Friday, February 29, 2008
Jump, Jump
Happy Leap Day to all of my wonderful friends and readers.

May you enjoy this extra day to do the exact same stuff you do every other day.
posted by Phoenix | 10:23 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Obama: Vacuous and General
Kathy has a post up about Obama and the lack of substance. You should read it.

I happen to agree with her. I don't understand what is so alluring about Obama. To me, his speeches are depressing because they all seem to say "We suck, but we can do better."

I, for one, disagree with him on the We Suck part. But, no doubt like his wife he's rarely been "proud" of his country.

I find lots to be proud of in my country and I desire more than "hope" and "change" from my presidential candidates.

But, I'm flakey that way...
posted by Phoenix | 11:19 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 22, 2008
Obama & the Second Amendment
Let's face the inevitable, shall we?

Barack Obama is on the cusp of becoming the Democratic Party's nominee for the office of President. I have long been ruminating on the horrors of an Obama Presidency and this post is a result of part of those cogitations.

First, the backstory, because it plays to the whole argument, 'kay?

According to Wikipedia and the Senator's own website, Obama was educated in the ivy league institutions of Columbia University and Harvard's Law School. Bully for him. He was a civil rights lawyer and I have heard him called a "Constitutional Law Scholar." Indeed, this is great news. It is about time we got some representation that was familiar with the Constitution! Unfortunately, reviewing Obama's statements and positions finds that either he was a poor scholar or...he's intelluctually dishonest.

To his credit, Obama has gone on record (following the NIU Shooting Spree) as saying he believes the Second Amendment recognizes an individual's right to keep and bear arms. Fabulous! One would think, then, that he is a friend to the American Gun Owner. Not so, Mary, and far from it.

Obama also believes that this right is subject to "reasonable restrictions" like those of Washington D.C. and cities like Chicago that deny gun ownership to residents. (The DC gun ban law is currently before the Supreme Court and one of the principle questions is whether the Second Amendment confers an individual or collective right.) Obama believes, and in fact told Utah voters that he wouldn't take their guns. He believes in the sportsman's right to hunt. But, his argument seems to leave would-be rape victims in the city of Chicago and other like-minded municipalities completely without the tools to protect themselves.

And it is this intellectual dishonesty on his part that bothers me. That's why I'm taking the time to call bullshit.

Regular readers know that I was both stalked and nearly raped (two different guys) when in college. I went to school at the University of Illinois which is conveniently located in the State of Illinois (where Obama is now a Senator), so my connection is pretty strong. When I was at the UofI (and my guess is little has changed since), there was absolutely no gun ownership allowed. Convenient for the rapist, not so much for the intended victims. And, lest you take issue with the particulars (into which I'm not going to delve now), suffice it to say that my would-be rape took place in my dorm room where having a handgun for protection might have made a difference.

Let me be clear. I have nothing but respect for hunters and sportsmen. Hunters provide an important service to animal populations and disease. I get it. I value what they do and admire their perseverance. You won't catch me sitting in a tree, smelling like urine, in the cold for hours on end for fun EVER. But, I respect them for it. Without taking anything away from them, however, I don't really think that the founding fathers were worried about the new government infringing on their rights to shoot clay or animals. Rather, I think they were more concerned with The People's right to protect themself both from people who would do them harm and from a tyrannical government.

There is a very specific reason that the Constitution begins with the words "We the People..." and that is because our government derives power from the people and serves at our pleasure. That's not a joke.

The founding fathers had just fought a revolution against tyranny and won. Bodies and blood. Not a war fought with fighter jets and cruise missiles, but by farmers with pitchforks and muskets. The British were on the march and quite literally, all able-bodied freedom-loving men pulled their muskets from their resting places and went out to fight. No formal training. No real uniforms. They weren't an organized force. This regular joe fighting force is what the founders wanted to protect. This is what they meant by militia - not the National Guard.

But let's delve a little further, shall we? The British, when they captured a town, would quarter British soldiers in American homes. The founding fathers wanted to protect against this. (Note the Third Amendment.) A man has the right to defend his life and property...again, this doesn't mean filing a grievance, but acting to throw off invaders.

I'm no "Constitutional Law Scholar" like Obama, but I know these things. There is no mention of "sport" in the Second Amendment. On the contrary, it reads "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." One single sentence.

The founders put it right there- "being necessary to the security of a free state" - that says all you need to know. But, in case you doubt the individual nature of the right, check out the next clause: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms..." The people. THE PEOPLE. Not the States, but the people.

Oftentimes liberals and gun grabbers will deny the individual right using the word militia as their argument. To do so is to completely disregard history and to basically deny a great many other rights. This same theory would suggest that our government doesn't derive its authority from the people (Remember "We the People"), but from the States. And this, frankly, is crap.

But, let's get back to Obama. I didn't get an ivy league education, but even I know these things. So, I find the idea that Obama's very expensive education missed these salient points. That's why I find his sportsman-friendly but victim-unfriendly position to be so offensive. He knows the facts but disregards them. But, only insofar as the issue is guns. Let's examine, shall we, other individual rights.

The first amendment is about free speech, free press, and freedom of religion. But corallaries of Obama's gun position "sports okay, but "reasonable restrictions" also okay" would suggest that Obama would suggest the following:

1. That Obama would be okay with free speech as long as it was "in music or dramatic exposition", but not in such a way as to denigrate the government or any particular person or idea.
2. That Obama would be okay with any publication printing any ideas or long as they follow a prescribed platform.
3. That Obama would be okay with freedom of long as it was a state-approved religion.

