Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cartoon penises (penii?)

I've seen a few

Well, they made me laugh, but I guess they weren't really cartoons.

I digress.

  • Eyebrows
  • thinks that
  • this
  • is "the best use of the internet EVER. EVER!"

    Though I'm not sure that it's the best use of the internet ever, I'd hafta agree that it IS pretty great.

    It's a German children's book that depicts how babies are made...from start to a clear, simplistic but fairly explicit way.

    Just the facts, ma'am.

    But how much ya wanna bet you'd never find an English version, complete with explicit cartoons, in your local B. Dalton's, Borders or Barnes & Noble? (And, btw...what's up with all the trendy bookstores starting with the letter 'B'? It's like a...cult...or something. heh)

    Find it in your local grade school library? OH MY GAWD! Maybe when hell freezes over.

    And I think that's just plain sad.

    It's sad that our society seems to think violence is more acceptable than sex. It's sad that young kids are having sex with virtually no knowledge of what the ramifications are...physical OR emotional. They're having sex with essentially no knowledge of how their own bodies even work, let alone their partner's.

    Most of all, it's sad that these same young people will one day be parents...and, more than likely, their kids will have no more of a clue than they did.

    Yes. Sex education should start at home. Absolutely and positively. But just saying "Don't do it" isn't nearly enough. And the majority of kids just aren't getting the information they need at home. Period.

    And that's just really sad, too.

    It just kills me...we're supposed to be the most advanced, most intelligent, in the world...but not when it comes to sex education.

    We're not even close.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    I'm kvelling here

    Take a peek over there on my sidebar.........................>

    See that spiffy new button, courtesy of
  • Elisson
  • , hizownself?

    Noooo, I didn't just appropriate it for my own self-aggrandizement. I won it, fair and square in one of Steverino's
  • caption contests
  • .

    Except...I didn't realize I was entering a caption contest. I was just makin conversation when I asked about that pesky "feminine itch". Not that I actually have a pesky feminine itch, mind you. Only had that once...and by gawd, if I ever find that bast....uh....nevermind.


    No, really...I am honored. In my opinion, Steve is one smart, funny haimisher mensch.

    Ok, so he's a little meshuggina at times.

    But then again, as one who posted a photoshopped version of herself as a local icon....well, it takes one to know one, huh?

    Thanks, Steve!

    Andy plays Peoria!

    Most excellent juggler, plate-spinner and Chicago blogger, extraordinaire,
  • Andy Martello
  • is playing Peoria!

    Hey there Pammy.

    Just dropping you a line, well in advance of the date (so you can plan accordingly. LOL) to let you know I'll be appearing in Peoria at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on 10/22/2006. Showtime is at 2 PM and the address is 400 N. Perry St.

    I'm appearing with the Peoria Barbershop Chorus and I'm performing several small segments throughout the show. It's a veudeville theme night so they wanted comedy, plate spinning, and so on inbetween their singing segments. There's a booking, huh?

    Anyway, if you think you and your family could attend that would be great. It would just be fun to meet you anyway.


    Hooooowever, I checked their
  • website
  • and discovered that it says that they're appearing at the Scottish Rite Cathedral on the 15th...not the 22nd. I fired back an email to Andy to point out the discrepancy...might oughta clarify that date. hehe

    It sounds like a hoot...whenever it is. I love me some harmonizing men in moustaches. Plus, I can't wait to meet the little penguin-lover in person.

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Move over, Vanna Whitewall...

    ...there's a new girl in town!

    Thanks to Zig and his ever-evolving Photoshop talents, I am now a well-known Peoria landmark.

    Ah well. Better a landmark than a skidmark, right? heh

    I kill me.

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    The other woman

    Neither of us can remember "the" date. It was a couple weeks after his birthday, which was the 7th, but sometime before September 11, so I'm guessing that it was right about this time, 5 years ago, that he just showed up on my doorstep with everything he owned crammed into his car.

    I figure since neither of us can remember the exact day, today...August 27...sounds as good as any for an anniversary.

    Just as an aside, isn't it strange how 9/11/01 has become such a...pivotal time point in all our lives? I know it was before 9/11 because when I woke up that morning and turned the tv on, I was horrified by what was unfolding at that very moment and I went in and woke him.

    Aaaanyway, "the" day is the day that Ziggy left his wife...and moved in with me. The other woman. Or the "desperate slut" as I was so lovingly referred to. I might agree with the 'slut' part, but desperate? Nah. Not so much. Oh, I desperately loved him. But he'd made it perfectly...brutally...clear from the get-go that he was married and had every intention of staying that way. So there were no scheming or planning. I'd made up my mind that if a little tiny part of his life was all I could have, well, I'd just have to be satisfied with that.

    The other woman. I was the other woman. Kind of ironic, really. I dunno about you, but when I think about someone being the other woman, I think about this gorgeous femme fatale...this black widow of a woman...who knows every sexual trick in the book and knows how to use all of 'em in order to steal away married men from their happy, picture-book, Leave it to Beaver homes.

    Uh. That ain't me.

    The other woman. Believe me, it's not a title I wear proudly. Not like "ballsy" or "shameless"...some of the other things I've been called. Frankly, I'm pretty proud of the "ballsy" moniker. But no. I'm certainly not proud that I was the other woman. I'd have rather it happened just about any other way than it did. But, it is what it is and I am what I am.

