Monthly Archives: January 2008

Big Bad Wolf

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I overheard some people talking recently about the possible tax rebates that are being considered by the Bush administration. One person, in particular thought that it was proof that Bush is a fine president, what with giving us money and all. The other wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about Bush, but was happy to get the money. It took everything I had to keep from yelling, “Blood Money!” But then I realized that if I did, I would be a hypocrite. Because if ol’ Dumbya sends me a check for $800 or $1600 or $1800, I’ve got carpet and trim and insulation and furniture to pay for, so I won’t wait a minute before cashing it. I’d like to say that I’d donate it, or burn it on the White House lawn in protest, but 1) it’s money I’ve paid in taxes, and 2) furniture.

So I’ll take the money if it comes but I’ll be damned if it will mesmerize me into thinking that Bush is doing something right. Because first of all, they are considering this rebate because the economy is in the shitter. And whose fault would that be? Well, let’s think back. During the last administration, the economy was in better shape than it had been in years. So what’s changed since then? Oh yeah – Georgie boy! So his handing out a tax rebate and expecting us to join in on the back patting is a little like expecting your grandma to shower you with praise you for having perfectly super-glued together the 12 place settings of her grandma’s china that you used for target practice.

And it does feel like blood money. You think it’s a coincidence that this is happening in an election year? An election year following years of lies? A wilting economy? Job after job being taken from the working class and sent overseas? The environment falling apart right before our eyes while the Bush administration sits back and denies the scientific proof right in front of them? Non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Thousands of troops killed? Millions of Americans living in poverty? Our president can barely speak English! Our vice president shot someone! What a better way to go out than to leave us citizens with a big, fat check in our hands. Coincidence? I think not. I realize that Bush can’t run again (thank god), but his republican cronies are shaking in their shoes, whispering, “They hate us – quick – throw money at them!” So while I’ll skip merrily to the bank, check in hand, there’s not a chance in hell that on the way, I’ll be thinking about what a great president and all around super cool guy Bush is.

Sure – I know that my vote for a democrat is likely a vote for higher taxes. I know it and I don’t care. Because there are a lot of other things that are more important to me and they’re worth paying for. If I’m shopping for a car, I know I can get an old clunker pretty cheap. But do I really to give up safety features in exchange for a better price? Or would I rather spend more and get something that will protect my family?

I could buy my prescription drugs online and save money, but I really don’t think I want to risk mr b’s health by taking a chance on d1ovan or lip1tor? No, I think I’ll spend the extra money for the extra vowels, thank you very much.

When we started the addition, we decided it was very important to us to use the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly products we can, and we know it would cost is. Tankless water heaters and bamboo floors are not cheap. But the long term effects on the environment are worth it, as are the long term saving in energy costs. Hell, even the third little pig understood that while using brick was more time-consuming and expensive, it was a hell of a lot better than straw or sticks.

If I’m willing to pay a little more for these thing, why not for a government that works? Anyone you ask will surely say that yes, they want to end poverty and yes, they want to increase jobs and yes they want to keep the earth clean and yes they think everyone deserves a hot meal and a warm bed and good medical care. But how many of those people are still around when they find out they have to pay for it? It’s funny how so many of those people that like to say that freedom isn’t free (it isn’t), don’t seem to understand that nothing else is, either.

Sure, I’d like to have more money in my pocket, but I look at the extra expense as the same getting the safer car, the medicine that works or the earth friendly house. I see it as keeping the big, bad wolf away.

Not MY God

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By now everyone has heard about the death of Heath Ledger. It’s tragic. But what’s even more tragic is that mere hours after his death, that Nazi asshole Fred Phelps has announced that he and his band of minions will be picketing the funeral.

I can’t believe that this is the world I am living in. One where we protest and picket people’s funerals because we don’t approve of how they look or what they say or who they fuck. Or in this case, who they pretend to fuck in an imaginary story about imaginary people in a goddamned movie.

I know that we have a right to free speech in this country and damn it I’m glad. How sad I would be if I couldn’t call people cocksuckers or talk about how Tom Cruise sucks balls. But I’m pretty sure that the whole “free speech” idea was thought up by people who weren’t thinking about disrupting a family’s right to grieve because – and I quote – “God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid, tacky bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it.”

Mr Phelps (I refuse to call him reverend, since he’s not actually affiliated with a church, other than his own self-created church of crazy. He’s actually a disbarred lawyer) goes on to say that Health Ledger is now in hell and that nothing else about his life is consequential. Wow. I think his baby girl and his mother might beg to differ.

