Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I am a year old today!

Well ok, this blog is. I can't believe I've been running my mouth on the internet for a year now. I have "met" so many cool folks who are bloggers. My deepest thanks to DixiePeach for giving me the nudge to begin this blog back on January 31st, 2005. I didn't know what I was going to talk about and sometimes still don't. But I have been able to express myself here and I think it's helped keep me from going insane at times. Thanks to all y'all (that's a very Southern expression) for reading what I have to say.

So to celebrate I'm going to leave y'all with a joke my bestest friend K just sent me.

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window.
The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened?"
"Terrorists have kidnapped George W Bush. They are asking for a $10 million ransom. Otherwise they are going to douse him with gasoline and set him on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection."
The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving, on average?"
"About a gallon"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Meme

Sorry, y'all, but I've got nothing original for you today so you're going to get a meme. I stole it from poppycede.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what did you think?
"Look how puffy my eyes are. Blek!"

2. How much cash do you have on you?

3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?

4. Favorite planet?

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
A guy from our trivia group.

6. What is your favorite ring on your phone?
Feel Good, Inc. by the Gorillaz

7. What shirt are you wearing?
A lavender polo shirt

8. Do you "label" yourself?
Not really

9. Name the brand of shoes you're currently wearing now.
Chocolate brown Crocs.

10. Bright or Dark Room?

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Love Poppycede's blog.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"I can't" which was in response to my telling a friend to check her email.

14. Where is your nearest 7-11?
About 8 blocks from my house.

15. What's a saying(s) that you say a lot?
Apparently, F***er, "Leave the cat alone, Nate!"

16.Who told you they loved you last?

17. Last furry thing you touched?
I think it was Nate but it could have been Sneauball. Or was it Sophie?

18. How many days of school did you miss this week?
Well, none, since I've been out of school for quite a number of years now.

19. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
About 20. Pretty sad for someone who calls herself an amateur photographer, huh?

20. Favorite age you have been so far?
I think 35 was the most fun because I finally got who I was.

21. Your worst enemy?
As far as I know I don't have any unless the NSA and the FBI really do that file on me.

22. What is your current desktop picture?
A picture of a Bichon Frise Photoshopped onto a Monet painting.

23. What was the last thing you said to someone?
I told the office manager that I was logging out for lunch.

24. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you choose?
Because we need it so badly, the money.

25. Do you like someone?
No, I love someone. His name is E.

26. The last song you listened to?
"The Longest Time" by Billy Joel is playing right now.

27. Carmen Electra or Pam Anderson?
Ew, neither.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I just can't stand it any more!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, E and I were watching Good Morning America when they announced that Bu$h was out promoting his domestic spying program and blaming the bad press on the Dems. [insert rolling eyes here]

Then what do my eyes see but Bay Buchanan, wife of Pat Buchanan, (of the Neo-Con, can't get elected to shit Buchanans), who has apparently become a self-appointed pundit for the conservative mission and she was frothing at the mouth with love for Scooter Bu$h. She was, of course, defending Scooter's spying but here were some of her talking points -

* We are at war and in a time of war folks should just let the president do whatever it is he needs to do.
* Can you imagine how much information they would have lost if they'd had to wait around for some judge to sign a wiretapping order?
* We didn't have such crappy laws in place in earlier wars.
* (And my personal favorite) Can you imagine General Patton waiting around for a judge to sign a wiretapping order?

I'd like to take a moment to answer each one of those points individually.

+ Uh no. There is never a time when we should allow a president to violate the law and take away some of our civil rights.
+ The wiretapping law clearly states that they can begin a tap PRIOR to getting the order signed. They have a specific amount of time to get the order once they begin the tap. If they fail to get the order, they have to shut down the tap and they can't use anything they've gained. Therefore, (now follow me folks) they.don't.have.to.wait.so.they.don't.lose.any.time.
+ Yes, we didn't have such laws during previous wars and civil rights were violated, Japanese American citizens were locked up in interrment camps, and folks were accused of shit they didn't do. I think we needed to add that little law.
+ General Patton wasn't in the business of wiretapping. That's not a general's job. Can she be so stupid as to really believe Patton would be the best example to use for this?

What Scooter and his minions at the NSA have been doing is listening in on calls between American citizens located here and parties located overseas. Technically, under their little rule they could be tapping the line when I call my friend DixiePeach in Germany. Now we'd bore them to death with talk of knitting, peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches, our fun in Memphis, and sock monkeys but they could take it upon themselves to listen in anyway. I think what I'm going to do is make sure and preface any future calls to Dix with a disclaimer such as "Fuck Scooter and the NSA". They'll be adding that shit to my file, I just know it.

