Tuesday, October 31, 2006

To blog or not to blog....

...that is the question.

I know I haven't said much about my job. Believe me, it's not because there's no blog fodder there. There's tons. And I do mean tons.

I'm about the most jaded person I know. But I've gotta admit, there have been times that even I've been suprised. Not shocked. Not much can shock me anymore. But definitely suprised.

That's my problem. There's lots of stuff to blog about...but I can't. Not with this job. Not if I intend to stay there...and I do.

I really like it so far, though I haven't really gotten too far into what I'll be doing. My co-workers are fantastic, the hours are just peachy and...well...it's not rocket science. Which is exactly what I want at this point in my life. I don't wanna hafta think too hard, ya know? I'm sooooo over the "life and death" thing.

That's not to say it won't be challenging, simply because it's something that I'm not familiar with. And it's not to say that there won't be times I'll be bored. I can get bored easily if I don't have that punch of adrenalin every once in a while.

I think frustration will be my biggest challenge. I've seen so much stuff that's just sooooo redundant...soooo repetitive...soooo much useless paperwork. It really is like "make-work" kinda stuff. But there's simply no way to change that, so I need to try to change my way of thinking, I guess. Or just try not to think so much.

At any rate, there is one thing that I can say about it and it's a quote by Albert Einstein.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm in horror heaven!

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I loooooove horror movies. Love 'em. So I'm just reveling in AMC's "Monsterfest". Ten days of nothing but horror movies.

It's non-stop blood, guts and gore and zombies and werewolves and monsters and vampires and creepie-crawlies of every description.

The original "Dracula" with Bela. "Frankenstein" with Boris. "Night of the Living Dead". "Hellraiser". "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". "Signs". "The Village". "Gothika". "Halloween" (all 52 of 'em) "Nightmare on Elm Street". "The Lost Boys".

The list goes on and on.

One of my most favorites of all time is "The Exorcist". It's lost very little of it's shiver factor for me over the years, and I just don't get the heebie-jeebies over horror movies. Usually.

Gawd. Do you realize that that movie is thirty-three years old? I'll never, ever forget the first time I saw it in the theater in '73. I had to come home to a dark, empty house and go upstairs to bed.

Except I didn't. I slept downstairs. On the sofa. With the light on.

Happy Halloween!

Because we're lazy Halloween-er's...

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...we like to choose costumes that are simple. I used to go all out for Halloween costumes. But it gets to be a pain, really. I mean, dressing up as an outhouse just isn't very comfortable.

We also like the pun-type of costume, though very few of our fellow party-goers ever "get" the pun.

Ya know...puns like:
Buccaneer - Attach a dollar bill to each ear.
Ceiling fan - Print "Go Ceilings!" on a white t-shirt.
White Trash - Wear a large, white garbage bag and tape candy wrappers, cigarette butts, wadded up paper, etc. all over.
Quarter Pounder - Carry a quarter and a hammer. When someone asks what you are, put the quarter down and hit it with the hammer.
Nudist on strike - Wear your normal clothes and carry a sign that says "Nudist on Strike".

Year before last, Ziggy dressed up as a Dutch boy (complete with blonde page-boy wig) and I dressed up as a...well, as a lesbian. We walked around all evening with his hand stuck down the front of my pants. Which wasn't entirely unpleasant....for either of us. But no one...I mean NO ONE...got it that we were the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike/dyke.


So this year, we put very little thought into our costumes. As usual. I went as a very pregnant me (easy to yank that pillow out and enjoy myself) and he went with a noose around his neck. Which is exactly what he'd do, should I actually find myself in that condition. That was supposed to be the pun. We're in our fifties, I'm knocked up, so he'd hang himself.

So what's the first thing out of someone's mouth when we walked in?

"I get it! He's well-hung. But...you're just...pregnant?"

Like I said.


No more "light and happy"

Didja ever wonder how stuff like this...

Grey Gardens is the name of a neglected, sprawling estate gone to seed. The crumbling mansion was home to Edith Bouvier Beale, often referred to as "Big Edie," and her daughter, "Little Edie." The East Hampton, Long Island, home became the center of quite a scandal when it was revealed in 1973 that the reclusive aunt and cousin to Jackie O. were living in a state of poverty and filth. That's the background to this 1976 film portrait by cinéma vérité pioneers Albert and David Maysles, but it's only incidental to the fascinating story they discover inside the estate walls.

The two Edies have lived in almost complete seclusion since the mid-1950s, ever since Big Edie's husband abandoned her and Little Edie (then a young socialite on the verge of a dancing career, or so she claims) was called home to care for her depressed mother. Twenty years later they continue to live in their memories while camped out in a single bedroom of the 28-room mansion overrun with cats (who use the floor as their litter box). Rehashing mistakes and missed chances with an accusing banter that becomes more stinging and angry as the documentary progresses, they exist in a sad codependency brings new meaning to the term dysfunctional. Disturbing and discomforting, it comes off like a freak show at times, but for all their arguments and recriminations, the Maysles reveal two women abandoned by their families who are left to cling to each other, for better or worse. --Sean Axmaker

...gets turned into a musical?

I mean, the
  • documentary
  • sounds fascinating. In fact, I'm adding it to my Amazon Wish List.

    But someone has turned it into a
  • Broadway musical
  • . And it seems to be a big hit.

    Just exactly how does one come up with the idea that a very eccentric, very sad mother/daughter story could be turned into a musical?

    I dunno...I guess I still think of musicals, especially those old ones that were made into movies, as being light and happy. I know that's not really true anymore, is it? I mean, Les Miserables wasn't exactly light and happy, was it? Or "West Side Story"?

    Is taking material like this and turning it into a musical really a stroke of creative genius...or is it something along the lines of "The Producers"?

    Zig and I were talkin about it this morning and he's convinced that someone, at some point in time, will come up with the idea of "Holocaust - The Musical".

    He's probably right.

    But I don't like it.

