Sunday, August 31, 2003

I watched the final episode of MASH this afternoon and it reminded me of a time when I was part of a team...specifically, when that team was dissolved.Like the characters on the show, we had been together for a long time,seen some horrible shit,learned to depend on each other,and just when it seemed we were hitting our stride - it was over.
I was at the airport headed for a vacation in colorado when the other shoe dropped and wasn't there when the word came down we were done...when I returned it was whispered to me like the blasphemy it was...WHAT?NO!What will this place do without us?What will I do without you...the team.
I remember the last night on shift,walking into the parking lot and looking back...not believeing it was over...but it was...
OK...That's a bit flowery, but the fact remains it was the end of a crack team of crisis specialists...people who were crazy enough to come in and restore order when the crazy people thay were dealing with lost it...psychiatric SWAT if you will...and we were good at it.
I could depend on them and they me...and I have never felt the same bond since...
We vowed to stay in touch, but over the years connections have dwindled,I see only one of my former teammates regularly...our team leader passed away last year...and everyone else
faded from my view...popping up sporadically,and then,in the past few years,not at all.
I guess the point of all this is to say I remember you guy's and what we did and I remember the bond we had...transient as it turned out to be.(?)
I also need to stop watching cable...
I miss you guy's.

Saturday, August 30, 2003


Iam MR.DANIEL KABANGO,A Citizen of Sierra Leone I got your contact during my internet search for a reliable and trustworhty person to transact this business with, But before now I have never contacted with any one yet aside you.


My father MR.MICHAEL KABANGO,Was a former director of Sierra Leone MINING CORPORATION under the administration of the president TEJAN KABBAH in Sierra Leone. He was accused by the government of financing the(RUF)rebels, For this reason he was subsequently arrested and detained in the military Camp, Where he finally died, and as the first son in the family,I
DISCOVERED SOME VALUABLE DOCUMENTS IN MY FATHER'S SECRET CHAMBER proving that he deposited the sum of(US$17,300,000)-SEVENTEEN MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS with the STANDARD SECURITY & SERVICES COMPANY in Accra-Ghana for safekeeping.And an agreement was made between my father and the company.Due to this finding, I decided to came down to
Ghana to confirm and also take refuge here in Ghana.


My confirmation was positive from the STANDARD SECURITY & SERVICES COMPANY. PLEASE what I want from you now is to assist me remove this fund out of the STANDARD SECURITY & INSURANCE COMPANYand invest it in any lucrative business for me in you're country or anywhere in overseas. Please NOTE: that the Standard Security & Services Company does not know the true content of the consignment because it is sealed and fear of betrayer and was deposited as diamond. I have decided to pay away with 15% percent of the total fund to you if you assisted me in claiming this consignment out of the security company and another 5%percent will be map out for any expenses incurred during this transaction.


If you are willing to assist me please reply to through, Tel:00233-2081-73268.



Mr.Daniel Kabango


....I know everyone has gotten a few of these,Most of the one's I've recieved were from Lagos.Well,probably not really lagos but somewhere people are far more retarded than the potential victims they are fishing for with these emails.Has anyone anywhere ever fallen for this shit?
The only people I can think of that might buy into this are the 50 some odd % of americans who believe Bush is doing a good job...or is it lower than that today?
One can hope.

Monday, August 25, 2003

What exactly do they get out of it?There are the popular lies...lying to get out something...from "no...they gave me that weed" to "I would NEVER mess around on you".
These lies are engineered to avoid dodge a bullet. In a sense...a very base sense...I can understand these kind of lies.You are simply trying to cover your ass...and who hasn't done this to one degree or another at some point in thier lives.
I'm no be sure,but I can't remember the last time I told a lie...I have lied in my past and learned that doing so leads to much more bullshit than you would've endured telling the truth...some people are good liars and some bad...I was horrible at it and learned early on that it was a life strategy that wouldn't work for me.(I credit my parents for this...even though I was well into my adult years before I finally figured it out...thanks mom and dad).
Now...on to the lie in question....
Where I work is filled with diversity...but not in the normal way you would define it.Our color is white predominantly,more male than female.What sets us apart is appearance.Most of us have tattoos...lot's of them.They are not hidden from view..I am sleeved with tats on my hands and knuckles for the world to see...without shame...I am colored by choice.
Many of us have very short hair.This combination leads people to some conclusions that are not true...redneck...extremist...racist.
Redneck?...yeah...extremist?...OK...But racist???No... I don't think so.
We service a large jewish community center and one of our employees (heavily tattooed and with a burr hair cut) did a job or two at the center.His supervisor (also heavily tattooed and short haired,he can hide his ink though) told him that someone from the center had called and requested that they not send "the anti-semite looking man" out again because he had offended some members by his appearance.
This "anti-semite" would give you the shirt off his back...kind,funny,helpful,but unfortunately the owner of a crew cut and tattoos in plain view (one a dedication to his mother and his home 8' prison bullshit).Not a nazi skinhead punk by any stretch of the imagination.When he heard this he reacted with anger...but by the time he got home he realized his feelings were hurt...he wasn't mad...he was hurt because he thought of himself as a "good person".
I was sharing this with the owner of the company over a beer tonight and the general manager joined us and informed us it was almost,probably,certainly a lie and the reality was they didn't want him back because of his unfamiliarity with the equipment...his supervisor had simply made it up.When pressed for details,his supervisor couldn't remember who from the center had lodged the complaint and changed the subject.
A lie...for what reason?To hurt someone's feelings?To cast aspersions indirectly?Trying to be funny?Who the fuck knows...All I know is this:It hurt that man's feelings and made him believe people thought ill of him because of the way he looks...It wound me up enough to write about original intent was to blast the members of that jewish community center for engaging in the same kind of blind prejudice that killed millions of jews so long ago....
but with the news that this revelation was most probably a lie, I lost my wind...but not my memory.
When I was in the field I had a customer who insisted that you call before you came into her yard...The same supervisor told me it was because she had been raped by a service person in the past.I carried on with this in mind for 6 months only to find out he was lying...he thought it was funny when I finally found out.
Is he lying?...probably so,but we'll never know for sure.
Do I trust him?
Absolutely not.
The price one pays...
"I'm a truth shit I gotta a head rush"(Rage against the machine)

