Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Prince Charming's grilling/smoking expertise on display. It is really too bad you can't taste it. Dee-lish! (smack, smack) Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:12 PM | 0 comments



Blueberry Pie. How about that pie crust, huh? Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:11 PM | 0 comments



Raspberry-marbled Cheesecake Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:10 PM | 0 comments



My favorite - Cherry Pie with Montmorency Cherries and a lattice top (Yes, I got out the fluting wheel.)  Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:09 PM | 0 comments



Perfection: Apple Pie Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:06 PM | 0 comments



Sports-themed cupcakes Posted by Hello
posted by Phoenix | 6:05 PM | 0 comments


I'm Back
Did you miss me?

I know, I let you all down when I take the weekends off, but that is the rule.

I was sick in the mornings, sick in the evenings, not having a lot of fun this weekend. We had people over for Memorial Day which amounted to much preparation on Sunday. I'll have photos up later today. The food was great, but I ran out of steam way too early in the evening.

Prince Charming didn't have to work last night, so for once he actually got to see me be sick in the morning. So he no longer thinks I'm making it up. Which is good. To be fair, he never accused me of making it up, but I'm pretty sure he is more appreciative of the condition now.

I found out over the weekend that another of my friends is expecting. It is weird how contagious it is! My friend, on the other hand, did things a bit differently. I greatly admire her because she is doing all of this without a man in her life. She is tired of waiting for Mr. Right, so she shopped for her donor at a bank and the deed is done. I know that she really wants children of her own, so I think it is great that she took the initiative. I doubt that I could have shown this sort of strength, but she seems really happy.

Other than that, I can share the news that Prince Charming has a new obsession. He loves that show "The Deadliest Catch." Think of it as "The Perfect Storm" without all of the eye-candy and plot.
posted by Phoenix | 10:59 AM | 0 comments


Friday, May 27, 2005
NCIS Blogging
I have mentioned before how I am a nut for NCIS. Mark Harmon's gruff portrayal of Gibbs, the quirky doc Ducky, his over-eager assistant Jimmy Palmer, brilliant goth lab girl Abby, technogeek and "Proby" McGee, charming girl crazy Tony DiNozzo, and the ever-professional Kate Todd. I love it. Yeah, yeah, it is a bit ridiculous, but I enjoy it. NCIS and Alias.

So I was stunned, STUNNED, when the terrorist shot Kate dead center in the middle of the forehead on the finale.

It won't be the same without her. I don't know if I'll continue to watch. She was my favorite.
posted by Phoenix | 11:33 AM | 2 comments


Weekly Quiz
It is Friday and time for another current events quiz, courtesy of MSNBC.

I got 80% correct.
posted by Phoenix | 10:27 AM | 0 comments


England: A little less free everyday
I wish I was surprised, but I'm not. Rather, I half saw it coming.

Here's the deal. Not content with banning, restricting, and making illegal nearly every firearm, the British now want to get rid of knives. God help them.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the
increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

...

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.

None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.

The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault - but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.

...

French laws in the 17th century decreed that the tips of table and street knives be ground smooth.

A century later, forks and blunt-ended table knives were introduced in the UK in an effort to reduce injuries during arguments in public eating houses.

The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime.

"The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime.

"We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect."

...

Home Office spokesperson said there were already extensive restrictions in place to control the sale and possession of knives.

"The law already prohibits the possession of offensive weapons in a public place, and the possession of knives in public without good reason or lawful authority, with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade not exceeding three inches.

"Offensive weapons are defined as any weapon designed or adapted to cause injury, or intended by the person possessing them to do so.

"An individual has to demonstrate that he had good reason to possess a knife, for example for fishing, other sporting purposes or as part of his profession (e.g. a chef) in a public place."


You just watch! Forks, letter openers, lamps, fire pokers, and nail clippers are next. Additional bans and restrictions coming to a not-quite free country near you. I assure you, I could kill someone just as easily with a paring knife as a butcher knife. The length of the knife is a red herring. The fact of the matter is, if you ban all knives and force people back into the dark ages of eating with their hands, they will just find another weapon with which to kill each other.

Consider an unarmed assailant attempting to rape you in the night. Could you kill him with your alarm clock? I could. Or a lamp. I could beat him to death with a remote control. I could brake the legs off of my end table and skewer him like a kebab. I could hit him over the head with my jewelry box or push him through the glass table in the corner. I could even kill him with a pair of tweezers plunged into the correct part of the anatomy. I'd prefer to have my Walther PPK near to hand though, as then I don't have to get so close to the bad guy.

You can't stop people from hurting each other. It is in our nature. Furthermore, we have a basic human right to protect our life and liberty. If that means killing an intruder with a steak knife, then so be it. Maybe they ought to make stickers for your front door.

"This house protected by Smith & Wesson, Wusthof, and Henckels."
posted by Phoenix | 10:12 AM | 0 comments


Blogwestern Chapter 6
We now know how heartless Miss Emily is and we get a little more insight into her character. Check out Pammy's fine work here.

For those of you not yet reading the Blogwestern, you can catch up at the links below.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
posted by Phoenix | 9:52 AM | 0 comments


Thursday, May 26, 2005
Spy Sistah Update
Now my sister is complaining about her "puppy" "peeing" on the "floor."

So transparent. Doesn't she know we are onto her? In reality, the guidance system on her new portable missile system is acting up. Sheesh! How dumb does she think I am? Puppies don't squeak like that!
posted by Phoenix | 10:12 AM | 0 comments


Thank you, Congress
I make no bones about my general impressions of Congress being little more than P.J. O'Rourke's "Parliament of Whores."

And I still contend that that impression is mostly valid. Yesterday, however, I finally found something that Congress did right. So, in the vein of giving credit where credit is due, here is a blue ribbon for the best pack of self-serving whores EVER!

You see, that other mysterious thing I've been keeping a secret involves a major change of life. And, it is the sort of thing that could impact health insurance coverage for a newly pregnant woman. Read between the lines, people. The very last thing - strike that - I'm not willing to be without health insurance for a single moment while I'm pregnant. Can you blame me?

So, I've been looking at the stop gaps for fixing this problem if we should choose to make that life change. Under our current health insurance, the baby will cost us a grand total of less than $100. For Everything. Really good insurance.

But this life change would mean switching insurance coverage and perhaps being on Cobra for a short while. Cobra would cost ~$800 per month. PER MONTH. Needless to say, I'm not real keen on this idea.

The other question seemed to be how long Cobra might be necessary. I was stunned to discover that it might be necessary for up to 6 months - a whopping $4,800 - because the new insurance might consider the pregnancy a "pre-existing condition" and therefore refuse coverage.

Naturally, this news infuriated me as it was yet another example of the inequity of the sexes. Viagra - covered by insurance, Birth control - not covered. My outrage was over the fact that pregnancy is not a disease! We aren't talking about a congenital heart problem or cancer here, folks. Women have babies everyday. The very idea of this treatment of pregnancy as an incurable disease had me so pissed I was ready to chuck the whole idea of the life change and start a campaign to light fires under my representatives' asses to get this ridiculousness fixed.

I am pleased, nay, ecstatic, to announce that a Congressional Conflagration will not be necessary. The law already exists. Insurance companies can't treat a pregnancy as a "pre-existing condition" and deny coverage. Or, so I've been told. I'm going to follow-up this afternoon with a conversation with an insurance professional who would know.

So, if true, I can say thank you to the whores.
posted by Phoenix | 9:05 AM | 2 comments


Last Night, on Alias...
Okay. So most of the episode was tying up the long running Rambaldi Endgame plot device, but the very end? I'm on tenterhooks. Here is the gist (not quoting, can't remember exactly):

"Sid, there's something I have to tell you, you should know..."

"So long as you don't tell me you are one of the bad guys, I don't care."

"Well, that depends who you ask."

Sidney is stunned.

"My name is not Michael Vaughn."

Boom! The car they are traveling in is hit on the driver's side, airbags deploy, fade to black.

DUN da duun.
posted by Phoenix | 9:00 AM | 0 comments


On the Road
Spotted this bumper sticker yesterday, in Madison if you can believe it! Totally made me laugh out of sheer shock that anybody in that loony lefty town would be sporting that sticker and still have tires to run on.

Corporate Media: A Weapon of Mass Distraction
posted by Phoenix | 8:57 AM | 0 comments


Wednesday, May 25, 2005
A Question for My Readers
Okay. I'm going to lift my skirt and show off my ignorance here for a minute.

