Monday, April 28, 2008

Austrian Sicko, Life Imitating Art

In 1993, Tim Binding published In the Kingdom of Air, the subplot of which has an English suburbanite behaving much like this slime.

I've said it before (maybe not here, but I've said it...) that you could comb the papers for just one day and come up with 100 different stories about women being hurt, abused and killed just because they're women.

I might make that the subject of this blog, just to prove my point. Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gorilla Book Part 2

OK - finished Ishmael. Thought-provoking and full of great wisdom. Inspirational? Not sure -- in order to be inspirational, IMO, a book has to get you motivated to make a change. To Quinn's credit, he acknowledges that the mess our world is in right now is too vast for one person or a handful of people to change. He puts it in so many words, specifically mentioning Donald Trump as an example of one very powerful individual who would be utterly powerless to single-handedly make a change in the situation.

Momentum seems to be the key here. If each person spread the word to 100 time, the change could come about, just as it did in Russia and Eastern Europe.


...if you're reading this, and you think the earth is headed for doom, read Ishmael.

Background info

Order the book on Amazon

Find out more

Handy excerpts

The WHOLE THING on audio, absolutely free.
Click Here to Read More..

Home again. Home. AGAIN.

I got up at 6am to drive Carl to work. The buses don't start running until noonish and why call a cab when I'm here. Dropped him off and went home. I had no intention of going back to bed -- it was an hour and a half or so before it was time to get ready for church, and I had some things to catch up on from last week. Got settled, started my work, and then the phone rang.

It was Carl.

"They had too many people in, so they asked me if I wanted the day off. Come get me?"

OH, I was mad, on so many levels. This is the second Sunday in a row he's taken off, both times for stupid reasons. Why couldn't he have said no when they asked him if he wanted the day off? And of course, nothing I have to do at home is important, all I have to do all day is run my ass back and forth for him. Just so he can come home, take out his dentures, throw on his robe & pj's and lounge in front of the tv, taking occasional breaks for coffee and smokes? And naps, of course. Mustn't forget the naps. And of course, if I should happen to vary MY schedule and be off during the day, oh, that's different. I'm invading his fucking precious space and disrupting his routine. But somehow it's supposed to be a great treat for him to be hanging around the house cramping my style when all I want is a day to myself when I'm not feeling like shit. And then his "normal" weekend is tomorrow and Tuesday anyway. He offered to switch with anyone who wanted the day off on Tuesday, but no one will take him up on it. Nobody ever does. I now get paid for days off, provided I don't take more than 5 and provided I announce them in advance. But he doesn't get paid unless he works. I'm so sick of being poor. But every time I talk about getting a second job, he protests. "I don't see enough of you," he says.

I don't share the sentiment.

So, how do I show my wrath? Well, first I almost wrecked the car going way too fast on the interstate when it had started to pour rain. I slowed down ... When I picked His Highness up I demanded that he put gas in the car, since it had already started getting low with all these trips I've been making for him. Then he asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day and instead of giving him the usual "Oh, I don't care..." crap, I said "I need money. Put some in my account." He agreed readily. Good. But I still ought to kick his ass out once and for all. One day I believe I will.

Mother FUCKING slacker.

My father NEVER missed a day of work in 25 years. Not even when he'd spent the entire weekend getting shitfaced. Click Here to Read More..

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gorilla Book part 1

I'm currently reading Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. My church had a discussion forum about it, but I didn't attend and have just now gotten around to acquiring the book. It's 263 pages; I'm on page 217, so that's why this post is part 1. I won't be able to give a true opinion on it until I get to the end. I hope I'm not disappointed.

So far, I find it a bit tedious. I "get" the message so far, and that's the part I like best about the book. I'm just not sure it's necessary to frame it the way Quinn does, with the gorilla. I suppose it's expedient to do it this way. I'm sure Quinn didn't want to couch it in religious terms, or "channel" some spirit as the teacher, because that would have turned off a lot of people. I suppose the idea is that having a telepathic gorilla teach the protagonist is so absurd, the reader says "Okay, it's a gorilla, whatever, let's just move on and see what the central message is here."