    I want Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I want Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. I want "Meet me in St. Louis". I want "Easter Parade". I want "Singin in the Rain" and "Showboat" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". I want "Carousel" and "Sound of Music" and "Paint Your Wagon".

    I want my musicals light and happy. Dammit!

    Saturday, October 28, 2006



    He's laid back, polite (except for those nasty farts) and just a sweetie.

    He came from a family of several unrelated cats, two little kids and an adorable pug, so meeting Lizzie the first time was definitely no big deal for him. She, on the other hand, was pretty curious. She followed him around with her nose stuck up his butt for probably a half hour. To quote a talking dog on the remake of Dr. Doolittle, "You can tell a lot about a person by sniffing his butt."

    They wrestled around for a while, and she got a little rough. He escaped to the footstool and she wandered around, looking for him while he watched her from his "safe spot". Didn't take him long to figure out how to avoid her when he's had enough. And Lizzie, bless her little ferrety heart, just isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. If something isn't right in front of her, she just doesn't see it.

    Right now, they're just about the same size. But I'm thinkin in a month or two, he's gonna be able to kick her ass when he's had enough.

    When we went to bed last night, I carried him along...just so he'd know where to go. He curled up on my pillow, on top of my head and settled in.

    Until he started farting.

    Oh. My. Gawd.

    They've evidently been feeding him rotting cadavers.

    Oh, and why "Elwood", you might ask? Well, The Blues Brothers is one of our favorite movies. It's quirky. It's masculine. It's simple. It's got a lotta style. And plenty of bastardizations.

    Elwood. The Big "EL". Woody (Well...until we have his nuts cut, anyway)

    It just "fits".

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    We're expecting!

    Yea, I know that Ziggy and I are well into "middle-age". Yea, I know that we're at the point where we shouldn't hafta worry about diapers and bottles and snotty noses. Yea, I know that I'm a grandma and should be spoiling my granddaughter instead of a new baby.

    Yea, I know all that stuff....but our little family is growing! We don't know whether it's a boy or girl...we didn't wanna know...we'd rather be suprised.

    In fact, we'll be suprised tomorrow. The baby will be here TOMORROW!

    You guys didn't even know, didja? I'm pretty good at keepin secrets.


    You thought I meant a HUMAN baby? What are you, freakin NUTS!?

    We're gettin a baby KITTY tomorrow! Lizzie (the ferret) is gettin a baby bubba or sisser. She'll be sooooo happy. I'm happy.

    Ziggy is beyond thrilled. (ahem)

    Photos of the new arrival will follow.

    Carnival of the Cats, here we come!

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    Beer and the blues

    We made one weekend event. Unfortunately, we missed Andy today.

    We hit Po' Boy's last night and had a great time. The food was...well...ok. I guess. Zig had the fried oyster/shrimp combo and it was good. I had the crabcakes and I've definitely had better....and cheaper. I thought thirteen bucks was a bit pricey for three small cakes (which weren't even hot) and an order of fries. No salad. No slaw. Just crabcakes and fries. The fries were great, though.

    Though the food was pretty disappointing, the selection of beer they have on hand was pretty amazing. In fact, we decided to have a little "tasting party". Zig'd order one and I'd order one and we'd switch back and forth. And I learned something. I learned that a catchy name does not mean the beer is good. And there were some great names.

    Take the "Sweaty Betty", for instance. Great name. And pretty appropriate. It tasted like sweat. With a little lemon thrown in. Honestly, though...it kinda grew on me. I'm thinkin if it was ice cold and it was a really hot day, it'd be...nah...it'd still be nasty.

    For downright nastiness, though, "Dazed and Infused" beat Sweaty Betty all to hell. Gawd! That shit tasted like acetone. And left the most gawdawful aftertaste. ACK!

    Third worst was "Hobgoblin". It was drinkable. That's the best I can say for it.

    We did like "Delirium Tremens". Light, sparkly, mildly sweet. I'm thinkin it could probably kick your ass, though.

    And "Young's Double Chocolate Stout". Oh. My. Gawd. Thick, rich, chocolaty and smoooooooooth. SO smooth. Not something that'd you'd want every day, but as a treat, it's great. I know chocolate and beer just don't seem to go together, but it worked.

    A hit with Zig was "Monty Python's Holy Ale" - "Tempered over burning witches". I thought it was a tad bitter, but I guess it's supposed to be. I just don't happen to be a fan of bitter.

    We also had "Blue Moon", which we love, anyway and I had a couple "Purple Haze". I got turned on to that several years ago in 'Nawlins.

    So, anyway...the food was passable. The beer was better. But the music...ohhhh, the music!

  • Joe Metzka
  • is one bluesy boy. And the sax player kicks some major ass.

    Particularly loved their cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine".

    So, thanks
  • Kev
  • for the great idea! It was the perfect way to spend a birthday.

    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    A little eclectic....

    ...and maybe just a bit eccentric.

    Just the way I like it.

    What do juggling, barbershop harmonizing, fried oysters, grocery shopping and the blues have in common?

    They're just some of the things I have planned for this weekend. Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate my birthday weekend, huh? Well, except for the grocery shoppin.

    All these activities have something else in common, too. Uh..except for the grocery shoppin. All the ideas were provided by bloggers. Cool, huh? Ain't bloggin' grand?

    So anywho, tonight we're planning on a trip to Po' Boys, a local 'Nawlins-inspired restaurant to chow on some frahd oysters or jambalaya or some other southern delicacy, whilst listening to some kick-ass R&B. If I can't get to 'Nawlins this year, I guess this'll be the next best thing.

    This perfectly lovely idea was inspired by none other than local blogger
  • Chef Kevin
  • . Now that he's planted the idea, I hope he's plannin on goin. I love meetin bloggers.

    And tomorrow...providing I'm not too hungov...uh....tired...we'll be venturing just a few blocks south to meet Chicago blogger, juggler, plate-spinner and fire-eater extraordinaire,
  • Andy Martello
  • .

