Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Harder When It's Deliberate

Tom and I are trying to get pregnant. This is made more difficult by the fact that he's not home all the time and also by the fact that I'm not the most regularly scheduled person in the world. I used to be, before I had Ryan. My period was clockwork regular; if it came the fifth this month it would come the fifteenth next month, give or take a day depending on whether the month had thirty or thirty-one days. But it was always forty days after the last one. Now, well I don't know. I haven't been paying attention to it all that much, up until a few months ago. When it's just an inconvenience, my period doesn't seem to warrant being kept track of. But it's been coming thirty days apart since I've started writing it down in July. And by this very limited schedule, I am due today. So before I got out of bed this morning, I took a few minutes to decide what to do with my suddenly-valuable first morning's urine. I had a stick to pee on, but did I want to waste it when I was not even late yet? On the other hand, it's not like the sticks are expensive, and the stress of not knowing could make me late anyway and screw up the necessary predictability of my cycle. I decided to waste the pee by depositing it directly into the toilet bowl without ever passing it over a stick at all. It had such potential, and I threw it away.

I remember my first pregnancy test. It was a couple weeks after I lost my virginity, after I had spent those two weeks panicking and had finally confided in my mother what I'd done. The test was a bizarre lab experiment she conducted on the back of the toilet tank before school one morning, forcing my little brother to pee in the yard and brush his teeth in the kitchen sink with no explanation. It had tiny test tubes and an eye dropper and various colored solutions to be mixed with my teenage pee. In the end the result my mother deciphered was something along the lines of, "Hey Stupid, your hippy ass put the kid on the pill when she got her first period so no, she's not pregnant." Back then I was happy about the negative result.

Today, I am wondering why I wasted that pee! I am looking at maternity clothes on Amazon (why so many scarves?) and lathering my post-shower lotion onto my stomach as well as my legs, in case stretch mark prevention should prove to be necessary (as though at the first sign of a tiny blue +, my abdomen should decide to instantly expand, Hulk-like). I am wondering how I would tell Tom. Would I call him all excited and screaming? Or maybe I would be all casual and nonchalant about it, like by turning down a waiter's offer of wine with the explanation that I can't drink because I'm expecting. Maybe I could give him the pee-stick in his anniversary card. Would that be gross or not? I mean, it is a stick dipped in human urine, but they do come with the little plastic cap to protect you from the pee.

I should probably go take the test now. They're sensitive enough that you don't really have to use them first thing in the morning, but I'm not sure I want to face the disappointment of a negative result. Being proven not pregnant will hurt anyway, so why not put it off while I can? So now I'm back where I was when I got out of bed this morning; if I don't have my period by the fifth, I'll take the test. Until then, I will just live in this Hellish limbo I have created for myself, and which I will continue to visit every month until I finally either pop up pregnant or give up.

This was so much easier last time when it just involved being a deep sleeper and then waking up ill one day a month later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Love The Smell Of . . .


I See You

You know you wanted it. You waited throughout every show, through the pledge of allegiance and all the opening music, to hear Miss Whatsherface see you. But if you had a name like mine, which hadn't been popular for children since World War Two, you never heard it. So for all of us, here it is:

I see Dawn and Chandos and Tom and Charlie. I see Ben and Marv and Shelly and Chris.
There. My life is complete now. How about yours?

PS- If I left you out it's because you're either too British or too young to remember Romper Room.

Little Person, Big Inspiration

Every post I write seems to lead to another. I am wasting space in the intertubes! Oh well: Dawn likes it. Hi, Dawn!

Tom bought a truck. He is now a sub-contractor for Schneider International. Schneider is the company he started with and quit but apparently the pay is substantially better if you own your own truck. I may come across as being incredibly calm about this, considering that we live check-to-check and we are now one breakdown away from homelessness, but that is because I am channeling a dwarf.

I am channeling Amy Roloff. If you've ever seen Little People, Big World, you know who I'm talking about. If you haven't, picture Linda Hamilton a foot and a half shorter and try to follow along. Amy Roloff is my inspiration as a wife, because her husband does everything on a whim and she, at the very least, doesn't scream at him on-camera. He decided to start a business selling footstools to hotels rather than get a more conventional job with which to support his family of six. He chose to undertake turning the family farm into a tourist attraction with pirate ship, castle, and giant pumpkin-launcher. And when she leaves town, he buys cars. And through all of this she just smiles and rolls her eyes as if to say, "That's just Matt."

So, when Tom changed his nightly rant from "I hate this company. They never give me enough miles and they make me wait too long between loads," to "I hate this company and I'm pricing trucks," I naturally asked what he was planning. It turns out that his ex-girlfriend Barb (his version of Marv, I suppose) is married to a fellow truck driver who drives for Schneider and they had financed his truck, contingent on him driving for them. "So I'm thinking about buying a truck and driving for Schneider again." I went off. The rising price of fuel, truck insurance, what if you don't get enough miles one month, what if the truck breaks down, we're supposed to be getting pregnant and you want to kill our medical coverage, why would you want to do something so risky when we're going to take on an expense like a new baby, all of it. And then I decided to channel Amy Roloff.

So, although it goes against every instinct I have, and although this is the man who needs his junk mail and telephone calls screened (telemarketers have an easy job with Tom), I am going to support my husband. I don't want him to be thinking some day that he never got to realize his dream because I killed it. And also, he's supporting me with my novel and it seems like the thing to do. Supporting my husband is harder than I'd have thought. It involves shutting up, something I've never been good at anyway, and having faith that Tom won't let us starve. Silence and faith are not easy for me. Wish me luck.

Why I Have A Narcoleptic Turtle

I mentioned buying a clay turtle but I never mentioned the REAL turtle! So here's an explanation, in part to dispel the myth that my level-headed husband is a saint for putting up with my flighty ways. I do have some flighty ways, but my husband is not always level-headed. For instance, he cannot be trusted with junk mail, because he will apply for every high interest loan and credit card offer. We now pay money every month on an unsolicited consolidation loan, as well as the annual fee for the credit card he hadn't realized charged an annual fee.

