Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blog or Work?

Well, sadly work is winning the blog or work battle this week. I have started posts on the beginning of college football, Michael Vick's insanity and Senator Craig's BS, but none have been posted due to the fact that I am taking off a half day tomorrow and all day Friday. It never seems to fail, but when I am planning time off deadlines start appearing from thin air. They really aren't going to do well when I take 2 weeks off in October are they?

If I don't manage to post again before the weekend, I hope everyone enjoys the long Labor Day weekend, and, of course,


Friday, August 24, 2007

Reading and Breathing are the same to me

When I am taking classes at the local community college (because one day, I will have a degree), I spend most of my free time doing homework or studying. I only allow myself to pick up a non-school book on the rare occassion that I have no homework and no tests scheduled in the very near future. By the time a long weekend, or spring break, or the end of the semester arrives I feel like a drowning man straining back to the surface for one more breath of air. Or maybe I feel like a heroin addict willing to steal, kill and lie for my next fix. All I know is that I can not comprehend going an entire year without reading a book. If I am not in school, I can not imagine going an entire WEEK without reading a book (or 2 or 3).

Right now I am reading Sandra Brown's "Play Dirty". I read her "Ricochet" last week and I have read at least one other in between the two. Some weeks I will read a book a day so I do not understand people who do not read. According to a recent study most people would rather watch TV or play video games or go to the movies, some don't read at all, ever!

I do not leave my house without a book. It does not matter where I am going or what I am going to do there. Many times I can go all day without opening the book I am carrying, but many times I get stuck waiting for someone and I am prepared. I just pull my book out and I am quite happy! Without a book? I tend to get a little pissy over tardiness.

I do not have a favorite genre, not really. I don't read a lot of science fiction or fantasy*, but that does not limit me. Yes, I will read an occassional romance novel, my first "grown" books were Harlequin Romances and Danielle Steel** (I will probably 10 or 11). But I love James Patterson, Stephen King and John Grisham. I read biographies and autobriographies and history. Hell, I read technical manuals and road signs if there is nothing else available.

I dreamed of being a writer when I was younger. I didn't plan on writing the Great American Novel, I just wanted to write to entertain. But I do not have the patience, the imagination or the skill to write actual books and I haven't written short stories or poetry in years. So I will continue to read everything I get my hands on... and pity those who don't.

*Harry Potter being the obvious exception

** Every book at least once, including her biographical "His Bright Light"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Going to the Chapel of Love

Holy shit, I'm getting married! MARRIED. In 2 months! The invitations went in the mail today. What if we run out of food? What if we run out of alcohol? What if no one shows up? What if everyone shows up? Why didn't I just run off to Vegas and have an Elvis impersonator do the ceremony?

Well I didn't really want to run off to Vegas. I ran off to Texas (not as cool, I know) the first time and the only person I knew (or thought I did) was the guy I was marrying. DSD and I have been together for almost 7 years. We have talked about getting married for a while and we both just felt like it was time. And, frankly, I wanted a wedding. A huge, party to celebrate what we have with those we care about.

So we have saved and planned and spent and now we are getting down to the wire. The invitations are gone, the booze is bought (bar opens 30 minutes before the ceremony) and I am working on getting cable run out to the beach so that our guests can watch football during the reception.* Did I forget anything?

Holy shit, we're getting married!

*It is a very long story as to WHY we are getting married right in the middle of football season. I swore it wasn't going to happen then and now it is! Oh, well, I really do plan to have the televised games on if possible, so hopefully people really will stay for the reception!

Friday, August 17, 2007


I posted yesterday, but it is not showing up on the main page. It will show up if you click on August or even 2007, but not if you click the blog title.

What the hell is up with that?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Long Live the King

I am not a whack job, I swear. For the most part I am a (fairly) intelligent, rational person so mired in reality that I miss some of the simple pleasures. My beliefs, however, on what happened 30 years ago today in the Memphis mansion called Graceland are probably as far-fetched as they come. My family will not even mention Elvis in front of me because they are sick of my trying to convince them I am right.

