Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hump Day: Thanks For the Sex Toy Links

I am in deep denial.

Deep.

Bottomless.

It is indeed the holidays, but I refuse to participate this year.

120 students have officially sucked every ounce of x-mas spirit out of me. I have been baking cookies; stockings have been hung; we strung lights on the maple in the front yard (photos forthcoming); we cannot have an indoor tree because our two kitty babies discovered the third dimension we call "up".

So rather than concern myself with the impossible challenge of trying to write something meaningful, I will just say: "Hi. How ya doin'?" and welcome any comments not linked to sex toy sites. Really... I am getting loads of those in the moderation screen; thanks to those who are so thoughtful. Seriously, 40 posts in five months does not warrant such specialized attention... but thanks. Er. Thanks?

Happy hump day all.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Eyeshadow For Lazy Asses

Had to share this with you all...

I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

For only $1-$3 a day you, too, can have that smoky, sultry look appropriate for office/home/school wear. Available in animal prints and camouflage, too (not kidding).


Be sure to have the volume on.

Peace!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blog Days of Fall

While I have been on my hiatus, a flowery way to say that I am up to my armpits in grade-grubbing students*-- it seems that the wingnuttery continues to obfuscate and obstruct (much like an unpleasant colon-ary blockade). SS. DD.

They still lie about the most basic of all things: Math. I wonder why they always want to gut education first?

No one says it better than Johnny S:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Thanks, John, for pointing out yet more shyte from the "mouthpiece" of the right. That's just gross. Sorry.

I suppose if you want to argue that the "Earlier" in the upper left hand corner is sufficient, think about the average critical thinking skills of a Hannity viewer. Earlier is indeed earlier-- two MONTHS earlier.

On a lighter note, only four more weeks in the semester... I don't think I have read this much bad prose, tortured English, and terrifyingly bad syntax since I stopped reading the Freeper back in February. If the future of the world depends on whether or not people are able to construct a simple declarative sentence... it's all over. Trust me.

*Literally, I gave one graduate student *1* point just to shut him up. He's "concerned" because he has a 90.1% in the class... an 'A'. WTF?

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank you!


Wanted to send a quick thanks to themom over at Attentive Aphorist for this very sweet blog award. I am grateful to her for her support and encouragement.

I've been too busy lately to write very much... I'll pay this forward hopefully by the end of the week.

In the meantime, hope all are well, staying warm and snuggling in for the cool fall days...

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Halloweek Haiku


Voila: from the deep archives of skyewriter journals, I give you [flourish of oranges, reds, and yellows]:

A Halloweek haiku:

Scattered scraps of thought
For a few moments time falls
Whispering from trees

And it is no wonder I teach for a living instead of writing.

Please feel free to leave your own haiku... (no pun intended).

Happy Samhain one and all.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fill in Your Own Comparison

Caught sight of this little morsel on HuffPost; draw your own connections and conclusions. They eat anything, including their own kind...



As the weather here fell to a chilly 49 degress with drizzle and clouds, that beach is positively cruel in its dangerous beauty.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secret Service Under Unprecedented Strain

An article just published on Huff Post supports what I have been concerned about for many months now.

"An internal Congressional Research Service report says that the Secret Service does not have the resources to deal with the unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, along with a rise in racist hate groups and anti-government fervor."

Those anti-tax people ought to pay attention to tax payer money being spent to protect our president and high profile leaders from *their own country-people*.

Great panel from Tom Tomorrow at Salon.com:

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Downside to Working in Education

The Plague.

What was I saying about being so heartily employed a few days ago?

Oh, right, job security and nonsense.

That is all for now as I return to my fetal, fevered curl under blankets, and curse the sick, germ-ridden students who care so much about writing that they came to class sick yesterday and Tuesday.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

"Busy" is Booming

While our economy continues to contract and college graduates find fewer and fewer opportunities for work, I have three jobs... and I am adding a fourth in two weeks' time.

I had two offers for full-time employment: one in August and one in September. I was wary to accept either since I already committed to three courses at two different schools. I added a fourth class two weeks ago. Two weeks from today, I will begin teaching a month-long graduate seminar in Composition Pedagogy for a university out in San Diego (class number five).

Even in these hard times, I will online-commute to a campus over 2,000 miles away and will teach future teachers of Composition how to be teachers of Composition-- invaluable job experience once I am on the national job market again next Fall.

But as of January, 2010, I will be full-time employed for the first time in six years. One and a half of those years I was unemployed but collected no unemployment benefits; we lived on one graduate research assistant stipend earned by Tom. It has never felt so good getting a pay check as it did in September.

Colleges are one place where business is quite recession-proof.

In fact, institutions of higher learning are in high demand by both the supply side and consumer side of the economy. One of the schools at which I currently teach two of my four courses had to turn students away in August. Luckily, I have a doctorate in a field that nearly *every* college and university has a universal requirement: Composition.

The students have changed, too.

I have fewer teenagers and twenty-somethings than those in their 30s and 40s, returning to school for a degree to earn better pay, to start a new career, to keep up with education credits demanded by their current employers.

Smaller, accredited schools are filling the gap, too, in terms of expense. I will be teaching full-time at a school next January that is seeking better accreditation and will be the only person on campus with a Ph.D. (it is a very small school).

Tom's path to getting his degree has been a long and winding one. We have to stay here for at least another year and a half before we move (he is applying to go to Antarctica to drill an ice core next fall and has been offered a post-doc fellowship for that year).

But, it seems, that "down" time will be very helpful in terms of my own vita.

I recall a number of years ago when my Dad asked me: "Why are you still in school?"

My response: "Dad, I will have a job whenever I need one with this degree. Every school in the country has a writing requirement. Those types of classes are the ones I am learning to teach, to research, and how to contribute to the scholarship."

Turning down jobs seems like a pretty good indication to me that a job in higher education is pretty safe.

Now if I could just find time to write...

Happy Monday All

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Meet the Bitsies


After three months without Emma, I am proud to introduce you to "The Bitsies" (as in, the Itsy Bitsies).

Meet Bella (calico) and Pete (tiger).


They picked us at a local shelter about a month ago and although they are from different litters, they are the bestest buds-- sharing naps, and playtime, and general adorableness. We missed Emma very much and tho' no catter could ever replace her, we are very happy to give a good home to two such sweet babies. Pete was sick but is almost better and packing on the pounds. The very first night, he slept between our pillows and has been a total love ever since. Bell is a bit more reserved, but adores having her tummy rubbed. (Anyone reading this blog for a while may recall my obsession with Emma's belly.)

Sorry the pictures are late in coming here to you all.

