Thursday, December 22, 2005

Taking a Moment From the Holiday for Airline Announcements, Good Wishes and Amazonian Props.

It looks like we're running's shipping department out of our breezeway.

You name the size of box, we've got it out there. It's fabulous. Rich did almost every single bit of Christmas shopping on Amazon, and I did a bunch as well...the result? Four large boxes, six mid-size boxes, four small boxes, and one funky one sent from the returns department. All stacked in the breezeway until about two hours ago, when we opened and wrapped everything. Wow.

Also, MAD PROPS for my friends at Amazon. Everything I ordered came so damn fast it made my head spin, every order was correct and had the proper emailed paperwork to correspond with it so I could remember what the hell I bought, and my favorite thing concerns a shipment which I am not at liberty to describe because certain members of the household will be unwrapping it on Christmas Day. ANYWAY. Skeezix's mom wanted me to online-ize an order for her for this product, and I found it for her, no problem. Ordered it the 16th from Taylor was in stock and theoretically ready to ship. So, the other day, say the 20th or so, I'd recieved no shipment notification or anything, and I was a little concerned. I check the order online...backordered. The hell? They charged my card! Where the hell is my shipment? I call them, and a cranky sounding man informed me that it would ship "in the next few days" and it would be there in about 6 days.

"Is there any way I can upgrade the shipping so I'm sure it's here by the weekend?"


All right then. You know, here's a life lesson for you, Cranky Man and Taylor Gifts...just keep people updated and be nice about it, and people won't hate you.

So, when I saw the backorder thing, I ordered a similar item from Amazon, and picked standard shipping (3 to 7 biz days). I would have gone with expedited shipping, but it was my backup plan and I had Faith in the Amazon. This was the 21st. Today I get home, and what do I see but a pre-delivery notifcation from FedEx. It's due in tomorrow. GO AMAZON!!!! You guys rock my world. I'm sorry we ever fought [over your sneaky hiding of contact phone numbers].

On to more stuff...we bought a new vee-hickle, which will substantially reduce the number of headaches in the house that come with trying to coordinate our lives. It's a 2001 Dodge Durango - I know! - and it's blue and purty. It will mostly be my car, but of course, sharing is caring.

I, amongst others, sent the inaugural Allegiant Air flight off from lovely Worcester, Massachusetts today. Flight 776 left after a slight delay (thanks, area traffic. Can't help what's up in the air - the ground crew did it's job, no delay on our heads!) to sunny, seventy-degree Sanford, Florida around 11:30. It was a lot of tiring fun...I checked people in and got the station ready in the morning. I really felt great about helping the airport get a boost. We also had a few "Oh geez" moments...a family of four showing up at 11:00 on the dot thinking the flight was at 11:40 (even if that was the right time...forty minutes before a flight?), an almost-missed box of - I shit you not - cooked lobsters, which I got to run up to the gate for gate-check at the last POSSIBLE second. And of course, my boots set off the metal detector, I wound up running the last few yards in bare feet. Clearly. And we get to do it all again tomorrow.

On an icky note, my poor honey is sick as a dog...I hope I don't get what he has because I'm pretty sure it's the plague. He seems to be on the (slow) upswing, but it's still no picnic. Get better soon honey!

So, merry Christmas, everyone, and I hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Moral Court Should Be Up There With Locke, Hobbes, Plato and the Rest of the Gang

That's right, I said it.

Moral Court is a truly ridiculous show that only the brain dead and unemployed would ever watch, and it's too much dreck even for me, most of the time. Closer friends know that I always have something on in the background for white noise, so normally it's court shows - I particularly like The People's Court. (Gotta watch Wapner at three.) Moral Court is - obviously - not a real court show, but instead a sort of talk show shoehorned into a court looking set, and people get actual real money when they are proven "morally right." HAH! Awesome. Except not because it's usually utter crap and scary weird crazy people who like their Bibles a LOT. ANYWAY.

Today I happened to catch the tail end of a "case" involving - read this carefully - twin brothers running for the same office, one of whom had actually changed his party affiliation in order to run. That's the key thing; there's a lot of other crap like excessively similar campaign posters and what have you, but it doesn't really matter.

This is what politics have become and what parties have become - something completely fluid, with an complete absence of solidity. The political arena began life and, as far as I'm concerned, should REMAIN a forum in which to debate the moral issues of a society. This whole thing keys into my rant about the difference between government and politics, to wit - government is the establishment responsible for the development, passage and enforcement of concrete laws governing society, whereas politics has to do with the open debate over the moral stance of the society that those laws govern. Naturally, the two systems rely on each other, because laws call into question the morality of application, and politics breed the bases upon which laws are based. Fine. The lines have blurred...more on that later. But the issue is that you cannot have a moral (or otherwise theoretical) debate without picking a stance and STICKING WITH IT. You can always change your opinion, and I actually think that it's a huge positive statement on your character and ability if you can listen to facts presented by your opposing mental combatant and admit the merits of their argument, but you have to admit you changed your opinion, not try and pretend apples are the same damn fruit as oranges. No. They are not.

