Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wickett and his Blanket

Yes, that is a dog.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

They'll Do It Every Time

I can't believe this, I identify with one of the cartoons in today's strip.

I discovered this bizarre comic through the Comics Curmudgeon, which led me to Crap Every Time. The person who does Crap Every Time doesn't do the Sunday strips because her paper doesn't carry the comic (neither does mine), and the one online is hard to read. And she wants the weekends off.

But I couldn't resist. I had to look. It is so hard to read. Here's today's strip.

The one that I can relate to is the one split in two at the far end of the strip. For those who can't see it, he's looking for his glasses, and then he has to look for his spare pair to find his regular ones! I think he's looking for reading glasses, though I don't know why his wife - who probably has 20/20 vision, doesn't help him.

This happens to me a lot, always after sleeping. Not every time, but enough to drive me batty. One day this week, I fell asleep on the couch with my glasses on and could not find them after waking up. I tore apart the couch, looking under the cushions, and when I shook out the blankets, there they were. Still not doing the contacts thing, though! Poking yourself in the eye just to see? Not for me.

The rest of the cartoons in today's strip and every other day's, naturally, sucks.

The reason I look at this train wreck called a comic? The way the artist/writer writes dialogue.

Bush is not stupid.

He's had so much exposure to information, I mean, he went to Yale. I know he may have slept through his classes, but he still had to pick something up. Osmosis, maybe?

Anyway, his asinine health plan, meant to stop 'overuse' of employer-based health insurance and offer incentives for the uninsured to become insured through private insurance.

Because most of the uninsured in America just chose to be uninsured. They could have gotten a plan through work, but no, way, insurance is for suckers!



Most of the uninsured are that way for two reasons - money and health.

Money? Can't afford private insurance, make too much for Tenncare/Medicare.

Health? Private insurance companies are like credit card companies in the way they like their customers. Credit card companies don't want people who'll pay off the balance each month, there's no insane interest rate they can charge! They can't make scads of money off those people.

Insurance companies don't want sick people. Or people with 'pre-existing conditions' - athlete's foot, in one extreme example. Why? Sick people will pay their premiums (if they don't miss too much work), but those premiums don't cover 2 lithotripsies in one month, there's no way. Sick people bleed those insurance companies dry, the selfish bastards.

There are flaws in the universal health systems in other countries, but, to someone with some pre-existing conditions, they're perfect - nobody's denied care.

The one time I talked about this with a Republican (my dad), he told me nobody would become a doctor because they wouldn't make as much money, and look at Communist Russia! Of course, he's insured through the government - retired military. He's also a government employee - a cop.

There are also people that object to paying for other's care, but not their own - like their taxes would go to help this person, and they never get sick, so they wasted their money!

I can kinda see it, but it strikes me as selfish. A civilized country would have affordable healthcare for all its citizens, but your money is your money, dammit! I want to keep every dollar I make.

I've never worked, obviously, so I'm full of shit. But I think people would be happier about paying taxes if they knew they would go to the right place - not no-bid contracts with companies that bankrolled your politician's campaign. The janitorial work at Shelby Count Schools was outsourced, and the head guy is the brother or cousin (or both, Tennessee here) of the superintendent. And they do worse work than the old county employees.


Anyways, Bush is not stupid. He plays stupid.

And what does he know of the cost of healthcare? Just that Medicare/Medicaid is bleeding us dry! Private insurance for everyone who is healthy!!

PS - Thanks to Mark at A Freeway in Hell for the mention.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dixie and her Frisbee

This frisbee is now dead, I believe.

She treats them better than Jasmine did, Jaz would sit down and start chewing her toys up.

Dixie just loves to play, and that involves tug-of-war and the occaisonal celebratory chewing of the frisbee, but that never lasts because some human tries to take it and off we go again.

She has a couple frisbees outside right now, one is on the back porch roof, which is totally not my fault, despite the fact that I can't throw the frisbee for squat, I also can't throw it that high.

But hey, Dixie can catch my throws, they often roll to a stop in front of her feet. She has caught them in the air a couple times, but anything she does with the frisbee gets a lot of clapping and "Yay Dixie!"s.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some fun with insurance - I'm an idiot

I am on many, many medications.

The current problem that is being treated is abdominal muscle damage and atrophy, due to the laprascopy in February and the kidney fuckups in July and August. (Right kidney - swollen to twice its size. 1st urologist promises to remove stone, but doesn't. He puts a stent in improperly, and it causes 48 hours of hellish pain before falling out. Then I go to the hospital for 5 days. 2nd urologists do a lithotripsy, break it up, put a stent in. I'm still in pain. On my 18th birthday, even! They take the stent out, I'm in pain, no you're not. Go to the ER, there's still a stone there, overnight in the Med, second lithotripsy, 3rd stent, all done. In the space of 3 weeks.)

So there's a bit of lasting damage and pain in the abdomen, huh?

We've addressed nerve damage, and that lifted a terrible band off my stomach. Now we're working on physical therapy and my problem is I don't want to build up to 30 reps, I want to jump right in. But I'm behaving, because I know if I overdo it, blah de blah blah.

Anyhoo, I have a prescription for lortab and valium. I'm also, naturally, on birth control for the endometriosis and ovarian cysts.

Well, go to the pharmacy Tuesday night, Lortab's 3 bucks, my normal copay for generics. Wednesday morning, Valium's 3 bucks. The birth control should be 9, because it's a 3 month supply.

Not this time, it's 66 bucks. My copay on brand name medication is 22 bucks, so that makes sense. Except there is a generic version of this birth control, I got it in November.

But no, in January, Tricare (the insurance of the military) decided that birth control was a luxury. I called the base pharmacy, that poor guy knew nothing. He said call Tricare and find out what's going on - I'm not on birth control so I can have sex, I'm on it so we can control the pain. Er, one source of it.

But I like that.

Tricare wants me doped - valium and lortab aren't luxuries? - and pregnant.

How ridiculous is that? How familiar is that? Think of the Victorians. Think of the 50s - women's health had a delightful misogynist bent to it, don't you think? I thought we were past that.

