Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Post Where I Eventually Wish You a Happy Holiday!

On the way home from work on Tuesday, the NPR station out of Tallahassee was being flaky, so I was flipping through the dial looking for some Christmas music and came across some Talk Radio program that I had never heard.  The host was a guest host or something, and the discussion was on this newly proposed Constitutional Amendment where the states could vote to overthrow the Federal government.  What?  That isn’t what is being proposed?  Maybe not, but it sure seems like the states want the right to tell Washington to “Go to Hell!”  Or at least be able to say, “We don’t have to have health care if we don’t want it.”  Which, of course, is where the idea of and the push for this Amendment started.

But I digress.

The host went off on what he called “the allegedly fiscally responsible Republican party” and lambasted my beloved state for the monstrosity it just spent millions on for the Florida Supreme Court.  He said he didn’t want to allow Florida (he was in Tampa) to spend his tax dollars if they couldn’t do better than that and he wanted callers to tell him why their state was better.

Of course no one could.

But the next caller didn’t even try.  He just said Hi and started being critical of the new law passed to allow more inspections of food.  Apparently this new law is going to cost the taxpayers over a billion dollars a year.  Wow. 

But I don’t mind an extra billion being spent to ensure my food is safe, even as I plan to try to grow more of it at home myself.  (TRY being the operative word here)  I don’t mind an extra billion being spent to ensure equality.  I don’t mind an extra billion being spent on AIDS research. 

I do mind when extra billions are put into the hands of those who already have more money than they or their descendants will ever need, but the long term unemployed can go EFF themselves.  I do mind when extra billions are spent propping up wobbly dictators, but our military with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) cannot get the best cognitive care available because it will run over $50,000 per soldier/sailor/airman.  And then many trillions are spent sending in the troops to take out those dictators once we no longer find him (or her!) useful, but still no money for TBI rehabilitation.

Still, it is the holiday season, whether your holidays include Christmas, Hanukah, Ramadan, Winter Solstice Celebrations, or just a couple of extra days off work and I would like to think that I can count my blessings. 

1.  Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is now just a fading nightmare for many.  It is not yet perfect, and it will take months to allow gay service members to live their lives openly and honestly, but it will happen now.  I hope this is a sign of the equality to come.

2.  My taxes are not going up.  With DSD still out of work (he has completed 2 years of unemployment) things are getting a little tighter and I don’t think we could afford a tax hike right now.

3.  My step daughter and I have patched up our relationship and I am enjoying this grandparent thing.  And my growing friendship with her.

4.  I can see the end in sight for my Bachelor’s Degree.  About 18 more months and I can make the walk.  It is going to be work for those 18 months, but I will have that degree.

5.  The Republicans didn’t win the House.

6.  W is still no longer President.

7.  Health.  Mine.  DSD’s.  My in-laws who are in their 70s.  My parents who are in their 60s.  The children.  A friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer last night.  My heart breaks for the family even while I rejoice in the health that we have.

8.  All of you in blog land who stick by me even when I have no time for you.  Who post the things I wish I had written.  Who make me laugh and cry and so thankful.

Happy Holidays from me to you.  I hope yours are the best ever.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting There and Thankful For It

I am in the last two weeks of this term and ready for it to be completed. I have one last speech to give tomorrow night, which is 99% complete. The Powerpoint is probably only 35% complete, so I have work to do tonight. I am looking forward to it, since it is about college football and (even though I have not blogged about it much this year) I do still love college football AND my Gators... even when they suck!

So, finish the speech and the Powerpoint, write one paper about a speech given by someone else (imagine, I chose Jon Stewart's end of Rally speech) and take two final exams. Hooray! I am ready.

Our Thanksgiving was fun. DSD's oldest boy decided he wasn't coming for dinner if he couldn't bring his dog... who has never met any of us OR Lola. It would have been a nightmare. He wasn't missed. A friend who normally comes brought her mother and her mother's boyfriend. SleepyEd is our nickname for him. They arrived at 2 and he had to be awakened for dinner... at 3. Then he was in the kitchen with BabyBoy demanding dessert before most of us were done with dinner. No offers to help with the cooking or the cleanup. He then proceeded to go BACK to sleep until time to go. WOW!

There was a slight discussion on taxes and how unfair it is to raise taxes on the rich, but it was held outside of my hearing, because they were afraid they weren't going to get dinner if I overheard probably.

Still in a funk, but I am blaming it on hormones and exhaustion (and the exhaustion can be partially blamed on the hormones and the fact that I am not sleeping).

So for the rest of you in a funk. Read this. It is a really beautiful story. It may not help your funk, but it may give you a nice happy tears cry.

AND, I just received an Email from the NewYorkTimes saying that the Senate passed a bill on food safety. 75-25. Huh. Bi-partisan? Must be something wrong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do You Just Get Tired Also?

Maybe it is the demise of Daylight Savings Time. This year I think I can blame the election and the vitriol of it, both before and after.

DSD and I just returned from his parents' home in the central portion of the state. They are wonderful people, but I just don't relax when I am around his mother. I am always terrified I will spill something.

So I have been out of town for an extended amount of time for 3 of the last 5 weekends. And I'm tired.

And a little depressed. I look around at the stupid. I read glaring examples of it. I see it at work. I see it on TV (if I watch it).  I even see it in my college classes, people who can not (or do not) use the English language correctly in the written form, an instructor who is too lazy to even think of the weekly questions on her own.

But classes are winding up. Less than a month to go. And everyone who stops in here makes me smile. Especially those who comment. Hint. Hint.

So please be patient. With me. With each other.

And I will eventually get the post up about the rest of my DC trip and the lovely little (really, she is TINY) DC blogger I met in person!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Couple of Pictures from the Rally

The Rally

BabyBoy, my friend, Em, and I left our hotel on Saturday 30 October about 8:30 am.  We quickly made our way to the Foggy-Bottom/GWU metro stop.  There weren't a lot of people milling about on the platform.. but, WOW, that first train was packed. PACKED.  We looked at each other and moved closer to the place where the first car of the next train would be (just a note... in DC, no one seems to want to move all the way to the front, so it is the car that will be the least full) and we waited a little nervously.  A man showed up with an ENORMOUS paper mache' head of his own head with a look of fear on its face. We were a little nervous for him. But the next train was not packed and the first car was almost empty and he and his big head were safe.  As we were. We even managed to sit... which was a good thing.

A few stops later, we emerged at the Smithsonian stop, into the sun, with what appeared to be quite a few others. We meandered. We shopped. We got FREE stuff! We took pictures of signs. And of BabyBoy with QuailMan. We wandered as far up to the stage as we could.  Em wanted to shove our way into the front group, but I am not into shoving if I can help it. So we turned around a found a nice spot close to some port-a-potties and a jumbotron where we could still see the stage.  We spread our free Rally towels out to sit on (I only forgot a couple of things but a large sheet and/or blanket was the one I missed the most!) and made ourselves comfortable. This was about 10:30ish.  We had a beautiful day and a lot of space and a great spot. Em and BabyBoy decided they wanted to walk some more, so I got comfortable, and I visited with many around me. And I waited. And waited. And waited. As the crowd got closer and closer and closer.

I started texting the other 2 members of my group about 11. I wasn't worried yet, but I was concerned that they would not be able to find me by the time they returned, because the demographics had changed. Text. Text. No replies. Then I had to go potty. And I didn't want to leave our STUFF. Text. Text. No replies. Who knew the overwhelming crowd would make Verizon virtually worthless?

They did finally make it back about 11:30, with a pretty warm Diet Pepsi. And wasn't I the hit of the group surrounding us? Guess who remembered the hand sanitizer? It sure came it handy after using the Port - A - Potties!

Then! It was time!

The Rally to Restore Sanity.

