Saturday, April 29, 2006

Curious about the "Hindu Hiltons"

Ok, so I know that's not politically correct. Sue me. I noticed something strange during our vacation travel and was just wondering if anyone had an answer.

We've been to Florida three times in the last three years. It usually takes us between two and three days, each way. Almost without exception, when we've stopped for the night at some joint along the interstate, it's run by Indians or Pakistani's or some equally foreign-looking/speaking Middle Easterner. Comfort Inn, Ho-Jo's, Knight's Inn, Red Roof Inn, Holiday Inn...the brand doesn't seem to matter.

And, in most cases...not all, but MOST...the rooms are downright dirty. Believe me, I'm not picky when it comes to motels. But I at least expect a reasonably clean bathroom. Clean as in no strange pubic hair in the shower or on the floor. Nothing...icky...anywhere. Oh, and no bugs, please?

Spotlessly clean sheets...well, that should go without saying. So far, (knocking on wood) we've never run across any sheets that didn't look/smell clean. And I DO check.

But on this trip, we noticed several signs along the interstate advertising a particular Day's Inn, I think it was. At the bottom of the sign, quite clearly visible, was the 'fish' symbol...signifying Christianity, I presume....and it made us both wonder.

We're they advertising that they were owned and operated by Christians and especially welcomed the same? Or were they advertising that they weren't owned and/or operated by some furriner?

I have my own suspicions.

Though it kinda irks me that they have to stoop to advertising that they're NOT owned or operated by some Pakistani, if it means I've got a clean can guess which one I'll pick the next time.

Friday, April 28, 2006

And speaking of New Orleans

(Yes, I was. Read the previous post.)

I find it almost incomprehensible...I mean, almost beyond belief...that they're still pulling dead bodies out of homes in New Orleans...EIGHT FUCKING MONTHS AFTER KATRINA.

I know that they had to wait until the flood waters subsided. I know that there were thousands of tons of debris to sift through. I know that disasters like this take time to recover from. I know that "body recovery" isn't ANYONE'S idea of a good time. And gawd, yes...I know what a pure clusterfuck it was...and continues to be.


What the HELL have they been doing? The flood waters subsided some time ago. The levees are almost totally repaired. Most of the streets have been cleared enough to let at least one vehicle pass.

They even held Mardi Gras, fer chrissake! They said it was an effort to 'normalize' things. Uh...

Wouldn't ya think that body recovery would have been one of the first priorities in order to get things back to "normal"?

No, I suppose not. Finger pointing was priority one, wasn't it? And while everyone's been so fuckin busy pointing fingers, bodies of HUMAN BEINGS are rotting in their destroyed homes. In a major metropolitan city. In the United States. In 2006.

This is the United States, not some third-world country. It's 2006, NOT 1506.


It was fabulous...

...except I burnt my tongue on the alligator.

(Howzat for a....surreal...remark?)

Though we've been on vacation for the last two weeks, I really haven't cheated too bad on my diet. Well...if ya don't count that Key Lime cheesecake, anyway. But don't it just figure? Just when vacation's almost over and I'm about ready to really buckle down again...

We tried the new restaurant here in town this evening. Po' Boy's. It's a little taste of New Orleans in just about every way. Even better, it's right here in landlocked central Illinois. Even, even better, it's just a short trip down Forrest Hill to get driving all the way across town for us, no sir.

Though it's in sort of a strange place...right beside the local Bingo hall (watch out for the bluehairs in the parkin lot!), stuck kinda back off the beaten path...the minute you step in the door, you're in New Orleans. Honest ta was like we were back there in that little joint on Bourbon. We both mentioned that, had it been located somewhere on the riverfront, it would have been absolutely, positively perfect in every way.

We were completely blown away by the decor. Crumbling brick and stucco walls; old concrete floors, complete with several covered manholes; wrought iron balconies atop mock-ups of Bourbon Street shop and bar fronts; more black wrought iron in the tables and chairs; a great bandstand and blues playin on the sound system; great bar area.

The atmosphere alone is a good enough reason to hang out there. Well, that and the extensive beer list. Damn. Something like 30 different kinds.

Add to the great atmosphere, great food at great prices and you've got a winner. At least in my opinion. Oh, and did I mention they have live blues and jazz every weekend? It was too early for us to stay for the band (us old farts were there for the early-bird special, doncha know?), but we're planning on tryin to hit it again tomorrow night...after our naps.

Anywho, the food. Ohhhh, the food. We ordered the deep fried 'gator as an appetizer. It was the third or fourth time I've had 'gator, and it was the best I've ever had. Better than fresh-caught in Florida, even. The coating was cornmeal based, which was something a little unusual, I thought, but it worked well even if it was just a tad bit salty. The remoulade sauce was just about perfect.

After much deliberation, we both settled on the shrimp/oyster baskets with fries, and neither of us was a bit sorry. The shrimp and oysters were cooked to perfection (even better than what we had in the real New Orleans). The fries were skinny and crispy and had a bit of a coating on 'em.

At 9.25 per basket, it was more than we could eat...and we can eat us a lotta shrimp and oysters, lemme tell ya. We hadda get a doggie bag.

We even got to meet the really nice chef, Anthony, who says he's never even been to 'Nawlins. Coulda fooled me. He cooks like he's a native.

The menu isn't exactly extensive. But there's a good mix of the traditional Cajun food...jambalaya, crawfish etouffe, red beans and rice, barbecued shrimp (which really isn't 'barbecued', btw...more like a Cajun shrimp scampi), several different kinds of po' boys (of course) and even muffalettas. I can't wait to try something different the next time.

Damn ole diet, anyway.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

There's no place like home...there's no place like home...

Unlike Dorothy, we couldn't just click the heels of our ruby slippers three times. Instead, we drove. And drove. And drove. Twelve hours on Tuesday and about 10 on Wednesday.

It didn't really seem so bad, though. Other than hitting Chattanooga during morning rush a rainstorm. That got pretty hairy a time or two. We really can't complain,'s the only time we got rained on the whole time.

It got pretty damned chilly, too. It was 90 when we drove through Florida and the southern part of Georgia on Tuesday. We stopped for the night just outside of Atlanta at about 9:30 or so and it was still pretty nice, but by the time we got to Chattanooga on Wednesday morning, it was FIFTY FIVE FRIGGIN DEGREES! Talk about a shock.

We drove back through the Everglades on the way home and even managed to stop a time or two to watch the gators. Whatta thrill! To get to see these absolutely....prehistoric...lookin creatures in their natural habitat.

Here's a couple of photos especially for
  • Jimbo
  • , though he probably won't see 'em as he's gonna be in Austin this weekend. I know how simply fascinated he is with alligators.

    The Smokies were breathtaking, as usual. 'Course, it's pretty darned flat in this area, so even the rolling hills of Kentucky seem breathtaking to me. But, they were especially pretty after the rain with the steam rising in the morning sun.

    I couldn't help but notice all the blooming things along the way. There were several areas in the Smokies where they'd planted brilliant red poppies in the medians...gorgeous. Then, back home in Illinois, we noticed the almost-neon yellow of these bloomers in unplanted fields and in clusters along the road. I think they're weeds, but they're sure pretty.