    (Andy, I'll be the old, fat, blonde, green-faced chick in the audience.)

    He's one of the featured acts during the
  • Pride of Peoria Chorus'
  • 64th Annual Show at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 400 NE Perry. Oh, and it starts at 2 pm.

    Ahhh, yea. Blues, frahd oysters, juggling, beer, plate-spinning, harmonizing mustachioed men, jambalaya and bloggers.

    What could be better?

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    What dreams may come

    Pun very much intended because, you see, I just had sex with Al Pacino. Not the Al Pacino of "The Godfather". Or even the Al Pacino of "Scent of a Woman", though that might have been more fitting.

    Him bein blind and all, ya know?

    No, it was the Al Pacino of "Dog Day Afternoon".

    I know it was him because he wore a bandana around his head and yelled, "ATTICA! ATTICA!" when he came.

    Let me back up a little here. (No pun intended this time) I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. Which I already knew. But a $3,500 study hadda tell me. Anywho, one of the symptoms of sleep apnea can be vivid, bizarre dreams. And really bad headaches upon waking. And I just had the mother of all bizarre dreams.

    See, the last couple of days has been pretty rocky. I've felt...well...like shit. And I've slept worse than usual. So when I got home from work at noon, I got something to eat and decided that I'd try to take a nap.

    I fell asleep almost immediately. And woke up in the midst of an orgasm.

    Doncha hate it when that happens?

    Yea, women can have "wet dreams", too. Except, they're not so messy. Well, I guess they could be, but....uh...that's prolly too much information, huh?

    Aaaanyway, we were someplace like a hospital, only not a hospital. And we were in a swing. (I don't know. It was a dream, dammit!) Kinda like a porch swing, but smaller. Like a 'loveseat' porch swing and I was kinda on his lap. We were talkin and nuzzlin and kissin and just swingin back and forth. Kinda "lollygaggin" on each other, ya know?

    But then we were in a bed and he had on a red bandana. And I had an orgasm.


    And then I woke up with a pounder of a headache. hehe. "Pounder". Get it? I didn't much care, though.

    I might hafta rethink sleepin with a CPAP machine.

    With dreams like that, who the hell cares if ya stop breathin once in a while?

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    I'm not sure I needed to know...

    ...just exactly when I was concieved or that I'll be 27,346,943 minutes old.

    But it's still kinda cool.

    Check out the
  • Birthday Calculator
  • , found via Terry at
  • Possumblog
  • . Those possums know everything.

    Here's part of mine:

    21 October 1954
    Your date of conception was on or about 28 January 1954 which was a Thursday.

    You were born on a Thursday
    under the astrological sign Libra.
    Your Life path number is 5.

    Top songs of 1954
    Sh-Boom by Crew-Cuts Little Things Mean a Lot by Kitty Kallen
    Oh! My Papa by Eddie Fisher Wanted by Perry Como
    Mr. Sandman by Chordettes Make Love to Me by Jo Stafford
    Hey There by Rosemary Clooney Secret Love by Doris Day
    This Ole House by Rosemary Clooney I Need You Now by Eddie Fisher

    Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 7.43248532289628 years old. (You old hound dog, you!)

    There are 3 days till your next birthday
    on which your cake will have 52 candles.

    Those 52 candles produce 52 BTUs,
    or 13,104 calories of heat (that's only 13.1040 food Calories!) .
    You can boil 5.94 US ounces of water with that many candles.

    Blogger Beta

    As most of you know, I'm a-skeered of messin wit' da guts of my blog. But I was reading a little about the new Blogger Beta and was wondering how it worked.

    Anyone tried it? Thumbs up or down?

    Empathy for the Devil

    I'd like to believe that I'm an empathetic person. My life experience has given me a little insight into the things that happen to people, both good and bad. I can say "Been there, done that, so I know what you're going through", about a lot of different life experiences. Births. Deaths of loved ones. Financial hardship. Raising kids. Finding and losing jobs. Major illnesses. Buying and/or renovating homes. Relationships.

    You know? The things that make up this crazy thing we call 'life'.

    But there's one thing that I can honestly (and thankfully) admit that I've never experienced, either first-hand or as an 'observer'.

    Domestic abuse.

    And I'm afraid that my lack of experience in that area has resulted in a little less empathy than I probably should have for women that are in abusive relationships.

    (I know, I know. Men can be abused, too. For this particular post, I'm talking exclusively about women.)

    As I stated, I've never been a victim. Oh, my first husband was somewhat verbally abusive. That's one reason he became an "ex" after only a couple of years. But I've never been in the position of having no job, no education, no family support system, having a passel of kids to take care of and being involved with an abusive partner.

    I've never been in the position where a man is my ONLY means of support. Well...ok. That's not exactly true. Zig was my only means of support for a while. But he didn't necessarily HAVE to be. I've never been the kind of woman that keeps her head down and her mouth shut. I've never been dependant on a man for my own identity. If anything, I've fought against getting so 'into' a man that we become fused at the hip. So it's hard for me to understand...empathize...with those women. It's hard for me to put myself in their place.

    Ziggy and I watch COPS once in a while. There are those women that have been beaten unmercifully, yet take the blame themselves...try to defend the abuser...loudly protest to the cops that they don't want their partner locked up...because they looooove him. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that we kinda make fun of those women, even though we feel sorry for 'em. We sympathize about their injuries. But we shake our heads when they say.....

    "But....I LOOOOOOOVE him!"

    Anywho, there's an
  • article
  • in today's PJStar about a candlelight vigil that was held for victims of domestic abuse.

    One particular woman was featured. A women who says she's been involved in five...count 'em....FIVE...abusive relationships.

    Uh. Sorry, but I can't manage to work up any empathy there. Nope. No empathy there. Not even any sympathy. None. Nada. Zip.