This isn't freedom, folks, and the government isn't supposed to go around limiting the rights of the people. They serve us, not the other way around. You'd think that a Constitutional Law Scholar/Civil Rights Lawyer/Would-be President of the United States would know this.

Let's take another example, this time a favorite of the left and an unenumerated right at that: Abortion. A Woman's Right to Choose.

Now, I'm pro-choice, but I think the analogy will be an important one.

Nowhere in the Constitution is a woman's right to choose whether to carry a fetus or not mentioned. It ain't there. But, the left likes to think it is. So, pretend it is, just for a minute.

Now suppose that Obama had suggested, like he has on the issue of gun rights, that a woman can only have an abortion under "reasonable restrictions." Like - say - only if the fetus has tested positive for some dread disease or disability. How does that grab ya?

That's what I'm saying. For Obama to say he "supports sportsmen's rights" but then say he also believes that municipalities have the right to infringe - yes INFRINGE - upon peaceful law-abiding gun owners rights is also okay is just flat out...wrong. Hypocritical. Disingenuous at best, and the politics of "tell them what they want to hear" at worst. Obama is not a friend of the lawful gun owner.

He's just another vacuous and vapid empty suit who believes that gun laws prevent crime. No gun law, however, has ever prevented a crime. Why?

BECAUSE CRIMINALS DON'T CARE ABOUT OBEYING THE LAW - BY DEFINITION. If you are going to knock over a liquor store - you've made that decision - are you really worried about the legality of using your gun to do so? Do you think drug dealers pause when they go buy their guns from a reputable dealer? Hell no! They don't buy their guns from reputable dealers!!!

So, consider, please, how willing you are to give up the rest of your rights before you vote Obama. The Second Amendment is the only one that gives the people the power to take back their government, by force if necessary.

Don't be surprised if a Presidential candidate who is willing to compromise your rights on the Second Amendment isn't willing to do so on others - like the first, third, fourth, fifth, etc.

The comment below, from this post by Bob Owens really bothered me:

Andrew :
The 2nd amendment is totally outdated and should be changed. There are thousands of people who should be walking around right now whose life was cut short by a gun. All too often you hear stories of people accidentally shooting themselves or others. I understand people who feel the need to have a gun depending on circumstances but 95% of gun owners don't need them. Whats really troubling is the people who love guns.
22, 2008 09:00 AM

Dear Lord in Heaven, this is the sort of guy who will blindly vote for Obama!

Andrew should consider if the Second Amendment is outdated, so must be the rest of them. There are thousands of people who should be walking around whose lives were cut short by drunk drivers too, that doesn't mean we should outlaw cars. Or alcohol. I would suggest to you that anybody who has felt the need to purchase a gun wouldn't put themselves in the 95% that Andrew refers to. I would also tell Andrew that he probably isn't the best judge of what other people need. And certainly has no right to the determination in any case. But it is Andrew's last sentence that is most telling. "Whats [sic] really troubling is the people who love guns."

I think Obama agrees with you, Andrew. I find it troubling that you seem to live in fear of people who like guns. There is nothing wrong with loving guns. At least, it is no better or worse than say people who love dogs or Nintendo or anything else.

As cliche as it is, guns don't kill people - the assholes pulling the triggers do. And some people who die of gunshots deserve to. If Andrew doesn't want a gun, that's his choice. If he wants to embrace victimhood there are a lot of people who will help him with that. For the rest of us, we have a right to protect ourselves. A right that isn't subject to anybody's "reasonable restrictions."


posted by Phoenix | 1:13 PM | 0 comments

Rough Week
Not to get too exceedingly personal, but I'm having a really rough week.

I'm on a four day headache induced by caffeine withdrawal.
I'm pms-ing.
We are expecting another snow storm that just might push me into snow rage.
And, I haven't had a decent meal in four days.

So, the fuse is a bit short. Tread lightly.
posted by Phoenix | 9:36 AM | 0 comments

Rude or Not?
I was in line at the grocery store the other day, just picking up a few things on my way home. I was behind a lady who realized as the cashier gave her the total for her own order that she had accidentally left her wallet in her car. She ran out to the car to retrieve it and eventually returned. When she did so, she realized she didn't have enough cash on her to cover the bill. She had the cashier take a few items back and then proceeded on her way.

As this was happening, I was having an internally argument with myself. I don't know the lady - complete stranger - but I wanted to offer her the money to cover the tab. We're talking about less than $5.00 here, not a big deal. But she seemed embarassed and I was afraid that my offer would push her into mortification. In the end, I erred on the side of caution and kept my mouth shut. If I had seen any suggestion that she was a mother or otherwise, I probably would have made the offer.

Is that weird? Maybe. I just think that mother-to-mother, an offer of assistance is not a big deal. On the other hand, maybe I should have offered anyway. I don't know. I don't want to be rude or put her in an awkward position, what would you do?

For the record, the items that she gave back were a fancy head of lettuce (not iceberg) and a bottle of salad dressing. I think more than anything that this is what decided it for me. Had she been questioning whether to put milk or baby food or bread back, I think I would have stepped in and made the offer.

I don't know. What is the etiquette here?
What would you have done?


posted by Phoenix | 9:23 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Wherein Phoenix Hypothesizes a Snow-Related Theory
Bumped for Update (see below)

So, we are having the snowiest winter on record. Excuse my sarcasm, but yee...haw.

I am sick unto death of all of this damn snow. Mean. Bitchy. Mean. Agressive. If I come within 20 yards of a weather man, he'd better look out, that's all I'm sayin'. And this new aggression has lead me, in my more calm moments, to come up with a theory of human behavior.

Here it is:

Stage One of the Winter Weather Derangement Syndrome: Acceptance.

