Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'm chic, hip and trendy

Ok, maybe it's more like cheap, hippy and trend-less. But by gawd, my hair looks goooooood.

(I might post a photo or two when Zig gets home tonight.)

Not being from this area and not having any friends here, one of my biggest problems has been finding someone who can cut my hair the way I want it. The minute I find someone who can come close, they promptly leave for greener pastures, leaving me floundering again for a decent hairstylist.

There's a haircut floatin around out there that I've been lusting after for probably close to two years now. My daughter's hair is cut that way...sorta. Her s/o's sister's hair is cut in exactly the style that I've been so hot for. But they both live about 250 miles from here...not exactly handy to run and get a quick haircut when the mood strikes me.

I've gotten my hair cut probably six or seven times in the last couple of years. EVERY time, I try to explain to the little chickie/s what I want. I even show 'em pictures. EVERY time, I'm disappointed. Some get close...some are waaaay off. But NOBODY'S ever got it right. This last time...geeeezus....I got home and discovered it looked like somebody put a bowl on my head and just whacked my hair off. So I went back and had someone else "fix" it, again tellin her what I wanted. Uh huh. She "fixed" it, alright. I got back home, whacked on it myself and THEN had Ziggy help when HE got home.

So anywho, today I'm in the mood to get a haircut. Yea, I'm a glutton for punishment, ok? But I wanna get it spiffed up before vacation, ya know? I absolutely LOVE the convertible, but it's hell on my thick hair. So, I pick a completely different joint...and I lucked out. I walked in, told the gal what I wanted, showed her a picture and she says, "I think I know just what you want."

I've gotta admit...I was a bit...apprehensive when I looked at her. She looks all of 22 years old, gorgeous and probably wears a size 3 on her worst premenstrual day. And her hair? Uh. Well. I'm not sure how many colors were in her spiked up, streaked up coif...probably four or five. But hey...she was friendly and she said she knew what I wanted. 'Course, they've all said that.


Boy...did I ever get the full 'treatment'. Something that I never got at the other place. Full shampoo with an absolutely decadant scalp massage; pleasant chit-chat; a great cut and....A STYLE. She put this awesome-smellin stuff on my hair, dried it, styled it, flat-ironed it, trimmed it again, poofed it and fussed with it...I was in heaven. I looooove it when someone messes with my hair. She didn't stop until she was completely satisfied with it...and she made sure I was happy.

Gawd...was I HAPPY!

Yea, it cost about twice as much as the cheapie joint. Just another example of 'ya get whatcha pay for', I guess. And of course, I hadda have a little bottle of the outrageously expensive, great-smellin "silk reconstructing complex" stuff that makes my hair feel silk.

Lemme tell ya...I'm positively ticked to death. And I feel gooooood.

I let her know, in no uncertain terms, that I was extremely happy with the whole experience. She was tickled that I was so happy. But then, she got this funny look on her face when I made her sign an blood...and made her swear on the life of her firstborn child...that if she left there and went somewhere else to work, that she'd let me know.


Wonder why she locked the door when I left?

Oh, the irony

Irony, hell. I'm PISSED.

(Sorry about the length...I'm too stoopid to figure out the 'extended entry' thing.)

From today's issue of the
  • PJ Star
  • :

    HAVANA - A $6.4 million renovation and expansion will help Mason District Hospital officials realize their vision for patient care, hospital CEO Harry Wolin said Wednesday.
    The hospital's board recently approved a project that will replace all inpatient rooms and overhaul the outpatient therapy and rehabilitation areas.

    "Other communities don't necessarily have this level of care in a rural area," Wolin said. "We work hard to by worthy of continuing that role."

    The hospital plans to complete the entire project without raising local property taxes. Wolin said the hospital board plans to issue 20-year bonds to pay for the work.

    The state recently released $300,000 in Illinois FIRST money for the project, and private contributions are expected to contribute to the total funding package.

    "These exciting improvements will enable the physicians to meet the changing needs of outpatient and inpatient care right here in the local community," said Dr. Rick Wagoner, Mason District medical staff president. "It's a very positive step for patients, medical staff, the hospital and everyone who lives and works in the area."

    Wolin said the hospital was built in 1957 with 18 inpatient rooms. A new inpatient area will be built to the north of the hospital's emergency department.

    The new wing will have 12 inpatient rooms with a total of 20 beds. The new rooms will have private showers, which the current rooms lack, and the latest in wireless technology for staff, Wolin said.

    The old inpatient area will be converted into administrative office space.

    The hospital's physical therapy, occupational therapy and cardiac rehabilitation area will be expanded.

    "Over the years, we've seen significant growth in our outpatient services," Wolin said. More space and new equipment will improve the outpatient services the hospital can provide, he said.

    Other upgrades will include renovation and modernization of the emergency department, an expanded hospital pharmacy and a new main entrance and lobby area.

    Construction could begin within a couple of months, and Wolin said the project will take about 2 1/2 years to complete.

    Mason District Hospital employs 210 staff members who see about 500 inpatients annually, Wolin said.

    Now, this probably won't be of much interest to those not from the area. But it's my hometown. MDH is where I began my nursing career. I worked with people I'd gone to grade school and high school with. I had patients whom I'd known all my life. I've been a patient there. My parents were patients there. It's home.

    While I worked there, I went to college on a full scholarship provided by their foundation. They paid for everything. Tuition. Books. Even a monthly stipend. All I had to do was guarantee I'd stay there a year after school. I stayed 11.

    MDH is a complete, full-service hospital. It's just reeeeally small.
    They've kept up with technology at an incredible rate...we had 'computer charting' long before most of the big hospitals here in Peoria ever thought about implementing a system.

    And a part of me is happy for 'em. Really. For a tiny, rural, independant hospital to even still be alive today and not be swallowed up by one of the 'mega hospitals''s pretty amazing.

    As one who's been on both the giving AND receiving ends of their medical care, beginning when I was 6 years old, I can say without hesitation that the level of care at MDH FAR outweighs that of any other place I've ever worked or been a patient. And I've worked in some of the 'best'. The very fact that it's so small is one of the factors, of course. But the whole thing is...they're taking care of their own. Their own friends, neighbors, relatives. It's a small town...4,000 or if you're not related, you KNOW the people...and most of the time, you know 'em well.

    Oh, of course, there were times I was frustrated over one issue or another while I worked there. But I can honestly say that if I wouldn't have moved away, I'd still be there. I'd have retired from there. It's the one (and only) nursing job that I truly liked.

    However......(here I go)...

    I was talking to an old friend (who shall remain nameless because she still works there) not too awfully long ago. We always talk about what's goin on there...what's the the job is goin...playin 'catch-up', ya know? And she proceeded to tell me that Mr. Big Pants (the CEO) felt that they should cut the amount of nurses in her particular area (which also shall remain nameless). Now, it's not like this particular area is, in any way, an 'ancillary' area. It's direct patient care. Hands on.

    Mmmmm...ok. We're touting this big 'expansion'. We're doin all this building and growing...but we wanna cut staff. Duh.

    Does that make sense....TO ANYONE? Of course it doesn't. At least it doesn't to the people that actually TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS, WHICH IS WHAT A FUCKING HOSPITAL IS FOR IN THE FIRST DAMN PLACE. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to Mr. Big Pants, though. As it does to all the other Mr. Big Pants' in all the other hospitals. He's an 'administrator'...a talking head. In other words, he's completely clueless as to what a hospital actually DOES. What a hospital is actually FOR.

    He's not in the business of 'patient care'. He's in the business of makin a buck. Plain and simple. Period.

    Build bigger and better. Obtain the most cutting-edge technology. Hire the very BEST PR people and spend BIG bucks advertising. Pay the talking heads in management, who have absolutely NO CLUE as to what a hospital actually DOES, astronomical amounts of money. Build lavish, comfortable LOBBIES that cost thousands of dollars.

    I don't know about YOU, but if I'm havin a heart attack, I could give a shit as to what the friggin LOBBY looks like. Just take good care of me.

    Get those patients IN...then get 'em fast as possible. Still sick? No matter. Just keep 'em alive long enough to discharge 'em. If they have to come back, well...that's another admission...more bucks. Just make sure they're HAPPY while they're here because, after all, we WANT that return visit. We WANT them to recommend us to their friends. Cater to 'em. Valet service. Menu service. Be all things to all patients.

    Then cut nursing staff...cut THE most basic thing that the people are there for in the first place. Make them take more patients...sicker patients. Force them into overtime and double shifts to take up the slack because even paying overtime is cheaper than actually hiring another body.
    Then give a lotta lip service to the terrible state of the 'nursing shortage'.

    My ass.

    Ya know, Ziggy and I have talked a lot about his job, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with healthcare. It's a factory. But it's run the same, damn way. They do all these stupid things that cost thousands and thousands of bucks, but they refuse to put any money in the decrepit, old equipment that actually MAKES the product in the first damn place OR in the laborers who know how to use said equipment.

    What the hell kind of 'business' are they teaching in business school?
    Maybe I'm just stupid, but that type of business model makes no sense to me whatsoever.

    Am I the only one that sees the ridiculous irony in this?

    Do I sound bitter? It's sad. I didn't used to be. I used to be this idealistic, young woman who thought she was actually doing something to help people, getting a chance to work with all her friends and neighbors...and gettin paid a decent amount of money to do that.

    But you can betcher ass I'm bitter now. I'm so bitter that I'm no longer a nurse. A bitter, angry nurse is not a good nurse.

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    I'm not askin for much...just a lousy five or six inches

    Don't be ridiculous. If I was gonna talk about sex, I'd ask for more than a measley five inches now, wouldn't I?