Stem Cell research is back in the news and I have a question for my brilliant and intrepid readers. Let me set it up:

So, stem cells are human cells that can become anything, right? And, presumably, this means that they have a full complement of DNA so that they have all of the directions on how to be all that they can be, right?

You can get stem cells from umbilical cord blood, among other sources. This cord blood can be "banked" and preserved for all time. So my question is, doesn't this present the risk of identity theft at a biological level? For example, I am pregnant with a baby who has an umbilical cord, right? This cord contains blood that is rich in said stem cells. These stem cells are full of DNA - mine, the baby's, I'm not sure - and if I "bank" this blood, then don't I run the risk that it could be stolen? They need not even fret over the hard work either, they've already got cells ready to become. I am concerned that this amounts to identity theft at the most basic. Am I wrong?

We can already clone animals and nobody is doing all that much to stop that. Is it such a leap for me to be concerned that somebody could steal my child's biological identity, clone him or her, and then harvest him or her to extend someone else's life or comfort? Am I misunderstanding the facts, or what?

I have no doubt that science could find a way. They are making advances everyday. It would be nice if we could abolish all disease, but this isn't practical. If we were to abolish all disease and extend life expectancy to the outer limits, the world will only know violence. People will start fighting over food. Or is this another case of my pregnancy paranoia?

Will a black market in stem cells develop? How can I protect myself and my child?

So tell me, am I just tilting at windmills?
posted by Phoenix | 12:30 PM | 1 comments


Braying & Abusing Power
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada was braying yesterday (and I mean "braying" as in a "braying jackass") about the Great Compromise of 2005. This is the agreement that avoided the filibuster of judicial nominees by Democrats (for now) and the use of the so-called "Nuclear Option" by the Republican majority. This is what the braying jackass (my opinion) had to say:
We have sent president George Bush, vice president Dick Cheney, and the radical
arm of the Republican base an undeniable message. Abuse of power will not be
tolerated. Not be tolerated by Democrats or Republicans, and your attempt, I say
to the vice president and the president, to trample the constitution and grab
absolute control, is over.

My question is, haven't the Dems been pulling a power grab for the past four years? The President of the United States, no matter what his political affiliation, is duty bound to nominate justices to vacant federal judicial seats. The Senate is duty bound to affirm or deny those nominees. That way, the court dockets can keep moving forward and this nation's judicial system can continue to grind slowly onward.

The President did his job. However, the Democrats have been standing in the way, refusing to do their duty. They have refused to do the job of affirming or denying, instead keeping some nominees in limbo for 4+ years. This isn't right! First of all, the Democratic Senators were elected to perform a service. God knows they don't miss a chance to speak on television - is it too much to ask them to perform their Constitutionally-mandated duties? I don't care if they vote to deny. They should be led by their consciences. But, damnit, they should have to make a decision. I have to make a decision every election day, for better or worse, so why can't they?

Because they are girls.

Secondly, and more importantly, if they continue these middle-school girly shenanigans and passive-aggressive pissing contests, who in heaven's name is going to want to be nominated? Sign up to put your professional life on hold until hell freezes over? Not this girl! Simply put, it is a whole lot to ask of anyone. Then, if they actually do actually let your name be discussed, you are subjected to a first-class character assassination attempt. Good Lord, our freakin' "leaders" take lessons from 5th-grade girls! Bitches - the lot of them!

I say, if Harry Reid and his fellows don't want to do their Constitutional duty, screw 'em! We can vote in some other assholes to do the job!

And, in the category of BLATANT MAIN STREAM MEDIA BIAS, the headline of the article I pulled the above quote from reads, "Harry Reid Forges Compromise."

Except, the compromise was a product of a bi-partisan effort (7 Dems, & 7 Repubs), and none of these was our favorite braying jackass, Harry Reid. But who do they credit? Yes, natch, one Power-abusing Braying Jackass from Nevada.

MSM bias? What MSM bias?

Oh - and for those who take offense at my labeling the minority leader in the Senate as a barnyard animal - get over yourself. He called our President a "loser" and then followed up with a back-handed apology. I'm just ratcheting up the rhetoric and callin' 'em like I see 'em. To be fair, I could have found a much less noble barnyard animal to serve as his mascot. I'm very creative. Take my word for it.
posted by Phoenix | 9:41 AM | 1 comments


Shout Out
Gently now, my lovelies.

Mom is visiting the blog today, so we have to appear to be respectful.


Hi, MOM!
posted by Phoenix | 9:00 AM | 0 comments


Extraordinary Circumstances
Cox & Forkum define it.
posted by Phoenix | 8:12 AM | 0 comments


Special Feature
Do you know who wins the Villains Vanquished Cool Award this week?

Mark at .:.WitNit.:.

I am constantly laughing at his works or finding something valuable there.

And no, this has nothing to do with being included in the first-ever Carnival of the BabeWits.

Very Cool. I'm addicted.
posted by Phoenix | 8:05 AM | 1 comments


Breaking News
This just in: Mommy has not yet puked today! Hurray!
posted by Phoenix | 8:04 AM | 0 comments


In this morning's news...
Phoenix here. Bringing you all of the news you might otherwise miss. A few choice bits:

1. Britney Spears has chosen her skeezy husband over her loyal dog, Lucky. Apparently Lucky is not fond of the skeezoid, growling and barking at him. Not sure she made the right choice, really. (Via MSNBC)

2. An Italian restaurant in Rome may sue Slick Willy for failing to cancel his reservation. But hey, it isn't like this is the first breach of promise for Wet-member Clinton, is it? (Via Drudge)

3. San Francisco Exodus. It seems families with children are leaving this California city in droves in search of cheaper housing, better schools, and other tangibles:

A similar lament is being heard in San Francisco's half-empty classrooms, in
parks where parents are losing ground to dog owners, and in the corridors of
City Hall.

San Francisco has the smallest share of small-fry of any major U.S. city. Just 14.5 percent of the city's population is 18 and under.

It is no mystery why U.S. cities are losing children. The promise of safer streets, better schools and more space has drawn young families away from cities for as long as America has had suburbs.

But kids are even more scarce in San Francisco than in expensive New York (24 percent) or in retirement havens such as Palm Beach, Fla., (19 percent), according to Census estimates.

San Francisco's large gay population — estimated at 20 percent by the city Public Health Department — is thought to be one factor, though gays and lesbians in the city are increasingly raising families.

Another reason San Francisco's children are disappearing: Family housing in the city is especially scarce and expensive. A two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot starter home is considered a bargain at $760,000.


Holy Crap! 2 bedrooms for $760K? That, my friends, is urban rape of the pocketbook!
A recent survey by the city controller found 40 percent of parents said
they were considering pulling up stakes within the next year.

Well, no shit! Housing is completely unaffordable! (Via Drudge)

4. Syria is taking its toys and going home. Poor wittle Sywia is tiwed of being bad-mouthed by da big bad US, so they aren't going to help us fight the war on terror anymore. What a shame. It is really going to slow us down hunting the terrorists if they aren't around to deny that the extremists are flowing into Iraq from Syria. Damn. Whatever shall we do? Send more ammo and stand at the border? Come to think of it, this might be a deterent in our own domestic border issues.

5. A Real Lucky Hat Story. Usually when we discuss a 'lucky hat' we are poking fun at Sen. John Kerry of Mass. and his "story" of the "lucky hat" given to him by a "CIA" guy on a late-night "Christmas" run to "Cambodia." But in this story, the hat really was lucky and saved an Aussie guy's life!

BIGGENDEN farmer Keith Weinholz can thank his trusty hat for saving his
life.

When his neighbour's cow kicked out and sent a 2m drafting stick spearing through his throat and shoulder, puncturing his jugular vein, it was the string and toggle from Mr Weinholz's Akubra that stopped him bleeding to death on the spot.

"The stick took the hat string with it and the toggle," said Mr Weinholz yesterday as he resumed light chores around his Boompa property, west of Maryborough.

"It (the toggle) went against the jugular vein and blocked the blood flow."


Dude! Hang on to that hat! In a few years you may be able to sell it and the story to somebody who is running for President!

Labels:

posted by Phoenix | 7:32 AM | 0 comments


Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Mommy & Me
Today was another puking day. Lovely.

So far Motherhood is a blast.

My sleeping patterns have been wacky too. I fall asleep at 7:30 pm, then wake (or not) and go to bed. I typically fall back to sleep around 10 pm, only to wake again at midnight, 3 am, and 4 am. My breasts have been sore and I have felt a few twinges in strange places.

