had tried to rape me a few months later. So, I guess you'd say I don't give a rat's ass what has happened to Eric or Mr. Suffocation. The two jerks deserve each other.
Brad. Brad I despise. Brad was a manipulative little fuck. He was a bad friend. He screwed over his buddies, stole one of their fiancees, and was a weasel. He would drive wedges between the members of our group for fun. Because he loved showing that he could. Eric danced on the end of Brad's string. Not everybody could see his villainy back then, but I could. He was a bastard. Last I heard he was tending bar.
Christine, the only other girl in our group, was my best buddy for a long time. She was cool. She was hip. She was a soccer and tennis stud. She was an artist. And, that's what she does today. She married a Scot she met while traveling in Europe, and they still live in Dundee. She was a great friend and we always had a blast together. We shopped, talked about the boys, and had a terrific trusting friendship. We were each other's sounding boards for break-up speeches. We were there for each other. When I turned 16, she put up a 9-foot sign in our front yard (we lived on the corner of two main streets in the Hollow) that said, "Honk to Wish Phoenix a Happy Sweet 16!" I kept that sign forever. I can still hear the honking.
It was Mark that I heard from again recently. It is always good to hear from an old friend. That's why, I guess, all of these memories have been flooding back.
Doesn't that title sound like the story in the fairytale book that comes just before "Cinderella & Prince Charming?"
Here is an adventure story for you:
My Prince Charming leaped out of bed Saturday morning at 7 am like a man with a mission. While I was puttering around doing things like updating my pic on the blog, emptying the dishwasher, entering data in my sister's spreadsheet, and straightening the living room, Prince Charming was planting rose bushes, clearing stumps, pulling weeds, and eventually mowing the lawn.
Well, it seems that when he was working on that stump, he got dosed with a bit of Wild Parsnip sap. It didn't hurt or anything, and to be honest, he was unaware that he had gotten into it. I don't think he even recognized the plant as a hazard. I know that I sure wouldn't have, and I have taken a large number of weed identification courses.
He mowed the lawn after battling the stump, then showered before spending the rest of the day on Lake Wisconsin in a friend's speed boat.
Sunday came and went without incident. But yesterday, Prince Charming had developed a bizarre rash type thing on one of his legs and a small spot on his hand. The rash, if we can call it that, looked like a localized sunburn. There were blisters that looked just like sunburn blisters, and redness that looked like irritation or sunburn. But it was in splotches instead of wide areas like a sunburn would be.
When I got home yesterday, he showed me the affected area and asked what I thought. "Does it itch?" I asked.
"Maybe a little." Prince Charming is a macho man, if he's gushing blood he describes it as a scratch, so I have to put everything he says in perspective.
"Did you get bit when you were out in the ditch on Saturday?"
"I don't think so - but there were a lot of ants crawling around that stump. But if that's what it is, why is it only on one leg?"
"I don't know. But I'll tell you, it doesn't really look like a bug thing to me. It looks like irritation from a plant toxin. What sorts of weeds were you getting into out there?"
"I don't know. A weed is a weed to me."
"Well, wear something loose to work tonight. If it starts itching horribly, I have that lotion upstairs that will ease the irritation."
He went to work last night per usual, but called me early this morning, which was surprising because he had said he was going to work late. He said that he was going to the doctor. Apparently the rash had spread and when his co-workers looked at it, they said poison sumac or poison oak.
The doctor took one look at it and said, "Unh, uhn. That's a wild parsnip burn."
So, in the vein of public service, I warn all of my Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois readers that wild parsnip can be found in your areas. You can find resources here, here, and here.
But, what you need to know is that the sap of the green tissue can burn your skin and develop sunburn type blisters. Doctors, it turns out, are often stumped by what it is. Remind me to thank our apparently top-notch doctor!
I have to tell you, I was really disappointed in yesterday's verdict in the Michael Jackson child molestation case. I am convinced that the guy is a child molester and think it is an absolute shame that the verdict wasn't different. Let's face it: Nobody pays $20 million in hush money if the charges are without merit.
Please don't think that I begrudge the jury their verdict. I understand that "beyond a reasonable doubt" is a tough standard. I just wish that it didn't seem like celebrities can get away with anything if they have enough cash and star power.
The jury may have found him "not guilty," but that doesn't mean he's innocent, if you know what I mean. But, I am afraid that some may not see the distinction in that statement. I mean, you'd have to be on crack to leave your child alone with Jacko for even a second, but some may hear "not guilty" and think that that means he is innocent. Let's face it, these folks who give their children's care into the hands of the freak at Neverland probably aren't that intelligent or discerning to begin with. So, I'm worried that this just means he is free to molest another day.
