31 July, 2006

Poor Mel

It appears that the Jews have driven Mel Gibson to drink.

I know that I'm not the first person, or the 93rd person, to point this out...but don't you think that during the filming of Passion Of The Christ, Mel would have hit upon the fact that Jesus was a Jew. For that matter, so was Peter. Since Mel is so very completely Catholic if Jesus doesn't hold enough weight, you'd think if we threw in Peter that'd help.

I guess not.

The Sun Also Sets On Atlanta

I'm not Ernest Hemingway. I don't like to drink, couldn't really care less about hunting and have no good way to write eloquently about all the piles of pebbles that turn life into a quarry of concern. Kidney stones, obviously. And then dogs with torn toenails, leaky faucets, microwave short-outs and another dog whose blowing his coat all add up to....ordinary. Not the troubles of giants. So this paragraph is all I'm writing about any of that. I haven't anything nice to say. So consider this my version of saying nothing at all.

I do have nice and positive things to say about this last week, though. What good are trials if you can't come away with a nice memory or two? I had several people offer to drive far out of their way to bring me things. I couldn't take any of them up on it, but the fact that the offers were made just really made me feel loved in a way that meant a lot during all of this.

The other "positive" thing is that I seem to have lost my taste for soda. That may not seem like a big deal to most people, but I crave soda the way Hemingway craved his whiskey. (Or rum. Or whatever he drank.) I haven't had a soda for a full week now. And at the risk of sounding like I'm whistling past the graveyard, I don't miss it. The worst of the caffeine headaches were also when I was getting the anesthesia out of my system, so I killed two birds with one stone. I'm trying very hard to not be one of those zealous converts, and I'm not here to say all manner of bad things about Demon Coke. Because I enjoyed drinking it for many years and I don't think it should be illegal or heavily-taxed or whathaveyou. I'm just really glad to have eliminated it from my diet. Ironically, it's doubtful that I had the type of stones caused by soda, so cutting it out of my diet may have little effect on whether or not the whole thing happens again. Regardless, I have better skin, my eyes are clearer and my hair seems less brittle. Although there is a part of me that thinks I'm imagining all of these goodies as a way to talk myself out of getting back on the red-and-white wagon. Heh. We'll see, I suppose.

27 July, 2006

Heroes Are Too Cheap

I had planned to write a long post in honour of the Tour De France on Sunday when the race wrapped up. Instead I was in and out and in the Summit E.R.

I was crazy mad with pain in a way that only a person who has been there can understand. At one point I was on my hands and knees screaming in someone's office, because the E.R. had no more beds. (People without regular doctors use the E.R. as their primary care physician and were all being treated for sore throats at roughly the same time I was trying to give birth to a 3mm piece of rock.)

I thought of two things during the times that they waited to make sure I wasn't "drug-seeking" (heck, I WAS drug-seeking, insofar as the drugs lessen your desire to have your throat slit by a rusty green penny) and poking me with needles to find a vein. The first thing was that verse in Revelation, which I am probably misquoting:
...there shall be no more death. Neither sorrow nor crying, and no more pain. The former things are all passed away. He that sat upon the throne said "behold! I make all things new"

The second thing was Floyd Landis. He had an amazing comeback earlier in the week, pushing himself beyond all conceivable limits to acheive the once-impossible and win the race. I was inspired by Floyd, even during the moments when I begged my husband to let me die. (I know this sounds dramatic, but I promise you if you've ever been there you'd understand how utterly mundane it is to want to give up when faced with this.)

Now they say that Floyd may have cheated. I am both sad and relieved. I'm sad to think that he could desire glory so much as to sacrifice his honour. But I'm more relieved. Because when I see other people do the impossible it makes me feel as though I'm chained to mediocrity in a very petty way. Cheating acknowledges that it is called "the impossible" for a reason, and makes me feel less ashamed to be mired in the possible.

25 July, 2006

Things Overheard At Summitt, Or Why I Am Gonna Kill Brahms

"My throat hurts. Can I have some morpine?"

*brahms lullaby over the intercom*

"I'm really tired of potato salad. My mom makes it all the time."

"Yeah, my dad ran over a cat this weekend. Runned the truck right OVER its head. So of course I hadta go pick that thing up by its tail and just flung it into the woods sose they ain't gotta look at it no more. Damn shame too. That-un 'as a good cat. He had him some personality."

*brahms lullaby over the intercom*

"Do you have diabetes?" (said about 90 times)

"Are you Missus Kobble?" (Also said about 90 times)

*brahms lullaby over the intercom*

"What side is it on?"

*brahms lullaby over the intercom*

Apparently every time a baby is born at Summit, they play "brahms' lullaby" over the intercom. Between early Sunday morning and late Monday afternoon, I believe that 864,000 babies were born at Summitt Medical Center. I was there, having another kidney stone extracted (in what I like to call, privately, a "snatch-and-grab" ha!). Judging by conversations heard in the ER, I was one of at least 3 stone passers on Sunday.

I think they should play "We Will Rock You" over the intercom for every stone that is passed. It's only fair.

21 July, 2006

Anti-Israel Vs. Anti-Semite Vs. Isolationist

Or...here's how I see it.


The State of Israel is not a legitimate nation-state worthy of recognition.


The State of Israel's battles are its own problem, stemming from their insistence on occupying sought-after lands.


The State of Israel is committing war-crimes


Jews are inherently evil.

Jews committ atrocities--anything from making matzah with the blood of Muslim & Christian Babies to helping plot 9/11--to advance their own world agenda.

Jews are exploiting the holocaust to inflame world opinion.


You think that battles not directly affecting the U.S. are not our business.


I can understand being Anti-Israel, and I can understand Isolationism. I think both are tolerable positions. But I have a real problem with anti-Semitism. And I don't like it when people are incorrectly labelled as Anti-Semites because it kills all legitimate conversation about the U.S. role in Israeli conflicts.

I do wish, however, that those who take Anti-Israel and Isolationist positions would kindly leave the Anti-Semitic rhetoric at the door. Because you and I can never have a productive conversation while I listen to irrational libel of the Jewish people. Thank you.

Tales Of My Dumbness And Overinflated Ego (Abridged)

The Dumbness

I've been frantically trying to plan various things so they don't coincide with my downtime, which begins on August 10th. I've felt a bit behind the eight-ball for several days, worried about the tenth drawing ever closer and my ambition to accomplish various tasks dwindling. Yesterday morning I woke up thinking that I had been worked up for nothing. After all, I had thirty days--more than enough time to cover all my bases. I went about my business slighly relaxed about having a WHOLE 30 days.

Then, around 4:00 it occured to me that I, great idiot that I am, was adding 20 (as in July 20th) to 10 (as in August 10th) and coming up with 30. Did I ever mention that I once got a D in Algebra?

The Gullability

Pizza Hut's Dippin' Strips pizza looks both decadent and delicious in the commercials, right? Right? Well, I thought so anyway. So I ordered some up on Monday night. Tim was out of town all week, and I thought I'd treat myself to some bachelor food. I don't know how to tell you this, but it would seem that Pizza Hut employs a grade-A food stylist for their commercial shoots. Because what came to my door was NOTHING like the ad. (Surprise!) Although I must admit that dipping pizza in ranch dressing has a slightly pornographic feel to it.

