Thursday, July 31, 2008

I must have a great big, red "S" stamped on my forehead

And so do you.

In this quarter, Exxon-Mobil is reporting a record $11.7 billion PROFIT.

Exxon Mobil reported the fattest operating profit in U.S. corporate history Thursday but took a beating anyway _ from politicians railing against Big Oil, drivers bleeding cash at the pump and investors who expected more.

The world's largest publicly traded oil company turned a profit of $11.7 billion for the second quarter, lifted mostly by meteoric crude prices. Its earnings were up 14 percent from a year ago.

Total sales: $138 billion _ roughly the gross domestic product of Hungary.

They can explain it any way they wanna, but in my book of definitions, "obscene" pretty much sums it up.

Yea, ain't capitalism grand?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I am 26% White Trash.
Not Too White Trashy
The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.

I guess that explains my penchant for anything sparkly. And corndogs.

Swiped from da
  • Guy Wit' Da Farookin Great Hair
  • .

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Because, after all...

    ..."danger" IS my middle name.

    Wheeeeeee! Whatta day. I'm tellin ya, the fun just never stops.

    So. I've toldja that my job takes me to some of the...ah...shall we say less desirable parts of town. Think about the worst part of town ya know. I mean, the absolute worst. That's probably where I was.

    So, I'm sittin outside...on the stoop of an apartment in one of the meanest complexes in the city. I'm sittin outside because the inside is...just...well...pretty much beyond description. Let's just say that the stoop on this place was a friggin palace compared to the inside, ok? And, did I mention that it was 90+ fuckin degrees with somethin like 90% humidity today?


    Well, it was. It was miserable.

    I'm sittin there, doin that thing that I do, when all of a sudden, this young kid comes racin around the corner of the apartment building like his ass is on fire and runs into the adjoining apartment. Three seconds later, one of Peoria's finest comes flyin up in his car....right up the sidewalk between the apartment buildings. Two seconds later, two more of Peoria's finest come flyin up the sidewalk, jump outa their cars, guns drawn.

    Holy fuckin shit.

    The first cop yells to me, "Did you see a kid runnin by here?"

    Ok, so here I old, fat, sweaty white woman in the middle of...well a neighborhood where old, fat white women are rarely found. And I'm pretty sure that old, fat, sweaty white women who just happen to be snitches are rarely ever found again. If ya get my drift.

    I'm surreptitiously tryin to point behind my clipboard, towards the apartment right next door. Hopin nobody else notices what I'm doin.

    Now, keep in mind...there's a lotta people millin around...there's some funk-rap shit blastin out from big screen tv in the apartment behind us and the three cop cars are all runnin. All this, plus the blood poundin in my ears makes it really hard for me to hear much of anything.

    The cop evidently didn't see my surreptitious hand gesture, so I think he asks me again if I'd seen anyone. I dunno. I couldn't hear him.

    I get up and walk over to where he's standin. He says, "Did you see a kid in a white tank top run by here?"

    I say (very quietly and without movin my lips), "He ran into that apartment", as I nod my head very slightly in the direction of the apartment.

    At which point, all three of Peoria's finest converge on said apartment and begin beatin on the door and window. Nobody answers. What? Ya thought somebody mighta invited 'em in for tea and crumpets or somethin?

    I sit back down and try to continue doin that thing I do, tryin my best not to look flustered (even though I was about to piss my pants). The little gal I'm talkin to turns to me and says, "This happens all the time. It's not a good environment for kids."

    As the police start kickin the door in, I swipe at the sweat on my forehead with the back of my hand and say, "I don't think it's too great an environment for adults, either. I'll be goin now. Call me if you need anything."

    And I walked....really fast....out to my car, tryin to make sure I put my considerable girth between them and my license plate.

    Thank gawd I never got around to gettin those personalized plates.

    I think I'll have a martini.

    Monday, July 28, 2008


    ...and the livin is easy...

    Da Zigster takes a little break from all his "chores".

    A volunteer sunflower on the beach, the seed of which was no doubt pooped out by one of da boids we fed so well this past winter.

    Camera shy?

    The American White Pelican. We've got a gazillion of 'em out on the sandbar that was recently created by the loowwwww river level. Which is supposed to come back up as soon as they get the dam fixed. Which was supposed to have been yesterday.

    Yea. We have a wild time here on the river. heh

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Bush mania

    You'd think it was the
  • second coming.

  • Oh, wait. It was.

    Good gawd. I haven't seen so much fawning since the movie Bambi came out.

    Between 1,200 and 1,400 vehicles — including BMWs, Audis and Mercedes — quickly filled the lot and spilled onto the grass.