The Roots. For 40 minutes. The Roots. And some guy. Wow. Wow. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Really? I got up off the ground, where I was in danger of being trampled, for this? Not my bag, baby. What if this is all there is? Ok music and sore feet?

Wait, ok, it's 12:40 and Look! It's Adam and the.. other.. guy.. from "The Mythbusters." And they want us to.. WHAT??

Ok, the Wave was fun. The rest of the stuff (cry, laugh, jump) was pretty lame.

Finally at approximately 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, with the Capital Building in the background and a crowd of OMG! in the front, Jon Stewart took the stage. And the crowd went wild. It felt right to stand with 200,000 of  my closest friends to sing the National Anthem. And it felt right to yell for Stephen Colbert (stuck 2,000 feet under us in his bunker, because he was afraid no one would show up) to come out and join us.

There was a lot of silliness, which was a lot of fun. BabyBoy is still not sure if his favorite part was seeing Ozzy in person.. or R2D2.

The people around us were great; we shared cough drops and napkins and someone's airplane bottle of vodka. And I'm also certain we all shared at least one contact high. What's a rally without a little pot?

Then the silliness ended and Jon Stewart gave a great speech on how Americans work together every single day to accomplish things that we probably never wanted to do in the first place. It's all over YouTube, but if you can't find it, give me a shout and I will post it here.

It was the best of times and I am so glad that I was able to be there. I wish I had managed to meet up with the other bloggers who were there, but maybe next time.

I will be starting a post soon about the blogger I DID manage to meet on Sunday and the rest of my DC trip. But school must come first.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Home Safe and Sound and Sane

Wow! What a great time! What a great city!

I'm home, FINALLY losing that cough, and, of course, behind in school and work.

But I have some great pictures and some great stories and I am hoping to get them up soon. I will probably just write a bunch of short posts, because no one wants the entire 4 1/2 days in one 4 1/2 day post.

Soon... I hope.

Because I don't want to discuss the elections. At least not until the wound has a nice scab.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Email Me!

There are details at my previous post on where I am staying and when I am planning to meet with TrueBlueTexan on Saturday morning. If you can't make that meeting and want to try for another, email me at I can access that email account from my phone.

I don't think I will be able to do a lot of blogging from D.C., but I am hoping to have a lot to say after I return. I just hope I have the energy to do all of the things I want to do!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Leaving.. On a jet plane!

Which is a bonus, because until our new airport opened we only had props!

For stalking purposes:

BabyBoy & I will be on the 6:05am flight out of Panama City and will be arriving in Baltimore at ~ 9:15 (we are changing time zones, it is only a 2 hour flight).  We will be taking the B30 bus into D.C at a cost of less than $10.00 each, instead of the $100 or more it would have cost to fly into Dulles.  I think the bus takes us to the green line, but I will have to check. We will eventually be switching to the blue and orange line (it's an omen) which we will take to the FoggyBottom metro station and then make our way to our hotel! (Pretty fancy, huh?? Thank goodness for credit card points or we would be camping under a bridge!)

The plan is to check in and then wander around D.C. gaping like tourists and asking strangers to take our pictures, because, we will be tourists and we will need to have proof we were there.

On Saturday we will be meeting TrueBlueTexan at 9am at the refreshment stand across the street from the National Air and Space Museum. I think there may be many other bloggers there at that time for a giant group hug... or at least some handshaking with alcohol wipes. :-) (If I still have this hacking cough, may I suggest a 4 foot radius? And, possibly a Lysol bath after?)

I am planning to carry a sheet or blanket to sit on during the festivities, I think, because I am not carrying chairs on the plane, but I have no idea where we will be parking our behinds.. or if we will.

I also do not plan to be arrested for jumping on Bruce Willis, but if I am... trust me it was worth it! :-)

Someone on Facebook was trying to set up an "Insanity after the Sane Rally" party, but it didn't seem to take off. I think there will be plenty of open pubs and bars and restaurants to re-examine the day.

What did I forget?? I hope you all make it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Voting and Traveling and Being Sick

I am so glad the 'blog world is able to function without me. I have started a dozen posts in my head over the last week, but have not had the opportunity to get them down before, "Poof, they are gone!"

Wednesday (10/20) was our wedding anniversary, but we were inundated by family so we postponed the celebration.

Thursday I woke up with my throat on fire. And people due in from DC for training. So I went to work. And learned quite a bit. And I went out, because it seemed mean to NOT, and I adore these particular people (not something you will hear from me a lot), so dinner and drinks and I steadily felt worse. Fever, chills, aches, pains. Yuck. So not only was I miserable I have probably infected all of Bay County. NOT my brightest move.

Temp was ~ 101 at 8pm when I finally made it home. Nyquil and bed. Still ~ 101 @ 12:30 am. I took some Motrin and the fever broke between 1:30 & 2, but I was exhausted. I'm not sleeping well, even when DSD doesn't snore. I took Friday off and slept all day.

Yesterday there were groceries to buy, homework to finish, and a lovely dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

What does all of this mean? Well, I have not even watched the news in DAYS. Of course when I try to watch actual TV, the political ads make me insane. I would love to say, "I'm not voting for anyone running an ad that contains lies or is just nasty," but I refuse to stay home on election day! I will vote. Then I will bitch.

Thank you to everyone who is managing to post information that the world needs to know. Hopefully I will be back in the swing soon.

BUT, I must be healthy by Friday, because I am headed to DC!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Because you should see what a cute couple we are!

Before the game, waiting for the team.
Before we knew what was in store!

I WAS ready for some football, but the team was not.

Well I had a lovely weekend in Gainesville. Great weather. Excellent food. Lots of fun.

My team lost.  Again. Third week in a row. This hasn't happened since the mid 80s. Crazy.

Me and Treebow at the Ballyhoo Grill for dinner Friday night.
Dinner was amazing. I am touching his Heisman. 

Why am I not allowed to put more than one picture in this post????? 

Well, there will be another picture in the next post then. Or another post just for the next picture. Annoying. 

I haven't posted much about my love of college football (especially the University of Florida Gators) because there hasn't been a lot to post, they've looked AWFUL, and there have been so many other topics to cover. I'm not going to say much now, except.. "What happened here?" 

Well, there IS always next year!  


More Whining.. With Extra Special Sauce

Looking back, probably part of the reason I disappeared for as long as I did was just depression. Not clinical really, although the Paxil did help for a while, but just bone deep, "I know what is wrong and can not fix it."  And that is still weighing on me.

I mentioned my work situation a couple of times here and here.  After I posted the second one, I received very sound advice on what to do and how to do it. I am completely humiliated to say I did nothing. Still haven't. We have a new person working here and she has already contacted HR (after 4 months) about the hostile work environment and the fact that we have absolutely zero management or supervision. Last week. After 4 months. Two months before her probation is up.

I beat myself up about it last week. You know, could've, should've, would've...BUT.

In my case there really was a BUT and I couldn't get around it.  Yes, my job pays really well, for what I do and this area, and, yes, DSD is still out of work and his retirement will not support us and so I really have to work. BUT those are not the reasons I kept quiet. The reason I kept quiet was because I was not the only person involved and the other person was a friend.  Or so I thought.

She had (some months prior) to the big blowout around here, found herself having sex with another employee.  Someone else paid his pay check, but we all worked here together.  Both were married. I didn't judge, except to think that she had really, really bad taste.  She separated from her husband, his wife discovered his shenanigans and made threats, the affair ended.

Last August the shyte hit the fan.  The man (?) my friend had had sex with had (allegedly) also had sex with another employee and befriended the crazy person (really we call her CrO short for Crazy One) who makes our lives miserable. She (CrO) had then proceeded to tell the world about all of the sex this guy was getting. There was blah, blah, blah and meetings and stuff and I am boring myself just by typing it all.