That kind of crap has become the hallmark of the politically correct, bullshit modern era of politics - everyone has become so terrified of offending someone else that they refuse to stand for something concrete. I've noticed something funny, though...PEOPLE STILL GET OFFENDED. Look, here's an important memo to the folks who are so PC they won't speak more than five words without a publicist signing off on it: There are some people out there who are going to FIND something to be offended about, no matter how hard you try to appease them. Someone like the person I wrote about last time is going to be upset about anything you call the holiday season unless it is exactly what her concept of it is. That is not someone you need to be catering's someone who needs to be presented with an extention ladder to get over herself with. And of course, it's all causal...people bitch about it because they have seen people do it before and be successful. Same for people who sue at the drop of a hat. Yeah, it sucks when you get hurt and have bills you can't pay and all of that. But that doesn't mean the world owes you. It means life sucks sometimes. It's a little offensive to me when people crack Quaker jokes - which they do, usually confusing Quakers with the Amish or with Mormons - but you know what? I know that it's because they don't know the first damn thing about Quakerism, and that's just the way the world is. So I shrug it off, because my life is not going to be adversely changed by the fact that someone made some joke about how Quakers don't use electricity.

Anyway, back to politics. I had a lip twitch going on the entire time I was watching Moral Court, because it was so digusting to me that someone would lie to a LOT of people just to get a job. It's like falsifying a resume. And yeah, you're right, everyone pumps up their resume a little. But you don't lie and say you're a mechanical engineer when in reality you are 18 and have never worked anything but mall retail. It's ludicrous. And the thing is? He had NO ISSUE with changing his party affiliation in order to get into office so he could then switch his position and do what he wanted. Politics has become a career, and that's not how it should be. Run for office because you care about affecting change, not for the paycheck. And STICK TO WHAT YOU SAY! Democrats are Democrats because they believe in the party. Ditto for Republicans. If you are not prepared to go along with the party goals and platforms that the party you affiliate yourself with promotes, then it is your moral obligation to run as a damn Independent.

In other political news, props to the Republicans - I know - for a smooth move with the troops out of Iraq play. They "gave in" to the Dems when they knew the Jackasses were too disorganized and hyped up on emotion to put forth an organized effort...and the result? Reps look magnanimous for considering and promoting the idea for the troops to be withdrawn, Dems look like idiots for putting forth incomplete legislative concepts and not being united.

On the other hand? Bush, Rove, Cheney, DeLay.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

It's a Festivus Miracle...

....all the morons have come out for their annual tard-fest!

For those of you who a.) pay attention to the news and b.) can be pissed to care about Walmart's various escapades (I usually perk up when Walmart is mentioned so I can hear how they're pissing on feminism and women in general this time.) will have noticed that they have managed to start the holiday hyper-PC season off this year. The best part is that the ridiculous behavior in the entire scene gives a whole new dimension to saying something abounds. Here's how it all goes down.

1. (I'm Guessing) Red State Shopper emails Walmart complaining that they DON'T use the word "Merry Christmas" in their advertising and stores, instead opting for the neutral "Happy Holidays."

How can anyone possibly care enough to email the company and complain that use a different set of two words than the two words the emailer prefers? I know that there are a lot of people who are more religious than I am, and that's fine, but...have people really not grasped that the entire world doesn't need to and WILL NOT conform to thier concept of what they think it should be? Really? In 2005? I'm starting to think that this kind of behavior is why we don't have flying cars yet, which is what I drew when I got the grade school "draw what the year 2000 will be like" project. I can understand thinking that I would do something differently, or that I don't like something, but..."Happy Holidays" is so innocuous. Can't this Shopper realize that there are in fact people who do not celebrate Christmas? Does she think Christians are being discriminated against? When you can find exclusively Christmas-oriented shops in any Mall or main shopping drag in the country? When was the last time you saw a Hanukkah store or a Kwanzaa shop? In any case, it gets better.

2. "Kirby" from Walmart replies with this email: "Walmart is a world wide organization and must remain conscious of this. The majority of the world still has different practices other than "christmas" which is an ancient tradition that has its roots in Siberian shamanism. The colors associated with "christmas" red and white are actually a representation of the aminita mascera mushroom. Santa is also borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide wide world."



This is Working For Any Company In The Freaking World 101. You don't get into any kind of political or religious discussion with someone IN OR OUTSIDE your company, ESPECIALLY not as a representative of your company to a customer. Whether it's true or not - I am sure anyone reading this has heard a million explanations of how other cultures, practices, and religions influenced the Christmas holiday - it is not your decision to make! Don't say it! Shut! Up! I don't know how it could be that anyone could first NOT realize how ridiculous people are about being politically correct, NOT realize that someone who has her panties in a twist about the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays distinction should MAYBE be handled delicately in regard to Christmas tradition, and then finally NOT realize how inappropriate it is to write an email like that as a representative of a company!

But wait, there's more!

3. The Catholic League - whose logo/crest, it should be noted, is nothing more than a shield with a sword and the initials "CL" superimposed on it - read this, and instead of saying "you are both batshit, and this is petty," rallies 126 other christian groups to boycott Walmart because yo, Christians came up with EVERYTHING Christmassy by THEMSELVES, y'all, and there is NO way that there is ANY outside influence ever came into the picture.

I don't usually see eye to eye with Catholics in general, or all of the various other Christian churches, but I certainly do see the merit in them, and I think generally having a guide which says "being nice to people is a good idea" is okay with me. But come on! This is like when the ACLU allowed their name to be attached to that jerk Michael Newdow's case. (PS - Shut up, 9th District Court.) Yeah, I know, I know, the lawyer was just ACLU SANCTIONED. Yeah. I know. Whatever. The letters "A," "C," "L" and "U" appear together in major news media, and baby, you're involved. JUST. WALK. AWAY. Christ. This highlights my exact problem with many of the Christian organizations in America - everything has to be fought over, and any percieved slight to their cause and belief merits no less than a duel to the death. I want to know how this is in ANY way a. ) any of the Catholic League's business, or b.) something worth being upset over.