    And speaking of blooming things, does anyone know what that intoxicating scent is as you drive along the interstate in middle and northern Georgia? I noticed a lot of white, blooming bushes...kinda like a "bridal wreath" bush...but not sure if that's what's smells soooo good. It smells kinda like honeysuckle, but does that grow wild in that area? And if so, would it be blooming already?

    At any rate, we had a great time and it was wonderful to be in the Keys again, but we're sure glad to be home. I suppose it's one of those 'you don't appreciate what you have until you don't have it anymore' things. just occured to me. We must be gettin old when "having fun" takes a backseat to sleepin in our own bed. heh

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    Final vacation photos

    Or at least, the final ones I'll post from here. I'll go through 'em when we get home to see if I missed any.

    Last night, we ate (the lobster bisque is fantastic!) at the Mandalay Tiki Bar and listened to some great music. The joint is on the ocean side which, as far as I'm concerned, isn't nearly as pretty as the gulf side. But maybe I'm just partial.

    More critters.......

    A baby 'cuda

    Crabby Appleton

    Hermie the saltwater hermit crab

    Ziggy the...uh...sleepy

    The rest of the photos can be found
  • here
  • and
  • here
  • and
  • here
  • .

    The last supper

    For our last day here in paradise, we decided to fix a little supper on the beach. Everything was...marvelous. Or maybe it was just because we ate it on the beach.

    We fixed 'marinated in Mojo' grilled porkchops. Oooooh, my gawd. That was accompanied by a big salad with green onions, tomatoes and the sweetest green pepper your lips ever had the pleasure of caressing. In fact, the peppers from Winn Dixie are so good, I bought a half dozen to take home. They're HUGE, too. As a little side dish, we had the ripest, juciest mango ya ever sank yer teeth into.

    I ate the last mango in Paris....I took the last plane outa Saigon..

    Sorry...had a Buffet thing goin on there for a minute.

    Dessert you might ask? You betcher ass. Key Lime cheesecake. DAMN! Like heaven in your mouth. Just enough lime to make it interesting. Creamy. Perversely decadent. It was a perfect ending to a perfect meal. A perfect meal which we shared with.....

    ...Charlie. The minute I opened the grill to check the chops, he was right there, trying to see what I was cookin. I told him that it wasn't fish, but he didn't seem to care. Charlie likes porkchops, too.

    In fact, he got so comfortable, he joined us and ate little tidbits of chops right off the table. He didn't care for the mango, though.

    After supper, Mother Nature provided the floorshow.

    Pretty much a perfect ending to a perfect day of a perfect vacation. (sigh)

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    Crying on the beach

    It's happened to me twice, now. Same place. And for essentially the same reasons.

    Old men made me cry.

    When we were here year before last, Zig and I were sitting on the beach. I happened to notice a woman a bit older than myself assisting an extremely thin, very frail looking old gentleman down from the cabins. He was stumbling and tottering and on the verge of going down, so I walked up to help her with him.

    She gratefully accepted my offer to help, so I got on the other side of him and had him take my arm. In a shaky, weak voice, he explained to me that he wanted to visit this place, in particular, because he'd helped build it back in the 40's. She looked at me with sad eyes and in a quiet voice, said that he was her father and that this would be their "last road trip" through the Keys.

    After I helped her get him down to the beach and get seated on a bench, I went back to Ziggy and told him the little story....and started bawling like a baby.

    Yesterday, a very nice family pulled in...a grandma and grandpa, their three sons and wives and two grandchildren. The old gentleman, "Manny", sat with us for a few minutes yesterday and chatted. Though I didn't ask then, I assumed they were Cuban. He had a lovely Hispanic accent, but it sounded a bit different than what I usually hear...softer...more melodic.

    Today, he walked over to where we were sitting, sat down and stayed a lot longer. He talked about lots of things...his "secret" spices he uses on pork. How he retired from a big grocery chain at age 62, but went back because he was "bored". He told us about cooking a hog in a caja china. And he talked about fighting with his wife over kitchen priveleges. hehe

    After listening to him for while, I finally just came right out and asked him if he was from Cuba, hoping that he wouldn't be offended. I got far more story than I bargained for.

    Yes, he was Cuban, he explained. He'd been here in the US for thirty five years and was now 70, "believe it or not". hehe (We did, bless his heart) He went on to tell us pretty much the story of his life and his escape from Cuba. He told us about the "Pig Bay Invasion". He told us how he had been imprisoned twice in Cuba for "suspicious activity", which consisted of speaking out against Castro. He was sent to what was essentially a concentration camp, and proudly added, "But I made it out!" He told us of family members that had been arrested, as well, and how he hid from the police for several weeks when he found out they were looking for him.

    He told us a long story about how he finally managed to escape with his family on the "Freedom Flights". (I'm gonna hafta look that up...I'm not familiar with it and didn't interrupt him to ask.)

    As he told that particular story, I couldn't help but notice the terror in his voice...what he and his wife and his five year old son must've went through those last few hours just before and during the flight...the anxiety and tension. That's what made me cry. He went on to tell of his relief when he finally realized that the plane was over international waters.

    "When we get here, they give us a little box of Kentucky Fried Chicken...and a REAL Coke! I never forget that...REAL Coke!"

    He told us about how they separated the family when they got to...wherever it was here in question them, do all the immigration papers and have them get chest x-rays...and his anxiousness to be reunited with them.

    "Someone from the Gillette company handed out little kits with razors and shaving cream. I tell them, I no need a shave...I just need to see my family!" he added, laughing.

    He finally decided that he'd better get back to his pork chops on the grill, which smelled pretty damned fantastic by that time. His "secret spices" played a big part in that, I'm sure.

    Quite honestly, I could have listened to him for hours...and I'm pretty sure he would have talked that long, had it not been for those dang chops.

    Damned tourists!

    Yesterday, while we were on the beach, we ran into another couple from Pompano. We know that because they told us. Along with just about every other little tidbit about themselves that they thought we should know. (sigh)

    Well...they ran into us. I'd have run away, but there was no place to go.

    They'd evidently checked in Friday night and are staying in the next unit over, though we hadn't seen them before yesterday. They came paddling up in a rented kayak. We could hear her bitching at him about how far they'd gone and that she'd never do THAT again, if he EVER wanted to...well, he'd just hafta find a new girlfriend...yada, yada, yada.

    He was probably in his mid-fifties and one of these 'gold chain' kinda guys. She was...maybe thirty five...kinda hard to tell, really. Neither were what you'd call 'attractive' by any stretch of the imagination, but of course, both thought they were hot.

    I suppose if you find middle-aged men with chicken legs or women with no discernable chin...or boobs...attractive...well..yea...they were hot, ok? But they DID have 'em some damn fine tans...along with a pretty good buzz on. Thanks to the cooler of booze they had strapped to their kayak.

    In the space of about...oh...I'd say 15 minutes, we found out that:
    He's a...(ahem)..."contractor". He's her 'boyfriend'. He makes 'tons' of money. ('course, I immediately wondered why, if he made so much money, they rented a damn KAYAK instead of a REAL boat) He's originally from Pennsylvania and she's originally from Maine. She doesn't say, "OH BABY!" during sex (something I could have gone my whole life without knowing). She can ONLY drink imported beer...Heineken, to be exact. She got incredibly drunk Friday night and passed out in her plate of food.

