Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This, That and the Other...

Yesterday I lost a weakling.

Yep, an entire weakling.

When I stepped on the scale, I weighed 98 pounds less than I did on October 31.

By tomorrow, December 31, I may hit 100, and I'm kind of freaking out.

I know you guys are probably tired of reading about this, and hopefully within the next couple of weeks I'll get beyond it.

But for the first time in about 12 years, I actually weigh less than what is stated on my driver's license (I get to keep renewing it by mail since there isn't any licensing office within 40 miles).

Here's a pic of the feet, and my "sharpei" slippers.

I went to see the doc today. My EKG is good, my blood pressure is normal, my heartbeat is in the targeted range, and my oxygen level is great. Oh, and my cholesterol level is fabulous, which left us all scratching our heads.

I confessed that I haven't been able to stay on the oxygen 14 hours a day, because I got stuff to do and I can't carry the nose-hose out of the house, or downstairs, etc. Doc said that's ok, he's cut me down to using it when I'm sleeping or out of breath. His office is almost 10,000 feet above sea level, and when I saw him, I hadn't been on the hose for about 10 hours. If I could have the oxy level that I was at, it means I'm absorbing what I've been sticking in there. Yippee!

And for anyone who is worried---apparently it's not unusual or particularly dangerous in cases of severe edema to lose around 2 pounds a day when monitored and with diuretics. I've had blood tests every other week, and my dance card has been full between family doc and cardiologist.

Which brings me to this....

When we moved up here about 12 years ago, I wanted to lose about 30 pounds. I've gone up from that, obviously. And in the few months between last July and October----way way up.

Now that I weigh less from simple water weight loss, Doc and I are wondering if it all started when we moved up here (oxygen deprivation from altitude) and if it crept up under the radar. You know, like retaining 5 pounds of fluid every year or so, when I thought it was fat. I still have a little water left, and I still want to lose that extra 30 final pounds.

Anyway, now that I've been mostly clear-headed for the last couple of months, I just don't feel funny or even particularly creative. Maybe it's because I had the bejesus scared out of me.

Or possibly it's because all the funny, creative stuff was invented by an oxygen-deprived brain. I've been worried about that. How sad would that be?

I think maybe it's because for the last 2 months, between being scared and trying to deal with it and trying to comfort all my guys, I found out that as prepared as I thought I was about dying as far as administrative stuff goes, I really wasn't.

I hadn't updated my will in years. Both kids are now legally adults. So I had to do that.

I went through a bunch of personal papers I had saved since I was a teen---old love letters, notes from friends, assignments, etc---things that wouldn't be understood or appreciated by anyone else but me. I put them in their own separate tub with a big "burn me" sign on front. There's nothing in there that's going to hurt anyone's feelings---it's all ancient history. But it will be there for me if I ever want to look at it, and disposed of if the worst happens.

I wanted to make sure that there would be current medical information to more than one person out there for my guys in case they needed to access it.

As an adoptee, I had absolutely no medical history until I found my birthmother at the age of 35. Those of you who know me intimately know how much I could have used her information before I decided to start a family. When I first found her through a court order directed to the adoption agency, she was under the impression from old school friends that my birthfather had died of a heart attack while in his 40's.

I searched for his surviving family, and actually found him alive through his military records. I spoke to him once on the phone, and yes, I know it WAS him (not going to tell you why or how I found out specifically), but he didn't want to acknowledge our relationship, so I got no medical information. I didn't want to intrude on his life or hound him, so I never called him again. We did have a nice conversation--he was a nice man--and he was very interested in how my birthmother was.

I felt that I needed to talk to my ex-husband about Little Guy's future if something were to happen to me. As most of you know, this last summer, I went for and was granted legal guardianship for him.

I called ex and laid it on the line for him.

"This is what's going on. This is what I'm worried about. I'm going to send you a file of my med records in case something happens to me for the guys so they have as accurate a history as possible."

He said, "What will happen to Little Guy if you die?"

I said, "I don't know. You're his father, and I haven't made provisions for that yet."

He said, "But xxxx (my hubby) has been his Dad. What do you want to happen?"

Me: "Little Guy loves you too. You're his dad too. He has a life, and a girlfriend, and a community support system here, and I don't know what to do. I'm afraid of YOUR dad. "

I've talked about my ex-FIL and what a controlling SOB he is. I'm afraid that if I tried to "leave" Little Guy with Hubby, ex-FIL would fight to get custody, because unlike the rest of my personal family (my adoption), he is actually a blood relative. Courts are wonky sometimes.

Ex: "If you want to go ahead and make Hubby legal co-guardian, I won't fight it. We can work out visitation with me and other stuff if the worst happens. Little Guy will always have a home here, but I know that his life is there."

How very kind he was.

On the 9th of January I'm going in for some tests to see if I need to have a defibrillator stuck in my chest. I'm sure I'll write stuff before then, but send good thoughts, would you?



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and Now for Something Completely Different


You don't see this every day. I'm handing over my crown.

Hope you all have a very merry holiday tomorrow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who DID You Sleep With to Get This Job?

I've been asking this every day for the last week.

A month or two ago I complained about the talentless hacks who produce the headlines for what passes for "news" on AOL's Welcome screen. Specifically the ones designed to draw readers into clicking on the link, but turn out to have very little to do with the actual article.

This week I noticed that the company thesaurus seems to be broken. I read three headlines in two days, all of which had the word "icon" in the title.

Being sufficiently annoyed at the sloppiness and overuse of the word, and of course, being me---I decided to keep track.

In addition to the original 3 headlines (which I didn't think to jot down), these popped up in the next 6 days:

Storm Dumps Snow in Las Vegas
Photo Shows Iconic Sign Covered in it

Iconic Childhood Game Turns 60

Iconic Store Shutting All 815 Doors

Music Icon's Home Open to the Public

We've Lost a 'Notorious' Legend
But Iconic Pinup's Pictures Live On

Pop Icon Snapped in Bizzare Mask

Iconic SUV Company Up For Sale

Music Icon Hiding Secret Pop Star Sister

Iconic Brand Files for Bankruptcy

Geez Louise. Even if there were 5 separate unimaginative writers who produced this dreck, you'd think an editor worth his or her salt would have caught it.

Makes me think of those old SNL Weekend Update skits where Dan Ackroyd turns to Jane Curtain and says, "Jane, you ignorant slut."

Who DID you sleep with to get this job?


In other news, I passed my fall semester with A's. I'm amazed, because I got a little behind when I was at my sickest, but was able to catch up at the end.

My legs are almost 100% back to normal. Except for the excess skin. Kind of looks like I'm wearing nylon knee-hi's that are sagging around the ankles. The soles of my feet even have flappy skin. Eww.

Oh, and I lost 85 pounds of water. That's right. 85 pounds.

I peed out an entire person in 7 weeks.

Of course, it's a Calista "eat a cheeseburger" Flockhart-sized person, but still....I weigh less than I have in at least 5 years (dropped 4 sizes).

I had to go digging in the basement to find some old moderate fat clothes because all my pants are falling down. I'd like to lose some more, so I don't want to go spend $$ getting new stuff just yet. But I have to get shoes. My shoes are falling off too.

Went to see my cardiologist and things are looking good. My blood pressure is normal, my EKG looked good. My pulse-rate is still a little high, but has been coming down with the meds. The side effects were bothersome at first, but once I adjusted to them, I have to say that I feel really really good.
(Cripes. I just noticed I used the word "good" 3 times in that last paragraph. How iconic---er ironic.)

Unfortunately, I'll probably have to take most of these for the rest of my life, and stay on the oxygen indefinitely, but my energy level has gone way up, and I'm glad they caught it when they did. Still have a bunch more tests to do after the holidays, but I'm just going to wait until then to think about it.

So how was YOUR week?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Well, at least you know what NOT to get her for Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008

You're a Douche Bag!!