These are from today. We bought them a nine-foot tower that is currently in our new living room:


Despite weighing three pounds each a month ago, Pete has started to grow so fast. He is going to be a beast!



We are totally in kitty heaven. They are so. freakin'. cute!

In honor of themom, Happy Caturday!

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Friday, October 9, 2009

President Obama Wins Nobel as US Shoots the Moon!*

*A preemptive note for all of the shitty, non-Hearts playing folks; this is not a reference to actual "shooting" but to capmangoe.

If there was any doubt as to the importance of November 4, 2008, this should hopefully dispel it.

The world has spoken.

President Obama *represents* the desire of many to move away from war, killing, and destruction toward peace, communication, and mutual respect.

Yes, I understand the Nobel nominations occurred two weeks into his administration.

Yes, I know the response from the G-NOPERS will be that the Socialist Nobel Committee is in cahoots to help Obama with his leftist agendas.

Yes, I know it hurts, G-NOPERS, that the majority of Americans voted for a nice guy, who is smart, approachable and able to multi-task instead of taking the most vacation time of any president in recent history.

Yes, I know we are still at war.

But...

To me, as an American, this is a day we should all be proud.

Only two sitting presidents (Teddy R. and Wilson) were awarded this prize. Now perhaps America can do what it has always been best at: Finding room for everyone at the table and making sure everyone shares responsibility for our world, for our peace, for each other.

Happy Friday All.

PS: From the Washington Monthly:
"This hasn't been an especially good week for the right. When the United States suffered a setback last Friday, with the Olympic decision, a few too many conservatives were thrilled to the point of giddiness. When the United States wins a great honor today, a few too many conservatives are furious.

Bad news for the country is cause for exuberance, and good news for the country is grounds for bitter disappointment.

Has the right really thought this strategy through?"

PPS: As the (R)eds in our country lick their wounds, ask yourself one question if you think this is something of which we, as a country, should be ashamed: Why isn't anyone in the GOP excited when a fellow American gets this kind of recognition on the world stage? It's a tad unpatriotic some of the blow-back from the right... keep blowin' blowhards...America chose Hope-- and apparently, so has the world.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Audacity of Health


We have a lot of nerve, us progressives, to ask that our law makers intervene to make health insurers play fair and keep up their end of the deal when we (or someone we love) gets ill, wounded, hurt. Especially after we have paid premiums out the wazoo... I believe that is the lay-term for forced-rectal-intrusion-with-a-phallic-ish-object (sans lube).

The monopoly health insurance companies have on health is sickening. Literally.

As I understand it, from a fifth grade comprehension level, we have law makers who make laws (not business deals) to step-in on our behalf and regulate unfair business practices.

What part of the word "option" don't people understand?

I suppose if you aren't about choice, you really aren't about choice. How's that for *self* determination?

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Get. The. Eff. Over. It.

Barack Obama is our president. Duly elected, stamped, sealed, and certified by our national congress and Supreme Court.

This fact seems lost on some people who want to get him out of office, regardless of legitimacy or reason. And by whatever means available.... including, apparently, murder.

Someone posted a poll on facebook asking "should Obama be killed?" (It has since been yanked but not before someone was able to take a screen shot of it.)

If you think it's a joke, you are seriously fucked up.

I'm not laughing and I don't think any conscious, educated, decent American (or human being for that matter) would be laughing about it either. And stop before you try the tu quoque argument... i.e., people did it against Bush therefore it's fine. Say it with me folks: "Logical fallacy."

According to Crooks and Liars, the rate of threats against the president was up 400% from the same time period in August 2008. For the full text click here.

Get. the. fuck. over. it.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Conservamedia a Biased Group of Hypocritical Liars? NO. WAY!

As only Rachel Maddow could play it, the conservative media has once again been caught with its pajama pants around its ankles... someone, please get them a bedpan so they stop crapping all over our national discourse:



Also, check out the link to the study Rachel discusses with Professor Dreier.

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Generational Shift

One of the most interesting things about one of my classes: My 18 year-olds are interested in so-called "liberal" agendas.

Yes, you read that right.

Eighteen year old college freshman have been suggesting writing projects that deal with poverty, health care, homelessness, education, ending war, educating people on climate change, gay marriage, etc. One student from a *very* conservative, rural area in my state is actually *reading* health care legislation... for himself. No spin. And weekly is talking to me about the disconnect he sees between the media coverage of this process and the documents he is reading. Nothing says critical thinking like self-education...

One of the things on which I pride myself most as a teacher is that my classes are about the students. I don't direct their thinking since I teach rhetoric and argument (and for all the whackadoos who have no idea that rhetoric, in a classical sense, is not empty mind control paired with bad manners: go read some Aristotle and then come talk to me about something in which I hold a Ph.D.).

We have had non-partisan class discussions on abortion and separation of church and state (these are *their* topics, not mine) and talk about these issues from a rhetorical perspective, without using pathos or theology as bases for argument.

I have had three students in the class who have told me that teachers in the past always gave them poor marks for their beliefs.

I tell them: "This isn't church. I teach students. Not faith."

I promised them pumpkin bars on the first chilly fall day. I have had one absence in five weeks; I teach at 3:30 and on Fridays when all of the fraternities and sororities are having cookouts, playing frisbee, and gearing up for tail-gating, my students are in my class. They deserve to be appreciated for all of their open-mindedness and respect they have shown each other... the Joe Wilsons and Glenn Becks and Rush Limpballs of the world could learn a thing or two from these amazing young people. They care about each other despite their differences. They care about making a difference... even tho' the naysayers call them apathetic and self-centered.

Boy, those folks couldn't be more wrong.

I get paid to watch these young people start to learn to think for themselves. Paid! Even better, I get to read their thoughts on paper, talk to them, and see how they see the world through unjaded eyes. They are so hopeful, so determined, so staid in their trust that things will work out. More importantly, they have shown me that they know *they* have something to do with it. It's not some external problem, in some BFE place, for some abstract group of strangers. The world is our world to them. It belongs to us all.

Indeed it does. Indeed it does.

Happy Friday everyone.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Hypocrites on Parade

For decades since the passage of Roe V. Wade, the conservative right in this country has been *all about* government telling women what they can and cannot do about the health and state of our own bodies. Some of these same loonies who are soooo pro-life even assassinate doctors at church to prove exactly how pious and life-y they are. Because as we all know, nothing says pro-life like first degree murder.

Fertility control is not covered by most insurance plans. It's not birth control if you have no egg to begin with: see this link to educate yourself on The Pill. (No ovulation, no egg.) Birth control is a Cesarean Section, Lamaze, huffing and puffing, pushing/not pushing when your ObGyn tells you, an epidural. Ask a mom. Yours if you have one. Or yourself, if you are one.