So, my "friend" and I called our true boss in Jacksonville and she came here and there were more meetings and more stuff and blah, blah, blah and she was allegedly not impressed with the BS being spread by CrO, PLUS I had documentation of lies she told and the persecution she was giving me and others and how it was almost impossible to DO MY JOB... HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT.  The boss gave me (and the "friend" advice) which we followed and then we proceeded to get REAMED out and my "friend" was told that she would be the only one losing her job. No husband, no job... gets tough.

So we sat down and shut up. Come to work. Do our jobs. Go home. I actually love my job, except for CrO and the one in Jacksonville.

June 2010 - my "friend" gets a new, better paying, more stable position. New girl starts. New girl gets fed up quickly.

October 2010 - new girl contacts HR. I am not positive what has happened with that and the new girl is off now until next week.

My issue? My "friend" who has now reconciled with her husband and does not want to jeopardize her marriage again informed me that she didn't care what the new girl does, as long as the "friend's" name is not brought up. I don't know how her husband could even hear about an investigation.. even an indepth one. But I felt like once her position was secure, she would be here for me to help me prove that I was NOT the insane one last year. That we were/are being persecuted. That even the Bitch in Jacksonville should not be working, especially in management, because she is an embarrassment to this company. 

Truthfully? When I read the article in Vanity Fair about Sarah Palin's temper tantrums and her mood swings, I thought, "Holy shit, this could be about CrO"

Life's not fair. And I understand looking out for #1, but my feelings were hurt. My only hope is that I will be receiving a promotion and will be moving into another department. I knew that would not occur before October 1, and probably not before 1 January.. but please cross your fingers that it happens SOON! Or that the new HR person that was contacted last week actually does something.

And maybe hope that I start making new friends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

"Don't Ask/Don't Tell" - Unconstitutional!

Well, duh.

But it has been ruled so again. And there has been an ordered entered to immediately stop kicking people out of the military if they are homosexual. YAY!!

So now the Dept of Justice (DOJ) has 60 days to appeal the order, but, of course, they won't because the President opposes.... Wait. What?

The DoJ can do what it wants? Even if President Obama supports the repeal, the DoJ can still appeal this decision?

Dear Mr. President,

Man up. Your health care bill is barely adequate (ask my 21 year old son who does not have coverage) and Gitmo is still open. We will be in Iraq until long after I am dead. There is no more transparency than there was 4 years ago. Business as usual in the Capital. AT LEAST let's repeal this law that even a baby can see is unconstitutional. PLEASE do something before the mid-term elections and if that means firing the DoJ, don't you have that right? Aren't they part of your cabinet? Don't they work for you??

Thank you very much,
The Lefts

Could you PLEASE lean a little more my way? That reaching across the aisle bulls&%( ain't working!

Ten Rescued so Far

Ten of the 33 Chilean miners* who have been trapped under ground for 69 days have been rescued. What a lovely thing to wake up to.  I can't even imagine everything they have had to endure after being trapped for over two months, or the myriad emotions they must be feeling now (or the horror of being the LAST ONE), but I am so thrilled for them, for their families, for the entire country of Chile, because they never gave up.  And they are going to the hospital for observation and then going home.

Welcome back, gentlemen!

*On a side note, I know people who were consulted on how to ensure the air the miners have been breathing remained safe, so that practically makes me a celebrity!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Poor, Pitiful Me

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, and underappreciated. While discussing this weekend's planned trip to the Mississippi St @ Florida game, DSD and I had words. He said he was joking.. about having biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast... fried chicken for lunch... ribeyes for dinner. He probably was, because he has been fabulous about what he is actually eating, but it is stressing me out.

I work full time. I am taking 9 hours of classes this semester (3 hours each term and 3 hours over the semester).  Any way you count it, I am getting 9 hours between August and December (down from the 13 that I took last year this time), I am trying to function working for a %#@@! who barely speaks English (Arkansas) and can NOT write it, but ended up as the boss. I am trying my best to take food with little or no flavor and make it delicious (and doing and excellent job, I might add!!) and I am not sleeping well at night.

I really want a week in a tropical setting with fresh grown food and my Kindle!

Which is not going to happen. I tried that this summer (five days in Destin) and that turned into a nightmare of drunken, crying crap to the point where I no longer speak to the person I thought was my best friend.

DSD's health. Babyboy's lovelife. (He got dumped last week and is sad). Many of my family are exhausting.

I'm just tired. And whining.

Or whining and tired, take your pick.

But, hey, I am going to DC in 17 days. And I am going to be even MORE exhausted when I get home.

But it will so be worth it!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Missing Picture?!?

Weird. I had no picture. And here I am planning to meet all sorts of new people in D.C. soon and they would not know what I looked like!

DSD is now on medication. Poor guy got screwed on the genetics, I think. Wish us luck, because we are travelling this weekend and that is going to be difficult!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 10/10/10

* H/T to TrueBlueTexan, whom I will be meeting face to face in less than a month, for her round up of the crazies of the week. Joe the Plumber and burning houses. The entire post made me throw up in my mouth a little, so that means she did an awesome job!

*A Facebook friend posted this link to a PBS Special titled, "God in America." I am hoping to DVR it and watch it.. soon? Ish? One day? Maybe over Thanksgiving???

*Troy University Term I ends today. My final exam and research paper are turned in and I am attempting to read the first chapter of the class that starts tomorrow on Public Administration. Why are text books so boring?

*DSDs follow up appointment is in the morning. He was incredible at the grocery store last weekend and has been careful with his food intake lately. He has never been one to over eat, but he does love his salt. He has cut it almost completely out and has been leaving the vegetable cooking to me. (He did love to ruin most veggies with too much salt!) So think nice thoughts about us in the morning.. if you are so inclined.

*A friend from high school posted on Facebook today asking that everyone vote for Alex Sink for governor of Florida. This friend is not very political, but she is a Republican. Apparently Rick Scott is planning to privatize many of the state employees. She is very concerned about her job, her retirement, her future. She is a probation officer and has been in the same position since she graduated college, so ~ 20 years.

*In case I have mentioned it - I'M GOING TO DC FOR JON STEWART'S RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY.  You know, in case you missed it!

*Congrats to my friends, Matt and Mary, who don't read this 'blog, but who are getting married today!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A New Way of Life

I do wish my paper on capitalism and fascism was as easy to write as a 'blog post.

I have been working on DSD and our eating habits lately. I am not sure where my desire to eat healthier, be healthier has come from, but that, combined with my need to reduce my carbon footprint, has produced a clash or two... a week. Especially at the grocery store. He wants to buy pre-prepared boxed dinners: chicken marsala, jambalaya, beef stroganoff, and what's wrong with the occasional Raman noodles? I say, "I can make it cheaper, healthier, tastier," (take your pick). Sometimes he gets mad, "why change up things?" sometimes he just moves on.

Three weeks ago he went to the doctor for a physical. I have been pestering him to go for at least two years, partly to see if there was ANYTHING to be done about his snoring and parly because he did have cholestorol issues in the early part of the decade that we managed to get under control so that he didn't have to continue to take medication. The doctor was thorough and immediately sent him for blood work and asked that he (DSD) take his blood pressure every other day. DSD returned for the results this week:

BP: OMG! On medication
Good cholestorol: 28
Bad cholestorol: Unable to be measured
Overall: 256
Triglycerides: 1250--- ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY!! Crazy.
Sugars: Normal (which is actually the one we were concerned about because his father has type II diabetes)

He was given an EKG and sent for a chest x-ray and was sent for MORE blood work. He has an appointment for Monday 11 October to get the results of all of the above. We have fought. Quite a bit. He doesn't want to change the way he eats. He doesn't want to stop his alcohol intake. He doesn't want to CHANGE. Who does?!?!?

 I don't want to lose him.