The Ego

Our master bedroom has room for a king-sized bed, which sits between two windows. And of course, since our dogs aren't blood-crazed pitbulls bent on our eventual destruction we allow them to sleep in the bedroom with us. For more than a year, Casey has slept under the window on Tim's side of the bed, and Quinn has slept under the window next to me.

About a month ago , Casey and Quinn (the dogs) began arguing over who slept on my side of the bed. To wit, whenever Casey ventured past the stacked up books and cast-off clothes to lie on the floor by my head, Quinn would growl and refuse to let him through. This has become a nightly ritual, with repeat performances from dusk to dawn. Part of me was irritated, but more of me was really flattered. The dogs apparently loved me so very much that it was an honour just to sleep nearer to The Mama Dog. "Touch the hem of my garment, puppies!"

And then last night I realised. The A/C vent by me is open all the way. The one by Tim is not. This whole time they've been fighting over the coolest spot in the room, and I've been blowing a lot of hot air.

20 July, 2006

Let's Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas!!!

Thanks to Nathan Moore I'm pleased beyond belief.


Odds and Odders

--Finished watching The Wire Season 1 last night. Now I need to get my hands on Seasons 2 & 3 as soon as possible. I crave it bad. Poor McNulty put adrift like a post-menopausal Inuit woman.

--Did you ever read something that you just knew was dictated by another person? Like a letter that was supposedly from your sister, but had your mom's turns of phrase all over it? I've had that experience a lot lately with different blogs that I read here and there. It's like the blogger is posting stuff to his or her site, but you know they're just doing so at the urging of someone else behind the scenes. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I know a lot of these voices, and I can't quite figure out the reasoning behind the ventriloquism. Why write something at someone else's urging? Blogs have established a pretty good conversation nationwide (I don't read that many international blogs), so just start your own if you have something to say. I don't like it when people sneakily force other people to do their dirty-writing for them.

--In all the conversation yesterday at Feline Little Britches about The Very Evil That Threatens To Destroy The Fabric Of Our Society, it came up that dogs are red-green colourblind. Man, Christmas must suck for them. I do know that one of the colours that dogs CAN see is blue. Because I've got two blue blankets, a blue pillow and a blue couch that my dogs have adopted as their own. I think blue must shine for them like diamonds.

--Wouldn't it be funny if Bob Corker accepted campaign donations from Pit Bulls? Cause then I'd know for sure who I'm supposed to hate.

--I've been struggling with my Welsh book of late. Trying to tie up plot lines, etc. So imagine my glee when my daily cartoon fix tackled the same issue. It's awful when a cartoonist is inhabiting your head.

Mark It 8, Dude

19 July, 2006

The Life Of A Beautiful Woman

Allow me to take a few moments to tell you about Kate. She was an elfinly-pretty woman, both smart and talented. She married very young, and to a much older man. Not long after their cool plunge into hasty marriage they had a son they called Duncan. Her husband, Bob, loved her for making him feel young again in spite of his advanced years. He and Duncan spent many hours playing chess together, looking at the stars and swimming in the backyard. Kate busied herself in med school. She was whipsmart and in spite of her love for Bob, she was well-aware that he wouldn't be around to support her forever.

As she climbed the career ladder, Bob declined into his elder years. Kate would often rush home from a night shift at the hospital to help her ailing, aging husband. Not long after she was promoted to chief resident, Bob died. Both Kate and Duncan were grief-stricken, yet there was nothing they could do besides carry on. More fortunate than many families who lose a husband and father, Kate and Duncan had the house and a nice chunk of insurance money to blunt life's rougher edges. They carried on that way for awhile, until Kate met Simon at work.

Simon was a graduate of the prestigious medical school at the University of Edinburgh. He had a one-year fellowship in the surgical department of the hospital where Kate practiced. One look at her large grey eyes and he knew he would finagle to stay in her orbit forever. He passed the Duncan test with flying colours and six months later they were married.

Many people fail to have luck with one hasty marriage. The fact that Kate had fallen happily into two equally perfect unions was not lost on her. But there was a dark cloud in her wedded bliss the second time around. Simon was a Scotsman from a large family who wanted an equally large brood. A year into the marriage, Marah was born. Her name was Kate's little joke--it means "bitter" in Hebrew--and Kate was definitely bitter about that pregnancy. But she found having a daughter to be such a joy that she didn't complain at the birth of Galadriel a year later. (People remarked on that name often. It was due to Simon's fanciful Scottish poet's streak). Three years later, Simon finally got his boy, who he promptly named Wallace. Is there another, more fitting name for the son of a Scot?

The family grew, and grew happily. Shortly before she turned 45, Kate had what is politely known as a "change of life" baby. Some people also call them surprises or accidents. Ceddryn was neither, although her redhead and her temper made her true handful for two people trying to slow down a bit.

The problem is this. Now all the kids are grown and have kids of their own. Some of those kids have kids. And yet I can't bear to kill off Kate and Simon. I'm attached to them. It was hard enough to let Bob die, but I knew he had to go quickly. The point was for Kate to be widowed as soon as possible, to see how she coped with Duncan on her own. But now I just want to move Kate & Simon out of their house and back into the "Families" bin where they can quietly sit in their grey-haired happiness forever and ever.

I hate Sims 2 sometimes.

Sally Amanda

In another life I was a lizard.

That can be the only reason that I am so happy on days like today. I love love love this hot, steamy weather. I know the rest of you hate it. And I'm slightly sorry that my utter joy brings you great misery.

(the post title is my lizard name. Not to be confused with my sister, whom I call Lizard, but only because that's part of her name. She hates the heat. Crazy person.)

I Think Kinko's Is Behind This

My hometown is in a bit of an uproar lately. Well, as much an uproar as Hoosiers are likely to get into that doesn't involve a basketball court.

People with grievances are apparently paying professional sign-painters to churn out public notices of how they were done wrong. Family members who have felt defrauded are letting everyone know about it.

When I first read the news I thought "oh great. Now I'll never convince people that Indiana is a friendly place." And then I thought some more and realised that this is a testament to the very heart of Midwesternness. The Midwest is a place where we cut through the crap and say what needs to be said. We work hard because we know that the wind cuts across that open land without mercy and if we don't store up our nuts winter will be hell. Trust me. We have a lot of nuts.

And now it appears that a few of our cashews and filberts have had enough of paying lawyers and waiting for mediators to decide right and wrong. They call things exactly as they see them. Kind of cool. Now if only my siblings would do something dramatically horrifying so I could paint my own sign.

Rug Pee-ers Did NOT Do This!

Of all the perfect scenes in TBL, this is probably the best. (Again, the language is a no-go if you don't like four-letter words). It's certainly my favourite scene in the entire movie. I think. Well, at least apart from "Gutterballs". Enjoy.

18 July, 2006

Yeah, There's Some Cussin' But It's Still Funny

Courtesy, Jason

Someone You Just Don't Like

A while back, Aunt B. asked us if we start off people at 100 and let them sink in our estimation, a la that Michelle-Pfeiffer-In-The-Hood movie or if we start people off at 0--forcing them to prove themselves.

I've always been a 100 kind of gal. And I've always been amazed at how some people slide down the estimometer like a greased fire pole. But recently I met a person who plummetted to zero so fast that they should be employed by the space program. I'll narrow it down and admit that this person is a man, if only because I don't feel like playing fast and loose with a fistfull of non-gender pronouns.