    But wanted or not, that's what I was. And I'll tell you why.

    I loved him for what he was, not for what I wanted him to be. I loved him with no hesitation, no expectation. I loved him because he was kind and gentle and funny and smart. I loved him because he was brutally honest. I loved him because I could see the love for his sons in his eyes when he talked about them. I loved him because of his humanness and his common sense. I loved him because he tried...he really make his marriage work. I loved him for things that his wife never saw...never cared enough to take the time to find out...never wanted to see.

    She thought he was leaving her because she'd gained weight. Ain't that a hoot? Irony epitomized.

    But I was horrified. I was horrified that she could even think that he was so shallow. That she didn't even know him well enough...after 26 realize that things like that really don't matter to him.

    I loved him later...long after we were together...for the hurt in his eyes when he spoke of her. I loved him and I cried for him when he told about never being good enough...never being enough for her.

    I thought surely she must be crazy. Did she not see what I saw? Did she not understand this man and respect him for what he is? After 26 years, did she not realize what she had? Did she not know that he loved her but she killed it with neglect and criticism? How could she not know? How could she be blind to his utterly dense about their relationship?

    Sometimes I still feel guilty. When I'm feeling particularly...verklempt...I wonder if he wouldn't have been better off just staying. He gave up so much. He gave up everything. Everything. He lost more than any one person should have to lose. For me. I have nothing to give him in return...nothing I can do can make up for what he's lost. Except love him.

    Sometimes I feel a little guilty because we've always had the best of each other...we've never had those tough times to go through together...those trying times. Struggling as a young couple. Raising kids. Losing loved ones. It's like all the "dirty work" has been done and that doesn't seem exactly fair.

    Sometimes I feel guilty about being the other woman.

    But I get over it.

    At any rate, those first few days...first few weeks, really...weren't pretty. They were scary and wonderful and horrible and amazing and terrifying. But they were also incredibly...easy. As if we were the ones who'd been married for 26 years. As if it had always been planned...always been.

    And that's exactly the way it is today...five years later. It's like it's always been. Like it's the way it was supposed to be so many years ago. I love him more than I ever thought I was capable of.

    I know that most "other woman" stories don't have happy endings. But this one does.

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    She's come undone

    Well, not completely. But I'm definitely not...right. I haven't been right for some time now and I feel like I'm slipping farther and farther into...something. I don't know what. Maybe it's depression. Maybe it's menopause. Maybe it's another mid-life crisis. I dunno. I thought I was done with that, but maybe not.

    You have no idea how difficult it is for me to talk about this. See, when it comes to inner self, I'm the Queen of Control. At least, I always have been. Up until this point.

    I think I need to get a job. I need it for several reasons. I need to feel productive. Gawd knows, I haven't felt productive for a long time, either. And I guess I need a purpose. I always thought that the only true purpose to my life was to be happy, but I think I need a little more than that. I'm deliriously happy with my personal life, but something's still missing. Last but certainly not least, I need to feel like...less of a drain on Ziggy. Bless his heart. He's supported my dead ass for far too long without complaint.

    I have a nursing degree, right? And nurses are in high demand, right? So what am I whining about when I know I could walk out the door and come back in an hour or so with a job that pays 25 bucks an hour?

    Just do it and quit bitchin, right?

    Well, there's this little Catch-22 thing. I'm not "right". I'm fuzzy...lethargic, almost. My concentration is shit. Seventy-five percent of the time, I'm so fatigued that I feel like I can barely drag myself to the grocery store. Yea, I'm in the process of having it checked out. But all these tests and studies...all the bullshit...takes time, ya know?

    Frankly, it's just not safe for me to be a nurse right now. I mean, I sure as shit wouldn't want someone like me taking care of me or a loved one. In nursing, there are very few things you can get away with with an "Ooops!".

    The other thing is...and I know this sounds...I dunno...selfish or something...but I just don't want to be a nurse anymore. I don't want to be that responsible for another human life. I don't want to be a pharmacist, a social worker, a mother, a confessor, a nutritionist, a respiratory therapist and an asswiper to ten sick patients, five of whom would just as soon spit on me as thank me. I don't want to put up with managers who haven't taken care of a real patient in 20 years, yet try to tell me how to do my job. I don't want to deal with the mountains of paperwork that nursing has become. And last but not least, I don't want to work weekends and holidays anymore. Been there, done that. Plenty.

    And it makes me feel even more like a horse's ass to say it, but I don't want to take a job that I've grown to hate.
    I know people work their whole lives at jobs they hate. My dad absolutely detested his job at Cat...but he never missed a day. Ziggy hates his job...but he never misses a day.

    So what's a semi-intelligent, peri-menopausal, discombobulated Jill of all trades and mistress of none to do? When she does manage to get her shit all together, I mean?

    I think it's safe to say exotic dancing is probably out.

    Himalayan yak herder? Nah. Altitude sickness.

    Nuclear physicist? Probably not. Hey...I thought the formula for "squared" was 4, remember? Well, hell..."squared" means 4 sides, doesn't it?

    Female alligator wrestler? Awww...I'd hate to hafta compete with Steve Irwin.
    Besides that, they teeth and stuff.