We went grocery shopping today and he was fabulous. We spent A LOT of time looking at the fat levels and sodium levels of everything. He even bought ketchup with no salt added.. which sounds gross, but I don't eat a lot of ketchup.

We started composting in March and he will build our raised garden bed in the next few weeks, now that it is not 100 degrees every day.  I have radishes, tomatoes, and broccoli growing in containers right now. Maybe next year we will produce enough tomatoes that I will be able to can my own ketchup (and tomato sauce and salsa), but no.matter.what I would really like it if DSD were here to help (or hinder, but don't tell him that!) .

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Call to Arms

For my class on Political Theory (very interesting class!) I have to write a paper (which is not going well) and I have chosen to do so on Capitalism, Anarchism and Fascism. It is due in 2 weeks, I have plenty of notes and about half of 1 paragraph actually written.

But while looking for books on the above topics I found "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America," by Chris Hedges and it is scaring the crap out of me. My issue with alleged Christians is that they never seem to actually be Christ-like, but apparently I have not being paying attention, and many of my blog pals have not either. At heart is the fact that, as liberals, we have a 'live and let live' policy. I know I do and most of the 'blogs I read seem to espouse the same idea. According to Mr. Hedges, that is what is going to get us into trouble. The TEAbaggers and their ilk, Cheney, Romney, Falwell, Palin, etc are sucking in new members daily and assuming that people are smart enough to think for themselves will definitely make an ASS of U and ME.

According to this book (easy read of just over 200 pages) liberalism will be our downfall, just as it was Germany's in the 1930s. It isn't that the book says liberalism is bad, it is just that we are (normally) pacifists and we expect the same out of others. So while we may laugh at the stupid that comes out of Alaska (or Delaware, or Nevada, or Florida) we think that this is a small group of crazy fringeness that has a lot of TV time, but what is actually happening is that the rich are doing everything in their power to recruit more goons to their side in the upcoming Holy Wars and we are busy living our lives ("the busy majority") and assuming that others are like us. They aren't. They are scared and crazy and they think we hate them, so they are going to strike at us first.
Read the book. Let's chat.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Note About Life

BabyBoy has been out of town since the day after Labor Day. His girl friend began classes at the University of South Florida in August and he went down there to visit with her, sleeping double in a single bed for several nights and then venturing over to the east coast of Florida to spend time with his father.  He has not had fun there and went back to Tampa for a few days then went back to his father's, girlfriend in tow, this evening. We have spoken every few days, including today, then via text at other times.

About 15 minutes ago (via text) he said, "For real, I think I am going to marry this girl."

And I DID know that was in his head. He has been different toward her/about her/in his tone when speaking of her, BUT...

I want him to be happy, more than anything. And I do not think he means in 2010 OR 2011, but, WOW, mommy has been weeping since the message came in. He's my baby. My only baby. And this seems different from other girlfriends.

Please, please, let him be happy. And let him produce a girl.. so I can pass that doll on.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

TD # 15. Don't panic though, I get a bad feeling about at least one a year. And none have come close for several years.

I've got my eye on you # 15. Watch yourself.

News From Around the World

***Florida's ban on allowing homosexuals or homosexual couples to adopt has been declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL again. Maybe we are on the right track here.

***I heard this morning on NPR that if ALL of the Bush era tax cuts were allowed to lapse, it would put the US super close to a balanced budget. Why isn't that being screamed about elsewhere?

***Today mark's the beginning of the new Health Care Law. While many of us (and I mean me) think it didn't go far enough, there are many who will be helped and that has to mean something. So I want to take a minute to be thankful for that. And for a President who continues to care, even when he is constantly vilified.

***The Republicans have a plan. Why didn't they have a plan when they had control? Why do they think a list of "wants" constitutes a "plan?" Why do I torture myself with really stupid questions?

****Jon Stewart ROCKS!! Let's all go to DC!!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If You Vote Republican...

If you don't read the 'blog Margaret and Helen, please start now. This 'blog was started by a young man so that his grandmother could keep in touch with her best friend. Helen started writing little notes to Margaret, who sometimes writes back and sometimes does not and someone spotted this little 'blog and word spread and the 2008 election season kicked off and Helen kicked it into high gear. What a treasure these two beautiful, intelligent, wonderful women are. I wish others were as smart as they are.

I am completely copying and pasting from a post that was published on Sept 9th.

If you vote Republican today, what exactly are you voting
for? It’s certainly not smaller government. If you vote Republican
today you are telling “Pastor” Terry Jones that fifty religious
fanatics are more important than any chance for world peace. You are
telling Sarah Palin that when it comes to the presidency
- pretty is more important than smart. You are telling Glenn Beck
that honesty isn’t really necessary if you have your own cable news show on
Fox. You are telling Michele Bachmann that hearing voices in your
head isn’t cause for alarm. Hell, if you vote Republican today you might
as well just shove a few more dollars in Rush Limbaugh’s pockets and a few more
pills in his mouth. It’s all very entertaining, I’ll give you that.
But considering what they did when we gave them the keys to the car the last
time, are you really ready to put them behind the wheel again so soon? I’m
just not sure there are that many more countries we can bomb, world religions we
can vilify and oil wells we can drill before the rest of the world calls us on
our bullshit.

Read what they write. Share it with your friends. Spread the word. These women are wonderful. I wonder if Helen would run for... something.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Theory of Stupid

A couple of people requested that I email them my friend's theory about why the world is getting more and more stupid, but there is no reason not to post it. I am pretty sure he is not going to do studies on this issue. According to my son there is a movie out called "Idiocracy" but I have only seen the first few minutes of it.

My friend theorized that the average IQ (at least in this country) was dropping by leaps and bounds. He said it was because educated people finished high school and went on to actually become educated. Bachelor's Degrees, Master's Degrees, and Doctorates all take time and money and effort to attain and most people who do attain them do not do so with a wife and 10 children following them around (or a husband and 9 children, ha ha!!). Sorry that was sexist.

But, my friend said, some people married fresh out of high school, before they have enough sense to know that the world is not always fair and they start having children immediately. And (on average) uneducated people raise uneducated people. And those who start when they are 18 continue until their child bearing years are over. (And some men continue to have 2nd, 3rd and 4th families!!)

Of course people with advanced degrees normally wait until they are older to marry and to start having children, and then it is possible that there are health concerns that may or may not allow them to have children or which may limit their number.

Now this is obviously a very flimsy theory with absolutely no scientific principles behind it. It was just my friend thinking out loud. There are many, many people who do not fall into this category and I am one of them. I was married at 19 and pregnant at 21 with 1 semester of college behind me. There were no more pregnancies after that. Another of my friends is an M.D., the son of 2 PhDs and he is the oldest of 8 children.

But look around at the poorer neighborhoods, at the children with more than 1 sibling in your child's class. It is definitely possible.

And my ex is currently expecting his 3rd child. He turned 46 today. He has only a high school diploma, although his current wife (who is not yet 30) does have a Bachelor's Degree. But she still married him and she can't figure out how to prevent unwanted children. How high is her IQ?

"The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown

I read the book back in December, because DSD had gotten it for me for Christmas. I enjoyed it. It is a typical Dan Brown book, along the same lines as "Angels and Demons" and "The DaVinci Code," except this one was set in the U.S. DSD thought he wanted to read it, but he would rather watch TV, so the book sat on the end table for months. When we realized that his daughter would be getting married, he mentioned buying "The Lost Symbol" on cd for the trip.*

Ask anyone who knows me; the way to get me to spend money is to mention buying a book. Even a book on CD. For a book I had already read.

So we set off for Nashville and we listened to the CD, but we couldn't every minute of the trip. There were discussions about breakfast and lunch and his son would rise from what appeared to be the dead every once in a while to chat. So the 16 hour trip was never going to get us through the entire 17 1/2 hours of the story, but we only managed 9 out of 15 CDs.