    I'm thinkin that gettin involved in one abusive relationship is understandable. Two? Ok, maybe it's a coincidence and you should be a little...I dunno...alert?...to the fact that shit like that happens. But after the third one, shouldn't you be takin a good hard look at yourself to try to figure out just why you're...askin for it...in a manner of speaking?

    Don't get me wrong. I don't mean "asking for it" means they deserve it, so don't go gettin your shorts in a bunch over that statement, ok? No woman deserves to be abused. Period. NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO ABUSE A WOMAN. NO WOMAN DESERVES TO BE ABUSED. End of discussion about that.

    But five? I don't think there's any excuse...any kind of reasonable explanation...for that. You're no longer a victim. You're either just realllly stupid or there's some major kink in your psyche.

    There are literally dozens of agencies and/or support groups out there that help abused women. They can find them safe places to live. They can help them find jobs and childcare. They can offer help with all the legalities. They help with counseling and support in just about every way possible.

    So there's no longer any valid reason for a woman to stay in an abusive relationship. There's no longer any valid reason for a woman to be a victim.

    Especially not five times.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Culture shock

    I wanted to plunge my fork into my right eye by the time we were done eating.

    Ya know, I can't even begin to imagine the inner turmoil...the angst...that must arise from a person being torn between being white, red-neck trailer-park trash while at the same time, wanting to be black.

    It must be an awful dilemma.

    And, kiddies? I'm here to tell ya that it just can't be done. Not well, anyway.

    No amount of saying "axe" instead of "ask" is gonna make you a gangsta, kid. And I think "Whut UP?" is kinda outa style. True dat.

    Yo' baggy pants hanging down below your asscheeks, displaying your penchant for nasty-lookin Homer Simpson boxers does NOT make you look like a rapper. It just makes you look stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Beyond stupid. Stupid squared.

    There's no way in hell that anyone's gonna believe your lily-white, pimply faced, skinny-assed self is a bad boy. Forget it. Try some other persona cause that one don't work.

    Oh...and I can't forget about the guy with the speech impediment. Let's just say you haven't lived until you've heard some dinky little white boy with a pre-pubescent moustache and a speech impediment tryin to talk a little jive. Or whatever they call it nowdays.

    I'm tellin ya...it was international day at the Chinese buffet. Ya just can't make shit like this up.

    Behind me, the two scrawny white boys and a pudgy little white girl, all tryin to be black. I swear ta gawd, her freakin cell phone rang FIVE times while we were there...she so impotent, ya know? She musta been talkin to the same person every time, 'cause all she ever said was "WhatEVAH!"

    Thank gawd I didn't look back when she said it. I'm sure I'd have seen her right hand fly up, palm open, fingers splayed, every time "WhatEVAH" came outa her mouth. Then I'd have had to stab her in the eye with my fork.

    In front of me...a Chinese waitress who barely speaks any English, tryin to understand a couple of Mexicans, who evidently spoke neither English OR Chinese.

    Oh...OH! And the white, preppy guy with the "tribal" tattoo on his arm. I wanted to quote Carlos Mencia and ask, "Just what tribe are YOU with....Chad?"

    Nilsson on the Muzak...covered by Zamfir and his pan-flute...with a Chinese twist.

    It was like bein in the middle of a freakin Salvadore Dali painting.

    Saturday, October 14, 2006


    I don't know where I ran across this recipe...my apologies if I swiped it from another blogger.

    We looooove mushrooms. We do mushrooms like Bubba does shrimp. Boiled, fried, baked, sauteed...you get the idea. We especially like stuffed mushrooms. We're gonna grill a couple of nice strip steaks this evening, so while I was at the store, I snagged the fixin's for our favorite stuffed mushrooms.

    There are about as many recipes for stuffed mushrooms out there as there are...well...ways to fix shrimp. This is just one. But it's a good'n.

    2 pounds (or two packages) of the big "stuffing mushrooms"
    6 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1/4 C. minced onion
    1 tablespoon minced garlic (I use the 'crushed' garlic in a jar)
    6 slices pre-cooked bacon, chopped finely (I'm lazy..I use the "bacon in a box")
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    pinch of salt
    freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Soften cream cheese. Brush mushrooms off with a DRY paper towel (don't run them under water...EVER) and pop out stems, leaving a small cavity. Finely chop a few of the stems to add to the stuffin'.

    In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion. Add the garlic if you're using fresh...otherwise, you can add the garlic when the onion's done. Add the bacon and the chopped up mushroom stems. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

    In a small bowl, add the onions, garlic, bacon, mushroom stems, salt and pepper to the softened cream cheese. Use a spoon and "stuff" each mushroom with the mixture, place on a cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are slightly soft.

    These are awesome served warm, but they're almost as good cold, so they'd be great for a potluck or party. In fact, I plan on taking them to a Halloween party that we've been invited to. Except I'm adding a green olive to the center of each one...so they look like monster EYEBALLS! Ewwwwwww!

    They're so good they'll make ya wanna slap yo' mamma. But don't. It's not nice.

    I need some cream for my crack

    For my TOE. My TOE is cracked.

    I only work from 8 to 12 on Friday (I know..it's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it) so yesterday afternoon, I did a little shoppin. Every once in a while, I noticed that my big toe on my right foot hurt. I had on great shoes that I've worn before, so I didn't figure it was a blister. By the time I got home, it hurt...BAD. So I did a little investigating.

    Turns out my big toe is cracked open on the end. Uh huh. A big, ole crack. Hurts like hell every time I step down on my right foot. And, as you know, steppin down is pretty much a requirement to...uh...walk on two feet.

    We've had unseasonably cold weather this last week. Cold and dry. Every winter, "cold and dry" translates into most of my skin turning into dry, itchy alligator hide, especially on my feet. I've tried damn near every lotion and potion with very little success. The closest thing I've ever come to almost fixing it was something called "Zim's Crack Cream". No kiddin.

    Cream. For cracks.

    'Course now, I can't find it anywhere.