I didn't post yesterday, I know. Somedays you get the blog blahs and are completely uninspired. Add a little nauseau to that mix, and well, you got a big ol' bag of nothing to say.
I feel like a cad when I don't post. I get a severe case of the blog guilts, like my readers will abandon me if I don't post. And then there are those people who know me personally and read my blog (like Lori & Chris) who think something has happened to you if you don't post. Oh, the pressure!
Anyway, you have my apologies. I will try to do better today.
This is a pretty exciting week, developmentally speaking. According to the experts:
I'm Swimming! The baby has begun moving inside the womb although it's too small for mom to notice. Most of the joints are formed now - elbow, wrist, knee, shoulder, and ankle as well as the hands, fingers, feet and toes.
That's pretty neat, ya know? Baby is floating and now has the basic parts. It is kind of humbling to think about.
For my part, the queasiness is still ever-present and the hunger comes every 2-3 hours. I barely got out of the shower before I was sick this morning. My eating habits are just weird. Last night, for supper, I had a grilled cheese on wheat, corn on the cob, and 5 fat strawberries with 2 glasses of apple juice. This morning for breakfast I had oatmeal. I brought a little snack-pack of vanilla pudding and more strawberries to kill the hunger today while at work. And, I have big plans to run to Wendy's for lunch. I want a baked potato and a side salad.
I had a dream last night that something was horribly wrong with the baby. My doctor sent me a note in the mail, but it got lost and I never received it. It had me so freaked out, I double-checked the stack of mail on the table when I woke up this morning. Nothing.
I am growing increasingly concerned about baby names too. If we have a girl, we are pretty comfortable with the first name and just need to settle on a middle name. But, if it is a boy, we are in a heap-o-trouble. We haven't been able to find anything that we agree on for a boy. Prince Charming likes "Harold." No way, no day.
I have a trip to Bermuda scheduled for end of July. I'm hoping that some of those swank shops of some luxe baby stuff! Yeah, I'm that kind of girl.
My grandmother went to school in a covered wagon and lived through the dust bowl and rabbit drives. She has seen 2 world wars, several so-called "police-actions", and of course, the advent of the televised war (Gulf Wars I & II). In her life, she has seen all sorts of technological advances. I suspect that my own life will see many technological advances too. I'm looking forward to the following:
The elimination of dust in the home.
The robot-maid a la The Jetsons
Hover cars - hello!
Custom fashion made-to-order as the norm
Self-cleaning eyeglasses and sunglasses that naturally repel finger oil
The perfect manicure in a bottle - stick in a finger and nail is perfectly and professionally painted. No drying time required.
A real cure for unruly curls
The self-cleaning home toilet
Instantaneous cross-continent travel (you know - like on Star Trek - Breakfast in Sedona, Lunch at Spago, Supper at the Tavern on the Green) Beam me up, baby.
Phin, that most charming of golden fish (I mean really - has there ever been a sexier bowl-dweller?), has posted an indispensible list of advice for men. Me, not being one to let things alone, do hereby submit a similar list of suggestions to the ladies.
Ladies, take caution in your relations with those of the "stronger" sex, and follow these sage pearls:
Never, Never, NEVER say anything about his mother, her cooking, her "jokes" (that are really mean slams against you) or her personal peccadilloes. That is, don't say anything negative about her in his hearing or to anyone who might tell tales on you. You'll be starting a world war, and remember how that worked out for Archduke Francis Ferdinand.
Never use any dimunitive adjectives when referring to any part of his body. I mean it! Don't refer to his "baby toe" or his "little finger" or refer to any other part of his anatomy (you know that of which I speak) as a "cocktail weiner," "spicy hot sausage," or any other meat, unless it is a 30-pound prime rib. I don't care if he's hung like an elephant, all men are sensitive about "shrinkage" and not appearing up to their best.
Never suggest that he should not go out with the boys, even if he does have a temperature and has been whining for two days like a teething 8-month-old baby.
Men are just as self-conscious about their waistlines as women. Never suggest that a few less beers and a few more sit-ups might go a long way.
Never, Ever, Ever suggest that he really doesn't need so much butter and gravy in his diet.
Never suggest that his friends are not the best men in 10 counties, no matter how drunken, slovenly, or irresponsible they might be.