    Noooo, I'm talkin about in taller. I think 5'7 would be a perfectly lovely height to be. Unfortunately, I highly doubt that I'm gonna grow six more inches...upwards, anyway. Yea. I'm 'vertically challenged'.

    And nothing...nothing...has highlighted that fact more than today's fashions. I have a love/hate relationship with today's fashions. I love the looks of them. They're mostly very feminine-looking. Flowy, filmy peasant shirts. Swishy 'gypsy' skirts. Lots of lace and ruffles and flowers. Very romantic looking.

    However, I'm just NOT your filmy, lacy, ruffly, wispy, romantic kinda gal.

    Gauchos. They're so hot, hot, HOT right now. Good gawd. If I were to put on a pair of gauchos, I could probably pass for...oh...I dunno....4'1"...MAYBE. They'd make my already short, stubby legs look like they were a foot long. I might be wrong, but I don't think the achondroplasic dwarfism look is ME.

    Get a clue, designers...every American woman is NOT 5'7", nor do we all weigh 112 pounds.

    The gypsy skirts? Same thing. I look like a dumpy, dowdy Russian peasant woman. Add one of those really wide, low-slung belts that are supposed to lie at just about the pubic bone level and you've made a fashion statement. MY fashion statement, however, would say that I'm evidently wealthy enough to buy TWO of those great belts and hook 'em together, just so they'll fit around my fat ass.

    And speaking of 'peasants', how about those gorgeous peasant shirts? Yea. How about those heavy-duty, extra-support bra straps that have a way of creeping out from under the wide, scooping necklines.

    Yea, baby. THAT'S sexy.

    Halter dresses and tops? Uh huh. Riiiiight. Think about those beautiful halter dresses and tops. Those lovely, bare shoulders and back. Now, think again about those heavy-duty bra straps.

    Kinda ruins the effect, doncha think?

    Go braless? Gimme a break. The only way I could possibly go braless in a shirt like that is if I had an engineer rig up some kinda invisible....scaffolding...for those puppies. I've already tried duct tape and no... I don't wanna talk about it.

    Those low-slung, sexy jeans that show the teeniest glimpse of flat belly? Uh huh. I bought a pair or two. I hafta keep pullin 'em up because they feel like they're falling down. Which, in turn, makes 'em sorta....uncomfortable (in a nice way, though) in the crotchal region. Nope. The 'plumber's butt-crack' look just isn't ME, either.

    And the shoes. Oh, don't EVEN get me started on the shoes. Wedgies. Espadrilles. PUMPS? Ever wonder why they call 'em 'pumps'? It's because when you're feet are jammed and crammed in a pair, you can feel the blood throbbing and PUMPING in your feet.

    They're either pointy enough to put someone's eye out with a well-placed kick or they're high enough to ensure a nice, clean break. I'm sorry, but my feet are NOT two inches wide nor do they come to a sharp point at the toes. My feet also do NOT have an arch the size of the one in St. Louis. They just don't BEND at angles like that.

    I have APE feet, ok? They might be small (size 7), but they're damn near as wide as they are long. They look like little paddles at the ends of my legs.

    And yea...I can pick up things off the floor with my toes.

    Nope. Though I love the looks of 'em, today's fashions just AREN'T for me. Come to think of it, they're really not for any OTHER woman I know, either.

    'Course, I don't know many 5'7", 112 pound women who have perfect, perky breasts, tiny waists, extradordinarily low butt cracks and two inch wide feet.

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Yea, that old Aesop..he was a pretty smart guy

    I'm referring to the little parable of
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • . Y'all know the story.

    Let me preface this by saying that I'm certainly not calling anyone a liar. That's not the point of the story...really. I probably should just keep my mouth shut...for a lotta reasons. The main reason is that this is probably gonna come across as judgmental or snarky...or just plain mean. I really don't mean to be mean. But I know how I write, so it'll probably sound that way.

    The second reason that I oughta keep my mouth shut is because everyone else does. Nobody else seems to mind...or if they do, they're kind enough to keep their mouths shut.

    Unfortunately, kindness isn't one of my outstanding virtues.

    There's something that really bothers me about this whole blogging thing. Those repeat "Tin Cup Bloggers" 'Bleggars' is more appropriate. You know the ones I'm talkin about. The bloggers who always have one or two crisis' (crises?) goin on at any given time. It doesn't seem to be's not something that's specifically a male/female problem, though the circumstances are usually different.

    Generally, the men need 'help' to keep their blog going or to go to this blog meet or that blog meet and the women need 'help' with...well...all kinds of things.

    Either way, it bothers the hell outa me. And what bothers me even more is that some do it in a kind of...underhanded...way. They don't come right out and ask for help. I'd respect 'em more if they did. Instead, they use these "oh, woe is me" stories. Again and again.

    Don't get me wrong...I bitch and moan and whine about my circumstances occasionally. Hell, that's what a blog is for as far as I'm concerned. Us bloggers are damn good at commiserating. And we're damn good at rallying around someone who's in the middle of a bad patch. We've all been there at one time or another. Bloggers also seem to be a generous bunch. That's a wonderful thing.

    But let's face it...there are also a lotta gullible people out there, bloggers included. That's what bothers me. Those that get taken advantage of again and again and again. Those that fall for every hard luck, down and out story. Over and over again.

    As much as we'd all like to think we know the bloggers we read every day, we don't. Not really. Not when it comes to cold, hard cash.

    I started to say that there's no way in hell that I'd ever resort to blegging. But I usually try to never say 'never'. If I ever found myself in a place where blegging was my only resort (knock wood)...well...come to think of it, you'd never know about it.

    I'd have cancelled my MSN service by that time.

    The doors opened and I heard angels singing "Laaaaa!"

    Let me begin by saying that I used to be "Queen of All Things Shopping". I admit it. I was a shopoholic. It was like...a sport. The thrill of the hunt and all that. I could go for days. Hell, I have gone for days. Ok, maybe just two days, but two days of all-out shopping...8 or 10 hours at a time...well, that's a lot.

    I'm no longer a shopoholic. I've gone through the 12-step program.

    There are a lotta reasons that I checked myself into rehab, money being right at the top of the list. But it's funny...the longer I've gone without a 'fix', the less I like shopping when I DO have the opportunity.

    Nowadays, I'm pretty much a "get in, get what you came for and get the hell out" kinda shopper. Which pleases Ziggy to no end. Unlike my ex, who was also somewhat of a shopoholic, Ziggy would rather poke himself in the eye with a sharp stick than go shopping.

    It's kinda sad, too. Peoria has a lot of great places to shop. We have a very nice older mall. We have a fantastic, new 'outdoor' mall, Grand Prairie...tons of stores and little shops...lots of's a really neat place. But I rarely go to either one. We have a couple of Wal-Marts, K-Mart (gag), Target (YES!), TJ Maxx (my absolute fave), Marshall's, a couple of Big get the picture. It's a shopoholic's dream.


    One of my most favorite places in all the world to shop has finally arrived in Peoria.
  • Gordman's
  • opened last Friday! (And it's better than YOURS, Jules! hehe)

    I first fell in love with Gordman's when the ex and I would take weekend trips to St. Charles, Missouri. When I learned that my daughter would be moving there, my first thought was....WHOOPPEE! She's gonna live where there's a Gordman's! I was thrilled. To this day, every trip we make to St. Charles HAS to include a stop at Gordman's.

    And when the first talk of building Grand Prairie was goin around, the scuttlebutt was that Gordman's would be one of the stores. I was ecstatic. When the place finally went up, even though I rarely shopped there, I'd periodically run out there just to see if there were ANY signs of a Gordman's yet.

    I've been running out there "to see" for a couple of years now. I'd decided that it was all a big, fat lie. Just to disappoint me.

    But several months ago, on one of my "to see" trips, I SAW THE SIGN GO UP!. Just the sign, though. So I stepped up my "to see" trips, using the excuse that I wanted a Starbuck's coffee. I drank a lotta Starbuck's, lemme tell ya.

    At any rate, the grand opening was Friday. I couldn't help myself. I KNEW it'd be awful. I KNEW it'd be crowded. And it was. I swear ta gawd, you'd have thought that it was the only damn store in town. The large parking lot was packed. The traffic was jammed up something awful. The checkout lanes were five and six deep. Women were grabbin stuff off the shelves and racks like they were givin it away.

    And I was right in there, grabbin too.

    Somebody help me. I think I've fallen off the wagon.

    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    Repressed, depressed, frustrated and mean

    Kinda sounds like a country song title, doesn't it?

    No, it's not another 'menopause' rant.

    "Only liberals are such intolerant assholes that they would dig up a person's college newspaper articles in order to get him fired."

    "Is it just me, or has other people noticed how thin skinned conservatives have become? They can dish out their crap by the wheelbarrow but when it comes to taking it, their skin is as thin and delicate as toilet paper."

    I've swiped these two quotes this morning from blogs that I read regularly. Well...
  • one
  • I read regularly, anyway. The other is by someone whom I've de-linked because, while he's undoubtedly intelligent, I think he's a lonesome, geekly, self-absorbed, pompously arrogant, misogynist-wannabe with a severe case of adult ADD. My theory is that he can't get laid because of his self-absorbed arrogance, but he thinks that calling himself a misogynist makes it sound like he's doing it on purpose...makes it somehow more...acceptable. Kinda like saying, "That's ok. I didn't really wanna do it anyway."

    ( made sense when I typed it.)

    But I digress.

    Both of these quotes, Scott's especially, made me think. I know. And you KNOW it's a scary thing when I start thinkin.

    Have ya ever noticed that, despite all this 'political correctness' bullshit, that people are meaner and nastier than ever before?