A funeral is for the living and not the dead. To picket and protest a funeral means nothing at all to the dead person, but it wounds the grieving in a way that no one should ever be. I don’t care if it’s the funeral of Asshole McDickhead – his momma still deserves the right to grieve him in peace. Regardless of how you feel about homosexuality, this is a line that should not be crossed.

Every time I read something new about these people moved to tears. Tears of sadness and anger and frustration. I can’t help but cry at the thought of sharing a world with creatures so evil. Because they don’t just protest. They often celebrate. They celebrate things like 9/11, mass killings, mining accidents, fatal fires that kill children, deaths of soldiers, AIDS, the California wildfires, the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, IEDs, Columbine, the Columbia disaster, Cyclone Sidr, a bus accident that killed children and the Minnesota bridge collapse. Isn’t he a peach?

And don’t think that if you aren’t gay, you’re safe from his wrath. Oh no. Because according to Beelzebub, er, Phelps, God also hates you if you don’t hate gays and wish them dead. Or if you’re non-white. Or Muslim. Or Catholic. Or Episcopalian. Or really, any other religion than his Church of the Damned. Oh, and God hates psychiatry and art and theater and football and music. Also hated by God? Missouri. And California. And technology. And the Amish. And Hindus. And Finland, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Italy and America. And don’t forget North Carolina, London, Princess Diana, Bob Hope, Jon Stewart and…Oh, let’s just make this easy. He hates everyone. He hates you

He picketed at the funeral of Mr. Rogers, for Christ’s sake! Mister Rogers!!

I sincerely hope that hundreds of people turn out at Heath Ledger’s funeral and keep these evil fuckers away from that poor, grieving family. I don’t know how God feels about him, but I sure hate Fred Phelps.

Intervention

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I was a freshman in college and away from home and out from under my mother’s control for the first time. After years of (what I now know was reasonable) rules and curfews and (maybe not so reasonable) suspicions and questions, the siren song of no curfew/no answering to anyone/no boss of me was irresistible. While I loved being a college student, going to class and learning new things, the freedom of being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and with whom I wanted was far more interesting and fun for me.

I started out going to parties on the weekend, then during the week, then every day. I was drinking and getting high and having a grand old time. Pretty soon I was missing classes and practices and not really giving a shit. I was basically doing just enough to pass my courses and stay on the diving team and majorette squad – nothing more.

I had a friend – Lamb – who lived on my hall. She was a pretty innocent type – a preacher’s daughter who grew up sheltered and somewhat naïve. We were different in a lit of ways, but we got along well and had fun together. She would go to parties and have a few beers, but that was about the extent of it. She knew, as freshman year went long, that we were growing apart – mainly because of our diverging paths. She worried about me a lot, though I didn’t know it at the time.

Eventually, a sorority formal was coming up and I needed a date. Coincidentally, I had recently notice that my best friend Milo was calling me more often “just to see how I was doing”, so I figured he’d be the perfect date. I asked him, expecting to have to convince him a little, but to my surprise, he agreed to go right away. When the formal rolled around, we went and had a great time, sharing a room with Lamb and her date. We danced and drank and hot tubbed and caught up on the past months spent apart. But that night, Milo said something to me that I will never forget. He told me that Lamb had called him the month before and told him that she was worried about me. She wanted his advice and his help to get through to me – to help me see what I was doing to myself. He told me that he cared about me and didn’t want to see me throw it all away for a party. He told me he worried about my safety. He told me I could turn to him (or Lamb) anytime if I needed him.

It was a shock, to say the least. I mean, it wasn’t a full-blown intervention, but it still got to me. At first, I was furious. I felt betrayed by Lamb, felt that she was a goody-two-shoes for ratting me out to Milo – she was just naïve – she didn’t know that I could handle my alcohol – one drink seemed like a big deal to her – she was a Reefer-Madness groupie that was afraid of what she didn’t know, etc. I felt violated, since she had clearly gone through my stuff to find him. I felt that her perception of my lifestyle was the problem, and not my actual lifestyle. But it didn’t take long for me to come around and realize that these two people loved me and wanted to help me. Maybe their perception was a little off the typical college attitude of what’s acceptable, but their feelings and the reasons behind them were not.

Milo drove over a hundred miles to see me in person and talk to me. He risked my wrath (which can be great – and he was aware of – 18 years of friendship tells you a lot about a person and we certainly had our share of arguments) to help me. he wasn’t risking our friendship because, truly, nothing could come between us, but I’m not sure if he knew that. But he did it because he cared.