I've been aware of this guy for some time. Fate, it would seem, has kept us from intersecting paths for many years. Until now. And now, for reasons that I can't explain, I would really feel better if I could just break his jaw. That's probably the least Christian thing I could say, unless you add "with a tire iron" to the end of the sentence.

The really bad part of all this fantasy-maiming is that it is so difficult to articulate just why I can't stand this dude. Well, I could articulate it, and then everyone who knows him would know it was he I was talking about. Then they'd send me private emails that say "hey! Broken-Jaw Dude isn't so bad! I find him charming."

That's the trouble, folks. Of course you find him charming. You're supposed to. That seems to be how he skates by on his laziness and how he masks his basic inconsiderateness for other people. Even worse than his constant "hailfellowwelmet" forced geniality is his hyperactivity. He's just one of those guys that I would SWEAR snorts coke in the men's room between meetings. You know the type--fired from every other job but this one. And the bosses here don't want to hurt the feelings of his uncle or his wife or his small kids so they keep him on and turn a blind eye to his crap.

(thank you, blogger, for allowing me a safe way to deal with my rage issues.)

Dear Movie Reviewers

Dear Movie Reviewers,

That sound you hear, the one that hurts your ears a little bit, is the sound of people enjoying themselves. I know you've stopped looking for that in a movie. In fact, I think it has become quite clear that the only time you expect the audience to appreciate a movie is when it is a long dark march through pain. The love you want us to feel for movies seems to be the sort of warmth that a person feels for a good lesson from a great teacher.

I know that Pirates, to you was a
hellish contraption into which a ticket holder is strapped, overstimulated but unsatisfied, and unable to disengage until the operator releases the restraining harness.

But many of us who go are really entertained. We plunk down our eight bucks because Pirates does what few critics' darlings dare attempt--it entertains. It's fun and it's funny and it's great escapism. Not that any of us have anything that needs escaping....

That Poor Slut Kidnapped Herself

In honour of Lebowski Fest, I'm doing Lebowski clips all week.

Warning: Language is STRONG. Dude.

17 July, 2006

This Aggression Will Not Stand, Man

Good news for all us Nashvillians!

Louisville, KY is only 3 hours away.

And it is also the home of Lebowski Fest 2006! Tickets go on sale this Saturday.

Fascinating Interview With Douglas Urbanski

I'm a huge Gary Oldman fan, and Mr. Urbanski is somewhat the power behind Oldman's throne. This interview with him is a fascinating look at Hollywood from the perspective of a conservative Catholic moneyman.

16 July, 2006

Let's Try This Again

So I wrote this really long post about Hegel and Herzl and Israel and the World Spirit, but I couldn't even proofread it without boring myself to tears. So I'm not inflicting in upon you. That doesn't mean that I don't have well-thought-out ideas for my positions, that my worldview isn't educated and prepared. It just means that I don't think everyone has to share everything about what they think all the time.

I care about the world stage. I pay attention and I know what's going on and I have a good philosophy that backs up my positions. But doggone it, when I sit down at the computer to type a blog post it's sometimes going to be about dumb stuff like Pirates (seen it twice, am going to see it again) and the new 7-Up with fruit juice. (Yummy)

I like Politics. I always have. But when I'm standing at the door to Fellowship Hall eating a cookie I don't want some strange woman telling me that Ed Bryant needs to just drop out of the race because he's screwing it up for Van Hileary and Bob Corker will win and the world will end in a fiery doom not unlike the end of Return Of The King. Only this time there will be no giant eagles to fly us to safety because Ed Bryant will have roasted them all for his triumphant feast at the Devil's Dining Hall.

I like discussions about World Governments. But when people who are safely ensconsed in the center of the U.S. and far away from any most aggressors decide to declare Israel guilty of warcrimes I think it's safe to say "feh." I mean, come on. Those of us who have supported the Iraq War get a lot of "Chicken Hawk" and "Keyboard Commando" crap slung at us. I'm fully prepared to toss those snideries right back at you and say "Hey...walk a few miles in Israel's shoes and then we'll talk war crimes." What, you don't want to walk a mile? Would you be willing to take an Israeli bus?

I have to admit that I'm both embarrassed and pleased that my greatest problems in life right now include the following:

1. I have to have a surgery soon.
Dudes, I just rewatched the How Titus Pullo Brought Down The Republic episode of Rome. That guy had people sawing into his brain while he bit down on a stick. I get to have a surgery that was impossible 50 years ago and I get to have it with anesthesia. So in the grand scheme of things, I'm lucky.

2. My Electric bill is high.
But I have air conditioning. Even when I was a kid 30 years ago, Central Air was a rarity reserved for hotel rooms. That I don't have to sleep on the floor in the family room when it gets above 80 degrees outside is a great development.

3. Al Gore on the cover of Entertainment Weekly
"Summer's Unlikeliest Movie Star" my white butt. Please. Just because the sixty people who listen to Air America turned off their radios to go see his documentary in the Activities Halls of their local Universities while snacking on granola from Wild Oats, Al Gore is NOT a "movie star." Movie stars don't grow beards and get a little scary. Scratch that. Sometimes they do. But nevertheless. Al Gore is many things, but he is not a movie star. Let's just have Jack Sparrow on the cover of all EWs for the rest of the year.

4. Comcast On Demand
This is TV Crack, yo. You see, I've been trying to watch The Wire (after seemingly countless recommendations) and rewatch Rome (for all the Titus Pullo goodness) but I can't work the control. I keep hitting "exit" when I mean to hit "last". And let's not get started about the transmission dropouts. So yes, it allows you to freebase good TV at an alarming rate. But yet it also has the Pryor-like effect of frequently setting you on fire.

So all in all I'm pretty happy and we'll save the Hegel for another day.

14 July, 2006

You People Just Can't Handle Freedom

From FWOB comes this tasty tidbit about the Brady Center's latest attack on freedom comments about the need for gun control.

Explaining and understanding increases or decreases in crime is always difficult. To argue that putting guns into our communities leads to a reduction in crime makes no sense.

Let me tackle this two ways.

First, of course it makes sense. Several studies have shown that the mere possibility of a citizen carrying firearms deters violent crime. That's the beautiful thing about Concealed Carry laws. If the odds of your potential victim giving you lead poisoning are greater you might think twice before raping her in the parking lot of Wal-Mart.

But even if it were to make no 'sense' at all, what does that ultimately matter? The entire American experiment makes little sense in the larger world of kings and despots. But I'm glad we've stuck to our guns. Now, if we may actually stick to our right to own guns I'd be much happier.

Pledge (Not The Furniture Polish)

I grew up in Christian school. We said the pledge of allegiance to the American flag every morning before class, beginning with Kindergarten and carrying right on up to twelfth grade. I never really gave it much thought--it was just something you did.

I haven't actually said the pledge for years. Not (as you might think) out of truculence but out of a lack for pledge-saying opportunities. I have a great respect for the flag and the nation for which it stands. I have great respect for those who have died on behalf of the flag.

But I have two questions.

1. Why do only children say the pledge with any regularity? And does a five year old truly understand what their committing to? Do they have the power to make that commitment? It seems, forgive me, but a sort of nationalistic version of the Barney theme. Just another rote series of sing-song words that has no deeper significance.