Scooter can run around and try to spin it all he wants. You can paint a turd red to look like a rose but it's still a turd. Somebody needs to keep pushing for an investigation because someone needs to go to jail for this shit.

And, Mother, I apologize for burning your retinas if you read this.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging For Choice

Some abortion myths and facts that you can read in their entirety at the NARAL New Jersey site:

Myth: Women who have abortions have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Fact: The National Cancer Institute has definitively stated that there is no link between breast cancer and abortion. Women who have had abortions are not at an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer.

Myth: Sexuality education leads to promiscuity.
Fact: A program sponsored by The World Health Organization in 1997, which evaluated major international studies, found that sexuality education neither increased nor decreased sexual activity. Many programs were found to delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the number of sexual partners, or reduce unplanned pregnancy and STD rates.

Myth: Most people think abortion should be illegal.
Fact: According to a 1998 poll taken by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 52% of Americans believe that legal abortion should be available. Another 37% believe abortion should be available in cases of rape and incest.

Here's the bottom line - reversing Roe vs. Wade will only increase deaths of otherwise healthy women as they seek abortions illegally. Life is legally defined as the point at which a fetus could continue to exist outside the womb. We all have our own personal beliefs. In fact, I highly doubt, that had I ever been in the position to find myself pregnant prior to marriage that I could have actually had an abortion. Not because I believe it to be wrong or illegal but because I believe I would have wanted any child I had conceived (barring rape). Then again, my thoughts are probably schewed now because at age 29 I lost the opportunity to choose to get pregnant thanks to uterine cancer. I'll never have a child of my own.

I do know one thing - our government has no business in my body. They don't have the right to tell me that I must take medication prescribed to me. They don't have the right to tell me that I can't take my own life. They don't have the right to tell me that I have to live on life support. They don't have the right to tell me what I should weigh. And they definitely don't have the right to tell me whether I can choose to have an abortion or not.

I believe Roe vs. Wade reaches far beyond the abortion issue; it sets a precedent regarding our refusing to let the government into our bodies. Reverse it and we give the government the go ahead to dictate to us more about our bodies.

Religious beliefs belong in the church. If through your faith you believe that abortion is murder - fine - don't have one. But don't try to tell me that I can't choose one for myself. Ultimately, anyone with religious faith believes that one day we will all have to answer to our maker for our choices in life. If that is so, then leave it in her/his hands. Do not place the ability to judge in the hands of our government. History shows that every time the people allow the government to dictate what happens to their bodies they live to regret the decision.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, DixiePeach!

Today is DixiePeach's birthday. I met Dix on a message board we belong to just over three years ago. She was one of the first there to make me feel welcome and we became fast friends. Then a year ago last November, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Peach Pilgrimage to Corinth, Mississippi, to spend a weekend with Dix and other friends from all over the country. There was driving on Elvis' sidewalk, getting fussed at by Elvis' security guard, chats into the wee hours of the morning, and lots of Corky's pork involved that weekend. It was a weekend of fun and sisterhood and truly one of the best weekends of my life. Dix is responsible for my starting this blog nearly a year ago.

I'm very blessed to have a friend like Dix. We can call each other up and just laugh and talk as if we've seen each other just yesterday. We're only just over a month apart in age and very much alike in many ways.

Dix, I love you to pieces and hope that your birthday is filled with happiness, joy, and some chocolate and red velvet cake. MWAH!

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's all about choice

This is Blog For Choice Month. So I'm more than happy to join in. January 22nd is Blog For Choice Day so I'll be contributing by posting about at least one choice issue. Stay tuned and please, if you believe in a woman's right to choose, join us. Thanks to Bitch Phd for the heads up on this.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Some catching up...

1. I've been sick. Icky sick. Last week I decided I needed a flu shot so I got one then proceeded to get a mild version of the flu. I was in bed for three days. I tried to go to work on Tuesday but only made it until noon. I still have a head full of snot. Blah!

2. My nephew Tyler is back in the hospital. Some of you may remember that Tyler is a St. Jude patient fighting leukemia. He's only seven. He's fighting a bacterial infection again and has been in-patient since last Thursday. Of course, he thinks this is wonderful. While in-patient he doesn't have to go to school (but still has to do homework - a slight inconvenience), he gets to order Coke Icees from the cafeteria any time he wants, he gets to play Nintendo Game Cube all day, watch movies on the children's cable movie channel they have, and watch DVD's on a portable DVD player (supplied by the hospital). He actually gets sad if you tell him you hope he gets out soon.

I've been banned from going to see him since I was sick but since I haven't run fever in over 48 hours now, I get to go tonight. I feel some good Game Cube playing coming on.