While I was down for the count in the last month, it seems like the universe held a parental douche baggery convention. And I missed it.

Can't quite fit back into the killer bunny slippers to kick some heinie yet, but that's ok. My left foot looks like it's wearing a shar-pei. Even the sole of my foot has loose folds of stretched-out skin which is really really freaky. Who needs a scary slipper when the real thing is hideous on its own?

Anyhoo, thought I'd introduce a few douche bags to the hall of shame since it's been awhile...

Your daughter and her friend take nekkid pictures of themselves with their cellphones over the summer. They send a photo to one of the girls' boyfriend. A photo "accidently" gets sent to the cell phones of the entire football team (whether via the boyfriend or one of the girls' phones wasn't made clear).

Someone anonymously sends a copy of the picture to school officials, who suspend your daughters from the cheerleading squad because their actions violate the code of ethics.

So you sue the school for damages (amongst them is negligent infliction of emotional distress and outrage), because it's "obviously" their fault that your daughters are Suzi Slutpanties who can't control themselves.

You're a Douche Bag!


Your child is at an age where he wants everything he sees on TV. Kick-Me-In-The-Head Elmo. Brite-Lite Barney with the Kung-fu Grip. Now that the holidays are approaching, toy manufacturers are stepping up the promotions during their biggest season of the year and your kid's Santa wish list is getting bigger, longer and backbreakingly expensive.

Do you:

1). Limit Bratleigh's TV time so that Power Rangers with thermonuclear lunch boxes aren't constantly dancing in his head? Make him read a book instead? Go outside and play in the yard? Bake cookies or do some other kind of activity together?

or do you:

2). Use this as an opportunity for teaching life lessons? Such as, "life is full of disappointments, and we don't always get everything we want. How about looking at the list and picking out the one or two presents you want the most (if it's a young child) or rating each item as to wantability (if it's an older child)."

Life isn't going to hand them everything just because they want it. Better they learn that early at home so they can be prepared for the real world as adults.

Unless of course you really want your kid living in your basement when he's 30.

or do you:

3). Band together with 1400 other wussyboots and contact toy companies to ask them to stop advertising so aggressively during the holidays because you're unable to tell your cupcake "no" or keep the little dictator away from the TV.

If you picked number 3, then You're a Douche Bag!!


It's a rainy day. You're dropping your kids off at school and the only available parking space in the loading zone is the one reserved for the disabled. And you're in a hurry, dammit.

Who's going to notice? You'll just take a minute to walk your cupcakes inside the building.

When you come out another father is waiting to talk to you. He is the parent of two children, both who have MS. He's waiting to use the disabled spot and asks you not to use the reserved space in the future because they are needed for families who have children who have physical disabilities.

Instead of apologizing and high-tailing your soccer-dadding-mini-van-driving butt out of there, you decide to give him a good talking to. "Just because you have a hard life doesn't mean the world owes you everything."


And a 5-star Douche Bag!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Checking In...

I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. Yet. ;-)

Finals are this week and I have just a few days left of school.

As soon as they are over, I'll have a whole month to come and dish.

Thank you all for all your kind and loving wishes.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3


I'm starting to feel like I'm in an episode of House, M.D. where the team of doctors come up with several diagnoses and then finally come up with the right one just in time to keep their patient from croaking. This week I've been pushed on, poked, prodded, stuck, electroded, ultrasounded, echoed and wanded in just about every nook and cranny excluding my ear canals and my butt crack. The results are in, and I met with my doc yesterday to go over some of them.

First of all, I've lost 50 pounds in three weeks.

No sh*t.

I'm not sure that all of it was water, because I haven't been eating very much this past month, but whatever it is, it just emphasized how much water I have left to lose. My arms and hands look kind of twiggy, and my wedding ring slid off when I was doing the dishes the other day.

Then when I jumped out of bed the other morning, my jammie pants fell off. My heinie kind of disappeared, and my hips have shrunk.

But like I said, it just emphasizes where the water is. My belly is so big, it looks like I'm going to squeeze out a litter in the near future. It's full of water and gas. Yikes.

My left leg is almost completely normal. My right leg is still full of water. All in all, the doc thinks there may be another 15-20 lbs hanging out in there.

As for the test results:

The right side of my heart is performing normally. No sign of damage from blood clots. My kidneys, liver, spleen, etc are all functioning normally. No blood clots in my legs either.

And no gallstones. The tech kept poking and pushing with the wand and asking, "does this hurt?" After about the 4th time, my gallbladder started getting grumpy and I said, "well yeah, it's starting to hurt NOW".

The results from my echocardiogram were not as positive, but could have been worse. I DO have to say that I was apprehensive about the test itself----you know, having your breasts handled and flopping around unfettered is not a thrilling experience. But there was this cool little boob tray cut into the bed that my left one could fall into, and all I had to do with my right one was toss it over my shoulder like Zsa Zsa's fox stole (did I mention that with all the water loss I have two oddly shaped sacks of skin attached to my chest? I could wrap them around my neck like a scarf if it gets too cold out!).

Anyhoo, there are some electrical issues that may be a cause of concern and I'm seeing a specialist on Monday. The current thinking is that I might have had a small heart attack a couple of years ago when I first started getting symptoms that nobody picked up on. The left side of my heart is not performing optimally and will need a further look-see.

My heart is beating too fast, possibly because of the thick blood (from long-term oxygen deprivations or other reasons), even in a resting state. It is much lower than it was 3 weeks ago though. Doc has put me on some additional medication to try to slow it down a bit and to thin my blood. We'll see what the cardiologist has to say about everything.

I complained to the doctor about all the excess skin I suddenly have (it was all pulled tight like a sausage a few weeks ago, now it's really slack). I know it will take time to bounce back into shape, but I wanted to know what I could put on it because it's really itchy. The doc said I'd probably look like a California raisin when the water's all gone, but that we'd worry about that later.

Overall, the doc said my oxygen levels are great, and that all the test results came back much better than what he expected. He said he was a little freaked out when I came in three weeks ago, because I was practically blue. How could we have not noticed it? Was it that gradual?

So like I said, it could have been worse. I could have been this woman. Ack!!!!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back Away from the Remote!

Another reason to make the kids put down the game controller/remote and pick up a book.

“My brother and I took a fairy across to Martha’s Vineyard.”

Oh dear.

I have to add that when I started back to college I took an advanced English class. One of our assignments was to critique each other's writings and offer suggestions to make them better. The professor instructed, "don't offer criticism on spelling or grammar, but on ideas."

I couldn't do it. Some of the writing was so poorly done that I couldn't tell if there was an idea in there or not. How in the hell did some of these people get into an advanced class without even knowing the basics (like how to use spell check)? ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2008


Got some of my test results back. Here is the short version. ;-)

My thyroid is normal. No diabetes. Kidneys and liver working as meant to. Unfortunately, for some or a multitude of reasons, my oxygen intake has been low for quite some time. How long? Nobody knows, but some of my symptoms started about 2 years ago.

According to these tests, my blood is really thick, whatever that means.

I have a bunch of tiny little blood clots in my lungs. Have some more tests to do, but the docs think they originated in my leg, and that I still have more (hence the original swelling).

I've lost 30 lbs of water--YES 30!!--in 14 days and that leg is still all swelled up. Estimated that I'm prolly carrying another 20 lbs or so of excess fluid.

Anyhoo, the clots passed through the right side of my heart and stuck in my lungs. Which of course, exacerbated the breathing problems, which exacerbated the lack of circulation, which made my body swell up like a balloon and made my heart work harder.

The good news? My heart apparently was able to handle it. Doesn't look like it's in failure. I'm going to have more extensive tests done next week to see if there was any damage. Also going to have a venous doppler done on both legs to see if there are any more clots. And I'm going to have some eyeballing done to my gallbladder, because the tests came back and said I had some issues there that are completely separate from everything else.