4. The demands that must be satisfied for the boycott to be called off? "We want a) an apology for insulting Christians by effectively banning Christmas and b) a withdrawal of its insane statement regarding the origins of Christmas and c) a revision on its website [where customers who search for "Christmas" are redirected to a "Holiday" page despite specific pages for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah]."

I just gave this its own section because it's so juvenile and dementedly worded. THEY HURT MY FEELINGS MOMMY MAKE THEM SAY SORRY! You know what happened why my mom made Superfly and Aloha Lady apologize to me for whatever childhood wrong had been committed? It just felt hollow and insincere and prompted the combatants to think of more ways to booby trap each other.


For God's sake people, come on. Why can't you just say "this is bullshit, Christians are not only denominations who shop at Walmart, NO CRYING IN BASEBALL, YOU IDIOTS"? WHY? It's just so stupid. I can get switching the search engine function, okay, fine. But come on, this whole thing is ridiculous.

Every year the fights over how simple good wishes for holidays should be worded makes me feel sick to my stomach, and reminds me how soft everyone seems to have gotten. No, I don't think people should be using racial slurs or lighting crosses on fire or putting up Holocaustian "No Jews" signs, but this kind of stupidity, where people are simply wishing others a happy holiday? Not even CLOSE, and SO not worth this kind of battle. Is there a reason a Jewish person can't say "Thanks, but I'm Jewish. Have a good holiday," in response to someone wishing them a merry Christmas? Or and even more ambiguous "I don't celebrate it, but thanks"? Is there any reason someone can't reply to "Happy Holidays" with "thanks, merry Christmas"? (Secret hint! The answer to all of these rhetorical questions is "no.") At the same time people are becoming more sensitive and destoying sensitivity. I personally find it a little creepy that people want so badly to meld all of the holidays into one big blob so they never have to admit that people are different. I think it's AWESOME that there are so many great celebrations in a short span - starting with the 100% American Thanksgiving, where homage is paid to pilgrims, really extravagant parades, football, drum corps, eating until you have to lay on the floor to digest and the Fabric of Our Lives, then moving on to watching how each religion, country and family celebrates the end of a year and being together, which is the great part. Don't fight, guys. Jeez.

We made real progress on the yard fingers are still a little tweaky after pulling some very pernicious weeds, but we still have tomorrow to finish up. I think we both got so exasperated that we called it quits. Skeezix got a new leafblower, which LOOKED very hardcore but actually kind of sucked. It was a Ryobi one, and it's a shame because up to this point I've been impressed by Ryobi's stuff, i.e. Dad's hardcored drill/flashlight combo set. But all the attachments started vibrating off when Skeezy tried to use it! Obviously no good. My ring is in getting fixed...I am crossing my fingers that the emerald makes it through, but as the jeweler said, "hopefully the luck of the Irish will come through, eh?" It's just so soft, bending it again might do it in. Crossed fingers everyone! Skeezix - I have got to get a better nickname for him - got me a beautiful necklace for our six month anniversary...It's a sweet little silver pendant with a rose carved on either side (the flower taking up the whole face on one side, and then blossom and stem on the other), and a freshwater pearl above it, hanging from a really delicate silver chain. It is BEAUTIFUL and falls just right. I swear he reads my mind - it's exactly the kind of thing I would have picked out for myself. I love him so much.

The handyman was here this week and put up a wall for Sloth in the basement and a vanity in the bathroom. Dad's gonna have at the sink and the garbage disposal, which I am SO ready for. Yay for handy Dads!

I also called Meathead to ask for the piano Grandpa built, because she told Ma that they sold it a while ago. Skeezix and I are going to try and find it and buy it from whoever bought it. She didn't remember off hand, so she has until Wednesday to get back to me or I'm calling again. I have also been looking through Grandpa's bonsai book, and it's completely fascinating. (Hee! In looking for bonsai links, I found a website that makes miniature crashed cars for you to display with your bonsai. Hah!) I am going to try and work with the bonsai I inherited and make it a real masterpiece - I never realized how much there was to these little trees. Hopefully I can really get rolling with them.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

In Which I Am a Genius. One Might Even Say...An UNFORGETTABLE BUSINESS GENIUS.



Called it.


Unfortunately, I am not crafty enough to have placed money on your firing of an entire team on tonight's episode of The Apprentice. But! You didn't get that one past ME, Donny boy...ho ho hoooooo no. HAH!

Perhaps I should explain.

The previews for tonight's episode of The Apprentice were VERY exciting...Donald was gonna be PISSED, he was gonna have to come back from a business trip to lay the smack down, my beloved Carolyn Kepcher was going to be subbing in for Trump (with"Boyfriend Bill" Rancic as George's subsitute...come back soon George! But keep Bill!), something that had NEVER HAPPENED IN THE BOARDROOM BEFORE was going to happen....all very exciting. So here's the synopsis...