Update: Charming. We can now add projectile vomiting at work to our repertoire. Blech. No interest in lunch what.so.ever.
posted by Phoenix | 9:48 AM | 0 comments


Monday, May 23, 2005
Surprising Twist
Chapter 5 of the Blogwestern is up, courtesy of the Straight White Guy.

It has a surprising twist, and I must admit, it really caught me off guard. I had to reread it to make sure that I hadn't skipped over something.

If you need to go back and catch up, you can find the preceding chapters at the links below.

Chapter 1 - by Dax Montana
Chapter 2 - by Moogie
Chapter 3 - by WitNit
Chapter 4 - by Kelley

I can hardly wait for the next chapter to find out if Miss Emily is really a black-hearted bitch!
posted by Phoenix | 10:24 AM | 0 comments


Mommy & Me
Everywhere I turned this weekend, people were telling horror stories - pregnancy horror stories. I'm not just talking about things that can go wrong, oh no. I'm talking about all of the things you didn't want to know.

Let's just say my expectations aren't so bright and shiny anymore.

Today begins week 7. Only 33 more to go.

Week 7 is characterized as follows by the experts:
The baby is about 1/3 of an inch, the size of a grain of rice. Development of
the arms and legs continue although the fingers and toes haven't yet formed. The
brain is growing as well as the lenses of the eyes, nostrils, intestines,
pancreas and bronchi.

Who knew that something the size of a grain of rice could make you feel like hell?

Anyway. Brain development is good. I like arms and legs, eyes too.

The search for a name continues. There are no easy answers on that one. We agree on a little girl's name, but a name for a boy is still elusive.
posted by Phoenix | 10:00 AM | 0 comments


Friday, May 20, 2005
Attention DAD!
This post is for you. Mark over at WitNit has this post that you need to read.

Actually, he points out this post by Ian Hamet at Banana Oil! I must say, I'm going to use that analogy.
A well regulated Intelligentsia, being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be
infringed.

The Second Amendment holds special meaning to me. It would you too if you have ever been a victim or near victim of a violent crime.

Nevertheless, I have always taken offense at the way some interpret this part of The Constitution. If you have actually read The Constitution, in its entirety, you know that the framers speak a great number of times about three distinct groups. Those are: the state, the specific branches of the government that it enumerates and the Government in general, and the people.

If you read carefully, you will note that the founding fathers never said "the people" when they meant "the state" or "the government." So to me, one need only read between the punctuation, the commas setting off the clause, to find the right reserved for "the people." "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

The fact of the matter is that the framers wanted to avoid an excessively large and all-powerful government. That is why our government has three branches that check and balance against each other. But the ultimate check on them all is the people. As in, "We the People of the United States," the people who formed the government were not ceding rights to the government, but rather identifying the limited power of each branch. Remember your history! The Constitution was only ratified because of the explicit promise of the Bill of Rights. The States have rights, but these do not supercede the rights of the people.

It is essential to the human condition that we be allowed to protect our own life and liberty. A gun was an essential tool in the time of our founding fathers, much in the same way that computers are common now. Every 8-year-old had a rifle and was taught to use it well. To suggest that the framers were ceding the right to defy their government by going to war is ludicrous. Would they really deny themselves, and us, the right to do what they had just succeeded in doing? Not fucking likely. These are the shopkeepers and farmers who lifted their pitchforks and muskets and gave the British hell.

The Constitution is not a suggestion. It is not a loose guideline. It is the way it is. If you choose not to vote, that is your problem. But, it the government suddenly decided to take away your right to vote (without reason) would you stand for that? What do you care, right? You don't vote anyway. Ah, but if they take away the right, they deny you the power of creating your own government. And if you don't have your gun, then you can't take back your rights either.

Don't even think about taking my guns. I'm mean. And pregnant. I'll remove your family jewels with a strawberry huller if you push me. (Insert laugh).

Have a lovely day.

You know, the more time that passes, I realize I am the living embodiment of Bree Van De Kamp from Desperate Housewives.
posted by Phoenix | 2:26 PM | 2 comments


Love Letter
I love my husband. He is so amazing.

First of all, he can do just about anything. He is smart and capable. If he doesn't know how to do something, he can figure it out.

More than that, though, he makes me feel good. He rubs my feet, he makes me supper. He let's me sleep late. He buys me presents. He takes good care of me.

He lets me play and isn't too demanding.

All in all, I got one of the good ones.

I love you, honey.
posted by Phoenix | 2:23 PM | 0 comments


Spy Sistah Update
My sister, the "actuary" is now a "fellow." Congratulations to her on all of her hard work. Although, we secretly (or not so secretly) believe that whatever she did in Arizona, it had very little to do with "actuarial science" and more to do with "border protection." And that business about becoming a "fellow" - I really think is all just fluff. She really gained in spy status or something. I don't know. I'm just not buying the whole, "math is my life" thingy.

Actually, she is also becoming a "dogowner" this week. Yes. Her "puppy" has finally arrived from "Ireland."
posted by Phoenix | 2:16 PM | 0 comments


Oh! My eyes! My eyes! I've been blinded
I may have to poke my own eyes out! This morning, we learn that the British tabloid The Sun has published photos of Saddam at home in his cell. So what greets my morning google, but the vision of the tyrant in his tidy whities. Rolling waves of nausea.

It was wrong for someone to take these pictures. It was wrong for someone to give these pictures to the press. And, it was most definitely wrong of The Sun to print them. It serves no purpose.

As a matter of fact, it once again is the press working against us, showing us to be in violation of our own rules. It is my understanding that Arab men take pride very seriously. And, while I'm sure those who despise Saddam outnumber is fans, it is still wrong. The "Arab Street" will blame the "American Infidel" for the atrocity of having him photographed in his undies, whether we were behind it or not.

This doesn't help. The "Arab Street" is going to be pissed. Dude, we are better than this!
posted by Phoenix | 10:40 AM | 0 comments


Weekly Quiz
Pop Quiz!

How aware of current events are you? Take the quiz and find out.

I got a 90%! It turns out I do better when I'm not paying attention.
posted by Phoenix | 10:37 AM | 0 comments


Thursday, May 19, 2005
Things I think
Here are a few things that popped into my mind as I read the headlines this morning:

1. Howard Dean is an idiot. And mean. And ugly. And possibly a psychopath.

2. More pies? How stupid. You can't make a logical argument, so you throw baked goods. How...democratic of you.

3. If Jacko doesn't testify he can't be cross-examined.

4. Who cares?

5. Get over yourself.

6. Whatever.
posted by Phoenix | 10:04 AM | 1 comments


Of Star Wars and Politics
You know, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Just because you are a celebrity doesn't make your political viewpoint somehow more valid. An opinion is an opinion - nothing more. Just because you can emote on the silver screen and suck up to the academy, does not make you Henry Kissinger, 'kay?

I am sick unto death of all the rabble drawing parallels between "The Empire" in George Lucas's imagination to the George W. Bush Administration. Sick. Unto. Death.

And, I have a hard time believing the tripe too. What bullshit! As though Lucas knew in 1977 who would be President in 2005, and what wars would be ongoing at that time. Bullpuckey! He's no Nostradamus. He's not the Messiah. (No matter what the geeks may think.) I have read that he may have been commenting on Vietnam when he wrote Star Wars, but I think it hubris to suggest he knew then about the coming administration of W and its supposed ills.

And who are these desperate people who need to see political commentary in everything? Have they no soul? Politics isn't the end all and be all of existence. There are things out there in the world that have nothing to do with George W. Bush, Halliburton, Enron, et al. While I fully recognize that there are cultural works out there that do present politically or socially motivated commentary, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Wizard of Oz, The works of Mark Twain, and others, I refuse to believe in the omniscience of George Lucas.

I refuse to see politics in a pink Kate Spade bag. I refuse to see a right or left wing agenda in the weather. I refuse to see an opinion on the judicial fillibuster in a blue Gap twin set.

If the 'Empire' = Evil Chimpy McShrubhalliburtonoil, then Lord Voldemort = Hillary Rotten Clinton. See, I can do it to! It makes no sense, but I can spout off idiotic things too!

No Dresses for Semen!

Do Not Enslave Gen X, Y, & Z to the Baby Boomers!

Let's invade Saudi Arabia Next!