But going to take care of the heart/lung issues first. Got some new meds to try. I'll probably have to stay on oxygen for awhile. Hopefully that will correct things until we can find out why it's happening.

Thanks again for all your good wishes. Other than a cold I picked up last weekend (which has really kicked my butt), I've been feeling a lot and I mean a LOT better.


P.S. Took a couple of grody pictures this morning to show what I mean. On the left is my left leg which is almost (but not quite) back to human-size. On the right is a much diminished, but still humongous appendage. ack

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Happy to say it's been restful these past few days. I had to get some insurance crap straightened out, so my tests are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Wish me luck!

On the plus side, I lost 16 pounds of water in the first week. It's mind-boggling.

That's about 2 gallon-sized jugs of water.

Or the pair of Beth Chapman's jugs (I swear that woman must have a spine of steel to be able to stand erect).

My left leg actually looks like a human leg again. My right still has that tree trunky thing going. And my energy level has gone way way up.

I can't tell if it's because of the water loss or the oxygen or a combination of both.

Thanks so much for all your kind comments and wishes! Can't tell you how much it's appreciated!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Heart to Heart

Sorry I've been away this week without a word. I've had a little bit of a shock, and had a few things to take care of.

The back/hip issue? Not really a back/hip issue. Apparently it's probably a heart issue.

The swelling I had in one leg spread to the other. The sheer exhaustion I've been feeling isn't from being over-stressed and unable to sleep, exactly. It's been from lack of oxygen. And who knows how long THAT'S been going on up here at 9000 feet above sea level.

Glad to say that I'm feeling a helluva lot better after a weekend on an oxygen machine and heavy-duty diuretics. I'm clear-headed, energized and pissing like a racehorse. Don't much like the hose in my nose, but it's better than the alternative.

I've already had one test, and I haven't had a heart attack or anything. I'm having more tests later this week to get a better idea of what is going on.

I'll try to pop in and comment, but hope you understand if I don't. It's going to be a wacky week.



P.S. It could have been worse. I could have been hanging curtains in my kitchen while nekkid, fallen backwards onto a pile of potatoes that were on my kitchen table and ended up in the emergency room with a tater stuck up my tooter. Really.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I used Hubby's bathroom the other day and noticed a new revolting development.

When the kids were younger, we had a small TV/VCR we installed in the back of the SUV for long road trips. Now it is gracing a prime viewing spot in front of his toilet, complete with remote control.

WTF is up with that? I can't decide if he doesn't want to miss a chance of dumping an actual doody every time he views Keith Olbermann or a shrieking Chris Matthews, or is afraid to miss a play on any of the bazillion football games that are shown on Saturday, Sunday and of course, Monday night.

I'm kind of afraid to ask. But I will if I find a stash of beer and chips in there.

Dilemma of the day:

You're in the bathtub. No kids or dogs or husband yapping away demanding your attention.

It's just you, your favorite bath oil, a fabulous book, a glass of wine, and an hour to enjoy yourself.

Just as you get in and get comfortable, you pull an Attila and sneeze. Chunks and snot all over your hand and arm.

Your towel is too far to reach. Toilet paper is across the bathroom. The outside hand you need to hoist yourself out of the tub with is the one that was violated, and you have to get the crap off so you don't slip and break a rib or 4. Calling the kid in to help would make him go blind.

Choices that come to mind?

1) Wipe it off on the shower curtain.
2) Stick your arm in the water and splash it around and then try to avoid that slimy jellyfish looking thing while you're busy trying to get the hell out of the tub.
3) Call your dog and hope that she's like Lassie and will bring you a scrap of toilet paper. Since she's in the habit of pulling paper out of the trash and chewing it into bits and all. When she doesn't, call her in a baby voice, entice her over and wipe it in her fur. Then enjoy your bath and wash her when you get out.
4) Scrape it off on the side of the tub and clean it up later. Keep eyeballing it to make sure it doesn't slide down and get you.
5) Wipe it off on the top of your head and then get up and wash it out in the shower when you're done relaxing.

feh. What would you do?

How come it seems like the only people who say "it's all about the money with you" are the people who owe you money? Since I've been taking Contract Law this semester, I've been paying a lot of attention when watching the court shows and in my own personal sphere as well.

Why is it that when you go out with some friends or family members (I'm being general here so the guilty can't complain that I'm targeting them while they know that I'm targeting them) and it's time to pony up shares on the bill, one invariably comes up short and nonchalantly shrugs it off with, "well, it's only 16 bucks."

Then they get offended if you point out that since it's "ONLY 16 bucks", then they won't have any problem coming up with it.

Wait. You mean it's "only 16 bucks" if it's MY 16 bucks? But if it's YOUR 16 bucks you won't be able to pay your rent/feed your kids/heat your home that month? Your world will completely collapse into financial disaster?

I certainly didn't break your arm and make you order the appetizer, t-bone and dessert. Oh, and two cocktails.

Don't invite me out and then expect it to be my treat. Only my children get to do that.

Bite me.


If you eat a handful of dried Wasabi peas as a snack, it's a really bad idea to use that hand to wipe your eyes when they start to water. Trust me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Fugly

The Good:

Ok, I couldn't resist. This is very cute. I spent far too much time on it. Turn up your sound and click on things in the room. Maverick!!

The Bad:

Well it could have been worse. West Virginia police arrested a man for DUI. While being fingerprinted, the suspect sidled over and farted on the officer.

He was charged with Battery.

The investigating officer remarked in the criminal complaint that the odor was very strong and "put a hurtin' on my nose".

Later, the assistant prosecutor dropped the charge.

Thank heavens for that! I've been kind of afraid to leave the house lately since I too carry a capricious weapon of mass destruction in my pants.

Although I would never actually go up to someone and spot weld them on purpose.

Unless we were married.

The Fugly:

I didn't actually mean to have 2 Sarah Palin articles mentioned, but the nuttiness was just too good to pass up.

I don't know which is scarier---That a bar owner decided he had to paint a nude picture of Sarah Palin to grace his wall...

Or that he used his own daughter as his nekkid model.

My eyes! My eyes! And an icepick to the brain. Please!!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Little Guy has been taking some self-empowerment and self-advocacy courses this semester down at the Independent Living Center. He hasn't talked much about it, except that he enjoys taking the shuttle down into the city and packing his own lunch.

Yesterday afternoon, before Hubby got home, he was helping me crawl on the floor looking for 3 missing pills (so the dogs wouldn't find and eat them).

Big Kid had been over earlier (sporting a new dyed-red mohawk and eyebrow piercing courtesy of a jobless dope-smoking bum who sponges off his folks and lives in the same apartment complex, but that's another story) and had hurled his pill box into the wall sending about 100 of them flying across the room. After we got them picked up and the box reassembled, we counted 3 pills missing.

Anyway we spent about 10 minutes in a fruitless search, and Little Guy blurted out, "Mom, do you still love me even if I have autism?"

Whoa. That's a new one. Where in the world did this come from? And how do I react without overreacting?

I assured him that I would always love him just the way he is.

"Even if I talk funny and have a hard time getting words out?"

(P.S. From a query I got in email, saying that it sounds like from my response to Little Guy that I thought autism was a bad or defective thing, I thought I'd elaborate a little on the conversation. I responded with, "Well I have freckles, I'm tall and I have a big butt. Do you still love me?" He said he did and by the way he loves my messy hair and did I know that I have a pimple, and I said that he will always be my baby boy and I love every single inch of him forever and always even when he forgets to clean out his ears. Yes, we are demented that way. I wanted him to see that having autism was one of many differences people have and didn't enter into the equation with more value than anything else)

This is a pretty big developmental step for him. He's never seemed to notice the differences between himself and others (or wasn't able to articulate it), and always seemed to be confident in our unconditional love for him.