As for the message, it rings quite true and it's fascinating. For many years, I felt that the agrarian lifestyle (meaning, non-industrial, living off nature) was the way of life and industrialization meant death. Ishmael breaks it down further, in essence making industrialization just an extension of agriculturalism, and that whole package is death. By contrast, the way of life that involves "just taking what you need and leaving the rest alone" is life.

Three points so far have caught my interest:
  1. Humankind is not the "crown of creation," though it certainly is easy to believe that we are.
  2. The way we help people in other countries who face famine has the result of increasing their populations, which in turn, increases the food shortages.
  3. The Cain and Abel story is retold here in a way that is absolutely mesmerizing. It's the one telling of this story that finally makes sense to me. I challenge anyone who believes the Bible to come up with a better interpretation.
I hope to finish the book tonight. Click Here to Read More..

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lo Lvl Btchn

What's wrong today:

  1. My calves hurt like hell
  2. It's hot in the house but we don't want to turn on the AC
  3. So I opened the window here in the office -- it has no screen
  4. And now the mosquitoes are here
  5. And the cat has gotten bored trying to catch them.
  6. I inadvertently deleted the 1000 or so songs in my Windows Media Player ... but that's not all bad because I had a lot of crap in there anyway. Good to start over fresh.
A little later: We turned on the AC and set it to lower the temp to 78. That's 2 degrees.

Good. Soon I can start btchn about the electric bill again. Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mah Weekend

90% great.

I found the campground Friday evening with a minimum of trouble, and before the sun went down. Dinner was very welcome and extremely good. Nice mellow time around the campfire, complete with guitar and harmonica.

Went on a nature hike Saturday with 5 others. Really a beautiful place, and the guy who led us is an expert on birds so he was able to identify the calls of several species. I never knew there were so many different varieties of warbler. We saw deer, wild turkeys and people rapelling off cliffsides.

It was a fairly strenuous walk and went on for about 3 hours. My body has inefficient oxygen exchange, so prolonged exertion leaves me way out of breath. I was fine until really just the last leg of the walk, where I found myself gasping. Fortunately, I recovered without anyone noticing and asking if I was okay. However, my right leg has been on fire ever since then, from the hip all the way down to mid-calf. I've had to adjust to a different sleeping position because it's the only one that doesn't hurt. Took 4 Advil upon returning, followed by a brief nap. Too many people going in and out, slamming the squeaky doors to really sleep, but it did help.

Pleasant afternoon and evening. Very quiet all around because there was NO cell phone service or internet available. The place isn't terribly far from home, really just 2 counties, but once you get about 25-30 miles from town, cell service disappears. Our lodge had a pay phone but it didn't work. That is, until 2:30 or 3:00 am Sunday, when the damn thing rang twice, waking us up. Having to make myself fall asleep 3 different times did not make me a "happy camper" at breakfast. But gradually things got better.

The Tire was low as I left home and still looked low even after I put air in it. Saturday it looked even lower but still driveable; this morning it was flat as a pancake. A team of 4 guys got the tire changed, so that was OK.

When I got back in cell range I played all the messages Carl had left. We had agreed that I'd call the restaurant since he works early hours, and hopefully be able to pick him up. When I called, I got a manager, who asked if I was Carl's wife, and then proceeded to tell me that Carl had called out today, being too upset to work because he hadn't heard from me and thought I was missing.

I called home and when Carl picked up the phone, I yelled "I'M NOT DEAD!" and proceeded to explain that I was out in the wilderness where there were no phones available, and that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would have gone to work! He got defensive, but once I got home, we were happy enough to see each other so that all was forgiven.

I am SO gonna crash tonight. Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Na Ga Da.


Not gonna do it.

Wouldn't be prudent.

The immortal words of Dana Carvey in his role as George H.W. Bush (circa 1991).

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No rage cake.

Na ga da.

Regardless of how tempted and provoked I feel. Doug asked me to submit payment of Wally's college dorm application fee. It's $125. Doesn't sound like much to a normal person, or even a normal me, but at the moment, I am flat-busted-wiped-out-broke.

I will be down to about $7 projecting to May 22.
I have $6 available credit on one credit card -- that's the one I've been keeping up the payments on.
I have $0 available credit on the other card, because, as I just discovered, I inadvertently missed a payment. I now have to come up with a MINIMUM payment on that card of $161 by May 10th.

Na Ga Da.

I simply won't have it on May 10th,. So I've scheduled weekly payments of $16, just to show good faith, and hoping that I'll be a little more affluent the following month and can get caught up.

I cut the card up, though. Figured, what the hell. It made me feel good to destroy something with a pair of scissors, and this way, once the motherfucker is paid off, it will be gone for real.

I finally checked my investment account, knowing there isn't much left of what was in there at the beginning of the year. I liquidated some holdings just to tide me over, and it

...wouldn't be prudent ...

to do that any more this year.

There is enough to cover the $125, so I went ahead and wrote a check. I know doing it with the card online would be quicker and preferable, but I checked the website and there are all sorts of hoops to jump through, so they (Wally, Doug and the college) are just going to have to accept my submission of a paper check via snail mail.

And Doug had better reimburse me as he said he would. And not make me wait forever for it as "revenge" for my having been slow sending him the money for Wally's car insurance, which I also could barely scrape together.

And that condescending, lecturing tone he gets! Oh. My. God.

"The money in Wally's 529 account must be regarded as sacred..."

Like he actually thinks I'm going to raid it to buy Stephen King novels or commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint??

I had free access to Wally's CD over a period of 10 years, but stayed far away from it, despite urgings from Carl and Wally himself to use it. Wally got the proceeds last spring, nearly $700, and of course it was gone in 60 seconds. Doug has a hell of a nerve.

But na ga da.

I'm embarking on a spiritual weekend starting tomorrow afternoon, and am in a position to co-teach a workshop in transcending the everyday to make our lives more spiritual and meaningful.

Rage cake is junk food.

And na ga da. Click Here to Read More..

Introverts Hate This

Going on a "group weekend" with a bunch of folks, and trying not to think about what it will entail. Sharing sleeping space with several others ... the old "what'll I wear?" period's going to start any second now and it's already more than a week late. Overall, I'm sure it will be fine, but when you're an introvert you're always thinking "Where can I go off by myself and hide?" I don't know if I'll have the opportunity. At least it ends around noonish on Sunday so I'll be able to get home and unwind a bit before starting the work week.

In other news, I found a kindred spirit among the local folks in town, who can't just "up and go" on a 2-hour lunch anytime he wants. I encountered that last year -- my boss gave me hell about it months after the fact -- so I haven't been able to make any of the periodic lunch gatherings they have. Possibility of using some vacation days later in the year...that's something to look forward to. Click Here to Read More..

Friday, April 11, 2008

Role Model

Hard to get through the day today -- just tired. I think the pollen is getting to me, especially since I've been sleeping with windows open the past few days.

So, as I was zoning out at my desk, the Random Thought Generator kicked in. I don't remember the exact sequence of thoughts, but I think it was two separate notions that sort of collided.
  • I haven't done much with my life, other than go from one low-paying office job to the next, and
  • My mother worked office jobs until she could quit and have a kid, and then she went back to work in a factory when I was in college.
For so long, I thought I was different from Mom.

In many ways, that's so.
  • I don't smoke
  • I don't drink...much -- certainly not like Mom. Socially only. I drive a lot and go to work 5 days a week, and have very little money, so drinking is dangerous, impractical and expensive.
  • My marriage is good
  • I'm not full of anger and bitterness (though I like to indulge occasionally)
  • I don't cling onto my child like he's a life raft
  • I'm more worldly and much less timid
  • I'm basically a WYSIWYG type of person
  • I have a social life and I get out of the house a lot more than she did.
  • My health is good (though hers started to decline at age 53, and I've still got a few years to go before I reach that mark)
But my accomplishments are few in number, and each one has made me think it was a big deal, just like my mom. She could make a trip to the grocery store, 3/4 of a mile away, sound like a trek across Mongolia. What strikes me is the word aspiration. That's where the thoughts coalesced today.