    Of course, it should go without saying that politicians are the absolute worst. Conservatives and Liberals calling each other names. Flinging accusations of malfeasance, graft, corruption, moral depravity, intolerance. Kinda like the pot callin the kettle black, if you ask me. I think most politicians are in it only for what politics can do for them...not what they can do for politics. (My apologies to JFK) Actually work together to accomplish something? Good gawd, NO! One might get a little more 'pork' than the other one.

    GET porked is more like it.

    Religion...oh, don't EVEN get me started on religon. They URGE tolerance. They PLEAD for tolerance...but only if you believe the 'right' way. Tolerance only if you're in the "in" crowd. Screw the rest of us heathens...we're all gonna burn in hell.

    But it's not just politicians. It's not just religious leaders. On paper, we ALL seem to be soooo freakin concerned about offending someone else. But it's only on paper. It's only lip-service. In reality, most of us are assholes. Now, we're just repressed assholes. And a repressed asshole is a dangerous asshole. We're so fearful that the PC police are gonna come and lock us up for being intolerant, that we channel our frustration onto or into something else.

    You've got your road-ragers. You've got your middle-aged women in minivans who'll call you everything but a white woman if you 'steal' their parking place at the grocery store. You've got people who'll step on your feet, let the door slam in your face and ram into the backs of your ankles with their shopping carts and NEVER apologize.

    And when you're pushed to your limit of tolerance with these assholes, and you're SOOO rude as to call them a nasty're INTOLERANT.

    It's ok to be rude and mean, but gawd forbid you get accused of being politically incorrect. Does anyone else see the irony in that?

    We're ruder and cruder and meaner and nastier and more frustrated and LESS tolerant now than at any other time in history.

    Can you say "backlash"?

    I knew you could.

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    And the next big 'project' is....

    I've always gotta have a 'project', doncha know?

    As some of you might remember, every few months, I develop a big home improvement 'project'. In the three years we've lived in this apartment, we've:

    1. painted the entire living room...twice.
    2. painted the hallway.
    3. painted and redecorated the bathroom.
    4. turned our bedroom into a kitschy, tropical oasis, complete with a beachy mural and a tiki hut headboard.
    5. made a sofa from scratch.
    6. painted the kitchen and added a border of fat, jolly chefs.

    None of these projects include the countless times I've re-arranged the bedrooms and living room. But I figure that's just 'playtime' real work involved.

    Yea, we've put our own money in it. I'm sure a lotta people think we're stupid for doing so, but it's my home, dammit. If I'm gonna live here, I'm gonna have it the way I want it, even if that means we pay for it ourselves. Actually, if I remember correctly, we're not even supposed to paint the joint. I'm sure it's because they don't want a crappy job. But hey...I'm a painter. My paint jobs are far superior to what was here when we moved in. Besides that, I figure they'd just repaint it if we move anyway (which we have NO plans to do) what's the big deal?

    Anywho, there are still several things I'd like to do. I'd like to paint the kitchen again, do something with the hideous faux-woodgrain-front, metal cabinets (anybody got any good ideas for that?) and maybe change the floor tile. Those are all things that I'm just contemplating, though.

    The current project is redoing our patio. I know. It's only 39 degrees out there today...but a gal can do a little wishful thinkin, can't she?

    Now, it's only about 7 x 18 or so, so I don't have a lotta room to work with. It's semi-enclosed with a half-wall that we usually fill with pots and window boxes of tomatoes and/or peppers. This year, we're just gonna use half that space and do tomatoes only. About a third of the acutal floor space is taken up with a table and our fantastic electric grill (the 'kitchen' area), so I'm really just talkin an area of about 7 x 10 area to set up as a 'living' area.

    A couple weekends ago, Ziggy ripped up the nasty astroturf that was on the floor. Luckily, it wasn't glued down and the wooden floor underneath is in suprisingly good shape. Just a few cracks to fill and a fresh coat of paint, and we're good to go in that area. I also want some kinda seating for one a two-person lounge or glider. I'd LOVE to have one of those old, steel glider things...the kind that was so popular in the 40's and 50's? But, I'm sure they're hard to find...and if it's in good shape, it'd probably be out of our price range, anyway. (sigh)

    I'd also like to get an area rug of some kind...something like a bamboo, jute or coir...something sturdy and weatherproof. Oh, and a small ceiling fan...because it's partially enclosed, it gets kinda warm out there in the afternoon. I've already got a cool plexi-topped wicker and metal coffee table I can use, so that's taken care of. I'm also thinkin maybe one of those mosquito-net canopies? Or maybe just some wispy material hung on clips...just to give the sitting area a little privacy.

    I can see it in my head, already. Lazy summer days, loungin on the glider, bare feet propped up on the coffee table, sippin ice tea, readin a book while the breeze from the ceiling fan ruffles my hair....uh huh.

    Soooo, it looks like a trip to Lowe's and/or Home Depot is on the agenda for this weekend. Oh boy...oh boy...oh boy! I'm sure Ziggy's just thrilled. heh

    Ya just can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear

    Ok, so perhaps my use of that particular little homily was more than a bit ironic, considering the topic.

    Abdul Rahman, 41, a medical aid worker, converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago, a fact that came out publicly during a civil custody case between him and his wife in front of local authorities. The authorities charged him with rejecting Islam, a crime under the country's Shar'ia-based law. The penalty, if guilty, is death.

    The whole story is
  • here
  • .

    The UN and Amnesty International both have their knickers in a twist over this and Bush is "deeply troubled".

    My question is...what the hell do we expect? This is AFGHANISTAN, fer chrissake...not the United States. Do we really believe that our twisted knickers will change something that's so deeply ingrained into these fundamentalist Islamic whackjobs? Do we really belive that we've seen the last of the Taliban? Do we really believe that anything that the US has done in Afghanistan over the last several years is gonna make a bit of difference in the end?

    Surely we're not THAT naive.

    The term 'Islamic democracy' is an oxymoron. The two cannot possibly exist together. The fundamental principles of Islam dictate that.

    We're screaming about freedom from religious persecution, but isn't the very fact that we're trying to intervene in this matter in the first damn place indicative of our religious persecution of the Muslims? They are practicing THEIR religion. Who the hell are we to criticize?

    Oh. I forgot. We're Christians, aren't we?

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    They'll get my vibrator when they pry it from my cold, dead hands

    There is a landmark legal battle of constitutional proportions being fought down in Mississippi. It involves fundamental rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, not to mention the rights of certain small business owners to satisfy their customers. This week, another court refused to recognize Mississippians’ right to find companionship for 29.99 and so a law outlawing the sale of sex toys will stand.

    The whole story is
  • here
  • and was pointed out to me by a good pal who, I'm sure, realized that it'd spawn a lively rant from yours truly. (Thanks, SusieQ!)

    This is just soooo wrong on soooo many levels.

    Like Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the union, doesn't have enough problems. Abrams addresses some of those issues and he's far better at that than I am, so I won't bother repeating what he says in the article.

    But I'm concerned with the fact that Mississippi is gonna have a couple hundred thousand frustrated housewives to deal with on top of all their other problems.

    I'm thinkin of the scene in the classic "Frankenstein" where the outraged villagers march on Dr. Frankenstein's castle brandishing pitchforks and torches, screaming for the monster's head.
    Change the locale to the Mississippi state capitol building, change the villagers to disheveled, harried-looking women, take the pitchforks away and add a "mother's little helper". I can hear the buzz already.

    Got the scene in your head?

    I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Mississippi's legislators are male. Do they have ANY idea what they're doing? Don't answer that. Of course they do. They're trying to legislate morality. Well...their view of morality, anyway.
    It doesn't say anything about the right of Mississippians to OWN "..any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs..."...but if there's not already a law on the books, I'll bet it won't take 'em long to create one.

    How much ya wanna bet that penis pumps (providing they have a prescription) are still A-ok, though?

    Aside from the fact that they're trying to enforce their definition of "morality", I'll betcha there's another reason for it, too. They're all trying to defend their damned Victorian, Bubba-esque sense of manhood. They're threatened by the fact that women CAN...and DO...look for a little sexual satisfaction somewhere other than their redneck, beer-swillin, bloat-gutted, micro-dicked, Mullet-sportin husbands or boyfriends. Ya know the ones I'm talkin about? If they even CAN get it up, it's one of those 'missionary-only/two-minute miracles'. After they fart, they give ya a pat on the ass, roll over and go to sleep.

    Mississippi legislators wanna stick their nose in people's bedrooms...or bathrooms...or living rooms...even grocery stores or your local WalMart. Hell, let's face it...have vibrator, will travel. They can go just about anywhere. Ever see a woman with a big smile on her face while fondling the cukes in the produce section at the local Kroger? Ever wonder just why in the hell she looks so happy? Mmm-hmmm...they make remote controlled ones that fit in your panties, too.

    That's the beauty of those little battery-operated gadgets of joy. They're portable and cheap. Ya don't hafta worry about whether or not they'll call the next day. They're always...uh...up and ready to go. They don't require feeding, ego-stroking and ya don't hafta do your hair to spend a little...quality time with 'em. They don't expect you to look like a Victoria's Secret model, they don't care whether you had a shower today or whether your ass looks big in those jeans and they last as long as the batteries hold out. They don't fart, snore, pick their nose, leave skidmarks in their beeveedee's or get an erection every time they walk into Home Depot.

    Oh...and they don't wear Mullets...always a BIG plus in MY book.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    I dance in my heart...

    ...'cause my feets got no rhythm.

    Yea, that Mother Nature. She's quite the merry prankster. She gives me the soul of Twyla Tharp, but the feet of Larry Fine...along with the voice to match. Nyuk..nyuk..nyuk.