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I ventured forth today to go buy groceries and stuff. I say "stuff" because the grocery store has gradually morphed into a grocery/meat market/fish market/deli/coffee shop/drugstore/office supply/lawn and garden center store. I am the only one that longs for the days when the grocery store was just a grocery store? I'm pretty sure the non-food items outnumber the food items in this store. Nor can they be sensible and group the food items on one side and the non-food stuff on the other. No, they have to intersperse everything in some unfathomable pattern. Since I've now combined grocery shopping with drugstore shopping, I had Q-tips ® on my list, but I never did find them. I expected them to be by the cotton balls, silly me. Maybe there's a special "ear aisle" that I missed. And while I'm all into offering customers choices, why is there an entire aisle of toilet paper with about twenty brand choices, yet the jelly and jam section takes up about 1/10th of an aisle with only three brands and four flavor options: grape, strawberry, orange marmalade and apple butter. What happened to blackberry? Oh well, I had a nice surprise in the fruit section. Oranges in August. From Australia, no less!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Sorry... I missed the friday five.Deal with it...

This has never happened to me...once, a crack addled resident of the emergency shelter I was house manager of fired a jumbo sized curling iron at my head...end result:six stitches and the effective end of my career in the "helping" field.
Kharmic anecdote...This person was beaten to death with a baseball bat a couple of years after opening my head my early days in the biz I would have been aghast...but with my new found callousness I said good riddance to a lousy piece of shit.

This has never happened to me...once, I chased a runaway patient across a busy street during rush hour dodging cars and narrowly avoiding death, ultimately cornering said patient in someones front yard.I negotiated his safe return to the hospital with the promise of smoking a cigarette on the ride home.For this I was written up for allowing a patient to smoke...IN A COMPANY VEHICLE.

Yes...this happened to me...amazingly,I didn't lose my job but got a week paid vacation and when I came back, whenever I was called to a crisis it dissolved quickly...I attributed this to my skill as a "mental health professional"...truth be known I was a complete crazy ass psycho that even patients at a treatment center knew better to fuck with...I was an asset to the company.

This morning...I shaved too.

Once, a patient asked me if I smoked pot...I told him this: On my way home from work tonight I may smoke the biggest joint you've ever seen...then again...I may not.What business is it of yours?For the don't own a gun.

I rant...raving is for pussies.....

Well...there it is... the saturday six.Draw your own conclusions.
Yeah, what she said!
Ever come across a blog with a post that falls in the "exactly what I was thinking" category? Read this from Broad at Bat if you haven't already:

If that's your idea of recreation, you can forget about playing charades

Friday, August 22, 2003

Friday Five
1. When was the last time you laughed?
About 30 minutes ago when the Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody started playing. This reminded me of a Human Resources job I once had at a residential treatment center. When this song would play on the radio, three of us in the department would stop what we were doing, gather round the radio and sing along with the song the entire way through with pantomime and air guitar playing at the appropriate parts. Our boss was not amused, but the tradition began long before she came to work there so she would just roll her eyes and shut her office door. Work is so much more enjoyable when your co-workers are people with a sense of humor.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
I haven't had an argument in a very long time unless you count the customer service folks at SBC. I can't remember the last time I had an argument with someone I actually know. I used to have very ugly arguments with my ex-husband who wouldn't quit until I actually agreed with him. There was no "agree to disagree" in that relationship. I'm pretty stubborn and no asshole is going to tell me how to think so these arguments would sometimes last for hours until I couldn't take it anymore and started throwing things (but never at HIM.) After I put a few holes in the walls, I had a therapist teach me how to avoid getting sucked into those kind of interactions. I also learned how to repair drywall ;)

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
My friend Andrea. We could pick up the phone and call each other, but we prefer email.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
I took a shower this morning. I can't think of anything more to say about this one other than I want a REAL bathtub that holds more than 5 inches of water so I can have a good soak once and a while.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
A bowl of cereal called Heartland or something like that. I like it because it doesn't get soggy while I answer my morning emails. A lot of people eat in front of the TV, but I eat in front of the computer.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Life is Good
Maybe it really is the little things in life that make it all worthwhile. I am so thrilled to have Launchcast Plus (internet radio) in my life again. Actually, I never had the Plus account, but I used Lanchcast before you had to pay to have the "never play this song again" button. Once they started that I decided that if I wanted to suffer through songs I didn't like then I could just listen to the regular radio for free. Now that I have this free subscription, it's been playing most of the day and words cannot express the joy I felt when clicking the NOT button when some Madonna song that I despise started playing. Most of the stuff I already have on CD, but it's nice to have a computer play the mix for you based on your preferences. Another thing I like is that I get to play the "guess that band" game since I can peek at the screen to see if I'm right. I'm not so good at remembering band names or album names or song names. Rob, on the other hand, is practically an encyclopedia for this so I can tell him, "Play that Helmet song that's my favorite," and he will magically pop the correct CD in the player and choose the correct track. Or I can say that I want to hear the song that has *insert line of lyrics here* and he will immediately know which song I'm talking about. Honestly, without him around I would be completely lost when it comes to playing the music that I like on the CD player.
The bird that sleeps in my hat
Tonight when I was taking some clothes off the clothesline I disturbed the bird which sleeps in my floppy hat. This hat is a laundry item that has been left on the line because some little bird likes to sleep there at night. Actually there are two hats clothespinned together and I'm not sure which one it sleeps in. Maybe both. Rob said I should leave the hats there because it's good luck and so they've been in the same spot for months now. I've never heard of a bird in your hat bringing good luck, but I suppose it could be possible and I need all the luck I can get. I've disturbed it many times before, always after dark when I've gone out to get clothes still on the line. Today was the first time I actually got to see the little bugger since he's never in the hat during the day and this was just around sunset so there was still some daylight. He hung around in the trees nearby, apparently wishing I would hurry up and go my merry way so he could get settled in for the night. Rob and I decided to sneak out there tonight and take a picture. If anyone knows what kind of bird this is, please let me know!
Speeding along on the internet again
Well, as you can see from Rob's post we are back up again thanks to a connection on some better copper between us and the CO in addition to the demise of the old POTs splitter. SBC made it all right in the long run, as always, and we had good ADSL connectivity by 7:00 pm or so yesterday. Unfortunately, I wasted the rest of the evening trying to get the SBC install CD to actually install on one of several computers so it could set up the PPOE and step me through the registration process. No luck there (I won't bore you with the tech support non-answers), but I found and installed what software I needed to get the damned PPOE working and also found what I needed to do to connect to register from the Mac instructions. Apparently Mac users are not forced to let some install program do everything for them with no written explanation of what's going on. I eventually connected to the registration server where I got to read the terms of service agreement. Big "oops" here since I had failed to realize that I would only be allowed one IP address. All my fault because I didn't ask questions, but I was driven purely by desperation to get a DSL connection that I could afford and quite frankly, this was the only option that fit the budget. The TOS did support what the salesperson had told me which was that I could connect multiple computers, but I discovered I had to provide my own router for this since the modem is just a simple bridge with no firewall. Ah well, I decided to accept the TOS and figure something out after a bit of sleep.