    Aaahahahahhahahahhaha! The local media musta been really impressed by the BMW's, Audi's and Mercedeses.

    No fuckin wonder the rest of the world thinks Peoria is a hick town.

    And, c'mon. $500 bucks to eat shish-kabob in his presence and $5,000 to have a photo-op with him?? I know it was a fund-raiser for Schock, but don't ya think it just further illustrates the ever-widening gap between the priveledged and the working-class schmoes?

    Not that I support the Dems either, but Schock's opponent is havin fish-frys and chicken noodle dinners for donations, fer chrissake.

    Nah, the only reason Bush deserves even a smidgen of my respect is the very fact that's he is the prez. I mean, right or wrong (ahem), he is our fearless leader, and as such, I suppose he deserves a little respect.

    That being said, I do happen to think he's managed to push this country further down into the shit-can. Oh, he didn't do it all by himself. He's had a lotta help. Even before he was elected.

    See? When it comes to politicians, I'm all about equal opportunity. I detest all of 'em. Equally.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008


    It's cool tonight. Chilly, even...almost fall-like. It's a welcome respite from the recent 90 degree/90% humidity days.

    The neighbors had a bonfire on the beach earlier and the smell of woodsmoke drifts through my open windows. For some reason, it reminds me of Tennessee.

    Night is firmly entrenched here at the river. The only human-created sounds are the rare tinkle of the wind chimes hanging in a nearby tree and an even-rarer chugachugachuga of a passing barge. An occasional Mallard or Canadian goose murmurs a goodnight to it's fellow paddlers. Tree frogs keep up a steady "chirpchirp...chirpchirp" and small waves plant soft kisses on the pebbled beach.

    Gawd, I love it here.

    (Oh, and before anyone asks, that's a googled photo.)

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Ooooo! A "two-fer"!

    We've had some wacky weather the last 24 hours or so. Big storms...big winds...trees and power lines down. It got kinda funky lookin tonight at about 8 or so. The sky got kinda yellow and we had some pretty impressive lightening, but all we got here were a few sprinkles. I happened to look outside again at about 8:20 p.m. and saw this...

    (Click on photos to enlarge)

    Kinda makes all the icky weather worthwhile.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Dirty little secrets...

    ...Dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little cat-paws in everybodys pie
    We love to cut you down to size
    We love dirty laundry

    We have a sofa, a chaise lounge, two beds, countless assorted pillows and a very soft, plush shag rug on the living room floor. Da boys eschew all those cushy things and instead, choose to nap on a pile of da Zigster's dirty, stinky steel mill work clothes.

    Ah well. No accounting for taste, eh?

    I guess that's why I find cats so damn entertaining. Ya have a nice dog and he pretty much has a routine. He does pretty much the same thing every day. But with cats...all bets are off. Ya never know what they'll do next.

    F'rinstance...Rudy (yea, we finally named the kitten) has an unusual fascination with water. Unusual for a cat, I mean. The other day, he jumped in the shower with me. And wasn't at all flustered by gettin wet. Made himself comfortable in fact, and sat down at the end of the tub and watched me for a few minutes.

    Now, for somethin a little different. Dictionary a la Pammy. Our words for the day are:

    Schadenfreude - –noun; satisfaction or pleasure felt at watching some ignoramus with too little brain and too much boat get firmly stuck in the mud when he chooses to ignore the navagational markers.

    Duh. That's like...what they're there for, dude.

    Conundrum - noun; anything that tryin to decide upon New Orleans or Savannah for an upcoming vacation. We've been to 'Nawlins and love it, love it, love it. We've never been to Savannah, but think we'll love it.


    Addiction - noun; the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as Turner Classic Movies.

    Ok, so we've had Mediacom cable now for well over a year. And I've just discovered that we get TCM. I've become every bit addicted to it as a crack-ho is to...well...crack.

    I'm a TCM-ho.

    I know I've told y'all before that part of my job takes me to some pretty...ah...rough parts of town. Case in point:

    (From Friday's PJStar)

    Police are looking for information regarding a shooting that injured a man in South Peoria this afternoon.

    Dispatchers received reports of gunshots about 1:40 p.m. in the 2300 block of Starr Street, where police located a victim with nonlife-threatening injuries. He was taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

    Officers were still looking for the shooter, and no other information regarding the victim or the circumstances that led to the shooting were being released this afternoon.

    I was in the 2300 block of Starr on Friday at about I missed it.


    Friday, July 11, 2008

    I guess I do

  • O'Brien
  • seems to think I love life.

    I have the utmost respect for Mr. O'Brien, and I'm flattered. Though I'm not exactly sure that me writing about "the everyday dregs of life" could be construed as flattery. heh
    See, if it was somebody I didn't respect, I'd just think they were doin a little suckin up. Though why anybody would feel the need to suck up to me is...well...beyond me.