    Charming. Just friggin charming.

    I'm sure there were a lot more little 'facts', but I kinda shut my ears off after about the first five minutes or so.

    Being the expansive, generous guy that he was, he offered us the use of the rented kayak. After all, he said, he'd already paid for it and they weren't gonna use it anymore. We politely declined. Paddling our ass off in the hot sun just isn't our idea of a good time. He insisted. We declined again. He insisted...again. Again, we declined. Frankly, he became downright obnoxious about insisting. I should have stood up and just said, "WE SAID NO THANKS, OK?" But I, unlike HIM, try NOT to be an obnoxious tourist. He finally stopped us, anyway.

    His next victim was a poor, unsuspecting tourist from...Belgium (we think)...who spoke very little English.

    By this time, "Gold Chains" was pretty inebriated. He walks up to this guy, gets right in his face, and proceeds to try to foist off the damned kayak to HIM. He launches into the whole story...and the poor, dismayed, and by this time, slightly frightened tourist looks at him...looks at me...and says, "I not understand English so good."

    So what's "Gold Chains" do? Gets even CLOSER to the guy....and talks...REALLY LOUD.

    I wanted to get up and kick him in the balls.

    But I didn't. Because I try to NOT be an obnoxious tourist.

    Oh...oh...that reminds me

    I caught the news the other day that FEMA has decided that they handed out some disaster benefits to people who weren't qualified...weren't victims of any of the hurricaines (DUH? Ya think?)...and now they want that money back.

    Now, I'm certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I'm thinkin that they're pretty much screwed.

    But that reminded me of what I saw when we stayed in Venice Sunday night on the way down.

    Dozens and dozens and DOZENS of perfectly good, perfectly EMPTY FEMA trailers parked in a big field just on the south side of Venice. They've obviously been there some time, too. There IS a large FEMA...complex?...trailer park?...just off of 75 right around Venice there somewhere that's obviously very much in use. But these trailers weren't anywhere near that complex.

    Why aren't these trailers being used? You can't tell me that there aren't STILL people that DO need them. Why aren't some of these victims just screaming in frustration? Or are they...and we just don't hear much about it?

    It's just another glaring example of FEMA's complete ineptitude in the handling of last year's hurricaine season...of their complete and utter WASTE of millions of dollars worth of housing for people who NEED it. And they're whining about wanting
    paid back for stupidly handing out money to people who didn't deserve it.

    I don't suppose they even see the irony.

    Saturday, April 22, 2006

    I'm puzzled

    Which isn't really anything new for me.

    On the drive down here, something came to my attention that just made me go, "Huh?"

    Why is it that the
  • Florida Seminoles
  • and the
  • Miccosukee Tribe
  • still call themselves the very politically incorrect Indians and not "Native Americans"?

    As we drove through the Everglades, we saw sign after sign for the "Miccosukee INDIAN Villages". Signs that, I might add, are posted by the Indians, themselves. Even the signs on the villages themselves say "Indian". Not Native American villages...Indian. They have the "Miccosukee INDIAN Casino", too. In fact, I haven't seen hide nor hair of the phrase "Native American" anywhere around here.

    I'm really not tryin to be a smart ass here. Which IS something new for me, I know. But I'd love to learn just why it's ok for these particular tribes to call themselves Indians, but other tribes get so damn offended at the word "Indian".

    It just confuses us 'non-Indians', doncha know?

    I dunno...I guess it's because I'm a kinda 'black and white' kinda gal...all or nothing...but it just seems to me that it kinda takes a big bite outa the whole 'politically correct' argument.

    Anyone got an answer?

    More gratuitous vacation photos

    The view from under "our" tiki hut. The poor dock fell victim to a big-ass storm surge from Wilma.

    Yours truly.

    The sunsets are incredible.


    Talk about yer two-fisted drinker.

    The mile marker at the Carribean Club.

    Some vacation critters

    Whew. After reading what I posted last night it was a good thing I wasn't drivin. I had a heck of a time finding the right places for my fingers to go...I'm pretty sure I'd have had an even harder time keepin it between the navigational beacons. It certainly was five o'clock somewhere. heh

    The drive down was great. It was warm enough that we had the top down all the way. On the car, I mean. It's usually too cold to put the top down til along about Atlanta, but not this year. In fact, we were sunburned before we ever got out of Illinois. The traffic wasn't too bad, either. Til we got past...oh...Tampa or so, anyway. Then it was just plain crazy. That kills me...usta be that once ya got south of Tampa, ya pretty much had 75 all to yourself. Not now. It was basically bumper to bumper til we got to Naples...then we hit 41 and drove through the 'glades. Slower pace, but the traffic was better and there was lots more to see. It's gator mating season, so we got to see three or four of 'em in their natural habitat. Very cool. Didn't take the time to get photos, though...maybe on the way back.

    Charlie the crane, just hangin out, hopin for a treat.

    Now HERE'S somethin ya don't see just every day...a couplea horseshoe crabs, caught en flagrante delicto. Hey, it's springtime...and a young horseshoe crab's thoughts turn to...gettin him a little shell. He evidently likes those "fuller-figured" gals...uh...crabs.

    I think this was the same bastard crab that pinched me last year. And I still have the scar on my foot to prove it. If I coulda caught him, he'd have been lunch.

    Charlie again...checkin out the wheels.

    Conch-y tonkin.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    I ain't so very drunk, Melly

    I dunno why that quote from "Gone With the Wind" is sticking in my mind right now. Other than the fact that I'm very drunk...Melly. I could be charged with BUI..."Blogging Under the Influence. I'd prolly shoot a...oh...I dunno...over a .8, that's for sure. Let's just say that it's a damn good thing I'm not drivin. Hell, I'm havin a hard enough time tiypin.

    We had a great day. Cofee this morning on the beach, followed by a nice nap this afternoon, followed by a great supper of 'all you can eat Grouper' at some hole-in-the-wall joint that was recommended by some burnt-out chickie we ran into a couple nights ago. That was followed by a few Coronas at the "Carribean Club"...the joint where part of the classic movie "Key Largo" was filmed...just like Bogie and Bacall. heheh

    Those couple of Coronas were followed by a few more back here at Popp's while we watched the sunset.

    Pissed me off...while we were sittin on the beach, watchin the sunset, a family of touristas just hadda come over and show us photos of what we missed just as we were leavin to go chow. A manatee came a callin. We were just talkin to a dude this morning who works here, and he was tellin us that in all the years he's been here, there's only been two manatees that appeared in this area, even though we're right across the bay from the last island of th e Everglades. Today was number three and we missed it. The gal told us that he....'she'?...was bumping the swimmers and let them pet him/her and everything. Damn. Damn DAMN. I'm hopin that he/she found everyone so friendly that he/she will come back tomorrow...but I ain't holdin my breath.

    We have had the opportunity to grab shots of a lot of other critters, though. I'll post photos tomorrow. When I'm not quite so...indisposed.

    We got 'connections', baby!

    We've been in paradise since Monday....with noooo phone...which means nooooo internet connection. If it hadn't been so beautiful here, I might've gone into some major internet withdrawal. Ok, so it was bad enough as it was.

    Anywho, got lotsa stories to tell and tons of photos to post, but right now, I hafta go clean up my gazillion gmail spams...if I can even get it to load.