    My hands are already startin to feel like sandpaper, too. And my elbows. And my legs? Good gawd! I need to shave 'em every day...just to peel the dead skin off.

    I'm thinkin a good humidifier might help. And some more of that Zim's...if I can find it. It's either that or fill the bathtub up with olive oil and just wallow in it every night.

    I dunno. I'm thinkin this winter's gonna be really hard on my cracks.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Just wondering...

    So, Bono and all kinds of other "celebrities" are on Oprah touting some new
  • Red campaign
  • to save African men, women and children suffering from HIV/AIDS. He says that just $.50 a day will pay for HIV medicine for one African.

    No doubt it's a great cause. But personally, I'd prefer my charitable donations go to somewhere a little closer. Like Peoria. Or Illinois. Or the USA. But that's just me...I kinda figure we oughta take care of our own, first. THEN expand outwards. There are kids dying of one thing or another HERE...every DAY. There are kids going hungry...going without warm clothes...being abused...HERE. Right here. Right now.

    If we can't take care of our own, how are we expected to take care of any other country now...or in the future? That's like the first rule someone learns when they go into any kind of public service work...keep YOURSELF safe and healthy, first and foremost. You're of no use to anyone else if YOU'RE not healthy.

    But that's not really my point. I figure $.50 a day adds up to $15.00 a month. We can buy HIV/AIDS drugs for people in Africa for fifteen bucks a month, but...uh...well, here's a list I found of the "average" cost of HIV/AIDS drugs for a month...HERE...in the US.

    According to Bono, the Africans get TWO drugs. TWO pills a day.
    So why does it only cost fifteen bucks a month for two drugs in Africa, but it costs anywhere from $300 to over a thousand bucks a month HERE...for ONE drug?

    COST PER MONTH (estimates)
    Agenerase $772
    Aptivus $1117.50
    Combivir $752.64
    Crixivan $570.96
    Emtriva $347.11
    Epivir 300mg $347.11
    Epzicom $813.55
    Fortovase $263.35
    Fuzeon $2315.40
    Hivid $273.00
    Invirase $748.50
    Kaletra $796.26
    Lexiva $658.99
    Norvir $321.46
    Rescriptor $316.35
    Retrovir $405.59
    Reyataz $892.91
    Sustiva 600mg $499.43
    Trizivir $1164.35
    Truvada $867.99
    Videx EC 400mg $346.04
    Viramune $442.45
    Zerit $385.88
    Ziagen $466.44

    I'm disgusted. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another trendy "cause celebre". Too bad I won't be participating. Red IS my favorite color.


    Wednesday, October 11, 2006


    Your Dominant Intelligence is Spatial Intelligence

    You've got a good sense of space and how the world around you looks.
    You can close your eyes and "see" images. You have innate artistic talent.
    An eye for color and shapes, you're also a natural designer.
    Since you think in pictures, visual aids and demonstartions help you learn best.

    You would make a good navigator, sculptor, visual artist, inventor, architect, interior designer, or engineer.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Bend over

    We Peorians have been hearing about a humongous electric rate hike here in Central Illinois for a few months now. Our utility provider, Ameren and/or Commonwealth Edison says to expect a 40 to 55% rate increase in January.

    40 to 55% means 55%. Anyone that thinks otherwise is stupid. The bastards'll ratchet it up just as high as they think they can possibly take it.

    'Course, this being an election year, all (well...some) of the politicians are using the promise of a rate freeze to hustle votes. Yea, right. Maybe when hell freezes over. (Pun very much intended.) These power companies make big donations to campaign funds.

    And, of course, the electric company is running scared. They're saying that a lot of their "charitable donations" will end if a rate freeze does happen.

    Big. Fuckin. Deal.

    In my humble opinion, keeping an elderly woman who lives on 500 bucks a month warm this winter is a pretty nice "charitable donation". Or keeping a struggling family's lights on might be considered "charitable". Charity begins at home, you assholes. Not on a college campus, nice as that might be.

    But keeping an elderly woman from freezing to death just doesn't garner as much publicity as paying for 10 student's tuition to ICC, does it?

    Oh, but Ameren's website has just loads of wonderful tips about how to conserve energy. "Loads" is right. Loads of shit. But one of our local columnists said it best today. I'll reprint it here because it's worth reading and because the PJStar only keeps stuff archived online for a week.

    Oh, and btw...has anyone seen a recent commercial by something called "CORE"-something-or-other? It has all kinds of dire predictions and about blackouts due to rate freezes. Isn't that just peachy? Let's scare all the elderly into paying for their heat instead of their heart medication.

    Anywho, go read Phil's column.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Quit griping about the soon-to-skyrocket electricity rates.
    Ameren is there for you.

    Don't be like me. I was one of the whiny hand-wringers crabbing about the impending 55 percent power hike.

    But as my wallet worries turned to Ameren anger, I saw the light. I took the sage advice of Ameren and checked out its Web site for energy-saving tips.

    Soon, I realized my problem wasn't with Ameren being a money-grubbing monopoly. My problem was with my being an energy-ignorant boob.

    That's right. I just hadn't understood how simply I can save gobs of money. And I bet you're just as naive as I was.

    Just go to ameren.com for eye-opening pearls of wisdom:

    - "Simply dressing in layers and keeping a throw near the sofa or easy chair to use when watching TV are basic tips for enjoying your home's heating comfort at a slightly lower temperature."

    Hmm. I can't wait to unwind at the end of the day, splayed in front of the boob tube, while comfortably entombed in a parka, scarf, knit cap, mittens and snow boots.

    - "When entertaining in your home, turn down the thermostat a degree or two before your guests arrive. The additional body heat will make up the difference."

    Gosh, all along I'd thought that as a host I was supposed to make visitors feel comfy and toasty. Silly me.

    But the idea sounds promising. If a few guests raise the temperature a few degrees, then a lot of guests will create a heat wave, right? So, for your next dinner party, don't just invite your friends, but have them bring along their kids, cousins, old Army buddies, their dogs, Willie York - the more the merrier, and warmer.