This stage of WWDS is even-keeled and allows those suffering to explain away the issues and may even involve bargaining and rationalizations. "We live in Wisconsin, it snows here in the winter." But, as snow fall totals mount, some move into Stage Two of WWDS.

Stage Two of Winter Weather Derangement Syndrome: Fatigue.

This stage of WWDS maintains the acceptance of Stage One, but adds the additional symptom of fatigue. Hours of shoveling and white-knuckle driving cause sufferers to be tired. Tired both physically and mentally. Should snow fall totals continue to mount, the sufferer moves into Stage Three.

Stage Three of Winter Weather Derangement Syndrome: Depression.

This stage of advanced WWDS sees the acceptance of the prior stages move directly into depression. The sufferer feels like a victim and oftentimes the misery and victimization manifest as whining. "What happened to the sun? I'm willlllllting. If things keep going like this, the snowpiles still won't have melted in August!"

Most times, WWDS will be cease with Stage Three. However, in record-breaking years, you will see sufferers move into Stages Four and Five.

Stage Four of Winter Weather Derangement Syndrome: Hilarity.

The sufferer of WWDS quickly departs the depression of Stage Three and enters a new manic phase we refer to as Hilarity. Some will think the person is high or suffering a psychotic break. The person will laugh non-sensically at the merest suggestion of snow, guffaw long and loud over discussion of accumulation. There is a caustic, biting note to their comments and laughter. This stage usually lasts two small snow events or one large snow event. Stage Four quickly gives way to Stage Five.

Stage Five of Winter Weather Derangement Sydrome: Aggression and Bitchiness.

Stage Four of WWDS is almost light-hearted compared to the ugliness of Stage Five. Stage Five sufferers of WWDS are downright mean and aggessive. They will be tempted to beat up weathermen, bitch loudly about the godforsaken state in which they live. If the groundhog sees his shadow, Stage Five sufferers will mount a posse and go after the little rat bastard. Stage Five sufferers will also threaten Al Gore and believers of that colossal global scam that is "Global Warming" and have unkind things to say about friends who live in snow-free zones like Florida, South Texas, and Southern California. These friends and family members should not take the actions and words of a Stage Five Sufferer to heart as they are a product of the disease. They are merely acting out the hurt.

This is all I know of WWDS so far. The theory is still a work in progress. I'll keep you posted on any further developments. There might be another stage. The forecast says 6-10 more inches on Sunday.

Update: Well, we are a few more days and another blizzard down the road and I have a few more stages to report upon.

Stage Six of Winter Weather Derangement Syndrome: Auditory Halucinations

The bitchy aggression of Stage Five may or may not depart with the arrival of Stage Six. Stage Six's primary feature is the auditory halucination. It is quite specific, actually, with the word "snow" replacing other words in normal conversation.

Suppose, for example, that the following conversation were to take place:

"Hey, do you want to go to the store?"

"The Store? Sure!"

"Great! Get your coat, I'll be in the car."

The Stage Six sufferer of WWDS actually hears the following:

"Hey, do you want to go to the snow?"

"The Snow? Sure!"

"Great! Get your snow, I'll be in the snow."

I am not even kidding you - on Sunday I kept hearing the word "snow" in every sentence.

I haven't reached this point yet, but my husband assures me that Stage Seven is full-blown alcoholism.


posted by Phoenix | 11:00 PM | 0 comments

For Lucy
This post is for Lucy, who wanted the rest of the story mentioned in this post.

Back when I was a sophomore in college, I was fortunate enough to have a car on campus. This was a big deal to my father who didn't want me trapped anywhere.

If you've ever been to a Big 10 school on the day of a home football game, you know how crazy it can be. Everywhere you go, there is a line to get in. Everywhere you go there is a crush of people and not enough air.

Well, on one such evening, I needed some open air and space. So, I invited a few friends and we hit the road. We intended to drive to Gibson City, IL and stop at the Rock 'n Roll McDonald's for a coke. This was the plan...but the minute we arrived in Gibson City, we hit a wall. You see, we had forgotten to look at the time. In Champaign-Urbana, 11 p.m. is early; but in Gibson City, everything was closed down for the night.

From the minute that we rolled into town (obeying all traffic laws and speed directives), the error was obvious. So, at the stoplight, I turned east, intending to find an alternative place to stop, or turnaround and head back to campus. In no time at all, it became obvious that we were being followed.

As I said, the town was dark and nobody was out and about. So, the lone car in town following us closely was a bit...odd to say the least. But, I continued to obey all laws and turned into a side street to turn around. The strange car followed however, flashing his red and blue lights, and then turned this big spotlight on us. I pulled over to the curb like the good little girl that I was and waited for the officer to come to the door.

It took a very long time for him to arrive at my door, but when he finally deigned to do so, I rolled down the window to speak to him. He did not identify himself. He asked me what I was doing in town. I explained our goal and our error as it pertained to the clock and indicated our intention to return to Champaign when he pulled me over.

He asked for my driver's license and I handed it over. He returned to his vehicle and made us wait another 15 minutes.

A 15 minutes, by the way, in which I was becoming increasingly more nervous. Because it is now nearly midnight and we are parked on a dark street, we can't see if the car behind us is actually a cop car. And, since his lights are still trained on us like we are sneaking over the wire of a prison, seeing anything much of our surroundings is difficult. He finally comes back to the car and I am expecting to be ticketed, so I ask what I did wrong.

He refuses to respond, instead asking me for identification of all of my passengers.