    Hey. Anybody know what you'd hafta do to become a private investigator? Seriously, I'd love that. Spying on cheating husbands or wives...catching moronic disability insurance scammers in the act. You know the ones? The ones who insist that they're sooooo disabled...they're blind, deaf and paralyzed, but are later caught hauling 80-pound bundles of shingles up a ladder onto a roof in 104 degree weather...while chatting on a cell phone and eating a Big Mac.

    How great would that be? And I'd be like the perfect cover for a job like that. I mean...who'd suspect this fat, middle-aged grandma of being a private investigator? Besides that, I have an extremely devious mind...takes a deviate to catch a deviate, ya know?

    Plus, I kinda like the sound of it...Pammy, P.I..

    I think I'll have some business cards printed up.

    Happy Birthday, Jules!

    Isn't she gorgeous? Bless her heart, I'm not sure whose "beauty" genes she sure wasn't from her dad and gawd knows it wasn't from me.

    I'm also wondering just how the hell she could possibly be 34 when I'm only 35. (cough)

    Happy Birthday, baby. I love you!

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    I are a computer genius

    I've been unsuccessfully trying to post all day. Actually, I couldn't even log in. I know that Blogger is trying something new...a beta...something...and I thought they had Lolly all screwed up.

    I checked the whole Blogger site for info. Nada. I emailed 'em and bitched, but of course, I hadn't heard anything back yet.

    I finally decided to just go ahead and transfer everything to my WordPress site. I started to do that once before, but was terrified I'd lose everything, being the techno-tard that I am. I was trying to do the import thing from Blogger to WordPress, it occured to me that I'd been using the wrong damn username on the Blogger site.

    I have the same password for damn near everything...just so I won't do crap like this. But username? Nope. Different one.


    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Gotta love those weekend road trips

    I know St. Louis is only three hours away, but geeze...why does it seem like six? Especially the trip home.

    It was great to see the kids again, though. And it was definitely great 'top-down' weather all the way.

  • Festival of the Little Hills
  • always falls around Julie's birthday, so we always seem to get in on the action, whether we want to or not. It's a fantastic little festival...if you're into that sort of thing. I used to be, but now...not so much. I'm not into the whole antiques/crafts thing anymore, though I don't mind looking now and then.

    Luckily, we managed to hit one of the many downtown bistros for a sandwich and a cold beer without any parking problems, which was pretty amazing. Even more amazing, the "Princesses-in-training" didn't kick up too much of a fuss to go festivaling. Then back to Jules' new digs for a little...ah..."Queenly" birthday celebration.

    Princesses-in-training - they're workin on their "wave"...but they already have the attitude.

    The Princess and her court jester

    The Queen Mother and her cohort - yes...I'm wearing a "Groucho Marx nose". Hey...Queens wanna have fun too, ya know?

    The Queen Mother and the Queen

    Friday, August 18, 2006


    If, after all that has happened, you still do not understand what we're up against, go
  • here
  • .

    It's long past time that we stopped with all the political correctness bullshit and start profiling. If we don' day soon, 9/11 will be far overshadowed by what happens.

    I hope, with everything in me, that he's wrong. I fear he's not.

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    The old BCF post

    I'd love to offer you something just outstanding...brilliant and clever and funny. of those BCF posts. You know the kind I'm talkin about. Something so intelligent that it just makes ya wanna say "Huh. That girl's smart. Whoda thunk it?" Something so funny that it makes ya snork your drink out your nose, mid-swallow.

    Yea...aren't those BCF posts great?

    Anybody know where I can find one?

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    A wicked little meme

    I'm with
  • El Capitan
  • on this one...just kill me now...'cause I'd rather die than answer some of these. Not necessarily because they're hard to answer...because I might learn a little more about myself than I really wanna know. heh

    Would you rather:

    1. Watch a porno with your parents OR starring your parents?

    My parents slept in separate bedrooms. And I'm pretty sure that it was the ole "east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet" kinda thing goin on in their relationship as far as sex was concerned. In fact, even though I'm an agnostic, I think I just might believe in immaculate conception...either that or I was found under a rock, somewhere. I rarely saw ANY kind of affection shown between the two of them. To believe that they actually had sex...if only ONCE...kind of boggles my mind.

    So, as bad as I hate to admit it...and as much as it might scar me for life...I think I'd hafta say I'd rather see a porno starring my parents. Like any good agnostic, I hafta SEE to BELIEVE.

    2. Lick the handle on a public restroom toilet OR eat a wad of toilet paper from the stall floor?

    Um. "I'll take licking for two hundred, Alex." If I don't swallow, it's not really sex, is it?

    3. Be MC Hammer OR Vanilla Ice?

    Gimme some baggy pants and paint my face, honey. At least MC wasn't tryin to be something he's not. There's nothin worse than a white boy tryin to get jiggy wit' it.

    4. Be able to fly OR read people's minds?

    Since I won't even consider flying IN a plane, I think it's safe to say that I wouldn't consider flying without one. Just call me the Great Karnak.

    5. Have whatever you want for one year then die OR be paralyzed for life?

    Ahhh...THERE'S a question. There are varying degrees of "paralyzed". Para? That might be tolerable. Quad? Possible. Christopher Reeve? Gimme lotsa that morphine, honey and fluff my pillows. See ya on the flip side.

    6. Have a permanent smile OR a permanent blank stare?

    I'd much rather have people wonder what I was up to with all the smiling all the time than to think I was a mouth-breather who picks my nose and barely understands English. Hand me my toothbrush.

    7. Be burned alive OR drown?

    Good gawd. This just gets better and better, doesn't it? I choose dying in my sleep at the age of 102 after just having multiple orgasms with my 34 year old lover.

    8. Be known worldwide as a racist OR a child molestor?

    I'm with El on this one. Wonder if my white sheets are clean?

    9. Eat three pounds of hair OR drink a gallon of shampoo?

    HAIR? In my MOUTH?? Good gawd! Nothin can give me the gags faster than that stray in my mouth. The good thing about choosing shampoo (if there even IS a good thing) is that you'd have a really clean colon in a day or two.

    10. Be God OR the devil?

    I don't even hafta think about this one. Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere. I go everywhere.

    The "Enigman"

    They say metrosexual guys are out...and real men, men who act like men... complete with love handles...are "in".

    Perhaps not.

    Or perhaps there's a whole 'nother breed out there...neither a metrosexual nor a man. Something inbetween. Something that's, as yet, unnamed.

    Maybe the term "enigman" might be fitting. A man. Who's an enigma. An "Enigman".

    See, Ziggy, though disdaining all forms of sports, televised or not (gawd BLESS him!), has always been a rather manly kinda man.

    He abhors most of what passes for men's 'fashion', instead preferring jeans and t-shirts. He's definitely not lacking in the personal hygiene department, but he'd rather be caught dead than be found using any kind of "product" on his hair.

    He loves him some porn, but prefers "real" women as opposed to the airbrushed binkies that most immature guys seem to be so enamored of. Though there are times that he's undoubtedly and completely a "man" at home, he behaves well when in nose-picking, spitting, farting or ball-scratching.

    Despite his membership in the Ay Ay R Pee, he's still got it goin on in the sack...but he doesn't do the normal "manly" roll over and go into a coma immediately after. Sometimes, after a little refactory time, he's even been known to...uh...shall we say "perk up"? again. My el toro viejo. Gawd bless that ole testosterone.

    As far as the love handles go? Yup. He's got his share of those, too.

    So, despite his lack of blatant...uncouthness...he's a "man", even though he's a man who's fairly in touch with his feminine side. He loves women and I think it's fair to say that he "gets" them...most of the time, anyway.


    As far as our tv viewing habits are concerned, I'm thinkin maybe we oughta throw a football game in now and then...and cut down a little on the HGTV.

    Today, while he was getting ready for work, I had "Sensible Chic" on the tube. For those of you who don't know, it's a show where they try to replicate a gazillion dollar, decorator-created "inspiration" room for a couple hundred bucks. Ok, so it's generally more than that, but you get the idea. At the end, they always brag about how much money they saved in comparison to the gazillion-dollar room.

    And this astute observation came from Ziggy:

    "Yea, they could have saved even more money if they'd have used the second set of Japanese screens and just used a tea wash to tone down the color a little. They really looked more like the ones in the inspiration room."

    And then he farted.

    Ahhhh...THERE'S my manly Ziggy.

    "I think the term "tea wash" is probably the absolute last thing I ever thought I'd hear come outa my mouth," he sighed.

    My "enigman". Gotta love him.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Odds and ends

    Because all my ends are odd

    Well, the self-medicating with booze worked. Kinda. I didn't go to bed until 2 and dozed off and on until 6:30 or so when I woke up with that "got my ass kicked by Mike Tyson" feeling and a horrible headache. Got up to pee and went back to bed and died until 11:30 or so. So I got 5 hours of pretty good sleep and it made a big difference. Felt better today than I have in a week.

    I don't plan on using that method very often, though. I'm thinkin if I had a choice between a sleeping problem or a drinking problem...well...I'll remain an insomniac, thank you very much.

    In other news, check out my horoscope for today...uh...yesterday. I guess it is past midnight:

    September 22 - October 22
    If you're romantically involved, dear Libra, expect a marriage proposal or some other sort of proposition that implies that the relationship is moving to the next level of commitment. If you are already married, your partner might put forth the idea that the two of you take a long trip together. If you aren't romantically involved, you could meet someone interesting. Communication between you and that special someone should definitely improve. Enjoy!

    Looks like I weaseled outa that one. Or maybe Ziggy did. I didn't get a marriage proposal. I did, however, get a proposition. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is a lot more fun. heh

    And speaking of propositions, I thought
  • this article
  • was a hoot.

    Only four in 10 respondents said they have asked their lovers for something in bed in the past month. Now either 60 percent of you have so completely informed your partners just how you like it, and those lovers do it exactly right, or a lot of you just aren’t saying anything.

    It just boggles my mind. You're having're being as intimate with another person as you possibly can be...but you can't talk to him/her about it?

    "Oh, my gawd...I couldn't possibly tell him how I like it. I'd be too embarrassed"

    Uh...what? Ok, you're naked with this other person. He's seen every part of your body including some parts that even you haven't seen. Ya obviously know him well enough to have sex, but gawd forbid ya actually do something radical to him about it?

    Ohhh...I get it. "Good girls and boys" don't talk about sex, do they? It's ok to fuck like minks, but just don't talk about it.

    Screw that. Call me a bad girl. I'll wear the title proudly.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Weekend at Fidel's

    Anyone ever see the movie
  • Weekend at Bernie's
  • ?

    From IMDB:
    Tagline: Bernie may be dead, but he's still the life of the party!