    Better yet, maybe they'd stay overnight. Sleep chameleon-style, stacked atop each other, to share precious body heat.

    - "To clean your thermostat, gently blow out any dust or lint."

    Wow. Expect a financial windfall with this one. I bet that blowing off excess lint is akin to winning the lottery.

    - "Make sure drapes or furniture does not block the air vents or returns."

    Wait a minute: You're telling me that hot and cold air doesn't pass through solid objects? Man, I should've paid better attention in my high school physics classes. I guess I'd better drag those filing cabinets off of all my vents.

    If those tips alone won't put you on Easy Street, you can go a step further and check out the Web page's Energy Savings Tool Kit. You have to register, and it's only available to Ameren customers.

    Why? I bet it's because Ameren thinks that only its valued customers are deserving of such cutting-edge, high-tech tips. I was especially amazed by suggestions for summer months on how to stay cool without using air conditioning:

    - "Stay out of direct sunlight."

    The sun makes you hot? Go figure.

    - "Take cool baths."

    That sounds refreshing. Now all I have to do is think of a way to sleep in my water-filled bathtub yet avoid that pesky risk of drowning.

    - "Avoid hot foods."

    Ah, I see. I'd always wondered why it's warm in Mexico.

    Anyway, as you can see, Ameren is helping to make our lives worry-free. You don't have to let the rate hike get you all hot and bothered - unless, of course, that's the only way you can afford to keep warm this winter.

    Just a thought

    "Survival of the fittest" has become obsolete, at least in the human world.

    Wonder when that happened?

    It's no longer the fittest that survive. It's those that have no idea whatsoever about personal responsibility...those that don't have a clue about how to take care of themselves or their children and instead, depend on someone else to do it for them.

    Nope. Survival of the fittest now only applies to the animal world. In our society, it's now "survival of the UNfittest".

    Frankly, I'm glad to know that I won't be around to see what the world is like a hundred years from now.

    On the other hand, it might be kinda cool. I'd be a friggin Einstein.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    How can you crave something you've never had?

  • El Cap's
  • post about Indian food reminded me that I crave it, despite his rather horrific post-prandial dreams.

    The funny thing is, I've never had Indian food before.

    Our upstairs neighbors are Indian. I don't know what it is she cooks, but it smells divine. Well, most of the time. Sometimes, it smells like old goat. But when it smells good, it smells gooooood.

    I suppose I could try cooking up some Indian...I know there are lotsa recipes out there. But I don't know what to try first. I don't know what I'll like, so I think the best bet would be to try an Indian restaurant first.

    Uh...does Peoria even have an Indian restaurant? And if there is one, what would be a good suggestion for an Indian food virgin like me?

    Bueller? Bueller?


    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Yup. Me and Einstein

    Swiped from
  • Leslie
  • .

    The Expatriate
    Achtung! You are 23% brainwashworthy, 40% antitolerant, and 19% blindly patriotic
    Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism does not reach unhealthy levels. If you had been German in the 30s, you would've left the country.

    One bad scenario -- as I hypothetically project you back in time -- is that you just wouldn't have cared one way or the other about Nazism. Maybe politics don't interest you enough. But the fact that you took this test means they probably do. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Did you know that many of the smartest Germans departed prior to the beginning of World War II, because they knew some evil shit was brewing? Brain Drain. Many of them were scientists. It is very possible you could have been one of them.

    Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would not have been a Nazi.

    The Would You Have Been A Nazi? Test
    - it rules -

    My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

    free online datingfree online dating
    You scored higher than 99% on brainwashworthy

    free online datingfree online dating
    You scored higher than 99% on antitolerant

    free online datingfree online dating
    You scored higher than 99% on patriotic
    Link: The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


    I finally figured out how to do the extended post thing!

    Oh, I had help. You can betcher ass on that. And messin with my template? Jeeeeezus! I was sweatin bullets, lemme tell ya.

    Many, many, MANY thanks to
  • Galactically Stupid
  • . I couldn't have done it without ya, buddy!

    Actually, you guys should thank him. Now ya won't have to suffer through some long-winded essay on whatever's on my mind at the time...unless ya wanna, that is. hehe

    The excuses

    My favorite is on right now. To Catch a Predator on Dateline NBC. This first buncha guys (all in their late 20's-early 30's) are led to believe they're chatting up a 13 year old virgin.

    "I thought she said she was 19. I was really drunk, so I must've misunderstood."

    And to the police: "I'm not like that. I wouldn't do anything like that. Don't you think you could let me go now?"

    Uh huh. Sure. We're SO very sorry about your silly little mistake.

    "We did discuss oral sex, but.....it's an honest mistake." (Hey, Marines make "honest mistakes", too.)

    To the police: "I wouldn't have done anything with a 13 year old. I have self control."

    Riiiiight, Sparky.

    "I don't know why I'm here. I didn't think it was real...I thought it was a game online. Nothing woulda happened. I'd have been too scared." (Another Marine. Kinda scary, ain't it?)

    And to the cops: "I was being naive. I didn't think it would actually happen. There's no explanation, no excuses."

    A naive Marine. Tell me another story, Mother Goose.

    "I had no intention of doing anything. I didn't bring condoms." (After he just said he did.) There was a party going on and someone logged onto my computer. My friend did it. I wasn't there." (This guy is an Indian...think about the accent.)

    To the police: "That was the first conversation. I would definitely not do anything with a 13 year old. I'm a very respected man in society. Is there any chance I can go home tonight?"

    Aaahahahhahaha! Well, "respected man", you're goin to the slammer, post haste. Let's see how the other prisoners "respect" ya.

    "I was concerned about her. She was home alone! All I wanted to do was be a "big brother. I wanted to make sure she was ok." (Another Indian.)

    And to the police: "She kept asking me and told me it was all right. I wanted to make sure she was ok."