    Unfortunately, Mr. O'Brien has opened a can of worms here. He's made me do a little...I dunno...self-analyzin, I guess.

    (Now you're in for it.)

    I've never really thought about it before, but I guess I do love life. I mean...when ya consider the alternative...what's not to love?

    Oh, I do my share of kvetching. I wail and gnash my teeth at the death of common sense. I bitch about idiot drivers. (NObody knows how to drive except me and Ziggy...and I wonder about him sometimes.) I rail against the "Nanny State" and wonder what ever happened to that little thing called personal responsibility. (I don't wear my seatbelt when I'm runnin to the local Kroger. I DO wear it out on Route 29. I might be a rebel, but I ain't a stupid rebel.) I whine about crooked politicians...and they're all crooked. I moan about my creaky joints and puffy feet. (See post below.) I chafe at rules and regulations and make it my policy to pointedly ignore all that I can. I rant about rude, stupid, self-important people.

    On the other hand....

    I've always been an optimist. I've never felt that things were so bad that they couldn't get better. And they usually do. Eventually.

    I've always considered myself lucky. Oh, I don't mean "lucky" as in winning the lottery. I mean lucky as I've loved and have been loved by at least two really good men. (Ain't so sure about that first one.) Believe it or not, despite my effervescent personality and bon vivant attitude (heh), I don't have a gazillion friends. But I do have a handful of close friends that I love dearly and I'd trust any of them with my life. I have a healthy, beautiful daughter and granddaughter.

    I've never had a broken bone, a life-threatening illness or a serious operation. I've never been in a car wreck, a tsunami, attacked by a shark or bitten by a rattlesnake. I've never been sold into white slavery, robbed at gunpoint or been arrested. Yet.

    See? I've been lucky.

    I very rarely worry about things. Though I'm sure there are those that think it's some kinda personality flaw, I choose to believe that I'm just mentally healthier than a lotta people. I figure, if you're in a situation and you can do somethin about it then, fer gawd's sake DO it. If it's somethin that you have no control over,'s the point of worryin?

    I don't sweat the small shit. And most of it is small shit. In the greater scheme of things, anyway.

    Despite my age-induced cynicism, there are some things that never fail to amaze me...and sometimes bring me to tears. Genuine kindness...a beautiful, awe-inspiring view...orgasms...uh...wait...too much information? Sorry.

    Yea, I suppose I do love life, even though life can be really ugly sometimes. Mother Earth and all her inhabitants are a continual, never-ending source of entertainment for me.

    See, I don't look at life like I'm like makin lemonade outa lemons, even though I guess that's what I do. I don't think about it a lot, really. It just...ya know? what it is. I roll with the punches. I take it and run with it. (Ok, so I walk. Really fast.)

    I it.

    Pammy Jones: The Quest for the Golden Shoe

    The older I get, the more my world revolves around finding a truly comfortable shoe.

    I know. Sad.

    But, see...I have really wide feet. And they're like...short. Duck feet. Paddles. I inherited "the Avery paddle feet". Noooo...I couldn'ta inherited something a little more useful. Like a couple million bucks. I inherited duck feet.

    Now, it's bad enough to have these duck feet. But...well...
    sometimes they....swell. It's grotesque, really. Then they morph into these bizarre freaks of nature. Try to imagine what the feet of the offspring of Petunia Pig and Daffy Duck would look like. Scary, huh?

    When I'm home, it's no problem whatsoever. See, I go barefoot...year-round. Always have. Even went barefoot for my weddin last year. If I have to wear shoes in the summer, it's sandals. Except when I work. Oh, we can wear sandals to work...if we're spending the whole day in the office. But they have this totally silly idea that we should wear real shoes when we're "in the field".

    See, some of us spend a lotta time in we say "questionable"? of town. It comes with the job. And no. I'm not a hooker. But we're supposed to wear "real" shoes because...get we can run from trouble.


    I'm sorry. I'm fat and old and I have a bad knee and I wear a size 40-DD bra and I ain't runnin NOwhere. With or without shoes.

    Not even for the all-you-can-eat-lobster-and-cheesecake-buffet. Not even if some bad-ass wannabee has a gun pointed at my head. He'll just hafta shoot me and just then won't he be a big man?

    "Yo! I just popped a cap in dat old, fat bitch. Yea. She had it comin. She wuz wearin some ugly-damn SHOES, man!"

    If work was really concerned about my safety in the field, they'd let me carry concealed. Or at least go barefoot. I still prolly couldn't run. But I bet I could trot pretty good.