Today I spent a lot of time exploring options. I prefer OpenBSD as a firewall/NAT anyway, but I've never set one up for PPOE and without the source on CD that wasn't going to be a quick fix since it would probably take a day or more to download it over dial-up (if someone knows how to setup OpenBSD off a boot floppy and use PPOE so you can ftp the source for the install, please let me know for future reference.) I could scrape up the money and order an OpenBSD CD, but that's not a quick fix either. Damn it, I finally have DSL again and I want to use it. NOW, not another week from now and I don't want to coordinate access with my husband or decide which computer gets the single connection. *stamps her feet and throws a mini temper tantrum*

Okay, on to other options. I could turn my W2K server into a router, but I refuse to put a Windows server on the internet without a firewall, no matter how hardened and patched. The various software NAT/firewall options for W2K server are a bit expensive and even the cheap $50 D-Link router from Office Depot seemed a stretch given our budget. I could always sell the (rather expensive when new) Netopia SDSL router on e-Bay or something, but that's definitely not a quick fix. Decisions, decisions.

After all was said and done, I decided to raid the bank account and buy the D-Link router. Call me weak, call me an internet junky, call me a fool and I'll probably regret this at the end of next week when we are down to rice, beans and Ramen noodles (thanks to Nicole for the Ramen reminder.) Then again, I can have Ann's Cheese Ramen soup while I enjoy the Launchcast Plus that came free with this SBC account. And I happen to really like my Cheese Ramen soup :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

You know what I'm talking about...those moments when something comes to you with such clarity it must be true.
It can range from a simple id generated one: "That MOTHERFUCKER is crazy!" to a more thought one:"That motherfucker is CRAZY!"
Higher function is a lie and Freud was on the pipe.Ego and super ego are the end results of two different grades of cocaine...nothing more,nothing less...don't kid yourself college boy.
But I digress...
Here are some examples of those daily gems that change your life in such subtle ways....
"These new 7-11 coffee cups really suck"
"The traffic lights are out to get me"
"That breakfast taco is kickin' my ass"
"That guy is truely an idiot"
"If that (insert item here) was in your ass,you'd know where it was"
"This blog is so marginal Colin Quin should've written it"
"Jazz does not help the flow..."
"Neither does old crass..."
"I should sign off..."

Monday, August 18, 2003

Thoughts about being "poor"
My current situation, despite being unemployed for 9 months, is definitely NOT poor. I came to this realization after a friend of mine told me she had mashed potatoes for dinner. She's not having mashed potatoes because she is poor, but I suddenly realized I know a great many ways to make a meal out of left over mashed potatoes. What is now my weekly food budget would have covered several months back in "the old days" and that's taking inflation into consideration. That thought led me to wonder why I haven't cut back more on the food bills given that we are struggling to make the car and house payment now? Which, in turn, led me to think about my parents.

My parents were the children of sharecroppers and they didn't always have much to eat. Contrary to popular belief, not all cotton pickers in the state of Texas were African-Americans. Yes, I'm a descendant of cotton pickin' cotton pickers. The term cotton pickin' probably has no meaning these days, but it was still a slur when I was a kid. By the time I was born my folks were in their 40s, had worked their asses off and made it to the "middle class". They had built a house. We had "good" food on the table - meat and potatoes every night, no matter what other bills there might be.

And so I had a nice "middle class" childhood, but I hit the financial skids in my 20s (anyone remember the Austin bust of the early 80s?) At that time, the food budget was a bit skimpy and I learned how to make meals out of what ever was in the 'fridge, including leftover mashed potatoes. Rice and bean tacos? Peanut butter for breakfast? I've been there. I know a thousand ways to cut the food budget, yet I don't. Is it an age thing? Do we reach our 40s and decide that good food is more important than the car payment? Or is it that having been there once before, we never want to go back?
SBC hell
Disclaimer: While SBC has given me a lot of grief over the years, they have always made things right in the long run.