What crap.
posted by Phoenix | 9:05 AM | 0 comments


Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Reason #10,999 Why Wisconsin Sucks
Last night on the news I hear an intriguing teaser about illegal aliens in Madison, WI getting help buying homes.

Prince Charming and I looked at each other with that, "Did I hear that correctly?" look. You know the one: the skeptical arched eyebrow and open question in the eyes.

But then this morning I stumble across this article by Channel 27 News and learn that I shouldn't have doubted it.

In a 15-4 vote, Madison City Council members approved providing illegal
immigrants with low interest home loans. Alderperson Zach Brandon added a
substitute motion. Under the proposal any undocumented worker applying for
a low interest loan needs to provide a federal identification. This would
prove the applicant pays social security, even though they may never receive
it.

Wisconsin's housing authority, or WHEDA, is the first state in the nation to implement a program offering low interest loans to illegal aliens, or "undocumented workers". Now some Madison alders want the City to implement a similar program. Madison's program would allow the approved applicants to get a low interest loan for up to 95% of the home cost. Other low income residents can get 100% of the cost of a home financed with a Community Development Block Grant through the city.


So once again, the regular law-abiding citizen gets it in the ass. Providing illegal aliens with low interest home loans? So again, it is better to be here illegally than be a natural born citizen. As a matter of fact, it is the citizen who ends up footing the bill again. This is ridiculous!

What the hell?
posted by Phoenix | 10:38 AM | 1 comments


For the Birds
This is weird.

h/t: Drudge
posted by Phoenix | 10:37 AM | 0 comments


Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Things that make me go Urg
So, this morning I had morning sickness. I was just fine until I put my toothbrush, loaded with toothpaste, into my mouth. Urg. Right there. Vomited on my toothbrush. Not vomit so much as what appeared to be entirely stomach acid. Blewch.

I thought to myself, "Eeweh, i'm goin' to die. Like this, draped over the toi-toi like some drunk."

It passed. At least, I stopped spewing and my face returned to the normal color. But then I couldn't eat breakfast. I had a cracker and then waited a couple of hours before eating a muffin.

I hate puking. It is so gross. I told Prince Charming by phone that his child had made me puke. The bastard laughed. Now I ask you, is that supportive and loving?

Here's hoping that he will get his some day.

Of course, tossing up my stomach lining in this manner reminded me of our quasi-honeymoon. We didn't go on a honeymoon, per se, deciding to build the house instead. We went home after the wedding and hung out for a couple of days. But I got sick and yakked up Chinese Food that night (what a wedding present) and Prince Charming held my hair out of my face. It really is love. And the next day? He yakked. Somebody at the wedding was a carrier of stomach flu. We paid for that. Thank goodness we weren't in Jamaica or something. Who wants to add travel to that nasty circumstance?

So anyway, all of those people who said they were surprised I hadn't been sick yet? They jinxed me. growl.
posted by Phoenix | 12:25 PM | 1 comments


Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!
This week the Disarming, Delectable, and Desirable Divas are discussing why women are fascinated by jewelry and I have been asked to chime in with my two carats. (And I must say, that I am honored to have been included.) The Mighty Men’s Club members have also spoken on the matter.

First off, though, the fact of the matter is that this is a stereotype. I know lots of women who aren’t keen on the bling-bling. Whether they are intimidated by having that sort of valuable ornamentation around to potentially lose or are merely uncomfortable wearing it depends on the woman. There may even be other reasons. I’m not sure. But, I would urge the gentleman to ascertain whether or not his lady likes the sparkle before he invests, because any woman with a heart will wear what her true love bestows on her, whether she cares for it or not.

That being said, I must admit that I fit the stereotype. I love jewelry! I’m just like Lorelei Lee – “I just adore finding new places to wear diamonds.” All the best gifts really do come in the smallest packages! I’m not talking about that costume crap – as far as I’m concerned that stuff is for little girls playing dress-up. I want quality. I want shine and sparkle. I want carats and total weight.

I was raised that way. My step-mother, bless her soul, instilled in my sister and me at a very young age the love for jewels. She would take us to our local jewelers in Garden City, KS – Reagan’s – and we would spend hours looking and shopping. She would show us her jewelry boxes and we would ooh and ah over the diamonds, emeralds, rubies, London Blue topaz, and the citrine. She had so much that it was a real treasure trove and a delight for two young girls. Pearls and precious gems still spill from her jewelry boxes in every color imaginable. Moreover, we learned the beauty of a well-crafted setting. The boys at Reagan’s are true artistes and are eager to please a good customer. My step-mother and father are very good customers. They have shown me jewels I’ve never seen elsewhere. I’ve actually seen a brown diamond – have you?

It was at my step-mother’s direction that we learned about pearls and gems. We learned the 4 C’s – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight – of diamonds. We learned to distinguish real pearls from faux, a loose setting, and what appeals to us.

This education has always served me well. I’ll never wonder if a jeweler is cheating me, because I talk the talk and walk the walk. I will never shy away from buying jewelry because I can do so with a confidence I lack when buying a used car.

I am not just fascinated with jewelry; I have an appreciation for it. I appreciate the way it comes to me, nestled by quality woods and leathers or silks and velvets. I appreciate the way it sparkles when the light hits it. Mostly, I appreciate the way it makes me feel. It makes me feel beautiful and worthy. It makes me feel cherished and valued. Hell, I just like to wear it. It makes me feel pretty. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Personally, I am a diamonds and pearls kind of girl. My lifestyle is not such that I often wear gowns of taffeta, silk, and velvet. I am not a flittering debutante or movie star. I may be wearing jeans, but you can be sure that I will be wearing a diamond bracelet, my diamond stud earrings, my wedding set, and another diamond ring on my right hand. On the average day, I am wearing at least 4 carats total weight. That isn’t too much, either. I could always use more diamonds. They are my nod to my femininity, my daily princess moment.

As much as I love my diamonds (and I really really do), I have an equal love for my pearls. I have a perfect graduated strand that was a gift for my high school graduation. They are so soft and pink, cool to the touch, and smooth. They are graceful and ladylike and impart upon me those same qualities when I don them.

Why are women fascinated by jewelry? Society teaches us to be so by placing emphasis on these things. Our mothers teach us the appreciation when they loan us their best pieces for special occasions. But mostly, we are fascinated because we love to feel special and that is how they make us feel: loved, beautiful, cherished, and treasured beyond measure.
posted by Phoenix | 6:41 AM | 3 comments


Monday, May 16, 2005
Mommy & Me
Week Six. According to the experts, the weekly agenda includes:

The first heartbeats have begun! The baby is now an embryo and is about 1/17 of an inch long. Growth is very rapid this week. The umbilical cord develops. The eyes and ears begin to form as well as an opening for the mouth. The heart has begun to pump blood and most of the other organs are well under construction. Buds form on the body that will become the arms and legs.

So that's exciting! And now this...

From the Symptoms/Complaining Department:

Still tired all of the time. Yowza. And when I get hungry, watch out. 'Cause I get hungry and have to eat all in about 2.2 nanoseconds. Not even kidding. Must have protein and carbs! Now!

This weekend, I stayed up until 2 am on Friday night, then paid for it on Saturday. I didn't wake on Saturday until 9:30 am, and then had to take a three hour nap later in the day. Even that wasn't enough to get me through, I still was exhausted all day. I feel so frail.
posted by Phoenix | 2:21 PM | 0 comments


Neighborhood Update
Oh yeah. Can't get enough of this crap.

So are you ready for the latest? Do you know why I am villified and hated?

I am cruel to children and the handicapped. Or, that's the rumor anyway. Apparently rumor has it that I made the children at the bus stop move off of my side of the street and now they have to cross the street to catch the bus. Strangely, nobody ever had the balls to come and ask me if I had done this. No. They just paint me as Cruella DeVille and spread the rumor, using it as a crutch to diminish anything I might have to say.

For the record, I had NOTHING to do with any bus stop changes. As a matter of fact, I leave the house for work at 6 am every morning, and nobody is standing at a bus stop at that hour. I didn't even know there was a school bus stop near my house! For heaven's sake. But, knowing these people as I do, I have no expectation of them taking my word for it. I can't confront the issue myself directly as doing so would mean breaking the confidence of the person who was nice enough to find out for me why I am universally despised. I suppose that I could contact the school or the bus driver and have them write a letter to my character assassins professing my innocence, but I doubt it would do any good. They are simply too happy to hate me. Apparently it is great sport.

