Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I had thought this weekend was going to be nice and relaxing, but I was so very wrong. The boy’s chorus was singing the national anthem at the baseball game and the school, in their usual fashion of last minute bullshittery, sent home a paper on Thursday saying that the kids must wear khaki pants or shorts and red shirts (the school provided the shorts). This apparently, was the ballpark’s rule and not the school’s. And I understand wanting them to match. But what I don’t understand is why they decided to send the damned thing home on such short notice. They sent home the info on the concert and the order form for the tickets over a month ago, so I’m not sure why they didn’t include this information then.

Oh – and also? In the snippily worded memo, it stated that “students WILL wear khaki pants or shorts – NO DEMIN!!”

Yes folks, I am entrusting my son’s education to people who a) can’t spell a five-letter word, and b) clearly have never heard of spell-check. Ladies and Gentlemen – your tax dollars at work.


I got up Saturday and was preparing to go out shopping and then go clean the car. But at the last minute, I remembered that it was collection/packing day for Scouting for Food. I jumped in the car with the boy’s uniform, picked him up from Rapunzel’s house and rushed to the church where we were doing the packing. There, I spent the next 3 and a half hours picking up, sorting, packing, boxing, carrying and loading approximately 352 billion cans of food. Which: Yay for fighting hunger! And also: Boo for my back!


After the packing, I ran home to get the girl and we went out to run our errands. We ended up getting the boy’s shorts (and getting some for Hedge’s son – Hedge – being another victim of the bullshittery – was busy and couldn’t get out shopping), plus some odds and ends. We went to a sports outlet store and got some Pirates shirts for a couple bucks each. A lot of the stuff is from previous years, but for the prices, who cares. And since the Pirates suck balls, it’s hard to spend a ton of money. Mine shirt was actually an All-Star game shirt and not a Pirates shirt, but it did the trick for a buck.

The reason I didn’t get a regular Pirates shirt was that the only ones they had for women were those pansy-ass pink ones, which I HATE. I don’t mind pink in general – I have pink shirts and pink shoes and pink candles. But I hate the pink sports jerseys. I hate them and all the other stupid “girl-centric” pink bullshit sports merchandise that they keep trying to get me to like. Because NO. I will not like it. I will continue to hate it. The day the Pirates/Steelers/Penguins start wearing pink is the day I will buy a pink jersey - not a moment before. I hate the idea that in order to appeal to women, you need to make everything all pink and girly. I don’t know about the other cities, but here in the ‘Burgh, we women love our sports - we love the black and gold. We paint our faces and wear our jerseys and drink our beer and get just as rowdy as the men. We will buy the same shirts as the men. Please don’t insult us by thinking that you need to make it pink. I mean, just pass me a wine cooler, hang some tampons from my ears and shoot me, why don’t you?

So, uh…down with the pink sports gear!


Also on Saturday:
Cleaning out the car – SUCKED
Washing the car – SUCKED
Eating a chocolate covered frozen banana for lunch and having it fit into my weight watchers plan – AWESOME! And a little porn-y.


Sunday was the game and mr b and the girl stayed home, since she was sick. Mr b didn’t mind, though, since the Pens game was on. It was nice for me, too, because Hedge came with me and we had a nice day together, which we rarely ever get. We drank beer and ate and laughed and acted like jackasses. I used up my entire days; points, plus all my weekly points, too. And I didn’t even care, because I wanted beer and wings and pizza and ice cream. Well, actually I got frozen yogurt, because I always make wise food choices. Hahahahahahaha! I’m just hoping that since I did stay within my weekly points that I haven’t screwed myself this week. Because that would suck. But those wings were good.

I was truly more interested in the Pens game than the Pirates, but I drew the line at being the jagoff who wears a different sport’s jersey to the game. I was, however, the douchebag who sits through the baseball game with one earbud in, listening to the Pens game and shouting, “Yay!” when Jordan Staal’s goal came at an inappropriate time in PNC Park. But I don’t care, because Pens rocked!! (and rocked it again last night – woooo!)

Oh and also – Jagr? Shut the fuck up.


Lastly, because I am a huge dork – the biggest dork that ever dork – a dork to the nth power (Who uses the phrase “nth power”? I’ll tell you who – a dork), and also to get maximum Embarrass Your Kid points, I took the Pirates up on their “get your text on the scoreboard” invitation (I was going to make it something about us being dirty whores, but I figured they'd censor it. Bastards):

Also – Dorks:

The chorus:

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Dear jogger,
Contrary to what you clearly believe, briefly interrupting your run in order to comply with basic safety laws will not, in fact, result in your immediate death. Not doing so, however, just might
Love Gina

Dear pedestrians,
While I realize that auto traffic must yield to pedestrians, I feel the need t point out that this law refers to pedestrians already in the crosswalk. This does not mean that it’s a particularly wise idea to fail to look both ways and step into the street, assuming that this law will protect you from speeding traffic like some sort of super shield. Because if you step directly out in front of me and I kill you – sure – I’ll feel bad. Really bad. But you’ll be dead nonetheless. If you see that jogger – let her know.
Love Gina

Dear flag-shirt-wearing jackass driver,
If you put as much though into things like traffic laws and stop signs as you clearly did to the application of those 16 “W” stickers, perhaps you’ll increase your life expectancy. Because if you continue to drive like that, you’ll either die in a fiery crash or some bitch with PMS and a liberal streak will beat you to death.
Love, Gina