Now I'm smelling somthing rotten, but I continue to play nice. There was one girl and two boys in the car. The other girl was of Latin origin, one guy was black, and the other guy was pasty-white and geeky. I only mention it so that you will understand it would be difficult for us to match any profile or a description of some wanted suspects.

Unfortunately for our "cop", we were college students. Nobody else in the car had any id on them. They handed over their names, however, and the girl knew her license # by heart, so she gave him that. He then retreated back to his car and left us cooling our heels again.

Another 10 or 15 minutes later he comes back to our car. This time, he asks if we are hiding any contraband, if he can search the vehicle. I tell him no, we aren't hiding anything and no he can't search the car. I figured that if he wanted to search the car, he needed probable cause to do so. And, to be honest, I didn't think he was a cop. But, this was back before cell phones were really commonplace, so I was hedging my bets. If he really was a cop, he could call another officer to the scene and search the vehicle if he felt he had probable cause. If he were not a cop, however...something else would happen.

I literally didn't know which way it would go. Anyway, he goes back to his car again, leaving us wondering, and returns five minutes later to tell us we were free to go.

We drive home, still not knowing if he was a real cop, just thankful to be alive and safe.

The next day, I call my dad and tell him about our adventure and he...freaks. He says I need to call the cops and report it. So, I did. I called the Gibson City PD and reported my being stopped and not being sure that it was a cop who did so. They looked my license plate up and informed me that they had no record of me being stopped. And, neither did the county when I called them. More importantly, neither the city nor county cop shop was all that concerned that I was stopped by someone pretending to be a cop.

So, I called my dad back and told him what I was told.

That's when my father called the County Sheriff and demanded to know what was being done to make the streets safe - that there was some sort of predator on the loose. He assured the sheriff that I was a very observant girl and could work with an artist to produce a sketch and would happily drive back to Gibson City to give an interview to the investigating officers. He also told the Sheriff that had his daughter listened to him "and kept a handgun under her seat like I wanted her to, that SOB might be dead now." The Sheriff didn't really give my father any information either.

But, 30 minutes later, the district attorney called me up. She informed me that there was no reason to panic, that I was pulled over by a cop. She refused to explain, however, why when I asked, neither the city or county boys would admit to it. She then went to great pains to explain to me exactly what rights you and I don't have when we are pulled over by a cop.

Suffice it to say that I have never been so pissed in my life as I was at that moment. I will never again travel anywhere in a car without a cell phone. I will never again submit to being stopped without getting the officer's full name, badge number, and license plate.

I don't really know what that guys problem was with us. We were driving 20 in a 25 and obeying all traffic laws. Maybe he was just bored - I don't know. But he really scared the shit out of me, and the departments denying I'd been pulled over stank of coverup...but of what?

I don't know. Just be careful out there. Because, real cop or no, he can still be a threat to you.

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posted by Phoenix | 12:27 PM | 0 comments

Friday, February 15, 2008
Romantic Holiday
To celebrate our anniversary, Prince Charming and I are going on a romantic retreat. Saturday we will drive down to Madison and check-in to the Governor's Club at The Concourse Hotel.

Sans Bunny Boop.

Grandma has agreed to come and keep Bunny company while Mommy and Daddy share some much-needed together time. We will go to supper at Johnny Delmonico's and thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

I may post a review of the accomodations and the restaurant upon our return.


posted by Phoenix | 11:44 AM | 0 comments

Important Alert
Cynics will think I'm linking to this story because of the illegal status of the perpetrator, but that is not my focus.

All too often, we women tend to do what is expected of us and that get's us into trouble. When there are flashing lights behind you, you are supposed to pull over. Had I not once been in a similar situation (which I'll retell if commentors request it), this might not have been posted.

But, in the day and age of cell phones, we have a tool that will help keep us safe. Far better to call 911 and confirm that the suspicious car with the flashing lights is a cop, than be in the trunk of some vehicle, tied up, and desperately trying to find your cell phone.

Read the whole thing.

Keep yourself safe.

h/t: Michelle Malkin


posted by Phoenix | 9:33 AM | 1 comments

NIU Tragedy

Once again, some wacko has decided to take a bunch of innocent people with him. It is so hard to make sense of these things and the pain never really goes away.

One of my baby sister's friends died in the shooting yesterday. Ryanne Mace will be missed.

My thoughts and prayers go out to my sister and the friends and family of the victims.
posted by Phoenix | 9:30 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 14, 2008
Five Years Ago Today
On the evening of Valentine's Day 2003, I married my wonderful husband.

As the years have flown by, I have only come to realize more and more each day how very lucky I am to have married this amazing man.
posted by Phoenix | 10:43 AM | 3 comments

Happy Valentine's Day
In honor of Valentine's Day, I would like to pay special attention to a few of my favorite blogs:

Stories of Franklin Foer at Confederate Yankee
Grouchy Old Cripple who tends to be cranky
Agent Bedhead’s review of Aniston’s togs,
These are a few of my favorite blogs

The wacky unapologetic crazy of El Capitan
Cake Eater Chronicles since my time began
CalTechGirl’s insight and cute little dogs
These are a few of my favorite blogs

The intimate coterie of JustdotChristina
For the Maximum Leader I laugh like a hyena
Michelle Malkin for news and political smog
These are a few of my favorite blogs

Ace of Spades and
Noble Eagle
When I'm feeling bored
I simply go read my favorite blogs
And then I feel more restored

I can't really take credit for this idea. I've shamelessly stolen the idea from WitNit and retooled it to my own preferences.

Go check them all out.
posted by Phoenix | 9:33 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
What Men Want for Valentine's Day and something for the ladies too
The Maximum Leader has a post up about What Men Want for Valentine's Day and in true Demystifying Diva fashion (we're still taking applications), I feel the need to offer up a rebuttal.

Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of The Maximum Leader and intend to be instrumental in his administration when the New Order arrives. But, I need to distinguish myself and like-minded sisters from the pack for The Maximum Leader and his male minions.

First off, the Maximum Leader takes issue with some Yahoo article's metrosexual spin on what men want. Let me assure you, I don't know any woman who wants a metrosexual man! So, we agree on this point, in an oblique way.

The Maximum Leader then contends that the #1 item on Men's Valentine's Day wish list is sex. Hallelujah! That's at the top of most women's lists too! I do not doubt what the Maximum Leader says is true. I know that men want sex on most days. So do I, however.

The Maximum Leader then suggests that the second item on the list is flannel. Oookay. I'm not going to question this one because it gets awful cold in February here too, I'm just not sure that flannel is sexy enough or special enough to be a Valentine's Day gift. But, here again, I'll give him a pass. If the man wants flannel, get him flannel.

The third item on the list is a firearm. To that I say - this works for women too! I'd like something with a bit more stopping power, something that will fit easily in my hand and yet slide nicely into a handbag.

The last item that The Maximum Leader requests from the ladies is lowered expectations. The Maximum Leader seems to feel that we ladies lay on the pressure for men to lay out cash for chocolate, flowers, and diamonds. I suspect that there are some simple-minded ninnies who prefer this traditional or mass-market approach to Valentine's Day. But, not all. Oh no, gentlemen. Not all women require this Holiday by Hallmark/Hershey's/FTD/Jared's approach.

Don't get me wrong. I love chocolate and roses, diamonds and a sentimental card now and then.

But, a well thought-out plan impresses me more. Light a candle and let's eat by candlelight then cuddle on the couch. Dance with me to our song. Chase me up the stairs.

Romance isn't flowers, chocolate, and diamonds. That is just the window dressing! Romance is in the heart. Recreate our first date or a memorable moment. Take me back to that hotel...

Just don't, whatever you do, make out that the pressure you feel at this time of the year is my fault. That is a total turn-off! I'm not the brand manager or marketing director for any of those companies. I don't expect any of those things. I'd prefer that you just make a special moment for us.

And, honey, you can light my fire with a 50 cent candle and a bic.


posted by Phoenix | 9:59 AM | 0 comments

Another Litvinenko-style Murder?
Just when I had finally gotten the spelling of Alexander Litvinenko's last name down pat, comes this story and a new, far worse spelling headache.

The sudden death overnight of an exiled Georgian billionaire and close friend of exiled Boris Berezovsky is reportedly being investigated as a Litvinenko-style murder as a precaution.

According to the report, an assassination plot came to light in recent weeks that targeted Mr. Badri Patarkatsishvili and he was in fear for his life.

Two things occur to me.

First, Boris Berezovsky's friends don't live long. Now, that may not be Berezovsky's fault, but it is still pretty chilling.

Secondly, death seems to be a staple of old Soviet politics. Scary shit.


posted by Phoenix | 9:45 AM | 0 comments

Lessons from Bedtime Stories
Once upon a time (heehee), I wrote up some modern day lessons to take away from the age old classic fairytales. Those posts can be found here and here.

They are pretty good for a laugh, if you are in need of one.

I bring up those old posts for a good reason and that is I recently read Goldilocks and The Three Bears to Bunny Boop. Bedtime story, doncha know. Not surprisingly (at least to me because I'm kind of twisted), it prompted in me the realization that these fairytales and bedtime stories oft have lessons the likes of which the modern woman can reflect upon. Let us examine the story, shall we...

If you recall, the law-abiding Three Bears were a solid family unit who lived at peace with their environment and their neighborhood. Indeed, they even ate a high-fiber diet with all of that porridge in the morning stuff. They were nature lovers too, taking long walks in the morning while their porridge cooled. Right?

So here comes Goldilocks who has such a broken moral compass that she decides to break and enter the Bear home and make herself at home. This is not acceptable behavior for nice young ladies! She trespasses in their home and leaves the place worse for wear!

Furthermore, she has the audacity to complain about the accomodations!

"This porridge is too hot" you can hear the whiny voice, can't you?
"This porridge is too cold" do you want to smack her as much as I do?
"This porridge is just right" nice, bitch, glad we could find something for you to steal that pleases you.

"This chair is too big" nervy complaining whelp
"This chair is also too big" seriously, complaining isn't the mark of a lady
"This chair is just right" you know, hard to please young women end up miserable... And then, of course, the chair breaks from her weight and she has added destruction of personal property to her list of crimes.

And then, after eating the bears' breakfast and breaking their furnishings, she violates the inner sanctum and goes into the bedroom. Even a welcomed, honored, invited guest wouldn't stray into their host's bedroom unless on a tour. Seriously! Goldilocks is the very worst sort!

And, again, with the complaining...

"This bed is too hard" nobody asked you your opinion
"This bed is too soft" clearly she's no princess...
"This bed is just right" so our house-breaking, theiving, incredibly rude girl curls up in this bed and takes a nap. Her feelings of entitlement are off the chart!

Then, when she is awoken by Mr. and Mrs. Bear and Junior, she shrieks, jumps up, and runs out in such a manner we are supposed to feel she is the victim. Wrong-o, honey. We aren't falling for the poor, poor, pitiful you routine. Goldilocks is a bad bad girl who needs to learn some manners. And possibly do some time...

Okay, seriously though, as I was reading the story I was reminded of the problem with illegal immigration in this country. Stick with me here...