(And yes, my copays are that low. Bwahahaha. You can get it by serving in the military 20 years then retiring, or by being a kid of someone who did so.)

Whoops. Just got off the phone with insurance - great way to build stress. Seasonale is the only one affected, normal birth control that gives you one period a month remains the same.

And it's not a luxury, there was some misunderstanding/mistranslation on the part of the pharmacy. What happened is, every month, the pharmacy board meets and decides on the classification of prescriptions - I got my numbers garbled. $3 for generics, $9 for brand names, and $22 for generics and brand name drugs that 'cost more to make'.

I've only had to pay $22 dollars for Cymbalta, so I assumed it was the copay on super expensive brandnames.

Of course, I can get my birth control for free if I use the base pharmacy. (Not that I have time, it takes 2 weeks to get a prescription, because they're filled in Florida.)

Not. They don't fill Seasonale or its generic. They just do the monthly BC.

You could still read something into that - we need to have a period every month, who do we think we are, having one every 3 months, blah blah blah.

So, it's not technically a luxury, but they decide to raise the price so doctors will stop prescribing it as much.

And don't get me started on the base pharmacy! We used it once in the past few years, what a mistake. You can't order your refill until this many days after you picked it up, however, it takes two weeks for it to get there, so you could go without.

Which may explain why they give out 3 month supplies of monthly birth control.

Or not.

My brain is fried.

Mikey and his Bone

A treat, a treat, his purloined squeak toy for a treat!

I love how he's holding it!

I gave him Wickett's squeaky fish, and he started methodically pulling it apart, so I shook the bone box and gave all three babies a treat. They are rotten.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wickett and his Throne

That is one content little dog.

His throne consists of two pillows, one blanket, and an entire section of the couch.

Notice the back legs sticking up?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mikey and his Pills

That is an old prescription bottle filled with Rolaids.

My mom sometimes needs Rolaids at night, and by keeping some in an old bottle, the big container can stay out here with the rest of us.

Well, Mikey is a crazy, possessive idiot.

He did not like it when I went in Mom's room to say good night, or do nothing important, and Mikey decided to growl at me and chase me our of the room.

Well, Mom shook the bottle, he got distracted, and she threw it down.

Oh no! He knew I'd try to take the bottle, it's his!

So I was able to come and go from the room while he growled through his bottle. He doesn't want it, but he doesn't want me to have it.

I cannot believe this.

MR. LEHRER: Let me ask you a bottom-line question, Mr. President. If it is as important as you've just said - and you've said it many times - as all of this is, particularly the struggle in Iraq, if it's that important to all of us and to the future of our country, if not the world, why have you not, as president of the United States, asked more Americans and more American interests to sacrifice something? The people who are now sacrificing are, you know, the volunteer military - the Army and the U.S. Marines and their families. They're the only people who are actually sacrificing anything at this point.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night. I mean, we've got a fantastic economy here in the United States, but yet, when you think about the psychology of the country, it is somewhat down because of this war.

The PBS interview from last week.

The terrible images of violence on TV every night? That's our sacrifice?


Does that make sense to anyone but him?

I saw this on the Daily Show, actually, I'm not about to watch him speak without the promise of a weird or funny statement.

State of the Union tomorrow?

Hello, Dirty Jobs is on at the same time. Yeah, what's your choice?

I'll read about it in the paper, but I'm not watching it, I can't.

I don't have to, I'm in a shitty mood because of shitty health, I have the right to watch what I want, bwahahaha.

Blog for Choice Day

Got my blog for choice e-mail just now.

The question is, "Why are you pro-choice?"

The obvious, simple answer is, no matter how I feel about abortion, I don't have the right to dictate what another person does with her body.

That's what it comes down to, doesn't it?

I'm currently having gynecological issues, not related to pregnancy - ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and the new Birth Control, 12 weeks on the hormone, one off. I'm on week 11, and in considerable pain and dealing with some scary breakthrough issues.

Right now, if I were to get pregnant, I would have an abortion.

I'm in no physical condition to go through pregnancy - it's hell on a healthy woman, with my history, no, just no.

I'm just going to free associate on abortion and pro-choice as my pain medication and valium kick in. (Another reason why I should have a baby, all these chemicals, what fun!)

I like the "Safe, rare, and legal" ideology about abortion. Safety and legality go hand-in-hand, if it's legal, it's got codes and regulations to follow.

The rare, on the other hand, is hard to come by.

Yes, total abstinence is the only way to 100% protect against pregnancy and STDs.

But birth control and protection do a good job. However, they often allow single people to have sex without nasty physical consequences, so they're sinful.

My sister turned 16 today, and I ran some of the abstinence-only education by her. She recently got back into church (Methodist) and she thinks it's all bull. Telling kids don't have sex, but if you do, use a condom or will turn all teenagers into sex-crazed fiends, even more so than we are now.

Absitinence-only is pushed by the anti-choice crowd, which doesn't make sense. You think if they wanted less abortions, they'd want less pregnancies, but they just want less sex, especially for women.

You know how you hear about this pharmacist refusing to give out emergency contraceptives for women, you never hear about them saying, "Wait, young man, you're not married, why do you need condoms. I'm not selling this to you."

Same with Viagra. If it went over the counter (it won't, the side effects are too dangerous for unregulated use), there'd be no issue about its sale.

I've been on birth control, on and off, for about a year. Since then, I've had sex with 500 men, haven't gone to school, what else am I supposed to do with my time?

Ha, no, I was put on the BC for the hormones - if we can regulate those, maybe we can keep the crippling pain of the cysts under control, or at least know when they'll hit.

The big thing about today for me is not Roe vs. Wade's anniversary, but my sister's 16th birthday. My little sister. Who won't have sex til she's at least 50 and Mom and Dad are both dead.

Speaking of my Dad and sex, oh em effing gee, on my 18th birthday, he told mom that he wanted to talk to Becky about something important, but she had to leave the table before he'd say what. (Smokey Bones, great barbecue.) So she left.

The issue?