And Lamb. I realized that my friend Lamb risked a lot to get Milo’s last name and where he went to college. I realized that she made long distance phone calls to get his number and call him. She risked being hung up on or considered to be a nut-job by calling up a stranger and talking to him about his best friend. Btu she was willing to do all that, and risk out friendship because she cared abut me.

The reason I’m telling you about this is because we are currently bombarded with Britney stories and I almost can’t believe I’m saying it, but I feel so bad for this girl. I was the first one to gossip and gleefully devour all there was to read about her life – her skankiness, her outfits, her famous virginity (and papal commendations), and her I am a Woman now statements. I made fun of her suddenly-growing boobs and her stupid hats and snakes and hair and boyfriends.

I wondered over her strange behavior, her marriage to her professional baby daddy, and her wedding itself was free-for-all (Pimp jogging suits? WTF? And also – hahahahaha). But when she was pregnant again so soon, then started driving with her babies not strapped in, and going out in public looking like an alcoholic after a three-day bender, and freaking out, and dropping her kids, and looking like she couldn’t stand up on her own, and shaving her head, and losing her shit I started to feel differently. I started to feel bad for her. Not only is she clearly suffering and in need of help, there are two little boys without a mom right now, and that is a tragedy.

I read her entry last night, and my first thought (other than 1: I agree and 2: damn, she’s so much more eloquent than I) was, “Where are Her People?” Where are the parents that supposedly love her? Where is the sister that at least at one point looked up to her? Are there grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Doesn’t she have a Lamb and Milo? Anyone who gives a shit?

And that’s the saddest part of it. The fact that most of us would have the help and support we need (no – “Dr.” Phil does not count). The fact that we aren’t famous or rich or loved by millions and still, there would be 50 or 40 or 25 or even one person who do something. The fact that I know my “people” would shake me, or put me in front of a mirror and show me what I had become, or get me some real help, or help me with my kids, or escort me to court dates and doctor’s visits, they would do something. The fact that hers, it seems, will not.

"It’s rough and tumble. It’s wild and woolly. It’s a blast."

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I discovered the Crazy-ass Tom Cruise Scientology Rox! video today. Oh thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Internet! My nemesis – on film – looking even more crazy than his famous jumping of the couch. It’s the Best Day Ever! I mean, at least on Jump the Couch Day, you could understand – he was crazy in love! She was magnificent! We’ve all been a little coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs over a new relationship before, right? But this…this…is magical!

Some of the highlights:

We are the authorities on the mind…we are the way to happiness. [Really? I thought it was money. I’ll take money.]

I think about those people every day that are depending on “us”. [I’m not sure who those people are…the homeless…the hungry…Britney Spears? If only he spoke actual non-batshit-crazy English, maybe I could understand.] It does make me feel like…man I got…I got…there’s more work…I need more help…you know, get those spectators and you’re in the playing field or out of the arena. [The Arena of Crazy, apparently]

Crush these guys! I’ve had it! Psychiatry doesn’t work. No mercy! None! Go to guns! [Well, of course the crazy guy doesn’t believe in psychiatry. Psychiatry would ruin all of his fun.]

I do what I can…and I do it the way I do everything…HAHAHAHAHA…there’s nothing part of the way for me…HAHAHAHAHAHA…it’s just whoosh…HAHAHAHAHA! [I’d have to agree with him on this one – there’s no half-way crazy for him, He is ALL IN. In the Crazy Arena.]

When you’re a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it…you’re the only one who can really help. [So, the rest of you out there – good samaritans, doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs – just keep going. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Hey! I have an idea! Maybe Tom should give us all his phone number so we can call him in case of an accident.]

You can just see it – the look in their eyes…you know the ones that are doing it, you know, and you know the spectators, who are the ones that are going, ‘well it’s easy for you’ or ‘what am I doing’ and it’s just…that thing is us…I’ve cancelled that in my…area…HAHAHAHAHAHA! [WTF?? Your area? W?T?F?]

And my very favorite…

I’d like the world to be a different place. [OK, with you] I’d like to go on vacation…and go and romp and play and just…do that. [huh?] You know what I mean? [um…no] I mean…thhhhat’s what I want it to be…ok? [ooookay] That’s how I…you know…there’s times I’d like to do that …*insert thoughtful, emotional pause*…but I can’t…because…I know[???????] *intense, meaningful stare*…I know…[You know what?]…so……I.I.I…you know, but you…you just…I have to do something about it. [About what? Seriously – what do you know??]