    Bless him little heart. What a NICE man.

    This time, another Indian guy brings a friend:
    "That was just a chat. I'm not aware she's 13. I bring a friend because I do not know my way around. We are not like that."

    To the cops: "I'm very loyal to my wife. I didn't really mean that. I'm sorry for her...she's all alone."

    Good gawd. With a "loyal" husband like that...well...who the hell NEEDS one?

    And it just goes on and on. A couple of active-duty Marines on leave. Assorted and sundry "respectable" Indian computer nerds. A Latino. A middle aged physician who sobs like a baby when the cuffs go on.

    Cry me a fuckin river, asshole.

    He tells her he's 29. He's really 48 and bald. Good gawd! What the HELL are these men thinking? Does he not realize that she's gonna KNOW he's not 29 when she sees all the wrinkles and his big, ole bald head shinin?

    "I was curious but I wasn't going to do anything."

    Well, well, well Curious George. 'Splain this to your lovely, tennis-club wife and two little girls.

    I'm sorry. I just can't wrap my head around a middle-aged man wanting to have sex with a 13 year old CHILD. What the fuck kinda screw loose do these guys have?

    A hundred and seventy nine...179...men have been arrested over the last two years JUST from this show. How many more have been caught that weren't on the show?

    And the more chilling question...how many HAVEN'T been caught? How many are out there that do this all the time? How many kids have been abused?

    How many?

    Sometimes I wonder how the hell America ever got this far

    I truly believe that America is a great country. But there are times when I think we succeeded despite ourselves.

    Now I really am a moron when it comes to knowing how big corporations work. But it seems to me like there's an awful lotta...I dunno....make-work kinda things goin on. Things that they say are to make your productivity better, yet do nothing more than fuck everything up.

    I've always thought that the fastest, simplest way to go from point A to point B was a straight line. Providing the path is clear, I mean. Of course, exceptions always have to be made if it's not. But that exception should be the simplest, right?

    For example, at work, we have this computer program. It's bulky and cumbersome and ridiculously redundant. I'm certainly no genius, but even being there only a week, I can see where it could be made sooooooo much simpler. It'd save time. It'd save money. But who the hell am I to question something that's "always been that way"? I've asked why it's so difficult to work with...I figured there must be a good explanation...something I haven't learned yet. Nope. No one knows why.

    "It's always been that way."

    Same way with some of the paperwork. There's tons of it and most of it could be condensed into a fraction of what's there now, making all our lives soooo much simpler. Making us more productive.

    Like...has no one ever thought of simplifying it? I just don't get it.

    And it's not just stuff like that. It's other ways that big businesses do stupid things. For example, Zig just told me about this big re-do at his work. There's a particular area...a driveway kinda thing...that's been in crappy condition for at least 20 years. They finally fixed it a few weeks ago. He says they fixed it great...except now, they've decided to close that particular area.

    They spent thousands of dollars on something that's been shitty for years, only to close the whole area a couple of weeks later. And that's not really the best part. They spend thousands of dollars on fixing a driveway that's gonna be closed anyway, but most of their machines are being fixed with bandaids and rubberbands. And maybe a little duct tape. Because they don't have spare parts...can't afford 'em, they say.

    They don't have the basic material to work with to produce their product to make money, but they fix a driveway that's gonna be out of service, anyway.

    I ain't very smart, but I believe I could figure out that something's not quite right with this scenario.

    I dunno. Is it because the head honchos all have an agenda and all those agendas conflict? Is it because the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing? What the hell is the answer? I'd really love for some really smart business guru to explain it to me in a way that I can understand.

    Or is confusion, redundancy and conflict part of the syllabus for most business colleges nowdays?

    If it is, then I oughta be a damned MBA.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    I'm not gonna miss the adrenalin...

    ...not much, anyway.

    The first ER I worked in, I looooved it. Loved it. It pretty much went downhill from there. In fact, over the years and the jobs, I became pretty much toasted when it came to nursing, in general. I'd had it. Up to my eyeballs. If not for the adrenalin rushes every now and then, I'd have probably quit long before I did. Adrenalin's a pretty addictive thing, though.

    This job I have now...well, there's like no adrenalin. None. Nada. Zip. Which is gonna suit me just fine. It's got something else, though. It's got some women who are on the same page as me...about lots of things. We've just got lots in common, both professionally and non.

    They're all just as nice as can be. I picked up on that my first day. And they take their jobs seriously...most of the time. But they DO take it with a grain of salt, if ya know what I mean. From three different women, I've heard "It's not rocket science." So far, I've not found one "gung-ho, balls to the wall, we're gonna save the world!" gal.


    Let's face it...at this point in my life, my focus...my goal...is NOT to save the world. I'm too old and jaded for that shit. Let the young ones try it...see how far they get. My goal isn't even to save a person's life. Hell, I'm doin good to take care of my own damn self.

    I definitely found some kindred spirits. That might be waaaay better than adrenalin.

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Lends a whole new meaning to the phrase...

    ....HOLEY Roller, doesn't it?

    Somebody saw Jaaaysus in this dog's butt.

  • El Capitan
  • , words fail me. But gimme a minute. I'll think of something.

    Predators and pedophiles and perverts, oh MY!

    They literally are everywhere. Catholic priests. Truck drivers. Rabbis. Physicians. Bankers. Teachers. Lawyers. Politicians. They cross every socio-economic line. They're from every religion and ethnicity. They're your neighbors, your co-workers, your relatives. "They" are everyman.

    Yea, don't give me any crap about that being a sexist remark. The majority of pedophiles are men. I know that there are women that are called "pedophiles" out there, but I'm not so sure that most of them could be called pedophiles, in the truest sense of the description. I think there might be a whole 'nother "syndrome" or whatever out there...maybe one that hasn't been invented yet...for women who get involved with boys. I digress.