Chastity. It was hard to keep a straight face, because he's on his 4th wife, and chastity was never a goal for him. It was so funny, and so sad, because that's his version of the talk? Some chastity brochures and stickers from a Catholic bookstore? (And, "Black boys don't want to be your friends, they only want to have sex with you.") The brochures were a trip, if people didn't take them seriously.

I like what I saw on Grounded for Life yesterday - the kids signed a chastity pledge at school (Catholic school) and Lily's dad scares her boyfriend with tales of hell, so he won't even touch her anymore, so Lilly decides it's time for marriage, then the nun comes over and says, stop, you horny idiots. That pledge is a joke, you should aspire to chastity and abstinence, you won't go to hell if you have sex before getting married.

Back to abortion - the big issue is you're killing something/it's a clump of cells. I think the date most doctors use is fine, and probably the best indicator we can use of when life begins.

A woman should not have to go through pregnancy and childbirth if she does not want to, if she can't for financial reasons, adoption is an option, yes, but there are so many children waiting still.

My mom knew one person (a roommate back when she was in the Navy) who used abortion as birth control. No, really. That is disturbing on every single level imaginable, but it is her right. Well, was, this was 20 years ago.

Another thing from the anti-choice crowd (often conservative republicans) - once the baby comes out of the womb, it still needs care, so does the Mom. What's the saying? Life begins at conception, it doesn't end at birth. Help the mother raise this baby... good schools, good food, good pay, good childcare, good healthcare for mom and babe... but that costs money, and it's her fault for having the kid in the first place, blah blah blah.

Okay, what I want to get to.

Today is my sister's birthday.

I don't know what her views on abortion are - you don't hear of many methodist clinic bombers, so I think she may be rational about it.

Last week, I asked my mom, did the thought of an abortion ever cross your mind when you learned you were pregnant with either of us?

Her answer was no, because she never knew anything about it, it never entered her mind, and besides, Frankie wouldn't want her to have an abortion of his kid - Every sperm is sacred.

I told her that I think I would have considered it with Becky. This will kill her, because she can't see that it's not about her, it's about the situation.

If I had been in my mother's shoes, I would have aborted the second pregnancy as soon as possible and divorced his cheating, lying ass. Why? Well, Frankie had a vasectomy after Kaitlyn was born, for one thing. The other thing, before she became pregnant with Becky, she tried to get birth control (probably to reregulate her hormones - her family is mess when it comes to hormones) through DEERS after leaving the military. As Frankie's dependent wife.

Well, he already had one. "She never signed the papers!"

We were in Italy.

He shred all her papers and told her to go to a friend's house and then get back to the states, otherwise he'd get in trouble. So she sat in Rome, without her passport, this stupid American. They pointed machine guns at her! Luckily, her family came through.

I wouldn't have gone back, but if I did, that could have been the final straw - I wouldn't want any more ties to the man, I'd want out.

But there were so many mitigating factors... Mom grew up in New Mexico. Born in Roswell, then they moved to Edgewood, which still has more peacocks than people. (It's getting a Wal-Mart soon, they'll probably end up buying her mom's property.)

Her dad died when she was 12.

Her mom remarried fast, she had 6 kids to take care of, a job as a nurse, and no insurance, no money.

So maybe my mom never got the chance to learn that you can live by yourself, you don't need a husband. She married my dad (the first time, but not the legal time) 2 weeks after she turned 22.

She never got a chance to talk with her mom like I talk with her today. Her only option after high school was stay in Edgewood or join the military like her older brothers. Or get married, like her older sister. My mom did both!

Thinking of my mom's life and the choices she never got to truly make, makes me even more pro-choice. But more importantly, it shows me the importance of open, frank dialogue between parents and children. It shows me the importance of comprehensive sexual education. It shows me the importance of education, period. It shows me the importance of choice, of freedom.

I will be limited by my health in what I can do. (Hello, insurance prices?) But I won't be tied down to a marriage before I'm ready.

I won't force my body through pregnancy before I'm ready, emotionally and physically.

And I want to inform my sister, who's going to read this and react strongly, I know, pro-choice does not mean I want to abort everybody's pregnancy. It does not mean I know what's best for you or for anybody but myself. It just means that women, people, should have a choice, an honest, free choice.

Happy Birthday, again, Becky. I am glad Mom chose to have you, even when you drive me up the wall.

Happy Anniversary Roe vs. Wade. I hope you are never overturned, the claim that you are about state's rights is identical to the argument that Civil War was about state's rights. If Roe vs. Wade were overturned, I can see whole regions following South Dakota's abhorent example. Yes, you are free to go to one of the states where abortion is legal, hope you can afford the time off work and travel!

Dixie and her Becky

Happy Birthday, Becky!

Becky is 16 today.

Technically, she won't be 16 until 11 pm, but since she was born in Naples, Italy - factor in the time zones, carry the y, add the 4 leap years - here in Memphis, the blonde one will be 16 around 3 pm.

Not that it matters, she wanted to be up now and on myspace, making sure everyone knew it was her birthday and was showering her with accolades. They all have school tomorrow, (because the cold, wet weather of this weekend went NOWHERE but up to almost 50 degrees. If it has to be cold and wet, can't we have some snow or ice to play with? Mud just doesn't cut it anymore.) but they'll be up to wish her a happy birthday.

Becky will celebrate her birthday by going to school. She wants to go to school on her birthday! My sister is officially the crazy one. She's been praying and hoping and doing a no-snow dance so she can go to school and get presents from her friends.

Becky's friend Ariel came over Saturday, and she agrees with Mom and me. We want snow on our birthdays! Yes, our birthdays are technically during the summer, but we could totally go to Antarctica next August for my Nice Nineteen! Anyone?

We all went out Saturday, Mom, Becky, Ariel, and me, since Becky wanted me. Beck and Ariel bowled for a couple hours, Mom and I went to the antique store where I got the MADs, and then we went to Goodwill because we all love it, then on to Bahama Breeze.