I made sure I was long out of the Tavist ® Zone before I picked up the phone to call my phone company, SBC. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to follow the never ending rounds of auto attendant menu choices so that I could be given a recorded message that I needed to call another phone number. This phone number was stated exactly ONCE before I was disconnected. I called back, with pen in hand only this time I missed hearing a few of the numbers because the connection faded out so I had to go through this a third time. Upon calling the new phone number I discovered another round of auto attendant menu choices and end up with one of two options: listen to "infection removal instructions" or some other "instructions" that didn't apply. I don't need either of those, thank you very much - where is the option where I get to talk to a human? Not available, so I listen to the "infection removal instructions" for 15 minutes and eventually get the option to talk to a human. Ah, but that was worse. You see, the problem here is that I know what's wrong with my DSL line, but it doesn't fit in the stupid call center script so the human had no idea what to tell me other than to reboot my computer and when that didn't work tell me I needed to reinstall Windows. Somehow I don't see where reinstalling Windows is going to make the little green DSL light come on in the modem when the problem is that there a POTS splitter on the line. He'd never heard of a POTS splitter. Okay, I'll admit this is from the dark ages of ADSL and maybe if I hadn't switched to SDSL then I'd still have the old ADSL port, but ... what, you don't know what SDSL is either? ARGH! Please, just transfer me to the line repair folks, who according to you can't do anything with DSL, but I'll take my chances. He attempted to transfer me, but I get disconnected. I think this is the point where I threw the cordless phone handset across the room. Only to pick it back up, find the batteries, put it back together and try, try again. Eventually I get someone who still doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about, but figures if I want a technician to come out, then, by God, they will send one out tomorrow (thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you!) Let's just hope the tech has been around long enough to know what a POTS splitter is! I'm starting to think I should have just broken the security tabs and rewired the damn thing myself.
The Tavist ® Zone
There are only two medications that work on my allergies: Tavist ® and Benedryl ®. Both of them send me off into some other space-time continuum where I am a complete idiot, but at least Benedryl ® usually knocks me out and I just sleep. Tavist ® on the other hand, results in my walking around like a zombie and doing some interesting things. For example, I just put some trash in the refrigerator and almost put the milk in the trashcan. Earlier I found myself standing in the den with the Windows 2000 Professional Upgrade CD in my hand. I have no idea why; perhaps I was going to upgrade the stereo.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Fuck TVLand and Nickleodeon...Let me tell you why.
Yesterday I caught back to back episodes of Happy Days,which was on the air when I was a young one.I didn't watch it much then and I can count the times I watch it now...twice...yesterday.
I'm not sure what compelled me to do so but I sat through that every problem solved in thirty minutes fantasy of life...TWICE!What's wrong with me?I didn't wax nostalgic to myself about how it was a simpler better time, full of promise and a wide eyed Richie Cunningham do what's right and it will be alright...I didn't even think about how much fun it would be to do the nasty with her room...with her parents downstairs.Fonzi would of been proud of that,right?
What exactly was I thinking?
Two things...Fuck!I'm old...and what has middle age brought me...or to clarify...what have I learned in 43 years?
1.Love is not really love until you pass the 30ish mark.Everything from your first grade school crush until your'e 30ish is practice.A series of trials and tribulations where you figure out what really matters,what doesn't,and how to tell the difference.
2.Everything you know is wrong until your'e 30ish...but that's the pay off from enduring #1. see things so clearly after stumbling through your first thirty.
3.You wish you would of known this shit from the git go so you could of avoided the problems you encountered along the way.
4.If you had known what you know now then...what a boring,safe life you would have had.
I look back at my life so far and have no real regrets (well...maybe 2 or 3...) to speak of.I'm not rich...I struggle to get by, it's not third world barefoot walking through a slit trench struggling, but it's a struggle nonetheless.But because of that stuggling I am rich in character...some good,some bad and if asked for some reason to pass on nuggets of wisdom I would say this:
Always own a dog...they will teach you about loyalty and friendship more than any person can...even in death.
Trust people as far as you can throw them.
No matter how many times you get knocked down, buy a gun, and fantasize about shooting the next person that knocks you down,then get back up...fortified by that gun,should you ever (god forbid) need it.
Always tell the truth, even if it gets you into deep shit.
Work hard at whatever you do...dedicate yourself.
Don't beat yourself up,learn from your mistakes and move the fuck on...nobody likes a whiner. many beers have I had?Enough to pontificate like a guys already know this stuff....right?right?
Remember the stuff about the's important...
to me
Who's to blame?
I'm getting really tired of seeing this on the cable news networks in regards to the big blackout. Why all the focus on blame? If I understand things correctly, this sort of cascading shutdown wasn't supposed to happen again, but hey, it's an imperfect world and SHIT HAPPENS! How about spending some of that energy on finding and fixing the problem instead of all the finger pointing? This focus of placing blame on some one or some thing is far too prevalent in our society today. As if, by laying blame, we somehow magically solve the problem. Pfthpt!
Friday Five
I couldn't connect yesterday so here it is today.

1. How much time do you spend online each day?
When I have a good connection I spend much more time that I'd like to admit in public.

2. What is your browser homepage set to?
IE is set to about:blank. Mozilla Firebird is set to Google. Lynx doesn't have a homepage setting.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
Not regularly because I prefer email. I do have IM accounts with AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ so I can get in touch with those people who only check their email once a month, but have their IM program on all the time.

4. Where was your first webpage located?
I don't remember because it was so long ago that webpages were only text and links (no images) and the webserver was located in some guy's house up in Round Rock. A little research on this subject in an attempt to identify the mystery ISP made me realize I've been on the internet a lot longer than I thought. I wonder if my Commodore 64 with the 300 baud modem is still around somewhere? Probably in the attic, never mind.