No, Elvis did not voluntarily leave the life and people he loved. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the FBI, CIA, or DEA. He did not just make a run for it because he was bored. SOMETHING happened in that 2nd floor bathroom. A heart attack? A stroke? A drug overdose? Something. But, I honestly don't believe Elvis died. There is just too much unexplained weirdness.

Why were there 2 death certificates? Why was there only 1 permit filed to move Elvis and his mother to Graceland from the cemetary where they were originally buried? Was Gladys left behind? Or was there only 1 body to move? I don't buy Vernon's BS explanation about the name on the grave either. "Elvis always wished his middle name was spelled Aaron". Yea, okay. The life insurance that was never cashed in, although we all know Elvis was broke as a joke on 16 Aug 1977. (Thanks Col Parker, you useless, thieving POS.) Have you looked at the picture of Elvis in the coffin? Why was it suddenly 1958 again? Why did the coffin weigh so much? Sure Elvis had packed on the weight, but he wasn't bedridden. And the sightings? I don't really lean toward believing he was seen every week at the local gas station. But the ones where he was seen in the backseat of a limo leaving Graceland at 4am? And weren't there some who swear he waved at them from the bedroom window when they were touring Graceland? What about the pictures of Lisa with a man who DID look remarkably like an older Elvis (from the back)?

I think Elvis sustained brain damage that fateful day. I believe he was probably left with the mentality and personality of a toddler and he lived his remaining days on the 2nd floor at Graceland. The grief would have been real, Elvis, who he really was, was gone. The body remained with a childlike innocence, but the essential "Elvis" really was dead. And Priscilla stepped up to protect her only child and Elvis' only heir. She turned into a tiger trying to protect her cub and the memory of a man who belonged to all of us.

Whether I am right or not does not matter. I believe, if he survived that fateful day, he is gone now. Elvis is at rest, although he will never be forgotten. His music will survive as long as there are those of us who know what an amazing talent he had, as long as we pass it on to our children, as long as there is one person who appreciates the story, the music, the struggle.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Elvis Aron Presley
Born 8 Jan 1935
"Died" 16 Aug 1977
Rest in Peace. You are missed and will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One down, two to go

I am not going to spend an immense amount of time posting about the departure of Karl Rove back to whatever rock he originally crawled out from under. I am glad he is gone; I wish he had never been in D.C. I am glad his dreams of a permanent Repulican controlled government were dashed.

I only wish he would have taken W and Dick with him.

Is it Jan '09 yet?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Thanks for the Memories

I don't remember Merv Griffin in movies, and, until I read the article, didn't know that he was the brain behind Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. All I really knew about him was that, in the pre-cable era, when I was home sick from school, he was funny and entertaining and kept me from total boredom.

Thank you for that, Mr. Griffin. Rest in Peace.

Friday, August 10, 2007


This is damn well ridiculous and I am... practically speechless. ME! Speechless. Really, it almost never happens.

I have been trying to catch up with the news I missed yesterday while at home feeling miserable and, of course, with kick off only 22 days away, I am looking at all of the sports sites and blogs. Now I didn't see anything about Steve 'the old ball coach' Spurrier whining about his recruits on any of the websites that I usually read, but I was up to the minute informed thanks to the well-informed blogosphere. According to The Wishbone

" Michael Bowman and Arkee Smith, two members of Spurrier's touted recruiting class of last year, were cleared by the NCAA, but denied by SC's admissions department."