I found the perfect present for Becky at Goodwill - it was a bit pricey, but she adores it, so it was worth it. It's a miniature British-style phone booth that lights up! It also says "Pretty'N'Punk" across the door and an adjacent side, and when I got home, I looked it up and discovered it's a Bratz toy! Oh, ew! Still an awesome thing. It can hold her cell, I don't know, it's so cool looking. It was $3.99, a bit much, like I said, but still cheaper than the new thing. Though what a Bratz toy would be doing at Goodwill I'll never know... (Found a great book on Atheism there and a gift for another person, $3.99 and $4.99, respectively. Goodwill's getting a bit ritzy for my tastes...)

Bahama Breeze was a bomb. (We had a 'B' theme going for a while - Becky and Ariel were two teenage twits having a terrific time.) The lord gave Becky a Monday birthday this year, we could have gone to an expensive restaurant that night, so we wouldn't have to wait an hour and a half! 45 minutes before a table, and 45 minutes at the table.

And then the food wasn't so hot, either. Expensive, for one thing. My meal and my mom's were the only ones of any decent size. Mom got a plain hamburger and I got the great Cuban sandwich. Ariel got Jamaican chicken and Becky got a chicken sandwich. (Yes, CHICKEN. At BAHAMA Breeze. Becky swears that fish places have the best chicken - Captain D's, Joe's Crab Shack.)

Anyway, Becky's sandwich was small, and Ariel got the small size chicken dinner, because it was so pricey, it must be huge! we all assumed. It wasn't.

Luckily for them, my hunger is in an ebb mode, meaning I'm just not hungry often and when I am, I can barely finish a sandwich before being full - most of the time. So I let them have the second half of my delicious sandwich.

Don't do Bahama Breeze on the weekend - or at all, really. But if you do - Lemon Breeze and Cuban Sandwich. Expensive, but good.

Beck's also going out with her dad (he's my dad too, but I like saying that for some twisted reason) and his mom Friday for dinner.

All in all, her birthday week is going to be fun.

I'm going to try my hand at making her something tomorrow while she's at school and I'm not, which I totally don't rub in too much. Except when I wake up at 6 only to stagger to the couch and laugh myself back into sleep.

Since I've neglected the Dog of the Day, I'm combining the two.

Here's Dixie and Becky, mugging for the camera. Dig the tongue - Dixie's, not Becky's!

Happy Birthday, Becky, I love ya.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mad #474

February 2007 - came in the mail today, and I just finished reading it.

The cover is aone of Britney Spear's recent crotch shots, with Alfred 'covering' the spot, just like the caption says.

The issue is great.

The only articles I skipped are the ones I always skip - the parody of the inspiring animal story and the 'do-it-yourself' apology. I rarely have the patience for the latter, what can I say.

The funniest art of the issue - Tom Cheney's 'Practical Uses for the Diet Coke/Menthos Formula'.

The political article - 'War Cliches: Completing the Sentences' written by Jeff Kruss and perfectly illustrated by Mort Drucker - is amazing, as usual. My favorite is the one "We grieve for the families of those who lost their lives in the war... ...though we aren't above smearing them if they start to protest too loudy."

And Jaffee's fold-in is so funny! The question is "Who's been manipulating pages in despicable ways for far too long?"

The answer is bound to put a grin on your face.

I also bought a Mad at an antique store today, issue #249, September 1984 - The Gremlins cover. Could have sworn they were dedicating an issue to Wickett, but no.

Mallard Fillmore

Mallard Fillmore is a rightwing duck who has a comic strip.

It runs on the Commercial Appeal's 'Viewpoint' page, along with Doonesbury and (before he stopped) the Boondocks. I saw Boondocks get moved, people were angry about political messages in the comics.

Never mind we have one page for comics in this paper, Monday through Saturday, with Peanuts, Frank and Ernest, Crankshaft, and Born Loser on the front page of the Classified Ads section.

Sunday, we get a bit more. We get Doonesbury and we used to get the Boondocks on Sunday. Cool.

However, thanks to this blog - Duck and Cover - I have learned that the powers that be in the liberal Memphis press have been denying us a poorly drawn right-wing screed every single day it's printed! What an outrage!

I didn't even know there were Sunday strips, I thought it was M-S comic, I thought it was an editorial cartoon, I didn't know it runs in the comic section of some papers. Eew.

Also, the duck's an idiot. Last year, he got into a big flap over America: The Book because there was a parody strip that was funnier than the real thing. In the third panel, he said, "Oops, I forgot to tell a joke!"

Yesterday and today's strips revolve around the African e-mail scam. The first was disgusting - either he's an idiot and believes the e-mail is real and wants to help people, or he's an utter shitbird, mocking people crippled by poverty and people who try to help. Classy.

Today's was just WEIRD. I always thought the money came from somebody alive who was trying to get out of the country, not Americans who died in plane crashes.


Anyways - Duck and Cover - great funny blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen

I love Carl Hiaasen's work. I read about Skinny Dip in some magazine in a waiting room back in 2004, and it sounded interesting. Off we went to the library, but no Dip. However, they had older books. I checked out Lucky You and fell in love.

I love the gruesome humor, the characters, the settings, Skink.

Even Double Whammy, which is about fishing, for god's sake, is still great -religious hypocrisy, SKINK - with both eyes.

I got Nature Girl for Christmas, using an Amazon gift certificate. Thanks, Grandma Lucy!

When I saw the new Hiaasen was out, I ran to the local library.


Still nothing, which has to do with budgetary issues, caused by the splitting of the Memphis Branch Library system, which combined all the libraries in the county. The suburbs left because they wanted to save money, and now all the libraries are having money issues - even the Memphis ones, because they're funded a different way now. Whatever.

So I ordered it, along with some other silly books - I love silly books.

It has everything a Hiaasen book needs - the Everglades, a stupid asshole, sex, weird injuries, and someone teaching the asshole a lesson, or trying.

However, the teacher is normally Skink, and I think his last appearance was in Skinny Dip. He's the best politician - so honest he bugs out and runs away.

This time, the teacher is single mom Honey Santana, and she's got mental issues - she wants to protect her son from any kind of asshole. So she hatches a plot to teach a telemarketer a lesson. The story surrounding him is hilarious - the deli shot is a trip.