As mentioned above, Carolyn - whose hair, by the way, looked TERRIBLE tonight, like a damn dog chewed on it, which sucks, because she has looked gorgeous all season - was in charge, and dealt the task of going to Dick's Sporting Goods stores, picking a sport, and holding a mini sports expo to sell - remember this for later - equipment. She also shook up the teams a bit...each PM selected the three people they thought had contributed the least and sent them to the other team. Alla sent away Rebecca, Marshawn (!) and Jennifer M, while...I think Josh sent away Markus, Clay, and someone else who I can't remember at this PRECISE moment in time. Capital Edge picked golf, which none of them played, and Alla was the PM. I suspected that I liked her this whole season, and I THINK I still do, but she's a very bossy and not very listen-y PM, which I don't love. Anyway, Excel (way to name yourselves creatively, douchebags) picked baseball, which was a nice concept, complete with a full size batting cage and tutorials for the kids....which turned out to be all that people cared about. The bottom line is that while Capital Edge managed to boost regular sales for the golf department by 74%, while Excel actually made the baseball sales DROP by 30% or so. OUCH. They LITERALLY lost by 100%. Hah!

So Trump comes back and he's pissy because it's the YOOGEST defeat EVER, and they call the whole team minus Rebecca and I believe Brian, who was exempt from last week's success as PM, back to the Boardroom,
and is very cantankerous.

And then he fired every one of their asses. Four people gone, in one fell swoop. WHOMP.


I said just the other day - "well, what the hell are they going to do then? Fire the whole team? That's really all you can do that hasn't BEEN done in the Boardroom thus far." HAH.

I would also like to say that the Zathura floats from last week's episode were AWESOME, even the one that lost, so good job on that, people I don't and probably won't ever know. Also, big props to Jacob from Television Without Pity, not only for his awesome recapping in general, especially Apprentice-capping, but ESPECIALLY-ESPECIALLY for this passage, which had me straight up losing my shit at work: "For some reason, I've noticed, the marketing's kind of ignoring the whole Jumanji aspect, especially of late, and I think that's weird, because even if you can't say Zathura, I bet you can say Jumanji. It's characterized by the execs as a "sci-fi family adventure," which means they can't just focus on marketing to kids, because it's a big movie the whole family can enjoy blah blah lies lies lies it's a dumb kids' movie and Jumanji sucked. Take an awesome kids' book, stir in a little Robin Williams, and then feel sorry for yourself about what you've just done."


I am going to respond to all of Fake Cancer Girl's crap with that from now on.

"But I'm telling the truuuuuuth!"

"Blah blah blah lies lies lies, it's a dumb kids' movie and Jumanji sucked."

Hah! I am responding to EVERYTHING with that from now on!

Anyway, the Frightening Moment of the Day award goes to the usually better-behaved of the Terror Twins, Cady, fro getting stuck in the recliner and having to be rescued. We couldn't find her, and it was really bothering me that I couldn't, so we all tore the house apart for 15 to 20 minutes looking for her. We finally found her stuck up under the chair, somehow having gotten in but unable to get back out, so I had to reach in and pull the poor thing out, and she was TOTALLY scared and probably hungry as hell from being stuck in there all day. Of course once I found her, I was pissed, because I'd been on the verge of tears, and she SHOULDN'T BE IN THERE ANYWAY, but the upside is that it's improved her relationship with all of us DRASTICALLY. She's been hanging out and Being Cute and letting us pat her and me hold her, and all that, which is new and exciting.

In fact, she's saying hi to me now, so I am going to go and give her some love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


How twisted do you think a person can be before their bones actually crumple under the weight of being THAT fucked up?

This past week, fabulously hot on the heels of my Grandpa's cancer-related death, a friend of mine told me SHE was diagnosed with cancer and was having surgery to remove a kidney, where the cancer was lurking and buying cigarettes, liquor and porn for minors. Naturally, I wished her good luck, and felt awful for her.

That was about the end of where it was clean and dry.

There's an enormous saga behind it, but the bottom line is that she told us her sister was going to email us with updates on her condition. When the sister DID, a whole bunch of stuff didn't add up...the hospital had no record of her, the sister was variously nutty and involved, nutty and uninvolved, and then, finally, completely clueless and told one of us that our friend was in fact at home with bronchitis. Whatever. We compiled an expose email of sorts and sent it out and then waited for the debris to rain down, which of course it has.

That's all beside the point, as I see it. I am trying to figure out whether anyone - especially someone who I genuinely liked and enjoyed spending time with - could actually be twisted enough to lie about having cancer. She loves attention, this I and all of her friends know, but this seems so psychotically beyond the scope of even the most dedicated attention whore that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. This isn't to say I'm changing my mind...all the evidence, I mean ALL the evidence, points towards her being completely full of shit. I don't regret sending the email or looking beneath the surface to find out what was going on. The hospitals we called, the ones her "sister" told us she was at and the one she later said she'd been at, had NO record of her, under THREE variants of her name she claimed she was there under. What is going ON?

I just can't come to terms with the fact that someone I know and associate with would actually do such a thing. I have long since accepted that there is a lot of evil in the world, with murders and rapes happening right now as I type this, and whole other castes of darkness below even that with drug underworlds and human trafficking and organized crime and genital mutilation and genocide...but my life HAPPENS to be occuring on the same planet as all that. In my little house in Massachusetts, I vote in US elections and have a great guy and two cute cats to come home to, and can choose freely to do as I like, unmolested by the ickier sides of other lives whose running times happen to be simultaneous to mine. To have someone even get herself into a situation where I would have to debate whether her sickness is real or not makes it seem like maybe there's a crack in my world through which all the evils of the world, great or small, could creep through, dank and sticky and unclean.