You want government to stay out of healthcare? Quit trying to put the government between me and my right to inhabit *my* body the way *I* choose and go eff yourself, you motherhumping hypocrites.

Thank whoever it is Friday.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Open Invitiation To All Illiterati


Are you a proponent of critical-thinking yet inform yourself by consuming edukashun at the trough of the Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Redstate/Freeper Idiocracy? Please read on to see how one teeny group of the "educated elite" in this country are meeting to have [gasp] a conversation about communism in an academic context with other academics (not students, so you may not shout "programming!"). Because when people in academia have questions about something, just like normal people they ask it instead of shouting "Liar!" And when they need an answer they discover it for themselves... you know, by studying and reading and shit. Just like normal people.

Any trolls who want to go toe-to-toe with me on Hegel, Lacan or Žižek, read this post, its links and cited texts and bring it.

I just checked my university email account, and the following mass list-serv [sic] invitation was awaiting:

*******

"There will be a meeting of the Marxist/Post-Marxist reading group on Wednesday, September 30 at 5:30pm. For the next couple of sessions we will be looking at the themes of alienation and commodities.

On the 30th, we'll be reading the first of the 1844 Manuscripts, excluding the section on rent. This can be found at http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/preface.htm

In order to set the groundwork for the following session, we will also discuss, somewhat separately from the issues in the Manuscript, Brian Donahue's essay 'Marxism, Postmodernism, Žižek.' This is available through Project Muse and in the journal Postmodern Culture.

Sometime in October, we'll discuss the first chapter of Capital in which Marx introduces commodities and commodity fetishism.

Either at this session or the next, we'll move on to cover Slavoj Žižek's Introduction and first chapter of the Sublime Object of Ideology, which uses a Lacanian framework to explicate some of Marx's ideas about commodification and alienation.

If you're not familiar with us, we are interested in exploring the possibilities and limitations of Marxist thought by examining different thinkers who are identified as either Marxist or post-Marxist. The goals of this reading group would be to question, discuss, and understand these possibilities and limitations throughout different fields. We are interested in how different thinkers have attempted to pose alternative models to key Marxist concepts. We welcome all perspectives and disciplinary orientations on these ideas."

*******

This group espouses *no* ideology, only the *study* of Marxian paradigms. This is how it goes in academia. We have a civilized conversation on texts *everyone* has read first hand and on which not everyone agrees. Also, it is to start a conversation that has relevance to today's world... notions of production, manufacturing, jobs, workers, etc. Not to *worship* Marx, but to have a dialogue on what's right and wrong with his philosophies and other philosophers who either agree or disagree with him and to understand how his philosophies developed as a result of his own studies.

The following, written about Žižek, summarizes the thrust of his current scholarship: "Žižek has determined that late-modern capitalism has engendered a whole range of alternative seductions to keep the eye and brain off of the Real. The Real only exists as a fragment, fast receding on the horizon as fantasy and often phantasm intercede. These dreams and nightmares are systemic, structural neuroses, and they are part of the coordinates of the hegemonic." Žižek also critiques the capitalist notion of borrowing from the future to pay for the present (very watered down). Hmmm... a "lefty" who sounds just like the Teabaggers in this country?

This is a prime example of what the recently well-publicized mass of illiterati in this country are guilty. They have *no* idea what they are talking about when they blithely use terms like socialist and communist.

Now if only the rest of the country could follow suit on day-to-day common issues in general... Oh, yeah. That's right. Some people tried to have a civilized conversation at town hall meetings in August and to be part of the audience as the President addressed a joint session of Congress last week...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Primum Non Nocere


"First, do no harm."

A professor of mine once said this in our empirical studies class. Since my dissertation involved human subjects, I took this ancient advice strongly to heart.

Many medical students take a more modernized version of the Hippocratic Oath upon their graduation from medical school (and yes, to all the smarty-pants out there-- I know the title of this post is not part of any version of the oath).

Most medical doctors are doctors because:
A) They are smart enough to handle the rigorous curricula of medical school.
B) They are disciplined enough to sacrifice many things to attain a goal few can.
C) They want to help people.

Cynics may say I am wrong. That doctors are in it for the money. Sure. Why not get paid well to do something that you are well-equipped to do? After all, I think perhaps we might agree that people's lives and health are rather important in the grander scheme of things.

Give a wealthy person the choice between saving her/his own life and saving her/his fortune and I think we can guess which one she/he might choose.

The members of our Congress take an oath, too.

The history of that oath is a compelling one. I highly recommend researching it for yourself.

In my *opinion* the latest version it is too watered down... members of Congress avow to protect the Constitution but not the American people.

In 1862, fearful of traitors on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, congressional members were asked to swear that they had not personally engaged in illegal or disloyal conduct. Perjury was punished and the member forever stripped of access to federal employment--- we'd lose practically our entire Congress if this were part of the oath today.

The lack of "spection" whether intro or outre, is crippling our country as much as our wars, our health care system, and our economy. I hope that soon we may all take a good look at what is inside us, why we look at the world the way we do, and how we can come together to make life better for everyone instead of focusing on hate, vitriol, spite and anger. It's all about perspective.

The "I'm right and you're wrong" mentality has gotten us nowhere. And for a nation that seems to have been wandering off course for a while now, it's time for us to get our bearings again.

"That which is to give light must endure burning" Victor Frankl

Light up the darkness...

Happy Tuesday, all.

PS: It's truly sad when Tea Partiers have to lie about the size of protests to bolster support. Seems as tho' the GOP is quickly becoming the Grand Old Prevaricators. Members are starting to look like Gullible Odd People.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Live from Jupiter, It's Tea Party LIVE!!!!!

No words.



Not one.



I lost count of the number of armed officers that had to protect this American from his fellow Americans...

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Unfair and Imbalanced: Unconventional Media

At the end of his appearance on Hannity last PM, Joe Wilson was told by the Hannity himself that he has a "link on his blog for those that want to support [Wilson] on hannity.com." The link is in the four-option flash box on the left side of the main body, first choice, caption "Support Joe Wilson". Anyone who wants to complain that the so-called MSM personalities do the same, my response is... the subtitle of hannity.com *ties* it to the network with "The Sean Hannity Show". I've never seen any *program blogs* from CNN or MSNBC that do the same type of promotion for a candidate (unless it was PAID advertisement space).

I think the Unconventional-Media (UM) is in the bag for the conservatives (um... duh, I know).

In case you want to watch the strange, other-worldly, wildly entertaining video of the interview, here it is:



Off to apologize to my laptop again... sorry little laptop. Don't hate me.

Happy Friday all.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

No, YOU Lie.

Nothing says fund-raising for a political opponent like incorrectly yelling, "You lie" at the POTUS in front of millions of Americans and the entire Congress.

Section 242 of HR 3200 specifically states that in order for an individual to receive coverage: "For purposes of this division, the term 'affordable credit eligible individual' means, subject to subsection (b), an individual who is lawfully present in a State in the United States [...]" (Some people forget that the PDF is online and word-searchable).

~also~

SEC. 246. NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS (all caps in the original). Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

Joe Wilson has started a bit of a battle for his seat in 2010 with those two little words. His opponent, Rob Miller, has raised (at the time of this post) over $188,000 dollars since last PM. Check it out. (Update: as of 5PM EST, the donations top $450,000.)

President Obama must be doing a lot of things right to get such a strong (if not irrational) reaction from some people.

One last thing: an argument I keep hearing against this reform is that small businesses will have to pay an 8% penalty if they do not provide coverage for their employees.

Two problems with that:
A) That helps small businesses who have seen their premiums increase by 129% in the last eight years.
B) Don't we want to help small businesses with costs? Click here for a report straight from the House Ways and Means Committee on the benefits of reform to small businesses.

It's time to act. In the face of all of the evidence, at this point anyone who is against this reform is seriously underinformed, misinformed or illiterate. Read the bill. I think my August post was strangely prescient of Wilson's outburst last PM...

PS: What with all this bipartisanship nonsense? The citizenry sent a very clear message in this *Democracy*. (Princeton defines Democracy as "majority rule".) The majority of Americans voted for the Democrats... that's the team we want... not a mix of those who were in the minority. If we want bi-partisanship, we should do away with the system of representation in this country. Those who lost lost for a reason...

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pat Buchanan Can Suck It

Last night Buchanan was yammering on about the "Death Panels" that (will, in some as yet hypothetical future) convene when terminal patients are given "options." Every option *except* refusal of treatment, which he neglected to add.

I have lost many dear friends to cancer. The hardest was my friend Anne; she was 40 when she died in 1998 after her *third* bout with breast cancer. She knew the news was bad at the appointment when she received her third diagnosis and the doctor (who happened to be my oncologist also) recommended experimental treatments. She had had chemo, radiation, a stem-cell transplant (the first in Indiana) and numerous surgeries. The doctor recommended teflon injections. You know, the non-stick surface in cooking pans?

She told me in our frequent conversations about the terminal state of her illness: "I want to die and my doctor won't let me."

She spent the last four months on Earth falling down stairs, in agonizing pain from the cancer which had spread to every bone in her body, not eating, vomiting at all hours of the day, not sleeping (despite the pharmaceutical soup she was served three times daily), and just generally too aware of what was happening to her.

Those fuckers kept her alive because her health insurance would pay them to. She had a cadillac plan, but she was ready for the end. The end of seeing her husband, family, and friends suffer because she was *so* sick; the end of the unbearable pain; the end of feeling dizzy and scared but acutely aware of her suffering no matter how much morphine they gave her.

She wanted to die.

The last time I talked to her was two weeks before she passed.

The final thing she said as we hung up the phone was: "I don't understand why God won't let me die."

That was Anne. A deeply devout woman who lived a short, loved-filled life and was made to suffer unimaginable cruelty at the hands of people who were trying to *save* her.

What part of terminal didn't the doctor understand?

Right now, a very dear friend of my mom's is losing his battle with liver cancer. He was hospitalized over the weekend and wants to go home to die. He wants to take a jacuzzi, feed the birds, tend to his garden, have one last fire in the hearth that forms the center of his home.

His doctors won't let him leave. They'd rather let him die in a hospital bed surrounded by machines and caregivers who are strangers.

Indeed, there are death panels... doctors who collect from insurance companies on terminally ill patients... suck the well dry. But the patient? There is no end for them until they have been bled dry and can no longer recognize family and friends.

We are fortunate to have the option to end the suffering of our pets... why can't we let those who are terminally ill end the suffering of themselves and those they love?

There are death panels... but they are not the same for everyone. They aren't government bureaucrats with a checklist of costs. They are doctors and hospital administrators who check your insurance and if you are fortunate enough to have good coverage, they will give you the longest death you can afford... and charge your family and dear friends for a ring-side seat to watch.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are You a Better Listener than a Fifth Grader?

Thanks to Seeing Eye Chick over at Apocalyptics Anonymous II for posting this (and sending me an email about it, too).



The video speaks for itself. Love the "whelp" and "woof" reference...

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fixed News

Apparently, we are going to witness a repeat of Fox Network's "Fair and Balanced" reporting with another refusal to cover the President's address to a joint session of Congress next week. Has any one network picked such a bone with a president before?

Their "commentators" air lies and vitriol against the president (see any of Glenn Beck, Hannity, or O'Reilly), but will not air the other side of the argument... coming from the President's own mouth (and yes, I know that Fox "News" is going to air the speech).

Health care reform + President Obama + speech to elected national officials= Less important than So You Think You Can Dance? and some new show titled Glee.

In the meantime, we are off to attend a benefit BBQ/concert for Ronald McDonald House at my brother's home in St. Louis. Good blues, good food, good time, good cause.

Happy Labor Day weekend, all.

Be safe. Have Fun. And hug a Republican. They need it.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Background Checking the President for a School Visit

The Right in this country has sunk to a low I could never imagine.

There are calls from parents and concerned citizens demanding that the President "let the school know" what he plans say to children in Virginia when he visits a school there next Tuesday.

Here's what is going to happen according to whitehouse.gov.

So... he's basically going to tell kids to stay in school and be responsible for their own learning.

Now isn't that a shitty message to send our young people? Stay in school.

I wonder what Bush 43's people told the folks at Emma E. Booker Elementary School the days leading up to this school visit:



Here's Fox "News'" take on the more recent matter.

W.T.F.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Return to Cinnamon

I seems strange how change has returned in a way it hasn't in some time now.

I can feel "me" again.

I noticed a large "twin" maple in our neighbor's yard yesterday (pic forthcoming). It is h-u-g-e. Old. Steady.

I told Tom: "I want to go talk to that tree."

He choked on his coffee.

For most of my life, I had a deep connection to nature. I loved the outdoors, creatures in it, rocks, trees. I have had many times when I have felt my connection to the greater Gaia strongly.