    Later, gators.

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    ....all my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

    Nope, not leavin on a jet plane. Leavin in a PT convertible in the morning...with the top down, even.

    We normally go on our 'big' vacation about this time of year and it's usually too chilly to put the top down 'til along about Atlanta or so. But it was about 85 here today and is supposed to be just about as nice tomorrow. YAHOO!

    I've got lots of ideas for posts, but they'll hafta wait til we get there. I'm sure I'll have lotsa 'road trip' blog fodder, too...nasty-ass motels...Atlanta traffic...gas prices. And, as usual, I'll post lotsa photos fo' mah peeps.
    We're planning on taking three days to get there...but if I know us, we'll do it in two.

    At any rate, see y'all along about Tuesday sometime.

    I feel like that little kid on the Disney World commercial....

    "I'm too exthited to sleeeeep!"

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Well, don't that just suck sand?

    It's about 82 degrees here today. Sunny. Gorgeous. Kill me. I had to break down and turn on the AC 'cause it got up to about 85 in here. 'Sposed to be this way the rest of the week with even warmer the weekend.

    It's NOT that I don't appreciate it. I've been needing to see some sun in the worst way. I'm so glad it's spring I can hardly stand it. But...

    In a couple days, we're heading to the Keys...where it's presently 81. And raining.

    Ah well.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Things I miss

    Though it's not a meme (at least, I don't think it is),
  • Scott's
  • post about the things that he misses struck a chord with me. I can't be positive, but I'm pretty sure that I'm several (ahem) years older than Scott hence, more things for me to remember.

    Uh...make that more things that I've forgotten to remember I miss. Um. Nevermind.

    In no particular order:

    I miss that particular feeling of anticipation that seems expressly reserved for kids...the first day of school; the last day of school; your birthday and Christmas; heck, even a weekend. Oh, I still anticipate things. I'm not completely jaded. But that almost overwhelming feeling that you get when you're a kid and the time just can't move fast enough. Nowdays, I want nothing more than for it to SLOW THE HELL DOWN.

    I miss the smells. Don't laugh...I miss stuff like that. I miss the smell of Black Jack gum and Sen-Sen. I miss the smell of sheets that have been hung out on the line to dry. I miss the smell of the neighbor's freshly cut alfalfa...gawd!...was there ever a better smell than that? I miss the way the school smelled on the first day back...floor wax and fresh notebook paper and...I dunno what, but it always smelled the same...but only on the first day. The scent of my mom's roast beef hash baking....oh, and the steamy, slightly acrid smell of canning homegrown tomatoes. And, yea...that first sharp, immediately identifiable scent of a big ole joint...whoever said it was a 'sweetish' smell is nuts.

    I miss thinking that "I'm ONLY XX years old...I have my whole life in front of me. If I screw up now, I still have plenty of time to fix it." I wonder at what point that changed? I what age did I reach my own, personal...pinnacle...and start down the slippery slope? Or have I even reached it yet? And if I HAVE, why the hell didn't someone point it out to me? Because if I have, I was evidently too stoopid to have recognized it.

    I miss the innocence. Of everything.

    I miss common sense...oh, I EVER miss that. Despite the relative innocence of the era that I grew up in, I think most people had a good share of common sense. And they weren't smart people, necessarily. Most weren't college educated. But they were far from clueless when it came to common sense.

    And courtesy. I miss that, dammit. And respect.

    I miss that thrill of getting the car for the evening. Like...the whole evening. It was a friggin lifetime. The evening was like a big, juicy plum...right THERE in front of me...waiting for me to take a big bite. A quick stop at the local gas station for a dollar's worth of regular, a pack each of Marlboro's and Juicy Fruit and I was off.

    I really miss wearing contacts.

    I miss my dad. I often think that there are things going on now that would absolutely send him into apoplexy. Boy, I miss him doing that. It was a sight to behold. He'd get all red in the face and his bright blue eyeballs would just...pop out...with his light blonde hair, he just looked damned... patriotic...lemme tell ya. He'd go into paroxysms of rage over some particular topic and then turn right around and say something damn dry and sarcastic and just scathingly funny. It was brilliant. Mom told me he even jumped up and down once when he was feeling particularly...apoplectic (over something done by moi...imagine that?). I missed it, dammit.

    I miss the Beatles. All of 'em. Together. I miss Jim Croce. And Jim Morrison. And Janis Joplin. And Harry Chapin. And I MISS DISCO! Ooook. THERE. I admit it. I LIKED disco. The Bee Gees. Donna Summer. Chaka Kahn. And YES...even The Village People. So sue me, already.

    I'm sure there are dozens of other things I miss. At least dozens. But I forgot what they are.

    But then...if I've forgotten the things that I remembered I missed...well...I must not miss 'em too bad, huh?


    Monday, April 10, 2006

    I can SOOOO feel his pain

    "For all you geeks out there, going from Movable Type to WordPress would be like changing shoes, but for me this is like being dropped into the middle of Moscow and trying to find the shithouse."

    And people wonder why I don't make the move from Blogger. The above quote pretty much explains it....far more eloquently than I could've. "Tryin to find the shithouse", indeed.

    I wondered what happened to
  • Jimbo
  • . So glad to see he's back...more or less...and obviously still in fiiiiine form.

    Busier than a one-legged man... an ass kickin contest.

    Well obviously, I'm not quite that busy if I've got time to blog, eh? Hey, I'm takin a break, ok?

    Is it just me, or does everyone go into this frenzy of activity just before embarking on a vacation of more than a couple days in length?

    I suppose that most of the things I've got on my extensive 'to do' list aren't really that important. But I know me. I know that when we get home, it'll take me a few days to get out of 'vacation mode' and back into the general routine. So, I don't want to have to do much of anything for a couple days after we get home.

    My goal is for the place to be spick and span when we get back...clean sheets on the bed, all the laundry (except our vacation clothes) caught up, everything clean, dusted and put away, fridge cleaned out and ready for a post-vacation stock up. Stuff like that. Oh, and here's a out the coffeepot before we go. Has anyone ever been gone for a couple weeks and come home to discover there are things growing in the grounds that you forgot to empty before walkin out the door? (Shudder) It wasn't pretty.

    But then there's all the running stuff, too. Get my scripts filled, run to the bank, a couple shopping trips to stock up on all our vacation-type gear, run to the post office and fill out a 'hold mail' form. No big deal, really...but stuff that usually has to wait until the last few days before...and stuff that takes time.

    Then, there's the whole ordeal of takin our ferrety-type creature to the ferrety-type 'resort'. That alone, will take up a BIG chunk of Friday. Cleaning out the cage and loading it in the car, along with bags of litter and food; stuffing her into her carrier, which is comparable to stuffing a boa constrictor down a gopher hole; driving the 10 or 12 miles in heavy traffic to the vet's, all the while trying to keep her from chewing/digging her way out of said carrier. Let's just say that she's not exactly enamored of car rides OR her carrier. This little, tiny creature turns into a Tasmanian Devil, complete with sound effects. I oughta check to see if they make ferret tranquilizers, I guess. Oh, and for the last two years, I've gotten caught in like a major storm during the drive. That made it especially thrilling, lemme tell ya.

    By the time I get back home from that particular little errand, I need a drink...or three. Can you say 'frazzled'? I ain't lookin forward to it, that's for sure.