Dear parker,
It’s a pull-in space! And you’re driving a Chevette. Are you seriously having that much of a problem?
Love Gina

Dear Boy,
You are waaaaay too young to be turning into your father. Please pick your underwear up off the bathroom floor. If you take up snoring, you’re outta here.
Love Mom

Dear Girl,
If you are going to get out of bed and wander the house in the wee hours of the morning, you really need to let someone know. Because I had a heart attack, died, came back to life and spontaneously combusted this morning when I found you missing from your bed. I’m too old for that.
Love, Mom

Dear mr b,
Just because you don’t hear it, smell it or see it, does not mean that it does not exist. Recall, if you will, that you are deaf, blind and have a seriously fucked up sense of smell. And the next time you resort to the age-old, good old boy, misogynistic, bullshit explanation that “[I;m] crazy”, I will be forced to kill you.
Love, Gina
PS. Smoking is ugly.

Dear Bass Thumper,
The volume and tone of the bass is clearly inversely proportional to intelligence. Since my skeletal system is vibrating, you must be a serious mental midget. If you weren’t so obviously disturbed, I might beat your woofers with a club. You know, if I had money for lawyers and damages. And a club.
Love, Gina

Dear Spider,
Get out!
I hate you,

Dear Dog,
You have very few jobs in this house. And while, admittedly, you are doing a fine job of “Barking Your Fool Head Off”, you are failing miserably at “Spiders.” Shape up.
Love, Gina

Dear Cat,
See Dog. Also – spring weather is not a license to jackassery. The “Let Me In…Psych!” game is getting old. I’ll let it slide if you get cracking on those spiders!
Love, Mom

Dear Polling place worker,
Seriously? You are seriously that stupid?? Ok, then.
Love, Gina

Dear Litterer,
You are an asshole. But on Earth Day? Super Mega Giant Asshole of Assholery.
Love, Gina

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Woooooo! And also - Ewwww

Now, I know it’s my first week and I always do well on my first week, so I should take it with a grain of salt, but still. . .6.8 pounds, baby!!!!!! Wooooo! Go, Me! The only problem is I want some pie to celebrate. . .


Also in Wooooo! news:

I have officially changed the dog’s name from "Rocky" to “Barko Ruutu”


And finally, a scene from my house:

What is THAT?

Is that a. . .????

Oh my God, it is.

No. it can’t be.

Oh. My. God. It IS!!!!

I’m gonna kill that cat when I catch him.

Stupid cat!


I can not believe that he actually…

Oh, wait.

It’s just Toto.

Now repeat this, oh, thirty-seven thousand times a week and you have my life. And if the girl didn’t love The Wizard of Oz as much as she does, Toto would be a goner.

PS. Please ignore the disgusting carpet. It is very old and being replaced with something lovely and non-disgusting.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The weather is finally coming around and yesterday the kids asked me if we could go biking this weekend. Sigh.

Don't get me wrong - I like to go biking, I do. But here's how it usually goes:

Me: Yay, fun! We're biking!

Boy: It's hot.

Me: It’s beautiful!

Boy: Mom, I’m tired.

Me: You’re fine! Let’s have fun!

Girl: I want a snack.

Me: Just wait until we stop and take a break.

Boy: This is hard!

Me: But it's fun!

Girl: Snack?

Boy: I'm tired.

Girl: A bug!

Me: It’s no big deal – he won’t bother you.

Girl: It’s a bee!

Boy: Bee!

Girl: BEE!!!

Me: (under breath) #$&&*@ bee. (out loud) He’s gone now.

Girl: Is it breaktime yet?

Me: Fine, here’s a snack.

Boy: Do we have chips?

Girl: Yeah – chips!

Me: No chips. We’ll get chips later.

Boy: I don’t like these.

Me: C’mon, lets bike.

Boy: It’s hot

Girl: I’m not hot.

Boy: That's because you’re riding in that wagon thing. Youre not working.

Me: Shut it. I’m the one doing all the work, so deal. (thinking) Oh My God, this cart is so freaking heavy. I'm dying. But it’s fun, by God.

Girl: I like these, mom.

Boy: Hey! She's eating my snack!

Me: You said you didn’t like it!

Boy: Well maybe I do.

Me: Oh please.

Boy: Can we go back now?

Girl: Can we go back now?

Me: We are never going biking again

Now, repeat this every weekend and you have biking with my family.

But this season is different because the girl can ride her own bike. And I know that she will pedal 10 feet and then be too tired to go any further, adding to my misery.

So I want one of these:

It’s a Caboose Trailer Bike by Morgan Cycle, and it will let her pedal, but we’ll be able to keep on going if she gets tired (because I actually DO like biking).

5 Minutes for Mom is giving one away – go check it out.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

For Shame

On April 11th, there was a protest in New York City of media bias I this campaign. The main issue was the misogynistic treatment of Hillary Clinton by the mainstream media. The folks who organized it also put together a video of some examples of this treatment. The video is at the bottom of this post, but I though I’d transcribe the main parts:

“The question is, which Hillary Clinton is going to show up. The last few days, we’ve just about seen it all. At Thursday’s debate, in Austin Texas, Clinton showed a softer side. A couple of days later she morphed into a scolding mother, talking down to a child. She wasn’t finished – resembling someone with multiple personality disorder.”