The other issue, my cruelty to the disabled, also bothers me. We built our house turn-key, meaning we chose the builder, the design, and all the stuff, but the builder handled the entire financial process until we closed. This means he hired and directed the work of all sub-contractors. Our subs put in our concrete driveway and our sidewalks. Apparently they forgot to put in the ramp to the street. We don't live on an intersection, but a street does dead-end between our house and the neighbors. If we were supposed to have a ramp down to the street, it is news to me, but I also refuse to accept the blame for the omission. If anyone is at fault, it would be our sub-contractor, under the direct supervision of our builder, and nobody else.

So there you have it. I am mean to children and the disabled. I really am horrible and undeserving of oxygen. If only I had a heart. If only the people who are so sure that I am guilty of these crimes had the courage to confront me! I can't defend myself because they won't. But let's be honest, they wouldn't believe my protestations of innocence anyway.

I nearly cried when I found out that these misdeeds had been laid at my door. If they were true, they would be damning indeed. But they aren't true. They are lies, falsehoods, and misdirections! Please believe that I would never do these horrible things. I am desperate to clear my name. The stupidity and the injustice of it have been keeping me from sleeping. I tossed and turned for 4 hours Saturday night trying to come up with some way to clear my name. But it is impossible. How do you defend yourself when they won't come out and accuse you? You have to live under a cloud of suspicion. And it isn't pleasant in that cloud.

These people really scare me. Prince Charming, as you all know, works nights. So I am home alone at night, surrounded by people who hate me. How comfortable would you be? Yeah, maybe the changes in my hormones from the pregnancy are making me more sensitive and paranoid, but does it matter? The fact is that I am afraid of my angry neighbors (among them 2 cops) and Prince Charming is not at home with me. So the 357 is loaded and the rifle is also near to hand. Do I think it will come to this? No. But I also know that I and the baby don't need the stress or the worry. So we are happy and as safe as I can make us. I'm not going to answer the door after Prince Charming leaves for work. Any of my friends would call first before coming over anyway.

Why Me?
posted by Phoenix | 7:38 AM | 0 comments


Friday, May 13, 2005
What I really need
so desperately is a hug.

Just a hug. Someone who doesn't believe I am evil incarnate, hell-bent on world domination, leading a secret cabal of demons and murderers.

Someone who believes that all I really want is a safe, secure, environment in which to raise my children without letting my property value slide into oblivion. Is that so wrong?

Should I turn a blind eye to a pedophile in the neighborhood? A crack den? What about a meth lab? Where do you draw the line?

Sometimes I hate people.
posted by Phoenix | 10:21 AM | 2 comments


Quiz Time
Take your weekly current events quiz.

I got 80% correct.
posted by Phoenix | 10:16 AM | 0 comments


Oh. My. Gawd.

I'm still in shock.

Let's just say that last night's meeting didn't go well. And, I'm considering moving.

...

I am a nice person, generally. I try to be exceedingly polite. I don't want to offend people, but I know that I may sometimes do so without intending to. I want people to feel welcome and free to share their opinions. And I always try not to interrupt people when they are speaking. I think it is rude.

But despite my best intentions, despite a concerted effort at diplomacy, friendliness, and open honesty, I was shouted at, stared down, and called names.

I tried so hard to take the high road and present a reasonable mien of collected calm and logic. I didn't want to sink to that level of name-calling and finger-pointing. And now...now I'm not sure I want to live in the neighborhood anymore.

I requested at the beginning of the meeting that people try to keep their discussion civil and polite. I mentioned the fact that at the end of the meeting we would all still be neighbors, so it would probably be best if we all stayed polite.

So, imagine my surprise when sour-faced woman stands up in the back of the room, points, and shouts, labeling me a snob. She said other things too, it went on for quite a long while, but I can't even remember what she said. I was in shock. It was just the sort of the personal attack that I had specifically tried to avoid. Boy howdy, was she angry!

I swear to you, I don't know why I got labeled "snob." She's the one that passed the petition to try to get "those nasty undesirable condos and duplexes" kept out of the neighborhood. She's the one who complains about people complaining about their 4 snowmobiles and boat. I'm the snob? I don't think so. I only want to preserve my property values and start a neighborhood watch. I don't give a good goddam about her fucking snowmobiles or boats. I only signed her petition to get her off my porch while my husband was sleeping.

I have never NEVER never been anything but polite to her. But if she's going to be belligerent and rude...well, let's just say I'm not going to take it lying down.

I, too, went to high school, honey. I've got a black belt in passive-aggressive. I am the Fucking Grand Master of Bitch. I've practically got a doctorate, with a masters in stubborn and feisty. You don't want to fuck with me. Hell hath no fury like me when I am full of righteous indignation. You think you can take me? Lady, you better think again. Nobody pushes this chickie around. I'm nobody's whipping boy.

I was polite this time, but you should not expect me to do the same next time. Next time I will be vocal and remind all of our neighbors of your hypocrisy. I will remind them that it is your children who speed through the neighborhood that are likely going to kill some toddler one of these days. I will remind them that if anyone puts off "superiority" vibes, it is she at the back of the room who points and passes judgement with her holier-than-thou steely-eyed sour-pussed glares and condemnations. I will remind them of the "snob" who wanted to keep the undesirables out - those people who live in condos and duplexes.

And just so we are being perfectly clear, please heed this warning. If your dogs wander un-supervised onto my property, I'm calling the cops. I'm going to start videotaping the antics of your habitually unsupervised children, the menaces of the neighborhood. And if you ever, EVER, ever so much as step foot on my property again, I'm going to consider it a threat to my safety and call the cops. Oh, and my husband wishes me to inform you that we have plenty of guns and ammo in the house to more than protect ourselves.

I'll shoot intruders first and ask questions later. I've already escaped violent rape once. I'm not going to allow anybody ever again to attempt to victimize me.

So, I respectfully suggest that you step off and reconsider. For I shall not be so polite next time. Oh, and don't forget, I'll be documenting EVERYTHING.
posted by Phoenix | 7:43 AM | 2 comments


Thursday, May 12, 2005
Reason #10,254 why Wisconsin Sucks
A lack of practicality!

For example, has it occurred to anyone else that in a state where voter fraud runs rampant and our Veto-ing Governor Doyle, whom I refer to as 'Veto Jim', refuses to require voters to prove their identity by showing an I.D....is now pushing a bill to require you to show an I.D. to buy cold medicine?

We can't make people show an I.D. to vote, because some people can't afford a driver's license or are too old. But, apparently while we can't disenfranchise them this way, we can make sure that the elderly die of pneumonia when their common colds get more serious!

Wisconsin SUCKS!

I thought of it on my own, but apparently Wendy at the Badger Blog Alliance had the same thought.
posted by Phoenix | 12:23 PM | 0 comments


Condi Rice, My Hero
Via Drudge, I learn of Condoleezza Rice's statements on Larry King in support of the Second Amendment.

In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Rice said she came to that view from
personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends
armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against
the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had
lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would
have been able to defend themselves.

Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.

Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, "we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important."

Rice said the Founding Fathers understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."

"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."


Way to go, Condi! Hallelujah, sister! Thanks for standing up for all of us would-be rape victims.
posted by Phoenix | 12:11 PM | 0 comments


Mommy and Me
Well, we are in the fifth week of this pregnancy. Only 35 more to go. Egads, that seems like an awfully long time.

The Symptoms/Complaining Department can report the following:
The Time-Wasting/Recreational Department can report the following:
posted by Phoenix | 9:40 AM | 0 comments


Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I AM PISSED OFF
The next meeting of our subdivision to decide whether or not we want an association is tomorrow evening. So, once again I will be swimming in the festering pool of pustules that is local politics.

I sent a reminder, a polite reminder postcard to all of my neighbors, informing them that the meeting was tomorrow. And what should I find today? Our mystery writer of scathing illogical diatribes featuring personal attacks, no paragraphs, misspellings, and absent punctuation has been at his typewriter again. Yes, the sonuvabitch is back, displaying all of his falsehoods and ignorance again in a pink flaming tutu.

This time, instead of merely implying that those of us who wish to protect our property values wear swastikas on our underwear, he came right out and called someone a "Fence Nazi."

I don't give a damn about anybody's fence. I do, however, care if the value of my $200K home slips to $150-160K because of the sloppiness of my neighbors. What the sonuvabitch fails to understand is we are not looking to create new rules. We already have covenants. I can take the evil name-calling sonuvabitch to court personally to enforce them and make him pay all the attorney fees.