    As for the actual packing, well, most of that's done. 'Course, I hafta do it early in order to give me enough time to change my mind three or four times. I try really hard to pack light and pack smart. I absolutely HATE draggin a buncha crap on vacation...but it's so damn hard not to. Ya just never know whatcha might need. And despite all my planning, there's always something I forget...and it's usually something pretty important.

    The really 'important stuff' bag is all packed, though. Swimming suits, beach towels and shoes, sunblock and aloe gel (because we forget to actually USE the sunblock) and snorkle gear.

    Ooops...the flippers. I just remembered...I didn't pack the flippers.

    Wonder where the hell they are?

    Um. No.

    No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

    Via Wil at
  • The Daily Snooze
  • , this fascinating little
  • tidbit
  • .

    Forget the lip injections and the breast implants; the hottest place for stars to get shot up with collagen this year is ... the G spot. That elusive female pleasure point - whose very existence was the subject of medical debate for years, and continues to confound many a well-intentioned man - is the pet project of Dr. David Matlock, Beverly Hills OB-GYN, laser surgeon and passionate defender of a woman's right to orgasms.
    Lots of them...

    I have soooo many thoughts about this. All just soooo wrong, of course.

    How about the Angelina "Llama Lips" Jolie angle? Think about it. Maybe they could start offering package deals. Lips AND G-spot. (Separate needles, of course) Hey...they could even call the combo-procedure the "An-G-Lina".

    I understand that they're starting to use your own fat instead of collagen for lips, though. I dunno. The idea of sucking fat outa your ass and injecting it in your G-spot makes me kinda...hinky. Come to think of it, I'm not too crazy about the idea of wearing one's ass-fat planted in the middle of one's face, either.

    Then there's the thought of being sexually aroused for four months at a time. Four hours, maybe. Four months. Uh uh. Your partner'd be a dead man. It'd be like biting the hand that feeds you. Yea, I know. The whole idea is that you don't have to have a partner. Screw that. (no pun intended) I can read a book by myself. For this, I want a partner, dammit.

    When men suffer from priapism...abnormally loooong erections (you thought I was gonna say somethin else, didn'tcha?)...four hours or more...they hafta go get an injection directly INTO the penis to get rid of the pesky little critter. I've seen it. And it's painful. (The erection AND the injection) But women are gettin injections to create essentially the same state...only ten times longer.
    Go figure.

    And I's the G-spot, fer gawd's sake. What are ya supposed to do? Wear Depends for four months? Can you imagine? Say you're at the grocery store. Say ya just happen to sneeze or do something that tightens the ole pubococcygeal muscles, thereby squeeeeezing the collagen-inflated G-spot.

    "Clean up on aisle three!"

    And, the whole idea of a needle comin anywhere near my...precioussss parts just...well, just NO, ok? Not unless it's a matter of life and death...and I don't mean la petite morte, either. Unless it's somethin that's gonna kill me, ya ain't puttin a needle there.


    "...passionate defender of a woman's right to orgasms", my ass. I've got my own "defender" right here at home. And he doesn't cost me 1800 bucks a pop (no pun intended...again).

    (No, honey....I'm NOT gonna start payin ya.)

    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Ya get the strangest looks...

    ...when ya go topless.

    Especially when it's 65 degrees and ya have three or four 2x4's stickin outa yer backend.

    (Kinda makes ya cringe to think about that, huh?)

    We decided that today would be a nice day to head out to our local Lowe's and get the stuff to do our "Tiki Bar" patio. We got there and grabbed what we needed...even had someone come up and ask if we needed help! I know. We were kinda shocked, too.

    Anywho, since neither Ziggy nor I have anything resembling a pickup truck, we took the convertible. Yea, ok. It's still a little chilly...65 isn't exactly prime convertible weather...but it was sunny. Leather coats help a lot, too. And we didn't have that far to go...maybe 3 or 4 miles.

    We got plenty of double-takes. Not because we had the top down...we saw three or four other hardy souls who were pushin the season just a bit, too. I'm sure they were wondering, though, just what in the hell we were doing, riding around with four 2x4's cantilevered out from the backseat. If not for Queen blastin on the stereo, we mighta been mistaken for the Clampett's.

    Hey...necessity IS the mother of invention, after all. We hauled a mattress in that baby last year.

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    So much blog fodder... much apathy.

    There are probably a dozen things right now regarding current events...local issues, national issues, political issues, social issues, yada, yada, yada (ad nauseum) that I could post about. Believe it or not, I have very strong opinions on most of those issues. But let's face it...when push comes to shove, I just don't care.

    I don't care that Cynthia McKinney of the Buckwheat hairdo fame is a racist moron. I don't care that Bush is leading all us lemmings towards the cliff. I don't care that many of us have turned into a buncha idiots who have no inkling what the words 'personal responsibility' mean. I don't care that our government seems bound and determined to invade every aspect of our lives, including our bedrooms. (Ok...I kinda care about that.)

    I don't care that most people ignore the fact that we don't import most of our foreign oil from the Mid-East. I don't care that most people seem to be perfectly willing to give up every article of our Constitution, including the right to protect yourself. I don't care that Christian fundamentalists are damn near as bad as Muslim fundamentalists...they just haven't beheaded anyone...yet. I don't care that we seem bound and determined to 'politically correct' ourselves right into oblivion.

    I don't care if the District 150 school board members, the Peoria city council and Caterpillar, Inc. all seem to have taken the same hallucenogenic and are having misplaced visions of grandeur..."Ooooo, man...the COLORS!..."

    I've been bitten by the apathy bug.

    At this particular point in my life, as long as it doesn't affect me or my own little long as it doesn't disrupt my personal long as it doesn't make me uncomfortable in any way, it simply ceases to matter to me. Oh, I may rant and rave, but in the greater scheme of things...well...those 'outside' things are...irrelevant. Why waste my breath?

    Ya know, it's funny. When you're a child, the whole world revolves around you. Your own comfort is of utmost importance. It seems like when most people age, the same thing happens. The older you get, the become.

    I suppose in some...primal...way, it's a form of self-preservation. When you're young and vulnerable, it's all about you. Getting your needs cry when you're hungry or tired or in pain. Your main concerns are food, shelter and NEED those things to survive. Once you've become an 'adult' and obtained most of those things, you're able to focus on other things. Those 'non-essential' things in life.

    If I remember my college psychology right, I think it's got something to do with Maslow's Theory....yup
  • here it is
  • .

    I think that he should have continued the pyramid...turned it into a sort of diamond shape. As you age, things start going down the levels of importance again. (I know...prolly makes no sense to you, but I know what I'm tryin to say..heh)

    I think that that would place me somewhere just below the center of the diamond shape.

    I suppose I shouldn't feel bad about it, though I do...kinda. I know, for a fact, that there are those out there that care less than I do. Honest ta gawd...Ziggy works with a middle-aged guy who had nooo idea who Condi Rice was. Talk about living in your own little world. That tells me that he's most likely never voted in a political election and never watches the news or reads a newspaper.

    Betcha he can tell ya what the last episode of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' or some equally vacuous tv show was about, though.

    The realllly sad thing is, that there are probably a hundred million other equally apathetic American citizens.

    If I really cared, I'd think that was just soooo....pathetic.