Girls’ Weekend

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I got my “pay it forward” gift from magpie today and Holy Shit that girl is talented. It is the cutest little bag you ever saw and I expect that everyone who sees me with it will a) ask me where I got it and then cry when they find out they can’t get one, b) try to buy it from me and cry when I refuse and c) suffer near crippling envy. It is that cute! Of course now I feel really, really bad that I got absolutely no response whatsoever and can’t technically pay it forward. But since I went out immediately and got the fixins for my craft (fully expecting my huge audience of approximately six – two of whom do not have their own blog and can’t participate – to push and shove and fight their way to get in on it), I refuse to let my goods and talent (hahahahaHA) go to waste and I will be paying it back to magpie (even though my little cutest bag ever is WAY better than anything I will be creating). If my efforts at craftiness don’t completely fail, I may just randomly send some out to my fives of readers just for fun anyway.

If I sound a bit cheerier today, that would be because I am back in the office. Which is a totally ass-backwards way to be feeling about the office versus home, but damn did I need to get out of the house. Mr b and the boy are heading off to scout camp this weekend – also known as the Weekend of No Underwear on the Floor, Pee on the Toilet Seat, Dishes in the Living Room, or Generally Disgusting Boy Stuff. I plan on going home tonight and cleaning up the house as much as I can, then waking up early and taking my little house-wrecker the hell out so she can’t destroy it again. I fully intend to wear that child the hell out, so when we come home, we can watch a movie and hopefully one of us (her) will fall asleep early so the other one (me) can drink wine, read books and make my fabulous (heh) crafty goodness.

As I was packing up the boy’s bag last night, mr b made a passing mention of “watching our money” this weekend.

Let me translate that for you: “Since I am going to be at camp and will be cold and wet and muddy and surrounded by kids and unable to drink or watch a hockey game, be forced to clean up after myself and participate in corny fun, I feel that you should not spend any money.”

My response? “OK.”

And again, let me translate: “I spent a week and a half at Christmas with the kids all over me 24 hours a day, then followed it up with three straight days of trying to work a full eight hours while also fighting off a climbing child who really wants the computer right now and a drink of milk right now and a snack right now and let’s play the princess game right now, and I WANT POP! right now and let’s put eye-shadow on the dog right now. Please understand that I don’t want to spend the next three days doing the same, less the working, but with the added ‘girl’s day? Is it girl’s day? Can we go shopping? Let’s go to lunch! Where’s dad? Where’s brother? Let’s go shopping!’ So excuuuuse me if I want to escape this house for a while and have lunch or see a movie or go to the museum, because I work, too and I need a break, too and since I don’t have any backup this weekend, this IS my break, so suck it. PS. Cry me a river about the scouts driving you crazy and the not getting to watch TV and any other damned thing because no matter how bad it gets, you have NO IDEA how bad it gets. Take Sunday, for example, when I took down Christmas and you took three naps. And besides, we all know you two will come back, walk in, dump your bags and I’ll have a big mess on my hands. PPS. You are not the boss of me. PPPPS. Love you!”

Ahem.

It’s a girls’ weekend and I fully intend to enjoy it (and drink the entire bottle of viognier Rapunzel got me for Christmas). Anything good on your weekend agenda?

I’ll blame the profanity on the PMS, but some of you know better

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I don’t know if it’s PMS or just my evil nature, but I am a bitch today. It was my second day of working from home and I’m about at my limits. My daycare provider’s mother died and she’s closed until Friday (the slight inconvenience is a trade-off that I gladly deal with to be sending my kids to a place where they are treated like family and loved as much as if they were with grandma). Luckily, I work for a company that gives me the option to work form home in such emergencies.

Working from home sounds like fun. And in a way, it is. I can sleep in (sadly, sleeping in these days means 6:00), I don’t have to get dressed, I don’t have to deal with the office asshole (aka The Cock, for those of you who have been around for a while). But in reality, it’s not so much fun. I always say I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom, and to be totally honest, that’s probably true. But most of that opinion is base on my experiences of the occasional days when i work from home. Which isn’t really fair to me. I mean, I’ll admit – sometimes being home with a three year old can be about as pleasant as having explosive diarrhea. But being at home with a three-year old while you need to get 15 annual reports produced, get one manuscript submitted, find a complicated database that does not exist, regardless of how badly TPTB want it to, update all the information on professional meetings for the entire year, create a document tracking all changes in tax, legislation, prevalence and quitting data of smokers in the U.S. is like explosive diarrhea plus projectile vomiting. Which does not put one in a particularly good mood.