Maybe it was easier when I was younger, living in Montauk, NY. Being close to the water. Hitch-hiking, mountain biking and living my life just as free as any young *man* would... I went out alone for happy hour and spent lots of time just writing and being. My only possessions: one suitcase of clothes, two boxes of books, and my bike. I was a nomad for a long time. People called me the Cinnamon Girl (long amber hair, free spirit, independent).

But when my mom got cancer in the mid-nineties I was called upon by my family to return to their lives and help care for her.

So began my slow process of losing my connection to myself. I have a great family; they just thought it was a bit odd that I liked to go sit in the grass for an hour and do nothing other than breathe.

Add my own diagnosis with cancer in 1997 (irrefutable proof to me that I was *not* my body; but as to what I am, what we all are, still not sure); after that, a five year abusive relationship with one of the biggest mooches on the planet, and a general stumbling around in my little life.

I fell into grad school. Waded through first years of teaching and coursework, partying a lot (until I met Tom). Feeling that the days of Cinnamon were lost forever, but chasing after them thinking that I would find her again at the bottom of a Ketel One dirty, dry martini.

It seems she's right where I left her. In the care of the trees and the grass and the earth. You may notice a change in my blog for the coming weeks. I don't know.

I feel the need to turn toward something more positive, less snarky, a small patch of peace away from all of chaos and hate of these psychotic battles over the finite "things" I see when I read or watch news.

It's time for me to spend some time outside again... outside the anger and sadness consuming so many lives. Political Skye will still be here; she just may not shout as loudly.

Happy Thursday, All.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Changing Shape of Things

*
It is only day three of the new semester and I have thoroughly enjoyed almost every moment of every class with my 65 students (three sections of Composition).

Something has changed.

I wonder if students' parents sat them down and gave them a good talking to about the expense of sending them off to school in these hard economic times and how they should study, study, study, or they will quickly find themselves back at home with a curfew, garbage that needs to be taken out, and a yard that needs mowing.

I have never had students that are more eager to learn.

We are still unpacking; I just found our digital camera (need to find the USB cord, tho') and promise to try to take pictures of our yard soon... yes we have a lawn and flowers and tomatoes (cherry, mini-yellow, and beef-steak), and peppers (green, ancho, and hot, hot, hot jalapenos).

We also successfully trapped and (humanely, instantly) killed a mouse that literally had been shitting all over our kitchen. On Sunday it ate an entire jalapeno, seeds and all. We thought that might have killed it, but then I saw it scamper across the counter-top late Monday when I turned on the kitchen lights to get a glass of water.

I screamed like a girl. 'Cause guess what? I am a girl. But I didn't scramble up a chair.

Last night... it was us or the mouse and I knew it wasn't going to be us.

I said to Tom at 2 AM this morning (after we got finished bagging up the little lifeless body) that the mouse was now free to be reincarnated as a bird that can nest in the gigantic red maple in front of our house whose branches overhang the driveway. It can continue to poop in our general direction, but at least it will be on our car and not in our kitchen.

*"Epona" by Susan Seddon Boulet; she's a beautiful artist; one of my faves. I know Epona is the goddess of horses but her horses were also considered to lead souls in the after-life. May that little mouse find comfort in her guidance.

PS: I wanted to mention the passing of Ted Kennedy, but the tone of this post didn't seem appropriate.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wasted

This week I have been having thoughts about one of the saddest and most infuriating things: people in power who choose not to do good with it.

I am sure that you can think of many such people, but one who really sticks in my craw is Sarah Palin.

Come on: she's pretty, charismatic, and seems to be able to gather a loyal following of people.

But.

What a waste that is on her.

She's gotten the things in her life and opportunities to do and have those things because she looks a certain way (sorry, folks, we all know deep down that is the case for some people) and has a charm about her.

I remember the very FIRST time I saw her talk. It was the day McCain announced her as his running mate and my thought was: Oh. Fuck.

True, her speech was short and well-rehearsed and written by a professional speech writer.

But now, I am just sad at the reality behind her glammer (and yes, I spelled it that way because of the lowness of that glammer).

She could have used her position of authority to save or improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, starting with the native Americans in the Yukon Delta who are facing another winter of starvation, freezing and no access and no money to buy basic things like diapers and baby food.

This is in our country, people.

And the person in charge who could have done the right thing for those people (even if it meant furthering herself politically) *chose not to*. She even quit before she was faced with another Alaskan winter with starving and dying constituents.

Then I think of folks like Bush, who had the chance to bring our nation together in a way seen only once in a generation. Instead, he chose anger, fear, and blind retaliation at an elusive enemy-- the pursuit of which has cost us to date 4,333 American lives. That's about 2 per day. Human beings who will never see their families again, who will never know that their sacrifice was all for a war built on lies. *So that people could profit*. See Xe and it's disgusting record on contracts or Blackwater (both former subsidiaries of Halliburton) if you have any doubt as to the scope of the war-profiteering that has lined the pockets of hundreds of corporate slugs like those we handed blank checks to last October.

Want health benefits? Join the military. Have they got a job for you.

I am not one prone to conspiracy or paranoia, but I cannot help but see some connections here.

Limit the options available for people to improve their lives and the lives of others. Add a population that needs jobs, jobs, jobs. Want some security, join the armed forces. They'll take care of you until you die in combat and your government denies press coverage of flag-draped coffins coming off of airplane transports. (I know this has changed, but our press seems preoccupied at the moment with lies about health care reform; pay no attention to the man behind the curtain).

So much waste.

Needless waste.

A White House and Congress all with a Democratic majority and they are looking to waste that, too.

And who gets dumped on? Take a wild guess...

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rantin' On: Talkin' With Yer Mouth Full


Last night over dinner, I said to Tom: "The so-called 'liberal' media are morons."

But not for the obvious reasons that may pop to mind.

It seems, I told Tom (and now you, dear reader) that the so-called "right-wing" media are controlling what news gets reported... indeed the right-wing in general is controlling the media at the moment.

This has been festering in my noodle for a while now.

For example, why the eff are we paying attention to that nut-bag Michelle Bachmann, her insanity, and her son? Or Palin, for that matter?

Further, why are they still yakking about the misinformation on health care reform?

Or the attention-seeking folks not-so-subtly threatening the president at his town hall meetings by showing up strapped? Don't our "enemies" in those countries "over thar someswhere" do the same fucking thing?

Seriously, what is the purpose of that other than a child's response: "Cuz I can."

Good on you.

I can talk with food in my mouth, but don't even if I can.

It's bad manners, poor etiquette, and frankly, gross.

Instead, I posit, the national conversation should be about what's needed instead of pointing fingers, like Keith Olbermann does *non-stop* saying: "Nya, nya, nya, I'm right and you're wrong."