AND...the passive-aggressive baby failed to sign his name again. Unfortunately, he failed to consider that we have stay-at-home moms in the neighborhood. That's right, someone watched him commit a federal crime multiple times in our neighborhood. What federal crime? I'm glad that you asked. He put un-stamped mail into mailboxes. Everybody's mailboxes. So, what do you think you get for 74 counts of federal mail fraud? Okay, maybe it isn't fraud, per se, but it is 74 counts of federal postal crime. AND...if we can forensically link the previous letter to him (also unstamped) that brings us up to 148 counts, and in my opinion, makes him an egregious repeat offender. This pisses me off because I have personally spent $78.00 on LEGAL mailings to my neighbors, AND HE IS STEALING FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, NOT PAYING HIS FAIR SHARE, AND GENERALLY BEHAVING AS A SONUVABITCH.

You are a mean one, Mr. Grinch. And so help me God, if you EVER step on to my property again, I'll have your ass arrested. YOU HEAR ME?

I suppose what offends me further is the "Nazi" characterization. I had family in concentration camps, you vile pig. I am the farthest thing from a "Nazi." So, I respectfully suggest you STICK IT UP YOUR TIGHT GODDAM ASS.

Go to hell. DO not pass go, do not collect $200.00.

I'm sorry you all had to witness that. I feel better now.

Although, I'm half tempted to call him on it. At the last meeting - in my freakin' living room - he never said a word. He didn't introduce himself, say hello or goodbye, NOTHING. At the end of the meeting, I didn't adjourn until I had asked if anyone felt that they hadn't been heard on the matter. No one spoke up. Then, the next day we are all blanketed with these orange letters full of lies and misrepresentations. I send out reminder postcards of the next meeting, and he distributes another diatribe. So what do you think if at the meeting, when I open it up, I say:

"Mr. X, you quite obviously have plenty to say on the matter, so why don't we let you open the discussion, unless of course you prefer to respond in another scathing unsigned, unstamped letter calling us all NAZIS?"

Apparently I'm not through being pissed off yet.
posted by Phoenix | 12:07 PM | 0 comments


Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Blog Western
Chapter Four of the Blog Western is up. It is very good, very good indeed. Go check it out.
posted by Phoenix | 3:02 PM | 0 comments


Flim, Flam, Ack-a-lack
I'm not in a good mood. It isn't that I'm in a bad mood, per se, I'm just...peeved. Have you ever known someone who daily made you want to kick puppies? Argh.

I'm tired. I've nothing to say that might be even a tad bit intriguing or interesting. So, here is a list of things I don't care about:

1. American Idol Scandal
2. Arianna Huffington
3. Pinto beans
4. Michael Jackson
5. Britney Spears
6. Angelina Jolie
posted by Phoenix | 2:56 PM | 0 comments


Monday, May 09, 2005
What's in a name?
The baby still needs a name, a situation that will likely endure for some time. And everybody has an opinion about it too. The trouble is, my own name is not standard vanilla fare, so I am loathe to name my child the equivalent of my generation's "Jennifer" or "Amy." Seriously, in my sorority pledge class there were 9 Jennifers (or derivations therof) and 7 Amys (spelled in numerous ways).

So I want to avoid the trendy names.

But the bigger name to get used to is "Mom." Prince Charming called me that the other day and I nearly jumped, it was so weird. I could be a "mommy" or a "mum," but "Mom?" I don't think so. It is too weird. On the other hand, maybe it is something you grow into.

My own mother doesn't want to be referred to as "Oma." I can't blame her. It sounds too old. But what do I know? I'm still trying to get over the idea of squeezing out 8 pounds of human.

Bigger fish to fry, as they say.
posted by Phoenix | 2:57 PM | 0 comments


Pizza Ends Prison Standoff
This is the funniest thing ever!

A group of 20 inmates of the Australian prison system hijacked an area of their prison taking one guard hostage. They issue a list of 24 demands, but settle peaceably when 15 pizzas were delivered to them.

Anybody smell a Pizza Hut commercial?
posted by Phoenix | 2:55 PM | 0 comments


Mother's Day Recap
I went to see my mother over the weekend. She is fine and liked her gift. We had plenty of time to talk, and then went out for salads before returning to watch rented movies. We watched all of Cellular - which was amazing. I mean, as is typical, you have to suspend reality for a moment, but I have rarely seen a movie so chock-full of action. At least, not since Speed debuted. It was really good.

We did some shopping too. It was so tempting to spend a fortune in the baby department, but I resisted. Then we went to Ikea and I bought some new dishes. Saturday night we went with friends to see Ron White's comedy show. It was terrific! I laughed so hard that I gave myself a headache. The opening act was good too. I'm really glad we went.

Sunday, my nearly perfect husband surprised me with a Mother's Day gift. I was literally stunned. I didn't expect anything, but my husband is like that. He got me the pregnant Vermont Teddy Bear. She is adorable!

I suppose that I was surprised to get a gift because, well, the pregnancy is so new. My other friends who are either moms already or who are much more pregnant than I...got bupkus. Nada. So, I guess we all know who has the better husband, huh?

Sunday afternoon, I planted flowers in the beds (now that we probably won't get anymore freezing temps). Today I'm sunburned and the back of my legs are sore.

A great big thank you to all who sent congratulations by email or comment. We are very excited.
posted by Phoenix | 2:42 PM | 1 comments


I'm Back
Whew! What a day! I have had nothing but hustle and bustle today, hence, no blogging.

But, not to worry, I'm back in the saddle.
posted by Phoenix | 2:41 PM | 0 comments


Friday, May 06, 2005
Take the Quiz
Did you pay attention to the news this week?

Take MSNBC's Weekly Quiz.

I got a 90%.
posted by Phoenix | 11:29 AM | 0 comments


Secret Revealed
In recent days I have teased my loyal readership with news "too good to keep" that I felt obliged to keep secret. Was this wrong of me? Maybe it is not so much wrong as… frustrating for all y’all.

In any event, I am now going to come clean, at least about one of the secrets. In the end, this blog is anonymous (or mostly anyway) and what difference does it make if I share this particular bit of news? It can’t hurt, I’ve decided. It is a personal matter after all, has nothing to do with business, and…well, dammit, I just want to share.

So…it is my great pleasure to inform you that I, Phoenix, am pregnant with our first child. Prince Charming is pleased, if a bit smug. I am over-the-moon excited! I love children and am really looking forward to starting our family.

I will say that it took us 13 months to become pregnant, but when you live with a bat (Prince Charming works nights) you have to be a bit more creative with your time management. You figure it out, I don’t have to draw you a picture. You know how babies are made.

I am only 4 weeks pregnant. Barely pregnant at all, really. (Although, “barely pregnant” is a misnomer – you either are or you are not.) I fully realize that it is not technically proper to announce this at such an early date, many things could happen. I know, I know. And yet, the news is wonderful and exciting, so can you blame me for wanting to share it? Propriety be damned.

The beauty of it is, I already feel special. I feel like I have a secret…and a responsibility…and a mandate. And that is a mysterious and wondrous thing. Mostly, I am excited about entering into this new phase of life, getting to share the miracle with my Prince, and bringing a new person into the world.

In part, I decided to reveal this secret because I wanted to chronicle the pregnancy. I think it would be neat to keep the chronicle in with the politics and vanquishing, if only to timeline the baby’s progress in a real electronic time capsule.

Yeah, I’m a freak.

I do know that I eagerly look forward to finding out the sex of our child. The hunt for a name has already begun. This weekend I am going to see my mother for Mother’s Day, and I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if we don’t stumble into a great many baby goods stores.

For Prince Charming’s parents, this will be Grandchild # 10, and therefore, old hat. But I am the oldest of my siblings and so the baby will be the first grandchild for my parents. I think they are excited.

They’ve already asked me how much pampering and spoiling I can take – they don’t want to overdo it. Can you be too pampered? Let ‘em try, I can take it!

So, for now, I’ll leave you with this news. You can look forward to more vanquishing but also a healthy dose of “Mommy & Me.” This week, baby has been busy with cell division and implantation, according to experts. Ponder that.
posted by Phoenix | 11:05 AM | 7 comments


Blog Western
Chapter Three of the Blogwestern is up, courtesy of WitNit.

Check it out!

And if you haven't been reading along, you can go back and read Chapter One and Chapter Two first.
posted by Phoenix | 10:46 AM | 0 comments


Thursday, May 05, 2005
Nancy Pelosi Endorses Double Standard
Imagine my surprise (not really) when reading Drudge this afternoon when I stumble across this flash.