I called the dog asshole at least eleventy-five times today, along with dickhead, dicklick, cocksucker, fuckwad, and jackhole. I called two drivers idiot and asswipe, I called the school bus driver an anus-licking prick (I’ll give myself a pass on this one – he really is). I sat through gymnastics and karate thinking (but not saying out loud – I do have some self-control) about how everyone there was either: a bitch, an asshole, a fuckwad, unqualified for life, or the dumbest shit that ever shitted. I told a bag-boy at the grocery store, after he told me that the line was closed (even though the fucking light was on and after I unloaded half of my overflowing and hard to push race car shopping cart (another great in theory, bad in practice product – whoever invented them is an asshole), “I’m going to have to kill you now.”

And then I came home (and cleaned up the garbage that the asshole dickhead dicklick, cocksucker fuckwad jackhole dog tore up), hated everyone for a while longer, then cracked open a bottle of champagne left over from New Years. After drinking ¾ of it, I have decided it must be PMS because my asshole-meter is still going off. I think I have some viognier left and I’m all over that bitch. After all, I get to “sleep in” tomorrow, so what the fuck.

Pregnancy Tests (no – I’m not – don’t get excited)

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I was just getting ready to post a long whiny pity party about how I have nothing to say, don’t know what to write about, I’m so miserable, blahblahblah, when I read her post on taking pregnancy tests. So I’ll share the rather non-exciting stories instead (anything’s better that whining).

With the boy, it took forever to get pregnant. Wait. Did I say forever? Because what I meant was a couple months. But they felt like forever. I simply expected it to happen as soon as we made the decision to try. Since I had very irregular cycles, it made the whole process difficult. I was never sure when I was ovulating or when my period was due. This meant I took pregnancy tests all the time. No time or place was sacred. I took them at home. In the morning. At night. In the bathroom at work. I had no limits whatsoever. I was, in a word, insane.

I had no idea the difficulties that other people had conceiving. To me, if it didn’t happen right away then there was something wrong. I was completely obsessed with imaginary symptoms. I was feeling a little nauseous – take a test. I was spotting – was that implantation bleeding? Take a test. I think my boobs hurt – take a test. Thank goodness it wasn’t the rabbit test, because there wouldn’t be a bunny alive today.

Finally, one morning before work, I decided to take yet another test. I was so used to them at this point, that I didn’t hover over it anxiously anymore. I went about my morning, getting something to drink and feeding the dog and cat. And when I came back into the bathroom, there it was. The positive test. Finally, after all this time (not) I was pregnant. Mr b’s very romantic reaction was to yell, “Get down with your bad self, mama!” I took the day off work and stayed home to celebrate.

With the girl, it was quite the opposite. When the boy was about three and a half, we decided to start thinking about having another. I went off the pill and we started “letting nature take it’s course”. We weren’t actively trying, but figured if it happened, it happened. Besides, it was so fast last time (I finally had a clue), that it would be no problem this time, right? Wrong. For 18 months we did it this way, until we decided to start counting. My cycles were regular now and I learned all about the signs of ovulation. We did everything we read about to increase our chances, to no avail.

I saw my doctor and she told us to give it a little longer, so we kept trying. More temperature taking and cervical mucous checking and counting and trying and praying. More negative tests (though I didn’t obsessively take them like last time – just once a month, unless my period beat me to the punch. I thought I was pregnant a million times, though. After having a child and being on the pill, my body changed. My menstrual symptoms changed. I would feel nauseous, my boobs would hurt, I’d have what felt like the weird early pregnancy cramping. I’d be sure I was pregnant until I found out I wasn’t.

After about a year of trying this way, I was starting to get really discouraged. I worried that my weight was the problem. I worried that my advanced age of 34 was the problem. I worried that it would never happen. I made an appointment to see my doctor and discuss options. The week of the appointment, I started getting sick. That day, I woke up with the flu – the knock you down and stomp on your head I can’t breathe and have a fever and I’m aching and kill me now flu. I dragged myself in to work because I was NOT missing my appointment and if I was driving all that way, I may as well hole up in my office.

At the time, my GP was right upstairs from my office, so I decided to stop up and get checked out. She was getting ready to write me a prescription when she said, “Wait a minute – you’ve been trying to get pregnant, right?” I said yes, but don’t worry, I wasn’t. It was the only month in almost three years that I didn’t have nay symptoms. I was definitely not pregnant, I lamented. But being a rational person, she decided to test my urine just in case before she gave me any drugs. Her face when she walked back in the room told me that it was the best flu I ever had. I went back to my office and the second I walked in, my friend Flip took one look at me and mentally compared me to the ass-dragging death creature that had walked out 25 minutes before and said, “You’re pregnant!”

The results: