Friday, October 31, 2008

Strange Times in Texas

It's Halloween, yet it feels more like April Fool's.

So far today we've had an earthquake (actually 2--a 2.6 and a 3)

Some of our carriers delivered yesterday's paper instead of today's (Hey! It's Deja vu all over again!)

The University of Texas released a poll stating that 23% of Texans still believe Obama is a Muslim (to be fair, they only called 550 people--75% of those 23%ers are probably members of my family.)

And evidently I have employed Mimi Bobeck, Sarah Palin, and Amy Winehouse to answer phones. (Guess they should be glad I'm a liberal--who else would overlook Mimi's bitchiness, Amy's drunkeness, and Sarah's ineptitude?) Yes, I allowed my people to dress for the holiday. Well, not so much "allowed" as "run over by them."

What's my costume, you ask? Apathetic Gen-Xer. But hey, my "This is my costume" t-shirt glows in the dark!

It's the last day for early voting! Get out there and exercise one of the few freedoms Bush and Cheney have left us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cat Reactions to Political Discourse

Okay, so I was ranting about the ridiculousness of some of the things going on with the election. Seeing as how there are no other adults in my house, I was forced to rant to the cats. And as you can imagine, their reactions were rather, well, cat-like. Here are their feelings on the subject (or at least what I can infer from their expressions):

I really don't care. Now move. You're blocking the TV while I'm trying to watch Animal Planet. You know it's a new Meerkat Manor!


Could you not shout so loud? I was out late hanging with the neighborhood cats. And this orange wall is giving me a headache.


I hear what you're saying. Good arguments for all of it. However, I'm gonna vote for McCain if you don't get some food in my bowl now!

(And of course, this was completely made up as these pics were taken some time ago...)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

November 5th

As a student of history, I have always been fascinated with the Civil War. Not so much the blood and gore or how the river ran red at Antietam, but the thinking behind the beginning, execution and ending of it. I always admired Lincoln's quiet stewardship throughout the war. If you looked at those around him, they were busy saber-rattling while Lincoln pondered what was best not just for the Union, but for the states in rebellion. His goal was to unite, not continue thinking in an "us versus them" manner. He pondered, he thought, he consulted. And while some saw him as weak and taking too much time to make a decision, he would do not what was best politically, but what was best for all.

We are all reminded that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

It's just a few more days until the election and the bickering between supporters of each candidate is just mindboggling. How can we possibly continue to tear into one another right now, and then live together come November 5th? I've seem some amazingly brutal comments to news stories that leave me with my mouth hanging open in astonishment when they quickly become less about the article and more about vicious name-calling.

And I have to say that the majority of the name calling comes from the Republican side. (I've seen some scathing wit on the Dem supporter's side, but nothing so low brow as the Reps.) This can be followed right up the line from the lowest factors of society to the candidates on their podiums who use them as pulpits, with the audiences' boos and cries of "terrorist" as their hymns.

The more the polls are against him, the more McCain flails about like a drowning man trying to find a life preserver in a stormy sea. He said late last week that Obama will "say anything to get elected." I find no evidence of that. In Obama I see a steady, cool , well-spoken man who is sincere in what he wants to do for this country and confident in his message. John McCain is the one who will say anything to get elected, and what he has decided to say in these final days is anything negative that he can wrap his tongue around. His missteps and anger are coming closer and more frequently these days. As his dissatisfaction grows, the more water he inhales. The more he flounders, the more his mindless supporters rise up, gorged on lies and innuendos, spoon-fed hate speech at the hand of Sarah Palin, waving their pitchforks and brandishing their torches.

Frankly, I'm disgusted by this imagery. But it's all I see when I close my eyes after watching yet another clip of Palin on the stump. Obama has a strong chance of winning this election, but how long will it be before we face the frightening chances of a repeat of November 1963 thanks to McCain constantly basing his message on what will appeal to the lowest common denominators of society?

Where is the John McCain of 2000? The man who truly and honestly tried to run a campaign based on the facts and the needs of the nation? Who stood up to Bush running with rumors regarding his family? Who more believably could have been considered a "maverick?" If that man were running today, it would be a tougher choice. Now, he will say whatever works for the moment at hand, ignoring reality, and insulting those who once had a sensible reason for supporting him.

The more McCain and his supporters insult Obama, the more my decision to support him is solidified. When they attack him, my opinion of him is not dented, but my opinion of his detractors take a huge dive.

In Barack Obama, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln, a president who saw an America that needed to change in order to survive. The America of today is one that can be so much more, and with Obama's stewardship, I have confidence that we will get closer to that America and our children will be better for it.

In closing, I offer you this item I pulled from the Lincoln Home site. It shows a victory in a time of war even greater than what happened between Lee and Grant in that tiny Appomattox courthouse, and it serves as a metaphor for what I hope occurs November 5th.

Lincoln's Legacy
After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on
April 14, 1865, many Americans wondered whether Lincoln had realized that his nation would survive the war, would continue, and would become one both in name and in spirit. There was a sign in April of that year, and it occurred just two days before his passing. On April 9, 1865, at the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, General Ulysses S. Grant insisted that all of the Confederate soldiers would have to surrender their weapons before they could go home. So on April 12, just two days before the assassination, the Army of Northern Virginia, for the very last time, marched in formation, toward the place where they would have to relinquish their rifles. Before they reached that place, they had to pass in between rows and rows of Union soldiers. And when they approached the men in blue, a quiet order was given, and those Union soldiers saluted. These very same men, who had been firing upon each other just five days before, turned around and gave each other full military honors. For at least these two armies, the war ended, not with shame on one side and exultation on the other, but it ended, as Abraham Lincoln wanted it to end, "with malice toward none, and with
charity for all."
(Or, if that was too "elitist" and highbrow for ya, how about the infamous words of Rodney King--"Can't we all just get along?")

Friday, October 24, 2008

Good Reason to STAY HOME!

Australia would be an intriguing place to visit, yes?

Not if you are scared of things that could kill you, like the numerous species of world's deadliest everything they have down there!

Still, you could look past all of that, right? I mean, look at the scenery, the history, the people, the accents, the exchange rate!

Yeah, but, you really can't swim because of those tiny little jellyfish the size of peanuts that can KILL YOU! And you can't really go for a hike because of the deadly snakes. How about a fishing trip upriver? Only if you want to get eaten by giant crocs! CRIKEY!!

So what's left? If the wildlife doesn't get you, the sunshine and desert will. Why not just stay in town and sit in the shade?

Evidently that's not even safe. Just read this article about the giant spider who ate a bird!

That's enough to make me hide from it here in the States! I have this rather irrational (according to some in my family) fear of spiders. If that Australian nightmare showed up at my house, I would have to move. And anything in the vicinity of it would be left behind.

I've entertained the neighbors more than once with my spider dance whenever I've unknowingly walked into a web. If a spider comes anywhere near me, I will not rest until it is D-E-A-D dead. I once woke up in the middle of the night with a spider crawling on me. It wasn't really much bigger than a fly, but once I had smashed it to smithereens, I found I couldn't sleep in my bed for a week! And don't even talk to me about watching Arachnophobia. There's no way. That movie is scarier to me than anything out there. And yes, I have seen it. At least until one of the knuckleheads I was watching it with decided to tickle my arm and scare the bejesus out of me.

Just the thought of things... crawling... on.. me! Aaaaauuuuugggghhhhh!!!!!!! Just typing this post is enough to make me need to break out my Xanax stash. *think happy thoughts* *think happy thoughts*

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Thoughts

For the most part, I keep my thoughts on the political race to myself, much like my thoughts on religion. I can count on a lumberjack's hand the number of people I discuss both topics with.

I refuse to be part of the crowd who forwards emails willy-nilly proclaiming a candidate is this or that. For the record, I'm voting for Obama. I don't care for McCain's politics, but I do respect his service to this nation. I don't forward any emails regarding him because I don't feel there's a need. His actions speak for themselves. And his messages of hate and negativity that I have seen lately are starting to make me lose what little respect I do have for him. Don't try to argue that it is others in his campaign (Palin) who are saying these things. When McCain sits silent, he is approving their message. It is his campaign, after all. What comes from it comes from him. Do you really want a president who won because he called his opponent a terrorist and sat idly by while supporters called for his death? What kind of country is this?? How can any one of you turn a deaf ear while such an injustice is perpetrated?!?! How Un-American!

So why must people send me these lies about Obama? He's a Muslim!!! No. He's friends with terrorists!! Again, no. Socialism! Nope. Hates America!! No. You're doing nothing more than grasping at straws.

I hate to pull the race card on you people, but the reason you keep looking for things about him and forwarding emails that only perpetuate lies is because you're too scared to come out and say that you don't want to vote for him because he's black. I dare you to refute my claim. You don't "trust" him? Tell me why. And don't you dare try to use any of the excuses I've already covered in the paragraph above.

I've been called a sheep because of my views. What?!?! A sheep only follows the one in front of it without looking up to see where they're going. They're told where to go, what to do, when to do it.