Yes – portray her as mentally ill – that’s respectable. But I guess it goes in keeping with the old, misogynisitic favorite, "crazy woman" that gets pulled out every time a strong, outspoken woman has her say.

Headline News (with the headline, “Crying Game”)
Big news from new Hampshire – tonight is “It Cries”. After spending decades stripping away all trace of emotion, femininity and humanity, Hillary Clinton actually broke down and actually cried yesterday on the campaign trail. (leaning into the camera, wincing in disgust as he says it)

Let’s not forget that she (as most women in powerful positions) has not been allowed to be emotional or feminine – for fear of being criticize as a “weak woman” – as you are now basically pointing out. So she’s damned wither way. She’s either weak, emotional woman, or a hard, inhuman bitch. If a male candidate showed his emotion, we’d all be talking about how “sensitive” and kind and caring he is.

Fox News (with the headline, Clintons “nagging voice” is reason she lost the male vote)
Men won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because she reminds them of their nagging wives.

Oh My God

And. . .

And when Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear, “Take out the garbage!” (said in a high pitched, whiny voice)

Oh. My. God.

Let me tell you how short Hillary’s leash is. [garbled] you’re a guy going door to door trying to sell something and she said, you’ll have to wait for my husband to get home (men laughing).

Again with the flopping around to whatever suits your porposes at the moment. Now she goes from being a ball breaker to being a timid housewife. Please. Also? This doesn’t even make any sense.

Whenever she appears tough I think it’s good for her. I actually think she is tough. But the one thing we learned from the Lorena Bobbitt case is that there’s a great deal of resentment among women, aimed at men.

What the fuck??? Seriously? You’re bringing up a 15 year old case to make the point that. . .er. . .I don’t even know WHAT your point is. Because Lorena Bobbitt has nothing to do with anything. If you feel that Hillary has resentment towards men, then show me some examples. Lorena Bobbitt doesn’t! fucking! count! as one!!!

And don’t lump me into this either, with your “among women”, you fuck. Lorena Bobbitt’s case only proved that there was resentment on ONE woman aimed at ONE man.

Fox News
About the only people for Hillary Clinton are the democratic establishment and white women – white women are [garbled] - we all live with that pain (men laugh)

I couldn’t even understand what the hell he was saying – but I got the point – yet another joke at the expense of women. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Not.

Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s being pimped out in some weird sort of way (men laugh)

Ummm. . .I don’t get it. People campaign for other people. People that they respect, believe in and/or love. I’ve never heard it referred to “pimping” before. But then, I guess I haven’t seen one woman campaigning for another woman before, so I guess that explains it.

When she reacts the way she reacts to Obama with just the look – the look to him -looking like everyone’s first wife standing outside of probate court. (men laugh).

Bitter about your divorce settlement much? I hope your first wife got it all, you asshole.

Fox News
She’s trying to run away from this tough, kind of bitchy image

Again with the flip-flopping.

Headline news (with the headline, “Does Hillary Shave?”)
I can see her in there (mimics shaving face, in gravelly voice) gimme a pack of Kool cigarettes, will you. (men laugh)

This is getting tiresome.

Seriously? This is anactual topic of conversation? Does Hillary Shave? How can I not find this offensive??

Let’s not forget, and I’ll be brutal, the reason she’s a US senator – and the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front runner, is because her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator for New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win it on her merits, she won because everybody felt “my god this woman stood up under humiliation”. Right? That’s what happened. That’s how it happened.

Wrong. Ass.

I think it’s outrageous that Chris Matthews has to apologize for saying something – inartfully perhaps. . .

Inartfully? Is that even a word? Also – ass.

Fox news
You know, I think someone’s gonna have to go out there and take her behind the barn. You know, I grew up in Lancaster Pennsylvania and yeah that’s kind of the term you use for that.

Yes dear, that’s a very cute, country way of saying “beat her ass until she learns her place.” Your mama must be so proud of your burning misogyny and violent tendencies.

And thus these advisors give congresswoman Ferraro nearly a week in which to send senator Clinton’s campaign back into the vocabulary of David Duke.

Yes – David Duke. Hillary Clinton is just like the fucking Grand Wizard of the motherfucking Ku Klux Klan! Exactly like him. Her history of fighting for equal rights and statements on how far we still have to go on race relations prove it. Except not.

And finally, over shots of the Hillary nutcracker, and bumper stickers calling her ugly, a bitch and a cunt, we hear Obama’s minister preaching that “Hillary ain’t never been called a n*@@#r. Hillary ain’t had to work twice as hard to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything”

Ok, he’s got me on the first one, but I think this video (which is just the tip of the iceberg of the media’s treatment of Hillary) proves the second one wrong. And to drive that point home, we are then shown images of a Hillary voodoo doll, signs that say to “take her out”, a KFC with a “Hillary specials (2 fat thighs with a small breast and a left wing), a hangman game with Fuck Hillary spelled out, Hillary as a witch, a shirt that says, “Bros before Hoes” with corresponding pics of Obama and Clinton, Hillary with duct tape over her mouth, articles in Newsweek saying that “Hillary should get out now” and of course, the asinine, offensive “blue dress” articles.