2. Is it right to have children say the pledge in church? I've looked at VBS programs from several different publishers, and asked about VBS at several different churches. Mine is not the only one where the pledge is said. It seems odd to stand in a church and pledge your allegiance to something other than God.

Of course, I'm probably overthinking it.

But if I had my way, the pledge would only be said by people who are at least 13 years old and choose to say it on their own. Allegiance is an important concept, and I think the current use of the pledge as a nursery-school rhyme a la Mother Goose deprives it of any significance.

13 July, 2006

Kathy Griffin Part II

Apparently Kathy and Matt are actually divorced now. So the whole televised 'reconciliation' is just as much BS as possible.

Why are they divorced? Well, according to this report:
The pre-emted Larry King Live episode with guest Kathy Griffin finally aired tonight. Just to refresh your memory, there had been news reports that Kathy told Larry her reason for divorcing her husband Matt Moline was because he allegedly stole $72,000 from her. During the interview tonight, she said that Matt would sneak into her wallet early in the morning and take her ATM card, withdrawing a total of $72,000 in one year.

WHAT?!?! I'm married. There is no "my ATM card" or "his ATM card". It's all our money.

I've watched her husband trail around after her like a eunich, cleaning up her messes and doing her hair. And she keeps him on such a tight leash?

Why is it that she appears to be far more divalicous these days than the A-listers she lampoons?

More here
stranged hubby Matt Moline pretend to live at Kathy's hillside mansion this season on "My Life on the D-List," when in fact he was long living elsewhere. But now it almost makes you wonder if the story was planted by Kathy herself (who just happens to be Janet's friend) to cover up the full extent of the D-Lister's deception.

Some friends in Los Angeles who know people close to the situation tell me Kathy actually found out about Matt's little ATM scheme on DAY 3 of filming of SEASON ONE. Kathy was so devastated I hear she got the camera crew to leave immediately by telling them she had the s---s. But because of contractual obligations, she hatched the plan to have Matt move out, then arrive back at the house each day moments before the Bravo camera crews arrived to make it look like everything was normal.

Kathy Griffin Isn't Funny Anymore

There. I said it.

I used to LOVE Kathy Griffin, when her act was all about calling bulls--- on celebrity nonsense. When she was the voice of Everyman inside the glitz-and-glamour camp.

But this season's episode of My Life On The D-List has been one long session of whining. She hates the president. She hates the war. She has to be on a diet. Her marriage is rocky. She has to work for a living. Boo hoo

In short, she's transformed from being a whacky friend you'd love to have lunch with into yet another middle-aged harpy in need of hormone therapy.

No, I'm not so bugged by her left-wing politics. Many of the people I know share her views--I'm used to it. I don't care if you hate the president and the war. Fine. That's your business. I'm quite bugged by the way she CONSTANTLY refers to her fans and the men she pals around with as "her gays". She talks about gay people in the same way she talks about her wild, untrained dogs.

And yes, the way she treats those dogs bothers me.

But what bothers me the most is that she has decided that she's too Big for what she does best--knocking the A-listers down a peg.

12 July, 2006

Six Heads And Green Skin

Every day I hear the song that mocks me:

Welcome to the ARC-tic EDGE! Where Ad-ven-ture meets COURAGE!"

The song has cool motions and a happening "this ain't your momma's VBS" beat. And I'm anything but couragous. I've gone to this church for several years, but I tend to go to the same handful of rooms and corridors each week. I've got a nice little comfort zone, and this week my own adventure is meeting my own courage (or lack thereof.)

It turns out that this decades-old downtown church has bizarre corridors and staircases that rival any mazes which have cropped up in my favourite anxiety dreams. Inside each room--tricked out to resemble igloos, ski lodges and wilderness campgrounds--are packs of unfamiliar children being taught by the women who brought them into the world. Let me introduce you to the introvert's nightmare. It's called "walking into someone else's classroom and drawing attention to yourself by wielding a camera and flashing lights." None of this is made easier by the few older women who have no idea who I am. My first day was made even more comfortable by several accusatory questions. No, I'm not a freaky pedophile. Yes, I am taking pictures for The Church. One lady, conveniently reminiscent of my 8th grade typing teacher, nearly sent me from the First Grade room screaming for my life. Perhaps it was because she caught me trying to take a picture of the three boys riding around on broomsticks. They were shouting "I'm gonna get you, Voldemort." (I think I was the only adult in the room who had the vaguest idea what they were up to.) I think, though, it was really about recognising me as being unrecognisable.

There is a caste system among the women of any church. It was this way in the New Testament (remember Mary and Martha?) and will be this way until the New Jerusalem. To pretend it doesn't exist is both very naive and very unfortunate. I myself belong to the "we just don't know what to do with her" caste. People like me are writers, painters, gardeners. We don't have children--so we can't fit conveniently in the "she's Madison Grace's mother" group. We aren't single--so we don't fit conveniently in the "poor thing never found a man like me" group. We keep to ourselves as much as possible, because our "gifts" aren't as immediately useful as those who can sing or play the autoharp. We don't make very good casseroles and don't ask us to do anything that might involve something fragile. God's little joke on the shy is to give us a task where we are mostl likely to break or destroy something in front of the largest possible group of people. At our Veteran's Breakfast I spilled hot coffee all over some poor man. At least I was married to him. But still. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

The funny thing, though, is that (like Hagar) God heard my cry in the wilderness. On the night of my Horrible No Good Very Bad Monday I told Hubby I didn't want to go back because I felt so incredibly out of place. But I made a committment so I was back on Tuesday, praying the whole time that I'd make it through without being tarred and feathered in the First Grade room, or mocked out the front door by any one of the Real Mothers. Two things happened that were definitely the work of a Bigger God than I give credit to.

A friend from my Sunday School class--as introverted as I, and a fellow writer--was working in a behind-the-scenes area. Our heart to heart in between kids coming for popsicles revealed that I am not the only person scared to death by these things.

And then there was a little girl. I swear to you that this child looks exactly like me at 4, or like the child I might have had in an alternate universe. She's 4 and she was doing exactly what I felt like doing. Sitting in a corner, not talking to anyone and staring wistfully at the bookshelf in the corner. I sat my butt on the floor and we chatted. "I just love books!" she told me. Then we looked at her money--there was a bird on one side and a man's head on the other!--and she told me about her new pink bedroom and the penguin movie she has at home. The teacher for the class (a friend of mine) looked at us in amazement. No one else could get her to talk. How do I describe that people like me recognise each other? And that people like me may be comfortable on the edge, but we have to sometimes join in the group. I know that, and that's why I keep showing up to take pictures.

My little friend and I went to the music group so she could show me how to work the rhythym sticks. Neither she nor I could quite beat in time with everyone else. But we were there at the edge of the circle, and we were playing along. Our drummer is a different beat, but we're joining in the band.

I'll be there tomorrow.

What He Said: Joel Stein Smack'd Down

Sometimes someone just says something the best way possible.

I have liberal friends who fly flags without apology or worry, because they’re Americans, because it’s the Fourth, because they love their country, and because they don’t believe that trinity is the property of the other side. Which it isn’t. When it comes to struggling to get the flag on the pole just right, we’re all in this together. But to Mr. Stein, these are people to be looked down upon. Places deserving of a sniff and a snort. Cringe, O Banner-deck’d exurb jingo-huts, at the withering Looking Down Upon, exacted with bone-dry scorn by a professional thinkerator.