    Yea, I needed a quiz to tell me that

    Your Quirk Factor: 71%

    You're so quirky, it's hard for you to tell the difference between quirky and normal.
    No doubt about it, there's little about you that's "normal" or "average."

    Swiped from
  • Wil
  • . Great minds think alike eh, Wil?

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    There's 'grandpa'....and then there's a couple 'papas'

    I was just looking at the photos of us that were taken yesterday. (Thanks for the nice comments, btw) Though I suppose I'm partial, I think I just happen to have one of the prettiest daughters and granddaughters that ever walked the earth.

    The grandbaby was soooo good yesterday. I just can't get over it. That six year old sat through that entire 2 hour funeral with no complaining, whining, crying or throwing herself on the floor...and very little 'wiggling'. Unfortunately, her "Me-me" can't say the same thing. Ok, so I didn't throw myself on the floor. I wanted to, though. But I was amazed and so proud of her.

    When we were all milling around outside after the service, one of my daughter's biological father's aunts (I know...hell, even I can't keep track of all the 'family') came up to visit. She was talking to Karsin and asked her where "Grandpa" was, meaning HER nephew...Julie's real dad. I could see poor little Karsin's inner struggle as she thought about the answer.

    Let me see if I can explain.

    First, there's THE "Grandpa". He's Karsin's paternal grandfather, with whom she's very close. Then there's another 'grandpa', who is called "Papa B" ...that would be my ex-husband, the only father that my daughter's really ever had. Then there's another 'grandpa'..."Papa D"...that's Ziggy. Then there's her maternal grandpa (the one in question), who's never even been a real father, let alone pass for anything even close to resembling grandpa material.

    Finally, deciding that if it was something called "Grandpa", she must be referring to THE grandpa, she said, "He's home." Which totally confused the aunt, as the grandpa SHE was referring to was standing directly across the street.

    That's what ole Aunt R gets for askin a stupid question. hehe

    Luckily, Karsin only has a "Grandma" (her paternal grandma) and a "Me-me" (that would be to keep straight. Which brings me to my next little story.

    Karsin and I shared the backseat as we drove out to the cemetery. She was chattering all the way, per usual. I don't remember exactly what she was talking about, but she made the statement that "Grandma is nice."

    Quickly glancing at me, she must've thought I was offended, which I absolutely wasn't. She sees her paternal grandparents far more often than she does me and I'm tickled she has such a great relationship with 'em. And I'm NOT nice, though she's too young to realize it yet. hehe

    Squinching up her eyes and nose, motioning with her hand in a dismissive gesture, she said, "YOU'RE nice too...of course."

    Six? I'd swear ta gawd that sometimes she's twenty six.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Can ya tell we're related?

    I've seen a lotta things...

    ...but I ain't EVER seen nothin like that before.

    Though there's a lot to be said for living in a bigger city, there are few things that ya just gotta love about small towns. Everybody...and I mean everybody knows your business, most of the time, better than you. And damn near everyone's related in one way or another. But they do know how to pull together in a tragedy.

    I just got home from what had to have been the world's looooongest funeral...over 2 hours. And that's not counting 'cemetery time', which was another 45 minutes or so. Honest ta gawd, I've never been through anything as today.

    Before I go into the whole story, I wanna try to explain something. I'm absolutely not poking fun. Ok, maybe a little, but I hope I can temper it with a little love. I mean, these people were my relatives. Obviously, they're still my daughter's relatives. And many of them I still consider friends, though I may not have seen them for ages. The deceased was, in fact, my daughter's first cousin...making me his aunt. Ex-aunt? Whatever. I sat with "the family" because that's the way they wanted it, even though I haven't technically been part of them for many, many years. That's the kinda people they are.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, "E" was only 21. He had an infectious grin that sooooo resembled his dad's. He was an avid fisherman and deer hunter. He drove an older, souped-up SUV, complete with the loud, burbling mufflers and big tars, which was in fact, part of the funeral...I'll get to that in a minute. He was a down-home, flag-wavin, football playin, mom and apple pie country boy, through and through. And as such, I'm sure he would have been tickled at the funeral. His remaining family arranged it the way they wanted it and, more importantly, the way HE would have wanted it. I need to keep that fact in mind.

    Part of me was happy that the funeral was the way it was...kinda thumbing it's nose at 'tradition', but it was "right", ya know? Right for HIM. Part of me was...not 'horrified' exactly, but close...and I can't escape that fact. To be brutally honest, it was the reddest-necked, redneck funeral you could have possibly imagined. I mean, if it wasn't so tragically awful, it'd have been funny.

    I thought maybe something was up when I sat in the car, waiting for my daughter to arrive. People were walking into the funeral home dressed in t-shirts, ratty jeans and camo gear. Not everyone...but a good majority. Most were E's friends...he had a million...and they were young. Ok. Not my choice of attire for a funeral...actually it's one of my pet peeves...but they're kids. Whatever. But then his mom arrived, not in the funeral home limo per standard operating procedure, but chauffered in E's beloved, loud-muffler'd, big tarred SUV. And SHE had on jeans, a t-shirt and a camo jacket. As they pulled up to the funeral home, the driver gunned the motor several times, rattling the windows of the nearby a kind of "salute".

    During the funeral, itself, there were several times that I wondered how in the hell everyone was holding it together. Well...they weren't...not really. It was almost more than I could bear...and I wasn't really part of it...wasn't really "close", ya know? Every sad country song you can think of was played. Between the songs, several of his friends, cousins and even his sister got up and read poems, bits of songs or just told a personal story. Most had difficulty keeping their emotions in check.

    And ya know us women...we see someone cry, and it makes US cry. I nearly lost it completely..I mean the throw myself down on the floor and WAIL kinda 'lost it' when they played Clapton's "Tears in Heaven". Hell, I almost always cry when I hear that song in the best of circumstances. was over and time to load up for the trip to the tiny, country cemetery. I almost lost it again on the way when I saw the entire volunteer fire department (E was also a volunteer firefighter), complete with every truck and vehicle, standing at attention as we passed. Stuff like that just...moves me. When we pulled out onto Main Street, which is also a state route, the police had all the traffic stopped. The cars that were already in town pulled over as we passed...something that ya rarely see here, unfortunately.

    The teeny, tiny cemetery at the top of the hill was jam-packed, as well. Once again, the SUV played a part. As the pall bearers carried the casket through the silent throng, that silence was broken by the gunning of the big, powerful engine...another "salute". Again, the fire department was on hand, all spiffed up in their 'dress blues', standing at attention. They did this ceremony...a bell ringing...something. I forget what they called it...oh...'call to home', maybe?... but it was incredibly moving. Lost it again when they presented his mom with a flag and his sister with his firefighter's helmet.

    And after the service? Why, it was the big feed at the local Vee Eff Double-yew. Honest ta gawd...the food...small-town people are just incredibly generous at times like this. The VFW ladies prepared a lot, but there was also a lot 'brought in' by friends. Unfortunately, I didn't stay to eat...couldn't have most of the stuff, anyway, but DAMN...did I ever want some. Homemade chicken and noodles, mashed 'taters, roast beef, fried chicken, rolls, salads, gawd knows what else...every kind of cookie, pie or cake you can imagine.