Flash forward to today, when I was discussing our upcoming trip to Gainesville (Woo Hoo! Go Gators!) with the doctor friend that is going with us. We have over three weeks, so Doug suggested he listen to the CDs up to where we are and we can all listen to the rest on our trip. I happen to know this particular gentleman listens to books all the time. He thought it was a great idea.. until I mentioned it was Dan Brown.

Of course the same Dan Brown who told evil tales about Jesus. I asked him if he had read "The DaVinci Code" and he said he didn't have to.. he had read the Bible. How do I get myself into messes like these??!?!

*And I bet I would LOVE to listen to a book on CD if I was driving. But I am not driving, so I would rather read my Kindle.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Repeal Don't Ask/Don't Tell and Move on to the REAL Issues

There's going to be a showdown on the Senate floor this week -- and we'll have a chance to do away with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" once and for all.
Right now, though, it's not clear we'll have the votes to win.
That's because moments after Sen. Harry Reid announced the vote, Sen. John McCain again threatened to stop the bill at any cost. He said he plans to filibuster not just a vote, but even the procedure to bring it up for debate.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" isn't about politics -- it's about discrimination. And when Republicans defend discrimination of any kind, they need to know that their constituents are watching and ready to respond.
It is up to each of us to let the Republicans who are blocking this vote know that Americans want repeal.
Call Sen. McCain at (202) 224-2235 now, tell him America supports the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and ask him to stop standing in the way.
As the President has said, we must end this law "because it is the right thing to do." A majority of Americans agree that those who are brave enough to stand up and serve our country deserve to do so openly.
Call Sen. McCain today at (202) 224-2235 to tell him to end his filibuster threat and get out of the way of change.
Thanks for your help on this critical vote,
Mitch StewartDirectorOrganizing for America

This Day In History

James Meredith did not consider himself a Civil Rights Activist, he considered himself a man who was doing God's work.

And he spent the last 20 years as a Republican. Does that make sense to anyone?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Really. I am rational. I am sane. Most days. And The Daily Show's Jon Stewart wants all of us rational and sane people to join him in the "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C. on the Mall Saturday 30 Oct, 2010.

This is the sort of thing that I always WANT to do, but never do. I always think of the cost and the time off work and blah, blah, blah. This time I mentioned it to a friend who thought she may want to go and then I came home AND BOUGHT PLANE TICKETS!! My friend is going to meet me and BabyBoy there. We will be staying at the Washington Marriott thanks to points from my Visa/Check Card.

I am in total shock that I have done this. Can any of you attend also?? Can we meet? Mauigirl may be there! Who else?!?

Let's all go to DC and show the crazies that Rational wins!!!

And, because we (BabyBoy & I) have never been to the capital of our great nation, we are going to stay for several days and see a few of the sights!

Friday, September 17, 2010

So Says the Prez.. So says me!

More tomorrow on the "Rally to Bring Back Sanity" or whatever it is called and the fact that I have BOUGHT PLANE TICKETS!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do You Think Stupidity Caused the Fall of Rome?

A recent weekly quiz in my Political Theory class (AWESOME CLASS, btw) had a question about what I felt was the biggest threat to democracy* in this country. I took a full paragragh to answer a question that I could have answered with one word.


I even included a theory a research psychologist friend of mine shared with me a couple of years ago on WHY our collective IQ is dropping, but I won't bore you with it here.

As I sit in my office listening to a highly educated medical doctor babble bullshit about how the President is bankrupting our country.

Stupid is running amuck.

This is long, just over 13 minutes. Please watch it. Glen Beck and Sarah Palin are NOT part of this video. This is a video of a young man at the rally speaking to every day people who attended. People who believe television commercials, entertainment shows, and those emails which contain nothing but lies but spread like wildfire. You have a right in this great country to believe whatever you want to believe, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE figure out WHY you believe the way you do. Learn to defend your beliefs so that we (Americans) can have a real dialogue and stop pointing fingers and calling names. And Please don't call anyone names if you don't know what they mean!!

H/T to The Swash Zone. Spread this video. Show the world our stupid.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Couch to 5K aka I Quit Smoking and Gained A Lot of Weight

I have always been that girl who was secretly hated by all of her friends. Of course I felt that I was fat in high school, but I wasn't. Through marriage and childbirth, my weight fluctuated, but when the numbers started climbing, I just made a conscious effort to walk a little more and eat a little less and voila! gone. I know, you can hate me too.

In 2004 I looked at the scale and realized that I had not been paying attention and the number was much higher than should ever be allowed. Plus my 20th high school reunion would be arriving and I needed to look good. So I joined an online weightloss group and lost 20 pounds and I did look good for my reunion!

2007 arrives and wedding plans are ongoing. And my weight had creeped back up some. With everyone going on, it is a wonder I managed any weightloss at all, but I did lose about 10 pounds.

2009. What I feel was an incorrect diagnosis of Lupus still spurred me into stepping away from the smokes. No more. Done. Fini. 14 months ago today. YAY! And the weight gain started. I joined a gym; I started a garden; I am trying to eat healthier. But I LOVE to eat. I have always LOVED to eat. A LOT.

My last posted picture was taken Jun 26th and it is a very good picture considering what I actually weighed. And I have gained 7 or 8 pounds since then. In less than 3 months!

Did I mention that I LOVE to eat??

So, yesterday, I stopped at a lovely place across the street and was fitted for running shoes. Because that stupid stationary bike is not working. And I downloaded the C25K App for my Droid. And I put on the shoes and put in my earplugs and AWAAAAY I went. And I thought I was going to DIE! I did not even make it through all of the running phases.

But I started and that is the first step.

And I will try again tonight.

So any great words of wisdom about running would be greatly appreciated. And any great, natural, low-fat, low-cal recipes would be appreciated also. Especially those that taste like French Fries, or baked pototoes. Because I love me some carbs!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My First Speech ***UPDATED*** Now includes a picture of the doll

Troy University requires a speech class to be a PoliSci major. I am taking this class locally at the community college, because I couldn't see taking a speech class online. Wouldn't that be wierd?
First speeches were due last Wednesday (9/8) and I went first because I was so nervous. Let me talk about politics or football, but an "artifact speech" dealing with something that can represent ME? Scary.

This is the speech I gave.

"Poor is a relative term. Growing up, I didn’t know that we were poor. We had a nice house. We got new shoes and new clothes every year before school started, and we always received nice things at Christmas. Most of the time that included more new clothes, but there were toys and bikes also. We also took a vacation every year from the time I was 6 until after I graduated from high school. The vacation was always to visit my dad’s family in northern Indiana, but, stopping at Opryland or the Caverns in Kentucky, we managed to have a day or two of fun also. I didn’t know that sometimes my mother stayed awake all night wondering where the money was going to come from to feed us and pay the bills, or how every single year we came close to losing the house because my parents always paid the taxes late.

But if poor is a relative term and we were considered poor, then there must be another term to use for the abject poverty my mother grew up in. There were no new clothes. There were no shoes. Not only did her family not have vacations or toys, but they didn’t have running water or indoor plumbing or toilet paper. She played with glass coke bottles as a child, holding them like baby dolls, pretending to feed them and change their diapers as she saw her sisters do with her younger brothers — and then with their own children, as they married young to escape.

On May 2, 1959, my mother’s 12th birthday, she received a real doll — a beautiful, porcelain doll that had turned 50 the previous year. This was a gift from her great-grandmother, because they shared the middle name, Lee. My mother carried that doll everywhere for the next 34 years. She moved to New Jersey in high school to live with one of her sisters. She met and married my father, had me and my brother, and moved from pillar to post and back again. When I was young, the doll lived in a shoe box in the linen closet wrapped in a dingy brown cloth where she wore an equally dingy brown dress,. Sometimes I asked my mom if I could look at the doll, sometimes I just looked at her when my mother was not home, but I was always careful, almost reverent when I took her from her box. Through the years this doll began to symbolize my mother to me— her strength, her beauty, her ability to withstand the years and live in conditions that were not the best in the world, but still to endure. To grow. To prosper.

