Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Sidebar

Hey Chantal (and all the rest of you!)

Keep your swirling, vicious, tornado laden winds and waters away from land, would you?

We've got enough to worry about!

What about that?

Sometimes I start reading news articles already half-pissed off because I know that the content of the article is some right wing, neocon rant that is based on the alignment of the stars. Normally I am correct and I move quickly into full-blown rage about the B.S. Sometimes I am (I admit it) wrong and the article turns into a thoughtful, thought-provoking message.

I was pleasantly surprised by this Anna Quindlen article on abortion. It raises a definite point on the criminality (is that a word?) of abortion.

"If the Supreme Court decides abortion is not protected by a constitutional guarantee of privacy, the issue will revert to the states. If it goes to the states, some, perhaps many, will ban abortion. If abortion is made a crime, then surely the woman who has one is a criminal. But, boy, do the doctrinaire suddenly turn squirrelly at the prospect of throwing women in jail."

Nice one.

Thank you for your Support

It is amazing to me that this administration, this flag waving, saluting, tie a yellow ribbon, "We support our boys in uniform" administration, is being sued by the same troops they allegedly love so much because the troops are being screwed out of their benefits when they return home. Look, the Veteran's Administration (VA) is a mess, it has always been a mess, and it will probably always be a mess without a complete overhaul. But I know plenty of people who play the system like a fine tuned piano and get money (tax free money) they have no business receiving every month for the rest of their life. But to deny claims by veterans serving in a WAR (not their fault it is an illegal war) or to discharge them with nothing is CRIMINAL.

What is the White House doing about this? Why, they've convened a panel, of course. The panel has made its recommendations.
"But the White House said not to expect action right away." Of course not, why would we?

Of course, there is more of a pro-W spin at this site (where is the liberal media when I need it. But both stories, amazingly, have this to say about the VA's mental health support.

"Only recently, the VA has taken steps to add mental health counselors and 24-hour suicide prevention services at all facilities, after high-profile incidents of veterans committing suicide. In the past, the VA had failed to use all the money for mental health that was allotted to it."

Because, you know, it hasn't been repeatedly proven that war causes mental health problems.

I am glad that W isn't supporting me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Amazingly Stupid

I am not a football expert and I have never pretended that I am. Also, I am not unbiased. I love University of Florida Gator football, which means I love SEC football.* So nothing can make me see red faster than a stupid article like this one. According to the article, SEC teams are not tough enough because their Out of Conference (OOC) schedules aren't the toughest ones in NCAA sports. According to the author, Randy Hill, the reason the SEC has only had 2** teams in the BCS National Championship*** in the last 8 years is due to strength of schedule.****

I am sick of tired of hearing about the SEC's OOC schedule. Does it suck? Yes, a lot of it does. But the rest of the NCAA does not have to play the In Conference nightmare that the SEC goes through year in and year out. And a lot (not all) of the SEC teams play one of their OOC games against the in state or just across the state lines rivals. Some of those teams are tough.

So, let's look at last years Gator schedule.

Sept 2, Southern Mississippi. 34-7.
Sept 9, Central Florida, 42-0
Sept 16, @ Tennessee, 21-20
Sept 23, Kentucky, 26-7
Sept 30, Alabama, 28-13
Oct 7, LSU, 23-10
Oct 14, @ Auburn, 17-27 (YES IT WAS A FORWARD PASS!)
Oct 28, Georgia (in Jax), 21-14
Nov 4, @Vanderbilt, 25-9
Nov 11, South Carolina, 17-16 (Thank God for a tall defense)
Nov 18, Western Carolina, 62-0
Nov 25, @ Florida State, 21-14(Ok, so FSU sucked last year, but how often does that happen? Almost NEVER. I bet they don't this year)
Dec 2, SEC Champs game against Arkansas, 38-28
Jan 8, National Championship Game against Ohio State University, 41-14

How many of these teams had winning seasons? Just counting the regular season, of course. Out of the 12 teams UF played, 9 were bowl eligible. NINE. Even one of the "Why are you playing them, they are crap?" teams went to a bowl.

I am not going to get into the "My conference is better than your conference" discussion. Sometimes the SEC is at the top (most of the time), but sometimes they are not. Some of the teams play tough teams from OOC (Didn't the Vols kick Cal's butt last year?) Sometimes they don't. The fact is, the SEC plays SEC football, the others do not. I would love to take an Oklahoma, a USC or a Michigan and let them play Florida's schedule and see what their record is at the end of the season. I just don't think they would end up in the National Championship game.

*Loving SEC football means I cheer against all other SEC teams unless their winning will help the Gators in the rankings. And I cheer for ALL SEC teams during bowl season.