    I dunno. It was so good to see all these people again, even under these circumstances. I'm just so damned tired and emotionally wrung out. It's been a helluva long day. I don't even remember driving home. But I wanted to jot my thoughts down while they were still fresh.

    I wanted to have black and help me remember what it's like to live be part of...a small town.

    Not that I ever wanna go back.

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    The right words

    I have a funeral to attend on Thursday. As with most things of this nature, it's not something that I look forward to, though I feel much more....comfortable, I guess is the right word...going to things like this than I used to.

    Ya know, I had no experience with the whole funeral thing, in general, as a child. My paternal grandparents were long maternal grandfather died when I was about 4, my grandmother when I was 8 or so. Other than my grandmother's death, I don't remember attending any other funeral until I was an adult and married for the first time.

    I can remember feeling so...awkward. I never knew what to say to the bereaved family members. I mean, what DO you say? "I'm sorry" always seemed I didn't quite know how to act. Was it a major faux pas to even smile? I always felt that visitations and funerals were sort of a macabre ritual. I simply could not understand the idea of walking into a room full of grieving people, who's sole reason for being there was the displayed shell of what once was a living, breathing person. I just didn't know the protocol for funerals.

    I'm not sure when it happened...I suppose it happened as I matured and had my own family funerals to attend...but it finally dawned on me that there IS no 'protocol'. Not really. Each family handles the death of a loved one differently. I've been to funerals that were more like parties...celebrations of the life of the deceased. I've been to funerals that were just incredibly somber and moving.

    There IS no 'proper' way to act. You treat the family the way YOU would like them to
    treat you, should you be in the same situation. There really ARE no 'right' words. Most times, you don't have to say anything. A warm hug. A pat on the back. Holding their hand. Just being there is enough. You're there for one reason and one reason, only...out of support and respect for the family.

    Having said all that, there are a couple of reasons that I'm especially dreading this particular funeral. This time...well...I'm just not sure that any 'right' words or actions even exist.

    About 20 years ago, I attended the funeral of my ex-brother in law, who died of pneumonia as a result of Lou Gherig's disease. He was only in his 30's. Thursday, I'll be attending the funeral of his son, who was killed in a traffic accident this past weekend. He was 21.

    Again with the commercials

    Didja ever notice how some commercial actors seem to run in "hot" cycles? Like the chubby, kinda dorky guy in the Capital One commercials with David Spade? He made several for Capital One...then I started to see him in others. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, some fast-food joint and a couple others that I can't think of right now.

    There's also a female commercial actress out there that seems to be pretty popular right now. She looks like a little like the actress Patricia Heaton...except a bit prettier. Cute, long reddish hair...perky grin. In fact,
  • Eric
  • has even mentioned her once in a post that I can't seem to locate right now. I've seen her touting at least four products recently, the most memorable of which might be the one for K-Y Warming Massage Oil/Personal Luuuubricant. (I think that's the one that caught Eric's attention)

    She's cute. And I bet she's got a great sense of humor, too.

    I caught her yesterday in a commercial for "Miracle Grow".

    Uh huh. K-Y Massage Oil/Personal Luuubricant and...Miracle Grow.

    Gotta love the irony.

    Sunday, April 02, 2006


    Your pubic...uh...I mean PUBLIC...service announcement for the day is as follows:

    On Wednesday, April 5 at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be

    01:02:03 04/05/06

    That won't ever happen again.

    Just so ya know.

    (Via email. Thanks, Cliff!)

    I know that "sex sells"

    Strangely enough, I'm not buyin this time.

    Has anyone else noticed some of the current tv commercials out there? Perhaps it's just because of the way my brain works, but I've noticed an unusually....low-minded...trend recently.

    Cases in point:

    1. Burger King's ad for some kind of chicken sandwich, in which they croon "Biiiiig, buuuuuckin chicken..." Except they don't put a LOT of emphasis on the 'B' in big. Big, uuuuuckin chicken? The first time I heard it, I was in the kitchen and would have bet my life "buckin" wasn't what they sang. Of course, they hadda use a visual of someone ridin a...well...a big, buckin rodeo chicken. Just so no one would get the wrong idea. Ah, yes. Of course. NOW I understand. A rodeo...chicken.

    How stupid of me.

    I honestly thought Burger King's ad execs had scraped the bottom of the barrel when they came up with the big, plastic-headed, window-peekin 'king' with the creepy grin. Guess I thought wrong. And to think...they used to be my favorite fast food joint.

    2. The ad for Pace Salsa. A deep-voiced man proclaims in a bit of a West Texas drawl, "Grab the Southwest by the BAWL-tle!" Emphasis on the BAWL, letting the 'tle' trail off.

    Uh. I've heard of grabbin life by the bawwwl. You can grab your career by the bawwwl. Hell...I've even grabbed Ziggy by the bawwwl a time or two. But I ain't never heard of grabbin the Southwest that way.

    3. An ad for Applebee's, touting their newest shrimp meal. Two guys standin in the water, singin a jingle based on the theme from Gilligan's Island.
    "Nowww, sit right back and grab some tail....s.." letting the 'S' kinda...slide away.

    I'd be the first to admit that grabbin a little tail can be a fun thing. But to grab it in Applebee's? Dude...I think we'd prolly get kicked out. Those pesky 'decency laws', ya know?

    Gawd knows, I'm certainly no prude. Nothing could be further from the truth. I generally relish a little sexual innuendo. I'm a big fan of the ole double entendre...IF...and ONLY's done intelligently AND with a good sense of humor. And if a commercial is done well...done intelligently...with OR without a little sexual innuendo...and can make me laugh, I'll not only usually remember that product, I'll make it a point to try that product.

    But these ads...these are....atrocious...and worse as far as I'm concerned...they're just plain STOOPID. They're evidently targeting the Beavis and Butthead crowd.

    "He said BUCKin...he he he..."

    I mean, I can see Burger King targeting the pre-pubescent set, but face it...I don't see a lotta 12 year old boys in Kroger, grabbing BAWL-tle's of Pace Salsa or in Applebee's, ordering 15-dollar entrees.

    Honest ta gawd....I'm EMBARRASSED for these companies. I don't know what they can possibly be thinkin.

    Nevermind. I KNOW what they're thinkin. They're thinkin that all us consumers are a buncha nose-pickin, low-eared, Jokes for the John-readin lemmings with IQ's of 40 who wouldn't know a good commercial if one came up and knocked on the door of the ole double-wide.

    THAT just offends the shit outa me.

    I don't buy salsa, we rarely eat at Applebee's and because of this diet, Burger King is verboten. However, if I DID use salsa or frequent these two places, I'd stop, post-haste.

    It's not that they've offended my sexual sensibilities. But my intellectual sensibilities? Honey, they're off-the-chart offended.

    Now, you'll hafta excuse me. I gotta go find my current copy of Jokes for the John.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    And today's number one politically incorrect comment is...