Look, I have said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. But we are better than this. Sire, I know, freedom of speech. But how about a little balance and fairness. If you don’t like Hillary – fine. If you tell me why in terms of her stats and intelligence – fine – I’ll listen. But just as being critical of Obama based on his race would sicken me, the characterization of Hillary Clinton as a nagging, man-hating harpy, while picking on her looks, her age and her voice sickens me. Take the KFC sign – dare I ask if we would see a dark meat only “Obama special”. I think not. And if we did – hoo boy, there would be an uproar – marches and boycotts and major news stories. And rightfully so! But what does it say about us that we don’t show the same outrage over this type of treatment when it is targeting a woman? If you ask me, it says a hell of a lot. And it is saying the exact opposite of what we should want for our country and our society. The world is watching – let’s behave.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Not a Moment Too Soon

Well, I went to Weight Watchers tonight and let me tell you – it was not a single minute too soon!! Because, damn, I’m a disgrace. Not only have I gained back all the weight I lost, I gained an extra six and a half. Because I’m an overachiever, you know. But I went, so it’s a start. Not a great start, mind you, but a start nonetheless.

As always, I stayed fore the meeting, even though I hate it. Not since my very first group back in 1995 have I ever really benefited from the “support” of the meetings. That group and leader were awesome. Since then, the meetings have been sometimes interesting, but mostly irritating. The main thing that I get from Weight Watchers is getting my fat ass on a scale that someone else is looking at. But even though I really don’t get the “support” part of the meeting, somehow they help me. Maybe it’s like giving myself a time out: “young lady, until you lose this weight, you are going to sit through a session of fatasses anonymous every single week!” Or maybe having 30 whole minutes of doing something that doesn’t involve picking someone up, dropping someone off, cleaning, working, or wiping someone’s ass just helps me recharge a little. Or maybe I’m just waiting for the day that the know-it-all gets in a kung-fu fight with the loud talker so I can snap some photos and share them with you.

Anyway, as predicted, the meeting was full of mental rejects and jackholes. The leader is less than charismatic; devoid of any personality whatsoever. There are the women that talk during the entire meeting (not that I am really paying all that much attention anyway but it’s rude). There is the woman who is making excuses, which is annoying because we are at weight watchers for Christ’s sake – we’re fat - we have heard – and implemented - every single excuse you could come up with. I really don’t care one way or another if you lose weight. I care if I lose weight, so whether you are “pulled in so many directions” is of absolutely no consequence to me. And also? Spare me. You’re young, unmarried, working part-time and without kids. Let some of us old, tired, married mothers with full-time jobs and 2 hours of commuting talk to you about “being pulled.”

And there is always at least one “educator.” You often see educators at sporting event, where they talk loudly about their superior knowledge of the game, in order to share the wealth of their great and deep encyclopedic (and often incorrect) mind. But an educator at weight watchers is far more painful. Because at a sporting event, you can get away with saying, “shut the fuck up, douchebag.” But at Weight Watchers? Not so much. So you have to listen to them drone on and on about everything there is to know about weight loss and exercise, ever, while only dreaming about kicking their ass. And as a bonus, many times more than one educator are BFFs and come together and they love to casually mention their BFF escapades so that everyone knows that they are BFFs (in addition to being brilliant). Like we give a rat’s ass!

Then, there is the woman who Will. Not. Shut. Up. And this is coming from one of the all-time greatest talking talkers, so believe me – she is long fucking winded. And stupid. It’s a super combo that leads to fascinating conversation. Except for the “super” part. And the “fascinating” part. And the “conversation” part, since she’s just flapping and yapping about honey mustard and some fucking cake and how she only ate two pieces (????) and honey mustard and daddy and honey mustard and honey mustard and honey mustard! And it’s kind of the opposite of “conversation.” And she seems like she might just be a few card short of a deck, and you know people who are a few cards short of a deck don’t give a shit about social norms and self-awareness and don’t even fucking notice the eye-rolling and death stares being thrown their way and the just keep on talking about the god-forsaken honey mustard, and the house plant of a leader is no match for this mental giant and Oh My God, why couldn’t I just keep the damned weight off and save myself from this horror?????

Good times.

Oh – and I almost forgot the best part. I walked in and was quite happy to see a rather short line at the scales. But then I saw something that made my blood run cold. A man. There was a man working the scales! I’d rather have a man examine my cervix than weigh my fat ass in a weight watchers. And yes, I know that everyone who works there is a member, so they’ll know what it is like. Whatever. But let me tell you this – they should never let a man work the WW scales unless it’s an all-male meting. Because men are clueless? And they do not know how to act. Case in point – in the past, hen I have lapsed and gone back to weight watchers (sadly, yes, it has been more than once), the women at the scales are extremely reassuring. They see the terror in your eyes and they cheer you on and let you know that getting there is the fist step and that you shod be proud for taking that step. A man? Acts like you have informed him you will be dining on his testicle when you explain to him that you are back after a long absence. And when you try to break the tension by joking, “I’m up a few pounds since last time” (hahaha), a man will raise his eyebrows and say, (I fucking shit you not) “You have a lot of work ahead of you.” Weight Watchers apparently fails to realize that:

Man working scales + Cranky fat bitch = someone is getting punched in the face.

If you run into Florene Marks, let her know for me, mkay?