I am about finished with the defensive crap that has become the smorgasbord of the "news."

Everyone's a fucking critic and wants a seat at the grown-up table but no one seems to want to put forward solutions.

People are talking with their mouths full of shyte.

What this country needs is civility, not barbarism.

Some keep-your-elbows-off-the-table and chew-with-your-mouth-closed kind of table manners.

We also need the dumb-asses we elected (by a very safe margin) to do their jobs and get the things done we elected them to do.

I fear that a train-wreck is just around the bend. And the media will be sitting there, literally, on their asses saying with their mouths chock full 'o crap, "We told you so."

And I'll say, "Good for you. You were right. Now what the frick are we going to do?"

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Yesterday

I had a great idea for a blog post... yesterday.

Actually, last night. It was deep. Personal. Something I thought: "Wow. I really need to blog about that."

Today?

Pfft.

Gone.

No clue what deepness I was plumbing.

Back to being shallow, I suppose.

Moving is hell. (Didn't I already write that?)

HELL!!!!

Actually, I am just feeling like a drama queen (pronounced: draa-maa).

I have committed myself to one section of Comp at the U from which I recently received my degree (they *cannot* take it back was my first thought, can they?).

I am also going to be teaching several courses online for two different universities.

Wish I could remember what I was going to post about today.

It had something to do with the meaning of life or some such nonsense.

When I remember what it was, I promise to share.

Missing the monkey badly these days. I have been dreaming about her a lot. Yesterday morning I dreamt about a dragonfly outside my window. When I touched the glass, it turned into Emma. I woke up crying. I know whatever she is doing she is doing it in a good place. And if you knew her, a dragonfly seems to really suit her personality.

In the meantime, here's some terrible cuteness. So cute it hurts.



That website always makes me laugh.

I hope you all had great weekends. I will be back with photos... we actually have flowers and a garden in our new place...

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moving is Madness

Hate. Hate. Hate. Moving.

And I am generally not a hater.

Sorry to have been lax on the updates with the health care bill. Haven't had any time... Just sick about the so-called "debate" that is going on between the yellers and screamers and fucktards who obviously haven't so much as glanced at the thing.

If you are a conservative stumbling upon this blog:

Please do yourself and your fellow Americans a favor. Exercise your right to inform yourself instead of reading/listening to what *other* people are writing/saying/lying about this legislation.

No death panels. No loss of coverage you like. No getting denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. No lifetime limits on coverage. Nothing awful, horrific or bad.

You are a paranoid, sad, freak if you think this bill is a concoction of evil-doers.

The only bad guys are the insurance companies and you are helping them keep sick people sick and the bad guys' pockets lined with blood money. YOU are a death panel if you don't stop this insanity. Please click on the previous sentence for an excellent argument about the lack of ethics of the GOP and big money behind this absurdity.

Lives or money?

Says a lot about a person given which side they choose...

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HR 3200: Title I

Here's a quick summary (bulleted points) of the highlights of the first title of the bill.

*Sorry for some of the goofy margins and returns on this. I wrote it in wordpad while reading the bill and the format did not translate well into blogger.*

Pages 1-72:
First 14* pages definition of terms.

Title I (pages 1-72): Protections and Standards for Qualified Health Benefits Plans (QHBP)
Section 102: "Protecting the Choice to keep Current Coverage" (page 16).
Includes restrictions on premium increases during the "grandfather" period (page 17).

Subtitle B: Standards Guaranteeing Access to Affordable Coverage
Section 111: "Prohibiting Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion" (page 19).
People cannot be dropped for non-payment of premiums unless a specific course of consumer protection has been provided (page 20).
Individuals and families will all be charged a uniform rate (page 21).
Eighteen months after the date of the enactment of the legislation, a commission will provide Congress and applicable agencies a report on the study of factors affecting coverage (page 22): "To ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size businesses to self-insure or create averse selection in the risk pools of large insurers and self-insured employers" (page 23).

Section 114: "Nondiscrimination in benefits: parity in mental health and substance abuse benefits" (page 23).

Section 115: Ensuring adequacy of provider networks; transparency in cost for in-network
and out-of-network benefits.
Premiums are to "be used for services" (page 25). *I need to study about the term "medical
loss ratio"; not sure what that means.

Subtitle C: Standards Guaranteeing Access to Essential Benefits (sets the bar for coverage for private insurers)
Choice of coverage (page 25)
Accordance with general medical standards (page 27)
No annual or lifetime limit on coverage
Is equivalent to average prevailing employer provided coverage

Minimum services to be covered:
Hospitalization (27)
Outpatient hospital, outpatient clinic, and emergency services (27)
Professional services of physicians and other health professionals (28) (they get
paid; it's not voluntary all of a sudden)
Services, equipment and supplies incident to the delivery of care (28)
Prescription drugs (28)
Rehabilitative and habilitative services (28)
Mental health and substance disorder services (28)
Preventive services (28)
MATERNITY CARE (28)
Well baby and well child care including oral health, vision, hearing etc. for children under
21 years of age

People who are using private insurance cannot pay more than $5,000/year out of pocket for
an individual; $10,000 per family

Section 123: Health benefits advisory committee (oversight)
Term limits for committee members (3 years)
Duties (pages 32-35)

Section 124: 45 day maximum for committee to review recommendations (keep 'em moving,
boys!)

18 months after enactment of legislation, initial standards for coverage will be set but will be
reviewed periodically (36).

Subtitle D: Additional Consumer Protections

Section 131: Requiring fair marketing practices by health insurers
Claims and appeals processes (37)
External review process (38)

Section 133: Requiring information transparency and plan disclosure (38) (no more fine print; no more quick changes to coverage, etc)

Subtitle E: Governance
Examination and Audits
Work with state regulatory agencies to terminate non-compliant plans (45)
Coordinating communication between state attorneys general (45) and all other overseeing
bodies

Subtitle F: Miscellaneous

Section 152: Prohibiting discrimination in health care (50)
Section 153: Whistle-blower protection (51)
Section 154: Collective bargaining shall not be restrained (53) (unions?)

Subtitle G: Early Investments

Competition (54)
Section 162: Ending health care rescission abuse (55) (fraud is the *only* exception for losing
coverage)
Third party review of rescission

Section 1173A: Standardize electronic administrative transactions
Including: Letting patient know the cost at point of service (58) (no sudden bills out of the blue)
Protection of data (62)

Section 164: Reinsurance program for retirees (65)

More tomorrow as time permits: we are painting at the new house tomorrow so I may not be able to update until the evening.