As I got older— after we all managed to survive my teen years— my mother endured my marriage to a man she never liked or approved of, the birth of my only child, the sale of our family home, and a diagnosis of darkness in the not too distant future. She has not driven in 15 years. She chose to give up her driver’s license rather than risk the lives of others. Sometimes she is sad. Sometimes she is angry. Sometimes she questions why she has this horrifying disease, because there are others in the world who have never worked and never contributed. Her fondest wish is to have her eyesight restored so that she could go to the grocery store alone and work every single day for the rest of her life.

Sometimes I get tired. Or annoyed by having to run errands, go grocery shopping or car pool. Sometimes I think I want to never have to leave my house. Then I remember that while those things are chores, they are also a privilege. And I look at the doll my mother gave me on my 26th birthday, in its beautiful, white dress, in its glass case and I know that I can be as strong as I have to be, as strong as my mother has always been. "

He Said, She Said, They Said... And Nothing Gets Done **UPDATED**

House minority leader, John Boehner, desparately wants to be House MAJORITY leader, and with the way this country votes (without thinking, against its best interest, by watching commercials) it is possible. Several weeks ago Mr. Boehner was found to be screaming about the President's FAILED economic plans. He also seemed to think that if allowed the GOP could cut spending, reduce the debt and, maybe, pull a rabbit out of a hat. A dead rabbit, of course, for dinner.

I have debated for over a week about whether to mention this, just because I hate to even acknowledge the GOP's shyte, but, again, our country is at stake. Our future and the future of our future generations.

The Bush years were long, tortorous and illegal, but they are now in the past. Do I believe that W is solely responsible for the crap we find ourselves in now? No. One man can not cause this economic crisis, although he certainly did nothing to attempt to stop it. Housing bubble? Increasing debt? Immoral war? What? Dipshit.

The economy is cyclical. W pushed it in this direction, but it was already headed that way. President Obama is attempting to turn the Titanic. It does not happen quickly. It may not (has not) happen before there is some damage to the ship. BUT IT WILL TURN. Unless the Captain is shoved overboard and another monkey (or worse, a pitbull with lipstick) is given the wheel.

In a recent assignment for class one of the questions was to explain what I saw as the current threat(s) to democracy. While it took me an entire paragraph and an antidote about a friend who has a PhD in research psychology, my answer could have been written in one word. Stupid.

While I believe that George and Ben and James and Thomas and the others (aka The Founding Fathers) were amazing, intelligent men who created a masterpiece, I don't like having their thoughts thrown in my face, because they had no regard for me. Still, I think they did get one thing correct that they are never given credit for. They knew the average person was a moron. That is why they set up the system so that only those who were paying attention were allowed to vote.

Of course those were the same people who are members of the GOP today, so maybe that wasn't such a hot idea.

Boehner may compromise! Shhhh, don't tell or he will change his mind!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Labor Day Trip to Hell and Back*

As I said in my last post, DSD's daughter was scheduled to get married over Labor Day weekend, just north of Nashville. We loaded up in the car early Thursday morning, DSD, his oldest son, DSD jr and I, and set off. DSD jr was pleasant for the hour of the trip he was awake, DSD and I had Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on CD** and away we went.

Now I have to interject here and explain that I have always felt that DSD jr has treated me with rudeness and disrespect, even during the 16-18 month period when he lived in my house. I had not had a problem with the daughter, whom we will call, SD, because I am not feeling too creative, until earlier this year. DSD's relationship with these children is not the best, most healthy in the world. I have never stood in the way of it, but they were graduating high school about the time we started dating, so they have been grown 90% of the time I have known them. When SD called our house last year on Father's Day to announce her pregnancy (she was past the 5 month mark) I was a little freaked, but she was 25 years old, would be 26 before the birth of the child and she was in a relationship and they weren't asking for money or our blessings. Great. Wonderful. Congratulations.

I jumped on board the baby wagon (hey! who doesn't love a baby??) and DSD and I immediately ordered the crib on her registry and I bought the baby (a boy) some great Florida Gator onesies and a couple of toys. (I did, those were not joint gifts).

Baby is born. I had a conference to Nashville. We meet the baby daddy and his 2 girls from a previous marriage (their mother died several years ago) and had a lovely weekend on the company's dime. Christmas arrived, I sent nice things for everyone and SD told DSD who told me she really loved everything. Rude? Well, yes, but BabyBoy has been guilty of the same thing, so I just went along with my life.

January 2010 - DSD received a Facebook request from SD.
Late January 2010 - LLL received a Facebook request from SD.
Early February 2010 - SD makes rude comments IN ALL CAPS about people (in general) on FB.
LLL (of course) immediately sends her a PRIVATE message explaining that all caps is considered yelling and I was just trying to help, because I didn't know how much time she had spent on social networking site.
Mid- February 2010- LLL is de-friended by SD.

I knew what had happened. But I feigned shock. And I said, "Hmmm, must've been a FB glitch." And I sent her another friend request. And she ignored it.

DSD finally asked her what had happened. And she told him (in an email) that she was a member of several different social (mommy) sites, that she had yelled intentionally, and that I had embarrassed her.

This was in March, maybe April.

We sent her a "First Mother's Day" card.

We sent her baby daddy a birthday card.

DSD received neither a Father's Day card nor a birthday card from her (or a phone call for either) and the wedding announcement was received via e-mail from her mother.

Fast forward to this weekend and you can understand why I was not looking forward to the trip.

Arrival at their house, hugs all around, weird. Discussion about the trip, see the girls (beautiful, well-behaved, literate girls), wait for the baby to wake from nap. Give baby his birthday present, take pictures of baby. Play with baby... from across the room, because I know better than to get to close. "Oh, LLL, did you want to help with the decorations? We are baking the cake and tying bows on really stupid stuff that was a complete and total waste of money, so THANKS for buying the beer!"

Friday, my in-laws arrived in a lovely reprieve of manners and kindness. Friday evening, was the rehearsal. No one had a clue. This song or that song, who is giving her away? DSD will walk her part way, then her step-father will walk her.. no, let's try this and that and.. Ok. That is the point of the rehearsal, except no one really figured out what was going on and it was still a fiasco on Saturday.

There is nothing wrong with a backyard wedding. Nothing. They are simple and sweet and inexpensive. There is nothing wrong with an outrageously stupidly, expensive church wedding an open bar and a sit down dinner for 500 of your closest friends. Just don't ask me to pay for it. And, please, don't combine the two, because that doesn't work. Aisle runners outside. First couple's dance with no other dancing. Champagne toast, but the rest of the champagne was hidden or something, because there was TONS left over that no one drank. (Because they didn't know it was there?)

The worst though, absolute worst part, was Sunday morning. We told everyone we would arrive at SD's house at 8:00, that we would visit for an hour or so and then get on the road. We arrived at 7:59. The house smelled deliciously of bacon. They sat down to breakfast at 8:20. At 8:30 I was asked if I wanted breakfast, because "there was plenty." DSD and I both declined and I had a couple of MickyD's cheeseburgers at 10:30.


I am certain you really don't want to hear about all of this, but I vented to Facebook as much as I could, considering I don't want to hurt DSD's feelings. I tried to explain to a friend at work that maybe it was northern thing, but she corrected me, post haste. She is from Wisconsin.

So, that is my tale of woe. I do have something on the political front to post, but I have homework also. This took longer than I had anticipated. I am not holding my breath on hearing from his kids again. I will continue to send stuff to the children. But I am done with the grown ups.