So we spent a little face time talking about how everyone is different, and everyone is uniquely beautiful and made cupcakes and ate chocolate frosting out of the jar.

Nothing like frosting out of the jar.

I just wanted to take a moment to let all of YOU know that YOU'RE beautiful too.

Found this incredible production through Dave Hingsburger and Ashley's Mom.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just for Just Bob

Just Bob made a comment about the fall foliage in my comments section, so I thought I'd share a couple of photos I took of the aspen last week off the back deck.

Happy Fall!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sometimes You Just Gotta Say....

An 8th-grade girl took nekkid pictures of herself and sent them to multiple boys in her school via cellphone.

One 13-year-old boy has been arrested and suspended from school on child pornography charges for having her pictures in his phone. The police and school officials aren't commenting on whether or not charges will be filed against the other recipients.

Of course, not a damn thing on whether or not the sender will be charged for transmitting child porn. Our laws prolly haven't been caught up to speed on that.

Call me an old fogey, but I can only think of very few things a kid that age needs a cell-phone for.

1) When I need to find you.
2) When you need to find me.
3) If there's trouble.

Texting? Lrn 2 wrte lttrs n use a stmp. Photos? Bite me. Get them a basic phone.

Waste money on the bells and whistles? There will be videos on Youtube of your genius sprogling either drowning the neighbor's poodle or burning his asshairs while he and his friends light their farts. Don't whine.

You asked for it.


Next on the list is this poor guy in the UK.

He has an allotment (which is kind of foreign to us in the U.S.) that he uses to grow vegetables. It's like a community garden, except that he leases a space to grow his own.

Anyhoo, Bill Malcolm has been targeted by thieves 3 times in the last 4 months. They've broken into his shed, stolen his tools and ransacked his garden.

So he put up a 3-foot barbed-wire fence to try to protect his work, and to deter those who are intent on mischief.

His district council has ordered him to remove the fence, lest would-be thieves or vandals "scratch themselves on it and sue".


Why would someone steal 15 newspaper vending machines? Why not just break into them? Those machines are huge. And what would be the return? If on a weekday they hold say---100 papers---at 50 cents a holler, how efficient is that? Then again, being a coupon shopper, if they all held Sunday papers at a buck a shot plus coupons, maybe it's more lucrative.

I don't think this thief thought it all the way through. He brought all the machines (looted them of quarters and papers) and left them in a motel room he rented with his own real name. Doh!

And WTF?

Thanks all for your kind and caring comments and emails. Still recovering, but had some serious issues that needed to be taken care of regarding Little Guy's transitional placement for the year. Had to pull out the killer bunny slippers again, scrape the rust off the Attila armor, open my rolodex (yes, that archaic old thing), and break my foot off in a couple of asses.

Didn't want to share anything about it here, simply because for the most part we've had a great experience in this school district with Little Guy and things didn't start going to hell in a handbasket until late last spring. We were hoping that things would shape up this fall, but it simply didn't happen on its own.

I've been in a major funk about it for the last few weeks along with the physical problems.

Glad to say that between Hubby (reasonably explaining that although the majority of the team that met for the Little Guy's IEP last spring no longer worked for the district and how we had agreed to adjourn it until this fall so that we could figure out what vocational training opportunities were available and what his schedule would look like) and I ("Do you think we made this adjournment up? Do you think we would agree to a year of lessons on how to do laundry, load the dishwasher and other crap he's been doing on his own for the last 5 years?" or "What does any of this have to do with training him for a vocation? Don't make me tear your head off and shit down your neck, because ninjas don't have nothing on me!") we got the job done.

Isn't that the longest sentence you've ever read? ;-)

Anyways, it's all good. We had our ducks in a row (Colorado Department of Education and the school superintendent on board) before the meeting, and it turns out it was just more of a miscommunication problem with the changing of staff then anything else.

It's a load off my mind.

Still, WTF?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Curious and Curiouser

Thanks everybody for all your kind wishes!

Hubby came home today safe and sound, and I'm on the mend.

I had a recurrence of my old lower back/right hip/down my right leg sciatic issue but with a new development.

My knee got some kind of inflammation and swelled up about 3 times its normal size, which made sitting down, getting up, tackling stairs, driving, showering, putting shoes on (not to mention pants) exercises in new kinds of futility.

Didn't have any real pain in my knee (or maybe I just didn't notice it next to the back/hip/leg thing), but couldn't bend it because of the swelling. Have no idea where that came from. My knee is fine now.

But it was curious and curiouser.

So I've been noticing things that are somewhat "curiouser".

Like last night's debate amongst the VP candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

Now don't take ANY of this as an endorsement of either side. Not going to get into any kind of argument. These are just observations. And we recorded the debate as soon as I started scratching my head, thinking, "WTF?" so I'm more than happy to go back and double-check.

When asked about their roles as VP, Sen. Biden said something like "Presidential Candidate Obama and I have talked about my role, and I'm going to "help" him govern. So I'll be sitting in on all the decision-making."

What in the hell WAS that? Since when does a VP "help" govern? I'm not even going to reference Dubya, simply because that mess will take years to figure out. But I don't seem to remember Al Gore taking credit (or blame) for any of Bill Clinton's decisions as President (although he DID invent the Internet). And Dan Quayle before him?

Great googly moogly. We didn't watch any of the ::koff:: "experts" who try to "interpret" what we just saw for ourselves for us (we changed the channel and watched Tabitha's Salon Takeover where Tabitha bitchslapped some stylist for pulling a client's head back so she could wipe her nose on the towel around said client's neck) , but I guess I'll find out in the morning if anybody else caught this.

Was it another (wink wink, nudge nudge) Biden "gaffe" where he is again endlessly self-promoting, or what's the scoop? Because in my opinion, it made it seem like he thought Sen. Obama wasn't fit to lead our country without having his hand held by Papa Joe.

As far as Gov. Palin went, Hubby and I kept laughing about how much she resembled Tina Fey from Saturday Night Live "doing" her. Which is weird. Sarah Palin spot on her mark as Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin. ;-)

Both instances are curious and curiouser.

Lastly, while I was down for the count, I WAS able to chat on the phone and caught up with a few friends. Had a conversation with one which left me scratching my head a bit on the curious scale.

Her hubby was having a shitfit over bread, and she was a bit annoyed herself. Over bread.

Now if you are the family shopper, you know that there are oodles of kinds of bread. But let's just talk about plain white sandwich bread.

On the low end of the scale, you get generic bread. It's really cheap, it works, but doesn't have a great mouth texture.

Next up is the store brand bread. It's a better quality than the generic, and usually costs around 30 to 50 cents more a loaf.

Then higher up you get the really "deluxe" textured stuff like WonderBread or Sara Lee, which generally costs about twice the store brand.

Last but not least, you get specialty loaves of "old fashioned" white bread made from the same company that produces potato bread, gourmet rye or pumpernickel, 5-grain, oat bread, etc which is even more.

We usually buy the store brand, which passes the mouth test in our family, or Sara Lee if it's on sale. In our opinion, the generic bread is crap and nobody likes it.

So anyway, my friend's hubby did the shopping one week with a list that friend sent him with. They have 3 teenagers who are busy and thankfully independent. Part of that glorious independence is that they make their own breakfasts and sack lunches for school.

Hubby came home from shopping with two loaves of white bread. One was the crappy generic brand, and the other was the high-end "old-fashioned". Note: He could have two loaves of the same kind of store brand bread for the same price. Both loaves went into the bread box.

Come the weekend, Hubby decides to make himself a sammich. All that is left in the bread box is the loaf of generic bread, which nobody has touched, because the 3 kids have used the other bread for their lunches during the week. And he goes ballistic, because he doesn't want to have "crappy bread" for his sammich. Weirdly enough, my friend is annoyed as well.

I don't get it.

How do you justify buying yourselves the most expensive brand of bread for your own personal use, and then buy the crappiest for your kids, especially when they're old enough to tell the difference? And how do you explain to them that they only rate having the crap bread?

Don't get me wrong. I don't see any problem whatsoever with parents treating themselves out to a night at the swankiest and most expensive restaurant in town while dropping the teens off at Pizza Hut.

But getting your ass in a twist over a loaf of white bread?

Curious and curiouser.

What do YOU think?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've been having some problems with my right hip and leg the last few days. Hubby is out of town until later in the week, he's got the laptop, and maneuvering up and down the stairs to my office has been an experience in torture.

Plus I have visions of me falling and laying at the foot of the stairs for hours until Little Guy gets home from school.

So I'm taking off for a few days.

I'm ok, just need to get this taken care of.

Hope you have a great week!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That's How They Roll...

Well the nephews are back down south safe and sound, and I have to say that it's been a really fun weekend. All three are in their early 30's (two are identical twins), and are avid outdoors and sportsmen. The first day was spent sightseeing and ended at Octoberfest. After a few beers (they like their beer!), the stories they told us just totally cracked me up.

And if they disagreed with each other, it had to be "settled". Right then. Right there.

As one of the nephews said to me in his deep southern accent while throwing his arm around my shoulder, "'Cause that's how we roll, Baby Girl"!

How would they "settle" it?

The first time, it was a putting contest into a coffee cup in my living room. 4 rounds. The second time was wrassling, which I insisted be taken outside, even though it had been raining. No freaking wrassling in my living room, thank you very much. So they wrassled out in the mud at 11pm. And then decided to swim about an hour later. Which, of course, being pretty freaking cold outside, totally sobered them up for another round of beer.

By that time, (I bailed at the wrassling part), I told Hubby---"you're on your own" and ran like hell.

Sunday was spent in Denver attending the Broncos/Saints game. Then they all came rolling in for another round of beer or 6. We ended up spending the wee hours watching South Park reruns and explaining the Coloradoisms that might not be obvious to the out-of-state viewer and laughing our asses off.

Anyhoo, Hubby got them on the plane early yesterday morning. He was back at home around 8am and FELL ASLEEP IN HIS CHAIR with a cup of coffee in his hand! Those boys just wore him out.

'Cause, that's how they roll. ;-)

I spent yesterday with Big Kid, going over his schoolwork that will be due soon, and took him to lunch. We went to Walmart to grab a shower curtain and a mop, as well as a couple of more things he had ran out of and hadn't budgeted for (milk, soda, etc). All in all, we had a really nice relaxing day together.

How's YOUR week looking?


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh No You Didn't!!

Hubby's three nephews from the south are visiting for a few days for the first time. Between sightseeing and Octoberfest (yes, I know it's September!), we've been pretty busy. Back in a couple of days.

In the meantime, my mind is just boggling over this Asshat. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We Survived the Black Hole...

After 3 days of hard work, Little Guy and I are back in one piece!

Recovered from the Bat Cave:

8 lawn and leaf-sized bags full of garbage
5 tubs fully loaded with sundry crap
6 assorted boxes filled with the same
Hubby's Dress Belt
1 package new and unopened socks buried under stuff
2 packages new and unopened underwear buried under stuff
Miscellaneous tools that have inexplicably gone missing in the last 2 years
3 pairs of my good scissors
1 jar of mystery liquid that looks like pee. No I'm NOT going to open it and smell it.
About 4 days worth of meds scattered on the floor under the mess----some of which haven't been prescribed for at least a year.
2 broken fans
6 petrified dog turds in assorted dog-butt sizes
6 empty Slimfast cans, used as ashtrays
4 forks from our good flatware set
1 Henckels knife
3 spoons from our good set, cemented into 3 empty Haagen Daz cartons.
3 Haagen Daz carton lids, used as ashtrays
2 empty Febreeze spray bottles
3 glasses
2 coffee cups
Pieces from another coffee cup
1 lonely Nike shoe without a match
1 pair of Converse shoes still with the tags on from Xmas last year (the ones he just HAD to have!)
27 burn marks on the log walls and window sills, where the kid put out his cigarettes before throwing dozens of butts on the floor behind his bed

The good news?

No dead bodies
No meese nests


All that's left is to shampoo the carpets and paint the one non-log wall. Oh. And hang new curtains. Then my brand-new office/sewing room/craft space will be complete.

And if the kid ever wants to spend the night again?

He can sleep in the garage. P. I. G. Pig.

I need a nap.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Ok, I know that I promised and promised to give you a rundown on Cougar Woman, who from now on, I'll just call Kitty.

Thanks for the idea and supportive comments! I like the name, and it fits!

Essentially, Hubby and I have decided that we're just going to go with the flow. I've written countless times about Big Kid and his quest to find companionship and how lonely he's been. You know how we've tried to find social skills groups or workshops to help with this over the last couple of years and come up dry.

He simply doesn't have, or hasn't been able to develop the skills to make and maintain meaningful relationships with females of his own age range. He doesn't "get" the "dance". He is unable to play the "game". He is COMPLETELY unable to interpret the multiple nuances involved with basic dating.

In other words, for example, if his girl asked, "Does my butt look big in these jeans?", he'd honestly say, "Your butt is absolutely enormous no matter what you wear. Are jeans supposed to make a difference?"

After that he won't get the chance to articulate that he adores her big butt and that's one of the things he likes most about her. At that point, he's been kicked to the curb. And has no idea why.

Kitty started growing on me awhile ago. Big Kid took a call from her in my office last month, and either she shouts on the phone or the volume was turned up high, but I could hear both sides.

Of course, I listened in shamelessly while pretending to play Spider Solitaire.

She asked him how his day was going. Asked him how his new meds were working and how he was feeling. Shared with him what she was doing that day. Asked him if he had ideas about what they might like to do/go/see on their next day together (which was in like two days).

No drama. No needy "me me me tell me how important/beautiful/special I am and how you can't live without me" or "I'm going to see a former boyfriend who might be better to ME so I can see how jellus it will make you" bullcrap. She really cares about him and what he's doing/feeling, just the way grown-ups do in a mature relationship.

Then she said, "You know, I've paid for our last couple of outings, and now it's your turn."

He said, "Well, I owe my mom a lot of money."

She said, "How much?"

He turned to me. "Mom, how much money do I owe you?"

18 dollars left from the last date with Kitty that you borrowed from us. 60 dollars from that concert you went to a couple of months ago. 80 dollars from all that crap you broke last week when you had your temper tantrum. But I'm willing to pay 50/50----50 percent towards your bill and 50 percent in cash to spend because we have a lot of stuff that needs to be done right away (had a pool party coming up).

Kitty said to him, "Sounds like you owe your folks a lot of money." No judgement. No, "Boy your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins to get in the way of young love!"

Glumly, Big Kid replied, "They want me to pull weeds to earn it off." Hoping for a little "your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins" sympathy support.

"Well it's a beautiful day outside. You better get cracking!"

Bless her heart.

Kitty was with her husband shortly out of high school and they were together for 26 years. They had a child who died of a congenital heart defect. Her husband was ill for the last 5 or so years of his life and they moved in with his elderly mother. Thinking he would get better and back to work, they filed for bankruptcy before the real medical bills started rolling in. She was the sole provider and caregiver for both of them, and has been working 2 jobs (one full, one part-time) to try to cover the remaining debt. Her mother-in-law has no other family (she's in her 80's), so Kitty continues to live with and care for her.

I don't know exactly what Kitty is getting out of this relationship. Before I met her, I had visions of some predatory old broad with a crepey neck looking for some mindless cabana boy ala Mad TV's Dixie Wentworth.

Kitty isn't like that at all. More like a throwback hippie-chick with the same kind of "live and let live" attitude from the era. She doesn't drink or do drugs. Maybe she feels like she wasted a lot of her life taking care of old sick people, and is looking to catch up on some of what she missed, but still has the need to nurture.

Like I said, I don't know.

All I know for sure is that she and Big Kid speak the same language, like the same music, movies and books. He's at ease with her, treats her respectfully, doesn't need a translator to figure out the "girl-speak" because she's absolutely direct in communicating, and she encourages but doesn't enable him.

Her parents don't approve and don't want to meet Big Kid at all. My own mother is quite shocked by it as well. And yeah, I'm not entirely comfortable with any of this, which is something Kitty and I have talked about and agree that this will have to continue to be a work in progress.

If she won't enthusiastically introduce herself as Big Kid's girlfriend to people like the leasing agents at the apartment complex while in my presence, then I won't visibly cringe when they suddenly realize she isn't joking.

I just know that I want my son to be happy, and I don't want to lose him. If we were totally closed off, as her parents are, he would absolutely take this as some dramatic "Romeo and Juliet" thing, because that's the way his mind works. I'm going to take the attitude that if it lasts, it lasts. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

If the world ended tomorrow, I would want my son to be able to say that he loved someone and was loved back. It's not up to me or anybody else to set the parameters of what is acceptable, as long as it's legal in at least 48 states (not talking about the other two where the men are bold and the sheep are scared).

What I like most about Kitty?

She's kind. She's a truly kind person.

After all the tough breaks he's been handed, kindness is something Big Kid needs.

So for right now, we're just going to roll with it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

It's done. Finally done.

Big Kid is installed into his new apartment. My back is all cattywumpus again, and Hubby accidently broke his new cell phone, but it's alllllllll done.

We had to drag Big Kid---kicking and screaming---of course, to the new place, and he refused to help move his stuff. That was left to Hubby, Little Guy, myself and guess who----Cougar Woman. Yep. More on that later.

The squall continued until we jumped in our cars in the apartment parking lot and made a fast getaway.

Seriously. I am NOT kidding.

I spent the last week organizing and packing as much stuff as I could without actually going into that black hole he calls (called) his bedroom. Little Guy brought out all of the clothes and shoes that were piled up on the floor, and we sorted into what fitted, what didn't, what had holes, what still had life in it, etc. Then I handed in two tubs and a box of garbage bags and instructed the Big Kid to get at it. Put the stuff he was taking into one tub, the stuff he wanted stored into the other, and trash in the garbage bags.

Ha. He was "too busy" organizing his CDs. That took 2 days.

So my hourly mantra became, "Everything that is not packed and ready to go on Wednesday doesn't go unless you make your own arrangements to move it. The day after you leave I'm shoveling everything as is---including trash---into leftover tubs and storing them in the basement. If you come hunting for the one remote control or cord that you're missing, then you'll have to dig through the crap on your own."

I made lists of everything he could possibly need in his new place---some of which we could provide---some which would have to be purchased.

"How come you're sending me with the crappy towels (the ones he took to college which are perfectly fine)? How come I don't get to have the nice ones from the guest bathroom? Nobody ever uses those!"

You want nicer towels? Get a %$&*!! job!

He was poking through our flatware drawer. "How many of these do I get to take?"

None. We'll get you a starter set from Walmart.

"Walmart? But that stuff's cheap!"

You want something better? Get a *&%$!! job!

Seems like that turned into my secondary mantra for the week as well.

Sat him down with his budget, the grocery sales circular and the list of things he would need. Some of the stuff we could supplement with all crap I buy in bulk (condiments, salad dressing, cereal, coffee, etc), the rest he'd have to figure out what he could get for the rest of the month that would fit in his budget.

Everything he had left over would be his spending or "entertainment" money for the month, and I made it crystal clear that this well is dry and after paying all his bills for the new place, there would be nothing more coming from us until next month.

So we went shopping. Ground meat was on sale for 50% off, so I caved in and "fronted" him a little extra money from next month's budget. We bought about 30 lbs of ground beef, Italian sausage, ground turkey and ground pork. Cooked it all up with onions and peppers in batches---one for Italian, one for "regular" and one for Mexican (taco seasoning and beans, etc, added). Froze them in one-pound-sized increments flat in zip-locks. That way, if he wants tacos, or pasta, or Hamburger Helper, all he has to do is thaw a bag. Storing half of it in our freezer here, but it should last him for next month as well.

The apartment is surprisingly nice. It's right at the bottom of the mountain, so in a pinch, we could be there for him within 30 minutes barring bad weather and traffic. The complex has some kind of state contract (not section 8) that must provide affordable housing for every income bracket. Since we're only going month-to-month, there are some extra fees added, but I was amazed that it wasn't a sh*thole (like most of the month-to-month places). They have a couple of pools, 24-hour security and maintenance, a business center, rec center, etc.

He's got a one bedroom with a huge walk-in closet, and it comes with a fireplace and a microwave. The place is freshly painted, the carpets are almost brand-new. Only a couple of things to note on the damage report (permanent scuff marks on the linoleum in the kitchen and bath and a dent on the heating register). Unfortunately, the previous tenant must have had cats in the walk-in, because even freshly shampooed, the carpet in there smelt of cat pee. The management is going to pull the carpet out of there early next week and replace it with linoleum.

By the time we got everything moved in, Big Kid was working his way into a state. We had borrowed a truck, and the plan had been to hit all the Goodwill/thrift stores (there's a row of about 6 close by) to grab a couple of end tables, maybe a night-stand, and a small table to put his computer on. Oh, and some glasses and dishes. He refused.

Oh well. Good thing I thought to pack some paper plates and plastic cups.

We said "arrivaderch" and high-tailed it. After lugging an oak kitchen table/chairs, a couch, bed, dresser, computer/stereo/video gaming crap and multiple tubs of stuff up a flight of stairs while he basically sat on his behind, we'd all had enough already. We thanked Cougar Woman for her help and got the hell out of there.

Speaking of Cougar Woman----I have to say she's growing on me. I don't really want to call her CW any more, because it sounds kind of predatory, but I'm not sure how to refer to her in my blog. Any ideas? Will explain more soon.

Took the Kid about a day to realize that he kind of likes having his own place so far. Called to thank us last night.

.....and everything is so quiet.

Except in Little Guy's room. He's in there singing what has been become HIS mantra since yesterday afternoon.

"I'm free---to do what I want---any old time".......

Yikes. Better get that nipped in the bud fast. But he deserves a day or two to sing his head off. He's earned it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Fugly

Trying to catch up with blogging friends over the weekend...

Big Kid is moving out on Wednesday, so we'll be busy packing him up and getting him settled. More on that soon!

The Good:

Saw a great article about "The Top 25 Downloads for Your Computer", from Switched. A couple I have, many I don't----if you have any experience or reviews, I'd love to hear about them!

The Bad:

I know this is sort of old news, but my mind is still boggling about the kiddie baseball league that insisted that one team pull a 9-year-old pitcher for being "too good". The kid never hit or hurt anyone with his pitching----he just beat the pants off the competition, helping his team achieve a great season. That "scared" the other teams' players.

Whatever happened to teaching your kids that they can't win all the time? Whatever happened to the notion that if someone is better at something than you are---it can/should motivate you to work harder? It seems like everybody expects an award/paycheck/pat on the back just for simply bothering to show up these days.

Don't want to hurt the self-esteem of our little budding sunflowers, now do we? feh

On the other hand, we cheer sports phenom Michael Phelps for kicking ass and taking no prisoners in the swimming competition at the Olympics.

Maybe we should have worried about the self-esteem of the budding sunflowers in countries less fortunate---like say, Venezuela and pulled Phelps from the competition.

Instead of squashing the aspirations of kids who work hard/have true talents in order to make the rest of the average-performing herd feel better about themselves, why not encourage the herd to aspire to excel in their own way?

The Fugly:

AOL subscribers get a "Welcome" screen every time we log on. There is a rotating screen that covers entertainment, sports, national and world news, along with headline links to articles.

I don't know who writes the headlines, but they are obviously designed to catch the eye.

And goes to my previous post about the media "making the news" and not reporting on it. It's really starting to chap my heinie.

The other day, I saw a headline with linky-goodness that said "Selfish" Singer Doesn't Want More Kids.

"Well good for her/him", I thought.

There's already too many people who breed just for the sake of breeding nowadays, and it's refreshing to read about someone who knows their own mind.

And what the heck is so "selfish" about knowing when to stop?

Plus I was feeling a little sensitive about some of the ignorant shitheadedness that's been posted on the web lately about VP Candidate Sarah Palin's "selfish" choice to bring a child who has Down Syndrome into the world instead of aborting after she knew in advance via amniocentesis.

Well duh. I should have known better.

I'm not a fan of J-Lo, but this headline really just took the cake.

Let me repeat it. "Selfish" Singer Doesn't Want More Kids.

What bullcrap.

The actual article doesn't even have that headline. That was something totally made up by the linky media-writers at AOL. The Popeater headline wasn't that accurate either. It said, "J.Lo Probably Won't Have More Kids".

What Ms. Lopez actually was quoted saying to her husband in an interview with Elle Magazine, after coming off of tour and realizing she was pregnant was....

"We came off tour and I said 'I did the Superwoman thing, I finished the tour—now I need you to take care of me. I love doing things for you; if I'm not cooking, then I'm picking out a shirt. But this is the first time in my life where I'm just going to be a little bit selfish. I don't know if I'm going to have kids again, I want it to be a beautiful experience. I don't want to have any drama. I want to just be smiling every day."

Wouldn't actually get that if you went by the headlines, would you?


Thursday, September 04, 2008

ABC and Charles/Charlie/Chuck Gibson Can Kiss My Shiny Heinie

I would have written this sooner, but some dingleberry with a back-hoe dug a little too deep north of town and knocked out eveybody's internet and phone/cell service for a day or so. Don't ask me the particulars, but it seems like no matter who your carrier is, they all share the same fiber-optic doodads up here in the mountains.

Normally I don't blog about politics, except once when I confessed about our mixed marriage and my frustration with having to answer political callers who don't have to abide by the same rules telemarketers do with the "Do Not Call" list.

I don't care what your affiliation is. I'm not going to pontificate on mine. There's already too much divisiveness in the world, and I blog to get away from a lot of that crap especially if it touches my real life. And believe me, I get enough of this crap at home.

So I won't comment, or write about political stuff generally, unless it's a specific issue that's near and dear to my heart. I want to enjoy your blog, want you to enjoy mine, and we can all be lovey dovey together. LOL I'm not dissing you if you write about politics, and it won't change my opinion of you at all---just don't be offended if I don't comment.

That said, Hubby and I watched last week's DNC convention speeches together, and this week's RNC convention speeches as well. As hard as it was, we refrained from ranting about this or that and restrained ourselves to (mostly) polite snorts.

There were a couple of impolite gagging sounds that came from the guy who subsequently got to clean the projectile dog vomit out of the kennel last week if he didn't want to spend the night on the couch instead.

The nights are getting cold. The couch is hard. He paid for his transgression lickety-split. Plus I blew a few foul fluffies in his direction under the blankets and didn't say "excuse me" to furthur illustrate my indignance on his rudity.

We didn't watch any particular station, and skipped all the "after" commentaries, because frankly, Hubby and I may disagree on some things, but we both feel that as somewhat educated, erudite, and informed adults with perfectly adequate hearing, we don't need a ::koff:: media pundit "interpreting" the speeches we just heard "for" us.

We can chew on them and bicker about them by ourselves.

So on opening night of the RNC speeches, we tuned in to ABC by a random flip of the dial to hear Fred Thompson's speech, and then the one from Joe Lieberman.

I'm not a huge fan of Mr. L, not because he changed his party affiliation, but simply because it seems that almost every time I see him on the tube, he's very self-promoting and that bothers me. I understand that it's the nature of the beast in politics, so I'm not singling him out.

Hubby and I were watching---ok, I was watching, Hubby was in the kitchen listening and scooping ice cream---when the speech abruptly ended and we were treated to the desk with Diane Sawyer, Charles Gibson and George Steponallofus (like I'm going to look up the spelling this late at night).

Charles Gibson made some comment about how what a turnaround it was to see Mr. L speaking for the Republicans, when 8 years ago yada yada yada, nothing remotely original----and the three of them smugly chuckled. Then Gibson launched into some commentary, and my hubby said, "Is Lieberman still speaking?"

And yes, yes he was...in the background. So I quickly switched the channel, and he was in the middle of his speech!

Well WTF?

Dear ABC and Charles Gibson,

If you're competing with other networks to cover events like these, please tell your viewers that you're going to cut into them with personal opinions and commentary so that we have an option of changing the channel to one which will let us see everything in its entirety without your worthless "hair-do's" input.

I don't need Chuck to "interpret" anything for me.

And I don't give two shits for his opinion either.

I can read, listen, opine, pay taxes and vote on my own. No training wheels or instruction booklet necessary.

Charles Gibson is a sack of skin with a shiny hair-do that sits in front of a camera. That doesn't make his opinion any more informed, important or relevant than any other person's.

His job is to report the news, not to try to influence it.

Denying your viewers the entirety of an event like this and then offering "your" commentary and interpretation of a fraction of it is misleading and irresponsible. Don't pretend to be journalists.

Won't ever tune into ABC again if I want to get the "facts".

Please feel free to kiss my shiny heinie.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Ode to Douche Baggery

Ok, I know I've had a regular feature here on my blog called "Stupid"---with a graphic that reads "Did You Eat a Steaming Bowl of Stupid for Breakfast?"

I've posted and commented on examples of people who do willfully stupid things, but aren't cognitively impaired. "Stupid" is actually a bad word in our house, and one we don't use.

With this whole Tropic Thunder movie thing that I've gotten my heinie in a twist about with the t-shirt and tag lines that say "Never Go Full Retard", I started thinking about this particular feature in my blog.

I guess it would be hypocritical of me if I continued to use this, simply because I've made a definite stand.

Along with the words "retard" and "fucktard", Little Guy has also been called "stupid", and although I don't use the term in my blog to refer to anyone with disabilities, it could be considered a hurtful term by those who've had it flung at them, especially if they're new readers and don't know where I'm coming from.

My kid's disability isn't a movie punch line to him or to others. As a result, I know I can do better.

So, I'm retiring the "Did You Eat a Steaming Bowl of Stupid for Breakfast?" and introducing "The Ode to Douche Baggery" instead.

If you're a Douche Bag, and if you feel that I'm marginalizing your experience, please feel free to write to me and I'll reconsider. I try to be an ecumenical commenter/insulter and only pick on those my own size.

So with no further ado, let me introduce my first Douche Bag...

It's me! Yes! Yours truly!

I'm a Douche Bag.

A couple of days ago I wrote about our meese problem.

We live up in the mountains in a very very dry area. There was a huge fire that devastated our state and we were on the fringes of it and had to evacuate for a few days several years ago.

Once in a great while we have days upon days of intense rain. Which of course cause flash floods, mudslides, washouts, etc in areas that are usually dry because there is nothing in the soil holding it all together.

And as I said in my last post, it fills up the vole holes. So they run for cover to the closest structure available. Sometimes they like what they've found and decide to set up a compound instead of trying to reclaim their old dirt homesteads. They move lock, stock and barrel into places like the trunk and hood/engine space of Hubby's vintage Mercedes convertible (also known as the black-hole that sucks our retirement fund away) that he's only able to drive 3 months out of the year.

Sometimes they actually find a way into the house and try to set up shop. Immediately.