Aspiration. I don't think I have any idea what my mother wanted from her life. Although we conversed quite heavily, and she kept up a kind of stream-of-consciousness monologue when she was drinking, going on & on for hours, I don't remember her ever saying anything about wanting to "be" something. It could be her mother just cornered the market on that. She wanted my mom to be "a star." That's why she sent her down to the city right after her high school graduation. My mom was a babe in the woods in that environment, and from what she hinted, I think the wolves got to her very, very quickly. I think my dad may have started out as one of those wolves, but then turned into the Handsome Prince.

And I think that sums up my mother:

I think she wanted to be a Princess. Rescued by the handsome guy who could magically take care of everything. Take her away to live in a castle, surrounded by luxury.

I think you can get an idea of a parent's personal aspirations based on what they say to their kid. Here's a sample:

Dad: I'd love to see you become a doctor, discover a cure for'd have the world at your doorstep! But you have to be good at math! That's important!

Mom: Marry a man with money! Who can take care of you!

When she hid behind the booze, Mom seemed very unconventional. She cursed, she blasphemed, she cynically dismissed nearly every other human on the planet as being somehow beneath her. She also tried to give me very explicit information about sex at an early age, and was rather smug about this, as opposed to friends' moms who were kind of squeamish on the subject.

But deep down, Mom was ultra-traditional. Men should be men, she thought, and women should be women, and women should be delicate creatures who never did any kind of hard labor, including housework. Mom hated the word "housewife," saying it sounded too much to her like "titmouse." She did housework but grumbled about it constantly, and as I grew older, I saw more and more that she wasn't the "clean-freak perfectionist" that she liked to advertise herself as being. Here were Mom's criteria for "the perfect man":

  1. Very quiet. You could prop him up in the corner somewhere and he'd just sit and smile and listen to everyone else talk and you wouldn't know he was there. Her father and her oldest brother were very much like that.
  2. Not at all demanding about food. Whatever you "stuck in front of him" was what he'd eat. The ideal man had no food preferences and zero ability in the kitchen -- he was completely dependent on your ability to feed him and grateful for every morsel.
  3. Extremely handy around the house and indefatigable. A beast of burden.
  4. Somehow able to earn a respectable living and keep his cherished princess wife and perfect children in a beautiful house that all the neighbors would envy.
Here's a description of the man she married:

  1. Eccentric and talkative, often embarrassing her in public
  2. Not terribly fussy about food, but knowledgeable enough to express preferences (butter instead of margarine, for example).
  3. Absolutely hopeless at building or fixing anything. Dad had ADD, I'm sure, which is why he didn't finish high school. He would take something apart and leave the pieces all over. Our house was a wreck. My mother felt great contempt for him when we had to call a professional to fix things around the house.
  4. Dad never earned more than $15,000 a year on his job. Still, we did have a house, a car, and various things we needed, even though Mom was strictly a stay-at-homer. Our house was small and plain, with new furniture coming in at 25-year intervals and new decor maybe once every 10 years.
I came of age at the time of the feminist movement, and in view of my mother's bitterness toward her role as a housewife, I went and assumed that she wanted to get out and accomplish something in the world and that my caveman father was holding her back.

Turns out, none of this was precisely true. Mom wanted to be a high-class housewife ... what do they call that? A "matron?" I went on to find some synonyms, and the closest I got was "consort." I guess that's close enough to what Mom wanted. The cherished mate of a prominent man, who has little to do other than raise the kids (successfully, of course) and oversee the servants, who do the real work in the house. I think having to do it herself made her feel like a drudge.

And now we come to subject of me. What were my aspirations?