*As opposed to the pizza joint in NW Florida Helen Back Cafe, which is supposed to have really great pizza.

**I would bet listening to a book on CD while you are driving would be great. But I was the passenger and I was bored. I would rather read if I am not driving.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#400 To End a Month of Birthdays

True Blue Texan made her 500th post yesterday. You should go read it, because it was sad and angry and inspirational all at once. I feel her pain. A lot of the reason I disappeared from this 'blog for so long was due to an overwhelming apathy about what was going on in this great country of ours. It is difficult to maintain the drive to post constantly and the desire to DO something when it seems that no one else is doing anything.

But I am back and this is my 400th post. My plan is to be here, but maybe not every single day. My plan is to continue to check out the 'blogs of others, but maybe not constantly. My plan is to continue to work toward a better future for the generations to come.

On another note, today is my step-daughter's 27th birthday and we will be attending her wedding on Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing my In-laws, but I have had a strained relationship with this girl since the first part of the year and with her brother for several years, so I am a little tense about it. His birthday was last week and I chose to not attend lunch with him and DSD.

DSD's birthday was yesterday. If the rain ever stops I am going to make him burn some sort of flesh on that new grill I got him. If it doesn't stop, I am going to put that new grill on the ark I am going to have to build.

DSD's LittleMan turned 16 earlier this month, just 3 days after my father-in-law turned 70 and the day before my niece turned 13.

August is a crazy month in the LeftLeaning household. I hope yours has been great.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crazy Magnet, Indeed!

The President of the AFL-CIO, speaking yesterday from Alaska, blasted Sarah Palin in a very impressive speech that is probably better than anything on late night TV.

My favorite part?

What is this crazy magnet that’s pulling people to the right?
I mean, look at your former governor….
Who is she, anyway?
Sarah Palin?
She used to have a job, your governor…. You knew her…. Or
thought you did…. I know I thought I did. She seemed like a decent person, an
outdoorswoman. Her husband’s a steelworker. She seemed to take some OK stands
for working families.
And then things got weird. After she tied herself to
John McCain and they lost, she blew off Alaska. I guess she figured she’d trade
up…shoot for a national stage. Alaska was too far from the FOX TV spotlight.
I bet most of you, on a clear day, can see her hypocrisy from your house.

I think I love him.

He also says nice things about what the Obama administration is trying to do and how they are being stopped at every turn. It was an interesting read, you should check out the entire thing on CNN.

H/T to The Immoral Minority.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One Giant Step for Caterpillars!

I have just discovered the joy of gardening. As I get older (and wiser) I notice that I eat almost everything now that I never would have considered years ago and I enjoy it. Fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store are not very yummy, and who knows where they have arrived here from. Plus one day I will (I hope) be an old Southern woman and there is a requirement that we "wear funny hats and old clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt." (Shirley McClain's charactar 'Ouiser' "Steel Magnolias")

So I planted tomatoes and red peppers and cucumbers and summer squash and 2 kinds of basil and some oregano. And I watered. And I talked to the little darlings. And I watched them.

And blooms arrived. And I watered. And I fertilized. Organic, of course. And fruit arrived. And rotted.

I did manage several cucumbers. And a tomato. And a squash.

Ok, new tomato plants and new squash plants and LOOK AT THIS! Peppers growing. On the vine.

And the bugs came.

Nature is a circle. And these bugs provide a service, somewhere in the cirle.

And I do NOT want to use pesticides. So we have donated the pepper plant and 1 tomato plant to these really fat things.

And the cucumbers were taken by what DSD is referring to as 'mites'

But the basil and oregano are coming right along! I think we are going to be eating a lot of Italian food. (Basil/oregano pizza is really yummy! Too bad the sauce isn't fresh!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Government Of, By and For the .. Corporations?

Of course President Obama would like to the keep the country Of, By and For the People, but what are the chances he will win this one? And what are the chances he will be held responsible for the fallout?

H/T to True Blue Texan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Operation New Dawn

Is there a new dawn happening this moment as I type?

I have NOT had a good day. Crazy blankity blank who is in charge at work makes me nuts. First class scheduled tonight that is not online. Flat tire after I grabbed a quick bite to eat. I love my brother and I appreciate him coming when I called, but it took him FOREVER. (He was less than a mile away!) Then I got home, checked Facebook and my cousin was posting stupid stuff about the President WANTING a mosque ON Ground Zero. Which is not what he said. When I disagreed respectfully, she wasn't nice.

Then DSD said, "Troops pulled out of Iraq today."

What?! What?!?!? What???

Really? But, they said, on the radio.... "It was on the news," he said, completely nonchalantly.

Why? What? No one mentioned this TO ME. Did the President discuss this on Saturday while he was HERE? With the SecNav? 90,000 troops have left Iraq in the last 18 months, since he took office.

Another campaign promise kept.

PLEASE let this be the right thing to do!

Let's Celebrate

While Sarah Palin babbles nonsense, people complain about the state of, well, everything, and we all manage to get through another day, it seems that something wonderful and amazing happened 90 years ago TODAY.

Ninty years is such a short span of time when you think about it. While it may be a longer span than many live, for countries and nations such as Italy and Greece and Iraq and Iran it is only the blink of an eye.

Here in the U.S. however, something wonderful and fantastic happened exactly 90 years ago. Someone decided it would be a great idea that FAR in the future, maybe to elect the first African American President, I should be allowed to vote. ME! A Woman!

So much went into Women's Suffrage. So many fought for it. Fought for ME! And I want to say Thank you to each and every one of them for allowing me to have something so precious............ A VOICE.

Sure, many of us are disgruntled. Sure maybe we aren't being listened to as we would like. But being allowed to SPEAK means something.

Let's take a moment to celebrate that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

You Asked For It

Well, maybe you didn't, and I know damned well I didn't, but if the voters of Arizona's 3rd district vote for and elect this guy*, they deserve everything they get.

The list should include (but will not be limited to):

Higher taxes
Sexual scandal
Dirty dealings
Lies, lies and lies

Go forth and vote, Arizona.

Isn't it great when Florida isn't the biggest piece of crap in the nation???

*It almost physically hurt to link to that article, I could not bring myself to actually say his name or anything else about him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

But I AM an American

I have not spoken a lot about my job. Maybe because I get those constant emails about security and NOT talking about it? Maybe because I don't want anyone I know in 'real' life to connect me to this 'blog? Maybe because I just don't? I don't know. All of the above?

I am employed by a company in.. the west? California? Or Arizona? Hell, maybe in Virginia. I work. My checks come. Life is good.

But my actual work location is at a Government installation in NW Florida. The Panhandle. The Redneck Riviera. I work there. I am a 'contract employee.' I am employed by a contract company, but I provide services for the government. I have done this for 10 years and I have never had a huge problem BEING a contractor. I have had difficulty with those I work with. I have had difficulty with those I work for. But I love my job.

The President will be here this weekend. The President of the United States. And his family. On Vacation. No public appearances.

And the email was sent out this morning, asking for volunteers to drive "members of the White House staff" around for the weekend. All day Saturday and most of Sunday. The reward? Meeting the President and (possibly) having a picture made with him. I had more than one person bad mouth this President and the fact that I volunteered. I had one person (who already had weekend plans, but who would have volunteered otherwise) tell me I would probably end up making coffee. I had one person tell me I would probably drive the hair dresser.

My response? OK. Make coffee. Drive hairdresser. Drive the DOG and/or the DOG trainer. Fine. Great. I don't even LIKE To drive, but I would. To meet the President. THIS President. His family.

Only active duty military and GS civilians will be considered. No contractors. So I came home and took a nap.

Because most of those GS civilians hate him. And 75% have no military bearing and no respect for those who served. And no respect for the Commander in Chief.

I am upset. I am mad. This was my chance to meet him. This was my chance to be a part of history.