    All the hoo-ha about former Rep. Mark Foley, who is admittedly gay, has brought about this particular post. There's been some debate about the age of consent being 16 in Washington DC and the page that he allegedly sent explicit IM's to was 16. I think that's a moot point. Foley was in a position of power. He's "employed" by US. He shouldn't have been sending explicit IM's...to anyone...let alone a 16 year old who was in a subordinate position.
    And, don't ya just know that now they're saying that it might have been a Democratic ploy...a set-up right before an important election. Uh....so what if it was? Foley shouldn't have been tryin to stick his dick somewhere it didn't belong, set-up or not. Period. End of discussion.

    But I've noticed that in a lot of the blogs I read, people seem to think that pedophelia and homosexuality go hand in hand. That isn't the case and it astonishes me that some people still think that way. That's not to say that a gay person can't be a pedophile. Maybe that's the case with Foley...who knows? I'm sure a gay person can be a pedophile. Just like your local priest or minister. But being gay doesn't predispose you to being a pedophile any more than being a priest does.

    Read your way outa the dark ages, people.

    But I'm kinda digressing again. This post isn't about "gay". It's about pedophelia. Two completely different topics.

    I try to watch "To Catch a Predator" on Dateline NBC every time it's on. Let's face it...it's entertainment. I'm rarely shocked anymore. Well, the fat, middle-aged bastard that brought along his five year old son to hook up with what he thought was a 13 year old boy shocked me.

    Anywho, what does continually suprise me about TCAP, is that a lot of the guys that are caught say that they've not only seen the show, but have some suspicion that this is a set-up. But they come anyway. No pun intended.

    And what do they say when asked why they did it, even with their suspicion? They invariably say "I don't know" or "I'm stupid". Not a one of 'em tells the truth and says "Because I let my dick do my thinking."

    I'm sure that's part of it. But another part has to be that they have this false sense of...omnipotence. They won't get caught because they're smarter. Yea, well. Shows ya how smart they really are.

    TCAP has got me ta thinkin about the whole "age of consent" thing, too. And how the laws are written. The age of consent is different in every state. So're the laws.

    Ok, so the 50 year old guy that tries to pick up a 12 year old boy or girl is a pedophile. No question. But what about the 20 year old guys who try to hook up with a 14 year old girl? See, I know that legally, he's considered a pedophile. In some states. Others, he's not. But I can remember what it was like being a 14 year old girl. We all thought it was cool to have a 18 or 19 year old "boyfriend". And if you have a particularly immature 20 year old guy...I dunno. I understand that there's gotta be a legal line drawn somewhere. But to label the 20 year old guy as a pedophile for life? I'm not so sure about that.

    And what if you get a couple of 15 year olds who get their freak on in a state where the age of consent is 16? Is the 15 year old boy then labeled as a pedophile for the rest of his life if the girl's parents wanna push prosecution? Wouldn't both of 'em be called pedophiles?

    Don't get me wrong. Those sick, twisted assholes that get off on innocent little kids...well...honestly, I think they're a far worse scourge on society than murderers. At least a murderer can be rehabilitated, in many cases. The rate of recidivisim for pedophiles is astronomical. They aren't ever "rehabilitated"...ever cured.

    They're the lowest of the low. I can't think up a bad enough word to call 'em. I hope they lose their jobs, their families, everything that's important to them. I hope they suffer the tortures of hell, if there is one, a thousand times over.

    But I dunno the answer. I know ya can't legislate morality. I don't know as any of us has the right to decide what's moral for someone else. But I think that might be part of the problem, here. Where's the line? Who decides where that line is? Aside from the religious viewpoint, I mean, who decides what's moral and what's not?

    Ya know, those of us that aren't religious DO have a sense of right and wrong. We DO have our own set of guidelines...standards...that we live by. Standards that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the "right" way to do something...the "human", if you will, way to treat other people.

    But a pedophile? Let's just say that I'd be glad to think up a good punishment for a true pedophile. And it wouldn't have anything to do with treating them "humanely".

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006


    That's the sound of me not blogging about my new job.

    Yup. I started today. Believe me, there's soooooo much to blog about, too. Mountains of stuff. But I think I'm gonna like it. Which means that I won't/can't blog about it.

    Peoria might be a "big" city to me, but I guess it is pretty small when compared to some. Though I might be just another cog in da wheels of da machine, da machine just ain't that big. I don't wanna jeapordize the placement of my cog, ya know?

    It's gonna be reeeeeally tough, though...keepin my mouth shut about it.

    I will say, however, that I'm buried under a veritible Everest of paperwork. Throughout the day, I accumulated a stack of paper probably three inches thick. The first three or four pages were things I actually needed to know. The rest? It either didn't pertain to me or it was a repeat of a repeat of a repeat...only in different forms. Can you say 'redundant'?

    I knew you could.

    I just know that somewhere, deep in the bowels of da machine, there's a little tiny office with a little tiny Hobbit of a man whose only job in life is to create redundant paperwork.

    The people, though...oh, my gosh. Nice. Just real nice. All of 'em.

    I can't even begin to imagine that I'll fit in.

    Sunday, October 01, 2006


    Laura at
  • Vitamin Sea
  • had a great idea. A photographic meme about where we live. I thought it sounded like fun, so on our travels throughout the area this weekend, we took a few shots of the more 'scenic' sites. Since Ziggy and I are both water babies...uh, maybe I should say "river rats"...most are of our beloved Illinois River. Not quite as spectacular as the Gulf of Mexico, but it's the next best thing. Ok. Maybe third best. Anywho, it's home.

    The leaves are just starting to turn a bit. The best color will probably be in a week or two. I'll try to get a few then, too.

    A shot of the Illinois from up north just a bit...S. Rome, to be exact.

    The river from the McCluggage Bridge.

    What would a Sunday afternoon ride be without a stop at the Burger Barge for a burger and some of Luciano's Cheese Blobs? This is a shot of the little marina behind the BB.

    A shot of the city from Fondulac Drive in E. Peoria.