After that barrel of monkeys, I was almost killed in a fiery death crash by a phenomenon known as “Two Assholes Having An Asshole Contest”


But then I came home and was cheered up by a funny comment (and let’s be honest here, any comment cheers me up, given the dearth of them that I usually face, so one that makes me laugh? Gravy).

And then I got cheerier when I checked the mail and found a letter informing me that my little photographer has won an award at the regional level.

And then the little photographer came home from his karate testing night and informed me that I was looking at a newly crowned blue belt. Yay for the boy!

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"Oh, Gyoza, I Think I’ll Miss YOU Most of All"

I have finally gotten disgusted enough with myself that I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. It has worked for me in the past and I know it will work again. Losing it has never been the biggest problem – it’s maintaining that gets me every time. I know – lifestyle changes – what the fuck ever. It’s a diet. And it’s all psychological for me. Last time, I lost 35 pounds and then hit a plateau. For months I couldn’t lose any more. But I was happy, since I was still 35 pounds less than when I started. Then I took two trips in a row and gained seven pounds. And that seven pounds got inside my head and killed me. So here I am right back where I started (or even worse off, probably) and I could kick myself for being such an asshole. I can deal with being a little overweight and still looking attractive. But I have once again reached that point where not only my body disgusts me, but my face does, too. I have gone from being a “such a pretty face” girl (you know – she has such a pretty face for a fat girl), to being an old, haggard, puffy, scaly, droopy, pig-faced beast. So weight watchers it is.

I’m going tonight and hoping that it’s a small, empty meeting. That’s one of the things that got me last time – the meeting I went to (the only one I could make) started getting so crowded. And it was full of know-it-alls and loud talkers and morons and snobs and fucking idiots. So not heading back after my seven pound gain was pretty easy. Of course, ever since I decided lat last week that I would join the Wednesday meeting, I have made the very wise and mature decision to eat like a fucking asshole. I have been shoving everything not nailed down into my piehole for days now. Bagels? Check. Easter chocolate? Check. Gyros and chips and wings and chitos and gyoza? Check, check, check, check, check. Way to stretch out the stomach just in time to start a new diet. But I refuse to head into my forties looking like Jabba the Hut. Wish me luck.

Oh, gyoza, I think I’ll miss YOU most of all.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

For the Children

One of the radio stations I listen to does a weekly “soldier salute”, where they talk to a relative of a soldier about them. It’s a nice feature – solders deserve recognition – and they usually send a care package as well. All in all – great. But one thing that annoys me is that, occasionally, they talk to a person who feels the need to preach about how great it is that we are in Iraq. They’ll go on about all the wonderful work we are doing there.

The main thing you hear from these people is about the kids of Iraq – how happy they are to see the soldiers and how we’re helping them. OK, that’s probably true. It’s great that we are helping kids. But I can’t help but think that much of the reason that these kids need help is based on the direct effects of the US having invaded their country, leaving 500,000 of them orphaned, and many more without homes or schools or churches, which have all been bombed. And I may sound callous about this next part, but while I do care about the Iraqi children (and children all around the world), I have a hard time justifying our occupation of a country, based on false claims of weapons and warfare, by saying “the kids need help.” Because here in the US? Lots of kids need help, too. We have 13,000,000 children who do not get enough food. There are 3,300,000 children who are being abused or neglected, with close to 2,000 of them dying each year. There are 100,000 children each night who sleep in a shelter, or a park bench or a car, since they are without a home. There are approximately 3,000 children a year being killed by gun violence. There are more than 8.7 million children without health care. And there are the ones without adequate schooling – in 2005, the majority of 4th graders in the US could not read or do math at their grade level. The majority! (I’ll bet they could take the fucking PSSA, though). There are thousands of children still displaced by Katrina. Or should I say, by Katrina and the completely unacceptable and morally offensive lack of giving a shit by our government. So don’t tell me about what we’re doing “for the children.”

Today, they talked to a woman who, in addition to mentioning the children, talked about the wonderful work her soldier was doing building Christian churches. Not churches - Christian churches – she made that distinction. And I couldn’t help but thinking, yet again, how egocentric we are. This country is predominately Christian (80-90%), so we automatically assume that everyone else should be. So we go into a country that we have bombed and ravaged, leaving many, many mosques in rubble – a country with a Christian population of about 2%, and we build Christian churches. What about the other 98%? I’m sure Jesus would allow us to forgive them for being underwhelmed. Look – I can sign on to the helping kids and the building schools and safe living quarters. But the building of churches, no so much. I mean, if we bombed one – then rebuild it. but to attack and invade and bomb a country, then attempt to rebuild it in our image is not only ego-centric, but offensive. Offensive to me and probably to the hundreds of thousands of Muslims that have nowhere to worship. If you want to give something back - give exactly what you took, not something else entirely. It’s like someone knocking down your house and then saying, it’s OK, here’s a swimming pool, a shovel, and some cheese.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t help other countries – we should. But we should help our own, too. And we need to stop patting ourselves on the back for helping rebuild a country that we ourselves demolished. And we need to take our damned blinders off and decide that if want to help people, we need to help them with their actual needs and not what we think they should need. And we damned well need to stop telling ourselves that “we are there for the children,” just because it sounds prettier than “we are there as a distraction and because our president is a scrotum.”