** Three teams in the last 8 years, moron. '99 Tennessee National Champs. '03 LSU National Champs. '06 Florida National Champs.


**** In '04 Auburn got screwed when they were undefeated, won the SEC, but played the Citadel. Oklahoma didn't win their Conference.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What Year is This? (UPDATED)

From where I am sitting it is 2007, am I wrong? From where I am sitting this country is 231 years old, the Civil War has been over for almost 150 years, women have been voting for 100 years and Brown v the Board of Education is over 50 years old. When do we grow up? When do we, as what is allegedly a Christian nation, stop hating based on something as stupid as the color of a person's skin?

On Jan 1 Boise St narrowly beat Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl in Scottsdale, AZ.* The last play of the game was a 2 point conversion scored by Boise St running back Ian Johnson. After the referees threw their hands in the air, Ian ran around to the sidelines and dropped to one knee beside his cheerleader girlfriend and pulled a ring out and asked her marry him. All together now...."Awwwwww". **

The wedding is scheduled for this Sunday and SOMEONE (OR MANY SOMEONES) HAVE MADE DEATH THREATS! Why would someone make death threats against this nice young man and his future bride? Because Mr. Johnson and Ms. Popadics are not of the same race.
One is black and one is white.

Mr. Johnson is obviously a man who is far more mature than his years, because he just seems to think a person hires extra security; that it is a part of life. Poor man. Maybe, sadly, it has been part of his life, but it should not be! How can this happen in our allegedly Christian nation in the year 2007? How can there be this much hatred? To threaten death over a marriage?

I am dumbfounded!

UPDATE: The couple was married, as planned. During the ceremony, they prayed to stop prejudice and jumped over a broom. I wish them a long, happy life!

*The University of Phoenix stadium that was host to the Florida Gators stomping The Ohio State University for the National Championship one short week later.

** Best damn game of the year.. maybe the decade and where was I? ASLEEP. Because Oklahoma was supposed to mangle Boise St. I should listen to myself occassionally when I say "That is why they play the game!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's Tuesday and I have a lot to Say About Something other than Harry Potter

I do actually have a lot to say, but I am not sure that I will get through most of it. Those people that pay me at the end of every other week have given me something else to do besides blog! Crazy people. But I will get as much down here as I can.

> I missed last nights debate. School again. And I don't get YouTube at work (blocked website), but I will take a look at the highlights when I get home. I don't know that a lot was learned, but it sounds like it was amusing. Tomorrow is my final and I am not taking classes in the fall, so maybe I will be able to catch some of the debates this fall. I really am going to have to make a decision soon on who to vote for in the primary.

> I do not follow NFL, except for the Playoffs (a little bit) and then I watch the Super Bowl, so truly the little I know about Michael Vick is because of his and his little brother's Virginia Tech stories. Michael was a great QB for VT and everyone expected Marcus to follow in his footsteps. Well, little Marcus had some troubles with "the Law" and had to sit out a season, but he seemed learn his lesson and come back more dedicated to his school and his sport.. then he fell (or jumped) into some more trouble and was dismissed from the team. He is probably on a roster for some NFL team now, but I haven't heard anything about him since he left VT.

I thought the whole thing was sad. This young, talented man had his whole life in front of him with opportunities many do not have. And look at his big brother. Look at Michael, he made it, he is obviously a GREAT role model, why couldn't Marcus follow in his footsteps?

Who followed in whose footsteps? Too much, too soon, too sad.

> It occurred to me some time ago that W may decide being President is not enough for him and that he may want to work his way around to becoming King George I of the U.S. Most people think I am crazy. That is a definite possibility, however, I am obviously not the only one who feels this way. Libby Spencer over at TheNewsHoggers seems to thinking the same thing and expresses it better than I could. There is a followup to that article in yesterday's "I am not a kook" at TheImpolitic where Libby also blogs. I only hope we are both wrong.

> My dad does not normally send me Email at work, so when I logged in this morning I figured the Email would either a) be funny or b) irritate me. (Dad likes to send me Repub propoganda to watch my head explode). Then I saw it was from my cousin Bobby originally and just knew it was (b. It was not. It was a .wmv though and I have NO idea how to post one to this blog. It was only a couple of minutes long, but made fun of W in the first 10 seconds. Good stuff.

If any of the three of you who actually read this occassionally knows how to add a .wmv to this thing, would you tell me?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The End of a Long and Harrowing Journey

Well I did say to watch this spot for my review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".

My son (who works at a local movie theater) went to Wal-Mart last night after he got off work at 11:30. I mean, really, who would go to Wal-Mart when the BooksAMillion in town has had enormous parties for the the last 3 Potter releases? And, this is the Redneck Riviera.. do people here read?

Apparently a lot do. My son was given a Hufflepuff armband and told he would probably pick up his book about 4am. He came home and went to bed. Smart kid.

So I got up about 9 this morning and jumped in the shower. This would amaze anyone who knows me. I usually sleep until about 11 on Saturdays and shower after I have spent time in the pool.. maybe mid afternoon.

I was at Target before 10 and the entire transaction took less than 5 minutes, it took longer to pick up breakfast for the family. I finished 2 chapters while sitting in the drive through line.

What can I say about this book without giving away the ending, the list of dead, the list of those who lived? I can say I cried once in the first 100 pages and again throughout most of the last 100. I can say that it was a fitting ending for "the Boy who Lived". I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and spending time in the magical world that J.K. Rowling created and Harry, Ron and Hermione inhabited.

I cannot say that this book was well written or that it was great literature. I cannot say that it was not.

I read quickly. I have an insatiable curiosity to find out the ending, whodunit, what happened, who lived. I do not (the first time I read a book) pay attention to a lot of details. I just have to find out how it ends. I now know how the Harry Potter saga ends. I have passed the book off to my son who is reading it as I type. I will start the entire journey over from the beginning and will, most likely, take the journey again and again, once a year or so, as I do with Stephen King's "The Stand". If I were an author, I would ask for nothing more. And as a reader, I can give no higher praise.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

An Update on Life

I ranted and raved about the unfairness of it all on this post, so I just wanted to let everyone know that my ex and his new wife are having a girl. I am still not happy about the entire thing, but I am hoping that if, by some sort of miracle, my ex decides to actually parent this child, the fact that it is a girl will make it easier for my son to deal with.

As far as what I talked about here, the attitude is "Let's watch and see". So I have to go have it done again in a few months. Doesn't that sound awesome?

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Movie Review for You!

Ok, it's really for me, but that is ok, too.

Now I have mentioned before that I love all things Harry Potter. I started reading the books because my son was reading them and I wanted to ensure they were appropriate, but then I loved them myself. I eagerly await each new book and I eagerly await each new movie, but I have not been as impressed with the last 3 movies as I wanted to be. I have spoken to people who have not read the books and they didn't seem to understand my upset after "Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Goblet of Fire". I thought there was too much information left out of each movie and that movie-goers would be lost and confused. I was quickly told that this was untrue and people who had not read the books thoroughly enjoyed the movies. So I was lost and confused. "How is that possible?" I thought.

So I went to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" at the first midnight showing. By 1AM, I wondered why I was not at home in bed asleep. It wasn't that it was a bad movie, not really. The special effects were very nice and the sweeping scenes of London, Hogwarts and Hogsmeade were beautiful. It wasn't that the information that did not make it from the book to the movie was all that important to the story line. Did the fact that Ron recieved the Gryffindor prefect badge instead of Harry or that Ron made Keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team make a huge difference in the story line? No. So why was I upset?

Well, I have had several days to think about it and I finally realized... the things that are being left out of the movie are the things that make me LIKE these characters in the book. They are the things in the story line that make them human.


In "Order of the Phoenix" there are no ghosts, there is no Dobby, there is very little Snape. Dolores Umbridge has been watered down so that she is simply annoying not truly hateful. This is the O.W.L. (Outstanding Wizarding Level) year for Harry, Ron and Hermione and that is BARELY addressed. The only exam that was included was Defense Against the Dark Arts and that, technically, wasn't completed due to Fred and George. If Fred and George's "skiving snackboxes" were addressed at all, I missed it. Kreacher was done well, but again, he wasn't around long to enough to get to know. I never truly felt Harry's rage and angst like I did in the book. I never truly felt Siruis' restlessness or resentment of being cooped up. I felt like Hermione's cleverness with the D.A.D.A. coins and the parchment that everyone signed should have been included (I actually read somewhere that Ron was left out more so that Hermione could be included, where?)

The Department of Mysteries battle through the brains, the time turners, and everything else I didn't really miss. I thought the battle was well done. But the "Avada Kedavra" was never used on Sirius in the book. I have seen it hinted by J.K. Rowling that Sirius may return in "Deathly Hallows", how can he return in the movie? We all know that is the killing curse. (And that may or may not be true).

So in case you missed my opinion, I didn't really enjoy this movie. The cinematography was great, the acting was ok, but the storyline was subpar. If I hadn't read the books, I wouldn't care about these people AT ALL.

So, I will wait as patiently as I can for one more week and then I will say Good-bye to Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the wizarding world.

Watch this space for my review of the book!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Of Course They Were Important, Of Course They Mattered, BUT

They are dead. All of them. Every single one of the group of gentlemen whom we refer to as "The Founding Fathers" is dead. And this (in case you were wondering) is not a recent thing.