14 lawmakers are now implicated in the travel-ethics-House-fiasco. And of the 14, DeLay is the most powerful, but certainly the Democrats are not completely innocent. In fact, apparently more Dem names appear on the list than Repubs, at least so far.

But, in typical politico-speak, Nancy Pelosi has mastered the art of making an inane, unfair, and entirely revolting issuance of a double-standard into nice bite-sized pieces to go with your latte:
Rep. Pelosi said, "It is not an issue of members of our Caucus having the same
sort of a problem. Make no mistake - there is a drastic difference between the
timing of reporting things and ethical behavior."

Extrapolating from her comment then, I gather that she believes Republicans to be "better" than Democrats, and therefore to be held to a higher standard. Or, maybe she believes that Republicans should be held to a higher standard because they are the party of money, greed, and big business. If it is the first, I suggest that the Dems find a different mouth to represent them, 'cause she's calling them ALL KINDS of STOOPID. And if the latter, then this vile piece of Hanta-virus-carrying-mouse-dropping should find a new job for having the audacity to suggest that there should be a double standard.

It is hypocrisy, plain and simple. You don't have to put marmalade on it; nothing hides the stink of absolute bullshit.
posted by Phoenix | 3:30 PM | 0 comments


One little girl's turmoil
I know of this bright young woman who is burdened with too much adult-type stuff. It is weighing on her terribly. She doesn't complain, but neither do people understand that they way she acts is directly related to the carrying of this burden. And I alone am able to see how she strains to keep everything under control, even to the point of letting her own life slip to the back of the priority lists. Simply, she loves too much.

For example, this young woman is blessed with parents who while not "rich" are extremely comfortable. Extremely. And yet, circumstances being what they are, she feels the need to have a job to make money for the family. Not for herself. Why? Because her mother complains of financial matters so often that the young lady is convinced that circumstances are dire. Did I mention that her parents are in extremely comfortable circumstances? She hears the complaints and seeks to address them personally.

Exhibit B: this young woman lives in a rocky home environment. "Extremely comfortable" does not necessarily equate to "blissfully happy." The problem, if one is honest, rests firmly on the shoulders of the adults in the household. Perhaps substance abuse is to blame and not the teenager? But she is such an easy target for all of the adults. And it is a real shame. Because she loves them and is trying to fix the problems herself, despite her youth. She is searching for a new home for herself and her parent - IN HER FREE TIME. Not being young, not being a teenager, not driving with the windows down and the music up loud, but checking out real estate websites. Freakin' Wrong.

Exhibit C: this woman's other parent recently lost his girlfriend to an unfortunate illness. This young lady is giving up her weekend to spend time with this parent. Helping the parent through the pain.

Does she sound like a troublemaker to you? Or, is she perhaps overburdened with adult-type issues because the adults in her immediate life suck?

She won't rage against it, so I do it for her. Her childhood died too long ago, prematurely, was never mourned, and it is a parental crime.

And that's all I have to say about that!
posted by Phoenix | 10:53 AM | 0 comments


Ewchk
I just don't have anything to say. I don't feel well - head cold from hell. I'm bored. I'm tired, a state that seems perpetual at this point. What with one thing and another, I'm not sleeping restfully.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep my good news to myself.

Frick and frack.
posted by Phoenix | 10:51 AM | 0 comments


Attention all Potterheads:
Only 71 days until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince debuts.


(I'm doing a quiet little happy dance right now.)

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posted by Phoenix | 10:02 AM | 0 comments


Infuriated
THIS FREAKIN' PISSES ME OFF!
posted by Phoenix | 10:00 AM | 0 comments


Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Wanted: Legal Advice
I may need to give a deposition soon. Anybody have any advice?
posted by Phoenix | 12:56 PM | 3 comments


More Good News in the War on Terror
This article is absolutely priceless.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military said Tuesday it has seized a
letter from Iraqi insurgents believed to be intended for Jordanian-born militant
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi complaining about low morale among followers and weakening support for the insurgency.

Low morale? Ain't that a pisser? Oh, boo-hoo. Da poo' wittle baby tewowists. Eveebuddy feel bad for vem.

The authenticity of the letter -- which the military said American troops found
Thursday in a raid in Baghdad -- could not be independently verified.

I find this statement to be incredibly stupid. Well, no shit, Sherlock! Anybody who came forward to verify it would be identifying himself as a terrorist. It is hard to carry out homicide attacks if the US military is all over your ass like white on rice.

The letter -- which never refers to al-Zarqawi by name -- is written to
Sheik Abu Ahmad, a name not known to be used by the militant leader or his
followers. But supporters often call al-Zarqawi the Sheik or Sheik Abu Musab in
letters and on Web sites.

"What has happened to myself and my brothers is an unforgivable crime, but God will punish the oppressor," the letter reads. "I swear by God that you will be asked about what happened to us because you have not asked about the situation of the migrants. Morale is down and there is fatigue among mujahedeen ranks.


Egads! Fatigue and low morale? Sounds like Zarqawi is a piss-poor leader. Where are the pep talks? Maybe a little mustache-growing campaign so everybody feels like part of the group would help. Sounds like the letter was written by one of those "migrants." It certainly reads like a veiled threat.
"There is discrimination by some of the brethren emirs. God would not accept
such actions, and a simple mistake delays victory, so what about big mistakes
and gross guilts? Many underestimate them and are lenient toward them."

Discrimination too? I am OUTRAGED! Outraged, I tell you. Those poor suffering mujahedeen bastards.

The letter is dated April 27, the military said.

The author of the letter also "admonishes 'the Sheik' for abandoning his followers" after last year's U.S. siege on Falluja, west of Baghdad.

U.S. forces led an assault then on the Sunni Triangle city's terrorist network believed to be run by al-Zarqawi.

Because of the "continuous pressure by Iraqi and [U.S.-led] coalition forces," a military statement said, al-Zarqawi has relied on his cell leaders to conduct operations while he is forced to evade being killed or captured.


"I'd really like to do more, but I've constantly got to stay 30 minutes ahead of the infidel. They chase me like I am a bad guy! Do they not understand we are supposed to win? You'll just have to carry on the roadside bombings without me, I have executive duck-and-cover ops to run."

Pentagon officials said last week that U.S. troops nearly caught al-Zarqawi in
February after receiving a tip that he might be traveling to Ramadi, west of
Falluja.

The author of the letter, the military said, is a member of the terrorist group known as al Qaeda in Iraq.

The author's name is Abu Asim al-Qusaymi al-Yemeni, the military statement said.


Zarqawi just put this idiot on the top of the suicide attack volunteer list.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the letter reflects "a certain amount of
proof that [al-Zarqawi's] influence and effectiveness is deteriorating."

Ah, good news indeed.

h/t: Cox & Forkum, the cartoon is hysterically funny. Check it out.

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posted by Phoenix | 12:22 PM | 0 comments


News in a Nutshell
1. This one for Steve: "Joey the Clown" wants separate trial from other reputed mobsters for 18 murders.

CHICAGO - Fugitive reputed mob boss Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo will
surrender if he gets a separate trial on charges that he and other organized
crime figures plotted at least 18 unsolved murders, according to a letter made
public by his attorney.

...

Halprin said the handwritten, four-page note appears to have been signed by his client. He called federal authorities Tuesday morning after an aide in his office opened the letter, which was postmarked in Chicago on Monday.

...

The letter professed Lombardo’s innocence: “I am no part of a enterprise or racketering (sic). About the 18 murders in the indictment, I want you to know that I was not privy before the murders, during the murders, and after the murders.”

It also included an apology for the bad grammar and spelling.

For some reason, I find that last part hysterically funny.

2. More good news in the War on Terror. Al Qaeda's replacement #3 man (replaced KSM) is in Pakistani custody.


Al-Libbi, a native of Libya who authorities say is a close associate of terror
mastermind Osama bin Laden and acted as al-Qaida’s operational chief in
Pakistan, was arrested earlier this week, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid
Ahmed told The Associated Press.

Hurray! One less baddie to worry about. Eventually all of these little snakes will lead us to the big snake. I will throw a big party on that day.

3. Home-grown terrorist points finger.

LOS ANGELES - Saying he wanted to set the record straight, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols has accused a man never charged in the 1995 attack with providing some of the explosives, according to a letter he wrote from
prison.