Coffee Assortment

In lieu of a cup of coffee, I'm writing a brief post to wake myself up.

--Syd Barrett is dead. That means that people all over the world are going to say "Shine on, you crazy diamond" as a form of eulogy. I'm abstractly sad about Barrett's death, but the fact that I thought him already long-dead a la Bonham or Hendrix means that I was more shocked than saddened by his death.

The Pink Floyd-related death that hit me like a ton of bricks was Douglas Adams. I'd spent most of my life being an Adams fangeek and was really shaken by his death. But he did get to play with Floyd on his 42nd birthday.

--I'm still taking pictures for VBS. Tim looked at the pix from day one and said that he could tell I was nervous and shot my first few shots from the doorways. It's true. I am nervous. I'm straying outside my church comfort zone and it is just freaking my shy self OUT. I'm getting progressively less anxious. At this rate, the pictures from Friday should be perfect.

--Part of my Mac rehab was upgrading to Mac OS 10.4, which has the unfortunate side-effect of me becoming addicted to all the widgets. I now have a Chia Pet widget, a monorail widget, and most pointlessly a Disney trip countdown widget, which is counting down days to Halloween in lieu of my having a planned disney trip. Pathetic? Who,me?

11 July, 2006

It's Okay To Butt In Now!

Only 20 years ago, what you weighed was mainly your own concern. That was before statistics showed that 60 percent of adult Americans weigh too much, and 17 percent of American children and teens are overweight or obese, too.

In short, your right to privacy stops when the government decides to start butting in. This MSN article justifies public stigmatisation by citing public health costs. If only we cared this much about money wasted on a trillion other things.

Not every overweight person is a recepient of the largesse of the State. I'm not. No one in my family is. But good job at continuing to make us into pariahs! Way to Go!

Yes. Your Problem IS Very Serious.

Let me begin by saying that I only read Newsweek under duress, and in this case the doctor's waiting room qualifies. So while I'm trying to take my mind off some really grievious stuff I decided to flip through the only magazine available without a pregnant woman or fair-haired tyke on the cover.

That's how I found out about Emil's mother's horrible problem. Poor Emil! He has a congenital condition he cannot avoid or hope to change, and his aggreived mother suffers agony from it.

You see, Emil is a mixed-race (her description) child with fair skin. In the Philippines--his mother's country of origin--Emil's fair skin and caucasoid good looks make him a prime candidate for a highly lucrative modeling and acting career. His mother is torn. Should little Emil become the Moppet Of Manila or should she withhold her beautiful child as a protest against the racism inherent in the system?

In light of my personal problems I have to admit that the amount of sympathy I have to spare for such drama is trifling. As much as I want to be compassionate about the problems other people face, to even call this petty snivelling a "problem" is absurd.

To make matters even more dramatically worse, Emil's mother asserts that the driving force behind her desire to pimp out her child's good looks is
husband and I read that by the time our son goes to college in 16 years, his education will cost about $500,000. When we visited my parents last January, I asked my friends in the advertising industry if I could bring my son by their offices to take some test shots. I wondered if he could land a commercial for diapers, cereal or maybe ice cream.

Well, Mrs. Emil's Mom, since you asked...

Lady, your job as a parent involves more than the dispensing of ready cash. "College Money" is a rationalisation. You've got a Beautiful Child, and you want the ego strokes that come from people fawning over the elfin-featured toddler. You're so eager to enjoy the attention on a grander scale, and to be a celebrity in the country that once made you feel second-class for your dark skin and wide nose that you will risk emotional trauma to your little boy. Don't use college money as an excuse.

10 July, 2006

This Is The Post Where I'm Partly Happy And Partly Not Happy

The happy part is that I'm on my Mac again, and it runs like a dream. Remember when I called it a paperweight? Well, $198 later it is purring like a kitten. Since the machine had bad ram from the get-go I think it's safe to say that it's actually better than new.

Before I get into the not-happy part, allow me to call (cover your ears, people) this man an ass.

There. Better now.

Any way, my visit to the doctor was productive in that we've scheduled a new surgery for August 10th. Followed by six to eight months of drug therapy.

Check out how totally excited I am.

You Know It's Monday When A Strange Man Has His Hand Up Your Hindparts

Yep. I had to leave VBS early today and get things done because I have that special time we all look forward to. Well, at least all of us women.

Don't worry. I'm not going into detail. I'm just letting you know that whatever you'll be doing between 2:00 and 3:00 will not be as bad as what I'm doing. Take comfort in that.

I Wouldn't Be In This Position If There Had Been Donuts

The first Sunday of every month is Breakfast Sunday for the Adult 1-A Department at my church. Lately, though, we've had a really loose definition of "first", because of various holidays and such mucking up the natural order of things. That meant that today was actually Breakfast Sunday, and it was The Older Classes' turn to provide. (I am in one of The Older Classes.) We all bring hearty, stick-to-your-ribs food like egg casserole, sausage balls and Ham biscuits. The Newlyweds always bring donuts. Well, the Newlyweds and a couple of couples in the Older Classes who have lots of kids or trouble with kitchen appliances. (I think the Newlyweds are too busy "cooking" in other rooms of their homes to bother with quiches and such.)

There were no donuts this morning, and my brain requires a certain amount of sugar and/or caffeine to function before 11:00am. It's a nightowl brain--as evidenced by the fact that I'm here, now, after midnite to tell you this sad tale.

So as I sat there with my plate of hearty egg dishes, I cheerily waved to the Children's Minister and struck up a conversation.

And that, my friends, is why I will be at Vacation Bible School every morning this week. I'll be taking lots of pictures of adorable children who are learning about Jesus through the creative use of macaroni, paper towling inserts and empty milk jugs. If I play my cards right, I'll even get a cookie. But I think I better have some sugar and/or caffeine before I show up, otherwise I'll be singing solos or preaching from the pulpit quicker than you can say "Southern Baptists Allow That Sort Of Thing Now."

Oh, and to the person sitting beside me at that fateful breakfasting--yes I'm now "plugged in", but please please please never use that phrase again. It'll make be blow a circuit breaker.

09 July, 2006

Words The Internet Has Ruined For Me









At Home

07 July, 2006

Hi and Bye

I'm going to be blogging over at NiT this weekend. Much thanks to Brittney.

Come on over to the land of the Undead Monkey and join in the festivities!

What Else Would This Post Be About?

Next time there's a blogger meetup I'm coming in jeans and sneakers. I'm just not cut out for standing in kitten heels for 4 hours. My feet feel like they're the only part of me that got to go to Disney World. Oh Boo Hoo. Big Baby.

Yes, I went to the WKRN-sponsored blogger meet-up, hosted by Brittney and Adam. I know if you were there you know exactly how fun it was, and if you weren't there you probably aren't interested in reading my less-than-riveting account of a cocktail party. If you were there under duress acccompanying a loved-one you are probably owed a fancy date for your troubles. Cookie, SugarMomma and Hubby, I'm looking at you. But I'm gonna go for the gusto anyway.

(This post is dedicated to all of our absent comrades. You were missed. Each and every one of you. But if I try to list them all, I'll miss someone and feelings will be hurt. Just off the top of my head, though, and without links: Ivy, Sharon, Malia, Pink Kitty--Girl!!! Get that house closed on already. Feh on the Evil Bureaucracy!--,Large Red & Yellow Michael, John H. ...folks, I missed you. Oh, and Dwayne from "chip talks" still gets to pull my hair for unintentionally dissing him at Mothership.)