    I love music. No, I mean I love music. My tastes aren't refined. I'm not a music snob. I love equally and eclectally. Latin, Jazz, Oldies, Blues...doesn't matter. I know what I like and what I don't and that's enough for me.

    I love hearing/watching live music...I'll watch any kind. Bluegrass, Country, Rock, Folk. I sit in awe of those that can not only play an instrument well, but sing along with that instrument.

    And I'd like to think that I've got a good ear for music. I played clarinet in band or six years, though I can't read a note of music now. Ya don't use it, ya lose it. I can pick up just about any instrument, mess with it a while and pick out a recognizable tune. I know when it sounds right and when it doesn't.

    However, when it comes to singing or dancing...well, let's just say...I suck. I mean major suckage. Ultimate suckage. Ok, so sometimes I can belt out a tune along with the radio and not sound like a cat that's been run over by a riding lawn mower. But the song hasta be in just the right key...or octave...I dunno. But those times are rare.

    But dancing? Oh, gawd...I'm so bad it oughta be illegal.

    We go to monthly parties with a bunch of other couples and dancing is always a major feature. We have a great DJ who plays a fantastic mix of stuff...but I rarely dance. Oh, I want to...I can hardly keep myself contained. My feet are goin under the table. I'm bouncin and bobbin to the rhythm. But I'm just not....comfortable dancing. It ain't pretty. It ain't graceful. I can feel the music. Every fiber of my being tells me that I can get out there and DANCE, baby!

    But the rhythm gets lost somewhere between my ears and my feet. How the hell does that happen?

    My parents were fantastic dancers. I'm not kiddin...we're talkin Fred and Ginger caliber here. I can remember my dad having me stand on his feet and dancing...trying to teach me. Then he'd have me do it on my own feet and it'd wind up with him yelling and me crying. I just couldn't get it.
    Dancing lessons? Forget THAT. Same result. I loved the just got lost in translation.

    And it's not that I'm ashamed or embarrassed to get out there and shake my formidable ass. Hell, there are plenty of other people that have no rhythm already doing that. Nobody'd notice another one. People are always buggin me to "get out there and dance". But I rarely do. It's just....I's like it ruins it for me.

    Boy...when I think about it...gawd...I'd love to salsa. I'd adore being able to swing dance. Ballroom dancing? Ohhhh, baby. But I just can't do it. Period.

    I'm dancin my ass off in my heart, though. Guess that'll hafta be enough.

    Do I dare?

    Y'all know what happens when I start messin around with 'technical' blog stuff. I wind up deleting everything.

    Well, I'm messin again.

    I've long been kickin around the idea of moving the ole blog...or maybe starting another one. Though I've heard a lotta complaints about Blogger, personally I haven't experienced many. Well...there's a problem with uploading photos today, but that's not a biggie. Usually it works like a charm. But it worries me. I've read about people losing their ENTIRE blogs. I already did that once, though it was by my own hand. I have only myself to blame for that. But, it'd REALLY piss me off if Blogger did it.

    I've had a WordPress site set up for some time now, but haven't posted anything...haven't taken the time to mess with with it...see what it can do.

    I'm takin the time today.

  • Charmingly Bawdy
  • is up and running.'s up, anyway. Not exactly 'runnin' yet, so don't go deleting Lolly from your blogroll and adding CB...when (and IF) I decide to just run with it, I'll letcha know.

    Frankly, it seems pretty darned...clunky...compared to Blogger. I'm sure it's just because I haven't worked with it much, but there's an awful lotta 'secure' crap that just seems to slow it down. I don't need that. It's not like I'm postin national security secrets or anything, fer gawd's sake.

    But, I'm thinkin I might take CB in a different direction. I'm gonna go back to the way I used to post on Lolly...the 'original' Lolly...not this one. I used to write about whatever hit me at the time and I didn't pull many punches. This Lolly has taken on somewhat of a 'G' rating. While CB won't be risque enough to merit an 'X' rating, it'll definitely be for adult reading, only.

    Honestly, I got tired of all the "Ewwww!" comments when I posted about sex. Screw that. Sex just happens to be part of my life. And let's face 51 years old, it's about damn time, isn't it? I happen to like sex. B I G. D A M N.
    D E A L.
    If ya don't wanna read about it, don't look. Simple, huh?

    Anyway, if anyone happens to see me runnin around, screaming at the top of my lungs with half my hair pulled out you'll know...I'm messin with WordPress again.

    Doo..doo...doo...lookin out mah back door

    Ok. Photobucket is kickin my ass over these photos. No matter how small I size 'em, they keep coming out HUGE...takin up the whole page. And I can't get Blogger to post the photos to save my ass. You'll just hafta take my word for it. heh

    Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of Spring? Riiiiight.

    The bad news? We've got probably 3-4 inches on the ground now and it still looks like a blizzard out there.

    The good news? It's supposed to be back up in the high 50's by the weekend.

    The bad news? Key Largo is still 24 days away.

    The good news? Key Largo is only 24 days away.

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    I'm from....

    Swiped this from
  • Junebugg
  • , who just happens to be one of my favorite people. She swiped it from her sister,
  • Donna
  • , who's obviously as talented as her sister.

    I'm gonna try my own, though I'm sure it won't be as eloquent as either of theirs.

    I am from...

    I'm from blue jeans and Ivory Soap. From the smell of canning tomatoes and freshly-laundered sheets hung in the sun to dry.

    I am from the cinder-block house with it's cool-to-the-touch concrete floors and it's shady, sprawling yard. At night, I'm lulled to sleep by a chorus of crickets and by the rich, heavy scent of the neighbor's newly cut hay that wafts in through my open windows.

    I am from the Illinois River with it's muddy, mucky banks and it's earthy, primal smell...from sand roads and hot, lazy summer days spent exploring the river's edge and the woods that surround it. I am from Morel mushrooms, wild asparagus, daffodils and Catalpa blooms in the spring; homegrown tomatoes, fresh green beans and pots of red petunias in the summer; turnips and mounds of brown, crackly leaves in the fall.

    I'm from a tradition of having no tradition other than oyster stew on Christmas Eve. I'm from Donovan and Adah, neither of whom knew how to love the other; from Charles and Otelia...stubborn, aloof Swedish immigrants; Mabel and Dan...simple, uneducated people who made the river their life.

    I am from growing up alone. I am from stubborness and loneliness. From screaming arguments and slamming cupboards and cold silences. From attempted and successful suicides.

    From the sad/funny stories of the Depression and Prohibition and duck-hunting gangsters. I'm from parents who were nearly old enough to be my grandparents and stories about their parents. I'm from stories about relatives whom I never knew.

    I am from a religion having no religion. I'm from strict Lutherans and Latter Day Saints and from sinners. I'm from a man who believed only in the church of the self and a woman who believed in God, though only because she thought it was expected of her.

    I'm from the prairies of the Midwest, the banks of the Illinois River and from the gently rolling lowlands of Sweden. I'm from lutefisk and pickled herring...from fried 'taters and onions and crispy, golden fried fish.

    From my mother's lifelong mental illness...her anger and her jealousy. From her near-obsession with cleanliness and orderliness. From her desire to please everyone except herself and blame only others for her unhappiness. From my father's explosive anger, his escapism and his 'pie in the sky' imagination, his thirst for knowledge, his scathing sense of humor and his artistic talent.

    I am from family photos where I am always between my parents...always in the middle...always protected but forever the middle-man, separating the two. I am from grade school photos...a chubby blonde girl, rarely smiling because she's not happy. I'm from high school photos...a chubby, blonde hippie with long hair, flashing a peace sign, still rarely smiling, but not because she's not happy...because it's not 'cool'.

    I'm from learning how to look at myself as objectively as I can. From intelligence and common sense and pragmatism. From trying to figure out how to take the best of both parents and just leave the rest...the worst. From learning from the mistakes of others who loved me the most, yet rarely knew how to express that love.


    Well. That little exercise was somewhat...depressing...wasn't it? Maybe I should go back to politics. heh

    I should have added Junebugg's template for this:

    I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

    I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

    I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

    I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

    I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

    From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

    I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

    I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

    From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

    I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Racism or truth?

    I fully expect to catch a lotta hell for that question. And several more I have.

    I've always firmly believed that I'm not a racist. In fact, the only time that my dad (who made Archie Bunker look like Mother Theresa) ever hit me was when we got into a heated argument about his racism.

    Honest ta gawd...I like to think I judge people by their actions, not the color of their skin or their ethnicity or their religious affiliation. You don't do anything to hurt me and I won't do anything to hurt you. You don't try to force your morals or beliefs on me and I'll do the same. You be nice to me and I'll be nice back, whatever the hell color you are.

    There are bad people of every color. Of every ethnicity. Of every religion. There are also GOOD people...more good than bad, or at least I like to think so.

    But this is something that I seriously wanna know. If you speak a truth...something that can be backed up by statistics...if it's there in black and white (no pun intended), how can it be called 'racist'? Or are they two separate issues, each having nothing whatsoever to do with the other?

    I caught the first episode of
  • Black. White.
  • the other night on FX.

    It really was fascinating. But I found myself wondering about a particular scene in which the black guy, posing as a white guy (the makeup was pretty darned amazing, really), took a job as a bartender at bar in a predominantly white neighborhood. He figured it was a good place to get to hear what whites really had to say about blacks.

    So, he's talkin to one of his customers and he's asking about the neighborhood...askin him if it was safe and a good place to raise kids...the kind of things someone would ask if they were thinking of moving to the area. The white guy replied that yea, it was safe...still a good opposed to some of the surrounding areas that had experienced upswings in the black population. He went on to say that those areas had started to experience lots of problems...a big increase in crime...drugs, murders, gang-related activity, etc.