    "Pull yer damned burnoose outa yer ass-crack, Hadji." - Ziggy the Droll

    He might not be politically correct (gawd bless 'im) but he's funny as hell. Well, I think he's pretty funny, anyway. And what I think is all that really matters. hehe

    I'm sure you're wondering just what in the hell prompted that slightly questionable quotable quote. (Ah DO like that letter 'Q')

    I've mentioned before how much I like where we live. Several times. One of the reasons I like it so much is because of the diversity of our neighbors. This particular small complex is like a tiny microcosm of the middle to upper classes of the world. We have someone of nearly every age, every ethnicity, every profession and every religion. There are college students and there are 90+ year old women. Some of the professions include Caterpillar execs, physicians, nurses and a city employee or two of some kind. I've noticed in the last year or so, there seems to be a big influx of young Pakistani, Indian and Middle-Eastern families.

    On any given day in the parking lot, you'll see men in galabiyya's or burnooses wearing turbans or thagiya's. You'll see women in the black burqa's or hijab's outside walking around with toddlers or women wearing the gorgeous peacock colors of India in choli's, sari's and salaar kameej's. (Ok...I hadda look all these articles of clothing up to see what they were called)

    Today, we were headin out to do some errands and we drove past a couple of younger Middle-Eastern men chatting in the parking lot. One of the guys had on a white galabiyya, a long, shapeless kind of..well...dress, over his shirt and pants and was wearing a thagiya, a bill-less cap. As we drove past him (his back was to us), we noticed that he seemed to have a...uh...problem.

    His galabiyya was firmly implanted...wadded his butt-crack.

    Ya an old lady's housedress?

    I had an almost overwhelming urge to stop the car, jump out and yank it out. No doubt that act would have been something horribly offensive in his culture, though. So I didn't. Who knows? Hell that mighta been an offense worthy of beheading in his country.

    As far as I'm concerned, though, walkin around with your clothes stuck in your butt-crack is an offense worthy of beheading in any country.

    I'm not a bit predjuiced against those of different cultures. I'm an equal opportunity fashion snark.

    A conundrum

    Hmmmm...what to do, what to do?

    (Sorry. It's another diet post...sorta. But with a little bit of a personal dilemma thrown in.)

    For a long time now, I've been kickin around the idea of joining some kinda gym or exercise class. Yea, I know walkin is cheap and easy...kinda like me...but I find it boring and just not much fun...unlike me.

    And I know me. Left to my own devices, with no one pushin structure...well...let's be blunt...I'm a lazy bitch. So I'm thinkin that if I had a plan and further, if I had to pay for that plan, I'd be more inclined to get off my ass and move a couple-three times a week.

    Now, Peoria has a pretty wide variety of gym-type places to choose from. That's great. I like having choices.

    However, like I said, I know me. I know that there's nooooo way in hell that I'd be comfortable in a gym with a dozen 115 pound binkies in their expensive exercise gear whining about how fat they're gettin. I also know that there's no way in hell I could ever begin to keep up with the same kinda exercise routine that they do. I'm also not fond of the idea of some muscle-bound asshole of a drill instructor barkin in my ear, though on second thought, that might not be all bad. He could probably scare the fat off.

    So, I've been thinkin about
  • Curves
  • . Junebugg's comment on my
  • Bound and determined
  • post reminded me again.

    I've seen the ads on tv and elsewhere. They use real, FAT women in their advertising. I like that. I also like the idea that it'd be all women...and most of us would be in the same boat, so to speak, when it came to weight and ability to exercise. I liked that. I think it's also pretty reasonably priced and it's only a 30-minute workout, three times a week. I really like that. So I did a little research.

    Some of the stuff I found...well, I wasn't especially thrilled with. And some of the stuff I found was downright disturbing. To me, anyway. (That DAMN Google!)

    No, I don't want some kinda 'binkie' gym. But, neither do I wanna use the gym as some kinda social gathering place. I'm not a 'joiner' of anything, just for social value. It's not that I couldn't or wouldn't be friendly. I just don't necessarily wanna make friends. I'd be there to get rid of some flab...not win friends and influence people. I don't wanna form 'relationships'. I don't necessarily want "...encouragement from other women help you reach your fitness goals."

    I wanna go there, do the routine and leave. Period. No 'rah-rah' bullshit. No "I am woman, hear me roar" crap from people I don't know and have no intention of being 'best buds' with.

    That part doesn't bother me so much, though. I could still join, go, do my thing and just let them all think I'm a standoffish bitch. Despite everything, I'd decided that Curves was the best, most...bearable...kinda place for me. In fact, I'd made up my mind to go check out the nearest franchise on Monday. Peoria has two to choose from.

    But what I found out about Gary Heavin, the founder and CEO of Curves bothers me.
  • THIS
  • bothers me. A lot.

    In 2003, Heavin and his wife gave away $10 million -- 10 percent of their company's gross revenues -- to charities. At least half of that money went to three Texas organizations to fund "pregnancy crisis centers" supported by Operation Save America -- the same organization that blamed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on God's retribution for abortions and whose purpose, as described on its Web site, is to "unashamedly take up the cause of pre-born children in the name of Jesus Christ."

    Now, what this guy's particular views on abortion are quite different from mine. Quite. But that's ok. What he personally supports doesn't matter to me. But it DOES matter to me if he's using MY money to support crap like this. Yea, the 'correction' says he's using his own personal fortune to back these whackjobs. Uh...and just WHERE do ya suppose his 'personal fortune' came from in the FIRST damn place?

    The idea that I'd be contributing to an anti-abortion cause, even in such a roundabout way, is abhorrent to me. But it's simply horrifying to realize that this...despicable...organization has the audacity to accuse 9/11 of being "God's retribution for abortions.."

    Thus, the conundrum.

    Should I be completely self-centered and ignore what I know, go ahead and join and (hopefully) make this dieting thing go a little faster? I mean, I'm sure that at sometime, SOMEwhere, I've inadvertently lent my support to some OTHER issue that I don't agree with. I just didn't know about it at the time. (DAMN Google...again!)

    Or, do I stick to my principles and figure out something else? I mean...'principles'...well, I have very few in the first place. Shouldn't I try to preserve the paltry amount I DO have?

    I dunno. I might hafta rethink this walkin thing.

    I'm bound and determined

    Ok. Obviously I'm not 'bound'. It'd be pretty darn hard to type if I was all trussed up, wouldn't it?

    But I am determined to lose another 10 pounds before vacation.

    Vacation begins in exactly TWO weeks.

    Now I'm sure that most of you could care less if I do it or not. But the reason I'm tellin ya this is in the hopes that it'll keep me honest. Yea, I you'll know whether I lie or not. I won't. I promise. And I know that 10 pounds in two weeks sounds pretty ambitious, but if I keep my carbs to a strict 20 or less a day, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Yea. IF. That's the tricky part.

    I've been "stuck" again for the last few weeks. I reeeeeally hate that part. It just seems like ya try and try and ya don't see any results...or worse, ya gain two or three pounds.

    In the last....oh...probably six weeks, I've managed to regain and lose those three pounds at least three or four times. And then I get to a certain point and I just stick there. In actuality, I've been stuck...within a 5 pound the same weight for, I bet, six or eight months now. Lose five, gain three, lose two, gain two, lose three, gain's drivin me crazy.

    I can never get below a certain point and stay there...but I don't go above it, either. I suppose I should be greatful for that. I don't feel very damn greatful, though.

    For someone with essentially no willpower, this diet shit is hard.

    Come to think of it, I might do better if I WAS 'bound'. No, I couldn't type. But I couldn't poke food in my mouth, either.

    Hey, Ziggy....we got any rope?