Do not eschew lard as an ingredient in anything if "Grandma" was a staunch supporter of animal fat.
Cater to his culinary preferences for the first year, then wean him onto less onerous kitchen tasks for yourself slowly, but don't ever tell him you've made a change. For example, all of my recipes that call for a can of Cream of Mushroom soup got strained for Mushroom bits in the first year of my marriage, because Prince Charming despises the fungus. Now however, he doesn't recognize that he is eating them. DON'T EVER LET HIM KNOW!
Don't ever suggest that he is being taken advantage of by friends or family. He won't thank you for pointing out he's a sucker.
Don't ever suggest that your father may have been questioning his ability to protect his eldest daughter when Dad gave him that rifle. Let him continue to believe it was the most gracious of gifts and biggest vote of confidence he could have received.
Ladies, take this advice to your heart. Learn it, Live it. No doubt you will discover the landmines in your own relationships soon enough, but this small list should serve you well.
You are an arrogant, ignorant, race-baiting, fuck-up.
You claim that the Republican Party is a "white Christian Party," but only as a way to scare off minorities. Do you realize that you look like an idiot when you say things like this? Why would anyone vote for the Democrats if you can't talk about anything even approaching a new idea or policy? You, yourself, openly admit to being a "White Christian" but who cares? Do you think color matters to me? I want ideas, you ass. And so far, you aren't bringing much to the table.
You also claim that "most Republicans have never done a real day's work in their life." Wow. That's so incredibly stupid as to approach insanity. How dare you make sweeping judgements about half of the American population? Way to reach out to the center, jackass.
I am not a Republican. But, I have voted Republican in the last 4 elections. So, I am greatly offended at what you have to say. You don't know me, but you see no trouble with calling me some sort of lazy racist with a silver spoon in her mouth. I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. My father is an American Farmer, one of the hardest working groups of people in the country, and the same group that your blind followers would have work themselves to death because you can't be realistic about the death tax. And, I assure you, that my father didn't let his girls grow up without a work ethic. I was paying income taxes before I had a signature, you foolish fuck. I despise the sort of ignorant sweeping claims like those that spew from your mouth like so much vomit. What the hell do you know, Doctor and Governor, about the working man?
I've walked fields. Have you? I've been sprawled over a combine tire holding a flashlight for hours in the dead of night to keep things going. Have you? I've worked 200 hours in 2 weeks - Have you? I've changed oil and worked a dressing room. I've climbed grain bins, sifted samples, and done paperwork until 11 pm at night. I've brought TZ tests home on Saturdays so that I could read them on Sundays. HAVE YOU? You, sir, don't know what the FUCK you are talking about.
But here's what I'll tell you. I wouldn't vote for any candidate of yours ever, unless it was for the guy to not get a seat on the lifeboat. You are not appealing to this Independent. You are a hypocrite and a racist. And I don't like you.
Update: Sorry. Mea Culpa. That second quote from Dean was, "Republicans, I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
Again, that is only worse than what I wrote before. It isn't that Republicans don't work, it is that they don't do so honestly. Nice. I'm not re-writing what I wrote. Dean doesn't deserve it. Give him a few days and he'll say Republicans don't know what work is. The man loves the taste of his own shoes.
Well. A storm has been brewing...frothing in my gut...over a number of things lately. Step on up to the Rambling Rant of the Day!
First, I express again that the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. Make of it what you will. They are OPINIONS.
Let's talk about the Koran "abuse" first, shall we? The Koran is just a book. That's all it is. It's probably printed in Taiwan, for heaven's sake. It is an object, not a person, and as such, has no HUMAN rights. The whole Koran "abuse" is a tempest in a teapot. Muslims are upset that somebody at Gitmo may have dropped a Koran? HOW THE FUCK DO THEY THINK I FEEL WHEN I TURN ON THE TV AND SEE MUSLIMS BURNING THE AMERICAN FLAG?
Do I demand justice, the roll of heads over what I see as the desecration of a symbol? No. It is merely a symbol. They aren't actually hurting anybody. It is the same with the Koran - except that those abuses are only alleged, while I've witnessed the torture of the American Flag thousands of times on the news. It is a symbol. A thing. It does no actual damage to anyone, even if the allegations are true, which I highly doubt.
It is all a bunch of terrorist crap. You know that the Terrorist handbook mandates that, if captured, GI Jihadi make all sorts of claims of abuse - whether true or not, because they know that this is one of our weaknesses. Simply put, they don't play by the same rules of humanity, as evidenced by their preference for innocent civilian targets, unwilling suicide bombers, and videotaped beheadings. I'll eat these words if somebody can show me a videotaped beheading of a Terrorist by a Marine at Gitmo. So damn stupid.