5. How long have you had your current website?
If you mean this blog, since April. I've held a domain name for one of my websites since 1996, though the site existed without it's own domain name much earlier than that.
Irrational fear
Thank you all for your comments, but I'm having so much trouble typing in those comment boxes that I'll address the idea that I'm a brave lady in a post instead. You see, I'm not afraid of spiders so having one, even a BIG one, hanging around is not a big deal. However, if you ever see a picture of me crawling around in my attic then you can consider me brave. Our attic gives me the creeps. In fact, the corner of the piece of drywall that covers the opening is broken off and just walking underneath that bit of an opening gives me the creeps. I have no rational explanation for this, but I always have full-blown panic attack if I so much as even poke my head up through the opening to the attic. Now I can understand a fear of spiders or sharks or bears since these are things that can actually be dangerous. But an attic?
More internet connection problems
This time it was (and still is) the phone line. No internet connection yesterday meant I had to turn to the cable news networks for information on the blackout. Aside from being a lousy source of information, there were so many commercials that I kept falling asleep during the commercial breaks. I would doze for a while, then invariably wake up in the middle of yet another commercial break only to doze off again. Rob came home from work and carted me off to Maudies (a restaurant) where I drank many large glasses of iced tea in an effort to shake off the TV induced somnolence. This had the advantage of keeping the payday celebration bill a bit lower than normal since iced tea is much cheaper than beer. Once we got back home, I was prepared to become wonderfully informed about the days events only to promptly fall back asleep during the first commercial break despite enough caffeine to give an elephant the jitters. Ah well, at least I know what to do the next time I can't sleep at night.
* posted at the blazing connection speed of 4600 baud *

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I'm the retail manager at the place I work...on the counter dealing with the public all day long.
Most of the guys that come in don't "hable the englaise" if you know what I mean...if you don't...try "wetback" on for size.
Don't get me wrong...these guys are cool and I like them just fine...they just don't speak english worth a shit and it makes it really hard for me to give them a positive customer experience,especially when they can't even pronounce the name of the property they work for much less the sh*t they need for the pool.(I threw in the asterick cause Ann said this was a way to "fool" the web filters and bring our superior wit and venom to those of you fucking off at work).
I got CD's to listen to in the car on the way to work to learn spanish but quickly shined it didn't meet my needs,what I need is a CD that covers pool hydraulics,chemistry and finesse in the old espaniolio so I can give these guys the service they america,where the predominant language is ENGLISH.
I have a plan though...I'm gonna set up a school just across the river that specializes in english focusing on the following:
building maintainence
carpet installation and door to door tamale selling.
3 months before they cross they have to successfully complete one or a combination of my courses or they can't come over and take the jobs we'll all be fighting over after all the good jobs are outsourced to fucking india or indonesia by the corporate asswipes who are sucking at the bush administrations tit...WHOA! I go veering off into the obvious. This post is about wetbacks who really need to learn the language of this great melting of opportunity to all except the people that are already here...except those rich motherfu*kers...(there's that asterick again...:).
Grinding halt...I'm tellin' ya...
It's the end of the world as I know it so why do I feel fine? (apologies to REM)
I can answer that with a four letter word. BEER. Yes, I think I have officially joined the ranks of the unemployed, poverty-stricken, down-trodden population of the earth as I found myself spending my last vestiges of cash on beer tonight. No doubt I will regret this in the morning as I contemplate how to make breakfast out of left-over fish and rice. Perhaps I will make fish tacos in an attempt to say, "I'm not poor, I'm hip." But the truth of the matter is that I spent my last $7 on beer because we all need an escape from time to time and quite frankly, when you are poor and desperate that promise of escape has a much greater appeal than when you are sitting happy on a paycheck. From a more practical standpoint, $7 isn't going to make or break anything around here, but all the same I feel that I've reached some awful turning point where escape has become more important than... well, I don't know. Because if it came down to the choice between escape and toilet paper, toilet paper would definitely win.
Twelve dogs barking
Twelve dogs barking is what I listened to for several hours this afternoon. Three of them were mine, the rest belong to neighbors. I never did figure out what they were barking about and I suspect that it might have been something along the lines of a weekly book club or other social gathering. Or, since they are separated by fences, perhaps it is more akin to a doggy chat room? As a result of this experience I overdid it a bit on the black for a shirt I'm dying for a friend because I was concentrating more on shouting things like "Irene!" , "Theo!" and "Sullivan!" at the top of my lungs than I was concentrating on the shirt. In once instance I even yelled "Shut the F*ck Up!" which I regret since there were two small children several yards over. Oh well, these days they probably hear that enough at school that one slip on my part isn't going to matter. The cacophony ended as abruptly as it began - meeting adjourned.
Two days of dial-up hell
I suppose this could be fallout from the new DCOM/RPC worm, but I would hope that my ISP isn't using Windows servers to manage it's PPP connections. Dropped connections, failure to negotiate protocol, invalid username or password; name any possible PPP connection problem and I probably saw it over these last two days. I don't know how Rob managed to get a post up last night, but he must have hit it just right. Flaky internet connections are a bit traumatic for me because I am a bonafide internet junky. I am, however, a specific kind of internet junky. I don't play games or do instant messaging. I'm not watching movies or Flash cartoons. I'm not hitting the porn sites or other entertainment venues. I'm not downloading scads of MP3s. No, the internet is simply a natural evolution of my addiction to information and knowledge; a vast research library at my fingertips as well as a rich source of fiction (usually disguising itself as non-fiction.) It's also worked it's way into other areas of my life with online banking, shopping, and correspondence to name a few items. Anyone remember Peapod, the online grocery store? I think I actually cried when they stopped that service. The internet has been a part of my daily life for almost 10 years now and while I can imagine a life without it, it's not a pleasant thought. My priorities in life have become food, shelter, clothing, internet connection. I wonder if you can get a library card when your address is the Salvation Army?