I grew up with the sense that I was special, exceptional, and important, but this simply means that my parents were thrilled beyond belief at having finally produced a child. They were well into middle age (both past the halfway mark of their lives, as it turned out), so it really was a big deal to have me in the world. However, by the time I was in first or second grade, it was apparent to me that the rest of humanity didn't view me that way. And although my dad always did encourage me to reach as high as possible, I'm quite sure that Mom was intimidated by ambition. I never heard her urge me to get top grades, or to work extra hard, or to be competitive. Every new thing I tried was met with "Be careful! Don't take on too much!" and similar sentiments. Dad also urged caution, but it was different. I think his fears were of me experiencing physical pain or injury. Mom's fears had to do with her losing me. Big difference.

I think Mom had what people now call "a failure of the imagination." She truly could not picture the process of striving for success. She thought it "just happened" to some people. And therefore (this is something I've understood for awhile), I just went along on auto-pilot, thinking good things would happen to me, or they wouldn't, and it had little to do with anything I did myself. I saw myself in my lower middle-class existence at age 17 or 18 or so, and then saw myself with plenty of money, an interesting career and all the trimmings, but had a blank spot in my head when it came to whatever lay between.

I had a lot of blank spots in my head! For a long time I lived "in my own private Idaho." There was a big disconnect between what was just behind my eyes and what was right in front of them. It's really only the last five years or so that the two things have connected up. And of course, that means a LOT of time got wasted.

I shouldn't be so hard on myself for not having fulfilled anyone's dreams, including my own. I realize now that I didn't have the greatest role model(s).

And, I'm not at the end of the line, yet! Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I can bitch, I can bitch, oh, the BITCH is back!!!

OK, in the last few weeks I've bitched about politics & religion, but who doesn't. I've ranted -- not the same thing. I've pondered and ruminated and reported on minute developments in my thrilling life.


But today, finally, I get to BITCH about something! Yay!!!

My first husband divorced me for a bunch of reasons, but the main one was my awful temper. Carl knows I have a bad temper, but his mother was a rage-aholic and he has 3 sisters, so crazy women are something he's used to. Thank the ordered universe. Being with a man who takes my mood swings in stride has done a lot to calm me down.

But the temper is still there. It just doesn't feel the need to come out & play as often.

What sets me off? Simple. Pressure and frustration at the same time.

The worst example of this is when it's lunchtime and something prevents me from getting food into myself when I WANT IT.

That hasn't happened lately. Not since probably 2002 or so. Really, I've been goooood.

Today, however, instead of going home for lunch as I generally do, I had a bunch of Arby's coupons, and even had one clipped most of the way out, just hanging by a corner so I'll be able to detach it quickly and hand it to the cashier. I was hungry, and I was READY TO EAT.

Went to the car. Looked at The Tire. I have a slow leak that necessitates putting air into the tire about once a week. I did not want today to be one of those days.

Because I was HUNGRY.

Notice, there's a GR in the word "hungry."

...but the tire was just a little too low to chance the secondary highway that leads to the Big Cowboy Hat.

Okie-dokey, no problemo, since there's a gas station just down the road from work.

Volly goes up to the window and hands the guy behind the counter a dollar, to get quarters to put into the air compressor.

Someone in the Reagan administration decided it was okay to charge people for air; until then it was free.

GR. But I've accepted this sorry fact. And when I find a machine that charges 50 cents instead of 75 I feel like I've accomplished something.

Anyway. The guy behind the counter starts whining that he's only got 6 quarters in his drawer and he won't get to the bank until 3pm.

And this is my problem, becauuuuuuse????

I wished the little hemorrhoid a good day (no, not really) and informed him that I'd be going to another "convenience" store if I could make it there on my flat tire.

I hope he worried about me all day and it made him have a stroke.

Unfortunately, the store didn't have the kind of door you could slam. I love to slam doors.

Fortunately, my car has a nice, slammable door, and I hope he felt the floor shaking under his feet all the way inside the store. Yeahhh.