However, the Honey Santana and kid part is very similar to Flush and Hoot, his children's books. And to Striptease, except her ex isn't a dangerous asshole.

Nobody dies in a gruesome way, however, a guy loses his fingers to some crabs and the doctors mix up the labels, and his fingers are put on in the wrong spots - pinky where the thumb should be, etc.

The island part of the plot reminded me of Lucky You.

The part of the book that killed it for me was the Sammy Tigertail character. He's a half-blood Seminole, and he wants to be a hermit, and a co-ed tags along.

I just never got him, I think he could have been replaced by Skink.

According to the FAQ, he is related to a character from his first humorous book, Tourist Season.

I didn't know, and I don't care. He still didn't fit.

The book has the right elements, but it didn't do it for me. I'm not sure if I'll keep the book, actually.

I think it could have benefited by cutting out Sammy Tigertail - then it would be a book about revenge on a telemarketer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Day

This holiday is a pain for students, I mean, we just got back into the swing of school again, and another day off to sleep in and watch Dirty Jobs?

Kidding, kidding. I'm still surprised that it's not a holiday in Nebraska, or at least where my cousins went to school.

My mom and I visited the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

It was amazing and incredibly moving.

One of the images that stayed with me was the sheer hate in the faces of the young white students in Little Rock. It was so disturbing.

I want to go back, and I will. We went on Monday afternoon (it's free) along with, it seemed, every single summer day camp group of kids, who didn't seem to care.

The museum is split into two parts - the hotel and the boarding house where James Earl Ray stayed. The conspiracy theories about why he was there, the money, that intrigued me - not surprising, considering my love of the X-files.

There was a woman protesting outside the hotel. She believes that the money for the museum would be better used in charity projects. I talked to her and treated her with respect - we were at a museum about protest, it was appropriate. She's been out there for a long time, and, dammit, I forgot the website she had.

Mikey and his Moose

This is Mikey.

That is Mikey's moose.

If you try to take that moose, you will be bitten like you've never been bitten and have to go to the ER because of the massive blood loss.

Or so he thinks.

Most of the time it's a pinch, a bruise, a scratch, or, usually, totally aborted because while he is chasing you, about to kill you, you could grab his moose and we can't have that.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wickett and his Trampoline

Now, we do not jump on the trampoline while he is up there. Or while Mikey is up there.

In fact, nothing brings the jumping to a halt quicker than a furry little face popping up.

When the weather is nice, we will eat up there. Since we are quite lazy, we often use a chair to get up there quickly. Well, when we eat, we have to flip the chair over, so the beggars remain far below us.

If my mother gets on the trampoline, Mikey is sure to follow. It takes him a while to work up the nerve to jump across those springs, but once he does, he shakes like a leaf and makes a beeline for his mommy. "Why aren't we on solid ground?"

Breastfeeding and working

This great post at Feministe is months old, but I can't sleep, and my pain medication makes me think I have great things to say on every topic.

Even this one, when I've never been a parent or even worked!

I'm so full of shit.

But I am a kid, and my mom had to deal with the issues in the post - breastfeeding - childcare, really - vs. her job.

My sister and I were both brestfed. I was a premie, but very healthy until puberty. Becky was right on time, but very sick - of course, Italy was so polluted most of the babies were sick. We're both smart, and school is a cakewalk, but that may have more to do with our military upbringing - there's nothing to do in Iceland but read and play in the snow. (Seriously, though, Becky said her apex class was all navy brats at one point. Interesting, no?)

Onto the subject at hand - women in corportate America get 'lactation rooms' if they choose to pump their breastmilk, complete with all the high tech gizmos and whozits, maybe a breastpump made to look like a baby next? While the women who aren't up there get the restroom, if they're lucky.

Something is fucked up with the way we treat life in America. It doesn't end at conception, that embryo turns into a human being, remember? And they're not self-sufficient. I know, lazy bums!

Child care's expensive, schools are dumbed down by testing standards, and maternity leave's a joke for most women.

Take my mother.

She joined the military at my age, in 1980. She had nothing else to do, her brothers had joined, her dad had joined, why not? She had fun, once she got past bootcamp. She went into the medical field, a corpsman, she's so cool, she drove an ambulance. (May explain my fear of driving - my instructor's too qualified - especially on Memphis streets.) She married my dad in 1984, they went to Japan, and then came back to the US a few years later.

My mom says there were two incidences that made her leave the military after 8 years, instead of staying in to get retirement benefits. She left when she was pregnant with me.

1 - A man's attempted suicide. She realized that this was somebody's child, just like the one inside her, and she couldn't do it anymore.

2 - The redtape bullshit a single mother had to go through to leave work to pick up her sick child at the base's daycare.

No! My mom was going to be there for her daughter.

My dad could support the family, so it was okay financially.

Of course, her leaving had negative consquences. After we left the US for Italy, my mom tried to join DEERS as my dad's wife, but woopsie, he's already got one! He shredded her papers and told her to leave the country as soon as possible, so he wouldn't get into trouble. That was no picnic.

Not sure how that ties into the current topic, but I could fill at least 1% of the internet's many tubes with tales of my lovely padre. (He's a Republican, by the way, and told me he'd rather vote for Dixie than a democrat. I agree, Dixie's a much better politician than any of the quacks in office, but he's still a pain.)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pentagon abandons active-duty time limit.

Oh holy hell.

This is awful.

Before, soldiers could only serve 24 months in either the Afghan or Iraq war - cumulatively.

That's been lifted.

Now, they can serve 2 years, come home, then go back and serve 2 more!

Holy shit.

The ramifications of this are mind boggling.


I don't like where this is heading, it makes me so nervous and so angry that it fucking came to this. Oh, it was done in response to Bush's 'surge' plan, which will be a cakewalk and the 20,000+ new soldiers will be greeted with flowers and skittles.

What the hell are we doing?

The article also says that "Extra pay will be provided for Guard and Reserve troops who are required to mobilize more than once in six years; active-duty troops who get less than two years between overseas deployments also will get extra pay". Oh, good. Except it sounds like a new development, and people from my uncle's National Guard unit are preparing to go over this year. And they just went three years ago.