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I find myself doing this when I'm clogged in traffic on the way to work and on the way home,no matter how early or late I come and go.
The laid back river city of yore is a distant memory for me, giving way to a city filled with people who don't belong here pretending that they do soaking up a shitty facsimile of our past glory fooling themselves that they are experiencing the real thing.
New establishments hawk themselves as the real thing...even Threadgills is a pale imitation of what once was...the pictures on the wall illuding to a past and infinitely better time for Austin.
It will never be the same as it was, galloping headlong into history, becoming just another shit hole governed by jackasses who came here from somewhere else only knowing they had fucked up the last place they were and needed to move on before some locals lynched them for being the cultural vampires that they are.
I say it daily..."I hate this fucking town"...but the reality is I hate what this town has become.And the other reality is I don't know where else to go...but I want to go...somewhere,but where?
On to Nancy Grace...what the fuck is up with this bizzel?Born again pious for sure...she was in the beginning a decent anchor for court TV,but has become the uber cunt,a media machine of frigidity...a one bitch judge and jury...I fucking hate her and would love the opportunity to bitch slap her pompous ass or throw some excrement in her face.If there is a god he should curse her with a pox of facial carbunkles and abcesses.Get the picture?
Some more of us died today...over there in Iraq,where the mission is accomplished...bush said so...fucking sod all prick liar.
before it's too la--wait...I think it already is.
Just plain ol' "Morning"
My mood appears to be back to normal today so I'm going to sit here and do my daily fruitless search for a job. Oh joy, I see has matched me up with another $8/hour clerk position that requires a four year college degree. That company will get a bevy of applications because Austin is a town overflowing with college graduates that don't want to leave Austin because... well, I'm not sure why they don't want to leave. Are Barton Springs and Sixth Street really worth the low wages and the high rent? How about you all go back where you came from and let one of us old farts without a degree get a job once and a while? Sigh, I really shouldn't post first thing in the morning. I'll come back after coffee and breakfast when I might be able to do something besides rant about my perceived injustice of the world. Yep, things are definitely back to normal.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Good Morning!
It's not very often I say "Good Morning" when I wake up. No, it's usually more of a grunty "Don't talk to me until 10:00 am" kind of interaction, but for some reason I popped awake at 5:30 this morning and got my butt up and moving around by six. Maybe it was in anticipation of the return of coffee to my morning routine. Perhaps it was because the house was actually cool and comfy for a change. What ever the reason, it seems very weird to feel this chipper right off the bat. Could I be turning into my mother, the woman who would wake me up with a song every morning? Perish the thought unless I also magically acquire her love of housework. That could be a good tradeoff, but I don't seem to feel the urge to dust the living room, wash the dishes or clean the toilet. I even tried to sabotage this mood by checking the bank account, but the fact that we have $200 less than we need for the week didn't dampen my mood one bit. Anyone who knows me would tell you that this is aberrant behavior since this is something that always causes me to freak out. Where's my "we are going to go thirty days past due on the car payment and it's the end of the world" reaction? Never mind that I knew weeks ago that this day would come and I even tried to work something out with the bank. No, that knowledge never stops the hand wringing, end of the world freak out that occurs once the day actually arrives. Until today. I think I shall go outside to watch the birds and see if they start singing to me ala Snow White. Because if that happens, then I'll feel better knowing that this can all be explained by the fact that I have finally gone batshit crazy.
* dances out the door singing "They're coming to take me away" *

Sunday, August 10, 2003

The spider has a name
Rob calls these "banana"spiders, but the real name is Argiope aurantia. You can learn more about them here:
Black and yellow Argiope
New Resident

A large spider has decided to set up shop under our covered deck and I watched him nab a yellow jacket this afternoon. I hope the spider sticks around for a while. Not only are these spiders fun to watch, but the yellow jacket population is getting a bit out of control. We don't knock the yellow jacket nests down unless they build some place where we might accidentally aggravate them enough to attack (like by the door or near the grill), but this year we've had a population explosion. The covered deck where this spider is currently hanging out is my dye studio and also where my clotheslines are strung so I can dry clothes and cloth on the line even when it's raining. I am out there most of the day when it's not 100 degrees outside and so far I haven't been stung, but the sheer number of yellow jackets is starting to make me nervous. I'm somewhat allergic and I'm always afraid that the next sting will be the one that sends me into anaphylactic shock. I can't bring myself to destroy all the nests so I keep my cell phone handy when I'm out there *just in case*. However, with my luck I'll probably drop the phone in the dye bath before I can dial 911 ;)

Saturday, August 09, 2003

A little cooler today
It was only 100 degrees in the shade at 2 o'clock today. That's typical for this time of year and while our house is not exactly what other people would consider cool, it's not quite the sauna it was yesterday. I managed to get some laundry and housework done this morning before things heated up again. I would have rather spent the time on the computer, but there was a certain appeal to having clean clothes to wear when we go visit friends tonight. My wardrobe consists of three pairs of jeans, one pair of shorts to be worn ONLY around the house because the snap is broken, about ten T-shirts, and a couple of button-down shirts. I do have three "interview" outfits, but those are saved for that moment when I might actually get called for an interview (I've had ONE in eight months.) I suppose I should buy some more clothes, but when you are unemployed and generally only venture out of the house about once a week, you discover that sleepwear works quite well for daily attire .

Friday, August 08, 2003

Too hot to post
It was another day of temperatures in the 100s. There wasn't much of a cool down outside overnight which meant that the house never really cooled down either and our window A/C units didn't stand a chance of keeping anything cool today. By 10 o'clock every room was sweltering, even the ones with A/C units.
The computers didn't fry, but the office was not the kind of place a human wanted to hang out in. Neither was the rest of the house so I joined the dogs in doing the only logical thing to do which was to just lay down and try not to move too much. I did have to go outside at noon, 2:00 and 3:30 to provide a brief man-made rain shower for the turtle pens to help keep them cool and at 2:00 our patio thermometer read 112 degrees in the shade. Ugh. Fortuantly we had a few brief thunderstorms this evening and maybe the house will cool down enough tonight that tomorrow will not be so miserable. I had planned to post a response to Rob's post about the Kobe Bryant thing since I found it a bit offensive, but I was too hot to care. And I'm still too hot to care. I think I will go stick my head in the freezer instead.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