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Friday, April 4, 2008

40 Years and We Still Have So Far to Go

Yesterday’s post on crap email was perfect timing. This morning I decided to check it and delete the bajillions of forwards that I had no doubt gotten since the last time I logged in. Most of the time, I don’t even read them anymore, but for some reason, I just randomly picked one to read. And what I saw made me absolutely sick.

The subject was something about Barack Obama and I thought I’d take a look. I’m so sorry I did. It was a terribly racist joke. I won’t repeat it here, because knowing what it said serves no purpose. The fact that it even exists in this day and age is what is important. Especially today – the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. One would hope that the death of this incredible, peaceful, inspiring, loving man would have served to change this country. That in 40 years, we could be far enough ahead of the kind of thinking that creates and sends forth hateful, hurtful, racist messages. One would be wrong.

I got this email from someone I am close to, someone I love. This person would never intentionally hurt someone. This person would tell you (and believe it) that they are not a racist. Sadly this kind of quiet racism is everywhere. We all know about the overt racists. Everyone has seen photos and videos and news stories about the kl@n or the crazy, gun-toting, white-p0wer militants. We’ve all heard the stories of the black man being dragged by a truck, and we’ve all seen the videos of black men being beaten by police. We’ve seen shooting rampages targeting Asians, Indians & Muslims. We watched Reginald Denny get dragged from his truck and nearly killed. We’ve seen churches and synagogues and mosques looted and burned. We know about Matthew Shepard. The point is – we all know about these people. And most of us want to distance ourselves from that sort of hate.

But the other type of prejudice is just as dangerous (and prejudice comes in many forms, but I am using racism as an example in light if this email). They are the folks who would vehemently deny any sort of racism, and really believe that they are not racist, and yet, like this sweet, caring, loving persona that I know, perpetuate it by telling a racist joke or crossing the street because a black man walking towards them, or hiring someone else, or voting for someone else because they “just aren’t ready for a black manager/doctor/president”.

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance told me they she would not be voting for Barack Obama. Her exact words were, “I am not a racist. Really, I’m not. But I don’t think I want a black president.” I hate to break it to you, pal, but you are a racist. It couldn’t be clearer to me. And really, if you feel the need to start your sentences with “I’m not a racist, but…” then it should be clear to you, too.

I have another friend who has done some of the things I have mentioned and yet goes out of her way to “not be racist”. She is very proud when she tells you that they are colorblind in their house. She gave me an example of trying to point out a person to her daughter and that she was using all these different adjectives to describe them, but never once did she say that the person was black. And her daughter had no freaking idea who she was talking about. She didn’t seem to understand that it’s OK to describe an African American person as such. She felt that since she didn’t refer tot neh person as black or African American, she must not be racist. And yet, she’ll laugh at a racist joke.

I can remember a day many years ago when I was with a relative in a restaurant and we were meeting my friend TD, who happened to be black. We were looking for her and my mom asked what she looked like. I said she’s black, about my height, long hair, etc And she cut me off at “black”, with a ssshhhhh and a slight head nod to the black man sitting nearby. I said, “it’s ok, he knows he’s black” (I knew him - he heard me and laughed), and she looked like she swallowed a cat. I told TD about it afterward and her thoughts on the subject were “White people are crazy.” I think she was right. Because I could never understand the need to be “visually” colorblind – you can’t be. Just like you can’t help but notice someone’s bright red hair, or their wheelchair, or my fat ass. You can’t not see it – it’s there. Who cares about “visual” colorblindness. It’s the internal, emotional, intellectual colorblindness that is important.

It’s OK to notice that someone is black or white or female or male or gay or Muslim or whatever. It’s OK to mention it, if it important to the story or situation. When you mention it when it isn’t, though, then maybe there’s something behind that. I was on a message board the other day and a woman was telling a story about how her husband tried to help a woman and child being abused by a man and how the man and a bystander turned on him. Sucks, right? But her story went like this: We saw an African American man yelling and manhandling a woman and child and he stepped in and the man turned and came at him and then another African American man was walking by and he started in on him, too.” See - it’s the same story, but she felt like she had to make the point of the participants’ races. My version still told you the same story – good Samaritan, man abusive to woman and child, bystander jumps in, Samaritan hurt. What does race add to that story? Not a thing that I can see except to make a point that the “bad guys” were black. Who care I they were black? I only care that they were bad. Guess what else appeared further along in this post? You guessed it “I’m not racist”.

These are just a few examples of many that come across all the time. Basically good people who really don’t believe they are doing anything wrong. Who don’t see the harm in making hurtful comments, or making judgments based on race (or sex or religion or whatever), or perpetuating hateful and incorrect stereotypes for the sake of being “funny”. They just don’t think they are doing anything wrong. But I am reminded that slave owners didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, either. Neither did Hitler.

It makes me sad that a man like Martin Luther King, Jr – an amazing, beautiful man - devoted his life to fixing this problem in America and died in vain. Sure, we have come a long way, but not long enough to say that we’ve fulfilled his dream. I’m sorry, Dr. King. Some of us are still dreaming.

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Somthing is not quite right

This is from an article on MSN. One question - see the bold type - why the disparity?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas' marriage-age crisis is over. A law that mistakenly allowed anyone — even toddlers — to marry with parental permission was repealed by a measure signed Wednesday by Gov. Mike Beebe, ending months of embarrassment for the state and confusion for county clerks.