There will be no next time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Want in One Hand And....

As you may or may not know, this is the year for the election of Florida’s governor. The current governor, Charlie Crist (a Republican that I do not hate) is not running for re-election, but for the Senate seat recently vacated by Mel Martinez.. Oh, Mel, we absolutely do not miss you!

So that leaves the Governor's mansion WIDE open.

On the left there is Alex Sink, currently the state's CFO, and the Chiles boy, son of former Governor "Walkin' " Lawton. Apparently Ms. Sink is doing fairly well, because she was on track to win the whole she-bang in the last polls I saw, due to the fact that those on the right were spending more than the federal deficit to bash each other every 30 seconds on TV.

On the right (and this is where we were headed from the beginning) is Rick Scott. Who says, "Sure, I bilked the public for TONS of money, but I had to pay FINES. And I lost my job." I can not stand to look at his face on the TV, he makes me see RED. He touts himself as an "outsider" and claims that the other righty kept stealing a taxpayer's jet and had it drop him off in his front yard. Soooooo, wow, what a crook and a crock.

Yesterday, however, Bill McCollum (the other righty), who I was not voting for, but didn't think was a complete moron (he is allegedly against the Arizona law of oppression and hate) announced that "I think the best thing for children is to have a man and a woman, a mother and a father, not gay parents. I don't think that's the right kind of parenting. That's my personal views. Those are my religious views." Which is bad but then, "told reporters that foster kids should not be in the care of gays or lesbians."

Florida currently does not allow adoption by gay parents (STUPID!!), but does allow gay couples to foster. So Bill McCollum is saying that HE wants to take all of those children who are in happy, healthy, loving homes and raise them himself? What does he think we are going to do with those children?

Stupid bigot.

Not a Criminal. Just Mad.

I don't know that dropping the F bomb over the PA system was the thing to do. I am pretty sure it is considered tacky in many circles.

I am also pretty sure that deploying an emergency slide from an aircraft when there is no emergency is also taboo. Maybe illegal?

But flight attendant Steven Slater did both of those things, before exiting the aircraft via that emergency slide.

He probably should have held his temper. He probably should not have taken that beer.

But, good grief, aren't we all human? And how much abuse can one person handle?

A website I read earlier said charges are being pressed and he is facing up to 7 years in jail. Now that is making a mountain out of a molehill, don't you think?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Electronically Tethered Part Deux

I love to read. I love it. Anything. Everything. Yes, I was the kid who always read the back of the cereal box and each and every sign on the road. Aloud. (And my mother let me live, so that was kind and giving of her). I read new books as fast as I can get my hands on them and even have to have DSD hide them from me if it is a time I should be reading school books or studying for a test. I usually have a book in my purse, in my car, and in my backpack, with stacks as yet unread at my house.

When I was younger (read: more poor) I borrowed books from the library and I bought at used book stores. Then, of course, I returned those books to the used book store for credit for MORE used books. There were a few that I owned and carried through each successive move, but less than 5 probably. I did check out books (occasionally) that I had already read, but I thought everyone did.

Somewhere, however, I realized that I was no longer living paycheck to paycheck, that there were a few dollars left at the end of each month and (brilliant idea!) why couldn’t I actually buy a book or 2? (or 200?) This happened to coincide with my mother’s foray into
!Book Clubs! Buy 1, Get 10 Free! *You must then buy 1 book a month at OUTRAGEOUS PRICES for the rest of your natural life*

Ok, it wasn’t quite that bad, but she started buying and I started buying, hard covered books, some in Large Print and then we would get together and trade books.

And there were a lot of books.

One Sunday, several years ago, I decided to catalog all of my books. Sort them. Put them back on the shelves in alphabetic order after placing them in an Excel spreadsheet. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. DSD was not home at the time, but when he returned he almost had a stroke, because there were books strewn across the entire living room.

We have a pretty large living room by normal people standards (as opposed to billionaires or Royalty). Our living room has allowed persons under 5 feet tall to perform a series of acrobatic moves, like cart wheel, back flip, split. But I digress.

At the end of the day all of the books had been categorized and returned to the shelves in alphabetic order and I had an Excel spreadsheet of over 300 books.

So I got rid of a couple (maybe 4 or 5) paperbacks that I wasn’t going to read again and I continued to buy books.

I don’t keep all of them. Some I receive from my mom and I pass on to others or donate them to the Senior Center and Goodwill or I give them to her and she passed them onto various relatives.

But the numbers grew. And grew. And grew.

Until finally poor DSD had a choice to make. Should he call that show “Hoarders?”

Or should he just break down, cough up the money, and buy me a Kindle? For my birthday in April. It was incredibly unexpected and I was speechless for over 30 seconds. And then I cried. And he was very proud of himself. My husband rocks.

So now I own a Kindle. And I don’t have to have books on every surface anymore**. I have them all in my purse. The technology is simple. The reading is easy. The purchasing is easy… too easy, I can spend $30 in less than 3 minutes without ever getting up from the computer.

But there are many, many authors whose work I would never have tried had their books not been Free for download. I have read many books, then purchased the author's next book because the first one was so good. I have downloaded over 100 since the end of April. I have not read even close to that many, but I am loving the freedom that having all (ok, some)*** of my books on the eReader brings.

And DSD is loving the fact that he no longer fears huge stacks of books will fall on his head.

**Ok, they are all hidden behind the loveseat, which is not pushed up against the wall. But I am out of books shelves (and space for bookshelves) and I will eventually read and pass on all of those paperbacks.
***My plan is to eventually replace many of my hard backs with downloaded books, but I will never give up all of them.

A Small Celebration is in Order

The first step in the demise of California’s illegal, immoral, and just plain WRONG Proposition 8 has been taken. It is only the first step on a very long journey through the courts of this nation and up to the Supreme Court where (hopefully) good sense, law & fact (NPR this morning said FACTS are the answers and that this decision was based on fact) will prevail and we can all get on with our lives on equal footing. I am not going to get into the specifics of this decision and how and why it is a good or how and why the entire thing could go wrong, I am just going to raise my glass in a toast to a job that is (so far) well done!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Electronically Tethered

BabyBoy, as befitting his status as the only child that I gave birth to, has always been a little spoiled when it comes to new and exciting electronics. For his 19th birthday, I gave him my latest upgrade to get him a very expensive cell phone and I took the freebie. He broke his fancy phone on more than one occasion, including last summer, when it could not be fixed and the insurance had replaced it the maximum number of times. Well, Mom was eligible for an upgrade at that time, so he used it. Thanks, kid.

Flash forward several months and I realized that I wanted a new phone. I DESERVED something nice! The Blackberry Curve was available, giving me a full key board for texting and a little track ball. I hate track balls. What about the Blackberry Storm? All touch screen. Was this Verizon’s answer to the iPhone? Because most people I know hated it. I debated. I pondered. I touched everyone’s phones. I promised myself I would buy until after Finals in December, because Hi! Finals.

Then I saw it. One night while watching TV with DSD

And I had my answer.

I did wait until after Finals to get one. Merry Christmas to me!

I didn’t pay full price for it, but I did pay more than it costs now.

I also had to start coughing up the money for a data plan.

But I love this thing.

New apps

Music and videos and Facebook and, NOW! Blogger also. (Although I did have to add that picture of my reunion from the computer; it didn’t work from the Droid.)

I know many who scoff at being tied to electronic devices. I know many who think we should step away from the keyboards and be social.

But I have the world at my fingertips, all the answers that Google can provide, trivia games on history, U.S. Presidents and college football, plus a light saber (Really) and a Schott Gun to use on unsuspecting motorists. (Pump action. It must be loaded and it has a kick. I don’t hurt anyone and I relieve stress).

So don’t sneer at my Droid.

And I won’t sneer at your little free phone.