The redistricting agenda in texas is simply a vehicle to assure that nimrod in washington a win in '04(if Bunnypants can't carry Texas in '04 he's got a he doesn't want you to see) and to rid the state of longtime democratic players.It's painfully obvious unless you have downs syndrome...what with the lt. gov. changing the rules and Tom "how long can I" Delay the inevitable cheering them on...Texas politics today is a locally focused version of the corruption going on all over the country,the only difference being we have some democrats who stand up and try to do something about it, exposing the petty back biting characteristics of every republican on the fucking planet.More power to the dems I say...shut the bastards down.
OK...on to the more important bidness...Kobe Bryant taggin' that chick...1:He's rich(the best lawyers)2:His hot wife standing by his mean him...c'mon!If you had that waiting at home would you go after some yokel plain jane???Unless the adage "no matter how hot she is,somebody,somewhere is sick of her shit"applies here he's an idiot and deserves to go down.And as far as that girl is concerned I have three words:Giant cock HURTS,get over it.I don't believe he raped her,I believe she was surprised that the rumors are true.All she had to do was visit "blacks on blondes" and this probably never would have happened.
All kidding aside, this is just a distraction,in the end he'll plead it down,give the white girl half of his shit and give the other half to his wife who will immediately divorce him after it's not in her interest to stand by his money...I mean him and go back to being what he is...a fucking idiot who had no clue what was handed to him with no other arena to pretend he's something that he's not.But god damn, he can play basketball!In prison.
Some of you might be offended by this...some of you might get it.Whatever.
I was gonna do the piece about court tv and that thing they call nancy grace... but I gotta go.
Oh yeah...some more of us got killed today...bummer.

The Coffee Controversy
I decided to stop drinking coffee about a month ago. I figured I could save some money and improve my health at the same time so it seemed like a good idea. I was fully prepared to experience all the awful withdrawal symptoms that I've heard other people describe. You see, I used to drink about 20 cups a day when I was in my twenties. This all started because my mom and I both developed an allergy to Austin city water. I don't know what they started doing to the water, but we couldn't drink it without getting a mouth full of little blisters. She switched to bottle water and I switched to coffee. I have no idea why coffee made with city water didn't bother me, but it was readily available at work and I couldn't afford to bring in my own bottled water every day so that became my beverage of choice. Somewhere along the line, probably in my thirties, I decided that 20 cups of coffee a day wasn't such a good idea so I cut down to 12 cups. When our 12 cup coffee maker broke I bought an eight cup instead as a way to cut down further. I pretty much stuck to eight cups a day though there were times when I would make a second pot. The week I decided to stop drinking coffee I started making those eight cups at "normal" strength instead of my usual "super" strength. I intended to wean myself off of it gradually, but decided weak coffee just wasn't for me so I quit cold turkey. Much to my surprise, I had no headaches, no irritability, and I didn't turn into a raving lunatic. I wasn't any more or less groggy in the morning and the only difference was that my morning stuffy nose and puffy eyes (from allergies) had turned into a day long affair. Now that I've traded my morning coffee for a morning sinus pill I have to wonder what benefit have I gained? I seriously doubt that sinus medication is any better for me than coffee. I think I'll be putting coffee back on the grocery list.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

As Ann pointed out,I have been rant free for a bit...But I would clarify that by saying I have been blog free for a bit.
I have been following the nightmare unfolding before us since my last post slackjawed and unbelieving...this must be what bunnypants meant when he canted "shock and awe" because I am truely shocked by the bullshit dropping around us and in awe of the lack of an outcry...a union of citizens screaming ENOUGH!
Let's take a look at current events over the last week or so interspersed with my own personal experiences just to shake it up a bit beginning with a personal event.
I have a number of Box Turtles in my care and run a kind of rescue/breeding/conservation deal,but mostly these days it's just me and my pet turtles.I'm very attached :).Amongst this number are a herd of three toed box turtles. In the 5 plus years I have been keeping them I have never had a serious illness within this group. One of my females looked listless one day and I moved her inside to a hospital pen (large rubbermaid container with a screen top) where I could watch her more closely...she would not eat,she appeared dehydrated...She initially responded to long soaks and fluid injections but still would not eat even when offered the irresistable stinky cat food.And then one morning she was gone.All the other members were was it?Old age?Her turn in the barrel?It was impossible to explain.I have had an amazingly low mortality rate in my turtles (8 out of 50 in 5 years with only this one mystery).I asked myself how could this happen? I was seriously bummed.
(This is a serious jump but bear with me)
Bush Calls an end to combat and those people we liberated in iraq commence to killing the fuck out of us in a style described as "guerilla" is still combat,no matter how you and the media try to represent it...but by and large as evidenced by the lack of outcry I thought to myself how could this happen? I was seriously bummed.
The media lauds "5 days with out an american casualty!" like it's a reason to a hollow "oh thanks for the tie for christmas that I will add to the 250 other ties I've recieved over the years and made nice about and then stashed away in a forgotten place until I get another tie I do'nt need" maybe it is...but the reality is there's more death to come as assuredly as you have another paisley clip-on coming on santa's big's just a matter of time.
There are rumors of powell jumping ship...half the country buys into his denial of such, the other half says good riddance to him...we do'nt need niggers running any part of our government...I wish he would stick around and stop leaving his balls at home.This man has the power to facilitate great things if he could throw off that yoke of racism that hobbles him, our country, and the current administration...things are so fucked up here we have no business doing the things we are doing in the world today.
The pneumonia cases in Iraq...another distraction played up to be potential bio-warfare???
Remember what happened when the spanish came over here a long time ago? They got sick.Remember what happened when anglos invaded this country a long time ago?The indians got sick...Why aren't we hearing about illness amongst the indiginous people we liberated?And once again I find myself seriously bummed.
Court TV:Nancy Grace...What the fuck is up with her?!?!
I wake up and ca'nt walk
Kobe sticks it in a white girl and grabs the attention of MILLIONS
Plus : The texas power grab.
A Resolution
I have promised myself that I would write something every day, even on those days when I thought I had nothing to say. If I make it a habit, a part of my daily routine, then maybe eventually I can sit down and the words will just flow out onto the paper (or screen) like they did in the old days. I've had a nasty case of writer's block since I was a teenager. I'm not sure what happened. I don't remember any traumatic event or scathing criticism, but for some reason I just stopped writing other than the occasional page or two in my journal.