Lawmakers didn't realize until after the end of last year's regular session that a law they approved, intended to establish 18 as the minimum age for marriage, instead removed the minimum age to marry entirely. An extraneous "not" in the bill allowed anyone who was not pregnant to marry at any age with permission.

The bill read: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage."

Legislators, however, had the chance for a do-over this week when Beebe convened a special session to consider a hike in the state's severance tax on natural gas. They repealed the botched law, and reinstated 17 as the minimum age to marry for boys and 16 for girls.

Rep. Will Bond, the sponsor of the botched 2007 law and its correction, apologized for the error and asked his colleagues to "throw me a rope and bail me out here."

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Email Hell

I hate crap email. Not spam, but the endlessly forwarded trite, stupid, untrue, bigoted crap. I don’t mind the jokes, as long as I don’t get too many at one time. I enjoy a good laugh, but if there are enough that I can’t get through them in the 7 minutes that constitutes my attention span, they will wind up in the trash without me ever having looked at them. And I won’t feel bad about it, either. I sit at this computer all day long, dealing with a buttload of email between all my other responsibilities. The bloom is off the rose, my friends. But like I said, a joke or two is fine. It’s the other stuff that warrants disdain and possible punishment (perhaps caning) of the sender. The stuff that should be subject to a 2 second google search to make sure it’s not outdated or a hoax or just plain bullshit before it gets sent to anyone. They fall into a few distinct groups:

The “Safety” Squad

These are the emails that are sent by people who care about you, with only good intentions. They tell you how to best avoid becoming a victim. They educate you on safety. They give you safe driving tips. They tell you how to protect your credit and your identity. They plead for your help finding lost children. They teach you self-defense. They alert you to health hazards in your medicine, deodorant and air freshener. They are For Your Own Good. But Gah! I realize that *77 is a good thing to know about and the first time I heard about it, I thought, “hmm. Good to know”. The 11,469,379th time I heard about it, I thought something more like, “Fuck!” And that girl? The missing one? She’s 29 now. She’s a brain surgeon in Topeka. Stop it. I know you mean well, but before you send me one of these, look at the list of recipients in the forwarded emails. If there are more than…say…two, assume that they each told two friends, and they told two and so on and so on…and I ALREADY FUCKING SAW IT ELEVENTY MILLION TIMES!

The Heartstring-Pullers

These are all about sick kids and little old ladies and poor little urchins whose mothers are dying and need some pretty shoes to wear to their sister’s funerals when they take the beautiful doll they bought with the money they made selling their hair which they cut off to show support for their sick teammate who was born in the projects but stayed out of trouble because his mentor priest who is only alive today because someone helped him pick up his books on the way home from school where there was only one teacher who ever showed and interest in him and made him what he is today.

Here is what I say to that: Yes, in fact, I have stopped to watch kids on a merry-go-round. And I’ve followed a butterfly’s erratic flight. And then I went home because the little screaming fuckers were giving me a headache and the damned butterfly turned out to be a moth and it flew near me and I freaked out and whacked it and it left a smudge on the wall and it was flapping around on the carpet and the dog starting spazzing out and the cat came over to see what was going on and I stepped on his tail and he hissed ran and the dog took a big anxiety shit on the carpet and, wait - let me just wipe away this tear, because it’s all so beeeeeaaaauuutifuuuulllll?..(sob)

Civic Duty

I don’t care about some kid’s class project. In fact, that kid has long since flunked out of school because he was stupid enough to depend on assholes like me for a school project. As for the endless petitions - yeah, that’s effective. It’s not like the internet could be used to (gasp) fabricate anything. No, those ?signatures? are all legitimate. And my congressman? If I am unhappy with something, I’ll write him all by myself, thank you. Anyone who knows me can tell you that if there’s one thing I am not afraid to do and that’s stand up for myself. I write letters all the time. I’ll continue to do so without signing my name after Mickey Mouse and before Charles Manson and forwarding it to everyone I know.

The Chain Gang

“Pass this on to 10 people”? I hate those words. Look, I don’t believe in that crap. I know that sending an email to ten people will not bring me fame or fortune. Failing to do so will not ensure that my fiancé or best friend or prized bull will be struck by lightning or gunned down by Uzi-sporting rabid hedgehogs. But if I did believe in it, I would be wondering why someone who supposedly cares about me would put me in a situation that would possibly result in my spontaneously combusting. Besides, the rabid hedgehogs have much more important things to worry about than my sending an email. They’re busy waiting for the Taco bell dog to run across the screen.

Something for Nothing

Walt Disney and Bill Gates and the folks at Coca-Cola and Gerber are rich. RICH. They know that people will actually buy their products and thus will not be giving anything away. Even if I did sent an email to ten people and gave birth between 1986 and 1998.