My Uncle joined the military in '87, somewhere in the last 20 years, he switched to the Army National Guard, which meant nothing until the invasion of Iraq. Oh, while Uncle Danny also went to the first Gulf War.

This is not good, this is not good.

We're going to need more troops - more young people volunteering. I'm still reeling over the news of my friend enlisting after graduation. While considering my health and our family finances, I briefly entertained the idea. My mom (served for 8 years in the Navy as a corpsman) quickly vetoed that. My dad's older brother has promised me physical harm if I join. Most of my family has been in the military.

Only the more delusional ones believe their children should join.

And that's before you factor in this war, which will lead to conscription of some kind - who is going to volunteer for this catastrofuck(thank you, Daily Show)?

The military is a pain in the ass, when it comes to daily life. My mom left the military when she was pregnant with me, because she saw how hard it was for working mothers to take care of their kids - even more so with all the red tape of the navy.

She joined out of desperation, she had nothing else to do.

And don't get me started on the insurance! Oh so low copays (12 bucks a doctor visit, uniform prescription prices at all pharmacies - free on the base, but the hours suck - , but not many doctors take it off the bases. I lost a great doctor after the war in Iraq started, and we know why. They don't pay their bills.

Anyways, we are so screwed.

No money for college could ever get me to join now.

I'm worried my cousin (Uncle Danny's son) may join, but if he does, he'll be declared physically unfit on the grounds of being a whiney weenie that I pushed in the lake. Please.

Sorry for rambling.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dixie and her Tongue

What a happy girl!

Sorry I haven't posted a dog picture for a couple days, the Daily Show came back on and I started volunteering at the crisis center again, and I've been in exquisite pain in the evenings, my normal posting time.

Thanks to Violet at Reclusive Leftist for the extra traffic!

Love her blog, wish I had the brains or inclination to write like that. I have the habit of dropping the heated debate halfway through for puppy pictures and simpsons quotes.

So now I'm twisting a puppy picture to politics.

In the local rag, there was yet another letter to the editor saying that those who criticize Bush are traitors, giving aid to our enemies. I had no idea that the little girl who stole my name that I saw Tuesday and gave a lolly to is a terrorist! Thanks for telling me.

I fail to see how words and ideas give comfort to the enemy - especially one as scattered as this. What I say, what anyone says, is meaningless to them. "Oh, so-and-so has this blog about monkeys and musical instruments, she doesn't like Bush, now I will blow up this restaurant. Thanks Kaitlyn!"

The Daily Show's on, gotta go.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Mikey and his Dance Moves

There are no words.

Doggie Diet Drug

Check this out!

The FDA has approved a weight loss for canines - not felines, and especially not humans.

This is insane, this is the latest drug breakthrough?

Weight loss for dogs?

Dogs are completely dependent on their owners in this area - how much they're fed, how much exercise they get - how... you're too irresponsible to play with your pup so you're going to buy a drug? And it says the same thing all weight loss things say "use with diet and exercise". Please. We all know the people that buy this won't do either - not for themselves, and not for their pups.

Jasmine was overweight, probably. Why? When we went overseas for about 5 years, we left her with my grandmother. She fed her pizza and obviously didn't exercise her - we came back and she was heavier. And a racist. And she broke her hip catching a frisbee not long after that, and the middle age spread hit her. And all the vets we saw cared. Not.

Anyway, our three mutts.

Dixie is a fixed female, almost 10. Wickett and Mikey are broken males, bother under the age of 5.

All are quite healthy.

We buy the cheapest 50 pound bag we can find, and fill one big bowl as it empties.

They eat on and off all day from the bowl, and they're fine.

They also get bits of healthy people food all day - bread, oranges(Mikey), bread, and pop rocks (one time, we wanted to see what would happen! We tried spicy food on the same principles). Mikey also drinks milk from time to time, and after his bout with Parvo, got into eggs. When his mommy left him for a week, and he had a bug bite, he got scrambled eggs, just for him.

In addition to our horrid food habits, they don't get daily walks. Not all three, sometimes not even one, if it's cold or wet or I don't feel good.

However, we have an insanely large, safe backyard, and they are quite happy to chase each other all day. Or chase us. We play every day inside or out. Mikey's particularly easy to rile, one dirty look from me and he's gone, flying around the house, he will catch me one day.

But that's us.

I'm sure there is a legit reason to buy this drug, but I can't think of any right now.

Zuzu over at Feministe probably said it better.

(And the best weight loss method for our mutts is a haircut.)

I also forgot - if a diet and increased exercise aren't working on the dog, you may have to accept that some dogs, like some people, have different metabolisms. Some breeds, even. Those labs are HUGE.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Check this out.

Obesity Report Cards and Eating Disorders at Feministe

If that doesn't get your blood boiling, check your pulse.

Children are being punished, it would definitely seem like a punishment to me, over something that is for the most part, beyond their control.

Schools don't have healthy lunches, they make deals with the soda companies to get funding, and recess and p.e. are getting cut, along with art and music, because they don't have anything to do with NCLB.

Actually, they do, because physical activity and creative projects make the education well-rounded, more enjoyable... so maybe kids that enjoy school may do better on state tests?

My high school had an open campus - buildings were added over the years as the population grew. So we had to go outside at lunchtime. The food sucked, it and it barely fed you, but we got sunlight and fresh air. The newest school in the county is safer than mine, but the safety came at the expense of the outdoors. Surely schools could be built around a courtyard, ensuring safety from intruders and allowing children (high school students are still children, no matter what they say) a fresh break in the middle of the day.

But that takes them away from test prep, which is fundamental in the determination of what schools get their funding cut. (The struggling ones are penalized, while the successful ones get more money!)

Dixie and her Stretches

Dixie is, without a doubt, the most perfect dog in the known universe. That is a given.

She is sweet, smart, gorgeous, and, most importantly, a mutt with that obscene chow tongue.

This picture was taken Sunday morning, as the lady in question slowly decided to get up. She spent a good ten hours in one spot on that couch. Our couch is so comfortable, I know what she went through. That doesn't excuse her constant thievery of my spot on the couch, though.