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HR3200: The Bill

Here's a link to the House version of the Health Care Reform Bill. It may take a few moments to load...

Now, let's all read it and try to act like adults when communicating about it (@those fucktards who are screaming at town-hall meetings like thugs and bullies).

It's called civil discourse for a reason...

I'm off to start reading...

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Tyrone's Perfect Tush, Our First African-American President, and a Full Moon on Thursday

It is a celestial conspiracy that there is a full moon two days after the President's birthday.

It makes perfect sense.

Thousands of years ago, wise people charted the moon cycle to coincide precisely with this period in history.

8. 3. 2009: Crazy, batshit, loonybin Orly Taitz produces the "smoking" noodle that is the Kenyan "birth certificate" for our President.

8. 4. 2009: 218th day of this year. Barack Obama's birthday as 44th President of the United States. Age:48.

8. 6. 2009: The 8th full moon of this year.

8+3+2+9+8+4+2+9+218+44+48+8+6+2+9+8=388

1054 C.E.: A powerful supernova is observed. It is so bright it can be seen in the daylight. The remnant is now known as the Crab Nebula.

"It even has a well-established pedigree since it was sighted by royal Chinese astronomers when light from the supernova arrived here in 1054. The Crab Nebula and the star at the center of it are the Rosetta Stone of modern astrophysics" (Chandra Science Center).

Well-established pedigree?

1054-388=666.

Coincidence?

I think not.

The first full moon I ever saw I was ten years old riding the bus to school.

It was early morning and my African-American friend sharing the seat slid open the window, pulled down his pants, and showed his bare bottom to the side of the road. I had never seen such a beautiful contrast of perfect, smooth, dark skin and tighty whities. Haven't since.

Tell any birther, and they will find a way to make that part of the cover-up, too.

Tyrone Washington's flawless tush, the election of our first African-American president, and a full moon on Thursday.



Anything's plausible if you persistently twist the "facts" enough in your favor...

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Let Them Eat McDonald's"

For some summer reading I just finished Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama. While not for a causal reader of history, I think this book is eerily prescient of current events in the U.S.

In the latter part of the 18th century, France was heading toward disaster.

Widespread unemployment, disease, and hunger lead to many French-folk being pissed (for lack of a better term) at their government.

Add to that numerous wars, including the Seven Years War, in which King Henry XV involved the French military (which almost bankrupted the government) and the expensive support provided to American revolutionaries by his successor, King Henry XVI (I'm grateful, but just sayin'). The French government was also challenged at this time to provide basic social services for the needy and Veterans.

Heap upon that an inequitable taxation system, which placed the burden of most taxes on the poorest of the French people. Food costs were out of control and the populace was gripped by what historians call the "The Great Fear" wherein scuttlebutt and paranoia fueled suspicion and crime.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

Think about the current agenda of the GOP:

Stop health care reform (i.e. let the poor and unemployed get on with the business of dying already). If you haven't read the memo, it's a must see. Really. The lowness of these political power-grabbers never ceases to amaze me.

Screw the unemployed (see the video of Michele Malkin's appearance on This Week from this morning).

Ramp up the delusion that our president is a non-citizen.

Convince middle income families that income tax deductions for the wealthiest of Americans on investments and estates (i.e., inherited wealth) are bad things and should not be allowed to expire. Because as we all know, most middle class Americans are waiting to inherit wealth from elders and are drooling to keep dividends on their extensive and useful stock portfolios, right?

Weren't these the same group of people who claimed that it was a sign of protest to stop eating "French" fries because the French would not support an unfounded invasion of Iraq?

If I were prone to think the absolute worst of people, and the congressional GOP has put me to the test this past decade, I might think they wanted a revolution...

Good thing none of the supporters of the GOP want our president to fail, for him to be torn out of office, or for America to stay on her knees from economic stress brought on by corporate greed.

I close with a great video summary that only Keith Olbermann could provide. As the great state representative from Missouri, Cynthia Davis, says: "Let them eat McDonalds"

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Games Insurance Companies Play (and We Pay)


So, one line of attack against health insurance reform is the claim that small businesses will disproportionately opt to dump insurance coverage if a public option is available.

I think I might be safe in saying "duh" in light of the following information:

1. Premiums for small businesses have risen 129% in the last eight years.

2. 58% are having a hard time keeping up with the cost of health care (see above link).

3. Plans for small businesses cost more for less coverage. One common excuse for the skewed cost is higher "administrative" costs. It costs *more* to manage small groups of people than it does large groups? Huh? Anyone who has ever been a teacher can say they'd rather be in charge of a small group of students rather than large ones. Smaller groups would seem, logically, to generate less work, less paperwork, less oversight, etc.

Ohio is one instance of the effect of the cost of insurance on small businesses. 69% of small businesses in Ohio, for example, already *do not* provide health insurance for their employees.

Notice anything missing from the initial claim and the three (very) basic points listed here?

How about the health insurance companies? You know, those who are responsible for telling your doctors when and how and if to treat you based solely on their own bottom line?

99% of "employer firms" are small businesses
. I think if the insurance companies want to stay in business, they should try to keep providing coverage for those businesses instead of losing that business to the government.

And a public option would kill competition? Ummm, I think it might actually create some instead of the monopoly/craps/Russian roulette games the insurance companies are playing with peoples' lives.

*See this link for a great online tool to compare proposals side-by-side to be informed yourself.

Also, thanks to themom for the nod to my blog. I feel loved. I mean it. Really.

Random acts of kindness are what keep the world from crumbling into utter chaos. Well, at least my wee corner of it.

Happy 1st day of August (holy shyte I cannot believe it is August already...)

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Who's Next Fox? The Dalai Lama?


Fox: Full Of Xenophobia

No one is above their simpleminded attacks.

Last night we caught a snippet of a video segment by Fox's Greg Gutfield attacking physician, philanthropist, philosopher and all around gentle, non-combatant Dr. Deepak Chopra for his recent HuffPost article, "Can We Stop Being a Superpower, Please".

While I don't agree with everything espoused by Dr. Chopra, he is a leader in world AIDS treatment and awareness and peace efforts across the globe.

What assholes.

The video of Gutfield's small-minded and pathetic rant is not available for embedding from Fox, but check it out here:
http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/m/25455023/greg-alogue-7-24.htm#q=deepak+chopra

Fox News: the network with no recourse other than to call anyone remotely critical of our government "anti-American".

Isn't being able to criticize the government among the many reasons the founding fathers et. al. decided to protect that right in our federal legislation?

My apologies again to my hard drive.