I love you. I truly do. But I will not be sending you any poems about my love. I will not be giving e-hugs or kisses. I hate cutesy cartoon duckies and bunnies and bouncing smiley faces. I hated it in my 7th grade yearbook and I hate it 24 years later. ?A ring goes round and never ends and that’s how long that we’ll be friends.? Ugh. How about ?A ring goes round and never ends and hey bitch, when are you going to give me my black blouse back? Where’s the beer?? See? That’s much better. That’s how my friends and I talk to each other, except for the ring part, because a) we don’t give a shit, b) If my friend started babbling in rhymes about rings I’d have her committed and c) my friends are not idiots and they know what shape a ring is, since they watched Sesame Street and Electric Company and they’re not - I don’t know - retarded, so they don’t need a little poem to remind them.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

OK, sometimes the surveys can be fun, but only if I am really bored or if they ask interesting questions. Most don’t. I have to be honest, I never once thought about whether C likes bacon bits or croutons. I don’t give a shit if Tee eats a chocolate cone or a vanilla one. As long as I get my twist cone dipped in chocolate she could be eating frozen shit for all I care. And who decided that bits and croutons are mutually exclusive? We used to do this in grade school. It was the boring, benign cousin of slam books. I may act like I’m seven sometimes, but no. And WHY do you need to know if I still have my appendix and tonsils? Do you need them for some kid's science project? And I don’t care what A’s favorite smell is. It could be dog farts and dead buffalo and I would still love her.

The Patriot Act

The most hated of all the e-shit. I love this country. I am an American. I AM AN AMERICAN. I don’t have to love the federal government to love America. I don’t have to love the president to love America. I would love to buy all American products, but I sure as hell can’t afford an American car and everything else is shipped out to me manufactured by a 4 year old in a third world country for 3 cents a day and then shipped back here to have a “Made in the USA” tag slapped on it anyway. I support our troops. I respect each and every one of the people who are willing to die for me. For my right to buy a foreign car and gas on a Tuesday and a Muslim stamp if I damned well please.

I hate the assumption that my political views match yours. I hate that you make it clear that my choice of political party makes me unpatriotic. I hate that you equate patriotism with blindly following what someone tells me. Someone who can’t pronounce nuclear. I AM patriotic. I am an American. And I am proud. And I am patriotic. And I don’t need your thinly disguised bigotry to tell me I’m not. Stop it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to check my email.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Crack, Crackful Things and Things in the Sky

I recently noticed a chip and small crack in my windshield, but I have no idea where it came from. I had an appointment to get it fixed next Saturday, but this weekend, I was driving and it got bigger right before my eyes, so I had to get an earlier appointment. The good thing is that they come to you. The bad thing is that my office had a private valet-parked garage (normally a very, very good thing), that won’t allow the glass company come in and fix it. So I am working from homer and waiting for them to arrive. They've given me a convenient appointment time window of “the buttcrack of dawn – the stroke of midnight”. So consider me unshowered for the duration, since I chose to sleep in an extra 45 minutes this morning (woo-HOO – six AM!!).


I went to a Tastefully Simple party the other day. They should call them Crackfully Spendy parties, because that shit is expensive. The “crackfully” part comes in when (after you see the prices and swear to Tom Cruise that there is no way you’re buying that shit) you start tasting stuff and the money magically starts flying out of your wallet.

Their big spiel is that “everybody eats” and that “all the products are affordable – between $5 and $10.” It’s true – everything (except for the multi-packs) was between $5 and $10. Sounds good, right? Sure, until you realize that a 10-ounce bottle of barbeque sauce is $8.99. Sure, it’s delicious, but not seven dollars more delicious than Sweet Baby Ray’s (that you get almost twice as much of).

I did stick to my guns about buying stuff I could elsewhere, but I went a little overboard with the Prickly Pear Cooler. But oh my Jebus, that stuff is the nectar of the gods. And apparently it has nicotine or crack or Prozac in it because I bought four canisters. And I haven’t even gotten them yet, but I am thinking I should get some more. Crack, I tell you.

(update –I just checked the website and found out it will only be available until September. Note to self: Start stockpiling immediately!!)


I would have posted this yesterday, but being April Fool’s Day, you would have all thought was joking. But it was really windy on my drive home and there were all kinds of things flying around past the goofwagon’s windows. I saw, among other things, many garbage cans and lids, plastic bags (oh my Al Gore, those pissed me off), newspapers (ditto), a huge black tarp flying around completely unfurled, a flag with the pole still attached, and a trampoline. Now, I know – except for the trampoline, those are all pretty believable. But about a mile or so from home, hurtling across my windshield and around the side of my car – inches from the window - was a full grown, live, flapping about, male TURKEY. I shit you not.


So, I saw a UFO on Monday night. Ok, not really. But I saw something weird in the sky. I was driving home from the crack party and I happened to look up at the sky and what looked like a firework ember. It was green and it was coming down at a step angle, then it just faded out. My first thought was that some fool was setting off fireworks, but it was only one ember – not a bunch like there would be with fireworks. I know there are smaller ones, like bottle rockets, etc, but they still have more than one spark or ember and besides – this was too big to be that.

It looked more like a shooting star, except a) it was much larger and closer, b) it was angling down instead of across the sky and c) it was green. I just assumed it was some sort of strange astronomical/atmospheric combination – a meteorite that looked green because of atmospheric conditions, maybe. I checked the news and the papers and didn‘t see anything about such an occurrence, though (and in fact – there have been such things before). I sent an email to a local astronomy society because I’m geeky like that and plus – its driving me crazy. I expect the Men in Black to show up at my door at any moment.

No – I really don’t. Even though it’s more fun to tell people I saw a UFO, I know there is probably a reasonable explanation. Although. . .

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