    The white guy didn't say anything that was overtly racist. He just told it like it was. He didn't use derogatory terms. He didn't really offer much of his own input...his own views. Just said that more blacks had moved into those areas and those areas were beginning to have more problems. Period.

    Talking to him later, while the two families were at home (which they're sharing, btw) the black guy was appalled by the customer's "overt" racism.

    Now, I must add that the black family, while living in a diverse neighborhood, looked to be pretty darned affluent. Lovely homes...nicely kept lawns...fairly new cars. It looked to be as nice a neighborhood as I've ever seen. Hell, probably a lot better than some that I've lived in.

    I found myself wondering...would THIS family live in one of the neighborhoods that the white customer was telling about? Or even in one of the...less lovely...neighborhoods in Peoria? We DO have some neighborhoods that are pretty bad.

    I'd just about bet that the answer would be a resounding "NO". And for the same reasons that the white guy talked about.

    So, does that make the black guy some kinda racist-in-reverse? If not, why? Was the white guy just being a raging racist or was he telling the truth? If you're NOT a racist, but you speak a truth that just happens to involve some sort of black/white issue, does that make you a racist? Are we supposed to lie about some issue or another out of fear of being called racist? Where's the line?

    Am I just deluding myself into thinkin that I'm NOT a racist, when in reality, I'm every bit as bad as my dad...just less...vocal...about it?

    My head hurts.


    A 'sometimes commenter' here at Lolly, Scott O'Brien, has some
  • insight
  • on my puzzlement about this subject on his new blog,
  • O'Brien's Briar Patch
  • . Though Scott and I don't always see eye to eye on issues, he always has intelligent, well thought-out comments. I'm really glad to see he's started his own blog.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    One little month

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    A mere 30 days.

    Ok, if ya count driving time, it's 32 days. I choose not to count driving's still falls under the heading of 'vacation', even though we're on the road.

    I didn't realize it til the other day, but we'll be in Florida for Easter. Barring any unforseen problems, anyway. And I choose not to have any 'unforseen problems'.

    It's funny. I look at the drive down and back as being kinda like childbirth. After it's all over, ya totally forget how painful it was.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Heinous sacrilege

    I just caught a commercial for Fidelity Investments.

    The background music?

    Ina Gadda Da Vida

    Somebody kill me.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Spine chilling

    Most of you know that I just don't "do" politics. Just because I don't blog about politics doesn't mean that I don't know what's goin on or that I don't care. I don't blog about politics because I simply don't like banging my head against a brick wall.

    I have my own opinions and views when it comes to politics. So does everyone else. And that's the way it should be. Unfortunately, many people feel that their particular political leaning is the only "right" one. "Right" as in "correct", not as in..."right or left".

    There are those rare occasions when I'll open my mouth. But it's only when I feel very strongly about a particular issue.

    This is one of those times.

  • Marti
  • , just a state away, has pointed out some very disturbing news about the
  • Missouri State Legislature
  • .

    What the Missouri legislature is trying to do absolutely horrifies me. It horrifies me for several reasons. One of them is the MOST appropriate quote by Martin Niemoller that Marti used:

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    It horrifies me because I have a daughter and granddaughter who live in Missouri.

    And, it horrifies me because Missouri just happens to be Illinois' neighbor.

    Read Niemoller's quote again....and remember it...because you might be next.

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    All the ansahs ah soooo simple, glasshoppah...

    I am firmly convinced that all the answers to every home improvement question since time began can be found in one place.

    The Red Green Show

    Baling wire, duct tape and some nice cardboard. Everything you'd ever need for any home improvement project.

    I am further convinced that ALL the answers to every socioeconomic problem known to man can be found in one place.

    South Park

    That is all.

    I'll have a martini with that, please....

    Strangely enough, one of my most favorite shades of green.

    You Are Olive Green

    You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.
    For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.
    You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.
    People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Schadenfreude, schmadenfreude

  • Vonster
  • seems to think I've come down with a "nasty case of schadenfreude" regarding my post about
  • Thomas Kinkade
  • .

    I was pretty sure I knew what schadenfreude meant, but I looked it up, simply because I wasn't sure that Vonster was using it appropriately. Of course, he wasn't.

    Schadenfreude means taking delight in the misfortune of others. I absolutely do not take delight in the misfortune of others.

    I take delight in the things that people do to themselves to sabatoge their own lives and the hypocrisy that they show while trying to pretend that it wasn't really their fault or they didn't do it. "Misfortune" has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Bad fortune or ill luck.
    The condition resulting from bad fortune or ill luck.

    Let me see if I can illustrate the difference.

    Scenario #1 - Vonster is walking down Main Street, minding his own business. A truck runs a red light at Main and University, just as he's attempting to cross the street (no jaywalking ticket for him) and he's hit.

    Do I experience schadenfreude? Do I delight in his misfortune? Nope. Poor guy was minding his own business, complying with the law and an accident happened. I'd feel all the empathy in the world for him.

    Scenario #2 - Vonster is walking down Main Street, minding his own business, when he notices a demonstration of anti-Bush, liberal, athiest lesbians picketing in front of Bradley. He becomes enraged and attempts to cross the street, against the light, to confront them. His trademark screech of "MOONBATS!" has barely escaped his lips when he's hit by a truck.

    Is THAT schadenfreude-worthy? You betcha.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Let's try a little Idol Top Twelve 'live blogging'

    I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Let's see if I can pull this off.

    Besides that, I hadda take a Vicodin. Can't do much after poppin one of those 'cept sit and blog...or sleep.

    *Bo's a guest tonight. Gawd. Whatta fine boy. I'm not too sure about the song, though. Sorta...ho-hum. Who cares? I can mute the sound.
    I wonder if lusting after him makes me a 'dirty old lady'? I suppose so.

    Commercial: Wonder how ya do the 'bullet' thingies? I'm sure there's an html code for 'em. Oh, and speaking of commercials, there's a post brewing around in my head about 'em.

    *Hmmm...I thought maybe Melissa would get booted tonight. I don't think she's that great. Awww...Kinnik (whatta name) is leaving. She seems so sweet and she can definitely sing, but she just didn't have anything really...outstanding about her. I hate how they draw these things out...kicking people off. But I guess if they did it fast, they couldn't fill up the hour, could they?

    *Now, who's gonna be the first boy to get the ole heave-ho? Ohhh..Kevin is safe...tonight, anyway. Bless his little leprechaun heart. It's gonna be Burger-King-Head Gedeon. Ooops. Nope. Bucky? Gotta be. Nooo?'s Will. I think I said that last night. He reminds me sooooo much of a young 1960's pop star...Donny Osmond, maybe.

    *Who's the next girl to go? They're all good, voice-wise. Paris? Nope. She's a cutie. Katherine is gorgeous. Looks like a model. Kellie's definitely not goin home. I love watching her...she's just so dang cute. Ohhh, I looove Mandisa. Whatta woman! I love to see that a 'big girl' has made it this far. She's got a face like a Nubian queen and she can BELT out a song. Lisa's just almost toooo...professional. I still think it's gonna be Melissa.

    *Ayla or Melissa? Damn. It's Ayla. I think she's far better than Melissa. Awwww...she's crying. Bless her heart. Awwwwww. Surely they won't make her sing? They ARE. Gawd, how hard would THAT be? Awww...she's pullin it off. Sorta.

    *Now for the boys again. Taylor is safe! Yea! He's mah boy. Ace is safe, too. I knew that. So's Chris. Uh oh. We're on Kevin again. Safe! Awwww...GOOD. Elliott...this poor boy is just homely as hell. But he can SING. He's safe, too. It's gonna be Burger-King-head Gedeon...I just know it.

    *Bucky or Gedeon? Yup. Gedeon got da boot. He IS good, but he's just not quite good enough. He does a pretty darned fine job of "When a Man Loves A Woman", though, I've gotta admit. Boy...was there ever a better belly-rubber than that? That song was like THE song to dance to with your boyfriend when I was in high school. Gawd I'm old. (sigh)

    Well, that was pretty predictable. This live-bloggin thing isn't as hard to do as I thought. 'Course, Blogger cooperated. And the Vicodin hasn't really kicked in yet, either. heh

    It ain't over 'til the fat lady stops having periods

    If you're a man, I'm gonna quote Monty Python here. Ya might oughta wanna pay attention to it. If ya don't...well...consider yourselves warned.

    Run away! Run away!

    Ok. I'll begin by saying that I've often thought that I'd like to be one of those intelligent, socially-aware, witty, "political" women bloggers who are able to discuss a huge variety of topics in a well-thought-out manner and who gets a gazillion hits a day.

    But I'm not. Never will be. I'm not smart OR witty enough.

    Nor am I a "Mom" blogger. Though I have several favorites that I absolutely love to 'mothering' days are essentially over. I don't have small children or teens at home to blog about but I love to read how others are handling it.

    So I'm left with just me and my own little world. Which is ok, I guess. I'm pretty self-centered, anyway.

    And what's rocking my own little world this gloomy, rainy March day, you may ask?


    (Hey...if men can blog about the gigantic poops they take, complete with detailed descriptions, or their bionic dicks or their recent prostate exams, I can sure as shit blog about menopause, ok?)

    Not to worry, though. I have no intention of becoming a 'menopause' blogger (betcha there's a few out there), though it seems like that it's going to be becoming a part of my life soon. At least, I HOPE it's soon. I've been doin the monthly thing for nearly 40 years now...ENOUGH, already!

    (Guys, if you haven't left yet, this is your last chance. I'm gonna use words like 'tampon' and 'period' and 'vaginal dryness'. Still gonna stick around? Brave souls, aren'tcha?)