Hubby, valiant as ever, drove us into the big city. We parked in the church parking lot, from whence I tried to track down any late-comers who also happen to work in the vicinity. No luck, so it was Hubby and I earlier than we planned. We took the elevator up to the 3rd floor of the GEC Cone, only to have the bartender look at us with shock and surprise. Always a great thing for shy people, but it was my fault for being early so it was back down again and out into the late-afternoon on Lower Broad. You know what I just realised? We locals call that tourist spot 'Lower Broad', meaning the lower part of Broadway. Yet 'Lower Broad' could also be a sort of sexual thing when you think about it. So maybe there's some subliminal Nashville/Freudianism that has made us locate all the major fun activities on Lower Broad. But I digress. (And I also look like an idiot for referring to things like the Charlie Daniels Gift Shop as a 'major fun activity'.)

Poor John I. Carney! There he was walking along the sidewalk minding his own business and then this strange woman he has never seen in his life shouts "I think we're going to the same place!" Great Scot, I about killed a man right there in front of Merchant's. Once he recovered from the shock of being picked up on a street corner, we exchanged pleasantries (he met my much less frightening spouse) and headed back toward the GEC. At which point he was yelled at by yet another strange woman from her car. Okay. You have to admit this is fun. Right there in the heart of Tourist Town, here we are--a bunch of people who know each other. It made me feel like I was in a Spike Lee Joint or a Scorsese film where everyone knows everyone else. That's kinda cool. It would have even been cooler if I'd heard Gunner yelling at me as well. Which he was, but I was apparently too deaf to notice. Don't worry. We made nice inside the GEC, until he exploited my intense fear of heights for his own wicked amusement.

Okay, narrartor, get your main characters into the building....

So there we are, standing in the lobby waiting for Feline Little Britches to walk in, and along comes this other lady. She looked like she might be a blogger. I say that only because the building was closed and so why else would she be there? And so I had the pleasure of FINALLY meeting Sista Smiff in the flesh. Us gals got to chat as folks started to trickle in. Gunner's lovely wife, Harelip Frog is much nicer than her spouse, because she never tried to make me look at the cracks in the floor. I missed hearing the story of the Harelip Frog, but I undertand AOL is to blame. I also understand that the actual Harelip Frog will be at the next blog meeting.

The trickle of people became a flood, and here's where it all gets hazy in my excitement of meeting new people and greeting old friends. So we're switching to brevity mode. (sorry El Dude-a-rino).

Michelle, who I just love, had the same earrings on as I. So I bitch-slapped her and dumped a bucket of pig's blood over her head, at which point she went nuts and killed us all with flying chairs. NO, actually we just laughed. They're great earrings, and proof that both of us have good taste and shop at Goody's.

Kathy T. was there, and just as fun as I remembered. She is so funny and just cracks me up. She is the "mom of 2 spoiled kids", but unfortunately she now has to be my mom too since I've asked her to not let me space on the next Mid-Tenn thing. As if I'm not an adult. I'm such a spaz. But really, I just want her to email me. ;-p

Shauna was able to be there, which I hope she enjoyed--it sounded like she had a rough day. She is such a gentle, sweet person and I was really pleased that I got to meet her.

Sarcastro showed up. As you knew he would. I really don't think he was serious about crashing the Sedley Alley memorial. But with him you never know. He did bring Sugar Momma, though, which was great. I finally got to meet the famous lady! Hubby said he tried to help her with the perils of being in a relationship with a blogger. Perils? Who knew?

CeeElCee arrived in a dress shirt and tie. This is the second time we've been in one another's airspace. Last time he was in shorts. I don't know if I want to meet up with him again...I'm afraid next time he'll be in a tux. Any man under the influence of David Blaine is to be feared.

(Remember when I said this was the brief part? It really is. Hang on. Or just skip forward to your name or the names of those you are crushing on...)

Lindsay Ferrier AKA "The Non-WKRN Professional Blogger" was a pleasure to meet. We talked a bit about the Mommy Blog, the Poli-Blog and the dreaded pigeonholing of all blogs in general. Let a blog stand on its own merits! Free the Blog!

Busy Mom was standing next to Lindsay and me as we dissected Mommy Blogging. But she only had her street name on her Himynameis, so it took me forEVER before I clued in and realised that it was she, my valiant comrade-in-arms. She and I both write for Metroblog Nashville, and have the distinction of being the Metroblog Den Mothers.

Todd A was true to his word and brought the FREAKING PECULIAR Nemesis Boy. Just to clarify...Todd A is not peculiar. He is very nice, and a very good writer. Please read his books. Nemboy, on the other hand, showed up in a Darth Vader helmet. Which was a unique way to preserve his identity. He did hand out "Let's Make WKRN Cool Again" flyers which made me laugh. I think maybe the dude is trying for some performance art degree at Nossi or Watkins. But he left when he decided that he was "too punk rock" for our party. Sadly, and yet ironically, that meant that he missed my rendition of Patti Smith's Break It Up.

Chris and Amanda were there, of course. You know what's shocking? The realisation that I have seen Chris and Amanda more in the last six months than I've seen my own sister. And I fight a lot more with Chris and Amanda. Maybe that says something about my personality...

Kate O'Neil, another of my Metblog cronies was there, too. I love her spirit and the stuff she writes, and it was SO fun to finally see her in person. And in Monkey Wear! I love all things Monkey! For the Monkeywear I shall forgive the lovely Ms. O'Neil her "nashvegas" usage.

JAG was there, and in the next best thing to MonkeyWear. A Michigan T-Shirt. For a homesick ol' Indiana girl, reminders of Michigan are the next best thing to home. And of course we had to get all caught up on our mutual family. That was a conversation that got some stares. Hey, folks. Whatever gets you thru, okay? ;-p

Roger was there. I love that Roger was there, because I think he's fun to talk to. (For the record, I don't think Jonah was a myth, but I do think the 'big fish' was actually a type of shark as opposed to a whale. Although I've heard a case being made for the 'three days in a big fish' being a foreshadowing of the death and resurrection of Christ.) Roger and I both love Harry Potter and Disney World and we both maintain a bizarre fixation with politics that might actually be unhealty. So yeah, I had fun talking with him.

Blake and I were able to chat briefly, which was just long enough for me to star-struckedly (?!?struckedly?!?) tell him yet again how much I love the vlogs.

Rex Hammock--THE REX HAMMOCK!!!--and I got to talk about Macs. That made me very happy! I've been reading Rex's stuff for years. And of course when I finally met him face to face I completely forgot to say this. I'm a dweeb.

Speaking of REX, you know what made my night? Well, a couple of things, to tell the truth. But the first thing was being able to actually meet the man who calls himself Rex L. Camino. Rex is the only blogger who makes me laugh out loud with every thing he writes. I love his stuff, and meeting him was such a highlight.

Bob Krumm was another big moment for me. I think the world of him, and have been wanting to meet him for over a year now. You know, any man who admires Reagan and Thatcher as much as I do is just right at the top of my list of cool people. Although I think I can definitely confirm after tonight that Bob admires Margaret a little bit more than I do.

Short & Fat is another guy that I just think the world of. And of course we had to talk about politicians. You know. Massengill. Berry. Dingle. Krumm. All those guys. ;-p And yes, I AM childish.