I have looked at both candidates and their platforms and made an educated decision. Do I agree with everything that Obama has laid out? No. There are some things we have a pretty big difference of opinion about. But I still agree with him more often and have more confidence in him as a leader than I do John McCain.

If I am a sheep, then I am a black one. Able to think for myself and go my own way. If you are voting for McCain, that's cool. It's your choice and the Constitution allows you to have it. But there are better ways to try to get me on your side than sending me hideous lies. Try facts over fiction. Grandma always said you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. If your candidate cannot win on facts, then he does not deserve to preside over this nation.

One last bit before I go--Bill Clinton presided for eight years over a nation that saw its biggest economic growth in modern times. Under George W. Bush, we have lost more than we can count--jobs, lives, freedom, respect. The current problems of this nation cannot be laid solely at the foot of 9/11. The stewardship since that date is what has led us here. Do you want change, or more of the same?

Monday, October 20, 2008


Up-to-the-minute blogging from the house....

Just a few minutes ago I was sitting on the sofa with my laptop updating my Netflix queue when I heard a ruckus outside the back door. Tommy went from a dead sleep to slinking toward the cat door to check it out. Thinking it was Sam "protecting" the homestead from a neighborhood cat, I got up and flipped on the porch light, opened the door, and stepped outside.

"Sammy," I called. "Where are you puddin' head?"

I was looking down at the bottom of the fence next to the wall of the house where part of the board is broken expecting to see my short-haired brown tabby pop through. Instead, I find myself with a beady-eyed little gray opposum dashing past my feet. Eeekkkk!!! I saw it disappear across the patio and into the yard.

I barely got my feet back on the ground when a second one popped through! Oh My God!! It turned and darted back through the hole in the fence in about the same nano-second it took me to leap back into the house and slam the door behind me. My heart took a minute or two to stop pounding from that hirsute surprise.

I'll give you all a minute to chortle at my cowardice...

All right, I know they're not dangerous, but come on! They're disgusting little disease-carrying marsupials. I don't really want to be hanging out with opposums and I certainly don't want them around my cats! And what's with that whole playing dead thing they're supposed to do when faced with danger?? These two acted like they had rocket boots on!

Now I'm trying to decide about the cat door. Do I really want those creatures roaming around my house at night? Wait. Maybe that's why the cat food is disappearing so quickly. Eeww!

Great. Now I'm going to be terrified of stumbling over one of them in the middle of the night. I'd rather have the squirrels back in the attic. Guess I need to find someone to come trap them.

Ah, home ownership!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bird Brains

Someone asked me about the bird next door since I commented on it the other day.

I don't know exactly what type of bird it is, but since it talks, I just went with myna. I haven't stuck my head over the back fence to get a good look at it. And I don't like people enough to actually make friends with the neighbors. I like peace. And silence. Something I don't get much of thanks to the furballs, but I'm used to them--and they nap for about 22 hours a day anyway.

All I really know about the bird is what I hear. When I get home from work I hear it out in its backyard, usually screaming like a little kid. The first time I heard that, I wondered if I should investigate and/or call the cops on a child abuser. It didn't take me long to realize it was a bird. Most of the time it only screams like that when the other neighbor's dog is barking uncontrollably at it.

Then there's what is quickly becoming my most hated word: "Mama!" I don't know how you mothers handle the repeated use of that word. But from what I've seen in the grocery store, that word, once repeated 30 times in a row, is usually answered with an irate "WHAT??!" shouted loudly enough to be heard from across the store. Now imagine it coming from a bird and no one responding to it....

During the summer I only heard it during the short stretches I was outside moving the sprinkler around the backyard trying to save my crabgrass and a few blades of fescue from the ravages of dehydration. But about three weeks ago the temperatures took a dip and I can now keep the windows open during the day, which has led to a more intense exposure to the bird. I now hear hours worth of wolf whistles (was it raised at a construction site?), all kinds of birdie cawing sounds, the inevitable refrains of "Mama!" and--as of last weekend--the bungled choruses of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

It could be worse, I guess--it could talk like a sailor. Which would probably make the parents of the homeschooled kids down the street raise enough ruckus to get it removed. Hmmm, maybe I should give the bird a few English lessons. Starting with George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words.... Hmmmm.... *taps chin thoughtfully*

**UPDATE 10/20** The bird learned a new word--"Bye!" which was repeated unto eternity this weekend. Too bad it never left.

Dirty Car Art

No, they're not dirty pictures, just pictures drawn in the dirt! On a car!

At last, someone figured out something else to do other than scribble "wash me, please" on the back window of a dirty car.