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Nostradamus and A Cosie


Apparently, the babble, tripe, and general frivolity that have become my blog of late has garnered another Cosie from Cosa Nostradamus at Blog Me No Blogs. He is among those I count as a lifeline of support when I am feeling overwhelmed and uninspired and want to chuck the whole effing blog thing.

Again, I am honored, as Cosa is witty, informed, and at times absolutely irreverent.

Most of all, I appreciate his humor and ability to use his keen sense of irony to discuss topics as varied as the alien invasion of our solar system, healthcare, the celebrity machine, and a recent post on war.

If you haven't checked out his blog, you should.

The blogging world needs more bloggers like Cosa. He is a loyal and cool dude who in a pinch can wax hysterical on zombies, Michael Jackson, and all things in which we take ourselves *way* too seriously.

His best quality as a blogger, however, is his determination to expose morons, baffoons and boobs (not in a literal sense, Cosa :) for the detritus that they are.

Thanks, Cosa. Your humor and support have kept me bouyant in many times of near-fatal-bloggaphobotitus.*

* The recurrent fear that your blog is suffering because of an inability to make sense, to have a cohesive purpose, and a general ennui with the blathering idiots we suffer daily.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

The Rorschach Test

One easy way to know if you are a crazy person: ask yourself if you buy into the clinically delusional claim that President Obama is not an American born citizen, in the face of all of the evidence to the contrary.

If you answer "no" return to your normal, rational concerns over the state of our economy, health care and our foreign affairs.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this Rorschach of a chubby catter:


If you answer "yes" please keep reading.

Examine whose company you keep, go buy some tea bags, continue to use the word "fascist" as an adjective for "socialist" and hang onto the belief you know what you are talking about.

If you missed it, this was priceless on Hardball last night:


So, if these fellow-Americans are right (oh god, I am related by my country of birth to these people), the USCIS needs to get involved and start working to deport our president.

Good luck with that.

Really.

After all, what's one more nail?









(I don't see a wedding band, Governor. And gay people are a threat to traditional marriage?)

(Nice caption, too.)


I'm off to apologize to my "C" drive for violating it with the code for these jpegs. I hope it will forgive me.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just What I Needed

Tom just sent me this video as a PS to an email a few moments ago.

I am the luckiest woman on the planet...



Reminded me of this post that I wrote a while ago.

On the heels of that first email another email with the subject "for giggles" that read (copied and pasted verbatim):

"This band has it all,
3 mullets,
1 handlebar mustache,
bell bottoms,
big fuzzy boots,
and totally inappropriate chest hair."

With a link to this video:



I hope you are all having great hump days.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mettle


Life seems a perpetual liminal state where we hover amidst many changes.

The key, and something I constantly strive for, is to remain still and not let the maelstrom engulf me.

I have been lingering in reminiscence in recent days. Looking back over my life. Seeing forgotten faces and remembering times of joy and abundance, sorrow and loss.

I'm not sure where *I* am.

I can't quite put my finger on it either.

It's not letting Emma go; it's not moving; it's some kind of unsettledness that flitters at the edge of my mind. Just beyond my ability to grasp it.

I am grateful for it, though, and I know how odd that must seem.

But the hope that is the future has always been a strong presence in my life... and I am, at most times, in it's unwavering company.

I've never been a planner. Never had a road map. Not aimless or goalless, however.

To borrow a phrase from an Indigo Girls song: I missed ten million miles of road I should have seen.

Life is going to bring many changes in the next few years.

We may move to Scotland. Or New Zealand.

Regardless, I always sense I am in the right place, heading the right way, doing the best I can at any given moment.

Walking in the direction life compels me and trying to feel safe knowing that the less I struggle against that pull, the simpler my travels will be.

Iron, left in the rain
And fog and dew,
With rust is covered-- pain
Rusts into beauty too.
-- Mary Carolyn Davis

Happy Tuesday, all.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Dazed and More Than Confused

It wouldn't be exaggerating to write that it has been one of the worst and weirdest weeks ever.

This morning I woke up on the couch in the living room. Despite my protests, my husband and a few friends took me out last night for my birthday. Tom assured me I did not make an idiot out of myself... I had a few G & Ts and a few shots (ew... I can't believe I used to drink like that in college). Apparently, I got up at some point last night and went to the living room. Odd.

My world seems to be moving in slow motion.

I am looking forward to getting out of town for a few days to go to a conference this weekend; stay at a nice hotel and order room service; catch up with old friends and colleagues who are scattered to the winds.

We will move in a few weeks.

A change of scenery will be good for us both. Too many memories here.

Thank you all for your condolences and kind words of support.

Hanging in like I always do...

I may not be back for a while. I don't feel like I have anything to say at the moment.

But I will check into your blogs and try to keep up with what's going on...

My very best to you all.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye


Yesterday afternoon, we said our last good byes to Emma after a horrible five days of fluid drips, blood transfusions and hardly any eating (despite medication).

Our veterinarian, a 35 year veteran and no-nonsense kind of guy, cried afterward with us as he hugged first Tom and then me. We thanked him for helping us keep her for the two years we did after her first diagnosis.


We love you, Em. We always will. May there be endless dishes of catnip where you are headed and a birdie to watch whenever you wish... and all the tuna your little sweet heart desires.


We miss you.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baby Steps


Emma is slowly climbing out of a hard crash right now.

At her vet appointment Monday her blood-work showed she is severely anemic. After an iron injection and several hours with the vet, he sent her home and was cautiously hopeful about the chances she will respond to the new medication we are going to be injecting her with three days a week for the foreseeable future (the same stuff I used when I had cancer a number of years ago, oddly) to help boost her red blood cell count.

She could barely walk Monday... Tom and I are both taking this very hard.

I "slept" out near the closet where she has been staying for the last several days.

She was better Tuesday AM and this morning we woke to find she made it to the litter box by herself overnight at some point. And she is eating dry food this morning.

She moved into the closet in our room, which is a regular hangout for her.

When I opened the door all the way her head popped up and she meowed at me.

She hasn't done that for a few days.

She keeps scarfing down teeny saucers of low-sodium tuna water with a tiny bit of tuna flakes when I put it in front of her.

We are hopeful.

Baby steps.

We are definitely at a cross-roads.

Tom and I agreed that if she doesn't continue to show gradual improvement by week's end, we are going to take her back to the vet.

I knew it was going to be hard.

I didn't think it would be this hard.

Never did I think it could hurt so much...

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Kill Me Now


A few gems from found.com that pretty much summarize my attitude toward the non-stop, eye-poking-inducing coverage of either Palin or Jacko.



If only every single steekin' journalist and media outlet in the country would read this...

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