But the turtle! Ahh, the turtle. The turtle is partly my fault. See, Tom and I take turns being the flighty one, and it works for the most part. But occasionally our shifts will overlap and then we find ourselves momentarily in a marriage made up of two excited children and no responsible adult, and that's a recipe for disaster. Like when we both fell for the allure of the Red Lobster commercial that popped up during Deadliest Catch, and ended up driving 50 miles for an eighty dollar supper on a whim. So you can understand why I really do try to make sure that I am the only one being flighty before I allow myself to ditz out, if you will. So this is how the turtle thing started, which actually took a few months to prove itself a mistake.

I was talking to Tom on the phone one day while he was driving through the southwest when he casually observed that he had just driven past a flock of turtles. A herd? A small gathering anyway, maybe five or six turtles on the side of the road. His point was probably supposed to be something like, "Oh dear, not all of them will make it across this highway full of semis. Oh well, Darwin at work." But what I heard was, "Oh look, a land of free pet turtles for the taking. Turtles much like the ones your mother never let you have as a child. Free. On the side of the road. An assortment for the taking." So I said, naturally, "I want a turtle!" And he said, as he should have and as I anticipated, "I am not pulling over to get you a wild turtle off the side of the road. Are you out of your mind? Wait, never mind." And life went on as normal.

So a month or so ago Tom calls me all excited. He had passed another flock of daredevil street-crossing turtles but this time he had pulled over to get one out of the road before it could get squashed. Remembering my excitement at the prospect of turtle ownership (oh no) he had become pensive. (Oh tell me you didn't, Tom.) He had picked up a turtle about the size of his hand. (You put it back, right? It's wild and turtles carry salmonella and the set-up alone would cost a fortune.) "Honey, I got you a turtle!" (Dear gods, save me now.) "I got you a turtle and I named him Spike, for no reason at all!" What could I say? He was telling me this hours after the fact, long after leaving the desert that was this poor turtle's natural habitat. So I gave the only response I could. "Well that's the best reason to choose a name, honey."

So now, in Ryan's room for lack of space (she offered), is an ornate box turtle named Spike to whom I must feed assorted fruits, vegetables, and fishing worms. Mostly he stays burrowed under the wood shavings under his heat lamp, though. I assume he's sleeping under there but perhaps he's plotting escape. Every time I put him on the floor he makes a run for the space under Ryan's bed so it would make sense. Or maybe he has Epstein-Barr and has to sleep 22 hours a day. Yes, that's it. I have a turtle with a sleep disorder.

That's why I bought the little clay turtle, for Tom's truck which is a whole other entry, to remind him next time he passes a flock of box turtles not to pull over. Just keep driving. As for me, I have learned that I have to spell out my motivation when I am flighty. Now, instead of, "I want a turtle!" I have to say "I want a turtle! But not really because rationally it would be a bigger endeavor than I'm up for but right now when faced with the reality that you are near turtles I for a mere moment desperately want a turtle." My husband is a 39 year old truck driver who pays his bills and maintains a home and family responsibly, but who now needs a legal disclaimer whenever his wife acts flaky. Boy, won't pregnancy be fun?"

Shmuley Update

I went to my favorite crackhouse, errr, greenhouse. (I'm addicted so I call it the crackhouse and try to avoid it.) I asked about these worms and ended up buying a bottle of insecticide that cost more than Shmuley did in the first place. Also a clay turtle, two pots of fall mums, and three bamboo poles to brace my Mandevilla Vine which Ryan named Mandy but I secretly call Manilow.

So I came home and took my beloved plant outside and gave it a good spritzing. After he dried I brought him back inside, gave him a good watering, and went on to other plant related matters, since I already had my little potting bench (Ryan's purloined vegetable cart) all dirty already. I repotted my philodendron Death Plant* which was alive and healthy, but had stopped growing for some reason. And also, I repotted the Aloe Vera plant, which Ryan tells me she named Vera, not Allie, and which had gotten so tall it was tipping over. I mixed some potting soil I had with some sand, and sprinkled aquarium rocks on the top for a more realistic desert feel.

And then, last night as I made my cup of Sleepytime tea, I glanced at Vera and I noticed THIS!
A baby Armyworm! I got that sucker off my aloe plant but now that I hear from my iconic cousin that Armyworms live in the soil I am more worried. I covered the soil with aquarium gravel! I have effectively given the worms a protective cover against any sprays I may try. AND, Shmuley still looks tired.

And to top it off, the Death Plant's dirt looks like it's molding. There's a distinct layer of white fluff in certain spots. It's probably all full of spores and by repotting the plant I've let it loose into the house. They'll find the bodies of my family and I, dead on the floor, covered with Armyworms.

* Death Plant is my oldest plant. It's the one I got from my employer when my father died. My brother and I worked at the same place and they sent us the stock death plants, a philodendron and a peace lily. His lily is at Mom's house.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No Pain, No Horrifically Painful Injuries

ME: I think I tore my hamstring. There's a tearing shredding pain in the back of my thigh.

TOM: Did you stretch before you hopped on your Gazelle?

ME: Yes I stretched. I did all the stretches you showed me and I always felt that muscle working when I did it. But the internet now tells me me I was supposed to warm up too.

TOM: You didn't warm up?

ME: Well Marv told me that in order to lose weight I have to have my heart rate up for at least twenty minutes, and I didn't want to have to do it for that long so I just hopped on and went full-bore for twenty minutes.

TOM: That's why you hurt your hamstring then.

ME: But I stretched! How long is a workout supposed to take? First you stretch, then you warm up, and then you finally get to work out.

TOM: And then you cool down.

ME: Why? Why do you need to warm up in the first place?

TOM: To get the blood flowing to your muscles.

ME: sarcastic You mean right now, sitting on the couch immobile, there is no blood in my legs? Really?

TOM: Well there is, but it's latent blood. It's not moving.

ME: It's just pooled there, not flowing at all? I thought blood pressure kept it moving. The heart beats to force blood into unused muscles. By all rights, the simple act of staying alive should be enough warm-up.

TOM: It's like a rubber band. When you're not working it, it stays all tight, but when you do. . .

ME: Like silly putty, you mean.

TOM: What?

ME: When you pull silly putty slow it stretches, but if you yank it it rips.

TOM: Yeah, kind of like that.

ME: Why didn't you just say that in the beginning instead of all this blood-pooling stuff?

TOM: I was trying to find another way to . . . I don't know why. You're right, it's like silly putty.

ME: That's all I was asking.