I have a suspicion that it involves boys. When I was about 13 or so the males of my generation had finally decided that maybe girls weren't so "icky" after all and so I started hanging out with boys. By "hanging out" I mean just that; working on cars, exploring Barton Creek, munching on onion rings at the A&W, listening to Led Zeppelin, tromping around junk yards looking for a good set of rear end gears. There was the occasional romantic encounter, but mostly it was just friends, doing the things that friends do. None of these activities included writing poems, stories or one-act plays, three things I used to do all the time when I was in elementary school.

I didn't have to do much writing in high school, but I did have one creative writing class which is where I discovered that I could no longer just sit down and write with ease. The teacher told me not to worry, that I had "writer's block" and all I had to do was fill up a piece of paper with sentences and I would pass the class. I don't think she did me any favors with that attitude because I was completely unprepared for college English classes. I have the not-so-proud distinction of having failed to master the "Aims and Modes" three times now. Never mind that I passed the CLEP test and don't even have to take the class. I'd like to learn how to write, thank you very much.

Which brings me to the whole point of this resolution. One of my options as a member of the unemployed is to go back to school. Where I would find the money to do this remains a mystery, but I find the thought of taking that English class one more time or writing another History paper to be much more of an obstacle than money. Therefore, I resolve to write something every day until it becomes second nature again. And who knows, by that time, I might even have the money to pay for tuition!

Monday, August 04, 2003

Death by Coconut
Every few years I decide that I'm not *really* allergic to coconut; that it's all in my head and it's perfectly okay to do something stupid like eat a Mounds candy bar. Yesterday afternoon was one of those occasions and hours later, I was driving the porcelain bus and reminding myself that I am, in fact, allergic to coconut. Let's hope I never get stranded on a desert island where coconut is the only food source. I can see the headlines now... "Shipwreck survivor starves despite abundant food source" and the article will assume that I was too stupid to figure it out.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Ann rants:
Tonight I get one of those credit card harvesting emails telling me my Earthlink account has been suspended and I should I update my credit card information at this link to which of course, isn't REALLY I've had a few too many beers for the day and decide I will report this to RoadRunner who hosts the customer that composed this lovely email. What do I get in response?

"All complaints regarding Earthlink High Speed Users (* should be directed to ABUSE@MINDSPRING.COM - Road Runner DOES NOT handle abuse issues dealing with Earthlink customers."

Umm.. I might be drunk, but this email originated from your f*cking network, *ssholes. Not to mention I'm NOT an "Earthlink High Speed User" since I've been in dialup hell for the last 2 days. Jeez. I can only blame the beer for causing me to think that reporting such activity might actually stop it; in a more sober moment I would have known better.
Ann babbles:
Rob has been remarkedly rant-free these days. I'm not much of a political commentator and I rarely watch the news, but once and a while something will make enough of a blip on my radar that I'll form an opinion about it; however, nothing has popped up in the last day or so. For the most part, I live a life ignorant of news, movies, TV shows, radio and all that other stuff that makes normal chit-chat conversation flow smoothly. Rob made some comment the other day about the Olsen twins and as usual, I said "Who is that?". He just rolled his eyes. This happens all the time. He made another comment about some actor that I wasn't familiar with and listed a long list of movies and TV shows and I was still scratching my head because I wasn't familiar with any of it. He was in Lonesome Dove? Never saw it, nor the other shows and movies that Rob mentioned. I guess popular culture just isn't and hasn't been my thing. Which begs the question of what is my "thing"? I don't seem to have an answer handy for that one.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Ann asks:
Is there a list somewhere of bloggers over 40? No wait, that might be too restrictive. How about a list of bloggers over 30? Hmmm... the twenty-something crowd often has some good stuff so maybe just a list of bloggers who have been out of school for at least 5 years. The reason I ask is because I'm downloading a rather large file over dialup and thought I would take the opportunity to check out some blogs while I sit here and babysit the connection for the whole damn afternoon. Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike what the younger crowd has to say, but sometimes it's nice to hear from someone who was born before the proliferation of ATM machines.
Ann sez:
I've had to go back to using my oldest email address as my primary email. I've had this address since Earthlink rolled into town back in 1996? 1997? Whenever; it was a long time ago. As a result, it's on just about every spam mailing list there is. I use Earthlink's spam filter, but I still get a ton of it. I'd check it about twice a month and my inbox on the server would be full so I'd delete 99% of everything in the inbox to keep the occasional important email from bouncing. Now that I have to face the spam-o-rama on a daily basis I see that my inbox fills up a lot quicker than I thought. I guess this explains all those "mailbox full" bounces I've been getting from other people. And all this time I thought they were just lazy and not checking their email. I stand corrected.
Ann sez:
I would dress all in black today if I had any black clothes that were clean (a bit behind on laundry, I am.) No, I haven't lost a family member or pet, but I have lost my good friend, the SDSL connection. It's the latest casualty of eight months of unemployment and after a year of surfing at near T1 speeds, I'm really sad to see it go. Now that the contract is over I can stop paying a fortune each month for internet access and it will be a little easier to keep the car and the house. The car is still suspect since the credit union is not being very understanding about the situation. Honestly, you would think they had enough repos sitting in their parking lot already. I'm not even driving the thing these days since I can't afford the tags or the gas so if they want to come snatch it out of my driveway the moment I go 31 days past due on a payment, well... let's just say I won't bother running out there with my shotgun to stop them.