Now I understand that this would annoy Spurrier, but shit happens. Only the shit happened to USC's admission standards and not to Spurrier's recruiting class. Apparently

"In response, the school has created a committee that includes president Andrew Sorensen, athletic director Eric Hyman, professors, coaches and other administrators to discuss the university's special admissions process for athletes"

So instead of working with these young men, maybe suggesting a local juco or tutoring, instead of ensuring that they are ready to begin college, they are going to LOWER THE ADMISSION STANDARDS to get them in. I am, frankly, appalled. And I hope it never happens at the University of Florida. I love college football, and I joke that the only reason we keep Vandy in the SEC is to keep up our GPA, but I truly believe that college is for an education. Extra curricular activities should continue to be extra.

It probably happened in Gainesville (aka TitleTown) when Spurrier was coaching there. The 'net was not quite as prevelant then so we weren't all privy to the intimate details. Maybe learning the details will help us keep this sort of thing from happening in the future.

Baby steps they may be... but they are headed in the right direction

I didn't work yesterday, I had some bug (not sure I am over it, but I am back at work) and the most intelligent TV I watched between napping was "My Cousin Vinny" (I love that movie).

So I was dumbfounded when I heard on the radio this morning that I had missed last night's milestone event for the Democratic hopefuls. This was sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and the TV channel, Logo. Both of these entities are gay rights supporters and I have to commend them for this occurence. This gave the American people who care about human rights more knowledge of those running for President. This gave the Democratic hopefuls a place to share their views, beliefs, etc. And it proved, once again, that the Repubs have no interest in anyone different from themselves (white, male, straight, rich) as they have all turned down an invitation to participate in an event like this one for themselves.

I was saddened that none of the front runners felt that the word 'marriage' could be used within the GLBT community. I, personally, believe that the term 'civil union' returns us to the separate but equal policy that was stricken down in 1954 in Brown v the Board of Education. Separate schools for different races were not equal then and civil unions for homosexuals is not equal to marriage for heterosexuals today. But I am hoping that if homosexuals are given the right to marry via civil unions then eventually we will drop the semantics and accept everyone as equals. I may be wrong, but I hope not. On this issue I think baby steps are the only ones that are going to be taken, but the steps are taking us in a direction that will bring equality to all Americans. It is much better than a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man/one woman anyway.

On a much happier note, however, all of the candidates believe that it is reasonable to:

"repeal the Don't ask, don't tell policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Include gays, lesbians and transgendered people in hate crimes laws. And protect gays lesbians and transgendered people form discrimination in jobs and housing"

"Don't ask/don't tell" was a milestone in its time and I think President Clinton did a wonderful thing by opening the door for equality, but I think it is time to take it farther. Wouldn't it nice if one day "all men are created equal" really did mean EVERYONE?

I got a 100%

I found this over at UncommonSense and these things tickle me, so I took it. I strongly agreed with everything and ended up 100% feminist. I can't imagine why a person would not agree with these statements.

You Are 100% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A War Quote

“It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U. S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the senate.” George McGovern.

Please feel free to substitute Iraq for Vietnam.

Thank you for your Support Part II

I wrote about how this administration is failing the every day soldier here. It is a sad tale about abuse and neglect and much more. The story carries over further into the civilian world, however, and a study has been published on how this illegal horror that is being called a war is affecting those left behind.

This study was for the Army only, not the AF, Marines, or Navy, so there is no way to know if these results are common across the military, or possibly even worse for other branches of service. And, according to the story at , this is only enlisted personnel (or at least that is the way that I am reading it). The study shows that the parent that is left home with the children (or just a child) when the active duty member is deployed is not dealing well with the stress of single parenthood.
"Rates of neglect and abuse of the children of servicemen
and women rose 42% within the family when the enlisted
parent was deployed on a combat mission,".
FORTY TWO PERCENT. Holy shit. The study blames stress for the fact that parents who normally do not abuse or neglect their children ARE abusing and neglecting their children.

The part that is not explained in this story and the part that I am most interested in is the age of the abusers/neglecters. While it is great to allow 18 year olds to fight for their country(oil) and it is legal for them to marry, they are not equipped to deal with parenting a small child or children alone, across the country from their support network. Yes, the military (or at least the AF) has a system in place to help those under a great amount of stress, but these kids may be ashamed, embarrassed, or, frankly, may not know the system is there.