Scott Wade is a fellow Texan who has taken dirt to a new art form. Check out his site Scott Wade's Dirt Car Art. He has taken classic paintings like the Mona Lisa, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and the ever popular Dogs Playing Poker and rendered them in dirt.

I grew up on a dirt road and am used to cars covered in multiple layers of grime. Too bad none of us ever came up with this idea (of course it would have helped to have artistic ability!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things that Piss Me Off

The list could go on forever, but here's some of the top ones:

1. People who still believe emails saying Obama's a Muslim and other such nonsense. These same people won't look you in the eye when questioned why they don't "trust" him, either.

2. People who think Sarah Palin would be good for this country. You people scare the hell out of me. Quit breeding with your cousins and learn how to read a damned newspaper.

3. Conference calls.

4. People involved in the aforementioned conference calls who continually ignore my contribution to and knowledge of the project we are forced to work "together" on.

5. Insurance companies.

6. HR departments who don't immediately question why a pay increase for an employee winds up in their hands instead of the correct finance sector. (Almost two months and I finally get my raise--only because I asked why it hadn't shown up!)

7. Prince Charming. Who the hell does he think he is, anyway?

8. The myna bird next door. Hey bird, if you're going to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" all day long, could you at least learn the words????

Friday, October 10, 2008

Click Every Day to Help!

As most of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Or as my friends and I refer to it--Save the TaTas!

There are many ways to help out, by purchasing pink items at Target, Race for the Cure, and most of all, making sure you check yourselves. I found a lump last year that turned out to be nothing, but it's best to be cautious rather than ignore something potentially life-threatening!

Or just click on the link below every day:
The Breast Cancer Site

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm Bored. Can't You Tell?

Got this chain questionnaire thing from my uncle. I'm just bored enough to share my answers with everyone.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No. And would someone PLEASE remove this bedeviled ovary????
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Does a bear poop in the woods?
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes. But has anyone seen my thyroid?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Don't really feel like going splat.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I manage to get out of bed every morning, so I guess so.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate Almond Marshmallow.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Narcissists don't have least favorite things about themselves. But we're not talking about McCain, so I have to go with my thighs.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My cat Nicky (he lives w/ my grandad)
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Whomever wishes to respond in the comments, feel free to do so.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwich.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sound of an adding machine.
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Fresh-baked bread, and cookies.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yeah, he's my favorite uncle, despite his political leanings.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Cat wrestling.
27. HAIR COLOR? L'Oreal Medium Ash Blonde.
28. EYE COLOR? Green
30. FAVORITE FOOD? To paraphrase my great-aunt Thelma--anything that doesn't eat me first, as long as it doesn't have tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, or dog hair on it.
31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Run, Fatboy, Run.
32. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Navy blue, with a coating of cat hair.
34. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who's offering.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything chocolate.
36. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Becci, since she's my only loyal reader.
37. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everyone else.
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Last Patriot by Brad Thor, The Automatic Diet, and a Farscape novel.
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't use one.
40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? New Adventures of Old Christine.
41. FAVORITE SOUND? Turtle's purr.
45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? I wasn't born. I rode up on my bicycle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Get Me a Cane to Shake at These Punks!

My friend Becci and I seem to have a knack for adopting the young guys at the bowling alley. There's several of them that we have to check in with every week and we cheer for them when they're playing other teams and harass the snot out of them when they're playing us. Most of them are away from home attending college and evidently we're the only motherly figures they can find. Or more like den-motherly. I find it very strange to be big with the 20-somethings.

Becci is more "with it" than I am, I guess, despite having two grown daughters. Last night, one of our guys comes in with a mohawk. I'm not talking faux hawk--it's dead-on sides-of-head-shaved mohawk. Evidently he lost a bet with his drinking buddies. Becci raved about it, and I do think he actually looks really cool with it, but the first thing that came to my mind was "does your mother know about this??"

Once I got past the shock of thinking like an adult (I guess I don't just look like my mother these days--I think like her too!), I was able to tell him that I thought it was pretty cool. And his ego was boosted by the fact that he got phone numbers from three girls during a trip to the grocery store. So we then had to tease him about those girls just thinking he was a bad boy, but we know better. This is our sweet little J-Rod we're talking about here. (He reminds me of Cody Lindley from Hannah Montana--except now with a mohawk.)

And an update on the problem I discussed yesterday: I made it through bowling, but there was a moment where it hurt so bad I almost wet my pants. Then I went home and crawled freezing into bed. I got up and put an extra blanket on the bed and put on my bathrobe and fuzzy socks. I finally got warm, but my temp was only 97 degrees. Weird. And did you know there's really no answer on the internet as to why body temps drop without being hypothermic? Google and Wikipedia have failed me.