    It's a stupid rule and stupid rules are meant to be broken. Or at least bent...juuuust to the breaking point. So I've spent the last couple of months tryin to bend it to the best of my ability. See, the All Hallowed Bible of Work, ie: the Employee Handbook, it defines sandals as "open toed".

    Do you know how hard it is to find a closed-toe sandal? A comfortable closed-toe sandal? A comfortable, closed-toe sandal...for ducks?

    I've been to every fuckin shoe store in Peoria. I've let my fingers do the walkin (cuz my feets' too swelled...HA!) all over the internet and back. And, finally...finally...I think I've found 'em.

    (Cue the Indy Jones music.)Dah dah dah DAH!...dah dah dah. Dah dah dah DAH!...dah...dah...dah.dah.dah!

    There should be sparkles all around 'em. And they should be restin on a big-assed pile of diamonds and gold dubloons and crystal skulls and snakes, even.

    Ok, so I didn't hafta swing on any ropes or cross any mile-high, rickety-ass bridge made outa twigs to get 'em. Nice Mr. UPS Man delivered 'em right to my door today. And, I know. They look like some strange, genetically-altered mutation of a Mexican hurrache, an Earth Shoe and a Goodyear radial. But, see....I don't care what they look like. Because...

    They feel like kittens and rainbows and puppies and chocolate covered cherries and Christmas on my poor little Petunia Pig/Daffy Duck feet!

    They're swell! They're spiffy! They're
  • KEEN
  • !

    They're also pretty pricey.

    Oh, nowhere near the level of...say...Manolos. Or Jimmy Choos. But, still.
    My butt kinda squinched up when I hit the ole "BUY NOW" button.

    But I'm sooooooo worth it.

    Right, honey?


    I love youuuuu.


    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    What I did on my summer vacation

    I lied. I haven't been on vacation. I have, however, been on Chantix. Ya know? the "miracle" stop-smoking drug?

    Weeellll...not so much.

    Oh, I can does retard addictive behavior. Just not the particular behavior I'd like to retard.

    So, I'm still smoking. But...I've almost totally given up coffee. And blogging, it seems. Unfortunately, I don't wanna give up coffee. Or blogging.

    We had an absolutely fabulous Fourth of July weekend here at Zig's River Rat Retreat. First off, the weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny and in the 80's with no humidity. Do ya know how rare that is here in Illinois? In July? Quite amazing, really.

    Da Zigster and I worked the weekend before on the yard. We made a little...well...park...sorta...down by the river just between the two trees that we got married under. We mulched, added gathered river rocks for a border and a hearth for our chiminea, added a picnic table that we hauled the convertible (that's a whole 'nother story unto itself) and voila!...we have our very own little park. Even named it. Wistful Vista. heh Anyone know what that's from (no Googling allowed)? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

    It looked a lot better on the Fourth...without all the bugs. We're in the middle of a mayfly bloom again. BIG one, this time.

    So, back to the Fourth...

    Since we now had the perfect weather and the perfect spot in which to view the fireworks, we needed the perfect company to enjoy them with. And we got it. My bestest pal and her husband from Lewistown were able to make it, as were our good friends from Pleasant Plains. Throw in some fireworks, some grilled skin-dogs from Alwan's, a few deviled eggs and a pitcher of strawberry margaritas and we had a party.

    And about those fireworks! The neighbors always throw a big whoop-te-do on the Fourth, too. And their whoop-te-do always includes a spectacular (and spectacularly illegal, I might add) fireworks show. So there was that. We were also able to see Chillicothe's big show from our particular vantage point, as well as a bit of Peoria's and one from somewhere waaaaay across the river...Washburn, we think. Talk about sensory overload. It was fabulous.

    Our Pleasant Plains pals were able to spend the whole weekend with us, so we spent Saturday (which was also gorgeous, weather-wise)...convertibling. We did a little antiquing, then headed south and explored a new little wine and cheese/antique shop in Havana. Yes, Virginia...they do make wine ice cream. The Port is to die for!

    We wound up takin our friends on a short-but-sweet bar-hoppin tour of Bath that included
  • The Brick
  • , which was once owned by my grandma and grampa, then on to the famous...maybe that should be infamous Boat Tavern, which is currently owned by a high-school pal and is the site of the famous...uh...infamous...
  • Redneck Fishing Tournament
  • .

    This year's event will happen next weekend...
  • here's the info
  • ...and from what I hear, is a sight to behold.

    Anywho, I think our friends were properly impressed. heh

    Our garden...ok, so it's just tomatoes and green peppers...looks great. So far.


    Who pulled the plug?? I bet the river has dropped a foot. Just in the last 5 days or so. We're talkin "mud flats" here.