I had to make a U-turn, and about the only good part of this story is that both lanes were clear at that instant. That was rare.

Went to the next "convenience store" and parked next to the air compressor. Went inside and found approximately 40,000 people standing in line. They were buying beer (at 12 noon on a Thursday!), buying cigarettes, buying lottery tickets and flirting with the cashiers. I saw one guy who looked like he was wearing a dress.

I got on line and waited, and waited, and waited. Got to the front of the line, handed the cashier my dollar, opened my mouth to ask for quarters and

The (insert derogatory term of your choice, she knows who she is) walked away to talk to someone else!

So I waited some more.

She came back, mumbled an apology, gave me my quarters, and I put air in my tire. By the time I was done chasing my tail, lunch was half over, so forget about Arby's. I had a container of microwavable Campbell's soup in my desk drawer at work, and that's what and where lunch was.

Oh, another amazing piece of good luck: I managed NOT to spill soup on my clothing. Will wonders never cease.

If anything stands between me and Arby's tomorrow, I suggest you tune into "20/20."

Oh, and

Click Here to Read More..

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Headway. Until.

"It must be something psychological."

Those are words I frequently mimic when I'm in my snarkier moods. They were uttered by a woman I used to be in a bowling league with.

I am a truly bad bowler. No kidding. I cheerfully gave my 8-lb. monogrammed bowling ball, bag and shoes to a co-worker a few years ago and have not missed them for a second. Long before that, however, a friend who was pregnant asked if I would fill in for her during a half-season.

"I'm really a rotten bowler," I protested.

"Oh, that's okay. It's a handicap league," she replied.

First off, I have arthritis in my bowling hand, so it gets tired very easily. Second, I can't "feel what I look like" when my arm comes back. Everybody else can see it, though, and they all tell me it's wrong. After hearing it approximately 3000 times I get a little irritated.

"Don't take that tone with me," said my teammates.

Fine. What fucking ever.

Then came the other problem. I would bowl a spare and follow it up with a gutter, or bowl a strike, and follow that up with two consecutive gutters.

That gave rise to the immortal quote above, which I overheard spoken to someone else in a not-quite whisper after I "did it again."

So I finally quit the league; we were all happy to be rid of one another (also because I would bring Wally with me at age 6 and he would frequently misbehave when I wasn't available to supervise him). On my last day, I bowled a turkey. Everybody gaped at the scoreboard, then at me, and I walked out without a word.

Bad attitude? Ya think?

Anyway, that was a long time ago and I have not bowled since.

The sentiment expressed above came back to haunt me again today, however. And I was nowhere near a bowling alley.

I've taken to writing articles online for bits of money. Since last June I've made nearly $7. The more articles you write, and the more favorably they're received, the more you get. Some of the work I've submitted is crap I dashed off from the top of my head, but some of it is good enough to steadily earn money, and I've even gotten one used as a Featured article. I've recently started taking extra care with the submissions. I've become (semi) convinced that you can write on any topic under the sun, because someone else has already published something online. All you have to do is rework it so that you're not blatantly copying someone else's work. The more sources you use, the better. It's a good way to flex my writing muscles.

Yesterday I published something related to food and thought (if I do say so myself) that it was dayum good. Today I spent 3 hours on a piece concerning music from the 1960s. Again, the effort paid off. Then I found another topic, travel-related, and challenged myself to write something decent on that. Again, I think it turned out rather well.

Then I turned to the "serious" stuff. The things that publishers will pay "real money" for. It's not a fortune, $30 here, $200 for something really special, but it sure beats 5 cents a week. I started writing something about religion (no, not my usual scorn & derision), but then noticed that the deadline was today, and this website is on a different time zone. The last thing I wanted to do was pour time & effort into something, only to have it miss a deadline. So I deleted that and looked for something else. This next one was about natural remedies for allergies. Using my previous formula, I began culling various bits of info from websites ... and then I stopped.