Next, the Global War on Terror in general. Look, people, we are at war. My generation has never really known war, so this is new to us. However, I think it is fairly safe to say that you can't adequately fight this foe if you are going to play by the old rules and constrain yourself with handwringing namby-pamby excuse making. I suggest, no...I know, that war is dirty and ugly and mean. People get hurt. People die. But we can never lose sight of the cause. Shall we perish from this Earth because we lacked the fortitude to finish the fight? FUCK NO! If we do not chase victory to every corner of every cave, all the sacrifices are in vain.
Should we do as so many in the handwringing left suggest and close Gitmo, let the "detainees" better known as terrorists go free, and fight a gentler war on terror? Hooey. To all of the Jimmy Carters, Nancy Pelosis, and Joe Bidens of the world, I suggest that we put those "detainees" in those people's hometowns and make these liberal terrorist apologists responsible for them. If they start plotting to blow up children at a soccer game, you do time with them, how about it?
How stupid can you get? If this were WWII instead of the GWOT, would they be suggesting that we free Hitler and his minions over a little bad press? You don't give up the fight when you have the upper hand. You crush your foe and take advantage of every opportunity. Do you think the terrorists are going to fight more a more kind and gentle war? If you do, you are living a fantasy.
Now, the World Trade Center Memorial. This is percolating all over the blogosphere these days, and I can't say that I disagree with what I've read. Mostly, the controversy has to do with this editorial, written by the sister of the pilot whose plane was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon.
Her biggest issue is that the Memorial has been hijacked by those who feel that we don't need a memorial so much as a lecture on America's inhumanities and how we deserved what we got on 9/11/01. She is right to be outraged. I share her bile. It is reprehensible that this is being allowed. I quote her:
Instead, they will get a memorial that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the yearning to return to that day. Rather than a respectful tribute to our individual and collective loss, they will get a slanted history lesson, a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world. They will be served up a heaping foreign policy discussion over the greater meaning of Abu Ghraib and what it portends for the country and the rest of the world.
The public will have come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia tutorial about man's inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the Third Reich's Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond. This is a history all should know and learn, but dispensing it over the ashes of Ground Zero is like creating a Museum of Tolerance over the sunken graves of the USS Arizona.
The public will be confused at first, and then feel hoodwinked and betrayed. Where, they will ask, do we go to see the September 11 Memorial? The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation will have erected a building whose only connection to September 11 is a strained, intellectual one. While the IFC is getting 300,000 square feet of space to teach us how to think about liberty, the actual Memorial Center on the opposite corner of the site will get a meager 50,000 square feet to exhibit its 9/11 artifacts, all out of sight and underground. Most of the cherished objects which were salvaged from Ground Zero in those first traumatic months will never return to the site. There is simply no room. But the International Freedom Center will have ample space to present us with exhibits about Chinese dissidents and Chilean refugees. These are important subjects, but for somewhere--anywhere--else, not the site of the worst attack on American soil in the history of the republic.
I ask you, is this even human? When you go to a funeral and memorialize a grandparent, do you talk about their incontinence? Of course not. You remember the good ol' days. If you've ever been to Pearl Harbor and seen the memorial there, you will know that it is a respectful quiet place to mark the sacrifice of our fighting men and women. It doesn't say, "Here lies a bunch of carousing ne'er-do-wells who drank like fish, cursed like sailors, and slept with anything that moved." That would be disrespectful. When you go to the Vietnam War Memorial or the WWII Memorial in D.C., you are not bombarded with negative images and messages either. A memorial is supposed to honor, not disrespect. And, I'm afraid, that dwelling on the negative, on man's inhumanity to man, at the WTC site is the equivalent of saying, "Here lie 3,000 Americans who went to work on 9/11/01. They died here and they deserved it."
For heaven's sake, these people were innocents. They did not expect to die that day in a fireball, or leap from the 90th floor of their own volition. The emergency workers who perished that day were just doing their jobs. We should be honoring their sacrifices, not saying "karma's a bitch, ain't it?"
It is appalling. It is revolting. And my congressmen will be hearing about it. Furthermore, it isn't as though there isn't plenty of real estate in other places if we really need to dwell on these issues. But, I think you will find that most of these crimes of the past have been adequately covered in other museums.
George Soros: Pissing on the Graves of the Innocent.