Look, I appreciate what these men did. I love America and I love being American and I am grateful to those men for the Declaration of Independance, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But I don't care what they would have wanted for today. And they would not care about my opinion, not then and not now.

Honestly, I am sick and tired of hearing about what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Did they want you to have a gun? Well, sure, a musket, because that is all the fire power they had in the 1700s. Did they have a Christian faith? Maybe, but they also stated in the Bill of Rights " that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ". So don't tell me how to worship or when to worship or who to worship. Did they want this country to be a democracy? Somewhat, but run only by white, land-owning men over the age of 25.

The part that absolutely amazes me is when women tell me that this country should do something (whatever) because it is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. I just stare open mouthed. Because the Founding Fathers didn't think too highly about women. We were chattel, property, slaves. (Some were better treated than slaves, but some were not). We weren't allowed to vote, own property or speak our minds. So, women, when you want to tell me why I should believe, vote, feel a specific way because it is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted, keep in mind, I don't have to listen to you. And they certainly would not have.

Monday, July 9, 2007

To Change or Not to Change?

I got married the first time when I was 19 years old (I know, stupid!). It never occurred to me NOT to change my name. I was going to be Mrs. Dipshit of all Time, which I was actually excited about at that time.

Now, it is 21 years later. I am a 40 year old, divorced mother of one full grown "adult" 18 year old and I am getting married again in the fall. We have been together for a lot of years and we are sure this is forever. My problem is that I am not 19 anymore. I have grown up a lot since then, had a kid, was in the military, raised my kid, bought a house, established credit, etc. I don't want to change my name again, this is the person that I have become and I rather fond of me. However, it feels strange to keep my first husband's last name, especially since he has remarried and is having another baby, but for some reason it is really bothering my son if I have a different last name than his and, of course, while my fiance' is being very supportive he really wants me to change my name.

My advice to anyone marrying would be to NOT change your name at all ever. I always thought it was necessary to have the same last name as the children, but I really wish I still have my maiden name.

Does anyone have any advice?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What Can I Say?

I can't say anything about the Scooter Libby BS. I was in class last night, so I didn't get the news until this morning and I can't come up with anything new. It is, of course, being blogged to death and it should be. I guess I feel like even though this is a travesty, it is just one in a line so long it would cross North America more times than I could count.

I wonder what those fine men who wrote the Declaration of Independence were doing on July 3, 1776? Were they angry? Were they hostile? Or were they just weary? In mind, spirit and body? That is they way I feel.

Somebody give W a blowjob so that we can impeach him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

And Another Thing

Speaking of commercials, could we stop having to look at tampons, douche and ED drugs during Wheel of Fortune? People, I am eating!

The Little Darlings

Recently over on BogsBlog, Pete had a very thoughtful post on this nation's children and the fact that the government seems to be removing their rights to free speech, and even to free thought.

I agree with him. Our children need to be raised to question the adults and authority figures in their lives, because it is their responsibility to continue doing just that as they become adults and look to their state and national governments. However, I think they should be able to do this using respect, and intelligence, and thoughtfulness, not snotty tones and foul language. Temper tantrums, cursing, eye rolls and belligerence are not going to help your cause, I don't care how old you are.

I found this story over on MSNBC about how children are portrayed in TV commercials as super snotty brats who speak to their parents (and others) in totally inappropropriate ways. Now, before you jump all over me, I know children speak in that manner, I could tell you about the rude tone of voice used by my son to me just day before yesterday. I could also tell you that he will not be using it again on me.. until tomorrow. (Working 14 hour days yesterday and today). Sometimes I manage to act like an adult and explain to him that I do not appreciate his tone of voice, sometimes I use a tone that is worse back at him, but this is in the privacy of my home. We are not a TV family. *

The TV ad that makes me want to throw the little jerk in TimeOut is a mini-van commercial. I could not even tell you for which complany. The dad has been working on a Tree House for the boys for several weekends and it is finished. The dad is excited, but the little brat says "Does it have leather seats? Does it have a DVD player?" and then to the other little kid "Do you have any fours?"

Why the hell do these little monsters have keys to the mini-van? The DVD player does not work unless the vehicle is running, at least in auxillary mode. And it is summer, they aren't even sweating!

I would yank those keys without a thought and then sell the famous tree house on Ebay. Or donate it to an underprivileged section of the city. Or set it on fire!

And I wonder why my son uses that snotty tone on me!

*I am not saying that TV families have to be like Leave it to Beaver, or The Brady Bunch, but I have the option of turning off the shows with bratty children, I really should not have to change channels to get away from the commercials. Hey, my son didn't want The Simpsons until he was 15!