Most people aren't prepared. When we get 3-4 days of straight rain and go into the local stores, all of a sudden they have a run on mouse-traps, etc and there aren't any left. After the last time this happened a few years ago, I went online and bought a case of Victor Quick-Set traps. No snappy-things to catch your fingers.

Anyhoo, as I wrote, Little Guy has a bad habit of leaving the walk-out basement door open a crack or more in the summer. The basement is solid concrete slab, with no cracks/fissures/etc, and no food source, so we've never had a meese problem down here. Until the other day.

Big Kid was up late a few nights ago and woke us up with his screams because he "heard" something moving around in the basement while he was in the office and on his computer. So I set up some traps.

He went away for a couple of days, and I had all this other stuff going on (along with pulling my back out), so I wasn't down here monitoring anything either. He got home late Monday night and went straight to bed.

In the wee hours the next morning, I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I decided to try to make my way down the stairs and check my email and stuff instead of rutching around in bed and bothering Hubby.

3 meeses dead in traps. After a little while, I couldn't stand the thought of them being there, and found a paper bag, emptied the corpuses in it, folded it up, and set it on the chair next to me.

Which is Big Kid's chair.

I didn't want to set it next to me on my desk, and I didn't want to set it on the floor, in case I forgot to take it upstairs to put in the garbage for the next morning's trash pick-up. I wanted it somewhat close to grab where I didn't have to bend down (my back!) or feel skeevy about it. The way the office is set up, the closest and most convenient thing is the chair.

At about 5am, Big Kid came downstairs and threw himself into the chair. I had completely forgotten about the bag of dead meeses until I heard the crackle under his butt (these ARE the pre-coffee hours).

"Did you sleep bad?" he asked, as he wiggled around and settled in.

Crackle Crackle. Gak!

"Uh yeah. My back has been bothering me and I couldn't sleep."

I thought about telling him to get up so I could remove the bag, but then I'd have to answer questions. At 5am, if he started screaming, he'd wake everybody up like he did a couple of nights ago.

"Can you make me some coffee?" Ground his butt in a little more.

Crackle Crackle.

"No, I'm not going to make you coffee! It's 5am! If I make it now, it will be total sludge by the time your dad gets up! Why don't you go back to bed!"

So he did. And when I finally went upstairs, I took the (butt-smashed) bag of meese bodies and threw them in the trash to go out later.

In the afternoon, the kid just started really getting on my last nerve. His online classes had started, and he needed to do a few easy administrative things (like print out his assignments/schedule and introduce himself in the discussion/message forum to let his instructor know that he was present and accounted for). Big freaking whoop.

"I'm just not feeling motivated! I'm tired! Can you do it for me? I have to take a nap!"

Are you freaking serious? By the way, that pile of washed and folded laundry on the couch over there is yours. Could you put it in your room on your way to taking your nap?

"*&%*$$&&!! How come I have to do everything around here? And how come I don't see any clean underwear in the pile?"

Well, if they're still laying on your bedroom floor, they aren't going to get washed. You have to actually throw them down the laundry chute.

"That isn't fair! And can you take me down into town to buy cigarettes? I only have 2 left!"

Do you have money to buy them?

"Well, no. I thought YOU'D buy them for me!"

Whatever made you think that? (this is an old and tired argument in the Atilla house). If you want to earn some money to support your habit, here is a list of things you can do.

"You KNOW I hate to unload the dishwasher. You KNOW I hate to take the garbage out. This is SO UNFAIR!!! Can't you give me something reasonable to do? Like bringing the coffee cups that have been sitting for a week in my room and putting them in the sink for YOU to soak and scrub out? Or moving my leaking tube of hair gel 6 inches on the counter so somebody ELSE can clean up the big dried-out crusty puddle it left? Now THAT would be fair!"


If you get your schoolwork done for today, then I'd be willing to talk about what is fair.

"But I'm AFRAID to go down into the office! I heard something move around last week. Don't you remember?"

Don't worry. The meeses are dead (and it certainly hasn't stopped you from running down there 3 times today to check out your MySpace page).

"How do I know that? Did you kill them in the traps? When? And how come Little Guy got to have quesadillas for lunch? (Little Guy made them for himself by himself) How come nobody thought to make some for me? Nobody ever considers what I might like!"

I'd just had enough. Enough.

I told him about the dead meeses. And asked him if he remembered sitting on that crackly thing when he flopped down in his chair in the early hours of the morning.

He remembered. So I informed him what was in the bag.

Gak! He turned totally white, screamed like he was Janet Leigh in the shower scene of Psycho, and I had to grab him, because I thought he was going to faint.

It's damn hard to tell when he's manipulating and what is real with his illness. He's a smart cookie and milks it for all it's worth. I'm so tired of it all that I just don't know how to tell or have enough energy to try to even figure it out any more.

I was feeling petty and acted like a total Douche Bag.

My bad.

And I feel like an even BIGGER Douche Bag because I still can't stop laughing about it.

Yep, I know it. Going straight to hell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Random...

Eh, lots going on in the Attila house this week. Sorry I've been so busy.

A couple of weeks ago, we were supposed to host a pool party for some of hubby's business/political associates. After three straight days of rain, AND a tornado up here at 9000 feet, at the very last minute, we rescheduled it to past Sunday.

Amazingly enough, the kids weren't that thrilled at having to consume another round of party food since they'd spent the previous week eating everything that was already prepared for the first party.

They've been begging me to make something "boring" like meatloaf for dinner.

Between the 7-layer bean dip and the deviled eggs, you'd think our house was located over the portal to hell. The dogs were walking into walls from the sulphur fumes. With the 21-bun salutes and clouds of air freshener to cover it up, I think we all sustained a little drain bamage.

Speaking of deviled eggs, did you ever notice that they're a hell of a lot of work with little to show in the end? Except for the obvious eau de pharte?

With all the rain, a couple of revolting developments happened. As the vole holes filled up with water outside, the mouses ran for the houses. Or should I say the meece for the heese? Our mouse traps in the garage, which have sat there empty for a couple of months suddenly started screaming "No Vacancy!"

All 8 of them. Yech.

And courtesy of Little Guy, who frequently forgets to close the basement door all the way, we were treated to the soothing sounds of Big Kid screaming his ever-loving head off at 1am. Apparently while cruising around on MySpace, he took his Ipod headphones off long enough to hear the pitter-patter of little meese feets. So I set a few traps down there. More on that another day.

On top of all that, it seems as if our Noodle dog has been up to no good.

We live on the side of a mountain, so our back-yard is terraced off into usable space. On one area, we have a basketball/tennis court. The we have a little bridge that connects the court to the pool. While we thought the Noodle was laying under the bridge to escape the sun, she was using her genius only for evil.

She was digging a hole to China.

Of course, being a dog, she probably didn't realize that wasn't the best idea in the world. Especially since her name is Noodle.

With all the rain, the earth under the bridge gave way, and we had a cave-in. It spanned 5 feet. 5 feet of tunnel.

Where in the heck did she hide all that dirt? It was completely gone!

I have images of her hiding it in her coat and shaking it out around the prison yard, ala Andy Defresne and his pants in The Shawshank Redemption. There certainly weren't any stray piles of dirt accumlating anywhere.

Anyhoo, in the middle of all this, I managed to pull my lower back out, so I had to take it easy for a couple of days. Everything is fine here, and school started a couple of days ago.

Since Big Kid has been showing no inclination to start living his life, and the waiting list for a group home is up to a year, Hubby and I have decided to "launch" him on our own. He's stable on his meds, and his docs say that he's not going to get any better if we continue to let him live here.

Sooooo, we've found an affordable apartment for him a block from the bus stop at a reasonable distance in case he needs us. He's scheduled to move in a couple of weeks, and I'll tell you more later.

A heck of a lot can happen in a week, can't it?

Catch up with you later, gators!