And of course it's like a chemical burn. It's eating me up.

I really do hope she proves herself innocent.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

My Begonia Is Secreting Pheremones.

This is the only explanation I can find, because I have DOUSED the thing in hot-sauce-and-water-cat-deterrent which is working fine for the Calamondin orange and rubber plant (in the case of the latter, it's working half way...apparently dirt is a powerful-cat-attractant. POWERFUL.), but all Flyboy wants out of life is to be in the yellow room and lovingly chew on the begonia's trembling leaves. Right now he's stationed outside the door, yowling to be let in, but I really don't feel like I need him mating with my begonia, so he's staying out there, goddamn it, and he'd better learn to like it.

In all fairness, he and Cady BOTH have show slight improvement in their behvior, and since they are still relatively young, slight is pretty damn good. You forget that at their core, cats are wild animals, and they are just living inside because we happen to have caught on to the fact that they are cute and cuddly and decided to bring them in. It's in their nature to want to check stuff out and rocket around and bite each other, and right now since we're still nowhere near being unpacked there's still lots of crap around that's all new and shiny to them. Plus, I'm a knitter, so you know THAT'S trouble. Oh, and does everyone know that cats are actually nocturnal? Because I tend to forget that, and have "WHY are there crashing noises out in the rest of the house, WHY GOD WHY GODDAMN CATS" moments in the middle of the night, and it's hard to remember that it's the nocturnal biological clock doing it, not devious plotting.

Well, maybe SOME devious plotting.

So there have been three major life events in the past week. Here we go.

1. Last Sunday, my grandfather on my mom's side passed away. That is sad, but not entirely unexpected. He was 81 and had cancer, and in truth, he's probably in a much better place. The really sad thing is the endless bitchery of his wife, who we shall call Meathead because I would beat her to a bloody pulp if I could.

My grandparents got divorced about 25 years ago. Both are remarried now, and we see our grandmother a lot more than we see our grandfather...he's always been a very solitary, hermitlike man, and he lives up on this kee-razy hill that's barely paved. He also married someone who is my mom's age, then had two kids with her, which is needless to say, an interesting circumstance. In any case, Meathead is also pretty solitary and insular, and throughout Grandpa's illness - cancer - she has gained a certain degree of notoriety in the family for being IMPOSSIBLE to deal with. She doesn't seem to think it's necessary to inform blood relatives that their patiarch is sick or in the hospital, a., and b., once they find out, she doesn't keep them updated. The first time he went in, no one could get any information out of her, and it was horrendous. During that first stint, Ma recieved an email from Meathead basically announcing that the Barn, the house where Grandpa had lived pretty much forever, was going to be foreclosed on and sold at auction. My parents of course started right away to see what the options were so she and Grandpa wouldn't lose the property. They emailed and called and pleaded for her to contact them so they could help, and only to find out when Ma called the lawyer to SEE IF THE HOUSE HAD SOLD that Meathead had come up with some deal that fell off the back of some truck (driven by her daughter's boyfriend, to continue the metaphor). No email, no call, to say oh by the way, don't worry, I got it handled." Inconsiderate? Yeah. Truly offensive? Eh. The really awful part's comin'.

On the way home from the most recent long-term hospital stay, she pulled over to the side of the road and told him that not only had she had to sell the Barn, but that she wanted to get a divorce. Oh, and by the way? She bought a trailer for him to live in, an hour away from his children. Alone. At 81 years old, with cancer. Nice. She promised that she would make sure he got to all his appointments and such. THAT was a crock, as you'll see.

Wednesday the 12th, Grandpa went into the hospital. On Saturday, Ma, her brother, and her aunt had all tried calling Grandpa and hadn't gotten ahold of him. They started calling around to track him down, and when Ma finally got ahold of Meathead, she blithely told Ma "oh yeah, he went into the hospital on Wednesday." Un-fucking-believable. Oh, and by the way? Ma also talked to Grandpa's oncologist, and was told that his last cancer-fighting shot of Lupron was a month and a half late, and the one before that was THREE MONTHS LATE. And by the way, he hadn't seen Meathead in person in about six months or more. WAY TO TAKE CARE OF HIM, YOU HEARTLESS BITCH! Did I mention she's a nurse? SHE'S A NURSE FOR GOD'S SAKE!

So, Ma and Paintbrush went down to the hospital and took care of business...saw Meathead a few times, and thankfully, the kids DID make it to the hospital to see him (Kid number one is at college in PA, and kid number two needed transportation), which was nice, because Kid number one is really a wonderful girl. Kid number two is too, of course, but he is a lot more shy, so there isn't as much of a bond.

So anyway, Meathead is a hateful, hateful bitch. I really want the piano that Grandpa built, but Ma doesn't want to contact her to get it or anything else. We'll see.

2. I quit my hateful, hateful job. Thank god. There isn't much to wasn't a good fit, and there you have it. They called me into a meeting basically to tell me I wasn't doing enough side projects for my Boss, and the longer the meeting went on, the more I realized that I was fighting a lost cause. I have busted my ass, and am really proud of the work I did for them, and if the fact that I didn't do enough of the work that Boss should be doing himself, if he could deign to come into the office once in a while, or learn to operate a computer (Do people still not know how to use computers? Oh yes, my friend, they do.) eclipsed the great work I'd been doing in the CAPACITY IN WHICH I WAS HIRED, then fuck it...there's no way I was ever going to get to a point where I would feel even respected, much less appreciated. I'm not asking for a pedestal, just for people to not think that I'm doing a shitty job. Thank god that's over. I just feel bad for Elvette, who will be stuck there for a bit because she has no other financial option, and Buggie, who can't fight genetics. Sucks.