    Plot Outline: A pair of losers try to pretend that their murdered employer is really alive, but the murderer is out to "finish him off."

    It's one of those madcap comedies where two bumblers haul their limp, lifeless employer around, pretending he's still alive and getting him into all kinds of adventures. I thought it was pretty funny, but for the life of me, I can't remember why they were draggin ole Bernie around. Maybe to ensure their next paycheck.

    Anywho, I've been thinkin about Fidel Castro and the
  • "is he dead or isn't he"?
  • guessing game that's presently goin on. As you might have read, the communist dog had some kinda intestinal surgery (probably for worms) and ensconced his drunken brother Raul as El Presidente until such a time that he was able to resume control.

    I told Ziggy the other day that personally, I think Fidel is already dead. But we won't know it...not for a long time. They'll probably stuff his saggy old ass and parade him around for photo ops and short public appearances...kinda like they did Bernie.

    I can just picture it...Raul and Hugo draggin the dried-up carcass of Fidel around, takin him to the beach...plantin' his ass in the back of a convertible and drivin around...tying string to his arm to make it look like he's wavin to all his minions.

    "'E's not dead...'e's only sleeping! 'E's a former ex-dictator." (My apologies to Monty Python)

    One can only hope.

    At any rate, if you've never checked out
  • Val's
  • blog, I urge you to do so. He and his friends tell the true story of Cuba, past and present.

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Don't mind me...I'm self-medicating

    Ok, the truth of the matter is, I'm about 3/4 shitfaced. But only because it's an experiment...not because I like it. Even though I kinda do.

    See, I can't sleep. Well, I can sleep...sorta...but it's....disturbed. I have vivid, bizarre dreams. I wake up fifteen times during the night. I have to pee two or three times a night and I wake up in the morning feeling like I've just done ten rounds with Mike Tyson....and lost. Badly. Except I still have both ears.

    Though I've had periodic sleep problems for the last year and a half or so, this past week has been particularly difficult. It's been so difficult that I've only been out of the apartment once...all week...until tonight. I've felt like total and complete ass...afraid to drive, even. Not sick, exactly. Just bad. Out of it. Dopey. I know it's because I'm not sleeping.

    So tonight, Zig suggested we run up to the River Beach Pub to have some supper and listen to Mike and his guitar. Maybe the fresh air would do me some good. It was nice to get out (with somebody else driving) and it was absolutely gorgeous sitting out on the deck, watching the river. I mean, what can be bad, right? It was one of those perfect evenings...about 80 degrees, no bugs, the beer was cold, the food was good as usual and the music was absolutely....mellow. A little bit of Woody Guthrie; a little bit of The Eagles; The Beatles; Peter, Paul and was just nice, ya know?

    So I decide that maybe if I get good and soused, I can sleep. Oh, I know booze actually disrupts your sleep...ya don't go into REM, so ya don't get really rested. That's why ya feel like you've been dragged through a knothole backwards after a big drunk. Even if ya don't feel particularly hung over, ya feel really tired. But, see...during REM is when I have the problems. So I'm hoping if I disturb least I can get some kind of sleep.

    We'll see.

    It's kinda funny, really. Sleep wasn't something I've ever had a problem with. I've worked every shift there is and never had problems sleeping...not like this, anyway. It really kinda pisses me off...something that should be so freakin simple has become such a big problem...has affected my whole damn life the way it has.

    I'm tellin ya...I absolutely hate goin to the doc. I put it off until I have no other option. But this appointment I have with the neurologist can't come too soon. I want this shit fixed. NOW.

    Now, 'scuse me. I'm gonna get another beer.

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    It just slays me

    So I kinda...appropriated...the title of Chef Kevin's blog
  • It Just Slays Me
  • . But this post definitely fits the criteria.

    The other day, as I was flipping through some of the news channels to get my required news fix, a little story caught my attention.

    I believe they said it was Pennsylvania, but I'm not positive.

    It was about wind power. Ya know? Those huge windmills? Which, as an aside, I just happen to think is a marvelous idea. It's clean. It's relatively quiet. It's environmentally friendly. Well. Except for the occasional bird that happens to be unfortunate enough to fly into one of the gigantic blades. And frankly, they're just cool as hell to my opinion, anyway. Have you ever seen one? They're HUGE.

    So the story related how some farmers were taking advantage of offers from these power companies to rent land and erect these huge windmills. The farmers get something like $6,000 a year for each of the windmills. This particular farmer had 32 or 34 windmills on his property.

    Pretty damned good wages for doing nothing, I'd say.

    It's a win-win situation, right? Clean, efficient, relatively inexpensive energy and the farmers make a bundle without having to work their asses off.

    Well, ya just knew somebody had to bitch about something, right?

    So some of the farmer's neighbors are complaining about the windmills being "visual pollution".

    Gimme a fucking break.

    I have no doubt that some of those very same complaining neighbors are farmers, too. Farmers that drive huge, gas guzzling trucks with big tars. Farmers that pollute the land with all manner of pesticides and herbicides and other carcinogenic crap.

    And probably farmers that sit on their asses and let their land lie fallow whilst taking advantage of every subsidy and governmental program they can get their hands on. Governmental programs, by the way, that probably prevent the farmers from renting out their land to the power companies. It'd be like double-dipping.