They come in uninvited and make themselves at home. They want porridge that they haven't paid for, complain about the conditions, and then in full-on entitlement mode, expect to be given the Bear House, lock stock and barrel.

It is no wonder I take issues with illegal immigration. In contrast, there are those who knock on the door and wait to be invited in, then are gracious about taking what porridge they are offered and say please and thank you like nice polite guests...

Oversimplified? Perhaps. But also spot-on, methinks.

Labels: ,

posted by Phoenix | 9:12 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Out of time, but...
Anonymous is holding my feet to the fire over a flippant remark I made at the end of a post a while back in which I said I "hate" Clinton. Just to clarify, the way that I wrote this was sloppy. I don't hate hate her, I just hate the idea of her as a candidate. So, this is not a personal thing.

Anonymous then suggests I should get in line and do the expected thing because Fred Thompson endorsed McCain last Friday. To this I say, "whoppee." Fred and McCain have been friends a good long time, and I'm sure that in Fred's eyes a President McCain is preferable to a President Obama. I would agree with him.

However, the mistake that Anonymous is making is in assuming that I'm some sort of mindless drone that is gonna do what I'm told to do. Frankly, I like to make up my own mind. Fred's endorsement merely tells me what I already knew: McCain is better than Huckabee. I am an independent thinker. Which, I believe I put in my last post on the matter. I'm not just going to shut up and fall in line.

I'm not that kind of girl.

But all of this is moot anyway. The question isn't whether I'm going to support Clinton or Obama. I'm not going to vote for either of them in the general. The question is do I take advantage of the opportunity presented in the Wisconsin primary and choose a better opponent for some eventual candidate that I will be willing to support.

But, I'm out of time so I'll have to continue my deliberations in private.
posted by Phoenix | 3:03 PM | 0 comments

Jericho Returns
That headline warrants a trumpet or two, me thinks.

That's right kiddos! Jericho returns to television tonight. We'll finally find out if the baddies will beat the Jerichoans or if the Marines will come to the rescue.

posted by Phoenix | 10:14 AM | 0 comments

Clarification on Dilemma
So, a recent Anonymous commenter took issue with my recent post Dilemma posing the following question twice:

"So are you saying you would rather vote for someone you hate than someone you have a few policy differences with?"

Where to begin? First, I don't "hate" either Obama or Clinton. Hatred is a very personal thing, I think, and I've never even met either one of them. Secondly, I take issue with the presupposition that I have only a "few policy differences" with either one. I would say that the contrary is true. I have nothing but policy differences with Obama and Clinton.

I don't think raising taxes is in this country's best interests.
I don't think increasing the size of the Federal government is in anybody's best interests (save politicians).
I don't think cutting and running from Iraq is in our longterm security interests, particularly at a point when the surge is proving effective and al Qaeda is in retreat, licking their wounds.
I don't think national healthcare is in our best interests either, for the record. Oh, it sounds good, but it doesn't work for shit. Ask the Canadians and the Brits how they like waiting 10 months for surgery. No, you want a fix to that problem? Increase the supply - that's what drives costs down. Any Econ 101 student can tell you that.
National Security - I don't think we need to apologize to anyone for protecting ourselves - nor should we need to seek permission to defend ourselves or kowtow to a bunch of unelected non-American citizen bureaucrats for the right to do so.
Immigration - I think this country needs to look to self-preservation. In my opinion we are losing our sovereignty when Mexico says we don't have the right to refuse her illegal immigrants and is handing out leaflets telling her people how to sneak into the USA. It isn't right. It isn't right to give cheaters preferential treatment over those who are geographically unable to cheat and who have been waiting in line lawfully for the same privilege.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! The issues I have with The Democratic Party platform are deep, systemic, and just about as many as there could be. In fact, I would say I am just about as diametrically opposed to the Left as I can be without actually being a Republican.

I will say it again: I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN.

That label is just a bit too...boxy. I am a free-thinking conservative. My opinions have come about as a result of my education, my up-bringing, and my own ability to ask questions and come to a reasoned conclusion. As bitchy as I can be, I am really more pragmatic and less emotional than many would give me credit for.

My previous post was in response to a personal dilemma that I am posed with. I would not support or even give my general election vote to either Clinton or Obama. However, that being said, I'm not particularly enamoured of McCain either. But, I don't really get to vote for my guy in the primary other than as a protest vote. McCain has pretty much sewn up the Republican nomination, so if I want a voice, I need to exercise my right to vote. Again: I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN. But, as a conservative, I sometimes end up voting for a Republican.

In the primary, however, Wisconsin Election Law permits me to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary - just not both. Since McCain has all but claimed the Republican nomination, I don't see the need to vote for him (I don't like him). I also don't like Obama or Clinton, but there is still a contest in that race. It is here that my voice has the most volume. Is it wrong of me to want to use it? I am a voter. I don't look at my right to vote as a privilege - it is a requirement of good citizenship in my book. Of course, I view jury duty in the same way.

I vote in every election that I am able to do so. Rarely do I sit out an election because I see it as cowardice. So, my issue is not about hatred or minor policy issues. Loathsome as the reality is, whether the general election comes down to either Obama vs. McCain or Clinton vs. McCain, McCain will get my vote by default.

I don't like the guy, but it is like buying a pair of shoes: The Obama's and The Clintons are an uncomfortable shoe that is going to give me blisters due to the imitation leather. The McCain's will never be my favorite shoes, and they may not be leather, but they won't give me blisters or bunions.

So, will I vote in the primary? I don't know. But, if I do, it won't be for the junior senator from Illinois who can't be bothered to do the job he's got, he's so busy interviewing for his next one. I see right through him and I don't like what I see. Do I "hate" him? No. But, I also don't want him as my president either. Democracy is about choice and this is mine. The first amendment to the Constitution says that I get to exercise my opinions, voice them, so long as I don't hurt anyone. That's what I'm doing.

Clinton isn't my cup of tea, either. I don't like the way the Clinton political machine behaves. It is unscrupulous and far too many people in their circle have conveniently "committed suicide" for my tastes. I don't think her husband was a good President and I don't understand her desire to stay with him. However, that isn't what this election is about. In the end, it is really about the direction this country needs to go in the next four years. I don't think a bloated government that turns the American taxpayer into an indentured servant is a good idea. I like my freedom of choice, thank you very much.

So, there it is. I hope that gives a little more clarity to my dilemma, such as it is.
posted by Phoenix | 9:09 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 11, 2008
What's a girl to do?

The Wisconsin primary is on February 19. McCain is certainly not my choice, but his nomination appears to be in the bag. What is a conservative to do? I'm not going to waste my time and go write-in a candidate as some sort of protest, and I refuse to vote for McCain and give him any sort of approval, grudging or otherwise at this point. He's got some fences to mend with this girl.

Anyhoo, it turns out that here in the People's Republic, you can vote in either primary you want. I'm thinking I might have to go give Hillary a vote. Sure, I'll feel the need to shower in bleach afterward, but it would feel better than voting for the Obamessiah. Anything to keep them busy fighting each other.

Is that bitchy? I don't give a damn. Will I be able to live with myself if I vote for a Clinton? Hard to say. It will definitely involve some serious rationalizations, however...
posted by Phoenix | 9:42 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 08, 2008
Lipstick Jungle: Not As Good As
I had an hour to kill while I was cooling down last night, so I took a gander at Lipstick Jungle.

The hype was overblown, I'm afraid. It is nowhere near as well-written as Cashmere Mafia. The ladies of Cashmere Mafia are excellent, whereas only two of the tree Lipsticks were worth watching.

I liked Brooke Shields in this, but then I like her in a lot of things. She has the quirky/accident prone thing down. And Lindsay Price was entertaining. Kim Ravers or whatever her name is? Eh.

The worst part of it was the writing, however. I just didn't buy it. The smarm was too smarmy. The weeping too weepy. Frankly, these women would not be my friends - at least two of them anyway.

So, I'll be sticking to the Cashmere Mafia - better casting, better writing, even a better title!
posted by Phoenix | 3:37 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 07, 2008
Update on Signing Day
My cousin, previously mentioned here, signed his letter of intent yesterday.

He'll be playing football at TCU.

Congrats, Blaizer!
posted by Phoenix | 10:13 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Send one of those St. Bernard's with Whiskey in the Little Barrel
Snowbound, or at least as close to it as I've ever been - that's what we are.
(This is the view from our house up the street)
There's no more "winter wonderland", no more sign of "global warming", no sign of a UN Peacekeeping Force. (I hear they wait to come in until service is restored to 4-Star Resorts, so this probably explains that.)

It started snowing yesterday...and hasn't really stopped since. In all fairness to the storm, we had only gotten about 3 inches as of this morning at 6, workaholic that I am, I went to work. The roads weren't even terrible. (Below is view of our front door)
Of course, the forecast was for a whole lot more of the wet heavy stuff, along with serious wind. So, it took me an hour and 45 minutes to make the trip home that usually takes 25 minutes. I'd like to say that it was nice, but I was white-knuckling it the whole way. Very stressful, but I made it. Of course, I took a really circuitous route due to the issues with tractor-trailers on the interstate on-ramps. I only had to stop 8 times to clear off the windshield too...

So, my friends in Pasadena and San Antonio, enjoy your weather. This part of the country is mired in a snowy hell.

A snowy, monochromatic hell. (Above picture is of our mailbox with pile of snow taller than, for reference). It's still coming down, too.


posted by Phoenix | 5:09 PM | 1 comments

Monday, February 04, 2008
Shit Storm or...Toddlers Are Like Monkeys at the Zoo
More often than not it is difficult to be a parent. Parenting isn't for the lazy. It isn't for the weak. And it definitely is not for the squeamish.

We had a veritable shit storm on the parenting front this weekend. And, I'll tell you right now, I'm kind of mad that none of my friends who have older children and who have been down this road neglected to fully make me aware of the facts of life as they regard toddlers.

That's right! All you bastards smugly nodding your heads and smirking...I mean you. This post, while it may give you a chuckle, is really for those who will come along behind me. I'm going to warn them what they are in for. I have posted in the past, we are still struggling with potty training. Bunny Boop is trying to step into her big girl shoes and lay claim to her independence.

She has her own backpack - just like Dora - and all of the big kids who go to school. She wears it around the house, puts things in it; it makes her feel very grown up, I'm sure. She is now sleeping (as of Saturday night) in a big girl bed. She has her very own twin bed in her room now. The prospect was so exciting that - quite literally - she was bouncing up and down. And then, there is also the fact that she is exerting her opinion on fashion choices. Saturday she decided she must wear her Mary Janes instead of her boots - I have a budding fashionista on my hands, I think. But, potty training is still the Mt. Everest of Independence. And we aren't quite there yet.

We've been having some issues, to be honest. Bunny Boop will sit on the potty. She expects her m&m for doing so, but tinkling in the potty?...not so much. She hasn't yet connected the sensation of needing to go with the consequences of not going on the potty. We are close, however. She does know when she's dirty. She will now assume the position for a diaper/pull-up change without argument. And, if you don't get to it in time...she'll do it herself.

Not the whole job, of course, just the removal of the offensive item. Which means, and you are probably sensing the connection to the title, sometimes she manages to get shit...everywhere. If you aren't being attentive to every nanosecond, she will have that thing whipped off and be playing in the clinging...debris. She just doesn't want it on her, that's all.

So, imagine, if you will, the scene that faced me early Saturday morning. I woke to the equivalent of the parental fire drill - her father was shouting "YOUR MOTHER IS GOING TO KILL YOU!" to my toddler who was standing up in her crib. I leapt out of bed and ran to the scene of the crime. Like a monkey, my caged animal was head-to-toe feces, with footprints on the bedding, on bibi, on the hand-embroidered monogrammed duvet cover for her crib....

It was shit far and wide, though it was contained within the actual constraints of the crib. She had it in her hair, on her arms, on her legs, and all over her little bare butt. Who knew that my child was a monkey? Why didn't someone warn me about the ugly side of potty training?

Ack. Even now I can see the scene. I gave Prince Charming the option and he took tub duty, leaving the rest of the cleanup to me. Yeah. He owes me. 'Cause I had to hold onto her until he was ready for her. Keep her from touching anything, including me. While she was in the bath I did a quick scrub of her room and carried the...soiled linens downstairs. Then I spent 30 minutes hand-washing them before they went into the washer.

The whole time, I couldn't escape the smell and the vision of my shit-covered kid stuck in my mind. My gawd, I've given birth to an animal! It is the kind of realization that makes you want to laugh/cry in hysteria.

I swear to all of you, if she starts swinging from the ceiling, I'm gonna need therapy.


posted by Phoenix | 10:25 AM | 2 comments

Family Pride
There's a pretty big deal coming up in my extended family. I'm pretty excited about it, to be honest.

My cousin (who is 16 years my junior) is signing his letter of intent to play football at a Division I school on Wednesday. At a press conference. He's been pretty heavily recruited 'cause he's some kind of minor football god and we are all pretty proud of him. Of course, nobody is prouder than his parents.

So, we'll find out on Wednesday where he's decided to play football. Kinda cool, huh?
posted by Phoenix | 9:50 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 01, 2008
Movie Meme
It must be unofficial meme week, or something. Here's the gist: You are supposed to highlight the movies on this list that you've seen, count 'em up, and determine how much of a shut-in you are. Got this one from El Capitan, natch. Here we go...

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
Boondock Saints
Fight Club
Starsky and Hutch
Neverending Story
Blazing Saddles
Universal Soldier
Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Along Came Polly
Deep Impact
King Pin
Never Been Kissed
Meet The Parents
Meet the Fockers
Eight Crazy Nights
Joe Dirt
King Kong (1933)
King Kong (1976)
King Kong (2005)

Total so far: 13

A Cinderella Story
The Terminal
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Passport to Paris
Dumb & Dumber
Dumber & Dumberer
Final Destination
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
The Ring
The Ring 2
Surviving X-Mas

Total so far: 17

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
Practical Magic
Ghost Ship
From Hell
Secret Window
I Am Sam
The Whole Nine Yards
The Whole Ten Yards

Total so far: 21

The Day After Tomorrow
Child’s Play
Seed of Chucky
Bride of Chucky
Ten Things I Hate About You
Just Married
Nightmare on Elm Street
Sixteen Candles
Remember the Titans
Coach Carter
The Grudge
The Grudge 2
The Mask
Son Of The Mask

Total so far: 27

Bad Boys
Bad Boys 2
Joy Ride
Lucky Number Slevin
Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Twelve
Bourne Identity
Bourne Supremacy
Lone Star
Predator II
The Fog
Ice Age
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
Curious George

Total so far: 36

Independence Day
A Bronx Tale
Darkness Falls
Children of the Corn
My Boss’s Daughter
Maid in Manhattan
War of the Worlds (1953)
War of the Worlds (2005)
Rush Hour
Rush Hour 2

Total so far: 42

Best Bet
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
She’s All That
Calendar Girls
Mars Attacks!
Event Horizon
Ever After
The Wizard of Oz
Forrest Gump
Big Trouble in Little China
The Terminator
The Terminator 2
The Terminator 3

Total so far: 52

Spider-Man 2
Sky High
Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers 2
Catch Me If You Can
The Little Mermaid
Freaky Friday
Reign of Fire
The Skulls
Cruel Intentions
Cruel Intentions 2
The Hot Chick
Shrek 2
Shrek 3

Total so far: 63

Miracle on 34th Street
Old School
The Notebook
Krippendorf’s Tribe
A Walk to Remember
Ice Castles
The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Total so far: 70

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Lord of the Rings: Return Of the King
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Total so far: 76

Waiting for Guffman
House of 1000 Corpses
Devil’s Rejects
Mothman Prophecies
American History X

Total so far: 77

The Jacket
Kung Fu Hustle
Shaolin Soccer
Night Watch
Monsters, Inc.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Shaun Of the Dead

Total so far: 79

High Tension
Club Dread
Dawn Of the Dead
Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
28 days later

Total so far: 80

Kill Bill, Volume 1
Kill Bill, Volume 2
Mortal Kombat
Wolf Creek
Kingdom of Heaven
The Hills Have Eyes
I Spit on Your Grave, AKA The Day of the Woman
The Last House on the Left
Army of Darkness

Total so far: 80

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Ewoks: Caravan Of Courage, AKA The Ewok Adventure
Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

Total so far: 85

The Matrix
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
Evil Dead
Evil Dead 2
Team America: World Police
Red Dragon
Silence of the Lambs

Final total: 89


posted by Phoenix | 2:37 PM | 0 comments


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