3. A friend got herself into a huge ass lie and it all unravelled. I'm so exhausted from typing up the Grandpa saga that I will have to cover the bullshit of THIS drama next post. It's a doozy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Packing Up a Sage Green Dress

I'm packing the last of my stuff for The Big Move, which started today with Rich's stuff while I worked away through one of the longer and more boring days ever to come down the pike. I just packed my formal stuff...a salmon colored dress I wore to winter ball at Sequoia with some small particles of dirt still clinging to the train, the "CJ Craig dress" from the ball at the Kennedy Center, the black velvet sheath from a dance at Union Station. And of course, the dress I wore in my best friends' wedding. Two colors of green...a celadon and a sage, really, but online it was called sage, and that fits better somehow.

Almost four full months ago, a wedding happened that at various times I thought was amazing, ill-advised, too soon, spectacular, and surreal. Friends of mine, getting married. Unreal.

Almost four full years had passed in our little circle of friends when June 3rd rolled around, and it had been busy with fallings-in and fallings-out. With Spinnaker down in Annapolis with a thousand rules on his activities and me busy getting into everything I could, there were fewer moments with him compared to the months I spent here with Anna Karenina over coffees and shots and chai, but they all stand out. Watching him in a uniform strolling around a WWII memorial in the nighttime in late September, 11 days after September 11th and many years after all of the men listed on those grounds had given their lives...going to Arlington National Cemetery in flipflops on the Metro, he in a uniform and I in a suit on a blazing sunny Memorial Day...every Hawaiian shirt he owned wandering in the door at one point or another...all of the little moments that there's no real reason to remember, but you do anyway.

And then there's my Anna, my best friend, whose ups and downs mirrored mine, and who got the jokes I played off of hers. Wine downed, shots put down, coffee sipped, chai smelt. It's all there, even less significant in terms of grand drama than the sweet small moments with Spinnaker, but just as important somehow. I was rich in those times for the months when we were both here, and even now, with Skeezix in my life and plenty to fill the theoretical gap, it's still not empty, but not quite the same.

So it got to The Day...the flowers prepared and the family corralled and driving each other nuts, the last minute stuff tended to and the panic setting in. She looked so beautiful, just like a fairy princess right there in my living room, flopped on the couch with a thousand yards of fabric trailing out from her throne. I don't know how her mom held it together so well. The ceremony was gorgeous, and I walked down the aisle with one of my best friends. I wonder if all weddings feel so much to the bridesmaids and ushers that they are there to give their friends to each other. I feel like it's unlikely. We are so lucky to have the friends we do, for all the fluctuations in closeness and physical proximity. I cried, I danced, I drank, we toasted, and then it was all over, just like that.

And now here I am, misty again, missing my friends and packing away a sage green bridesmaid's dress.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Thee Got a Package Today. It Weighs About 30 Pounds. It Might Be a Cinderblock."

Ah yes, the words of Ma. This comment comes, of course, only about a week and a half after she informed me that her schedule was "mad crazy" and maybe a year since she referred to my brother as a "wigger." And then followed it up with "well he IS" when I cracked up. Woman has a point.

We lost power at work today for maybe 15 minutes, which was exciting in a certain grade school kind of way. Work seems to be more and more obnoxious lately, which is NOT making me want to stick around. I don't want to be lauded non-stop, but there's a certain soul-sucking feeling when you realize that no matter how well you do your job or how far beyond the call of duty you go, it will always be "why didn't you do this one extra thing?" I raised hourly production values by an average of about $30 with my techs, putting ALL of their values above $100 PER HOUR. I point this out and explain that that is the difference that planning and thought makes? Blank looks. There's just such a lack of business savvy and simple common sense that it makes it hard to handle. I also think that Skeezix has a point when he says I need to be more in control of my work environment - I don't do as well working in a hyper-supervised realm as when I work on my own.

I was talking to Scarlett today about the Supreme Court nominations, and Roberts brings me back AGAIN to the political-appointees-belong-in-political-positions concept I brushed by with FEMA the other day. He will not answer ANYTHING, and that makes me very nervous - I don't trust him enough to think that he will be a Rehnquist-style conservative. And if this whole not answering questions bit is something motivated by the GOP, then that in and of itself is an issue, because any candidate who can be trusted to be fair and examine all angles should listen to ONE voicemail from a leading Repub asking him to keep his trap shut on sensitive issues and tell said voicemailer to cram it sideways. I explained to Scarlett that they should get a dose of Carville's "Had Enough," which, yes, is liberal leaning, but has a lot of good stuff on the concept of working for the GREATER GOOD rather than party lines, and as I looked for a link to it, I came across an old friend in K Street on DVD.