    I'm thinkin it's just a case of sour grapes. And even if it's not, it's a ridiculous argument. Ya can't have it both ways. You either keep using fossil fuel which, as we all know, really isn't a renewable resource...and it's gettin damned expensive...or you evolve...start using something smarter, cheaper and plentiful, even though your visual "senses" might be a bit offended. It's a trade-off, but one that's worth it, in my opinion.

    Personally, I'd like to see some ginormus nuclear power plant go up near those complainers.

    They wanna bitch about "visual pollution"...that'd give 'em something to really bitch about.

    Now that's customer service

    I've been hooked on Arizona Diet Green Tea for well over a year now. I discovered it when I first started low-carbing and it's become one of our favorites. No calories, no carbs and it tastes great. As an added bonus, the green tea is supposed to be good for ya...I think it's supposed to help with your memory...I forget, though. Plus, it supposedly has more anti-oxidents than regular tea.

    I dunno exactly what the anti-oxidents do, but they're supposed to be good for ya. I figure every little bit helps, ya know? It couldn't hoit.

    Aaaanywho, I bought a couple gallon bottles the other day at the grocery store. I didn't notice until I got 'em home, but one bottle looked just slightly darker than the other one. When I tasted it, it tasted (and smelled) like rust. Like suckin on a handful of pennies...or like when ya bite your lip and the blood gets in your mouth? ACK!

    So last night, I look up Arizona Tea's website and sure enough...there's a "contact us" button. So I did. I got an email back from 'em first thing this morning with instructions to NOT drink the tea (as if...hah!), pour it out and call the toll-free number, post haste. So I did.

    I spoke to the nicest woman named Eileen, who actually told me that the product was spoiled (no preservatives, either...forgot to mention much for the green tea helping memory), to not drink it (again) and to pour it out.
    She apologized all over the place however, they're not gonna replace the gallon.

    They're sending me a whole CASE.

    I'm thinkin a whole lotta companies could benefit from having a customer service department like that.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    I don't WANT to be suspicious

    I don't. I don't want to be paranoid. And I certainly don't want to be accused of racism on any level.

    But,'s becoming more and more difficult.

    Of course, it's all over the
  • news
  • about the Brits uncovering another terrorist plot.

    Yea, it was in Great Britan. Things like that always happen somewhere else, don't they? It can't possibly happen here. Not here in the midwest. Not here in little old River City. It couldn't possibly happen
  • here
  • . Could it?

    PEORIA - A federal judge in South Carolina has thrown out a former Bradley University student's demand to be released from military custody.
    U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd wrote in a 16-page order filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston that the government had proved that Ali Saleh Kahleh al-Marri was an "enemy combatant," and therefore could be held indefinitely by the military.

    Furthermore, Floyd held the former West Peoria man's insistence of not presenting any evidence to rebut the government's contentions were his downfall.

    Yes. Yes it could.

    I think I've mentioned before that here, in our little apartment complex, there are a number of Muslims...seems like more move in every day. They're all quiet and though pretty reserved, are polite. I'm sure part of their reservation is that they just don't speak English very well.

    The women all cover their faces and wear the black burkas or whatever they're called. Many of the men wear pants with the long matching tunics. And they all seem to get lots of packages in the mail. (I don't snoop...the mailman leaves 'em in the foyer.)

    I have no way of knowing, really...if they're of the fundamentalist branch of their particular religion. It's not like they wear signs, do they? I have no way of knowing if those packages are from Pottery Barn or al-Qaida. I have no way of knowing if any of these Muslims are "sleeper agents".

    Believe me, I'd like to believe that they're not. But it's getting harder and harder to cling to that belief when it seems like they're all out to get us.

    And that's kind of the point. We just don't know. I don't know. They could be anywhere...even in Peoria. They could be anyone...even my neighbor.

    The thing is...and none of the talking heads seem comfortable saying it...but these terrorists...fundamentalist Muslims...hate us. They hate anyone who doesn't believe like they do. They hate anyone who doesn't think like they do. They want us all dead. Period. End of discussion.

    No amount of amount of peace talks no worthless "resolutions", none of this "diplomatic" horseshit will work. They have an agenda.

    And that agenda is death and destruction of all who do not believe.

    So my question is...when are we all gonna wake up and get it? When are we gonna finally understand that these people simply do not think the way we do? They never have and they never will. "Reasoning" doesn't work when their idea of reason is so far removed from ours.

    When are we gonna wake up and decide that we'd damn well better do something, political correctness be damned?

    I'm certainly not hateful to my neighbors. I'm not accusing anyone. I'm really not paranoid. I'm not exactly suspicious. Yet. But I am....alert.

    Wouldn't you be?

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    A perfect illustration of what makes me laugh

    Sometimes, amongst the spam, the chain letters and the forwards, I find a true jewel.
    (Thanks, SusieQ!)

    This made me laugh so hard I snorked coffee through my nose. Doncha hate it when that happens?

    Incredible story about an elephant's memory...

    July 3, 2006

    A young man was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from college. While he was walking through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

    The elephant seemed distressed so the man approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot. There was a large thorn deeply embedded in the bottom of the foot.

    As carefully and as gently as he could he worked the thorn out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stared at him. For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen -- thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

    Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.

    The man never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later the man was walking through the zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where they were standing at the rail. The large bull elephant stared at him and lifted it's front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times, all the while staring at the man. The man couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

    After a while it trumpeted loudly; then it continued to stare at him.