    I'd like to find the bitch who made this inane statement:

    "Many women discover that menopause gives them a new lease on life — physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. They are enthusiastic about becoming free of their concerns about pregnancy and menstruation."

    Yea. I have a new "spiritual lease on life". My ass. What she's not telling is what you hafta go through to get there. It might be ok when you're finally there. But the journey? Lemme tell ya...the journey sucks.

    Last month, for the first time in 40 years (except when I was preggers) I skipped a period. Of course, the period before that was...indescribable. I've never had a period like that. Ever. The cramps were so bad that I had to take Vicodin. The flow? Oh. My. Gawd. I went through TWO double boxes of sooper-dooper, extra-large, plug-a-leak-in-a-New-Orleans-levee tampons and I don't know how many gigantic, three-inch-thick sanitary napkins. I hadda use BOTH and I hadda change both every half hour or so. I briefly considered calling the doc, but figured I couldn't get there without stopping somewhere halfway through the trip across town to tend to myself. Gawd.

    I thought about just strippin down and sittin in the bathtub and hosin myself off every few minutes. It woulda helped the hot flashes, too. Kill two birds with one stone kinda thing. But I figured I'd just clog up the drain. I won't get any more descriptive than that. You can figure it out.

    I know that there are women out there that have stuff like this every month. You poor, poor things. I guess I've been spoiled. Up until the last year or so, my periods have pretty much been as regular as clockwork and entirely manageable. Even with no birth control pills, which I haven't used for years. They've very gradually become irregular, but still...within a few days or so of being 'on schedule'. So this...well, this is just almost intolerable to me. They're becoming totally unpredictable.

    I's not like I don't know it's comin. Menopause, I mean. They say the average age is 51.4. I'm 51.5. I've read lotsa stuff about it. I know that it's sorta...unpredictable. So when I had the "period from hell" in January and then nothing in February, I thought...well...maybe that was like the 'last hurrah', so to speak. The big fireworks finale to my monthly cycle. Quite a fitting way to go, I thought. This might be far easier than I'd thought.

    Yea. Right.

    I started again yesterday...a week and a half before I should have...with no warning. No PMS. No tender boobs. Not a hint. And though it doesn't seem to be quite as bad as the PFH, it's shaping up to be a doozy, too. Hell, I've been to the bathroom twice already just typing this post.

    (Ok, THAT might have been too much information. What the hell? Why hold back, now?)

    Oh, and have I mentioned the hot flashes? I've had a few little 'flares' for the last year or so. But in the last couple of months, I've noticed that they're increasingly becoming all-out bonfires. It's the strangest thing. I've always run a little 'hot' anyway, but always attributed it to bein fat. But that kinda sorta came from the outside. This, feels like it's coming from the inside...kinda like when you have a fever...but worse. I wanna rip all my clothes off and run outside.

    Hell, I HAVE done that. Thank gawd for a 'semi-private' patio.

    I have no problem whatsoever in the realization that my childbearing years are well over. I have no problem whatsoever with the whole 'loss of femininity' thing...I don't believe that not having periods will make me any less of a woman. I don't think I'll have any problem with the whole 'identity' thing, at all.

    I was gonna add that I seem to have been lucky enough to have avoided the intense mood swings and the vaginal dryness (and the hits just keep comin, don't they?), so far. But I'm not about to brag about it. If the last few months have taught me anything, it's that I can't depend on anything anymore. I think that's the part that's gonna be the hardest for me. I've always felt like I "knew" my own body...I was attuned to what was going on inside. Now? Not so much.

    Everything I've read says that you can't be considered to be truly "in" menopause until you've not had a period for a year.

    (screeching like a banshee)I want that new spiritual lease on life and I want it NOW, dammit!

    Ok. Maybe THAT was a mood swing.

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    What IS it about those Birmingham boys?

    Gawd help me. I'm 'American Idol' blogging.

    I don't wanna admit it...don't like to admit it...but I'm an American Idol junkie.

    And I'm wondering...does Birmingham put something in the water? If they do, when'd they start? I sure didn't see anyone like these two when I lived there. Unfortunately.

    Last year, it was Bo Bice. Even though I think the long-haired rocker is soooo over, Bo was...amazing. I could listen to him all night. Ok, I could watch him, too. He's not a bit hard on the eyes. That smile. Oh, lawd. And he just seemed like such a down-home, easy-goin, polite, good ole Southern boy. Just NICE. When he got to sing with Skynard, whom he idolized, I almost cried.

    This year, though...oh, my gosh. If
  • Taylor Hicks
  • had a CD out now, I swear I'd go get it...this very minute. He's an absolute joy to watch/hear, even though he's kinda got a Joe Cocker/Ray Charles thing goin on. Ok, the boy can't dance. But he's so much fun to watch, ya just don't care. I'd like to grab him and just squeeeeeze.

    Yup. Taylor's my pick of the litter as far as the boys are concerned.

    As for the rest of 'em, well, here's my two cents worth:

    Kevin Covais - Great voice...for a leprechaun with a lisp. But, he's only 16.

    Ace Young - He's got 'the look'. He's got the voice. He could walk away with this. But Taylor's still my pick.

    Chris Daughtry - He's got a great voice...for a rocker. Not sure he's 'pop idol' material, though, but I bet he gets some kinda recording contract.

    Bucky Covington - Ok. Another long-haired Southern boy...decent voice, but lacks charisma. He's from North Carolina and he's got a twin brother named 'Rocky'. 'Nuff said.

    Elliott Yamin - Wonderful voice. But he's sure not very nice to look at.

    Will Makar - Kinda forgettable. I figure he'll get booted tomorrow. But he's only 16, too.

    Gedeon McKinney - Ok, when he smiles, does anyone else think he looks like that creepy, plastic, big Burger-King-head guy? He's got a great voice, though...reminds me of some of the Motown greats. But I think he's gonna get the boot tomorrow, too. Looks and acts far older than 17.

    I might 'critique' the girls next week. I watched it last night when they were on, but that's been so long ago that I've forgotten. heh I DO like that little Kellie Pickler, though.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Perverse pleasure

    This isn't about sexually perverse pleasure. I wouldn't know anything about that.


    No, this is about the fact that it gives me a teeny little thrill...I get a perverse kinda pleasure...when the rich and/or famous, quasi-rich and/or famous, the "morally pure"...the high and mighty...fall off their carefully constructed but architecturally unsound pedestals.

    The religous leaders who get caught with their pants down. The acclaimed 'sports heroes' who in reality, set piss-poor examples to those who look up to them. Those who would have you believe that there simply is no better looking, richer, more intelligent, more powerful, more talented, more virtuous, ambitious or morally sound human being than they. You get the idea.

    Perhaps a teeny, tiny part of my perverse pleasure could possibly be attributed to jealousy. Sour grapes. But I really believe that most of it is about the hypocrisy. Of all the human faults and foibles, hypocrisy is perhaps the thing that I abhor most. I simply have no respect whatsoever...for hypocrites. Even moreso when the hypocrite is someone 'public'. Someone whom others look up to and admire.

    I have FAR more respect for the 10 dollar hooker on the corner, who will unhesitatingly admit that she's a hooker (unless she thinks you're an undercover cop, I mean) who charges 10 bucks than I do most politicians who'll do the same thing....screw your brains out for 10 bucks...but lie about it.

    Does that make me a bad person?

    On second thought, don't answer that. It probably does. But I think I might be in good company.

  • Christine
  • posted a little piece about
  • Thomas Kinkade
  • .

    "Painter of Light". Indeed. I wonder if God, whom he calls is his "art agent", told him to piss on Winnie the Pooh? I mean...c'mon...Winnie the Pooh? The story's just too...bizarre...NOT to be true.

    Now, I've often said that 'art' is totally and completely subjective. If you like it...if it speaks to's art. Whatever floats your boat. Everyone's got an opinion. I also think that becoming a truly 'successful' that actually makes big far more a matter of luck than of talent.

    That's exactly what I thought the first time I ever saw one of Kinkade's pieces. He does have talent. But it's certainly not artistic talent, at least in my opinion. It's a talent for picking up on what people...excuse me, sheeple...want. The far edge of the baby-boomers and the elder set, more specifically. His work is homey and kitschy and nostalgic. It's supposed to make you feel warm...supposed to make you yearn for gentler times...yesteryear. Cozy, lighted cabins at dusk. Children in horse-drawn sleighs.


    I caught an episode of 20/20 once, I think it was. One of John Stossel's 'Gimme a Break' segments, maybe. He gathered several VERY important art critics together and presented them with maybe 6 different paintings by true 'artists'. And one by a chimpanzee, saying only that they ALL were done by aspiring artists. Invariably, the critics picked the chimp's painting as showing the most talent. That's gotta tell you somethin about 'art'.

    I'm sure that, truth be known, there are lots of famous artists out there that are laughing their asses off at the rubes who buy their art...they're laughing all the way to the bank. The truly talented ones are starving in their garrets simply because they haven't been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

    I've often thought that that it's particularly ironic that many artists never receive the attention they deserve until after they're dead. I've also often wondered if that'd ever happen to me. I have a lot of paintings out there that I've given to friends and relatives as gifts or that I've sold at craft shows and such.

    Though I figure it'd be just my luck, I really hope that no one ever 'discovers' me after I'm dead. I'll be sooooo pissed.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    39 days

    But who's counting?

    Well....I'm counting...I'm sooooo counting.

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    It's one of those yuck days here... high 30's, gray, damp and gloomy with a dirty scattering of melting snow on the ground. One of those days when it just seems like 39 days is far too long to wait to see this again.

    I wanna head south this very minute.