Huck both pleased and delighted me by being there and NOT being in clown makeup.

Rachel was there, and we spoke very briefly. I'm a bit sad that I didn't get to talk with her longer.

Mary Mancini was there. Under an assumed identity that initially left me bewildered. We have a couple of mutual acquaintances, and talked radio for a bit. I hope she is right that Radio Free Nashville will soon be able to be heard IN Nashville.

TV ON The Fritz! I got to meet him, too. After a year of stalking his blog and a month of bemoaning its hiatus, it was so cool to give him a hug. Even though he kept staring at me. I don't know what he expected, but I don't think I turned out to be what he envisioned. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. And you know what? I think I may yet talk him into knitting. Knitting is good for you. All of you.

My husband will be thrilled about this one. Yes. I met the lovely Sheila of Threaded Bliss Yarns. I confessed to her and TV (and to them ONLY) just how much money I have invested in yummy silk and mohair and egyptian cotton yarn--all skeins laying dormant in the guest room closet. It's embarrassing. But I did learn a new word for this. Sable. Stash accumulated beyond life expectancy. Truer words were never spoken. Ever. But you know that after two minutes with Sheila I so badly wished that I had a little sock UFO tucked in my purse for a quick knit fix. I am such an addict. And Sheila is SO cool. If I'm not here, I'm coming down with TB. Threaded Bliss.

Brittney was a wonderful hostess, and I think she got to meet with everyone. I enjoyed getting to talk to her about dogs, and can't wait to meet Tootie in person. I did meet The Boyfriend in person, which was really neat. I kind of feared this, to be honest, considering that he's the person I fight with almost as much as I fight with Chris. Yet he was so nice and friendly my fears were groundless. Toward the end of the evening when the crowd thinned out we and a few others chatted dogs and bikes. And East Nashville dining, then Nashville dining in general. More on that tomorrow at Metblog. Cause I need to get something up at Metblog.

Kleinheider. Yes. I finally met him in person. The blow was softened by seeing his picture ahead of time and knowing whom to expect. I never realised he had such blue eyes. What is it with bloggers and blue eyes? Between ACK (sorry, dude, I've linked you twice already...) and Tiny Cat Pants and Dr. F, I feel like I'm at a Recessive Gene Convention. ACK is another person I've wanted to meet for a year, and I'm so glad that we finally did meet. Although I stick by my definition of Nashville Metroblog in the face of his stubbornness.

The other big treat? (Yes, it was a fun night!)

Newscoma and Squirrels On Snark made it to the festivities! I was really pumped when I read that they were heading this way and just tickled at the thought of getting some face time. We had some of the best conversations, and I think (yet again thrilling my husband) that I'm now about to dive into Dark Tower on NC's recommendation.

I did also get to briefly meet Gandalf Mantooth, which was cool. (I need to find his link, don't I?) I actually met him twice, but the first time he refused to tell me his name. It was so traumatic.

As I sit here I realise that I've been typing forever, and things are starting to blur in my mind a bit. I have this terrible feeling that I've forgotten at least one great interaction and conversation. I'm kicking myself. And when I remember it, I'll add it in. And if you're the person I've forgotten, you can pull my hair along with Dwayne and the next MidTennMeetup.

06 July, 2006

And Another Drinks From The Fountainhead

Boy, with his blog underwater for so long, Jason apparently had a lot of time to read. And he read Ayn Rand.

Which, of course, I think is fantastic. He has, among many other things, this to say:
...just because intellectuals have read Atlas Shrugged since it was published in 1957 and have talked about the philosophy of Objectivism for decades shouldn’t mean there is no amazement left for the uninitiated. There is still room at the table of calloused didacts for a new reader to pull up a chair and say “this is an amazing book.”

He's dead-on about that, and about many other things he's taken away from Atlas Shrugged. It's funny, but I see that dismissive attitude alot. Hey, I'm an Eliot fan. In the world of poetry that's considered backward, awkward and sophomoric. I think it's interesting how people who rarely seem to have original ideas believe that laying first claim to the good ideas of someone else is the same thing. It happens a lot in Literature and Philosophy classes. "You can't like John Donne. I liked him first." Tiger Beat intellectualism at its finest.

Back on track, Jason also has this to say:
Rand believes that unmotivated selfless altruism is wrong and the Egoist with selfishness as his main goal represents the ultimate form of Man. At core this is antithetical to the concept of Christ’s guiltless, sinless, perfectly altruistic sacrifice. But the fact that Rand, an avowed atheist, was otherwise able to put together such a beautiful picture of the dignity of being alive reinforces the idea that Truth can sometimes be uncovered by any source.

I've always countered this point with the fact that I don't think Rand is wrong in the least. I think that she has her finger on the pulse of Man and Man's true nature. Altruism is not a part of the makeup of man. That's why Christ shows us a better way. That's why Christ was special, and His sacrifice was so very eloquent on so many levels. That's why when we Christians talk about striving to be more Christlike we are talking about shedding that selfishness and moving toward altruism.

It's also why many Christians like me are leaning toward libertarianism. We recognise that not all individuals are on the same wavelength. That bare selfishness is the fundamental impulse of man and that to expect to be governed by the better angels of others' nature is a foolhardy prospect. I had once (many years ago, before I dropped out) toyed with writing a senior thesis on the integration of Randian Objectivism with Christianity. But then my own selfishness got in the way.

By the way, he's not from here, but if you all aren't yet hip to reading Jason, you really need to give him a try.

Nothing About Death; A Little About Pizza

Papa John's needs to stop sending me "internet special" pizza offers via email. Why? Because they won't take Internet orders at my Papa John's. So instead of enticing me to order up a pie, they taunt me.

I'm going to this party tonight and I'm nervous. Very nervous. But from what I've read, so is most everyone else. It's gonna be like a fifth grade dance.

No Battlestar Galactica emmy nominations? Feh.

in rats' alley

Thursday, or as I will always think of it, "Q". When I was in college the scheduling computer could only print one letter for each day of the week. Since Tuesday took the "T", Thursday had to be "Q", inexplicably. So, whenever Thursday gets here, I think of it as Q. Or, alternatively, as 'not a chapel day.' (Those were always M,W, and F)

I don't think I like this particular Q, and it's only 2 hours and 22 minutes old. For starters, I miss my computer. I had no idea how dependent I had become on that sucker until it was gone. I hope to God that I handle my (theoretical) widowhood better than this. Although I doubt I will. If there is anything I depend on more than my computer it would be my husband. It probably isn't right to say that, but it's the truth. He's the still small voice that keeps me going on days like this when I'd just as soon not go. Days when I'd dearly love to pull the covers over my head and curl up and regress. He's also the person who makes me laugh and teaches me how to be better. Of the two of us I think he's the stronger one, so selfishly I always find myself hoping that I'll be the first to go.

Death is on my mind a lot lately--mine and everyone else's. I was watching something on television the other day and drifted off to sleep. I woke with a cold start and the certain realisation that people I know and love are going to die. I can't stop it. And I can't stop my own death. I did die once as a baby, but it was one of those technical hospital deaths where they bring you right back. There are times I try to remember it, to see if I can recall what happened afterward. But since I can't I wonder if the final death is going to be so jarringly opaque. Faith says heaven but fear says nothing, I guess. I think of the dwarves in the barn at the end of a certain fantasy epic who are doomed to spend eternity fumbling in the darkness instead of seeing the beauty that is all around them. And since I spend so much time here on earth fumbling in darkness I half wonder if that's my eternal lot also.