3. I'm getting itchy to paint some of the rooms, ok, all of the rooms in the house. I just don't want to get started before E has a permanent job. K gave us sheets for Christmas in a gorgeous shade of deep red. It's just the color that I want to paint our bedroom. I want to paint the living room in a china blue trimmed out in white and paint the kitchen a coordinating medium blue trimmed in white.

4. I'm also itching to get painting artistically again. I'm planning a tryptic for the kitchen of a fork, knife, and spoon. I spent a good bit of time surfing for flatware patterns that appeal to me last night. I have several neat ones picked out so all I have to do is narrow it down to "the one". I'll be off to buy three oblong canvases this evening. I hope to start working on it this weekend. I'll post pics if it turns out ok.

That's about the roundup of our rather dull recent life. I'll post again when I have something interesting to tell y'all.

Oh, I do have to say that it thrills me to see my brother as happy as he is now. He's positively giddy with his life now. Rock on, Bro!

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Orleans New Year part 2

I'm sorry, y'all. I have been a very bad blogger. I promised you guys photos of our drive through the Lower 9th Ward and have made you wait several days for them. I could make up some excuses for y'all but I won't.

Anyway, while E and I were riding in the 9th Ward 99% of all the other vehicles in the area were folks with cameras - photo cameras, video cameras, and even a motion picture camera in an SUV with a California license plate on it. I found out that the day after we were there, Gray Line Bus Tours began a tour through the damaged areas. Now I find this to be disgusting. Notice they're charging $35 for adults and $28 for children and donating a whopping $3 from each ticket to one of five non-profits that benefit Katrina and Rita victims. It's just sick to profit from other's loss so please feel free to send them an email telling them just how you feel.

As for our drive, I can tell you that photos do not do the devastation justice. Until you are there and smell the mold and see the dusty powder that covers the streets and round a corner to have to drive around a house that's sticking out in the street, you can't fully get the impact of this storm. I think if I had seen anyone there who had once lived there I would have gotten out the car, hugged them, and cried with them.

The photos below will mostly speak for themselves. Sorry the quality isn't the finest as the light was waning when we were driving around. If you click the image, you'll be able to view it full size.

This first one is a block very near the levee break. The first few blocks look just like this. No houses are left standing as the rushing water was just too powerful.

The house in the center is sticking out into the cross street.

An example of the piles of debris in the streets.

Two houses that have collided.

An angel that survived and landed in a driveway.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Orleans Revisited

E and I went back to New Orleans twice over the New Year weekend. On Friday night we went to the last night of City Park's Celebration In The Oaks, the annual Christmas light display we love to visit. This year was scaled down as so much of the park and the equipment was damaged in the storm. This year's theme was Mr. Bingle. Mr. Bingle was a snowman character invented by the folks at the old Maison Blanche department store to welcome in the Christmas season beginning in 1948. I remember Mr. Bingle as a child as my parents would take me to New Orleans to see the displays in the windows on Canal Street. There was a huge paper mache Mr. Bingle that hung on top of the store as well as puppets, a children's television show, and lots of stuffed Bingles. You can read his story here.

Here's the Mr. Bingle story:

When Santa left his shop one day,
he found a snowman near his sleigh.
"You'll be my helper now" he said,
and tapped the little fellow's head.

The snowman found that he could talk;
"look Santa, I can even walk!
And then he gave a little sigh...
"Oh, how I wish I could fly!"

So Santa gave him holly wings;
then looking through his Christmas things,
found ornaments the very size
to make a pair of shining eyes.

Then Santa said, "You need a hat;
an ice cream cone's just right for that.
And keep this candy cane with you;
you'll see what magic it can do!"

The snowman laughed and sang a jingle,
so Santa named him "Mr. Bingle"
That's how it happened.
Now he's here for us to enjoy throughout the year!

Unfortunately, Maison Blanche was bought out by Dillards a number of years ago and Mr. Bingle disappeared from the commercial New Orleans Christmas scene. But he lives on in the many hearts of the now grown kids who remember him from their childhood. A few years ago I found a small but old Bingle doll at a flea market and wouldn't leave until he was mine.

The original paper mache Mr. Bingle from the Maison Blanche store was given to City Park this year and was on display at Celebration in the Oaks. I wasn't going to let the season pass without my seeing him up close so I drug E over there Friday night. We only have one decent digital pic but I took nearly a whole roll with my 35mm camera.

This photo doesn't show you the scale but he's huge - he's sitting on a flatbed trailer.

It was our last Christmas hoorah and was a fun filled evening. Tomorrow I'll post about our visit to the 9th ward on Monday.