    Patience is NOT one of my few virtues.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Doncha hate it when that happens?

    And another thing or two.

    While Zig and I were playing 'barber shop' yesterday (yea, I can cut hair, too), we were talking about.....something. Aaaanyway, I made the comment that I felt a blog post coming on. While I continued cutting, I wrote part of it in my head. And it was gonna be gooood.

    Whatever the hell it was.

    Nope. Neither of us can remember what the subject was.

    I guess I'm gonna hafta start keeping a little notebook and pen with me at all times to jot down my ideas. I've lost....oh...I figure at least a dozen posts that way. I'll hafta tie the notebook and pen around my neck, though. Otherwise, I'll lay it down somewhere and never find it again. (sigh)

    @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @

    I don't know what came over me tonight. Ordinarily, I'd rather have flaming pokers shoved up my butt than watch the Oscars. But I felt the overpowering need to spew some snide and sarcastic remarks and it seemed like a good target at the time. If I'd have known it was that much fun, I'd have turned it on earlier.

    I dunno...maybe it's just me...but has anyone else noted the irony of a Chinese guy directing a film set in the great American West about gay cowboys?

    I was glad to see that Brokeback Mountain didn't clean up the way 'trendy' films usually do. And, ya just KNOW that that's why it was nominated in so many categories...'cause it was trendy....en vogue.

    Gawd save us from all that is trendy.

    But, ya just gotta love Larry McMurtry's style. Or..ah...lack thereof. Jeans and cowboy boots with a tux jacket. His really bad comb-over looked like it had...well...been combed over really badly, the collar on his shirt was all wonky and his tie looked like a chimpanzee tied it.

    GOOD FOR HIM! I wanted to stand and applaud. As far as I'm concerned, his message was, "Screw all ya damn phonies. I'm gonna be COMFORTABLE."

    I was glad to see Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for Walk the Line. I've always liked her as an actress and she seems...real. As opposed to those actors that can't, by any stretch of the imagination, be called 'real'.

    One thing that I noticed were several 'plugs' by actors for people to go to theatres, instead of waiting til the film was released on DVD.


    Why should I pay 10 bucks for the film and 7 bucks for some popcorn and a drink, only to be tortured with friggin commercials, freezing temperatures and noisy kids when I can wait a month or two, rent the damn movie for 3 bucks and watch it in the comfort of my own home, sans commercials. I can lay down if I feel like it. I can hit the ole 'pause' button if I have to take a leak. I can make my own damn popcorn, control the temperature and I don't have noisy kids, cell phones or sticky floors to deal with.


    You've damn near priced yourselves right out of a job, me buckos. Might wanna think about that the next time your agent negotiates a gazillion dollar deal for ya.

    We're not getting older, we're getting better

    Whoever said that is fulla shit.

    I know...I know. You're only as old as ya feel. I guess Ziggy and I felt pretty damn old today.

    As often as not, he gets forced into working Saturdays. He was supposed to have worked tonight in fact, but got a last-minute reprieve. So what'd we do with this gorgeous day, you might ask? I did laundry and he took a nap. This evening, we went out to eat, came home, did the snuggly thing (no, not that snuggly thing...just the regular snuggly thing) on the sofa and watched 'Scary Movie 3' and then Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos'. Hey...we're eclectic in our viewing tastes, ok?

    The highlight of the evening was when....ah...nevermind. Let's just say neither of us are quite dead yet.

    Thank gawd for small favors.

    Uh...wait. That doesn't sound....that's not the way I meant it. I was talking about...nevermind.

    (Ziggy,'re my stallion, ok?)

    Anywho, the really sad thing is, we even had a party to go to tonight. He asked me if I wanted to go, now that he'd been saved from spending his evening at that nasty place he has to spend far too much time at every week, anyway. I said, "Not especially." I asked him if he wanted to go. His response? "I can take it or leave it."

    Yea, we're just a couple a balls a fire, ain't we?

    I can remember...and it wasn't that long ago...that all you had to do was mention 'go out' or 'party' and I was ready and I was good to go all night. If I had to miss a chance to party for any reason, I was verklempt for days.

    Oh, I still perk up when I hear the word 'party'. But then I start thinkin about all the things I'd hafta shower and wash my hair and do my hair and find something to wear and discard the first seven things I choose and find some shoes to match that eighth thing I finally choose and throw some makeup on and be chatty and sparkling and witty and drink far too much and feel like something the dog yakked up the next morning.

    Then I take a deep breath and wonder if I have the energy to do all those things, decide I don't and wind up sitting at home with Carl Sagan on a Saturday night.

    And he IS dead.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    And THIS one didn't even hurt!

    Yup. I fell again.

    Most of you have read of my spectacular falls and tumbles. Heck, my blog stories about my lack of grace even got me a spot on a TLC special.

    That's not the kinda 'fall' I'm talkin about now, though.

    I finally fell off that damn 'diet plateau' I've been on for...oh...I dunno...the last three or four months, at least. Seems like forever.

    As some of you might remember, I started a...(shudder) year. OVER a year ago, actually. It was a year in February. I don't post a lot about it because...well...frankly, it's boring. Who the hell cares about my damn diet?

    But you'll just hafta grin and bear it. Or go read something else. I'm really writing this particular post for me. So I can look back at it. So I have a reference point. I'd already HAVE a reference point if I hadn't gotten into a big snit and deleted the whole blog a couple months ago. But, I digress.

    This dieting crap is HARD. I know...those of you who've been born lucky enough to have never had a problem with weight are saying, "What's so damn hard about it? Stop poking food into your mouth!"

    To those kinda people I say, "Screw you." You have no idea just how hard it is, so until YOU'RE in the same position, keep your damn mouth shut. Walk a mile in my shoes and all that.

    Almost everything about this low carb diet is hard. Shopping. Actually paying attention to the labels, for once. No more 'fast food'. No more 'prepared' items. Buying only fresh or frozen veggies and figuring out different ways to prepare 'em. No potatoes or bread products...ever. Essentially NOTHING with flour in it. Very few gravies or sauces.

    For someone who was raised pretty much on meat and potatoes, meal prep ain't exactly a party, either. I mean, when I was growing up, a meal consisted of a meat, potatoes or pasta and a veggie or two and bread. There were always variations, of course. Both my parents were great cooks and we ate reasonably 'healthy', really. Lots of fresh veggies from the garden and back then, there just wasn't much in the way of 'prepared' stuff. Very few 'convenience' foods. But it was pretty much ingrained in me as to what consisted 'a meal' and I've always cooked pretty much the same way.
    Til now.

    I have no problem coming up with a meat dish, but the sides?'s HARD not using potatoes or pasta. Really. It's hard not using gravies or sauces. It's hard not to fall back into that habit of using convenience foods. It takes waaaay more time, too. It takes a lot longer to wash, chop up and cook fresh vegetables than it does to open a can. If I was by myself, I could probably just live on meat...nothing else. But I feel like I need to at least make an attempt to feed Ziggy right.

    It's expensive. Because it's low carb, there's LOTS of meat. Meat is expensive.

    Probably the absolute hardest part to deal with is the fact that I just plain love food. And I love to cook. Usually. Thankfully, I DO love my meat. That's why I chose this particular diet. It seemed like one that I could sink my teeth into, pun very much intended.

    That's not to say I don't cheat. Yea, I cheat, ok? I decided a year ago when I started this that there was just no way I could do it WITHOUT cheating once in a while, so I might as well accept that it was gonna take me longer to do it. And it has. Otherwise, I don't suppose it'd have taken me a whole damn YEAR to lose 45 pounds. But when I do cheat, I try not to go overboard and I jump right back at it. That's helped too. I think 'allowing' myself to cheat has been what's kept me ON the diet. I mean, it's been a YEAR. I've never stuck with ANY diet as long as I have this one. Ever.

    And when I stop and think that it's taken me LOTS of years to pack all this lard on..well...I accept the fact that it's just not gonna fall off in a couple a weeks.
    I'm an 'instant gratification' kinda gal. But this definitely ain't an instant gratification kinda thing.

    Another thing that has been really hard is the whole clothing situation. I've bought a few new things, but I hate to really buy a lot until I see just exactly where I'm going with this. I'm down about four sizes, which is great. But do I buy stuff that fits NOW or do I get something smaller in hopes that I'll eventually fit into it? Oh...and the whole 'fitting' thing is just...difficult. It's really ironic that now that I can wear something that might be construed as 'sexy', I've got all this do something with. Everything's either sagging or drooping or all wrinkly. And I ain't talkin about the clothes, here. "Old" skin just ain't as resiliant as "young" skin.

    As far as exercising goes...well...I'm sure my results would have been a LOT better if I'd have gotten into some kinda exercise routine. But I didn't. It's hard to push yourself to exercise when you just don't feel good. And though I've felt better in the last six months or so than I have in a loooong time, I'm still not quite right. I definitely need work in the exercise area, but I hate the idea of joining a gym. I think walking just for the sake of walking is boring. I DID join the Y and started swimming, which I love, but haven't been for several months. But I DO need to get out and MOVE. I know that. I'm workin on it.

    At any rate, 45 down, 35 more to go. 55 would be nice...but I'm not gonna be greedy. I figure if I look at it this way, I'm well over my half-way mark, right?

    Ooooo DAMN! OVER HALF-WAY! I hadn't thought about THAT before!


    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Not so 'guilty pleasures'

    I admit it. I'm a plagarist. Sorta. I swiped the idea for the title from
  • Patty
  • .

    She calls them 'guilty pleasures'. Since I seem to have a few sociopathic tendencies, I rarely feel guilt over anything. Well...over anything I treat myself with, anyway. I figure I'm worthy of those little pleasures. heh

    Her guilty pleasures and my own 'not so guilty' pleasures are startlingly similar.