What if I turned it in to the publisher and they liked it? The next obvious step is that they'd want me to write a profile of myself. Do I have any educational credentials in the area of allergies? No. In fact, I have no credentials in anything, not even a Bachelor's or Associates degree. Do I have any allergies that I can write about from personal experience? No. I'm an unqualified hack. A pretender. So where do I get off writing articles about things that OTHER people are experts about? I don't deserve any money for that.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself. Am I wrong? Is it "something psychological" that makes my scruples kick in ONLY when I'm on the verge of doing something to earn money? Is my undervaluation of myself legitimate or am I just cheating myself?

Dunno. Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, April 03, 2008

An Era is Ending

Actually, less than 2 years, but it felt like an era. Carl has gotten the job he's been after for the last month. He starts in about 10 days. Hooway.

If he doesn't sign up for the medical insurance, I may have to kill him.

[edited the next day] On the current job, he's been told not to come back next Monday -- supposedly the day he took off for the interview was a no-no ...
We'll see. There are other back-up options before he starts at the new place.


Two posts in one day? I'm getting BLABBERY again. The real reason for the loquacity is that it feels like Friday. One more day, one more day.

I'm in a month-long feminine theology workshop. A bunch of us femmes sat around talking about our earliest impressions of sexual issues (menstruation, relationship, childbirth, menopause, etc).

It occurs to me that EVERY WOMAN I KNOW feels she comes from a home environment where these matters were treated with secrecy and embarrassment to some degree or other. Is this inevitable, and is it universal? I would say yes, it's universal, and in some cultures it's downright pathological (FGM, for example). I think my mom wanted to pretend that it wasn't that way in our home, and I must give her credit -- she boldly went where other moms dared not go. She did the best she could, she really did.

I still haven't figured my mother out, and I suppose I never will. Click Here to Read More..


No matter how much I complain and scold those near & dear to me, they JUST WON'T STOP!

Why don't they listen???


That was my dad's favorite quote. And no, it didn't originate with George Carlin, Andy Rooney, or Jay Leno. Try Shakespeare.

At least Dad got the attribution right. He was a high school dropout, but had he lived long enough to get familiar with the internet, I think he would have been appalled at some of the ignorance that gets spread far and wide by otherwise savvy, educated people.

I'm talking about URBAN LEGENDS. The ones you get in your e-mail from YOUR otherwise educated, informed friends.

The ones that tell you to throw away your dollar coins because those godless liberals trying to subvert our American way of life maliciously omitted "In God We Trust." If you believe this, and facts have any meaning to you, click here.

And they're still, STILL sending this one around. The more recent rationalization is, "Well now the gangs have heard about it and they've started doing it!"

The one and only time I got emotionally caught up in the "revelations" of an e-mail was back in '99, when I was still relatively new to the delights of the online community, and got this one in my in-box. Oh, those poor chickens! I was upset for a couple of days until I finally tracked down the refutation. I don't know if they had back then, but they do now, and anyone who doesn't check the veracity of these stories will find themselves losing points with me.

Even Snopes itself gets caught up in this crap, so if someone e-mails you a fascinating rumor, please, please, PLEASE check it out for yourself first, before you cram somebody's already full inbox. And make yourself look like a gullible stooge!

And it's not just me.

Click Here to Read More..

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I Led Me Not into Temptation.

Very quick post for now.

I was SO tempted to call Carl at work and start talking about a story I'd heard on the radio, about how the Atlanta Braves will be disbanding because they hadn't won enough games and weren't supporting the City of Atlanta with revenues ... and how Turner Field is slated to be converted to mixed-income housing after the Braves finish their last season in 2012.

And then after he started foaming at the mouth on the floor I'd have yelled "Gotcha! April Fool!"

But I didn't.

I was good.

However, when I came home and told him what I almost but not quite did to him, he informed me that if I'd done that, he would have left work, come directly to my office and killed me on the spot. "Because," he said "you are officially sick and twisted."

We have such a sweet marriage... Click Here to Read More..