    The man summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

    Suddenly the elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of the man's legs and swung him wildly back and forth along the railing, killing him.
    Probably wasn't the same elephant.

    In which I tell you just exactly how dumb I can be

    Well...when it comes to math, anyway

    Some of you might remember that we recently lost our beloved little Casio Exslim digital camera. If you don't remember, go check out my post about our canoe trip...I'm too lazy to post the link.

    Aaaanywho, we (I) lost it in a pretty unusual way.

    We've been looking around for something to replace it. We knew we wanted something small (the Exslim wasn't much bigger than a credit card and was only about 1/2 inch thick), something easy to operate (because we're old fucks and can't see the damn controls), something with a big LED screen (same reason) and something that was easy to hook up to the computer (again, same reason...and because we're techno-tards). We also thought we wanted another one with the charging dock. We hate to have to mess with batteries, although I already have to buy batteries by the gross for....uh...nevermind.

    While shopping around, though, we discovered that most of the digitals now don't come with a charging dock like the Exslim did. And if they do, they're about a hundred bucks extra.

    Ok, so we rethought the whole battery/recharger thing. Ziggy, being a smart guy, pointed out the fact that batteries might not be a bad idea, after all. You can get batts pretty much anywhere, whereas an electrical outlet isn't always handy. Besides that, it takes a couple hours to charge it back up after you do find a plug-in.

    So we decided on a Pentax Optio E10. It's a 6 megapixel job as opposed to the 2 that the Casio was. Frankly, I don't see much's not like we take 'professonal' type photos, anyway. It's small, though definitely bigger than the Casio, has a big LED screen and seems pretty straightforward as far as standard operating procedure. And it takes two AA batteries.

    That are drained after about 10 flash photos.

    Yea, we knew there hadda be a catch.

    So, Ziggy does a little digging in the software that came with the camera. And discovers that they recommend lithium batteries. Uh huh. A little fact that the ad or the printed instruction booklet failed to mention.

    (Wait. I'm getting to the part where I tell you how totally and completely DENSE I can be when it comes to anything remotely resembling math.)

    It's NUMBERS, dammit.

    Last night, I saw an ad on tv for "Energizer E Squared Lithium Batteries". It claimed that they'd last through approximately 600 photos. Ok, so we figured that's non-flash photos...but even using the flash, we ought to get what?...maybe a hundred out of 'em. A lot better than 10, for sure.

    I figured the next time I was out, I'd try to find some.

    The "next time" happened to be this afternoon. While grocery shopping, I stopped to check out the battery selection. I found Duracells. I found Eveready. I found the store brand. I found regular Energizer...but no Energizer E Squared Lithium.

    They DID, however, have "Energizer e2 Lithium" batteries.

    E. 2.

    So, I'm standing there, thinking to myself....

    "What the hell? They've got e2...but I don't see any damn e4. Because 'squared' means 4. Right? There are 4 sides to a square, aren't there? I wonder if the 2 would work, though?"

    Can I hear a DUH??

    Thank GAWD it dawned on me. Thank GAWD I didn't embarrass myself by asking someone, having them point out the obvious and me doing something really arguing with 'em about it.

    And thank GAWD that I'm not a nuclear physicist.

    Y'all'd be screwed.

    How 'bout a little cheesecake?

    Nooooo...even though we might look like we're nekkid, we're not. Completely.

    He's my bestest friend in the whole wide world, my cohort in all things onery, my lover and "El toro viejo". He's one of the funniest, most intelligent, kind and caring men I've ever had the pleasure to have known.

    (Said in my best Groucho Marx imitation, complete with eyebrow action)
    "And believe HAS been a pleasure!"

    Today, he's celebrating a birthday. I won't tell you how old he is. But for the next 365 days, every time he drives on secondary roads, he'll be reminded.

    Oh, and he loves cheesecake. Both the edible AND the non-edible kind. If ya know what I mean.

    Happy Birthday, Ziggy! I love you more than...than...cheesecake. And believe me....I loooooves me some cheesecake, too.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    Everything just stops at 5 pm on Friday...

    ...doesn't it?

    Even though I haven't been part of the American workforce for a couple of years now, I still find that attitude amongst those who work "normal" jobs, ie: Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.

    See, in most medical professions, things just don't stop at 5 pm on Friday. When I worked as a nurse, I rarely worked normal hours. I worked either second shift (3 pm to 11 pm) or third (11pm to 7 am). Shifts could also come in any combination of both...sometimes I worked from 1 pm to 1 am or 7 pm to 7 am...yea, 12 hours...but I only had to work three days a week, not five. And those days always included at least a couple weekends a month. Full weekends. Saturday AND Sunday. And usually every other major holiday, though that was always a gamble, too. Sometimes I wound up working EVERY major holiday.

    Hospital patients DO get around the clock, 24/7 care. What an amazing concept!

    When I worked any of the various combinatons of third shift, days were my nights. I shut the phone off, closed the bedroom door and went to bed. Family members and friends knew NOT to call or drop by during those hours. I figured if it was some kind of major emergency, someone would come to my house and wake me up. Simple.

    I was always amazed when my other fellow "vampires" would drag their asses into work and complain how the phone woke them 15 times or that their kids woke them up repeatedly to ask where their clean underwear was.