I am beautiful.

We all are.

I just finished The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. Yes, I should be asleep, but I had to do this.

I loved this book, and unlike the 500 or so other books I love, I'm going to pass this one on. I have to. This book took me about 5 days to read - for less than 300 pages, that's a long time for me. It was the only book I read. I read the Commercial Appeal, of course, and checked out an amazing blog, The Reclusive Leftist, which probably fueled this early morning post.

The book I was reading before was A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, a great, funny book about death. I love Chris Moore. The book I'll be reading next is a Sabrina the Teenage Witch novelization I also got at Goodwill last week. (What? You have a problem with my literary interests?)

Much of The Beauty Myth was beyond me - I haven't entered the workforce, I haven't dated, and it was written when I was 2 or 3, so it's all history to me. Horrifying history. What was done to Victorian women... I... half of the population! Told they were invalids because they menstruated! Bah! "Good old days." (Beyond the social inequities of the "good old days", I'd be dead. Thyroid surgery was still killing people in my grandfather's day - the early '70s.)

The book explains how, as women fought for equality and left the house, they were trapped by something else, the beauty myth, so as to never fully achieve equality. You still see it today.

The section called Hunger, so shocking, but so real! I hear it all the time, hell, I even felt it - I should starve myself for a few weeks to look better - luckily my growling stomach won out.

The book does not say we should fully reject makeup and beauty regimens, but that we should only do them because we want to, it's for our enjoyment, not what we think the world wants.

Onto my beauty.

I am drop-dead gorgeous. That's a given.

I never wear makeup. I only wear one piece of jewelry - an eyebrow ring. My hair regimen consists of washing it every other day and brushing it every day. I'll let my sister straighten it from time to time, but it never looks like me.

I have dark, long eyebrows. My sister claims I only have one brow, and that she must pluck the almost invisible hairs on top of my nose. No, she won't. Not on my time. I'd rather pierce it than pluck it, thanks but not thanks.

My eyes are two blue/green pools, magnified by my ever-present glasses (I ain't pokin' myself in the eyes to see, people) and my dark brows.

My nose is a family nose, small, rounded, quite cute and perfect for my face. My mouth is small as well, and fits in fine. When I let loose with a big smile, you see my uneven teeth and my dimples. You see my happiness.

My hair frames the whole picture, a curly, wavy blonde/brown border that covers my big ears and sets a relaxed vibe to the whole thing.

And my body? While not perfect on the inside (I'm anxiously awaiting cyborg parts - kidney stones hurt), it is just fine on the outside. I've got the right curves, my breasts are proportionate, beautiful, stretchmarked from the ravages of puberty, and perfect, though a major pain if I get on the trampoline without adequate support!

I have a little hourglass going on, and I love it. It's completely natural, and when I'm in the mood to wear a tight shirt, I feel like the whole damn world knows I'm gorgeous, and it's a great feeling.

It took me a few years to get to this point, but I love it, and I hope to never lose it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Stupid Commercials: K

There are three stupid commercials airing on American television right now.

Well, not now, we're getting into the awesome pre-super bowl ads. I love the rubber floor Budweiser one, and I saw the one where the ref's not a jackass, he's a zebra. Love it.

Prince'll be at this year's game, and I kinda understand football now, so I can watch and enjoy the whole thing!

Anyways, commercials.

1. KFC "Buffalo for a buck!"
  • Something sold at a restaurant is not 'a buck' or an even 99 cents. There are these things called taxes, and one is a sales tax, where you pay a certain number of cents per dollar of your purchase. Here in Tennessee, it's about 9 cents on the dollar, so I'd need a dollar and a dime for buffalo. Screw that. No tax on my vending machine purchase!
  • They're waiting for a train... where and how is the guy about to buy a snack from the vending machine going to get food from KFC?
  • The dude who got 'buffalo for a buck' is holding a drink. Was that a buck as well or was it part of the deal?

2. Special K - Christmas

  • How stupid is this kid? It looks like daytime, and Santa comes at night.
  • This woman is FAT? So fat that when she bends over in a red robe, her daughter thinks she's Santa Claus? This woman looks pretty healthy to me, a normal size.
  • "Now is when you regret those Holiday Cookies." COOKIES are enough to make you balloon to Santa proportions?!
  • The Special K promises 6 pounds in a couple weeks - 6 pounds is enough to make you not look like Santa?!
  • She opens her cupboard and has all of Special K's products, including the new things! She has their food, but eats those cookies anyway? And turns into Santa without the padding?

3. Special K - Donuts
  • The woman in question is a healthy size, on the thin side.
  • One donut will ruin that, and one Special K bar will keep her thin?

The Special K commercials are so frustrating! The women in the commercials never look overweight, so they have to keep eating this special brand of food to maintain that? That sucks.

I think it's probably easier to maintain your weight by exercising often in any way you chose and eating whatever the hell you want. Holiday cookies won't turn you into Santa, even if they cost a dollar. "It's only a buck!"

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

I love this book. I got it last Tuesday for 99 cents at the Memphis Goodwill. I couldn't pass it up.

There is a part in the 'Violence' chapter on page 225 that still resonates.

It's about how Victorian doctors claimed contraception of any kind caused galloping cancer, sterility, and nymphomania in woman.

The last one we still hear from certain religious groups - the last one about the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer. Since it's best if it's done before women become sexually active. The vaccine will make them go out and have sex, since cervical cancer is no longer a problem! The birth control I'm taking to keep my endometriosis and ovarian cysts under control is obviously turning me into a nympho.

And don't forget sex ed. Hearing that there are things that can be worn, taken, or done to prevent pregnancy or disease after sex CLEARLY turns us into nymphos.


I'm braindead, and can't think of a comparison right now.

Wickett and his Fur

We've had Wickett three years, as of last month. My skin was in chemical burn mode, our cousins were living with us, it was not a good time. I was on mom's bed, watching tv or reading, with my skin exposed. In comes Miss Nancy and Mom with this black thing. He immediately pooped on the bed.