TOM: Okay. So what you been up to?


Sometimes I wonder how he puts up with me. Then I remember that he leaves a lot.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Am Open-Minded

You Are 60% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.
You May Be a Bit Schizotypal...

A bit odd and socially isolated.
You couldn't care less of what others think.
And some of your beliefs are a little weird.
Like that time you thought you were Jesus.

I'm A Golden Girl

I think I am an old lady. I think I am Estelle Getty. I wonder what happened to the angst-ridden, depressive, flannel and black clad girl of my youth. My tattoos don't fit now, and I've begun to regret them as I'm becoming everything they were supposed to symbolize my rebellion against.

I'm always cold and I walk around the house in a pair of slippers and a cardigan sweater, even in the summer if it's windy. I have come to accept the fact that everyone around me will become perfectly comfortable at the precise moment my blood starts to slow down and freeze, so I have quilts and afghans on both love seats, and my trusty old cardigan.

I crochet. Just the other day I pulled out my winter project, which has lasted me for three winters so far, including a time out for a Gryffindor scarf: a king sized afghan. It takes a while because I only know the single chain, so the thing is basically a huge potholder. But I'm in no rush and it's a relaxing hobby. And huge potholders are very warm.

I collect novelty teapots. It's the only thing I collect actually. I like teapots that look like trees or cottages or animals, anything as long as they don't look like teapots. Our first Christmas together Tom bought me one that looks like two men carrying a dresser with a cat sleeping on it. Someday I'd like to have a wall of built-in bookcases where I could scatter my teapots in amongst the books, all together but still spread out.

And, most relevant right now, I drink hot tea. I suppose in some parts of the country it's very common to drink hot tea in your early thirties but here there's only one kind of tea: iced, and usually in a bottle with a Lipton label. But not for me. No, I drink tea without tags, made from herbs with names other than 'tea leaf'. Valerian root, chamomile, peppermint, rosehips (what part of the rose is the hips?) and orange peel. Mix them all together and you have my nightly wind-down. And it's putting me to sleep right now. I'm a sucker for the boxes is what it is. My daytime tea comes in a box with what I am convinced is a fictional teacup on it, but one which I really want nonetheless. My bedtime tea comes in what I am convinced is the most timeless and point-perfect box ever. Just look at it; every thing in the picture says "sleepy", from the night shirt to the radio to the roaring fire. I want this image in a painting, to hang in my bedroom. Not a Warhol soup can, I'll admit, but much more relaxing.
Walking through the house in a cardigan sweater, a steaming cup of sleepytime teddybear tea in my hands, sitting down to crochet my blanket in front of a bank of novelty teapots. I should just sign up for AARP right now.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Midnight Cravings

I dip potato chips in sour cream. Fuck french onion dip with its hoity toity powdered soup mix. I skip the rationalization and go straight for the unadulterated sour cream. And Ruffles, the greasier and more transparent the better. No Wavy Lays for me.

It is 12:12AM and I hate my diet. I want to dip the chips. I want to scoop out so much sour cream that I can't even taste the chip. And, I want to eat battered fish fillets I have in the freezer. And tater tots. And peanut butter sandwiches. I want to eat cereal without measuring it first. I want to pour soy sauce directly on my rice rather than into a tablespoon first. I want to eat Dolly Madison snack cakes. Not the neat and tidy Hostess things, the Dolly Madison Snoopy ones where the cream bursts out through the side when you bite down. I want to eat french fries and onion rings and greasy triple cheeseburgers that drip. I want to never think of checking a calorie count online ever again!

I will go to sleep now. And in two days, on Sunday, I will celebrate my diet cheat day with an indulgence not seen since pagan sacrificial rituals. I will drip blood red tomato sauce upon the deep-fried altar of gluttony.

And then I will pass out from happiness and wake up to a life of diet once again. I envy people who can afford liposuction. I would rather recover from surgical incisions than tune out that Hershey bar hidden in the fridge door behind the Crisco. Oh yes, I know where it is. It calls to me. It is very persuasive.

By the way, I have developed a shooting tearing pain in my right hamstring. I couldn't go a mile on the Gazelle today because of it. I'm scared. If I can't exercise, I will be like this guy, but without the chromosomal excuse.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Warden Shmuley Has Worms!

I like plants. I like vegetable plants and flower plants and all sorts of outside plants, but most of all I like houseplants. Despite my love for houseplants, though, I tend to kill them. It's not entirely my fault; I come from a long line of plant murderers. My mother has killed a series of hanging plants, windowsill plants, and table plants throughout my entire life. I think it's a genetic condition: black thumb.

But every spring and summer I forget this fact and I buy houseplants. This year I bought two -- an aloe plant and a hanging basket Purple Wandering Jew. And I let Ryan name them. The aloe plant is Allie (duh) and the Wandering Jew is Warden Shmuley. Warden because it sort of guards the house by hanging over the sink, right in front of the kitchen window, and Shmuley because in this WASP town I live in, it's the only distinctly Jewish name my daughter knows.
I bought the plant, and determined to let it live no matter the cost, because it was beautiful and lush and combined my favorite color (green) with Ryan's (purple). But sadly, I am afraid its fate is to be met soon. Because the other day, I found this!
Warden Shmuley's leaves are being eaten. When I put him outside a couple weeks ago to get some fresh air, some gnats or something must have gotten to him. So I cut off all the parts with eaten leaves and wished him well. This amputation made him appear a little less lush and full, but I love him despite his disability! But then this morning I awoke to find THIS behind the sink under Warden Shmuley! But what could it be? The answer was disgusting. WORMS! And WORM POOP! Worms just like this one, but blurrier when photographed, on MY HOUSEPLANT SUCCESS STORY!
I found three of them and carried them outside. I went outside in my workout clothes, in the daylight, because I was so eager to save Warden Shmuley. I feel bad for my neighbors since my workout clothes are basically just an old sport bra and a pair of tracksuit pants, but still, this was life or death. I did have the presence of mind to suck my navel back against my spine though, so that was good, although it does nothing for my backfat and I end up looking like I just put on weight really weirdly and unevenly. Hell, what do I care? My neighbors are fat.

So, does anyone know how I can kill these worms, which google tells me are called Yellow Striped Armyworms? I fear them because they are killing my plant, will hatch into something no doubt menacing and capable of flight, probably while I am asleep with my mouth open, and because they seem to produce copious amounts of poop, judging from what they deposited in only one night. And also, the term "Army"worm implies troops, perhaps a troop surge even. I only found three, but there could be more. I could wake up tomorrow to find only a basket of stems covered with worms! Will Shmuley make it? Or will his legacy have to be carried on by his infant son?
You know, I never really looked before, but it seems as if the frog may be doing something naughty to the teddy bear, on the windowsill back there. I should keep better tabs on my knick knacks.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Black Horse & The Cherry Tree, an in depth analysis

Okay, so I've liked this song for a while. I mean, it's catchy and just watch how she does it! The one-man band has come a long way since the days of harmonica stands and accordions, huh. But it was just this morning that I thought to myself, "Self, that simply cannot be a song about a horse who wants to marry a woman. You've heard it wrong and now you sound like the people who sing 'Excuse me while I kiss this guy' in Purple Haze. I mean, horses can't talk, for one, so a marriage proposal would have to take an unbelievable number of precise hoof-beats, probably in Morse Code. I suppose a cavalry horse might know Morse Code so we'll go with that for now. But still, there must be some taboo in the horse community against interspecies dating. The horse that killed that guy in Seattle or whatever was probably known as a human-fucking pervert to all the other ponies."

So I finally just googled the lyrics, and guess what I found out. It is not a song about a horse who wants to marry a woman. No, it's a song about a woman with A) internal organs capable of independent thought, desire, and movement, and B) the ability to live without vital internal organs. Oh, and also a horse wants to marry her. So, from the lyrics, this is the storyline produced by what I can only imagine was a drug-fueled song writing session, with a few details provided by my twisted imagination.

The story, as (apparently)told by a talking human heart:

Well my heart knows me better than I know myself
So I'm gonna let it do all the talking.
I came across a place in the middle of nowhere
With a big black horse and a cherry tree.

A woman is walking along in the middle of nowhere when she comes upon a cherry tree, with a big black horse tethered to it, perhaps the famine and pestilence member of the four horses of the apocalypse.

I felt a little fear upon my back
He said "Don't look back, just keep on walking."
When the big black horse said, "Look this way"
Said, "Hey, lady, will you marry me?"

Suddenly, the woman is afraid, but not of the horse. No, she feels a presence behind her - probably that biblical rider coming back from taking a leak in the woods - and the horse tells her not to look back, just leave. Yes, the horse is talking, but if it's a biblical horse I guess it's okay. I mean, there's an apocalyptic horseman shaking it behind a tree here and you're worrying about why the horse can talk? Get with the program. So the horse tells her to basically run for her life. Oh, but first, could you do me a favor? Now, does the horse ask her to perhaps untie him to he can get away from his master, a shadowy figure bent on the destruction of the human race? No, he proposes marriage.

But I said no, no, no, no-no-no
I said no, no, you're not the one for me
No, no, no, no-no-no
I said no, no, you're not the one for me

And she turns him down, explaining that it's nothing personal, he's just not the one for her. Me, I'd be all running away screaming like a little girl, but she seemed to be concerned about letting the horse down gently. That was sweet.

And my heart hit a problem, in the early hours,
So I stopped it dead for a beat or two.
But I cut some chord, and I shouldn't have done it,
And it won't forgive me after all these years

Later that night - or maybe some other night, the song isn't really clear on that point - this woman wakes up with some sort of angina chest pain heart problem thing going on. So she, with her super-human powers, just shuts her heart off for a beat or two. Because really, rebooting is what the old people should think to do when they wake up mid-coronary in their beds, not reaching for the nitro pills. But, it would seem that this woman's heart was merely playing a song, and she screwed up the opening chord. So her heart got all uppity and pissy and for years just became a grumpy Gus.

So I sent it to a place in the middle of nowhere
With a big black horse and a cherry tree.
Now it won't come back, 'cause it's oh so happy
And now I've got a hole for the world to see

So finally she just sent it away, got tired of the grouchy thing always complaining about it's failed musical career, and it left. And she survived, which really shouldn't surprise you after all the other stuff. The heart went to find the horse, which was apparently still hanging out by the cherry tree, which implies a very unmotivated horseman. I mean, sure he can scare strangers by walking up behind them, but he can't even muster the ambition to untie his horse and go spread the pestilence and famine he was hired to spread! So the heart, probably bouncing along like some gruesome sing-along ball, finds its way to the horse and becomes happy once again. And, since it's happy with the horse, it now refuses to come back. So now this woman has the horrible embarrassment of a big gaping chest wound the whole world can see. I'm not sure why she's walking around bare-chested, or maybe the wind just pushes her shirt in the hole and people give her funny looks on the sidewalk. Me, I'd try to patch my heart-escape-hole with some duct tape and a sports bra or something, but she doesn't seem to have thought of that.

And it said no, no, no, no-no-no
Said no, no, you're not the one for me
No, no, no, no-no-no-no
Said no, no, you're not the one for me

She just mopes around and begs her heart to please come back again but it says no, she's just not the one for it. That's right, her heart throws her own words to the horse right back in her face, so you know the horse and it have bonded over their mutual disdain for her. Poor lady. She's got a big gaping hole in her solar plexus, her heart left her for another horse, and she has to play every single instrument all by herself.

Big black horse and a cherry tree
I can't quite get there 'cause my heart's forsaken me

And to top it all off, now she can't go to the place in the middle of nowhere with the horse, the tree, and her bloody beating heart, because apparently you have to have a heart to get there and hers has disowned her! Talk about a rough life!

*These are the thoughts and images of a crazy woman. I'm on a diet and I can actually hear my stomach threatening to run off and find KT Tunstall's heart. I can only assume it wants to go to eat the cherries. Mmmmm, cherries.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Don't tase me, bro!"

Police providing security at a University of Florida function decided, in their infinite policey wisdom, to taser a student who asked too many questions. You can watch the video on youtube pretty easily if you really want to see cops tasering college students. Personally, being raised by a hairy legged braless hippy like I was, I could easily envision it before I saw it. A college student asks a politician a question which criticises the current administration (such as "How could you concede the election?") , during an unnecessary and unwinnable war, and the police rush in to attack. Just another reason to compare Iraq to Vietnam, Bush to Nixon, tasers to fire hoses.

So, what should the cops have done? I don't know, honestly. If the kid was coming off as a nutjob (apparently he rushed security to even get in the place) and the cops thought he might waste Kerry's whole appearance by monopolizing the forum and rambling on about Bush, then yeah, they had to get him out of there. Other kids have a right to ask questions too. So yeah, I blame it on the overworked, under-trained cops scared of being blamed for an event going bust because they didn't get the wackjob out. But more, I blame it on the system.

Politicians, especially the far-right Republican ones, love to throw around the founding fathers bit and talk about what this country was founded on. Apparently, my public education was all wrong. See, I thought this country was founded on being able to question your elected officials, on liberty for all and basic freedoms. Schoolhouse Rock taught me some of this. But I learn now that this country was founded on homophobia and Christian Theocracy and on "Love it or leave it!" Sad, really. Someone should start a country based on freedom and liberty. Otherwise this little experiment in democracy may be forgotten in the annals of time. I guess it was kinda doomed from the start anyway, being built upon a foundation of genocidal land theft and all. Oh well. Sing with me: Oh Canada!

Look, how are we supposed to question out elected officials? I have written to my congressman, and been ignored and responded to with dismissive form letters. I have called the state capitol and been thanked for my time and interest by lackey volunteers who probably are just glad they can work the phones. Don't get me wrong, I would be the lackey volunteer if I could, and I probably wouldn't be able to figure out the Capitol phone system. But come on, only a few hand-picked people ever get to ask a question from an elected official, and even they don't get an answer, just spin and rhetoric. I can't even get a candidate to add me as a friend on MySpace! And yes, I realize that John Kerry isn't an official in Florida, but who do you go to for answers? Cindy Sheehan had the power of the press and legions of supporters behind her and all she wanted was to talk to the president. Sure, she got the pat party-line condolences visit once while she was in shock from the death of her son. But after that, when she was thinking a little more clearly and a couple more questions had occurred to her, she tried to get a hold of her buddy George, the guy who had been so sympathetic before, and couldn't get through. I understand the frustration, especially compounded by grief. The brain sort of reroutes it's purpose during grieving, shifts the focus from the pain to whatever other task happens to pop up. This is why people devote so much energy to funeral plans. This is also why women have historically done their best cooking after the death of a loved one. Cindy, however, had a more important task. She had a question or two and she was not going to be ignored. Schoolhouse Rock had taught her that it was okay for her to question her leaders. And suddenly her world was one where nothing was okay and she had no power, so she was not going to give up on this. Her son had died and she wanted answers, and Bush hid behind gates and fences and Secret Service agents and ignored her. Her son had died in his war and he didn't have the decency to take five minutes out of his months of vacations to sit down and be a human, a fellow parent, and talk to her.

Cindy Sheehan, the kid at U of F, just people who desperately wanted a question or two answered. Why can't anyone be heard anymore?

Monday, September 17, 2007

How To Quit Smoking With Sadistic Glee

Oh yeah, I quit smoking, finally. The chantix didn't work so I quit taking that. You're not supposed to take it if you're pregnant and since we're trying . . . you get the idea. So, if you smoke, and you don't want to, I suggest you read this here book. It sounds corny, a book to cure an adddiction, but it works. And ten bucks for a book is a lot smaller risk than a hundred for a month's worth of pills.

He was fun to kill.

Ten Reasons Joey Ramone Is NOT The Ugliest Frontman In The History Of Rock

Iggy Pop, primarily a solo artist

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones

Brian Johnson, AC/DC

Peter Steele, Type O Negative

Glenn Danzig, Danzig

Marilyn Manson, solo artist

John Popper, Blues Traveler

Bob Dylan, The Band, The Traveling Wilburys, prolific solo career

Tom Petty, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Traveling Wilburys

And finally . . . . . .
Michael Jackson, through his own hard work and dedication

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Defense Of My Weight

I've been told that I'm not fat. I've been told that it's rude to fat people, me saying I'm fat. I've been accused of fishing for compliments by saying I'm fat. So here's the deal: to me, based on my own opinion of my size in relation to the many sizes I've been in my life, I feel fat. Not obese, not roly-poly, but fat. I do not want to get obese or roly-poly, so I am exercising. No, I am not saying that anyone any larger than me is fat. And no, I am not saying that anyone who wears my current clothing size is fat. All I am saying is that when I stand naked in front of a mirror, I can see bulges and creases where I do not want them to be.

So, you can take this as a thinly veiled insult to yourself, or as me fishing for compliments, or whatever. Personally, I like to see it as just another reminder that all us women have a common bond.

None of us like how we look naked in front of the mirror.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'm Allergic To Missouri

Tom quit his job. He's buying his very own truck and going to work for Schneider hauling big ugly orange trailers all across America. So yesterday he had to turn his old truck in at CFI headquarters in Joplin, Missouri. I had to follow him down there, through Kansas City rush hour (scares me all over again about moving to Omaha -- city traffic!) so he would have a ride home. No big deal, right?


I am allergic to Missouri. Maybe it's the barley fields, or maybe it's the sunflower fields, I don't know. All I know is that today, I can't breathe through my nose. But, I do have pecan fudge from Ozarkland and Tom is home again until Saturday so I guess I'm happy.

I really hope I'm not allergic to the sunflower fields. I think I would like to be a sunflower farmer someday. What could be better? Name me one happier career than one that requires you to be surrounded by fields of flowers all day. Maybe just for fun someday, I will find myself a field and plant sunflowers in it, just so I could run through them and surround myself with their sunny cheerfulness. IF I'm not allergic to them. Somehow I think the inability to breath would be able to dampen the cheer.

I hate Missouri.

Monday, September 10, 2007

An Epic Battle

Ryan and Tom ganged up on me. They freaking kicked my ass, is what they did. And they giggled the whole damn time. And to think, the Epic Battle was my idea!

I bought thirty glow-sticks. I bought thirty glow-sticks and we chose teams, which ended up being me against everyone else in the house, and turned off all the lights, and we had an Epic battle. I suppose it could have been considered a small playful fight, but why do things halfway? If you're going to have a glow-stick war, have a glow-stick Epic Battle. Not enough people capitalize these days; it's sad. Also, too many people are afraid of breaking things and therefor don't want to lob glow-sticks at each other across a darkened room. But, life should be fun. I mean, isn't it every parent's goal to have our children's peers jealous of our kids? I don't wan to spoil her, but why not have fun at times?

I highly recommend the glow-stick Epic battle. It's an educational experience for a kid. Ryan learned vocabulary (a shoe-box is an armory) and strategy (throwing one stick short to lure me into the open). And she also earned that Mom and Dad can whip glowing hunks of hard plastic at each other and still be okay and happy afterward.

It was a fun night. But a word of advice to anyone planning an Epic Battle of their own: grab the lid to your biggest chili pot and use it to deflect potential blows to the head. And periodically check your hair for snagged weapons. Nothing gives away your location like a glowing beacon stuck in your pony-tail.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Why Men Eat Take-Out

Tom took my grocery list and is right now attempting to buy the household groceries. The problem with this? Well A) I didn't write the list for him, I wrote it for me. Therefore it has on it things like 'brn rice bag 2' and 'me shamp / cond'. And 2) He spends my money wrong. See, I get a set amount of money every payday to spend on household food and supplies. This is the only money I get to touch. And it bothers me when he comes back from Walmart and I have three dollars left, but look at the good deal he got on bulk apples! I wanted four apples, for Ryan's lunches, but he bought ten pounds of apples for only eight times the price. See? Great deal on apples, but it screws me in the money department. This is why I've been on the phone talking him through Walmart for the last half hour. This is how he helps me with the domestic duties, by making me spend just as much time on them as I would have anyway, while simultaneously depriving me the joy of actually leaving the house and forcing me to try to describe the freezer section so he can find the things he can't decipher anyway.

He is asking me if I want him to pick up some calf liver. He giggles. He seems to think that this is just the height of personal comedy, asking me if I want calf liver, because it crosses almost all of my personal food boundaries. I won't eat baby animals and I won't eat anything you could reasonably expect to find on an autopsy table. Also, it wasn't on my list and he's spending my allowance!

He didn't go to Office Max to get the Original Scent Lysol which I had thought was discontinued until I found it online at He has kindly volunteered to go buy it after he leaves Walmart. With a trunk full of frozen food. In the ninety degree heat. While I sit at home with no car hoping that Ryan doesn't call for a ride home from her friend's house across town. Why didn't Tom go buy it before he went to Walmart? Because it's just Lysol, and they sell Lysol at Walmart. And because he didn't read the list. And because he didn't think it was a big deal. And because he didn't hear me when I asked him to call me before he went shopping, even though he agreed to at the time.

This is proof that sexual orientation isn't a choice. No one would ever choose to spend their life dealing with the opposite sex, not without a HUGE genetic push. I think gay people have it right. Live with someone you can talk to, someone who speaks the same language, someone who understands the importance of the original scent Lysol you remember from your youth!

Sadly, I do appreciate it all, and he did save me getting dressed and running to Clinton first thing in the morning. It's just, I never get to go anywhere!

I'm Not Crazy, I'm An Artist

I've been psychoanalyzed, on and off, since I was four years old. I've gone to child psychiatrists, family psychiatrists, on-call psychiatrists, and amateur psychiatrists, and gotten a different diagnosis from almost every one. I suffered from depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder (think Winona Ryder in Girl Interrupted), bipolar disorder and gods know how many other horrible syndromes and disorders they told my mother about rather than me. I have also been fed some pretty outlandish bullshit. One lady, a hack brought in by my high school due to my obvious need for mental help (I wore black and didn't talk for a year in a world of pep rallies and football games, had it been post-Columbine I probably would have been expelled for being strange) tried to convince me that I would transform overnight into a pastel-wearing icon of teenage happiness if only I would accept that deep down I wanted to have sex with my father. I walked out and never looked back. She sells real estate now; I believe she may have found her calling. I've also been told that I irrefutably and without doubt was molested as a child and that my absolute lack of memories on the subject prove it to be true. I tried to explain the stupidity of this approach to the shrink in question, a lady I found because she was the only one covered by my father's insurance, but to no avail. No, the fact that I could not remember being abused proved how heinous the abuse must have been! This sort of circular logic proved to me that the therapist had majored in theology before switching to psychology.

My point is that I have been taught by experience to pretty much disregard all psychiatric diagnoses. But, it has recently been brought to my attention that my living room redecorating experience just screams "Manic Episode!!! Helloooooo!" So I thought I'd go with it. Maybe I am bipolar. So, for the last week or so, I've been watching myself to see if the label fits. It seems to, but it, like all labels, brings with it a whole host of problems. Like for instance, not knowing how to think. If all of my thoughts are to be attributed to either mania or depression, what happened to the ones that should be attributed to me? My ideas, my plans, all my newly thought-up undertakings, can I trust none of them? Are they merely the delusional goals of a manic person? Is my attempt to write a novel akin to another crazy person's attempt to gamble his way to riches? If I accept this diagnosis, if I embrace manic-depression, I lose all confidence in my own judgement!

If I am simply a slightly odd person with anger issues and related impulse control problems, then I can feel free to objectively look at myself and make decisions based on my own judgement. But if I am a manic-depressive person with many various symptoms as laid out in the DSM-IV then I must second-guess every thought in my head, and then disregard the second guess because even that is the thought of a crazy person. And my kid, instead of having a bizarre mom who occasionally, but with no diminished mental capacity, yells at inanimate objects, becomes a victim. Suddenly she has to endure the horrors of being raised by a mentally ill person rather than just someone who overreacts and has lots of energy as well as the occasional bad mood.

I think I'd rather be 'sane but really weird' than 'crazy but doing quite well considering'. Is it so wrong to do things on a whim? Is my child going to be damaged somehow by late night weekend glowstick-wars across the living room, or dance contests before school, or impromptu carpet-removal? As long as she does her homework on time and has a bed-time routine, what's the harm? Is it better that Tom be married to a crazy woman who really should have her moods chemically stabilized, or that he be married to a funny, spontaneous, passionate woman? I cry sometimes and I blow up about little things, especially before my period, but what wife doesn't?

No, I think I'm gonna keep my denial if it's all the same. I can't afford any medication, and wouldn't take any even if I could due to wanting to get pregnant soon, so the simple awareness of my own mental defects seems to me to accomplish nothing good. Of course, I could be wrong. That opinion could simply be the product of a mania-driven mind incapable of thinking clearly. Lucky I don't have any mania then, isn't it.

Monday, September 03, 2007

God, and Stuff

I was reading an article about the military tombstone pentacle controversy and in the comments section, I found a comment containing the following words:

Being an Hellenic Reconstructionist Pagan (though non-practicing)

I don't have any idea what Hellenic Reconstructionist Pagans believe. I've never heard the term before in my life, but as a pagan myself, I can tell you that a non-practicing pagan is an animal I'm not familiar with. I'm willing to assume that that's more about my not understanding the term 'practicing', but still it seems odd.

On another, not completely unrelated note, my friend Marv, who regular readers might remember, has a long-time girlfriend. She apparently clicked me in his myspace friends list, and found my personal space to be full of pentagrams and "Blessed Be" banners. This well-meaning young lass branded me, per her churches teachings no doubt, a Satanist. So Marv, who has never expressed an interest in my or anyone else's religion that I know of, had to ask me to explain my faith so that he could relate the story to his girlfriend and assure her that I was not about to attempt to sacrifice her children to Jeff Goldblum.

Both of these things have given me a brilliant idea. I shall blog about my religion! Nothing could be safer and less controversial than religion, right? Especially an intent-based pagan religion I tend to make up as I go along. So here goes.

I worship Jeff Goldblum. Geena Davis is Evil.
Just kidding. Ha ha

I am pagan, with a definite Wiccan bent. I'm also kind of pantheistic, which meshes pretty well with the whole Wicca angle too. Basically, I believe that if you are a good person, you won't have a crappy life. I think that divine punishment, if there is such a thing, is reserved for bad people who tried to impose their will in life, regardless of who they prayed to or asked forgiveness from. I think that the preacher who tries to make you live life by his rules is about as bad as the abusive boyfriend who tried to make you live life by his rules. Both tend to use scare tactics, whether they scare you with threats of eternal hellfire or with actual beatings, they are trying to bend your will to their own and I believe it is bad.

The god aspect, an intelligent designer (Versace?), a creator. Hmmm. Well, I do believe in that, out of cowardice and simple-mindedness. See, I can't imagine anything with a pattern that wasn't created. My mind is incapable of grasping the concept, as I believe most human minds are. Also, I fear death, which is the final unknown. It gives me comfort to believe that I have a creator who will make sure that it's not lights out and who will, I secretly hope, see me in the same rosy light I tend to see myself. I do not believe any of these things with any positive certainty, rather in the same way I continue to believe in Santa Claus. I believe because it makes me happy and because I want to, no matter what anyone says.

Now, the official Wiccan philosophy, as I've come to understand it, is that in the beginning there was a female presence, the Goddess. She got lonely and so she split herself in two and created the God, a male presence to keep her company. They came together (watch out now, it gets sexy) and from that union came the planets and stars and all that goes with it, including us. (And I thought labor hurt when it was just a baby. Imagine a whole solar system!) So the Goddess and the God wanted to keep watch over all of their little babies, especially the ones who had the ability to self-propel, so they took up working in shifts, looking down at us at all times. She became the moon, calm and cool and ever-changing. (Think, the lunar month as it relates to women's fertility and mood swings.)He became the sun, fiery and powerful and also strong. (Think, life-giving energy that can blind you if you stare at it.) Now, here's where the spells and chants start to make sense. Since everything, including people, came from the God and Goddess, we should all have that same inherited power, right? So, why can't we maybe influence things? In all honesty, the spells are more along the lines of lighting a candle for a blessing in a Catholic Church, just a ritualized prayer. But there's also the theory that if we are all the same, we should have the same power. If the Earth can quake and rain and do all sorts of nifty natural things, why can't we? Look at it this way, science teaches us that everything, way down deep, is energy. You, me, this computer, a dead tree, it's all just energy. Well, Wiccan's call that energy god. Actually, since it's in everything, they call it The All. And The All is more a force than a god. "God" created the Earth, but The All is God and the Earth. Deep, huh.

So, that's what I've been told is the official party line. Do I believe it? I don't know. It's certainly no less feasible than a bored deity rotting alone in space creating everything in six days and then needing a rest. I mean, why does a god need to rest? Wouldn't God, if anyone, have unlimited stamina? But I digress. I believe that I can't know all the answers. And I believe that the people who claim to know the answers are almost universally assholish. And of all of the religions which I have studied (only maybe three but honestly most people haven't even studied that many), the pagan tend to be the only ones that don't possess two main deal-breaking flaws. 1) The belief that it, and only it, is the truth. And 2) The belief that it is a follower's duty to correct everyone else who is, by definition, wrong. See, my own brand of unschooled Wicca has only one rule, really. "And it harm none, do what ye will." No rules against gays. No rules against working on Sundays or wearing cotton with linen. Just a different wording of the Golden Rule. Don't pee on people and you'll be alright.

Well, you might say, how convenient to choose a religion with no consequence. But, no, there's consequence. We have the Law Of Three. It's like Karma squared. Whatever energy you put out into the universe, negative or positive, you get back times three. Good person, does charity work, good life. Cynical thieving adulterer, bad life. No penance to erase it here. No asking for forgiveness or human-gods dying to save your ass. Nope, if you do the crime you will do the time. Guaranteed. I know I've earned the bad shit that's happened to me. And I sure as hell know I have more coming to me. And, if you max out your lifetime's allotment of retribution, there's always next time. Yes, even Wiccans have an afterlife. See, you're born and then you die and then you're born again. Lather, rinse repeat. After you die all your former lives are made clear to you and you get to set a goal, a lesson to learn that perhaps you never quite got before. Then maybe you hang around for a while, watching your kids grow up or whatever, until you decide to jump back into the game and be reborn. After a while you might run out of lessons to learn, and then you go back into the God-Goddess combination you came from in the first place. I picture it being kind of like those Hubble telescope pictures. I also find it explains a lot about how this guy and this guy can be the same species. I'm thinking Mr Tyson might have been around this block a few more times, or at least finished the job more often, than the guy who taped himself. For an even clearer comparison, click here and here.

Now, why does the lady who claimed to be a non-practicing Hellenic Reconstructionist Pagan baffle me? Because I'm pretty sure Hellenic Reconstructionist Paganism isn't something your parents drag you to every Sunday like, say, Catholicism. I can understand a non-practicing Jew or a non-practicing Catholic. Your parents tell you from birth on that this is truth and fact, and you believe them the same way you believe things like that the sky is blue and that four follows three. Mom and Dad said it so it's real. (By the way, don't teach your kid pi during the formative years. It totally screws them up when they go off to preschool and they're the only kid who counts one, two, three, pi, four. I learned that one the hard way. Poor Ryan.) So to me, non-practicing means that they believe it, whatever "it" is, because it is a universal fact in their life, but they don't necessarily attend all of the functions or pray a lot, or maybe they eat beef on Fridays or whatever they're technically not supposed to do. But with the pagan religions, usually if you claim it you chose it. Very few people have been raised pagan, so far. So it's not like there's some twenty-something computer tech telling his friends "Well, I was raised Neo-Druid, but I've kind of strayed since high school." How can you, if you've personally looked for a religion, sought out what made sense to you, and then found it and learned it, can you then cease to practice?

I guess I could be considered a non-practicing pagan. I don't do ritual more than once or twice a year and the closest I have to an altar is a sage stick I keep unlit because I think it smells like pot. Maybe I am non-practicing, but I wouldn't identify as such. I just say I'm a solitary witch and leave it at that. I really need a better title. Maybe I could be a Brigidic Neo-Pagan Sabbatist. But, despite sounding fancy, that just means I follow a relatively new incarnation of an old religion with holidays, and that it all revolves around the goddess Brigid.

Ahh, goddesses. That's another thing I left out. How, if I personally have the Goddess (moon) and the God (sun) and all of everything is the All, do I somehow squeeze in gods and goddesses? The answer is simple. Delegation! See, the All is a force, Nature if you will. And the God and the Goddess are really kind of busy with things like karma and being all stuck to each other forever. The ones who anser the lottery requests and such are a little lower on the totem pole. So, the minor deities are more along the lines of the Christian saints. Christian or Catholic? I can't tell. Either way, if Francis can protect your dog and Christopher can keep you safe on vacation, then there's no reason why any number of Celtic or Roman or Egyptian deities can't attempt to do the same.

Well, hopefully I have educated the people (person) who may have wondered about my religious beliefs. Personally , I just think that good is rewarded and bad is punished, in life rather than after it. The rest is just to make me feel better and after all, isn't that what religion is for? To serve as a crutch for the only species unfortunate enough to be aware of its own mortality?

PS. Maybe it's a stretch to believe that getting charged twice for the same sweater is punishment from God for cheating on a seventh grade spelling test, but is it really any worse than believing that if I lied to my mother once, about anything, and forgot to ask forgiveness that I will burn in Hell for eternity? Really?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Ahhh, Sunday morning. How peaceful, how tranquil, how completely full of shit that I should be doing but choose not to because society has instilled in me a false belief that Sunday mornings should be peaceful and tranquil.

I'm not completely lazy. I did my 20 minutes on the Gazelle. With weights. And, I'm proud to say, I only nearly fell off the thing, and only once, since the Gazelle is kind of harder to do when trying to coordinate lifting weights with a poor impression of cross-country skiing. Apparently the handles aren't just for show. And then I made my daily lunch of brown rice seasoned with soy sauce, and burned my tongue trying to choke it down because I kind of over-cooked it and it was all clumpy and sticky. And then I looked up TAIACS on imdb and then wandered the internet following random links until I found the newest Perry Hilton video. If you read the comments you will see that so many people don't get it. This is a PARODY of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, all of the better-than-you I love my fans, paparazzi-stalked, paparazzi-loving professional bimbos out there. TAIACS replaced "That's hot" with "That's tasty" , named his character Perry Hilton, and ran with it. Yes, the man mocking the dumb has a career made up almost exclusively of that very role. Yes, he's trying to be the next vapid pretty-boy "IT" actor in Hollywood, a la Brad Pitt Keanu Reeves Ashton Kutcher the list goes on and on. And yes, he may meet the same fate as that blond guy from Blue Lagoon. But he's semi-local here so I am biased to cheer for him succeeding rather than failing. Keep in mind though, that the Perry Hilton bits are hilarious. Not so much the Jeremy Piven one, but the other ones are dead on, as far as parody goes.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm not exactly writing the novel right now like I should be. I'm trying to figure out though, and maybe you can help me, are those girls who are size twelve but wear size four funny, or just pathetic and kinda gross? I mean, I realize the undeniable sex appeal an exposed fat roll gives off, but does that sex appeal have to fall over into the produce section at the grocery store? If shopping for fruit leaves pineapple burn on your belly, you aren't wearing enough clothes! And if the only thing holding your low-rider jeans on is that the waistband digs two inches into your hips, at least wear a long and loose shirt, not a spandexy tank top which rolls up into a sport bra all by itself. FASHION TIP: If your clothes roll anywhere by themselves, they are too tight for your body. If the size of your calves turns your socks into cotton knit foot condoms, buy bigger socks. If your belly jelly pushes your top up into the sweat-drenched fold beneath your boobs, buy bigger tops. If the idea of wearing anything larger than a size six bothers you, eat healthy foods and exercise. I don't like the idea that when naked, I look like an albino sea lion. So, I wear clothes that protect the public from that image and I Gazelle in front of a mirror in a sport bra and low-rider tracksuit pants. Maybe If I have to see what an albino sea lion with tattoos looks like, I will be motivated not to put the weights down even when it feels like I got hit in the arms and shoulders with a pipe.

Well, I guess I should now either write my novel or pick up the weights, a Jenna Jameson inspired endeavor the tale of which I no doubt will bless you with later. I wanted to leave you with a photo of an albino sea lion with tattoos wearing a sport bra, but no amount of googling could get me that image. So instead, I will leave you with the links to two photos, and an open invitation to please photoshop them at your will and then email them to me, and I will choose the winner and post the picture here. I fully expect that no one will do this, but I invite nonetheless.

Photo One: an albino seal on the beach

Photo Two: an albino sea lion reclining in a zoo (But if you use this one, please do something about the camel-toe. You can portray me as blubber with a head without offending me, but not as blubber with a head and exposed labia. It just crosses a line.)