    Uh....hello? Try calling someone who works a 'normal' job at 3 in the morning just to "chat". See what happens.

    And that attitude doesn't just happen with family and friends. Management was every bit as guilty of it...usually moreso.

    Meetings were regularly scheduled during their 9-5 workday. Needless to say, I rarely attended those important meetings. If they couldn't drag their asses back to the hospital to schedule a meeting on MY time, I sure wasn't draggin MY ass up in the middle of the day to do it. As the years progressed, it got a bit better...but not much.

    I always felt (and still do) that every single member of 'management' should be forced into working at least a month's worth of second or third shifts at the very beginning of their employment...just so they'd KNOW what it was like. Still haven't seen that happen...and probably won't. Ever.

    And the medical profession isn't the only one that doesn't work "normal" hours.

    Ziggy works in a steel mill. His second shift is from 2 pm to 10 pm., Monday through Friday. And, yea....sometimes he's forced into a Saturday, though working major holidays is rare.

    He runs into the same attitude, even though he's management. Everything just stops when the rest of management (the office drones) go home at 5 pm.

    I know it's kinda hard to understand for people who've never worked anything but "normal" hours. But I can guarantee ya... there are a lotta things that just don't stop at 5 pm on Friday evenings.

    Vampires need a little consideration, too.

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    The fear factor

    I always used to say that I wasn't afraid of anything. There's still not much that I can say I'm truly afraid of, though I'm discovering that as I get older, the things that might've scared me when I was young no longer seem quite so frightening.

    Having spent close to twenty years in the medical profession, I've discovered that there are far worse things than dying.

    On the other hand, I've found that there are things that I've become VERY fearful of. Unreasonably so, even.

    But, I'm not talking about a true fear...exactly.

    I'm talking about the heebie jeebies. The things that kinda make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. Essentially unreasonable fears. Things that make ya wanna go "EWWWWWW!"

    Things that give you a major case of the icks, if you will.

    Everyone's got at least one. For instance,
  • Jimbo
  • , despite being firmly planted in Joisey, has an unreasonable fear of alligators. Just seeing a photo of one is enough to give him a case of the hot squirts.

    Now I realize that a gator is something to be highly respectful of. And yea...I'd probably piss my pants if I ever came face to face with one. But do they give me the heebie jeebies? Nah. Not so much.

    I know snakes are a big ICK for some people. I happen to like snakes. 'Course, I've never had the pleasure of running into one with fangs, but in general, snakes are pretty cool. In fact, quite a few years ago, I caught a baby bull snake and tried to keep it. The ex and the daughter, however, nixed that idea.

    Nah. Gators or snakes don't much scare me. There ARE, however, a couple of things that will send my ick factor into overdrive.

    Right at the top of my list are spiders. Skulking, furtive, scuttling, hairy, creepy little bastards. All those legs. Why the hell does an insect need eight legs, anyway? Even the most innocous looking little spider can send me right into a raging case of the heebie jeebies.

    The movie "Arachnaphobia"? I love it, but I can hardly stand to watch it. It makes my butt clench.

    So you can imagine my horror when I checked out
  • Dax
  • this morning and found the gawd-awfulest photos. My poor butt still hasn't relaxed. The mere idea of finding something like that on my living room just...oh, I don't even wanna think about it.

    The other thing that gives me a major case of the icks are sharks. They're like giant underwater spiders. Except they swim. And they're waaaay bigger. With really big teeth. I's just not right. Fish. With TEETH.

    I know, I know. It's kinda like Jim and his fear of gators. Ya just don't see many sharks here in Illinois. Thank gawd. But we DO go to Florida a lot. And you can betcher ass I'm always on the lookout for fins while we're paddling about in the warm gulf water.

    I DO love Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, though. I suppose it's kinda like watching's a butt-clenching, vicarious sorta heebie jeebie.

    So tell me...what sends YOUR ick factor into overdrive?

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    No "fishy" remarks, ok?

    You Are a Mermaid

    You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.
    While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need.
    Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.
    You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.

    Swiped from
  • Accidental Verbosity
  • .

    Well, at least I'm not so apathetic...

    ...that I don't care enough TO SHAVE MY MOUSTACHE OFF.

    Not that I have one, mind you.

    Talk about yer feminine mystique.

    Good gawd, Mis Thang! Take some hormones or somethin.

  • Catfish
  • always sends me such good stuff. Uh...thanks, buddy. heh

    Could I be more apathetic?

    Just call me Jaded Pinkett

    Ok. Bad pun. It's a symptom.

    Maybe it's the miserably hot weather that's inducing this...this...lassitude. This apathy. This...I dunno...non-suprisement at anything happening here or anywhere around the world.

    Or maybe I'm depressed. I don't feel depressed. But they say that you might not notice a depression coming on. Until you jump off a bridge.

    No, no. Not to worry. I might have my share of...ah...personality quirks...but depression isn't one of them.

    Most likely it's this damned sleep thing. As in lack of. Vivid, bizarre dreams. Waking up frequently and feeling like I've been strangled and my eyeballs are about to pop out of their sockets and do the Electric Slide across the bedspread. Yea, I have an appointment with the friendly neighborhood sleep disorder clinic that takes three months to get into. Another month to go.

    I hope that fixes the problem.

    I just feel....mean.

    I really hate it when I get like this, too. I don't like being mean. It's not my true nature. I'm normally a happy person.

    I AM.