Nichols claims Arkansas gun collector Roger Moore gave the explosives to Timothy McVeigh and also provided additional bomb components recently found in Nichols’ former Kansas home, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

...

In the early stages of the bombing investigation, the FBI took a hard look at Moore because of his anti-government views and close relationship with McVeigh. He was never charged.

...

Nichols has been convicted twice — in federal court and in an Oklahoma state court — and is serving two life sentences without parole.


So, I guess we're supposed to believe him? I don't know. I'm guessing it gets awful lonely in the big house.
posted by Phoenix | 12:21 PM | 0 comments


About to Explode
Have you ever had news that was too good to keep to yourself?

This is my current problem. I have Big News - HUGE even, and can't share it yet.

snarglefargin' rammellamel phfft.

It is very frustrating. 'Cause I want to shout it from the rooftops.
posted by Phoenix | 12:19 PM | 0 comments


Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Apologies
I know that you were looking for something artful, witty, or clever from me today.

All I can say is I'm dealing with something today that I will refrain from identifying to my loyal readers, but that it has left me largely scatterbrained and distracted.

The Divas are all over a new topic today. Go read what the beautiful, charming, elegant, and sophisticated gels have to say. Also, a fellow Divaesque Lady rings in.

Also, the Second Chapter of the Blog Western is up. It's good! Read it!
posted by Phoenix | 11:02 AM | 2 comments


Most Offensive Idea Yet
Piece of Crap Opportunists.

You are vile.

h/t: Drudge
posted by Phoenix | 10:40 AM | 0 comments


Dumbass!
Dude, you are toast.
posted by Phoenix | 10:39 AM | 0 comments


Astounding!
And heart-warming too. Check out this story:

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged
and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his
family and doctors: He perked up.

“I want to talk to my wife,” Donald Herbert said out of the blue Saturday. Staff members of the nursing home where he has lived for more than seven years raced to get Linda Herbert on the telephone.

It was the first of many conversations the 44-year-old patient had with his wife, four sons and other family and friends during a 14-hour stretch, Herbert’s uncle, Simon Manka said.

“How long have I been away?” Herbert asked.

“We told him almost 10 years,” the uncle said. “He thought it was only three months.”


Wow. Just wow!

Read the rest.
posted by Phoenix | 10:34 AM | 0 comments


Monday, May 02, 2005
Oh look!
The Vicious Thump has posted a musing on mother nature's vicissitudes.

Welcome, my fractious friend.
posted by Phoenix | 9:24 AM | 0 comments


Reason # 899 Why Wisconsin Sucks
It is May 2nd...and it is snowing.

That is soooo wrong!
posted by Phoenix | 9:18 AM | 0 comments


You won't believe it
Do you remember this post and this post?

Well, you won't believe it, but they are doing it again. They are throwing another surprise party. Why not? It's been a whole two months since the last (non)surprise party.

I'm sorry, but I find this to be FUCKING RIDICULOUS!

It isn't enough that it is another surprise party. Oh no. It is also a surprise party for the same person not surprised at the last one. Last time it was the mother-in-law's birthday. This time? Wedding anniversary.

These people are toast!

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posted by Phoenix | 9:09 AM | 0 comments


Come to think of it...
Come to think of it, maybe my white-coat-syndrome is really a uniform-syndrome. I'm generally uncomfortable around nurses too.

Nah. That isn't right. Firefighters and military uniforms don't freak me out. Not even when they are carrying automatic weapons and walking with dogs. I think this speaks to my upbringing: comfortable around guns and trained killers, uncomfortable around medical professionals.

That says a lot really. Blogging as a self-discovery tool.
posted by Phoenix | 9:05 AM | 0 comments


Questions Answered
In this post, I asked a question about polygraph tests. Noble Eagle and Kathy both had much of interest to say in the comments.

For my part, I don't know what I would do. If I were innocent, I'd like to think I'd take the test. The problem is I suffer from white-coat-syndrome. All I have to do is enter a dentist's or doctor's office for my blood pressure to rise. I just get nervous. I know that I'm not going to come to harm...but too many times I've been treated with secrecy by medical professionals about my own condition. I think that has added to my syndrome. I have no doubt whatsoever that if faced with a test that could conceivably put me in a legal jam, I would exhibit similar symptoms. Sweating, heart racing, just by virtue of the need to take the test. I doubt I could pass a question regarding my true name and sex!

But one thing is certain, they only ask you to take the test if you are already suspicious - a suspect, even if not formally identified - in their eyes. Great. More to be nervous about.

To the other issue, the one of trusting the cops, I am equally torn. I know a cop. I grew up with him. And there are few people I would trust the way I trust him and his brother. But, I've also been harassed by a police officer for the great sin of being the only car on the road at 10 pm at night in Gibson City, IL. That jackass had no probable cause, nothing to go on, other than the fact that I had driven to Gibson City from Champaign to visit the Rock-n-Roll McDonald's (that had already closed when we arrived.) He detained us for nearly an hour on a dark street, never identified himself or whether he was city, county, or state trooper. He asked to search the vehicle for "drugs, weapons, contraband of any sort." I went to Gibson City for a Coca-Cola, not Cocaine. I'm a good girl. I don't even know what marijuana smells like, for criminey's sake! He finally, grudgingly, let us go.

But when I told my Dad about it, about Oprah's show on predators masquerading as police officers, he got pissed! He called the city cops, the county cops, and the state troopers. None of them claimed to have pulled me over that night and run my plates. So, my dad called the local district attorney to inform them of the fact that there was a predator of some sort pretending to be a cop on their roads. The DA said he would get back to my dad. And, when he did, it turned out that I really had been stopped by a real cop. Of course, my dad only got angrier. Why then, had none of the authorities admitted to pulling me over? Is it because they suspected we had grounds to file a complaint? This suspicion is only supported by the fact that the DA refused to identify the officer or the department responsible. Ah HA!

I don't trust most cops. You have to earn my trust. I don't know what I would have done. I'm glad to say that in this case, John Mason will no longer be a suspect.
posted by Phoenix | 8:34 AM | 0 comments


Lacking in Honor
As most of you know, I unplug on the weekends. No computer, minimal tv news, and little in the way of email. So, it came as a complete shock to me this morning when I turned on the news at 5 a.m. to learn that Jennifer Wilbanks is alive and well.

That's wonderful news. But the story continued to unfold, and we learn that she did not meet with foul play as she initially alleged, but merely hopped a bus out of fear of marriage, or some such bullshit.

This woman...argh! I swear to you, as infuriated me to no end!

Simply put, she is completely lacking in honor! If you do get cold feet, that's fine. It's even normal! But to run off in the dead of night without any personal effects...irresponsible and dangerous. She could have been abducted anywhere along her flight path, and no one would ever have known where the real scene of the crime was. Moreover, even if she didn't want anyone to stop her from her decided path, should could have called her best friend or mother so that they could assure everyone she wasn't lying in a ditch dead. It is heartless, what she did. She let her fiance, presumably the man she loves, be the primary suspect in her disappearance and the whole country was wondering if he wasn't the next Scott Peterson. She left her parents holding the bag for what appears to have been a very lavish wedding. Caterers don't do returns, you know. And, there is the emotional roller coaster she sent everyone riding on for nearly a week. See what I mean? Irresponsible, unthinking, selfish, childish. It would have cost her nothing to pick up the phone, dial her parent's house and say, "I'm alive. I'm safe. Don't worry." And hang up. Did she do that? Noooooooo.

Then she lies about being abducted like that Audrey Seiler witch here in Madison. She lacks honor. And I gotta say, if I were her fiance, I wouldn't marry her now for all the money in Manhattan. And if I were her parent, I wouldn't care how old she is, she needs a spanking.

You don't want to be married? You are scared? Fine. But have the courage, the compassion, and the cajones to admit it. Be upfront about it. Don't be a skanky ho.
posted by Phoenix | 8:07 AM | 0 comments


I can't be the last one to the party
Your Birthdate: December 1
Your birthday suggests that are executive ability and leadership qualities in your makeup.
A birthday on day 1 of any month gives a measure of will power and self-confidence, and very often a rather original approach.
This 1 energy may diminish your ability and desire to handle details, preferring instead to paint with a broad brush.
You may be sensitive, but your feelings stay rather repressed.

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?
You know, that's pretty close to true. I am a leader with executive ability. The detail stuff is off though. I'm a detail girl. But, as they say, and you may have noticed, I'm not exactly lacking in self-confidence!
posted by Phoenix | 7:49 AM | 0 comments


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