DSD loves that show, "The Unit", he will not even speak to me while it is on except during commercials. I am not sure he would leave the house if it were on fire. And while I have no experience being on a super secret Delta Force like mission, I can tell you from experience that the stories about the women/wives left behind is absolute pure BS. That isn't how it is for the average soldier/sailor/marine/airman's wife/spouse. It is about trying to find your way around a new town, not knowing a sole, trying to find a job/daycare/something to do with and for the kids.

I was alone with my son from 3 days before his 1st birthday until he was over 17 1/2 months old. It wasn't easy & I was luckier than I could ever believe possible because my parents were only 2 hours away and I had friends on the base. I could pack up the 2 of us and head to Mom and Dad's when my stress level got too high. When they got on my nerves, I could go home. When I caught the stomach 'flu, Dee across the street came over and took care of my son for the morning. When I started crying and couldn't stop, Karen from down the street came and got him and let him play with her kids.

I had help, and a lot of it. I had plenty of support and it was still a stressful time. And my ex was having the time of his life in Key West, not in a Combat Zone.

I am not shocked by these numbers, although they make me sad, but I have been mad, sad, shocked, appalled and sick over the atrocities committed by this administration for years. All I can do now is hope this does not have long term effects on these poor kids.

Congratulations, Mr. Bonds

Well it is over. Barry Bonds is the new Home Run King with 756 Homeruns to his name. I am not sure how I feel about it. Part of me is sad, I was 7 when Hank hit #755. I am pretty sure I did not see it live, but I remember my dad calling my brother and me from the back of the house during the news to watch it. It felt HUGE and important. This does not.

Maybe there is just too much information floating around the world via the 'net and the 4000 possible TV stations. Maybe there is too much controversey surrounding Bonds. Maybe he used steroids and maybe he didn't. If he did, then he deserves nothing. If he didn't, then it is sad that this wonderful moment has been overshadowed by lies and innuendo.

Seems pretty sad that the entire game is that way now.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Let's Hear It for the Kids

A month or so ago I did a blog on bratty children in television commercials. "Does it have leather seats?" still makes my blood boil, but it is nice to know that just because there are brats in the commercials not ALL of today's children are obnoxious assholes!

Juan and Alex Gomez are illegal aliens brought to this country by their parents when they were young. While the entire family is sitting in a detention center awaiting deportation Juan and Alex's friends have

"stormed D.C. with a teen lobbying effort that seemed like something
out of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. "We're going to give it our all,"
Scott Elfenbein, one of Juan's schoolmates, told reporters on Capitol Hill.
"We have to show [Congress] the flaws in the system." Says Kelleen Corrigan,
detention attorney for the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) in Miami,
which is working on behalf of Juan and Alex, "Juan is lucky to have such a dedicated,
extremely astute group of friends. It's been really touching to watch."

These are kids from Miami who have traveled to D.C. on behalf of their friends, working the system as it should be worked. I wish them luck.


Teenagers taking on Washington is great, but what is even scarier than W and Congress? The lunch lady! In an unrelated story, 2nd graders (these kids are 7 years old) got rid of the frozen green beans in their cafeteria. Isn't it great when the process works?

Friday, August 3, 2007

USA Today Releases Coach's Poll


Have I mentioned that I love College football? It is the best game in the whole wide world. What I don't love about it, however, are the polls. Especially the pre-season polls. They really are stupid. How do you take a team who has never played a game and rank them against another team who has never played a game? Sure the ranked colleges have played before, but with different players. The 2006 teams are not the 2007 teams and they will not be the 2008 team. The University of Florida lost 9 starters on defense alone, some to graduation, some just to go for the big bucks. How are this years 11 starters going to play together? WHO KNOWS?