It was there that I realized that there are a LOT of stupid people on this planet. I tend to sort of ignore that as best I can and revel in the higher-functioning people floating around, but every not and then, one intercepts the pass and slams me into the dirt. K Street was promoted as a POLITICAL series about LOBBYISTS. Every commercial had shots of DC and references to lobbying and power and politics and all that stuff. Yes, it was a weird, new concept - it was basically filmed as things were happening, with actors mingling freely with power players in Washington - but it was always, always, always pimped as a political show. Despite all that publicity and advertising, and yet on the reviews for the DVD set, I found this gem:

"This show is so boring all it's about is poltics. What was HBO thinking having the one of the oddest shows out, it doesn't play no background music even when it's going off. And all the people do on that show is argue like petie little children, in one episode I found very shocking to hear was from a blond hair woman saying the two oldest sons of Saddam Hussian that died they made their bodies into make up she said it's so (Queer Eye for the Straite Guy) and another episode she call a gay a fag, I didn't know she had that in her. What I found weird was why would actor George Clooney would talk what the show is all about during previews, he has nothing to do with political things. Thank god "K-Street" never did get a second season."

Even if we ignore the myriad spelling, grammatical and common sensical errors - the whole thing is basically one big [sic] - he's complaining that the show is about....politics? A show filmed and NAMED AFTER the biggest street of lobbying firms and arguably the biggest behind the scenes power concentration in the United States? A show that featured Mary Matalin and JAMES MUDDAFUGGIN' CARVILLE? A SHOW THAT WAS BILLED AS A POLITICAL SERIES?!?


I just don't get people.

Okay, no, I can't help it, OKAY?! Geez.

"This show is so boring; all it's about is politics. What was HBO thinking, having the one of the oddest shows out? It doesn't play any background music, even when it's ending. All the people do on this show is argue like petty little children. In one episode, I found it very shocking to hear a blond haired woman (PLEASE let him not be referring to Hillary Clinton. Please.) refer to the makeup of the two oldest sons of Saddam Hussein that died as "so Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," and in another episode she called a gay person a fag. I didn't know she had that in her. What I found weird was that actor George Clooney would explain what the show is all about in previews - he has nothing to do with political things. (Except, you know, produce the show.) Thank god "K-Street" never got a second season."


Monday, September 26, 2005

My Family, It is Haunted By the Dread Curse of the Neckbrace.

Superfly gets into a car accident, is thankfully okay, spends something like 96 hours supine, and gets fitted with a neck brace that looks like the designers over at Rollerblade got their hot little hands on it. I don't know why you would want your neckbrace to be aerodynamic, actually, but I am pretty sure this one is. It may teleport, and if it does, may I just say sign me up, because...awesome.

So Ma picks me up today and she tells me she's taking Kitty Number Two (Cats, in chronological order: Sylvia (deceased), Sweetheart/Molly, Flyboy/Cady) to the vet because she's been limping. Just talked to her and Sweetie had an abscess in her left hind leg. The vet drained it and everything, but there is still a drain set in there, so she has - you guessed it - a head cone to keep her from messing with it. A picture of those two together needs to be taken. Immediately.

Meanwhile in the animal kingdom, Resident Gigantic Snake Cleo has just eaten and is currently sitting, happily blood-smeared, in a cage probably seven feet away from me. Every now and then it occurs to me what a weird place I work in. Let's examine the creatures that share my workspace...two iguanas, a 13 foot Burmese python, a 3 foot ball python, two varieties of cockroach, six baby snapping turtles, several large and cranky snapping turtles, an emperor scorpion, a tarantula...the list goes on. I have come to like snakes, but the feeding concept keeps me from really wanting one. It's just so digusting to drop those rats or mice in there and watch them get hit...even if I dumped 'em and ran, I would still hear them, and THAT is no picnic either. Ugh. Gross.

Aloha Lady called me last night out of the blue to thank me for coming to her was awesome to see her play. Her friend and co-captain Khan has the most violently highlighter colored cleats I have ever seen. She is also a rockin' chick, I'm really glad Lady decided to chill predominantly with her and ditch the previous set of dodgy friends she had. She's got a good crew now, which is nice. I wish I could go to more of her games, but the vast majority are at 3:30, which is just not possible. Even if I took my lunch really late, I wouldn't be able to see the whole game. She is so awesome to watch play - great runner, and excellent use of the elbows. I wish she would just get that she is talented and go from there. Either way, she will be a success wherever she decides to go to school, so that is good to know. She wants to be an english teacher, which I think rules. GO ENGLISH WOO!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How the Hell Does Vincent D'Onofrio Keep Getting Work? Seriously.

L&O: CI is coming to USA, which means that there is at least one hour less of SVU, for a start, which already puts me in a shitty mood, but that it's Criminal Intent with Assface D'Onofrio? I don't understand it at all. Apparently people actually find the nimrod attractive, too, which...I have no words.

I have a lot of unjustified dislike and rage for various things...small dogs, most children, Republicans, sweet pickles....but I can actually explain this particular hatred. It's a little bit like my rage towards Michael Jackson.

Bear with me.

Michael Jackson had one of the most successful musical careers in history. He had the music, he had the moves, he had the fans...he could have ridden his fame into an awesome, bazillionaire twilight, Michael Jordan style (minus the ill-fated baseball attempt). It was so simple - all he had to do was just continue waking up in the morning, signing some autographs, recording music, and living a life of luxury. Easy. Instead? He built a gigantic kiddie porn set - let's call it like it is - and started basically hacking off various pieces of his facial contruction, while maybe not even molesting young boys, but at least allowing room for those rumors to grow. Two major trials and eight million MJ jokes later (and counting!), he'c completely squandered what could have been a perfect existance.