It was his house, obviously.

Miss Nancy is one of mom's coworkers and she had Wickett from spring '03 until December '03 when he used my mom's bed as a toilet. She doesn't have a fenced in yard, and nobody was ever home to play with him, and he peed in the house. Well, we have a nice, big, secure backyard, and while there may not always be a human around, he has Dixie and Mikey. He had Ginger until August of '05 as well, but she didn't like being a chewtoy for the new boys that much.

As for his fur, he's jet black, obviously. Quite cute, especially with that snow on him, aw. He has white patches, but they're on his belly and chin. So all you normally see is nothing, a negative.

Tonight, er, this morning, the biggest little shit in the universe wanted out. So I let him out. A few minutes later, I hear him barking. A few minutes after that, I decided to let him in. Once, he was sitting on a chair, barking at me. This time, however, I couldn't find him. What I thought was him at first turned out to be a brown bucket.

And when our little brown living room trashcan is moved ever-so-slightly into the kitchen, I swear I see him. One time, I was taking out the trash, and I left the gate open because they never run out, they're quite content. I look down, there's Wickett! Oh shit!

No, it was just my shadow.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Mikey and his Towel

Mikey got a bath yesterday. Why? I decided it was his turn for a nice, long walk. We got him in March 2003, and when we took him camping that spring, he got tired so easily on the little trails and had to be carried back to his mommy.

That even continued to our little suburban neighborhood. I never fell for it, I just stood there and waited for him to get back up. But Mom and Beck (she's my little sis holding the moppet) will carry the baby for hours. And he loves it.

But when he's walking with me, he's so excited. He only weighs 12 pounds, but he pulls me as much as Dixie. He's also a complete chicken on the walks. My favorite incident involved a woman pushing a stroller. I was worried he'd jump on her, or bother the baby, but no, he jumped off the sidewalk as she went past, then turned around and sniffed after her - "Why didn't she pay me any attention?"

Back to the bath - I took a little shortcut across a muddy field at the end of the walk, so I wouldn't have to a) walk farther and b) walk along a narrow road with no sidewalk, where we'd end up in a soggy ditch anyway.

We got home and he was a muddy mess. I threw him outside and said, "Dog? What dog?"

Friday, January 05, 2007

Woman's World Magazine

This magazine is a waste of money and paper. It only costs a dollar forty-nine, but it's chockfull of inspirational stories, cute kids, delicious recipes, relationship help, and diets. Lots of diets. On and off the advertisements.

My mom buys this from time to time, I always look through it, wondering what insipid thing they're saying this month.

The January 9, 2007 issue takes the cake.

Anyone with a brain that reads this issue from cover to cover will come to the conclusion that any diet besides one consisting of less food and more physical activity is a joke. However, I don't see that happening.

The main cover story shouts, "FAT? TIRED? RUNDOWN? Lose 18 pounds in 11 days! Release the toxins that cause 'chemical fat'! Get slim and energized!"

This 'article' runs on pages 20 and 21.

The problem is, on page 25, there is a decent article on how mothers can pass eating disorders onto their daughters. It's about rejecting the 'you're never too thin' for a healthy body image. One circle says "Did you know? Overweight doesn't mean unhealthy! One study showed that overweight people who are active are healthier than thin ones who are sedentary!"

The box at the bottom on safe dieting includes this gem: "Lose two pounds or less a week - more than that is muscle loss."

So, er, what's going on with the main part of this week's issue? 18 pounds dropped in less than 2 weeks! Now, doesn't this imply that the fad diets are unhealthy and dangerous, if they work at all beyond the time you're on it?

I'm reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf right now.

I definitely see what she was talking about. There's also an 'article' called 'Erase years from your skin!' Because age is a horrible thing, and while we can't stop ourselves from getting older, at least not yet, we can at least look younger. The older women that get plastic surgery, they look fake, they're wearing some sort of mask, can they really smile?

None of the diets profiled in magazines like this work. Not permanently, and not for everybody. And they never will, that will stop an industry, we can't have that. Same with 'anti-aging' creams and treatments. We'll always get wrinkles and gray hairs, and we'll always shell out big bucks to fix them because age is terrible, there's something wrong with you if you look your age.

Wickett and his Box

This is Wickett. He's named after an Ewok, and he looks like one. We don't know any of his breeds for certain.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Small Potatoes

"Small Potatoes" is one of the best episodes of the X-files. One of the best, because there's always Jose Chung's From Outer Space, Bad Blood, Squeeze, Pusher, Field Trip, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas, Triangle, Post-Modern Prometheus, Home, I could go on forever.

Small Potatoes is perfect. It's one of the light, silly episodes, which is good, because I watched it at one a.m. this morning on Sci-fi. Tried that with Detour one time and scared myself silly before the opening credits. I'm a weenie, which is why I adore the X-files, and have 20 Stephen King books in the bookshelf on my headboard. And so many involve the wilderness, and who loves camping?

It's all a conspiracy, I'm sure.

What can I say about this episode that hasn't been said? Darin Morgan is great as Eddie Van Blundht (the h is silent), the man with the vestigal tail that can change into anybody he choses, usually for sexual purposes - impregnating women by masquerading as their husbands and Luke Skywalker. And Mulder, which is a trip, of course, what with the typos, twice, the upside down badge, and the questions about where he sleeps and such.

Vince Gilligan wrote it, and I love almost every episode he did.

I'm not a good critic, I judge things by whether I want them to end or not. Didn't want this one to end.

Eddie van Blundht as Mulder

Dixie and her Rug

This is Dixie, my nine year old chow mix. She is my baby, and I adore this picture of her - she looks so happy.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wok Like an Egyptian

Sorry for the downtime, if anybody cared. I've just been screwing around, some lousy health type things have happened since I last posted, and I'll get around to them sooner or later, I'm sure.

Also, I want to post about more than health and play with this blogger 2.0 or whatever it is.

Mikey and his Tangerine

I think I'll have a puppy picture of the day, something nice, cheery, and cute.

This is Mikey, he's a poodle something mix, and that's his tangerine peel.