JAG wrote a post today about dealing with this all in such a much better way. The more I read what she writes, the more I realise that she and I have a lot in common in our backgrounds and outlooks on life. (A lot--not all. Don't hold her responsible for some of the whacked-out things I say.)

I think I can trace a good part of this moroseness to the Fourth of July. Every year at this time, I don't know about you but I feel inundated with Good Examples I secretly hope I never really have to live up to. I really do feel overwhelming gratitude to people who died for our country. But I really don't want to die for my country. Because I don't want to die for any reason. Although since I have to die somehow, "for my country" is a better exit than "couldn't read the directions on the espresso machine." I hear stories of people who valiantly fight and die for bigger ideals--freedom, peace, equality--and I wonder what I'm even doing. I make Powerpoint presentations for people who want to sell blank books to other people. I reheat frozen lasagne. I am a hobbit. Not one of the brave ones who tramps all over Middle Earth to go on the quest. I am one of the dullards who picks wax from his ear and waits for someone else to drive by with the fireworks.

So right about now, as I hear about brave good souls and their courage I feel all that much less worthy of the gift of life I've been given and how I choose to spend it.

'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It's so elegant
So intelligent
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
'What shall we ever do?'

05 July, 2006

Big Freakin' Duh, Or You Can Stuff The Vacuum

In "breaking news", people who snoop on other people for a living have discovered that chicks dig gadgets, too.

Maybe now society will stop treating me like some type of extra-chromosomal misfit for preferring a RAM upgrade to diamond earrings. Yes, I would rather have a video iPod than a mink coat. I've never understood jewelry, really. Sure, I would like a diamond and emerald claddagh ring for my 20th anniversary, but beyond that, I'm not too into any physical adornment that costs more than two movie tickets.

But put me in an Apple Store or a Best Buy or Circuit City and watch the wheels spin. I'm all about the gadgets. Diamonds or digital cameras? Guess which one. Rubies or Roombas? Ha! I'll take the futuristic robot, thanks. (This is the solitary instance where it is okay to give a vacuum as a present.)

Feminism is a grand thing, but I have to admit that I've always felt failed by the continued gender-norming of gifts. Not any more! The geek girls are coming out of the closet.

04 July, 2006


These are the random thoughts I've had about Independence Day today. In the spirit of Independence Day I will be denying myself the ability to use the delete key. (My sister seems really fond of these 'no delete' posts.)

First off, no one is truly independent. Everyone relies on something, even if it's just the basic food-clothing-shelter or the more complex Sugar Daddy. We rely on electricity, clean water, gasoline, paved roads, God, and/or liquor. So those who would give stirring speeches about the Freedom of Man should realise that freedom of does not mean freedom from. You are free to choose your responsibility, but you must ultimately be responsible--even if only to your own needs.

So North Korea shot off some missles. I can't pretend to tell you what the ultimate outcome of this will be, although in the two hours since it's happened I've heard and read more brains on the subject, all who seem to be playing the 'get my opinion on the record so I'll look wise and get called again by the Network.' It's either nothing or it's world war III. My guess is that it'll be somewhat worse than nothing, but quite a bit less than WWIII. But I'm betting we'd better hope they don't strike against China, because then how could we all shop at Walmart? We may be independent, but we still want cheap shampoo.

The world will go on, much as it always has. Man, it must have been really hot in Philadelphia in 1776. Franklin's delirious remarks about the rising/setting sun on the back of the chair are a testament to both the crazy heat and his rising lunacy. Franklin may have been a genius, but I'm betting he was a nutty, arrogant psycopath. Who else flies kites in the rain and thinks up the post office? Proof right there that the man was plumb doodly. We went to Independence Hall when I was a kid. I just remember everything being painted that uniform bluish greenish gray colour. After a few days in that room I'd be begging to hang separetely.

Is Superman Gay? Who cares. Frankly I think everyone in Metropolis is stupid since they can't tell that it's Clark Kent without glasses. So I'm guessing if Superman were truly gay he could wear a rainbow flag shirt, hook an ABBA-playing iPod to his belt and tattoo 'I Heart Bears' on his bicep without the people of Metropolis even wondering for one second about his sexual preference. I can see the boys of Smallville stopping by the Kents' house for a movie marathon of Al Pacino in 'Cruisin'', followed by Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin without thinking twice. Nuance is an art long-lost on the people in the Superman world.

Speaking of nuance, here's the part where I rail on food stamps. Yes, I know it makes no sense, but I couldn't come up with a segue. Oh and thanks to the people who invented the personal scooter because now I always want to spell it 'segway'. Branding has triumphed! Anyway, food stamps. So I'm at the Kitty-cat store (what we call Food Lion in my family, because like Franklin I'm half nuts) and the woman in front of me buys four cases of soda, a cake, hot dogs, buns, ice cream, whipped cream, cookies, frozen pizza and twinkies. She pays for this with food stamps. (Which now actually look like a Food Debit Card.) The libertarian in me thinks that what she buys is her business. But the taxpayer in me is really ticked off. I think that when we are told that our money is being taken from us by force to feed the hungry, we have a certain level of peace about it because we picture starving children drinking frosty glasses of milk while eating an apple. I personally don't think of cakes, twinkies and Tropicana Fruit Soda as the largesse I would like to provide to the hungry. People, if you must use food stamps--and I understand the need is very real for many people--buy food that will nourish your body and brain so that your kids can do well in school and get good jobs and hopefully avoid prolonged periods of eating on the country's dime.

You're independent, but not independent enough to pay for your own groceries--so don't whine when we ask you to buy smarter.

03 July, 2006

Because TODAY Isn't Technically A Holiday

Yes, I should write something. This isn't a holiday in and of itself, although many people, Hubby included, are using today as one of those "bridge" vacation days where they spend one day to give themselves a four-day weekend. Gotta love it.

I'm supposed to be at the Superman movie, but I didn't get tickets in time, even though I was urged to. Words cannot describe how disappointed I am. (Some writer, huh? To say "words cannot describe". How lame!) Anyway, I'm drowning my sorrows in Sprite mixed with lemonade and a re-viewing of Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire. NERD!

Speaking of nerds, we dropped Stitch, my ailing iMac off at MacAuthority today to have the hard drive backed up, wiped and reinstalled. Lesson: Back up more frequently. Lesson Two: Kernal panics can ruin your directory files beyond repair. If you have Mac OS, keep a copy of DiskWarrior on hand to rebuild your directory after any kernal panics. Don't wait until it's too late. It'll cost you $85.

Oh, and if you were the only-child with a pierced lip behind me in the Service Queue at MacAuthority, may I ask for one tiny favour? PERSONAL SPACE, HONEY. Having you thisclose to my butt was kind of flattering, but didn't hurry me up any, and actually made me take my time a little bit more than I would have. Next time you need something, plan your time better.

I was able to drown my sorrows (partially) in a plate of Knuck's barbecue. And that is how I spent my non-holiday.

On a final note, I did get my E-vite to the WKRN blogger thing at Wolfie's. Am I the only one dying of curiousity about the Big Announcement? I hate surprises like this. I just hope they won't make the Big Announcement with a clown...