Now, we have Law & Order. The original series has been running since 1990, and has showcased a variety of talent, from TV to the silver sceen. The show may be showing some signs of fatigue, but it's still a hell of a lot more solid than most things that are on the air lately. It's spawned one of the most successful spin offs ever with the SVU series. The key thing, I think, is that they hang their reputation on great acting - Chris Noth, S. Epatha Merkerson, Dann Florek, Sam Waterson, Elisabeth Rohm, Jerry Orbach, Angie Harmon, Steven Hill, Benjamin Bratt, J.K. Simmons, Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, Ice-T, Richard Belzer, Dean Winters (do yourself a favor - watch him in Oz as Ryan O'Reily). It paid off big time, because we all know the show rocks and has a fierce following of loyal fans. Let's say that the original series represents "Got To Be There," "Ben, " "Off the Wall," and "Thriller," with his Jackson 5 days as the first year of the series and "Invincible" as it enters the still-badass twilight of its run. Then we can call SVU "Bad" and "Dangerous."

But then they decided to try again, with Criminal Intent...this is the point where Michael Jackson was kicking back with a few friends and said "you know, maybe it would be cool if I built a theme pack in my yard." They ALMOST nailed the casting, with the rockin' Kathryn Erbe (again, Oz). Then they hung a left at the junction of Good Stuff and Stupid, and put her in a wussy, generally subordinate seeming role and hired Vincent D'Onofrio. He is obnoxious. We are supposed to believe that he knows basically everything in the world, for one, which is stupid. It leads to the type of revelations that go something like...

"But he was wearing a BLUE jacket, not a black one."
"Yes, but SOME blue dyes are created from plants harvested in Afghanistan and a fine dust of opiates settles into the dye vats, creating the APPEARANCE of additional darkness making the jacket seem black!"
"The witness was wearing blueblockers and has a history of false reporting."
"Aha! But the refraction of the light off of the opium-infused dye would have penetrated the blueblockers like night vision, so the witness certainly could have seen it, and would have been so startled to go from almost zero vision to night vision that they would have been too shocked to false report!"
"What's that you've got there?"
"A bottle!"
"And what do you do with it?"
"I've put authentic Guinness beer in it!"

Shut UP, D'Onofrio! GOD. I'm annoyed just thinking about it long enough to spoof him. I find the dialougue they give him ridiculous to begin with, and then there's the so-called acting he does. Right here, I am going to divulge - one time only, folks! - the secret Vincent D'Onofrio acting technique.

1. Make an idiotic comment. Start it with "so" and put at least a five second pause between that starting word and the rest of the sentence.
2. Pause for a smal eternity while managing to twich in place. Focus on eye tics particularly.
3. Follow with a comment that includes sounds like it should be a pun on the first comment, but doesn't quite get there.
4. Blink nineteen times.
5. Laugh crazily.

There you have it, in its entirety. It sucks, folks, and people keep telling me how great he is. It's like Renee Zellweger. She's a passable actress, but she's nothing special, yet people keep raving about her...ditto D'Onofrio. The role model these people should be checking out is Tom Cruise. Not in weird lifestyle choices and creepy religious preferences so much, but definitely in role selection. Tom Cruise does several things well...He looks pretty, he grins, he laughs, he is the MASTER of making his eyes well up, and he flails his body around well. Every role he's chosen, with maybe a two movie margin of error, has fallen perfectly right into those parameters of acting range. COME ON GUYS! Get with it and start choosing roles that don't make you look like a retarded chimp on the 'roids! See the Cruise! BE the Cruise! Stop being on Law & Order! At least Zellweger can dress like nobody's business and she's finally started eating again, returning her to a semi-normal weight and delivering her from the bobble-head look.

So with that out of my system, I'm moving on Thursday to Holden to the gorgeous house with Skeezix, the cats - Flyboy and Cady ( - and current-Skeezix-roomie-soon-to-be-basement-zone-dweller Bono. Should be fun, if stressful - closings on the house and Skeezix's condo are on the same day and unfortunately the owner of the house wouldn't let us move anything in early...he says he's busy all week, and apparently hasn't heard of the concept of leaving a key under the mat. Oh well. The larger point is that this week I will be relatively out of commission but by next weekend will be writing from the lovely new abode. Aloha Lady had a kickass game against a determined but sucky Fitchburg High School team...they won 6-0 but more excitingly (not 100% sure that's a word, but we'll roll with it), the coach of the girls soccer team at Fitchburg State talked with her and was very impressed with her play, so hopefully she'll call him and get on that. He seems like a great coach, very down to earth. Superfly is still in his space-age neck brace and attendant pissy mood, but otherwise is okay. His California plans are on hold but he doesn't seem to want to talk about it, so who knows what the end result will be with that.

Just one last thing before I finish...when you've managed to claw your way to being the House Majority Leader, TOM DELAY, you should have a passing grasp of the good/well distinction -“after 11 years of Republican majority, we’ve pared [the budget] down pretty good.” WELL, darling, WELL.

Also, I have to say that I sort of relish the fact that Bush is beginning to learn that just throwing money at a problem doesn't make it go have to apply money intelligently. It sucks that the lesson is coming at the expense of - basically - the state of Lousiana (, but he had to learn sometime. Presuming he's capable of learning things, which I am not 100% sure of. I hope too, that we have all learned that the spoils system's political appointments do not belong in some agencies' heads. FEMA, I'm looking at you.