That being said, I was actually shocked that USAToday had Florida at #3. I honestly figured they would be much lower just because the team is so young. And I would have preferred for them to be lower in the top ten. These young men are not the same team that won the National Championship last year and that is already A LOT of pressure. Being #3 is more pressure. And they are not looking at an easy season with Auburn and LSU back to back, plus we all know that FSU is not going to stink again this year.

Ahhhhh, football. 29 days to go! I, for one, am ready!


HELP! Some advice for my friend, please

As I have mentioned my son is now 18 years old and will be attending college in a few weeks. While all children are different and most are difficult at times (as he was) for the most part, he has always been a very laid back, go with the flow child. Not counting the first three months (months that we both spent crying and I spent praying for just 30 straight minutes of sleep) he has always slept well. He has always been polite (publicly) and well spoken. Like I said, he is not, has not ever been or ever will be a perfect child, but he was a lot easier than a lot I have seen.

My friend, P, has two children. Her daughter, D, is 3 1/2 and her son, P2, is almost 17 months. D is a BRILLIANT child. My son spoke early, D was holding conversations at 13 months. This child created a reasonable facsimile of Churchill Downs (with blocks) after watching the Kentucky Derby with her father. She explained to her mother (after a fishing trip with her father) that the reason no fish were caught was because "We have over fished our current supply". She is not your average 3 year old, obviously.

Unfortunately, she is still only 3 so who knows if she has any understanding of what she says or was she just parrotting something she had heard? The problem is that there are times, like this morning, when she acts 13 or 14. Refusing to get dressed is one thing, but screaming in her mother's face and calling her mother crazy and taking her brother's library book from him (because she wanted ALL the books) and yelling that she WAS NOT going on a walk (which means riding in the stroller) because it meant no exercise for her is ridiculous. She has given up sleeping at naptime, but won't stay in her room. She gets out of bed 4 or 5 times a night before going to sleep. She is rude and nasty and ugly... at times. But sometimes she says "please" and "Thank you" without being reminded and sometimes she plays quietly with her brother without pushing him down. Is this normal and I was just lucky? Or is she out of control?

I think (at her age) a child should not be heard from after bedtime, except to use the bathroom or if they are hurt. (Obvious exception, in the middle of the night for night terrors or a nightmare, but that is AFTER they have slept). I think a child should not have to be told to do something 6 or 8 or 10 times. But, again, maybe I was just lucky. I didn't have a 2nd child, so I was probably still dressing my son at 3. I don't remember.

I think part of the problem is that D is bored. The family has recently moved from here on the Redneck Riviera to the eastern portion of North Carolina. Here everything (except real shopping) is no more than 15 minutes away. There, I guess, everything is 30 or more minutes. There are no pre-schools to be found. There are daycares who have a pre-school curriculum, but you have to pay for fulltime even if you only want your child to go 3 mornings a week. P is a stay at home mom and C (her husband) is active duty military, but not high ranking. P does take the children to the library once a week for story time and to check out books. D is supposed to start swim lessons (only last for 2 weeks) and then gymnastics once a week, but that still leaves a lot of hours to fill. D's birhday is in November, so she is not supposed to start kindergarten for another 2 years.

P has asked my advice, but I don't know what to tell her. I never had these problems. Has anyone else gone through this? Is she expecting too much? Is this just 3 year old blues? HELP!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Too Much to Say

I have been sitting here staring at a blank post for over an hour. There are things happening that I would love to write on, but everything I want to say sounds smartassy and flip to my own ears. While yesterday's tragic bridge collaps in Minnesota was not the worse thing that has ever happened to this country, I am certain it is the worse thing that has ever happened to a lot of people.

I have family in the Twin Cities. They do not have regular commuting hours so the chance that they were on that bridge is between slim and none. But no one has heard from them (Well, my parents haven't heard from them).

My heart goes out to those who have been touched in anyway by this horror.

**Updated Friday 3 Aug***
My aunt, uncle and grown cousins are all fine. I hope everyone else receives the same great news!