    Crab rangoon. YUM. I looove good crab rangoon. Unfortunately, this diet (yea, I'm still on it...I'm 'plateauing', ok?) doesn't allow for such guilty pleasures. Not that I don't cheat occasionally. Hence the 'plateau', I'm sure.

    Columbian coffee. Uh huh. I hear ya on this one too, sistah. Except, the darker the better for me. I like mah coffee Strong. Folger's Gourmet Supreme, DARK...the darkest roast ya can get. The new Folger's Chocolate Silk...chocolate flavored to die for, too. And I've gotta have liquid Coffee Mate. No other brand and none of that powdered crap. Thumbs up on the Starbuck's, too.

    Bittersweet chocolate. I'm not a big sweet eater, but is there any other kind? There shouldn't be.

    Dry white wine. Now, here's where her and I part ways. Believe me...I've TRIED to like wine. Honestly, I have. I WANT to like wine. But I just can't. I've only found a few kinds that I sorta like...and they're all sweet.

    Bubble bath. I've often said that there's just not much that a long, hot soak in a tub full of fragrant bubbles can't make better. Pair that with a couple three good orgasms and I'm...well...a noodle. I use a lotta Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret products. I love shopping at VC. But not for the underwear which would never, even in my wildest dreams, fit me. Even if it ever did, I highly doubt I'd ever feel comfortable spending 10 bucks for a pair of panties. I shop there for the smelly stuff. I WILL spend 10 bucks (and more) for that. Hey..a girl's gotta have her priorities. Underpants just aren't a priority for me. heh

    Scented candles. Oh, baby. Do I buy candles. But, only a couple kinds. My daughter sells
  • Gold Canyon Candles
  • and they're awesome. Some of the best smellin, longest lastin candles EVER. I also buy
  • For Every Body
  • candles at Kohl's. Unlike Patty, though, I prefer the 'food scented' ones. Since I don't bake, I loooove the 'fresh baked' ones. Coffeecake. Sweet Cinnaroll. Sugar Cookie. Creme Brulee. Orange. Lemon. Gold Canyon's 'Clean Sheets' is also a fav. Fresh and clean smelling.

    Nip/Tuck. I LOOOVE this show! From a 'medical' perspective, it's pretty unbelievable. But I overlook that. The sex and personal intrigue are more than enough to keep my interest piqued. Ahhh, Christian...whatta snake. And I love watching Joely Richardson...she's one of those women, like Julia Roberts...who can look minute and sooo gorgeous the next. She's definitely NOT your 'traditional' beauty.

    Singing along with the radio. One of my most favorite things to do is to drive. Preferably out on the interstate, radio cranked, singin at the top of my lungs. Mostly 'oldies', though. I don't keep up on the 'new' music. I prefer to live in the past. heh. I HAVE been caught a time or two in town, though. At a stop light, window down, jammin to somethin on the radio. I just does the other person. heh

    Now, how about you? What are YOUR guilty (or not so guilty) pleasures?

    "Not Politically Correct" Thursday

    Welcome to my first edition of NPC Thursday.

    Why "Not Politically Correct" Thursday, you may ask? Well, I'll tell ya.

    I rejoice in political INcorrectness. Each Thursday, I'll attempt to bring you the very finest...the best of the political incorrectness.

    It's come to my attention that, over the last...oh...ten years or so...everyone has simply gone fucking nuts in their attempt to be INOFFENSIVE, yet people are ruder than ever before. WTF's up wit' dat, anyway?

    Good gawd! I thought that was supposed to be part of growing up and becoming a responsible adult. Getting offended and overcoming it. Learning to deal with that which offends you. If none of us ever GET offended, how are we supposed to learn to defend ourselves when that one offensive thing DOES sneak through? How the hell are we supposed to learn tolerance in the first damn place? How the hell are we supposed to know what outrage feels like?

    If we stay on our present course of eliminating everything that's politically incorrect, I forsee a world of sheeple. No one ever offends anyone else. We all go along with the flow, blindly following whatever edicts that we're presented with, chewing our cuds, content with the facts that we'll always be taken care of, none of us will ever be offended and that sheeple is all we're ever gonna be. BAH!

    I've come to the conclusion that being 'politically correct' is essentially lying. You're NOT telling it like it is. Being polite to spare someone's feelings has nothing to do with it...not really. We all know the difference. Or at least, we should.

    Most of you who've read my blog for any length of time have noticed that I very rarely post about religion or politics. It's not out of fear of offending someone. I don't do it because I realized a long time ago that talking about either of those subjects is pretty much like beating your head against a brick wall. I might as well not waste my time or energy. There IS NO RIGHT ANSWER, yet every single person believes that THEIR answer is the right one.

    I'm an agnostic with one foot in the athiest pool. Always have been. I've never seen or read anything that can convince me otherwise. I look upon most religions as cults. As far as political leanings go, I lean just a tad more to the right than the left, though there are those subjects that I'm completely left-sided. Personally, I'd prefer a "smorgasbord" type of politics. I don't like labels and I don't fit in any of the normal molds.

    Those are MY opinions. If they 'offend' someone, and I'm sure they will, TOO BAD. Learn 'tolerance', my friend.

    I love people who tell it like it least by MY way of viewing things. I revel in those who are completely unafraid of offending someone. I work hard at it myself, but I'm a mere novice when compared to some of the bloggers that I'll be highlighting each Thursday.

    And now...without further ado (because, gawd knows...I've 'ado-ed' enough, haven't I?) I present you with my picks for this, the first ever NPC Thursday:

    If you're Catholic, you might wanna pass up
  • Andy's
  • take on Ash Wednesday. You might be offended.
    I've just recently 'discovered' him, and he's definitely my kinda guy.

    If you happen to be a raging Liberal, YOU might wanna pass up
  • Denny's
  • rip of an op-ed that appeared in his local paper. Nobody does Non-PC like Denny.
    "Maybe I'll go downtown tomorrow and kick a homeless person."

    Enjoy. Or not.

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Blog fodder

    Sometimes it ain't a bit funny...but ya just gotta run with it.

    From today's edition of the PJStar:

    OTTAWA - A Dana man who killed a puppy last summer by slamming it against a tree could be sentenced up to three years in prison.
    William Shawback, 55, of 314 Washington St. pleaded guilty Monday in LaSalle County court to aggravated cruelty to animals for killing a pit bull mix puppy July 19, 2005.

    Shawback was accused of grabbing the puppy, owned by Robert Stevenson of Dana, by its hind legs and slamming it against a tree, according to prosecutors.

    He could receive one to three years in prison and could be barred from owning any companion animals as part of his probation, but State's Attorney Greg Sticka noted the dog wasn't his in the first place.

    Sticka said he has a stack of letters about an inch thick from concerned citizens and animal rights groups requesting punishment for Shawback.

    Shawback's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 13.

    Don't get me first read, I was horrified. People who abuse animals rank right down there at the bottom of my own, personal scale of 'Too Stupid/Mean/Disgusting/Perverted to Live'. At the very least, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. At the very most, they should be forced to endure whatever stupid/mean/disgusting/perverted thing they inflicted on someone or someTHING else.
    I'm in favor of the ole 'eye for an eye' type of punishment, myself.

    (Now, before you go on, read the above paragraph AGAIN. I don't want any PETA-esque hate mail, ok?) twisted sense of humor kicked in. Gawd. Sometimes I hate it when that happens. In situations like this, it makes it look like I take stuff like this lightly. Trust me. I don't. Not at all.

    Sometimes, though...well...I just can't help myself.

    The scenario:

    Shawback gets sentenced to the full three years in prison. Someplace like Joliet or, wait...someplace like Folsom. Or Angola. Attica, maybe. A really bad ass prison. One that houses the very worst of the worst. Mass murderers. Serial murderers. Rapists. Bat-shit crazy, cold-blooded killers.

    It's his first day there. He's scared shitless because he's a member of the general special treatment or 'solitary' for him. He's introduced to his cell-mate, Vladimir, who just happens to be a bald, 6'5", 350 pound mass of muscle with a neck like a buffalo and hands the size of dinner plates. Homemade tattoos are scattered on every viewable surface of his skin. His brilliant blue eyes blaze with the fire of insanity.

    Vlad, who is of Russian extraction, is serving a life sentence for the especially gruesome decapitation murders of 7 people. Five of the decapitations were carried out with an heirloom scimatar. The other two were done 'au natural'...barehanded...he twisted their heads off.

    He once fancied himself the czar, but with intensive "therapy", he's come to the realization that he just likes cutting people's heads off. During the therapy, he also discovered the underlying cause of his particular psychoses. At eight years of age, as punishment for some small transgression, his father killed his puppy.

    Now, imagine that first conversation between the two new 'roomies'.

    Vlad: "Vat you here for?"

    Shawback: ""

    Vlad: "Who you keeel, Shawback?"

    Shawback: "Awww...nobody important."

    Vlad: "TELL Vlad who you keeel or Vlad be very unhappy."

    Shawback: "Alright, already. I killed somebody's PUPPY, ok? Is THAT what you wanted to hear? The little bastard BIT me so I bashed his damn head in."

    Vlad: ..................

    Shawback: "Hey! Hey! Don't come any closer! Guard! GUARD!! HELLLLLLPPPPPP! HELLLLL...aaarrrrggghhhhhh!............"

    Vlad, barely breathing hard, peers through the bars, Shawback's head dangling from one huge hand.

    Vlad: "Vat? Ze bastard DESERVE it. He DESERVE to die! He DESERVE hees soul to burn. Hees soul es now redeemed."

    "Es ze Shawback Redemption."